Sep 142022
 


Pablo Picasso Composition “Peasants” 1906

 

Is War What You Asked For? (Kunstler)
Civilisation Or Barbarism – Western Dusk, Eastern Dawn (Hoppe)
Medvedev Issues Apocalyptic Warning To West Over Ukraine (RT)
Kiev Publishes Security Guarantee Proposal (RT)
West Considers Arming Ukraine With More Potent Weapons – FT (RT)
Kremlin Denies Plans For War Declaration & National Draft (ZH)
Leaked Paper Reveals EU Is Unlikely To Cap Price Of Russian Gas (G.)
Why The EU Is Struggling To Bring Its Energy Crisis Under Control (OP)
Berlin Prepares Massive Energy Bailout (RT)
Elegy for a Disappearing Empire (PL)
What’s Behind The Mystery Of Thousands Of Excess Deaths This Summer? (G.)
Liz Truss Energy, Tax Plan ‘Will Give Richest Families 2x As Much Support’ (G.)
Big Banks Making a Killing Off Global Hunger, Energy Crises (CD)
The Fed Is Going To Pivot In 3 Stages – Nomi Prins (CNBC)
New Durham Bombshell: Steele Primary Source Was Paid FBI Informant (JTN)
Charles Will Not Cool On Climate Action, Say Friends (BBC)

 

 

“I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties, that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with. That, I think, is the secret of the Universe.”
– Isaac Asimov, I Asimov, 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moderna: The Art of the Steal

 

 

The Mediterranean in Australia

 

 

Tucker books

 

 

 

 

“Will Germany, France, Italy, and the rest now leap into a war against Russia on the plains of Ukraine in winter? I think they will sooner overthrow their own WEF-directed governments.”

Is War What You Asked For? (Kunstler)

The New York Times today is ballyhooing the Ukraine military’s “lightning advance” east of Kharkov. I’d argue that what The Times wants you to see is not exactly what is happening. Rather the Russians appear to have made an orderly, tactical retreat from the outskirts of Kharkov, inducing the NATO-trained Ukraine forces eastward across the Siverskyi Donets River and out into the flat, open country where they will be cut off, cauldroned, and slaughtered. Everything that NATO and the US have done in this conflict has been a stupid move. Why should this one be an exception?

At the same time, Russia has hit a number of power generation plants around Ukraine, leaving many Ukrainians without lights, hot water, communications — in short, what’s needed to remain civilized. This was exactly what Russia had hoped to avoid the past eight months, but the obdurate pathological idiocy of our country’s leaders has forced Russia to send a harsher message to provoke some rational thought here about ending this conflict. There is even chatter on the web that Russia is about to declare that the special military operation is now a war, with all that implies about targets.

The US may be crazed beyond redemption, but the people of the NATO member countries might have had a clarifying experience lately watching their governments barter away the natural gas they desperately need to run industry and heat their homes this winter — in the foolish gesture of jumping on America’s sanctions bandwagon. Will Germany, France, Italy, and the rest now leap into a war against Russia on the plains of Ukraine in winter? I think they will sooner overthrow their own WEF-directed governments. This appears to be just what has happened in Sweden’s election on Sunday where a bloc of center-right parties has ousted the left government led by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

The question for now is this: Will the US jump stupidly into World War Three over Ukraine? If not, how much does Russia have to disrupt life in the rest of Ukraine outside the Donbas to drive the US and NATO into serious peace talks? It better happen soon because otherwise the West will be completely preoccupied with the collapse of its financial markets, currencies, and economies — and probably before the November elections here.

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“The proverbial ‘cancel culture’ has become a cancellation of culture,” as President Putin said.”

Civilisation Or Barbarism – Western Dusk, Eastern Dawn (Hoppe)

For some time, the festering unipolar power – the Anglo-American empire – has been the self-appointed magistrate claiming jurisdiction over the planet, as it became the accepted ‘”moral authority of interpretation” in (at least) the western world and was able to exert its influence on public opinion pretty much everywhere. The transatlantic neo-liberal propaganda machine and its various mechanisms of infiltration have always been a powerful tool – they are in fact the imperialist forces’ greatest weapons… stronger than cluster bombs, because they have a global reach and infect minds, while leaving the outward appearance intact.

A brilliantly devious tactic was its appropriation and abuse of symbols, slogans and terminology of the once authentic “left” and “progressive” movements. One of its noxious characteristics is the brazen attempt to rewrite history for its own benefit. With this appropriation, Nazis are seen as freedom fighters, the Russians as Fascists, kleptocracies as democracies, conservatives as right-wingers… and neo-liberals as left-wingers and rebels, with this last group attracting incalculable adulators of the “progressive mindset” in culture and academia, who, in turn, promote the ideas of the neo-liberals. Pasolini clearly expected this back in 1975: “I prophesy the era in which the new power will use your libertarian words to create a new homogenised power, to create a new Inquisition, to create a new conformism. And your clerics will be left-wing clerics.”

Unfortunately, many literary scholars, analysts and journalists have underestimated the imperialist and colonialist infiltration into other cultures around the world… which is why many now seem stupefied at the extent to which postmodern neo-liberal “culture” has overshadowed the local cultures of non-Western countries… Unfortunately the youth of these countries, thanks to global consumerism, have little to no other orientation and roots for their own culture… and they face many identity crises. If one does not conform to the hegemonic narrative, one is erased from the mainstream press, from social media and, in many cases, from society… (And some journalists even end up in prison or are blacklisted.) And this increasingly applies to cultures, as well.

In addition to the fashionable trend today of tearing down statues of those repudiated by the ‘woke magistrates’, artists and thinkers from “territories seen as hostile” by the hegemony and NATO are being erased – for example: Russian artists past and present (e.g. Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, Chekhov, conductor Valery Gergiev, soprano Anna Netrebko)… Even the letter “Z” is seen as a hostile character of the alphabet in many western countries… “The proverbial ‘cancel culture’ has become a cancellation of culture,” as President Putin said.

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“Their people will harvest their grief in full. The land will be on fire and the concrete will melt..”

Medvedev Issues Apocalyptic Warning To West Over Ukraine (RT)

Western “half-wits” from “stupid think tanks” are leading their countries down the road of nuclear armageddon with their hybrid war against Moscow, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. Endlessly funneling weapons and support to Ukraine while pretending not to be directly involved in the conflict will not work, added the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council. The “security guarantees” proposal unveiled by Kiev on Tuesday was “really a prologue to the Third World War,” said Medvedev, calling it a “hysterical appeal” to Western countries engaged in a proxy war against Russia.

If the West continues its “unrestrained pumping of the Kiev regime with the most dangerous types of weapons,” Russia’s military campaign will move to the next level, where “visible boundaries and potential predictability of actions by the parties to the conflict” will be erased and the conflict will take on a life of its own, as wars always do, Medvedev argued. “And then the Western nations will not be able to sit in their clean homes, laughing at how they carefully weaken Russia by proxy. Everything will be on fire around them. Their people will harvest their grief in full. The land will be on fire and the concrete will melt,” Medvedev wrote, before citing a Bible verse from Revelations 9:18.

“Yet still the narrow-minded politicians and their stupid think tanks, thoughtfully twirling a glass of wine in their hands, talk about how they can deal with us without entering into a direct war. Dull idiots with a classical education,”Medvedev wrote. His comments were prompted by Kiev’s publication of a “security treaty” proposal, developed under the tutelage of former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The draft envisions the US and its allies guaranteeing Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders with weapons, ammunition, financial assistance and training, as well as committing to maintain sanctions against Russia for as long as Kiev wants, and handing over any confiscated Russian property to Ukraine.

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Delusion galore.

Kiev Publishes Security Guarantee Proposal (RT)

Ukraine has presented a proposal of recommendations for security guarantees, which would politically and legally bind the country and its guarantor states in a strategic partnership known as the ‘Kiev Security Treaty.’ The proposals, developed at the request of President Vladimir Zelensky and published on Tuesday, were drawn up by an advisory group headed by former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Kiev suggests countries including the US, UK, Australia and Turkey could act as security guarantors for Ukraine. The “multi-level”approach would see a “core” group of allies making clear commitments to support Ukraine’s military, while a broader group would provide non-military guarantees based on sanctions.

“We need a military force strong enough to repel the Russians’ desire for revenge. And one capable of causing irreparable damage to the aggressor if this desire turns out to be irresistible,” Zelensky’s chief of staff Andrey Yermak said. He said the agreement would not be a substitute for joining NATO, but a means of ensuring security until Ukraine officially joins the US-led military bloc. Former NATO secretary general Rasmussen said the “immediate priority” was to achieve victory for Kiev and stressed that Ukraine would require decades of support from its Western partners. Security guarantees for Ukraine was a main sticking point in talks with Russia in Istanbul in March.

Moscow argued that if Ukraine promised not to seek NATO membership, it would be provided with guarantees from a number of countries, including Russia. Talks eventually came to a halt after Ukraine’s negotiators insisted on sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula, which seceded from Kiev’s rule in 2014 and joined the Russian Federation following a public referendum. The ‘Kiev Security Treaty’ proposal has been in the works for months. Russia has previously insisted that the only promises of security for Ukraine can be provided by Moscow. “No one will accept Ukraine into NATO now. The alliance consists of Russophobes, but it is not suicidal,” he said, arguing that the US will cease to care about Ukraine when it is convenient.

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What a great idea.

West Considers Arming Ukraine With More Potent Weapons – FT (RT)

The US and its allies are in talks over whether to send Ukraine more advanced weapons in the future, including fighter aircraft, a US defense official has said, according to the Financial Times. Some of Kiev’s Western allies were emboldened by last week’s successful offensive against Russia in Kharkov Region, the British newspaper reported on Tuesday. They are now discussing “Ukraine’s longer-term needs,”according to the anonymous US source. Some believe it would be appropriate to send warplanes to Ukraine in the “medium to longer term,” the source said, according to the publication. Western nations previously refused to provide fighter jets to Ukraine, citing the time it would take to train Ukrainian pilots, issues with servicing advanced weapon systems on the ground, and a risk of escalation in the conflict with Russia.


Kiev made some progress in talks with Slovakia, a former Warsaw Pact member, which said it could provide its older Soviet-made jets to bolster the Ukrainian legacy fleet. The Slovakian military retired its MiG-29s in late August. The offensive in Kharkov Region was touted by US officials as a major success for the Ukrainian military, which in previous months had suffered a number of defeats on the battlefield against Russian and Moscow-allied forces. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed on Monday that Kiev’s forces had made “significant progress” after benefiting from Western support “in terms of making sure that Ukraine has in its hands the equipment it needs to prosecute this counteroffensive.” Western intelligence agencies played a key part in preparing the Ukrainian operation, according to Mark Warner, the chair of the US Senate Intelligence Committee.

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They had 50,000 troops in the recent war games in the east. Why would they need a draft?

Kremlin Denies Plans For War Declaration & National Draft (ZH)

On Tuesday the Kremlin addressed widespread speculation and rumors that President Vladimir Putin is planning to issue a full declaration of war as Russian forces pull back from Kharkiv, in a Ukraine counteroffensive that Kiev leaders and their Western allies are hailing as a major success. A war declaration would trigger mass mobilization and a draft. “Russia is not planning to declare a mass national draft for the war in Ukraine,” the Kremlin stated, amid reports its forces are suffering fatigue, low moral and manpower shortages. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized this is not under discussion at this point: “Not at this point. No, we are not discussing that,” he said when asked about widespread reports, as quoted in TASS news.

Peskov was then pressed about the degree to which Ukrainian forces had advanced into Russian lines in the northeast, amid ongoing heavy fighting, but he declined to address the ground situation. “This [question] is for the Defense Ministry. I simply do not have accurate information,” he said. There does appear to be growing pressure from inside Russia to act, according to The Moscow Times: Lawmaker Mikhail Sheremet, a member of the State Duma’s Security Committee and the ruling United Russia party, spoke out in favor of general mobilization on Monday, according to the URA.ru news agency. “Without full mobilization, [without] switching to the war mode, including the economy, we will not achieve the desired results,” the agency quoted Sheremet as saying.

“I am talking about the fact that today society should be consolidated as much as possible and aim for victory,” said the deputy. There have meanwhile also been signs in Russian domestic media and among popular pundits of a narrative shift that is increasingly recognizing recent Russian losses and setbacks, and the need for a strategy overhaul, as well as growing criticism of how the “special operation” is being managed. Very likely there’s under-the-surface ratcheting tensions across the population due to mounting casualties among the country’s young men who’ve been thrust into battle these past seven months.

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Reality 1, Von der Leyen 0.

Leaked Paper Reveals EU Is Unlikely To Cap Price Of Russian Gas (G.)

