Jan 282024
 
 January 28, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Balthus Therèse dreaming 1938

 

RFK Jr. Praises Texas In Battle With Biden Over Border (Hill)
Biden Vows To Shut Border If Lawmakers Pass Budget Deal (RT)
How Trump and US Conservatives Deal a Blow to Ukraine Aid Package (Sp.)
US Promised To Seize Russian Assets – Kiev (RT)
Seizing Russia’s Money Would Endanger Euro – Italian Central Bank (RT)
EU and NATO Heading for the Abyss Over Foreign Policy Foibles (Jay)
‘No Threat’ Of Russia Attacking NATO – Germany (RT)
Davos, Dictators, and the Real ‘Threats to Our Democracy’ (Hollis)
WH’s New Strategy on Ukraine ‘Will De-Emphasize’ Retaking ‘Lost Territory’ (Sp.)
Putin Vows To Eradicate Nazism For Good (RT)
ICJ Ruling May Entail Dire Consequences for Israel (Sp.)
Who is Kevin Morris? Even Hunter’s Lawyer Seems Unsure (Turley)
Hunter Biden Partner Rob Walker Confirms Payments To Biden Family (JTN)
Boeing’s Nosedive: How Greed Ruined A Great American Company (Johnston)
83 million? (Victor Davis Hanson)

 

 

The alleged rape supposedly took place in 1996. With a script straight out of Law and Order. 16 years later, she’s a big fan of her “rapist”.

Note: the 83 million is not for the “rape”, but for defamation. Which she says cost her her job at ELLE magazine. ELLE has denied this.

 

 

Tucker Texas cartels

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Biden’s failure to secure the border leaves states no choice but to take matters into their own hands..”

RFK Jr. Praises Texas In Battle With Biden Over Border (Hill)

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Thursday backed Texas in its ongoing battle with the federal government over border authority, criticizing the Biden administration for its handling of the U.S. southern border. “Texas is right. Biden’s failure to secure the border leaves states no choice but to take matters into their own hands,” Kennedy wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “As President, I will end this humanitarian crisis once and for all. I will secure the border and destroy the business model of the drug cartels. A country without borders is not a country at all.” Kennedy joins a growing list of politicians, most of them Republican, who have thrown their support behind Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) fight against the federal government over the fencing and razor wire installed by Texas at the U.S.-Mexico border. In a major blow to Abbott, the Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that border agents can remove the razor wire erected on the border, siding with the Biden administration.

Abbott has defended the fencing as necessary for his state’s security, claiming he was forced to take matters into his own hands due to what he characterizes as a lack of action on the Biden administration’s part. The federal government, meanwhile, contends the state does not have the power to build the fencing, which it says prevents it from managing the border. Abbott railed against the high court ruling and contended his authority is the “supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes.” Texas appeared to continue installing razor wire after the ruling came down. Kennedy has previously spoken out against what he sees as a “border crisis” that is leading to the smuggling of drugs and humans. He called Biden’s border policies a “disaster” in a Newsweek op-ed last year. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley also spoke out in support of Abbott on Thursday and called Biden’s position “absolutely ridiculous.”

RFK border

Read more …

“Biden already has authority to shut down illegal immigration. And now he’s telling us he’s willing to do that, but only if we pass a new law — one whose authors refuse to share with the public or even their own colleagues. Something’s not right here.”

Scott Adams: “The plan is to close the barn door after too many horses get out.”

Biden Vows To Shut Border If Lawmakers Pass Budget Deal (RT)

US President Joe Biden has again urged Republican lawmakers to approve a long-stalled budget deal, vowing to shut down his country’s southern border as soon as he’s given the authority to do so. Republicans have been blocking the White House’s attempts to push through a $106 billion ‘national security package’ for Ukraine and Israel since October. They have demanded tougher security measures on the southern frontier be included in the agreement. ”For too long, we all know the border’s been broken. It’s long past time to fix it,” Biden outlined in a written statement on Friday. He described the border deal, now being negotiated in the Senate, as “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.”

“It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law,” Biden vowed. Under the bipartisan agreement, the administration would, among other things, be required to shut the border down if the number of migrants trying to get into the US illegally on any given day reaches 5,000, the New York Times reported. This threshold had been surpassed “routinely” in recent months, the paper stressed. Finding common ground on the immigration deal would be “a win for America,” the president insisted. “If you’re serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill, and I will sign it,” Biden said, addressing the Republican lawmakers.

The Washington Post described the comments as “a remarkable shift” in the Democratic president’s rhetoric on the immigration issue. The media outlet underscored “the urgency” of the situation on the border for his re-election bid. Biden’s statement came as Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Friday that if the leaks about the deal’s content were accurate, it would be “dead on arrival” in the lower chamber. The likely Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, slammed the border deal earlier this week, warning that it “would be another gift to the radical left Democrats.” The agreement “will be meaningless in terms of border security,” Trump argued, reiterating that the only way to solve the immigration issue would be voting for him in November.

Read more …

“..the draft bipartisan agreement could allow up to 5,000 migrants to enter the US daily at the border..”

How Trump and US Conservatives Deal a Blow to Ukraine Aid Package (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump and Republican policymakers have subjected a draft bipartisan US border security deal to harsh criticism, casting doubt on the future of military aid packages for Ukraine and Israel. The border security deal is seen by Democratic lawmakers as a necessary evil to ram a new multi-billion Ukraine aid bill through the US Congress. Last December neither chamber managed to reach a compromise on the provision of further funds to Kiev despite pleas and even threats from the White House. Eventually, Republican and Democratic senators come up with a draft border agreement. Even though the formal text of the deal has not been officially released yet, leaks keep coming irritating US conservatives, as per Just the News, an independent US media outlet.

Media reported that the draft bipartisan agreement could allow up to 5,000 migrants to enter the US daily at the border. To that end, the White House is reportedly requesting at least $14 billion to help cities to absorb the flow of migrants released by US border authorities into the country. Former President Donald Trump denounced that as a bad deal in every way: “I do not think we should do a Border Deal, at all, unless we get everything needed to shut down the invasion of millions and millions of people, many from parts unknown, into our once great, but soon to be great again, country!” he wrote on his Truth Social media site on January 25. The US mainstream media warns that the former president’s comment was a “serious blow to the talks”. Trump has emerged as the leading Republican presidential candidate following the party’s first two primaries this month, with the power to influence the outcome of the negotiations.

Punchbowl News reported that Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell told his colleagues on Wednesday that the situation had “changed,” and that Trump was going to build his re-election campaign around the border crisis. “We don’t want to do anything to undermine him,” McConnell allegedly said. However, on Thursday the GOP leader appeared to backpedal on his remarks, asserting to the press that he still backed the bipartisan migration deal. Deputy White House Press Secretary Olivia Dalton also signaled that the Biden administration as supporting the bipartisan immigration agreement. “The president has been clear, we need action on the border,” Dalton told reporters on Thursday. “We’ve been engaging in good faith, bipartisan negotiations with both Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans to that end. And we believe that there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue.”

Still, some US senators warn that the effort is doomed. US Senator Ted Cruz said on Wednesday that the Ukraine aid-border security supplemental bill is a train wreck and has no chance of passing the US House of Representatives. Senator Rick Scott echoed Cruz, saying that the bill will be dead on arrival in the House. Earlier this week the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft suggested that House Republicans may kill the foreign aid bill even if a bipartisan border security and immigration deal is passed. The lower chamber’s Republican majority has no appetite for throwing good money after bad to Ukraine, according to the institute. The DC-based think-tank also noted House Speaker Mike Johnson’s ardent support for a sweeping migration reform and his record of opposing Ukraine funding packages. Some House Republicans, such as Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, even threatened to introduce a “motion to vacate” and oust the speaker if Johnson passes funding to Ukraine.

Read more …

“..a US Senate committee approved the “Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act..”

US Promised To Seize Russian Assets – Kiev (RT)

The US assured Kiev that the Russian assets that remain frozen in the West are going to be seized and used to rebuild Ukraine after the conflict, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal has said. The US, EU, and their allies blocked some $300 billion of Russian central bank assets as part of sanctions in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Around $200 billion of that money is held in the EU. Politico reported on Thursday that it asked Shmygal if he was concerned that US funding for the Kiev government would come to a complete stop if Donald Trump won the presidential election in November and returned to the White House for his second term. ”We have all the assurances from the US about long-term support for Ukraine – for example, the seizure of Russian assets to fund the Ukrainian recovery,” he claimed.

On Wednesday, a US Senate committee approved the “Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act,” which should help pave the way for such a move by Washington. If it passes both houses and is signed into law by President Joe Biden, Washington could seize the Russian central bank assets, using such a measure against a country that it’s not directly at war with for the first time in history. Reuters reported this week, citing a senior official in Brussels, that the EU will be unlikely to join the US in confiscating the Russian funds as there’s no agreement on such a step between the bloc’s member-states. Earlier in January, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned that Moscow would respond to a possible seizure of its assets by the West, inducing tit-for-tat measures.

Previously, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that the confiscation of Russian funds would amount to “outright theft” by the West. He told reporters that it would undermine the trust in the US and EU financial systems around the globe. Shmygal also stated that Kiev is “working hard with the administration of President Biden and with Congress to have support for 2024.” As for the continuation of the aid in 2025, “we’ll see how conditions develop,” he stressed. ”I believe that any president of the US will support our fight for civilized values, our mutual values,” the Ukrainian PM said. The US has provided Ukraine with around $111 billion in economic and military support amid the conflict with Russia. But the flow of funds subsided dramatically in recent months as Republican lawmakers continue to resist attempts by the White House to push through another $60 billion in assistance for Kiev.

Read more …

“..weaponizing a currency inevitably reduces its attractiveness and encourages the emergence of alternatives..”

Seizing Russia’s Money Would Endanger Euro – Italian Central Bank (RT)

The EU should not use the euro as a tool in sanctions wars and political disputes, as it would harm the currency’s image and standing, Bank of Italy Governor Fabio Panetta warned on Friday. He as commenting on discussions in Brussels regarding frozen Russian assets. The EU, US, Japan and Canada froze some $300 billion of Russian central bank assets in 2022 as part of Ukraine-related sanctions against Moscow. Some $200 billion of that is held in the EU, largely in the Belgian clearing house Euroclear. Brussels is currently working on plans to apply a windfall tax to the profits Euroclear is making on the frozen funds, while opting not to seize the immobilized money outright.

However, Italy is one of several EU member states, including Germany and France, that have been skeptical of moves involving the assets, arguing that using them could prompt investors from other countries to doubt the safety of their own holdings in the EU and quit the bloc’s market, ultimately weakening the euro. “This power must be used wisely,” Panetta said, referring to euro’s standing as a global reserve currency. “International relations are part of a ‘repeated game’: weaponizing a currency inevitably reduces its attractiveness and encourages the emergence of alternatives,” he warned at an event in Riga, marking the 10th anniversary of Latvia adopting the euro. According to the official, the recent surge in the use of the yuan in trade between China and Russia is “instructive in this respect,” because it was Western sanctions that prompted the trend, as they made it difficult for Russia to use US dollars and euros in cross-border trade.

“The Chinese authorities are explicitly promoting [the yuan’s] role on the global stage and encouraging its use in other countries, including those sanctioned by the international community following the invasion of Ukraine,” Panetta said, adding that the share of Chinese trade financed in the domestic currency has doubled in the past three years, allowing the yuan to overtake the euro as the world’s second most-used trade currency. The official warned if the need to “be alert to the possibility that politics will have a greater impact on international currencies in the coming years.” Western currencies have been largely phased out in Russia-China trade, as nearly 95% of all transactions between the countries are now carried out either in rubles or yuan. Russia is not the only major economy to use the Chinese currency for trade settlements, as more and more nations seek alternatives to the dollar and euro. These include Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Iran.

Read more …

“..this BS is being fed into the echo chamber because a panic is setting in both on a EU level and national one as elections are looming and the smell of defeat is beginning to fill the lungs of the corrupt..”

EU and NATO Heading for the Abyss Over Foreign Policy Foibles (Jay)

A number of odd statements have been coming from the EU in recent days, coupled with some even odder skulduggery giving rise to thought that the entire project is having its ‘last days of the Roman Empire moment’. Is it possible that the EU that we know is on its last legs and what we are witnessing is the final demise? Ursula von der Leyen, whose grandparents were probably Wafen SS officers has said that if she doesn’t get her way in finding new money for Ukraine she will have to resort to dirty tricks. Well, she didn’t actually say “dirty tricks” but this is what is implied. And what might those underhand moves might be? In fact, there is already a motion in the EU corridors to make Hungary effectively a non-EU member state, a sort of rogue member which is still in the EU but has no voting rights.

Given that the EU is anything but a democracy and that the institutions in Brussels are monolithic and consensus-driven (there is no ‘opposition’ in Brussels like in most democratic countries) it is hardly surprising to see nefarious activities which would make an African dictator proud of his handy work. The EU, or rather the super federalist elite which run it in Brussels like von der Leyen and her mates as Pfizer – yes, multinational corporations really wield the most power in Brussels and more or less own the European Parliament – are getting worried. The project is starting to indulge in in-fighting and creating a lot of mixed message in the media. Gardner-in-chief Josep Borrell wants a new shiny state for the Palestinians but Ursula is perfectly happy with the present genocide program. Perhaps she sees in investment opportunities in offshore gas off the coast of Gaza?

And so with the economy in the doldrums and the EUs most powerful member state Germany looking more and more like the Czech Republic in the late 90s, the uber elites like Ursula and the most vile MEP the European Parliament ever had – Guy Verhofstadt – are worried that the project can be hijacked by far-right MEPs come the next euro election in the summer. Ironically, in such a scenario where the European parliament’s main majority bloc would be a far-right group, the support for Netanyahu would peak and even save him from falling into his own quagmire of corruption charges, as the far-right in Europe support the Zionists, shifting from the once popular idea of wiping them out under Hitler’s ‘final solution’ plan.

But the EU would never be the same again. These MEPs support reversing the centralisation of power back to member states. And so it is hardly any surprise at all that Verhofstadt, a man so bereft of charm that he makes a pile of damp towels look exciting, gives another one of his fiery speeches in the European parliament with always the same theme: all our problems can be resolved if we has more money, more power and an EU army. The fault is with member states, the European parliament’s top wanker-in-chief argues as he throws his head around and animates very much like a power hungry leader in the 1930s who got us in this mess in the first place. Have you noticed lots of media reports pointing to war with Russia? Wonder what this is based on? Of course there is no imminent war with Russia but the pundits can’t help presenting one to us, proclaiming that Putin wants to take the odd European country, like a rich man who collects them like pets.

The reality is that this BS is being fed into the echo chamber because a panic is setting in both on a EU level and national one as elections are looming and the smell of defeat is beginning to fill the lungs of the corrupt who have been feeding from the same trough for too long. Create a panic about a war looming and enough stupid Europeans and Americans will accept spiralling consumer prices, high pump prices, insane utility bills (like in the UK), poor growth and no jobs. Few westerners see through the lies and see the ruse in the making. Even the Germans.

Read more …

“..this is just a “snapshot” of the current situation and there’s no way of knowing how things would turn out in the future..”

‘No Threat’ Of Russia Attacking NATO – Germany (RT)

There’s currently no threat of Russia attacking NATO or any of the partners of the US-led military bloc, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has suggested. Moscow’s military is now fully occupied with the Ukraine conflict, Pistorius explained, in an interview with the tabloid Bild on Friday. ”At the moment, I don’t see any danger of a Russian attack on NATO territory or on any NATO partner-country,” he added. However, the minister stressed that this is just a “snapshot” of the current situation and there’s no way of knowing how things would turn out in the future. Pistorius warned against underestimating the alleged risks related to Russia, saying that NATO needs to rely on “the principle of deterrence, as we know it from the times of the Cold War.” During that time, things between the West and Moscow were “much more predictable than the situation we have today,” he argued.

”We are coming out of 30 years of peace… from which we have all benefited. And now the journey is going the other way,” the minister said. NATO and Germany must “really pick up the pace” in order to be able to face the emerging challenges, he stressed. Germany has given to Ukraine “a lot of systems” that Berlin needed for itself since the outbreak in February 2022 of fighting between Moscow and Kiev, but “we will get them again,” Pistorius vowed. Earlier this week, commenting on the possibility of a direct conflict between NATO and Russia, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that “we don’t see any direct or imminent threat against any NATO ally.” He stressed, however, that NATO “closely monitors what Russia does” and has increased its “vigilance and presence in the eastern part of the alliance” in order to be able to counter any moves by Moscow.

Pistorius told ZDF on Monday that Germany should be ready to respond to a possible Russian attack. In order to be able to resist an aggression “that you don’t know if and when it will occur, then that means you have to arm yourself – and that’s what we’re currently doing together with allies in NATO,” he explained. On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov dismissed Pistorius’ speculation about a possible conflict between Russia and NATO, saying that, due to internal problems the EU faces, its politicians “now need to somehow pump up public opinion, artificially agitate it, by inventing an external enemy.” Speaking at UN headquarters in New York the following day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that “no one wants a big war,” especially Moscow. “We have lived through ‘big wars’ many times in our history,” he added. President Vladimir Putin last month rejected as “complete nonsense” claims that Russia could attack NATO. Moscow has “no geopolitical, economic… or military interest” in doing so, he pointed out. Russia is, on the contrary, interested in developing ties with the bloc, he said.

Read more …

“..American voters see where the threats of authoritarianism truly lie, and it isn’t with Donald Trump…”

Davos, Dictators, and the Real ‘Threats to Our Democracy’ (Hollis)

The former Soviet Union collapsed politically because its centrally planned economy suffered disaster after disaster. Government takeover of the Venezuelan economy destroyed that once-prosperous country, plunging its residents into abject poverty. When the president of Sri Lanka banned nitrogen-based fertilizer, the country’s agricultural sector collapsed, as did its exports, leaving Sri Lankans without adequate food, fuel, or oil to heat their homes. Here in the United States, we have witnessed the nasty consequences of plenty of government policy failures: the health risks of COVID-19 shots; the spectacular failure of wind power in Texas during the 2021 winter storm; the inability of electric vehicles to start in the bitter temperatures across the northern U.S. two weeks ago; California’s water shortages and the struggling capacity of its electrical grid.

Egotists like WEF founder Klaus Schwab and his God-complex, like-minded cronies across the globe never consider that they could be wrong about anything. But they are always wrong about something. Trump voters do not want a dictator; they do not want an imperial presidency at all. They want a president who understands that free and independent businesses operating in a minimally regulated environment are the lifeblood of American prosperity. They recognize that an executive branch that refuses to enforce federal laws is failing in its primary constitutional obligations to the American public. They understand that a justice system that picks and chooses whom to prosecute based upon their race, ethnicity, or political belief is no justice at all. They are tired of inflation caused by misguided energy, trade, and environmental policies.

They are tired of our veterans suffering and dying with their physical and mental health needs unmet; tired of homeless people living in the streets; tired of open borders, of tens of thousands of Americans dying of fentanyl overdoses, and tired of unpunished crime, all while hundreds of billions of our hard-earned tax dollars get laundered through foreign wars into the pockets of multinational defense contractors, corruptocrat politicians, and warmongering toadies who never saw a foreign conflict they didn’t want to exploit. These Americans reject the globalist overlords pushing their anti-human philosophies down everyone’s throats, and they fear being enslaved by governments infiltrated by mindless drones in thrall to the latest apocalyptic power grab. The press and the Left can hand-wave and hyperventilate all they want about “threats to our democracy.” But American voters see where the threats of authoritarianism truly lie, and it isn’t with Donald Trump.

Read more …

Just give up.

WH’s New Strategy on Ukraine ‘Will De-Emphasize’ Retaking ‘Lost Territory’ (Sp.)

The Biden administration’s new strategy will “de-emphasize” Kiev’s recovery of the so-called “lost territories” this year and instead focus on Washington helping the Zelensky regime survive amid Russia’s ongoing special military operation, the Washington Post quoted unnamed sources as saying. The sources were apparently referring to the territories previously reunited with Russia as a result of popular referendums. They claimed that the Biden administration, “still smarting” from Kiev’s bungled counteroffensive in 2023, is “putting together the new strategy,” which includes helping the Zelensky regime strengthen its armed forces and economy in the face of the Ukraine funding impasse in the U.S. Congress.

The strategy’s other purpose is to help Kiev strengthen its fighting force and economy in the face of Ukraine funding-real impasse in the US Congress, according to the sources. “The emerging plan is a sharp change from last year, when the US and allied militaries rushed training and sophisticated equipment to Kiev in hopes that it could quickly push back Russian forces,” insiders pointed out. One source added that “it’s pretty clear” that it will be difficult for the Ukrainian Armed Forces to try to achieve “the same kind of major push on all fronts that they tried to do last year.” The idea is help Ukraine “hold its position on the battlefield for now, […] and “get them on a more sustainable path,” per the source. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared in late December that the Russian armed forces had achieved last year’s main goal by thwarting Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive.

“The main efforts of the past year were focused on achieving the goals of the special military operation. The main one was to stop the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which was loudly proclaimed by Ukraine and its NATO allies. This task was successfully accomplished,” Shoigu emphasized at the time. The statement came after Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov told reporters that Ukraine had lost some 160,000 troops and over 3,000 armored vehicles, including 766 tanks, as well as 121 aircraft and 23 helicopters in all areas during the six-month counteroffensive.

Read more …

“..in a number of European countries, Russophobia is being promoted as the state policy.”

Putin Vows To Eradicate Nazism For Good (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to crush modern-day forces that promote Nazism, singling out Ukraine and the Baltic states as countries where the authorities have embraced such ideologies. Speaking on Saturday at the opening of a memorial to Soviet civilians killed by Nazi German forces in Leningrad Region, the Russian head of state said: “these days the outcomes of the Nuremberg trials are effectively being revised.” He claimed that some countries have gone from rewriting history and whitewashing the Nazis to “arming themselves with Hitlerites’ ideology and methods.”

President Putin cited the Baltic states, in an apparent reference to their treatment of Russian-speaking minorities, which Moscow deems discriminatory. “The regime in Kiev lionizes Hitlers’ accomplices, SS members, and uses terror against” those who resist it, the Russian leader alleged, accusing the Ukrainian authorities of subjecting the elderly, women and children to “barbaric shelling.” According to President Putin, “in a number of European countries, Russophobia is being promoted as the state policy.” “We will do everything – everything to undercut and eradicate Nazism for good,” the Russian head of state pledged.

Read more …

“..South Africa was after the provisional ruling to force Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza.”

ICJ Ruling May Entail Dire Consequences for Israel (Sp.)

“Provisional measures is what South Africa wanted,” noted Carrillo, “that there is enough evidence to show that Israel has violated the 1948 Genocide Convention. “This is what South Africa wanted when they filed this suit because a final ruling by the courts can take months, it can take years. South Africa was after the provisional ruling to force Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza.” Still, Carrillo noted that Israel often ignores world opinion and discounts measures taken against it in the international arena, such as when the Soviet Union led a 1975 effort in the United Nations to declare that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination. “Israel has a long history of disregarding the rulings or the opinions of international organizations,” said Carillo. “They do as they will, and they have the complete protection of the United States who at best is going to issue a lukewarm statement about protecting civilians. That’s what I think we should expect.”

