Apr 012024
 
 April 1, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Caravaggio The Denial of Saint Peter 1610

 

Easter Becomes the Latest Flash Point in American Politics (Turley)
Jack Smith Handed a ‘Blank Check’ to Target Trump, Lawyers Argue (ET)
Jack Smith Seeks to Shield Names of Potential Witnesses in Trump Case (ET)
How America’s Top Spymaster Sees The World Is Rather Disappointing (Amar)
US Congressman Calls For ‘Hiroshima and Nagasaki’ in Gaza and Ukraine (RT)
A Genocide Foretold (Chris Hedges)
UK Govt Lawyers Conclude Israel In Breach Of Humanitarian Law (RT)
Biden Claims Arab States Are Ready to Recognize Israel (Sp.)
Moscow Demands That Kiev Surrender Terrorism Suspects (RT)
US House To Consider Ukraine Aid Bill In April (TASS)
Ukraine Turned Into Afghan Drug Lords Paradise Under Western Watch (Sp.)
Why Russia Didn’t Join NATO (Sp.)
The Assange Hearing Permission Appeal Judgment (Craig Murray)
61 Unexpected PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in Food Packaging (SciAm)

 

 


Mr. Fish – Genocide

 

 

Sachs Russia
https://twitter.com/i/status/1774186219703869896

 

 

CCP bridge

 

 

 

 

Habba

 

 

Snowden: “Warren Buffett, the billionaire head of Berkshire Hathaway, will probably go down as the greatest investor in history… Berkshire shares have seen an average annual return of 20.0%…”

Meanwhile:


just some members of congress outperforming the greatest investor in history. we are surely fortunate to be represented by such extraordinary talents

 

 

 

 

Pot and kettle:

“Sadly, it’s unsurprising politicians are seeking to divide and weaken our country with cruel, hateful, and dishonest rhetoric..”

Easter Becomes the Latest Flash Point in American Politics (Turley)

It often seems like there is nothing left today that is not a battleground over our political and social differences. We can now add Easter. The Biden White House triggered a firestorm by picking Good Friday to announce that Easter Sunday will now be the “Transgender Day of Visibility.” At the same time, families objected to regulations on Easter egg designs, barring children from including any religious imagery or references on this religious holiday. There are even objections to the use of eggs at the annual White House egg roll. Despite the criticism from various politicians, including Speaker Mike Johnson, Jean-Pierre went on X Saturday to reaffirm that Sunday is to be designated as the “Transgender Day of Visibility.” Transgender Visibility Day actually began 15 years ago and many have noted that the overlap with Easter Sunday this year is a coincidence.

President Joe Biden has made no comment on the controversy and issued his Easter proclamation[..] White House spokesperson Andrew Bates did respond on Saturday: “As a Christian who celebrates Easter with Family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American. Sadly, it’s unsurprising politicians are seeking to divide and weaken our country with cruel, hateful, and dishonest rhetoric. President Biden will never abuse his faith for political purposes or for profit.” In the meantime, the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll is being called a celebration of “National Guard Families.” The 2024 “Call for Youth Art” flyer states that “Children should depict on an egg template (see Art Submission form) a snapshot of their life – a favorite activity, scenery in your state, your military family, a day-in-your life, etc.” However, under its restrictions list, the flyer noted, “The Submission must not include any questionable content, religious symbols, overtly religious themes, or partisan political statements.”

One can understand the desire to bar “Let’s Go Brandon” eggs. Moreover, the Easter egg event has long been treated as open to people of all faiths and background. It has been treated more as a celebration of spring. However, some families have objected that the holiday does have a religious origin and that the bar on any religious references like a cross or other symbols is an affront. As a legal matter, there is no bar on religious displays in such White House events, which have included such symbols in celebrations of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim holidays. On the positive side, the egg roll will involve eggs. PETA has asked the First Lady to substitute potatoes for the eggs. PETA President Ingrid Newkirk objected that:

“Children love animals and would be sad to learn that the eggs used for fun and games at the White House come from tormented hens whose lives are spent in cages that afford them less space than a standard sheet of typing paper. Easter should be a time of renewal and joy for all sentient beings—and that means hens, too.” By having children decorate and roll spuds, Newkirk suggested, the First Lady could remove these little “cholesterol bombs” from the diet of children. Besides, she added, “potatoes are cheaper and healthier than eggs and leave birds in peace.” The head of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) added his own warning to people not to eat whole eggs and to cut back on the sweets to protect their health. However, the Easter Bunny appears to have been vindicated this week in a scientific study that found that eating 12 eggs a week did not increase one’s cholesterol. Indeed, it found possible heart benefits to egg consumption. That proposal was clearly rejected for now.

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“Mr. Smith’s actions as a notionally independent United States attorney are beyond the scope of what the Supreme Court has permitted, and therefore, his actions are unlawful..”

Jack Smith Handed a ‘Blank Check’ to Target Trump, Lawyers Argue (ET)

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump argued in his classified documents case that special prosecutor Jack Smith has been given too many resources while other parts of the Department of Justice haven’t. The former president faces dozens of charges that he allegedly illegally retained classified materials after he left office in 2021. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has sought to delay the trial, while U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has not set a firm date for when it will start. His attorneys earlier this week argued that Mr. Smith’s team was handed “a blank check” that has imperiled the former president’s rights. “To be clear, offering the Special Counsel a blank check has harmed President Trump’s substantial rights, and DOJ [Department of Justice] simply could not have funded the entirety of Jack Smith’s expansive politically motivated witch hunt from an alternative source,” Trump attorney Christopher Kise wrote in court to Judge Cannon earlier this week, adding:

“Since the founding, resource constraints on prosecutors have been regarded as an indispensable guarantee of substantive fairness.” Because there are no constraints, the lawyer wrote that the special counsel’s office can “engage in an unabashed political crusade with zero accountability” against President Trump. Mr. Smith was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2022 to pursue the classified documents case and the federal election case in Washington. “The Special Counsel’s Office is pursuing two different cases in two jurisdictions in order to maximize interference in the ongoing presidential election,” Mr. Kise wrote. “This tactic is the luxury of a prosecutor facing no resource constraints. And it is far from a forgone conclusion.” The special prosecutor’s team has yet to file a response to the court motion.

Later in the motion, Mr. Kise wrote that other parts of the DOJ have been denied funding, including targeting Big Tech antitrust cases. “In 2019, for example, DOJ was forced to prioritize its antitrust review of Google over Apple because it could not afford to pursue both,” he wrote. Earlier, his attorneys and third parties have argued that Mr. Smith’s appointment by the U.S. attorney general violated the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause, noting that Congress has to approve his team’s expenditures. Last week, a law professor submitted a “friend of the court,” or amicus, brief in the case, arguing that Mr. Smith is not an “officer of the United States” due to how he was appointed.

“Simply being appointed by a department head does not elevate that position to the status of an inferior ‘Officer of the United States.’ Indeed, the mere fact that a person is appointed by the Head of a Department does not make that position an office at all,” Professor Josh Blackman of the South Texas College of Law in Houston wrote, referring to a brief that Mr. Smith had filed in which he described himself as an “inferior officer.” “Instead, precedents … provide that an office must be continuous.” “Mr. Smith’s actions as a notionally independent United States attorney are beyond the scope of what the Supreme Court has permitted, and therefore, his actions are unlawful,” he also wrote.

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“Mr. Smith also wants redacted, in addition to the names of potential government witnesses, “any pronouns revealing their gender..”

Jack Smith Seeks to Shield Names of Potential Witnesses in Trump Case (ET)

Special counsel Jack Smith on March 29 asked a federal judge to approve redactions to filings made by a co-defendant of former President Donald Trump. The briefs submitted by Walt Nauta, the co-defendant, contain information that should not be made public, Mr. Smith told U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon. That includes the names of people that government officials may call as witnesses in a trial, the special counsel, appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, said. “Witness safety and privacy are paramount pretrial. The limited redactions of the names satisfy the good cause standard established in Chicago Tribune Co. v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., as well as the higher standard requiring a compelling interest for the redactions and the redactions being narrowly tailored,” Mr. Smith said in his request.

The Chicago Tribune case, decided in 2001 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, hinged on a federal rule that enables keeping information secret if there is “good cause” to do so. “Federal courts have superimposed a balancing of interests approach for Rule 26’s good cause requirement,” that ruling stated. “This standard requires the district court to balance the party’s interest in obtaining access against the other party’s interest in keeping the information confidential.” Mr. Smith also wants redacted, in addition to the names of potential government witnesses, “any pronouns revealing their gender,” according to the new filing.

And the special counsel is asking that information about sealed grand jury proceedings be kept secret, including one proceeding that happened before he was appointed. The proposed redactions come after Judge Cannon, who was appointed by President Trump, outlined a schedule for the parties in the case with respect to redactions. The proposals are for two filings from Mr. Nauta—a reply to the government on his assertion that the prosecution of him has been selective and vindictive, and a motion to suppress evidence. Other recent documents from Mr. Nauta and President Trump that have not been placed on the public docket do not require redactions, Mr. Smith said. Those documents include President Trump’s briefs in support of a motion to dismiss the charges based on prosecutorial misconduct and selective and vindictive prosecution.

The actual motions to dismiss based on selective and vindictive prosecution have still not been made available to the public, although Mr. Smith’s team described some of its contents in another recent filing. Prosecutors said that Mr. Nauta in his motion focused on a conversation that his attorney had over coffee with one of the prosecutors. During that discussion, the prosecutor was quoted as saying the government would not “accept anything less than Mr. Nauta’s full cooperation” in exchange for not being charged. Prosecutors say the decision to charge Mr. Nauta after he declined to cooperate does not “amount to vindictiveness as a matter of law.” In a related filing, Mr. Nauta said the government was focused only on himself and another former aide of President Trump while ignoring a “universe of other comparators who, unlike Mr. Nauta, were likewise never prosecuted.”

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Burns is a puppet.

How America’s Top Spymaster Sees The World Is Rather Disappointing (Amar)

There is no doubt that this CIA director is a smart and experienced man principally capable of realism, unlike all too many others in the current American elite. Famously, he warned in 2008, when serving as ambassador to Moscow, that “Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin).” That makes the glaring flaws in this big-picture survey all the more remarkable. Burns is, obviously, correct when he observes that the US – and the world as a whole – is facing a historically rare moment of “profound” change in the global order. And – with one exception which we will return to – it would be unproductive, perhaps even a little churlish, to quibble over his ideologically biased terminology. His mislabeling of Russia as “revanchist,” for instance, has a petty ring to it. “Resurgent” would be a more civil as well as more truthful term, capturing the fact that the country is simply returning to its normal international minimum status (for at least the last three hundred years), namely that of a second-to-none great power.

Yet Burns’ agenda is more important than his terminology. While it may be complex, parts of it are as clear as can be: He is eager (perhaps desperate) to prevent Washington from ending its massive aid for Ukraine – a battle he is likely to lose. In the Middle East, he wants to focus Western aggression on Iran. He may get his will there, but that won’t be a winning strategy because, in part thanks to multipolar trend setters, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS, Iran’s escape from the isolation that the US has long imposed on it is already inevitable. Regarding China, Burns’ real target is a competing faction of American hawks, namely those who argue that, bluntly put, Washington should write off its losses in Ukraine and concentrate all its firepower on China. Burns wants to persuade his readers that the US can have both its big fight against China and its proxy war against Russia.

He is also engaged in a massive act of CIA boosterism, clearly aiming to increase the clout of the already inordinately powerful state-within-a-state he happens to run himself. And last but not least, the spy-in-chief has unearthed one of the oldest tricks in the subversion and destabilization playbook: Announcing loudly that his CIA is on a recruiting spree in Russia, he seeks to promote a little paranoia in Moscow. Good luck attempting to pull that one on the country that gave us the term “agentura.” Moreover, after the horrific terror attack on Crocus City Hall in Moscow, it is fair to assume that Burns regrets having boasted about the CIA expanding its “work” in Russia. Not a good look, not at all. What matters more, though, than his verbal sallies and his intriguingly straightforward, even blunt aims, are three astonishingly crude errors:

First, Burns insists on reading the emerging outcome of the war in Ukraine as a “failure on many levels,” for Russia, revealing its, as he believes, economic, political, and military weakness. Yet, as the acknowledged American economist James K. Galbraith has recently reiterated, the West’s economic war on Russia has backfired. The Russian economy is now stronger, more resilient, and independent of the West than never before. As to the military, Burns for instance, gleefully counts the tanks that Russia has lost and fails to note the ones it is building at a rapid rate not matched anywhere inside NATO. In general, he fails to mention just how worried scores of Western experts have come to be, realizing that Moscow is overseeing a massive and effective expansion of military production. A curious oversight for an intelligence professional. He also seems to miss just how desperate Ukraine’s situation has become on the ground.

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“We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid..”

US Congressman Calls For ‘Hiroshima and Nagasaki’ in Gaza and Ukraine (RT)

Michigan congressman Tim Walberg believes Washington should not waste money on humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza or Ukraine, and instead focus on supporting Israel and Kiev’s war efforts, to achieve “quick” victories. Walberg made his remarks during a meeting with members of the public in Dundee, Michigan last week. In a video posted on social media on March 25, the Republican congressman criticized President Joe Biden’s policies, telling a small audience that the US should better spend Gaza aid money on supporting Israel, which he labeled Washington’s “greatest ally, arguably, anywhere in the world.” “We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid. It should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick,” Walberg could be heard saying.

“The same should be in Ukraine. Defeat Putin quick. Instead of 80% in Ukraine being used for humanitarian purposes, it should be 80-100% to wipe out Russian forces,” he added. After his statements went viral, Walberg claimed that his words were misreported and misinterpreted, arguing that he was merely speaking metaphorically and did not advocate for the actual use of nuclear weapons. “In a shortened clip, I used a metaphor to convey the need for both Israel and Ukraine to win their wars as swiftly as possible, without putting American troops in harm’s way,” Walberg said in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday. “The use of this metaphor, along with the removal of context, distorted my message, but I fully stand by these beliefs and stand by our allies,” he added, arguing that the quicker these conflicts end, the “fewer innocent lives will be caught in the crossfire.”

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“Every horrifying act of Israel’s genocide has been telegraphed in advance. It has been for decades..”

A Genocide Foretold (Chris Hedges)

There are no surprises in Gaza. Every horrifying act of Israel’s genocide has been telegraphed in advance. It has been for decades. The dispossession of Palestinians of their land is the beating heart of Israel’s settler colonial project. This dispossession has had dramatic historical moments — 1948 and 1967 — when huge parts of historic Palestine were seized and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were ethnically cleansed. Dispossession has also occurred in increments — the slow-motion theft of land and steady ethnic cleansing in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The incursion on Oct. 7 into Israel by Hamas and other resistance groups, which left 1,154 Israelis, tourists and migrant workers dead and saw about 240 people taken hostage, gave Israel the pretext for what it has long craved — the total erasure of Palestinians.

Israel has razed 77 percent of healthcare facilities in Gaza, 68 percent of telecommunication infrastructure, nearly all municipal and governmental buildings, commercial, industrial and agricultural centers, almost half of all roads, over 60 percent of Gaza’s 439,000 homes, 68 percent of residential buildings — the bombing of the Al-Taj tower in Gaza City on Oct. 25, killed 101 people, including 44 children and 37 women, and injured hundreds — and obliterated refugee camps. The attack on the Jabalia refugee camp on Oct. 25 killed at least 126 civilians, including 69 children, and injured 280. Israel has damaged or destroyed Gaza’s universities, all of which are now closed, and 60 percent of other educational facilities, including 13 libraries. It has also destroyed at least 195 heritage sites, including 208 mosques, churches, and Gaza’s Central Archives that held 150 years of historical records and documents.

Israel’s warplanes, missiles, drones, tanks, artillery shells and naval guns daily pulverize Gaza — which is only 20 miles long and five miles wide — in a scorched earth campaign unlike anything seen since the war in Vietnam. It has dropped 25,000 tons of explosives — equivalent to two nuclear bombs — on Gaza, many targets selected by Artificial Intelligence. It drops unguided munitions (“dumb bombs”) and 2000-pound “bunker buster” bombs on refugee camps and densely packed urban centers as well as the so-called “safe zones” — 42 percent of Palestinians killed have been in these “safe zones” where they were instructed by Israel to flee. Over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes, forced to find refuge in overcrowded UNRWA shelters, hospital corridors and courtyards, schools, tents or the open air in south Gaza, often living next to fetid pools of raw sewage.

Israel has killed at least 32,705 Palestinians in Gaza, including 13,000 children and 9,000 women. This means Israel is slaughtering as many as 187 people a day including 75 children. It has killed 136 journalists, many, if not most of them deliberately targeted. It has killed 340 doctors, nurses and other health workers — four percent of Gaza’s healthcare personnel. These numbers do not begin to reflect the actual death toll since only those dead registered in morgues and hospitals, most of which no longer function, are counted. The death toll, when those who are missing are counted, is well over 40,000. Doctors are forced to amputate limbs without anesthetic. Those with severe medical conditions — cancer, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease — have died from lack of treatment or will die soon. Over a hundred women give birth every day, with little to no medical care. Miscarriages are up by 300 percent.

Over 90 percent of the Palestinians in Gaza suffer from severe food insecurity with people eating animal feed and grass. Children are dying of starvation. Palestinian writers, academics, scientists and their family members have been tracked and assassinated. Over 75,000 Palestinians have been wounded, many of whom will be crippled for life. “Seventy percent of recorded deaths have consistently been women and children,” writes Francesca Albanese, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, in her report issued on March 25. “Israel failed to prove that the remaining 30 percent, i.e. adult males, were active Hamas combatants — a necessary condition for them to be lawfully targeted. By early-December, Israel’s security advisors claimed the killing of ‘7,000 terrorists’ in a stage of the campaign when less than 5,000 adult males in total had been identified among the casualties, thus implying that all adult males killed were ‘terrorists.’

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“British authorities, however, have apparently opted to keep the findings out of the public domain..”

UK Govt Lawyers Conclude Israel In Breach Of Humanitarian Law (RT)

Lawyers for the UK government have established Israel has been breaking humanitarian law amid its ongoing conflict in Gaza with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, a senior Tory is claiming, according to leaked audio revealed by the Observer newspaper on Saturday. Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Alicia Kearns, made the remarks earlier this month during a Conservative Party fundraising event. “The Foreign Office has received official legal advice that Israel has broken international humanitarian law but the government has not announced it,” Kearns, a former official with the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence, who has been pressing the government on the matter, said during the event. The legal experts’ assessment effectively makes the UK complicit in the Israeli military’s violations, and defense cooperation should have been severed by London immediately after they produced their evaluation of the situation in Gaza.

“They have not said it, they haven’t stopped arms exports. They have done a few very small sanctions on Israeli settlers and everyone internationally agrees that settlers are illegal, that they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing, and the ways in which they have continued and the money that’s been put in,” Kearns stated. During the event, Kearns insisted that she, like the UK Foreign Secretary James Cameron, strongly believes in Israel’s right to “self defense,” noting however that there were legal boundaries for exercising it. “The right to self defense has a limit in law. It is not limitless,” she explained, warning that Israel’s approach to handling the escalation may end up putting its own – and Britain’s – long-term security at risk. The authenticity of the recordings obtained by the Observer appears beyond question, given that Kearns has been rather vocal about her position on the matter.

On Saturday, she produced similar remarks as well, once again urging the government to make public its legal assessment of the Israeli actions. “I remain convinced the government has completed its updated assessment on whether Israel is demonstrating a commitment to international humanitarian law, and that it has concluded that Israel is not demonstrating this commitment, which is the legal determination it has to make,” she stated, arguing that “transparency” was absolutely needed to “uphold the international rules-based order.” Israel launched the operation in Gaza following an incursion by Hamas militants into the southern part of the country last October. During the attack, over 1,200 people were killed and scores of hostages were taken into Gaza. The Israeli campaign inflicted heavy damage on the Palestinian enclave, causing widespread destruction and leaving at least 32,000 people dead, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

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“..Riyadh has repeatedly made it clear that it would not agree to establish relations with Israel without the creation of a Palestinian state.”

Biden Claims Arab States Are Ready to Recognize Israel (Sp.)

Speaking at a recent campaign event in New York, US President Joe Biden announced the willingness of Arab nations to recognize the Jewish state, but remained mum on the status of a Palestinian state. “I’ve been working with the Saudis and with all the other Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan and Qatar. They’re prepared to fully recognize Israel. There has to be a post-Gaza plan, and there has to be a trade to a two-state solution. It doesn’t have to occur today. It has to be a progression and I think we can do that,” Biden said. As for Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom has repeatedly made it clear that it would not agree to establish relations with Israel without the creation of a Palestinian state. The US president’s statement came as the Biden administration “quietly” approved the transfer of billions of dollars in bombs and fighter jets to Israel, amid Tel Aviv’s plans to launch a military offensive in southern Gaza that could threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians.

Biden’s announcement reflects “a longstanding position rather than a novel development,” Dr. Imad Salamey, an associate professor of political science and international affairs at the Lebanese American University, said in an interview with Sputnik. He pointed to the 2002 Arab Summit in Beirut, which “highlighted the collective willingness of Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, to recognize Israel, contingent upon Israel’s recognition of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.” “The crux of the issue remains Israel’s reluctance to acknowledge a Palestinian state as per these terms. This impasse underscores the complexity of achieving peace and mutual recognition in the region,” the political scientist stressed. Salamey also underscored that while publicly calling for peace, the US “continues to affirm its strategic alliance with Israel, as demonstrated by the new supply of bombs and fighter jets.”

In 2002, regional states clinched the Arab Peace Initiative, which stipulates recognizing Israel in return for the creation of a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israel rejected the proposal. 18 years later, in 2020, Israel signed the Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, normalizing ties. Morocco and Sudan later signed on to the accords. While Washington voiced hope that Saudi Arabia would be the next signatory to the document, Riyadh has repeatedly made it clear that it would not agree to establish relations with Israel without the creation of a Palestinian state.

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“..including Kiev’s domestic spy agency boss Vasily Malyuk..”

Moscow Demands That Kiev Surrender Terrorism Suspects (RT)

Moscow has demanded that Ukraine surrender everyone in the country it suspects of terrorism, including Kiev’s domestic spy agency boss Vasily Malyuk, and to immediately stop supporting any related activities such individuals and groups undertake, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday. The ministry said it had officially contacted Kiev with the demands under the UN-adopted International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The demands include the “immediate arrest and extradition” of all the suspects which Moscow has identified and linked to the recent terrorist attacks against Russia. The deadly attack on the Crocus City Hall, which “shocked the whole world is, by far, not the first terrorist attack endured by our country recently,” the ministry noted.

”The investigations carried out by the competent Russian bodies indicate that the traces of all these crimes lead to Ukraine,” it stressed. Apart from the concert hall attack, which left at least 144 people dead and more than 500 injured, the ministry cited such incidents as the assassination of the military blogger Maksim Fomin (best known by his pen name Vladlen Tatarsky), the deadly bombing of the Crimean Bridge, as well as recent cross-border raids into Belgorod Region and elsewhere which have been attributed by Kiev to the so-called Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK). The paramilitary unit, advertised as composed of Russians collaborating with Ukraine, has been designated as a terrorist entity by Moscow.

The ministry did not reveal any of the names of those it has demanded due to their suspected involvement, aside from the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasily Malyuk. The spy boss “cynically admitted on March 25 that Ukraine organized the bombing of the Crimean Bridge in October 2022 and revealed details on the organization of other terrorist attacks in Russia,” it noted. Failing to meet Russia’s demands will constitute a breach of Ukraine’s international obligations with respect to fighting terrorism and “entail its international legal responsibility,” the ministry warned. “Fighting against international terrorism is the responsibility of every state. The Russian side demands that the Kiev regime immediately stop any support for terrorist activities, hand over the perpetrators and compensate for the damage done to the victims,” it stressed.

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Mike Johnson’s seat is at stake.

US House To Consider Ukraine Aid Bill In April (TASS)

Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Turner, said on CBS television that House Speaker Mike Johnson plans to put the bill on aid to Ukraine to a vote in April. “The speaker has made it clear that he supports Ukraine both directly to [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky – publicly, he’s made these statements – and to the secretary general of NATO. The speaker has made very clear statements that when we get back [from a recess], it’s the next top agenda, after having just passed all the bills that fund the federal government. I believe this is going to have overwhelming support in Congress, and we’ll put a bill on the president’s desk,” he said in an interview.

Turner was asked whether the current legislation will need to be tweaked to either include loans that Ukraine would have to pay back or incorporate clauses about border security to gain approval. He said, “There already is a significant and very strong support among Republicans.” “As this package moves, certainly there are going to be some discussions, you know, in both the Senate and the House,” he went on to say. “I’ve had discussions about the border itself. And certainly there have been discussions about the manner in which the non-military, humanitarian aid is structured.”. Turner also said that Washington is close to greenlighting supplies of ATACMS ballistic missiles to Ukraine.

“We need to give them longer range weapon systems. The White House has been hesitant to do so. Congress has called for that. President [of Ukraine Vladimir] Zelensky has called for that,” he said. “It’s the ATACMS and I think it’s long range <…> ATACMS. Those I think the administration is on the verge of being willing to provide.” Earlier this week Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Charles Q. Brown held a meeting with the Washington-based Defense Writers Group, of which TASS is a member, where he commented on the prospect of supplying Kiev with ATACMS missiles. When asked whether a transfer of ATACMS missiles from the US to Ukraine would carry an unacceptable risk of escalating the conflict, he said the risk is now not as high as it used to be.

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Smells like CIA. A lot.

Ukraine Turned Into Afghan Drug Lords Paradise Under Western Watch (Sp.)

Under the West’s watch, Ukraine has morphed into a gangsters’ paradise with all sorts of illicit drugs passing through its territory and the domestic production and consumption of synthetic narcotics booming. Back in June 2002, the US Justice Department emphasized Ukraine’s growing importance as a transit point for heroin trafficking largely originating from Afghanistan which went through the Balkan and Northern routes. The US-backed 2014 coup in Ukraine exacerbated the problem and was followed by a spike in corruption, gang crime, and weapons smuggling. The role of Ukraine as a transit point for extremists and illicit drugs to Europe has also increased. In July 2015, Italian MEP Matteo Salvini drew attention to ISIS* sympathizers fighting on the side of the Kiev regime in Donbass in an official letter to the EU leadership.

In 2019 and 2020, British, Polish and Ukrainian investigative journalists revealed that ISIS jihadists originating, in particular, from post-Soviet space used Ukraine as a transit point to and out of the Middle East in the course of the civil war in Syria which started in 2011. Having sustained defeat from the Russian Air Forces in Syria, ISIS started to use Ukraine as a safe haven. Ukraine’s role as a hub for ISIS terrorists could be closely connected with drug trafficking. Establishing a foothold in Afghanistan in 2015, ISIS militants used the Afghan opiate trade as a source of income since at least 2014, according to the Russian Federal Service for Drug Control. “The large-scale transit of Afghan heroin acts as a renewable financial base for the functioning of the Islamic State, which extracts fabulous profits by providing half of the total volume of heroin supplied to Europe through destabilized Iraq and some African countries,” the Russian agency stated on November 26, 2014.

“In 2015, the Afghan branch of ISIS officially declared its establishment,” Andrey Serenko, director of the Analytical Center of Afghanistan policy, told Sputnik. “[ISIS-Khorasan*] emerged from the ruins of some groups of dissatisfied Taliban** fighters whose leaders for some reason did not agree on interests with the Taliban leadership. From the first months of its existence, the Afghan branch of ISIS began to fight for jihad resources. The large Afghan ‘jihad industry’, then, and even now, relies heavily on the drug business. If in Syria and Iraq such sources of economic power of jihad were the illegal trade in petroleum products, then in Afghanistan it was drugs.” “In [Afghanistan’s] provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar [infamous for heroin production – Sputnik], ISIS reached an agreement with the local tribes who joined ISIS and still sympathize with the terror group. Accordingly, in several counties, for example, Achin County, ISIS was able to seize control of laboratories producing heroin,” the expert continued.

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“But in the evening, when we had dinner, he said, ‘you know, I’ve talked to my team, no-no, it’s not possible now.”

Why Russia Didn’t Join NATO (Sp.)

On March 31, 1954, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov shocked his US, French and British counterparts with a diplomatic note expressing Moscow’s readiness to join NATO. If the USSR joined, the note said, “the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would cease to be a closed military grouping of states” and, opening its doors to other European powers, facilitate the creation of “an effective system of collective security in Europe, which would be of utmost importance for strengthening universal peace.” Chewing over the shock Soviet proposal for over a month, Washington eventually responded, sending Moscow a note on May 7, 1954 citing the “unrealistic nature of such a proposal” and stressing that “it contradicts the very principles on which the defense system and security of Western states depend.”

Founded in April 1949, NATO’s official goals centered around “deterring Soviet expansionism” through collective defense for its members, which originally numbered 12 countries. Behind the scenes, the post-war security architecture created by the United States had other goals, including control over European countries’ domestic affairs. As Lord Hastings Ismay, the alliance’s first secretary-general, once famously put it, the purpose of NATO was to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Before sending the March 1954 note, Soviet diplomats made several other attempts to convey to Washington the USSR’s interest in joining NATO as a mechanism for European collective security. As veteran Soviet diplomat Andrei Gromyko put it in 1951, “if this pact was aimed against the restoration of German aggression, the USSR would join NATO.”

In 1952, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin reportedly told French Ambassador Louis Joxe that if NATO was the peaceful, UN Charter-abiding organization President Charles De Gaulle described it as, the USSR might consider membership. The same year, Stalin sent Western powers a series of diplomatic cables proposing the reunification of Germany as a neutral power in the center of Europe separating the Eastern and Western blocs. Austria became such a country in 1955, with the USSR withdrawing troops in exchange for a commitment from Vienna for neutrality (which, incidentally, it continues to hold this day). In the post-Cold War period, both in the early 1990s and early 2000s, the Russia that emerged from the ashes of the USSR would again express its interest in membership in, or at least partnership with, the Western alliance, in the overarching interests of peace and security in Europe.

President Boris Yeltsin and his first Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, who famously quipped that Russia “has not national interests” apart from abstract “universal human values,” held intense negotiations with the Clinton administration through the early to mid-1990s on the prospects of Russian membership in the Western alliance. Clinton successfully pulled the wool over Yeltsin’s eyes, with the Russian leader swallowing as “brilliant” US assurances that Russia would be treated as an “equal partner,” and begrudgingly accepting the first round of eastward expansion by the alliance to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. After becoming president, Vladimir Putin too decided to probe US intentions vis-à-vis Russia at the dawn of the 21st century, recalling in his recent interview with Tucker Carlson that he had asked Clinton point blank what he thought about the idea of Russia in NATO.

“I became president in 2000. I thought: okay, the Yugoslav issue is over, but we should try to restore relations. Let’s reopen the door that Russia tried to go through…At a meeting here in the Kremlin with the outgoing President Bill Clinton, right here in the next room, I asked him, ‘Bill, do you think if Russia asked to join NATO, do you think it would happen?’ Suddenly, he said ‘you know, it’s interesting, I think so’,” Putin recalled. “But in the evening, when we had dinner, he said, ‘you know, I’ve talked to my team, no-no, it’s not possible now.” “If he had said yes, the process of rapprochement would have commenced, and eventually it might have happened if we had seen some sincere wish on the side of our partners. But it didn’t happen. Well, no means no, okay, fine,” Putin said.

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“..Those grounds would explicitly gag the defence from ever mentioning again in court inconvenient facts..”

The Assange Hearing Permission Appeal Judgment (Craig Murray)

The latest judgment by the High Court in the Assange case achieved completely the objectives of the UK and US states. Above all, Julian remains in the hell which is Belmarsh maximum security prison. He is now safely there alone and incommunicado, from the authorities’ point of view, for at least several more months. Importantly, the United States has managed to keep him detained without securing his actual appearance in Washington. It is crucial to grasp that the CIA, who are very much controlling the process, do not actually want him to appear there until after their attempt to secure the re-election of Genocide Joe. No matter what your opinion of Donald Trump, there is no doubt the CIA conspired against him during his entire Presidency, beginning with the fake Russiagate scandal and ending with their cover-up of the Hunter Biden laptop story. They do not want Trump back.

Biden is politically in deep trouble. Biden’s lifelong political support for Israel has been unwavering to the point of fanaticism. In the process he has collected millions of dollars from the Zionist lobby. That always seemed a source of political strength in the United States, not of weakness. The current genocide in Gaza has changed all those calculations. The sheer evil and viciousness of the Israeli state, the open and undisguised enthusiasm for racist massacre, has achieved the seemingly impossible task of turning much American public opinion against Israel. That is particularly true among key elements of the Democratic base. Young people and ethnic minorities have been shocked that the party they have supported is backing and supplying genocide. The mainstream media have lost control of the narrative, when the truth is so widely available on mobile phones, to the point that the MSM have actually been forced to change course and occasionally tell truths about Israel. That also was unthinkable a few months ago.

Precisely the same groups who are outraged by Biden’s support for genocide are going to be alienated by the attack on a journalist and publisher for revealing true facts about war crimes. Assange is not currently a major public issue in the United States, because he is not currently in the United States. Were he to arrive there in chains, the media coverage would be massive and the issue unavoidable in the presidential election campaign. The extradition proceeding has therefore had to be managed in such a way as to keep Assange locked in a living hell the whole time, without actually achieving the extradition until after the presidential election in November. As the years of hearings have rolled by this has become increasingly difficult for the British state to finesse on behalf of their American masters. In this respect, and only in this respect, Dame Victoria Sharp and Lord Justice Johnson have done brilliantly in their judgment.

Senior British judges do not have to be told what to do. They are closely integrated into a small political establishment that is socially interlinked, defined by membership of institutions, and highly subject to groupthink. Dame Victoria Sharp’s brother Richard arranged an £800,000 personal loan for then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and subsequently became chairman of the BBC despite a complete lack of relevant experience. Lord Justice Johnson as a lawyer represented the intelligence services and the Ministry of Defence. They did not have to be told what to do in this case explicitly, although it was very plain that they entered the two-day hearing process knowing nothing except a briefing they had been given that the crux of the case was the revelation of names of US informants in the Wikileaks material.

The potential danger of an appeal, the granting of which would achieve the United States’ objective of putting the actual extradition back beyond the election date, was that it would allow the airing in public of a great catalogue of war crimes and other illegal activity which had been exposed by Wikileaks. Sharp and Johnson have obviated this danger by adjourning the decision with the possibility of granting an appeal, but only on extremely limited grounds. Those grounds would explicitly gag the defence from ever mentioning again in court inconvenient facts, such as United States war crimes including murder, torture and extraordinary rendition, as well as the plans by the United States to kidnap or assassinate Julian Assange. All of those things are precluded by this judgment from ever being raised again in the extradition hearings. The politically damaging aspect of the case in terms of the Manning revelations and CIA behaviour has been cauterised in the UK.

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Yikes.

61 Unexpected PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in Food Packaging (SciAm)

Food packaging from around the world contains at least 68 “forever chemicals” that can seep into what we eat, a new study finds. And 61 of them are not even supposed to be used in such products. This kind of packaging may include coated paper wrappers, plastic containers and aluminum foil. Scientists behind the paper say it’s not clear why the latter chemicals, which are not on lists of those authorized for use in food containers, are in such packaging. “It’s very hard to explain where they come from,” says the study’s senior author Birgit Geueke, senior scientific officer at the nonprofit Food Packaging Forum Foundation in Zurich. That’s especially concerning because her team was only able to find data on potential hazards for 57 percent of the chemicals the researchers found in food packaging.

The study, published on Tuesday in Environmental Science & Technology, focused on a class of chemicals called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). For decades, these substances have been used in a wide range of consumer products, from cookware to pesticides to cosmetics, because of their ability to repel water and grease. PFASs are sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down readily in the environment or in the body. That’s because their characteristic carbon-fluorine bond—part of what makes them so useful in the first place—is one of the strongest in nature. PFASs have been found in human blood and breast milk, drinking water, soil and other startling places around the world. In March 2023 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a drinking water standard for six PFAS compounds.

Exposure to some of the most studied PFASs has been associated with cancer, reproductive problems and lessened responses to vaccines. “There’s an incredible body of scientific evidence linking these chemicals to health harms,” says David Andrews, a chemist and toxicologist at the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization, who was not involved with the new study. The paper adds to recently growing concerns about the prevalence of PFASs—and about an overall dearth of knowledge as to what chemicals are found in many everyday products. “Food packaging may not be the only way we are exposed to PFAS, but food packaging could contribute” to these exposures, Geueke says.

She and her team found a mismatch between what they detected in actual products and a database of chemicals assembled by compiling information on PFAS that regulatory agencies (including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) have authorized for use in food packaging, and PFAS that industrial manufacturers have listed for use in food packaging. About 140 PFASs are known to be used in food packaging, but only seven of the 68 chemicals in the study were on this list. Geueke says it’s unclear how or why the other 61 chemicals turned up. Andrews suggests that it’s possible that unknown impurities emerged during the manufacturing of the authorized chemicals or that the authorized PFASs degrade over time. This class of chemicals includes many long-chain molecules, and they can break into shorter chains that are simply different types of PFASs.

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Skunk

 

 

Babies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1774336548865024294

 

 

Mom dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1774156744651854012

 

 

Lion dachs

 

 

5 days

 

 

Snow angels

 

 

Polar bear walrus

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 232024
 
 March 23, 2024  Posted by at 9:46 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Edvard Munch Spring in Johan Karl Street 1891

 

Trump: “I Almost Have Five Hundred Million Dollars In Cash” (ZH)
Trump’s Third Act Has Begun. It’s a Beauty. (Scott Adams)
Wake-up Call (James Howard Kunstler)
No Ukraine Talks Because US Threatens Zelensky – Seymour Hersh (Sp.)
Let NATO Troops Enter Ukraine. The War Will End Much Faster Then – Orban (VV)
Russia is at War – Kremlin (RT)
Macron Believes Ukraine Could Fall Soon – Politico (RT)
La Macronnerie of a Failed French President: Ukraine (Jay)
France’s Megalomaniac Macron is Gambling With World Peace (SCF)
EU Eyes ‘Groundbreaking’ Change On Ukraine Arms Funding (RT)
Ukraine Makes Fresh Move To Draft More Soldiers (RT)
Washington In Denial Over Putin’s Victory While Gaming Its Own Elections (Cox)
World Sees Gaza as ‘US Genocide’ Not Just Israel’s (Sp.)
CIA Told DOJ to Stay Away from Kevin Morris in Hunter Biden Probe (Turley)
CIA Protecting Biden by Blocking IRS Interviews – Whistleblower (DeMartino)
Global Population Set To Fall For First Time In 700 Years (MN)

 

 


BREAKING: Shareholders have just voted to let Trump’s company, Trump Media & Technology Group, which owns Truth Social, become a public company, which could earn Trump $4 billion. NOTE: However, if Trump wants to use this money to help with his legal issues in a fraud case by Letitia James, he has to get special permission to sell his shares early. NOTE: Trump’s company will start being traded on the stock market under the symbol “DJT” as soon as next week.

 

 

Letitia

 

 

Vivek

 

 

Lawfare
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770861500103557197

 

 

Cannon

 

 

There’s plenty of money for enhanced border security in the $1.2 Trillion funding package. Just not the US border.

 

 

Stephen Miller

 

 

Watters

 

 

Watters Fani

 

 

Immigration

 

 

Will The Supreme Court Recognize Voter Fraud And Ensure It Doesn’t Happen in 2024?

 

 

 

 

“Letitia James is about to hand Trump a huge victory…… when she seizes Trump Tower, the case is now federal bc Trumps Atty’s are ready to go into Federal Court, claiming his 8th Amendment rights have been violated. Thus putting an immediate freeze on her. Many are wondering why a federal judge hasn’t stepped in…. well the reason is…. she hasn’t acted on her threats yet…. so Trump’s Constitutional rights have yet to be violated.”

Trump: “I Almost Have Five Hundred Million Dollars In Cash” (ZH)

Former President Trump on Friday said on Truth Social that “through hard work, talent, and luck, I currently have almost five hundred million dollars in cash.” The announcement comes as a Monday deadline fast approaches for him to come up with roughly $454 million to stay judgement in his civil fraud case while he appeals. According to Trump, he had intended to use a “substantial amount” of his money in his presidential campaign. “THE OFTEN OVERTURNED POLITICAL HACK JUDGE ON THE RIGGED AND CORRUPT A.G. CASE, WHERE I HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG, KNEW THIS, WANTED TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME,” President Trump wrote. “THAT’S WHERE AND WHY HE CAME UP WITH THE SHOCKING NUMBER WHICH, COUPLED WITH HIS CRAZY INTEREST DEMAND, IS APPROXIMATELY $454,000,000,” he continued.

As the Epoch Times notes further: “The judgment total was $363 million, but breaks down with about $355 million of that specifically applying to President Trump, $4 million to be recovered from Eric Trump, $4 million to be recovered from Donald Trump Jr., and $1 million to be recovered from former Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg. With the applied 9 percent interest, court filings say the bond comes out to more than $464 million, with a little more than $10 million of that attributed to judgment on Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Mr. Weisselberg. Judgment was entered on Feb. 23, kicking off a 30-day clock to post the massive sum, set to expire on March 25. President Trump, in the post, decried the ruling as an example of “communism in America.” Meanwhile, even the AP found that in 70 years of similar cases involving civil fraud, Trump’s stood out as unique.

President Trump is billions of dollars richer after shareholders in Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) on Friday approved a merger with Trump’s media startup, Truth Social. The long-delayed merger adds roughly $3.5 billion to Trump’s net worth – however the former president won’t be able to sell any shares for at least six months unless the board waives it (or they can back a loan), raising questions over whether he’ll be able to leverage it to secure a $464 million bond in his New York civil fraud case – which his lawyers say is “impossible” to secure due to a lack of cash on hand. If Trump can’t secure the giant sum by Monday, he risks the seizure of assets – which New York has already begun positioning itself to do. Earlier this week, DWAC sued to force its former CEO, Patrick Orlando, to vote his 14.77% shareholding in favor of the merger, despite an ongoing dispute over compensation, Axios and FT report. Orlando was on the shareholder vote call.

“The professional relationship between Mr Orlando and Digital World became strained and has continued to deteriorate such that there is no assurance that Mr Orlando as a current member of our board or as a controlling affiliate of the sponsor will be co-operative,” DWAC warned in a filing last month. Following the merger, DWAC will effectively cease to exist, and will be replaced by TMTG – which will be listed on the Nasdaq. Its board of directors will include Donald Trump Jr. as well as several former members of the Trump White House, the report continues. Former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) will serve as TMTG’s CEO. Meanwhile, and perhaps in anticipation of Trump selling to satisfy the bond, DWAC shares have plummeted on the news to the tune of 8% in early trading.

Beyond Trump’s massive payout from the deal, three hedge funds also stand to make huge profits – Anson Funds, Mangrove Capital Partners and All Blue Capital, which participated in a $50mm convertible debt offering earlier this year after other funds had walked away. They’re sitting on over $400 million in gains as of Thursday’s closing price. “The return will be amazing,” said one person involved in the financing, per FT. “Trump’s advisers have been keeping him on the sidelines . . . they want to get this vote clear with no issues with the government. Then, on Tuesday when it starts trading, it is game on for Trump.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1770991128948420912

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X thread. “Trump turned Leticia James into his best fundraiser..”

