Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1940
Happy bulking season
Happy Bulking Season. The End of Men.
Wednesday. @FoxNation. pic.twitter.com/3IRRL1G3fb
— Tucker Carlson Originals (@TuckerOriginals) October 4, 2022
Kanye: "I'm pro-life … there's more black babies being aborted than born in New York City at this point. 50% of black death in America is abortion. So I really don’t care about people’s responses, I perform for an audience of one, and that's God." pic.twitter.com/KtKhTPb8au
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) October 7, 2022
The Veep reboot looks amazing pic.twitter.com/6qwJdcmFBA
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) October 3, 2022
Not just a world war, a nuclear one.
• Kremlin Accuses Zelensky Of Trying To Start A World War (RT)
The Kremlin has accused Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky of trying to spark a third world war, after he demanded that NATO carry out preventive strikes on Russia to deter the use of nuclear weapons. Speaking to the Australian Lowy Institute on Thursday, Zelensky stated that NATO must ensure Moscow does not use nukes against Kiev’s forces. To do this, he called on the US-led military bloc and the international community to carry out preventive strikes against Russia so that it “knows what to expect” if it decides to use them. “What should NATO do? Eliminate the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons,” Zelensky said during the online conference. “I once again appeal to the international community, as it was before February 24: preemptive strikes so that they [Russia] know what will happen to them if they use it, and not the other way around.”
Moscow has slammed Zelensky’s suggestion, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stating that the Ukrainian leader’s comments are nothing short of an attempt to spark a world war, which would lead to “unforeseeable disastrous consequences.” Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also accused Zelensky of trying to provoke a nuclear war, with spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that “every person on the planet” should recognize that the“unbalanced” puppet leader of Ukraine, who has been pumped full of weapons, has turned into “a monster, whose hands can destroy the planet.”
The Kremlin has called on the international community to pay special attention to Zelensky’s statements, especially the US and the UK, who Peskov says are “de facto in control of Kiev’s actions” and therefore bear responsibility for the Ukrainian president’s words. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not considering a nuclear strike on Ukraine but has warned that it will use any means necessary in order to protect its borders, people and sovereignty. Meanwhile, both Washington and London have also admitted that it is unlikely that Moscow will deploy tactical nukes in the Ukraine conflict and have seen no indications of Moscow preparing such an attack. Nevertheless, Western leaders have warned Russia against ever crossing that line, vowing “catastrophic consequences.”
NEW – Ukraine's Zelensky calls on NATO to launch "preemptive strikes" against Russia to "eliminate the possibility" of a Russian nuclear strike.pic.twitter.com/gj6mSRZfFF
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) October 6, 2022
“We are saying it again – we are in favor of negotiations, of dialogue, of a peaceful political solution to this crisis. Let’s start talking. Let’s get behind the negotiating table..”
“Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.” – Sun Tzu
• Top Russian Senator Urges Ukraine To Start Peace Talks ‘Today’ (RT)
The head of Russia’s Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, has called on the Ukrainian parliament to immediately engage in peace talks with a view to settling the conflict between the two countries. The proposal was made during the G20 parliamentary speakers’ summit in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Thursday. The Ukrainian delegation, headed by Verkhovna Rada chair Elena Kondratyuk, has also been invited to the event, despite the country not being part of the group of the world’s top economies. “Let us, the parliament of Russia and the parliament of Ukraine, sit behind the negotiating table today, at the G20 parliamentary platform. Let’s try to understand each other and find solutions,” Matvienko said.
The senator noted that Moscow and Kiev had almost reached a peace deal during talks in Istanbul in late March, but “Ukraine was obviously under external management at that time and gave up on those agreements.” Russia has made numerous offers to Kiev to engage in peace talks since the outbreak of the conflict in late February, she pointed out. “We are saying it again – we are in favor of negotiations, of dialogue, of a peaceful political solution to this crisis. Let’s start talking. Let’s get behind the negotiating table,” Matvienko suggested. The head of the upper house of the Russian parliament later clarified to journalists that Moscow was “ready to cease hostilities on the conditions that are being put forward by Russia.” This meant that the status of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which officially became part of the Russian state on Wednesday, won’t be up for discussion during the negotiations with Ukraine, she said.
