Feb 152024
 


Jean-Michel Basquiat Irony of the Negro Policeman 1981

 

US Spies Behind ‘Russiagate’ Conspiracy (RT)
Part 2: US Government Hides Documents That Incriminate Intel Community (Public)
Biden’s Dual ‘Big Guy’, Memory Scandals Will End His Presidency (Sp.)
Biden Must Be Removed – West Virginia AG (Sp.)
Biden Associates Testify on the Influence Peddling of President, Family (Turley)
Speaker Requested Meeting With Biden About Border, White House Rejected (Sp.)
Supreme Court Orders Special Counsel To Respond To Trump Immunity Appeal (ZH)
2024: The Year America Ceases to Exist (Paul Craig Roberts)
Tucker Carlson ‘Is Dangerous’ – Putin (RT)
Old Sick Men Control US Nuclear Chain Of Command – Moscow (RT)
The World’s Gyre (Alastair Crooke)
Russia and Hamas: a Strategic Alliance Of Convenience (Sweidan)
Houthis Claim to Have Stopped Ship Traffic to Israeli Ports (Sp.)
‘No One Left to Have Children’ (Sp.)
West Used Ukraine as ‘Guinea Pig for Human Testing’ After 2014 Coup (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ron Paul

 

 

 

 

Dugin Pepe

 

 

Rickards gold

 

 


Kim Dotcom: Zelenskyy released a helpful guide on who to follow if you want to learn the truth about the failing US proxy war in Ukraine. He calls it pro-Russian disinformation but he’s just angry that these experts constantly reveal the truth about how badly Ukraine and the West are losing.

 

 

Elon

 

 

 

 

This is an existential threat to the US. If this cannot be solved according to the law(s), the Union will dissolve.

Start with Obama, he is behind it all. But he hardly gets mentioned.

US Spies Behind ‘Russiagate’ Conspiracy (RT)

The US intelligence community inappropriately used foreign allies to target Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign to set up the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy ahead of the 2016 election, according to a trio of investigative journalists. Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag – of ‘Twitter Files’ fame – published the first part of an investigation on Tuesday, in which they claim the so-called ‘Five Eyes’ were operationalized against Trump staffers, citing anonymous sources close to the House Intelligence Committee. According to their report, President Barack Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan, had sent America’s partners – the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – a list of 26 Trump associates to target with data collection, misinformation and manipulation. The Russiagate conspiracy involved multiple failures across western media networks to critically assess US intelligence claims that Russia had interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.

A 2018 Pulitzer prize was awarded to Washington Post and New York Times journalists for their reporting on what was later to exposed as a false story. “They were making contacts and bumping Trump people going back to March 2016,” said a committee source. “They were sending people around the UK, Australia, Italy — the Mossad in Italy. MI6 was working at an intelligence school they had set up,” the journalists claim. Officially, the FBI only started looking into the Trump campaign that summer, after an Australian diplomat reportedly overheard an aide mention Russia. If confirmed, these findings would demonstrate that the US intelligence community had worked for months before that to set up just such a pretext. In a statement to the investigative journalists, the FBI said it had made “missteps” in the 2016 and 2017 investigation of the Trump campaign, but has since implemented reforms to prevent it from happening again.

“The allegations that GCHQ was asked to conduct ‘wiretapping’ against the then president-elect are nonsense,” a spokesman for the British surveillance agency said. “They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.” Shellenberger, Taibbi and Gutentag said they had never asked the GCHQ about “wiretapping.” According to Shellenberger, there is a “10-inch binder” containing previously unknown documents about the intelligence community’s surveillance of the Trump campaign. The 45th US president had ordered these documents declassified, but they went missing instead. In a Fox News appearance on Tuesday evening, Shellenberger suggested the FBI’s August 2022 raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort may have been related to the missing binder.

After the US intelligence community created a pretext for investigating Trump for ‘ties to Russia,’ they spied on his campaign – and then his presidency – using a falsely obtained FISA warrant. The warrant was based on the ‘Steele dossier,’ a file compiled by a British spy in the pay of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, through several intermediaries. The FBI knew the dossier was false as early as January 2017, but continued using the FISA warrant for almost a year thereafter. The FBI lawyer who altered evidence to obtain the warrant, Kevin Clinesmith, ended up sentenced to probation and his law license has since been restored.

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“He was very concerned about having it and taking it with him because it was the road map” of Russiagate..”

Part 2: US Government Hides Documents That Incriminate Intel Community (Public)

Part 2: U.S. Government Is Hiding Documents That Incriminate Intelligence Community For Illegal Spying And Election Interference, Say Sources. Authored by Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag via Public substack,

Former CIA Director Gina Haspel blocked the release of “binder” with evidence that may identify her role in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.

Last December 15th, as Americans decorated trees, lit Menorahs, and prepared to tune out for winter holidays, CNN ran an extraordinary article titled, “The mystery of the missing binder: How a collection of raw Russian intelligence disappeared under Trump.” Co-authored by Natasha Bertrand, the gargantuan expose claimed a mysterious “binder” of “highly classified information related to Russian election interference” went “missing” in the chaotic waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency in January 2021, raising concerns that some of America’s most “closely guarded national security secrets… could be exposed.” CNN and its intelligence sources meant “exposure” in a bad way. Sources have told Public and Racket, however, that the secrets officials worry might be “exposed” are ones that would implicate them in widespread abuses of intelligence authority dating back to the 2015-2016 election season.

“I would call [the binder] Trump’s insurance policy,” said someone knowledgeable about the case. “He was very concerned about having it and taking it with him because it was the road map” of Russiagate. Transgressions range from Justice Department surveillance of domestic political targets without probable cause to the improper unmasking of a pre-election conversation between a Trump official and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to WMD-style manipulation of intelligence for public reports on alleged Russian “influence activities.” The CNN report claimed intelligence officials were concerned about the disclosure of “sources and methods that informed the U.S. government’s assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Trump win the 2016 election.” They should be concerned.

The story of how a team “hand-picked” by CIA Director John Brennan relied on “cooked intelligence” to craft that January 6th, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment is the subject of tomorrow’s story, the last in this three-part series. Corruption, not tradecraft, is what officials are desperate to keep secret. The ”missing binder” story has several variants. Sources offer differing answers on the question of whether anything of consequence is missing. They give mixed accounts of Trump’s frantic last efforts to declassify Russia-related material. But nearly everyone Public and Racket spoke to agreed that the tale obscured a broader and more important story. Dating back to the release of the so-called “Nunes memo” in 2018 exposing the corruption of the FISA application process, senior intelligence officials, including Trump’s CIA Director, Gina Haspel, have repeatedly blocked attempts to declassify information about the Trump-Russia investigation.

They had good reason to obstruct the release of these documents. The documents in question are said to contain information about the legal justification for those investigations, or more specifically, the lack of justification, among other things. Should more of that information be made public, it might implicate a long list of officials in serious abuses. Questions like these may be answered if the 10-inch thick binder of sensitive documents about the origins of the Russia probe is made public. Fear for reputations and careers, not national security, is what has intelligence officials panicked. [..] Investigators wanted to declassify their findings before Trump left office, but the CIA “would not cooperate.” Investigators, a source told Public and Racket, “created a binder that blew up the assessment but couldn’t get it out because the CIA controlled it.”

Gorka

Obama

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“It’s election interference from one side that has been covered up and promoted as some kind of search for justice,” Kavanaugh asserted. “Now you have that side actually trying to prevent the same candidate […] from running again, and they get away with it.”

Biden’s Dual ‘Big Guy’, Memory Scandals Will End His Presidency (Sp.)

On Tuesday, Hunter Biden’s ex-business associate Tony Bobulinski testified to Congress that US President Joe Biden is “the Big Guy” who was mentioned in an email that discussed “remuneration packages” for six people as part of a business deal with a Chinese energy company. The email included a line that said “10 held by H for the big guy?” According to US media, citing people familiar with the testimony, Bobulinski also said that he “personally met” Joe Biden in 2017 during the Milken Conference, just days before the email was sent. It has long been suspected that President Biden was “the big guy” referred to in the email, but Bobulinski’s testimony adds further evidence to back up that presumption. The elder Biden has repeatedly insisted that he did not discuss business with his son or his associates.

“It’s hard to fathom who the big guy could be but Joe Biden. So we’ve known about this,” independent journalist Dr. Jim Kavanaugh told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Wednesday. “[Bobulinski] confirms that the big guy is Biden, which means […] [Joe] Biden was getting paid from his son’s activities with [these Chinese businesses].” This, combined with the President’s cognitive problems that have become “impossible to deny” will cause him to step aside before this November’s Presidential elections. “He’s not going to be the Democratic nominee,” Kavanaugh asserted, adding that the only question left is “How much longer is he going to last as president?” Kavanaugh noted that Bobulinski’s testimony validates the IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who claimed that politics caused the FBI to slowwalk the investigation into Hunter Biden. “It’s a mess,” he said. “But I don’t know where the Democrats think they can go with this, and how they think they can hang on.”

The election season with Biden will be a “fun ride” Kavanaugh said “trying to keep Biden out of the public spotlight enough so he won’t make a fool of himself, but in the public spotlight enough to make it seem like he’s still running the show,” adding that all the while Democratic leadership will be “trying to figure out what they’re going to go and with whom they’re going to replace him with.” Kavanaugh also discussed reports from independent journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger that the CIA allegedly used foreign intelligence agencies to illegally spy on people working for the Donald Trump 2016 Presidential campaign. “It’s election interference from one side that has been covered up and promoted as some kind of search for justice,” Kavanaugh asserted. “Now you have that side actually trying to prevent the same candidate […] from running again, and they get away with it.”

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“..A recent poll by NBC revealed that only 28% of registered voters have a positive opinion of Harris..”

Biden Must Be Removed – West Virginia AG (Sp.)

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has called on US Vice President Kamala Harris to declare Joe Biden physically unable to perform his duties as president. The demand was issued in a letter sent to Harris on Tuesday. Last week, a report by US Department of Justice special counsel Robert Hur described the 81-year-old president as an “elderly man with poor memory,” although he advised against prosecuting Biden over the mishandling of classified documents. Morrisey has now called on Harris to invoke the 25th Amendment against Biden and take over his role, arguing that Hur’s report “paints a clear picture of a President who is not up for the job” and stressing that his “cognitive decline is of great concern to Americans, especially during these times that our nation is falling crisis after crisis both here and abroad.”

