Jul 132024
 


Henri Matisse Luxury, calm and pleasure 1904

 

Trump, Orban, Putin: Why Are All The ‘Dictators’ Hellbent On Peace? (Bridge)
Orban Meets Trump To Talk ‘Peace Mission’ (RT)
Biden Sees ‘No Reason’ To Talk To Putin (RT)
Zelensky Slams ‘Crazy’ Limits On Russia Strikes (RT)
UK Disputes Zelensky’s Long-range Strikes Claim – Telegraph (RT)
Ukrainian Strikes On Kremlin Would ‘Make No Sense’ – Biden (RT)
Scott Ritter: Ukraine an ‘Open Target for Russia to Take Apart’ (Sp.)
NATO’s Obsession Boosts Russia’s Role as Global Leader – Rasmussen (Sp.)
Why Is the West Preparing for War? (Paul Craig Roberts)
NATO Summit: Collectively Losing Their Mind (Lauria)
The Warhead Evidence, Medical And Autopsy Reports Are Missing (Helmer)
The Cover Your Ass Olympics (Kunstler)
“The First Amendment is Out of Control” (Turley)
EU Offered X Secret Censorship Deal – Musk (RT)

 

 

 

 

Roger Stone

 

 

Biden press

 

 

Fallon

 

 

Tucker Biden

 

 

Straight-faced no less.

 

 

PA

 

 

Jon Stewart fails painfully – for same reason they can’t meme

 

 

 

 

“The question remains, however, who will speak out on behalf of peace if not Trump, Putin, and Orban?”

Note: The others owe their careers to donations from the MIC.

Trump, Orban, Putin: Why Are All The ‘Dictators’ Hellbent On Peace? (Bridge)

One of the greatest farces of these modern times is that those who scream the loudest about democracy and human rights are the very same people who violate international norms at every opportunity. In the June issue of The New Republic, a left-leaning US political journal, a scowling Donald Trump was featured on the cover sporting a Hitler moustache above a caption that read: “American fascism, what it would look like.” [..]

There’s just one problem with the journal’s nervous handwringing: Trump has already served a four-year term as US leader and there was no visible sign of fascist goosestepping down Main Street during that period. In fact, just the opposite is true. While Adolf Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, thus triggering World War II, Trump went down in the history books as the first American commander-in-chief in modern times to avoid a military conflict. Now on the campaign trail for the second time, with the insatiable defense industry licking its chops for more profits, the Republican frontrunner has declared he would end the Ukraine-Russia conflict in 24 hours if reelected. When it is considered that ‘democracy’ today primarily works on behalf of the military industrial complex and other associated business interests, it is easier to understand how Trump is described in the corporate-owned media as an existential threat to the American republic. Peace is the last thing on Washington’s mind, and Russia understands that better than any country.

Back in 2008, the “dictator” Vladimir Putin delivered his now-famous speech at the Munich Security Conference where he warned his Western colleagues on the dangers of military expansion. “NATO expansion… represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our Western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them.” Despite Putin’s explicit warning, NATO went on to add an additional six members to the alliance, bringing the total number to 32, with Ukraine, ignoring Moscow’s major red line, scheming to be number 33. For anybody who asserts this is only a “defense alliance” would do well to consider what America’s response would be if all of Latin America and the border state of Mexico were joining a military alliance led by Moscow. Needless to say, we would be knee-deep in bloodshed by now. Yet Russia is supposed to accept an endless military incursion smack up against its border.

This was certainly not the last time Russia attempted to broker a peace deal with Washington. Almost eight years after the 2014 Maidan Revolution, and months before Moscow kicked off its special military operation in Ukraine, the Kremlin released its plan for peace on the continent. Among other things, the draft treaty called for the US and Russia to refrain from deploying troops in regions where they could be perceived as a threat to each other’s national security, as well as a ban on sending their troops and military hardware into areas where they could strike each other’s territory. The treaty was also designed to ban the deployment of intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Had the Western powers consented to the plan – it barely made headlines in the NATO countries – it’s not difficult to imagine decades of peace between east and west, the very last thing that Washington wants.Instead, the US and its European puppets placed Russia in an impossible position with regards to the ongoing militarization and Nazification of Ukraine, forcing it to respond as any other country concerned about its national security would.

This leads us to the West’s third favorite bogeyman, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has dared to declare that his country is predominantly Christian and conservative and has every right to stay that way. Orban, whose country now holds the rotating EU Council presidency, went on a peace-making tour with stops in Moscow, Kiev, Beijing, and Washington (where he ruffled more than one hawk’s feathers by visiting Trump at Mar-a-Lago instead of Biden in DC). The frustration on the part of Brussels as it watched the Hungarian “tyrant” speak out in favor of reducing weapons sales was laughable if not downright pathetic. “Hungary has presented the trips as a ‘peace mission’ to help negotiate a ceasefire for the war in Ukraine. Orban may consider himself as one of the few who can speak to both sides – but in reality he has no mandate to do so,” wrote Armida van Rij, a senior research fellow at Chatham House, a European think tank. The question remains, however, who will speak out on behalf of peace if not Trump, Putin, and Orban? The answer thus far is nobody.While there are certainly other statesmen besides Trump, Putin, and Orban on the international stage who can make the case for peace, time is running out to hear those critical voices.

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“We discussed ways to make peace. The good news of the day: he’s going to solve it!”

“Thank you Viktor. There must be PEACE, and quickly. Too many people have died in a war that should never have started!”

Orban Meets Trump To Talk ‘Peace Mission’ (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has met with GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump as part of the former’s effort to settle the Ukraine conflict. The Hungarian leader, who has repeatedly criticized the West’s approach to the hostilities and called for an immediate ceasefire, traveled to Russia, Ukraine, and China last week to discuss prospects for a peaceful settlement. He later attended NATO’s annual summit in Washington, but did not hold high-level talks with US President Joe Biden. Writing on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, Orban said he visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida as part of what he called “peace mission 5.0.” “We discussed ways to make peace. The good news of the day: he’s going to solve it!” the Hungarian Prime Minister noted, posting a photo of him standing next to Trump, with both smiling.

The GOP presidential frontrunner responded to Orban, writing on the Truth Social network: “Thank you Viktor. There must be PEACE, and quickly. Too many people have died in a war that should never have started!” Orban previously hailed Trump as “a man of peace,” under whose watch the US “did not initiate a single war.” The Republican has repeatedly vowed to end the Ukraine conflict within 24 hours if elected. While the details of this plan remain sketchy, last week Politico reported, citing sources, that Trump could strike a deal under which “NATO commits to no further eastward expansion,” specifically into Ukraine and Georgia while holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin “over how much Ukrainian territory Moscow can keep.”

During his visit to Kiev, the Hungarian leader called on Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky to agree to a ceasefire with Russia, a proposal the latter rejected. Zelensky also suggested that Orban does not have the clout required to negotiate an end to the conflict, noting that only the US, EU, or China could fill that role. Orban also traveled to Russia and met with Putin in an attempt to find, as he put it, “the shortest way out” of the Ukraine conflict. Numerous media reports suggested that this trip outraged many Western officials. White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that Ukraine was right to be concerned by attempts to negotiate peace without its participation. “Whatever adventurism is being undertaken without Ukraine’s consent or support is not something that’s consistent with our policy, the foreign policy of the United States,” he stressed.

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“..The last phone call between Biden and Putin took place in late December 2021..”

Biden Sees ‘No Reason’ To Talk To Putin (RT)

US President Joe Biden has said he has no reason to talk with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, including about the Ukraine conflict. However, he also said he would not refuse to engage with any world leader. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Biden was asked whether he would still be able to “deal” with Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in a few years. “I’m ready to deal with them now,” he replied, noting that he maintains contact with Xi. However, when it comes to the Russian leader, Biden said he had “no good reason to talk to Putin” at the moment. “There’s not much that he is prepared to do in terms of accommodating any change in his behavior,” he added, referring to the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev. “I’m not ready to talk to Putin unless Putin is ready to change his behavior.”

However, Biden then said he was open to engagement with “any leader who wants to talk,” including Putin. He recalled that the last time the pair had a direct conversation, they were discussing an arms control agreement relating to nuclear weapons in space. “That didn’t go very far,” he added. The last phone call between Biden and Putin took place in late December 2021, several weeks before the start of Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, which resulted in bilateral relations plummeting to their lowest point since the Cold War.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month that Russia was ready to hold talks with the US but only if such dialogue is “comprehensive” and includes not only arms control issues but also the Ukraine conflict. “It is impossible to take out any individual segments from the general complex of accumulated problems,” he said, acknowledging that both sides need to engage to address mounting problems in the global security architecture. On Thursday, Putin’s name was again mentioned by Biden during a joint event in Washington when he confused Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky for the Russian leader, exacerbating concerns about his mental state, which have been mounting since his disastrous debate performance against GOP rival Donald Trump last month.

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“..unlimited long-range strikes inside Russia is crucial for “having Ukraine on the map” and not allowing Moscow to “attack half of the planet.”

Zelensky Slams ‘Crazy’ Limits On Russia Strikes (RT)

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky on Thursday lashed out at Kiev’s foreign backers for their reluctance to lift the remaining limitations on the use of Western-supplied weapons for long-range strikes inside Russia. Kiev already has the greenlight from several Western states to hit “legitimate” targets inside Russia with their weapons, as well as a concession from Washington to strike beyond Russia’s border near the city of Kharkov. However, Zelensky has been pushing for the strike range to be extended – a prospect Moscow has warned would constitute an escalation of the conflict. Speaking at a press conference at the NATO summit in Washington, Zelensky claimed that allowing Kiev to launch unlimited long-range strikes inside Russia is crucial for “having Ukraine on the map” and not allowing Moscow to “attack half of the planet.”

“If we want to win, if we want to prevail, if we want to save our country and to defend it, we need to lift all the limitations,” Zelensky stated. He cited week’s tragedy at the Okhmatdet children’s hospital in Kiev, which Ukraine has claimed was hit by a Russian missile. Moscow has insisted that the facility was hit by a Ukrainian air-defense missile. “That is a crazy question why we can’t answer and attack these… military bases from where these guided bombs from jets or missiles came, targeted us and killed our children,” Zelensky argued. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Kiev is deliberately using tragedies in its PR campaigns ahead of important international events to demand more support from the West. Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, claimed that Kiev’s Western supporters saw the hospital tragedy as a “perfect gift” to justify escalation of the conflict.

US President Joe Biden on Thursday reaffirmed the limits on how Ukraine can use American-supplied weapons, arguing that it “wouldn’t make sense” to allow Zelensky to strike deep inside Russia.“We have allowed Zelensky to use American weapons in the near border regions of Russia. If he had the opportunity to strike Moscow, strike the Kremlin, would that make sense? No, it wouldn’t,” Biden said at a press briefing in Washington. The UK, which has a ban on using its long-range Storm Shadow missiles to hit targets deep inside Russia, has also apparently distanced itself from earlier statements by Prime Minister Keir Starmer. The premier on Wednesday signaled he was loosening restrictions on how the missiles are used, saying “it is for Ukraine to decide how to deploy [them].” However, according to a report by The Telegraph citing Downing Street, UK government policy “had not changed” regarding the deployment of the long-range missiles, and the limitations remain in place.

Lavrov

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“..the Ukrainian leader announced that he had “learned about the permission to use Storm Shadow missiles against military targets in Russian territory.”

UK Disputes Zelensky’s Long-range Strikes Claim – Telegraph (RT)

Claims by Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky that the UK has cleared him to order attacks deep inside Russia with British-supplied weapons are not true, according to The Telegraph. After a meeting with Prime Minister Keir Starmer on Wednesday, the Ukrainian leader announced that he had “learned about the permission to use Storm Shadow missiles against military targets in Russian territory.” The two officials “had the opportunity to discuss the practical implementation of this decision” he added. The Telegraph reported on Thursday that the situation was “more nuanced,” according to a senior defense source. In fact, there has been no policy change regarding the weapons after the new Labour government came to power, the British newspaper explained.

The Ukrainian use of air-launched long-range cruise missiles produced jointly by the UK and France was the source of a diplomatic spat in May, when then-Foreign Secretary David Cameron expressed sympathy for Kiev’s desire to use them outside of what London recognizes as Ukrainian territory. Ukraine “has the right to defend itself,” he said at the time, which many observers as well as the Russian government interpreted as a permission to deliver such strikes. British officials later indicated that certain limitations remained in place for Storm Shadow systems. Starmer this week said it was “up for Ukraine to decide how to deploy” the missiles, prompting the Kremlin to call his remarks “irresponsible and escalatory.”

Sources told The Telegraph that Zelensky would have to “seek assurances elsewhere” before he could fire British weapons deep inside Russia. Three nations – presumably Ukraine, the UK, and France – would have to sign off on such attacks, and it was not a done deal that Kiev would get its way, the report suggested. A senior defense official told the newspaper: “It’s not going to happen.” Zelensky urged Western backers, particularly the US, to lift all limitations on how Kiev can use their arms, during this week’s NATO summit in Washington DC. US President Joe Biden indicated that there will be no policy change. “If he had the capacity to strike Moscow, strike the Kremlin, would that make sense?” Biden said of Zelensky at a joint press conference on Wednesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that should Western arms be used to strike targets deep inside Russia, Moscow could provide similar military capabilities to parties hostile to the US and its allies elsewhere in the world.

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About as much sense as strikes on the White House.

Ukrainian Strikes On Kremlin Would ‘Make No Sense’ – Biden (RT)

The US sees no reason to allow Ukrainian strikes deeper inside Russian territory despite pleas from Kiev for permission to launch such attacks, President Joe Biden has said. Washington approved Ukrainian cross-border attacks using US-supplied weapons against Russian targets in late May, arguing that the shift in policy would help repel Moscow’s offensive in the border Kharkov Region. Biden said at the time that the US was permitting strikes “only in proximity to the border [with Russia] when [Russian weapons] are being used on the other side of the border to attack specific targets in Ukraine.” Russia launched its offensive in Kharkov Region in a bid to establish a so-called “cordon sanitaire” to shield its border areas from recurring Ukrainian attacks targeting civilians.

According to the Washington Post, Ukraine is allowed to strike some 100km inside Russian territory as recognized by the West, with officials in Kiev complaining that they were not authorized to attack some key airfields. Pentagon officials later also confirmed that Ukraine was allowed to strike targets beyond Kharkov Region. Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky, however, has insisted that all restrictions be lifted, calling it “crazy” that Kiev was being prevented from retaliating in response to some Russian strikes. Speaking at a press conference in Washington, DC on Thursday, Biden signaled that the US had no plans to loosen restrictions further.

“We’ve allowed Zelensky to use American weapons in the near term and the near abroad into Russia… If he had the capacity to strike Moscow, strike the Kremlin, would that make sense? It wouldn’t.” He added that Kiev and the West should ask itself “What’s the best use of the weaponry [Zelensky] has and the weaponry we’re getting to him?” President Vladimir Putin has said Ukrainian attacks inside Russian territory using Western-supplied weapons are “close to aggression,” while warning of an asymmetrical response.

Meanwhile, the US has essentially given Kiev carte blanche to use American-made weapons in attacks on Russian territories claimed by Ukraine. In late June, Moscow accused Kiev of launching a strike using long-range ATACMS missiles on Crimea, which killed four civilians and injured more than 150 on a beach in Sevastopol. Russia claimed that Washington was complicit in the attack, saying it had enabled a “premeditated terrorist missile attack.” Commenting on the tragedy, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller dismissed the accusations as “ridiculous.” He said that, while the US “regret[s] any civilian loss of life in this war,” it supplies Kiev with weapons “so it can defend its sovereign territory against armed aggression.”

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“Indeed, no issue has been resolved in favor of Ukraine. That’s the reality of NATO today..”

Scott Ritter: Ukraine an ‘Open Target for Russia to Take Apart’ (Sp.)

No matter how many and what kind of air defense systems NATO plans to donate to the Kiev regime, Russia will continue to pursue its military objectives while grinding through those weapons, underscored Scott Ritter. Fueling the ongoing proxy war in Ukraine will leave the West facing depleted stocks of its own air defense systems. Russia is able to wipe out the military equipment provided to the Kiev regime, especially air defense, at a rate “far greater than the West can even replenish its own stocks,” former US marine intelligence officer Scott Ritter told Sputnik. “This is a losing equation. And without air defense, Ukraine is literally an open target for Russia to take apart as it best sees fit,” said Ritter. On the opening day of the recent NATO summit in Washington, US President Joe Biden pledged to provide Ukraine with five new strategic air defense systems and dozens of smaller, strategic anti-air batteries over the coming year.

In remarks delivered at the opening of the summit, Biden said that to donate the Patriot systems, the US would join forces with Germany, Romania, Italy, and the Netherlands. The announcement came two days after a missile strike hit a children’s hospital in Kiev, with the Zelensky-led neo-Nazi regime and its Western allies groundlessly accusing Russia of targeting the building. Indeed, the well-timed announcement from Washington comes as Ukraine seems to have “a particular desire” for the Patriot air defense system, noted Ritter, but “it’ll take whatever it can get.” According to the ex-marine intel officer, even after Ukraine gets the promised air defenses, it will face a big problem reconstructing an integrated air defense umbrella.

Back when Ukraine was initially provided with the NATO air defense systems such as the Patriots, NASAMs, IRIS-T, French (SAMP/T) Mamba – they had a Soviet era air defense umbrella that consisted primarily of the S-300 air defense system, the Buk, others, he explained. However, in the months of the proxy conflict this air defense umbrella became nonexistent, underscored Ritter, adding: “And when Ukraine brings in their air defense systems, they have to do so in a very makeshift, haphazard manner. They aren’t able to use them the way they were designed. This requires trickery, you know, turning on and off radars, firing missiles before radar lock is taking place. It’s a very inefficient way to use air defense systems. And because Russia is able to put an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance umbrella over Ukraine, anytime Ukraine uses air defense, it’s detected.”

Since Russia’s Armed Forces are able to in very short order locate and destroy the systems, Kiev is in “one of these vicious cycles where there simply isn’t enough weapon systems available to allow Ukraine to build the air defense umbrella it needs,” remarked the expert. “This is one of the detrimental consequences of the attritional warfare that’s being waged today in Ukraine… And it’s one of the issues that this NATO summit has not been able to resolve in favor of Ukraine. Indeed, no issue has been resolved in favor of Ukraine. That’s the reality of NATO today,” concluded Scott Ritter.

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“If anything Russia is acting more of a leader here and thus it may strengthen Russia’s hand..”

NATO’s Obsession Boosts Russia’s Role as Global Leader – Rasmussen (Sp.)

The latest NATO joint declaration condemning Russia appears to be backfiring and instead establishing Moscow more than ever as the leader of the global resistance against US hegemony, retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and political consultant Earl Rasmussen, told Sputnik. “If anything Russia is acting more of a leader here and thus it may strengthen Russia’s hand,” former vice president of the Eurasia Foundation Rasmussen said. Russia was the central focus of the 32-nation Alliance declaration that was issued on Wednesday. The declaration stated that Russia remains the most significant and direct threat to the Allies’ security, and expressed profound concern over the deepening strategic partnership between Russia and China, which aims to undermine and reshape the rules-based international order. However, despite its hostile tone towards Russia and China, Rasmussen said he doubted the NATO summit had achieved any concrete results.

“I think in general the summit will accomplish very little. It will act as a cheerleader/pep-talk. Very little seems to have been accomplished thus far, with few exceptions.” he said. The declaration document itself showed a provocative mood towards Russia and China, Rasmussen observed.”It discusses expansion in Europe as well as stronger coordination in Asia and the Middle East in addition to funding contributions and weapon system modernization,” he added. NATO leaders in their declaration also displayed a clearly stated objective to increase the number of joint military exercises and to establish a security presence along their eastern borders with Russia, Rasmussen noted. The growing tensions expressed at the summit looked likely to endure, Rasmussen said, adding that China and Russia should react with patience but determination against the growing hostility they faced from the West.

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“European male ethnicities are so oppressed by their own governments and by immigrant-invaders favored by European governments, that the defense ministers of Europe are women. What does a white ethnic European male have to fight for?”

Why Is the West Preparing for War? (Paul Craig Roberts)

One result of the just concluded NATO Summit is Germany’s decision to host US intermediate-range missiles. Prior to 2019 when Washington cancelled the INF Treaty, the treaty prevented such deployment. The INF Treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev on December 8,1987, and the treaty was ratified on June 1, 1988. The treaty was part and parcel of ending the cold war. Reagan called the treaty a “step toward a safer world.” “The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty required the United States and the Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and employ extensive on-site inspections for verification. As a result of the INF Treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union destroyed a total of 2,692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles by the treaty’s implementation deadline of June 1, 1991.”

Blaming Russia the Trump administration pulled out of the treaty. The consequence was to kill the nuclear disarmament that the INF Treaty began and to renew the arms race. If I had to bet I would say Washington’s withdrawal was a consequence of the US nuclear industry needing the source of profits that the arms race provided and the neoconservatives’ determination to revive US hegemony through the buildup of force. If Russia was truly out of compliance, Trump’s focus should have been to work to bring Russia into compliance, not terminate the treaty. The efforts of several American presidents and Soviet leaders in the 20th century to defuse tensions and to build trust were squandered by Washington in the 21st century. Regardless, what is clear is that Washington is pushing both Europe and Russia into preparing for war, and is itself preparing.

The US Senate has joined the House of Representatives in creating a draft registration system from which to field a conscripted army. The Senate’s version includes women in the draft, as equal treatment requires. Clearly, Washington sees the need for a larger army than a volunteer army can provide. Now that the Biden regime is supplying F-16s and long-range missiles to Ukraine, weapon systems that Biden said would never be given to the Ukrainians, along with targeting information, clearly Washington’s intent is to further widen the war by carrying it deep into civilian areas of Russia. Simultaneously, Washington is using its NGOs in Georgia to orchestrate a color revolution there in order to open a second front against Russia. Putin’s slow forever war in Ukraine has played directly into Washington’s hands.

China is the main focus of Washington’s strategy of isolating Russia. At the recent NATO Summit China was accused of being a “decisive enabler” of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. By allegedly supplying armaments to Russia, China is accused of challenging “our interests, security and values.” I would have expected a different Chinese reply than was made. China should have said to Washington/NATO: “You started the conflict and your weapons systems and French troops are supporting and widening the conflict. You have blocked all efforts to end the conflict; yet you dare accuse us of responsibility for it.” Instead, the Chinese disavowed supplying Russia with any military support. This is an extremely weak response. It suggests that all the Russian-Chinese assurance of a “no-limits partnership” is just words. An appropriate response from China would have been: “We are considering sending 500,000 of our best soldiers to serve under Russian command in Ukraine and have called up another million men for military training.

A response such as this is what would end the conflict before the dumbshit hegemonic West puts us all in a war of annihilation. In recorded history one can find very few competent civilian and military leaders. Alexander the Great, Constantine, Charles Martel, Charlemagne, the Duke of Marlborough, Robert E. Lee. No such men exist today, but the weapons are far more terrible. Moreover, modern war targets civilians and civilian infrastructure, as the Israelis are doing in Gaza. The goal is less to defeat an opposing army than it is to foreclose an opponent’s ability to conduct war. In Europe a warrior class no longer exists. European male ethnicities are so oppressed by their own governments and by immigrant-invaders favored by European governments, that the defense ministers of Europe are women. What does a white ethnic European male have to fight for?

In the US the fighting force has always come from the southern states. But what have these traditional Americans, these military families, witnessed? They have seen all southern names struck from military bases. They have experienced their promotions on hold while homosexuals, black females, and transgendered people confused about their own gender are promoted. Taking orders from such people is not a southern man’s idea of the military. So recruitment has collapsed. There are so few people willing to fight for America that Congress entertains proposals to enroll immigrant-invaders, paid with citizenship for fighting for American hegemony. America has reached the point that Rome reached. Once the Roman military was German, the Germans became the emperors. The Germans did a fairly decent job compared to the decadent Romans, but the Empire was exhausted by its internal conflicts and collapsed. Perhaps it is the collapse of the West that Putin and XI are banking on. Why bother to fight people busy destroying themselves.

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“NATO’s aim is to regain control of Russian resources and finances as the West enjoyed in the 1990s, when it asset-stripped formerly state-owned industries, enriching themselves and a new class of oligarchs while impoverishing the Russian people. Putin is now standing in their way.”

NATO Summit: Collectively Losing Their Mind (Lauria)

On March 7, 2022, two weeks after Moscow entered the civil war in Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS News from Moldova that the U.S. would give Poland a “green light” to send Mig-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Within days the Pentagon shot down the idea. Then U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also supported the Polish planes scheme, but the Pentagon rejected it because it “could result in significant Russian reaction that might increase the prospects of a military escalation with NATO,” according to then Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. But yesterday Blinken told a public policy forum at the NATO summit in Washington: “As we speak the transfer of F-16 jets is underway coming from Denmark, coming from the Netherlands and those jets will be flying in the skies of Ukraine this summer to make sure that Ukraine can continue to effectively defend itself against the Russian aggression.”

It is not quite NATO declaring a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which was dismissed by President Joe Biden in March 2022 because “that’s called World War III, okay? Let’s get it straight here, guys. We will not fight the third world war in Ukraine.” “President Biden’s been clear that … if you establish a no-fly zone, certainly in order to enforce that no-fly zone, you’ll have to engage Russian aircraft. And again, that would put us at war with Russia,” added Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the time. Though not declaring a no-fly zone, these are still NATO fighter jets leaving from NATO countries to operate with Ukrainian pilots against Russian aircraft in Ukrainian airspace. More dangerously, NATO is permitting Ukraine to fly the F-16s to attack inside Russian territory. So what changed since March 2022 to allow the U.S. and NATO to risk, in the previous words of Biden, “World War III?”

What’s changed is that back then the White House and the Pentagon still thought the strategy of economic and information warfare plus a proxy ground war would defeat Russia in Ukraine, and ultimately bring down Vladimir Putin in Moscow. But for more than a year now it’s been evident that the U.S. — and NATO — have lost the economic and information war, as well as the proxy fighting on the ground in Ukraine. One year into the war, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a dinner in February 2023 that he had to face facts: Ukraine would lose the war and should negotiate a settlement with Moscow. The Wall Street Journal quoted Macron as telling Zelensky that “even mortal enemies like France and Germany had to make peace after World War II.” Macron told Zelensky “he had been a great war leader, but that he would eventually have to shift into political statesmanship and make difficult decisions,” the newspaper reported.

U.S.-led NATO could not launch its economic, information and proxy war against Russia without cause. That cause would be Russia invading Ukraine to defend ethnic Russians in a civil war that had raged since 2014, sparked when the U.S. helped to overthrow the democratically-elected government that year. The economic war, intended to spur Russians to overthrow their government, has failed spectacularly. The ruble did not collapse despite sanctions on the Russian central bank. Nor has the economy. Instead an alternative economic, commercial and financial system that excludes the West has arisen with China, India and Russia in the lead, and most of Asia, Africa and Latin America taking part in what appears to be the final chapter of Western colonialism. The sanctions instead backfired on the West, especially in Europe. The information war has failed across the world. Only the United States and Europe, which consider itself “the world,” believe their own “information.”

The proxy war is being lost on the ground, though more than $100 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine has created a bloodbath. There will either be a negotiated settlement in which Ukraine loses territory; a total Russian victory; or potentially the final war. The U.S. pushed Russia to the brink to provoke its intervention. It began with a 30-year NATO expansion eastward with NATO exercises on Russia’s borders while calling for Ukraine to become a member, a call reiterated at the summit yesterday. In December 2021 the West rejected Russian treaty proposals to roll back NATO troop deployments and missile installations in Eastern Europe, creating a new security architecture in Europe. NATO’s aim is to regain control of Russian resources and finances as the West enjoyed in the 1990s, when it asset-stripped formerly state-owned industries, enriching themselves and a new class of oligarchs while impoverishing the Russian people. Putin is now standing in their way.

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“In her presentation for the UN, Bell omitted the medical evidence. Her military expert went unnamed, his evidence unexamined. This is called hearsay in a British or American court..”

The Warhead Evidence, Medical And Autopsy Reports Are Missing (Helmer)

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova, the Okhmatdet hospital had been struck by a US-made, Norway-supplied NASAMS air defence missile, fired by a Ukrainian battery attempting to protect the Artyom (Artem) plant. “Many eyewitnesses and other sources have already confirmed that a Western-made NASAMS surface-to-air missile hit a building of the Okhmatdet Hospital for Children in Kiev. Officials on Bankovaya Street [Zelensky regime headquarters] immediately started blaming Russia for deliberately killing children. However, no one said that the Artyom Plant is located next to the affected clinic, and that Defense Ministry buildings and military warehouses are also located next door. Certainly, no one said that pro-Bandera supporters are deliberately deploying air defence systems in residential areas, using civilians as a human shield.

The Kiev junta has been using purely civilian enterprises for military purposes for a long time, either using them to assemble and repair military equipment or to store Western-made weapons and military equipment.” The Russian representative at the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, currently rotational president of the UN Security Council, told a special council session that the strike on the hospital had been a Ukrainian one, not a Russian one. He added: “The X-101 missile would have done a lot more damage to the building it hit [Min 6:52]…if it had been a Russian missile, there would have been nothing left of the building and the children and most of the adults would have been killed rather than wounded [Min 8:20]” Like Zakharova, Nebenzya identified military industrial targets. The two Russian officials have not identified the electric war targets.

They are not lying; they are telling less than the full truth. When that is understood from all the available evidence, there is no mens rea. No conviction in a western court of law. The prosecution’s case is dismissed. In war, especially in propaganda war, there is no such thing as independence. United Nations (UN) organizations from the UN Secretary-General and his office down the UN line, are not independent. In the current war they have taken the US-NATO side. In a briefing by Danielle Bell, a UN official in Kiev on Tuesday, the day after the air raid, she claimed “Analysis of the video footage and assessment made at the incident site indicates a high likelihood that the children’s hospital suffered a direct hit rather than receiving damages due to an intercepted weapons system. Of course, as was said earlier, this must be investigated. At the time of the attack, 670 child patients, mainly inpatients, were there together with more than a thousand medical staff.”

Bell, a Canadian national who has served beside US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, did not say what she meant by “direct hit” and did not distinguish between warhead detonation, shrapnel wounds, and blast impacts. When prompted for more evidence, Bell said: “We haven’t determined.” In a British or American courtroom, that is the end of proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The defence lawyer would then announce to judge and jury the prosecution has failed and move for summary dismissal. But the UN official announced differently, conclusively: “We’ve assessed the factors that suggest the likelihood that it was a direct hit of a KH-101 [X-101 is the Cyrillic acronym translated into English] missile launched by the Russian Federation. The factors suggesting that it was a direct hit are based on video footage, which shows the technical specification of the type of weapon that was used. It shows the weapon directly impacting the hospital rather than being intercepted in the air. And thirdly, my military, our military expert, visited the site yesterday and observed damages at the site that were consistent with a direct hit.”

To measure “consistent with a direct hit” in a homicide prosecution requires clinical and autopsy evidence of the cause of death or injury to individuals. In the Kiev hospital case, to date there is no evidence of fragmentation metal or cluster elements from the X-101 warhead causing either death or injury in the hospital. No comparison has been published openly by the Ukrainians of X-101 warhead fragmentation and NASAMS warhead fragmentation. The warhead payload of the X-101 has been reported at 400 kg of high explosive fragmentation of metal elements. The warhead of the NASAMS missile is 20 kg of explosive.

Physical wounding by flying glass or collapsing structures is consistent with blast from outside the hospital. Wounds by warhead shrapnel identified in the bodies of the casualties by X-ray or CT and MRI scans can be compared for the source of the metal to distinguish between the X-101 and the NASAMS. This has not been done by the Ukrainian side. Without such evidence – protected by chain of custody to prevent tampering, substitutions of metal, and fakery – the prosecution fails. In her presentation for the UN, Bell omitted the medical evidence. Her military expert went unnamed, his evidence unexamined. This is called hearsay in a British or American court. For proof of actus reus, the judge will direct the jury that without circumstantial corroboration and cross-examination, the expert’s testimony has next to no evidential value in a homicide prosecution.

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“..and direct a corporate looting operation of Russia’s oil and mineral riches. Ukraine was the doorway they had to go through to get that done.”

The Cover Your Ass Olympics (Kunstler)

You can’t deny that “Joe Biden” did his goodest last night facing down a half-dozen pre-selected reporters representing blob-adjacent news orgs such as Reuters and NPR at the post-NATO meetup damage-control event billed as a “news conference.” Only a week after he declared himself to be the “first black woman vice-president,” he pivoted to correct the record, telling the DC press corps that he’d “picked Vice-president Trump to be vice-president. . .” and everyone in the room saw that they were back in that mortifying scene in The Caine Mutiny when the confused and incompetent Captain Queeg reaches for the ball bearings in his pocket. At the end of the harrowing hour, he minced his way offstage, leaving his Party of Chaos evermore sore perplexed as to how they might lever this burnt-out old hack out of the nomination they foolishly secured for him months ago.

It ain’t gonna be easy, as “JB” repeatedly insisted he had no intention of stepping aside, despite the forces mustering against him in Congress, the media, and Hollywood. Even CNN is turning on him. Meanwhile, the #VeepTrump clip went viral on social media. So much for damage control. You understand, don’t you, what a fiasco the 75th Anniversary DC NATO meetup itself was? Everyone in the room, including the key prime ministers and presidents, could sense how flimsy the alliance now appears, as led by our maundering near-zombie president. Like “Joe Biden,” NATO’s raison d’être has been exposed as badly out-of-date and dangerously unhinged. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg kicked things off declaring that “Ukraine is on an ‘irreversible’ path to NATO.” This controverts what everybody in NATO knows is Mr. Putin’s clearest red line, and is therefore either a jape or a bit of recklessly provocative idiocy.

The truth of the matter is this: following its transition out of the failed Soviet experiment thirty years ago, Russia was never a threat to its European neighbors. All the talk of Vladimir Putin seeking to reassemble the old USSR empire was knowingly false, as is the chatter now about Russia looking to invade Europe. What Russia actually sought was to be regarded, once again, as a normal European nation able to conduct normal business with the rest of Europe. The USA wouldn’t allow it. Exactly why remains partially mysterious. Surely, post-1991, it was in the interest of US military contractors to maintain their Cold War revenue streams. To do that, a foreign hobgoblin had to be invoked — and perhaps China was not the best candidate, since it had begun manufacturing everything on sale in the Walmart — so Russia, with practically no export economy, was cast in that role.

And the politicians, too, surely liked creaming off their share of that military-industrial revenue stream, so they went along policy-wise, with figures like John McCain and Lindsay Graham leading the charge. But the US intel blob and State Department had darker motives, driven by an animus that has slowly revealed itself to be insane — just as the Democratic Party has turned obviously insane, adopting a playbook that could have been written by Franz Kafka. Being likewise insane, the intel blob and the neocons at State harbored an unappeasable hatred toward Russia that, since the Soviet collapse, allowed no accommodation and gelled into a naked avarice for seizing the resources of Russia with a long-term plan to subvert the Russian state, break it up the way they broke up Serbia in the 1990s, and direct a corporate looting operation of Russia’s oil and mineral riches. Ukraine was the doorway they had to go through to get that done.

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Too much free speech? What does the 1st Amendment say about that?

“The First Amendment is Out of Control” (Turley)

As I have laid out in testimony before Congress, Jen Easterly, who heads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, extended her agency’s mandate over “critical infrastructure” to include “our cognitive infrastructure.” The resulting censorship efforts included combating “malinformation” – described as information “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.” So, you can cite true facts but still be censored for misleading others. The media has been running an unrelenting line of anti-free speech columns. Recently, the New York Times ran a column by former Biden official and Columbia University law professor Tim Wu describing how the First Amendment was “out of control” in protecting too much speech. Wu insists that the First Amendment is now “beginning to threaten many of the essential jobs of the state, such as protecting national security and the safety and privacy of its citizens.” He bizarrely claims that the First Amendment “now mostly protects corporate interests.”

So free speech not only threatens your life, your job, and your privacy, but serves corporate masters. Ready to sign your rights away? Wait, there is more. There is a movement afoot to rewrite the First Amendment through an amendment. George Washington University Law School Professor Mary Anne Franks believes that the First Amendment is “aggressively individualistic” and needs to be rewritten to “redo” the work of the Framers. Her new amendment suggestion replaces the clear statement in favor of a convoluted, ambiguous statement of free speech that will be “subject to responsibility for abuses.” It then adds that “all conflicts of such rights shall be resolved in accordance with the principle of equality and dignity of all persons.” Franks has also dismissed objections to the censorship on social media and insisted that “the Internet model of free speech is little more than cacophony, where the loudest, most provocative, or most unlikeable voice dominates . . . If we want to protect free speech, we should not only resist the attempt to remake college campuses in the image of the Internet but consider the benefits of remaking the Internet in the image of the university.”

Franks is certainly correct that those “unlikeable voices” are rarely heard in academia today. As discussed in my book, faculties have largely purged conservative, Republican, libertarian, and dissenting professors. The discussion on most campuses now runs from the left to far left without that pesky “cacophony” of opposing viewpoints. Experts at leading universities were fired or stripped of positions for questioning COVID claims. Conservative faculty have been hounded from schools and conservative sites have been targeted by government-funded programs. Thousands have been banned from social media. What is particularly maddening for many in the free speech community is how the left has responded to opposition to censorship and blacklisting. Some are claiming to be victims by those who criticize their work to target individuals and groups as disinformation.

Others, like comedian Jon Stewart mock those who object to the erosion of free speech by noting that conservatives are making these objections on television or online. So, according to Stewart, how can there be a problem if you are able to still object? The suggestion is that there can be no threat to free speech unless people are completely silenced. Stewart insists that “we are surrounded by and inundated with more speech than has ever existed in the history of communication.” In other words, because people can still speak, the well-documented systems of censorship and blacklisting must not be so bad. It is not clear what Stewart would accept as sufficient censorship. In universities, polls show both faculty and students afraid to speak openly. The government has funded a host of programs to pressure the source of revenue of conservative sites and to target dissenting voices.

Yet, because we are raising objections to these trends, Stewart laughs at the very notion that free speech is under fire. After all, he is doing just fine. What appears to be a punchline to Stewart is a bit more serious for others who have their livelihoods threatened by the anti-free speech movement. Stewart has the benefit of being a liberal comedian on a liberal network. Try being a conservative comedian today getting air time on most cable outlets or college campuses. Like so many academics, everything seems just fine to them. With the purging of opposition viewpoints, those who remain have little to complain about. The effort to assure citizens that “there is nothing to see here” is belied by a massive censorship system described by one federal court as “Orwellian.” Conservatives face cancel campaigns and blacklisting in academic and media forums.

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“Mike Benz, a former Trump administration official, highlighted this to suggest the EU’s real motivation is to “use the DSA to force X to restaff the censorship squad fired when Elon took over.”

EU Offered X Secret Censorship Deal – Musk (RT)

X (formerly Twitter) is facing persecution by the European Union because it rejected Brussels’ demand to secretly censor opinions on the platform, its owner Elon Musk has revealed. The EU announced on Friday that it considered X in violation of its Digital Services Act (DSA) and intended to levy massive fines against the company unless it changed its practices. “The European Commission offered X an illegal secret deal: if we quietly censored speech without telling anyone, they would not fine us,” Musk wrote in response. “The other platforms accepted that deal. X did not.” “We look forward to a very public battle in court, so that the people of Europe can know the truth,” he added. Musk bought Twitter in October 2022, after voicing displeasure over widespread censorship on the social media platform. He has since unbanned most blocked accounts, including that of former President Donald Trump.