The EU executive is retreating from imposing a price cap on Russian gas, but pushing ahead with windfall taxes on energy company “surplus” profits, according to a leaked document. A draft regulation on the “electricity emergency tool” seen by the Guardian contains neither a price cap on Russian gas nor on imported gas, after member states were unable to agree on restrictions last week. The EU is expected to levy windfall taxes on the high profits of fossil fuel companies, with a separate cap on revenues of low-carbon electricity producers. The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, is expected to publish Europe’s plan on dealing with surging electricity prices when she makes her annual state of the union speech on Wednesday.

The final text could still change, but the draft reveals the Commission’s doubts over gaining enough support from EU member states for its preferred option of putting a cap on Russian gas in response to what it has called the Kremlin’s weaponisation of supply. EU member states that import large amounts of gas from Russia, including Hungary, Slovakia and Austria, have spoken out against a cap on Russian gas because they fear the Kremlin would halt all gas flows, plunging their countries into recession. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has already threatened to halt energy exports to Europe if such a plan is agreed.

About a dozen countries, including France and Poland, would like to impose a price cap on all imported gas, which they see as a better way to curb surging prices. The Commission is unenthusiastic about this idea, because it fears the EU would lose out to countries prepared to pay more in the highly competitive market for liquefied natural gas. The Netherlands and Denmark are wary of any price cap, while Germany fears a price cap on Russian gas would be divisive. With member states divided, the Commission, which is responsible for drafting EU legal proposals, is pursuing measures that unite the 27-member club. EU governments are largely supportive of capping the price of electricity from low carbon sources, such as renewables or nuclear, and recycling these funds to vulnerable households and businesses.

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“A few weeks like this and the European economy will just go into a full stop. Recovering from that is going to be much more complicated than intervening in gas markets today..”

Why The EU Is Struggling To Bring Its Energy Crisis Under Control (OP)

Last Friday, the energy ministers of the 27 EU members met for an emergency discussion of the energy supply situation in the bloc. The one thing they agreed on was implementing a ceiling on the revenues of power utilities that do not use gas to generate power. What they did not agree on was everything else the Commission suggested last week, including a price cap on Russian gas, a cap on final energy prices, and a direct intervention in EU electricity markets. It’s hard to get 27 countries to agree on so many things without any compromise. This is why the EU’s survival plans for the winter may never work as intended.

Last week, the European Commission, headed by Ursula von der Leyen, proposed that EU member states impose a price cap on Russian natural gas imports, a mandatory cut in energy consumption across the bloc, and a cap on the revenues of power utilities that do not use gas. The Russian gas price cap was one of the items that divided the EU at the Friday discussions after Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, warned that any country imposing a price cap on Russian oil or gas would stop receiving them. Some EU members argued in favor of a gas price cap for all gas imports into the bloc, following a similar suggestion made by Poland earlier this month. Some 15 members of the EU were in favor of such a move, but others were skeptical. And they were right to be skeptical: Norway, the EU’s gas savior, has signaled it would not accept a cap on the price it gets for its gas.

“That’s not a solution we’d propose, we don’t think it answers the EU’s challenges,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said, adding, “I tell my European colleagues that I’m not the one who sells the gas.”The problem is that the European Union does not have all the time in the world to discuss how to go about saving its economy and its citizens from blackouts this winter. And as Bloomberg pointed out in a recent analysis of the situation ahead of the energy ministers’ meeting, speed is not among the things the European Union is known for. Belgium’s Prime Minister put it bluntly. “A few weeks like this and the European economy will just go into a full stop. Recovering from that is going to be much more complicated than intervening in gas markets today,” he told Bloomberg last week. “The risk of that is de-industrialization and severe risk of fundamental social unrest.”

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So you pay 4x more for energy, and then you pay another $1,000 per capita to bail out your energy company.

Berlin Prepares Massive Energy Bailout (RT)

Germany is planning to allocate €67 billion ($67 billion) to provide financial aid to domestic energy companies hit by supply shortages resulting from the sharp decrease in natural gas imports from Russia, the business daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to the federal government.The massive financial package is expected to help KfW, the German state-owned investment and development bank, to provide guarantees and liquidity assistance to local energy firms. The funds will reportedly be transferred from the WSF (Economic Stabilization Fund), which was created during the Covid-19 pandemic. “In view of the price increases, forward-looking action by the federal government and KfW is required,” government sources told the media.


Gas prices throughout the EU have surged in recent months as a result of sanctions imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, and the reduction of Russian supplies. EU leaders had previously announced plans to reduce gas consumption by 15% from August 1 until the end of March 2023. Member states have discretion over the specific measures adopted to achieve the goal. “The Federal Ministry of Economics has received various applications for liquidity bridging from companies in the gas and energy supply sector, they are currently being examined,” an internal government paper seen by Handelsblatt reads. “The volume of applications is in the low double-digit billions.” Earlier this month, Germany’s largest gas importer, Uniper, asked for extra government aid due to financial losses from its attempts to replace Russian natural gas by buying gas on the spot market.

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“In the grip of a terrible crisis, probably in its last gasps, the US empire can’t even remotely conceive a new Marhall plan. On the contrary, it is behaving like the old Soviet Empire.”

Elegy for a Disappearing Empire (PL)

[..] the Soviet Union just could not afford costs equivalent to the Marshall plan. So, the behavior of the US empire was, and remains, dictated by practical factors rather than ideological ones. When the US had a considerable surplus, it could afford an extravaganza such as the Marshall plan. Not just an extravaganza, though. It was also a good investment since the European states were a much better barrier against a possible Soviet attack if they were economically strong. Note also that the economic aid of the Marshall plan didn’t come without strings attached. To have the money, the Western European states had to cut all ties with the Soviet Union and with the states of the Warsaw Pact. And the local communist parties, at that time still relatively strong, were to be kept outside government coalitions.

Now, of course, things have changed a lot. In the grip of a terrible crisis, probably in its last gasps, the US empire can’t even remotely conceive a new Marhall plan. On the contrary, it is behaving like the old Soviet Empire. The whole West is turning into a police state, where the government controls all the media and criminalizes dissent . Then, it is not surprising that the imperial center is extracting resources from its client states in Western Europe to the point of beggaring them. The discussion could be long and detailed but I think that, as usual, we can find much food for thought in the behavior of past empires. In particular, I think that a good illustration of the behavior of empires is given by how the Romans dealt with the Britons during the period that goes from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD.

We see how the annexation of the Britons was only in part obtained by a military invasion. Mostly, it was a question of assimilation. The Romans “romanized” the Britons, making them appreciate such things as the Roman money and the luxury items that money could buy. Then, they tricked them into borrowing money from Rome and, finally, when they could not repay the debt, they used that as an excuse to seize their assets and their lands. The similarities between the behavior of the US empire with Western Europe are evident. First, they offered money to the Europeans to rebuild their economy, and now they are squeezing Europe dry.

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From the chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh: “The real reason is as mundane, and tragic, as an underfunded NHS still struggling with the terrible effects of Covid..”

NHS, extreme heat, and Covid. What vaccines?

What’s Behind The Mystery Of Thousands Of Excess Deaths This Summer? (G.)

Over the past couple of months, deaths in England and Wales have been higher than would be expected for a typical summer. In July and August, there were several weeks with deaths 10% to 13% above the five-year average, meaning that in England about 900 extra people a week were dying compared with the past few years. The leading causes of death are within the typical range (the five-year average): heart and lung diseases, cancers, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Covid-19 deaths could account for half of the excess mortality, but the other half is puzzling, as there’s no one clear reason that jumps out.

It’s likely to be a mix of factors: Covid is making us sicker and more vulnerable to other diseases (research suggests it may contribute to delayed heart attacks, strokes, and dementia); an ageing population; an extremely hot summer; and an overloaded health service meaning that people are dying from lack of timely medical care. This winter, the cost of living crisis and concerns about fuel poverty will add to these contributory factors, given the links between deprivation and ill health. So we may see these excess death numbers continue.

The excess mortality puzzle has been weaponised by some to argue that this is a delayed consequence of lockdown. In essence, this is to say that mandatory restrictions on mixing and stay-at-home legal orders, as well as turning the NHS into a Covid health service during the first and second waves of infection, prevented people from being diagnosed or treated for other conditions such as cancer, heart disease, or even depression – and that those long-hidden conditions are now killing people. Of course, some medical care suffered during the pandemic, and delayed diagnosis leads to poor health outcomes. But to say that not having restrictions would have solved this problem is naive. Restrictions ultimately limited the number of people hospitalised for Covid-19 at any one time, so that the health services could cope with these numbers. Healthcare is finite: the best way to preserve resources for non-Covid conditions was to keep Covid infections as low as possible.

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Quelle surprise.

Liz Truss Energy, Tax Plan ‘Will Give Richest Families 2x As Much Support’ (G.)

Liz Truss’s plans for an energy price freeze and sweeping tax cuts will give Britain’s richest households twice as much financial support with living costs as the poorest households, according to a leading thinktank. The Resolution Foundation said the prime minister’s energy package, announced hours before news of the death of the Queen last week, would come with a “colossal” price tag for taxpayers that was poorly targeted to help those most in need when combined with tax cuts promised in her leadership campaign. It said the richest tenth of UK households would receive £4,700 in support, on average, from the government’s “energy price guarantee” and cuts to national insurance – far in excess of the £2,200 support for a typical household in the poorest tenth.


The intervention comes as details of the new prime minister’s plan to support struggling households remain unclear, after she chose to hold back from publishing the costings for her proposal until a mini-budget, expected to take place next week. The Resolution Foundation said the plan to limit an increase in the cost of a typical household energy bill to £2,500 for two years from October would cost about £120bn. It warned that Truss’s plan to avoid a fresh windfall tax on energy producers would mean heaping the cost on taxpayers, with as little as £1 in every £12 spent on energy support for households recouped directly from higher taxes on energy firms.

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Follow the money, not the science.

Big Banks Making a Killing Off Global Hunger, Energy Crises (CD)

Russia’s war on Ukraine has wreaked havoc on global commodity markets, driving up energy and food prices and exacerbating hunger emergencies around the world. But while disastrous for the global poor — millions of whom are living on the brink of famine — the chaos has been a major boon for Wall Street giants, according to new data showing that the world’s 100 largest banks are on pace to smash commodity trading profit records this year. “The 100 biggest banks by revenue are set to make $18 billion from commodities trading in 2022,” Bloomberg reported last week, citing figures from the London-based firm Vali Analytics. “That would be the highest in the data, which goes back 14 years, and exceed the previous high watermark in 2009.”

“The prediction is the latest evidence that the wild swings in energy prices triggered by the war in Ukraine are delivering a boon to commodity traders, even as they push European nations into crisis,” Bloomberg added. “Vali, an analytics firm that tracks trading business, compiled data that includes the leading five banks in commodity trading: Macquarie Group Ltd., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Morgan Stanley.” Though the prices of wheat and other food staples have fallen from their peak in recent months, they remain significantly elevated compared to last year, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, leaving millions vulnerable to hunger and starvation.

The World Food Program estimates that “as many as 828 million people go to bed hungry every night” and “the number of those facing acute food insecurity has soared — from 135 million to 345 million — since 2019.” Energy prices have also eased but remain high, contributing to cost-of-living crises throughout Europe and other parts of the globe. “People’s misery makes capitalists’ superprofit,” Salvatore De Rosa, a researcher at the Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies, tweeted in response to Bloomberg’s reporting. “How do you reform this?” Wall Street banks have not just benefited from the commodity price increases — they’ve actively helped fuel them, experts say.

“We’re in a market where speculators are driving prices up,” Michael Greenberger, former head of the Division of Trading and Markets at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told Mongabay in July. “Commodity markets are supposed to be hedging markets for people who are dealing with the commodity involved,” Greenberger said. “In the case of wheat, it would be farmers and people buying wheat. But if we looked at it, there would be banks in there with no interest in what the price of wheat is, writing swaps and controlling this price.”

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“..the Fed’s book still remains just a touch under $9 trillion, which is double what it was going into the pandemic period, and since the financial crisis of 2008.”

The Fed Is Going To Pivot In 3 Stages – Nomi Prins (CNBC)

The U.S. Federal Reserve could be forced to pivot away from its path of aggressive interest rate hikes in three stages, according to author Nomi Prins. Markets expect the central bank to enact a third consecutive 75 basis point hike at its monetary policy meeting later this month, the fastest pace of monetary tightening since policymakers began using the benchmark Fed funds rate as the principal policy tool in the early 1990s. Various Fed officials have reiterated the Federal Open Market Committee’s commitment in recent weeks to reining in inflation, but Prins told CNBC Tuesday that the acceleration of interest rate hikes to soothe the markets was disconnected from the economic reality faced by many.

