Jun 012024
 
 June 1, 2024  Posted by at 8:26 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


John French Sloan South Beach Bathers 1908

 

Trump is Convicted: What Comes Next? (Turley)
“This Is A Scam”: Trump Rails Against Judge Following Guilty Verdict (ZH)
Questioning Trump’s Guilt Is ‘Dangerous’ – Biden (RT)
Reuters: Trump Supporters Want RIOTS, Violent Retribution After Verdict (MN)
Trump Raises $53 Million in 24 Hours After Conviction (Sp.)
X To Host Town Halls With Trump, RFK Jr. (ZH)
Musk To Host Trump Town Hall After Slamming NY Verdict (RT)
Gloat While You Still Can (Kunstler)
Paul Craig Roberts: Western Involvement Escalates Ukraine Conflict (Sp.)
Zelensky’s Illegitimacy Deliberately Created – Constitution Author (Sp.)
“A Full-Scale War Isn’t A Foregone Conclusion” – Timofeev (ZH)
Medvedev Warns NATO of Nuclear ‘Miscalculation’ (RT)
Nordic Countries Greenlight Long-Range Ukrainian Strikes On Russia (RT)
Moscow Has Right to Take Proxy War With NATO Global (Sp.)
First French Troops En Route To Ukraine (RT)
Scott Ritter: Georgian ‘Foreign Agents’ Law Exposes Western Influence (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Trump July 4th

 

 

“This article by Elie Honig, the CNN legal commentator who followed every twist and turn of the Trump Trial, and formerly worked with Alvin Bragg in the Manhattan DA’s office, is totally devastating as to the due process violations of this prosecution — particularly this stunner:”

 

 

RFK Trump

 

 

Maddow

 

 

Schiff

 

 

Never President
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796349789530972592

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only the Supreme Court can make this whole. Turley doesn’t think they will. So we’ll have a circus.

Trump is Convicted: What Comes Next? (Turley)

This morning, many of us are emerging from the late coverage last night after the conviction of former President Donald Trump on 34 felonies. I was in the courtroom for the verdict, which hit like a thunderclap (particularly after a strange snafu with the judge). The question that everyone is asking: what happens next? The scene in the court was a madhouse. Judge Juan Merchan told the court that the jury had not reached a verdict and would be dismissed for the day. Many reporters in the overflow courtroom were leaving when Merchan suddenly said that there was a verdict. People came running back into the courtroom. That was followed by 34 guilty verdicts. I am obviously saddened by the verdict, but not surprised. Until the very end, I was hopeful that there would be a hung jury, a result that could restore some integrity to the New York criminal justice system. However, I previously noted that the jury instructions made conviction much more likely. I referred to the deliberations as a legal “canned hunt” due to instructions that made conviction a near certainty.

[..] So what happens next? Obviously, appeals will be taken. As I said last night, we must keep the faith. Indeed, moments like this require us to take a leap of faith in a nation that remains committed to the rule of law. Manhattan is neither the entirety of the country nor the legal system. I believe that these convictions will be overturned, but it will take time. Judge Merchan committed, in my view, layers of reversible error. Eventually, this case may reach the United States Supreme Court. It has been suggested that an appeal could be taken directly to the Supreme Court. I find that doubtful after the Supreme Court rejected an expedited process for Special Counsel Jack Smith in his federal prosecutions. It will work first through the New York appellate system.

As for the criminal process, Trump will have to meet with a probation officer for an interview. That officer will make recommendations to the court. There is a possibility of a jail sentence for felonies that come with up to four years for each offense. Any jail sentences would almost certainly run concurrently. However, any jail sentence would be ridiculous in Manhattan for an elderly first-offender in a non-violent offense. Consistent with his past commentary, MSNBC legal analyst and former Mueller aide Andrew Weissmann predicted that Merchan will give Trump jail time. He is not alone as legal analysts seemed to get caught up in a thrill-kill conviction.

It is much more likely that Merchan will impose a sentence without a jail sentence, though with fines. The most appropriate, in my view, would be a conditional discharge that requires Trump not to commit a new crime or face potential imprisonment. Merchan could also tailor a sentence to require home confinement or even weekend jailing. Those options would raise serious conflicts with his campaigning and obviously, if elected, serving as president. Even the probation process will be awkward since a convicted defendant ordinarily has to get approval for any travel outside of the state from his probation officer. Sentences can also include community service, counseling and other requirements. After his ruling in this trial, it is impossible to rule anything out. However, any jail sentence would add even more outrage to an abuse of the criminal law system.

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“I’m the leading person for president, and I’m under a gag order by a man that can’t put two sentences together.”

“This Is A Scam”: Trump Rails Against Judge Following Guilty Verdict (ZH)

President Trump is giving a live press conference following Thursday’s guilty verdict in his ‘hush money’ trial, in which he was convicted on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. “I paid a lawyer, totally legal. I paid a lawyer, a legal expense,” Trump said in reference to the payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels by convicted liar and former Trump fixer Michael Cohen. “It’s not sheetrock construction, or any other thing. It’s a legal expense. Think of that. This is what the falsification of business records were. And I said, what else are you going to call it?” Trump said he would have testified during the trial, and wanted to, but “The theory is you never testify because as soon as you testify … they’ll get you on something that you said slightly wrong, and then they sue you for perjury, but I didn’t care about that. I wanted to.” “This is a scam. There’s a rigged trial. It shouldn’t have been in that venue. We shouldn’t have had that judge,” he continued. “As far as the trial itself, it was very unfair. We weren’t allowed to use our election expert under any circumstances.”

According to Trump, witnesses on his side “were literally crucified” by judge Juan Merchan. “You saw what happened to some of the witnesses that were on our side. They were literally crucified by this man, who looks like an angel, but he’s really a devil,” Trump said, referring to Merchan. A crowd of Trump Organization employees cheered the former president as he walked to the podium, passing by the escalator he descended nine years ago to announce what would become a successful 2016 presidential bid. The former president rehashed many of the complaints he’s raised for months. He bemoaned that his request for a venue change was denied, and his push for Merchan to recuse himself was dismissed. -The Hill. Trump also slammed Merchan’s gag order that prohibited him from talking about witnesses in the case, along with court staff and their family members. “Think of it: I’m the leading candidate. I’m leading Biden by a lot, and I’m leading the Republicans to the point where that’s over,” Trump said. “So I’m the leading person for president, and I’m under a gag order by a man that can’t put two sentences together.”

Following the verdict, several notable Trump supporters and prospective running mates condemned the verdict. “Massively conflicted, Biden donor and Liberal judge + stacked jury with unconstitutional jury instructions + radical leftist prosecutor = wrongful conviction,” said South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in a statement posted to X. “No doubt Trump will be easily vindicated soon as the case will obviously be overturned on appeal.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) weighed in as well, posting “The verdict in New York is a complete travesty that makes a mockery of our system of justice,” adding that it was a “jury from the most liberal county in America.” Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) called the verdict “a disgrace to the rule of law and our Constitution.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Friday that he believes Supreme Court justices are “deeply concerned,” and urged the court to step in when the case is appealed. Johnson told “Fox and Friends” that the conviction was “totally unprecedented” and “dangerous to our system” because it ruins people’s faith in the criminal process and the courts. “People have to believe that justice is fair, that there’s equal justice under law. They don’t see that right now,” he said. “And I think that the justices on the court, I know many of them personally, I think they’re deeply concerned about that, as we are. So I think they’ll set this straight but it’s going to take a while.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called the outcome “the culmination of a legal process that has been bent to the political will of the actors involved.”

“Today’s verdict represents the culmination of a legal process that has been bent to the political will of the actors involved: a leftist prosecutor, a partisan judge and a jury reflective of one of the most liberal enclaves in America—all in an effort to “get” Donald Trump. That this case—involving alleged misdemeanor business records violations from nearly a decade ago—was even brought is a testament to the political debasement of the justice system in places like New York City. This is especially true considering this same district attorney routinely excuses criminal conduct in a way that has endangered law-abiding citizens in his jurisdiction. It is often said that no one is above the law, but it is also true that no one is below the law. If the defendant were not Donald Trump, this case would never have been brought, the judge would have never issued similar rulings, and the jury would have never returned a guilty verdict. In America, the rule of law should be applied in a dispassionate, even-handed manner, not become captive to the political agenda of some kangaroo court. -Ron DeSantis.

Bragg

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A “political prisoner” is exactly what he is.

Questioning Trump’s Guilt Is ‘Dangerous’ – Biden (RT)

US President Joe Biden has called on Americans to accept the guilty verdict handed down to his political rival, Donald Trump. Biden argued that his presidential predecessor was “reckless” and “irresponsible” to suggest that the trial was orchestrated by the White House. Trump, currently the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge Biden in this November’s presidential election, was found guilty on Thursday of 34 counts of falsifying business records. New York prosecutors successfully argued that Trump concealed the payments – made to porn star Stormy Daniels – in order to influence the 2016 election.

“The American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed,” Biden said on Friday, in his first public remarks since the conviction. “Donald Trump was given every opportunity to defend himself,” the president continued, adding that Trump was judged “by a jury of 12 citizens” and can now appeal the conviction “like anyone else.” Trump has long maintained that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, brought the case on Biden’s orders, and that judge Juan Merchan, whose family fundraises for Democrats, was too “conflicted” to oversee the trial fairly. The former president also complained that a jury in New York, which overwhelmingly votes Democrat, would be inherently biased against him.

“They’re in total conjunction with the White House and [Department of Justice],” Trump told reporters outside his Trump Tower property earlier on Friday. “This is all done by Biden and his people. Nobody’s ever seen anything like it.” Trump said that he intends to appeal the “scam” judgment, and called November’s election date “the most important day in the history of our country.” “It’s my honor to be doing this, but it’s a really unpleasant thing, to be honest,” he said, reiterating that he considered the trial “rigged.” “It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” Biden shot back. Asked after the speech whether Trump was right to call himself a “political prisoner” and blame Biden for his conviction, the president paused, said nothing, and grinned at reporters. The Republican Party has described Biden’s grin as “pure evil.”

Freckless

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Jan 6 revisited.

Reuters: Trump Supporters Want RIOTS, Violent Retribution After Verdict (MN)

Reuters has published an article claiming that Trump supporters have called for “riots and violent retribution” after the GOP nominee was convicted in the New York Trial Thursday. Here’s a screenshot of the article (in case they change it):

Reuters says that it has conducted a “review of comments on three Trump-aligned websites: the former president’s own Truth Social platform, Patriots.Win and the Gateway Pundit.” The piece continues, “Some called for attacks on jurors, the execution of the judge, Justice Juan Merchan, or outright civil war and armed insurrection.” The article then quoted one comment that stated “Someone in NY with nothing to lose needs to take care of Merchan,” referring to the judge, and adding “Hopefully he gets met with illegals with a machete.” The piece quotes another comment on Gateway Pundit, that states “Time to start capping some leftys. This cannot be fixed by voting.” The article quotes several more comments calling for violence, but admits that some have since been removed.

Reuters also charges that since the 2020 election Trump “loyalists have responded with a campaign of threats and intimidation targeting judges and court officials.” The article also quotes Jacob Ware, a research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who has recently published a book on “far right terrorism.” Ware charges that Trump has an “ironclad ability to mobilize more extreme supporters to action, both at the ballot box and through violence.” “Until and unless he accepts the process, the extremist reaction to his legal troubles will be militant,” Ware added. This all comes after Joe Biden labelled violent BLM protests “peaceful” and contrasted them to January 6th protesters “storming” the capitol. Wow. They really are going all out on in their attack on Trump and his supporters.

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“In the 24 hours since Crooked Joe Biden and his New York henchmen got their sham trial verdict, the Trump Campaign has raised $52.8 million through the online digital fundraising platform..”

The platform was so busy it crashed multiple times..

Trump Raises $53Mln in 24 Hours After Conviction (Sp.)

Former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign said in a press release that it raised a record $53 million in the span of 24 hours following his New York conviction. “In the 24 hours since Crooked Joe Biden and his New York henchmen got their sham trial verdict, the Trump Campaign has raised $52.8 million through the online digital fundraising platform,” the release said on Friday The new total means Trump’s campaign is receiving an average of $2 million in donations each hour, according to the release. More than one third of these contributions are from new donors to the campaign, the release said, adding that it showcases a growing opposition to the jury’s decision.

On Thursday, a New York jury found Trump guilty on all 34 criminal counts of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Trump said the verdict was a disgrace and part of a sham trial pushed by the Biden administration via a weaponized judicial system and a partisan judge in order to interfere in the 2024 presidential election. Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential candidate. Trump also said he will appeal the verdict while his campaign and various legal scholars noted that it does not affect his right to run for president of the United States.

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“Today they said, ‘We’d like to set up tables so you sit down.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to sit down for a debate. Let’s go,'” Trump told the crowd..”

X To Host Town Halls With Trump, RFK Jr. (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump and independent presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will participate in live town halls hosted by X and cable news network NewsNation, Axios reports. The events have yet to be scheduled, nor moderators picked – however, X users will be able to ask questions of the candidates during the events, called “The People’s Town Hall,” according to the report. The Biden campaign has declined to participate. In a Wednesday evening appearance on News Nation, Kennedy confirmed his plans to participate, adding that X owner Elon Musk offered use of his platform. The moderators, which will likely include at least one NewsNation host, will have final say over the questions asked.

Axios reports that X CEO Linda Yaccarino approached NewsNation parent Nextar with the idea. NewsNation notably hosted the fourth GOP presidential primary debate last December, which was watched by over 4 million people across NewsNation and sister network CW. Meanwhile, Biden and Trump have agreed to a June 27 debate hosted by CNN – over which RFK Jr. has filed a FEC complaint over the criteria required to participate. On Thursday, CNN announced that it plans to run commercials during the event – which has been ad-free for many years under the management of the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates, Variety reports. CNN’s plan to include commercials was noted in rules for access that were recently issued to members of the DC Television News Pool and subscribers of its feed as well as to CNN’s affiliates.

What’s more, networks will have the option of selling their own commercials instead of running the ones that air on CNN. CNN has yet to offer information about how many ad breaks the debate will contain and how long they will be, according to one of these people. Last week Trump announced during a rally in the Bronx that one of his conditions for debating will be that they stand up. “Today they said, ‘We’d like to set up tables so you sit down.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to sit down for a debate. Let’s go,'” Trump told the crowd. “So we’re not sitting down. We’re gonna be standing up for the debate.” “If crooked Joe Biden makes it through the debate, which I think he will, [the media are] going to say it was one of the great debate performances in history,” Trump added.

Trump Musk

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“If a former President can be criminally convicted over such a trivial matter – motivated by politics, rather than justice – then anyone is at risk of a similar fate,” Musk wrote on X..”

Musk To Host Trump Town Hall After Slamming NY Verdict (RT)

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has confirmed reports that he will host a live town hall event with presidential candidate Donald Trump, after criticizing his felony conviction as politically motivated. X (formerly Twitter), which Musk owns, has partnered with the TV network NewsNation to live-stream town halls with presidential candidates on both platforms, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an individual familiar with the matter. “This will be interesting,” Musk said on X Friday, linking to a New York Post story about the town halls. The idea is reportedly the brainchild of X CEO Linda Yaccarino. Musk apparently extended the town hall invitations to Trump, President Joe Biden, and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Biden’s campaign reportedly declined, however.

According to the reports, X users will get to submit questions for the town hall, which will then be curated by moderators, who will include at least one NewsNation host. The date, location and moderators for the events have not yet been announced. Earlier this month, the Biden campaign sent a debate offer to Trump to appear on two legacy TV outlets – CNN and ABC News, and with no audience in the studio. The Trump campaign accepted and the debates were scheduled for June 27 and September 10. The arrangement completely bypassed the Presidential Debates Commission. On Thursday, however, a Manhattan jury found Trump guilty on 34 charges of “falsifying business records,” related to his reimbursement of then-lawyer Michael Cohen for the alleged hush money payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has denounced the trial and the verdict as politically motivated – as has Musk. “If a former President can be criminally convicted over such a trivial matter – motivated by politics, rather than justice – then anyone is at risk of a similar fate,” Musk wrote on X, adding that the verdict did “great damage” to the Americans’ faith in their legal system. The day before, the Wall Street Journal reported a rumor that Musk might become a White House adviser should Trump win the November election. The alleged connection has been widely interpreted as a sign that some Silicon Valley moguls were moving away from the Democrats.

Trump was a prolific user of Twitter and leveraged the platform to get his message out in 2016, when he beat the legacy media favorite Hillary Clinton. The company “permanently suspended” his account while he was still the sitting president in January 2021, following the US Capitol riot over the alleged irregularities in the 2020 election. Trump had called on his supporters to stand down, not break any laws and go home, but Democrats accused him of “inciting an insurrection” and he was banned by all major social media shortly thereafter. Musk bought Twitter in October 2022 and restored Trump’s account last year, but the former president has chosen not to actively post on the platform.

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“..Ukraine’s military lacks the know-how to actually launch the missiles, so American military “advisors” will have to be on hand to do it..”

Gloat While You Still Can (Kunstler)

Of course, the Alvin Bragg victory in the artfully constructed “Stormy Daniels Payoff Case” decided late Thursday calls to question how come the Mueller Special Counsel Probe into 2016 election interference (actually run by Mr. Weissmann, due to Mr. Mueller’s declining cognitive ability) failed to spot the same web of evidence — hard as they toiled, and they had a good two years and millions of taxpayer dollars to git’er done? My guess: too many white lawyers on the Mueller staff. Everybody knows now from watching the latest crop of television commercials that white people are unusually stupid and helpless and cannot cope with common problems without assistance from helpful people of color (POCs). So, God bless Alvin Bragg for finally fixing what Bob Mueller’s fifteen bloodhounds led by a pitbull somehow botched.

The former president is now convicted on thirty-four counts of book-keeping errors in furtherance of an alleged 2016 federal election violation that the Federal Election Commission declined to charge — that is, paying a porn star to sign a non-disclosure agreement about a sexual liaison — because it is not a crime under federal election law, and about which the head of the FEC, James E. “Trey” Trainor III, was barred by Judge Merchan from testifying on during the course of the trial for reasons yet unknown. Of course, that is but one of a great many points of law that will merit appeal in what everybody — even some white people (people of non-color, PONCs) — knows was a case so crookedly contrived that it is fated to get tossed in the higher courts, and probably with harsh remonstrance to the degenerate officers of the court who brought it and adjudicated it. But you will have to wait on that because the mills of the law grind slowly.


Joshua Lisec

Now, in the radiance of the full Woke gloat, we await Judge Merchan’s sentence, to be announced a mere few days before the Republican Convention in Milwaukee in early July. Jail time at Rikers? Home confinement (with ankle bracelet)? Severe travel restrictions? Reporting to a parole officer? Drug tests? Hey, No one is above the law! It is hard to imagine that the judge will demur from inflicting maximum humiliation on this wanton repeat violator (thirty-four times!) of book-keeping errors. It would tend to interfere with the presidential candidate’s campaign schedule, but so what? Where does it say in the Constitution that an election must be fair? Or Judge Merchan could suspend all that pending appeal and just allow Mr. Trump to go about his election business free on bail. But why would he? After all the trouble he went to. And all the glory he’s reaping for it. “Joe Biden’s” party has Mr. Trump exactly where they want him, they think: pinned down like a moth in a shadow-box, inert and pathetic. (But, in reality, more like King Kong, chained in the rank basement below the stage of a Broadway theater before busting loose in midtown and upending subway cars so as to devour the little humans tumbling out like so many tic-tacs.)

Expect Mr. Trump’s lawyers to file writs to the SCOTUS requesting expedited attention to the denial of due process issues and the election interference question. The situation is comparable to the year 2000 presidential race, where the SCOTUS stepped in on probable cause that the lower court (in Florida that time) had violated the Equal Protection clause of the constitution. In the meantime, through the luminescent fog of gloat, perhaps you did not notice that “Joe Biden” took a giant step yesterday toward commencing World War Three. The move was framed as the US gives Ukraine permission to use American missiles to strike deep within Russia. That was a bit disingenuous, you see, because Ukraine’s military lacks the know-how to actually launch the missiles, so American military “advisors” will have to be on hand to do it, meaning US military personnel will commit an act of aggression upon Russia.

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“Long-range missiles are not battlefront weapons, Roberts asserted. “If the missiles are not intended to be used for their purpose, why give them to Ukraine?”

Paul Craig Roberts: Western Involvement Escalates Ukraine Conflict (Sp.)

The West is thoroughly involved in the ongoing Ukraine conflict and is also widening it, former US Assistant Treasury Secretary in the Reagan administration Paul Craig Roberts told Sputnik commenting on the latest US announcement that President Joe Biden allowed Ukraine to use its weapons near Kharkov. Roberts pointed out that the Ukraine conflict has been widening ever since it started with the West sending every weapon to Ukraine that initially it said it would not. “Troops would never be sent, but the French Foreign Legion is now sent, and the NATO consensus is building to send NATO troops,” he said. A State Department spokesperson told Sputnik that Biden has greenlighted Ukrainian strikes using US-supplied weapons inside the Russian territory for counter-fire purposes in the Kharkov region of Ukraine, but has not authorized the use of long-range missiles, including ATACMS, inside Russia. “There is no reason for long-range missiles supplied to Ukraine by Washington except to hit distant targets. Long-range missiles are not battlefront weapons, Roberts asserted.

“If the missiles are not intended to be used for their purpose, why give them to Ukraine?” Roberts went on to say that although Russia has won in its stated goal of liberating Donbas, that region is not the endgame for the West.
“Putin has won his version of the war – the liberation of Donbas – but Washington’s version of the war is not limited to Donbas,” he said. “If Putin doesn’t quickly use the necessary force to bring the conflict to a quick end, he will be faced with NATO troops in Western Ukraine and the incorporation of Ukraine west of the Dnieper into NATO with nuclear missile bases on Russia’s expanded border.” Ukraine has received billions of dollars in donations and loans from its allies since Russia launched its special military operation in February 2022. The United States alone has provided more than $100 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid. Russia has repeatedly warned countries supplying weapons to Ukraine that it sees military shipments as legitimate targets.

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“..The illegitimacy of Volodymyr Zelensky’s rule was intentionally set up to make negotiations with Russia impossible..”

Zelensky’s Illegitimacy Deliberately Created – Constitution Author (Sp.)

The presidential term of Volodymyr Zelensky expired on May 20. The 2024 presidential election in Ukraine has been canceled citing martial law and general mobilization. Zelensky said that the election was now “untimely”. The illegitimacy of Volodymyr Zelensky’s rule was intentionally set up to make negotiations with Russia impossible, one of the Ukrainian constitution’s authors tells Sputnik. The current constitution was adopted in 1996. Dmytro Tabachnik, then head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, was one of the members of the constitutional commission that drafted the charter. “Knowing the constitutional norms, I can say that according to Article 103 of the Constitution and the explanation of the Constitutional Court, which clearly states that the terms of the president’s powers are determined solely by the articles of the Constitution, it can be said that after May 20, Zelensky is not the legitimate leader of Ukraine,” Tabachnik said.

“According to the constitution, there can be no other interpretation — Zelensky is an illegitimate leader of Ukraine, this clearly follows from the norms of the constitution,” he underlined. Tabachnik argued that Zelensky’s illegitimacy was “specially created.” “There are various interested parties in the bloody conflict in Ukraine. One of the most devious and cynical is Britain,” Tabachnik noted. “Over the past few years, Britain has been trying to play its own separate game. Britain is primarily interested in prolonging the military actions and their escalation.” “Britain absolutely does not care about Zelensky’s illegitimacy,” the constitutional expert said. “They need to solve a task to prolong hostilities as long as possible and exhaust and not only Russia, but also their favorite senior ally, in the past younger brother [the US],” Tabachnik argued. As evidence of this, he recalled that London has already repeatedly interfered in events in Ukraine.

“The Istanbul agreements were destroyed by the direct, brazen interference of the former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. All the initial statements on the use of heavy and long-range weapons usually came from Britain as well,” Tabachnik said. “Creating stalemates between different great powers is Britain’s typical method. To bring the great powers together along the lines of their immediate neighbors,” he pointed out. “This is how they tried to shake up the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th century, this is how they made mischief along the entire perimeter of the Russian Empire.” He noted that the “British model of prolonging” the conflict in Ukraine has several aspects. “The first is the gradual escalation of hostilities. Notice that British politicians are always the actors and promoters of this escalation,” Tabachnik explained. “The second is the complication of negotiations. A special Jesuitical formula was designed to complicate negotiations, consisting of three points.”

“First, the so-called ‘Zelensky formula’ was promoted, repeatedly assessed by leaders of various countries as completely unrealistic and not based on the real situation. The second point of delay was when Zelensky himself issued a decree banning any negotiations with Russia. And the third was moving towards artificial illegitimacy,” he continued. According to Tabachnkik, London is well aware that Russia, represented by its top leadership and Foreign Ministry, relies on the impeccable purity of legal formulas in international relations, so it will not negotiate with an illegitimate president. However, if negotiations with Kiev are impossible, there remains only one solution — Kiev’s capitulation.

“In the case of accepting capitulation, [legitimacy] becomes secondary,” Tabachnik argued. For instance, after Adolf Hitler’s suicide, the Third Reich was headed by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, solely based on Hitler’s will — Dönitz was neither elected nor approved by the German parliament. “Nevertheless, the delegation formed was recognized by all allies and agreed in Potsdam on the night of May 8-9 that these individuals would sign the capitulation,” Tabachnik recalled. Russian President Vladimir Putin, following Russian-Belarusian talks on May 24, stated that Russia assumes Zelensky’s presidential mandate has ended.

Zel

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“..these “dividing lines between” Russia and the West “may be there for decades.”

“A Full-Scale War Isn’t A Foregone Conclusion” – Timofeev (ZH)

Ahead of the “Russia and China: Cooperation in a New Era” conference in Moscow on Thursday, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) Director General Ivan Timofeev told Russian state-owned news agency Tass about the increasing likelihood of a full-scale war between Russia and the West. “A full-scale war is not is not a foregone conclusion, but unfortunately, its likelihood is growing,” Timofeev said in an interview with Tass. He said, “One option is that there will be a great rise in confrontation between us. At the root of this is the Ukraine issue, as the West continues to provide large-scale military assistance to Kyiv.” At a separate meeting on Thursday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told foreign ministers about the need to allow Ukraine to use Western weapons to penetrate deep inside Russia.

Timofeev warned about the rising possibility of a direct conflict with NATO: “A number of officials, particularly in France and the United Kingdom, have said that individual military units from NATO countries may be deployed to Ukraine. If they take part in military operations against Russian forces, they will become a legitimate target for our army. “Let’s hope this possible escalation involves conventional arms and not nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, NATO is spending ten times as much as Russia – if not more – on defense. It’s certainly a dangerous scenario. The RIAC director general continued: “The NATO leadership has made statements that no troops will be sent to Ukraine, and a number of EU politicians have said that this is counterproductive. That means they aren’t united on the issue.”

Timofeev added: “As for Russia, we must take every possible scenario into account. We have the capacity to deter these threats. “However, such a scenario will cause irreparable damage to everyone.” He concluded that the West will likely continue assisting Ukraine through weapons and equipment supplies, indicating these “dividing lines between” Russia and the West “may be there for decades.” Daniel Blake, Asia and emerging market equity strategist at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note to clients in April that the shift towards a multipolar world has been underway for the last five years. With that comes a war cycle, and, as we’ve penned before, a splurge in defense spending is bullish for defense companies.

Mearsheimer

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“This is not some kind of ‘military assistance, this is taking part in a war against us.”

Medvedev Warns NATO of Nuclear ‘Miscalculation’ (RT)

The West is bringing the Ukraine conflict to a stage in which it could spiral into uncontrolled escalation with potentially global repercussions, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. This comes amid reports that many Western countries have allowed Ukraine to use foreign-made weapons to strike deep into Russia. Writing on Telegram on Friday, Medvedev, who serves as the deputy chief of Russia’s Security Council, stated that Western countries, which are said to have signed off on long-range strikes, must understand that their military equipment and personnel either operating in Ukraine or carrying out attacks on Russia from other countries, “will be destroyed.” He stressed that Russia considers all long-range systems used by Ukraine to be directly controlled by NATO personnel. “This is not some kind of ‘military assistance, this is taking part in a war against us.”

Medvedev said NATO wants Western involvement in the conflict to be seen as the independent initiative of certain countries, hoping to avoid the need to invoke the collective defense clause. The former president dismissed this narrative as a “dangerous and harmful delusion.” According to him, actions such as sending troops to Ukraine or guiding long-range weapons are a “serious escalation of the conflict.” While the US-led military bloc wants to believe that Russia would never use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine or NATO, “life could be much worse than their frivolous reasoning” allows, Medvedev warned. He went on to say that the West risks miscalculating the chances of nuclear weapons being used, just as it failed to anticipate the start of Russia’s Ukraine operation. This is not intimidation or nuclear bluff. The current military conflict with the West is developing according to the worst possible scenario. The power of the deployed NATO-made weapons is constantly escalating. That is why today no one can exclude the transition of the conflict to its final stage.

Russia has repeatedly said that a nuclear war must never be fought, ruling out the use of any nuclear weapons against Ukraine. Some Western countries have supported NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s call last week to the bloc’s members to consider lifting “some of the restrictions they have put on the use of weapons” sent to Ukraine. Several Western media outlets also reported this week that the US, Kiev’s key backer, has allowed Ukraine to conduct “limited” long-range strikes deep into Russia. Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky’s office confirmed the reports, saying Kiev will now have a better chance of “countering Russian attempts to mass across the border.” Moscow has warned that the actions Kiev’s Western backers could lead to an escalation and serious consequences.

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The hunger for war is palpable.

Nordic Countries Greenlight Long-Range Ukrainian Strikes On Russia (RT)

NATO members Norway and Finland have said Ukraine can carry out long-range strikes against Russia using Western weapons provided by the US-led military bloc. The statement came after US President Joe Biden reportedly gave Kiev permission to use American weapons to hit targets in the part of Russia bordering Ukraine’s Kharkov Region. On Thursday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg called on member states to permit Ukraine to use weapons for striking targets inside Russian territory. Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide has said there should be no restrictions on the use of weapons provided to Ukraine by Western countries.

“We also believe that Ukraine has an absolutely clear international right to attack Russia on its territory as part of its defense of its own territory,” Eide said in an interview with Norwegian broadcaster NRK.In an interview with Japanese media on Thursday, Finnish President Alexander Stubb said there was no problem with Ukraine striking Russian territory with weapons provided by the West, as long as it complies with international law.“There is no problem with using the weapons provided to attack Russia in self-defense. It would be hypocritical to send weapons that cannot be used,” he said, as quoted by Nikkei news agency.The Ukrainian leadership has been demanding for NATO to permit the use of its weapons to attack targets deep inside Russia.

Latvia and Poland earlier said they were in favor of such strikes. However, Italy and Hungary have voiced their opposition to the idea. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reportedly made a U-turn on the issue, saying on Wednesday that he now supports Ukrainian strikes deep inside Russia, despite earlier concerns about escalation with Moscow, according to Politico. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Kiev’s Western backers need to understand that long-range strikes on Russian territory using weaponry they have supplied would represent a conflict escalation and lead to “serious consequences.”

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“Medvedev said Friday that Russia would “proceed from the fact” that all long-range weapons used by Ukraine “are directly controlled by military personnel of NATO country..”

Moscow Has Right to Take Proxy War With NATO Global (Sp.)

The Biden administration joined with the leaders of Germany, Nordic countries and the Baltic states on Thursday by lifting formal restrictions on the use of NATO long-range strike systems sent to Ukraine to target areas deep inside Russia. Sputnik asked a leading European defense commentator about the move’s political and strategic implications.Russian officials blasted Washington and its allies on Friday over the escalation of the Ukrainian proxy war through NATO countries’ decision to approve long-range attacks on Russia, with both the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry pointing out that the alliance never shied away from allowing its proxies in Kiev to target the Russian hinterland.“We are aware that attempts to strike Russian territory with American-made weapons are already being made. This is sufficient for us, and it clearly demonstrates the extent of the United States’ involvement in this conflict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

Separately on Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that allies had approved long-range strike weapons’ deployment, and said the bloc expects Kiev to use these arms “in a responsible way” in line with international law. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed Stoltenberg, saying in a Telegram post that it was “obvious that NATO was lying and creating a smokescreen, inventing a story that they supposedly had not yet decided to allow or not allow the Kiev regime to carry out strikes using Western weapons on Russian territory.” Former Russian president and deputy Security Council head Dmitry Medvedev said Friday that Russia would “proceed from the fact” that all long-range weapons used by Ukraine “are directly controlled by military personnel of NATO country,” and emphasized that “this is not ‘military assistance’, but participation in a war against us” which constitutes a possible “casus belli.”

[..] “The Russian offensive near Kharkov has been used as a reason to change Western policy,” Mikael Valtersson, a former Swedish Armed Forces officer and military observer specializing in air defense, told Sputnik. “The reasoning in Western circles was that Ukraine must be able to answer if attacks come from the Russian side of the 1991 border. From a military point of view this might be understandable, but it is still another huge step towards escalation from the West toward Russia,” the observer said. Valtersson expects the military consequences of NATO’s green light for Kiev to be “minor,” since Ukraine’s military has a limited number of long-range strike systems.

Then there’s the experience Russian Air Defense Forces have amassed over the past two years in fine-tuning their equipment specifically to target projectiles like the ATACMS and Storm Shadow. Still, the threat posed by the long-range missiles is not insignificant, particularly given Kiev’s willingness to use them in the past to target civilian areas in the Donbass and the Russian city of Belgorod. The “big question,” according to Valtersson, is “how involved the Western powers will be in targeting and other preparations for the attacks.”

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Western military personnel are already active in Ukraine and “have been there for a long time,” President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. “They are [foreign] specialists under the guise of mercenaries..”

First French Troops En Route To Ukraine (RT)

The first group of French military instructors are coming to Ukraine, high-profile Ukrainian politician Aleksey Goncharenko said on Friday. His statement comes just days after Ukraine’s top commander Aleksandr Syrsky announced that had authorized the presence of the French personnel in the country. “My sources informed me that the first group of French instructors is already on its way to Ukraine,” Goncharenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament and a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday evening. NATO boots on the ground is a contentious issue inside the US-led alliance, whose members maintain that they are not parties to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Moscow, meanwhile, has said that it views Ukraine’s Western backers as direct participants, stressing that Western-supplied weapons are being used to strike targets on Russian soil. In February, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he could not rule out the possibility of NATO member states sending troops to Ukraine in the future, although French officials soon clarified that he meant non-combat personnel. Macron later argued that NATO should adopt a policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Russia. The French leader has been working behind the scenes to forge a coalition of countries willing to dispatch trainers to Kiev, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Syrsky, who was made Ukraine’s top general in February, said on Monday that he had signed the papers allowing instructors from France to visit Kiev’s training facilities and “familiarize themselves with their infrastructure and personnel,” and had notified French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu. Moscow has warned that any additional military aid to Kiev amounts to serious escalation. Western military personnel are already active in Ukraine and “have been there for a long time,” President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. “They are [foreign] specialists under the guise of mercenaries,” he told the press. He said that the deployment of Western forces to Ukraine would be “another step towards a serious conflict in Europe and a global conflict.”

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“In Georgia today, as we speak, there are 27,000 Western-funded NGOs..”

Scott Ritter: Georgian ‘Foreign Agents’ Law Exposes Western Influence (Sp.)