“We need a president who is mentally fit,” the attorney general wrote, noting that over the past few months alone, Biden has repeatedly mixed up world leaders and political figures and has appeared to have difficulty speaking on basic issues. The 25th Amendment, adopted in 1965 following the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy, clarifies the succession in the event of the US leader’s sudden death or resignation, and allows the vice president to assume their responsibilities. Under Section 4 of the amendment, the vice president and the cabinet are also allowed to remove the president if he is deemed physically incapable of performing his duties but refuses to leave office. That power has thus far never been used.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Monday, Harris stated she is “ready to serve” and replace Biden if necessary, adding that she does not need to convince anyone of her ability to lead the country. A recent poll by NBC revealed that only 28% of registered voters have a positive opinion of Harris, compared to 53% with a negative view. Biden has vehemently denied concerns over his mental and physical health, and issued an angry rebuke of Hur’s description of him. “I am an elderly man and I know what I am doing,” Biden insisted at a press conference last week. Shortly afterwards during the same conference, he confused Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with the leader of Mexico. The president’s age has become a major concern among voters ahead of this year’s presidential election. According to ABC News/Ipsos poll published on Monday, as many as 86% of US voters believe that Biden is too elderly to serve another term in office.

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“Neither Hunter nor James Biden have demonstrated any particular skill beyond an absence of inhibition and an abundance of appetite. What they have is “an interesting name,” and in Washington, that is enough.”

Biden Associates Testify on the Influence Peddling of President, Family (Turley)

“An interesting name.” Those three words by Biden family associate Rob Walker could well be the epitaph for Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden. Walker was explaining why Hunter was repeatedly pushed forward as the face of their pitches to the Chinese and other countries. In his interview with House investigators, Walker struggled to protect President Biden while confirming critical aspects of earlier testimony from associates such as Devon Archer that they were selling the “Biden brand.” That brand included Uncle James Biden, whom Walker described as “a snake.” Walker and his associates had a letter to the Chinese come from Hunter because that is what he thought the Chinese expected. He admitted that the Chinese were led to believe that they all worked for Hunter Biden. After all, he “had an interesting last name that would probably get people in the door.”

That “interesting name” is how a Beltway bandit avoids saying “influence peddler.” You are peddling the name — an effort that is reinforced when you repeatedly produce Joe Biden on speakerphone or he drops by lunches. It’s also the same name dropped when Hunter wanted to make sure the Chinese paid up, as revealed in the infamous WhatsApp message: “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.”

Yet whenever questions turned to the most incriminating messages, Walker shrugged. When asked about a reference to “the big guy” receiving 10% of a deal (an apparent reference to Joe Biden), Walker declined to say who the big guy was. When he was asked about Hunter’s repeated references to his father and calling his father “my chairman,” Walker insisted that “I don’t think that Hunter was healthy at the time.” Likewise, when Hunter says his father “vetoed the deal” on a proposed SinoHawk deal structure, Walker again said Hunter was not well. So Hunter was a legitimate businessman “with an interesting name” all the way up to the point that he made admissions on alleged influence peddling. He was then interesting but unhealthy.

Walker repeatedly emphasized that Joe Biden was not a direct part of these deals. While that is a political defense, however, it is not a legal one. As I have previously written, federal courts have long treated payments to family members as evidence of bribery and corruption. Indeed, I was lead counsel in the last judicial impeachment trial in the Senate, when Democratic senators voted to convict a judge on payments and gifts going to the children of a judge. Neither Hunter nor James Biden have demonstrated any particular skill beyond an absence of inhibition and an abundance of appetite. What they have is “an interesting name,” and in Washington, that is enough.

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“.. Johnson said he will continue to insist on a meeting, adding that it is a “problem” if the Speaker of the House cannot sit down with the president.”

Speaker Requested Meeting With Biden About Border, White House Rejected (Sp.)

US House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Wednesday that he has requested a meeting with President Joe Biden about border security, but that the White House has rejected his request. “I’ve been requesting a meeting with the president for weeks now, a month. I’ve been asking to sit down with the president to talk about the border and talk about national security, and that meeting has not been granted,” Johnson said during a press conference. Johnson said he will continue to insist on a meeting, adding that it is a “problem” if the Speaker of the House cannot sit down with the president.

House Republicans will insist on addressing the United States’ border security before sending aid to foreign countries, Johnson said. Earlier this week, Johnson said that he has no plans to bring a $95 billion supplemental funding bill passed by the US Senate to the House floor. The bill provides approximately $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel. However, a congressional source told Sputnik on Tuesday that House lawmakers may divide the legislation into separate portions in an effort to pass the measures.

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“..in 1982, the Supreme Court held in Nixon vs. Fitzgerald that the president has “absolute immunity” from civil liability which extends to the “outer perimeter” of his official duties..”

Supreme Court Orders Special Counsel To Respond To Trump Immunity Appeal (ZH)

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered the Department of Justice to respond to former President Trump’s claim that he has presidential immunity in his ongoing Jan. 6 election case in Washington D.C. The move comes after the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected Trump’s attempt to overturn Judge Tanya Chutkan’s refusal to dismiss the case based on Trump’s immunity claim – and less than a week after the Supreme Court heard Trump’s appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court, which ruled that he was disqualified from appearing on the state’s ballot. Roberts gave Special Counsel Jack Smith until Feb. 20 to respond, pointing to a broader urgency for the Court to address relatively untested legal issues that could have a significant impact on the 2024 presidential election.

“[A] panel of the D.C. Circuit has, in an extraordinarily fast manner, issued a decision on President Trump’s claim of immunity and ordered the mandate returned to the district court to proceed with President Trump’s criminal trial in four business days, unless this Court intervenes (as it should),” reads Trump’s Feb. 12 filing, requesting that the appellate court’s decision be stayed. Jack Smith, meanwhile, has asked the Supreme Court to skip appellate proceedings and fast-track the case, claiming that “only” the Supreme Court could “definitively resolve” the immunity claims, The Epoch Times reports. President Trump is asking for the Supreme Court to halt the appellate decision because it incorrectly ruled that presidential immunity didn’t apply to Mr. Smith’s prosecution of him.

His attorney, D. John Sauer, had argued in January that the Constitution required presidents first face impeachment and trial by Congress before they could be criminally prosecuted within Article III courts. A three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit unanimously rejected his arguments, stating that” ‘[c]oncerns of public policy, especially as illuminated by our history and the structure of our government’ compel the rejection of his claim of immunity in this case.” The judges also ruled that “any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution.”

The issue of presidential immunity is a relatively untested area of law – however in 1982, the Supreme Court held in Nixon vs. Fitzgerald that the president has “absolute immunity” from civil liability which extends to the “outer perimeter” of his official duties. The appellate court, however, held that Trump exceeded these bounds. “Former President Trump’s claimed immunity would have us extend the framework for Presidential civil immunity to criminal cases and decide for the first time that a former President is categorically immune from federal criminal prosecution for any act conceivably within the outer perimeter of his executive responsibility,” reads the lower court’s opinion.

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“..a border conflict and possible “civil war” threat that justifies martial law and the suspension of the presidential election..”

2024: The Year America Ceases to Exist (Paul Craig Roberts)

In 234 years of American history, no president has been criminally prosecuted. The entire world knows that the felony and civil charges against Trump are fabricated and concocted. It is obvious that the Democrat Party uses law as a weapon against political opponents just as Stalin did. Democrats are the worst and most dangerous enemy the Constitution and American citizens have ever had. The Democrats , focused on maintaining and expanding their one-party state, have a problem. Biden’s own Justice (sic) Department has ruled Biden mentally unfit to stand trial for compromising US security by having possession of unauthorized national security documents and leaving US national security documents in unsecured locations. So how can Biden be allowed to run for president if he is mentally incompetent to stand for trial for a felony because of mental incapacity?

As I have written on this website and said in interviews, one way out for the Democrats, America’s worst enemies who are legitimizing sexual perversion, maintaining open borders so Americans can be over-run with taxpayer supported immigrant-invaders, and maintaining hostility toward Russia, China, and Iran, thus inviting America’s destruction, is to replace Biden with Hillary. The other way, and perhaps both will be used together, is for the White House puppet of the ruling elite to orchestrate with the World Economic Forum member, the Governor of Texas, a border conflict and possible “civil war” threat that justifies martial law and the suspension of the presidential election. It doesn’t take much intelligence to see that both outcomes are already being set in place. Everywhere in the white Western world we see that the white governments discriminate against white citizens in favor of the Ukrainian refugees and third world immigrant invaders.

I learned today that the living standard in Ireland of the Ukrainian refugees and immigrant-invaders, paid for by the Irish people is higher than the average living standard of Irish citizens. Irish farmers are faced with a wipeout of their assets as the government intends to destroy one million sheep and 200,000 cows to please the global warming agenda. Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians is not the only genocide being committed today. The white governments of the Western countries are committing genocide against their own white citizens. The United States, Europe, Canada have open borders not for white people but for people of color who are outside the Western tradition. Try bringing in a European girlfriend, and you will see that immigration is not for white people. Every Western government is busy at work erasing white civilization. These governments are our deadly enemies. But the indoctrinated populace will never see it.

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“While the US has tried to accuse Assange of revealing state secrets, which is more difficult to pin on Carlson, “anything is possible in today’s US, Putin said..”

Tucker Carlson ‘Is Dangerous’ – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted on Wednesday that X host Tucker Carlson caught him by surprise during their interview last week. The final interview was two hours long and has been seen by hundreds of millions of people. Before it, Carlson was criticized for speaking to Putin at all – and afterwards, for not asking the Russian president certain things. “I think your Carlson – I say yours, since he’s a member of your profession – is a dangerous man,” Putin told journalist Pavel Zarubin on the sidelines of the Future Technologies Forum in Moscow. “I thought he would be aggressive, ask me sharp questions. I was not just ready for that, I wanted that, so I could give equally sharp answers,” Putin explained. “But he chose a different tactic.” Carlson ended up patiently sitting through Putin’s lengthy digression into history and “did not give me an occasion to do something I had prepared for,” Putin said.

“Frankly speaking, I did not get the full satisfaction from this interview.” Commenting on reactions to the interview from the West, Putin said it was a good thing that the leaders there watched and listened to what he had to say – but bad that they felt the need to twist his words. Asked if Carlson could face reprisals in the West, the Russian president pointed out that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange “still sits” in a British prison. While the US has tried to accuse Assange of revealing state secrets, which is more difficult to pin on Carlson, “anything is possible in today’s US,” Putin said. While this kind of persecution would certainly be a bad thing for Carlson himself, it would be good for the world, because it would reveal the true face of the “liberal-democratic dictatorship” embodied by the ruling class in the US, the president concluded.

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“..diminished faculties in advancing age.”

Old Sick Men Control US Nuclear Chain Of Command – Moscow (RT)

A high-ranking official in Russia’s Security Council has voiced alarm over the risk of a nuclear “catastrophe” arising from the Pentagon chief’s health problems and the declining faculties of US President Joe Biden, warning of a possible “management mistake” by America’s leadership. Speaking to the Izvestiya newspaper for an interview published on Wednesday, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Mikhail Popov said Washington’s political instability could trigger an accidental escalation. ”In the overall difficult and nervous internal political situation in the US that has emerged recently, the price of a management mistake, committed by the national leaders, either deliberately or involuntarily, has increased significantly,” he said. “And there won’t be much distance to a global catastrophe.”