“This period of accelerating the rate hikes that we’ve seen so far has impacted the real economy because it has squeezed the borrowing costs … for real people, real consumers,” she said. “Whereas for the Street in general, historically money still remains cheap and leverage still remains high in the system, and the Fed’s book still remains just a touch under $9 trillion, which is double what it was going into the pandemic period, and since the financial crisis of 2008.” Despite the broad market expectation for further 75 basis point hikes, Prins – a global economist and outspoken advocate for economic reform – said the Fed would likely pivot away from its hawkish trajectory in three stages as the disconnect between wealthy investors and institutions and the “real economy” widens.

Having firstly reduced the pace of rate hikes to 50 basis points and then neutralized policy, Prins expects the Fed to begin reversing course and becoming “accommodative,” with the U.S. already having recorded two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. “Whether that’s to cut rates or to increase the size of its book again, that still remains to be seen,” Prins added.

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The swamp stinks.

New Durham Bombshell: Steele Primary Source Was Paid FBI Informant (JTN)

In a bombshell revelation, Special Prosecutor John Durham revealed Tuesday in court filings that the FBI paid a Russian businessman as a confidential human source in the investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign even though it had prior concerns that businessman was tied to Moscow’s intelligence services. Durham persuaded the federal judge in the upcoming trial of Igor Danchenko to unseal a motion revealing that Danchenko, the primary source of the now-discredited Steele dossier, was paid by the FBI as a confidential human source for more than three years until the fall of 2020 when he was terminated for lying to agents. Danchenko is charged with five counts of lying to the bureau during that relationship and faces trial next month in federal court in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C.

“In March 2017, the FBI signed the defendant up as a paid confidential human source of the FBI,” Durham’s unsealed court filing disclosed for the first time. “The FBI terminated its source relationship with the defendant in October 2020. As alleged in further detail below, the defendant lied to FBI agents during several of these interviews.” The revelation means that the FBI first fired former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, the author of the Hillary Clinton-funded dossier, as a human source in November 2016 for having unauthorized contacts with the news media. And it then turned around a few months later and hired Steele’s primary informer to work with the bureau even after determining some of Danchenko’s statements in the Steele dossier were uncorroborated or exaggerated.

Even more stunning, Durham confirmed that the FBI had concerns about Danchenko’s ties to Russian intelligence a decade earlier, opening up a counterintelligence probe on him after learning he was trying to buy classified information from the Obama administration. “As has been publicly reported, the defendant was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011,” Durham wrote. “In late 2008, while the defendant was employed by a prominent think tank in Washington, D.C., the defendant engaged two fellow employees about whether one of the employees might be willing or able in the future to provide classified information in exchange for money.

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“Chairman of Natural England and a long-term adviser to Charles, Mr Juniper has spoken of the “incredible depth” of his knowledge and the “absolutely enormous” impact he has had.”

Oh sweet Jesus…

Charles Will Not Cool On Climate Action, Say Friends (BBC)

Will King Charles III turn his back on a lifetime of environmental campaigning? As Prince of Wales he spent decades campaigning, cajoling, and convening meetings to drive action on environmental issues. As king he is subject to different rules – the monarch is obliged to remain politically neutral. But his friends and advisers say he will not cool on the issue of global warming. Might urging action on key global issues like climate change or biodiversity loss be part of what a modern monarchy looks like? King Charles’ interests have ranged from tropical forests to the ocean depths, from sustainable farming practices to water security. They began long before such concerns became mainstream. Within months of his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969, the 20-year-old Prince Charles wrote to Prime Minister Harold Wilson worried about the decline of salmon stocks in Scottish rivers.

“People are notoriously short-sighted when it comes to questions of wildlife,” he complained. Increasingly he has focused on tackling global warming, which he regards as one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced. He was a major presence at the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow last year, urging world leaders to work together to save the planet during a speech at the opening ceremony. When I interviewed him ahead of COP26 he told me “It has taken far too long” for the world to respond to the risks of climate change. I pointed out world leaders would soon be gathering to talk about the climate crisis, he responded: “But they just talk, the problem is to get action.”

He even said he understood why some people felt motivated to take to the streets with organisations like Extinction Rebellion, noting “people should really notice how despairing so many young people are”. As for the risk of not taking action, he was very clear: “It will be a disaster. It will be catastrophic. It is already beginning to be catastrophic because nothing in nature can survive the stress that is created by these extremes of weather.” The veteran green campaigner Tony Juniper rates the new king as “possibly the most significant environmental figure of all time”. Chairman of Natural England and a long-term adviser to Charles, Mr Juniper has spoken of the “incredible depth” of his knowledge and the “absolutely enormous” impact he has had.

Charles net zero

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Special master

 

 

 

 

Andrew Marr

 

 

 

 

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Sep 102022
 


Marc Chagall The Smolensk newspaper 1914

 

Ukraine Will Retake Crimea In A Year – Ex-US General (RT)
Ukraine’s Top General Doesn’t Rule Out “Limited” Nuclear War (ZH)
Zelensky Is Literally Selling Ukraine To Wall Street Corporations (Norton)
Ukraine Counterattacks! Please Remain Calm (Big Serge)
Izyum: The Non-Salient (Big Serge)
Belgium Objects To Russian Gas Cap Plan (RT)
EU Fails To Agree Russian Gas Price Cap – Hungary {(RT)
Germany Frustrated Over Neighbors’ Gas-sharing Reluctance – Bloomberg (RT)
Germany Is Now Generating Nearly A Third Of Its Electricity From Coal (BI)
Ukrainian Grain Going To EU Instead Of Africa – El Pais (RT)
Ukraine Faces Winter Food Shortages – Economist (RT)
Major LNG Supplier Issues Dire Warning To EU (RT)
EU: Neocolonialism, Hyper-Financialization and Hyper-Globalization (CHS)
Here It Comes (Kunstler)
COVID-19 and the Surge in Decidual Cast Shedding (GMS)
The High-Speed, Bivalent COVID Boosters are Here (Nass)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Lock

 

 

Putin: We are the flesh and blood of our heroes

 

 

 

 

He’s not stupid enough to actually believe this. He’s a second hand car salesman.

Ukraine Will Retake Crimea In A Year – Ex-US General (RT)

Ukraine could “restore full sovereignty” within a year, retaking all of its lost territory including Crimea, retired US General Ben Hodges told Newsweek on Thursday at the Tbilisi International Conference of the McCain Institute in Georgia. Hodges is now a lobbyist at the Centre for European Policy Analysis, a pressure group funded by NATO and US arms manufacturers. Western support for Kiev has resulted in a financial bonanza for these companies. “The Ukrainians saved their country,” Hodges gushed, declaring that “half a year after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion…the supposed second-best army in the world is now the second-best army in Ukraine,” with Russia’s “ability to conduct further offensive operations…all but exhausted.”

Now, Hodges said, it was up to the US and NATO to step in and make sure the war is won, starting with a full-throated proclamation of support for Kiev. Washington should stop publicizing the cost of the military aid it sends overseas, he continued, suggesting the deliveries be framed in terms of the percentage of “what is needed for Ukraine to defeat Russia and regain their territory.” The retired general did not elaborate on how those numbers could be calculated. The administration of US President Joe Biden has poured over $44 billion into the war effort since February. While Ukraine and its Western backers have declared the Kherson counteroffensive a rousing success, boasting of recapturing several villages, Kiev has banned journalists from the front lines, making these claims difficult to verify.

Russia has argued the initiative “failed miserably,” pointing to the loss of over 1,200 Ukrainian servicemen in a single day of fighting. Ukrainian MP Alexey Goncharenko echoed Hodges’ optimism in comments to Newsweek, declaring “next year will be the decisive year of the war” and that “with the help of the free world, Ukraine has an opportunity to win.” That will require a lot more weapons, he clarified, mentioning aircraft, air defense systems, and rockets superior to the HIMARS. Crimea became part of Russia in the wake of a 2014 referendum following the US-backed overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev.

Ukraine and NATO consider it illegally annexed territory, and the US has reportedly given Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky the go-ahead to attack the peninsula. The Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk declared their independence that same year and were recognized as independent states by the Kremlin this past February. Zelensky has vowed to retake all three regions, promising on Sunday that “Ukraine will return” to Donbass, Kharkov, Zhaporozhye, Kherson, and “definitely to Crimea.”

Putin 2007

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Ukraine has no nukes.

Ukraine’s Top General Doesn’t Rule Out “Limited” Nuclear War (ZH)

Ukraine’s top military chief has warned that Russia could unleash nukes if its army is against the ropes in Ukraine. The comments were issued Wednesday amid an ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south and east which both Kiev and Washington say has so far had “success”. Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Gen. Valery Zaluzhny stated “There is a direct threat of the use, under certain circumstances, of tactical nuclear weapons by the Russian armed forces.” He wrote this in an op-ed published by state run outlet Ukrinform, with the alarming words being picked up by The Washington Post and others. “It is also impossible to completely rule out the possibility of the direct involvement of the world’s leading countries in a ‘limited’ nuclear conflict, in which the prospect of World War III is already directly visible,” Zaluzhny added.

The top commander further issued his first official confirmation that the unprecedented large strikes on Russia’s Crimea bases and an arms depot widely reported in August were Ukrainian operations. The initial early August huge Saki air base explosion had previously only been acknowledged as a Ukrainian strike via anonymous leaks to Western media outlets by senior Kiev officials. At around the same time as those opening Crimea attacks, which have continued sporadically since then, President Zelensky vowed to “liberate” the Russian-held territory, which the Kremlin gained control of after a 2014 popular referendum, which wasn’t recognized by Europe or the US. According to Gen. Zaluzhny’s words as featured in The Washington Post:

“With the fighting all but certain to continue into 2023, Ukraine has to make the war “even sharper and more tangible for the Russians and for other occupied regions, despite the massive distance to the targets,” Zaluzhny wrote. He called the Crimean strikes a “convincing example” of Kyiv’s calls for allies to send longer-range weapons for its outgunned soldiers. Moscow, he said, can hit 20 times farther.” Moscow for its part has also expressed alarm over the potential for nuclear-armed confrontation with the West over Ukraine, given Washington’s steadily growing involvement – especially the billions of dollars in weapons and military aid being poured into the Ukrainian side. It has also rejected charges that it is prepared to use nukes.

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I’m going to have to get back to this in a separate article. They are trying to create a world war.

Zelensky Is Literally Selling Ukraine To Wall Street Corporations (Norton)

Ukraine’s Western-backed leader Volodymyr Zelensky virtually opened the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of September 6, symbolically ringing the bell via video stream. Zelensky announced that his country is “open for business” – that is to say, that foreign corporations are free to come and exploit its plentiful resources and low-paid labor. In a speech launching the neoliberal selloff program Advantage Ukraine, Zelensky offered Wall Street “a chance for you to invest now in projects worth of hundreds of billions of dollars.” The financial news service Business Wire published a press release from the Ukrainian government in which Zelensky boasted:


“The $400+ [billion] in investment options featured on AdvantageUkraine.com span public private partnerships, privatization and private ventures. A USAID-supported project team of investment bankers and researchers appointed by Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy will work with businesses interested in investing.” It also quoted the president of NYSE Group, Lynn Martin, who said: “As the largest exchange globally, we stand for freedom, investor protection and unfettered access to capital. We are pleased to welcome President Zelenskyy virtually to the NYSE bell podium, a symbol of the freedom and opportunity our U.S. capital markets have enabled around the globe. We are honored the President has chosen the NYSE to mark the kickoff of Advantage Ukraine and engage with the world’s business community.”

The press release cited executives of US corporate giants Google, Alphabet, and Microsoft, who salivated over the economic possibilities offered by Ukraine. Reuters noted that the Ukrainian government hired British public relations firm WPP to run the marketing operation for Advantage Ukraine. Zelensky coordinated his New York Stock Exchange publicity stunt with an editorial in the Wall Street Journal imploring US capitalists to “Invest in the Future of Ukraine.” “I committed my administration to creating a favorable environment for investment that would make Ukraine the greatest growth opportunity in Europe since the end of World War II,” Zelensky wrote. He continued:

“To create a safe, transparent environment for business engagement, Ukraine is pursuing investment guarantees from both the Group of Seven and the European Union, reforming the country’s tax system, and establishing a strong new legal framework. Our country has already adopted rules and laws to allow companies to build transparent corporate structures, attract foreign investment more easily, and use additional mechanisms to protect intangible assets. Favorable conditions will allow us to establish Ukraine as a powerful IT hub and implement innovative business ideas quickly and effectively.”

