Jan 162024
 
 January 16, 2024  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Salvador Dalí The oecumenial council 1960

 

Trump Scores Major Election Victory (RT)
Lawfare Against Trump Is Running Out of Gas (Victor Davis Hanson)
Jan. 6 Committee Helped Guide Early Days Of Georgia Trump Probe (Pol.)
Prosecutors Are Charging Trump Using Laws Made To Fight The KKK (G.)
Ukraine Crisis Won’t End Until NATO Push Kiev to Negotiating Table (Sp.)
Zelensky Rejected Favorable Peace Deal With Russia – Arestovich (RT)
Moscow Slams Bild Report of Preparations for ‘NATO-Russia War’ (Sp.)
US Seeks Funds for Bioweapons Projects From Private Foundations (Sp.)
Israel and the U.S. Are Already Feeling the Weight of Houthi Justice (Dionisio)
US Lured Into Battlescape in Gaza, Yemen and Now Iraq (Alastair Crooke)
Red Sea Tensions May Become ‘Impossible To Contain’ – UN (RT)
UK To Send 20,000 Troops To NATO Exercise (RT)
Mega-Poll Predicts Disaster For Tories – But Reality Could Be Even Worse (G.)
Cheers to You, WEFers of Davos! (Kunstler)
‘Say it Nicer’: Hunter Makes a Familiar Last-Minute Offer to Congress (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Israel is finished- Macgregor

 

 


Mr. Fish

 

 

Elon Musk:
Destroying freedom of speech means destroying democracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historic numbers.

Trump Scores Major Election Victory (RT)

Former President Donald Trump won a landslide victory in the first Republican primary of the 2024 presidential race, taking home three times more delegates than his closest opponent and over 50% of the popular vote. With more than 95% of the votes counted following Monday’s caucus in Iowa, Trump had 51% of the electorate and 19 delegates, far ahead of Republican rivals Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, who earned 21.3% and 19.1% respectively. DeSantis won eight delegates and remained in second place, while Haley scored seven. As the race came to a close late in the evening, Trump penned a social media post thanking his supporters in Iowa, writing “I LOVE YOU ALL!” The victory comes on the heels of favorable polling for the frontrunner, with an NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom survey giving him an almost 30-point advantage over the other candidates.

While the same poll put former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley in second place, the number two spot went to DeSantis, Florida’s current governor. Before heading home, Haley hurled a veiled criticism at Trump, telling supporters “If you want to move forward with no more vendettas, if you want to move forward with a sense of hope, join us in this caucus.” GOP newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy, meanwhile, came in fourth with 7.7% of the vote, but won no delegates. Trump’s win in Iowa follows significant campaigning in the state, vastly outdoing his showing in the 2016 race, which Texas Senator Ted Cruz ultimately won. According to the Associated Press, Trump’s team “paid special attention to building a sophisticated digital and data operation to regularly engage with potential supporters.”

Read more …

“..Both have made a mockery of their indictment of an ex-president and, if the allegations are true, will be disbarred and prosecuted..”

Lawfare Against Trump Is Running Out of Gas (Victor Davis Hanson)

We should dispense with the tired narrative that four conscientious state and federal prosecutors—independently and without contact with the Biden White House or the radical Democrats in Congress—all came to the same disinterested conclusions that Donald Trump should be indicted for various crimes and put on trial during the campaign season of 2024. The prosecutors began accelerating their indictments only once Trump started to lead incumbent Joe Biden by sizable margins in head-to-head polls. Moreover, had Trump not run for the presidency, or had he been of the same party as most of the four prosecutors, he would have never been indicted by any of them. Yet now they are in a doom loop of discovering that the more they seek to rush to judgment before the election and gag Trump from speaking publicly about these star-chamber proceedings, the more he rises in the polls.

In truth, each succeeding cycle of corrupt leftwing lawfare that ends in failure—the Russian collusion hoax, the weaponized first impeachment, trying ex-president Trump in the Senate as a private citizen, the laptop disinformation set-up, the Alfa bank ping caper, the pathetic attempt to erase Trump from state ballots, and the unfolding Fani Willis moral debacle—does not return things to zero. Rather, they serve as force multipliers for each other. Each overreach geometrically increases the dangers to democracy, ever more turns the public off, and ironically cascades sympathy and poll numbers for the very target of their paranoias. Some of the prosecutors have colluded with White House lawyers and congressional liaisons. Some had run for office, offering campaign promises to get Trump convicted for something or other.

Now, after years of delays and deadends, all four are rushing to synchronize their trial dates to ensure that the front-running Trump is on the docket daily and not out on the 2024 campaign trail. Do we recall when leftist legal eagles claimed that of all the iffy Trump indictments, Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis had the best case against Trump? The phone call, we were told, was proof of “election interference.” It was Willis who got the first Trump “mug shot.” It was Willis, we were assured, who got Trump with the goods on tape, begging election officials to “find” the requisite missing votes that would prove his victory (note that he did not say “invent” the votes but to look for a supposedly existing trove of them). And now Willis’s signature case is in shambles.

We learn, allegedly, that 1) Willis hired her stealth boyfriend Nathan Wade as a special counsel, the day before he filed for divorce (whose records were then mysteriously sealed by the court); 2) that Wade so far has received over $650,000 as special counsel, reportedly including a miraculous ability to charge for 24 hours of continuous legal service in a single day; 3) that Willis and Wade allegedly have used her greenlighted windfall to him to go on a number of pricey junkets and cruises; 4) that to try an ex-president and the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election, Willis picked Wade who had never tried a single felony case and was previously a “personal injury/accident” lawyer; 5) that the supposedly apolitical Willis had consulted with the January 6 partisan congressional special committee, while Wade had met for marathon meetings with the Biden White House legal counsel (and apparently billed Georgia taxpayers for receiving such federal tutorials).

The legal community’s initial dismissal of this sordid prosecutor’s office is reminiscent of the immediate efforts to downplay Claudine Gay’s plagiarism. But the charade will eventually end the same way, in this case with the resignation and likely indictment of the prosecutor, along with her boyfriend, who concocted quite a scheme at the expense of the taxpayers. Both have made a mockery of their indictment of an ex-president and, if the allegations are true, will be disbarred and prosecuted.

Read more …

Politico acts like this is normal.

Jan. 6 Committee Helped Guide Early Days Of Georgia Trump Probe (Pol.)

Georgia prosecutors probing Donald Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election got an early boost in the spring of 2022. It came from another set of investigators who were way ahead of them: the House Jan. 6 select committee. Committee staff quietly met with lawyers and agents working for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in mid-April 2022, just as she prepared to convene a special grand jury investigation. In the previously unreported meeting, the Jan. 6 committee aides let the district attorney’s team review — but not keep — a limited set of evidence they had gathered. Over the next few months, committee staff also had a series of phone calls with Willis’ team. They answered the prosecutors’ questions and shared insight on matters like Trump’s false electors gambit and his efforts to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Both of those ploys ultimately featured prominently in the criminal charges that Willis brought against Trump and his allies last summer. The contacts between the committee and Willis’ team also helped prosecutors prepare for interviews with key witnesses. The content of the meetings and calls was described by two former committee officials familiar with the outreach, who were granted anonymity to speak candidly about the contacts. The timing was corroborated by exhibits attached to new court filings in Willis’ ongoing prosecution of Trump and 14 co-defendants for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The committee aided Willis’ nascent probe even as it rebuffed the Justice Department’s requests for material in the separate federal criminal probe of Trump’s election subversion.

At the time, one reason the committee was more inclined to cooperate with the Fulton County team than with the federal prosecutors was that federal prosecutors might have been required to disclose the evidence in ongoing criminal cases related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. When congressional Republicans recently pressed Willis to disclose her team’s contacts with the Jan. 6 committee, she refused, calling their inquiry an affront to “well-established principles of federalism and separation of powers.” “You cannot — and will not — be provided access to any non-public information about this,” she wrote to the House Judiciary Committee last month in a letter obtained by POLITICO. Jan. 6 committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) had previously described “staff-level contacts” between his panel and Fulton County prosecutors. In early April 2022 — nearly two weeks before the panel’s staff met with Willis’ team — Thompson told reporters he wasn’t aware of how extensive those contacts were. And on Wednesday, Thompson told POLITICO that he did not know about the in-person visit that spring.

Read more …

The Guardian provides a stage for Clinton tool Sidney Blumenthal.

Prosecutors Are Charging Trump Using Laws Made To Fight The KKK (G.)

On Tuesday, in response to the federal case brought by special prosecutor Jack Smith over Trump’s alleged role in the January 6 insurrection, Trump threatened a new round of violence – or “bedlam” – if he loses the election. In early February, the US supreme court will also rule on the Colorado supreme court’s decision to disqualify Trump from the state’s ballot for his part in the insurrection. The two cases might appear to be disconnected, but they are inseparable in law and history. They are united by Congress’s Reconstruction-era action to enforce the 14th amendment’s extension of constitutional rights against the former Confederates’ campaign of racial and political violence – the Ku Klux Klan Acts of 1870 and 1871.

Smith has indicted Trump under the KKK Act, which incorporates the 14th amendment, section 3, of the constitution. The Colorado court’s disqualification comes under the third section of the amendment, which disqualifies from office anyone who has engaged in insurrection against the United States. There are clear and compelling reasons why Trump has been indicted under the KKK Act and disqualified under the 14th amendment, section 3. Those reasons are stated in the indictments and court rulings. Trump has been charged on the same grounds that Klansmen were prosecuted, not only during Reconstruction but also during the civil rights era of the 1960s, and he has been removed from the ballot on the same basis as Confederate traitors were removed from elective office. Complacent commentators have dismissed the charges that Trump has brought on himself, hoping to calm the waters by vainly demonstrating their fair-mindedness. But the law is not somnambulant forever and the historical reality underlying it cannot be erased as it was in the aftermath of the dismantling of Reconstruction in a ‘lost cause’ of false conciliation.

