Nov 222022
 
 November 22, 2022  Posted by at 9:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Salvador Dali Nymphs in a romantic garden 1921

 

Zelenskyy Urges West To Support Ukraine’s Accession To NATO, EU (Az.)
NATO Assembly Calls On Members To Declare Russia ‘Terrorist Regime’ (RT)
Peace Talks Would Require More Weapons For Ukraine – NATO chief (RT)
Ukraine Quietly Abolished Corruption Rule (RT)
Duma Speaker Calls for ‘Nazi’ Zelensky to Face War Crime Charges (Celente)
Associated Press Fires Journalist Who Claimed Russian Missiles Hit Poland (CTH)
EU Hoarding Russian Diesel Before Ban – Reuters (RT)
UK Bypassing Its Own Sanctions On Russian Oil – Sunday Times (RT)
EU Struggles To Seize Russian Assets – Politico (RT)
Ukrainian Attacks Risk ‘Nuclear Disaster’ – Rosatom (RT)
UN Responds To Russian Nuclear Request (RT)
The Solemn Stillness Before Winter (Jim Kunstler)
The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in DC Legal Arms Race (Turley)
New Trump Special Prosecutor Overturned By Supreme Court (JTN)
The Non-Existent European Identity (Remix)

 

 


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Why doesn’t someone shut him down when he utters such nonsense? Vladimir Zel simply declared there’s no corruption, but the EU can’t afford to accept that kind of BS. Bringing in the most corrupt country in -at least- the western hemisphere would end the EU. And they all know Russia will never accept NATO on its doorstep. We’re just wasting time -and lives.

Zelenskyy Urges West To Support Ukraine’s Accession To NATO, EU (Az.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the Western countries in a plenary meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to support Ukraine’s applications for membership in the European Union and NATO, Report informs, citing Ukrinform. “All of you can see Ukraine’s significant contribution to the protection of our community. Everyone sees how important it is that we really united in defense after February 24. So, due to this, you also see that Ukraine should become a full member of the European Union and NATO. And I urge you to support our applications for membership in the EU and the Alliance,” Zelenskyy said in his speech at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly via video link.

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Why does NATO have a Parliamentary Assembly?

NATO Assembly Calls On Members To Declare Russia ‘Terrorist Regime’ (RT)

NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly has adopted a largely symbolic resolution calling on member nations to label Russia a “terrorist” state, claiming Moscow represents a “direct threat” to “Euro-Atlantic security” while demanding more military support to Kiev and an end to restrictions on the “forward deployment of NATO forces.” The non-binding declaration was passed by the NATO PA on Monday, with the body warning that “the Euro-Atlantic area is no longer at peace and that the global security environment has deteriorated rapidly” amid continued fighting in Eastern Europe, going on to denounce Russia’s military operation “in the strongest terms.”

The resolution made a series of requests to NATO members, asking them to “state clearly that the Russian state under the current regime is a terrorist one,” and to “increase military, intelligence, financial, training and humanitarian support to Ukraine,” including by “accelerating” arms shipments. The NATO bloc must “sustain this support for as long as it takes for Ukraine to prevail,” the resolution added, also asking that any existing restrictions on the “forward deployment” of Western forces along Russian borders be declared “null and void.” Washington alone has authorized nearly $20 billion in ‘lethal aid’ to Kiev since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, with much of that approved after Russia’s military operation kicked off in February.

NATO allies have acknowledged concerns that the arms flooding Ukraine’s chaotic battlefield have not been properly tracked, with the new resolution stressing the need to ensure the “traceability of the weapons delivered.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky addressed lawmakers from NATO states in a video message before the latest resolution was passed, praising the alliance for its military aid and for helping his country to “defend [itself] in this war.” In addition to declaring Moscow a “terrorist” state and other symbolic measures, the Parliamentary Assembly said NATO countries should work to create an “international tribunal” to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes and compel “full reparation of damage loss or injury” linked to the conflict.

The Parliamentary Assembly’s resolutions are not enforceable among NATO members and are intended to merely advise the alliance on pressing issues. The body has taken an increasingly harsh stance toward Moscow in recent months, with its newly elected president, French Senator Joelle Garriaud-Maylam, insisting on Monday that Russian leaders “must be judged as terrorists in front of international tribunals.” While Monday’s resolution was largely focused on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine, it took more than one detour to single out Beijing, urging the alliance to develop a “common allied response to the increasing assertiveness of China.” The document called for “constructive dialogue,” yet also went on to denounce Beijing’s alleged “systemic challenge to Euro-Atlantic security” and “attempts to subvert the rules-based international order.”

The NATO PA declaration came after a similar resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) last month. Russia left the European NGO in March, calling it a “convenient platform for NATO’s information and political campaigns.” While Kiev has repeatedly urged the collective West to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terror,” only a handful of countries – including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic – have heeded the call, and their actions have been limited to symbolic gestures. Those with the power to enforce anti-terror sanctions against other states, namely the US, have so far refused to take that step.

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“We need to realize that this war most likely will end at some stage at the negotiating table…” But that’s not what NATO wants. Or Raytheon.

Peace Talks Would Require More Weapons For Ukraine – NATO chief (RT)

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia will likely end in negotiations, which is why Kiev needs to be supplied with more weapons, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has claimed. “We all want this war to end,”Stoltenberg said in his speech at the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid on Monday, adding that it matters to the US-led military bloc how exactly the conflict concludes. “We need to realize that this war most likely will end at some stage at the negotiating table. But we must also know that the outcome of those negotiations totally depends on strength on the battlefield,” the NATO chief argued. “So, if we want an outcome, which is acceptable for Ukraine… the best way of achieving that is to provide military support for Ukraine,” he said.

NATO members “must be prepared to support Ukraine for the long haul,”Stoltenberg said, urging lawmakers to keep advocating for more aid for Kiev in their own countries. Stoltenberg acknowledged that this assistance “comes at a price” for NATO members. “In our countries, many face cost of living crisis. Energy and food bills are rising. These are tough times for many,” he pointed out. However, the NATO chief argued that Western countries will have to pay “a much harsher price” if Russia is allowed to achieve victory in Ukraine, as it would signal to other “authoritarian regimes” that they can achieve their goals by force, which would “make the world more dangerous.”

Stoltenberg also warned that “it would be a great mistake to underestimate Russia” because Moscow “retains significant military capabilities and a high number of troops.” High-ranking Russian officials have repeatedly said that Moscow is ready to negotiate a settlement with Ukraine, while accusing Kiev of being unwilling to talk, and deliberately putting forward unrealistic conditions for dialogue. Russia has described the conflict in Ukraine as a “proxy war” being waged against it by the US and NATO. Moscow has consistently criticized weapons deliveries to Ukraine by Western countries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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“Ukraine had previously mandated lifetime financial monitoring of “politically exposed persons,” including government officials and lawmakers – until Zelensky signed an amendment last week limiting it to just three years.”

Ukraine Quietly Abolished Corruption Rule (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky harmed Ukraine’s hopes of joining the EU by signing an amendment that reduced financial oversight of politicians, anti-corruption activists in Kiev said on Monday. The measure “practically kills” efforts to combat money-laundering, claimed the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC). Ukraine had previously mandated lifetime financial monitoring of “politically exposed persons,” including government officials and lawmakers – until Zelensky signed an amendment last week limiting it to just three years. Officially, the law is supposed to “protect Ukraine’s financial system from Russia and Belarus,” but the AntAC says it will harm the country’s interests instead.

“With this law, politicians destroyed the system of financial monitoring of their loved ones, which means they actually blocked negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU,” AntAC head Vitaly Shabunin said on social media. The amended law “practically kills the system of preventing money-laundering by Ukrainian politicians,” he added. AntAC’s executive director Daria Kaleniuk pointed out that the law also breaks Kiev’s promise to the European Union, one of the seven commitments made by Zelensky to Brussels in June. “In order for us to be able to convince our European partners that we are serious about joining the EU and are implementing all the necessary reforms for this, we need to correct this,” she told Hromadske.

After signing the law on Thursday, Zelensky told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum – via video link – that he’d basically ended corruption in Ukraine. “No one will be able to forgive corruption in the future Ukraine,” he said, adding that all the corrupt officials had fled the country while those that remain will not be tempted to “interfere in business operations” because all government services had gone electronic. The old law provided for lifelong financial monitoring of the president, prime minister, ministers and their deputies, members of parliament, management of the national bank, senior security officials, key judges and prosecutors, as well as military commanders.

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The video is very clear, but of course they deny it. The claim is that the unarmed Russians fired first, and only then were executed. But executing unarmed soldiers is still as illegal as it comes.

Duma Speaker Calls for ‘Nazi’ Zelensky to Face War Crime Charges (Celente)

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house, called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to face war crime charges over a video that claimed to show Ukrainian forces opening fire and killing a dozen Russian POWs. “Everyone has seen evidence of Ukrainian Nazis shooting our soldiers lying down, without weapons. This is how the Nazis behave,” Volodin said in a statement posted to Telegram, The Jerusalem Post reported. “The Kyiv regime deserves the most severe punishment for its atrocities.” Video purportedly shows Ukrainian troops executing a dozen captured Russian troops has faced some media scrutiny in the U.S., which would have been unheard of at the start of the war.


The New York Times reported that the video was first circulated by news outlets in Ukriane in an effort to “laud the military prowess” of the country’s military. The paper said the videos sparked a “fierce response” in Russia and Moscow has called for an investigation. The paper said the killings occurred in Makiivka, in the Luhansk region. “Countries cooperating with the Kyiv regime must understand that they support the Nazi state, sadists whose hands are up to the elbows in blood,” Volodin said. Russian President Putin’s critics say the Kremlin is loose with the Nazi designation and uses it to win support from the public against adversaries. In fact, in his 9 May Victory Day speech, Putin said that the purpose of the military action was to purge Ukraine of its “Nazi” nationalist leadership.

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Official retraction? Apologies?

Associated Press Fires Journalist Who Claimed Russian Missiles Hit Poland (CTH)

The Associated Press received a lot of international scorn for reporting incorrectly that Russia fired missiles into Poland. As soon as the AP attributed the missile attack to Russia almost immediately other media outlets began promoting calls for a NATO led war against Russia. Additionally, the G20 summit was taking place and various international leaders began discussing an article-5 convention against Russia. However, the single source of the AP report was wrong, a senior U.S. intelligence official, if there actually was a source. It was the Ukraine military who fired the missile into Poland, not Russia. The Daily Beast notes today that the Associated Press has fired James LaPorta, the journalist who made the claim of Russian origin.


(Via Daily Beast) – The Associated Press scared much of the world last Tuesday when it alerted readers that “a senior U.S. intelligence official” said “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.” That report, which was widely cited across the internet and on cable news, was taken offline the following day and replaced with an editor’s note admitting the single source was wrong and that “subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.” On Monday, the AP fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for that story, Confider has learned. The piece, which was originally co-bylined with John Leicester (who is still working at the AP), attributed the information to a single “senior U.S. intelligence official,” despite the AP’s rule that it “routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous.”

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“The EU will have to secure around 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of diesel to replace the Russian volumes..”

EU Hoarding Russian Diesel Before Ban – Reuters (RT)

European traders are boosting purchases of Russian diesel ahead of the EU embargo on the country’s oil products, which comes into force in February, Reuters reported on Monday, citing cargo tracker Vortexa. According to the report, Russian diesel shipments headed to the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage region surged to 215,000 barrels per day from November 1 to November 12. It is a 126% increase from October, according to Pamela Munger, Vortexa senior market analyst. Moreover, according to Refinitiv data, so far in November Russian diesel made up 44% of the bloc’s imports of the fuel, against 39% last month. This means that Russia remains the region’s largest diesel supplier, despite the fact that overall imports of Russian fuels to the EU dropped significantly over the past months due to Ukraine-related sanctions.


The EU embargo on Russian oil comes into force next month, while the ban on petroleum products will take effect on February 5. Analysts warn it will be difficult for the region to find alternative sources for diesel once this happens, as they are scarce and more costly, while Europe’s domestic diesel production falls short of the region’s consumption. “The EU will have to secure around 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day of diesel to replace the Russian volumes; replacements will come from the US as well as east of Suez, primarily the Middle East and India,” Eugene Lindell, market analyst at energy consultancy FGE, told Reuters.

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“The UK has purchased at least 39 shipments of Russian oil since February, although the cargoes were registered as imports from other countries..”

UK Bypassing Its Own Sanctions On Russian Oil – Sunday Times (RT)

The UK has purchased at least 39 shipments of Russian oil since February, although the cargoes were registered as imports from other countries, the Sunday Times has reported, citing tanker traffic data and trade statistics. Russian-origin oil shipments, worth about £200 ($236) million, were reportedly delivered to UK ports after ship-to-ship transfers, a practice widely used when large tankers that are unable to dock due to their size transfer their cargo to smaller vessels. According to the Sunday Times’ findings, this practice gives the shipping companies a way to register their cargo without providing the actual origin of the shipments, stating instead the country of dispatch as the source of the cargo. In this way a shipment of Russian-made goods can be registered as originating in Germany if it is brought to a UK port by a German firm.

The news outlet was able to track dozens of shipments of Russian oil that have arrived at UK ports since March, logged as originating in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, France and other countries. At least 13 of those reportedly arrived in June and July. However, official figures on oil imports from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the country did not receive any oil from Russia in those months. According to maritime experts, ship-to-ship transfers have become more popular since Western nations began targeting Russian oil exports this year, as part of sanctions over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. “Ship-to-ship transfers have become a really useful method to obfuscate the destination and the origin of the cargo.

The Iranians started it, the Venezuelans perfected it, the Russians picked it up and ran with it,” Michelle Wiese Bockmann, energy and shipping analyst at the shipping journal Lloyd’s List, told the news outlet. According to Refinitiv, which monitors ship-to-ship transfers, there have been some 267 such transfers around the world involving Russian oil since March. A UK embargo on maritime Russian oil imports is scheduled to come into force on December 5. However, according to maritime experts, given the registration loophole and ship-to-ship transfer practices, it will be difficult for the UK to actually stop Russian oil from arriving in the country, even after that date.

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“Legal experts have expressed doubt it is possible to unilaterally confiscate another country’s assets under existing international law.”

EU Struggles To Seize Russian Assets – Politico (RT)

The European Commission is investigating how it might go about confiscating hundreds of billions of dollars in Russian state and private assets, according to a document seen by Politico on Monday. The initiative’s goal is reportedly “identifying ways to strengthen the tracing, identification, freezing and management of assets as preliminary steps for potential confiscation.” The bloc has its eyes on almost $300 billion in Russian central bank assets currently frozen, plus the assets of Russians on the sanctions list. The European Council last month reminded the Commission that it had been tasked with presenting “options in line with EU and international law” for using those frozen Russian funds “to support Ukraine’s reconstruction.” Legal experts have expressed doubt it is possible to unilaterally confiscate another country’s assets under existing international law.

With an eye toward changing that law, Brussels has proposed making sanctions evasion a crime in the EU, a decision which would require unanimous assent by member countries. However, even if that agreement was forthcoming, the bloc would have to litigate each individual seizure, proving a clear link between the owner of the assets in question and Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Foreign investments are protected against confiscation without compensation under international law. In the document seen by Politico, the EC acknowledged that central bank assets were “generally considered to be covered by immunity.” While the seizing of the assets of state-owned enterprises would avoid violating such immunity “in principle,” the Commission noted that it would “need to demonstrate a sufficient connection to the Russian state” for every case.

Less invasive would be an “exit tax” targeting the assets of sanctioned individuals attempting to transfer their property out of the EU. However, University of Amsterdam professor Stephan Schill told Politico that those individuals could claim that, as a targeted group, their human right to non-discrimination had been violated, or invoke the human right to property. Under the current rules-based international order, the EC is unable to legally expropriate Russian property, according to Schill: “The EU and member states are trying to introduce new criminal law.” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged as much in May, pointing out that confiscating Russian central bank assets was “not something that is legally permissible in the United States” or many other countries. Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic states have nevertheless continued to push the EC to find a way to seize the frozen funds.

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Nobody’s talking about Russia doing the shelling anymore….

Ukrainian Attacks Risk ‘Nuclear Disaster’ – Rosatom (RT)

Renewed Ukrainian artillery attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) have created a risk of a nuclear disaster, Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachev told reporters on Monday. Moscow has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to name and shame the attacker so Kiev would stop bombing the facility. “We were in talks with the IAEA all night,” Likhachev told reporters during the Atomexpo-2022 in Sochi. After a “relatively calm” period since September, at least 30 projectiles struck the facility over the weekend, damaging the backup generators and the spent fuel storage facility, he added. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been under control of Russian troops since February 28.

While the reactor blocks are strong enough to withstand shelling, damaging the spent fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences. The Ukrainian military has repeatedly targeted the facility with Western-supplied artillery, while claiming Russia was staging “false flag” incidents to make Kiev look bad. The Ukrainian general staff eventually admitted to striking the area around the ZNPP, however. The weekend attacks amounted to the first major incident since the IAEA established a permanent observation mission at the ZNPP in early September. On Sunday, IAEA Director-General Mariano Grossi called for an immediate end to the shelling, saying that the world “got lucky” that a “serious nuclear incident” did not happen this time. However, he once again did not name the culprit.

On Monday, both the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry called on the IAEA to do its duty to the fullest and identify those responsible for the shelling. IAEA specialists completed their inspection of the facility on Monday afternoon and sent their report to headquarters, Likhachev’s top aid Renat Karchaa told Russia’s Channel 1 TV. “They were accompanied by a highly qualified ballistics specialist we provided, and once again it was convincingly shown that the origin of these artillery strikes was Marganets,” a city in the Ukrainian-held Dnepropetrovsk region, Karchaa said. Karchaa also told reporters that Rosatom was “taking steps” to fortify the spent fuel storage facility and other parts of the ZNPP, though he did not offer any details.

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…but the IAEA still claims they can’t figure out who’s doing the shelling, i.e. it could still be the Russians.

UN Responds To Russian Nuclear Request (RT)

The UN doesn’t have the capability to identify those behind the attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), a spokesman for the secretary-general said on Monday. Russia has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency to do its job properly and acknowledge that the shelling came from the Ukrainian side. Around 30 projectiles struck the ZNPP over the weekend, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The nuclear energy corporation Rosatom said the damage caused to the facility’s spent fuel storage came close to triggering a disaster. Moscow said it was clear the fire came from the Ukrainian-held town of Marganets, but the IAEA has avoided naming any names. “We have no way to determine” who carried out the attacks, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters on Monday.

“We would like these attacks to stop,” Haq added, noting that the Secretariat “shares the concerns” of IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and “joins him in calling on all parties to cease fire” around the ZNPP. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been under Russian control since February. Damage to the spent fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences, Rosatom has warned. Both Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday that the IAEA should fully do its duty and name names. “As an authoritative and independent international body, [the IAEA] must finally move away from abstract condemnations and demands to stop the shelling of the ZNPP without addressing the culprit, and clearly and unambiguously point at those carrying out the attacks,” Zakharova said.

“This requires determination and responsibility. We really hope that they will be shown.” Zakharova also accused Western governments of giving a “blank check” to the government in Kiev for “continuing their reckless attempts to cause irreparable damage” to the ZNPP. This weekend’s attacks were the first major incident at the ZNPP since early September, when the IAEA stationed permanent observers at the site. According to Rosatom official Renat Karchaa, the IAEA inspectors surveyed the damage on Monday, accompanied by a Russian ballistics expert, and were able to see that the attack had come from the Ukrainian side. That report was transmitted to the IAEA headquarters.

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“By early 2023 the evidence of excess all-causes deaths and disabilities resulting from Pfizer and Moderna shots will be overwhelming..”

The Solemn Stillness Before Winter (Jim Kunstler)

Now Mr. Garland has activated one particular federal attorney, Jack Smith, with a long record as a partisan attack dog, as special counsel to finally get the job done against Mr. Trump, the proverbial indictment-worthy ham sandwich awaiting a DC District grand jury. Any cockamamie charge will do as long as it’s a felony. Mr. Garland’s strategy is two-fold: 1) to negate Mr. Trump’s remaining political career; and 2) set up a situation that will permit all DOJ attorneys and FBI officers to demur from questioning before Republican majority congressional committees about everything-under-the-sun on the grounds that the questions are germane to “ongoing investigations” that can’t be compromised. That’s the game.

By the time that game kicks-off, early January 2023, the country is liable to be punch-drunk and stumbling from a financial market crash that signals the start of an economic depression more consequential than the calamity of the 1930s. Meanwhile, Russia’s cleanup of the US-instigated mess in Ukraine will be nearly complete, to the ignominy of “Joe Biden,” at the same time that the putative president’s crimes of bribery and treason — should he still be among the living — get aired in Congress without any help required from Mr. Garland’s Justice Department — the evidence from Hunter’s laptop having already been well-perused and catalogued by an army of outside independent investigators. FTX will be in that mix somewhere.

This will all occur against the background of the now-unraveled Covid-19 story. By early 2023 the evidence of excess all-causes deaths and disabilities resulting from Pfizer and Moderna shots will be overwhelming and the nation will know it got played by a scheme between the corrupt public health authorities, the pharma companies, and the corporate medical establishment, including its discredited journals. Nobody in America will ever trust a doctor again. We’ll also probably know a good deal more about the dark and dirty deeds around the 2022 midterm election as the FTX scandal spools out and the probably hundreds of millions of FTX investor’s dollars that were express-delivered into Democratic Party coffers for ballot harvesting operations are revealed, along with the exact methods used to accomplish the mega-fraud.

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“There will be ample support for both sides to fulfill their respective narratives — and no shortage of legal weapons — in this political war of attrition.”

The Perils Facing Trump, Garland, and Smith in DC Legal Arms Race (Turley)

Smith faces the unenviable task of investigating a presidential candidate less than two years before the election. Given the advanced stage of prior investigations, he could bring charges before Sept. 5, 2024 (or roughly 60 days before the election under Justice Department guidelines for election year filings). It is unlikely, however, that a charge against Trump could be tried in that time. However, Smith’s first test will be to avoid the initial mistakes of a predecessor, Mueller. Like Smith, Mueller was considered a natural choice as special counsel, given his extensive experience as a career prosecutor. However, Mueller’s investigation was undermined by his selection of a team — starting with his top aide, Andrew Weissmann, a controversial prosecutor who was accused of political bias.

The investigation was further undermined by FBI personnel, including Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was later removed from the team and fired by the Justice Department; Strzok has since filed a wrongful termination lawsuit. Smith can avoid tripping a similar explosive wire by selecting a team that is defined by its prior professional expertise, not its prior political views or associations. He also needs to be wary of creative avenues to indict Trump. Smith was part of the prosecution team that convicted former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) on federal corruption charges in 2014. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned that conviction as having stretched the law beyond its breaking point. If Smith is going to be the first prosecutor to indict a former president, he needs to do so with unimpeachable evidence of an unchallengeable crime.

Only one thing is certain in any of this: It will not end well. With both sides loading up staff and subpoenas, the start of the 2024 campaign season has all of the makings of an utter bloodletting. There will be ample support for both sides to fulfill their respective narratives — and no shortage of legal weapons — in this political war of attrition.

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Talk about a swamp…

New Trump Special Prosecutor Overturned By Supreme Court (JTN)

The special counsel named by the Biden administration to investigate Donald Trump oversaw a Justice Department unit rebuked by the Supreme Court for its prosecution of a prominent Republican and was linked by Congress to the IRS scandal that targeted conservative groups. Jack Smith, a war crimes prosecutor in The Hague and former chief of the DOJ public integrity section, was named Friday by Attorney General Merrick Garland to take over two investigations of Trump related to Jan. 6 and classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. In 2014, the House Oversight Committee concluded that during Smith’s earlier stint at DOJ he set up a critical meeting between his department and IRS official Lois Lerner that set in motion the targeting of conservative nonprofits that became one of the signature scandals of the Obama administration.

The Oversight Committee obtained testimony from a DOJ official named Richard Pilger in 2014 that showed Smith set up a meeting with Lerner to discuss more aggressive enforcement of regulations prohibiting tax-exempt groups from engaging in politics in the aftermath of the landmark Citizens United free speech Supreme Court case. “According to Mr. Pilger, the Justice Department convened a meeting with former IRS official Lois Lerner in October 2010 to discuss how the IRS could assist in the criminal enforcement of campaign-finance laws against politically active nonprofits,” the committee wrote in a 2014 letter to DOJ. “This meeting was arranged at the direction of Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith.”

The letter concluded: “It is apparent that the Department’s leadership, including Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith, was closely involved in engaging with the IRS in wake of Citizens United and political pressure from prominent Democrats to address perceived problems with the decision.” The letter, which sought a transcribed interview with Smith, was signed by then Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who is now in line to become House Judiciary Committee chairman when the GOP takes over the House in January. The Treasury Department Inspector General ultimately concluded that the ensuing IRS pursuit of conservative nonprofits was inappropriate. “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention,” the report concluded.

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It can only hold in times of plenty and peace.

“What did Ursula von der Leyen say about Italy? If Italy elects the wrong parties during parliamentary elections, the EU “has tools” to coerce them, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.”

The Non-Existent European Identity (Remix)

A top-down approach to forcibly create a common identity has never worked, and it never will. Despite the spasmodic efforts of the leftist media dictatorship, its dominance has up until now failed to force the public opinion of European countries into believing the old continent is united. Few in the West dare to contradict this, while the opinions of the East are ignored. This pretentious outlook — detached from the reality of the world — is presented to Europeans on a daily basis, but it instead serves as clear proof that those who are pushing the cause the most aggessively do not themselves believe in the thesis they claim is their own. What did Ursula von der Leyen say about Italy? If Italy elects the wrong parties during parliamentary elections, the EU “has tools” to coerce them, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.

This is what European unity looks like per the left-liberal authoritarian concept. We have heard many and varied answers to the question of why, but very few have tackled the question regarding the lack of European identity. Brussels, the left-liberal media, and the NGO networks that dictate EU policy are not the only ones who have tried and failed to forge a common European identity. Notably, Tito tried to forge a unified southern Slavic nation-state out of the diverse Yugoslavia, and his one-party dictatorship did its best to stifle dissent. The party leader, born a Croatian-Slovenian, even divorced his Serbian wife when she warned him that greater autonomy for the member republics — which Tito believed would quell the nationalist fervor that was smoldering everywhere — would tear Yugoslavia apart. The Serbian woman was right because Tito’s measures had inflamed rather than quelled nationalist sentiment.

The powerful leader forgot one thing. There was no real substance behind the party and state propaganda, which constantly talked about a united Yugoslavia. Indeed, Yugoslav identity had not emerged in the seven decades of the South Slav state. How did the philosopher John Lukacs put it? The most powerful builder of identity for people is belonging to a nation, and ignoring such basic truths in politics has fatal consequences. At the last census of Yugoslavia, only 20,000 people identified themselves as Yugoslavs. For a country of 23 million people, this is an extremely low number and would have a negligible social impact.

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Arizona voting

 

 

 

 

Peacock

 

 

Family Walk

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 292022
 
 August 29, 2022  Posted by at 8:38 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  72 Responses »


Samuel Peploe Beach scene 1907

 

Wave Of European Ammonia Plant Closures To Exacerbate Food Crisis (ZH)
Russia Can Afford Complete Halt In Gas Supplies To Europe – Bloomberg (RT)
Hungary Says It ‘Won’t Even Negotiate’ Energy Sanctions On Russia (RT)
The Real World Consequences Of Europe’s Coming Energy Crisis (ZH)
You Have No Idea How Bad Europe’s Energy Crisis Is (FP)
Germany Vows To Support Ukraine ‘For Years’ (RT)
Britain’s Financial Support For Ukraine To Run Out By New Year – Times (RT)
50,000 Ukrainian Refugees Face Homelessness In UK (RT)
Putin Is Trapped And Desperate. Will His Friends In The West Rescue Him? (G.)
IAEA Assembles Team For Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)
Ukraine Relying On US-developed Blueprint To Fight Russia – CNN (RT)
EU To Suspend Visa Deal With Russia – FT (RT)
New York Times Calls For Merrick Garland To Indict Donald Trump (PM)
Mar-a-Lago Affidavit Reveals The Government Has No Case Against Trump (Brock)
The Truth About Lockdown (Lord Sumption)
Latest Covid Booster Shots To Be Released Without Human Testing (NYP)

 

 

 

 

Covid theater

 

 

 

 

Dark Brandon

 

 


Situation under control

 

 

Ages of companies:

Twitter: 16 years
Facebook: 18 years
Tesla: 19 years
Google: 24 years
Netflix: 25 years
Amazon: 28 years
Apple: 46 years
Microsoft: 47 years
Sony: 76 years
Samsung: 84 years
Boeing: 106 years
IBM: 111 years
Nintendo: 133 years
Nokia: 157 years

 

 

 

 

If you were doubting they are creating a “you have nothing” society that needs to be built back better, then ask yourself why Europe doesn’t support its fertilizer industry. The consequences are clear enough. And sure, there’s the nitrogen narrative. But closing down both farmers and ammonia plants will lead to a civil war of sorts. Your leaders think they can win that. I’m not so sure.

Wave Of European Ammonia Plant Closures To Exacerbate Food Crisis (ZH)

A wave of European ammonia-plant shutdowns due to soaring natural gas prices has resulted in a devastating fertilizer crunch, worsening by the week, with as much as 70% of production offline. “Ammonia prices, though volatile, rose 15% in 3Q and could climb higher as Europe’s record gas prices curtail output and send ammonia producers to the global market in search of replacement supplies to run upgrade facilities — with winter still around the corner,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s Alexis Maxwell wrote in a note. As of Friday, 70% of capacity is offline across the continent, according to Fertilizers Europe, representing top regional producers.