Trump’s Third Act Has Begun. It’s a Beauty. (Scott Adams)

Next week, Trump could make over $4 billion when his media company goes public, removing all doubt about his billionaire status. And you can stop asking if he would have been better off putting his inheritance in a savings account in the 70s. I expect Trump to leave a 15% tip for Leticia James and the Democrats because they made his windfall possible by hunting him and censoring him for years. You can call it a bond, not a tip, if you prefer. When the Supreme Court tosses out the unconstitutional fine, Trump gets most of his “tip” back. The Democrats planned to cripple Trump financially so he couldn’t spend as much on the campaign. Trump turned Leticia James into his best fundraiser. Lots of interesting developments lately on the topic of the 2020 election. The Simulation wants at least one of those fresh allegations to be a Kraken.

Trump’s legal maneuvering is likely to keep him eligible for the election. You can fantasize about a heroic Democrat such as Newsom swooping in and replacing Biden, but it’s looking less likely every day. If it had always been the plan, it would have happened by now. Looks like Biden has to stay on the job to keep the Biden Crime Family out of jail. The predictable Democrat Summer Hoax will add some excitement, but it will be forgotten and debunked by November. Trump’s upcoming victory is looking like it will be, as Trump says, “too big to rig.” And by that I mean Democrats will try to rig it anyway and get caught. That will be fun.

The gears of the machine have become visible. We can all see the FBI is rotten and the DOJ is weaponized. We know the border is open intentionally. We know the cartels are working with our government. We know our elections are DESIGNED to not be auditable and there’s only one reason for it. We can see Biden is not in charge. We know the Ukraine war was always about its energy resources and who gets to own them. We know our rising debt is ruinous. We know our experts are liars. We know our pharma and food industries are poisoning us. We know our government is racist. We know the corporate media is essentially owned by Democrats who are controlled by intelligence entities and they are actively brainwashing the population. We know the 1st and 2nd amendments, and X, are under sustained government attack because they are the public’s last defense against the government. But we are not quitters. And the odds do not apply to us.

Trump Ad

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“But fiends got to fiend, and if you try to deprive them of being fiends then you are guilty of “hate.“

Wake-up Call (James Howard Kunstler)

Can you feel it? The tension rising to the red-line? It runs clear through all of Western Civ. We are ruled by governments of fiends. But now, the sun rides higher in the sky. The sap is rising in the northern forests. The earth heaves. The buds swell and blush. Something is in the air. The animals are waking from their long winter sleep. The natives are restless. The two traditional political divisions, liberal and conservative died with Covid. Now there are simply the sane versus the insane. The sane have had enough of being pushed around by the insane. The insane don’t register much of what reality tries to tell them. They have a body of insane ideas to comfort and protect them from the reality’s rigors. To call that body of ideas an “ideology” is way too polite. That the insane call themselves “progressive,” is a signature of their insanity. Progress toward what better state of things? Toward a supremacy of fiends, sadists, degenerates, and morons seizing riches and power by every dishonest means possible outside the rule of law and common decency?

It’s not even suitable to call them “communists.” They lack the necessary idealism for that. They don’t expect to put their shoulders to the wheel with their fellow man. They just want to grab your stuff and then kill you so they don’t have to hear any complaints. The insane do not believe any of the theoretical bullshit they want to force you to swallow. They don’t care about climate change. It’s just a cudgel they use to beat everyone over the head so they can steal your stuff. They don’t care about “democracy.” It’s just a line of bullshit to cover up their election-stealing. Do you suppose that sane people would keep using electronic vote-tabulating machines that were demonstrably connected to the Internet, and thus hackable, if they cared about election integrity? Of course not. They would arrange p.d.q. to junk them and use paper ballots, and only in person at polling places, with “absentee” exceptions only for people out of the country.

The insane do not care about public health. Everything that is known about the Covid-19 vaccinations tells you that they are unsafe and don’t prevent infection or transmission of a flu-like illness that might not even be what it was officially labeled as. Our public health officials in the FDA, the CDC, and in other corners of the Department of health and Human Services, lie about everything they’re responsible for. This week, the CDC (under Director Mandy Cohen) released a 148-page study on myocarditis reactions to mRNA shots. Every word on every page of the document was redacted. The CDC printed countless copies of the report with 148 utterly blank pages, and then proffered them to the news media. How is that not insane? The insane do not care about the rule of law. The conduct of “Lawfare” is the subversion of the law by dishonest means. It is a species of racketeering. And that is why Lawfare rogues such Marc Elias, Norm Eisen, Andrew Weissmann, Mary McCord, Lisa Monaco, Matthew Graves, and Merrick Garland, should be charged under the federal RICO statutes for conspiring to deprive sane citizens of their rights and property in the many cases related to the 1/6/21 riot at the US Capitol.

It is, so far, an abiding mystery of contemporary history as to how New York Attorney General Letitia James managed to get away with prosecuting a real estate case against Donald Trump that was no more than victimless business-as-usual between a borrower and his lenders. Ms. James ran for that elected office promising to “get” Mr. Trump on something, anything. That is not how the rule of law works. Under the rule of law, first you determine that there is a crime and then look for who did the crime. Letitia James must be insane and/or pretty stupid. The short-term gain of stealing Mr. Trump’s property under a false color-of-law and creating impediments to his election campaign, will, sooner or later, blow back at her as a matter of malicious prosecution and, plausibly, racketeering as well. (With whom did she conspire to bring this case? We shall find out.) She will eventually be disgraced publicly as her teammate Fani Willis has already been disgraced in Fulton County, Georgia.

I’ll tell you something that all sane people now know but won’t talk about for fear of being crushed by the levers of Lawfare: this looks like a concerted effort by people-of-color to railroad people of non-color. If you think that is a good thing for race relations in our country, then you are insane. Here are a bunch of other things that are insane: Re-litigating the first amendment is insane. It means what it says, and states it plainly. The open border is insane. No credible sovereign polity would allow it. It would be opposed with force, if necessary. Turning children into transsexuals on a wholesale basis is insane, and fiendishly so. Everybody knows that it is not good for the children or for our society as a whole. But fiends got to fiend, and if you try to deprive them of being fiends then you are guilty of “hate.”

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‘No negotiations or settlement or we won’t support your government with the $45 billion in non-military funds [that Ukraine is now receiving annually..'”

No Ukraine Talks Because US Threatens Zelensky – Seymour Hersh (Sp.)

Negotiations on resolving the conflict in Ukraine could have started months ago, but US authorities threatened Vladimir Zelensky with withdrawal of non-military funding, US journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh said in an article on Substack. “We were on the verge of a reasonable negotiation several months ago before Putin’s re-election and Zelensky’s military degradation. The US leaders got wind of the possibility and gave Zelensky the ultimatum-‘No negotiations or settlement or we won’t support your government with the $45 billion in non-military funds [that Ukraine is now receiving annually,'” the source told the journalist. According to Hersh’s information, US intelligence community recognises that “Ukraine has little chance of winning…”

Hersh’s interlocutor also added that US President Joe Biden has staked on confronting the “Russian threat to NATO” and will not change his course under any circumstances, while the end is inevitable. “There is no road to victory for Ukraine, and it will end with Putin as an historical icon in Russia…,” the source concluded. In autumn 2022, Zelensky signed a decree according to which his country will not negotiate with Russia as long as it is led by Vladimir Putin. Russia, for its part, has repeatedly noted its readiness to discuss the settlement of the conflict through diplomatic means. As Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasised, the Russia does not see any prerequisites for a peaceful transition of the situation, and sovereignty over the new Russian regions and Crimea is not up for discussion.

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X thread. “And the West will get a lesson for memory that it is bad to fight with Russia..”

Let NATO Troops Enter Ukraine. The War Will End Much Faster Then – Orban (VV)

Viktor Orban: “It’s a strange feeling when you come from Hungary to Brussels. Hungary looks like a completely normal country. We have a calm and rational mindset, and if you come to Brussels and talk to politicians, you will be surprised. There is a military mood, military language, military logic. The leaders talk as if they are waging their own war against Russia. And now they are saying that soldiers should be stationed in Ukraine. It is not clear exactly what they mean, where they should be stationed, with what weapons and for what purposes. But they have already begun to prepare for the fact that in this situation it will be quite natural if Western European countries deploy military posts on the territory of Ukraine, which shocks Hungarians.

Therefore, I felt as if I had entered another galaxy, and we must be careful not to fall into the psychosis of these twenty or so state leaders. [How far are Western leaders willing to go in terms of supporting Ukraine? The most disturbing thing about this whole story is that two or three months ago it was unthinkable, now, two or three months later, it becomes an ordinary event.” That’s what I said – the worse, the better. Ukraine attacked the Belgorod region. Where is Ukraine’s energy sector now? Russia has always needed a good kick in the ass for it to act. So, let NATO troops enter Ukraine. The war will end much faster then. And the West will get a lesson for memory that it is bad to fight with Russia.

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“..Peskov explained that despite the conflict “de facto turning into a war,” legally it remains classified in Russia as a special military operation..”

Russia is at War – Kremlin (RT)

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has turned into full-fledged war after the West became a participant in the conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with national media published on Friday. Moscow will continue to pursue its goal of ensuring that the Ukrainian military cannot pose a threat to Russian citizens or territory, the spokesman told the Argumenti i Fakty newspaper, noting that the country now has four new federal subjects which must be protected and fully liberated from Kiev’s forces. Peskov stressed that Russia cannot allow the existence on its borders of a state that publicly claims it will seize the Crimean Peninsula as well as Russia’s new territories, referring to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.

“We are at war,” Peskov stated, explaining that while the conflict began as a special military operation, as soon as “the collective West became a participant in this on the side of Ukraine, for us it became a war.” In a phone conversation with journalists later in the day, Peskov explained that despite the conflict “de facto turning into a war,” legally it remains classified in Russia as a special military operation and that nothing has changed in that regard. The Russian Defense Ministry recently reported that since the start of the military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, over 13,000 foreign nationals have taken part in the fighting on the side of Kiev’s forces.

Of these fighters, which Moscow describes as mercenaries, some 5,962 have been “eliminated,” according to the ministry. Most of them came from Poland, Georgia, the US, Canada, the UK, Romania, Germany, and France, it reported. The head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, claimed earlier this week that France is preparing its forces for deployment to Ukraine and is allegedly looking to send as many as 2,000 troops to fight for Kiev. French President Emmanuel Macron has hinted in recent weeks at the possible deployment of NATO forces to Ukraine, stating he could not “exclude” this possibility while branding Russia an “adversary.” Moscow has warned that such a step would likely lead to a direct clash between Russian and NATO forces, which, according to President Vladimir Putin, would be “one step shy of a full-scale World War III.”

Katyusha

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“..Marine Le Pen [..] accused the president last week of “hijacking” the Ukraine issue for the sake of domestic electoral politics..”

Macron Believes Ukraine Could Fall Soon – Politico (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron believes Ukraine might be defeated on the battlefield in short order, the French edition of Politico reported on Wednesday. The outlet’s Playbook section spoke with several members of the president’s party who had attended a working dinner at the Elysee Palace the evening before. While most of the discussion centered on the upcoming European Parliament elections, the Ukraine conflict also came up. “Ukraine could fall very quickly,” one of the outlet’s sources quoted Macron as saying. Macron ramped up his rhetoric about Ukraine a few weeks after a number of French nationals fighting on behalf of Kiev were killed in a Russian missile strike. At a meeting of EU leaders in Paris in late February, he refused to rule out the possibility of a NATO intervention in Ukraine.

Though the idea was quickly rejected by almost all members of the US-led bloc and its secretary-general, Macron doubled down, declaring there would be “no limits” to French support for Kiev and calling Russia an “adversary.” Meanwhile, the French Army’s Chief of Staff Pierre Schill announced that the country’s military was “ready,” presumably for a war. Moscow has strongly condemned Macron’s remarks and cautioned NATO against taking further hostile moves. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the deployment of Western soldiers to Ukraine would make direct conflict with Russia “inevitable.” Marine Le Pen, a prominent member of the opposition National Rally party and Macron’s rival in the 2022 election, accused the president last week of “hijacking” the Ukraine issue for the sake of domestic electoral politics. Polls have shown that the French support helping Kiev with weapons and money, but draw the line at getting involved directly with boots on the ground.

Concerns that Kiev might be losing the war appear to be based on several French military assessments leaked earlier this month to the outlet Marianne. One report, following Kiev’s summer offensive, concluded that Ukraine could not win the conflict by military means. Another described the Battle of Avdeevka as a Ukrainian rout and had the French military “in cold sweat,” according to Marianne. A few days later, the daily Le Monde claimed that Macron’s talk of possibly sending troops dated all the way back to June 2023, when the Ukrainian counteroffensive was just starting. General Schill also told the outlet that Macron’s public statements have been “foremost a political and strategic message” to Russia about France’s “will and commitment,” rather than an actual escalation.

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“Western elites have the technology and well-trained soldiers. What they lack is the stamina and political courage to face the baptism of outrage once body bags start arriving back on home soil..”

La Macronnerie of a Failed French President: Ukraine (Jay)

Just what is Emmanuel Macron thinking with his recent media trysts which have gained the attention of the world? Initially, we thought his statements about sending French troops to Ukraine to fight Russian forces was merely chaf to throw up in the air to distract journalists and a gullible French public. It’s true, it has rattled Germany which promptly replied to Macron, reminding him that EU countries are not “at war with Russia” – a curious statement given that just a week earlier, a leaked audio conversation with German air force chiefs revealed that they wanted to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine so as to hit the Crimean bridge. Of course, now that we all know what the intentions of the Germans were, Scholz has been forced to backpedal and downplay the scandal, sticking to its position of neutrality. But if you think that’s funny, wait until you see what Macron has in store for Old Europe.

Could it be really true that he believes French troops could end up in Ukraine? A quick glance at the actual quote from Le Parisienne interview would suggest the opposite and that he’s hedging his bets, or, as some suspect trying to bait the Americans into wanting to get there first. Is this what the British expression “jumping the gun” really means? “Maybe at some point – I don’t want it, I won’t take the initiative – we will have to have operations on the ground, whatever they may be, to counter the Russian forces,” he is quoted as saying. In reality, it seems as though he has been misquoted as there is no story here. Even he is saying on the record that he won’t authorise it. So is he hinting at other western countries taking the lead, perhaps the Poles, Lithuanians and Latvians? Possibly. But in reality, the most likely scenario would be the U.S. biting the bullet and financing a private army made up of various nationalities.

Yet even this initiative would need to be prepared for media and even Russia itself so that the underlying point is clear: this is not a NATO war. Of course, this thinking is fatally flawed as it is based on a premise that Putin wouldn’t dare retaliate against those units of troops who he knows are located in a particular spot, as this could invoke Article V of the NATO treaty itself. Yet any two-bit geopolitical hack who knows Putin, knows this would not stop him as killing western troops – or even better capturing a small number – would mean the end of the West’s intervention. Western elites have the technology and well-trained soldiers. What they lack is the stamina and political courage to face the baptism of outrage once body bags start arriving back on home soil. It may well mean, for Macron, if he were ever to entertain the idea of French troops, that it would or could be African troops from former French colonies enrolled under private contracts as mercenaries.

But as I saw in Somalia in 1993, Western leaders like Clinton had no stomach whatsoever for even a small number of their own being killed or captured. Osama bin Laden watched how Clinton soiled his own pants when just 18 soldiers died in the spectacular U.S. Rangers failure in Mogadishu with an operation which was supposed to take an hour. Black Hawk Down and its implications inspired Bin Laden to bomb both the Dar Es Salam and Nairobi U.S. embassies after seeing how vulnerable the West is fighting terrorism, or merely sticking its nose into other countries problems. All it actually took was Newsweek to run a cover of a U.S. soldier’s body being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu to make Clinton not only pull out of Somalia altogether, but convince the UN itself to leave later in 1995. It also meant that the West would not help hundreds of thousands of victims of the civil war in Rwanda which led to the genocide in 1994. One U.S. soldier. One Newsweek cover.

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“..the French military contingency does not make sense from a military point of view, unless that is, the ulterior objective is to incite escalation..”

France’s Megalomaniac Macron is Gambling With World Peace (SCF)

It is unequivocally clear that if France or any other NATO member deploys combat troops to Ukraine, those troops will be targeted and killed by Russian firepower. In that case, the proxy war in Ukraine becomes an all-out war between the U.S.-led NATO alliance and Russia. That is, World War Three will have started, which in all probability leads inexorably to a nuclear conflagration. Anyone pushing that trajectory is contemptible and criminal. Step up, Monsieur Macron. This narcissistic wannabe Napoleon figure has been pushing the envelope for several weeks now since he hosted a conference on Ukraine in Paris on February 26 when he began publicly toying with the notion of sending NATO troops to Ukraine to combat Russia. This week, Russian foreign intelligence chief Sergei Naryshkin claimed that a contingent of 2,000 French military personnel were preparing to enter the Ukraine conflict. France’s military commanders vehemently dismissed the Russian intelligence claim, decrying it as an “irresponsible provocation”.

Just who is being provocative here? The alleged French deployment is consistent with the unhinged and belligerent rhetoric of French President Emmanuel Macron over the past three weeks during which he has been hinting at sending troops and of having “no red lines” to make sure that Russia does not win the war in Ukraine. Macron – like a puerile character – has also taken to goading other European leaders, notably his German counterpart, about not being “cowards” when it comes to supporting Ukraine. Let’s be clear. NATO soldiers and weapons have been in Ukraine since the CIA-backed coup in Kiev in 2014 that installed a Russian-hating NeoNazi regime. The NATO proxy war has been targeting Russia for over a decade and killed more than 10,000 ethnic Russian civilians during a low-intensity war of aggression in formerly Eastern Ukraine. That aggression was finally countered when Russian forces intervened in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. However, the deployment of NATO combat battalions on the ground takes the conflict to the threshold of all-out war.

And Monsieur Macron appears to be willing to go there (while directing from his plush leather armchair in Elysée Palace and swirling a tumbler of vintage whiskey, bien sûr.) Russian President Vladimir Putin has said on several occasions – and most recently as of last week – that if Russia is threatened existentially, even with conventional weapons, then it reserves the right to use nuclear weapons for its defense. Putin warned that nuclear weapons exist to be used. The Russian doctrine for possible nuclear war is well-defined and long-established. Putin is not saber-rattling as the Western media stupidly make out. He is merely reminding potential enemies of the ultimate reality. Given the appalling stakes involved, it may seem bewildering that France’s Macron keeps talking about the possibility of deploying French and other NATO troops to fight in Ukraine. What is driving the French head of state to make such crass allusions?

First of all, it should be noted that such military contingents are crass from an objective military point of view. The deployment of 2,000 French troops would change nothing on the battlefield. They would be destroyed in two days, as American military analyst Scott Ritter points out. The risk is that the casualties inflicted on France would trigger other NATO members to intervene with greater numbers and firepower. That would lead to a spiraling escalation towards all-out nuclear war. As well as France, the Poles and Baltic states appear to be gung-ho about sending combat units. So, the French military contingency does not make sense from a military point of view, unless that is, the ulterior objective is to incite escalation. In other words, the French battle group is deliberately put forward as a sacrificial lamb to act as a tripwire for full NATO mobilization to war.

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“..by circumventing a clause in the bloc’s founding treaty..”

EU Eyes ‘Groundbreaking’ Change On Ukraine Arms Funding (RT)

EU officials are seeking legal advice on how to unlock more military spending for Ukraine by circumventing a clause in the bloc’s founding treaty, the Financial Times reported on Thursday. The move would involve bypassing a section of the Treaty on European Union which forbids charging expenditure that has “military or defense implications” to the bloc’s joint budget. Such funding can be directly provided by member states, but individual governments can opt out of paying, even if they don’t vote against the spending itself. The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, has proposed a legal task force to evaluate whether the section in question, Article 41(2), can be circumvented so that it doesn’t prevent Brussels from buying weapons for Ukraine to support it in the conflict with Russia, four people familiar with the matter told the British newspaper. Kiev’s military effort against Russia is currently being funded through the European Peace Facility (EPF), which exists outside of the bloc’s joint budget.

The legal theory is that Article 41(2) should apply only to the EU’s own military programs and not foreign states, the FT reported. If the interpretation is applied, “it would be absolutely groundbreaking,” one source said. Talks, however, are at an early stage and may not end in Kiev’s favor, the newspaper reported. Even if changes are made, member states may challenge them in court. While many EU countries support military assistance for Ukraine, Hungary and Slovakia are in opposition. They argue that continued weapons deliveries merely result in more bloodshed, as opposed to a Russian defeat, and stand in the way of possible peace talks. There are also neutral members, such as Austria, which favor non-lethal assistance only. Last year the EU vowed to supply 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine by March 2024, but has failed to deliver on the pledge. Ukrainian officials have complained that assistance from Western donors has been lackluster in both amount and capability.

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“..medical commissions would no longer classify Ukrainian recruits as ‘fit for limited military service’. She argued that “this will make life easier for tens of thousands of people.”

Ukraine Makes Fresh Move To Draft More Soldiers (RT)

Ukrainian recruits deemed ‘fit for limited military service’ could soon be thrown into the thick of the fighting after the nation’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, moved to abolish the term altogether. A bill to that effect was supported by the Rada on Thursday. According to the text, those who have been classified as fit for military service with restrictions would have to undergo a medical examination within the next nine months to determine their new health status, and whether they could be deployed to the front line. Those deemed fit for limited service could only be called up during time of war, and are not supposed to fill frontline positions, being allowed to serve only in support and rear units. The push to change conscription legislation comes amid calls from numerous officials in Kiev that every Ukrainian citizen should serve his country during the conflict with Russia. Commenting on the bill on national TV, Deputy Defense Minister Natalya Kalmykova said that medical commissions would no longer classify Ukrainian recruits as ‘fit for limited military service’. She argued that “this will make life easier for tens of thousands of people.”

“Both the service members and their relatives asked the Defense Ministry and other authorities to resolve this issue. We are very glad that the Verkhovna Rada has supported these changes,” she added. Meanwhile, since late December, Ukrainian lawmakers have been mulling a controversial bill that would lower the minimum conscription age from 27 to 25 to compensate for battlefield losses, with reported plans to call up around 500,000 troops. In early February, the legislation was passed in its first reading after numerous amendments. Later in the month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated Ukraine’s losses at more than 444,000 troops since the start of the conflict in February 2022. On Wednesday, the minister claimed that Kiev’s casualties had reached 71,000 troops this year alone, a figure he said was three times the losses during the same period last year. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in February that Kiev had sustained only 31,000 soldiers killed since the start of the conflict. He did not disclose how many were injured or missing in action.

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“Unlike most Western leaders, Putin is on the side of his own citizens..”

Washington In Denial Over Putin’s Victory While Gaming Its Own Elections (Cox)

America’s legacy media and political ruling class have thrown a predictably massive hissy fit over last weekend’s Russian election, insisting that President Vladimir Putin’s landslide victory was “preordained” and “stage-managed.” Every protest and anti-Putin statement before, during, and after the election was amplified. Every allegation of misconduct was reported with zero scrutiny or skepticism. Washington and its allies decried the results, arguing that the vote wasn’t free or fair. UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron went so far as to call it “illegal.” The pearl-clutching over Russia’s vote was the most intense I’ve ever seen over a foreign election. It was so inordinate, in fact, that it reminded me of the nonstop media coverage last month after Russian political activist Alexey Navalny died in a Siberian penal colony.

The same media that showed no concern over the death of US journalist Gonzalo Lira in a Ukrainian jail – after he had been tortured, at American taxpayer expense, for daring to criticize the Kiev regime – huffed and puffed for weeks about the death of a Russian citizen in a Russian prison. Lost in all the hysteria over Putin’s victory is the fact that most of the Russian people like their president. The incumbent won over 87% of the votes, and as even CNN begrudgingly acknowledged before the election, a poll last month showed that Putin had an 86% approval rating. That compares with a 9% approval rating for Navalny, the great Western hope for destabilizing Russia, in a January 2023 poll. And by the way, it also compares with US President Joe Biden’s approval rating of around 38%. As US policy analyst Jeffrey Sachs explained in an interview this week with Russia-hating podcaster Piers Morgan, Putin’s popularity and reelection reflect the will of the Russian people. “It’s part of Russian culture,” said Sachs, who advised the Moscow and Kiev governments after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

“He’s a strong leader. The Russian people expect a strong leader, and we have to deal with a strong leader in Russia.” Therein lies the problem. Team America is unwilling to accept strong leadership of Russia with broad public support. Having failed to cripple Russia or its leadership through the proxy war in Ukraine, the US and its allies are in no mood to accept the political reality in Moscow. The political pouting was so bad in Berlin that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government refused to refer to Putin as Russia’s president. This is the same government that is mulling plans to ban one of Germany’s most popular opposition parties. However, for all the Western criticism of Putin and his policies, it’s not easy to argue that he doesn’t try to represent the interests of the Russian people. Unlike most Western leaders, Putin is on the side of his own citizens. He hit the nail on the head when he said Western attacks were directed not at him, but at “the forces that stand behind me, which seek to strengthen Russia – to improve its sovereignty, defense, and economic independence.”

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“..he does not think China will ever invest in Israel again. “They see on their own social media networks what you and I are seeing..”

World Sees Gaza as ‘US Genocide’ Not Just Israel’s (Sp.)

On Tuesday, four critical care doctors who recently returned from Gaza spoke to the UN. “I saw the most appalling atrocities, and I saw things I never would have expected to have seen in any healthcare setting,” Dr. Nick Maynard said, adding that he saw “mass indiscriminate bombing” and targeting of healthcare workers. Americans do not understand how badly the United States’ reputation has been damaged across the world, which sees Gaza as “a US genocide” and “not just an Israeli genocide,” Mohammad Marandi, a professor of English literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Thursday. “It’s revealing the reality of [the US] empire in a way that not even [author of ‘A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn] could do because it’s being done in front of our eyes, it’s being done in front of a global audience. We’ve never seen such a thing before,” Marandi said, adding that he suspects that is why the US is attempting to ban TikTok.

“The United States has lost credibility across the world. I don’t think many Americans understand how bad this has become for the United States. People across the world see this as a US genocide, it’s not just an Israeli genocide.” Co-host Wilmer Leon asked about a recent freeze on Canadian arms shipments to Israel, which Marandi said showed that “public opinion is shifting” but that ultimately “stopping Canadian exports of weapons is nothing.” Marandi said Canada needs to take a much tougher approach. “They sanctioned Syria… they’ve imposed sanctions on Cuba, on Venezuela, on Iran, on Yemen. Why don’t they impose sanctions on Israel? They’re carrying out a holocaust. Why don’t they hit the economy?” Marandi asked, noting that Israel will, unlike Russia, be allowed to participate in the Olympics. “No one takes this seriously. And, of course, the bulk of the weapons come from the United States anyway.”

“In any case, there is no reason to believe that the Canadian government cares about Palestinians, that they oppose the genocide because they’ve done absolutely nothing to stop it,” Marandi added. Ultimately, Marandi believes that Israel has laid the path for its destruction through its actions in Gaza. “I believe that the Israelis have made a fatal mistake and that what they’ve done in Gaza will be the beginning of the end of the Zionist project,” he asserted. “The real catastrophe for the Israeli regime is the fact that it’s been carrying out the genocide for almost six months in front of the world and it has demolished the facade that the regime had created for itself… about it being a democracy… All that is gone now and across the board the regime is despised and the image of the United States has been destroyed.” Marandi noted that he has been to China twice and public opinion there has shifted as well. He noted that he does not think China will ever invest in Israel again. “They see on their own social media networks what you and I are seeing,” he noted.

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“He’s Hunter’s confidant, art patron, business partner, and his lawyer. Now there is a suggestion that we might have to add CIA asset or protected person..”

CIA Told DOJ to Stay Away from Kevin Morris in Hunter Biden Probe (Turley)

The New York Post has created a stir in Washington with its report that a whistleblower claims that the CIA reportedly blocked federal investigators from interviewing Kevin Morris, the entertainment lawyer who has subsidized the expenses and bought the art of Hunter Biden. (For full disclosure, Morris previously threatened me with a defamation lawsuit over my writing about his representation of Hunter. Fortunately, I have not received any summons from either the courts or the CIA). We will have to wait for more details on the allegations, but the response of the CIA struck me as rather curious. As discussed earlier, the Hollywood lawyer, producer and Democratic donor has emerged as a major figure in the corruption scandal surrounding Hunter Biden. For years, some of us have complained that we are not sure what Morris was at any given moment.

What became clear in the deposition is that Morris does not appear certain himself. He’s Hunter’s confidant, art patron, business partner, and his lawyer. Now there is a suggestion that we might have to add CIA asset or protected person. The unnamed whistleblower told the House Oversight and Judiciary that the “intelligence agency stopped IRS and Justice Department investigators from interviewing Morris in August 2021.” That has led Oversight chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Judiciary chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) to demand answers from the CIA on whether two DOJ officials were summoned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. to discourage their interviewing Morris.

Given the allegations of special treatment by the Justice Department (including blocking efforts to interview Hunter or search Biden properties), the allegation is obviously quite serious. One would expect that the CIA would simply say that no such meeting related to the Hunter Biden investigation occurred. Instead, the agency responded that it “does not obstruct investigations.” The spokesman added “CIA does not comment on specific investigations. We can say that CIA cooperates with law enforcement partners and does not obstruct investigations. CIA also fully and routinely cooperates with our oversight committees and will continue to do so.”

Hunter met Morris when he attended a political fundraiser as a major donor. Soon thereafter, he warned Biden associates that Hunter’s unpaid taxes raised political problems during Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential run. He later proceeded to pay off Hunter’s taxes and to subsidize his lavish lifestyle. He also took an apparent lead in planning public campaigns against the critics of the Bidens, reportedly pushing a scorched-earth approach to attack potential witnesses and accusers. Then Morris seemed to take on the role of Hunter’s bank and art patron. He reportedly gave millions to Hunter while insisting that they are loans, not gifts. Most recently, it was revealed that, despite accounts of buyers flocking to buy Hunter’s overpriced art, it was Morris all along who bought most of the pieces. How the CIA would fit into any of this is anyone’s guess.

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“..why would you have 12 people armed with shotguns and machine guns, raid a doctor’s home in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and four years later never indict him?”

CIA Protecting Biden by Blocking IRS Interviews – Whistleblower (DeMartino)

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jordan and Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman Comer revealed that a whistleblower told them the CIA intervened to prevent the IRS from interviewing Kevin Morris, an associate of Hunter Biden who loaned him millions of dollars, as part of the IRS investigation into the first son’s alleged tax crimes. The CIA said it would not comment on specific cases but added that while it cooperates with other law agencies, it does not interfere with investigations and claims to be fully cooperative with its oversight committees. Jordan and Comer have sent a letter to the CIA requesting more information, but have not yet received a response. They set a deadline for April 4, 2024. If the whistleblower’s testimony is true, it would represent an unprecedented move by the CIA that is tasked with countering foreign threats.

Brad Birkenfeld, a whistleblower who exposed tax fraud and money laundering schemes in the Swiss banking system, told Sputnik’s Political Misfits that the problem is that “so many people are trying to help the Bidens get out of the illegal conduct that they’re doing,” noting that he has himself attempted to provide investigators with information on the Hunter Biden case, but was met hostile response. “I was introduced to Dr. Keith Ablow, [who] was Hunter Biden’s psychiatrist,” Birkenfeld began. “He wanted me to help him with his whistleblowing case.” Birkenfeld says that Ablow told him things about Hunter Biden but that Ablow didn’t show for meetings that Birkenfeld set up for him in Washington. “Then I went to Senator [Charles] Grassley’s (R-IA) office and Senator [Ron] Johnson’s (R-WI) office, and I felt obligated as an American citizen to tell them about the information that [Ablow] had relayed to us,” including Hunter Biden’s involvement with Monkey Island, a Liquified Natural Gas company in Louisiana.

“Two days later, lo and behold, the Drug Enforcement Agency in Boston raided Dr. Keith Ablow’s home,” Birkenfeld continued. “[The DEA] took everything. Now, why would you have 12 people armed with shotguns and machine guns, raid a doctor’s home in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and four years later never indict him?” “Whatever the CIA does,” Birkenfeld added while discussing the CIA’s past, including their support of dictators Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein and Ferdinand Marcos, as well as their alleged efforts to undermine Donald Trump while he served as President. “Whatever the CIA does, this is like Cartoon Network over there in Langley. Yes, they do a job and some people work well. But there’s a lot of idiots over there that should be fired and prosecuted. And that’s the facts.”

Birkenfeld added earlier that Joe Biden -while serving as Vice President- was briefed in defense meetings “about his son interfering in US policies.” That, as of yet, has not been alleged by the committees investigating Hunter Biden but Birkenfeld insisted that it is “not conjecture.” “A lot of people don’t know this yet, but this is exactly what’s going to be coming out,” he asserted. While Democrats have consistently declared that the committees have yet to find any concrete evidence that President Biden committed any crimes, Birkenfeld argues that is because the power centers in Washington continue to obfuscate the case by blocking investigative efforts. “Give us the bank records, give us the credit cards offshore, and we can piece it together. But, once again, the Biden White House is obstructing, the DOJ is obstructing, the FBI is obstructing, the CIA [is] obstructing. So nobody can get the facts.”

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“..the potential causes of fertility decline, such as plastics and chemical shrinking penises and sperm counts, are relatively ignored..”

“In countries like South Korea and Japan, there are twice as many people dying as there are being born..”

Global Population Set To Fall For First Time In 700 Years (MN)

A major study published in scientific journal The Lancet has found that the global population will start to fall within decades due to vastly reduced fertility rates and may never recover. The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that by the year 2050, 155 of 204 countries are on course to have birth rates lower than required to sustain the population level. It notes that as of 2021, the “total fertility rate” worldwide was 2.23, hovering only just above the 2.1 children per woman needed to maintain population growth. That figure has fallen from 4.84 in 1950, with researchers predicting it will decrease to 1.83 in 2050 and go as low as 1.59 by 2100. The study notes that by that time only 26 countries will have birth rates that outpace the number of people dying, with “most of the world transitioning into natural population decline”. A fall in population would mark the first time in seven centuries such an occurrence has taken place. The last time it happened was after the Black Death bubonic plague pandemic killed as many as 50 million people in the mid-1300s, reducing the global population from 400 million to 350 million.


Dramatic declines in global fertility rates set to transform global population patterns by 2100

Commenting on the study, it’s co-author Dr Natalia Bhattacharjee said declining fertility rates “will completely reconfigure the global economy and the international balance of power and will necessitate reorganising societies”. Bhattacharjee, lead research scientist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, also noted that a major consequence will be increased immigration from countries where there is still a “baby boom,” such as sub-Saharan Africa, in order to make up workforce shortages in nations with aging populations. Professor Stein Emil Vollset, senior author from IHME, also noted that the world is “facing staggering social change through the 21st century” due to population decline. The findings are exactly what the likes of Elon Musk have been warning of for years, describing population decline as a ‘civilisational threat’ and urging that humanity is literally going to disappear if something is not done to reverse the trend.

While Eco loons rage about ‘moral issues’ with having children, the potential causes of fertility decline, such as plastics and chemical shrinking penises and sperm counts, are relatively ignored. The stark reality is that birth rates globally are collapsing and almost every country is on course to have shrinking populations by the end of the century. In countries like South Korea and Japan, there are twice as many people dying as there are being born. You don’t have to be a mathematic genius to do the calculations on what’s going to happen very soon. These countries are already considering embracing mass migration, with South Korea’s Justice Minister recently declaring the country faces a “demographic catastrophe” and potential extinction otherwise. Despite this horrifying reality, it is now commonplace in modern culture for young people to genuinely believe they need to abandon their human instincts to reproduce, all for the greater good.

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McCullough: Spike proteins from Saliva
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770987637257413092

 

 

FDA loses its war on ivermectin and agrees to remove all social media posts and consumer directives regarding ivermectin and COVID, including its most popular tweet in FDA history.

 

 

Shark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1770998255851036861

 

 

Fish

 

 

Elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771065184980742232
https://twitter.com/i/status/1771160969823027645

 

 

How?

 

 


Find “A”

 

 

Queen of the night

 

 

 

 

Deep-Sea Ghost Shark

 

 

Lion up close

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 272024
 
 January 27, 2024  Posted by at 9:53 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Amedeo Modigliani Jeanne Hebuterne 1919

 

Gov. Abbott Tells Tucker He’s Not Backing Down (ZH)
US Border Patrol Has ‘No Plans’ To Remove Razor Wire Installed By Texas (RT)
Texas Is A Distraction: US Elites Will Keep The Border Wide Open (Cox)
The Death of Nationality (Paul Craig Roberts)
Trump Rages At $83M Damages In -Second- Carroll Defamation Case (ZH)
Trump Derailing Ukraine Aid Package – WaPo (RT)
Hunter and The Hunted (RT)
Kremlin Denies Claims Russia Ready to Agree to Ukraine Non-Neutral Status (Sp.)
How Yemen’s ‘Asabiyya’ Is Reshaping Geopolitics (Pepe Escobar)
Russian Foreign Ministry Ties Red Sea Blockade To Gaza Blockade (Helmer)
It May be Genocide, But it Won’t Be Stopped (Chris Hedges)
EU Commission Chief Hopes For ‘Consensus’ With Protesting Farmers (RT)
UK Needs Bigger Military – US Navy Chief (RT)
Michelle, Ma Belle (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flashback

 

 

Obama 2005

 

 

Got to keep the money rolling…

 

 

Nap Murray

 

 

Watters Lake

 

 

 

 

Abbott may be starting something real. There’s a large truck convoy on its way to Texas.

Gov. Abbott Tells Tucker He’s Not Backing Down (ZH)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott spoke with Tucker Carlson on Friday, telling him that he’s going to “do as much as possible to put up more border barriers and deny illegal entry,” and that “our head is down we are working regardless of what the Biden Administration is doing.” Abbott told Carlson that he’s “prepared” in the event that Biden tries to take over the Texas National Guard. “That would be a boneheaded move on his part, a total disaster,” he said. “We are prepared, in the event that that unlikely event does occur.” “We do have other armed state employees on the border as we speak right this minute, and that’s the Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as other law enforcement officers, as well as national Guard from other states. And you can be assured there will be more national Guard from other states and more law enforcement officers within the state of Texas and other states.”

Ten retired FBI officials and experts in counterintelligence sent a letter to Congressional leaders warning that the Biden administration’s policies have facilitated a “soft invasion” of military-age men into the United States from terror-linked areas of the world. The letter, written on Jan. 17, before Texas Gov. Greg Abbott invoked the invasion clause of the US Constitution, suggests that a terrorist attack is likely imminent. “The threat we call out today is new and unfamiliar. In its modern history the U.S. has never suffered an invasion of the homeland, and, yet, one is unfolding now,” the letter reads. “Military age men from across the globe, many from countries or regions not friendly to the United States, are landing in waves on our soil by the thousands – not by splashing ashore from a ship or parachuting from a plane bur rather by foot across a border that has been accurately advertised around the world as largely unprotected with ready access granted.”

“It would be difficult to overstate the danger represented by the presence inside our borders of what is comparatively a multi division army of young single adult males from hostile nations and regions whose background, intent, or allegiance is completely unknown. They include individuals encountered by border officials and then possibly released into the country, along with the shockingly high estimate of ‘gotaways,’ meaning those who have entered and evaded apprehension,” the letter continues. Of the more than 10 million illegal border crossers who have entered the US since Biden took office, more than 1.7 million are “gotaways” – those who have illegally entered and evaded capture since Biden has been in office. The majority of these are reportedly military age men.

“In light of such a daunting, unprecedented penetration by uninvited foreign actors, it is reasonable to assert that the country possesses dramatically diminished national security at this time. The nation’s military and laws and other natural protective barriers that have provided traditional security in the past have been thoroughly circumvented over the past three years,” the former FBI officials wrote. The letter calls on Congress to secure the border “against these young men and those already here illegally must be identified and removed without delay.” Earlier this week, Abbott invoked Texas’ right to self-defense, deeming the migrant crisis an ‘invasion.’ In response, a coalition of 25 Republican governors have signed a letter in support of the Texas resistance.

Open borders

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Doesn’t make Biden look strong.

US Border Patrol Has ‘No Plans’ To Remove Razor Wire Installed By Texas (RT)

Federal agents are not planning to dismantle the razor wire installed by Texas on a portion of the US-Mexico border, Fox News has reported, citing a senior Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official. The news comes as the deadline set by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for Texas to “remove any and all obstructions” to access into Shelby Park in Eagle Pass expires on Friday. “Bottom line: Border Patrol has no plans to remove infrastructure (c-wire) placed by Texas along the border,” the official said. “Our posture remains the same. If we need to access an area for emergency response, we will do so. When that happens, we will coordinate with Texas DPS [Department of Public Safety] & TMD [Texas Military Department].”

The tensions between the White House and Texas over immigration intensified on Monday when the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can take down the concertina wire erected by Texas Governor Gregg Abbott to stop illegal border crossings. Abbott is accusing President Joe Biden of refusing to enforce immigration law and has described the surge of migrants attempting to cross the border as an “invasion.” “Texas will continue to exercise its constitutional right to protect and defend our southern border,” Abbott wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday. “In President Biden’s absence, we will hold the line to keep Texans – and Americans – safe.”

In an open letter published on Thursday, 25 Republican governors backed Abbott saying that the federal government had “attacked and sued Texas for stepping up to protect American citizens from historic levels of illegal immigrants, deadly drugs like fentanyl, and terrorists entering our country.” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre described Abbott’s actions as a “political stunt,” and accused him of creating “a dangerous situation” at the border. The governor is preventing Border Patrol from doing what “they need to save lives,” she told reporters this week.

Truckers border
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751055241762468185

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“..nearly two-thirds of US voters – including 55% of Democrats – agree that the country is under invasion.”

Texas Is A Distraction: US Elites Will Keep The Border Wide Open (Cox)

Many of the beleaguered Americans who have watched their country be overrun for decades by never-ending streams of illegal aliens were cheered up by the latest salvo in Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s border-security feud with US President Joe Biden. It’s easy to see why. Watching the Biden administration wave in record flows of lawless migrants – with total disregard for the harms caused to American citizens – is painful, so seeing Abbott defy the federal government is soothing. Two days after the US Supreme Court upheld the federal government’s right to dismantle border barriers installed by Texas National Guard soldiers, the governor declared on Wednesday that the state’s right to self-defense “supersedes” all federal laws, so he will continue fighting the “invasion.”

The Republican governor insisted that because the Biden administration shirked its constitutional duty to defend US states against foreign invaders, Texas is filling the void to protect its own citizens. Therefore, the state troops will keep working to block the immigrant influx, regardless of what the Supreme Court says. Republican politicians – such as US Representatives Clay Higgins and Chip Roy, Senator Ted Cruz, and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders – cheered on Abbott’s move. Former President Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate to face Biden in this year’s presidential election, said Texas “must be given full support to repel the invasion.” He encouraged other governors to deploy their National Guard troops to help secure the border.

Sadly, the importation of millions of illegal aliens will continue to be forced on Americans, regardless of political stunts and regardless of whether the red team or the blue team is in charge. The trend has certainly gotten far worse under Biden, but Republicans have campaigned on the immigration issue for decades without taking the obvious steps needed to secure the border. Case in point: Republicans controlled both houses of Congress when Trump took office in 2017, but the border wall that he promised was never built. There were no mass deportations of illegal aliens. Nor were there mass arrests of the traitorous employers who enable the influx by hiring people who can’t legally work in the US. Taxpayers were forced to continue footing the bill, as always.

