Sep 102023
 
 September 10, 2023  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Fall of Icarus 1558

 

Wrongheaded US Leadership in Ukraine – Larry Johnson, Ray McGovern, Nap (Sp.)
Ice Cracking Sounds On Frozen Lake of US-Russia Relations (Bhadrakumar)
Musk Talked To Russian Ambassador Before Starlink Decision – WaPo (RT)
Musk: US Military Vulnerability Due to Slow Production Rate, Like Ukraine (Sp.)
NATO’s DU ‘Perfect Storm’ of Toxic Pollution in Breadbasket Ukraine (Tweedie)
Biden Admin Likely Violated 1st Amendment On Social Media: 5th Circuit (ZH)
Ukraine Will Be Ready To Join EU In Two Years – Kiev (RT)
G20 Declaration On Ukraine A ‘Blow To Western Countries’ (Sp.)
Russia and China Have Effectively Ditched The Dollar – Moscow (RT)
The Daunting Physics of ‘Bidenomics’ (Rall)
World Is ‘Laughing At’ The US – Alaska Governor (RT)
‘Greedflation’ Ravaging Western Europe – Nikkei (RT)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Wants His Party Back (ET)
Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio Drops Bombshell (GP)
Japan’s Mount Fuji ‘In Real Crisis’ – Officials (RT)

 

 

Japan vaccine

 

 

 

 

Hoax

 

 

 

 

Obama Minimize
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700313493428228549

 

 

 

 

DARPA McCullough

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent conversation.

“Tony, look at a map,” and just look at the progress that “has not been made by Ukraine..”

Wrongheaded US Leadership in Ukraine – Larry Johnson, Ray McGovern, Nap (Sp.)

The United States is blatantly lying about the botched Ukrainian counteroffensive, former CIA analyst Larry Johnson said in an interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano on his Judging Freedom podcast. “Tony, look at a map,” and just look at the progress that “has not been made by Ukraine,” said the retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official, as he commented on recent remarks made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kiev. During his unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital, Blinken, standing alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, touted that the Ukrainian military had made “real progress” in its counteroffensive in the “last few weeks.” The Ukrainian president’s assessment of the battlefront developments “matches our own,” continued Blinken, who went over to Kiev to pledge a new aid package for Ukraine worth over $1 billion.

In fact, “Russia has been steadily pushing to the [west],” Johnson said, pointing out that the battle of Artemovsk was the “last big conflict” on the battlefront that Ukraine’s military was engaged in. “They [the US] don’t understand Russian defensive tactics,” Johnson emphasized. In May 2023, the Russian military liberated Artemovsk (also known as Bakhmut), a Donbass city reduced to ruins in over eight months of brutal house-to-house fighting. The Artemovsk operation destroyed tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops and foreign mercenaries, while Russia built up its reserves and prepared defenses in Donbass, Zaporozhye, and Kherson for Kiev’s much-heralded summer offensive

“Americans have been had,” added Ray McGovern, a former top US intel analyst, who also joined the Judging Freedom podcast. He pointed out that, “Billions of money had gone to Ukraine, with a lot of it syphoned off.” He told the host that America was “losing” in the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Nevertheless, senior-level members of the US intelligence community continue “to delude themselves, their colleagues, the press, and the public,” regarding the actual developments on the ground, specified Larry Johnson. These officials refused to wake up to the reality that Ukraine was experiencing “shortage of ammunition, shortage of manpower, trouble recruiting people,” etc.

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“What distinguishes Umerov is that he was a key negotiator at the peace talks with Russia in Istanbul last year in March, which actually resulted in an agreed document … Again, he was instrumental in negotiating the Black Sea Grain Initiative..”

Ice Cracking Sounds On Frozen Lake of US-Russia Relations (Bhadrakumar)

Meanwhile, on September 6, Blinken embarked on quite an untypical visit to Kiev. There was no fire in his belly. For once, he didn’t threaten Russia or ridicule Putin from Ukrainian soil. Nor did Blinken show much enthusiasm for Kiev’s counteroffensive. Rather, his focus was on the war’s horrific trail causing human suffering, Ukraine’s post-conflict recovery as a democracy and its economy’s reconstruction. Blinken said repeatedly that he was undertaking the visit on Biden’s instruction. In the presence of President Zelensky, Blinken stated:

“We are determined in the United States to continue to walk side by side with you. And President Biden asked me to come, to reaffirm strongly our support, to ensure that we are maximising the efforts that we’re making and other countries are making for the immediate challenge of the counteroffensive as well as the longer-term efforts to help Ukraine build a force for the future that can deter and defend against any future aggression, but also to work with you and support you as you engage in the critical work of strengthening your democracy, rebuilding your economy.”

Stirring words, but there was no boastful talk of liberating Crimea, carrying the fight into the Russian camp or forcing Russia to vacate the annexed territories and negotiating with Russia only from a position of strength. At Blinken’s joint press availability with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the latter claimed that they had a “substantive” discussion on providing long-range rockets, ATACMS to Kiev. But Blinken sidestepped the topic. The most unusual thing about Blinken’s visit was that it spilled over to a second day. This must be the first time Blinken spent a night in Ukraine. Blinken had a rather tight schedule on the first day meeting Kuleba, Zelensky and Prime Minister Denis Shmigal, but the itinerary for the second day [September 7], was left open. Obviously, he came to Kiev for some serious discussions.

Conceivably, Biden could be interested in starting peace talks between Moscow and Kiev now that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed to meet its politico-military objectives, and there are worrisome signs of support waning in America and Europe for the proxy war, while a Russian offensive could deal a knockout punch on Ukraine’s military. Both Russian and western estimates are that close to 65-70,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in these past 3 months alone since Kiev’s “counteroffensive” began. Meanwhile, in an interesting coincidence, on September 6, Ukraine’s parliament Verkhovna Rada approved the appointment of Rustem Umerov as the new Defence Minister replacing Alexei Reznikov. A Crimean Tatar born in Uzbekistan (USSR), Umerov has no previous military background. But he is trusted by Zelensky and is acceptable to the Americans.

What distinguishes Umerov is that he was a key negotiator at the peace talks with Russia in Istanbul last year in March, which actually resulted in an agreed document (from which Zelensky subsequently retracted under Anglo-American pressure.) Again, he was instrumental in negotiating the Black Sea Grain Initiative (so-called grain deal between Ukraine and Russia) which became operational in July last year at Istanbul. These are straws in the wind that must be duly noted.

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Even RT gets it upside down: “..secretly instructed engineers to turn off coverage..” No, he did not. There was never any coverage to be shut down. He declined to activate it.

Musk Talked To Russian Ambassador Before Starlink Decision – WaPo (RT)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk spoke to Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, before making the decision to switch off his Starlink satellite internet service in Crimea last September to thwart a Ukrainian attack on the peninsula, the Washington Post has reported. On Thursday, the paper published more details about Musk cutting Starlink coverage to prevent a Ukrainian seaborne drone strike on the Russian Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol. The events that occurred have been described in a biography of the tech billionaire by historian Walter Isaacson that is due to hit shelves next week. With Kiev’s forces poised to launch their attack, Musk spoke with Antonov, who told him that a strike on Crimea, which became part of Russia after a referendum in 2014, “could lead to a nuclear response” by Moscow, Isaacson said in his book.

“In later conversations with a few other people, he [Musk] seemed to imply that he had spoken directly to [Russian] President Vladimir Putin, but to me he said his communications had gone through the ambassador,” the historian wrote. According to Isaacson, Musk concluded that “allowing the use of Starlink for the attack… could be a disaster for the world.” He therefore took matters into his own hands and secretly instructed engineers to turn off coverage within 100km of the Crimean coast. As a result of the move, the six explosive-laden Ukrainian drones, which relied on Starlink for navigation, “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly.” Musk started receiving “frantic” calls from Kiev as soon as the Ukrainians realized that the satellite service wasn’t working.

They tried to explain to the billionaire that the drones were “crucial to their fight for freedom,” but Musk still refused to switch Starlink back on. He argued that Ukraine was “going too far and inviting strategic defeat” by targeting Crimea, Isaacson wrote. The historian also claimed that Musk had discussed the situation with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, explaining to them that he didn’t intend for Starlink to be used for offensive purposes. Musk provided a slightly different account of events in a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter), saying that Starlink was never active around Crimea and that he simply turned down Ukrainian calls to provide coverage in the area.

“If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation,” he argued. Commenting on revelations from Isaacson’s book, Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, said that Musk’s decision was the result of “a cocktail of ignorance and big ego.” The billionaire “committed evil” by allowing the Russian fleet to continue striking Ukrainian targets with Kalibr missiles, he claimed. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as deputy head of the country’s Security Council, described Musk as “the last adequate mind in North America” for preventing a strike on Crimea.

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It’s going to take many years.

Musk: US Military Vulnerability Due to Slow Production Rate, Like Ukraine (Sp.)

US military vulnerability primarily “stems from the slow pace of production,” American entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk has pointed out. The tech guru took to his social media platform X (formerly Twitter), to comment on last year’s post by the company Anduril Industries. On its five-year anniversary, the military technology company had argued the need for a joint effort if it was expected to “transform US and allied military capabilities with advanced technology.” We need “a new group of defense technology companies to Reboot the Arsenal of Democracy,” the firm had stated. The entrepreneur also emphasized that making new prototypes is easy, but putting them into production is hard.

This comes as the third month of Ukraine’s botched counteroffensive has wrapped up, with the Kiev regime unable to boast any significant military gains, while US stockpiles of munitions are getting “dangerously low”. As of August 30, 2023, Ukraine has reportedly lost 466 airplanes, 247 helicopters, 6,234 unmanned aerial vehicles, 433 air defense missile systems, 11,570 tanks and other armored fighting vehicles, 1,146 fighting vehicles equipped with MLRS, 6,128 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 12,528 special military motor vehicles since the beginning of the special military operation.

Meanwhile, the US unveiled the latest military package for the Kiev regime, worth $250 million, late in August, including AIM-9M missiles for air defense, munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 155mm and 105mm artillery ammunition, mine-clearing equipment, Javelin and other anti-armor systems and rockets, three million rounds of small arms ammunition, as well as other items. However, by continuing to funnel military aid to Kiev the US is reportedly fast-depleting its own military caches of various weapons. Thus, depletion of US stockpiles of 155mm artillery shells (for howitzer use) was recently cited in a US report, with the additional revelation that Washington was sending Kiev 155mm and 105mm shells for the simple reason that it no longer had adequate stockpiles of 155mm shells.

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“..high-level radioactive waste contaminants can be found in uranium waste streams that then get made into depleted uranium.”

NATO’s DU ‘Perfect Storm’ of Toxic Pollution in Breadbasket Ukraine (Tweedie)

NATO-supplied depleted uranium (DU) rounds will contaminate Ukraine’s ‘breadbasket’ grain-growing regions with radioactive waste, a nuclear watchdog has warned. This week the US followed the UK in announcing the supply of the controversial armor-piercing rounds for the M1 Abrams tanks it is supplying to the Kiev regime. British Challenger 2 tanks equipped with DU penetrators have already seen action in the Zaporozye region — with at least one meeting a fiery end. Depleted uranium is the left-over material from the enrichment process used to make fuel rods for nuclear power reactors and — at higher levels — elements of nuclear weapons. The concentration of fissile uranium-235 isotope in depleted uranium is about 0.3 percent, 40 percent of the level of element in its unenriched state, but it still emits around 60 percent as much atomic radiation as natural uranium.

Most of that is in the form of alpha particles from U-238 and U-234 — the most harmful form of radiation if ingested into the body — with beta particles given out by decay products that form within a few weeks. Watchdog Kevin Kamps told Sputnik that US national security spokesman John Kirby’s claim that DU penetrator rods were not radioactive or carcinogenic was simply not true. “Depleted uranium munitions are really intended to be armor piercing. They can bust tanks, they can penetrate through concrete,” Kamps explained. “It’s because they’re so dense. Uranium is the densest isotope an element on the periodic table.” The harmful nature of DU is well understood, the expert pointed out. “Uranium in nature is hazardous to begin with,” Kamps said. “It’s a toxic heavy metal. It is what they say as mildly radioactive, which is kind of a misnomer, radioactivity is hazardous even in mild form.”

He added that DU is often mixed with radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. “In both the United States, where this depleted uranium munitions is coming from, but also in other countries, there’s a mixing of uranium waste streams off of the enrichment process,” Kamps noted. “And what that can often mean is high-level radioactive waste contaminants can be found in uranium waste streams that then get made into depleted uranium.” What makes DU even more toxic is its pyrophoric properties — the material ignites on hitting its target, as well as pulverizing into microscopic dust from the near-hypersonic velocity impact. “It’s kind of the perfect storm of hazard. You’ve got toxic heavy metal, you’ve got radioactivity that can be contaminated with much higher level radioactivity from high-level radioactive waste,” Kamps stressed. “And then it turns into a fine dust that you can breathe in, that blows on the wind, that settles on the water and flows downstream and downwind and harms people and other living beings all along the way.”

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I posted Justin Hart’s tweet yesterday, with a long list of officials affected by the decision. Will they stop?

Biden Admin Likely Violated 1st Amendment On Social Media: 5th Circuit (ZH)

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that several Biden administration officials had likely breached the First Amendment by pressuring social media companies to moderate or take down content they deemed problematic. And here is Exhibit A of that First Amendment-crushing coercion and collusion… which obviously began in the Trump-era under Anthony Fauci. ZeroHedge was banned from Twitter one day after this email. In an unsigned 75-page opinion, three 5th Circuit judges agreed with the plaintiffs that the administration “ran afoul of the First Amendment” by at times threatening social media platforms with antitrust action or changes to law protecting them from liability.

However, as The Epoch Times’ Aldgra Fredly reports, the three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed much of an injunction issued by a Louisiana judge that restricted Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration from communicating with social media companies. The court said that the White House, Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the FBI “likely coerced or significantly encouraged social media platforms to moderate content” in violation of the First Amendment. “It is true that the officials have an interest in engaging with social media companies, including on issues such as misinformation and election interference,” the three-judge panel said in a 74-page ruling (pdf) on Sept. 8. “But the government is not permitted to advance these interests to the extent that it engages in viewpoint suppression,” they added.

The court found that the officials made “express threats” and “inflammatory accusations” by saying that the platforms were “poisoning the public” and “killing people.” The platforms were told they needed to take “greater responsibility and action.” “Then, they followed their statements with threats of ‘fundamental reforms’ like regulatory changes and increased enforcement actions that would ensure the platforms were ‘held accountable’. But, beyond express threats, there was always an unspoken ‘or else,'” it added. The court also said the officials encouraged social media platforms to moderate content by “exercising active, meaningful control over those decisions,” particularly concerning the platforms’ moderation policies.

According to the ruling, the FBI “regularly met with the platforms, shared ‘strategic information,’ frequently alerted the social media companies to misinformation spreading on their platforms, and monitored their content moderation policies.” “But, the FBI went beyond that—they urged the platforms to take down content. Turning to the Second Circuit’s four-factor test, we find that those requests were coercive,” it added. The judges emphasized that the government cannot supervise a platform’s content moderation decisions and cannot impose “legal, regulatory, or economic consequences” if they refuse to comply with a given request. “Social media platforms’ content-moderation decisions must be theirs and theirs alone,” the court asserted.

The attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri, along with several social media users, had sued last year, saying Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter engaged in censorship as a result of repeated urging by government officials and threats of heightened regulatory enforcement. The lawsuit said the censored views included content questioning anti-COVID-19 measures such as masks and vaccine mandates and allegations of election fraud.

Watters 5th circuit

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Not going to happen.

Ukraine Will Be Ready To Join EU In Two Years – Kiev (RT)

Ukraine should be ready to become an EU member in the next two years, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishina told Voice of America on Friday. As Kiev’s official responsible for “European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” she says her nation is one of the “best prepared” for such a step. “I believe that two years would be enough for full preparedness,” Stefanishina said, when asked about Ukraine’s EU prospects. She also vowed to do “10 times more than we do now” to achieve the goal once the conflict with Moscow ends. However, the minister admitted that the timeline would ultimately be determined by the “course of war.”

According to Stefanishina, Ukraine remains one of the “best prepared [nations] for the EU accession” since it is “a big part of the European economy” even in the midst of armed conflict. The country is one of the EU’s “top 20” import partners and the Ukrainian domestic market is “the biggest” on the territory of Europe, she stated. At the same time, she admitted that Ukraine’s economic role in the EU would remain largely agricultural. “With all those agricultural lands… there can be no reality, in which Ukraine stops being an agrarian country,” she said. The bloc itself has been in no rush to accept Kiev into its ranks. EU officials have refused to set specific timelines for Ukraine’s accession, saying that it must first address issues such as rampant corruption and introduce comprehensive legal reforms. In 2022, France said that the process might eventually take years.

In early September, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg warned that fast-tracking membership for Ukraine would spell “geostrategic disaster” since it would show that some nations are “more equal than others.” Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy also said on Friday that accepting the ex-Soviet republic into both the EU and NATO would increase Washington’s sway over the EU dramatically. Kiev might also join NATO even sooner than the EU, Stefanishina proposed, saying that the US-led military bloc would be happy to have a member with “one of the strongest armies” after, she said, it beats Moscow. The minister admitted, though, that Ukraine’s accession to the alliance is a “political decision,” while still maintaining that this decision was “taken in Vilnius,” which hosted the latest NATO summit.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky produced a scandal at the meeting in mid-July, when he condemned NATO for what he called “indecisiveness” over a lack of a clear roadmap for Kiev’s membership. He allegedly angered US officials to the extent that they briefly considered withdrawing Ukraine’s invitation to the bloc. Then British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also criticized Kiev over its lack of gratitude for Western military aid, explaining that the US and its allies were “not Amazon.”

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“I think that following Putin’s non-participation in this forum, our country’s exit from the organization is also possible. We must give preference to those platforms that can implement our projects and our ideas. BRICS can do this, the SCO can do this, but the G20 cannot ,” [Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee Andrei] Klimov said.

G20 Declaration On Ukraine A ‘Blow To Western Countries’ (Sp.)

The declaration of the G20 summit in India was a blow to the West, a British business newspaper reports, adding that this highlights the lack of global consensus in support of Kiev. The G20 leaders earlier in the day said in the New Delhi Summit Declaration that they had different views on and assessments of the Ukraine conflict during discussions of the issue, but all of them jointly call for respect for the UN Charter. “That statement, hammered out over weeks of negotiations between diplomats, is a blow to western countries that have spent the past year attempting to convince developing countries to condemn Moscow and support Ukraine,” the newspaper wrote. “The New Delhi summit declaration refers only to the ‘war in Ukraine’, a formulation that supporters of [Kiev] such as the US and NATO allies have previously rejected as it implies both sides are equally complicit,” the report added.

Russian G20 Sherpa Svetlana Lukash, meanwhile, emphasized that the declaration demonstrates the group’s balanced position on the Ukraine conflict and its intention to settle all conflicts around the world. “As for the Ukrainian case, I can say that the negotiations were very complex and, above all, the collective position of the BRICS countries and other partners has borne fruit … What we have been hearing all year, that the Ukrainian conflict is worsening the food security situation, is now reflected in a balanced way,” Lukash told journalists. Half of the group’s members refused to accept Western narratives, she said, adding that a “consensus language” had been used in the declaration. In addition, the G20 members have agreed to work jointly for peace, security, and conflict resolution around the world, Lukash said.

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“At the beginning of 2022 it was hovering around 25%, now it is exceeding 80%.”

Russia and China Have Effectively Ditched The Dollar – Moscow (RT)

The de-dollarization of Russia-China trade is practically complete, according to Georgy Zinoviev, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s First Asian Department, as cited by RIA Novosti. The official said the share of the US dollar in mutual settlements between the neighboring nations has substantially shrunk over the past two years. “The share of national currencies in Russian-Chinese payments is growing at an extremely rapid pace,” Zinoviev told the news agency. “At the beginning of 2022 it was hovering around 25%, now it is exceeding 80%.” He added that the volume of trading in the ruble-yuan pair on the Moscow Exchange (MOEX) outpaced volumes in the dollar-ruble pair long ago. According to Zinoviev, Russian and Chinese businesses are “rapidly moving away from the ‘toxic’ Western currencies, opting for the ruble and yuan as more reliable and safe way of payment.”

The diplomat noted that Moscow and Beijing have developed vital tools to make it possible to “facilitate all necessary transactions as much as possible,” despite international political and economic instability that significantly affects financial institutions and their ability to efficiently operate. The changes reflect Russia’s move away from transactions in the currencies of ‘unfriendly countries’ against the backdrop of sanctions. Earlier this year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the country no longer trusts the dollar, calling it “a completely unreliable instrument.” Zinoviev’s comments come ahead of the 8th Eastern Economic Forum, which kicks off on September 10 in Vladivostok, Russia. Most of the discussions at the annual event will focus on trade, business, and investment.

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“..In the short term — i.e., between now and the presidential election—prices would need to fall back to pre-Biden levels. The average US gas price in January 2021 when Biden took office was $2.42 per gallon. Now it’s $3.95..”

The Daunting Physics of ‘Bidenomics’ (Rall)

Democrats are confident enough about how things are going that “Bidenomics” is at the center of their case for another four years in the White House; however, this is a rosy picture few voters can see as Americans consistently give US President Joe Biden low marks for his handling of the economy. “I’ve never seen this big of a disconnect between how the economy is actually doing and key polling results about what people think is going on,” Heidi Shierholz, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, told US media. What gives? Jason Furman, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under the Obama White House, points to a yearslong trend that only ended recently: wages haven’t kept up with inflation, leaving the average worker $2,000 worse off than during the final year of the Trump presidency.

“The way to think about that is people were in an incredibly deep hole because of inflation and we’re still not all the way out of that hole,” Furman says. The problem for Biden is, what people would need to have happen in order to feel that inflation was truly behind them would be horrible for the economy – not to mention his prospects for reelection: deflation. During our lifetimes, ideal economic conditions in a healthy economy feature an annual official inflation rate in the single digits, a policy economists call inflation targeting. Prices rise, but if wages go up even faster employees are happy. Low inflation incentivizes consumers to buy sooner rather than later, when prices will be higher. But, as Furman points out, that hasn’t been the case lately. Airfares went up 28.5% in 2022. Butter rose 31.4%. Eggs a whopping 59.9%. So we’re displeased.

What will it take to convince voters that inflation is no longer a problem? In the short term — i.e., between now and the presidential election—prices would need to fall back to pre-Biden levels. The average US gas price in January 2021 when Biden took office was $2.42 per gallon. Now it’s $3.95. The Federal Reserve’s efforts to reduce inflation appear to be working. Prices are rising at a slower rate and that’s the problem for Democrats. Mechanical physics provides a helpful parallel. Many economists and political analysts seem to think of inflation rate as analogous to velocity. In their view, reducing the inflation rate from 8% to 3% is a victory for inflation-targeting fiscal policy. Indeed, if a 3% inflation rate (coupled with wages that rise faster than 3%) remains in effect indefinitely, people will eventually feel good (or less bad) about the economy. As the economist John Maynard Keynes observed a century ago, however, “in the long run, we will all be dead.” And the Democrats’ calendar is much shorter than that, a mere 14 months.

Before inflation-affected consumers can be persuaded to tap their feet to “Happy Days Are Here Again,” they’ll have to pass through several stages of recovery. First, they’ll feel less bad. Then comes meh. Penultimately, they’ll see themselves paying off credit card and other debts they ran up during the inflationary period. Only after those lingering financial hangovers are past will they be able to achieve what feels like the final stage, prosperity: earning enough to pay one’s bills while setting a surplus aside in the form of savings. With Americans’ credit card debt hitting the staggering benchmark of $1 trillion and rising, we are currently in the “less bad”/”meh” stage. But it’s hard to see what Biden or the Fed or anyone else can do in order to promote a sunnier view of the economy.

A lower inflation rate—even an ideal one in the low single digits—still means higher prices. We will probably not see $2.42 per gallon gas, the price in early 2021, any time soon, if ever. Gas prices will likely continue to increase to $4.00 and $4.05 and $4.10 and on and on and on, adding minor injury to gaping wound.

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“..So 2024 can’t come soon enough for most of us.”

World Is ‘Laughing At’ The US – Alaska Governor (RT)

The US government’s decision to cancel oil and gas drilling licenses and forbid further drilling will “hobble” the country’s economy and makes no sense except to advance the green agenda, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has declared. President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday canceled seven ten-year oil and gas drilling licenses granted to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) by former President Donald Trump. Biden’s Department of the Interior followed up this decision by issuing a proposal to forbid future leases on more than 40% of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

Biden said that these two measures “will help preserve our Arctic lands and wildlife,” adding on Saturday that he would “continue to take bold action to meet the urgency of the climate crisis and to protect our lands and waters for generations to come.” Speaking to Fox News on Thursday, Dunleavy said that “this makes absolutely no sense from any perspective unless your goal is to drive up the cost of oil and gas so much that it makes certain renewables cheaper.” Dunleavy, a Republican, claimed that Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are “laughing” at Biden’s energy policy. “They’re laughing together at the United States of America,” the governor said. “I can’t find anywhere in, really the history of nation-states or empires, where they worked at hobbling themselves to such a degree that’s happening currently with this administration. So 2024 can’t come soon enough for most of us.”

Gasoline prices have soared under Biden, reaching a record average high of just over $5 per gallon last June, up from around $2 when the president took office. Prices began to rise when Biden signed an executive order in January 2021 banning new oil and gas licenses on federal land, and spiked as the conflict in Ukraine rocked global energy markets. Ahead of last year’s midterm elections, Biden attempted to stabilize gasoline prices by draining the US’ strategic petroleum reserve, and by unsuccessfully lobbying the Saudi-led Organization of Petroleum Exporting States to cut production. The AIDEA argues that Biden has no legal right to rescind existing drilling licenses and told Fox News that it intends to challenge the decision in court.

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“..Roughly 50% of price increases in the region resulted from local companies passing higher costs on to consumers..”

“..growth in corporate profits accounted for 45% of inflation in Europe last year..”

‘Greedflation’ Ravaging Western Europe – Nikkei (RT)

Inflation continues to rage in Western Europe, with monthly consumer prices soaring by over 14% in the UK and more than 10% in Germany, according to a Nikkei report. Some retailers have been hiking prices out of proportion with their underlying costs, it claimed. Roughly 50% of price increases in the region resulted from local companies passing higher costs on to consumers, the outlet estimated. Consumption has slumped across the region as price increases have outpaced wage growth. Nikkei cited an analysis of annual results from 70 European food retail and manufacturing companies by the management consultancy Oliver Wyman, which reportedly found that absolute EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) rose by 11% at food retailers and 12% at manufacturers in 2022, compared to the previous year. That growth was mostly driven by increased revenues.

“Companies in the food sector viewed the inflation context as an opportunity to review their price management,” Rainer Muench, partner at Oliver Wyman, was quoted as saying.

According to the IMF data, cited by Nikkei, growth in corporate profits accounted for 45% of inflation in Europe last year, higher than the 40% attributed to the higher cost of imports. A survey of households by the European Commission reportedly found the perceived rate of inflation over the past year has risen to 26% among low-income families, the highest in 20 years. Earlier this year, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey accused domestic retailers of driving ‘greedflation,’ claiming that certain businesses were “overcharging customers” as millions of families struggle to make ends meet. The BoE has also warned that British households and businesses need to accept that they are worse off and should stop asking for wage increases and pushing prices higher.

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“I’m running against a larger challenge because I am facing an entire infrastructure that is against me, from my own party and Big Tech and the pharmaceutical industry.“

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Wants His Party Back (ET)

On a steamy summer morning, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. strode into a hotel conference room in Columbia, South Carolina, amid a barnstorming town hall tour of a state where Joe Biden won close to 49 percent of the vote in the 2020 Democratic primary. Mr. Kennedy spoke about his 2024 presidential campaign. Democrat pundits say he is a fringe candidate who spreads conspiracy theories. Polls show him with the highest favorability rating of any presidential candidate. There is no path for Mr. Kennedy to defeat President Biden, critics claim, despite questions about President Joe Biden’s age and mental fitness, low approval ratings, and surveys showing that Americans are concerned about the economy. Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee voted to give its full support to the president.

Mr. Kennedy agrees that unseating an incumbent president in the same party is a daunting challenge but disagrees with doubters who say he has no chance of securing the nomination. The 2024 presidential nominee will be announced during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago next summer. Until then, Mr. Kennedy intends to continue to press his case. “The DNC has around $2 billion, and they’re spending that money generously to try to marginalize me in many ways, but I think most Democrats care about one thing more than anything else, which is to beat Donald Trump,” Mr. Kennedy told The Epoch Times. “I think President Biden cannot do that. I can.” Mr. Kennedy is the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963; and the son of Robert F. Kennedy, who was shot and killed after a campaign speech while running for president in 1968.

During his town halls and meet-and-greets, Mr. Kennedy tells stories from time spent with his uncle and father and connects them to his presidential campaign. He wants to continue his father’s legacy of uniting Americans from all economic classes and ethnic backgrounds. “I think we do that by telling the truth to people. My dad did it that way. He talked about uncomfortable issues but talked about the truth. I think people are tired of being lied to by the government, by the media,” Mr. Kennedy said. “My dad ran against an incumbent president in his own party (Lyndon B. Johnson) during a divisive time. I’m running against a larger challenge because I am facing an entire infrastructure that is against me, from my own party and Big Tech and the pharmaceutical industry.”

RFK

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“..because I refused to lie about President Trump it cost me twenty-two years of my life.”

Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio Drops Bombshell (GP)

“They asked me to LIE about President Trump in order to indict him,” Enrique Tarrio exclusively told the Gateway Pundit. “I told them to pound sand, and because I refused to lie about President Trump it cost me twenty-two years of my life.” “The truth is, I could have been home,” said Tarrio. “I could have been home a long time ago. I could be in my warm ass bed right now, laughing at the world, without a problem…and all I had to do in order to do that WAS LIE ABOUT TRUMP. All I had to do was confirm a lie.” Tarrio opened up to the Gateway Pundit after he was sentenced to decades in prison by the Dishonorable Judge Kelly on Tuesday.

He told us that the prosecutors in the Department of Justice attempted to coerce him into signing a false statement that would implicate President Trump by swearing that “through several degrees of separation and connections, Tarrio had communicated with Trump regarding ‘plans’ for January 6th.” On Friday night The Gateway Pundit held a Twitter space with Enrique Tarrio as special guest. TGP reporters Cara Castronuova and Alicia Powe organized Friday night’s Twitter Space. During Friday night’s Twitter Space Enrique Tarrio repeated his accusations against the Biden regime. Later in the discussion Enrique disclosed two names of Biden officials who were in the meeting when he was pressured by federal agents to lie about President Trump.

Enrique Tarrio announced two DOJ officials who were in the room during this meeting: ** DOJ Lead Prosecutor Jocelyn Ballantine ** Assistant US Attorney Jason McCullough Jocelyn Ballantine was a DOJ attorney staffed on General Michael Flynn’s prosecution. The DOJ admitted to altering evidence in Flynn’s case and the government eventually dropped the case against General Flynn. Ballantine was caught lying during a DOJ investigation of Strzok and McCabe. She still holds a job as a top official in Merrick Garland’s DOJ.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1700542330682347608

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No, not “climate change”. Tourism. In Athens, numbers of visitors to the Acropolis are being limited. New York City is severely cutting into AirBnB rentals.

Japan’s Mount Fuji ‘In Real Crisis’ – Officials (RT)

Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s sacred mountains and a popular pilgrimage site, could become less attractive if the number of tourists is not brought under control, the local authorities warn. “Fuji is screaming in pain. We can’t just wait for improvement,” Masatake Izumi, a Yamanashi prefectural government official, told CNN during a tour for foreign media on Saturday, adding that “overtourism” needs to be tackled urgently. Izumi was quoted by Reuters as saying that “Fuji faces a real crisis” because of the “uncontrollable” flow of tourists. “We fear that Mount Fuji will soon become so unattractive, nobody would want to climb it,” he said.

According to government officials, the post-Covid tourism boom has brought thousands of hikers to the mountain, causing environmental damage and placing extra pressure on the first aid services. Despite the introduction of a campaign urging visitors not to litter, with volunteers removing tons of trash each year, both hikers and caretakers complain about overcrowding and the piles of litter left along the path. Mount Fuji ranger Miho Sakurai told reporters that there are “way too many people on Mount Fuji at the moment,” including many inexperienced “first timers,” often underdressed, poorly equipped, and prone to hypothermia or altitude sickness. As a result, rescue requests have increased by 50% from last year and one person died in April in a climbing accident.

An active volcano known for its picturesque snowcap and one of Japan’s national symbols, the mountain was recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2013. The number of visitors to Fuji more than doubled between 2012 and 2019 to 5.1 million, according to CNA news agency. This week, government officials met to discuss “overcrowding and breaches of etiquette” across high-traffic tourist spots, with Yamanashi Governor Kotaro Nagasaki proposing the construction of a light railway to control the number of people accessing the site. “We need a shift from quantity to quality when it comes to tourism on Mount Fuji,” Nagasaki said. A local ranger called the prospect of Mount Fuji losing its heritage status “devastating.”

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Kids having fun
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700240513838760320

 

 

Water filters are now labeled “pesticides” (because they contain silver).

 

 

Elephants
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700575172858675668

 

 

Tuna

 

 

CGI

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Fall of Icarus 1558

 

Wrongheaded US Leadership in Ukraine – Larry Johnson, Ray McGovern, Nap (Sp.)
Ice Cracking Sounds On Frozen Lake of US-Russia Relations (Bhadrakumar)
Musk Talked To Russian Ambassador Before Starlink Decision – WaPo (RT)
Musk: US Military Vulnerability Due to Slow Production Rate, Like Ukraine (Sp.)
NATO’s DU ‘Perfect Storm’ of Toxic Pollution in Breadbasket Ukraine (Tweedie)
Biden Admin Likely Violated 1st Amendment On Social Media: 5th Circuit (ZH)
Ukraine Will Be Ready To Join EU In Two Years – Kiev (RT)
G20 Declaration On Ukraine A ‘Blow To Western Countries’ (Sp.)
Russia and China Have Effectively Ditched The Dollar – Moscow (RT)
The Daunting Physics of ‘Bidenomics’ (Rall)
World Is ‘Laughing At’ The US – Alaska Governor (RT)
‘Greedflation’ Ravaging Western Europe – Nikkei (RT)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Wants His Party Back (ET)
Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio Drops Bombshell (GP)
Japan’s Mount Fuji ‘In Real Crisis’ – Officials (RT)

 

 

Japan vaccine

 

 

 

 

Hoax

 

 

 

 

Obama Minimize
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700313493428228549

 

 

 

 

DARPA McCullough

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent conversation.

“Tony, look at a map,” and just look at the progress that “has not been made by Ukraine..”

Wrongheaded US Leadership in Ukraine – Larry Johnson, Ray McGovern, Nap (Sp.)

The United States is blatantly lying about the botched Ukrainian counteroffensive, former CIA analyst Larry Johnson said in an interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano on his Judging Freedom podcast. “Tony, look at a map,” and just look at the progress that “has not been made by Ukraine,” said the retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official, as he commented on recent remarks made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kiev. During his unannounced visit to the Ukrainian capital, Blinken, standing alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, touted that the Ukrainian military had made “real progress” in its counteroffensive in the “last few weeks.” The Ukrainian president’s assessment of the battlefront developments “matches our own,” continued Blinken, who went over to Kiev to pledge a new aid package for Ukraine worth over $1 billion.

In fact, “Russia has been steadily pushing to the [west],” Johnson said, pointing out that the battle of Artemovsk was the “last big conflict” on the battlefront that Ukraine’s military was engaged in. “They [the US] don’t understand Russian defensive tactics,” Johnson emphasized. In May 2023, the Russian military liberated Artemovsk (also known as Bakhmut), a Donbass city reduced to ruins in over eight months of brutal house-to-house fighting. The Artemovsk operation destroyed tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops and foreign mercenaries, while Russia built up its reserves and prepared defenses in Donbass, Zaporozhye, and Kherson for Kiev’s much-heralded summer offensive

“Americans have been had,” added Ray McGovern, a former top US intel analyst, who also joined the Judging Freedom podcast. He pointed out that, “Billions of money had gone to Ukraine, with a lot of it syphoned off.” He told the host that America was “losing” in the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Nevertheless, senior-level members of the US intelligence community continue “to delude themselves, their colleagues, the press, and the public,” regarding the actual developments on the ground, specified Larry Johnson. These officials refused to wake up to the reality that Ukraine was experiencing “shortage of ammunition, shortage of manpower, trouble recruiting people,” etc.

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“What distinguishes Umerov is that he was a key negotiator at the peace talks with Russia in Istanbul last year in March, which actually resulted in an agreed document … Again, he was instrumental in negotiating the Black Sea Grain Initiative..”

Ice Cracking Sounds On Frozen Lake of US-Russia Relations (Bhadrakumar)

Meanwhile, on September 6, Blinken embarked on quite an untypical visit to Kiev. There was no fire in his belly. For once, he didn’t threaten Russia or ridicule Putin from Ukrainian soil. Nor did Blinken show much enthusiasm for Kiev’s counteroffensive. Rather, his focus was on the war’s horrific trail causing human suffering, Ukraine’s post-conflict recovery as a democracy and its economy’s reconstruction. Blinken said repeatedly that he was undertaking the visit on Biden’s instruction. In the presence of President Zelensky, Blinken stated:

“We are determined in the United States to continue to walk side by side with you. And President Biden asked me to come, to reaffirm strongly our support, to ensure that we are maximising the efforts that we’re making and other countries are making for the immediate challenge of the counteroffensive as well as the longer-term efforts to help Ukraine build a force for the future that can deter and defend against any future aggression, but also to work with you and support you as you engage in the critical work of strengthening your democracy, rebuilding your economy.”

Stirring words, but there was no boastful talk of liberating Crimea, carrying the fight into the Russian camp or forcing Russia to vacate the annexed territories and negotiating with Russia only from a position of strength. At Blinken’s joint press availability with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the latter claimed that they had a “substantive” discussion on providing long-range rockets, ATACMS to Kiev. But Blinken sidestepped the topic. The most unusual thing about Blinken’s visit was that it spilled over to a second day. This must be the first time Blinken spent a night in Ukraine. Blinken had a rather tight schedule on the first day meeting Kuleba, Zelensky and Prime Minister Denis Shmigal, but the itinerary for the second day [September 7], was left open. Obviously, he came to Kiev for some serious discussions.

Conceivably, Biden could be interested in starting peace talks between Moscow and Kiev now that the Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed to meet its politico-military objectives, and there are worrisome signs of support waning in America and Europe for the proxy war, while a Russian offensive could deal a knockout punch on Ukraine’s military. Both Russian and western estimates are that close to 65-70,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in these past 3 months alone since Kiev’s “counteroffensive” began. Meanwhile, in an interesting coincidence, on September 6, Ukraine’s parliament Verkhovna Rada approved the appointment of Rustem Umerov as the new Defence Minister replacing Alexei Reznikov. A Crimean Tatar born in Uzbekistan (USSR), Umerov has no previous military background. But he is trusted by Zelensky and is acceptable to the Americans.

What distinguishes Umerov is that he was a key negotiator at the peace talks with Russia in Istanbul last year in March, which actually resulted in an agreed document (from which Zelensky subsequently retracted under Anglo-American pressure.) Again, he was instrumental in negotiating the Black Sea Grain Initiative (so-called grain deal between Ukraine and Russia) which became operational in July last year at Istanbul. These are straws in the wind that must be duly noted.

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Even RT gets it upside down: “..secretly instructed engineers to turn off coverage..” No, he did not. There was never any coverage to be shut down. He declined to activate it.

Musk Talked To Russian Ambassador Before Starlink Decision – WaPo (RT)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk spoke to Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, before making the decision to switch off his Starlink satellite internet service in Crimea last September to thwart a Ukrainian attack on the peninsula, the Washington Post has reported. On Thursday, the paper published more details about Musk cutting Starlink coverage to prevent a Ukrainian seaborne drone strike on the Russian Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol. The events that occurred have been described in a biography of the tech billionaire by historian Walter Isaacson that is due to hit shelves next week. With Kiev’s forces poised to launch their attack, Musk spoke with Antonov, who told him that a strike on Crimea, which became part of Russia after a referendum in 2014, “could lead to a nuclear response” by Moscow, Isaacson said in his book.

“In later conversations with a few other people, he [Musk] seemed to imply that he had spoken directly to [Russian] President Vladimir Putin, but to me he said his communications had gone through the ambassador,” the historian wrote. According to Isaacson, Musk concluded that “allowing the use of Starlink for the attack… could be a disaster for the world.” He therefore took matters into his own hands and secretly instructed engineers to turn off coverage within 100km of the Crimean coast. As a result of the move, the six explosive-laden Ukrainian drones, which relied on Starlink for navigation, “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly.” Musk started receiving “frantic” calls from Kiev as soon as the Ukrainians realized that the satellite service wasn’t working.

They tried to explain to the billionaire that the drones were “crucial to their fight for freedom,” but Musk still refused to switch Starlink back on. He argued that Ukraine was “going too far and inviting strategic defeat” by targeting Crimea, Isaacson wrote. The historian also claimed that Musk had discussed the situation with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, explaining to them that he didn’t intend for Starlink to be used for offensive purposes. Musk provided a slightly different account of events in a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter), saying that Starlink was never active around Crimea and that he simply turned down Ukrainian calls to provide coverage in the area.

“If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation,” he argued. Commenting on revelations from Isaacson’s book, Mikhail Podoliak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, said that Musk’s decision was the result of “a cocktail of ignorance and big ego.” The billionaire “committed evil” by allowing the Russian fleet to continue striking Ukrainian targets with Kalibr missiles, he claimed. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as deputy head of the country’s Security Council, described Musk as “the last adequate mind in North America” for preventing a strike on Crimea.

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It’s going to take many years.

Musk: US Military Vulnerability Due to Slow Production Rate, Like Ukraine (Sp.)

US military vulnerability primarily “stems from the slow pace of production,” American entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk has pointed out. The tech guru took to his social media platform X (formerly Twitter), to comment on last year’s post by the company Anduril Industries. On its five-year anniversary, the military technology company had argued the need for a joint effort if it was expected to “transform US and allied military capabilities with advanced technology.” We need “a new group of defense technology companies to Reboot the Arsenal of Democracy,” the firm had stated. The entrepreneur also emphasized that making new prototypes is easy, but putting them into production is hard.

This comes as the third month of Ukraine’s botched counteroffensive has wrapped up, with the Kiev regime unable to boast any significant military gains, while US stockpiles of munitions are getting “dangerously low”. As of August 30, 2023, Ukraine has reportedly lost 466 airplanes, 247 helicopters, 6,234 unmanned aerial vehicles, 433 air defense missile systems, 11,570 tanks and other armored fighting vehicles, 1,146 fighting vehicles equipped with MLRS, 6,128 field artillery cannons and mortars, as well as 12,528 special military motor vehicles since the beginning of the special military operation.