Popov stressed that he was not referring to “a banana republic,” but rather “a state that has nuclear weapons and constantly claims to be the world hegemon.” He added that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s cancer diagnosis and Biden’s old age “have raised questions about the global security system” and the US chain of command, asking “How is the decision to use nuclear weapons generally made in the United States?” “The secretary of defense is not there, and no one knows where he is or who is replacing him. The press writes that some of his responsibilities were assigned to Deputy Minister Kathleen Hicks. But she was on vacation in Puerto Rico at the time,” he said. The official went on to observe an episode during the Cold War, when a US Air Force major was dismissed for questioning how he could know whether a nuclear launch order “came from a sane president,” as the commander in chief is responsible for employing America’s nuclear arsenal.

Austin’s prostate cancer diagnosis came as a surprise not only to the US public, but to Biden himself, with the Pentagon chief acknowledging that his team did not inform the White House of the news. He has since been re-hospitalized with a bladder issue, for which he was reportedly treated with undisclosed “non-surgical procedures.” As the oldest president in US history at 81, Biden’s fitness is among the most pressing issues for American voters as they look ahead to the 2024 election. In a recent NBC News poll, 76% of respondents voiced major or moderate concerns over the president’s “mental and physical health,” while even special counsel Robert Hur – who was tapped to probe alleged mishandling of classified documents by Biden – concluded that the president has “diminished faculties in advancing age.”

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“..How to maintain special rights for Jews on territory in which there is an approximately equal number of non-Jews?”

The World’s Gyre (Alastair Crooke)

The wrongheadedness of U.S. policy is astonishing – and now has claimed the most central tenet in the ‘Biden strategy’ for resolving the crisis in Gaza. The ‘dangle’ of Saudi normalisation with Israel was viewed in the West as the pivot – around which Netanyahu would either be forced to give up on his maximalist security control from the River to the Sea mantra, or see himself pushed aside by a rival for whom the ‘normalisation bait’ held the allure of likely victory in the next Israeli elections. Biden’s spokesperson was flagrant in this respect: “[We] … are having discussions with Israel and Saudi Arabia … about trying to move forward with a normalization arrangement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. So those discussions are ongoing as well. We certainly received positive feedback from both sides that they’re willing to continue to have those discussions”.

The Saudi Government – possibly angry at the U.S. recourse to such deceptive language – duly kicked the plank out from beneath the Biden platform: It issued a written statement confirming unequivocally that: “there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops – and all Israeli occupation forces are withdraw from the Gaza Strip”. The Kingdom stands by the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, in other words. Of course, no Israeli could campaign on that platform in Israeli elections! Recall how Tom Friedman set out how the ‘Biden Doctrine’ was supposed to fit together as a interlinked whole: First, through taking a “strong and resolute stand on Iran” the U.S. would signal to “our Arab and Muslim allies, that it needs to take on Iran in a more aggressive manner … that we can no longer allow Iran to try to drive us out of the region; Israel into extinction and our Arab allies into intimidation by acting through proxies — Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and Shiite militias in Iraq — while Tehran blithely sits back and pays no price”.

The second strand was the Saudi dangle that would inevitably pave the path into the (third) element which was the “building of a credible legitimate Palestinian Authority as … a good neighbour to Israel …”. This “bold U.S. commitment to a Palestinian state would give us [Team Biden] legitimacy to act against Iran”, Friedman foresaw. Let us be plain: this trifecta of policies, rather than gel into a single doctrine, are falling like dominoes. Their collapse owes to one thing: The original decision to back Israel’s use of overwhelming violence across Gaza’s civil society – ostensibly to defeat Hamas. It has turned the region and much of the World against the U.S. and Europe. How did this happen? Because nothing changed by way of U.S. policies. It was the same old western bromides from decades ago: financial threats, bombing and violence. And the insistence on one mandatory ‘stand with Israel’ narrative (with no discussion). The rest of the world has grown tired of it; even defiant towards it.

So to put it bluntly: Israel has now come face-to-face with the (self-destructive) inconsistency within Zionism: How to maintain special rights for Jews on territory in which there is an approximately equal number of non-Jews? The old answer has been discredited. The Israeli Right argues that Israel then must go for broke: All or nothing. Take the risk of wider war (in which Israel, may or may not, be ‘victorious’); tell Arabs to move elsewhere; or abandon Zionism and themselves move on. The Biden Administration, rather than help Israel look truth in the eye, has discarded the task of obliging Israel to face up to the contradictions in Zionism, in favour of restoring the broken status quo ante. Some 75 years after the founding of the Israeli state, as former Israeli negotiator, Daniel Levy, has. noted: ‘[We are back to] “the “banal debate” between the U.S. and Israel over “whether the bantustan shall be repackaged and marketed as a ‘state’”. Could it have been different? Probably not. The reaction comes from deep in Biden’s nature.

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“The Russian leadership considers the current conflict to be as much Washington’s battle as Tel Aviv’s..”

Russia and Hamas: a Strategic Alliance Of Convenience (Sweidan)

Hamas has asked Moscow to act as guarantor to a Gaza ceasefire. Growing Russian ties with West Asia’s resistance actors should be no surprise; within the context of the global power standoff, they share common enemies. In the past few years, Russia’s expanding ties with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas have contributed to the growing list of issues that muddy relations between Moscow and Tel Aviv. After Hamas’ 27 October visit to Moscow following the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared the trip “sends a message of legitimizing terrorism against the Israelis.” Yet Hamas officials have continued to flock to the Russian capital, most recently in late January. Since the onset of Israel’s brutal military assault on Gaza, Russia’s official stance has been closer to the Palestinian position, evident by Moscow’s various UN Security Council activities: calling for a ceasefire, statements by Russian officials criticizing Israeli criminality, repeat meetings with Hamas in Moscow, and the country’s official media’s focus on human rights violation in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the long-term collaborative nature of Russo-Israeli relations, the Ukraine war has rejigged Moscow’s geopolitical calculations significantly. Today, Russia views the Gaza war and its regional implications from the perspective of its competition with the US and, therefore, considers Israel a critical tool of American influence in West Asia. The Russian leadership considers the current conflict to be as much Washington’s battle as Tel Aviv’s – a weakened Israel would mean the further disintegration of US power projection from the Levant to the Persian Gulf, a strategic Russian objective. Although Tel Aviv and Moscow still retain common interests of value to both, it is the US–Russian strategic competition that currently holds the most sway over the Kremlin’s decision-making.

This can be seen in a flurry of harshly worded Russian statements criticizing Washington’s role in prolonging and exacerbating the Gaza war. Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced the sentiments of most West Asians when he declared: “Many people would agree that this is a vivid example of the failure of US policy in the Middle East.” His Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov went the extra mile: The United States bears primary responsibility for this dramatic and dangerous crisis, since it has sought for many years to monopolize the settlement process and ignore relevant Security Council resolutions, and has now obstructed efforts to reach an appropriate solution.

There is no doubt that the events of the past two years in Ukraine played a major role in calibrating the Russian response to Gaza. During his recent interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson, Putin spent an inordinate amount of time unraveling the historical context behind Ukraine’s existence as a state, before boldly declaring: “Ukraine is an artificial state created at Stalin’s will and did not exist before 1922.” Of course, the Russian president understands that his invocation of Ukraine’s weak historical justification for statehood allows him to adopt the same context-rich approach when discussing protracted conflicts in other regions. His history-based formula for tackling the root of conflict applies equally to the establishment of the Israeli state against the objections of Palestinians and their neighboring nations, which likely will play a role in Putin’s position on how to move forward with the Palestine–Israel problem.

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“It is a great victory and a real achievement, as well as proof of the effectiveness of Yemen’s maritime operations..”

Houthis Claim to Have Stopped Ship Traffic to Israeli Ports (Sp.)

Naval forces of the Ansar Allah movement, also known as the Houthis, have prevented the passage through the Gulf of Aden of all ships that have been heading to Israeli ports recently, the movement’s leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi said on Tuesday. “Operations of Yemen’s naval forces have resulted in a great victory – a complete halt to the passage of Israeli-affiliated ships to Israeli ports. During these weeks, not a single ship related to the Israeli enemy has been able to pass through the Gulf of Aden. It is a great victory and a real achievement, as well as proof of the effectiveness of Yemen’s maritime operations,” the leader said in a video message aired by the Al-Masirah broadcaster.

The Houthi movement, which controls large parts of northern and western Yemen, vowed in November 2023 to attack any ships associated with Israel until it halts military actions in the Gaza Strip. This led US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to announce the creation of a multinational operation to secure navigation in the Red Sea. US and UK forces later launched major strikes against Houthi positions in a bid to degrade the rebels’ ability to target commercial vessels.

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“Syrsky […] is stripping troops from every other front, pulling the very last strategic reserves from the country..”

‘No One Left to Have Children’ (Sp.)

Ukraine cannot afford to lose more young people to the frontlines, otherwise, there won’t be enough to have children and replenish the population, international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Tuesday. While discussing the state of the Ukrainian frontline and the mass conscription law being considered by the country’s Parliament, Sleboda explained that Ukraine already had a declining population before NATO’s proxy war launched in the country. “Once you got into the ’90s and particularly the mid-’90s, people were not having children. The result of that is a demographic narrowing at the lower age group,” Sleboda explained. “There are four times as many people in the 35 to 45 age bracket, [and more in] the 45 to 55 age bracket, than in the 18 to 30 age bracket,” the analyst clarified.

There are roughly 3.5 times more Ukrainians in the 35-55 age groups combined than the 18-30 age group and 2.3 times more in the 35-45 group alone, according to the CIA data. Additionally, the number of 18 and 19-year-olds were estimated as 2/5 of the 15-19 group in that calculation. “[Ukraine] can literally not afford to lose any more young people because then there will be no one left to have children,” Sleboda stated. “And I hate to tell you, large numbers of their women went to Europe and are going to have European babies and are not coming back,” he noted, adding that it was “a bit distasteful” but “true.”

Nonetheless, Ukraine has to go forward with the mass conscription plan if it wants to replace its massive losses, particularly in Avdeyevka, according to the analyst. “However bad you think [Avdeyevka] is, it’s much worse,” Sleboda emphasized, saying that newly-appointed Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Alexander Syrsky is repeating Ukraine’s failed strategy in Artemovsk (Bakhmut) and is doubling down on the increasingly encircled city. “Syrsky […] is stripping troops from every other front, pulling the very last strategic reserves from the country […] and is sending them into Avdeyevka, which means it’s not just about keeping the troops that are there, it is about throwing, at least I would say 10,000, reinforcements into the situation.

Sleboda noted that even without the latest conscription law being adopted, Ukraine is already forcing men to the front, focusing on the villages in Western Ukraine. “The conscription has focused on small villages rather than Kiev and other big cities to try to limit the potential for political protests,” he explained. “That is why you’re starting to see videos now of locals, even in West Ukraine, trying to fight in the streets [against] the conscription officials.” Earlier this week, videos appeared on Telegram showing villagers in a town in the Odessa region fighting against conscription officers.