Matvienko said she wasn’t surprised by the lack of response to her proposal to start dialogue from the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation. “It’s understandable because Ukraine isn’t free in its decisions. It can’t make any decisions on its own, without the involvement of its masters,” she said, likely referring to Kiev’s backers in the US, UK, and the EU. Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree that forbade any negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Zelensky claimed that Ukraine would only talk to Russia if it had a different president. The Kremlin responded to the move by saying it was ready to wait for the Ukrainian president to change his stance or for Ukraine to find a new president with a different stance.
“..what Putin has done is setting international rivalry in deep historical and cultural terms.”
• Vladimir Putin’s Battle Cry Against the Deep State (Silva-Valladares)
The recent ceremony of accession of four Ukrainian regions to Russia brought a speech from President Putin that outlined the reasons behind Russia’s current struggles, the character and identify of its foes and, more importantly, laid the groundwork for Russia’s next level of confrontation with the West beyond the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine. In his speech, Putin clearly defined the present fight as a worldwide battle in which Russia plays a leading role against the Deep State that ultimately runs the West and which uses all available tools – including military, economic, cultural, and social – in its attempt to preserve unipolar world domination.
Putin’s words were directed to three distinctive audiences: the collective West, the Global South and Russia. He went back to Middle Ages history to remind the origins and impact of Western resource exploitation and colonialism in the Americas, Asia and Africa through imperialistic wars, racism, and slavery. He touched upon the military exploits of the 20th century led primarily by the US and its allies and its impact in Germany and Japan at the end of the Second World War, Korea in the 1950s, Vietnam in the 1960-70s and its latest failed adventures in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan. He also highlighted the dire days of Russia during the 1990s and the Western powers’ attempts to turn it into a dismembered and passive cheap natural resources outlet.
Putin’s message to Russians had nationalistic and religious tones, touching on the defence of traditional family values as a call to arms against the threat caused by dwindling population growth. He also named US monetary printing as one of the key tools used by the Western establishment to achieve its self-preservation and supremacy goals, reminding that paper doesn’t feed nor warms human beings. It would be tempting to see this speech narrowly as just another manifestation of Russia’s position in the big geopolitical battles, but what Putin has done is setting international rivalry in deep historical and cultural terms which have an undoubted appeal across the globe.
Putin turns 70 today
“..the US is currently not ready for a complete severance of diplomatic ties with Russia, and plans to send a new ambassador to Moscow..”
• Russian Ambassador Assesses Relations With US (RT)
Russia and the US have not yet reached an all-time low in their relations, as “dribs and drabs” of contacts still remain between the sides, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington said on Wednesday. “I think we haven’t yet reached the peak of tensions that existed 60 years ago,” Anatoly Antonov told Channel One. The envoy was referring to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which unfolded between the US and the Soviet Union in October and November 1962. The standoff is considered to be the closest the world has come to all-out nuclear war. Tensions flared after Moscow deployed ballistic missiles to Cuba in response to Washington putting similar weapons in Italy and Turkey. However, the sides were able to resolve the dispute through negotiations.
Russia’s stance that a nuclear conflict can’t be unleashed and can’t be won remains unchanged, the ambassador stressed. “In Washington, they’ve already forgotten the basics of strategic stability, which boils down to a very simple formula: whoever shoots first, dies second,” he said. “On the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, I’d like to believe that there are those in the US who have learned this main lesson. In any case, our countries are obliged to prevent the world from sliding into a catastrophe,” Antonov insisted.Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed “some senior officials in NATO states” for suggesting that deploying nuclear weapons against Russia was justified. He warned that Moscow was ready to “use all means” to defend itself if attacked. However, those words were interpreted by some in the West as a threat by the Kremlin to use atomic weapons against Ukraine.
While most bilateral contacts have been frozen by the US side, Moscow and Washington still cooperate on deconfliction in Syria, space, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the ambassador pointed out. According to Antonov, the US is currently not ready for a complete severance of diplomatic ties with Russia, and plans to send a new ambassador to Moscow is proof of that. Lynne Tracy, who now heads the American mission in Armenia, has been nominated as a replacement for US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, who left Moscow in early September due to family reasons. However, this does not mean Washington will give up on its plans to weaken Russia, by supporting Kiev and other means, the ambassador said.
Antonov went on to argue that the conflict in Ukraine has become a “trigger” that revealed “deep-rooted problems” in the world, and that Russia “isn’t satisfied with the rules of the game that the Americans are trying to impose,” which only benefit the US.
Long and comprehensive from Jorge.