When Musk announced “the bird is freed,” one of the responses came from Thierry Breton, the EU Commissioner for Internal Market. “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules,” Breton said, with a reference to the DSA. On Friday, Breton explained the European Commission’s move against Musk by arguing that X violates the EU’s “transparency requirements” by denying access to “researchers,” among other things. “Back in the day, BlueChecks used to mean trustworthy sources of information. Now with X, our preliminary view is that they deceive users and infringe the DSA,” Breton said. According to the Commission, allowing anyone to obtain verification in exchange for a subscription fee “negatively affects users’ ability to make free and informed decisions about the authenticity of the accounts and the content they interact with.”

The Commission also objected that X does not maintain “a searchable and reliable advertisement repository” that would “allow for the required supervision and research into emerging risks.” What most bothered the EU body was that X does not allow scraping its public data by “researchers” or grant access to its application programming interface (API), as DSA mandates. Mike Benz, a former Trump administration official, highlighted this to suggest the EU’s real motivation is to “use the DSA to force X to restaff the censorship squad fired when Elon took over.” He further alleged that people who present themselves as researchers are actually “censorship activities & political operatives.” Musk reposted Benz’s analysis with just one word of comment: “Exactly.” X is now expected to respond to the Commission in writing. If the EU upholds Breton’s preliminary findings, X could be fined “up to 6% of the total worldwide annual turnover” and ordered to address its “breach” under “enhanced supervision,” the body said.

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Magnetics

 

 

France fags

 

 

Doggo dive
https://twitter.com/i/status/1811515980280926540

 

 

Honey

 

 

 

 

Handstand
https://twitter.com/i/status/1811744486516461940

 

 

Kitty

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 282024
 
 June 28, 2024  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Ivan Aivazovsky Lake Maggiore 1892

 

US Rep. Gosar: Biden Debate Performance Shows He’s Unfit to Be President (Sp.)
Biden Campaign Refuses To Commit To Drug Test Before Debate (MN)
Justice Alito Dissent Says Majority ‘Shirks’ Duty in Free Speech Case (ET)
Want to Defeat Joe Biden? Make Free Speech the Key Issue in 2024 (Turley)
Australian Politician Blames Assange For Years Of Captivity (RT)
What The Assange Saga Says About The State Of The American Empire (Hryce)
US Uses National Security ‘As A Veil To Hide War Crimes’ – Assange Lawyer (RT)
Russia Considers Downgrading Diplomatic Relations With The West (RT)
Putin: The Protector of Ukraine (Paul Craig Roberts)
EU Nominates Hawk For Next Top Diplomat (RT)
EU To Put Brakes On Kiev’s Exports – FT (RT)
Zelensky Regime Willing to Sacrifice Own People for Anti-Russia Crusade (Sp.)
Israeli Plan To Prevent A Palestinian State (Sahiounie)
Fulton County Georgia Seeks to Destroy 2020 Ballots To Halt Lawsuits (GP)
Jim Rogers Warns of Economic Decline Post-Election (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

BBee

 

 

There are many takes on the debate. Jon is one. But in June 2024 you still use “Trump’s Blatant Lies” in your headline? As Biden said the border is more secure under him than Trump?

Jon Stewart – Trump’s Blatant Lies and Biden’s Senior Moments

 

 

Debate

 

 

Tucker Julian
https://twitter.com/i/status/1806048853885325769

 

 

Macron Zelensky
https://twitter.com/i/status/1806316098058326163

 

 

Sausage
https://twitter.com/i/status/1806052953804960012

 

 

 

 

Zelensky
https://twitter.com/i/status/1806343426243236022

 

 

Eva
https://twitter.com/i/status/1806191478265233454

 

 

 

 

Gosar says what many/most are thinking. Biden’s problem is, the Dems think it too. He’s a very big risk.

US Rep. Gosar: Biden Debate Performance Shows He’s Unfit to Be President (Sp.)

Numerous Democrats have expressed concerns about Biden’s poor performance and its implications for the future of his candidacy, according to CNN, which hosted the debate. Trump and Biden are set to debate again on September 10 in an ABC-moderated event. US Congressman Paul Gosar in a statement to Sputnik said US President Joe Biden’s debate performance demonstrated he was mentally unfit to be US president. “With tonight’s debate, Joe Biden stammered the quiet part out loud: he is mentally unfit to be President of the United States,” Gosar said. President Joe Biden’s claim that the US southern border is more secure under his administration compared to former President Donald Trump’s is nonsense, former acting US Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello told Sputnik.

Biden during the first presidential debate in Atlanta falsely claimed that the National Border Patrol Council endorsed him and that his border policy currently has the southern border in better condition than when former President Donald Trump was in office. “Nonsense,” Vitiello said Thursday night. “Media reports have a 40% reduction in encounters since the executive order was signed. That still keeps us at over 1 million [illegal crossings on the southern border] per year.” Vitiello added that even at a lower flow rate thousands of illegal migrants are being released after being encountered on the US southern border and present a threat to US security. National Border Patrol Council Vice President Art Del Cueto told Sputnik that the group will never endorse Biden and that the US southern border has been in shambles since he took office in 2021. “Our borders have been in shambles since day one of the Biden administration,” Del Cueto said Thursday night. “The Border Patrol union never has nor never will endorse President Biden. We are fully behind Donald J. Trump.”

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And how did that work out?

Biden Campaign Refuses To Commit To Drug Test Before Debate (MN)

The Biden campaign has refused to agree to a drug test ahead of his debate with Donald Trump later today. While Trump has offered to submit to a drug test if his opponent also does so, the Biden campaign is having none of it. In an appearance on CNN Wednesday, Biden campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod stated “I mean, I don’t even really know what to say about that.” She then claimed that Biden twice beat Trump in previous debates (don’t remember that). “This is what [Trump] does because he doesn’t have anything else to run on,” Elrod further charged, adding “He doesn’t have a plan. He doesn’t have a record for fighting for the American people. He doesn’t know why he’s running, except for to seek political retribution on his enemies.”

Really? Trump is the one who doesn’t have a plan? She continued, “So he has to resort to these types of tactics which are, frankly, just silly. Turns off a lot of voters, especially voters who want to see their president fight for them.” Have you asked the voters lately? Biden’s campaign also posted this pathetic attempt to project problems with their own candidate onto Trump:

They don’t know how to meme, and they can’t do this either.

As we noted yesterday, the Trump campaign suggested that Biden will “probably be filled with Adderall” on Thursday, with senior adviser Jason Miller noting “We know that when it comes to the big events, when it comes to debates, when it comes to State of the Union, things of that nature, that they’re going to have Joe Biden completely super-soldiered up. He is going to be ready to go.” The Trump campaign also wants to know why Biden needs an entire week to prepare for a 90 minute debate, and exactly who is running the country in the meantime.

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“..one of the most important free speech cases to reach this Court in years.”

And yeah, they dropped that ball. Kudos Alito.

Justice Alito Dissent Says Majority ‘Shirks’ Duty in Free Speech Case (ET)

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said the high court shirked its duty by rejecting a challenge brought over the White House’s communications with social media companies over political content, a case he described as “one of the most important free speech cases to reach this Court in years.” Justices Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas dissented from the majority in the June 26 decision that the state and individual plaintiffs involved lacked standing to bring speech-related claims to the court. The plaintiffs in Murthy v. Missouri had claimed, among other things, that the Biden administration illegally coerced social media platforms to moderate certain election-related content and posts related to COVID-19. Justice Alito’s dissent disputed the majority’s arguments about standing while detailing communications between the Biden administration and Facebook. He said administration officials’ actions were “blatantly unconstitutional, and the country may come to regret the Court’s failure to say so.”

Justice Alito wrote that there was “more than sufficient” evidence that Jill Hines, one of the plaintiffs, had standing to sue, so the court is “obligated to tackle the free speech issue that the case presents.” “The Court, however, shirks that duty and thus permits the successful campaign of coercion in this case to stand as an attractive model for future officials who want to control what the people say, hear, and think,” he wrote. The dissent warned that the majority, whose opinion was written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, sent a message to government officials that if a “coercive campaign is carried out with enough sophistication, it may get by.” He suggested the outcome should have been the same as in National Rifle Association v. Vullo, which was heard on the same day as Murthy and ultimately held that New York state’s government plausibly violated the First Amendment by pressuring companies to cut ties with the gun rights group.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court ruled last year that the administration’s communications constituted the type of coercion of social media companies that betrayed its duty not to violate the First Amendment.Three judges signed onto the September 2023 opinion that cited communications in detail. For example, it stated that a White House official “responded to a moderation report by flagging a user’s account and saying it is ‘[h]ard to take any of this seriously when you’re actively promoting anti-vaccine pages.’”It continued: “The platform subsequently ’removed‘ the account ’entirely‘ from its site, detailed new changes to the company’s moderation policies, and told the official that ’[w]e clearly still have work to do.’”“The official responded that ’removing bad information‘ is ’one of the easy, low-bar things you guys [can] do to make people like me think you’re taking action.‘ The official emphasized that other platforms had ’done pretty well‘ at demoting non-sanctioned information, and said ’I don’t know why you guys can’t figure this out.’”

In his June 26 opinion, Justice Alito described tech platforms as “critically dependent on the protection provided by [Section] 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 … which shields them from civil liability for content they spread.” He added that Facebook faced a regulatory environment that incentivized the company to “please important federal officials and the record in this case shows that high-ranking officials skillfully exploited Facebook’s vulnerability.” The administration, he said, “continuously and persistently hectored Facebook” while the platform’s “reactions to these efforts were not what one would expect from an independent news source or a journalistic entity dedicated to holding the Government accountable for its actions.”

“Instead,” he added, “Facebook’s responses resembled that of a subservient entity determined to stay in the good graces of a powerful taskmaster.”He later wrote, “Internal Facebook emails paint a clear picture of subservience.” The dissent also considered a variety of communications between White House officials Andy Slavitt and Rob Flaherty. For example, it noted that Mr. Flaherty, who served as White House director of digital strategy, accused Facebook of “hiding the ball” and suggested the company was “playing a shell game.”Justice Alito also pointed to Facebook’s changing policy amid White House criticism. Facebook representatives, he said, “pleaded to know how they could ‘get back to a good place’ with the White House.”

Tulsi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1806115658469704011

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“We are now seeing what is arguably the most dangerous anti-free speech movement in our history.”

Want to Defeat Joe Biden? Make Free Speech the Key Issue in 2024 (Turley)

Since his dystopian speech outside of Independence Hall in 2022, President Joe Biden has made “democracy is on the ballot” his campaign theme. Pundits have repeated the mantra, claiming that if Biden is not elected, American democracy will perish. While some of us have challenged these predictions, the other presidential candidates are missing a far more compelling argument going into this election. While democracy is not on the ballot this election, free speech is. The 2024 election is looking strikingly similar to the election of 1800 and, if so, it does not bode well for Biden. In my book “The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in an Age of Rage,” released last week, I discuss our long struggle with free speech as a nation. It is an unvarnished history with powerful stories of our heroes and villains in the struggle to define what Justice Louis Brandeis called our “indispensable right.”

One of the greatest villains in that history was President John Adams, who used the Alien and Sedition Acts to arrest his political opponents – including journalists, members of Congress and others. Many of those prosecuted by the Adams administration were Jeffersonians. In the election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson ran on the issue and defeated Adams. We are now seeing what is arguably the most dangerous anti-free speech movement in our history. President Joe Biden is, in my view, the most anti-free speech president since Adams. Under his administration, we have seen a massive censorship system funded and directed by the government. A federal judge described the system as “Orwellian” in its scope and impact. Biden has repeatedly called for greater censorship and accused social media companies of “killing people” by not silencing more dissenting voices. Other Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have pushed for restrictions on “unacceptable” speech.

The Biden administration seeks to censor even true statements as disinformation. For example, I testified before Congress last year on how Jen Easterly, who heads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, extended her agency’s mandate over critical infrastructure to include “our cognitive infrastructure.” The resulting censorship efforts included combating “malinformation” – described as information “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.” The left has picked up the cudgels of censorship and blacklisting once used against them. During the McCarthy period, liberals were called “communist sympathizers.” Now, conservative justices are called “insurrectionist sympathizers.” In this election, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jill Stein, Donald Trump and Cornel West should talk about the threats against free speech at every debate and stump speech. They will have to overcome a news media that has been complicit in the attacks on free speech, but these candidates can break through by raising it as a key issue dividing Biden from the rest of the field.

Democrats and the news media have hammered away at cracking down on those accused of “disinformation.” The public, however, has not been won over by those seeking to limit their right of free speech or the push to amend the First Amendment because it’s too “aggressively individualistic.” So far, the anti-free speech movement has flourished largely in the echo chambers of academia and the media. It is time for the public to render its judgment. As discussed in my book, we are hardwired for free speech. It is in our DNA. Despite these periods of crackdowns on free speech, we have always rejected those who wanted to regulate the views of others. Jefferson called the Federalists “the reign of the witches.” (Ironically, Jefferson would himself prosecute critics, though not to the same extent as Adams). Attacks on free speech have returned with a vengeance before another presidential election. After fighting in the courts and in the public to expand censorship, Biden should now have to defend it with the voters. Let’s have at it, as we did in 1800. Free speech is again on the ballot. It is time for the public to decide.

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Sure, he should have volunteered for 175 years of prison time.

Australian Politician Blames Assange For Years Of Captivity (RT)

The opposition leader in the Australian Senate, Simon Birmingham, has claimed Julian Assange’s years of confinement in the UK were the result of his own actions, as he evaded lawful extradition requests. On Wednesday, the Wikileaks founder walked free from a courtroom in a remote US Pacific territory, after pleading guilty to a single count of conspiracy to obtain and disseminate national defense information – in exchange for a sentence that amounted to the time he spent in UK custody fighting a US extradition request. The Australian government, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, had sought his release. In an interview with Sky News Australia on Thursday, Simon Birmingham predicted that “the prime minister’s embrace of Mr. Assange might not age very well, once Mr Assange starts tweeting again.” He insisted that Assange should not be considered an innocent Australian citizen, persecuted by an authoritarian government.

“Mr. Assange evaded lawful extradition requests, first by hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy, then by using his legal rights in the United Kingdom to challenge them over many years,” Birmingham said. “The reason it has taken so long to resolve this is his decision to challenge it in that way.” Ecuador granted Assange political asylum in 2012 due concerns that a Swedish extradition request for the Wikileaks founder was a ruse to have him sent to the US. American espionage charges, which were made public years later, could have landed the Australian up to 175 years of prison time. The Australian Senate opposition leader claimed that the publishing of classified materials by WikiLeaks endangered the sources of US allies, including Australia, which is a member of the Five Eye intelligence-sharing group.

A similar argument was made by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, who claimed during a daily briefing on Wednesday that Assange “put the lives of our partners, our allies and our diplomats at risk, especially those who work in dangerous places, like Afghanistan and Iraq.” Some journalists, including Associated Press reporter Matt Lee, challenged him – pointing out that the court verdict specifically said that there were no victims in the case and that the US government never identified to the public any individual put in harm’s way by WikiLeaks. “Just because people were able to mitigate the harm done by your actions, that doesn’t absolve you,” Miller responded, comparing publication of leaked documents to reckless driving.

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“America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.”

What The Assange Saga Says About The State Of The American Empire (Hryce)

The Assange saga is a salutary tale about the exercise of US power as the American Empire declines, and the continuing willingness of US allies like the UK and Australia to comply with America’s demands – even when they involve persecution of citizens of those allied countries. Assange’s release is understandably being portrayed by some commentators as a victory of sorts – the international Federation of Journalists called it “a significant victory for media freedom” – and insofar as Assange has regained his personal freedom, it is. But it should not be forgotten that for the past 14 years the US has been able to successfully – with the abject complicity of governments and authorities in the UK and Australia – imprison a journalist of international stature for simply engaging in genuine investigative journalism.

Assange is a journalist – not a whistleblower or leaker of classified material. Nor did Assange’s publishing of the classified material in question cause any real harm to the US – other than to embarrass it by disclosing the truth about American conduct during its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. America’s fabled commitment to freedom of speech and the press – embodied in the first amendment to its constitution – has never been absolute, but, as the Assange saga clearly shows, it has probably never been weaker than over the past few decades. That is not surprising – given that pursuing the inherently corrupt aims of the Empire overseas must inevitably result in the curtailment of domestic freedoms. Barrington Moore Jr described this relationship as “aggression abroad and repression at home” during the height of the Vietnam war in the late 1960s, and America’s founding fathers were well aware of how the British had been corrupted by their Empire.

Washington in his farewell speech warned against America becoming involved in “foreign entanglements” – and John Quincy Adams famously said “America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.” And Edmund Burke, the conservative 18th-century British statesman, and stern critic of British policy in America and India, pointed out that “the breakers of the law in India are also the makers of the law in England.” It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the US persecution of Assange should have occurred during a period in which America has engaged in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and promoted and funded proxy wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

And there can be no doubt whatsoever that if Assange had been extradited to the US and had been tried in an American court, that he would have received a very lengthy jail sentence. One prosecutor suggested that a term of 175 years would have been an appropriate punishment for him. Nor should it be forgotten that America’s persecution of Assange was carried out on a bi-partisan basis. Mainstream Democrats and Republicans were equally keen to put Assange in prison. Hillary Clinton was a particularly rabid critic of Assange, as was Biden until very recently. In fact, Donald Trump had a measure of sympathy for Assange because WikiLeaks had published the emails that had damaged Clinton’s reputation in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

America’s internal decline over the past 50 years can be gauged by comparing Assange’s likely fate with what happened to Daniel Ellsberg – who famously leaked the Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post in the early 1970s. When Ellsberg was prosecuted, the US courts threw the case out on the basis the Nixon administration had subjected Ellsberg to unlawful persecution. Equally troubling – especially for the citizens of the UK and Australia – is the fact that, until very recently, governments in both of these countries cravenly capitulated to US demands in relation to Assange.

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“..this was the only way to end a case that undeniably did not play in favor of the image of the US in the world..”

US Uses National Security ‘As A Veil To Hide War Crimes’ – Assange Lawyer (RT)

The Julian Assange saga has clearly shown that the US has been using its “national security” as a “veil” to hide war crimes, one of the WikiLeaks founder’s attorneys, Aitor Martinez, has said. The years-long persecution of the publisher and the extradition case have also set a very dangerous precedent, which threatens the whole concept of press freedom, the lawyer added. At the same time, the Assange case had become growingly toxic for the US administration, sprouting numerous groups advocating his release and effectively turning into a global movement, Martinez suggested. “The truth is that the US administration had been pushing for the extradition process until recently, and indeed, just a few weeks ago, they had even provided diplomatic assurances seeking the effective handover of Julian Assange.

However, in recent times, a citizen movement has emerged against this extradition, and I believe there is no corner of the world where a ‘Free Assange’ movement has not sprung up,” the lawyer stated. The timing of the abrupt resolution of the years-long affair is likely linked to the looming US presidential elections and the ongoing campaign, where it was bound to emerge one way or another. The case “in some way tarnished the image of the United States before the world” given it “meant the political persecution of a journalist who simply published truthful information that evidenced the commission of serious war crimes,” Martinez noted.

“Therefore, unquestionably, the Assange case would have arisen in the framework of the presidential debates, and this was the only way to end a case that undeniably did not play in favor of the image of the US in the world,” he said. While politicians in Washington have ultimately opted to wrap up the affair, the US intelligence community has regarded it as a personal vendetta of sorts against the journalist, Martinez claimed. “This case was being radically pushed by the US intelligence establishment and mainly by the CIA as a form of revenge against Julian Assange for the material he had published, which in some way had revealed the shame of the US military in operations abroad,” he said.

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Sad.

Russia Considers Downgrading Diplomatic Relations With The West (RT)

Moscow could be forced to downgrade diplomatic ties with Western countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has warned, citing hostile policies of the US and its allies. “We have not initiated such a step yet, despite all of the things related to the most tumultuous phase in our relations with the West,” the diplomat said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper, published on Thursday. “Is a decision to downgrade the level of diplomatic ties possible? I can say that we are examining this issue. Such decisions are made on the highest level,” Ryabkov said, adding that it is too early to “speculate.” The West’s “sense of impunity” on the world stage will eventually force Russia to retaliate more decisively, if the situation does not change, the deputy minister warned. Our adversaries must know that, with every step, they are moving closer to the point of no return.

Ryabkov accused Washington of helping Ukrainian forces pick targets when using US-supplied long-range ATACMS missiles to strike Russian territory. Last week, four people were killed when cluster munitions from a missile hit a packed beach in Crimea. The incident prompted Moscow to summon the American ambassador. “It was a flagrant case of a direct [US] involvement in the conflict,” Ryabkov said. “The complicity in a terrorist act committed by the Kiev regime will not go unanswered.” The diplomat said that deliveries of weapons to Ukraine and attempts to confiscate Russian assets abroad undermine potential dialogue in other fields, such as arms control. “They must understand that it would be simply impossible,” he stressed. Earlier in June, Ukraine’s Western backers renewed their pledges to continue support for Kiev in its fight with Moscow. Russia has repeatedly stated that no amount of foreign aid will stop its operation in Ukraine, and that weapons deliveries only lead to further escalation.

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PCR thinks Putin should kill more Ukrainians. Putin does not.

Putin: The Protector of Ukraine (Paul Craig Roberts)

Has anyone noticed that Putin is conducting his “limited military operation,” by which he means limited to Donbas and the former Russian territories that are again part of Russia, as a response to US/NATO/Ukrainian initiatives? When the Russian military strikes outside the limited combat zone, it is usually a response to a Ukrainian strike into Russia out of the combat zone. After 2.5 years of conflict, Putin has made no effort to win the war. He doesn’t even seem to understand that Russia is at war, not engaged in a limited police action. Putin has left the Ukrainian government in functioning order and has not interfered with Zelensky’s ability to continue the conflict. Kiev is intact. The government in Kiev is intact. Nothing has been done to close Ukraine’s borders from Western armament supplies. The entire initiative of the conflict is with the West. The West acts, and Putin responds. There are no Russian initiatives. Indeed, Russia was forced into the conflict by the West’s initiatives.

This is not the way to fight a war. It is Putin’s refusal to fight and win a war that is causing the enormous expansion–the ever widening–of the war. Notice that the Kremlin’s response to the US missile attack on Crimean civilians and a public beach is to call in the American ambassador and complain, to investigate, to send condolences, not to destroy and occupy Kiev. After all this time haven’t the Russians learned that no one pays any attention to their complaints? Why does Putin think he can shame the shameless West? Why does the Kremlin worry about over-responding to attacks? Washington doesn’t worry about over-provoking Russia. Let me be clear, I am on humanity’s side. I don’t want nuclear war. Putin should never have entered a conflict when he did not intend a quick victory before Washington/NATO could get involved and widen the war.

Now that French troops are in Ukraine, now that US/NATO personnel are conducting the targeting of the US long-range missiles on Russian civilians, and now that Russia is faced with the likelihood of NATO troops entering Ukraine, Putin’s response is to play into Washington’s hands by speaking of bringing North Korean troops into the conflict. Imagine the propaganda damage. North Korea is even more demonized than Russia and Putin. Why does Putin want to widen the conflict instead of quickly winning it? Is the reason that his central bank director convinced him Russia lacked the resources to conduct a real war? Is this why Putin endlessly emphasizes Russian nuclear capability? Does Putin lack the resources to conduct conventional war? With his central bank director’s 16% interest rates hindering the Russian economy, perhaps it is so. Putin’s central bank director left Russian central bank reserves in Western depositories where Washington could seize them.

Was this incompetence or an act of treason? Washington has decided that the interest income earned by the seized Russian central bank reserves will be given to Ukraine to continue the war. So Russia’s own central bank reserves are financing Ukraine’s ability to conduct war against Russia. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia, especially the youth, were corrupted for years by Washington’s propaganda. They lost their national consciousness and became “citizens of the West.” Has Russian youth escaped from this delusion, or does it still rule? The question before us is: Does Russia have leadership capable of comprehending that Russia has an enemy intent on her destruction and dismemberment, or will the Kremlin finally realize this at the last minute, too late to avoid nuclear war?

It is extraordinary that the fate of the world rests on Russian misperception and inadequate response to the West’s intent. As a result of Putin’s inability to act decisively, he was drawn into a conflict that has become open-ended, involving, at least in plans, troops from foreign countries. To pretend that such a conflict is a “limited military operation” is an act of irresponsibility, even evidence of reality denial. Russia is at war with the West. She got there because she refused to acknowledge the fact. Grasping reality remains a challenge for the Kremlin which continues to enable the Ukraine conflict to spin out of control rather than use the force to decisively terminate the conflict before it ends in World War III.

PCR

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The loudest anti-Russia voice as your top diplomat?

EU Nominates Hawk For Next Top Diplomat (RT)

EU leaders have officially nominated Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas to replace Josep Borrell as the bloc’s top diplomat. Kallas is known for her hawkish position on Russia and has been one of the most outpoken proponents of tougher sanctions on Moscow. The leaders also backed Ursula von der Leyen to serve a third five-year term as the president of the European Commission, and named the former foreign minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, as the new president of the European Council. The nominations for Kallas and Von der Leyen are not final, and require approval by the European Parliament. However, Costa is automatically elected by the national leaders of the 27 nations.

Euronews cited two sources as saying that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni voted against Kallas’ candidacy, while Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban abstained. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kallas wrote that the potential new post would be “an enormous responsibility at this moment of geopolitical tensions.” “The war in Europe, increasing instability in our neighborhood and globally are the main challenges for European foreign policy,” she wrote, promising to “work on achieving EU unity” and “protect the EU’s interests and values in the changed geopolitical context.”

Kallas has repeatedly called for stronger sanctions on Moscow and backed the idea of using frozen Russian assets to fund aid for Kiev. In May, Estonia’s parliament passed a law that allows using seized Russian assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine. She urged the EU to boost the deliveries of weapons to Ukraine and increase the bloc’s own defense capabilities. “Our aim must be to manufacture more munitions than Russia,” Kallas said in March. Russia blacklisted Kallas earlier this year and issued a warrant for her arrest, citing “hostile policies towards Russia.

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This feels very stupid.

EU To Put Brakes On Kiev’s Exports – FT (RT)

The EU is set to reimpose tariffs on sugar and egg imports from Ukraine on Friday to protect the bloc’s farmers from a flood of cheap goods, the Financial Times (FT) has reported. EU member states decided earlier this year that they would apply an “emergency brake” if Ukrainian imports reached a certain volume. Eggs and sugar imports have now hit that level, the FT said, citing people familiar with the situation. Tariffs amounting to €419 ($448) per ton of white sugar and €339 ($362) per ton of raw sugar will be announced on Friday, the publication reported. Eggs will cost an additional 32 cent per kilogram, it added. Ukraine has become the EU’s leading supplier of eggs after the bloc’s poultry industry suffered from bird flu outbreaks in recent years. Imports from Ukraine jumped by three-quarters in 2023, and continued to rise at the start of this year, according to EU data.

Last week, tariffs were reintroduced on Ukrainian oats as imports also reached the relevant ceiling. The decision to limit Ukrainian imports follows months of protests by farmers. Agricultural workers argue that the EU’s policies are threatening their livelihoods. After the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Brussels dropped all tariffs and quotas on Kiev’s farming goods for a period of one year to allow its agricultural products to be shipped to global markets. Farmers in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and other neighboring countries staged protests, complaining that they simply could not compete with cheap Ukrainian imports that were not subject to the same tariffs and regulations as EU-produced goods.

In April, EU lawmakers extended Kiev’s duty-free access to member states’ markets but also decided to introduce caps on Ukrainian farm imports such as oats, corn, maize, honey, eggs, poultry, and sugar. Duties would be applied to the listed produce if imports exceed average levels of past years. The expected reintroduction of tariffs comes just days after the EU opened membership talks with Kiev, “an agricultural powerhouse,” the FT said. The move underlines how difficult Ukraine’s accession negotiations will be, it added.

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“..they know or have identified certain individuals in the Kiev regime and the US’ decision-making process, whom they can hold personally responsible..”

Zelensky Regime Willing to Sacrifice Own People for Anti-Russia Crusade (Sp.)

The number of Ukrainian casualties in the country’s ongoing war against Russia has remained a highly contentious matter throughout the duration of the conflict. Kiev and its Western allies often downplay the number, claiming the death toll is only in the thousands, but Moscow’s defense ministry has estimated the actual figure is close to 500,000. Purportedly leaked US intelligence documents admit Ukraine’s death toll is much higher than publicly acknowledged. Whatever the number, the war is likely the bloodiest the world has seen in decades. But security analyst Mark Sleboda claims the “ideological” Kiev regime is unfazed by the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands, or even a million, of its own citizens in its crusade against the Russian nation. The international relations expert joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in the conflict as the killing of several Russian civilians, including two children, at a beach in Sevastopol elevates tensions to new heights.

Host Jamarl Thomas began by asking Sleboda what the consequences might be for the United States, which provided Ukraine with the US-made ATACMS missiles used in the attack. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently warned the country would be forced to respond to repeated acts of terrorism against Russian civilians. “That’s a good question and I don’t know that anyone rightfully knows the answer to that,” Sleboda responded. “There are some who suggested that the statements by Lavrov and by other officials seem to indicate that they know or have identified certain individuals in the Kiev regime and the US’ decision-making process, whom they can hold personally responsible, and what measures they might take against them either over sanctions, criminal cases or shall we say more direct justice.” “The other possibility is an asymmetric response, as Putin has promised, of providing long-range strike weapons to US adversaries in the world,” he suggested.

Thomas speculated Moscow could implement a no-fly zone over the Black Sea, where drones have gathered targeting information for Ukrainian strikes. Russian officials have also pointed out that advanced Western weaponry, such as the ATACMS missile system, typically require the assistance of highly-trained US military personnel to operate. The high level of coordination in the strikes on Russia represents a level of US involvement in the conflict that goes beyond what the country publicly acknowledges, Russian officials have noted, requiring a response from Moscow in order to protect its people and territory.

“This is not passive intelligence,” Sleboda said of Kiev’s reliance on Western reconnaissance aircraft to help coordinate attacks. “This is active intelligence gathering.” The security analyst also noted the assistance of the United States in programing targeting information into Ukraine’s weapons systems, according to comments by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and generals in the German Bundeswehr. “Not doing something almost guarantees escalation by the West,” said Thomas. “Meaning, they’re acting with impunity. They don’t believe in Russia’s red lines.” The host claimed the United States has not yet faced a great enough cost during the conflict to reconsider its position, with American officials frequently boasting of the potential to undermine one of their perceived global adversaries without sacrificing American lives.

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All other plans involve 2 states.

Israeli Plan To Prevent A Palestinian State (Sahiounie)

While the world watches the genocide in Gaza, there is another war on the Palestinian people in the Occupied West Bank. On June 9, the New York Times (NYT) reported that Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich outlined, in a speech to Jewish extremists, a plan by the Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to annex the Occupied Territories of the West Bank. His speech was recorded secretly and leaked to the NYT. Smotrich is part of the more than 600,000 Jewish settlers illegally occupying Palestinian lands. He advocates Israel taking all the Palestinian territories, and preventing the Palestinians from ever having an independent state. The UN, the U.S. and the international community all agree that Gaza and the West Bank should be eventually an independent Palestinian state, which would be the end of a brutal Israeli military occupation and apartheid.

This is not the first secret leaked speech of Smotrich. In October 2022, Smotrich was caught calling Netanyahu “the liar of all liars”, as reported by The Jerusalem Post. According to Smotrich, the plan to steal the West Bank is fully supported by Netanyahu, and forms a basis for the current right-wing Jewish extremist coalition keeping Netanyahu in power, and out of jail. The plan involves supporting the Jewish settler’s expansion in the West Bank, which is illegal under international law, and has been under occupation since 1967. Officially, the Israeli government maintains that the West Bank’s status will be negotiated in the future. The Smotrich-Netanyahu plan would forever deny the almost 3 million Palestinians of the Occupied West Bank their freedom. For Palestinians, the plan would mark the end of any hope to live in freedom and democracy, but for the Jewish Zionists, the plan would be a culmination of their goal to have one land ‘from the river to the sea’ which is occupied only by Jews.

Not every Jew is a Zionist, and not every Zionist is a Jew. For example, after October 7, U.S. President Joe Biden said he was a Zionist, while being a Christian. Zionism is a political movement, hiding behind a religion. Similarly, Al Qaeda and ISIS are political movements, hiding behind a religion. Using the word Zionist as a label of identification is not antisemitic, because Zionism is not limited only to Jews. The modern movement of Zionism began in the late 1800s, and refers to Zion as an acronym for Jerusalem. Jewish settlers in the West Bank see their illegal occupation there as a demonstration of Zionism. Those who oppose Zionism are not being anti-Semitic. They simply oppose a political position of the Israeli government, just as they may oppose a political position of the Japanese government on an issue.

The official name of Israel is “The Jewish State of Israel”. Some have offered that there is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and also similarly of Iran. So why do people complain about the religious nature of Israel? Israel denies the human rights and civil rights of non-Jewish people in Israel and Palestine, and has been classified as an Apartheid state by the UN and human rights groups. Tallie Ben Daniel, the managing director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which sees Zionism as a movement whose aim “is to deny the rights of Palestinians and the humanity of Palestinians.” “For us, we want to be clear: the form of Zionism that has survived and has power now is an expansionist, right-wing, genocidal form,” Ben Daniel said. “The people in power in Israel right now … want to annihilate the Palestinians and get all the land for Jews, and there is no thought there could be coexistence,” said Ben Daniel.

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Nice county. Fani says hi.

Fulton County Georgia Seeks to Destroy 2020 Ballots To Halt Lawsuits (GP)

In an ongoing lawsuit concerning the 2020 election, attorneys for Fulton County, Georgia, made a controversial argument yesterday. They suggested that a temporary injunction preserving the 2020 Fulton election ballots should be lifted, which would allow the ballots to be destroyed before they are unsealed, copied, and revealed to the public. The attorneys also contended that Fulton County should receive attorney fees for the case, despite a Georgia Supreme Court ruling that overturned lower court decisions and confirmed standing for the plaintiffs who seek to copy and inspect the ballots, according to the VoterGA. Representing Fulton Superior Court Clerk Che Alexander, Attorney Laura Moore made the case that there is no longer room in a secure warehouse cage for the ballots, so they may now be destroyed.

Moore conveniently omitted from her argument that Fulton County recently opened a new 60,000 sq. ft. Election Operations warehouse at an initial cost of nearly 30 million and an additional 4 million annual lease for Fulton taxpayers, per VoterGA. More from the VoterGA press release: Attorney Kaye Burwell argued that the county should receive attorney fees for costs incurred so far because Plaintiffs’ claims, which are still yet to be adjudicated, are“meritless”. Burwell ignored all rulings showing Plaintiffs in the case, currently known as Favorito v. Wan, were granted relief eight times thus proving their claims are legitimate. The rulings include:

• A temporary injunction to preserve all ballots on Jan. 7, 2021;
• An order to produce scanned absentee ballot images on April 16, 2021;
• An order upholding two Open Records Request claims on April 20, 2021;
• A motion granted to add the county and clerk as Defendants on April 21, 2021;
• An order to unseal the ballots for inspection and copying on May 21, 2021;
• An order granting Petitioners’ motion to add parties on June 24, 2021;
• A Georgia Supreme Court order confirming Plaintiffs’ standing claim on Dec. 12, 2022;
• An appeals court adoption of the higher order for Fulton plaintiffs on May 11, 2023.

Lead Plaintiff Garland Favorito added, “Watching the attorneys make such ludicrous, dishonest arguments with a straight face while seeking to destroy the ballots and charge us fees for winning arguments in court against them only serves to remind me of the massive Fulton County corruption that threatens the voting rights of every Georgian.” Judge Robert McBurney is expected to rule soon on the motion for fees, the temporary injunction for the ballots and a Plaintiff motion to substitute Defendants with new members of the Fulton County Election Board who the court can compel to act if it grants further relief.

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“..the markets’ strength won’t last long, as they have been strong for a long time, so regardless of who wins, problems will begin after the elections..”

Jim Rogers Warns of Economic Decline Post-Election (Sp.)

The global economy will face difficult times by the US presidential elections or shortly thereafter, renowned US investor Jim Rogers told Sputnik. Rogers observed that most markets are currently performing well and reaching new highs due to the massive amounts of money printed by nearly every central bank worldwide in recent months and years. “There’s a lot of free money around. It has to go somewhere and it’s been going into the investment world so everybody’s having a good time…,” Rogers said. ” When everybody is making a new high, that’s a risk. Whenever that happened in the past, it usually led to a decline, a bad market, and a bad economy… Soon that will be a problem.” Rogers explained that because the US is the largest economy in the world, whatever happens there affects the rest of the world. According to Rogers, the downturn will begin around the time of the US elections or shortly after.

The US presidential election will be held on November 5. The main rivals in the race are Biden, a Democrat, and his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump. Regardless of the winner in the upcoming US presidential elections, the markets will react positively, but this period of “happiness” will be brief, legendary American investor Jim Rogers told Sputnik “People expect Trump to win. They think that Trump will be good for the market. So if he wins, the markets will stay strong, not too much longer, because the markets have been strong for a long time now,” Rogers said. “Likewise, if Biden wins many people will think ‘we will have the same old good things’. So whichever one wins, the market is going to be happy for a short period of time.” Rogers added that the markets’ strength won’t last long, as they have been strong for a long time, so regardless of who wins, problems will begin after the elections.

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Thank you

 

 

Free energy

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 172023
 
 December 17, 2023  Posted by at 8:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Edward Hopper Sunday 1926

 

CNN Narrative Around “Missing” Dossier On Trump-Russia Conspiracy (CTH)
Congress Approves Bill Barring Any President From Withdrawing From NATO (Hill)
Trump Quotes Putin to Prove US Democracy in Danger (Sp.)
Is Free Speech a Relic in America? (Bovard)
Scott Ritter: Joe Biden’s World War III Fantasy
Putin Reveals Secret Talk On Gaza War (Helmer)
Opposition to Netanyahu Explodes After IDF Killing of Israeli Captives (Sp.)
Running On Empty, the US Leaves Zelenskyy Hanging (Luongo)
US Knows Ukraine Can’t Win – Kremlin (RT)
Ukraine on Brink of Humanitarian Collapse, Authorities Admit (Sp.)
Zelensky’s Tone Deaf DC Trip Leaves Republicans Wishing He’d Never Come (Sp.)
Italian PM Meloni Talks Orban Out Of Veto On Ukraine’s EU Accession (TASS)
Money for Nothing and Nothing for Money (Kunstler)
Musk Doesn’t Believe In Aliens (RT)

 

 

 

 

Jack Smith

 

 

Deep State targets Elon Musk

 

 

 

 

Letitia

 

 

 

 

Nap Mearsheimer

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

Pointless conflict

 

 

Today’s the youngest you’ll ever be, so live like it.

 

 

 

 

Many have addressed the dossier (binder). sundance does it best. Recommended reading.

CNN Narrative Around “Missing” Dossier On Trump-Russia Conspiracy (CTH)

• Big picture #1 The FBI/DOJ is now seriously worried that President Trump will win the 2024 election.
• Big picture #2 CNN (Natasha Bertrand, Evan Perez and Zachary Cohen) mouthpieces for the FBI Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy fraud, now begin positioning defenses against Trump s evidence of the fabrication. They want to proactively stop the dossier they know consists of the evidence.
• FACT: The authors know all the details about the 10-inch-thick dossier that was given by Trump to the DOJ for declassification 1/20/21, but shout that it is now missing.
• FACT: The raid on Mar-a-Lago came after President Trump filed a 108-page civil lawsuit in March 2022 against the coconspirators. Including: Hillary Clinton, Hillary for America Campaign Committee, DNC, DNC Services Corp, Perkins Coie, Michael Sussmann, Marc Elias, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Charles Dolan, Jake Sullivan, John Podesta, Robby Mook, Phillipe Reines as well as Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, Peter Fritsch, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr, Orbis Business Intelligence, Christopher Steele, Igor Danchenko, Neustar Inc., Rodney Joffe, James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Kevin Clinesmith and Andrew McCabe.