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Biolabs.

West Used Ukraine as ‘Guinea Pig for Human Testing’ After 2014 Coup (Sp.)

Sputnik has obtained a trove of documents indicating that rheumatological drugs had been allegedly tested for several years on psychiatric patients of a hospital in the city of Mariupol at the request of major Western pharmaceutical corporations and with the assistance of Ukrainian officials. The documents contain information pertaining to such companies as Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Celltrion, Novatris International AG, Merck KGaA, and a branch of Samsung that produces medical equipment. The tests were carried out while the Kiev regime held Mariupol until May 2022, when Russia took over the city. Patients of the Mariupol hospital’s psychiatric ward were most likely used as vulnerable “guinea pigs” in experiments that would not have been permitted in the countries where these pharmaceutical firms are located, William Jones, a former White House correspondent for Executive Intelligence Review and a non-resident fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, told Sputnik.

“It has generally been a practice to use some of the developing countries which don’t have such rigorous controls for these types of experiments,” Jones noted, hinting at Ukraine. After the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, the country “effectively became a ‘guinea pig’ for whatever experiments the forces of the Western elites had in store for them, as we see most dramatically in the way in which the ‘nation’ of Ukraine is being whittled down to nothing for the sake of NATO’s surrogate war against Russia,” according to the expert. He also touched upon the issue of “the extensive network of biological labs that have been set up in Ukraine over the twenty years, largely with the help, and no doubt at the behest, of the United States,” something that Jones recalled had repeatedly been pointed out by Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, the head of the biological and chemical warfare department of the Russian Defense Ministry.

“Given the present situation in Ukraine with the growing understanding that Ukraine – or NATO – cannot ‘win’ this conflict using conventional weapons, as well as the determination of NATO not to accept a peaceful resolution unless Russia is soundly defeated, it could well lead to the utilization of some form of biological warfare on the part of NATO to ‘even the playing field’,” Jones warned. In the spring of 2022, Russia’s Radiological, Chemical, and Biological Defense Troops brought to light the alarming scope of US military-biological activities taking place at numerous locations in Ukraine. These investigations revealed the collaboration between Washington and Kiev in researching and handling various highly dangerous pathogens. Subsequently, several of these findings have been independently corroborated.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Assange

 

 

Hero

 

 

Sledding

 

 

Dragonfly

 

 

Boop

 

 

Bird spikes

 

 

Monkey parrot

 

 

Live action Simpsons

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 092021
 


Alessandro Allori Self portrait c1555

 

Those Dying Post-Vaccine: Where Are The Autopsies? (WND)
‘Absolutely Government’s Business’ To Know Who in US Hasn’t Been Jabbed (Fox)
Pfizer To Seek Authorization For “Booster” Dose To Protect Against Delta Variant (ZH)
Feds Dispute Pfizer On Need For A Covid Booster Shot (JTN)
Fauci Defends Vaccines But Antibodies Don’t Protect Against Delta (ZH)
Fauci Tells People Hesitant About The Vaccine To ‘Just Get Over It’ (DC)
Sturgeon Warns Against Treating Young People Like Covid ‘Guinea Pigs’ (G.)
Risking England’s Health: Not Everyone Can Choose To Stay Safe (G.)
Canada Cracks Down On Doctors Who Warn Of Covid-19 Vaccines Risks (JTN)
How Some Teens are Faking Positive Covid-19 Tests (GR)
Wells Fargo Shuts Down All Personal Lines Of Credit (CNBC)
Trump Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Twitter, Facebook & Google (HE)
Trump Says Hunter Biden Is Worse Than Al Capone (DM)
Hunter Biden Art Show Sparks Ethics Concerns (NYP)
UK High Court Grants US Permission for Appeal in Assange Extradition Case (CD)

 

 

 

 

Should I take the vaccine?

 

 

 

 

I don’t especially like to agree with Laura Ingraham, but in this case I do.

Ingraham

 

 

Jane M. Orient, M.D. is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, AAPS.

Those Dying Post-Vaccine: Where Are The Autopsies? (WND)

My internal medicine training was in the dark ages before CT and MRI, but we were still supposed to make an accurate diagnosis. A patient who died without a medical history was an “ME case.” We had to call the medical examiner, who would decide whether an autopsy was indicated. Anything potentially related to the death, such as pill bottles, was evidence. If an injection had been given, the vial would be recovered if possible. With vaccines, one is supposed to record the lot number, so it would be possible to check a sample for contaminants. If the patient died in hospital, the medical resident was required to request permission for an autopsy. Survivors might be persuaded to OK one by the possibility that their loved one may have had a hereditary condition or an infection that might affect others.

In any event, we assured them that their loved one would be treated with respect and that funeral arrangements would not be affected. A chaplain would volunteer to attend. The most important reason was that the “altar of truth” was the ultimate “quality assurance” mechanism. Hospitals were required to perform autopsies on a certain proportion of decedents in order to maintain their accreditation. A classic study of 100 randomly selected autopsies from each of three years (1960, 1970 and 1980) revealed that major diagnoses had been missed in about 22% of cases in all three eras, despite the introduction of modern imaging methods. Unfortunately, autopsy rates have fallen from 25% to less than 5% over the past four decades. It never was a revenue producer for anyone except malpractice attorneys.

I always attended the autopsy if I could. One of my most important teachers was a patient in whom we had missed a condition that was glaringly obvious when the skull was opened. We might not have been able to save him, but since we hadn’t even thought of the diagnosis, he didn’t have a chance. Tens of thousands of patients died of COVID before a series of 12 autopsies done in Germany showed that most had blood clots and could not have been saved by forcing air into their lungs with a ventilator. If a person dies after a COVID jab, I would like to know whether there are spike proteins in the tissues and blood vessels, and whether there was an immunological reaction that was damaging those tissues. If a mother loses a baby, I would like to see a thorough examination of the placenta. Was the baby’s oxygen and nutrition cut off because of damaged blood vessels?

I find it shocking that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Joint Commission that accredits hospitals are not demanding autopsies or testing of vaccine samples. It is not possible to declare a product safe and effective without obtaining direct evidence from potential victims. The manufacturers are protected against product liability, thanks to Congress. But where is the accountability of the government agencies charged with protecting us, or of the private entities coercing employees or students to take an experimental, potentially dangerous, or even lethal product? If someone you love dies unexpectedly, call the medical examiner, and demand a forensic autopsy.

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Medical information is private.

‘Absolutely Government’s Business’ To Know Who in US Hasn’t Been Jabbed (Fox)

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday it was “absolutely the government’s business” to know which Americans haven’t been vaccinated yet against the coronavirus. Responding to GOP criticisms of the Biden administration’s planned “door-to-door” campaign to encourage unvaccinated Americans to inoculate themselves, Becerra told CNN the government has had to “spend trillions of dollars to try to keep Americans alive during this pandemic.” “So it is absolutely the government’s business, it is taxpayers’ business, if we have to continue to spend money to try to keep people from contracting COVID and helping reopen the economy,” he said.


Becerra said people didn’t have to answer the door but he hoped they would so officials could dispel rumors about the vaccine, which has proven to be highly effective in driving down cases, hospitalizations and deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 56% of the adult population has been “fully vaccinated” and 67% has gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. States that tend to vote Republican have reported lower vaccination rates, and polls show Republican voters are far more likely than Democrats to say they will not or likely will not get the vaccine. The issue has become part of a larger debate over public health measures colliding with Americans’ personal freedoms.

Ultimatum

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Every next shot is more dangerous.

Pfizer To Seek Authorization For “Booster” Dose To Protect Against Delta Variant (ZH)

Hours ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci emphatically defended the efficacy of the three American-made vaccines that have received emergency authorization for use by the FDA. His comments weren’t unprompted: reports out of Israel claiming the Pfizer jab is far less effective than advertised have shaken public confidence in the jabs, at a time where President Biden is about to send people knocking on doors to try and encourage more adults (and increasingly, children) to get vaccinated. It’s no secret that a handful of southern and western states are lagging the rest of the country in vaccine rollout. But not long after Dr. Fauci made his comments (which were picked up by all the major newswires) the NYT published a sneak peak at new research showing how the Delta variant bypasses the antibodies created by the vaccines, and prior infection with another strain of the virus.

It’s just the latest example of how the authorities don’t care about the “science” so much as protecting the narrative that helps Big Pharma sell the most vaccines. And while the vast majority of countries are still struggling with vaccination rates below 1% since they simply can’t get the supplies (while unused jabs are piling up across the US) – and Bill Gates doing everything he can to keep it that way – Pfizer and Moderna have apparently spotted an opportunity. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced Thursday evening that they will seek authorization from the FDA for a third “booster” dose of their COVID vaccines that will offer increased protection against the Delta variant (despite the fact that both Pfizer and its rival Moderna repeatedly insisted that its vaccines are still effective against all known variants including Delta), the Hill reports.

In a statement, the company referenced the data out of Israel, where government scientists have estimated the real efficacy of the vaccine vs. Delta is somewhere around 64%, while leaving particularly vulnerable patients at risk of severe illness and death. The booster dose would ideally be given within 6 to 12 months post-vaccination. “Based on the totality of the data they have to date, Pfizer and BioNTech believe that a third dose may be beneficial within 6 to 12 months following the second dose to maintain highest levels of protection,” the companies said.

Don’t take the 2nd shot

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Once you’ve had the first one, you’re hooked.

Feds Dispute Pfizer On Need For A Covid Booster Shot (JTN)

Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday they are developing a booster shot to combat the highly transmissible delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. As the pharmaceutical companies announced their shot, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people do not need those types of booster shots. “People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta,” the FDA and CDC said Thursday, according to Axios. “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.”


The companies cited a study by the Israel Ministry of Health released on Monday that showed the “vaccine efficacy has declined six months post-vaccination, at the same time that the Delta variant is becoming the dominate variant in the country.” “These findings are consistent with an ongoing analysis from the companies’ Phase 3 study,” the companies said in a written statement, according to CNBC News. “That is why we have said, and we continue to believe that it is likely, based on the totality of the data we have to date, that a third dose may be needed within 6 to 12 months after full vaccination.”

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“The logic is confusing, but it goes something like this: Delta is scary, so get vaccinated…but vaccines don’t protect against Delta.”

Fauci Defends Vaccines But Antibodies Don’t Protect Against Delta (ZH)

As the world passes 4MM confirmed COVID cases, the NYT has just published new research published in the journal Nature calling into question the efficacy of US-made vaccines in offering protection against the Delta variant. Shortly before the research was released, Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday defended American COVID vaccines, claiming that the jabs developed by Pfizer, Moderna and J&J are all effective against the Delta variant, a mutant strain that has become the obsession of public health officials who claim that it could ignite another wave of the pandemic. But what they don’t tell you is that epidemiologists believe COVID is now endemic in the human population, and that reaching “COVID zero” simply isn’t possible.