In an interview with Multipolarista, economist Michael Hudson compared the new emergency anti-labor laws imposed by the Ukrainian government to the brutal neoliberal policies implemented by Chile’s far-right Pinochet dictatorship after a CIA-backed coup in 1973. “It’s jaw dropping,” Hudson said of Zelensky’s Wall Street Journal op-ed. “It’s like a parody of what a socialist would have written about how the class war would be put in into action by a fascist government.” “So of course he was welcomed on the stock exchange for abolishing labor’s rights,” Hudson added. “You could not have a more black-and-white example” of class war. “This is exactly what [French President] Macron said when he said the ‘end of abundance.’ The Ukrainian labor force has just experienced the end of affluence, neoliberal style.

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Izyum is pivotal. Russia took it very early in the SMO.

“..they are attempting a thrust toward Kupyansk, with the aim of cutting the line connecting Izyum to Belgorod in the north. This operation, I believe, is doomed to spectacular failure.”

Ukraine Counterattacks! Please Remain Calm (Big Serge)

A modest city with a prewar population of perhaps 50,000 people, Izyum was always slated to be a focal point in this war, due to its location at a critical intersection. The topography of northeastern Ukraine is dominated by a few critically important features which determine patterns of movement. These include the crucial E40/M03 highway, which connects the metropolis of Kharkov and the urban agglomeration of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, which are the largest and most important cities in the western Donbas. The region is furthermore shaped by the Severodonetsk River – alternatively called simply the Donets (from which the Donbas, or Donets Basin, draws its name) – which snakes lazily around the plain.


The Donets forms a geographic barrier between the Donbas to the south and the Kharkov region to the north, while the E40/M03 highway forms the main arterial for transit between Kharkov and the urban centers of the western Donbas. Izyum is a strategically crucial city because it is where the highway crosses the river; as an added cherry on top, the Oskil River – a major tributary of the Donets – confluences with the Donets less than five miles to the east of Izyum, meaning the city essentially sits directly on the intersection of all the most important geographic features of the region. A highly simplified map of the area looks like this:

Capturing Izyum was a major objective for Russia in the early weeks of the war (as I argued in a previous piece, this was a major reason for the pinning move on Kiev), because it not only interdicts and complicates supply to Ukrainian forces in the Donbas, but it also gave Russia an early position on the Donets river. It is obvious why Ukraine would want to dislodge Russia from Izyum. This would simplify and secure lines of communication to Slovyansk and greatly complicate the Russian push in the Donbas by freeing Ukraine’s northern flank. To achieve this, they are attempting a thrust toward Kupyansk, with the aim of cutting the line connecting Izyum to Belgorod in the north. This operation, I believe, is doomed to spectacular failure.

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From same long article by Big Serge.

“..a salient is a position where a force is already encircled on 3 sides, leaving only the exit to be snapped shut.”

And then it becomes a cauldron.

Izyum: The Non-Salient (Big Serge)

In military parlance, a “salient” simply means a bulge in the frontline, where one side has achieved some level of penetration at a particular point. A salient is a classically vulnerable position – a glaringly obvious operational focal point, because simultaneous attacks at the base of the bulge can easily cut it off and trap the forces inside. Essentially, a salient is a position where a force is already encircled on 3 sides, leaving only the exit to be snapped shut. In the opening phase of the war, Izyum was indeed a salient. Russia had captured an exposed position which jutted out into Ukrainian territory, and there was talk of a Ukrainian counteroffensive to take advantage of this. Furthermore, the only safe supply line to Izyum ran through Kupyansk, making this a vulnerable position indeed. However, throughout the following weeks, Russia took control of the territory directly to the east of Izyum, including the town of Lyman.


This concretized the Russian flank and secured additional lines of communication into Izyum, creating redundancies for the highway from Kupyansk. The window of opportunity for an easy encirclement or interdiction of supply to Izyum ended when Russia cleared all the Ukrainian forces from the north side of the Donets river. Supply lines to Izyum are now shielded from the south by the Donets, and from the west by the Oskil. Because Russia has redundant supply lines to the northeast of Izyum, for Ukraine to reach operational depth, they must cross the Donets and Oskil rivers. Even suppressing Kupyansk is not enough to disrupt Russia’s ability to project force here. The Oskil river – which, incidentally is more than a kilometer wide in places – presents a major barrier that will prevent Ukraine from exploiting their early advances. They have more or less advanced into a wall, and already the map presents an unfolding catastrophe for them. Courtesy of Rybar:


“This is a Salient with Ukrainians inside”

In short, the Ukrainian advance has been too slow and lacks a clear path to reach operational objectives. Already, Russia has begun to deploy huge reserves to this theater, and fear is beginning to show among the more operationally aware Ukrainians. One Ukrainian journalist at the front had this to say: “There is heavy fighting near Kupyansk, worse than Balakleysky. We are taking heavy losses. The enemy is transferring a bunch of reserves by air. The “Wagnerites” have already arrived in the city itself. The sky is filled with aircraft. Hearing about all this, a haunting feeling of an ambush arises in the soul. What if this all really turns out to be a strategic level ambush?”


I do not believe this is an “ambush” per se by the Russian army. The word ambush implies that the Russian forces were already in position, drawing the Ukrainians into a specific maneuver plan where they could be attacked from prepared positions. That’s not what’s happening at all – Russian forces are coming in fresh from reserve and were not pre-deployed to the sector. What the operation reflects instead is Russia’s preference to wage a high-firepower, mobile defense. Frontline positions are, relatively speaking, thinly manned, which powerful mobile reserves are held back. This is a flexible, firefighting approach which allows the Ukrainians to advance into vulnerable positions so that they can be destroyed.

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US/NATO wants a price cap on Russian gas only. De Croo wants a cap on all gas.

Belgium Objects To Russian Gas Cap Plan (RT)

Imposing a price cap on Russian gas would be insufficient, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has said, calling for the proposed ceiling to be applied to all gas imported into the European Union. In an interview with POLITICO on Thursday, De Croo said this “key measure” on the part of the bloc “needs to [include] all types of gas.” He also warned that failure to heed his advice would be a “big mistake.” In the Belgian official’s view, the price cap would have to be implemented in a “dynamic way,” that is, making sure it would still make sense for exporters to sell gas to the EU instead of shifting to Asian markets. De Croo clarified that with the current gas prices in Asia being roughly 50% lower, setting the price cap just 5 percent higher than Asia would ensure that “all traders in the world will still continue to sell in Europe.”

Earlier on Thursday, Belgium’s Energy Minister revealed that his country would not support the European commission’s plan to impose a price cap specifically on Russian gas imports. “A cap on Russian gas only is a purely political objective,” the minister said, adding that Belgium “will not agree to this” as it did not “see the added value in that.” De Croo has been lobbying his plan since March, and while some member states such as Poland and Greece back the proposal, others, like France, remain skeptical, POLITICO reports. Gas prices in Europe surged following the start of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine in late February and have remained considerably higher than last year’s levels. This has led to a rise in overall inflation.

Last Friday, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that it would not resume supplying gas to EU consumers via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, citing sanctions-related maintenance issues. The bloc, meanwhile, has accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies.

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“If price restrictions were to be imposed exclusively on Russian gas, that would evidently lead to an immediate cut-off in Russian gas supplies. It does not take a Nobel Prize to recognize that,” he warned.”

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

EU energy ministers have failed to reach a consensus on setting a price cap on Russian gas at an emergency meeting on Friday, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto told reporters. “Today there was no solution, there was only a political dispute, which served as a reference point for the European Commission. We now expect that next week or the week after that, not only the member states, but also the European Commission will make written, substantial proposals,” Szijjarto said, as cited by RIA news agency. Earlier this week, the European Commission prepared suggestions on measures aimed at tackling rising energy prices, which were to be discussed by the energy ministers.


Among them was the proposal to introduce a price cap on Russian pipeline gas. The idea, however, faced opposition among member states and was not widely supported at Friday’s meeting, Reuters reported, citing two unnamed diplomats. Earlier, reports also emerged that some EU countries suggested that a price cap should not single out Russia, but instead be applied to all gas imports to the bloc. In a Facebook video posted ahead of the meeting, Szijjarto said the proposed price cap on Russian gas goes against both European and Hungarian interests. “If price restrictions were to be imposed exclusively on Russian gas, that would evidently lead to an immediate cut-off in Russian gas supplies. It does not take a Nobel Prize to recognize that,” he warned.


@WallStreetSilv: They seriously are going to get the rest of the world to quit using the US Dollar with their arrogance on this issue. They are pushing the entire world towards China and the BRICS.

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Germany screwed up its energy policy like no-one else. And now they resort to blackmail.

Germany Frustrated Over Neighbors’ Gas-sharing Reluctance – Bloomberg (RT)

Germany’s neighbors Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland have refused to engage in “constructive negotiations” about gas solidarity deals, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a report to lawmakers seen by Bloomberg. The paper, which was presented to the Bundestag’s energy and climate committee late on Wednesday, reportedly assumed that the reluctance could exacerbate the gas crunch in Germany “because a substantial building bloc of the EU’s gas crisis resilience in the form of bilateral agreements would not be available.” The gas-sharing pacts between member states are part of a larger EU mechanism for energy emergency situations. They guarantee that one country will supply the other if they don’t have enough gas to provide the needs of households and social services, which enjoy special protection under EU law.


According to Habeck, the main reason the countries are refusing bilateral agreements with Berlin is because they don’t want to be on the hook to compensate their suppliers in case gas gets rerouted to Germany. The economy minister also highlighted that Germany is in talks with Italy and the Czech Republic. The agreement with Italy would be a trilateral deal involving Switzerland as gas would need to transit that country into Germany. Discussions with Rome are on hold until after elections later this month, Habeck noted. The Czech Republic would be willing to sign such an agreement, but only if there’s a cap on government compensation for suppliers. Given these problems, “there is currently no progress to be expected from negotiations about bilateral solidarity agreements,” Habeck stressed in the report.

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Makes Trump look awfully smart.

Germany Is Now Generating Nearly A Third Of Its Electricity From Coal (BI)

Germany is relying more on coal to generate electricity, as Russian gas cuts force the country to seek alternative sources of fuel before winter. The European nation produced 82.6 kilowatt-hours of electricity from coal-fired power plants in the first six months of 2022, a 17.2% rise from the the same period last year, according to new data from Germany’s national statistics office, Destatis. As a result, it generated 31.4% of its electricity from coal. Meanwhile, Germany slashed its electricity production from natural gas, reducing it from 14.4% to 11.7% of its total electricity mix, Destatis noted. Soaring prices have made natural gas less and less affordable in recent months.

The shift from gas to coal highlights Germany’s desperate efforts to stockpile fuel before cold weather takes hold later this year, as repeated gas cuts from Russia deplete European supplies. Russia has been accused of “weaponizing” energy in retaliation to Western sanctions and boycotts imposed on the nation following its invasion of Ukraine. Given coal is cheaper than gas and a more accessible fuel resource for Germany, the country has effectively been forced it to make a u-turn back to the dirtiest fossil fuel. One of its energy companies, Uniper, recently fired up a mothballed coal-fueled power plant to cut its dependency on Russian energy. Dutch TTF natural gas futures, the European benchmark for natural gas prices, have been soaring as the market tightens, with prices reaching record highs above 340 euros this year.

Prices were down 4% at 204 euros at last check Thursday, thanks to prospects of a European plan to cap Russian gas prices. Rotterdam coal delivery for October fell 5% to $338, down from more than $430 in March, according to ICE Futures. Analysts warned that greater demand for coal could dial up the cost of the commodity. “When nat gas is this expensive then consumers prefer coal and oil instead, so this goes also up in price,” SEB analyst Ole Hvalbye told Insider. While Europe faces a crippling energy crisis, Germany has been hit the hardest with one of the country’s biggest banks, Commerzbank, predicting it could fall into a 2009-style recession if Russia permanently chokes off supply.

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As Putin said.

Ukrainian Grain Going To EU Instead Of Africa – El Pais (RT)

At least 38% of the grain exported from Ukraine under the UN-brokered deal is shipped to the EU instead of the developing countries in Africa for which it was intended, Spain’s El Pais newspaper reported on Thursday, citing UN data and ship tracking figures. According to the report, more than 2.3 million tons of corn, wheat, barley and other agricultural products were exported through the Black Sea corridor from Ukraine between August 1 and September 7. Of this total, about 900,000 tons were sent to the ports of EU member states. The report notes that it is impossible to trace from the available data whether the EU is the final destination of the shipments or a transit point. On July 22, multilateral agreements were signed in Istanbul establishing the framework of exports of Ukrainian grain, food, and fertilizers via the Black Sea.