Meanwhile, the US unveiled the latest military package for the Kiev regime, worth $250 million, late in August, including AIM-9M missiles for air defense, munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 155mm and 105mm artillery ammunition, mine-clearing equipment, Javelin and other anti-armor systems and rockets, three million rounds of small arms ammunition, as well as other items. However, by continuing to funnel military aid to Kiev the US is reportedly fast-depleting its own military caches of various weapons. Thus, depletion of US stockpiles of 155mm artillery shells (for howitzer use) was recently cited in a US report, with the additional revelation that Washington was sending Kiev 155mm and 105mm shells for the simple reason that it no longer had adequate stockpiles of 155mm shells.

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“..high-level radioactive waste contaminants can be found in uranium waste streams that then get made into depleted uranium.”

NATO’s DU ‘Perfect Storm’ of Toxic Pollution in Breadbasket Ukraine (Tweedie)

NATO-supplied depleted uranium (DU) rounds will contaminate Ukraine’s ‘breadbasket’ grain-growing regions with radioactive waste, a nuclear watchdog has warned. This week the US followed the UK in announcing the supply of the controversial armor-piercing rounds for the M1 Abrams tanks it is supplying to the Kiev regime. British Challenger 2 tanks equipped with DU penetrators have already seen action in the Zaporozye region — with at least one meeting a fiery end. Depleted uranium is the left-over material from the enrichment process used to make fuel rods for nuclear power reactors and — at higher levels — elements of nuclear weapons. The concentration of fissile uranium-235 isotope in depleted uranium is about 0.3 percent, 40 percent of the level of element in its unenriched state, but it still emits around 60 percent as much atomic radiation as natural uranium.

Most of that is in the form of alpha particles from U-238 and U-234 — the most harmful form of radiation if ingested into the body — with beta particles given out by decay products that form within a few weeks. Watchdog Kevin Kamps told Sputnik that US national security spokesman John Kirby’s claim that DU penetrator rods were not radioactive or carcinogenic was simply not true. “Depleted uranium munitions are really intended to be armor piercing. They can bust tanks, they can penetrate through concrete,” Kamps explained. “It’s because they’re so dense. Uranium is the densest isotope an element on the periodic table.” The harmful nature of DU is well understood, the expert pointed out. “Uranium in nature is hazardous to begin with,” Kamps said. “It’s a toxic heavy metal. It is what they say as mildly radioactive, which is kind of a misnomer, radioactivity is hazardous even in mild form.”

He added that DU is often mixed with radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. “In both the United States, where this depleted uranium munitions is coming from, but also in other countries, there’s a mixing of uranium waste streams off of the enrichment process,” Kamps noted. “And what that can often mean is high-level radioactive waste contaminants can be found in uranium waste streams that then get made into depleted uranium.” What makes DU even more toxic is its pyrophoric properties — the material ignites on hitting its target, as well as pulverizing into microscopic dust from the near-hypersonic velocity impact. “It’s kind of the perfect storm of hazard. You’ve got toxic heavy metal, you’ve got radioactivity that can be contaminated with much higher level radioactivity from high-level radioactive waste,” Kamps stressed. “And then it turns into a fine dust that you can breathe in, that blows on the wind, that settles on the water and flows downstream and downwind and harms people and other living beings all along the way.”

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I posted Justin Hart’s tweet yesterday, with a long list of officials affected by the decision. Will they stop?

Biden Admin Likely Violated 1st Amendment On Social Media: 5th Circuit (ZH)

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that several Biden administration officials had likely breached the First Amendment by pressuring social media companies to moderate or take down content they deemed problematic. And here is Exhibit A of that First Amendment-crushing coercion and collusion… which obviously began in the Trump-era under Anthony Fauci. ZeroHedge was banned from Twitter one day after this email. In an unsigned 75-page opinion, three 5th Circuit judges agreed with the plaintiffs that the administration “ran afoul of the First Amendment” by at times threatening social media platforms with antitrust action or changes to law protecting them from liability.

However, as The Epoch Times’ Aldgra Fredly reports, the three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed much of an injunction issued by a Louisiana judge that restricted Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration from communicating with social media companies. The court said that the White House, Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the FBI “likely coerced or significantly encouraged social media platforms to moderate content” in violation of the First Amendment. “It is true that the officials have an interest in engaging with social media companies, including on issues such as misinformation and election interference,” the three-judge panel said in a 74-page ruling (pdf) on Sept. 8. “But the government is not permitted to advance these interests to the extent that it engages in viewpoint suppression,” they added.

The court found that the officials made “express threats” and “inflammatory accusations” by saying that the platforms were “poisoning the public” and “killing people.” The platforms were told they needed to take “greater responsibility and action.” “Then, they followed their statements with threats of ‘fundamental reforms’ like regulatory changes and increased enforcement actions that would ensure the platforms were ‘held accountable’. But, beyond express threats, there was always an unspoken ‘or else,'” it added. The court also said the officials encouraged social media platforms to moderate content by “exercising active, meaningful control over those decisions,” particularly concerning the platforms’ moderation policies.

According to the ruling, the FBI “regularly met with the platforms, shared ‘strategic information,’ frequently alerted the social media companies to misinformation spreading on their platforms, and monitored their content moderation policies.” “But, the FBI went beyond that—they urged the platforms to take down content. Turning to the Second Circuit’s four-factor test, we find that those requests were coercive,” it added. The judges emphasized that the government cannot supervise a platform’s content moderation decisions and cannot impose “legal, regulatory, or economic consequences” if they refuse to comply with a given request. “Social media platforms’ content-moderation decisions must be theirs and theirs alone,” the court asserted.

The attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri, along with several social media users, had sued last year, saying Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter engaged in censorship as a result of repeated urging by government officials and threats of heightened regulatory enforcement. The lawsuit said the censored views included content questioning anti-COVID-19 measures such as masks and vaccine mandates and allegations of election fraud.

Watters 5th circuit

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Not going to happen.

Ukraine Will Be Ready To Join EU In Two Years – Kiev (RT)

Ukraine should be ready to become an EU member in the next two years, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishina told Voice of America on Friday. As Kiev’s official responsible for “European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” she says her nation is one of the “best prepared” for such a step. “I believe that two years would be enough for full preparedness,” Stefanishina said, when asked about Ukraine’s EU prospects. She also vowed to do “10 times more than we do now” to achieve the goal once the conflict with Moscow ends. However, the minister admitted that the timeline would ultimately be determined by the “course of war.”

According to Stefanishina, Ukraine remains one of the “best prepared [nations] for the EU accession” since it is “a big part of the European economy” even in the midst of armed conflict. The country is one of the EU’s “top 20” import partners and the Ukrainian domestic market is “the biggest” on the territory of Europe, she stated. At the same time, she admitted that Ukraine’s economic role in the EU would remain largely agricultural. “With all those agricultural lands… there can be no reality, in which Ukraine stops being an agrarian country,” she said. The bloc itself has been in no rush to accept Kiev into its ranks. EU officials have refused to set specific timelines for Ukraine’s accession, saying that it must first address issues such as rampant corruption and introduce comprehensive legal reforms. In 2022, France said that the process might eventually take years.

In early September, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg warned that fast-tracking membership for Ukraine would spell “geostrategic disaster” since it would show that some nations are “more equal than others.” Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy also said on Friday that accepting the ex-Soviet republic into both the EU and NATO would increase Washington’s sway over the EU dramatically. Kiev might also join NATO even sooner than the EU, Stefanishina proposed, saying that the US-led military bloc would be happy to have a member with “one of the strongest armies” after, she said, it beats Moscow. The minister admitted, though, that Ukraine’s accession to the alliance is a “political decision,” while still maintaining that this decision was “taken in Vilnius,” which hosted the latest NATO summit.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky produced a scandal at the meeting in mid-July, when he condemned NATO for what he called “indecisiveness” over a lack of a clear roadmap for Kiev’s membership. He allegedly angered US officials to the extent that they briefly considered withdrawing Ukraine’s invitation to the bloc. Then British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also criticized Kiev over its lack of gratitude for Western military aid, explaining that the US and its allies were “not Amazon.”

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“I think that following Putin’s non-participation in this forum, our country’s exit from the organization is also possible. We must give preference to those platforms that can implement our projects and our ideas. BRICS can do this, the SCO can do this, but the G20 cannot ,” [Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee Andrei] Klimov said.

G20 Declaration On Ukraine A ‘Blow To Western Countries’ (Sp.)

The declaration of the G20 summit in India was a blow to the West, a British business newspaper reports, adding that this highlights the lack of global consensus in support of Kiev. The G20 leaders earlier in the day said in the New Delhi Summit Declaration that they had different views on and assessments of the Ukraine conflict during discussions of the issue, but all of them jointly call for respect for the UN Charter. “That statement, hammered out over weeks of negotiations between diplomats, is a blow to western countries that have spent the past year attempting to convince developing countries to condemn Moscow and support Ukraine,” the newspaper wrote. “The New Delhi summit declaration refers only to the ‘war in Ukraine’, a formulation that supporters of [Kiev] such as the US and NATO allies have previously rejected as it implies both sides are equally complicit,” the report added.

Russian G20 Sherpa Svetlana Lukash, meanwhile, emphasized that the declaration demonstrates the group’s balanced position on the Ukraine conflict and its intention to settle all conflicts around the world. “As for the Ukrainian case, I can say that the negotiations were very complex and, above all, the collective position of the BRICS countries and other partners has borne fruit … What we have been hearing all year, that the Ukrainian conflict is worsening the food security situation, is now reflected in a balanced way,” Lukash told journalists. Half of the group’s members refused to accept Western narratives, she said, adding that a “consensus language” had been used in the declaration. In addition, the G20 members have agreed to work jointly for peace, security, and conflict resolution around the world, Lukash said.

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“At the beginning of 2022 it was hovering around 25%, now it is exceeding 80%.”

Russia and China Have Effectively Ditched The Dollar – Moscow (RT)

The de-dollarization of Russia-China trade is practically complete, according to Georgy Zinoviev, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s First Asian Department, as cited by RIA Novosti. The official said the share of the US dollar in mutual settlements between the neighboring nations has substantially shrunk over the past two years. “The share of national currencies in Russian-Chinese payments is growing at an extremely rapid pace,” Zinoviev told the news agency. “At the beginning of 2022 it was hovering around 25%, now it is exceeding 80%.” He added that the volume of trading in the ruble-yuan pair on the Moscow Exchange (MOEX) outpaced volumes in the dollar-ruble pair long ago. According to Zinoviev, Russian and Chinese businesses are “rapidly moving away from the ‘toxic’ Western currencies, opting for the ruble and yuan as more reliable and safe way of payment.”

The diplomat noted that Moscow and Beijing have developed vital tools to make it possible to “facilitate all necessary transactions as much as possible,” despite international political and economic instability that significantly affects financial institutions and their ability to efficiently operate. The changes reflect Russia’s move away from transactions in the currencies of ‘unfriendly countries’ against the backdrop of sanctions. Earlier this year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the country no longer trusts the dollar, calling it “a completely unreliable instrument.” Zinoviev’s comments come ahead of the 8th Eastern Economic Forum, which kicks off on September 10 in Vladivostok, Russia. Most of the discussions at the annual event will focus on trade, business, and investment.

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“..In the short term — i.e., between now and the presidential election—prices would need to fall back to pre-Biden levels. The average US gas price in January 2021 when Biden took office was $2.42 per gallon. Now it’s $3.95..”

The Daunting Physics of ‘Bidenomics’ (Rall)

Democrats are confident enough about how things are going that “Bidenomics” is at the center of their case for another four years in the White House; however, this is a rosy picture few voters can see as Americans consistently give US President Joe Biden low marks for his handling of the economy. “I’ve never seen this big of a disconnect between how the economy is actually doing and key polling results about what people think is going on,” Heidi Shierholz, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank, told US media. What gives? Jason Furman, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under the Obama White House, points to a yearslong trend that only ended recently: wages haven’t kept up with inflation, leaving the average worker $2,000 worse off than during the final year of the Trump presidency.

“The way to think about that is people were in an incredibly deep hole because of inflation and we’re still not all the way out of that hole,” Furman says. The problem for Biden is, what people would need to have happen in order to feel that inflation was truly behind them would be horrible for the economy – not to mention his prospects for reelection: deflation. During our lifetimes, ideal economic conditions in a healthy economy feature an annual official inflation rate in the single digits, a policy economists call inflation targeting. Prices rise, but if wages go up even faster employees are happy. Low inflation incentivizes consumers to buy sooner rather than later, when prices will be higher. But, as Furman points out, that hasn’t been the case lately. Airfares went up 28.5% in 2022. Butter rose 31.4%. Eggs a whopping 59.9%. So we’re displeased.

What will it take to convince voters that inflation is no longer a problem? In the short term — i.e., between now and the presidential election—prices would need to fall back to pre-Biden levels. The average US gas price in January 2021 when Biden took office was $2.42 per gallon. Now it’s $3.95. The Federal Reserve’s efforts to reduce inflation appear to be working. Prices are rising at a slower rate and that’s the problem for Democrats. Mechanical physics provides a helpful parallel. Many economists and political analysts seem to think of inflation rate as analogous to velocity. In their view, reducing the inflation rate from 8% to 3% is a victory for inflation-targeting fiscal policy. Indeed, if a 3% inflation rate (coupled with wages that rise faster than 3%) remains in effect indefinitely, people will eventually feel good (or less bad) about the economy. As the economist John Maynard Keynes observed a century ago, however, “in the long run, we will all be dead.” And the Democrats’ calendar is much shorter than that, a mere 14 months.

Before inflation-affected consumers can be persuaded to tap their feet to “Happy Days Are Here Again,” they’ll have to pass through several stages of recovery. First, they’ll feel less bad. Then comes meh. Penultimately, they’ll see themselves paying off credit card and other debts they ran up during the inflationary period. Only after those lingering financial hangovers are past will they be able to achieve what feels like the final stage, prosperity: earning enough to pay one’s bills while setting a surplus aside in the form of savings. With Americans’ credit card debt hitting the staggering benchmark of $1 trillion and rising, we are currently in the “less bad”/”meh” stage. But it’s hard to see what Biden or the Fed or anyone else can do in order to promote a sunnier view of the economy.

A lower inflation rate—even an ideal one in the low single digits—still means higher prices. We will probably not see $2.42 per gallon gas, the price in early 2021, any time soon, if ever. Gas prices will likely continue to increase to $4.00 and $4.05 and $4.10 and on and on and on, adding minor injury to gaping wound.

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“..So 2024 can’t come soon enough for most of us.”

World Is ‘Laughing At’ The US – Alaska Governor (RT)

The US government’s decision to cancel oil and gas drilling licenses and forbid further drilling will “hobble” the country’s economy and makes no sense except to advance the green agenda, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has declared. President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday canceled seven ten-year oil and gas drilling licenses granted to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) by former President Donald Trump. Biden’s Department of the Interior followed up this decision by issuing a proposal to forbid future leases on more than 40% of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

Biden said that these two measures “will help preserve our Arctic lands and wildlife,” adding on Saturday that he would “continue to take bold action to meet the urgency of the climate crisis and to protect our lands and waters for generations to come.” Speaking to Fox News on Thursday, Dunleavy said that “this makes absolutely no sense from any perspective unless your goal is to drive up the cost of oil and gas so much that it makes certain renewables cheaper.” Dunleavy, a Republican, claimed that Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are “laughing” at Biden’s energy policy. “They’re laughing together at the United States of America,” the governor said. “I can’t find anywhere in, really the history of nation-states or empires, where they worked at hobbling themselves to such a degree that’s happening currently with this administration. So 2024 can’t come soon enough for most of us.”

Gasoline prices have soared under Biden, reaching a record average high of just over $5 per gallon last June, up from around $2 when the president took office. Prices began to rise when Biden signed an executive order in January 2021 banning new oil and gas licenses on federal land, and spiked as the conflict in Ukraine rocked global energy markets. Ahead of last year’s midterm elections, Biden attempted to stabilize gasoline prices by draining the US’ strategic petroleum reserve, and by unsuccessfully lobbying the Saudi-led Organization of Petroleum Exporting States to cut production. The AIDEA argues that Biden has no legal right to rescind existing drilling licenses and told Fox News that it intends to challenge the decision in court.

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“..Roughly 50% of price increases in the region resulted from local companies passing higher costs on to consumers..”

“..growth in corporate profits accounted for 45% of inflation in Europe last year..”

‘Greedflation’ Ravaging Western Europe – Nikkei (RT)

Inflation continues to rage in Western Europe, with monthly consumer prices soaring by over 14% in the UK and more than 10% in Germany, according to a Nikkei report. Some retailers have been hiking prices out of proportion with their underlying costs, it claimed. Roughly 50% of price increases in the region resulted from local companies passing higher costs on to consumers, the outlet estimated. Consumption has slumped across the region as price increases have outpaced wage growth. Nikkei cited an analysis of annual results from 70 European food retail and manufacturing companies by the management consultancy Oliver Wyman, which reportedly found that absolute EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) rose by 11% at food retailers and 12% at manufacturers in 2022, compared to the previous year. That growth was mostly driven by increased revenues.

“Companies in the food sector viewed the inflation context as an opportunity to review their price management,” Rainer Muench, partner at Oliver Wyman, was quoted as saying.

According to the IMF data, cited by Nikkei, growth in corporate profits accounted for 45% of inflation in Europe last year, higher than the 40% attributed to the higher cost of imports. A survey of households by the European Commission reportedly found the perceived rate of inflation over the past year has risen to 26% among low-income families, the highest in 20 years. Earlier this year, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey accused domestic retailers of driving ‘greedflation,’ claiming that certain businesses were “overcharging customers” as millions of families struggle to make ends meet. The BoE has also warned that British households and businesses need to accept that they are worse off and should stop asking for wage increases and pushing prices higher.

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“I’m running against a larger challenge because I am facing an entire infrastructure that is against me, from my own party and Big Tech and the pharmaceutical industry.“

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Wants His Party Back (ET)

On a steamy summer morning, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. strode into a hotel conference room in Columbia, South Carolina, amid a barnstorming town hall tour of a state where Joe Biden won close to 49 percent of the vote in the 2020 Democratic primary. Mr. Kennedy spoke about his 2024 presidential campaign. Democrat pundits say he is a fringe candidate who spreads conspiracy theories. Polls show him with the highest favorability rating of any presidential candidate. There is no path for Mr. Kennedy to defeat President Biden, critics claim, despite questions about President Joe Biden’s age and mental fitness, low approval ratings, and surveys showing that Americans are concerned about the economy. Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee voted to give its full support to the president.

Mr. Kennedy agrees that unseating an incumbent president in the same party is a daunting challenge but disagrees with doubters who say he has no chance of securing the nomination. The 2024 presidential nominee will be announced during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago next summer. Until then, Mr. Kennedy intends to continue to press his case. “The DNC has around $2 billion, and they’re spending that money generously to try to marginalize me in many ways, but I think most Democrats care about one thing more than anything else, which is to beat Donald Trump,” Mr. Kennedy told The Epoch Times. “I think President Biden cannot do that. I can.” Mr. Kennedy is the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963; and the son of Robert F. Kennedy, who was shot and killed after a campaign speech while running for president in 1968.

During his town halls and meet-and-greets, Mr. Kennedy tells stories from time spent with his uncle and father and connects them to his presidential campaign. He wants to continue his father’s legacy of uniting Americans from all economic classes and ethnic backgrounds. “I think we do that by telling the truth to people. My dad did it that way. He talked about uncomfortable issues but talked about the truth. I think people are tired of being lied to by the government, by the media,” Mr. Kennedy said. “My dad ran against an incumbent president in his own party (Lyndon B. Johnson) during a divisive time. I’m running against a larger challenge because I am facing an entire infrastructure that is against me, from my own party and Big Tech and the pharmaceutical industry.”

RFK

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“..because I refused to lie about President Trump it cost me twenty-two years of my life.”

Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio Drops Bombshell (GP)

“They asked me to LIE about President Trump in order to indict him,” Enrique Tarrio exclusively told the Gateway Pundit. “I told them to pound sand, and because I refused to lie about President Trump it cost me twenty-two years of my life.” “The truth is, I could have been home,” said Tarrio. “I could have been home a long time ago. I could be in my warm ass bed right now, laughing at the world, without a problem…and all I had to do in order to do that WAS LIE ABOUT TRUMP. All I had to do was confirm a lie.” Tarrio opened up to the Gateway Pundit after he was sentenced to decades in prison by the Dishonorable Judge Kelly on Tuesday.

He told us that the prosecutors in the Department of Justice attempted to coerce him into signing a false statement that would implicate President Trump by swearing that “through several degrees of separation and connections, Tarrio had communicated with Trump regarding ‘plans’ for January 6th.” On Friday night The Gateway Pundit held a Twitter space with Enrique Tarrio as special guest. TGP reporters Cara Castronuova and Alicia Powe organized Friday night’s Twitter Space. During Friday night’s Twitter Space Enrique Tarrio repeated his accusations against the Biden regime. Later in the discussion Enrique disclosed two names of Biden officials who were in the meeting when he was pressured by federal agents to lie about President Trump.

Enrique Tarrio announced two DOJ officials who were in the room during this meeting: ** DOJ Lead Prosecutor Jocelyn Ballantine ** Assistant US Attorney Jason McCullough Jocelyn Ballantine was a DOJ attorney staffed on General Michael Flynn’s prosecution. The DOJ admitted to altering evidence in Flynn’s case and the government eventually dropped the case against General Flynn. Ballantine was caught lying during a DOJ investigation of Strzok and McCabe. She still holds a job as a top official in Merrick Garland’s DOJ.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1700542330682347608

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No, not “climate change”. Tourism. In Athens, numbers of visitors to the Acropolis are being limited. New York City is severely cutting into AirBnB rentals.

Japan’s Mount Fuji ‘In Real Crisis’ – Officials (RT)

Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s sacred mountains and a popular pilgrimage site, could become less attractive if the number of tourists is not brought under control, the local authorities warn. “Fuji is screaming in pain. We can’t just wait for improvement,” Masatake Izumi, a Yamanashi prefectural government official, told CNN during a tour for foreign media on Saturday, adding that “overtourism” needs to be tackled urgently. Izumi was quoted by Reuters as saying that “Fuji faces a real crisis” because of the “uncontrollable” flow of tourists. “We fear that Mount Fuji will soon become so unattractive, nobody would want to climb it,” he said.

According to government officials, the post-Covid tourism boom has brought thousands of hikers to the mountain, causing environmental damage and placing extra pressure on the first aid services. Despite the introduction of a campaign urging visitors not to litter, with volunteers removing tons of trash each year, both hikers and caretakers complain about overcrowding and the piles of litter left along the path. Mount Fuji ranger Miho Sakurai told reporters that there are “way too many people on Mount Fuji at the moment,” including many inexperienced “first timers,” often underdressed, poorly equipped, and prone to hypothermia or altitude sickness. As a result, rescue requests have increased by 50% from last year and one person died in April in a climbing accident.

An active volcano known for its picturesque snowcap and one of Japan’s national symbols, the mountain was recognized as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2013. The number of visitors to Fuji more than doubled between 2012 and 2019 to 5.1 million, according to CNA news agency. This week, government officials met to discuss “overcrowding and breaches of etiquette” across high-traffic tourist spots, with Yamanashi Governor Kotaro Nagasaki proposing the construction of a light railway to control the number of people accessing the site. “We need a shift from quantity to quality when it comes to tourism on Mount Fuji,” Nagasaki said. A local ranger called the prospect of Mount Fuji losing its heritage status “devastating.”

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Kids having fun
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700240513838760320

 

 

Water filters are now labeled “pesticides” (because they contain silver).

 

 

Elephants
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700575172858675668

 

 

Tuna

 

 

CGI

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 092023
 
 September 9, 2023  Posted by at 9:24 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


René Magritte The Art of Conversation 1963

 

Hunter the Hunted? Biden Indictment May be Ruse to Prolong Cover-Up (Tweedie)
Biden’s New Campaign Ad Presents Him As Last Action Hero (ZH)
What Game Is Hunter Biden Playing? (Victor Davis Hanson)
Biden Impeachment Vote Could Take Place in Mid-September – Comer (Sp.)
White House Scolded Hillary for Asking Ukraine for Help With Afghan Exit (Sp.)
Zelensky On Starlink-Gate: Musk “Committing Evil” & Driven By “Big Ego” (ZH)
Scott Ritter: Ukrainian Counteroffensive’s Last, Desperate Push (Sp.)
US Using Ukraine To Weaken EU – Sarkozy (RT)
Ukraine ‘Threatening’ Poland – Minister (RT)
Pentagon’s Hypersonic Woes Due to ‘Very Delicate’ Physics Problems (Sp.)
France Seeks Pullout From Niger (Sp.)
Is The G20 Obsolete In An Increasingly Multipolar World? (Malyk)
The Unshakeable Putin-Erdogan Nexus (Bhadrakumar)
A Theory of the Game (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1699900110627393714

 

 

Nap Sachs

 

 

The European Commission praised Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin for his efforts to fight corruption in a December 2015 progress report published nine days after then-VP Joe Biden demanded his ouster. The report flies in the face of Biden’s claims that the European Union joined his demands that Shokin be removed for being corrupt and obstructing anti-corruption reforms.

 

 

Trump Rapid City
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700353703079747841

 

 

Obama insider and author and biographer Joel Gilbert has claimed Michelle Obama is preparing to enter the 2024 race and become the Democratic presidential nominee allegedly due to Biden’s declining health.

 

 

Lara Logan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1699848500551328179

 

 

 

 

 

 

“David Weiss is a factotum, he’s a lickspittle. He does what he’s told for the Biden family. Always has, always will.”

Hunter the Hunted? Biden Indictment May be Ruse to Prolong Cover-Up (Tweedie)

Carter Clews, the president of Constitutional Rights PAC, Rory Riley Topping, a legal analyst at SpectrumNews 1 and opinion contributor at The Hill discusses the possible indictment of Hunter Biden with investigative journalist Dan Lazare. Looming charges against Joe Biden’s son Hunter may paradoxically be part of the long game of covering up his wrongdoing to save his father’s career, pundits have suggested. US media reported this week that special counsel David Weiss was planning to indict Hunter on illegal firearms possession charges before the end of the month. Carter Clews told Sputnik the indictment was an elaborate deception, but that “the American people aren’t that stupid.” “It’s all done for obfuscation,” Clews said. “David Weiss is a factotum, he’s a lickspittle. He does what he’s told for the Biden family. Always has, always will.”

He pointed out that a New York Post editorial column had already exposed how Weiss had “run interference” for Hunter Biden for five years. “If he wanted to indict Hunter Biden, he could have done it at any point during those five years,” Clews said. “All of the transgressions were there, all of the lawbreaking.” But by laying formal charges against the scion of the political family, the special counsel can declare all evidence sub judice and off-limits to journalists. “This will enable Weiss to refuse to turn over any more documents, to refuse to answer any questions: ‘well, you know, we have an indictment. There’s a very thorough, ongoing investigation’ — which will amount to nothing,” Clews argued.
He said the proceedings were a “three-part deception”

“They may be doing it to go to Joe and say: ‘we’re going to stick your son behind bars for the rest of his life, if you don’t declare that you’ve decided not to run for re-election’,” Clews said. “‘Toxic Joe’ is very difficult to get along with. And I’m sure they’ve approached him nicely and say maybe, maybe you should step aside come January or February. And he said: ‘no, I’m not doing that’.” Another aim may simply be to “dupe the American people once again… to deepen the cover-up, as I just said, to be able to say: ‘oh, no, we can’t comment. We can’t give you any information over this’. They have blocked every request from [Congress representative James] Comer, the Oversight Committee chairman for documents. And this will enable them to continue doing it and they will do it even more so.”

Legal analyst Rory Riley-Topping told Sputnik that many US citizens had wanted a “more expeditious process” of indicting the president’s son. “Had he been just a regular citizen, if you or I or anyone on the street was caught doing some of the things that Hunter Biden was doing, I think that we probably wouldn’t have taken five years to be indicted for some of those charges,” she pointed out. “That’s one of the main sources of frustration.” But she argued the Biden administration had left a timebomb for itself by obstructing and delaying the investigation. “But in a wonderful twist of irony, this is potentially going to trial during the campaign season. I think that’s something that the Biden administration certainly wanted to avoid” Riley -Topping said. “So in some sense, their strategy to drag this out and hope it went away ultimately backfired.”

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Hollywood at its worst.

Biden’s New Campaign Ad Presents Him As Last Action Hero (ZH)

“He entered Ukraine under the cover of night. And in the morning, Joe Biden walked shoulder to shoulder with our allies in the war-torn streets,” the narrator of a new one-minute Biden campaign ad begins. “Standing up for democracy in a place where a tyrant is waging war to take it away.” Ahead of the 2024 presidential election, where he’ll likely face Trump as the Republican nominee, the Biden team is focusing the reelection campaign around his surprise visit to Ukraine which took place last February. It’s being touted as the first time in American history that a sitting president traveled to an allied nation at war. “In the middle of a war zone, Joe Biden showed the world what America is made of,” the narrator says. “That’s the quiet strength of a true leader, who doesn’t back down to a dictator.”

So while his critics sarcastically refer to him as “sleepy Joe” – his supporters are envisioning him as some kind of last action hero being covertly whisked into a dangerous “war zone” in the dark of night. “Air raid sirens blared as the two men walked together,” the clip dramatically continues, showing Biden shoulder to shoulder with Zelensky. The video was timed to be released to coincide with Biden’s trip to the G20 summit in India, where he’ll likely have strong words for Putin, who will not be attendance. NBC writes of the spot entitled simply “War Zone”:

The new, 60-second advertisement will air in battleground states this weekend during the prime-time broadcast of “60 Minutes” while Biden is due to attend the G-20 Summit here, a gathering of leaders of the world’s largest economies that won’t include two geopolitical rivals, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. This comes as he’s set to pour yet billions more of American taxpayer dollars into Kiev’s coffers. Yet war observers and analysts have of late expressed intensifying concern over uncontrollable escalation in what’s now obviously a US-NATO proxy war against Russia. But Biden is doubling or tripling down, showing the world “what America is made of”, apparently.

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“Is it now, “Keep Hunter close and self-important — or else”?

What Game Is Hunter Biden Playing? (Victor Davis Hanson)

Hunter Biden’s attorneys sought to leverage federal prosecutors into agreeing to drop their charges — by threatening to call in as a pro-Hunter witness President Joe Biden himself and thereby likely invoke a constitutional crisis! In such a scenario, the president under oath would be forced to lie again that he had no knowledge of or involvement in Hunter’s illegal behavior. Or if he admitted the truth that he did, he would thus contradict years of his adamant denials. Why would Hunter put his father and president in such a publicity circus?

Hunter has lost an incriminating laptop by abandoning it at a repair shop. He has forgotten his crack pipe in a rental car. His illegally registered handgun turned up in a trash dumpster near a school. So would not the carefree Hunter insist that all the Bidens in the spotlight remain extra careful never to abandon incriminating drugs — especially in the White House. Yet in a West Wing first, recently cocaine was found lost in an entrance vestibule. Various media outlets claimed it belonged to someone in the “Biden family orbit.” One of two things explain the continuous reckless behavior of wayward son Hunter Biden: One, he is either still on drugs or so suffers from past addiction that he has lost all common sense and judgment, and simply cannot control his behavior.

Or, two, Hunter is an embittered, angry son. As the Biden bagman for foreign shakedown cash, he did the dirty work and most risked the legal exposure that made all the Bidens rich. Yet, instead of familial praise — or so the broke Hunter seems to whine on his laptop –Hunter gets no respect from those he enriched. And now he, not they, might first go to jail. As a result, does his continuous recklessness send a not so-subtle reminder to all the Bidens – his father the “Big Guy” especially? That is, Hunter is not going to take the fall. He will not end up in prison for decades while the other exempt Bidens continue to enjoy their ill-gotten riches, due to Hunter’s imaginative cons. No wonder the first family for months moved Hunter into the White House and put him on Air Force One. Is it now, “Keep Hunter close and self-important — or else”?

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Let’s see it.

Biden Impeachment Vote Could Take Place in Mid-September – Comer (Sp.)

The US House of Representatives could vote to impeach President Joe Biden as early as mid-September, James Comer, the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, said. Earlier in the week, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene said a majority of House members support investigating Biden in order to move forward with impeachment proceedings. “I think the House will vote in September. And this is all up to [House Speaker] Kevin McCarthy … but he and I have had several conversations … I would predict that in the middle of September, we have a vote. I would predict that it passes,” Comer said in an interview with the news broadcaster. The lawmaker also said that the official inquiry could be useful in obtaining information from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Internal Revenue Service, which have allegedly slow-walked the investigation by postponing providing requested bank records of the Biden family.

Biden’s possible use of a pseudonym to communicate with his son, Hunter about foreign business dealings may have been precisely what prompted representatives to move forward with the investigation, Comer added. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had earlier expressed support for a vote to launch an impeachment inquiry into Biden, amid reports that it could be launched without a proper vote. He said that the information gathered by the Republican Party allows the question of Biden’s impeachment to be raised. He said that the family of the US president was involved in a “culture of corruption”. McCarthy also stated that the investigation into the alleged involvement of the US president and his son in corrupt activities dictates the need to initiate the impeachment process. As the high-ranking congressman noted, such a procedure would expand the ability of the US legislature to gather information necessary for the investigation into the presidency.

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Madam President.

White House Scolded Hillary for Asking Ukraine for Help With Afghan Exit (Sp.)

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan reportedly scolded former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help evacuate Afghan women during the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Citing the recently-published book “The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and the Struggle for America’s Future,” US media reported on Friday that Clinton had asked Zelensky’s aide if she could board several Afghan women on military transport planes headed to Kiev. After Sullivan became aware of Clinton’s call, it’s alleged he questioned her methods and reportedly asked her: “What are you doing calling the Ukrainian government?”

Clinton later responded by explaining that she would not have to call Ukraine if the Biden administration would have done it in the first place. She subsequently assured Sullivan she would coordinate with US officials. However, as the book alleges, Clinton had already contacted world leaders in Canada, Qatar and Albania amid her efforts to evacuate 1,000 people out of Afghanistan who were said to be at-risk of being killed by the Taliban* once American forces fully departed the war-torn nation. The book’s author, Franklin Foer, explains that the list of women were referred to as “white scarves” since the Clinton camp instructed them to wear the specified head coverings so they were easily identifiable.

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He would have had to specifically order a lethal operation on the brink of WWIII. Not his style.

Zelensky On Starlink-Gate: Musk “Committing Evil” & Driven By “Big Ego” (ZH)

Since Elon Musk has apparently become Donald Trump – in that any lie/twist/gaslighting will do to further the narrative, no matter how false it is known to be – last night saw the mainstream media overwhelmed with circle-jerk-justified accusations that Musk meddled in the Ukraine-Russia war to stop a Zelenskyy-driven offensive (that likely would have turned the war and hailed victory ticker-tape parades up and down Kiev’s streets). Ok, admittedly that last bit was out hyperbole; but given a quick read of headlines from CNN and NBC, we could be forgiven for this view. Elon Musk secretly ordered his engineers to turn off his company’s Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast last year to disrupt a Ukrainian sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet, according to an excerpt adapted from Walter Isaacson’s new biography of the eccentric billionaire titled “Elon Musk.”

As Ukrainian submarine drones strapped with explosives approached the Russian fleet, they “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly,” Isaacson writes. NBC led with the following headline: “Ukraine is furious with Elon Musk for thwarting an attack on Russia’s navy”. Tech billionaire Elon Musk has come under fire from Ukraine after it emerged he thwarted a major attack on the Russian navy. According to excerpts published by CNN, a soon-to-be-released biography of the SpaceX CEO claims that Musk secretly ordered his engineers to turn off his Starlink satellite network over Russian-occupied Crimea last year in order to prevent a Ukrainian drone attack on Russia’s naval fleet. The mainstream media did not have to look too far to find someone willing to denigrate Musk: Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, blasted the tech billionaire on X, formerly Twitter, which Musk owns.

“Sometimes a mistake is much more than just a mistake,” Podolyak wrote. “By not allowing Ukrainian drones to destroy part of the Russian military (!) fleet via #Starlink interference, @elonmusk allowed this fleet to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities,” he added. “As a result, civilians, children are being killed,” Podolyak said. “This is the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego. However, the question still remains: why do some people so desperately want to defend war criminals and their desire to commit murder? And do they now realize that they are committing evil and encouraging evil?” Isaacson quotes Musk at the time as questioning “How am I in this war?” “Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars. It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes.”

Couple quick questions – how would Musk know – pre-emptively – of the attack, and choose to disable Starlink? Is his intel better than Putin’s; better than the CIA’s? The spin here is utterly mind-blowing. In fact, according to Musk – who responded to the accusations on X, the details are the exact opposite to how CNN described them… In fact, Musk NEVER turned Starlink on in those controversial border zones – for exactly this reason, as he feared using this technology near borders could prompt an escalation in the war. In fact, Musk did not ‘turn Starlink off’ but refused to ‘turn Starlink on’ for Ukraine’s offensive. Which makes more sense to you – the richest man in the world unilaterally switching off internet access to pre-emptively thwart a secret attack by Ukraine on Russia in a Blofeld-esque move? Or the CEO of a major communications company refusing to enable his technology to be used to escalate a war that could well lead to armageddon?

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“..where you want to force the enemy to come in so you can hit them with artillery, to break up the attack, but not to hold and die..”

Scott Ritter: Ukrainian Counteroffensive’s Last, Desperate Push (Sp.)

Ukraine is gaining ground in its counteroffensive started in June, claimed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday, addressing lawmakers at the European Parliament. Does that mean Ukraine has finally achieved a breakthrough after nearly four months and heavy casualties? “To answer that question, we have to know what the goals and objectives of the current phase of the Ukrainian counteroffensive are,” Scott Ritter, a military analyst and former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, told Sputnik. “We know that when they initiated this counteroffensive back in early June of this year, the goals were quite clear: to break through the first line of Russian defenses, the second line of Russian defenses, seize the town of Tokmak, and then use that as a launching point to penetrate deeper through the Russian defenses to seize the city of Melitopol, which would enable them to sever the land bridge between Crimea and Russia and bring Crimea under direct attack.

That was the stated objective put forward by General Zaluzhny, echoed by President Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials,” the military expert continued. However, these objectives have not been reached so far, per Ritter. Presently, the Ukrainians are claiming that they have put infantry units beyond the so-called “dragon’s teeth”, the concrete obstacles that constitute the first line of Russia’s defenses. In particular, the Kiev regime says its forces managed to take the villages of Verbovoye and Rabotino in the Zaporozhye region. Still, the Russian Ministry of Defense made it clear on September 7 and 8 that the Russian forces are continuing to successfully repel attacks by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the areas of the settlements. As Russian military blogger Rybar remarked on his Telegram account: it’s the best way “to turn Rabotino into a continuous conveyor of death for Ukrainian units.”

“The village of Rabotino was always meant to fall. If the Ukrainians put sufficient military power in a specific zone of operations, they should be able to advance and seize terrain that the Russians have decided will be defended, but not to the death. Rabotino was always meant to be part of the crumple zone in the fire element, defensive zone of the first line of defense. The purpose of Rabotino was to help break up the Ukrainian attacks, and it has done this magnificently,” said Ritter. What’s actually going on in Rabotino and Verbovoe is part of a new Russian defensive doctrine, explains the former Marine intelligence officer. “Russia always had a primarily defensive doctrine inherited from the Soviet times.

But this new defensive doctrine that’s being implemented, especially in the Zaporozhye front, is the brainchild of Lieutenant General Alexander Romanchuck, former deputy commander, I believe, of the 58th Combined Arms Army. He was sent to the Combined Arms Academy after participating in the early phases of the Special Military Operation. While he was at the Combined Arms Academy, he rewrote Russian defensive doctrine and then he was brought out of the Combined Arms Academy and given a leadership position in the Zapporozhye front in the Rabotino area.” In accordance with the doctrine, “the purpose of the forward defensive zone is to receive an enemy attack to help break it up, to use defensive belts, minefields, obstacles, what they call, ‘fire cauldrons’ or ‘sacks’ where you want to force the enemy to come in so you can hit them with artillery, to break up the attack, but not to hold and die,” explained Ritter.

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“We cannot continue to wage war by simply saying: ‘More weapons, more deaths, more resistance.’ How do you get out of this?”

US Using Ukraine To Weaken EU – Sarkozy (RT)

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has spoken out against Ukraine’s accession to the EU and NATO, arguing that the move would not bring peace to Europe and would chip away at the continent’s independence. Speaking to France 5 TV broadcaster on Wednesday, Sarkozy reiterated his calls for a compromise between Moscow and Kiev, noting that the conflict had already claimed the lives of around half a million of people, most of whom were Ukrainian. “But we continue because in the Boulevard Saint-Germain they are very brave in terms of sending young Ukrainians to die,” he added, referring to the street where many French government offices are located.

While denouncing Russia as an “aggressor” in the conflict, Sarkozy said he believed that Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the EU – which Kiev has been seeking for many years – would not lead to peace. “Because if you bring Ukraine into Europe, you strengthen American Europe as the Eastern European countries are dominated by the US,” he noted. According to Sarkozy, while Ukraine essentially expresses America’s wishes because it is heavily reliant on Washington’s military assistance, the same is not true for relations between Washington and Paris. “France has a unique voice… and does not align itself with American interests,” he said. While reiterating that he wants France to support Ukraine, Sarkozy said he believes that Ukraine should eventually receive security guarantees from the West but must remain neutral and continue to serve as a “bridge between the Slavic world of Russia and us.”

“We cannot continue to wage war by simply saying: ‘More weapons, more deaths, more resistance.’ How do you get out of this?” he asked. He claimed that the Ukraine conflict benefits only China, which he said is gaining clout by courting its partners in the BRICS economic group, and the US, which is profiting from arms sales and higher prices for liquefied natural gas. Last week, Sarkozy suggested that any compromise with Moscow would involve recognizing Crimea as part of Russia, a statement that triggered outrage in Kiev, with Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, calling the proposal “criminal,” and accusing Sarkozy of complicity in organizing “genocide and war.”

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Could blow up the EU?!

Ukraine ‘Threatening’ Poland – Minister (RT)

Ukrainian pressure tactics over Poland’s ban on grain shipments through its territory will not work, Minister for EU Affairs Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek said on Friday, responding to Kiev’s threat to take the issue to the World Trade Organization (WTO). According to the diplomat, Warsaw is not impressed by such a move, as the protection of Polish farmers and citizens is a top priority for the government. “This is a threat, and this is another element of pressure from the Ukrainian side,” he said. “These elements sometimes go beyond the certain boundaries of classical diplomacy on the part of Ukraine.” Szynkowski vel Sek added that the Polish authorities are not planning to lift the embargo imposed on the imports of Ukrainian agricultural exports that is due to expire on September 15.