At any rate, while the vaccine makers are salivating at the opportunity to produce lucrative booster shots offering protection against various variants, the new research previewed by the NYT and published in the journal Nature found that the Delta strain is able to bypass the antibodies produced by vaccination or prior infection. Delta, which was first identified in India, is believed to be roughly 60% more infectious than the alpha variant – the strain also known as the “Kent Strain”, or B.1.1.7, which was first identified by scientists in England. This week, as the number of new COVID cases climbed by double-digits from the prior week (while hospitalizations and deaths remained stagnant), Delta was declared the dominant variant found in the US. Almost as alarming, the researchers found that while Delta is able to effectively evade the antibody response, the Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa, can do it even more easily. Here’s more from the NYT report on the research:

“The researchers looked at blood samples from 103 people who had been infected with the coronavirus. Delta was much less sensitive than Alpha to samples from unvaccinated people in this group, the study found. One dose of vaccine significantly boosted the sensitivity, suggesting that people who have recovered from Covid-19 still need to be vaccinated to fend off some variants. The team also analyzed samples from 59 people after they had received the first and second doses of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

Blood samples from just 10 percent of people immunized with one dose of the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were able to neutralize the Delta and Beta variants in laboratory experiments. But a second dose boosted that number to 95 percent. There was no major difference in the levels of antibodies elicited by the two vaccines. “A single dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca was either poorly or not at all efficient against Beta and Delta variants,” the researchers concluded. Data from Israel and Britain broadly support this finding, although those studies suggest that one dose of vaccine is still enough to prevent hospitalization or death from the virus.”

What’s more, the delta variant was also found to be resistant to antibody-based treatments, like “bamlanivimab”, the monoclonal antibody cocktail produced by Eli Lilly. Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci tells reporters that nine out of ten Americans who died from the virus were unvaccinated. Despite the growing number of vaccinated patients who are being infected and seriously sickened, insisted that the “science” shows the vaccines are extremely effective at preventing infection. The logic is confusing, but it goes something like this: Delta is scary, so get vaccinated…but vaccines don’t protect against Delta. It’s just the latest reminder that Dr. Fauci & company don’t care about “the science”.

Tucker about vaccine coercion

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Those who still believe him have already gotten jabbed.

Fauci Tells People Hesitant About The Vaccine To ‘Just Get Over It’ (DC)

White House senior medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that people hesitant about getting vaccinated against COVID-19 should “just get over it.” Fauci appeared on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” where he went on a rant equating people’s hesitancy towards the vaccines’ safety to a “political statement.” “This is not complicated. We’re not asking anybody to make any political statements one way or another,” he said. “So many diseases that I deal with … don’t have solutions. It’s very frustrating — you don’t have a treatment, or you don’t have a vaccine,” Fauci added. “Here, we have a vaccine that’s highly, highly effective.”


“What is the problem? Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.” he concluded. Fauci has previously warned about the possibility of the emergence of “two Americas” as a result of low vaccination rates in some areas of the country. “When you have such a low level of vaccination superimposed upon a variant that has a high degree of efficiency of spread, what you are going to see among under-vaccinated regions … you’re going to see the individual types of blips. It’s almost like it’s going to be two Americas,” Fauci said on June 30.

Fauci GET OVER IT

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Don’t be a guinea pig. Be a guinea pig instead.

Sturgeon Warns Against Treating Young People Like Covid ‘Guinea Pigs’ (G.)

Nicola Sturgeon has warned against treating young people like “guinea pigs” by allowing them to get infected with coronavirus when lifting restrictions, amid fears they remain at risk of significant health impacts such as long Covid. Scotland’s first minister said the desire to live free of lockdown-style restrictions did not mean governments could “throw all caution to the wind”, while suggesting the “domination” of England’s plans to scrap Covid rules risked confusing other UK nations. The steep rise in infections across Scotland caused by theDelta variant may be levelling off, Sturgeon added. The current spike has led to six Scottish health boards being placed among the top 10 worst-hit regions in Europe by the WHO last weekend.


The levelling off gave her “more cause for optimism” that she would be able to confirm the move to level 0 of Scotland’s five-tier system of Covid controls in parliament next Tuesday, she said, before emphasising that the planned easing on 19 July “won’t be an abrupt end to basic protective measures like face covering, physical distancing, rigorous hand hygiene and advising on good ventilation.” However, she pointed out the “significant” impact the virus can have on younger people, even if there is a lower risk of death. She said: “I want to set out simply why we can’t just throw all caution to the wind. Firstly, this virus is still dangerous, as we see every day. It is still taking lives, though mercifully, thanks to the vaccines, it is doing so in far fewer numbers than we saw in earlier stages.”

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“the authors of the Lancet letter are too generous in describing this as “a dangerous and unethical experiment”: that terminology suggests a degree of scientific rigour and concern. Instead, this is a political wager..”

That comment is pro-vaccination. You would’t know without the context.

Risking England’s Health: Not Everyone Can Choose To Stay Safe (G.)

In a letter to the Lancet, over 100 global scientists have warned that rushing ahead with reopening on 19 July – rather than waiting until more people are vaccinated – is dangerous and premature. Those concerns will be compounded by the relaxation of travel restrictions announced on Thursday. Allowing children and double-vaccinated adults to travel to amber list countries without quarantining on return increases the risk of importing new variants which could be more infectious or more resistant to current vaccines, just as opportunities for transmission increase. The health secretary, Sajid Javid, concedes we could soon be looking at 100,000 cases a day, but argues that hospitalisation and death numbers are what matter more than anything.

Unfortunately, he will not say what figures he expects or would tolerate. The link between infection and serious illness or death has been much weakened, but not broken. Vaccination rates vary widely; in some areas, fewer than 30% have received two doses. On Thursday, the UK reported weekly rises of more than 50% in Covid hospital admissions and deaths – both of which lag rises in cases – to 456 and 35 respectively. The government’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, has said that we are likely to see a significant increase in long Covid; experts fear that huge numbers could be affected. Though the government talks of personal responsibility, there can be no responsibility without choice. For too many, danger is being imposed upon them. Vaccines are widely available, and people can still cover their faces.

But masks are better at protecting people from the wearer than protecting the wearer. Young workers on public transport or in shops, not yet able to get a second jab, will be exposed to the virus by customers who choose not to wear masks. They surely need and deserve protection. Children are currently unable to be vaccinated. The immunocompromised are less protected by vaccines and more likely to become seriously ill if they contract Covid. Reportedly, the department of health will be issuing new guidance for the immunosuppressed and clinically very vulnerable. But while support for shielders is needed, confining them to quarters indefinitely is hardly a liberation.

Nor is there much choice for exhausted NHS staff who face a soaring workload again, or for patients whose operations are being cancelled because hospitals are treating growing numbers of Covid patients or staff are having to self-isolate. If anything, the authors of the Lancet letter are too generous in describing this as “a dangerous and unethical experiment”: that terminology suggests a degree of scientific rigour and concern. Instead, this is a political wager, in which large parts of the population are not players but gambling chips.

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“I have not met a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed and who then understand the risks of this vaccine or its benefits.”

Canada Cracks Down On Doctors Who Warn Of Covid-19 Vaccines Risks (JTN)

Canadian doctors are facing professional repercussions for sharing their concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, specifically their emergency use authorization status and safety for children. The University of Saskatchewan removed Francis Christian, a clinical professor of surgery, from his faculty and administrative responsibilities days after he hosted a press conference about “the risks of mRNA vaccines to children” and alternatives to vaccination, including use of the drug ivermectin. The Saskatchewan Health Authority also said it was terminating Christian’s contract Sept. 21, after the required 90-day notice, for his “conspiracy theories” on COVID-19 vaccines. He is not “committed to fact-based, scientifically driven public messaging,” the provincial agency told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Christian endangers lives by “potentially discouraging uptake on life-saving vaccines.” Christian opened the June 17 press conference with an explicit disclaimer that he was not representing the university or the provincial agency, and emphasized he was “very pro-vaccine” in general. “The principle of informed consent is being consistently violated in this province for the mRNA vaccine for our kids,” for whom there is no “emergency” justifying experimental COVID-19 vaccines, he said. “I have not met a single vaccinated child or parent who has been adequately informed and who then understand the risks of this vaccine or its benefits.”

Christian said nearly 6,000 deaths have been associated with mRNA vaccines in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Echoing arguments by other medical experts, he said such associations “in any other drug or vaccine … would have been sufficient to stop the whole program” to allow for reevaluation. “Tomorrow the CDC is meeting in emergency session to discuss this issue” of heightened risk for myocarditis among young COVID-19 vaccine recipients, he said, and “there is a good likelihood that they too will call for a pause in vaccinating our kids.” The U.S. FDA added heart-inflammation warnings to two vaccines several days later.

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Can they fake negative tests as well? Asking for a friend.

How Some Teens are Faking Positive Covid-19 Tests (GR)

A new study released on Monday suggests that teenagers are using social media to share information on faking covid-19 tests in order to get a positive result. Since July 1, videos of young people sharing information on how to trick rapid at-home covid tests (lateral flow tests) into producing positive results using soda drinks have gone viral. This has prompted researchers at the University of Liverpool to look into whether there is any validity to the claim that artificial sweeteners used in sodas can change negative coronavirus results into positive ones. The results of their study, which is still awaiting peer review, were submitted to medRxiv on Monday. The videos of children faking positive covid-19 test results have gone particularly viral in the UK, where a single case of coronavirus in a school can often lead to the whole grade of the person diagnosed needing to isolate at home.

In the UK, schools have mandated students test themselves for the coronavirus twice weekly, in a move similar to that enacted by the Greek government. Some teens have decided that sham positive results are a good thing, as it allows them and their friends to skip school for around ten days and hang out instead. However, this can have a devastating effect on learning, as students miss out on school for days because of false information. Videos are continually being uploaded to social media sites with the hashtag “#fakecovidtest,” showing children putting different liquids on rapid antigen tests in an attempt to produce a positive result. The study by University of Liverpool researchers showed that soda drinks could be used to fake rapid covid-19 tests.

The researchers first ruled out the significance of artificial sweetener, as four different kinds of artificial sweetener and spring water produced negative results on the test swabs. However, when the researchers went to test sodas, the results became a bit more concerning. Ten out of fourteen sodas tested were able to produce positive or weakly positive results. However, the researchers have had a hard time identifying what ingredient produces this reaction, as there seems to be no apparent link between the test results and the soft drinks’ ingredients.

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One shut down after another. Not a good sign at all.

Wells Fargo Shuts Down All Personal Lines Of Credit (CNBC)

Wells Fargo is ending a popular consumer lending product, angering some of its customers, CNBC has learned. The bank is shutting down all existing personal lines of credit in coming weeks and no longer offers the product, according to customer letters reviewed by CNBC. The revolving credit lines, which typically let users borrow $3,000 to $100,000, were pitched as a way to consolidate higher-interest credit card debt, pay for home renovations or avoid overdraft fees on linked checking accounts. “Wells Fargo recently reviewed its product offerings and decided to discontinue offering new Personal and Portfolio line of credit accounts and close all existing accounts,” the bank said in the six-page letter. The move would let the bank focus on credit cards and personal loans, it said.

Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf has been forced to make difficult decisions during the coronavirus pandemic, offloading assets and deposits and stepping back from some products because of limitations imposed by the Federal Reserve. In 2018, the Fed barred Wells Fargo from growing its balance sheet until it fixes compliance shortcomings revealed by the bank’s fake accounts scandal. The asset cap has ultimately cost the bank billions of dollars in lost earnings, based on the balance sheet growth of rivals including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America over the past three years, analysts have said. It has also affected Wells Fargo’s customers: Last year, the lender told staff it was halting all new home equity lines of credit, CNBC reported. Months later, the bank also withdrew from a segment of the auto lending business.

With its latest move, Wells Fargo warned customers that the account closures “may have an impact on your credit score,” according to a frequently asked questions segment of the letter. Another part of the FAQ asserted that the account closures couldn’t be reviewed or reversed: “We apologize for the inconvenience this Line of Credit closure will cause,” the bank said. “The account closure is final.”

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“We are going to hold Big Tech very accountable..”

Trump Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Twitter, Facebook & Google (HE)

Trump is suing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for violating his First Amendment rights. “Today, in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I’m filing as the lead class representative a class action lawsuit against Facebook, Google and Twitter,” Trump said. “Our case will prove this censorship unlawful.” “We’re demanding an end to the shadowbanning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing and canceling that you know so well,” he added.


The lawsuits, filed in the Southern District of Florida, also call for the court to strike down Section 230, a decades-old Internet law that protects tech companies from lawsuits over content moderation decisions, per the New York Times. The suits seek unspecified punitive damages. The announcement came during a morning press conference at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, where he was joined by Linda McMahon and Brooke Rollins of the America First Policy Institute, per the Tennessee Star. Trump is bringing the lawsuit on behalf of not only himself, but other Americans whose First Amendment rights were violated by the Big Tech conglomerate. “We are going to hold Big Tech very accountable,” he said.

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He’s seen the laptop’s contents.

Trump Says Hunter Biden Is Worse Than Al Capone (DM)

Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday there was more ‘criminal activity’ on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop than mobster Al Capone ever carried out. Trump commented on what he termed the ‘laptop from hell’ as he announced his lawsuit against Facebook and big tech. He used language that suggested he may have seen the laptop, although he didn’t specify if he was referring to media reports on its contents. ‘The laptop from hell,’ Trump termed it. ‘You look at that thing, there’s more criminal activity on that laptop than Al Capone had if he ever had a laptop,’ the former president said. The tech-averse Trump then riffed: ‘We’d like to give Al Capone one, but he was a baby compared to what I was able to see.’

The laptop purportedly once owned by the president’s son has produced a series of revelations about Hunter Biden’s convoluted family sagas and international business deals. DailyMail.com consulted computer forensics experts who vouched for its authenticity. The New York Post reported on some of its email contents weeks before the election, reporting that it was dropped off at a Delaware repair shop in 2019 and never picked up. Recent stories unearthed from the laptop appear to show Hunter paying his father’s AT&T bill, saying prostitutes should unionize, as well as information on the family’s painful struggles with addiction. Longtime Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whose apartment was raided by the FBI in April, said agents refused to take hard drives he said were Hunter’s during the search.

[..] Trump brought up the laptop while complaining about probes of him he terms witch hunts. ‘That’s what happened with Russia, that’s what happened with Ukraine,’ he said, before pivoting to Hunter. He invoked Capone, the Chicago mobster famously sentenced to 11 years on tax charges, days after longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was indicted on tax fraud charges over $1.7 million in perks and benefits prosecutors say he did not disclose.

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The White House ensures secrecy for the buyers? That’s in their job description?

Hunter Biden Art Show Sparks Ethics Concerns (NYP)

Government ethics watchdogs and art critics alike are voicing their concerns as first son Hunter Biden prepares for his first solo art exhibition this fall — where paintings from the former lawyer and lobbyist are expected to fetch between $75,000 and $500,000 and buyers will remain anonymous. “The whole thing is a really bad idea,” Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, told the Washington Post. “The initial reaction a lot of people are going to have is that he’s capitalizing on being the son of a president and wants people to give him a lot of money. I mean, those are awfully high prices.” Walter Shaub, who led the Office of Government Ethics under President Barack Obama, told the paper that the art buyers having their identities protected created a host of problems.

“Because we don’t know who is paying for this art and we don’t know for sure that [Hunter Biden] knows, we have no way of monitoring whether people are buying access to the White House,” he said. “What these people are paying for is Hunter Biden’s last name.” Painter also referenced the issue of anonymity, noting that foreign governments or lobbyists could buy the art through intermediaries in an effort to curry favor with the Biden White House. President Biden’s 51-year-old son is putting the finishing touches on the 15 paintings that will comprise his first solo exhibition, which is scheduled to open in October at the Georges Berges’ Gallery in Soho, with a private viewing for VIP collectors in Los Angeles in September. Speaking to The Post late last month, Berges, 45, who said he discovered Biden after being introduced by a “serious” Los Angeles-based collector, admitted he was skeptical of the president’s son’s artistic ability.

“A lot of people say they can paint and do sculpture, but what I was concerned about was whether Hunter’s work would be authentic,” the gallery owner said. Berges, who represents a roster of international artists, spent three years helping Biden, who is self-taught, take his abstract expressionist painting from a hobby that occupied “about 20 percent of his time” to a full-time job that saw Biden spend the last two and a half years holed up in his home studio on a hillside in Los Angeles following a “regimented” routine. “What interested me was whether the work was going to be honest — something that was really true to him and his journey,” Berges said. “But as soon as I met him, I had a real connection with him and I felt I could work with him.”

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Julian has nothing to expect from British law.

UK High Court Grants US Permission for Appeal in Assange Extradition Case (CD)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team said Wednesday that the United Kingdom’s High Court had granted permission to the U.S. government to appeal an earlier decision that blocked Assange’s extradition The court reportedly granted the appeal “on a limited basis” and on “narrow, technical grounds,” and did not set a date for a future court hearing. The ruling led to intensified calls by Assange’s supporters for his release from Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, where he has been held for more than two years following seven years in isolation at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he claimed asylum. The High Court’s decision “means he is still at risk of extradition where he faces a 175-year prison sentence and…is certain to lose his life if he is extradited,” said Stella Moris, Assange’s partner.


District Judge Vanessa Baraister ruled at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in January that Assange should not be extradited to the U.S., where the government is pursuing Espionage Act charges against him for his publication of military and diplomatic documents, on the grounds that Assange was at “substantial” risk for committing suicide in the “harsh conditions” of the U.S. prison system. Baraister’s ruling led to calls for the U.S. to end its pursuit of Assange—which has been called a threat to press freedom all over the world by international rights groups including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, and the Freedom of the Press Foundation—but U.K. authorities continued his detention at Belmarsh pending the Biden administration’s appeal.

Greenwald NSA Assange

Read more …

 

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Russell Brand

 

 


disclaimer at the beginning of Birth of a Nation.

 

 

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Jul 092021
 
 July 9, 2021  Posted by at 7:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  7 Responses »


Alessandro Allori Portrait of a Lady c1560

 

 

 

Just a brief note on something I noticed yesterday and this morning. I’m not sure if this is predominantly a British issue, but even if it is, be sure it will spread to many nations. The issue is this: the narrative is being put on its head. It’s no longer the inoculation of millions upon millions of people with experimental and never approved substances that constitutes an experiment, the experiment now is NOT doing it.

You are now not a Covid guinea pig if you get one of the jabs that killed a estimated 20,000 people so far in Europe and the US and led to 100s of 1000s of severe adverse reactions. No, you’re a guinea pig if you don’t get a shot whose makers themselves say doesn’t protect you from infection. And don’t listen to Fauci et al who declare something “safe” because it only killed 20,000 people; they have no credibility left, they just still have the media on their side.

This is not a subtle shift, something one might expect when doing narrative control, it’s a full 180º, the “Ignorance is strength” variety. But if you read between the narrative lines, you might just pick up on the fact that this is coming from one of the most “successfully vaccinated” countries in the world, but where “cases” are skyrocketing once again.

And maybe just maybe this proves what the vaccine makers have said all along: that the vaccines do not protect you from infection. We should at least consider the possibility, and discuss it, and then act according to what we find. In the meantime, it looks like maybe whatever you do, you’re always a guinea pig.

 

Sturgeon Warns Against Treating Young People Like Covid ‘Guinea Pigs’

Nicola Sturgeon has warned against treating young people like “guinea pigs” by allowing them to get infected with coronavirus when lifting restrictions, amid fears they remain at risk of significant health impacts such as long Covid. Scotland’s first minister said the desire to live free of lockdown-style restrictions did not mean governments could “throw all caution to the wind”, while suggesting the “domination” of England’s plans to scrap Covid rules risked confusing other UK nations. The steep rise in infections across Scotland caused by theDelta variant may be levelling off, Sturgeon added. The current spike has led to six Scottish health boards being placed among the top 10 worst-hit regions in Europe by the WHO last weekend.


The levelling off gave her “more cause for optimism” that she would be able to confirm the move to level 0 of Scotland’s five-tier system of Covid controls in parliament next Tuesday, she said, before emphasising that the planned easing on 19 July “won’t be an abrupt end to basic protective measures like face covering, physical distancing, rigorous hand hygiene and advising on good ventilation.” However, she pointed out the “significant” impact the virus can have on younger people, even if there is a lower risk of death. She said: “I want to set out simply why we can’t just throw all caution to the wind. Firstly, this virus is still dangerous, as we see every day. It is still taking lives, though mercifully, thanks to the vaccines, it is doing so in far fewer numbers than we saw in earlier stages.”

 

One group wants the country shut down forever, the other does not.

 

Risking England’s Health: Not Everyone Can Choose To Stay Safe

In a letter to the Lancet, over 100 global scientists have warned that rushing ahead with reopening on 19 July – rather than waiting until more people are vaccinated – is dangerous and premature. Those concerns will be compounded by the relaxation of travel restrictions announced on Thursday. Allowing children and double-vaccinated adults to travel to amber list countries without quarantining on return increases the risk of importing new variants which could be more infectious or more resistant to current vaccines, just as opportunities for transmission increase. The health secretary, Sajid Javid, concedes we could soon be looking at 100,000 cases a day, but argues that hospitalisation and death numbers are what matter more than anything.

Unfortunately, he will not say what figures he expects or would tolerate. The link between infection and serious illness or death has been much weakened, but not broken. Vaccination rates vary widely; in some areas, fewer than 30% have received two doses. On Thursday, the UK reported weekly rises of more than 50% in Covid hospital admissions and deaths – both of which lag rises in cases – to 456 and 35 respectively. The government’s chief medical adviser, Prof Chris Whitty, has said that we are likely to see a significant increase in long Covid; experts fear that huge numbers could be affected. Though the government talks of personal responsibility, there can be no responsibility without choice. For too many, danger is being imposed upon them. Vaccines are widely available, and people can still cover their faces.