However, host Jamarl Thomas noted the significant “moral weight” the decision carries as Carillo insisted Israel “did not refute any of the evidence, they did not disprove any of the South African evidence.” Amidst a rapidly emerging multipolar world order, Carillo suggested Global South countries and their allies may enforce material consequences against Israel for their actions in Gaza, where 70% of the more than 26,000 deaths are said to be of women and children. “We will have to see, because we are seeing a polar shift in the geopolitical sphere,” said the analyst. “Maybe we will see countries like Russia, maybe like China, or maybe like South Africa or other BRICS members, find a way to stop or to punish Israel in a way.”“Economically, Israel is already facing dire consequences,” Carillo claimed. “Its ports are empty, its workforce is completely depleted, and, among other things, their currency is on the downward trend.

So if you add on top of these, as you said, the moral weight of committing genocide and then more than likely not stopping, how are nations not aligned with the US, why would they continue dealing with Israel? Where is the benefit?”Israel also continues to face economic repercussions as a result of the effective blockade in the Red Sea enforced by the Houthi movement in Yemen. Despite Yemen’s status as one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, Yeminis have demonstrated strong support for the Palestinian cause, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets to protest US and UK-led retaliatory strikes in the country. “There will always be resistance to oppression,” Carillo insisted. “Always. We know this through human history.”

Read more …

“The problem is that when you are “everything” to a client, you may end up with nothing when it comes to confidentiality.”

Who is Kevin Morris? Even Hunter’s Lawyer Seems Unsure (Turley)

Kevin Morris testified last week in the House. The question that lingered then, and now, is who is Kevin Morris. The Hollywood lawyer, producer and Democratic donor has emerged as a major figure in the corruption scandal surrounding Hunter Biden.For years, some of us have complained that we are not sure what Morris was at any given moment.What became clear in the deposition is that Morris does not appear certain himself. He’s Hunter’s confidant, art patron, business partner, and his lawyer. That could prove his undoing … both for himself and his client. Morris seems to move effortlessly between roles in his relationship with Hunter Biden.Hunter met Morris when he attended a political fundraiser as a major donor. Soon thereafter, he warned Biden associates that Hunter’s unpaid taxes raised political problems during Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential run.

He later proceeded to pay off Hunter’s taxes and to subsidize his lavish lifestyle. He also took an apparent lead in planning public campaigns against the critics of the Bidens, reportedly pushing a scorched-earth approach to attack potential witnesses and accusers. Then Morris seemed to take on the role of Hunter’s bank and art patron. He reportedly gave millions to Hunter while insisting that they are loans, not gifts. Most recently, it was revealed that, despite accounts of buyers flocking to buy Hunter’s overpriced art, it was Morris all along who bought most of the pieces. The overpriced art could be used to excuse some of these “debts” — a type of special crafts project for the president’s son to write off millions. The most striking thing about the deposition from his House interview was the speed at which Morris seemed to put on and remove his various hats.

He invoked attorney-client privilege at least 17 times over questions related to his payments and work for Hunter Biden. Yet, while refusing to answer those questions, he admitted to an array of other financial ties and transactions with his “client.” To the extent that Morris was not acting as a lawyer but as a businessman or a friend, these conversations (and related records) may not be protected. In his deposition, Morris also discusses his ownership of 10% of Bohai Harvest RST LLC (BHR), through his acquisition of interest in Skaneateles LLC. Those are business interests associated with Hunter Biden Morris seemed to be working through his own identity crisis with the help of House investigators. While insisting that his legal representation of Hunter Biden was “global and complete,” Morris detailed how his relationship floated from loan giver to friend to patron to film producer.

His counsel insists that all loans and roles were clearly laid out for Hunter in writing and reviewed by outside counsel. House investigator: “How did it come up that you were going to purchase Skaneateles? Or why did you buy Skaneateles of all the companies that Hunter Biden was involved with? Why that one?” Morris: “That’s privileged. I am not going to answer that because of attorney-client privilege.” That prompted a quick intervention by his lawyer. Morris reversed and agreed it was not protected and said that he “evaluated it as a businessman, and I thought it was something that could be a very successful investment.” Morris’ confusion often left his answers in an unintelligible morass. When asked about his decision to do a movie on his client, Morris again seemed to merge his roles, saying these are “just materials being collected for representation that may be used in the future after the representation.”

Later, Morris seemed to invoke an open-ended, running privilege. At one point, Morris claimed he was “like a general counsel” in Hunter Biden’s “virtual corporation.” He explained, “Counsel, in my job, I represent high-profile individuals. … [H]igh-profile individuals have basically virtual corporations. And in those virtual corporations, they have all kinds of staff and assistants. You know, agents and managers … publicists. You know, whatever. And what I do is I oversee … sort of the squad. Sort of like a general counsel.” With that, Morris was viewed as asserting a type of floating privilege because “I am involved in everything. And the same is with Hunter. If you check my retainer agreements, you’ll see that it’s not — it says all matters.” The statement is both factually accurate and ethically dubious. It seeks sweeping privilege claims despite the layers of different relationships, from loaner to donor to lawyer to producer. If Morris is called to testify in court, this may not fly. The problem is that when you are “everything” to a client, you may end up with nothing when it comes to confidentiality.

Read more …

“..The relationship between James Biden, Hunter Biden, Ye, and other partners resulted in at least $9 million in payments to Biden-connected companies in 2017 alone after Joe Biden returned to private life..”

Hunter Biden Partner Rob Walker Confirms Payments To Biden Family (JTN)

Hunter Biden associate Rob Walker appeared for a transcribed interview with the House Oversight Committee Friday as the latest witness in the impeachment inquiry and weeks before Hunter Biden is set to testify. According to a source familiar with Walker’s testimony, he confirmed reports that Hunter Biden’s work for the Chinese energy company CEFC began while Joe Biden was still Vice President, in 2015. In December, Just the News reported that the impeachment inquiry had assembled a growing body of evidence that Hunter’s work with the Chinese energy company started years before its million dollar payments began to flow into the Biden family coffers in 2017, following Joe Biden’s departure from office. “Today we learned that Joe Biden met with the now-missing Chairman of CEFC, Ye Jianming, as Hunter Biden and his associates received $3 million from a Chinese entity CEFC controlled. Evidence continues to reveal the Bidens sold the ‘Biden Brand’ to enrich the Biden family,” Oversight Chairman James Comer said in a statement released by the Oversight Committee.

“Today’s interview confirmed Hunter Biden and his associates’ work with the Chinese government-linked energy company began over a year before Joe Biden left the vice presidency, but the Bidens and their associates held off being paid by the Chinese while Joe Biden was in office,” he continued. “The Chinese company paid Hunter Biden and his associates $3 million shortly after Joe Biden left office as a ‘thank you’ for the work they did while Joe Biden was in office. Members of the Biden family received payments from the Chinese deal even though they did not work on it. This is the type of swampy influence peddling the American people want us to end,” Comer said. The relationship between James Biden, Hunter Biden, Ye, and other partners resulted in at least $9 million in payments to Biden-connected companies in 2017 alone after Joe Biden returned to private life.

The payments included a $3 million “thank you” in March 2017, a $5 million loan in August 2017, and a $1 million legal retainer fee to Hunter Biden from CEFC official Patrick Ho after he was indicted on bribery charges, according to documents gathered by Congress and federal prosecutors. Yet, evidence from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop and FBI interviews with Biden business partners provided to Congress show that the relationship dates back to at least 2015 and 2016. One email from Rob Walker to another of Hunter Biden’s business partners referenced an apparent letter from Hunter to Zang Jianjun, the executive director of CEFC China Energy, who worked directly for its founder and Chairman Ye Jianming.

In an interview with the FBI, Walker told investigators that he recalls two meetings that Vice President Biden had with CEFC officials, one after leaving office in 2017 and another while he was still in office. The interview was provided by IRS Whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joe Ziegler to the House Ways and Means Committee in their probe of the IRS and DOJ investigation into Hunter Biden. “Any times when he was in office or did you hear Hunter say that he was setting up a meeting with his dad with them (CEFC) while dad was still in office?” an FBI agent asked Walker. “Yeah,” Walker responded. After this admission, the investigators inexplicably changed course and did not follow up on what Walker had just told them.

Read more …

“..hunter killer assassins meeting boy scouts.”

Boeing’s Nosedive: How Greed Ruined A Great American Company (Johnston)

The singular event cited as marking the beginning of Boeing’s downfall was its 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas, which put it on a collision course with a culture steeped in cost-cutting and financial performance. Somewhat perversely, although Boeing had acquired McDonnell, it was the latter that took over. McDonnell’s executives ended up running the company and its culture became ascendant. Scores of cut-throat managers battle-hardened in the company’s perform-or-die culture were brought in. A federal mediator once likened the partnership to “hunter killer assassins meeting boy scouts.” The self-effacing and introspective Bill Allen, Boeing’s genteel CEO through the post-war era and the man behind the 707 gamble, described his company’s ethos as “to eat, breathe, and sleep the world of aeronautics.”

But a new generation of leaders was emerging who brought new priorities and a new vocabulary. It was no longer about making great airplanes; it was about “moving up the value chain.” What it was really about was maximizing shareholder value. Now looming like a colossus over Boeing was the figure of Harry Stonecipher, McDonnell’s CEO. The blunt, hard-nosed son of a coal miner, Stonecipher was known for vicious cost-cutting, emails written in all caps – and for jettisoning executives who didn’t hit financial targets. But Stonecipher was a ‘winner’: McDonnell’s stock price had risen fourfold under his tenure. What predictably ensued was nothing short of a complete transformation of Boeing from being a company run by engineers to one that prized financial profit over all, and was willing to cut all manner of corners to reduce costs and boost returns.

The quality of the product was, to put it mildly, severely compromised. Downstream from these changes are the spectacular failures we all know about: the outrageous cost overruns, delays and production issues in making the Boeing 787, which ended up being temporarily grounded for battery fires that regulators attributed to flaws in manufacturing, insufficient testing and a poor understanding of an innovative battery; the abject failure of the jimmy-rigged 737 MAX, which saw two deadly crashes and, most recently, a harrowing incident in which a sealed-off emergency exit blew out mid-air in an Alaska Airlines flight, leaving a gaping hole in the fuselage. m It is possible to see Boeing’s merger with McDonnell as simply an unfortunate mistake, and the rise of the likes of Harry Stonecipher as simply an instance in which the wrong person found his way to the top; and the outsourcing and cost-cutting as simply a misbegotten strategy.

But this would miss the wider trends at work in the American corporate landscape at the time. Boeing was hardly alone on this path. The writer David Foster Wallace once wrote that “America… is a country of many contradictions, and a big contradiction for a long time has been between a very aggressive form of capitalism and consumerism against what might be called a kind of moral or civic impulse.” What is evident is that starting roughly in the 1970s, this “aggressive form of capitalism” became ascendant in the US and for a long time overwhelmed – and is arguably still overwhelming – the “moral and civic impulse.” However, to view this as simply a moral failing is to miss the greater economic pressures at work.

The ‘70s were, in the words of historian Judith Stein, the “pivotal decade” that “sealed a society-wide transition from industry to finance, factory floor to trading floor, [and] production to consumption.” America had emerged from World War II with unquestioned manufacturing supremacy, but within a few short decades, US companies had begun falling behind. Whereas Japan, Germany, and, later on, China invested heavily in their industrial bases in the post-war period, the US came to emphasize innovation at the expense of capital investment. The 1970s were when nascent industrial powerhouse Japan pulled off its so-called ‘revolution of quality,’ which went a long way toward putting American manufacturers on the back foot.

Read more …

“..Trump will have to soldier on. He must stay controlled amid the tsunamis, not play into the hands of his accusers, and remember that he may soon be the only eleventh-hour hope to stop this mockery of American law, customs and traditions.”

83 million? (Victor Davis Hanson)

Donald Trump in furor stormed out of a New York courtroom for a while, in the defamation suit brought by author and dating/boyfriend/sex-advice columnist E. Jean Carroll. It was just settled against Trump for $83.3 million! The Carroll suit was largely subsidized by Reid Hoffman the billionaire capitalist, and mega-donor to the Democratic Party and leftwing causes. The subtext of Trump’s rage, aside from the outrageous monetary size of the defamation ruling, is that he was facing—and angered—a leftwing claimant, a quite hostile leftwing judge, and a leftwing New York jury. The civil suit serves as a mere preview of four additional leftwing criminal prosecutions, leftwing judges, and leftwing juries to come—all on charges that would never had been filed if Trump either had not run for president or been a liberal progressive. Yet here we are.

The E. Jean Carroll case is the most baffling of all five. She, the alleged victim, did not remember even the year in which the purported sexual assault took place, nearly three decades ago. Observers have pointed out dozens of inconsistencies in her story. It was never clear what were the preliminaries that supposedly (Trump denies meeting her) led both, allegedly, willingly to retreat together to a department store dressing room, where during normal business hours the alleged violence took place. Moreover, the sexual assault complaint came forward decades post facto—and only after Trump was running for and then president. Carroll eventually sued him for battery, but well after the statute of limitations had expired and thus the case seemed defunct.

Her claims of defamation injuries arise from being fired from her advice column job at ELLE magazine. She claimed that Trump’s sharp denials and ad hominem retorts led to her career ruin. But the loss for anyone of a column at 76 does not seem such a rare occurrence, and the absence of a salaried job in one’s late seventies for four years does not seem to equate to a $83 million hit. And note the allegation that her dispute with Trump led to her firing was strongly denied by the very magazine that cut her loose. But then another strange thing happened. In 2022, a new law (“The Adult Survivors Act”) was passed in the New York legislature. It also post facto established a twelve-month window (beginning six months from the signing of bill) that permitted survivors of long ago alleged sexual assaults suddenly to sue the accused long-ago perpetrator—regardless of the previous statute of limitations.

That unexpected opening suddenly gave Carroll’s prior unsuccessful efforts a rebirth. And she quickly refiled with the help of arch-Trump hating billionaire Hoffman. Yet the bill may have been introduced with Trump particularly in mind—given the legislator who introduced it, Brad Hoylman-Siga, was known as another Trump antagonist. More interestingly, he had earlier introduced and had passed another Trump-targeted bill. That “TRUST” act had empowered particular federal Congressional committees to have access to the New York State once sealed tax returns of high-ranking government officials—such as Trump. That bill’s generally agreed subtext was a green light for anti-Trump members of Congress to obtain legal access to Donald J. Trump’s tax returns.

So there is an eerie feeling that the New York legislature may have abruptly passed legislation that was aimed at the past conduct of Donald Trump but only after he entered the political arena. While these are not quite bills of attainder, there is something unsettling if they are post facto laws aimed at targeting the most famous and controversial man in America and the leading candidate for the presidency. In essence they were targeted statutes designed to make Trump’s prior legally unactionable behavior suddenly quite legally actionable. Trump will be subject to such special treatment all summer and fall. Prosecutors Bragg, James, Smith, and Willis will synchronize their court business for maximum effect.

Trump again will face leftwing prosecutors, judges, and juries on charges that are politically driven, involving alleged behavior that is either usually not criminalized or not to the same degree as Trump’s case. (Do we remember the nearly $375,000 federal fine belatedly leveled at an exempt Obama but only five years after his 2008 illegal garnering of, and not reporting, foreign campaign contributions?) The stakes are higher each day as Trump closes in on the nomination and thus becomes the hope of half the country to end the Biden madness. Somehow Trump will have to stay calm, give no opening to his legion of hostile prosecutors, while conducting a nonstop campaign against Biden (and for a while Hayley), and while fighting to keep his name on various state ballots.

So what we are witnessing is not even the extralegal efforts of Steele/Fusion GPS, Perkins Coie/DNC/Hillary Clinton in 2016, or the 2020 “Russian disinformation” ruse/change the voting laws/infuse half a billion dollars to absorb the work of the registrar machinations against Trump. We are way beyond all that. The legal system itself, hand-in-glove with leftwing politicos (compare campaign boasts of James and Willis, or prosecutorial visits to the January 6 committee and the White House) is turning the process of balloting and elections into an embarrassing farce. Still, Trump will have to soldier on. He must stay controlled amid the tsunamis, not play into the hands of his accusers, and remember that he may soon be the only eleventh-hour hope to stop this mockery of American law, customs and traditions.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Wild dogs

 

 

Baby goat

 

 


The bearded vulture is the only known animal whose diet is almost exclusively bone

 

 

Fata morgana

 

 

Monarch

 

 

Clay
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751471302169227699

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 112024
 
 January 11, 2024  Posted by at 9:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Figure at a window 1925

 

BRICS Member South Africa Takes Zionism To Court (Pepe Escobar)
The War Within Israel’s War Cabinet (Cradle)
Ukraine Conflict Drove Up Ammo Prices Tenfold – Sweden (RT)
Lavrov Knew of ‘Secret’ Ukraine Meeting Weeks Before Bloomberg Report (Sp.)
Ukrainians Will Benefit From Zelensky’s Fall – Medvedchuk (RT)
West Got Ukraine ‘Painfully Wrong’ – Slovak PM Robert Fico (RT)
Ukrainians In UK Told To Register For Military Service (RT)
US Government Debt Biggest Threat To Global Economy – Russian NGO (RT)
China Has Become More Aggressive – UK Foreign Secretary (RT)
Germany’s ‘Krisenmodus’ Has No End in Sight (Conor Gallagher)
German Government Is Ripping Off The Farmers Who Feed The Country (Marsden)
UK Parliament Cold, Damp, and Infested With Mice – Politico (RT)
Hunter Biden Defends Including Father On Business Calls (Fox)
Can Big Pharma Be Held Accountable? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Trump Says Georgia Case ‘Totally Compromised’ (ET)

 

 

Fani Willis and her beau were there, but so was Letitia James. It was all coordinated.

 

 

Trump

 

 

Before: Russia exported cheap energy to European industries & imported European industrial goods. Now: Russia exports cheap energy to Asia & imports Asian industrial goods.

 

 

Hunter

 

 

 

 

Rogan study

 

 

LGBTs

 

 

 

 

Poland

 

 

 

 

“Both Pretoria and Tel Aviv are members of the ICJ – so the rulings are binding..”

But are they enforcable?

BRICS Member South Africa Takes Zionism To Court (Pepe Escobar)

Nothing less than the full concept of international law will be on trial this week in The Hague. The whole world is watching. It took an African nation, not an Arab or Muslim nation, but significantly a BRICS member, to try to break the iron chains deployed by Zionism via fear, financial might, and non-stop threats, enslaving not only Palestine but substantial swathes of the planet. By a twist of historical poetic justice, South Africa, a nation that knows one or two things about apartheid, had to take the moral high ground and be the first to file a suit against apartheid Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The 84-page lawsuit, exhaustively argued, fully documented, and filed on 29 December 2023, details all the ongoing horrors perpetrated in the occupied Gaza Strip and followed by everyone with a smartphone around the planet.

South Africa asks the ICJ – a UN mechanism – something quite straightforward: Declare that the state of Israel has breached all its responsibilities under international law since 7 October. And that, crucially, includes a violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, according to which genocide consists of “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”South Africa is supported by Jordan, Bolivia, Turkiye, Malaysia, and significantly the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which combines the lands of Islam, and constitutes 57 member states, 48 of these harboring a Muslim majority. It’s as if these nations were representing the overwhelming majority of the Global South. Whatever happens at The Hague could go way beyond a possible condemnation of Israeli for genocide. Both Pretoria and Tel Aviv are members of the ICJ – so the rulings are binding.

The ICJ, in theory, carries more weight than the UN Security Council, where the US vetoes any hard facts that tarnish Israel’s carefully constructed self-image. The only problem is that the ICJ does not have enforcement power. What South Africa, in practical terms, is aiming to achieve is to have the ICJ impose on Israel an order to stop the invasion – and the genocide – right away. That should be the first priority. Reading the full South African application is a horrifying exercise. This is literally history in the making, right in front of us living in the young, tech-addicted, 21st century, and not a science fiction account of a genocide taking place in some distant universe.

Pretoria’s application carries the merit of drawing The Big Picture, “in the broader context of Israel’s conduct towards Palestinians during its 75-year-long apartheid, its 56-year-long belligerent occupation of Palestinian territory, and its 16-year-long blockade of Gaza.” Cause, effect, and intent are clearly delineated, transcending the horrors that have been perpetrated since the Palestinian resistance’s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October, 2023. Then there are “acts and omissions by Israel which are capable of amounting to other violations of international law.” South Africa lists them as “genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent (dolus specialis) to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group.”

Read more …

“..originally intended to be about post-war plans — a topic the prime minister appears reluctant to tackle given the potential risks to his political and personal future..”

The War Within Israel’s War Cabinet (Cradle)

Three months into Israel’s longest and costliest unconventional war, the country’s armed forces have emerged as a significant indirect source of pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s extremist government. This development comes at a crucial juncture, both politically and in terms of security, for Tel Aviv. Amid ongoing internal differences over post-Gaza war strategies and proposed resolutions for Hamas’s prisoner exchange demands, the negative shift in international and regional public opinion over Israel’s 13-week Gaza assault has generated further stressors. At the same time, the escalating situation on the northern front with Hezbollah has compelled the Israeli army to establish a committee to investigate the political, security, and military shortcomings that led to the 7 October Al-Aqsa flood operation.

This decision by the Israeli army has triggered a political uproar, particularly from a faction uncertain about how to deal with intensifying Palestinian resistance activities brought on by the formation of Netanyahu’s coalition government – which is marked by extremism and controversial decisions, even by Israeli standards. During a recent cabinet meeting, far-right and nationalist Zionist ministers slammed army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi’s decision to probe intelligence and operational failures leading up to the 7 October resistance operation, claiming that forming an inquiry commission during the ongoing Gaza war damages army and soldier morale. Some cabinet members rallied to scuttle the selection of former Minister of Defence Shaul Mofaz as head of the inquiry commission, largely because of his role in Israel’s unilateral Gaza disengagement plan in 2005.

The timing of the investigative committee’s formation is underscored by Defense Minister Yoav Galant and emergency cabinet member Benny Gantz’s vigorous defense of Halevi’s decision. They emphasize its importance in learning from past mistakes, addressing security gaps, and preparing for potential wider conflicts, particularly with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Less clear, however, is Netanyahu stance on the matter, despite the fact that he scheduled the session which was originally intended to be about post-war plans — a topic the prime minister appears reluctant to tackle given the potential risks to his political and personal future.

Netanyahu’s right-wing cabinet members view the inquiry as a tool to further undermine an already precarious government. They recognize that the findings of the commission could be especially damning for their governing coalition, which, since its formation, has implemented an agenda focused on the oppression of Palestinians living under occupation and the strangulation of their national aspirations. It is an agenda which security and military experts in Israel have consistently warned could heavily exacerbate the level of retaliatory violence against settlers and inflame the security situation, whether in the Gaza Strip or in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.

Read more …

In other news, Sweden is telling its people to prepare for war with Russia.

Ukraine Conflict Drove Up Ammo Prices Tenfold – Sweden (RT)

The deficit of ammunition in Europe has led to inflated prices as Western nations scramble to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, the chief of staff of the Swedish Armed Forces has said. Speaking to Sveriges Radio national broadcaster on Tuesday, Michael Claesson said the conflict had led to a surge in demand in a very short period of time. He described the increase as “dramatic.” “I won’t give exact figures, but we are talking about an increase of between five to ten times compared to the time before the war started,” he said, noting that it impacted not only ammunition, but also other military materiel. According to Claesson, artillery shells for the Swedish-designed Archer 155mm self-propelled howitzer are now eight times more expensive than in 2021.