The DOJ was given one copy of the 103 binder to release publicly. Now ask yourself, what documentary evidence was used to write the lawsuit? lolol, duh! The motive for the DOJ/FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago is found in the search for the binder of evidence. The national archives classified documents angle was the justification the cover story. The raid on Mar-a-Lago was the recovery effort. Who authorized the Mar-a-Lago search warrant? The same judge from the civil action. I have previously written about the binder and all of the issues around it. The CNN article is filled with multiple tell-tale indicators of why it is written.

[..] Last year, CTH outlined a four-part series of articles going deep into the background of the DOJ-FBI raid of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, along with the outline into why it was important to them. It doesn’t matter how many different legal angles and Deep State justifications the DOJ attempts to deploy in order to divert away from what took place; the background of who, what, when and why they raided Mar-a-Lago will not change. In Part One, we outlined the background of the modern Deep State. In Part Two, we outlined the specifics of how President Trump was targeted by political operatives using tools created by the DC system. In Part Three, we outlined how and why President Trump was blocked from releasing documents. And then finally, as below in Part 4, we assembled the specifics of what documents likely existed in Mar-a-Lago.

It is important to remember, the Presidential Records Act –the presented pretext for the document conflict– is not a criminal statute. An FBI raid cannot be predicated on a document conflict between the National Archives and a former president. The DOJ-NSD warrant, and the subsequent raid on Mar-a-Lago, can only be related to records the U.S. government deems “classified” and material vital to national security interests. Hence, DOJ National Security Division involvement. In prior outlines, we have exhaustively covered the details of President Trump’s desire to publicly release information about DOJ and FBI conduct in their targeting of him during the fabricated Trump-Russia claims. However, to understand the nature of the documents he may hold, we first review the declassification memo provided by President Trump to the DOJ upon his departure from office.

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How the war industry controls Washington.

Congress Approves Bill Barring Any President From Withdrawing From NATO (Hill)

Congress has approved legislation that would prevent any president from withdrawing the United States from NATO without approval from the Senate or an Act of Congress. The measure, spearheaded by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), was included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which passed out of the House on Thursday and is expected to be signed by President Biden. The provision underscores Congress’s commitment to the NATO alliance that was a target of former President Trump’s ire during his term in office. The alliance has taken on revitalized importance under Biden, especially since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“NATO has held strong in response to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war in Ukraine and rising challenges around the world,” Kaine said in a statement. He added the legislation “reaffirms U.S. support for this crucial alliance that is foundational for our national security. It also sends a strong message to authoritarians around the world that the free world remains united.” Rubio said the measure served as a critical tool for congressional oversight. “We must ensure we are protecting our national interests and protecting the security of our democratic allies,” he said in a statement.

Biden has invested deeply in the NATO alliance during his term, committing more troops and military resources to Europe as a show of force against Putin’s war. He has also overseen the expansion of the alliance with the inclusion of Finland and ongoing efforts to secure Sweden’s full accession. Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, has sent mixed messages on the alliance ahead of 2024. The former president’s advocates say his tough talk and criticisms of the alliance served to inspire member-states to fulfill their obligations to reach 2 percent of defense spending, lightening the burden on the U.S. But Trump’s critics say the former president’s rhetoric weakens the unity and force of purpose of the alliance. And they expressed concerns that Trump would abandon the U.S. commitment to the mutual defense pact of the alliance or withdraw the U.S. completely.

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‘Politically-motivated persecution of his political rival is very good for Russia because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy.’

Trump Quotes Putin to Prove US Democracy in Danger (Sp.)

Former US President and 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump quoted Russian leader Vladimir Putin to prove that democracy in the States is in danger. Trump addressed his supporters during a campaign rally at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center Arena in Durham on December 16. The presidential hopeful emphasized that even the Russian president believes that Trump is being politically persecuted. “Even Vladimir Putin – has anybody heard of Vladimir Putin of Russia? – says that Biden’s, and this is a quote, ‘Politically-motivated persecution of his political rival is very good for Russia because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy.’ So, you know, we’ve talked about democracy, but the whole world is watching the persecution of a political opponent that’s kicking his ass. It’s an amazing thing. And they’re all laughing at us,” Trump stressed.

Putin commented on Trump’s prosecution at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in September 2023, stating that the accusations against the ex-President regarding his alleged “ties” with Moscow are “complete nonsense.” “As for the prosecution of Trump… for us, what is happening in today’s conditions, in my opinion, is good, because it shows how rotten the American political system is… All that’s happening with Trump is political persecution of a political rival,” Putin said. The US presidential election is scheduled for November 5, 2024. In a number of polls, Trump, who dominates the Republican primary race, maintains a narrow lead over incumbent US President Joe Biden. Trump was indicted by a grand jury in August on four charges connected to the January riot at the US Capitol. The former US president has pleaded not guilty. Trump’s trial is set to begin on March 4, 2024.

Putin Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735449076869530085

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“Almost half of Democrats surveyed in September 2023 affirmed that free speech should be legal “only under certain circumstances.”

Is Free Speech a Relic in America? (Bovard)

Is the First Amendment becoming a historic relic? On July 4, 2023, federal judge Terry Doughty condemned the Biden administration for potentially “the most massive attack against free speech in United States history.” That verdict was ratified by a federal appeals court decision in September 2023 that concluded that Biden administration “officials have engaged in a broad pressure campaign designed to coerce social-media companies into suppressing speakers, viewpoints, and content disfavored by the government.”In earlier times in America, such policies would have faced sweeping condemnation from across the political spectrum. But major media outlets like the Washington Post have rushed to the barricades to defend the Biden war on “misinformation.” Almost half of Democrats surveyed in September 2023 affirmed that free speech should be legal “only under certain circumstances.” Fifty-five percent of American adults support government suppression of “false information” — even though only 20 percent trust the government.

The broad support for federal censorship is perplexing considering that courts have vividly laid out the government’s First Amendment violations. Doughty delivered 155 pages of damning details of federal browbeating, jawboning, and coercion of social-media companies. Doughty ruled that federal agencies and the White House “engaged in coercion of social media companies” to delete Americans’ comments on Afghanistan, Ukraine, election procedures, and other subjects. He issued an injunction blocking the feds from “encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.” Censors reigned from the start of the Biden era. Barely two weeks after Biden’s inauguration, White House Digital Director Rob Flaherty demanded that Twitter “immediately” remove a parody account of Biden’s relatives. Twitter officials suspended the account within 45 minutes but complained they were already “bombarded” by White House censorship requests at that point.

Biden White House officials ordered Facebook to delete humorous memes, including a parody of a future television ad: “Did you or a loved one take the COVID vaccine? You may be entitled….” The White House continually denounced Facebook for failing to suppress more posts and videos that could inspire “vaccine hesitancy” — even if the posts were true. Facebook decided that the word “liberty” was too hazardous in the Biden era; to placate the White House, the company suppressed posts “discussing the choice to vaccinate in terms of personal or civil liberties.”Flaherty was still unsatisfied and raged at Facebook officials in a July 15, 2021, email: “Are you guys f–king serious?” The following day, President Biden accused social-media companies of “killing people” by failing to suppress all criticism of COVID vaccines.

Censorship multiplied thanks to an epic bureaucratic bait-and-switch. After allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Act was created to protect against foreign meddling. Prior to Biden taking office, CISA had a “Countering Foreign Influence Task Force.” In 2021, that was renamed the “Mis-, Dis- and Mal-information Team (‘MDM Team’).” But almost all the targets of federal censorship during the Biden era have been Americans. Federal censorship tainted the 2020 and 2022 elections, spurring the suppression of millions of social-media posts (almost all from conservatives). During the 2020 election, CISA targeted for suppression assertions such as “mail-in voting is insecure” — despite the long history of absentee ballot fraud.

CISA aims to control Americans’ minds: A CISA advisory committee last year issued a report that “broadened” what it targeted to include “the spread of false and misleading information because it poses a significant risk to critical function, like elections, public health, financial services and emergency responses.” Thus, any idea that government officials label as “misleading” is a “significant risk” that can be suppressed. Where did CISA find the absolute truths it used to censor American citizens? CISA simply asked government officials and “apparently always assumed the government official was a reliable source,” the court decision noted. Any assertion by officialdom was close enough to a Delphic oracle to use to “debunk postings” by private citizens. Judge Doughty observed that the free-speech clause was enacted to prohibit agencies like CISA from picking “what is true and what is false.”

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“Joe Biden and his national security team are scrambling to manage the consequences of policy failure..”

Scott Ritter: Joe Biden’s World War III Fantasy

If the threat of a Third World War in the face of Congressional inaction wasn’t enough, Biden authorized the Pentagon to declassify and release to CNN an intelligence report that claimed that Russia had suffered enormous casualties in its war with Ukraine, with some 315,000 of an estimated 360,000 troops that made up Russia’s pre-conflict ground force, having been killed or wounded. The declassified intelligence report also claimed that 2,200 of Russia’s 3,500 tanks have been lost, along with 4,400 of 13,600 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers. The release of the declassified report was clearly timed to influence the US Congress by emphasizing the very talking points that have been repeatedly made by Senator Graham and others that the US aid was “Best money we’ve ever spent” because “the Russians are dying.”

Given the history of the US intelligence community of declassifying intelligence reports for the specific purpose of releasing the information to mainstream media outlets to shape public opinion—even if the intelligence community knows the information contained in the report is wrong—one must take the report regarding Russian casualties with a heavy grain of salt. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia currently has some 617,000 troops deployed in the Special Military Operation zone. These forces are on the offensive, actively advancing on several fronts against a Ukrainian Army which is rapidly losing its ability to sustain large-scale ground combat operations. This doesn’t sound like the performance of an organization that suffered some 87% casualties, a figure which would make the survivors combat ineffective. The fact is, US and European support for Ukraine is flagging, and Ukraine is facing an existential crisis in the coming weeks and months that it most likely will not be able to resolve in its favor.

While Russian troops are taking casualties, it is far more likely than not that the real Russian casualty figures are significantly less than the number reported in the declassified US intelligence report, spread out over the original force and the hundreds of thousands of mobilized reservists and volunteers who have entered the fighting since. These losses pale in comparison to the more than 400,000 dead and nearly one million wounded Ukraine has suffered. Russia’s combat power grows every day, with fresh troops and equipment being made available for the war effort. Ukraine, on the other hand, has exhausted its reserves, and is left scraping the bottom of its human resources barrel to man whatever units it is able to organize from what is left of Ukraine’s diminished, and diminishing, arsenal. While the Russian Army is indeed large, and growing, and its capabilities expanding as it becomes more combat experienced, it is an army with a very specific mission—the defeat of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The Russian force structure is currently more than sufficient to defeat the Ukrainians on a frontage that stretches some 2,000 kilometers in length. It is even large enough to secure some additional Ukrainian territory, in addition to liberating the newly absorbed Russian territories of the Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk, and Lugansk regions still held by Ukraine. But there are physical limitations as to what one can accomplish with 617,000 troops and occupying all of Ukraine before invading Poland and/or the Baltics is well beyond the capacity of the Russian forces currently deployed in the Special Military Operation. Moreover, Russian President Vladimir Putin has never intimated that Russia had any intention to either occupy all of Ukraine or seek to attack NATO — just the opposite. The Russian goals and objectives of the Special Military Operation are spelled out very clearly — demilitarization (the destruction of the Ukrainian Armed Forces), de-Nazification (the elimination of the regime of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the pro-Nazi political element inside Ukraine), and permanent neutrality for Ukraine (i.e., Ukraine will never join NATO).

There is no intent to take the war to NATO. Such thinking is a fear-based construct of the Biden administration that is inaccurate and far removed from reality, little more than a fantasy which the sober-minded Russian government, ever mindful of the need to carefully manage escalation because of the Special Military Operation, will pay scant attention to. Joe Biden and his national security team are scrambling to manage the consequences of policy failure. Putin, it seems, has not lost the war with Ukraine. Russia is winning, something no amount of funding by either the US, the Europeans, or both, can reverse. The best thing that could happen to Ukraine is for the congressional Republicans to hold steadfast to their objections and allow Ukraine to be taken off the life support that US funding provides. Ukraine is a terminal case. Continuing to underwrite its failed war effort simply prolongs the agony of its people.

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“There are secret discussions at the military level and at the foreign ministry level. But not with Putin.”

Putin Reveals Secret Talk On Gaza War (Helmer)

President Vladimir Putin has revealed secret details of the Russian initiative on the Gaza war. According to the President, Russia has a three-point proposal. “First, it is necessary to keep people in Gaza. Second, it is necessary to bring humanitarian aid on a massive scale to these people.to keep people in Gaza.” Putin’s third proposal is establish a Russian field hospital to treat wounded Palestinians at the Rafah stadium, rebuilt in 2019 after Israel destroyed the original one in 2009. “But for this to happen, we need to have consent from both Egypt and Israel. I talked to the President of Egypt, and he is in favour of this idea. I also talked to Prime Minister Netanyahu, and they consulted various armed agencies. The Israeli side believes that opening a Russian hospital in Gaza is not safe.” Putin made his disclosures in response to a Turkish reporter’s question about the Gaza war during the Direct Line broadcast on Thursday.

Putin did not mention a ceasefire; he did not criticize Israeli military operations in Gaza except to refer to the deaths of children. “The Secretary-General of the United Nations called today’s Gaza the biggest children’s cemetery in the world. This opinion speaks volumes. It is an objective opinion, what else can I say?” Putin praised the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for “playing a significant leading role in improving the situation in Gaza…He is very active in this matter. And God bless him.” Putin omitted to mention Iran, ignoring his talks in Moscow a week ago with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Following their five-hour negotiations, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian announced that “Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza.” A Moscow political analyst commented after viewing Putin’s latest remarks: “Netanyahu refused a Russian field hospital but allows a UAE one? That is telling. This shows that Putin defers to the Israelis on anything related to Gaza. Nothing has changed in his position.”

[..] The Kremlin communiqué did not reveal what Netanyahu had told Putin. Subsequently, Netanyahu’s office briefed the Israeli press to report that in the 50-minute conversation, Netanyahu took the offensive, “flogs Putin”, and “expressed his annoyance over anti-Israel stances by Russian representatives at the United Nations and other fora…[and] sharp criticism over the dangerous cooperation between Russia and Iran.” Putin’s disclosure of his idea of a Russian field hospital at the same location as the UAE hospital appears to clarify the role he has been discussing with the director of the Federal Service of National Guard Troops, Viktor Zolotov. During yesterday’s four-hour long session, Putin mentioned his negotiations with Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey. There is no mention of Iran in the Kremlin transcript of the broadcast. “Not to mention Iran can indicate there are some secret discussions,” a Moscow source says, “although I doubt it. There are secret discussions at the military level and at the foreign ministry level. But not with Putin.”

Putin also stopped short of defending his Foreign Ministry’s attempts over two months and several sessions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to secure international backing for a ceasefire, a stop to Israeli attacks on civilian targets, and humanitarian relief – every one vetoed by the US. “As for the UN’s role,” Putin said, “you know, it is nothing out of the ordinary and I have already said that. During the Cold War, there were different forces and different countries that often blocked decisions promoted by other countries. But the United Nations was initially created for the purpose of finding a consensus. Without a consensus, decisions cannot be made. So, nothing out of the ordinary is happening at the UN; it was always like this, especially during the Cold War. There is a reason why Foreign Minister of the USSR Gromyko had the nickname, Mr No, because the Soviet Union very frequently vetoed decisions. It is very significant. When there is a veto, no steps that a country sees as hostile towards itself will be taken. And it is important. It is important to preserve such mechanisms in the UN; otherwise it will simply be reduced to a talking shop as happened during a certain period after World War I.”

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“Bennett was criticized for a debate performance where he declared, “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that.”

Opposition to Netanyahu Explodes After IDF Killing of Israeli Captives (Sp.)

Large demonstrations rocked the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv over the weekend as the country’s military admitted responsibility for the killing of three Israeli captives who were reportedly attempting to surrender. “Today we learned what happens when there is no deal,” shouted protesters outside the urban headquarters of the Israel Defense Force. The demonstrations began Friday after news first emerged of the captives’ death. The Israeli civilians, all of them in their 20s, appeared outside of a building in the Shejaiya neighborhood in northern Gaza City, according to an IDF statement released Saturday. The young men held a white flag signifying their surrender and emerged shirtless to demonstrate they weren’t hiding weapons. One reportedly yelled “help” in Hebrew. All three were shot by Israeli service members in violation of international law dictating the rules of military conduct. An IDF spokesperson said the soldiers reacted in response to a feared threat from the group Hamas.

“The shooting at the hostages was against the rules of engagement,” conceded IDF chief of staff Herzi Halevi. “It is forbidden to shoot at someone who raises a white flag and seeks to surrender. However, this shooting was carried out during combat and under pressure.” Halevi said that he accepted responsibility for the killings and claimed “we will do everything” to prevent similar incidents in the future. A brief ceasefire earlier in December resulted in the exchange of captives held on both sides of the conflict. Hamas brought about 240 Israelis back to Gaza during their surprise October 7 operation in Israel, while Israel holds thousands of Palestinians in prison, including some 2,500 who are detained without charges. Among the captives held by Israel are at least 146 Palestinian minors. Protesters have urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to negotiate a new ceasefire and exchange of captives. US media has reported that the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency was scheduled to meet with the Qatari Prime Minister this weekend to discuss the matter.

“Israel needs to actively pursue another deal, even if it means halting military operations in Gaza or releasing Palestinian prisoners with blood on their hands,” said retired Israeli Major General Noam Tibon to US media. “Otherwise, the cabinet is neglecting the hostages, and we risk not bringing them back alive.” Meanwhile, family members of citizens held in Gaza have slammed the Israeli Prime Minister’s prosecution of its proclaimed war on Hamas. “Yesterday, I heard a minister in the cabinet say that the conditions haven’t matured for the return of the captives,” said Rubi Chen, the father of 19-year-old Israeli soldier and US citizen Itay Chen who is being held by Hamas. “What is the cabinet waiting for? We urge immediate negotiation for the return of all hostages.” Israeli society has been torn apart by massive protests for more than a year as controversial Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters his 17th year as the Middle Eastern country’s head of state.

Previously Israeli opposition took to the streets to protest a legal reform package proposed by Netanyahu that critics said would have gutted the independence of the country’s judiciary. Elements of the sweeping proposal were placed on hold amidst the show of defiance, which saw Israeli military reservists threaten mass resignations from their posts. When a member of Israel’s opposition finally took power for just over a year in 2021, former Prime Minister Neftali Bennet’s governance showed just how far politics in the country had shifted away from the liberal Labour Zionism that characterized previous administrations. Bennett was criticized for a debate performance where he declared, “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that.” Recently, controversy erupted after video emerged of a 1986 interview with Netanyahu where he appeared to justify the bombing of hospitals. Israel has been sharply criticized for its handling of their military incursion into Gaza, with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres saying, “Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children.”

About 70% of the more than 18,700 Palestinians killed in the besieged enclave are thought to be women and children, according to Gaza health authorities that the UN has claimed have offered accurate numbers in the past. Israel disputes the death toll. Some observers have questioned the competence of the IDF, with critics claiming the military force is more focused on filming TikTok videos than engaging professionally on the battlefield. Historically the army’s so-called Hannibal Directive has excused the killing of civilians – even Israeli civilians – in the name of pursuing greater combat objectives.

Patience
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735709358015619358

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“..it’s the emptiness of the lives they’ve led which they need to prove to everyone. How else can they justify their actions to themselves?”

Running On Empty, the US Leaves Zelenskyy Hanging (Luongo)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made one last ditch effort to plead for US monetary and military support for the war against Russia. President “Biden” all but blackmailed the American people last week over this issue, threatening us with sending our children to fight a war to cover up his corruption and Davos’ antihuman agenda. The contempt with which I hold these people cannot be overstated. Biden has no more legitimacy to threaten us with fighting a war with Russia for Ukraine than Zelenskyy does. Yet his handlers think nothing of putting those words in his mouth after shoving his morning dose of stimmies into him to prop him up in front of the teleprompter for him to hopefully not misread. If that last sentence doesn’t make your blood boil, I’ve not been doing my job properly lo these past six years. So, challenge accepted then. Watch this clip of Zelenskyy telling us we need to forego everything to save his sorry ass.

This level of rhetoric is the zenith of toxic thinking. There is no time for anything other than fighting XXX. For Zelenskyy it is Putin. For the vampires and ghouls like Al Gore, John Kerry and Tony Blair screeching at COPE28, it is climate change. For Democrats and the Media it is Trump. By framing all of these topics in this way they betray their own agendas. It is nothing more than the full court press that all tyrants push when they are at their most vulnerable. If things were going their way they wouldn’t have to exhort people to give up everything to fight their fight for them. If Zelenskyy wasn’t such a tool for Davos and/or the Neocons who pushed him into this position, I’d actually feel some pity for him. But my humanity has limits. There comes a point where you have the face the consequences of the actions you have taken.

I don’t care if you are him, Joe Biden, George Soros, Anthony Fauci, Klaus Schwab, or any of their lieutenants. You can only outrun the hangman for so long. You can only hide behind the law and the veneer of civilization that put you in your position of power for so long. Eventually the lies and the double-dealing, the fast-talking and the pride, all catch up with you. Eventually, you ask for something that no one is willing to part with and it all comes crashing down. If Zelenskyy has an ounce of shame left in him he would go back to Kiev and makes plans to give Putin his pound of flesh to save those of the people he’s supposed to represent. Swallow the pride, save the people.

But he won’t. Neither will Biden. Or Warren. Or Hillary. Or any of them. They would rather burn the world to the ground and blackmail us to the very end than face the one thing they are all afraid of… and it isn’t just death as Alex Jones told Tucker Carlson on X/Twitter the other day. … it’s the emptiness of the lives they’ve led which they need to prove to everyone. How else can they justify their actions to themselves?

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“..between NATO’s encroachment towards Russia’s borders and the role the US and its allies are playing in the standoff between the two neighbors, Moscow can hardly trust the Western nations.”

US Knows Ukraine Can’t Win – Kremlin (RT)

The US has to review its current position on both the Ukraine conflict and relations with Russia if it wants to restore dialogue with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told NBC in an interview published on Friday. Russia is ready to work with any American administration but would very much prefer a “more constructive” approach from Washington, he added. The interview was published just a day after President Vladimir Putin accused the US and its allies of orchestrating the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev and essentially disrupting Russia’s years-long efforts to build normal relations with Ukraine. He also questioned the prospect of restoring relations between Russia and the West, saying that between NATO’s encroachment towards Russia’s borders and the role the US and its allies are playing in the standoff between the two neighbors, Moscow can hardly trust the Western nations.

Putin would be ready to work with “anyone who will understand that from now on you have to be more careful with Russia and you have to take into account its concerns,” Peskov told NBC’s Keir Simmons in Moscow, adding that the Russian leader would like to see a US president who is “more constructive” toward Russia and values dialogue more. The Kremlin spokesman also criticized America’s current role in the Ukraine conflict by saying that Washington only throws taxpayer money “into the wind” and is unnecessarily prolonging the hostilities by sending conflicting signals to Kiev, which end up just leading to more Ukrainian deaths. A much-touted Ukrainian counteroffensive has largely failed to bring about any notable changes to the front lines over some six months of the operation. According to Russian Defense Ministry estimates, Ukraine has lost over 125,000 troops and 16,000 pieces of heavy equipment in failed attempts to advance over the past half year.

“You have to understand your responsibility for this,” Peskov said. “You are telling them [Ukrainians] — go and die,” he continued, adding that “you know pretty well that they cannot win” but still offer Kiev more money and armaments. Russia has repeatedly stated it was ready for peace talks with Kiev as long as “the reality on the ground” is taken into account. In the autumn of 2022, four former Ukrainian territories, including the two Donbass republics, joined Russia following a series of referendums. Kiev declared the referendums “sham” and has been pushing for its own “peace formula” under which Russia would withdraw its troops not only from the four regions but from Crimea as well before any talks could even commence. Moscow dismissed Ukraine’s demands as being detached from reality. “America is strongly involved in this conflict,” the Kremlin spokesman told NBC, adding that the standoff between the two neighbors is in fact a “hybrid war” against Russia launched by Washington.

Such confrontational tactics have been detrimental to global security, Peskov warned, adding that the world is “less safe than it used to be’’ before dialogue between Moscow and Washington was “shut down.” Contacts between the two nations were reduced to minimum after Russia launched its military operation in February 2022. The US and its allies openly supported Kiev in the conflict and slapped Moscow with an unprecedented number of sanctions. Western nations then also started supplying arms to Ukrainian forces. The ties have not been severed entirely, though. On Thursday, Putin revealed that dialogue between the two nations continues, particularly about the Americans accused of espionage in Russia. When asked during his marathon press conference about US nationals Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich, the president said that Russia was willing to exchange them but wanted to reach a deal with Washington that would be “mutually acceptable.”

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“..there may be fewer resources for the social and humanitarian spheres than we would like, which means we must endure more and longer for less money.”

Ukraine on Brink of Humanitarian Collapse, Authorities Admit (Sp.)

Amid battlefield disappointments, the Kiev regime is facing financial woes, with patron states increasingly less eager to send billions down the Ukraine “sinkhole.” President Volodymyr Zelensky returned basically empty-handed from his US visit, while in Europe, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban threw water on Kiev’s fiscal appetites. Ukrainian citizens will have a hard time scraping by next year, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk warned on Telegram. In a “statement of the obvious,” the Ukrainian official admitted that the government will face difficulties fulfilling its social and humanitarian obligations due to the ballooning budget deficit. “In 2023, two new factors emerged. Accordingly, we must all adapt quickly,” was how Vereshchuk phrased it. According to her, firstly, the conflict “may last longer than we first thought.” She added, “Secondly, there may be fewer resources for the social and humanitarian spheres than we would like, which means we must endure more and longer for less money.”

This admission by the Ukrainian deputy prime minister came as the head of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) Tax Committee Daniil Getmantsev earlier underscored that state coffers are critically dependent on assistance from Kiev’s allies in NATO’s proxy war against Russia. By the end of the year, he stated, Ukraine needed to attract about $9.5 billion in financial support in the form of grants and preferential loans. Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal also held out hope of Ukraine receiving financial assistance to a tune of over $30 billion from the EU, US, and IMF, as well as patron states, to cover the country’s state budget deficit. Shmyhal said on September 15 that Ukraine’s government had adopted a draft budget for 2024 that presupposed record military spending worth $45.6 billion. This means there will be a scramble to cover social sphere costs, healthcare, and education. According to Ukraine’s Finance Ministry, the draft budget for 2024 provides for spending on security and defense at a level of over $48 billion, which constitutes 23% of GDP.

Ukraine’s financial woes come hand in hand with battlefield disappointments. After the botched summer counteroffensive, Kiev’s Western patrons have been facing growing “Ukraine fatigue.” Wheedling money out of the US and the EU is becoming ever more challenging for President Volodymyr Zelensky, as his recent lackluster Washington foray showed. Zelensky failed to convince lawmakers in Washington to approve a $61 billion aid package that US President Joe Biden has been pressuring Congress to approve. In Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban blocked the European Union from approving a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine, even as he allowed a vote to open accession negotiations for Ukraine in the bloc to go forward.

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“..the Biden administration has deliberately sought to minimize contacts between officials in Kiev and Congressional Republicans..”

Zelensky’s Tone Deaf DC Trip Leaves Republicans Wishing He’d Never Come (Sp.)

Ukraine’s president traveled to the US capital to speak with President Joe Biden and other officials in an attempt to secure tens of billions of additional US taxpayer dollars for the proxy war against Russia. Just how impactful the trip was remains unclear, given that the House of Representatives has now adjourned for the Christmas holidays. Some Republicans reportedly couldn’t help but feel irritated by Volodymyr Zelensky’s two-day visit to Washington this week, privately telling media that the Ukrainian president did more harm than good for his cause by meddling in American politics, and wishing that he’d stayed home. “Zelensky’s visit…was not good. It was completely tone-deaf and missed the point and the issues that are really at the heart of the current funding disputes,” a Republican congressional aide said, referring to the ongoing battle over a $105 billion supplemental funding request by the Biden administration, which includes over $61.4 billion for Ukraine, plus resources to shore up the US border with Mexico.

Republican lawmakers are seeking to hammer out a deal with the White House to revamp border policy to more closely resemble that of President Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, in exchange for approval of the new money for Ukraine, although weeks of wrangling have apparently yet to yield a compromise. “It would have been better if [Zelensky] had just not come in the broader supplemental fight. It’s going to take a little bit of time to get over this,” the aide said. Some Republicans reportedly took issue with Zelensky’s approach during his trip, accusing him of trying to paint them as being “soft on Russia” over their effort to focus on domestic priorities. Another anonymous Republican aide said that the Biden administration has deliberately sought to minimize contacts between officials in Kiev and Congressional Republicans, presumably in a bid to prevent the further exacerbation of tensions among the faction of the GOP that’s growing increasingly resistant to shelling out more for cash on Ukraine.

“The ability for Republicans to talk to the Ukrainians at very senior levels is very limited. What you’re seeing is 18 month of that policy coming home to roost, where senior Ukrainian officials have no real engagement with any Republicans in the House or the Senate,” the aide said. It’s unclear what sparked the disconnect, although it was in May of 2022 that 57 House Republicans and 11 GOP senators voted against a $40 billion supplemental aid package, with that number rising to 70 House lawmakers this past July in a proposed amendment to the annual defense bill to cut off all military aid to Ukraine. The measure failed, and the $886 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 includes $300 million in annual “security assistance” to Ukraine through the end of 2026. However, that’s just a fraction of the $61.4 billion supplemental request by the Biden administration.

But Republican concerns about continuing to foot the bill for Ukraine aid apparently aren’t limited to the party’s anti-interventionist MAGA wing, reports suggest, with “even the most rock-ribbed Reagan Republicans” reportedly feeling that “they’ve been bearing most of the political costs” in sending taxpayer money to Ukraine, all “without any political concessions for their party.”

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“Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said earlier in the day that his country would veto the European Union’s talks on the accession of Ukraine if they are found to be detrimental to Hungarian interests..”

Italian PM Meloni Talks Orban Out Of Veto On Ukraine’s EU Accession (TASS)

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni talked out Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban from imposing veto on Ukraine’s EU accession, Italy’s Libero Quotidiano reported on Saturday. According to the daily, the Italian and Hungarian politicians arranged a bilateral meeting on the issue before the start of the EU summit in Brussels last week. Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said earlier in the day that his country would veto the European Union’s talks on the accession of Ukraine if they are found to be detrimental to Hungarian interests. “In case Brussels, tries to squeeze in during the preparations for the real talks on the [Ukrainian] accession something that would harm us, we will be forced to resort to the tool of tough veto,” Szijjarto said.

Speaking to journalists last Friday ahead of the European Union’s Summit in Brussels on December 14-15 Orban said: “No sense of launching talks today with Ukraine [on EU’s admission].” Hungary’s Premier Orban stated previously in the month that he objected to including the issue of Ukraine’s EU membership on the agenda of the organization’s meeting in Brussels on December 14-15. Hungary has repeatedly stated its intention to keep channels of communication with Russia open in order to continue looking for ways to resolve the Ukraine crisis, among other things. Putin and Orban focused on this issue at their meeting in Beijing on the sidelines of the Belt and Road international forum on October 17.

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“Every loan that goes bad causes some money to disappear — poof! — and when a whole lot of that happens there is no money. The Federal Reserve digital currency is a kind of last resort way around that.”

Money for Nothing and Nothing for Money (Kunstler)

The financialized economy was primed to blow up in September of 2019 when symptoms of severe distress materialized in an arcane corner of the system known as the reverse repo market where banks loan each other money on extremely short term, usually overnight, to provide so-called “liquidity” — meaning the appearance of solvency. The crisis expressed itself as a dangerously sharp rise in interest rates. The Fed came up with enough liquidity to paper over the crisis, and then, miraculous to relate, the Covid-19 “emergency” a few months later gave them cover to “print” trillions of dollars and distribute the “money” rapidly into the on-the-ground economy where people bought the things of daily life.

The result of that monetary mischief was today’s inflation. Inflation, of course, is one way of going broke. You have a lot of money that is increasingly worthless. The other way of going broke is deflation, where you have no money. In the aggregate of a deflation, nobody will have any money, so at least you’ll have company in the misery of being broke. My guess is that a grievous deflation is where the current situation is headed. Deflations are provoked when people and companies can’t meet their debt obligations — can’t “service” their loans (pay interest), or pay back contracted sums of borrowed money, or simply can’t pay their bills. Every loan that goes bad causes some money to disappear — poof! — and when a whole lot of that happens there is no money.

The Federal Reserve digital currency is a kind of last resort way around that. It is a simple way for the system to pretend there is a lot of money around when there really isn’t any. It has the huge additional advantages, by way of computerized accounting, to allow the authorities to control what everybody spends their money on, especially the ability to block the purchase of this or that: a train ticket, gasoline, meat, if the authorities feel like it. It also enables the authorities to extract taxes, duties, and penalties at will, without any cooperation from the citizen. A Fed digital currency would be a giant step into the worst kind of exquisitely targeted tyranny. The excuse, of course, would be a “national emergency.”

A digital currency would likely first be tested among the most indigent in society, those with little or no income. It already is, actually, in the debit cards currently issued to illegal border-jumpers. Their card accounts are refilled monthly, making this the equivalent of a guaranteed basic income. Next, this privilege will be extended to the lower economic ranks of American citizens, and so on upward, until the whole middle-class and even the higher levels are enlisted, and then the authorities will have the ability to push everyone around.

That’s the hypothesis, anyway. I don’t believe it’s going to work. The authorities have underestimated the number of citizens who know what it means to be sovereign individuals. They will decline to be pushed around. They might even push back, start stomping on the blob’s tentacles as it reaches across the land. The citizens of one region or another of our country might go so far as to establish their own money, which would make them sovereign regions of sovereign individuals. That is going to be a problem that the blob and blobism cannot overcome.

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“Unfortunately I have seen no evidence of aliens yet,” he said in a speech at the 74th International Astronautical Congress in October, adding that “we are the aliens.”

Musk Doesn’t Believe In Aliens (RT)

Humankind is most likely the only species “in this part of the galaxy” with a consciousness, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told an audience in Italy on Saturday, comparing our species to “a tiny candle in a vast darkness.” Speaking at an event organized by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Musk explained his desire to settle humans on Mars by quoting Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, whose ‘Fermi Paradox’ questions why, if extraterrestrial life is so probable, humans have yet to discover evidence of it. “One of the explanations, and perhaps the one that appears to be the most accurate, is that consciousness is extremely rare,” Musk said.

“People often ask me do I know about aliens or something like that,” he continued. “The crazy thing is that I’ve seen no evidence of aliens whatsoever. Most likely, at least in this part of the galaxy, we are the only consciousness that exists.” “And so you can think of human consciousness really as like a tiny candle in a vast darkness, and we must do everything we can to ensure that the candle does not go out,” he concluded. Musk has repeatedly insisted that humanity can only continue if low birth rates in the Western world are reversed, and if humans manage to become a “spacefaring civilization.” Although the second test-launch of SpaceX’s Starship rocket ended in an explosion last month, the billionaire hailed the launch as another step toward making “all life multiplanetary.”

SpaceX began developing the Starship rocket in 2012 with the express aim of using it to transport crews and cargo to the red planet. In the early stages of its development, SpaceX referred to the rocket as the ‘Mars Colonial Transporter’. Musk has often been asked his opinion on aliens, and despite jokingly referring to aliens as his “friends,” he has always cited the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial life. “Unfortunately I have seen no evidence of aliens yet,” he said in a speech at the 74th International Astronautical Congress in October, adding that “we are the aliens.”

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Max
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638312091399471104

 

 

Hydraulic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1736057346420597055

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 052023
 


René Magritte Architecture au clair de lune 1956

 

Russian Nuclear Giant Claims Ukrainian Attack On Power Plant Imminent (RT)
Support For Ukrainian Nazis Leaves Indelible Mark In US History – Envoy (TASS)
Ukraine Accuses Western Backers Of Failing To Uphold F-16 Pledge (RT)
Ukraine Wants More Western Jets, Not Just F-16s – Kiev (RT)
US War Industry Pulls Mainstream Media Strings on Ukraine (Sp.)
Hungary Threatens To Block All EU Military Aid To Ukraine (RT)
Biden Pushes For Von Der Leyen To Be NATO Chief (Az.)
Macron Says May Shut Down Social Media in France If Riots Worsen (Sp.)
What Caused Wagner Mutiny And What Now For Russia And Its Opponents? (Ugolny)
China Cancels Visit By EU’s Top Diplomat (RT)
SCO Emerging as Cornerstone of New Multipolar World (Sp.)
The Dystopian European Media Freedom Act is a Trojan horse (Marsden)
Blobocracy (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

One theme only today, really. The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. Will Ukraine/US/NATO bomb it? If so, hold your loves ones near and dear.

 

 

 

 

Free speech
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676355109914308608

 

 

 

 

Trump 4th of July NOTE: No Notes. None

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676295651313721347

 

 


US Pacific Fleet puts out an Independence Day tweet (since deleted), with Russian aircraft, a Russian ship, and a soldier saluting with his left hand.

 

 

Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676030289238261767

 

 

 

 

JFK Election financing

 

 

Unseen Crisis

 

 

 

 

 

Russian Nuclear Giant Claims Ukrainian Attack On Power Plant Imminent (RT)

Ukraine is expected to launch a large-scale attack on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) overnight, a senior Russian atomic energy industry official warned late on Tuesday. Kiev may also strike the plant with a missile stuffed with radioactive waste, he added. The warning was voiced by Renat Karchaa, a senior aide to the head of Rosenergoatom, a subsidiary to Russia’s state-owned atomic energy giant Rosatom. The official cited intelligence data received by the industry. “On July 5, literally overnight, while it’s still dark, Ukrainian forces will attempt an attack on the Zaporozhye plant with long-range high-precision munitions, as well as suicide drones,” he told Rossiya 24 TV channel. Kiev is also expected to attempt a strike on the plant with a heavy, Soviet-made Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile, Karchaa went on.

The munition has been filled with radioactive waste collected from the South-Ukrainian nuclear power plant, the official claimed. While Karchaa did not elaborate, the apparent goal of the secondary attack is to cause an uptick in radioactivity readings in the region should the main launch fail to damage the facility enough to cause the release of hazardous materials into the air. The ZNPP was seized by Moscow from Ukraine early into the ongoing conflict, getting formally transferred under Rosatom management as the Zaporozhye region became incorporated into Russia after a referendum. Both Moscow and Kiev have repeatedly accused each other of subjecting the Russian-controlled facility to artillery fire and drone strikes. The rhetoric around the plant escalated in recent weeks, with the top Ukrainian official repeatedly claiming Moscow had been preparing a nuclear incident at the ZNPP.

President Vladimir Zelensky, for instance, said Moscow wanted to cause a “radiation leakage” at the plant, while his aide Mikhail Podoliak accused Russia of placing mines in the plant’s cooling pond. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called the claims by Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials “yet another lie” coming from Kiev, stressing that Moscow remains in close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The UN watchdog’s boss, Rafael Mariano Grossi, visited the facility recently and disputed Ukraine’s allegations, stating in his report that “no mines were observed at the site during the director general’s visit, including the cooling pond.” The danger to the ZNPP has also been questioned by the White House, with National Security Council spokesman John Kirby saying last week that Washington has not “seen any indication that that threat is imminent.”