Ukraine’s exports of grain, its major trade commodity, are currently banned from the markets of Poland, Hungary, and three other EU nations under a deal struck with the European Commission earlier this year to protect the bloc’s farmers from a glut of cheaper agricultural produce. The issue has driven a wedge between Kiev and the EU’s eastern members, which have been among Ukraine’s biggest supporters in its confrontation with Russia. The nations impacted by the glut have repeatedly pledged to impose unilateral import bans, in violation of the bloc’s common trade rules, if the EU decides to lift the restrictions.

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Who builds this for the Pentagon?

Pentagon’s Hypersonic Woes Due to ‘Very Delicate’ Physics Problems (Sp.)

Konstantin Sivkov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences, Doctor of Military Sciences, pointed out that the technology behind hypersonics is both old and new. “What is a hypersonic weapon? It allows you to hit targets using homing in the final stage and at the same time fly at hypersonic speed,” he summarized to Sputnik. “Many ballistic missiles that appeared in the world as intercontinental ones back in the 1950s also have hypersonic speed, but they do not maneuver on their flight path – but this is not the case for hypersonic weapons.” “The Americans cannot solve two problems: providing control over the flight of missiles at hypersonic speeds – that is, maneuvering – and the issue of ensuring the operation of targeting systems at hypersonic speeds.”

Dmitry Drozdenko, a military analyst and chief editor of the “Fatherland Arsenal” internet portal, told Sputnik that the LRHW was similar to Russia’s Avangard hypersonic weapon, which was the first to be announced in 2019. “That is, there is a standard container in which the rocket engine accelerates the warhead-laden glider up to a certain height and to hypersonic speed. At that point, it begins to maneuver in the atmosphere without an engine. The only difference is that our Avangard has a global strike capability: it can strike at the South or North Pole, even in Washington, even in Canberra – anywhere on the planet, with both nuclear and non-nuclear payloads.” Drozdenko explained the US has struggled to develop a usable hypersonic weapon because hypersonic technology is “subtle in the field of fundamental science.” “It is a very delicate topic,” he told Sputnik.

“Once upon a time there were problems with supersonic, if you remember the old stories, when the first jet aircraft had straight wings and propellers, and then they began to be made with wings angled back. It’s all related to the fact that when approaching the speed of sound, a shockwave occurs, which does not allow an effective increase in speed. Therefore, the wings were deflected back and this shockwave flowed back at supersonic speed.” “So at hypersonic speeds, physical phenomena also arise. That is, there are several barriers such as high temperatures – very high. The vehicle heats up a great deal. If we are talking about [Russia’s] Avangard, it heats up to the state of plasma” similar to a spacecraft’s reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, which also travels at hypersonic speed, he explained.

“The protective layer burns away as a result. The astronaut is not damaged, but at that moment the communication connection is lost. That is, it is a known fact that when they enter the atmosphere, radio communication is lost, because radio waves do not pass through the plasma.” “And here questions of control arise: a hypersonic weapon that flies for a long time at such speeds must, firstly, be refractory. That is, it should not burn out, otherwise it will not fly,” he said, adding that “This is a matter of materials science – maintaining high temperatures.” This, Drozdenko noted, was a key difference between reentry vehicles and hypersonic weapons: they have to be controlled and maneuvered, not just allowed to “ram the atmosphere with their belly” until they slow down.

“The task of hypersonic weapons like Avangard is to maneuver. This is the most important thing, so that air defense systems can neither detect it nor shoot it down. It needs a control system that can somehow analyze the external environment despite being in this plasma cloud. There is a whole complex of fundamental theoretical sciences – materials science, aerodynamics of high speeds – which current control systems and radio electronics do not have. This is a huge barrier.”

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US too. The troops are sittting ducks.

France Seeks Pullout From Niger (Sp.)

France is considering several options for troops pullout from Niger, contacts with the Nigerien army continue and relate to operational and technical aspects, a French General Staff spokesman told Arabian broadcaster. Niger’s newly-appointed Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine said on Monday that French forces were staying in the country illegally and called for their swift departure. French forces have been largely confined to their air base in Niger’s capital, Niamey, since military leaders ousted Paris-backed President Mohamed Bazoum in late July. The West African bloc ECOWAS threatened military intervention if Niger’s military did not restore Bazoum to power.

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Without Xi and Putin it is. Just another politicized gathering.

Is The G20 Obsolete In An Increasingly Multipolar World? (Malyk)

You can count the number of cases in which Western governments have been genuinely interested in Africa’s wellbeing on the fingers of one hand. However, the sharp drop of Western influence on the continent is forcing former colonial powers to try rebranding themselves. The first step in this rebranding can be seen at the upcoming G20 Summit in New Delhi, which will see the African Union admitted as a permanent member of the organization – on a par with the European Union. Will that be enough to heal old wounds? Probably not, especially considering that the G20 meeting takes place after last month’s historic BRICS Summit in South Africa. The event brought together countries from across the Global South and announced the admission of six new members into BRICS, including two African countries – Egypt and Ethiopia. Hard to see how the G20 tops that.

It turns out that Western-centric groups are beginning to cede global leadership to the multipolar world organizations, mostly led by Russia, China and India. Is this trend taking over the politics of the G20? And what are the prospects for the G20 in a future world stage? The G20 Summit in New Delhi will take place without the leaders of Russia and China. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will head the Russian delegation, while Premier Li Qiang will head the Chinese one. As both leaders were among the main actors of the recent BRICS Summit, this turn of events may be regarded as a bad omen for the upcoming summit. Although Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov noted that Putin and Xi did not coordinate the refusal to attend the New Delhi Summit, the absence of these two leaders will be extremely significant.

Tony Kevin, former Australian ambassador to Poland and Cambodia and former carrier officer of the Australian Foreign Ministry, as well as the author of two books on Russia, ‘Return to Moscow’ (2017) and ‘Russia and the West’ (2019), highlighted to Sputnik that “the Russian President Putin and the Chinese President Xi have both sent a very clear signal by not attending the meeting.” In turn, Dr. Zhang Baohui, director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, claimed that the decision of the leaders of Russia and China not to attend the G20 “will indeed dampen the significance of this summit.”

“G20 was created as a concert system that incorporates the world’s leading powers so they can work together to resolve the biggest problems facing the globe. The absence of the top leaders of China and Russia pokes a hole in the G20 mechanism. The Ukraine war and many global issues ranging from climate to development need the cooperation of the world’s leading powers. As such, Xi and Putin’s absence will reduce the significance of this summit even though their representatives will be there,” he told Sputnik.

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“Russia is offering, on the one hand, the Wagner Group as gatekeepers, and on the other hand, food security for the continent. In one fell swoop, western propaganda was trashed..”

The Unshakeable Putin-Erdogan Nexus (Bhadrakumar)

Since the two heads of state last met in Astana last October, Moscow has gained the upper hand in the battlefields of Ukraine; the so-called grain deal involving Russia and Ukraine, brokered by Ankara under UN auspices, ran its course; security of the Black Sea region touched a new level of criticality as the Anglo-American obsession with Crimea surged; and, above all, Erdogan secured another term as president, which puts him in the hot seat to reverse Turkiye’s financial and economic crisis. In the full flush of his election victory, Erdogan made certain efforts to mend fences with the west, signaling a willingness to agree to Sweden’s induction into NATO and showing solidarity with Ukraine. In moves that could seriously upset Moscow, Ankara wantonly released Azov commanders who were captured by Russia in Mariupol last year and announced an intent to jointly produce weaponry with Ukraine.

Nonetheless, Moscow reacted cautiously. The Kremlin could afford to mark time since this is also an asymmetrical relationship where Russia holds the upper hand. Moscow could sense that Erdogan was not really “pivoting” to the west, but was rather showing an interest in improving western ties which had soured in recent years -and its outcome remains far from certain. Basically, Russia’s relations with Turkiye are fortified by the warm personal equations between Putin and Erdogan, and both leaders are consummate realists with shared interests and a keenness to challenge Western dominance in regional politics. Moscow is only too well aware that Turkiye’s hopes for membership in the European Union remain a far-fetched dream.

The “body language” of the meeting in Sochi confirmed that there is no change in the verve of the personal relationship between the two leaders. Television footage showed the two men smiling and shaking hands upon Erdogan’s arrival at Putin’s residence, where the Russian president suggested that his guest take a vacation in the Black Sea resort. In his opening remarks, Putin put Erdogan at ease by reassuring him upfront that the Russian offer to create a global “energy hub” in Turkiye is very much in the cards and will materialize soon. However, the icing on the cake is the proposed agreement that would facilitate free exports of grain from Russia to six African nations with the help of Turkiye and Qatar. In Erdogan’s presence, Putin announced:

“We are close to completing agreements with six African states, where we intend to supply foodstuffs for free and even carry out delivery and logistics for free. Deliveries will begin in the next couple of weeks.” The political and geopolitical resonance of this decision in Africa is simply immeasurable — Russia is offering, on the one hand, the Wagner Group as gatekeepers, and on the other hand, food security for the continent. In one fell swoop, western propaganda was trashed, with some help from Ankara.

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“Liberalism needed, above all, a sense of moral superiority, to heal an imperfect world, to be ahead-of-the-curve in mankind’s implacable march of progress toward perfection..”

A Theory of the Game (Jim Kunstler)

In cases of madness, there is often a dark, sordid secret behind the weird behavior that presents outwardly. In the group madness provoked by Hillary Clinton’s loss, the dirty secret was that she had actually bought the Democratic National Committee in 2016, meaning the machinery that runs the party. She used lavish contributions to the Clinton Foundation to accomplish that. And Hillary along with her foundation — and husband Bill, who had been reduced by late career misadventure to a kind of political fashion accessory — had committed any number of grave crimes against our country over the years, especially during her service as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. Think: Skolkovo… Uranium One…. In 2016 Hillary used her ownership of the DNC to underhandedly de-rail the likely Democratic primary winner, Bernie Sanders, from being nominated.

The initial act of madness by the “Resistance” on Mr. Trump’s inauguration day was the women’s march of pink pussy-hats, so called, a symbolic exhibition of fleering female genitalia in Mr. Trump’s face, so to speak, as an act of defiance against the new national daddy figure (and his millions of deplorable supporters watching the ceremonies on TV). This proved to be a mere overture to the more extreme sexual acting-out that evolved in the years to follow, overall a campaign to horrify people of normal appetites, beliefs, and moral codes, culminating in the drag queen story hours aimed at maximally inducing outrage among people organized as families.

All of that psychodrama was hijacked, of course, by the serious neo-Marxists lurking among the Left, who used it in the usual neo-Marxian way: to overthrow everything in the established social order. And who were these? The circle around Barack Obama. And who was Barack Obama exactly? Good question. This mysterious figure who rose so swiftly from being, briefly, a mere state senator in Illinois, then to the US Senate — for only a few years, accomplishing next to nothing there — then to being nominated for president, and actually winning the 2008 election!

Since we’re speaking in terms of psychodrama, Mr. Obama was liberalism’s wish-fulfillment: a half-century after the Civil Rights movement, America elects the first black president (half-black, anyway)! Liberalism needed, above all, a sense of moral superiority, to heal an imperfect world, to be ahead-of-the-curve in mankind’s implacable march of progress toward perfection, and especially to set an example for how to live for all those gun-loving, bible-thumping, meth-smoking, opiate-scarfing, racist, rapist flyover rubes who would dare to vote for such misogynistic vermin as the TV-clown Donald J. Trump.

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Diver dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700098525835530502

 

 

Halitrephes maasi jelly.

 

 

Eagle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700056479032570117

 

 

 

 

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Sep 062023
 
 September 6, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Claude Monet The Japanese Bridge 7 1924

 

West Is Using Jew To Hide Nazism In Ukraine – Putin (RT)
Putin: Russophobia, Neo-Nazism Become Norm in Ukraine, Baltic States (Sp.)
Ukrainian Spy Participated in US Capitol Breach (Sp.)
Total Defeat Of Genocide-Promoting Kiev Must Be Outcome Of SMO – Medvedev
Ukraine Has ‘Assassination Directorate’ – ex-Security Chief (RT)
EU Plans To Take Advantage Of Xi, Putin Absence At G20 – Bloomberg (RT)
China Plans To Mediate Niger Crisis – Ambassador (RT)
Russian Production Cut Decision Shocks Oil Markets (RT)
‘Wouldn’t Be Total Shock’ If Biden Dropped Out of 2024 Race: Biographer (Sp.)
An Argument for the Relevance of RFK Jr. (Cook)
Turley Sounds Alarm on Attempts to Disqualify Trump (ET)
The Delights of the Pfizer/Moderna Catfight (Malone)
India May Get A New Name (RT)
Musk Threatens To Sue ADL; Blames Activists For Most Of X’s Revenue Loss (ZH)
US Intel & Security Agencies Behind NGO Demands For More Censorship (Public)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fairness RFK

 

 

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

Putin uncut (and angry) :

“When you look at actual archival documents, the blood in your veins simply freezes, it is impossible to look at it without tears..”

West Is Using Jew To Hide Nazism In Ukraine – Putin (RT)

Using Vladimir Zelensky’s Jewish heritage to cover for the culpability of Ukrainian nationalists in the Holocaust during WWII is disgusting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, adding that the followers of Stepan Bandera were responsible for the killing of 1.5 million Jews. “I think it’s important to repeat that Western handlers placed at the head of modern Ukraine an ethnic Jew, a man of Jewish background, with Jewish roots – in this way, in my opinion, covering up the anti-human basis of the current Ukrainian state,” Putin told journalist Pavel Zarubin. “That makes the entire situation so highly disgusting, to have an ethnic Jew mask the glorification of Nazism and those who carried out the Holocaust in Ukraine at the time, exterminating 1.5 million people,” the Russian president added.

“Ordinary Israeli citizens have figured this out the best. Just look at what they say online.” Putin had just finished meeting with the ‘Victory’ Committee – an advisory body charged with patriotic education and veterans’ affairs. The Russian president brought up the issue during a conversation with one of the committee members, pointing out that Moscow may not have done enough to present the facts about the atrocities of Nazi collaborators in Ukraine and the Baltic states. “When you look at actual archival documents, the blood in your veins simply freezes, it is impossible to look at it without tears, and this needs to be pulled out and shown. Who are the current authorities glorifying?

“These anti-humans are putting bloody killers on a pedestal, and carry banners with their portraits as they march down the main streets of their cities,”Putin told the committee. The German military and the SS “delegated” the massacres of Jews to local nationalists and anti-Semites, like Stepan Bandera’s OUN and UPA, the Russian president pointed out. “I’m not sure that all the people in Ukraine know about this. So let’s do what we can here to show them, all right?” Putin told the committee. Bandera was declared a war criminal by both the Soviet Union and Poland for his role in the Holocaust and the mass murder of Poles in present-day western Ukraine. The pro-US government in Kiev declared him a national hero in 2010, however, and nationalists have honored him ever since with torchlight processions in major Ukrainian cities to mark his birthday every January 1.

Putin has previously expressed his bafflement that Zelensky would embrace the glorification of Bandera, given his Jewish heritage. Zelensky’s grandfather, Semyon, had also fought in the Second World War, earning two Red Star medals for courage and heroism. The current Ukrainian president was previously an actor and ran for head of state in 2019 on a promise of peace with Russia, only to completely change course and embrace the hardline nationalists within months of taking office.

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“..it was not eliminated: it manifests itself again in the same Russophobia or Antisemitism..”

Putin: Russophobia, Neo-Nazism Become Norm in Ukraine, Baltic States (Sp.)

The Russian leader noted on Tuesday that the country confronts ideological descendants of Nazi criminals in Ukraine, stressing that they are the real enemy of Russia, and not the common people terrorized by the radicals. “New meanings, challenges of the time clearly show that Nazism was defeated in 1945, but, unfortunately, it was not eliminated: it manifests itself again in the same Russophobia or Antisemitism. And the glorification of Nazi criminals, direct propaganda of Nazism in the Baltic states, an just in Ukraine, in general, have become the norm, as if there was no Nuremberg,” Putin said at a meeting of the Russian Victory Organizing Committee.

Putin added that history was started to be used “as a weapon of ideological struggle.” Over the course of the years, the Ukrainian regime declared Nazi collaborators in WWII “heroes of Ukraine”, naming streets after them and opening monuments to the war criminals. At the same time, numerous paramilitary groups supported by Kiev have been openly brandishing neo-Nazi symbols, while Ukrainian politicians voiced their support for the harshest discrimination against everyone who refused to support such policies.

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And now the same nazis show up at the US Capitol?! No way there was just one.

It was full of FBI agents as well as Ukraine spies? The same event that Enrique Tarrio, who wasn’t even there, got 22 years for yesterday?

Ukrainian Spy Participated in US Capitol Breach (Sp.)

US investigative journalist Laura Loomer has exposed an alleged Ukrainian operative who participated in the US Capitol breach of January 6, 2021. She asked whether the US establishment is using foreigners to instigate political conflict inside the US. Famous January Sixer Jacob Chansley, also known as the QAnon Shaman, told American journalist Laura Loomer that a “Ukrainian spy” took part in the storming of the Capitol Hill but somehow was let off the hook by the FBI. Chansley said that the FBI interrogated certain American J6ers over whether they knew a Ukrainian operative named Serhiy Dubynyn (also transliterated as Sergai Dybynyn, or Serhiy Dybynyn).

In one of the photos taken on January 6, 2021, QAnon Shaman is standing near the man later identified as Dubynyn at the front door of the US Capitol. Per Jacob, he didn’t know who the man was: the individual approached him and asked for a photo. [..] In one of the pictures, Dubynyn is wearing red-and-black Ukrainian nationalist attire with a trident stylized as menorah (multibranched candelabra, used in the religious rituals of Judaism). The T-shirt’s slogan reads “zhido-bandera”: the first part of the word is an offensive name for a Jew in Ukrainian; the second part refers to infamous WW2 Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

For her part, Loomer wants answers as to what exactly the alleged Ukrainian spy did on January 6, 2021, at the US Capitol; why he has never been arrested by the FBI (despite his photo with QAnon Shaman immediately going viral); and why the Democrat-dominated House Committee on the January 6 Attack never mentioned Dubynyn. “The United States Capitol was breached by Ukrainian spy Dybynyn and the FBI confirmed it internally, and has kept it secret. I exposed the fact that the FBI knows the Capitol was breached. So why isn’t the media investigating?” asks the investigative journalist on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Previously, US conservative politicians and pundits raised the issue of possible FBI infiltrators and provocateurs in the crowd storming the Capitol on January 6. The US mainstream media later admitted that at least one FBI agent was indeed in the crowd on that day. However, independent journalists believe that there were many more of them, with some suggesting to the idea that the whole havoc was deliberately instigated by the US intelligence community to frame and demonize then-President Donald Trump and his supporters. Newsweek picked up Loomer’s story and reached out to the FBI for comment via an email. However, the bureau’s response, if there were any, is not cited by the media.

Earlier, Loomer tweeted about American neo-Nazi Kent McLellan nicknamed “Boneface” who reportedly traveled to Ukraine as a US mercenary to serve with the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps of the Right Sector* in 2014 and then returned to join the Azov Battalion**, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi military group, in November 2022. McLellan was arrested in Florida by the FBI in 2012 for domestic terrorism. He claims that the CIA sent him to Ukraine to join the Azov Battalion. It appears that the FBI and CIA are playing the neo-Nazi card in their domestic and foreign affairs, using American and foreign operatives to do dirty jobs, the investigative journalist warned.

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“May they be damned regardless of the legal interpretation of their actions. May they burn in hell!”

Total Defeat Of Genocide-Promoting Kiev Must Be Outcome Of SMO – Medvedev

The special military operation (SMO) should continue until its goals have been achieved and those responsible for the eight years of genocide in Donbass have been duly punished, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel. Medvedev stressed that that those responsible for the murder of civilians in Donbass will be deservedly punished for everything they have done. “That is precisely why the special military operation should go on until the full implementation of its goals. Until the final victory over those who for eight years humiliated and exterminated their own people,” Medvedev wrote. He recounted that the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said that it “has not found sufficient evidence that the actions of the Russian military in the country should be qualified as genocide.”

“If the members of this commission really want to find genocide and war crimes in Ukraine, they should stop acting like blind moles and just look in the right direction. In the direction of the criminal regime in Kiev. To objectively assess how mercilessly it kept drowning Donbass in blood for eight years until Russia launched the special military operation,” Medvedev said. He cited the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which says that, “genocide is defined as acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such.” “This is exactly what the Kiev regime has been doing since 2014, regardless of the fact that the surnames of those accomplices at the top [encouraging] this crime have changed” since it came to power, Medvedev said.

He also referred to data available from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, according to which, the years-long armed conflict in Donbass has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 civilians. “In 2014 alone in the territories that declared their independence from the criminal regime in Kiev, almost 2,000 people were killed and more than 4,000 civilians wounded. Even in relatively calm periods, dozens were losing their lives. For eight years, the civilian population of Donbass was exposed to massive bombardments, resulting in the deaths of women, children and the elderly,” Medvedev wrote.

“The intent of the scoundrels in Kiev to kill the inhabitants of Donbass and commit war crimes is obvious,” he concluded, wondering “what more evidence these hypocrites from the UN commission need.” “Only one who has lost [his/her] conscience does not to see this and tries to find evidence that genocide is allegedly coming from Russia,” Medvedev stressed. He noted that the aforementioned UN convention also states that persons committing genocide must be punished. “May they be damned regardless of the legal interpretation of their actions. May they burn in hell!” Medvedev concluded emphatically.

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“..Vladimir Zelensky is “understood to authorize the most controversial operations,” while other decisions are often delegated..”

Ukraine Has ‘Assassination Directorate’ – ex-Security Chief (RT)

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has a dedicated assassination program responsible for taking out Russian “collaborators,” the former head of the agency, Valentin Nalivaichenko, has claimed in an interview with The Economist. According to the former official, the special SBU division dates back to at least 2015 and was formed from the elite fifth counterintelligence directorate, after Ukraine’s leaders at the time decided that imprisoning people was not enough. “We reluctantly came to the conclusion that we needed to eliminate people,” Nalivaichenko told the British magazine. The Economist noted that the unit has been linked to the assassinations of Donbass commanders such as Mikhail Tolstykh, aka ‘Givi’, who was killed in a rocket attack in 2017, Arsen Pavlov, aka ‘Motorola’, who was blown up in an elevator in 2016, and Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the first head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, who was killed in a restaurant bombing in 2018.

Ukrainian intelligence insiders also reportedly told the outlet that the SBU’s fifth directorate currently plays a “central role” in operations against Russia, and that it has carried out attacks such as bombing the Crimean Bridge. According to The Economist, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is “understood to authorize the most controversial operations,” while other decisions are often delegated. Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out in February last year, Kiev’s security services are believed to have been responsible for several high-profile killings of Russian journalists and public officials. These include the August 2022 car bomb assassination of Darya Dugina – the daughter of Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin – and the killing of military blogger Maxim Fomin (also known as Vladlen Tatarsky) in a bomb attack in St. Petersburg in April of this year.

Several of the Ukrainian insiders interviewed by The Economist admitted that they were disturbed by the targeting of “mid-level” targets. “It makes me uncomfortable,” one former SBU fifth-directorate officer said, claiming that some killings were designed to “impress the president rather than bring victory any closer.” The former spy also admitted concerns that Kiev’s assassination campaign appears to be “driven by impulse rather than logic,” the outlet said. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of adopting terrorist tactics, and has criticized its Western backers for allegedly turning a blind eye to its activities.

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They think they can get back in favor in Africa.

But the G20 without Putin and Xi does not mean much.

EU Plans To Take Advantage Of Xi, Putin Absence At G20 – Bloomberg (RT)

The EU is going to endorse the African Union’s bid to become a permanent member of the G20 at the group’s upcoming summit in New Delhi, persons familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg. With Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping both announcing that they’re going to skip the event in New Delhi next week, Brussels is looking “to seize the moment… to show that it is serious about redefining its partnership with Africa, despite the troubled legacy of colonialism,” the news outlet claimed in a report on Tuesday. According to the sources, the EU is planning to organize a “mini-summit” with the African Union (AU), which incorporates 55 of the continent’s countries, on the sidelines of the G20 event on September 9, the first day of the two-day gathering.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will be among those representing the EU at the meeting, the sources said. The participants on the African side will reportedly include Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa, which is the only African nation on the G20, as well as the leaders of Egypt, Nigeria and the Comoros, which is currently chairing the AU. Endorsing the AU’s bid to become a permanent G20 member is seen in Brussels as one of the main goals of the “mini-summit,” the sources said. Permanent membership – instead of its present status as an “invited international organization” – would provide the AU with the same status within the G20 as the EU. The move is aimed at giving Africa “a stronger voice” in decisions by international organizations that affect the continent, Bloomberg wrote.

Russia is also interested in the African Union becoming a member of the G20, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying in June that its going to happen soon, and “with active backing” from Moscow. Other issues to be discussed during the “mini-summit” in New Delhi include the effect of the Ukrainian conflict on global food security, the reform of the global financial architecture, improving conditions for investments in Africa, and the situation in the Sahel region, according to Bloomberg’s sources. Both Russia and China have been actively boosting diplomatic and economic ties with Africa recently. An announcement was made at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg in July that two African nations – Egypt and Ethiopia – would be among the six new member states to officially join the group from January 2024.

In July, a high-profile Russia-Africa Summit took place in St Petersburg, when host President Putin said that the two had agreed to establish “a permanent mechanism” to cooperate on security issues – including the fight against terrorism and extremism – food security, information technology, and climate change, among other things. Russia and Africa are also going to “combat neo-colonialism, the practice of applying illegitimate sanctions, and attempts to undermine traditional moral values,” the president added.

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…so China imposes itself in Africa.

China Plans To Mediate Niger Crisis – Ambassador (RT)

The Chinese government has announced its intention to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the Niger crisis, following a coup in July that triggered sanctions and left the country facing threats of armed action. “The Chinese government intends to play the role of good offices, a role of mediator, with full respect for the regional countries,” Jiang Feng, Beijing’s ambassador to Niamey, said on Monday during a meeting with military-appointed prime minister Ali Lamine Zeine. Feng stated that while China “stands with Nigeriens” amid the political situation, it remains committed to its principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Niger’s military government has faced mounting regional and global pressure since the coup on July 26, which removed President Mohamed Bazoum from power and led to his continued detention.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said that it will pursue all means necessary to restore constitutional order in Niger, including force as a last resort. Last month, the regional bloc said a standby force was ready to be deployed against the coup leaders if ongoing diplomatic efforts proved unsuccessful. Algeria announced a six-month transitional plan to restore constitutional and democratic order in Niger late last month, following the proposal of coup leader General Abdourahmane Tchiani to return the West African country to civilian rule within three years. Algiers has repeatedly opposed a military intervention in Niger, including allegedly refusing a request from France to fly over its airspace for an armed operation in Niamey.

ECOWAS, which has imposed financial and economic sanctions on Niger, has rejected Tchiani’s transition plan, calling the “prolonged” timeline a “provocation.” The United States, France, the Netherlands, and Germany have all halted some foreign assistance projects in Niger following the coup. However, the Chinese envoy indicated on Monday that Beijing would continue all projects that were in the interest of the Nigerien authorities. China continues to be a partner for Niamey in various sectors, including energy, oil, and infrastructure, with both nations collaborating on a significant 2,000-kilometer oil export pipeline project aimed at transporting crude oil from the Agadem fields in southern Niger to the port of Seme in Benin.

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Russia AND Saudi together.

Russian Production Cut Decision Shocks Oil Markets (RT)

Russia will extend its voluntary cut in oil exports by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the year, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak announced on Tuesday. “The additional voluntary reduction in oil supplies for export is aimed at strengthening the precautionary measures taken by the OPEC+ countries in order to maintain stability and balance on the oil markets,” the official stated. Russia will review its voluntary cuts monthly, in order “to consider the possibility of deepening the reduction or increasing production, depending on the situation on the world market,” Novak added.

The measure was taken “in addition to the voluntary reduction previously announced by Russia in April 2023, which will last until the end of December 2024,” the deputy prime minister explained. The world’s second largest oil producer has been cutting oil output and exports in lockstep with fellow heavyweight oil nation Saudi Arabia. In a separate statement on Tuesday, Riyadh extended its voluntary production cut of 1 million barrels per day until the end of the year, the SPA news agency said, citing an energy ministry official. The latest round of oil cuts comes on top of voluntary reductions of 1.66 million bpd that some OPEC+ members had first declared in April, and then agreed to extend until the end of 2024.

The reductions are described as voluntary because they are outside the official policy of OPEC+, which obliges every non-exempt member to a share of production quotas. OPEC+, a group comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, which pumps around 40% of the world’s oil, has been cutting output since November 2022. Prices of the international benchmark Brent blend jumped above $90 per barrel on the news for the first time since November 2022.

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“..two-thirds of Democrats and 73% of registered voters believe Biden is too old to seek re-election..”

“..Joe Biden is a very religious guy, and fate is a word loaded with religious meaning..”

‘Wouldn’t Be Total Shock’ If Biden Dropped Out of 2024 Race: Biographer (Sp.)

In a surprising revelation, Franklin Foer, a prominent Biden biographer with extraordinary access to the president’s inner circle, suggested that it “wouldn’t be a total shock” if President Joe Biden were to drop out of the 2024 presidential race. “When he talks about his life, he uses this word, fate, constantly. Joe Biden is a very religious guy, and fate is a word loaded with religious meaning. And he always talks about, he can’t say where fate goes. And so I always, when I hear that, to me, it’s the ellipses in the sentence when he’s talking about his own future,” Foer explained during an interview to a US media.

This revelation comes amid growing concerns about President Biden’s age, as he would be 86 years old by the end of a potential second term. Foer’s book also reveals private admissions by the President that he has felt tired during his first two years in office, suggesting physical and mental fatigue. “It doesn’t take [legendary journalist] Bob Woodward to understand that Joe Biden is old”, Foer said. “I’m not a gerontologist, and I can’t predict how the next couple of years will age Joe Biden,” he added. While Biden formally announced his bid for re-election in April, the issue of his age remains a central concern.

A recent poll conducted by a US media found that two-thirds of Democrats and 73% of registered voters believe Biden is too old to seek re-election, with only 36% believing he is mentally fit for office. In response to these concerns, Biden has publicly acknowledged that questions about his age are legitimate. However, behind closed doors, he has expressed frustration at the media’s focus on this topic. The possibility of President Biden withdrawing from the 2024 race, given his unique perspective on fate and mounting concerns about his age, has now become a topic of increased speculation in political circles.

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“..we can make an assessment of a 40-50 percent chance at present of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., winning the Democratic Party nomination. If he does, I would assess his chances of winning the presidency at 90 percent.”

An Argument for the Relevance of RFK Jr. (Cook)

It is hard to believe that Donald Trump can win an election from prison, seeing that there is no legal mechanism to free him at present from his legal calamities, deserved or not. The Democrats appear to be moving California Governor Gavin Newsom to the starting line. A recent poll by Rasmussen Reports says that 36 percent of Democratic Party voters favor Newsom. But Newsom has no electoral history at the national level, is identified with California’s multiple crises of homelessness and crime, and would be viewed as a “consolation prize” for erstwhile Biden backers. I would assess his chances as not much more than the Rasmussen figure.

The most credible candidate remaining on either side may be Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., whose standing is rising daily. Even though only about 20 percent of Democratic voters favor him over Biden, his numbers will rise dramatically as Biden fades into oblivion. Kennedy’s hopes are similar to his father’s in 1968, starting with no perceived chance against Lyndon Johnson or Hubert Humphrey but close to becoming the front-runner when he was assassinated. The Biden administration is courting such an eventuality by denying Kennedy Secret Service protection, but I assess they’ll fail at this particular dirty trick.

While until now the mainstream media have dumped on RFK, Jr. big-time, that may be changing. He just got his first indication of mainstream support in a recent Forbes article on his economic program. He is reaching large audiences with his Joe Rogan and Tucker Carlson interviews. He is showing himself a serious candidate with his measured stance on stopping the Ukraine war and skepticism about COVID-related policy. His vow to rebuild the American middle class is a meaningful, realistic goal that has the potential for traction. His stance on the issues is showing appeal to Republican voters looking for an alternative to Trump. Meanwhile, Cornel West’s third-party candidacy threatens to do to a Democrat what Ralph Nader did to Al Gore in 2000 and Jill Stein to Hillary Clinton in 2016. But Kennedy, with his bipartisan appeal, would likely be immune to losing votes to West.

Further, if the Democratic establishment decided to go for Newsom or for any 2020 retreads like Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, or Pete Buttigieg, it would be difficult to deny the candidates a debate forum or meaningful primaries. I believe that Kennedy would clean Newsom’s clock if and when that happens. I believe we can make an assessment of a 40-50 percent chance at present of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., winning the Democratic Party nomination. If he does, I would assess his chances of winning the presidency at 90 percent. As a newly-elected president and head of what would have to be a national unity government, Kennedy could then take the high road by negotiating pardons for both Biden and Trump, similar to the way President Jimmy Carter made his first official action in 1977 an executive order pardoning all Vietnam era draft dodgers.

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“The amendment was written to deal with those who engage in an actual rebellion causing hundreds of thousands of deaths..”

Turley Sounds Alarm on Attempts to Disqualify Trump (ET)

An attempt to disqualify former President Donald Trump from appearing on 2024 presidential ballots based on a theory derived from the Constitution’s 14th Amendment was dismissed by a prominent law professor on Tuesday. A theory that has recently been floated in the media claims that the former president could be blocked from ballots under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment via the Disqualifications Clause, which states that individuals who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” cannot hold office. Proponents of the claim say that President Trump engaged in “insurrection” during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. But George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley stated that the new theory is “not simply dubious but dangerous.”

“The amendment was written to deal with those who engage in an actual rebellion causing hundreds of thousands of deaths,” Mr. Turley told Fox News. “Advocates would extend the reference to ‘insurrection or rebellion’ to include unsupported claims and challenges involving election fraud.” The professor, who had served as an expert impeachment witness in favor of Republicans defending President Trump, said he didn’t favor the former president’s speech on Jan. 6. However, he said that the Jan. 6 incident was merely “a protest that became a riot” and not an insurrection against the United States. “According to these advocates, Trump can be barred from the ballot without any charge, let alone a conviction, of insurrection or rebellion,” Mr. Turley said.

Mr. Turley added that he views that some people who proposed the theory also “argue that there is no action needed from Congress” and that “state and federal judges could just bar those who are deemed as supporting rebellion through their election challenges and claims.” Over the weekend, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a former Democratic vice presidential candidate, stated that there was a “powerful argument” for barring President Trump under the 14th Amendment.

“The language (of the amendment) is specific: If you give aid and comfort to those who engage in an insurrection against the Constitution of the United States—it doesn’t say against the United States, it says against the Constitution. In my view, the attack on the Capitol that day was designed for a particular purpose … and that was to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power as is laid out in the Constitution,” he told ABC News. The former president has long denied Democrat allegations that he initiated a riot or insurrection at the Capitol. He has often pointed to a portion of his speech on Jan. 6 where he called on rally attendees to “peacefully and patriotically” protest.

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Haven’t seen or heard much from Malone lately, and when I do, it’s him complaining about recognition. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

The Delights of the Pfizer/Moderna Catfight (Malone)

Moderna and Pfizer were awarded “vaccine” contracts from governments across the world, and consequently reported record profits. Their market capitalization went through the roof. Moderna leadership (including Robert Langer) began “divesting” of Moderna stock. And then the patent fights began. The latest version of the various companies spun out of the University of British Columbia research group which had developed the updated version of the cationic lipid formulations which I had worked with filed patent infringement lawsuits against Moderna. And Moderna filed lawsuits against BioNTech and their Pfizer partner/licensee claiming infringement on issued Moderna patents which, despite the eight previously issued (and expired) Vical patents which cover mRNA and DNA vaccines, claim inventorship of the idea and reduction to practice of mRNA vaccines.

At which point I decided to dig into the actual Kariko, Weissman and Moderna patents to see what are the actual issued claims. Please understand, at this point in time, the Vical patents have expired. I have no (financial) dog in this fight. Only a bystander’s perverse interest and a lingering desire to not be written out of history. And as discussed in a prior August 26, 2022 substack titled “Moderna sues BioNTech/Pfizer?” what I find when I actually do the research (in contrast to the corporate media “reporters”) is that – somehow – consistent with Dr. Robert Langer claiming no knowledge of my role in discovery and development of these ideas as a young graduate student, Moderna and its intellectual property team has completely failed to cite my prior work and the issued patents.

Which brings me to the present. Pfizer is now claiming that the Moderna patents, which Moderna sought to weaponize against Pfizer/BioNTech, are invalid because the technology and invention of using mRNA for vaccination purposes was first disclosed and reduced to practice in 1990. In other words, Pfizer/BioNTech are now citing my work (and that of my close colleagues) to dispute the Moderna patent infringement claims – precisely as I had recommended in my August 2022 essay. Please keep in mind that Thompson/Reuters has close ties (at the board of directors level) with Pfizer, my initial reporting on which conflict of interest was one of the key reasons I was deplatformed by Linked-In (the first time).

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“The word ‘India’ is an abuse given to us by the British whereas the word ‘Bharat’ is a symbol of our culture..”

India May Get A New Name (RT)

A formal G20 dinner invitation issued by President Droupadi Murmu that refers to her as the “President of Bharat” rather than India has increased speculation on Tuesday that the Asian country could begin the process of changing its name as early as this month, local media has reported. The invite, which has been widely cicrulated on social media along with the hashtag #PresidentOfBharat, has been issued to various world leaders to compel them to attend a dinner on Saturday at Bharat Mandapam convention center in New Delhi, the venue for the G20 summit on September 9 and 10. “The word ‘India’ is an abuse given to us by the British whereas the word ‘Bharat’ is a symbol of our culture,” Harnath Singh Yadav of the Bharatiya Janata Party told the ANI news agency.

The speculation comes as India Today reported on Tuesday that a resolution to officially rename India as Bharat could be tabled by the government at a special parliamentary session scheduled for later this month. However, the agenda for the upcoming session has not yet been made public so it remains unclear if the proposal will be formally introduced. The current language in its constitution refers to the country as “India, that is Bharat, shall be a union of states…” Some political figures have endorsed switching names, including Mohan Bhagwat of the right-wing nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) political party, who has called on citizens to use the updated term. The name Bharat is derived from Bharata; the name for India in several of the country’s languages, which itself comes from Hindu literature. Initially,

Bharata referred to only a western region of the Gangetic Valley before it was more broadly used to describe the Indian subcontinent and the region of Greater India. The term Bharata was generally used interchangeably with ‘India.’ India is also sometimes known by a third name: Hindustan. Other advocates for the switch have argued that the rumored constitutional change to a widely adopted, single indigenous name for the Asian country would bolster national pride, reinforce its heritage and distance itself from its history of colonial rule by Great Britain. Critics, though, such as the Congress party leader Jairam Ramesh, have pushed back against the proposal, the saying that the move would in effect place India’s constitution “under assault.”

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“.. In our case, they would potentially be on the hook for destroying half the value of the company, so roughly $22 billion.”

Musk Threatens To Sue ADL; Blames Activists For Most Of X’s Revenue Loss (ZH)

Elon Musk, owner of the platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has threatened to ban the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) from his platform, adding that he had “no choice” but to file a defamation lawsuit against the advocacy group, which previously called for a pause on ad spending on the social network. The group alleges Mr Musk has failed to clamp down on hate speech on the social media platform since his takeover last year, allowing disinformation to proliferate – something Mr Musk strongly denies. Further, it was revealed that the ADL has put pressure on X to deplatform popular anti-woke account Libs of TikTok, which is run by a conservative Jewish woman, Chaya Raichik. A #BanTheADL began circulating on the social media platform after a meeting last Thursday between ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and X’s new CEO Linda Yaccarino.

“I had a very frank + productive conversation with @LindayaX yesterday about @X, what works and what doesn’t, and where it needs to go to address hate effectively on the platform. I appreciated her reaching out and I’m hopeful the service will improve. @ADL will be vigilant,” Greenblatt posted after the meeting. The hashtag was condemned by Israel’s foreign ministry. Additionally, as MEE reports, while this recent campaign has been amplified by so-called ‘far-right’ social media accounts (translation: non-mainstream-narrative-spewers), progressive organizations and Palestinian activists have for years raised concerns about the ADL and its efforts to undermine social justice movements in the US. News of the potential lawsuit comes after news broke that X is still down around 60% in US ad revenue as the ADL continues to put pressure on its advertisers to avoid the social media platform.

“I don’t see any scenario where they’re responsible for less than 10pc of the value destruction, so [around] $4bn.” In November, the pressure group Stop Hate for Profit, which includes the ADL, called on advertisers “to pause their spending globally” and claimed “hate speech and disinformation have proliferated” on the app since Mr Musk’s takeover. It wouldn’t be the first time the ADL was sued for defamation… “Interesting. In our case, they would potentially be on the hook for destroying half the value of the company, so roughly $22 billion.”— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 4, 2023. [..] Musk also suggested that X will expose – Twitter-Files-esque – the ADL’s requests to ban and censor X accounts it deems anti-Semitic next week, prompting a hashtag for #TheADLFiles… “A giant data dump would clear the air.”

Tucker ADL

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Alex Gutentag and Michael Shellenberger via Public Substack.

Looks like we can’t afford to lose this.

US Intel & Security Agencies Behind NGO Demands For More Censorship (Public)

ADL is waging a very similar campaign against X/Twitter that it successfully waged against Facebook in 2020. In just three days, 800 companies, including $129 billion consumer products giant Unilever, withdrew tens of millions of dollars in ad revenue from Facebook until it agreed to ADL’s censorship demands. “The Facebook caved to far-left pressure groups and now allows them to silently dictate policy in exchange for ad money,” said Musk yesterday. “That is the relationship they’ve had with X/Twitter for many years. Presumably, they have that with all Western search or social media orgs.”

It’s possible that there has been an increase in hate on X since Elon Musk bought the company. With greater free speech policies comes the possibility of more offensive speech, including racist or antisemitic speech. Bigotry does exist, and it should be challenged. But there is no good evidence of that. Public has debunked claims by ISD and CCDH of an increase. And researchers have repeatedly debunked ADL’s claims of rising antisemitism for years. In 2009, an Israeli filmmaker found that ADL could not support its claims of an antisemitism crisis. Wrote NPR in a review of the film, “When he presses ADL staffers for evidence to back up their claims of a sharp spike in North American anti-Semitism in 2007, they can offer only wan transgressions…”

Eleven years later, Liel Leibovitz noted in Tablet that ADL had, for a report, “counted hundreds of threatening calls to Jewish community centers made by a mentally troubled Israeli teenager. You had to read the report’s fine print to learn that the number of violent attacks against Jews that year had actually decreased by 47%.” ADL, ISD, and CCDH have not presented any good evidence that offensive speech online directly causes “hate-motivated violence,” nor that censorship prevents it. Moreover, last week Public reviewed evidence suggesting that the best way to combat hate speech is through open and public debate, which allows people to change their minds, not censorship.