The agreements also lifted restrictions on Russian grain and fertilizer exports. However, according to Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, the part of the food deal that concerns the export of Russian products has not been implemented, which could lead to the termination of the deal by Moscow. Speaking at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Western nations of lying when they claimed Ukraine needed access to sea shipping to alleviate surging food prices and the risk of famine in poor countries, as a lion’s share of the grain is being exported to Western states. In his remark earlier on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sided with the Russian leader, saying that Ukrainian grain is “unfortunately” going mostly to rich countries.

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“..disproportionate grain exports under a UN-brokered deal that can offset massive debts for weapons and aid..”

Any questions?

Ukraine Faces Winter Food Shortages – Economist (RT)

Ukraine may face food shortages this winter due to disproportionate grain exports under a UN-brokered deal that can offset massive debts for weapons and aid. That’s according to economist Yegor Klopenko, founder of the ITLEADERS venture investors club, who spoke to the news agency Prime on Friday. Ukraine’s debt to the West grew by $70-100 billion just in the first half of the year, according to Klopenko’s estimates. He is certain that Ukraine will never be able to repay this money. Instead, it is bartering its grain in an effort to ensure more aid in the future. “As a result, Ukraine may have problems with food, as the authorities there are ready to give the West everything without thinking about the population,” he says.

More than 2.3 million tons of corn, wheat, barley and other agricultural products were reportedly exported through the Black Sea corridor from Ukraine between August 1 and September 7. Spain’s El Pais newspaper on Thursday reported that at least 38% of this grain is currently shipped to the EU instead of developing countries in Africa for which it was intended. “In turn, Europe cannot admit publicly that Ukrainian grain will end up on the tables of Europeans and not in starving Africa,” the expert states, adding that he thinks that, thanks to Russia’s help, the food situation in Africa will not be as severe as it could have been. Russia is expected to have a record harvest this year, and he believes its grain will go to African countries, driven by the EU’s reluctance to lift sanctions on Russian exports.

According to Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, the part of the Ukraine food deal that concerns the export of Russian products has not been implemented, which could lead to the termination of the entire deal by Moscow. Klopenko says that while Russia, the EU, Africa and the Middle East all seem to have sources for grain supplies, Ukraine may be the only country facing food shortages come winter.

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“Prices, which were $2 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2020, have rocketed 2,750% to $57 per MMBtu in August..”

Major LNG Supplier Issues Dire Warning To EU (RT)

The biggest US exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Cheniere Energy, has warned that limited supplies worldwide mean this winter could be “really, really tight.” According to Reuters, Cheniere, which has sent 70% of its output to Europe this year, also said that a resurgence in Chinese LNG demand would exacerbate the energy crisis. “At the end of the day, what’s going to decide how tight the market will be is how cold it is and how government policies, industry rationing work,” Cheniere’s executive vice president for worldwide trading, Corey Grindal, said at a Gastech conference on Thursday. Grindal noted that for now the current price environment indicates that LNG supplies will continue to go to Europe.


Prices, which were $2 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2020, have rocketed 2,750% to $57 per MMBtu in August. The US has stepped up exports of the fuel to the EU this year, taking advantage of elevated prices in the region. China has also been supplying leftover LNG to the EU, as its zero-Covid policies are still weighing on domestic demand, according to Bloomberg. Analysts, however, warn that a total Russian gas shutoff would send the EU into an energy crisis that would last multiple winters. Natural gas deliveries from Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline to the bloc remain cut off indefinitely due to maintenance issues. According to the Kremlin, technical issues with gas deliveries via the pipeline will persist until the West lifts its sanctions on Russia.

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Re: Germany demanding gas from its neighbors.

EU: Neocolonialism, Hyper-Financialization and Hyper-Globalization (CHS)

The European Union (EU) was seen as the culmination of a centuries-long process of integration that would finally put an end to the ceaseless conflicts that had led to disastrous wars in the 20th century that had knocked Europe from global preeminence. Wary of the predations of the U.S. and rising Asian powers, European nations sought the economic and diplomatic strength of a confederation that would be greater than the sum of its parts, a union that would restore Europe’s rightful place as a global power. This worthy goal was undermined by the destructive dynamics of the past forty years: Neocolonialism, Financialization and Globalization. These dynamics are unstable due to their internal contradictions.

In classical colonialism, the Core dominates the Periphery with force, extracting economic value by exploiting the subject states’ commodities and forcing the colonies to buy the valued-added finished goods produced by the colonial power’s domestic economy. This extractive model was at odds with the liberal worldview of the colonial powers which held self-rule and open markets as necessary to stable prosperity. The contradictions of classical colonialism led to its collapse as colonies broke free and the colonial powers were forced to navigate a more open global economy. Beneath the glossy vibe of strength through unity, the EU institutionalized a Neocolonial Model in which some EU members are more equal than others, a divide that was starkly revealed in the debt crisis of 2011-2012.

In Neocolonialism, the forces of financialization (debt and leverage controlled by State-approved banking cartels) are used to indenture the local Elites and populace to the banking center: the peripheral Neocolonials borrow money to buy the finished goods sold by the Core, doubly enriching the center with 1) interest and the transactional skim of financializing assets such as real estate, harbors, etc. and 2) the profits made selling goods to the debtors. (China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is another version of the Neocolonial Model in which credit and financialization indebt and disempower the Periphery nations to the benefit of the Neocolonial Power.)

In essence, the Core nations of the EU colonized the Periphery nations via the euro which enabled a massive expansion of debt and consumption in the Periphery. The banks and exporters of the Core extracted enormous profits from this expansion of debt-fueled consumption. The Periphery’s neocolonial status was starkly revealed by the debt crisis: the assets and income of the Periphery flowed to the Core as interest on the private and sovereign debts that are owed to the Core’s commercial and central banks. This was the perfection of Neocolonial Neofeudalism. The Periphery nations of the E.U. are effectively neocolonial debtors of the Core countries’ banks, and the taxpayers of the Core nations are now feudal serfs whose labor is devoted to making good on any bank loans to the Periphery that go bad.

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“Germany is just flat-out hanging itself in the basement.” “They need a “national emergency” and they’ll manufacture one if necessary. Wait for it.”

Here It Comes (Kunstler)

A federal judge this week ordered the White House, Anthony, Fauci, Secretaries Becerra and Mayorkas, and a slew of other US officials to surrender their email correspondence with social and news media companies in the matter of government working to suppress the first amendment and, in the censoring, de-platforming, and defaming of many individual citizens who attempted to present views of the Covid melodrama contrary to the official narratives. This was in a suit brought by state Attorneys General Eric Schmidt (MO) and Jeff Landry (LA). From it, a million more lawsuits for personal injury may bloom. Mark Zuckerberg let the cat out of the bag days ago as to how the FBI leaned right on him.

Prepare for an avalanche of unwelcome news evading the censors as we slide out of summer into the cold-and-flu season, as it’s called. Hundreds of millions throughout the highly-vaxxed nations will be walking around with crippled immune systems. The life insurance companies may require a bail-out, from all those “unknown causes” that killed people. But so will every other institution in Western Civ. Alas, the money for that is fated to go up in a vapor later this fall as history’s greatest margin call gets underway. Let’s face it, Europe and North America are sloughing off their industrial economies and the financialization racketeering underneath all that doesn’t produce anything of value. Seventy percent of the pubs in the UK are shuttering because they can’t pay the electric bill.

Germany is just flat-out hanging itself in the basement. The Euro is going to trash. A little birdie told me to expect a last gasp stock market rally the next ten days, with the Dow nearing 35,000. What a set-up. Markets are truly diabolical the way they prey on human wishes. God help the suckers watching CNBC. Following his Mouth-of-Hell speech last week, declaring war on half the country, “Joe Biden’s” prospects are dimming along with sclerotic circuits in his brainpan. The Party of Chaos is desperate to survive the midterm election. Therefore, look for them to grudge up an excuse to make them not happen. They need a “national emergency” and they’ll manufacture one if necessary. Wait for it.

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The scariest thing I’ve read in a while. Imagine if I were a woman. And had been jabbed. My medical know-how doesn’t go far enough to know if the uterus lining is restored, but I’m scared regardless.

Decidual cast shedding (DCS) less than 40 reports in 109 years. 243 reported in survey in 7 months in 2021. The complete lining of the womb is shed.

COVID-19 and the Surge in Decidual Cast Shedding (GMS)

The COVID-19 pandemic expanded recognition and discussion across social media sites of a variety of symptoms related to SARS-CoV-2 infection and side effects related to COVID-19 vaccines. After the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines specifically, there was a marked increase of women sharing irregular menstruation experiences on a variety of social media platforms, and a few formal surveys were conducted. One survey launched in April 2021 had more than 150,000 respondents [1]. The survey was limited because it did not differentiate between specific symptoms, length, or severity of symptoms, nor did it address potential causes. The survey indicated that menstrual irregularities increased exponentially starting in 2021.

To follow up those findings and gather a wider array of general and menstruation-related symptom data, a new user-centered survey, the MyCycleStorySM survey, was designed and disseminated [2]. As survey submissions accumulated, it became clear that individuals were reporting a variety of unusual symptoms, many severe. One such rare symptom was the passage of decidual casts, also known as decidual cast shedding (DCS). Some of the respondents provided detailed descriptions of their experiences. A subset of these testimonials is included in the below hyperlink [26].

A decidual cast may occur when the cessation of progesterone levels results in loss of support for the decidualized endometrial lining [3]. This results in a synchronized detachment of the entire decidualized layer of endometrium, and it passes from the uterus through the cervix and vagina. This tissue mass/clot is often triangular, consistent with the internal shape of the intrauterine cavity (Figure 1). Other less common causes of DCS include cessation of exogenous estrogen/ progesterone therapies, and use of oral contraceptives and injectable progesterone [4].


Depictions of DCS specimens from MyCycleStorySM participants. Participants were so distressed by their abnormal menstrual phenomena documented with photographs.

A Google search of the phrase “decidual cast shedding” brings up the following definition: “a large, intact piece of tissue that is passed through the vagina in one solid piece. It happens when the thick mucus lining of the uterus, called the decidua, sheds in the near exact shape of a uterine cavity, creating a triangular cast” [19]. An extensive literature review of previous documented decidual cast shedding cases was performed by the authors, substantiating that this experience is extremely rare. Literature search terms “decidual cast” and “membranous shedding” and “membranous dysmenorrhea” were used to identify the prevalence of DCS in the pre-pandemic era. We found fifteen publications between 1913 and 2022 detailing less than 40 cases of “decidual cast shedding” or “membranous dysmenorrhea” [3-18]. There were 292 (4.83 % of the sample) predominantly non-Hispanic white women who identified a DCS incident during the 7.5 months of data collection in mid-to-late 2021, and 96.2% of these respondents reported that they had experienced health problems or menstrual irregularities since January 2021.

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8 mice.

The High-Speed, Bivalent COVID Boosters are Here (Nass)

This is the fastest rollout of a new vaccine in world history. How did it happen? Instead of this being a tale of human grit and ingenuity, it is a tale of human weakness and recklessness. Let me ask again: how did such a rapid vaccine rollout occur? It occurred the only way it could possibly occur: by bending the rules, creating a new regulatory playbook and failing to obtain any human data for the new vaccines. The manufacturers did not have to go through months-long trials, and FDA did not have to pore over any human trial data, because there weren’t any. Let that sink in: the new BA.4/5 bivalent vaccines have only been tested in mice, not humans.

Here is an amazing fact: On the same day that the CDC gave its approval to start the vaccine program, September 1, health agencies in Canada, Switzerland and the European Union’s FDA (the European Medicines Association) also rolled out new, bivalent booster shot programs. Almost simultaneously, the UK authorized 2 different bivalent boosters on August 15 and September 3. The UK has told people to expect the largest rollout in history for the new bivalent boosters. And it has started the program by promising large bonuses to doctors if they manage to vaccinate every single resident of a nursing home by October 23. These other countries are using an earlier omicron mRNA as the template for their omicron-ancestral bivalent vaccines, while the US is using the mRNA code for the later omicron variant BA.4/5 spike.

[..] Omicron variants have been present since last November, and it was soon discovered that both vaccine-induced and natural immunity due to earlier variants were very limited for omicron variants, because they are so different from the ancestral strain. The health agencies and manufacturers have been testing omicron vaccine prototypes for up to 9 months. Most of those tests involved BA.1 and BA.2 omicron strains. However, 90% of current cases are caused by omicron BA.5, which is genetically far from BA.1 and BA.2. But there was some human data (involving a few hundred subjects each) for several of the earlier omicron vaccine prototypes, so the health agencies decided to simply pretend that mRNA designed for BA.1 and BA.2 was close enough to BA.5 that the data were comparable.