That’s the ruling-class expectation for law-abiding citizens: Work hard and shut up while paying for us to undercut your wages and make your communities more crowded and less safe. Those who whimper too loudly are branded with the scarlet R-word (racist).That same ruling class will make sure that Abbott’s border maneuverings have no significant effect. The Biden administration has fought much harder to block the state’s security measures than to police the border. Despite claiming that it doesn’t have enough border agents to secure the border, the administration had plenty of manpower to rip out the concertina wire that Texas troops were using to seal off high-traffic crossing points. When Texas put floating barriers in the Rio Grande River, the administration sued the state, claiming that Abbott was endangering migrants.

The Texas National Guard has seized control of a park at a key crossing point, but Biden can simply federalize those troops to get his way, as some Democrat politicians have already suggested. He wants to ensure that Border Patrol agents can do their important work of removing the state barriers to avoid inconveniencing the immigrants who flout US law. Biden has greased the invasion skids like no president before him. Nearly 2.48 million illegal aliens were encountered by Border Patrol agents in the government’s latest fiscal year, which ended on September 30, and there was an all-time high of more than 300,000 last month alone.

Those who are ‘encountered’ aren’t turned back. The administration has released millions of illegal immigrants and bogus ‘asylum seekers’ into the country, ostensibly to await court hearings. Those hearings won’t happen for years, or even decades, and many immigrants will simply skip them when their court date finally arrives. Millions more have come through the border as ‘gotaways’, without being ‘processed’ by the Border Patrol.

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“..citizenship cannot exist in a country without borders. Such a country belongs to whoever walks in.”

The Death of Nationality (Paul Craig Roberts)

Ethnicity is the basis of countries. Germany consisted of Germanic people, the German language, and German culture. The same for France. The same for England. The same for the Dutch. The same for Spain. The same for Italy. The US was the exception. The original English population became multi-European. But a process was in place to assimilate them, and they became American. This tried and true process was abandoned in 1965 when the gates were opened to large scale non-European immigration. Shortly thereafter, the flood of illegal immigration joined the infusions of alien populations into the US. With the ethnic basis of America in decline, multiculturalism became the new value and took the place of assimilation.

Today the America of the past and the former ethnic-based European countries would be called apartheid states. Israel is allowed to have one, but no one else. The death of Western nationalities is everywhere to be seen. A new sign is the death of national armies. The Biden regime, having driven white heterosexual males from military service by discriminating against them, now speaks of inducting immigrant-invaders in exchange for citizenship. So is Germany. France, Denmark, and Slovakia already permit foreigners who are not citizens to serve in their armies. In effect, this is reliance on mercenaries and raises questions of security, motivation, and loyalty. It also raises the question of identity. What meaning does a flag have in a Tower of Babel?

A nation is more than a geographical location. `A nation exists where there is an ethnic or racial basis for unity despite class differences. This idea is so far gone in California that the state has passed a law that permits non-citizen immigrant-invaders to serve as police officers, leaving us with the anomaly of non-citizens arresting citizens. As it is the practice of the Biden regime to issue work permits to illegals, immigrant-invaders are qualified to be police officers in California. Compare this with the Biden Justice (sic) Department’s challenge to the Texas law that permits Texas police officers who are citizens to arrest and deport illegal aliens. What the comparison reveals is that citizenship no longer has any meaning. Indeed, citizenship cannot exist in a country without borders. Such a country belongs to whoever walks in. What does it mean to have a flag and a national anthem when there is no nation? What is the meaning of “national defense” when anyone can walk in?

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“Ms. Habba, you are on the verge of spending some time in the lockout,” replied the judge, cutting her off. “Now sit down.” “Fuck it,” Habba muttered upon sitting down..”

Trump Rages At $83M Damages In -Second- Carroll Defamation Case (ZH)

Trump-@ejeancarroll verdict says Carroll proved more than nominal defamation by Trump. So Trump has to pay:
$7.3 million for compensatory damages.
$11 million for reputation repair.
$65 million in punitive damages.
Total: $83.3 million.

Carroll accused Trump of having sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s at a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan. While the alleged attack happened decades ago, Carroll sued under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, which allows victims to sue for civil damages beyond the statute of limitations. “I am filing this on behalf of every woman who has ever been harassed, assaulted, silenced, or spoken up only to be shamed, fired, ridiculed and belittled,” Carrol said last year. Notably, the judge in the case (Kaplan), forbade Trump or his attorneys from arguing that he didn’t sexually assault Carroll. The judge reminded the jury to accept the earlier trial’s verdict. When he noted the trial established Trump “inserted his finger into her vagina,” the former president reportedly jolted from his seat and wore an expression of disgust.

Trump said on the witness stand that he denied Carroll’s claims because he “wanted to defend myself,” which the judge told the jury to ignore. In closing arguments for Carroll Friday morning, her attorney argued that Trump acted as if he was above the law by lying, saying that the former president “ignored the other jury verdict as if it never happened,” and even repeated the claims at a press conference during the second trial. “Donald Trump engaged in the very same defamation after the trial,” attorney Roberta Kaplan (no relation) said. Trump then stood up, buttoned his suit jacket, and stormed out of the courtroom. After Trump stormed out, Judge Kaplan briefly interrupted the closing argument and said: “The record will reflect that Mr. Trump just rose and walked out of the courtroom.”

Prior to Friday’s closing arguments, Trump attorney Alina Habba became frustrated after the judge forbade her from including examples of tweets not entered into evidence during the trial. “No. No. Your honor, I have been—” Habba began to say. “Ms. Habba, you are on the verge of spending some time in the lockout,” replied the judge, cutting her off. “Now sit down.” “Fuck it,” Habba muttered upon sitting down. The jury reached its decision after slightly less than three hours of deliberations. “My advice to you is that you never disclose that you were on this jury,” the judge said, per Politico. Carroll’s attorney also Friday asked the jury to order Trump to pay at least $24 million in damages, according to multiple outlets; so $83 million is a huge victory for virtue. Add that to the $5 million Carroll was awarded in her 2023 case against Trump. Trump raged against the result on his social media site TruthSocial, calling it “absolutely ridiculous.” “I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party,” he said.

Habba
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751015739568570666

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“McConnell is said to have described the ex-president as the Republican “nominee” in the 2024 presidential election, explaining that Trump wanted to run on the issue of the border crisis..”

Trump Derailing Ukraine Aid Package – WaPo (RT)

Former US President and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is undermining Republican efforts to strike a border deal with Democrats that will pave the way for more funding from Washington to Ukraine, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. The administration of US President Joe Biden has for weeks been asking Congress to approve a supplemental budget request which includes another $60 billion for Kiev. The Republicans have been blocking the package, demanding the White House to do more to address security on the US-Mexico border. The GOP and Democrats have been trying to resolve the impasse, with the potential border deal reportedly revolving around measures to make it harder for migrants to seek asylum and a mechanism to essentially close the frontier when the number of arrivals is extremely high.

However, according to WaPo sources, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday that Trump’s opposition to the deal complicates its future. McConnell is said to have described the ex-president as the Republican “nominee” in the 2024 presidential election, explaining that Trump wanted to run on the issue of the border crisis. Trump has publicly been critical of Washington’s efforts to fund Ukraine and has slammed the border deal, warning fellow party members that it “would be another gift to the radical left Democrats.” The agreement, he noted, “will be meaningless in terms of border security,” adding that Americans could change the situation only by voting for him.

Commenting on new concerns, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy suggested that Republicans will “make a decision in the next 24 hours as to whether they actually want to get something done or whether they want to leave the border a mess for political reasons.” He went on to warn if the GOP rejects the deal, Moscow will prevail in the Ukraine conflict, putting Europe at risk. Delays in Western aid to Ukraine have stoked fears among its backers that Kiev will now have a much harder time fighting Russia. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has warned that Kiev’s military “will move backward” without Western support while the country’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov has described ammo shortages as “a very real and pressing problem.” Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, warning that they would only prolong the conflict without changing its outcome. It has also argued that the West’s support for the Kiev regime makes it a direct participant in the hostilities.

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“..it seems Derkach is right to say that anyone who talks about Biden’s corruption in Ukraine is in danger of being physically removed..”

Hunter and The Hunted (RT)

”On January 19, 2022, US Secretary of State Mr Blinken arrived in Ukraine to meet with Zelensky. Quite a lot of people attended this meeting – at least 14 people. At the meeting, Mr Blinken told Zelensky the following: ‘You urgently need to resolve the issue with Derkach’. Zelensky began talking about some people from the opposition. But Blinken said, ‘If you don’t resolve this issue with Derkach, then we will resolve the Derkach issue with our partners.’ Those who were at the meeting were taken aback, because the position of the US secretary of state was quite harsh. Just think of it, the task for the president of Ukraine is to resolve the issue with Derkach,” the former deputy said. It is noteworthy that in 2021, the Ukrainian police discovered plans to assassinate Derkach and the head of the group of prosecutors in the Burisma energy company case, Konstantin Kulik, but did not initiate a criminal case.

The investigation tracked down the criminal gang from Eastern Europe hired to carry out the hit, as well as their base in Transcarpathia. The assassin himself was supposed to be an Albanian, but the information was leaked, and the gang escaped. There was also an attempt to assassinate former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. According to former US Associate Attorney General and ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Shokin (whose dismissal Joe Biden has openly bragged about) was poisoned with mercury while on a trip to Greece. Nikolay Korpan – a doctor at the Austrian Rudolfinerhaus private clinic who treated presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko in 2004 – reportedly confirmed this to Giuliani. According to Korpan’s findings, while the permissible amount of mercury in the blood is no more than two units, Shokin was found to have 9.2 units and was starting to experience liver failure. It was clearly a murder attempt.

The number of witnesses in the Burisma case – a company though which Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden earned profits via alleged corruption schemes – is also steadily decreasing. Shortly before she was due to testify as a witness in the case, the wife of Nikolai Lisin – a former partner of Nikolai Zlochevsky – was found dead in her apartment. She had been responsible for accounting at Burisma and had been aware of transactions carried out in the interests of the Bidens. Lisin himself died in a car accident back in 2011. In light of this, it seems Derkach is right to say that anyone who talks about Biden’s corruption in Ukraine is in danger of being physically removed. The same can be said about his opinion that there is “a single organized crime group: Biden, Blinken, [Victoria] Nuland, the ‘deep state’ represented by the Department of State.

And then there is their ‘extension’ – either in the form of Poroshenko, or of Zelensky and Yermak.” As Derkach says, Zelensky and Yermak “attacked” the “organized crime group” headed by former President Poroshenko and took their place. “They have brought their own particular innovations into these matters. They have become even more cynical and cruel.” What are the Bidens and their partners in the Democratic Party trying to hide by waging war against whistleblowers in Ukraine? The fact that Hunter Biden abused his father’s official position, receiving a profit of several million dollars through corrupt schemes and violating US legislation on foreign agents, isn’t the only problem. There’s much more to it than that. In order to understand the scale of the potential profits for the Biden family, we need to go back to 2012.

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Of course that’s false.

Kremlin Denies Claims Russia Ready to Agree to Ukraine Non-Neutral Status (Sp.)

Media reports that Russia is allegedly ready to agree to Kiev’s non-neutral status and change its position on Ukraine joining NATO are not true, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. “It is completely not true,” Peskov told reporters. On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Russia was allegedly signaling to the United States via indirect channels that it was open to talks on the future settlement of the Ukraine conflict, including possible security arrangements for Kiev, and was testing the waters to see if Washington was interested in engaging. Russian President Vladimir Putin was reportedly willing to back down from his condition of neutral status for Ukraine and even eventually abandon opposition to its future NATO membership if Kiev agreed to recognize Crimea as well as the four breakaway republics as Russian territory.

There is no decisive condemnation of the downing of the Russian Il-76 military plane transporting Ukrainian prisoners of war for an exchange from Western countries, but the situation requires a proper assessment from the world community, Peskov said. “There is still no decisive condemnation from Western countries of this horrific terrorist act, the horrific destruction of the plane that was transporting our people, first of all, after all, there were our pilots and our accompanying people, that is, the Russians died, but also a lot of people died. A large number of Ukrainian prisoners of war died. We have not heard a word of condemnation … Therefore, of course, what happened requires a proper assessment by the world community,” Peskov told reporters.

When asked if Russia plans to provide evidence of Kiev’s guilt in the incident, the official said that decisions will be made as all information is received. Moscow will carefully examine Germany’s intentions to develop a defense plan to contain Russia, Kremlin spokesman said. “We need to see what kind of plan it will be. It is no secret that Germany has embarked on a path of decisive confrontation with Russia. In this regard, there is no novelty here. But, of course, taking into account this well-known attitude of Berlin, we will need to carefully familiarize ourselves with such plans,” Peskov told reporters. Earlier this week, media reported that Germany is developing a new comprehensive defense plan implying the “containment” of Russia.

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“..Global insurers have only refused to cover US, UK, and Israeli ships — exactly as the Yemenis intended..”

How Yemen’s ‘Asabiyya’ Is Reshaping Geopolitics (Pepe Escobar)

Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance forces have made it very clear, right from the start, that they set up a blockade in the Bab el-Mandeb and the southern Red Sea only against Israeli-owned or destined shipping vessels. Their single objective was and remains to stop the Gaza genocide perpetrated by the Israeli biblical psychopathy. As a response to a morally-based call to end a human genocide, the United States, masters of the Global War Of Terror (italics mine), predictably re-designated Yemen’s Houthis as a “terrorist organization,” launched a serial bombardment of underground Ansarallah military installations (assuming US intel know where they are), and cobbled together a mini-coalition of the willing that includes its UK, Canadian, Australian, Dutch, and Bahraini vassals. Without missing a beat, Yemen’s Parliament declared the US and UK governments “Global Terrorist Networks.” Now let’s talk strategy.

With a single move, the Yemeni resistance seized the strategic advantage by de facto controlling a key geoeconomic bottleneck: the Bab el-Mandeb. Hence, they can inflict serious trouble on sectors of global supply chains, trade, and finance. And Ansarallah has the potential to double down — if need be. Persian Gulf traders, off the record, have confirmed insistent chatter that Yemen may consider imposing a so-called Al-Aqsa Triangle — aptly named after the 7 October Palestinian resistance operation aimed at destroying the Israeli military’s Gaza Division and taking captives as leverage in a sweeping prisoner swap deal. Such a move would mean selectively blocking not only the Bab el-Mandeb and the Red Sea route to the Suez Canal, but also the Strait of Hormuz, cutting off oil and gas deliveries to Israel from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE – although the top oil suppliers to Israel are in fact Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

These Yemenis are afraid of nothing. Were they able to impose the triangle – in this case only with direct Iranian involvement — that would represent the US-assassinated Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani’s Grand Design on cosmic steroids. This plan holds the realistic potential of finally bringing down the pyramid of hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivatives — and consequently, the whole western financial system. And yet, even as Yemen controls the Red Sea and Iran controls the Strait of Hormuz, Al-Aqsa Triangle remains just a working hypothesis. With a simple, clear strategy, the Houthis perfectly understood that the deeper they draw the strategy-deprived Americans into the West Asian geopolitical swamp, in a sort of “undeclared war” mode, the more they’re able to inflict serious pain on the global economy, which the Global South will blame on the Hegemon.

Today, Red Sea shipping traffic has plunged in half, compared to the summer of 2023; supply chains are wobbly; ships carrying food are forced to circumnavigate Africa (and risk delivering cargo after its expiry date); predictably, inflation across the vast EU agricultural sphere (worth €70 billion) is rising fast. Yet, never underestimate a cornered Empire. Western-based insurance giants perfectly understood the rules of Ansarallah’s limited blockade: Russian and Chinese ships, for instance, have free passage in the Red Sea. Global insurers have only refused to cover US, UK, and Israeli ships — exactly as the Yemenis intended. So the US, predictably, changed the narrative into a big, fat lie: ‘Ansarallah is attacking the whole global economy.’

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”America’s grandeur has shattered, and today, it cannot even rally its traditional allies. A country that considers itself a superpower is engaged in war against resistance groups and the people of the region.”

Russian Foreign Ministry Ties Red Sea Blockade To Gaza Blockade (Helmer)

For the time being, there are no official photographs of the meeting in Moscow on Thursday evening at the Russian Foreign Ministry between Mikhail Bogdanov, the deputy foreign minister and chief Russian negotiator in the Middle East and Africa, and Mohammed (Mukhameddov) Abdelsalam leading a delegation of the Ansarallah government of Yemen, known as the Houthi movement. The absence of photographs does not mean a blackout. Bogdanov’s communiqué said “special attention was paid to the development of tragic events in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone, as well as the aggravation of the situation in the Red Sea in this regard. In this context, the missile and bomb attacks on Yemen undertaken by the United States and Great Britain, which are capable of destabilizing the situation on a regional scale, were strongly condemned.”

This is the plainest signal to date of Russian backing for the southern front of the Arab war against Israel, and the link which the Houthis have made between the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the genocide of the Palestinians, and the Red Sea blockade which the Houthis have imposed on vessels owned or directed by Israeli shipowners, US naval fleet, and American-flagged and other vessels carrying military and civil cargoes to Israel or reload ammunition for future attacks on Yemen. At the same time across Moscow, unusually large delegations of officials of the Russian Security Council, led by Nikolai Patrushev, and Ali-Akbar Ahmadian, special presidential representative and Secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, have been meeting to discuss a detailed agenda which Patrushev’s communiqué calls a “wide range of Russian-Iranian security cooperation” and “the practical implementation of the agreements reached at the highest level.”

In an open statement for reporters, Ahmadian told Patrushev: “”America’s grandeur has shattered, and today, it cannot even rally its traditional allies. A country that considers itself a superpower is engaged in war against resistance groups and the people of the region.” The display of Russian support for the Axis of Resistance against Israel and the US is unprecedented. The Foreign Ministry and Security Council meetings confirm there is now a new definition of “terrorism” in Russian warfighting strategy, in which there is both public and secret support for Hamas, the Houthis, and other groups in Lebanon and Iraq fighting for national liberation against Israel and the US.

Bogdanov’s meeting with Abdelsalam was not the first high-level Russian contact with the Houthis, nor their first negotiation. The two officials had met in Moscow on July 24, 2019, when they discussed terms for ending the civil war in Yemen; Bogdanov was also meeting at the time with other Yemeni political factions. Abdelsalam said then: “The meeting discussed the most important issues related to the Yemeni policy and the steps of the national delegation [the Houthi delegation] in the Stockholm Agreement in addition to the regional crisis, in addition to the importance of the Russian role at the regional level, and its reflection on the situation in Yemen to calm the escalation and prevent further tension as Yemen represents a key point towards regional calm that will be positively reflected in the tense regional situation.”

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“Without a ceasefire, the order doesn’t actually work..”

It May be Genocide, But it Won’t Be Stopped (Chris Hedges)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) refused to implement the most crucial demand made by South African jurists: “the State of Israel shall immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza.” But at the same time, it delivered a devastating blow to the foundational myth of Israel. Israel, which paints itself as eternally persecuted, has been credibly accused of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. Palestinians are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the “crime of crimes.” A people, once in need of protection from genocide, are now potentially committing it. The court’s ruling questions the very raison d’être of the “Jewish State” and challenges the impunity Israel has enjoyed since its founding 75 years ago.

The ICJ ordered Israel to take six provisional measures to prevent acts of genocide, measures that will be very difficult if not impossible to fulfill if Israel continues its saturation bombing of Gaza and wholesale targeting of vital infrastructure. The court called on Israel “to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide.” It demanded Israel “take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance.” It ordered Israel to protect Palestinian civilians. It called on Israel to protect the some 50,000 women giving birth in Gaza. It ordered Israel to take “effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II and Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip.”


Red Ink by Mr. Fish

The court ordered Israel to “take all measures within its power” to prevent the crimes which amount to genocide such as “killing, causing serious bodily and mental harm, inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, and imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.” Israel was ordered to report back in one month to explain what it had done to implement the provisional measures. Gaza was pounded with bombs, missiles and artillery shells as the ruling was read in The Hague — at least 183 Palestinians have been killed in the last 24 hours. Since Oct. 7, more than 26,000 Palestinians have been killed. Almost 65,000 have been wounded, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Thousands more are missing. The carnage continues. This is the cold reality.

Translated into the vernacular, the court is saying Israel must feed and provide medical care for the victims, cease public statements advocating genocide, preserve evidence of genocide and stop killing Palestinian civilians. Come back and report in a month. It is hard to see how these provisional measures can be achieved if the carnage in Gaza continues. “Without a ceasefire, the order doesn’t actually work,” Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s minister of international relations, stated bluntly after the ruling. Time is not on the side of the Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinians will die within a month. Palestinians in Gaza make up 80 percent of all the people facing famine or catastrophic hunger worldwide, according to the United Nations. The entire population of Gaza by early February is projected to lack sufficient food, with half a million people suffering from starvation, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, drawing on data from U.N. agencies and NGOs. The famine is engineered by Israel.

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Too late, Ursula.

EU Commission Chief Hopes For ‘Consensus’ With Protesting Farmers (RT)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has expressed hope that new “strategic dialogue” will defuse the ongoing farmers’ protests over environmental regulations. “We all have the same sense of urgency that things have to improve,” von der Leyen said on Thursday during a meeting with a group of community and business leaders in Brussels. She lamented what she described as “an increasing division and polarization when it comes to topics related to agriculture.” “We must overcome this polarization with dialogue,” she said, stressing the need to find “a new way forward and common and lasting solutions” for European agriculture. “I hope that you will build the trust to appreciate each other’s perspectives and to find common solutions for the future of agriculture in Europe. This dialogue aims to find a new consensus on issues with which we all struggle,” von der Leyen told the attendees.

Farmers in Germany have been blocking city streets with their tractors since last month, demanding that Chancellor Olaf Scholz reverse the proposed scrapping of a diesel fuel subsidy worth as much as €3,000 ($3,260) annually. The German government has defended the move on environmental grounds. The farmers, however, insist that the plan would put them out of business and threaten their livelihoods. Similar protests are underway in France, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria, as farmers’ issues are expected to loom large over European Parliament elections later this year. The French government scrapped plans to reduce subsidies on diesel for farmers on Friday after protesters used tractors and other agricultural machines to block a major highway out of Paris and a road linking France to Spain.

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“Budget cuts have resulted in the British Army’s numbers falling to levels not seen since the 1700s..”

UK Needs Bigger Military – US Navy Chief (RT)

The UK should reassess the size of its armed forces, US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro has said. During a visit to the Royal United Services Institute in London on Thursday, the official pointed to situations the US and its allies see as threats, including the escalation in the Middle East, as well as the policies of Russia and China. Asked if the US is concerned whether Britain’s army has become too small, Del Toro replied: “I think it’s important for the United Kingdom to reassess where they are today, given the threats that exist today.” In his speech on Thursday, he argued that amid “near-term threats to the UK and the US,” investments in the Royal Navy are “significantly important,” noting that the US has “continued to make significant investments in national security,” even amid economic challenges. Del Toro claimed that the threats include the escalating crisis in the Middle East, Yemen, Iran, China, and Russia.

Asked whether US and UK operations in the Middle East – currently a naval and bombing operation against Yemen’s Houthis – could widen to include Iran, Del Toro said, “nothing is off the table.” A shortage of sailors forced the Royal Navy to decommission two of their frigates, the HMS Westminster and HMS Argyll, earlier this month, and the overall army numbers are reaching levels not seen since the 18th century.This comes one day after the head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, made a speech warning the public to be prepared for conscription in case of war with Russia. Speaking at a military conference in London, the general pointed to Sweden’s reintroduction of national service as an example and warned that “as the prewar generation we must similarly prepare – and that is a whole-of-nation undertaking.”

Currently, the UK’s regular army numbers are just above 74,000, of which 20,000 will take part in NATO’s largest military exercises in decades – Steadfast Defender 2024; 90,000 troops from the bloc’s 31 member states, as well as Sweden, will participate in the war games across Europe. Moscow has expressed concerns about NATO’s expansion towards its borders, stating that it perceives the military bloc as a threat. Russian President Vladimir Putin has cited Kiev’s declared intention to join NATO as one of the key reasons for the Ukraine conflict.

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“..The Michelle gambit would only be the party’s final hoax. After that, the deluge..”

Michelle, Ma Belle (Kunstler)

Well, all right, considering the party has really got no one else. Gavin Newsom is a California train wreck, despite the fabulous teeth and hair, Oprah can’t seem to make up her mind, and Taylor Swift will not be old enough to qualify for the office until December. The leading plan for the Dems goes like this: “JB” is offered a deal. . .step aside for Michelle to run in August. . . “JB” can make whatever face-saving excuses necessary, health, low energy, whatever. . . but he can serve out his term to the bitter end, and then sometime before noon January 20, 2025, he can pardon himself, son Hunter, brothers Jim and Frank, and a few other family members implicated in money-laundering all the bribes they scared-up over the years.

That is, assuming “Joe Biden” does not get impeached before August, in which case he might not be convicted in a Dem majority Senate trial, BUT, the mainstream media could not ignore the proceeding, and the public — including the wokest Woke partisans — would finally see the voluminous bank records authenticating the Biden Family bribery operations — the “proof” they have been forever and snidely calling for. Bad “optics” for the party. A late August kick off for Michelle Obama would minimize her public exposure until, really, the last two months of the race. (She reportedly hates being on display.) In theory, the vast electorate of suburban Democratic women across the land would bury the MAGA vote and enjoy months of orgasm awaiting the installation of a black, (first) female president, their final blow against the odious patriarchy of white supremacist rapists.

And best of all, under President Michelle, the blob could continue all its clandestine blobulations without fear of payback, assuring that our democracy will be defended by any means necessary, including the suppression and persecution of anyone who complains about it. Now that’s a plan! Except for one thing: none of the people chattering about this (James Rickards, Dan Bongino. . .) have mentioned that the Michelle plan actually represents a fourth term for Barack Obama. I mean. . . really . . . do you suppose that Barack will spend the next four years upstairs in the White House “residence” with an apron on, baking red velvet cakes and sweet potato pies while Michelle presides in the Situation Room, directing drone strikes against various people of the Koran? In the immortal words of Homey D. Clown: “I don’t think so!”

And what if the opposition — say, Mr. Trump, or Vivek, or Tulsi, or Tom Massie, or Rand Paul, or a dozen others in that camp — make the case that the “Joe Biden” regime was actually Mr. Obama’s third term, and look what mess he managed to make of the USA while running the puppet-show from his Kalorama redoubt: nine million illegal aliens ushered into the country with lavish benefits, phones, loaded debit cards, free four-star hotel rooms. . . the years-long assault of the drag queens and oral sex instruction for third-graders. . . the preposterous war in Ukraine engineered by neocon catspaws for the benefit of Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and the rest of the arms-makers. . . big cities full of homeless encampments and their noxious excretions. . . fentanyl killing 1,500 Americans a week. . . an extravaganza of flash-mob looting, shop-lifting, and car-jacking. . . the trillion-plus dollars in annual interest payments on the national debt. . . not a pretty picture. So, it comes down to: do you want another four years of that? And how did America end up under the thumb of an Obama dynasty, anyway?

I’ll tell you how: because the Democratic Party has become a criminal operation now solely dedicated to keeping its dignitaries, office-holders, and their factotums in the executive agencies out of prison for a range of crimes so vast that all the Lawfare specialists ever spawned in the hatcheries of Yale and Harvard would not run out of billable hours defending them in court before the sun turned into a red dwarf. The mighty effort consumes all the party’s energies these days, when they are not attending to the destruction of Western Civilization. The Michelle gambit would only be the party’s final hoax. After that, the deluge.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jelly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1750764275872723326

 

 

Rhino beetle

 

 

Blue morpho
https://twitter.com/i/status/1750945493817971060

 

 

Elegance

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 142024
 


Pablo Picasso Blue nude 1902

 

Year of the Dragon: Silk Roads, BRICS Roads, Sino-Roads (Pepe Escobar)
Troubling Questions in Strange Case of Pentagon Chief Missing in Action (SCF)
The Evidence of Genocide Is Chilling, Overwhelming and Incontrovertible (SP)
The Case for Genocide (Chris Hedges)
Israel Dismisses Genocidal Intent as ‘Random Assertions’ (Lauria)
How Israeli Forces Trapped And Killed Ravers At The Nova Festival (Cradle)
Europe’s Big Powers Back Out Of US-Led Bombing Campaign Of Yemen (Cradle)
CIA Providing Intel On Hamas Leaders To Israel – NYT (RT)
Musk Reacts To Death Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)
Friendly Fire (Vivek Ramaswamy)
Judge Berates Lawyers for ‘Inadvertently’ Disclosing Epstein Victim Names |(Sp.)
FBI Stonewalls Over Seth Rich Laptop Production (ZH)
Voter Fraud Convictions Challenge Narrative of Secure Elections (ET)

 

 

 

 

Habba

 

 

O’Leary

 

 

Dream Team

 

 

More Fani
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746199122409885717

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

Tucker Quaid

 

 

3 world wars

 

 

 

 

“..It remains an inextinguishable source of debate to what extent this fabulous economic Great Leap Forward under Deng generated calamitous social consequences..”

Year of the Dragon: Silk Roads, BRICS Roads, Sino-Roads (Pepe Escobar)

On the Russian front, the inimitable Sergey Karaganov has laid down the law: “We should not deny our European roots; we should treat them with care. After all, Europe has given us a lot. But Russia must move forward. And forward does not mean to the West, but to the East and the South. That is where the future of humanity lies.” And that leads us to the Dragon – in the Year of the Dragon.

There were a whopping 3.68 billion Chinese trips by rail in 2023 – an all-time record. China is fast on the way to become an AI global leader by 2030. Tech giant Baidu, for instance, recently released Ernie Bot to rival ChatGPT. AI in China is expanding fast on healthcare, education, and entertainment. Efficiency is the key. Chinese scientists have developed the ACCEL chip – capable of performing 4.6 quadrillion operations per second, in comparison to NVIDIA’s A100, which delivers 0.312 quadrillion operations per second of deep learning performance. China graduates no less than one million more STEM students than the U.S., year after year. This goes way beyond AI. Asian nations always reach the top 20% in science and mathematics competitions.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) may be lousy on geopolitics. But at least they did a public service showing nations that lead the planet in 44 critical technology sectors. China is number one, leading on 37 sectors. The U.S. leads on 7. Everyone else leads zero sectors. These include Defense, space, robotics, energy, the environment, biotechnology, advanced materials, key quantum technology and of course AI. How did China get here? It’s quite enlightening today to revisit a 1996 tome by Maurice Mesner: The Deng Xiaoping Era: An Inquiry into the Fate of Chinese Socialism, 1978-1994. First of all, one needs to know what happened under Mao: “From 1952 to the mid-1970s, net agricultural output in China increased at an average per annum rate of 2.5 percent, whereas the figure for the most intensive period of Japan’s industrialization (from 1868 to 1912) was 1.7 percent.”

Across the industrial sphere, all indicators went up: steel production; coal; cement; timber; electric power; crude oil; chemical fertilizers. “By the mid-1970s, China was also producing substantial numbers of jet airplanes, heavy tractors, railway locomotives, and modern oceangoing vessels. The People’s Republic also became a significant nuclear power, complete with intercontinental ballistic missiles. Its first successful atomic bomb test was held in 1964, the first hydrogen bomb was produced in 1967, and a satellite was launched into orbit in 1970.” Blame it on Mao: he transformed China “from one of the world’s most backward agrarian countries into the sixth-largest industrial power by the mid-1970s.” On most key social and demographic indicators, China compared favorably not only with India and Pakistan in South Asia but also with “’middle-income’ countries whose per capita GNP was five times that of China.”

All these breakthroughs laid down the path for Deng: “The higher yields obtained on individual family farms during the early Deng era would not have been possible had it not been for the vast irrigation and flood-control projects – dams, irrigation works, and river dikes – constructed by collectivized peasants in the 1950s and 1960s.” Of course there were distortions – as the Deng drive produced a de facto capitalist economy presided by a bureaucratic bourgeoisie: “As has been true of the histories of all capitalist economies, the power of the state was very much involved in establishing China’s labor market. Indeed, in China a highly repressive state apparatus played a particularly direct and coercive role in the commodification of labor, a process that has proceeded with a rapidity and on a scale that is historically unprecedented.” It remains an inextinguishable source of debate to what extent this fabulous economic Great Leap Forward under Deng generated calamitous social consequences.

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“..It is not clear if he was always conscious during this period or under sedation..”

Troubling Questions in Strange Case of Pentagon Chief Missing in Action (SCF)

It seems utterly bizarre that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin – the second-highest ranking civilian military commander in the United States – was absent from duty for several weeks without President Joe Biden or Congress knowing about it. A charitable view would be to call the scandal a “comedy of errors”. More appropriately, however, are urgent concerns about the implications for global peace and security. The U.S. resembles a juggernaut out of control careening along a precipice. This inexplicable prolonged gap in U.S. military command and control at the apex of the Pentagon goes from bizarre to deeply worrying considering the rapidly deteriorating security conditions in the Middle East. And especially because the deterioration is largely caused by the United States and its accomplices in their blatant contempt for international law.

This week, the United States and its British ally carried out over 100 cruise missile strikes against Yemen, purportedly in retaliation for Yemen’s blocking of commercial shipping in the Red Sea. The Yemenis claim that their actions to interdict shipping are legally entitled by their support for Palestinians suffering 90 days of genocidal aggression from Israel backed by the U.S. Indeed, the Middle East powder-keg situation is set for an escalation towards an all-out region-wide war given the weeks of tensions caused by the U.S.-backed genocide in Gaza by Israel. American bases in Iraq and Syria have come under fire in retaliation for U.S. and Israeli assassinations of senior Palestinian and other Arab militant leaders. There is growing fear that the violence will spiral into an open armed confrontation between the United States and Iran.

Given this ferment of conflict, it seems incredible that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was effectively missing in action for several weeks without his nominal superior, Joe Biden, knowing of his whereabouts. Biden’s other title is Commander-in-Chief. In the supposed civilian command structure of the United States military, Austin is second to Biden. Among their supposed responsibilities is the command of U.S. nuclear forces. Austin underwent surgery on December 22 for prostate cancer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. A subsequent urinary tract infection then caused Austin to be hospitalized again on January 1 for several more days. It is not clear if he was always conscious during this period or under sedation.

It then transpired in recent days that during those weeks of absence, the Biden White House did not know about Austin’s surgery or subsequent hospitalization. Even Austin’s designated Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks, also did not know the exact reason for her boss’s absence. Enquiries have now been launched by the Armed Services Committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are even bipartisan calls for Austin’s resignation due to accusations of gross dereliction of duty to adequately inform the White House and Congress about his leave of absence.

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“The Hague won’t stop us – Netanyahu..”

The Evidence of Genocide Is Chilling, Overwhelming and Incontrovertible (SP)

Notable quotes from Jan. 11 ICJ hearing

From South African attorney Tembeka Ngcukaitobi:

“There is an extraordinary feature in this case: that Israel’s political leaders, military commanders, and persons holding official positions have systematically and in explicit terms declared their genocidal intent… And these statements are then repeated by soldiers on the ground in Gaza as they engage in the destruction of Palestinians and the physical infrastructure of Gaza.” “What state would admit to a genocidal intent? Yet the distinctive feature of this case has not been the silence as such but the reiteration and repetition of genocidal speech throughout every sphere of state in Israel.” “We remind the court of the identity and authority of the genocidal inciters: the prime minister, the president the minister of defense, the minister of national security, the minister of energy and infrastructure, members of the Knesset, senior army officials, and foot soldiers… The evidence of genocidal intent is not only chilling, it is also overwhelming and incontrovertible.”

From South African attorney Adila Hassim:

“Israel has subjected Gaza to what has been described as one of the heaviest conventional bombing campaigns in the history of modern warfare. Palestinians in Gaza are being killed by Israeli weaponry and bombs from air, land and sea. They are also at immediate risk of death by starvation, dehydration and disease as a result of the ongoing siege by Israel, the destruction of Palestinian towns, the insufficient aid being allowed through to the Palestinian population, and the impossibility of distributing this limited aid while bombs fall. This conduct renders essentials to life unobtainable.“

“…the level of Israel’s killing is so extensive that nowhere is safe in Gaza. … Palestinians in Gaza are subjected to relentless bombing wherever they go. They are killed in their homes, in places where they seek shelter, in hospitals, in schools, in mosques, in churches, and as they try to find food and water for their families. They have been killed if they failed to evacuate. In the places to which they have fled, and even while they attempted to flee along, Israeli declared safe routes.” “Israel has killed an unparalleled and unprecedented number of civilians with the full knowledge of how many civilian lives each bomb will take.“

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“Thousands more Palestinian civilians, including children, have been arrested, blindfolded, numbered, beaten, forced to strip to their underwear, loaded onto trucks and transported to unknown locations…”

The Case for Genocide (Chris Hedges)

The exhaustive 84-page brief submitted by South Africa to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) charging Israel with genocide is hard to refute. Israel’s campaign of indiscriminate killing, wholesale destruction of infrastructure, including housing, hospitals and water treatment plants, along with its use of starvation as a weapon, accompanied by genocidal rhetoric from its political and military leaders who speak of destroying Gaza and ethnically cleansing the 2.3 million Palestinians, makes a strong case against Israel for genocide. Israel’s smearing of South Africa as “the legal arm” of Hamas exemplifies the bankruptcy of its defense, a smear replicated by those who claim that demonstrations held to call for a ceasefire and protect Palestinian human rights are “anti-Semitic.” Israel, its genocide live streamed to the world, has no substantial counter argument.

But that does not mean the judges on the court will rule in South Africa’s favor. The pressure the U.S. will bring – Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called the South African charges “meritless” – on the judges, drawn from the member states of the U.N., will be intense. A ruling of genocide is a stain that Israel – which weaponizes the Holocaust to justify its brutalization of the Palestinians – would find hard to remove. It would undercut Israel’s insistence that Jews are eternal victims. It would shatter the justification for Israel’s indiscriminate killing of unarmed Palestinians and construction of the world’s largest open air prison in Gaza, along with the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It would sweep away the immunity to criticism enjoyed by the Israel lobby and its Zionist supporters in the U.S., who have successfully equated criticisms of the “Jewish State” and support for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism.

Over 23,700 Palestinians, including over 10,000 children, have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, when Hamas and other resistance fighters breached the security barriers around Gaza. Some 1,200 people were killed – there is strong evidence that some of the victims were killed by Israeli tank crews and helicopter pilots that intentionally targeted the some 200 hostages along with their captors. Thousands more Palestinians are missing, presumed buried under the rubble. Israeli attacks have left over 60,000 Palestinians wounded and maimed, the majority of them women and children. Thousands more Palestinian civilians, including children, have been arrested, blindfolded, numbered, beaten, forced to strip to their underwear, loaded onto trucks and transported to unknown locations.

A ruling by the court could be years away. But South Africa is asking for provisional measures that would demand Israel cease its military assault – in essence a permanent ceasefire. This decision could come within two or three weeks. It is a decision that is not based on the final ruling by the court, but on the merits of the case brought by South Africa. The court would not, by demanding Israel end its hostilities in Gaza, define the Israeli campaign in Gaza as genocide. It would confirm that there is the possibility of genocide, what the South African lawyers call acts that are “genocidal in character.”

The case will not be determined by the documentation of specific crimes, even those defined as war crimes. It will be determined by genocidal intent – the intent to eradicate in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group – as defined in the Genocide Convention. These acts collectively include the targeting of refugee camps and other densely packed civilian areas with 2,000-pound bombs, the blocking of humanitarian aid, the destruction of the health care system and its effects on children and pregnant women – the U.N. estimates there are around 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, and that more than 160 babies are delivered every day – as well as repeated genocidal statements by leading Israeli politicians and generals.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu equated Gaza with Amalek, a nation hostile to the Israelites in the Bible, and cited the Biblical injunction to kill every Amalek man, woman, child or animal. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant called Palestinians “human animals.” Israeli President Isaac Herzog stated, as the South African lawyers told the court, that everybody in Gaza is responsible for what happened on Oct. 7 because they voted for Hamas, although half the population in Gaza are children who are too young to vote. But even if the entire population of Gaza did vote for Hamas this does not make them a legitimate military target. They are still, under the rules of war, civilians, and entitled to protection. They are also entitled under international law to resist their occupation via armed struggle.

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‘We will eliminate everything. We will reach all places. Eliminate everything there, reach all places without any restraints.’

Israel Dismisses Genocidal Intent as ‘Random Assertions’ (Lauria)

In its defense against allegations by South Africa that it is committing genocide in Gaza, a British barrister arguing at the World Court on Friday for Israel downplayed numerous statements by senior Israeli officials of genocidal intent against Palestinians as mere “random assertions” that prove nothing. Instead, the barrister turned the tables, accusing South Africa itself of complicity in genocide. Kings Counselor Malcolm Shaw, for Israel, told the Court on the second day of a two-day hearing: “As far as acts are concerned in this case, there is little beyond random assertions to demonstrate that Israel has or has had the specific intent to destroy in whole or in part the Palestinian people as such.”

Without proving intent, Shaw argued, a genocide case is impossible. “It is like Hamlet without the prince, a car without an engine,” he said. As Shaw himself pointed out, lawyers for South Africa on Thursday thus “placed considerable emphasis upon intent.” They laid out in great detail the “genocidal rhetoric” of Israeli officials and how it has influenced Israeli soldiers and airmen attacking Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu twice referred to an Old Testament genocide implying the same was needed for Gaza, argued attorney Tembeka Ngcukaitobi. “The genocidal invocation to Amalek was anything but idle,” Ngcukaitobi said. He then showed a video of Israeli soldiers singing in celebration of a victory in Gaza, in which they mention Amalek.

On Oct. 9, Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, Ngcukaitobi, went on:] “gave a situation update to the Army where he said that as Israel was imposing a complete siege on Gaza, there would be ‘no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel,’ everything would be closed because Israel is fighting human animals. Speaking to troops on the Gaza border, he instructed them that he has released all the restraints and that Gaza won’t return to what it was before. ‘We will eliminate everything. We will reach all places. Eliminate everything there, reach all places without any restraints.’ Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu said that Israel must find ways for Gazans that are more painful than death. It is no answer to say that neither are in command of the army. They are ministers in the Israeli government. They vote in the Knesset and are in a position to shape state policy. The intent to destroy Gaza has been nurtured at the highest levels of state. …

Senior political and military officials encouraged without censure, the 95 year old Israeli army reservist Ezra Yachin, a veteran of the Deir Yassin massacre against the Palestinians in 1948, to speak to the soldiers ahead of the ground invasion in Gaza. In his talk, he echoed the same sentiment while being driven around in an official Israeli army vehicle dressed in Israeli army fatigue. ‘I quote the triumphant and finish them off and don’t leave anyone behind. Erase the memory of them. Erase them, their families, mothers and children. These animals can no longer live. If you have an Arab neighbor, don’t wait. Go to his home and shoot him. We want to invade. Not like before. We want to enter and destroy what’s in front of us and destroy houses.’”

Read more …

Hannibal.