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July 4th message: “The US is smirched with dishonor..”

Support For Ukrainian Nazis Leaves Indelible Mark In US History – Envoy (TASS)

The US is smirched with dishonour as it blatantly supports the Ukrainian Nazis, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday when commenting on the visit to the United States of representatives of the Azov nationalist battalion (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) and their meetings at the Capitol. “One cannot look indifferently at how the heirs of Hitler and Bandera are honored in the country that contributed to the defeat of the fascist Germany. This is a betrayal of the memory of the Americans who gave their lives during World War II. The blatant support for the Ukrainian Nazis will leave an indelible mark in the American history,” he said.


The Ukrainian terrorists that have committed countless atrocities against the Russian population in Donbas, “make speeches within the walls of the once trustworthy Stanford University” now, the diplomat noted. “The question arises: what vision of the world do they want to instill into young Americans and foreign students, studying here? The duty of humanity is to oppose the glorification of Nazism with all its might. We tirelessly urge Washington to solve this problem. However, in response, we encounter absurd prohibitions even in the run-up to memorable events, such as laying wreaths at the Spirit of the Elbe memorial,” Antonov emphasized.

Ritter

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Spring 2024 at the earliest. There’ll be no young Ukrainians left by then.

Ukraine Accuses Western Backers Of Failing To Uphold F-16 Pledge (RT)

Ukraine was told that its pilots would start training in F-16 fighter jets in June, but the program has not yet been launched, the Ukrainian foreign minister has claimed. “One of the countries,” which is part of the so-called “fighter jet coalition,” promised that the scheme would start last month, Dmitry Kuleba said during a TV appearance on Monday. “The training did not start in June. This means that the schedule is starting to shift… We’re now working with all the parties involved… to speed this process up as much as possible,” he said. According to the minister, the unnamed country “miscalculated” when it made its pledge to Kiev, but is continuing to make preparations for Ukrainian airmen to be trained with the American aircraft.

Kuleba said he was previously expecting to get the F-16s in the first few months of 2024, but the delay in training now means the wait will be longer. Last month, Igor Zhovkva, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, said nine countries – the US, UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal and France – had formed a coalition to help Ukraine obtain the warplanes. The chairman of NATO’s military committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, told the British radio station LBC on Monday that the issue of providing F-16s to Ukraine “will not be solved in the short term for this counteroffensive.”

Kiev has intensified its attacks along the frontline with the use Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles since early June, but according to Moscow, the much-hyped counteroffensive has failed to achieve significant gains so far. Zelensky has been pressing his Western backers for fourth-generation F-16 warplanes for months, arguing that they are crucial in providing air cover for Ukraine’s troops and defending its airspace, amid a massive Russian missile campaign targeting military facilities and energy infrastructure. In late May, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley warned that “the F-16 will not act as a magic weapon” in Ukraine, but will “cost a dollar” to Kiev’s backers.

The history of ukraine, from the Big Bang to modern times.
I said yesterday: “Why try to rewrite history? It was the Vikings. No, the Romans…”
This hilarious video takes it a step or two further.

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“..F-16s would not be a game changer since they have inferior capabilities compared to many of Russia’s modern military aircraft..”

Ukraine Wants More Western Jets, Not Just F-16s – Kiev (RT)

F-16 fighter jets promised to Ukraine by its Western backers are not the only military aircraft that Kiev wants, Ukrainian Air Force Command spokesman Yury Ignat said on Tuesday. “Ukraine considers and will consider other aircraft types that could enhance combat capabilities,” Ignat told national broadcasters when asked about Kiev potentially acquiring American-made F/A-18 Hornets from Australia. However, Ukraine cannot exert too much pressure on the US and its allies as it depends on Western aid, he admitted. Ignat said the US-made F/A-18 and F-15, as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon, have a greater range and can carry more weapons. Nonetheless, he stated that Kiev would still focus on acquiring F-16s first, adding that Ukrainian pilots could learn to fly them sooner.

Ukrainian pilots have still not started their F-16 training, the spokesman said, adding that officials in Kiev are “working on the issue every day” by examining bases that are due to serve as training hubs. “The process has been launched,” he told broadcasters, but noted that it has thus far only amounted to “planning.” Kiev will not receive F-16s until the training of pilots and maintenance crews is completed and the relevant infrastructure is prepared, Ignat said, adding that “handing over [the jets] is impossible for now, it will require time.” “We cannot put pressure on our partners, because we depend on their aid,” Ignat stated. None of Ukraine’s foreign backers have spoken about supplying Kiev with Western-made fighter jets other than the F-16 so far.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has criticized Kiev’s backers for what he described as a failure to launch the F-16 training program in time. He did not name the specific nations that had promised to start the training in June, but argued that the pledge itself had been “miscalculated.” “We’re now working with all the parties involved… to speed this process up as much as possible,” Kuleba said. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of increasingly more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies only prolongs the conflict and could lead to a major escalation. In late May, Bloomberg reported that F-16s would not be a game changer since they have inferior capabilities compared to many of Russia’s modern military aircraft.

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“..it boosts the point of view that the US are the good guys who can end this war, who can bring peace if they only just pour enough weapons in..”

US War Industry Pulls Mainstream Media Strings on Ukraine (Sp.)

It’s no coincidence that American media is unanimously calling to send more military supplies to Kiev and fight to the last Ukrainian, since the debate has been artificially narrowed by the US defense contractors, as per the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft’s recent study. The DC-based think tank has found that of the 15 think tanks most often mentioned by the mainstream press, just one – Human Rights Watch – does not receive funding from the US war industry. Quincy’s analysis particularly demonstrated that the US media were seven times more likely to cite think tanks with ties to defense contractors than those without such affiliations. “There isn’t really an alternative voice in the media when it comes to these issues of war and peace,” Bryce Greene told Sputnik.

“The Beltway is usually on board with the drumbeat of the coverage. And this just shows how much the media relies upon these voices to shape the opinions, to shape the views of their audience. And it’s especially dangerous when you consider that most of these think tanks don’t even tell you how much they’re getting from these corporations. One finding from this study was that these think tanks (…) are not required to report where exactly they get their money from. Anything they give us is really by their goodwill. But very often they don’t tell you which companies are funding exactly how much. They might list some donors, but they don’t give exact figures. So it’s incredibly difficult to track the influence of this.”

Even though the US media is ostensibly independent they still push the government’s line by relying on and uncritically quoting those sources whose paychecks come from the US military-industrial complex, according to Greene. What’s more, the US media never gives a hint that those views come from experts funded by Lockheed Martin, or Boeing or some other defense contractor benefitting from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the journalist continued. Greene lamented the fact that it makes it very hard for a viewer to understand whether or not the information they’re getting is unbiased and untainted by special interests. “Most people know an institution functions on behalf of the people who fund it,” Greene continued. “And the think tanks are working on behalf of the military-industrial complex and therefore the media are laundering the point of view of the military industrial complex in order to present them as independent outside analysis.

The net result of this is that you have almost consistent drumbeat coverage in the US press calling for more weapons, for more intervention, and the US public is foaming at the mouth, waiting for just how many more weapons will it take to defeat Vladimir Putin. (…) We’ve been taught about this war that Vladimir Putin is a new Hitler hell-bent on conquering all of Eastern Europe. Again, this is all just propaganda on top of more propaganda. And it boosts the point of view that the US are the good guys who can end this war, who can bring peace if they only just pour enough weapons in. We only send another few billion dollars. We only send some tanks, some jets, and some high fliers. Everything will be alright in the fight against autocracy.”

Maidan – Road to War (Part 1 of 5, 52 min. Who has the time?)
I suspect the best doc on the origin of what we see today.

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“The minister blasted Ukraine over putting Hungary’s OTP bank on what he called a “list of shame”..”

Hungary Threatens To Block All EU Military Aid To Ukraine (RT)

Hungary will not agree to any further EU financing of arms shipments to Ukraine until Kiev removes the nation’s largest lender from its list of “sponsors of war,” Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a press conference on Tuesday. The minister blasted Ukraine over putting Hungary’s OTP bank on what he called a “list of shame” by calling the reasons for such a move “outrageous” and “unacceptable.” “Our position is clear: until the OTP [bank] is removed from this list, Hungary will not greenlight any additional EU funding for weapon shipments to Ukraine,” the minister said. The decision will cover not just the €500 million ($546 million) tranche of arms Budapest vetoed earlier but any further military assistance as well, he added. “It will be better if they [the EU] do not come up with any proposals to finance further arms deliveries,” Szijjarto said.

Budapest is “doing everything to help the Ukrainian people,” and Hungarians “are paying the price of a war they have nothing to do with,” Szijjarto said following a meeting of the Hungarian-Jordanian joint economic committee. The official also called Kiev’s attitude toward Hungary puzzling. “We really sometimes have a feeling that they [the Ukrainians] are making fun of us,” he said. The minister also blasted the reasons, for which Ukraine put OTP on its blacklist by saying that “we would like to laugh [at them] because these are ridiculous things that are brought up.” At the same time, he called the situation around the Hungarian bank “serious,” adding that Budapest is “rather horrified” over the development. Hungary blocked the EU military aid tranche for Ukraine back in May, citing Kiev’s increasingly hostile” attitude towards the country.

The money blocked by Budapest was part of the so-called European Peace Facility (EPF). The fund is a €5.6 billion ($6.08 billion) purse that the bloc uses to finance foreign militaries and reimburse its own members who send arms to foreign conflicts. Before the conflict in Ukraine, the ‘Peace Facility’ had been used to supply non-lethal equipment to Georgia, Mali, Moldova, Mozambique, and Ukraine, for a total of less than $125 million. Budapest has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace deal in Ukraine and criticized the EU for sending arms to Kiev. Hungary also insisted that anti-Russian sanctions hurt Europe more than they hurt Russia. In June, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the German tabloid Bild that a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield was “impossible.”

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EU, NATO, it’s all the same. No knowledge required.

Biden Pushes For Von Der Leyen To Be NATO Chief (Az.)

Joe Biden is pushing for Ursula von der Leyen to be installed as the next Nato secretary general after Ben Wallace’s candidacy was blocked, Report informs, citing The Telegraph. The president of the European Commission was said to be the United States’ preferred candidate after the White House rejected the Defence Secretary for the role. A Nato source said that the US president was attempting to convince Mrs von der Leyen, a former German defense minister, to succeed Mr Stoltenberg amid fears a suitable candidate will not emerge in the next 12 months. “We’re going to have a problem next year when it becomes clear that the field is no stronger than this year,” a second source said. Mr Biden and Mrs von der Leyen have built “a strong bond” in recent years, fostering close transatlantic ties over China, Ukraine and the climate, another source said.

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Stuck in Napoleon days.

Macron Says May Shut Down Social Media in France If Riots Worsen (Sp.)

The French authorities can shut down social networks if the situation in the country deteriorates, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. “We need to think about the issue of social media and applicable bans. And if the situation worsens, we perhaps need to be able to regulate and turn them off,” Macron was quoted as saying by French broadcaster BFMTV. However, the president added that this discussion should not be held “rashly.”On Friday, Macron said that the French authorities would identify those who called for protests through social media in light of the ongoing unrest triggered by the killing of a teenager.


Later that day, French media reported that the government had met with representatives of social media due to unrest in the country. In particular, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Minister Delegate for the Digital Transition and Telecommunications Jean-Noel Barrot reportedly warned platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter of their responsibility and asked for support identifying users involved in committing offenses. France has been gripped by unrest since June 27, when a 17-year-old boy was shot dead by a police officer for failing to stop his car when ordered to do so in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris. The officer who pulled the trigger on Nahel M. has been taken into custody for voluntary manslaughter, but that has not deterred the protesters.

Escobar

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“Wagner became the best-known example of Russian stormtroopers. This was largely due to its independent media resources and success..”

What Caused Wagner Mutiny And What Now For Russia And Its Opponents? (Ugolny)

The events instigated by the Wagner private military company (PMC) on June 23-24 were influenced by several military and political factors. Russia’s leadership managed to deal with the mutiny in less than 24 hours. However, the reasons behind the incident still weigh the Russian army down and need to be addressed. In fact, the future of the military campaign in Ukraine depends on how promptly Moscow learns from this experience. To better understand the conflict between Wagner PMC and the Russian Ministry of Defense, we must go back to the events of last year. At that time, the group, which had earlier been involved in combat in both Africa and in the Middle East, was hired to help capture the fortified area of Popasnaya and then Artemovsk (Bakhmut), in the Donbass. The scale of this operation was so large that Wagner essentially became an army corps – a rather autonomous unit with its own infrastructure, command, and tactical direction.

At the same time, the group was considered light infantry. Making use of small assault units like Wagner which were directly backed by artillery, the Russian command wanted to escape dead-end positional warfare. Such tactics were used not only by Wagner but by units like the 1st Donetsk Army Corps. Moreover, the unique experience of assault operations gained in the year of combat resulted in the formation of “Storm Z” assault units that operate with Wagner-like tactics and have a similar structure. However, Wagner became the best-known example of Russian stormtroopers. This was largely due to its independent media resources and success. By the time the battles for Artemovsk ended, Wagner had hopes of acquiring the status of an independent structure within the armed forces, autonomous from the Russian Ministry of Defense and subordinate directly to the President of the Russian Federation.

Internal rivalry became one of the main reasons for the clash between Wagner and the Ministry of Defense. Earlier this year, Wagner was restricted in recruiting volunteers from prisons, who were instead assigned to regular units, including Storm Z. Accordingly, in recent months, Wagner could only rely on normal recruitment offices and was forced to compete for each candidate. Considering the severe fighting in the Artemovsk area, each recruit became priceless. In order to win people over to his side, the company’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin developed the Wagner brandand boosted his media presence. The group was presented as an ideologically like-minded community, a military caste, a corporation with its own values and code of honor.

When he exhausted regular marketing methods, Prigozhin made use of dark PR to win over recruits from his competitor, the Ministry of Defense. Prigozhin’s media outlets presented the regular units of the Russian army as incompetent, bureaucratic structures capable only of retreat. The peak of this dark PR campaign coincided with the last days of the battle for Artemovsk.

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Wait: “Beijing had not confirmed the visit..” In other words, he invited himself.

China Cancels Visit By EU’s Top Diplomat (RT)

China has cancelled a planned visit by the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, a spokesperson for the bloc announced on Tuesday. The diplomat’s trip was reportedly scheduled for next week. “Unfortunately, we were informed by the Chinese counterparts that the envisaged dates next week are no longer possible and we must now look for alternatives,” spokesperson Nabila Massrali told Reuters in a written statement. Beijing had not confirmed the visit and has provided no comment on its apparent cancellation, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning stating at a regular press briefing on Tuesday that she did not have any information to share on Borrell’s potential trip.

The visit was announced by the EU’s envoy to China, Jorge Toledo, on the sidelines of the 11th World Peace Forum in Beijing on Sunday. Borrell was to travel to China next Monday, Toledo said, seeking to address all outstanding issues with Beijing, including “partnership,” “competition” and “systemic rivalry.” “This will be the place to raise all these issues, especially the strategic issues that we have with China,” Toledo stated, adding that Borrell was scheduled to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. Borrell had been due to visit Beijing in April this year, shortly after EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron toured the country. However, the top diplomat tested positive for coronavirus and the trip was rescheduled.

The top EU diplomat has previously given mixed signals on ties with China, calling it a “rival” but also a partner. He has pointed to two major “strategic security issues” with China – namely its growing alliance with Russia and neutral stance on the Ukraine conflict – and the issue of Taiwan, regarded by Beijing as an integral part of its territory.

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More multipolarity: SCO, BRICS, INSTC etc

SCO Emerging as Cornerstone of New Multipolar World (Sp.)

The twenty-third summit of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO was held on Tuesday in a virtual format in New Delhi. The leaders of all SCO member states – [India], China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – welcomed Iran as a new full-fledged member of the organization. India’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Vinay Kvatra announced that Belarus will be admitted to the SCO as a full member at the summit in 2024. This year, Belarus and Mongolia took part in the meeting as observer states, while Turkmenistan was invited as a guest of the chairman. “In general, today, even without the inclusion of new players in the SCO, [the organization] has already become the most important structure of the world order, of a multifaceted multipolar world,” Dr. Stanislav Pritchin told Sputnik.

“In my opinion, there is a huge potential for creating financial infrastructure, because we all see how the dependence on Western international financial organizations, infrastructure, and the exchange of banking information affects the cooperation of states even within the SCO. (…) We need to create our own infrastructure, our own reserve currencies, regional ones, and create opportunities for trade, regardless of external players. And in this regard, the potential of the SCO, of course, is huge, taking into account the economic potential of China, India, and Russia’s other partners.” Pritchin has drawn attention to the fact that initially, the SCO was formed as a regional security organization being the successor to the Shanghai Five, which was set up in the early 2000s.

Over time, however, the scope of the SCO’s agenda has expanded. Even though the organization includes geopolitical opponents such as India and Pakistan, this did not create any serious problems for the SCO’s activities due to its inclusiveness and flexibility. Pritchin placed special emphasis on an obvious difference between the SCO and NATO whose agenda is formed and dictated by the US. In contrast, the Eurasian club operates on the principles of equality and collegiality, as per the scholar. “When it comes to Iran’s accession to the SCO, the crux of the matter is that Iran has long wanted to join the organization, and only now it has happened,” continued Pritchin. “This is a direct consequence of both Russia’s special military operation [in Ukraine] and the serious deterioration of US-Chinese relations.

Now the countries of the region, the SCO member states, in principle, make decisions without regard for the position and opinion of Western countries. And this shows the subjectivity and independence of this organization. From the point of view of the SCO’s potential, the involvement of Iran is a very important development, because a major power of 80 million people is a serious player in the field of security, our partner in [the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC)], in the security system in the Caspian Sea, an important economic partner. In this vein, of course, Iran’s accession is a very important stage in the expansion and strengthening of the SCO, its military and economic potential.”

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“Codifying the most basic rights – like a free press – is a pretty good indication that someone wants to mess with them..”

The Dystopian European Media Freedom Act is a Trojan horse (Marsden)

EU officials are on the verge of approving a new “European Media Freedom Act,” promoted as a new law to protect journalists, their freedom, and press pluralism. However, any thinking person might start by asking how exactly that squares with the bloc’s top-down censorship of voices published on platforms that counter their establishment narratives, like RT for instance. They cite the Ukraine conflict as justification, but they were looking for an excuse long beforehand. Rather than leave it to individual national media regulators to do their job, and cite any specific offenses or evidence, these big fans of free press and democracy at the EU just blocked them unilaterally. So, these same folks are now in the process of fine-tuning a law designed to “promote internal safeguards on editorial independence and media ownership transparency” – which the EU has never been too interested in fostering when it comes to the NGOs and press outlets it supports.

They also plan to introduce measures that include the protection of journalists from spyware. But in even bringing spyware up, there’s now a risk of official codification of its use by governments against journalists in some instances – something which has, until now, been frowned upon. Once again, as with “anti-Russian” sanctions and cutting off its own cheap Russian energy supply, the EU has found a way to really stick it to itself and is on the verge of achieving precisely the opposite of its stated intentions. Governments like France are now reportedly requesting specific, codified exemptions to the state use of surveillance software targeting journalists in cases where they might be dealing with sources or evidence involving “national security” offenses or other heavy crimes that risk bringing down governments like… music piracy.

Right – because “national security” has never been abused as a pretext for Western authorities to protect their own interests from dissent. And we’re talking here about suspected crimes, so is a mere hunch enough to tap a journalist’s phone? The exemption request should also raise eyebrows about what these governments are already doing under the guise of national security to the point where clearly they believe they’re on the verge of losing something. Various French journalists, for example, have taken issue in the past with being spied on by French intelligence or police. And to make it even easier, a French parliamentary commission even voted recently to allow remote activation and geolocation of a target’s tech devices. Revelations about the use of Israeli Pegasus spyware by governments like Morocco to target French journalists raises other potential problems.

For example, what power would the EU even have over foreign countries if, say, an EU member state decided to outsource surveillance to a non-bloc country – let alone ever know which state gave the order to do so? Including any exemptions whatsoever to spyware use by EU member states not only defeats the whole stated purpose of the legislation, but also greatly reduces the chances that sources will talk to or trust the press. It effectively turns every journalist into an inadvertent direct pipeline of information to the authorities – which they may have been before, but now this new law confirms it, serving as a Vegas-style billboard for that fact. Who in their right mind is going to call out wrongdoing by powerful state actors when a murky pretext can theoretically be evoked by the same state to neutralize the whistleblower and their story before it can do any damage to the establishment?

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“It will shrink and desiccate into a fragile little nugget of residual malevolence that can be put down like a small, rabid animal.”

Blobocracy (Jim Kunstler)

By happenstance lately, out and about, I met up with several old friends and attempted to check-in with where they stood on these matters — how are things going in our country? The phrase our country seemed to make their heads snap back a little and their eyes goggle. Their answer, uniformly, was “Trump, Trump, Trump,” issued as a sort of barking. Trump’s criminal insults to democracy must be stopped, was the drift. My next question was: How’s “Joe Biden” doing? (They didn’t see the quote marks, and I didn’t use my fingers to signify.) “He’s doing pretty well… accomplished a lot,” they said. What’d they make of the developing bribery scandal? “Huh… the what?” Raking in all that money from foreign governments when Joe was Veep, and then after. “Oh… right-wing talking points… baseless….”

This is what my old friends think. Quite a few of them are aware that I write this blog. They don’t actually read it; they seem to just hear about it. The old community of Boomer friends thinks I’ve “gone off the deep end.” One thing these encounters taught me is how successful the censorship and propaganda campaign of the Blob has been. These were people, you understand, who came of age believing in free speech, freedom of the press, respecting civil rights, decrying political persecutions, and, most of all, being against hegemonic wars — which, back in the sixties, was called imperialism. These days they’re all for a righteous defense against misinformation that threatens our democracy, meaning: censorship. They wouldn’t call it that, exactly. They consider it a battle against right-wing extremism, white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, the usual bugbears. It never occurs to them that the Blob lies to them continually, remorselessly, promiscuously about everything.

They apparently believe what comes out of CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, et cetera. They were told to go get vaxxed. They went and got vaxxed. Some are not looking too good. They don’t seem to know that the vast machinery of public health in our country has been marshalled to do them harm, that the people running that machinery were well-aware that their vaccines did not get properly tested, and the little testing that was done did not turn out very well. Those agencies lied about it and worked strenuously to prevent the duped and vaxxed-up public from learning what had been done to them. What we’ve got, then, this Fourth of July holiday, 2023, is basically the pro-Blob Americans against the anti-Blob Americans. It’s a vicious conflict with no sign of resolution. No amount of factual disclosure — no Durham report, no fruitless Mueller report, not any number of whistleblowers, no alt news — can persuade the pro-Blobbers that their beloved Blob lies and deceives.

And no degree of coercion or punishment will convince the anti-Blobbers to fall into line and just do what they’re told. I think my old friends are insane, and they think the same about me. Everybody knows that the tension building is unendurable, that eventually things will break, and we all worry what kind of country we will have when the breaking ends. I’ll tell you what it will be: it will be a country without a Blob. The Blob thrives on money, and one of the first things to break will be our money and all the operations that generate, multiply, and move it. For years, we anti-Blobbers have been on the receiving end of punishments doled out so liberally by the Blob and its followers. Soon, all the lying, including the lying about our money, will bring on events that’ll deprive the Blob of its nourishment. It will shrink and desiccate into a fragile little nugget of residual malevolence that can be put down like a small, rabid animal.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

SoF
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676271622267830272

 

 

Sound of Freedom

 

 

Steer

 

 

Elephant rhino
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676187618659401728

 

 

Tiny octopus
https://twitter.com/i/status/1676229374994173953

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 052023
 


Rufino Tamayo Perro aullando (Howling Dog) 1960

 

Ukrainian Army’s Offensive Attempt Failed – Russian Defense Ministry (TASS)
Ukraine Lacks Weapons To Launch Counteroffensive – Zelensky Aide (RT)
Is the United States Losing Its Control of Ukraine? (Snider)
Belgium Questions Kiev About Attack Inside Russia (RT)
Biden’s Health Is A National Security Issue – Ex-White House Doctor (RT)
EU Desperate To Clamp Down On Musk’s Free Speech As ‘Disinformation’ (Marsden)
Elon Musk Uses Team DeSantis Twitter Community Notes to Undermine Trump (CTH)
American Airlines Struggles With Pilot Deficit, Grounds 150 Aircraft (ET)
What Are German Fighter Pilots Doing in China? (Spiegel)
Germany To Deploy Warships To Indo-Pacific (RT)
Lawmaker Probing J6: ‘People Of Interest’ May Have Withheld Critical Intel (JTN)
OPEC+ Countries To Perform Voluntary Production Cuts — Novak (TASS)
Wave Of Defaults Looming – Deutsche Bank (RT)
Police Omitted Folder Called ‘CIA’ From Laptop Of Assange Spy (El Pais)

 

 

Same person? Are we sure?

 

 

 

Woke Soros

 

 

 

 

Chemo

 

 

 

 

RFK Ukraine

 

 

 

 

Wokes

 

 

Website hosting Hunter Biden photo archive shut down for distributing child porn.

 

 

 

 

The start of the counteroffensive? The presence of Gerasimov in the frontline indicates Russia was not surprised.

Ukrainian Army’s Offensive Attempt Failed – Russian Defense Ministry (TASS)

The Ukrainian armed forces failed to achieve success in a large-scale offensive on five front sectors in the south Donetsk area, official spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said. “The adversary launched a large-scale offensive from the morning of June 4 on five sectors of the front in the south Donetsk area by bringing into action 23rd and 31st mechanized brigades from strategic reserves of the Ukrainian armed forces with support from other military units and teams,” the spokesman said. “The adversary’s objective was to break through our defense on the most vulnerable front sector, in its opinion. The enemy failed to perform its tasks and had no success,” Konashenkov noted.


The adversary used six mechanized battalions and two tank battalions, the defense ministry’s spokesman informed. “As a result of skilled and sophisticated action of the Battlegroup East, the Ukrainian armed forces lost more than 250 persons, sixteen tanks, three mechanized infantry combat vehicles and 21 combat armored vehicles,” Konashenkov stressed. He particularly noted that Chief of General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov was at one of frontline command posts in this area.

Counter

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They will never be ready.

Ukraine Lacks Weapons To Launch Counteroffensive – Zelensky Aide (RT)

Ukraine needs more weapons and ammunition to be able to carry out a successful counteroffensive against the Russian forces, the deputy head of President Vladimir Zelensky’s office has said. In an interview with British newspaper The Times on Saturday, Igor Zhovkva was asked why the much-anticipated operation by Ukraine, aimed at retaking land lost to Russia, still hasn’t been launched. “If you want to start a successful counteroffensive you need everything at your disposal, including artillery, armored vehicles and tanks, so probably we don’t have enough,” he replied. “More weapons is the No 1 topic in each and every conversation” that Zelensky had during his numerous foreign trips over the past month, Zhovkva, who is also the Ukrainian president’s top foreign affairs adviser, stressed. “Every country knows what kind of weapons we need from them, to protect our territory, stop the rockets,” the official added.

He also suggested that Russia has intensified its missile and drone campaign across Ukraine in recent months in a bid to deter the offensive by Kiev’s troops, which was expected to begin in spring. The UK “now is one of the leading countries in showing real incentive and courage in how to really bring victory to my country,” he stated, adding that other nations need to do more to assist Kiev. “Sorry, but the European countries are still too slow and not doing enough with sanctions” against Russia, Zhovkva insisted. Zelensky told the Wall Street Journal on Saturday that the Ukrainian military was “ready” for the counteroffensive, but did not say when exactly it will start. He also pointed out that Kiev would have wanted to see more weapons provided by the West, but that “we can’t wait for months” to launch the assault. Among other things, Ukraine needs 50 US-made Patriot air defense batteries to sufficiently protect its cities and troops on the battlefield ahead of the counteroffensive, Zelensky said.

With the price of a single Patriot battery estimated at $1.1 billion, the overall cost of the demand would be around $55 billion, which is more than the total amount of American military aid allocated to Kiev since the start of the conflict. The Ukrainian leader acknowledged that Russia’s air superiority would leave Kiev’s troops exposed and “a large number of soldiers will die” during the counteroffensive. Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons, including sophisticated ones, to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross “red lines,” leading to a major escalation in the hostilities. Russia argues that the provision of arms, intelligence sharing, and training to Kiev’s troops already means that Western nations are de facto parties to the conflict.

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That’s what the US would like everyone to think: We had no idea!

Is the United States Losing Its Control of Ukraine? (Snider)

In the very early days of the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was open to negotiating a peace. A proposed peace could have ended the war before tens of thousands of Ukrainians died and Ukraine’s infrastructure was devastated, on terms that satisfied Kiev’s goals. But the United States pressured Ukraine to go on fighting in pursuit, not of Ukraine’s goals, but of larger American ones. Putting an end to Ukraine’s negotiations with Russia, State Department spokesperson Ned Price remarkably said, “This is a war that is in many ways bigger than Russia, it’s bigger than Ukraine,” and insisted that Ukrainians go on fighting and dying for “core principles.” The United States got its way. Now a year later, with the war not going well for Ukraine and the country getting more and more desperate, Ukraine is forced to retreat to pursuing its own goals.

Ironically, that is increasingly taking the form of escalating the war in a way that now endangers American goals. Ukraine is now pursing its own security interests in a way that is extraordinarily dangerous to U.S. security interests. And they seem to be disregarding U.S. restrictions in pursuing them. Months of American permissiveness and failure to say no to Ukraine at each crossing of a red line has seemingly emboldened Ukraine to ignore U.S. limits and conditions on the use of American-supplied weapons. One of the key goals of the Biden administration is to stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity. That is Joe Biden’s promise to Ukraine. But a second key goal is to avoid being drawn into a direct war between NATO and Russia.

That is Joe Biden’s promise to Americans. A recent wave of Ukrainian attacks on the territory of Russia—not Donbas or Crimea, but the internationally recognized territory of Russia—threatens that promise and threatens the security of Americans. Ukraine has long promised “not to target Russian territory with weapons provided by the West.” They recently reiterated that promise, saying British supplied long range Storm Shadow cruise missiles “will be used only within Ukrainian sovereign territory and not inside Russia,” and when they provided the United States “flat assurances” that F-16 fighter-bombers won’t be used inside Russian territory.

But Ukraine did not keep those promises. In pursuit of their goals—understandably, since the U.S. insisted they postpone those goals and go on fighting the Russian military in pursuit of American goals—they have crossed the red line of U.S. limits and conditions on the use of American-supplied weapons and struck inside Russian territory. This defiantly independent military strategy is increasing the danger that the United States and NATO could get drawn into a war with Russia.

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There are videos that show ‘Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK)’ members speaking Polish.

Belgium Questions Kiev About Attack Inside Russia (RT)

Brussels is concerned over media reports claiming that weapons it sent to Kiev were used by militants to launch incursions into Russia, several Belgian media outlets reported on Sunday, adding that the government will demand an official explanation from Ukraine on the issue. Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder and Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib will “contact the Ukrainian authorities and ask for clarifications,” the defense minister’s office confirmed to Belgium’s RTBF broadcaster. The documents accompanying each weapons delivery from Belgium “explicitly state” that the military equipment can only be distributed to the regular armed forces and used only to “defend” Ukrainian territory, the media added. “These weapons are therefore not authorized for isolated groups that have an internal Russian agenda,” a Belgian official told another local media outlet, Le Soir.

The Belgian media also described the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ and the ‘Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK)’ – two Kiev-backed militant groups that are said to be in possession of Western arms – as groups that have “neo-Nazi” members within their ranks. The RDK and the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ were responsible for several incursions into Russian territory in March and May 2023. Photos and videos published by the militants from their raid last month, as well as images released by the Russian Defense Ministry in the wake of the clashes with the militants, suggested that their sabotage groups made use of US and Polish armored vehicles, as well as Belgian and Czech assault rifles. The Pentagon and the US State Department expressed doubts regarding the authenticity of the images.

On Saturday, the Washington Post reported, citing sources linked to US intelligence, that the militants did use weapons and heavy equipment supplied to Kiev by their Western backers. The May raid ended up with the Russian forces killing “over 70 Ukrainian terrorists” and destroying “four armored combat vehicles, and five pickup trucks,” the Russian Defense Ministry said at that time. The incursion resulted in one civilian death and 12 injuries, according to Russian authorities. On Sunday, the two militant groups sought to launch another cross-border raid into Russia’s Belgorod Region, its governor said. The militants were “dispersed” and pushed back into Ukrainian territory, the defense ministry said later the same day.

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He was Obama’s physician too. Bet he was listened to back then.

Biden’s Health Is A National Security Issue – Ex-White House Doctor (RT)

The White House is guilty of “malpractice” for allowing President Joe Biden to seek re-election while in such a state of physical and mental decline, former White House physician and Republican Congressman Ronny Jackson has told Fox News. Biden tripped and fell while leaving the stage after a commencement ceremony at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado on Thursday. Although the White House said Biden was “fine,” and had been surprised by a sandbag on stage, video footage showed the president apparently needing directions to find his way to the podium in the first place. “I don’t wanna sound like a broken record, but I’m just going to say it again: This man’s not fit mentally or physically to be our president, and it’s a bad situation for us,” Jackson told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Friday.

“I think his lack of physical ability and his physical decline is now starting to highlight the cognitive decline that we’ve been watching for so long now,” Jackson continued. “It’s a package that just doesn’t sell around the world, and it’s becoming a national security issue for us.”Jackson, who served as White House physician to Donald Trump and Barack Obama, has repeatedly warned about Biden’s mental health, declaring earlier this year that the 80-year-old president “doesn’t know where he’s at half the time and every day he brings us closer to an all-out war with Russia and China.” According to a recent NPR poll, 62% of Americans believe that Biden’s mental fitness is “a real concern about his ability to be president,” with 36% of Democrats and 69% of independents agreeing with this statement.

A Washington Post poll taken at the beginning of May also found that 62% of voters believe Biden to be in too poor a physical condition to serve effectively. Biden is already the oldest commander-in-chief ever to lead the US, and if elected in 2024 will be 86 years old leaving office. It “is just malpractice on part of the White House in the West Wing to allow this to be happening, for him to even be talking about running for another term,” Jackson told Hannity. “Somebody needs to be held accountable. People like Jill Biden and people that surround him and are supposed to love him and care about him, they should be doing something about this, and they should be stopping this because it’s a shame.”

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Breton: “I am the enforcer. I represent the law, which is the will of the state and the people..”

Idiot.

EU Desperate To Clamp Down On Musk’s Free Speech As ‘Disinformation’ (Marsden)

European Union officials are having a meltdown, all because Twitter CEO Elon Musk has withdrawn the platform from a “voluntary” EU code of conduct for tech firms to combat so-called “disinformation.” And they have yet to cite a single actual example of it. EU Internal Markets Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted, “You can run, but you can’t hide,” citing a legal obligation to prevent disinformation from August. He’s basically treating Musk, a guy who builds rockets and cars in America, like an unruly schoolchild, with Brussels in the role of the principal. French Digital Minister Jean-Noel Barrot even threatened to ban Twitter from the EU in a recent interview, citing the “grave” threat of disinformation. They’re basically accusing Musk of pre-crime, like in the movie ‘Minority Report’ where Tom Cruise’s character is chased down by the state before having committed an offense.

The EU is seeking to bring the very long arm of its authoritarianism down on Musk and other private tech players – however far outside the EU they might actually be – who refuse to abide by Brussels’ “Code of Practice on Disinformation,” concocted in 2018 and revised last year. Breton is even heading to Silicon Valley to check in on them. “I am the enforcer. I represent the law, which is the will of the state and the people,” he said about his trip. Sounds like Mr. Enforcer could use a good humbling from the people he purports to represent, and what better way for it to be delivered than through Musk, who envisions Twitter as the voice of the people and a platform for truly free expression. By withdrawing from the code, Musk is just the latest example of what seems to be a trend.

Facebook’s parent company Meta has already laid off moderators. Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, and others have also cut into their watchdog departments, citing cost-cutting measures. Perhaps policing narratives is bad for business. You have to wonder, though – if joining this EU pact is optional, then what exactly is the big deal? It’s not like there’s any guarantee that any of the signatories are actually reducing what the EU considers as disinformation. In fact, the whole concept of top-down policing of information flow raises suspicion about the potential marginalization of views and debates that oppose the establishment narrative. According to this EU code, tech platforms like Twitter are connected with “fact-checkers, civil society, and third-party organizations with specific expertise on disinformation.” The policy document adds that platforms also must report to an EU “Code Taskforce,” monitoring their efforts. Given that any such actors would implicitly have the EU’s stamp of approval, it’s not a stretch to imagine that they could effectively end up acting as enforcers or gatekeepers of the establishment narrative.

Musk himself is no stranger to this kind of systemic collusion between state actors and platforms to the detriment of contradictory debate and free information flow. It was his own release of the Twitter Files in the wake of his acquisition of the platform that brought to light the collusion between Twitter and Western government authorities to manipulate and censor public debate over Covid-19, for example, or to coordinate on certain narratives about geopolitical competitors (like Russia) – all under the guise of fighting “disinformation.” Speaking of which, it didn’t take long after Musk’s withdrawal from the disinfo code for the EU’s vice president for values and transparency – an Orwellian title, if there ever was one – to suggest that the ultimate beneficiary of Musk’s actions in withdrawing from the code wasn’t free speech and debate, but rather Russia.

“Bye, bye birdie,” Vera Jourova said. “Twitter has chosen a hard way to comply with our digital laws. Russia’s disinformation is dangerous and it is irresponsible to leave EU’s anti-disinformation code.” Right, because all facts and analysis that don’t align with the Western agenda has to be Russian, as these folks see it. The reasoning is just a step away from proclaiming Musk to be some kind of useful idiot for Russia, despite him also being a major Pentagon contractor.

Elon BBee
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665510653384163329
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665522404766957568

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Lawyer “sundance” has a elaborate theory. Can’t say I’m overly covinced.

Elon Musk Uses Team DeSantis Twitter Community Notes to Undermine Trump (CTH)

The issue of Twitter’s financial status speaks to the motives of Musk that later surface – like his relationship with Fox News billionaire Rupert Murdoch. Once you see the connections, suddenly everything makes sense. Musk and Murdoch have intersecting interests. Elon Musk is in desperate need of revenue for his social media platform Twitter. By his own admissions, Twitter is currently in the red on an annual basis between $1.5 to $4.0 billion; that may go as high as $5 billion, depending on what happens over the next six months. Currently losing $100 million/mo, Musk is limited on how much he can pull from his other companies to support Twitter, and with $1.5 billion in debt service alone on the $12.5 billion borrowed for the Twitter purchase, Musk needs an income stream quickly.

Advertising revenue has dropped 50%. This is the motive for Musk to hire Linda Jaccarino, the former head of NBC Universal advertising, to bring urgently needed revenue to a platform currently considered too extreme for the DEI-minded corporate advertising executives. Musk is also captive to contracts with Bezos’ Amazon (AWS) and Google cloud services for platform data processing support. Those very expensive contracts – $1 billion and $2 billion respectively – do not expire until 2025. In short, Musk needs revenue. For Twitter, this reality drives his decision-making. Enter, Rupert Murdoch. Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and Harper Collins book publishing. Murdoch wants to control the outcome of the 2024 election and strongly supports Ron DeSantis on behalf of his Wall Street allies.