He told the broadcaster that the development had been caused by a significant rearmament campaign underway both in Sweden and other European countries. “All this creates an enormous demand and competition, essentially as if people were standing in a queue.” Commenting on weapons procurement in late December, Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson admitted that his country found itself in a “difficult situation” because it had not only to support Ukraine, but also take care of its own security. As of December, Stockholm has provided Kiev with $2.2 billion in military assistance. On Sunday, speaking online at the Society and Defense conference held in Sweden, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky urged his European partners to “create an arsenal for the defense of freedom” by stepping up joint arms production.

Russian officials have repeatedly said that the Western push to arm Ukraine will only prolong the conflict while becoming a burden on ordinary taxpayers. In October, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that “the potential of the collective West to produce munitions is limited,” saying that it would have to spend a lot of time mobilizing its resources, an effort he suggested could cause “certain points of friction.” Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba admitted last month that Kiev senses a growing “war fatigue” in the West, and acknowledged that the country’s much-hyped counteroffensive had failed to produce swift and decisive results. Moscow has described Kiev’s push as a complete fiasco, claiming that Ukraine lost some 160,000 troops over the six months of the offensive.

Read more …

Secret meeting to discuss Zelensky’s “peace plan”, “that Kiev be given control over its pre-2014 borders, while calling for the prosecution of the Russian leadership and reparations from Moscow..”

Lavrov Knew of ‘Secret’ Ukraine Meeting Weeks Before Bloomberg Report (Sp.)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spilled the beans on the much-touted “secret meeting” of Ukrainian, Western, and Global South countries’ national security advisors in Riyadh on December 16 weeks before Bloomberg’s report on the gathering, telling Rossiya Segodnya chief Dmitry Kiselev about it on December 28. “Considering our good relations [with Global South countries, ed.], I can say that another meeting like this took place 10 days ago – the G7 plus the leading developing nations. Not all countries from the world majority attended. Some turned down their invitations. The meeting took place in complete secrecy. Nothing was reported about it; there were no leaks,” Lavrov said at the time. “But you know about it,” Kisilev interjected.

“Yes, we do. Our close allies and associates who attended that meeting did not promise to keep an issue that concerns Russia secret from us. Another meeting is scheduled to take place in January 2024 and a ‘peace summit,’ where [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky’s ‘peace formula,’ is to be approved in February 2024,” Lavrov said. Commenting on Bloomberg’s report and the absurdity of organizing “peace talks” aimed at resolving the Ukraine crisis without inviting Moscow to the table, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Radio Sputnik on Wednesday that the “secret meeting” had less to do with ending the conflict, and more to do with pumping up Mr. Zelensky’s ego.

“This is a well-worn concept of attracting political attention specifically to the Zelensky regime. This is PR for the Zelensky regime. Speaking in terms used in political science, [the talks] were about maintaining a sense of constant activity in the information and political space, at the center of which is Zelensky,” Zakharova stressed. “This has nothing to do with resolving the Ukrainian crisis. These are two completely different topics.” In fact, the spokeswoman suggested, holding “peace talks” without Russia, and on maximalist terms which Russia would never accept only serves to weaken the possibility of peace actually being reached.

“Because resolving the situation in Ukraine is, of course, painstaking work. This is work on the political and diplomatic track. This is negotiations, contacts and so on. This is not about the fate of one person, 10 people or their commercial, financial and economic interests, but about the fate of peoples and nations. That’s if we’re talking about the situation in Ukraine and a real resolution [to the crisis]. The PR around Zelensky, his so-called peace initiatives, his endless statements, appearances at various places and platforms – all this hype is created precisely to maintain the illusion of some kind of political activity while diverting the world’s attention from real processes of a possible settlement,” Zakharova said.

Read more …

“..an “unfunny parody of a dictator..”

Ukrainians Will Benefit From Zelensky’s Fall – Medvedchuk (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has antagonized all his allies, both domestic and foreign, and is doomed to be ousted this year, exiled Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk has said. But his failure will be good for the Ukrainian people, he added. Medvedchuk was the leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life party, which Zelensky’s government banned for allegedly being “pro-Russian.” He was arrested and forced out of Ukraine in a prisoner exchange with Moscow. The politician has since been promoting a project, which would make his home nation a neutral state, prioritizing national interests, as opposed to being a Russian enemy. In a column published on Wednesday, Medvedchuk blasted the incumbent Ukrainian president, branding him an “unfunny parody of a dictator,” whose weakness sends a signal to all “political predators to eat him.”

“Zelensky has antagonized everyone he could: big businessmen, whom he blacklisted as traitors and oligarch, professional Nazis, who see his cowardice, the military, who sees his incompetence, and last but not least the people, who see his indifference and cruelty,” he wrote. Ukraine is in a deep crisis that is bound to lead to a national disaster once Western funding for the proxy war against Russia is reduced, he claimed. And Ukrainian citizens need to realize that Zelensky’s downfall “does not necessarily mean a defeat of the Ukrainian people.” Instead, the opposite is true, according to Medvedchuk. It will be a victory for them, since the president “has long betrayed them and is selling them out for cannon fodder.”

The column predicted hard times for the US, which Medvedchuk believes has lost its direction, and the EU, which he expects to be sacrificed by Washington to support the American economy. For Ukraine, it means no EU membership, and its citizens should know that “Europeans will have to give their financial goodies to the American elites, not Ukrainian refugees.” Medvedchuk believes that Russia may serve as an alternative to “impoverishing Europe.” He expects that “the number of Ukrainians in Russia will increase in 2024, benefiting not just them, but everyone.” Russia has become a major destination for Ukrainian nationals, with officials estimating that as many as five million fled eastwards after the hostilities erupted in 2022. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he considers Russians and Ukrainians brotherly peoples. He described as tragic the fact that Kiev’s divisive policies after the 2014 armed coup had led to bloodshed between these peoples.

Read more …

“..in two or three years we will still be where we are now,” Fico predicted. “The EU alone will be perhaps 50 billion euros lighter, and in Ukraine, cemeteries will be full with thousands more dead soldiers.”

West Got Ukraine ‘Painfully Wrong’ – Slovak PM Robert Fico (RT)

Funding and arming Ukraine is a “futile waste of human resources and money” that will serve only to fill Ukrainian cemeteries with “thousands of dead soldiers,” Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico wrote in an op-ed on Tuesday. Fico’s article was a rebuttal to his country’s president, who has urged him to send weapons to Kiev. Following his party’s electoral victory in September, Fico immediately cut off Slovakia’s military aid to Ukraine and vowed to block Kiev’s accession to NATO. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, however, has called for Ukraine to be given “the means needed to defend itself,” while pro-Western pundits in Slovakia have accused Fico of cozying up to the Kremlin. “I will no longer be subject to stupid liberal and progressive demagoguery,” Fico wrote in Slovakia’s Pravda newspaper. “It is literally shocking to see how the West has repeatedly made mistakes in assessing the situation in Russia.”

Despite pumping Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and sanctioning Moscow’s economy, “Russia completely controls the occupied territories militarily, Ukraine is not capable of any meaningful military counter-offensive, [and] it has become completely dependent on financial aid from the West with unforeseeable consequences for Ukrainians in the years to come,” he explained. “The position of the Ukrainian president is shaken, while the Russian president increases and strengthens his political support,” Fico continued, pointing out that “neither the Russian economy nor the Russian currency collapsed, [and] anti-Russian sanctions have increased the internal self-sufficiency of this huge country.”

Should the West continue along the path desired by Caputova, “in two or three years we will still be where we are now,” Fico predicted. “The EU alone will be perhaps 50 billion euros lighter, and in Ukraine, cemeteries will be full with thousands more dead soldiers.” Fico’s Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) faction currently leads a three-party coalition government, while Caputova is the co-founder of the Progressive Slovakia party. Caputova’s role as president is largely ceremonial, and Fico claimed in his op-ed that she is “impatiently waiting” for the end of her term this year so that she can re-enter parliamentary politics.Fico has labeled Caputova an “American agent” on several occasions. After consulting the American Embassy in Bratislava last summer, Caputova sued Fico over the remarks, Slovakia’s SITA news agency reported.

Read more …

“..Ukrainians living abroad who have not registered for military service may end up being denied both consular and banking services under the new law..”

Ukrainians In UK Told To Register For Military Service (RT)

Ukrainians living abroad must register for military service, according to a recently adopted government decree, the consulate in the UK has said. In a statement released on Wednesday, it explained that the move is in response to numerous inquiries from Ukrainians residing in the country. According to the new rules, Ukrainian nationals must register for the military “in case of staying outside Ukraine for a period of more than three months,” the consulate stated. New arrivals must show up at Ukrainian diplomatic institutions within a week of entering Britain, it added. Currently, there are no penalties for avoiding military registration, the diplomatic body said, adding that rumors of consular services being denied to people who do not sign up are not true.

The situation, however, could change if these provisions are included in the new mobilization law, which is currently being considered by the Ukrainian parliament, it warned. Previously, Batkivshchyna party MP Vadim Ivchenko, who sits on the parliamentary committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, warned that Ukrainians living abroad who have not registered for military service may end up being denied both consular and banking services under the new law. It remains unclear whether the provisions will be included in the new legislation, which is expected to be voted on in the first reading on Thursday. The mobilization law was introduced in the Ukrainian parliament late last year. It proposes lowering the draft age from 27 to 25, eliminating exemptions for some categories of disabled people, and other measures to bolster the ranks of the military.

Shortly before the mobilization bill was put forward, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said the military had asked him to round up another 450,000 to 500,000 soldiers. This claim has been disputed by Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, who insisted the military had not come up with exact figures, but wanted the government to ensure a steady flow of recruits to meet its combat needs and make up for losses. Kiev has never officially disclosed the country’s casualties amid the conflict with Russia, yet the tally is widely believed to be in the hundreds of thousands. According to the latest estimates by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu provided on Tuesday, Ukraine lost more than 215,000 troops and 28,000 pieces of military hardware last year alone. Last month, the minister said that Kiev lost more than 383,000 service members, killed or wounded, since the beginning of the hostilities, with more than half of the casualties sustained during its summer counteroffensive, which was launched early last June.

Read more …

“The excessive debt was accumulated at low rates but needs to be refinanced at high rates that limit economic activity and reduce cash flow..”

US Government Debt Biggest Threat To Global Economy – Russian NGO (RT)

US government debt and Washington’s budget deficit present the biggest threats to the global economy this year, Russian government agency Roscongress has warned. Washington’s $34 trillion burden is mathematically impossible to pay off, Roscongress has claimed in a report it published on Wednesday. The agency based its estimate on the current ratio between the size of the debt, the rate at which it is growing, and budget revenues. “The excessive debt was accumulated at low rates but needs to be refinanced at high rates that limit economic activity and reduce cash flow. In the medium term, the servicing of US debt will cost $1 trillion a year,” reads the report, titled ‘Key Events – 2024. Geoeconomics. Forecasts. Major risks’.

The US government cannot solve the problem by restarting the printing press this year because that would lead to higher inflation, the report added. The country saw consumer prices shoot up to the highest levels in decades in 2022, prompting the Federal Reserve to embark on a series of rate hikes to tame inflation. US government federal debt toped $34 trillion for the first time in history at the end of December. It now amounts to about $102,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country. US total public debt is roughly equivalent to the economies of China, Germany, Japan, India, and the UK combined, as pointed out by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a nonpartisan fiscal policy group in New York.

Among other threats to the global economy, Roscongress identified the global real estate bubble, mentioning the high-profile bankruptcies of Chinese property developers Country Garden and Evergrande; the volatility of the US stock market; and demographic issues, namely the shrinking of China’s population. The Roscongress Foundation was established in 2007 and is a key organizer of nationwide and international congresses and exhibitions with an economic and social focus. Among the events it hosted recently is the Russia-Africa forum in St. Petersburg in July, a high-profile international gathering attended by dozens of delegations from African nations.

Read more …

As I said the other day, Cameron was hired as war secretary, not Foreign Secretary.

China Has Become More Aggressive – UK Foreign Secretary (RT)

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has claimed that China has become more “aggressive and assertive” in the years since he headed the UK government and tried to build warm relations with Beijing. Speaking in front of the UK Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Cameron, who was prime minister from 2010 to 2016, said that while there had been a lot of incentives for the UK to develop business relations with China in the previous decade, “a lot has changed” since then. The diplomat pointed to China’s alleged repression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, which Beijing denies, as well as its policies in Hong Kong and its “wolf warrior diplomacy” as some of the primary examples of the country’s aggressive and assertive attitude.

Nevertheless, Cameron insisted that it was still crucial to engage with Beijing on various policy issues because China represented “a fifth of humanity.” “We’re not going to solve climate change without talking with the Chinese. We’re not going to work out the rules of the road on AI without at least engaging with the Chinese,” Cameron said, noting that he believes this is the foreign policy the UK should pursue. Meanwhile, China reported on Monday that it had detained the head of an overseas consulting firm for allegedly gathering sensitive data on the Asian nation on behalf of the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6.

Beijing’s Ministry of National Security accused the UK spy agency of hiring a man identified as Huang Moumou, who it claims was recruited by MI6 in 2015. He had allegedly been ordered to travel to China to collect state secrets and identify personnel to “incite rebellion.” The ministry added that London had provided Huang with intelligence training in the UK and other places, and with special spy equipment. The UK has so far declined to comment on the incident. In October, however, the British Security Service MI5 warned of the “epic scale” of Chinese espionage, claiming that more than 20,000 people in the UK had been approached by operatives who sought to acquire various secrets. China has consistently denied that it is engaged in spying against the US and UK.

Read more …

“..the fairytale that Germany’s crises are just a string of bad luck as opposed to the result of government policy..”

Germany’s ‘Krisenmodus’ Has No End in Sight (Conor Gallagher)

The Association for the German Language chose the term Krisenmodus as the ‘Word of the Year’ for 2023. I’m not sure they’ve ever awarded a back-to-back winner, but krisenmodus (crisis mode) looks to have a chance to repeat in 2024. The current government coalition has lost almost all trust from the public, yet they soldier on determined to make things worse for the vast majority of Germans. The Greens push for more war, the Free Democrats want more social spending cuts, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his Social Democratic Party (SPD) are in the middle adopting the worst from both sides and leading Germany to ruin. The chancellor’s decision making likely won’t get any better after a Christmastime bout with Covid-19 – if he sticks around much longer.

On the international front, Deutsche Welle declares that this year “Berlin must find ways to deal with two wars, an increasingly aggressive China, and a world order in transition.” Led by the ill-equipped and overconfident Green, Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign policy has been disastrous and has spilled over into the domestic arena. Severing itself from Russian energy drained government coffers; at the same time, in addition to the money and weapons already sent to Ukraine, Berlin wants to increase military spending and become more interventionist. After running up the tab in these areas, there are now calls for a renewed fiscal responsibility, which means social spending cuts at home. A botched energy transition led by the Greens, which has industry collapsing and higher prices for consumers, militarization, and austerity – has proved to be an awful combination for the average citizen. And the data is grim.

Inflation continues to be problematic, the economy is contracting as industry shrinks, exports to China are declining and there is constant pressure from Atlanticists to self-impose a further reduction, living standards are declining, political paralysis reigns on most matters except social cuts and more military spending, wealth inequality grows, and industry continues to leave the country. Farmer protests are also now taking place across the country in response to the government’s decision to phase out a tax break on agricultural diesel. Scholz paid homage to the krisenmodus in his New Year’s address (including erroneously blaming Putin for “turn[ing] off the tap on our gas supplies”), centered around the fairytale that Germany’s crises are just a string of bad luck as opposed to the result of government policy.

He concluded with the following: “If we realize this, if we treat each other with this respect, then we don’t need to be afraid of the future, then the year 2024 can be a good year for our country, even if some things turn out differently than we expected today, on the eve of this New Year.” Such vacuous rhetoric is a sign that Scholz knows the path the country is currently on is doomed and yet plans nothing to change it. If anyone was watching, it was another reminder why Scholz’s approval rating has sunk to a miserable 26 percent and he and/or his government could soon be headed for an early exit.

Tucker Vlaar

Read more …

“Team Scholz is making one of the most productive elements of German society pay a heavy price for its own relentless screwups..”

German Government Is Ripping Off The Farmers Who Feed The Country (Marsden)

Farmers and their tractors started gathering on Monday here in Berlin as well as in cities across all of Germany’s federal states, including Hamburg, Cologne, and Bremen. The culmination, a massive planned protest, is set for Monday, January 15. The aim? To get Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government to backtrack on its decision to eliminate tax breaks on the diesel fuel used for farming – a sector already struggling with high energy costs as a result of the government’s de facto policy to screw itself and its own citizens over “for Ukraine” by cutting off cheap fuel from Russia because Brussels ordered it to. And then deciding that it’s cool because gas isn’t “green” enough anyway. Who knew that the German economy couldn’t just run on wind and sun? Not this government, apparently.

Feeling the heat, Team Scholz has already said that it’ll now just slow roll the cuts to subsidies. Apparently he’s never tried removing a band-aid really slowly. The farmers responded with some slow rolling of their own – right down the Autobahn and up to the Brandenburg Gate. The other issue is a road tax exemption for agricultural vehicles that the government decided to reimpose. Well, at least the farmers are getting their money’s worth this week by taking their tractors out for a spin along roads they probably never would have bothered with, just to join up with the protests.

This whole mess is a result of Team Scholz’s own screwup. What else is new? Pretty standard operating procedure for the Western establishment: they screw up, then the cost of their mess gets dumped onto the average person. Scholz quietly took €60 billion ($65 billion) from a Covid recovery slush fund and plonked it into a fund for the much put-upon German industry. But only for the “green” industrials. Everyone else can just shove off. Which is also the arrogant attitude being bandied about by some establishment figures when it comes to farm diesel subsidies. Anyway, Scholz was ordered by the courts to put the misappropriated cash back – lest the government run the risk of incurring a debt. Whoops, too late. Berlin ended up €13 billion short in repaying it. So then the government had to figure out who it was going to have to screw over in an attempt to drum up some quick cash. Apparently those who literally feed the German people were identified as viable cash cows.

The government can now hear and see the honking tractors and big rigs from the Bundestag, gathering just a stone’s throw away from the epicenter of the protests at Brandenburg Gate. But Scholz has been talking instead about the need for European nations to mirror Germany in devoting more money to Ukraine – like he has nothing else going on inside his own country. You’d think that if he didn’t keep loading Ukraine up with cash and weapons then Russian tanks would just roll right into Berlin. He really should be more concerned about the German tractors and trucks that are already nearly right up under his office window. Germany doubled its Ukrainian military aid to €8 billion just before the New Year. Compare that with the €900 million that its rolled back tax breaks on farmers are expected to save them.

If Team Scholz was so blasé about shuffling money around in the creation of this whole debt problem, you’d imagine it would be easy enough at the very least just to hold onto that cash for Ukraine and take the jackboots off the necks of the farmers. It seems that German farmers may have to move to Ukraine to get treated fairly by their own government. Team Scholz is making one of the most productive elements of German society pay a heavy price for its own relentless screwups. The precise cost amounts to €10,000 annually for some farmers, who say it represents a potentially catastrophic loss for them. But the message being peddled by government officials is that farmers are already subsidized enough. You’d think they were just rolling in cash. Clearly, the reality is quite the opposite when €10,000 represents a make-or-break scenario.

Read more …

“..temporarily fixing problems as they appear is costing the British taxpayer £2 million ($2.54 million) per week..”

UK Parliament Cold, Damp, and Infested With Mice – Politico (RT)

Politicians and aides alike “dread” coming to work at Westminster Palace, Politico reported on Tuesday, describing how the crumbling Victorian building is driving them to work elsewhere in order to avoid the cold, the mold, and the rodents. British lawmakers returned to work at the House of Commons on Monday, as the Met Office warned that freezing temperatures will linger for the next week. Westminster Palace offers little respite from the winter weather, multiple staffers told Politico, citing persistent heating failures, power cuts, and moldy bathrooms. A report compiled by the GMB trade union – which represents parliamentary aides – in 2022 also noted crumbling masonry and falling glass even in one of the more modern buildings of the complex, as well as an outbreak of the legionella bacteria in showers on the estate.

“If it wasn’t a protected heritage site, there would be absolutely no way – with the current health and safety regulations – that we would be allowed to even set foot in a building this broken and damaged,” a Conservative Party staffer told Politico. “I would never go in again [if I could],” a Labour Party staffer said. “I think there is a sense that parliament is a very important building, you’re very lucky to be here – but there are basic standards, actually.” Much of Westminster Palace was built in the 19th Century and has not been renovated since before World War II. Some politicians have been demanding restoration works for years, but a vote authorizing this work will not be held until at least 2025. In the meantime, temporarily fixing problems as they appear is costing the British taxpayer £2 million ($2.54 million) per week, an anonymous official told Politico last September.

“This building is falling down and becoming a hazard to all those who work here,” Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart said in an address in 2019. “It is so overrun with vermin that even the mice in this place now wear overalls.” Earlier this year, the Public Accounts Committee warned in a report that there is a “real and rising danger” that the building could be destroyed by a “catastrophic incident” before repairs take place. Labour leader Keir Starmer has almost completely eschewed working in the palace, multiple officials told the news site. Instead, he chooses to work up to three days per week at the party’s newly-built headquarters in Southwark, around a mile away. “It doesn’t feel as imposing, it’s not freezing cold, and it’s much more modern,” a Labour staffer said of the new building, describing it as “good for morale.” Despite the litany of complaints, politicians are unlikely to advocate too loudly for renovations these days, a GMP representative told Politico. “I don’t think that the general public have a lot of sympathy for politicians and their staff complaining about being cold at work… when there’s a lot worse things going on in other workplaces,” she said.

Read more …

“Yes, but why did you talk to him during business meetings if he had nothing to do with your business?”

Hunter Biden Defends Including Father On Business Calls (Fox)

Hunter Biden defended including his father on business calls with Ukrainian associates while speaking to a FOX Business reporter on Wednesday. Hunter Biden was questioned by FOX Business’ Hillary Vaughn after walking out of a House hearing as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., began to question him about President Biden’s ongoing impeachment probe. “Why did you put your dad on speakerphone during these business meetings if he had nothing to do with your business?” Vaughn asked as Biden left the Rayburn office building on Capitol Hill. “Do you have a dad? Does he call you?” the first son asked in reply. “Yes,” Vaughn said. “Do you answer the phone?” Biden continued. “Yes,” Vaughn answered. “OK,” Biden said. “Yes, but why did you talk to him during business meetings if he had nothing to do with your business?” Vaughn pressed.

Devon Archer, a former best friend and business associate of Hunter Biden in Ukraine, testified to lawmakers in July that President Biden met with dozens of Hunter’s business associates while he was serving as vice president between 2009 and 2017. Archer testified about meetings he witnessed attended by both Bidens — Hunter and Joe — either in person or via telephone. During the meetings, Hunter would specifically introduce his father to foreign business partners or prospective investors, Archer claimed. Archer said Hunter put his father, then the vice president, on speakerphone while meeting with business partners at least 20 times. He described how Joe Biden was put on the phone to sell “the brand.”