ADL’s main goal is supposed to be stopping “the defamation of the Jewish people,” but the organization is using the legacy of antisemitism and the Holocaust to justify unrelated censorial advocacy work. This is exploitative, and it is defamatory to say that Jews, in general, need and favor censorship. Many Jews on both the left and the right have argued that ADL does not represent their interests. By claiming to speak for all Jewish people while demanding highly unpopular policies, the ADL may be inadvertently driving antisemitism. As troubling as these highly partisan ideological biases are, what’s most dangerous are the past and present ties between ADL, ISD, CCDH, and governments, particularly security and intelligence organizations [..]

Although ADL is currently focused on demonizing Trump supporters as “domestic terrorists,” it has a history of partnering with the state and law enforcement to target the Left….Today, ADL’s ties to intelligence and security organizations are closer than ever. It works with the FBI by holding a training session with agents and hosting FBI Director Christopher Wray as a featured speaker. According to Greenblatt, the FBI works directly with ADL “every day.” … We do not have firm proof that there is a conspiracy by the intelligence and security agencies of the United States and Britain to control the content on social media platforms like X and Facebook through their control over CCDH, ISD, and ADL. Perhaps ideological, cultural, and political alignment alone explain the remarkable coordination we have documented. Perhaps the US and UK government funding for CCDH and ISD is insignificant compared to their nongovernmental funders.

But there is enough evidence of conspiracy for members of Congress and Parliament to investigate CCDH, ADL, ISD, and other so-called “nongovernmental” organizations for the advocacy of censorship. Who is funding them? What are their relationships with government officials? What is their role in intelligence and security organizations? What’s clear is that we also need to change our view of ADL, CCDH, and ISD. They cannot be considered “nongovernmental organizations.” Their ties to the government, particularly the national security state, are too strong.

Shellenberger

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Pit viper

 

 

 

 

Tarpon

 

 

 

 

Tiger swim

 

 

Speed

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 042023
 


Claude Monet Japanese Footbridge 1899

 

A Comprehensive Ukrainian Defeat Is The Only Possible Outcome (Scott Ritter)
US Intelligence Sending Mixed Messages On Ukraine (Larry Johnson)
About 280,000 Individuals Enlisted By Contract From January 1 – Medvedev (TASS)
Hungary Calls For ‘Security Guarantees’ For Russia (RT)
G20: Last Waltz In A World Torn Apart (Bhadrakumar)
Ex-UK Defense Chief Sparked Rift With US Over Helicopter Deal (RT)
NATO May Collapse By 2025 – Academic (RT)
No Respite For France As A ‘New Africa’ Rises (Pepe Escobar)
US Dollar A ‘Very Problematic’ Currency – Zakharova (RT)
Gold’s Role Rises As Dollar Hegemony Falls (ZH)
Soros Vows to Stop ‘MAGA-Style Republicans’ From Winning 2024 Election (Sp.)
US Congress is Older Than Ever, But Reform is Unlikely (Sp.)
Biden Asserts Executive Privilege on Hunter Emails, But Waived Trump’s (GP)
Fani Willis Possesses Evidence Exonerating Georgia’s Alternate Electors (Fed.)
Ivermectin Is a Proven Cure for Covid (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

RFK BlackRock

 

 

 

 

Fauci masks

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

“Having articulated the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as an existential struggle where the very survival of NATO is on the line..”

Russians see an existential threat to their country.

In response, NATO pretends to see an existential threat to their power structure.

Not the same thing.

A Comprehensive Ukrainian Defeat Is The Only Possible Outcome (Scott Ritter)

First and foremost, Ukraine must reflect honestly about the causes of this conflict, and which side bears the burden of responsibility for the fighting. ‘Denazification’ is a term that the Russian government has used in describing one of its stated goals and objectives. President Vladimir Putin has made numerous references to the odious legacy of Stepan Bandera, the notorious mass murderer and associate of Nazi Germany who is feted by modern-day Ukrainian nationalists as a hero and all but a founding father of their nation. That present-day Ukraine would see fit to elevate a man such as Bandera to such a level speaks volumes about the rotten foundation of Kiev’s cause, and the dearth of moral fiber in the nation today.

The role played by the modern-day adherents of the Nazi collaborator’s hateful nationalist ideology in promulgating the key events that led to the initiation of the military operation by Russia can neither be ignored nor minimized. It was the Banderists, with their long relationship with the CIA and other foreign intelligence services hostile to Moscow, who used violence to oust the former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, from office in February 2014. From the act of illicit politicized violence came the mainstreaming of the forces of ethnic and cultural genocide, manifested in the form of the present-day Banderists, who initiated acts of violence and oppression in eastern Ukraine. This, in turn, triggered the Russian response in Crimea and the actions of the citizens of Donbass, who organized to resist the rampage of the Bandera-affiliated Ukrainian nationalists.

Mariupol

The Minsk Accords, and the subsequent betrayal by Kiev and its Western partners of the potential path for peace that these represented, followed. Ukraine cannot disassociate itself from the role played by the modern-day Banderists in shaping the present reality. In this, Kiev mirrors the militarists of Imperial Japan, whose blind allegiance to the precepts of Bushido, the traditional ‘way of the warrior’ dating back to the Samurai of 17th century Japan, helped push the country into global conflict. Part of Japan’s obligations upon surrender was to purge its society of the influence of the militarists, and to enact a constitution that deplatformed them by making wars of aggression – and the military forces needed to wage them – unconstitutional.

Banderism, in all its manifestations, must be eradicated from Ukrainian society in the same manner that Bushido-inspired militarism was removed from Japan, to include the creation of a new constitution that enshrines this purge as law. Any failure to do so only allows the cancer of Banderism to survive, festering inside the defeated body of post-conflict Ukraine until some future time when it can metastasize once again to bring harm. This is precisely the message that was being sent by Putin when, during the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum this past July, he showed a video where the crimes of the Banderists during the Second World War were put on public display. “How can you not fight it?” Putin said. “And if this is not neo-Nazism in its current manifestation, then what is it?” he asked. “We have every right,” the Russian president declared, “to believe that the task of the denazification of Ukraine set by us is one of the key ones.”

As the Western establishment media begins to come to grips with the scope and scale of Ukraine’s eventual military defeat (and, by extension, the reality of a decisive Russian military victory), their political overseers in the US, NATO, and the European Union struggle to define what the endgame will be. Having articulated the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as an existential struggle where the very survival of NATO is on the line, these Western politicians now have the task of shaping public perception in a manner that mitigates any meaningful, sustained political blowback from constituents who have been deceived into tolerating the transfer of billions of dollars from their respective national treasuries, and billions more dollars’ worth of weapons from their respective arsenals, into a lost and disgraced cause.

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“Putin and his team are seen in the West as weak, control freaks who block the military from taking off the white gloves and making the magic happen..”

US Intelligence Sending Mixed Messages On Ukraine (Larry Johnson)

The U.S. Intelligence Community is not a monolith. It is more like a feudal society. The big three Feudal lords for intelligence analysis are the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). All three produce “raw intelligence” — the CIA’s case officers produce reports from foreigners who have agreed to work in secret for the United States, the NSA scoops up all forms of electronic intelligence (e.g., phone calls, emails) and the DIA produces reports from U.S. Defense Attaches assigned to U.S. embassies around the world. Each jealously guards its own product and the employees of these three agencies can be considered the vassals. (Gots to have a vassal if you’re a feudal lord.)

Then there is the Director of National Intelligence (aka DNI). This position/office was created in the aftermath of 9-11 and is supposed to “manage” and “coordinate” all members of the Intelligence Community. The standard solution in Washington, DC is to create another layer of bureaucracy to solve a failure of already behemoth bureaucracies who rarely cooperate. The reality is something else — the Big 3 do not always kow tow to the DNI. I am hearing that the CIA and the DIA are doing a pretty good job of reporting honestly what is taking place on the ground in Ukraine — i.e., Ukraine is suffering terrible casualties and the counter offensive is failing. Unfortunately, as Sy Hersh has reported previously, Biden and his National Security team are ignoring those intelligence reports and are embracing “analysis” coming out of the Office of the DNI.

The DNI reportedly is proffering the meme that Ukraine is grinding down the Russian military and that the United States and NATO only need to be patient and wait for Russia’s inevitable collapse. Some of the U.S. military leaders — who are flat out ignorant of Russia’s recent history in dealing with a domestic radical Islamic insurgency — firmly believe that Russia cannot win a military victory over Ukraine, that the war is a stalemate and the Russia will be bogged down for years battling Bandera insurgents. The leaders of the USIC and the military still believe in their initial conclusion that Russia is weak because it did not steamroll through Ukraine and rout Zelensky off 12 months ago. They attribute Russia’s “failure” to inept and corrupt bureaucrats keen on reining in the Russian military.

Putin also gets a heavy share of the blame by these leaders for allegedly not listening to the Russian military leaders and Wagner chiefs to do what is necessary to achieve victory. Putin and his team are seen in the West as weak, control freaks who block the military from taking off the white gloves and making the magic happen. Because the US intelligence and military leaders are looking at the war in Ukraine through this prism, the analysts and their managers, for the most part, face enormous pressure to conclude that Russia is a feckless and incompetent near-peer adversary and cannot last.

I continue to believe that the assumptions about Russia’s alleged failure is ignoring the contravening narrative:
• The Russian economy is robust and healthy despite Western sanctions.
• Russia’s political influence in the world is growing, not shrinking. BRICS is a case in point.
• Russia is inflicting enormous casualties on Ukraine’s military and decimating infrastructure critical to the Ukrainian military campaign.
• Russia’s defense industry has ramped up to levels of production that the West cannot match.
• Russia’s seemingly unlimited access to natural resources, energy and rare earth minerals strengthens Russia’s military position in the world.
• Russia enjoys a massive technological advantage over NATO in terms of electronic warfare, air defense systems, mine laying vehicles and hypersonic missiles.
• Russian leaders and their people genuinely believe they face an existential threat from the West.
• Ukraine is totally dependent on the West to provide money and weapons to continue to fight.

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No forced conscription.

About 280,000 Individuals Enlisted By Contract From January 1 – Medvedev (TASS)

Around 280,000 individuals were enlisted by contract with the Russian Armed Forces from January 1, 2023, Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said. “Let us continue discussing the critical topic that gathered us here this time in the Far Eastern District. This time I meet heads of regions of the [Russian] Federation in person, in view of significant of the staffing work,” Medvedev said when opening the meeting. “According to data of the Defense Ministry, about 280,000 persons were enlisted by contracts to ranks of the [Russian] Armed Forces since January 1,” he noted. Some of them were in the reserve and the other ones are volunteers, Medvedev added.

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“..Russia does not pose a threat to Central Europe” because Moscow has not been able to accomplish a quick and resounding victory in the conflict..”

Hungary Calls For ‘Security Guarantees’ For Russia (RT)

A lasting peace following the Ukraine conflict can only be achieved if Russia receives security guarantees from the West, Gergely Gulyas, the minister in charge of the Hungarian prime minister’s office, has said. Speaking at a students’ event on Saturday, Gulyas stated that Kiev has no realistic chance of regaining the territories it claims as its own from Russia. He added that “it is also clear that Russia does not pose a threat to Central Europe” because Moscow has not been able to accomplish a quick and resounding victory in the conflict. According to Gulyas, peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are impossible without the involvement of the US.

He further stated that Kiev’s Western backers “must give security guarantees to Russia, but definitely not NATO membership to the Ukrainians,” adding that in the long run, peace between Moscow and Kiev could be maintained through the deployment of peacekeepers. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told former Fox News host Tucker Carlson last month that “without involving the Russians in a security architecture of Europe, we cannot provide a safe life for its citizens.” Hungary is not the only Western nation to call for Russian interests to be taken into account. Last December, French President Emmanuel Macron urged the West to think about how to provide security guarantees not only to Ukraine, but also to Russia, arguing that NATO must address Moscow’s concerns about the US-led military bloc “coming right up to its doors and deploying weapons that could threaten Russia.”

The debate over security guarantees for Russia heated up before the start of the Ukraine conflict when in December 2021, Moscow presented a list of demands to the US and NATO, asking the West to impose a ban on Ukraine entering the military bloc, while insisting that the alliance should retreat to its borders as of 1997 before it expanded. The overture, however, was rebuffed by the West. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that Ukrainian neutrality is an issue of “fundamental importance” to Russia, arguing that Kiev’s push to join NATO was one of the key reasons behind the military operation in the neighboring country.

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“I am in blood / Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er.”

G20: Last Waltz In A World Torn Apart (Bhadrakumar)

The Modi government is not perplexed by the absence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the G20 Summit on September 9-10. Its intuitive cognition helps to be stoical. This is, arguably, a Shakespearean predicament — “I am in blood / Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” [..] One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the common thread in the decisions taken in Moscow and Beijing is that their leaderships are not in the least interested in any interaction with the US President Joe Biden who will be camping in Delhi for four days with all the time at his disposal for some structured meetings, at the very least, some “pull asides” and the like at a minimum that could be caught on camera.

Biden’s considerations are political: anything that helps to distract attention from the gathering storm in US politics which is threatening to culminate in his impeachment that might in turn blight his candidacy in the 2024 election. Of course, this is not Biden’s Lyndon Johnson moment. Johnson made the tumultuous decision in March 1968 to retire from politics as a strong step toward healing the nation’s fissures, while agonising deeply that “There is division in the American house now.” But Biden is anything but a visionary. He was setting up a bear trap for Putin to reinforce his false narrative that if only the latter dismounted from his high horse, the Ukraine war would end overnight, whereas on its part, the Kremlin is well aware that the White House continues to be the strongest proponent of the thesis that a prolonged war would weaken Russia.

Indeed, Biden has gone to extraordinary extents that none of this predecessors ever dared to reach — aiding and abetting Ukrainian terrorist attacks deep inside Russia. In a way, Xi Jinping also faces a trap, as Biden administration is going to great extent to project itself as conciliatory toward China, as the beeline of US officials heading for Beijing recently would testify — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in June; Treasury Secretary and Climate Envoy John Kerry in July; and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in August. The New York Times on Tuesday carried a report titled U.S. Officials Are Streaming to China. Will Beijing Return the Favor? It chastised Beijing:

“China has much to gain from dispatching officials to the United States. It would signal to the world it was making an effort to ease tensions with Washington, particularly at a time when China needs to bolster confidence in its shaky economy. A visit could also help lay the groundwork for a potential, highly anticipated meeting between President Biden and China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, at a forum in San Francisco in November. “Beijing, however, has been noncommittal.”

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… and lost his job.

Ex-UK Defense Chief Sparked Rift With US Over Helicopter Deal (RT)

Former UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace tried to derail a major deal to buy heavy military helicopters from the US, triggering a diplomatic row between the two long-time allies, The Times reported on Saturday, citing sources. The incident is said to have occurred after Washington reportedly shunned Wallace’s bid to become the next NATO secretary general, although the outlet’s sources insisted that the two issues were not related. According to the paper, Wallace, who resigned on Thursday, spent his last weeks in office trying to cancel the purchase of 14 Boeing Chinook H-47 two-motor lift helicopters. The former defense secretary reportedly had serious doubts about the £2.3 billion ($2.9 billion) deal and suggested canceling it to ease the pressure on the defense budget.

Wallace argued that Britain already has the largest heavy-lift fleet in Europe and favored investment in medium-lift support helicopters, which would have allowed London to save money, the article said. Another concern, according to the report, was that Britain lacked the communications, satellite technology, and transport means to carry out special operations involving US-designed aircraft. However, the initiative left many UK officials unhappy, with one describing it as “mad.” Another Times source suggested that Wallace “was trying to piss off the Americans.” As the diplomatic row was reportedly brewing, Karen Pierce, the UK ambassador to the US, is said to have warned London that canceling the deal would be a bad idea. UK officials reportedly scrambled to calm down their America counterparts, telling them that the tensions would be defused once Wallace was out of the government.

“There has been a lot of reconciliation, just to keep the US reassured,” a source told the paper. The apparent controversy comes after US President Joe Biden refused to endorse Wallace’s candidacy to succeed long-serving NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. According to a Daily Telegraph report in July, Wallace, who was once considered a front-runner for the job, failed to secure Washington’s backing because the UK announced a coalition to help Ukraine procure F-16 fighter jets without first consulting the US. A Times source categorically rejected the “pathetic” speculation that Wallace’s apparent attempts to cancel the helicopter deal were linked to his NATO ambitions. However, one source said that he was “deeply disappointed” that his aspirations to succeed Stoltenberg had come to nothing, which he is said to have blamed on the White House.

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Funny, Tucker Carlson predicted the demise of NATO just a few days ago…

NATO May Collapse By 2025 – Academic (RT)

The return of Donald Trump to the White House could spell the end for US military aid to Ukraine, leaving a divided Europe to foot Kiev’s bills and ultimately ending the NATO pact, academic Phillips Payson O’Brien claimed in The Atlantic on Saturday. Opposition to arming Ukraine is now the position of Trump’s supporter base, who O’Brien estimated account for three quarters of the Republican Party’s electorate. Trump has repeatedly vowed to use military aid as leverage to force Ukraine into peace talks with Russia “within 24 hours” of his inauguration, while his two nearest competitors for the GOP’s nomination – Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy – have also discussed restricting support for Kiev.

Of the three potential candidates, Ramaswamy has gone the furthest, suggesting that the US recognize Russia’s territorial claims in Ukraine in exchange for Moscow distancing itself from Beijing. “If Trump or one of his imitators wins the presidency in November 2024, Europe could find itself faced with a new American administration that will halt all support for Ukraine,” O’Brien warned. In this scenario, he continued, European nations would be unable to make up for the loss of US military aid, resulting in a military defeat for Ukraine. With the US out of the picture, Europe would be divided on the issue too, he added, with the Eastern and Baltic nations eager but unable to keep the arms flowing to Kiev, and Western nations like France and Germany more likely to seek peace with Russia.

“The result could be a legacy of bitterness and distrust at best, and a permanent fracturing of European cooperation at worst,” he stated. A fervent supporter of Ukraine, O’Brien argued that European countries need to increase military production immediately to prepare for this possibility. However, with the Eurozone entering recession in the first three months of 2023 and industrial production down in Germany, European states are unlikely to be able to sustain the Ukrainian military on their own.

O’Brien’s predictions are based on the assumption that Ukraine will still be able to fight by 2025. According to Russian figures, Kiev lost 43,000 men in the first two months of its ongoing counteroffensive, without managing to penetrate the multiple layers of trenches and fortifications laid by Russia along the entire Kherson-Donetsk front line. Before the operation began in early June, multiple Western media reports suggested that continued US and NATO military aid to Kiev depended on the success of the offensive. Now, almost three months in, the counteroffensive is widely regarded as a failure.

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“..Over 30 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day, and in over 60 percent of regions have zero access to healthcare and drinking water.”

No Respite For France As A ‘New Africa’ Rises (Pepe Escobar)

Africa still lags far behind its Eurasian cousins on the road toward breaking the shackles of neocolonialism. The continent today faces horrendous odds in its fight against the deeply entrenched financial and political institutions of colonization, especially when it comes to smashing French monetary hegemony in the form of the Franc CFA – or the Communauté Financière Africaine (African Financial Community). Still, one domino is falling after another – Chad, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and now Gabon. This process has already turned Burkina Faso’s President Captain Ibrahim Traoré, into a new hero of the multipolar world – as a dazed and confused collective west can’t even begin to comprehend the blowback represented by its 8 coups in West and Central Africa in less than 3 years.

Military officers decided to take power in Gabon after hyper pro-France President Ali Bongo won a dodgy election that “lacked credibility.” Institutions were dissolved. Borders with Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Republic of Congo were closed. All security deals with France were annulled. No one knows what will happen with the French military base. All that was as popular as it comes: soldiers took to the streets of the capital Libreville in joyful singing, cheered on by onlookers. Bongo and his father, who preceded him, have ruled Gabon since 1967. He was educated at a French private school and graduated from the Sorbonne. Gabon is a small nation of 2.4 million with a small army of 5,000 personnel that could fit into Donald Trump’s penthouse. Over 30 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day, and in over 60 percent of regions have zero access to healthcare and drinking water.

The military qualified Bongo’s 14-year rule as leading to a “deterioration in social cohesion” that was plunging the country “into chaos.” On cue, French mining company Eramet suspended its operations after the coup. That’s a near monopoly. Gabon is all about lavish mineral wealth – in gold, diamonds, manganese, uranium, niobium, iron ore, not to mention oil, natural gas, and hydropower. In OPEC-member Gabon, virtually the whole economy revolves around mining. The case of Niger is even more complex. France exploits uranium and high-purity petrol as well as other types of mineral wealth. And the Americans are on site, operating three bases in Niger with up to 4,000 military personnel. The key strategic node in their ‘Empire of Bases’ is the drone facility in Agadez, known as Niger Air Base 201, the second-largest in Africa after Djibouti.

French and American interests clash, though, when it comes to the saga over the Trans-Sahara gas pipeline. After Washington broke the umbilical steel cord between Russia and Europe by bombing the Nord Streams, the EU, and especially Germany, badly needed an alternative. Algerian gas supply can barely cover southern Europe. American gas is horribly expensive. The ideal solution for Europeans would be Nigerian gas crossing the Sahara and then the deep Mediterranean.

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“..the US initially proposed the dollar as an international currency “to make everyone’s life better, easier, more comfortable.”

US Dollar A ‘Very Problematic’ Currency – Zakharova (RT)

Ever more countries are turning to national currencies for trade rather than use the US dollar, which has become a “very problematic” means of payment, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated in an interview with the Turkish news outlet Aydinlik published on Sunday. According to Zakharova, the US initially proposed the dollar as an international currency “to make everyone’s life better, easier, more comfortable.” “They were very insistent on this, saying that it would bring the world economy to a new level and simplify our transactions and relationships… And at the time, those who made such a policy in the US and abroad… probably wanted to take that first step towards globalization honestly.” Now, according to Zakharova, the dollar is used to pressure Washington’s political opponents.

“What we faced last year is something completely different,” she stated, referring to the numerous Western sanctions placed on Russia over the Ukraine conflict, including an effective ban on Russia using the dollar in international transactions. “There is no simplifying or making our lives easier. The currency is being used as a tool of hegemony and a new kind of colonialism, used to punish, segregate, and make our lives a nightmare.” According to Zakharova, the process of de-dollarization, which Russia and a growing number of other countries have been pursuing in cross-border trade, is not a goal in and of itself but a simple fact of reality.

“They say de-dollarization is a kind of ultimate goal of different organizations or some countries. But it is not. This is not our target. This is just a reality… The dollar is a very problematic currency these days. This is not my political view, it is an objective economic fact.” Zakharova noted that most global economic problems originate in the US, including the 2008 global economic crisis. National currencies, on the other hand, are more stable, which is why an increasing number of countries are opting for them, she believes. They want to establish and create a kind of a guarantee, a financial guarantee system in order not to once again be a victim of an American crisis… It is up to the countries to decide [how to do it], but as I understand it, more and more countries want to do something to avoid becoming another victim of the American financial system,” the official said.

Russia has been reducing the use of the dollar in foreign trade since 2014, but last year’s sanctions forced the country to step up these efforts. For instance, the share of national and ‘friendly’ currencies in the country’s trade with the Eurasian Economic Union grew to nearly 80% in 2022, and is expected to reach 90% by the end of this year. Last week, reports emerged that the BRICS group of emerging economies – which presently comprises Russia, Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, but is due to add six new members next year – is also considering switching all cross-border trade to national currencies.

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“.. this increasingly beleaguered, self-destructive, debased and less popular US currency.”

Gold’s Role Rises As Dollar Hegemony Falls (ZH)

Rickards noted, “It’s the weaponization of the dollar… you’re not just stealing our money with inflation, you’re actually telling us we can’t get it back,” emphasizing that while the BRICS countries might not fully trust each other, they are more likely to trust a “common trading currency backed by gold.” Rule described the U.S. dollar’s previous “exorbitant privilege” advantage is coming to an end, thereby making things more expensive for Americans. “The enemy of the U.S. dollar isn’t in Beijing or Moscow or Riyadh, it’s in Washington.” For Piepenburg, the end-game is clear. Debt drives policy and debt drives current market directions. This debt will not and cannot be sustained by GDP growth or tax revenues,… …which means ultimately money printers will continue to de-value that world reserve currency,… …and hence devalue the once hegemonic respect for the US holder of that currency.

Piepenburg states, “America doesn’t seem to be the America that it was in 1944 or the America that it was under Kissinger in the early 70s,” indicating a significant shift in global economic dynamics. While all experts seemed to agree that gold could play an increasingly important role, Piepenburg was skeptical that national leaders and central bankers would willingly give up their power to print money at will, dubbing this the “Nietzsche thesis,” questioning why leaders would want to “relinquish that ability to print at will.” Overall, the panel agreed that the weaponization and debasement of the dollar have diminished its credibility, setting the stage for other forms of currency or assets like gold to gain importance in protecting investors from this increasingly beleaguered, self-destructive, debased and less popular US currency.

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At your age, you’re supposed to be planting trees whose shade you’ll never sit in.

Soros Vows to Stop ‘MAGA-Style Republicans’ From Winning 2024 Election (Sp.)

The Soros family has waged a years-long political war against Donald Trump and his supporters, with George Soros calling Trump a “danger to the world” and characterizing his ideas as a “threat to democracy.” Trump has alleged that “district attorneys hand-picked and personally funded by” Soros are behind the ongoing effort to put him behind bars. Last month, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations soft power empire announced a dramatic scaling back of funding for operations in Europe, sparking an outcry from liberal activists, NGOs, and think tanks regarding the impact the end of the financial gravy train will have on their operations.

Alexander Soros, the 37-year-old son of the Hungarian-born US billionaire who took the reins at the OSF in June, responded with a manifesto-style appeal this week explaining the shift in focus under his leadership, assuring that the OSF isn’t really “leaving Europe,” and that the region “remains of huge strategic importance.” Rather, Soros indicated, the shift in funding is the result of a shift in focus, from Western to Eastern Europe and the United States. “The future of accountable, democratic government in Europe is now being determined not just in Paris and Berlin but also in Warsaw, Kiev and Prague,” he wrote. “This isn’t about funding levels – it’s about priorities as the focus of funding shifts back to the continent’s east,” Soros Jr. noted, recalling that, after all, his father’s soft power meddling in nations’ political affairs began in Eastern Europe in the 1980s.

Spending in Ukraine won’t be affected by the cuts, Soros assured, recalling with “pride” the $250 million in cash funneled into the country since the 2014 Euromaidan coup, and which played “such an important role in Kiev’s resilience” amid the ongoing NATO-backed proxy war against Russia. The OSF will also continue to “support” operations in Moldova and the Western Balkans, per Soros, and Central European University – the Vienna-based school booted out of Budapest in 2019 amid allegations of meddling in Hungary’s politics. The reorganization will also include a redoubling of Soros foundations’ efforts against Donald Trump and MAGA-style Republicans, Soros indicated, expressing concerns over the impact Trump’s possible return to power in 2024 would have on the OSF’s global agenda.

“As someone who spends up to half their time working on the continent and thinks former United States President Donald Trump – or at least someone with his isolationist and anti-European policies –will be the Republican nominee, I believe a MAGA-style Republican victory in next year’s US presidential election could, in the end, be worse for the EU than for the US. Such an outcome will imperil European unity and undermine the progress achieved on many fronts in response to the war in Ukraine,” Soros opined. Accordingly, he noted, the OSF is being “adapted” to “be able to respond to whatever scenarios might emerge, on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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Same here: plant trees your grandchildren will enjoy.

US Congress is Older Than Ever, But Reform is Unlikely (Sp.)

McConnell is not the only prominent member of US legislature whose health became a point of discussion. Last year, media reported US lawmakers questioning the mental fitness of long-time US senator Dianne Feinstein, who has served as a member of the US Senate since 1992, representing California. In 2023, Feinstein, now aged 90, announced that she will not run for reelection in 2024. This illustrates a trend of US political class becoming older compared with the past, with the 80-year-old incumbent president, Joe Biden, being the most prominent example as the oldest sitting US leader. His predecessor and likely opponent during the 2024 election, Donald Trump, is not that far behind, being 77 years old. According to the FiveThirtyEight polling website, both House and Senate are older than ever before, with the median age for US representatives and senators being 57.8 and 65.3, respectively.

Similar to Feinstein and McConnell, many of those people have been in Congress for decades. “The US Congress and the Presidency constitute a gerontocracy, and I see no chance that such graybeards will reform themselves on that score anytime soon,” John Seery, the George Irving Thompson memorial professor of government and professor of politics at Pomona College, summarized the situation. This development has triggered a conversation about whether it is appropriate for a senior lawmaker to stay in power well into their old age, especially since there is no mechanism to remove them similar to the Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which outlines the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.

While the both chambers of Congress can expel members with a two-third majority, only 20 lawmakers have been removed this way since 1789, with a majority of those cases involving support for Confederacy during the Civil War.
There have been proposals to introduce age limits for elected officials, which is also not that out of the ordinary, considering there are already minimum age requirements for holding political office. “Now that Americans are living longer, and the consequences of having octogenarians running the country (specifically President Biden and Senator McConnell) are apparent, a conversation around age limits in needed. Public opinion polling has shown that a majority of Americans are in favor of this.

It could also be a consideration for the Supreme Court, as it tends to have the same issues around older justices becoming unwell in post and potentially leaving the bench short of a member,” Clodagh Harrington, a lecturer in US politics at University College Cork, said. When asked whether a version of the 25th Amendment for members of Congress could be passed, the expert noted that even that addition to the constitution has been controversial. “The few times in the modern era that it has been considered in relation to, for example, President [Ronald] Reagan, have caused significant unease. No-one wants to be the person informing the president that they are no longer considered fit for office,” she explained.

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You cannot have two different justice systems for long.

Biden Asserts Executive Privilege on Hunter Emails, But Waived Trump’s (GP)

On Wednesday, America First Legal (AFL) revealed they obtained “over 1,000 emails between Rosemont Seneca and the Office of the Vice (OVP) President” from the National Archives (NARA) via a lawsuit. AFL started the thread on X by saying “The sheer volume of emails exchanged between Hunter and his associates at Rosemont Seneca and the Office of the Vice President is telling in itself.” Joe Biden asserted executive privilege over 200 emails because “release would disclose confidential advice between the President and his advisors, or between such advisors.” Meanwhile, President Trump’s executive privilege was obliterated by Joe Biden. The Biden White House worked directly with the Justice Department and National Archives to facilitate the investigation into Trump’s handling of documents, according to memos reviewed by investigative reporter John Solomon.

Joe Biden’s spokeswoman has repeatedly claimed Joe Biden had no knowledge of the raid and that he found out about it in the media. According to the memos, the Biden White House instigated the criminal investigation by eliminating Trump’s claims to executive privilege. Joe Biden paved the way for his Justice Department to arrest his political opponent after he retroactively revoked Trump’s executive privilege. Biden revoking Trump’s executive privilege opened the door for the former president to be subpoenaed – the subpoena then opened the door for the Justice Department to charge Trump with federal crimes. “By May, [White House Deputy Counsel Jonathan] Su conveyed to the Archives that President Joe Biden would not object to waiving his predecessor’s claims to executive claims, a decision that opened the door for DOJ to get a grand jury to issue a subpoena compelling Trump to turn over any remaining materials he possessed from his presidency.” – John Solomon reported last August.

On May 10, 2022, Acting National Archivist Debra Steidel Wall sent Trump’s lawyers a letter revealing the Biden White House’s involvement. According to John Solomon, within two weeks of Debra Steidel Wall’s letter to Trump’s lawyers, the DOJ sent a grand jury subpoena to Trump’s counsel demanding he return documents stored at Mar-a-Lago. Shortly after Trump was subpoenaed, the feds showed up to Mar-a-Lago and retrieved some documents and told the former president to put an extra lock on the storage locker. Two months later the FBI descended on Mar-a-Lago and rummaged through Trump’s belongings without allowing any of his lawyers in the area.

By November 2022, shortly after the Mar-a-Lago raid, Jack Smith was appointed special counsel to investigate the documents stored at Trump’s Florida residence. By June 2023 Trump was indicted on 37 counts related to Jack Smith’s classified documents case – 31 counts for willful retention and the other 6 counts included conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, false statements and representations. Meanwhile, Joe Biden hasn’t even been interviewed yet by the special counsel investigating his stolen SCIF-designated documents and he was able to assert executive privilege over 200 emails related to his son Hunter.

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I don’t see Fani last for much longer. What a mess.

Fani Willis Possesses Evidence Exonerating Georgia’s Alternate Electors (Fed.)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis possesses evidence that exonerates several Republicans she’s targeting in her legal crusade against former President Donald Trump and other Republicans for their lawful contesting of Georgia’s flawed 2020 election. In her Aug. 14 indictment, Willis alleged the existence of Republican electors for Trump constituted an unlawful “conspiracy” to overturn the Peach State’s 2020 election results. Among those charged for partaking in this so-called “conspiracy” are David Shafer, one of Georgia’s 2020 Republican electors, and Ray Smith, who served as one of Trump’s lawyers at the time of the contest. Specifically, Willis claimed Shafer and the other alternate electors “unlawfully falsely held themselves out” as Georgia’s “duly elected and qualified” presidential electors.

She further insisted these electors — with Smith’s assistance — intentionally attempted to “mislead” figures such as then-Vice President Mike Pence and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger “into believing that they actually were such officers.” However, among the documents Willis obtained during her years-long investigation of Republicans was a meeting transcript refuting her allegations. A transcript of the Georgia Republican electors’ Dec. 14, 2020, meeting, obtained by The Federalist, explicitly shows the intent behind casting alternate electors was not to impersonate public officers, as Willis alleged, but to lawfully preserve Trump’s legal challenge to the state’s election results. At the meeting’s outset, Shafer specifically noted how he and his fellow Republicans were acting as “Republican nominees for Presidential Elector,” not as “duly elected and qualified” presidential electors.

“[President Trump] has filed a contest to the certified returns. That contest — is pending [and has] not been decided or even heard by any judge with the authority to hear it,” Shafer said. “And so in order to preserve his rights, it’s important that the Republican nominees for Presidential Elector meet here today and cast their votes.” For context, Shafer and Trump filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Raffensberger in Fulton County state court on Dec. 4, 2020, alleging tens of thousands of illegal votes had been cast in the state’s presidential election. The suit came after a recount, requested by Trump, deemed Biden the winner of Georgia’s 16 electoral votes by a margin of 11,779. The recount prompted Raffensberger to recertify the election on Dec. 7 while Trump’s legal challenge remained ongoing.

By the time Dec. 14, 2020, arrived — the day on which nominees for presidential electors are required by federal law to meet — Trump and Shafer’s lawsuit was still pending. As such, Georgia’s Republican nominees, including Shafer, cast their electoral votes for Trump while the state’s Democrat nominees cast theirs for Biden. During the Dec. 14, 2020, meeting, Shafer further clarified the legal rationale for filing alternate electors in a conversation with Smith, asking Trump’s then-lawyer: “And so the only way for us to have any judge consider the merits of our complaint, the thousands of people we allege voted unlawfully, is for us to have this meeting and permit the contest to continue?” “That’s correct,” Smith replied.

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Coming from a Reagan economist.

Ivermectin Is a Proven Cure for Covid (Paul Craig Roberts)

The Covid years taught me that relatively few doctors are competent, capable of independent thinking, and have the interest to find approved medicines, such as Ivermectin, that are effective against new pathogens. Those doctors saved patients lives to the great distress of the Medical Establishment, and the doctors who saved their patients’ lives are still being punished for doing so. In September 2021, the corrupt American Medical Association told doctors to stop prescribing Ivermectin for COVID-19. In a statement, AMA, along with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), warned:

“We are alarmed by reports that outpatient prescribing for and dispensing of ivermectin have increased 24-fold since before the pandemic and increased exponentially over the past few months. As such, we are calling for an immediate end to the prescribing, dispensing, and use of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial.” “In addition, we are urging physicians, pharmacists, and other prescribers — trusted health care professionals in their communities — to warn patients against the use of ivermectin outside of FDA-approved indications and guidance, whether intended for use in humans or animals, as well as purchasing ivermectin from online stores.”

Dr. Joseph Mercola asks. “How many died unnecessarily as a result of these commands?” Mercola’s question is a good one. Those who died from Covid died because of a lack of treatment. For an untested vaccine to be put into use under “emergency use authorization” there must be no cures. Therefore the Medical Establishment, which serves as a marketing agent for Big Pharma, had to deny that there were any cures and to prevent doctors from curing patients with Ivermectin and HCQ before the knowledge of the cure spread. Otherwise the agendas served by the Death Shot would be blocked.

Now that the Medical Establishment has a new Covid variant with which to scare people and an updated dangerous vax, there is talk of a new round of vax, mask, and lockdown mandates. These measures are very dangerous and totally unnecessary. But they maximize profit and control, and that is their purpose. My advice is that if you have a doctor who warns you away from Ivermectin, you have a dumbshit or corrupt doctor who is very dangerous to your life and health. Quickly find another one who has the interest to know the facts and the determination to put his patients ahead of Big Pharma’s profits. And certainly do not trust any corporate hospital.

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Lambs and birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 192022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The resurrection of Christ 1639

 

Towards the Real New World Order (Batiushka)
US Lectures Allies Over Poland Missile Incident – Politico (RT)
‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ (Misnik)
A Smoldering Fuse (Jim Kunstler)
‘Aid To Ukraine,’ the US Democratic Party And The Collapse Of FTX (Livshitz)
FTX Boss Accused Of Using Offshore Funds After Bankruptcy (RT)
Ukraine – Switching The Lights Off (MoA)
Ukraine Has Lost 40% Of Energy System As Kyiv Sees First Snow (ZH)
Ukraine Is ‘War Between West And Russia’ – Turkish Official (RT)
Former Trump Advisor: Biden Admin Has No End Goal For Ukraine War (JTN)
Russian Oil Price Cap Idea ‘Ridiculous’ – Former US Treasury Secretary (RT)
DOJ Appoints Special Counsel For Trump Probes, But What About Hunter? (JTN)
MTG Says Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Will Defund Trump Special Counsel (JTN)
G20 Pushes Vaccine Passports For All Future International Travel (ZH)
Colin Campbell: A Tribute To The Father Of The Concept Of “Peak Oil” (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones

 

 

 

 

Meloni
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593793325659815936

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.”

Towards the Real New World Order (Batiushka)

Now we are talking about a real ‘New World Order’. This is being fought for in the Ukraine and in world political and economic fora at this very moment. And its ideological and military leader is the Russian Federation, the only country with the guts to lead the real New World Order. This will be to its credit for as long as the world lasts. In this context the Saker has written an excellent article, titled with the following hypothetical question: “What would a Russian Defeat Mean for the People of the West?” Although the Saker has given an excellent answer, I would give my own, which is a summary of his. This is: A Russian defeat at the hands of the ‘Combined West’ would mean the end of the world and therefore no New World Order.

Fear not, since Russia is not about to be defeated, the world is not going to end just yet and there is going to be, and there already is, a New World Order. Let us be frank, the Combined West has attacked Russia again and again in history. Many do not know that the Teutonic Knights in the thirteenth century were international, pan-Western. The Napoleonic Invasion of 1812 was carried out by twelve Western nationalities. The Crimean War, i. e., the 1854 Invasion of Russia, was carried out by the French, the British, the Ottomans and the Sardinians. As for the Austro-Hungarian Army and the Kaiser’s Army in 1914, that too was an effort of the Combined West, and if it had not been for the Revolution, Russia would have taken Vienna and Berlin later in 1917. And Hitler’s invasion 27 years later was equally multinational.

And such is the case today, with the Kiev regime’s mercenary army, armed by multinational NATO. Today the US mentors of the Kiev regime are desperate for peace talks to begin. Peace could have been had at any time between February 2014 and April 2022. The US did not want it then and did not allow it then, so now they will have to pay the price. The US elite knows that they are about to lose big time. This is their last chance and the last chance for the former Ukraine – for that is what we are talking about now. Like so many, these Americans have big mouths, but when it comes to it, it is all just hot air. And although Russia is talking at the US request in order to keep channels open, it is ignoring ridiculous American demands.

Today Russia has no reason to talk. It is successfully fighting against and so demilitarising NATO in the Ukraine. Everybody knows it. However, we are also at a dangerous moment because the US is losing control of its puppets. Just as it promoted Hussein in Iraq or Bin Laden in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and any number of Latin American gangster-puppets and then lost control of them because they refused to behave as puppets, so they risk losing control now. The lickspittle Kiev regime and its allies in Poland, the Baltics and even in the UK (there they have been singing even pop songs with an American accent for over sixty years) are being more American than the Americans. The pupil is worse than the teacher.

The recent provocation of a Ukrainian missile landing in Poland and the Poles and Latvians claiming it was Russian is an example, The Americans refused to fall for it. Before that the threat of a dirty bomb being prepared by the Kiev regime was another example. Alarmed, the Americans stopped that nonsense. The UK’s anti-German destruction of the Nordstream pipeline was yet another example. The culprit was covered up, just as the Americans covered up the culprits of MH-17. In Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.

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Warsaw and Kiev try to drag the US directly into war, but the US refuses.

US Lectures Allies Over Poland Missile Incident – Politico (RT)

US officials have called on their European and Ukrainian counterparts to tread lightly when commenting on a deadly missile blast in Poland, Politico reported on Thursday. According to three Western officials interviewed by the outlet, over the last couple of days US officials have asked their European colleagues and the office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to be careful when speaking about what caused the blast. They also reportedly made a series of urgent phone calls in which they requested that their NATO allies not make any definitive statements until an investigation is carried out. The outreach efforts come as Western and Ukrainian officials have been at loggerheads about who was responsible for the explosion in the Polish village of Przewodow close to the Ukrainian border that killed two people.

While Western officials have said that the blast was probably caused by a Ukrainian missile, Kiev insists that it was Russian in origin. According to Politico, these statements “illustrate one of the first major divergences in opinion between Washington and Kiev” since the start of Russia’s military campaign in the neighboring state in late February. US officials are trying to downplay this rift, but new fissures between Washington and Kiev may emerge as the conflict drags on, the report says. According to Heather Conley, a former State Department official, the “confusion” surrounding the Poland missile incident was a “really important test run” for the US, NATO, and Ukraine. “I think we all learned a pretty valuable lesson in [that] you cannot say something right off the bat until you understand what it is … because the stakes are so high right now,” she told Politico.

Following the Tuesday blast, Zelensky pinned the blame on Russia, calling the incident “a very serious escalation” and describing it as an attack on NATO and demanding a response. Later, however, he toned down his claims, admitting that “we do not know 100%” what caused the blast. The Russian Defense Ministry denied any involvement in the incident, saying its military experts had analyzed the photos from the scene and identified the debris as parts of an S-300 air defense system missile used by Ukraine.

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And here’s why the US refuses.

By Lidia Misnik, a Moscow-based reporter focused on the political process, sociology and international relations.

‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ (Misnik)

“We approached the moment of truth in the confrontation between the collective West and Russia. When it happened, it became clear that an attack by Russia could be claimed. This situation tested the effectiveness of NATO’s strategy for ensuring the security of the collective West,” Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies Vladimir Vasiliev told RT. He noted that the incident itself featured an element of happenstance, but that it helped shed light on a long-standing question: To what extent is the West prepared to invoke Article Five to defend NATO members? As Vasiliev noted, in this situation, the West “put the brakes on everything,” and the US quickly took cover behind the version that it was a Ukrainian rocket.

“There was always a question about the extent to which the US would be prepared to intervene on behalf of Riga, Vilnius, or Warsaw, and in doing so sacrifice Boston, Chicago, or California. And now it becomes clear that there is a problem and that the US is not willing to sacrifice its own security, its own territories,” Vasiliev said. In his words, this episode is extremely important for Russia, because it shows that the US is not prepared to invoke Article Five until there is a danger to the country itself or at least to some of the most important member states of the bloc, primarily Western Europe. “There is a certain understanding that conflicts such as this one should be resolved by others. The US will gladly put Poland, the Baltic States, Bulgaria, and Romania in the line of fire while itself staying out of the war zone.

That’s where the entire NATO architecture begins to crumble. Domestic politics will always take precedence,” Vasiliev added. From this situation, he believes, a far-reaching conclusion can be drawn: Ukraine in any shape or form is not wanted by NATO. Vasiliev says it is clear that the US is playing a geopolitical game against Russia by using Ukraine, which is expendable. This allows the vital interests of Washington to remain untouched. According to him, the countries of Eastern Europe are equally considered not to be vital interests, as are Finland and Sweden, and likely Türkiye.

The calm before the storm in Ukraine – MacGregor

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“This complex fraud will smolder for a few weeks before it explodes into an extinction-grade event for the Democratic Party..”

A Smoldering Fuse (Jim Kunstler)

Thirty-seven billion more dollars for Ukraine? (That’s thirty-seven thousand millions of dollars, by the way.) Bringing the total this year to a click-or-two over ninety billion (ninety-thousand millions), on top of whatever Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX company funneled through that sad-sack international money laundromat — soon to be the darkest backwater of a European failed state since Field Marshal Melchior von Hatzfeldt of Westphalia left Bohemia a corpse-strewn wasteland after the Battle of Jankau (1645). It really doesn’t matter how much more money we pound down that rat-hole, you understand, because by the time various parties — the weapons-makers, Volodymyr Zelensky, sundry members of the US House of Representatives, the Biden family, the World Economic Forum — are finished creaming off their fair shares, poor Ukraine won’t have enough cash-on-hand to replace six fuse-boxes in Zaporizhzhia.

Against this backdrop, the USA enters a holiday season near-death spiral as unspooling scandals battle a collapsing economy for supremacy of the alt news sites. Case-in-point: the aforementioned FTX monkey business, a metastasizing tumor of the body politic. This complex fraud will smolder for a few weeks before it explodes into an extinction-grade event for the Democratic Party. The usual suspects among the mainstream media are trying strenuously to ignore it, but the shreds of this exploding money-borg are already sticking to guilty parties far and wide across the political landscape like so much rotting flesh.

FTX commander-in-chief Sam Bankman-Fried remains at large after steering the crypto-currency trading platform into a bankruptcy so hideously tangled that the assigned liquidator in court proceedings, one John Ray III, who oversaw the Enron aftermath years ago, was boggled by what he’s found so far (and it’s early in the game): Namely, a company run by a handful of twenty-something drug freaks with no idea what they were doing, no record-keeping, and a slime trail of misappropriated investors’ funds leading to Kiev and Geneva through various crooked American political action committees, and the halls of Congress — with echos in ballot harvesting shenanigans which shaped the outcome of this month’s US elections.

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“Bankman-Fried has boasted of meeting policymakers in Washington “every two or three weeks for the last year.”

‘Aid To Ukraine,’ the US Democratic Party And The Collapse Of FTX (Livshitz)

Bankman-Fried is a very well-connected figure indeed in US politics. Over the course of the 2020 presidential election cycle, he contributed $5.2 million to two super PACs supporting Joe Biden’s campaign, and was the overall second-largest individual donor to Biden that year. Such extravagant spending appears trivial today. In 2021/22, he provided tens of millions to Democratic causes and candidates, becoming the party’s second-largest donor, behind only “spyless coup” specialist George Soros. Bankman-Fried has boasted of meeting policymakers in Washington “every two or three weeks for the last year.” Over 2022, this has included multiple audiences with senior government officials and top Biden advisers at the White House. These meetings escalated in volume around the time that the Ukraine conflict began.

On March 7, exactly one week before Aid for Ukraine was launched, his brother Gabe Bankman-Fried – who directs his political operations – visited the White House along with Jenna Narayanan, a Democratic strategist who once worked for the Democracy Alliance, which has been called the “most powerful liberal donor club” in the US. Bankman-Fried himself then visited the White House on numerous occasions in April and May, concurrent with him donating $865,000 to the Democratic National Committee. In early June, mere days after his last recorded White House meet-and-greet, Bankman-Fried announced he would invest up to $1 billion in further funds between then and 2024 to guarantee Biden – or whoever might take his place – won the next presidential election. These activities have been interpreted by many as an attempt by Bankman-Fried to ingratiate himself with politicians to further his commercial interests.

It is certainly true that, at the same time, he and FTX high-rankers were attempting to influence US lawmakers on crypto regulation, to make the market more favorable for his company. In this context, the promised $1 billion appears to be a dangled carrot, an implied promise of future financing if Bankman-Fried got his way. Accompanying him on some of these visits was Mark Wetjen, FTX head of policy and regulatory strategy, who previously served as commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Barack Obama – but only some. Were the other meetings related to Ukraine? If so, the $1 billion pledge may have reflected what Bankman-Fried thought could be secretly skimmed from Aid for Ukraine for Democratic Party purposes. It’s conspicuous that in mid-October, he completely disowned that enormous commitment, saying, “That was a dumb quote. I think my messaging was sloppy and inconsistent in some cases.”

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“BAHAMAS GOVT ORDERED BANKMAN-FRIED TO HACK FTX SYSTEM AND TRANSFER ASSETS TO THE BAHAMAS GOVT ACCOUNT: COURT FILING”

BAHAMAS SECURITIES REGULATOR SAYS IT ORDERED FTX CRYPTO WALLETS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO GOVERNMENT WALLETS

SAM BANKMAN STOLE $300 MILLION OF THE $420 MILLION FTX RAISED FROM INVESTORS LAST YEAR IN OCTOBER. (WSJ)

SBF’s lawyers at Paul Weiss have dropped him as a client: “We informed Mr. Bankman-Fried several days ago, after the filing of the FTX bankruptcy, that conflicts have arisen that precluded us from representing him”

FTX Boss Accused Of Using Offshore Funds After Bankruptcy (RT)

The collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX has provided court evidence suggesting that its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, had transferred digital assets belonging to the company to regulators in the Bahamas just after filing for bankruptcy. In a bombshell emergency court filing on Thursday, FTX claimed that the government of the Bahamas directed Bankman-Fried to gain “unauthorized access” while in custody. While thousands of clients have been denied access to their funds, millions of dollars in crypto reportedly continued to be drained from FTX wallets over the weekend through a back door in the Bahamas. The filing cited an interview published by Vox on Wednesday, in which Bankman-Fried expressed disdain for regulators. “F**k regulators,” he said in the interview, adding: “They make everything worse. They don’t protect customers at all.” “You know what was maybe my biggest single f**k up?” he asked. “Chapter 11.”


The motion lodged by FTX in the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware says the alleged conduct puts “in serious question” a request by regulators in the Bahamas for recognition as liquidators in the bankruptcy. “[I]n connection with investigating a hack on Sunday, November 13, Mr. Bankman-Fried and [FTX co-founder Gary] Wang, stated in recorded and verified texts that ‘Bahamas regulators’ instructed that certain post-petition transfers of Debtor assets be made by Mr. Wang and Mr. Bankman-Fried (who the Debtors understand were both effectively in the custody of Bahamas authorities) and that such assets were ‘custodied on FireBlocks under control of Bahamian gov’t,’” the filing said. FTX, which is based in the Bahamas due to the relaxed tax laws, collapsed on November 11 in a scandal that has cost investors more than $11 billion. The debacle followed reports of mishandled customer funds and abandoned acquisition plans by rival exchange Binance. The scandal has triggered a crisis of confidence in the cryptocurrency market and caused the value of assets including Bitcoin to sink.

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“The clobber list also includes this curious item: “The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.”

Ukraine – Switching The Lights Off (MoA)

The careful destruction of energy systems in Ukraine continues. From today’s clobber list as provided by the Defense Ministry of Russia: ” On 17 November, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a concentrated strike, using high-precision long-range air-, sea- and ground-based weapons, at the facilities of military control, defence industry, as well as related fuel and energy infrastructure of Ukraine. The goals of the strike have been reached. All the missiles have accurately stricken the assigned facilities.” I have no idea if the last line is true but it does not matter much. The targeting of 330 kilovolt transformers in various switching stations has cut some 50% of the distribution capability of Ukraine’s electricity network. These transformers weigh up to 200 tons.

There are no replacements. You do not buy them at the next corner but will have order them with years of lead time. As far as I can tell Russia is currently Russia the only producer of transformers of that type. Isn’t it a war crime to destroy the infrastructure that supplies civilians? It depends. If the infrastructure is used exclusively for civilian purpose the destruction is illegal. But the electricity and transport infrastructure in Ukraine is used for civilian AND military purposes. In a recent Politico piece Ukrainian officials are even confirming that: Ukraine tells allies it may not be able to recover from more Russian attacks on energy systems: ” An unreliable energy sector could have deadly consequences, Ukrainian officials say. In recent conversations, they’ve added that it could halt food production and transport operations — critical services needed to support military operations.”

The clobber list also includes this curious item: “The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.” I wonder where and what that has been: “One depot of artillery armament, delivered by western countries and prepared for being sent to troops, has been destroyed. The redeployment of the reserve forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), and the delivery of foreign armament to operations areas have been frustrated.” The last sentence describes the real purpose of the attacks on the energy systems.

The lack of energy is degrading the railway network that brings weapons from the west to the eastern front. It makes redeployment of units from one front section to another very difficult and time consuming. It will give the Russian forces the advantage when they change the Schwerpunkt of their attacks from one corner of the frontline to another. Another effect of the strikes on the electricity systems and the blackouts in the big cities that follow them is a renewed stream of refugees that will want reach western Europe. It will over time change the public opinion and the political priorities of those countries. If they fail to end the war they will have to carry the burden.

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“The New York Times notes the continued emergency that the country’s vital nuclear power plants are facing, given they themselves must rely on the national grid for aspects of their normal operations.”

Ukraine Has Lost 40% Of Energy System As Kyiv Sees First Snow (ZH)

Ukraine’s largest city and capital of Kyiv, with about 3 million residents, saw half its home and businesses plunged into darkness following Tuesday’s largescale Russian airstrikes which once again targeted energy infrastructure nationwide. Much of the electricity was restored in the capital city Wednesday, while much of it remained off in many other parts of the country. In a rare occurrence, most of the western city of Lviv had also been plunged into darkness this week, after what authorities called the biggest wave of Russian strikes on power facilities since the invasion began. “Photos of Kyiv draped in darkness have become a shareable illustration of winter in Ukraine this year: dark, cold, dangerous,” observed The Hill.

“Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is under attack from Russia, which has failed to defeat Ukrainian forces on the battlefield and is now once again targeting civilians.” An estimated 100 missiles had rained down on Ukrainian cities over the span of just a couple hours on Tuesday, chiefly targeting the energy grid. President Zelensky had already earlier in November warned that 40% of the country’s energy system has been destroyed. One Kyiv resident, Vladimir Yanachuk, was cited in NPR as saying, “We are not afraid about this. Ukrainians are not afraid about this,” while acknowledging: “Winter will be hard. But this winter will be hard not only for Ukrainians, but for Russian soldiers too.”

Temperatures in the capital and other parts of Ukraine have dipped below freezing this week, with the first snow fall of the season dusting Kyiv. The AFP reports, “The first snow of the winter falls on Maidan Square in Kyiv, blanketing its statues and anti-tank obstacles as the Ukrainian capital faces blackouts and power outages from a fresh series of Russian strikes targeting the country’s energy infrastructure.” Meanwhile The New York Times notes the continued emergency that the country’s vital nuclear power plants are facing, given they themselves must rely on the national grid for aspects of their normal operations.

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“What we want is an end to this war. Someone is trying not to end the war. The US sees the prolongation of the war as its interest.”

Ukraine Is ‘War Between West And Russia’ – Turkish Official (RT)

The West is using Ukraine to wage a war against Russia and has gone so far as to sabotage Turkish diplomacy that sought to negotiate an end to it, the deputy leader of Türkiye’s ruling AKP party, Numan Kurtulmus, told CNN Turk on Friday. “This war is not between Russia and Ukraine, it is a war between Russia and the West,” Kurtulmus told the outlet, adding that “the US and some countries in Europe” are prolonging the conflict by supporting Ukraine. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is talking to both Moscow and Kiev, said Kurtulmus, and in March managed to organize negotiations in Istanbul that looked promising. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, “were going to sign” a deal, but “someone didn’t want” that to happen.

According to Ukrainian media, Kiev received a message in April that the West was not interested in peace with Russia, which encouraged Zelensky to break off the talks. The messenger was reportedly none other than the UK prime minister at the time, Boris Johnson. “There was progress on certain issues, and we were reaching the final point, and then suddenly we saw that the war accelerated,” Kurtulmus told CNN Turk on Friday. “What we want is an end to this war. Someone is trying not to end the war. The US sees the prolongation of the war as its interest.” In his opinion, the conflict has made much of Europe clamor for NATO to become more active against the perceived threat from Russia, which benefits Washington.

According to Kurtulmus, the “balance of the world system disappeared” with the demise of the Soviet Union, and a “fierce power struggle” is currently taking place. “It is essential to establish a global political system. It is necessary to establish new institutions that will ensure world peace,” he said. Kurtulmus is a former Turkish deputy prime minister, who has been Erdogan’s deputy at the head of AKP since 2018. His comments came as Russia agreed to extend the Turkish-negotiated deal for exporting grain through the Black Sea by 120 days, on the condition Kiev doesn’t use the sea corridor to carry out more attacks.

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No coincidence. If you don’t want an end, you’re not going to define an end goal.

Former Trump Advisor: Biden Admin Has No End Goal For Ukraine War (JTN)

Former Donald Trump advisor Victoria Coates said the Biden administration doesn’t have an end goal for its involvement in the war in Ukraine. “I think it’s a lot of confusion within the administration,” Victoria Coates said on Friday’s edition of the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “You’ll hear the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley saying he wants to negotiate. Then we hear from the National Security Council that we don’t want to negotiate. So there’s friction within the administration. Unfortunately, I think that means we don’t have strong direction from the top.” Coates speculated that conflicting agendas within the administration were undermining Washington’s response to the conflict. “They’re all arguing about what kind of weapon weapon systems they may or may not give the Ukrainians,” Coates said. “They’re arguing about whether or not they should negotiate. It’s very confusing.”


Coates said that this inevitably will lead to scrutiny from the next Congress. “This is why you have a lot of concern out of the new Congress for these huge supplemental requests that are coming in,” Coates explained. “What’s the purpose here? Because if we have a strategy to win, and I think the Ukrainians have shown the will to win, how do we get them across that finish line sooner rather than later so the American people aren’t still feeling the pain of this conflict?” “We’re up against $100 billion of support to Ukraine over the course of the last 10 months,” Coates said. “Now, maybe I would spend more money if it means we’re going to defeat Putin, but I don’t hear that from the President. So I’m wondering why, in these difficult times, we’re spending all this taxpayer money.”

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“..the market is going to set the price. So if you put sanctions on at higher prices, in a way you’re just making the situation worse.”

Russian Oil Price Cap Idea ‘Ridiculous’ – Former US Treasury Secretary (RT)

Former US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has criticized the Group of Seven (G7) plan of capping the price of Russian oil in an interview to CNBC. The measure, which is due to be implemented early next month, is “not only not feasible, I think it’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard,” Mnuchin said. The former official said that “the market is going to set the price. So if you put sanctions on at higher prices, in a way you’re just making the situation worse.” The G7 countries, comprising the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan, earlier agreed to set a fixed price limit on Russian oil. The measure takes effect on December 5.

While the price level is not yet known, reports indicate it will be set at around $60 per barrel. The current market price on Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, is around $86 per barrel. Under the plan, Western companies will be banned from providing certain services for shipments of Russian oil that is purchased at a price above the cap. The list of services includes insurance and facilitating payments. The mechanism, which had been pitched by Washington, is intended to limit Russia’s revenues from energy exports, which, the West claims Moscow uses to fund its military operation in Ukraine.

Moscow, meanwhile, has increased oil exports in recent months to countries outside of the West, particularly China and India, by offering discounts to secure buyers. Analysts say that in order for the price cap to have the desired effect, the G7 would have to make sure these countries join the scheme. However, Russian officials have repeatedly stated that the country will not sell oil to buyers that agree to the price cap, which may make many reluctant to participate in the mechanism. India, for instance, recently said it sees no “moral conflict” in importing Russian oil and will buy it “from wherever” to ensure the country’s energy stability.

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This puzzles me: Garland said:“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.”

See? They’re both candidates, but only one gets a special counsel. Where in his words is the logic? It’s not as if there is no reason to probe Hunter. And FTX should be probed too, but yes, that too is linked to Biden.

DOJ Appoints Special Counsel For Trump Probes, But What About Hunter? (JTN)

Powell’s words follow Garland’s appointment of Jack Smith, a former career Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor at The Hague, to serve as special counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations. The first is the investigation into whether any individual, Trump included, attempted to interfere unlawfully in the transfer of presidential power or the electoral certification process in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The second is the investigation into the documents the FBI seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August and any obstruction of justice charges that could stem from it. Garland’s announcement came three days after Trump launched his 2024 presidential campaign.

“The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” said Garland. “Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.” Trump blasted the appointment as the “politicization of justice” and said he “won’t partake in it” in comments to Fox News Digital. Observers were quick to similarly criticize Garland’s decision, noting a potential double standard as the Justice Department hasn’t named a special counsel to oversee its ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden.

“By appointing a special counsel to investigate his boss’s political enemy, Attorney General Merrick Garland continues to politicize and weaponize the Biden Justice Department — all while Garland ignores smoking-gun evidence of Biden’s foreign corruption,” tweeted Mike Davis, former chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Other legal experts thought Garland’s appointment itself was fine but took issue with not doing the same for Biden. s”Appointment of a special counsel is a significant step, but Garland is well within his rights to do so,” said Geoff Shepard, a lawyer and author who served in the Nixon administration. “The disturbing thing is that he has not already done so with regard to the Hunter Biden investigation. It reeks of a double standard and gives critics plenty of reason to object.”

“The more he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons…”

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@JulieZebrak: “Fun fact: Jack Smith and Jim Trusty both worked in the Criminal Division when I was there. Jack was the head of Public Integrity Section aka PIN. Jim was the head of the Organized Crime and Gang Section. Jim now represents Trump.”

MTG Says Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Will Defund Trump Special Counsel (JTN)

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green on Friday said that current House Minority Leader and likely next House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would deny funding to the Department of Justice special counsel investigating former President Donald Trump. In a Tweet detailing the plan, Greene insisted McCarthy would invoke the Holman rule, a procedural measure by which the House may adjust appropriations legislation to reduce the salary of or fire specific government employees. They may also use it to cut specific programs. “Holman Rule. Look it up! [McCarthy] is going to put it in place,” Greene wrote. “That means no money for Garland’s politically weaponized Special Counsel. Don’t promise too many jobs! Whoops defunded.”

It was not immediately clear whether Greene was predicting such action or announcing that McCarthy had made the decision. Just the News has sought comment from Greene’s office. McCarthy’s office could not immediately be reached. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that he was appointing Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee the DOJ investigations relating the former president. “The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” Garland said.

“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.” McCarthy has thus far not announced any plans akin to what Greene has indicated. The California Republican this week won his party’s nomination for speaker while the party. Republicans won control of the House during the 2022 midterm elections, meaning McCarthy will likely be the one driving the lower chamber’s operations in the next congressional session.

Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593785088055029761

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Game over, guys, don’t even try.

G20 Pushes Vaccine Passports For All Future International Travel (ZH)

The G20 has issued a formal decree promoting vaccine passports as preparation for any future pandemic response in its final communique. Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, speaking on the matter on behalf of the G20 host country, had earlier in the summit called for a “digital health certificate” using WHO standards. Sadikin advocated for that he dubbed a “digital health certificate” which shows whether a person has been “vaccinated or tested properly” so that only then “you can move around”. Watch his comments during a G20 Bali panel discussion earlier in the week… A somewhat more vaguely-worded version of these recommendations was included in the official G20 leaders’ declaration, which calls for digital COVID-19 certificates, or often simply called vaccine passports.

The section of the final communique, which is republished and available on the White House website, which deals with vaccines and the Covid-19 pandemic begins, “We recognize that the extensive COVID-19 immunization is a global public good and we will advance our effort to ensure timely, equitable and universal access to safe, affordable, quality and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics (VTDs).” While describing the need for greater collaboration among nations during any future pandemic response, it continues in this section, “We remain committed to embedding a multisectoral One Health approach and enhancing global surveillance, including genomic surveillance, in order to detect pathogens and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that may threaten human health.”

[..] Article 24 of the final G20 declaration begins, “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the digital ecosystem and digital economy.” And then leads into to the following statement later in the section: “We acknowledge the importance to counter disinformation campaigns, cyber threats, online abuse, and ensuring security in connectivity infrastructure.” So as predicted by many early on in the pandemic (who were all dismissed and condemned as “conspiracy theorists”), a future proposed standardized vaccine passport will be accompanied by efforts for greater standardization and policing against ‘disinformation’ – likely to include any speech critical of the type of regimen that G20 leaders wish to enact.

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“..many people misunderstood the meaning of “peak oil” and saw it as equivalent to “running out” of oil…”

Colin Campbell: A Tribute To The Father Of The Concept Of “Peak Oil” (Ugo Bardi)

Rethinking today about Colin’s legacy, we can see that he was not always right in his assessments. One of the limits of his approach was that it was focused only on oil and gas. His models were sometimes oversimplified, and, at times, he would be too quick in disparaging new technologies that could change the picture. Perhaps his main limit was to have overemphasized the importance of the peak date as a turning point for humankind and to have believed that it could be determined by models. I know that he understood that the peak was just one point in a smooth curve, and he said that several times in public statements. But many people misunderstood the meaning of “peak oil” and saw it as equivalent to “running out” of oil. For some, it was the equivalent of the religious concept of apocalypse, and that led to accusations against ASPO of being a millenarian cult of some kind.

It should go without saying that Colin’s ideas were as far from millenarism as they could possibly have been. His approach was good, data-based science, and he was fond of quoting Keynes saying, “when I have new data, I change my mind, what do you do, sir?” (actually, Samuelson said that). Colin’s capability of dispassionately analyzing data led him to avoid the mistakes that other members of ASPO made, such as putting all their hopes on nuclear energy or refusing to accept climate science as a valid scientific field. So, even though right now the concept of “peak oil” seems to be out of fashion, good ideas are like souls. They move from one generation to another, being reborn as new incarnations if they are good.

Campbell’s ideas have that power, right now they are nearly forgotten, but waiting to reappear in a suitable body, like the spirit of the Dalai Lama. We, humans, forget things so easily, especially important things. But one day we’ll understand Campbell’s main message that what we get from the Earth may seem to be free, but it must be repaid, sooner or later. And the debt recovery agency employed by Gaia is ruthless and cannot be bribed using money.

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Cooling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby chimp
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593402415985971200

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 172022
 
 November 17, 2022  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  71 Responses »


Cimabue Christ mocked c1280 (Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters)

 

Ukraine Admits Firing Missile Near Poland Blast Site – CNN (RT)
Zelensky Doubles Down On Poland Missile (RT)
Gen. Milley Claims He Couldn’t Reach Moscow After Poland Missile Incident (RT)
Poland Should Guard Part Of Ukrainian Airspace – General (RT)
Missile Incident Was Ukrainian ‘Provocation’ – Polish Politician (RT)
Poland Wants Russian Oil Despite EU Embargo – Kommersant (RT)
Drone Strikes Deep In Russian Territory – Governor (RT)
The G20’s Balinese Geopolitical Dance (Escobar)
Eurozone Facing Deep Recession – Economists (RT)
Xi Roasts Justin Trudeau At G20 (RT)
Did SBF Buy Puff-Piece Propaganda? (ZH)
American Attempts To Preserve Hegemony Vs The New World Order (Kortunov)
US Congress Will Continue To Oppose Jet Sale To Turkey – Rep. Malliotakis (K.)
Sperm Counts Plummeting Dramatically – Faster Than Previously Thought (EHN)
Fauci’s Pandemic Leadership Needs to Be Investigated – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuleba before denials

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of RT today. Seems to be the only place for relevant information on Zelensky’s -and Poland’s- attempts to start WWIII.

“It doesn’t matter to Germany whose rocket fell in Poland, in any case, Russia is to blame, because it attacked Ukraine” – Olaf Scholz

Ukraine Admits Firing Missile Near Poland Blast Site – CNN (RT)

Ukrainian military officials told their American and other Western counterparts that they attempted to intercept a Russian missile near the site of a fatal blast in Poland on Tuesday, CNN reported. While Kiev initially blamed the explosion on Russia, Western leaders have since stated that it was likely caused by an errant Ukrainian air defense projectile. Citing a US official, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto said on Wednesday that the Ukrainian military has informed its Western backers that it “attempted to intercept a Russian missile in the same timeframe and near [the] location” of a “missile strike” at the Polish village of Przewowdow a day earlier. “It’s not clear this is [the] same missile that struck Poland, but this has informed ongoing US assessment,” Sciutto added.

The apparent admission by Ukraine’s military marks a dramatic climbdown by Kiev since Tuesday, when Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called the incident a “Russian attack on the collective security” of NATO. In a video statement, Zelensky urged the West to put Russia “in its place” in response. However, in the time since the blast, Ukraine’s Western backers have all but confirmed that the missile was fired from Ukraine. US President Joe Biden, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Polish President Andrzej Duda have all stated that the blast was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile, with Duda opting not to call for urgent consultations under Article 4 of the NATO Treaty.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that analysis of debris at the site of the explosion showed that it was caused by a missile from the S-300 air defense system, a Soviet-era system fielded by Ukraine. Poland is currently leading an investigation into the explosion, which killed two people. The blast occurred during an intense Russian bombardment of Ukrainian command centers and energy infrastructure. Russia has pummeled Ukraine with near-daily missile and drone strikes since October, following what Russian President Vladimir Putin called Ukrainian “terrorist attacks” on Russian territory. Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushenko called Tuesday’s barrage the “most massive shelling of [Ukraine’s] energy system” since the beginning of the conflict in February.

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“Ukraine’s president Zelensky is pushing back against Western suggestions, including those of the US and Nato, that a stray Ukrainian missile was responsible for the deadly blast in Poland. ‘I have no doubt that it was not our rocket,’ he told reporters.”

Zelensky Doubles Down On Poland Missile (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky continued to insist his military did not fire the missile that killed two civilians in the Polish village of Przewodow. Ukraine wanted to be included in any investigation of the incident, he told reporters in Kiev on Wednesday. “I have no doubt that it was not our missile or our missile strike,” Zelensky said, according to Ukrainian media. Noting that this is what the Ukrainian air force commander told him on Tuesday evening, he added, “It makes no sense for me not to trust them.” The Ukrainian president also said the Przewodow incident was yet another argument for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, something he has been asking for since February.

Zelensky was quick to blame “terrorist” Russia for what he described as an attack on NATO and the concept of collective security itself. His foreign minister Dmitry Kuleba did likewise. Neither have retracted their claims, even after Poland announced the missile that struck Przewodow was from a S-300 air defense system. “There is a high probability that it was a Ukrainian air defense missile,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, CNN quoted unnamed Ukrainian military officials as saying the missile was indeed theirs. Zelensky, however, told reporters he disagreed with phrases like “high probability” and that Ukraine “has the right” to see the evidence and data from partner countries. So far, he said, Kiev has received nothing.

“We must participate in the investigation,” Zelensky said, according to the UNIAN news agency. “I want it to be fair and if it was the use of our air defense, then I want this evidence.” While the incident in Przewodow happened amid a Russian cruise missile attack on key energy and military infrastructure targets in Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry swiftly noted that the debris filmed in Poland had nothing to do with any Russian weapon. Nor had anything nearby been targeted by the Russian military, Moscow added. Even the US government acknowledged the projectile that hit the Polish village was not Russian. On Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said the missile had been Ukrainian and there were no indications of a Russian attack. He argued that the ultimate responsibility for the incident still lay with Moscow, however.

Candace

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Bad if he’s lying, bad if he’s not.

Gen. Milley Claims He Couldn’t Reach Moscow After Poland Missile Incident (RT)

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley tried and failed to reach his Russian counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov, in the wake of a deadly missile incident in Poland, he revealed to journalists. “My staff was unsuccessful in getting me linked up with General Gerasimov,” he said during a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday. The failed contact happened after a missile hit a Polish village on the border with Ukraine and killed two locals on Tuesday. It came amid a Russian barrage targeting Ukrainian military and energy infrastructure. President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that the weapon was Russian and urged NATO to invoke its collective defense provisions in response. Western nations have since assessed that the projectile was most likely a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile that went astray. But the Ukrainian leader doubled down on his claim that it was not fired by Kiev’s forces.


During the media briefing, both US defense officials declined to comment on the difference of opinion. “We have full confidence in Poland’s ability to conduct this investigation in the proper way, and until that’s complete, again, I think it’s – it’d be premature for anybody to jump to conclusions,” Austin said. Zelensky named Ukraine’s chief of defense, General Valery Zaluzhny, as the source of his information about the projectile’s origin. Milley said he also talked to the general, but declined to say what he was told about the incident. The Russian military has denied responsibility and said images of the missile debris clearly identified it as Ukrainian. The Foreign Ministry accused Kiev of trying to gain more Western support under a false pretext and said that an impartial investigation would expose the Ukrainian “provocation”.

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In the middle of it all, Ukraine adds another call for a no fly zone. As if we forgot what that means. Trying to get NATO openly into the war.

Poland Should Guard Part Of Ukrainian Airspace – General (RT)

Polish General Roman Polko said that the country’s air defenses should assume responsibility for part of Ukraine’s territory, in the wake of a deadly missile strike on a village near the Ukraine border. Speaking to Radio ZET on Wednesday, Polko, who used to serve as the Deputy Chief of the Polish National Security Bureau, suggested that Poland should protect a “strip of airspace extending into Ukrainian territory and build air defense systems.” “We cannot allow Polish citizens to die,” he stressed, expressing hope that the incident would accelerate deliveries of defense weapons. The general went on to say that Polish authorities should ramp up defense capabilities as well as increase airspace monitoring.

“We should inform Russia that Ukraine and… the border belt will be constantly monitored by the NATO alliance and Russian combat assets will be shot down,” Polko added. He also noted that the “unprecedented attack” should prompt NATO to “finally lift restrictions” and give Ukraine long-range weapons. According to media reports, the US, Kiev’s most prominent backer, has been reluctant to send these types of arms to Ukraine, fearing it would escalate the conflict. While Germany said that, along with its NATO partners, Berlin has no plans to try and close off Ukrainian airspace, noting that such a move could trigger a direct clash between Russia and NATO forces. “Together with all our allies we agreed that we want to avoid a further escalation of this war in Ukraine,” a government spokesperson explained.

Berlin had proposed to help Poland patrol its airspace, according to Germany’s defense ministry spokesman. It comes in the aftermath of a missile strike on the village of Przewodow, close to the Ukrainian border, which killed two civilians. While Poland initially claimed that the projectile was “manufactured in Russia,” later, President Andrzej Duda noted that it was probably launched by Ukrainian air defenses. The Russian Defense Ministry denied involvement, stating that its experts had analyzed the photos from the scene and identified parts of the projectile “as elements of a missile from the S-300 air defense system used by the Air Force of Ukraine.”

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“Instead of telling “fairy tales” about the missile, the Polish president should tell Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky that Warsaw “will no longer put up with this behavior” by Kiev.”

Missile Incident Was Ukrainian ‘Provocation’ – Polish Politician (RT)

Poland should rethink its position towards the conflict in Ukraine after a “provocation” on the part of Kiev that cost two villagers their lives, a former city councilman in Lublin said on Wednesday. Jaroslaw Pakula, whose term ended four days before the incident, said the missile that struck Przewodow was obviously Ukrainian and that the government in Warsaw needed to send a message to Kiev instead of telling “fairy tales” to its citizens. “Of course, this is a Ukrainian rocket. Of course, this is a provocation on the part of the Ukrainian authorities,” Pakula posted on his Facebook page. “The rocket could not be fired 100km in the opposite direction by mistake.” The purpose of the provocation was to scare the EU and get civil society support for sending even more weapons to Ukraine, Pakula added.

Instead of telling “fairy tales” about the missile, the Polish president should tell Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky that Warsaw “will no longer put up with this behavior” by Kiev. “I urge you to rethink Poland’s position [regarding] this war in the event that the red line is crossed again!” Pakula concluded. Pakula’s Facebook page still has a Ukrainian flag over his portrait photo, and lists him as chairman of the city council of Lublin, the seat of the region where Przewodow is located. The official city website, however, notes that he was no longer in office as of November 11. Zelensky was quick to accuse Russia of attacking Poland and the entire NATO after a missile exploded in Przewodow on Tuesday afternoon, killing two people.

The government in Kiev said the incident showed the need for NATO to “close the sky” over Ukraine, as they have demanded since February. While Zelensky continues to insist the missile was Russian, Warsaw and Moscow have both identified it as a S-300 air defense missile, with Poland calling it “Russian-made” and Russia pointing out it was in Ukrainian service. The US and NATO have also described the missile as an air defense rocket that strayed, seeking to minimize the incident while also arguing that Russia was the ultimate culprit for bombing Ukraine in the first place. The Russian military has pointed out that Tuesday’s missile strikes on Ukrainian military and energy infrastructure targets came nowhere close to the Polish border.

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And despite accusing Russia of attacking it.

Poland Wants Russian Oil Despite EU Embargo – Kommersant (RT)

Poland plans to continue buying Russian oil in 2023 via the “Druzhba” (Friendship) pipeline, despite vows from the country’s authorities to abandon imports from the sanctioned country, the daily Kommersant reported on Wednesday. Poland’s major oil refiner and retailer Orlen has sent a bid to Russia’s oil and gas transporting company Transneft to receive three million tons of oil through the Druzhba pipeline in 2023, the outlet reported, citing a source in the Polish oil industry. Transneft has confirmed the order without specifying which companies it came from and the requested volumes. On December 5, an EU embargo on Russian crude oil and petroleum products comes into force.

And even though it will not be applied to deliveries via the Druzhba pipeline, Germany and Poland, which receive oil through the northern branch of the pipeline, have officially announced that they will voluntarily give up Russian oil from the beginning of 2023. Kommersant has pointed out that the Polish oil company has active long-term contracts with Transneft and reminded readers that the country’s foreign minister Zbigniew Rau had said on November 14 that Orlen risks paying a penalty in case of a unilateral withdrawal from the agreement. At the moment, Orlen has stopped buying Russian oil on the spot market but continues to receive it under long-term contracts with Tatneft (2.4 million tons per year until 2024) and Rosneft (3.6 million tons per year), the outlet reports.

The contract with Rosneft was renewed for two years in March 2021 and, apparently, will still be valid in January and February 2023. Commenting on the issue, Transneft vice-president Sergey Andronov said that on top of the bids from the company’s clients, which use the southern leg of the Druzhba pipeline, there are “bids from Polish consumers for deliveries through Belarus in 2023.” Andronov added that he hoped that German buyers of Russian crude would be “equally reasonable about securing stable oil supplies” from Russia. Druzhba is one of the longest pipeline networks in the world and carries crude some 4,000 kilometers from the eastern part of European Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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Reeks a bit of Nordstream.

Drone Strikes Deep In Russian Territory – Governor (RT)

A drone has struck an oil terminal in Russia’s Oryol Region, some 200km (124 miles) from the Ukrainian border, Governor Andrey Klychkov said. “Around 4am today, an apparent drone struck an oil terminal in the village of Stalnoy Kon,” he wrote on his Telegram channel on Wednesday. “Nobody was hurt. Emergency services are working on site,” Klychkov added. Although the region does not share a border with Ukraine, it borders the Russian regions of Kursk and Bryansk where officials reported multiple Ukrainian attacks after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state on February 24.


News outlet Baza reported that the drone hit an upper section of a cylindrical steel tank, “a quarter” of which was filled with oil. The outlet added that there were no leaks or fires. According to news outlet Mash, the terminal is part of the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline network, which delivers Russian oil to Europe. Oryol Region, together with several neighboring regions, was placed on a state of heightened alert last month.

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“The Americans suddenly interested in talking, and Macron and Scholz approaching Lavrov, point to the heart of the matter: the EU and the UK may not survive next winter, 2023-2024, without Gazprom.”

The G20’s Balinese Geopolitical Dance (Escobar)

The fog thickened because on the backdrop of the G20, the US and Russia were talking in Ankara, represented by CIA director William Burns and SVR (Foreign Intel) director Sergei Naryshkin. No one knows what exactly was being negotiated. A ceasefire is only one among possible scenarios. And yet heated rhetoric from NATO in Brussels to Kiev suggests escalation prevailing over some sort of reconciliation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was adamant; de facto and de jure, Ukraine can’t and does not want to negotiate. So the Special Military Operation (SMO) will continue. NATO is training fresh units. Next possible targets are the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and the left bank of the Dnieper – or even more pressure in the north of Lugansk.

For their part, Russian military channels advance the possibility of a winter offensive on Nikolaev: only 30 km away from Russian positions. Serious Russian military analysts know what serious Pentagon analysts must also know: Russia used at best only 10% of its military potential so far. No regular forces; most of them are DPR and LPR militias, Wagner commandos, Kadyrov’s Chechens and volunteers. The Americans suddenly interested in talking, and Macron and Scholz approaching Lavrov, point to the heart of the matter: the EU and the UK may not survive next winter, 2023-2024, without Gazprom. The IEA has calculated that the overall deficit by then will approach 30 billion cubic meters. And that presupposes “ideal” circumstances this coming winter: mostly warm; China still under lockdowns; much lower gas consumption in Europe; even increased production (from Norway?)

The IEA‘s models are working with two or three waves of price increases in the next 12 months. EU budgets are already on red alert – compensating the losses caused by the current energy suicide. By the end of 2023, that may reach 1 trillion euros. Any additional, unpredictable costs throughout 2023 mean that the EU economy will completely collapse: industry shutdown across the spectrum, euro in free fall, rise of inflation, debt corroding every latitude from the Club Med nations to France and Germany. Dominatrix Ursula von der Leyen, leading the European Commission (EC), of course should be discussing all that – in the interests of EU nations – with global players in Bali. Instead her only agenda, once again, was demonization of Russia. No niskala here; just tawdry cognitive dissonance.

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2023-24.

Eurozone Facing Deep Recession – Economists (RT)

The 19 countries that use the euro are expected to plunge into a much deeper recession in the coming months than earlier predicted, CNBC reported on Wednesday, citing economists. According to the report, the euro area has been under “significant pressure” due to a combination of sanctions against Russia, an abrupt end to Russian gas imports, and the need to provide financial support to households and firms struggling with the energy crisis. CNBC cited data from the European Commission showing that consumer confidence across the Eurozone plunged to a record low in September. It has improved slightly since then, but households still fear for the future and their financial positions, the report says.

“Consumer confidence has plunged so badly that the recession will likely not be shallow,” Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, told the news network. Preliminary growth estimates for the region suggest a slowdown in the third quarter from the previous three-month period – from 0.8% growth to 0.2%. According to Spyros Andreopoulos, a senior European economist at BNP Paribas, “It will be deeper than certainly what the ECB [European Central Bank] council expects.” Earlier this month, ECB President Christine Lagarde indicated that “the risk of recession has increased.” Andreopoulos told CNBC that he sees a risk the recession might drag into the second quarter of 2023.

Economists agree that even if the Eurozone emerges from a recession in the first quarter of next year, the subsequent months will still be challenging. s“I expect the recovery to be slow,” chief European economist at UniCredit, Marco Valli, told the network, citing higher interest rates as one of the main factors preventing a faster recovery. When asked if it was going to be an easy year for the euro area, Valli said: “No, absolutely not.”

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sundance: “If you have not watched this video, you really should. Justin from Canada leaked the content of a private bilateral conversation with Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping to the media. Chairman Xi was not happy with the breach of diplomatic protocol. What makes this video remarkable is the purposeful decision by Chairman Xi to confront Justin from Canada in front of a western audience. Xi never speaks directly in public and is always aware of cameras. The Chinese Chairman almost always goes through spokespeople to relay his public communication, reserving his voice for controlled and disciplined conversation with national leaders. However, not this time. Chairman Xi dresses down Justin from Canada publicly, in view of cameras and microphones. Watch, and stay with it to the end when Justin from Canada awkwardly looks for somewhere to hide. It’s quite funny.”

Xi Roasts Justin Trudeau At G20 (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has publicly dressed down Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for leaking the content of their meeting to the media. Canadian reporters captured the exchange on video during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday. Barely a minute long, the exchange opens with Xi, speaking through a translator, telling Trudeau that “everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers.” “That is not appropriate. And that’s not the way the conversation was conducted,” Xi added. “If there was sincerity on your part…” “In Canada we believe in free and open and frank dialogue, and that is what we’ll continue to have,” Trudeau replied, speaking over the translator still trying to finish relaying Xi’s words. “We’ll continue to look to work constructively together but there will be things we will disagree on,” the Canadian leader added.


“Let’s create the conditions [for that] first,” replied Xi, offering Trudeau a handshake. While the Chinese leader smiled and moved on, the Canadian PM walked away from the camera, by himself. What Reuters described as “a rare display of public annoyance” by Xi follows media reports about the contents of his meeting with Trudeau on Tuesday. In the course of the ten-minute meeting, Trudeau raised “serious concerns” about China’s “interference activities” in Canada, ranging from industrial espionage to meddling in the 2019 federal election, a “government source” told AFP. According to the same source, they also discussed the situation in Ukraine, North Korea, and the upcoming biodiversity conference in December, which Beijing and Ottawa are co-hosting.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1592876997117890560

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How can you write about him without mentioning the Ukraine-FTX-Democrats connection?