The new “foreign agents” law will help Georgians tell right from wrong and real friends from fake ones, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter told Sputnik, arguing that the legislation should be called the “transparency law.”Georgia’s “foreign agents bill,” which designates non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receiving more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power,” became law on May 28. The US immediately announced sanctions against Georgian politicians backing the legislation, while the EU threatened to freeze the country’s candidate status. One might wonder as to why the law, which resembles the US’ Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), has been received with such animosity in the West. The crux of the matter is that the legislation is aimed at exposing the West’s deep disrespect of Georgia’s sovereignty, according to former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter.

“In Georgia today, as we speak, there are 27,000 Western-funded NGOs. What are these non-governmental organizations doing? It’s about buying a generation of Georgian citizens, a young generation, a generation that has lost touch with who they are and what they are as Georgians, a generation that is out of touch with the reality of what happened to Georgia in the 1990s,” Ritter told Sputnik.Over the past several decades, Georgians have experienced what the “European choice” really entails, Ritter continued, referring to US-backed Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s aggression against South Ossetia and Russian peacekeepers in August 2008, which was quickly repelled by Moscow. Following Saakashvili’s botched invasion, Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which had declared their independence from Tbilisi in the early 1990s. Currently, the Western-backed Georgian opposition wants to create a “second front” against Russia, something that would be nothing short of suicidal, according to Ritter.

This policy of confronting Russia is part and parcel of an overall package that includes Georgia becoming a member of the European Union and member of NATO, which would also mean ceding Georgia’s sovereignty to the West, the military expert warned. “Georgian Dream has the best interests of Georgia in mind,” said Ritter. “The EU wants Georgia to participate in the economic sanctioning of Russia. The Georgian Dream Party so far has said no. Look what happened to Europe when they sanctioned Russia, it boomeranged, backfired. What about Georgia? By not participating in the economic sanction of Russia, the Georgian economy has grown more than 10% over the course of the last two years and is on pace to continue this level of growth.

That’s called looking out for Georgia first.” When it comes to Georgian NATO membership, many of the nation’s seasoned military officers, who participated in NATO’s Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo campaigns and brought home the dead bodies of Georgian soldiers, are no longer enthusiastic about joining the alliance, the expert remarked. Ritter explained that territorial disputes with South Ossetia and Abkhazia will not allow Georgia to join NATO any time soon, adding that the irony is that the two breakaway republics will not start settling their disagreements with Tbilisi until the latter gives up its NATO aspirations.

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Bird flu
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796193970097172641

 

 

Coyote
https://twitter.com/i/status/1796116009058746450

 

 

Emanuel is back

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 072023
 
 September 7, 2023  Posted by at 9:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  38 Responses »


Edgar Degas Dancers in Blue 1895

 

White House Rejects ‘Ridiculous Claim’ That Staffers Treat Biden ‘Like a Baby’ (Sp.)
Kamala Harris ‘Ready To Take Over’ As President If Biden Can’t Do Job (ZH)
Blinken’s Visit to Kiev a Sign of Trouble in Washington – Larry Johnson (Sp.)
$100 Mln Per Day on Ukraine ‘A Lot of Money in Minds of US People (Sp.)
‘World Majority’ Sees Ukraine Conflict As Declining NATO Power (Lukyanov )
Majority Of Russians Support Turning Away From West (RT)
Mitch McConnell Warns US Not To ‘Go Wobbly’ On Ukraine (RT)
Prigozhin’s Three Strikes – Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky, Last Africa Trip (Helmer)
Bucharest Denies Ukrainian Claim That Russian Drone Hit Romania (Antiwar)
Putin, MbS Note Cut in Oil Production Will Stabilize Market (Sp.)
Eyesore Of The Month September 2023 (Jim Kunstler)
Donald Trump’s Georgia Trial Expected To Take Four Months, 150 Witnesses (BBC)
Debunking The Lies In ADL’s Response To Elon (Nawfal)
Facebook Files: White House Lies About ‘Disinformation Dozen’ (ZH)
French Court Turns Down Political Asylum Request For Assange (RT)
CDC Warns Of New ‘Stealth’ COVID Variant: Test Negative, No Symptoms (BBee)

 

 

Real Cover, May 2012

 

 

Tucker SInclair

 

 

2016

 

 

 

 

TuckerWhitmer

 

 

Macgregor believes the Russians have simply decided to wait it out. In his opinion, European economies are on the brink of collapse, and their time is running out. Europe faces not only a severe recession but also catastrophic fuel shortages due to the winter. “I think the Russians have decided: let’s wait a bit until everything falls apart on its own over there. Putin is nothing like us. Putin wants to live peacefully with the West, peacefully with the Ukrainians.

But we say, we don’t want to live in peace with Mr. Putin. That’s where the problem lies,” the Colonel believes. “They are quietly building up troops. They are recruiting 750,000 to reach a force of 1.2 million. Everything we wanted to prevent with this war is happening in reverse. We have inadvertently given life to a force we always feared,” Macgregor concluded.

 

 

Ukraine draft

 

 

Russia MFA Spokeswoman Zakharova: “Since February 2022, over 5 million people have come to our country from Ukraine… Reasonable people who did not want to have anything to do with Kiev’s neo-Nazis, understand perfectly well that in Russia they can build a future for themselves and their children without being targeted for more psychological, gender-based or political experiments.”

 

 

Steven Donziger: BREAKING: In one of the great modern abuses of police power, prosecutors in Georgia filed a bogus RICO case against 61 Cop City activists. Pathetic attempt to silence a powerful movement. The real racketeers are officials who violate the law to persecute their own citizens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Rather than own his failure,” Foer writes, “[Biden] fumed to friends about how he was treated like a toddler. Was John Kennedy ever babied like that?”

White House Rejects ‘Ridiculous Claim’ That Staffers Treat Biden ‘Like a Baby’ (Sp.)

At 80, Joe Biden is the oldest person to ever serve as president of the United States. The first book covering his time as president is nearing its release and published excerpts have already begun to alarm some observers. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recently said claims that US President Joe Biden is treated like a baby by White House staff are “ridiculous.” The comments came during a Tuesday press briefing after Jean-Pierre was asked about excerpts from a new White House biography by author Franklin Foer, titled The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and the Struggle for America’s Future. In the book, Foer writes that Biden complained to friends about being treated like a “toddler” after White House staffers had to walk back statements he made about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Rather than own his failure,” Foer writes, “[Biden] fumed to friends about how he was treated like a toddler. Was John Kennedy ever babied like that?” When asked why the White House staff treats the president of the United States like a baby, Jean-Pierre called the assertion “ridiculous.” “No one treats the United States president, the commander-in-chief, like a baby. That’s ridiculous, that is a ridiculous claim,” she said. The press secretary further added that the White House had seen the excerpts with more context and asserted that the quote was making the “opposite overall point” and lauded the value of his “experience and wisdom. In March 2022 during a speech in Warsaw, Poland, Biden discussed the conflict in Ukraine.

During his speech, he made comments about Putin that seemed to advocate for regime change, “for god’s sake this man cannot remain in power,” Biden proclaimed. White House officials quickly walked back the statement, claiming: “The president’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors in the region. He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.” Foer asserts in his book that Biden “knew that he had erred, but then resented his aids for creating the impression that they had to clean up his mess.”

A late August poll indicated 75% of registered voters believe Biden is too old to run for a second term, including two-thirds of Democrats. Another poll showed 70% of Americans do not want Biden to run for a second term, with half citing age as a major factor. Foer said during a media tour for the book that it “wouldn’t be a total shock” if Biden dropped out of the 2024 presidential race. Biden has downplayed his age as an impediment to his performance as president. “I can’t even say I guess how old I am, I can’t even say the number. It doesn’t register with me.”

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“.. I see how his ability to understand issues and weave through complex issues in a way that no one else can to make smart and important decisions on behalf of the American people have played out..”

Kamala Harris ‘Ready To Take Over’ As President If Biden Can’t Do Job (ZH)

Vice President Kamala Harris is ready to serve word salad to the world as POTUS, should Joe Biden – the oldest president in US history at 80, croak or is otherwise unable to effectively govern (so, now?). “Joe Biden is going to be fine, so that is not going to come to fruition,” Harris told AP in an interview published Wednesday. “But let us also understand that every vice president — every vice president — understands that when they take the oath they must be very clear about the responsibility they may have to take over the job of being president.” “I’m not different,” Harris added. According to a Monday Wall Street Journal poll, 60% of registered voters don’t think Biden is “mentally up for the job” of being president, while 73% say Biden is just too old to be president.

Meanwhile, a Harvard Caps/Harris poll from May found that 61% of voters don’t think Biden would even make it through another term in office. If Biden wins reelection, he will be 82 at the time of his second inauguration and 86 at the conclusion of his term. The current oldest president at the end of his term was Ronald Reagan, who left office in 1989 at the age of 77. In the AP interview, Harris argued that Biden “delivers” when he’s in the Oval Office. “I see him every day. A substantial amount of time we spend together is in the Oval Office, where I see how his ability to understand issues and weave through complex issues in a way that no one else can to make smart and important decisions on behalf of the American people have played out, she said. “And so I will say to you that I think the American people ultimately want to know that their president delivers. And Joe Biden delivers.”

According to Boston University professor emeritus Tobe Berkovitz, “The problem with Biden being 80 is that he is acting more and more like a senior citizen without all of his faculties,” who added that Biden’s general demeanor “reinforces that he is an old 80-year-old, not a spry, competent 80-year-old.” [T]he age issue will be eagerly amplified by political opponents and their media allies if Biden makes any slip-ups during a taxing election campaign. The template has already been established in the extensive coverage given to Biden’s fall at a U.S. Air Force Academy graduation event in Colorado in early June. Verbal misfires — as when he twice in 24 hours referred to the war “in Iraq,” when he meant “in Ukraine” earlier this year — deepen the perception problem. -The Hill

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“Blinken is the message bearer in the first place. He is neither the driver of Washington’s foreign policy nor his stature is similar to that of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: essentially Blinken is carrying the instructions that he’s been given to share.

Blinken’s Visit to Kiev a Sign of Trouble in Washington – Larry Johnson (Sp.)

Antony Blinken arrived in Kiev to show Washington’s support to Ukraine and announce $175 million-$200 million in new US aid as well as a larger package amounting to $1 billion, according to the US press. The secretary of state’s visit came as the third month of Ukraine’s botched counteroffensive has wrapped up, with the Kiev regime unable to boast any military gains. However, the Ukrainian military claims that they made some progress here and there. Still, the topics mentioned by the Western media aren’t the centerpiece of Blinken’s visit, according to Larry Johnson, retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official. “I think this is just a sign of the trouble with the policy set,” Johnson told Sputnik. “They’re trying to figure out what to do next because the majority of American people do not support [the current policy].

“They’re coming into the political season, getting prepared for elections next year. The Biden administration is under pressure domestically. [A g]rowing number of Democrats are very upset and outraged with his border policy allowing all these illegal immigrants to flood across. They’re now hitting the states of New York, Massachusetts and California, and it’s creating problems for those governors. So, you know, I think when you take it all together, they’re trying to figure out what to do next.” Per Johnson, Blinken is the message bearer in the first place. He is neither the driver of Washington’s foreign policy nor his stature is similar to that of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to the CIA veteran: essentially Blinken is carrying the instructions that he’s been given to share.

Johnson does not rule out that the US secretary of state may also touch upon the issue of the anti-corruption fight in Ukraine, as details of bribery of Ukrainian officials and overbuying of weapons supplied to Ukraine are still being uncovered. Earlier this year, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh cited CIA sources saying that the Ukrainian president and his entourage embezzled around $400 million of US money in 2022 alone. US economic aid to Ukraine is at risk from corruption in the Kiev government and the Ukrainian private sector, the State Department Inspector General’s Office warned in July. Alas, the corruption in Ukraine goes well beyond Zelensky, noted the CIA veteran: “It’s endemic to the Ukrainian government, to the military.”

Most recently, Zelensky sacked Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov whose name is associated with several large-scale scandals, from inflated prices on army food and fuel supplies to a winter jacket procurement row, corruption-driven draft evasion and payoff schemes, and weapons pilfering and smuggling-related criminal allegations. On September 5, Ukraine’s authorities arrested Igor Kolomoisky – one of the country’s most powerful tycoons – who was rumored to be Zelensky’s former patron. Kiev is accusing Kolomoisky of fraud and money laundering. “There’s something just very off about getting rid of the previous defense minister for ‘corruption’,” noted Johnson. “Why wasn’t he arrested? Well, he wasn’t arrested. They’re talking about giving him another job. So this is political theater. I think he’s removing him so that they can at least maybe have a potential scapegoat to point to for this failed counteroffensive.

But if this is really about corruption, he would be arrested. I mean, heavens, they arrested Kolomoisky ostensibly for corruption. And he’s not even a government official.” The botched counteroffensive appears to have seriously undermined Washington’s Ukraine plan. What’s worse for Team Biden – US financial or military assistance cannot currently fix the situation on the ground, according to Johnson. “The only thing that would change is that the United States suspended, cut off all military and financial assistance. This war would end in two or three days, I think. They would not be able to sustain the fight. Otherwise, it does not matter what weapons system or how much aid the United States gives, it’s not going to change the situation on the battlefield with Ukraine losing,” Johnson concluded.

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“.. their own time is limited unless they can fix the election again and retain power. But then what do they have to offer? Nothing.”

$100 Mln Per Day on Ukraine ‘A Lot of Money in Minds of US People (Sp.)

The next few weeks will most likely see the US House’s opposition to the Biden administration’s ongoing financial support of Kiev grow, Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik. Kiev needs to supply coal to international markets for five months and 17 days in order to earn the sum necessary to finance just one day of the Ukraine conflict, calculations made by Sputnik have revealed. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, who was replaced by Rustem Umerov on Monday, claimed in an interview with a local media outlet that one day of the conflict costs Ukraine at least $100 million.

The next few weeks will most likely see the US House’s opposition to the Biden administration’s ongoing financial support of Kiev grow, Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik. Kiev needs to supply coal to international markets for five months and 17 days in order to earn the sum necessary to finance just one day of the Ukraine conflict, calculations made by Sputnik have revealed. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, who was replaced by Rustem Umerov on Monday, claimed in an interview with a local media outlet that one day of the conflict costs Ukraine at least $100 million. He noted that when one expends $100 million per day “on a battlefield for a war that no one really understands, it’s going to raise a lot of questions.”

“I guess that might be one reason why [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky had to get rid of the defense minister because he was being truthful for once,” the ex-Pentagon senior security policy analyst argued. Maloof called the $100 million a day an “incredible amount”, warning that the quality of life in the US “is going to be affected by this”, something that he said would also cause “even greater inflationary trends in the US economy.” The ex-Pentagon analyst warned that the US’ ability to continue pumping Ukraine with money “is going to diminish greatly and it’s not going to be in the too distant future.” “The Biden administration is just totally oblivious and doesn’t have a response to all of this. They’re just acting now and doing what they can, knowing that perhaps their own time is limited unless they can fix the election again and retain power. But then what do they have to offer? Nothing.

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“..it can be argued that the Ukrainian crisis really does draw a line under colonialism in the broad sense.”

‘World Majority’ Sees Ukraine Conflict As Declining NATO Power (Lukyanov )

The Ukrainian crisis has several practical implications for the majority of the world.

Firstly, a power has emerged that openly and unreservedly challenges the West, and the West has been unable to do anything about it, despite considerable efforts. This allows the non-Western world to act more and more independently – right in front of our eyes.

The second is that when the states of the Global North start to conflict with each other, they still don’t care about how it affects the Global South.

Third, the policy of distancing in general but engaging on specific issues can pay dividends, but we just have to use it skillfully.

Fourth, fruitful relations are possible and necessary without grandees who insist on their indispensability, but often do not solve the problems of countries and regions, but instead drive them into a dead end in pursuit of their own interests.

These are all factors that will help shape a new international framework. It has not yet emerged. But when the current conflict comes to an end, whatever the concrete outcome for the immediate participants, it will be the majority countries of the world that will have strengthened their positions the most.

Not only China, which is often talked about as the real winner of the confrontation between Russia and the West (such a conclusion follows only from linear logic), but also a number of countries that previously played a subordinate role and are now emancipating themselves and coming out of this straitjacket.

We dare to believe that world politics could become more rational, because pragmatic interests would then be voiced openly and in a businesslike manner, and not under the Kool-Aid of various messianisms, which have been popular in the Global North for centuries. And in this sense, it can be argued that the Ukrainian crisis really does draw a line under colonialism in the broad sense.

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Most Russians don’t think “Russian and eastern cultures are very close”. But that’s still where they want to go.

Majority Of Russians Support Turning Away From West (RT)

A vast majority of Russians are supportive of Moscow’s policy that prioritizes the development of ties with the countries of the global East rather than the West, a new survey by the state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center (WCIOM) shows. The findings of the survey, carried out in collaboration with the Kommersant daily, were published on Wednesday. The polling itself was conducted in late August, sampling the opinions of 1,600 randomly selected Russian nationals. Some 67% of the respondents approved the “turn to the East” policy, with only 11% weighing in against it. A further 15% remain indifferent to the ongoing major shift in Russian foreign policy, with the rest of respondents failing to provide any opinion on this matter, the poll results show.

Around 65% of those who were supportive or indifferent to the “turn to the East” believe that the best way to achieve it was through the development of trade and economic ties, major investment projects, the creation of joint enterprises, and so on. Tourism and scientific cooperation are also deemed to be important approaches to achieve the goal, with 36% and 32% of respondents, respectively, backing such activities. At the same time, only a fraction of those polled believe that Russian and eastern cultures are very close. Some 23% said they differed drastically, while a majority took a more balanced position, stating that the cultures have both common and differing features.

In recent years, Russia has been gradually developing ties with the countries of the global east and south. The process was greatly accelerated amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, backed by the collective West and multiple waves of economic sanctions against Russia. The restrictions accelerated Russian efforts to even further reorient from Western markets to the East. As of the end of 2022, according to data from Chinese customs, Russia had become the top European country in terms of exports to China, fourth in terms of imports, and second in trade turnover. The country has also recently become the top exporter of oil to both China and India.

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When Mitch McConnell does one of his freeze routines, it’s not because he goes wobbly; he just quotes Thatcher on going wobbly. Did I get that about right?

Mitch McConnell Warns US Not To ‘Go Wobbly’ On Ukraine (RT)

The US Congress should approve an additional $20 billion in funding for Ukraine, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday. The Republican senator from Kentucky argued that the aid provided by Washington to Kiev has been weakening Moscow “without firing a shot.” In a speech on the Senate floor, McConnell claimed that President Joe Biden “has not been as decisive as many of us have preferred” when it comes to funding Ukraine’s war effort, but that this was not a reason for Congress to “compound the administration’s failures with failures of our own.” “Helping Ukraine retake its territory means weakening one of America’s biggest strategic adversaries without firing a shot,” the senator argued.

With Kiev “eroding Russia’s capacity to threaten NATO,” McConnell claimed, “it is not the time to ease up,” and with NATO unified and European countries starting to spend money on their militaries, “it is certainly not the time to go wobbly.” That particular line was made famous in 1990 by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who used it to urge US President George H.W. Bush to launch a war against Iraq over Kuwait. McConnell also suggested that Congress would pass the supplemental government funding bill before the end of the month, which is intended to avoid a government shutdown before the new fiscal year starts in October.

The proposed spending bill has bundled $20.1 billion for Ukraine with disaster relief for fire-stricken Hawaii, despite objections from some Republicans who wanted to vote on the packages separately. The US Congress has approved over $130 billion in funds for Ukraine since February 2022. America’s aid to Kiev has included weapons, equipment and ammunition, as well as cash remittances to pay the salaries of government officials. When some Republicans tried to curtail the spending spree last December, McConnell insisted that aiding Ukraine was the “number one priority of the US,” and helped the Democrats to pass the 4,155-page omnibus spending bill.

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“It’s the gangster who thought he was the capo dei capi, boss of bosses; and was brought down to earth because he wasn’t.”

Prigozhin’s Three Strikes – Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky, Last Africa Trip (Helmer)

On March 5, in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR), there was a fire-bombing of a French–owned brewery which destroyed 50,000 bottles of beer. On August 23, a private jet of the Wagner Group was bombed in the air north of Moscow, and the Wagner leaders, Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin, were killed, along with five of their associates and three flight crew. The connection between the two incidents is that Prigozhin’s methods of doing business in Africa cost him his life in Russia. The African business, not the mutiny at Rostov on June 23-24, is the fatal link. It was the last straw. This is not a case of a soldier who lived by the sword and died by the sword. It’s the gangster who thought he was the capo dei capi, boss of bosses; and was brought down to earth because he wasn’t.

To ignore the warnings that he had reached his multi-billion dollar operating limit, that he should stop muscling in on the competition, retire and keep his money — these are well-known rules of American business, not to say mafia rules. But Prigozhin followed Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Boris Berezovsky in thinking Russian business is different. They thought there was no limit to their power to get what they wanted. There are two competing Russian press compilations of what exactly happened on August 23, and what the evidence reveals of who arranged the killing and how the operation was carried out. These are Konstantin Malofeyev’s Tsargrad on the national patriotic side, and Meduza, the anti-Putin opposition publication now based in Riga. The Anglo-American accounts in the mainstream press and the alt-media blogs, including Andrew Napolitano’s group of US military and CIA retirees, Douglas Macgregor, Tony Shaffer, Larry Johnson and Scott Ritter, do not come close to the Russian interpretation of the case.

In Tsargrad’s reconstruction of the flight of Prigozhin’s aircraft and of the doppelganger or decoy aircraft which flew ahead by 40 minutes, and then returned to Moscow 35 minutes after the crash, the cause was one or two bombs detonated on board Prigozhin’s flight. The destruction occurred so suddenly that the pilots had no warning and no time to signal air traffic control. The subsequent recovery and decoding of the aircraft black boxes, and the civilian and military radar track records appear to have confirmed this also, although there have been no official releases of this information, and no unofficial leaks. A report by FlightAware suggests that although the two flights appear to have followed the same flight path, tracking their precise locations is impossible “likely due to … interference (or) jamming in the area.”

Reuters reports that position locations were calculated from signals sent to multiple receivers in the area. In the Tsargrad report, the sources include former Russian civil aviation, military and intelligence veterans. They concur the assassination was the settling of “old scores”. They differ on whether these were domestic in origin, or Ukrainian, British or other foreign sources. They also agree that President Vladimir Putin did not order the killing and probably did not know in advance. “Putin forgave him; there are other enemies who did not”, Lieutenant General Leonid Reshetnikov, a veteran of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), told Tsargrad: “No special service of our country will ever go into an operation that leaves a ‘hint’ of the involvement of its leadership.

Of course, [if there was the operational order], another place would have been found — Africa is a big place and the circumstances more opportune there; for example, the crocodiles don’t have enough high-quality meat to eat. And so, there might be a terrorist attack with a subtext pointing away from those most likely to have done it.” A Moscow source believes that before the event Putin did not act and did not know. After the event he did not disapprove.

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Keep your false flags away from us!

Bucharest Denies Ukrainian Claim That Russian Drone Hit Romania (Antiwar)

NATO member Romania has strongly denied a Ukrainian claim that a Russian drone detonated in Romanian territory during an overnight bombardment on one of Ukraine’s ports on the Danube River. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko made the claim on Facebook. He said that according to Ukraine’s state border service, a Russian drone “fell and detonated on the territory of Romania” during an attack on the Ukrainian port of Izmail. “This is yet another confirmation that Russia’s missile terror poses a huge threat not only to Ukraine’s security, but also to the security of neighboring countries, including NATO member states,” Nikolenko said. Romania’s Defense Ministry quickly refuted the claim. “The Ministry of National Defense categorically denies information from the public space regarding a so-called situation that occurred during the night of September 3 to 4 in which Russian drones allegedly fell on the national territory of Romania,” it said.

The Romanian Defense Ministry added that “at no time did the means of attack used by the Russian Federation generate direct military threats to the national territory or the territorial waters of Romania.” Russian attacks in the region risk an escalation as the Danube River acts as a border between Ukraine and Romania. The Ukrainian port of Izmail that was targeted is just across the river from NATO territory. Ukrainian officials have previously made unfounded claims about Russian munitions hitting NATO territory. Last year, when a Ukrainian air defense missile hit Poland and killed two people, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy and his top aides claimed it was a Russian missile in an effort to get NATO to intervene directly.

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Powerful duo. And members of BRICS.

Putin, MbS Note Cut in Oil Production Will Stabilize Market (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman noted that reduction in the oil production will stabilize the global market during a phone conversation on Wednesday, the Kremlin said. “A high assessment was given to the interaction of the two countries in the OPEC+ format. It was noted that the agreements reached on reducing oil production, combined with voluntary commitments to limit the supply of raw materials, make it possible to ensure the stability of the global energy market,” the Kremlin said in a statement. The sides also expressed satisfaction over development of relations between the countries and discussed a number of issues related to trade, logistics and investment. Moreover, the crown prince thanked the Russian side for supporting Riyadh’s bid to join the BRICS group.

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I’ve never understood the attraction of cruise ships.

Eyesore Of The Month September 2023 (Jim Kunstler)

Behold, Royal Caribbean International’s new ship, Icon of the Seas. Well, okay, but icon of what, exactly, of the seas? Of the wretched excess that the cruise industry is sending forth to sail the oceans blue? I remind you: societies build their most extravagant monuments just before they collapse. This looks like the perfect vehicle for partying at the end-of-the-world (that is, the world as we know it). This monstrosity is so huge — equivalent of a 20-story building — that the promoters say it has “neighborhoods.” Below is the Royal Bay Pool in the new “Chill Island neighborhood.” Very posh, indeed. Excludes all the waddling, land-whales of the lower decks with their slushies and burritos in-hand.

Below: the ship’s Thrill Island Waterslide neighborhood, looking a little bit like the gastro-intestinal system of someone who subjected themselves to six days of round-the-clock, all-you-can-eat buffets.

This beast sets sail in January of 2024. Ask yourself: what sort of economy supports a venture like this? And what if it isn’t there anymore when this thing is ready to launch?

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They don’t want him campaigning.

Tom Fitton: “Fact check: Trump didn’t engage in insurrection/rebellion and, even if he did, the key 14th Amendment clause doesn’t apply to the president.”

Donald Trump’s Georgia Trial Expected To Take Four Months, 150 Witnesses (BBC)

Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s Georgia racketeering case say that the trial would take four months and include approximately 150 witnesses. Mr Trump and 18 others are charged with a conspiracy to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election results. A date for the trial has not yet been set, although prosecutors hope to begin on 23 October. The former president and his co-defendants have all denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty. In court on Wednesday, state prosecutor Nathan Wade said that the expected timeline does not account for jury selection, which could potentially add months to the process. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said he hopes to decide questions regarding the trial’s schedule by “either the end of this week or early next week”. All 19 co-defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty and waived their right to in-person arraignments, which were due to take place on Wednesday.

During Wednesday’s court session, Judge McAfee also heard arguments on whether some of the defendants could sever their cases from the wider racketeering, or Rico, case. Attorneys for Kenneth Chesebro sought to sever the counts against him, as did attorneys for Sidney Powell, a former Trump lawyer, who has also asked for a speedy trial – a constitutional right in the US. Both will now go on trial together on 23 October after Judge McAfee denied a motion to sever their cases from one another. In court, he said that he does not believe that “the severance for Mr Cheseboro or Ms Powell is necessary to achieve a fair determination of the guilt or innocence for either defendant in this case”. He added that two separate trials would “inconvenience” jurors and complicate scheduling. In total, six of the defendants in the case have sought to sever their cases, including Mr Trump and ex-Georgia Republican chair David Shafer.

Other defendants are seeking to have their cases moved to federal court. A federal judge has yet to decide on the issue, known by the legal term of “removal”. Mr Chesebro and Ms Powell’s trial is slated to begin on 23 October – the same date being sought by district attorney Fani Willis for the other 17 defendants. Judge McAfee, however, said it seemed “a bit unrealistic” to try all the defendants together in October, noting that “we’ve got less than two months to figure this out”. In court, Mr Chesebro’s attorney Manubir Arora argued that the far-reaching racketeering case would mean that his client would have to be in court for “weeks, if not months” of testimony unrelated to the specific charges against him.

Additionally, Mr Arora said that Ms Powell – who famously vowed to “release the Kraken” after Mr Trump’s electoral defeat – was “sort of on a lark on her own” and not connected to Mr Chesebro. Speaking to CNN after the court hearing, Mr Chesebro’s second attorney, Scott Grubman, accused the government of “weaponising” the Rico statute to “connect three or four conspiracies into one”. Prosecutors allege that Mr Trump and his co-defendants were involved in a multi-pronged effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state, culminating with a phone call in which Mr Trump pressured the state’s secretary of state to “recalculate” the vote tally.

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X thread.

Debunking The Lies In ADL’s Response To Elon (Nawfal)

ADL’s CEO broke his silence on X and Elon by lying and trapping the host: 1) He claimed that Elon brought and amplified anti-semitism and hate speech back to the platform. This is NOT TRUE. The X Safety team shared that an independent assessment by Sprinklr found that hate speech impressions on X to be 0.003% compared to Twitter’s estimate of 0.012%. 2) Greenblatt clarified that he has never claimed Elon or X are anti-Semitic: “I don’ t think Twitter as a platform is anti-Semitic”. 3) When Greenblatt was asked by the host (who also identified as Jewish) if he was seeking a position or donation from X to the ADL, he took offense to this, called it an anti-semetic trope, almost as if he was trying to cancel him, leaving the host uncomfortable and defensive.

4) Greenblatt claimed ADL is NOT publicly or privately talking to advertisers, BUT shortly after, said, “It is true we did call for a pause back in November, after the acquisition and since then” and in a previous interview he stated “if it remains a hellscape the advertisers won’t take part in [Twitter]” 5) Greenblatt said the ADL is a SMALL non-profit in NY. NOT TRUE. The ADL is an influential organization with over 100 years of history, and according to the ADL’s 2021 tax filings, the organization’s total revenue was $101 million with a balance sheet of $238 million. They ALSO received millions of dollars of indirect government funding via grants to groups in which the ADL has special interests.

6) Greenblatt says the ADL works WITH other social media platforms, including Facebook. We saw in the Politico article that @elonmusk posted that the ADL indirectly CONTROLS what can be posted on Facebook. 7) Greenblatt claimed he doesn’t know what prompted Elon’s tweets, but Elon was clear it was prompted by the 60% drop in advertising from the ADL’s interference, which Greenblatt admitted in the video. Doesn’t seem like the meeting with X CEO Linda Yaccarino went as well as Greenblatt is making it out to be.

Greenblatt

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Remember, “We saw in the Politico article that @elonmusk posted that the ADL indirectly CONTROLS what can be posted on Facebook.”

Well, so does the White House.

Facebook Files: White House Lies About ‘Disinformation Dozen’ (ZH)

A UK-based, government-linked dark money nonprofit operated by a far-left British Labour Party operative fabricated statistics about the so-called ‘disinformation dozen’ – people with large social media footprints that expressed vaccine or lockdown skepticism, according to the latest Facebook Files released on Tuesday by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) run by a man named Imran Ahmed claimed that Robert Kennedy Jr. and 11 other people were responsible for 65% of “anti-vaccine content circulating on social media.” That claim itself was disinformation, according to Jordan – who notes that Facebook employees were highly skeptical of the CCDH’s claims, which they said were just Americans expressing “vaccine hesitancy,” which is often “not misinfo” even under Facebook’s policies.

What’s more, the Biden White House repeatedly peddled the 65% lie as Facebook employees were preparing to draft a memo to CEO Mark Zuckerberg to complain about “pressure from … the White House” to remove the so-called Disinfo Dozen, even though they did “not believe we currently have a clear path for removal.” According to the internal emails, Facebook continued to monitor the so-called disinformation dozen to justify censorship, only to find that the “majority” of them weren’t spreading misinformation. The Biden White house kept pushing for censorship despite Facebook’s clear policy against cross-platform punishments except in rare cases. The White House also wanted Facebook to remove all URL links to off-platform websites which would ”

The White House then pressured Facebook’s President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, to censor the ‘disinformation dozen’ even more – which led to frustration among Facebook staff, who said that Biden himself helped ensure that the CCDH’s influence had “unrelenting staying power.” Longtime readers may also recall that the CCDH laundered lies about ZeroHedge through a trust-fund NBC News ‘journalist’ who immediately came under fire for peddling obvious propaganda against a competing outlet, and subsequently left to work for Al Jazeera (and now she’s gone from there too).

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The French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti is Assange’s former lawyer, and still says no. What’s going on?

French Court Turns Down Political Asylum Request For Assange (RT)

A court in France’s Creteil commune turned down a request to grant political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the AFP news agency reported citing a court document, Report informs referring to TASS. The agency quoted the document as saying that “the fact that he [Assange] is being kept in custody” should not be viewed as a reason for an exception to the rule stating that “the applicant must be present on the territory of the country or the European Union” in order to apply for political asylum in France. The request was filed by members of the Robin des Lois association, who sought to challenge in court several regulations related to rules of entry, residence and political asylum for foreigners.

According to the organization, some provisions from French laws contradict the preamble to the country’s constitution, as well as several international conventions. Legal representatives of the French government were not present in the court. The association has no plans to appeal the ruling, but publicly urges French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti – who is Assange’s former lawyer – to “at last take the matter into his own hands.” Assange was taken into custody after leaving the premises of Ecuador’s embassy in London in April 2019, and has since been held at the Belmarsh maximum security prison in London. Washington has been seeking his extradition for more than four years, but Assange’s defense team has so far managed to successfully fend off their moves in court.

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“This deadly variant has bypassed our most sophisticated tests by ingeniously becoming harmless to the human body..”

“Pfizer had announced early development of a new, 103% effective vaccine, followed 3.8 seconds later by approval from the FDA.”

CDC Warns Of New ‘Stealth’ COVID Variant: Test Negative, No Symptoms (BBee)

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky held a press conference to warn the public about a deadly new “stealth” COVID-19 variant that causes negative test results and causes no symptoms. “This deadly variant has bypassed our most sophisticated tests by ingeniously becoming harmless to the human body,” said Director Walensky, “It is estimated that eight billion people have caught this variant. We must prevent it from spreading further by closing schools and locking up kindergarten children.”

The CDC director’s guidance to close schools and stem the tide of this “stealth” variant is backed by data that has been thoroughly and rigorously altered, proving that public school teachers are the most susceptible, testing negative a whopping 100% of the time and often succumbing to the worst symptom-free symptoms. At publishing time, Pfizer had announced early development of a new, 103% effective vaccine, followed 3.8 seconds later by approval from the FDA.

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Jump

 

 

Age gap

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 282023
 
 August 28, 2023  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Gustave Dore Dante and Virgil among the late penitents 1868

 

Tucker Carlson: The People Who Run America Are “Dangerous And Insane” (Sp.)
NATO’s Strategy on Ukraine Failed – Former Italian PM Conte (Sp.)
Zelensky Aide Confirms ‘Secret’ Meetings With NATO Brass (Sp.)
Realistically, How Strong Is America? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Trump: The Leader of a Faction or a Party? (McCotter)
Yes, Trump was Seeking Another Recount or Investigation in Georgia (Turley)
Trump Mugshot Proves Fundraiser Miracle – Politico (RT)
BRICS Nations Just Want What Is Theirs (Ullekh NP)
‘Welcome to the BRICS 11’ (Pepe Escobar)
Gold Will Destroy The Keynesian Fallacies (Barron)
Do Clintons Seek to Steal Thunder From Team Biden & Cash in on Ukraine? (Sp.)
Hundreds of US Airline Pilots Suspected of Being Unfit to Fly (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Levin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vivek

 

 


Abraham Lincoln looking out over the March on Washington – 60 years ago this weekend.

 

 

 

 

Good speech. Makes Tucker 2028 feel closer.

BTW: why did the US make a gay human rights lawyer ambassador to Hungary? To provoke perhaps?