Since 50% of the vaccine contents would be the old vaccine, FDA claimed it had already established the safety and efficacy of that half. Then, to round things out, there were data from mice, which generated comparable antibody levels to the new vaccines as they had to older vaccines. And of course, we can rely on mice to behave exactly like people, right? After all, they have been ‘humanized’ to contain a human ACE-2 receptor. No, we cannot rely on mice. We cannot even rely on nonhuman primates as a model for vaccines, as every species reacts uniquely and unpredictably to infections and to vaccinations. But mice data do bulk up FDA’s authorization ‘package’ so it looks like FDA did a more thorough review.

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Steve Bannon

 

 

Steve Bannon just broke that at least 35 Trump Allies had their homes raided yesterday by the FBI.

 

 


Inflation in Turkey. Seven years ago 55,000 lira got you a car. Today it gets you a phone.

 

 

Climate denier

 

 

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I’d have you do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I’ll follow you.
I’ll want to know each step you take
That I may walk the same,
For some day down that lonely road
You’ll hear me call your name.

– A. Rowswell

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sep 082022
 


Joan Miró The farmer’s wife 1923

 

Western Elites’ “Sanctions Fever” Will See European People Freeze – Putin (ZH)
EU Gas Price Cap Plan Is ‘Foolish’ – Putin (RT)
Czech Republic Weighs In On Russian Gas Price Cap (RT)
NATO Will Pay A Price But We Must Stay The Course On Ukraine (Stoltenberg)
“Counter-Offensive” – You Keep Using That Word (Schryver)
Putin Comments On IAEA Report (RT)
Charles Gave: Europeans Are “Mad With Anger And it Will Worsen” (SN)
Truss Becoming PM Signals ‘Crisis Of Democracy’ In UK – Moscow (RT)
‘One Freak After Another’ – Ex-Russian President On UK Leaders (RT)
Can China Transition to a Consumption Economy? (Balding)
Why Disney Didn’t Buy Twitter (Vox)
Judge Orders Fauci, Others to Produce Records For Censorship Lawsuit (ET)
Former FBI Boss Warns Trump Search Warrant Might Be Tossed Out Entirely (JTN)
The US Army Special Operations Command Weaponizes Social Media (Helmer)
Silencing the Lambs — How Propaganda Works (John Pilger)
The Rise of the Key Opinion Leaders: End of Politics as we Know it? (Ugo Bardi)
Vaccines Are Taking An Average Of 5 Months To Kill People (Kirsch)

 

 

The European division of Russia’s oldest tour operator Intourist started offering winter tour packages to Russia for EU citizens. Package includes: unlimited hot showers, daily visits to Sandunovskaya Banya, and a heated room with electricity.

 

 

Permanent deindustrialization

She has to go

 

 

 

 

A metaphor for life itself.

 

 

 

 

“It will be no surprise when the market shares of European businesses, both in the continent and globally, will be taken by their American patrons.”

Western Elites’ “Sanctions Fever” Will See European People Freeze – Putin (ZH)

Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted the ongoing “sanctions fever” in the West in a wide-ranging speech before the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, in the country’s far east, where as we described earlier the Chinese delegation was the largest in attendance. Top Chinese legislator Li Zhanshu was in attendance when the Russian leader stressed, “no matter how much someone would like to isolate Russia, it is impossible to do this.” Instead, he said the blowback from EU and US-led sanctions and attempts at decoupling from Russian fossil fuels is wrecking lives in the West. “Now we are seeing how production and jobs in Europe are closing one after another,” Putin said, stressing that this is happening as “Western elites, who would not, or even cannot acknowledge objective facts.”

His theme, like in a number of prior major speeches, was Western elites’ inability to recognize the inevitable shift from a unipolar to multipolar world (literally the name for this year’s forum is “On the Path to a Multipolar World.”), or away from “the world order that benefits only them, forcing everyone to live under the rules, which they invented and which they regularly break and constantly change depending on the situation,” he said according to a state media translation. That they “would not, or even cannot acknowledge objective facts” about global changes reveals their “growing detachment” from the common people they claim to represent. And yet now, European populations could “freeze” while being denied crucial Russian energy by leaders who shortsightedly want to lash out in emotional response to the Ukraine invasion:

“The [coronavirus] epidemic has been replaced by other global challenges that threaten the entire world,” Putin told the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok. “I’m referring to the West’s sanctions fever,” he said, criticizing “blatant and aggressive” attempts to “subjugate” countries that have not imposed economic restrictions on Russia. He dismissed as “nonsense” the widespread allegations that Russia using gas as an energy weapon, saying it’s as simple as releasing the necessary parts for the safe and proper functioning of pipelines operated by Gazprom. “Give us turbines and we’ll turn on Nord Stream tomorrow, but they won’t give us anything,” Putin told the audience, further addressing the latest global headlines of an EU-mulled price cap on Russian oil and gas, calling the proposal “another stupidity.”

He suggested the dilemma remains simple: “There are contractual obligations and if there are any political decisions that contradict them, then we simply won’t fulfill them. We won’t supply anything at all if it contradicts our economic interests, in this case. We won’t supply gas, oil, coal or heating oil.” Part of the aforementioned objective facts Western leaders refuse to acknowledge is that nations importing Russian energy “are in no position to dictate their will.” Putin said he’s still “confident we haven’t lost anything and won’t lose anything [after invading Ukraine]. Our main gain is strengthening sovereignty.” s

Putin Ukraine grain

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A former communist country teaches former capitalist countries lessons on markets.

EU Gas Price Cap Plan Is ‘Foolish’ – Putin (RT)

The proposal by the EU to place a price cap on Russian natural gas imports is a foolish, non-market-oriented plan that has no future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. “Faced with what is happening now, EU politicians are thinking how to get away with it [paying market prices for gas], and to limit the price by administrative decisions. Another foolish notion, nonsense that will lead to further price increases in the global markets, including Europe,” Putin said during a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF). According to the president, it is impossible to solve anything to do with the economy and world trade with administrative decisions, which “only lead to distortions and higher prices.”

Putin stressed that the situation in the gas market is the result of sanctions and other actions taken by Brussels, including the switch to spot-market trading, while Russia has always preferred long-term contracts for gas exports. “We have always insisted that prices be formed on the basis of long-term contracts and be tied to such a market category as the price of oil and petroleum products… The EU forced us to link to spot prices. Now they’re trying to backtrack by setting price caps,” he said. According to Putin, accusing Russia of using energy as a weapon is “nonsense.” He stressed that Russia fulfills its contracts, while the current supply shortages are the result of decisions made by other countries – including Ukraine, which shut down one of its gas transit pipelines; Poland, which also shut down part of its section of the pipeline; and Canada, which delayed the maintenance of turbines for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

The president added that Russia is still willing to supply energy to those who need it, though Moscow no longer considers the EU to be its main export destination. “By receiving natural gas from Russia, the economies of the leading European countries have for decades enjoyed obvious competitive advantages,” Putin said, in reference to the lower gas costs paid under long-term contracts. “If they think that they don’t need these advantages, that does not bother us at all, because the need for energy resources in the world is huge.”

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“..a political tool, not a solution to the energy crisis..”

Czech Republic Weighs In On Russian Gas Price Cap (RT)

The Czech Republic will seek to take the issue of imposing a price cap on Russian gas off the agenda of an upcoming meeting of EU energy ministers, the nation’s minister of industry, Jozef Sikela, said on Wednesday. Speaking to the country’s Senate committee on the economy, Sikela indicated that he doesn’t want to discuss the issue at the meeting because it is “a political tool, not a solution to the energy crisis.” “It is not a constructive proposal, according to me. It is more another way to sanction Russia than an actual solution to the energy crisis in Europe,” he stressed.

On Friday, EU energy ministers are set to meet in Brussels to discuss how to rein in soaring energy prices. According to Sikela, among the issues he wants to raise is potentially separating electricity and gas prices. Doing so, he said, may lower electricity prices for the general public. The Czech minister said the recent shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline did not come as a surprise to him. “It’s part of the energy war we’re in… The decisive battle will be fought this winter,” he stated, adding that the country has done its best to prepare for it. “However, prices will go down only when Europe finds a way to break away from gas,” he reiterated.

On August 31, Gazprom completely shut down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, later announcing that it would remain closed indefinitely due to an oil leak in the turbine. This malfunction can only be remedied in Canada, which has imposed sanctions against Moscow. The technical issues on the main gas supply route to the EU have resulted in skyrocketing gas prices, exacerbating the energy crunch on the continent. Sikela’s comments come on the heels of massive protests in Prague that erupted this past weekend. Demonstrators urged the government to resign over high energy prices and inflation, with demands also having been heard to drop anti-Russia sanctions.

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NATO won’t let go of its new-found reason to exist. Perpetual war it is. Ergo: Stoltenberg must go. And no, NATO pays no price: the people do.

NATO Will Pay A Price But We Must Stay The Course On Ukraine (Stoltenberg)

The war in Ukraine is entering a critical phase. Winter is coming and it will be hard. Hard for the Ukrainian people and armed forces who are fighting for their freedom, and hard for those of us who support them. Our unity and solidarity will be seriously tested, as families and businesses feel the crunch of soaring energy prices and costs of living caused by Russia’s brutal invasion. We face a difficult six months, with the threat of energy cuts, disruptions and perhaps even civil unrest. But we must stay the course and stand up to tyranny — for Ukraine’s sake and for ours. We do pay a price for our support to Ukraine. But the price we pay is counted in dollars, euros and pounds, while Ukrainians are paying with their lives. And all of us will pay a much higher price if Russia and other authoritarian regimes believe they can invade their neighbours and trample on international law with impunity.

If Russia stops fighting, there will be peace. If Ukraine stops fighting, it will cease to exist as an independent nation. We have a moral responsibility to support this independent democracy at the heart of Europe. The price we pay in supporting Ukraine also benefits our own security. Vladimir Putin has clearly stated that he wants to wipe the country from the map and rewrite the European security order. Russia is temporarily occupying about 20 per cent of Ukraine — four times the size of Belgium, or half of the UK. Emboldened by any success, Russia could risk further aggression against other neighbours, and even an attack on Nato allies.

So we have a choice to make about the world we want to live in. Nato allies are committed to each nation’s right to choose its own destiny. That is why we are providing unprecedented financial, humanitarian and military assistance to help Ukraine prevail as a sovereign independent nation. Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, allied countries have provided billions of dollars of support for Ukraine’s security sector and institutions, and trained tens of thousands of troops, including special forces. This helped to make the Ukrainian armed forces stronger, better led and better prepared for Russia’s renewed invasion.

Since February, allies have rallied to Ukraine’s side with unprecedented military, humanitarian and financial support. In June, Nato leaders agreed a strengthened package of assistance, with fuel, food, medical supplies, military gear, secure communications and equipment to counter mines and drones. We are preparing more than a dozen new projects to help Ukraine face the winter. And we will continue to help the country strengthen its defence and security sector for the longer term, and transition from Soviet-era weapons to Nato-standard capabilities.

Hillary

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“They’re just the ones not rich enough, clever enough, or fast enough to elude the conscription gangs..”

“Counter-Offensive” – You Keep Using That Word (Schryver)

One thing few seem to appreciate is that what Ukraine has done over the past several days near Kherson and Kharkov does not even come close to what constitutes a “counter-offensive”. They’ve done nothing but launch highly localized severely under-powered probes which, sooner than later, become nothing but cramped kill zones for massed Russian artillery and air strikes. The leaders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine now command: effectively zero air power, sparse artillery with acute ammo shortages, limited UAV capability – and, to add insult to injury, Russian “battlefield hackers” are now proving able to commandeer many of their precious quadcopter surveillance drones, thereby blinding them completely in the midst of a battle.

Worst of all, the overwhelming majority of the soldiers are battle-naïve conscripts. Their tanks are few and far between; their troop carriers are obsolete and highly vulnerable; many if not most are compelled to march into battle on foot – and these are not Seal Team 6 physical specimens who do 20k runs on their day off. They’re just the ones not rich enough, clever enough, or fast enough to elude the conscription gangs. The AFU’s sole apparent advantage is that there are substantially more of them that can be brought to bear on a narrow front than there are Russians defending it. And yet all of these attacks so far have been tentative affairs with relatively small concentrations of force and firepower.

In the lexicon of battle, a “counter-offensive” is an entirely different animal. The German Ardennes counter-offensive in December 1944 consisted of: ~400,000 troops ~500 tanks ~700 mobile artillery ~1300 troop carriers, 4000+ artillery pieces, 1000+ aircraft THAT was a counter-offensive. The Tet Offensive in Vietnam consisted of 300,000+ troops attacking more or less simultaneously. What we are witnessing in Ukraine is categorically NOT a “counter-offensive”. Ukrainian operations over the past several days are, to the contrary, strongly indicative of the extremely limited mobility and firepower capacity of a severely depleted army whose combat-effectiveness is a fraction of the Russian and allied defenders whom they face on the field.