“The current crisis begs for a swift and decisive action from EU and national policymakers for both energy and fertilizer market,” Jacob Hansen, director general of Fertilizers Europe, said in a statement.” Producers from Norway’s Yara International ASA to CF Industries to Borealis AG recently reduced or halted production because European NatGas prices hit a record high of 343 euros per megawatt hour, making it uneconomical to operate. “We confirm we are reducing and stopping production of some fertilizer plants in the different EU sites and this for economic reasons,” a spokesperson for Borealis AG said.”

Europe’s benchmark NatGas price soared nearly a third this week as Russian supplies to Europe via Nord Stream 1 pipeline have been reduced to 20% over the summer and face a temporary halt on Aug. 31 for three days. The region’s fertilizer industry association warned the energy crisis is rippling across many industries and could heavily impact the food industry. “We are extremely concerned that as prices of natural gas keep increasing, more plants in Europe will be forced to close. “This will switch the EU from being a key exporter to an importer, putting more pressure on fertilizer prices and consequently affecting the next planting season,” said Maximo Torero, chief economist at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Stop the sanctions, negotiate for peace, and you can have all the oil you want. Blaming this on Russia is just a stupid story.

Russia Can Afford Complete Halt In Gas Supplies To Europe – Bloomberg (RT)

Russia can shut down its natural gas exports to Europe entirely for more than a year, without inflicting significant damage on the national economy, Bloomberg has reported, citing strategists at Capital Economics. In light of the current price situation, Russia’s “balance of payments is in such a strong position that, if oil prices and oil exports remain at current levels, Russia could keep gas exports to Europe at 20% of normal levels for at least three years,” analysts at the consultancy said in a note seen by the agency. A year-long supply cut-off by Russia could happen “without adverse consequences for its economy,” Liam Peach, one of the economists at Capital Economic said. sAccording to Peach, despite reduced volumes, Russia’s quarterly earnings generated by gas exports could amount to $20 billion.


“Whether or not Russia turns off the taps completely will be a political decision and the length of any cut-off would depend on the size of offsetting oil revenues,” Peach said. Several European leaders have repeatedly accused Moscow of using gas as a weapon of political pressure, with the Kremlin rejecting the allegation. The latest technical problems with Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a key gas route from Russia to Europe, prompted Gazprom to slash deliveries, sending prices skyrocketing. Another major test for the market is expected to arise next week, when the energy giant halts gas flows through Nord Stream 1 for three days due for maintenance work, starting on August 31.

Chomsky Unprovoked

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Waiting for the next country to “fall out of line”. Not much time left.

Hungary Says It ‘Won’t Even Negotiate’ Energy Sanctions On Russia (RT)

Budapest refuses to negotiate any further EU restrictions targeting Russian energy because there is no current alternative to supplies from Moscow, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Saturday. The EU has slapped several rounds of sanctions on Moscow in response to the conflict in Ukraine, and is pushing for a complete phasing-out of energy supplies from Russia. “We’re not even willing to negotiate any sanctions on energy, be it oil or gas,” Szijjarto said at an economic forum in Tihany, adding that “the courage of the Hungarian government” has helped Budapest to withstand pressure from Brussels.


“There is no security of energy supply to Europe without using Russian sources,” Szijjarto stated, arguing that Russian gas cannot be replaced in the foreseeable future. The foreign minister added that the “largely misguided sanctions response” to Russia’s military campaign is one of the factors driving up inflation and contributing to a global recession.Hungary, whose economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas from Russia, was exempted from an EU-wide ban on Russian crude in May. The bloc banned the import of oil by sea, but Hungary continues to receive the commodity via a pipeline. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said last month that Europe has “shot itself in the lungs”with its ill-considered sanctions against Russia.

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“..the European people are being positioned to face the consequences while being told there will be no consequences..”

The Real World Consequences Of Europe’s Coming Energy Crisis (ZH)

The IEA is an institution that is hostile to carbon based energy and industries and calls for the end of all carbon emissions by 2050. This is why none of their bullet points from March that have been attempted have worked; because they aren’t designed to work, only promote further carbon controls while harming global power generation in the process. There are currently no practical replacements for oil, coal and natural gas; none. Especially not in a reasonable time frame that would spare Europeans from a full blown disaster. The only way green technology would be able to provide enough energy for the world’s populations would be if the human population was greatly reduced. Europe’s energy crisis actually helps the IEA agenda, just as it helps the UN and WEF climate agendas. But what about all the people that will suffer in the meantime?

Expect to see extensive energy rationing this winter in the EU. Around 80% of all EU natural gas is imported and Russia’s natural gas exports make up around 40% of Europe’s heating and electricity. With Russia now reducing exports down to 20% of their original levels, there is zero chance that the EU will be able to maintain their normal energy usage. Supply-side shortages will mean a price explosion going into winter as demand increases. Prices have the potential to double (or more) by the beginning of 2023. European governments will likely prioritize heating for public homes over energy for industry; they will do this to prevent civil unrest, as some government officials are already warning about. There is a chance that EU industry will be hobbled as energy supplies are rerouted for public consumption. We have seen something similar to this in China this year as their drought conditions worsen.

Civil unrest will probably happen anyway. Climate restrictions, green energy rules on carbon emissions and other ludicrous measures are making it impossible for Europeans to adapt to crisis events. Prices will be high, and price caps won’t help with supply shortages. When people start to freeze, there will be anger and desperation. The only legitimate short term solution to prevent a historic energy calamity in the EU this winter would be to remove sanctions on Russia. But, NATO has made it clear that this will not happen. So, the European people are being positioned to face the consequences while being told there will be no consequences. And, when the pain starts to hit, they will be told that it’s all for the “greater good.”

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Actually, we do.

You Have No Idea How Bad Europe’s Energy Crisis Is (FP)

Normally, Europe can refill its gas storage during the summer and coast in the winter, when usage is higher. Now, with colder months looming and Russia’s tightening chokehold on natural gas flows, Europe has been locked in a race against time to fill its tanks, which leaders have stocked by paying eye-watering prices. So far, experts said, European nations have been largely on track with their plans—but that doesn’t mean that they will be out of the woods come winter. In the winter, Europe typically “uses a lot of what it has in storage while, at the same time, importing lots of gas from other sources,” Munton said. “It needs both. But as we think about this winter, there is a very real threat that there won’t be any Russian gas at all.” In normal times, Russian gas supplies about 40 percent of European imports.

Without Russia’s supply in the winter, Munton added, European nations will be forced to rely on imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) even more from suppliers such as the United States. The problem is that Asia—a larger LNG market—is also vying for the same supplies, which means prices are always going to be higher than old piped gas from the East. “That’s really the crisis that Europe and the world confronts,” he added. As Europe abandons Moscow’s energy supply, many leaders have rushed to secure alternative deals and supplies with other countries. Italy has secured more gas from Algeria while other nations have turned to Azerbaijan, Norway, and Qatar.

Germany has also expressed its hopes for a new LNG deal with Canada, which in turn has been considerably less optimistic. Others have invested considerably more into LNG infrastructure, with Germany racing to build five floating LNG terminals and the Netherlands, Finland, and Italy all preparing for more floating units to import gas. But in the immediate future, energy experts said there is only so much that countries can do to shore up their supplies. “There’s a limit to what you can do in the near term to bring additional supplies into Europe because there’s only so much LNG in the world,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and a former special assistant to former U.S. President Barack Obama.

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The 10-year war scenario. Question: will Putin tolerate that? I don’t see it.

Germany Vows To Support Ukraine ‘For Years’ (RT)

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia could “could go on for years”, but Berlin will keep supporting Kiev all the way, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. “Unfortunately, we have to assume that Ukraine will still need new heavy weapons from its friends next summer,” Baerbock told the Bild tabloid on Sunday. “Ukraine is also defending our freedom, our peace,” the minister said, adding that Berlin will support Kiev “financially and militarily — and for as long as it is necessary, full stop!” Baerbock’s pledge comes despite her admission earlier this week that Germany’s military is facing an “absolute deficit” of hardware, due to arms shipments to Ukraine. Berlin has so far supplied artillery pieces, shoulder-fired rockets and anti-aircraft self-propelled guns to Ukraine.


Nevertheless, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has faced criticism throughout the six months of the conflict, for his apparent reluctance to send more sophisticated weaponry to Kiev. Baerbock said on Wednesday that Germany’s Iris-T anti-aircraft missile system will be sent to Ukraine in the coming weeks, and that more deliveries should be expected by the end of the year. In her interview with Bild, the diplomat pledged to “cushion the social imbalances resulting from high energy prices” in Germany, caused by a drop in deliveries of Russian gas to Europe, amid sanctions against Moscow. Baerbock also defended Ukraine’s claim to Crimea, which overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a referendum in 2014. “Crimea also belongs to Ukraine. The world has never recognized the annexation of 2014, which was against international law,” the Green party politician claimed.

Lord Dannatt

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Oh-oh.

Britain’s Financial Support For Ukraine To Run Out By New Year – Times (RT)

The UK’s financial support for Ukraine’s military will run dry by the end of the year, a Defense Ministry source has told the Sunday Times. London has already given Kiev more than £2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) in military aid, but whoever leads the country next will have to deal with strained public finances and declining public enthusiasm for a protracted conflict. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kiev last week, where he announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth £54 million ($63 million), on top of the £2.3 billion committed by the UK since Russia’s military operation began in February. Johnson promised to support Kiev’s military for “however long it takes,” and his likely successor, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, is known for her even more hawkish stance toward Russia.


“The reality, as one Ministry of Defence source acknowledged, is that the UK’s financial contribution to the war effort will have dried up by the end of the year,” the Sunday Times article noted. “This means that the new prime minister will very soon face the question of whether to commit billions of pounds of additional support at a time when the public finances are under intense strain.” Britain is currently grappling with soaring inflation – predicted to hit 18% in early 2023 – and record fuel prices. Driven by market forces, supply disruption due to the conflict in Ukraine, and Britain’s decision to cut off its energy imports from Russia, much of this price hike is being passed on to consumers, with energy regulator Ofgem raising the energy price cap on Friday by 80%. This move will see the average household pay more than £3,500 per year in energy bills.

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Victims of failed western policies.

50,000 Ukrainian Refugees Face Homelessness In UK (RT)

Some 50,000 Ukrainians could be homeless in the UK next year, as the government’s scheme to match refugees with British families breaks down, The Guardian reported on Sunday. With the cost of living spiraling, the opposition wants the government to boost payments to host families. Analysis by the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and children’s charity Barnardos found that, based on feedback from British hosts, between 15,000 and 21,000 Ukrainians could be homeless by the winter, rising to more than 50,000 by mid-2023, the newspaper reported. To date, 83,900 refugees have arrived in the UK since March under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, under which British households are paid £350 ($411) per month to house refugees for six months.

However, as of earlier this month, 1,330 Ukrainian households in England – 385 single refugees and 945 families with children – have left the scheme and are now homeless. It is unclear why these matches did not work out, but campaigners told The Guardian that some hosts signed up enthusiastically without understanding “the implications and consequences of this sort of responsibility,”while others are finding that due to the rising cost of living in the UK, £350 per month is no longer sufficient to support new additions to the household. A further wave of homelessness is expected from September onwards, when most of the six-month sponsorship agreements expire.

Minister of State for Refugees Lord Harrington has lobbied the Treasury to double monthly payments for those who can host refugees for more than six months, but the government has given no indication that it will act on his recommendations, and Harrington has taken to pleading with British households to join the scheme. However, while some of the activists who spoke to The Guardian said the impending crisis could be averted with more financial support from the government, a majority of sponsors aren’t motivated by money. According to a recent government survey, only a quarter of those quitting the scheme after six months said they were doing so because they could no longer afford to take part, and just four in ten said that more money would encourage them to extend their participation. A majority (58%) said they only ever intended to provide short-term accommodation. sYet Ukrainian refugees arriving in Britain under the scheme have been given visas for three years.

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Simon Tisdall in the Guardian. Does he really see things this way?

Putin Is Trapped And Desperate. Will His Friends In The West Rescue Him? (G.)

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” So wrote American author Henry David Thoreau in 1854. It’s a fate that is rapidly overtaking Vladimir Putin as he struggles to escape the disastrous trap he set for himself in Ukraine. Russia’s president keeps understandably schtum about his “special military operation”. But indefinite stalemate is not what he expected. He didn’t expect car bombs in Moscow and humiliating attacks on fortress Crimea, either. Least of all did Putin anticipate 80,000 Russian soldiers dead or wounded. Dying with them is his Peter the Great pipe dream of a “greater Russia”. Extinct already is his reputation as anything other than a killer and a crook. An endless military quagmire is not a scenario Putin can afford as slow-burn western sanctions corrode his economy and his military’s manpower and materiel are steadily depleted.

So what are his options? He could declare a specious victory, claim the Nato “threat” is neutralised and propose a settlement recognising Russia’s annexation of occupied areas. But he surely knows Kyiv will never willingly accept such terms. He could gamble on a huge battlefield escalation, for example, using Belarus to open a second front north of Kyiv – the region he failed to overrun in February. But it’s uncertain his generals have the capability or the stomach. He certainly dare not retreat. So as pressure on him grows to produce a breakthrough, Putin may well decide his best option is to raise the cost of the war to Ukraine’s backers – and undermine Kyiv’s resistance that way. In fact, he has already begun. It’s telling that British, French and German leaders all proclaimed long-term support for Ukraine last week. They know Putin is betting they will buckle.

The context is rising anxiety over Europe’s energy and cost of living crises, largely caused by the invasion and Kremlin cuts to gas supplies. The winter fallout from this coldest of cold wars could prove paralysing. Yet Putin may just be getting started. He has many means by which to undermine western unity and staying power. Europe is littered with easily exploited potential flashpoints and geopolitical faultlines bequeathed from Soviet times. Likewise, Russia has surprising numbers of allies and sympathisers scattered across a politically fractured European landscape. So will Putin’s friends in the west help rescue the beast from the east? Belarus’s Alexander Lukashenko is already in Putin’s pocket. Moscow ensured the dictator survived after his theft of the 2020 presidential election provoked nationwide protests. Lukashenko will do as he’s told.

Inside the EU, Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister, is seen as Putin’s Trojan horse. Like many on Europe’s far right, Orbán admires his intolerant nationalist ideology and shares his racist, homophobic outlook. He has repeatedly obstructed EU sanctions. Last month he cut a unilateral gas deal with the Kremlin. Orbán plainly cannot be trusted.

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Imagine the pressure on these people.

IAEA Assembles Team For Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)

The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has cobbled together a team of independent experts to visit Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is now under Russia’s control, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The plant and the nearby city of Energodar have been repeatedly shelled by Kiev’s forces in recent weeks. According to the outlet, the members of the delegation include Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA chief, and 13 other experts from “mostly neutral countries.” The report also reveals that neither the US nor Britain have any representatives on the team, given that Russia had dismissed those countries as “unfairly biased” over their support for the government in Kiev.

The NYT report says the IAEA mission includes experts from Poland and Lithuania, countries that support Ukraine, but also others from Serbia and China, which have much warmer relations with Russia. A number of delegation members also come from Albania, France, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, and North Macedonia. The goal of the mission, according to Grossi, is to see what exactly is happening at the plant, inspect its integrity, speak to both Russian and Ukrainian staff there, and establish a permanent presence on the ground. The move follows a phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron last week, during which the two leaders agreed on dispatching an international mission to the area “as soon as possible.”

The team will apparently travel on terms arranged by Ukraine and the United Nations, which means the experts will arrive at Zaporozhye via territory currently controlled by Kiev’s forces. Moscow had previously insisted that such a mission should arrive only via Russian-controlled territory. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of attacking the nuclear plant, while warning that the shelling could trigger a disaster that would eclipse the 1986 Chernobyl incident. At the same time, Kiev insists that it is Russian forces who are shelling the site while stationing military hardware there.

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When will Russia take out the offices of Ukraine intelligence?

Ukraine Relying On US-developed Blueprint To Fight Russia – CNN (RT)

During its conflict with Russia, Ukraine has been relying on a US-developed doctrine that involves both the military and civilians taking part in defensive activities, CNN reported on Saturday. The Resistance Operating Concept (ROC), which is said to provide a blueprint for smaller states to counter larger powers, was developed in 2013 in response to Russia’s conflict with Georgia in 2008. It was further enhanced after Crimea’s “nearly bloodless” reunification with Moscow in 2014, which “stunned Ukraine and the West,” CNN said. The ROC represents “an innovative and unconventional approach to warfare and total defense,” and guides the actions not only of the Ukrainian military, but also the civilian population.

“It’s all hands on deck in terms of the comprehensive defense for the government of Ukraine,” explained retired Lt. Gen. Mark Schwartz, who was in charge of Special Operations Command Europe during the development of the concept. “They’re using every resource and they’re also using some highly unconventional means by which to disrupt the Russian Federation military.” Schwartz said it was “just incredible to watch… despite the unbelievable loss of life and sacrifice, what the will to resist and the resolve to resist can do.” Explosions at Russia’s military facilities in Crimea – far from the front line in Donbass – earlier in August were signs that the ROC had been in play, claimed Kevin D. Stringer, a retired army colonel who led the development team for the concept.

Kiev never officially confirmed its involvement in the incidents, but CNN said it saw a Ukrainian government report confirming that it was behind them. Russia said the blasts at its Saki airfield in western Crimea were the result of an accident, while an ammunition depot in the north of the peninsula had been targeted in an “act of sabotage.” “Since you can’t do it conventionally, you would use special operations forces, and those [forces] would need resistance support – intelligence, resources, logistics – in order to access these regions,” Stringer said, explaining the alleged actions by Kiev. Civilian resistance under the ROC includes nonviolent actions such as boycotting public events, labor strikes, and even using satire and jokes as means of resistance. Violent actions, like using Molotov cocktails, arson and putting chemicals in gas tanks to sabotage enemy vehicles, are also part of the concept.

Generally, the doctrine calls for a major PR campaign to control the narrative of the conflict, preventing the dissemination of the other side’s message, and keeping the population united. Video footage showing destroyed Russian hardware and edited to catchy tunes forms part of the strategy, along with clips of Ukrainian troops rescuing stray animals, and daily addresses by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky – “whether intentional or not,” CNN claimed. At least 15 countries have taken part in some form of training on the Pentagon’s resistance doctrine over the past decade, Nicole Kirschmann, a spokeswoman for Special Operations Command Europe, revealed. The program isn’t universal. It’s being tailored in accordance with each country’s population, resources and terrain. CNN’s report mentioned Estonia, Lithuania and Poland as nations that have expressed enthusiasm for the ROC.

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“The Kremlin also expressed hope at the time that “common sense” would eventually prevail.”

EU To Suspend Visa Deal With Russia – FT (RT)

EU foreign ministers plan to back a suspension of the 2007 EU-Russia visa facilitation deal at a two-day meeting in Prague, next week, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing three officials familiar with the matter. In response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, several member states have actively been lobbying for either a ban or heavy restrictions on the number of Russian citizens entering the bloc. “It is inappropriate for Russian tourists to stroll in our cities, on our marinas,” a senior EU official told the newspaper. “We have to send a signal to the Russian population that this war is not OK, it is not acceptable.” The suspension of the agreement would make the process of applying for all EU visas more complicated and expensive, as well as increasing waiting times.


“We are in an exceptional situation and it requires exceptional steps. We want to go beyond suspending the visa facilitation,” an EU official was quoted as saying. The official stated that additional restrictions could be adopted by the end of the year, according to the FT. Countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia have already stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said this week that Russian tourists pose a security threat to the country, and that a travel ban could incentivize some Russians to “pressure” the Kremlin. Others, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell, spoke out against a full ban on Russian travelers. They argued that the bloc should not punish ordinary Russians for the actions of their government. Moscow blasted the proposed measures as “flagrant nationalism” and xenophobia. The Kremlin also expressed hope at the time that “common sense” would eventually prevail.

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“..January 6 Committee, which hauled witnesses before the cameras to give hearsay testimony.”

New York Times Calls For Merrick Garland To Indict Donald Trump (PM)

The New York Times Editorial Board has called for the Biden administration’s Department of Justice to prosecute former President Donald Trump. The crimes of which he’s accused have not yet been fully elucidated, due to a heavily redacted affidavit, provided under duress by the DOJ to explain why a search warrant was approved for an FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. The Times asserts that the “nation has been transfixed” by the overly produced, prime time hearings of the essentially partisan, Democrat-run January 6 Committee, which hauled witnesses before the cameras to give hearsay testimony.

The DOJ’s seeking of a search warrant to raid Trump’s home was not connected to any charges that may be brought by that Committee. The DOJ is seeking criminal charges against the former president for how he handled documents, while the January 6 Committee is searching for evidence that Trump was involved in planning the riot at the Capitol that occurred on that day in 2021 The Times asserts that there is no question as whether or not Trump spurred on an angry mob to enter the Capitol, saying that “When all else failed,” in his political redress to seek potential election improprieties, “he roused an armed mob that stormed the Capitol and threatened lawmakers.”

The results of the January 6 Committee, they say, is that “Mr. Trump must have known he was at the center of a frantic, sprawling and knowingly fraudulent effort that led directly to the Capitol siege. For hours, Mr. Trump refused to call off the mob.” They further encourage Attorney General Merrick Garland to seek an indictment against Trump, saying “If Attorney General Merrick Garland and his staff conclude that there is sufficient evidence to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt on a serious charge in a court of law, then they must seek an indictment too.” What the Times asserts is that “If Mr. Garland decides to pursue prosecution, a message that the Justice Department must send early and often is that even if Mr. Trump genuinely believed, as he claimed, that the election had been marred by fraud, his schemes to interfere in the certification of the vote would still be crimes.

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Kevin R. Brock is a former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

Mar-a-Lago Affidavit Reveals The Government Has No Case Against Trump (Brock)

When two dozen or more FBI agents searched former President Trump’s residence three weeks ago, most Americans initially were left wondering what in the world must Trump have done. After all, a prodigious FBI search logically indicates an equally prodigious violation of some federal statute; therefore, it must be really serious. One former Department of Justice (DOJ) official told Politico that the evidence sought “was likely so pulverizing in its force” that it would “eviscerate” the possibility of the optics for such an invasive law enforcement action not being good. Well, it’s now pretty official: The optics aren’t good. Everyone in America, from plumber to president, is constitutionally protected from a government search that lacks adequate cause.

We now know why the DOJ wanted the affidavit — which is supposed to articulate the probable cause needed for a legitimate search — to be kept under seal. After the magistrate who authorized the search forced the DOJ to unseal a redacted version, two realities came into better focus. First, the affidavit confirmed that the FBI’s investigation was triggered in January 2022 at the request of the National Archives, which wanted certain documents, especially classified documents, that it considered to be presidential records to be turned over to it by Trump. Second, from what I have seen, I don’t believe the affidavit articulates how a federal law was or is being broken. For those who hold out hope that the affidavit’s redacted sections fill that gap, there is almost no chance that they do.

As to the first point, this matter is, as suspected, nothing more than a document dispute that was chugging along, appropriately, as a negotiation behind the scenes and apparently making some progress. I don’t see anything in the affidavit asserting a refusal by Trump to cooperate. Any clinging hope — in certain quarters — that the affidavit possessed “pulverizing” cause to believe Trump was engaged in a truly serious federal violation can — I think — be considered dashed. The pipe dream that Trump was engaged in espionage, actively providing secrets to an enemy I think is as fanciful as the Steele dossier’s Moscow hotel bed reverie. And, no, I don’t believe a smoking gun of espionage or something equally shocking will be in the redacted sections. If the FBI had that, it would have fronted that in the unredacted portions.

But that’s not all that’s needed — in this case in particular. A criminal violation of those statutes only exists if it can be established that the person being investigated was not authorized to possess, store, transfer or copy those documents. This is an easy element to establish against anyone in America. Except one person. The unredacted parts of the affidavit make no attempt to articulate cause that Trump was not authorized to have these documents in his home. The reason is that, as president, he had broad, legally intimidating authority, established by law and court determinations, to declassify any and all documents and to determine what is and is not a presidential record. Trump and his legal team have asserted that this authority was exercised while he was still president. Therefore, a violation of these fairly low-level and seldom-prosecuted document-oriented statutes cannot be proven.

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“..our children and grandchildren will be paying for it for decades to come..”

The Truth About Lockdown (Lord Sumption)

It was always obvious that you could not close down a country for months on end without serious consequences. The shocking thing that emerges from Sunak’s interview is that the government refused to take them into account. There was no assessment of the likely collateral costs of lockdown. There was no cost-benefit analysis. There was no planning. In government the issues were not even discussed. Sunak’s own attempts to raise them hit a brick wall. Ministers took refuge in evasive buck-passing, claiming to be “following the science”. Yet the critical question was never a scientific one. It was a political question, in which the likely hospital admissions and deaths from Covid were just one element.

The scientists said it was not their job to think about the social or economic implications of their advice. They were right about that. The problem was it turned out to be no one else’s job. We are still paying for this negligence, and our children and grandchildren will be paying for it for decades to come. In 2020, U.K. GDP fell by nearly a tenth, the biggest hit to the economy for at least a century. According to Treasury estimates, 460,000 people left the workforce never to return. The policy took a wrecking ball to the public finances. The IMF estimates that government spending rose by more than £400 billion, or about £6,000 for every man, woman and child. Most of this was unproductive spending. It went on paying people for not working and supporting businesses forced to cease operations.

At one point, in the spring of 2020, the government was spending about twice as much on compensating for the lockdown as it was on the NHS. Borrowing rose to £330 billion, a peacetime record. Then there are the non-financial costs. Other mortal conditions went undiagnosed and untreated. In October 2020, after four months of lockdown, the Office for National Statistics reported more than 25,000 excess deaths at home from conditions such as cancer, heart disease and dementia. A year after the last lockdown ended, the NHS still has a vast backlog. Excess deaths, 95% of them due to conditions other than Covid, are running at about 1,000 a week. There has been a huge impact on mental health, with children and the poor worst affected.

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Tell them to fuck off.

Latest Covid Booster Shots To Be Released Without Human Testing (NYP)

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve new COVID-19 booster shots this week — before the vaccines are tested on humans, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal. The new boosters are similar to the COVID vaccines currently available in the US with minor modifications that protect recipients from the latest version of the Omicron variant. Instead of waiting on data from testing in humans, the agency will use data from trials in mice — as well as the real world evidence of the safety of currently available COVID vaccines and test results from earlier iterations of boosters targeting older strains to evaluate the newest boosters, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said.

“Real world evidence from the current mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, which have been administered to millions of individuals, show us that the vaccines are safe,” Califf said on Twitter. “As we know from prior experience, strain changes can be made without affecting safety.” He added that modifying existing vaccines to include protection against different viral strains doesn’t require a change in ingredient and is a common practice the FDA does with flu vaccines. “FDA has extensive experience with reviewing strain changes in vaccines, as is done with the annual flu vaccine,” Califf said. Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have submitted new COVID vaccine boosters to the agency for approval and the FDA hopes to roll out a booster campaign this fall.

However, some health experts are wary of the decision to release the shots without completed human trials. In June, two experts penned an op-ed demanding that the FDA not rush through the roll-out of the newest shots. “I’m uncomfortable that we would move forward — that we would give millions or tens of millions of doses to people — based on mouse data,” one of the authors, Paul Offit, told the Journal. Offit, an FDA adviser and director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, believes the comparison between flu shots and COVID-19 shots is not well grounded due to the differences in mutations and protection levels.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Walker Wheeler

 

 

McDonalds 1953

 

 

KFC 1970s

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 162022
 
 August 16, 2022  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan Study for Blue Apple Tree Series 1908

 

Ukraine Failed To Mount Counteroffensive – Macgregor (RT)
‘Ukraine Is Bankrupt’ – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine To Boost Military Spending (RT)
EU ‘Blatantly Lying’ About Threat To Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant – Moscow (RT)
Kiev Mayor Klitschko Claims Zelensky’s Government Threatened His Citizenship (RT)
German Officials Warn Of “Extremists” Fueling “Mass Protests And Riots” (ZH)
A Different Sort of Warrant (Kunstler)
DOJ Admits It Took Trump’s Passports, Offers To Return Them (JTN)
Garland, Wray Must Be Impeached for Unconscionable Trump Raid (NW)
Jim Jordan Says 14 FBI Whistleblowers Have Come Forward (WE)
Too Little, Too Late: Disband The CDC Now (NYP)
CBS Pushes Study Blaming Climate Change For Rising Childhood Obesity Rates (NYP)
How Your Carbon Footprint And Your Carbon Wallet Are Really Going To Work (TI)
Judge Rules Twitter Must Turn Over Hidden Documents to Elon Musk (TP)
CIA, Pompeo Sued For Spying On Attorneys, Journalists Who Met With Assange (D.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chitins

 

 

 

 

Coast guy

 

 

People tend to think things have always been as they are

 

 

 

 

“He went on to predict that the Russian military would seize the key port city of Odessa, making Ukraine a “landlocked country.”

Ukraine Failed To Mount Counteroffensive – Macgregor (RT)

The Ukrainian military has not been able to pull off its promised counteroffensive, and Russian forces are now likely to take over the whole of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former adviser to the secretary of defense in the Trump administration, has said. Appearing on a livestream hosted by former US judge and columnist Andrew Napolitano last Tuesday, Macgregor dismissed as “utterly nonsensical” reports in some US media outlets that the Russian military has lost some 80,000 personnel in Ukraine so far. According to the decorated Gulf War veteran, “more accurate numbers are probably thirteen to fifteen thousand dead on the Russian side,” with Ukrainian forces having lost “sixty to eighty thousand.”