Murdoch financed DeSantis through the Harper Collins book deal, and Murdoch has turned his media outlets into advanced PR for the DeSantis campaign. The Murdoch media approach includes lengthy and friendly broadcast Fox News appearances, interviews and pundit advocacy, while the print side spins favorable stories. The Wall Street Journal and New York Post are doing the same. It is a full-court press to support DeSantis on behalf of the interests of Murdoch et al. Keep in mind, the RNC has given Fox News control over the kickoff GOP debate. Elon Musk needs money; this is not in question. Rupert Murdoch, supporting Ron DeSantis, wants control of the 2024 election outcome; also, this is not in question. These two facets form the baseline of a common interest.

Elon Musk launches the DeSantis campaign via Twitter Spaces – not accidental. Musk then uses his platform control mechanisms to amplify DeSantis and counteract the strong and visible platform support for Donald Trump. What outlet pushes the narrative that flows from the operation? Rupert Murdoch. NEW YORK POST – “Donald Trump’s 2024 election campaign’s claims are already being hit with Twitter’s new “community notes,” which fact-check or offer context to dubious posts. In May alone, Team Trump and their surrogates were slapped with community notes on at least seven occasions — and were often cited for posting flat-out lies.” Christina Pushaw is a registered foreign agent working for the DeSantis campaign. Ms. Pushaw went from working in Ukraine, for Volodymyr Zelenskyy, directly to working in Florida as Ron DeSantis’ press secretary.

Pushaw was the person who gathered the “influence operation” over the past two years on behalf of the DeSantis 2024 operation. That operation was visible in 2022, denied in 2022, then finally admitted two weeks ago. Now working for the DeSantis campaign, Christina Pushaw – a fellow traveler from the George Soros network and schooling – has organized the same type of influence campaign used in Ukraine to support Zelenskyy, only this time she is exploiting social media and specifically Twitter. This is why she spent so much time recruiting ‘influencers’ in 2021 and 2022, and even tried to deny she was doing it.

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Cause: vaxx mandates and vaxx injuries.

American Airlines Struggles With Pilot Deficit, Grounds 150 Aircraft (ET)

American Airlines, a leading carrier based in Fort Worth, is currently grappling with a significant challenge. The airline is unable to operate approximately 150 of its regional aircraft due to a persistent shortage of pilots, as revealed by CEO Robert Isom. Speaking at the Bernstein 39th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, Isom stated, “We would deploy properly to markets that aren’t being served. We would do that today. It’s just we don’t have the pilots.” This issue arises at a time when the airline industry is witnessing a record demand for travel, particularly during the summer season. However, the capacity to meet this demand is constrained by the lack of pilots, leading to grounded planes and missed opportunities to capitalize on high ticket prices. Isom noted that the situation is more severe than the previous year when the pilot shortage began to significantly affect regional airlines as demand rebounded following the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking ahead, Isom shared that American Airlines expects to acquire more pilots for its regional network over the next 18 to 24 months. Once these pilots are onboard, the grounded aircraft will be reintroduced into service in a manner that is expected to generate favorable unit revenues. He stated, “American anticipates getting more pilots over the next 18 to 24 months for the regional network, and those aircraft would be put back into service in a fashion that is going to produce unit revenues that are very favorable.” However, the challenge of pilot shortage is not unique to American Airlines. The airline industry as a whole is projected to face a deficit of nearly 80,000 pilots by 2032, as per a report by Oliver Wyman.

[..] The Biden administration put pressure on airlines to require vaccines as part of a broader strategy to boost inoculation rates in the country in October 2021. “While we are still working through the details of the federal requirements, it is clear that team members who choose to remain unvaccinated will not be able to work at American Airlines,” Doug Parker, American Airlines chief executive, told employees in an Oct. 1, 2021 memo. According to a group of attorneys, doctors, and other experts—and a pilot who says his career ended due to adverse reactions from a vaccine—the Federal Aviation Administration has been breaking its own rule that states pilots should not fly after having taken medications that have been approved for less than a year, The Epoch Times reported in December 2021.

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Almost funny.

What Are German Fighter Pilots Doing in China? (Spiegel)

Bundeswehr fighter pilots usually enter retirement at 41, an age at which reflexes tend to grow duller and vision worse. Those who begin flying for the German Air Force at the age of 20 receive half of their final monthly salary as a pension once they reach 41. Most former pilots find it insufficient and look for secondary employment. The training of pilots in China began just over 10 years ago, with a former Bundeswehr pilot declaring a position at the Test Flying Academy of South Africa, which trains Chinese pilots. Sources in Berlin say the pilot did not transgress any formal restrictions with the move and point out that China at the time was not seen as an authoritarian rival. Germany was also providing official training to Chinese officers at the time. The naivete of this approach became clearer than ever last fall, when Australia arrested the American pilot Daniel Duggan.

He stands accused of having trained Chinese pilots, just like his German counterparts – allegations which Duggan denies. He is currently behind bars and may be extradited to the United States. British agencies also sounded the alarm last fall. According to a British Defense Ministry announcement, up to 30 former Royal Air Force officers are thought to have provided training to Chinese fighter pilots in the last several years. They received the princely salary of 280,000 euros each for their services. Because the pilots violated no applicable laws, London announced it would be introducing a legal reform. American investigators believe that the imprisoned pilot Duggan was recruited by the Chinese company Lode Tech, which was founded by businessman Su Bin, the son of an officer in the People’s Liberation Army. Su lived for many years in Canada, where he operated an aviation company with 80 employees.

As later became clear, he also spied on behalf of the Chinese state. Su developed a particularly keen interest in the construction blueprints for the C-17, a transport plane developed by Boeing for the U.S. military. In the summer of 2014, Su was arrested, subsequently confessing that he had spent six years secretly collecting information for China. He had been able to rely on an extensive network of contacts in the aviation industry, making it possible for him to identify particularly interesting engineers and other professionals for his handlers back in China. With the help of phishing emails, hackers employed by the state were then able to find their way into company computer networks. In total, they were able to steal 630,000 pieces of data related to the C-17.

Read more …

How did Germany become so belligerent?

Germany To Deploy Warships To Indo-Pacific (RT)

Germany will deploy two warships to the Indo-Pacific next year, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said at an international summit on Sunday, amid ongoing regional tensions involving China and Taiwan, as well as the disputed South China Sea. In an address at the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore on Sunday, Pistorius declared that the maritime passage, through which around 40% of Europe’s foreign trade travels, must be respected. “To this end, the German federal government sent a frigate to the Indo-Pacific in 2021, and will again, in 2024, deploy maritime assets,” Pistorius said at the conference, which was attended by many of the world’s most influential defense officials.

These assets, Pistorius said, would comprise a frigate and a supply ship – but he stressed that the maritime deployment is not being undertaken to counter actions of any specific actor in the region. “To the contrary,” he continued, “they are dedicated to the protection of the rules-based international order that we all signed up to and which we all should benefit from.” Berlin and Beijing maintain key trade links, but the deployment of the warships to the South China Sea in 2024 could potentially lead to headaches as Germany seeks to juggle its security and economic interests.

In 2021, a German warship was deployed to the region for the first time in almost two decades. Other Western countries have also increased their military presence in the area amid concerns about Beijing’s territorial objectives, particularly in relation to Taiwan. Beijing has asserted that the South China Sea is its exclusive maritime zone. However, about seven years ago, a tribunal under the terms of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea firmly rejected Beijing’s territorial claim to the waters. Despite this, China has installed military outposts on at least three islands in the sea.

Last month, Beijing expressed its “significant displeasure” at a visit by German government minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger to Taiwan – which Beijing views as a breakaway province. China has frequently rebuked Western nations for engaging in diplomacy with leaders in Taipei, which it views as a part of its sovereign territory under the ‘One-China’ principle. On Saturday at the same conference in Singapore, Pistorius said he had “made it clear” to Beijing that he expected China to end its practice of enlisting former German military pilots to help train its own forces. This followed a report by German news magazine Spiegel on Friday, which said China had been receiving such training for years, and that security officials in Berlin were concerned that the military knowledge of German and NATO forces were being discussed.

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The only newsworthy part of the long article is at the bottom: it was all scripted.

Lawmaker Probing J6: ‘People Of Interest’ May Have Withheld Critical Intel (JTN)

Loudermilk also revealed that he is reviewing the work of the Democrat-led House Jan. 6 investigative committee that wrapped up its work last year, and has found some shocking evidence that much of its public hearings were stage managed. “We found out in the in the documents that I acquired from the Jan. 6 committee is the written script of every member of the committee. Just like you would have on a teleprompter or if you memorize a script for a movie,” he said. “And so every single aspect of their hearings was scripted for a Hollywood type of emotional appeal to the American people.”


He said Republicans now running the House administration committee are taking a different approach to elicit facts, no emotion. “We just recently had a hearing with the chief of the Capitol Police. There was nothing scripted about it,” he said. “We did have certain questions that we wanted to ask, but each member had their questions. The chief wasn’t given a script in advance. … These hearings from the January 6 Select Committee were Hollywood productions.”

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Voluntary? There’s some pressure being applied.

OPEC+ Countries To Perform Voluntary Production Cuts — Novak (TASS)

Commitments on voluntary reduction of oil production assumed by certain OPEC+ countries will be honored, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on the air with the Rossiya-24 TV channel. “The agreement has performance above the target lately because there is a range of counties not taking up their quotas. As regards the decisions made on voluntary reduction since May, third party source data will be available in mid-June but we see from discussions, from the exchange of opinions between heads of delegations, that these agreements are performed, including Russia performing in full scope. That is why I am confident that the reduction announced additionally since May 1 will be implemented,” Novak said. Russia will extend its voluntary oil production cut by 500,000 barrels daily until the end of December 2024, the deputy prime minister said earlier.

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The tightest Fed and ECB policy in 15 years is colliding with high leverage built upon stretched margins..”

Wave Of Defaults Looming – Deutsche Bank (RT)

A cycle of boom and bust will return this year and a wave of corporate debt defaults is imminent, particularly in the US and Europe, Deutsche Bank has warned. According to the bank’s annual study released on Wednesday, defaults by companies will become more commonplace compared with the last 20 years. Deutsche expects default rates to peak in the fourth quarter of 2024. The bank projected peak default rates to reach 9% for US high-yield debt, 11.3% for US loans, 4.4% for European high-yield bonds, and 7.3% for European loans. The estimated US loan peak default rate is a near all-time high, compared to a peak of 12% during the 2007-2008 global financial crisis and 7.7% during the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, the study showed.

“Our cycle indicators signal a default wave is imminent,” Deutsche economists wrote. “The tightest Fed and ECB policy in 15 years is colliding with high leverage built upon stretched margins. And tactically, our US credit cycle gauge is producing its highest non-pandemic warning signal to investors, since before the GFC [Global Financial Crisis].” Strategists noted that the magnitude and length of the cycle could come as a surprise. “Although our forecasts just presume a return of the Boom Bust cycle, not a GFC-style shock,” they added.

Aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks, including the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank as they continue to fight runaway inflation, have raised global recession risks, Deutsche warned. The EU’s largest economy, Germany, has already entered recession. “We suspect the next recession will be the first since the US tech bubble to inflict more pain on credit markets than the real economy,” experts cautioned. “Corporate leverage is elevated. And global credit markets derive more of their revenue from manufacturing and the sale of physical goods than the real economy at large,” they concluded.

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Who cares what the judge orders?

Police Omitted Folder Called ‘CIA’ From Laptop Of Assange Spy (El Pais)

David Morales — the owner of the Spanish security company that spied on Julian Assange during his prolonged stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London — kept the work he did for the CIA on his laptop. It was all marked under the initials of the U.S. intelligence agency, according to a new examination of his MacBook, to which EL PAÍS has had access to. The word “CIA” appears several times on a Western Digital-branded external hard drive, on which Morales kept the projects and operations that his company — UC Global, S.L. — was contracted to deliver. Morales’ personal files, which were previously unknown to investigators, builds on the allegations and evidence that Morales — a former Spanish soldier — spied on the meetings that the WikiLeaks founder and his lawyers held at the Embassy of Ecuador to the United Kingdom, and sent that information to the U.S. intelligence agency.

These files were stored on a number of folders marked with the terms “CIA,” “Embassy” and “Videos,” along with other labels. The appearance of this new evidence has been a surprise in the case against Morales in Spain’s High Court, the Audiencia Nacional. None of these computer records previously appeared in the initial copy made by the police, when officers categorized the material seized from the security contractor when he was arrested in September 2019. All of this material was uploaded to a cloud storage system within the judicial systems, so that all parties involved in the case could review it. The arrest and indictment of Morales took place weeks after an investigation by EL PAÍS revealed the videos and audios that UC Global employees had recorded while the Australian was preparing his defense with his lawyers.

The discovery of these new clues about the CIA’s spying on the cyberactivist — who remains imprisoned in a London jail — is no accident. Assange’s lawyers found problems when downloading the records uploaded to the cloud. They managed to get Judge Santiago Pedraz — who is overseeing the case — to authorize a second copy of the material seized by the agents. A new digital document dump offered a clear picture that the police had not pieced together. Now, a report by the experts called by Assange’s lawyers credits the appearance of “a very relevant volume of material, which was not included in the original [police] copy.” Forensic analysis describes the copy of the hard drive as containing “multiple pieces of evidence.” In this second dump, the mentioned folders have appeared, including the one that UC Global labelled as “CIA.”

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David Martin

 

 


We have been going through a Long Singularity for a century and a half. To put that in context, as species, we spent 19,960 centuries making better types of stone hand axes. It isn’t surprising that it feels hard to keep up. https://www.oneusefulthing.org/p/becoming-strange-in-the-long-singularity

 

 

Mickey
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665048200149979139

 

 

Kingfisher

 

 

Duck

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 012023
 
 June 1, 2023  Posted by at 8:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Odilon Redon Wild Flowers in a Vase c1910

 

Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To NATO – FT (RT)
Macron Wants ‘Tangible’ Security Guarantees For Ukraine (RT)
West May Change Aid To Ukraine If Conflict Becomes Protracted – Macron (TASS)
Zelensky and Macron Planning ‘Peace Summit’ Without Russia – WSJ (RT)
US Statements On Moscow Drone Attack Encourage Kiev Terrorists – Envoy (TASS)
Britain ‘De Facto’ At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)
Russian Forces Wipe Out Last Ukrainian Combat Ship In Odessa (TASS)
Annexation Of Kharkov – Ukraine To Shrink Westward (Helmer)
OPEC Snubs Major Western News Outlets (RT)
Xi Jinping Warns Of ‘Worst-Case’ Situation (SCMP)
The Sultan 2.0 Will Heavily Tilt East (Pepe Escobar)
Epstein Pal Jes Staley Throws Jamie Dimon Under The Bus (ZH)
Jamie Dimon Hints At Run For Public Office; Bill Ackman Endorses Him (ZH)
Six Texas Attorney General Aides Take Leave Of Absence To Defend Paxton (JTN)
Judge Breathes New Life Into Clinton Foundation Whistleblower Case (JTN)
FBI Chief Wray Rolls Dice With Congress Over Contempt (JTN)
Fifty Years Later, Free Speech No Longer Exists In The West (Rabkin)
Australian Garlic Kills Covid-19, Says Doherty Institute (AFR)

 

 

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Death wish in disguise- Patrick Moore

 

 

 

 

Dan Bishop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Zelensky, but the US.

Zelensky Issues Ultimatum To NATO – FT (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky will skip a NATO meeting in Lithuania in July unless the alliance provides Kiev with the security guarantees it wants, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Zelensky has “made clear to NATO leaders that he will not attend the Vilnius summit without concrete security guarantees and a road map for accession,” the newspaper said. Ukraine formally applied to join the US-led bloc in September 2022, arguing that the collective defense it provides to members is necessary for Kiev’s security against Russia. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty stipulates that an armed attack against one NATO member “shall be considered an attack against them all.”

While Ukraine’s bid has been strongly endorsed by the Nordic and Baltic states, as well as Poland, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested on Wednesday that Kiev could be offered “something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership.” FT cited four unnamed officials in April as saying that the US and Germany were against offering Kiev “deeper ties” to the alliance, including a potential roadmap. “We will look for ways to support Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations but right now the immediate needs in Ukraine are practical and so we should be focused on building Ukraine’s defense and deterrence capabilities,” Dereck Hogan, the top State Department official responsible for European affairs, said last month.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, who will host the NATO event on July 11-12, was quoted by Reuters as saying on Friday that it would be “very sad” if anyone could interpret the outcome of the Vilnius summit as “a victory of Russia.” Moscow views NATO’s eastward expansion as a threat to its national security and has cited the bloc’s open-door policy as a reason for the military conflict with Ukraine. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said recently that Ukraine’s neutrality was one of the conditions for a lasting peace between Ukraine and Russia.

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Macron wants Article 5 without mentioning it.

Macron Wants ‘Tangible’ Security Guarantees For Ukraine (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has argued that Ukraine is “protecting Europe” and should be provided security guarantees by NATO. “That is why I’m in favor .. to offer tangible and credible security guarantees to Ukraine,” Macron said on Wednesday at a forum in Bratislava, Slovakia. He added that it would be in the interest of NATO members to provide such assurances while Kiev awaits approval to join the Western military alliance. France and other Western powers have provided billions of dollars’ worth of military aid to Ukraine since the conflict with Russia began in February 2022. But they have stopped short of offering the blanket protection afforded to NATO members. Article 5 of the bloc’s founding treaty stipulates that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all.


“We have to build something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership,” Macron said. The French president, who once described the Brussels-based alliance as “braindead,” said the Ukraine crisis had “jolted NATO awake.” Macron called on the bloc’s members to “intensify” military aid to Kiev so it would have everything it needs for an effective counter-offensive against the Russian forces. While acknowledging that US contributions have been key in enabling Ukraine to defend itself, Macron argued that Europe must build up its own defense industry rather than relying on Washington for protection. Polish leaders have criticized Macron in the past for negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggesting that the West should avoid “humiliating” Russia. Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly said that it views NATO’s expansion eastward as a threat and has named Ukraine’s neutrality as one of the conditions for a lasting peace.

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It will. It can’t afford it.

West May Change Aid To Ukraine If Conflict Becomes Protracted – Macron (TASS)

The West may reconsider its aid for Ukraine, if the conflict turns into a protracted one, French President Emmanuel Macron said during the Globsec international security conference in Bratislava, adding that high hopes are being placed on the potential Ukrainian counter-offensive. “We prepare for this conflict to become protracted, to the consequences of such development of events,” he said. “We must prepare the public opinion for long-term support of Ukraine in a high-and medium-intensity conflict in accordance with the situation. To that extent we must reconsider and analyze the nature of our support together with our partners during this summer, and to realize what we need to achieve the desired result.” Meanwhile, the French leader refrained from publicly discussing the perspectives in case of failure of the expected Ukrainian counter-offensive, expressing his hope that it will be successful.

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Everything about this is certifiably nuts. Take this beauty:

“..Zelensky’s top adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, demanded that China “make a choice” to back Ukraine and the West or “lose its influence” in world affairs..”

Zelensky and Macron Planning ‘Peace Summit’ Without Russia – WSJ (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelennsky and his European patrons are organizing a summit to build support for Kiev’s peace plan, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The plan’s demands have been deemed unacceptable by Russia, and the document has been met with indifference by non-Western leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron has offered to host the summit in Paris, while the governments of Denmark and Sweden have also put themselves forward as hosts, the newspaper reported. Although no guest list has emerged, European officials have reached out to Brazil, India, China, and other non-Western countries, with one anonymous diplomat stating that “no Russians” would be invited, “but everybody else will be welcomed.”

“We require a unified plan of the responsible civilized world that really wants to live in peace,” Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, told the Wall Street Journal. Russia has already emphatically rejected Ukraine’s so-called pace plan. Published late last year, the plan demands that Russia hand back the territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye to Kiev, while also relinquishing control of Crimea, which voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation in 2014. The plan also demands that Russia pay reparations to Ukraine and hand over its officials to face international tribunals. It is highly unlikely that a European summit to which Russia is not invited, organized by countries currently bankrolling the Ukrainian military, will change any minds in the Kremlin. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated last week that the Ukrainian plan essentially involves “the capitulation of Russia.”

European officials are aware of this, and told the Wall Street Journal that they plan on watering down Ukraine’s plan to “make it more acceptable” to non-Western powers such as Brazil, China, India, and Saudi Arabia, if not to Russia itself. Yermak acknowledged that the peace process “is not possible without the whole world, including the leaders of the Global South,” and Zelensky has recently made overtures to the non-Western world, addressing the Arab League in Saudi Arabia this month and speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping the month before. However, this outreach has come across ham-fisted at times, with Zelensky accusing Arab League members of succumbing to “Russian influence,” before skipping out on a meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the G7 summit in Japan.

Last month, Zelensky’s top adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, demanded that China “make a choice” to back Ukraine and the West or “lose its influence” in world affairs. China has released its own 12-point peace plan, which despite being rejected by the US and its NATO allies, has found favor in much of the world, including Russia. Lula has backed Beijing’s plan, while a coalition of African leaders has urged Ukraine to agree to a ceasefire followed by peace talks, which Kiev has refused to do unless Moscow’s troops withdraw to Russia’s pre-conflict borders.

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“The United States is consciously and irretrievably descending into the abyss of hostilities in Europe. By the way, to generate confrontation between NATO and Russia is an old-cherished dream of Nazi radicals in Kiev.”

US Statements On Moscow Drone Attack Encourage Kiev Terrorists – Envoy (TASS)

Washington’s statements on the terrorist drone attack on Moscow encourage Ukrainian terrorists, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said. “We have taken note of Washington’s statements regarding the terrorist attack in Moscow involving drones. In fact, they sound like an encouragement for Ukrainian terrorists,” the envoy said, “Just consider the US officials’ attempts to hide behind the phrase that they are gathering information about what happened! And then they immediately switch to a media attack against our country.” “So really, doesn’t the administration understand that no one believes their slogans about non-support of Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory?! Especially, when these words are pronounced somehow bashfully and hesitantly,” the ambassador pointed out,

“The United States is consciously and irretrievably descending into the abyss of hostilities in Europe. By the way, to generate confrontation between NATO and Russia is an old-cherished dream of Nazi radicals in Kiev.” According to Antonov, the abovementioned terrorist attack of the Kiev regime “was senseless from a military perspective.” “The assault was inflicted on the residential buildings of ordinary Russian citizens. This onslaught unequivocally and without exaggeration must be considered as an act of terrorism,” the Russian diplomat pointed out. Ukrainian drones attacked Moscow and the Moscow Region on Tuesday morning.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the attack involved eight unmanned aerial vehicles, five of which were shot down by the Pantsir-S missile system and the remaining three were suppressed by electronic warfare. Two people in Moscow sought medical attention for minor injuries. A number of buildings sustained minor damage. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a regular briefing on Tuesday that the American side does not support Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory with the use of US-made weapons. According to the press secretary, Washington publicly and privately communicates this to Kiev. Jean-Pierre also pointed out that the US is allegedly gathering information on the incident.

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“..based on international law, “including the Hague and Geneva Conventions with their additional protocols,” Britain “can also be qualified as being at war.”

Britain ‘De Facto’ At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has described the UK as waging an “undeclared war” against Russia. The comment came after Britain’s foreign secretary condoned a large-scale drone attack on Moscow earlier this week. In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Medvedev accused London of being Moscow’s “eternal enemy.” The former leader, who currently serves as deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, claimed that based on international law, “including the Hague and Geneva Conventions with their additional protocols,” Britain “can also be qualified as being at war.” The former president argued that by providing Ukraine with weapons and training, the UK “de facto is leading an undeclared war against Russia.” Medvedev hinted that this could have direct ramifications for “public officials” in Britain.

His tweet cited remarks made on Tuesday by UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who said Ukraine has the right to “project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia’s ability to project force into Ukraine itself.” Cleverly further claimed that striking “legitimate military targets” in Russia is an acceptable part of Ukraine’s self-defense. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, eight UAVs were detected in Moscow’s airspace on Tuesday morning, in what officials described as a “terrorist attack” by Kiev. The ministry reported that three drones were suppressed by electronic warfare measures and deviated from their intended course before crashing, while the other five were shot down by Pantsir-S air defense systems outside the city.

Several residential buildings sustained superficial damage and two people suffered minor injuries as a result of the raid. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Kiev of launching the attack in an attempt to avenge a recent series of Russian missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian airfields, ammunition dumps, and “decision-making centers.” Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed on Tuesday that the headquarters of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) had been among the targets hit in the strikes.

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“The Ukrainian Navy operated about 25 combat ships, including five patrol and six artillery boats before Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine.”

Russian Forces Wipe Out Last Ukrainian Combat Ship In Odessa (TASS)

Russia’s Aerospace Forces destroyed the last Ukrainian combat ship in the Odessa port in the special military operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Wednesday. “On May 29, the Ukrainian Navy’s last combat ship Yury Olefirenko was destroyed as a result of a strike by the Russian Aerospace Forces’ precision weapons against the anchorage of naval ships in the Odessa port,” the spokesman said. The Ukrainian Navy operated about 25 combat ships, including five patrol and six artillery boats before Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine.


In addition, the Ukrainian Navy’s combat assets included the Gola Pristan anti-saboteur boat and the Svatovo assault boat. Upon Kiev’s attempt to storm Snake Island in the Black Sea on May 9 last year, Russian forces sank three Ukrainian Centaur-class armored assault boats and each of them could have carried a marine infantry platoon. The Ukrainian Navy also operated nine armored gunboats, one of which, the Akkerman, was abandoned by the crew in Berdyansk, according to information of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily. The Vinnitsa corvette and the Yury Olefirenko medium amphibious assault ship were sunk.

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Cato: Carthago delenda est – “Carthage must be destroyed” – was a Roman strategic aim 2,200 years ago. It was regularly repeated in his public speeches by Marcus Porcius Cato in his advocacy of putting an end to the Punic Wars by destroying the Carthaginian adversary entirely, not just militarily, so that it could never rise again to challenge Roman power. The opposition slogan was Carthago servanda est – “Carthage must be saved”. Its author, Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum, meant don’t rule by force if it can be avoided..

Annexation Of Kharkov – Ukraine To Shrink Westward (Helmer)

Because Russia is the only functioning democracy on the two sides of this war, where military tactics and war aims are openly argued in parliament and the media, the debate between the Cato delenda war aim, and the Corculum servanda war aim is an active one. Sworn to destroy President Vladimir Putin, the Russian army and economy, the US, European and western allies misinterpret this debate to be vacillation and vulnerability. Dialectically speaking, this encourages the Cato line faction in Moscow at the expense of the Corculum line faction. In this way the US and NATO axis provokes its own defeat. This process has taken the war well beyond the 300-kilometre range of some of the US, French or British weapons which have been deployed and fired to date. The debate over the 300-km westward defence line was winding up in Russia, not beginning, when winter started last year.

Medvedev made this official last week, following the intensification of artillery, rocket, and drone attacks on Russian cities, including Moscow. This week the governor of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, went further. Then yesterday President Putin tried to pull Gladkov and Medvedev back in line — that’s the Corculum line, not the Cato line. “We live in a state of de facto war. Whether we like it or not, it’s happening,” Gladkov said on the Rossiya 24 television channel. Asked what can be done to increase public security in the Russian border regions, he said one option is “to attach Kharkov to Belgorod Region. This is the best way to solve the issue of the shelling of Belgorod Region.” That was a public, political challenge to the Kremlin. It was polite compared to those who use other names when they mean to criticize Putin’s conduct of the war.

Governor Gladkov is a southerner by birth, education, and career. Born in the Penza region, he has worked in high administrative posts in Penza, Crimea, Stavropol, and for almost three years now in Belgorod. The first Kremlin reply to Gladkov was Dmitry Peskov’s, the spokesman. He was opposed, he intimated, to annexation of more regions along the front line by repeating the restrictive limits of the war. “This already belongs to the category of issues related to the conduct of Special Military Operation. Therefore, I cannot comment on this in any way.” Peskov said in his piece on Monday morning. On Tuesday afternoon, after Ukrainian drones had landed in Moscow, Putin said more; he also said the same thing. “We all had to respond by launching the special military operation. We are striking at the territory of Ukraine, but with long-range precision weapons, at military infrastructure facilities only, either at ammunition or fuel and lubricants warehouses used for combat operations. We have talked about the possibility of striking at decision-making centres. Of course, the headquarters of Ukrainian military intelligence is one of them, and a strike at this target was carried out two or three days ago.”

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“..Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was behind the exclusion of prominent news organizations..”

OPEC Snubs Major Western News Outlets (RT)

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has refused to invite reporters from Bloomberg News and Reuters to its event in Austria later this week, both outlets said on Wednesday. Correspondents from the Wall Street Journal were also snubbed, according to Reuters and Bloomberg. Though staff from the three media agencies typically cover major OPEC meetings, Bloomberg said that this time organizers decided to send invitations directly to reporters, as opposed to providing accreditation to any journalist seeking to attend an event. “We are disappointed that Reuters has not been invited,” a spokesperson said, adding that the agency has “reached out to OPEC for clarity on the matter.” “We believe that a free press serves readers, markets and the public interest,” the spokesperson added.

Bloomberg said it had contacted the OPEC secretariat, but received no reply. The agencies are still expected to send reporters to Austria, even if they cannot access the OPEC Secretariat, where ministers meet, according to the Financial Times (FT), which noted that it did receive an invitation. The newspaper added that Dow Jones was also denied an invitation. FT cited people familiar with the matter as saying Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was behind the exclusion of prominent news organizations. Reporters from other outlets, including CNBC, as well as pricing agencies Argus and Platts, told Reuters that they were invited to the Vienna event.

OPEC – along with its partners in the broader OPEC+ bloc, which includes Russia – have been under pressure to support Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine. OPEC members have worked with Russia to reach an agreement on coordinated production cuts, which drew criticism from Washington. OPEC members will gather on Saturday and Sunday for a regular biannual meeting to determine next steps after US crude prices dropped below $70 per barrel this week. The decline comes despite an agreement to further slash production in April, expanding output cuts initially set last year.

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“No matter how many dialogues, there will be no fundamental improvement [they have said]. I think it is a very honest assessment.”

Xi Jinping Warns Of ‘Worst-Case’ Situation (SCMP)

China is facing more complex and difficult national security concerns, President Xi Jinping warned on Tuesday, in comments analysts said showed the country harboured no “illusions” about the possible damaging effects of its rivalry with the US and had little hope of a lasting improvement in ties. The remarks from Xi came as he chaired a meeting of the National Security Commission, his first since securing an unprecedented third term as leader of China’s ruling Communist Party at its 20th congress in October. Xi heads both the commission and the Chinese military. He said the country’s security apparatus needed to stay “keenly aware” of the complicated and challenging circumstances facing national security, and correctly grasp major related issues, according to state news agency Xinhua.

The national security issues facing China were “considerably more complex and much more difficult” to deal with, Xinhua reported Xi as saying, as he urged officials to be ready to deal with “worst-case and most extreme scenarios”, so that they could withstand “high winds and waves and even perilous storms”. Xi’s remarks come as rival powers China and the United States continue to lock horns on many fronts. Both sides have stepped up national security scrutiny, especially in the technology sector, with the US slapping sanctions on a slew of Chinese companies in the past few years citing security concerns. In March, in a rare public comment on the US tech rivalry, Xi directly named Washington for leading the Western suppression of China. China recently prohibited its key infrastructure operators from buying products made by US memory chip maker Micron Technology, citing “relatively serious” cybersecurity risks.

[..] Xi had also sounded a warning then about choppy waters and “dangerous storms” ahead, as he highlighted the challenges and risks facing the country. According to Xie Maosong, senior fellow at Beijing’s Taihe Institute and a senior researcher at Tsinghua University’s National Strategy Institute, Xi’s latest remarks showed China had “no rosy illusions” about the potentially devastating outcome of the US rivalry and was making serious efforts to prepare for it. “The ‘worst-case scenarios’ might include a nuclear war, a devastating war that ruins China’s coastal economic belts [or] Western sanctions on China’s energy, finance and food supply,” Xie said. [..] Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said Xi’s remarks meant Beijing was convinced that recent minor improvements in Sino-US relations would be short-lived.

“Xi has named the US as the culprit behind China’s problems,” Wu said. “Some mainland scholars have also openly expressed pessimism about the Sino-US relationship, saying the deterioration was due to domestic political dynamics in China and the US. No matter how many dialogues, there will be no fundamental improvement [they have said]. I think it is a very honest assessment.”

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On Twitter Escobar calls him the Sultan of Swing.

The Sultan 2.0 Will Heavily Tilt East (Pepe Escobar)

The collective west was dying to bury him – yet another strategic mistake that did not take into account the mood of Turkish voters in deep Anatolia. In the end, Recep Tayyip Erdogan did it – again. Against all his shortcomings, like an aging neo-Ottoman Sinatra, he did it “my way,” comfortably retaining Turkiye’s presidency after naysayers had all but buried him. The first order of geopolitical priority is who will be named Minister of Foreign Affairs. The prime candidate is Ibrahim Kalin – the current all-powerful Erdogan press secretary cum top adviser. Compared to incumbent Cavusoglu, Kalin, in theory, may be qualified as more pro-west. Yet it’s the Sultan who calls the shots. It will be fascinating to watch how Turkiye under Erdogan 2.0 will navigate the strengthening of ties with West Asia and the accelerating process of Eurasia integration.

The first immediate priority, from Erdogan’s point of view, is to get rid of the “terrorist corridor” in Syria. This means, in practice, reigning in the US-backed Kurdish YPG/PYD, who are effectively Syrian affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – which is also the issue at the heart of a possible normalization of relations with Damascus. Now that Syria has been enthusiastically welcomed back to the Arab League after a 12-year freeze, a Moscow-brokered entente between the Turkish and Syrian presidents, already in progress, may represent the ultimate win-win for Erdogan: allowing control of Kurds in north Syria while facilitating the repatriation of roughly 4 million refugees (tens of thousands will stay, as a source of cheap labor).

The Sultan is at his prime when it comes to hedging his bets between east and west. He knows well how to profit from Turkiye’s status as a key NATO member – complete with one of its largest armies, veto power, and control of the entry to the uber-strategic Black Sea. And all that while exercising real foreign policy independence, from West Asia to the Eastern Mediterranean. So expect Erdogan 2.0 to remain an inextinguishable source of irritation for the neocons and neoliberals in charge of US foreign policy, along with their EU vassals, who will never refrain from trying to subdue Ankara to fight the Russia-China-Iran Eurasia integration entente. The Sultan, though, knows how to play this game beautifully.

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Zero Hedge labels Epstein a “pedophile”??

Epstein Pal Jes Staley Throws Jamie Dimon Under The Bus (ZH)

Former JPMorgan Chase executive Jes Staley has thrown CEO Jamie Dimon under the bus over the bank’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein – claiming in legal documents that he and Dimon communicated about the convicted sex offender. Dimon maintains he had no such conversations, the Wall Street Journal reports, while Staley claims he knew about Epstein’s sex trafficking operation and that he regrets his friendship with Epstein. According to the filing, Staley says that he and Dimon communicated when Epstein was arrested in 2006 and 2008 when Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution, and served 13 months in a work-release program. Staley also claims that Dimon communicated with him several times through 2012 about whether to maintain Epstein as a client.

“There is no evidence that any such communications ever occurred—nothing in the voluminous number of documents reviewed and nothing in the nearly dozen depositions taken, including that of our own CEO,” said a spokeswoman for JPMorgan, adding that Dimon doesn’t believe such conversations with Staley ever happened. “The one person who claims this to be true is currently accused of horrific acts and dishonesty.” “The statements arose as part of a pair of lawsuits against the bank in a federal court in Manhattan. The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and an unnamed woman, who said she was abused by Epstein, sued JPMorgan last year, claiming that the bank facilitated Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking. The bank has sought to pin the bulk of the relationship on Staley and sued him claiming he misled executives about Epstein. The bank in its lawsuit identified Staley as the “powerful financial executive” accused of sexual assault by the woman who is suing JPMorgan. Staley’s lawyers have said the allegations against him are baseless.”: -WSJ

“Rather than mislead anyone about what was or was not said, why don’t they just agree to release the whole transcript?” said an Epstein accuser’s attorney, Brad Edwards, referring to Dimon’s deposition. [..] The pedophile, who became a JPMorgan client around 1998 – bringing the bank hundreds of millions of dollars, formed a close bond with Staley, who eventually oversaw JPMorgan’s investment bank. In August 2008, a few weeks after Epstein’s guilty plea, a JPMorgan employee sent an email that suggested Dimon would review the Epstein relationship, according to the U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit. The email states, “I would count Epstein’s assets as a probable outflow for ’08 ($120mm or so?) as I can’t imagine it will stay (pending Dimon review).” The bank has said that there is no record of such a review and that Dimon doesn’t recall one.” -JPMorgan

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“..all that will be needed to avoid long-term “legal complications” will be a check with several zeroes on it… or maybe some political immunity..”

Jamie Dimon Hints At Run For Public Office; Bill Ackman Endorses Him (ZH)

JPMorgan’s CEO may be getting swept up in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, but for a billionaire like Jamie Dimon, whose catch phrase is “that’s why I’m richer than you” and may as well be “that’s why I will always be freer than you”, all that will be needed to avoid long-term “legal complications” will be a check with several zeroes on it… or maybe some political immunity. Which may be why the head of the largest US bank is already hinting that after he is done gobbling up all the small and regional banks and gets tired of running JPM, he is considering running for public office. “I love my country, and maybe one day I’ll serve my country in one capacity or another,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview, when asked if he’s ever considered a public office position.

His comments, made at the bank’s annual Global China Summit in Shanghai on Wednesday, come as the US gears up for its 2024 presidential race. For now, he’s focused on his job running the largest US bank, a role he’s “quite happy” in. “I love what I do,” he said. JPMorgan does “a great job for helping Americans, for helping countries around the world.” Dimon also reiterated his view that “business can be a force for good,” and said he’s an American patriot who would follow the US government: “Everyone knows I am a patriot,” he said. “I am a red-blooded, full-throated, free enterprise capitalist.”

As BBG notes, the billionaire Wall Street banker is among a group of long-tenured Wall Street chiefs that also includes Brian Moynihan, 63, who’s led Bank of America Corp. since 2010, and Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman, 64, who became CEO at the start of 2010 and is stepping down within 12 months. Dimon, 67, who has been head of JPMorgan since 2005, has repeatedly said that he plans to remain atop the biggest US bank for five more years. And while in the past, Dimon has been quick to publicly shut down speculation that he planned a presidential run, shortly after the story about Dimon’s “public run” broke, none other than weepy Bill Ackman, who one year ago sold his NFLX impulse buy locking in losses of $400 million when he would have broken even had he sold it yesterday, endorsed Dimon for president in one of his lengthy, trademark Twitter posts.

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He does a good speech.

Six Texas Attorney General Aides Take Leave Of Absence To Defend Paxton (JTN)

Six staffers from the Office of the Texas Attorney General have taken a leave of absence to defend their former boss, Ken Paxton, who was impeached by the Texas House on Saturday. Their temporary departure was first reported by The Daily Wire and independently confirmed by Hearst Newspapers. Paxton was suspended from office until the outcome of a Senate trial determines if he returns to or is removed from office. In the interim, First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster is the acting head of the agency. Six employees taking leaves of absence include Solicitor General Judd Stone, Assistant Solicitor General Joseph N. Mazzara, Assistant Solicitor General Kateland Jackson, Senior Attorney Allison Collins, Executive Assistant Jordan Eskew, and Division Chief of the General Litigation Division Chris Hilton, who’s been outspoken in Paxton’s defense.

Hilton attempted to present evidence to the House General Investigating Committee, which refused to interview Paxton or anyone from his staff as part of its investigation. Hilton told reporters last Thursday that the committee was engaged in an “illegal investigation” and a report it issued was “filled with falsehoods and misrepresentations.” One week ago, the committee held a three-hour hearing at which four attorneys hired by the committee presented the findings of their investigation. The attorneys, some of whom are registered Democrats, had all worked in the offices of the Harris County District Attorney and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas in Houston. They presented no sworn testimony and no documentation; no witnesses were interviewed by the committee.