Tucker Carlson: The People Who Run America Are “Dangerous And Insane” (Sp.)

Tucker Carlson did not mince words as he ripped into US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman during an event in Budapest, calling the diplomat a “creep” that needs to be fired for actions “so far from the norms of diplomacy.” The former Fox News host said he felt compelled to apologize for how Washington was “harassing” the country led by the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “The world is realigning at high speed, and turning against the United States. But the Biden Administration is spending its time harassing one of our last sincere allies in Europe, Hungary, for the crime of being too Christian,” said Carlson at the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) Feszt After event at Millenáris Park in Budapest. Hungary has been tightening laws targeting LGBT propaganda under Viktor Orban, who has been in power since 2010.

At present, same-sex couples are legally barred from adopting children, and gender change is also prohibited by law. David Pressman, America’s ambassador to Hungary, is a gay human rights lawyer who took up the position in September 2022. The California-born former aide to then-US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has frequently mounted open criticism of the Hungarian government, under Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Earlier this year Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto lashed out at Pressman, saying that he had no business interfering in Hungary’s domestic affairs. During his speech in Budapest, Tucker Carlson made the emphatic argument that Pressman, a “political activist and Biden-donor,” was working on behalf of “special interests”, rather than the American people,” and not focusing on building stronger relations with Budapest.

“For a creep like David Pressman . . . to show up in your country and lecture you about your culture – and threaten you because you do things differently from the way they do things where he lives – hurts the United States and is a grave embarrassment to me as an American and an outrage to me as someone who pays his salary… It’s disgusting,” said Carlson. The entire premise behind “diplomacy” is that countries are different, said Carlson, himself the son of a diplomat. Accordingly, an envoy should not “hector other nations,” or “show up in somebody else’s country and scream at them because they’re different from you.” The political pundit added, in referense to David Pressman, that he was “embarrassed that I share a country of birth with a man, with a villain like this. It’s horrifying.”

According to Carlson, every time he visited Hungary, it reminded him of America back in 1980s, or as he remembered it from his early youth. However, critics in the West were trying to paint Hungary as a “rogue” state for adhering to its own strong Christian values and refusing to allow foreign envoys to tell telling Hungarians how to live. As Carlson accused Washington of demanding that Hungarians “worship transvestites,” and denounced this as as a case of a “foreign power pushing its weird boutique religion on you, and it’s wrong,” he presumed to give Hungarians some advice: “Just wait it out. The United States is in a place now where this is not sustainable. You can’t run a global empire on the imposition of boutique sexual politics on countries that don’t want them.”

Weighing in on the current policy of the United States, Tucker Carlson claimed that the people who run his country are “dangerous and Insane”. “They hate Hungary, and they hate it not because of what it’s done but because of what it is. It’s a Christian country, and they hate that. That is enough to incite our policymakers in the United States. That’s exactly why they hate Russia, by the way.” “People running the United States are no longer even pretending to offer a better life to the people who love there,” stated Carlson. As for the media landscape, there is no “diversity.” And why is this the case? “Because they are lying to you,” said Carlson, adding: “Anyone who doesn’t lie is punished and pushed off the stage.”

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“..the Ukraine conflict has “exposed the European Union’s inability to develop an effective common strategy..”

Because the EU has no leadership. People like Ursula and Borrell are not leaders.

NATO’s Strategy on Ukraine Failed – Former Italian PM Conte (Sp.)

“The strategy pursued so far in NATO, based on constant military supplies to Ukraine and the escalation logic, has not resulted in the desired military defeat of Russia. Quite the opposite. There was no defeat of the Russian army in Bakhmut [Artemovsk], no disintegration of its military units, no retreat during the Ukrainian counteroffensive,” Conte said on social media on Saturday. The economic sanctions imposed on Russia “did not lead to its bankruptcy and did not undermine its economy,” he added, noting that the possibility of internal destabilization in Russia had collapsed “in the face of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s strengthening leadership and growing domestic consensus,” and that Western policies had not led to Russia’s isolation.

“The isolation of Russia has by no means become a reality. On the contrary. The 15th summit of the BRICS group, led by Russia and China, has just wrapped up, with the concrete prospect of its further expansion in 2024, which will cover 45% of the world’s population and 38.2% of global GDP,” Conte said. In his opinion, the Ukraine conflict has “exposed the European Union’s inability to develop an effective common strategy and to exercise independent political and economic leadership,” he noted, adding that, in his opinion, the European leaders were subordinate to the United States. Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022 in response to calls by the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk for protection from Ukrainian troops. Since then, the EU imposed 11 packages of sanctions against Russia, and have been supplying Ukraine with arms.

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“..calling the crisis a proxy war “denies Ukraine agency.”

Zelensky Aide Confirms ‘Secret’ Meetings With NATO Brass (Sp.)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov first characterized the Ukrainian crisis as a NATO “proxy war” against Russia in April 2022. The US and its allies vocally rejected the characterization. But a series of Pentagon leaks, combined with statements made by Ukrainian officials themselves, have served to confirm the validity of Lavrov’s assessment. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top advisor has confirmed that a “secret meeting” recently took place between Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, other Ukrainian generals, and NATO top brass on the Polish-Ukrainian border. “There are a lot of meetings like that,” presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said in an interview with Ukrainian television on Saturday. “Actually, Zaluzhnyi actively communicates with representatives of the ministries of defense and general staffs of our partners almost every day.”

“The General Staff is constantly making adjustments, depending on what is happening on the front line,” Podolyak added. “Obviously, these adjustments are always being discussed with our partners in order to actualize the deliveries” of additional weapons, including long-range missiles, armored vehicles, and air defense systems. The Zelensky aide also revealed that the NATO defense officials Zaluzhnyi most often communicates with are the Americans and the British, since “they know and understand better than others what is happening at the front.” Podolyak’s remarks confirm recent reports in US and UK media that the Ukrainian top commander and other Ukrainian top brass had met with Pentagon Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Christopher Cavoli, and British Chief of Defense Staff Tony Radakin to push for a change in strategy in Ukraine’s faltering counteroffensive.

Zaluzhnyi was said to have verbally agreed with the “advice” of his NATO counterparts. The Biden administration, the US’ European allies, and Western media have adamantly refused to call the Ukraine conflict a “proxy war” between NATO and Russia, claiming the West’s only role is to “support the Ukrainian people as they defend their country,” and that calling the crisis a proxy war “denies Ukraine agency.” However, the extent of NATO support, including nearly $100 billion in military equipment, intelligence, and other aid, combined with the April 2022 US/UK move to sabotage Russian-Ukrainian peace talks, Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin’s admission that Washington’s goal in Ukraine was to “weaken” Russia, and NATO’s longstanding efforts to incorporate Kiev into the Western military bloc, suggest otherwise.

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“..the United States might be the least safe place on earth for white people, even less safe than South Africa and Zimbabwe..”

Realistically, How Strong Is America? (Paul Craig Roberts)

America’s weakness is overlooked by investment analysts. Having offshored manufacturing, the US is import-dependent, and having weaponized the dollar Washington is causing foreign central banks to stop holding dollars as reserves. The consequence is that the US has a rising issuance of debt to finance trade and budget deficits, but a declining supply of customers for that debt. Either the Federal Reserve has to monetize the debt or interest rates will rise. Note also that it appears there will be in about 4 months a large expansion of BRICS. Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have been invited to join. I assume the Russians have the diplomatic sense not to invite someone unless they know they will accept. Otherwise, Russia will have set herself up for the Western media headline, “Country X refuses Russia’s invitation.”

In a slap down of Washington signifying the termination of the petrodollar, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said, “the special, strategic relations with the BRICS nations promotes common principles, most importantly the firm belief in the principle of respect for sovereignty, independence and non-interference in internal affairs.” BRICS expansion will make the two largest South American countries members, and with the Saudis, Iranians, and UAE almost the entirety of Middle East oil goes into the Russian organization, which with Russia’s oil is essentially the world’s oil supply, and Egypt sits on the Suez Canal. China and India, the largest part of Asia, are already members. This suggests to me that the US dollar is headed for trouble and will need interest rate support.

If the dollar loses exchange value, the cost of imports will drive US inflation considerably higher. The worst inflations are always caused by currency decline. Gold investments make a lot of sense for Americans assuming that the criminals in Washington who are ruling us don’t confiscate them. Keep in mind also that the indictments of Trump are completely phony. If white-hating black Democrat prosecutors and white-hating black Democrat juries convict Trump of these phony charges, political upheaval could result. If the Americans simply accept the false conviction of an American president, they will fall into tyranny and no asset will be safe. The real American situation could be very different from what Wall Street thinks.

Dollar problems could make the US an unsafe investment climate, and if we take account of the extreme efforts of the Biden regime, American universities, public school boards, and Woke media and corporations, such as Disney, BlackRock, Starbucks, and Budweiser, to demonize white Americans and infuse white American children with racial guilt, the United States might be the least safe place on earth for white people, even less safe than South Africa and Zimbabwe. Indeed, it seems some American cities already are. It is not only that white confidence and white lives are at risk. So are Americans’ civil liberty. American law schools are in the hands of Woke ideologues who want “to reclaim America from constitutionalism.” Law schools such as Harvard and Yale teach that the US Constitution is undemocratic and racist and should be abandoned. Under the Woke regime the law schools and New York Times intend to impose, only the Woke and “official victims” would have rights. None of this reality is part of Wall Street’s world or stock and bond market valuations.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1696046348494311769

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No, Trump will not vow to endorse Asa Hutchinson or Chris Christie. It’s about credibility.

Trump: The Leader of a Faction or a Party? (McCotter)

[..] former president Donald Trump has declined to sign the Republican National Committee’s colloquially termed “Beat Biden pledge.” The pledge would commit Mr. Trump to endorse the ultimate GOP 2024 presidential nominee. Signing the pledge also is required to participate in the GOP’s presidential debates. This is likely not a factor in Mr. Trump’s decision, as he has announced he will eschew the first debate. What, then, are some factors in Mr. Trump’s thinking? Per the New York Post: “I wouldn’t sign the pledge. Why would I sign a pledge? There are people on there that I wouldn’t have. I wouldn’t have certain people as, you know, somebody that I’d endorse,” Trump, 77, told Newsmax host Eric Bolling during an interview. “I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So right there, there’s a problem,” Trump said of the Republican National Committee’s loyalty pledge requirement.

Presently, Mr. Trump holds a significant lead over his GOP rivals for the presidential nomination. If his lead holds and Mr. Trump wins the GOP nomination, his signing the “Beat Biden pledge” would put his opponents on the defensive. It would make it harder, though not impossible, for them to renege on their pledged support for Mr. Trump in the general election campaign. So, why did he not sign? Again, the RNC requires Mr. Trump’s GOP rivals to commit to endorsing the 2024 nominee to participate in the debates. Consequently, if Mr. Trump’s wins, everyone on the stage in Milwaukee has already committed to supporting him. Declining to be in the debate, Mr. Trump has no need to sign the pledge for that purpose. In fact, in expressing his refusal to sign the pledge, he has another opportunity to trash his GOP rivals as being unworthy of the debate. (And, in refraining from naming the “three or four” rivals he would not support, he casts all his rival under suspicion).

One would think this is political deftness. One would be mistaken. While Mr. Trump has a lead in a primary election – a segment of a segment of the overall electorate – he is in deep trouble in a general election. Again, per the New York Post, an AP-NORC Center survey found that 53% of Americans say they will “definitely not” vote for Mr. Trump, and 11% more say they “probably will not” vote for Mr. Trump. In sum, then, Mr. Trump should be leveraging his large primary lead not to denigrate and humiliate his GOP rivals, but rather to unite the Republican Party behind his candidacy. This is a point not lost upon the more politically savvy of his supporters. “There isn’t a real Republican Primary as President Trump continues to dominate the GOP primary in both national polls and early-state polls,” Republican House Conference Chair, Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), told Breitbart News. “All patriots should and must rally behind President Trump’s campaign to Save America and defeat the corrupt Deep State.”

True, to a point. While Mr. Trump has a large lead over each of his individual GOP opponents, the combined opposition to him is around 40%. As his rivals drop out, their voters are unlikely to go to Mr. Trump. Instead, they will go to other candidates until one challenger is left standing. This would be Mr. Trump’s nightmare scenario: one GOP rival left, who has garnered all the anti-Trump party support; and, should Mr. Biden not be the Democrat nominee, all bets could be off for Mr. Trump. Obviously, Mr. Trump wants to avoid this scenario. Further, as do all candidates, he wants to sew up the primary as soon as possible to stanch the loss of precious campaign resources in a drawn out primary. Nonetheless, presently the GOP is far from united behind Mr. Trump; and there is little to suggest this is going to change any time soon.

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And that’s not illegal.

Yes, Trump was Seeking Another Recount or Investigation in Georgia (Turley)

First, a brief reminder of what “the call” is. This was not some back-room, smoke-filled political wheel-and-deal call. It was similar to a settlement discussion between largely antagonistic figures and their opposing teams. State officials and the Trump team were seeing if they could resolve their differences without further litigation. The Trump team wanted a new statewide recount. Trump had lost the state by less than 12,000 votes and was making the case that he could still show that he had won the state. He stated, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.” If you are going to argue for another recount or continued investigation, the obvious argument is that it would not take statistically many votes to make a difference.

I have long disagreed with Trump over his claim of systemic voting fraud. I criticized Trump’s Jan. 6 speech while he was giving it. I supported Vice President Mike Pence and his certification of the election of Joe Biden. I have also regularly criticized Trump when I felt that such criticism was warranted. This does not change my view of whether the call is compelling evidence of a crime. When the Washington Post first reported this call, I posted a critical tweet based on its initial, erroneous account that Trump had ordered Georgia officials to just “find” the needed votes. I noted that such a demand would be breathtaking and further noted that, even if they did so, it would not stop Biden from winning the presidency. But a few hours later, the actual transcript of the call was released, showing a strikingly different context for the “find” comment than the Post had reported.

Trump was clearly referring to his objective in finding votes and the threshold he needed to meet. That is a predictable argument for a candidate in pushing for a continued investigation. The Post also ran a misleading story on a separate, related call that left the same false impression. By the initial account, Trump had supposedly told investigator Frances Watson to “find the fraud” and promised that she would be “a national hero.” In fact, Trump had stated that, if the officials did a neutral investigation, “you’re going to find things” including “dishonesty.” The Post had to issue a correction at the top of this second story after the Wall Street Journal found a recording of the call. “The recording revealed that The Post misquoted Trump’s comments on the call, based on information provided by a source,” the paper acknowledged.

Phillip Bump’s recent Washington Post column continues to cite the paper’s original, skewed account of that call in order to criticize my commentary on it. Yet even in doing so, Bump inadvertently demonstrates the danger of using this call to prosecute Trump. As a threshold matter, Bump suggests (and many have repeated) that Trump was not seeking another recount because the recount had already occurred and Trump never uses the word “recount” in the first call. The argument shows the lack of good faith in the criticism. Obviously, Trump was seeking another recount or investigation. We all know that Georgia completed the recount. I wrote about it at the time and considered that recount to end reasonable doubts over the election. Trump, however, was making the case for another investigation or recount. That was the subject of the call. He wanted the state to take another look. That is further born out in the second call when he again asks them to take another look.

Trump’s demand is as simple and obvious as it was wrong. He wanted to maintain a challenge to the election in the courts and in Congress. Just a couple days after the election, I wrote a column predicted this strategy based on what the Democrats had done in prior years. I called it the Death Star strategy. To make it work, Trump needed to find evidence of fraud and delay or undermine state certifications. A new recount or continued investigation would achieve that purpose.

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“..make a contribution to evict Crooked Joe Biden from the White House and SAVE AMERICA during this dark chapter in our nation’s history.”

Trump Mugshot Proves Fundraiser Miracle – Politico (RT)

Donald Trump’s recent mugshot, which has already become iconic among his supporters, has also helped his campaign raise a record-breaking sum, according to Politico. The Republican frontrunner faces a plethora of charges and turned himself in at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday. On Saturday, the outlet reported that the former president had raised some $7.1 million since he had the photo taken by authorities. Politico quoted an anonymous source as saying that Trump’s campaign raked in $4.18 million on Friday alone – its single-highest 24-hour take to date. Shortly after the Fulton County’s Sheriff’s Office released the mugshot, the former president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., announced that he had launched a line of merchandise bearing the image and the tagline “NEVER SURRENDER!”.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), he said that all proceeds from the sale of T-shirts, mugs, and posters would go to the Legal Defense Fund “to fight the tyranny & insanity we’re seeing before us.” On Thursday night, the Republican frontrunner posted a tweet of his own on X – his first since 2021 – directing supporters to his website. Its landing page features the mugshot and asks visitors to “make a contribution to evict Crooked Joe Biden from the White House and SAVE AMERICA during this dark chapter in our nation’s history.” After being booked on multiple charges relating to his alleged attempts to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election, he was then released on a $200,000 bond. Trump is the first former or sitting US president to have a police mugshot taken of himself.

Earlier this month, Fulton district attorney Fani Willis unsealed a 41-count indictment against the former president and 18 of his associates. Trump stands accused of violating Georgia’s organized crime laws, as well as conspiracy to interfere in an election, perjury, soliciting a public official to violate their oath, and other offenses. This is the fourth criminal indictment the 45th US president has faced since the start of the year. Federal prosecutors have already slapped him with dozens of felony counts, alleging he plotted to interfere in the 2020 elections, mishandled classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021, and paid hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 election campaign. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and described the charges as a politically motivated witch hunt designed to prevent him from running for president in 2024.

Read more …

“By Ullekh NP, a writer, journalist, and political commentator based in New Delhi. He is the executive editor of the newsweekly Open and author of three nonfiction books: War Room: The People, Tactics and Technology Behind Narendra Modi’s 2014 Win; The Untold Vajpayee: Politician and Paradox; and Kannur: Inside India’s Bloodiest Revenge Politics.”

BRICS Nations Just Want What Is Theirs (Ullekh NP)

The BRICS nations, which had either rung out old monarchies or liberated themselves from colonial oppression, had long craved decolonization, but the US and its allies used every pretext to delay this overdue process. In the meantime, there were efforts such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that demonstrated the passion of multiple countries to break out of the clutches of American-centric global institutions, especially financial institutions, which had become instruments zealously used by the US and certain former colonial powers to control the resources of other countries. Any bid to question the hegemony of these global power structures was considered blasphemy, and the Western mainstream media promptly denounced any alternatives to the economic order of the day as non-starters or damp squib.

At the same time, they kept silent on the aspirations of the countries that had fought colonial and expansionist powers tooth and nail in the first half of the century to rewrite world history. The inclusion of six new members to BRICS at the recently concluded Johannesburg summit attracted international attention, but the highlight of the discourse so far has been pessimism about the grouping’s potential success. True, BRICS, or BRICS+ now thanks to its expansion, has not outlined alternative institutions it is planning to build. Neither is it an ideologically aligned entity like the G7. Nor has this grouping, which has been meeting annually on a rotational basis under the chairmanship of its member countries since 2014, chalked out any common aims in foreign policy – in fact, they do not have much in common except that they are aggrieved at being unfairly treated by the West and its satellite institutions since the end of World War II.

What BRICS has is a bank it created in 2015 called the New Development Bank (NDB), formerly known as the BRICS Development Bank, with the aim of “mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets and developing countries.” But it is still at an early stage. So, what else does it have, Western commentators ask, some terming the summit “semi-farcical” and “meaningless.” It’s simple. These countries don’t want to be denied certain advantages that they are entitled to in the age of globalization. The times they are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan sang. The commentariat who see trade alone as the focus of BRICS+ must look at the political fragmentation taking place in the world where each country – from Asia to Latin America to Africa – is standing up to protect its own interests instead of remaining loyally aligned to blocs, no questions asked.

[..] … even the most neocon commentators who are silent on the splits within G7 cannot deny that the best days of the US economy are over and that the world order is shifting eastward. At this moment, there will always be desperate measures on the part of the existing hegemon to fight back inevitable change, perhaps through confrontation or through cooperation. Many economists hope that the countries in the Global South, those long denigrated, will have a greater reason than now to stick together. It is in that context that BRICS+ acquires a halo.

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Pepe reworks an earlier article. The Cradle adds graphs. Check the difference in debt.

‘Welcome to the BRICS 11’ (Pepe Escobar)

The road leading to BRICS 11, during the two days of discussions in Johannesburg, was hard and bumpy, as admitted by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself. The final result turned out to be a prodigy of trans-continental inclusion. West Asia was aggregated in full force. The Arab world has three full members, as much as Africa. And Brazil strategically lobbied to incorporate troubled Argentina. The global GDP-purchasing power parity (PPP) of BRICS 11, as it stands, is now 36 percent (already larger than the G7), and the institution now encompasses 47 percent of the world’s population. Even more than a geopolitical and geoeconomic breakthrough, BRICS 11 really breaks the bank on the energy front. By signing up Tehran, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, BRICS 11 instantly becomes an oil and gas powerhouse, controlling 39 percent of global oil exports, 45.9 percent of proven reserves and 47.6 percent of all oil produced globally, according to InfoTEK. A direct BRICS 11-OPEC+ symbiosis is inevitable (under Russia-Saudi Arabia leadership), not to mention OPEC itself.

Translation: The collective west may soon lose its power to control global oil prices, and subsequently, the means to enforce its unilateral sanctions. A Saudi Arabia directly aligned with Russia-China-India-Iran offers a stunning counterpoint to the US-engineered oil crisis in the early 1970s, when Riyadh started wallowing in petrodollars. That represents the next stage of the Russian-initiated and Chinese-finalized rapprochement between Riyadh and Tehran, recently sealed in Beijing. And that’s exactly what the Russia-China strategic leadership always had in mind. This particular diplomatic masterstroke is rife with meaningful details: BRICS 11 enters the fray on the exact same day, January 1, 2024, when Russia assumes the annual presidency of BRICS.

Putin announced that the BRICS 11 summit next year will take place in Kazan, the capital city of Russia’s Tatarstan, which will be yet another blow to the west’s irrational, isolation-and-sanctions policies. Next January, expect further integration of the Global South/Global Majority/Global Globe, including even more radical decisions, conducted by the sanctioned-to-oblivion Russian economy – now, incidentally, the 5th largest in the world by a PPP of over $5 trillion. The G7, for all practical purposes, has now entered an Intensive Care Unit. The G20 may be next. The new “Global Globe” G20 may be the BRICS 11 – and later on the BRICS 20 or even BRICS 40. By then, the petrodollar will also be on life support in the ICU.

[..] Putin went so far as to publicly call on all BRICS 11 to abandon the US dollar and expand trade settlements in national currencies – stressing that BRICS “oppose hegemonies of any kind” and “the exceptional status that some countries aspire to,” not to mention “a policy of continued neo-colonialism.” Importantly, as much as the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is celebrating its 10th anniversary next month, Putin drove home the necessity to: “…establish a permanent BRICS transport commission, which would deal not only with the North-South project [referring to the INTSC transportation corridor, whose key BRICS members are Russia, Iran and India], but also on a broader scale with the development of logistics and transport corridors, interregional and global.”

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The BRICS must use gold.

Gold Will Destroy The Keynesian Fallacies (Barron)

Introducing gold into the trading system will expose the main fallacy of Keynesian economics; i.e., the elevation of aggregate demand to prominence in a nation’s economy rather than production. Keynes shunned Say’s Law of Markets in his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money in order to hide his theory’s internal contradictions. As put succinctly by Emile Woolf, “Keynes endows the concept of ‘aggregate demand’ with god-like status while disregarding ‘production’-the only means of satisfying it.” Jean-Baptiste Say shows that production is required in order to enjoy the benefits of consumption.

On the face of it, it is hard to believe that anyone would believe that production either isn’t required for consumption or that it magically appears. Yet, this rather upside down theory appealed to politicians for obvious reasons; i.e., it gave them carte blanche to spend, all with money created out of thin air by the central bank. Rather than economize and prioritize spending that was absolutely necessary for the benefit of the entire nation, politicians were told by Keynes that it was their duty to spend if only to pay people to dig holes and others to fill them up.

The new international trade settlement system will require settlement in gold. A possible mechanism has been outlined by Alasdair Macleod of Goldmoney.com. The benefits of the new system will become obvious to every nation, not just the current BRICS members. The political benefits are that no one nation can control or manipulate the system for its unearned benefit. The economic benefits are that government spending will be minimized so that resources can be allocated to production rather than state aggrandizement. A member can expand imports only by expanding exports. This puts market pressure on member governments to reform their internal economies in order to increase production. To artificially increasing demand, per Keynesian orthodoxy, would be counterproductive, because gold would drain from the nation’s gold settlement account and imports would be suspended.

Therefore, the system encourages sound economic practices within its members’ individual economies. Printing money, excessive and unnecessary regulations, excessive taxation, and excessive government spending do nothing to aid a member’s ability to engage in trade. Nations like the US who have huge welfare obligations and who have politically connected industries that do not add to the nation’s capital base will struggle. Having lots of nuclear weapons will be irrelevant and having bases around the world will be liabilities rather than assets. An important point made by Macleod is that over time the gold settlement system for international trade will expand into members’ internal monetary systems. In other words, fiat currencies, which can be inflated/debased by governments, will be thrown on the ash heap of history. They will become “barbarous relics” instead of gold, as Keynes predicted in 1924.

Read more …

Haiti 2.0 or the White House?

Do Clintons Seek to Steal Thunder From Team Biden & Cash in on Ukraine? (Sp.)

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) gathering scheduled for September is expected to bring together corporate leaders, Hollywood stars, and other celebrities with the aim to “address climate change, health care issues, gender-based violence, the war in Ukraine and a host of other issues.” The timing of the Clintons’ September gathering hints at two probabilities: first, they are showcasing their talents just as Democrats need to find viable candidates to replace Biden; second, they may be salivating over a potentially mammoth rebuilding package in Ukraine, as Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel told Sputnik. What is the Clinton Global Initiative? In March 2022, the Clintons revived the CGI, which has long been suspected of being a vehicle for “pay-to-play” schemes by Bill and Hillary Clinton and personal enrichment of the political dynasty.

“For decades, the elder Clintons have not been able to resist milking purported charities for personal and political gain. A vivid example – ‘Clinton Global Initiative’ – was born in 2004 just around the time the Little Rock Presidential Center was opened to the public,” Ortel, who has been investigating the Clintons’ charities for around eight years, told Sputnik. “The initial concept of having a grand, closed to the public, confab in New York, around the time of the UN Annual Meeting was actually inspired in principle, but grievously flawed in practice. Gathering globalists around world leaders and glitterati might have given rise to great philanthropy, had the Clintons and their advisors bothered to follow the laws and regulations in New York state and city pertaining to charities and to soliciting donations, but the parent Clinton Foundation and CGI thumbed their noses at these strict rules.”

In his articles and interviews with various media outlets, Ortel has repeatedly drawn attention to obvious discrepancies in founding documents and financial records of the Clinton Foundation and its numerous offshoots. Per the Wall Street analyst, the Clintons were not just cutting corners: these errors and omissions could hint at nothing short of fraud and influence peddling by the famous political dynasty. Remarkably, two forensic investigators-turned-whistleblowers, John Moynihan and Larry Doyle, who have been carrying out their own inquiry into the Clinton Foundation in parallel with Ortel, came to similar conclusions. On December 13, 2018, Doyle and Moynihan testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, suggesting that the Clinton Foundation owes the US government between $400 million and $2.5 billion in taxes.

According to the forensic investigators, the charity does not operate as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, but acts as a foreign agent. As such, the foundation should have registered under FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act), which it never did. Both Ortel and the Clinton Foundation whistleblowers Doyle and Moynihan suspect the Clintons of engaging in a pay-to-play game with foreign governments and tycoons, something which the Biden family has also been accused of by GOP congressional investigators. “When you check public filings in New York state, you will see that neither the parent nor CGI bothered to register using legal or ‘doing business as’ names by 2005, validly explaining the tax-exempt purposes or results of CGI,” said Ortel. “Yet, tens of millions of dollars were raised for CGI for meetings in 2005 through 2008, including one in Hong Kong in 2008, just after Barack Obama’s selection of Hillary Clinton to serve as Secretary of State.

[..] “Then, in 2009, Bill Clinton and his advisors allowed a false and materially misleading application for tax exemption to be filed with the IRS for ‘Clinton Global Initiative, Inc.’ Unlike filings by conservatives before Lois Lerner’s IRS Department, the CGI filing, utterly false as it was, sailed through with swift approval,” the Wall Street analyst continued. Ortel highlighted that during Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state and through the 2015/2016 election cycle, “CGI went from strength to strength.” However, when Hillary lost the presidential race, support for CGI and for the parent and affiliates dried up, the analyst noted. “Now, with Biden stumbling and in deep trouble for much smaller pay to play schemes, the Clintons seem to be showcasing their talents just as Democrats need to find viable candidates to replace Biden and his inept Vice President [Kamala Harris],” said Ortel.

Read more …

Even before mentioning vaccine injuries.

Hundreds of US Airline Pilots Suspected of Being Unfit to Fly (Sp.)

About 600 US pilots licensed to operate passenger flights are under investigation for lying about their medical records, US press reported Sunday, citing officials and internal records. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been looking into 4,800 former military veterans turned airline and commercial pilots who might have submitted “incorrect or false information” as part of their medical applications, FAA spokesman Matthew Lehner admitted in a comment to the daily. The pilots were red-flagged after investigators at the Department of Veterans Affairs cross-checked federal databases to discover aviators who were receiving veteran benefits for mental health disorders and other serious conditions, while hiding their true medical history from the FAA in order to continue flying.

While the FAA relies on screening to identify safety risks, the tests are often cursory and pilots are expected to self-report conditions that can otherwise be difficult to detect, such as depression or post-traumatic stress, The Washington Post cited physicians who conduct the exams as saying. Officials told the newspaper they suspected many of the pilots under investigation of being either too sick to fly or defrauding taxpayers by exaggerating their disabilities to claim bigger benefits. The FAA disbursed $3.6 million starting last year to run additional tests on thousands of pilots deemed “potential risks.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1695535072990855614

 

 

Ringtone
https://twitter.com/i/status/1695896301873856835

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 152023
 
 August 15, 2023  Posted by at 9:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  55 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Gypsy Camp near Arles 1888

 

Trump Indicted for 4th Time in Georgia Election Interference Case (DeMartino)
Georgia DA Charges Trump, Others With New RICO Indictment (ZH)
Judge In Trump J6 Trial Worked At Law Firm that Repped Fusion GPS (ZH)
¡No más! (Jim Kunstler)
Tucker And RFK Jr. Talk Ukraine, Biolabs, And Who Killed His Uncle (ZH)
US Expects Ukrainian Conflict To Drag On For A While – Envoy (TASS)
John Bolton Blames Biden For Kiev’s ‘Stalling’ Counteroffensive (RT)
New Defense Agreement Would See US Troops Deployed in Finland (Antiwar)
The Black Sea, Out-of-View ‘War’ (Alastair Crooke)
Zelensky Regime’s Police Raid Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Orthodox Church (Sp.)
Washington Accused Of Betraying Allies Over Niger (RT)
Full Faith & Credit of a Bankrupt Insolvent Government – Bill Holter (USAW)
US Hints At Assange Plea Deal (RT)

 

 

 

 

Dershowitz+
https://twitter.com/i/status/1691291110717390848

 

 

 

 

Weiss Maria

 

 

 

 

Biden rally

 

 

 

 

“If Trump returns to the White House in 2024, he will not be able to pardon himself in [cases handled by state courts].

Trump Indicted for 4th Time in Georgia Election Interference Case (DeMartino)

The former US president has already been hit with a total of three indictment, two of which are federal cases. To date, the Trump camp has repeatedly rejected all charges, underscoring that legal proceedings are intended to block the ex-commander-in-chief’s 2024 reelection campaign. Former US President Donald Trump was indicted for a fourth time late Monday, this time for his and his allies alleged actions to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state of Georgia. The grand jury indictment in Georgia stretched far into the night on Monday, with the indictment only becoming public just before 11 p.m. The 98-page indictment list charges a total of 19 individuals including Trump, and fellow associates Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Mark Meadows, Jeffrey Clark, among other figures.

Over 40 charges are listed in the filing, which also notes there are 30 co-conspirators who have yet to be officially indicted. Trump was specifically hit with 13 charges, including: Violation of the Georgia RICO Act, solicitation of violation of oath by public officer, conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer and conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, among others. Among the charges listed in the filing against Trump, violations of the Georgia RICO (racketeering) Act is considered the most serious. RICO cases are typically used to clamp down on drug cartels or larger criminal organizations. It’s specifically used in cases where an alleged offender engaged in a minimum of two predicated crimes that were in connection to an enterprise that is either considered legal or illegal.

Shortly after the indictment was released, Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis told reporters that the defendants must surrender voluntarily no later than 12 p.m. local time on August 25. “[Trump and his allies] constituted a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in various related criminal activities,” Willis said at a news conference just before midnight Monday. “They knowingly and willfully joined conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump.” Willis did state that she will seek to try the case within six months’ time, and that she wanted to try all defendants together, a task that insiders have already noted may pose several difficulties.

[..] Trump has also been indicted on federal charges related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents and in a New York state case over money he paid to an adult film actress to keep her from speaking about an affair she alleged to have with Trump years before the start of the 2016 US election cycle. In that case, investigators claim the payments were illegally classified as legal expenses. The cases in Georgia and New York are particularly significant because the US president does not have authority over state courts. While legal experts have debated if a president could pardon themselves in a federal case, there is no doubt they cannot in cases handled by state courts. If Trump returns to the White House in 2024, he will not be able to pardon himself in those cases.

Read more …

They have no case, so they gather everything they can think of and hope something sticks to the wall. But that’s nothing to do with justice.

Georgia DA Charges Trump, Others With New RICO Indictment (ZH)

It’s been quite a day in Atlanta (and for scrambling Democrats) as former President Trump was indicted for the 4th time. Before the Grand Jury’s verdict, Reuters reported that a document was leaked earlier in the day on the Fulton County, Georgia court’s website showing former president Trump being indicted on RICO charges (among many others). The Georgia DA released a statement calling the document “fictitious”. Trump’s team (and the entire internet) mocked this farcical comment: “This was not a simple administrative mistake.” The Grand Jury then handed down a 98-page indictment, against the former president (the jurors’ names were unredacted)… …claiming that he – and 18 of his allies – orchestrated a sweeping criminal enterprise, committing more than a dozen felonies, as he tried and failed to overturn his defeat in Georgia’s 2020 election.


Defendants include Rudy Giuliani, Mark Leadows, Sidney Powell, and John Eastman. The charging documents also list 30 unindicted co-conspirators. Trump faces 13 counts in the indictment. Here is the full list: •One count in violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act •Three counts of solicitation of violation of oath by public officer •One count of conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer •Two counts of conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree •Two counts of conspiracy to commit false statements and writings •One count of conspiracy to commit filing false documents •One count of filing a false document •Two counts of false statements and writings All of these charges were exactly as per the leaked “fictitious” document that was found on the courthouse website hours before the Grand Jury’s decision.

Statement from the Trump Campaign: “Like Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, Deranged Jack Smith, and New York AG Letitia James, Fulton County, GA’s radical Democrat District Attorney Fani Willis is a rabid partisan who is campaigning and fundraising on a platform of prosecuting President Trump through these bogus indictments. Ripping a page from Crooked Joe Biden’s playbook, Willis has strategically stalled her investigation to try and maximally interfere with the 2024 presidential race and damage the dominant Trump campaign. All of these corrupt Democrat attempts will fail. Combined with the intentionally slow-walked investigations by the Biden-Smith goon squads and the false charges in New York, the timing of this latest coordinated strike by a biased prosecutor in an overwhelmingly Democrat jurisdiction not only betrays the trust of the American people, but also exposes true motivation driving their fabricated accusations.