Did SBF Buy Puff-Piece Propaganda? (ZH)

As FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces extradition to the USA following his fund’s commingled asset implosion, one might be a bit confused about the gravity of the situation given recent press coverage. For example, the NY Times on Monday published a cowering puff-piece which mentioned exactly none of the major accusations against the well-connected Democrat mega-donor. Months before his firm imploded, Vox penned a slobbering review of SBF’s “Effective Altruism” program, painting him as a benevolent crime-fighter in his efforts to help ensure Joe Biden won the 2020 US election. But his motivations aren’t those of an ordinary Democratic donor — Bankman-Fried told Goldstein that fighting Trump was less about promoting Democrats than ensuring “sane governance” in the US, which could have “massive, massive, ripple effects on what the future looks like.” -Vox

Fast forward to Tuesday, when Vox proclaimed that SBF’s support of Democratic candidates to the tune of $40 million, second only to George Soros, is “massively overstated” and essentially no big deal. And what do we have here? SBF gave millions to corporate media outlets according to Tablet, and noted by @balajis, who suggests that it may have been done with “stolen customer funds.” Over the past two years, Bankman-Fried cultivated the media lavishly, if not carefully. Drawing on what then seemed like an unlimited pool of cash, SBF (as we’ll call the mythologized version of the real person) dispersed investments, advertising dollars, sponsorships, and donations to key news outlets—including ProPublica, Vox, Semafor, and The Intercept—with extraordinary effectiveness. -Tablet

And while some of said outlets (Semafor, and The Intercept for example) covered FTX without obvious bias, recent pieces from Vox suggest the investment has paid off in spades. On Wednesday, Vox must have realized how dumb they looked – leading to Vox’s Dylan Matthews (who oddly took the “Vox” reference out of his Twitter bio earlier today) dumping what appears to be incriminating texts with another Vox journo. And while the NY Times wasn’t on the list of outlets that received money, perhaps SBF’s deep-rooted establishment connections have something to do with it.

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“While US officials use the “politically correct” rhetoric of multipolarity and multilateralism, the Biden administration is determined to restore a unipolar world..”

American Attempts To Preserve Hegemony Vs The New World Order (Kortunov)

NATO was unexpectedly enriched by two promising members, and the American military-industrial complex entered very attractive new markets not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world. Unprecedented export opportunities have also opened up for US energy companies, which are increasing the supply of their expensive liquefied natural gas to Europe as an alternative to the cheap Russian pipeline variety. Among other things, the current crisis has shown that the intellectual and psychological inertia of the old unipolar world is far from being overcome and continues to actively influence the world’s politics and economics. The surprising unanimity shown by the countries of the European Union in their willingness to reject any form of “strategic autonomy” from the US makes one wonder how serious the desire for this very autonomy was in the first place.

But the recurrence of systemic unipolarity is not unique to the West. For example, the threat of secondary sanctions by the US has in many cases proved to be a decisive factor in determining the opportunities and constraints for non-Western countries to develop economic and other cooperation with Moscow. Under US pressure, Turkey decided to refuse to service Russian Mir payment cards, and China’s Huawei was forced to begin winding down its activities in Russia. The new US National Security Strategy recently signed by Biden is steeped in outright restorationist pathos. The document speaks of the indispensability of American leadership, the unchanging task of “containing” China and Russia, the promotion of liberal values around the world, etc.

While US officials use the “politically correct” rhetoric of multipolarity and multilateralism, the Biden administration is determined to restore a unipolar world, exactly as it existed in the 1990s. To quote a well-known aphorism from the days of the Bourbon restoration to the French throne after the Napoleonic wars, one can state that Washington strategists “have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” Which is not surprising when you consider what age group Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump belong to.

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“We are always concerned when we really don’t know what Erdogan may say or do…”

US Congress Will Continue To Oppose Jet Sale To Turkey – Rep. Malliotakis (K.)

US representative Nicole Malliotakis appeared confident on Wednesday that both the Senate and Congress will ultimately uphold a provision banning the sale of F-16s to Turkey without a firm commitment that the fighter jets will not be used against America’s allies. “We feel that we are in a good place and we are going to continue to advocate for the protection of our allies,” Malliotakis told state broadcaster ERT in Washington, after signing a letter along with another 21 representatives urging US lawmakers to uphold the provision. Despite the fact that the provision was dropped by the Senate in its version of the defense spending bill last month, getting the amendment passed in the first place “played a very strong role and also sent a very strong message to the Administration that there is bipartisan opposition in both the House and the Senate,” Malliotakis, a Republican, said.

“We’re working with Senator Menendez as the chair of foreign affairs and I’ve been working with [Michael] McCaul, who I think might be the next chair of foreign affairs in the House, to ensure that there is a not a sign-off on such as sale,” she added, referring to Senator Bob Menendez, one of the original authors of the amendment. Asked whether support for the provision would continue should the Republican party gain control of the House, Malliotakis said that “a majority of the members of the House still oppose [the sale].” “When we had that amendment come to the floor, we were able to get the Republican votes, and they were the ones that actually passed the bill,” she said.

“We are always concerned when we really don’t know what Erdogan may say or do. He has been acting aggressively and his rhetoric has been disturbing, but that’s why we need members of Congress, we need the Administration to reaffirm its support for our allies in the region,” Malliotakis told ERT.

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“..a decline in sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia of 28.5% between 1973 and 2011..”

“..average global sperm count in 2018 was 49 million per milliliter of semen. When a man’s sperm count drops below about 45 million per milliliter, his ability to cause a pregnancy starts dropping dramatically..”

Sperm Counts Plummeting Dramatically – Faster Than Previously Thought (EHN)

For years, scientists across the world have gathered evidence showing declines in sperm quality. Now, new research compiling the results of those studies has found that sperm count has dropped dramatically around the world, and the rate of decline is accelerating.

In a new analysis, researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center, the University of Copenhagen, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, among others, found that sperm count globally dropped by more than half between 1973 and 2018, and that the decline is accelerating: Since 1972, sperm count has dropped by about 1% each year. Since 2000, the annual decrease has been, on average, more than 2.6%. The findings raise concerns that an increasing number of people will need assistance to reproduce, as well as concerns about the overall health of human society, since low sperm count is linked to higher rates of some diseases. And while scientists are still trying to tease out the reasons for the drop, chemical exposures, especially to pesticides, are a likely factor — and climate change may even play a role. Researchers are calling for urgent action to bolster more research into sperm count, determine the causes of the decline, and prevent further deterioration of male reproductive health. “We have clear evidence that there is a crisis in male reproduction,” Hagai Levine, lead author on the study and an epidemiologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told EHN.

The study builds on the team’s previous research, which showed a decline in sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia of 28.5% between 1973 and 2011. Adding data from 38 studies to the new analysis has made the case for sperm decline stronger, Shanna Swan, an author on the paper and a leading reproductive epidemiologist at Mount Sinai, told EHN. “It’s really alarming,” said Swan, who is also an adjunct scientist with Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes EHN.org. Swan authored the book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race. The research found that the average global sperm count in 2018 was 49 million per milliliter of semen. When a man’s sperm count drops below about 45 million per milliliter, his ability to cause a pregnancy starts dropping dramatically, said Swan.

She said the results could mean that in the coming decades, large swaths of the global population of men could be subfertile or infertile, or could require assisted reproduction techniques, like in vitro fertilization, or IVF, hormone treatment, or a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which sperm are directly injected into an egg. In addition to the drop in average sperm count, Levine said it was surprising that the rate of decline was accelerating, rather than slowing down. “Is there a tipping point, that once you cross, you get an even worse situation?” he said. “That’s something to really pay attention to.”

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Well, they got the House now… Let’s go!

Fauci’s Pandemic Leadership Needs to Be Investigated – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)

Former White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas sees multiple reasons for an investigation into Dr. Anthony Fauci, the outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Such a probe has been discussed as Republicans inch closer to a House majority that would grant them subpoena powers. Some Republican lawmakers have accused Fauci of playing a role in misleading the public about the origins of COVID-19 and supporting pandemic mandates they describe as draconian. While Atlas, a vocal critic of the NIAID head, is “very skeptical” that an investigation like this could get away from politics or the perception of it being political, he thinks it’s warranted. Fauci’s changing stance on certain COVID-19 policies needs to be put under the spotlight, Atlas recently said on EpochTV’s “Newsmakers.”

“The real, clear public airing of exactly what happened needs to be done,” said Atlas, a senior fellow in health care policy at the Hoover Institution and contributor to The Epoch Times. “I personally am very skeptical that a political investigation, no matter who does it, is going to be done without politics, or if it’s going to be perceived as nonpolitical. I don’t trust people in government at all. They don’t deserve to be trusted, to be objective. “What was the motivation to flip flop multiple times with policy?” His question was referring to Fauci’s changing stance on pandemic school closures that drew criticism in late 2020.

He further questioned if there had been any “cover-up” of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Fauci’s division, citing the awards to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through the New York nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance as an example. EcoHealth Alliance, which continues to receive millions of dollars in grants from the NIH, was subjected to scrutiny by multiple federal agencies over its partnership with the Wuhan lab. The Office of Investigations of the Department of Health and Human Services in late 2020 briefly opened a probe over alleged “major fraud against the United States.” The probe was closed in January 2021, according to internal documents, which had the reasons for the closure redacted. The allegation states that “the COVID-19 virus was generated in … China with the assistance of an NIH Grant.”

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Schwab Bali

 

 

 

 

Wray

 

 

 

 

Good morning bear

 

 

Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 152022
 
 November 15, 2022  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  62 Responses »


Salvador Dali Sick Boy (Self-portrait in Cadaqués) 1923

 

US Scrambles To Reassure Ukraine After Milley Comments On Negotiations (Pol.)
Zelenksy At G20 Summit: This is The Moment To End The War (Tel.)
UN Calls On Russia To Pay Ukraine Reparations (RT)
The Kherson Question (Nora Hoppe)
‘The Last Battle for the World’ (Batiushka)
Poland To Seize Gazprom Assets (RT)
G20: What Does It Mean For Putin And The Event Itself? (Maxim Hvatkov)
GOP Nears House Majority With Two Race Calls In Arizona (JTN)
Midterm Success Brings US Democrats To A Historic Dilemma (Desai)
The Triumph of The Centre (Soldo)
FTX Implosion Takes Its First Crypto Victim (RT)
What the Collapse of FTX Means (Burja)
Corporate Layoffs Are A Warning Sign Of Coming ‘Economic Crash Landing’ (JTN)
World Population Expected To Hit 8 Billion On Nov. 15 (JTN)
A Father Fights for His Son & What’s Left of Democracy (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1592040557936795648

 

 

 

 

Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
~ Khalil Gibran

 

 

 

 

“The four-star general said during an appearance at the Economic Club of New York that a victory by Ukraine may not be achieved militarily..”

US Scrambles To Reassure Ukraine After Milley Comments On Negotiations (Pol.)

The Biden administration is in damage control mode after a top U.S. general said a window for peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow could open this winter, with senior officials scrambling to assure Ukraine it wasn’t undercutting its goal of expelling the Russians. Specifically, senior U.S. officials are telling their counterparts in Ukraine that the expected winter fighting pause doesn’t mean talks should happen imminently. Instead, they’re relaying that Washington will continue to support Kyiv’s militarily as it launches the next phase of advances on the battlefield, according to Ukrainian and U.S. officials familiar with the outreach.

The scramble follows comments last week by Gen. Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs chair. The four-star general said during an appearance at the Economic Club of New York that a victory by Ukraine may not be achieved militarily, and that winter may provide an opportunity to begin negotiations with Russia. The general has spoken regularly with his Ukrainian counterpart, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyy, including on Monday, according to a U.S. official. During the discussion, Zaluzhnyy did not express any concern or mention Milley’s comments even once, the person said. The person, along with others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations.

Still, the flurry of calls and meetings with Ukrainians underscores the degree to which the administration is concerned about presenting a unified front on Ukraine and potential peace talks. Any prolonged public split among top U.S. officials could threaten the already delicate relationship between Washington and Kyiv at a key moment in the war. The Biden administration needs to ease those tensions as it balances its support for Ukraine with concerns that Western stockpiles of military equipment are running low, and the possibility of a Republican-controlled House next year that will slash aid for Kyiv. European leaders are growing anxious about the region’s energy crisis, with some raising questions with American counterparts in recent days about the extent to which talks could ease fears about rising costs.

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Google translation.

Using the optics of Kherson for a narrative that is utterly unrealistic. That’s how you prolong a war, not end it.

Zelenksy At G20 Summit: This is The Moment To End The War (Tel.)

Now is the time to end Russia’s “devastating” war and “save thousands of lives,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said in a video address on Tuesday at the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. He presented a plan based on the withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. “I am convinced that now is the time when the devastating Russian war must and can be stopped,” Zelensky said, addressing the leaders present, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden. “It will save thousands of lives.” Russian leader Vladimir Putin is not present, he is replaced by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.


The Ukrainian head of state stressed that the war must be ended “justly and on the basis of the UN Charter and international law” and called for the release of all Ukrainian prisoners. “Please choose your path to leadership and together we will surely implement the peace formula.” Zelensky wants “effective security guarantees” and insists on an international meeting where the agreements are laid down in a peace treaty. “There are and cannot be any excuses for nuclear blackmail,” he added, emphatically thanking the “G19” – excluding Russia – for “making this clear.” He also called for expansion and extension of the grain deal that expires on November 19. According to the UN, 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain and other foodstuffs have been exported through the Black Sea since the deal was struck in July. That helped prevent a global food crisis.

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The UN should never choose sides in a conflict. That makes it obsolete.

UN Calls On Russia To Pay Ukraine Reparations (RT)

By a majority of votes, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution that would oblige Russia to compensate losses inflicted on Ukraine during the conflict and has recognized the need to create a special “international mechanism” that would allow it to do so. The resolution was supported by 94 countries in the 193-member world body vote on Monday. Some 73 more states abstained, while 14 countries voted against. Among others, those voting against the resolution included Russia itself, as well as China, Iran, and Syria. “An international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss, or injury”arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” in Ukraine needs to be established, the resolution says.


The assembly’s members should create “an international register” that would include claims or data regarding damages, losses and injuries to Ukraine caused by Russia, the UN decided. While the UNGA resolutions are not legally binding, they do carry political weight. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, speaking on the topic of the resolution, called it a legally insignificant document. “At the same time, the co-authors cannot help but realize that the adoption of such a resolution will entail consequences that can boomerang back to them,” Nebenzia said. He added that the resolution intended to legalize the seizure of Russian assets previously frozen by Western countries.

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“The sacredness of Life is gone. We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.”

The Kherson Question (Nora Hoppe)

I follow the news regularly on Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. And I have recently read and heard many varying and divisionary views on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson, a city that is now lawfully part of Russia. Dispensing with the views of the pro-NATO side, which are of no interest, I am observing the division of thought amongst analysts, journalists and commenters in forums siding with the Russians: There are those who are outraged and see the withdrawal from Kherson as “a disgrace”, “a sign of weakness”, “an embarrassment”, “a poor strategy”, “unattractive optics”, etc. Others see it as the outcome of a difficult but wise decision – that was primarily made to save the lives of Russian soldiers, who would have been cut off by a massive flood if NATO were to blow up the Kakhovka Dam. (There may well be additional tactical reasons for the withdrawal, but they are not (yet) known to the public.)

When people speak of the “optics not looking good“… a film set immediately comes to my mind (I have worked in the film world for many years). And that immediately tells me how some people view this operation – as spectators: it has to have a good catchy script, suspense, uninterrupted action and – heaven forbid – no lulls! It has to ultimately supply a dopamine release. It has to have a “Dirty Harry Catharsis”. This reminds me of similar reactions to the prisoner exchange in mid-September, where some saw it as a sign of weakness to even think of releasing Azov prisoners… or when the Chinese government did not deliver a dramatic retort when Pelosi went to do her skit in Taiwan. What is at the base of these kinds of reactions? Why such impatience? Why such concern with “appearances”? Why such a need to satiate one’s own personal sense of justice and retribution?

Does it have something to do with consuming? Especially in the western world one has become an addicted consumer of not only things but “experiences” that can be lived indirectly. Today we witness events of other peoples’ wars and battles on computer screens from the comfort of our homes or on our tiny phones from chic cafés… these events can accessed at any moment – just press a key… and they appear – like a scene in a film, a game, a contest, a sports match. Even the dead bodies that lie mangled, bloodied or in gory stumps strewn over the mud become the pieces of a broken puppets on a stage. “Hell, one gets used to it…” The sacredness of Life is gone. We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.

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“..a war of liberation against the Combined West..”

‘The Last Battle for the World’ (Batiushka)

When last week Allied troops quit the right (= western, or in this case northern (1)) bank of the Dnieper and so the regional city of Kherson (original population 283,000), confusion reigned among those with a short-term view of this conflict. Probably they had been listening to Western propaganda for too long. Probably they had forgotten that if Russia had difficulties holding right-bank Kherson, then the Ukraine would certainly have even more difficulties. Let us return to some basic facts in order to clear up some of the confusion The government of the Russian Federation was reluctant to intervene in the post-regime change Ukraine of 2014. It always hoped that negotiations and diplomacy would overcome Western aggressiveness and stupidity.

The government of the Russian Federation knew that the USA through its NATO vassals was pumping the Ukraine full of arms and training its troops for the eight years between 2014 and 2022. Therefore the government of the Russian Federation had eight years in which to plan for this conflict, planning different scenarios and also preparing probing and distracting movements, like that towards Kiev last March. One scenario was that the US would continue to intervene on the side of its Kiev puppet and arm it to the teeth, also using NATO countries, officers and huge numbers of mercenaries to prolong the conflict, so that it would develop into a US war against Russia. That is exactly what has happened.

Russia defeated the Ukraine in March, but since then it has had to defeat the USA and its NATO allies, demilitarising them just as it demilitarised the Ukraine in the first month of the conflict. This is why there will be no quick end to what the conflict has become – a war of liberation against the Combined West. A NATO Ukraine with Cargill-Monsanto-Blackstone-Black Rock-owned land, anti-Slav biolabs, potential nuclear arms, US missiles on the border with the Federation, genocide in the Russian East and South, Western globalism and its escaped covid experiment with bioweapons helping it to destroy Russia and so set up its World Dictatorship, became more and more abhorrent. All this made Russian liberation more and more probable. But liberation only of the willing. And who was willing?

The government of the Russian Federation always knew that in the far west of the Ukraine, formerly Poland, there was hatred for Russia and therefore it had no interest in taking that. The government of the Russian Federation and its Allies first had to free its allies in the Donbass and then demilitarise and denazify the rest of the ‘Anti-Russia’ Ukraine, which was threatening its survival. Today Ukraine is running a budget deficit of up to $5 billion per month, with the country’s military spending increasing fivefold to $17 billion for the first seven months of 2022.

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Why do they want a pipeline that has no gas flowing through it?

Poland To Seize Gazprom Assets (RT)

Warsaw is set to confiscate the assets of Russian energy major Gazprom, the country’s media reported on Monday. The move will target the company’s 48% stake in EuroPolGaz, which owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline that used to carry Russian gas to the EU. The decision to seize Gazprom’s shares was reportedly made by Minister of Development and Technology Waldemar Buda at the request of Poland’s Internal Security Agency. It is intended to “ensure the security of [Poland’s] critical infrastructure,” the ministry said. According to the media, Polish authorities said the order should be implemented immediately and established a mandatory administration in respect of the Russian entity to ensure the continued functionality of EuroPolGaz, a joint venture between the Russian gas major and Poland’s PGNiG.


The Polish energy major also owns a 48% stake in EuroPolGaz, and Gas-Trading SA the remaining 4%. The Yamal-Europe gas pipeline passes through Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, and it used to carry nearly half of Gazprom’s westbound gas deliveries. Poland’s sanctions against the Russian gas producer have deprived the company of its shareholder status in EuroPolGaz since April, blocking its voting rights and the ability to repatriate dividends. In May, the Polish government terminated a Russian natural gas contract without waiting for its expiry at the end of 2022, saying the country’s section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline could be used for supplies from Germany.

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G20 – G7 = BRICS. Not exactly, but close.

G20: What Does It Mean For Putin And The Event Itself? (Maxim Hvatkov)

Participants of the G20 summit have already arrived in Bali, and it seems that some wish Putin was there. French President Emmanuel Macron has stated the need to continue dialogue with Russian President, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted that “it would be good if Putin went,” and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes that the participation of his Russian counterpart would be appropriate. All this is against the backdrop of China’s support. The Washington Post has written that Western countries are alarmed by the partnership between Putin and Xi. The newspaper’s sources do not think that Beijing will refuse to support Russia at the summit even after the meeting between Biden and and the Chinese head-of-state.

Although several days have passed since Sergey Lavrov’s trip was announced, it is still unknown whether any bilateral meetings are planned for the Russian minister. In particular, Moscow has yet to mention a possible encounter with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The main news about Lavrov in Bali, so far, was pushed by AP and some other Western outlets, on Monday, reporting that he had been taken to hospital with heart problems shortly after arriving. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said these reports are “top-level fake news”. The diplomat, who is also in Bali, said that she was reading the news with the foreign minister and they both “just couldn’t believe our eyes.” Earlier she announced that Lavrov plans to speak at the summit about Russia’s initiatives to provide food and energy to foreign markets. In addition, Moscow’s agenda includes presenting its plan to enhance gas cooperation with Turkey.

[..] However, it is not known whether the 2022 Bali summit will be useful in helping the world take a step forward in overcoming the Ukrainian crisis, as some expect. So far, all the statements of Western leaders have indicated the opposite. Western countries have been putting pressure on the summit’s host to exclude the Russian Federation from the event since Vladimir Putin announced the military operation in Ukraine last February. For example, the US president’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that Russia can no longer take part in the international community’s business “as usual,” while Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau even suggested that his country should take Moscow’s place in the G20 club. Nevertheless, Indonesia sent an invitation to President Putin, despite the pressure.

[..] The G20 format was born in the late 1990s after the Asian financial crisis, when the mainly Western countries in the ‘Big Seven’ – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada – realized that a number of large economies were not participating in discussions on global issues. The newcomers invited to the table include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the European Union. However, the format did not reach its current status until the next global financial crisis, in 2008-2009. Prior to that, the meetings had only included finance ministers and the heads of central banks. However, subsequently world leaders themselves met at the summits annually to consult, first and foremost, on financial and economic issues. In 2013, the G20 was held in St. Petersburg. [..] The G20 countries are home to two-thirds of the world’s population. They also account for 85% of world GDP and about 75% of world trade.

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Ballots, not votes.

GOP Nears House Majority With Two Race Calls In Arizona (JTN)

A Monday night vote dump from Arizona prompted the Associated Press to call two more congressional races in favor of Republican candidates, nearly one week after the Nov. 8 midterm elections. The AP called the contest in Arizona’s 1st District for the GOP’s David Schweikert and the 6th District race for Republican Juan Ciscomani. The outlet has projected Republicans to win 214 seats thus far, meaning they need just four more to claim the speaker’s gavel from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Republicans currently lead in seven of the 16 remaining uncalled races. Of those, one is New York’s 22nd District in which Republican Brandon Williams maintains a 4,000-vote lead over Democrat Francis Conole.


In Colorado, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert is hanging on to a slightly more than 1,000-vote lead. All remaining races currently favoring Republicans are in California. Should Williams and Boebert triumph, the GOP would need to win just two of the five California races in which they currently enjoy leads to take the House, barring any unexpected leader flips in the nine uncalled contests currently favoring Democrats. The final result, regardless of which party wins the House, is likely to be one of the narrowest margins of control in the history of the lower chamber.

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Dr. Radhika Desai, a professor at the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada and director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group. She also writes on current affairs for Valdai Club, CGTN, Counterpunch and other outlets and is the author of Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire and Capitalism, Coronavirus and War: A Geopolitical Economy

Midterm Success Brings US Democrats To A Historic Dilemma (Desai)

Pictures of a smirking President Biden graced the front pages of newspapers in the days following the midterm elections. The worst fears of the Democrats – that they would lose both houses of Congress to the Republicans in an electoral debacle that would pave the way to a MAGA Trump presidency in 2024 – remained unrealized. The feared ‘red wave’ had turned into a ‘red ripple’, and President Biden was already talking of running again in 2024, when he will be 82. How sound is this assessment? While the results are yet to be finalized, we know that the Democrats will likely continue narrowly controlling the Senate thanks to the casting vote of the vice president, and that the Republicans will gain a small majority in the House. All the praise for Biden for not losing more comes from comparisons with past midterm losses for incumbent presidents.

However, this fails to take account of critical recent changes which, if factored in, indicate not so much a secure electoral future for the Democrats but the possibility that the Democrats may have jumped from the proverbial frying pan of the increasingly complex structure of US politics, into the fire. Politics scholar William Galston has noticed the change. Speaking of US presidential elections, he observed that ‘between 1920 and 1984… the contest between the two parties resembles World War Two, with a high level of mobility and rapid gains and losses of large swaths of territory. By contrast, the contemporary era resembles World War One, with a single, mostly immobile line of battle and endless trench warfare.’ Given how few seats changed hands, it appears that this logic also applies to congressional elections, and despite recent demographic changes – college education, urbanization etc. – somewhere between 40 and 45% of the US electorate remains solidly Republican.

Moreover, Biden and his Democrats appear to have lost an unpopularity contest, rather than won a popularity contest. As President Biden’s approval rating plumbed new depths, many Democratic candidates shunned him in their campaigns. President Trump, for his part, didn’t do much better. Though most of the candidates he endorsed won, none of those he endorsed for highly contested races did. Many commentators blamed this on his emphasis on candidates who agreed with his false narrative of the ‘stolen’ 2020 presidential election. It led him to scrape the barrel of candidates, and to choose some pretty unattractive specimens. With Ron DeSantis pulling off a spectacular victory in Florida, the possibility that he will replace Trump as the Republican nominee for president is being canvassed. Even if that happens, Trumpist politics are going nowhere anytime soon.

This is clear from many aspects of the voting pattern. The small gains the Democrats made came very substantially from women and young people, generally turning out in large numbers and voting Democrat because they felt strongly about abortion rights. However, this factor may lose its utility for the Democrats if, as seems increasingly the case, the Republicans also soften their stance on abortion. For the rest, the gains came from the usual source, money. Not only was this the most expensive midterm ever, experts suggest that the Democrats outspent the Republicans very considerably. This has returned US elections to the pattern where elections are essentially bought by the highest spending party, a pattern that the election of President Donald Trump very briefly reversed.

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“..Trump would have to commandeer a vehicle in order to enact his agenda. The only possible vehicle that could assist him was the GOP. This party’s leadership had no desire to enact Trump’s populist revolution..”

The Triumph of The Centre (Soldo)

Film and television have trained our brains to expect narrative arcs in everything we experience, from rising action, through to a climax, and ending in a denouement. Real life is not like this at all, but many of us cannot help but to interpret at least some of our own lives in this fashion. We apply this trajectory to our high school lives, our first romantic relationships, even our careers. Thinking that we are at the centre of a story helps give our lives meaning, and we are all guilty of it from time to time. The rise of political theatre is also hostage to this frame of reference. We are wont to perceive political developments progressing along a neat and tidy storyline, with all the ups, downs, shocks, disappointments, and celebrations that are built into traditional storytelling. At the end, our political option is the winner, and they all went home happily ever after.

2016 USA is a classic case of this: two simultaneous challenges to the status quo came out of nowhere to threaten the ruling elites. From the left, the ‘BernieBros’ promised Americans a fairer deal that included goodies like universal healthcare. From the right, #MAGA tapped into the powerful energy of the GOP base and its rejection of mass migration, de-industrialization, and open hostility to ordinary, everyday Americans emanating from the coastal elites. For #MAGA, 2016 was indeed a fairy tale; an example of ‘people power’ where the people steamrolled first their own party’s elites, and then those of the opposing party as well. This massive surprise went to people’s heads (and to be fair, rightly so). The feeling was that the system could be reformed, the ship steered back ‘on course’, and that America genuinely could be made ‘great again’.

The problem was that it was one thing to win an election, but it was a totally different thing to actually govern and lead a revolution. And let’s be honest: a revolution is what the overwhelming majority of Trump voters in 2016 wanted. They saw a system that not only did not work for them, but was actively working against them. Trump tapped into this populist sentiment when no one else did, and rode it to the White House. Unfortunately for his supporters, Trump was no revolutionary and his presidency was a disaster thanks in part to the ruling elites subverting it, in part due to his own incapability, and also due to an Act of God. You wanted a revolutionary, instead you got a reality TV show host who was excellent on the campaign trail, but utterly out of his depth in the Oval Office.

He wasn’t the first to be ill-suited for the White House, but he was the first in a long, long time that [was] not fit and not installed by the elites. One man cannot do it all alone. The US system is a set of checks and balances to ensure that precisely this cannot happen. That means that Trump would have to commandeer a vehicle in order to enact his agenda. The only possible vehicle that could assist him was the GOP. This party’s leadership had no desire to enact Trump’s populist revolution and immediately got to work to strangle his agenda, while using him to implement their own (e.g. Paul Ryan’s tax cut bill in 2017 or SCOTUS appointments).

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There are 19,000 “coins”?!

FTX Implosion Takes Its First Crypto Victim (RT)

The cryptocurrency Solana, associated with the bankrupt FTX exchange, continued its three-day retreat on Monday to trade at around $14 a token. The price is now down 95% from its all-time high of $259.96 last November. The token has lost 61.6% of its value in the last seven days, according to data firm CoinGecko. The drop is a result of the November 8 collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. Since then, the price of Solana has declined by 51.5%, which translates into a $5.5 billion loss in market value. The launch of bankruptcy proceedings by FTX came days after larger rival Binance abandoned plans to acquire the company and left it with the task of raising roughly $9 billion from investors and rivals to stay afloat. Binance backed out of the deal after a due diligence examination and recent reports of mishandled customer funds, as well as alleged investigations by the US authorities into the company.


Meanwhile, blockchain research firm Nansen revealed over the weekend that $662 million flowed out of FTX’s US and international exchanges. The firm’s main wallet, which was used to process withdrawals, was drained of its entire balance of 45.8 million FTT tokens, worth an estimated $97.2 million, Nansen said. On Monday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced plans to set up an industry recovery fund in an effort to “reduce further cascading negative effects” of the FTX bankruptcy. Zhao added the fund will assist otherwise strong projects that are facing a liquidity squeeze. The crypto market has lost 17.6%, or $188.4 billion, since November 7, with major crypto Bitcoin sliding down 22.4% in one week. Ether, the second cryptocurrency by market value, has fallen 24.4% over the past seven days.

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“Daily volume hit a high of around $11 billion in mid-2021, at a time of soaring cryptocurrency prices and high market volatility—ideal conditions for both a hedge fund and an exchange.”

What the Collapse of FTX Means (Burja)

After beginning his career in traditional finance at leading quantitative trading firm Jane Street Capital, Bankman-Fried’s initial forays into cryptocurrency began in October 2017 with the founding of the cryptocurrency hedge fund Alameda Research. According to Bankman-Fried, it was founded initially to take advantage of a persistent but hard-to-exploit 20% disparity between the Bitcoin price denominated in Japanese yen and the same price denominated in U.S. dollars, one that lasted until January 2018. From there the firm expanded to quantitative trading more broadly across the entire cryptocurrency domain, moving its headquarters from California to Hong Kong, and later to the Bahamas, due to the difficulty of establishing and maintaining relationships with banks in the U.S. as a cryptocurrency trading firm.

It remains unclear why exactly Bankman-Fried and Alameda decided to start their own exchange. There are two sources of natural fit between an exchange and a quantitative trading firm: one legal, the other less so. The trading firm, acting as market maker, can supply the liquidity the new exchange needs to attract and retain new users. Alameda’s constant presence trading on FTX, initially providing almost 50% of liquidity, was almost certainly largely responsible for the site’s massive growth, as it grew trading volume from $50 million a day to $300 million a day in just four weeks between June and July 2019.16 The nascent exchange also benefited from a timely outflow of customers from the cryptocurrency exchange BitMex, at the time under investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) for illegally providing services to U.S. residents.

Alternatively, however, the exchange’s customer funds can also be used as capital for the trading firm to use on its own account—an illicit practice, as unlike banks, an exchange ostensibly keeps all customer deposits available for redemption and rather makes its money from transaction fees. That FTX’s spreads were notoriously tight, even in its early days, might suggest that Alameda was making money in a different way to the typical methods of market makers.17 FTX soared in popularity thanks to the high leverage it offered,18 provision of cross-margining,19 attractive user interface, and high-quality liquidity and risk engines. Daily active users grew from two thousand in 2019 to almost 15,000 in 2020 to over 60,000 in 2021. Daily volume hit a high of around $11 billion in mid-2021, at a time of soaring cryptocurrency prices and high market volatility—ideal conditions for both a hedge fund and an exchange.

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It’s beginning… “We now have $1 trillion in consumer debt on top of $4.1 trillion of Biden debt.”

Corporate Layoffs Are A Warning Sign Of Coming ‘Economic Crash Landing’ (JTN)

Three days after President Biden said the country’s “not anywhere near a recession right now,” Amazon founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos warned a sharp economic downturn is looming. “The economy does not look great right now,” Bezos told CNN on Saturday. “Things are slowing down. You’re seeing layoffs in many, many sectors of the economy. The probabilities say if we’re not in a recession right now, we’re likely to be in one very soon.” The billionaire entrepreneur declined to estimate how long he thinks the recession would last but cautioned people to prepare for a time of economic struggle. “Take as much risk off the table as you can,” he said. “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”


Two days after the interview, several media outlets reported that Amazon plans to lay off about 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles beginning this week, the largest job cuts in the company’s history. Amazon’s decision was the latest in a string of recent corporate layoffs amid fears of a coming recession next year. Last week, for example, Facebook parent Meta announced the company is laying off 13% of its staff. Meanwhile, Disney is planning a hiring freeze and some job cuts, according to an internal company memo obtained by CNBC. [..] economic experts have been warning a recession is looming. “I think we are on the verge of a debt-driven economic crash landing,” economist Stephen Moore told Just the News. “These layoff announcements are the canary in the coal mine. We now have $1 trillion in consumer debt on top of $4.1 trillion of Biden debt.”

Americans could hold nearly $1 trillion in collective credit card debt before the end of the year due to historically high inflation, which has caused everyday costs such as food to skyrocket. According to experts who previously spoke to Just the News, soaring inflation was caused by Biden’s economic policies — namely too much spending — combined with the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates near zero while continuing to print money. Now the Federal Reserve is raising rates to slow down the economy in order to combat inflation. Doing so, however, may push the economy into a downturn, even a recession, next year. Still, the Biden administration and some economists remain optimistic that the economy can avoid such a fate with a so-called soft landing. Many projections, however, see the situation differently.


There’s a 65% chance of a recession within the next 12-18 months, according to a survey of economists conducted by Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, for its Third-Quarter Economic Indicator. That estimate is up from 52% in its second quarter survey and about one-third in its first quarter survey. Meanwhile, Bloomberg economists’ projection models from last month show a 100% chance of an economic downturn by October 2023, up from a 65% probability for the comparable period in the model’s previous update. The CEOs of both Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, the U.S. and European economic teams for Barclays bank, and former Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren are among those who also forecast a recession next year.

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Symbolic numbers.

World Population Expected To Hit 8 Billion On Nov. 15 (JTN)

The world’s human population is expected to reach 8 billion on Tuesday, according to a United Nations report released earlier this year. The United Nations will host events on Tuesday to mark “milestone in human development” that is the “Day of Eight Billion,” according to NEXSTAR. The population cleared 7 billion just 12 years ago and is expected to reach 9 billion in another 15 years. “This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at advancements in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in July, per the outlet. “At the same time, it is a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for our planet and a moment to reflect on where we still fall short of our commitments to one another.”


The milestone will come as international representatives meet for the COP27 climate summit and float a draft agreement to establish an international climate damage fund that would compensate poorer countries, often some of the most densely populated, for climate-related damages. Many details, including funding sources and damage amounts, remain undetermined and the plan is likely to stall in the international community, barring extensive revisions. Approximately 70% of births occur in low-income and lower-middle-income nations, NEXSTAR observed. Those countries will account for 90% of global population growth in the 15-year period leading up to the projected 9 billion figure. Many such countries would be beneficiaries under the draft U.N. plan.

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Ithaka.

A Father Fights for His Son & What’s Left of Democracy (Lauria)

These personal attacks were planned as far back as March 8, 2008 when a secret, 32-page document from the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessment branch of the Pentagon described in detail the importance of destroying the “feeling of trust that is WikiLeaks’ center of gravity.” The leaked document, which was published by WikiLeaks itself, said: “This would be achieved with threats of exposure and criminal prosecution and an unrelenting assault on reputation.” An answer to these slurs and the missing focus on Assange as a man is Ithaka. The film, which made its U.S. premiere Sunday night in New York, focuses on the struggle of Assange’s father, John Shipton, and his wife, Stella Assange, to free him.

If you are looking for a film more fully explaining the legal and political complexities of the case and its background, this is not the movie to see. The Spanish film, Hacking Justice, will give you that, as well as the more concise exposition in the brilliant documentary, The War on Journalism, by Juan Passarelli. Ithaka, directed by Ben Lawrence and produced by Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, humanizes Assange and reveals the impact his ordeal has had on the people closest to him. The title comes from the poem of that name by C.P. Cavafy (read here by Sean Connery) about the pathos of an uncertain journey. It reflects Shipton’s travels throughout Europe and the U.S. in defense of his son, arguably the most consequential journalist of his generation.

The story begins with Shipton arriving in London to see his son for the first time behind bars after the publisher’s rights of asylum were lifted by a new Ecuadoran government leading to him being carried out of the embassy by London police in April 2019. “The story is that I am attempting in my own … modest way to get Julian out of the shit,” Shipton says. “What does it involve? Traipsing around Europe, building up coalitions of friendship.” He meets with parliamentarians, the media and supporters across the continent. Shipton describes the journey as the “difficulty of destiny over the ease of narrative.”He speaks to the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the German Bundestag in Berlin. In Paris, Shipton admits to supporters that “he’s not okay, but I say he’s okay not to worry people.”

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Attack!
https://twitter.com/i/status/1592391595755966465

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 142022
 
 November 14, 2022  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Let the little children come to me 1627-28

 

The Role Of “Useful Idiots” In Modern PSYOPS (Saker)
G20 Host Urges West To Soften Anti-Russia Rhetoric – Politico (RT)
SBF’s Disgrace Awkward For Gary Gensler And The Democrats (Fortune)
Ukraine Invested In Top Dem Donor’s Crypto Company FTX (PM)
America’s Neo-Nazi Bedfellows In Ukraine Latest In a Long Line (Tony Cox)
The Road to Totalitarianism -Revisited- (CJ Hopkins)
White House Launches ‘Climate Gender Equity Fund’ (RT)
The ‘Garden Vs Jungle’ Worldview Is Not Only Racist, It’s Delusional (Hryce)
Washington Attempts to Bully India into Cutting Ties with Russia (NC)
IMF Says Global Economic Outlook Getting ‘Gloomier’ (Az.)
German Retailers Face Nightmare Before Christmas (RT)
Twitter Starts Massive Reductions In Contractors (RT)
US Senator Threatens Elon Musk (RT)
COVID-19 Mortality in England ‘Extremely Rare’ Among Under-20s (ET)

 

 

 

 

A Freeze in the Conflict?

 

 

 

 

Chappelle

 

 

Footprint

 

 

 

 

“doubleplusgoodshiteaters”

The Role Of “Useful Idiots” In Modern PSYOPS (Saker)

The second thing I need to address is what I believe is an analytical mistake by Bernhard on Moon of Alabama. He wrote that “This move is operationally sound” and yet he added “Strategically the move is bad“. We could wonder how a move could be operationally sound but strategically bad, but let’s not even go there. Bernhard’s argument is that “It closes for now the possibility of moving into Nikolaev (Mykolaiv) and further towards Odessa“. The problem here is that when we look at a map of the region we realize something very important: there are plenty of streams and rivers which flow north to south and which flow into the Black Sea. So any move along the coastline would imply having to get across quite a few river. Is this possible? Yes, absolutely.

But is that the best option? I am not so sure at all. I will simply say that this is the option the Ukronazis and NATO have been preparing for. Another option might be to move not West but North and then turn West to basically take all the NATO defenses around the Black Sea coastline from behind. Did I mention that there is now a joint Russian-Belarussian force deployed in Belarus which seems to worry NATO a lot and which could be used to pin down NATO forces near and north of Kiev. Is that what the Russians are planning? I don’t know. All I know is that it is wrong to assume that the only way to get to Odessa is by fighting along the coastline. Last, but not least, there is the (inevitable) rumor of a deal having been made between Putin and… … huh… well… somebody in the West (who? Brandon? Sunak? Macron?).


Now that is pure, unadulterated bullshit which only true doubleplusgoodshiteaters could swallow (though clickbaiters will use it to get their clicks and visibility!). Russia and the West have been locked into an existential war for survival since AT LEAST 2013 and we are very close to a possible nuclear war, but some folks still think that Putin works for the US, the WEF, Klaus Schwab, Bibi Netanuyahu. etc. etc. etc. My position on that is simple: anybody seriously believing this crap is not worth talking to, you would have better success arguing with a door nob. I sure won’t bother with them. I would also note that IF a real behind-the-scenes deal was made, the chances of Putin finalizing that deal with Western leaders at the G20 would be a perfect opportunity to finalize a deal. Yet, in reality, Putin is not even going to attend. Reach your own conclusions.

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German PM Scholz says he wishes Putin were in Bali, so the west can tell him what they think of him.

Scholz is fully blind to the fact that the west is a minority.

G20 Host Urges West To Soften Anti-Russia Rhetoric – Politico (RT)

G20 Summit host Indonesia is reportedly seeking to prevent the gathering of world leaders from becoming a Russia-bashing fest, urging Western politicians to temper their criticism of Moscow so all members can be brought on board with a communique at the end of the event. Indonesian President Joko Widodo and other officials in his government have asked Western leaders to make concessions on the extent of their anti-Russia rhetoric over the Ukraine crisis, Politico reported on Sunday, citing three unidentified diplomats with knowledge of the talks. The two-day summit will begin on Tuesday in Bali, and Widodo hopes to find enough common ground that all G20 members, including Russia and China, can agree to a group declaration.

Widodo also aims to prevent the group from following in the footsteps of the G8, which kicked out Moscow and became the G7 after Crimea voted to become part of Russia in 2014. A G7 statement earlier this month condemned Russia for its “war of aggression” against Ukraine and called for all Russian forces to be withdrawn from the former Soviet republic. The group also accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine and blasted the Kremlin for “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric.” Such a statement wouldn’t likely find consensus in Bali, where Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Several other G20 members, including China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, would be reluctant, at the least, to sign on to a communique rebuking Russia. Politico said one possibility would be to issue a more general joint statement calling for “upholding international law.”