On Thursday, the committee issued 20 articles of impeachment and within 24 hours the full House voted to impeach Paxton by a vote of 121-23. The Texas GOP, Paxton and others argue the impeachment didn’t follow basic due process, was political, illegal, unethical and unjust. An outside law firm also found that Paxton didn’t break any laws or violate procedure. The House has announced its prosecutorial team and the Senate its committee to establish trial rules. The rules are expected to be announced June 20. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has said the trial will start no later than August 28.

Paxton
https://twitter.com/i/status/1663727925789589504

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“..The foundation “began acting as an agent of foreign governments early in its life and throughout its existence..”

Judge Breathes New Life Into Clinton Foundation Whistleblower Case (JTN)

Just a few weeks after Special Counsel John Durham revealed significant failures to investigate allegations against Hillary Clinton’s family charity, a U.S. Tax Court judge has once again breathed new life into a years-long whistleblower case alleging IRS improprieties involving the controversial Clinton Foundation. U.S. Tax Court Judge David Gustafson has already once before denied an IRS request to dismiss the whistleblower case, first brought in 2017. And three years ago, he ordered the tax agency to reveal whether it criminally investigated the foundation, citing a mysterious “gap” in its records. The IRS filed a new motion to dismiss, and all parties filed arguments over the last year.

But on Monday, Gustafson postponed ruling on those motions, instead asking for new arguments in light of three recent precedent-setting court rulings, once again frustrating IRS efforts to make the case go away. The three recent rulings in other tax cases “may affect the parties’ positions as to the pending motions,” Gustafson wrote. “We will order further filings so that the parties may address those recent opinions.”The judge gave whistleblowers John Moynihan, a former federal agent, and Larry Doyle, a corporate tax compliance expert, until June 30 to update their arguments and the IRS until July 28 to respond. That means the case will almost certainly stretch on for many more months.

The judge also noted the IRS hasn’t responded to a request to update the court record with new evidence. Monday’s ruling adds new intrigue in a case that first surfaced nearly five years ago when Doyle and Moynihan, two respected forensic financial investigators, revealed the existence of their 2017 IRS whistleblower complaint against the foundation during a congressional hearing. Moynihan and Doyle testified to a House committee in December 2018 that they believed the foundation wrongly operated as a foreign lobbyist by accepting overseas donations, then trying to influence U.S. policy. The foundation “began acting as an agent of foreign governments early in its life and throughout its existence,” Moynihan testified at the time. “As such, the foundation should’ve registered under FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act).

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”..he would allow lawmakers to visit FBI headquarters and look at it in a private room..”

FBI Chief Wray Rolls Dice With Congress Over Contempt (JTN)

Just hours after informing Congress he wouldn’t comply with a subpoena and turn over an informant document on the Biden family investigation, FBI Director Christopher Wray hopped on the bureau’s Gulfstream jet and ferried off to the more friendly confines of Las Vegas. The flight manifest for the FBI’s official jet shows Wray left the Washington suburb of Manassas, Va., at about 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday and landed about four hours later in Nevada’s most famous tourist city. Agency officials said the jaunt was for official business and that Wray would be speaking to a conference of counterterrorism officials, meeting with the FBI’s Las Vegas field office, and attending a law-enforcement memorial ceremony.


[..] The trip allows the FBI boss to escape an increasingly hostile atmosphere for himself in Washington, where congressional Republicans announced Wednesday that they would seek to hold Wray in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over a subpoenaed memo that lays out bribery allegations against President Biden. The memo, known as a FD-1023 form, includes information provided to the bureau in June 2020 by a confidential human source alleging a bribery scheme involving Biden when he was vice president. Lawmakers learned about the existence of the memo from FBI whistleblowers.

Wray tried to defuse the situation earlier Wednesday in a phone call with House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, saying that while he would not comply with the subpoena by turning over the memo to Congress, he would allow lawmakers to visit FBI headquarters and look at it in a private room. The two lawmakers, who have been leading an investigation into the Biden family’s foreign business dealings, said Wray’s offer was unacceptable and that Congress had every right to demand at the memo be turned over under a subpoena. Comer made clear he plans to seek a contempt vote as early as next week in Congress.


“While the FBI has apparently leaked classified information to the news media in recent weeks, jeopardizing its own human sources, it continues to treat Congress like second-class citizens by refusing to provide a specific unclassified record,” Grassley said. Comer said lawmakers scored one victory Wednesday: Wray confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 memo the whistleblowers identified. “Today, FBI Director Wray confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 form alleging then-Vice President Biden engaged in a criminal bribery scheme with a foreign national,” the powerful House committee chairman said. “However, Director Wray did not commit to producing the documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1663988796600340481

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” .. I was excited by the opportunity to engage in free political debate and to make my contribution as a citizen and a scholar.”

Fifty Years Later, Free Speech No Longer Exists In The West (Rabkin)

Fifty years ago I left the Soviet Union for one reason: My desire for freedom. I was disgusted by the one-sided world view fostered by the banning of foreign publications and the jamming of Western radio stations. The obedient media, toeing the party line, repulsed me and made me laugh. Fear of the authorities (even if they were far more “vegetarian” than in Stalinist times) restricted open discussion of politics to the “kitchen cabinet,” with a small circle of trusted friends. I left behind my hometown (then Leningrad, now St Petersburg), my friends, my brother and the graves of my parents and grandparents. Applying to emigrate meant taking a risk, because you almost always risked losing your job, many friends and even relatives, with no guarantee that you would even be granted an exit visa.

[..] What struck me most in the newspapers and on television was the diversity of opinion. Letters to the editor offered a wide range of viewpoints, some of which not only criticized Western policies but also offered alternatives. It wasn’t long before I began to express my own views, first in letters to publications and then in articles. I was excited by the opportunity to engage in free political debate and to make my contribution as a citizen and a scholar. After all, society had created the conditions for me to share the results of my research and observations broadly. However, things have changed. Today, when it comes to some important issues of international politics, freedom of discussion is severely restricted.

[..] An even more important issue that has disappeared from rational discussion is policy towards Russia. This issue is all the more important because Moscow has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Long before February 2022, when President Vladimir Putin announced the military campaign in Ukraine, most NATO countries (as well as Kiev itself) had restricted access to Russian media, something that did not happen in the West even during the Cold War. Just as the Soviets justified their jamming of Western radio broadcasts with the need to protect against “ideological sabotage,” many institutions have been created in recent years by NATO and its member states to protect citizens from, so-called, “Russian disinformation.”

[..] Freedom of speech is not just a democratic right. It is also a way of defining and weighing alternatives. When conflict becomes an epic struggle between good and evil, rationality is replaced by moral judgment and noble indignation. This undermines all diplomacy and, in turn, exacerbates the danger of nuclear war, the inevitable consequence of which, as US military strategists recognized as early as 1962, is Mutually Assured Destruction, or ‘MAD’. Unanimity, una voce, one-sided debate – call it what you like. But this is about more than just the denial of free speech. The climate it has created threatens the very survival of humanity.

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Maybe Pfizer can grow some.

Australian Garlic Kills Covid-19, Says Doherty Institute (AFR)

Garlic might not just be good for keeping vampires away, but also COVID-19 and the common flu, according to new research being released on Wednesday by The Peter Doherty Institute. Scientists at Doherty have been researching garlic properties over the past 18 months and have discovered a certain Australian grown garlic variety demonstrates antiviral properties with up to 99.9 per cent efficacy against the viruses which cause COVID-19 and the common flu. The world-first research, commissioned by the Australian Garlic Producers organisation, involved in-vitro testing against the SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza type A viruses, using garlic ingredients extracted from exclusive Australian grown garlic varieties.


The most efficacious garlic varieties and their extracted proprietary garlic ingredient are being commercialised. They will be able to be taken as a soft capsule supplement similar to vitamin C or fish oil and are subject to a recently lodged International Patent. Dr Julie McAuley, manager of the Doherty’s high containment facility COVID-19 research lab, said the results were striking. “We wanted to know if these strains had the possibility of killing COVID-19,” she told The Australian Financial Review. “I thought it might fail miserably. We blindly tested over 20 varieties. We found one of AGP’s products could reduce the infectious titre of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza by 3-log-fold (99.9 per cent). We barely detected any remaining virus genome, indicating nearly complete virucidal activity.”

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Impaw
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Anthill

 

 

Odd couple

 

 


The Taiwan blue magpie is a species of bird of the crow family. Also known as “long-tailed mountain lady”, is considered a rare and valuable species and has been protected by Taiwan

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 012022
 


Pablo Picasso Coffee maker 1943

 

More Than 100,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Have Died In Conflict – EU (RT)
Von der Leyen’s Comment On Ukrainian Military Losses Retracted (RT)
Kiev Reacts To Redacted EU Assessment Of Its Casualties (RT)
The Global South Births A New Game-Changing Payment System (Escobar)
China Wants More Russian Gas (RT)
Russian Coal Exports Shift To China (RT)
Poland To Charge Ukrainian Refugees For Government-Provided Housing (Az.)
Congress Wants $45B Tacked on to Biden’s Military Budget Request (Celente)
Washington Goes to War Against Twitter and Free Speech (Turley)
Yellen Hints At ‘National Security’ Probe Into Twitter Purchase (RT)
EU Threatens Musk With Twitter Ban (RT)
Musk Says Twitter Clash With Apple A ‘Misunderstanding’ (AFP)
Ex-Twitter Safety Chief: Hunter Biden Laptop Censorship Was A ‘Mistake’ (Fox)
Eric Idle Insists He Wants To Be ‘Cancelled’ (DM)
Cryptome Founder Asks to Be Indicted With Assange (Lauria)

 

 

Brilliant T-shirt sold in Japan.

 

 

Reed Hastings

 

 

 

 

Tucker DealBook

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ursula didn’t get the memo. In 3 parts. First, she posts the number -with video. Then Zelensky protests. Then the video is removed and re-done. Finally, Ukraine reacts: if you post these numbers, we can’t manipulate them anymore.

More Than 100,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Have Died In Conflict – EU (RT)

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has presented the total number of losses estimated to have been suffered by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. “More than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far,” von der Leyen claimed on Wednesday, while adding that around 20,000 civilian lives have also been lost amid the fighting, which has continued since late February. The head of the European Commission didn’t reveal the sources of the information she provided. In late September, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that Ukrainian losses had to date amounted to more than 61,000 troops, which was ten times higher than those of Russia.


In her address, von der Leyen also proposed to set up a specialized, UN-backed court to investigate and prosecute what she described as “Russia’s crime of aggression.”She also said that a special structure would be created by the EU to manage and invest 300 billion euro (nearly $311 billion) in Russian Central Bank reserves and 19 billion euro of Russian business figures’ assets, which the EU froze after the outbreak of the conflict. The plan is to use the proceeds from those activities to rebuild and assist Ukraine, according to the commission president.

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Some people are convinced it was retracted after US protest. But Ukraine protest would have been enough.

Von der Leyen’s Comment On Ukrainian Military Losses Retracted (RT)

A claim about the number of Ukrainian soldiers killed during its conflict with Russia has been removed from a speech by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the executive’s official website. “More than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far,” she said during an address earlier on Wednesday, adding that around 20,000 civilians had also died in nine months of fighting. The source of this information was not provided. However, the reference to Kiev’s death toll soon disappeared from the text of the speech on the European Commission’s website. It was also cut from a video of the address on the website and on von der Leyen’s account on Twitter.


The editing was noticed by some media outlets and social media users, who compared the two versions of the statement online. The move was then officially confirmed by the European Commission. The EU executive body’s spokeswoman Dana Spinant took to Twitter to thank those who had “pointed out the inaccuracy” in von der Leyen’s speech. “The estimation used, from external sources, should have referred to casualties, i.e. both killed and injured, and was meant to show Russia’s brutality,” she wrote. In late September, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that Ukrainian losses had by then amounted to more than 61,000 troops, which was ten times greater than Russia’s.

Judge Nap Macgregor

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Oh yeah, she also talked about the stolen Russian assets.

Kiev Reacts To Redacted EU Assessment Of Its Casualties (RT)

A claim that Ukraine has lost more than 100,000 personnel in the conflict with Russia has been deleted from the Twitter account of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Kiev had objected to the figure, saying it was up to President Vladimir Zelensky and top Ukrainian officials to voice such numbers. Zelensky’s spokesman, Sergey Nikoforov, told Ukrainian media on Wednesday that such “sensitive” information should only be made public by the country’s top military commander General Valery Zaluzhny, Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, or the president himself. Earlier in the day, the head of the EU executive branch cited an assessment that more than 100,000 Ukrainian troops and over 20,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict with Russia.

The video statement has since been pulled from her Twitter account and replaced with a new version, which omitted the figures. Von der Leyen did not identify the source of the assessment. Earlier in the month, US General Mark Milley, who serves as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that over 100,000 soldiers may have been killed and wounded on each side of the conflict, with 40,000 civilians killed as collateral damage. Milley, speaking at the Economic Club of New York, said that the winter season would cause hostilities to go “static” and open “a window of opportunity” for negotiations. The call for diplomacy reportedly outraged officials in Kiev, who pledged to continue fighting against Russia until it fully regains pre-2014 positions. In her Wednesday address, von der Leyen urged the UN to convene a special tribunal to try Russia for its alleged crimes against Ukraine.

The Commission chief also shared the EU’s plans to invest seized Russian national reserves and “oligarch” money for profit that would later be used to rebuild Ukraine. She estimated Ukraine’s damage at €600 billion ($621bn) so far, which dwarfs the €319 billion ($330bn) of Russian funds blocked by the EU. The assets would only be unfrozen after anti-Russia sanctions are lifted, to be paid in compensation to Ukraine, the official stated. Top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have criticized the freezing of assets by the US and its allies, including the EU. At first, they devalued national reserves denominated in dollars and euros through inflation, and later “pawed and pocketed” them, Putin remarked in October.

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In the background, these preparations continue.

The Global South Births A New Game-Changing Payment System (Escobar)

The Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) is speeding up its design of a common payment system, which has been closely discussed for nearly a year with the Chinese under the stewardship of Sergei Glazyev, the EAEU’s minister in charge of Integration and Macro-economy. Through its regulatory body, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the EAEU has just extended a very serious proposal to the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) which, crucially, are already on the way to turning into BRICS+: a sort of G20 of the Global South. The system will include a single payment card – in direct competition with Visa and Mastercard – merging the already existing Russian MIR, China’s UnionPay, India’s RuPay, Brazil’s Elo, and others.

That will represent a direct challenge to the western-designed (and enforced) monetary system, head on. And it comes on the heels of BRICS members already transacting their bilateral trade in local currencies, and bypassing the US dollar. This EAEU-BRICS union was long in the making – and will now also move toward prefiguring a further geoeconomic merger with the member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The EAEU was established in 2015 as a customs union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, joined a year later by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Vietnam is already an EAEU free trade partner, and recently enshrined SCO member Iran is also clinching a deal. The EAEU is designed to implement free movement of goods, services, capital, and workers between member countries.

Ukraine would have been an EAEU member if not for the Maidan coup in 2014 masterminded by the Barack Obama administration. Vladimir Kovalyov, adviser to the chairman of the EEC, summed it all up to Russian newspaper Izvestia. The focus is to establish a joint financial market, and the priority is to develop a common “exchange space:” “We’ve made substantial progress and now the work is focused on such sectors as banking, insurance, and the stock market.” A new regulatory body for the proposed joint EEU-BRICS financial system will soon be established. Meanwhile, trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and BRICS have increased 1.5 times in the first half of 2022 alone.

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Not using Russian oil and gas does nothing for climate. You don’t want it, others will use them. And you will be cold.

China Wants More Russian Gas (RT)

Russian gas export to China via the so-called eastern route, the Power of Siberia pipeline, should be steadily increased, according to Huang Yongzhang, Vice President of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The 3,000 kilometer (1,864 mile) cross-border pipeline started deliveries of Russian natural gas to China in 2019. Its capacity is 61 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year, including 38 bcm for export. Last year, Russian gas supplies to China increased by 10.4 bcm via the mega pipeline. “It is necessary to steadily increase gas supplies from Russia to China via the eastern route. The parties continue cooperation in this area, using all its advantages, strengthening and deepening business cooperation,” Yongzhang said on Tuesday at the Russia-China Energy Business Forum.


He also called for the strengthening of the scientific and technical cooperation between the two nations in order to improve the quality of joint work in the oil and gas sector, as well as in the field of green and low-carbon energy. The agreement on gas supplies via the Power of Siberia pipeline was reached in 2014, with Gazprom and CNPC signing a 30-year contract. The $400 billion agreement is Gazprom’s biggest deal ever and the Power of Siberia is the first natural gas pipeline between Russia and China. The Russian energy company is currently working on the Power of Siberia 2 project, which involves construction of a gas pipeline to China through the territory of Mongolia. The pipeline will be capable of delivering as much as 50 billion cubic meters of gas, once operational.

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You can hear the Chinese laughing in the background.

Russian Coal Exports Shift To China (RT)

Russia has this year become the second most important supplier of coal to China, the head of oil giant Rosneft Igor Sechin announced at the Russia-China Energy Business Forum on Tuesday.“Deliveries of high-quality Russian coal to China in [those] ten months of 2022 amounted to 53 million tons. This is about 23% of total imports to China, second place after Indonesia, which supplies 134 million tons,” Sechin said. According to the CEO, in order to further increase coal supplies to Asia, Russia is investing in the development of the Eastern Range of the country’s train-services supplier Russian Railways (OAO). The project is expected to increase transportation capacity to 195 million tons per year.

Russia has dramatically increased exports of energy commodities, including coal, to Asian buyers after the EU suspended coal purchases from the country earlier this year as a Ukraine-related sanction. Chinese purchases of the Russian fossil fuel, in particular, reached a five-year high in September, soaring to 8.54 million tons. It was a 57% year-on-year rise, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs. Beijing has also been stocking up on Russian oil. Total Russian crude exports to China in the period January to October jumped by 9.5% to nearly 72 million tons, slightly less than what Saudi Arabia, China’s largest supplier, exports to the Asian nation, Sechin said.

The head of Russia’s biggest oil company stressed that both Moscow and Beijing are looking forward to further developing trade relations, particularly in the field of energy. Sechin also noted that the overall trade turnover between Russia and China jumped 33% this year, reaching $153.9 billion in the first ten months. “If these rates are maintained, by the end of this year the trade turnover may reach a record high of $180 billion. We can expect that the goal of reaching $200 billion in trade turnover will be achieved even before the set target date, 2024,” he said.

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“More than a million Ukrainian refugees made a temporary home in Poland..”

Poland To Charge Ukrainian Refugees For Government-Provided Housing (Az.)

Poland plans to charge Ukrainian refugees for food and housing after four months of staying in state accommodation, the government said, Report informs referring to Reuters. More than a million Ukrainian refugees made a temporary home in Poland, Ukraine’s western neighbor, after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, relying on the kindness of strangers who opened up their homes and government aid. But after an initial outpouring of public support for refugees, resources are drying up and refugees are having a harder time finding flats and getting support with Poland facing a cost of living crisis and budget strains.


“Citizens of Ukraine who stay in Poland in collective accommodation centers will participate in the costs of housing and meals,” the government said in a statement. Those staying in such accommodation, for example government-funded hotel rooms or school dormitories, longer than 120 days will have to cover 50% of the cost up to 40 zlotys ($8.87) per day, per person. After 180 days it would be 75% of the cost up to 60 zlotys. Those unable to work because of their age or disability would be excluded, as would pregnant women, according to the plan. The government wants the new rules to apply from March 1, 2023. The bill will go to parliament where it is expected to pass comfortably.

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“..the deal would set the budget at $847 billion for national defense..”

Congress Wants $45B Tacked on to Biden’s Military Budget Request (Celente)

We have long noted that the one issue that can bring together the most hardened liberal Democrats, and the most conservative Republicans is the vote for war. After all, what other issue would you find Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Mitch McConnell agreeing on? It was reported Wednesday that members of the House and Senate Armed Service committees agreed to add $45 billion more to President Joe Biden’s already gargantuan 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, according to a newly released report on Wednesday. Politico, citing four people familiar with the negotiations, reported that the deal would set the budget at $847 billion for national defense, with the possibility of reaching as high as $858 billion.

We reported in July that the House voted in favor of an $850.3 billion national security budget that members say will help the U.S. respond to continued threats and surging inflation. The House passed the bill in a 329-101 vote. The “no” votes included 62 Republicans and 39 Democrats.“With inflation factored in, it is a good increase but it’s essential because of inflation and also the need to continue significant programs,” Sen. Jack Reed, the chair of the Senate Armed Services, said in an interview, according to Politico.As the global economies sink into recession, as world hunger escalates, as inflation spikes and people pay much more to buy a lot less, as world poverty levels increase and the middle class shrinks…countries around the world have increased their military budgets and built up their defenses since the Ukraine War began in February.

But the War Machine Always Wins. And Bill La Plante, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said months ago that he expected Congress—no matter what party was in control—would approve new weapons purchasing power at levels not seen since the Cold War. “They are going to give us multiyear authority, and they’re going to give us funding to really put into the industrial base,” he told George Mason University at the time. “And I’m talking billions of dollars into the industrial base—to fund these production lines. That, I predict, is going to happen, and it’s happening now. And then people will have to say: ‘I guess they were serious about it.’ But we have not done that since the Cold War.”

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“Despite a creepy Facebook advertising campaign to convince the public to embrace censorship, it has not worked. The public is not buying. They are buying Free Twitter…”

Washington Goes to War Against Twitter and Free Speech (Turley)

Washington this week is in full wartime footing. No, it’s not over the Russian invasion of Ukraine or North Korean missiles or even Chinese expansionism. It is about Twitter and the threat of Elon Musk to restore free speech protections to social media. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has emerged as the bellicose general rallying others to the “censor or die” pressure campaign against Twitter. The problem is that citizens are flocking to Twitter and signing up in record numbers. They want more, not less, free speech. The over two million new sign-ups per day represent a 66% increase over the same period last year, according to figures released by Musk.

A reporter this week was so alarmed that she asked the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the concern that millions are still signing up at Twitter and demanded to know who is “keeping an eye on this” for possible federal action. Unable to convince users to embrace censorship, Clinton and others are pressuring corporations and foreign governments to deter Musk from restoring free speech. Since users are embracing the new Twitter, the campaign has focused on preventing them from signing up by removing the app from the Apple and Google stores. In the meantime, Apple is joining the boycott by withholding advertising revenue to coerce Musk to reverse his free-speech pledge.

Musk, however, is sitting on the ultimate weapon to bring this war to an end: free speech itself. However, it will require more than rhetorical recriminations like Musk asking why Apple executives “hate free speech in America?” The fact is that these media and political figures are becoming more and more alarmed as Musk threatens to release files on the past censorship of stories like the Hunter Biden laptop. Musk has reason to wonder why Apple CEO Tim Cook would join this anti-free speech campaign. The reason is as obvious as it is craven. These boycotts are not about corporations or shareholders. If anything, they are more likely to diminish profits. It is about the executives themselves. Many are allies of figures like Clinton. Others are yielding to these demands to avoid being attacked or tagged by the left.

[..] If Musk carries through on his pledge, the public will have a free speech alternative and they are already speaking loudly by signing up with the company in record numbers. Despite a creepy Facebook advertising campaign to convince the public to embrace censorship, it has not worked. The public is not buying. They are buying Free Twitter. So, the only way to regain control is to prevent people from getting the app or threaten to force Twitter into insolvency. The problem is Musk, an eccentric billionaire who is not easy to intimidate. Musk now stands against a massive alliance of governments, corporations, celebrities, and politicians. He has only the public and free speech on his side. He needs to use both.

DeSantis

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Yellen is so out of her depth here, I suspect that’s why they let her do the talking.

Yellen Hints At ‘National Security’ Probe Into Twitter Purchase (RT)

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said federal officials could seek to launch a review into billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter if it were deemed to carry national security risks, backtracking after she downplayed any chance for a probe. Speaking at an event hosted by the New York Times on Wednesday, Yellen claimed she had “misspoke” when she said there was “no basis” to investigate Musk or his finances during an interview earlier this month, now saying the government could take that step after all. “I’m not going to say specifically what we are looking at. We don’t comment on what’s in progress,” she said, but added the Treasury “does look at transactions that involve foreign investments in the United States to see if they create national security risk.”

While she stopped short of confirming that a probe was underway, Yellen said “if there are such risks it would be appropriate for the Treasury to have a look.” The secretary’s comments follow earlier reports that the Treasury had already requested approval to begin reviewing Musk’s Twitter deal, though sources told the Washington Post at the time that such actions are “fairly routine” and do not always result in a full-fledged investigation. Earlier this month, President Joe Biden also stated that Musk’s “relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at,” following reports that foreign investors such as Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal now hold significant stakes in Twitter. However, Biden stressed that he was not claiming the billionaire had done anything “inappropriate,” and did not indicate that he was under investigation.

Musk has faced pressure from abroad as well, with the European Commission recently threatening to ban Twitter outright should the platform run afoul of the EU’s digital regulations. According to a Wednesday report in the Financial Times, the bloc has presented Musk with a “checklist of rules” and demanded he submit to an “extensive independent audit” sometime next year, insisting Twitter must continue to “aggressively” police disinformation and hate speech. The billionaire has repeatedly vowed to make Twitter a bastion of free expression, even suggesting an “amnesty” for previously banned accounts so long as they did not violate the law or post spam. However, critics have argued the more hands-off approach will foster hatred, extremism and misinformation online, with some even urging major platforms like Apple and Google to remove Twitter from their app stores.

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“Musk replied that the DSA [EU’s Digital Services Act] was “very sensible” and should be applied worldwide.”

EU Threatens Musk With Twitter Ban (RT)

As Elon Musk pledged to run a more fair and transparent Twitter that won’t interfere in elections, the EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, on Wednesday demanded tougher censorship, reportedly warning that the platform might be banned if it doesn’t comply with the bloc’s laws. “Twitter has failed in trust & safety for a very long time and has interfered in elections,” Musk tweeted on Wednesday, responding to claims by former executive Yoel Roth published by Reuters that his takeover had made the company less safe. “Twitter 2.0 will be far more effective, transparent and even-handed.” Within the hour, Breton tweeted that he welcomed Musk’s “intent to get Twitter 2.0 ready” for the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), a law scheduled to come into force in 2024.

He added that the platform would have to “significantly reinforce content moderation and tackle disinformation,” among other things. Breton attached a short video from a call he held with Musk, though without any sound. According to the Financial Times, however, the EU commissioner actually threatened Musk with a ban unless Twitter complies with a list of demands. This includes not having an “arbitrary” approach to reinstating banned users, “aggressively” pursuing “disinformation” and agreeing to an “extensive independent audit” by next year. Failing to do so would infringe on the DSA, which could expose Twitter to massive fines or even a ban in the EU, Breton reportedly said. According to FT’s sources, Musk replied that the DSA was “very sensible” and should be applied worldwide.

Musk bought Twitter for a reported $44 billion and took ownership of the company on October 27, declaring “the bird is freed.” Within hours, Breton responded that “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.” The DSA was approved by the bloc earlier this year. It requires “content moderation” from major social media platforms, so they can swiftly censor “hate speech” or any information that Brussels deems false. The EU has already invoked these powers to ban RT and several other Russian media outlets, with most US-based platforms eagerly complying. The video hosting service Rumble, however, chose to turn off their service in France rather than comply with demands from Paris to censor certain Russian outlets.

Declaring “free speech” – as guaranteed in the US Constitution – to be his guiding principle, Musk has rolled back some of Twitter’s censorship policies and lifted the bans on many “permanently suspended” accounts, including former US president Donald Trump. The decision to reinstate Trump and declare a general amnesty for accounts that hadn’t broken the law was put to a vote on Twitter, with most users voting in favor in both cases.

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“Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.”

Musk Says Twitter Clash With Apple A ‘Misunderstanding’ (AFP)

Twitter owner Elon Musk said he met with Apple chief Tim Cook on Wednesday and “resolved the misunderstanding” that prompted him to declare war on the iPhone maker’s App Store. “Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store,” Musk tweeted. “Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.” Musk also tweeted a video clip of “Apple’s beautiful HQ” in Cupertino, California, noting that he had had a “good conversation” with Cook. The world’s richest person opened fire on the planet’s most valuable company early this week over fees and rules at the App Store, saying Apple had threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform.

The billionaire CEO had tweeted that Apple “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.” Apple, which has not issued a public statement on the matter, typically tells developers if fixes need to be implemented in apps to conform to App Store policies. Analysts told AFP the clash may have came down to money, with Musk irked that the App Store takes a commission on transactions such as subscriptions. Musk has delayed the relaunch of the Twitter Blue subscription tier intended to have users pay for perks such as account verification check marks. Twitter rolled out Blue early in November, but pulled the plug after impersonators paid for check marks to appear legitimate in what former head of safety and security Yoel Roth referred to as “a disaster.”

Both Apple and Google also require social networking services on their app stores to have effective systems for moderating harmful or abusive content. But since taking over Twitter last month, Musk has cut around half of Twitter’s workforce, including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation, while an unknown number of others have quit.

Tucker Apple

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Musk has promised full disclosure.

Ex-Twitter Safety Chief: Hunter Biden Laptop Censorship Was A ‘Mistake’ (Fox)

The former head of trust and safety at Twitter recently admitted that the social media company’s decision to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 was a “mistake.” During a sit down with journalist Kara Swisher, ex-Twitter safety chief Yoel Roth said that despite concerns about the authenticity of the laptop story, it still did not reach a point where he wanted to remove the content — which was later censored anyway. Initial reporting suggested that Roth blocked user access from the October 2020 story, but the former Twitter division lead said the decision was not up to him. “We didn’t know what to believe, we didn’t know what was true, there was smoke — and ultimately for me, it didn’t reach a place where I was comfortable removing this content from Twitter,” Roth said.

“But it set off every single one of my finely tuned APT28 hack and leak campaign alarm bells.” Roth repeatedly reiterated that despite Big Tech companies’ high-alert status and his personal feeling of responsibility to protect the “integrity of conversations” from foreign governments attempting to interfere in elections, it never rose to the level where he believed the story should be censored. “But — so it was a mistake?” Swisher asked. “In my opinion, yes,” he responded. Roth planned to meet with the Department of Homeland Security’s now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board, where the government was expected to ask Twitter to become more involved in efforts to monitor misinformation.

Both Roth and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed they were approached by the FBI prior to the 2020 election, warning the platforms about foreign propaganda and misinformation. When the New York Post’s bombshell report was first published with weeks to go before the 2020 election, Twitter and Facebook were quick to limit or block sharing of the story in an unprecedented display of coordination. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has also admitted the social media platform was wrong to intervene in the Hunter Biden story. Last week, Twitter’s new CEO Elon Musk said that he might release more information on how the social media company censored the Biden laptop story.

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‘I would like to be cancelled so I can go home and read a book and not have to make an a**e of myself all over the world..’

Eric Idle Insists He Wants To Be ‘Cancelled’ (DM)

Famed English comedian Eric Idle says he wants to be ‘cancelled’ for his comedy. The 76-year-old funnyman, who first rose to fame in the 1960s as a founding member of the Monty Python comedy team, is outspoken about political correctness. He says that there is a lot of bullying going on in the name of decency. ‘I would like to be cancelled so I can go home and read a book and not have to make an a**e of myself all over the world,’ Idle joked in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday. Idle, who is in Australia to perform a show in Sydney this week, explained in the chat that he thinks comedy is about saying the wrong thing at the right time. ‘You have to remember that Python was offensive when it started. We were not the cuddly old f***ers we are now,’ he told the publication.

‘It was very offensive. The point was absolutely to upset and insult the bourgeois.’ Idle, who is in Australia to perform a show in State Theatre on Thursday, explained that comedy is about saying the wrong thing at the right time, Pictured: Idle in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, a box-office smash despite offending audiences After debuting on the BBC in 1969, Monty Python earned a reputation for outrageous, surreal, often violent and sexual humour. Idle says the point of comedy is to test boundaries and say the ‘unsayable’. ‘And so who are the people saying you can’t do that?’ he says. ‘I don’t understand that. Who is the committee that does this? ‘It sounds a bit like the French Revolution committees, who said, ‘off with his head’. I think a lot of bullying goes on in the name of decency.’

Monty Python, who formally disbanded three decades ago, often attracted notoriety and scandal. Their films Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975), and Monty’s Python Meaning of Life (1983) became box office hits, while shocking audiences. But it was their 1979 smash Life of Brian, a parody of pious religious movie epics that created a storm of protest around the world. Set in the time of Christ, the film features a climax where the hero, Brian (Graham Chapman), a Jew, is crucified because he has been mistaken as a messiah by the Romans. As he and others hang on crosses, they sing ‘Always Look on The Bright Side of Life,’ a jolly sing along composed by Idle. Condemned by a diverse range of religious groups as blasphemous, Idle says the film would never be made today because ‘you don’t laugh at religion.’

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“Cryptome published the decrypted unredacted State Department Cables on September 1, 2011 prior to publication of the cables by WikiLeaks..”

Cryptome Founder Asks to Be Indicted With Assange (Lauria)

The founder of a U.S.-based website that earlier published the same un-redacted documents that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange was later indicted for has invited the U.S. Department of Justice to make him a co-defendant with Assange. “Cryptome published the decrypted unredacted State Department Cables on September 1, 2011 prior to publication of the cables by WikiLeaks,” John Young wrote in a Justice Department submission form, which Young posted on Twitter on Tuesday. “No US official has contacted me about publishing the unredacted cables since cryptome published them,” he wrote. “I respectfully request that the Department of Justice add me as a co-defendant in the prosecution of Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act.”

Assange has been charged with possession and dissemination of classified information, some of the same material that Young possesses and disseminated. Young founded Cryptome, which he calls a “free public library” in 1996. It was a precursor of WikiLeaks in publishing raw, classified and unclassified government documents on the internet. Young testified at Assange’s extradition hearing in London in September 2020. His sworn statement says: “I published on Cryptome.org unredacted diplomatic cables on September 1, 2011 under the URL https://cryptome.org/z/z.7z and that publication remains available at the present. … Since my publication on Cryptome.org of the unredacted diplomatic cables, no US law enforcement authority has notified me that this publication of the cables is illegal, consists or contributes to a crime in any way, nor have they asked for them to be removed.”

A cornerstone of the Justice Department’s case against Assange is that he recklessly published State Department cables leaked to him by Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning, which, the U.S. says, endangered the lives of named U.S. informants. Young is asking the Justice Department why he too hasn’t been prosecuted for publishing these names before Assange did. At Manning’s court martial, Brig. Gen. Robert Carr, testified under oath that no one was actually harmed by the WikiLeaks releases. Then Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the leaks “awkward” and “embarrassing” but said they did only “fairly modest” damage to U.S. foreign interests.

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Musk 2008

 

 

 

 

Parking

 

 

DogBrush

 

 

Holidog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1597858949772234752

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 282022
 


Pablo Picasso Still life with fruit basket 1942

 

It Seems Russia Won’t Require a Winter Offensive to Win the War (PCR)
Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’, or, Don’t Spit in the Well (Batiushka)
UK Confirms Transfer Of Advanced Weapons To Ukraine (RT)
Third Countries Secretly Arming Ukraine – Kiev (RT)
President of Hungary: ‘We Have 150,000 Reasons To Stop War In Ukraine’ (Az.)
The Suppression of Free Speech Has Close to Majority Support in America (PCR)
‘Hard Times’ Ahead For Europe – NATO (RT)
Sweden Faces Drastic Food Inflation (RT)
SEC Chair Gary Gensler Rushing To Unveil Big Changes Amid FTX Scandal (NYP)
Operation Claw-Sword: Erdogan’s Big New Game In Syria (Escobar)
John Bolton Assesses Trump’s 2024 Chances (RT)
Germany At Risk Of Mass Exodus Of Companies (RT)
European Leaders At Fault For Energy Crisis – Moscow (RT)
The European Union’s Misguided Energy Price Cap Proposal (Lacalle)
The Most Amazing Graph of the 21st Century (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

More lockdowns

 

 

 

 

Tucker Zel

 

 

 

 

Haven’t heard much from Paul Craig Roberts for a while.

“From Washington’s standpoint, the more Ukraine is destroyed the better.”

It Seems Russia Won’t Require a Winter Offensive to Win the War (PCR)

The eight-month old Kremlin policy of protecting Ukraine from attack, thus helping Ukraine to conduct war against the Russian forces, seems to have come to an end. The infrastructure–power, transportation, water–of Ukraine is being shut down. The real war Russian attacks on Ukraine’s ability to function have gradually escalated, resulting in wider and more serious damage. It seems that the Russians don’t want to destroy everything unless the West and its puppet Ukraine government fail to come to their senses. The Western whore media, of course, doesn’t report the true situation. The Western presstitutes are a propaganda ministry and have created a picture of Russian defeat. It would be difficult to identify the worst liar in the Western media as there are endless candidates, but the UK Telegraph’s Charles Moore is a leading candidate for posting the most far-fetched reports. [..]

American so-called “Russian experts” spread the same delusions. Consequently, the Western peoples have a totally false picture of the situation. Russia could destroy Ukraine in a day without using nuclear weapons. The Kremlin’s restraint–in my view a strategic blunder as it enabled the West to get involved and widen the war–in Ukraine has a number of legitimate reasons. Ukraine and the population there have been a part of Russia for centuries. There is much intermarriage. Most Ukrainians are not favorable to the neo-Nazis who have dominated Ukraine since the US overthrew the government in 2014 and have suffered at their hands. The Kremlin doesn’t want a poverty-stricken ruin of a country on its border, and the Kremlin doesn’t want the responsibility for rebuilding Ukraine’s infrastructure.

It is inconceivable to me that “experts” and “reporters” in the West are so stupid and corrupt to have written the ridiculous accounts of the conflict that bear their names. It is total nonsense and has encouraged the false belief that Russia can be defeated and that “Ukraine can be in Crimea by Christmas.” That such absurd propaganda can be effective can result in the US/NATO putting boots on the ground, and then we have World War III. From Washington’s standpoint, the more Ukraine is destroyed the better. If Putin finally abandons his half-way measures and gets down to real war, the war will soon be over. If Washington can prevent Zelensky from surrendering until Ukraine is destroyed, Washington gets the benefit of the economic and financial drain on Russia that rebuilding will impose. From Washington’s standpoint, the more problems for Russia the better regardless of the cost to Ukrainians.

What we are witnessing is the enormous inhumanity of Washington and the NATO capitals. It is unjust that it is Ukraine that is paying the cost of Western inhumanity and not Washington and the European capitals.

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‘This war is horrible. And it’s only going to get worse. There’s only one solution. We’ll line up all the politicians from the Rada (Parliament) and shoot them. Then peace will come immediately..’

Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’, or, Don’t Spit in the Well (Batiushka)

The US lost the war in the Ukraine the day it began. Russia had been preparing for it for eight years. Ever since, the US and its vassals have just been prolonging the agony by financing a Nazi regime, supplying it with arms, training its troops and sending it paid-for mercenaries. Pessimists see the agony now dragging on for years and years, whereas optimists think it will be much shorter, just a couple of months more. I would like to think the optimists are right, but I actually go along with a more pessimistic ‘another eighteen months’. I hope I am wrong. Every day is a day too long. The fact is the US elite will have to put a lot of effort into face-saving. They hate losing, even though they lost in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc.