How Israeli Forces Trapped And Killed Ravers At The Nova Festival (Cradle)

Israeli forces had not only the fire power, but also an official order to kill Israelis at Nova. A major reason Hamas launched the Al-Aqsa Flood operation was to take Israeli captives that could be exchanged for the thousands of Palestinians held captive in Israeli prisons. But Israeli forces were determined to prevent Hamas from taking captives back to Gaza, even if this meant killing the captured civilians. An investigation of Israel’s long-controversial Hannibal Directive concludes that “from the point of view of the army, a dead soldier is better than a captive soldier who himself suffers and forces the state to release thousands of captives in order to obtain his release.” But, on 7 October, according to a Yedioth Ahronoth investigation, the Hannibal Directive – which has previously only applied to army captives – was issued against Israeli civilians as well. The Hebrew-language daily writes that “at noon on October 7, the IDF [Israeli army] ordered all of its combat units in practice to use the ‘Hannibal Procedure’ although without clearly mentioning this explicitly by name.”

The order was to stop “at all costs any attempt by Hamas terrorists to return to Gaza, that is, despite the fear that some of them have abductees,” the investigation concludes. In the days and weeks after the incident, Israeli authorities made a great show of distributing images of vehicles destroyed at the festival site, fully implying that the cars – and the dead victims inside – had been burned to a crisp by Palestinian fighters. The Yediot report completely upends that claim: “In the week after the attack, soldiers of elite units checked about 70 vehicles that were left in the area between the settlements and the Gaza Strip. These are vehicles that did not reach Gaza, because on the way they were shot by a combat helicopter, an anti-tank missile or a tank, and at least in some cases everyone in the vehicle was killed,” including Israeli captives.

Nof Erez, the Israeli Air Force colonel noted above, similarly concluded, in regard to Israel’s indiscriminate use of helicopter firepower that day, that “The Hannibal directive was probably deployed because once you detect a hostage situation, this is Hannibal.” An apparent instance of this at the Nova festival was inadvertently documented by the BBC, which reported that video footage showed a woman who was taken hostage, but who: “Suddenly reappears two minutes later. She jumps and waves her arms in the air. She must think help is at hand – by this time, the Israeli Defence Forces had began their efforts to repel the incursion. But seconds later she slumps to the floor as bullets bounce around her. We don’t know if she survived.”

The rationale for the Hannibal Directive was further explained by Brigadier General Barak Hiram, who ordered a tank to open fire on a home to resolve a hostage situation in Kibbutz Be’eri, “even at the cost of civilian casualties.” The strike killed 12 Israelis, including 12-year-old Liel Hetzroni, and dozens of Hamas fighters. “I am very afraid that if we return to Sorana [Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv] and try to hold all kinds of negotiations [to free hostages], we may fall into a trap that will tie our hands and not allow us to do what is required, which is to go in, manipulate, and kill them [Hamas]…”

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“.. a European Union operation in the Red Sea, which is expected to be announced in the coming days..”

Europe’s Big Powers Back Out Of US-Led Bombing Campaign Of Yemen (Cradle)

Europe is divided over the US-UK bombing of Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, as Italy, Spain, and France have refused to take part in the operation. Washington and London carried out late-night strikes on Yemen Thursday evening, which targeted several areas of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The US and UK are seeking to target Yemen’s Ansarallah-led forces for their efforts to target Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea in response to Israel’s brutal bombing campaign in Gaza, which many view as genocide. The US-UK strikes were supported by Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, and Bahrain, who all signed a joint statement backing the bombing. However, Europe’s major powers, France, Italy, and Spain, refused to take part in the strikes and declined to sign the statement in support of them.

The Italian government, led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, said it was not asked to participate in the US-UK attacks on Yemen. It stated further that even if a request had been made, it could not have participated without a debate and vote in parliament to authorize military action. The Italian deputy prime minister said Italy could not have participated at such short notice “because the constitution does not allow us to commit acts of war without a debate in parliament.” However, a government source told Reuters that Rome had been asked to participate but refused because it preferred a “calming policy.” The French government, led by Emmanuel Macron, also ruled out joint action with the US and UK, unlike in Libya in 2011 and against ISIS in Syria in 2015. French Rear Admiral Emmanuel Slaars said on Thursday that although the French Navy is active in protecting French ships in the Red Sea, Paris’s current mandate did not include striking Ansarallah directly.

The Telegraph reported that an anonymous French official said Paris feared that by joining the US-led assault on Yemen’s Ansarallah-led forces, it would lose any leverage it had in mediating between Hezbollah and Israel. France says it is focusing its diplomatic efforts on avoiding an escalation in Lebanon, where Hezbollah has been fighting Israel on the border since 7 October, also in support of Gaza. In Spain, Minister of Defense Margarita Robles reiterated Friday that Spain will not participate in any military operation against Yemen. She said this included a rejection of participating in a European Union operation in the Red Sea, which is expected to be announced in the coming days. “Spain is a country firmly committed to peace in the world, precisely for that reason we have 17 missions and more than 3,000 people in many places,” Robles acknowledged. “From the beginning we have said that in the Red Sea we understand that Spain is not going to participate at this time.”

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“..government had possessed the details of the group’s plans to strike Israel, code-named Jericho Wall, for over a year without sharing the information widely within Israel or with the US.”

CIA Providing Intel On Hamas Leaders To Israel – NYT (RT)

The CIA is helping Israel gather intelligence on top Hamas officials, for targeting purposes, unnamed US officials have told the New York Times. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan ordered the creation of a task force focused on Hamas in the days following the militant group’s October 7 attack on Israel, the sources claimed. The unit is focused exclusively on high-level officials. The CIA also raised its priority level for Hamas from level four to two, officials said, freeing up additional funding for the collection of intelligence. However, with Gaza’s borders even more tightly locked down than they were before the war and communications networks being deliberately disrupted by Israel, the Times acknowledged that “it will take time to develop new [human] sources.” Washington had previously relied on West Jerusalem for information about Hamas but was alarmed to learn that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government had possessed the details of the group’s plans to strike Israel, code-named Jericho Wall, for over a year without sharing the information widely within Israel or with the US.

The US reportedly hopes that focusing on high-level Palestinian militants will reverse some of the negative fallout from West Jerusalem’s devastation of Gaza’s civilian population and infrastructure. Officials told the Times they were concerned that Israel’s focus on low-level Hamas operatives was “misguided,” explaining these could be easily replaced. Additionally, they said, the attendant risk to the civilian population was excessive and could even galvanize non-combatants to join the militant resistance. The head of US Central Command, General Michael Erik Kurilla, and several other high-level military officials have traveled to Israel on more than one occasion to urge them to focus on Hamas leaders instead of mid- or low-level fighters, according to the report. Israel claimed at the end of 2023 that it had killed about a third of the 20,000 to 25,000 Hamas fighters believed to reside in Gaza.

Killing or capturing the central Hamas figures believed to be responsible for the October 7 raid that killed 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped another 240 back to Gaza would be a major public relations victory for the beleaguered Netanyahu government. US officials believe at least one of them – the group’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar – is holed up in a tunnel system deep under the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. The other, military commander Mohammed Deif, has avoided capture by Israel’s security services for decades. Israel has killed upwards of 23,000 Palestinians in Gaza since October 7 and seriously injured tens of thousands more, according to the enclave’s Health Ministry. The resulting international outcry recently culminated in charges of genocide filed against Israel by South Africa in the International Court of Justice.

Read more …

“The Biden administration could have gotten Gonzalo Lira back with a phone call but didn’t lift a finger. Therefore, the Ukrainian government knew it could act with impunity,” Sacks wrote..”

Musk Reacts To Death Of Gonzalo Lira (RT)

Elon Musk has condemned a lack of action on the part of US officials in the case of an American journalist, Gonzalo Lira, who had been jailed by Kiev and who ultimately died in Ukrainian custody. Authorities there allegedly ignored Lira’s serious health problems for a long time, while he remained behind bars on accusations of justifying Moscow’s military operation against Kiev. Lira moved to Ukraine and married a local woman in 2010. When long-simmering tensions between Moscow and Kiev turned to military engagement in February 2022, the journalist started actively covering the fighting on social media. He also blamed the development on Kiev and its Western backers, asserting that Ukraine had no chance of winning against Russia.

Lira, who was 55 when he died, had also been criticizing efforts by Western media to portray Ukraine as a “democracy,” pointing to rampant corruption and publishing a list of Zelensky’s opponents who, he claimed, had been “disappeared” by various authorities. The US State Department confirmed Lira’s death to Russia’s TASS news agency on Friday. He had been in pre-trial detention in Ukraine’s city of Kharkov since May 2023. News website The Grayzone has reported that, since last October, he had severe health problems from pneumonia and a collapsed lung. The Ukrainian authorities only acknowledged the issue on December 22, according to Lira’s own note, cited by the news outlet.

“This is super messed up!” Musk wrote on X (formerly, Twitter) on Saturday, commenting on another post by an entrepreneur and investor, David Sacks, who also slammed US President Joe Biden’s inaction in Lira’s case. “The Biden administration could have gotten Gonzalo Lira back with a phone call but didn’t lift a finger. Therefore, the Ukrainian government knew it could act with impunity,” Sacks wrote. He also described Lira’s case as evidence that Ukraine is controlled by a “thuggish and unmoored regime.” Last month Musk questioned the US approach to Kiev, wondering how it was possible that “an American citizen is in prison in Ukraine after we sent over a $100 billion” to support Kiev amid its conflict with Russia.

He also said that it was a “serious problem” if a person in Ukraine got jailed for “simply criticizing” President Vladimir Zelensky. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO then called on the Ukrainian president to clarify the situation. On Saturday, the issue was also addressed by Donald Trump Jr, son of former US President Donald Trump. He decried Lira’s death as a “murder” and questioned the US policy of sending aid to a country where American citizens are killed. Kiev has insisted that it has rightfully targeted Lira over his activities, with the Security Service of Ukraine repeatedly stating the journalist has been accused of “producing and distributing materials justifying the armed aggression,” as well as disseminating “fakes” about the country’s armed forces.

Lira Nuland

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X thread. The comments show that not everyone’s a fan..

Friendly Fire (Vivek Ramaswamy)

Yes, I saw President Trump’s Truth Social post. It’s an unfortunate move by his campaign advisors, I don’t think friendly fire is helpful. Donald Trump was the greatest President of the 21st century, and I’m not going to criticize him in response to this late attack. I’ve met tens of thousands of Iowans across 390+ events here, and they are deeply worried – and so am I – that this “system” won’t allow Donald J. Trump anywhere near the White House again. It seems they will stop at *nothing* to keep him away from power. I’m worried for Trump. I’m worried for our country. I’ve stood up against the persecutions against Trump, and I’ve defended him at every step.

Vivek Obama
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746343408208109985

I showed up at the Miami courthouse in solidarity following his first federal indictment. I filed a FOIA demand to the Biden DOJ. I submitted an amicus brief this week with the U.S. Supreme Court calling on them to overturn Colorado’s ruling. I pledged to remove myself from Maine’s & Colorado’s primary ballots if they remove Trump, calling on DeSantis and Haley to do the same. But we have to open our eyes. Last time it was a man-made pandemic & Big Tech election interference. Now, the same billionaires funding the lawsuits against Trump are the ones trying to prop up Nikki Haley. The same MSM blasting Trump is lavishing praise on Nikki.

They want to narrow this to a two-horse race between Trump & Haley, eliminate Trump (one way or other), & trot their puppet into the White House. We can’t fall for that trap. 1 year from now, we won’t look back and say we were shocked that it happened. We’ll kick ourselves for not stopping it. Our movement must live on. America-First didn’t start in 2016. It started in 1776. We owe it to our Founding Fathers to do the right thing for our country. I want to save Trump & to save this country. Let’s do it together. You won’t hear any friendly fire from me.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1746319944772432378

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Honest mistakes?

Judge Berates Lawyers for ‘Inadvertently’ Disclosing Epstein Victim Names |(Sp.)

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York earlier unsealed scores of documents connected to Jeffrey Epstein, identifying multiple individuals, some of whom include prominent politicians and notable public figures. Lawyers failed to properly redact some of the files tied to the Jeffrey Epstein case, harming the late convicted pedophile’s victims, District Judge Loretta Preska has admitted. According to the judge, the lawyers’ failure to remove classified information resulted in the disclosure of photos, phone numbers, and email addresses of people tied to the case, including Epstein’s victims, referred to as ‘Jane Does.’ “Counsel is thus reminded of the human cost of inadvertently disclosing the names and identifying information of Does, who should have remained under seal,” Preska pointed out.

The victims and others “have reported fearing for their safety and the safety of loved ones,” the judge said, adding that their reputations and personal relationships have been affected. In early January, Preska ordered the release of nearly 200 names tied to the Epstein case, although two people requested their identification remain sealed for the time being, due to the possibility of physical harm. The names include accusers and witnesses in the case. The filings include excerpts of depositions with former British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and Virgina Giuffre, who previously accused Maxwell of facilitating her sexual abuse after being introduced to Epstein.

Maxwell was sentenced in 2022 to 20 years in prison on a variety of charges, including sex trafficking for her involvement with Epstein’s criminal doing. Epstein faced 45 years in prison before he was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10, 2019. It happened more than a decade after his first conviction for soliciting prostitution from a minor, for which he was registered as a sex offender. In the latter case, he was accused of running a “vast network” of underage girls for sex. He had pleaded not guilty. His death sparked controversies and wild conspiracy theories that alleged he was silenced in order to protect his more powerful associates.

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They want 66 more years.

FBI Stonewalls Over Seth Rich Laptop Production (ZH)

The FBI has asked a federal court for a second delay after being ordered to produce information from Seth Rich’s computer to a Texas resident, Brian Huddleston who has sued the bureau. Huddleston says that the court should force the agency to produce the information before the 2024 presidential election, as it may show that Rich, not Russians, was Wikileaks’ source of leaked emails which were damaging to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US election. On Thursday, the FBI asked Obama-appointed US District Judge Amos Mazzant to reconsider their request not to produce the documents, and should be withheld under exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The filing was a response to Mazzant’s Nov. 2023 order to hand over images of Mr. Rich’s personal computer, as well as an index of his work computer.

It gets better; the FBI initially claimed that they didn’t have said records – only to later admit to being in possession of Rich’s personal and work computers, along with other items. As if it wasn’t suspicious enough that the FBI is stonewalling on information related to a ‘mugging gone wrong.’ According to Ty Clevenger, Huddleston’s attorney, the judge should deny the FBI’s latest bid for a production delay. “A presidential election is fast approaching, and voters have the right to know (1) whether the FBI knowingly framed one of the frontrunners, i.e., former President Trump; and (2) whether the FBI is still trying to cover up its partisan political activities,” he wrote.

“It is bad enough that FBI personnel took opposition research from the Hillary Clinton campaign and used it to open a bad-faith investigation of Mr. Trump, thereby sabotaging him for more than two years,” Clevenger added. “It would be considerably worse and considerably more scandalous, however, if FBI personnel knew all along that Seth Rich—not Russian hackers—was responsible for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks.” Many believe that Rich was indeed the source of the leaked DNC emails provided to WikiLeaks – a rumor which was fueled by the odd circumstances surrounding his death, the sudden retirement of D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier five weeks after the murder, and an email John Podesta sent to Hillary’s inner circle about ‘making an example’ of a suspected leaker, written more than a year before Rich’s death.

Troves of emails were published by Wikileaks giving insight into the corrupt inner machination of the Democratic National Committee. While Rich was never officially revealed as the source of the leaked emails, it has been heavily suggested. Julian Assange was one key figure who made that suggestion when he highlighted Rich’s murder during a 2016 interview in which he was asked about the risks that come with operating WikiLeaks. Megavideo founder and entrepeneur Kim Dotcom said in May of 2017 that he worked with Rich to connect him with Assange. At one point, Assange heavily implied Rich was his source for the DNC emails. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks offered a $130,000 reward for information leading to the murderer of Rich.

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In the most secure elections in US history, a man who didn’t campaign got the most votes in US history..

Voter Fraud Convictions Challenge Narrative of Secure Elections (ET)

Superior Court Judge William Clark nullified the results of a Democrat mayoral primary in November 2023 and ordered a new election. The ruling was based on hours of video evidence showing hundreds of illegally harvested absentee ballots being stuffed into drop boxes in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “The videos are shocking to the court and should be shocking to all the parties,” Judge Clark wrote in his ruling. A California judge overturned the result in a 2021 Compton City Council run-off race that was initially decided by one vote. The judge tossed four fraudulent ballots cast by people not legally registered in the jurisdiction. Five people pleaded either guilty or no contest to conspiring to commit election fraud. After discovering that 66 of the 84 absentee ballots cast in a 2021 Democrat primary for alderman in Aberdeen, Mississippi, were invalid and shouldn’t have been counted, a judge ordered a new runoff election.

Police arrested a notary for notarizing ballots without watching voters sign them or checking their identification. The court also found evidence of intimidation at the polls involving candidate Nicholas Holliday, Mayor Maurice Howard, and Henry Randal, the town’s police chief. The above examples of election fraud have occurred since the contentious 2020 presidential election that President Donald Trump alleged was marred with fraud. Democrats, meanwhile, have cast the former president’s assertions about the 2020 election as the “big lie” and generally contend that election fraud is extremely rare and inconsequential. In a June 2023 Congressional hearing, Rep. Joe Morelli (D-N.Y.) called Republican members’ attitudes about widespread voter fraud “cynical” and the series of election integrity hearings they were conducting in the House “tedious” and “redundant. Mr. Morelli said Republicans are fixated on an “unproven lack of integrity” that they claim exists.

However, an ongoing study by the Heritage Foundation details widespread instances of election fraud across the United States and shows that the illicit activity has resulted in election results being overturned in at least a dozen races. In a number of cases, the abuse of the system is well-calculated and organized, but in most instances violations appear to have been committed by individuals acting independently. Case studies show that some perpetrators exploit the aged, mentally infirm, and homeless in order to garner a few more votes for their preferred candidate. Heritage’s findings were bolstered by a Rasmussen Reports and Heartland Institute poll of 1,085 likely voters published in December 2023.

The poll found that 21 percent of those who voted by absentee or mail-in ballot in 2020 admitted to filling out a ballot “in part or in full” for someone else, which is illegal. Of the 30 percent who said they voted by mail or absentee ballot in 2020, 19 percent said a friend or family member filled out their ballot, in part or in full, on their behalf. One-fifth said they signed a ballot or ballot envelope “on behalf of a friend or family member, with or without their permission,” the poll results state. Seventeen percent of those who voted by mail in 2020 said they cast a ballot in a state where they’re no longer a permanent resident, which is illegal. Among the 1,085 voters questioned, 8 percent said that a friend, family member, political party, or organization offered “to pay or reward them for voting in the 2020 election,” according to the poll.

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Czech cartoon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746056087722496445

 

 

Tasmanian tiger

 

 

Loved

 

 

 

 

Trust jump

 

 


Tobias Messerli, Utzingen, Switzerland.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 042024
 
 January 4, 2024  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Rembrandt Old man with a beard 1630

 

Nabuillina vs the West (RT)
Russia May Establish BRICS Secretariat – Iranian Foreign Ministry (Sp.)
Medvedev Labels French Diplomats ‘Scum, Bastards, Freaks’ (RT)
Washington Sees No Sign of Genocide in Gaza (RT)
The US Can’t Stop China’s Rise, But It Will Cripple The EU While Trying (RT)
Leopard 2 Tanks Supplied to Ukraine Are Non-Operational – German MP (Sp.)
Will Chancellor Scholz Step Down Amid Plummeting Rating? (Sp.)
“What Do We Do if He Doesn’t Recuse Himself?” (Turley)
Colorado Disqualification Case Brings Back Bad Memories for SCOTUS (Turley)
White House Blames Republicans For Illegal Immigration Crisis (RT)
House Speaker Johnson At Border: ‘Disaster Of The President’s Own Design’ (JTN)
The Epstein Files (Cernovich)
Was Barack Obama Guilty of Insurrection? (Cashill)

 

 

 

 

Vivek


https://twitter.com/i/status/1742613810370711790

 

 

 

 

 

 


Robin Williams offers Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ a roll of toilet paper.

 

 

Neutering the CIA

 

 

Nap/Ritter

 

 

 

 

Putin has surrounded himself with some excellent people that he places a lot of trust in. For instance Lavrov as FM, Patrushev for security, Medvedev as the crown prince who can express things Putin may think but can’t say. And then there’s Elvira Nabiullina, who as central banker has guided the economy, and the ruble, through a decade of problems, not least of all many layers of sanctions, and came out on top.

Nabuillina vs the West (RT)

Elvira Nabiullina’s ten-year stewardship at the forefront of the Bank of Russia, marked by fiscal mastery and trailblazing leadership, showcases a narrative of exceptional achievement against the backdrop of societal shifts and global economic challenges. Nabiullina’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming the first woman to steer the economic course of a then G8 country underscores her mettle and intellectual prowess, exemplifying the significance of equal opportunities in a landscape defined by traditional gender roles. Maintaining a low profile yet earning the accolade of Russia’s ‘leader of distinction,’ Nabiullina’s transparent and disciplined leadership style, complemented by an unparalleled work ethic, has solidified her position as a beacon of excellence, integrity, and resilience. Her impact on the financial landscape resonates not only as a testament to her adept economic stewardship but also as a pioneering force toward a more inclusive and equitable future.

Nabiullina’s tenure has been characterized by deft maneuvers, particularly during challenging times when her hawkish monetary policies stabilized the economy and garnered international acclaim, including the prestigious title of central bank governor of the year. As the West intensifies efforts to isolate Russia financially, Nabiullina stands as the linchpin, navigating the economy through unprecedented sanctions. However, despite commendable fiscal strategies, the recent IMF prediction of a 2.2 percent growth in Russia’s economy, a substantial increase from the initial 0.7 percent forecast, prompts scrutiny. Entering a new year, Nabiullina faces mounting challenges – tightening sanctions, potential brain drain, volatile commodities markets, a weakened ruble, and spiraling inflation. This critical juncture prompts the question: Will she persist as Moscow’s steadfast economic steward, ensuring the Kremlin’s financial resilience, or will internal dissent and external pressures necessitate a change in course?

In a recent interview with RBK, Nabiullina acknowledged the hurdles ahead, underscoring the need for preparedness amidst potential escalations in Western sanctions. The freeze and blockage of central bank reserves and Russian investors’ assets were deemed painful measures, with Nabiullina not ruling out the possibility of further sanctions against Moscow. Furthermore, Nabiullina revealed that the Russian central bank will require two to three months or more to ensure a steady decline in inflation before making decisions on interest rate cuts, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive analysis of indicators characterizing sustainable inflation declines. Admitting that the central bank might have initiated monetary policy tightening earlier than July, Nabiullina stressed the uncertainty surrounding the timing of rate cuts, urging a cautious approach and considering a broad spectrum of indicators indicative of inflation stability.

In her role as a torchbearer for gender equality, Elvira Nabiullina aligns with her counterparts, Christine Lagarde and Janet Yellen. Her decade-long leadership has not only demonstrated fiscal mastery but has also championed inclusivity in the financial realm, actively addressing gender disparities in the global economic landscape. Nabiullina’s commitment to gender diversity extends beyond fairness, recognizing its indispensable role in fostering sustainable economic growth. Her leadership is a beacon of inspiration for women aspiring to excel in central banking and finance, contributing to the broader narrative of achieving gender equality in influential economic positions. As we reflect on Nabiullina’s decade-long stewardship, the upcoming year promises to be a pivotal chapter in her legacy. Will she continue to navigate economic challenges with the finesse that earned her international recognition? Only time will tell, but one thing remains certain – Elvira Nabiullina’s journey is far from over, and the world will be watching closely.

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“..currently each country holding the presidency of BRICS collects and stores information about the bloc’s activities, but does not transfer this data to the succeeding nation..”

Russia May Establish BRICS Secretariat – Iranian Foreign Ministry (Sp.)

Russia may establish a BRICS secretariat, Mahdi Safari, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy, told Sputnik, citing Moscow’s experience in managing international organizations. “Russia – a country with vast experience in international and regional organizations – in my opinion could establish a new body in BRICS which will eventually evolve into secretariat,” Mahdi Safari says. According to the Iranian diplomat, currently each country holding the presidency of BRICS collects and stores information about the bloc’s activities, but does not transfer this data to the succeeding nation. Safari stressed that Iran wants “this secretariat to be established as soon as possible.” The deputy foreign minister also congratulated Russia on assuming the BRICS presidency in 2024 and thanked it for helping Iran to join the bloc, expressing confidence that Russia will help Tehran and other new BRICS members to achieve unity.

Iran is not seeking to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) as soon as possible because its membership in other leading regional organizations is in sum equal to WTO membership, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy also told Sputnik. “We are a [WTO] observer country, but with membership in BRICS, the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization], EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union], ECO [Economic Cooperation Organization] — all of that combined equals the WTO itself! Now, we do not see the need for WTO membership … [Being a member of] these organizations, we have automatically almost become a member of the WTO at the regional level and are enjoying our benefits. This is a winning position for all parties,” Safari says.

Tehran’s membership in the aforementioned groups meets almost all the country’s needs at the regional and global levels, the diplomat noted, adding, however, that if Iran was offered membership in the WTO, it would welcome such a step and agree to join the organization. At the same time, the diplomat pointed out that free trade with the EAEU would have a great impact on Iran-Russia trade and create prospects for successful cooperation in finance, transit, energy, technologies and knowledge-intensive projects. BRICS is already effectively dealing with important energy issues and is able to play a key role in aerospace and the development of new technologies, expanding its presence to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mahdi Safari told Sputnik.

“The most important problem is represented by three issues: the first is energy production, the second is energy transportation, and the third is energy consumption. I can say that these three issues are being resolved by BRICS,” Safari said, adding that thanks to the membership of India, Russia and Iran, the group could also play an important role in such areas as new technologies, aerospace, transit corridors and global trade. In addition, BRICS can contribute to the international presence in the waters of the Persian Gulf, Oman Gulf and Indian Ocean, he added. “Iran’s accession to BRICS will provide this organization with enormous opportunities. One of them is transit, the second is energy, be it oil or gas, the third is new technologies and the knowledge-intensive sector,” the diplomat said. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS are the world’s largest producers and consumers of oil and gas, Safari noted in his interview with Sputnik, adding that BRICS is an oil and gas market half the size of the world, while the SCO is a major regional market, which itself can have a great impact.

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“We never liked the French,” Medvedev said in a Telegram post. “The frogs fought a war against us..”

Medvedev Labels French Diplomats ‘Scum, Bastards, Freaks’ (RT)

The French Foreign Ministry has justified Russia’s historic dislike of France by declaring the Ukrainian massacre of civilians in Belgorod to be self-defense, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev claimed on Wednesday. Ukrainian artillery struck the central square of the Russian city with cluster bombs on Saturday, injuring over 100 civilians and killing 25, including children. Asked about it on Wednesday morning, a spokesman of the Foreign Ministry in Paris said that Ukraine was “acting in self-defense” while Russia was “an aggressor state” responsible for any “human tragedies that accompany” the conflict. “We never liked the French,” Medvedev said in a Telegram post. “The frogs fought a war against us,” he added, referring to Napoleon Bonaparte’s ill-fated 1812 invasion.

“Now we are convinced of this. The French Foreign Ministry said that the strike on Belgorod using cluster munitions was ‘self-defense’,” he added. “Scum. Bastards. Freaks.” The French response to the Belgorod massacre echoed the official position of the European Union, which has fully endorsed Kiev. “In general, Ukraine has the legal right to defend itself,” EU foreign policy spokesman Peter Stano said on Wednesday. “Regarding the specific incident in Belgorod, no information that comes from Russia can be considered trustworthy.” Although Kiev’s forces have struck Russia’s border regions for months, the December 30 attack on Belgorod was the worst of its kind over the course of the conflict. Moscow has accused the US and the UK of helping plan the attack, while a security source told RT that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky personally ordered the massacre.

Russia has responded with drone and missile strikes on Ukrainian military industry facilities, repair shops and ammunition warehouses, including depots loaded with weapons donated to Kiev by the West. Medvedev currently serves as President Vladimir Putin’s deputy on the national Security Council. Since the Ukraine conflict escalated in February 2022, the former president (2008-2012) and prime minister of Russia (2012-2020) has emerged as a hard-line critic of Kiev and the West, compared to the more moderate rhetoric coming from the Kremlin.

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“Calls for mass displacement of the Palestinians are contrary to official Israeli government policy and the US view..”

Washington Sees No Sign of Genocide in Gaza (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s administration has rejected genocide allegations against Israel by multiple nations, including a NATO ally, insisting that Washington sees no indication that West Jerusalem’s forces are committing such acts as they pound the Gaza Strip in a campaign to destroy Hamas. South Africa’s government filed a genocide case against Israel last week in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and NATO member Türkiye announced its official support for the charge on Wednesday. US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller denounced the allegations at a press briefing later on Wednesday, saying there was no indication that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were committing genocide against the Palestinians.

“Genocide is of course a heinous atrocity, one of the most heinous atrocities that any individual can commit,” Miller said. “Those are allegations that should not be made lightly, and as it pertains to the United States, we are not seeing any acts that constitute genocide.” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was more pointed in his response, saying the allegations against Israel were “meritless.” He added that the ICJ case filed by South Africa was “counterproductive and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever.” More than 22,000 Palestinians have been killed since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, according to Gaza health authorities. The UN warned last month that more than 500,000 Gazans were starving amid the Israeli bombardment, and 85% of the population had been displaced.

The conflict began when Hamas militants launched surprise attacks against villages in southern Israel, killing more than 1,100 people, including nearly 700 Israeli citizens, and taking hundreds of hostages back to Gaza. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has likened Israel’s military campaign in the Palestinian enclave to Nazi Germany’s Holocaust against the Jewish people. He also has blasted Western nations for supporting Israel’s tactics, and he suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was just as genocidal as Germany’s Adolf Hitler. Türkiye’s foreign minister, Hakan Fidan, argued on Wednesday that by giving “unconditional support” to Israel, Western nations had lost all credibility to talk about “principles, virtue and morality.” He added, “I see that all of this is paving the way for a huge geostrategic rupture.”

Miller’s comments came one day after the US State Department rebuked “inflammatory and irresponsible” statements by two Israeli politicians calling for the removal of Palestinians from Gaza. Israeli Defense Minister Ben Gvir doubled down on his statement later on Tuesday, saying, “With all due respect, we are not another star on the American flag.” Calls for mass displacement of the Palestinians are contrary to official Israeli government policy and the US view, Miller told reporters on Wednesday. “They are in direct contradiction of his own government’s policy, and we believe those statements should stop,” he said of Gvir’s rhetoric. However, Miller added that it was appropriate for the IDF to ask Gazans to “temporarily” evacuate their homes when Israeli forces carry out “legitimate military operations” in their neighborhoods.

RT
https://twitter.com/i/status/1742706506619851124

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“You need to be in China to compete in the game, you don’t win by refusing to participate when the other side is still kicking the ball.”

The US Can’t Stop China’s Rise, But It Will Cripple The EU While Trying (RT)

For years now, the US has been strongarming the Netherlands into accepting technology restrictions on the export of advanced lithography machines to China. These machines, produced by the Dutch firm ASML, use lasers to help create circuits for microchips. Although ASML is a world-leading specialist company, its foundational patents are derived from the US, which allows Washington to coerce it into following unilateral export controls as the Americans see fit. American restrictions have come in several waves, building on the sweeping export controls introduced in 2022. One such update concerning a specific kind of lithography machine came into effect on Monday, January 1, 2024. ASML attempted to rush through the sale of several such machines to China before the deadline but canceled it at the last moment – reportedly due to pressure from the US.

The news caused ASML’s US shares to drop. The fundamental goal of US foreign policy here is to try and crush China’s semiconductor industry and hobble its high tech ambitions, which has become one of the critical strategies to try and curb China’s military and economic rise as a whole. In doing so, the US has blacklisted Chinese technology firms and has increasingly tried to stave off the exports of semiconductor equipment to China, describing it as a “small yard, high fence” approach. Despite this, there is overwhelming evidence at this stage that such sanctions are not working, not least because China is pursuing a coordinated state and industry effort to forcibly advance itself in semiconductor technology which has seen Huawei, the original US target of sanctions, effectively piece together its very own semiconductor supply chain.

While doing this, China has also found increasingly creative ways around restrictions, secured loopholes for US equipment, and has continued to make progress on new chip nodes while also making older designs more efficient and effectively shrugging off America’s coercive campaign. If it wasn’t obvious already, the US is doubling down on failure and is forcing China towards self-sufficiency, which, of course, most ironically, will hurt US companies and exports above all. How exactly can the US feasibly maintain strict export controls over the world’s second-largest economy and largest trading nation? However, moves targeted at companies such as ASML show that the US continues to represent an obvious threat and challenge to European economic competitiveness and prosperity. Why? Because EU firms are being forced, by command of a third party, to sever ties with their most lucrative market, in order to meet American goals.

The US likes to claim that it supports free and fair trade in a market governed by the rule of law, but what kind of “rule of law” is there in a system where a firm you operate has secured a large number of sales in anticipation of a restriction deadline imposed by a third party outside of your legal system and then has to cancel those sales anyway because the same third party doesn’t want to wait for the deadline? China is the world’s largest semiconductor market, whose high-tech development fuels a greater demand for microchips than anywhere else in the world. The US believes it can hamstring China’s long-term prospects by blocking this ascension as the country moves away from low-end manufacturing. Washington’s plan to stop China’s development and induce stagnation is based on faulty logic that China is incapable of innovating or moving forward without Western technology, which goes against all evidence to the contrary.

Instead, in the long-term, this approach will effectively cut off Western firms from the critical and lucrative Chinese market, as the US aims to create a new global supply chain in technology which it dominates, and therefore make the EU dependent upon it. This reminds us that the EU is the biggest loser of America’s war on China as it seeks to break a lucrative trading relationship but also, more critically, undermine European competitiveness, as it has done by depriving it of Russian energy over the war in Ukraine, and therefore absorb the market space for itself. To follow American wishes on China is to sacrifice sovereignty, geopolitical autonomy, and prosperity to serve the goals of the United States. It is a lose-lose situation. What happens to ASML when the time comes that China is capable of creating its own high-end chips and lithography equipment? And no longer has need of it for its domestic market, and offers the same solutions to other countries? You need to be in China to compete in the game, you don’t win by refusing to participate when the other side is still kicking the ball.

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What a surprise…

Leopard 2 Tanks Supplied to Ukraine Are Non-Operational – German MP (Sp.)

Very few of the Leopard 2A6 tanks delivered by Berlin to Ukraine are still in service, according to Green Party member Sebastian Schafer. The majority of the machines were damaged in battle and spare parts are scarce, he stressed. “Unfortunately, we must admit that Ukraine can now use only small number of tanks delivered,” Schafer wrote to Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann arms manufacturers, which was reported on by German media. The politician noted that some of the Leopard tanks were further damaged by Ukrainian servicemen who tried to repair them. He stresses that there is a shortage of spare parts in the Lithuanian repair center. According to the politician, who recently visited the repair center in Lithuania with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, there are not enough spare parts for these tanks in the workshops to keep the vessels in working condition.

In his speech, Schaefer, a member of the parliamentary budget committee, called for measures to speed up the repair work. Western donors had earlier announced the delivery of Leopard tanks to Kiev, hailing them as a miracle weapon that would turn the tide for Ukraine. In total, the German government has transferred 18 Leopard 2 tanks from the Bundeswehr arsenal to Ukraine. Within weeks of the Leopards’ arrival on the battlefield, Russian forces began hunting them down with missiles and kamikaze drones. In November 2023, Forbes magazine reported that Ukraine was in danger of losing its entire Leopard fleet due to the incompetence of its soldiers.

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“..he does not currently see a way to force Scholz to step down, as it is not in the interests of his coalition partners, as they are even more unpopular..”

Will Chancellor Scholz Step Down Amid Plummeting Rating? (Sp.)

Support for Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party has dropped from 20% to 15% according to a December survey by the country’s Institute for New Social Answers (INSA). The drop is reportedly causing deep concern among party officials. Furthermore, the gap between it and its main rivals, the opposition conservative block CDU/CSU, has nearly tripled, reaching 17 percentage points. Scholz’s approval rating as the head of the government has also plummeted, with only one in five Germans expressing approval of his performance, as reported by Bild. Likewise, a December article from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica hinted at “bad rumors” circulating in the Bundestag, without disclosing sources. The potential successor to Scholz, according to the Italian publication, is also under consideration, with Pistorius being a prominent candidate.

The Wirecard scandal of 2020, involving a fraudulent scheme amounting to $2 billion, may also influence Scholz’s fate. At that time, Scholz served as the Minister of Finance in Angela Merkel’s government. Wirecard, once considered a promising fintech company specializing in cryptocurrency cards, went bankrupt in June 2020, revealing the disappearance of €1.9 billion from its accounts. Markus Braun, the head of the company, was arrested, and Jan Marsalek, the company’s executive, went missing. Scholz was responsible for financial supervision, as Wirecard was a partner of the federal government. The chancellor has consistently denied any involvement in the scandal and personal responsibility for what transpired. Addressing the chancellor’s policies, Gunnar Beck, a member of the European Parliament from the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, stated in an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia on January 3 that Scholz should resign.

“I think it would be very good if he (Scholz) resigned because his government is a disaster, diplomatically, economically, and in all other respects. But I don’t think he will resign for this reason. If he resigns now, it will not lead to the restoration of his own political career or to the electoral success of his own party in the next elections. It would be good for the country if he resigned, but I don’t think he will do that,” he said. As the politician noted, he does not currently see a way to force Scholz to step down, as it is not in the interests of his coalition partners, as they are even more unpopular. The opposition party will also not push him to resign because it is in the interest of the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Friedrich Merz, for Scholz to cause a real catastrophe in the remaining 18 months.

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“There is nothing Congress can do to force Thomas off the appeal. The concern is that Raskin is encouraging new targeting of justices at their homes by protesters..”

“What Do We Do if He Doesn’t Recuse Himself?” (Turley)

Rep. Jamie Raskin raised eyebrows on Sunday with a CNN interview where he said that there may have to be action taken if Justice Clarence Thomas does not recuse himself from pending appeals over the disqualification of Donald Trump from the Colorado and Maine ballots. Not only is there a weak basis for demanding such recusal, the suggestion of some type of response or retaliation raises ongoing concerns over efforts to influence or intimidate justices. CNN host Dana Bash asked Raskin, a former law professor, whether Thomas or any of the judges appointed by the former president should recuse themselves. Raskin responded that “anybody looking at this in any kind of dispassionate, reasonable way would say, if your wife was involved in the ‘Big Lie’ and claiming that Donald Trump had actually won the presidential election and been agitating for that and participating in the events leading up to January 6, that you shouldn’t be participating in (the rulings).”

I, for one, disagree. Under this theory, Thomas would have to recuse himself from any election or Trump related case because of his wife’s advocacy. Justices on both the left and right have long applied a far more narrow view of recusal. However, Raskin then stated: “He absolutely should recuse himself. The question is, what do we do if he doesn’t recuse himself?” The reference to some response from Congress or the public was left unexplained. In the past, Democrats have been criticized for fueling the attacks or targeting of conservative justices. In fairness to Raskin, I do not believe that he is an advocate for violence. He could be referring to the public voting against Trump. I wish, however, that his fealty to the constitution would extend to opposing this pernicious and dangerous theory. Other leading Democrats in Congress have done so.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer was widely criticized (including by Chief Justice John Roberts) when he went in front of the Supreme Court to publicly declare “I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” There is nothing Congress can do to force Thomas off the appeal. The concern is that Raskin is encouraging new targeting of justices at their homes by protesters. The interview had other curious elements. Raskin made a rather anemic effort to portray the removal of someone from the ballot as weirdly democratic under the theory that Trump picked himself for disqualification: “If you think about it, of all of the forms of disqualification that we have, the one that disqualifies people for engaging in insurrection is the most democratic because it’s the one where people choose themselves to be disqualified.”

That is akin to treating every criminal charge as an act of self-selection and consent by the accused. Raskin also stated that all of the justices on the left and right “call themselves textualist and originalists.” That is not true in the sense of originalism as a school of constitutional interpretation. Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Jackson do not follow an originalist approach but rather a more flexible living constitutional approach. Moreover, many of us do not believe that the text or original intent of the 14th Amendment support this anti-democratic theory.

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“.. the two states’ decisions — and the risk of others joining them — underscores the imperative need for the nation’s high court to decide the issue once and for all.”

Colorado Disqualification Case Brings Back Bad Memories for SCOTUS (Turley)

It is “a sad day for America and the Constitution when a court decides the outcome of an election.” Those words, condemning a4-3 decision by state supreme court justices regarding a presidential election, undoubtedly spoke for millions of Americans. However, it wasn’t a reference to the Colorado Supreme Court’s recent 4-3 decision to disqualify Donald Trump from running in the 2024 election. Instead, it was a statement by James Baker, then a spokesman for Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush, criticizing the Florida Supreme Court’s decision during the 2000 election. Of course, the condemnations in 2000 would shift to the U.S. Supreme Court, when it stopped the recount ordered by the four Florida justices and effectively called the election for Bush.

Then, it was the left condemning the U.S. justices as being, in the words of law professor Cass Sunstein, “illegitimate, undemocratic, and unprincipled.” Even the justices appeared to lose some of their customary collegiality and civility in the moment. Then-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously omitted the customary word “respectfully” before the phrase “I dissent” at the end of her opinion. Now, the Supreme Court is being pulled into another election vortex by the Colorado decision and, potentially, by some of the cases in at least 15 other states. (Appeals of ballot decisions are pending in Arizona; ballot challenges are in process in Alaska, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. A Wisconsin challenge has been denied twice.)

Colorado and, now, Maine remain outliers after the Michigan Supreme Court rejected another disqualification effort in that state. Last Wednesday, the Colorado GOP appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to accept the case given the split among the states and the importance of the issue. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have criticized the decision by Maine’s secretary of state and urged that the courts overturn it. But the two states’ decisions — and the risk of others joining them — underscores the imperative need for the nation’s high court to decide the issue once and for all.

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Attack is the best defense?

White House Blames Republicans For Illegal Immigration Crisis (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s administration has responded to the political fallout over a record influx of illegal immigrants by trying to shift blame for the border crisis to Republican lawmakers. As House Speaker Mike Johnson led a delegation of Republicans visiting the US-Mexico border on Wednesday, the White House issued a statement accusing the opposition party of blocking Biden’s efforts to resolve the crisis. Biden spokesman Andrew Bates condemned Republicans for refusing to pass the president’s emergency-funding request and accused them of having an “anti-border-security record,” including an effort to cut funding for Border Patrol officers.

“House Republicans are once more compromising America’s national security and economic growth with shutdown threats,” Bates said in response to a report that lawmakers vowed to block funding for the whole government if Biden didn’t close the border. He added, “Today’s statements are just House Republicans’ latest admission that as President Biden and both parties in the Senate seek common ground to address the needs of the American people, their conference is instead choosing extreme politics that would subject American families to needless pain.” However, Biden bundled his request for $6.4 billion in border security funding into a $106 billion emergency spending package that also includes military aid to Ukraine and Israel.

Most House Republicans oppose continuing to send weapons to Kiev, arguing that Biden’s policies lack a strategy for ending the fighting. Lawmakers have also argued that the president’s plan doesn’t go far enough to stop the flow of illegal aliens into the US. Border Patrol officers reportedly encountered more than 300,000 illegal immigrants crossing into the US in December, an all-time high for a single month. Illegal border crossings have surged since Biden took office in January 2021 and began dismantling the immigration policies of his Republican predecessor, former President Donald Trump. Biden’s administration released nearly 1.4 million illegal aliens into the US in the last fiscal year, in many cases letting them stay in the country while awaiting court hearings for dubious asylum claims, according to the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington.