[..] Striking at former Confederates who were commanding the Klan, the act then prescribed imprisonment of “any person who shall hereafter knowingly accept or hold any office under the United States, or any State to which he is ineligible under the third section of the fourteenth article of amendment of the Constitution of the United States … ” Under the KKK Act, Grant’s attorney general, Amos Akerman, successfully prosecuted more than 1,100 cases against members of the Klan, effectively breaking it up. In the 1872 campaign, a large faction of the national Republican party opposed the KKK Act and advocated reconciliation with the south. They called themselves the Liberal Republican party and aligned with the Democrats against Grant’s re-election. The Amnesty Act of 1872, lifting the disability of section 3, was a sop to outflank the Liberal Republicans and marked the beginning of the end of Reconstruction. Still, Grant was re-elected, winning eight southern states with a black-white coalition.

Read more …

“..they need to find a way to explain to their own population (and to NATO countries) why and how they will agree on a compromise..”

“..it will be interesting to see “how Ukrainian leaders will abandon their 10 points without saying that they are reneging on them.”

Ukraine Crisis Won’t End Until NATO Push Kiev to Negotiating Table (Sp.)

Sunday’s meeting of Western national security officials in Davos on Ukraine’s ‘peace proposal’ ended “with no clear path forward,” with British business media reporting that the only “achievement” of the talks was a “more diverse family photo than last time,” including representatives from countries with close relations with Russia such as Brazil and South Africa. “There was no progress on an actual peace deal. That would be impossible without Russia, and Russia wasn’t invited. But that’s not the point,” the Financial Times assured in a chirpy summary of the meeting, saying it was meant to “remind” other countries that “Ukraine, not Russia, is the one trying to talk about peace.”

Setting aside that this disingenuous claim ignores repeated attempts by Moscow to nip the Ukrainian crisis in the bud in 2014, prevent it from escalating into a full-fledged NATO-Russia proxy war in 2022, and to signal readiness to talk in the two years since, it’s important to recognize that the Zelensky ‘peace formula’ doesn’t even pretend to seek to include Russia in the conversation, going so far as to attempt to hold its meetings in secret. And perhaps with good reason. Zelensky’s formula demands that Russia give up Crimea, the Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson, pay Ukraine reparations, subject its officials and military personnel to war tribunals, and make other one-sided concessions which look less like a peace deal and more like demands against a capitulating power. Moscow has predictably dismissed the proposal, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently calling them a “figment of a sick imagination.”

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis admitted that a peace process could not be started without Russia’s participation. “One important point is to be highlighted here: Peace is no more an impossible or unspeakable word, and the idea of negotiation is again on the table. But it is important here to understand however that Ukraine’s position is still not realistic,” Jacques Sapir, director of studies at the Paris-based School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, told Sputnik. “In the mind of Kiev’s rulers, peace is to come through military victory and a reconquest by Ukrainian Armed Forces of the four oblasts (Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Luhansk) and of Crimea. This is the content of the so-called ‘ten point plan’,” Sapir explained, highlighting the Zelensky proposal’s keystone demand.

The analyst likens Kiev’s poker face approach as an “opening move,” and believes the Zelensky regime may be willing to pursue more “realistic” options, including the idea of having Russia actually take part in talks, particularly “as the military situation is now deteriorating for Kiev.” “Ukraine’s leaders know very well that they are not in a position to aim at complete, or even partial, victory against Russia. But they have so much talked of a ‘victory’ that they need to find a way to explain to their own population (and to NATO countries) why and how they will agree on a compromise,” Sapir said. If and when talks proceed and Kiev’s position softens, Sapir suggested that it will be interesting to see “how Ukrainian leaders will abandon their 10 points without saying that they are reneging on them.”

Read more …

“..I think we face ten or 15 years of war in Europe,” Arestovich said..”

Zelensky Rejected Favorable Peace Deal With Russia – Arestovich (RT)

Ukraine had the chance to make peace at the 2022 Istanbul talks but something or someone changed President Vladimir Zelensky’s mind, according to an interview with his former aide, Aleksey Arestovich, published on Monday. Freddie Sayers, the editor in chief of the British outlet UnHerd, interviewed Arestovich almost a year after Ukraine’s top spin doctor left Zelensky’s service. He has since moved to the US, saying that Kiev wants him arrested on politically trumped-up charges. “I was a member of the Istanbul process, and it was the most profitable agreement we could have done,” Arestovich told Sayers. The Ukrainian delegation “opened the champagne bottle” when they came back to Kiev, believing the agreement was a done deal, he added.

The protocols were “90% prepared” for a direct meeting between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Arestovich, when Zelensky called off the talks. His rejection of the talks has been widely attributed to the ‘Bucha massacre’, which Ukraine accused Russia of, but Arestovich said he did not know that for a fact. Something “absolutely” changed Zelensky’s mind and “historians will have to find an answer to what happened,” Arestovich said. “A lot of people say it was the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who came to Kiev and put a stop to this negotiation with Russia. I don’t know exactly if that is true or false. He came to Kiev, but nobody knows what they spoke about except, I think, Zelensky and Boris Johnson himself,” he told UnHerd.

Johnson’s role in scuttling the Istanbul peace talks was reported as early as May 2022 by the outlet Ukrainska Pravda. According to the outlet, he came to Kiev with “two simple messages,” that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “a war criminal” who should not be negotiated with, and that even if Ukraine was ready to sign some kind of agreement with Russia, the West was not. David Arakhamia, the leader of Zelensky’s party in the Ukrainian parliament, brought up the visit in a November 2023 interview, paraphrasing Johnson’s message as telling the Ukrainians “let’s just continue fighting.” The former British PM finally commented on the matter last week, saying he merely told Zelensky the UK would support Ukraine “a thousand percent” and that any potential agreement with Russia would be “pretty sordid.” He insisted he did not “order” anyone to do anything, however.

According to Arestovich, the conflict has now evolved beyond Russia and Ukraine, pitting the collective West against the ‘Global South’. “We have to negotiate for an all-new security system for Europe, taking into account all sides of this problem,” he told UnHerd, adding that NATO would need to discuss with Russia “what it would take to guarantee not to use military force in Europe to decide political questions.” “I should perhaps add that I am absolutely pessimistic that this will happen. I think we face ten or 15 years of war in Europe,” Arestovich said.

Read more …

“..I talked to many leaders and they tell me: ‘Why are they scaring us? We understand that Russia is not going to fight with Europe.’ Yes, we are not going to [fight] now.”

Moscow Slams Bild Report of Preparations for ‘NATO-Russia War’ (Sp.)

“Germany is gearing up for “war between NATO’s forces and Russia,” which could begin in the summer of 2025, Bild has written, citing a “secret” Bundeswehr document. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commenting on the publication said it is nothing but fake news. “I would not like to comment on the report of Bild, this news outlet does not hesitate to use fake news,” Peskov told reporters. According to the alleged “training scenario” of the German Ministry of Defense, “on ‘Day X,’ NATO’s commander-in-chief will give the order to move 300,000 troops to the eastern flank, including 30,000 Bundeswehr soldiers,” the tabloid states. The escalation could reportedly begin as early as February 2024 with the start of Russia’s active offensive against the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. By June of the same year, according to Bild, Russia will have forced Kiev’s military to retreat.

The Kiev regime’s much-hyped 2023 counteroffensive which began in June suffered a resounding defeat. The Ukrainian Armed Forces lost more than 125,000 people and 16,000 units of weapons over the six-month counteroffensive, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated in late December. Without offering any specific details, the publication noted that the most likely location for a “clash” will purportedly be the so-called “Suwalki Gap” or “Suwalki Corridor” (Przesmyk suwalski). This is a section about 100 km long near the city of Suwalki in the northeast of Poland, located between Belarus and Russia’s Kaliningrad region. In July, according to the “secret document,” Russia might allegedly launch “cyber attacks and other forms of hybrid warfare” against the Baltic countries.

Furthermore, “clashes” would occur which Moscow ostensibly could use as a pretext to begin large-scale exercises on its territory and in Belarus, as per the authors. By October Russia could allegedly transfer troops and medium-range missiles to its Kaliningrad region, and December might see a border conflict erupt in the Suwalki Corridor. According to Bild, the “secret document” also indicates that when Washington is temporarily left without a leader as a result of the presidential elections in the United States in 2014, “Russia, with the support of Belarus, will repeat the 2014 invasion of Ukraine on NATO territory.” No further clarification is offered to these wild scenarios and off-mark references.

[..] In effect, Russia has only been responding to NATO’s continuous expansion. Moscow’s determination to protect itself and its allies has been explicitly outlined in its new foreign policy doctrine, signed by Russian President Putin on March 31, 2023. “Recently, the activity of the NATO military bloc as a whole has sharply increased. Significant forces from the United States, including aircraft, have been deployed to our borders, and the number of alliance troops in Eastern and Central Europe has increased,” Russian President Vladimir Putin stated while presiding over a Russian Ministry of Defense meeting on December 19. As for the repeated attempt to portray Russia as the “bogeyman,” he clarified: “[The US] was very frightened by Russia’s rapprochement with Europe. It should be the masters there. It kept scaring … evil Russia is threatening you. But I talked to many leaders and they tell me: ‘Why are they scaring us? We understand that Russia is not going to fight with Europe.’ Yes, we are not going to [fight] now.”