They could have brought this two and half years ago, yet they chose to do this for election interference reasons in the middle of President Trump’s successful campaign. He is not only leading all Republicans by a lot but he is leading against Joe Biden in almost every poll. President Trump represents the greatest threat to these Democrats’ political futures (and the greatest hope for America). The legal double-standard set against President Trump must end. Under the Crooked Biden Cartel, there are no rules for Democrats, while Republicans face criminal charges for exercising their First Amendment rights.

These activities by Democrat leaders constitute a grave threat to American democracy and are direct attempts to deprive the American people of their rightful choice to cast their vote for President. Call it election interference or election manipulation—it is a dangerous effort by the ruling class to suppress the choice of the people. It is un-American and wrong. They are taking away President Trump’s First Amendment right to free speech, and the right to challenge a rigged and stolen election that the Democrats do all the time. The ones who should be prosecuted are the ones who created the corruption. President Trump will never give up and will never stop fighting for you, as we all work to Make America Great Again in 2024.”

Read more …

“The very client that was in front of her in federal court was one of her former clients. That is rule #1 for disqualification.”

Judge In Trump J6 Trial Worked At Law Firm that Repped Fusion GPS (ZH)

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who is overseeing the Trump J6 trial being prosecuted by the Biden Justice Department, previously worked at a law firm that represented Fusion GPS, the company that helped orchestrate the Russia collusion hoax targeting former President Donald Trump. During Chutkan’s stint with Boies Schiller Flexner, the Democrat-friendly law firm also reportedly represented Clinton Cabal foot soldier Huma Abedin, the former wife of disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner. The stunning revelations came in the wake of reports that the Obama-appointed judge worked at the same Boies Schiller Flexner law firm with President Joe Biden’s embattled son, Hunter. The same law firm that employed Chutkan also reportedly represented Burisma.

Trump blasted the apparently gross conflicts of interest and bias saddling Chutkan, writing on Truth Social that, “The Obama appointed Judge in the FREE SPEECH Indictment of me by my political opponent, Crooked Joe Biden’s Department of InJustice, shared professional ties at the law firm that worked for Energy Company Burisma, based in Ukraine, of which Hunter Biden and his associate were “proud” MEMBERS OF THE BOARD, and were paid Millions of Dollars, even though Hunter knew almost NOTHING about Energy. How much was the law firm paid? So Horrible. This is a CLASSIC Conflict of Interest!” The J6 free speech trial won’t be the first time Chutkan has been entangled by court conflicts stemming from her legal workings with outfits targeting Trump.

Chutkan was forced to recuse herself from the bench when she was overseeing Fusion GPS’s attempt to block former congressman Devin Nunes and Kash Patel from outing the source of payments that funded the infamous Steele dossier. “Fusion GPS, the DNC, and the Hillary Clinton campaign paid Christopher Steele millions of dollars and they laundered it through the FBI and the FISA court to unlawfully surveil Donald Trump. That’s big-time stuff,” Patel, who served in the Trump administration, noted during an interview with America First’s Sebastian Gorka. After months of litigation before Chutkan, when it became apparent that Nunes and Patel would be successful, “she recused -on her own- from that case. Why?” Patel asked rhetorically.

“We found out her law firm, Boies Schiller, represented Fusion GPS,” Patel answered. “The very client that was in front of her in federal court was one of her former clients. That is rule #1 for disqualification.” It also sets a sterling precedent for Chutkan’s removal from the Trump J6 trial, Patel said. “She set the precedent. She cannot neutrally and arbitrarily preside over Donald Trump’s criminal trial when she recused herself from the very representation of the Democratic entrenchment: the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS, because she was so biased because of her prior representation from Boies Schiller,” he argued.

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“The same David Weiss who cooked up a wrist-slap plea agreement on all this, with a hidden Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free clause inserted slyly in the fine print of the so-called “diversion agreement”..

¡No más! (Jim Kunstler)

Karma is God’s hickory switch, and almost always applied with a cosmic chortle. Things come around when a certain excess cargo of cognitive dissonance breaks the brains of those just struggling to carry on. The country has had enough — enough walking-talking hypocrisies, enough trips laid on it, enough Tik-tok lectures from the nose-rings-for-lunch-bunch. We’re at the end of something and the beginning of something new. As in: an ass-beating is coming down. Cue one Oliver Anthony, southern country boy with a flaming red beard and a new anthem for millions sore-beset by the relentless effronteries of the ruling elites. Rolling Stone Magazine, a ruling elites house organ, played the phenomenon this way:

These things listed above are…what? Things that Rolling Stone is in favor of? Pet causes? High taxes and obese people on welfare? And Mr. Anthony’s song is dissing them? You mean Right-Wing influencers shouldn’t mention Jeffrey Epstein’s name? Is it just plain rude… or does it stir up unappetizing questions that are better off not being asked (in polite company)? Kind of shows you where the battle lines are drawn now, doesn’t it? Perhaps the final insult galvanizing all this sentiment in a song was Merrick Garland’s devious Friday afternoon announcement — when, theoretically, no one was paying attention — that he appointed US Attorney David Weiss as Special Counsel in the Hunter Biden matter.


This is the same David Weiss, you understand, who oversaw the Hunter Biden investigation for the past five years before ascertaining anything that might be chargeable from a vast inventory of financial crimes with an overlay of documented sex and drug transgressions. The same David Weiss who let the statute of limitations run out on many of those crimes while he dawdled and frittered in Wilmington. The same David Weiss who cooked up a wrist-slap plea agreement on all this, with a hidden Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free clause inserted slyly in the fine print of the so-called “diversion agreement” that would have immunized Hunter B against any further inquiries — which Judge Maryellen Noreika discovered only by chance at the last moment, scotching the deal. (And yet, the government now claims that the diversion agreement — and Hunter B’s immunity from further charges — “stands alone,” is “in effect” and “still binding.” Hmmmm….)

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Great interview.

Tucker And RFK Jr. Talk Ukraine, Biolabs, And Who Killed His Uncle (ZH)

RFK Jr. and Tucker Carlson sat down for a lengthy interview published on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday, in which the two discuss Ukraine, bio-labs, and who killed his uncle, JFK. Carlson made clear that he wasn’t going to badger Kennedy with questions about his stance on vaccines, which the MSM has made a central focus for obvious reasons. The interview begins by discussing the Biden administration denying RFK Jr. Secret Service protection. Despite the fact that his uncle and his father were both assassinated, the Biden administration denied SS protection “We applied for Secret Service protection in May,” said Kennedy, adding “The President has discretion to give Secret Service protection to any candidate, for any reason.” Kennedy noted that former President Barack Obama was given Secret Service protection more than 500 days before the election, and that his uncle Ted Kennedy received protection more than 450 days before an election. “I think the DNC is playing hardball,” Kennedy added.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1691239726190100481

On the topic of Ukraine (12 minutes in), Kennedy says Americans are being lied to, and were sold on a “comic book pitch, which we see in every war. There’s a bad guy who’s like, you know, unspeakably evil, who’s planning world conquest or a terrorist attack on America. And we have to be the good guys and go in and stop it.” Kennedy then explained that “a group of people who are known as Neocons, since 2001, have been talking about putting NATO in Ukraine. Now, I’ll give you some background. In 1992 the walls came down and the Soviet Union collapsed. Gorbachev went to Tony Blair and President Bush and said ‘I’m going to withdraw 400,000 Soviet troops from East Germany. I’m going to allow you to reunify Germany under NATO troops – so you’re gonna move NATO troops, a hostile force, into our barracks and our bases – and the only commitment I want from you, is that once I allow Germany top become part of NATO, that you will never move NATO further to the East.'” “James Baker, who was the Secretary of State at that time, famously said: ‘we promise that we will not move NATO one inch to the East.'” “Then, in 1996, 1997, five years later, Zbigniew Brzezinski … says ‘ok, we should start moving NATO to all the former (USSR) satellite states.'”


US Biolabs in Ukraine: At around 35 minutes into the interview, Carlson and Kennedy begin discussing the US bioweapons program. Meanwhile back home, RFK Jr. said that there are “36,000 ‘death scientists’ who are now employed full time in developing microbes that can be used to kill people.”

Tucker RFK

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As long as it keeps going, US/NATO don’t have to admit defeat…

US Expects Ukrainian Conflict To Drag On For A While – Envoy (TASS)

The United States is sinking deeper into the confrontation with Russia and expects the Ukrainian conflict to drag on for a long time, Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said, commenting on the next package of US military aid to Kiev. “With persistence, worthy of a better use, Washington is sinking deeper and deeper into the confrontation with Russia, while using Ukrainians as proxies. Sends new batches of weapons and money to the Zelensky regime. It looks like the administration cannot figure out how to get out of the bloody project and save its face at the same time. The White House obviously does not care about the rapid decline in the level of support for such a strategy in the American society. Instead it hopes that the conflict will drag on for a long time.

“What is missed here is that the deadly products of the US defense corporations are used by Kiev criminals against peaceful citizens and civilian facilities,” Antonov said in a statement published on the Russian embassy’s Telegram channel. The diplomat pointed out that Washington does not want to learn from its mistakes and continues to provide military aid to Ukraine, although “such irresponsibility is already too costly for both parties involved in the conflict, as well as for a local taxpayer.” “We emphasize that it will not be possible to achieve victory over the Russian Armed Forces ‘on the battlefield’. One cannot break the stamina of a Russian soldier defending his land. All goals and objectives of the special military operation will be achieved,” Antonov pointed out.

Earlier, the US allocated Ukraine a new package of weapons and military equipment worth $200 million. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the package includes, in particular, interceptors for Patriot air defense systems, shells for HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, TOW and Javelin anti-tank missile systems, 37 tractors, artillery shells of 155 and 105 mm caliber, tank shells of 120 mm caliber, over 12 million rounds of small arms ammunition and grenades, spare parts and accessories.

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Bolton doesn’t understand “checkmate”.

John Bolton Blames Biden For Kiev’s ‘Stalling’ Counteroffensive (RT)

Failures in Ukraine’s much-touted counteroffensive against Russia stem from the West’s inability to provide Kiev with the necessary military equipment within a reasonable timeframe, former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has said. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal published on Sunday, Bolton lamented that Kiev’s long-anticipated push, which started in early June, “isn’t making the headway some proponents had forecast,” adding that the disappointing results must become a “wake-up” call for Washington. The former White House official – widely regarded as a foreign-policy hawk and who has advocated regime changes in Iran, Syria, Libya, and Cuba – insisted in his article that Kiev’s “inability to achieve major advances is the natural result of a US strategy aimed only at staving off Russian conquest,” while he also urged US President Joe Biden to start “vigorously working toward Ukrainian victory.”

“Ukraine’s offensive failures and Russia’s defensive successes share a common cause: the slow, faltering, non-strategic supply of military assistance by the West,” Bolton claimed, adding that the US-led support for Kiev has been hampered further by speculation that Moscow might escalate the conflict. Bolton, who served in the Trump administration up to 2019, sought to allay those concerns, insisting that “there’s no evidence” that Russia has conventional military capability to threaten NATO or a desire to launch a nuclear strike. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it adheres to the policy that nuclear war should never be fought, and that it might resort to its atomic arsenal only if the very existence of the state is threatened.

The former national security adviser also dismissed the need for talks between Kiev and Moscow, arguing that these would only benefit Russia. Instead, he suggested that the West and Washington should radically tighten the sanctions regime. In addition, he called on Washington to slap restrictions directly on China, citing its “enormous support” for Moscow. While Beijing remains Russia’s key trade partner, it has repeatedly denied that it was providing Moscow with military support.

Ukrainian forces went on a large-scale offensive against Russian lines over two months ago, after being reinforced by hundreds of Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles. However, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiev has so far failed to gain any ground and has lost more than 43,000 service members since the start of the push. Bolton’s view on the reasons for Ukraine’s difficulties is shared by a number of Ukrainian officials, including President Vladimir Zelensky, who has suggested that without long-range weapons, it’s difficult for Kiev not only to carry out its offensive, but also to hold the frontline. Moscow has repeatedly warned Western countries against sending military assistance to Kiev, arguing that by doing so, they become engaged in a “proxy war” against Russia.

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A once proud(ly) neutral nation.

New Defense Agreement Would See US Troops Deployed in Finland (Antiwar)

Washington and Helsinki are working on a new deal to govern the military relationship between the two nations. Finland recently became the thirty-first member of NATO, doubling the alliance’s border with Russia. According to YLE News, Finnish state media, Helsinki and Washington are negotiating a new Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA). YLE said the new deal would be a “significant departure from its previous” DCA with the US. Finland held a prolonged policy of official neutrality prior to joining NATO earlier this year. However, Helsinki established deep ties with the bloc over recent decades. The new DCA will expand America’s military presence to several Finnish bases, including ports and airports.

The outlet reports the new DCA will “permit the presence of foreign troops for extended periods, specifically for conventional military exercises…[and] grant US military personnel access to facilities and areas within Finland for training, weapons storage, and equipment maintenance.” The war games and NATO soldiers will be viewed as a provocation by Russia, which shares an 800 miles border with Finland. Helsinki already hosts NATO troops for military drills near the Russian border.

When Helsinki announced its intention to join the North Atlantic bloc last year, the Kremlin warned about additional international troop deployments in Finland. Last week, Moscow announced it would deploy additional military assets to its border with NATO members. Finnish negotiations have expressed some reservations about expanding the DCA with the US. YLE explains, “noting that the agreement excludes nuclear weapons,” and Helsinki wants all integration troops deployments to be labeled as temporary.

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“..the nuances of a West teetering at the cusp of radical metamorphosis..”

The Black Sea, Out-of-View ‘War’ (Alastair Crooke)

There are signals in the American MSM that lately, U.S. policy is shifting (but is not finally settled). One thing, however, is clear: the blame for the failed offensive is being squarely laid by the U.S. on the shoulders of Ukraine – and now, for the first time, Kiev is reciprocating the jibes by ridiculing western inability to supply what it promised. Relations plainly are souring. However, in step with the West disowning and distancing itself from the military tactics deployed by Ukraine to attack the ‘Surovikin Lines’, NATO powers seemingly are backing off too from entering negotiations (in spite of a MSM lobby pressing for them). Perhaps western policy-makers now view a ‘negotiated’ outcome as potentially humiliating for Biden.

Put plainly: Does this western despairing of Ukrainian military prospects imply a coming, draw-down on the war, or alternatively, a western strategic shift towards a different mode of attritional war against Russia? In short, do the attacks at Novorossiysk presage a move to ‘real war’ – where Russia’s transport infrastructure is a priority target for attack? Or simply, were the Novorossiysk attacks merely a crude nudge to Russia, saying: ‘Re-start the export of Ukrainian grain!’? The wider issue which this Novorossiysk attack ‘opens’ is whether or not Russia might assess that it has been too cautious and incrementalist in pursuit of its strategic aims? The missile strikes on Reni and Izmail can be seen as very tentative initiatives by Russia to probe the ground and the appetite in NATO for ‘real war’ – where the enemy’s transport infrastructure would be a priority target for attacks.

Is this the moment that Russia might feel it should move to ‘real war’ – firstly, because the ground in the Ukraine suggests the moment is ripe? And secondly, because at another level, there is the need to address the perennial dilemma of all conflicts: Any military approach (i.e. such as Sun Tzu’s dictum: “It is the unemotional, reserved, calm, detached warrior who wins, not the hothead”) and one that recognises the weakness of its opponents’ psyche and the need to nudge it delicately towards acceptance of a new, unfamiliar reality, is always vulnerable to be misconstrued as signalling weakness. Starkly put: Is a Russian show of strength now needed to correct western misperceptions which continue to fantasise about weakness, unrest and the coming political collapse of Russia? Sun Tzu would retort: “Engage people with what they expect. It is what they are able to discern, and confirms their projections.

It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds – whilst you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.” Well, maybe some answers can be given: The western war hawks (to employ an old metaphor) may be ‘big talk, but NATO has no trouser’ for real war. The West, even now, is struggling at the cusp of economic crisis with supply-line disruption: A tanker war would be fatal (oil skywards and inflation too). The exit from delusion is always slow – as Sun Tzu hints. The rather tired adage is that war is the ‘extension of politics by other means’, but especially today ‘other means’ can – and often is – the extension of politics. Today, Russia is acting as ‘pathfinder’ towards a new global multi-polar bloc. In this capacity, Russia needs to act politically with its eye cocked towards the Global South, as well as to the nuances of a West teetering at the cusp of radical metamorphosis.

Military commands may chaff at it, but the Global South admires Russia precisely because it does not ape the Colonial Powers. The world respects power, yes, but is tired of just ‘fire-power’. Russia has a leading role to play now, and many are the constituencies that must be taken into account. This will be underlined in the coming days as events in Niger unfold, and as the BRICS summit proceeds with new arrangements for trading mechanisms high on the agenda. The effective use of ‘other means of asymmetric power’ is contingent upon timing above all else. (Sun Tzu for the last time): “Occupy their minds while you wait for the right moment”. It would seem that President Putin is very familiar with The Art of War.

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They’re afraid of religion. They want to be the only organization. Even the mob left religion alone.

Zelensky Regime’s Police Raid Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Orthodox Church (Sp.)

Police officers have cordoned off three buildings that are part of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, and are storming the premises, the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) said on Tuesday. “Right now, the police are storming the Lavra’s 54th, 57th and 58th buildings, where both pilgrims and some monks reside,” the UOC said in a message published on its Telegram account. According to the UOC, police officers “have already cut the locks and broke into the [Lavra’s] 57th building.” The reported developments come after Gennady Askaldovich, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Cooperation to Promote Respect for the Right to Freedom of Religion, slammed the eviction of the monks from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, branding the move as more lawlessness and despotism by the Zelensky regime.


“If this decision [on the eviction] is carried out, the schismatics will have a direct path to seize and close the great Orthodox shrine. Another act of lawlessness and arbitrariness has taken place on the part of the Kiev regime, which fabricated a lawsuit and got the verdict it needed,” Askaldovich said in a statement. On Thursday, a Kiev court upheld a claim against the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra to remove all obstacles to the use of property. The monks can now be evicted, sources familiar with the court decision told Sputnik. Ukrainian media reported, in turn, that a commission from the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and Information Policy had sealed off four buildings that are part of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
Nikita Chekman, a Kiev-Pechersk Lavra attorney and UOC archpriest, castigated the court’s decision as “one of the most shameful in Ukrainian history.”

Over the past 12 months, the Zelensky regime has orchestrated a full-blown crackdown against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Asserting its connection with Russia, local authorities in various regions of Ukraine have prohibited the church’s activities, and a bill seeking a nationwide ban on the UOC was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament. Kiev also slapped sanctions on some of the church’s clerics. The Security Service of Ukraine, in turn, began to lodge criminal cases against the church’s clergy, and also launched a “counterintelligence” crusade against UOC bishops and priests, as well as against its churches and monasteries in search of evidence of “anti-Ukrainian activities.”

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Yes, yes, Victoria Nuland…

Washington Accused Of Betraying Allies Over Niger (RT)

Washington got in the way of its own NATO ally, France, when it decided to send Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to talk to [Niger’s] new military government, Le Figaro reported over the weekend, citing a source within the French Foreign Ministry. The US “did the exact opposite of what we thought they would do,” a French diplomatic source told the paper, adding that “with allies like these, we do not need enemies.” Paris has been insisting on the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum ever since a new military government came to power in Niger in a coup in late July. The French government was also ready to support the use of force by West African nations for that purpose, as it upheld the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its decision to mobilize reserve forces in the wake of the ousting.

By sending Nuland to Niger, the US demonstrated it was ready to talk to the coup leaders instead, Le Figaro said. “For [French President] Emmanuel Macron, the credibility of France, particularly in terms of discourse on democracy, was at stake. For the Americans, even if they are also concerned about a rapid return to constitutional order, the priority is the stability of the region,” the paper’s source within the foreign ministry said. Americans simply want “to keep their bases” in the region above all else, the diplomat said, adding that Washington “will not hesitate” to drop a demand for what he called “constitutional legality” to achieve this goal. Now, Paris fears that Washington could reach an agreement with Niger’s military government behind France’s back.

The US has a sizable force on the ground in Niger, amounting to some 1,300 soldiers and almost equaling that of France, which has around 1,500 servicemen in the country. American troops are divided between two bases, located in the Niger capital of Niamey and the northern city of Agadez.Agadez is reportedly of particular importance for Washington as it houses a landing strip for drones and serves as a surveillance hub for a large area stretching from West Africa to Libya in the north. According to Le Figaro, Paris is also displeased by the fact that, despite both France and the US having troops in Niger, it is only the French presence that provokes resentment among the locals. “The United States, like our other allies for that matter, has a habit of letting us take the hits,” the French diplomat told the paper.

The coup in Niger took place on July 26, when the presidential guard headed by Tchiani detained Bazoum and his family, citing a “deteriorating security situation and bad governance.” The move sparked condemnation from global powers, while ECOWAS imposed harsh sanctions on Niger and issued an ultimatum to the coup leaders to release Bazoum or face military intervention. On Monday, Niger’s military government agreed to hold talks with ECOWAS in a bid to defuse tensions in the region. Nuland visited Niger last Monday. During the talks, she warned the new military government against striking any deals with the Russian private military company Wagner and urged them to restore the Washington-friendly status quo.

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“..we are in the weeds because interest rates are at a point that nothing can be refinanced and rolled over.”

Full Faith & Credit of a Bankrupt Insolvent Government – Bill Holter (USAW)

Precious metals expert and financial writer Bill Holter says there is a long list of financial trouble coming to America sooner than later. There is the commercial real estate implosion, rising interest rates, an exploding federal budget, banana republic political problems, but the at the top of the list is the monster unpayable debt problem and the soon-to-be failing U.S. dollar. Holter says, “You can’t have a third of the federal taxes paid out in interest, and that number is only going to grow over time. . . . If the markets would not collapse ahead of time, which they certainly will, but if they did not, we would get to the point where the interest would eat up all the tax receipts. That is a mathematical impossibility.

We’re broke. On the other side of it, we have two rules of law. We have one rule of law if you are a liar from the left and another rule of law if you are a conservative and you don’t support the bull crap rules they are putting out there. . . . This is an illustration that this country has already become a banana republic. The problem with that is the dollar issued by this country is the world’s reserve currency. It’s a huge problem.” Holter says the dollar is going to take a big hit in the next financial crisis that has already started. When it hits, Holter predicts, “The actual bottom line is dollars are just pieces of paper backed by our government. The dollar is backed by the full faith and credit of a bankrupt insolvent government, and people will figure that out very quickly.

When it comes to survival, people are not going to give up something real for nothing. . . . We are in the weeds right now because of interest rates . . . look at mortgage rates, they are well over 7% for a 30-year mortgage. So, that’s going to hurt housing. Commercial real estate has already been destroyed. . . . I think we are in the weeds because interest rates are at a point that nothing can be refinanced and rolled over.” In closing, Holter says, “This is not my opinion, it’s a mathematical equation. The debt cannot be paid back. It’s not possible. We will default one way or another. We will print the crap out of the dollar and devalue it, or outright nonpayment.” Holter predicted years ago we would end up in a “Mad Max” scenario when credit dries up and store shelves empty. Holter contends that credit is drying up with the money supply shrinking for eight straight months. The “Mad Max” world Holter is still predicting is now looking like it’s going to come true sooner than later.

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It’s a trap, he’d have to “first travel to the United States to formally admit guilt in court proceedings.”

Don’t.

US Hints At Assange Plea Deal (RT)

Caroline Kennedy, the United States’ ambassador to Australia, has indicated that the US Justice Department may consider seeking a plea deal with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that could downgrade his charges and allow him to return to his homeland. Assange, 52, faces a potential life sentence in a US prison on espionage charges linked to the 2010 release on his WikiLeaks platform of highly sensitive US Army intelligence information provided to him by former analyst Chelsea Manning. But speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald in comments published on Sunday, Kennedy said that a diplomatic remedy to the long-running Assange saga might be forthcoming, telling the newspaper, “There absolutely could be a resolution.”

When asked if the United States could arrange for a plea deal involving Assange, Kennedy said that this was “up to the Justice Department.” While there has been no official comment on the issue from the relevant US authorities, a plea deal could theoretically be sought, which would see Australian native Assange agreeing to plead guilty to lesser charges in return for being permitted to return home to serve any remaining prison time. Assange has been held in London’s Belmarsh Prison since 2019 as he fights extradition to the United States. Previously, Assange had been granted political asylum by Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012, before his arrest seven years later. “Caroline Kennedy wouldn’t be saying these things if they didn’t want a way out,” Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, told the Sydney Morning Herald. “The Americans want this off their plate.”

According to international law expert Donald Rothwell, the terms of any Assange plea deal would likely require him to first travel to the United States to formally admit guilt in court proceedings. “Everything we know about Julian Assange suggests this would be a significant sticking point for him,” Rothwell told the newspaper. “It’s not possible to strike a plea deal outside the relevant jurisdiction except in the most exceptional circumstances.” However, a successful plea deal would likely require authorization from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said last month that Assange’s actions “risked very serious harm to our national security, to the benefit of our adversaries, and put named human sources at grave risk of physical harm, grave risk of detention.”

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Bosco Verticale
https://twitter.com/i/status/1691133402408275978

 

 

 

 

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Mar 132023
 
 March 13, 2023  Posted by at 9:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  73 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Student at a table by candlelight c.1642

 

Fed, TSY, FDIC Announce New Banking System Bailout, Signature Bank Closed (ZH)
Bill Ackman To US Gov’t: Fix Mistake In ‘48 Hours’ Or Face ‘Destruction’ (CT)
Yellen Says Government Will Help SVB Depositors But “No Bailout” (ZH)
HSBC To Buy Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Operations (G.)
Hatred of Putin Makes Washington ‘Do Dumb Things’ – Seymour Hersh (RT)
Liu Xin’s Interview With Seymour Hersh (CGTN)
Zakharova: Ukraine Allegations Russia’s Reluctant To Talk A Colossal Lie (TASS)
Ukraine Won’t Get Western Jets ‘Anytime Soon’ – FM (RT)
Growing Backlash Against Methods To Conscript Ukrainian Men For War (Lavrenin)
Prigozhin Describes Situation In Bakhmut As Very Difficult (TASS)
US ‘Sitting Still’ Amid Growing China-Russia Influence – Bolton (RT)
‘Rigorous’ Maidan Massacre Exposé Suppressed By Top Academic Journal (GZ)
Comer: We Have Documents That Show Biden Family Was Getting Money from CCP (GP)
The Democrats Have Lost the Plot (Taibbi)
Georgian Protesters Unwittingly Imperil Their Nation’s Survival (Scott Ritter)
Could Vitamin D Help Save Our Veterans? (ET)
The Doctor Indicted For Not Killing His Patients (Horowitz)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chansley
https://twitter.com/FreeStateWill/status/1635011407434641408

 

 

 

 

O’Keefe

 

 

Iran Saudi

 

 

 

 

Stone Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634557724619943939

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zakharova: “Every child can explain how the US authorities will ‘support the stability of the banking system’ – with paper and paint. They will print even more unsecured dollars then they will cause even more problems in the world.”

“..pledge collateral at par, not at market value, thus giving banks credit for all those hundreds of billions in unrealized net losses, and allowing banks to “unlock liquidity” based on losses which the Fed and TSY now backstop!”

Fed, TSY, FDIC Announce New Banking System Bailout, Signature Bank Closed (ZH)

On Friday, we said that the Fed will have to make an announcement before the Monday open, and we didn’t have to wait that long: in fact, the Fed waited just 15 minutes after futures opened for trading to announce the new bailout, alongside even more shocking news: the Treasury announced that New York State regulators are shuttering Signature Bank – a major New York bank – adding that all depositors both at Signature Bank, and also the now insolvent Silicon Valley Bank, will have access to their money on Monday. And as we process the shock of yet another small bank failure (which makes JPMorgan even bigger), the Fed just issued a statement saying that “to support American businesses and households, the Federal Reserve Board on Sunday announced it will make available additional funding to eligible depository institutions to help assure banks have the ability to meet the needs of all their depositors.

This action will bolster the capacity of the banking system to safeguard deposits and ensure the ongoing provision of money and credit to the economy.” The Fed also said that it is prepared to address any liquidity pressures that may arise, which in turn has just unveiled the first bailout acronym of the new crisis: the Bank Term Funding Program, or BTFP. Some more details: The financing will be made available through the creation of a new Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP), offering loans of up to one year in length to banks, savings associations, credit unions, and other eligible depository institutions pledging U.S. Treasuries, agency debt and mortgage-backed securities, and other qualifying assets as collateral. These assets will be valued at par. The BTFP will be an additional source of liquidity against high-quality securities, eliminating an institution’s need to quickly sell those securities in times of stress.

The Fed explains that the Department of the Treasury will make available “up to $25 billion from the Exchange Stabilization Fund as a backstop for the BTFP.” And while the Federal Reserve – which was completely clueless about this banking crisis until Thursday – does not anticipate that it will be necessary to draw on these backstop funds, we anticipate that the final number of needed backstop liquidity be somewhere north of $2 trillion. What is more notable is that the BTFP – or Buy The Fucking Pivot – facility, will pledge collateral at par, not at market value, thus giving banks credit for all those hundreds of billions in unrealized net losses, and allowing banks to “unlock liquidity” based on losses which the Fed and TSY now backstop!

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And they did…

Bill Ackman To US Gov’t: Fix Mistake In ‘48 Hours’ Or Face ‘Destruction’ (CT)

Billionaire Bill Ackman has urged the United States government to “guarantee” all deposits held by Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) within the next “48 hours,” or it risks the “destruction” of many financial institutions. In a March 11 tweet, Bill Ackman, CEO of hedge fund management firm Pershing Square Capital Management, said a “giant sucking sound” will be heard from the ”withdrawal of substantially all uninsured deposits” from all banks, not just the “systemically important banks (SIBs),” should the government fail to “guarantee all” of SVB’s deposits before the “open on Monday.”Ackman suggested that this would be the result of “the world” realizing what an uninsured deposit is — “an unsecured illiquid claim on a failed bank.”

https://twitter.com/CaitlinLong_/status/1635047789376974848

He warned that these withdrawals would “drain liquidity” from the community, regional and other banks and “begin the destruction” of these crucial institutions if the United States government fails to protect “all depositors.” Ackman said the only other way to prevent this was in the “unlikely” event that major financial institutions, such as JPMorgan Chase, Citibank or Bank of America, acquire SVB before Monday. He argued that this could have been “avoided” if the U.S. government had “stepped in on Friday” to guarantee SVB’s deposits, adding that the long-standing bank’s “franchise value” could have been safeguarded and “transferred” to a new owner in return for an “equity injection.”


Ackman suggested that SVB’s senior management “made a basic mistake” and should be fired. He noted: “They invested short-term deposits in longer-term, fixed-rate assets. Thereafter short-term rates went up and a bank run ensued. Senior management screwed up and they should lose their jobs. After conducting a “back-of-the-envelope review” of SVB’s balance sheet, Ackman believes that even “in a liquidation,” depositors “should eventually” get back approximately “98% of their deposits”. However, he argued that “eventually” is “too long” when you have “payroll to meet next week.”

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A new meaning for “bailout”.

“No bailout for shareholders and bondholders of SVB. Depositors will be protected.”

“the Fed itself is insolvent. It has exactly the same problem as SVB — it paid top dollar for bonds whose prices have fallen, driving the Fed deep into neg equity (along with BoJ, ECB…)”

Yellen Says Government Will Help SVB Depositors But “No Bailout” (ZH)

With just hours left until futures open for trading late on Sunday afternoon, the situation remains extremely fluid and for now it appears that regulators, central bankers and treasury officials (we won’t mention the White House where the most competent financial advisor is Hunter Biden) still don’t have a clear idea of how they will coordinate or respond. Take Janet Yellen, who said on Sunday morning that the US government was working closely with banking regulators to help depositors at Silicon Valley Bank but dismissed the idea of a bailout. Speaking with CBS on Sunday, the treasury secretary sought to assure US customers of the failed tech lender that policies were being discussed to stem the fallout from the sudden collapse this week. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate (FDIC) took control of the bank on Friday morning.

“Let me be clear that during the financial crisis, there were investors and owners of systemic large banks that were bailed out . . . and the reforms that have been put in place means we are not going to do that again,” Yellen said (oh but you will, you just don’t know it yet). “But we are concerned about depositors, and we’re focused on trying to meet their needs.” It wasn’t clear which depositors she meant: as we first pointed out on Friday, out of SIVB’s $173 billion of customer deposits at the end of 2022, $152 billion were uninsured (i.e., over the $250,000 FDIC insurance threshold) and only $4.8 billion were fully insured. As we also noted last week, a further look at SIVB funding (pie charts) shows unusually high reliance on corporate/VC funding; only the small red private bank slice looks like traditional retail deposits to us.

As a result, as JPM’s Michael Cembalest says “It’s fair to ask about the underwriting discipline of VC firms that put most of their liquidity in a single bank with this kind of risk profile. At the end of 2022, SIVB only offered 0.60% more on deposits than its peers as compensation for the risks illustrated below; in 2021 this premium was 0.04%”.

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Tech start-ups are sexy.

HSBC To Buy Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Operations (G.)

The government has struck a last-minute deal for HSBC to buy Silicon Valley Bank’s UK operations, saving thousands of British tech startups and investors from big losses after the biggest bank failure since 2008. The takeover will override the Bank of England’s initial decision to place SVB UK into insolvency, after a run on the lender that was originally sparked by fears over the a multibillion-pound shortfall on the US parent company’s balance sheet. The US bank was closed and its assets seized by authorities on Friday. “This morning, the government and the Bank of England facilitated a private sale of Silicon Valley Bank UK to HSBC. Deposits will be protected, with no taxpayer support. I said yesterday that we would look after our tech sector, and we have worked urgently to deliver that promise,” the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, said on Twitter.

HSBC’s takeover is expected to protect the finances of SVB UK’s 3,500 customers, including hundreds of tech startups that feared they would go bust if their deposits were wiped out. Authorities had been considering a range of options to help SVB UK customers pay wages and suppliers, including an emergency fund that could provide a cash lifeline to support startups, as well as government-guaranteed loans for the sector, similar to those offered to businesses during the Covid crisis. It follows a tense 72 hours, with Rishi Sunak having been locked in weekend talks with the Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, and Hunt, who warned that tech and life sciences sector were at “serious risk” as a result of the bank’s collapse.

While analysts said there was little chance of contagion across the banking sector – given that the biggest banks serve a wider range of customers and have plenty of capital – tech startups and investors were worried about the ripple effects for the sector. A group of more than 200 tech executives warned in an open letter to Hunt over the weekend that the loss of deposits had the potential to cripple the industry, with many businesses at risk of falling into insolvency overnight.

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“They make it personal. They don’t make it professional.”

Hatred of Putin Makes Washington ‘Do Dumb Things’ – Seymour Hersh (RT)

Legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on Sunday offered a theory for what he sees as the foreign policy “complete idiocy” displayed by US officials, saying they’re so consumed by hatred of Russian President Vladimir Putin that they stumble into bad decisions. Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who reported last month that US President Joe Biden ordered last fall’s sabotage of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines, has called the alleged plot one of Washington’s “dumbest” decisions in years. However, the blunder didn’t reflect a lack of intelligence among top officials in Biden’s administration, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Hersh said in an interview with China’s CGTN.