Backing down from the confrontations they began and chaos they caused is not something they like doing. But when the last US helicopters take off from the roofs of the US embassies in Kiev and Lvov, we shall see. Last Friday an electrician near Kiev said to my friends there: ‘This war is horrible. And it’s only going to get worse. There’s only one solution. We’ll line up all the politicians from the Rada (Parliament) and shoot them. Then peace will come immediately’. I am told from Kiev that there are more and more Ukrainians saying the same thing: there must be a popular revolt to stop it all. Get ready for it there and, at the rate things are going, get ready for the same thing in Western countries as well.

In the longer term, however, there is the much more serious problem for the US of losing Europe. The national slogan of the Ukraine since 2014 has been: ‘The Ukraine is Europe’. This is of course nonsense. Geographically, the Ukraine, like the Russia where most Russians live, is obviously Europe. Indeed, most European territory is inside Russia. Of course, what the Kiev regime means is that the Ukraine belongs to Western Europe, the EU, only it does not say that. This is because it obviously does not belong there, apart from the small region of Galicia which is now in the far west of the present borders of the Ukraine, formerly Poland, formerly the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 2014 the EU actually dismissed the Kiev fantasy, telling it that Ukrainian membership of the EU might be considered in 25 years’ from then.

The nonsense about ‘the Ukraine is Europe’ reminds me of a visit to Moldova five years ago. All official buildings flew the EU flag and that was in a country that is not part of the EU and never will be. In other words, ‘The Ukraine is Europe’ is a political daydream, a fantasy. Today, as a result of US incompetence and its lickspittle poodle UK enthusiastically blowing up the Nordstream pipeline, as though that were a present to Germany, we can see that although the Ukraine is not Europe, Europe is fast becoming the Ukraine. In other words, Europe is being corrupted by US political intrigues, being sucked into the same black hole as the Ukraine, without finance, heating, lighting and sewerage. In the words of that old Eastern European joke: ‘Which are the two most corrupt countries in the world? Lithuania is first and the Ukraine is second. But only because the Ukraine bribed Lithuania to take first place, so that it could be second’. Well, today the whole of Europe is being Ukrainianised. Well done, US/UK/EU elite!

Beyond Western Europe, the US elite is also losing the rest of the world. At one time, the US was No 1. Today it is China. At one time Europe was the most populated area in the world. Today over one third of the world’s population is in China and India. At one time the G7 was respected. Today it is a ghetto, representing only a small and increasingly irrelevant part of the world. At one time the G20 represented twenty countries which were pro-Western or at least Western-controlled. Today, definitely not. The G-20 is being taken over by BRICS +.

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Remember “we” were not going to do this?

UK Confirms Transfer Of Advanced Weapons To Ukraine (RT)

The UK Defence Ministry has confirmed supplying Ukraine with modern laser-guided Brimstone 2 missiles, shrugging off Moscow’s repeated warnings about the risk of triggering a direct conflict between NATO and Russia. The ministry posted a video clip Sunday on Twitter, showing at least one pallet of the high-precision missiles being delivered from the Royal Air Force Brize Norton base in Oxfordshire to an undisclosed airfield. The missiles were part of a UK “aid package” for Ukraine, the ministry said, confirming earlier media reports of such deliveries taking place for some time. “This aid has played a crucial role in stalling Russian advancements,” the ministry claimed in its tweet. UK forces reportedly began supplying earlier versions of the Brimstone missile to Ukraine last spring.


The Brimstone 2 is far more advanced than its predecessor, offering about triple the range. It’s designed for firing from an aircraft to attack targets on the ground. However, Ukrainian ground troops have used the missile on adapted trucks, mostly targeting tanks and other armored vehicles. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled a new military aid package worth £50 million ($60 million) during his visit to Kiev earlier this month. Each Brimstone 2 missile reportedly costs about £175,000. The Kremlin has warned that as the US, the UK and other NATO members supply increasingly advanced weaponry to Ukraine, they are prolonging the conflict and risking a direct confrontation with Russia. Moscow characterizes the ongoing conflict as nothing short of a “proxy war” against the US and NATO, while President Putin has described Russia as fighting “the entire Western military machine.”

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“Most of these third countries publicly say that they do not supply anything, but everything is happening behind the scenes..”

Third Countries Secretly Arming Ukraine – Kiev (RT)

Certain nations are actually providing military aid to Kiev despite publicly denying doing so, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba revealed on Friday. In such cases, the arms are delivered through Ukraine’s partners, the top diplomat said. Kuleba made the remarks in an interview with France’s Le Parisien newspaper. “Most of these third countries publicly say that they do not supply anything, but everything is happening behind the scenes,” he said without going into specifics about which nations are purportedly secretly bolstering Kiev during its conflict with Moscow. Kuleba’s comments come amid mounting reports that Ukraine’s backers, including a number of NATO countries, are experiencing shortages of weaponry due to their continuous support for Kiev.


According to a recent piece by the New York Times, for instance, only “larger” NATO allies, such as France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, still retain the capability to maintain or even potentially increase weapon shipments to Ukraine. “Smaller countries have exhausted their potential,” a NATO official told the newspaper, adding that at least 20 of the bloc’s 30 members are “pretty tapped out” already. Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine in late February, the US and its Western allies have showered Kiev with billions of dollars in military aid. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against “pumping” Ukraine with weaponry, stating that it would only prolong the conflict rather than change its outcome, and would also increase the risks of a direct collision between Russia and the US-led military bloc.

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Forked tongue much?!

President of Hungary: ‘We Have 150,000 Reasons To Stop War In Ukraine’ (Az.)

Hungary has 150,000 reasons to end the war in Ukraine and achieve peace, Hungarian President Katalin Novak said during her Kyiv visit, Report informs via RBC-Ukraine. “The 150,000 reasons are 150,000 Hungarians living in Ukraine’s Zakarpattia Oblast. Many ethnic Hungarians have already given their lives to defend Ukraine,” Katalin Novak said. Novak noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s responsibility for the war against Ukraine is obvious. “Hungarians have always and everywhere opposed bloodshed. We are neighbors of Ukraine and our neighbors can count on our help,” she added. The Hungarian head of state stressed that the parties should return to the negotiating table, diplomatic channels should be opened, and the ultimate goal should be a fair peace.

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”Members of both political parties believe that free speech that challenges official narratives should be suppressed…”

The Suppression of Free Speech Has Close to Majority Support in America (PCR)

Almost every minute of every day I see overwhelming evidence of America’s collapse as a free country. Elon Musk conducted a poll on whether Twitter should allow President Trump to use the social media platform. Fifteen million people responded. 51.8% of the respondents said “yes,” but almost an equal number 48.2% said “no.” In other words, almost half of the 15 million social media users who responded to the poll oppose free speech for a former president of the United States. No doubt, being as indoctrinated as they are, they see Trump as a “pussy-grabber,” a Russian agent, and an insurrectionist and regard cancelling his First Amendment right as punishment. Many of the same crowd want pedophiles to be relabeled “minor-attracted persons,” a step toward removing limitations on sexual relations between adults and children.

They are content with the free speech right of pedophiles to advocate, but not for President Trump to express political views on Twitter. In the case of Julian Assange, Wikileaks’ founder who published the leaked information documenting US war crimes and lies to allies, my headline doesn’t go far enough. A large majority of Americans, both Democrats and Republicans in practically equal percentages, desire Assange to be prosecuted for doing what journalists are supposed to do. President Trump and his Secretary of State Pompeo denounced Assange with the same intensity as Nancy Pelosi. Members of both political parties believe that free speech that challenges official narratives should be suppressed. Even more stunning, almost 100% of American print and TV reporters want Assange prosecuted. Here we have the entirety of the US print and TV media renouncing their own profession.

Those who oppose free speech for President Trump probably think of themselves as virtuous, the salt of the earth. In fact, they are stupid, brainwashed people easily indoctrinated who are so badly educated that they do not understand that free speech is essential to the preservation of liberty. They are so utterly stupid that they do not understand the meaning for their own lives of the fact that the governing elite are doing everything possible to censor everyone, no matter how distinguished and expert, who dissents from the lies that comprise the official narratives. Throughout the Western World truth is being rapidly closed down. Honest journalists, such as Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi are evicted from print and TV media.

Medical doctors who saved lives by treating Covid patients with Ivermectin and HCQ instead of following the murderous imposed protocol that let them die rather than to admit that there were cures, which would have threatened vaccine profits, are having their medical licenses confiscated as if they had committed a medical crime by saving lives. Scientists who don’t accept the Woke ideology that gender is self-declared, not biologically determined, are disciplined and fired as “transgender deniers.” Anthropologists and sociologists who understand that a diverse, multicultural Tower of Babel is not a country are demonized. Historians who understand that the United States is not based in “white racism” are branded “white supremacists” and “threats to democracy.”

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NATO’s only achievement.

‘Hard Times’ Ahead For Europe – NATO (RT)

Europeans are about to face numerous hardships due to Western support for Kiev, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Germany’s Welt an Sonntag newspaper on Sunday. Despite this, he insisted that the members of the US-led military bloc and their allies should boost their efforts to bolster Ukrainian forces. In his comments to the newspaper, Stoltenberg admitted that the citizens of Western countries are being negatively affected by the conflict in Ukraine. “Rising food and energy bills mean hard times for many households in Europe,” he said, adding, however, that Europeans “should remember that the people of Ukraine pay with their blood every day.”

The NATO chief also noted that the West could “strengthen Ukraine’s position at the negotiating table if we provide military support to the country.” “The best way to support peace is to support Ukraine,” he stated. He praised Germany for the weapons it is sending to Kiev, claiming that they “save lives.” According to Stoltenberg, Russia will try to use “winter as a weapon” against Ukraine. This statement echoes recent remarks in which he warned that the coming months would be difficult for Kiev. Russia started targeting Ukrainian energy facilities in early October after accusing Kiev of attacking its critical infrastructure, including the strategic Crimean Bridge.

Western nations imposed new sweeping sanctions on Russia in the wake of Moscow having launched its military operation in Ukraine. The restrictions led to skyrocketing gas prices, thus fueling the burgeoning energy crisis in the EU. This also came as the bloc announced plans to wean itself off of Russian energy. However, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, these policies will lead to “very deplorable consequences” for the EU, with up to 20 years of deindustrialization ahead. In early October, he also noted that by relying on expensive energy from the US, the bloc is making its economy “less competitive.”

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“..usually an increase in annual expenses is insignificant, while this year “we have seen numbers quickly lose relevance.”

Sweden Faces Drastic Food Inflation (RT)

Food prices in Sweden have jumped by 20% this year, while electricity bills have more than doubled, data released by the country’s Consumer Agency shows. The report is based on research of the Swedish consumer market throughout the year and analyzes food, energy, hygiene items, footwear and clothing prices. This data, together with consumer standards approved by the country’s government, is being used to determine an average level of income which requires social assistance. This year, the monthly consumer basket for one adult is estimated at 3,400 krona ($363).


For a family of two adults and two schoolchildren this figure stands at 10,700 krona ($1,142) and is based on a four-week nutrition plan recommended by Swedish diet experts “In our calculations we are taking into account only basic needs and not some luxurious consumption,” a manager from the Swedish Consumer Agency, Kristina Difs, said in a statement. She noted that usually an increase in annual expenses is insignificant, while this year “we have seen numbers quickly lose relevance.” The Agency recorded a particularly dramatic change in prices in Sweden due to extraordinary food and energy inflation.

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“Why the rush? The word inside the SEC is that Gensler wants to get much of the work on it done before the new GOP Congress takes over Jan. 3.”

SEC Chair Gary Gensler Rushing To Unveil Big Changes Amid FTX Scandal (NYP)

You would think that with the FTX scandal still brewing and investors missing billions of dollars from their supposedly secured crypto accounts, Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler would have so much on his plate, he wouldn’t have time to muck around in our capital markets, which are working just fine. But sources tell me Gensler is doing just that — preparing to unveil plans for the biggest changes in about two decades to the way stocks are routed from buyers to sellers. If Gensler’s timing holds, he will announce (possibly this week) an open meeting for mid-December that will detail his plan to remake the nation’s $46 trillion stock market, as I first reported on Fox Business. The idea is to jam out his proposed changes — and they’re pretty significant — before year’s end.

Why the rush? The word inside the SEC is that Gensler wants to get much of the work on it done before the new GOP Congress takes over Jan. 3. While a probe of Hunter Biden’s swampy business dealings is high on the list of the incoming committee chairs, Gensler knows he also has a target on his back for his ambitious — some would say zealous — progressive agenda at an agency that has a core mission of protecting investors from being ripped off by scammers. The Gensler SEC has moved so far beyond this mission that he’s looking to score lefty points and join the Environmental Social Governance bandwagon by forcing companies to disclose non-financial metrics such as how they are reducing their carbon footprint. The House Financial Services Committee, meanwhile, is intent on grilling Gensler on what he knew about the shenanigans of Sam Bankman-Fried, the Democratic megadonor under criminal investigation over the implosion of the crypto exchange FTX. The company is now in bankruptcy, while SBF, as he’s known, remains in the Bahamas.

[..] Here’s where things get interesting: Gensler met with SBF months before the blowup. The SEC had additional meetings with the fallen crypto bro’s people and business partners who were looking to start a commission-approved exchange. GOPers want to hear how all this occurred under the nose of Wall Street’s so-called top cop. Market structure, meanwhile, hasn’t really caught the full attention of the incoming 118th Congress and its new GOP majority yet, but it should. The way we buy and sell stocks, the so-called plumbing of the market, is often taken for granted for the simple reason that it works pretty seamlessly even if the process is pretty complex. It’s more complicated than just a bunch of guys on the New York Stock Exchange screaming out bids to match buyers and sellers.

For starters, most of those guys are gone, replaced by computers that can match orders in nanoseconds. The main public stock markets, the NYSE and the Nasdaq, aren’t the only game in town and are in competition to match buyers and sellers with private exchanges and market makers, companies like Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial. They’re armed with highly efficient trading machines that can match orders cheaply and still skim a bit and make a profit. It’s why we have low-cost and, in the case of Robinhood, no-fee trading platforms.

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“The wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors an invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia..”

Operation Claw-Sword: Erdogan’s Big New Game In Syria (Escobar)

There’s another Special Military Operation on the market. No, it’s not Russia “denazifying” and “demilitarizing” Ukraine – and, therefore, it’s no wonder that this other operation is not ruffling feathers across the collective West. Operation Claw-Sword was launched by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as revenge – highly emotional and concerted – for Kurdish terrorist attacks against Turkish citizens. Some of the missiles that Ankara launched in this aerial campaign carried the names of Turkish victims. The official Ankara spin is that the Turkish Armed Forces fully achieved their “air operation objectives” in the north of Syria and in Iraqi Kurdistan, and made those responsible for the terror attack against civilians in Istanbul’s Istiklal pedestrian street pay in “multitudes.”

And this is supposed to be just the first stage. For the third time in 2022, Sultan Erdogan is also promising a ground invasion of Kurdish-held territories in Syria. However, according to diplomatic sources, that’s not going to happen – even as scores of Turkish experts are adamant that the invasion is needed sooner rather than later. The wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors an invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia – which encompass a large geopolitical and geo-economic arc. He well knows that Moscow can apply all manner of pressure levers to dissuade him. For instance, Russia at the last minute annulled the weekly dispatch of a joint Russo-Turkish patrol in Ain al Arab that was taking place on Mondays.

Ain al Arab is a highly strategic territory: the missing link, east of the Euphrates, capable of offering continuity between Idlib and Ras al Ayn, occupied by dodgy Turkish-aligned gangs near the Turkish border. Erdogan knows he can’t jeopardize his positioning as potential EU-Russia mediator while obtaining maximum profit from bypassing the anti-Russian embargo-sanctions combo. The Sultan, juggling multiple serious dossiers, is deeply convinced that he’s got what it takes to bring Russia and NATO to the negotiating table and, ultimately, end the war in Ukraine. In parallel, he thinks he may stay on top of Turkey-Israel relations; a rapprochement with Damascus; the sensitive internal situation in Iran; Turkey-Azerbaijan relations; the non-stop metamorphoses across the Mediterranean; and the drive towards Eurasia integration. He’s hedging all his bets between NATO and Eurasia.

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John who?

John Bolton Assesses Trump’s 2024 Chances (RT)

Not only may former US President Donald Trump fail to win a second term, but he could also hurt many Republican Party candidates with his re-election bid, his one-time national security advisor, John Bolton, has warned. “There are a lot of reasons to be against Trump being the nominee but the one I’m hearing now…is the number of people who have just switched Trump off in their brain,” Bolton, a veteran diplomat who worked in the Trump White House between 2018 and 2019, told the Guardian newspaper on Saturday. Bolton argued that those who had passionately supported the 45th president in the past now have second thoughts, especially after the Republican Party’s underwhelming performance in the midterm elections this month.

They fear that “if he got the nomination, not only would he lose the general election, but he would take an awful lot of Republican candidates down with him,” he said. Although the former White House official thinks Trump’s endorsement could help a candidate win the primary, being associated with him would be “poisonous in the general election.” There’s no doubt Trump’s endorsement in the primary can be very valuable to a candidate in the Republican party. But relying on that endorsement or trumpeting yourself as the Trump-endorsed candidate is poisonous in the general election. So if you actually want to win elections, Trump is not the answer. Trump announced his re-election bid on November 15. The move came a week after Republicans failed to retake the Senate, despite favorable polls.

They also won control of the House of Representative by a margin much slimmer than many had anticipated. Bolton pointed to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a rising star of the Republican Party who had won a second term despite being heavily criticized by Trump. “A lot of people look to him as the next generation candidate. That’s one of Trump’s biggest problems – his act is old and tired now,” he said. Billionaire and new Twitter owner Elon Musk said on Friday he would back DeSantis’ candidacy, adding that in 2024 he would vote for “someone sensible and centrist.” Bolton is just the latest former Trump administration figure to cast doubt on his re-election chances. Former Vice President Mike Pence said this month Americans were looking for “a new leadership” and that Republicans would have “better choices” for candidates in 2024.

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Go west, old man.

Germany At Risk Of Mass Exodus Of Companies (RT)

One in four German companies is considering moving production to other countries amid the energy crisis, Tanja Gönner, CEO of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), told Die Welt am Sonntag news outlet. “The high energy prices and the weakening economy are hitting the German economy with full force and are placing a great burden on our companies compared to other international locations. The German business model is under enormous stress…Every fourth German company is thinking about relocating production abroad,” Gönner stated. Germany’s energy-intensive chemical industry is particularly affected by the crisis, Wolfgang Grosse Entrup, CEO of the German chemical industry association (VCI), told the news outlet.

“The brutal energy prices are knocking us out…Without a functioning price brake, the government is willfully accepting deindustrialization,” he warned, adding that if the chemical industry fails, other industries will follow, which “could be the knockout for Germany as a business location.” The report says German companies are suffering a variety of problems, including high energy prices, disrupted supply chains, and even the aftershocks from China’s rigid crackdown on the Covid-19 pandemic. The US government’s recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act, which provides $386 billion in subsidies for new technologies and a sustained expansion of American industry, is also seen as a major risk.

The German economic ministry recently warned that the unilateral US move demands a similar response from the EU. “We will have to give our own European response that puts our strengths forward,” the ministry said, adding that in addition to subsidies, the German industry needs “structural reforms, above all the acceleration of planning and approval procedures and de-bureaucratization.”

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“..European leaders have “pushed Europe, in particular the European Union, towards a global energy collapse.”

European Leaders At Fault For Energy Crisis – Moscow (RT)

European policymakers are to blame for the continent’s energy crisis, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday. But they have yet to sell the idea to their constituents that their economic woes are necessary, she said. Speaking to Russian news channel TV Center, Zakharova claimed European leaders have “pushed Europe, in particular the European Union, towards a global energy collapse.” According to her, they still need to convince their citizens that the crisis “is not just good and right, but is in their own interests.” “It’s a democracy test,” she added. Zakharova went on to say that European countries “did a good job” in the energy sphere – especially dealing with the blasts that ruptured the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in late September.

“We are talking about the Baltic Sea, an area that is controlled by NATO countries… this is their area of responsibility,” she noted. Western countries declared the blasts acts of sabotage. However, they refrained from jumping to conclusions or pointing fingers – a practice they do not follow if there is “an order to accuse Russia,” Zakharova said. The pipelines were built to deliver Russian natural gas directly to Germany, but lost pressure abruptly on September 26, following a series of underwater explosions off Bornholm Island, located within the economic zones of Denmark and Sweden. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it had nothing to do with the incident. Last month, the Russian Defense Ministry accused the British Navy of taking part in “a terrorist attack” which destroyed the pipelines. The UK has denied the accusation.

Moscow also claimed that the US benefited the most from the disruption, since it undercut the EU’s ability to receive natural gas supplies from Russia. The Nord Stream incident only added to Europe’s energy woes, which started to take shape after Western countries imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine. The restrictions caused major disruptions to energy deliveries, triggering protests in a number of EU countries against skyrocketing energy prices and surging costs of living in recent months. Zakharova said last week that the EU has completely embraced the idea of isolating Russia, which will “only impose costs on EU countries and their citizens who are forced to pay out of their own pockets” for their leaders’ mistakes.

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“More than 60% of an average euro area country household bill is made up of taxes and regulated costs..”

The European Union’s Misguided Energy Price Cap Proposal (Lacalle)

Only 15 years ago, the European Union produced more natural gas than Russia exported, according to the EIA. Repeating past mistakes and maintaining a failed energetic interventionist policy would only worsen what is already a structural disaster. The prohibitive cost of electricity and gas in Europe is not a result of market flaws, but of a completely unsustainable cost structure where consumers are forced to pay escalating taxes, a hidden CO2 tax, subsidies, and other rising regulatory costs. More than 60% of an average euro area country household bill is made up of taxes and regulated costs, according to Eurostat. Brussels cannot turn water into wine, and, similarly, the European Union cannot “cap” the price of natural gas and oil.

It is almost ironic, but European leaders are spending days debating whether to impose a cap on Russian oil that would be set above the current Urals price and significantly above the five-year average levels. The only thing that these so-called “caps” would achieve in a global energy market is to provide a massive subsidy that would then have to be repaid with higher tariffs or taxes afterwards. In Spain they already made the horrifying mistake that led to what was called the tariff deficit: Putting a cap on a tariff and passing the difference with the actual price to the following year with added interest charges. What the tariff deficit mechanism did was perpetuate higher tariffs even in periods of low commodity prices as the tariff deficit ballooned. The proposed gas cap would produce a comparable tariff deficit but at an enormous level if implemented throughout Europe.

Additionally, in a globalized and international market, the cap would create enormous arbitrage incentives that would only benefit China, which would continue purchasing cheap Russian commodities and exporting to Europe its more competitive goods. We must not forget that the natural gas “cap” in Spain has been a genuine catastrophe. Elevating it to Europe would be worse. According to Enagas data, natural gas demand in Spain soared while it declined in the rest of Europe, due to the disguised subsidy that the “cap” entails. Additionally, the cost of the measure for the country has increased to 13 billion euros, according to the power sector, which all citizens will pay with higher taxes, and this has led to a massive transfer of funds to France, which benefits from purchasing subsidized energy from Spain at a discount price while Spanish consumers pay the cost in higher bills.

The total cost of exports to France has exceeded 715 million euros (from 15 June to 4th November, according to sources of the power sector). Additionally, a significant increase in tariffs (+98 €/MWh) is added for clients with fixed contracts, converting their fixed contracts into variable ones due to the subsidy of natural gas prices.

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“..those financial entities that provide money for oil exploration are part of a mix of interests that include the oil industry, the aerospace industry, and the military industry. This mix is what keeps the US economy alive.”

The Most Amazing Graph of the 21st Century (Ugo Bardi)

There is an impressive example of rebound with the story of the US oil production. You probably know how, in 1956, Marion King Hubbert proposed his idea of the “bell-shaped” curve. He turned out to be approximately right in his prediction and the US oil production started to decline after 1970 in a trajectory that seemed to be irreversible. After nearly 40 years of decline, in the early 2000s, no geologist sane in his/her mind would bet that the decline could be stopped, to say nothing about reversing it. It was not a question of being catastrophist or cornucopian: the members of both categories would normally agree that extracting oil from shales was simply unthinkable in economic terms. Fracking was not really a new technology, it had been developed in the 1930s, yes, it could help, but it was complicated and expensive. No one would engage with that on a large scale.


And then, something happened that changed everything. It took a few years before the new trend was clear, but, by the mid-2010s, it couldn’t be ignored anymore. By 2018, the US production had returned to the levels of its 1970 peak. In 2019, it had overcome it, and it kept growing. The production of natural gas followed the same trend, shooting up rapidly to levels never seen before. The Covid crisis caused a new drop, at present now partially recovered. But, let’s forget the Covid story, for now. What happened that changed things so much in the US oil industry?

You probably know that the cause has a name and a story: it is called tight oil or “shale oil” extracted by “fracking”. It itself, it is nothing especially new, the concept was already known in the 1930s. The idea is to use high pressure to fracture the rock that contains the oil. That makes it possible for the liquid to flow to the surface. The problem with fracking is that it is expensive. So much that it is commonly said that nobody really made any money on it. In 2017, an analysis by the Wall Street Journal arrived at the conclusion that, since 2007, “energy companies have spent $280 billion more than they generated from operations on shale investments.” Other analysts arrived at the same conclusion: you can extract oil from shales, but don’t expect to make any money out of it. So, why are people insisting on pouring good money into bad wells?


There are good reasons. Very good reasons. What led the predictions astray was not that the geologists were not good at their job. They were, but they didn’t consider that the “market” is an abstraction that doesn’t always work, actually, almost never works. So, those financial entities that provide money for oil exploration are part of a mix of interests that include the oil industry, the aerospace industry, and the military industry. This mix is what keeps the US economy alive. But there would be no aerospace or military industries if the oil industry could not produce enough oil.

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Why I Despise Douglas Murray and Other Such Propagandists

 

 

12 years ago Wikileaks started publishing Cablegate. This is what Julian Assange is being prosecuted for. He hasn’t been free since.

 

 

 

 

Suns

 

 

 

 

Vogelkop

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 252022
 


Salvador Dali Figure at a window 1925

 

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed (Lauria)
Musk Announces Twitter Amnesty (RT)
Musk Says Granting ‘Amnesty’ To Suspended Twitter Accounts (AP)
NATO Doesn’t Supersede the U.S. Constitution (McKnight)
Electric War (Escobar)
Belarus Paints Grim Picture For Ukraine If It Won’t Negotiate (RT)
Pentagon Dodges Ukraine Aid Question (RT)
French Interior Minister Labels Italy Enemy Of France After Migration Row (RMX)
EU Fails To Agree On Gas Price Cap – Hungary (RT)
Estonia Warns It Will Veto EU Price Cap On Russian Oil (RT)
Hungary Faces Pressure To Ratify NATO Expansion (RT)
Oddsmakers Favor DeSantis For 2024 (JTN)
Climate Policy Makes Europe Too Expensive for Low-Cost EV Manufacturing (CTH)
Meta Uncovers US Military-Linked Propaganda Campaign (RT)
You’re Going To Get Robbed (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk a bit about Twitter and its amnesty policy Elon Musk announced yesterday. Which is basically free speech. Which in turn is something many people feel threatened by. The Constitution itself is a threat to them.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in 1971:“In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy..”

Media Serve the Governors, Not the Governed (Lauria)

In his 1971 opinion in the Pentagon Papers case, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote: “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government.” That’s what WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been doing since 2006: censuring governments with governments’ own words pried from secrecy by WikiLeaks’ sources—whistleblowers. In other words, WikiLeaks has been doing the job the U.S. constitution intended the press to do.

One can hardly imagine anyone sitting on today’s U.S. Supreme Court writing such an opinion. Even more troubling is the news media having turned its back on its mission. Today they almost always serve the governors—not the governed. The question is why. Consolidation of media ownership has increased obedience of desperate journalists; entertainment divisions have taken over news departments; and careerist reporters and editors live vicariously through the power of those they cover, rejecting the press’ unique power to hold those officials to account. It comes down ultimately to lifestyles. Men go to war to protect and further their lifestyles. The press cheers them on for residual material betterment and increase in status. Millions of lives erased for lifestyles.

It used to be accepted in television that news departments would lose money and would be supported by the entertainment division. That’s because news was considered a public service. TV newsmen — they were almost all men in those days— were former wire service and newspaper reporters. But greed has put the presenters’ personalities before public service, as entertainment masquerades as news. Newspapers have sacrificed investigative units to maximize profit. Government is the winner. The abdication of the mainstream media of their constitutional responsibility to serve the governed and not the governors has left a void filled for more than a decade by WikiLeaks.

No longer do today’s Daniel Ellsbergs need to take their chances with editors at The New York Times or The Washington Post, or with their reporters spinning the damning information they risk their freedom to get to the public — no matter how disinterested and distracted the public may be. Now the traditional media can be bypassed. WikiLeaks deals in the raw material, that governments hang themselves with. That’s why they want Assange’s head. They lust for revenge and to stop further leaks that threaten their grip on power. That the corporate media has turned on Assange and WikiLeaks reveals their service to the state and how much they prioritize their style of life — disregarding the carnage they help bring about.

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Twitter “amnesty”. RT provides a factual story…

Musk Announces Twitter Amnesty (RT)

Twitter boss Elon Musk has vowed to extend a “general amnesty” to an unspecified number of suspended users, a week after reversing former US President Donald Trump’s lifetime ban from the platform. “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week,” Musk tweeted on Thanksgiving Day. He added “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” a Latin phrase that means “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” The SpaceX and Tesla CEO launched a Twitter poll on Wednesday, asking if Twitter should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” Out of more than 3.1 million users who took part, 72.4% voted ‘yes’ and 27.6% voted ‘no’.

In a separate message Musk also promised to start freeing and offering up for grabs “vast numbers of handles” that had previously been “consumed” by bots and trolls. Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion last month, Musk has faced growing criticism for laying off hundreds of employees and reversing the permanent suspensions of multiple notable accounts, including former US President Donald Trump following a similar public vote. While critics claimed that Musk’s actions fuel hate speech, harassment and misinformation, he has rejected accusations he was some kind of “right-wing bogeyman” and insisted that Twitter under his ownership has not banned any leftists, not even for “utter lies.”

It remains to be seen how many users would be eligible for amnesty. This week the platform already reinstated Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose personal Twitter account had been permanently banned since early January 2022 for posting “misinformation” about the Covid-19 pandemic. Musk, however, drew the line at Alex Jones, saying he had “no mercy” for someone who used children’s deaths for clout. Musk had vowed to transform the platform and turn it into a bastion of free speech, saying it was “important to the future of civilization” to have a digital town square where a wide range of beliefs could be discussed.

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…but the MSM, in this case AP, sees enormous threats in free speech. And if free speech equals freedom, we know what they’re afraid of. It reminds me of Sartre’s “L’enfer c’est les autres”, (Hell is -the- other people). In other words, if you honor the priciple of free speech, you welcome hell into your world. That sounds like the opposite of what the founding fathers thought. Hell is other people’s freedom.

Musk Says Granting ‘Amnesty’ To Suspended Twitter Accounts (AP)

New Twitter owner Elon Musk said Thursday that he is granting “amnesty” for suspended accounts, which online safety experts predict will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation. The billionaire’s announcement came after he asked in a poll posted to his timeline to vote on reinstatements for accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” The yes vote was 72%. “The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God.” Musk used the same Latin phrase after posting a similar poll last last weekend before reinstating the account of former President Donald Trump, which Twitter had banned for encouraging the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection.

Trump has said he won’t return to Twitter but has not deleted his account. Such online polls are anything but scientific and can easily be influenced by bots. In the month since Musk took over Twitter, groups that monitor the platform for racist, anti-Semitic and other toxic speech say it’s been on the rise on the world’s de facto public square. That has included a surge in racist abuse of World Cup soccer players that Twitter is allegedly failing to act on. The uptick in harmful content is in large part due to the disorder following Musk’s decision to lay off half the company’s 7,500-person workforce, fire top executives, and then institute a series of ultimatums that prompted hundreds more to quit. Also let go were an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation.

Among those resigning over a lack of faith in Musk’s willingness to keep Twitter from devolving into a chaos of uncontrolled speech were Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth. Major advertisers have also abandoned the platform. On Oct. 28, the day after he took control, Musk tweeted that no suspended accounts would be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints that would consider the cases. On Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he’d agreed to at the insistence of “a large coalition of political-social activists groups” who later ”broke the deal” by urging that advertisers at least temporarily stop giving Twitter their business.

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More violations of what the founding fathers bestowed upon us. How did all these things become so normal?

NATO Doesn’t Supersede the U.S. Constitution (McKnight)

As our government continues to bumble and stumble at full speed towards World War III, the concept of tripwires and the legal authority of Article 5 become required understanding for the vigilant citizen. Last week the American people received the then-breaking news that a missile had landed in Poland and killed two people.Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said that this was a purposeful act of war by Russia, and that the West must respond with full kinetic retaliation. He was joined by his amen corner here in the United States, that group of politicians, regime journalists, and paid lobbyists who have sold out their country for the requisite thirty pieces of silver. The War Party immediately jumped into action: this was what they’ve been waiting, praying for. A catalyst to launch the missiles, and sacrifice the world.

Poland, like the United States and nearly all of Europe, is a member of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. (Maybe we should wonder why countries like Poland, Estonia, and Romania are in an “Atlantic” alliance.) A provision of NATO is Article 5, which popular conception treats as a mandatory obligation to go to war when a member of the alliance is attacked. It’s a one way pass into World War III. There were just two things wrong with this narrative. First, as was revealed within forty-eight hours and confirmed by both the Polish government and Biden White House, the missile was Ukrainian, not Russian. Vladimir Putin had not attacked NATO—purposefully or accidentally. Instead, a Ukrainian air defense missile attempting to intercept a Russian strike went off trajectory killed two Poles across the border.

All of a sudden “collective security” was no longer threatened, and no one on cable news was talking about how this required NATO retaliation on Kiev. (Surprised?) Secondly, even if it had been a Russian missile, and even if Vladimir Putin himself had aimed directly at that Polish farm, Article 5 obligates the United States to nothing. The NATO Treaty also has an Article 11, which specifies that the provisions of the alliance will be carried out in accordance with the domestic constitutions and processes of the respective members. That means a majority vote of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on a formal declaration of war. Any member of Congress or news talking head saying Article 5 requires an immediate military response without a debate or vote is either lying or woefully uninformed.

And even if the NATO Treaty didn’t have that provision, we’d still rest our argument of Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, the supreme authority of our laws. We are a sovereign nation, and the American people always have a choice on whether or not to go to war. Any international piece of paper trying to say otherwise be damned. Unfortunately, the War Party doesn’t always make that choice easy. They bribe politicians with weapon contract profits, flood the corporate press with propaganda, and instruct the American people that they must either commit to endless war or lose their liberty. They manufacture themselves consent.

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“..a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII..”

Electric War (Escobar)

Spare a thought to the Polish farmer snapping pics of a missile wreckage – later indicated to belong to a Ukrainian S-300. So a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII – unleashed via a tawdry plot concocted by Anglo-American “intelligence”.Such tawdriness was compounded by a ridiculous cover-up: the Ukrainians were firing on Russian missiles from a direction that they could not possibly be coming from. That is: Poland. And then the U.S. Secretary of Defense, weapons peddler Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin, sentenced Russia was to blame anyway, because his Kiev vassals were shooting at Russian missiles that should not have been in the air (and they were not). Call it the Pentagon elevating bald lying into a rather shabby art.

The Anglo-American purpose of this racket was to generate a “world crisis” against Russia. It’s been exposed – this time. That does not mean the usual suspects won’t try it again. Soon. The main reason is panic. Collective West intel sees how Moscow is finally mobilizing their army – ready to hit the ground next month – while knocking out Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure as a form of Chinese torture. Those February days of sending only 100,000 troops – and having the DPR and LPR militias plus Wagner commandos and Kadyrov’s Chechens do most of the heavy lifting – are long gone. Overall, Russians and Russophones were facing hordes of Ukrainian military – perhaps as many as 1 million. The “miracle” of it all is that Russians did quite well.

Every military analyst knows the basic rule: an invasion force should number three times the defending force. The Russian Army at the start of the SMO was at a small fraction of that rule. The Russian Armed Forces arguably have a standing army of 1.3 million troops. Surely they could have spared a few tens of thousands more than the initial 100,000. But they did not. It was a political decision. But now SMO is over: this is CTO (Counter-Terrorist Operation) territory. A sequence of terrorist attacks – targeting the Nord Streams, the Crimea Bridge, the Black Sea Fleet – finally demonstrated the inevitability of going beyond a mere “military operation”. And that brings us to Electric War.

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“If they [Kiev] don’t want people to die, and to die in huge numbers … It’s hard, but [the conflict] must be stopped, because the complete destruction of Ukraine will follow..”

Belarus Paints Grim Picture For Ukraine If It Won’t Negotiate (RT)

Ukraine should do its best to end the conflict with Russia, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday, adding that failure to do so would bring about the total collapse of the nation. Commenting on the hostilities in the neighboring country, the Belarusian leader noted that “everything is in Ukraine’s hands now.” “If they [Kiev] don’t want people to die, and to die in huge numbers … It’s hard, but [the conflict] must be stopped, because the complete destruction of Ukraine will follow,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of the summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Armenia. Lukashenko added that it is not just “the loss of statehood” that is at stake for Ukraine, but its very existence.

He claimed that the Ukrainian people, who are bearing the brunt of the conflict, would eventually force President Vladimir Zelensky into a diplomatic engagement. “In one or two years, the people will be accusing him: ‘What did you do to start this war?’ According to Lukashenko, the situation will “press the Ukrainian leadership – if it is reasonable – into sitting at the negotiating table.” After Russia launched its military campaign against Ukraine in late February, Belarus hosted several rounds of talks between Moscow and Kiev. At the time, however, these diplomatic efforts failed to garner any results. In October, the Belarusian president claimed that while Minsk takes part in Russia’s military operation, its role is limited.

He said that his country is preventing the conflict from spreading into its territory while making sure that “nobody would shoot Russians in the back from the territory of Belarus.” In late September, he also claimed that the conflict could end “in just a few days” if Western powers were to back a peaceful settlement. This statement was to some extent echoed by Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said last week that the participation of Western nations in dialogue could be a “guiding and reinforcing element.” While Moscow has repeatedly signaled that it is open to negotiations, President Zelensky has set some conditions. They include the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage,” and the “punishment of every war criminal.”

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“I am not going to take the question because I’m answering your question.”

Pentagon Dodges Ukraine Aid Question (RT)

The US military has declined to give an exact breakdown for billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine requested by the White House last week, saying it would not discuss funding to replenish domestic arms stocks amid reports of growing shortages. Asked about President Joe Biden’s letter to Congress requesting an additional $37.7 billion in assistance to Kiev, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh refused to offer details. “I would not be able to tell you how much of that… is going back to replenishment,” she told reporters during a Tuesday press conference. “With every security assistance package that we announce, we assess our own readiness and capabilities and also what needs to be replenished.”

Pressed on whether she could take the question back to the Pentagon and provide an answer later, Singh doubled down, insisting: “I am not going to take the question because I’m answering your question.”“I just don’t have a number or a dollar figure for you right now on what that looks like, and I don’t think that’s something that we would broadcast from here,” she reiterated. Though the White House previously said that $21.7 billion of the requested aid would be devoted to both “equipment for Ukraine” and the “replenishment of Department of Defense stocks,” it did not specify how much would go to each. Repeated weapon shipments to Kiev have taken a toll on the domestic stockpile.