“..in a matter of a few weeks Europeans will engage in an HUGE internal brand NEW civilian war amongst themselves scrambling for ´whatever´(food, fuel, heat, etc.)..”
• The NS1 and NS2 Sabotage Impact Potential (Jorge Vilches)
It’s valid to assume that the provoked NATO-Anglo-WEF-Ukraine war objectives were (1) to trigger regime change in Russia aided by military defeat while also (2) cutting Europe off Russia´s cheap and excellent resources thus also (3) choking Russia´s exports and funding. Sanctions, asset seizures and the NS1 & NS2 sabotage are smoking guns. Future consequent plundering of parts of Europe and Russia can also be assumed to be goal #4. The European leadership at large has, so far, aligned well with this plan.
[..] LNG cannot and will not save the day either. Nobody was ready for this, LNG today is scarce worldwide, no terminals available at either end, no tankers… etc., etc So Europeans are very calm even after both NS1 & NS2 have been blown up. As if they´d all do just fine, you just wait… Michael Hudson agrees when saying… ” Despite being an act of violence, sabotaging the pipelines has restored calm to US/NATO diplomatic relations.”But even if I were only 50% correct — the problem in producing onto surface the supposedly “stored” underground nat-gas is not known in Europe with 0 (zero) awareness about it. Europeans have all been convinced by politicians that they have their backs 90% covered and that with just a small savings of 15% approx. things will be okay this winter (NOT)
Europeans do know bloody well a rough winter is coming for them, but no one has warned them — such as I am doing — that it will be MUCH ROUGHER than what anybody is telling them because not even half of the supposed 90% “reserves” that would sorta get them through this winter okay will be anywhere near available. So it´d be everyone for himself/herself and country vs. country and NATO vs. NATO… on steroids and in a matter of a few weeks Europeans will engage in an HUGE internal brand NEW civilian war amongst themselves scrambling for ´whatever´(food, fuel, heat, etc.) that nobody has yet even thought about… let alone developed continengcy plans.
This muppet is just as responsible as all the rest.
• Europe Faces Deindustrialization And Social Unrest – Belgian PM (RT)
Europe could soon face a significant reduction in industrial activity and social unrest unless something is done to lower energy prices before winter sets in, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has warned. In an interview with the Financial Times published on Thursday, he said that unless there was an intervention in the gas markets, “we are risking massive deindustrialization of the European continent and the long-term consequences that might actually be very deep.” De Croo insisted on a multi-layered approach to the gas crisis, which he says should include a hard price cap on Russian natural gas, negotiations with suppliers such as Norway and Algeria, and a “dynamic” limit on the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which he suggests could be set slightly above prices in the US or Asia to ensure continued flows to Europe.
The Belgian leader also warned that governments must be “prudent” not only to counter soaring inflation, which stems from high energy prices, but also tackle the risk of social unrest that comes with it. “Our populations are getting invoices which are completely insane. At some point, it will snap. I understand that people are angry . . . people don’t have the means to pay it,” De Croo told the FT. His comments come after thousands of demonstrators rallied in Brussels in late September to demand higher wages and lower energy prices after it was revealed that some 64% of the country’s citizens were afraid of not being able to pay their energy bills which had reached a staggering average of €700 ($690) a month.
The Belgian PM had previously warned that “the next five to ten winters will be difficult” in Europe due to record gas prices, but stated that Belgium would endure the crisis “if we support each other in these difficult times.” sGas prices in Europe surged earlier this year after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. After the EU and other Western countries imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and began a campaign of cutting themselves off from Russian energy supplies, gas prices hit record levels, leading to a rise in overall inflation on the continent.
• Moscow Wonders If Washington Knows About Kiev’s Terrorism Plans (RT)
Moscow hopes the US government did not leak its suspicions that Kiev masterminded a high-profile assassination in Russia with a view to disclaiming responsibility for future terrorist attacks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. He was commenting on a report in the New York Times, which contained details of an assessment by the US intelligence community regarding a bomb attack near Moscow in August, in which journalist and political activist Darya Dugina was killed. “The involvement of the Ukrainian state in this terrorist act, the murder of a young woman, was argued and demonstrated by our special services in a reasonably swift manner,” Peskov told journalists. The Kremlin spokesman noted the NYT article may be a positive development, provided that its reporting accurately reflects the stance of the US intelligence community.