Commenting on these reports in late July, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov described the alleged Russian casualty figures as “fake.” He also lamented that even established media outlets are publishing misleading reports these days. The last time Russia’s Defense Ministry provided an update on the number of casualties was in late March, at which time the official death toll had reached 1,351, with 3,825 service members injured. When asked to comment on the current state of affairs on the frontline, the former Pentagon official said that the majority of Russian personnel had been given rest, “refitted, reorganized,” to renew the offensive in August. Macgregor claimed that the first signs of that happening were already evident, “particularly down in the south.”

He went on to predict that the Russian military would seize the key port city of Odessa, making Ukraine a “landlocked country.” “Ukrainians have been unable to put together any sort of counteroffensive. So, I don’t see much evidence that the Ukrainians can stop this,” the former Pentagon adviser claimed. Moreover, Macgregor said that the activities of Russian forces south of Kharkov in the east of Ukraine seemed to him like preliminary “shaping operations” meant to pave the way for a major offensive later on. He concluded that “first comes the operation in the south and then subsequently up in Kharkov,” pointing out once more that the Ukrainian army does not appear to be able to stop either one.

Macgregor added that he expected these offensives to be over by the “end of August-beginning of September.” Last month, a number of top Ukrainian officials suggested that the country’s military would launch a counteroffensive in the south of the country in August to retake the city of Kherson. However, according to Moscow, it is the Russian military along with the forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics that have recently made advances and taken territory.

Read more …

EU promised €9 billion in May, paid €1 billion so far. Ukraine ‘needs’ €9 billion every month.

‘Ukraine Is Bankrupt’ – Moscow (RT)

Ukraine has lost its financial independence as it cannot meet its obligations to its citizens without Western help, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Monday. Taking to Telegram, Volodin claimed that “collected taxes form only 40% of the country’s budget,” more than 60% of which covers military spending. Ukraine’s monthly deficit amounts to $5 billion, Volodin reminded. “Ukraine is bankrupt,” he said. The same numbers were reported on Friday by the Wall Street Journal. In the speaker’s opinion, “without the help of Washington and Brussels, Kiev can no longer fulfill its obligations to citizens.” “Ukraine has lost its financial independence,” Volodin concluded.

On Monday, the Ukrainian government introduced draft legislation to abolish preferential taxation on fuel. An explanatory note on the Rada’s website says that “there is a significant shortage of funds for financing the road industry.” The legislation is poised to create “during the period of martial law” conditions “for the proper functioning of the economy” and increased budget revenue through excise duties. In a recent interview with RBC Ukraine, Finance Minister Sergey Marchenko said that next year’s budget will be “extremely tight” due to “war conditions.” “There will be no expenses that will not be reviewed,” he said. According to Oleg Ustenko, a presidential adviser on economic issues, Ukraine’s state budget deficit is expected to reach $50 billion by the end of the year.

That is about 30-35% of the country’s GDP, he said in a TV interview last month, adding that “this is a problem of war.” Kiev says it needs $5 billion a month in assistance from Western backers. However, Ustenko, quoted by the Financial Times, said in July they would need an extra $4bn a month over the next three months to cover the cost of emergency accommodation and housing repairs for millions of people, and to fund a basic minimum income for those ones who had lost their jobs. The grants and loans pledged to Ukraine by the West have been arriving much slower than expected. So far, only €1 billion out of a €9 billion ($9.3 billion) long-term loan package proposed by the European Commission in May, has arrived. Since February, the EU has provided €2.2 billion.

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What you do when you’re bankrupt.

Ukraine To Boost Military Spending (RT)

The Ukrainian parliament approved on Monday a boost to defense spending amid the ongoing military conflict with Russia. According to the bill passed by the Rada, the country’s parliament, the government will be authorized to raise an additional 270 billion hryvnias ($7.3 billion) through domestic borrowing. This will allow an extra 241 billion hryvnias ($6.5 billion) to be allocated to the Defense Ministry and for more funds to be provided to the police, security and intelligence services. The move comes after the Wall Street Journal reported that a shortage of funds risks becoming “Ukraine’s Achilles’s heel” in the conflict.


“We have to worry about winning the war. It is better to risk high inflation than not to pay soldiers’ salaries,” Finance Minister Sergey Marchenko told the WSJ last week about the National Bank of Ukraine’s strategy of printing more money. Marchenko told news agency RBC Ukraine on Monday that Kiev hopes to receive $12-16 billion from foreign lenders by the end of 2022. The exact sum will depend on negotiations with foreign partners, he said.

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“biased informational stuffing”

Kiev knows the first thing the IAEA would find is proof that it was not the Russians who shelled the plant.

EU ‘Blatantly Lying’ About Threat To Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant – Moscow (RT)

Accusations that Moscow is jeopardizing the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) contradict the facts and allow Kiev to undermine the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to inspect the facility, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday. Russia’s response comes after the EU released a statement on Sunday condemning the “unprovoked invasion of Ukraine” and accusing the Russian military of attacking the ZNPP and preventing nuclear and radiation safety from being maintained at the facility. “Western countries are once again descending to outright lies, arguing that the threats to the ZNPP are created by Russia,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a statement published on the ministry’s website.

“Obviously, this contradicts the facts that we have repeatedly cited, including within the walls of the Security Council. It is undeniable that the attacks on the station and Energodar are carried out by Ukrainian armed groups acting on orders from Kiev.” Zakharova went on to suggest that the EU’s statement was marked by “biased informational stuffing” and full of “blatant Russophobia and distorted facts.” She noted that the authors of the text were obsessed with the so-called “Russian threat” and were using it to cover up their own foreign policy failures by putting “Russophobic foreign policy views above objectivity and the tasks of nonproliferation and nuclear security.” The spokeswoman also pointed out that such statements were being used by EU politicians to score “imaginary political points” while giving Kiev the go-ahead to create obstacles for an IAEA inspection of the plant.

“We strongly urge Washington, Brussels and other capitals, primarily European ones, to stop the irresponsible games and intrigues around the ZNPP and immediately influence the Kyiv authorities to force them to stop shelling the plant and its adjacent territories,” Zakharova stated, adding that Moscow is in close cooperation with the IAEA and will do everything necessary to provide its specialists with access to the power plant.

Read more …

Zelensky feels 10 feet tall.

Kiev Mayor Klitschko Claims Zelensky’s Government Threatened His Citizenship (RT)

The government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky made a veiled threat to strip the citizenship of Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, the head of the Ukrainian capital claimed in an interview published on Monday. “I had a conversation with an innuendo: ‘Since you are so proactive, we could look into your German citizenship’. I said: ‘I’d be very surprised if somebody showed me a German passport in my name and took it away,’” he said, as cited by the website Babel. The exchange allegedly happened after Klitschko signed a public call for Zelensky to reverse his decision to revoke the Ukrainian citizenship of Ukrainian official Gennady Korban, which he ordered last month. Korban, a longtime close ally of Dnepr Mayor Boris Filatov, was among several Ukrainians whose citizenship was taken away by Zelensky.

He was on a foreign trip when the move was made. Upon attempting to return to Ukraine he found himself at an impasse when the border guards would not let him cross back into his home country. Over a hundred Ukrainian public figures supported the open letter to Zelensky, which Filatov published on Facebook in late July. Klitschko declined to reveal who exactly put pressure on him, but said he supported reinstating Korban’s citizenship on principle rather than as a political favor to Filatov. “Everything must happen under universal principles, not selectively,” he explained. “In this case this is how it looks: we’ll take this one’s [citizenship] and let others keep theirs, so that they are more pliable, realizing that we can take theirs too.”

Ukraine disallows dual citizenship. Under the law, Ukrainians who also hold foreign passports are treated as regular citizens but are banned from holding public office. The president may revoke the citizenship of a Ukrainian who takes another passport. In practice, however, this principle is often ignored. For instance, billionaire Igor Kolomoysky, one of the people targeted by Zelensky’s July order, had served as a governor in Ukraine despite holding the citizenship of Cyprus and Israel at the time. The fact was widely known in Ukraine, and Kolomoysky even joked that it was OK, since the law bans dual citizenship, not triple citizenship. In the interview, Klitschko provided assurance that Ukrainian citizenship is the only one he has. The official was a world-renowned boxer before going into politics and spent much of his athletic career in Germany.

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Farmers=Extremists.

German Officials Warn Of “Extremists” Fueling “Mass Protests And Riots” (ZH)

As queries for “firewood” have exploded on Google in Germany, and Deutsche Bank predicting that “wood will be used for heating purposes where possible,” German officials are now warning of extreme energy rationing measures, along with the potential for “extremists” to fuel national unrest over the deteriorating situation. For starters, German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck – who previously called on residents to cut back on heating, visits to the sauna, and showers – announced on Friday that public buildings across the country won’t be allowed to set heating above 19 degrees Celsius (66.2F) this fall. Exceptions will be made for hospitals and ‘social facilities.’

[..] Meanwhile, German officials are preparing for civil unrest. In an interview with ZDF, Stephan Kramer – who heads the domestic intelligence service in the German state of Thuringia – warned that ‘legitimate’ protests over the energy crisis could be ‘hijacked by extremists’ (and definitely not just enraged average citizens). Kramer said that officials were bracing for protests over “gas shortages, energy problems, supply difficulties, possible recession, unemployment, but also the growing poverty right up to the middle class,” adding that “extremists” which include “lateral thinkers” who rallied against pandemic lockdowns, and ‘right-wing activists’ who have been stirring the post over social media, could be at the heart of them.

“We’re likely to be confronted with mass protests and riots,” he continued. “We’re dealing with a highly emotionalized, aggressive, future-pessimistic mood in society, whose trust in the state, its institutions and political actors is fraught with massive doubts.” “This highly emotional and explosive mood could easily escalate,” the security chief continued, adding that the Covid-19 clashes would “probably feel more like a children’s birthday party” by comparison. Kramer offers a warning to would-be participants: “think carefully about which protests and demonstrations you join, or better stay away from them altogether, so as not to support the enemies of democracy.”

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“..the country is now viciously coming apart..“

A Different Sort of Warrant (Kunstler)

Over the weekend, independent journalist Paul Sperry reported that many of the same FBI officers involved in the Mar-a-Lago raid happen to be subjects of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of RussiaGate. Have some of them already been hauled into grand juries? We don’t know. But, with the Mar-a-Lago caper, it looks like the law enforcement apparatus of the federal government is seeking to suppress evidence of its own long-running criminal enterprise. The parallel purpose of the raid was to find — or perhaps plant — documents that might be used in a scheme to disqualify Mr. Trump from running for office again. The January 6th show-trial in Congress has failed to galvanize the country’s attention, and may have foundered in its attempt to find grounds for a criminal referral against the former president that would take him off the playing field. So, now this.

Momentous legal quarrels that arise out of the Mar-a-Lago raid may evolve into a constitutional crisis that the captive news media can use as a smokescreen to divert the public’s attention from any balloting shenanigans going into the November election. At least it will shove any other issues off-stage in the run-up to the midterm. Is it a miscalculation? The choice of going to federal magistrate Bruce Reinhart for the Mar-a-Lago warrant sure looks crude and desperate. Only weeks ago, he was presiding over the Trump v Clinton lawsuit. How did that even happen, given Mr. Reinhart’s role defending Jeffrey Epstein’s associates — many of them Clinton-connected — in the 2007 sex-trafficking case?

And only after the spectacularly weird act of switching sides from the federal prosecution team to Epstein’s defense team. Not to mention Mr. Reinhart’s record of public statements denouncing Mr. Trump. There are twenty-five other magistrates who rotate their duties in the Southern District of Florida, why pick him? It all shapes up as a systematic effort to obstruct justice by the US Department of Justice. They’ve been doing it consistently since 2016 in all matters pertaining to Mr. Trump, and it is a big reason that the country is now viciously coming apart.

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“DOJ admission it over-collected evidence in Trump raid creates new legal drama..”

DOJ Admits It Took Trump’s Passports, Offers To Return Them (JTN)

Three passports, Privileged documents. A file on a presidential pardon. As evidence surfaces about what FBI agents seized during the raid of former President Donald Trump’s estate in Mar-O-Lago, new questions about the real focus of the investigation and new avenues for legal challenges are bubbling to the surface. The Justice Department informed Trump’s team Monday that agents gathered the former president’s passports and are obligated to return them, and that officials are also reviewing seized materials that may be covered by various privileges, multiple sources told Just the News. DOJ has designated a process for separating materials that could be covered by executive privilege or attorney client privilege and hopes to return such memos to Trump within a couple of weeks, the sources said.

“Occasionally a warrant collection can grab things outside the scope authorized by the court and the department is now following a procedure we would for any person affected this way,” one official said Monday night. Kevin Brock, who served as FBI assistant director for intelligence under former Director Robert Mueller, said the new revelations raise legitimate questions about over-collection of evidence that could lead to significant legal challenges. Trump lawyers are weighing whether to ask a federal court to name a special master to review sensitive documents and protect the president’s 4th amendment, executive and attorney-client privileges. “Trump’s attorneys could have a runway to argue the scope of the search is overly broad,” Brock told Just the News.

“Search warrants normally require a level of specificity that seems to be missing in this warrant. Specificity is important in order to protect 4th Amendment rights from exuberant government overreach designed to find whatever they can.” Brock said he was particularly troubled FBI agents felt comfortable seizing a record of Trump’s pardon of longtime friend Roger Stone, which the bureau disclosed in court documents. He said it suggested the raid may have something more to do with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot probe, where Stone has been a figure of interest, than an investigation into classified records. “The president’s authority to grant pardon and clemency is clear but what isn’t clear is why the retention of a clemency order would be considered illegal,” Brock said.

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From Newsweek no less…

Garland, Wray Must Be Impeached for Unconscionable Trump Raid (NW)

For over a year, we’ve heard Democrats wailing about existential threats to “democracy!” Curiously, this has happened while these same Democrats in Congress have worked hand-in-glove with their fellow Democrats in the Justice Department to disregard all norms to hunt down and attempt to destroy President Joe Biden’s chief political rival, former President Donald Trump, as well as Trump’s top aides and even his political supporters. Last Monday, the Biden Justice Department crossed a red line by ordering an unprecedented, unnecessary, and unlawful FBI raid of Trump’s home and offices in Mar-a-Lago. The purported purpose of the highly controversial home raid with a brigade of 30 FBI agents—a raid Attorney General Merrick Garland admitted he personally ordered after his aides initially denied it—is related to 15 to 25 boxes of presidential records, some of which bureaucrats at the National Archives claim are classified and which Trump took to Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House over 18 months ago.

All presidents take mementos and other records when they leave office. They don’t pack their own boxes. The National Archives takes the position that almost everything is a “presidential record.” And the federal government, in general, over-classifies almost everything. Even if Trump took classified records, that isn’t a crime. The president has the inherent constitutional power to declassify any record he wants, in any manner he wants, regardless of any otherwise-pertinent statute or regulation that applies to everyone else. The president does not need to obtain Congress’ or a bureaucrat’s permission—or jump through their regulatory or statutory hoops—to declassify anything. The Supreme Court reaffirmed this in the 1988 case, Department of the Navy v. Egan :

“The President, after all, is the ‘Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.’ U.S. Const., Art. II, § 2. His authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security…flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President, and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant.” Thus, if Trump left the White House with classified records, then those records are necessarily declassified by his very actions. He doesn’t need to label that decision for, or report that decision to, any bureaucrat who works for him. It is pretextual legal nonsense for the Biden Justice Department to pretend Trump broke any criminal statute. Indeed, it is noteworthy that Attorney General Garland apparently did not seek an opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)—the de facto general counsel for the executive branch—before ordering this home raid of his boss’s chief political enemy. Perhaps Garland knew OLC wouldn’t give him the answer he wanted.

In 2012, former President Barack Obama secretly told the Russian president he’d have “more flexibility” to negotiate with Russia after the 2012 presidential election. To convey that message is to clearly transmit highly classified information. So why not an Espionage Act violation? Well, because Obama was the president—period. All former presidents also get a federally funded office, called the Office of the Former President. They get lawyers and other staff, security clearances, Secret Service protection, and secure facilities (SCIFs) for the maintenance of classified records. Even if Trump had classified records, then, they were protected and secure.

Read more …

The GOP needs to win the midterms first…

Jim Jordan Says 14 FBI Whistleblowers Have Come Forward (WE)

More than a dozen FBI whistleblowers have come forward to Republican investigators in Congress, according to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). The congressman, who is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News host Trey Gowdy the number has risen to 14 after the FBI raid at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. During a conversation about alleged politicization at the Justice Department, along with former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, Jordan made the case that the public has “figured it out” when it comes to what he characterized as the Left generating a lie, the “Big Media” reporting the lie, Big Tech amplifying the lie, and then both piling on Republicans when they catch on and say something. He said there are agents in the bureau who have realized the same.


“Fourteen FBI agents have come to our office as whistleblowers, and they are good people,” Jordan said. “There are lots of good people in the FBI. It’s the top that is the problem. Some of these good agents are coming to us, telling us what is baloney, what’s going on — the political nature now of the Justice Department — God bless them for doing it — talking about the school board issue, about a whole host of issues.” This would appear to be quite a bump from a little more than two months ago, when Jordan told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that, in total, six FBI officials have approached the committee, two related to a controversy surrounding a school boards memo and four related to Jan. 6. At the time, in early June, Jordan sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray warning that multiple former FBI officials were coming forward with information suggesting the bureau was “purging” employees with conservative viewpoints.

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“..And the CDC permits us to come within six feet of each other again. Finally! Husbands, tell your wives it’s on!”

Too Little, Too Late: Disband The CDC Now (NYP)

Dissolve the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week, the CDC released updated COVID-19 guidance. The agency now believes we should be taking an individual approach to mitigating our COVID risk. In layman’s terms, we are all Florida 2020 now. The new guidance suggests ending “test to stay” so kids exposed to someone with COVID-19 can remain in school. Of course, this was only related to known exposure. People are exposed to COVID all the time, but only children who were aware of that exposure were punished. Kids lost so much throughout the pandemic because of terrible, irrational CDC guidance like this. The fresh guidance also says people without symptoms no longer need to be routinely tested. And the CDC permits us to come within six feet of each other again. Finally! Husbands, tell your wives it’s on!

But most important, the agency has finally faced some truths about the vaccine that it should have long ago. “CDC’s COVID-19 prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur.” And it’s admitted that “persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection.” Cities across the country fired teachers, firefighters, health-care staffers, police officers, sanitation workers and so many others because they refused to get vaccinated. Many of these people had worked through the early days of the pandemic — and contracted COVID many times over — while we baked banana bread and patted ourselves on the back for ordering from Uber Eats. Now the CDC acknowledges this was the wrong thing to do. Whoopsie!

[..] But with COVID, its word became policy. In what should go down as one of the most disgusting moments in public health, the CDC allowed, with direction from the Biden White House, Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers chief, to craft school-opening policies that forced classrooms across the country to remain closed in winter 2021. No one has been fired for this dereliction of duty. No one has even been openly chastised for allowing a special-interest group to control our health-care policy. This alone is why the CDC must go.

Read more …

“..scare Americans into accepting Government intervention–at any cost!!–against climate *apocalypse*“

CBS Pushes Study Blaming Climate Change For Rising Childhood Obesity Rates (NYP)

“CBS Mornings” pushed a recent study connecting climate change and hotter temperatures with childhood obesity rates in a ridiculed segment on Thursday. Co-host Nate Burleson introduced the study published in the journal “Temperature” that argued “climate change, specifically warmer temperatures is making our children more inactive and more obese.” Burleson said the study found that children were 30% less “aerobically fit” than their parents and claimed hotter temperatures were preventing kids from exercising outside. Although the segment focused primarily on climate change, Burleson acknowledged that technology was likely a factor in rising childhood obesity cases.

“Now listen, it has been a lot hotter, and the weather has been crazy, but I think it also has to do with technology, you know. It’s one thing not to go outside, but these kids don’t go outside because they can stay inside and be on their phones, play video games, and be social without having to go outside and be social,” Burleson said. Several Twitter users, however, attacked the segment for emphasizing “climate change” as a factor in childhood obesity without also recognizing coronavirus lockdowns. “Do you think it could be… nah, couldn’t be. Must be the climate change,” Deseret News contributing writer Bethany Mandel joked.

Hans Mahncke, co-host of “Truth Over News” on EpochTV, tweeted, “They made kids fat by shutting schools, playgrounds, parks and beaches. Predictably, they’re now blaming ‘climate change.’ If there aren’t severe penalties for the fraudsters who pushed lockdowns, it’ll happen again.” “Climate change? Ffs,” National Review journalist Claude Thompson wrote. Former congresswoman Nan Hayworth tweeted, “NO. NO. NO. Many factors contribute to children’s lack of fitness, but climate change is NOT one of them. This is propaganda that CBS, as with all ‘mainstream’ media, pushes to scare Americans into accepting Government intervention–at any cost!!–against climate *apocalypse*”

Read more …

“Mastercard and Doconomy Launch the Future of Sustainable Payments”

How Your Carbon Footprint And Your Carbon Wallet Are Really Going To Work (TI)

When most people think of carbon emissions and carbon footprints they think it only refers to travel, fuel, gas and electricity all under the guise of emissions. I hate to break it to you but it runs far deeper than that. Let me now introduce you to Doc Ono, a company you may never have heard of. Doconomy is a “credit card” endorsed by Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum. In May 2019 an article appeared on the WEF site called “This credit card has a carbon-emission spending limit” In the article it says “Swedish fintech company Doconomy has launched a new credit card that monitors the carbon footprint of its customers – and cuts off their spending when they hit their carbon max” Yikes, cuts off their spending. It continues:

“The DO card tracks the CO2 emissions linked to purchases to calculate the carbon impact of every transaction. The aim is to encourage people to actively reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate the impact that small changes can have on the environment. The card uses the Aland Index as the basis on which it calculates the carbon footprint of each product purchased. Users can set a maximum value for their carbon spend and learn how to compensate for their carbon footprint by contributing towards schemes to reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions” Now we are getting closer to the truth of how this is going to operate. It isn’t just travel, it will be for everything. In February 2019 Mastercard published an article called “Mastercard and Doconomy Launch the Future of Sustainable Payments” where they say “Doconomy and Mastercard announce their joint effort to combat climate change by enabling DO – a free and easy-to-use mobile banking service that lets users track, understand and reduce their CO2 footprints through carbon offsetting”

Isn’t it fascinating that they emphasise it will allow the users to track everything. It would never be used for nefarious purposes such as banks and governments tracking everything. Of course not.. [..] Here is what is probably going to happen. When you go out to a restaurant depending on what your “carbon footprint” has been, will determine what you can and cannot order off the menu. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it ? Depending on how many points you have left for that month will determine whether you are allowed to eat “proper food” or “lab food”. If you’ve been a bold boy or girl you’ll only be allowed to eat the lab grown plant-based food so you don’t surpass your carbon quota. If you try to order beef which apparently has high CO2 levels you won’t be allowed to.

This will also be the case when you go to supermarkets to do your weekly shop. Every item you buy will be assigned a CO2 number. It gets even more ridiculous though. Within the last month Eamonn Ryan who is a WEF member and leader of the Green Party in Ireland has advocated for the reduction in the numbers of Irish cattle. Instead we will import cattle from Brazil. I like to call this the work of the “Ruminati”. How do you think the carbon footprint of importing beef from Brazil would look like on a menu now. It would be off the charts. Do you see what they are trying to achieve and where this is going ? The whole thing sounds ridiculously Dystopian, doesn’t it ? That would never happen. It’s so 1984, I hear you shout. If you have been paying attention to the last 2.5 years then you will realise it’s not remotely far-fetched at all.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1559165376939937794

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“A buyer can also walk if there’s fraud, assuming the discovery of incorrect information has a so-called ‘material adverse effect.’”

Judge Rules Twitter Must Turn Over Hidden Documents to Elon Musk (TP)

A judge on Monday ruled that Twitter must turn over documents from a former executive that would show how many ‘fake accounts’ are on the platform. “Twitter needs to give Elon Musk documents from a former Twitter executive who Musk said was a key figure in calculating the amount of fake accounts on the platform, according to a Monday court order,” Reuters reported. “Bot and spam accounts on Twitter have become a central issue in the legal fight over whether Musk, who is Tesla Inc’s chief executive, must complete his $44 billion acquisition of the social media company,” the report noted. “Twitter was ordered to collect, review and produce documents from former General Manager of Consumer Product Kayvon Beykpour, according to the order from Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery,” the report added.

Elon Musk announced in early June that he would abandon his $44 billion Twitter offer after the company failed to provide satisfactory information about fake ‘bot’ accounts. Twitter sued the Tesla CEO to force him to uphold the deal. In a letter to Twitter’s board, Musk’s lawyer Mike Ringler complained his client had sought data to determine how many “fake or spam” accounts are on the social media platform. “Twitter has failed or refused to provide this information. Sometimes Twitter has ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, sometimes it has rejected them for reasons that appear to be unjustified, and sometimes it has claimed to comply while giving Mr. Musk incomplete or unusable information,” the letter said. Musk could be on solid legal ground to pull out of the deal if Twitter had attempted to defraud him during the takeover process.

“A reverse breakup fee paid from a buyer to a target applies when there is an outside reason a deal can’t close, such as regulatory intermediation or third-party financing concerns. A buyer can also walk if there’s fraud, assuming the discovery of incorrect information has a so-called ‘material adverse effect.’ A market dip, like the current sell-off that has caused Twitter to lose more than $9 billion in market cap, wouldn’t count as a valid reason for Musk to cut loose — breakup fee or no breakup fee — according to a senior Mergers and Acquisitions lawyer familiar with the matter,” CNBC reported.

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“The United States Constitution shields American citizens from US government overreach..”

CIA, Pompeo Sued For Spying On Attorneys, Journalists Who Met With Assange (D.)

A group of journalists and lawyers, who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he was living under political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, sued the CIA and former CIA director Mike Pompeo. They allege that the agency under Pompeo spied on them in violation of their privacy rights. Undercover Global S.L., a private security company in Spain, and the company’s director David Morales are also named as defendants. UC Global ramped up surveillance against Assange and shared audio and video footage from the embassy with “American intelligence.” “The United States Constitution shields American citizens from US government overreach even when the activities take place in a foreign embassy in a foreign country.

“Visitors who are lawyers, journalists and doctors frequently carry confidential information in their devices,” declared Richard Roth, who is the lead attorney representing the plaintiffs. “They had a reasonable expectation that the security guards at the Ecuadorian embassy in London would not be US government spies charged with delivering copies of their electronics to the CIA,” Roth added. Two of the plaintiffs are attorneys who have represented Assange—Margaret Rather Kunstler, a civil rights activist and human rights attorney, and Deborah Hrbek, a media lawyer. The other two plaintiffs are journalists Charles Glass and John Goetz, who worked for Der Spiegel when the German media organization first partnered with WikiLeaks to publish documents on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

[..] According to the complaint [PDF] filed in a US court in the Southern District of New York, Glass, Goetz, Hrbek, and Kunstler, like all visitors, were required to “surrender” their electronic devices to UC Global employees hired by Ecuador to provide security for the embassy. What they did not know is that UC Global “copied the information stored on the devices” and allegedly shared the information with the CIA. Pompeo allegedly authorized and approved the action. Security required plaintiffs to leave their devices with them, which contained “confidential and privileged information about their sources or clients. This information was copied and allegedly shared with the CIA. It is estimated that “well over 100 American citizens who visited Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy” had their privacy rights violated. This includes attorneys who were there to represent Assange, journalists who traveled to interview him, and even doctors who came to the embassy to assess and treat his deteriorating health.

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Chinese century??

 

 

 

$717 a month

 

 

 

 

(Part of) Monastiraki in the foreground, Acropolis in the back.

 

 

Friends

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 132022
 
 August 13, 2022  Posted by at 9:04 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Edward Hopper The “Martha McKeen” of Wellfleet 1944

 

Trump Describes Process Of How He Declassified Documents (JTN)
Ratcliffe On Classified Documents: ‘Virtually Impossible To Prosecute’ (WE)
Trump Prosecution Unleashes More Than Our Political System Can Handle (Mises)
Gestapo the Steal (Jim Kunstler)
Marjorie Taylor Greene Files For Impeachment Of Merrick Garland (JTN)
FBI, RIP? (Victor Davis Hanson)
Berlin Names Candidate To Negotiate With Moscow (RT)
German ex-Chancellor Sues Parliament (RT)
Why Germany Won’t Get Tough On Beijing – Even If It Invades Taiwan (Pol.eu)
Germany At Risk Of Mass Unrest – Security Official (RT)
EU In For Another Winter Shock – Reuters (RT)
Most German Howitzers In Ukraine Out Of Order – Official (RT)
Wall Street Is Mostly to Blame for Rising Commodity Prices (Jacobin)
Biden’s Paxlovid Nightmare Exposes the Need to Make Doctors Great Again (Cap.)

 

 

 

 

Spanish Farmers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dutch farmer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1557990961329983488

 

 


@HunterDeRensis: “The thing I love about this 1972 George McGovern pin is that fifty years later no modern Democrat would dare replicate it.”

 

 

Interesting opinions DeSantis

 

 

 

 

“He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified..”

Trump Describes Process Of How He Declassified Documents (JTN)

Donald Trump’s office told Just the News on Friday that the classified materials the FBI seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate were declassified under a “standing order” while he was president that allowed him to take sensitive materials to the White House residence at night to keep working. The official statement is likely to become the focus of the president’s legal defense as the FBI and Biden Justice Department investigate whether he stole records covered under the Presidential Records Act or mishandled classified materials under the Espionage Act, allegations included in a search warrant released by a federal court in Florida on Friday.