But masks are better at protecting people from the wearer than protecting the wearer. Young workers on public transport or in shops, not yet able to get a second jab, will be exposed to the virus by customers who choose not to wear masks. They surely need and deserve protection. Children are currently unable to be vaccinated. The immunocompromised are less protected by vaccines and more likely to become seriously ill if they contract Covid. Reportedly, the department of health will be issuing new guidance for the immunosuppressed and clinically very vulnerable. But while support for shielders is needed, confining them to quarters indefinitely is hardly a liberation.

Nor is there much choice for exhausted NHS staff who face a soaring workload again, or for patients whose operations are being cancelled because hospitals are treating growing numbers of Covid patients or staff are having to self-isolate. If anything, the authors of the Lancet letter are too generous in describing this as “a dangerous and unethical experiment”: that terminology suggests a degree of scientific rigour and concern. Instead, this is a political wager, in which large parts of the population are not players but gambling chips.

 

 

 

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Jun 252017
 


Marc Riboud Paris 1953

 

Dems Push Leaders To Talk Less About Russia (Hill)
UK Housing Crisis Threatens A Million Families With Eviction By 2020 (G.)
The Answer Is Wages, Not Capital (Angusto)
Not All Fossil Fuels Are Going Extinct (BBG)
Reclaiming Public Services (TNI)
Contagion from the 2 Friday-Night Bank Collapses in Italy? (DQ)
Health Spending In Greece Down 40% In 2009-2015 (Amna)
Moody’s Raises Greece’s Sovereign Bond Rating After Bailout (AFP)
Greece, A Guinea Pig For A Cashless And Controlled Society (MPN)
Monsanto And Bayer Are Maneuvering To Take Over The Cannabis Industry (WT)

 

 

Endlessly ironic that publications like the Hill write on this. They are more responsible for all the nonsense than any politicians are.

Dems Push Leaders To Talk Less About Russia (Hill)

Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia. Democratic leaders have been beating the drum this year over the ongoing probes into the Trump administration’s potential ties to Moscow, taking every opportunity to highlight the saga and forcing floor votes designed to uncover any business dealings the president might have with Russian figures. But rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare.

In the wake of a string of special-election defeats, an increasing number of Democrats are calling for an adjustment in party messaging, one that swings the focus from Russia to the economy. The outcome of the 2018 elections, they say, hinges on how well the Democrats manage that shift. “We can’t just talk about Russia because people back in Ohio aren’t really talking that much about Russia, about Putin, about Michael Flynn,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Thursday. “They’re trying to figure out how they’re going to make the mortgage payment, how they’re going to pay for their kids to go to college, what their energy bill looks like. “And if we don’t talk more about their interest than we do about how we’re so angry with Donald Trump and everything that’s going on,” he added, “then we’re never going to be able to win elections.”

Ryan is among the small group of Democrats who are sounding calls for a changing of the guard atop the party’s leadership hierarchy following Tuesday’s special election defeat in Georgia — the Democrats’ fourth loss since Trump took office. But Ryan is hardly alone in urging party leaders to hone their 2018 message. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) has been paying particularly close attention to voters’ concerns because he’s running for governor in 2018. The Russia-Trump investigation, he said, isn’t on their radar. “I did a 22-county tour. … Nobody’s focusing on that,” Walz said. “That’s not to say that they don’t think Russia and those things are important, [but] it’s certainly not top on their minds.”

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Elections it is then. A rudderless society.

UK Housing Crisis Threatens A Million Families With Eviction By 2020 (G.)

More than a million households living in private rented accommodation are at risk of becoming homeless by 2020 because of rising rents, benefit freezes and a lack of social housing, according to a devastating new report into the UK’s escalating housing crisis. The study by the homelessness charity Shelter shows that rising numbers of families on low incomes are not only unable to afford to buy their own home but are also struggling to pay even the lowest available rents in the private sector, leading to ever higher levels of eviction and homelessness. The findings will place greater pressure on the government over housing policy following the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in west London, which exposed the neglect and disregard for people living in council-owned properties in one of the wealthiest areas of the capital.

The Shelter report highlights how a crisis of affordability and provision is gripping millions with no option but to look for homes in the private rented sector due to a shortage of social housing. Shelter says that in 83% of areas of England, people in the private rented sector now face a substantial monthly shortfall between the housing benefit they receive and the cheapest rents, and that this will rise as austerity bites and the lack of properties tilts the balance more in favour of landlords. Across the UK the charity has calculated that, if the housing benefit freeze remains in place as planned until 2020, more than a million households, including 375,000 with at least one person in work, could be forced out of their homes. It estimates that 211,000 households in which no one works because of disability could be forced to go.

Graeme Brown, the interim chief executive at Shelter, said: “The current freeze on housing benefit is pushing hundreds of thousands of private renters dangerously close to breaking point at a time when homelessness is rising.” A total of 14,420 households were accepted by local authorities as homeless between October and December 2016, up by more than half since 2009 – with 78% of the increase since 2011 being the result of people losing their previous private tenancy. Local authorities are under a legal obligation to find emergency accommodation, such as in bed and breakfasts.

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A kernel of truth does not a good reasoning make.,

The Answer Is Wages, Not Capital (Angusto)

As in any other religion, faith lies behind capitalism. Faith that capital is a panacea always and in any situation: to push economic growth or to help less developed countries to catch up. Yet the fact is that the EU countries that were the main receivers of cohesion funds, before the extension to the East, later became rescued countries – and we have never before had as much capital on tap along with current low growth.

Both these facts should be enough to break the faith in capital or, at least, to recognise its limits. Let’s see those limits in the above-mentioned causes. The virtue of capital transfers to help low developed countries is based in old Marshall Plan history, which attributes the successful German recovery after WW2 to USA loans. Sure, those loans helped, but the necessary knowledge was already there and the capital transfers allowed the Germans to rebuild their supply capacity. Conversely, in the EU rescued countries, entering the EU came with a local supply capacity destruction, in Schumpeterian terms, for which cohesion funds were unable to compensate. As a result, their domestic demand outstripped internal supply and trade deficits became recurrent until the financial crash.

The key element was not capital but knowledge and its absence or availability in both situations; something very obvious but all too often forgotten. If capital has any virtue it comes from its origin: the capacity to produce output sufficient to recover the inputs used, to satisfy consumption needs and to save a part to be invested as new inputs for raising future output. It means that the virtue is not in the savings/capital itself but in the capacity to generate it. That’s why capital transfers that simply increased the receivers’ inputs provision, without increasing the output/input ratio –or system efficiency–, were in the end wasted money. To avoid this, it would have been necessary to increase the receivers’ efficiency, which is much more correlated with parameters like educational levels than with capitalization! Again, knowledge is the key question.

Furthermore, capital on its own is not only unable to help less developed countries catch up on their wealthier peers but it’s also unable to propel economic growth on its own, as we are now seeing. After years of letting profits grow at the cost of wages, hoping that greater capital would bring greater growth, now we hear companies claiming that they do not invest because they do not have sufficient demand to justify the investment. The clear solution would be to increase wages, but no single company will do it out of fear that the others won’t follow suit. In fact, what any company hopes is that the others increase wages and salaries but not itself. That’s why a global agent is needed: trade unions and the public administration! The latter to increase its spending to guarantee full employment and the former profiting from full employment to bargain higher salaries.

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Bloomberg’s valiant attempt to make you see it doesn’t understand energy. Well done!

Not All Fossil Fuels Are Going Extinct (BBG)

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s latest New Energy Outlook points the way to a sunny, windy future for the global electric power industry. That doesn’t mean that fossil fuels (or nuclear power) will vanish. It also doesn’t mean that all fossil fuels are the same. The future of natural gas and coal is a tale of two resources — one a story of rising fortunes, the other of slow decline. The latest outlook on natural gas is brighter than ever: BNEF’s forecast for gas shows a higher estimate for consumption in 2040 than in previous years, with a short decline at the end of this decade.

Coal is a different matter. Coal demand is expected to peak late next decade, then decline almost every year to reach a low of 3.1 billion metric tons in 2040, about 25% lower than at its peak.

This long-term outlook is nuanced, as it should be. The aggregated demand for each fuel from 2020 to 2040 has not changed much in three successive New Energy Outlook reports. Total gas consumption has only increased 6% since the 2015 report, while coal consumption from 2020 to 2040 – despite the plunge that is now expected, as noted above – has only changed 3.5%, and was exactly the same in 2016. However, the shape of that coal curve is still important, even if the volume hasn’t changed much. A coal mine that opens today could have a 60-year life, but it is likely to be one fraught with oversupply and competition from other coal producers, as well as other technologies. So how does the 2017 New Energy Outlook for gas and coal compare to how major oil companies and the International Energy Agency see it? For gas, everyone agrees: Consumption grows. Shell expects gas consumption to more than double and, perhaps not surprisingly, Exxon Mobil and BP also expect consumption to increase at least 50%. BNEF’s expectations are a bit more muted.

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Looks a tad hippyish, but as I’ve said a million times, no society should ever sell its basics to anyone. It’s lethal.

Reclaiming Public Services (TNI)

Reclaiming Public Services is vital reading for anyone interested in the future of local, democratic services like energy, water and health care. This is an in-depth world tour of new initiatives in public ownership and the variety of approaches to deprivatisation. From New Delhi to Barcelona, from Argentina to Germany, thousands of politicians, public officials, workers, unions and social movements are reclaiming or creating public services to address people’s basic needs and respond to environmental challenges. They do this most often at the local level. Our research shows that there have been at least 835 examples of (re)municipalisation of public services worldwide since 2000, involving more than 1,600 municipalities in 45 countries.

Why are people around the world reclaiming essential services from private operators and bringing their delivery back into the public sphere? There are many motivations behind (re)municipalisation initiatives: a goal to end private sector abuse or labour violations; a desire to regain control over the local economy and resources; a wish to provide people with affordable services; or an intention to implement ambitious climate strategies. Remunicipalisation is taking place in small towns and in capital cities, following different models of public ownership and with various levels of involvement by citizens and workers. Out of this diversity a coherent picture is nevertheless emerging: it is possible to build efficient, democratic and affordable public services. Ever declining service quality and ever increasing prices are not inevitable. More and more people and cities are closing the chapter on privatisation, and putting essential services back into public hands.

Ulli Sima, Vienna City Councilor for the Environment and Wiener Stadtwerke: “As early as 2001, Vienna protected drinking water with a constitutional decision. Municipal services must remain public and should not be sacrificed to private profit. We want to ally with other cities for strong municipal servicest.” Eloi Badia, the Barcelona Councilor for presidency, water and energy: “It is important to demystify the process of privatisation that has been launched in recent years by several governments, because it’s a model that has not proved its efficiency, failing to offer a better service or a better price.”