A Monmouth University poll released last month showed that Biden’s approval rating dropped to a record low of 34%. Just 26% of US adults approve of his immigration policies, a troubling statistic as he seeks reelection in 2024. Critics of Biden’s policies have argued that in addition to flooding the US with illegal aliens, the nation’s porous borders have jeopardized national security. More than 172 illegal immigrants encountered by Border Patrol agents in the last fiscal year had been flagged on the nation’s terrorist watch list. House Republicans plan to launch impeachment proceedings next week against Biden’s Homeland Security chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, citing his alleged failure to enforce immigration laws. “The border crisis is a direct result of President Biden’s policies,” Johnson said on Wednesday as he began his border trip.

Caravan

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“Treason, I don’t know. It comes to an end soon and we’re here to make sure it happens.”

House Speaker Johnson At Border: ‘Disaster Of The President’s Own Design’ (JTN)

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said on Wednesday that the crisis at the southern border is a “disaster of the president’s own design,” adding that Biden has the authority to fix the problems. A group of 64 lawmakers representing 26 states visited the southern border in Texas on Wednesday. Describing the situation there as “heartbreaking and infuriating,” Johnson called on President Biden to reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” policy that he ended as soon as he took office in 2021. He also said the Biden administration must end “catch and release,” which allows illegal immigrants apprehended at the borer to be released into U.S. communities. Johnson said those policy changes would “stem the flow” of illegal immigrants arriving at the border by 70% or more. He told reporters that a border sheriff explained to him that the policy changes made since 2021 have “dismantled” 100 years of progress on border security.

House Republicans on the border trip urged Biden to resume construction of border barriers along open areas of the border. Johnson said there have been 7 million border encounters with illegal immigrants under Biden and a record amount of 312 individuals on the terrorist watchlist caught at the border. He noted that the Biden administration has taken the state of Texas to court for taking steps to secure the border. “Madness is the only word that we can think of to describe this,” Johnson said, as another lawmaker suggested treason as another word. “Treason, I don’t know. It comes to an end soon and we’re here to make sure it happens.”

Johnson emphasized that the president has the authority to “stop this madness.” He said the Biden administration has opened the border to the “entire world.” Johnson declared that any foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel that Congress passes “better begin by defending America’s national security.” Republican leaders are pushing to incorporate border security measures into a supplemental foreign aid package. “We want to get the border closed and secured, first, and we want to make sure that we reduce non-defense discretionary spending,” he said.

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X thread.

I’m hesitant to pay too much attention to this. FBI and CIA have had access to it for years. The info has been thoroughly cleaned.

The Epstein Files (Cernovich)

The Epstein Files. Today a tranche of documents were released in a case involving Jeffrey Epstein. There’s no revelations. Jeffrey Epstein’s case was covered up. I can explain why. In 2017, my lawyer Marc Randazza found a wonky freedom of the press case. There was a defamation case, and although Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t named as a defendant, the case was central to some “conspiracy theories.” Marc asked me if I wanted to file a motion to intervene. We expected it to be a simple matter. Media interest was almost zero. No one in the “free press” cared. Then Trump nominated Alexander Acosta to the Secretary of Labor. Acosta had handled the original Epstein criminal case, and said Epstein was given kid gloves treatments due to protection from the intelligence community. Epstein was an asset of the FBI. What his exact relation was remains sealed.

By 2019 the case I sought to intervene in had an ORANGE MAN BAD angle because Acosta was Trump’s Labor Secretary. Even if the motives were impure, at least we were on to the races. Hundreds-of-thousands of dollars later, a trip to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and a lot of fighting, we had a batch of documents ready to be unsealed. The weekend before the documents were made public, SDNY arrested Epstein quietly when he landed his private jet on an airport from a trip he took in France. No perp walk for Epstein. In 2019 I wrote the following after a press conference was held re: Epstein’s arrest: ” Why didn’t the SNDY charge Jeffrey Epstein under the Mann Act? Under the Mann Act, it’s unlawful to transport an underage girl through interstate travel, including on an airplane.” “In a widely-publicized press conference the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced sex trafficking charges against Jeff Epstein.”

“Epstein was charged for paying minors for massages from 2002 to 2005. Yet what was more newsworthy was the what the indictment left out.” “The indictment against Epstein does not charge anyone except Epstein, and there’s nothing to indicate that anyone who flew to Epstein’s private island has faced scrutiny.” “The SDNY’s actions have all of the telltale signs of containment. Because the Miami Herald and Cernovich won a civil lawsuit, leading to over 2,000 records being unsealed, it’s simply impossible for the same Feds who gave Epstein a pass years ago to continue to cover up.” “The SDNY could have charged Epstein in 2002, 2003, 2004, or at anytime until today. Yet they did not file charges until the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that previously sealed records involving Jeff Epstein would become public record.Thus they are charging him without implicating anyone else who assisted with his operation.”

You know what happened next. Epstein committed suicide. Because SDNY charged the lowest level offenses possible, they “lacked jurisdiction” to raid Epstein’s island in Little St James, as well as his New Mexico and Paris properties. Those houses were left unattended for a couple of weeks. During that time, a safe went missing. During the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, it was reported: Evidence from Jeffrey Epstein’s safe ‘went missing’ after FBI raid. What was in the safe? We’ll never know for certain. We do know that the FBI has Jeffrey Epstein’s blackmail files. The real Jeffrey Epstein files are the blackmail material. Very powerful forces have made sure we will never see it.

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“The flood came. It inundated America’s newsrooms for the next two and a half years and washed away the Republican House majority in 2018. And we’re charging Donald Trump with insurrection? Please! Pass the bananas.”

Was Barack Obama Guilty of Insurrection? (Cashill)

According to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, no person shall be eligible to hold federal office who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” Although all parties know the “insurrection or rebellion” clause refers specifically to recently completed Civil War, the Department of Justice argues for a much more elastic definition, all the better to hang Donald Trump with. Yet if there were one president guilty of insurrection in recent years, that president would have to be Barack Obama. In late 2016 and early 2017, Obama knowingly conspired with others to subvert the presidency of Donald Trump. Thanks to the zealous note taking of his once and future factotum, Susan Rice, we have documentation of this flagrant act of sedition. The formal plot to unseat President Donald Trump was launched with a White House meeting on Jan. 5, 2017, 15 days before Trump’s inauguration.

In conference with Rice and Obama were his national security team, including all the usual suspects: the FBI’s James Comey, the CIA’s John Brennan, then Vice-President Joe Biden, DNI James Clapper and Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Following the meeting, Obama asked Yates and Comey to stick around along with Rice, his trusted scribe. Obama had a reason for singling out Comey and Yates. Unlike the others, they were staying on in their jobs. On the very day at the very moment Trump was being inaugurated, Rice sent to “self” a peculiar email memorializing this meeting. “President Obama began the conversation,” wrote Rice, “by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.'”

The “issue” in question was the framing of Donald Trump for collusion with Russia. Obama had to know by this time that the collusion accusation was spawned by the Clinton campaign. The law firm that served as cutout for Clinton, Perkins Coie, was the same law firm that magically produced Obama’s birth certificate in 2011. There is evidence that Obama knew in early August of the provenance of the infamous Steele dossier. In 1974, Nixon campaign aide Donald Segretti made “dirty tricks” a household phrase. The nation was scandalized that Segretti would send fake letters using the letterhead of presidential candidate Edmund Muskie. For his dirty tricks, Segretti served four months in prison. For hers, the mother of all dirty tricks, Hillary Clinton walked away without even a scolding. The Steele dossier proved to be the most consequential dirty trick in American political history.

There is no “book” that justifies what Comey and pals did in the weeks immediately following this meeting while Obama was still president. The next day, Jan. 6, 2017, the conspirators released the declassified version of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA). Commissioned a month earlier by Obama, the ICA was John Brennan’s way of welcoming the president-elect to Washington. Titled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” the report concluded that Putin “ordered” an influence campaign, the goal of which was “to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”The corollary of this, of course, was that “Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

The “Obama dossier,” as Rep. Devin Nunes called the ICA, reads like one of my college term papers, filled with sundry bits of information gathered from here and there just hours before the due date. Although Comey lobbied to have the Steele dossier included in the body of the text, wiser heads prevailed, and it was relegated to the appendices. On the same day the ICA was released, Jan. 6, Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the NSA’s Mike Rogers briefed the incoming president at Trump Tower, sort of. “[W]e were not investigating him and the stuff [in the dossier] might be totally made up but it was being said out of Russia and our job was to protect the president from efforts to coerce him,” Comey wrote in his notes to self following the meeting. At least three of the four men were investigating Trump, and it was not the Russians who were doing the coercing.

Only Comey stayed behind to brief Trump about the Steele dossier. It had not yet been published. CNN had the story, Comey knew. He also knew that by telling the president about the dossier, he would give CNN the necessary news hook to report the dossier’s allegations, at least the more plausible ones. One of the conspirators promptly leaked the news of the more intimate briefing to CNN. On Jan. 8, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe emailed his senior FBI colleagues. “CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story,” wrote McCabe, emphasis his. “The trigger for [CNN] is they know the material was discussed in the brief and presented in an attachment.” McCabe sent this email under the heading, “The flood is coming.” The flood came. It inundated America’s newsrooms for the next two and a half years and washed away the Republican House majority in 2018. And we’re charging Donald Trump with insurrection? Please! Pass the bananas.

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Hair

 

 

Ice
https://twitter.com/i/status/1742536626541089246

 

 


Donnie Dunagan was the youngest U.S. Marine drill instructor. He served three tours in Vietnam and was wounded several times, retiring as a Major in 1977. Throughout his career he managed to keep secret that he had been the voice of Bambi in the 1942 Disney film.

 

 

Cassoway

 

 


Raimondi Cove Plant reaches maturity only after 100 years, flowers only once in a lifetime, and can live over 1000 years. Raimondi Cove Plant (Puya raimondi) is a unique and rare plant that can grow at a high altitude of about 3800 m. It is the largest species of bromeliad, reaching up to 15 m (50 ft) in height.

 

 


The Oriental dwarf kingfisher is a small, red and yellow kingfisher, averaging 13 cm (5.1 in) in length, yellow underparts with glowing bluish-black upperparts

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 062023
 


William Merritt Chase Back Of A Nude 1888

 

US Border Control Bill Collapses – NBC (RT)
Bernie Sanders Opposes $10 Billion Israel Aid (RT)
Zelensky Bails On Briefing With US Senate (RT)
Israel Has Crossed Its Rubicon (Rall)
Israel Can’t Defeat Hamas In Battle, So What’s Next? (Inlakesh)
Biden Works To Create Plausible Deniability On Gaza (Plitnick)
Israel Mulls Flooding Hamas Tunnels – WSJ (RT)
Israel Uses AI Genocide Programme To Obliterate Gaza (Cook)
Did The West Deliberately Prolong The Ukraine War? (Marketic)
Will the Real Hunter Biden Now Step Forward? (Turley)
DOJ Gave Hunter Biden ‘Preferential Treatment’ – US House Panels (Sp.)
Special Counsel Slams Hunter Biden’s Subpoena Demand (Turley)
House GOP: Evidence Of Coordination Between Democrat J6 panel, Georgia DA (JTN)
Why Do You Trust Those Who Lie To You? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Boris Johnson Considered Military Raid On Holland – Daily Mail (RT)

 

 


@azaizamotaz9: “A man is holding a little girl after he extracted her from under the rubble of her destroyed house by the Israeli war planes. This photo have been taken by me from my street today.”

 

 

Hamas
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731993030691807347

 

 

 

 

International Committee of the Red Cross

 

 

Milei

 

 

Byron York

 

 

Scott Adams: “It’s time to call batshit crazy what it is. This is a medical problem, not a political issue.”

 

 

 

 

Biden’s “national security bill” includes Ukraine and Israel aid. Keeping the border wide open is more important for the Dems than supporting Ukraine. Suggestions for tighter immigration controls are labeled “extreme policies” and “dictated by Donald Trump.”

US Border Control Bill Collapses – NBC (RT)

Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate have reportedly failed to reach a deal on a border security package, NBC reported on Tuesday, citing congressional aides with knowledge of the talks. The collapse of negotiations now threatens to derail President Joe Biden’s national security bill, which includes aid to Israel and Ukraine. The Republican Party has for weeks been threatening to block Biden’s $106 billion ‘national security supplemental request,’ originally introduced in October, unless it included a spending boost for the US-Mexico border and tighter immigration controls, particularly with regards to asylum and parole laws in immigration proceedings. GOP lawmakers have proposed detaining all migrants seeking asylum in the US upon entry instead of releasing them into the country while their claims are processed, as is currently the case.

Republican lawmakers have argued that the existing system is constantly being abused as it allows migrants to slip through the cracks. Democrats, however, have called these demands “extremist,”prompting negotiations to effectively break down, with both parties accusing each other of intractable positions. One Democratic aide told NBC that, despite Democrats offering several proposals to streamline the processing of asylum claims, Republican senators have insisted on “extreme policies” that would“end asylum as we know it” and effectively “shut down the border.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has also blasted Republican senators for holding up negotiations, saying on Monday that the GOP’s border demands were being “dictated by Donald Trump.” The politician stressed that the Democratic Party “will not keep going in circles if Republicans aren’t interested in meeting us halfway.”

In response to Schumer’s complaint, Republican Senator John Cornyn said there was a “misunderstanding” among Democrats. “This is not a traditional negotiation, where we expect to come up with a bipartisan compromise on the border. This is a price that has to be paid in order to get the supplemental,” he said. Minority Leader Mitch McConnel has also countered Schumer’s statement by suggesting that the Democrats were “wasting time with bizarre public scoldings.” He claimed that restoring a “functional” asylum and parole system and ensuring “meaningful”enforcement of US immigration laws was “a bridge too far for Senate Democrats.” The collapse of the negotiations comes as Biden’s office has urged Congress to “immediately” resolve the military aid deadlock, emphasizing that “there’s money for Ukraine” in Biden’s spending request that is “desperately needed.”

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More “national security bill”.

Bernie Sanders Opposes $10 Billion Israel Aid (RT)

US Senator Bernie Sanders has urged his Democratic colleagues to pull more than $10 billion in military aid to Israel from an upcoming spending bill, arguing that the money would make Washington complicit in Israel’s “immoral” war in Gaza. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Monday that he would put a $106 billion spending bill to a vote on Wednesday. Requested by President Joe Biden, the bill includes $10.1 billion in direct military aid to Israel, more than $61 billion for Ukraine, and $13.6 for border protection at home. “I do not believe we should be appropriating over $10 billion for the right-wing extremist Netanyahu government to continue its current military approach,” Sanders said in a speech on the Senate floor on Monday, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“What the Netanyahu government is doing is immoral, it is in violation of international law, and the United States should not be complicit in those actions,” Sanders continued. Israeli forces began bombarding Gaza in early October, in response to a surprise attack on the Jewish state by Hamas, a Palestinian militant group. Israeli tanks and troops were sent into Gaza three weeks later, and with fighting raging once again after a weeklong ceasefire at the end of November, more than 16,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry. More than 7,000 of those killed were children, the ministry said on Tuesday. Hamas’ attack on Israel left around 1,200 dead and around 240 captured as hostages.

Sanders, who is Jewish, refused to join some of his progressive colleagues in demanding a ceasefire last month. He has also endorsed the provision of some military aid to Israel, saying on Monday that “it is appropriate for us to support defense systems that will protect Israeli citizens from incoming missile and rocket attacks.” However, Israel’s “indiscriminate approach” to the war is, “in my view, offensive to most Americans,” he added. Sanders did not say for sure whether he would vote against the entire $106 billion package. If Sanders and every single Senate Republican were to vote against the bill, Democrats could still pass it by making use of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

However, the bill will face much stiffer opposition in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. With a growing number of conservatives categorically opposed to further aid to Ukraine and demanding an end to Biden’s lax border policies, House Speaker Mike Johnson told Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young on Monday that “supplemental Ukraine funding is dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws,” and on the White House providing “clearly defined and obtainable objectives” for the conflict in Ukraine.

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He knew what was coming.

Zelensky Bails On Briefing With US Senate (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky abruptly canceled a briefing with US senators and White House officials on Tuesday due to a “last-minute” snag, according to a high-ranking Democrat. The sit-down then became heated, as lawmakers shifted their focus to the debate over US border policy and continued aid to Kiev. Zelensky’s team called off the virtual appearance just moments before it was set to go ahead, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, noting that something had come up for the leader without elaborating. Administration officials were expected to offer updates on a massive military aid package for Israel and Ukraine currently under negotiations in Congress, which the White House has repeatedly urged lawmakers to pass. Some GOP lawmakers have sought to link new Ukraine aid to funding for US border agencies, with multiple senators threatening to hold up the spending bill unless it includes desired provisions for controls on immigration.

After Zelensky’s sudden cancellation, the briefing grew contentious, with some Republicans, including Senators Deb Fischer and Mitt Romney, even walking out early. “The point is there’s no answer to any questions down there,” Fischer told Defense News, adding “We’ve had it.” She stressed that she has previously supported all legislation supporting Ukraine, adding that the White House “better be worried. Because I have backed everything.” President Joe Biden’s top budget official, Shalanda Young, warned that Washington was “out of money” for Kiev earlier this week, stating that “without congressional action, by the end of the year, we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from US military stocks.” She went on to note that, as of mid-November, the Pentagon had spent 97% of the $62.3 billion it received for Ukraine this year, while the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID) had used up 100% of the funds allocated.

Biden has requested a massive spending package worth $106 billion to fund several priorities of his administration, namely military aid to Ukraine and Israel, but faces opposition from an increasingly skeptical Republican Party. Although Zelensky ultimately backed out of the Senate briefing without explanation, his chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, made in-person appearances on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to lobby for additional aid to Ukraine. During a speech at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, the official said Kiev faced a “big risk” of defeat should Washington halt its military support. “We’re at the end of our rope in terms of the existing funding,” an unnamed Zelensky advisor told Politico, adding that the money would not “go beyond December.”

Tucker Massie

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“..jihadi culture requires those about to stage a raid to warn their enemy in advance..”

Israel Has Crossed Its Rubicon (Rall)

A few weeks ago, from an international and domestic-U.S. PR standpoint, Israel might have been able to bring its war in Gaza in for a hard landing. Now, it has painted itself into a corner. Gaza has been destroyed. By this time next year, so will Israel—not its physical plant, but its current status as a privileged, funded, protected nation-state. The damage inflicted thus far is so severe and thorough that the Gaza Strip will be uninhabitable for the foreseeable future, at least several years. All or most of its 2.3 million residents, transformed into refugees, will be permanently displaced. Nothing can change that. If a left-wing Israeli government were to come to power, unilaterally end the war and offer the Palestinians their own sovereign independent republic side-by-side with Israel, Gaza would need to be rebuilt at a cost of tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars.

In the meantime, the Jewish state would have to provide long-term housing and public assistance for more than 2 million Palestinians throughout years of reconstruction. “You’ll end up having displaced people living in tents for a long time,” Raphael Cohen, senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, told US media. But where? Assuming that a new regime could muster the necessary political consensus and address the ensuing security concerns surrounding a massive population of internally displaced people, Israel is a small nation of fewer than 10 million people with high unemployment and an aging population; it can’t afford such a massive undertaking or the demographics to quickly absorb 2 million traumatized Palestinians.

This was the thinking behind the Israeli intelligence officials who wrote a “thinking” memo that suggested the situation be exploited as a rare opportunity to drive out all the locals so they could seize and annex the entire territory of Gaza. The revelations that Netanyahu’s government obtained Hamas’ plans for the incursion a year ago, viewed video showing Hamas fighters training (jihadi culture requires those about to stage a raid to warn their enemy in advance), received a warning from Egypt that Hamas was about to attack days prior, and that the IDF failed to respond for at least eight hours after Israel’s high-tech “smart fence” around Gaza was breached (despite receiving an instant alert) prompts the cynic in me to wonder whether the Israeli government let October 7th happen on purpose.

What – Netanyahu and his colleagues may have asked themselves – are a few hundred or even a few thousand Israeli lives compared to the chance to get rid of half the Palestinians in Palestine, and join Gaza to Israel in the bargain? If so, they miscalculated. US officials have conveyed to their Israeli counterparts that Israel only has a few weeks left before losing international support and suffering a “strategic defeat.” Israel plans to continue for months. The US assessment is too optimistic. The die is cast. Defeat is inevitable.

Scott Horton

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“According to Israeli polling data, Benjamin Netanyahu is only trusted by 4% of Israelis..”

Israel Can’t Defeat Hamas In Battle, So What’s Next? (Inlakesh)

After a seven-day lull in the war between Israel and the Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, the resumption of hostilities has been given another green light from Washington. Having failed to lead its Israeli allies towards military victory, the US is permitting a dangerous escalation and rejects a peaceful solution that will prevent further civilian suffering. Just minutes after the departure of US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, from Palestine/Israel, the war in Gaza resumed, with a large aerial onslaught on Palestinian civilian infrastructure resulting in the deaths of nearly 200 civilians. The White House spokesperson John Kirby announced continued support for Israel’s “right and responsibility to go after Hamas,” but to what end is unclear. As the likes of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak admits that Hamas is far from falling apart, it begs the question: what really is the point of this war?

Following six weeks of war that resulted in likely over 20,000 Palestinian deaths, the Israeli military has failed to produce any evidence that it has made a significant dent on the military capabilities of Hamas and the other Palestinian armed groups in the besieged coastal enclave. While Israel forced its way into the major hospitals in northern Gaza, claiming that Hamas was using the sites as bases and command-and-control centers, the evidence produced by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) does not support these allegations. The US government backed the idea that a command node had existed at the Shifa Hospital, and when the Israeli forces entered the hospital compound they presented weapons they claimed to have found there, as well as an empty tunnel. Any such images released to the public are curated and edited by the Israeli army, but if independently verified, they could serve as evidence of militant presence – still, not proof of a control center or node.

Little of note was discovered in other hospitals, and American claims of having solid intel that confirms Israeli claims is dubious, considering previous public statements such as US President Joe Biden’s words about having seen “confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children” which the White House later had to walk back. At the start of this war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government was going to “crush Hamas,” a goal that the US government backed publicly. Yet, Hamas has managed to not only inflict the largest blow against Israel in its history, but has also defended Gaza on the ground with countless documented cases of success against Israeli forces. The whole world is now talking about the formation of a Palestinian State, an idea that had been all but abandoned in favor of unconditional normalization agreements between Arab States and Israel, prior to the war.

In addition to this, one of the predictable outcomes of the Israeli war on Gaza, has been a tremendous uptick in support for Hamas throughout the occupied territories. In the Middle East and throughout the Muslim World, Hamas militants have become heroes and are widely viewed as a valiant national resistance. The Saudi-Israeli normalization deal, which the Biden administration’s Middle East policy revolved around, is dead in the water at this time as Riyadh moves closer to Tehran. According to Israeli polling data, Benjamin Netanyahu is only trusted by 4% of Israelis, while the most trusted national figure was recorded to be Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari. Hagari, despite being trusted by Israelis, was turned into the “there is a list guy” and an online meme, after presenting a video in which he claimed a regular Arabic calendar named “terrorists”. That video, in which he referred to the list, was supposed to show evidence of Hamas keeping hostages at the Rantisi Children’s Hospital.

At least 10 countries have either withdrawn ambassadors from, or suspended ties with, Israel. All this as the largest pro-Palestinian protests to have ever taken place in the West continue to occur in capital cities like London and Washington DC. This, combined with a considerable drop in Joe Biden’s approval rating, all spell disaster for the US-supported war in Gaza. The White House claims that it is putting certain restrictions on the Israeli army as it plans to invade the south of Gaza, but in the same breath offers unconditional support for Israel’s actions. At no point has the US government taken any responsibility for what has happened since October 7, there has been no apology for their lies, no change in strategy and no acknowledgement in the role that Washington has played in creating the situation on the ground in Gaza that facilitated the Hamas attack. The real question now is: Where do we go from here? Israel aimlessly fights in Gaza and continues to kill thousands of Palestinian civilians, there is no sign of a Hamas defeat on the horizon and the humanitarian situation, which is described as “the worst ever” by UN Relief Chief Martin Griffiths, is further deteriorating.

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“..every bullet that misses its intended target, every loose piece of flying shrapnel or debris, has a good chance of hitting a civilian..”

Biden Works To Create Plausible Deniability On Gaza (Plitnick)

Biden’s Special Envoy for Middle Eastern Humanitarian Affairs David Satterfield introduced what he called a new “deconfliction mechanism” for Gaza last week. This, he says, is a new system to make sure that Israel knows where humanitarian aid workers are so they will not continue to be killed at the highest rate of any conflict in the United Nations’ history. This is addressing a problem that doesn’t exist. UN and other relief organizations have been coordinating with Israel for decades about their activities in Gaza and where they are working. Israel has not been attacking UN sites, hospitals, schools, mosques, and humanitarian aid facilities and vehicles by mistake. Instead, they have argued that Hamas and other militant groups are using them as cover and they are therefore fair game.

International law, of course, does not give Israel the right to launch such attacks if the sites are full of civilians, even if it believes militants are using them for combat purposes outside of extreme cases of self-defense. Moreover, Israel has generally been unable to provide anything but the flimsiest and most suspect of evidence to support their often outrageous claims. But this “deconfliction mechanism” allows the Biden administration to claim it is working to protect innocent lives in Gaza while it continues its support of Israeli actions. The duplicity of this move is evidenced by the fact that Biden continues to refrain from criticizing Israel’s deliberate targeting of Gaza’s medical and humanitarian infrastructure. If that’s not a red line, then the “deconfliction mechanism,” an already redundant idea, is utterly meaningless.

It can’t be stressed enough that what we have in the south of Gaza now is an intense concentration of people so densely packed in that it would be impossible to launch even the most careful military operation without enormous civilian casualties. There simply is no room to create the sort of “safe zone” the U.S. is claiming Israel will magically conjure. But the theater continues. One U.S. official, speaking anonymously, said, “ You cannot have the scale of displacement that took place in the north replicated in the south.” That’s true, of course. There’s nowhere for them to go. Egypt is not going to allow masses of Gazans through the Rafah crossing — which couldn’t accommodate this kind of flight in any case.

There’s little left in the north to flee to, and Israeli forces would be in the way. So, every bullet that misses its intended target, every loose piece of flying shrapnel or debris, has a good chance of hitting a civilian. It is not credible that Biden administration officials, from the President on down, don’t know this. So when Sullivan talks about giving Palestinians in the south of Gaza the opportunity to “get out of the way” of an Israeli military operation, he knows he is speaking gibberish. It wasn’t possible for Palestinians to do that when the 2.2 million people in Gaza were packed into the full area of the Strip. They’re now jammed into half that space.

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Crazy.

Israel Mulls Flooding Hamas Tunnels – WSJ (RT)

Israel is considering using seawater to flood the extensive network of tunnels under Gaza, used by Hamas militants to smuggle goods in and out of the Palestinian enclave, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources. According to US officials interviewed by the paper, the Israeli military assembled an extensive flooding system not far from Al-Shati refugee camp in northwest Gaza in mid-November. The unit reportedly consists of five pumps capable of drawing thousands of cubic meters of water per hour from the Mediterranean Sea, potentially allowing Israel to flood the underground maze within a few weeks. The Israeli government informed the US, its key ally, of the initiative last month, sparking debate about whether the plan was feasible, as well as its pros and cons, WSJ sources said.

They noted that no final decision on its execution has yet been made and that it is unclear how ready Israel is to implement it. The plan, the report says, could drive Hamas fighters out of the sprawling system of tunnels, which span hundreds of kilometers, with some passages reaching into Egypt. The network also provides Hamas and other local Islamist groups with formidable cover from missile strikes and allows them to evade Israel’s blockade. Some tunnels are tall enough for an average man to stand up in, are built from reinforced concrete, and boast a network of communication lines. However, some US officials are said to have serious doubts about the plan. “We are not sure how successful pumping will be, since nobody knows the details of the tunnels and the ground around them,” one source said.

Meanwhile, Jon Alterman, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned in a WSJ interview that it was hard to estimate how much seawater would seep into the ground or what impact the pumping would have on water and sewage infrastructure. This sentiment was echoed by Wim Zwijnenburg, an environmental expert, who noted that the flooding could wash hazardous materials out of the tunnels, further contaminating the soil. He also recalled that Gaza’s aquifer has been getting saltier recently due to rising sea levels. The current hostilities between Israel and Hamas were sparked in early October and have resulted in thousands of dead on both sides, while Hamas took more than two hundred hostages, many of whom have since been released. The fighting has also exacerbated the ever-present water crisis in Gaza. According to the UN, Palestinians receive no more than three liters per day, compared to the healthy minimum of 15 liters.

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“..the artificial intelligence system, called “Gospel”, is generating lists of targets so rapidly the military cannot keep up..”

Israel Uses AI Genocide Programme To Obliterate Gaza (Cook)

It should already have been evident from the scale of death and destruction inflicted on Gaza over the past eight weeks that Israel was implementing a policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide against Palestinians in the besieged enclave. Now Israeli whistleblowers have provided details of how these crimes against humanity are being carried out – and how they are being rationalised internally within Israel’s military and political echelons. An extraordinary series of testimonies jointly published by the Israel-based publications 972 and Local Call last week established that the huge death toll of Palestinian civilians is, in fact, integral to Israel’s war aims, not an unfortunate side effect. The known dead so far are estimated at almost 16,000, with a further 6,000 missing, presumably crushed under rubble. Two-thirds of those killed by Israel are women and children.

Two years ago, during an earlier attack on Gaza, Israeli military officials admitted for the first time that a computer was supplying them with potential targets. The intention appears to have been to bypass the restraints imposed by human assessments of likely casualties by outsourcing the killings to a machine. The whistleblowers confirm that, given new, generous parameters of who and what can be attacked, the artificial intelligence system, called “Gospel”, is generating lists of targets so rapidly the military cannot keep up. Israel’s inputs are now so broad that they allow the bombing without warning of high-rise apartment blocks, so long as it can be claimed that one person residing there is believed to have a connection to Hamas. As Hamas not only has a military wing but runs the enclave’s government, the new policy potentially widens the circle of targets to include civil servants, police, health workers, educators, journalists and aid workers.

That helps explain how, according to United Nations figures, some 100,000 homes in Gaza have been levelled or made uninhabitable and 1.7 million Palestinians displaced, or some three-quarters of the enclave’s population. The revelations definitively give the lie to claims by western politicians, such as US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer, that Israel is simply defending itself and trying to avoid civilian casualties. In a report last Friday, the Guardian corroborated Israel’s reliance on the Gospel computing system. The paper quoted a former White House official familiar with the Pentagon’s development of autonomous offensive systems as stating that Israel’s no-holds-barred AI war on Gaza was an “important moment”. The official added: “Other states are going to be watching and learning.”

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“Amputations among Ukrainians have already reached a comparable scale to that suffered by Germans and Britons over World War One, in a fraction of the time..”

Did The West Deliberately Prolong The Ukraine War? (Marketic)

IFormer U.S. national security official Fiona Hill reported the two sides had reached a tentative peace deal the same month of Johnson’s surprise visit to Kyiv, while former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and several Turkish officials — all of whom were involved at various times in the talks — have said that NATO officials stopped or undermined negotiations. Multiple U.S. reports documented a divide in NATO, with the United States and U.K. reportedly heading a faction of states who preferred a longer war than a sooner peace. Historian Niall Ferguson reported overhearing an unnamed U.S. official say in March 2022 that “the only end game now is the end of Putin regime [sic].” What’s particularly notable is how dramatically these disclosures contrast with the overwhelming thrust of two years’ worth of mainstream discourse on, and analysis of, this war.

Until recently, both NATO officials and commentators across the political spectrum insisted that negotiations with Moscow were impossible and that the war could only be ended by pursuing victory on the battlefield, usually by pursuing Kyiv’s maximalist aims of reconquering all of the territory it had lost since 2014. (According to reports, the tentative agreement reached last April would have seen Ukraine exchange neutrality for a Russian withdrawal to its pre-February 2022 borders). Voices who called for a diplomatic resolution were ignored or viciously smeared, as was anyone who said that Ukraine’s possible entry into NATO was at the heart of the conflict, and that adopting neutrality could help end the war. There is now a mountain of evidence backing both of these claims. In fact, Arakhamia’s interview further drove home the point about NATO membership.

“They actually hoped until nearly the last moment that they could press us into signing this agreement, adopting neutrality,” he said in the interview. “That was essentially the main point. Everything else was cosmetic and political embellishments about ‘denazification,’ the Russian-speaking population, blah blah blah.” There are several key takeaways here. One is that Americans, and indeed all Western publics, should be far more skeptical in future of claims from officials and commentators that diplomatic solutions to conflicts and negotiations with adversarial governments are impossible or ineffective, and that military solutions are the only answer. Indeed, we’ve seen virtually the same arguments deployed against peace talks between Israel and Hamas — a conflict that recently saw a successful temporary ceasefire and hostage exchange — just as we saw them deployed in previous conflicts that likewise ended with successful negotiations.

Another is the carnage that could have been prevented. It was only a few months after negotiations were scuttled that Zelensky admitted Ukraine was losing between 60 and 100 soldiers every day. By August this year, U.S. estimates of Ukrainian casualties, which are an official state secret, stood at nearly 200,000, including 70,000 killed. Amputations among Ukrainians have already reached a comparable scale to that suffered by Germans and Britons over World War One, in a fraction of the time. Besides this death toll, the prolonging of the war has meant profound economic, demographic, and even territorial losses for Ukraine.

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“The risks of a moment of clarity and honesty may be too great for Hunter. If he recalls these events and messages, he will not only contradict prior denials but face potential criminal charges..”

Will the Real Hunter Biden Now Step Forward? (Turley)

Hunter Biden now has a date with Congress. The President’s son is scheduled to appear on December 13th to answer questions on his role in the alleged Biden corruption scandal. It is a long-awaited moment for the House Oversight Committee, which has assembled a damning array of evidence from shake-down messages to millions in transfers from shady foreign sources. The only question now is which Hunter will appear. He has been reinvented by his lawyers and public relations team so many times he now seems like a Sybil witness with carefully constructed alternative personalities. Played by Sally Field in the 1976 movie, Sybil was believed to have had dissociative identity disorder with over a 100 separate personalities. In reality, the real Sybil (Shirley Mason) admitted that the different personalities were fake. We will have to wait for the public hearing to see which Hunter will appear. Here are some of the options from the Hunter Biden repertoire:

Hunter the Genius. First, there is the gifted attorney and expert on issues ranging from trains to energy. For years, Joe Biden arranged for high-ranking positions like his appointment to the Amtrak Board of Directors — an appointment that even his nominating senator seemed to mock. Hunter the International Businessman. Second there is Hunter Biden the sophisticated international businessman whose fame for financial acumen was sought globally by Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, and other companies. While admitting that his father’s name helped him, Biden insisted that his resume justified the foreign companies clamoring for his expertise, even instructing a reporter to “say it nicer” when pressed on such questions.

Hunter the The Drug Addict. As the corruption scandal mounted, the Biden team and the media sought to portray Hunter was lacking responsibility for his action due to his addiction to drugs and alcohol. Of course, the “seven percent solution” contradicts the earlier images and only begged the question of why these foreign figures would be clamoring for the services of man who claimed that he was blacked out between trysts with high-priced prostitutes . . . for years. Hunter the Hunted. Most recently, the “Dark Biden” emerged as his legal team pledged to attack witnesses and critics against him. Now Hunter was to be the insulted and angry son of a President who had had enough of investigations. That image resonates in the letter from his counsel attacking all of these investigations as utterly baseless.

In reality, the hearing is likely to be a Sybil performance with each personality emerging when useful. Hunter will likely claim a lack of memory on many of the most embarrassing discoveries as the hopeless addict. He will then fall back on his resume to claim that his appeal to foreign companies was his insights and experience. Angry Hunter will then appear at critical moments to express disgust with the committee and portray questions as attacking recovered addicts everywhere. The one personality that is unlikely to manifest itself during the hearing is the one that has yet to appear in public: the honest Biden. Even the mainstream media has largely abandoned its denial of the corruption in these contracts. Reporters now admit that this was raw influence peddling but insist that there is no evidence that President Biden personally benefited from the schemes, as view that I have previously contested.

Yet, it will be difficult for Hunter to go before the Committee and admit that he was selling access to the highest bidders . . . but he was really scamming them. It is easier to claim that he was a hopeless blacked out junkie who was somehow able to maintain a global system of dozens of accounts and shell companies to transfer millions of dollars. The risks of a moment of clarity and honesty may be too great for Hunter. If he recalls these events and messages, he will not only contradict prior denials but face potential criminal charges for any factual misrepresentations. The Justice Department has allowed felonies to lapse against Hunter, but these would be new potential charges with new dates under the statute of limitation.

In the case of Sybil, her psychiatrist, Dr. Connie Wilbur, allegedly was told by his patient that she was making up these personalities but already had a book contract based on her original diagnosis. She went ahead with the book, which became a celebrated movie. It turned out that the existence of the personalities was simply a better story than the reality. The media is in the same position with Hunter. After spending years suppressing the corruption scandal, they are left with an array of carefully constructed personalities that will all likely be on display in December. They and the public will then be able to see a performance that could put Sally Fields to shame as the various Hunters are called before Congress at the same time. Like the movie, it might be hard to keep track and, like one of Sybil’s personalities, you are left asking “Who dat?” The answer is that they are all Hunter and none of them have much to say about corruption.

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“The Justice Department delayed its investigation into Biden, worked to remove Biden’s name from search warrants and subpoenas, restricted investigators from asking witnesses about US President Joe Biden during interviews and tipped off defense attorneys about their investigation..”

DOJ Gave Hunter Biden ‘Preferential Treatment’ – US House Panels (Sp.)

The House Judiciary, Ways and Means, and Oversight Committees released an interim staff report detailing the Justice Department’s treatment of Biden, who was under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and FBI. “The Committees’ investigative work to date has revealed that the Justice Department afforded Hunter Biden — the President’s son — preferential treatment throughout its investigation of his numerous alleged crimes, and then sought to cover up its actions after two courageous IRS agents stepped forward to blow the whistle on the Department’s deviations from its investigative standards,” the report said.

The Justice Department delayed its investigation into Biden, worked to remove Biden’s name from search warrants and subpoenas, restricted investigators from asking witnesses about US President Joe Biden during interviews and tipped off defense attorneys about their investigation, the report said. There is further information that the Justice Department is withholding from the committees, the report said. The Justice Department has not fully complied with requests for relevant documents and impeded the panels’ probe, the report said. The panels will continue to gather evidence to determine whether articles of impeachment against Joe Biden are warranted, the report said.

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“Weiss felt it necessary to remind Hunter that his “father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States” and his administration brought these charges..”

Special Counsel Slams Hunter Biden’s Subpoena Demand (Turley)

Special Counsel David Weiss filed a blistering opposition to Hunter Biden’s request to subpoena former President Trump and other former officials in his ongoing federal trial. On Tuesday, Weiss felt it necessary to remind Hunter that his “father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States” and his administration brought these charges. This “Father Knows Best” argument suggests that Hunter needs to focus a bit closer to home. We previously discussed how the Biden team had decided to get aggressive with witnesses and enemies. However, counsel Abbe Lowell and his team have run into a wall given the fact that his father’s administration brought these charges.

What is interesting is that critics have been defending the lack of charges for things like FARA and taxes by noting that the investigation began in the Trump Administration. The lack of charges is cited as showing that even that administration could not find evidence. Yet, now that charges were brought by the Biden Administration, the same fact is being cited as showing bias. Hunter was seeking subpoenas for Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr and two other former Trump administration officials. Weiss called Biden’s request “meritless and should be denied.” He added:

“Not only does defendant’s motion fail to identify any actual evidence of bias, vindictiveness, or discriminatory intent on the Special Counsel’s part, his arguments ignore an inconvenient truth: No charges were brought against defendant during the prior administration when the subpoena recipients actually held office in the Executive Branch. Instead, every charge in this matter was or will be brought during the current administration—one in which defendant’s father, Joseph R. Biden, is the President of the United States and Merrick B. Garland is the Attorney General that was appointed by President Biden and who personally appointed the Special Counsel. Defendant has not shown, nor can he, how external statements by political opponents of President Biden improperly pressured him, his Attorney General, or the Special Counsel to pursue charges against the President’s son.” In other words, as Margaret Anderson observed: “Well, I suppose Father knows best.”

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They shared it with Fani Willis and only then erased the tapes?!

House GOP: Evidence Of Coordination Between Democrat J6 panel, Georgia DA (JTN)

Two key House GOP lawmakers on Tuesday launched an investigation into possible collusion between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and the Democrats’ Jan. 6 committee after uncovering evidence the prosecutor pursuing criminal charges against Donald Trump asked for evidence from Congress. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., the chairman of the House Administration’s Subcommittee on Oversight, said they had unearthed a Dec. 17, 2021, letter from Willis asking Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., the chairman of the January 6 Select Committee, to provide her office evidence that could assist in her prosecution of Trump and other defendants. In a letter to Willis, Jordan and Loudermilk said they found evidence to be troubling.

“Specifically, you asked Rep. Thompson for access to ‘record [sic] includ[ing] but . . . not limited to recordings and transcripts of witness interviews and depositions, electronic and print records of communications, and records of travel.’ You even offered that you and your staff were eager to travel to Washington, D.C, to ‘meet with investigators in person’ and to receive these records ‘any time’ between January 31, 2022, and February 25, 2022,” the lawmakers wrote. Some of the video transcripts of Jan. 6 witnesses are now missing, according to Loudermilk. Willis would eventually charge Trump and several other defendants with felonies related to the Jan. 6 riot, charges the former president and his defenders have called politically motivated. The charges are primarily on alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

“The coordination between Fulton County, GA District Attorney Fani Willis, and Pelosi’s January 6 Select Committee, should be concerning to everyone. This new information raises questions about Willis’ and Thompson’s commitment to due process, and whether House Rules were violated when the Select Committee failed to properly disclose this material. We have serious concerns about this behavior and we are seeking the truth,” Loudermilk said after he and Jordan released the letter. The letter asks Willis to provide to Jordan and Loudermilk “all documents and communications between or among the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol for the period July 1, 2021, to January 3, 2023.”

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“..if the official data showed that the Covid “vaccine” was not dangerous, the authorities would release it, and it would not have to be leaked..”

Why Do You Trust Those Who Lie To You? (Paul Craig Roberts)

Think about this for a moment. The facts are in. Big Pharma’s Covid “vaccines” have a high death rate and a high health injury rate. We know this from a number of official sources, such as Pfizer’s internal documents the release of which was ordered by US federal courts and from the release of the New Zealand data by the official data administrator. We also know it from countless scientific peer reviewed studies that every effort is made to suppress. It is obvious that if the official data showed that the Covid “vaccine” was not dangerous, the authorities would release it, and it would not have to be leaked by data administrators or ordered released by courts. Now ask yourselves and your friends what it means that the official health authorities of allegedly accountable democratic governments not only suppress the information but demonize and arrest those, such as New Zealand’s data administrator, who make it public.