Crack

Read more …

“..there is to be no more accountability for Big Pharma’s mass murder than there is for Israel’s mass murder of Palestinians..”

Can Big Pharma Be Held Accountable? (Paul Craig Roberts)

In 1935 Trofim Lysenko, a fraudulent agronomist took control of Soviet genetics and agronomy and destroyed the science with political and ideological explanations. With biology under Lysenko’s dominance, the principles of Mendel’s classical genetics were banned, and real scientists suffered political repression. The Lysenko affair exemplifies my point that without truth there can be no science and no scholarship. Tony Fauci and his puppet-masters introduced their own form of Lysenkoism with the Covid campaign. It was early apparent to independent scientists that the virus was a manufactured one made in a laboratory and that the “vaccine” was more dangerous than the virus. The distinguished scientists who sounded the alarm were suppressed, deplatformed, fired, prosecuted, and stripped of medical licenses. Big Pharma was a modern day Lysenko, and the large part of the medical profession under Big Pharma’s control discredited distinguished scientists by branding them spreaders of disinformation. The useless media did no investigation.

The Cleveland Clinic has shown that the “vaccine” actually makes it easier to catch the virus, and the excess deaths on the heels of mass vaccination demonstrate the killing and health injury power of the Covid mRNA “vaccines.” Professors Angus Dalgleish and Paul Goddard have just published a book, The Death of Science. Big Pharma has taken over regulatory agencies such as FDA, NIH, CDC, and controls with research grants the findings published in medical journals and the curriculums of medical schools. The fraud is far more extensive than the fraud imposed by Lysenko. We are in danger of losing medical science altogether as the young entering the profession are Big Pharma indoctrinated. When older generations such as Dalgleish and Goddard pass, there will be none to take their place. Medical science will die with them.

Congress and medical schools can do nothing about it as both are dependent on Big Pharma’s money. Scientists are not always adept at speaking to the public. If you have any doubts that a deadly world-wide fraud was perpetrated in service to private agendas, read The Death of Science. This is my only posting for today. Because of its importance, I do not want to distract you with multiple offerings. Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, a world-renowned international trial lawyer who was leading an organized effort to hold Big Pharma accountable is sitting in a German prison detained on false charges orchestrated in order to stop a campaign that was nearing success. In other words, there is to be no more accountability for Big Pharma’s mass murder than there is for Israel’s mass murder of Palestinians. When mass murderers cannot be held accountable, what is the prospect for humanity?

Read more …

It’s almost funny.

Trump Says Georgia Case ‘Totally Compromised’ (ET)

Ms. Willis brought the case against President Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a law drafted to fight organized crime. The indictment accuses President Trump, and 18 others, of being part of a “criminal organization” that sought to overturn the Georgia results of the 2020 presidential election by unlawful means. “It’s illegal. What she did is illegal. So we’ll let the state handle that, but what a sad situation it is,” President Trump added.Ms. Willis’s office did not respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times, though a spokesperson for her office told media outlets that she would “respond through appropriate court filings.” Ms. Willis brought the case against President Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a law drafted to fight organized crime. The indictment accuses President Trump, and 18 others, of being part of a “criminal organization” that sought to overturn the Georgia results of the 2020 presidential election by unlawful means.

Mr. Roman, who faces seven charges in the Georgia election interference case, served on President Trump’s 2020 campaign as director of Election Day operations. In Monday’s court filing, Mr. Roman cited “discussions with individuals with knowledge” about Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade allegedly being “romantically involved” before the special prosecutor was brought onto the case by Ms. Willis. “Sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney have confirmed they had an ongoing, personal relationship during the pendency of the special prosecutor’s divorce proceedings,” states the filing, which also accuses Ms. Willis of bringing Mr. Wade on as a special counsel without obtaining proper government authorization. The filing further states that Mr. Wade allegedly had a “lack of relevant experience” although he was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the county.

Mr. Roman’s filing also accused Ms. Willis of having potentially committed “an act to defraud the public of honest services” due to what he called an “intentional failure” to disclose her alleged relationship with Mr. Wade, which she “personally benefitted from.” Records obtained by a local media outlet show that Mr. Wade was paid over $650,000 in legal fees since January 2022 and that the district attorney is the one who authorizes it. Mr. Roman’s filing alleges that checks sent to Mr. Wade from Fulton County and vacations that he purchased with Ms. Willis could amount honest services fraud, which is a federal crime.

“Willis has benefitted substantially and directly, and continues to benefit, from this litigation because Wade is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute this case on her behalf,” the filing states. Mr. Roman’s filing states that Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade could be prosecuted under a federal racketeering statute. Besides the public comments President Trump made on Tuesday in response to Mr. Roman’s filing, he also took to Truth Social to post that the case “should be immediately dropped” and that Ms. Willis should apologize. Earlier court filings by President Trump’s co-defendants have alleged that Mr. Wade’s work is “void as a matter of law” because he allegedly failed to file his oath of office paperwork in time to formally join Ms. Willis’ team.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Ad

 

 

Fave

 

 


Tiger and her cubs drinking from a creek in the forests of India. – Ricky Patel

 

 

Ocean

 

 

Cheetah

 

 


Most of you is 10 years old or less, because your cells are always renewing. The epidermis recycles every 2-4 weeks, red blood cells every 4 months, and your skeleton every 10 years.

 

 

Plastics water

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 092024
 


René Magritte Youth 1924

 

Ukraine Has Lost 500,000 Troops – Ex Prosecutor General (RT)
Ukraine May Resort to Printing Money if Western Cash Dries Up (Sp.)
Russia Must Be Asia’s Peace Maker (Hayes)
Poland Covered Up For Nord Stream Attackers – WSJ (RT)
Biden Refills Strategic Petroleum Reserve At Twice The Historic Average (Sp.)
Biden Is Asking For Mexican Help To Stop The Record Surge Of Migrants (NBC)
27 States File to Oppose Colorado’s Disqualification of Trump (Turley)
Donald Trump Will Attend Tuesday Arguments For Immunity Motion In J6 Case (PM)
Trump Co-Defendant: Improper Relationship Between Georgia DA, Prosecutor (NYP)
Musk Responds To WSJ ‘Hit Piece’ (RT)
Hunter Biden Contempt Resolutions Introduced In House (ZH)
Most Germans Want Scholz To Step Down – Poll (RT)
House Freedom Caucus Slams Speaker Johnson’s Proposed Spending Deal (JTN)
“It’s Okay to Be Fat” and Obesity Should be “Normalized” (MN)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Jan 6

 

 

Riveted
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744415213053522390

 

 

Biden plagiarism

 

 

“They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.”
– Tacitus

 

 

 

 

To achieve what?

Ukraine Has Lost 500,000 Troops – Ex Prosecutor General (RT)

Ukraine’s leaders should frankly admit that they have lost 500,000 service members since the start of the conflict with Russia, and that the monthly casualty rate is at around 30,000, former prosecutor general Yury Lutsenko has said. President Vladimir Zelensky’s goverment could convince reluctant citizens to join the fight by publicly admitting the heavy losses on the battlefield and declaring that the country’s very existence is in jeopardy, he believes. Ukrainians “must know how many have died, and then all debates about the mobilization will be settled,” he added. Speaking to the country’s media on Wednesday, the former official proposed a number of steps to address the draft-dodging and corruption that is hampering the country’s conscription efforts.

He suggested that new legislation must be introduced by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, the country’s defense minister, and top army general to emphasize the seriousness of the situation. “They should say how many Ukrainians have died. I know that this news will be received badly. But there is no other way to bring out of the comfort zone millions of those who hide behind bogus stories that everyone can serve except me,” Lutsenko said. According to Lutsenko, this “shock” would lead to large queues at recruitment offices, as had occurred in February 2022. Another important measure, according to the former official, would be the campaign to send members of the Ukrainian elite to the frontline.

“The army should not be all workers and peasants. Everyone should fight for Ukraine,” he stated, arguing that this would encourage ordinary citizens who he said have a very strong sense of justice. Zelensky said in December that the Ukrainian military had asked him to mobilize another 450,000 or 500,000 soldiers to make up for battlefield losses. Later that month, the government introduced a mobilization bill proposing to lower the recruitment age from 27 to 25 and eliminate exemptions for some categories of disabled people. The initiative comes after Ukraine launched a large counteroffensive in early June, which failed to gain any substantial ground. Moscow has described Kiev’s losses as catastrophic, estimating them at around 160,000 since the start of the push. Ukraine, however, has been reluctant to officially publish data on its casualties.

Ukr TV

Read more …

“The West reportedly pays for a whopping 70 percent of the Ukrainian government’s expenses..”

Ukraine May Resort to Printing Money if Western Cash Dries Up (Sp.)

The Wall Street Journal has crunched some numbers on the Ukrainian crisis and concluded that Ukraine might have to resort to drastic measures if Western support stops flowing. Pointing to “dwindling” Western financial assistance; lesser interest in continuing to fund the proxy crisis; and Russia outguning Ukraine militarily and economically, the outlet warned that “without sufficient support, Ukraine may have to resort to painful spending cuts or even printing money to fill its deficit” to keep the lights on and the war effort going. Such a policy “would pose a grave risk to the health of its economy,” the newspaper said, hinting at the danger of hyperinflation which traditionally hits countries that print money to try to fill budget gaps.

The analysis likewise showed that Russia’s military budget and weapons manufacturing capacity has expanded dramatically. On the other hand, Ukraine’s production has been stagnant since 2022 and today is “no match for a much larger Russian military-industrial complex running at full steam.” The study found, for example, that Russian forces are presently producing and using five times more shells than Ukraine on the front. Politically too, the paper’s analysis pointed to dropping support for the proxy war in both the US and Europe. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, there have been “some declines” in “trust levels” for President Zelensky’s government. Internal polling conducted late last year found Zelensky’s approval rating had sunk to just 32 percent.

US lawmakers have been wrangling with the White House over President Biden’s request to commit another $61 billion in military backing to Kiev. Ukrainian officials have admitted they “don’t have a plan B” if the support, which they insist is “not charity” but “an investment in the protection of NATO,” falls through. In Europe also, deliveries of fresh military and economic support have dropped dramatically in recent months, with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy’s Ukraine Support Tracker showing nearly a 90 percent drop in Western assistance overall between August and October 2023 compared to the same period a year earlier. Western officials have repeatedly warned that Ukraine would be “certain to fail” without a renewed IV drip of financial and military support – confirming nearly two years of statements by Russian officials that the NATO-backed regime would collapse without Western backing.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister warned last month that salary and pension delays were imminent if Western support was not immediately forthcoming. At the front, foreign mercenaries have reportedly been trickling out of the country after payments to them were halted and they found more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. The West reportedly pays for a whopping 70 percent of the Ukrainian government’s expenses, with Kiev racking up a record-high debt of $157 billion in 2023 – less than ten percent shy of the 100 percent of GDP mark. Debt is forecast to grow precipitously in the coming years, reaching up to $313 billion by 2028.

Read more …

“Contrary to what our Nazi-saluting, cat-strangling, welfare cheque-cashing friends in Kiev might think, there is no other power beside Russia in a position to get all sides in Asia to come together to cool things down..”

Russia Must Be Asia’s Peace Maker (Hayes)

Although China and its adversaries have a number of symmetric and asymmetric options available to them that range from Nordstream style no claim no blame attacks on hostile shipping to blowing up, in pre-emptive strikes, the Three Gorges Dam and thereby drowning the 1 billion or so Chinese unfortunates who live in the Lower Yanzgtse Valley, outside the lunatic asylums of Washington, most of those are not realistic choices. That said, China’s reaction to the results of Taiwan’s pending 13 January elections might bring unwanted fireworks to bear on what already is a tense tinderbox. Should William Lai Ching-te, the incumbent vice president and the candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), prevail over Hou Yu-ih from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Party, China will most likely spit the dummy again and launch massive military drills around the island or even grab Penghu Island as a sign it is serious about subjugating Taiwan.

Though China certainly carries a big stick, it doesn’t yet seem to grasp the notion that one should speak softly and only wave or use the stick as a last recourse. That is where the diplomats of Russia, which currently chairs the loose and untested BRIICS alliance, comes in. As a long standing ally of Vietnam, China and India, and as one which understands the nuanced goals of all three of those countries, Russia can bring a lot to the table. Not only did Russia help broker peace in the 1965 2nd Kashmir war between Pakistan and India but Russia fully understands that India and Vietnam both want strategic autonomy, and that neither will ever submit to being a vassal of a revanchist China. Taiwan currently leads the world in the crucial field of semiconductors and that is unlikely to change any time soon.

And nor is Taiwan’s status as, for Taiwan to revert to the 1683-1895 era when it paid tribute to the Qing Dynasty, would mean empowering China to annex the entire region as Imperial Japan did in late 1941 from its Taiwanese/Formosan base. Because Japan, India, Vietnam and even the Philippines cannot accept that, China is thereby opening up the door for NATO’s carrier groups and sundry other legacy defence systems and that is far from being an optimal state of affairs if peace and trade, rather than war and all it entails are the goals. There are two or even three ways out of this morass, only one of which is really acceptable. The first of these is to duke it out across the Taiwan Strait and every other strait or reef that is deemed important along the String of Pearls from Siberia to Somalia.

The second way is for China to goose step ahead with its neomercantalism until the global economy revolves around it and it alone. The third and best way is for the BRIICS and allied countries to take the opportunity Russia’s chairmanship of that group offers and chart some way through all the straits and reefs they might sink or run aground on. Contrary to what our Nazi-saluting, cat-strangling, welfare cheque-cashing friends in Kiev might think, there is no other power beside Russia in a position to get all sides in Asia to come together to cool things down. And, because there is still a pivotal role not only for diplomacy but for those like Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and his standing army of fellow Russian diplomats who retain those vital skills the West so stupidly jettisoned, there still mind be time to avoid this looming Armageddon of the Eastern Seas and all it entails.

Read more …

The story of the little yacht must be kept alive. It is used to cast doubt on US involvement.

Poland Covered Up For Nord Stream Attackers – WSJ (RT)

Polish officials have withheld evidence and attempted to stall an international probe into the bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, making investigators “suspicious of Warsaw’s role and motives,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas lines – which linked Russia with Germany through the Baltic Sea – were destroyed in a series of explosions near the Danish island of Bornholm in September 2022. A joint inquiry by Germany, Denmark, and Sweden is ongoing, with investigators theorizing that a Ukrainian team rented a yacht in Germany from a Polish company, which they used to transport explosives to the blast sites. When these alleged leads were chaned in Poland, investigators were stonewalled by government officials and law enforcement agents, the Journal reported, citing sources within the investigation.

Polish authorities failed to turn over testimony from eyewitnesses who allegedly encountered the yacht’s six-person crew in the Polish port of Kolobrzeg until pushed to do so by German police, the sources said. CCTV footage from the port was then withheld, and Poland’s internal security agency, the ABW, “failed to answer queries, obfuscated or gave contradictory information,” the newspaper stated. Polish prosecutors said they found no traces of explosives on the yacht, despite never having boarded it to check, the investigators claimed. The investigation would later find explosive residue on the vessel, according to media reports. The prosecutors reportedly told European investigators that the boat arrived in Kolobrzeg at 4pm September 19, when it actually moored seven hours earlier. Later in the investigation, the ABW told its sister agencies in Europe that the yacht “had links with Russian espionage,” the newspaper reported, adding that investigators considered this “disinformation.”

According to all available information, no Western governments or intelligence agencies suspect that Russia was behind the bombings. Gas sold to Europe via the Nord Stream lines was a lucrative source of revenue for Moscow, and was seen as a powerful instrument of leverage for the Kremlin. Poland’s efforts to hinder the investigators have made them “increasingly suspicious of Warsaw’s role and motives,” the Wall Street Journal noted. All of the alleged misdirection and obfuscation took place under Poland’s previous government, however, and unnamed “senior European officials” told the newspaper that they are considering contacting Poland’s new prime minister, Donald Tusk, in the hope that he will grant them access to police and security personnel who may have previously been pressured to stay silent.

According to an alternate theory put forward by American journalist Seymour Hersh, the CIA was responsible for the Nord Stream blasts. Citing sources within the intelligence community, Hersh argued that CIA divers working with the Norwegian Navy planted remotely-triggered bombs on the lines last summer, using a NATO exercise in the region as cover. Bolstering this theory was a tweet by former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who within hours of the explosions shared an image of a giant gas leak at the blast site along with the caption “Thank you, USA.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed this explanation, stating last month that the sabotage operation “was done, most likely, by the Americans or someone at their instruction.”

Read more …

“They could have picked up several hundred million barrels at $15, but because it was what President Trump wanted, Congress said no..”

“..it will take a whopping 75 months to bring the SPR back to the level at which it was before US President Joe Biden started draining it..”

“..the Biden administration is buying oil at twice the historic average to replenish the SPR..”

Biden Refills Strategic Petroleum Reserve At Twice The Historic Average (Sp.)

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is currently buying three million barrels a month to refill the nation’s SPR in the wake of Joe Biden’s release of over 225 million barrels of oil between March 2022 and August 2023, dumping levels in the reserve to the lowest in 40 years. Tim Stewart, president of the US Oil and Gas Association, alleges that Team Biden is doing nothing short of damage control ahead of the 2024 election given that the nation’s depleted SPR has recently become the public’s concern. “Prior to 2022, the average person knew nothing about the SPR. That has completely changed. When the lovely 75-year-old blue-haired lady at church complains to me how Biden has drained the SPR – they must have caught the public’s attention,” Stewart told Just the News, an independent US media outlet founded by award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon.

Apparently, the Biden administration would have bought “refill barrels” at a greater pace, but it is facing limits on how much crude can be funneled into the reserve per month. That means it will take a whopping 75 months to bring the SPR back to the level at which it was before US President Joe Biden started draining it. To sweeten the pill, the US administration triumphantly claims that it is buying oil for the SPR at an average price of $77.31 per barrel, which is considerably below the average of $95 per barrel it was in 2022. Per Stewart, it’s by no means “a good deal for American taxpayers”: one should bear in mind that the average price paid per barrel in the SPR has been $29.70 per barrel, the expert pointed out. It appears that the Biden administration is guided by its own political interests rather than those of the nation.

It began draining the SPR in spring of 2022, ahead of the midterm election: at the time gasoline prices went up and American voters were not happy with that. Still, Just the News failed to mention that the hike in prices was partially caused by Team Biden’s energy sanctions slapped on Russia over Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine. If one digs deeper, one would learn that the special military operation started after the Biden administration snubbed Moscow’s draft security agreement aimed at safeguarding Europe’s peace, protecting Russia’s borders and restoring the balance of forces vis-à-vis NATO. Now, the Biden administration is buying oil at twice the historic average to replenish the SPR before the 2024 presidential election in a bid to look good in the eyes of the US voters.

The crux of the matter is that the US administration and the Democratic Party in general may have avoided this tricky situation ahead of the election if it had green-lighted Donald Trump’s initiative to fill the SPR at the time when oil prices were extremely low, per Stewart. Back in 2020, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, then US President Donald Trump moved to buy oil for the SPR when West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices were under $25 per barrel. Trump requested $3 billion from the US Congress to jump at this lucrative opportunity, but Democratic lawmakers nipped the president’s endeavor in the bud. Per Just the News, Democratic lawmakers bragged at the time that they had “eliminated a $3 billion bailout for big oil.” “They could have picked up several hundred million barrels at $15, but because it was what President Trump wanted, Congress said no,” Stewart told the media outlet.

Read more …

At the same time that they’re suing Texas for trying to… “Stop The Record Surge Of Migrants..”

Biden Is Asking For Mexican Help To Stop The Record Surge Of Migrants (NBC)

The Biden administration is increasingly leaning on Mexico to curb the record flow of migrants crossing into the U.S., but Mexico has its own lists of ambitious asks for the U.S., say officials from both governments familiar with the discussions. Previous measures taken by the Biden administration to stem the migrant surge have led to only temporary dips in the numbers, and in late December, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken went to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to ask for greater assistance. Those conversations were “preliminary,” the officials said, and did not result in hard promises from either side. In a press conference on Friday, López Obrador called on the U.S. to approve a plan that would deploy $20 billion to Latin American and Caribbean countries, suspend the U.S. blockade of Cuba, remove all sanctions against Venezuela and grant at least 10 million Hispanics living in the U.S. the right to remain and work legally.

All of those are extremely tall demands of an administration headed into a re-election campaign that may hinge on how firmly Biden is able to get control of the southern U.S. border, which saw a record 300,000 migrants processed by Customs and Border Protection in December. Responding to those requests, a senior Biden administration official told NBC News that AMLO, as López Obrador is commonly called, “has a very ambitious agenda. For some of these things, we would need Congress to act. We share the vision that we need to lift up the region.” The two countries are expected to continue talks in Washington later this month. Mexico brings significant leverage to the negotiations, the U.S. and Mexican officials said. López Obrador’s administration would prefer that President Joe Biden win re-election in November, given Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions during his time in office.

But Biden is quickly running out of options to fix a problem that is driving down his poll numbers without increased support from Mexico, three U.S. officials told NBC News. On Capitol Hill, negotiations over border security measures between Republicans and Democrats continue into their second month with no clear breakthrough. And new asylum policies introduced by the Biden administration in May failed to deter migrants, as evidenced by the record surge. To bring the numbers down, the Biden administration needs Mexico to let it push more non-Mexican immigrants back across the U.S. southern border, as the U.S. was able to do through early 2023. During the Covid pandemic, the Trump and Biden administrations used a public health order known as Title 42 to push migrants back into Mexico without an asylum screening. During that policy, which ended in May, Mexico took back migrants over 1 million times each year for three years. Under current policies, Mexico has agreed to take back 30,000 migrants per month, but that is only 10% of December’s tally.

Read more …

“.. The Western elites have become a symbol of total, unprincipled lies.”

DC Has Resurrected the Specter of Nuclear Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)

The US and Israel have isolated themselves as the two most evil governments on earth. By complying with Washington’s foreign policy, the European puppet governments find themselves despised by their citizens. Eleven months ago Russia’s president Vladimir Putin described the West to the Russian Federal Assembly: “They behaved just as shamelessly and duplicitously when destroying Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. They will never be able to wash off this shame. The concepts of honor, trust, and decency are not for them. Over the long centuries of colonialism, diktat and hegemony, they got used to being allowed everything. They grew accustomed to spitting on the whole world.

“It turned out that they treat people living in their own countries with the same disdain, like a master. They cynically deceived them too, tricked them with tall stories about the search for peace, about adherence to the UN Security Council resolutions on Donbass. The Western elites have become a symbol of total, unprincipled lies.” It took Russian politicians and journalists a long time to recover from their delusion that with the demise of communism the world was a community governed by agreed-upon rules. Many Russian intellectuals and journalists had an idealized picture of the United States which kept the Russian government off balance in understanding Washington’s intentions toward Russia. How else to explain Russia’s lack of preparedness when Washington overthrew the elected government of Ukraine and when Georgia invaded South Ossetia?