Top administration officials “all have high degrees of, plenty of, intelligence,” Hersh said. “It’s just what they’re so driven by, I think, hatred of all things particularly Putin, and also communism per se. They’re so cold warriors, they’re really out of sorts. It makes them do dumb things.” The White House dismissed Hersh’s bombshell report on the Nord Stream blast as “complete fiction.” The New York Times, where Hersh did award-winning work on the Watergate scandal and other stories as a star reporter in the 1970s, claimed earlier this month that a “pro-Ukraine group” was behind the Nord Stream attack. The story cited unidentified US officials. Hersh told CGTN that neither the Ukrainian navy nor a non-state actor had the resources to carry out the sabotage, which involved planting C4 explosives on four concrete-encased steel pipelines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. He said the false claim was made to distract from the fact that US Navy divers planted the remotely detonated explosives under cover of a NATO exercise in the Baltic.

“They’re trying to divert attention from the story that I wrote, which included enormous specifics,” Hersh said. “I was describing a process that began before Christmas of 2021. . . . They had a series of meetings at a secret room in the White House, that I gave clues I know the title of the room.” The veteran journalist argued that being “antagonistic” with China and Russia is counterproductive for Washington. “They make it personal. They don’t make it professional.” He added that Biden’s foreign policy has alienated governments around the world since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began last year. “Russia has made more friends in the Third World since this began than anybody in this administration seems to appreciate,” Hersh said. “This notion of American hegemony, if you will, just doesn’t work anymore.”

Nordstream attack vessel

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The interview.

Liu Xin’s Interview With Seymour Hersh (CGTN)

As the NYT reports new allegations on the Nord Stream sabotage, Seymour Hersh takes the “pro-Ukrainian group” intel with a pinch of salt. Here’s the reason. Liu Xin: But you think it’s not possible for a “pro Ukrainian group” to carry out this explosion? Seymour Hersh: I know that the few things I know about the Ukrainian navy is they are capable of dropping mines. I’m not an expert on it. I just happen to ask questions after that story came out. They don’t have a working decompression chamber. We’re talking about four pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and 2, each has two. They’re steel tubes covered by a concrete cover to protect themselves from the salinity, the salt in the water. So, you have to have people that know, that are the experts in underwater diving and experts in using the most, the plastic C4, the most volatile stuff there is.And also, they have to be able to go quick. They have to be sure they get the bomb, their weapon and the bomb in the right place that triggers, destroys everything. They have to practice like, they practice for weeks and months on this, I would say, in the waters of the Baltic Sea. “The U.S. is trying to divert attention away from my story,” says Seymour Hersh, after the NTY reported intel pointed at a “pro-Ukrainian group” on the Nord Stream sabotage.

Liu Xin: The fact that the U.S. government officials leaked this intelligence to the New York Times at this particular moment. What do you think they are trying to send as a message? Seymour Hersh: They are trying to divert attention from the story that I wrote, which included enormous specifics. I was describing a process that began before Christmas of 2021. It involved the National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan of the White House for the President. They had a series of meetings at a secret room in the White House. They gave clues, I know the title of the room. They were asked to come up with both reversible and irreversible concepts, ideas. A reversible concept would have been more sanctions. Something irreversible would have been kinetic, a bomb. And then eventually it turned out what they really wanted was a hit on the pipelines. And in this government, the concern has always been that Germany has been getting so much gas at such a cheap price from Russia that it would be very hard to wean them away from Russia. Slamming U.S. foreign policy as “complete idiocy,” Seymour Hersh told Liu Xin he believes American hegemony and the hatred of “all things Putin & communism” are driving the Biden Administration to do dumb things.

Liu Xin: You have also called a part of the called this planning “stupidity.” And you on several occasions you laughed at the intelligence level of the Biden. Seymour Hersh: I was not questioning their intelligence. These are all people, Tony Blinken, the Secretary of State, the one who didn’t go to China to meet his counterpart because of a balloon and Jake Sullivan, who’s the National Security Advisor, and the Undersecretary of State, all have high degrees of, plenty of intelligence. It’s just what they’re so driven by, I think, hatred of all things particularly Putin, and also communism per se. They’re so cold warriors. They’re really out of sorts. It makes them do dumb things. I just think his foreign policy is too complete idiocy, alienating a lot of people around the world. This notion of American hegemony, if you will, it just doesn’t work anymore. That’s what I object to.

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“..this point of view is nothing but a wish of defeat to his country and its non-existence..”

Zakharova: Ukraine Allegations Russia’s Reluctant To Talk A Colossal Lie (TASS)

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has slammed her Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba’s statement that Moscow is reluctant to negotiate the crisis settlement with Kiev as a “colossal lie”. “These days, Kuleba was once again ranting and raving in interview with the Italian newspapers Repubblica and Stampa. He called those Italians who are standing for settling the conflict with Russia through talks rather than in the battlefield hypocrites. In his interpretation, this point of view is nothing but a wish of defeat to his country and its non-existence – “Not peace but ‘rest in peace’ on Ukraine’s grave,” she wrote on her Telegram channel.


“However, he seems to share the opinion that ‘there is always room’ for talks but says he sees no willingness for them in Russia. A colossal lie, bearing in mind the fact that it is the regime he represents that has banned such talks with Russia in its laws”. Moreover, in he words, Kuleba forecasted “the end of Europe if Ukraine is defeated”. “An optimist. In its current shape, Europe ended right when the European Union let Washington govern its political institutions and ultimately surrendered to NATO,” she added.

Ukraine Inc.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634810341682036738

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“We sat down with Ukrainian representatives and the German armaments industry … and German industry, in my presence, asked the German government for one thing: signed contracts..”

Ukraine Won’t Get Western Jets ‘Anytime Soon’ – FM (RT)

Kiev will not get Western-made fighter jets “anytime soon,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba admitted during an interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag published late on Saturday. The potential delivery of fighter jets to Kiev to prop it up in its ongoing conflict with Moscow is hindered by assorted technical and logistical issues, Kuleba said. However, he urged that Ukrainian pilots, who are only familiar with Soviet-made aircraft, begin training on the Western planes as soon as possible. “I don’t expect the delivery of fighter jets to happen anytime soon because it’s a very difficult task logistically and technically. Therefore, we advise that the training of Ukrainian pilots on Western jets should start now, so that when the decision to provide aircraft is made, we do not waste time or many months on training,” he said.

The diplomat also urged Berlin to ramp up deliveries of ammunition to Ukraine, namely artillery shells, claiming that while German industry had already expressed a readiness to provide them, the issue lies with the country’s government. “We sat down with Ukrainian representatives and the German armaments industry … and German industry, in my presence, asked the German government for one thing: signed contracts,” he stated. Over the course of the conflict, Ukraine has increasingly demanded more and more sophisticated weapon systems from its Western backers. Kiev has intensified calls for NATO to supply it with fighter jets – namely the US-made F-16 – in recent months after securing a pledge for dozens of Leopard 2 and Leopard 1, M1 Abrams, and Challenger 2 main battle tanks from multiple EU countries, the US, and UK, respectively.

So far, however, the West has been reluctant to provide Ukraine with modern aircraft. Late in February, US President Joe Biden said he was “ruling it out for now.” His Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky “doesn’t need F-16s now. There is no basis upon which there is a rationale, according to our military, now, to provide F-16s,” Biden told ABC at the time. Still, American media reported that the Pentagon has already invited Ukrainian pilots to a military base in Arizona to determine how long it would take to train them to fly the F-16. Last week, unnamed officials told NBC that two Ukrainian airmen had already arrived on American soil and more were likely to follow. Russia has repeatedly warned the West against “pumping” Ukraine with assorted weaponry, maintaining it would only prolong the hostilities rather than change the ultimate outcome.

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By Petr Lavrenin, Odessa-born political journalist and expert on Ukraine and the former Soviet Union

Growing Backlash Against Methods To Conscript Ukrainian Men For War (Lavrenin)

Last year, military conscription became an issue in both Russia and Ukraine. However, the extent has been completely different in the two countries. While in Russia the mobilization was partial, lasting barely more than a month and affecting around 300,000 people, according to official figures – a significant part of whom already had military experience – a completely different picture has developed in Ukraine. Kiev instituted a general conscription drive which has been in force for more than a year. The exact number of those taken to the armed forces during this time is not known for certain and the process has been accompanied by numerous scandals. Cases where law enforcement officers have applied force when handing out conscription notices and illegally delivered men to enlistment offices have given rise to public discontent.

However, the Ukrainian authorities clearly have no intention of pausing enlistment because the situation remains critical at some sections of the front. The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are losing their grip on fortified areas around Artyomovsk (Bakhmut), and taking huge numbers of casualties, according to the Guardian and other media outlets. Meanwhile, Kiev continues to issue mobilization summonses and is sending people without proper training. According to the country’s legislation, a summons for military duty can only be issued on the street if it specifies the personal data of the person to whom it is given. It is also illegal for military commissars to detain citizens, as they are not the police, and conscripts are not criminals. Yet, that’s exactly how conscription is currently being conducted in Ukraine. Men of military age are being hunted down, and videos showing military commissars going to extreme lengths to hand out summonses, including by force, constantly circulate on social media.

Odessa, in particular, stands out in this respect. For example, military commissars were caught driving around the city in ambulances. When they came across men of the appropriate age, they stopped, handed over summonses and drove on. After videos emerged on social networks, local military commissars had to explain themselves and claimed that they were given the ambulance to use for their work. There were also cases when men in Odessa were detained on the street and forcibly taken to military enlistment offices, even without being handed a mobilization summons. For quite a long time, the AFU’s Operational Command South tried to ignore the illegal, forceful methods used by its military commissars. However, on February 14, a video was released showing military enlistment office staff detaining a man by force. In order to avoid a scandal, the military quickly assured the public that the staff responsible would be disciplined for “incorrect” behavior and the incident investigated.

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Too many tunnels?!

Prigozhin Describes Situation In Bakhmut As Very Difficult (TASS)

The situation is Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine) is very difficult, with the Ukrainian army receiving “endless reserves,” Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Sunday. “The situation in Bakhmut is difficult, very difficult, with the enemy fighting for each meter. And the closer we are approaching the city center the fiercer fighting is growing, the more artillery and tank being used against us. Ukrainians keep on supplying endless reserves. But we are moving forward and will continue to move forward and we will not cover the glory of Russian arms with shame,” his press service quoted him as saying on its Telegram channel.


Artyomovsk is located in the Kiev-controlled part of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Fierce fighting for control of the city is underway. According to the latest data, Russian forces have blocked or taken control of all paved roads to the city while the nascent spring mud season is complicating the logistics of supplying the Ukrainian army with fresh ammunition and personnel. Prigozhin said on Saturday that Russia forces were some 1.2 kilometers from the city’s administrative center.

Prigozhin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634598452666544128


“Wagner” began storming the underground part of the “Bakhmut Azovstal”. Right now,”Wagner” are making their way into the mine. The battles take place at a depth of up to 320 meters.

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You lost. You were staring blind.

US ‘Sitting Still’ Amid Growing China-Russia Influence – Bolton (RT)

President Joe Biden’s administration is doing nothing to counteract steps by China, Russia, and their allies to work more closely together, jeopardizing US interests and undermining its global influence, former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton has claimed. “We’re sitting still, and the Chinese, the Russians, Iran, North Korea and several others are moving to shore up their relations and threaten us in a lot of different places,” Bolton said on Sunday in a WABC 770 radio interview. He added that while Beijing follows a clear strategy, “we kind of wander around from day to day.”

Bolton, a longtime war hawk who has called for regime changes in Moscow and Tehran, made his comments in the wake of Friday’s announcement that Saudi Arabia and Iran had agreed to re-establish diplomatic ties under a deal brokered by China. He lamented that the agreement reflected diminishing US influence around the world. “It’s an indication that the Saudis and others are trying to hedge their bets with China and Russia, because they don’t think the United States has the resolve and the fortitude necessary to do what they need to do to protect the world against Iran and its intentions,” Bolton said.

The 74-year-old Bolton has worked in the administrations of former Presidents Donald Trump, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Chinese officials have bristled at Washington’s threat claims, arguing that the US and its NATO allies behave as if they’re still fighting the Cold War. Beijing has maintained neutrality on the Ukraine crisis, resisting US pressure to condemn Russia over the conflict, and proposed a 12-point blueprint to end the fighting late last month. Biden dismissed the peace plan, saying it would benefit only Russia.

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Maybe he should name the journal…

‘Rigorous’ Maidan Massacre Exposé Suppressed By Top Academic Journal (GZ)

A peer-reviewed paper initially approved and praised by a prestigious academic journal was suddenly rescinded without explanation. Its author, one of the world’s top scholars on Ukraine-related issues, had marshaled overwhelming evidence to conclude Maidan protesters were killed by pro-coup snipers. The massacre by snipers of anti-government activists and police officers in Kiev’s Maidan Square in late February 2014 was a defining moment in the US-orchestrated overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government. The death of 70 protesters triggered an avalanche of international outrage that made President Viktor Yanukovych’s downfall a fait accompli. Yet today these killings remain unsolved.

Enter Ivan Katchanovski, a Ukrainian-Canadian political scientist at the University of Ottawa. For years, he marshaled overwhelming evidence demonstrating that the snipers were not affiliated with Yanukovych’s government, but pro-Maidan operatives firing from protester-occupied buildings. Though Katchanovski’s groundbreaking has been studiously ignored by the mainstream media, a scrupulous study he presented on the slaughter in September 2015 and August 2021 and published in 2016 and in 2020 has been cited on over 100 occasions by scholars and experts. As a result of this paper and other pieces of research, he has among the world’s most-referenced political scientists specializing in Ukrainian matters.

In the final months of 2022, Katchanovski submitted a new investigation on the Maidan massacre to a prominent social sciences journal. Initially accepted with minor revisions after extensive peer review, the publication’s editor effusively praised the work in a lengthy private note. They said the paper was “exceptional in many ways,” and offered “solid” evidence in support of its conclusions. The reviewers concurred with this judgment. However, the paper was not published, a decision Katchanovski firmly believes to have been “political.” He filed an appeal, but to no avail. Among those fervently supporting Katchanovski’s appeal was renowned US academic Jeffrey Sachs. “You have written a very important, rigorous, and substantial article. It is thoroughly documented. It is on a topic of great significance,” Sachs wrote to the scholar.

“Your paper should be published for reasons of its excellence…The journal will only benefit from publishing such a work of importance and excellence, which will further the scholarly understanding and debate regarding a very important moment of modern history.” Katchanovski declined to name the journal in question, but described it as “top-tier” in the field of social sciences. He believes its refusal to publish his study is “extraordinary,” but nonetheless emblematic of a “far bigger problem in academic publishing and academia.” “The editor who accepted my article only learned it would not be published from my tweets on the subject. This reversal was highly irregular and political. There is growing political censorship concerning Ukraine in academia, and also self-censorship..”

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Let’s see them.

Comer: We Have Documents That Show Biden Family Was Getting Money from CCP (GP)

House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) joined Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures this morning. This was an explosive interview. Comer dropped several bombs on the Biden Crime Family. According to Comer the House Oversight Committee is working with four individuals with close ties to the Bidens. Comer says the committee now has documents that tie the Bidens to the Chinese Communist Party. Biden is finished. James Comer: “It’s as bad as we thought… Since we’ve last spoken we have bank records in hand. We have individuals who are working with our committee. In the last two weeks we’ve met with either these individuals personally or with their attorneys. And that would be four individuals who had ties in with the Biden family in their various schemes around the world. So now we have in hand documents We have in hand documents in hand that show just how the Biden family was getting money from the Chinese Communist Party.”

Comer’s got the goods! This is a pivotal moment in American history. They finally have the goods on the Biden Crime Family.How will Democrats deal with this? With more phony charges against President Trump? Or maybe Old Joe will suffer a slip and fall?

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“They did not want to have a discussion about anything. It was completely opposite to what the party was even ten years ago..”

The Democrats Have Lost the Plot (Taibbi)

One of the crazier parts came at the end of the examination by Garcia, when I ended up becoming just a bystander to a heated and apparently sincerely unfriendly blowup between chairman Jim Jordan and Plaskett: GARCIA: So you’re not gonna tell us when Musk first approached you. TAIBBI: Again, Congresswoman, you’re asking me to, you’re asking your journalist to reveal a source. GARCIA: So then you consider Mr. Musk to be the direct source of all this? TAIBBI: Now you’re, you’re trying to get me to say that he is the source. GARCIA: Well, he isn’t, if you’re telling me you can’t answer because it’s your source, the only logical conclusion is that he is in fact your source. TAIBBI: Well, you’re free to conclude that. GARCIA: Well, sir, I just don’t understand. You can’t have it both ways, but let’s move on, because — JORDAN: Well, no, he can. He’s a journalist. PLASKETT: He can, because either Musk is the source and he can’t talk about it, or Musk is not the source. And if Musk is not the source, then he can discuss.

Did these people really not understand that identifying who is not a source crosses the same line as identifying who is one? You just can’t go into these questions. I started to interject to point this out, then realized that Garcia and Plaskett legitimately didn’t even know the basics of the civil liberties landscape. This was much the same as when Vijaya Gadde acted completely at a loss when Ro Khanna wrote to her in the middle of the Hunter Biden laptop affair, to express concerns about speech rights. Khanna mentioned the New York Times v. Sullivan case and other principles to Gadde, and she seemed to have no idea what he was talking about. This was like that. Garcia also made it clear she didn’t know what Twitter was. At one point she said, regarding yesterday’s Twitter Files thread, that I had said “I had to attribute all the sources to Twitter first.”

I was so confused by this that I paused, worried that I was misunderstanding (my hearing is not so great). She then asked if I “sent it to Twitter first.” As I was replying no, that I’d posted the thread on Twitter, I heard an aide whispering something about “putting it on Twitter.” Garcia seemed to think that Twitter was an editorial body to which I was sending text, maybe for review. It’s understandable, not knowing that the platform doesn’t work that way — not everyone has to be on Twitter obviously — but then why the hostility? Instead of simply asking me in a friendly way about this process, which I would have been glad to explain, she kept blasting away. “First, sir. Yes or no?” The Democrats were angry that Michael and I were there at all. They did not want to have a discussion about anything. It was completely opposite to what the party was even ten years ago, when expression rights were an issue they wanted to own.

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Scott Ritter’s wife is Georgian. He knows the country. This is a harrowing story.

Georgian Protesters Unwittingly Imperil Their Nation’s Survival (Scott Ritter)

In many ways, the critics were correct—the practical outcome of the foreign agents bill would have been to expose the extent to which Georgian politics and governance had become overrun with foreign money and influence. The threat, however, didn’t come from Russia, but rather the United States, which uses the $40 million in aid funneled through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) every year to conduct what amounts to a “soft coup” in Georgia designed to displace the current government with one that will be compliant to American—not Georgian—goals and objectives—including the establishment of a “second front” against Russia. All of this is done, according to Samantha Power, the Director of USID, to build “a country with free expression, a free press, & a path to Euro-Atlantic integration.”

But what she really means is a country that suppresses any dissent as “disinformation,” uses the media as state-sponsored propaganda, and removes from power any politician or political party that dares impede Georgia’s absorption into the US-led NATO sphere of influence. Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, does not want an expanded war with Russia—especially one that drags Georgia into the conflict. As such, Samantha Power and her minions at USAID believe the prime minister of Georgia must now be removed and replaced with an anti-Russian (i.e., pro-war) leader cut from the same pro-American cloth as Georgia’s US-backed President, Salome Zurabishvili.

To accomplish this, USAID funds programs designed to foment a “bottom-up” transformation of Georgian society and politics by empowering “diversity” at the grass-roots level, suppressing opposing points of view in the name of building “societal resilience to disinformation,” and seizing control of the electoral process so that the US-controlled “diversity” movements can prevail in local elections and, by extension, national elections. The Georgian foreign agents bill would have exposed the level to which these USAID-funded programs, and other related US and EU-funded activities, had infiltrated Georgian society. For that reason, the US mobilized its paid activists to take to the streets, forcing the Georgian Prime Minster to pull the plug on the legislation in the interests of public safety.

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This is about suicides, not covid. Why only suicides among veterans? Isn’t it time to widen and broaden this discussion?

Could Vitamin D Help Save Our Veterans? (ET)

Findings from a new study have shown that vitamin D may lower the risk of suicide and suicide attempts in U.S. veterans with low vitamin D levels. The study found that veterans who received vitamin D had a 64 percent lower risk of suicide than those who did not receive supplementation. The study was published in February 2023 in the journal Plos One. Suicide is a serious public health issue and the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2020, 45,979 Americans died by suicide and there were an estimated 1.2 million suicide attempts. According to the CDC, suicide rates increased 36 percent between 2000-2018, and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education states that from 2020 to 2021 there was a 3.6 percent increase in suicides, bumping it up to the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. This is one death every eleven minutes.

When it comes to veterans, however, the statistics change. Veterans are at a 57 percent higher risk of suicide than those who haven’t served, which is more than 1.5 times the national average. Suicide is the second leading cause of death of veterans under the age of 45. Some other notable statistics: • 125,000 veterans have died by suicide since 2001. • There were 6,146 veteran suicides in 2020. • There have been 20 consecutive years with 6,000-plus veteran suicides. The study aimed to determine the association between vitamin D supplementation, vitamin D blood serum levels, suicide attempts, and intentional self-harm in a group of veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The retrospective cohort study looked at veterans who had filled either a vitamin D3 or vitamin D2 prescription between 2010 and 2018. A cohort of 169,241 vitamin D2-treated veterans and 490,885 vitamin D3-treated veterans were each matched to an equal number of controls that had similar demographics and medical histories. The results of the study showed that vitamin D3 and D2 supplementation was associated with a 45 percent and 48 percent reduced risk of suicide attempt and self-harm. This was an almost 44 percent difference between the groups receiving supplementation and the control group. Additionally, the study found that vitamin D supplementation among black veterans was associated with a 60 percent decline in suicide attempts, and in veterans with vitamin D deficiency, which the study defined as being below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), there was a more than 64 percent reduction in potential suicide attempts.

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“..in exceptional circumstances of unjust laws, ethical responsibilities should supersede legal duties.”

The Doctor Indicted For Not Killing His Patients (Horowitz)

All the government officials, pharmaceutical executives, and doctors involved in defrauding the public with taxpayer funding and violating the consent of humanity to mandate dangerous shots are absolved of liability. Meanwhile, a doctor who took his Hippocratic Oath seriously and allegedly saved nearly 2,000 patients (with FULL CONSENT) from the shots, is facing serious federal charges for conspiracy to defraud the government defrauders. We’re all big talkers. We’d like to believe that if we were there in Germany during the late 1930s, we would have protested the budding genocide, which was first rooted in medical experimentation and coerced sterilization. But just like most doctors and scientists went along with the Third Reich, nearly every doctor went along with the Fourth Reich in coercing patients into taking a known dangerous shot because they were “just following orders” and “following the science.”

Dr. Kirk Moore, an experienced plastic surgeon from Utah, on the other hand, has risked his life and career to actually follow the dictates of the Nuremberg Code. Yet despite everything we now know about the shots, which should win him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his alleged actions, he is the one facing prosecution for a disposing of a shot that is only on the market because of government fraud. In January, Dr. Moore, along with two members of his clinic’s staff and a neighbor, were indicted on conspiracy to defraud the federal government by allegedly offering nearly 2,000 patients saline injections along with vaccine documentation while disposing of the real shots into the sink. To be clear, he is not being accused of tricking patients. He never offered unsuspecting patients fake shots. These were all people (or parents of minors) who desperately sought him out to bypass the genocidal, unconstitutional, inhumane, and immoral jab mandates, so they could go on with their lives unharmed by this terrible technology.

Prosecutors accuse Dr. Moore and staff at the Plastic Surgery Institute of Utah of pretending to administer 391 children shots, 524 adult Pfizer shots, 64 Moderna shots, and 958 J&J shots between October 2021 and Sept. 2022 just based on the inventory of shots that went to that office. That was long after it was known these shots were dangerous, yet Moore, not the Pfizer executives, faces up to five years in federal prison. According to the AMA Medical Code, “When physicians believe a law violates ethical values or is unjust, they should work to change in law.” However, it adds that “in exceptional circumstances of unjust laws, ethical responsibilities should supersede legal duties.”That is clearly going to be part of Moore’s defense if he is indeed shown to have given people saline at their request. Ironically, Moore is being accused of grifting and running a fake vaccine card ring and earning $98,000 off it. Dr. Moore, though, rigorously disputed this fact in an interview on my podcast and notes that when people asked him for his fee for COVID treatment, he told them to donate it to a 501(c)(3) medical freedom group.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth music
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634947463487574018

 

 

 

 

Owl
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634644161239437318

 

 

God made a farmer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634879637527445504

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 122023
 


Dora Maar Model in swimsuit 1936

 

Seismic Iran-Saudi Rapprochement Isolates US (Lauria)
Georgia Has A Huge Western-Funded NGO Sector (Trenin)
Kiev Considers Renaming Russia (RT)
Medvedev Suggests New Name For Ukraine (RT)
Russia Should Lose, But Not ‘Too Badly’ – US Congressman (RT)
Ukraine Is Lying About Casualty Ratios To Justify Holding Of Bakhmut (MoA)
Russia Issues Latest Report On US-Funded Biolabs In Ukraine (RT)
Poland Builds Europe’s Largest Land Force (Az.)
American Guided Bombs Are ‘Operational’ in Ukraine (LI)
Elon Musk Demands Release Of ‘QAnon Shaman’ (RT)
Trip To Moscow Not Impossible, Pope Francis Says (TASS)
Over $250 Billion Swindled From US Pandemic Fund (RT)
Silicon Valley Bank Employees Made Large Donations to Biden, Dems (GP)
Musk Lets In Possibility Of Buying Bankrupt Silicon Valley Bank (TASS)
House GOP ‘Building the Case’ to Issue Criminal Referrals Against Fauci (BN)

 

 

 

 

Putin Oliver Stone
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634559549095944192

 

 

 

 

Noem CBDC
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634369634672443392

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

Lock ‘em up

 

 

Trump Jan 6 peace

 

 

 

 

Inauguration

 

 

 

 

Pepe Escobar: “So the Exceptionalist Realm spent TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS in wars across West Asia. With one single Sun Tzu move – Iran meets Saudi – China laid it all to waste. This humiliation is Afghanistan multiplied by trillions.”

Seismic Iran-Saudi Rapprochement Isolates US (Lauria)

Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the U.S.-allied Shah of Iran, the rivalry between the two major Middle East powers — Iran and Saudi Arabia — has been at the heart of every conflict across the region. The announcement on Friday that Iran and Saudi Arabia have normalized relations could have a seismic effect on all these conflicts and leave the U.S. on outside looking in. In Lebanon, Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Saudi-backed parties might begin to resolve their differences, a unity that would worry Israel and lessen U.S. influence in the country. In Syria, Hezbollah and Iranian militias have been battling Saudi-backed jihadists for more than a decade. The Syrian war could now come to an end. In Yemen, U.S.-backed Saudis have been fighting the Houthi, who have been driven into a closer alliance with Iran. Obstacles to a peace deal have now been removed.

In Iraq, reconciliation between Sunni and Shia could make the U.S. presence and influence irrelevant and unwelcomed by all sides. In Bahrain, Iranian-backed Shi’ites in conflict with the Saudi-aligned monarchy could sideline the presence of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in a region on the mend. And in Saudi Arabia itself, the state’s tensions with Shi’tes in the eastern oil regions should lessen. The historic rapprochement and resumption of formal diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran could transform the Middle East. And the United States doesn’t like it one bit. The U.S. has depended on the Saudi-Iranian divide to pursue its interests in the region. After this development, the U.S. and Israeli front against Iran should lose their chief Arab ally, Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are now in a position to defy U.S. economic sanctions on Iran — a nightmare for Washington.

An end to the Yemen war, which the Biden administration has been making feeble noises about, would mean having to accept Iranian influence on the Arabian peninsula. An end to the war in Syria would be the death knell for the American regime change project in that country. It will put U.S. occupying forces in the east of Syria in an uncomfortable position. And it could spell the end of covert support for some of the most vile jihadists in the region, which depended on Saudi backing. Worst of all for the United States, China has stepped in to be the statesman the U.S. refused to be to resolve differences that have ripped the Middle East apart. That has to produce sleepless nights inside the Beltway. If anything proves China is committed to stability in the world and the U.S. to instability, it is this deal.

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The entire country runs on western NGOs. Detailed report.

Georgia Has A Huge Western-Funded NGO Sector (Trenin)

Tbilisi’s main street, Rustaveli Avenue, was blocked for several days, this week, As thousands of people chanted anti-government slogans in front of the parliament building and sang the Georgian national anthem. Even more protesters gathered at the square in the evenings. By nightfall, the enraged crowd was throwing firecrackers, stones, and Molotov cocktails at the police, attempting to take down an iron fence and storm the parliament. The police used water cannons to promptly put out the fires and showered the crowds with water, at the same time spraying tear gas to disperse those present. What led to this violent confrontation is perhaps difficult to understand from the perspective of a Western reader. It wasn’t a “civil society” uprising in the sense you might find, for example, in a country like France.

Instead, it was organized by people whose livelihoods were threatened by the proposed legislation. In a poor country like Georgia, foreign-funded roles pay multiple times better than local gigs. By taking on the NGO industry, the government went up against a powerful, and relatively well-heeled lobby. The protests were initially triggered by a bill ‘On the Transparency of Foreign Influence’, which was adopted by the Georgian parliament on its first reading. On Tuesday, 76 deputies voted in favor of adopting the bill and 13 deputies opposed it. During the discussion stage, MPs from opposition parties said they would not allow the so-called “Russian law” to be considered in parliament. This resulted in a fight between opponents and supporters of the legislation.

[..] The strong reaction to the initiative does not seem surprising considering how many foreign NGOs are active in Georgia. In a review of the Georgian civil sector published in 2020, the Asian Development Bank indicated that there is no special legislation on non-profit or non-governmental organizations in the country, although they are listed in the general register of companies, which as of the beginning of 2019 consisted of 12,800 organizations. At the same time, the vast majority of such organizations rely on foreign funding, according to the Georgian national statistics service Sakstat. As of spring 2022, there were 7,972 companies with foreign founders operating in the country. With a total population of 3.7 million, there are around 460 people per foreign NPO in Georgia. For comparison, as of November 2022, there were over 500 active “foreign agents” registered in the US, under FARA.

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Moscovia = Muscovy

Kiev Considers Renaming Russia (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has instructed his government to consider renaming Russia as ‘Moscovia’, an unofficial designation used centuries ago. The move comes after a petition insisted that by using the word ‘Russia’, Ukraine is endorsing a “dangerous claim” that its neighbor is a direct descendant of Kievan Rus. In a statement on Friday, Zelensky said he had turned to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal with a request that the petition, which had gathered the necessary 25,000 votes to be considered, be “comprehensively processed.” The issue “needs to be carefully worked out both in terms of the historical and cultural context, and from the perspective of possible international legal consequences,” with scientific institutions taking part in the process, the Ukrainian president added.

Commenting on the move, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that it was “further evidence of an attempt to create an ‘anti-Russia’ out of Ukraine.” The name ‘Moscovia’ dates back to the Grand Duchy of Moscow, one of principalities of Kievan Rus in the late Middle Ages. The modern Russian state formed around this center of power while retaining historic and cultural roots stemming from Rus. The author of the petition, which was submitted in late November 2022, claimed that the name ‘Russia’ “gave grounds for further encroachment” on the history of Kievan Rus as foreigners often confuse the words ‘Russia’ and ‘Rus’. Many Ukrainian nationalists reject the notion that the two have some kind of historical link, arguing that only Ukraine can be viewed as the true heir of Kievan Rus.

The petition also demands that the word ‘Russian’ be replaced with ‘Moscovian’ and that the Russian Federation be renamed as ‘the Moscovian Federation’. In recent years, Ukrainian authorities have embarked on a renaming spree, targeting thousands of place names they deemed to be linked to Russia or the Soviet Union. The campaign intensified after Moscow launched its military operation against the neighboring country in February 2022. In October last year, Kiev officials renamed a street which had honored Soviet Marshal Rodion Malinovsky, who played a prominent role in liberating Ukraine from Nazi occupation. The name of the street now celebrates the “heroes” of the Azov Battalion, which is notorious for its support of neo-Nazi ideology.

Zel talk

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“Schweinisch Bandera-Reich”

Medvedev Suggests New Name For Ukraine (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has proposed renaming Ukraine in honor of notorious Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. His suggestion came after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told his government to consider a proposal to change Russia’s name. On Friday, Zelensky instructed authorities to “thoroughly study” the proposal to officially rename Russia to ‘Moscovia.’ He was reacting to an online petition, which argued that the name ‘Russia’ provided grounds for “further encroachment” on the history of Kievan Rus, a medieval state from which both Russia and Ukraine trace their origin. Many Ukrainian nationalists claim that their homeland is the only true heir of Rus.

The name ‘Moscovia’ dates to the Grand Duchy of Moscow and was historically used by some authors to describe the Russian state. On Saturday, Medvedev, who served as Russian president between 2008 and 2012, and currently serves as deputy chairman of the Security Council, fired back in a post on his Telegram channel. “Our response?… Only the Schweinisch Bandera-Reich,” he wrote. The word “schweinisch” means “piggish” in German. Medvedev was apparently referencing the idolization by some Ukrainian politicians of Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Bandera collaborated with Adolf Hitler’s government during the early stages of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

He was later arrested and imprisoned by the Germans over disagreements about the future of Ukraine. After the war, Bandera fled to West Germany, where in 1959 he was assassinated by a KGB agent. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army – the OUN’s military wing founded in 1943 – positioned itself as a guerilla force fighting both Soviet and German troops. Its agents committed multiple atrocities against Polish, Jewish and Russian civilians. Bandera and his followers are honored as heroes in modern Ukraine, with streets and buildings named after them. Nationalists hold annual torchlit processions on Bandera’s birthday in Kiev and other cities.

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Zero grip on reality.

Russia Should Lose, But Not ‘Too Badly’ – US Congressman (RT)

The US doesn’t “actually want Russia to lose too badly” in Ukraine, Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton claimed in an interview on Friday. While some Washington lawmakers have gone as far as to call for regime change in Moscow, the Kremlin has repeatedly stated that it will succeed in achieving all the goals of its military operation. “I don’t know if it’s good for the stability of the world if the Russian regime collapses,” Moulton told Luke Coffey of the Hudson Institute, a think tank funded by several NATO governments and US arms manufacturers. Citing the risk of nuclear proliferation that would come with the collapse of Russia, Moulton said that the “abject defeat of the Russians and the whole regime collapse is probably not what we actually want.”

“We absolutely want Ukraine to win, we want Russia to lose, but we don’t actually want Russia to lose too badly,” he continued. Moulton sits on the House Armed Services Committee, and voted with the rest of his party to authorize a $40 billion military and economic aid package to Ukraine last year. He told Coffey that this aid should continue, and that the Biden administration should provide Kiev with more tanks and artillery ammunition in order to mount a counteroffensive against Russian forces this year. Lawmakers in both parties have suggested more extreme measures, however, with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham calling last year for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a bipartisan group urging President Joe Biden last month to supply Ukraine with US-made fighter jets – a move that former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described as a “red line” that would place the US at “war against Russia.”

In Ukraine, President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly stated that he intends to retake four formerly Ukrainian provinces that voted to join Russia last year, as well as Crimea, which held a similar referendum in 2014. Not only would such a move be “met with inevitable retaliation using weapons of any kind,” in Medvedev’s words, it would also be impossible at present, with Ukrainian forces mired in battle in the Donbass city of Artyomovsk, called Bakhmut in Ukraine. The Kremlin has stated on multiple occasions that its special military operation in Ukraine will continue until its goals are achieved. These goals, as set out by Putin last year, are the demilitarization of Ukraine, the “denazification” of its leadership, its establishment as a neutral country, and the defense of the Russian-speaking population of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

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They’ve gone overboard recently.