Read more …

Madmen.

US Seeks Funds for Bioweapons Projects From Private Foundations (Sp.)

The United States government is actively searching for new sources of funding for military biological research from leading American ‘philanthropic’ institutions, including the Clinton, Soros, Rockefeller and Biden Foundations, RCBD Troops chief Igor Kirillov has announced. “Based on an analysis of documents received in the course of the special military operation, the structure of the system created by the US administration for the global management of biological risks has become clear,” Kirillov said in a briefing Monday, summarizing an analysis of US military-biological activities in Ukraine and globally over the course of 2023. “It consists of government agencies and private contractors, including representatives of Big Pharma. Through the organs of the executive branch, a legislative framework is being created to finance military-biological research directly from the federal budget. Guarantees provided by the state attract funds from non-governmental organizations controlled by the Democratic Party leadership, including the Clinton, Rockefeller, Soros and Biden Foundations,” Kirillov said.

According to the RCBD Troops’ chief’s information, the main private contractors involved in the Pentagon’s military-biological program include Metabiota, Black & Veatch and CH2M, with the companies tasked with the construction of facilities and the supply of equipment to labs around the globe. Their work is coordinated by the DoD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. On the Big Pharma front, Pfizer, Moderna, Gilead, Dynport Vaccine, AbbVie, Parexel, Eli Lilly & Co, Merck and Battelle are identified as key partners. Washington’s goals are multifold, Kirillov said, and include the study of the causative agents of “particularly dangerous infections in regions of the world that are strategically important for the United States,” and achieving “superiority” in biomanufacturing, including by using biological espionage against potential geopolitical adversaries.

“Materials received have confirmed that the US military was set the task of monitoring the biological situation in the Middle East and Central Asia, territories bordering China, Turkiye, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” Kirillov said. “Over the past year, the Pentagon developed and adopted a number of conceptual documents involving the expansion of the foreign network of US-controlled biological laboratories, and continuing military biological research beyond America’s national jurisdiction.” Furthermore, the RCBD Troops chief said, 2023 saw the creation of new administrative and technical structures, including the Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy, and the State Department’s new Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy, with their main aims assumed to be centered on securing the further expansion of America’s military-biological activities worldwide.

Read more …

“..without economic stability, wars can’t be won. Even against those who arm themselves with little more than stones and sticks and a few handmade rockets..”

Israel and the U.S. Are Already Feeling the Weight of Houthi Justice (Dionisio)

For better or worse, the Houthis are the only political and military force doing anything practical to demand that Israel pay for its acts. And despite the attack on their territory, we can already say with certainty, that the Ansar Allah movement and the pro-Palestinian resistance, in general, will be strengthened by this event. Were it not for a rebel movement, made up of poor people living in great hardship, no other country in the region would do anything to bring some moral justice, however little, to this whole process. As they say, whoever has a lot, has the most to lose. Only the poor give what they need and this is a good example of that. It is even curious that here and there, apart from a few diplomatic and commercial measures, the most serious diplomatic action for Israel has come from outside the continent and the Middle East: South Africa’s accusation at the International Court of Justice that the state of Israel should be tried for genocide.

Of course, the accusation was immediately branded with the very vulgar epithet of “anti-Semitic”. But the Houthis’ role in the Red Sea has produced absolutely unpredictable and — perhaps unexpected — results for the West. The Red Sea trade route accounts for 12% of global maritime trade and 12% of all oil trade. An important part of the commercial ships that travel between the Indian Ocean and Europe pass through the Red Sea. Moreover, the importance of this route for Israel is truly decisive. The Port of Eilat essentially lives off this sea route. Disconnecting the port of Eilat from the international routes to Asia not only means that many of the goods that Israel receives from Asia will become more expensive and risk perishing, with all the economic burdens that this entails. But it also means cutting tourism, since the city of Eilat is an important tourist destination in the Middle East, and losing the competitiveness of its exports to the Asian continent.

But in the end, the financial damage might even be surmountable. What would be difficult to overcome would be the fragility in which an effective blockade of the Red Sea crossing would leave Israel.Let’s imagine a likely scenario in which the war fronts multiply and the conflict spreads to other regions (Lebanon, Syria and Yemen). Just as Oman has closed its airspace to military planes to bomb Yemen, a country like Egypt could, in a situation of great pressure and popular pressure, consider closing the Suez Canal to boats that are linked to Israel. It wouldn’t be unheard of, as we know. Oman itself has prevented U.S. military aircraft from passing through, for various reasons. One of them has to do with a certain neutrality that the sultanate is assuming on the international stage. However, this “neutrality” is also due to the ethnic tensions it has in its territory, which borders Yemen.

In any case, leaving the port of Eilat open only to boats coming from the Suez Canal would be strategically fragile. So, while it cannot be denied that the Houthi naval blockade may be a burden for the other Arab nations that receive their ships at Red Sea ports, the fact is that for none of them the situation is as dramatic as it is for Israel. Since the goods that Israel receives by sea and from Asia can come from the Red Sea without having to go through the Suez Canal, the port of Eilat is absolutely strategic for the country’s economic stability. And without economic stability, wars can’t be won. Even against those who arm themselves with little more than stones and sticks and a few handmade rockets.

Read more …

“..The endgame is inevitable: An agreement to end the conflict on Russia’s terms..”

US Lured Into Battlescape in Gaza, Yemen and Now Iraq (Alastair Crooke)

China and Russia have been remarkably quiet, watching carefully the global tectonic plates shifting around in response to the ‘two wars’ (Ukraine and Israel’s ‘multiwar’). Really it is not surprising; both states can sit back to simply watch Biden and his team persist with their strategic mistakes in Ukraine and in Israel’s multiple wars. The interlacing of the two wars will, of course, shape the new era. There are substantive risks, but for now they can observe with comfort from afar as a climatic juncture in world politics unfolds, gradually raising the pace of the attrition to a circle of fire. The point here is that Biden, at the centre of the storm, is no cool-headed Sun-Tzu. His politics are personal and highly visceral: As Noah Lanard has written in his forensic analysis of How Joe Biden Became America’s Top Hawk, his own team say it plainly: Biden’s politics is seated in his ‘kishkes’ – his guts.

That can be seen in the disdainful and graphic way in which Biden sneers at President Putin as an ‘autocrat’, and the way he talks about victims of the Hamas attack being massacred, sexually assaulted, and taken hostage, whilst “Palestinian suffering is left vague – if mentioned at all”. “I don’t really think he sees the Palestinians at all”, says Rashid Khalidi, Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University. There is a long and reputable history of leaders making the right spur of the moment decision from their unconscious, without careful rational calculous. In the ancient world this was a highly prized quality. Odysseus exuded it. It was called mêtis. But this ability was contingent on having a dispassionate temperament and an ability to see things ‘in the round’; to grasp both sides to a coin, we would say.

But what happens if, as Professor Khalidi implies, the ‘kishkes’ are filled with anger and bile; instinctive sympathy for Israel, fuelled by an outdated view of the Israeli domestic scene. “He just does not seem to acknowledge the humanity of [others]”, as a former Team Biden member put it to Lanard. Well, mistakes – strategic mistakes – become inevitable. And these mistakes are luring the U.S. in – deeper and deeper (as the Resistance foresaw). Michael Knights, a scholar at the neo-con Washington Institute think-tank noted: “The Houthis are high on their successes and will not be easy to deter. They are having the time of their lives, standing up to a superpower who probably cannot deter them”. This comes on the back of an Ukraine war already reaching – or at – its foregone conclusion. Both in the U.S. and amongst its allies in Europe, it is recognised that Russia has prevailed overwhelmingly, and across all ‘domains of conflict’.

There is next to no chance that this situation can be recouped, irrespective of money or fresh western ‘support’. The Ukrainian military taste the bitter fruits of this fact daily. Many in Kiev’s ruling classes ‘get it’ too, but are frightened to speak out. The cadre of hardliners behind Zelensky however insist to press on with their delusion of mounting a new offensive. It would be a kindness to ‘those about to die’ in another futile mobilisation for the West to call a halt. The endgame is inevitable: An agreement to end the conflict on Russia’s terms.

Ahhh, but do not forget Biden’s ‘kishkes’: This outcome would mean Putin ‘winning’ and Biden’s hope of a victory garland turning to ashes. The war must be kept going, even if its only achievement be to fire long-range missiles directly into the civilian cities of Russia (a war crime). It is obvious where this is going. Biden is in hole that only can deepen. Can’t he stop digging? Some in America may wish he would, as the Democratic electoral prospects dim. But it seems probable that he can’t, for then his nemesis (Putin) would ‘win’.

Nap Crooke

Read more …

Yes.

Red Sea Tensions May Become ‘Impossible To Contain’ – UN (RT)

The current instability in the Middle East may soon spiral completely out of control, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a press conference in New York on Monday. Guterres once again addressed the crisis triggered by the events of October 7, when Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing around 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. The ensuing Israeli blockade, bombing, and ground assault of Gaza has since killed almost 24,000 people, according to local health officials. The civilian death toll in Gaza has resulted in widespread international condemnation of Israel’s actions, and has already drawn the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis into the conflict.