The president’s defense is rooted in the legal principal that the president and vice president are the ultimate declassifying authority of the U.S. government and through executive orders most recently issued in 2003 by George W. Bush and Barack Obama in 2009 that specifically exempt the president and vice president from having to follow the stringent declassification procedures every other federal agency and official must follow. Trump has maintained for weeks that any documents still containing classified markings in his possession after he left office were previously declassified. On Friday night, the statement issued to Just the News explained exactly how that declassification occurred in his mind.

The very fact that these documents were present at Mar-a-Lago means they couldn’t have been classified,” the former president’s office stated. “As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different. President Trump, in order to prepare for work the next day, often took documents including classified documents from the Oval Office to the residence. “He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken into the residence were deemed to be declassified,” the statement added. “The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States. The idea that some paper-pushing bureaucrat, with classification authority delegated BY THE PRESIDENT, needs to approve of declassification is absurd.”

Kash Patel: Documents were already declassified

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There will be 100 cases vs Trump. Just to make sure he’s occupied.

Ratcliffe On Classified Documents: ‘Virtually Impossible To Prosecute’ (WE)

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe argued that it is “virtually impossible” to prosecute his onetime boss, former President Donald Trump, for alleged mishandling of classified material. While chiding the FBI for “acting as the muscle” of the Democrats, the Trump-era spy chief hearkened back to Hillary Clinton’s email situation and surmised that Trump possessed the “ultimate declassification authority,” shielding him from liability. “I thought, surely this is not about classified documents and the president being in possession of those. It has to be more than that because the Department of Justice and the FBI have already set a standard that makes it virtually impossible to prosecute a case like that,” Ratcliffe told Fox Business’s Larry Kudlow, who is another former Trump administration official.

Although no president has ever been prosecuted for mishandling classified material, some experts dispute the notion that one could suddenly deem something declassified and argue that the president must instead follow a formal process. “I’ve seen thousands of declassified documents. They’re all marked ‘declassified’ with the date they were declassified,” Richard Immerman, assistant deputy director of national intelligence in the Obama administration, told NBC News. During a Monday raid, FBI agents carried out a search warrant of Trump’s lavish Mar-a-Lago resort and reportedly retrieved some 20 boxes of material while seeking documents with details about nuclear weapons.

A warrant released to the public Friday revealed that authorities were looking for material retained in violation of three federal laws, including the Espionage Act. “As people talk about Espionage Act and classified documents and all of that, the standard was set in 2016. Remember the Department of Justice and the FBI took the official position that Hillary Clinton, who was in possession of classified documents … that in possession of that — that wasn’t enough and that being grossly negligent … that’s not enough under the Espionage Act,” Ratcliffe continued. “The Department of Justice and FBI said six years ago, you gotta be able to prove intent. He’s already denied that he had the intent to do it,” he added.

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“..if they file criminal charges against Trump, they know they will be unleashing a mix of anger and political forces that they cannot control.”

Trump Prosecution Unleashes More Than Our Political System Can Handle (Mises)

With the recent FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Florida home, the Democrats and the Biden administration have raised the political stakes to a level from which this country as we have known it may never return. All one can say to those that are demanding a criminal prosecution of the former president is: Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it. Although the raid ostensibly was to see if Trump took classified documents from the White House when he left in a chaotic move in January 2021, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy believes the Biden administration was again attempting to find that proverbial “smoking gun” tying Trump to the January 6 Capitol riot. Whether or not Attorney General Merrick Garland is able to grab the brass ring and prosecute Trump after yet one more fishing expedition is another story, although I doubt that any president has seen as many resources used to investigate him as has Donald Trump, but the Department of Justice has not filed charges yet.

Understand that anyone reading this article has committed a federal crime at some point, perhaps more than once. I adopted four children from overseas, and while I was not involved in the details (done through legitimate and registered adoption agencies), I can be held criminally responsible if anyone paid bribes in the countries where the adoptions took place. Even if investigators could not prove someone paid bribes, they could still charge me with a crime on a mere pretext. And the charges would stick, and most likely a federal jury would vote to convict. Remember that Democrats wanted Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two children from Haiti investigated. While the demands were overtly political, it was clear that the Democrats believed in using criminal law to achieve political purposes in her case, but using the law that way hardly is limited to operatives of the Democratic Party.

Anyone who has Democrat friends on social media knows that they are obsessed with having Trump charged, convicted, and thrown in prison. Because I spent many years researching and writing about federal criminal law, I can say that if federal authorities wish to charge someone with a crime, nothing, not even the law itself, stands in their way. So, if the Biden administration really wants to charge Trump with something, the FBI will have no trouble cooking up something to order. Furthermore, if the DOJ were to charge Trump with something, he would be tried in Washington, DC, facing a jury made up entirely of DC Democrats that almost surely will have decided guilt even before the trial begins. While the feds already know this, they also know something else: if they file criminal charges against Trump, they know they will be unleashing a mix of anger and political forces that they cannot control.

RE-classified
https://twitter.com/i/status/1557837508741832704

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“..the intel-and-surveillance agencies are fighting for their lives — and the actual humans in charge must be keenly aware of their criminal liabilities.”

Gestapo the Steal (Jim Kunstler)

To America’s political Left, serving its masters in the runaway deep state, reality itself must be portrayed as “baseless,” as in nothing to see here, folks. Is it any wonder, then, that half the country has gone mental. The reality they don’t want you to see is that the intel-and-surveillance agencies of our Republic have taken on a rogue life of their own as a dominant “fourth branch of government,” and that some time ago they embarked on a crime spree against anyone threatening their operations. That would include especially target number one: Donald Trump. For a masterful explication of how this amazing clusterfuck developed, I commend you to The Conservative Treehouse website where the writer who styles himself as “Sundance” put together a four-part report on how the original sin of RussiaGate metastasized into the stage-four cancer of institutional necrosis that culminated in this week’s raid on Mar-a-Lago.

The gist is: it turns out that the president does not have sole authority, in practice, to declassify and release government documents. With the rise of the security state, many new procedures have been erected within that massive labyrinth to prevent it or slow-walk it. The most effective has been to make the president himself a target of, or a material witness in, drawn-out investigations. That was the exact purpose of the Mueller exercise. Any exculpatory documents released by Mr. Trump — for instance, the complete unredacted text exchanges of FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — could have been used to hang an obstruction of justice charge on the president.

Mr. Trump adroitly avoided that trap, and many other legal pitfalls the deep state laid for him, and might have won reelection but for the well-organized ballot fraud of 2020. But the epic blunders of “Joe Biden” are giving Mr. Trump, and the movement behind him, a pretty good shot at routing the incumbent regime. Doing so, first in the 2022 midterms and then in the 2024 presidential election, portends a now quite visible effort coming to dismantle that reckless, unelected “fourth branch” of government. So, the intel-and-surveillance agencies are fighting for their lives — and the actual humans in charge must be keenly aware of their criminal liabilities.

Despite all attempts to disable him in office, Mr. Trump, as president, got to see an awful lot of classified material, including all the evidence of Hillary Clinton’s Russia Collusion hoax, abetted by the FBI, the DOJ, CIA, and DOD, plus all the lawless shenanigans that took place in the FISA court. A lot of it was assembled when, late in the game, Mr. Trump was finally able to appoint Directors of National Intelligence he could trust — Ric Grenell and then John Ratcliffe — who wrested many documents out of the foot-dragging agencies. Further maneuvers by artful Attorney General William Barr — the appointment of John Durham as Special Counsel and his drawn-out investigations — kept Mr. Trump from releasing any declassified RussiaGate material ever since. The catch was: he still had bales of that evidence in his possession among the personal papers he took with him from the White House.

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Someone has to.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Files For Impeachment Of Merrick Garland (JTN)

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Friday announced that she had filed articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland following the FBI’s Monday raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Greene posted the articles on Twitter, saying that Garland’s “personal approval to seek a search warrant for the raid on the home of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, constitutes a blatant attempt to persecute a political opponent.” FBI agents from the Washington Field Office on Monday raided Trump’s Florida estate in search of classified documents the former president may have removed from the White House. After Republicans near-unanimously denounced the FBI’s actions as political persecution, Garland issued a statement confirming that he had personally approved the raid.


Greene claims that the attorney general’s unsealing of “the search warrant for the home of former President Donald J. Trump constitutes an attempt to intimidate, harass, and potentially disqualify a political challenger to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.” Trump, however, announced early Friday morning that he would support the release of the warrant to the public. “Release the documents now!” he posted on his social media platform, Truth Social. Former President Barack Obama nominated Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, though then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked his confirmation, instead waiting until Trump took office to confirm his nominee, now-Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch.

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“On 245 occasions, Comey claimed under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that he had no memory or knowledge of key questions concerning his tenure.”

FBI, RIP? (Victor Davis Hanson)

Wray took over from disgraced interim FBI Director Andrew McCabe. The latter admitted lying repeatedly to federal investigators and signed off on a fraudulent FBI FISA application. He faced zero legal consequences. McCabe, remember, was also the point man in the softball Hillary Clinton email investigation — while his wife was a political candidate and recipient of thousands of dollars from a political action committee with close ties to the Clinton family. McCabe took over from disgraced FBI Director James Comey. On 245 occasions, Comey claimed under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that he had no memory or knowledge of key questions concerning his tenure. With impunity, he leaked confidential FBI memos to the media.

Comey took over from Director Robert Mueller. Implausibly, Mueller swore under oath that he had no knowledge, either of the Steele dossier or of Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned Christopher Steele to compile the dossier. But those were the very twin catalysts that had prompted his entire special investigation into the Russian collusion hoax. FBI legal counsel Kevin Clinesmith was convicted of a felony for altering an FBI warrant request to spy on an innocent Carter Page. The FBI, by Comey’s own public boasts, bragged how it caught National Security Advisor-designate General Michael Flynn in its Crossfire Hurricane Russian collusion hoax. As special counsel, Mueller then fired two of his top investigators — Lisa Page and Peter Strzok — for improper personal and professional behavior. He then staggered their releases to mask their collaborative wrongdoing. Mueller’s team deleted critical cell phone evidence under subpoena that might well have revealed systemic FBI-related bias.


The FBI interferes with and warps national elections. It hires complete frauds as informants who are far worse than its targets. It humiliates or exempts government and elected officials based on their politics. It violates the civil liberties of individual American citizens. The FBI’s highest officials now routinely mislead Congress. They have erased or altered court and subpoenaed evidence. They illegally leak confidential material to the media. And they have lied under oath to federal investigators. The agency has become dangerous to Americans and an existential threat to their democracy and rule of law. The FBI should be dispersing its investigatory responsibilities to other government investigative agencies that have not yet lost the public’s trust.

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That’s what I said recently: Schroeder is the ideal guy to make peace. “..last month the former chancellor made it clear that he would still use every opportunity to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the “diplomatic solution,” in his opinion, is the only way to end the Ukrainian conflict…”

Berlin Names Candidate To Negotiate With Moscow (RT)

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroder could be a possible intermediary in the current dispute with Russia over reduced gas deliveries, incumbent chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday. It would be “commendable” if Schroder were to talk to Moscow about the turbine that is currently in Germany, Scholz said, speaking at his first summer press conference since entering office last year. According to Scholz, the return of the equipment vital for the functioning of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would prompt Russia to restart gas supplies via this route as soon as possible. The turbine has been embroiled in a major dispute between Russia and Germany, after having undergone maintenance in Canada. The equipment was meant to be shipped to the compressor station at the pipeline in Russia back in May, so that the gas flow to the EU could be maintained at full capacity.


However, its return was first delayed by Canada due to the country’s sanctions on Moscow. Now it is stuck in Germany because it lacks proper documentation, according to Russia’s Gazprom. The Russian state-run energy giant has been insisting that Western sanctions are hindering the return of the turbine from Germany and threaten future equipment repair at the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The firm said that the paperwork for the turbine’s return is not in order as it was issued by Siemens Energy and not the firm that is contracted by Gazprom. Schroder, who was Germany’s chancellor between 1998 and 2005, has been repeatedly criticized for his business ties to Russian state-owned energy companies. In May, the former chancellor was forced to leave the supervisory board of the Russian energy giant Rosneft and turn down a nomination for a supervisory-board position at Gazprom. In late July, Schroder met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has also urged the German government to reconsider its position on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Stop
https://twitter.com/i/status/1558229618389303298

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He was German Chancellor for years, like Merkel, and now they want to deny him an office in Berlin. It’s not just the US that’s gone berserk.

He lives in both worlds. Invaluable. “Amid pressure over his ties with Russia, Schroeder stepped down from his position on the board of Russian oil giant Rosneft and declined a nomination for a position on Gazprom’s board.”

German ex-Chancellor Sues Parliament (RT)

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has launched a legal bid to get back funding for his office and staff. The privileges were withdrawn in May by the Bundestag’s budget committee, his lawyers told broadcaster NDR on Friday. Since the launch of Moscow’s military offensive in Ukraine, Schroeder has been fiercely criticized for his work with Russia. His perceived close relationship to Moscow, however, was not mentioned by the budget committee when it passed the motion to strip him of some privileges. Officially, the new rule, which can be applied to other former chancellors, states that funding will be based “on the ongoing obligations from the office” rather than on the status of the recipient. Schroeder’s lawyers filed a lawsuit on Thursday with the Berlin Administrative Court arguing that “the decision to deprive former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of his staffing is contrary to the rule of law.”

In an interview with NDR, one of the legal team stressed that Schroeder was not even given a chance to present his arguments to the committee or to talk to its chairman Helge Braun. This represents “a clear violation of human dignity,” the lawyer said. In a statement, sent to the DPA news agency, the legal team further explained that the Bundestag committee had claimed that Schroeder no longer takes care of the so-called “after-effects of official duties.” “However, it is not specified what ‘after-effects of official duties’ actually are, how their perception or non-perception is to be determined and what procedure is to be followed,” the statement read. Such decisions are reminiscent of an “absolutist princely state” and should not take place in a democratic country, the lawyers emphasized.

Last year, Schroeder’s office and travel expenses amounted to more than €400,000 ($412,000). The 78-year-old continues to receive a pension of €8,300 as well as personal security protection. Earlier this week, Schroeder, who was chancellor from 1998 to 2005, scored an important victory: The Hanover arbitration commission of the Social Democratic party ruled that his work with Russian state-owned companies had not violated its charter, and he avoided expulsion from the party. However, Lower Saxony’s SPD leader Stephan Weil told media that while the commission’s decision should be respected, it does not change the party’s stance. “For us it is clear: Gerhard Schroder is politically isolated with his positions in the SPD,” Weil claimed. [..] last month the former chancellor made it clear that he would still use every opportunity to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the “diplomatic solution,” in his opinion, is the only way to end the Ukrainian conflict.

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“..China has overtaken the U.S. to become Germany’s biggest trading partner..”

Why Germany Won’t Get Tough On Beijing – Even If It Invades Taiwan (Pol.eu)

Germany’s Wagnerian foreign policy spectacle is moving east. Spoiler alert: It’s even worse than the original. For months, Berlin has frustrated (read enraged) many allies with its one step forward, two steps back approach to confronting Russia over Ukraine. Yet that tortured episode is looking like little more than an overture to what’s brewing in Asia, as tensions over Taiwan force Berlin to weigh how it would respond if Beijing tries to seize the island nation, which China considers a breakaway region. If that happens, the U.S. and other Western allies would push for tough sanctions against China. Germany is unlikely to be among them, a course that could protect its export-driven economy, but damage both its own and Europe’s international credibility.

Asked Thursday whether Germany could afford to support sanctions in the event of a Chinese invasion, Chancellor Olaf Scholz dodged the question, while reprimanding German industry for ignoring the maxim “to not put all your eggs in one basket.” “The question of our country’s dependence in crucial areas concerning supply chains, raw materials and other things is a necessary element of our national security strategy, which we’re working on at the moment,” he added, without mentioning China by name. Others have been more direct. German industry’s reliance on exports has “created a dependency that leaves us helpless,” Norbert Röttgen, a prominent center-right MP, told German television earlier this week. Could Germany back sanctions against China?

“At the moment, not really,” said Röttgen, a former minister and longtime chairman of the German parliament’s foreign policy committee. While the debate is in many respects a redux of Germany’s manic handwringing over whether and how to confront Russia over Ukraine, this time even more is at stake. Germany’s big concern over antagonizing Moscow was losing access to cheap energy. With Beijing, it’s about losing the foundation of its economic prosperity. In recent years, China has overtaken the U.S. to become Germany’s biggest trading partner, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the country’s €2.6 trillion in foreign trade last year. What’s more, China, which has propelled the German economy for decades, remains a key growth driver. That’s why reducing German industry’s reliance on the country is easier said than done.

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“gas shortages, energy problems, supply difficulties, possible recession, unemployment, but also the growing poverty right up to the middle class.”

Germany At Risk Of Mass Unrest – Security Official (RT)

Germany could be facing mass unrest this autumn and protests over the energy crisis could be hijacked by extremists, a regional head of the country’s domestic security agency has said. Stephan Kramer, who heads the BfV in the state of Thuringia, said Germany must be prepared for the possibility that “legitimate” protests over energy and economic crises could be “infiltrated by extremists.” He told ZDF broadcaster on Wednesday that demonstrations could be expected over “gas shortages, energy problems, supply difficulties, possible recession, unemployment, but also the growing poverty right up to the middle class.”

“Extremists” who could hijack the protests include the so-called “lateral thinkers” who rallied against coronavirus restrictions during the pandemic, and right-wing activists who have already been stirring the mood on social media in recent months, Kramer said. If such scenarios materialize, “we’re likely to be confronted with mass protests and riots,” the official warned. Due to Covid-19 and the economic fallout from EU sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, “we’re dealing with a highly emotionalized, aggressive, future-pessimistic mood in society, whose trust in the state, its institutions and political actors is fraught with massive doubts,” he explained.

“This highly emotional and explosive mood could easily escalate,” the security chief said, adding that if this happens the clashes seen by Germany during the pandemic will “probably feel more like a children’s birthday party” by comparison. According to the official, effective crisis management and cooperation between political forces on all sides of the spectrum would be required to avoid what he called a “hot autumn.” But the most important factor in avoiding unrest and maintaining social peace should be restoring the confidence of Germans in the authorities, he added. Kramer also advised the people to “think carefully about which protests and demonstrations you join, or better stay away from them altogether, so as not to support the enemies of democracy.”

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“..60% of the region’s seaborne diesel imports originated from Russia last month…”

EU In For Another Winter Shock – Reuters (RT)

The European Union is heading into winter with seasonally low levels of diesel in storage tanks, Reuters reported on Friday, warning of major implications for the continent’s industries and drivers amid looming sanctions on Russian crude oil and refined product supplies. The latest data from Wood Mackenzie shows the region’s stockpiles of road diesel, heating oil and other diesel-type fuel are set to dwindle this November to the lowest levels on record in data that goes back to the start of 2011. According to a Reuters report, current prices trade at a premium to prices for future deliveries, which makes it uneconomical for traders to put diesel into storage and book a profit. “No one in their right mind would put diesel into tanks at those levels,” an unnamed European trader told the outlet.

The situation is deteriorating as the market is already tight due to refinery outages in Austria, which along with Germany and Switzerland is looking to build heating oil stocks ahead of winter. Meanwhile, surging natural gas prices, which are encouraging a switch to oil products for power generation could also tighten the market further, FGE Energy warns. The International Energy Agency on Thursday raised its forecast for oil demand growth for this year by 380,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 2.1 million bpd citing the gas-to-oil switch. Reuters pointed out, citing data from energy analytics firm Vortexa, that Europe continues to rely heavily on Russia to satisfy its diesel demand. Statistics show that 60% of the region’s seaborne diesel imports originated from Russia last month.

And with no evidence that companies are stockpiling ahead of sanctions, “traders expect Europe to be in for a winter shock,” the media outlet wrote. It quoted another European trader as saying “Who knows what is going to happen [at the] back end of this year, early next – looks like it will be carnage for a bit.” The European Union plans to stop buying all seaborne Russian crude oil from early December and will ban all refined products from the country two months later.

Read more …

Black Hole.

Most German Howitzers In Ukraine Out Of Order – Official (RT)

Most German PzH 2000 howitzers that have been supplied to Ukraine by the West have already broken down and are in need of repair, according to German Bundestag member Marcus Faber, who recently visited Ukraine. In a Wednesday interview with the German news outlet NTV, the politician claimed he was surprised to learn from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense that only five of the 15 German-made PzH 2000 howitzers supplied to Ukraine by Berlin and Amsterdam were still operational. He added that the cause of the failures was not Russian fire, but the fact that the guns were “massively used” by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. While Kiev has yet to officially confirm Faber’s statements, it was reported last month by Der Spiegel that Ukraine had informed Germany that a number of PzH 2000 howitzers were malfunctioning after extensive use.

According to the outlet, the German Ministry of Defense believed the issues may have resulted from high intensity firing, which may have impacted the artillery round loading mechanism. Der Spiegel said 100 shots a day was considered a “high level of shooting intensity” for the howitzer. Faber also stated that Kiev had requested more spare parts for the weapons and was “optimistic” that it could bring the howitzers back into working order. He noted that while Germany had already supplied Ukraine with spare parts packages, not all of them were “the right ones.” He pointed out that spare parts were not always enough and that larger repairs required special workshops, meaning the Ukrainians could only carry out minor repairs themselves.

According to Faber, Kiev has already requested help in building their own repair facilities in order to avoid having to send the howitzers out of the country for maintenance. Germany has so far supplied Kiev with ten PzH 2000 howitzers while another five were provided by the Netherlands, who have promised another three. Meanwhile, German arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann struck a deal with the Ukrainian government in late July that would see the firm produce and supply Kiev with some 100 PzH 2000 howitzers, according to a Der Spiegel report. A company spokesperson was quoted as stating that the arms deal was worth $1.72 billion – almost triple the cost of all military aid Berlin has sent to Kiev’s forces since Russia launched its military operation in late February.

However, Faber has pointed out that these 100 howitzers will not be delivered to Ukraine before the end of next year and has called on Berlin to send Kiev weapons out of its own reserves, which could then be replenished by Ukrainian order. Germany has previously supplied Ukrainian forces with thousands of portable anti-tank and anti-air missiles, tens of thousands of anti-tank mines, as well as millions of rounds of ammunition. However, Kiev and even the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany have still criticized Berlin for what they called reluctance to send military aid to Ukraine and the slow pace of deliveries. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against sending weapons to Kiev, saying it only prolongs the conflict and increases the number of casualties.

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“..their Black Sea exports make up just 0.9 percent of global wheat production..”

Wall Street Is Mostly to Blame for Rising Commodity Prices (Jacobin)

On July 5, the markets admitted they made a mistake. Despite betting for months that the war in Ukraine would produce a global shortage of wheat, speculators now believe that the hostilities will have had no meaningful impact on supply. That’s why the news that Russia will allow Ukraine’s Black Sea wheat exports to resume has barely registered. By the time that the belligerents came to this agreement on July 21, prices had already been “corrected” sharply downward to prewar levels. Then on August 4, oil prices also sank below their prewar price, marking a second admission by the market. Right now, just as much oil flows into the veins of the global economy as it did before the war began. The Kremlin’s war did not create a Malthusian nightmare of too little food and fuel for too many people.

But financial speculators in Wall Street and the City of London bet that it would, causing global prices to boom — and now bust. This speculation led to months of eye-watering prices based not on economic fundamentals but perception. Soaring food and fuel prices pushed 71 million of the world’s most vulnerable people into extreme poverty. The high prices triggered protests in Argentina, Chile, Cyprus, Greece, Guinea, Ghana, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Lebanon, Palestine, Peru, Sudan, and Tunisia. In Sri Lanka, the prices sparked protests, toppled the prime minister, created a debt crisis, and last week deposed the president. Commodity driven inflation also hit the United States, hammered Joe Biden’s approval ratings, and despite now falling gas prices may have already condemned the Democrats to humiliating defeats in the coming midterms.

Why did the markets get it so wrong? As the Nobel laureate Robert Shiller has shown, behind every price move there is a narrative. In the weeks following the war’s outbreak, headlines issued dire warnings of crippling sanctions, embargoed oil, stranded wheat rotting in silos, blocked Russian ports, and Black Sea blockades. All of these stories were, in a literal sense, true. But the question is whether these “facts” justified the skyrocketing prices that followed. The verdict, based on the most recent market correction, is a firm no. This is not just a function of hindsight. For one, even oil embargos with broad international support fail to stop barrels crossing borders, let alone the lopsided and loophole-ridden effort from the United States and Europe to limit Russian exports.

Warnings of a coming global food crisis assumed that Russia and Ukraine’s wheat exports — 25 percent of the global total — would be stranded forever. But physical commodity traders are remarkably resilient at overcoming barriers — be they war zones, tariffs, the Drug Enforcement Administration, or pirates. Russians and Ukrainians alike stood to profit greatly from getting siloed grain to global markets since prices at the start of the year were already elevated. It’s no surprise that they did indeed find ways to do so: by reviving river routes, using Romanian ports, and smuggling stolen grain. Even if none of their combined grain left, their Black Sea exports make up just 0.9 percent of global wheat production, and grain stockpiles were already rising across the world in March as farmers had expanded production in 2021.

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“..today, while giving a speech on the White House South Lawn, he couldn’t stop coughing for minutes at a time..”

Biden’s Paxlovid Nightmare Exposes the Need to Make Doctors Great Again (Cap.)

President Biden, said by his doctor to be a “healthy, vigorous” seventy-nine-year-old man, finally left White House quarantine yesterday for Delaware, declared free of the covid-19 virus and re-joining his wife after a nightmarish 19-day covid ordeal. But today, while giving a speech on the White House South Lawn, he couldn’t stop coughing for minutes at a time, though his doctors declared him this morning free of the virus. Don’t say I didn’t warn you: You are about to enter Clown World. Coughing, fatigue, a sore throat, runny nose, and body aches dogged the president after his July 21 positive covid test. He was given Paxlovid, the absurdly flawed but highly profitable Pfizer drug approved by his administration for treatment of mild covid cases.


Biden was reported cleared of the virus, then suffered a rebound infection July 30 known, along with many perilous drug interactions, to be associated with Paxlovid. Dr. Robert Malone and other scientists speculated that in fact the virus never left the president’s body but kept dangerously mutating, “truly the worst case scenario for a single mechanism of action drug used as a therapy against COVID-19.” Dangerous for us all. Meanwhile, one of my good friends, an eighty-four-year-old man with heart disease and diabetes, came down with covid last week. He took a .4 mg/kg dose of ivermectin according to the world-renowned FLCCC.net covid treatment protocol, and was completely free of symptoms in two hours. His wife took the recommended prevention dose of .2 mg/kg and never got sick. To protect others, my friend stayed home for a few symptom-free days (still enjoying the company of his wife, unlike Joe), then happily walked four miles in the heat with friends yesterday. Yes, Clown World means in all likelihood you and your friends are better covid doctors than the president’s doctor.

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Perfecto
https://twitter.com/i/status/1558229770059632642

 

 

 

 

London 1924

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Apr 042022
 


Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian man c1510 (see comments at link)

 

Bucha (Klarenberg)
New Witness Testimony About Mariupol Maternity Hospital ‘Airstrike’ (GZ)
German Retailers To Increase Food Prices By 20-50% On Monday (ZH)
‘Rublegas:’ The World’s New Resource-based Reserve Currency (Escobar)
Russian Ruble Relaunched, Linked To Gold & Commodities (Manly)
2 Pro-Putin Parties Win Avalanche Victories In European Elections (ZH)
Russia And Serbia Are Projected To Become The Empire’s White Colonies (Antonic)
Fauci’s United Front Is Collapsing (Tucker)
NIH Admits it ‘Suppressed’ Wuhan Lab Data, Disputes ‘Deleted’ Label (ET)
Joe Biden Should Be Removed Before Putin, US Poll Says (Exp.)
Biden’s ‘Absolute’ Defense Of Hunter (Turley)
Biden Wants Attorney General Garland to Prosecute Trump (Turley)
From Maria’s Office … the Fashion Nazi (Zakharova)

 

 

 

 

Zelensky Grammys
https://twitter.com/i/status/1510799460372262917

 

 

 

 

This is an excerpt from the article right below, by Kit Klarenberg (MUST READ). I picked this part because the story of 100s of bodies on the streets of Bucha is everywhere today. Only, the photos used are straight from the Ukraine goverment, and nobody fact checked them. What we do know is that the day before, the bodies were nowhere to be seen.

The role of the “embedded” Associated Press is also interesting.

Bucha (Klarenberg)

Hours before the publication of this article, on April 2nd, claims of Russia’s most hideous alleged war crime to date erupted across social media. Footage and photos of scores of dead bodies – some with their hands tied – littering the streets of Bucha, a small city near Kiev, testified to an apparent massacre of military-aged men by Russian troops, as they retreated from the battered city two days earlier. The gruesome visuals have triggered intensified calls for direct Western military confrontation with Russia. But as with the incident at the maternity ward in Mariupol and numerous other high profile events initially portrayed by Ukrainian authorities as Russian massacres, a series of details cast doubt on the official story out of Bucha.

Within hours of Russia’s withdrawal from the Bucha on March 31st, its mayor announced that his city had been liberated from “Russian orcs,” employing a dehumanizing term widely used by Azov Battalion. An accompanying article noted the Russians had “mined civilian buildings and infrastructure,” but no mention was made of any mass killing of local citizens, let alone scores of corpses left in the street, which one might reasonably expect would be top of any news outlet’s agenda when reporting on the event. On April 2, within hours of the publication of photos and videos purporting to show victims of an alleged Russian massacre, Ukrainian media reported that specialist units had begun “clearing the area of saboteurs and accomplices of Russian troops.” Nothing was said about dead bodies in the streets.