As Putin now understands, the consequences of the Russian government’s mistaken expectation of fair and honorable relations with the West have been severe. Unless the West’s degradation results in collapse, war is inevitable. American and European peoples have no impact on their governments who serve the agendas of the financially powerful. Now that the West has demonstrated for all to see that the West suffers no shame from participation in genocide, even the most westernized Russians are likely to keep a safe distance from Washington’s snares. Now that the West has completely shattered the trust built during the Soviet era, the threat of nuclear Armageddon again holds sway over the Earth. In the face of this threat, all other threats recede into nothingness.

Read more …

“The attorneys general of Indiana, West Virginia and 25 other states, warn the court that this novel theory will produce “chaos” in the country.”

27 States File to Oppose Colorado’s Disqualification of Trump (Turley)

The majority of Americans oppose the decisions in Colorado and Maine to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot. Other polls put the balance slightly in favor, but all polls show a deeply divided country on this effort. The Maine decision will now be reviewed by the Maine state courts, but the Colorado decision is scheduled for oral argument in a matter of weeks. A reversal of the Colorado decision is now supported by 27 states, which filed with the Supreme Court to oppose the underlying theory under the Fourteenth Amendment. It is relatively rare to see states opposing the expansion of their own authority vis-a-vis Congress. The brief reinforces the view of states like Colorado as outliers in the country in embracing this anti-democratic theory. The attorneys general of Indiana, West Virginia and 25 other states, warn the court that this novel theory will produce “chaos” in the country.

“The Colorado Supreme Court has cast itself into a ‘political thicket,’ Evenwel v. Abbott, 578 U.S. 54, 58, (2016), and it is now up to this Court to pull it out. ‘Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy.’ Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1, 4 (2006) (per curiam). If the Colorado decision stands, that critical confidence will be harmed. Many Americans will become convinced that a few partisan actors have contrived to take a political decision out of ordinary voters’ hands.” Advocates are pushing this dangerous theory at a time of deepening divisions in our country. As I have previously said, the four Colorado justices are recklessly throwing matches at a powder keg. That is why I am hopeful that at least one of the liberal justices will follow the lead of the three democratically appointed Colorado justices, who dissent from this anti-democratic decision.

Read more …

Federal appeals court.

Donald Trump Will Attend Tuesday Arguments For Immunity Motion In J6 Case (PM)

Former President Donald Turmp will be attending Tuesday’s arguments regarding his presidential immunity motion in the Jan. 6 case being led by Jack Smith. In a post to Truth Social, Trump made the announcement that he would be attending the arguments come Tuesday.

Read more …

Crazy story of the day.

Trump Co-Defendant: Improper Relationship Between Georgia DA, Prosecutor (NYP)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had an “improper” and “clandestine” relationship with the married special prosecutor who assisted in securing the Georgia grand jury indictment against former President Donald Trump, a co-defendant in the election interference case alleged Monday. The bombshell court filing made by former Trump 2020 campaign official Michael Roman argues that Willis should be disqualified from the case and the charges against him dropped because “the district attorney chose to appoint her romantic partner, who at all times relevant to this prosecution has been a married man” to the case.

Roman contends that Nathan Wade, a private attorney with the Atlanta-based Wade & Campbell Firm, used some of the nearly $654,000 in legal fees that he’s been compensated for by the Fulton County DA’s office for his work on the Trump case to take Willis on lavish vacations to “Napa Valley, California, Florida and the Caribbean.” “Mr. Roman … moves the Court for an order disqualifying the district attorney, her office, and the special prosecutor from further prosecuting the instant matter on the grounds that the district attorney and the special prosecutor have been engaged in an improper, clandestine personal relationship during the pendency of this case, which has resulted in the special prosecutor, and, in turn, the district attorney, profiting significantly from this prosecution at the expense of the taxpayers,” the 127-page filing states.

“Accordingly, the district attorney and the special prosecutor have violated laws regulating the use of public monies, suffer from irreparable conflicts of interest, and have violated their oaths of office under the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct and should be disqualified from prosecuting this matter,” it continues. Roman’s filing claims that “sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney” have confirmed that Willis and Wade had an ongoing fling, and that Wade filed for divorce in Cobb County, Ga., “a day after his first contract with Willis commenced” in November 2021. “In addition, the district attorney and the special prosecutor have been seen in private together (in a personal relationship capacity) in and about the Atlanta area and believed to have co-habited in some form or fashion at a location that neither of them owned,” the filing alleges.


Read more …

“@WSJ is not fit to line a parrot cage for bird,” he concluded, adding a “poop” emoji.”

Musk Responds To WSJ ‘Hit Piece’ (RT)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hit back at the Wall Street Journal in a post on his X platform (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, a day after the paper published a lengthy article detailing company executives’ purported concerns over his use of illegal drugs. Referring to an infamous 2018 interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, during which Musk smoked marijuana on camera, the Tesla tycoon explained: “after that one puff with Rogan, I agreed, at NASA’s request, to do 3 years of random drug testing. Not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol.” “@WSJ is not fit to line a parrot cage for bird,” he concluded, adding a “poop” emoji.

In its article, headlined: “Elon Musk Has Used Illegal Drugs, Worrying Leaders at Tesla and SpaceX,” the Journal claimed multiple company executives and board members at both companies were concerned that what they viewed as Musk’s erratic behavior was caused by the use of illegal drugs. These supposedly included not only the cannabis he was seen smoking with Rogan, but also ketamine – for which he has claimed to have a legal prescription – LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms. Musk’s brother Kimbal and at least one current SpaceX board member reportedly took drugs with Musk, though it was not stated whether they were among those supposedly concerned about the billionaire’s habits. Musk has allegedly used drugs at “private parties around the world,” where attendees were made to sign non-disclosure agreements or turn in their phones.

While “people close to Musk” were said to be “concerned [his drug use] could cause a health crisis,” the Journal focused more on the potential implications for his businesses, specifically the fate of $14 billion in government contracts enjoyed by SpaceX. “Drug abuse” – the use of controlled or illegal substances “in a manner that deviates from approved medical direction” – could jeopardize Musk’s security clearance and would violate federal contractor requirements. Following the Rogan incident, SpaceX randomly deployed drug-sniffing dogs on company property and executives “began warning employees to follow company rules at all times, including to not use illegal drugs even outside of the office,” insider sources told the WSJ.

Despite focusing on drugs, the report acknowledged that even those concerned about Musk’s behavior were not sure whether to attribute it to substance use or other issues like his “consistent lack of sleep,” being on the autism spectrum, or (self-diagnosed) bipolar disorder. Few investors complained about his behavior when his companies were performing as well as they were in recent years, it admitted. Musk fans on X have condemned the “hit piece,” which think-tank director Jeffrey Tucker decried as “the kind of vicious thing you would expect to see in East Germany or the old Soviet Union.”

Read more …

“..by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland.”

Hunter Biden Contempt Resolutions Introduced In House (ZH)

House Republicans on Monday introduced contempt resolutions against Hunter Biden, recommending that he be held in Contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoenas and appear for testimony in front of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees on Dec. 13. Hunter, who was handsomely compensated for doing nothing on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma (right before his father strong armed the Ukrainians into firing their chief prosecutor – who was investigating Burisma), skipped out on his closed-door deposition, and instead said he would only appear for public testimony – where questions would be far more limited. According to the committees, “Biden has violated federal law, and must be held in contempt of Congres.”

The committees said they want to get information from Hunter Biden to determine whether his father, President Joe Biden, was involved in any bribery schemes, abused his positions of political power as president or vice president, or knowingly participated in any scheme to enrich himself or his family, including through contact with foreign entities. -Just the News. As Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley noted in December; “Few people expected Hunter to testify in the deposition. The evidence against him is overwhelming, as shown in his second federal indictment on tax charges. He and his uncles were allegedly engaged in one of the largest influence-peddling operations in history involving millions of dollars from various foreign sources. Hunter simply could have done what prior witnesses have done: Go in and take the Fifth. That is what attorney and former IRS official Lois Lerner did — twice — when House Republicans wanted to ask her about the Obama administration targeting conservative groups.”

It was a no-brainer that someone appears to have radically over-thought on the Hunter Biden legal team. Hunter can now be held in contempt of Congress. That will force the hand of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who aggressively pursued Trump figures for contempt, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Despite some of us writing to the contrary, Bannon claimed his lawyers told him he did not have to appear before a House committee. He was swiftly charged and convicted by Garland’s prosecutors. In this instance, the contempt case would go to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Matthew Graves, who previously declined to assist in bringing tax charges against the president’s son. Yet by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland.

Read more …

Sounds like Biden: “Bild described Scholz as “the most unpopular chancellor of all time.”

Most Germans Want Scholz To Step Down – Poll (RT)

Public support for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has fallen to record lows, the tabloid Bild reported on Monday, citing a fresh survey conducted by the INSA polling institute. Almost two-thirds of Germans want him to resign before the next federal election, scheduled for October 2025, the data suggests. As many as 64% of respondents told INSA that Scholz should vacate his position and hand it over to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who is a fellow Social Democrat. Less than a quarter of Germans opposed that prospect. Scholz would also lose an election versus any of his major rivals, the poll showed. Only 23% of Germans would support the current chancellor against Friedrich Merz, the leader of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Merz himself would enjoy the backing of 26% of voters.

Should Scholz face off against Markus Soeder, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) – the traditional CDU ally in Bavaria – Soeder would secure a clear victory with 36% to 20%. Pistorius would claim a narrow victory against Merz with 25% to 23%, but would still lose to Soeder 25% to 34%, the survey said. Under German law, the chancellor is confirmed by MPs on the proposal of the federal president. Soeder currently serves as governor of Germany’s most populous state and is known for his criticism of Scholz’s policies. In November, he warned that Germany was in a “serious crisis,” particularly slamming the chancellor’s cabinet over its budget and police failures, adding that the “government has gone bankrupt.” The Bavarian politician also criticized the federal government’s strategy of using only subsidies to combat price hikes resulting from forgoing Russian energy supplies. He also criticized Berlin for, as he said, prioritizing military aid to Ukraine over the nation’s own security.

The INSA poll showed that Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) had the support of just 16% of Germans, 15 percentage points behind the CDU and seven percentage points behind the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Scholz has been losing public support for quite some time. In early December, a YouGov poll showed that 74% of Germans believed he was doing a poor job as chancellor, with only 20% seeing his performance in a positive light. As many as 73% said they were unhappy with his entire cabinet. Some 77% said they placed little or no trust in the way Scholz is governing Germany. Even among SPD supporters, this figure reached 60%. Later in the month, Der Spiegel reported that Scholz’s personal approval had slipped to just 30%, down from 44% in June 2023. On Monday, Bild described Scholz as “the most unpopular chancellor of all time.”

Read more …

“This is total failure.”

House Freedom Caucus Slams Speaker Johnson’s Proposed Spending Deal (JTN)

The conservative House Freedom Caucus slammed House Speaker Mike Johnson’s proposed top-line spending deal with Senate Democrats as a “total failure,” arguing the potential agreement costs about $68 billion more than the Louisiana Republican said it would.Johnson told members of Congress on Sunday that he reached a $1.590 trillion spending deal with the Senate and White House, but the Freedom Caucus slammed the proposal later that evening in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s even worse than we thought,” the caucus wrote. “Don’t believe the spin. Once you break through typical Washington math, the true total programmatic spending level is $1.658 trillion — not $1.59 trillion. This is total failure.”

At the end of last month, the Freedom Caucus released a statement titled, “House GOP’s New Year Resolution Must Be Cutting Spending,” which stated that the U.S. is “on the path to fiscal ruin” but that Congress has “done little to force a course correction from this calamity.” With a slim Republican majority, the 45-member Freedom Caucus holds a significant amount of sway in the 435-member House, and most recently played an integral role in deciding the House speaker. Now, the House needs to pass a deal before government funding completely expires on Feb. 2.

Johnson

Read more …

“The medical field is determined to kill whatever shred of credibility it still has left. And it is succeeding.”

“It’s Okay to Be Fat” and Obesity Should be “Normalized” (MN)

A doctor at Cedars-Sinai posted a TikTok video saying “it is okay to be fat,” and that being fat “needs to be normalized,” despite obesity-related diseases being the biggest killer in America. Yes, really. “Here’s my hot take as a doctor, I totally agree, it is okay to be fat, we don’t say that enough, but it needs to be normalized,” remarked Dr. Nicole Vangroningen. Vangroningen went on to claim that being fat is “typically not a problem that requires immediate solving.” Presumably, it only needs “solving” once an obese person has developed numerous fat-related diseases that greatly increase their risk of dying. Perhaps even more ludicrously, the doctor said “it is okay to not be healthy,” suggesting that people who suggest otherwise are engaging in “healthism,” adding “a good doctor will not judge you for being fat, they will not judge you for being unhealthy.”

Vangroningen completely removes any responsibility from the equation, telling potential patients, “We are also here to help you if you decide to not make any changes at all”. God forbid anyone end up under her “care”. According to the CDC, “In the United States and worldwide, obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death, including deaths from diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.” “We now have doctors speaking out against “healthism,” commented Matt Walsh. “The medical field is determined to kill whatever shred of credibility it still has left. And it is succeeding.” As we document in the video below, the ‘body positivity’ movement has been triumphed by the culture and the establishment despite literally killing some of its leading advocates.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Picnic

 

 

Gorilla mom

 

 

Orchestra

 

 

Microlight

 

 


Reminder that experiencing awe quite literally improves your health.
Awe, which has only been studied properly in the last two decades, has been shown to:
• Reduce stress
• Trigger the release of oxytocin
• Lower levels of inflammatory cytokines

Being made to feel small (experiencing “self-diminishment”) even quells our negative self-talk, by deactivating the part of the cortex involved with how we perceive ourselves. Through awe we become less attuned to ourselves and more attuned to the wider world. Dacher Keltner at UC Berkeley said: “We are at this cultural moment of narcissism and self-shame and criticism and entitlement; awe gets us out of that.” Neuroscientists define awe it as the emotional response to something vast that defies (and changes) our existing frame of reference of something.

What’s one way to experience it? Travel to your nearest cathedral and gaze upwards. Gothic architecture was built for this very purpose – through maximum height and maximum light. Achieving this at vast scale was a critical breakthrough by medieval engineers, who pioneered the flying buttresses, the pointed arch, and various other innovations which made taller and thinner walls possible. Those builders also believed that light itself was divine, and that when it poured in through the great windows it elevated one’s consciousness to the heavens. As English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge said: “The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.”

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 152023
 


Vincent van Gogh Seine with Pont de Clichy 1887

 

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)
Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)
Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)
US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)
Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)
Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)
400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)
Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)
What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)
Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)
Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)
That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)
Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)
Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

 

 

 

 

Pepe Putin

 

 

Trump Israel

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

Kory

 

 

 

 

“A tower of babel is not a nation..”

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)

Globalists, who intend the destruction of sovereign nations, have labeled concerns with mass immigration to be racism as a way of discrediting the concerns and preventing discussion of the threat. Immigrant-invaders, or as the euphemisms “refugees” and “asylum seekers” label them, are used to overwhelm ethnic nationalities and turn them into towers of babel in which there are no common interests, values, morals, religion, or culture. A tower of babel is not a nation. At best it is a geographical location, but it is not even that if it has no borders, which the US and Europe do not have. Advocates of open borders say that the US is a nation of immigrants. But they don’t say that it was controlled immigration consisting of immigrants from white European countries who as a condition of admittance had to learn English, pass an exam on the US Constitution, and integrate themselves into the existing society and culture.

They were not allowed to set up separate cultures, and businesses answered the phone only in English. Additionally, the immigration was periodically halted in order to allow time for assimilation before accepting more immigrants. Today millions of non-white people from unrelated cultures walk across the border every year. Businesses answer telephones in Spanish and English. Federal agencies respond to 40 or more foreign languages. Separate cultures with non-Christian religions exist as independent entities, and a system of preferences that favors non-white people has been institutionalized. In other words the society, politics, and culture of the ethnic nationalities that created what formerly was a nation are being erased. In education, health care, business, and government power is passing out of the hands of the ethnic majority that created the nation.

Great Britain has an Indian prime minister. The London mayor is a Muslim. Recently two federal judges born in India ruled against President Trump, a ruling that violates both the Constitution and powers of the President. The CEO of IBM, Arvind Krishna is an Indian. He pulled IBM ads from X, accusing Elon Musk of racism, and he announced that he will fire, demote, or strip bonuses from IBM managers who don’t hire enough blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims, or who hire too many Asians and whites. The communications director of Red Hat, an IBM subsidiary, said that Red Hat had terminated employees because they weren’t willing to engage in racial discrimination through hiring and promotion quotas. Hiring, promotion, and “inclusion” quotas are violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and they are unconstitutional under the US Constitution and its amendments, such as the 14th.

But notice that the Indian running IBM has no hesitancy about using his power to force IBM executives and managers to violate US law and Constitution in order to advance “preferred minorities” at the expense of members of the white ethnic majority and Asians. This is what happens when a nation ceases to require assimilation. The CEO of IBM is an unassimilated immigrant who has no respect for US law or the US Constitution. An article by Ian Henderson in Chronicles magazine in July, 2022, showed that, unlike Western governments, both Russia and China protect the ethnic culture from immigrants and prevent cultural destruction by Woke ideologues and moral destruction by sexual perverts. Henderson points out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “strongly upholds traditional views on gender roles, race, sexuality, and family—more so than the Republican Party or mainstream conservatives in America.

A major example of China’s conservatism is the CCP’s view on LGBTQ rights. Same-sex couples are unable to marry or adopt, and households headed by such couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples, and no anti-discrimination protections exist for LGBTQ people. Contrast these policies with the views of mainstream American conservatism, which now seems deeply committed to gay marriage, an institution enthusiastically endorsed by the likes of National Review and the National Conservatism Conference.” “In short, Chinese leaders seek to promote masculinity and strength, and to uphold and expand their inherited Han civilization. They feel they cannot do that with homosexuals, transgenders, or feminists running government institutions and the military—or even exerting influence over forms of entertainment.”

Read more …

“[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves…”

Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)

Russia has been trying for decades to build normal relations with Ukraine “at any cost,” but this was made impossible after the coup d’etat in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live marathon press conference on Thursday. The president was asked if he could foresee a normalization of relations with the West in the near future. Putin responded by stressing that Russia has never tried to intentionally ruin or sever ties with any nation. Instead, it was the West that spoiled relations with Russia by constantly trying to push the country aside and neglecting its national interests, Putin said.The culmination of that was the coup d’etat in Ukraine that was staged by Russia’s geopolitical “opponents” in 2014, which has ultimately led to the current situation, according to the president.

Putin described the ongoing conflict as a “great tragedy” that is essentially a “civil war” between brothers. He stressed that at their core, in spite of the current hostilities, Russians and Ukrainians are one people. The president noted that Moscow always had good relations with southeast Ukraine, which tended to be pro-Russian because these territories had historically belonged to Russia. “But after the coup d’etat of 2014, it became clear to us that we would no longer be allowed, by force, to build any sort of normal relations with Ukraine,” Putin said, recalling that the US had publicly admitted to spending $5 billion dollars on overthrowing the government of Ukraine.

That, coupled with NATO’s “uncontrollable desire to creep towards our borders” by inviting Ukraine into the bloc, and the eight-year-long bloodbath in Donbass, has ultimately led to the tragedy that is currently unfolding, Putin summarized. “So how are we supposed to build relations with them?” asked the Russian president, noting that the West has continued to pretend like it doesn’t remember doing any of the aforementioned things, only occasionally admitting that it was signing deals – such as the Minsk Accords, which were meant to be a path towards peace – with their fingers crossed behind their back. “[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves.

Read more …

“Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)

The issue of Ukraine’s denazification remains relevant, after the head of the Kiev administration applauded a former SS soldier in a manifestation of Nazism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his combined Direct Line Q&A session and year-end press conference. “Here is what is happening in terms of denazification. During the negotiation process, which had a certain phase after the drafting of a possible agreement, as officials in Kiev mentioned recently, in general, they did not agree that some kind of denazification was needed, saying that there was no fascistization, no increase in such sentiments,” the president said. “Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

“When the head of the current Kiev administration, in front of the whole world, stands up to applaud a former SS soldier, who was directly involved in the Holocaust, the extermination of one and a half million Jews in Ukraine, Russians and Poles, stands up to applaud, is this not a manifestation of Nazism?” Putin said. “So the issue of denazification, it is relevant. It is true that during the negotiation process we were told that in principle they do not exclude the possibility of adopting some legislative acts in Ukraine. But that was then, during the talks in Istanbul.” Speaking about the goal of Ukraine’s demilitarization, the president said certain parameters had been agreed upon in 2022 during the talks in Istanbul. “It’s just that these agreements were later tossed out,” he said. “But we did agree on that. There are other options either to agree or to achieve this by force. This is what we will strive for,” Putin said.

Read more …

“..Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” ..

US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)

The US was responsible for orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovich and ultimately led to the current conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He added that Washington “needed to create a conflict” for its own purposes. Speaking during a marathon Q&A session on Thursday, Putin said the US “plotted and organized everything” while European leaders “silently watched” and pretended they were not aware of what was happening. As a result, Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” since then. Following the 2014 coup, the then-Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, known as Donbass, refused to accept the new government, which increasingly embraced nationalist ideology, and proclaimed their independence instead. Kiev responded with a violent military campaign that prompted a years-long conflict.

The Russian leader went on to accuse the West of having a short memory, pointing to the 2015 Minsk agreements, which were brokered by Russia, Germany and France and were designed to end the hostilities. The West had “no intention” of implementing the agreements, which Putin said were “signed and immediately forgotten.” Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron later admitted that the agreements were a strategic ploy aimed at buying Ukraine more time to prepare for a conflict with Russia. In an interview with CNN in 2015, then-US President Barack Obama also openly admitted that the US had “brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.”

In September 2022, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the parts of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions under Russian control, voted to join Russia in a referendum which Ukraine and its Western backers denounced as illegitimate. Moscow has insisted that Kiev must recognize this “new territorial reality” as a prerequisite for any peace talks. Despite receiving a constant flow of weapons and aid from its Western backers since the current conflict broke out in February 2022, Kiev’s six-month counteroffensive against Russia has failed to yield significant results and Ukraine has lost some 125,000 military personnel and 6,000 pieces of heavy equipment since the beginning of June, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Read more …

“..Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately..”

Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)

At his big year-end presser on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia were among the only defenders of national interests left in the West. Sputnik reached out to a leading Hungarian foreign policy analyst for his take on Putin’s remarks. Vladimir Putin dismissed the characterization the leaders of Hungary and Slovakia as “pro-Russian.” “I have already said many times before that they are not ‘pro-Russian’ politicians, but rather pro-national – they defend their [national] interests. There are no others like this, they simply don’t exist…[This is] tied to a great dependence on ‘Big Brother,’ on the United States,” the Russian president said.

“I completely agree with President Putin. I have been saying for a long time that when Orban’s opponents reproach him for being ‘pro-Russian,’ this is just a label, nothing more. Orban proceeds from Hungarian national interests,” Gabor Stier, a senior foreign policy analyst at Magyar Nemzet, a leading Hungarian conservative daily newspaper, told Sputnik. “And I would add not just about Hungarian interests, but on some issues European interests. It’s a pity that Europeans and European politicians, especially the leaders of the European Union, do not proceed from European interests,” Stier added. The foreign affairs observer also agreed with Putin’s Europe’s dependence on its American “big brother,” saying the EU in its current form has become a “vassal of America, unfortunately.”