Ask yourselves why the media discredits and supports the arrest of those who tell the truth in an attempt to save lives. Ask yourselves why public health agencies and HMOs continue recommending the deadly “vaccine” when the “vaccine” has a proven record of being deadly. Ask yourselves why the public trusts authorities who are out to murder them. Do you understand that the Covid “vaccine” still in use are doses approved under the emergency use authorization? The subsequently approved doses have not been released. Why? The reason is that the emergency use authorization in the US prevents lawsuits for damages, but the approved use batches do not. Obviously, the “vaccine” makers and the authorities understand that the vaccine is dangerous and requires use under emergency use authorization to avoid liability.

The people who died from Covid, instead of from the “vaccine,” died from the withholding of the known proven cures–Ivermectin and HCQ. The cures had to be withheld, because under the law if a cure existed, emergency use could not be activated. So in order for Big Pharma to make billions of dollars by killing and injuring the health of unsuspecting citizens, the cures were suppressed, and people died needlessly. Political and health authorities blamed the deaths on the unvaccinated. The corrupt media lampooned Ivermectin as “horse medicine.” And Americans fell for the outrageous lie and died. This is America. Are you proud of your government, media, and health establishment owned lock, stock, and barrel by Big Pharma? Are you a Proud American or one shamed to Hell by “your” government, “your” health authority, and “your” media? What are you going to do about it?

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“..Johnson is expected to reference the EU row when he gives evidence to a UK Covid inquiry on Wednesday..”

Boris Johnson Considered Military Raid On Holland – Daily Mail (RT)

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked military advisers to prepare plans to raid a Dutch Covid-19 vaccine plant to retrieve 5 million AstraZeneca doses, the Daily Mail has claimed. Johnson was “enraged” by a diplomatic spat with the EU after Brussels threatened to prevent doses of the vaccine from being sent to the UK from the plant in March 2021, the outlet reported on Sunday, citing anonymous sources. At the time, the EU was embroiled in a dispute with the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company over the rollout of the vaccine. AstraZeneca had said production issues meant it could only deliver about one-quarter of the planned stock to the EU, and had refused to divert supplies from its factories in the UK.

This prompted Brussels to threaten to ban exports of the vaccine from its own territory, which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen claimed was necessary to ensure “Europe gets its fair share.” Johnson, who had pledged that priority groups in the UK would be fully vaccinated by mid-April 2021, subsequently asked military advisers to prepare plans to forcefully retrieve the vaccine doses from the plant in Leiden, the Daily Mail reported. “The PM was enraged,” the diplomatic source told the newspaper. “He ordered officials to look at all options for responding, and that did include asking the security services to look at whether there were any options for physically going and taking the vaccines from the Netherlands and bringing them here.”

A second source said that the EU, whose actions they described as “Trumpian,” could not “accept the fact that we had negotiated a better deal with AstraZeneca… They (the vaccines) were effectively stolen.” However, the idea was abandoned after Johnson was advised that conducting a military-style operation to seize the vaccines would seriously undermine relations with the EU. It would also threaten the supply of future vaccine doses from elsewhere in the bloc, the Daily Mail said. Johnson is expected to reference the EU row when he gives evidence to a UK Covid inquiry on Wednesday. It was previously reported by The Times that the former premier will admit he “unquestionably made mistakes” in his leadership throughout the pandemic. However, he is also set to claim that his actions saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

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Patrick Moore Net Zero

 

 

 

 

David Martin Covid 1966
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731921253026656632

 

 

Yeadon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731978883069878374

 

 

Questions

 

 

this ‘impossible portal’ created by coded loop artist @jn3008 challanges your mind leaning toward you or away from you

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 202023
 


Jackson Pollock The She Wolf 1943

 

A World Without a Moral Conscience (Paul Craig Roberts)
Catastrophe Unfolding At Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital (Cradle)
From Gaza With Rage (Dr. Mona El-Farra)
Diseases Spread In Gaza Amid Water And Sewage Crisis, Cholera Feared (AlJ)
Activating the Genocide Convention (Craig Murray)
Lies About Al-Shifa Hospital Recall Those Preceding the Iraq Invasion (Jones)
‘Blood’ And ‘Money’ – Medvedev Outlines Essence Of US Security (RT)
Top Zelensky Aide Questions Ukraine’s ‘Survival’ (RT)
Ukraine Regime Faces ‘Day of Reckoning’ Amid Dwindling Western Support (Sp.)
Anti-Woke Central Bank Nemesis Javier Milei Argentina’s New President (ZH)
Rep. Jordan Subpoenas Bank of America Over Sharing Jan. 6 Info With FBI (ET)
Lawmakers Slam ‘Political Performance Art’ in US Congress (Sp.)
Monsanto Hit With $1.5 Billion Verdict in Latest Roundup Cancer Case (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Make him smile

 

 

The basic Jewish approach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bladder

 

 

Lies

 

 


That’s over 1,857 nurses or junior doctors on 35k per year. ULEZ- Ultra Low Emission Zone

 

 

 

 

“Clearly the Western World is in the grip of Satan.”

A World Without a Moral Conscience (Paul Craig Roberts)

Today is the 44th day of Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians and destruction of Infrastructure necessary for life. For 44 days the Great Moralists in Washington, London, Berlin, Paris and the rest of the Western World have cheered on, and sent weapons for, the Israeli Genocide of Palestine. The slaughter now extends from Gaza to the remnants of the West Bank. In the US even some Evangelical Christian churches approve of the slaughter and the erasure of Palestine. The citizens who protest the slaughter and erasure are arrested and blacklisted from jobs. For someone, such as myself, who once lived in a country where a moral conscience was respected, to experience the indifference of governments, churches, and media to 44 days of genocide is disheartening.

Clearly the Western World is in the grip of Satan. There is no longer right and wrong and justice, only official narratives. If you disagree with the official narratives you are suspect. The Western World has come to its end. It has no leaders. It has no ears to hear the few voices that still exist. Satan’s hold extends to the Muslim world, which talks but does not act. Words cannot defend Palestine. It is pointless to disapprove of something and to do nothing about it. Russia and China whose own existence is threatened by US/Israeli hegemony over the Middle East also offer nothing but words, words that don’t count because both are demonized and have no inclination to carry the fight to their enemy.

Russia and China invite conflict by their adeptness in avoiding it. How can murder remain on the books as a capital crime when mass murder is ignored? We experience so many instances of mass murder. Mass murder is not limited to Israel’s genocide of Palestinians and Big Pharma, Western governments and “medical authorities” murder of millions with a mandated “Covid vaccine.” Mass murder is happening all the time. We accept it as no worse than a rainy day. The moral conscience of the West has wilted away.

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“There is no medicine, and the wounds of injured people are becoming infected, some with maggots..”

Catastrophe Unfolding At Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital (Cradle)

Catastrophe is unfolding now at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza following its capture and occupation by the Israeli army, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya warned on 16 November. Journalist Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada summarized the doctor’s comments, which he made to Al-Jazeera Arabic regarding conditions in the hospital. Dr Abu Salmiya explained that there are about 7,000 people under total siege inside the Al-Shifa compound, including 650 injured people, 45 dialysis patients, and 36 premature babies. A few hours ago, one dialysis patient died, while four are at imminent risk of death because there is no power for dialysis machines. Three premature babies died in recent days, and two injured persons died in recent hours due to lack of treatment.

There is no water, fuel, or electricity. Israel broke the main water line into the hospital. There is no purified water to make the special formula for the babies, so they are using ordinary water, and some have become sick with diarrhea, infections, and fever. There is no food. Children are starving and distressed. There is no medicine, and the wounds of injured people are becoming infected, some with maggots. Hospital administrators tried to send a delegation to Israeli forces to ask for food, fuel, medicine, and safe evacuation of the sick and injured, but the Israelis refused to speak to them. The hospital is besieged from all sides by tanks and bulldozers. The bulldozers are destroying areas around the compound, but no one can see what they are doing.

Snipers or drones shoot at anyone who tries to move between hospital buildings. There are hundreds of soldiers in the hospital compound, searching all over and causing severe damage to hospital premises and equipment. In the 48 hours since Israeli forces entered the hospital and its grounds, not a single shot has been fired at them. Dr. Abu Salmiya closed by saying, “We hold the world responsible” for what he calls a genocide. “We are waiting for slow death.” At the same time, Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta warned that conditions are dire at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, also in northern Gaza. He wrote on the social media site X that doctors at the hospital can no longer provide surgeries.

The hospital is now effectively a first aid station, while hundreds of wounded are now at the hospital with no access to surgery and will now die from their wounds. On 17 October, Israel bombed the courtyard of the Al-Ahli Baptist hospital with a guided missile, killing 471 Palestinians sheltering there to escape Israel’s bombing elsewhere. The Israeli government denied bombing the hospital, claiming a failed Palestinian rocket had fallen onto the crowded hospital and exploded. However, this was proven false by independent analysts and the New York Times.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1726345295515058255

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“How do you give a toy to a child who will not play, who searches the skies for what they know will come?”

From Gaza With Rage (Dr. Mona El-Farra)

The repeating Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza are beyond my own comprehension. For at least 10 of the last 40 days, missiles have rained down on the most densely populated refugee camp in all of Gaza. And it is not just the days; it is also the nights. The bombing is done in the dark, when the power is off and the only light is from the fires that burn. It is done when the internet is cut, when the journalists are shot dead, to hide their crimes, the burning of children. I have a long history and strong connection to the people in this camp. My friends, former coworkers, patients, and people I have known for decades through my work as a doctor at Gaza’s Al-Awda hospital are living in this camp. There are the children who grew up coming to the library I founded in Jabalia, who are now young men and women, who have their own children, their own families.

There are my beautiful neighbors and friends and patients, who are not my relatives but are my family. They are generation after generation of refugee families living in one of the most crowded places on earth. After the latest massacre, I cannot reach any of them. I see these same families in the video sent to me of my neighbors pulling children from the rubble. I see them in my memories as we lived and struggled under dual occupations, and Israeli bombings and apartheid. I hear what it sounds like in the aftermath when women and children, the overwhelming majority of those living in, injured, and killed in Jabalia, scream and mourn in anguish and wake up to do it again. I can taste the chemicals, the poisons that linger in the air for hours and days after these indiscriminate explosions.

I can smell the acrid odor of white phosphorus, used by Israel in Gaza and caked on the walls of burning buildings and bodies. I can feel the collective hunger: for food and for justice and for all of it to stop. But now I am in Cairo and it is so difficult and distressing to hear more terrible news each day, news of my loved ones killed by this criminal occupation, by these crimes of war bragged about by Israeli officials who say that there will be no buildings left in Gaza, that we will be a “city of tents.” I had always been home in Gaza during previous Israeli bombings that so often use U.S. planes and U.S. missiles, gifted and given as “aid.” Such “help” is the opposite of the aid I am buying now. The food, medicine, and more, even toys for children who have lost so, so much.

The Middle East Children’s Alliance is raising money so we can buy these supplies to deliver to children and families in Gaza as soon as we can. I am so very sad. But it is not only sadness that I feel. It is also rage. How do I feed a child that will not eat because of fear? How do you give a toy to a child who will not play, who searches the skies for what they know will come? I am enraged at Israel’s constant, ruthless bombardment, killing thousands of people from newborn babies to grandfathers. What is happening now in Gaza is genocide. Those who are not killed by Israeli bombs are dying slowly from the lack of medicine, food, and water.

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Why waste ammo?

Diseases Spread In Gaza Amid Water And Sewage Crisis, Cholera Feared (AlJ)

Sewage flows in the streets of Gaza as all key sanitation services have ceased operating, raising the alarming prospect of an enormous surge of gastrointestinal and infectious diseases among the local populations – including cholera. For Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, finding drinkable water has become close to impossible. At a school run by the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Khan Younis, 33-year-old Osama Saqr attempted to fill some bottles with water for his thirsty children. He took a sip and grimaced in disgust at the saltiness of the fluid, before letting out a long sigh. “It’s polluted and unsuitable, but my children always drink it, there’s no alternative,” he told Al Jazeera. Saqr’s one-year-old son has diarrhoea but he cannot find medicines in hospitals or pharmacies to treat him.

“Even if I find it, the problem remains, the water is polluted and salty water, not suitable for drinking,” he said. “I’m afraid that eventually, I’m going to lose one of my children to this poisoning.” The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded more than 44,000 cases of diarrhoea and 70,000 acute respiratory infections, but real numbers may be significantly higher. On Friday, the UN agency said it was extremely concerned that rains and floods during the approaching winter season will make an already dire situation even worse. “We are hearing about several hundred people per toilet at the UNRWA centres and those have been overflowing, so people are doing open defecation,” Richard Brennan, regional emergency director for the Eastern Mediterranean region at WHO, told Al Jazeera. “They have to find a place to go to the bathroom in the grounds where they are staying. That’s a huge public health risk and also very humiliating.”

Brennan said overcrowding, lack of solid waste management, poor sanitation and open-air defecation were all contributing to the spread of diseases including diarrhoea, respiratory infections and skin infections, including scabies. UN agencies have warned that the collapse of water and sanitation services could even spark bouts of cholera if urgent humanitarian aid is not delivered. If nothing changes, “there will be more and more people falling sick and the risk of major outbreaks will increase dramatically,” Brennan said. Gaza’s essential water and sanitation infrastructure has either been destroyed by Israeli bombardment or has run out of fuel. In the southern governorates of Deir el-Balah, Khan Younis and Rafah, all 76 water wells have stopped functioning, as well as two main drinking water plants and 15 sewage pumping stations, according to the UNRWA.

WHO estimates that the average person in Gaza is currently consuming just 3 litres of water per day for drinking and sanitation. This compares with the minimum of 7.5 litres recommended by the agency in emergency situations. The halt of key services including water desalination plants, sewage treatment and hospitals has led to a 40 percent increase in diarrhoea for people taking shelter in UNRWA schools, the agency said. It estimated that about 70 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people – more than half of whom are children – no longer have access to clean water. On Wednesday, Israeli authorities allowed just over 23,000 litres (6,000 gallons) of fuel to be brought into the Strip via Egypt. But they restricted the use of this fuel to trucks transporting the little aid coming in. The UNRWA said it needed 160,000 litres (42,000 gallons) of fuel a day for basic humanitarian operations.

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“.. In the name of rooting out an apparently non-existent Hamas network out of the hospital, the IDF created what Amnesty International has called “a graveyard of children.”

Lies About Al-Shifa Hospital Recall Those Preceding the Iraq Invasion (Jones)

In the weeks before the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) raided the Al-Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza, the IDF “went to great lengths to depict the medical complex as a headquarters for Hamas, from where its attacks on Israel were planned,” according to The Guardian. The U.S. has claimed that it produced its own intelligence that verifies this claim. National security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Thursday that “We have information that confirms that Hamas is using that particular hospital for a command and control mode” and likely for storing weapons. According to Reuters, “[Kirby] said the United States had information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were using some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Al Shifa, to conceal or support their military operations and to hold hostages.”

Despite Kirby’s claim that the information came from various intelligence methods, the U.S. has provided no evidence to verify that the hospital is being used by Hamas. In the name of rooting out an apparently non-existent Hamas network out of the hospital, the IDF created what Amnesty International has called “a graveyard of children.” The World Health Organization (WHO) said the U.N. assessment team that analyzed the hospital similarly concluded that the complex has become a “death zone.” The team found “a mass grave at the entrance of the hospital and was told more than 80 people were buried there.” Further, the WHO reported: “Lack of clean water, fuel, medicines, food and other essential aid over the last 6 weeks have caused Al-Shifa Hospital – once the largest, most advanced and best equipped referral hospital in Gaza – to essentially stop functioning as a medical facility…Al-Shifa Hospital can no longer admit patients, with the injured and sick now being directed to the seriously overwhelmed and barely functioning Indonesian Hospital.”

“The vast majority of patients are victims of war trauma, including many with complex fractures and amputations, head injuries, burns, chest and abdominal trauma, and 29 patients with serious spinal injuries who are unable to move without medical assistance. Many trauma patients have severely infected wounds due to lack of infection control measures in the hospital and unavailability of antibiotics.” The IDF recently released a video in which Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus “exposes the countless weapons IDF troops have uncovered in the Shifa Hospital’s MRI building.” The video shows Conricus walking a cameraman through the MRI room while pointing out what the IDF claims are Hamas weapons and equipment.

According to The Guardian, “The IDF accused Hamas…of hiding evidence that would confirm that the organization had used the hospital as a command and control center.” An IDF spokesperson said “Hamas has persistently worked to conceal infrastructure and cover up evidence.” Despite Hamas’ alleged attempts to cover up evidence, the guns and equipment spread across the MRI room in the IDF video are extremely visible and don’t appear hidden whatsoever. Conricus also cites the destruction of security cameras as evidence that Hamas is using the hospital to carry out military operations. While it would be in Hamas’s interest to prevent any recording of them using the hospital as a headquarters, it would also be in the IDF’s interest to destroy any footage of them planting the “evidence” offered in the video.

According to Julian Borger in The Guardian: “A BBC analysis found the footage of an IDF spokesperson showing the apparent discovery of a bag containing a gun behind an MRI scanning machine, had been taped hours before the arrival of the journalists to whom he was supposedly showing it.” “In a video shown later, the number of guns in the bag had doubled. The IDF claimed its video of what it found at the hospital was unedited, filmed in a single take, but the BBC analysis found it had been edited.”

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“All this begs the question of why no state has yet invoked the Genocide Convention. This is especially remarkable as Palestine is one of the 149 states party to the Genocide Convention, and for this purpose would have standing before both the U.N. and the ICJ…”

Activating the Genocide Convention (Craig Murray)

There are 149 states party to the Genocide Convention. Every one of them has the right to call out the genocide in progress in Gaza and report it to the United Nations. In the event that another state party disputes the claim of genocide — and Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom are all states party — then the International Court of Justice is required to adjudicate on “the responsibility of a State for genocide.” These are the relevant articles of the genocide convention:
“Article VIII
Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III.
Article IX
Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.” Note that here “parties to the dispute” means the states disputing the facts of genocide, not the parties to the genocide/conflict. Any single state party is able to invoke the convention. There is no doubt that Israel’s actions amount to genocide. Numerous international law experts have said so and genocidal intent has been directly expressed by numerous Israeli ministers, generals and public officials.

This is the definition of genocide in international law, from the Genocide Convention:
“Article II
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”

I can see no room to doubt whatsoever that Israel’s current campaign of bombing of civilians and of the deprivation of food, water and other necessities of life to Palestinians amounts to genocide under articles II a), b) and c). It is also worth considering Articles III and IV:
“Article III
The following acts shall be punishable:
(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.
Article IV
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

There is, at the very least, a strong prima facie case that the actions of the United States and United Kingdom and others, in openly providing direct military support to be used in genocide, are complicit in genocide. The point of Article IV is that individuals are responsible, not just states. So Israel’s Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak bear individual responsibility. So, indeed, do all those who have been calling for the destruction of the Palestinians. It is very definitely worth activating the Genocide Convention. A judgement of the International Court of Justice that Israel is guilty of genocide would have an extraordinary diplomatic effect and would cause domestic difficulties in the U.K. and even in the U.S. in continuing to subsidise and arm Israel.

Relationship of ICJ & ICC

The International Court of Justice is the most respected of international institutions; while the United States has repudiated its compulsory jurisdiction, the United Kingdom has not and the EU positively accepts it. If the International Court of Justice makes a determination of genocide, then the International Criminal Court does not have to determine that genocide has happened. This is important because unlike the august and independent ICJ, the ICC is very much a western government puppet institution which will wiggle out of action if it can. But a determination of the ICJ of genocide and of complicity in genocide would reduce the ICC’s task to determining which individuals bear the responsibility. That is a prospect which can indeed alter the calculations of politicians.

It is also the fact that a reference for genocide would force the Western media to address the issue and use the term, rather than just pump out propaganda about Hamas having fighting bases in hospitals. Furthermore a judgement from the ICJ would automatically trigger a reference to the United Nations General Assembly — crucially not to the Western-vetoed Security Council. All this begs the question of why no state has yet invoked the Genocide Convention. This is especially remarkable as Palestine is one of the 149 states party to the Genocide Convention, and for this purpose would have standing before both the U.N. and the ICJ.

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“..the US essentially considers “money” and “blood” together as a “good investment.” “How very American. No comment..”

‘Blood’ And ‘Money’ – Medvedev Outlines Essence Of US Security (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that US President Joe Biden’s latest opinion piece for the Washington Post once again highlighted the essence of Washington’s security doctrine, which is to provide for America’s interests at the expense of others. The US supposedly makes itself safer by pouring money into “its own military industry” and starting “wars on other continents,”Medvedev said Sunday in a poston X (formerly Twitter), calling it “the essence of the American security doctrine.” “That’s why our commitment to Ukraine today is an investment in our own security,” Biden said in his piece published on Saturday. Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, responded to this by saying that the US essentially considers “money” and “blood” together as a “good investment.” “How very American. No comment,” he added.

“Others, surely, don’t matter,” the former Russian leader said, commenting on the article in which Biden once again reaffirmed US support to Ukraine and Israel. The US leader also argued in the piece that Russia and the Gaza-based Hamas militants should not be allowed to have their way. “Out of great tragedy and upheaval, enormous progress can come,” Biden wrote. He claimed that the US is “the essential nation” with a “duty of leadership.” On the topic of Ukraine, the US president also admitted that the conflict “draws America in directly.” Washington has openly supported Kiev since armed hostilities with Moscow began in February 2022. The US has provided Ukraine with military equipment worth billions of dollars together with its allies in Europe and elsewhere.

Moscow has repeatedly argued that sending arms to Kiev would only prolong the military operation and extend human suffering. Russia also repeatedly accused the US and its allies of planning to make Kiev fight “to the last Ukrainian.” Ample Western military supplies, including heavy armor, such as tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, have so far not helped Ukraine to achieve any significant success in its closely-watched summer offensive, which has failed to bring about any meaningful changes to the frontlines over several months since the start of the operation in early June. Ukrainian forces have suffered heavy losses in both personnel and material, including the Western-supplied equipment, during the assault, however. In early November, the Pentagon warned it potentially had only $1 billion remaining for Ukraine military aid and would have to ration arms packages in the future.

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“..Kiev must seize all territories lost to Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula, or risk disappearing from the world’s map..”

Top Zelensky Aide Questions Ukraine’s ‘Survival’ (RT)

A senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in an interview with Ukraine’s Channel 24 television station on Friday that Kiev must seize all territories lost to Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula, or risk disappearing from the world’s map. The aide, Mikhail Podoliak, opined that failure to push back Russian troops from the territory Kiev claims as its own could become a breaking point for the country. “Do we have an endgame in which we do not enter Crimea and which would clearly indicate that Ukraine has a historical perspective?” he asked. According to Podoliak, the same concerns apply to the four other regions – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions – that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia last autumn.

“Do we have even a single chance to survive in historical terms for another ten to 15 years?” the official added. Podoliak also believes that Russia’s victory would be a significant setback for the West as it would “not be able to claim global leadership” while its “autocratic” rivals would have free reign to attack other territories. He also admitted that “the war is unpopular” in Ukraine but rejected any peace engagement with Russia, insisting that Moscow wants to “subjugate” Kiev. Russian officials have repeatedly said they have never closed the door to talks with their Ukrainian counterparts. Podoliak also attempted to justify unfulfilled predictions that Ukraine would seize Crimea during the past summer, noting that this assessment was based on an analysis of how many arms Kiev would receive from its Western backers and the impact of sanctions on Russia.

According to the official, however, many Western companies remained in the Russian market, allowing the country’s government to receive “high taxes” and use this money to fund its military campaign. Ukraine’s eventual takeover of Crimea was predicted twice this year by Ukrainian intelligence chief Kirill Budanov – first in the spring and later in the summer amid Kiev’s counteroffensive. Moscow has warned it would use “any weapon” in response to a potential Ukrainian attack on the peninsula. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said last month that Kiev “is losing” while being unable to make any substantial progress on the battlefield. He also estimated Kiev’s losses at more than 90,000 service members since the start of the counteroffensive in early June.

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“..these next 60 days are going to be critical in Ukraine, as far as I’m concerned..”

Ukraine Regime Faces ‘Day of Reckoning’ Amid Dwindling Western Support (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Zelensky has drawn attention to reducing Western support as Washington’s attention is increasingly focused on the Middle East and the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A recent stopgap funding bill signed by the POTUS contains no provisions for further assistance to Ukraine. Zelensky’s words appears to be “both symbolic and real,” as Ukraine’s “hopes of victory, that were already dim, would falter in oblivion” if the constant flow of weapons and munitions to Kiev from the West were to cease, argued Jacques Sapir, a director at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. According to him, supporting Ukraine has never been a “top priority” for the Western powers, no matter what declarations on the subject they made in the past.

“Ukrainian leaders choose to believe words and not fact in spring 2022,” Sapir said. “But a shooting war is not waged by words but real hardware. This is now the day of reckoning for the Ukrainian leadership.” Meanwhile, Paul E. Vallely, a retired US Army major general and chairman of Stand Up America US Foundation, noted that several European powers have ramped up efforts to supply Ukraine with munitions even as the United States turns its attention towards Israel and the Gaza Strip crisis. He did point out, however, that one of Europe’s major players, Germany, has been “lagging in supporting Ukraine to a great degree,” even as Berlin recently promised to “double that support to $8.5 billion in 2024 and also deliver crucial air defense systems to Zelensky.”

“So what they say and what they do may be two different things,” Vallely mused. Having voiced his skepticism over the US’ and Europe’s ability to deliver on their most recent promises, Vallely also suggested that the situation on the battlefield may soon worsen for Kiev as “winter moves forward and Russian offensive operations move forward.” “Zelensky continues to say that they’re winning, and some of the Western press says Ukraine is winning, but in reality, they’re not. So these next 60 days are going to be critical in Ukraine, as far as I’m concerned,” he remarked.

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“Commenting on Milei’s victory, Elon Musk predicted that “Prosperity is ahead for Argentina.”

Anti-Woke Central Bank Nemesis Javier Milei Argentina’s New President (ZH)

Javier Milei, the outsider libertarian candidate with radical solutions to Argentina’s economic crisis, has just won Sunday’s presidential runoff against Economy Minister Sergio Massa. In a surprise outcome, Massa conceded in a speech to supporters in Buenos Aires on Sunday even before the official results were released, saying he called Milei to congratulate him on his victory. Javier Milei, a 53-year-old far-right economist and former television pundit with no governing experience, claimed nearly 56 percent of the vote, with more than 80 percent of votes tallied. It was a stunning upset over Sergio Massa, the center-left economy minister who has struggled to resolve the country’s worst economic crisis in two decades. Voters in this nation of 46 million demanded a drastic change from a government that has sent the peso tumbling, inflation skyrocketing and more than 40 percent of the population into poverty.

And with Milei, Argentina takes a leap into the unknown — with a leader promising to shatter the entire system, which the locals now correctly realize, is broken. Milei, who two months ago was interviewed by Tucker Carlson, has promised to fix Argentina’s perennial economic problems by making drastic budget cuts, replacing the battered peso with the US dollar and shutting down the central bank. He will take office on Dec. 10. Massa, from the ruling Peronist coalition, placed first in October’s first round, a remarkable comeback after losing a primary election two months previously. But the dire state of Argentina’s economy, plagued by 143% hyperinflation and a looming recession, posed a challenge too far to his presidential bid. “Argentines chose another path,” Massa said in a speech to supporters. Polls before the vote showed Milei with a slight edge over his rival. For those unfamiliar with Milei’s unique style, the following clip should be rather informative: Commenting on Milei’s victory, Elon Musk predicted that “Prosperity is ahead for Argentina.”

[..] Milei made a name for himself as a television pundit who insulted other guests, and has shown a tendency to fight with the news media. In presidential debates, he has cast doubt on the widely accepted tally of murders during the country’s Dirty War from 1976 to 1983. He has branded Argentine Pope Francis an “evil” leftist, called climate change a “socialist lie” and said he would hold a referendum to undo the three-year-old law that legalized abortion. Wielding chain saws on the campaign trail, the wild-haired Milei vowed to slash public spending in a country heavily dependent on government subsidies. He pledged to dollarize the economy, shut down the central bank and cut the number of government ministries from 18 to eight. His rallying campaign cry was a takedown of the country’s political “caste” — an Argentine version of Trump’s “drain the swamp.”

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“The Bank of America, with no directive from the FBI, data-mined its customer base..”

Rep. Jordan Subpoenas Bank of America Over Sharing Jan. 6 Info With FBI (ET)

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has subpoenaed Bank of America (BoA) for information over the company’s alleged sharing with the FBI of private customer data from around the time of the Jan. 6, 2021, events in Washington. The subpoena is part of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government’s probe “into major banks sharing Americans’ private financial data with the [FBI] without legal process for transactions made in the Washington, DC, area around Jan. 6, 2021″—the day that supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol as Congress was certifying the 2020 election, which the former president has called rigged and stolen. Politico first reported the Nov. 16 development.

The committee subpoenaed relevant documents from the bank, including internal communications about the decision to transfer the information to the FBI, any communications that the bank had with the agency, and any other information. The lawmakers gave Bank of America a June 8 deadline to comply. In a 78-page whistleblower report released by the House Judiciary Committee on May 19, whistleblowers allege that in the aftermath of the riot, Bank of America gave the FBI information about customers who made transactions in the Washington area on or near Jan. 6, 2021. Those who had used Bank of America accounts to purchase a firearm, regardless of when or where the transaction took place, were bumped to the top of that list.

George Hill, a retired FBI supervisory intelligence analyst, told the panel: “The Bank of America, with no directive from the FBI, data-mined its customer base. And they data-mined a date range of [Jan. 5, 2021, to Jan. 7, 2021] any BoA customer who used a BoA product [meaning a Bank of America credit or debit card]. “They compiled that list. And then, on top of that list, they put anyone who had purchased a firearm during any date. So it was a huge list.” No further action was taken with the information, according to testimony from the special agent in charge of the Boston field office, which received the information. Bank of America told the Judiciary Committee that its conduct was “within a legal process initiated by the United States Department of the Treasury.”

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“My concern is the trend has just begun, it’s not ending. And my sense is, I can just do more constructive things with my life.”

Lawmakers Slam ‘Political Performance Art’ in US Congress (Sp.)

“I don’t think being in Congress is the best way for me to make progress,” said retiring Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “Life is short. I don’t want to be a part of this charade. And I won’t be.” In 2011, former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy mused on an increasing decline of civility and decorum in the US Congress, lamenting the lack of “rational, quiet, thoughtful, respectful discussion and debate” within the legislative body. “The verdict on freedom is still out in over half the world,” said Kennedy. “And the rest of the world is looking at us. They see the current dialogue and discourse and they are horrified by it.” Those were the days when iconoclasts like Anthony Weiner, Jim DeMint, and Alan Grayson made headlines, gleefully attacking opposing members of Congress from the floor of the US Capitol.

Since then it seems Congress has only become a more brutal and unforgiving place, with several retiring lawmakers recently telling US media that chronic legislative dysfunction contributed to their decision not to seek reelection in 2024. “You’re rewarding the wrong kind of behavior here,” said retiring Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), decrying the tendency towards theatrics at the expense of cooperation. “My concern is the trend has just begun, it’s not ending. And my sense is, I can just do more constructive things with my life.” “I’m just afraid that the performative nature of the House today, the people that – you know their names, they’re household names now – and the people that are making names for themselves are making spectacles of themselves.”

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who also recently announced his retirement, agreed, saying, “unconstitutional impeachments and censures that don’t make any sense.” “The big driver was we can’t admit that Republicans lost an election in 2020, which is crazy.” So far, the number of lawmakers announcing their retirements is reportedly in line with previous years. But onlookers note that 2023 has seen an unusual number of experienced, highly valued members announce their exit. “It’s not the quantity of retirements. It’s the quality,” said former Rep. Steve Israel (D) of New York. “These are people who really understand how to get things done.” A recent study from the Center for Effective Lawmaking seems to buttress this perception. By 2021, the group found almost half of US House members have served for five years or less.

This compares to about a third of representatives who had served for that amount of time in 2003. In other words, US Congress is increasingly made up of newer, less experienced members. There may be some advantage to the trend. The average age of members of the US House of Representatives declined slightly after the last midterm election. That may suggest the perspective of younger Americans could get a hearing in a legislative body that many argue has become a stale gerontocracy. But conversely, the average age of those in the US Senate increased slightly. Time will tell whether that trend changes next year, and whether a growing exodus of lawmakers will play a part. Some analysts predict the number of legislators announcing their retirements will increase in early 2024 after they return from time spent with their families over the holiday season.

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This comes literally just days after the EU decided to license the use of glyphosate for another 10 years. I kid you not.

Monsanto Hit With $1.5 Billion Verdict in Latest Roundup Cancer Case (ZH)

In a landmark decision, a Missouri jury has ordered Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit to pay more than $1.5 billion in damages to three former users of its Roundup weedkiller. This ruling, one of Monsanto’s largest trial losses in the five-year litigation over the herbicide, raises new questions about the safety of the controversial product and the company’s future legal challenges. In a late Friday decision, jurors awarded James Draeger, Valorie Gunther, and Dan Anderson $61.1 million in actual damages and a staggering $500 million each in punitive damages. They claimed that years of using Roundup on their properties led to their non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. This verdict is one of the largest against a US corporate defendant this year, eclipsing even a significant $1.78 billion verdict in a federal real estate case (which could balloon to more than $5 billion), Bloomberg reports.

Bayer officials said on Saturday that US judges have allowed what they see as mischaracterization of regulatory decisions on Roundup’s safety. Despite recent plaintiff victories, the company says it remains confident in overturning these verdicts, citing ongoing regulatory support for glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient. Bayer plans to phase out glyphosate in the US consumer market by year’s end. “Bayer also noted in the statement the US Environmental Protection Agency continues to find Roundup and its main ingredient, glyphosate, as safe and a federal appeals court recently backed a rejection of calls for Bayer to include safety warnings on the product’s distinctive white bottles. The company agreed to transition from the version of Roundup containing glyphosate to new active weed-killing ingredients in the US consumer market by the end of the year.” -Bloomberg

The punitive award in the Missouri case may be subject to reduction, as US Supreme Court rulings generally limit such awards to ten times the actual damages. However, Monsanto has previously seen substantial damage awards in similar cases, including a $2 billion verdict in California, later reduced to $87 million. Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, has allocated up to $16 billion for over 100,000 Roundup cases. The company’s legal challenges extend beyond Roundup, encompassing other Monsanto products like toxic PCBs. With more trials on the horizon in Arkansas and Delaware, Bayer’s legal landscape appears increasingly precarious.

Plaintiffs in most of the Roundup casess argue that Monsanto was aware of glyphosate’s potential carcinogenic properties and attempted to suppress this information. Internal documents have revealed efforts by Monsanto officials to influence scientific studies supporting glyphosate’s safety. “These are the kinds of verdicts Bayer can look forward to in future trials,” said Dallas-based attorney Jay Utley. “Monsanto has done wrong for so many years in selling Roundup that it’s a beautiful thing to have a jury recognize that wrongdoing and punish them for it.” The Missouri case, which brought together plaintiffs from across the US, illustrates the widespread usage and impact of Roundup. The varied backgrounds of the plaintiffs, from landscapers to homeowners, underscore the herbicide’s broad reach and the potential scale of its health effects.

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Cat matrix
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726016075496579350

 

 

Salt mine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726235269303865366

 

 

 

 

Arctic Fox
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726216825795494060

 

 

Pet the dog

 

 

Socotra

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 192023
 
 November 19, 2023  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Women Picking Olives 1889

 

Time’s Up for Netanyahu and Biden (Dan Siegel)
Biden Is Fully Signed Up To Genocide In Gaza (Cook)
Israel is Shutting Down its Human Laboratory in Gaza (Chris Hedges)
US Strategy In Ukraine, Middle East Means Progress – Biden (TASS)
Were the Biblical Prophets Anti-Semitic? (Michael Hudson)
Time To Come Clean On Israel’s Nuclear Status – Türkiye (RT)
Arab Nations Won’t ‘Clean Mess After Israel’ – Jordan (RT)
Elon Musk Plans “Thermonuclear” Lawsuit Against Media Matters (ZH)
Comer: White House ‘Obstructing’ Biden Inquiries (ZH)
One Law for Trump, No Law for Biden (NCP)
Colorado Judge Rejects Effort to Bar Trump from Ballot (Turley)
‘Clean Energy’ Fails A Basic Economics Test (RM)
Global Warming Might Not Happen Quite As Fast As We Thought (Tel.)

 

 

 

 

Nap, Johnson & McGovern

 

 

All Lost, Total Failure Achieved | Scott Ritter

 

 

 

 

Mearsheimer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726006149093212310

 

 

UN

 

 

Letters

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The issue is not that Biden is too old. His policies are too old. The American Empire is no more.”

Time’s Up for Netanyahu and Biden (Dan Siegel)

We can tell the world is changing when tens of thousands of Texans rally in the capital of America’s most important red state to demand a ceasefire in Gaza and freedom for Palestine. No longer can the Israeli government enforce its deadly calculus of 10 (or 50? or 100?) Palestinian lives for each Israeli killed in its futile effort to suppress Palestine’s struggle for self-determination. No longer can an American President assume that the public will support propping up an Israeli government whose constant, murderous violations of international law bring us daily exposure to the violence and deprivation imposed on the Palestinian population.The issues are no longer whether Israel should survive and whether Hamas’ murders must be condemned. Those are the easy questions. Countless millions of us have moved on.

The question for today is what the world will do to enable the Palestinian people to live in peace and security in a nation where their children enjoy the opportunities most Americans and Europeans take for granted. No one suggests that this challenge can be easily resolved, but the first step is for the U.S. to stop supporting the most right-wing government in Israel’s history from imposing unlimited violence and deprivation on Gaza while accelerating violent settler expansion in the West Bank. Israel’s strategies to ensure its survival and the means it chooses to defend itself should no longer enjoy unquestioned American support. Netanyahu’s government has exhausted its legitimate right to defend itself against the Hamas attack. It has already killed 11,000 Palestinians and provided no evidence that any of them were responsible for Hamas’ violence.

Israel’s air campaign against Gaza relies on the “emergency” American appropriation of $14 billion in military aid. American weapons have been designated for Israeli settlers stealing Palestinian land in the West Bank. U.S. officials know that Israel’s actions will not lead to peace. So do Israeli leaders, including many in the military. Netanyahu and his government survive because they have American support, including Jews who continue to maintain that criticism of the Israeli government is the equivalent of antisemitism. Many of us disagree. Recent polling demonstrates that the American public is evenly divided on support for the Israeli bombing of Gaza. Organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace and J Street represent ever growing numbers of American Jews. We are no longer cowed from describing Israel’s actions against the people of Gaza as genocide or its policies in the West Bank as apartheid. We are no longer intimidated by an American Jewish establishment that wields specious and exaggerated accusations of antisemitism and harassment to silence critics of the Netanyahu government.

[..] This is Joe Biden’s Lyndon Johnson moment, the time for him to follow LBJ’s 1968 decision to withdraw from the campaign for reelection. The issue is not that Biden is too old. His policies are too old. The American Empire is no more. We need leaders ready to engage the emerging multipolar world, who do not imagine that the U.S. is going to war over Taiwan, who welcome sharing power with the nations of Europe and the BRICS countries. The end of America’s uncritical support of the Israeli government can be the first step in creating leadership for a world at peace.


The Dance of the True Landowners

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“Those who survive face a genocidal policy, starving them of food, water and power.”

Biden Is Fully Signed Up To Genocide In Gaza (Cook)

The White House faces a dilemma. It has the power to stop the death and destruction in Gaza in its tracks, at any time of its choosing. But it chooses not to. The US is determined to back its client state to the hilt, giving Israel licence to wreck the tiny coastal enclave, seemingly whatever the cost in Palestinian lives. But the optics – and that is all that concerns Washington – are disastrous. TV images have shown hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing their destroyed homes, on a scale unseen since Israel’s earlier mass ethnic cleansing operations of 1948 and 1967. Even the western media is struggling to obscure the veritable mountain of crushed and bleeding bodies in Gaza. The known death toll has now surpassed 11,000, with thousands more buried under rubble. Those who survive face a genocidal policy, starving them of food, water and power.

By the weekend, Israel’s declared war on Hamas had shifted into an open war on Gaza’s hospitals. Medicins San Frontieres reported that al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City had been bombed repeatedly and its power cut off, with horrific scenes of premature babies dying after their incubators had stopped functioning. Staff who tried to evacuate, as Israel had ordered them to, were shot at. Similar scenes unfolded at al-Rantisi hospital. Western publics are growing increasingly incensed. Protest marches have attracted numbers not seen since the mass demonstrations against the Iraq war 20 years ago. Western allies are finding it harder to obscure and justify their complicity in what are indisputable Israeli crimes against humanity. French President Emmanuel Macron broke ranks at the weekend. His message was summed up bluntly by the BBC: “Macron calls on Israel to stop killing Gaza’s women and babies.”

In private, US allies in the Middle East are pleading with the US to use its leverage to restrain Israel. Meanwhile, Washington is only too aware of how quickly Israel’s regional opponents could get dragged in, dangerously expanding and escalating the conflict. Its immediate response has been desperate, and preposterous, stop-gaps to ease the criticism, including from 500 administration staff who submitted a letter to Biden on Tuesday protesting the White House’s blanket support for Israel. Those measures have included the president calling for “less intrusive action” from Israel towards the hospitals, shortly before Israeli forces were reported storming al-Shifa, and rumours that Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who joined the US attack on Iraq in 2003 in violation of international law, might serve as the West’s “humanitarian coordinator” in Gaza.

But what the Biden administration really needs is a cover story to justify the fact that it is continuing to supply the weapons and funding needed by Israel to carry out its crimes in broad daylight. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken set out his stall last week at the G7 summit. The goal is to shift the focus away from Israel’s genocidal policies in Gaza, and Washington’s backing for them, to a purely theoretical discussion about what might happen after the fighting ends. Outlining his post-war “vision” for Gaza, Blinken said: “It’s also clear that Israel cannot occupy Gaza. Now, the reality is that there may be a need for some transition period at the end of the conflict… We don’t see a reoccupation and what I’ve heard from Israeli leaders is that they have no intent to reoccupy Gaza.”

Toddler

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“There remain plenty of Palestinian test subjects in the West Bank. Gaza will be closed for business.”

Israel is Shutting Down its Human Laboratory in Gaza (Chris Hedges)

The Palestinians are human laboratory rats to the Israeli military, intelligence services and arms and technology industries. Israel’s drones, surveillance technology — including spyware, facial recognition software and biometric gathering infrastructure — along with smart fences, experimental bombs and AI-controlled machine guns, are tried out on the captive population in Gaza, often with lethal results. These weapons and technologies are then certified as “battle tested” and sold around the world. Israel is the 10th biggest arms dealer on the planet and sells its technology and weapons to an estimated 130 nations, including military dictatorships in Asia and Latin America. Israeli weapons sales totalled $12.5 billion last year. Its close relationship with these military, internal security, surveillance, intelligence-gathering and law enforcement agencies, explains the fulsome support Israel’s allies give to its genocidal campaign in Gaza.