The National Police of Ukraine announced that day that they were “cleaning the territory…from the assistants of Russian troops,” publishing video that showed no corpses in the streets of Bucha and Ukrainian forces in full control of the city.

Brennan

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Staged. An attempt to start WWII. Bucha is the next stage in that attempt. False flags everywhere.

New Witness Testimony About Mariupol Maternity Hospital ‘Airstrike’ (GZ)

A key witness to the widely publicized incident at the Mariupol maternity hospital has punctured the official narrative of a Russian airstrike on the facility, and raised serious questions about Western media ethics. Meanwhile, news of a massacre in the city of Bucha contains suspicious elements. On March 9th, shocking news of a deliberate Russian airstrike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, began spreading widely via social media and news outlets. Fiery condemnation from Western officials, pundits, and journalists was immediate. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, for his part, claimed the act was proof of the “genocide” Russia was perpetrating against the civilian population, and urged European leaders to condemn the “war crime” and “strengthen sanctions” to stop the Kremlin’s “evil” deeds in the country.

NPR suggested the attack was part of Russia’s “terrible wartime tradition” of purposefully targeting health facilities and medics during conflicts, dating back to Chechnya. But newly released testimony from one of the incident’s main witnesses punctures the official narrative about a targeted Russian airstrike on the hospital. The witness account indicates the hospital had been turned into a base of operations by Ukrainian military forces and was not targeted in an airstrike, as Western media claimed. Her testimony also raised serious questions about whether at least some elements of the event were staged for propaganda purposes – and with the cooperation of the Associated Press.

The new testimony (watch below) comes on the heels of evidence strongly suggesting that the destruction of a dramatic theater in Mariupol on March 16 was staged by the Azov Battalion, and that nearly all civilians had evacuated a day before. And as we will see below, new reports of a Russian massacre of scores of civilians in the town of Bucha also contain suspicious details suggesting a pattern of information manipulation aimed at triggering Western military intervention. Mariana Vishegirskaya, a pregnant resident of Donetsk who was present at the maternity hospital during the widely reported incident, has evacuated from Mariupol and is now speaking out. Photos showing a bloodied Vishnevskaya fleeing the building with her personal belongings became a centerpiece of coverage of the attack, along with a photo of another woman being carried away pale and unconscious on a stretcher.

In the wake of the incident, Russian officials falsely claimed the pair were the same person, citing Vishegirskaya’s background as a blogger and Instagram personality as evidence she was a crisis actor and the incident a false flag. Though that assertion was not true, as we shall see, the hospital had been almost completely taken over by the Ukrainian military.

Zelensky Azov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1510573197804158980

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Only part of this is due to Ukraine.

German Retailers To Increase Food Prices By 20-50% On Monday (ZH)

Just days after Germany reported the highest inflation in generation (with February headline CPI soaring at a 7.6% annual pace and blowing away all expectations), giving locals a distinctly unpleasant deja vu feeling even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine broke what few supply chains remained and sent prices even higher into the stratosphere… … on Monday, Germany will take one step toward a return of the dreaded Weimar hyperinflation, when according to the German Retail Association (HDE), consumers should prepare for another wave of price hikes for everyday goods and groceries with Reuters reporting that prices at German retail chains will explode between 20 and 50%:

Even before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, prices had risen by about five per cent “across the product range” as a result of increased energy prices, HDE President Josef Sanktjohanser told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Friday. With Russia’s invasion hitting economies and the supply chain harder, yet another series of price increases is on the horizon. “The second wave of price increases is coming, and it will certainly be in double figures,” Sanktjohanser warned, cited by The Local. According to the president of the trade association, the first retail chains have already started to raise their prices in Germany – and the rest are likely to follow. “We will soon be able to see the impact of the war reflected in price labels across all the supermarkets,” said Sanktjohanser.

Recently, popular retail chains such as Aldi, Edeka and Globus announced that they would be forced to raise their prices. At Aldi, meat and butter will be “significantly more expensive” from Monday due to price hikes from its suppliers. “Since the start of the Ukraine war, there have been jumps in purchase prices that we have not experienced before,” a spokesperson for Aldi Nord announced on Friday. A fortnight ago, Aldi raised the prices of about 160 items, and a week later 20 more items became more expensive. Other supermarket brands quickly followed suit. In February, Germany’s cost of living rose at the highest level since reunification, with everyday goods increasing by an average of 7.3%. The federal statistics agency Destatis said the jump from January’s figure of 5.1 percent to February’s 7.3 percent reflected the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has sent the price of oil and gas soaring.

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“..the Americans want the war to go on indefinitely, to “bog down” Moscow as if this was Afghanistan in the 1980s, and have strictly forbidden the Ukrainian Comedian in front of a green screen somewhere – certainly not Kiev – to accept any ceasefire or peace deal.”

‘Rublegas:’ The World’s New Resource-based Reserve Currency (Escobar)

Saddam, Gaddafi, Iran, Venezuela – they all tried but couldn’t do it. But Russia is on a different level altogether. The beauty of the game-changing, gas-for-rubles, geoeconomic jujitsu applied by Moscow is its stark simplicity. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s presidential decree on new payment terms for energy products, predictably, was misunderstood by the collective west. The Russian government is not exactly demanding straightforward payment for gas in rubles. What Moscow wants is to be paid at Gazprombank in Russia, in its currency of choice, and not at a Gazprom account in any banking institution in western capitals. That’s the essence of less-is-more sophistication. Gazprombank will sell the foreign currency – dollars or euros – deposited by their customers on the Moscow Stock Exchange and credit it to different accounts in rubles within Gazprombank.

What this means in practice is that foreign currency should be sent directly to Russia, and not accumulated in a foreign bank – where it can easily be held hostage, or frozen, for that matter. All these transactions from now on should be transferred to a Russian jurisdiction – thus eliminating the risk of payments being interrupted or outright blocked. It’s no wonder the subservient European Union (EU) apparatus – actively engaged in destroying their own national economies on behalf of Washington’s interests – is intellectually unequipped to understand the complex matter of exchanging euros into rubles. Gazprom made things easier this Friday, sending official notifications to its counterparts in the west and Japan. Putin himself was forced to explain in writing to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz how it all works.

Once again, very simple: Customers open an account with Gazprombank in Russia. Payments are made in foreign currency – dollars or euros – converted into rubles according to the current exchange rate, and transferred to different Gazprom accounts. Thus it is 100 percent guaranteed that Gazprom will be paid. That’s in stark contrast to what the United States was forcing the Europeans to do: pay for Russian gas in Gazprom accounts in Europe, which would then be instantly frozen. These accounts would only be unblocked with the end of Operation Z, Russia’s military ops in Ukraine. Yet the Americans want the war to go on indefinitely, to “bog down” Moscow as if this was Afghanistan in the 1980s, and have strictly forbidden the Ukrainian Comedian in front of a green screen somewhere – certainly not Kiev – to accept any ceasefire or peace deal.

So Gazprom accounts in Europe would continue to be frozen. As Scholz was still trying to understand the obvious, his economic minions went berserk, floating the idea of nationalizing Gazprom’s subsidiaries – Gazprom Germania and Wingas – in case Russia decides to halt the gas flow. This is ridiculous. It’s as if Berlin functionaries believe that Gazprom subsidiaries produce natural gas in centrally heated offices across Germany. The new rubles-for-gas mechanism does not in any way violate existing contracts. Yet, as Putin warned, existing contracts may indeed be stopped: “If such [ruble] payments are not made, we will consider this to be the buyers’ failure to perform commitments with all ensuing implications.”

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Energy-ruble-gold.

“..if Russia begins to accept gold directly as a payment for oil, then this would be a new paradigm shift for the gold price as it would link the oil price directly to the gold price.”

Russian Ruble Relaunched, Linked To Gold & Commodities (Manly)

By offering to buy gold from Russian banks at a fixed price of 5000 rubles per gram, the Bank of Russia has both linked the ruble to gold and, since gold trades in US dollars, set a floor price for the ruble in terms of the US dollar. We can see this linkage in action since Friday 25 March when the Bank of Russia made the fixed price announcement. The ruble was trading at around 100 to the US dollar at that time, but has since strengthened and is nearing 80 to the US dollar. Why? Because gold has been trading on international markets at about US$ 62 per gram which is equivalent to (5000 / 62) = about 80.5, and markets and arbitrage traders have now taken note, driving the RUB / USD exchange rate higher.

So the ruble now has a floor to the US dollars, in terms of gold. But gold also has a floor, so to speak, because 5000 rubles per gram is 155,500 rubles per troy ounce of gold, and with a RUB / USD floor of about 80, that’s a gold price of around $1940. And if the Western paper gold markets of LBMA / COMEX try to drive the US dollar gold price lower, they will have to try to weaken the ruble as well or else the paper manipulations will be out in the open. Additionally, with the new gold to ruble linkage, if the ruble continues to strengthen (for example due to demand created by obligatory energy payments in rubles), this will also be reflected in a stronger gold price.

What does this mean for Oil? Russia is the world’s largest natural gas exporter and the world’s third largest oil exporter. We are seeing right now that Putin is demanding that foreign buyers (importers of Russian gas) must pay for this natural gas using rubles. This immediately links the price of natural gas to rubles and (because of the fixed link to gold) to the gold price. So Russian natural gas is now linked via the ruble to gold. The same can now be done with Russian oil. If Russia begins to demand payment for oil exports with rubles, there will be an immediate indirect peg to gold (via the fixed price ruble – gold connection). Then Russia could begin accepting gold directly in payment for its oil exports. In fact, this can be applied to any commodities, not just oil and natural gas.

What does this mean for the Price of Gold? By playing both sides of the equation, i.e. linking the ruble to gold and then linking energy payments to the ruble, the Bank of Russia and the Kremlin are fundamentally altering the entire working assumptions of the global trade system while accelerating change in the global monetary system. This wall of buyers in search of physical gold to pay for real commodities could certainly torpedo and blow up the paper gold markets of the LBMA and COMEX. The fixed peg between the ruble and gold puts a floor on the RUB / USD rate but also a quasi-floor on the US dollar gold price. But beyond this, the linking of gold to energy payments is the main event. While increased demand for rubles should continue to strengthen the RUB / USD rate and show up as a higher gold price, due to the fixed ruble – gold linkage, if Russia begins to accept gold directly as a payment for oil, then this would be a new paradigm shift for the gold price as it would link the oil price directly to the gold price.

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“We have such a victory it can be seen from the moon, but it’s sure that it can be seen from Brussels..”

I’d be careful about labeling them Pro-Putin. They’re just not pro-Brussels.

2 Pro-Putin Parties Win Avalanche Victories In European Elections (ZH)

In a one-two knockout punch for pro-Russia governments in Europe, on Sunday the government of Serbia’s pro-Russia president Aleksandar Vucic was headed for an avalanche victory in the country’s presidential election with nearly 60% of the vote, a big improvement to this 2017 election result… while Hungary’s Pro-Russia prime minister, Viktor Orban, was on track to clinch a fourth consecutive term, leveraging a message against being dragged into the war in neighboring Ukraine, to reassert himself as the European Union’s longest-serving premier. With roughly half of the vote counted, Orban’s Fidesz party led United for Hungary, a six-member opposition alliance, 57% to 32% in the party list contest, according to the National Election Office, with 63% of the votes counted. That would be sufficient for Fidesz to keep its two-thirds parliamentary majority.

Despite opinion polls forecasting a tighter race, Orban’s Fidesz party won comfortably across much of the country. Opposition leader Peter Marki-Zay even failed to win in his own district, where he had served as mayor. The far-right extremist Mi Hazank party won 6.3%, and was set to enter parliament, further diluting the power of the anti-Orban alliance. “We have such a victory it can be seen from the moon, but it’s sure that it can be seen from Brussels,” Orban said in his speech on Sunday night, making light of his government’s long-running tensions with EU leaders. “We will remember this victory until the end of our lives because we had to fight against a huge amount of opponents,” Orban said, citing a number of his political enemies including the Hungarian left, “bureaucrats” in Brussels, the international media, “and the Ukrainian president too — we never had so many opponents at the same time.”

The election campaign was dominated by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which put Orban’s lengthy association with Russian President Vladimir Putin under scrutiny. In his victory speech, Orban called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky one of the “opponents” he had to overcome during the campaign. Orban’s unexpectedly strong victory defied polls ahead of the vote that had predicted Orban would face the toughest challenge to re-election in his 12 years in power, according to a report from the anti-Orban Bloomberg News. It almost makes one wonder why anyone – besides liberals of course – still uses polling, which obviously can’t forecast the future and also fails at mere propaganda and influencing election turnouts.

Orban

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History lesson: “..he would frequently refer to the Russians as redskins..”

Russia And Serbia Are Projected To Become The Empire’s White Colonies (Antonic)

In this article I will present the various plans that Germany had with the Serbs and Russians after the expected victory in World War II. Why do I fall back to history? We frequently perceive Hitler and Nazism as an aberration in Western history. But Hitler was, in fact, just openly announcing that in Europe he will do what the West has already done elsewhere. As we’ll see, Hitler took the extermination of the Native Americans as a model for the colonization of Slavic lands, Russia in particular. “It would be best if Serbia just disappeared from the map” —as attested by Hermann Neubacher, that opinion was prevalent within the German leadership in 1941 (see here, p. 89). But we find the same opinion in The Manchester Guardian (as The Guardian was formerly called), in August 1914: “If it were physically possible for Servia to be towed out to sea and sunk there, the air of Europe would at once seem cleaner” (here; here, p. 53).

Actually, the only difference between Hitler and the English was Hitler’s brutally proclaiming to do—and he had done as much as he could—what others in the West were doing slower and more subtly, the things they didn’t yet dare to undertake or weren’t able to accomplish. Unlike the Kaiser, who wanted territorial expansion towards the Middle East and a redistribution of African and Asian colonies, Hitler’s primary goal was to colonize Slavic lands, from the Baltic to the Black Sea for starters and then onward to the Urals. In Mein Kampf he writes that the Kaiser was mistaken in pushing Germany southwards. “When in today’s Europe we speak of new soil and land”, he wrote, “we primarily mean only Russia and the peripheral countries subservient to her. It appears that destiny itself wants to show us the way. […]

The giant Empire in the East is ripe for its downfall.” (here; 44th unabridged German edition, p. 742-3; compare here, p. 118) By the way, Hitler had adopted many concepts from the West. As J. Q. Whitman revealed in Hitlerºs American Model (2017), race laws in the United States were the legal inspiration for the race laws in the Third Reich. In his book Hitler: The Definitive Biography (2014), John Toland showed how impressed Hitler had been with the system of Indian Reservations, the extermination of the indigenous peoples, the epidemics and starvation policies. According to Toland, when speaking to the German leaders, the Fuhrer frequently “extolled the efficacy of the American extermination of the ‘red savages’ by starvation and in unequal combat” (here, p. 802).

“As a passionate reader of Karl May’s novels”, writes John Pool in his book Hitler and His Secret Partners (1997), “he would frequently refer to the Russians as redskins. He saw a parallel between his own efforts to occupy and colonize Russia and the conquest of the American West” (p. 272). He used to say that in the European East the Germans “had one single purpose: Germanization by peopling with Germans and treating the locals as redskins”. He even encouraged military officers to read Karl May and learn about all kinds of combat with the natives.

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“Within days, everything changed.”

Fauci’s United Front Is Collapsing (Tucker)

Last week, medical journalist Katherine Eban posted at Vanity Fair the results of a long and detailed investigation into the lab-leak theory of the origins of SARS-CoV-2. The subject is moving ever more to the front-and-center of efforts to find out exactly what was going on at the highest levels in early 2020 that resulted in the greatest societal, political, and economic upheaval of our lives. How precisely did we move so quickly from the “germ games” of October 2019 – when the virus was already circulating in the US – to full-scale global lockdown by March? Why did Anthony Fauci, who in early February was downplaying the seriousness of the virus, flip to the other side (which we know from emails)?

It was Fauci, according to many reporters, who tapped Deborah Birx to huddle with Trump and convince him that the only way to battle the virus was to “shut down” the economy – as if anything like that was possible much less effective for controlling a respiratory virus. For two years now, and despite endless writing and reflection, this change from the top has puzzled me. Lockdowns contradicted not only a century of public-health practice but even WHO guidelines. Even on March 2, 2020, 850 scientists signed a letter to the White House warning against lockdowns, closures, and travel restrictions. Within days, everything changed. There were hints of extreme measures in the CDC pandemic planning manuals since 2006 but the idea was hardly orthodoxy in the profession.

It’s also true that there were elite scientists who longed for the chance to try out the new theory of virus suppression. But how did Fauci and Birx, to say nothing of Jared Kushner, become converts of the idea to the point that they were able to convince Trump to betray everything he believed in? This is quite probably where the lab-leak theory comes in. It’s not so much about whether the virus was an accidental or even deliberate leak that matters so much as whether Fauci, Francis Collins, and Jeremy Farrrar of the UK’s Wellcome Trust believed it was possible or even likely. In that case, we have our motive. Did they deploy the chaos of lockdowns as a genuine if wildly misguided attempt to suppress the virus as a way of avoiding culpability?

Or perhaps it was deployed as a kind of smokescreen to distract from a closer examination of the Wuhan’s lab’s funding sources? Or possibly there is a third reason. We have a very long way to go before the full truth is out. But Eban’s article adds tremendous detail about the great lengths to which our Fauci-led cabal of officials worked hard to suppress dissent on the question of lab-vs-natural origin. They kept papers from being posted on preprint servers, held Zoom sessions with authors in an attempt to intimidate them, and spent tremendous energy making it clear that there would be a no-leak “united front” no matter what.

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We hide it, but don’t delete.

NIH Admits it ‘Suppressed’ Wuhan Lab Data, Disputes ‘Deleted’ Label (ET)

A National Institutes for Health (NIH) spokesperson is disputing a nonprofit watchdog group’s claim that the agency “deleted” genetic sequencing data on the CCP virus from a Chinese lab, but the same official acknowledged the data was “suppressed.” “The headline says the sequences were deleted which is inaccurate. They were not deleted. This is a really important point, and I’ve highlighted what did happen from what we provided to you earlier this week,” NIH Media Branch Chief Amanda Fine told The Epoch Times in a March 31 email. Fine was referring to a March 29 Epoch Times story headlined “NIH Deleted Info Received From Wuhan Lab on CCP Virus Genetic Sequencing, Watchdog’s FOIA Finds.” The information Fine referenced as having been provided to The Epoch Times by NIH earlier in the week was included in the published story:

“’In June 2020, in response to a request by the same [Wuhan] researcher, National Center for Biotechnology [NCBI] gave the sequence data the status of “withdrawn,” which removes sequencing data from all public means of access but does not delete them. “‘NCBI subsequently reassigned the status of the sequence data to “suppressed,” which means that sequence data are removed from the search process but can be directly found by accession number. This action to reassign the data was identified as part of NLM’s ongoing review into the matter. We are working to make more information available,’ the spokesperson said.” The biotechnology center, which is part of the institute’s National Library of Medicine (NLM), is the U.S. component of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration.

The Epoch Times story was prompted by a report published on March 29 by Empower Oversight Whistleblowers and Research (EO) that was based on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) responses the group received from the institute. “On June 5, 2020, a Wuhan University researcher requested that NIH retract the researcher’s submission of BioProject ID PRJNA637497 because of error. The Wuhan researcher explained ‘I’m sorry for my wrong submitting,’” Empower Oversight said in a statement (pdf) on March 29. “BioProject ID PRJNA637497 is also referred to as Submission-ID SUB7554642. Three days later, on June 8th, the NIH declined the researcher’s request, advising that it prefers to edit or replace, as opposed to delete, sequences submitted to the SRA,” EO reported. SRA refers to the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) data resource made available by NCBI, and it “stores raw sequencing data.”

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“His counsellors view the Ukraine crisis as a blunt instrument that nonetheless may help the president to dig himself out of his electoral hole.”

Joe Biden Should Be Removed Before Putin, US Poll Says (Exp.)

Just a week after the US president was accused of making a gaffe calling for regime change in Russia, an exclusive poll for the Sunday Express has revealed Americans would rather see his presidency end. Asked which would be better for America, 52 per cent chose “Biden loses power in the US” over 43 per cent for “Putin loses power in Russia”. The findings, in the poll by the Washington-based Democracy Institute, show almost two-thirds of Americans (62 per cent) believe Mr Biden will not be re-elected in 2024. They also appear to confirm an expected bid by Donald Trump in 2024 will see him sweep back to power. While Boris Johnson has seen a rise in public support for his handling of the Ukraine crisis, the error prone US president has not enjoyed a similar bounce.

Of 1,500 polled, who all identify as “likely voters”, 57 per cent disapprove of his presidency, the same as a month ago, while just 39 per cent approve of it. And 70 per cent believe the US is “heading in the wrong direction”. His handling of the war is only approved by 40 per cent while 52 per cent disapprove, and his overall foreign policy has a 55 per cent disapproval rating compared to 42 per cent approval. While a Techne poll for the Sunday Express showed almost a third of UK voters had Ukraine as their top concern, in the US just eight per cent saw it as their main issue, with the key worry being inflation. If Mr Trump does run in 2024, according to the US poll results he would beat Mr Biden by 48 per cent to 43 per cent.

Patrick Basham, Director of the Democracy Institute, said: “Biden’s foreign policy debacles, highlighted by America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, have turned off voters, who mostly disapprove of his handling of America’s global role. “Biden’s political team knows economic pain will continue to weigh down the president’s ratings. So, it puts great stock in Biden’s handling of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “His counsellors view the Ukraine crisis as a blunt instrument that nonetheless may help the president to dig himself out of his electoral hole. “Should the Ukraine crisis end on terms perceived to be favourable to the Ukrainians, and should Vladimir Putin’s Russia be put back in her box, it’s possible that Biden will receive considerable credit and his ratings will improve. If that happens, his party’s candidates may also improve their positions vis-à-vis their Republican opponents.

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“While many media figures now willingly admit the legitimacy of Hunter Biden’s abandoned-laptop story, they are avoiding what the emails found on that laptop actually contain.”

Biden’s ‘Absolute’ Defense Of Hunter (Turley)

“We absolutely stand by the president’s comment.” With those words, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield reaffirmed that President Biden maintains his son Hunter Biden did “nothing [that] was unethical” and never “made money” in China. Those claims appear demonstrably false — and they make the positions of both the media and Attorney General Merrick Garland absolutely untenable. For the media, the ongoing investigation of Hunter Biden by U.S. Attorney David Weiss in Delaware has presented a growing danger of self-indictment over its prior coverage (or noncoverage). Weiss has called a long line of witnesses before a grand jury, and there is growing expectation of criminal charges against Hunter Biden. Nothing concentrates the mind as much as a looming indictment.

Thus, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and other media faced the embarrassing prospect of an indictment based on a story they previously suggested was either a nonstory or Russian disinformation. Suddenly, in recent days, they all rushed to declare the story legitimate, 18 months after the New York Post reported it in October 2020. What quickly emerged, though, was a new narrative: None of this implicates President Biden. On CNN, White House correspondent John Harwood declared, “There is zero evidence that Vice President Biden, or President Biden, has done anything wrong in connection with what Hunter Biden has done.” Anchor Brianna Keilar then added for emphasis that Harwood was making “an important distinction.”

It was important, but not because it was true. While many media figures now willingly admit the legitimacy of Hunter Biden’s abandoned-laptop story, they are avoiding what the emails found on that laptop actually contain. Hundreds of emails appear to detail a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling enterprise by the Biden family, including Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden. Influence peddling has long been the way Washington’s elite enriches itself. This common source of political corruption involves the relatives of powerful government figures who shake down corporations or countries for access and influence. The Bidens would seem to be standouts in this common practice, engaging in a virtual family business. James Biden has been accused of marketing his connection to his brother.

And in the emails discovered on his abandoned laptop, Hunter Biden practically sold timeshares of his father by dangling meetings and dinners for investors. The key in any influence peddling scheme is to protect the principal. People apparently were told to avoid directly referring to President Biden. In one email, Tony Bobulinski, then a business partner of Hunter’s, was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.” Instead, the emails apparently refer to President Biden with code names such as “Celtic” or “the big guy.” In one, “the big guy” is discussed as possibly receiving a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm; other emails reportedly refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes.

Bobulinski

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But doesn’t know what for yet.

Biden Wants Attorney General Garland to Prosecute Trump (Turley)

President Joe Biden has declared the guilt of individuals or promised punishment before even the commencement of investigations. The latest such example is the leaking of Biden’s desire to have Attorney General Merrick Garland prosecute Trump. [..] Biden is now being widely reported as wanting Garland to prosecute Trump. His close associates made sure that the media reported that the President wants “Mr. Garland to act less like a ponderous judge and more like a prosecutor who is willing to take decisive action over the events of Jan. 6.” This leak was made after a district court judge declared that Trump likely committed a crime, an opinion that I recently criticized over its sweeping language and spotty analysis. Various Democrats are demanding that Garland prosecute Trump, telling Garland to “step up or step out.”

Two years ago, the media heralded the statements of D.C. Attorney General Racine that he was pursuing possible charges. Yet, neither Racine nor the Biden Administration have charged Trump. Why? The reason is that there is not clear evidence of a crime. The leaking of the President’s demand puts Garland in an even more difficult position. The clear intent of the leak is to let Garland know what the President expects from him. Yet, Garland has already been criticized by some of us for refusing to appoint a special counsel in the Hunter Biden scandal. What is most striking, however, is the absence of any concern from the same legal experts who denounced such statements from Trump. These are statements made to aides that were then leaked to the media to get to Garland.

That allows the media to say that Biden never said it directly to Garland, but the message was delivered by the media. For Garland to yield to such pressure would constitute a troubling departure from his predecessor, Bill Barr, who refused to do so on investigations ranging from the Mueller investigation to the election investigation to the Hunter Biden investigation. Absent new evidence of direct culpability, such a prosecution would likely result in either acquittal or an appellate reversal. That would raise concerns over the Justice Department pursuing a political rather than a legal agenda — the very danger that Garland pledged to avoid when he stressed “I am not the president’s lawyer. I am the United States’ lawyer.”

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Coco Chanel. Another history lesson.

From Maria’s Office … the Fashion Nazi (Zakharova)

A few bloggers have reported today that official Chanel brand stores abroad are refusing to sell their products to Russian nationals. Allegedly, Chanel customers must sign a form saying that they will not take the items sold by the brand to the Russian Federation, as per some internal document of the boutique chain. We are a very patient and forgiving country. We have forgiven everyone for everything, turned the page and cleared the way for the future. But if the way turns out to be a ring road, we will break the vicious circle. Seems like those running the legacy of the “great Coco” have found a way to join the Russophobic “cancel Russia” campaign. Weird, right? What’s the link between Russia’s anti-Nazi operation and the French fashion house? But the link is there. We just opened a closet to find some well-preserved 80-year-old skeletons.

During World War II, Coco Chanel herself was a collaborator and a Third Reich agent. She is widely known to have had connections to the occupation authorities in France. Baron Hans Guenther Freiherr von Dincklage, an attaché of the German government in charge of the Nazi propaganda in Paris, was among her dearest friends. Coco Chanel, also known as informer F-7124 as per Abwehr records, supported the German masters of Paris so much that she took part in the attempts to organise secret negotiations between the Reich and the United Kingdom. One should say that the Germans valued Coco and had her live in a luxurious apartment at the Ritz hotel, while ordinary Parisians struggled to make ends meet under the German occupation, while the country’s economy was under enormous strain.

Moreover, the fashion designer accepted the help of the Nazis to reach her business goals. Before the war, she sold her Chanel No. 5 production facility to Jewish manufacturers. Then, she engaged the Germans to try and reclaim the rights to the perfume sale profits. After France was liberated, she was called to answer for all of that. The fashion house does not advertise it but Coco was arrested at the end of the war. She was later released as a favour to Churchill (and here is London again) and was banned from France after the occupation was over, for years, residing in the “neutral” Switzerland. The brand’s management has always emphasised that the Chanel house traditions are as strong as ever. Well, no doubt about that now. Investigative reporter Hal Vaughan wrote about the founder of the fashion house: “The Nazis were in power, and Chanel gravitated to power.”

The brand was never bothered by such things as concentration camps, mass killings and war crimes perpetrated by the SS and Gestapo divisions. We are a very patient and forgiving country. We have forgiven everyone for everything, turned the page and cleared the way for the future. But if the way turns out to be a ring road, we will break the vicious circle. And the Chanel house can get back to square one and support Nazism, just like its founder did. But now everyone will know.

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Buddy Carter

 

 

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Mar 302022
 


Pablo Picasso The artist and his model 1926

 

Ukraine SitRep – Part II Of Russia’s Military Operation Unfolds (MoA)
Col Douglas Macgregor’s Updated Opinion on Ukraine-Russia Conflict (CTH)
Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression (Ritter)
US Top Commander In Europe Forced To Rebut Latest Biden Remarks
You Will Pay In Rubles! No? (Denninger)
Why Saudi Arabia Won’t Abandon Dollars for Yuan (Lacalle)
America Is Dismantling The Pillars Of Its Own Empire – Saudi Editor (JPost)
Ontario Cop Charged For Posting Video Praising Truckers (TC)
Miranda Devine: ‘Dam Is About To Burst’ On Hunter Biden Scandal (Fox)
CIA Officer Who Signed Hunter Laptop Letter Claims Credit for Trump Loss (ET)
Obama, Hunter Biden Ties To Ukraine Biolabs Get Fresh Scrutiny (JTN)
Biden Got 255,000 ‘Excess’ Votes In Fraud-tainted Swing States In 2020 (WT)
Democrats Push Garland To Come Down On Uncooperative Trump Allies (Axios)

 

 

 

 

Turley
https://twitter.com/i/status/1509017039301660674

 

 

• “One U.S. official said they do not believe the reports of the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich was poisoned during peace talks in Ukraine. ”

• “This Bellingcat/WSJ poisoning story has got to be one of the biggest disinformation fails of the entire Ukraine war. Within a few hours it was denied by the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and by the fact that Abramovich himself was fine attending the peace talks in Turkey.”