Célia Blauel, President of Eau de Paris and Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the environment, sustainable development, water and the energy-climate plan: “Bringing local public services under public control is a major democratic issue, especially for such essential services as energy or water. It means greater transparency and better citizen supervision. In the context of climate change, it can contribute to leading our cities toward energy efficiency, the development of renewables, the conservation of our natural resources, and the right to water. ”

Read more …

Yesterday I wrote: “To paraphrase Juncker: “When things get serious in Europe, no rules or laws are immune to lies.”

Today, Don Quijones says: “..when things get serious in the EU, laws get bent.”

That ends to the Cyprus model before it was even truly inaugurated.

Contagion from the 2 Friday-Night Bank Collapses in Italy? (DQ)

When things get serious in the EU, laws get bent and loopholes get exploited. That is what is happening right now in Italy, where the banking crisis has reached tipping point. The ECB, together with the Italian government, have just this weekend to resolve Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca, two zombie banks that the ECB, on Friday night, ordered to be liquidated. Unlike Monte dei Pachi di Siena, they will not be bailed out primarily with public funds. Senior bondholders and depositors will be protected while shareholders and subordinate bondholders will lose their shirts. However, as the German daily Welt points out, subordinate bondholders at Monte dei Pachi di Siena had billions of euros at stake, much of it owned by its own retail customers who’d been sold these bonds instead of savings products such as CDs. So for political reasons, they were bailed out.

Junior bonds play a smaller role at the two Veneto-based banks. According to the Welt, the two banks combined have €1.33 billion (at face value) in junior bonds outstanding. They last traded between 1 cent and 3 cents on the euro. So worthless. Only about €100 million were sold to their own customers, not enough to cause a political ruckus in Italy. So they will be crushed. The good assets and the liabilities, such as the deposits, will be transferred to a competing bank. According to a rescue plan apparently drawn up by investment bank Rothschild that surfaced a few days ago, Intesa Sao Paolo, Italy’s second largest bank, would get these good assets and the deposits (liabilities), for the token sum of €1, while all the toxic assets (non-performing loans) would be shuffled off to a state-owned “bad bank” – and thus, the taxpayer.

According to the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore, the bad bank would be left holding over €20 billion of festering assets. “Intesa gets a free gift, the state takes on all the bad stuff and the taxpayer pays,” said at the time Renato Brunetta, parliamentary leader for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party. It is testament to just how desperate the situation has become in Italy’s banking crisis. The country’s largest lender, Unicredit, is in no position to help out: it had to raise €13 billion of new capital earlier this year just to keep itself afloat. Whether the deal with Intesa is still possible after the ECB’s decision to liquidate the banks, and what form this deal, if any, will take, and how much the taxpayer will have to fork over, and how to sugarcoat this in the most palatable terms is what the Italian government is currently trying to hammer out in its emergency meeting.

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How anyone can label this anything but ‘criminal’ is beyond me.

Health Spending In Greece Down 40% In 2009-2015 (Amna)

Health spending in Greece plunged 40% in the 2009-2015 period, Deloitte said in a survey released on Thursday. According to the survey, health spending fell to €14.1 billion in 2014, hit by a significant shrinking in medical/pharmaceutical coverage by the state and the social insurance system. It also stressed that this sharp decline mostly hit pharmacies and other professionals in the health sector and less the country’s hospitals. Hospital spending fell to €6.2 billion in 2015, from €9.0 billion in 2009, for an average annual decline of 6.0%, while average annual decline in the retail sector reached 7.0% and 9.0%, respectively. Deloitte said the state social insurance system covers 59.1% of total health spending in Greece, with patients covering 35.5% -a %age significantly higher compared with other European countries (UK 9.5%, France 6.7%, Italy 21.7%).

3.7% of total health spending is covered by private insurance contracts. Private hospitals were also hit during the 2009-2015 period, leading to more consolidation as the number of private hospitals fell by 6.0% and their size grew by around 1.0%. The total number of private and state hospitals in Greece was 283, mostly in Attica, offering 45,900 beds. The survey said that the number of beds surpassed demand by at least 18%. The survey noted that health spending recovered slightly to €14.7 billion in 2015 and stressed that international investors were showing strong interest for business deals in Greece.

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Want Moody’s to be nice to you? Slash your health system by 40%.

Moody’s Raises Greece’s Sovereign Bond Rating After Bailout (AFP)

Credit ratings agency Moody’s late Friday raised Greece’s long-term issuer rating to “Caa2” from “Caa3” after eurozone governments extended a credit lifeline to the country. Moody’s also changed its outlook to “positive”, up from “stable” previously, saying it saw signs that the heavily indebted country’s economy was stabilising. It pointed to a mid-June agreement reached by Greece’s creditors to relaunch an aid plan to the country, which had been blocked for months due to disagreements between eurozone countries – especially Germany – and the IMF. The move reduces the spectre of a short-term crisis, after eurozone governments agreed to give Greece a new credit lifeline of some €8.5 billion ($9.5 billion). Moody’s said it expected Greece’s debt ratio to stabilise this year at 179% of GDP, adding that growth should return to the economy this year and next.

Greece returned to growth in the first quarter of 2017, with a 0.4% increase in GDP, according to figures revised upwards in early June. “It is too early to conclude that economic growth will be durable,” Moody’s said. The IMF, which links financial aid to debt relief, has also signed an “agreement in principle” to allow immediate assistance that avoids a payment crisis in Athens this summer. It said Thursday that negotiations with creditors for debt reduction had “made progress”. “If we did not think there was a good chance of reaching a debt deal, we would not have chosen that route,” an IMF spokesman said. Moody’s also raised the long-term country ceilings for foreign-currency and local-currency bonds to B3 from Caa2.

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Another kernel of truth that proves writing articles is not that easy.

Greece, A Guinea Pig For A Cashless And Controlled Society (MPN)

The IMF, which day after day is busy “saving” economically suffering countries such as Greece, also happens to agree with this brave new worldview. In a working paper titled “The Macroeconomics of De-Cashing,” which the IMF claims does not necessarily represent its official views, the fund nevertheless provides a blueprint with which governments around the world could begin to phase out cash. This process would commence with “initial and largely uncontested steps” (such as the phasing out of large-denomination bills or the placement of upper limits on cash transactions). This process would then be furthered largely by the private sector, providing cashless payment options for people’s “convenience,” rather than risk popular objections to policy-led decashing.

The IMF, which certainly has a sterling track record of sticking up for the poor and vulnerable in society, comforts us by saying that these policies should be implemented in ways that would augment “economic and social benefits.” These suggestions, which of course the IMF does not necessarily officially agree with, have already begun to be implemented to a significant extent in the IMF debt colony known officially as Greece, where the IMF has been implementing “socially fair and just” austerity policies since 2010, which have resulted, during this period, in a GDP decline of over 25%, unemployment levels exceeding 28%, repeated cuts to what are now poverty-level salaries and pensions, and a “brain drain” of over 500,000 people—largely young and university-educated—migrating out of Greece.

Indeed, it could be said that Greece is being used as a guinea pig not just for a grand neoliberal experiment in both austerity, but de-cashing as well. The examples are many, and they have found fertile ground in a country whose populace remains shell-shocked by eight years of economic depression. A new law that came into effect on January 1 incentivizes going cashless by setting a minimum threshold of spending at least 10% of one’s income via credit, debit, or prepaid card in order to attain a somewhat higher tax-free threshold. Beginning July 27, dozens of categories of businesses in Greece will be required to install aptly-acronymized “POS” (point-of-sale) card readers and to accept payments by card.

usinesses are also required to post a notice, typically by the entrance or point of sale, stating whether card payments are accepted or not. Another new piece of legislation, in effect as of June 1, requires salaries to be paid via direct electronic transfers to bank accounts. Furthermore, cash transactions of over €500 have been outlawed. In Greece, where in the eyes of the state citizens are guilty even if proven innocent, capital controls have been implemented preventing ATM cash withdrawals of over €840 every two weeks. These capital controls, in varying forms, have been in place for two years with no end in sight, choking small businesses that are already suffering.

Read more …

Inevitable. Chemists go where they smell money.

Monsanto And Bayer Are Maneuvering To Take Over The Cannabis Industry (WT)

You may remember hearing back in September that Bayer, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, made a deal to buy out Monsanto for $66 billion. Although Monsanto was voted the most evil company in the world in 2013 and its reputation has continued to fall since, Bayer still went ahead with the buyout. A merger between these two companies is unsurprising, as though they both have long histories of involvement with Nazism and chemical weapons like agent orange which have devastated Vietnam since the war. In fact, Bayer began as a break-off company of the infamous IG Farben, which produced the chemical weapons used on the Jews during the Nazi reign. After the war, Farben was forced to break up into several companies, including BASF, Hoeschst, and Bayer.

Soon after at the Nuremberg trials, 24 Farben executives were sent to prison for crimes against humanity. However, in a matter of just 7 years each of them was released and began filling high positions in each of the former Farben companies, and many of them began working for the Russian, British, and American governments through a joint intelligence venture called “Operation Paperclip”: (“IG (Interessengemeinschaft) stands for “Association of Common Interests”: The IG Farben cartel included BASF, Bayer, Hoechst, and other German chemical and pharmaceutical companies. As documents show, IG Farben was intimately involved with the human experimental atrocities committed by Mengele at Auschwitz. A German watchdog organization, the GBG Network, maintains copious documents and tracks Bayer Pharmaceutical activities.” – Alliance for Human Research Protection)

After all these years, Bayer is now richer and more powerful than their predecessor company I.G. Farben ever was. According to Big Buds Magazine, Monsanto and Scotts Miracle-Gro have a “deep business partnership” and plan on taking over the cannabis industry. Hawthorne, a front group for Scotts, has already purchased three of the major cannabis growing companies: General Hydroponics, Botanicare, and Gavita. Many other hydroponics companies have also reported attempted buyouts by Hawthorne. (“They want to bypass hydroponics retail stores…When we said we won’t get in bed with them they said, ‘Well, we could just buy your whole company like we did with Gavita and do whatever we want.’” – Hydroponics Lighting Representative) Jim Hagedorn, CEO of Scotts Miracle-Gro, has even said that he plans to “invest, like, half a billion in [taking over] the pot business… It is the biggest thing I’ve ever seen in lawn and garden.”

He has also invested in companies such as Leaf, which grows cannabis in an electronically regulated indoor terrarium accessible via smartphone. It is logical that Bayer, being the parent company, would work together with Monsanto in order to share secrets which would advance mutual business. Many people in the cannabis industry have been warning about this, including Michael Straumietis, founder and owner of Advanced Nutrients. (“Monsanto and Bayer share information about genetically modifying crops,” Straumietis notes. “Bayer partners with GW Pharmaceuticals, which grows its own proprietary marijuana genetics. It’s logical to conclude that Monsanto and Bayer want to create GMO marijuana.” – Michael Straumietis)

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