Ukraine Is Lying About Casualty Ratios To Justify Holding Of Bakhmut (MoA)

The linked Financial Times piece, reprinted in the Irish Times, actually quotes the Ukrainian national security chief Oleksiy Danilov as saying that the kill ratio was one to seven in Ukraine’s favor. The whole passage is nuts: “US and European officials estimate 200,000 Russian troops have been killed or seriously injured since February last year, and Ukraine about half that. One western official said Russia had suffered “between 20,000 and 30,000 casualties over the past six months”, adding that most of them were mercenaries fighting for the Wagner private military company. Wagner’s operations have been largely focused on Bakhmut. Nato officials estimate one Ukrainian had been killed or injured for every five Russians. Ukrainian national security chief Oleksiy Danilov last week estimated the ratio was “one to seven in our favour”.

This makes no sense. Had 200,000 Russian’s be killed or seriously wounded in the war while 20,000 to 30,000 of those were killed or wounded in the past six month then the first six month of the war would have cost the Russian side 175,000 losses. That’s more than the total numbers that were, until the recent mobilization, involved in the whole campaign. Those numbers must have been pulled from hot air. Danilov casualty ratio is likewise obvious nonsense. The Medical Department of the U.S. Army has a book about CAUSATIVE AGENTS OF BATTLE CASUALTIES IN WORLD WAR II. It is quoted here: “A report on the causative agents of battle casualties in World War II showed the comparative incidence of casualties from different types of weapons for several theaters. Compilers of the report believed that, while the more detailed subdivisions within their three major classes were open to question, their findings on the percent of total casualties due to small arms, artillery and mortars, and “miscellaneous” were reasonably accurate.

From these they drew the following conclusions: 1. Small arms fire accounted for between 14 and 31 percent of the total casualties, depending upon the theater of action: The Mediterranean theater, 14.0 percent; the European theater, 23.4 percent; and the Pacific theaters, 30.7 percent. 2. Artillery and mortar fire together accounted for 65 percent of the total casualties in the European and Mediterranean theaters, 64.0 and 69.1, respectively. In the Pacific, they accounted for 47.0 percent. The Encyclopedia Britannica likewise notes for World War I: “The greatest number of casualties and wounds were inflicted by artillery, followed by small arms, and then by poison gas.” When I was in officer school the number estimated for a big war in Europe was 75% of casualties due to artillery and aerial bombing.

Data from the European Commission, quoted by El Pais, says that Russia has a 10:1 advantage in artillery: According to data from the European Commission to which EL PAÍS has had access, Russia fires between 40,000 and 50,000 artillery shells per day, compared to 5,000-6,000 Ukrainian forces expend. The Estonian government, which has been one of largest contributors to Kyiv’s war effort, puts the average use of artillery at between 20,000 and 60,000 Russian shells per day, and 2,000 to 7,000 Ukrainian rounds, according to a document sent to EU Member States by Tallinn, to which this newspaper has had access The Russian forces fire ten times the number of shells the Ukrainians can fire. In a modern war artillery fire causes 65+% of all casualties. It is thus impossible that Ukraine is losing less soldiers than the Russians. The total ratio may well be 7 to 1 but it will certainly be to the advantage of the Russian forces side.

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“..unlimited profits” by conducting “directed evolution” research on the Covid-19 virus, in order to “proactively develop new vaccines..”

Russia Issues Latest Report On US-Funded Biolabs In Ukraine (RT)

US-funded biological research laboratories are continuing to operate in Ukraine in spite of official statements indicating that they had been “deactivated,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a Friday report on Washington’s international pathogen research programs. According to the commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, Moscow has obtained documents that suggest Kiev has continued to coordinate with the Pentagon in the military biological field, including the transfer of pathogenic biomaterials. Kirillov pointed to an official appeal from ‘ch2m-hill’ – a key Pentagon contractor – to Ukrainian companies participating in a “program to counter particularly dangerous pathogens in Ukraine.”

The document reports on the continuation of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) biological program in Ukraine and outlines future tasks, such as consolidating collections of dangerous pathogens and deploying systems for managing bio risks and monitoring the epidemiological situation. Kirillov also stated that, in January 2023, the government of Ukraine published a new set of requirements for the “accounting, storage, transportation and destruction” of various pathogens, which included instructions for the international transportation by air of substances with the highest hazard class. He noted that the transport document templates provided in the guidelines only featured examples of US labs as recipients or senders of the hazardous biomaterials.

The lieutenant general warned that Kiev and Washington could potentially use their research to carry out “provocations with dangerous pathogens,” which they would later blame on Russia. In his report, Kirillov reiterated Russia’s concerns with the potential risks associated with the “dual-use” programs that the US implements on its own territory and abroad. He pointed out that the work of US biolabs on dangerous pathogens “seems to be the height of recklessness” against the backdrop of viral outbreaks such as anthrax and cholera in various parts of the world and the rise in animal diseases such as African swine fever, avian influenza, and foot and mouth disease.

The commander also drew attention to the US pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to secure “unlimited profits” by conducting “directed evolution” research on the Covid-19 virus, in order to “proactively develop new vaccines,” which Pfizer R&D director Jordan Walker admitted to in a Project Veritas expose. Kirillov also reiterated Russia’s position that the main goal of US bio programs across the world was to “establish global biological control” by degrading the national health systems of other countries and subverting the provisions of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) with its own rules, which were developed to serve the interests of Washington and its allies.

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I’m sure it’s all defensive.

Poland Builds Europe’s Largest Land Force (Az.)

Warsaw is embarking on its biggest re-armament drive in 50 years in response to the growing threat posed by Russia, Report informs via The Telegraph. But in mid-December, Poland’s 11th Artillery Regiment received 24 South-Korean made K9 self-propelled howitzers that can hit targets up to 34 miles away, bringing new and deadly capabilities to the regiment. Stationed not far from the Russian border, Captain Marek Adamiak unit has long grappled with outdated kit. “As an artillery officer I’m excited by the new equipment,” Captain Adamiak told The Telegraph. “We can manoeuvre better, we can shoot from anywhere. There is no place we can’t shoot from. We had a lot of old artillery but now we have very new weapons.”

The war happening in neighboring Ukraine has given the Poles the confidence that if the conflict came to their doorstep, they would now have the weapons to fight back. The 24 guns are just the tip of a massive defence spending programme by Poland. Spurred on by war next door and the growing fear that Poland could one day be in the sights of the Kremlin looking to return to the days when the Russian empire once stretched to River Vistula, the Polish government is determined to arm up – and fast. This year it will spend 4 percent of its GDP on defence, an amount double the Nato requirement, and one that will make Poland the biggest, per-capita, spender on defence in the alliance.

Some of the deals for new equipment pre-date the Ukraine war when Poland, already conscious of the Russian threat, had started to revamp armed forces still burdened with a lot of Soviet-era equipment. “The criminal assault carried out by the Russian Federation, targeting Ukraine, and the unpredictable nature of Putin means that we need to accelerate the equipment modernisation even further,” Mariusz Blaszczak, the Polish defence minister, told the Defence24 portal. “It is of key importance to increase the levels of security as fast as possible for Poland. We can do this only by creating a strong military. Strong enough to deter any potential aggressor from deciding to attack.”

Poland has placed orders for 1,000 K2 main battle tanks from South Korea, and 250 brand new M1A2 SEPv3 Abram tanks from the US. This will turn Poland into the owner of Europe’s biggest tank force, dwarfing the UK’s fleet of 227. Its artillery will be bolstered by the arrival of 600 K9s, 18 HIMARS launchers with 9,000 rockets, and 288 K239 Chunmoo MRL systems from South Korea. Over 1,000 Polish-made Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles will carry Polish troops into battle, while air cover will come from 96 AH-64E Apache helicopters bought from the US, and 48 FA-50 combat aircraft now on order from South Korea. All of this will be underscored by plans to double the size of the Polish Army to 300,000, which would turn Poland into Europe’s biggest military power, in terms of manpower, west of Ukraine.

Orban

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If the bombs are, then so are the soldiers.

American Guided Bombs Are ‘Operational’ in Ukraine (LI)

The Department of Defense confirmed that advanced bombs are operational in Ukraine. The Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range (JDAM-ER) can hit targets 50 miles away. The Pentagon’s confirmation comes after President Joe Biden ordered the Pentagon to transfer “precision aerial munitions” to Kiev in December. On Monday, U.S. Air Force Gen. James Hecker, head of US Air Forces in Europe, told reporters that the JDAM-ER was operational in Ukraine. “Recently, we’ve just gotten some precision munitions [to Ukraine] that had some extended range and go a little bit further than the gravity drop bomb and has precision [guidance],” Hecker said. “That’s a recent capability that we were able to give them probably in the last three weeks.” JDAMs are primarily used to increase the accuracy of bombs.


The official did not specify how many or what variation of JDAMs would be sent. The JDAM-ER can be equipped onto 2,000 or 500 pound bombs and will deliver the munition up to 45 miles. JDAMs are compatible with some Western-made fighter jets and drones. Officially, Kiev does not possess any aircraft that can drop precision munitions. Biden said he has “for now” ruled out sending American-made aircraft. However, the UK is training Ukrainian pilots on Western-made fighter jets. Ukrainian pilots are in the US this week to determine how much training the airmen will need to become proficient on American planes. Additionally, JDAMs have been tested on Quickstrike underwater mines. The Quickstrike bombs are dropped by aircraft in shallow waters and can sit on the seabed for some time before being activated. If Ukraine is utilizing JDAMs on Quickstike mines, it’s still unclear what aircraft Kiev is using in the operations.

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Set them all free, except for those few caught on tape destroying property and/or attacking people.

Elon Musk Demands Release Of ‘QAnon Shaman’ (RT)

SpaceX and Twitter CEO Elon Musk has called for the release of Jacob Chansley, the war-painted Trump supporter jailed for his role in the January 6, 2021, riot on Capitol Hill. Recently released video footage shows Chansley, nicknamed the ‘QAnon Shaman’ by the media, peacefully walking through the Capitol with a police escort. Musk tweeted a video on Friday showing Chansley encouraging his fellow protesters to “go home,” telling them that Donald Trump had asked them to leave the area. “Free Jacob Chansley,” he captioned the video. “Chansley was falsely portrayed in the media as a violent criminal who tried to overthrow the state and who urged others to commit violence. But here he is urging people to be peaceful and go home,” Musk wrote in a follow-up tweet. “I’m not part of MAGA,” he added, referring to Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ movement, “but I do believe in fairness of justice.”

Chansley pleaded guilty in 2021 to one count of obstructing an official proceeding, and was sentenced to 41 months in prison. One of the first protesters to enter the Capitol on the day of the riot, Chansley was photographed inside the Senate chamber wearing a horned fur helmet with his face painted in the colors of the American flag.The federal judge who sentenced Chansley described his actions as “horrific” and “terrifying.” However, video footage aired by Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday showed Chansley walking around the interior of the Capitol alongside two police officers, before dedicating a prayer to the officers. The Democrat-led January 6 Committee – formed to investigate Trump’s culpability in the riot – kept this footage under wraps. It was provided to Carlson by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, after the GOP retook control of the House of Representatives in January.

Quiz

“Chansley got 4 years in prison for a non-violent, police-escorted tour?” Musk wrote in another tweet on Friday. That tweet was “fact checked” when shared on Instagram, with the platform linking to media reports claiming that police repeatedly asked Chansley to leave the building, and therefore did not “help” him around the Capitol. “The Capitol Police literally opened the Senate chamber door for him on camera!” Musk exclaimed. “But who are you going to believe, Instagram ‘fact-checkers’ or your own lying eyes!?” Chansley is one of nearly 1,000 protesters arrested in connection with the riot, 306 of whom were charged with obstructing an official proceeding, according to Justice Department figures. The vast majority – 919 – of defendants were charged with entering a restricted federal building, while 326 were charged with assaulting or disobeying a police officer. Of those detained, 518 have pleaded guilty, most of them to misdemeanor offenses.

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“However, an international meeting on this topic is possible, a meeting of delegates from the whole world..”

Trip To Moscow Not Impossible, Pope Francis Says (TASS)

A trip to Moscow is not impossible, Pope Francis said in an interview with the Argentina’s La Nacion news outlet. “This is not impossible. We hope we will be able to do that. I would like to bring to the attention that there are no promises. I have not closed this door,” the Pontiff said in the interview. At the same time, the head of the Roman Catholic Church expressed doubt regarding the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky under auspices of the Vatican.


“However, an international meeting on this topic is possible, a meeting of delegates from the whole world,” he said. The Vatican is working in this direction, the Pontiff noted. [The Vatican has] no peace formula, the peace service is in place,” Pope Francis added. Pope Francis repeatedly said earlier that his trip to Kiev is possible only on condition of visiting Moscow. The Pontiff said that he is open for a meeting with both presidents, of Russia and Ukraine, on the way from the apostolic trip to Africa in early February.

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What a surprise.

Over $250 Billion Swindled From US Pandemic Fund (RT)

More than $250 billion in Covid-19 relief funds were lost to “fraud” and “waste,”the directors of three US government agencies testified before the House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee on Thursday. Compounding what Deputy Inspector General Sheldon Shoemaker of the Small Business Administration (SBA) called “the biggest fraud in a generation,” the officials stressed that the figures they gave represented an extremely conservative estimate of the total amount lost as they did not include the amount defrauded from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. According to a statement submitted by Shoemaker ahead of the hearing, the SBA has already uncovered $190.7 billion in potential fraud across relief programs under its jurisdiction. Specifically, it expects to find upwards of $100 billion within the scandal-plagued Paycheck Protection Program.

Acting Treasury Inspector General Richard Delmar admitted to just $2.6 billion in dubious charges confirmed at his agency, pleading that ongoing audits precluded making an estimate of the full cost. Larry Turner, inspector general of the Department of Labor, blamed the massive losses on a lack of preparation, insufficient oversight, and even the government’s generosity, making a “highly conservative” estimate of $76 billion in fraudulent spending. With no functioning system in place to verify applicants’ qualifying details in a reasonable time frame, the “unprecedented infusion of federal funds” into the program made it irresistible to fraudsters, he told the subcommittee.

Rep. Keith Mfume (D-Maryland) expressed shock that no one had predicted that requiring only “self-certification” to access such a prodigious cash hoard would lead to “a lot of hanky-panky,” while Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Florida) pointed out that the agencies did not even use existing checks and balances to vet applicants, and Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Florida) highlighted that state unemployment systems were hopelessly outdated even before the pandemic placed them under unprecedented stress. Of $45.6 billion in potential fraud lent out in association with one Labor Department program, Turner acknowledged upon questioning that $267 million had gone to dead people.

Asked about the possibility of recovering the money, Turner said that hunting down the perpetrators was financially unrewarding, as “once money goes out the door, it is hard to get it back.” Even in cases where the government has been able to track down Covid-19 benefit fraudsters and claw back some of the funds, the inspectors general were unable to tell subcommittee members what had become of some of the money. More than $5 trillion in pandemic relief funds have been distributed since 2020. By some estimates, as much as $400 billion was stolen from the unemployment relief program alone.

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Bankman Fried all over again.

Silicon Valley Bank Employees Made Large Donations to Biden, Dems (GP)

As The Gateway Pundit reported on Friday, Silicon Valley Bank was closed by the FDIC due to the bank losing over 60% of its value after the company disclosed major losses from security sales. Many political pundits and investors have called for lawmakers to bailout out the failed bank. Those advocating for bailouts have shied away from telling the public that SVB employees and affiliates voted in the leaders responsible for the current economic crisis. Open Secret’s data reveals in the 2020 election cycle Silicon Valley Bank employees and affiliates donated over $188,000 dollars to political candidates. Over 90% of the donations which amounted to $173,434 went to Democratic candidates whereas 7.2% or $13,763 went towards Republican candidates.


Joe Biden received the most donations with $66,748, followed by the DNC Service Corps and Pete Buttigieg. Other notable names and organizations that benefitted from Silicon Valley Bank employees in the 2020 election cycle were the Lincoln Project, Bernie Sanders Kamala Harris, and Raphael WarnockRepublicans did see some donations from Silicon Valley Bank affiliates but they weren’t as lucrative. The Republican Nationals Committee received the most notable donation which amounted to $5,271. The Silicon Valley Bank PAC in 2020 was a bit more balanced when it came to donations between Republicans and Democrats.Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters both received $2,500. Former Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio who previously voted to impeach Trump received $1,000.

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A cheap banking licence?! But first, the bailouts. There’s talk of the FDIC paying everyone 50%.

Musk Lets In Possibility Of Buying Bankrupt Silicon Valley Bank (TASS)

US businessman and billionaire Elon Musk has posted a tweet assuming the possibility of buying the bankrupt Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). “I think Twitter should buy SVB and become a digital bank,” one of the users tweeted. “I’m open to the idea,” Musk replied in a comment. On Friday, the California Department of Financial Protection announced the bankruptcy of SVB, one of the largest banks in the United States. This became the largest bankruptcy of a US bank since times of the 2008 financial crisis, CNN TV Channel said earlier. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was appointed as the receiver for Silicon Valley Bank.

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“I do think Dr. Fauci and the CDC changed the definition of gain-of-function research, so that Fauci has, like, this wiggle room, but they were juicing up this virus..”

House GOP ‘Building the Case’ to Issue Criminal Referrals Against Fauci (BN)

House Republicans are “building the case” to issue criminal referrals against Dr. Anthony Fauci for lying to Congress, according to news reported on “The Benny Show” with journalist Benny Johnson. “So, specifically before your committee, and also before Rand Paul over in the Senate, Dr. Fauci has, of course, absolved himself of all funding of gain-of-function,” Johnson said. “He said he doesn’t know anything about it. It is verifiable and demonstrable that he lied. Now, there are codes in Congress. I have a code right here, 18 U.S. Code 1001.” “1001,” Jordan said. “Statements — false statements to Congress,” Johnson said. “Says you can be imprisoned, says you can be imprisoned for eight years if you lie to Congress. It seems like there has never been a more clear-cut case of some individual lying to Congress.”

“Yeah, we can do — there could be a referral, but you would refer to the Biden Justice Department,” Jordan remarked. “I don’t know that — they’re going to pursue that, but you can definitely do that. You could, have to have one of the committees, the Senate Judiciary Committee could do a referral. I doubt they will with the Democrats in charge.” “We could do a referral potentially,” he continued. “I would, frankly, prefer just to have Dr. Fauci come back in and take another round of questions here, but we’re building the case. You know, like, we had Dr. Redfield testify last week, Chairman Wenstrup did. I thought he was — I thought he was great. As were the other witnesses that were brought in.”

“So, again, laying that foundation,” he continued. “I do think Dr. Fauci and the CDC changed the definition of gain-of-function research, so that Fauci has, like, this wiggle room, but they were juicing up this virus, no doubt about it, juicing up this virus, making it more — I don’t know the technical, but making it juiced up and more deadly, I guess, maybe the correct word.” “Yes,” Johnson remarked. “So, they were doing that in this lab and I think that’s clear,” Jordan said. “So, we’ll just have to see as we move through this investigation.”

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Macgregor

 

 


Bob Newhart at 93

 

 

 

 

Walnut World
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634593087937822720

 

 

 

 

Hello!
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634339185804079104

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 112023
 
 March 11, 2023  Posted by at 9:43 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Edward Hopper The barber shop 1931

 

Banking Rout Rattles Global Markets (RT)
The Real-World Impact Of SVB’s Failure (ZH)
The US Opts For Ham Handed Political Gestures (Larry Johnson)
US Must Pull Troops Out Of Syria, Stop Marauding – China (TASS)
Russia And China Dominate Washington’s Mindset (Gupta)
Moveable Multipolarity in Moscow: Ridin’ the ‘Newcoin’ Train (Escobar)
Pope Francis Sees Countries’ ‘Imperial Interests’ In Ukraine Conflict (TASS)
West Was Seeking Pretext To ‘Get Its Claws Into’ Russia – Lavrov (TASS)
Lavrov: Western Media Version Of Nord Stream Events ‘Incoherent Babble’ (TASS)
CIA Issued Advance Nord Stream Warning To Allies – WSJ (RT)
Everything, All at Once (Kunstler)
Lavrov Likens Protests In Georgia To 2014 Kiev Coup (RT)
Irish MEP Blasts West’s ‘Criminal’ Approach To Ukraine (RT)
Borrell: EU To Increase Financial & Military Support To Ukraine (Az.)
France’s First Lady Fails In Transgender Lawsuit (RT)

 

 

 

 

Nap/Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arestovich

 

 

 

 

Shaman

 

 

 

 

And nobody saw anything coming?

Banking Rout Rattles Global Markets (RT)

European and Asian stock markets plummeted on Friday, following a rout in US equities amid liquidity concerns in the banking sector. The meltdown was triggered by US bank SVB Financial, known as Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which plunged 60% on Thursday after revealing that it needed to raise more than $2 billion in capital to offset losses from bond sales. The announcement rocked financial stocks, with Euro Stoxx Banks index on Friday on pace for its worst day since June, led by a decline of more than 8% for Deutsche Bank. Societe Generale, HSBC, ING Group and Commerzbank all tumbled more than 5%. Asian stocks suffered their worst day in five months, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plummeting 3% on losses in heavyweight technology stocks. The Shanghai Composite dropped 1.4%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.67%.

Investors started offloading US bank stocks on Thursday after SVB, a major lender to the tech industry, announced aggressive measures to support its balance sheet. The bank had reportedly been forced to sell all of its available-for-sale bonds at a $1.8 billion loss as its startup clients withdrew deposits. The news, which follows the collapse of the crypto-focused bank Silvergate, led to another wave of deposit withdrawals, people familiar with the matter told CNBC. All of this led to the four largest US banks – JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup – seeing their stock prices lose a cumulative $52 billion in a single day.

SVB, which had a market value of $16.8 billion to end last week, was worth $6.3 billion as of Thursday. “The issues at SVB have been like a cold shower and with the Fed having just countenanced the idea of faster hikes once again, the potential for a very unhappy equity market should the jobs data surprise on the upside is very real indeed,” James Athey, investment director at global investment company Abrdn, told Bloomberg. “It has always been the case that the sort of hikes we have seen from the Fed were going to cause problems somewhere,” he added.

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FDIC guarantees up to $250k. Over 90% of SVB accounts held more than that. “About 37,000 customers accounted for nearly $157 billion or 74% of the bank’s assets with an average account size of over $4 million….at the end of 2022, 87% of the bank’s $173 billion in deposits were uninsured.”

Trying to find some stuff in between all the graphs ad stats. Here’s two threads ZH picked up on:

The Real-World Impact Of SVB’s Failure (ZH)

Brad Hargreaves explains in a brief thread how SVB’s closure & receivership is going to have a massive impact on the tech ecosystem. “SVB was not just a dominant player in tech but were highly integrated in some nontraditional ways. A few things we’ll see in the coming days / weeks… One, SVB was incredibly integrated into the lives of many founders. Not just their startup’s bank & lender, but also provided personal mortgages and other financial services. A whole mess for FDIC (or the eventual buyer) to unwind. Two, any “uninsured” balances at SVB – those above $250K – are in jeopardy. FDIC plans to pay them out “as it sells the assets of SVB”. Lots of startups exclusively banked with SVB as *this was a covenant of their debt*!

CEOs yesterday faced a hard choice: Pull your deposits and go into default on your venture debt or risk losing everything if the bank failed. Many chose to hold tight as SVB’s outright failure seemed outlandish. Now they may not be able to make payroll next week. Unpaid wages pierce the corporate veil, so boards are *incredibly* sensitive to employing workers they may not be able to pay. Expect mass layoffs later today, Monday at latest. And given the weak fundraising environment, a number of startups have been reliant on venture lenders – e.g., SVB – not aggressively pursuing amortization of debt or triggering default for covenant foot faults (e.g., cash balances). How will the FDIC handle this? Mass defaults?

Having run a startup through the GFC, this is the first thing I’ve seen since that is even vaguely reminiscent of that time. Total clusterfuck. One more thing: SVB also offered *wealth management services* to many of its founders. So your corporate lender, corporate bank, personal mortgage lender, and family’s wealth manager is… all one bank, which is now in FDIC receivership. Fun. JPow got his fucking debt crisis alright.”

[..] Garry Tan, the CEO of YCombinator echoes what we said just two days ago, namely that “this is an *extinction level event* for startups and will set startups and innovation back by 10 years or more” and warns that “30% of YC companies exposed through SVB can’t make payroll in the next 30 days.”

“The most important thing the FDIC and the US Government can do right now is *make the receivership as short as possible* There are thousands of US startups that banked at SVB, often as their *sole bank*. $250K per account is not going to last long. The #1 pressing issue for these startups is *payroll* – you can’t have people work if you can’t pay them. This means mass furlough. It might mean thousands of startups die before the FDIC gets through its receivership process and releases the funds. From what I hear, there are venture debt options coming from providers like Brex, but we’re going to need *a lot* of options in order to avoid a mass shutdown of all American startups in the next few weeks.

This is an *extinction level event* for startups and will set startups and innovation back by 10 years or more. BIG TECH will not care about this. They have cash elsewhere. All little startups, tomorrow’s Google’s and Facebooks, will be extinguished if we don’t find a fix. 30% of YC companies exposed through SVB can’t make payroll in the next 30 days. If you or your company are affected, I recommend that you reach out to your local congressman to get this on their radar TODAY. Now.

Pomboy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634364937072959492

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50 feet is a nice sized boat. But how do you get 6 people to sit and sleep on it, along with tons of equipment?!

The US Opts For Ham Handed Political Gestures (Larry Johnson)

In theory, a covert operation is supposed to be elegant, sophisticated and smart. But that is not the case with the United States these days. Ham-fisted and clumsy are more apt descriptors. Yesterday’s simultaneous release of a new account of who destroyed the Nordstream pipeline in the New York Times, Die Zeit and a London paper placing the blame on shadowy pro-Ukrainians was not a coincidence. This was a coordinated information operation and the media reaction to this news is quite telling. The same news outlets that strenuously ignored Sy Hersh’s explosive, detailed revelation that it was a U.S. operation with help from Norway stumbled over themselves to breathlessly report that an unidentified pro-Ukrainian group was the guilty party.


Bavaria Cruiser 50 – Sailing yacht Andromeda. Image: Spiegel

Die Zeit provided the most hilarity with their fantastic tale of six people on a private yacht carrying out the deed. Looks to me like Die Zeit was channeling a Gilligan’s Island episode. We had Ginger and Mary Ann, accompanied by the Professor, the Skipper, Thurston Howell and Gilligan. They set to sea with a 1000 pounds of high explosive and used their snorkel gear to plant the charge. I bet you it was Ginger and Mary Ann who planted the bomb, of course, was built by the crafty Professor. Take a look at Moon of Alabama’s detailed breakdown of the nonsense:


“No. You do not dive down to 80+ meter for an industrial size job, involving the placement of hundreds of pounds of explosives in eight individual charges on very sturdy pipelines, from a sparsely manned boat. Such deep dives require special gases, special breathing equipment, special training, a decompression chamber for emergencies and lots of well trained people to maintain all that stuff. All three articles neglected to point out that you cannot dive in regular scuba gear to 200 feet in an arctic sea. You need a dry suit (as my friend Mark says, you look like the Stay Puft marshmallow man). That suit requires some specialized support equipment that does not fit on a yacht. This is a desperate, juvenile attempt to shift the blame from the United States. I cannot wait to see what happens when Sy drops a new story on Nordstream.”

A competent intelligence service would have prepared a detailed story that was plausible and contained enough details to create doubt in the minds of those who accepted Sy’s account. Instead of releasing the same skimpy story in three different media outlets on the same day, the release should have been spread out over a few days or a week. This bungled attempt to shift the blame to Ukraine is just one more piece of evidence that America does not have a competent intelligence service.

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China yesterday brokered a peace deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia. China wants the fighting to stop, to safeguard the Belt and Road.

US Must Pull Troops Out Of Syria, Stop Marauding – China (TASS)

China calls on the US to withdraw its troops from Syria and to stop plundering that country, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a news briefing on Friday. “The United States has illegally intervened in military activities related to the Syrian crisis, which has led to the death of a large number of innocent civilians and a serious humanitarian disaster,” Mao said. “We call on the United States to sincerely respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of other countries, and to immediately stop its illegal military presence and marauding in Syria,” she said. Mao called on the US authorities to lift “illegal unilateral sanctions” against Syria and to stop actions that aggravate the humanitarian situation in the country.


According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, during the years of the Syrian crisis in the country at least 350,000 people have lost their lives to the military conflict, and 14 million are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The House of Representatives of the US Congress on Wednesday failed to pass a resolution according to which the Washington administration should withdraw all US troops from Syria. The initiative was introduced in February by Republican Matt Gaetz, from Florida. He stressed that Congress had not given permission to use US forces in combat operations on Syrian territory. On March 4, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, visited Syria, where he claimed that the US military presence in the country was of critical importance to the security of both the United States and its allies.

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“The China-Russia axis is the biggest cause for concern for Washington because of “their shared threat perceptions of the US”..”

Russia And China Dominate Washington’s Mindset (Gupta)

A top US intelligence official has expressed concern that the Chinese government – under its powerful President Xi Jinping, who started his historic third term this week – could emerge as the most potent force on the global stage in alliance with Russia to weaken Washington’s influence. Earlier this week, Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence in the administration of US President Joe Biden, appeared before a Senate committee to present the annual threat assessment report. Asia Editor Joydeep Sen Gupta decodes the key pressure points of the report, which identifies Beijing as a ‘near-peer competitor’ in a changing world order, The report dwells on China-Russia bonhomie as one of the high points of the annual review, which seldom gets a makeover from year to year.

Significantly, the section on China is much more elaborate this year than in recent times. It reinforces the Biden administration’s growing focus on Asia’s biggest economy, which is seen as punching above its weight in its bid to challenge the US’ military might. The report makes reference to China’s “capability to directly attempt to alter the rules-based global order in every realm and across multiple regions,” while acknowledging Beijing’s exalted status. The report identifies Beijing as a “near-peer competitor” for its ability to threaten its neighbors (read India). Simultaneously, it takes note of Russia’s “unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine” that “has emerged as a defining characteristic of the current era.” The China-Russia axis is the biggest cause for concern for Washington because of “their shared threat perceptions of the US” in diverse fields largely pertaining to defense and security.

Haines singles out the Ukraine conflict “as a tectonic event that is reshaping Moscow’s relationships with the West and China,” and warns of potential conflict between Russia and the West that may lead to dire consequences. However, the report strikes a contradictory note when it cites Moscow’s dwindling influence because of a “range of constraints,” despite noting its prowess in military, security, malign influence, cyber, and intelligence tools. Russia’s interests in the oil-and-natural resources-rich Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for “military access rights and economic opportunities” at Washington’s expense finds special mention. It also names the Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, and Syria in the Levant, where Russia “will present itself as an indispensable mediator and security partner.”

It predicts that both Russia and Iran will improve their “bilateral economic and defense cooperation” in a bid to circumvent Western sanctions. Similarly, it rings alarm bells regarding Russia’s overtures in Latin America in “countries that Moscow sees as key players or close partners, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela” to amplify its influence. “Russia will continue to use energy as a foreign policy tool to try to coerce cooperation and weaken Western unity on Ukraine,” the report says.

The focal point of the report is China’s strengthening of its military and its expanded operations in the Indo-Pacific region, which is being countered by a grouping consisting of the US, Japan, Australia, and India known as the Quad. A substantial part of the report is devoted to the Chinese Communist regime’s efforts to press Taiwan on unification and whether Beijing will attack the island nation. The Chinese military, according to the report, is working towards meeting Xi’s goal – to become powerful enough by 2027 to ward off any US-led intervention in the event of an armed conflict over Taiwan. It warns that China will avoid signing nuclear arms agreements with either the US or Russia because of an inadequate arsenal that needs to be modernized.

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As the west loses itself, the south is taking shape.

Moveable Multipolarity in Moscow: Ridin’ the ‘Newcoin’ Train (Escobar)

[..] please allow me to introduce one such technical blueprint for the newcoin. Let me start by saying that it should be partially (I suggest a share of at least 40% of value) backed by gold, for reasons that will soon become clear. The remaining 60% of the newcoin would be composed of the basket of currencies of the participating countries. Gold would provide the “external money” anchor to the structure and the basket of currencies element would allow the participants to retain their sovereignty and monetary flexibility. There would clearly be a need to create a Central Bank for the newcoin, which would emit new currency. This Central Bank could become a counterparty to cross-swaps, as well as provide clearing functions for the system and enforce the regulations. Any country would be free to join the newcoin on several conditions.

First, the candidate country needs to demonstrate that it has physical unencumbered gold in its domestic storage and pledge a certain amount in exchange for receiving corresponding amount of newcoin (using the 40% ratio mentioned above). Economic equivalent of this initial transaction would be a sale of the gold to the “gold pool” backing the newcoin in exchange for proportional amount of the newcoin backed by the pool. The actual legal form of this transaction is less important, as it is necessary simply to guarantee that the newcoin that is being emitted is always backed by at least 40% in gold. There is no need to even publicly disclose the gold reserves of each country, as long as all participants can be satisfied that sufficient reserves are always present. An annual joint audit and monitoring mechanism may be sufficient.

Second, a candidate country would need to establish a gold price discovery mechanism in its domestic currency. Most likely, one of the participating precious metals exchanges would start physical gold trading in each of the local currencies. This would establish a fair cross-rate for the local currencies using “external money” mechanism to set and adjust them over time. The gold price of the local currencies would drive their value in the basket for the newly-emitted newcoins. Each country would remain sovereign and be free to emit as much of local currency as they choose to, but this would eventually adjust the share of their currency in the newcoin’s value. At the same time, a country would only be able to obtain additional newcoin from the central bank in exchange for a pledge of additional gold. The net result is that the value of each component of newcoin in gold terms would be transparent and fair, which would translate into the transparency of newcoin’s value as well.

Finally, emissions or sales of newcoin by the central bank would be allowed only in exchange for gold for anyone outside the newcoin zone. In other words, the only two ways external parties can obtain large amounts of newcoin is either receiving it in exchange for physical gold or as a payment for goods and services provided. At the same time, the central bank would not be obliged to purchase newcoin in exchange for gold, removing the risk of the “run on the bank.”

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“The pontiff has repeatedly said that his visit to Kiev, on which the Ukrainian authorities have been insisting, is only possible if he is also able to make a trip to Moscow.”

Pope Francis Sees Countries’ ‘Imperial Interests’ In Ukraine Conflict (TASS)

Pope Francis believes that “the imperial interests” of various countries are shining through in the Ukraine conflict, the Vatican News writes, citing the pontiff’s interview for the Italian Swiss Radio and Television. “In a little over a hundred years, there have been three world wars: in 1914-1918, in 1939-1945, and this one, which is a world war. It started in bits and pieces and now no one can say it is not worldwide. The great powers are all caught up in it. The battlefield is Ukraine. Everyone is fighting there,” Pope Francis said, as cited by the Vatican News. “There are imperial interests there, not only of the Russian empire, but of empires elsewhere. It is typical of the empire to put nations in second place,” he added.


The pope confirmed his readiness to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, “an educated man.” Pope Francis noted that right after the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, he went to the Russian Embassy at the Holy See to say that he was willing to go to Moscow if the Russian authorities gave him “a window to negotiate.” “[Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov wrote to me, saying thank you but now is not the time,” Pope Francis said. The pontiff has repeatedly said that his visit to Kiev, on which the Ukrainian authorities have been insisting, is only possible if he is also able to make a trip to Moscow. He previously echoed this sentiment on his way back from an apostolic journey to Africa in early February. The pope said at that time that he was open to meet with the presidents of both Ukraine and Russia. Pope Francis has met with Putin before, with the Russian leader’s last trip to the Vatican taking place in July 2019.