“Tensions are also sky-high in the Red Sea and beyond – and may soon be impossible to contain,” Guterres said, adding that he is concerned that “daily exchanges of fire” risk “triggering a broader escalation between Israel and Lebanon and profoundly affecting regional stability.” While the secretary-general condemned the actions of Hamas, he also blasted the Israeli operation as “collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” saying it has caused an “unprecedented level of civilian casualties,” while noting that “the vast majority of those killed are women and children.” Last week, the Houthis pledged to continue targeting Israeli- and US-linked ships in the Red Sea “until the siege on Gaza is lifted.”

The Houthis have also targeted British and American warships operating in the area as part of an international maritime operation organized last month by the US to safeguard shipping in the region. The “heightening tensions” also led Iran to send one of their warships to the Red Sea earlier this month. US and UK warplanes attacked Houthi targets in Yemen with around 70 airstrikes last Thursday and Friday. While US National Security spokesman John Kirby stated that the strikes are having a “good effect,” a New York Times report claimed that around three-quarters of Houthi military assets remain intact. Moscow has condemned the strikes on Yemen, calling them “illegal” and saying they were carried out in violation of the UN Charter. The UN secretary-general has said that “the longer the conflict in Gaza continues, the greater the risk of escalation and miscalculation.”

Read more …

“.. the UK and its allies have found themselves “in a new era” and “must be prepared to deter our enemies..”

UK To Send 20,000 Troops To NATO Exercise (RT)

The UK is set to deploy around 20,000 service members – as well as modern warships and fighter jets – to take part in a major NATO exercise amid rising tensions with Russia, the Defence Ministry in London has announced. In a statement on Monday, the ministry, citing excerpts from a speech to be delivered by Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, said that some 16,000 army troops – along with tanks, artillery, and helicopters – will join other bloc members on the continent to participate in Exercise Steadfast Defender 24, scheduled to take place in the first half of this year. The effort will be supported by eight warships and submarines, as well as 2,000 Royal Navy sailors. The UK will also deploy a number of aircraft, including F35B Lightning fighters and Poseidon P8 surveillance aircraft, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Shapps is expected to call the drill “one of NATO’s largest deployments since the end of the Cold War,” adding that the UK and its allies have found themselves “in a new era” and “must be prepared to deter our enemies,” according to the statement. The statement specifically referred to the threat from the Russian “menace.” NATO began reinforcing its military footprint in Europe first after a Western-backed coup in Kiev triggered hostilities in Donbass, which is now part of Russia. However, the most drastic build-up occurred after Russia launched its military campaign against Ukraine in February 2022. In June of the same year, the US-led military bloc agreed to put 300,000 troops on high alert, up from 40,000, to deter Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously said that Moscow has no plans to attack NATO, arguing that there was “no geopolitical, economic … or military interest” in waging war against the bloc. Still, Moscow has also repeatedly warned that the alliance’s military activities close to its border warrant additional security measures. Putin has also said that Ukraine’s desire to join NATO was one of the key reasons for the current conflict.

Read more …

All they have left is two warmonger parties. A poor nation.

Mega-Poll Predicts Disaster For Tories – But Reality Could Be Even Worse (G.)

For Conservative MPs opening their Daily Telegraph on Monday morning it was a distinctly gloomy start to the week: a mega-poll suggesting they are heading for a crashing general election defeat. And this was arguably an optimistic take. For one thing, some pollsters believe the YouGov conclusion of a 120-seat Labour majority could be an underestimate. Additionally, the poll’s organisers seem intent on using its findings to push the party further to the right on immigration, a move that will dismay many centrist Tories, and seems unlikely to stop the rot. The notable aspects of the poll come in two main parts. The first is its findings: YouGov surveyed 14,000 people and extrapolated the results to constituencies using the multilevel regression and poststratification model, or MRP.

This predicted that the Conservatives would retain only 169 seats, 196 fewer than their 2019 total, while Labour would take 385, the Liberal Democrats 48 and the SNP 25. This would be a disaster for the Conservatives, resulting in 11 current cabinet ministers losing their seats, among them Jeremy Hunt, Grant Shapps and Gillian Keegan. But it could – and might – be worse. Rob Ford, a professor of politics at Manchester University, noted that the YouGov modelling appeared to play down the effect of tactical voting in many seats where Conservative MPs were at risk of challenge. “It doesn’t seem very credible to me that in a Tory-Lib Dem marginal, 10% of people would still support Green, and not care either way about the opportunity to get rid of a Conservative MP. It does suggest that things could be even worse for the Conservatives,” Ford said.

Another point of interest is the political backdrop to a large and very expensive polling operation. It was, the Telegraph said, commissioned by the Conservative Britain Alliance, a previously unknown organisation described only as a “group of Conservative donors”. YouGov, the Telegraph added, worked with the Tory peer David Frost, who contributed an opinion piece arguing that the only way back from the brink for the party was to go much harder on immigration, seeking to tempt former Tory voters who are backing the Nigel Farage-founded Reform UK. “The big problem is immigration, legal as well as illegal. That’s why this week’s vote on Rwanda is so important,” Frost writes.

The Telegraph runs its own analysis arguing that Reform votes would play a part in 96 losses for the Conservatives, making the difference between a catastrophic loss and a hung parliament. The combined message is clear: copy Reform, notably on small boats and on migration more generally.

Read more …

Article comes with free menu.

Wrote to Jim:
“On the very same day we got introduced to Disease X, Denmark – of Macbeth fame- announced its new king.
His name: Frederik X.”

Cheers to You, WEFers of Davos! (Kunstler)

The nabobs and panjandrums of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meet up at Davos, Switzerland, the next several days to lay plans for their latest assault on humanity. This year’s theme is “Rebuilding Trust.” Did you just blow your coffee through your nose? The outfit that coordinated the world-wide Covid-19 response (that perhaps birthed the very concept of Covid-19 itself), and especially pushed mRNA vaccines on the credulous global public — this gang of super-wealthy, super-connected, super-important celebrity punks, poohbahs, pricks, and predators wants a cuddle.

This Davos crowd — moiling around the opening soirée amid drool-worthy trays of crab puffs, asparagus gougères, lobster crostini, waygu morsels, Prosciutto-Fig bites, chickpea panisse, stuffed castelvetrano olives, wild boar and quinoa dolmas, fava bean puree toasts, pigeon pea fritters, and Nürnberger rostbratwurst pigs-in-a-blanket, all washed down by bottomless flutes of Roederer Cristal Millésime Brut— could not stop chattering about the debut of the latest viral confection, “Disease X”, said to be twenty times deadlier than Covid-19.

Imagine the opportunities this one will provide for the WEF’s Davos prom date, the World Health Organization (WHO). And just in time to create enough hysteria for the May vote on the new WHO treaty binding the world’s governments to its pandemic diktats. In that new disposition of things, whatever Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says, goes! Lockdowns. Quarantine camps. Mandatory (improved) safe-and-effective vaccines. Nevermind what the actual citizens of Countries A, B, or C might otherwise decide for themselves under the obsolete system of national sovereignty. Follow the science, useless eaters of the world! (And please quit carping about it!)

Any resemblance of “Disease X” to the remaining global free speech platform (Elon Musk’s X, formerly Twitter), is just another bothersome conspiracy theory. Of course, theories imply the discovery of proofs, and it so happens that the unelected European Commission, under its Digital Services Act (passed in Nov., 2022), has already threatened Mr. Musk’s X to remove so-called hate speech, illegal content, and disinformation or face a fine amounting to 6-percent of its annual global revenue. Hate speech and disinfo are whatever the EU says it is, including information that is true but disagreeable to the agenda of all supranational orgs such as the EU, the WEF, and the WHO. Reminds us of something Pete Hogwallop once said to Ulysses E. McGill:

Last time around, those mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna proved to be super-effective at one thing: disordering all the cells and organs in the human body so as to produce a severe auto-immune reaction resulting in death and disability. The artificial spike protein replication induced by the vaxxes has a special yen for heart tissue, the linings of blood vessels, and the reproductive organs — thus, all those world-class soccer players dropping dead in mid-kick, all the massive clots the size of shipworms discovered by the morticians, and all the spontaneously aborted babies over the past three years. By the way, having seen all this, the CDC Director, Mandy Cohen, is still pushing “updated” mRNA shots, down to six-month-old babies. No, I’m not making this up.

Read more …

“.. Indeed, in Washington, it was an open joke like when Hunter was put on the Amtrak board and later made its vice chair..”

‘Say it Nicer’: Hunter Makes a Familiar Last-Minute Offer to Congress (Turley)

This week, after weeks of Hunter mocking the House over its subpoena for a deposition, the House Oversight Committee voted to hold him in contempt. Now facing a referral for prosecution, Hunter declared that he might belatedly comply to avoid a prosecution. Hunter is nothing if not consistent. As with his taxes and other federal violations, Hunter is asking for a mulligan just before a possible indictment. For decades, Hunter has conveyed an attitude that laws do not apply to him or to other Biden family members. After all, as his father once said, “no one f**ks with a Biden.” Since he was a young man, Hunter seems to have been told that he lives a life of privilege that entitles him to considerations denied to others. Indeed, in Washington, it was an open joke like when Hunter was put on the Amtrak board and later made its vice chair.

When pressed on his lack of credentials for the position, Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware quipped that “Hunter Biden has spent a lot of time on Amtrak trains.” It appears that nothing is quite so funny as open nepotism in Washington. Not surprisingly, Hunter’s life of entitlement would lead to a life of excess and debauchery. He was one of Washington’s noble class, a scion of a political dynasty. In time, he would be brought into the family business of influence-peddling with his uncles. For decades, the Bidens have been accused of selling access and influence to Joe Biden. When things got legally difficult, Hunter could count on government guardians. When he lost his gun in 2018, Secret Service agents appeared at a gun shop to demand all records of his purchase. (Those records would later become the basis for the current gun charges against him.)