“Obviously we can’t be as tough as we do it in G7 when you need the Russians, Chinese and Saudis to agree,” a Western diplomat told the media outlet. “The question is how much we need to delete.” The US, Canada, Japan, Australia and major European countries are among the G20 members that Indonesian officials are targeting with their pleas for softer rhetoric. Widodo also hopes to avoid controversy over a group photo, like those typically taken at G20 meetings to show solidarity, given that some members might be reticent to line up in the same image with Lavrov. Last month, before Moscow announced that President Vladimir Putin wouldn’t attend the summit, Politico reported that White House officials were taking steps to ensure that Biden wouldn’t cross paths with the Russian leader.

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“@GaryGensler runs to the media while reports to my office allege he was helping SBF and FTX work on legal loopholes to obtain a regulatory monopoly.”

SBF’s Disgrace Awkward For Gary Gensler And The Democrats (Fortune)

Gary Gensler blew it again. After his agency failed to warn investors about Terra and Celsius—whose collapses this spring sparked a trillion-dollar investor wipeout—the Securities and Exchange Commission chair allowed an even bigger debacle to unfold right under his nose. I’m talking, of course, about the revelation this week that the $30 billion FTX empire was a house of cards and that its golden boy founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is the crypto equivalent of Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes. To be fair, Gensler was not the only one suckered by SBF. Nearly everyone else—myself included—fell for the narrative that SBF, with his cute afro and aw-shucks demeanor, was exactly the savior crypto needed to shake off its dodgy reputation and emerge as part of the mainstream financial system.

The problem is that cop-on-the-beat Gensler not only failed to spot the crime—he appeared set to go along with a legislative strategy that would have given SBF a regulatory moat and made him king of the U.S. crypto market. According to Washington insiders I spoke with, the reason behind SBF’s decision this summer to obtain control over BlockFi was to benefit from the troubled crypto lender’s recent settlement with the SEC—basically extending the amnesty BlockFi had received to FTX. Meanwhile, FTX’s recent tie-up with securities exchange IEX (of Flash Boys fame) would also help SBF’s empire come under the U.S. regulatory umbrella. All of this would clear FTX to have the U.S. market to itself as the company lobbied for legislation that could have torpedoed competitors like Binance as well as the emerging DeFi sector.


This appears to be what prominent House member Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) was referring to when he tweeted on Thursday that “@GaryGensler runs to the media while reports to my office allege he was helping SBF and FTX work on legal loopholes to obtain a regulatory monopoly.” Gensler, a former campaign finance chair for Hillary Clinton, is of course not the only prominent Democrat who may have been willing to flex his influence on behalf of FTX. SBF, you may recall, was one of the biggest donors to President Joe Biden, while his parents—both Stanford law professors—have ties to the party. His mother, Barbara Fried, leads a group called Mind the Gap that helps raise Silicon Valley cash for Democrats, while his father, Joseph Bankman, drafted tax legislation for the powerful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass). It’s not a stretch to imagine SBF sought to exploit these political ties to his benefit.

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“It’s fascinating to see that the majority of the net equity in the Alameda business is actually FTX’s own centrally controlled and printed-out-of-thin-air token..”

Ukraine Invested In Top Dem Donor’s Crypto Company FTX (PM)

Roughly $5 billion was withdrawn from FTX on Sunday. The trouble began for FTX last week when rival crypto company Binance said they were selling off their holdings of FTT, which is the proprietary coin of FTX. After Binance said that, FTX was in financial trouble, and essentially sought a bailout from other firms, Binance among them. The New York Post reports that FTX’s implosion followed revelations “that co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried had been funneling money to a sister trading company run by his girlfriend.” That company, Alameda Research, is run by Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, and is also based in the Bahamas. Binance announced that they would buy the company, then pulled out of the deal, saying that after some due diligence, they decided it would not be a good investment.

“As a result of corporate due diligence, as well as the latest news reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations, we have decided that we will not pursue the potential acquisition of http://FTX.com,” Binance said on Twitter. “In the beginning, our hope was to be able to support FTX’s customers to provide liquidity, but the issues are beyond our control or ability to help. Every time a major player in an industry fails, retail consumers will suffer. We have seen over the last several years that the crypto ecosystem is becoming more resilient and we believe in time that outliers that misuse user funds will be weeded out by the free market. As regulatory frameworks are developed and as the industry continues to evolve toward greater decentralization, the ecosystem will grow stronger,” Binance said.


Part of the issue for Binance is that Alameda Research, helmed by Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, holds a great deal of their assets in FTT, and FTX had invested their customers’ funds into Alameda through a “back door,” without oversight. “Late on Friday evening, it has since been confirmed that a total of around $10 billion was moved from FTX to Alameda Research by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF),” Cryptoslate reported. Bitcoin Archive tweeted this out, which Cryptoslate noted was “used to move assets in the billions of dollars without triggering alerts to staff and external auditors.” “It’s fascinating to see that the majority of the net equity in the Alameda business is actually FTX’s own centrally controlled and printed-out-of-thin-air token,” said Cory Klippsten, CEO of investment platform Swan Bitcoin.

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Must Read?! “Dulles went so far as to send a rescue team to save Wolff when the general’s villa was surrounded by Italian partisans.”

America’s Neo-Nazi Bedfellows In Ukraine Latest In a Long Line (Tony Cox)

Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was furious when he found out in March 1945 that his supposed World War II ally, Washington, was negotiating with the German Nazis behind his back. In fact, by the accounts of some historians, American spy and future CIA director Allen Dulles essentially kicked off the Cold War when he held secret talks with Waffen SS General Karl Wolff as Hitler’s regime was nearing its collapse. Stalin, US President Franklin Roosevelt, and UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill had agreed that they would accept only unconditional surrender from the Nazis because of the Hitler regime’s monstrous crimes. When the Dulles-Wolff talks came to light, FDR repeatedly and falsely told Stalin that no one was negotiating with the Germans. The Georgian generalissimo was unconvinced and suspected that his Western allies were maneuvering to contain the USSR and occupy territory that might otherwise fall to the Red Army.

The Soviets had reason to be suspicious. Some in Washington, including Dulles, viewed the USSR as America’s biggest long-term threat even as the countries worked together to defeat Germany. As confirmed by documents that were finally declassified more than half a century later, US intelligence agencies were soon to hire upward of 1,000 Nazis as Cold War spies. By then, America already had a history of finding common cause against Moscow with unseemly allies. As the Soviets remembered well, the US had invaded Russia in 1918 in a failed effort to help overthrow the Bolshevik government. At the time, Washington was allied with White Army counter-revolutionaries, some of whom had a nasty taste for pogroms and other murderous atrocities.

Even as then-President Woodrow Wilson moralized to world leaders about self-determination and opposing external aggression – principles that would be applied only according to US self-interest in the generations ahead – he sent American forces to intervene in the Russian Civil War. He was to set a precedent that has continued to play out to this day, from Germany to Central Asia to the current Ukraine crisis. The pattern was clear: Portray America as the virtuous champion of freedom while working with anyone — however abhorrent their deeds and views might be — as long as they share Washington’s burning desire to hurt Russia.

In 1945, Dulles got his way with Wolff, formerly Heinrich Himmler’s right-hand man. The general and his group of SS officers, which was called the Black Order, agreed to surrender northern Italy to Allied forces. The deal didn’t avail much for the US, coming just six days before the full German surrender, and it sowed seeds of distrust with the Soviets and other allies. For his part, Wolff was spared the gallows, as the Nuremberg prosecutors mysteriously took him off their list of major war criminals and treated him as a “witness” to Nazi atrocities, rather than a perpetrator, according to historians. Dulles went so far as to send a rescue team to save Wolff when the general’s villa was surrounded by Italian partisans.

[..] Obama’s administration offered no condemnation when at least 48 people were killed and hundreds injured in an attack on anti-Euromaidan protestors in Odessa. Most of the victims were burned to death by a far-right mob when they tried to take shelter in the city’s union hall. Others were shot or beaten when they tried to escape the burning building. Ukraine’s fascist Right Sector group reacted by celebrating the massacre as “yet another bright page in our fatherland’s history.” Ukrainian MP Lesya Orobets, who had been praised by US media outlet Daily Beast as a “rising star” of the anti-Yanukovych opposition, also celebrated the killings, reportedly calling the Odessa incident a “liquidation” of pro-Russia enemies.

To this day, the perpetrators of the massacre haven’t been held accountable. The Council of Europe concluded in November 2020 that the Kiev government had failed to properly investigate and prosecute those responsible for the killings. Ukraine has continued to embrace its World War II Nazi collaborators, including Stepan Bandera, who is venerated in public marches. Two years after the coup, one of the main avenues in Kiev was renamed Stepan Bandera Street. Lviv also boasts a Stepan Bandera Street. In the eyes of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis, one of Yanukovich’s sins was his decision to revoke an earlier government declaration honoring Bandera as an official “Hero of Ukraine.”

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“Everything is back to normal, right? Wrong. Everything is not back to normal. Everything is absolutely New Normal.”

The Road to Totalitarianism -Revisited- (CJ Hopkins)

It feels like it’s finally over, doesn’t it, the whole “apocalyptic pandemic” thing? I mean, really, really over this time. Not like all those other times when you thought it was over, but it wasn’t over, and was like the end of those Alien movies, where it seems like Ridley has finally escaped, but the alien is hiding out in the shuttle, or the escape pod, or Ridley’s intestinal tract. But this time doesn’t feel like that. This time it feels like it’s really, really over. Go out and take a look around. Hardly anyone is wearing masks anymore (except where masks are mandatory) or being coerced into submitting to “vaccinations” (except where “vaccination” is mandatory), and the hordes of hate-drunk New Normal fanatics who demanded that “the Unvaccinated” be segregated, censored, fired from their jobs, and otherwise demonized and persecuted, have all fallen silent (except for those who haven’t).


Everything is back to normal, right? Wrong. Everything is not back to normal. Everything is absolutely New Normal. What is over is the “shock-and-awe” phase, which was never meant to go on forever. It was always only meant to get us here. Where, you’re probably asking, is “here”? “Here” is a place where the new official ideology has been firmly established as our new “reality,” woven into the fabric of normal everyday life. No, not everywhere, just everywhere that matters. (Do you really think the global-capitalist ruling classes care what people in Lakeland, Florida, Elk River, Idaho, or some village in Sicily believe about “reality”?) Yes, most government restrictions have been lifted, mainly because they are no longer necessary, but in centers of power throughout the West, in political, corporate, and cultural spheres, in academia, the mainstream media, and so on, the New Normal has become “reality,” or, in other words, “just the way it is,” which is the ultimate goal of every ideology.

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Sometimes I don’t recognize the world I live in.

WTF is “gender-responsive climate action?”

White House Launches ‘Climate Gender Equity Fund’ (RT)

US President Joe Biden has announced the launch of a Climate Gender Equity Fund to promote female “climate leaders.” He unveiled the new initiative at the United Nations COP 27 conference on Friday. A partnership between online retail company Amazon and government agency USAID, the fund will “leverage private sector contributions to provide women climate leaders with technical skills, networks and capital to develop and scale climate solutions,” the White House noted in a statement. To help solve climate change, according to Amazon worldwide sustainability vice president Kara Hurst, “we must address the gender inequalities that persist in climate finance, and ensure female entrepreneurs have an equal seat at the table and access to the funding, networks and technical support they need to scale climate solutions.”

Outlining the gravity of gender inequity in the climate space, Amazon revealed that “female-founded companies typically receive a fraction of total venture capital, and that percentage fell during the pandemic.” The online shopping giant, which saw its profits skyrocket during the pandemic, promised to supply an additional $50 million from its Climate Pledge Fund for investments in women-founded and -led climate technology firms. Apart from that, it is contributing $3 million toward the Climate Gender Equity Fund’s initial seed funding. The fund launches with $6 million in total, with USAID matching Amazon’s $3 million contribution.


The White House announcement states that the fund was also “enabled” by a $21 million appropriation by USAID from the Biden administration’s Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund with the aim of underscoring its “commitment to gender-responsive climate action.” The latter program, established last year with $100 million in taxpayer funds, an amount set to double for this year, is supposed to “advance economic security for women and girls globally.” A $430 billion spending package Biden signed in August included $386 billion in green energy subsidies and tax credits. The president’s speech at COP27 committed to several more ambitious green initiatives, including “establishing an international Climate Hub for climate-smart agriculture,” tightening emissions standards on the oil and natural gas industry, and using Ukraine as a showcase for small modular reactor (SMR) “advanced nuclear” technology.

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“..Borrell’s extraordinary Pollyanna-like assertion that in Europe and the West “everything works” and that the “garden” nations are havens of political, economic, and social stability.”

The ‘Garden Vs Jungle’ Worldview Is Not Only Racist, It’s Delusional (Hryce)

[..] let us start with Borrell’s extraordinary Pollyanna-like assertion that in Europe and the West “everything works” and that the “garden” nations are havens of political, economic, and social stability. This pronouncement will no doubt have come as a surprise to many citizens in Europe and the West. Has Borrell not noticed the recent rise of powerful right-wing political movements in a number of European countries? Is he not aware of the recent election results in Italy and Sweden? Have Borrell’s advisors not informed him of the political instability that has engulfed the United Kingdom in recent months, let alone the crisis in democracy that has crippled the United States for the past two years?

Has Borrell not noticed the dramatic recent rise in energy prices; rising inflation; rising interest rates; long-term wage stagnation; and the looming economic recession that is predicted to engulf many Western nations in the near future? Has Borrell not seen the tens of thousands of demonstrators marching in European capital cities in recent months? Is he unaware of the effects that EU austerity programs have had in many of the bloc’s member nations in recent years? Does Borrell really believe that the “garden” nations will sail through the upcoming European winter unscathed?


Has Borrell never heard of the so-called ‘culture wars’? Has he not noticed the collapse of liberal institutions and values throughout the West in recent decades? Has the immigration crisis that has bedevilled Europe in recent years, and has recently engulfed the United Kingdom, not yet been brought to his attention? Borrell, of course, pointedly fails to mention that all of the problems listed above have been severely exacerbated by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In fact, Borrell does not seem to appreciate that the increasing political and economic instability within the “garden” nations makes it increasingly difficult – if not impossible – for them to pursue his misguided foreign policy agenda.

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“From Dec. 5, tankers and shipping insurance linked to EU and G7 countries — which dominate oil shipping globally — will be barred from trading Russian crude unless those volumes are sold under the price cap, as yet undetermined.”

Washington Attempts to Bully India into Cutting Ties with Russia (NC)

For months the US has repeatedly tried to coerce India into cutting ties with Russia, thereby abandoning its national interests. New Delhi, however, continues to spurn American attempts to subject its economy to Washington’s dictates. The latest fuss concerns the G7 price cap on Russian oil and EU and UK bans on shipping and related services for Russian crude. India continues to have no interest in joining the US-led initiative as it gets a steep discount on oil from Russia and wants to maintain the relationship with a long-time strategic partner. Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was just in Moscow on Nov. 8 to discuss continued sales of oil. From the South China Morning Post:

“India’s foreign minister hailed New Delhi’s “strong and steady” relationship with Moscow on Tuesday, during his first visit there since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also declared India’s intention to continue to buy Russian oil, again disregarding the US appeal to allies and partners to isolate Russia from the global markets.” The G-7 plans are likely to send oil prices higher (despite US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claiming the opposite) and reduce tanker availability, both of which will threaten India’s energy security and hurt its economy as India is the third-largest consumer and importer of oil worldwide. Russia has said it will not sell to any countries that participate in the price cap scheme, and Jaishankar has repeatedly stated that India cannot afford to buy oil at high prices – at least not without undermining its economic growth, which is forecast to be 6.1 percent in 2023, the fastest-growing major economy in the world.

According to Energy Intelligence: “Russia emerged as India’s top crude supplier in October, shipping over 900,000 barrels per day or roughly a fifth of India’s demand. The two countries’ biggest concern is ensuring that Russian oil continues to flow after the Dec. 5 EU and UK bans and related G7 price cap. But despite Jaishankar’s bullish stance in Moscow, India’s state refiners have not placed orders for crude lifting beyond Dec. 5 due to uncertainties about whether shipping and insurance will be available, Energy Intelligence understands. And a recent attempt by an Indian buyer to use the price cap in negotiations with a Russian seller prompted the latter to abandon the deal, market sources said.”


The ongoing lack of clarity on the G-7 could be by design. Russian oil exports have already begun to dip, and Bruce Paulsen, a sanctions expert and partner at law firm Seward & Kissel, told American Shipper, “ If guidance on [price cap] compliance doesn’t come soon, some industry players may sit on the sidelines until they can determine that shipments under the price cap are safe.” The US, in a neat sleight of hand, quit pressuring India to adhere to the price cap, and Yellen now says Washington is “happy” for New Delhi to continue buying as much Russian oil as it wants, including at prices above a G7-imposed price cap. But there are just a few caveats: India wouldn’t be able to use western insurance, finance, or maritime services to transport the oil. “Russia is going to find it very difficult to continue shipping as much oil as they have done when the EU stops buying Russian oil,” Yellen told Reuters on Friday. “They’re going to be heavily in search of buyers, and many buyers are reliant on Western services.”

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You don’t say.

IMF Says Global Economic Outlook Getting ‘Gloomier’ (Az.)

The global economic outlook is even gloomier than projected last month, the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday, citing a steady worsening in purchasing manager surveys in recent months, Reuters reported. It blamed the darker outlook on tightening monetary policy triggered by persistently high and broad-based inflation, weak growth momentum in China, and ongoing supply disruptions and food insecurity caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a blog prepared for a summit of G20 leaders in Indonesia, the IMF said recent high-frequency indicators “confirm that the outlook is gloomier,” particularly in Europe. It said recent purchasing manager indices that gauge manufacturing and services activity signaled weakness in most Group of 20 major economies, with economic activity set to contract while inflation remained stubbornly high.

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They will simply nominate Putin for the Grinch. Everything that goes wrong with the western world is now exclusively his fault. And they can all hide their failures behind him.

German Retailers Face Nightmare Before Christmas (RT)

Shop owners in Germany are worried about the upcoming Christmas season, expecting a slump in sales in price-adjusted terms, as double-digit inflation driven by energy prices forced people to shop less in the third quarter, the German Retail Association (HDE) says. According to the latest report, sales will face a 4% drop in price-adjusted terms, despite an expected increase by 5.4% year-on-year in nominal terms projected for the last two months of 2022. The association surveyed 500 companies, and 70% of the respondents said they expect worse business conditions in the upcoming Christmas season than last year.


“There is a great deal of uncertainty among both companies and customers in view of the difficult situation with enormous energy price increases. High inflation and poor consumer sentiment do not really bode well for the Christmas season,” HDE Managing Director Stefan Genth said. In October, the German Federal Statistical Office reported that the harmonized inflation rate in Europe’s largest economy climbed to 11.6%, raising fears that the country will slide into a recession this winter.

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To repeat @JordanSchachtel:”Elon is blowing things up at Twitter because it is necessary to save the company. The old Twitter was a state-sponsored propaganda operation. Twitter as a private company will not have the privilege of unlimited resources.”

That is what Musk is up against. And of course the press.

Twitter Starts Massive Reductions In Contractors (RT)

After laying off half its staff earlier this month, Twitter has started culling its vast ranks of contract staff, sources confirmed to Axios, Report informs.Many contractors’ status has been in limbo since Twitter cut half its staff earlier this month, with some not knowing whom to even report to, since their counterparts inside the company have been laid off. Now some worry about their final paychecks since their teams no longer have any full-time Twitter employees to sign off on their time cards, sources tell Axios. The contractor cuts were noted earlier by Platformer’s Casey Newton. In at least some cases, if not all, workers did not get any direct communication from Twitter saying that their work had ended.


They instead found out by seeing their access to Twitter computer systems had been shut off. This parallels the scene when full-time employees found out they had lost their job, not from a promised e-mail on Friday, but overnight on Thursday as they lost access to e-mail and other corporate computing systems. Twitter has since reached out to re-hire some full-time employees after realizing their skills were critical to existing projects, including new features that were a priority to the company.

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“Are you suggesting the senator will abuse his political power to attack me?”

US Senator Threatens Elon Musk (RT)

US Senator Edward Markey has responded to a snarky tweet by Twitter owner Elon Musk by threatening congressional intervention if the billionaire doesn’t “fix” his companies to the lawmaker’s satisfaction. The row began on Friday, when Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, demanded answers from Musk as to how a Washington Post reporter was able to create a verified account on the platform impersonating the senator. “I’m asking for answers from Elon Musk, who is putting profits over people and his debt over stopping disinformation. Twitter must explain how this happened and how to prevent it from happening again.” Musk, who acquired Twitter in a $44 billion takeover that was completed late last month, replied to Markey on Sunday, saying, “Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody.” He posted another tweet asking why Markey’s profile picture shows him wearing a mask.

The Tesla CEO’s flippant response clearly didn’t sit well with the career politician, who warned, “One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies, or Congress will.” Markey’s threat came amid leftist allegations that Musk’s takeover would make Twitter a “direct threat to public safety” by allowing “harmful” content. President Joe Biden, also a Democrat, suggested last week that his administration may need to investigate whether Musk’s cooperation with foreign countries created a “national security threat.”


Reacting to Musk’s spat with Markey, a Democrat activist group called People for Bernie said it was a bad idea for the billionaire to “troll a high-ranking senator with a history of taking down rich people.” Musk replied, “Are you suggesting the senator will abuse his political power to attack me?” Journalist Glenn Greenwald reacted by posting a 2020 clip of Markey calling for increased social media censorship. “Here’s Senator Markey demanding tech companies censor in accordance with his political views, all in the context of his party threatening social media companies with legal and regulatory reprisals if they fail to obey their censorship orders.”

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Just stop the nonsense. We’re tired of it.

COVID-19 Mortality in England ‘Extremely Rare’ Among Under-20s (ET)

Deaths from COVID-19 remain “extremely rare” in people under the age of 20, according to a study of follow-up data in the UK. Between March 2020 and December 2021, while there were 185 deaths in England among children and young people (CYP) within 100 days of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection, fewer than half died directly because of the virus, the study found. The peer-reviewed study, published on Nov. 8 on the PLOS Medicine Journal website, was conducted by researchers from the UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Studying the 22-month follow-up data on all 6,790 under-20s deaths, the team corroborated findings from a number of previous analyses that looked at data from a shorter period of time.

Excluding two stillbirth/intrauterine deaths, 81 (43 percent) deaths were attributed to COVID-19. It accounts for 1.2 percent of all-cause CYP deaths, with a COVID-19 infection fatality rate of 7 per million (using estimated infections number) and an overall mortality rate of 6 per million (estimated CYP population). Of the 81 deaths from COVID-19, one in four (20) were otherwise healthy, while 61 had “significant underlying health conditions,” including neuro-disability, immunocompromising conditions, Down syndrome, Edward syndrome, chronic heart disease, and four premature birth, meaning the COVID-19 mortality rate for otherwise healthy CYP was 1.5 per million. COVID-19 deaths were also clustered among older teens and infants, with more than half (47) occurring among those aged between 16 and 19, and 22 under a year old.


Eight children from the 1- to 4-year-old group died from COVID-19, along with 12 children aged between 5 and 11, and 15 children aged between 12 and 15. More than half (45) of the COVID-19 deaths occurred when the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus was dominant, while 21 died during the wild-type-dominant period, and 15 died during the Alpha wave. But the Delta variant was the least deadly in terms of infection mortality rate (6 per million) compared to Alpha (8 per million), and the wild-type (10 per million) as it was more infectious than the previous variants. The Omicron variant, which became dominant this year, wasn’t included in the study. Dr. Shamez Ladhani, pediatric infectious disease consultant at St. George’s Hospital London and consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA who co-authored the study, told The Telegraph that “emerging data suggest that the Omicron variant is even less fatal in children compared to previous variants.”

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Fitts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burzinsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 132022
 
 November 13, 2022  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Salvador Dali The three pines 1919

 

UK and EU To Try To Isolate Russia At G20 Summit (RT)
The New Candidate Countries For BRICS Expansion (SRB)
Surovikin’s Difficult Choice (Big Serge)
Tens of Billions Transferred to Ukraine and Laundered Through FTX (GP)
The FTX-Alameda Nexus (Coppola)
Up To $2 Billion In Client Money Missing In Crypto Giant FTX Collapse (NYP)
First Batch Of Blocked Russian Fertilizers Allowed To Leave EU Port (RT)
Showdown Slow Down (Jim Kunstler)
Crrraaaazy Wally -Street, That Is- (Denninger)
Ports Clogged With Containers As World Trade Stumbles (ZH)
Developing Nations Demand Rich Countries Pay For Climate Change (RT)
US Intel Report Vilifies Key Ally UAE – WaPo (RT)
La Scala Replies To Call To ‘Cancel’ Russian Composers (RT)
Elon Musk In Court Over $56 Billion Tesla Bonus (Telegraaf)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who will be isolated? The collective west.

UK and EU To Try To Isolate Russia At G20 Summit (RT)

The UK and the EU intend to coordinate their efforts and do “everything possible” to make the Russian delegation feel unwelcome at the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia’s Bali, a British media outlet has claimed. The Telegraph pointed out, however, that China, and possibly several other key players, is highly unlikely to follow suit. “We try to work with partners in order to show very, very, very firmly what the international community thinks about all these crimes, atrocities, and illegal actions by Russia,” a spokesperson for the EU’s foreign affairs service told the paper. The spokesperson explained that the bloc, together with the UK, will not only shun Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and stage walkouts during addresses by Moscow’s delegation, but also try to convince other nations to do the same.

According to the anonymous official, while the “UK is not keen on coordinating with the EU on foreign policy in general,” the concerted efforts to isolate Russia have proven to be an exception, as London and Brussels “have the same objective.” The report also quoted a French government source as saying that the meeting in Bali will not be “business as usual” and will center on the Ukraine conflict. “There will be a coalition and Russia is isolated,” the official concluded. The article noted, however, that the total isolation of Russia at the event is unlikely, as the country enjoys close relations with China. One unnamed EU official told the paper that Moscow and Beijing are expected to water down any joint statement calling for de-escalation in Ukraine.

The report also suggested that the likes of India, Saudi Arabia and Türkiye, which have not joined Western sanctions against Moscow, could break ranks with the EU and UK this time as well. Relations between Moscow and the West have hit an all-time low in the wake of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. However, Moscow has insisted that any attempts to isolate the country will fail. The key organizations that Russia is part of, such as BRICS, are also expanding. In fact, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed following a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month that Riyadh would like to join BRICS, which currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. On top of that, media reports claimed back in July that Türkiye and Egypt might also be interested. Since the start of the year three countries – Iran, Argentina, and Algeria – have officially applied to join BRICS.

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I’d say the list is pretty much endless. Once you have South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal, all African countries will want to join. Same in South America, Asia.

The New Candidate Countries For BRICS Expansion (SRB)

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov has stated that ‘over a dozen’ countries have formally applied to join the BRICS grouping following the groups decision to allow new members earlier this year. The BRICS currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It is not a free trade bloc, but members do coordinate on trade matters and have established a policy bank, the New Development Bank, (NDB) to coordinate infrastructure loans. That was set up in 2014 in order to provide alternative loan mechanisms from the IMF and World Bank structures, which the members had felt had become too US-centric.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was set up by China at about the same time for largely the same reasons and to offer alternative financing than that provided by the IMF and World Banks, which were felt to impose political reform policies designed to assist the United States in return for providing loans. Both the NDB and AIIB banks are Triple A rated and capitalised at US$100 billion. The NDB bank shares are held equally by each of the five members. In total, the BRICS grouping as it currently stands accounts for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP. The GDP figure is expected to double to 50% of global GDP by 2030. Expanding BRICS will immediately accelerate that process.

Concerning a BRICS expansion, Lavrov stated that Algeria, Argentina, and Iran had all applied, while it is already known that Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt and Afghanistan are interested, along with Indonesia, which is expected to make a formal application to join at the upcoming G20 summit in Bali. Other likely contenders for membership include Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Senegal, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. All had their Finance Ministers present at the BRICS Expansion dialogue meeting held in May. We can examine the basic economic data of the proposed new BRICS members as follows. GDP figures given are nominal, 2022 growth rates are based on the first 9 months of the year from data issued by the respective Central Banks.

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Not fully convinced.

Surovikin’s Difficult Choice (Big Serge)

Here is what I think Surovikin decided about Kherson. Kherson was becoming an inefficient front for Russia because of the logistical strain of supplying forces across the river with limited bridge and road capacity. Russia demonstrated that it was capable of shouldering this sustainment burden (keeping troops supplied all through Ukraine’s summer offensives), but the question becomes 1) to what purpose, and 2) for how long. Ideally, the bridgehead becomes the launching point for offensive action against Nikolayev, but launching an offensive would require strengthening the force grouping in Kherson, which correspondingly raises the logistical burden of projecting force across the river. With a very long front to play with, Kherson is clearly one of the most logistically intensive axes.

My guess is that Surovikin took charge and almost immediately decided he did not want to increase the sustainment burden by trying to push on Nikolayev. Therefore, if an offensive is not going to be launched from the Kherson position, the question becomes – why hold the position at all? Politically, it is important to defend a regional capital, but militarily the position becomes meaningless if one is not going to go on the offensive in the south. Let’s be even more explicit: unless an offensive towards Nikolayev is planned, the Kherson bridgehead is militarily counterproductive. While holding the bridgehead in Kherson, the Dnieper River becomes a negative force multiplier – increasing the sustainment and logistics burden and ever threatening to leave forces cut off if Ukraine succeeds in destroying the bridges or bursting the dam.

Projecting force across the river becomes a heavy burden with no obvious benefit. But by withdrawing to the east bank, the river becomes a positive force multiplier by serving as a defensive barrier. In the broader operational sense, Surovikin seems to be declining battle in the south while preparing in the north and in the Donbas. It is clear that he made this decision shortly after taking command of the operation – he has been hinting at it for weeks, and the speed and cleanliness of the withdrawal suggests that it was well planned , long in advance. Withdrawing across the river increases the combat effectiveness of the army significantly and decreases the logistical burden, freeing resources for other sectors. This fits the overall Russian pattern of making harsh choices about resource allocation, fighting this war under the simple framework of optimizing the loss ratios and building the perfect meatgrinder.

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Money Laundering 101.
1. Foreign aid goes to Ukraine.
2. Ukraine invests in $FTX
3. $FTX donates back to the Democratic Party.

Tens of Billions Transferred to Ukraine and Laundered Through FTX (GP)

We have information that the tens of billions of dollars going to Ukraine were actually laundered back to the US to corrupt Democrats and elites using FTX cryptocurrency. Now the money is gone and FTX is bankrupt. Earlier today we reported that the FTX cryptocurrency appeared to be used in a ponzi scheme involving the Democrats and Ukraine. As reported earlier, the FTX crypto company gave at least $40 million to Democrat candidates and causes in the midterms. Sam Bankman-Fried is Biden’s second biggest donor. In addition to this, Daily Caller lists many of the lawmakers who Sam Bankman Fried was bankrolling who oversaw the institution that was supposed to keep on eye on companies like FTX:

“Sam Bankman-Fried, prolific Democratic donor and ex-CEO of now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, funded the campaigns of members of Congress overseeing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), one of the key bodies tasked with regulating the crypto industry and the subject of Bankman-Fried’s aggressive lobbying. Bankman-Fried’s FTX is currently under investigation by the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after Bankman-Fried allegedly moved $10 billion in client assets from his crypto exchange to his trading firm Alameda Research, and a liquidity crisis at his exchange which prompted the company to file for bankruptcy. However, prior to the agency’s probe, Bankman-Fried aggressively courted the CFTC – and funded several key lawmakers charged with overseeing the agency, pouring cash into their campaign coffers.”

FTX also happens to be related to Ukraine. The far-left Washington Post reported on March 3 that Ukraine was dealing in crypto. “The Ukrainian government has gathered more than $42 million in cryptocurrency donations since Saturday, plus digital artwork including a limited edition worth roughly $200,000, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The challenge is how the country cashes in on these assets to fund its war needs.” Then less than a week later FTX made the news for involving itself in Ukraine: “Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman Fried has come forward to help a crypto donation project. He humbly announced that FTX will be supporting the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance and other communities in collecting crypto donations for the country. The Ukrainian government has received over $60 million in crypto donations from all over the world.”

“FTX’s CEO, Sam Bankman Fried highlighted that the war in Ukraine has been dragging on. The country is in full need of humanitarian help and access to global financial infrastructure. He also called attention to sanctions and crypto during this kind of situation. He indicated that crypto exchanges should enforce sanctions announced by the government seriously. FTX has stressed across all of its regulatory and policy efforts, active coordination and communication with regulators and policymakers is crucial to ensuring that laws and rules achieve their intended outcome, reads a letter by FTXPointing out the urgency to help the nation Sam Bankman announced that the FTX team is honored to support the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance in simplifying the donation process.”

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Create you own token… “Customer assets deposited on the exchange are routinely lent to the hedge fund against collateral consisting of the exchange’s tokens.”

The FTX-Alameda Nexus (Coppola)

The young, dynamic, ambitious owner of a crypto hedge fund – let’s call him “Joe” – sets up a crypto exchange. To start with, this just enables his hedge fund can trade without having to pay margin or exchange fees. But Joe has larger ambitions. He wants to run the biggest and best exchange in the world. And he wants to make money from it. Lots and lots of money. Trillions of dollars, in fact. Now, his hedge fund can make money by taking risky leveraged positions, but it has to raise funds, and that’s not cheap. And his exchange can make money by charging fees on transactions, but although that can be a nice slow steady income, it’s not going to make him the trillions of dollars he wants.

But Joe’s spotted an opportunity. The exchange has lots of customer assets that aren’t earning anything. If he puts those customer assets to work, he can earn far more from his exchange customers. And he’s got an obvious vehicle through which to put them to work. The hedge fund. If he transfers customer assets on the exchange to the hedge fund, it can lend or pledge them at risk to earn megabucks. Of course, there’s a risk that the hedge fund could lose some or all of the customers’ funds. And the exchange promises that customers can have their assets back on demand, which could be a trifle problematic if they are locked up in leveraged positions held by the hedge fund. But this is crypto. There’s an easy solution. The exchange can issue its own token to replace the customer assets transferred to the hedge fund.

The exchange will report customer balances in terms of the assets they have deposited, but what it will actually hold will be its own token. If customers request to withdraw their balances, the exchange will sell its own tokens to obtain the necessary assets – after all, crypto assets, like dollars, are fungible. For this to work, however, the token must reliably hold its value. So the exchange creates more of the tokens than are needed to replace customer balances, and the hedge fund actively buys and sells them on the exchange, thus creating a market in the things and pumping the price. The price rockets, inflating the balance sheets of both the hedge fund and the exchange, and making $billions in unrealised profits for Joe and his investors – of whom there are suddenly a whole lot more, including some exceedingly respectable institutional investors.

It works brilliantly. So, this becomes Joe’s business model. Customer assets deposited on the exchange are routinely lent to the hedge fund against collateral consisting of the exchange’s tokens. There’s a massive and growing mismatch between the asset balances reported to customers on the exchange and the assets the exchange actually holds. But it doesn’t matter, because the token is highly liquid and the value of the tokens pledged as collateral comfortably exceeds the value of the missing customer assets. And the exchange can easily honour all withdrawal requests by trading out its own tokens. Indeed, the tokens are doing so well that even when the hedge fund suffers serious losses in a crypto crash, the exchange is able to bail it out. It’s completely self-sustaining. That is, until the token’s value crashes.

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“SBF and two FTX associates are currently being detained by authorities in the Bahamas, a source tells Cointelegraph..”

Up To $2 Billion In Client Money Missing In Crypto Giant FTX Collapse (NYP)

At least $1 billion of customer funds — and possibly as much as $2 billion — have gone missing in the implosion of the crypto currency exchange FTX, according to reports. FTX’s flamboyant founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, known in the industry as “SBF,” secretly funneled $10 billion of customer funds into his trading company, Alameda Research, sources told two media outlets. Alameda Research is run by Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, Caroline Ellison. Two senior FTX officials claimed they saw the evidence that the money was missing in copies of financial records Bankman-Fried shared with company executives last week, according to Reuters.


On Friday, Bankman-Fried stepped down from his CEO position as the Bahamas-based FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after scrambling to shore up an $8 billion liquidity crisis that has left investors unable to claim their funds. A bid to save FTX via a rescue deal with rival exchange Binance didn’t work out, leading to crypto’s highest-profile collapse in recent years. In text messages to Reuters, Bankman-Fried, one of the largest donors to the Democratic Party, said he “disagreed with the characterization” of the $10 billion transfer. “We didn’t secretly transfer,” he said. “We had confusing internal labeling and misread it,” he added, without elaborating. “???” was Bankman-Fried’s response, when asked about the missing cash.

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“In September, he said that Russia was prepared to give these fertilizers to developing nations free of charge.”

So yeah, let’s block it for months…

First Batch Of Blocked Russian Fertilizers Allowed To Leave EU Port (RT)

The first batch of Russian fertilizers, which have been blocked at EU ports amid Ukraine-related sanctions, has been given permission to leave next week, the UN announced on Friday. The cargo amounts to 20,000 tons and is currently stationed in the Dutch port of Rotterdam. It is destined for the African nation of Malawi under the UN World Food Program. “The UN also briefed on recently issued General Licenses and shipments of fertilizer to developing countries’ destinations and its ongoing engagement with private sector and member states. It is anticipated that the first shipment of donated fertilizers will depart for Malawi in the coming week,” the UN said in a statement released after a meeting between senior UN officials and a Russian delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin on Friday.

The meeting centered on Russia’s continued dissatisfaction with UN efforts to lift Western sanctions that pose problems for Russia’s agricultural exports. The organization pledged to assist Russia in the matter back in July as part of a UN-brokered Ukrainian grain deal, which unblocked the export of food and fertilizers from several Black Sea ports. Russia said it may choose not to extend its participation in the deal, which is set to expire on November 19, if the UN does not follow through on its promises regarding Russian exports. On Friday, the Dutch government confirmed that the Russian fertilizer cargo has been given permission to leave the port on the UN’s request. “The decision to release the fertilizer was made on the understanding that the UN would ensure that it is delivered to the agreed location, Malawi, and that the Russian company and sanctioned individual will earn nothing from the transaction,” the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

It did not disclose the name of the Russian company that owns the shipment. Earlier this month, however, TASS news agency reported that Russian fertilizer producer Uralchem-Uralkali was ready to donate 240,000 tons of its fertilizers stuck in EU warehouses for humanitarian purposes, with the first shipment destined for Malawi. Prior to this, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that a total of 300,000 tons of Russian fertilizers were stuck at EU ports due to Western sanctions. In September, he said that Russia was prepared to give these fertilizers to developing nations free of charge.

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“The opponents of Progressive-Woke-Jacobinism don’t need a circus ringmaster. They need a credible leader, especially one that can manage his or her emotions at least as well as Vladimir Putin does.”

Showdown Slow Down (Jim Kunstler)

The basic Democratic Party election strategy in recent decades has been to turn the voting public into so many millions of proverbial froggies in the pot of water set to slowly rise to boiling so that the froggies don’t notice they’re getting cooked until it’s too late to jump out of the pot. The Democrat’s Lawfare soldiers have slowly and systematically changed the methods of voting and counting the votes, especially to eliminate accountability for the massive scams and screw-ups that have occurred recently. The changes have been accepted as normal. One insidious change was shutting down the small local precinct polling places in churches and schools, where it was easy to get in, get your signature checked, and vote on-site, and where the precinct captains and workers were known and accountable to voters in the neighborhood.

Instead, Lawfare got states to consolidate all the action in huge impersonal voting centers — often sports arenas — where hundreds of election workers churned, and all sorts of frauds went unnoticed in the enormous shuffle of activity. It was also harder to get in and vote at such a giant venue on game day when thousands showed up and long lines formed — which made it easier for interested parties to justify the expansion of mail-in balloting. It’s just possible that Covid-19 was introduced in 2020 to make sure that Election Day in-person voting would look hazardous, with mail-ins becoming the dominant method. It sure helped get rid of Donald Trump.Among the conclusions of the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by (Democratic) former president Carter and (Republican) former Secretary of State James Baker, was that mail-in voting is the easiest way to invite cheating and fraud.

Apparently, no one listened except Lawfare’s Marc Elias, who saw that as a good thing. What we got starting in 2020 and continuing today are the creative refinements of that, as fraudsters apply their zillions of dollars to new ways of stealing elections — as Mark Zuckerberg did in Wisconsin, literally switching out local election officials with Democratic Party activists. Then there are the as-yet-unresolved issues with the Dominion voting machines and their software. Are the machines enabled to hook into the internet? It seems to me that this has been proven. Why is it so hard to admit that these machines are janky and unnecessary? A thousand voices have pointed out that many other nations, France, for instance, use only paper ballots and manage to report the election results the night of.

Arizona is a whole helluva lot smaller than France, and even Florida, which thoroughly reformed its election laws under Governor DeSantis and published the midterm results the same night. Speaking of Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Trump, the ex-President has been verbally laying into the Florida governor so viciously lately that he might have made a fatal error in his quest for electoral redemption. The opponents of Progressive-Woke-Jacobinism don’t need a circus ringmaster. They need a credible leader, especially one that can manage his or her emotions at least as well as Vladimir Putin does.

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“Anyone who thinks The Fed can ignore 32.6% of spending in the economy has rocks in their head..”

Crrraaaazy Wally -Street, That Is- (Denninger)

We call it…. “crazy Ivan” – Hunt for Red October. Except this is November, and the crazy came out of the CPI report. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same increase as in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.7 percent before seasonal adjustment. The index for shelter contributed over half of the monthly all items increase, with the indexes for gasoline and food also increasing. If you were short into this there was no getting away from what went up your backside; a literal 100 handles went into the Spoos within seconds and I’m quite sure if you’d been short you would have been gapped over, so a stop would have gotten you exactly no protection.

The problem in the “better than expected” report is in that bolded line and in fact that’s a high going back all the way through April on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Food away from home also was up at the seasonally-adjusted high, where it has been for the last three months sequentially, so there’s no love there either. Note that the latter is often subject to fairly long supply lines and contracts which delay the impact of movement both ways, and thus that it is lagging is no big shock. Food at bars and restaurants has been up less than food at home over the last 12 months and thus you can expect it to continue hitting the index for quite some time yet. The 900lb Gorilla in the room this month is fuel oil, which is, as many people do not know, #2 diesel.

It was up a stunning 19.8% on the month and stands at 68.5% up from last year this time. Anyone expecting the consumer experience to improve with that record has rocks in their head, never mind those who use it for heating that are about to get a visit from the proctologist this winter. Incidentally if you are one of them and your supplier is screwing you on price go to a truck stop (or any rural fuel place that sells to farmers for off-road use) and bring jerry cans. They sell dyed fuel for use in the refer units. Its the same thing and if its cheaper to buy it there than pay whatever the guy with the truck wants to bring it to the house your decision should be obvious. Piped gas relaxed some, which is good news if you use it, but its still up 20% on the year.