“We really want to hope that this is not some attempt by the American colleagues, who may possess certain information, to disclaim responsibility for future terrorist acts that the Ukrainian state may be preparing,” he added. According to the NYT, American spies believe that “parts of the Ukrainian government authorized” the assassination of Dugina. Its sources claimed that the US had nothing to do with the crime and had no advance knowledge of it. Washington reportedly admonished Kiev for the killing, despite Ukraine’s insistence that it had nothing to do with it either. The story described Washington’s concerns about possible Russian retaliation for targeting Dugina and a number of Ukrainian officials who cooperated with Moscow in governing lands captured from Kiev.
A senior Ukrainian military official confirmed to the NYT that Kiev had carried out “attacks on accused Ukrainian collaborators,” some of which were fatal. “Some American officials believe it is crucial to curb what they see as dangerous adventurism [on Kiev’s part], particularly political assassinations,” the newspaper added. Dugina was the daughter of Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, a controversial public figure known for his advocacy of Russian exceptionalism. Some observers claimed that his ideas had influenced Russian foreign policy, including Moscow’s decision to send troops into Ukraine in late February. Darya shared her father’s political convictions. Russia’s security service, the FSB, identified two Ukrainian nationals, a man and a woman, as members of a hit squad responsible for Dugina’s assassination. Both had left the country before they could be arrested.
“..resolved diplomatically or in a violent manner..”
• EU Must Decide Where It Stands On Ukraine – Kremlin (RT)
The European Union must decide whether it wants the Ukraine conflict to be resolved diplomatically or in a violent manner, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday
Asked to comment on Austria’s reported proposal to host de-escalation talks, Zakharova said Moscow could only contemplate such initiatives after the EU figures out what it stands for regarding Ukraine. “First of all, the EU should make up its mind about itself,” Zakharova said, urging the EU to decide whether it is pursuing a unified foreign policy or if decisions are handled by individual member states. Russia, she said, has repeatedly heard “contradicting statements” coming from the EU. Zakharova noted that many supposed initiatives had been put forward by member states and were later retracted or never followed-up on because they were not approved by Brussels.
“Secondly, the EU also needs to make up its mind whether they support the talks [on Ukraine], or the battlefield solution, as [EU foreign policy chief Josep] Borrell had put it,” she said. Zakharova’s comment comes after Borrell signaled on Wednesday that the EU was ready to seek a “diplomatic solution” to the conflict in Ukraine, but vowing that the bloc would continue to provide Kiev with military and financial support while ramping up pressure on Russia through sanctions. However, in April Borrell issued a much different statement, claiming then that the conflict in Ukraine “will be won on the battlefield.” Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state.
The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” During referendums that took place in late September, the two Donbass republics, along with Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law unification treaties with former Ukrainian territories, officially making them part of Russia. Prior to this, the Russian leader vowed to use “all means” necessary to defend the country’s territorial integrity in the face of external threats.
As war in Ukraine escalates out of control, out come the vicious, scapegoating slurs against those who speak for peace: "cronies," "puppets," "stooges," "agents." Opposing the horror of war is not "anti-European," "anti-Ukrainian" or "pro-Russian." It's common sense. pic.twitter.com/KU9mAYYFmf
— Clare Daly (@ClareDalyMEP) October 6, 2022
“As Steve Keen puts it: “Capital without energy is a statue; labour without energy is a corpse!”
There were real world reasons for the run on the pound which followed (Kami)Kwasi Kwarteng’s ill-conceived mini-budget last Friday. The closest of these was the illiquidity of supposed “assets” held in the pensions industry and related concerns that the previous Monday’s Gilt (the equivalent of US Treasury Bonds) sale went badly, with investors demanding a much higher than expected interest rate for lending to the UK government. The Bank of England’s return to quantitative easing appears to have taken the immediate steam out of the crisis, and Kwarteng’s U-turn on cutting the highest tax rate has helped calm political nerves, allowing the pound to return to its level immediately before the mini-budget. The underlying problems, however, remain unaddressed.
The problem lay not so much with tax cuts – which have previously, in some circumstances, boosted growth – but with the UK government’s inability to finance them… and, indeed, the hundreds of billions already spent on energy bailouts and lockdown support. The Truss claim that tax cuts will be self-funding because of the additional growth they will generate is though, economic illiteracy. Over the last decade, the UK economy has been borrowing £5 for every £1 of economic growth – and this gap is projected to get far worse over the coming decade because of the emerging crises in the underlying “real” economy. Indeed, even during the heyday of North Sea oil and gas revenues, governments struggled to engineer growth rates anywhere close to what would be required to meet the Truss proposals.