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“..the West is loath to listen to Russia’s criticism of its attempts to “live at the expense of others” in the post-colonial era.”

West Was Seeking Pretext To ‘Get Its Claws Into’ Russia – Lavrov (TASS)

The West was looking for some sort of pretext to “get its claws into” Russia after Moscow had come to be seen as too independent a player in the international arena, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday. “[The West] was waiting for a pretext to get its claws into Russia. They were waiting for a chance to do this because they had begun to see Russia as too independent a player, which, if perhaps not building up as much economic power as China or India, was nevertheless among the leading world economies and holds rather weighty moral and political stances in the international arena, advocating from a position of justice on those issues that are of critical importance for the developing countries,” he said in an interview with the “Bolshaya Igra” (“The Great Game”) public affairs program on Russia’s Channel One television. According to the top Russian diplomat, the West is loath to listen to Russia’s criticism of its attempts to “live at the expense of others” in the post-colonial era.

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“We had no plans. They had plans – to abandon Russian gas. They survived the winter, but how much did it cost the government and the taxpayers? They are not very eager to tell..”

Lavrov: Western Media Version Of Nord Stream Events ‘Incoherent Babble’ (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the latest reports in the Western media about the alleged involvement of a “Ukrainian oligarch” in the explosions on the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines “incoherent babble.” “When they threw in the last wave of stories in the American and to some extent in the German press regarding a new version [about the causes of the emergency on gas pipelines] – about “the Ukrainian oligarch, who had better confess himself,” [and that they] “did not want to talk about Ukraine’s involvement, because it could spoil German-Ukrainian relations” and all that jazz: this is incoherent babble,” he said. In an interview with “The Great Game” program on Channel One, the Russian top diplomat noted that even if one accepts the rationale about the “Ukrainian fingerprint” mentioned in the media, it will raise some questions in Germany.

“The burghers will wonder: why do I need this Ukraine at all, if they blow us up, whoever he (the saboteur – TASS) may be – an agent of Kiev, paid for by someone from abroad, or just a lone ranger, why do I need to send Leopards there, why do I need to admit this country into NATO?” Lavrov said. “Yes, now [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz is boasting: “We survived the winter, Russia’s plan did not work.” We had no plans. They had plans – to abandon Russian gas. They survived the winter, but how much did it cost the government and the taxpayers? They are not very eager to tell,” Lavrov said. He also called the coverage of the incident in the Western media frivolous, citing as an example their information about the establishment of a “Ukrainian connection” in the emergencies on the gas pipelines.

“There was information in the Wall Street Journal, if I’m not mistaken, where they said that back in June and July, the CIA warned the secret services of Germany and other European countries about a “Ukrainian trail” for the plot. And in September, after the attack took place, The Times said that a week after the explosion it was established that the trail was Ukrainian. So, in June they warned that there would be [a Ukrainian trace] and in September it was established that it was. Anyway, they look at it in a very juvenile way, not the way an adult should,” he concluded.

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What Lavrov talked about.

CIA Issued Advance Nord Stream Warning To Allies – WSJ (RT)

The CIA warned allies in the EU about a potential attack by a pro-Ukrainian group on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing intelligence officials. According to the report, around June and July of last year, the CIA informed Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and other European agencies that three Ukrainian nationals were trying to rent out ships in states around the Baltic Sea, including Sweden, in preparation to target the pipelines, which were eventually attacked in September. As early as one month after the blasts, CIA Director William Burns and the White House’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, were said to have been considering the possibility that Kiev had orchestrated the sabotage on the route built to deliver Russian gas to Germany.

The report comes after the New York Times cited US officials on Tuesday as saying that an unidentified “pro-Ukrainian group” may have carried out the bombing. The WSJ said this assessment by US intelligence officials “isn’t definitive” and that they claimed they saw “no indication” that the alleged perpetrators had ties to the Ukrainian government. German news organizations reported this week that investigators were looking at a yacht operated by a Polish-based company that was “apparently” owned by two Ukrainians, in a possible connection with the sabotage. The German authorities later confirmed that they had searched the vessel in January, but did not disclose details about any items seized.

The new reports about alleged Ukrainian involvement contradict last month’s investigation by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh, who cited a source as claiming that the bombing was carried out by the US with help from Norway. The US and Ukraine have both denied any involvement, and the White House dismissed Hersh’s claims as “utterly false.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested on Wednesday that the reports about a Ukrainian link were an attempt to divert attention from the real perpetrators and absolve NATO countries. “Obviously, this is a coordinated media hoax campaign,” Peskov said. Moscow has argued that the West is not really interested in a comprehensive international investigation of the incident.

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..But waitagoshdarnminnit!..

Everything, All at Once (Kunstler)

The defining moment of the week was the White House ceremony with Dr. Jill Biden and her side-piece, Tony Blinken, presenting an International Women of Courage award to Ms. Alba Rueda of Argentina, a biological man. But, of course! Kisses all around. Mattias Desmet, author of The Psychology of Totalitarianism, pointed out some time ago that a psychotic political regime would require the people to swallow ever-greater absurdities as things played out in its death-wish drive toward national nullity. But was that little scene more absurd than the regime’s campaign in Ukraine to do… uh, to do what, exactly? To punish Vladimir Putin, or something like that. Or is it nuclear war they’re really after? A war, they’re telling themselves, that we would surely win, as if being a continent-sized ashtray is winning.

Meanwhile, our Intel Community has discovered that it was… well might have been… Ukraine, after all, who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines — with help from some outside parties (namely, America’s Intel Community). But waitagoshdarnminnit! How does that get anybody off-the-hook for the costly caper? NATO supposedly backs Ukraine, right? And Germany is the European leader of NATO, right? So you’re telling me Ukraine blew up a systemically-important asset of a leading country that supports Ukraine? Something doesn’t add up in that-there rebus puzzle. I’ll spare you the mental labor. The US Spook Industrial Complex is just laying another trip on you. And the “you” includes poor bamboozled Germany, led by arguably the biggest sap ever elected by a supposedly advanced nation, Olaf Scholz, whose name will evermore ring through history as a synonym for “chump.”

Sooner or later, one or both of the following must happen: the German people will dump this chump and / or his replacement will find a way to bow out of Germany’s commitment to America’s foolish proxy war against Russia, leading post-haste to the disintegration of NATO, and leaving America’s army of vaccine-injured transsexuals to reconquer the Donbas and Crimea, led by Tony Blinken in an off-the-shoulder cocktail dress. Anyway, by the time that hallucination comes to pass, all the other things that are happening at once will be so vividly in America’s face that the epic sleepwalk of the Walking Woke ends with a jolt like unto a cattle prod upside the brain-pan. For instance, the implosion of our financial markets along with a sudden, shocking expiration of the US dollar as a credible currency. The mighty “woosh” heard from sea to shining sea will be the sound of capital going up in a vapor. The event will halt all that jabber about debt ceilings, budgets, and billions for Ukraine. A nauseated silence spreads across the land. Then, what?

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“A whole range of European nations have much more strict regulations in this field..”

Lavrov Likens Protests In Georgia To 2014 Kiev Coup (RT)

The massive protests Georgia has been facing over the past week closely resemble the 2014 Maidan coup in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday. Backed by external powers, these protests are just another plot attempt, he told the ‘Great Game’ show on Russia’s Channel 1. Over the last week, thousands of people have gathered by the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi in order to protest a bill that would have required individuals and organizations with foreign funding to register as “agents of foreign influence.”The demonstrators hit the streets after the bill, which was introduced by the ‘Georgian Dream’ party, passed its first reading. The protests quickly spiraled out into clashes with the police in which several officers were injured and dozens of demonstrators were detained.

“[That] closely resembles Kiev’s ‘Maidan’ [coup],” Lavrov said, adding that, “There is no doubt that … the bill was nothing but a pretext for essentially launching a coup attempt.” According to the minister, the bill introduced by the Georgian lawmakers “pales” in comparison to how noncommercial organizations are regulated in the US, France, or Israel. The protests in Georgia have been “orchestrated” from abroad, the Russian minister believes, adding that their real goal is to create another “irritating” situation on Russia’s borders. In pursuing its goals, the West is attempting to sacrifice Georgia’s national interests and close economic ties with Russia, he added. Lavrov also blasted the EU over what he called a “hypocritical” stance on the issue. “A whole range of European nations have much more strict regulations in this field,” the minister insisted, adding that EU top diplomat Josep Borrell still claimed “without batting an eye” that the Georgian bill “contradicts European values” and deprives Georgia of the prospect of joining the bloc.

“The hypocrisy is obvious,” the minister added. Earlier this week, Borrell’s office issued a statement that blasted the bill as “incompatible with EU values and standards” and going “against Georgia’s stated objective of joining the European Union.” The statement also warned of “serious repercussions” for relations between Tbilisi and Brussels if the bill was passed. The Russian minister also pointed out the striking differences in how the EU and the US treated the protests in Georgia and Moldova. While backing demonstrations in Tbilisi, Washington and its allies still condemned similar actions in Moldova, which saw months of protests over a surge in cost of living and energy prices, Lavrov said. His words came as Georgian MPs have rejected the controversial bill during the second reading, despite it being previously withdrawn by its authors. The procedure was necessary for it to be officially squashed. The nation’s authorities have also announced they would be releasing all of the people who had been detained during the protests.

Korybko
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633813474139619330

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“The Global South is not on board with helping this proxy war persist, because it makes no sense..”

Irish MEP Blasts West’s ‘Criminal’ Approach To Ukraine (RT)

Irish MEP Mick Wallace has condemned the EU’s continued military support for Kiev, saying Brussels is not taking the option of peace talks seriously and arguing that Ukraine is being “sacrificed” for the geopolitical “obsessions” of the US. During a speech in the European Parliament, a clip from which Wallace posted to Twitter, he insisted that the EU, led by Washington, was refusing to “take the option of Peace seriously” amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. Instead, Wallace said, the EU was standing by and watching “the slaughter and devastation” continue. “The Global South is not on board with helping this proxy war persist, because it makes no sense,” Wallace said, adding that it is “increasingly clear that Ukraine is being sacrificed for the obsessions of the US establishment.”

The Irish MEP said the only people benefiting from the conflict were “weapons manufacturers and Western corporations,” which he claimed were “buying up Ukraine now for a pittance.” “The Russian invasion is criminal, but the manner in which the West has been dealing with this has also been criminal,” he concluded. Russia has repeatedly said it is open to talks with Ukraine if its leaders accept what the Kremlin calls the “reality on the ground,” referring to the status of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which voted to join Russia in public referendums last autumn. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has floated a ten-point “peace formula” that would require Moscow to withdraw all of its troops from the territory Kiev claims as its own. However, Russia has rejected that proposal as unrealistic.

A 12-point peace plan put forward by China was met with a cool response from the West, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saying Beijing does not have “much credibility” in the issue. US State Secretary Antony Blinken, however, admitted that the plan included some “positive elements.” Last week, Wallace also called the September 2022 sabotage of the Russian-German Nord Stream pipelines “a premeditated terrorist attack on critical European infrastructure.” Fellow Irish MEP Clare Daly said it was “jaw-dropping” that the EU was not investigating potential US and Norwegian links to the attack after a report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh alleged Washington was behind the sabotage.

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Sanctions failed. Here’s what’s next: your money.

Borrell: EU To Increase Financial & Military Support To Ukraine (Az.)

The EU has nearly exhausted its options for punitive measures against Russia and the bloc’s attention needs to shift to financial and military support for Ukraine, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview, Report informs. “There is not much more to do from the point of view of sanctions, but we can continue to increase financial and military support,” Borrell told EURACTIV in Stockholm, following a meeting of EU defense ministers. “It would be strange that one year after the invasion began, there would be much more options left. We have been using our step-by-step process, and we have been incremental – maybe sometimes too incremental,” he added. Over the past year, the EU has approved 10 rounds of sanctions against Moscow meant to make financing the war more difficult and starve Russia of tech equipment and spare parts for arms to be used against Ukraine.


“But indeed, one year after the invasion, we’re getting to the end of the ladder,” Borrell admitted when asked about the next potential steps the bloc could take in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “The answer is always the same – to continue supporting Ukraine. Ukraine needs a lot of money just to keep the machinery working, a state at war has a lot of financial needs – this will require a lot of effort from our side – so sanctions and military support are not everything.”. Borrell said battlefield operations were “up to Ukraine to decide” but Europe’s responsibility “is to support them, also by providing arms and ammunition.”

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Crazy story competition.

“France’s first lady is actually her own transgender brother..?!

France’s First Lady Fails In Transgender Lawsuit (RT)

A Paris judge has thrown out Brigitte Macron’s case against two women who claimed in a YouTube show that France’s first lady is actually her own transgender brother. President Emmanuel Macron’s wife had a case for public defamation, but not for invasion of privacy and violation of image, the judge ruled. The video, posted on December 10, 2021, advanced a “completely outlandish” theory that Brigitte Macron was actually the trangender identity of her brother, Jean-Michel Trogneux. The video received hundreds of thousands of views, and the transgender rumor trended on Twitter for several days. The first lady filed a lawsuit in February 2022, almost two months after the video was posted, claiming it violated her “right to image” and invaded her brother’s privacy.

The hours-long video described the surgeries Macron allegedly underwent, denied she had given birth to three children, and publicized personal information about Trogneux, according to the lawsuit. The video was also said to have used “retouched, enlarged and recolored”photographs. Brigitte Macron’s separate lawsuit against the two women, for public defamation, was actually filed two weeks earlier, on January 31, 2022. That case is still pending. The first lady’s official biography says she was born Brigitte Marie-Claude Trogneux to a family of chocolatiers from Amiens. She married a banker named Andre-Louis Auziere in 1974 and had three children. In 1993, when she was 40 and teaching at La Providence Jesuit high school in Amiens, she met Emmanuel Macron – who was 15 at the time, and a classmate of her daughter Laurence.

Brigitte divorced Auziere in 2006 and married Macron in 2007. She is widely reported to have been key to his victory in the 2017 presidential election. Macron had planned to create an official “first lady” position for Brigitte using the American model, complete with a budget and staff, but changed his mind after popular backlash. The transgender rumor about the first lady appeared ahead of France’s 2022 presidential elections and quickly gained traction online. Macron ended up easily winning re-election.

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Capuchin bird

 

 

Robin Hood

 

 


Father and son

 

 

Elephant feet

 

 

Tarantula
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634130152622895108

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 102023
 
 March 10, 2023  Posted by at 10:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Ray K. Metzker 58 AW-20, Chicago 1958

 

Chinese Think Tank Predicts Ukraine Conflict Will End Before Autumn 2023 (RT)
Ukraine Still Not Interested In Negotiating Conflict Settlement – Lavrov (TASS)
Kiev’s Security Chief Names ‘Dangerous Tendency’ Among Ukrainians (RT)
Commander: US Must Focus on Sinking Chinese Ships in Future War (Antiwar)
Kremlin: No Pro-Ukrainian ‘Doctor Evil’ Behind Nord Stream Attacks (TASS)
Lavrov Lays Into West’s Latest Nord Stream Explanation (TASS)
Moscow To Expose Nord Stream Stonewalling – Official (RT)
Kremlin: Unrest In Georgia Cause For Concern, Not Russia’s Fault (TASS)
US To Discourage Africa From Doing Business With Russia – Official (RT)
Oscars Reportedly Say No To Zelensky (RT)
Fire Victoria Nuland — Don’t Let Her Drive War (CN)
Did the “QAnon Shaman” Get Shafted on Sentencing? (Turley)
Trump To Publish ‘Private’ Letters From Foreign Leaders (RT)
Matt Taibbi Releases Twitter File Review #18 (CTH)
White House Claims Jan 6 Tapes Are Russian Disinformation (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Taibbi

Garcia
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633877478287773696

 

 

 

 

Tucker Redfield

 

 

Hero

 

 

Fiat Information Inflation
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633622889739042817

 

 

 

 

Cammack

 

 

 

 

“..draw to a close around summer 2023..”

“..Xi may come to Moscow in late April or early May..”

Chinese Think Tank Predicts Ukraine Conflict Will End Before Autumn 2023 (RT)

A top Chinese think tank close to the nation’s armed forces has predicted that the Russia-Ukraine conflict will end before autumn of 2023, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing sources close to the Chinese government. Beijing considered the assessment solid enough to try to assume the role of a mediator in the standoff before it potentially ends, the media outlet claimed. The assessment was issued by the Academy of Military Sciences (AMS), a Beijing-based think tank that reports directly to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and regularly issues recommendations to China’s top military decision-making body. The AMS issued its appraisal of the conflict as early as in December, Nikkei said. The newspaper added that the think tank’s view that an end to the hostilities was likely relatively imminent prompted Beijing to take a more active role in seeking a resolution.

The AMS forecast based on a military simulation of the ongoing conflict suggested that it would “draw to a close around summer 2023,” with Russia “having the upper hand,” Nikkei claimed, citing sources close to the Chinese government. The think tank believes that both the Russian and Ukrainian economies would be hard pressed to sustain the hostilities past the summer. The AMS analysis prompted Beijing to come up with a peace proposal, the Nikkei claimed. With this initiative, China sought to restore relations with Europe to ensure the continued flow of investment and technologies to the Chinese economy, the media outlet said. Another of Beijing’s goals was to maintain friendly relations with Kiev, the paper suggested.

“Along with Russia, we can’t afford to lose Ukraine,” a Chinese government source told the media outlet. The Nikkei also claimed that Beijing was contemplating sending economic aid to Kiev as part of its peace plan. Success in the mediation efforts would also help China assume a more prominent position in the eyes of Global South, Nikkei said, calling it another reason behind the initiative. To achieve this, Chinese President Xi Jinping is considering a visit to Moscow, the paper claimed. Beijing has not officially announced any such plans. The Wall Street Journal reported on supposed preparations for a visit in late February. According to the media outlet, Xi may come to Moscow in late April or early May in an attempt to push for multi-party peace talks.

“The visit to Russia can’t come too soon or too late,” a Chinese source told Nikkei, commenting on the potential visit. According to Nikkei, the “best scenario” for China would be for Russia and Ukraine to start talks right after Xi’s trip to Moscow. China unveiled its 12-point plan to resolve the Ukraine conflict in late February. It included calls for resuming peace talks, condemned unilateral sanctions, and upheld the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. Moscow welcomed Beijing’s efforts aimed at resolving the conflict, while the West has largely brushed off the initiative. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that China didn’t have “much credibility” in the issue. US State Secretary Antony Blinken, however, then said that the plan does include some “positive elements.”

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“..Russia welcomes Saudi Arabia’s interest in helping facilitate the settlement of the ongoing situation..”

Ukraine Still Not Interested In Negotiating Conflict Settlement – Lavrov (TASS)

Russia sees no desire on behalf of the Kiev authorities to launch substantial negotiations on the Ukrainian conflict’s settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday. “So far, we see no desire on the part of our Ukrainian neighbors to begin serious talks,” Lavrov said at a news conference following talks with his Saudi Arabian counterpart Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud. “Moreover, I have stated repeatedly that [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky issued a decree last September prohibiting any negotiations with Russia, while Zelensky’s Western patrons constantly state that Russia should be defeated on the battlefield in order to start talks from a position of strength. Judge for yourself how reasonable such statements are.”


Lavrov noted that Russia welcomes Saudi Arabia’s interest in helping facilitate the settlement of the ongoing situation as soon as possible as well as resolving it in the context of Russia’s legitimate demands, which have for years gone ignored after the unconstitutional coup in Ukraine. “You have mentioned in particular the exchange of prisoners of war. There have been a series of them, with the latest one held recently, literally the day before yesterday,” Lavrov said. “To a large extent, the arrangements that made this possible were made with the assistance of Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab states. We are grateful and believe that it is important to maintain this course.” The Russian Defense Ministry announced earlier that 90 Russian soldiers had been returned from territory under the control of Kiev. They were airlifted to Moscow by Russian Aerospace Forces planes for medical treatment and rehabilitation at ministry facilities.

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Peace talks are dangerous.

Kiev’s Security Chief Names ‘Dangerous Tendency’ Among Ukrainians (RT)

A growing number of Ukrainians would like to see Kiev launch peace talks with Moscow, the head of the National Security and Defense Council, Aleksey Danilov, admitted on Thursday. The top security official blasted the development as a “very dangerous tendency” when he was live on the Ukrainian talk show ‘Greater Lviv speaks’. “[One should] bear in mind that those [people advocating talks with Russia] are growing in numbers. It is a very dangerous tendency when even people in western Ukraine are starting to talk about such things,” Danilov said, as cited by RIA news agency. He also pointed out a local politician in the western Lviv region that allegedly called on Kiev to sit down at the negotiating table with Moscow.

Russia has previously repeatedly indicated that it was open to communicating with Ukraine if its leaders accepted Moscow’s conditions and recognized what the Kremlin calls the “reality on the ground.” In autumn 2022, four former Ukrainian regions, including the two Donbass republics, officially joined Russia following referendums. Kiev blasted the vote as a “sham” and insisted all four territories remained part of Ukraine, along with Crimea, which joined Russia back in 2014 following another referendum in the wake of the Maidan coup.

Kiev has refused to enter into any negotiations with Moscow since spring 2022, when initial attempts to resolve the conflict through diplomatic means failed. At the time, Ukraine withdrew from talks with Russia following several rounds of negotiations in Belarus and Türkiye. In early October 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky ruled out negotiations with his Russian counterpart. Kiev is insisting on a military victory over Moscow. During a G20 summit in November 2022, Zelensky ruled out a potential new ‘Minsk-3’ agreement, referring to previous accords designed to resolve the conflict between Kiev and the two Donbass republics.

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Jello for brains.

Commander: US Must Focus on Sinking Chinese Ships in Future War (Antiwar)

The head of United States Pacific Air Forces said Wednesday that the US needs to focus on sinking Chinese ships in a potential conflict with China as US military leaders are speaking more bluntly about a direct war with Beijing despite the risk of it turning nuclear. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach said the need to focus on sinking ships was the lesson of China’s response to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visiting Taiwan last August. The trip provoked China’s largest-ever military drills around the island, which included a simulated blockade.


“You saw when Speaker Pelosi went to Taiwan, what [China] did with their ships,” Wilsbach said at a symposium in Colorado, according to Military.com. “They put them on the east side of Taiwan … as a sort of blockade.” Wilsbach said the US wants to focus on deterring China from attacking Taiwan, although Beijing’s actions and rhetoric make clear more US military support for the island makes a conflict more likely. He said if China does attack, sinking ships would be the first priority. “We’ve got to sink the ships,” Wilsbach said. “Sinking ships is a main objective of not only PACAF [Pacific Air Forces] but really anyone that’s going to be involved in a conflict like this.”

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Do they make up the details as they go along?

Kremlin: No Pro-Ukrainian ‘Doctor Evil’ Behind Nord Stream Attacks (TASS)

The Kremlin does not believe that some pro-Ukrainian individuals could have been behind the Nord Stream explosions, as only a handful of intelligence services are capable of committing such a terrorist attack, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. “As for [the idea that there exists] some sort of pro-Ukrainian ‘Doctor Evil’ who [allegedly] organized this: it’s hard to believe. It was too difficult an operation that could only be carried out by a well-trained state-sponsored special service. There are not that many of them in the world,” he said, commenting on a number of foreign media publications about the terrorist attack on the Nord Stream pipelines. He highlighted that media reports about who was allegedly behind this terrorist attack had been “released simultaneously in different countries.”

“You see that the Anglo-Saxons, whom we’ve been talking about from the very beginning, are working up a sweat. They obviously are having a lot of uncomfortable interactions with the Germans due to this terrorist attack,” Peskov said. The Kremlin official stressed that it is necessary to identify those who ordered the crime and those who executed it, “because it is too dangerous a precedent to [permit] the commission of an act of terror against an internationally critical piece of energy infrastructure.” “We are still calling for a prompt, transparent probe. We are still demanding that we be given access to this investigation. We believe that one should not soft-pedal it. Diverting attention <…> to some secondary theories and hypotheses – [this] should not be allowed either,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

As the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, the German probe has almost completely ruled out the initial theory of Russia’s involvement in the sabotage of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, while the United States does not believe in Russia’s culpability either. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported, citing US officials, that a “pro-Ukrainian group” that acted without the knowledge of US authorities could have committed the sabotage on the gas pipelines. The Zeit newspaper wrote that German investigators had identified a vessel used by the saboteurs. The company that rented it allegedly belonged to Ukrainian citizens and was registered in Poland. On Wednesday, the Times [of London] reported that European intelligence agencies were aware of the name of a “private sponsor” of the sabotage. While his identity is not being disclosed by the security services, he is described as a wealthy Ukrainian who purportedly has no links to President Vladimir Zelensky and his government.

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“The UN Secretariat which Moscow has asked to conduct an unbiased probe into the incident has been “absolutely passive and aloof,” he lamented.”

Lavrov Lays Into West’s Latest Nord Stream Explanation (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday called attempts by Western media to shift the blame for the blasts on the Nord Stream gas pipelines on to a Ukrainian oligarch shameful. “The attempts to explain, with reference to some Western intel services, that a certain Ukrainian oligarch was behind these (blasts on the gas pipelines – TASS), I think, are shameful for all those who have been pushing such a version through Western media outlets,” Lavrov said at a news conference following talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud. Russia’s top diplomat slammed what he said was a disgraceful reaction by Western media to the blasts and assured that the reports would not go unnoticed. The UN Secretariat which Moscow has asked to conduct an unbiased probe into the incident has been “absolutely passive and aloof,” he lamented.


“Reporters [have been asking] the secretary general and his representatives whether they find it necessary to investigate the screaming reports that have popped up about how the West views last September’s terrorist attack on the Nord Streams. Both the [UN] secretary general and his employees have been dodging these justified questions,” Lavrov added. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported, citing US officials, that the latest intelligence data suggest a pro-Ukrainian group could have been behind the sabotage at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. Also on Tuesday, Germany’s Zeit published a report saying that German investigators had identified the ship that was used by the saboteurs. The company that rented it was allegedly owned by Ukrainian nationals and was registered in Poland.

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“Russia intends to share with the UN Security Council the exchanges it had with Germany, Denmark, and Sweden..”

Moscow To Expose Nord Stream Stonewalling – Official (RT)

Russia intends to share with the UN Security Council the exchanges it had with Germany, Denmark, and Sweden regarding the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, a senior Russian diplomat has revealed. Moscow is seeking to press its case for an impartial, UN-backed investigation of the incident. Dmitry Polyansky, the deputy head of the Russian mission to the UN, told US political commentator Jackson Hinkle on Thursday that Moscow is not participating in investigations conducted by the three European countries, “not because we don’t want to, but because they keep us at bay.” The diplomat claimed that, in a nutshell, the message from the three nations was: “We are doing what we are doing, mind your own business.”

The Russian mission will distribute the exchanges among members of the UN Security Council in an effort to initiate an “independent, unbiased international investigation with all parties concerned,” Polyansky added. Moscow wants the UNSC to authorize Secretary General Antonio Guterres to launch a probe into the attack on the undersea energy links, which were built to pump Russian natural gas directly to Germany. Three of the four pipes were ruptured by explosions in September last year in the territorial waters of Denmark and Sweden. According to Polyansky, Russia intends to put its proposal to a vote by the end of March, although Western powers will inevitably object. Veteran US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported last month that the sabotage was a clandestine US-Norwegian operation meant to prevent Germany from straying from the American-led campaign of sanctions against Russia.

Moscow’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, called the revelation “more than a smoking gun.” The US and Norway have denied Hersh’s allegations. A series of publications in American and German media suggested this week that a Ukrainian oligarch had sponsored the operation, which was said to have been conducted by a small team of private divers from a rented yacht. Polyansky claimed the reports were an obvious attempt to distract the public. The diplomat insisted that the Nord Stream incident was “an extreme act of sabotage” and that the perpetrators should face accountability. Should that not happen, it would open a dangerous new chapter in international relations where attacks on civilian infrastructure are condoned, Polyansky argued.

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“It is definitely important to us that there is calm along our borders and of course, the current situation there leaves much to be desired..”

Kremlin: Unrest In Georgia Cause For Concern, Not Russia’s Fault (TASS)

Russia has no connection to the Georgian foreign agent bill that has caused protests in the country, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. “The Kremlin did not inspire anything and has absolutely nothing to do with this,” he stressed. Peskov pointed out that the United States was a pioneer in terms of such laws. “If we understand correctly, one of the versions of the [Georgian] bill was actually very similar to the US law on the matter. The second version did not resemble the US law so much and was much softer. However, we certainly have nothing to do with any of them,” Peskov said.


He added that the unrest in Georgia was cause for concern. “It is our neighboring country after all, and although we don’t actually maintain relations with Georgia, we are certainly concerned about the situation there. It is definitely important to us that there is calm along our borders and of course, the current situation there leaves much to be desired,” he noted. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on March 7-8 after lawmakers had passed the first reading of the Georgian version of a foreign agent bill. On March 9, the ruling party decided to withdraw the bill from parliament.

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“..EU nations and other “upper-middle income countries” are receiving 81% of the grain from Ukraine, with only 2.6% going to the countries that need it the most..”

US To Discourage Africa From Doing Business With Russia – Official (RT)

US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo is planning a trip to Africa, where he will press officials in Ghana, Nigeria, and another unnamed country to cut their business ties with Russia, he said on Wednesday. Speaking to ‘Pod Save the World’ host Ben Rhodes, Adeyemo said that the trip would take place this month. The goal of the trip, he explained, will be to convince those countries that the worldwide spike in food and energy prices is the fault of Russia, even though US President Joe Biden has admitted that Washington’s sanctions on Russia have raised costs in “an awful lot of countries.” “Our goal is to make very clear to [these] countries from an economic standpoint: your economic interests are aligned with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ending as soon as possible,” Adeyemo said.

The US is “trying to do everything we can to reduce the costs [that Africa is] facing due to this war,” he claimed, adding that Africans “should be asking Russia to do the same.” Ghana and Nigeria, like many other African nations, rely heavily on grain and fertilizer imports from Ukraine and Russia. Although Russia and Ukraine signed a deal last August to establish a safe corridor to transport grain from Ukrainian ports to countries facing food insecurity, Moscow warned earlier this month that EU nations and other “upper-middle income countries” are receiving 81% of the grain from Ukraine, with only 2.6% going to the countries that need it the most.

Meanwhile, Western sanctions are impeding the delivery of Russian grain by sea. Kiev also continues to block a vital ammonia pipeline, causing a shortage of the compound that could be used to produce seven million tons of fertilizer, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated. Adeyemo said that the US does not want African nations to trade with Russia. “They can support Russia, which is a small economy that’s getting smaller because of our actions, or [they] can continue to have access to doing business with companies and individuals in countries that represent more than 50% of the global economy,” he told Rhodes.

While both Ghana and Nigeria voted at the United Nations to condemn Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, neither have imposed sanctions on Moscow. The majority of UN members have taken a similar position, which the US Treasury has worked to change. In a visit to Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman last month, Brian Nelson, the department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, warned that these countries could lose access to Western markets if they continued to trade with sanctioned Russian entities. Adeyemo’s boss, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, went on a similar junket to Senegal, Zambia and South Africa in January.

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Overkill.

Oscars Reportedly Say No To Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s bid to appear virtually at the Academy Awards has been rejected for the second year in a row, Vanity Fair said on Thursday. Mike Simpson, a high-powered Hollywood agent from the WME agency who also represents directors Quentin Tarantino and Bong Joon Ho, was supposedly sent in to try to clinch the deal, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was not swayed, the article says. The Academy declined to comment to Vanity Fair. Zelensky’s efforts to appear at the Oscars last year were also rebuffed, reportedly because the Academy wanted to “steer clear of anything political.” Oscars producer Will Packer also allegedly complained that Hollywood was fawning over Zelensky because those affected by the conflict in Ukraine were white, while the many wars impacting non-white people around the world have been largely snubbed by the cultural elite.

Hollywood actor and vocal Zelensky supporter Sean Penn called for a boycott of the awards show and even vowed to melt down his own Oscar statues if his friend was not permitted to speak, a campaign that gained little traction at the time. While Penn did not end up liquefying his awards, he did give one of them to Zelensky during a visit to Kiev, and has not commented on this year’s developments. The Ukrainian president has been ubiquitous at large-scale public events in the West since the start of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine last year, appearing via video link to plead for financial and moral support at the Cannes, Venice, and Berlin film festivals, the Grammy Awards, the Glastonbury music festival, and even the New York Stock Exchange, where he rang the opening bell “virtually” in September.

However, Americans appear to be tiring of the comedian-turned-politician’s routine, with polls showing a growing portion of the electorate believes too much of their money is being sent to Ukraine. A recent analysis by German research firm Statista found President Joe Biden’s administration had spent more money on military aid to Ukraine than the US spent annually to fight its own war in Afghanistan. Italy’s Sanremo song festival last month pulled a planned Zelensky appearance after widespread criticism that saw one of the event participants forgoing his own live appearance in protest.

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She’s been there for many years.

Fire Victoria Nuland — Don’t Let Her Drive War (CN)

For the women of Ukraine, the illegal Russian invasion — which Nuland provoked over the years with NATO expansion — has led to heightened sex trafficking and increased gender violence. According to the United Nations and relief organizations, this includes not only rape as a weapon of war, but “intimate partner violence and sexual harassment.” With Ukraine under martial law and men aged 18-60 forced to the front lines, young women refugees — often unaccompanied — are vulnerable to abuse at border crossings. On International Women’s Day, women don’t let women drive war. Instead, we at CODEPINK urge Biden to fire Nuland and pursue a people-centered feminist foreign policy that employs diplomacy to bring this war to an end now.

The fact that Nuland was given a diplomatic job in the Biden administration in the first place never ceases to amaze because her record reads like a war criminal’s rap sheet. Nuland served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy national security adviser from 2003-2005, during the illegal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, a painful chapter in U.S. history that left over a million Iraqis dead and thousands of U.S. soldiers in body bags. In 2005, Nuland became ambassador to NATO, where she lobbied Europe to participate in the disastrous U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. In persuading other governments the U.S. could win that war, she sold a lie across Europe to prolong a near 20-year occupation that left Afghanistan broke, with 6 million children and adults at risk of starvation. In May 2013, Nuland was nominated to act as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, where she was supposed to employ diplomacy in relations with Russia, Ukraine and other former Soviet states.

Instead, Nuland and the White House hurled $5 billion in taxpayer money at Ukraine to overthrow its democratically elected president and engineer a transition government to privatize Ukraine and prepare for war with Russia. After Nuland passed out pastries during the Maidan coup, before President Viktor Yanukovych fled under a hail of bullets, Nuland was caught in a scandal involving a leaked phone call. On the phone with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland was secretly recorded saying “F .. the EU” if the European Union did not approve of her choices to run Ukraine’s transition government. The West gasped at her use of profanity. The more egregious profanity, however, was her insistence on manipulating the political affairs of another country to provoke Russia.

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“He made himself the image of the riot, didn’t he? For good or bad, he made himself the very image of this whole event.”

Did the “QAnon Shaman” Get Shafted on Sentencing? (Turley)

If there is one image from Jan. 6th that will remain indelible with the day, it is the “QAnon Shaman.” Bare chested and wearing an animal headdress, horns and red-white-and-blue face paint, Jake Angeli Chansley is to the Capitol riot what Rosie the Riveter was to World War II. Howling and “chanting an unintelligible mantra” on the Senate floor, he is the embodiment of the unhinged rage that led to one of the most disgraceful attacks on our constitutional process in history. However, the newly released Fox footage from that day raises serious questions over the prosecution and punishment of Chansley. The videotapes aired on Tucker Carlson this week show Chansley being escorted by officers through the Capitol. Two officers appear to not only guide him to the floor but actually appear to be trying to open locked doors for him. At one point, Chansley is shown walking unimpeded through a large number of armed officers with his four-foot flag-draped spear and horned Viking helmet on his way to the Senate floor.