When Hunter lost his laptop, containing hundreds of incriminating files showing everything from influence peddling to alleged human trafficking, FBI agents showed up at the computer shop and reportedly conveyed an intimidating message to the owner not to speak to anyone. When years of news reports forced the Justice Department to investigate some of these crimes, the Justice Department sat on the case until the most serious tax violations from 2014 to 2015 expired under the statute of limitations. It did so despite internal objections that the period for prosecution could easily be extended. The Justice Department then sought a plea bargain so absurdly generous that it fell apart in open court, with a prosecutor admitting to the judge that he had never seen any deal like it. Notably, the cause for the collapse was an immunity agreement so obscene that no one other than a Biden would demand it, let alone get it.

Throughout this history, one thing has been consistent. Hunter has received and seems to feel entitled to legal mulligans that no other citizen could reasonably expect. It is the very meaning of “privilege” that many Democrats in Washington denounce on a weekly basis. We are not the only country with such a privileged class of scions. In China, the children of powerful leaders who live lavish lives are called the “red nobility” or “communist princelings.” Yet, even in Washington, many were floored by the display of absolute entitlement when Hunter appeared with his counsel Abbe Lowell outside of Congress at the time of his scheduled deposition. Hunter mocked the House and refused to go inside, insisting that he would only agree to give testimony on his own terms.

For those of us who have been writing about the Hunter and the Bidens for decades, it was not in the least surprising. His conduct on taxes showed the utter lack of concern over any obligations owed to the government. In a sense, his family is the government. As the Justice Department noted in its tax charges, Hunter spent his money on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes.” When the IRS finally moved toward prosecution, a democratic donor named Kevin Morris reportedly gave him millions to cover his taxes and lavish lifestyle, even though he had only been introduced to Hunter at a Democratic fundraiser not long before.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Tucker Ladapo

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1746697773292962016

 

 

WEF water

 

 

Ray
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746980872102781223

 

 

Kitten
https://twitter.com/i/status/1746659297201926502

 

 

Guitar

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 052023
 


Adolphe Yvon Genius of America c1870

 

‘The Butcher Of Gaza Should Be Tried Like Milosevic’ – Erdogan (Cradle)
Corruption Trial Against Netanyahu Resumes After War Pause (Cradle)
Debunking Israel’s “Mass Rape” Propaganda (EI)
Houthi Attack on Commercial Ships in Red Sea a Warning to Israel and US (Sp.)
Zelensky Trying To Directly Control Army (RT)
Ukraine and US Trade Blame For ‘Failed Counteroffensive’ – WaPo (RT)
White House Warns Ukraine Money May Dry Up by Year’s End (Sp.)
Why EU Funding to Ukraine May Soon Fade (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Sent ‘Direct Monthly Payments’ To Joe (ZH)
CIA Outlet Approves Donald Trump Assassination (CTH)
Liz Cheney Warns Trump May Seek to Stay in Power ‘Forever’ if Reelected (Sp.)
Trump Can’t Go on Trial If He’s Elected in 2024 – Lawyer (ET)
Judge Denies Jack Smith’s Request to Conceal Documents in Trump Case (ET)
All 4 “Pillars Of Civilization” Under Attack By An “Anti-Human Death-Cult” (ZH)
Black Pattern Forming? (Alastair Crooke)
Bidenomics in Action (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Torah

 

 

 

 

The term Divide and Rule could have been invented for Erdogan. He desires to be seen as a Muslim leader, and he has a large army to support that claim. At the same time, “Ankara only supports “Palestine in words, but Israel in reality.”

‘The Butcher Of Gaza Should Be Tried Like Milosevic’ – Erdogan (Cradle)

Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “war criminal” and said he should face trial for crimes against humanity. “Beyond being a war criminal, Netanyahu, who is the butcher of Gaza right now, will be tried as the butcher of Gaza, just as Milosevic was tried,” Erdogan said in a speech at a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on 4 December. Slobodan Milosevic was tried for alleged war crimes committed during the Yugoslav war in the 1990s, which included multiple counts of crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. “Israel is not only a murderer but also a thief […] we cannot let Israel occupy Gaza once again,” the Turkish president said. “Gaza is a Palestinian territory. Gaza belongs to Palestinians, and it will remain so forever.”

He added that “those who invade Gaza will seek other places tomorrow. Gaza butcher Netanyahu revealed he has expansionist ideals.” Erdogan has been vocal with his criticisms of Israel’s conduct during their brutal war with Palestinian resistance forces. He has also made mention of Israel’s secret nuclear program, saying, “We are not going to let the issue of Israel having nuclear weapons be forgotten.” On 15 November, the Turkish president called Israel a “terrorist state,” adding that the international community will also see it as such if it “continues its massacres.” “Israel is implementing a strategy of total destruction of a city with its people. I am open to my heart; I say openly that Israel is a state of terror,” Erdogan said.

“If Israel continues its massacres in this way, it will register everywhere that there is a terror state cursed all over the world.” Before the war, Turkiye and Israel were preparing to launch an energy drilling project, strengthening the cooperation between the two nations. “We will start energy drilling work with Israel. Not only will we begin operating energy transmission lines to Turkiye, but also from Turkiye to Europe,” Erdogan announced several months ago. Erdogan’s flip-flop attitude toward Israel has led to criticism, with Turkish journalist Metin Cihan saying Ankara only supports “Palestine in words, but Israel in reality.”

Read more …

“Netanyahu was accused of receiving cigars, champagne, bracelets, bags, and luxury clothes, disrupting investigative and judicial proceedings, and demanding favorable coverage from two major Israeli news outlets.”

Corruption Trial Against Netanyahu Resumes After War Pause (Cradle)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges, which was suspended along with all other non-urgent cases after 7 October, is set to resume on 4 December in the Jerusalem District Court. The trial had been scheduled to continue through October but was halted due to an emergency order that Justice Minister Yariv Levin put in place for the courts when the war with Hamas began. The order expired last week. Netanyahu is currently exempted from attending the hearings but may be called to testify in a few months. Monday’s court session will begin with testimony from Detective Eran Buchnik from Lahav 433, who investigated Netanyahu’ corruption case. The court will then hear testimony from Detective Dotan Malichi and Israel Securities Authority investigator Lior Shpitz.

Some 50 more witnesses are still waiting to testify in the trial. Regional Cooperation Minister David Amsalem criticized the timing of the court’s decision to resume the trial. “War? Hostages? Evacuees? Economy? Not at all,” he said. “What’s most important now is to renew Netanyahu’s trial and distract the prime minister with absurd testimonies and delusional trifles.” Israeli authorities began pursuing claims in 2016 that the prime minister had performed official favors for wealthy businessmen in exchange for gifts and return favors. Netanyahu was accused of receiving cigars, champagne, bracelets, bags, and luxury clothes, disrupting investigative and judicial proceedings, and demanding favorable coverage from two major Israeli news outlets.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, lost the position in June 2021 after elections brought Naftali Bennett to power. However, Netanyahu regained the post at the head of the new far-right political coalition in December 2022. Critics of the prime minister contend that his controversial effort to overhaul the Israeli judiciary was meant to shield him from the ongoing corruption charges. The overhaul seeks to limit the authority of the supreme court to overrule laws passed by the Israeli parliament, or Knesset. The effort led to months of large protests by more secular segments of Israeli society, who argued the overhaul would mean the end of Israeli democracy.

Netanyahu now faces additional public scrutiny due to the intelligence failures that allowed Hamas to attack Israel on 7 October. The fighting resulted in the killing of 1,200 Israelis, while Hamas successfully took some 240 Israeli and foreign workers captive. Large segments of Israeli society blame Netanyahu for the failure, including many families of the captives. According to a poll published in Maariv, 80 percent of Israelis believe that Netanyahu bears a share of the responsibility for the security gaps that “allowed” the deadly attacks of 7 October.

Read more …

This is one more case of the ‘Putin eats babies’ drivel. No 40 beheaded babies, no problem. There’s more where that came from.

Debunking Israel’s “Mass Rape” Propaganda (EI)

Israel and its proxies have launched a new media blitz, reviving unverified claims that Hamas fighters perpetrated mass rapes of Israeli women during its 7 October military operation. Despite blanket coverage, Israel does not claim to have identified any specific victim of such crimes, nor produced any videos or forensic evidence corroborating that they took place. On The Electronic Intifada livestream we dissected this propaganda campaign and showed how it is being fronted by operatives close to the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We explain how this is a deceptive campaign based not on evidence but emotional manipulation, outlandish claims, distortion and an appeal to racist notions that Palestinians are inherently violent and cruel.

It fits in with a long history of colonizers portraying colonized or enslaved people as savage brutes predisposed to sexual violence against white or settler women. As the Jim Crow Museum observes, the longstanding “brute caricature portrays Black men as innately savage, animalistic, destructive and criminal – deserving punishment, maybe death.” “The ‘terrible crime’ most often mentioned in connection with the Black brute was rape, specifically the rape of a white woman,” the museum adds. “At the beginning of the 20th century, much of the virulent, anti-Black propaganda that found its way into scientific journals, local newspapers and best-selling novels focused on the stereotype of the Black rapist.” These stereotypes justified state violence against, and control of, Black people and “soothed white consciences.”