 

• “Two anonymous US officials trying to subvert ceasefire negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. One tells CNN they are worried EU countries will “press Ukraine to accept a peace deal to end the fighting.”

 

 

Ukraine no longer has an army. What few units are left are encircled and fully isolated from each other.

Ukraine SitRep – Part II Of Russia’s Military Operation Unfolds (MoA)

Overview: The Russian military operation in Ukraine began with a rather small force of some 150.000+ men against a much larger (including reservist and territorial forces) Ukrainian force of some 400.000. The Russian force used maneuver warfare to fix the larger Ukrainian forces into place. It attacked on a large front and threatened major population concentrations, i.e. cities. The Russian operations started with the destruction of the Ukrainian command and control network. Over the last four weeks the Ukrainian navy, its airforce, its radars and air defenses and a huge number of its armored vehicles were destroyed. Throughout the last week fuel depots all over the Ukraine were attacked and destroyed over night. Ukraine’s large ammunition depots are gone.

Military production and repair facilities have likewise been destroyed. The Ukraine is no longer able to move large numbers of troops between the various fronts. Its army has lost its mobility. While this was ongoing threats to Kiev, Odessa and other large Ukrainian cities have held significant numbers of Ukrainian troops in place and prevented reinforcements to move to the east. There units from the Donetsk and Luhansk republics attacked the 60,000 strong main force of the Ukrainian army to keep it in place. This allowed Russian forces from Crimea and from the Russian border in the north to move into positions that will now enable them to envelope the east.

Details: 1/ The move east and west of Kiev was, as I have said for a while, a feint to fix mobile Ukrainian units around their capital city. The feint is no longer needed as the Ukrainian army has now lost its mobility. The Russian troops around Kiev and Chernigov will be mostly withdrawn probably up to Chernobyl where a part of them may take defensive positions while most of the units deployed around Kiev will be moved back to Belarus and Russia for new operations in eastern Ukraine.
2/ Fighting around Kharkiv is ongoing. Ukrainian counterattacks on that front have failed and the next phase of the war will see increased activities there.
3/ The move on the west side of the Dnjepr river towards the important industrial area of Kryvyi Rih and on to Dnipro has been relatively slow. The move on the eastern side of the Dnjepr towards Dnipro has been at the same speed. Note that the western and eastern parts of those fronts are at the same level. They are well coordinated. The next phase will probably see more movement on the eastern side of the river.
4/ There are still a few pockets of Azov fighters in Mariupol with the main units encircled in the vast Azovstal steelworks. They have little food and ammunition and the Chechen unites of the Russian army and national guard are working to dig them out. The Russian forces that encircled and stormed Mariupol are now freed up and will be moved to attack further north.
5/ Ukrainian forces at Mykolaiv have attempted counterattacks in the direction of Kherson. These have failed.

Prospects: The Russian command has decided to now concentrate on enveloping and destroying Ukraine’s main forces at the Donetsk front. These are the most heavy equipped and most experienced units of the Ukrainian army. Since last fall some 60,000 men had been assembled there for a full fledged war on Donetsk, an attack that the Russian operation successfully preempted. It will probably take a few days for the Russian forces to regroup and resupply for that next phase of the war. I expect it to start around the end of this week. The U.S. and Polish military are helping to smuggle small arms stuff through the western Ukrainian boarder. These are anti-tank missiles, old short range anti-air missiles as well as machine guns, mortars and ammunition.

This is equipment for a guerilla war against an occupation force. But except for the east and maybe some parts in the south the Russian forces do not plan to occupy anything. Those regions are steppe, very flat with little woods, where one can see an approaching enemy from miles away. It will be extremely difficult for a guerilla force to survive there. That is likely the reason why the Russian forces have done little to interrupt the arms smuggling into western Ukraine. (Those smuggled weapons will for years haunt the ‘western’ Europeans as they are certain to proliferate to right-wing extremist groups all over the continent.)

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Voice of reason.

Col Douglas Macgregor’s Updated Opinion on Ukraine-Russia Conflict (CTH)

Col Douglas Macgregor appears for an interview with Dave Smith on his “Part Of The Problem” podcast. Col Macgregor gives his status update on the Ukraine and Russian military along with some excellent background information on the U.S. cultural issues which are driving the U.S. position. Additionally, Macgregor overlays the economic battle both domestically and geopolitically with the currency war and talks about economic repercussions for the U.S., NATO countries, Ukraine and Russia. As noted by Macgregor when the Biden administration turned favorably toward Iran the Saudis immediately realized it was in their best interest to withdraw strategic support for the U.S. It’s a good interview that goes into much more depth than the average media appearance, and permits discussion of multiple facets of the conflict in/around Ukraine. The video is prompted to begin at 17:34 when the Ukraine discussion begins.

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Ukraine history started on Feb 24. That is convenient for the West.

Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression (Ritter)

Concerns that any attempt to carve a doctrine of pre-emption out of the four corners of international law defined by Article 51 of the U.N. Charter would result in the creation of new rules of international engagement, and that that would result in the breakdown of international order were realized on Feb. 24. That is when Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing Article 51 as his authority, ordered what he called a “special military operation” against Ukraine for the ostensible purpose of eliminating neo-Nazi affiliated military formations accused of carrying out acts of genocide against the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass, and for dismantling a Ukrainian military Russia believed served as a de facto proxy of the NATO military alliance.

Putin laid out a detailed case for pre-emption, detailing the threat that NATO’s eastward expansion posed to Russia, as well as Ukraine’s ongoing military operations against the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass. “[T]he showdown between Russia and these forces,” Putin said, “cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen.” NATO and Ukraine, Putin declared, “did not leave us [Russia] any other option for defending Russia and our people, other than the one we are forced to use today. In these circumstances, we have to take bold and immediate action. The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help. In this context, in accordance with Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, with permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation.”

Putin’s case for invading Ukraine has, not surprisingly, been widely rejected in the West. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Amnesty International declared, “is a manifest violation of the United Nations Charter and an act of aggression that is a crime under international law. Russia is in clear breach of its international obligations. Its actions are blatantly against the rules and principles on which the United Nations was founded.”

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“When initially asked Monday about this “training the Ukrainian troops” remark, Biden offered the dubious explanation that he was actually referencing he himself “being with and talking with the Ukrainian troops who are in Poland.”

US Top Commander In Europe Forced To Rebut Latest Biden Remarks (ZH)

In yet another awkward contradiction out of this US administration concerning Ukraine, which at this point seems to come almost daily, the head of US European Command was forced to issue a contrary explanation after Biden on Monday said multiple times that US forces are “helping train” Ukrainian troops in Poland. This triggered a rebuttal of the US Commander-in-Chief from Gen. Tod Wolters, who also serves as NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe. On Tuesday Gen. Wolters denied that the US is currently training Ukraine forces in Poland. “I do not believe that we are in the process of currently training military forces from Ukraine in Poland,” the top general told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. He said further according to The Hill when pressed on Biden’s series of statements, which the White House had later sought to downplay as gaffes and merely lacking in nuance:

“There are liaisons that are there that are being given advice,” Wolters told Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), without elaborating further. “And that’s different than [what] I think you’re referring to with respect training.” But again, as we detailed earlier, Biden had actually asserted that American forces were training Ukrainians in Poland multiple times, strongly suggesting this was anything but “confusion” or a mere gaffe on the president’s part… National security adviser Jake Sullivan previously stated that the US currently has 10,500 troops in Poland, some of which the president visited over the weekend. Across Europe, Washington has bolstered its presence to the tune of 100,000 total troops. The U.S. has 10,500 troops in Poland as part of the 100,000 total that it has stationed across Europe, told reporters.

When initially asked Monday about this “training the Ukrainian troops” remark, Biden offered the dubious explanation that he was actually referencing he himself “being with and talking with the Ukrainian troops who are in Poland.” But it remains that not only his own advisers have had to offer repeat corrections, but now even the US head of European Command in Senate testimony. This goes beyond an awkward situation, but even into the realm of dangerous, given many of these walked-back remarks serve as a huge provocation to Russia (especially Saturday’s regime change statement fiasco from Warsaw).

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Cut off date is tomorrow.

“Since the imposing parties of said sanctions include the recipients of the gas this is legally and functionally the same as agreeing to pay $50,000 for a car and then getting in it and driving away after putting a stop payment order on the check.”

You Will Pay In Rubles! No? (Denninger)

“BERLIN — The Group of Seven major economies have agreed to reject Moscow’s demand to pay for Russian natural gas exports in rubles, the German energy minister said Monday. Robert Habeck told reporters that “all G-7 ministers agreed completely that this (would be) a one-sided and clear breach of the existing contracts.” He said officials from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada met Friday to coordinate their position and that European Union representatives also were present.” So what? It was also a breach of “contract” to seize property and money of both Russia and private citizens who happen to be Russian, the latter in particular being done without evidence presented that a crime has been committed for which such a forfeit is reasonably tied to the alleged crime.

I get it that nation states often thing of contracts and private property rights as “quaint”, say much less a basic right to life. After all war, by its nature, vitiates all such claimed pleasantries. The very nature of war means that once you take sides expecting anyone on the other side to do anything for you is rather foolish. This is the price that is exacted when you extend the concept of “trade blunting the will to use bullets” into not just voluntary associations but essential goods and services where you have no reasonable substitutes available. Of course the G7 nations can refuse to pay for their gas in Rubles and argue that such a demand is a unilateral breach of the agreements made with Russia.

However, the sanctions are a unilateral and prior breach of the same agreements by the G7, since the G7 agreed to pay for said gas, and with the sanctions in place the payment cannot be made. Since the imposing parties of said sanctions include the recipients of the gas this is legally and functionally the same as agreeing to pay $50,000 for a car and then getting in it and driving away after putting a stop payment order on the check. In the common vernacular that’s fraud. Nobody is going to let you get away with that if they can help it and, if you manage to get away with it once the second time you won’t get the car until you prove you can deliver to the other party good funds for both the new and the previous vehicle you stole by conversion.

Thus while Germany and other nations can refuse to pay in Rubles it is equally true that by breaching the covenant implied in all commercial transactions to deliver good funds in exchange for the good or service, which the G7 has done, the contract has been vitiated by the G7 and, in point of fact, Russia has delivered natural gas without being paid for the last month. There’s no reason for them to continue to do that and thus it is entirely reasonable for them to shut the pipelines down until the sanctions are lifted and every single Dollar or Euro due for the previously-delivered volume is safely in Russia and available for use. Just because Putin is a bastard doesn’t mean that, on this matter, he is not correct.

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Repeat.

Why Saudi Arabia Won’t Abandon Dollars for Yuan (Lacalle)

There are numerous articles mentioning that Saudi Arabia may use the yuan, China’s domestic currency, for its oil exports. How much does Saudi Arabia export to China? According to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, the kingdom’s main exports are to China ($45.8B), India ($25.1B), Japan ($24.5B), South Korea ($19.5B), and the United States ($12.2B). Exports of crude oil reached $145 billion in total. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter at $145 billion, and China the largest buyer at $204 billion, with 2019 figures. Saudi Arabia’s public accounts are exemplary. From a 4.8 percent deficit, the kingdom expects a surplus in 2022, and its ratio of public debt to GDP (gross domestic product) is 30.8 percent, one of the lowest in the world.

Does Saudi Arabia need to use the yuan at all? No. Its foreign currency reserves including gold stood at $472.8 billion in 2020 despite the pandemic-led slump in exports and oil demand. Is it under any pressure to change currency? Even less so. Its reserves comfortably cover its external debt, giving it an enviable level of stability compared to other OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) nations that have large trade and fiscal deficits. What would Saudi Arabia gain from using the yuan? Not higher exports to China. China needs its oil imports more than Saudi Arabia needs China’s domestic currency. There is no real evidence that exports to China would fall if Saudi Arabia continued to use the US dollar.

Yuan utilization in global transactions is very limited. Considering figures compiled by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, Bloomberg noted that “activity in the renminbi, as the currency is also called, rose to its second-highest level ever in 2021.” However, that means a stubbornly modest 2.7 percent of the market versus the 41 percent of the dollar, which has held the top slot for decades. The euro is used in 36.6 percent of global transactions, the British pound in 5.9 percent—more than double the use of the yuan despite the United Kingdom’s being a much smaller economy—and the Japanese yen is used as much as the yuan at 2.6 percent.

More importantly, despite the large increase in importance of the Chinese economy globally, the yuan’s importance as a currency has barely improved from its high in 2015, when it reached the fourth spot. Why is the yuan only used in 2.7 percent of global transactions despite being 14 percent of the world’s GDP, and what happened in 2015? The yuan is the only currency issued by a global economic leader that has capital controls and fixed pricing. As such, any holder of the Chinese currency faces the constant threat of an abrupt devaluation and the inability to use the currency freely in payments. And that is exactly what happened in 2015. The Chinese central bank announced an aggressive devaluation.

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Iran. Saudi and Israel vs US.

America Is Dismantling The Pillars Of Its Own Empire – Saudi Editor (JPost)

The Saudi-US relationship is in the throes of a crisis. As a Saudi who went to college in the US, loves America and wants to see it strong, I am increasingly disturbed by the unreality of the American discussion about the subject, which often fails to acknowledge just how deep and serious the rift has grown. A more realistic discussion should focus on one word: “Divorce.” When President Barack Obama negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran, we Saudis understood him to be seeking the breakup of a 70-year marriage. How could we not? After all, the flaws in the deal are well known. It paves a path for Iran to a nuclear bomb. It fills the war chest of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has spread militias across the Arab world armed with precision-guided munitions to maim and kill people who formerly looked to America to help guarantee their safety.

This past weekend, Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined a conference in the Negev, hosted by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and attended by a number of Arab foreign ministers. Blinken used this occasion to paper over the rift that the nuclear deal has created by presenting an image of regional solidarity, but the region is not deceived. Sold disingenuously to the American public as an arms control agreement, the deal is an assault on the regional order that the United States established in the aftermath of World War II. Explicitly hostile to Saudi Arabia, to say nothing of America’s other greatest ally in the region, Israel, the deal replaces the former American-led regional security structure with a concert system in which Iran, backed by Russia and China, becomes America’s new subcontractor while America’s former allies—the Gulf States and Israel— are demoted to second-tier status.

Most importantly, to its authors, the deal takes the United States out of the business of containing Iran, which in response has further ramped up its attacks on regional peace and stability. Last Friday, as Blinken prepared for his trip to David Ben Gurion’s old kibbutz of Sde Boker, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia launched a rocket attack against Aramco in Jeddah. This attack was only the latest in a long series of brazen attacks that Iran has conducted, either directly from its own soil or indirectly through proxies. During the Obama and Biden administrations, Iran’s aggressions have been met with American calls for “de-escalation” and frequent blaming of the Kingdom for a conflict we did not seek with terrorists on our borders backed by Iran — a foreign power which the Biden administration is promising to enrich with hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Russia will also get a cut, which will no doubt go towards funding its war in Ukraine.

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If the Jan 6 committee can claim insurrection, so can Justin.

Ontario Cop Charged For Posting Video Praising Truckers (TC)

A Durham police officer who posted a video of herself speaking in support of the Freedom Convoy as it headed towards Ottawa is now facing charges under Ontario’s Police Services Act. Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) had originally announced they were investigating Constable Erin Howard in January after she posted the 1-minute video to a now-deactivated Twitter account. DRPS spokesperson Chris Bovie confirmed to True North on Tuesday that Howard is now charged under the Police Services Act with two counts each of discreditable conduct, insubordination and breach of confidence. Howard appeared in full uniform in the video on Jan. 24, the same day the Freedom Convoy’s western fleet headed through Alberta. In it, she called the truckers “true heroes” and said she would be in Ottawa to speak when they arrived.


“I’m just – I really wanted to give a shout-out to all the truckers. I think what you guys are doing is incredible. You’re fighting for rights and freedoms. And right now, it feels like we’re a little bit at war, and those rights and freedoms are at stake. So, you guys are honestly true heroes. What you’re doing is just incredible. I will be in Ottawa when you guys roll in. I’m going to be speaking on behalf of Police on Guard. And we are thrilled – thrilled and honoured – to be able to be there. I can’t wait to meet you guys. Hope to talk to a lot of you in person. Anyway, just wanted to give you guys a shout-out and some support, and keep rolling, and we’ll see you in Ottawa.”

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Let’s hope for transparency.

Miranda Devine: ‘Dam Is About To Burst’ On Hunter Biden Scandal (Fox)

Fox News contributor Miranda Devine reacted on “Outnumbered” Tuesday to the federal tax probe into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings gaining momentum as some media outlets begin to acknowledge the “bombshell” controversy surrounding his infamous laptop. MIRANDA DEVINE: That’s just another extraordinary mistruth from President Biden there. He did that throughout the campaign. He pretended that he knew nothing about his son Hunter’s overseas business dealings. There’s plenty of evidence on the laptop and Tony Bobulinski’s material and the material that Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson collected for their Senate investigation and are currently presenting to Congress — and I think they’re going to be doing that on a regular basis, to show links between Hunter Biden and Communist China.


There’s also evidence that Joe Biden financially benefited from Hunter Biden’s grift and his brother, Jim Biden’s grift, with these countries which are crucial to America’s national security interest. The lack of curiosity from most of the media is repellent and really corrupt. But I think the dam is about to burst. We have Hunter Biden looking at indictments coming out of that a grand jury in Delaware. You see The New York Times and The Washington Post are now sniffing around. They’ve admitted the laptop is real, and they have realized this is a bombshell story.

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“I take special pride in personally swinging the election away from Trump..”

CIA Officer Who Signed Hunter Laptop Letter Claims Credit for Trump Loss (ET)

One of the former CIA officers who signed a letter claiming stories about a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden were disinformation says he helped swing the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump. “I take special pride in personally swinging the election away from Trump,” John Sipher, who served for decades as a senior operations officer at the CIA, wrote in a recent post on Twitter. “I lost the election for Trump? Well then I fell [sic] pretty good about my influence,” he also wrote. Sipher and 50 other former U.S. intelligence officials signed the letter on Oct. 19, 2020, alleging that the effort to distribute its contents “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” despite not knowing whether the laptop was legitimate.

The letter was the core of a story from Politico that claimed the New York Post story on the laptop was “Russian disinformation.” The Post was the first to report on emails on the laptop, which was dropped off at a computer repair store and never picked up by then-candidate Joe Biden’s son, according to the store’s owner. While the FBI picked up the computer and a hard drive from the owner, the bureau’s apparent inaction in probing the matter prompted him to pass on a copy of the hard drive to a lawyer representing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who in turn passed it on to the Post.

The Oct. 14, 2020, story about the emails came as some voters were still deciding whether to vote for Biden or Trump. The story was widely questioned by legacy news outlets, suppressed by social media platforms, and claimed to be part of a Russian effort, despite top officials like Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe saying there was no evidence that was the case. Sipher is one of the few former officials who signed the letter to respond to fresh questions about its contents, after more legacy outlets, including Politico, said they’ve confirmed it is legitimate. Sipher got into arguments with former acting DNI Richard Grenell and others on Twitter, where he later said his claims of helping Trump lose were sarcasm.

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The pot and the kettle. Difference is, the US does it in third countries.

Obama, Hunter Biden Ties To Ukraine Biolabs Get Fresh Scrutiny (JTN)

In August 2005, the U.S. entered into a little known agreement with Ukraine that included America aid to upgrade security at Ukrainian facilities in which microbes were kept. Now, almost 17 years later, questions about the deal – and the United States’ broader support for biodefense laboratories in Ukraine – have surfaced amid concerns about chemical or biological weapons being used in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian government has been claiming for weeks that the U.S. government is funding bioweapon labs in Ukraine, justifying its invasion as an effort to stop a joint American-Ukrainian plan to wage biological warfare against Russia. Chinese officials and state media have echoed the claims, which Andrew Weber, senior fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks, calls “utter nonsense.”

“It’s KGB-style misinformation that’s been going on for about 15 years,” he said Monday. One concern among analysts and U.S. officials is that Russia could be laying the groundwork for using chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine and giving itself plausible deniability by blaming Ukrainian labs. Experts and U.S. officials agree with Weber that Moscow’s accusations are unfounded, roundly dismissing them as propaganda. “Russia is inventing false pretexts in an attempt to justify its own horrific actions in Ukraine,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said earlier this month. Others have pointed out that no evidence exists to show Ukraine is working to produce weapons of mass destruction. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testified earlier this month that “we do not assess that Ukraine is pursuing either biological weapons or nuclear weapons.”

United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu similarly said the international group is “not aware” of any biological weapons program in Ukraine. The U.S. and Ukraine are members of the Biological Weapons Convention, which prohibits such weapons. And the U.S. government has said both countries are in full compliance. Russia, however, is not in compliance and “maintains an offensive biological weapons program,” according to the State Department. Weber told Just the News the Russian government has three top-secret military laboratories conducting work on biological weapons that have never been visited or observed by outside inspectors.

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But you can’t talk about it.

Biden Got 255,000 ‘Excess’ Votes In Fraud-tainted Swing States In 2020 (WT)

President Biden received hundreds of thousands of “excess” votes in Democratic-controlled areas in the 2020 election, according to an academic study on voter fraud that suggests the push to relax voting standards created new opportunities for electoral mischief. John R. Lott Jr., the man behind the research, teased out those numbers by comparing Democratic-dominant areas to Republican-dominant places over the past two presidential elections, particularly in places where claims of election fraud were reported in 2020. Looking at six swing states, the data he crunched found that voter turnout in Republican areas increased from 2016 to 2020 while voter turnout among Democrats dropped — except in places where voter fraud was claimed.

That accounted for 255,000 “excess” votes for Mr. Biden above what would be expected, Mr. Lott said. His paper has been accepted for publication in Public Choice, a peer-reviewed journal specializing in the intersection of economics and political science. “More heavily Democratic counties actually had a slightly lower turnout in 2020, except for counties where vote fraud was alleged. In those counties, you had a huge increase in turnout,” Mr. Lott told The Washington Times in an interview explaining his findings. “In some of those swing states, you had counties where vote fraud was alleged. In some of those swing states, you had counties where vote fraud wasn’t alleged. And yet you only had huge increases in turnout where vote fraud was alleged,” he said.

Taking another tack, Mr. Lott looked at specific voting precincts that touched each other but where one was inside a Republican-dominant county and the other inside a Democratic-leaning county where there were fraud accusations. He found that in-person voting for the neighboring precincts was about the same, but absentee or mailed balloting tilted toward Democrats in the Democratic precincts. Mr. Lott said there is no clear reason why absentee turnout alone should increase in just the Democratic jurisdiction, which suggests shenanigans were afoot. “You’re comparing two tiny areas that are very homogenous, very similar to each other, across the street from each other, and the thing that differs from these two, for the absentee ballots, is where the ballots were counted,” the researcher said.

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“I told you I would not tell the Justice Department what position to take or not take, and I’m not going to instruct the Congress, either..”

Democrats Push Garland To Come Down On Uncooperative Trump Allies (Axios)

Democratic lawmakers are openly pressuring Attorney General Merrick Garland to bring the weight of U.S. law enforcement against members of former President Trump’s inner circle they’ve deemed uncooperative with the House’s investigation of the Jan. 6 attack. The House select committee is seeking to compel or punish Trump loyalists who don’t comply with the investigation, while Republicans are preparing to win back control of Congress in November — and end the probe. The pressure campaign is putting President Biden on a collision course with his own party. Distinguishing himself from Trump, who Democrats lambasted for pressuring Justice Department officials during his White House years, Biden has pledged to ensure Garland operates independently of politics. “I told you I would not tell the Justice Department what position to take or not take, and I’m not going to instruct the Congress, either,” he told reporters on Monday.

During a meeting Monday night at which the select committee recommended House contempt votes against former Trump aides Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro, Reps. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) all called on Garland to act. Luria said the Justice Department “must act swiftly,” adding: “Attorney General Garland, do your job so that we can do ours.” On Tuesday Schiff told reporters it’s important for the Justice Department to act quickly and decisively to enforce the committee’s prerogatives because “we’re trying to prevent another Jan. 6. … We feel a sense of urgency and we hope the department does also.” Schiff said the cases against Navarro and Scavino are “pretty clear cut,” so “it shouldn’t be that difficult for the department to act.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the select committee, was asked Tuesday about committee members’ frustrations with the Justice Department’s pace. He replied: “I’m in agreement with my members.”

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Jul 202021
 


Édouard Vuillard In bed 1891

 

60% Of People Admitted To Hospital With Covid Have Been Double-Jabbed (Sky)
Hospitalisation Data Not A Reason To Doubt The Vaccine (Moore)
Gottlieb Predicts ‘Most’ Unvaccinated Americans Will Get Delta Variant (HuPo)
The Flag Is In Tatters (Denninger)
Antibodies From Covid Infection Last At Least Nine Months (F.)
45K Death Count From Covid Shot Lawsuit (Renz Law)
Viral Diversity and the Pandemic Response (McCullough)
On ‘Freedom Day’, Boris Johnson Announces Mandatory Vaccine Passports (SN)
The Counter-truths Unspin (Kunstler)
Vax Wars are Global – Gerald Celente (USAW)
UK Government Advisor Admits Masks Are Just “Comfort Blankets” (SN)
AG Garland Bars Prosecutors From Seizing Reporters’ Records (AP)
The Shadow State: Corporations As Surrogates For Government Action (Turley)
The True Cost of Food (Rockefeller)

 

 

 

 

It’s just

 

 

He since “corrected” it to 40%.

My notes yesterday when I was reading this:

• UK: official numbers: 68% of adults are double jabbed (87% single jabbed)
• 60% of new hospitalizations are double jabbed (or 40%, if you will)
• winter high was 60K infections daily, now 50K
• but the vaccines are very very effective. in fact, they are over 90% effective.
• this does not make sense.

60% Of People Admitted To Hospital With Covid Have Been Double-Jabbed (Sky)

Sixty percent of people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the government’s chief scientific adviser. Speaking at a Downing Street news briefing, Sir Patrick Vallance said: “In terms of the number of people in hospital who’ve been double-vaccinated, we know it’s around 60% of the people being admitted to hospital with COVID. “We do expect there to be over 1,000 people per day being hospitalised with coronavirus because of the increase in infections. “But the rates should be lower than they have been previously because of the protective effects of vaccination.” He said this was not surprising “because the vaccines are not 100% effective”.

“They’re very, very effective, but not 100%, and as a higher proportion of the population is double-vaccinated, it’s inevitable that those 10% of that very large number remain at risk, and therefore will be amongst the people who both catch the infection and end up in hospital.” Meanwhile, most regions of England now have more coronavirus patients in hospital than at any point since mid-March. Two regions – south-west England and the combined area of north-east England and Yorkshire – are back to levels last seen more than four months ago. For England as a whole, there are now 3,813 patients in hospital with COVID-19 – the highest number since 24 March. Sir Patrick also warned said there were “high levels of COVID and they are increasing”.

He said the UK was quite close to the previous “winter wave” of infections. “In the winter wave, we were up to around 60,000 people testing positive per day,” he said. “We are now somewhere on towards 50,000. So we’re quite close to the size of the winter wave of infections and this is going to increase.” He said the timing of the next peak of the virus would be “uncertain”. He said: “But most of the models are suggesting that there should be a peak and start seeing some sort of either plateau or decrease over August.

“And at that point, if things continue to increase at the rate they are – and as I said at the outset, there is something like 50,000 or near 50,000 cases per day, or positives per day, at the moment being detected – with a doubling time of 11 days, you can see that that gets to pretty high numbers very quickly. “And another doubling time will take you to even higher numbers, of course – that would be really quite, quite worrying. So we would like to see some flattening of this, some decrease in the trajectory, and ideally, as you rightly say, you’d like to see this coming down by September, as return of schools would add another pressure on top of that.”

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This is an analysis that goes with the article above.

Hospitalisation Data Not A Reason To Doubt The Vaccine (Moore)

The majority of people in hospital with COVID right now have been fully vaccinated. That will be a surprise to many people, despite the reassurance of the chief scientist Sir Patrick Vallance that it’s to be expected. But he’s right. Firstly, two doses of the Pfizer jab are 96% effective at preventing hospitalisation. For the AstraZeneca shot the figure is 92%. So while the protection is high, it’s not 100%. Secondly, the older you are the more likely it is that you will end up seriously ill if you get COVID. So if the virus does break through the protective barrier of the vaccine you are still more likely to end up in hospital if you are over 50.


It’s not a reason to doubt the vaccine. But it is a reason for everyone to get the jab and reduce levels of the virus spreading through the community. That would mean there’s less risk to double-vaccinated, older people. The good news is that the death rate is still much lower than in previous waves – about one in 1000 infections leads to death now, compared to around one in 50 in January. That’s partly down to the vaccine, but also better drug treatment for those in hospital. So even if double-vaccinated people are still ending up in hospital, they stand a much better chance of survival.