Oh, to be sure, their numerical superiority in troops can achieve a temporary advance within a narrow salient, and inflict some serious harm on isolated groups of Russian defenders in the process. That should come as no surprise to anyone – particularly the abundant Russian “doomers’ on Telegram who descend into inexplicable despair whenever the Ukrainians achieve any tactical success, however meagre and strategically meaningless. However, if you zoom out the map to reveal the entire front line of this war, you can readily see that we’re talking about a handful of teeny-weeny pimples protruding into the Russian-held side: territory in which the Russians have numerous highly mobile operational reserve units – infantry and artillery – that can be dispatched with relative alacrity to any quadrant of the battle map, utilizing the always significant advantage of interior lines of communication.

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“..Putin noted that the agency is under pressure from the US and other Western nations, and therefore cannot directly accuse Kiev of attacking the nuclear plant. ..”

Putin Comments On IAEA Report (RT)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can’t openly state that the attacks on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) are being carried out by Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, the Russian leader praised the agency as being a responsible international organization with a very professional leader, and stated that he trusts the IAEA’s latest report on the ZNPP. However, Putin noted that the agency is under pressure from the US and other Western nations, and therefore cannot directly accuse Kiev of attacking the nuclear plant.

“But this is obvious. We control the station, our servicemen are stationed there. What, are we attacking ourselves?” Putin said, calling the notion completely absurd and adding that the area around the power plant is littered with the remains of HIMARS rockets and other Western munitions. Putin also addressed the IAEA’s request that Russia remove its military equipment from the premises of the ZNPP. He insisted that there is no such equipment at the plant and explained that the only forces stationed there are the Russian National Guard, which is protecting the perimeter and the premises of the station itself. “We can even call journalists there tomorrow, including European and American journalists, to see for themselves,” Putin said, noting that it is obvious the strikes on the power plant and the city of Energodar are coming from across the reservoir where Kiev’s forces are located.

Putin further explained that Russia’s military equipment, which is engaged in counter-battery combat, is not located anywhere near the station and has in fact been moved quite far beyond the perimeter of the facility. The Russian leader also expressed his bewilderment at Kiev’s attempts to create a nuclear catastrophe by attacking the power plant, stating that “the Ukrainian side is creating threats to undermine nuclear security.” “Why they do this, I honestly don’t really understand. Just to draw more attention to their situation and create an additional crisis?” He also revealed that Kiev’s operatives have attempted to carry out terrorist attacks on Russian territory, targeting high-voltage power lines connected to Russian nuclear power facilities.

“They purposefully work in this direction. What for? What is the point of creating a nuclear threat for the whole of Europe? I do not really understand, but they are doing this.” Putin’s comments come after the IAEA released a report on Tuesday regarding the state of the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. The agency demanded that all attacks on the facility “be stopped immediately”and called for a cessation of any military activity within or in the vicinity of the plant. The report did not identify those responsible for shelling the plant.

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“They [Europeans] even believe that it is the bad Russians that have closed the tap of oil and gas, while it is our own leaders in Europe that have stupidly imposed these sanctions..”

Charles Gave: Europeans Are “Mad With Anger And it Will Worsen” (SN)

Predicting that cost of living protests in the Czech Republic and Germany will spread around the continent, a prominent economist warns that European citizens are “mad with anger and it will worsen.” On Saturday, over 70,000 people took to the streets of Prague to demand an end to weapons supplies and neutrality regarding the conflict in Ukraine. Numerous demonstrations are also set to take place in major German cities over the next month as energy bills and inflation soar as a result of sanctions on Russia and over dependence on green energy. “The demonstrations in Prague and Germany are only the beginning. The price of gas and consequently of electricity are driving the European citizens mad with anger and it will worsen,” French economist Charles Gave told Sputnik.

Gave went on to assert that many Europeans aren’t buying the narrative that the situation, which culminated in the shut down of gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, is all Vladimir Putin’s fault. “The European governments and the European Commission speak of a ‘manipulation’ by Russia, but people perceive very well that the decision to stop importing Russian gas and oil was a European decision, taken by Brussels without even thinking of the impact it will have on the European economy,” he said. The economist blasted European leaders for their obsession with net zero and climate change hysteria, which has left the continent totally lacking in self-sufficiency.

“For the last 15 years, our European leaders have gone into a climate craze, promoting magic mirrors and windmills as the solution. It does not work. These solutions demand the same capacity in gas power plants,” Gave said. The economist firmly blamed globalist technocrat leaders for sacrificing the interests of Europeans on the altar of prolonging a war that will cause economic devastation. “They [Europeans] even believe that it is the bad Russians that have closed the tap of oil and gas, while it is our own leaders in Europe that have stupidly imposed these sanctions that are destroying the European economy. We, Europeans, are bringing stagflation onto our head. Before the people realize it, it will be too late. Macron, [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz, von der Leyen and the like will never admit they were wrong and present excuses,” he asserted.

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“Zakharova later mocked what she called the “mind-blowing stupidity” of Truss.”

Truss Becoming PM Signals ‘Crisis Of Democracy’ In UK – Moscow (RT)

The selection of Liz Truss as prime minister signals a “crisis of democracy” in the UK, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. Asked by TASS whether Truss will be a disaster for Britain, Zakharova replied that if “shop owners are decorating the window in this way, then they believe this is the best item they have in stock today.” Sometimes, the spokeswoman claimed, countries with large populations and long-standing democratic traditions make you wonder if they really do not have anyone that can “adequately, professionally, and intelligently represent the various branches of government.” Perhaps the problem is in the crisis of British democracy, because this ‘result’ has nothing to do with the direct choice of the British people, since the system of indirect elections dominates the Anglo-Saxon duo.

Truss, formerly the foreign secretary in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, officially became prime minister on Tuesday. The day before, she was revealed as the winner of the Tory leadership election. She received 81,326 voters, while her competitor, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, was backed by 60,399. A YouGov poll published on the same day showed that half of the people in the UK are ‘disappointed’ about Truss taking over as prime minister, with one-third ‘very disappointed.’ Even among members of the ruling party, 54% do not have much confidence in Truss’ ability to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, and around one-third are ‘disappointed’ that she will lead the government.

Truss’ visit to Russia in February – amid tensions in Ukraine in the run-up to the launch of Moscow’s military operation – was remembered by many for a gaffe made by the then-foreign secretary. Truss confused the Russian regions of Voronezh and Rostov with Ukrainian regions, and told her counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that London would never recognize Russia’s sovereignty over these areas. According to reports, she was then allegedly corrected by Deborah Bronnert, the UK ambassador. Lavrov described the meeting with the foreign secretary as talking “to a deaf person.” Zakharova later mocked what she called the “mind-blowing stupidity” of Truss.

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Ha ha! “It seems that in Britain, which is famous for its traditions, a new tradition has emerged..”

‘One Freak After Another’ – Ex-Russian President On UK Leaders (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said the new UK prime minister, Liz Truss, will continue the “tradition” started by her predecessor Boris Johnson by finishing her tenure “in disgrace.”Truss, formerly the foreign secretary in Johnson’s Conservative government, officially became prime minister on Tuesday. Taking to Telegram on Wednesday, Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, commented on the succession of governments in the UK: “Out goes the freak guy, in comes the freak lady.” He described the new PM as “an incompetent and mediocre thermonuclear Russophobe who has no elementary ideas about politics, history, geography, but wants to defeat Russia in everything.”


The former president added that Truss, the third female prime minister in British history, is trying to imitate the first, Margaret Thatcher, “without having even 5% of her abilities,” and hopes to address the energy crisis and rising food inflation, which are “the result of her own crazy sanctions exercises.” In her first statement at Downing Street, Truss claimed that the energy crisis was caused by “Putin’s war.” “She will quarrel with everyone, fail in everything, and leave in disgrace, like her predecessor, shaggy Boriska. It seems that in Britain, which is famous for its traditions, a new tradition has emerged,” Medvedev wrote.

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Still not. “Highly indebted—with a large percentage of their income being used to service debt—Chinese households simply do not have the financial flexibility to ramp up spending.”

Can China Transition to a Consumption Economy? (Balding)

The great economist Michael Pettis at Tsinghua University has noted for years the importance for the Chinese economy to shift its growth dependency away from investment and toward greater consumption. As China faces its weakest sustained economic period in modern history, it bears worth asking, can China shift toward a more consumer-focused economy? The Chinese economy is unique among major economies due to its low share of the household sector within the macroeconomy. Most economies typically have a household sector that accounts for 60-75 percent of activity. The United States, for example, hovers around 70 percent. In China, however, households account for only about 45 percent. This difference creates a wide variety of problems, from misunderstanding basic economic data to how to solve policy problems like shifting activity.

The first problem this creates is when analysts compare cross-country data on debt to GDP in various formats, such as household debt to GDP. Due to the starkly different shares of income between households in China and other countries, Chinese households have significantly less income to repay debts than households in other countries. In fact, if we adjust household debt levels for household income rather than GDP, Chinese households are some of the most indebted in the world, even more than the United States and most OECD countries paying a significantly higher share of their income toward debt servicing due to interest rate differentials.

This simple, often overlooked adjustment has significant implications for how we conceptualize a move away from the investment infrastructure-driven growth model toward a consumption-driven growth model. While the 45 percent household share gives the superficial appearance that Chinese consumption can increase significantly, the reality is very different. The Chinese consumer simply does not have the financial capability to increase consumption share. Real estate sales are down with nominal sales of retail goods and services flat, meaning that after accounting for surging inflation, Chinese consumers are purchasing less than they did a year ago. Highly indebted—with a large percentage of their income being used to service debt—Chinese households simply do not have the financial flexibility to ramp up spending.

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“I went home, contemplated it for a weekend, and thought, ‘I’m not looking at this as carefully as I need to look at it.’”

Why Disney Didn’t Buy Twitter (Vox)

Elon Musk wanted to buy Twitter. Then he decided he didn’t. Bob Iger can relate. In 2016, Iger, then the CEO of Disney, had convinced himself that his company should own Twitter because it would be an excellent way to distribute Disney’s content around the world. Then, shortly before the 2016 US presidential election, he bailed out. Iger has told parts of this story before, but it always seemed confusing to me: In his 2019 memoir, he said the boards of both Disney and Twitter had agreed to the deal, but then he had second thoughts because of the “nastiness” rampant at Twitter. Really? Wasn’t the nastiness readily apparent to anyone who’d ever used the service for a second, let alone to someone who was ready to spend billions on it?

But today we got a longer version of the story, relayed by Iger at the Code Conference, in response to a question from The Verge’s Alex Heath. In this one, Iger says that Twitter would have been a “phenomenal” distribution platform for Disney but that it would have come with too many headaches. Among them: bots. (Sound familiar?) Here’s Iger, in his own words: “We were intent on going into the streaming business. We needed a technology solution. We have all this great IP. We weren’t a technology company. How do we get that IP to consumers around the world? … And we were kicking tires left and right. We thought about developing ourselves. Five years, $500 million. It wasn’t the money, it was the time, because the world was changing fast. And at the same time, we heard that Twitter was contemplating a sale.

“We enter the process immediately, looking at Twitter as the solution: a global distribution platform. It was viewed as sort of a social network. We were viewing it as something completely different. We could put news, sports, entertainment, [and] reach the world. And frankly, it would have been a phenomenal solution, distribution-wise. “Then, after we sold the whole concept to the Disney board and the Twitter board, and we’re really ready to execute — the negotiation was just about done — I went home, contemplated it for a weekend, and thought, ‘I’m not looking at this as carefully as I need to look at it.’ Yes, it’s a great solution from a distribution perspective. But it would come with so many other challenges and complexities that as a manager of a great global brand, I was not prepared to take on a major distraction and having to manage circumstances that weren’t even close to anything that we had faced before.

“Interestingly enough, because I read the news these days, we did look very carefully at all of the Twitter users — I guess they’re called users? — and we at that point estimated with some of Twitter’s help that a substantial portion — not a majority — were not real. “I don’t remember the number but we discounted the value heavily. But that was built into our economics. Actually, the deal that we had was pretty cheap. “Then you have to look, of course, at all the hate speech and potential to do as much harm as good. We’re in the business of manufacturing fun at Disney — of doing nothing but good, even though there are others today that criticize Disney for the opposite, which is wrong. This was just something that we were not ready to take on and I was not ready to take on as the CEO of a company and I thought it would have been irresponsible.”