It is otherworldly footage. While I admit that I approach these stories from the perspective of a long-standing criminal defense attorney, I would be outraged if I was unable to see such evidence before a plea or sentencing. At no point in the videotapes does Chansley appear violent or threatening. Indeed, he appears to thank the officers for their guidance and assistance. On the Senate floor, Chansley actually gave a prayer to thank the officers agreed “to allow us into the building.” Before addressing the legal implications of this footage, one thing should be clear. The public should have been given access to this footage long ago and the Jan. 6th Committee withheld important evidence on what occurred inside the Capitol on that day.

While it is understandable that many would object to Carlson being given an exclusive in the initial release, many in the media are denouncing the release of the footage to the public at all. The press and pundits are now opposing greater transparency in resisting any contradiction of the narrative put forward by the Jan. 6th Committee. Indeed, MSNBC’s Jason Johnson angrily objected that this is “federal evidence” — ignoring that it is evidence that was denied to criminal defendants. This is not just material that the public should be able to see, it was potential evidence in criminal cases like that of the QAnon Shaman. When the footage aired, I wrote a column raising the question of whether this evidence was known to or shared with Chansley’s defense. After all, he was portrayed as a violent offender by the Justice Department at his sentencing.

It now appears that the answer is no. I spoke with Chansley’s new counsel, Bill Shipley, and confirmed that defense counsel did not have this material. In the hearing, federal prosecutor Kimberly Paschall played videos showing Chansley yelling along with the crowd and insisted “that is not peaceful.” That portrayal of Chansley would have been more difficult to maintain if the Court was allowed to see images of Chansley casually walking through a door of the Capitol with hundreds of other protesters and then being escorted by officers through the Capitol. At no point is he violent and at no point is he shown destroying evidence. Instead, he dutifully follows the officers who facilitate his going eventually to the unoccupied Senate floor.

We all knew that Chansley was treated more harshly because of his visibility. It was his costume, not his conduct, that seemed to drive the sentencing. In the hearing, Judge Royce Lamberth noted, “He made himself the image of the riot, didn’t he? For good or bad, he made himself the very image of this whole event.” Lamberth hit Chansley with a heavy 41-month sentence for “obstructing a federal proceeding.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1634003776146219009

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“Trump noted that while he still thinks highly of the talk show star, he said the feeling is no longer mutual, adding “Sadly, once I announced for president, she never spoke to me again.”

Trump To Publish ‘Private’ Letters From Foreign Leaders (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump is set to publish scores of letters from a range of world leaders, celebrities, athletes and business moguls, among them North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, the late Princess Diana and even Hillary Clinton. Trump announced the upcoming book in a social media post on Thursday, while Winning Team Publishing, which will print the collection, stated the work will present the “incredible, and oftentimes private” communications with Trump over the last 40 years. “We had lots of great letters from lots of great people and not so great people, to be honest with you,” Trump told reporters on Thursday. “But they’re very famous people. And probably there’s never been such diversity as this in terms of people where the letters come from and who they come from.”

In addition to some 150 letters from big names ranging from Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, US Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, golf legend Arnold Palmer and even his bitter rivals in the Clinton family, the book will also contain “original commentary” from Trump and a collection of photos. It is set for release next month, following his first book published last year, ‘Our Journey Together,’ which raked in $20 million in sales after just two months on the shelves. One letter from Winfrey dated to the year 2000 gives effusive praise to Trump, saying “too bad we’re not running for office. What a team!” Trump noted that while he still thinks highly of the talk show star, he said the feeling is no longer mutual, adding “Sadly, once I announced for president, she never spoke to me again.”

Trump previously said North Korea’s supreme leader penned him “beautiful letters” and that they “fell in love” during his time in office. His correspondence with Kim has taken on new importance after the federal government launched a probe into whether he had retained classified material after leaving the White House, which was reportedly triggered after officials noticed letters from the North Korean leader were missing from Trump’s presidential archives.

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Censorship-Industrial Complex.

Matt Taibbi Releases Twitter File Review #18 (CTH)

Journalist Matt Taibbi released another Twitter File review today showcasing how the opinion of government interests was pushed toward content censorship regardless of the truth within it. File #18 release is a walk through all of government interests from COVID-19, Vaccination Compliance and maintenance of the Trump-Russia narrative. I strongly suggest everyone to review the citations Taibbi presents from the documents contained within Twitter’s internal communication. . One aspect that draws particular interest to those who spent years deconstructing the false Trump-Russia narrative, appears in the section beginning in Tweet #34 where Taibbi again visits the influence of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).

At the epicenter of the SSCI effort we have always found then Vice-Chair Mark Warner manipulating events. Taibbi pulls this thread a little further with his review of how the SSCI contracted with outside government agencies to maintain the false premise of Russian interference in the 2016 election. A name that might be familiar to those who read the SSCI report on “Russian Active Measures and Disinformation in the 2016 Campaign” might be familiar to you. Taibbi notes: Profiles portray [Renee] DiResta as a warrior against Russian bots and misinformation, but reporters never inquire about work with DARPA, GEC, and other agencies. In the video below from @MikeBenzCyber, Stamos introduces [Renee DiResta] as having “worked for the CIA.”

DiResta has become the public face of the Censorship-Industrial Complex, a name promoted everywhere as an unquestioned authority on truth, fact, and Internet hygiene, even though her former firm, New Knowledge, has been embroiled in two major disinformation scandals. This, ultimately, is the most serious problem with the Censorship-Industrial Complex. Packaged as a bulwark against lies and falsehood, it is itself often a major source of disinformation, with American taxpayers funding their own estrangement from reality. DiResta’s New Knowledge helped design the Hamilton 68 project exposed in the #TwitterFiles. Although it claimed to track “Russian influence,” Hamilton really followed Americans like “Ultra Maga Dog Mom,” “Right2Liberty,” even a British rugby player named Rod Bishop.

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“Even Coast Guard Intelligence thinks it’s hogwash.” “Let that sink in.”

White House Claims Jan 6 Tapes Are Russian Disinformation (BBee)

Previously unseen footage, shown for the first time on Tucker Carlson Tonight, sparked controversy for its purported portrayal of the Deadly Jan 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol Insurrection™ as a “mostly peaceful” protest, but the intelligence community has gone on the record to claim all security footage from the event is nothing but Russian disinformation. “It is the consensus of the intelligence community that security footage from the Capitol building is part of an elaborate Russian disinformation scheme,” said White House Press Secretary Jean-Pierre. “Even Coast Guard Intelligence thinks it’s hogwash.” “Let that sink in.”


Fox News reporter Peter Doocy was quick to point out that the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol™ had access to the same footage. “Does that mean they were also duped by Russian disinformation?” “Only the footage showing peaceful protestors is Russian,” answered Jean-Pierre. “Duh!” Doocy tried to ask a follow-up question but was promptly shut down. “I shouldn’t have to explain this,” Jean-Pierre argued. “The last time the intelligence community agreed on anything was when they said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So obviously, we take their claims very seriously.” At publishing time, the FBI was investigating how Russians gained access to the U.S. Capitol Building to install security cameras in the first place.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

FBI subsidiary

 

 

Covid cover up

 

 

Whale shark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633775531597471746

 

 

 

 

Polar

 

 

Butterfly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633682217779236866

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 092023
 


Fred Stein Le gaz 1935

Andrew Korybko:

The former Soviet Republic of Georgia experienced a serious Color Revolution attempt Tuesday night after radical pro-Western rioters tried to storm parliament in response to its passing of a bill requiring all organizations with at least 20% foreign funding to register with the authorities. The US-led Western Mainstream Media (MSM) artificially manufactured the false narrative in the run-up to events alleging that the law is based on Russia’s related system even though it’s explicitly inspired by the US’.

This well-intended attempt to protect Georgia’s fledging and admittedly imperfect democracy from foreign meddling per its sovereign right was subsequently exploited as the pretext for organizing a violent regime change against Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. The West wants to punish him for his pragmatic refusal to open up a “second front” in the US’ proxy war on Russia after he publicly exposed this plot in early December while also pledging never to arm Kiev either.

President Salome Zurabishvili, who was visiting the UN in New York during the unsuccessful regime change against Garibashvili on Tuesday night, threw her full support behind the riots in a video that peddled the West’s false information warfare narrative alleging that the bill is backed by Russia. Readers should be aware that she served most of her career as a French diplomat after having been born there and was previously that country’s Ambassador to Georgia up until 2004.

She only received Georgian citizenship at that time due to a deal between those two governments proposed by Mikhail Saakashvili following his successful Color Revolution the year prior in order for her to become his Foreign Minister. For all intents and purposes, Zurabishvili has since functioned as one the Golden Billion’s top “agents of influence” in Georgia. Despite the Prime Minister nowadays holding more power due to prior reforms, the Presidency still provides her with some sway over society.

It was within this context that Tuesday night’s violent seizure of power against Garibashvili was attempted, though Russia was already prepared for this scenario after Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned in early February that something foul was indeed afoot in that former Soviet Republic. He told a popular TV anchor at the time that “The fact that they would like to turn Georgia into another irritant, to roll the situation back into the aggressive condition of the Saakashvili era is beyond doubt.”

It also deserves mentioning that the West’s latest Color Revolution attempt in the region took place amidst continued Russian gains around Artyomovsk/“Bakhmut”, which prompted Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to warn that Russia could roll through the rest of Donbass if it captures that city. Earlier that same day and just hours before the attempted storming of parliament in Tbilisi, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu confirmed that a victory there would smash Kiev’s regional defenses.

To summarize the strategic dynamics on the eve of Tuesday night’s unsuccessful regime change in Georgia, the MSM had already manufactured the false narrative ahead of parliament voting on that country’s US-inspired foreign agents bill alleging that it symbolizes the country’s tilt towards Russia. This information warfare campaign is waged against its premier for his refusal in early December to open up a “second front” against that Eurasian Great Power to relieve pressure upon the US’ Ukrainian proxies.

The Georgian President, who’s arguably always functioned as one of the Golden Billion’s top “agents of influence”, happened to be in New York when everything unfolded and threw her full support behind those regime change riots. Earlier that same day, both Defense Minister Shoigu and Zelensky informed everyone that Russia could roll through the rest of Donbass if it captures Artyomovsk/“Bakhmut”. The stage was therefore set for attempting to violently overthrow Zurabishvili on Tuesday night.

It would be premature to declare that he’s secure in his position despite the security services successfully defending parliament from the rioters since a lot could still happen to advance the US’ regime change agenda. Georgia is a deeply divided country that’s been under immense Western influence for the past two decades, during which time the Golden Billion managed to manipulate a sizeable proportion of the population into doing its geopolitical bidding.

There’s no dearth of “useful idiots” who can easily be misled into destabilizing their country to the detriment of its objective national interests due to their liberalglobalist ideology. This means that Georgia is therefore expected to become the latest front in the New Cold War seeing as how it’s unlikely that its latest crisis will be resolved anytime soon. The situation is extremely serious and the outcome of the US’ undeclared Hybrid War on Georgia could directly affect developments in Donbass.

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Mar 092023
 


Vincent van Gogh Almond blossom 1890

 

Seymour Hersh Laughs off NYT Article on Nord Stream Culprits (Celente)
‘Officials’ Throw More Chaff To Hide Real Nord Stream Perpetrators (MoA)
German Defense Minister Comments On Nord Stream Sabotage Case (RT)
CIA, White House Consider Kiev Involvement In Nord Stream Sabotage – WSJ (TASS)
West Won’t Name Ukrainian Businessman Involved In Nord Stream Incident (TASS)
Russia: NYT Report on Nord Stream Attack is Deliberate Disinformation (SN)
EU Threatens Georgia Over ‘Foreign Agent’ Law (RT)
US Could ‘Shift Focus’ From Europe To Asia ‘Anytime’ – Berlin (RT)
Vindman Busted For Dealing Lucrative Defense Contracts in Ukraine (TP)
Elon Musk Blasts MSM, Democrats On January 6th Capitol Riot Revelations (DCE)
Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Not Credible, Says White House (BBC)
Moscow Condemns ‘Nazi Celebration’ At White House (RT)
EU Energy Bills Soared 300% – von der Leyen (RT)
Ukraine Cuts Off Power To Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (TASS)

 

 

 

 

Also Sep 2019: Bill Gates buys $30 million in BioNTech stock

 

 

 

 

Southfront

 

 

Scott Ritter
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633549541717966851

 

 

 

 

Garland

 

 

 

 

“I always thought either Somalia or Nepal were behind it.”

Seymour Hersh Laughs off NYT Article on Nord Stream Culprits (Celente)

Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who wrote the expose on the Nord Stream pipelines sabotage last month, brushed off today’s report in The New York Times that blamed the attack on a “pro-Ukrainian group.” Hersh’s original story went into detail on how the U.S. and Norway allegdly carried out the elaborate bombing. His theory is that President Joe Biden was concerned Germany would turn back to Russia for its natural gas if there was a cold winter and restart the pipeline. The White House called Hersh’s story completely false. The Times’s report cited unnamed U.S. officials who said they reviewed new intelligence about the pro-Ukraine group with no known ties to the Ukrainian government. Ukraine also denied any role in the attack.

The paper said: The review of newly collected intelligence suggests they were opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation. Hersh seemed unimpressed with the report and laughed when reached by The Trends Journal. He joked, “I always thought either Somalia or Nepal were behind it.” The Times’s decision to even cover the attack is a change in the U.S. media. FAIR, the media watchdog group, ran an extensive article last week that looked into Hersh’s report and the response from top news outlets in the U.S. The watchdog group noted that there was “not a word broadcast by the major US broadcast networks—NBC, ABC, CBS—or the publicly funded broadcasters PBS and NPR. No news stories on the nation’s major cable outlets, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.”

But despite the lack of coverage in the U.S., Russia used Hersh’s story to demand a UN investigation and to threaten open-water chaos. Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council that if the perpetrators are not found and brought to justice, it could become open season on undersea infrastructure for military strikes. Germany’s ARD broadcaster and Zeit newspaper also released a report that said German authorities identified the yacht used in the sabotage, but noted that the lack of evidence could be a false flag, Al Jazeera reported. Last Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz flew to Washington for what amounted to a secret one-hour summit with President Joe Biden.

No staff attended the two-man meeting and to illustrate journalistic malpractice, none of the Presstitutes asked the German leader his thoughts about Seymour Hersh’s report that the United States blew up the Nord Stream pipelines. The theory is that the Biden administration was worried Germany could turn back to Russia because of the cheap gas, and so the U.S. destroying the pipelines would prevent such a scenario. And what was the real purpose of this secret meeting? No one was told. Was it to ramp up World War III?

Hersh “they can’t be that stupid”

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“Such deep dives require special gases, special breathing equipment, special training, a decompression chamber for emergencies and lots of well trained people to maintain all that stuff..”

‘Officials’ Throw More Chaff To Hide Real Nord Stream Perpetrators (MoA)

The new claim is that some rather small yacht, which would not even be able to carry the necessary equipment to perform such a deed, was the main instrument in this:

“Following joint research by [German main public TV news unit] (ARD’s capital city studio), the ARD political magazine Kontraste, [German public TV] SWR and DIE ZEIT, it was possible to reconstruct to a large extent in the course of the investigation how and when the explosive attack was prepared. According to this, traces lead in the direction of Ukraine. However, investigators have so far found no evidence of who ordered the destruction.

Specifically, according to information from [these news sources], investigators have managed to identify the boat that was presumably used for the secret operation. It is said to be a yacht rented from a company based in Poland, apparently owned by two Ukrainians. The clandestine operation at sea is said to have been carried out by a team of six people, according to the investigation. It is said to have involved five men and one woman. According to the report, the group consisted of a captain, two divers, two diving assistants and a female doctor, who are said to have transported the explosives to the crime scenes and placed them there. The nationality of the perpetrators is apparently unclear. The assassins used professionally forged passports, which are said to have been used, among other things, to rent the boat.

According to the investigation, the commando set off from Rostock on September 6, 2022. The equipment for the clandestine operation was previously transported to the port in a van, it is said. In the further course, the investigators succeeded in locating the boat the following day again in Wieck (Darß) and later at the Danish island Christiansø, northeast of Bornholm, according to the research. The yacht was subsequently returned to the owner in uncleaned condition. On the table in the cabin, the investigators were able to detect traces of explosives, according to the research. According to information from [the mentioned news sources], a Western intelligence service is said to have sent a tip to European partner services as early as in the fall, i.e. shortly after the destruction, according to which a Ukrainian commando was responsible for the destruction. Thereafter, there have allegedly been further intelligence indications suggesting that a pro-Ukrainian group could be responsible.”

No. You do not dive down to 80+ meter for an industrial size job, involving the placement of hundreds of pounds of explosives in eight individual charges on very sturdy pipelines, from a sparsely manned boat. Such deep dives require special gases, special breathing equipment, special training, a decompression chamber for emergencies and lots of well trained people to maintain all that stuff.

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“..the sabotage act might have been a “false-flag operation” aimed at framing Ukraine..”

German Defense Minister Comments On Nord Stream Sabotage Case (RT)

Germany’s defense minister Boris Pistorius has dodged a question about how the Nord Stream sabotage case could influence Western military aid for Kiev if it turns out that some pro-Ukrainian groups were behind the Russian gas pipeline blasts. It is of no use to speculate on the “hypothetical” indications, the minister told national news radio Deutschlandfunk (DLF) on Wednesday, on the heels of several media reports linking the incident, which occurred in September 2022, to some alleged Ukrainian perpetrators. “We’ll have to wait and see what is actually confirmed,” Pistorius told DLF’s Barbara Schmidt-Mattern when asked about the media reports. On Tuesday, a host of German media outlets, including Die Zeit newspaper and state broadcaster ARD, reported that a vessel believed to be linked to the Nord Stream sabotage operation allegedly belongs to a Ukrainian-owned company.

The reports also said that a Western intelligence agency is thought to have informed European “partner services”that a “Ukrainian commando” unit was behind the attack. The New York Times reported on the same day, citing US intelligence sources, that a “pro-Ukrainian group”was behind the September 2022 attacks. Pistorius brushed off all the claims presented in the reports as “hypothetical” and maintained that the sabotage act might have been a “false-flag operation” aimed at framing Ukraine. The chance of it being a false-flag operation is as “equally high” as the chance of Ukrainians being behind it, the minister said. Berlin has so far not made any investigation results public. A few days ago, Sweden, Denmark and Germany “informed the United Nations Security Council that the investigations are ongoing and that there are still no results,” a government spokesman declared on Tuesday.

Pistorius also insisted it would make little sense to “think about what impact this would have on our support for Ukraine on the basis of such a [journalistic] investigation” when asked about the potential fallout of a probe into the Nord Stream sabotage. The minister also said that Germany and its allies continue to supply Kiev “to the best of our ability.” He added, though, that Ukraine’s Western backers can only provide ammunition for the Ukrainian troops as long as it does not compromise their own defense capacities. “We need certain reserves to maintain our own ability to defend ourselves,” Pistorius said, calling limited defense industry production capacities a real “bottleneck” limiting Western military aid for Ukraine. His words came as The Times reported that Western intelligence agencies had been well aware of the identity of a person behind the attack on Nord Stream. They decided at the time to conceal this information to avoid a spat between Berlin and Kiev, since the suspect had ties to Ukraine, the paper claimed.

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“The US believes that Ukraine had an opportunity to perform such operation..”

CIA, White House Consider Kiev Involvement In Nord Stream Sabotage – WSJ (TASS)

CIA Director William Burns and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan considered a version of Ukraine’s responsibility for sabotage acts at Nord Stream gas pipelines in October 2022, the Wall Street Journal said, citing unnamed representatives of the US administration. The US believes that Ukraine had an opportunity to perform such operation. No data are available at the moment indicating that Ukrainian authorities were involved in sabotage acts, the newspaper said. The German investigation has almost completely excluded the version of Russia’s involvement in sabotage acts at gas pipelines. The US also does not believe that Russia was involved, the newspaper informed. German investigators arrived at the conclusion of non-involvement of Russia by February 2023, WSJ reported. Conclusions are not final and the investigation continues, the newspaper said.


Ukraine passport found

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Easier that way. Deep secret.

West Won’t Name Ukrainian Businessman Involved In Nord Stream Incident (TASS)

The Western nations are likely not to disclose the name of a Ukrainian businessman alleged to be involved in sabotage acts at Nord Stream pipelines to keep the unity of the West in providing military aid to Ukraine, the Daily Telegraph newspaper said, citing sources. The businessman, whose name is known to the news outlet, fell under suspicion in view of a special nature of sabotage acts that might hint that he was involved with the incident, sources said. A newspaper’s source in European security agencies confirmed that the businessman is on the radar screen of investigators but said nothing whether he is a formal suspect in the case.

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“I wonder who allows such leaks, filling the media scene with them?”

Russia: NYT Report on Nord Stream Attack is Deliberate Disinformation (SN)

Russia has claimed that the New York Times report about a ‘pro-Ukraine group’ being responsible for the Nord Stream pipeline attack is a deliberate form of disinformation to distract from the fact that the U.S. was responsible for the blasts. The NYT said that a “pro-Ukrainian group” had sabotaged the pipelines, using a team with as few as six people involved in the mission, contradicting previous assumptions that only a state would have had the resources to carry out the operation. The report was very careful to explicitly state that no Americans or Brits were involved in the attack. A few hours later, German media outlets reported that the vessel involved in the plot, a yacht, had been identified as being rented from a Poland-based company which belonged to a pair of Ukrainians.


The reports contradicted the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who wrote last month that the pipelines were destroyed by the US as part of a covert operation. According to Hersh’s sources, the explosives were planted in June 2022 by US Navy divers under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise and were detonated three months later with a remote signal sent by a sonar buoy. One source told Hersh that the plotters knew the covert operation was an “act of war,” with some in the CIA and State Department warning, “Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out.” Russia reacted to the New York Times report by dismissing it as a propaganda ploy designed to obfuscate the truth. “I wonder who allows such leaks, filling the media scene with them?” asked Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “The answer is: those who do not want to conduct an investigation in the legal field and are going to divert the attention of the audience from the facts in every possible way.”

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NGOs are the vehicle for color revolutions. The law was withdrawn this morning.

EU Threatens Georgia Over ‘Foreign Agent’ Law (RT)

Georgia risks “significant withdrawal of EU support” if it proceeds with the law on registering foreign agents, Romanian MEP Siegfried Muresan said on Wednesday. The vice-president of the European People’s Party bloc in the European Parliament told Romania’s Digi 24 outlet that requiring NGOs to disclose foreign funding was an attack on democracy. “We see intimidation of civil society,” Muresan told the outlet. Requiring organizations dealing with press freedom, human rights and helping Ukrainian refugees to register as foreign agents if 20% or more of their funding comes from abroad is “intimidation of essential entities for democracy, it is not at all consistent with European standards,” he added.

“What the Georgian authorities are doing endangers the country’s European course,” insisted Muresan, accusing Tbilisi of having “fallen behind Moldova and Ukraine” in implementing EU reforms. On Tuesday, Georgian lawmakers voted in favor of a bill that would impose registration requirements on foreign-funded NGOs. The opposition denounced it as “Russian-like” and organized mass protests outside the parliament two days in a row. Some of the demonstrators carried EU, US and Ukrainian flags. Others wore gas masks and helmets, attempted to storm the legislature, and threw Molotov cocktails at police. The ruling party in Tbilisi says the law is intended to protect the country’s sovereignty from “extremist organizations” funded from abroad.

Georgian Dream party leader Irakli Kobakhidze accused the opposition of wanting to restore the 2003-2012 ‘Rose Revolution’ regime, which he said looted the country and lost 20% of its territory. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili and the US State Department have sided with the rioters, with the US embassy in Tbilisi calling the proposed law a “dark day for democracy.” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also described the proposal as contrary to EU values. Muresan told Digi24 that Tbilisi “risks a significant withdrawal of EU support” unless it backs down, because Brussels cannot support “undemocratic tendencies.” “Obviously the EU expectation is that people can express themselves freely and any attempt to intimidate those who take to the streets will not be accepted,” he said.

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Raytheon spokesman.

US Could ‘Shift Focus’ From Europe To Asia ‘Anytime’ – Berlin (RT)

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has expressed concern that Europe is relying too much on the US in the area of defense. This means there is pressure on him “at all times,” he admitted during a talk with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk (Dlf) radio broadcaster on Wednesday, adding that Washington’s priorities could always change. “We always have to keep in mind that the Americans could… shift their focus… towards the Indo-Pacific [region],” Pistorius said. He added that this could happen for a range of reasons, and the likelihood of such a scenario may be influenced by the outcome of the US presidential elections next year. The minister called on Europe to make “more efforts” to develop its own coordinated defense policy and assume the “corresponding responsibility.”

He maintained that Europe could always rely on its “transatlantic partner,” but added that “the balance can shift and we have to prepare for that.” Pistorius also said Germany and the US would have to coordinate their approaches toward China. Asked about “teamwork” between Washington and Berlin in dealing with Beijing, he said: “I believe it will be done anyway, and that is necessary.” He did not rule out Germany joining US-led sanctions against China should Beijing supply Russia with lethal weapons amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Pistorius’ remarks come around a week after he admitted that Germany does not have sufficient forces to defend itself against “an offensive” after years of neglecting its own army.

Earlier this week, Germany’s ZDF broadcaster also reported that the German Army – the Bundeswehr – was struggling to fulfill its obligations as part of a NATO rapid response force (VJTF) due to a lack of battle-ready tanks.Despite facing such issues in the field of defense, Berlin has been providing extensive support to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, sometimes at the expense of its own defense capabilities. Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall, the country’s top military contractor, told the Pioneer podcast in late February that the government had transferred to Ukraine two state-of-the-art air defense systems that were meant to protect the German capital.

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Didn’t get paid enough for framingTrump.

Vindman Busted For Dealing Lucrative Defense Contracts in Ukraine (TP)

A key witness in the impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump is being called an “opportunist” after pitching lucrative defense contracts to the Ukrainian government in a blatant attempt to profit off the current international struggle. Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified before the House Intelligence Committee in 2019 in response to questions raised about dealings between President Trump and Ukrainian, has offered logistics and equipment management services to Ukrainian forces for $12 million. The contract was offered through Trident International LLC, of which Vindman is CEO, according to Fox News.

Democrats subpoenaed Vindman to testify in 2019 as part of their impeachment hearings exploring whether or not President Trump appealed to the Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s involvement in helping his son Hunter secure business dealings with natural gas firm Burisma Holdings. Vindman’s prepared testimony, which was leaked to the media in advance, detailed his concerns that “outside influencers” were attempting to thwart congressional support for Ukraine. He went on to say that such a narrative would “undermine U.S. national security.” The following year, a U.S. Senate committee on homeland security concluded that then-Vice President Biden and State Department officials were aware of the conflict of interest exhibited with Hunter Biden’s business relationship but ignored repeated concerns raised at the time.

Lt. Col. Vindman retired from the military in the aftermath of his testimony, alleging in a subsequent lawsuit that the Trump White House committed a “campaign of intimidation and retaliation has had severe and deeply personal ramifications.” A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in November. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a sharp critic of Vindman during the impeachment hearings, did not hold back in excoriating Vindman for his Ukrainian dealings: “When conservatives speak the truth, the mainstream media panics and desperately attempts to provide cover for the left. They did this for Alexander Vindman, just like they did for Hunter Biden, Dr. Fauci and teachers unions,” Blackburn said, referencing liberal media outlets’ staunch defense of Vindman throughout his time as a witness during the impeachment investigation.

“Alexander Vindman has always been a political activist and opportunist masquerading behind his career. He saw an opening for personal fame and profited by exploiting the media’s outrage against President Trump,” she accused. “Vindman has spent the last three years on MSNBC and CNN attacking Republicans. Now, new revelations suggest Vindman could be profiting off the war in Ukraine, just as he did by speaking out against the Trump administration,” Blackburn added.

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“they withheld evidence for partisan political reasons that sent people to prison for far more serious crimes than they committed.”

Elon Musk Blasts MSM, Democrats On January 6th Capitol Riot Revelations (DCE)

On Monday evening, Tucker Carlson released an expose of the over 40,000 hours of footage his producers reviewed of the January 6th Capitol Riot leading to massive reactions online including from the world’s richest man, Elon Musk. Musk took aim at Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and Adam Schiff (D-CA) who, Tucker claimed, painted a biased portrait of what occurred on January 6th. Throughout Tucker’s coverage, he showcased that the House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack lied about how Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died with the Fox host showing that he was walking around following the supposed attack that killed him.

In addition, Carlson debunked the now-famous clip of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) running away from the rioters, showcasing that there were dozens of lawmakers and staff being escorted from their offices by the police, not just the Missouri senator. In addition, Tucker pointed out that Ray Epps, a rioter on January 6th that has gained considerable attention and who has been used as a key witness, in fact, lied during his testimony about when he left the Capitol. All of these facts combined led to Musk blasting the Democrats for misleading the public over the past two years in order to push a narrative to push their own partisan priorities. “Besides misleading the public,” Musk began, “they withheld evidence for partisan political reasons that sent people to prison for far more serious crimes than they committed.”

“That is deeply wrong, legally and morally,” he continued, adding, “This is crazy. The public was misled.” In addition to expressing his own opinion about the matter, he also called upon BBC World to cover the release of the footage honestly: “What say you, [BBC World]?” he asked. “Your credibility is at stake.”

Tucker montage
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633282902615105537

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Him and Seymour Hersh.

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Not Credible, Says White House (BBC)

The White House has called Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson “not credible” after he made a number of claims based on previously unseen footage from the 2021 Capitol riots. The criticism echoes similar statements this week from leading Democrat and Republican lawmakers. Mr Carlson showed unseen clips from the riots on his show this week. He argued the footage “does not show an insurrection or a riot in progress” but rather “mostly peaceful chaos”.A top congressional Republican recently gave Mr Carlson and his team exclusive access to more than 40,000 hours of surveillance video from the Capitol. The White House rarely criticises journalists by name but weighed in with a statement on Wednesday about the prime-time TV host’s broadcast related to the footage.

Spokesperson Andrew Bates said the White House agreed with critics, including the “chief of the Capitol Police and the wide range of bipartisan lawmakers” that “condemned this false depiction of the unprecedented, violent attack”. “We also agree with what Fox News’s own attorneys and executives have now repeatedly stressed in multiple courts of law: that Tucker Carlson is not credible.” The BBC contacted Fox News for a response. On his Wednesday broadcast, Mr Carlson showed no new footage but repeated his previous claims and criticised government officials who stated that five police officers died as a result of the riot. One Capitol Police officer died of a stroke the day after the riot, while four others subsequently took their own lives.

[..] The justice department says about 140 police officers were assaulted that day.Around 1,000 people have been arrested so far in connection with the riot, most of them charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building, according to justice department figures.More than 300 have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees, including more than 100 who have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to a police officer.

LMAO

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Biden throws a party.

Moscow Condemns ‘Nazi Celebration’ At White House (RT)

The White House’s decision to bestow the International Women of Courage Award on a member of an infamous Ukrainian nationalist battalion is “disgraceful,” Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said on Thursday. He claimed that the move was further proof that Washington is ready to support Nazis in the fight against Russia. Speaking to reporters, Antonov was asked to comment on the award received at the White House by Yulia Paevskaya, who goes by the nickname ‘Taira’. The ambassador said Moscow had noted the honoring of a member of the Azov battalion, a Ukrainian unit closely associated with neo-Nazi ideology, on International Women’s Day. “This is a disgrace. It is incomprehensible that Nazis can be celebrated within the walls of the White House.”

Antonov described Paevskaya as a “terrorist cutthroat whose hands are covered in the blood of the elderly, women, and children.” In March 2022, as the fighting raged in the besieged city of Mariupol, which is now part of Russia, Paevskaya “pretended to be a mother of two children whose parents she had killed herself,” and then tried to escape disguised in civilian clothing, Antonov stated. “The abducted minors later confessed that Paevskaya had threatened them with violence,” the diplomat added. Paevskaya also took part in the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014, trained neo-Nazis in the Donbass region, and “committed crimes against civilians,” Antonov claimed. He also stated that the Azov battalion, which Paevskaya is part of, bears the symbol of a Nazi Germany SS division.

Antonov asserted that Washington is well aware of all of this information, but “to hurt Russia, the United States is willing to glorify Nazism.” He added that the authorities in Washington should be “ashamed” of themselves for dishonoring the American and Soviet veterans who fought against fascism during World War II. Paevskaya was captured by Russian forces in Mariupol in March. In June, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced that Kiev had managed to free her from captivity, describing her as a paramedic, but without providing further details. The International Women of Courage Award is a prize annually distributed by the White House. This year, in addition to Paevskaya, it was bestowed upon 10 other “extraordinary women… who are working to build a brighter future for all.”

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Get her out.

EU Energy Bills Soared 300% – von der Leyen (RT)

The EU member states saw their energy bills skyrocket by at least 300% last summer after a dramatic reduction of Russian gas supplies, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday. According to the EC chief, the bloc managed to replace the shortfall in Russian natural gas by purchasing more from alternative suppliers, as well as by increasing energy efficiency by reducing consumption by 20%. “Russia cut its gas supply to Europe by 80% in eight months, sending energy prices in Europe soaring,” von der Leyen said addressing a joint session of the Canadian parliament. “Last summer, our energy bills rose by 300%.”

The top official alleged that Russian officials tried to blackmail Brussels by reducing the supplies as EU nations were heavily dependent on Russian gas. She highlighted “an important role” Canada played to help tackle the energy crisis by boosting its production of liquified natural gas (LNG). The head of the EC has previously accused Moscow of blackmailing EU countries, after Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom stopped gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria in April 2022.

In response, the Kremlin assured everyone that the Russian party “was and remained a reliable supplier of energy resources to its consumers and was always committed to its contractual obligations.” Moscow insisted that both Bulgaria and Poland were cut off from Russian supplies only after they rejected the gas-for-rubles scheme. This scheme was introduced by the Russian government in response to the sanctions imposed on Moscow over the military operation in Ukraine. Moscow demanded that the nations that had imposed the penalties pay for natural gas in rubles. The scheme requires importers to open accounts in Gazprombank. They can then deposit funds in their currency of choice, which the bank converts to rubles and transfers to the supplier.

Terhes

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“..It is just an act of pure spite on the part of Kiev..”

Ukraine Cuts Off Power To Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (TASS)

Ukraine has cut off power to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in the city of Energodar, Chairman of the We Stand With Russia movement Vladimir Rogov told TASS on Thursday. “[Ukraine] cut off the supply through the last remaining powerline to the Zaporozhye NPP at 4:53 a.m. The nuclear power plant is currently disconnected from external power sources,” he said. “It has nothing to do with shelling attacks, nothing happened in the area that could have led to the power cutoff. It is just an act of pure spite on the part of Kiev,” Rogov noted. He added that the nuclear power plant had been switched to diesel generators.


The Zaporozhye nuclear plant, located in the city of Energodar, is the largest in Europe and has a capacity of about 6,000 MW. Russian troops took control of the facility in late February 2022. Since then, the Ukrainian military has been shelling both Energodar’s residential areas and the premises of the Zaporozhye nuclear station, using drones, heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers. An IAEA mission led by Grossi visited the facility in early September and two of its members remained at the site as observers. The IAEA later published a report calling for the creation of a safety zone around the plant to prevent any calamities from the ongoing military activities.

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Submarine

 

 

Cats

 

 

Mountain goat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633357220514791425

 

 

Xizi pagoda
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633537858295193617

 

 


A member of the pheasant family, the Himalayan monal, is the national bird of Nepal

 

 

 

 

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