As an example, Stier pointed to the frantic drive by Brussels to try to incorporate Ukraine into the bloc, notwithstanding the threat to its own stability and well-being. “Whether Ukraine is ready or not is not something that needs to be explained to a normal person. The European Union is not ready either. Because if this expansion occurs earlier than in 15 years, it will deepen frictions within the European Union. The European Union is not ready economically, politically, and so on. That makes Orban a pragmatist, who proceeds from national interests on many issues, and from European interests on many issues. Orban is not destroying Europe. Orban wants to see a strong Europe. Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately,” the observer said. Fico is “similar to Orban,” even if he’s not prepared to so openly clash with Brussels’ bureaucracy, in Stier’s estimation. “This means he’s ready for more compromises, but mainly he proceeds from Slovak interest,” the analyst stressed.

Read more …

“..Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser.”

Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Vladimir Putin defends his country’s sovereignty at every step, while Volodymyr Zelensky has allowed Ukraine to become a compliant tool of a West “willing to sacrifice that nation, its solders, and its people on a battlefield where they will get nothing but death and destruction,” Scott Ritter has underscored. President Vladimir Putin cares about the Russian people, soldiers, and nation, and therein lies the profound difference between his approach to the current conflict, and that of Ukraine’s President, the former US Marine Corps intelligence officer told Sputnik. “For a country like Russia, the existence, simply the existence of our country, without sovereignty is impossible,” Putin said during the joint “Direct Line” Q&A session and annual press conference on Thursday. “The primary objective is to bolster Russia’s sovereignty, fortify border security, and safeguard the rights and freedoms of [our] citizens,” the president remarked.

The present reality clearly demonstrates the very different approach to the Ukraine conflict shown by Russia, on the one hand, and the US, its allies in the West, on the other. “If you engage in an armed conflict, there will be consequences, there will be dead, wounded, but it’s incumbent upon the government, the state to prevent unnecessarily casualties of war,” said Ritter. Here lies the “secret” of the Russian approach, he added, as Putin has shown he is always prepared to put the interests of the Russian people, and Russia’s soldiers first and foremost. Volodymyr Zelensky, in contrast, instead of accepting the generous terms set forth by Moscow that could have saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers, yielded to the pressure put on him by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, other Western leaders, who said, ‘Don’t accept peace terms,’ and ‘continue the conflict’.

It was evident that it was physically impossible for the Ukrainian army to defeat Russia’s military, yet this is the premise that Zelensky “bought into” when he accepted Western military assistance… However, the question is: to what end? “Was this to serve Ukraine’s interests, or the interests of the West?” Scott Ritter mused. “Zelensky is not about serving the people of his own country… He allowed Ukraine’s sovereignty to be subordinated to NATO, EU, and US interests. The conflict has no consideration for Ukraine, and every consideration for the Western interests,” the pundit pointed out. Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser. Indeed, as the West continues to funnel billions-worth of military aid to Kiev, despite the botched counteroffensive and enormous human casualties, Ukraine’s soldiers are little more than “pawns to be sacrificed on a geopolitical chessboard where the West is only looking out for their interests.”

Read more …

“I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone..”

Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)

Russia has deployed more than half a million service members, including many volunteers, in the combat zone of the Ukraine conflict, President Vladimir Putin has revealed. Speaking during his Q&A session on Thursday, the Russian leader was asked to comment on complaints that military volunteers often rely on aid fundraised by their fellow citizens rather than on state support. Putin emphasized that supplies provided by the government account for 99% of all assistance, but noted that Moscow welcomes and will in no way hinder pure-hearted efforts to provide Russian soldiers with various types of equipment and supplies. Still, he admitted that there could be a lack of specialized high-tech hardware, such as electronic warfare equipment, at a given time and place, and promised to look into the matter.

I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone … So, of course, there could be some problems in some places. According to Putin, 244,000 of those in the combat zone are troops that were called up when Russia announced partial mobilization in September 2022. They were deployed in a bid to stabilize the situation, protect new territories, and conduct further offensives. At the time, Moscow mobilized 300,000 troops. However, Putin said that 41,000 had since been discharged for health reasons, or after reaching the maximum age. Moscow has repeatedly denied it plans to announce a second wave of mobilization, with the Russian president explaining that there was no need for such a move. Instead, Russia is relying on a steady stream of volunteers willing to sign contracts with the military.

Putin noted that the authorities had signed up some 486,000 soldiers in this large-scale recruitment campaign, adding that more are ready to enlist. However, he did not say how many of them have been deployed to the front, are undergoing training, or are stationed elsewhere. Commenting on the battlefield situation, Putin remarked that Russian troops “to say it humbly, are improving their positions” along the entire frontline. He also said that Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive – which began in early June – has been a complete failure, with no territorial gains. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu earlier this month estimated Kiev’s losses at more than 125,000 troops since the start of the push.

Read more …

8-to-1 ratio.

400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)

Estimates of Ukrainians killed in action (KIA) range from a low of just over 30,000 to a high of over 400,000. Obviously, these two estimates can’t be reconciled. And it really, really matters to the people of Ukraine which one is closer to the truth. While 30,000 deaths is tragic, anything approaching 400,000 KIA and the accompanying hundreds of thousands of causalities is a humanitarian catastrophe that makes talks of continuing offensive operations next year, or even believing in a stalemate, wishful thinking that will result in even more fruitless Ukrainian deaths. Unsurprisingly, since the war began, the United States and its allies have unswervingly pushed the narrative that Russia is incurring far more casualties than Ukraine.

This casualty narrative was critical to maintaining any plausibility that Ukraine could defeat a country that has four to five times more men of military age and that was recently rated as having the world’s most powerful military. Hence, given the need to maintain the plausibility of a Ukrainian victory, it isn’t surprising that NATO intelligence asserted that the battle of Bakhmut saw Russia losing at least five soldiers KIA for every one of Ukraine’s. However, since the fall of Bakhmut to Russia, the failure of the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive, and signs that Ukraine’s military is nearing collapse, we’re no longer hearing about five-to-one casualty rates. Still, the most recent estimates from United States and British officials claim that Russia has suffered 120,000 KIA while Ukraine has suffered “only” 70,000 KIA (more than the United States suffered in over 10 years of the Vietnam War).

But not everyone agrees with U.S./British casualty estimates for an army that started the war by mobilizing early 1 million men in arms and, over the course of the war, mobilized another estimated 1 million. Among the growing number of those who don’t agree is the former director of the Joint Operations Center at Supreme Headquarters Europe and one of the key leaders in achieving the legendary victory in the mass tank battle of 73 Easting, retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor. In a recent interview with myself, Col. Macgregor agreed that while estimates putting Russian KIA at as high as 50,000 to 60,000 are defensible, most estimates for Ukrainian KIAs are not. In what many will undoubtedly find shocking given the countless stories disparaging Russia’s military skills and capabilities while uncritically fawning over Ukraine’s military prowess, Col. Macgregor puts Ukrainian KIA at over 400,000 out of the 2 million Ukraine has mobilized.

Col. Macgregor arrived at this shocking number using a wide variety of sources, including contacts within U.S. intelligence and contacts on the ground in Ukraine and Poland who have intimate knowledge of what’s really happening in Ukraine. In particular, he noted that his U.S. intelligence contacts have expressed shock as to just how far from reality the narrative being pushed by the Biden administration is from what’s happening in Ukraine and its real war losses. Likewise, Col. Macgregor’s Ukraine contacts relayed to him accounts of thousands of wounded Ukrainians being left to die on the battlefield, growing numbers of Ukrainian commanders and troops refusing orders to conduct suicide attacks against heavily fortified Russian positions, Ukrainian soldiers surrendering en masse to Russia, hospitals overflowing with Ukrainian wounded, and many other accounts that testify to horrendous casualty rates that contradict the narrative pushed by Western media.

Read more …

“.. a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty..”

Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized his Argentine counterpart’s plan to ditch the national currency, the peso, for the US dollar. Speaking during a live press conference on Thursday, Putin said that the pledge of newly elected Argentine President Javier Milei to adopt the greenback would result in a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty.” Dollarization is one of Milei’s core proposals, aimed at taming triple-digit inflation and supporting Argentina’s beleaguered economy amid low cash reserves and high government debt. Adopting the US dollar would take control of monetary policy away from Argentina’s central bank and hand it over to the US Federal Reserve.

The announced policy goes contrary to the de-dollarization trend pioneered by Russia and supported by many other developing economies, which has been gaining momentum since the imposition of Ukraine-related sanctions on Moscow. In response to the restrictions that effectively cut the country off from Western financial markets, Russia and its leading trade partners within the BRICS group of developing economies have started to switch to national currencies in trade. Argentina was set to join the bloc, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, on January 1, 2024, but the new government scrapped the decision. According to Putin, Milei’s plan to scrap the peso or peg the national currency to the dollar could also result in social instability as it would trigger a sharp reduction in social spending.

“If there is no national currency, you can’t print anything, there is only one way – reducing budget spending for the social sphere, a severe cutting of wages, pensions, expenses on medicine, on roads and domestic security,” the Russian president maintained. Argentina’s new government announced earlier this week the start of its “economic shock therapy” policy, namely a sharp devaluation of the peso, cuts to energy and transportation subsidies and a freeze in spending on some major state programs. The South American nation is trying to battle inflation that hovers around 150% year-on-year. country owes $44 billion to the International Monetary Fund, and 40% of Argentinians reportedly live below the poverty line.

Read more …

“..At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved..”

What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)

In 1966, Charlotte E. Keyes wrote a famous article for McCall’s magazine titled “Suppose They Gave a War and No One Came.” Special Counsel Jack Smith may be contemplating the same fate. Putting the tongue-in-cheek title aside, the odds are that some people will come to any trial of President Donald Trump. After all, a lot of people have to come from the judge to the jurors and counsel. However, Smith has had an ominous week that could severely complicate his plans for convicting Donald Trump before the election. Moreover, a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. Before this week, Smith found himself on the losing end of the schedule in Florida in his prosecution of Trump for his retention of classified documents. Judge Aileen Cannon has scheduled a trial for May 20, 2024, but that could easily move with additional delays or appeals in the case.

I have always viewed that case to be the strongest against Trump, but the huge number of classified documents have (as predicted) slowed the prosecution. Despite Smith’s pushing for a pre-election trial, his structuring of the charges undermined that schedule. Smith then pushed hard for a pre-election trial in the January 6th case in Washington where he seemed to have a supportive judge in Judge Tanya Chutkan who shoehorned the start just before the Super Tuesday elections. Now, however, Judge Chutkan has been forced to stay the case indefinitely pending the appeal of the presidential immunity claim made by Trump. The matter is now before both the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court gave Trump until December 20th to respond to Smith’s request for an expedited review — leapfrogging over the D.C. Circuit.

Smith’s filing conveys priority, if not a necessity, in trying Trump before the election. The Supreme Court may not share that sense of urgency. Traditionally, the Supreme Court has preferred to wait to allow appellate courts to render decisions. Since a conviction will not make Trump ineligible to run for the presidency, the question is why the March date should short circuit the review process. If the Supreme Court ultimately does not rule on the merits, the period for review would easily supplant the trial schedule since an appeal could be taken to the entire D.C. Circuit (en banc) and then to the Supreme Court. That did not change the March 4 trial date, but it could well make that date unworkable if the appeals drag on. Then to make the week complete, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Fischer. That case turns on the proper interpretation of the obstruction provision under Section 1512(c)(2).

Fischer was charged with obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and based solely on his trespass in the Capitol. A ruling in his favor could effectively cut away half of the case against Donald Trump. Among the four counts brought by Smith, Trump is charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k) (Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Two) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(2), 2 (Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Three). If those two counts fell to the wayside, Smith would be left with a count on conspiracy to defraud the United States (Count One) and conspiracy against rights (Count 4). Those counts contain other challengeable elements which would have to be appealed after any conviction. At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved and pre-trial motions and discovery remain incomplete in February.

The problem for Smith is that a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. If Trump is elected, he could give himself a preemptive self-pardon, though some disagree with this view. Moreover, the new Attorney General could scuttle or undermine the prosecution. In other words, it is possible that Jack Smith might never see a jury in either case. That would still leave the New York and Georgia cases, which are not subject to presidential pardons. However, those cases (particularly the one in New York) have their own challengeable elements.

Read more …

“..a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.”

Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)

It is a paradox that Jack Smith, who in my opinion has less integrity than the infamous Stalinist prosecutor Andrey Vyshinsky who prosecuted Stalin’s show trials of the Bolsheviks, was appointed director of the Justice (sic) Departments Office of Public Integrity. Perhaps recognizing Smith’s lack of concern with justice, Merrick Garland, the worst Attorney General in US history, sicced Jack Smith on President Trump and Trump supporters who attended the Trump rally labeled an “insurrection” by the whore media and Democrat Party. The way Smith got his convictions was to intentionally misapply law in order to coerce innocent people with a 20 year prison threat into a plea bargain. In other words, by intentionally misusing law he forced people to convict themselves via self-incrimination, which is what a plea bargain is.

Federal judge Carl Nichols threw out charges against three defendants based on Smith’s wrongful use of law. This has led to a situation in which the US Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would take up the defendants complaint that Jack Smith illegitimately used evidence-tampering law to prosecute Trump supporters and force them into self-incrimination to avoid a 20 year sentence. Smith’s pressure on one defendant, Matthew Perna, caused him to commit suicide. In my opinion, Jack Smith should be indicted for murder. Defense attorney Joseph McBride said that the DOJ’s misuse of law “is rooted in corruption and political hatred.” Defense attorney William Shipley predicted that the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case would put an end to the case against Trump: “The decision by SCOTUS today to take up the appeal on the 1512 ‘obstruction of an official proceeding’ case means the Trump D.C. case will not be going to trial.”

After the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up the clearly wrongful conviction of Derek Chauvin, I haven’t as much confidence as Shipley in the Supreme Court’s interest in justice. But I hope Shipley is right as the result will be the release of the hundreds of innocent Americans wrongly convicted on purpose by in my opinion a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.

Read more …

“..President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake.”

Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)

Congress is often a theater of the absurd, from Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) pulling a fire alarm before a major vote to former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) being, well, a member of Congress at all. However, none of that compares to what unfolded on Wednesday as Hunter Biden stood outside Congress and defied a subpoena as being “beyond the absurd.” What happens next could be even more bizarre. Hunter was under a subpoena from the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability to appear for testimony. As I previously wrote, he had two choices: He could appear and either testify or invoke his right to remain silent. The only thing that he could not do is what he did — just refuse to go into the hearing room. Yet, there he was, with counsel Abbe Lowell by his side,holding forth with a public press conference while refusing to appear in the closed-door deposition being held in the building behind him.

By staying on the Senate side of the Capitol, Hunter guaranteed that the House sergeant at arms did not pull him into the hearing room. Ironically, that would have been a better option than his blowing a raspberry at the committee and then speeding away. Many pundits immediately claimed this was a clever move because the subpoena was not really enforceable until the House voted on the formal impeachment inquiry a few hours later. I disagree. As I noted in my testimony in the first impeachment inquiry, there is no requirement for a formal vote to initiate an impeachment inquiry. Indeed, that is precisely what then-majority Democrats did with the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump. While I encouraged the House to hold a formal vote on the inquiry, it is not constitutionally required.

Moreover, this is an oversight committee which has independent authority to issue subpoenas. The subpoena was issued not only by the Oversight Committee but by the Judiciary Committee. It was issued under three different authorities, including Rule 12(g) of the Oversight Committee which allows for subpoenas “in the conduct of any investigation or activity or series of investigations or activities within the jurisdiction of the Committee.” In holding this spectacle, Biden and his legal team committed another unforced error. This one could prove as costly as pushing for an obscenely generous plea agreement and then telling prosecutors to “rip it up” in July. Few people expected Hunter to testify in the deposition. The evidence against him is overwhelming, as shown in his second federal indictment on tax charges.

He and his uncles were allegedly engaged in one of the largest influence-peddling operations in history involving millions of dollars from various foreign sources. Hunter simply could have done what prior witnesses have done: Go in and take the Fifth. That is what attorney and former IRS official Lois Lerner did — twice — when House Republicans wanted to ask her about the Obama administration targeting conservative groups. It was a no-brainer that someone appears to have radically over-thought on the Hunter Biden legal team.Hunter can now be held in contempt of Congress. That will force the hand of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who aggressively pursued Trump figures for contempt, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Despite some of us writing to the contrary, Bannon claimed his lawyers told him he did not have to appear before a House committee. He was swiftly charged and convicted by Garland’s prosecutors.

In this instance, the contempt case would go to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Matthew Graves, who previously declined to assist in bringing tax charges against the president’s son. Yet by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland. There is another possible cost to this move. Fox News quoted White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake. One of the four most obvious potential articles of impeachment that I laid out in my prior testimony was obstruction. There already are questions over special treatment potentially being given to Hunter in the form of alleged felonies being allowed to expire, warnings about planned federal raids, and sweetheart deals.

Read more …

“.. continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)

Before wading through the latest indictment of Hunter Biden, this one for nine counts of assorted tax violations, we must consider briefly the record of David Weiss, the special counsel who signed the 56–page document made public last Thursday. Only then can we read the grand jury findings unsealed last week for what they are and are not. David Weiss is the Justice Department attorney in Delaware who has run the DoJ’s lengthy (as in slow-walked) investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged violations of tax and gun laws. Among much else, David Weiss appears to have connived with other Justice officials to cover up a Federal Bureau of Investigation finding that Hunter and President Biden accepted bribes of $5 million each from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter sat on the board from April 2014 to April 2019.

David Weiss made sure that Internal Revenue investigators did not have access to Hunter’s infamous laptop after the FBI took possession of it in December 2019. David Weiss made sure that investigators—his investigators among them—were denied a requested warrant to search a cottage on Joe Biden’s Delaware estate. David Weiss let Hunter’s lawyers know in advance that investigators planned to search a storage unit Hunter kept. David Weiss barred IRS agents from interviewing members of the Biden family. David Weiss, as overseer of the investigation, let Hunter know in advance that IRS and FBI agents intended to interview him in California, so allowing Hunter to evade them.

David Weiss, after all this and probably more that is not visible to our naked eyes, put together the agreement that let Hunter plead to misdemeanor charges earlier this year and immunized him from whatever findings of criminal conduct that may come to the surface in the future. A properly disinterested judge assigned to validate that preposterous bargain, Maryellen Noreika, could not believe her eyes when she saw it last summer and promptly deep-sixed it. At that point, it followed naturally that Attorney General Merrick Garland rewarded David Weiss for all his good, loyal work by naming him special counsel, so giving him expanded powers to continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

Now David Weiss has signed an indictment—the second Hunter faces, the other covering the gun charges—laying out three charges of tax evasion, three charges of failing to file and pay taxes, and three more for filing false or fraudulent tax returns. And now, with a few snippets from David Weiss’s c.v. in hand, we are ready to read and evaluate this document for what is in it and what is missing.

Read more …

“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.”

This just had to get absurd.

Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)

Human breathing contributes to global warming, according to a study published Wednesday in PLoS One. The authors argued that human respiration’s contribution to climate change has been underestimated and merits further study. After measuring the gas composition in the exhaled breaths of 328 study participants, the researchers concluded human breath comprises 0.05% of the UK’s methane emissions and 0.1% of its nitrous oxide. Both of those gasses “have a much higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide,” the study notes. “Exhaled human breath can contain small, elevated concentrations of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), both of which contribute to global warming,” the researchers, led by atmospheric physicist Nicholas Cowan of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, wrote.

“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.” While Cowan explained that “CO2 contribution in human breath to climate change is essentially zero” because plants absorb nearly all the carbon dioxide humans breathe out, the other two gasses are left in the atmosphere. Methane traps 80 times the amount of heat as carbon dioxide during its first 20 years in the atmosphere, though this potency decreases over time. A detailed analysis of test subjects’ diets failed to yield any indication that meat eaters produced more of either gas. While all test subjects exhaled nitrous oxide, only 31% exhaled methane. These individuals, referred to as “methane producers” in the paper, were more likely to be female and over 30 years of age, though the researchers were unable to determine why this was the case.

The study authors cautioned that their research only looked at breath and called for further research into the total picture of human gas emissions, insisting it could reveal more about the “impacts of an aging population and shifting diets” on the planet. In recent years, environmental campaigners have focused on methane emissions from cows, whose herbivorous diet is broken down by methane-producing bacteria in their multiple stomachs. Policymakers’ focus on the resulting methane-tainted belches and farts have been the subject of much parody from climate change skeptics.

The UK has legally committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990. Residents have been strongly encouraged to reduce meat consumption in order to achieve this goal, with some estimates placing the share of global greenhouse gas emissions from raising livestock for meat at 15%. However, the researchers behind Wednesday’s study pointed out that shifting to a high-fiber vegetarian diet could potentially cause more methane and nitrous oxide emissions, a phenomenon they called “pollution swapping.”

Read more …

“..after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown..”

Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

New Zealand’s politicians have all been sent an email informing them that the former Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza is under investigation for homicide after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown. The emails were sent by US vaccine safety campaigner and tech entrepreneur Steve Kirsch, who organised statisticians and other experts to analyse NZ Ministry of Health data leaked by whistleblower Barry Young. The NZ health bureaucrats, supported by media, are using legal threats to censor and suppress access to the “pay-per-dose” data, which reveals of thousands of deaths in close proximity to mRNA vaccinations.

But New Zealand’s new government has agreed to carry out as a matter of urgency a “full scale, wide-ranging, independent inquiry” into how the Covid-19 pandemic was handled, regardless of the whitewashing “Royal Commission of Inquiry” set up by the Ardern Labor government. The new government’s inquiry will cover lockdowns, vaccine procurement and efficacy, the social and economic impacts on both regional and national levels and whether the decisions made and steps taken, were justified. The inquiry will also be conducted publicly with local and international experts. In Italy, Speranza is accused of giving orders to local health authorities to conceal deaths and serious side effects in order to reassure Italian citizens of the vaccines’ “safety” and to not jeopardize the vaccination campaign. NZ and Australian health officials acted similarly.

The main charges Speranza faces include ideological falsehood, multiple manslaughter, marketing of an imperfect, dangerous drug. Speranza is currently a deputy of the Democratic Party, and like Australian and New Zealand health ministers, was co-opted by the WHO and the global pharma cartel to push the mRNA shots. The Speranza investigation was announced on Italian TV channel Rete 4, on the program Fuori dal Coro. The channel is owned by the Mediaset group run by the heirs of the late Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a strong supporter of the vaccination campaign, who died in June this year. According to Italian website Gospa News, there was not much coverage in the national media which focused more on the statements of Speranza’s lawyer instead of examining the merits of the investigation resulting from the complaint by the State Police union OSA and by other organisations seeking to support vaccinated people.