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“Doughty ordered Fauci and Jean-Pierre to comply within 21 days.”

Judge Orders Fauci, Others to Produce Records For Censorship Lawsuit (ET)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and other top Biden administration officials who were resisting efforts to obtain their communications with Big Tech companies must hand over the records, a federal judge ruled on Sept. 6. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointee, ordered the government to quickly produce documents after it was sued by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri over alleged collusion with Big Tech firms such as Facebook. The initial tranche of discovery, released on Aug. 31, revealed that more than 50 government officials across a dozen agencies were involved in applying pressure to social media companies to censor users.

But some of the officials refused to provide any answers or answer all questions posed by the plaintiffs. Among them: Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. The government claimed that Fauci shouldn’t be required to answer all questions or provide records in his capacity as NIAID director or in his capacity as Biden’s chief medical adviser. It also attempted to withhold records and responses from Jean-Pierre. In the new ruling on Sept. 6 breaking the stalemate, Doughty said both Fauci and Jean-Pierre needed to comply with the interrogatories and record requests.

“First, the requested information is obviously very relevant to Plaintiffs’ claims. Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to Plaintiffs’ allegations in reference to alleged suppression of speech relating to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin, and to alleged suppression of speech about the efficiency of masks and COVID-19 lockdowns. Jean-Pierre’s communications as White House Press Secretary could be relevant to all of Plaintiffs’ examples,” Doughty said, referring to examples such as the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 presidential election and censorship of claims COVID-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory. Doughty ordered Fauci and Jean-Pierre to comply within 21 days.

Fauci, additionally, must provide complete answers to questions regarding his role as NIAID director. “We know from the previous round of discovery that efforts to censor the speech of those who disagree with the government on covid policy have come from the top. Americans deserve to know Anthony Fauci’s participation in this enterprise, especially since he has publicly demanded that specific individuals, including two of our clients, Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, be censored on social media,” Jenin Younes, litigation counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance and a lawyer for some of the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “It is time for Dr. Fauci to answer for his flagrant disregard for Americans’ constitutional rights and civil liberties.”

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A pattern of judges fighting back?!

Former FBI Boss Warns Trump Search Warrant Might Be Tossed Out Entirely (JTN)

The FBI warrant to search former President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago may be thrown out entirely in court, according to former FBI boss Kevin Brock. News broke over Labor Day weekend that Trump had been granted a legal win when a federal judge ordered a special master to review the documents seized from Trump’s home. “I think the government would be concerned as well, because there’s concern that the the search warrant itself was overly broad from the get-go,” Kevin Brock said on “Just the News, Not Noise” Tuesday evening. “Because the scope that they were looking for was every single document generated during the Trump administration — that just seems too inexcusably overbroad.

Now there’s indications that they (the FBI) collected much more than they were authorized to collect.” Brock said that he believes that the search warrant could be suppressed entirely. “If I’m a prosecutor, I am concerned going forward that this search warrant could be suppressed and for those types of reasons, and they would lose access to anything that was collected throughout the search as a fruit of the poisonous tree,” Brock continued. “So I think that’s got to be in the back of their minds.” Brock also criticized how the FBI raided Trump’s home and how usually when the FBI does investigations, they try to take the least intrusive route possible at first.


“You go into a home, you set up a system where those things that you seize are assiduously documented,” said Brock, explaining how FBI searches typically work. “They’re given a specific tracking number, a barcode and each piece is gone through meticulously before you leave the premises to make sure that it’s within the scope of the document.” “And that’s only part one,” he continued. “Part two is the warrant is not to be overly broad as to what parts of the residence can be searched. You can only search those things where it’s reasonably expected you would find the type of evidence that you are looking for.”

Webb – Peter Strzok

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Well, they try: “..several hundred million dollars’ worth of cyber warheads..” “The average tweet received 0.49 likes and 0.02 retweets.”

The US Army Special Operations Command Weaponizes Social Media (Helmer)

The US Army’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been firing several hundred million dollars’ worth of cyber warheads at Russian targets from its headquarters at MacDill Airforce Base in Florida. They have all been duds. The weapons, the source, and their failure to strike effectively have been exposed in a new report, published on August 24, by the Cyber Policy Center of the Stanford Internet Observatory. The title of the 54-page study is “Unheard Voice: Evaluating Five Years of Pro-Western Covert Influence Operations”.

“We believe”, the report concludes, “this activity represents the most extensive case of covert pro-Western IO [influence operations] on social media to be reviewed and analyzed by open-source researchers to date… the data also shows the limitations of using inauthentic tactics to generate engagement and build influence online. The vast majority of posts and tweets we reviewed received no more than a handful of likes or retweets, and only 19% of the covert assets we identified had more than 1,000 followers. The average tweet received 0.49 likes and 0.02 retweets.” “Tellingly,” according to the Stanford report, “the two most followed assets in the data provided by Twitter were overt accounts that publicly declared a connection to the U.S. military.”

The report comes from a branch of Stanford University, and is funded by the Stanford Law School and the Spogli Institute for Institutional Studies, headed by Michael McFaul (lead image). McFaul, once a US ambassador to Moscow, has been a career advocate of war against Russia. The new report exposes many of McFaul’s allegations to be crude fabrications and propaganda which the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been paying contractors to fire at Russia for a decade. Strangely, there is no mention in the report of the US Army, Pentagon, the Special Operations Command, or its principal cyberwar contractor, the Rendon Group.

It is unclear who paid for the new investigation which was co-authored by Graphika. This is a New York consultancy without an office address, staffed by US, French and British intelligence analysts, and financed in part by the US Senate Intelligence Committee and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Graphika advertises its Russia war-making credentials in the mainstream and IT media, as well as on its Twitter account. Notwithstanding, the new report explicitly targets news faking and other information warfare tactics by the US Army forces aimed primarily at audiences in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

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“..to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival, a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

Silencing the Lambs — How Propaganda Works (John Pilger)

At its summit in Madrid in June, NATO, which is controlled by the United States, adopted a strategy document that militarises the European continent, and escalates the prospect of war with Russia and China. It proposes “multi domain warfighting against nuclear-armed peer-competitor.” In other words, nuclear war. It says: “NATO’s enlargement has been an historic success.” I read that in disbelief. The news from the war in Ukraine is mostly not news, but a one-sided litany of jingoism, distortion, omission. I have reported a number of wars and have never known such blanket propaganda.

In February, Russia invaded Ukraine as a response to almost eight years of killing and criminal destruction in the Russian-speaking region of Donbass on their border. In 2014, the United States had sponsored a coup in Kiev that got rid of Ukraine’s democratically elected, Russian-friendly president and installed a successor whom the Americans made clear was their man. In recent years, American “defender” missiles have been installed in eastern Europe, Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, almost certainly aimed at Russia, accompanied by false assurances all the way back to James Baker’s “promise” to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in February 1990 that NATO would never expand beyond Germany.

Ukraine is the frontline. NATO has effectively reached the very borderland through which Hitler’s army stormed in 1941, leaving more than 23 million dead in the Soviet Union. Last December, Russia proposed a far-reaching security plan for Europe. This was dismissed, derided or suppressed in the Western media. Who read its step-by-step proposals? On Feb. 24, President Volodymyr Zelensky threatened to develop nuclear weapons unless America armed and protected Ukraine. On the same day, Russia invaded — an unprovoked act of congenital infamy, according to the Western media. The history, the lies, the peace proposals, the solemn agreements on Donbass at Minsk counted for nothing.

On April 25, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin flew into Kiev and confirmed that America’s aim was to destroy the Russian Federation — the word he used was “weaken.” America had got the war it wanted, waged by an American bankrolled and armed proxy and expendable pawn. Almost none of this was explained to Western audiences. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is wanton and inexcusable. It is a crime to invade a sovereign country. There are no “buts” — except one. When did the present war in Ukraine begin and who started it? According to the United Nations, between 2014 and this year, some 14,000 people have been killed in the Kiev regime’s civil war on the Donbass. Many of the attacks were carried out by neo-Nazis.

In the same month, dozens of Russian-speaking people were burned alive or suffocated in a trade union building in Odessa besieged by fascist thugs, the followers of the Nazi collaborator and anti-Semitic fanatic Stepan Bandera. The New York Times called the thugs “nationalists.” “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment,” said Andreiy Biletsky, founder of the Azov Battaltion, “is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival, a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

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“I have the impression that Zelensky took Salvini as a model; the same beard, the same style of dressing in sweatshirts, the same populist rhetoric. Not the Nutella, though.”

The Rise of the Key Opinion Leaders: End of Politics as we Know it? (Ugo Bardi)

In ancient Japan, a “kagemusha” (shadow warrior) was an impersonator who took the aspect and the role of the actual leader. It was simply a decoy to be used in battle but, in our times, the problem for leaders is not so much to avoid bullets but to avoid the much more powerful propaganda techniques that may destroy them. The result is the rise of a new kind of kagemusha, the KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). The KOLs do not impersonate the true leaders, but express their ideas and plans in public, taking the blame for the failures and the mistakes that may result. The real leaders, instead, remain in the shadows. The KOLs operate in many fields, not just in politics. For instance, they are popular in science. But, their presence in politics is becoming more and more evident.

[..] The KOLs may now be spilling into politics. The first actor to become a high-rank politician was Ronald Reagan, but he was far from being a “puppet president”, although he profited from his experience as an actor to manage his public image. In recent times, though, we are seeing actors becoming frontmen for figures who remain backstage. A good example is Vladimir Zelensky, president of Ukraine. Independently of what you think of what’s happening in Ukraine, Zelensky is clearly a modern kagemusha: an actor playing the role of the president. The way he dresses, the short beard, the posture, all are part of a character that could have starred in a movie, except that the war in Ukraine is all too real. Because of the dangers involved in the current situation, it is understandable that the Ukrainian powers that be much prefer a kagemusha as president rather than to appear themselves on stage.

So far, Zelensky remains a relatively isolated case. But it is possible that the KOL fashion will spread to other countries and other leaders. As an example, I can cite Mr. Matteo Salvini in Italy. As the leader of the League, he became deputy prime minister in 2018, and he is still a member of parliament. Salvini is popularly known in Italy as “Captain Nutella,” owing to his penchant to present a public image of himself while eating junk food. He was never an actor, but he started his career as a participant in a TV game show, and he does not have much more than that in his professional CV (**). Incidentally, I have the impression that Zelensky took Salvini as a model; the same beard, the same style of dressing in sweatshirts, the same populist rhetoric. Not the Nutella, though.

I would not be surprised if Salvini, or some other equally shallow kagemusha-style character, will soon take the job of the prime minister of Italy. This winter we are going to see a serious crisis in which many Italians will find themselves without heating at home and with no fuel, no electric power, and no jobs. At that point, the Nutella will hit the fan, as they say. I don’t envy the person who will find him or herself in the role of the prime minister at that moment. The job could become as dangerous in Italy as it is in Ukraine now and, as you know, in Italy we already had a case of a prime minister hanged upside-down. Surely, during the coming hard times, the really powerful people will prefer to take a low-profile role.

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Steve has tons of graphs. Of course.

Vaccines Are Taking An Average Of 5 Months To Kill People (Kirsch)

The key point is this: The UK data shows statistical proof of causality of deaths (p<.001): the vaccine doses track with the excess deaths 23 weeks later. Dose dependency is key to showing causality. If no one can explain this, the precautionary principle of medicine requires any ethical society to halt the vaccines now. Executive Summary: Many people assumed the vaccine kills you quickly (in the first two weeks) because that’s when people notice the association and report it to VAERS. This is still true; it does kill some people quickly: half of the deaths reported in VAERS are in the first few weeks. But the key words are “reported in VAERS.” It turns out that if we don’t have that restriction but are just wondering when most of the deaths after COVID vaccination happen, the answer is different.

Thanks to a helper who works at HHS, we can now clearly see that most of the deaths from the vaccine are happening an average of 5 months from the last dose. That is for the second dose; it may be getting shorter the more shots you get but there are arguments both ways (since there can be survivor bias). Using data from the UK, we can see more clearly that the delay time is around 23 weeks (so a bit more than 5 weeks). We’ll dive into that shortly. This delay explains why the life insurance companies got off-the-charts all-cause mortality peaks for people under 60 in Q3 and Q4 rather than right after the shots rolled out.

The five month delay is also consistent with death reports where people are developing new aggressive cancers that are killing them over a 4 to 6 month period. The 5 month death delay was also confirmed using only European data. That analysis was posted Aug 11, but I learned about it after I wrote this post. So when you hear of a death from stroke, cardiac arrest, heart attack, cancer, and suicide that is happening around 5 months after vaccination, it could very well be a vaccine-related death.

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Malone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Webb test kits

 

 

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