There’s a similar and equally sinister dynamic to Israeli propaganda now targeting Palestinians. Its purpose is to demonize them and soften up public opinion to tolerate or support Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. On Monday, Hamas condemned Western media for going along with “misleading Zionist campaigns that promote lies and baseless allegations” including the claims of rape and sexual assault by its fighters.” The resistance group added that the latest campaign is “part of a series of lies propagated by the Zionist propaganda machine” which has consistently made false claims such as “the beheading of children, the targeting of revelers at the concert in the settlement of Re’im and not the least of which is the lie of using al-Shifa hospital for military purposes.”

Read more …

So far, the Arab world fights through proxies, it it fights at all.

Houthi Attack on Commercial Ships in Red Sea a Warning to Israel and US (Sp.)

Three Bahama- and Panama-flagged commercial vessels, allegedly belonging to Jewish businessmen, were subjected to a Houthi missile attack in the Red Sea on Sunday. A US warship in the region reportedly shot down three drones in self-defense. A recent escalation of tensions in the Red Sea has come on the heels of the resumption of the military operation in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The Red Sea is considered one of the most important trade routes in the region. It extends southeastward from Suez, Egypt, to the Indian Ocean through the Bab el Mandeb sound and the Gulf of Aden. Over 10% of global trade passes through the Red Sea annually. On Sunday, multiple commercial vessels were simultaneously attacked by Houthi militants for the first time in the Israel-Hamas war.

“The Red Sea could become a more dangerous route, but in proportion with the increasing tension between Israel and Hamas on one side at a local level and also at a regional level between Iranian allies from Lebanon and Syria, Iraq and Israel itself and the US military bases in Syria and Iraq. Everything is connected,” Dr. Lorenzo Trombetta, a Beirut-based scholar and analyst specializing on the Middle East, told Sputnik. “Both of the cargo ships targeted by the Houthi in November and a few days ago were not Israeli-flagged ships, but they were owned by Israeli businessmen. That was the aim of the direct target of the pro-Iranian government,” the scholar continued. Last month, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah linked Shiite attacks on US military bases and personnel in Syria and Iraq to the unfolding Gaza war.

“To the Americans, I say: If you want the secondary fronts to stop, you must cease the aggression on Gaza,” he said on November 11. On November 20, Houthi rebels seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship that passed the Red Sea and took its 25 crew members hostage. During the week-long truce between Israel and Islamist Palestinian group Hamas militants across the region appeared to hit the pause button. However, after the humanitarian pause ended, tensions have grown even higher. “I believe that these developments in the Red Sea region come within a broader context of threats from armed groups and forces sympathetic with the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank,” Ambassador Ezzat Saad, director of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, told Sputnik. “It is normal that these developments raise concern for the countries of the region as well as the international community at large, taking into account the geo-strategic importance of the sea.”

Read more …

Yeah, the army really wants orders from a piano playing dick.

Zelensky Trying To Directly Control Army (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is bypassing General Valery Zaluzhny, the country’s top military leader, to give orders directly to commanders, the Ukrainskaya Pravda news outlet reported on Monday, citing sources close to the leadership in Kiev. Zaluzhny sometimes only learns of what the military is doing from his subordinates, the report claimed. Zelensky and the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces have been at loggerheads for months, and Kiev’s failed summer counteroffensive has worsened the tensions, according to insiders. The president has created “parallel tracks” of communication with senior military leaders, including Aleksandr Syrsky, commander of the ground forces, and Nikolay Oleshchuk, commander of the air force, the report added.

Zelensky’s office is said to find this convenient, but the practice has disrupted the normal chain of command, much to Zaluzhny’s chagrin. “It seems that Zelensky has two kinds of the ZSU (Ukrainian armed forces): the ‘good’ guys commanded by Syrsky and other favorites, and the ‘bad’ guys who answer to Zaluzhny,” a source close to the administration was quoted as saying. The result is reportedly a demotivated commander-in-chief who cannot fully control the military. Ukrainskaya Pravda said Zelensky’s men, including chief of staff Andrey Yermak, have been escalating the tensions due to Zaluzhny’s perceived political ambitions since at least April 2022. They pressured the general into dropping an idea for a charity, which they believed could grow into a future political party.

Ukrainians’ trust in Zaluzhny surpassed that of Zelensky even last year, the report said. A recent public opinion poll conducted for the president’s office indicated that in a hypothetical election, Zelensky would lose to Zaluzhny in a second-round vote, the news outlet added. Zaluzhny occasionally demonstrates his disdain with Zelensky’s leadership, according to insiders, including when he issued a veiled rebuke to the decision to axe all regional draft bosses in the summer following a major corruption scandal. Shortly after hearing about the sackings at a government meeting, Zaluzhny reported a sharp drop in conscription numbers all over Ukraine, a source told the outlet. The general reportedly complained about civilian interference in military affairs to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin when he visited Kiev last month. Zelensky subsequently learned of this, which “didn’t add trust” between the two Ukrainians, an insider said.

Read more …

“..A series of eight tabletop wargames at the US base in Wiesbaden, Germany reportedly developed a “viable, detailed campaign plan” for the attack..”

Ukraine and US Trade Blame For ‘Failed Counteroffensive’ – WaPo (RT)

US and British officers helped plan the Ukrainian spring-summer campaign and provided all the asked-for vehicles, but Kiev decided to divide its forces in three directions, according to a Washington Post feature published on Monday. Over a dozen Post employees interviewed “more than 30 senior officials” from Ukraine, the US and the EU, only a handful identified by name. The outlet’s conclusion was that “a counteroffensive born in optimism has failed to deliver its expected punch, generating friction and second-guessing between Washington and Kiev.” A series of eight tabletop wargames at the US base in Wiesbaden, Germany reportedly developed a “viable, detailed campaign plan” for the attack. The Pentagon wanted the offensive to start mid-April and focus on cutting the “land bridge” to Crimea by driving to Melitopol.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, advised the Ukrainians to also send sabotage groups into the Russian rear, saying there “should be no Russian who goes to sleep without wondering if they’re going to get their throat slit in the middle of the night,” according to one official. The NATO-armed 47th Brigade, so new that 70% of its members had no combat experience, was to lead the way. Washington and Kiev “sharply disagreed at times over strategy, tactics, and timing,” according to the Post. Instead of a focused assault towards Melitopol, the Ukrainian leadership insisted on attacking in the direction of Berdyansk and Bakhmut/Artyomovsk as well. Kiev initially demanded over 1,000 armored vehicles, which US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin deemed “near-impossible.” Eventually, they received 1,500. However, some vehicles were criticized as “unfit for combat,” with issues like missing tracks and inadequate maintenance blamed on Ukrainian troops.

The US secured a supply of 155mm artillery shells from South Korea, since it could not produce enough by itself. Requests for F-16 fighter jets were denied due to cost concerns and their vulnerability to Russian air defenses. The US also trained and equipped nine Ukrainian brigades in NATO methods of warfare. Simulations based on Ukrainian and Western intelligence projected Ukrainian brigades reaching the Sea of Azov in 60-90 days with up to 30-40% casualties. “The plan that they executed was entirely feasible with the force that they had, on the timeline that we planned out,” a senior US military official told the Post. “They got everything they were promised, on time,” a senior US official said. The attack scheduled for mid-April finally “lurched into motion” in early June. Ukrainian troops immediately got bogged down in minefields and mauled by Russian artillery.

Read more …

“..there is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment”

White House Warns Ukraine Money May Dry Up by Year’s End (Sp.)

The White House is set to run out of money to provide more weapons to Ukraine “without congressional action” by the end of the year, Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young has warned. In a letter to House and Senate leaders, she pointed out that “there is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment” and that the US is “out of money—and nearly out of time.” “Cutting off the flow of US weapons and equipment will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield, not only putting at risk the gains Ukraine has made, but increasing the likelihood of Russian military victories,” Young wrote. She recalled that US security assistance packages to Ukraine had already become smaller and the deliveries have been “more limited”. With US allies around the world stepping up to do more, “US support is critical and cannot be replicated by others,” according to the her.

Young added that almost all of the $111 billion allocated by Congress to assist Ukraine had already been used. Most money was used for military aid, while other sums were spent on economic and civil assistance, as well as humanitarian aid. The letter comes after a classified Capitol Hill briefing for the top House and Senate leaders, to who Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made clear that “Ukraine needs the aid soon.” The Biden administration earlier pushed Congress to approve a $106 billion package for Ukraine, Israel and other areas, with the Ukraine portion amounting to $61 billion. The proposal, however, faced flak from an array of Republicans in the House of Representatives who have questioned delivering more to Ukraine and tried to tie any additional funding to demands for security measures at the US-Mexico border.

Read more …

Political gridlock.

Why EU Funding to Ukraine May Soon Fade (Sp.)

A recent €50 billion EU allocation for Ukraine is reportedly at risk as member states fail to reach an agreement on a common budget, according to the Financial Times. The newspaper particularly cites the victory of the right wing in the Dutch elections last month and a recent German court ruling limiting government borrowing. “I think they [the Financial Times] exaggerate the importance of the election results in the Netherlands,” Gilbert Doctorow, an international relations analyst, told Sputnik. “After all, Wilders only captured 23% of the vote, so it is not as if the whole Dutch population agrees to dump Ukraine. Moreover, there are other issues in the EU that are pulling things in the same direction of slowly letting go of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky and his regime. The hole in the German state budget is a bigger factor working against Ukraine at the EU level right now.”