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And so will most vaccinated. But he doesn’t add that.

Gottlieb Predicts ‘Most’ Unvaccinated Americans Will Get Delta Variant (HuPo)

The former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration predicted Sunday that “most” unvaccinated Americans who haven’t already had COVID-19 will contract the delta variant — and it will be the “most serious” virus of their lives. “This virus is so contagious, this variant is so contagious … that most people will either get vaccinated or have been previously infected or they will get this delta variant,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned in an interview on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “And for most people who get this delta variant, it’s going to be the most serious virus that they get in their lifetime in terms of the risk of putting them in the hospital,” he added.

Gottlieb, who served under former President Donald Trump before the pandemic, spoke as cases of the disease were climbing across America, with the seven-day average of reported coronavirus cases soaring nearly 70% last week. All 50 states are experiencing a higher number of new cases. Among the hardest hit are states with low vaccination rates, such as Arkansas, Missouri and Florida. The Sunshine state last week accounted for 20% of all new cases in the country. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky called the new surge a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Gottlieb said he believes actual cases of the more-easily transmissible delta variant are underreported. He estimated that health officials know about only one out of 10 or 20 cases because some of those infected have mild cases and testing is not widespread. “We’re not doing a lot of routine screening right now,” said Gottlieb, who currently serves on the board of vaccine-maker Pfizer. “Unless you work for the New York Yankees, you’re not getting tested on a regular basis. So I think that this delta wave could be far more advanced than what we’re detecting right now.”

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“The data from Israel says natural infection is 6-7x as effective in preventing a future infection as the jab.”

these vaccines are not sterilizing, which means every vaccinated person is a viral mutation factory”

The Flag Is In Tatters (Denninger)

Let’s not kid ourselves. If the media and “public health” people are telling the truth about Delta being as transmissible as claimed there is no way to reach a vaccination level that will suppress it. There are actually people claiming it has an R0 equal or even greater than measles. This is probably a lie, but the problem with lies such as this is that they preclude solutions you then put forward as you’ll never get there. In short we have what I pointed out originally: You either had Covid now or will get it, like it or not. It is as certain as winter. Further, if Delta arose it won’t be the last one. Worse, we now know, conclusively that these vaccines are not sterilizing, which means every vaccinated person is a viral mutation factory and won’t know they have it in many cases. We also know it does not block transmission, as was just demonstrated on the HMS Queen Elizabeth and in the Texas Delegation.

You cannot out-vaccinate a mutating virus; the reason is quite simple as the virus passes through people and mutates faster than you can modify vaccination formulas. I warned early on that the use of non-sterilizing vaccines was known dangerous back when IPV came out for Polio and is why Sabin’s OPV formula, which is sterilizing, was universally used in conjunction with IPV in the US until polio was no longer circulating here. In fact we kept using OPV in the United States for another 20 years after the nation was declared polio-free. Why? Because not doing so — using non-sterilizing IPV alone when polio was still circulating in the population — was damned dangerous as it placed evolutionary pressure on the virus that could cause more disease rather than less and we knew it.

There are no sterilizing Covid-19 vaccines and no evidence we can develop one. The manufacturers admitted their trials were not intended to prove that originally but now we have the data and zero of the shots produce sterilizing immunity. That’s scientific fact at this point. In short we have no choice but to drop the bull**** and accept that we have to live with Covid-19. It will never go away. It has become an endemic virus like the cold or flu viruses and will be with us forever. In addition eradication was always doomed to fail because it has animal reservoirs, specifically at least cats and ferrets. We have no choice in this matter.

Within a very short period of time if Delta is what they claim in terms of infectivity you’re going to see a dramatic shift here as we have in Britain and Israel. The data from Israel says natural infection is 6-7x as effective in preventing a future infection as the jab. The virus will shortly run out of non-jabbed people to infect and the vax-vs-nonvax numbers showing up in the ER will shift dramatically. The bad news is that those who got a “hidden” adverse effect, especially thrombosis of any sort, are at a very high risk of getting monkey-hammered if and when their immunity fails and they get infected anyway because that pre-existing damage will be synergistic with the virus effects.

Lockdowns, masks and mass-jabs will not solve the problem and in fact will make it worse due to the adverse effects. For the healthy 18 year old who is screwed by cardiomylitis what do you tell him or her? They were at an effective zero risk of death in the first place; the number harmed by the shots in that cohort exceeds the number saved. Jabbing such people is an unconscionable evil, and this presumes the risks are confined to what we know which is almost certainly not the case, and that evasion by the virus never occurs, which is ridiculously improbable. Good luck folks.

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180º lie: “..immunity from infection [..] is typically weaker than that provided by vaccination.”

Why would anyone want to spin such lies? What’s to gain?

Antibodies From Covid Infection Last At Least Nine Months (F.)

Almost all people who have recovered from Covid-19 have detectable levels of antibodies nine months later, according to a new study of almost the entire population of an Italian town, bolstering earlier research that suggests a prior infection conveys some protection against the coronavirus. Over a span of nine months, researchers from Italy’s University of Padua and Imperial College London tested more than 85% of the 3,000 residents of Vo, Italy, for Covid-19 antibodies. The researchers, writing in Nature Communications, found that 98.8% of people infected in the first wave—around February/March 2020—still showed detectable levels of antibodies nine months on when tested in November.

There was no difference between people who had symptomatic and asymptomatic illness, the study found. Lead author Dr. Ilaria Dorigatti said this suggests that “the strength of the immune response does not depend on the symptoms and the severity of the infection.” For some people, antibody levels actually increased between testing, indicating a boost to the immune system from another infection with the virus. The possibility of further infection could mean that people with antibodies—whether by infection or vaccination—are capable of transmitting the virus even if they are protected from disease, the researchers warned.

Understanding how long immunity to Covid-19 lasts is crucial to public health officials trying to manage the pandemic. While antibodies indicate an immune response, they do not provide a complete picture of the immune system and cannot tell us how robust immunity is. Though some evidence suggests immunity from infection might be long lasting, it may not be strong enough to protect against disease and is typically weaker than that provided by vaccination.

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Wasn’t sure what to make of the video I posted yesterday, but it’s a real lawsuit of 67 pages which alleges that VAERS undercounts vaccine deaths by a factor of 5.

45K Death Count From Covid Shot Lawsuit (Renz Law)



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“..mass vaccination when it hits >25% of the population, begins to promote latent variants to become predominant ..”

Viral Diversity and the Pandemic Response (McCullough)

There are multiple reports that fully vaccinated groups in the hubris of their newly gained freedoms are coming down with COVID-19, this time with the Delta variant. This mutant strain was born in India in response to evolutionary pressure that promoted a base pair changes from the original alpha variant out of the UK. The HMS Queen Elizabeth reported an outbreak of 100 COVID-19 cases among 3700 fully vaccinated, socially distanced, and masked sailers. Many were detected by unnecessary asymptomatic testing which is not approved by regulatory authorities and not sanctioned by the WHO. The lessons prove that the military should reserve testing for only sick sailors and not put any stock on the vaccines as they clearly have failed.

Fortunately, Delta is mild and very manageable if treated early at home in high-risk individuals or those presenting with severe symptoms. Why did the vaccines fail so quickly? >. First, the genetic vaccines are all coded to the original Wuhan wild-type spike protein. That strain has been extinct for months now. >. Second, mass vaccination when it hits >25% of the population, begins to promote latent variants to become predominant and the overall flora of mutant strains to become less diverse. For example, about six months ago in the US, we had about 14 strains according to the CDC. Now we have only about six strains, with the rising Delta expected to become super dominant. Since Pfizer, Moderna, and JNJ provide no coverage for Delta, we can surely expect more cases but the public may be blinded to reality.

This spring after the CDC was overloaded with >10,000 vaccine failure cases with full-blown COVID-19 after being completely vaccinated, the CDC notified Americans it was only going to track and report COVID-19 in the unvaccinated. This was a giant blunder since there is a great need to study why the vaccines are failing in order to plan for boosters or better technological vaccines.

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He wants his cake and eat it and order seconds.

On ‘Freedom Day’, Boris Johnson Announces Mandatory Vaccine Passports (SN)

On the occasion labeled ‘freedom day’, the UK government announced that vaccine passports would be mandatory to enter “crowded venues” from the end of September. Gee, I feel so free! After initially denying that domestic, vaccine passports would ever be introduced, Boris Johnson’s government feverishly set about creating the framework for them. Now on the very day that all coronavirus restrictions were supposed to be lifted, the UK’s vaccines minister has announced what basically amounts to medical apartheid. “By the end of September everyone aged 18 and over will have the chance to receive full vaccination and the additional two weeks for that protection to really take hold,” said Nadhim Zahawi. “So at that point we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.”

From the end of September, people will also have the option of providing a negative test result to enter such venues removed, making the vaccine de facto mandatory. Boris Jonhson also refused to rule out future vaccine passports for pubs and bars, saying the government the government “reserved the right to do what’s necessary to protect the public.” “I would remind everybody that some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination,” said Johnson, openly threatening those who don’t get jabbed that their lifestyle will be severely stunted. The measures are being introduced to bully the 35% of 18 to 30-year-olds who haven’t taken the jab into getting it.

Once domestic vaccine passports have become commonplace for travel and to enter crowded venues, expect them to be extended to every other area of life. This will create a two tier society where those who for whatever reason refuse to have the vaccine will remain under de facto lockdown indefinitely.

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“Back in the day, LSD trips were mostly a matter of personal choice.”

The Counter-truths Unspin (Kunstler)

Back in the day, LSD trips were mostly a matter of personal choice. Today, though, all you have to do is wake up somewhere between Montauk and the Farallon Islands and your senses are overwhelmed with hallucinations. The public used to depend on newspapers and TV networks to suss out reality, but that filter is long gone, replaced by a relentless “narrative” machine, and all it does is spin out one technicolor whopper after another. The trouble is: narrative is not the truth. Generally, it’s the opposite of the truth. It’s manufactured counter-truth. The more narrative you spin, the faster you must spin off new supporting narrative to conceal the untruth of your previous narrative — until the national hive mind is lit up in unreality where nothing makes sense and the very language that separates humanity from the rough beasts becomes a social poison.

And is “Joe Biden” not the perfect gibbering epitome of this mess, a ghost in the narrative machine, beckoning us into chaos? America is on a bad trip. The country has lost its way psychologically. Two things will be required to bring it out of the fugue state it tripped into five years ago: some significant shocks to the system and the passage of time. Those shocks are in the offing and the “Joe Biden” regime — meaning Barack Obama and his wing-people who run things — are looking more and more desperate as auguries manifest.

Their current tactical hustle is to amp up paranoia over the receding Covid-19 episode. It looks like an attempt to smokescreen the emerging evidence of massive and widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and the growing eagerness of a few other states besides Arizona to mount audits of what went on last November 3rd. The supposed surge in new Covid cases is really just a tiny blip, considering it comes off a baseline of close to zero cases in many places. 11,140 so far have died from Covid vaccinations, according to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Last week 2,092 deaths from vaccinations were added versus 1,918 deaths from the virus. Countries with the highest vaccination rates are showing the most new Covid cases.

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“There are going to be new parties: anti-vax, anti-establishment, anti-tax and anti-immigration. The parties that unite under that will be the winning parties.”

Vax Wars are Global – Gerald Celente (USAW)

Celente says the pressure will continue to be pushed and coerced upon the so-called “unvaccinated” even though it is, in fact, an experimental human drug trial. No one will mention the fact that half the country already has natural immunity, according to Dr. Marty Makary at Johns Hopkins University. With death and injuries from fully vaccinated people going higher by the thousands every week, there are no facts that will sway the pro-vax crowd. Celente says, “The facts don’t count. If you show the facts, it’s misinformation if you put out facts. It’s a conspiracy theory when you put out facts, and in the United Soviet States of America, you are not allowed to put facts on any social media because they will ban you. You are not allowed to say anything to disagree with the government or the (so-called) ‘health experts.’”


Celente sees a huge trend in politics emerging and explains, “There are going to be new parties: anti-vax, anti-establishment, anti-tax and anti-immigration. The parties that unite under that will be the winning parties. They have to unite under that.” Celente says, “The whole damn system is corrupt.” Celente does not have high hopes for the election fraud being uncovered to actually do anything because the system is so corrupt. Celente also talks about the U.S. economy and that it should have tanked long ago, and the powers keep propping it up. He also comments on gold, silver, Bitcoin and why New York City and many other cities are not coming back. Celente says people will have to “unite to protect liberty and freedom,” and predicts it’s going to be a long fight.

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Too late to dispel the myth now.

UK Government Advisor Admits Masks Are Just “Comfort Blankets” (SN)

Dr Colin Axon, a SAGE advisor for the government told the London Telegraph that medics have given people a “cartoonish” view of how how microscopic viruses travel through the air, and the masks have gaps in them that are up to 5000 times bigger than Covid particles. “The small sizes are not easily understood but an imperfect analogy would be to imagine marbles fired at builders’ scaffolding, some might hit a pole and rebound, but obviously most will fly through,” Axon said. “Once a particle is not on a biological surface it is no longer a biomedical issue, it is simply about physics. The public has only a partial view of the story if information only comes from one type of source,” Axon continued, adding “Medics have some of the answers but not a whole view.”

Noting that the “mask debate is about the particle journey,” Axon explained that “Masks can catch droplets and sputum from a cough but what is important is that SARS CoV-2 is predominantly distributed by tiny aerosols.” “A Covid viral particle is around 100 nanometres, material gaps in blue surgical masks are up to 1,000 times that size, cloth mask gaps can be 500,000 times the size,” Axon urged. The professor noted that “those aerosols escape masks and will render the mask ineffective,” adding “The public were demanding something must be done, they got masks, it is just a comfort blanket. But now it is entrenched, and we are entrenching bad behaviour.”

“All around the world you can look at mask mandates and superimpose on infection rates, you cannot see that mask mandates made any effect whatsoever,” Axon further noted, adding that “The best thing you can say about any mask is that any positive effect they do have is too small to be measured.” Axon’s comments echo those of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who wrote in February 2020 that a typical store-bought face mask “is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material.” Fauci later reversed his position after the CDC began recommending that Americans wear face coverings. Similar recommendations were then made worldwide, with World Health Organisation officials even recommending that masks remain INDEFINTELY.

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Assange.

AG Garland Bars Prosecutors From Seizing Reporters’ Records (AP)

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday formally prohibited federal prosecutors from seizing the records of journalists in leak investigations, with limited exceptions, reversing years of department policy. The new policy largely codifies the commitment Garland made in June, when he said the Justice Department would abandon the practice of seizing reporters’ records in leak investigations. It aims to resolve a politically thorny issue that has long vexed Justice Department prosecutors trying to weigh the media’s First Amendment rights against government’s desire to protect classified information. But the memo makes clear that federal prosecutors can, in some cases, seize journalists’ records, including if the reporters are suspected of working for agents of a foreign power or terrorist organizations. There is also an exception for situations with imminent risks, like kidnappings or crimes against children.


Garland was moved to act following an outcry over revelations that the department during the Trump administration had obtained records belonging to journalists at The Washington Post, CNN and The New York Times as part of investigations into who had disclosed government secrets related to the Russia investigation and other national security matters. Others whose records were obtained were members of Congress and their staffers and former White House counsel Don McGahn. Garland’s announcement came after President Joe Biden said he would not allow the Justice Department to seize journalists’ phone records and emails, calling the practice “wrong.” Since then, Garland and other senior Justice Department staffers have met with representatives of news media organizations, with both sides agreeing on the need for new department policies. Garland has also said he would support federal legislation to add additional protections for journalists.

Read more …

It’s not just Big Tech.

The Shadow State: Corporations As Surrogates For Government Action (Turley)

This use of corporations is born out of political and legal convenience. Despite the rising call for mandatory vaccinations, the Biden administration clearly is not willing to face the political costs of a government mandate. As of July 11, 159,266,536 Americans were fully vaccinated — 48 percent of the country’s population. When you consider the extremely high rate of vaccination for those over 65 (an estimated 85 percent), the percentage of adults under 65 is even smaller. That is a lot of voters who would not take well to a government mandate before the 2022 election.

[..] The political convenience of relying on corporate controls is most evident in the support for a massive system of corporate-based speech controls now implanted in the United States. The government cannot implement a censorship system under the Constitution — but it can outsource censorship functions to private companies like Facebook and Twitter. Just this week, the White House admitted it has been flagging “misinformation” for Facebook to censor. At the same time, Democrats like Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) have demanded that Big Tech companies commit to even more “robust content modification” — an Orwellian term for censorship. Liberal writers and media figures have called for corporate censorship despite the danger of an effective state media run through private corporations.

[..] Social media companies are not just any businesses, however. They were created as neutral platforms for communication between people when they were given special immunity from lawsuits. Yet these corporations now control an enormous amount of public discourse and have become a rising threat to the democratic process, expanding their authority to frame the debate on issues ranging from climate change to gender identity, from election fraud to public health. You must espouse the “truth” as established by these companies on certain questions or risk being banned as “misinformation spreaders.” Indeed, Psaki this week insisted that once people are banned by one company, they should be banned from all social media companies.

If these trends continue, citizens could find themselves effectively exiled by order of corporate governors — unable to travel or go to school while also barred from espousing dissenting views on social media. They would, effectively, be “disappeared” within a shadow state that lacks any electoral or appellate process — a dystopian brave new world that could become all too real if we allow elected officials to use corporate surrogates to control the essential aspects of our lives.

Read more …

I know, I know, Rockefeller Foundation.

The True Cost of Food (Rockefeller)

Although Americans have some of the most affordable food in the world, our food comes with hidden costs—to our health, to our climate, and to the farmers, fishers, ranchers, and food workers who ensure goods make their way to store shelves. As the pandemic made explicit, those workers bear the brunt of the unequal and unsustainable food system we live with today. In fact, our food system costs all of us far more than what’s written on our receipt as we exit the check-out line. Our food system is failing us, and too few people understand the true cost of the food we consume, and lack clear incentives to change a system that is costing us dearly. That’s why accounting for the true cost of the food we eat is the first, necessary step towards remaking the incentive structure that drives our food system today.

Consider this: In 2019, American consumers spent an estimated $1.1 trillion on food. That price tag includes the cost of producing, processing, retailing, and wholesaling the food we buy and eat. It does not include the cost of healthcare for the millions who fall ill with diet-related diseases. Nor does $1.1 trillion include the present and future costs of the food system’s contributions to water and air pollution, reduced biodiversity, or greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change. Take those costs into account and it becomes clear the true cost of the U.S. food system is at least three times as big—$3.2 trillion per year. The true cost of food disproportionately burdens people of color, who are more likely to suffer from dietrelated diseases, have less access to water and sanitation, and often work in food production jobs for less than a living wage.

Americans pay that high cost even if consumers don’t see it in the check-out line. And, if we don’t change our food system, future generations will pay those high costs, too.

Read more …

 

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Jun 162021
 
 June 16, 2021  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow II 1916

 

Human Cells Can Write RNA Sequences Into DNA (STD)
WHO ‘Highly Compromised’, Unfit To Lead COVID-19 Investigation – Redfield (ZH)
Sen. Johnson Shares Letter From Grateful Constituent About Ivermectin (JTN)
Biden Aides Lower Expectations Ahead Of Putin Summit (NYP)
Empire Of Clowns Versus Yellow Peril (Escobar)
Bipartisan Support For A Government-backed Digital Dollar (MW)
The G7’s Reckless Commitment To Mounting Debt (Lacalle)
New Study Proves Hawking Was Right, Black Holes Only Get Bigger (RT)
AG Merrick Garland Raises As Many Questions As He Answers (Turley)
Julian Assange: The Man Who Knew Too Much (LAP)

 

 

 

 

Vaccines and infections

 

 

 

 

Gene therapy after all? Talk about scary. And if this doesn’t do it, try watching Dr. Fleming.

Human Cells Can Write RNA Sequences Into DNA (STD)

In a discovery that challenges long-held dogma in biology, researchers show that mammalian cells can convert RNA sequences back into DNA, a feat more common in viruses than eukaryotic cells. Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed cell. That same class of machines, called polymerases, also build RNA messages, which are like notes copied from the central DNA repository of recipes, so they can be read more efficiently into proteins. But polymerases were thought to only work in one direction DNA into DNA or RNA. This prevents RNA messages from being rewritten back into the master recipe book of genomic DNA. Now, Thomas Jefferson University researchers provide the first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology.

“This work opens the door to many other studies that will help us understand the significance of having a mechanism for converting RNA messages into DNA in our own cells,” says Richard Pomerantz, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “The reality that a human polymerase can do this with high efficiency, raises many questions.” For example, this finding suggests that RNA messages can be used as templates for repairing or re-writing genomic DNA. Together with first author Gurushankar Chandramouly and other collaborators, Dr. Pomerantz’s team started by investigating one very unusual polymerase, called polymerase theta. Of the 14 DNA polymerases in mammalian cells, only three do the bulk of the work of duplicating the entire genome to prepare for cell division.

The remaining 11 are mostly involved in detecting and making repairs when there’s a break or error in the DNA strands. Polymerase theta repairs DNA, but is very error-prone and makes many errors or mutations. The researchers therefore noticed that some of polymerase theta’s “bad” qualities were ones it shared with another cellular machine, albeit one more common in viruses — the reverse transcriptase. Like Pol theta, HIV reverse transcriptase acts as a DNA polymerase, but can also bind RNA and read RNA back into a DNA strand. In a series of elegant experiments, the researchers tested polymerase theta against the reverse transcriptase from HIV, which is one of the best studied of its kind. They showed that polymerase theta was capable of converting RNA messages into DNA, which it did as well as HIV reverse transcriptase, and that it actually did a better job than when duplicating DNA to DNA. Polymerase theta was more efficient and introduced fewer errors when using an RNA template to write new DNA messages, than when duplicating DNA into DNA, suggesting that this function could be its primary purpose in the cell.

Dr. Richard Fleming on mRNA

Read more …

Remind me: why did he leave?

WHO ‘Highly Compromised’, Unfit To Lead COVID-19 Investigation – Redfield (ZH)

The World Health Organization is “highly compromised” and unfit to lead an investigation into the origins of COVID-19, according to former CDC head Robert Redfield. “Clearly, they were incapable of compelling China to adhere to the treaty agreements that they have on global health, because they didn’t do that,” Redfield told Fox News on Tuesday. “Clearly, they allowed China to define the group of scientists that could come and investigate. That’s not consistent with their role.” In March, Redfield told CNN that he doesn’t believe the natural origin theory which posits that COVID-19 jumped from a bat to a human through a yet-to-be determined intermediary species.


“I think they were highly compromised,” Redfield said of the World Health Organization (WHO), which ‘investigated’ the origins of the pandemic in what was nothing more than political theatre conducted by a highly conflicted group – one of whom, Peter Daszak of NGO EcoHealth Alliance, worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and was funded to the tune of millions of dollars by Anthony Fauci’s NIH. Redfield slammed Fauci during the interview, saying that while he supports the lab-leak hypothesis, “Other individuals, Tony Fauci, for example, would say that he prefers to support that it evolved from nature.” “Now, why would that be?” asked Redfield, adding that “sometimes scientists when they bite into a bone on a hypothesis, it’s hard for them to move on.” “I guess if I’m disappointed about anything about the early scientific community it’s that there seemed to be lack of openness to pursue both hypotheses,” he continued.

Read more …

“..I was finally able to connect with a Green Bay doctor that provided my wife real treatment — Ivermectin and other support prescriptions. Within an hour of taking Ivermectin, her headaches were gone..”

Sen. Johnson Shares Letter From Grateful Constituent About Ivermectin (JTN)

Sen. Ron Johnson’s name was invoked on Monday’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert during a segment in which Jon Stewart indicated that he thinks the COVID-19 pandemic emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China. “I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science. Science has in many ways helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science,” Stewart said. “There’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China, what do we do? Oh, you know who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab. The disease is the same name as the lab.” The Wuhan Institute of Virology is located in Wuhan, China. During the segment Colbert invoked the name of Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin: “And how long have you worked for Senator Ron Johnson?” Colbert asked.

“This is not a conspiracy,” Stewart said. Johnson tweeted on Tuesday that he enjoyed the pair’s discussion on the show and the lawmaker shared a letter from a constituent who had written to say that Ivermectin greatly helped his wife who had suffered significantly with COVID-19. “@jonstewart @StephenAtHome enjoyed your Late Show Wuhan virus discussion. Since I was mentioned, let me share this email I got from a constituent. Open minds can save lives,” Johnson tweeted. “I am writing today to thank you for your leadership in Wisconsin as it relates to COVID and alternative treatments. My wife and I watched Dr. Pierre Kory testify before the Senate Committee about ivermectin, Dec. 8, 2020, and we were utterly dumbfounded that this treatment was not readily available as treatment and prevention to the general public,” the constituent wrote.

The letter explained that the woman later became ill with COVID-19 in May and suffered significant symptoms. “Her case was quite severe; she will report that she has never experienced the severity of headaches and body aches in her lifetime as well as severe nausea and high temperatures,” the letter noted. “As the days progressed, she grew so weak that she was not able to walk without assistance.” “As her symptoms worsened, I remembered the hearing you hosted and Dr. Kory. Through your leadership on this issue, I was finally able to connect with a Green Bay doctor that provided my wife real treatment — Ivermectin and other support prescriptions. Within an hour of taking Ivermectin, her headaches were gone,” the person told Johnson.

Nasal-spray Ivermectin for C19

Read more …

Less than zero then?

Biden Aides Lower Expectations Ahead Of Putin Summit (NYP)

The White House on Tuesday lowered expectations as President Biden arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, for his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — with a senior Biden administration official telling reporters they are “not expecting a big set of deliverables” from the Wednesday talks. Biden’s own tone changed ahead of the meeting when he downplayed past descriptions of Putin as a “killer” who has “no soul” and told reporters Monday at the NATO summit in Belgium that Putin actually is a “worthy adversary” who is “bright” and “tough.” White House officials for weeks said Biden will seek to forge a new understanding with Putin that would allow for a more predictable US-Russia relationship. And Putin aides told reporters they still believe there may be a joint statement.

Biden and Putin are expected to arrive at the meeting site in Geneva around 1 p.m. local time Wednesday. The senior US official said meetings could last four to five hours, but that there will be “no breaking of bread.” Then Putin, followed by Biden, are expected to give solo press conferences, the official said. The lack of a joint press conference will allow Biden to avoid embarrassing moments that make him appear weak or hypocritical. Putin aides suggested he will advocate for the “human rights” of Capitol rioters during the summit. The senior US official said “nothing is off the table” for the talks, which are expected to include discussion of recent cyberattacks against Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods by criminals suspected of living in Russia.

Biden has struggled during press interactions on his first foreign trip, which also included stops in the UK and Belgium, with lengthy pauses and saying he must stop talking lest he “get in trouble” with his press handlers. The Geneva summit is expected to kick off with an initial meeting between Biden and Putin. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and translators also will be in the room, the senior US official said. There’s scheduled to be a brief press availability when Biden and Putin first sit down — though on Monday, the White House scrapped a similar “pool spray” at the start of Biden’s meeting with Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leaving frustrated US reporters dependent on Turkey’s government for information.

[..] Lavrov said ahead of the talks that Putin is prepared to flip the script on Biden if he brings up sensitive issues, such as human rights including the case of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who last year survived poisoning attempts. “We will be ready to answer the questions that the American side will raise. This also applies to human rights,” Lavrov said. “For example, we are following with interest the persecution of those persons who are accused of the riots on January 6 this year.”

Read more …

“..the G7’s economic output barely registers as 30% of the global total.”

Empire Of Clowns Versus Yellow Peril (Escobar)

It requires major suspension of disbelief to consider the G7, the self-described democracy’s most exclusive club, as relevant to the Raging Twenties. Real life dictates that even accounting for the inbuilt structural inequality of the current world system the G7’s economic output barely registers as 30% of the global total. Cornwall was at best an embarrassing spectacle – complete with a mediocrity troupe impersonating “leaders” posing for masked elbow bump photo ops while on a private party with the 95-year-old Queen of England, everyone was maskless and merrily mingling about in an apotheosis of “shared values” and “human rights”. Quarantine on arrival, masks enforced 24/7 and social distancing of course is only for the plebs.

The G7 final communique is the proverbial ocean littered with platitudes and promises. But it does contain a few nuggets. Starting with ‘Build Back Better’ – or B3 – showing up in the title. B3 is now official code for both The Great Reset and the New Green Deal. Then there’s the Yellow Peril remixed, with the “our values” shock troops “calling on China to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms” with a special emphasis on Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The story behind it was confirmed to me by a EU diplomatic source, a realist (yes, there are some in Brussels). All hell broke loose inside the – exclusive – G7 room when the Anglo-American axis, backed by spineless Canada, tried to ramrod the EU-3 plus Japan into an explicit condemnation of China in the final communiqué over the absolute bogus concentration camp “evidence” in Xinjiang.

In contrast to politicized accusations of “crimes against humanity”, the best analysis of what’s really going on in Xinjiang has been published by the Qiao collective. Germany, France and Italy – Japan was nearly invisible – at least showed some spine. Internet was shut off to the room during the really harsh “dialogue”. Talk about realism – a true depiction of “leaders” vociferating inside a bubble. The dispute essentially pitted Biden – actually his handlers – against Macron, who insisted that the EU-3 would not be dragged into the logic of a Cold War 2.0. That was something that Merkel and Mario ‘Goldman Sachs’ Draghi could easily agree upon.