Earlier this week, the US Army’s chief of arms acquisition, Doug Bush, said the military was accelerating its process to procure weapons in order to make up for shortages, though Pentagon documents recently seen by the New York Post suggested it will take “multiple years” to resupply the Army. Even as early as March, just weeks after the conflict in Ukraine kicked off, the Defense Department was already scrambling to replenish thousands of shoulder-fired missiles supplied to Kiev. US arms transfers have only increased in the time since, with the Pentagon’s latest fact sheet reporting more than $19 billion in direct military aid approved since February, including over 46,000 anti-armor systems, nearly 200 Howitzers, 38 long-range High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and a litany of other heavy weapons, vehicles and ammunition.

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“She argues that France continues to act like a colonial power, which drives Africans to migrate in the first place.”

French Interior Minister Labels Italy Enemy Of France After Migration Row (RMX)

Following growing tensions between Italy and France over the issue of boat migrants in the Mediterranean, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has resorted to extremely harsh rhetoric, referring to the Italian government as “enemies of France.” Darmanin made the comment in response to a question from a National Rally MP Mathilde Paris during a Q&A session in the French parliament, saying Italy is “attacking France.” Paris was inquiring why the majority of the migrants aboard the Ocean Viking ship, which France allowed to dock, have been released from the administrative center housing them, despite the minister’s previous assurances that “(they) will not be able to leave the administrative center.” Instead of addressing the question, Darmanin claimed she was an “ally” of the “enemies” of France.

“In fact, madam, you are not patriotic if you ally yourself with the enemies who are attacking France at the moment,” Darmanin said in response to a question by Paris. “You are siding with Madam (Giorgia) Meloni and her government who did not respect international law, instead you are attacking French policemen,” he added. The French government is being criticized for taking in the migrants, and a report shows that 26 of the 44 minors taken in have already escaped the migrant center. The language being deployed by Darmanin is sure to add further tension between the two countries, which has been growing ever since Italy rejected taking 234 migrants from the NGO ship Ocean Viking, which had mostly North Africans on board.

Italy argues that it has already accepted 90,000 migrants in 2022 alone, and even after rejecting Ocean Viking, it still allowed three NGO ships to dock and 600 migrants to disembark. Although French President Emmanuel Macron has labeled Meloni “inhumane” for not taking in the Ocean Viking migrants, at the same time, France has now said it is retaliating by not accepting 3,000 migrants from Italy it had promised to take in. Meloni has responded, pointing to France’s CFA franc program, in which France agrees to print money for 14 African countries in exchange for mint fees, which can go as high as 50 percent. She argues that France continues to act like a colonial power, which drives Africans to migrate in the first place.

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Hopeless. They all want different price caps for different reasons.

EU Fails To Agree On Gas Price Cap – Hungary (RT)

EU nations have failed to reach an agreement on imposing a price ceiling on natural gas following a Council of Energy Ministers’ meeting, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday. Ministers from the bloc will discuss the proposed measure further during an extraordinary meeting scheduled on December 13, two days before the Summit of European leaders. “Today we started negotiations on the introduction of a ceiling on gas prices. I can say that these are bad proposals, which also threaten Europe’s energy security,” Szijjarto said. “At the meeting, no decision was made that could meet the objectives of the European Commission,” the minister stated, adding that most member states, including Hungary, see such a step as a misguided intervention with work of the natural gas market.


Szijjarto stressed that Hungary, which is heavily reliant on Russian energy imports, is planning to seek exemptions from any EU price caps on oil and gas supplied under long-term contracts. The EU has proposed introducing a cap when prices on the TTF exchange, Europe’s gas benchmark, reach €275 per megawatt hour and when prices are €58 ($59.53) higher than the LNG reference price for ten consecutive trading days within the two weeks. Both conditions need to be met for the cap to be triggered.

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“It is hoped that the price limit would allow Russian production to remain at pre-sanctions levels, but reduce the country’s oil revenue.”

Estonia Warns It Will Veto EU Price Cap On Russian Oil (RT)

A price cap on Russian oil proposed by the European Commission is too high and may be blocked by Estonia, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu said on Thursday, as quoted by Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR). The proposal by Brussels to set a limit of between $65 and $70 per barrel on Russian sea-borne oil is insufficient, he stated, arguing that Moscow would make too much revenue at that price. “Estonia finds that the price horizon’s ambition is too low, considering that the EU has also failed to agree on a ninth sanctions package. The cap seems too high,” Reinsalu said at a government press conference, adding that discussions were ongoing.

Earlier, EU energy chief Kadri Simson confirmed that bloc members had failed to reach an agreement on a Russian oil price cap, but said negotiations would continue. Estonia’s warning came after EU leaders had already watered down the proposed cap by weakening some shipping provisions and delaying the implementation of the measure. Under the updated plan seen by Bloomberg, a grace period would apply to crude loaded before December 5, when oil-related sanctions come into effect, and unloaded by January 19. If approved, the measure would ban Western companies from providing insurance, brokerage or financial assistance to vessels loaded with Russian crude, unless the cargo is purchased below an agreed price.

It is hoped that the price limit would allow Russian production to remain at pre-sanctions levels, but reduce the country’s oil revenue. The proposal was reportedly rejected by Poland along with all three Baltic States, which called the cap “too generous” for Russia and pushed for the price ceiling to be imposed at $30 per barrel. Meanwhile, nations with major shipping industries like Greece and Malta insisted the cap should not be below $70. On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would embargo nations that support the proposed price limit on its oil.

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“I would like to underline that the Swedes and the Finns have not lost a single minute of membership because of Hungary,” Orban said..”

Hungary Faces Pressure To Ratify NATO Expansion (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has promised that Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids will definitely be among the first items on the agenda when the country’s parliament reconvenes next year, likely around mid-February.“I would like to underline that the Swedes and the Finns have not lost a single minute of membership because of Hungary,” Orban said, as cited by Euronews, adding that the prime ministers of Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia had nudged him to move forward with the process during their meeting on Thursday.

“We have already confirmed to both Finland and Sweden that Hungary supports the membership of these two countries in NATO, and at the first session of next year, Parliament will put this on the agenda,” the Hungarian PM stated, apparently after facing pressure during a Visegrad Group meeting in Slovakia. Last month, Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said there was a “good chance” the Hungarian parliament would vote before its autumn session ends mid-December. The parliament usually reconvenes in early February. In May, amid Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, Sweden and neighboring Finland broke with their decades-long neutrality stance and formally applied for NATO membership. While the bloc accepted the requests, the Nordic nations’ bids have to be ratified by all 30 member states, and Türkiye and Hungary’s approval is still pending.

Earlier this month, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock rebuked Budapest and Ankara for delaying the ratification process, insisting that there is a “crystal clear basis” for allowing the two Nordic nations to join the military bloc. Hungarian officials have repeatedly stated their support for NATO expansion, and the measure is expected to be easily passed once it comes to the floor. Meanwhile, Ankara is demanding that Stockholm and Helsinki do more to fight “terrorism,” particularly Kurdish groups which are outlawed in Türkiye. Negotiations on the matter are still underway.

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Pence and Buttigieg. What a waste of time.

Oddsmakers Favor DeSantis For 2024 (JTN)

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is the odds-on favorite to win the 2024 presidential election. Betting website Covers.com currently assigns DeSantis a 30.77% chance of winning the 2024 electoral contest, with former President Donald Trump coming in second with 22.22%. President Joe Biden rounds out the top three with 20% while Vice President Kamala Harris and Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom tie for fourth with 6.67% each. Former Vice President Mike Pence and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg each have a 4.35% shot at the nation’s top job. Thus far, only Trump has officially launched his 2024 campaign, though Biden is expected to eventually do so. DeSantis, meanwhile, has declined to fuel speculation about his own potential bid, instead asserting that the GOP should focus on the upcoming Georgia runoff election.

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Want to use less oil? Stop making stuff.

Climate Policy Makes Europe Too Expensive for Low-Cost EV Manufacturing (CTH)

We have been closely monitoring the signs of a global cleaving around the energy sector taking place. Essentially, western governments’ following the “Build Back Better” climate change agenda which stops using coal, oil and gas to power their economic engine, while the rest of the growing economic world continues using the more efficient and traditional forms of energy to power their economies. Within the BBB western group (identified on map in yellow), the logical consequences are increased living costs for those who live in the BBB zone, and increased prices for goods manufactured in the BBB zone. In the zone where traditional low-cost energy resources continue to be developed (grey on map), we would expect to see a lower cost of living and lower costs to create goods. Two divergent economic zones based on two different energy systems.

This potential outcome just seemed to track with the logical conclusion. The yellow zone also represented by the World Economic Forum, and the gray zone also represented by an expanding BRICS alliance. Against this predictable backdrop we have been watching various events unfold, some obvious and some less so. Today, we get an obvious example: NEW DELHI, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Fiat parent Stellantis (STLA.MI) has concluded it can’t currently make affordable electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe and is looking at lower-cost manufacturing in markets such as India, its chief executive told reporters. If India, with its low-cost supplier base, is able to meet the company’s quality and cost targets by the end of 2023, it could open the door to exporting EVs to other markets, said Carlos Tavares, CEO of the group whose brands also include Peugeot and Chrysler.

“So far, Europe is unable to make affordable EVs. So the big opportunity for India would be to be able to sell EV compact cars at an affordable price, protecting profitability,” Tavares told reporters at a media roundtable in India late on Wednesday. Stellantis is investing heavily in EVs and plans to produce dozens in the coming decade, but Tavares warned last month that affordable battery EVs were between five and six years away. On his first visit to India since taking over as Stellantis CEO, he said the company was still working out a plan regarding EV exports from the country and had not yet taken any decisions.”

Normally we would expect to see market forces determining the ultimate economic outcome. Historically, we would not expect government policy that puts their nation at an economic disadvantage. However, in this WEF controlled new western economic normal we see multinational corporations’ making decisions and government leaders creating policy to support the corporations. There is money to be made by corporations within the climate change agenda, and there is money to be made by producing goods with low-cost wages and cheap materials. Eventually, if you keep following this to its natural conclusion, the entire yellow zone becomes a service driven economy.

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What on earth made them go public with this?

“..the Pentagon was forced to launch a “sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare,” after a variety of social media accounts, which its operatives used to target foreign audiences in elaborate psychological warfare efforts, were exposed.”

Meta Uncovers US Military-Linked Propaganda Campaign (RT)

Facebook’s parent company Meta has acknowledged the discovery of several clusters of fake accounts and pages believed to be linked to individuals “associated with the US military,” according to the company’s latest adversarial threat report published this week. “Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the US military,” the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. The influence campaign was discovered earlier this year and in total Meta removed 39 Facebook and 26 Instagram accounts, as well as 16 Pages and two groups, all for violating the policy against “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

The social media giant admitted that the large-scale operation ran beyond those several dozen accounts and across many other internet platforms, including Twitter, YouTube and Telegram, as well as major Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. It apparently attempted to downplay the discovery by insisting that the “majority of this operation’s posts had little to no engagement from authentic communities” and highlighting similar “deceptive campaigns” by China and Russia. Meta’s acknowledgement substantiates a bombshell investigation by Washington Post that revealed that the Pentagon was forced to launch a “sweeping audit of how it conducts clandestine information warfare,” after a variety of social media accounts, which its operatives used to target foreign audiences in elaborate psychological warfare efforts, were exposed.

The takedown of the influence network was initially highlighted by researchers at Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory, which back in August published a report about online networks allegedly pushing “pro-Western,” anti-Russia and other politicized narratives. While the original study did not pin blame for the fake accounts on any particular actors, two officials later told the Post that US CENTCOM – the combatant command which oversees forces in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia – “is among those whose activities are facing scrutiny” for its influence operations. At the time, CENTCOM refused to comment on whether any of the suspicious accounts were created by its personnel or contractors, but one official claimed such behavior would “absolutely be a violation of doctrine and training practices.”

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Death, taxes and getting robbed.

You’re Going To Get Robbed (Denninger)

Read this Twitter thread in full.: Today, we issued a final rule that allows retirement plan investors to take climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into consideration when making investment decisions: Oh really? Did you not just see a prime example of what happens when “ESG” takes over a corporation? Why, you did. It’s called Twitter. Three quarters of the people, all hired with “ESG” in mind, were just fired by Musk who as a private owner has zero obligation to any such so-called “principle.” The various screaming parties in the ESG cult all predicted immediate doom and disaster. No such disaster has occurred; the firm’s only service it provides to the public is running just fine with one quarter of the staffing load — and thus cost — it used to have. If you think Twitter is unique in this regard you’re too stupid to have a retirement and deserve to lose every cent of whatever you claim to be “investing.”

Let’s put this in simple terms: If “ESG” is a net positive for a company then nobody has to exempt anything or make it a separate subject of consideration and in fact doing so is stupid because if it in fact makes the firm more competitive and operating at a lower cost per unit of output it wins all on its own. What the Department of Labor has said by issuing this advisory is that your “retirement plan” can now be disadvantaged to any degree whatsoever, including losing all of it, when (not if) these “ESG” initiatives cause the firms invested in to underperform or fail outright and when that occurs you can’t sue the plan provider for violating their fiduciary responsibility to you as the true owner of the asset.

In other words the Department of Labor is formally admitting that these “ESG” initiatives are not to the benefit of the firm’s operating results and thus are also not to your benefit as an investor. This fact has now become a formal admission by our Federal Government. What’s worse? This “rule” amounts to an admission of collusive price-fixing — albeit indirect — between what are supposed to be competing firms. Under 100+ year old law that is a serious criminal felony. You will get screwed out of trillions of dollars over the coming years as a result of this and you are responsible for that screwing because you have and continue to permit this sort of rank corruption to take place without demanding it stop and backing up that demand with whatever is necessary to eliminate it.

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Steve Kirsch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1595893348035751936

 

 

 

 

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May 062022
 
 May 6, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Nude on a beach 1929

 

NATO’s New World (Vilches)
Ukraine’s Forces Told To Hold The Line Where Russia Pulverizes Them (MoA)
For Those Who Still Don’t Understand (Sergey Glazyev)
Why is the White House Bragging About Killing Russians in Ukraine? (CTH)
Sleepy Joe’s $33 Billion Abomination (Stockman)
Tulsi Gabbard Bashes Biden For Calling Millions Of Americans Terrorists (Blaze)
Elon Musk Expected to Axe Twitter’s Censorship Team, Become CEO (BN)
Musk Blasts Soros ‘Dark Money Groups’ Threatening Twitter Advertisers (ZH)
Musk Summoned to Parliament for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech (Turley)
Five Steps to Free Speech in Social Media: A Musk Roadmap (Turley)
2000 Mules (AG)
FDA Limits Use of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Due to Blood Clots (CTH)
McCullough: 30% of US Pilots May Have COVID Jab-Induced Heart Conditions (ET)
UN: Obesity Levels In Europe At ‘Epidemic Proportions’ (AP)
EU Officials Being Trained To Meditate To Help Fight Climate Crisis (G.)

 

 

 

 

Tucker MAGA

 

 

 

 

Psaki abortion

 

 

Celente

 

 

“..per the Führer´s own description, such lebensraum was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”

NATO’s New World (Vilches)

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss recently experienced her 15 minutes of glory with a blatant hissy-fit rant policy speech at a London´s Mansion House banquet. She posited that the collective West now needs “a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew. Publically, Ms Liz Truss tapped her well-known Rule Britannia Anglo-Saxon exceptionalistic mind-set which now would badly require a much larger “lebensraum”. By the way, the Rule Britannia lyrics ´clearly clearly clearly´ let the world know that “…at heaven’s command…Britons never, never, never shall be slaves”. No way, slaves will exist, but Britons should make sure it´s the other way around, see ? So beware… With an AUKUS core, the strategic concept is “all for one, and one for all” just like ´The Three Musketeers´ except that the world´s livelihood is for real, not a novel. Liz Truss is not a cartoon character either, she is today´s United Kingdom Foreign Secretary.

Lebensraum Ukraine would only be the starting point says Truss very proud of British colonial history. Actually it´d have to be even far larger than what Adolf Hitler originally foresaw with his Nazi foreign policy dictum left on record in “Mein Kampf”. Unbelievably, and per the Führer´s own description, such lebensraum was to be found – oh coincidence — “in the Ukraine and intermediate lands of eastern Europe”… Mind you readers this is a historical certainty, unfortunately not fiction. Curiously enough, WW2 ended when Germany´s dictator shot his lover and himself in the temple only four years after the Wehrmacht had invaded Ukraine pursuing its much-needed Caucasus´ oil. So paraphrasing Mark Twain, and relating Nazis to Ukraine and oil …with the Russians defending and finally winning… history doesn´t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.

But no Sir, what Adolf Hitler conceived 90 years ago today is not large enough at all for NATO, sorry. Per Liz Truss (more on her later) it´d be a flashing new “Network of Liberty” yet global in nature, understand ? The time and place of this new “Global NATO” setting Ms Truss says is (1) right now and (2) throughout the whole world, okay ? Furthermore, in the meantime and so as not to waste valuable time and resources, Liz Truss urges current (limited) “European” NATO to send more “heavy weapons, tanks, and also airplanes” to Ukraine ASAP “digging deep into our inventories and ramping up production”. Her obvious Russo-Europhobic objective is to split Eurasia into fractions according to the very British well-proven ´divide and conquer´ philosophy.

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“The order was given because the ‘west’ has pushed the Ukrainian president to not make peace with Russia. The consequence will be the assured destruction of the Ukrainian military.”

Ukraine’s Forces Told To Hold The Line Where Russia Pulverizes Them (MoA)

The Russian military forces are grinding down Ukrainian ground forces by extensive use of heavy artillery. The Ukrainian artillery has been destroyed or lacks ammunition.The Ukrainian forces have orders to stay in their position and to hold the line. That only makes sure that Russian artillery strikes will destroy them. The order was given because the ‘west’ has pushed the Ukrainian president to not make peace with Russia. The consequence will be the assured destruction of the Ukrainian military. There are claims that the Russian progress in Ukraine has been slow or has even come to a halt:


“The United States assessed last week that Russian troops were making “slow and uneven” progress in the Donbas, often of no more than “several kilometers … on any given day, just because they don’t want to run out too far ahead of their logistics and sustainment lines,” one senior U.S. official told journalists. But in its daily reports, the Institute for the Study of War noted that Russian forces made no confirmed ground attacks on Monday or Tuesday. It said a Ukrainian artillery strike April 30 on a Russian command headquarters near Izium has slowed the Russian push, and noted that, farther north, a Ukrainian counterattack Monday pushed Russian forces back 25 miles east of Kharkiv.”

Those claims do not hold up to reality. As Clausewitz wrote about the Schwerpunkt in ‘On War’: “[N]o matter what the central feature of the enemy’s power may be—the point on which your efforts must converge—the defeat and destruction of his fighting force remains the best way to begin, and in every case will be a very significant feature of the campaign.” Basing our comments on general experience, the acts we consider most important for the defeat of the enemy are the following: “Destruction of his army, if it is at all significant. Seizure of his capital if it is not only the center of administration but also that of social, professional, and political activity. Delivery of an effective blow against his principal ally if that ally is more powerful than he. Accordingly the Russian military is tasked with demilitarizing the Ukraine, Clausewitz’ task one, and that is what it is doing.


Russia is using the best available means to destroy the Ukrainian military. On the ground that means ruthless systematic mass use of artillery. Reports about the high morale of the Ukrainian soldiers who halt Russian advances are copium when compared with the reality of the battlefield. From the preface of the book King of Battle: Artillery in World War: “Artillery dominated the battlefields of World War I. That was seen in various ways, from wounding patterns and doctors’ clinical data, to memoirs, diaries, and letters, through to changed military doctrine after the war. No nation that had experienced significant ground combat would blithely assume morale could replace firepower. Artillery even holds the dubious distinction of causing a new diagnosis, shellshock.”

Azov Mariupol

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“..color revolutions” financed by the Comprador oligarchy under the promise of unfreezing assets seized in the US-European jurisdiction..”

For Those Who Still Don’t Understand (Sergey Glazyev)

A special military operation (SVO) revealed a plan prepared in advance by the US power and financial elite to seize power in Russia. It includes the following components and stages.

1. Wear out the Russian armed forces in a war with well-trained and directly controlled by the Pentagon fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, “stitched” by the Nazis with a vertical of officers appointed by the US and British special services. Turn the population of Ukraine into zombies infected with Russophobia. At the same time, incite the international community against Russia, making accusations of war crimes and genocide against its leadership. On this basis, confiscate Russia’s foreign currency assets and impose total sanctions against it, causing the maximum possible damage. This stage is actually completed.

2. Terrorize the Russian population with shelling of border settlements and military infrastructure, sabotage of transport, and hacker attacks. Hit the public consciousness with a flood of negative fake news and anti-government propaganda through social networks. To impose, through their agents of influence in the financial and economic authorities, an economic policy that blocks the mobilization of resources, including: inflating interest rates, continuing the export of capital, encouraging currency and financial speculation, manipulating the ruble exchange rate, and inflating prices. Thus, the sanctions can be repeatedly aggravated and provoke a collapse in production and a decline in living standards. This stage is in full swing.

3. Provoking protest moods and destructive socio-political actions aimed at overthrowing the legitimate authorities against the background of falling living standards and losses in the course of their activities. The use of the entire arsenal of methods for organizing “color revolutions” financed by the Comprador oligarchy under the promise of unfreezing assets seized in the US-European jurisdiction. At the same time, we are preparing the organizational and ideological foundations for separatist actions in the regions. This stage is under active development.

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“Perhaps because the only historic way out of a deep economic recession is a war or housing starts?”

Why is the White House Bragging About Killing Russians in Ukraine? (CTH)

Does Joe Biden intend to take the U.S. into a direct war with Russia? Perhaps because the only historic way out of a deep economic recession is a war or housing starts? Perhaps, because they need a bigger distraction from the political impact of their own policies? Those questions need to be asked and answered quickly, because the White House is about to flip the switch from a “proxy war” into an actual hot war between the United States and Russia. How do we know? Because the Biden administration is openly bragging about their specific military operations inside Ukraine that are killing Russians. Consider:

NYT: “The United States provided intelligence that helped Ukrainian forces locate and strike the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet last month, another sign that the administration is easing its self-imposed limitations on how far it will go in helping Ukraine fight Russia, U.S. officials said.” NYT:”The United States has provided intelligence about Russian units that has allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior American officials.”

Why would Joe Biden be bragging about killing Russians in Ukraine if he wasn’t trying to provoke us into a hot war? “The administration has sought to keep much of the battlefield and maritime intelligence it is sharing with the Ukrainians secret out of fear it will be seen as an escalation and provoke President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia into a wider war. But in recent weeks, the United States has sped heavier weapons to Ukraine and requested an extraordinary $33 billion in additional military, economic and humanitarian aid from Congress, demonstrating how quickly American restraints on support for Ukraine are shifting.”

Priest

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“In the target practice galleries of Washington politics, Vlad became the Donald’s avatar.”

Sleepy Joe’s $33 Billion Abomination (Stockman)

Donald Trump has been well relegated to the sidelines of America’s political debate, but the TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) lives on, more virulent than ever. The latter is what’s behind Washington’s descent into the current mindless Ukraine war fever—an outbreak of irrationality that makes even the post-9/11 hysteria seem like an orderly discourse. At the center of this madness, of course, is Vladimir Putin, the Devil Incarnate. Prior to February 24th he had attained that designation in Imperial Washington not just because of his rough methods of governance in Russia or small time military forays in the 2008 South Ossetia/Georgia dispute or in putting down alleged terrorists in Chechnya, but because according to the RussiaGate hoax he had thrown the election to Donald Trump in 2016, thereby shockingly interrupting the rule of the bipartisan duopoly.

Accordingly, for the next four years the apparatus of official Washington–including the MSM in cahoots with the national security state—did not cease in its vilification of Putin via the running RussiaGate Hoax, the phony Mueller investigation, the rogue impeachment proceedings and the nonstop MSM linkage of Trump’s unwelcome presence in the Oval Office with the nefarious doings of Vlad Putin. At length, the TDS got so virulent and all-consuming inside the beltway that the resulting enmity toward Donald Trump became coterminous with the demonization of Putin. Consequently, when Trump got ushered off the stage (barely) by the American electorate in November 2020, Washington’s war on the Donald simply got re-focused with fevered intensity on Putin. In the target practice galleries of Washington politics, Vlad became the Donald’s avatar.

Needless to say, with the politicians in both parties foaming at the mouth against Putin, the Deep State and military-industrial complex had a field day hyping Russia into a national security threat that was not remotely justified, but which did massively distort policy. That includes perpetuating the Donald’s insanely bloated national security budget even further to $813 billion in the FY 2023 Biden request; stonewalling Russia’s reasonable proposals of December to reset security arrangements in eastern Europe, which would have precluded the devastation now besetting Ukraine entirely; and, after February 24th, turning the intramural dispute between Russia and its historic vassal and step-child, Ukraine, into a purported history-defining contest between peaceful Democracy and belligerent Autocracy—a struggle that justified launching a global Sanctions War against the very essence of the dollar-based payments and trading system upon which America’s tenuous prosperity precariously rests.

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“You remember when his attorney general said, you know, anyone who holds extremist or anti-authority views will be targeted for investigation and potential prosecution by their domestic terrorist unit..”

Tulsi Gabbard Bashes Biden For Calling Millions Of Americans Terrorists (Blaze)

President Joe Biden lashed out at the “MAGA crowd” and supporters of former President Donald Trump on Wednesday. The harsh and derogatory disparagement against tens of millions of Americans prodded former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard to condemn President Biden. On Wednesday, Biden suggested that the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade was a slippery slope. Biden proposed a hypothetical situation, “What happens if you have states change the law saying that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children?” President Biden told reporters at the White House, “Is that legit under the way the decision is written? What are the next things that are going to be attacked?” “Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history, in recent American history,” Biden said, making a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement.

[..] Gabbard was incensed by Biden’s incendiary remarks and slammed the president during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “When you look at the President of the United States of America calling millions of Americans, essentially terrorists, people who politically opposed him or voted against him, he’s calling them terrorists in an attempt to intimidate them into silence. And we know this because we’ve heard this before from both him and his attorney general.” Gabbard pointed to the Justice Department’s newly-formed “Domestic Terrorism Unit” that will target the “elevated threat from domestic violent extremists.” “You remember when his attorney general said, you know, anyone who holds extremist or anti-authority views will be targeted for investigation and potential prosecution by their domestic terrorist unit,” Gabbard said.

“So he’s essentially saying that this, quote-unquote ‘MAGA’ crowd are worse than terrorists. This is outrageous.” “And so for every American who’s watching, every American who’s seen this, no matter how you feel about the MAGA crowd, this is an authoritarian assault on our freedom,” the former Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii proclaimed. “And we need to stand together very strongly against this attempt to intimidate and silence anyone who holds political views that are different from or opposed to what this president and his administration are furthering. This is an assault on our democracy.”

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“I’m on the warpath!” he declared.”

Elon Musk Expected to Axe Twitter’s Censorship Team, Become CEO (BN)

Billionaire tech entrepreneuer Elon Musk is “on the warpath.” Musk is now “expected to serve as a temporary CEO of Twitter for a few months after he completes his $44 billion takeover of the social media company,” according to CNBC’s David Faber. The Tesla founder and CEO has the Woke establishment in full meltdown, even reportedly bringing the Big Tech platform’s Trump-banning chief counsel Vijaya Gadde to tears. She’s now expected to be axed. Musk, known for his cryptic tweets, alluded to shaking up the leadership team; of course, he did it with a meme. The context for the meme was provided by Newsmax’s Benny Johnson. It regards an interview between Tim Pool and the Twitter chief counsel herself.

“So your platform restricts speech?” Pool asked. “Our platform promotes speech unless people violate our rules,” Gadde replied. “In a specific direction,” he said. “In any direction,” she argued. “It’s about a pattern and practice of violating our rules.” Pool pointed out the obvious: “You have a pattern and practice of banning only one faction of people.” Then, Pool cited a report from Quillette. It found that out of 22 high-profile bannings from 2015, “21 of them were only on one side of the cultural debate.” “But I don’t look at the political spectrum of people when I’m looking at their tweets,” she claimed.


Musk has big plans for one of the most influential social media platforms. At the Met Gala on Saturday, he discussed his vision with the Associated Press. “Well, I mean, the goal that I have, should everything come to fruition with Twitter, is to have a service that is broadly — is as broadly inclusive as possible where ideally most of America is on it and talking!” Musk told the AP. “I think just generally, the — I’m looking for something that’s like I said as broadly inclusive as possible, that’s as trusted as possible as a system, and I hope we are successful in that regard,” he continued. “I’ve also vowed this publicly that we have to get rid of the bots, trolls, scams, and everything,” he added. “That’s obviously diminishing the user experience and we don’t want people to get tricked out of their money and that kind of thing.” “I’m on the warpath!” he declared.

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“Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low..”

Musk Blasts Soros ‘Dark Money Groups’ Threatening Twitter Advertisers (ZH)

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter has the world’s elites in panic mode – with the Biden administration launching a “Disinformation Governance Board” days after his announcement…followed by the United States, the EU, and 32 non-EU countries announcing a “Declaration for the Future of the Internet” that includes language to require web services to remove illegal content and prevent ‘harm’ to users – which is code for mean tweets, among other things. Another globalist, Bill Gates, is talking greasy after Musk compared the world’s former richest man to the pregnant man emoji. Musk’s purchase also prompted a constellation of 26 Soros-linked NGOs to sign a letter expressing concern about the plan – writing that “Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized.”


The authors that under Musk’s management, “Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low,” adding “Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account. We call on you to demand Musk uphold these basic standards of community trust and safety, and to pull your advertising spending from Twitter if they are not.” Those advertising on Twitter would risk their company associating “with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists,” according to the letter. A quick look at the signatories:

Musk responded to the campaign against him by asking “Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …” adding “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

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“..Clinton and others hope that the Europeans can replace corporate censorship with good old-fashioned state censorship…”

Musk Summoned to Parliament for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech (Turley)

I previously wrote about Hillary Clinton’s call on European countries to pass censorship laws to force social media companies like Twitter to regulate speech even after Elon Musk’s pledge to restore free speech to Twitter. Now the Parliament has called on Musk to testify and to explain his alarming pledge to restore free speech. The Biden Administration’s Disinformation Governance Board head, Nina Jankowisz, previously called upon Great Britain to impose state censorship rules. That call has grown since Musk’s purchase. Until now, a unified front of corporate censors was able to maintain an extensive system of censorship with the encouragement of politicians and pundits, including Joe Biden and Democratic members .

The head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Julian Knight has assured her countrymen that they can stay calm and censor on. She issued a letter for Musk to appear before the committee to answer for his terrifying suggestion of free speech: “At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tighter regulations around the world, we’re keen to learn more about how Mr Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter’s users from online harms.”

Like the EU’s censorship plans under the Digital Services Act, the proposed Online Safety Bill would introduce state censorship through the purview of Ofcom (The Office of Communications), the broadcasting regulator in Britain. It would allow the company to fine firms up to ten percent of their global revenue should they violate ill-defined “harm” standards. If passed, Clinton and others hope that the Europeans can replace corporate censorship with good old-fashioned state censorship. This includes confiscatory fines for anything deemed “grossly offensive.“ The bill would allow countries like Great Britain to impose censorship on the rest of the world.

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“These challenges are difficult but pale in comparison to reinventing space travel.”

Five Steps to Free Speech in Social Media: A Musk Roadmap (Turley)

5. Protect against Surrogate State Censors.

As it became more likely that Musk could buy Twitter, there was a notable shift in the comments of pro-censorship figures. Hillary Clinton, who has long been viewed as hostile to free speech values, went to Twitter to call on the European Union to quickly pass the Digital Services Act in Europe to force censorship “before it’s too late.” That time table appears to be the Musk takeover when the public will suddenly have a free speech alternative to the once solid alliance of censorship among social media companies. Since figures like Clinton cannot count on corporate surrogates to censor, they are returning to good old-fashioned state censorship. If the DSA is passed, they hope to force Twitter to resume censoring material – a warning echoed by EU officials this week. Congress needs to act to blunt such an attack on American companies seeking to restore free speech values.

At the same time, the United Kingdom is pushing its own Online Safety Act and recently Musk was summoned to Parliament to answer for his alarming suggestion of restoring free speech on social media. The British are assuring citizens to “stay calm and censor on” despite Musk’s pledge. It is threatening to take ten percent of the company’s profits if Musk does not censor users. Musk will have to create firewall or siloed systems for countries forcing censorship. These systems should post tweets with a warning that these users are being subjected to national censorship standards while protecting U.S. users from having their free speech reduced to the lower common denominator.

These challenges are difficult but pale in comparison to reinventing space travel. The greatest asset that Musk brings to Twitter beyond a deep pocket and deep faith in free speech is his legendary creativity. He tends to focus on a horizon rather than the obstacles or opponents before him. Free speech remains a horizonal ideal but one that is attainable for someone with unflagging commitment and creativity. This could be the ultimate “moon shot” for Musk to bring free speech back to the Internet.

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Think this was also banned from Twitter.

2000 Mules (AG)

After the 2020 election, government officials and their allies in the media repeated the mantra that the election was the “most secure in American history,” Dinesh D’Souza pointed out before the premiere of his new documentary film 2000 Mules at Mar-a-Lago, Wednesday night. But how would they know that? D’Souza wondered. Even if they couldn’t prove the election was rigged, “it still doesn’t follow that it was the most secure election in history,” he said. “The only way you could prove that would be if you were to compare the amount of fraud in 2020 with 2016, with 2012, with 2008, with 2004, and show that there has been less fraud now than in any of those elections.”

D’Souza’s question is a good one. Did election officials study the security of every election prior to 2020 to make the determination that the 2020 election was “the most secure ever”? Or were they just spinning another false narrative that benefits one side of the aisle? The movie 2000 Mules handily answers that question. Using state-of-the-art technology, the film convincingly makes the case that the 2020 presidential election was perhaps the most unsecure election ever, and was stolen from former President Trump.

The election intelligence organization True The Vote gathered geospatial and temporal data—amounting to a total of 10 trillion cell phone pings—between Oct. 1 and Nov. 6 in the battleground states of Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The researchers looked at data surrounding ballot drop boxes in targeted areas, as well as UPS stores and select government, commercial, and non-governmental organization (NGO) facilities. This data, coupled with the surveillance video of the drop boxes, provide damning evidence of a coordinated illegal ballot trafficking operation across critical swing states. “Without free and fair elections, we are not a democracy, we are a criminal cartel masquerading as a democracy,” D’Souza argues in the movie.

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The vaccines still haven’t done enough harm, apparently.

FDA Limits Use of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Due to Blood Clots (CTH)

The FDA has limited the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine to only those over 18-years-old due to blood clotting issues. Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine is now limited to adults due to the risk of a rare blood clotting syndrome. FDA – “Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has limited the authorized use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older for whom other authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate, and to individuals 18 years of age and older who elect to receive the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” (read more)


WHAT CHANGED? – “The FDA and CDC have continuously monitored for and investigated all suspected cases of TTS reported to VAERS. In an updated analysis of TTS cases following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine that were reported to VAERS through March 18, 2022, the FDA and CDC have identified 60 confirmed cases, including nine fatal cases. The FDA has determined that the reporting rate of TTS is 3.23 per million doses of vaccine administered and the reporting rate of TTS deaths is 0.48 per million doses of vaccine administered.”

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“..if every vaccinated pilot were to be screened, there would be somewhere around a 30 percent loss in manpower..”

McCullough: 30% of US Pilots May Have COVID Jab-Induced Heart Conditions (ET)

Are we on the precipice of a major uptick in serious heart problems among otherwise young, healthy Americans due to the mass-disseminated mRNA COVID shots? Observations from several medical experts, including a well-known cardiologist, suggest that we are. Some individuals who appear to be facing worrisome jab-related heart problems are commercial airline pilots. Advocacy groups also say these pilots are being forced to keep mum about their health issues—and that a far greater percentage of them are likely suffering than the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would like to admit. Joshua Yoder is an airline pilot and co-founder of the U.S. Freedom Flyers (USFF), an advocacy group formed to help transportation industry employees maintain their medical autonomy and oppose federal vax statutes.

As noted by the website American Greatness, Yoder recently disclosed in an interview with Vaccine Safety Research Foundation founder Steve Kirsch that the USFF has already received hundreds of reports of pilots experiencing chest pain and other adverse side effects of COVID shots while flying planes. Of course, people experiencing chest pain caused by jab-related pericarditis or myocarditis (heart inflammation) is concerning enough. But to know that men and women are experiencing these issues while flying commercial aircrafts is deeply worrisome, Yoder says. Plus, many of these airline pilots are reluctant to speak out about their health problems because they fear losing their jobs. “I’m afraid if we keep going down this path,” he said in his interview with Kirsch, “at some point, it’s going to end in catastrophe.”

“If passengers actually knew what was going on at the airlines and the FAA,” he adds, “they would be livid, and everyone would be jumping on a class action suit against all of them.” In his interview, Yoder also shared what well-known Texan cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough said to him in a prior conversation: “if every vaccinated pilot were to be screened, there would be somewhere around a 30 percent loss in manpower” due to new jab-related cardiac issues.

Kolakusic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1522255323511369728

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Major US export.

UN: Obesity Levels In Europe At ‘Epidemic Proportions’ (AP)

The World Health Organization says the rates of people who are obese and overweight in Europe have hit “epidemic proportions,” with nearly 60% of adults and a third of children in one of those categories. In a report issued Tuesday, the UN health agency’s European office said the prevalence of obesity among adults is higher across the continent than any other world region – except for the Americas. “Alarmingly, there have been consistent increases in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the WHO European region and no member state is on track to reach the target of halting the rise in obesity by 2025,” the report said. Among the countries it counts in its Europe region, WHO said the highest rates of obesity were seen in Turkey, Malta, Israel and Britain.

WHO said being overweight or obese is among the leading causes of death in the region and is responsible for more than 1 million deaths every year. Scientists have long warned that being heavy significantly increases the risk of numerous diseases, including respiratory conditions, diabetes and at least 13 cancers. It is also the leading risk factor for disability. “During the Covid-19 pandemic, we experienced the true impact of the obesity epidemic,” WHO Europe director Dr Hans Kluge wrote in the report. He noted that the obese were “more likely to experience severe outcomes of the Covid-19 disease spectrum, including intensive care unit admissions and death.”

Kluge also said that Covid-19 interventions like school closures and lockdowns often raised the risk of gaining weight when people turned to unhealthy diets and were forced to be sedentary. WHO called for countries to adopt policies to improve “environmental factors” linked to obesity, including taxing sugary drinks, restricting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children and efforts to improve physical activity In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 74% of Americans over age 20 are obese or overweight.

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There goes my faith in mankind…

EU Officials Being Trained To Meditate To Help Fight Climate Crisis (G.)

Brussels officials are being trained to meditate to help them tackle the climate crisis as part of a new wave of “applied mindfulness” that seeks to take the Buddhism-inspired practice “off the cushion” and into hard politics. EU officials working on the 27-country bloc’s green deal climate policy are attending “inner green deal” courses intended to foster a deeper connection among decision-makers and negotiators tasked with tackling the crisis. The courses incorporate woodland walks near Brussels and meditation sessions, including one that invites participants to feel empathy for trees and animals to boost “environmental compassion”. Some managers have reportedly shown impatience at being asked to meditate and want to “get on with business”.


But early results from the first 80 participants suggest the course has strengthened officials’ motivation to tackle climate problems and overcome personal despair that little can be done. Mindfulness has boomed in the west in recent years through courses, meditation apps and books. But it has drawn criticism that it has become a “religion of the self”, with one critic warning of “McMindfulness”. However, it is recognised by the NHS as an effective treatment for recurrent depression when delivered as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Now advocates of “applied mindfulness” believe it could accelerate consensus-building between climate decision-makers. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the need for “inner transitions” and the potential of meditation to encourage lower-carbon lifestyles.

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From the Attorney General for Virginia

 

Unparalleled disaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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