International observers have recently drawn attention to the rise of the right wing across Europe, suggesting that the Ukraine conflict and the Gaza war could have become a catalyst for the trend. In Germany, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is currently polling 21%, second only to CDU/CSU (30%). The AfD is highly skeptical about the bloc’s funding and militarizing the Kiev regime. Similarly, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban shares a similar stance. Moreover, he has recently signaled that he is against discussing Ukraine’s accession to the EU during the union’s December summit. In November, he threatened to use Hungary’s veto power to block the provision of a planned €50 billion for Kiev.
“The right-wing parties are one factor that is important only because it means that the neoliberal gang that runs Brussels does not have absolute control, that there is some small area of free speech and free thought in the McCarthyite societies of the EU,” said Doctorow.

“The biggest factor is how Europeans are watching what the biggest donor to Ukraine, the US, is going to do given the gridlock on Capitol Hill and failure to include aid to Ukraine in the next fiscal year budget.” Meanwhile, European conservatives are closing ranks ahead of the EU parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held on June 6-9, 2024. Europe’s right-wing leaders gathered in the Italian city of Florence on Sunday with a bid to make the Identity and Democracy (ID) group, the third-largest after the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the center-left Socialists & Democrats in the EU Parliament. During the gathering, EU conservatives criticized Western sanctions against Russia and the futility of funding Ukraine that “cannot win.” Per them, Brussels’ Ukraine agenda comes in contrast to national interests of EU member states.

Read more …

Follow the money…

Hunter Biden Sent ‘Direct Monthly Payments’ To Joe (ZH)

Hunter Biden sent monthly payments to his father out of a bank account he used to receive money from Chinese business associates, according to newly released bank records revealed by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, who shared a Monday video on X detailing redacted bank transfers to Joe Biden from Hunter’s Owasco P.C. bank account. “Today, the House Oversight Committee is releasing subpoenaed bank records that show Hunter Biden’s business entity, Owasco PC, made direct monthly payments to Joe Biden. This wasn’t a payment from Hunter Biden’s personal account but an account for his corporation that received payments from China and other shady corners of the world,” Comer says in the video, adding that the payments began in September 2018 – six months before Biden announced his candidacy in the 2020 election.

“Payments from Hunter’s business entity to Joe Biden are now part of a pattern revealing Joe Biden knew about, participated in and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes.” “Payments to Joe Biden from Hunter’s Owasco PC corporate account are part of a pattern revealing Joe Biden knew about, participated in, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes. As the Bidens received millions from foreign nationals and companies in China, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and Kazakhstan, Joe Biden dined with his family’s foreign associates, spoke to them by speakerphone, had coffee, attended meetings, and ultimately received payments that were funded by his family’s business dealings,” reads an accompanying release from the Oversight Committee.

[..] Hunter and his uncle James’ personal business records were subpoenaed by Comer in September following the first impeachment hearing for President Biden. He released bank records Nov. 1 showing how funds originating in China resulted in a $40,000 check to Joe Biden in September 2017. A Chinese firm sent $5 million to Hunter Biden’s firm Hudson West III in August 2017, shortly after he established the business entity with a Chinese business associate. Hunter Biden proceeded to wire $400,000 to his Owasco P.C. account and over $130,000 to another one of his corporate accounts, according to the bank records. Next, Hunter Biden provided $150,000 to the Lion Hall Group, James Biden and his wife Sara Biden’s business account. James Biden and Sara Biden put $50,000 into their personal account and then sent a $40,000 check to Joe Biden, the bank records show. -Daily Caller And of course the big (rhetorical) question – what services were Hunter and pals providing for such exorbitant sums? Hunter and James will appear later this month for closed-door depositions.

Read more …

“..the non-subtle message is for the CIA to repeat their Kennedy performance..”

CIA Outlet Approves Donald Trump Assassination (CTH)

I have stayed away from this subject for eight years; however, everyone in/around U.S. politics knows the Washington Post, owned by Big Tech Amazon, is effectively the PR firm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). No one inside the DC beltway does not understand this basic truth. Therefore, when the husband of State Dept official Victoria Nuland, a man named Robert Kagan, writes an op-ed in the CIA newsletter, effectively calling for President Trump to receive the Julius Caesar treatment, the non-subtle message is for the CIA to repeat their Kennedy performance and kill President Trump. As alarming as this acceptance might sound, there are no intellectually honest people who would deny it.

WaPo/CIA – “Let’s stop the wishful thinking and face the stark reality: There is a clear path to dictatorship in the United States, and it is getting shorter every day. In 13 weeks, Donald Trump will have locked up the Republican nomination. In the RealClearPolitics poll average (for the period from Nov. 9 to 20), Trump leads his nearest competitor by 47 points and leads the rest of the field combined by 27 points. The idea that he is unelectable in the general election is nonsense — he is tied or ahead of President Biden in all the latest polls — stripping other Republican challengers of their own stated reasons for existence.

[…] Are we going to do anything about it? To shift metaphors, if we thought there was a 50 percent chance of an asteroid crashing into North America a year from now, would we be content to hope that it wouldn’t? Or would we be taking every conceivable measure to try to stop it, including many things that might not work but that, given the magnitude of the crisis, must be tried anyway? Will those who balked at resisting Trump when the risk was merely political oblivion suddenly discover their courage when the cost might be the ruin of oneself and one’s family?”

Read more …

How does she stick around?

Liz Cheney Warns Trump May Seek to Stay in Power ‘Forever’ if Reelected (Sp.)

Recent polls show former US President Donald Trump besting his White House successor in five out of six battleground states, making a second Trump presidency a legitimate possibility. Former US Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has claimed that former US President Donald Trump would attempt to remain in power forever if he is ever granted the opportunity to serve out a second presidential term. Cheney’s remarks came on Monday during a promotional interview for her new book, “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning.” Trump presently holds a commanding lead in the primary. “Absolutely,” the daughter of former US Vice President Dick Cheney told US media when asked if she believed Trump would try to permanently extend his stay in the Oval Office.

Referencing Trump’s role in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol and his efforts to overturn the election results, Cheney underscored that the former commander-in-chief had “already done it once.” “He is the only president in American history who attempted to overturn an election, who attempted to seize power and to stay in power after he had lost,” Cheney said, adding that Trump’s efforts were thwarted by state officials who refused to cave to pressure by Trump. “We won’t have that guardrail again.” Cheney had a mostly uneventful time in Congress, voting with the Republican bloc and Trump for the majority of her time in office. However, after January 6, she became the most outspoken critic of Trump in the Republican party. The former lawmaker served as the vice chair of the committee investigating the January 6 events, a position given to her by House Democrats. She was also one of 10 Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment.

The political shift turned the party against her, having been stripped of her leadership positions in addition to being voted off the ballot in a primary challenge. Cheney has maintained that she has no regrets about her opposition to Trump: “I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy,” she said on the House floor after being stripped of her leadership positions. Cheney also called Rep. Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) election as House speaker “dangerous for the country,” adding while she was in Congress, Johnson was suggesting things that “he knew had no basis in fact, no basis in law, no basis in the constitution,” by advocating that House Republicans help Trump overturn the 2020 election results.

Read more …

“This trial does not constitute election interference. This is moving forward with the business of Fulton County.” “I don’t think it in any way impedes defendant Trump’s ability to campaign..”

Trump Can’t Go on Trial If He’s Elected in 2024 – Lawyer (ET)

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers argued in the Georgia election case that the charges should be thrown out because it’s a violation of his “free speech” and also noted that if he wins the 2024 presidential election, the Fulton County trial cannot go through. During a roughly six-hour hearing in Fulton County on Dec. 1, Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee asked Mr. Sadow what would happen if President Trump wins the 2024 election and if the trial hasn’t occurred yet. “Under the Supremacy Clause and its duty to the president of the United States, this trial would not take place at all until after he left his term of office,” the former president’s attorney said in response, according to a live stream posted on the judge’s YouTube page.

It means that the former president wins the 2024 election and Judge McAfee agreed that he shouldn’t be tried until he leaves office, which would delay the trial date to at least January 20, 2029. Responding to the claims, Fulton County prosecutor Nathan Wade said Ms. Willis “has no interest in interfering or getting involved in this presidential election” and said she is trying “to move this case forward.” He added, “Our obvious goal is, and has been, to stick to our August trial date.” The judge did not issue any rulings from the bench during the Dec. 1 hearing. He also has not scheduled a new trial date for the case. In a recent court filing, Ms. Willis’ office said prosecutors expect the proceedings to run until early 2025, which would run in tandem with the ending months of the 2024 presidential campaign. National polls show that President Trump is overwhelmingly the Republican favorite for president, including in key primary states.

The former president’s lawyers said the former president would prefer not to be on trial in August 2024, noting his status as the leading Republican presidential candidate. State prosecutors previously have said they are seeking a trial date around that time, which would come about three months before the presidential election next November. “It’s very possible at that time, that my client will be running for election for president of the United States for the Republican Party,” Mr. Sadow told the judge, saying “the preference would be that he not be on trial during the time that he is campaigning,” according to reporters in the court. “Can you imagine the notion of the Republican nominee for president not being able to campaign for the presidency because he is, in some form or fashion, in a courtroom defending himself?” he asked. “That would be the most effective election interference in the history of the United States.”

But Mr. Wade disagreed with his assertion, telling the court: “This trial does not constitute election interference. This is moving forward with the business of Fulton County.” “I don’t think it in any way impedes defendant Trump’s ability to campaign,” Mr. Wade added. Also in the hearing, his attorneys argued that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ indictment also effectively criminalizes the right to engage in political activity under the the First Amendment. Mr. Sadow told a judge that “you take the facts as alleged in the indictment … as applied constitutionally with the First Amendment, you’ll find that it violates free speech, freedom of petitioning, all the expressions that the First Amendment is designed to protect, and therefore the indictment needs to be dismissed.”