Read more …

Presented as defending your privacy …

Bipartisan Support For A Government-backed Digital Dollar (MW)

Members of a House Financial Services Committee task force largely expressed support for experiments to create a digital form of the U.S. dollar, citing the need to keep pace with China and to enable a larger swath of the U.S. population to access the digital economy, during a hearing Tuesday morning. Neha Narula, the director of MIT’s Digital Currency Project, explained to the committee the benefits of a digital dollar, describing the U.S. electronic payment system as suffering from “high fees and limited access” because it has not evolved fast enough to keep pace with the demand for online digital payments.

Narula, whose group is collaborating with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to study a potential Fed-backed digital dollar, added that while private cryptocurrencies may evolve to solve these problems, they also present risks including “the immaturity of the technology and its ability to provide widely available, highly secure and scalable payment transactions.” That’s why, according to Narula, that dozens of central banks across the globe, including the European Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China, are experimenting with digital forms of their own currencies. Warren Davidson of Ohio, the ranking Republican on the task force, was quick to embrace Narula and the other panelists’ support for designing a digital dollar with consumer privacy as a major priority.

“I’m very encouraged about this dialogue…and by your passion for privacy.” Davidson told the panel. “If we get this structure right, we can really move past this sad part of American history where Americans essentially surrendered their privacy in the late 1960s, early ’70s with respect to financial matters.” Davidson was referring to the the so-called third-party doctrine, which was developed by a series of Supreme Court cases in the ’60s and ’70s and says that citizens do not have a legal right to privacy with respect to information that a person willingly gives to a third party, including banks and other financial firms. A digital dollar has the potential to protect the financial privacy in a way that private companies do not, he said.

Read more …

“A minimum global corporate tax. Why not an agreement on a maximum global public spending?”

The G7’s Reckless Commitment To Mounting Debt (Lacalle)

Historically, meetings of the largest economies in the world have been essential to reach essential agreements that would incentivize prosperity and growth. This was not the case this time. The G7 meeting agreements were light on detailed economic decisions, except on the most damaging of them all. A minimum global corporate tax. Why not an agreement on a maximum global public spending?

Imposing a minimum global corporate tax of 15 percent without addressing all other taxes that governments impose before a business reaches a net profit is dangerous. Why would there be a minimum global corporate tax when subsidies are different, some countries have different or no VAT rates (value added tax), and the endless list of indirect taxes is completely different? The G7 “commit to reaching an equitable solution on the allocation of taxing rights, with market countries awarded taxing rights on at least 20 percent of profit exceeding a 10 percent margin for the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises.” This entire sentence makes no sense, opens the door to double taxation and penalizes the most competitive and profitable companies while it has no impact on the dinosaur loss-making or poor-margin conglomerates that most governments call “strategic sectors.”

The global minimum corporate tax is also a protectionist and extractive measure. The rich nations will see little negative impact from this, as they already have their governments surrounded by large multinationals that will not suffer a massive taxation blow because subsidies and tax incentives before net income are large and generous. According to PWC’s Paying Taxes 2020, profit taxes in North America already stand at 18.5 percent but, more worryingly, total tax contributions including labor and other taxes reach 40 percent of revenues. In the EU and EFTA (European Free Trade Association), profit taxes may be somewhat smaller than in North America, but total taxation remains above 39 percent of revenues.

Some politicians mention corporate technology giants as the ones that pay no taxes and use an effective tax rate where they put together loss-making companies with those making a profit thus reaching an artificially low effective tax rate. Technology giants will not pay more under this new agreement, because their taxable base will not change, their profit and loss account will remain similar and, more importantly, the deductions on large investments, which are the cause of their apparently small tax payments, will not change either.

Read more …

“..entropy or disorder can’t decrease over time..”

New Study Proves Hawking Was Right, Black Holes Only Get Bigger (RT)

Physicists have said that they have proven, by analyzing gravitational waves from space, a theory developed by Stephen Hawking in the 1970s, which states that black holes cannot decrease in surface area over time. In a study published on Monday, scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Cornell University shared their findings from a research project which analyzed ripples in spacetime created by two black holes that spiraled inward and eventually merged into one bigger black hole. The ripples studied were the first gravitational waves ever identified, detected by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in 2015. Splitting the gravitational wave data into time segments before and after the black holes merged, the researchers calculated the surface areas of the black holes in both periods.


The physicists found that the surface area of the new black hole was actually greater than the two initial black holes combined. The finding confirms a prediction made by famed scientist, Stephen Hawking, in the 1970s, in which he stated that black holes cannot decrease in surface area as it mirrored a rule in physics, that entropy or disorder can’t decrease over time. Hawking’s law states that the surface area of the black hole won’t increase on its own, but when things enter it, it gains mass and correspondingly its surface area increases. While incoming objects can make the black hole spin, which decreases surface area, the size increase due to the additional mass will always be greater than the size lost to spinning.

Read more …

Turley defends Assange.

AG Merrick Garland Raises As Many Questions As He Answers (Turley)

In his testimony before Congress, Garland stressed that he intends to create new protections for the media to allow “journalists to go about their work disclosing wrongdoing and error in the government. That is part of how you have faith in the government, by having that transparency.” But what is a journalist? Does it include bloggers or citizen journalists? There is general agreement that this is a case of investigative journalism. After all, Pro Publica has won six Pulitzer Prizes and bills itself as a nonprofit investigatory group committed to exposing “abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.”

That sounds a tad familiar. WikiLeaks was founded as a nonprofit “to bring important news and information to the public … to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth.” In 2013, WikiLeaks was declared by the International Federation of Journalists to be a “new breed of media organization” that “offers important opportunities for media organizations” through the publication of such nonpublic information. If Garland is going to implement protections for the media in the use of leaked material, he will have to address the continued prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by the DOJ. The Justice Department is still fighting to extradite Assange. It is using the same tactic that was used in the Rosen case by treating Assange not as a journalist but as a criminal co-conspirator.

DOJ insists that Assange played an active role in his correspondence with and advice to the hacker. Yet, Assange would not be the first journalist to work with a whistleblower who is prospectively or continuing to acquire nonpublic information. I have previously written about the Assange case as potentially the most important press freedom case in 300 years. (For full disclosure, I also advised the legal team of Julian Assange in England on our criminal justice system and the free press protections under the Constitution.) Both Pro Publica and WikiLeaks could claim that these disclosures serve the public interest. Pro Publica wanted to expose an unfair tax system. WikiLeaks wanted to expose how public figures were lying to the public on subjects ranging from foreign wars to campaign issues.

Both the rights of free speech and the free press require bright lines to flourish. For the free press, one bright line is to bar reverse engineering in leak investigations and the targeting of publishers or recipients of information in the media or Congress. Another is to require a higher showing (and higher authorization) for any searches of the records of journalists. That, however, will take us inevitably to the questions that the government and frankly some in the media have avoided for years. What is a journalist, and what to do with Julian Assange?

Read more …

… and shared what he knew…

Julian Assange: The Man Who Knew Too Much (LAP)

Millions viewed the “Collateral Murder Tape” online, as well as interviews with one of the soldiers who rescued the children – Ethan McCord recounts how it impacted him, and the wider PTSD forever wars inflict on our soldiers. In our fog of war reliable count of the hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan remains elusive. Those who prefer such dark reveals remain buried see Assange as someone to destroy. US military budgets remain on crescendo. The world’s top five arms dealers, and twelve of the top twenty-five, are American. Assange is bad for business. “Someone’s not going to like this” was predictable. Assange stepped into the crosshairs of fame, targeted by powerful disinformation systems.

Politicians and media pundits, some of the latter still joined at the hip with America’s military/intelligence/industrial complex, chimed in. Some called Assange a traitor – never mind he’s Australian – and high tech terrorist, even calling for his assassination. So dark was the picture painted that even sympathetic writers feel obliged to begin with “Whatever you think of Assange…” When Wikileaks revealed the DNC gamed the 2016 Democratic Party primaries, the punditry judged democratic derailments not newsworthy when the higher good was resistance to Trump. Media ran faster with narratives ripping Assange than questioning or correcting them.

Claiming Assange is outside publishing boundaries is a conceit that who, what, when, where, why and how requires formal training, or an official imprimatur. Never mind the international journalism awards Wikileaks quickly garnered, the uncovered bedrock for important stories that enabled accolades to news organizations building on Wikileaks revelations. A decade ago Daniel Ellsberg, who exposed government lies about the Vietnam War by leaking the Pentagon Papers, told me government’s objective going after him was a UK-styled Official Secrets Act that undermines First Amendment protections. Beyond criminalizing leaking classified materials, it would criminalize seeking and publishing them.

Read more …

 

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Jon Stewart

 

 

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Feb 222021
 
 February 22, 2021  Posted by at 10:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Thomas Abercrombie Beirut 1957

 

Biden’s $1.9-Trillion Big Spend Is A Big Bet On MMT (LAT)
Cuomo Nursing Home Scandal May Rise To Federal Level Of Criminal Offense (Fox)
Scalise Requests Data On NY Nursing Home COVID Deaths (SAC)
More New York Politicians Accuse Cuomo Of Threatening Behavior (F.)
Why Do Democrats Pretend Andrew Cuomo Did a Good Job With COVID? (Slate)
Psaki Declines To Say Whether Biden Still Views Cuomo As ‘Gold Standard’ (JTN)
The Battery of American Power Is Running Flat (SCF)
Boeing 777s Grounded Around World After Denver Engine Failure (R.)
Garland Expected To Become Biden’s AG (Hill)
Vitamin D: Doctors Will Further Erode Trust In Experts (Cook)
Canada To Follow Australia, Take On Facebook, Seek Payment For Content (NYP)
Disney Labels ‘The Muppet Show’ As ‘Offensive Content’ (RT)

 

 

It’s Andrew Cuomo day! Why is he still in office? Well, the Dems want the GOP to go after him, so they don’t have to. Biden won’t have anything to do with this hot potato, until and unless he can squeeze political capital out of it. Among lower level Dems, there are too many that Cuomo has collected dirt on – or that are afraid he did.

This may take a while therefore, everyone’s playing a waiting game. And the press drip-drip new stories about Cuomo every day, without condemning him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’ll be the first to deny it.

Biden’s $1.9-Trillion Big Spend Is A Big Bet On MMT (LAT)

As Stephanie Kelton, former chief economist on the Senate Budget Committee, argues in her bestseller “The Deficit Myth,” the country’s real deficits are in healthcare, jobs, infrastructure, education and the climate. But rather than address those things by spending, writes Kelton, the government proceeds in terror of not “balancing the budget,” falsely believing that an unbalanced budget is the source of inflation. “We run around like a six-foot-tall guy who wanders around perpetually hunched over in a house with eight-foot ceilings because someone convinced him that if he tries to stand up tall he’ll suffer a massive head trauma,” she writes. Jason Furman, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Obama, concurs. “Given low interest rates, the United States actually has even more fiscal room to respond to the crisis today than it did in the financial crisis,” he told me. “We should use that room.”

If the Biden stimulus goes through, and inflation doesn’t skyrocket, the experiment may bear out a new monetary theory. It could be time at last for the nation to stand tall, and unfurl its economy to its full height. Of course, an experiment on such a big scale is unnerving, and Biden is facing substantial criticism for the $1.9-trillion plan. Olivier Blanchard, former chief economist at the IMF, tweeted earlier this month that such a stimulus would not just overheat the economy; it would incinerate it. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers issued a less hyperbolic warning but he brought up the fear: The policy would need to come with an aggressive fiscal policy to keep “inflationary pressures” at bay.

Kelton doesn’t completely disagree. On Twitter, she pointed out that the modern monetary theory she advocates requires Congress to stop talking about budgets and start talking entirely about mitigating inflation, if it comes, by other monetary policy means. You’re going to hear a lot more kvetching about government spending and, geez, $1.9 trillion. But remember, no one pushing Biden’s plan is trying to pave the way for a big, fat inflationary decade, filled with 1970s malaise, austerity measures and agony at the pump. They’re just willing to bet that a nearly $2-trillion stimulus, if the economy is monitored closely enough, will improve infrastructure, education, climate and healthcare, while making employers eager to find workers, which will push up wages and benefits. Which all sounds great. Especially when the checks show up.

Read more …

“New York’s willful failure to provide information may itself constitute a criminal offense—particularly if the intent was to thwart a federal investigation—..”

Cuomo Nursing Home Scandal May Rise To Federal Level Of Criminal Offense (Fox)

Legal experts are warning that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s alleged undercounting of nursing-home deaths amid the COVID-19 pandemic may rise to the level of a criminal offense. Cuomo has found himself at the center of a federal investigation into whether his administration sought to hide the true toll of the pandemic. The New York Post reported earlier this month that Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s top aide, told lawmakers the administration had withheld the numbers for fear of them being “used against us.” In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, John B. Daukas, who served as acting U.S. attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, wrote that DeRosa’s reported admissions weren’t “merely negligent, but intentional and perhaps criminal.”


Daukas said numerous federal statutes could apply, noting that Cuomo’s administration is accusing of both making false statements to the federal government and trying to thwart an investigation. “Even if it cannot be proved that the Cuomo administration knowingly provided false information to Justice and the (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), New York’s willful failure to provide information may itself constitute a criminal offense—particularly if the intent was to thwart a federal investigation—which, after all, is exactly what Ms. DeRosa reportedly said the administration did,” Daukas wrote. And on Saturday, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said DeRosa’s admission to lawmakers – if true – constitutes a potential obstruction of justice charge. Per the federal statute, Jarrett noted, if a government official falsifies or hides evidence to avoid triggering an investigation (or acts out of fear that such a probe may occur) that official is still culpable under the law of obstruction.”

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There’s a shredder working overtime somewhere…

Scalise Requests Data On NY Nursing Home COVID Deaths (SAC)

As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) faces increasing criticism over reports that his administration underreported coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes and a preliminary federal investigation underway, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (La.) renewed his call Friday for Cuomo to provide all data on such deaths, describing his administration’s alleged conduct as an “apparent obstruction of justice”. Scalise, the ranking member of Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, reiterated his call in a press release emailed Friday afternoon by the House Oversight Republicans. The press release cites the February 11 New York Post exposé reporting that Melissa DeRosa, a top Cuomo aide, had privately admitted to Democratic lawmakers that the administration withheld nursing home death data out of fear that it would be “used against us” by federal prosecutors.

On top of that, the release mentioned the report that Cuomo had allegedly threatened a Democratic assemblyman if he didn’t help cover up the nursing home deaths. “This apparent obstruction of justice necessitates an immediate and thorough investigation by Congress especially in light of the recent revelation that you and your Administration engaged in a cover-up aimed at concealing your culpability in New York State’s COVID-19 nursing home crisis,” Scalise wrote. “Recent reporting suggests that your attempts to cover-up the truth and conceal your culpability extend beyond obstruction to threats of retaliation toward anyone who might cross you. This behavior appears to be your modus operandi when anyone attempts to question your ‘leadership.’”

The press release goes on to mention that the subcommittee’s Republicans have repeatedly called for Cuomo to provide information regarding his since-rescinded directive ordering nursing homes and long-term care facilities to admit untested and contagious COVID-19 patients from hospitals. According to the press release, they first asked the governor in June 2020, and subsequent times in July 2020 and last month. [..] In a letter from Scalise to Cuomo attached to the press release, the Louisiana Republican touched on the aforementioned points but also requested transcribed interviews from DeRosa and New York Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker.

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Some are just too pissed off.

More New York Politicians Accuse Cuomo Of Threatening Behavior (F.)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces a growing number of allegations he and his subordinates routinely threaten critics, with two New York politicians – a former Democratic congressional candidate and a Republican ex-rival of Cuomo’s – recounting to Forbes their hostile experiences with the governor’s staff. Nate McMurray, a two-time House candidate in Western New York, told Forbes that after criticizing Cuomo for plans to attend a Buffalo Bills game, he received a call from a Cuomo aide on New Years Eve that began “you motherf***er,” before devolving into threats like “you’re done in politics.” McMurray said he took down his tweet after the call because he was “scared” and looking for a job after his run, adding that he’s heard from people in both Cuomo’s staff and the New York legislature about a “pervasive culture of fear that has trickled down from his office.”

“We’ve all been yelled at by someone in that administration,” Marc Molinaro, a Republican county executive in upstate New York who ran against Cuomo in 2018, told Forbes, adding, “It’s unacceptable but how they operate.” Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, tweeted that she was “flooded” with stories from people who said they were “bullied, mistreated, or intimidated” by Cuomo, a statement echoed by former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan, who has previously accused him of harassment. Alessandra Biaggi, a Democratic state senator, told the New Yorker Cuomo once asked her to “tell me again how your grandfather’s career ended,” which she perceived as a threat given that her grandfather, Mario Biaggi, resigned over a corruption scandal – though a Cuomo spokesperson told the New Yorker it was about the “importance of integrity in government.”

Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean tweeted that she was told by someone close to the Cuomo family to “‘Watch my back,’” when she began speaking out against him prolifically over the coronavirus-related deaths of her parents, who were both nursing home residents.

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“..a serially underachieving chief executive playing three-card monte with dead bodies. At this point, Andrew Cuomo could probably shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.”

Why Do Democrats Pretend Andrew Cuomo Did a Good Job With COVID? (Slate)

Most concerningly, Cuomo’s administration admitted this month that it had been excluding nursing home residents who died of COVID but didn’t technically die on the grounds of their facilities from its official count of COVID-related nursing home deaths. Since many such residents died only after being hospitalized, this had the effect of making the state’s nursing home outbreak look thousands of deaths smaller than it actually was. Cuomo’s office appears to have compiled the more comprehensive, accurate data months ago but didn’t release it until the state’s attorney general—who is elected independently of the governor—issued a Jan. 28 report alleging that nursing home deaths had been undercounted.

(It does not look like the discrepancy could have resulted from innocent semantic misunderstandings: A representative of the data team that manages the AARP Public Policy Institute’s Nursing Home COVID-19 dashboard noted to Slate that “CDC guidance for the data we use in our dashboard specifically states that resident deaths are supposed to be counted regardless of the place of death,” while the managing editor of the COVID Tracking Project said its staff is “not currently aware of any other US state or territory that reports deaths associated with nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities in the way that New York did for most of the pandemic.”)

[..] His press conference performances notwithstanding, the facts and evidence show that Cuomo is not someone who cares much about facts and evidence. But his liberal supporters don’t care: A Siena College poll taken after the nursing home scandal broke found that 83 percent of New York Democrats still approve of Cuomo’s handling of COVID, with more than 80 percent also saying specifically that they approve of his work “communicating with the people of New York” and “providing accurate information.”

To hammer home the cognitive dissonance, only 54 percent said he’d done a good job “making public all data about COVID-related deaths of nursing home patients,” which suggests both that 54 percent of New York Democrats are full of it and that a significant portion of the rest of them know Cuomo is full of it but don’t care. To many voters, celebrating the idea of the competent blue-state governor is more important than reckoning with the reality of a serially underachieving chief executive playing three-card monte with dead bodies. At this point, Andrew Cuomo could probably shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.

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Hot potato.

Psaki Declines To Say Whether Biden Still Views Cuomo As ‘Gold Standard’ (JTN)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during an interview on ABC’s This Week would not provide a direct answer about whether President Biden still considers New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo the “gold standard” on dealing with the coronavirus crisis. Journalist Jonathan Karl posed the question after playing a clip of Biden last year stating that Cuomo has performed “one hell of a job” and describing the governor as “sorta the gold standard.” Cuomo, who has come under fire for his handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic, has faced heightened scrutiny since his top aide Melissa DeRosa revealed the administration held back on answering questions from lawmakers due to concerns about a potential Justice Department investigation.


“Well John, we work with Governor Cuomo just like we work with governors across the country,” Psaki said, noting that Cuomo chairs the National Governors Association and has “an important role in ensuring that we’re coordinating closely in getting assistance out to people of his state and to states across the country.” She said that any matter of investigations would be in the hands of “the appropriate law enforcement authorities to determine how that path is going to move as we look forward. ”But we are going to continue to work with a range of governors, including of course Governor Cuomo because we think the people of New York, the people of states across the country need assistance, not just to get through the pandemic, but to get through this difficult economic time.”

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NATO and Pentagon are Siamese twins.

The Battery of American Power Is Running Flat (SCF)

Historically, the United States relies on NATO as a conduit to project its power and influence over Europe. This was its fundamental objective when NATO was first set up in 1949 at the start of the Cold War against the Soviet Union. In recent decades, NATO has assumed an ever-expanding purpose for American imperial power projection, encompassing not just Western Europe but all of Europe right up to Russia’s borders. NATO has become a vehicle for American hegemonic ambitions holding sway over the Balkans, Caucasia, North Africa and the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. For an organization that nominally originated for maintaining security in the North Atlantic, it sounds rather odd indeed to hear its spokesmen talk now about the need for NATO to confront China.

That oddly expanded global mission reflects the real but unspoken fact that NATO is all about serving American global ambitions. Former President Trump was too ignorant or obsessed with money-grubbing financial costs – “we’re being ripped off” he would repeatedly complain with regard to NATO – to realize the strategic bigger picture of what the alliance is really purposed to serve. Under a new man in the White House – an old-time establishment operative – there is seemingly a more consensual approach with allies. Nevertheless, underlying the liberal lexicon there is the same old mantra of hostility towards Russia and China. Lloyd Austin, the Pentagon chief, told European allies this week that there would have to be “more burden sharing” in order to confront the “threats” allegedly posed by Russia and China.

Biden continued the same theme of confronting Russia and China during his G7 and Munich conferences over the weekend. American hegemonic ambitions required to satisfy its corporate capitalism are dependent on a zero-sum geopolitics. The globe must divided into spheres of influence as in the earlier Cold War decades. There must be antagonism to thwart genuine cooperation which is anathema to American capitalism. Indeed, it can be said that the Cold War never actually ended when the Soviet Union dissolved more three decades ago. America’s imperialist ideology continued under new guises of “fighting terrorism”, “democracy promotion and nation building”, or more recently “great power competition” with Russia and China.

The bottom line is that NATO is more important than ever for enabling Washington’s global power ambitions given the demise of American capitalism and the rise of China and Eurasia. NATO provides a crucial political cover for what would otherwise be seen as naked American imperialism.

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Ha ha ha: “Boeing has recommended grounding..”

Yeah, Boeing’s a very responible corporate citizen…

Boeing 777s Grounded Around World After Denver Engine Failure (R.)

Boeing has recommended grounding more than 120 of its 777 jets worldwide following a catastrophic engine failure on a United Airlines plane in Denver. The company said on Sunday night that airlines using the same type of engine that scattered debris across Denver before making an emergency landing should suspend operations until inspections could be carried out. Flight 328 was flying from Denver International Airport to Honolulu with 231 passengers and 10 crew on board on Saturday when one engine failed shortly after take-off. Police in Broomfield, Colorado posted photos of pieces of debris from the plane near houses and other buildings. There were no reports of any injuries on the ground or among the passengers.

United Airlines said it was temporarily grounding all 24 of its Boeing 777s on active duty, and Japan’s aviation regulator swiftly followed suit, ordering Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) to cease flying 777s that use the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines while it considered whether to take additional measures. Japan said ANA operated 19 of that kind and JAL operated 13. The planes are also used by carriers in South Korea. A spokeswoman for South Korea’s transport ministry, speaking before Boeing’s statement, said it was monitoring the situation but had not yet taken any action. Korean Air Lines said it had 12 of the planes, half of them stored, and it would consult with the manufacturer and regulators and stop flying them to Japan for now.

Boeing said in total 69 of the planes were in service and 59 were in storage, at a time when airlines have grounded planes due to a plunge in demand associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency directive late on Sunday that required immediate or stepped-up inspections of planes similar to the one involved in the Denver incident. “We reviewed all available safety data following yesterday’s incident,” the FAA said in a statement from its administrator, Steve Dickson . “Based on the initial information, we concluded that the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes. “This will likely mean that some airplanes will be removed from service”.

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What will happen to Durham and the Hunter files?

Garland Expected To Become Biden’s AG (Hill)

Nearly five years after Senate Republicans refused to grant Merrick Garland a hearing to be confirmed as a justice on the Supreme Court, the appeals court judge is getting his chance to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, this time as President Biden’s choice to be attorney general. In 2016, former President Obama nominated Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, but then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not allow a hearing on the nomination, citing the presidential election eight months later. Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the seat on the high court the following year, just more than two months after he was nominated by former President Trump.

Garland is one of the last major Cabinet appointments by Biden, and he is likely to secure confirmation with bipartisan support despite the former Republican blockade on his last nomination. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has said Garland’s experience “makes him well-suited to lead the Department of Justice, and I appreciated his commitment to keep politics out of the Justice Department.” “Unless I hear something new, I expect to support his nomination before the full Senate,” Cornyn added, according to The Associated Press. In opening remarks released Sunday, Garland pledged to address the threat of domestic extremism as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, specifically invoking the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“From 1995 to 1997, I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the federal government,” Garland’s remarks read. “If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 — a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.” Biden has pledged that the Justice Department during his tenure will be free of political influence or interference.

The Justice Department has asked for the resignations of all Trump-appointed U.S. attorneys, a somewhat typical move for incoming administrations. But Biden left in place the U.S. attorney in Delaware in charge of investigating the tax affairs of his son Hunter Biden. He is also allowing U.S. Attorney John Durham to continue in his role as a special prosecutor probing the origins of the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, a position appointed by former Attorney General William Barr. [..] Garland currently serves as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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Jonnathan Cook picks the wrong angle. Vitamin D given to severely ill people is not the story.

Vitamin D: Doctors Will Further Erode Trust In Experts (Cook)

The role of Vitamin D on our general wellbeing and health has come under increasing scrutiny over the past two decades after it was discovered that it is the only vitamin for which there is a receptor in every cell in our body. Long before Covid, researchers had begun to understand that Vitamin D’s role in regulating our immune systems was chronically under-appreciated by most doctors. The medical profession was stuck in a paradigm from the 1950s in which Vitamin D’s use related chiefly to bone health. As a consequence, today’s recommended daily allowances – usually between 400IU and 800IU – were established long ago in accordance with the minimum needed for healthy bones rather than the maximum needed for a healthy immune system.

Today we know that many people in northern latitudes, especially the elderly, are deficient or severely deficient in Vitamin D, even those taking these low-level supplements. In fact, it would be true to say there is a global plague of Vitamin D deficiency, even in many sunny countries where people have lost the habit of spending time outdoors or shield themselves from the sun. The doctors and researchers who have been gradually piecing together the critically important role of Vitamin D are the medical equivalent of the dissident journalists who try to present a realistic picture of what goes on in Israel-Palestine.

Because Big Pharma can make no serious money from Vitamin D, researchers into the sun hormone have struggled to raise funds for their work and have mostly been denied corporate platforms from which to publicise the stunning findings they have made. Until recently, corporate medicine simply ignored most Vitamin D research, relegating it to the supposedly fringe science of “nutrition”, which is why most doctors know little or nothing about it. With the outbreak of Covid, when these Vitamin D studies should finally have come into their own, researchers found themselves shunted further into the margins. Just as journalists, politicians and human rights groups trying to tell you real things about Israel get labelled antisemites, anyone trying to tell you real things about Vitamin D gets labelled a crank, conspiracy theorist or Covid denier.

The desperate need for Covid treatments has not led to intensified interest in Vitamin D among most doctors, even though it is very cheap, almost completely safe even in large doses, and has been shown to help in damping down immune over-reaction of exactly the kind killing Covid patients. Rather, the opportunity for Big Pharma to develop a magic bullet to treat Covid has led to an intensified campaign to discredit Vitamin D research.

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When you threaten sovereign nations, others will notice.

Canada To Follow Australia, Take On Facebook, Seek Payment For Content (NYP)

Canada is poised to take on Facebook, following the example set by Australia, which began a war with the tech giant when the country’s publishers backed proposed legislation demanding payment for their content. Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault condemned Facebook’s actions as “highly irresponsible” last week when the social media giant removed all Australian news content from its sites in retaliation. Guilbeault warned that Canada would be next in making sure Facebook paid for news content from Canadian publishers. Guilbeault is charged with drafting legislation in the next few months that would require Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay up. “Canada is at the forefront of this battle … we are really among the first group of countries around the world that are doing this,” Guilbeault told reporters.


Guilbeault said he recently met with government ministers from Australia, Finland, France and Germany to hammer out a common front with respect to Google and Facebook, the Globe and Mail reported.“It was the first ministerial meeting where we jointly started talking about what we want to do together regarding web giants, including fair compensation for media. We believe that there’s real strength in unity on that,” he said, adding that the growing coalition of countries opposed to Facebook and Google could soon reach 15. “I’m a bit curious to see what Facebook’s response will be. Is Facebook going to cut ties with Germany, with France, with Canada, with Australia and other countries that will join? At a certain point, Facebook’s position will be completely untenable.”

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But not for animal cruelty?!

Disney Labels ‘The Muppet Show’ As ‘Offensive Content’ (RT)

Five seasons of ‘The Muppet Show’ appeared on the Disney+ streaming service on Friday night but many viewers were shocked to discover that one of their childhood favorites is now considered “offensive content.” According to a warning from Disney, the show features “stereotypes” and “mistreatment of people or cultures.” “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now,” the roughly 300 billion-dollar corporate giant declared. “Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.”


No references are made to what specifically Disney considers to be offensive about the show’s content, though it does depict minorities including Asians and people from the Middle East, as well as featuring a homeless character named “Oscar the grouch” who lives in a trash can. In season five, singer Johnny Cash also performs in front of a confederate flag. “Even the Muppets are now ‘offensive.’ Anyone watching ‘The Muppet Show’ on Disney+ will first see a warning against ‘offensive content.’ It’s time to pack up, seriously,”wrote one baffled Twitter user.

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