With Russian gas no longer deliverable – even if the EU and Russia wanted to reach a deal – because of the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, European gas shortages are inevitable. The only question to be answered is how bad the shortages will be. And while Britain is not a direct importer of much gas from Russia, our energy supply companies still buy and sell gas on the European market. So that, if, say, German companies are prepared to pay more, they can bid the price up far higher than the UK government anticipates. In which case its borrowing to fund the energy price cap could easily spiral up into the hundreds of billions and, given market reluctance to buy Gilts, send interest rates well into double figures.
Even this though, only scratches the surface of the crisis, because politicians and economists fail to understand the true role of energy in the economy. Indeed, most economic models do not even regard energy as a separate category, seeing it instead as just another, relatively cheap, input barely worth mentioning. The reality – as you and I would quickly discover if we went without food – calories – for any length of time, is that energy is the starting point for everything within the economy. No food equals no workers. No fuel and no electricity equals no capital. As Steve Keen puts it: “Capital without energy is a statue; labour without energy is a corpse!”
Via Ugo Bardi’s site.
“..she does what she does because she cannot and will not do anything else..”
• Is Giorgia Meloni Bringing Fascism Back To Italy? (Cardini)
They will say, as usual, that I have a weakness for Giorgia Meloni, but she does what she does because she cannot and will not do anything else. It’s her time: she is in the business of politics, she knows that her bus is passing, and it is unlikely for her to have such an opportunity again. It was a beautiful victory: not only, and not so much, for the response of the ballot box, however negatively conditioned by the very high number of non-voters that no politician worthy of the name can ignore or underestimate, but for having played all his opponents with a masterful move. She was the ugly duckling of the Italian parliament, perpetually threatened with the sword of Damocles of the renewed accusations of fascism that could strike her at any moment. But she managed to score a masterful blow, built little by little and day by day.
She, the leader of the Sovranisti, is also the leader of the Atlantists and Westernists. She knows well that this constitutes, conceptually, a paradox bordering on the tragic (or the ridiculous): under the flags of Italian sovereignty, she will have to lead his country on the path of subordination to NATO and the USA who hold us in their hands and who literally occupy our territory, our country. A verse of the anthem that gives the name to the party reads “Go outside of Italy, go away, foreigners”. Easy to recite it in the face of the rafts of the poor migrants of the Mediterranean sea. Impossible to sing it where it should be sung, in front of the gates of Ghedi, Dal Molin, and Camp Darby (translator’s note: American bases in Italy.), armed with the nuclear missiles banned by the Italian constitution and imposed by our guardian-master.
The same ones who also impose on us the burden of sanctions imposed on Russia but in reality intended to bring Europe to its knees with its consent that must be even enthusiastic. Giorgia Meloni managed to achieve all this: if she passes – and we will see – also the test of the winter of sanctions, during which we will see the iron rule according to which the prime minister in office is seen to blame not himself/herself but his predecessors, she really deserves to continue to lead the Italians despite the gloomy prophecies of Cassandra Calenda. (translator’s note: Carlo Calenda is an Italian politician.)
What good is this for shareholders?
• Twitter Refuses Elon Musk’s Renewed $44B Bid (Crider)
Twitter is refusing to accept Elon Musk’s renewed bid of $44 billion for the social media company, according to a report from The Associated Press citing Elon Musk’s attorneys. This news comes after reports of Elon Musk’s asking the Delaware court to halt the upcoming trial. He renewed his offer to purchase the social media network this week and shared a few details about his goals. “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday. He added that Twitter probably accelerates the new app by three to five years. AP noted that earlier this week, Twitter said it intended to close the deal at the agreed-upon price but both sides were still booked for the October 17th trial in Delaware. Elon Musk’s attorneys said the trial should be adjourned to give the Tesla CEO more time to secure financing.
In a court filing, Elon Musk’s attorneys said, “Twitter will not take yes for an answer.” “Astonishingly, they have insisted on proceeding with this litigation, recklessly putting the deal at risk and gambling with their stockholders’ interests.” The attorneys noted that by Twitter not setting aside its litigation, the upcoming trial would “impede the deal moving forward.” “Instead of allowing the parties to turn their focus to securing the debt financing necessary to consummate the transaction and preparing for a transition of the business, the parties will instead remain distracted by completing discovery and an unnecessary trial,” the attorneys said. According to Elon Musk’s attorneys, the financial backers, “have indicated that they are prepared to honor their commitments” and are working to close the deal by October 28.