When Colombian President Gustavo Petro refused to condemn the Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian resistance groups as a “terrorist attack” and said “terrorism is killing innocent children in Palestine,” Israel immediately halted all sales of defense and security equipment to Colombia. This global cabal, dedicated to permanent war and keeping its populations monitored and controlled, has hundreds of billions of dollars a year in sales. These technologies are cementing into place a supranational corporate totalitarianism, a world where populations are enslaved in ways that past totalitarian regimes could only imagine. The genocidal assault on Gaza is another chapter in the century-long ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by the Israeli settler colonial project. It is accompanied, as is true for all settler colonial projects, by the theft of natural resources, land, water and the natural gas in the Gaza Marine fields, 20 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, which could contain up to 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In a world of diminishing resources, especially water in the Middle East, and the dislocations caused by the climate crisis, Gaza is the prelude to a frightening new world order. As democracies wither and die, as economic inequality expands, as poverty and desperation mounts, the global ruling class will increasingly do to us – once we become restive and attempt to rebel – what they are doing to the Palestinians. It is not a far cry from Gaza to the camps and detention centers set up for migrants fleeing to Europe from Africa and the Middle East. It is not a far cry from the carpet bombing in Gaza to the endless wars in the Middle East and the global south. It is not a far cry from the anti-terrorism laws used to criminalize dissent in Israel to the anti-terrorism laws introduced in Europe and the U.S.

On Oct. 7, Palestinians in Gaza escaped from their laboratory cage. They went on a killing spree against their sadistic masters. Almost 12,000 Palestinians have been killed and some 30,000 wounded, including 4,700 children, since Oct. 7 in the hurricane of shells, bullets, bombs and missiles that are turning Gaza into a wasteland. Nearly 3,000 Palestinians are missing or buried under the rubble. Soon Palestinians will be convulsed by infectious diseases and starvation. Those who survive, if Israel succeeds in its ethnic cleansing, will become refugees, yet again, over the border in Egypt. There remain plenty of Palestinian test subjects in the West Bank. Gaza will be closed for business.

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“Biden expects the US policy to bring “more hope, more freedom, less rage, less grievance, less war.”

US Strategy In Ukraine, Middle East Means Progress – Biden (TASS)

The policy being pursued by Washington in Ukraine and the Middle East would bring progress and make the United States more secure, US President Joe Biden said in his article for The Washington Post. According to Biden, against the backdrop of “so much violence and suffering – in Ukraine, Israel, [the] Gaza [Strip] and so many other places – it can be difficult to imagine that something different is possible.” “We must never forget the lesson learned time and again throughout our history: Out of great tragedy and upheaval, enormous progress can come,” he maintained. Biden expects the US policy to bring “more hope, more freedom, less rage, less grievance, less war.” “That is the strategy that my administration will continue to lead — in the Middle East, Europe and around the globe. Every step we take toward that future is progress that makes the world safer and the United States of America more secure,” he emphasized.

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Ecoomist Michael Hudson knows his Bible.

Were the Biblical Prophets Anti-Semitic? (Michael Hudson)

Were the prophets self-loathing Jews? Are those who criticize today’s right-wing politicians abolishing the land’s courts of justice, urging the mass murder of civilians and destroying an entire society’s infrastructure anti-Semites? Does commenting that October 7th did not occur “in a vacuum,” as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres did – even indeed after characterizing it as an atrocity – make one an anti-Semite? What I find most amazing is that no religious scholars are pointing out that Netanyahu’s claim to be following a Biblical covenant as his excuse for committing genocide to seize Palestinian land and destroy its existing population is a travesty of what actually is written in the Bible. By a sleight-of-hand like that of a stage magician trying to distract the audience’s attention from what really is happening, Netanyahu has evoked what he claims to be a Biblical excuse for Israeli genocide.

But what he pretends to be a covenant in the tradition of Moses is a vicious demand by the judge and grey eminence Samuel telling Saul, the general whom he hopes to make king: “Now go and smite Amalek [an enemy of Israel], and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” (1 Samuel 15:3). These were not the Lord’s own words, and Samuel was no Moses. And there was no blanket promise to back the Jews regardless of their behavior. And indeed, in following Samuel’s demand for conquest – as a means of making Saul popular enough to be made king – Saul broke the Lord’s commandments about proper religious ceremonial and dietary behavior.

One would have no idea from Netanyahu’s celebration of the compact between Samuel and Saul to become popular by military conquest that Saul’s misbehavior led Samuel himself to rebuke Saul and tell him that the Lord had decided that another man must be found to be king of Israel. It was not the Lord offering that command to destroy Amalek, but a prophet anxious to place a king on the throne. Invocation of such a command is prima facie evidence of an intention to commit genocide. But that seemed less important to Netanyahu than pandering to the desire for revenge amongst Israelis. Netanyahu makes no mention of the fact that Saul disobeyed the Lord’s commandments and the Lord rejected him as king. Nor does Likud acknowledge the context, a few chapters earlier in I Samuel 12:15, describing the corrupt rule of judges and Samuel’s warning that “if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you,” and the Lord’s warning that “if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

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“Israel’s nuclear weapons must be inspected beyond any doubt before it is too late. We will follow this through…”

Time To Come Clean On Israel’s Nuclear Status – Türkiye (RT)

Türkiye will ask international inspectors to determine whether Israel has nuclear weapons in its possession, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday. Speaking to reporters on his flight home from Germany, the Turkish leader noted that Israel is among the very few countries that are not parties to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Erdogan said that Ankara would ask the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate whether the Jewish state has a nuclear arsenal. “Moving forward with this is very important in terms of balancing strategic interests in the region. We will continue to put pressure [on Israel],” Erdogan said.

“Israel’s nuclear weapons must be inspected beyond any doubt before it is too late. We will follow this through. I also call on the international community not to let this go.” Although experts widely believe that Israel maintains a secret nuclear weapons program, the country does not confirm or explicitly deny its existence. Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu caused outrage across the Muslim world this month when he floated the idea of dropping a “nuclear bomb” on the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netahyau suspended the minister from cabinet meetings following his incendiary comments. Erdogan has strongly criticized Israel’s conduct in Gaza, labeling it a “terror state” and accusing the Israel Defense Forces of committing war crimes against the Palestinians.

Netanyahu responded by accusing the Turkish president of supporting “the terrorist state of Hamas.” The current round of violence between Israel and Hamas broke out on October 7 when Palestinian militants attacked Israeli communities, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking over 200 hostages. Israel responded with airstrikes and a ground invasion of Gaza. More than 12,000 Gazans have been killed by the bombardment, according to local officials.

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“How could anybody talk about the future of Gaza when we do not know what kind of Gaza will be left once this aggression ends?”

Arab Nations Won’t ‘Clean Mess After Israel’ – Jordan (RT)

Arab nations have no plans to put boots on the ground in Gaza as part of post-conflict peacebuilding after the fighting between Israel and Hamas ends, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in Bahrain on Saturday. The Arab world would not “clean the mess” supposedly created by Israel, he added. The post-conflict fate of the Palestinian enclave has emerged as a pressing topic amid the continued fighting between Israel and the Gaza-based Hamas militant group. In early November, roughly a month into the escalation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country would manage “overall security” in Gaza for an “indefinite” period of time after hostilities end.

At the same time, even Israel’s closest allies opposed the idea of what they called “occupation” and a “blockade” of the enclave. Last week, US State Secretary Antony Blinken said that there should be “no reoccupation of Gaza” and “no attempts to blockade or besiege” it. The enclave should not be “a platform for terrorism or other violent attacks” either, he added. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that the US and the EU were pushing for UN peacekeeping forces in the enclave after the end of the Israeli operation. On Monday, the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said that a post-conflict peacebuilding framework should be developed “in collaboration with the United States and Arab states.”

Minister Safadi insisted on Saturday that a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians would be the only way forward. “Let me be very clear. I know speaking on behalf of Jordan but having discussed this issue with many, with almost all our brethren, there’ll be no Arab troops going to Gaza. None. We’re not going to be seen as the enemy,” the foreign minister said. He also accused the current Israeli government, led by Netanyahu, of aiming to dislodge Palestinians from Gaza. The foreign minister also called such plans a “direct threat” to Jordan’s national security.

The Arab nation’s top diplomat then said that any real plans for post-conflict peacebuilding could only be drawn after the end of the Israeli operation. “How could anybody talk about the future of Gaza when we do not know what kind of Gaza will be left once this aggression ends?” Safadi asked. West Jerusalem’s military operation in Gaza has been ongoing since October 7, when Hamas launched its own surprise attack against Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians. More than 200 people, including both military and civilians, as well as foreign nationals, were taken hostage in the Hamas attack. Israel responded by massive bombardments of the enclave, followed by a ground operation, which have claimed more than 11,000 Palestinian lives, according to Gaza officials.

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“They created three new accounts, each following only a small number of accounts posting objectionable material. By relentlessly refreshing their timeline—13 times more frequently than an average user—they were able to capture screenshots of major corporate advertisements alongside the targeted content. This revelation exposes Media Matters’ calculated strategy: generating these screenshots as leverage to compel major advertisers to withdraw their ads from X.”

Elon Musk Plans “Thermonuclear” Lawsuit Against Media Matters (ZH)

Early Saturday morning, Elon Musk said his social media platform X will be “filing a thermonuclear lawsuit” against left-leaning non-profit Media Matters and “all those who colluded” for “completely misrepresenting” the real user experience on X. “This week, Media Matters for America posted a story that completely misrepresented the real user experience on X, in another attempt to undermine freedom of speech and mislead advertisers,” Musk said. Media Matters shared a report Thursday that showed “white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories” content next to “ads for major brands like Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity (Comcast).” Musk outlined, “X has seen a number of attacks from activist groups like Media Matters and legacy media outlets who seek to undermine freedom of expression on our platform because they perceive it as a threat to their ideological narrative and those of their financial supporters.” He said these rogue groups are “trying to use their influence to attack our revenue streams by deceiving advertisers on X.” Musk detailed how the Media Matters’ report was nothing but garbage:

[..] Earlier this week, Musk responded to an X post that criticized “Western Jewish populations” and said Jewish people were pushing “hatred against whites.” He added, “You have said the actual truth.” As a result of the report, Apple, Disney, and IBM pulled ad spending this week. On Thursday, X CEO Linda Yaccarino tried to calm concerns about the platform: “When it comes to this platform — X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world — it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop.” [..] Musk added the lawsuit will be filed “when the split second court opens on Monday,” adding in a separate tweet that “many of the largest advertisers are the greatest oppressors of your right to free speech.”

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“Remember when Democrats just up and impeached Trump twice with way less evidence?”

Comer: White House ‘Obstructing’ Biden Inquiries (ZH)

Tensions are simmering in Washington as House Republicans intensify their probes into President Joe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents and the family’s business dealings, sparking a fiery standoff with the White House. The White House, meanwhile, has made clear to House Republicans that they won’t play ball – leading to accusations that the Biden White House is “obstructing” their investigative efforts. Spearheaded by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the Republicans are aggressively pursuing over 20 subpoenas issued to Biden staffers and family members. “We just received a letter from the Special Counsel to the president making it clear the White House intends to continue obstructing our investigation,” reads a post on X from House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY)

“We also need to know if these classified materials aided the Bidens’ global influence-peddling enterprise that brought in tens of millions for the Bidens and their associates,” Comer said on Friday. “This obstruction does not deter us, and we will continue to follow the facts and hold President Biden accountable to the American people.” In a scathing four-page letter pushing back against the inquiry, a senior White House attorney, Richard Sauber, hit back, accusing the GOP of twisting facts and pushing a narrative loaded with “distortions and falsehoods.” Sauber’s letter lambasts the Republicans’ efforts as “congressional harassment” and a mere play to “score political points.” Adding to the complexity, the White House accuses the Republicans of withholding critical information and shifting goalposts when their allegations are countered or debunked.

This claim points to a deeper narrative battle, where each side accuses the other of misinformation and evasion. Meanwhile, Hunter Biden’s representatives have dismissed the subpoenas as a political charade but have signaled a willingness for a public address at an appropriate time. Similarly, James Biden’s attorney has highlighted the committee’s review of private bank records, suggesting that the necessary transparency is already in play. Remember when Democrats just up and impeached Trump twice with way less evidence?

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“..Biden’s Department of Justice took the unprecedented step of charging his chief opponent for re-election with a federal crime that the current president was under investigation for..”

One Law for Trump, No Law for Biden (NCP)

If you ever needed to see the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican in the eyes of the current Department of Justice, Special Counsel Robert Hur just provided it. For years, like former President Donald Trump, Joe Biden has held classified documents all over the place, for example, in his unsecured garage, in his “think tank” at the University of Pennsylvania, and at his lawyer’s office. Unlike the 45th president, however, the current occupant is just going to get a stern talking to. Like Hillary Clinton in 2016, the likely Democratic nominee will not be charged with a crime even though anyone else under the same circumstances likely would. Who’s excited to live under a two-tiered system of justice?

The prosecutor investigating why classified documents ended up at President Biden’s home and former office is preparing a report that is expected to be sharply critical of how he and his longtime aides handled the material, but the probe isn’t likely to result in a criminal case, according to people familiar with the matter, reports The Wall Street Journal. Since his appointment in January, Special Counsel Robert Hur has interviewed roughly 100 of Biden’s aides, colleagues and family members, including his son, Hunter, culminating in a two-day interview with the president last month. The documents in question date to Biden’s time as vice president during the Obama administration as well as his days in the U.S. Senate. The number of interviews Hur’s team has conducted indicates it cast a wide net in trying to answer questions about how the material was packed and handled and wound up at an office Biden used at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, a Washington-based think tank, and in the garage of his home in Wilmington, Del., alongside his vintage Corvette.

Among those Hur spoke to were Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was an aide to Biden in the Senate and his national security adviser when he was vice president; current White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan; top White House political aide Steve Ricchetti and Biden’s former chief of staff Ron Klain. Democratic allies in the media have already begun to spin the fact that these exact same crimes are being treated wildly differently. CNN writes, “A decision to not pursue charges is likely to draw criticism from Donald Trump and his allies. They have long drawn parallels between Hur’s investigation with that of special counsel Jack Smith, who earlier this year brought charges against the former president related to his own handling of classified documents after he left the White House.

But key differences between the two probes abound, including the fact that the National Archives repeatedly tried and failed to get back documents in Trump’s possession. At one point, the FBI secured a search warrant to search his Florida estate. Biden’s attorneys, on the other hand, quickly notified the National Archives of the materials found in his possession.” Unlike Trump, the Biden family has been alleged to have profited from keeping classified documents. Evidence showed that Hunter Biden had demanded a key to the office where some of the documents were held at the University of Pennsylvania. The request raised some eyebrows, and later House Oversight Chairman James Comer said in April that it appears that Hunter Biden “sent one of the classified documents to a “partner” at Burisma, the Ukrainian energy.” It has previously been reported that many of the boxes holding classified documents were connected to Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom.

The current controversy surrounding both Biden and Trump has reminded many political commentators of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the special treatment she received from the Obama Justice Department. The initial FBI investigation into her obvious breaking of the law concluded in July 2016, with then FBI Director James Comey announcing that although Clinton and her staff had been “extremely careless” in handling classified information, there would be no criminal charges filed. Biden has been accused of using the government to punish his adversaries for decades, including using his power as a senator to attack his wife’s ex-husband. Over the summer, Biden’s Department of Justice took the unprecedented step of charging his chief opponent for re-election with a federal crime that the current president was under investigation for. Trump received seven counts against him, including conspiracy to obstruct, willful retention of documents, and false statements. The trial is scheduled to start on May 20, 2024.

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“[t]o lump the Presidency in with any other civil or military office is odd indeed and very troubling to the Court,,”

Colorado Judge Rejects Effort to Bar Trump from Ballot (Turley)

Colorado Judge Sarah Wallace has become the latest jurist to reject the effort to bar former president Donald Trump from the ballot under the novel 14th Amendment theory. I have long been a vocal critic of the theory, which I view as historically and legally unfounded. I also view it as arguably the most dangerous theory to arise in decades. While Wallace reached the right conclusion, she committed, in my view, fundamental errors in her analysis on the free speech elements of the case. The case involves a chilling effort of Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold to use her office to prevent voters from being able to cast their ballots for Trump, one of the leading candidates for the presidency. Like other challengers, she claimed to be protecting democracy by denying voters the ability to vote for their preferred candidate on the basis of this dubious theory.

Polls show Trump and Biden in a statistical dead heat at 42% (Biden) to 38% (Trump) which is within the margin of error. Judge Wallace rejected the use of the amendment to prevent voters from voting for Trump in the 2024 election, declaring that “[t]he Court holds there is scant direct evidence regarding whether the presidency is one of the positions subject to disqualification.” In her 102-page ruling, Wallace declared that “[a]fter considering the arguments on both sides, the Court is persuaded that ‘officers of the United States’ did not include the President of the United States. It appears to the Court that for whatever reason the drafters of Section 3 did not intend to include a person who had only taken the Presidential Oath.”

Accordingly, “[t]he Court orders the Secretary of State to place Donald J. Trump on the presidential primary ballot when it certifies the ballot on January 5, 2024,”The scope of the provision is one of the inherent questions presented by this theory. The disqualified offices are enumerated in the section and start with “Senator or Representatives in Congress.” It then lists “electors of President and Vice President,” and then ends with the catchall phrase of “any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State.” U.S. CONST. amend. XIV, § 3. 302. As the court notes, “[t]o lump the Presidency in with any other civil or military office is odd indeed and very troubling to the Court because as Intervenors point out, Section Three explicitly lists all federal elected positions except the President and Vice President. Under traditional rules of statutory construction, when a list includes specific positions but then fails to include others, courts assume the exclusion was intentional.

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“It turns out, going green is not just about saving the planet; it’s an expensive affair..”

‘Clean Energy’ Fails A Basic Economics Test (RM)

The once-glorified clean-energy stocks are now facing their darkest days, plunging the industry into a financial abyss that threatens America’s ambitious environmental aspirations. The much-touted green revolution is looking more like a red alert as the sector hemorrhages tens of billions in market value.Sure, we’re told that hundreds of billions is still pouring into renewable energy projects, despite the fact that the stock market seems to have declared a resounding “no thanks” to these ventures. The iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund), the poster child for the industry, has nosedived by over 30% this year and a whopping 50% since the dawn of 2021. Not to be outdone, specific sectors are getting their fair share of punishment. The Invesco Solar ETF is down over 40% in 2023, while the First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF is witnessing losses of about 20% this year and a grim 40% since January 2021. It seems the wind has been knocked out of their sails.

Blame it on rising interest rates, the industry’s newfound nemesis. These higher rates have not only increased costs but also put a damper on consumer enthusiasm, leading to a nosedive in stock valuations for companies that once promised a green utopia but are now struggling to turn a profit. Solar companies such as SolarEdge and Enphase Energy are feeling the burn as demand for their products dwindles. Meanwhile, wind energy giant Orsted is singing the blues, with shares plummeting after revealing potential multibillion-dollar write-downs on its offshore wind projects in the US. In Germany, after the Nord Stream sabotage, because, you know, energy geopolitics and straightforward plans always go hand in hand, a whopping 77% of skeptics are shaking their heads, expressing disbelief that the nation will magically conjure up 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030. I guess turning skepticism into solar power hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet.

Switzerland, the poster child for phasing out nuclear power, is now flexing its green muscles by entertaining the idea of keeping nuclear plants running longer, because who needs a clear exit strategy when you can just extend the atomic party until 2040? In the US, the demise of two New Jersey wind projects is just the tip of the iceberg, with inflation, sky-high interest rates, and a supply chain in shambles throwing a wrench into the gears of Joe’s climate ambitions. Despite a whopping $369 billion in federal aid from his climate law, clean energy projects are dropping like flies. Even the postponement of a Kentucky EV battery plant by Ford and General Motors trimming their EV plans couldn’t escape the economic tempest. It seems the only thing rising faster than hopes for a clean energy revolution is the cost. But hey, who needs affordable, reliable energy when we’ve got grand climate goals, right? Biden’s green plans are becoming a chilling reality check, and it’s not just the polar ice caps feeling the heat.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? Not too long ago, clean energy was hailed as the savior of our planet, but now it seems the green agenda is drowning in a sea of red ink. The S&P Global Energy index, once a shining star, has seen its value halved since 2020 – a spectacular fall from grace. Fast forward to the present, and we witness the mighty green stocks taking a severe beating. Despite the EU and US governments offering billions in tax credits and subsidies to support the so-called green transition from Russian oil and gas, investors are losing confidence faster than you can say “renewable.” The S&P Global Clean Energy Index has experienced a gut-wrenching 30% freefall in 2023, with the biggest quarterly outflow of $1.4 billion. The once-booming sector now holds a 23% decline in total assets under management, a far cry from its heyday just a few months ago.

Blame it on the current economic climate, they say – high interest rates, soaring costs, and supply chain woes are the villains of this melodrama. And let’s not forget China, the puppet master of the solar supply chain, flooding the market with cheap alternatives, undermining the EU’s dreams of a local green market. As utility stocks struggle to convert to green energy, the sector’s operating margins are squeezed. The final nail in the coffin? NextEra Energy Partners cutting its growth target by half, sending shockwaves through the renewable industry. I dismiss the sell-off as overblown, but the damage is done, and confidence in renewables has hit rock bottom. So, what’s the moral of this green tale? It turns out, going green is not just about saving the planet; it’s an expensive affair. As the renewable energy stocks hit rock bottom, analysts are left wondering: is it time to buy, or is the green dream truly over?

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You been sold down the river.

Global Warming Might Not Happen Quite As Fast As We Thought (Tel.)

Plants will absorb 20 per cent more carbon dioxide than predicted by the end of the century, a new study has found, suggesting climate models are overestimating how fast the planet will warm. Trinity College Dublin said its research painted an “uncharacteristically upbeat picture for the planet” after finding models had failed to take into account all the elements of photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, green plants use light energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide, water and minerals into the sugars they need for growth. Scientists thought climate change could weaken the process, but the new research suggests plants can adjust to the temperatures, efficiently absorbing carbon dioxide, producing extra nutrients, and continuing to thrive.

They found that on a global scale, the amount of carbon converted during photosynthesis could be up to 68 per cent greater by the end of the century compared to the start of the century, and 20 per cent more than some current models suggest. Silvia Caldararu, assistant professor at Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences, said: “What our study shows is that ecosystems could take up more CO2 out of the atmosphere than previously thought, which would mean lower CO2 concentrations, so a less steep rise in temperature. “So yes, that would give us a bit more time to reach net zero. But it is important to note that we predict a lot of this drawdown will happen towards the end of the century, while we need to cut emissions now, or possibly yesterday.”

Plants take up a huge amount of carbon dioxide every year, slowing down the effects of climate change, but experts have been uncertain whether that would continue as the climate changes. In recent years, observations have shown that the carbon dioxide uptake by plants is increasing, which is likely driven in part by increased vegetation growth caused by carbon rises. An increase in the ability of plants to absorb carbon dioxide not only removes it from the atmosphere, but more growth brings down land temperature and mitigating effects on climate change globally indirectly. Although climate modellers have attempted to include estimates for this carbon sink, the researchers found that most models were not complex enough to understand the true resilience of plants to climate change.

Researchers found that under the extreme RCP 8.5 warming scenario, a pathway where greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow unmitigated, plants would take a fifth more carbon dioxide from the air than currently expected.The RCP 8.5 scenario predicts a temperature increase of about 4.3C by 2100, relative to pre-industrial temperatures. However, the authors cautioned that land ecosystems only absorb about a quarter of human emissions, so the extra benefit would take that up to around 30 per cent.

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Weirdest ever video?
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725817257417457838

 

 

Stick insect

 

 

Snoopy

 

 

 

 

Orang

 

 

Danny Boy – Sinéad O’Connor

 

 


Whenever they tell you it can’t be done in the modern age, show them Dresden. What’s been achieved in Dresden is the most inspiring architectural feat for decades. Everything you see in the bottom image was built, from scratch, in the last 20 years. The city was a gem of German Baroque architecture, completely levelled by Allied bombings during WW2 – more than 80% of the buildings in the historic city center were either damaged or totally destroyed. Heartbreakingly, the wonderful Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) lay in rubble for decades, under the East German communist regime which refused to rebuild it. It was left in a pile as a “memorial against war” for 50 years. When the Berlin Wall finally fell, the people endeavored to bring it back.

Work began in 1993 to piece the church back together, brick by brick; every stone in the pile was sorted and carried off to be analyzed. Except for the brand new dome, it was reconstructed using as much original stone as possible, to the exact specifications of the original (as much as could be pieced together from old photographs). The work took 11 years, and in 2005, the Frauenkirche was reconsecrated – rising like a phoenix from the ashes. It was finished one year ahead of schedule and just in time for the city’s 800-year anniversary celebrations. In a remarkable gesture, the gilded orb and cross atop the new dome were crafted by an English goldsmith – whose father partook in the bombing of the city in 1945.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 162023
 


Jackson Pollock Reflection of the Big Dipper 1947

 

US Will Take Massive Hit In Global Standing Over Israel (RS)
Rights Group Sues Biden For ‘Complicity’ In Gaza Genocide (Cradle)
Why The US Needs This War In Gaza (Pepe Escobar)
All Telecoms Services In Gaza To Halt In Coming Hours — Russian Envoy (TASS)
US Secretly Increased Weapons Supplies To Israel – Bloomberg (RT)
US Sabotaged Balanced UN Security Council Resolution On Mideast – Envoy (TASS)
Biden Calls Xi a ‘Dictator’ Hours After Meeting (Sp.)
Washington Raises Stakes On ‘Losing Hand’ In Ukraine – Jeffrey Sachs (RT)
Ukrainian Officials Embezzled 20%-36% Of All Western Financial Aid (TASS)
Germany’s Energy Woes Spark ‘Deindustrialization on Considerable Scale’ (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Asks Judge for Trump, Barr Subpoenas (Sp.)
Lawyer Admits To Leaking Witness Videos In Georgia Election Case (JTN)
Michigan Court Rejects Effort to Disqualify Donald Trump (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Erdogan Israel

 

 

Blinken

 

 

 

 

Sachs

 

 

Self defence

 

 

 

 

“..the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole ‘nother level.”

US Will Take Massive Hit In Global Standing Over Israel (RS)

This past weekend saw the publication of a disturbing report from Axios, following a phone call between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Israeli counterpart. According to unnamed sources, the outlet reports, there are growing fears within the Biden administration that the Israeli government wants to provoke Hezbollah into starting a wider regional war that would envelop Lebanon and other nearby countries, as well as the United States. It’s a powerful reminder that the Biden administration’s current policy of unconditional support for the Israeli government’s war on Gaza carries with it no upsides and only downsides in regards to U.S. interests. Avoiding another Middle Eastern war is a core priority for President Joe Biden, who both campaigned on ending “forever wars,” and has expressed concern about the U.S. capacity for a future military confrontation with China.

In fact, according to Axios, Austin’s weekend phone call was precisely to register his concern over the Israeli attacks in Lebanon and “the need to contain the conflict to Gaza and avoid regional escalation.” U.S.officials have been reportedly trying to prevent this outcome from the start of the conflict. Short of a full-blown war, Washington’s support for the war is already leading to U.S.casualties. As of Monday, U.S. and coalition forces have suffered at least 52 attacks since October 17, injuring 56 troops in Iraq and Syria. In a classic case of tit-for-tat, four of those attacks took place this past Sunday alone in response to U.S. airstrikes on Iran-linked facilities, which were themselves a response to earlier militia attacks on American targets in the region over Washington’s backing for Israel. At one point, a drone launched by an Iran-backed drone crashed into the U.S. barracks at an Iraqi air base, failing to kill U.S.troops only because it was defective.

There are few greater interests of a nation than ensuring the safety and security of its citizens. The Biden administration certainly thinks so, since it has repeatedly invoked the U.S. citizens taken as hostages by Hamas and made clear the importance it places on their safe return. Yet U.S. citizens remain trapped in Gaza, their lives threatened by not just Israel’s relentless bombing campaign, but by the siege that has created a devastating humanitarian crisis in the territory. The longer the war goes on, the bigger the risk to these Americans’ lives. At the same time, administration officials are already warning the war is going to inflame terrorism, the very thing the United States spent the past two decades, thousands of lives, and trillions of dollars trying to combat. The U.S. State Department issued an alert early on in the war that there was an increased “potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.”

A leaked intelligence bulletin around the same time warned that Hezbollah and Al Qaeda affiliates were calling for attacks on U.S. citizens and interests over the conflict, and that the October 17 blast at al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City — responsibility for which is still undetermined — would “likely continue to draw public backlash and organized responses.” (The Israeli military has since repeatedly attacked multiple hospitals in Gaza). Similar warnings abound. The Department of Homeland Security has cautioned that the United States is “in a heightened threat environment” as a result of the war. FBI Director Chris Wray told Congress that “multiple foreign terrorist organizations have called for attacks against Americans and the West,” and that “the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole ‘nother level.”

We stand with

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“I paid for Israel to kill my cousins and my aunt, there’s no two ways around it..”

Rights Group Sues Biden For ‘Complicity’ In Gaza Genocide (Cradle)

US President Joe Biden and two of his cabinet members are being sued in a US federal court for aiding and abetting genocide in Gaza, Al-Jazeera reported on 14 November. A federal complaint filed on 13 November against President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, accuses them of “failure to prevent and complicity in the Israeli government’s unfolding genocide.” Israel, which receives $3.8 billion in military support from the US each year, has killed over 11,200 Palestinians, the majority women and children, since the beginning of its bombing campaign in Gaza on 7 October.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed the suit on behalf of Palestinian human rights organizations, Palestinians in Gaza and US citizens with relatives trapped in the besieged enclave. The bombing campaign has been accompanied by statements from Israeli military and political leaders claiming that all 2.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip are legitimate targets, rather than just members or fighters of Hamas, the group that attacked Israel on 7 October. “Numerous Israeli government leaders have expressed clear genocidal intentions and deployed dehumanizing characterizations of Palestinians, including ‘human animals’,” the CCR wrote in its complaint. It said those “statements of intent”, when combined with the “mass killing” of Palestinians, reveal “evidence of an unfolding crime of genocide.”

Numerous legal scholars and human rights groups have also called Israel’s actions in Gaza genocide, including Israeli historian and Holocaust scholar Raz Segal, who has called the Israeli bombing campaign, “A textbook case of genocide.” As the Palestinian death toll continues to mount, the Biden White House has escalated its financial and military support to Israel and refused to set limits or redlines on how US weapons may be used in Gaza. “Immediately after the launch of Israel’s unprecedented bombing campaign on Gaza, President Biden offered ‘unwavering’ support for Israel, which he and administration officials have consistently repeated and backed up with military, financial, and political support, even as mass civilian casualties escalated alongside Israeli genocidal rhetoric,” the CCR said.

Because the US is Israel’s closest ally and largest supplier of military assistance, the US could have a “deterrent effect on Israeli officials now pursuing genocidal acts against the Palestinian people,” the complaint said. Instead, the group said, Biden, Blinken, and Austin “have helped advance the gravest of crimes.” Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Astha Sharma Pokharel, a lawyer at the CCR, said: “They have a significant responsibility under customary international law, under federal law, to prevent this genocide, to stop supporting this genocide. At every step of the way, at every opportunity, they have failed. They have continued to provide cover to Israel; they have continued to provide material support to Israel; and currently, they intend to send more money and more weapons to Israel.”

Laila al-Haddad, a US citizen represented by CCR in the complaint, has lost five relatives to Israeli bombing in Gaza since 7 October. “I paid for Israel to kill my cousins and my aunt, there’s no two ways around it,” she told Al-Jazeera. “It was my tax dollars that did that, that sent those bombs to Israel to kill my family. And so I feel I and all other American taxpayers have a very unique responsibility to hold our government and our elected officials responsible.”

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“Wars in Europe and West Asia may be its last chance (it will lose) to subvert the emergence of a prosperous, connected, peaceful Eurasia Century.”

Why The US Needs This War In Gaza (Pepe Escobar)

The catastrophic debacle of Project Ukraine and the revival of an intractable West Asian war are deeply intertwined. Beyond the fog of Washington’s “worry” about Tel Aviv’s genocidal rampage, the crucial fact is that we are right in the thick of a war against BRICS 11. The Empire does not do strategy; at best, it does tactical business plans on the fly. There are two immediate tactics in play: a US Armada deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean – in a failed effort to intimidate Resistance Axis behemoths Iran and Hezbollah – and a possible Milei election in Argentina tied to his avowed promise to break Brazil-Argentina relations. So this is a simultaneous attack on BRICS 11 on two fronts: West Asia and South America. There will be no American efforts spared to prevent BRICS 11 from getting close to OPEC+.

A key aim is to instill fear in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi – as confirmed by Persian Gulf business sources. Even vassal leaders at the OIC show would have been aware that we are now deep into The Empire Strikes Back. That also largely explains their cowardice. They know that for the Hegemon, multipolarity equals “chaos,” unipolarity equals “order,” and malign actors equal “autocrats” – such as the new Russian-Chinese-Iranian “Axis of Evil” and anyone, especially vassals, that opposes the “rules-based international order.” And that brings us to a tale of two ceasefires. Tens of millions across the Global Majority are asking why the Hegemon is desperate for a ceasefire in Ukraine while flatly refusing a ceasefire in Palestine. Freezing Project Ukraine preserves the Ghost of Hegemony just a little bit longer.

Let’s assume Moscow would take the bait (it won’t). But to freeze Ukraine in Europe, the Hegemon will need an Israeli win in Gaza – perhaps at any and all costs – to maintain even a vestige of its former glory. But can Israel achieve victory any more than Ukraine can? Tel Aviv may have already lost the war on 7 October as it can never regain its facade of invincibility. And if this transforms into a regional war that Israel loses, the US will lose its Arab vassals overnight, who today have a Chinese and Russian option waiting in the wings. The Roar of the Street is getting louder – demanding that the Biden administration, now seen as complicit with Tel Aviv, halt the Israeli genocide that may lead to a World War. But Washington will not comply. Wars in Europe and West Asia may be its last chance (it will lose) to subvert the emergence of a prosperous, connected, peaceful Eurasia Century.

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Good to remember: “..Hamas views its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ steps against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem..”

All Telecoms Services In Gaza To Halt In Coming Hours — Russian Envoy (TASS)

Residents of the Gaza Strip are about to find themselves without any communications to the outside world due to fuel and electricity shortages, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya told the UN Security Council. “Any humanitarian action requires an immediate cessation of hostilities. One cannot clear the debris and evacuate people when under fire, and also it is impossible to bring in much-needed fuel, without which Gaza’s hospitals are about to run out of energy. Besides, without fuel supplies, in the coming hours (according to UNRWA forecasts on November 16), the residents of Gaza will find themselves without any communications, without Internet and in a complete isolation from the outside world,” the Russian diplomat said, addressing the UN Security Council which has just adopted a resolution on the Middle East.

A total of 12 countries in the 15-member council voted in favor of the document, aimed at helping children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone. The United States, the United Kingdom and Russia abstained. “There will be no telling what happens there at all. The Gaza Strip will be completely plunged into darkness and chaos, and coordination among emergency services will be disrupted,” Nebenzya continued. s”At this very moment, while delegations to the Security Council are exercising in eloquence, the Israeli army is raiding Al-Shifa hospital, bombing UNRWA schools, and there are alarming reports of medical staff being shot, medical equipment and medical depots being destroyed,” he added. “I stress once again: humanitarian pauses are not and cannot be a substitute for a ceasefire or even a truce. It is only a short-time halt, after which hostilities resume with renewed vigor.”

The resolution, obtained by TASS, has seven provisions. It contains a call for establishing extended humanitarian pauses and corridors in the Gaza Strip “for a sufficient number of days to enable, consistent with international humanitarian law, the full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access” for United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other impartial humanitarian organizations enabling them to deliver humanitarian aid, repair essential infrastructure and organize “urgent rescue and recovery efforts, including for missing children in damaged and destroyed buildings.” The humanitarian pause should be long enough to conduct “evacuation of sick or injured children and their care givers.”

Tensions flared up in the Middle East after Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip attacked Israeli territory on October 7, when many Israelis living in the settlements near the border were killed and more than 200 people, including children, women and the elderly, were taken hostage. Hamas views its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ steps against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also reported in the West Bank.

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“..since Gaza is “one of the world’s most densely populated places, 155mm artillery shells are inherently indiscriminate.”

US Secretly Increased Weapons Supplies To Israel – Bloomberg (RT)

The US Department of Defense has allegedly ramped up weapons deliveries to Israel without making any public announcements, Bloomberg has reported. The media outlet claimed that the deliveries of artillery shells, which supposedly feature prominently on Israel’s wish list, continue despite protests by dozens of relief organizations. The US has for decades been Israel’s closest ally and a major supplier of weapons. Following Hamas’ surprise attack on the country on October 7, Washington quickly came to Israel’s rescue, providing it with Iron Dome air defense missiles and smart bombs. In its report on Wednesday, Bloomberg, citing an internal Defense Department list dated late October, claimed that the Pentagon had been dipping into its stocks at home and in Europe to furnish Israel with 36,000 rounds of 30mm cannon ammunition and approximately 2,000 Hellfire Laser Guided missiles for the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

The list also included 57,000 155mm High Explosive artillery shells, as well as mortars, rifles, and night vision devices, among other items. Israel reportedly requested 200 armor-piercing Switchblade 600 strike drones, which the US military does not have in its inventory. When asked for comment, the Defense Department said in a statement that it was “leveraging several avenues — from internal stocks to US industry channels – to ensure Israel has the means to defend itself.” Officials added that “this security assistance continues to arrive on a near-daily basis.” Bloomberg pointed out that the deliveries have apparently continued despite the Biden administration publicly calling on Israel to exercise restraint and try to avoid civilian casualties during its ongoing operation against Hamas in Gaza.

On Monday, thirty relief groups sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, urging him to halt the deliveries of 155mm shells in particular. They argued that, since Gaza is “one of the world’s most densely populated places, 155mm artillery shells are inherently indiscriminate.” On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives approved a bill proposed by Speaker Mike Johnson over the weekend to avoid a looming government shutdown this Friday. Aid for Ukraine and Israel is conspicuously absent from the stopgap legislation, which aims to secure funding for US government agencies through mid-January and early February. The Biden administration originally asked Congress last month to approve a massive $106 billion assistance package for Ukraine and Israel. However, Republicans opposed the plan, leading to a political deadlock.

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“The Council does not even demand humanitarian pauses, but only calls for them, which is a mockery of the Council’s prerogative..”

US Sabotaged Balanced UN Security Council Resolution On Mideast – Envoy (TASS)

Since the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated in early October, the United States has been sabotaging a balanced UN Security Council document on the issue, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said. “From the very beginning of the current escalation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone, the US delegation has sabotaged any attempt to develop a balanced and depoliticized document aimed at taking real and urgent measures to de-escalate the situation. Our American colleagues on the Council justified the collective punishment and annihilation of the Palestinians, first of all the civilian population, under the slogans about the fight against terrorism and Israel’s right to self-defense, effectively paralyzing the work of the main UN body for the maintenance of international peace and security,” Nebenzya told the UN Security Council after it adopted a resolution on the Middle East.

In his words, Washington has consistently rejected draft resolutions demanding a humanitarian ceasefire. The diplomat expressed his regret over the fact that “under pressure from Washington, the language of the resolution has been emasculated.” “The Council does not even demand humanitarian pauses, but only calls for them, which is a mockery of the Council’s prerogative,” Nebenzya said.

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The Chinese simply do not understand such poor manners.

Biden Calls Xi a ‘Dictator’ Hours After Meeting (Sp.)

Hours after a meeting designed to restore US-Chinese relations between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden called the Chinese leader a dictator during a press conference about the meeting. Biden and Xi met in San Francisco during the APEC Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday. The highly anticipated meeting was hyped as a critical opportunity to restore Chinese-US relations following years of heightened tensions between the two countries. During a press conference following the meeting, Biden touted the progress made, saying that they reached a deal to combat fentanyl precursor chemicals from China entering the United States, resuming direct communications between the world’s two largest militaries and a plan to have experts from both countries meet on the dangers of AI. He said they also discussed Ukraine, Gaza, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

After Biden stated he would take no more questions he started walking towards the exit but then stopped and announced that he would take another question, “Who can holler the loudest?” the President asked the crowd of supporters. The reporter, whose name and outlet were not clearly audible in the video, first asked if Biden could share the evidence he had that Hamas hid a headquarters in Al-Shifa hospital, something Biden said was a “fact” earlier in the press conference. Biden said he was confident in the evidence he saw, but declined to provide it. “No, I can’t tell you. I won’t tell you.” The same reporter then asked if Biden still calls Xi a “dictator” as he did earlier in the year. Biden confirmed that he still does.

“Well look, he is. I mean he is a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that is based on a form of government that is totally different from ours,” Biden stated before leaving the press room. The Chinese government has not yet responded to Biden’s latest description of the Chinese President as a “dictator.” In June, one day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Beijing in an effort to ease tensions between the countries, Biden harmed those discussions by calling Xi a dictator and implying that he did not know what was going on in his country. “The reason why Xi Jinping got very upset in terms of when I shot that balloon down with two box cars full of spy equipment is he didn’t know it was there,” Biden said at a fundraiser. “That’s a great embarrassment for dictators.”

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“The US has played a losing hand badly for 15 straight years..”

They’ve raised the stakes for 15 years on a losing hand, and they can’t get it,” [..] “And this is our team. They failed.”

Washington Raises Stakes On ‘Losing Hand’ In Ukraine – Jeffrey Sachs (RT)

Washington has continually escalated a failed foreign policy in Eastern Europe since at least 2008, driving Ukraine to the brink of total destruction by failing to address Russia’s legitimate security concerns in the former Soviet republic, US public policy analyst Jeffrey Sachs has argued. “The US has played a losing hand badly for 15 straight years,” Sachs said on Wednesday in an interview with independent journalist Glenn Greenwald. “This is really important to understand if one wants to learn a little bit about geopolitical poker, which is, we keep raising the stakes on a losing hand.” Sachs, an award-winning economist who advised the Russian and Ukrainian governments following the Soviet Union’s breakup, detailed how at various points in the past two decades, Washington could have forestalled a military conflict without Kiev losing any territory.

He pointed out that Moscow was demanding that NATO not expand onto its doorstep, which US officials refused to concede. When Ukraine’s then-president, Viktor Yanukovych, chose neutrality over aligning with the West and agreed to extend the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s lease of its naval base in Crimea, that wasn’t good enough for US leaders, Sachs said. US State Department official Victoria Nuland “and friends” then helped overthrow Kiev’s democratically elected government in 2014, leading to Ukraine’s loss of Crimea, he said. Even then, Russia wasn’t demanding more territory. Rather, Sachs said, Moscow wanted Ukraine to refrain from shelling ethnic Russians in the breakaway Donbass region and to grant them a degree of autonomy. Those terms were included in the Minsk II agreement, which was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council, but US officials told Ukrainian leaders that they didn’t need to comply with the deal, the analyst said.

In December 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a security pact pledging no further expansion of NATO and negotiations on placement of US missile systems in Eastern Europe. The US reply came in January 2022. “We don’t have to discuss any of that with you,” Sachs said, summing up Washington’s stance at the time. “That was the reply. We don’t have to discuss NATO with you. It’s none of your business.” Just three days after Russian forces launched a military offensive against Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky sought to resolve the conflict by pledging neutrality, Sachs said. However, he suggested that, when Zelensky reached a preliminary agreement with the Russians on a peace settlement a few weeks later, US President Joe Biden’s administration torpedoed the deal.

Washington has since approved $113 billion in aid to Ukraine, essentially prolonging the fighting, the analyst argued. Earlier this year, the Biden administration goaded Kiev into a major counteroffensive against Russian forces that was “clearly an impossibility,” Sachs said. “They’ve raised the stakes for 15 years on a losing hand, and they can’t get it,” the economist said. “And this is our team. They failed.” ” We need a new foreign policy team, and we need a new foreign policy approach, and we need to negotiate before Ukraine is completely destroyed.”