The accusations have been reported on by German and Italian news networks but studiously ignored by Reuters and the western mainstream media. The closest reports Cairns News found were from months ago when the former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Speranza were placed under investigation on suspicion of “aggravated culpable epidemic” and manslaughter in connection with the government’s response at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They were later cleared.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Ducks

 

 

Momma bear

 

 

Cheetah

 

 


This 2,000 year old tree is located at Zwigodini Village of Mutale in Limpopo, South Africa. Venda people call it, “Muri Kunguluwa”, which means, “The Tree That Roars”. The tree actually makes a roaring sound when the wind blows through its branches. It is also called, “The Tree Of Life”, because it serves as a source of life to the animals and the community that lives around it. 80% of its trunk consists of water and it can hold up to 4,500 liters, making it a water source for the community and the animals.

Elephants eat the bark. Baboons eat the fruit. Leaves can also be eaten. Birds, bees, fruit bats and bush babies nest in the tree. Humans use the dried fruit powder in drinks, as a source of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. The bark can be used to make rope, baskets, mats, cloth and paper. It also holds a spiritual significance for African people. In ancient times, leaders and elders would hold meetings under huge baobab trees, to discuss important matters. They believed that the spirit of the baobab would help them make wise decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 142023
 


Edward Hopper Nighthawks 1942

 

SCOTUS Accepts Case That Could Demolish Entire Basis For Jan. 6 Prosecutions (ZH)
Judge Halts Trump’s 2020 Election Case Amid Pending Immunity Appeal (Sp.)
US House Votes to Authorize Formal Impeachment Inquiry Against Biden (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Defies Congressional Summons (RT)
Biden ‘Gave Federal Agencies Green Light’ to Target Elon Musk (Sp.)
Israel Now Admits to ‘Immense Amount of Friendly Fire’ on October 7th (21CW)
Neutron Bomb: New Evidence That Israel Is Using A New Uranium Weapon (Helmer)
Chechen Leader Kadyrov Eyes End Of Ukraine Conflict In Coming Months (RT)
Ukraine Was Never Going To Win – US Senator (RT)
US Lawmakers Demand Answers On Ukraine (RT)
Zelensky Gives US TV Viewers Fake Frontline Facts (RT)
‘No One Will Stop Us From Destroying Israel and The US’ (RT)
Germany May Declare Emergency Over Ukraine – Scholz (RT)
Economist: Biden Admin Pushing US Towards ‘Economic Suicide’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Scott Adams: “Trump’s “I’ll only be a dictator for one day” is looking brilliant. Total nut-bait.”

 

 

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

“The justices could decide as soon as next week whether to expedite the review.”

SCOTUS Accepts Case That Could Demolish Entire Basis For Jan. 6 Prosecutions (ZH)

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear an appeal from a Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendant which will highlight a law used to charge hundreds of people in connection with that fateful day. The case will decide whether defendant Joseph Fischer can be charged under a 2002 law which stemmed from the Enron collapse which makes it a crime to obstruct or impede an official proceeding (like pulling a fire alarm to delay a vote?). The law has been invoked against Trump, along with 327 Capitol riot defendants – which an appeals court said the government could continue to invoke. Under the Corporate Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, anyone who “corruptly— (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so” is subject to prosecution.

A key word in the provision, “otherwise,” has been key – as nearly every judge overseeing riot-related cases in DC federal court have agreed with government prosecutors that rioters who sought to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 victory were “otherwise” obstructing that proceeding. One judge, Carl J. Nichols, ruled that “otherwise” could apply to other kinds of document-tampering. The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit disagreed in a split decision, which will now go to the Supreme Court for review. “We cannot assume, and think it unlikely, that Congress used expansive language to address such narrow concerns,” wrote Judge Florence Pan, calling Nichols’s ruling a “cramped, document-focused interpretation.” [..] “We must accept, and think it far more likely, that Congress said what it meant and meant what it said.”

Defense attorneys have argued that such a broad interpretation could put many otherwise law-abiding activists at risk of felony charges, which Judge Gregory Katsas agreed with. While the riot involved “extreme conduct” not protected by the First Amendment, Katsas wrote, under this interpretation of the law a “peaceful protestor in the Senate gallery” could be convicted of a felony for trespassing while exercising free speech rights. Katsas argued that the law can apply beyond documents but only to people who “hinder the flow of truthful evidence to a proceeding.” -WaPo. The decision to hear the case comes just two days after special counsel Jack Smith asked the Court to fast-track a decision on whether former President Trump is entitled to presidential immunity in his 2020 election interference case. The justices could decide as soon as next week whether to expedite the review.

Read more …

Looks like SCOTUS material to me.

Judge Halts Trump’s 2020 Election Case Amid Pending Immunity Appeal (Sp.)

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan has granted former President Donald Trump’s request to temporarily pause his 2020 election meddling case pending a decision of the appeals court on his presidential immunity, according to a Wednesday court order. “The court agrees with both parties that Defendant’s appeal automatically stays any further proceedings that would move this case towards trial or impose additional burdens of litigation on Defendant,” the order stated. “The court hereby STAYS the deadlines and proceedings scheduled by its Pretrial Order, as amended.” The order clarified though that the deadlines and proceedings in the 2020 election against Trump case are not permanently frozen but are rather “held in abeyance” until the appeals court makes its decision in the immunity case.

Should the appeals court reject Trump’s appeal, the US district court in the case will decide whether to keep the trial date as it is on March 4, or to move it further into the future, according to the order. Trump’s case stems from charges that were filed against in August and allege he orchestrated an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election that saw US President Joe Biden come out as the victor. The former president has pleaded not guilty in the case and has repeatedly blasted the legal case as being politically motivated. The appeals court received the case following Chutkan’s decision to reject a motion from the Trump camp that claimed the former president was immune from prosecution. At the time, Chutkan argued Trump cannot be shielded from prosecutorial actions over his deeds while in the Oval Office.

The development comes as special counsel Jack Smith called on the US Supreme Court on Monday to weigh in on whether the former commander-in-chief is in fact “absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin.” The Supreme Court subsequently agreed to fast-track the matter and called on Trump to issue a response to Smith’s motion by December 20.

Read more …

“I think we have to go down that route. That doesn’t mean we have high crimes or misdemeanors — we may not ever. But let’s get the facts, and we’ll go from there.”

US House Votes to Authorize Formal Impeachment Inquiry Against Biden (Sp.)

House Republicans voted to formally authorize an impeachment inquiry into US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, a step lawmakers believe is needed to enforce subpoenas issued by the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, which are heading the impeachment effort. The vote, along partisan lines, saw Democrats overwhelmingly vote against the inquiry and all Republicans in favor of the measure. It cleared the lower congressional chamber 221 to 212. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, has so far defied a House subpoena to testify behind closed doors. He has offered to testify publicly, arguing that Republicans do not want transparency in the proceedings. After the younger Biden no-showed his deposition earlier Wednesday, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and James Comer (R-KY) said in a statement that Hunter “defied lawful subpoenas and we will now initiate contempt of Congress proceedings.”

The president’s son did appear in Washington, DC, but not behind closed doors as Republicans demanded. Instead, he held a news conference in front of the Capitol, where he again offered to testify in public and called the investigation “illegitimate.” “I’m here today to make sure that the House committee’s illegitimate investigations of my family did not proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence, and lies,” Hunter Biden said, reading from a prepared statement. The inquiry vote was made more difficult for House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) because of the recent expulsion of former Rep. George Santos (R-NY), which sharply narrowed the Republican hold on the US House. The White House has defied Republican subpoenas and requests for more information, including transcribed interviews with White House staff and Biden family members and their associates. The White House argues the impeachment probe is illegitimate because it was not ratified with a formal vote in the House; Wednesday’s vote invalidates that argument.

Previously, several moderate Republicans expressed hesitancy in voting for a formal impeachment inquiry, especially those in swing states where an on-the-record vote for an impeachment may hurt them politically. However, several moderate Republicans came out in favor of the inquiry as it became more apparent that the White House planned to do what it could to block the investigation. “If [Joe Biden is] not providing the information because he says there’s no formal impeachment inquiry, that means we need a formal impeachment inquiry to get the information,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) said. “I think we have to go down that route. That doesn’t mean we have high crimes or misdemeanors — we may not ever. But let’s get the facts, and we’ll go from there.”

Read more …

Hunter’s team appear spooked. They would rather have him in contempt of Congress than testifying at a closed-door hearing. The reason is that in a public hearing, classified material is off limits.

Hunter Biden Defies Congressional Summons (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has refused to comply with a subpoena ordering him to testify before a Republican-led committee investigating his father’s involvement in his business dealings. House Republicans are expected to formalize impeachment proceedings against President Biden later on Wednesday. The House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena to Hunter Biden last month, ordering the president’s son to testify at a closed-door hearing on Wednesday. Along with the House Judiciary Committee, the Oversight Committee is leading an impeachment probe against President Biden and has released evidence suggesting that Hunter took tens of millions of dollars from foreign clients in exchange for access to his father while the latter was vice president of the US.

Hunter

Speaking at a press conference outside the US Capitol, Hunter Biden denounced the impeachment inquiry as “illegitimate” and said that he would only testify at a public hearing. Classified information usually cannot be discussed in such a public session. “Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not involved in my business. There is no evidence to support the allegations my father was involved in my business, because it did not happen,” he told reporters. However, Joe Biden has been photographed with several of his son’s clients, and Hunter’s former business partner – Devon Archer – told the Oversight Committee in July that Hunter’s position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, was given to him solely to guarantee that the company would have influence over US policy.

Archer also alleged that Joe Biden dined multiple times with Hunter’s clients, and that Hunter received money transfers immediately after at least two of these meetings. According to files retrieved from Hunter’ Biden’s laptop and published by the GOP, his family received around $24 million in payments through shell companies from business figures and politicians in China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. Some 150 of these transactions were flagged as “suspicious” by the US Treasury Department, according to the committees. Hunter Biden’s decision to skip the closed-door deposition was expected. In a letter to Oversight Committee Chair James Comer last month, Hunter’s lawyer stated that he would only testify in public, for fear that the GOP would use his private sworn testimony to “distort the facts and misinform the public.”

Earlier this month, Comer and Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan warned Hunter’s lawyer that they would “initiate contempt of Congress proceedings” if the president’s son failed to comply with the subpoena. “We expect to depose the president’s son, and then we will be more than happy to have a public hearing,” Comer told reporters on Wednesday. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday morning, House Speaker Mike Johnson said that he would hold a vote later that day to formalize the ongoing impeachment inquiry. With Republicans holding a slim majority in the House of Representatives, the measure is expected to pass.

Read more …

“That’s a decision to leave families waiting on the wrong side of the digital divide when we have the technology to get them high-speed service today.”

Biden ‘Gave Federal Agencies Green Light’ to Target Elon Musk (Sp.)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Tuesday that it denied the Elon Musk-owned Starlink’s appeal and will not award the company a $866 million subsidy from the Universal Service Fund meant to expand broadband access to rural areas. Writing in fiery dissent, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr accused the agency of targeting Elon Musk and his businesses at the behest of the Biden administration. Carr began his dissent by pointing out that US President Joe Biden told reporters in early November that Musk “is worth being looked at” after his purchase of Twitter, since renamed X. It notes that when Biden was pressed by a reporter on what ways the government would look into at Musk, the president responded “there’s a lot of ways.” “President Biden gave federal agencies a green light to go after him [Musk],” Carr wrote.

Carr then notes that the Department of Justice, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Labor Relation Board, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have all opened investigations into Musk or his businesses since Biden made those comments. The subsidy was planned to fund Starlink and help bring broadband internet to 640,000 rural homes in 38 states. In his dissent, Carr stated the FCC applied a novel new standard specifically for Starlink, ostensibly over concerns about how its low-Earth-orbit satellites (LEOs) made it impossible to pass and then applied that standard only to Starlink. He contends the decision by the FCC “cannot be explained by any objective application of laws, facts, or policy.” According to Carr, the FCC required that Starlink show it is currently providing the required 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload speed to the 640,000 homes, rather than the previous standard of providing that service to at least 40% of those homes by December 31, 2025.

The commissioner noted that none of the other companies awarded contracts by the FCC in 2020 are required to meet that standard and that if they were, none of them would pass it. He further argued that looking at what Starlink is currently providing in those areas “would be like watching the pace lap of a NASCAR race and then predicting that the cars will never exceed 50 MPH.” Had the FCC looked at more relevant data sets, Carr argued, it would have seen that Starlink is certainly capable of meeting the speed benchmark by 2025, noting Starlink now has a median download speed greater than 100 Mbps in 14 European countries. That, along with the number of new satellites in orbit and Starlink’s “detailed descriptions of its plan” would provide a “much richer and probative set of data” that would “confirm that Starlink is on track to meet its FCC obligations.”

The decision to deny Starlink, Carr argued, will hurt the rural communities it planned to serve. “By reversing course, the FCC has chosen to vaporize that commitment and replace it with . . . nothing,” Carr wrote. “That’s a decision to leave families waiting on the wrong side of the digital divide when we have the technology to get them high-speed service today.” Carr also argued that if the government ever decides to provide those areas with high-speed internet access, it will cost taxpayers significantly more. “[I]t will cost us orders of magnitude more money to do so […] extending high-speed fiber lines to these same areas will likely cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 billion based on past bidding patterns and analysis – more once you start accounting for inflation.”

Read more …

“The Jerusalem Post reported recently that cars containing the blood stains or ashes of Israelis who died on 7 October would be crushed and – in what the paper said was a first – buried in a cemetery.”

Israel Now Admits to ‘Immense Amount of Friendly Fire’ on October 7th (21CW)

For those who are paying attention to the actual evidence (or lack thereof) of “Hamas mass atrocities” on October 7th will have already known that an Israeli police investigation has already shown how Israeli Apache helicopters opened fire on the attendees of the Nova Music Festival that day. If widely disseminated, it would be a game changer, and would trigger a reversal on blind, unfettered US and UK support for Israel’s unprecedented massacre of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. So it’s hardly surprising that the mainstream media have completely blacked-out these explosive revelations. Initial Nova music festival revelations were mentioned in a Haaretz reported on November 18th, where an Israeli police source confirmed how an Israeli combat helicopter that arrived on the scene from the Ramat David base, and proceeded to fire on music festival attendees, estimating that some 364 people were ‘mowed-down’ there. And there’s more details coming out by the day…

Asa Winstanley from Electronic Intifada reports… Israel’s army on Tuesday admitted that an “immense and complex quantity” of what it calls “friendly fire” incidents took place on 7 October. The key declaration was buried in the penultimate paragraph of an article by Yoav Zitun, the military correspondent of Israeli outlet Ynet. It is the first known official army admission that a significant number of the hundreds of Israelis who died on 7 October were killed by Israel itself, and not by Hamas or other Palestinian resistance factions. An Israeli police source last month appeared to admit that some of the Israelis at the Supernova rave taking place near Gaza that day were hit by Israeli helicopters. A second police source later partially walked back the admission. Citing new data released by the Israeli military, Zeitun wrote that: “Casualties fell as a result of friendly fire on October 7, but the IDF [Israeli military] believes that … it would not be morally sound to investigate” them. He reported that this was “due to the immense and complex quantity of them that took place in the kibbutzim and southern Israeli communities.” The Ynet article also reported that “at least” one fifth of the Israeli army deaths in Gaza since the ground invasion began were also due to “friendly fire” incidents.


Drone footage released by the Israeli military last month shows the extent of the destruction of the cars fleeing the Supernova rave on 7 October, likely inflicted by Israeli drones and helicopters (RT/Israeli military)

Israel has in recent weeks faced increased internal pressure to investigate the failings of 7 October. On Monday in Tel Aviv, family members of those Israelis who died on 7 October established a new group calling for an official Israeli government investigation into the events of that day. One of the speakers accused the government of a “cover-up.” Israel does indeed appear to be covering up a lot of the evidence. The Jerusalem Post reported recently that cars containing the blood stains or ashes of Israelis who died on 7 October would be crushed and – in what the paper said was a first – buried in a cemetery. The paper provided a religious pretext for all this. Nonetheless, this is a worrying development which amounts to a state-sanctioned coverup of what could potentially be some of the most important forensic evidence from 7 October.

Since that day, there has been a steadily growing mountain of evidence that many – if not most – Israelis killed that day were killed by Israel itself. This evidence has been reported in English almost entirely by independent media, including The Electronic Intifada, The Grayzone, The Cradle and Mondoweiss. In one of the most recent revelations, an Israeli air force colonel admitted to a Hebrew podcast that they blew up Israeli homes in the settlements but insisted they never did so “without permission.” Colonel Nof Erez also said that 7 October was a “mass Hannibal” event – a reference to a controversial Israeli military doctrine. Named after an ancient Carthaginian general who poisoned himself rather than be captured alive, the Hannibal Directive allows Israeli forces to take any means necessary to stop Israelis being captured alive – even at the cost of killing the captives.

Read more …

Long read. In part 1 John Helmer provides the “history”, in part 2, Christopher Busby makes the case that Israel is using this today.

Neutron Bomb: New Evidence That Israel Is Using A New Uranium Weapon (Helmer)

The neutron bomb was invented in 1958 by Samuel Cohen of the Livermore Laboratory of California and then RAND. In 1984 he proposed that Israel construct a neutron radiation wall around the country. “What I am suggesting is the construction of a border barrier whose most effective component is an extremely intense field of nuclear radiation (produced by the operation of underground nuclear reactors), sharply confined to the barrier zone, which practically guarantees the death of anyone attempting to breach the barrier. Establishing such a ‘nuclear wall’ at the borders of a threatened country can make virtually impossible any successful penetration by ground forces – as well as a preemptive ground attack by the threatened country.” Cohen, who described himself as an “unbelieving Jew”, believed that by creating this radiation barrier around Israel, no Arab state army would attack.

He also believed that by deterring that form of escalation, Cohen’s neutron wall would be protecting the US because, in the end, Cohen believed the US would abandon Israel to its fate if the US were threatened directly. “If the Soviets intrude again in an Arab-Israeli war, “ Cohen wrote, “this time with vastly improved nuclear capabilities to back up their actions, the survival of the United States would be at stake. Clearly this is a situation where it would be irrational—indeed, intolerable—for us to remain committed to Israel. Clearly, the most responsible thing the United States can do, to ensure its own security, is to make drastic changes in its military assistance to Israel (and to other Mideast countries as well) to prevent such a situation from ever arising. Otherwise, based on the wretched history of this turbulent arena, there is every reason to expect that one of these days a nuclear showdown will arise.” What Cohen was proposing was a neutron bomb to be deployed by Israel except that, because there was no detonation, no explosion, he claimed there was no neutron bomb.

“During peacetime, the reactors (employed underground, for protection and safety) are operated on a continual basis, as are our power reactors. The neutrons produced by the fission reactions escape into a solution containing an element that, upon absorbing the neutrons, becomes highly radioactive and emits gamma rays (very high energy X-rays) at extremely high intensity. The radioactive solution is then passed into a series of pipes running along the barrier length in conjunction with conventional obstacle components—mines, Dragon’s Teeth, tank traps, barbed wire, etc. To the rear of the pipes and obstacle belts is a system of conventional defensive fortifications. (The obstacles, the firepower from the fortifications, and tactical air power all serve to impede the rate of advance of the attacker, increasing the attacker’s exposure to the gamma radiation. Vice versa, by quickly incapacitating the attacker, the radiation serves to make it difficult, or even impossible, for the attacker to remove the obstacles and assault the fortifications.) The width of the entire defensive system need be no more than a few miles.”

Since it was Cohen’s idea that the Palestinians and the Arabs were neither defending their lands or themselves, but were the “aggressors” against Israel, Cohen argued it was perfectly moral for the Israelis to use their neutron weapon “defensively”. “Regarding the morality (or immorality) of such defensive use of nuclear radiation, one should keep in mind that the gamma rays themselves can, of course, have no intentions; nor is there necessarily any intent by those who produce them to kill anyone. The intent to kill has to lie with the aggressor—to kill himself. This contrasts sharply with the employment of conventional weapons, where there is every intent to kill the enemy. The basic purpose of the radiation is to deter the would-be aggressor from attacking; that is, to prevent war.”

Read more …

“But the president has no interest in destroying Ukraine as a state.”

Chechen Leader Kadyrov Eyes End Of Ukraine Conflict In Coming Months (RT)

The Ukraine conflict will likely be over by the spring or the summer of 2024, since Kiev is running out of all necessary resources, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov predicted during a televised phone-in session on Wednesday. Soldiers recruited from Chechnya have played a significant role in what Moscow calls the special military operation; the head of the southern Russian republic is paying close attention to its progress. He said he expects the shortage of manpower, weapons and money to fully erode Kiev’s military capabilities by June or July at the latest. Speaking in Chechen, he mused that Russia could have crushed Ukraine in three months, if it were willing to fight the way Israel is waging war in Gaza at the moment.

“President [Vladimir Putin] ordered us to keep the infrastructure and cities as intact as possible, or we would have taken Kiev. We were seven kilometers away,” Kadyrov was quoted by the Russian media as saying. “But the president has no interest in destroying Ukraine as a state.” Russian troops approached the Ukrainian capital during the early phase of the hostilities. The Defense Ministry announced, however, that it was withdrawing troops after a breakthrough was announced during the Türkiye-mediated peace talks in Istanbul in March 2022, where delegations signed the draft version of a truce. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky later aborted the negotiations, claiming that they were no longer possible due to the alleged discovery of evidence of war crimes in the town of Bucha, which Russian troops had abandoned. Moscow responded by denying the allegations and has called Kiev’s claims a pretext for the continuation of hostilities.

Ukrainian and international media have reported that then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson torpedoed the nascent peace deal, telling the Ukrainian government that Western nations would not endorse it. This was recently confirmed by Ukrainian MP David Arakhamia, who headed his country’s delegation. Johnson told Kiev to “just make war,” the lawmaker said in an interview. Kiev and its foreign backers had counted on scoring battlefield successes during a counteroffensive this year, for which the Ukrainian army was provided Western-made heavy weapons, including main battle tanks. The six-month-long push failed to produce any major territorial gains and came at a steep price for Ukraine. The Russian military has estimated the losses of its opponent at over 125,000 troops. Kiev’s ability to secure continued Western assistance is currently in doubt, as opposition to the spending grows both in the US and in Europe.

Read more …

“..everyone is tired of the Kievan beggarman.”

Ukraine Was Never Going To Win – US Senator (RT)

Ukraine always faced the prospect of losing the conflict with Russia in the event that Washington cut off its aid, US Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville has said. The comments came after the US Senate last week blocked a bill by President Joe Biden that intended to provide Kiev with a further $60 billion in funding. Republicans opposed to the spending package have demanded tougher immigration control on the US-Mexico border in exchange for approving the bill. Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Tuberville was asked whether cutting off funding to Kiev could result in its defeat. The senator replied that he personally “never thought they can win to begin with,” especially with the way the US “eased into” the conflict.

Tuberville also dismissed concerns by supporters of continued aid to Kiev, who have claimed that Russia will advance elsewhere in Europe once it defeats Ukrainian forces. The Republican argued that Moscow “can’t beat Ukraine on the eastern side,” and questioned how it was expected to push further across Europe. “I’ve never believed that scenario. I think it’s a good selling point to send more money,” Tuberville suggested. The US has so far provided Ukraine with an estimated $111 billion in military and economic assistance since the outbreak of its conflict with Russia in February 2022. While Washington has increasingly warned that funds are beginning to run out, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has nevertheless continued to insist on receiving more money. The Ukrainian leader traveled to Washington on Tuesday to hold a series of meetings with top US officials, in an attempt to save Biden’s $60 billion aid package.