And then we have this too…
• This Could Be How Turkey Attacks Greece in 2023 (Rubin)
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is no fool. He understands the deep trouble in which he finds himself. His interest rate gamble failed; Turkey is nearly bankrupt. Inflation approaches 100 percent and Turkey’s currency is in freefall. Turks are unhappy. Meanwhile, elections loom. For years, such elections did not matter. Turkey’s opposition leaders are lazy, uncharismatic, or in prison. Erdogan controlled the media and mechanisms enough that he could push things his way without too many questions, at least from inside Turkey. That changed in 2019. The opposition Republican People’s Party narrowly won municipal elections in Istanbul and Ankara. The results shocked Erdogan who ordered a do-over in Istanbul.
Three months later, opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu increased his margin of victory to almost 10%, a result too great for even Erdogan’s machine to paper over. Pushed down and abused, Turks had had enough. As Turkey approaches both its symbolically important centenary next year and heads to parliamentary and presidential elections, Erdogan is worried. He knows under normal circumstances, he cannot win. Erdogan is no democrat. He cynically once liked democracy to a streetcar: he would ride it as far as he could and then step off. There are limits to his power, however. He needs an excuse either to postpone elections or to distract Turks with nationalism. A conflict with Greece checks both boxes. Erdogan is not stupid, though. After Vladimir Putin bogged down in Ukraine, he must question Turkey’s readiness.
After all, after the 2016 “Reichstag Fire” coup, Erdogan purged the military. Turkish special forces might fight Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh or attack Kurds and Yezidis in Syria and Iraq with drones and F-16 fighters but combat against a near-peer NATO member is a different issue entirely. Greece’s military might be only one-quarter the size of Turkey’s, but moral is higher, and the Greeks not spread as thin. So how might Turkey precipitate the crisis? Erdogan will likely take a page from China’s playbook. The People’s Liberation Army has seized many rocks, reefs, and “features” in the South China Sea. It has not only transformed them into military bases, but has also used their possession to fortify Beijing’s illicit claims to extend its exclusive economic zone over 90% of the South China Sea’s waters.
China has acted both slowly and deliberated with a so-called salami-slicing strategy, digesting pieces but never biting off so much in one go that it provoked neighbors or the United States to the point of war. Erdogan and his defense minister, Hulusi Akar, increasingly dispute Greek sovereignty over islands in the Aegean Sea, in effect seeking to rewrite and reinterpret the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and subsequent conventions and agreements. It is in the Aegean that Erdogan will likely make his move, arguing that they are Turkish and do not belong to Greece.
“Agents “determined months ago” that they had a viable criminal case against the younger Biden, but the decision is up to the US attorney for Delaware David C. Weiss..”
• Enough Evidence To Indict Hunter Biden – WaPo (RT)
Federal agents who have been investigating US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter have enough evidence to charge him with crimes related to taxes and a gun purchase, but the decision is up to a career prosecutor in Delaware, the Washington Post reported on Thursday citing sources. While the IRS has been looking into whether Hunter Biden did not declare income related to his overseas business ventures – from Ukraine to China – the FBI has been investigating a 2018 incident in which he answered “no” to the question about being a drug user or addict. In his 2021 memoir ‘Beautiful Things,’ the president’s son revealed that he had in fact been using crack cocaine and other drugs at the time.
Agents “determined months ago” that they had a viable criminal case against the younger Biden, but the decision is up to the US attorney for Delaware David C. Weiss to decide whether to pursue charges, the Post reported citing “people familiar with the case.” Weiss is a career prosecutor, but was appointed by President Donald Trump in late 2017. Trump had pointed to Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine and the sex-and-drugs revelations from his laptop during the 2020 presidential campaign, charges which Biden and the Democrats denounced as “smears” and even “Russian disinformation.” Stories about the laptop were suppressed on social networks in the name of “fortifying” the presidential election, but the laptop’s contents was later confirmed to be entirely authentic.