A huge percentage of people use that for heat, so there you go. Oh, and guess what is used to generate electrical power? Uh huh, which is why electricity is up 14.1% on the year. If you remember me talking about “Owner’s Equivalent Rent” and how it falsely stated that there was no inflation while home prices shot the moon you can see the inverse of that right now in the OER number which is up 6.9% on the year. That which held down inflation figures for years is now going to prop them up for years, like it or not. There is no evidence that rents, on the other hand, is relaxing at all. Anyone who thinks The Fed can ignore 32.6% of spending in the economy has rocks in their head; they most-certainly will not, and that’s what shelter comprises. Annualized its up 6.9% so no, we’re not “winning” on inflation.

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“Global trade is moving backwards this year..”

Ports Clogged With Containers As World Trade Stumbles (ZH)

The latest Bloomberg Trade Tracker reveals an ominous outlook for world trade due to soaring interest rates, the war in Ukraine, a slowdown in the US economy, and zero Covid in China. A shortage of containers has entirely reversed into a glut as crashing shipping rates and canceled sails gain momentum during what is supposed to be the busiest shipping period of the year. “The world’s two biggest economies are feeling glum about the export outlook, with both the US and China gauges in contraction in October and the American one in “below-normal” range on the Tracker,” according to Bloomberg. Earlier this week, we explained that economic storm clouds are gathering worldwide as some of the largest shipping companies warn about decelerating global trade.


US shipper FedEx and Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S have been vocal about emerging signs of a global slowdown. “Global trade is moving backwards this year,” Maersk’s chief executive officer Soren Skou told Bloomberg Television at the start of November. FedEx CFO Michael Lenz told an audience Tuesday at the Robert W Baird Global Industrial Conference earlier this week that his company parked planes cut costs in response to weak demand for package delivery. The Covid boom for goods has evaporated. Consumers have switched from buying computers and television to spending whatever money they have left on experiences. We predict in May that an inventory glut, i.e., the reverse bullwhip effect, would cool the booming freight market. It’s now peak shipping season — retailers have already canceled overseas orders as freight companies reduce shipping capacity ahead of Black Friday and Christmas.

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Yeah, but we’re broke…

Developing Nations Demand Rich Countries Pay For Climate Change (RT)

Leaders from developing countries have accused wealthy nations and the energy industry of triggering climate change and demanded compensation for the damage it has inflicted on their economies. While oil and gas companies are reaping the benefits, small island states are being devastated by ocean storms caused by rising sea levels, they say. Speaking at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt on Tuesday, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne noted that “oil and gas industry continues to earn almost $3 billion daily in profits,” while “the planet is burning.” “It is about time that these companies are made to pay a global carbon tax on their profits as a source of funding for loss and damage,” Browne added.

Poor nations point at the hypocrisy of their wealthier counterparts, which are the most vocal advocates of slashing emissions while themselves being the biggest polluters following a century of fossil fuel-driven industrialization. Developing countries are now asking how they will be compensated for the floods and droughts attributed to climate change. “I’m not here to ask any of you to love the people of my country with the same passion as I do,” said the prime minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis. “I’m asking what is it worth to you to have millions of climate refugees to turn into tens of millions, putting pressure on political and economic systems around the world.”

Meanwhile, Senegalese President Macky Sall admitted that his country’s economy is unable to shift away from fossil fuels immediately but said that poorer developing countries in Africa needed increased funding from wealthy nations in order to adapt to the worsening climate. “Let’s be clear, we are in favor of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. But we Africans cannot accept that our vital interests be ignored,” he said.

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Saudi, Iran, now UAE. No many US friends left.

US Intel Report Vilifies Key Ally UAE – WaPo (RT)

The United Arab Emirates, arguably one of Washington’s most trusted Arab allies, has gamed US foreign policy by meddling in the American political system using both legal and illegal tactics, intelligence officials have reportedly claimed in a classified report. The activities in question spanned multiple US administrations and exploited “vulnerabilities” in the American system, including reliance on political contributions and lax enforcement of laws designed to protect against foreign interference, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. Some of the tactics “resemble espionage,” the newspaper added, citing three unidentified sources who have seen the classified report.

The report illustrates how the US political system is being distorted by foreign money, one Washington lawmaker told the Post, arguing that a “very clear red line needs to be established against the UAE playing in American politics. I’m not convinced we’ve ever raised this with the Emiratis at a high level.” Top US policymakers allegedly received briefings on the classified intelligence report in recent weeks. It’s an unusual advisory for US intelligence agencies to issue because it pertains to a close ally – rather than an adversary, such as Russia, China or Iran – and could be interpreted as delving into domestic politics, said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to Washington, defended the oil-rich nation’s outsized influence in the US. “It has been hard-earned and well-deserved,” he told the Post.

“It is the product of decades of close UAE-US cooperation and effective diplomacy. It reflects common interests and shared values.” The UAE has spent more than $154 million on lobbyists since 2016, according to US government records, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars that were donated to American colleges and think tanks. Many of those institutions have produced policy papers with recommendations that are favorable to UAE interests. Those investments have apparently been fruitful, as Washington has approved sales of some of the most advanced US-made weaponry, including MQ-9 Predator drones and F-35 fighter jets, to the UAE. No other Arab nation has been afforded such privileges because US leaders have sought to avoid “diminishing Israel’s qualitative military edge” in the Middle East, the Post said.

Bordering Saudi Arabia to the southwest and Oman to the east, oil-rich UAE is a member of OPEC. Around 2,000 US soldiers and airmen are stationed at Abu Dhabi’s al-Dhafra airbase, and both countries supported Saudi Arabia’s war against the Houthis in Yemen, though the Pentagon ceased supporting “offensive” operations there in 2021, and the UAE withdrew its ground troops in early 2020. In early August, Washington authorized a $2.2 billion sale of 96 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system missiles, to help Abu Dhabi repel possible ballistic missile threats in the region. However, after OPEC+ members announced their decision to cut oil production last month, multiple US lawmakers accused Washington’s allies of “siding with Russia” and proposed withdrawing troops and missile defense systems from both UAE and Saudi Arabia as a punishment.

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“..discarding the works of Mussorgsky or poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin would be like discarding the works of Shakespeare or Dante..”

La Scala Replies To Call To ‘Cancel’ Russian Composers (RT)

Italy’s famed La Scala theater in Milan has insisted that Russian culture should not be “penalized” because of the military operation against Kiev. It defended its decision to include the works of Russian composers in its newest program after a Ukrainian consul called them instruments of Moscow’s propaganda campaign. According to Italian news agency ANSA, Andrey Kartysh, Ukraine’s consul general in Milan, sent a letter to La Scala CEO Dominique Meyer, as well as Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala and the head of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, asking to “review” its program for the 2022-2023 season in order to avoid “potential elements of propaganda.” The diplomat cited the “great disappointment and regret” of the Ukrainian community in Italy.

“Culture is being used by the Russian Federation to lend weight to its assertions of greatness and power,” he wrote, arguing that “the pandering to its propaganda can only fuel the image of the regime [in Moscow] and, by extension, its evil ambitions and countless crimes.” La Scala plans to kick off its newest season on December 7 with the opera ‘Boris Godunov’ by 19th-century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. The opera is about a Russian tsar who ruled during the Time of Trouble, a period of political upheaval and turbulence in early 17th century Russia. The program also includes ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet, whose score was written by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and a recital by Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. La Scala Music Director Riccardo Chailly defended the decision to show ‘Boris Godunov’ on stage.

“To remove a masterpiece… is to penalize the culture,” he argued, as quoted by the newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday. “Art should not pay for the havoc of what has been happening after February 24,” Chailly said, referring to the date that Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state. He added that discarding the works of Mussorgsky or poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin would be like discarding the works of Shakespeare or Dante. Chailly noted that the opera house expressed support for Ukraine early on in the conflict and raised €380,000 for Ukrainian refugees in April. Stage director Francesco Micheli, who sits on La Scala’s governing board, called the Ukrainian consul general’s request “reckless,” saying that he “ignores that the opera has no connection with the situation” in his home country. “I think La Scala sees the program as a way to show the unifying value of culture. That is why La Scala should be praised,” Italian Under Secretary of State for Culture Vittorio Sgarbi said.

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Google translation.

Looks like the “thrash metal drummer” is being used by much bigger parties. But Musk made a lot of people a lot of money, and “the proposal has been passed by a large majority by Tesla shareholders.”

Still, lawyers are looking at large fees, so they continue.

@JordanSchachtel:”Elon is blowing things up at Twitter because it is necessary to save the company. The old Twitter was a state-sponsored propaganda operation. Twitter as a private company will not have the privilege of unlimited resources.”

Elon Musk In Court Over $56 Billion Tesla Bonus (Telegraaf)

Elon Musk has to defend a billion-dollar bonus in a US court on Monday that was promised to him a few years ago at Tesla. That bonus could be so high that the Tesla CEO could recoup the entire $44 billion he recently invested in the Twitter acquisition. Musk was promised a package of stock options in 2018 if he could achieve certain goals with Tesla. Since then, Tesla’s stock price has increased more than tenfold and the company was briefly worth more than 1000 billion dollars. According to calculations, Musk could make up to $56 billion. The controversial package allows him to buy 1 percent of Tesla’s shares at a big discount every time certain targets are reached. Richard Tornetta, a small Tesla investor, thought the bonus was excessive and filed a lawsuit as early as 2018. At the time, there was immediately a lot of speculation that the Tesla stock price could rise to great heights.


Tornetta, who is also a thrash metal drummer and runs an audio equipment company, also finds it unfair that Musk was awarded the remuneration of a board that would actually be completely under his control. One of the directors involved was Kimbal Musk, the brother of the richest man in the world. Yet the matter is not so simple. Musk’s lawyers have pointed out that the proposal has been passed by a large majority by Tesla shareholders. Because of the bonus, Musk would have been focused on making Tesla better. And this is said to be the reason why the share price has soared, which is in the interest of all shareholders. The case is being heard in the state of Delaware by the same judge who recently dealt with the case between Twitter and Musk to force the latter to go through with its takeover plan.

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Cobalt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landing
https://twitter.com/i/status/1591166676904865793

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 162022
 
 October 16, 2022  Posted by at 8:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Self-portrait 1629

 

Germany’s Failing ‘Stored’ Nat-gas & LNG Experiment (Vilches)
Nord Stream Saboteurs Plunged EU Into ‘Energy Poverty’ – Moscow (RT)
White House Comments On Paying For Starlink Service For Ukraine (RT)
Musk Makes U-turn On Starlink Service For Ukraine (RT)
Elon Musk Discovers Ukrainian ‘Kill List’ (RT)
The Ideological Tyranny of Liberal Interventionism (Ghorayeb)
European Auto Industry In Trouble – S&P (RT)
How 4,000 People From Groningen Managed To Turn Off The Gas Tap (NOS)
Strong US Dollar Is A Headache – IMF (RT)
Central Bank of G20 Host Indonesia Rails Against US Dollar (RT)
Will Beijing Join With Russia vs The West Or Keep Its Powder Dry? (Hvatkov)
Orban Warns Of ‘Protracted War’ (RT)
Hiding Hunter’s Laptop (Hanson)
Yes, They Claimed The Vaccines Would Prevent Transmission (Chung)
Twitter is a Weapon, not a Business (Robert Malone)

 

 

What an odd list.

 

 

John Maersheimer 2014

 

 

Walker

 

 

“Leave the climate activists glued to the wall. Make it an interactive exhibit by allowing patrons to throw tomato sauce at them and donate the proceeds to planting trees.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jinglemerkel Santakaputt.

“.. at the very best only 25% to 30% of the “supposed” 90% reserves could possibly ever be timely recovered and only very slowly through a period of time stretched out in months. ”

Germany’s Failing ‘Stored’ Nat-gas & LNG Experiment (Vilches)

Be that as it may, and as per the US State Dept. the NS1 and NS2 pipeline sabotage would supposedly have “no impact on European energy resilience”… then we should guess that Germans should just enjoy their Oktoberfest and — why not ? — also prepare to celebrate Christmas 2022 as if nothing negative had happened. On the contrary, if technical brain-power (currently AWOL) prevailed, then career strategists both sides of the Atlantic would now be spending all day and night trying to brush up hard on nat-gas management 101, better yet with a touch of sophomoric physics if all possible. And thus no-nonsense contingency plans would already be prepared and under deployment.

The reason is, as explained below, by EU and German design and commitment this is a failing EXPERIMENT. The planned ´stored´ nat-gas & LNG supply strategies have never ever been applied in equivalent circumstances with this strange methodology and humongous scale. Thusly, the 2022 German Oktoberfest will probably turn into a very acid sauerkraut with solid-beer icicles bizarrely hanging from the spouts. The Main Event would still be the December 2022 ´Jinglemerkel Santakaputt´ with nowhere to hide as all of Europe would be undergoing a thorough DE-industrialization process with sharp lowering of standards of living, and in many areas most probably with food issues, darkness & cold, deep frustration and un-heard-of unemployment with massive migrants wishing they had stayed back home (yes).

Be it from Qatar, Norway, or the US… or Russia…Liquefied Natural Gas cannot and will not save the day for Europe. First of all, LNG is and will be for a huge long time to come very scarce worldwide. Furthermore, there are very few loading and unloading terminals available at either end. For example, Germany has 0 (zero) LNG terminals. None. And even some loading terminals at source docks that are already built have serious operational problems or simply do not meet EU standards. Besides, there are not anywhere near enough LNG tankers available and very few are under construction. Who needed ugly dirty fracked LNG only 6 months ago ? And these infrastructure beasts take very long time to be conceived, approved, designed, funded, built, commissioned, certified, and offered to the market.

But it gets worse because many wrongly imagine that fracked sea-borne Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is a substitute of nat-gas (not). First, it´s terribly more expensive, most explosive & dangerous to handle, and definetly way too scarce to meet European needs. Environmentally, LNG is “fracking” dirty and very cumbersome to liquefy, load and re-gassify with yet non-existant infrastructure at both ends… and is far more difficult to store and many times more costly to freight (Suez could be a limitation) from ackward overseas sources yet unknown (in tankers that do not yet exist) and only in risky seaborne batches onto many dozens of delivery terminals not yet built nor adequately planned for…

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“Stockholm has rejected a plan to set up an official joint investigation team together with Germany and Denmark to look into the explosions [..] All three nations also refused to grant Russia access to the probe. ”

Nord Stream Saboteurs Plunged EU Into ‘Energy Poverty’ – Moscow (RT)

The perpetrators behind the attacks on Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines have destroyed the European Union’s hope of secure and sustainable energy supply, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Novak has said on the sidelines of the Russian Energy Week forum. “Those who had plotted and perpetrated this terrorist act have basically plunged Europe into an energy poverty, so to speak,” Novak said on Friday, adding that the sabotage of the pipelines has all but “nullified the energy security” the EU has long sought to achieve. The former energy minister previously said that Russia is still able to supply natural gas to the European Union through a string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that remains intact. According to President Vladimir Putin the ball was now in the EU’s court on whether it wanted this to happen.

Putin also suggested establishing a new “gas hub” in Türkiye to move the transit volumes to the Black Sea region. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed the idea during the leaders’ meeting earlier this week. The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, designed to carry Russian natural gas directly to Germany, bypassing transit states, including Ukraine and Poland, abruptly lost pressure last month, following a series of powerful underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm. Moscow has called the incident a terrorist attack and said the US, a long-time critic of Germany’s reliance on Russian energy, stood to benefit most from the disabling of the routes, both politically and economically. Washington has denied any involvement. However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken hailed the incident as a “tremendous opportunity” for Europe “to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy.”

In the meantime, Stockholm has rejected a plan to set up an official joint investigation team together with Germany and Denmark to look into the explosions, Reuters reported, citing a Swedish investigator. Sweden allegedly argued that its own findings are too sensitive to share even with other EU nations. All three nations also refused to grant Russia access to the probe. Russia used to cover over 40% of the EU’s gas needs prior to the start of the military operation in Ukraine and ensuing sanctions. Supplies dropped dramatically this year, exacerbating the energy crisis, as the bloc is seeking to cut itself off from Russian energy to reduce its dependence and punish Moscow. The US, meanwhile, ramped up its supply of LNG to Europe over the past months, up to a point where it now accounts for nearly half of the bloc’s LNG imports, nearly twice the share recorded in 2021.

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..“burning” around $20 million per month on safeguarding the services from cyberattacks and jamming..”

White House Comments On Paying For Starlink Service For Ukraine (RT)

The Pentagon and US allies are exploring all options to maintain Starlink satellite services for Ukraine after tycoon Elon Musk said he’s no longer willing to provide the communications for free, the White House press secretary has said. During a briefing on Friday, Karine Jean-Pierre was asked if the Biden administration had considered Musk’s request for the Pentagon to foot the bill for satellite internet communications in Ukraine. “Look, we understand the importance of these capabilities to ensure stable communications for Ukraine’s forces in particular,” Jean-Pierre responded. Starlink, operated by Musk’s SpaceX company, has become the main communication tool for Ukraine’s forces since the start of the conflict with Russia.

According to the spokeswoman, the Pentagon is “working with allies and partners to look at all options on how best to support those needs identified by Ukraine specifically.” Further questions on the matter should be referred to the Department of Defense, she added. Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh confirmed on Friday that “the department has been in communication with SpaceX regarding Starlink,” but declined to expand on the nature of those contacts. The DoD understands the “fragility” of satellite communications and their importance for Ukraine “not just on the battlefield, but within the country itself,” Singh said. On Thursday CNN published a letter, which it said SpaceX had sent to the Pentagon in September, demanding that it cover the cost of operating the system in Ukraine. The company is no longer “in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time,” the document read.

Musk reacted to the report by pointing out that his “competitors in space launch and communications,” Lockheed Martin and Boeing, had jointly received over $60 billion in defense contracts in 2021 alone. The entrepreneur explained in a series of tweets how keeping up “warfront” communications was much more difficult and expensive. He said his aerospace company was allegedly forced to divert “massive resources” and was “burning” around $20 million per month on safeguarding the services from cyberattacks and jamming. “Russia is actively trying to kill Starlink,” Musk claimed, warning that it could well succeed in its efforts. “Starlink is the primary communications system of the Ukrainian army on the war front. If anyone else wants this job, please be my guest,” he wrote.

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“..the cost of the internet service in Ukraine, which could amount up to $ 400 million over the next year..”

Musk Makes U-turn On Starlink Service For Ukraine (RT)

The SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made an abrupt U-turn on his decision to stop funding the operation of the Starlink satellite communication service in Ukraine, where it has been actively used by the Ukrainian troops. Earlier, SpaceX reportedly asked the Pentagon to cover the cost of the internet service in Ukraine, which could amount up to $ 400 million over the next year. “We’ll just keep funding Ukraine government for free,” Musk wrote in a tweet on Saturday, adding that SpaceX would do it “even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of taxpayer dollars.” Earlier, the SpaceX CEO pointed to the fact that his “competitors in space launch and communications,” Lockheed Martin and Boeing, had jointly received over $60 billion in defense contracts in 2021 alone.

The entrepreneur also complained in a series of tweets that keeping up “warfront” communications was difficult and expensive. He also stated that Russia was “actively trying to kill Starlink,” forcing the US company to spend some $20 million per month on safeguarding the services from cyberattacks and jamming. On Thursday, CNN obtained a letter, where Musk supposedly informed the Pentagon his company was “not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.” SpaceX has donated around 20,000 Starlink satellite units to Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict in late February, providing internet connection and military coordination in chaotic battlegrounds that would otherwise be cut off from the web.

Kiev then praised the terminals as an “essential part of critical infrastructure” but continued to urge SpaceX to send thousands of additional terminals. Musk previously stated that SpaceX would have spent more than $100 million providing Starlink services to Ukraine by the end of the year. At the same time, the company reportedly admitted that most units it had sent to Ukraine were partially or fully funded by the American, British and Polish governments. SpaceX also recently came under fire over alleged Starlink outages across some regions of Ukraine, which some Ukrainian soldiers described as “catastrophic” loss of communications, according to Financial Times.

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“The website has published personal details – names, addresses, photos, social media pages – of children, the youngest of whom is not even 10 years old..”

Elon Musk Discovers Ukrainian ‘Kill List’ (RT)

Elon Musk has expressed concerns over a controversial website that lists supposed enemies of Kiev, amid claims that his own name briefly appeared on Mirotvorets following his threats to cut funding for Starlink satellite internet services actively used by the Ukrainian troops. “Is this list real? What’s the URL?” the SpaceX CEO tweeted in response to independent journalist Eva Karene Bartlett, who on Friday shared a viral screenshot that claims to show his persona added to the notorious database. “I’ve been speaking and writing about this list for years, after being placed on it in 2019, but now that Musk is on it, after Roger Waters and others, perhaps the ‘peacemaker’ list might itself be killed…,” Bartlett wrote.

Elon Musk’s name was not on the list as of Saturday, and it remains unclear whether it indeed briefly appeared on Mirotvorets. Some reports alleged his profile was swiftly scrubbed from the database, while Ukrainian activists claimed the picture was fake and called it a Russian provocation. Many of Musk’s followers were surprised to find out that he’d never heard of Mirotvorets before, and bombarded him with examples of prominent public figures on the database, some already marked “liquidated.” Musk admitted it was “concerning,” after checking with Wikipedia that such a list does indeed exist, and was allowed to stay online since 2014. Mirotvorets, or “Peacemaker,” is a supposedly independent database of individuals whom anonymous moderators consider to be threats to Ukrainian national security.

The site denies being a kill list; rather, it claims to be a source of information for law-enforcement agencies and “special services” about pro-Russian terrorists, separatists and war criminals, among others. It allegedly has links to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry. The Mirotvorets project gained some notoriety in 2015, when writer and historian Oles Buzina and politician Oleg Kalashnikov were assassinated in Ukraine after their profiles appeared on the website. In 2016, EU officials and journalist groups condemned Mirotvorets for leaking data on more than 4,000 members of the media. Human rights activists have discovered that the website features the personal details of 327 children, prompting the Russian authorities to share their concerns over this “huge injustice” with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The website has published personal details – names, addresses, photos, social media pages – of children, the youngest of whom is not even 10 years old yet, according to the head of the Foundation for the Fight against Repressions.

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“..American and Ukrainian politicians—along with their loyal supporters—are not actually interested in real support for the Ukrainian people. What they want is compliance and consensus for their foreign policy endeavors.”

The Ideological Tyranny of Liberal Interventionism (Ghorayeb)

Since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War this year, celebrities and public figures have been unanimous in their moral support for Ukraine. Some, like Telsa CEO Elon Musk, have gone further than words, lending significant material support to the cause. His spacecraft company, SpaceX, paid $80 million to provide Ukraine with the services of Starlink, which, among other things, enables Ukrainian troops to operate drones and communicate with each other. Musk has explicitly declared himself “pro-Ukraine.” A normal person would therefore view Musk, a self-professed centrist, as supporting an ally of the American government against the ravages of war.

However, Musk’s material and moral contributions mattered little when he proposed a peace plan outside the bounds of the liberal internationalist consensus. Russia, Musk tweeted, should be allowed to keep Crimea, and Ukraine should end its bit to join NATO and adopt a neutral status. Musk’s diplomatic musings swiftly drew the ire of the Ukrainian government and its supporters. It also attracted resentful remarks from his own government. Senator Lindsey Graham went on an angry rant against Musk that culminated in a call to cut electric vehicle tax credits, which he mistakenly thought benefitted Tesla. Elon’s car buyers haven’t qualified for a tax credit since 2018.

One may wonder why there is such intense outrage against Musk or why expressing an anti-war opinion is akin to providing support for Putin. Why is it that one tweet with a peace proposal has become a more powerful expression of Musk’s position than $80 million worth of material aid to Ukraine and numerous declarations of support? The reason is that American and Ukrainian politicians—along with their loyal supporters—are not actually interested in real support for the Ukrainian people. What they want is compliance and consensus for their foreign policy endeavors. Media outlets have noticeably censored and attempted to silence opinions that deviate from a consensus that stops short of extravagant government spending on weapons for Ukraine and unwavering admiration for Zelensky.

[..] Ideally, there would be a moral consensus against killing innocent people with room for civil political debate about the root causes of these wars, how we can de-escalate or end ongoing violence, and how to prevent them in the future. One could have contested Musk’s proposal with a counterargument about whether it is the optimal way of reaching what most people agree is wrong: killing innocent people. But this would only be possible if everyone involved in the discourse was concerned with achieving the end of the war and pursuing truth. However, the U.S. foreign policy elite—who have nakedly pursued their interests through intervention in the region before—and Ukraine’s corrupt president do not show an interest in either.

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No, electric cars won’t solve the problem..

European Auto Industry In Trouble – S&P (RT)

With energy prices in EU skyrocketing, a harsh winter could shut down production in parts of the automotive sector, S&P Global Mobility reported this week. According to a report titled “Winter is Coming,” the “combined black swan events” of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have stretched automotive supply lines, especially with regard to semiconductors. As a result, the industry “may face extensive pressure” from energy costs in the coming months. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2022 through 2023, quarterly production from Europe-based auto manufacturing plants is forecast to be between 4 and 4.5-million-units. However, “with potential utility restrictions,” that output could fall to as low as 2.75 million units per quarter, the report says.

The researcher projected significant supply chain disruptions from November through spring, citing mandatory energy rationing for the region’s auto producers and suppliers. “For an industry already struggling with low inventories of vehicles in dealer showrooms, an additional crisis could be incapacitating on a global scale,” it said. Edwin Pope, S&P Global Mobility principal analyst for materials and lightweighting, pointed out that “If you look through the supply chain – particularly where there’s any metallic structure forming through pressing, welding or extrusion – there’s a tremendous amount of energy involved.

“Total energy usage in these companies could be up to one-and-a-half times what we’re seeing in vehicle assembly today. Anecdotally, we’re hearing that some of this manufacturing capacity is becoming so uneconomic that companies are simply shutting up shop.” He also told Reuters that S&P Global Mobility’s analysis was conducted before the sabotage on the Russian Nord Stream gas pipelines late last month. “Events like that will inevitably shift the scales towards the lower end of what we have predicted, especially in terms of how long it takes to repair things of this nature,” Pope warned.

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Google translate.

“They only wanted to continue if the State imposed a production obligation on them, took over the liability and thus also the risk of prosecution.”

How 4,000 People From Groningen Managed To Turn Off The Gas Tap (NOS)

Only the threat of a criminal case would force oil companies Shell and Exxon to extract less gas in Groningen after the severe earthquake in 2012. A retired criminal court advised action group Groninger Soil Movement (GBB) to use heavy artillery. Public hearings by the Groningen parliamentary committee of inquiry for natural gas extraction have shown in recent weeks how great the impact of that advice has been. The committee closed those hearings yesterday. The GBB first filed a report on behalf of 4000 members in vain: the Public Prosecution Service saw no reason to prosecute NAM. The people of Groningen then asked the court in Arnhem to force the Public Prosecution Service to conduct such a criminal investigation.

In April 2017, the court ruled in their favor. The Public Prosecution Service should investigate whether gas extraction company NAM, a subsidiary of Shell and Exxon, has endangered Groningers. The case is still pending and has cost the GBB two tons in lawyers’ fees, but the effect was maximum. Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Shell, calls that criminal case a “game changer”. His company was suddenly accused of endangering people’s lives by extracting gas. His employees could be personally prosecuted for this. Shell and Exxon informed the Ministry of Economic Affairs that they wanted to stop gas production in Groningen. They only wanted to continue if the State imposed a production obligation on them, took over the liability and thus also the risk of prosecution.

Every other gas field in the world would be closed if it turns out that winning is not safe, both Rolf de Jong of Exxon and Van Beurden of Shell said. But they also realized that it was impossible to stop because Dutch households, hospitals and much industry depend on Groningen gas. It was one of the most startling issues to surface in the public hearings. Until then, the image was that former Minister Wiebes of Economic Affairs had single-handedly decided in 2018 to end gas extraction in Groningen in 2030. That was inescapable, he said, because the State Supervision of Mines then found that gas extraction might have to stop altogether to limit the risk of even more earthquakes. Moreover, the reinforcement operation, the reinforcement of unsafe houses, was completely out of control.

Many more houses had to be reinforced than the ministry wanted and, according to gas extraction company NAM, was necessary. Furthermore, it appeared from the interrogations that the cabinet was not in a hurry with the request of the oil companies. They feared that Shell and Exxon wanted to take the opportunity to also change the historic agreements on profit sharing. The two multinationals and the State divide the gas revenues, with the largest part of the profit (90 percent) going to the State. These are agreements that were made when gas extraction started in the early 1960s.

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“..appreciated 22% against the Japanese yen, 13% against the euro and 6% against emerging market currencies since the start of this year..”

Strong US Dollar Is A Headache – IMF (RT)

As countries around the world struggle to bring down soaring inflation, the weakening of their currencies relative to the US dollar has made that fight even harder, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. In a report published on Friday, the IMF elaborated how countries should respond to a strong dollar. It highlighted that the greenback is at its highest level since 2000, having appreciated 22% against the Japanese yen, 13% against the euro and 6% against emerging market currencies since the start of this year. “Such a sharp strengthening of the dollar in a matter of months has sizable macroeconomic implications for almost all countries, given the dominance of the dollar in international trade and finance,” the lender wrote.

It further indicated that while the US share in world merchandise exports has declined from 12% to 8% since 2000, the dollar’s share in world exports has held at around 40%. “On average, the estimated pass-through of a 10 percent dollar appreciation into inflation is 1 percent. Such pressures are especially acute in emerging markets, reflecting their higher import dependency and greater share of dollar-invoiced imports compared with advanced economies.” According to the report, approximately half of all cross-border loans and international debt securities are denominated in US dollars. While emerging market governments have made progress in issuing debt in their own currency, their private corporate sectors have high levels of dollar-denominated debt.

“As world interest rates rise, financial conditions have tightened considerably for many countries. A stronger dollar only compounds these pressures, especially for some emerging market and many low-income countries that are already at a high risk of debt distress,” the IMF said. The report suggested that the appropriate policy response is to allow the exchange rate to adjust, while using monetary policy to keep inflation close to its target. “The higher price of imported goods will help bring about the necessary adjustment to the fundamental shocks as it reduces imports, which in turn helps with reducing the buildup of external debt. Fiscal policy should be used to support the most vulnerable without jeopardizing inflation goals,” it said.

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“.. transactions in foreign currencies incur conversion costs, and when they are in US dollars, “the conversion fee is doubled..”

Central Bank of G20 Host Indonesia Rails Against US Dollar (RT)

Indonesia’s central bank has spoken out against the use of the US dollar in export-import transactions, and called for a switch to local currencies in international payments to reduce dependence on the greenback, news portal Tempo.co reported on Friday. Most of Indonesia’s international trade transactions are conducted in foreign currencies, predominantly the dollar, according to Nugroho Joko Prastowo, head of Bank Indonesia’s Solo Representative Office, as cited by local media. “90% of export-import settlements are in US dollars, when in fact the value of Indonesia’s direct exports to the US is only 10%, and the value of US imports is only 5%,” the official told journalists after opening a session on ‘Utilizing Local Currency Settlement (LCS) to Increase Export-Import Efficiency of the Greater Solo Region’.


He said transactions in foreign currencies incur conversion costs, and when they are in US dollars, “the conversion fee is doubled,” suggesting that a system of bilateral payments in local currency could solve the problem. The official said four countries have agreed to utilize LCS with Indonesia so far, namely China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. “Singapore has been plotted, although it has not been fully implemented, and soon the Philippines. Currently, the implementation of LCS with Saudi Arabia is also being explored,” he said. Indonesia will be hosting the G20 international forum, bringing together 19 countries and the European Union, on November 15-16 on the island of Bali. Indonesia currently holds the presidency of the group of leading economies.

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‘small fortresses with high walls’

Will Beijing Join With Russia vs The West Or Keep Its Powder Dry? (Hvatkov)

The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the pinnacle event in the country’s political life and held only every five years, kicks off in Beijing on October 16. Experts will be tuning in to pick up any signals related not only to the political standing and prospects of China’s leader Xi Jinping, who is likely to run for a third term, but also to the way the country is planning to build its relations with the US and Russia in the future. A new Mao – a new revolution? Western speculation believes that the event could signify a triumph for Xi as he will most likely remain at the helm of the party for a third term. Should that happen, it would go against the tradition which has formed in Chinese politics over the last 30 years. Up to now, the reins of power in the country were handed over to a new generation of leaders at the end of the second term. Thus, such a move would herald a new era in the history of modern China. Starting from 2018, it has become increasingly clear that Xi is going to defy this tradition. That year, amendments were made to the Chinese Constitution lifting the two-term limit on the presidency.

[..] Experts doubt that Beijing will abandon its policy of prudence and caution, and there are a number of reasons for that. “Much of what Vladimir Putin said in his speech at the accession ceremony is in line with China’s own attitudes. But when China talks about similar matters, the wording is often much broader and generally ambiguous. Naturally, Beijing is aware that its confrontation with the West is getting more intense. However, at the level of rhetoric, China tries to avoid being as explicit when expressing its position. Moscow and Beijing have similar viewpoints in that both believe the policies of the West are flawed, as they create artificial barriers to global trade, financial and economic ties and investment opportunities,” Lomanov said.

“China also criticizes the West for building ‘small fortresses with high walls’, referring to blocs like NATO and AUKUS, exclusive alliances designed to unite Western countries and those loyal to them, effectively cutting off everyone else. “China has always stressed the need to reform the existing system of global governance, as it is deeply unfair to developing countries. Despite all its leaps in economic development, China considers itself both a socialist country and the world’s leading developing nation. Therefore, at a practical level, the positions of Russia and China are indeed very close,” the expert from IMEMO RAS believes.

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“anyone who thinks NATO will protect us is wrong.”

Orban Warns Of ‘Protracted War’ (RT)

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Hungary needs an army “capable of striking and ensuring peace” in case the continent plunges into chaos over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the European Union’s failed policies towards Russia.“We cannot, like ostriches, bury our heads in the sand. We must accept the reality: if this continues, the economy of the continent will collapse, people will be in danger, and it seems that we must prepare for a protracted war,” Orban said on Saturday in Budapest, at a swearing-in ceremony of military volunteers. The Hungarian leader noted that “there are nations that have already begun making preparations and we can’t fall behind in this either,” as cited by the Budapest Times. “In times of war, we need an army capable of striking and capable of ensuring peace!” he told a group of some 250 young recruits, praising them as the “excellence of our nation.”


He added that Hungary needs “a few more” such battalions and announced new recruitment campaigns to be launched from December. Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy, has maintained a relatively neutral stance during the conflict in Ukraine, condemning the use of force by Moscow, but refusing to supply weapons to Kiev. Orban has frequently criticized the EU’s sanctions on Russia, calling them counterproductive. Over the past months, he has repeatedly called for “the failed policy of Brussels” to be changed, noting that the sanctions “didn’t fulfill the hopes that were pinned on them,” while Europe is “slowly bleeding.” Back in March, Orban said that he felt he couldn’t count on the US-led military bloc when it comes to real action concerning the country’s security, saying “anyone who thinks NATO will protect us is wrong.”

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Long overview.

Hiding Hunter’s Laptop (Hanson)

The definitive book on Cold War era information warfare from our Communist foes is Dezinformatsia: Active Measures in Soviet Strategy. In that book, disinformation is defined as “false, incomplete, or misleading information that is passed, fed, or confirmed to a targeted individual, group, or country.” The American public was subjected to a campaign right out of the Soviet playbook designed to obfuscate the Biden family corruption. It was concocted and deployed by a loosely connected conspiracy of the media, current and former government officials, the Biden campaign, and the social media tech companies. As soon as the story broke October 19, 2020 virtually every major and subsidiary media outlet reported on it with negative sentiment using one of two major themes:

First they argued that it was stolen. The immediate response was to deny the provenance of the laptop which was that Hunter Biden had abandoned it at a repair shop. They began questioning that story and throwing out the completely unfounded speculation that it may be stolen. This smear hit directly at John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the repair shop. He provided the contents of the laptop first to law enforcement and when they took no action, to Rudy Giuliani who eventually gave it to the New York Post. The bulk of the media accounts discussing the story in the next 24 hours included a reference to the “stolen” theme.

The second argument offered was that the laptop was not verified. This was the most defensible part of the smoke screen. Most of the media outlets did not have the hard drive so they could say they had not verified it themselves. However, the New York Post showed numerous items in their reporting that would lead any reasonable person to understand the laptop most likely belonged to Hunter Biden. During the taping of an interview with President Trump soon after the story broke, Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” ran with this narrative. Stahl denied that the Delaware computer suspected of belonging to Hunter Biden’s was even a story at all after claiming it has been “investigated and discredited.”

“It can’t be verified,” Stahl said of the laptop. “It can’t be verified.” “What can’t be verified?” Trump said. “The laptop!” It had been investigated, but unlike Stahl’s false claim to the contrary the laptop was not discredited. All of the investigations and verification measures showed the same thing: This was Hunter’s laptop, the information was his and it was devastating. One of the truly amazing things is the longevity of the media’s willingness to continue to ignore and suppress this story. It was not until March of 2022 that the New York Times and Washington Post both admitted the long-known fact that Hunter’s laptop was Hunter’s laptop.

Their admissions were not because of some ethical epiphany. They were merely part of a new aspect of the disinformation campaign about the likely charges coming from the ongoing investigation into Biden family corruption. They are based on the disinformation tactic popularized by John Ehrlichman, an aide to President Richard Nixon during Watergate. It’s called the modified limited hangout. In other words, mixing partial admissions with additional misinformation in order to confuse people.

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1000 times. The fact checks look like pretzels.

Yes, They Claimed The Vaccines Would Prevent Transmission (Chung)

No, you’re not crazy. Yes, they claimed the vaccines would prevent transmission. One of the most bizarre lies being told this week in response to Pfizer executive Janine Small’s testimony to EU Parliament is that, actually, the Covid vaccines were never supposed to stop the spread of the virus. Asked by Dutch MEP Rob Roos whether the company had tested its vaccine on “stopping the transmission of the virus” before it rolled out globally, Ms Small said “no” because “we had to really move at the speed of science to really understand what is taking place in the market”. “And from that point of view we had to do everything at risk,” she said. In a viral Twitter video which has now been viewed more than 12 million times, Mr Roos described the response as “scandalous”, arguing “millions of people worldwide felt compelled to get vaccinated because of the myth that ‘you do it for others’”.

Mr Roos said the admission removed the entire basis for vaccine mandates and passports which “led to massive institutional discrimination as people lost access to essential parts of society”. “I find this to be shocking, even criminal,” he said. Of course, fact checkers were not happy. This is not the bombshell it is being presented as, they argue, because it was public knowledge that the primary outcome measured in Pfizer’s clinical trials was reducing risk of disease, but not transmission. Moreover, as the Therapeutic Goods Administration stressed, “transmission effects” are “not an approved indication of any Covid-19 vaccine” currently available in Australia. In Australia, politicians and health officials held millions of people hostage for months, lecturing and threatening them to get vaccinated to regain their “freedoms”.


The vaccines were the “way out” of the pandemic, they were not to just to protect ourselves but to “protect others”, they would “stop the spread”, and not getting vaccinated was “selfish”. Vaccine passports, the “vaccinated economy”, were necessary so people who “did the right thing” would feel “safe” knowing they weren’t “mixing” with the unvaccinated, who were a “risk to the community”. By late 2021 and early 2022, as Omicron became dominant and it was clear vaccinated people were still catching and spreading the virus, the messaging changed. “Stopping the spread? What are you talking about? It’s about reducing hospitalisation and death. We have always been at war with hospitalisation and death.”

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Malone takes a turn away from vaccines.

Twitter is a Weapon, not a Business (Robert Malone)

The research and consulting firm “Edify” has recently disclosed results from a client-driven research project designed to analyze the relationships between the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR), Twitter, Biden White House, Obama White House, James Baker, Alexander Macgillivray, Vijaya Gadde, and Anthony Fauci’s daughter, Alison Fauci, who is an engineer at Twitter. The first two of these analyses have been published here and here, and at least one more is anticipated in the near future. The findings clearly document the deep web of relationships tying together WSGR, Twitter, the censorship of President Trump, President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden and the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Google. All of these run through Alexander Macgillivray. Macgillivray currently serves the Biden White House OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy) as the Principal Deputy U.S. CTO (Chief Technology Officer).

What Edify documents is the web of relationships which have guided the censorship practices of the US Government-Technology/Social media alliance. As I read through the first of the two analyses, titled “EDIFY: CRITICAL NEXUS: TWITTER, WSGR, MACGILLIVRAY & WHITE HOUSE” (September 15, 2022), my interest was piqued by the documentation of the deep connections between Twitter, Biden, Obama, and the central role of Twitter as a tool for information and psychological warfare. Precisely the hot button issue that I discussed on the Joe Rogan Experience when I used those three words “Mass Formation Psychosis,” which triggered such a visceral reaction from the Silicon Valley technology giants, the Trusted News Initiative, and Peter Breggin.

Based on relationship mapping, Edify draws the following conclusions: “Twitter is the central node and the keystone to understanding. Twitter’s inherent value to the elites, political class and federal apparatus writ large is found in its ability to engage in perception management, which is a technical term more commonly referred to as “psyops” or “psychological warfare”. Twitter engages in perception management in its capacity to establish and manipulate reality by means of actively determining and shaping the content on its platform. Twitter consumers can receive filtered content or are prevented from receiving, seeing or having the ability to publish content altogether.

The de facto censorship occurs primarily along the lines of determining and enforcing community standards, guidelines and rules for user engagement. The evidence is clear that the decisions here appear to fall along clearly identifiable political lines resembling two-tier justice. Content determination, algorithmic manipulation and politically motivated censorship of off-reservation messaging and political opposition are all evidenced examples of how Twitter engages in perception management or appears to do so. Two evidenced domains of Twitter’s engagement in perception management include censoring content relative to COVID-19 and the Hunter Biden Laptop story.” [..] The quote above is just the beginning of the analytical conclusions, which include this gem:

“Alison Fauci is a Twitter software engineer who by title, would possess the technical capabilities and access to function as outlined in the testimony. Beyond Alison Fauci’s functionality as a conduit or intermediary for Dr. Anthony Fauci and his principals at the NIH/NIAID and up, Alison Fauci is by title technically positioned to potentially extract private Twitter user data on designated people including political opposition. Any such extracted data could be fed back upstream to the Obama, Biden cartel et al. It’s also further evidence of a distinct pattern of nepotism threading through all of these matters where spouses and children play critical roles determined by their placement into the broader construct. Alison Fauci was positioned to be a possible conduit of information in an intermediary fashion relative to the Anthony Fauci cohort and its preferences for Twitter’s censorship policies for reliable COVID content damaging to the COVID construct of enterprise fraud and that official narrative.”

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HEART

 

 

Cater snake

 

 


The Alpine Ibex’s preferred habitat is the rocky region along the snow line above alpine forests, where it occupies steep, rough terrain at elevations of 1,800 to 3,300 metres

 

 

Magician
https://twitter.com/i/status/1581272429527179265

 

 


A tiger’s tongue is so coarse, it can lick flesh to the bone. Photo: Tony Zerna

 

 

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