Sachs noted that he and other observers predicted the Ukraine debacle in the early days of the conflict. “This one was not very hard to see,” he said. “Like you said, how can you beat Russia? It was very obvious. These people just are not very clever. Biden, Nuland, [National Security Advisor Jake] Sullivan, [Secretary of State Antony] Blinken – they’ve been at this since 2014.” Kiev’s much-anticipated offensive campaign, launched in the summer, failed to achieve any significant victories or win back much territory. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general, said in a recent interview that the fighting has reached “a stalemate.” The Economist reported this week that Western officials “increasingly think” that the conflict could last for another five years.

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“I’m talking about former senior officials of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.”

So this is just the defense guys. But the rest want their cut, too.

Ukrainian Officials Embezzled 20%-36% Of All Western Financial Aid (TASS)

Between 20% and 36% of all financial aid, provided to Kiev by the West, has been misappropriated by Ukrainian officials, the Russian Foreign ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “Based on our information, between 20% and 36% of all financial aid from the West was misappropriated by Ukrainian officials,” the diplomat said. “I’m talking about former senior officials of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.” Corruption scandals at various sectors of economy and state governance are a regular occurrence in Ukraine. Former Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov was sacked in September amid numerous corruption scandals. He was succeeded by Rustem Umerov.

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“..two out of three German companies have partially relocated their operations abroad due to ongoing energy issues in Germany..”

Germany’s Energy Woes Spark ‘Deindustrialization on Considerable Scale’ (Sp.)

Germany’s automotive, mechanical engineering, and industrial goods companies are prioritizing moving less complex processes overseas to secure their business futures. Berlin’s chances of reversing such a trend are in doubt, as companies have expressed disappointment in the current government’s actions to forestall their departure. Consultancy firm Deloitte reports that two out of three German companies have partially relocated their operations abroad due to ongoing energy issues in Germany. Previous reports indicated that nearly half of the country’s small-to-midsized companies were considering moving abroad or ceasing operations. According to Deloitte, 67 percent of German companies have moved some operations abroad, and every third industrial company plans to relocate high-quality areas such as production and preassembly.

Investments in infrastructure, digitalization, and cost-effective energy pricing are essential for securing business locations. The situation is particularly acute in Germany’s mechanical engineering, industrial goods, and automotive sectors, where 69 percent of companies report moderate to large-scale relocation. Currently, companies are primarily moving less complex aspects like component manufacturing abroad. Florian Ploner, a partner at Deloitte and industry sector expert, remarked, “Deindustrialization is already taking place on a considerable scale here. If the general conditions remain the same, it is very likely that more companies will follow and more and more important parts of the value creation will migrate.”

When considering relocation, one-third of respondents focus on high-value areas like general production (33 percent) and preassembly (34 percent). Currently, companies are relocating evenly across the EU, Asia, and the US, with only 10 percent of companies planning to move to other Asian countries and eight percent considering returning to Europe from Asia.

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“Dammit, Mr. President, I am not going to talk to you about Hunter Biden. Period!”

Hunter Biden Asks Judge for Trump, Barr Subpoenas (Sp.)

Lawyers for Hunter Biden asked a federal judge on Wednesday to issue subpoenas for several federal law enforcement officials, including former Attorney General Bill Barr and former US President Donald Trump, in the case against the first son. According to the recent filing, Biden is seeking the testimony of Trump, Barr, and two other Justice Department officials in an effort to prove that the federal investigation of him was politically motivated. “Mr. Biden seeks specific information from three former DOJ officials and the former President that goes to the heart of his defense that this is, possibly, a vindictive or selective prosecution arising from an unrelenting pressure campaign beginning in the last administration, in violation of Mr. Biden’s Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution,” Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, wrote in the request to US District Judge Maryellen Noreika.

Hunter, who is the son of US President Joe Biden, is facing a trio of federal gun charges after a plea deal collapsed over the summer that also included misdemeanor tax fraud charges. While it was Hunter’s lawyer who scuttled the deal, he has since tried to argue that the filing of new gun charges since then is part of a political campaign against him and his father, who is standing for reelection next November. “In the lead up to the 2020 election, IRS case files show certain investigative decisions were made ‘as a result of guidance provided’ by, among others, ‘the Deputy Attorney General’s office,’” Lowell’s filing said. Lowell also specifically pointed to a comment by Barr published in his 2022 memoir “One Damn Thing After Another,” in which he said he told Trump in October 2020: “Dammit, Mr. President, I am not going to talk to you about Hunter Biden. Period!”

“These confirmations of communications give more than a mere appearance that President Trump improperly and unrelentingly pressured DOJ to pursue an investigation and prosecution of Mr. Biden to advance President Trump’s partisan ambitions,” Lowell’s note to the judge said. Lowell also claimed that Republican pressure on special counsel David Weiss compelled the attorney into “changing course” to file the indictment against Hunter Biden in September, “charging three felony counts for the same gun and same facts that just a few months prior Mr. Weiss had agreed to divert under a pre-trial diversion agreement.”

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“Miller’s provision of the footage to the media was not illegal..”

Lawyer Admits To Leaking Witness Videos In Georgia Election Case (JTN)

An attorney representing one of the defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s election case admitted on Wednesday to releasing video footage of several proffer sessions involving defendants who entered plea agreements. A proffer session is a meeting between a defendant and prosecutors to provide information to prosecutors. Footage from those of attorneys Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis, and Sidney Powell became public this week, along with that of co-defendant Scott Hall. “In being transparent with the court and to make sure that nobody else gets blamed for what happened — and so that I can go to sleep well tonight — Judge, I did release those videos to one outlet,” Attorney Jonathan Miller told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, according to The Hill. “And in all candor, I need the court to know that.”

Prosecutors ultimately filed a request for a protective order on how defendants may disseminate materials from the case. Miller’s provision of the footage to the media was not illegal. Miller represents defendant Misty Hampton, one of former President Donald Trump’s 18 co-defendants in the case stemming from efforts to challenge the 2020 election results. The original publication of the videos prompted several rounds of finger-pointing within the courtroom, with attorneys for the myriad defendants and Willis’s office denying any involvement until Miller came forward.

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“These challenges are spreading uncertainty on the choices that will be allowed for voters — a dangerous and dysfunctional effort.”

Michigan Court Rejects Effort to Disqualify Donald Trump (Turley)

We have been discussing the nationwide effort to disqualify former President Donald Trump from ballots in key states under a novel theory using Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Yesterday, a Michigan judge was the latest to dismiss the effort to prevent voters from being able to vote for Trump. As many of you know, I have been a vocal critic of the theory as unfounded and dangerous. While figures like Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe have assured the public that Trump is clearly disqualified under the theory, it is based on unsustainable historical and legal interpretations in my view. For that reason, I have welcomed rulings to allow these claims to be reviewed on appeal. It has not fared well. While some have misrepresented past rulings, Tribe and others are still seeking a favorable judge.

Trump rally

State Judge James Robert Redford rejected the challenge and found that the courts lack the claimed authority under the theory. Judge Redford also rejected the effort of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) under state law to remove candidates from the ballot based on that provision. An appeal is now expected to proceed and the matter could well end up in front of the Supreme Court. Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in a similar case that Trump could not be removed from the primary ballot in that state. Another ruling is expected soon out of Colorado. I have previously addressed the constitutional basis for this claim. It is, in my view, wildly out of sync with the purpose of the amendment, which followed an actual rebellion, the Civil War.

As previously discussed, the 14th Amendment bars those who took the oath and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.” It then adds that that disqualification can extend to those who have “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” According to these experts, Jan. 6 was an “insurrection” and Trump gave “aid and comfort” to those who engaged in it by spreading election fraud claims and not immediately denouncing the violence. But even the view that it was an “insurrection” is by no means a consensus. Polls have shown that most of the public view Jan. 6 for what it was: a protest that became a riot. One year after the riot, CBS News mostly downplayed and ignored the result of its own poll showing that 76 percent viewed it for what it was, as a “protest gone too far.” The view that it was an actual “insurrection” was far less settled, with almost half rejecting the claim, a division breaking along partisan lines.

Advocates of this theory like Benson are arguing that they are protecting democracy by denying the ability of tens of millions of Americans to vote for their preferred candidate. Nothing says democracy like barring the choice of voters. It is a practice that is common in nations like Iran where the government scrubs the ballots of unacceptable candidates. Hopefully, these courts will expedite these rulings to allow the matter to reach the Supreme Court for a final and definitive ruling. These challenges are spreading uncertainty on the choices that will be allowed for voters — a dangerous and dysfunctional effort.

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Rogan Rock
https://twitter.com/i/status/1724908066829722022

 

 

 

 

Ron Paul

 

 

MTGVaccines

 

 

 

 

McBride

 

 

Split screen sunset

 

 

 

 

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Nov 012023
 
 November 1, 2023  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Claude Monet Impression Sunrise 1872

 

Gaza Now A ‘Graveyard’ For Children – UNICEF (RT)
More Children Killed in Gaza in 3 Weeks Than in Wars Worldwide Since 2019 (Sp.)
World War III Has Already Started – Lukyanov (RT)
UK Official Fired For Urging “Permanent” Ceasefire In Gaza (RT)
Jewish Anti-Semitism Towards Arabs (Helmer)
US ‘Shooting Ourselves in the Foot’ By Provoking, Escalating Crises (Sp.)
UN a Global Mechanism For Which No Alternative Exists – Kremlin (TASS)
Putin ‘Quick to Lay Down the Law’ on Dagestan Incident – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Ukrainian Border Guards Using Drones To Catch ‘Fleeing’ Citizens (RT)
Tensions Between Zelensky and Top Brass Over Ukraine Counteroffensive (Sp.)
Russia Will Succeed In Ukraine Without US – Pentagon (RT)
Bills On Israel, Ukraine ‘Dead On Arrival’ In Both House And Senate (ZH)
The Biden Family’s Version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (Turley)
1 in 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Suffered Neurological Side Effects (ET)
Capitol Trick-Or-Treater Dressed As Zelensky Gets $40 Billion In Candy (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Jabalya

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

Blitzer

 

 


Arab American Institute poll

 

 

Malcolm X

 

 

MaxAlex

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When the fighting stops, the cost to children and their communities will be borne out for generations to come..”

Gaza Now A ‘Graveyard’ For Children – UNICEF (RT)

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reiterated its call for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, saying the conflict is killing thousands of kids in Gaza and putting many more at risk from the violence and a water crisis. “Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children,” UNICEF spokesman James Elder told reporters on Tuesday in Geneva, “It’s a living hell for everyone else.” He noted that more than 3,450 children in the Palestinian enclave have already been killed, and the death toll rises significantly every day. Elder made his comments as Israel escalated its ground offensive in Gaza in response to the Hamas terrorist attacks that killed an estimated 1,400 people on October 7. Gaza’s water system also has been crippled by the conflict, contributing to an overall death toll of more than 8,000 in the territory.

“The threats to children go beyond bombs and mortars,” Elder said. He added that Gaza’s water production capacity has been cut to 5% of its normal level, putting more than 1 million children at risk of dying from dehydration. Many children have been sickened by drinking salty water out of desperation. Elder noted that even before the latest war between Israel and Hamas, more than three-fourths of Gaza’s children were identified as needing mental health support because of the trauma they had faced. “When the fighting stops, the cost to children and their communities will be borne out for generations to come,” he said. With Gaza’s children “living through a nightmare,” the UNICEF spokesman said, Israel must end its siege of the territory.

He called for all access crossings into Gaza to be open, allowing for the safe passage of food, water, fuel, medical supplies, and other humanitarian aid. “And if there is no ceasefire – no water, no medicine, and no release of abducted children – then we hurtle toward even greater horrors afflicting innocent children.” Israel’s government has blasted the UN, arguing that the body has not sufficiently condemned the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. West Jerusalem’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, announced on Monday that members of his delegation would respond by donning yellow stars, alluding to the labels that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. “From this day on, each time you look at me, you will remember what staying silent in the face of evil means,” he said in a speech to the UN Security Council.

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“.. fighting in urban areas, suicide bombings, air strikes, mines, IEDs and deliberate militant attacks on schools and hospitals.”

More Children Killed in Gaza in 3 Weeks Than in Wars Worldwide Since 2019 (Sp.)

The escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis has had a devastating impact on civilians. Commenting on the conflict earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged that non-combatants be spared. “If men decide to fight amongst themselves, let them do it. But leave women and children alone,” Putin stressed. More children have now been killed in Gaza over the past three weeks than perished in conflicts across the globe during any year since 2019. That’s according to a report by Save the Children, a London-headquartered international children’s rights non-profit. Per the charity’s figures, based on data from the Gazan and Israeli health ministries, some 3,195 children were reported killed in Gaza since the October 7 escalation, with another 33 perishing in the West Bank, and 29 in Israel, for a total of 3,257. That’s far more than the number of children killed in any other armed conflict across some 20 nations throughout 2023, and the highest number since 2019, the charity says.

Indeed, according to annually published reports by the United Nations Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli crisis has been particularly devastating for the world’s youngest inhabitants. Comparatively, some 2,985 children died in conflicts in 2022, 2,515 in 2021, and 2,674 in 2020. In 2019, 4,019 children were confirmed killed, mostly in conflicts and insurgencies raging across Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, the Philippines, Palestine, Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan. 6,154 children were injured that year, with deaths and injuries attributed to fighting in urban areas, suicide bombings, air strikes, mines, IEDs and deliberate militant attacks on schools and hospitals.

Along with the fatalities, some 6,360 children in Gaza have now been maimed over the past three weeks, together with 180 in the West Bank, and 74 in Israel. Israeli media estimates that up to 30 children have been taken hostage by Hamas fighters and remain in captivity. Children are estimated to make up over 40 percent of deaths among the 7,700+ people killed in Gaza to date, and about 3 percent of the 1,033 fatalities reported in Israel since the start of hostilities this month. “One child’s death is one too many, but these are grave violations of epic proportions,” Save the Children Palestine director Jason Lee said in a statement of the Gaza fatalities. “A ceasefire is the only way to ensure their safety. The international community must put people before politics – every day spent debating is leaving children killed and injured. Children must be protected at all times, especially when they are seeking safety in schools and hospitals.”

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“..it is still better than the wars that happened in the 20th century, but there is little joy.”

World War III Has Already Started – Lukyanov (RT)

The Third World War is already underway, Fyodor Lukyanov, Russia’s leading foreign policy expert, has said. A world order that has been “unpleasant” but “manageable” is being broken down and currently there seems to be no mechanism for the resolution of conflicts, including the ongoing escalation between Israel and Hamas, he believes. Lukyanov, who is chairman of the presidium at think tank Council for Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP) and editor-in-chief of magazine Russia in Global Affairs, made the remarks in an interview published last week by newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. Of late, the world has been seen old, frozen conflicts getting re-ignited, Lukyanov said, listing as examples the Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities, the Russia-Ukraine standoff and the new escalation in the Middle East.

The ongoing array of conflicts is effectively the new World War, which appears to significantly differ from the two global conflicts of the 20th century, Lukyanov, who is also a research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club, suggested. “There is a chain of conflicts affecting the whole world. In fact, World War III is already underway. In this sense, it is still better than the wars that happened in the 20th century, but there is little joy.” “We instinctively expect that the war will begin just like the Great War or the [Second World War]. But such wars probably won’t happen anymore – after all, there are nuclear weapons, which are still holding back many,” the expert said.

The escalation in the Middle East is not the last conflict to come, with more hostilities expected to break out worldwide soon – and no one seems to be capable now of stopping them, he also warned. “The international order is breaking down. It was an unpleasant one, based on the fear of mutual destruction, but manageable. Wars in the Middle East have erupted before, but the USSR and the USA intervened and extinguished them until the next conflict. And now I don’t see even a temporary settlement mechanism,” Lukyanov said. He noted that the Palestinian militant group Hamas has apparently picked the “right” moment to strike against Israel, given that the country has experienced “permanent internal chaos” for over a year already.

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Just like with Ukraine, calling for peace is verboten.

UK Official Fired For Urging “Permanent” Ceasefire In Gaza (RT)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has fired a ministerial aide for calling for a “permanent” ceasefire in Gaza. London has stopped short of urging for an end to the war, proposing only limited “pauses” to allow aid to reach the Palestinian enclave. Conservative Member of Parliament Paul Bristow was removed from his position as parliamentary private secretary (PPS) at the Department for Science on Monday, days after he penned a letter to Sunak pressing for a long-term truce between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. “Paul Bristow has been asked to leave his post in government following comments that were not consistent with the principles of collective responsibility,” a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said, referring to a rule requiring government officials to publicly support all cabinet policy decisions.

In his two-page letter to the prime minister, Bristow argued that a “permanent ceasefire” would “save lives and allow for a continued column of humanitarian aid [to] reach the people who need it the most.” Sunak, however, has vocally defended Israel’s military action against Hamas following the group’s deadly October 7 terrorist attack, and urged against a full-on truce, instead calling for brief humanitarian “pauses” that are “distinct from a ceasefire.” Following his firing, Bristow went on to tell Sky News that he “completely understand[s] the PM’s decision,” but that he can “now talk openly about an issue so many of my constituents care deeply about.” “I believe I can do this better from the backbenches rather than as part of the government payroll,” he continued. While the UN General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Saturday, London abstained in the vote, along with 44 other member states.

Fourteen countries opposed the measure, including Israel and the US, though it appeared to have had little effect as Israeli forces continued the early phase of their ground assault on Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the idea of a ceasefire, telling reporters on Monday that “calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas.” Following weeks of heavy airstrikes, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have gradually expanded ground operations in the Palestinian enclave, with officials saying the mission will aim to eliminate Hamas entirely. Some 1,400 Israelis and more than 8,000 Palestinians have been killed in the latest bout of violence, in addition to thousands injured on both sides, according to local officials. The UN has warned of a dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza should the conflict continue, though only a slow trickle of aid has been allowed into the territory in recent weeks.

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Define “Semite”.

Jewish Anti-Semitism Towards Arabs (Helmer)

The Semites, the Semitic peoples, and speakers of the Semitic languages started as a figment of the German imagination in the late 18th century and early 19th century. It quickly became a German racial epithet, used in contrast to Aryan. By the time Adolf Hitler came along, this was the pseudo-scientific doctrine in which the Germans lumped both the Jews and the Arabs into a single category – the inferiors of the Aryans. That is one of the reasons Hitler refused to listen to the advice of his general staff on aiding the Arab nationalist forces in Iraq, Syria and Palestine in the Wehrmacht’s war plans against the British and the Soviet Union. The pseudo-science of Semitism and Aryanism, and the idea of anti-Semitism which the Germans, together with the British and Americans, adopted in the run-up to World War II was spelled out at Harvard University by an anthropologist called Carleton Coon.

[..] he cribbed directly from German academics, turning out papers on the Berbers of Morocco and advancing his racial superiority-inferiority ideas between 1925 and 1939. When the war began, Coon joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) where he demonstrated his keenness for pistol shooting, hare-brained sabotage missions, and homicidal mania. Among his wartime schemes he proposed to remove the Arabs of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) as unfit to rule; replace them with the restoration of the French empire; and kill those French officials whom Coon judged to get his way. He was one of the planners of the assassination of Admiral Francois Darlan, the French military commander, in Algiers on December 24, 1942; Coon’s pistol was the murder weapon.

American murderers of the Arabs like Coon then — like Israeli murderers of Arabs now — have succeeded in establishing their doctrine of exceptionalism and racial superiority in state policy as the successor to the doctrines of Aryanism and Nazism which were interrupted by Hitler’s suicide in 1945, then the Nuremberg trials concluding in 1946. The crime of racial and cultural genocide became international law in 1948. It was then modified by the new Israeli state doctrine of anti-Semitism: this decriminalised the genocide of the Palestinian people; and outlawed instead media criticism, political opposition, even science for threatening the legitimacy of Israel’s Basic Law of Arab exclusion, and Israeli military operations to enforce it.

In the present war between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas on the Gaza battlefield – “the American project”, as the Russian Foreign Ministry called it in a statement on October 29 *** – the doctrine of anti-Semitism as a race hatred crime is being applied to protect the race hatred crime being perpetrated against the other Semites, the Palestinians. This doctrine, however, has had a negative impact on the ability of the Israelis and the Americans to wage their war. A fresh Russian analysis of the military intelligence failures exposed by Hamas in its offensive of October 7, illustrates how and why the Israelis failed to anticipate because they underestimated their Arab adversary; and because they regarded him as a racial inferior.

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“…Hassan Nasrallah, who is the secretary general of Hezbollah, will be making a significant statement on Friday. So that’s going to be something to listen to and see what direction Hezbollah will go in light of all this..”

US ‘Shooting Ourselves in the Foot’ By Provoking, Escalating Crises (Sp.)

The emergence of the latest crisis in the Middle East, which has started in Israel but threatens to draw in several other regional powers, is just the latest in which the US has forcefully asserted its interest in propping up a useful ally against its enemies there. However, it has come as the US is already deeply embroiled in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and has also committed significant resources and effort into a confrontation with China that has not yet exploded into open conflict. Retired senior security policy analyst Michael Maloof told Radio Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday that the US was “shooting ourselves in the foot” by getting itself so deeply embroiled in crises of its own making around the globe, including in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific regions.

“In my opinion, these are all self-manufactured crises put upon by the neoconservatives within the Biden administration – not only internationally, but also domestically,” Maloof said. “And in three years, how we could deteriorate so far, so fast, is mind-boggling. And it has to be purposeful. And I’m seeing this accentuated in the policies that we have broadcast to the world internationally, in trying to contain and engineer regime change in Russia. That has failed miserably, Ukraine was just a pawn.” Now we have the Israeli situation. I think there’s evidence to show that Netanyahu knew what was happening, but I don’t think that he knew what the extent of the attack would be, the way it would be on the seventh of October. So I think that now he’s really into it and he has no other choice.

Meantime, he’s hearing increasing demands for him to step down, and the United States, of course, has moved in at least two carrier strike groups and Marines, and you wonder: what are they going to be used for?” Maloof added. “I think the whole idea is for deterrence so that Hezbollah doesn’t get into the fray. But what’s going to be happening this Friday, I’m now told, is that Hassan Nasrallah, who is the secretary general of Hezbollah, will be making a significant statement on Friday. So that’s going to be something to listen to and see what direction Hezbollah will go in light of all this. I know he has the support of the Lebanese people as well as the Lebanese army, and those are two significant factors to weigh in. And as Israel continues to do what it’s doing in Gaza, it’s intensifying the conflict, not diminishing,” Maloof said.

“And then the ultimate goal, of course, is to go after Iran. That has always been Israel’s goal, and now that they’ve got the United States sucked into it, I think that now Netanyahu feels emboldened, notwithstanding the domestic opposition he has.” “And on top of all that, we have crises that are still looming in the Asia-Pacific. And these, again, are all things that were precipitated by the Biden administration and the neoconservatives at the top, at the State Department. It’s been the State Department that has led all of these efforts. And of course, they have Victoria Nuland, [US Secretary of State Antony] Blinken – these are all neoconservatives that want to use that. They want to push the American version of democracy, of hegemony, around the world,” he said.

“And I think what they’re realizing is that it is being highly challenged as a result of Russia, China coming together, the role of the BRICS countries, the de-dollarization – again, all brought about by the Biden administration’s actions. If we sought to avoid having Russia and China become an alliance, and a military alliance at that, and draw closer together in a Eurasian approach, we perpetuated that with all of our actions. So it’s actually we’ve actually done this to ourselves. And not only did we shoot ourselves in the foot, but we’re shooting ourselves in the head. And now we’re on a slippery slope. How do you stop what’s now occurred? It’s going to be a real challenge, and we have no adult leadership in the world right now.”

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“..Turkey’s recent initiative to set up an alternative mechanism to the United Nations.”

UN a Global Mechanism For Which No Alternative Exists – Kremlin (TASS)

Russia continues to view the United Nations system as an irreplaceable international mechanism for which there is no viable alternative, despite certain inefficiencies in its work toward resolving a host of issues on the global agenda, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. “We believe that the United Nations system, despite some degree of inefficiency and ineffectiveness as regards the most pressing issues on the global agenda, remains the singular international mechanism for which there is no alternative,” Peskov said, commenting on Turkey’s recent initiative to set up an alternative mechanism to the United Nations.

The presidential press secretary noted that the Turkish initiative would “require an international consensus at the very least.” “Only the future will tell whether it [reaching such a consensus] is possible during these difficult times, during this complex period of acute contradictions and conceptual changes [in worldviews],” Peskov added. Turkish Presidential Spokesman Fahrettin Altun stated earlier in the month that there was a need to establish new international organizations that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations Security Council because the latter was no longer capable of resolving global issues.

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Short: there are no Jewish people living in Dagestan. None were on the plane either.

Putin ‘Quick to Lay Down the Law’ on Dagestan Incident – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

At least 83 people have been detained over their involvement in mass riots at an airport in the city of Makhachkala, the capital of the Russian republic of Dagestan, located in the North Caucasus. Late last week, the airport was shut down for inbound and outbound flights after an angry mob stormed the facility and the tarmac after a passenger plane from Tel Aviv landed on October 29. The developments were spurred on by provocateurs on social media claiming that the plane was packed with “Jewish refugees” seeking to escape the Palestine-Israel conflict and to settle in Dagestan. Police quickly took the situation under control, with a criminal probe into the incident already underway. “This was very much an anti-Semitic mob, who wished to do harm to the Jewish passengers on the aircraft.

And they acted violently when Russian authorities came in to take control,” Ritter said, commenting on the October 29 incident. He recalled that Western media and “Western government sources” tried to use the incident “to cast Russia in a very negative light” as they alleged that Russia “is a hotbed of anti-Semitism and that this is the same as what took place during tsarist times.” “Russian President Vladimir Putin was quick to react to the situation, convening [the country’s] emergency council Security Council where he laid down the law about how Russia will respond to this or holding all of the perpetrators of this violence accountable and making it clear that there’s no room in Russia today for anti-Semitism,” Ritter said. The analyst stressed that Russia “has always maintained a neutral stance when it comes to Israel and Palestine,” and that Moscow “hopes to maintain that neutrality.”

However, he warned, this “would be marred if violence of this nature continued.” Ritter then described Russia as a country which has “a significant Muslim population,” adding, “globally the Muslim world is outraged at the behavior of the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza, where they’ve laid siege to a city of over 2 million people and they’ve subjected these people to a bombardment that has killed many thousands of innocent civilians, many of whom are children under the age of 14.” According to the analyst, even though the Russian government has made it clear that “it’s right to be angry with the Israeli government, this anger cannot manifest itself into anti-Semitism and into blanket condemnation of Jewish people, [as well] the Jewish religion, [and] Jewish faith.”

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Welcome to the freedom and democracy we are saving.

Ukrainian Border Guards Using Drones To Catch ‘Fleeing’ Citizens (RT)

Ukraine’s border-guard service (DPSU) has released several videos showing surveillance drones helping officers catch people trying to leave the country illegally. National media have described those who’ve been caught as nationals “fleeing” Ukraine, amid an armed-forces mobilization as Kiev’s conflict with Russia continues. In the first clip published by DPSU on Saturday, a drone operator uses the aircraft’s thermal camera to guide a patrol towards a group of people hiding in bushes. The service claims the technique helped it catch 14 trespassers in four separate interceptions near the village of Okny near the border with Moldova. The next day the border guards released footage of a short chase, as seen from a drone via a night camera. The DPSU said the four would-be violators in this instance wanted to go to Moldova but were intercepted as they made their attempt.

Another video published by the service on Monday includes drone footage of a car moving down a battered road. Guards then stop the vehicle and apprehend the driver, who the DPSU claimed to be a people-smuggler. The suspect allegedly used his transport to sneak his clients to a part of the border with Moldova from where they would then cross illegally. Would-be violators in the first two cases reported by the DPSU had also used services of smugglers, who ask as much as $2,000 for help crossing the border, according to the service. The footage doesn’t go into what motivates people to embark their law-breaking trips. UNIAN, a major Ukrainian news outlet, described the official action as guards “keeping catching nationals fleeing across the border.” Kiev has banned men who are eligible to serve in the military from leaving the country unless they get a waiver.

It’s now reportedly ramping up efforts to draft additional troops, after suffering heavy casualties in attempts to breach Russian defensive lines over the months of the so-called summer counteroffensive. Ukrainian MP Sergey Rakhmanin, who sits on the parliamentary Committee for Security, Defense, and Intelligence, said in an interview last week that the country had long exhausted the reserve of persons who’d volunteered to go the front. Moscow has accused Kiev’s Western sponsors of using Ukrainians as “cannon fodder” in a proxy war against Russia. In a speech at a security forum in Beijing on Monday, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated Ukrainian casualties during the counteroffensive at over 90,000.

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“Zelensky cannot stop, because peace for him is political death,” Oleynyk explained. “He understands that he will have to answer for everything to the Ukrainian military and to the families of the victims.”

“.. for the Ukrainian people, liberation from this Nazi occupation by the occupying power of the United States is not a defeat, but a hope for a new life in Ukraine.”

“The military may simply refuse to carry out [Zelensky’s] order because it is meaningless and absurd..”

Tensions Between Zelensky and Top Brass Over Ukraine Counteroffensive (Sp.)

Valery Zaluzhny believes that the Ukrainian counteroffensive should be wrapped up and argues that the army needs to prepare for a new operation next year. For his part, Volodymyr Zelensky insists on the necessity to proceed with the military campaign, according to the British media. In September, the Ukrainian president vowed to carry out a counteroffensive in autumn and through winter while speaking to the US press, after a day of meetings on Capitol Hill and the White House. Zelensky claimed that Kiev made a mistake by taking a pause last year after making some territorial gains and pledged to take two or three cities in the near future. “Zelensky has no military experience, he sets political goals,” Volodymyr Oleynyk, a Ukrainian politician and former MP of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament), told Sputnik.

“The priority for him, for example, is an offensive at all costs, not sparing the soldiers, but getting results in the form of the liberation of cities. The West accepts him, praises him; in addition, [military] results bring money. And for Zaluzhny it is very important to preserve the army.” Per Oleynyk, tensions have been brewing between Zelensky and Zaluzhny for quite a while. Zaluzhny sees that the Ukrainian Army lacks air superiority, manpower, and equipment, but he is forced to advance nonetheless, the politician explained. “[Ukraine] has no means for an offensive – neither technical nor human – there is no advantage in the air, and so on,” Oleynyk said. “And [Zaluzhny] now professes the concept of defense. That is, we need to, following the example of Russia, dig in and remain on the defensive, not to carry out any offensives, because it would lead to a defeat.

But Zelensky insists on continuing the offensive. Why? It is clear that this is about the money that Western countries will or will not allocate. If there is an offensive, there will be money; if there is no offensive, there will be no money.” Americans view the Ukraine conflict as a proxy war and, of course, they want to defeat Russia at Ukraine’s expense, the politician continued. However, given that the well-advertised Ukraine counteroffensive has borne zero results, US politicians have started to express skepticism with regard to further funding. “US House [lawmakers] ask: ‘What are our goals in Ukraine, what’s behind our participation?’ And the second question: ‘How has our money been spent? About $80-90 billion have already been spent there. Where is this money? Please, answer these questions before you make your next step,'” Oleynyk said.

[..] “Zelensky cannot stop, because peace for him is political death,” Oleynyk explained. “He understands that he will have to answer for everything to the Ukrainian military and to the families of the victims. And for the Ukrainian people, liberation from this Nazi occupation by the occupying power of the United States is not a defeat, but a hope for a new life in Ukraine.” For his part, Zaluzhny understands that the whole blame for the potential defeat would be pinned on him, according to Oleynyk. What’s more, it’s not only Zaluzhny who is opposing Zelensky’s offensive push: most Ukrainian military servicemen share Zaluzhny’s concerns. The politician does not rule out that at some point the Ukrainian president may see his orders being sabotaged. “The military may simply refuse to carry out [Zelensky’s] order because it is meaningless and absurd,” he said.

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Lloyd Austin still wants to add some sales for his employer, Raytheon.

Russia Will Succeed In Ukraine Without US – Pentagon (RT)

If the US stops funding Ukraine, Russia will win, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, making the case for $44 billion more in military and other aid to the government in Kiev. “I can guarantee that, without our support, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will be successful,” Austin told the senators. “If we pull the rug out from under them now, Putin will only get stronger and he will be successful in doing what he wants to do.” Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were asking the lawmakers to approve President Joe Biden’s $106 billion supplemental funding request, which has bundled the Ukraine funding with aid to Israel and Taiwan, among other things.

Of the $44.4 billion in funding for Ukraine, $12 billion would go towards buying weapons and $18 billion would be spent on replacing weapons the US has already sent Kiev. Cybersecurity, “intelligence support” and “enhanced presence” of US troops in Europe would cost another $10.7 billion, while $3.7 billion would be spent to “expand production capacity in our industrial base,” according to Austin’s opening testimony. Both cabinet secretaries embraced the White House’s new talking points for Ukraine aid, portraying it as a way to support the US economy by expanding industrial production and creating new jobs for Americans, though it has done neither so far. The US has already spent $43.9 billion on “security assistance” to Kiev since February 2022, by the Pentagon’s own reckoning.

Austin’s argument echoed the one made by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to congressional Democrats last month, according to a feature published in Time Magazine on Monday. If the US does not send Ukraine more aid, “we will lose,” Zelensky reportedly said. The article also quoted Zelensky’s aides, who described him as delusional, unwilling to accept that Kiev is “out of options” and “not winning,” while issuing orders that some line commanders have begun to refuse. Meanwhile, according to Time, even if the US and its allies could somehow supply Kiev with all the weapons and ammunition it needs, Ukraine has run out of men to use them.

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Biden can now claim it was the GOP that forced him to leave Ukraine alone. Well played?!

Bills On Israel, Ukraine ‘Dead On Arrival’ In Both House And Senate (ZH)

As the nation celebrates Halloween, the House and Senate are engaged in some spooky late-stage Republic chaos over aid to Israel and Ukraine amid a backdrop of yet another government shutdown looming in two weeks. In short, • The government will run out of money (again) in roughly two weeks, requiring Congress to act (again). • According to Democrats and GOP Neocons such as Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, America needs to send billions of taxpayer funds to both Israel and Ukraine, and won’t consider any legislation that doesn’t combine the two. ª House Republicans under newly minted Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), as well as a group of Senate Republicans, want Israel aid separated from Ukraine aid, while the Biden White House wants to jam a $105 billion foreign aid package ($14B to Israel, $60B to Ukraine) through Congress. • The House’s plan (if they can even pass it) to separate Israel aid from Ukraine aid is DOA in the Senate, while both the Senate’s combined package and the Biden admin’s package is DOA in the House. ª The House and the Senate also need to pass 12 appropriations measures for 2024, or face a 1% across-the-board cut on defense and nondefense spending, per the debt ceiling bill passed earlier this year.

While Johnson is hoping to push this through in a Thursday vote in the House (with no guarantee it’ll pass), Senate Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) – who love war and defending foreign borders, are a no-go, with Schumer calling it “insulting.” As previously noted, while McConnell and other Senate neocons are in lockstep with Schumer and the Democrats over a massive funding package, a group of GOP Senators led by Roger Marshall (R-KS) have introduced legislation to provide a similar $14.3 billion in aid to Israel without Ukraine funding. “If Democrats want [Ukraine aid] so badly, then shouldn’t Republicans get one of our priorities in a trade?” said Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) in a statement to Punchbowl News. “We shouldn’t just roll over and give Democrats everything they want, especially when it divides our conference so starkly.”

More via Punchbowl: Vance said McConnell should force Democrats to accept policy changes at the southern border, before giving them enough GOP votes to pass a massive aid package for Israel, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific. Many other Republicans agree with Vance. The White House’s request asks for more border security funding, but Republicans see this as a ruse. And Democrats say policy changes are a non-starter. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has long called to offset new federal spending, praised the House’s approach to Israel aid and said anything else is “dead on arrival” in the Senate. Paul also called out McConnell by name, saying his fellow Kentucky Republican should simply accede to the House’s proposal. “If Sen. McConnell thinks he’s going to pass a $100 billion conglomeration — what Biden wants — there’s no way it passes the House. Sen. McConnell’s not unaware of the way the House works,” Paul told us. “It’s a very precarious position the speaker is in. I think that’s all he can get through.” bThere are some practical challenges tied to what Vance and Paul are pushing for. For one, a standalone Israel bill with offsets is a no-go for the Democratic-led Senate.

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“It is important to note that, while influence-peddling can be done legally, it is uniformly viewed as unethical or corrupt. For the Bidens, it also seems to be something of a family business.”

The Biden Family’s Version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (Turley)

In the classic holiday film, It’s a Wonderful Life, the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan Association faced a run on the bank by customers spooked by rumors of theft and insolvency. George Bailey held back the crowd, explaining as he pointed to individual customers: “You’re thinking of this place all wrong. … The money’s not here. Well, your money’s in Joe’s house. That’s right next to yours.”

[..] In July, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released an unclassified FBI record which included allegations to the agency of Biden and his son, Hunter, being paid $5 million each by a Ukrainian energy executive when the senior Biden was vice president. Most of the media has shown an utter lack of curiosity in following the money. However, the House Oversight and House Ways and Means committees have made strides in tracking millions of dollars which they allege were sent to Biden family members through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. The Bidens have been criticized for decades for influence-peddling. It is important to note that, while influence-peddling can be done legally, it is uniformly viewed as unethical or corrupt. For the Bidens, it also seems to be something of a family business.

While Biden’s brothers and son had few discernible business skills to market, they did have access — to him — to sell. The problem seems to be that they burned through the proceeds as fast as they acquired them. What is new now, according to House Republicans, is an emerging pattern of how the Bidens turned influence-peddling into the equivalent of the family’s personal savings & loan operation. Money moving between key family members was labeled as a “loan” in at least one instance, and Hunter has claimed other money as “loans” — a framing that not only offered plausible deniability but non-taxable income. Two IRS whistleblowers, who testified before House investigators in July, highlighted the use of a loan allegedly to evade public disclosure and taxation.

Hunter allegedly took large payments from dubious foreign sources and listed them as “loans,” despite no evidence of repayment or any standard loan agreement. This month, House investigators discovered that, in 2018, the president’s brother James received two loans totaling $600,000 from Americore Health, which they described as “a financially distressed and failing rural hospital operator.” According to the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, it made the loans “based upon representations that his last name, ‘Biden,’ could ‘open doors’” to new overseas investors. On the day he received the second loan transfer, James Biden sent a check for the same amount — $200,000 — to Joe Biden as a “loan reimbursement.”

Recently, the House Oversight Committee revealed that just after Joe Biden announced his 2020 presidential candidacy, Hunter Biden received a $250,000 loan from a Chinese businessman using the address of his father’s Delaware home. The generous transfer of funds was from Xiangsheng “Jonathan” Li, a Chinese businessman connected to the investment fund Bohai Harvest RST. (President Biden reportedly later wrote a college-admission recommendation for Li’s daughter). What happened next was vintage Biden family: A Hollywood lawyer, who had just met Hunter at a political gathering, reportedly suddenly took over the repayment of that loan, with no explanation, and later reportedly paid for some of Hunter’s tax bills and living expenses as well. So, it appears that $250,000 went to Hunter, but the loan obligation was shifted to a Democratic political donor.

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It’s starting to add up.

1 in 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Suffered Neurological Side Effects (ET)

Almost a third of individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine suffered from neurological complications including tremors, insomnia, and muscle spasms, according to a recent study published in the journal Vaccines.
The study analyzed 19,096 people who received COVID-19 vaccines in Italy in July 2021, out of which 15,368 had taken the Pfizer vaccine, 2,077 had taken the Moderna version, and 1,651 took the AstraZeneca version. While both Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines, AstraZeneca, being an adenovirus vaccine, uses a different mechanism to trigger the immune response. The study found that about 31.2 percent of vaccinated individuals developed post-vaccination neurological complications, particularly among those injected with the AstraZeneca jab. Different vaccines had a different “neurological risk profile.”

The neurological risk profile of the AstraZeneca vaccine included headaches, tremors, muscle spasms, insomnia, and tinnitus, while the risk profile of the Moderna vaccine included sleepiness, vertigo, diplopia (double vision), paresthesia (a feeling of numbness or itching on the skin), taste and smell alterations, and dysphonia (hoarseness or loss of normal voice). As to Pfizer vaccines, researchers found “an increased risk” of cognitive fog or difficulty in concentration. More than 53 percent of individuals who took an AstraZeneca shot suffered from headaches, which usually lasted for one day. Over 13 percent developed tremors, which typically reverted after a day as well. Insomnia was reported among 5.8 percent of AstraZeneca recipients. However, the study notes that researchers were unsure whether the individuals actually developed insomnia or had a “misperception of their sleep quality due to vaccination stress.”

Tinnitus was reported by 2.7 percent of the people who took AstraZeneca shots. Tinnitus is a condition in which an individual hears ringing or other noises which are not caused by an external sound. All these health complications had a higher risk of occurring after taking the first dose of the vaccine. The study speculated that complications related to the AstraZeneca vaccine are attributable to two factors. “Firstly, the nature of the vaccine, which is a modified adenovirus vector that results in significant and persistent systemic immune activation; secondly, individual vulnerability related to a predisposing biology.” Sleepiness was found in 39.7 percent of those who took Moderna jabs, with the condition usually lasting for a week. It suggested that there “could be a strict relationship between the development of sleepiness and immune responses to vaccine/infection.”

The study cited a “fascinating hypothesis” which suggests that influenza vaccines may lead to “the selective immune-mediated destruction of orexin-producing neurons, which is T-cell-mediated neuronal damage, thus triggering narcolepsy.”

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“I’m never wearing a different costume,” he said. “Dressed as this Zelensky guy, I can get whatever I want!”

Capitol Trick-Or-Treater Dressed As Zelensky Gets $40 Billion In Candy (BBee)

A lucky young boy who went trick-or-treating at the United States Capitol building came away with $40 billion in candy after dressing up as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “Jackpot! I knew this costume would pay off big time!” shouted young Tommy Billington after being notified of his candy haul. “All my friends thought I was stupid for dressing up like that Zelensky guy who is always on the news, but now they look like the stupid ones. I’ve got enough candy to last me 20 lifetimes!” Billington had arrived early for trick-or-treating in a cardboard mask depicting the Ukrainian President’s face. Believing him to be the actual Zelensky due to his short stature, Capitol Police ushered him directly into the corridors of the Capitol to meet with congressional leadership. Within an hour, Billington had been informed he would receive $40 billion worth of candy.

“He knows his stuff,” said one unnamed member of Congress. “He specifically asked that half of it be in Reese’s peanut butter cups, with the remainder being split evenly in Snickers, Twix, KitKat, and Jolly Ranchers. This was identical to a request we had received from President Zelensky last year.” Soon afterward, Billington watched excitedly as Capitol Police officers helped load pallets laden with candy-filled duffle bags onto several large trucks outside the Capitol building. “I’m never wearing a different costume,” he said. “Dressed as this Zelensky guy, I can get whatever I want!” At publishing time, Billington was believed to be on his way to the White House, where he was expected to ask President Biden to pledge an additional $25 billion in candy over the next six months.

https://twitter.com/witte_sergei/status/1719416354397389175

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Canada DigID

 

 

 

 

Rogan Musk

 

 

 

 

Baby monkeys
https://twitter.com/i/status/1719363379058417986

 

 

Cheater

 

 

 

 

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