Hunter’s false statements on the gun-purchase form would normally present a problem for his father, who is pursuing aggressive gun control legislation. According to the Post, prosecutions for the offense are “relatively rare,” with 60% of the referrals resulting in charges in 2018. However, it is “not uncommon for Justice Department investigations to take years to finish,” the paper said. The Post’s anonymous sources insisted Attorney General Merrick Garland had vowed there would be “no political or otherwise improper interference” in the Hunter Biden case. Republicans have accused Garland of politicizing the DOJ over prosecutions for the January 6 Capitol riot and the September raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Hunter’s attorney Chris Clark told the paper that leaking about the case itself is a federal felony and that he “had no contact whatsoever with any federal investigative agent.”
MSNBC squirms as they're forced to admit LIVE on-air Hunter Biden is about to go to JAIL for MULTIPLE felonies, according to new BOMBSHELL reports pic.twitter.com/tE1i0BelWL
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 6, 2022
I swear I can see into the future…
• Waiting Lines At French Gas Stations Due To Fuel Shortage (AA)
More than one in 10 gas stations in France was affected by a fuel shortage on Wednesday, local media reported. About 12% of stations have “difficulties with at least one type of fuel” at the pump, with the situation varying by region, government spokesman Olivier Veran told reporters after Wednesday’s Council of Ministers meeting. In the Hauts-de-France region, about 30% of stations are affected. French market leader TotalEnergies explained the supply shortages with “falling prices” at its stations. A discount of 20 cents per liter was added to the government discount of 30 cents per liter at all its TotalEnergies stations. This discount at the pumps led to a large rush, according to the company.
Added to this is a strike at six of the eight French refineries. The strike for higher wages, which began on Sept. 27, entered its second week. This again significantly aggravates the situation at the gas stations. Veran nevertheless rejected the term “fuel shortage.” He said it was only “tensions” in the supply of some gas stations, and urged motorists to avoid “panic.” In order to “restore a normal situation as soon as possible, so-called strategic stocks were released in the north today to replenish the gas stations,” the prefect of the Hauts-de-France region announced in a press release on Wednesday evening.
• Want To Save The Oceans? Stop Recycling Plastic (Chivers)
Recycling plastic is a bad idea and, until we can be sure of where it’s going, we should stop doing it. We should put plastic in the landfill, instead. This sounds like a really spicy hot take, but it’s not. I think it is pretty much accepted among people who study these things. The oceans are full of plastic, and that’s bad – but none of the plastic in the oceans comes from a British landfill. It almost all comes from developing-world countries, and by recycling we make the problem worse. About 0.05 per cent of plastic waste in the UK is “mismanaged” – that is, dropped as litter or dumped into the environment, or left in open landfill. By contrast, in India, that figure is over 20 per cent – 400 times higher. China is comparable, at about 19 per cent.
In the Philippines, that figure is about 6.5 per cent, still more than 100 times the UK level but not quite as dramatic. But the Philippines is a collection of small islands, so plastic litter easily reaches small rivers there and ends up in the sea. Malaysia, similarly, has less of a problem with mismanaged waste, but large percentages of what is mismanaged ends up in the sea. So the average bit of plastic in one of those countries is pretty likely to end up in the sea. Until 2018 a large fraction of the Western world’s “recycled” plastic was shipped to China, until China decided to stop taking it. Then rich countries started sending it to Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. But more than 80 per cent of plastic waste in those countries is mismanaged. It seems unlikely, to say the least, that so much of their own waste ends up in the rivers, but they nonetheless carefully recycle the waste sent to them by the West.
Now, several of those countries have severely limited the amount of plastic they import. So other countries – often countries with limited ability to recycle their own plastics – have stepped in. The Guardian reported in 2019 that much of the US’s waste now goes to Bangladesh, Laos, Ethiopia and Senegal. One paper this year estimated that of the 37,000 tons of plastic food packaging exported annually by the Netherlands, 6,000 tons end up in the sea. Not all recycling is like this. Some plastic is recycled in the countries that dispose of it – there are advanced plastic recycling facilities in the UK. But much of it ends up going overseas.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
~Robert Louis Stevenson
"He’s suffering profoundly… he’s a caged animal."
Julian Assange's wife Stella tells Piers Morgan the Wikileaks founder's health is "declining by the day".@StellaMoris1 | @piersmorgan | @TalkTV | #PMU pic.twitter.com/tdeIcMHOdX
— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) October 5, 2022
A baby green heron bridging the gap between birds and dinosaurs. Photo: JJJFrank
A macro photo of an ant’s face up close. Photo: Andrea Hallgass
Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.