Read more …

We have 11 more months of this circus to come. It’ll be entertaining..

Judge Denies Jack Smith’s Request to Conceal Documents in Trump Case (ET)

Judge Aileen Cannon, who’s overseeing the trial in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case, has rejected a motion by special counsel Jack Smith to keep some documents hidden from President Trump’s defense. In an order signed on Dec. 4, Judge Cannon directed a court clerk to unseal multiple documents that Mr. Smith’s team sought to keep sealed in the case that accuses the former president of retaining sensitive government materials, including some that were marked top secret, at his Mar-a-Lago home. President Trump has said he used presidential powers to declassify the materials, insisting that he isn’t guilty and calling the case an attempt by his political foes to hamper his 2024 presidential run.

The former president’s longtime aide Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira have been named as co-defendants in the case; both also have pleaded not guilty. President Trump’s defense team and Mr. Smith’s prosecutors have been litigating over what portion of classified materials the defendants are allowed to view, with the judge’s latest decision delivering a win of sorts for the co-defendants. “In light of the Special Counsel’s Response to Defendants Motion to Unseal 230, and mindful of the strong presumption in favor of public access to judicial documents, the Clerk is directed to unseal docket entries 223, 224, and 230,” Judge Cannon’s Dec. 4 order reads.

The newly unsealed docket entry 230, a response by prosecutors to a Dec. 1 court order, shows that Mr. Smith’s team agreed to unseal the documents, as requested by the defense, although prosecutors insisted on some redactions. “The defendants did not oppose the Government’s request, but reserved the right to challenge the redactions later,” the document reads. Mr. Smith’s team also revealed in the newly unsealed court filing that prosecutors initially opposed unsealing 223 and 224 because it “would have revealed to defense counsel information, albeit unclassified, about the contours of the Government’s planned CIPA Section 4 motion,” meaning that it risked giving President Trump’s legal team an opportunity to more effectively counter Mr. Smith’s moves.

Garland
https://twitter.com/i/status/1729020647169552801

Read more …

“..cheap energy, meritocracy, Law and Order, and free speech..”

All 4 “Pillars Of Civilization” Under Attack By An “Anti-Human Death-Cult” (ZH)

As world leaders gathered over the weekend for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, they faced an uncomfortable reality check from the conference president Sultan Al Jaber, who stated, “there is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C,” warning that their fossil-fuel policies would “take the world back into caves.” Nevertheless, no lesser mind than Vice President Kamala Harris pledged another $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund at the summit, seeking to help developing countries adapt to the “climate crisis” as well as decreasing fossil fuel production, according to CNN. The cult-like worship of (and escalation of) these policies is what led to tonight’s discussion between Tucker Carlson and Michael Shellenberger, author of the must-read “Apocalypse Never”, highlighting the increasingly obvious disconnect between global elites and the general public – most specifically in the context of environmental policies.

“We know that the pillars of civilization are cheap energy, meritocracy, Law and Order, and free speech and all four of those pillars are currently under attack,” warns Shellenberger in his typically erudite and fact-based manner. The hypocrisy is simply Orwellian. As Shellenberger recently wrote on his Public substack, flying on private jets to a climate conference to announce plans to make energy even more expensive for working people is bread-and-circuses, except there’s no bread, and the circus consists of rich people celebrating their wealth, morality, and superiority. Carlson begins by pointing out that the drastic climate change policies are “fundamentally nonsense,” asking Shellenberger just how long this “posturing” of environmentalism can go on:

“We’re watching people push an Orthodoxy at increasing volume with increasing hysteria and with increasingly severe penalties for disagreeing…what is that?” Shellenberger replies: “Global Elites used to pretend to care about people but they’re not even pretending anymore…” Adding that that cheap energy was “currently under attack,” explaining how it directly affects “modern civilization”: “you start with cheap energy, but you can’t maintain modern civilization without cheap energy.”

Read more …

“..it is not ‘correct-think’ any longer to laugh at the absurdities of the nomenklatura.”

Black Pattern Forming? (Alastair Crooke)

A number of serious commentators – one being U.S. Professor Victor Hanson – are warning: “Brace yourself for what’s coming in 2024”. Hanson sees bad omens darkening the future. Is he exaggerating? Perhaps not. One cannot but notice how bad tempered Americans and Europeans generally have become. Calm, reasoned discussion of issues is gone; Yelling, emotivism and ‘othering’ is commonplace; something bad is coming. A gut feeling, Tucker Carlson says. “There are “angry people who feel like they have no recourse, who don’t think elections are real…”. What might these commentators be suggesting? Well, they are explicit on one point: the West has been sinking beneath the waves of its’ Cultural Revolution – the deliberate cancelling of virtues and legacies of traditional civilization, to be replaced by a cultural hierarchy that upends and inverts the societal paradigm that is close to conquering all.

The unanswered question: Why has western society been so supine, so unreflectively supportive to the sheering away of its civilisational ethos? This must be the first revolution in which half of society knows and sees well there is a revolution, and the other half seem too distracted, or simply have not noticed. There is no simple answer to this conundrum. But most just don’t see it; they cannot admit the Revolution’s objective (though it is not hidden) is that these well-to-do members of middle classes are precisely the ones (and not the elites) that the cultural revolution seeks to displace, and to sanction (as redress for historic discrimination and racism).

Not for who they are now, but for what their ancestors may have been. General Wrangel (a Tsarist officer and commander) wrote in his memoirs how, after serving during WW1, he came to St Petersburg just at the point that the Bolsheviks were wreaking havoc with the discipline of the Imperial Army’s (‘his army’). Chaos in the streets, but to the affluent of the City, life continued as if some ‘normal’ could be enjoyed, in comfortable co-existence to the revolution out on the streets. He describes attending a cinema, with the audience clearly oblivious to the anarchy beyond the theatre.

Flabbergasted, the general hastened from St Petersburg to warn the Tsar of approaching catastrophe. However, on arrival at the Court, Wrangel was shocked to see that 80% of the Romanov women, most of whom he knew, were wearing a red ribbon. Their ribbons testified to sympathy for the very forces who later would murder these Romanov women. Today, our élites too, sport a ribbon – not red, but a Rainbow one. None of these commentators forecast a Romanov outcome (yet). But they are warning that the civic landscape in America is shifting dramatically fast: One may wake up one morning to the gender horror being imposed on children; to their cultural class being eased out of their jobs; to the realisation that it is not ‘correct-think’ any longer to laugh at the absurdities of the nomenklatura.

Read more …

“Been to your local post office lately? Ours is looking like an old soviet DMV. . . a few part-timers on duty. . . mail delivered when they feel like it. . . an odor of rot in the building..”

Bidenomics in Action (Jim Kunstler)

What trickles down from all this cosmic activity is the dwindling possibility of a fruitful life for most Americans. You cannot make a living. You can’t fix all the machines in your life or get new ones. You can’t get married because there’s no way you can fulfill your end of the contract. You search in vain for something purposeful to do. You are eventually faced with the choice: surrender to depression and hopelessness, or revolt against a ruling blob that is only good at one thing: depriving you of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What also trickles down from on-high is the increasing dysfunction of all the systems that evolved to serve American life on-the-ground. For instance, the supply chains that stuff the gigantic merchandise marts from sea to shining sea. The trucking industry is falling apart. The industry can’t find enough workers to load the trucks. They call them “lumpers” in the trucking biz. United Parcel Service (UPS) is hurting so badly for lumpers that they now make the drivers load and unload the brown trucks and have to pay them double overtime for it. The fruit and vegetables that have to make a truck journey thousands of miles from the sunshine lands to the icy north sit rotting in the warehouses because there aren’t enough lumpers on the loading docks — in case you’ve noticed that the produce in your supermarket is looking wilty and gross.

All the systems that move stuff around this big country are wobbling. Many trucking and logistics companies went out of business in 2023, led by Convoy’s bankruptcy in October due to a “an unprecedented freight market collapse” and inability to get financing. UPS has not recovered from the big drop in shipping that followed the end of Covid lockdowns — 1.2-million packages per day in lost volume — nor adjusted to its new contract with the Teamsters Union, a 46 percent cost increase for drivers in the first year. UPS CEO Carol Tomé even took a pay cut: $19 million this year, down from $26 million (including stock packages) in 2021. Federal Express also saw a sharp drop in package deliveries and in September yanked its full-year profit guidance. The FedEx share price dropped 20 percent in one day. Consider, too, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations aimed at a “zero carbon emissions” goal in 2035, legislation guaranteed to first paralyze and then kill trucking in that state, including trucks delivering into and out of California. Good luck with that.

Then there is the good US Postal Service, a crypto-public/private corporation cobbled together back in the 1970s supposedly because mail delivery was losing money. While our Constitution stipulates that the government “establish post offices and post roads” with the implied authority to carry and deliver the mail, the Constitution never said that the post office had to show a profit any more than the Army or the Navy does. These days it looks like our country is just about done with the mail business. Been to your local post office lately? Ours is looking like an old soviet DMV. . . a few part-timers on duty. . . mail delivered when they feel like it. . . an odor of rot in the building. . . . Consider that the post office is one of the few places where we citizens actually interface directly with the government’s workings. So, how does it look like it’s working to you?

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Fico
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731833565300523401

 

 

 

 

Wake skate
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731706737558720878

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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