However, Zelensky appears to have failed to convince key Republicans to change their mind about opposing the bill. Instead, some senators left the meeting while describing it as “the same old stuff” and “very scripted.” Biden has continued to urge Congress to approve the funding package and has also pledged an additional $200 million in emergency military aid for Kiev through the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows him to send weapons from US stocks without congressional approval. Meanwhile, Moscow has brushed off Zelensky’s latest visit to Washington as inconsequential for the outcome of the conflict. Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, claimed that “everyone is tired of the Kievan beggarman.” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has also stressed that no amount of money would change the situation on the front lines.

Read more …

“I said you need to thank Mike Johnson for being willing to pass a package if border security is in it, because half his conference probably doesn’t agree with that..”

US Lawmakers Demand Answers On Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky has failed to provide any new arguments in defense of his cause during his talks in Washington with American lawmakers, several senators and representatives, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, have told the media in the wake of the meeting on Tuesday. Zelensky arrived in the capital to hold a series of meetings with top US officials to save a $61-billion aid package for Kiev that remains in limbo. Last week, GOP senators blocked the Biden administration’s major $111-billion supplemental funding request, which included aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, citing the Democrats’ reluctance to address the tense situation on the US-Mexico border. Some Republicans have also repeatedly pointed to the lack of accountability in terms of the funds Washington had spent on helping Ukraine.

According to senior GOP senator Lindsey Graham, Tuesday’s meeting has failed to bring about any changes in the lawmakers’ stance. “Nothing has changed,” he told journalists. The South Carolina senator, who emerged as a staunch supporter of Kiev amid its conflict with Moscow, explained that, although he would like to aid Ukraine, border security comes first. “I admire him, but he didn’t change my mind at all about what we need to do,” Graham said, referring to Zelensky and adding that the Democrats were supposedly trying to “use” the Ukrainian leader “in a way that I think wasn’t helpful.” “I want to secure the border,” the senator said, adding that the number of people supposedly linked to various terrorist groups that were crossing America’s southern border was “just chilling.” Another Republican Senator, Missouri’s Eric Schmitt, also said that the meeting was effectively reduced to “the same old stuff.” “There’s nothing new,” he told journalists, adding that the questions for the Ukrainian president “were very scripted.”

Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who also met Zelensky on Tuesday, pointed to the fact that the White House and Kiev were asking for billions of dollars with no oversight and no clear strategy that would allow Ukraine to prevail in the ongoing conflict. “Their responses have been insufficient,” Johnson said, referring to the Biden administration and adding that he had been requesting details on Washington’s strategy for Ukraine “over and over since literally 24 hours after I was handed the gavel as Speaker of the House.” Lindsey Graham also told journalists that he’d told Zelensky to be thankful to the House Speaker for even being willing to place military aid for Ukraine on the agenda. “I said you need to thank Mike Johnson for being willing to pass a package if border security is in it, because half his conference probably doesn’t agree with that,” the senator said.

The US has already provided Kiev with $111 billion in military and economic assistance since military confrontation between Moscow and Kiev began in February 2022. Washington has recently warned that funds for the government of Vladimir Zelensky have almost run out. Last week, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Kiev can’t expect additional funding until the gridlock in Congress is resolved. Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Yermak, then warned that delays in US assistance could lead to Ukraine’s defeat by Russia. The Kremlin said on Tuesday that any further assistance Washington decides to provide to Kiev is doomed to fail from the start. No amount of money can change the situation on the front lines, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

Read more …

“immovable, verging on the messianic..”

Zelensky Gives US TV Viewers Fake Frontline Facts (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has contradicted frontline developments by claiming that Russian troops have failed to capture a single village from Kiev’s forces this year. The Ukrainian leader talked up his country’s supposed military achievements in an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Tuesday. Zelensky is visiting Washington this week to urge continued military assistance for Kiev in 2024. Political clashes on Capitol Hill have caused a White House request for more than $110 billion in foreign security spending, including over $60 billion for Ukraine, to be blocked. Speaking in English, Zelensky claimed that Ukrainian forces had “destroyed mostly [the] Russian fleet that was situated in our waters and near… occupied Crimea.” Kiev has launched several successful attacks on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet using Western-provided cruise missiles, although Moscow’s forces have repelled numerous other assaults.

Zelensky further claimed that Ukraine had killed 20,000 members of the now-disbanded Wagner private military company, and that “Russia did not occupied [sic] any Ukrainian village during this year.” The Ukrainian leader made the assertions despite evidence to the contrary on the battlefield, with Wagner fighters playing an important role in the fighting for the Donbass city of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine). The Zelensky government had declared the city an invincible “fortress” and reportedly ignored repeated US calls to pull troops out. After losing control of the city in May, Zelensky downplayed the significance of the settlement, declaring that it no longer existed and remained “only in our hearts.” In early 2023, Kiev also lost control of Soledar in Donbass. Fox News host Baier did not dispute Zelensky’s claims that Russia had enjoyed no success in the conflict.

According to Western media, Kiev’s bid to retain Artyomovsk significantly impacted its summer counteroffensive, having needlessly drained Ukrainian manpower and resources. The push to break through Russian defensive lines, which started in June and according to Russia estimates cost Ukraine over 125,000 casualties, failed to yield significant territorial gains for Kiev. Zelensky and his aides publicly clashed with Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, after he described the frontline situation as a “stalemate” in early November. The president’s office finally acknowledged that no progress was being made by the end of the month. A profile of Zelensky published by Time magazine in late October said his close associates believe him to be delusional. His belief in a Ukrainian victory over Russia is “immovable, verging on the messianic,” according to the outlet.

Read more …

“..if right now you asked me to take part in a demonstration, for example, I would tell you that I have a sick mother and money problems, and I’d rather take care of my family.”

‘No One Will Stop Us From Destroying Israel and The US’ (RT)

One cannot say that the city of Sidon, located in southern Lebanon, is a more dangerous place than Beirut. Even further south, in Tyre, everything is relatively calm, except that one may hear distant sounds of explosions. Frankly, I thought I would see a more depressing picture. However, after driving through several Lebanese towns, I can say that life there continues peacefully. “Ninety percent of Lebanese people see no reason to fight against Israel and are not ready for war,” said Lebanese journalist Wafiq al-Hiwari, whom I met through friends in Sidon. This elderly Lebanese man has been covering the political situation in his country for many years and does not like to talk about global politics. Wafiq is a fierce opponent of dividing Lebanon into sections based on religious beliefs. He complains that today, there is no unity in Lebanon – the country is broken into pieces and divided between the Shiites, Sunnis, Druze, and Christians.

— This conflict has already caused us many problems. About 60,000 Lebanese people living on the border with Israel had to leave their homes. About 70% of them came to live with relatives and friends. And this happened in extremely difficult times from an economic point of view. — And what do you personally think about the situation in Gaza? — Of course, I condemn Israel. And it hurts me to see innocent people die. But if right now you asked me to take part in a demonstration, for example, I would tell you that I have a sick mother and money problems, and I’d rather take care of my family. — And most people think like that? — In general, yes. The crisis has paralyzed Lebanese society. There’s no strength left for either political or social activism. Moreover, religious division also polarizes society.

If you ask Christians – for example, members of the Free Patriotic Movement – they will tell you that this situation does not concern them. They’ll say that Hezbollah has started another conflict and poses a threat to the security of Lebanon. If you ask the Druze, they’ll tell you to wait and see how things end. That has been their philosophy throughout history. If you ask the Sunnis, they will say that they are against Israel, but they hate Hezbollah even more and believe that it has conspired with Israel and is plotting against them. And the Shiites will declare that they are the only ones who are ready to fight against Israel and will continue to fight the occupiers until Jerusalem is completely liberated. In other words, there is no unity in Lebanon either on the Palestinian issue or on any other issue, for that matter.

Read more …

How much longer can the Scholz government last?

Germany May Declare Emergency Over Ukraine – Scholz (RT)

Germany may have to declare an emergency at home in order to provide additional assistance to Kiev next year if the situation in Ukraine gets any worse, Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned in a government statement to the parliament on Wednesday. The opposition has branded his plan “financial trickery” and vowed to never let it happen. Scholz’s coalition government has just reached a deal on its 2024 budget following weeks of tense negotiations. The cabinet agreed to keep existing debt restrictions while cutting the operational costs of various departments and slashing certain climate-related subsidies. Further military and financial aid to Kiev was still named as one of Berlin’s top priorities, alongside Germany’s green-economy transformation and the strengthening of social cohesion.

“I will advocate sustainable, reliable support for Ukraine, because it is about the security of Europe,” Scholz told the Lower House of parliament, the Bundestag. According to the chancellor, Berlin plans to spend €8 billion ($8.63 billion) on arms for Kiev next year, along with an unspecified amount of money allocated for financial aid to the Ukrainian budget, and another €6 billion ($6.47 billion) to support Ukrainian refugees living in Germany. He also admitted that international support for Kiev was waning and might force Berlin to spend even more of its funds to aid Ukraine. Russia is supposedly counting on Kiev’s Western backers abandoning Ukraine, he added, and “the danger that calculation could work cannot be dismissed.”

“It is… clear that, if the situation worsens… because other supporters withdraw their aid, then we have to react to it,” Scholz explained, adding that doing so might require the government to trigger a special emergency clause and circumvent legislation on the national debt. “We have already decided to propose a debt-brake exception resolution in the Bundestag” in case of such a development, the chancellor said. Enacted in 2009, a fiscal rule known as the ‘debt brake’ in Germany limits the national budget deficit to 0.35% of the GDP and restricts the issuance of new government bonds. A special clause still allows the government to bypass these restrictions in case of an “unforeseen emergency.”

Scholz’s cabinet already faced what was called a “no-debt crisis” in November when the German constitutional court ruled its 2024 budget to be illegal due to violating this debt-brake rule and banned the government from repurposing unused Covid-19 funds. The chancellor’s plan was blasted by the opposition as “financial trickery” as lawmakers accused him of essentially abusing the legal loopholes to push for more aid for Kiev. “What you have presented as an orderly procedure has been a tangible government crisis,” Friedrich Merz, the leader of the biggest opposition party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said in response to Scholz. “We won’t let this trick go through,” he added. The CDU chief also said that the situation in Ukraine was becoming increasingly “more dramatic.” “You know that, under the current circumstances, this country has no chance at all of winning this war,” he told Scholz.

Read more …

“..we are going to have 40-50 million Americans that are going to land really hard and probably 10 million of them are just going to splatter on the concrete.”

Economist: Biden Admin Pushing US Towards ‘Economic Suicide’ (Sp.)

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky left the United States without securing a significant military aid package for his country, having to instead be satisfied with $200 million worth of old equipment from the Defense Department’s stocks. Speaking to Sputnik’s Fault Lines, economist Mark Frost explained how the economic situation in the United States is making further aid to Ukraine untenable politically. “I’m an economist. I’m not known for analyzing political sentiment but just anecdotally […] people who used to be hawks are now doing a second take, saying ‘wait a minute, what are we getting for this?’” Frost explained. “It seems to me this administration is alienating the very demographics that got them elected in the first place […] folks are saying “okay, we’re citizens, why don’t we matter?’”

Frost also told hosts Jamarl Thomas and Melik Abdul that if US President Joe Biden gets the $60 billion or more that he requested from Congress for Ukraine, “it would be the largest transfer of wealth to a country since World War II.” The United States has squandered the opportunity it had to focus on internal issues after the Cold War, Frost added. “I’m waiting for my peace dividends,” Frost explained. “Folks old enough to remember what it was like when the wall came down on the Soviet Union, we all were happy, at least most of us were. […] ‘Finally, this stupid Cold War that wastes so many resources [is over], we can reduce our military expenditures now, we can keep a credible nuclear threat, keep a reasonable Army, Air Force and Navy and now we can concentrate on our internal problems, we don’t have the boogie man of the USSR anymore to worry about.’ And it never, ever happened.”

The money spent on Ukraine and its coming collapse will be a “driving issue” in the 2024 Presidential election, Frost added. He then noted that in addition to hard economic indicators that are pointing downwards, the behaviors of the people on the street are even more troubling. “I run the local Humane Society here and pet abandonments are at an all-time high. People show up and say ‘I can’t afford my cats and dogs, can you take them?’ and that tells me, combined with all the macroeconomic leading indicators that we’re heading into a severe recession, to the point where you might even use the depression word, and if that happens[…] no one is going to care about Iran.”

Frost, who said that he has voted for more Democrats in his life than Republicans, explained that what the Biden administration has done since taking office makes no sense from a macroeconomic perspective. “This administration gets an ‘F’ in macroeconomics. I’m trying to think of anything they’ve done that has made economic sense with respect to doing what’s best for the country. I cannot think of another administration that has been worse,” Frost said. Thomas asked Frost about US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen’s comments that the US economy was coming in for a “soft landing” after two years of historic inflation.

“I have no doubt that Janet Yellen’s people are going to land soft. I have zero doubt I’m going to land soft,” Frost explained. “The problem is, we are going to have 40-50 million Americans that are going to land really hard and probably 10 million of them are just going to splatter on the concrete.” “What are they trying to do, what is the endgame here?” Frost asked. “I cannot understand it because everything we are doing, to me, is economic suicide.” He added that he does not believe the official rate of inflation, which has fallen to 3%. “Remember when the government is measuring this, they use economic tricks, and they weigh certain variables,” Frost explained. “If they determine something is ‘volatile’ then they weigh that lower in the averaging process than they do something that they say is stable, but if you look at regular people’s expenditures on bacon, eggs, stuff like that, the prices are still going up.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Efficacy

 

 

 

 

Roar

 

 


In 1983 Steve Jobs replied to a letter saying he didn’t sign autographs. It sold at auction in 2021 for $500k.

 

 

Humpback

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 102023
 
 December 10, 2023  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Mi esposa desnuda 1945

 

‘Most Censored Man’ In America Set To Return To X (RT)
Gonzalo Lira’s Father Blames Biden (RT)
US Condemns Thousands To Death By Vetoing UN Gaza Resolution – Russia (TASS)
In the Season of Goodwill, A Tip for Biden… Stop Fuelling War (SCF)
Israeli Losses Multiply As Gaza Factions Ferociously Resist Aggression (Cradle)
Moscow on the Rocks (Pepe Escobar)
‘Putin Era’ Rolls On in Spite of West Endlessly Underestimating Him (Sp.)
Russia Won’t Agree to ‘Minsk-3.0’ Deal on Ukraine (Sp.)
Russia Won’t Allow Existence Of ‘Nazi State’ On Its Border – Zakharova (RT)
Polish Media Debunks Narrative That Ukraine is Fighting for West’s Freedom (Sp.)
Bizarre Plot Twist: Scholz Blames Putin for High Energy Prices in Europe (Sp.)
EU Leaders Panicking Over Potential Trump Return – NYT (RT)
With Hunter’s Indictment, Democrats Face A Moment Of Maddening Truth (Turley)
Americans Running Out Of Savings – JPMorgan (RT)
Net Zero Requires 80 Million Kilometres of New Power Lines By 2040 (DS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace

 

 

 

 

Martyanov

 

 

Jeffrey Sachs

 

 

Mahathir

 

 

 

 

“If the people vote him back on, this will be bad for X financially, but principles matter more than money..”

‘Most Censored Man’ In America Set To Return To X (RT)

X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk has asked the public to vote on whether to reinstate the account of Infowars host Alex Jones. Musk said that maintaining the ban on Jones would go against his belief in free speech. Musk posted his poll on Saturday afternoon, asking X users whether they wanted him to “reinstate Alex Jones on this platform?” With eight hours to go at time of writing, 70% were in favor of Jones’ reinstatement, and 30% opposed. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk wrote in his post. Musk used this Latin phrase, which means “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” when he reinstated former US President Donald Trump’s account after a similar vote last year. Jones and his InfoWars channel were banned from every major social media platform in 2018, with the Silicon Valley firms citing “hate speech” and alleged breaches of their terms of service.

Jones was also banned from using PayPal for business transactions over his alleged “intolerance against certain communities and religions.” After purchasing Twitter last year and rebranding the platform as X, Musk rolled back many of the company’s speech rules and censorship policies, and offered a “general amnesty” to previously banned users. However, he wrote last year that after the death of his infant son, he would never allow Jones back, describing the Infowars shock-jock as someone “who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.” Jones had previously claimed that the Sandy Hook school shooting of 2012 was perpetuated by the US government to drum up support for gun control. A group of victims’ families sued Jones over his comments, and a judge ordered him to pay over $1.5 billion in damages last year. Jones, who filed for bankruptcy shortly after the verdict, has vowed to appeal the decision.

Musk’s opinion of Jones appears to have softened after former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who now hosts a self-produced show on X, interviewed the notorious pundit earlier this week. Introducing his guest as “the most censored man in the English language,” Carlson sat down to an hour-long discussion with Jones, during which Jones said that he understood that if Musk allowed him back on X, “the ADL and others would really be able to shut down Twitter.” The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish NGO, has previously clashed with Musk over X’s alleged tolerance of “rampant hate speech.” The ADL settled its beef after Musk threatened to sue the organization for driving away advertisers with “false accusations.” Responding to an X user later on Saturday, Musk wrote that “I vehemently disagree with what he said about Sandy Hook, but are we a platform that believes in freedom of speech or are we not?” “That is what it comes down to in the end. If the people vote him back on, this will be bad for X financially, but principles matter more than money,” he added.

56 seconds

Read more …

“Isn’t it odd that four days later, after condemning Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Gonzalo was arrested?”

“If we are going to protect democracy in the world, let’s start by taking out that puppet called Zelensky..”

Gonzalo Lira’s Father Blames Biden (RT)

President Joe Biden’s administration was complicit in the arrest of a US citizen who was jailed and tortured in Ukraine for criticizing the Kiev government, the father of incarcerated blogger Gonzalo Lira has claimed, saying his son may have sealed his fate when he also spoke out against Washington. Gonzalo Lira was apprehended by Ukrainian authorities for the third time in August, while trying to escape the country into Hungary after being released on bail. The Chilean-American journalist had repeatedly criticized the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, arguing that Kiev had provoked its conflict with Russia and had no chance of winning. “This that is happening to my son, he’s a victim of this Biden government and his relation with that puppet Zelensky,” Gonzalo Lira Sr. said on Saturday in an interview with US political commentator Tucker Carlson.

“Zelensky is a man that has made opponents, political opponents, disappear.” The 80-year-old father said his son had bravely reported on about a dozen Zelensky opponents who had been “disappeared.” The younger Gonzalo Lira also predicted correctly that the Russian economy would be relatively unscathed by Western sanctions and that NATO members would suffer a boomerang effect from their efforts to arm Ukraine and punish Moscow. However, it was only after the blogger sharply criticized Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris that he was arrested for a second time, in May, Gonzalo Lira Sr. told Carlson. “Isn’t it odd that four days later, after condemning Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Gonzalo was arrested?” the father asked. “Why was he not detained earlier? When he was let go the previous year, he continued the same criticism against the war.”

He added, “The USA government, with its silence in the face of this scandalous incident, suggests a degree of complicity, or at least tacit approval of Gonzalo’s arrest.” Lira contrasted the Biden administration’s “conspicuous lack of response” to his son’s arrest to Washington’s aggressive efforts to secure the release of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested in Russia on espionage charges in March. The younger Lira is relying on a court-appointed Ukrainian attorney who speaks no English for his legal defense. Just before being captured in August, he warned that if he failed to get safely into Hungary and be granted political asylum, he would likely die in a Ukrainian labor camp.

Gonzalo Lira Sr. has called his son a political prisoner and has argued that his case illustrates the absurdity of US claims that the world must defend “freedom and democracy” in Ukraine. “If we are going to protect democracy in the world, let’s start by taking out that puppet called Zelensky,” he said.

Tucker Gonzalo

Read more …

“The resolution called for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages and urged the parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law.”

US Condemns Thousands To Death By Vetoing UN Gaza Resolution – Russia (TASS)

The United States condemned thousands of Palestinian and Israeli civilians to death by vetoing a resolution calling for a ceasefire, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said.”Our American colleagues have condemned thousands – if not tens of thousands – more civilians in Palestine and Israel, including women and children, to death, along with the UN workers who are trying to help them. History will assess what Washington has done,” he noted. “One can say many beautiful but empty words about democracy, human rights, peace, security, some rules and order, but today, we learned the true value of these words as two members of the UN Security Council preferred to remain complicit in Israel’s brutal massacre,” the diplomat said.

“Here at the council, we have nothing left to do but triple efforts to develop a decision that would ease the suffering of civilians within the limited and toothless framework that Washington and London have left us with,” he concluded. Earlier, the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution submitted by the United Arab Emirates, which called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Thirteen out of the UN Security Council’s 15 members, including Russia and China, voted for the resolution, while the UK abstained. The resolution called for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages and urged the parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law.

Read more …

“The massacre of children in Gaza is particularly poignant given its location in the Holy Land and the proximity to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, whom Christians revere as the Son of God. The profanity is shocking.”

In the Season of Goodwill, A Tip for Biden… Stop Fuelling War (SCF)

U.S. President Joe Biden failed to obtain his Christmas wishlist of $111 billion in additional military funds for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The so-called “supplementary military aid package” was blocked by the Senate this week mainly due to opposition from Republican lawmakers. Their opposition was primarily based on demands for more funding to be given to U.S. border security measures rather than on principles of anti-war and pro-peace. Nevertheless, it is somewhat satisfying that Biden’s madcap militarism was dealt a blow. It’s also quite a grim eye-opener that the American president – the supposed leader of the “free world” and a professed devout Christian – sees nothing more important than spending such colossal amounts of money on weapons of war. It is all the more odious given the approach of Christmas and the Season of Goodwill.

The appalling violence in Gaza and the futile war in Ukraine must be stopped immediately. Peace and the alleviation of suffering should be the utmost priority for all world leaders worthy of the name. However, the Biden administration is having none of that. President Biden wants to send another $68 billion in weapons to Ukraine – on top of the more than $120 billion his administration has already supplied in aid to the Kiev regime. It is estimated that 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in nearly two years of a U.S.-led NATO proxy war against Russia. Yet, ludicrously, Biden declares this war to be an achievement in “defending democracy”. Instead of recognizing (even tacitly) that the conflict is a disastrous defeat for Washington and its allies, Biden wants to keep on throttling it.

Meanwhile, the White House has repudiated international calls for a ceasefire in Israel’s wanton offensive against Gaza. After more than two months of intensive aerial bombardment, more than 17,000 Palestinians have been killed and 50,000 injured. Most of the victims have been innocent children and women. The barbarity is unspeakable. So much so that there is a strong suspicion that the Israeli regime is exploiting the Hamas attacks on October 7 as a pretext for ethnic extermination. Despite the horrendous destruction, the Biden administration wants to give Israel an additional $14 billion in military aid on top of the $3.8 billion it receives annually from the United States.

The reported supply of 15,000 heavy bombs and one-tonne bunker buster ordnance from the U.S. to Israel has been made without any conditions on their use to limit civilian casualties. That makes the United States fully complicit in what can only be called genocide in Gaza. To request even more killing power in the form of $14 billion supplementary military aid is tantamount to giving Israel an even brighter green light to continue the mass slaughter with impunity. It is shuddering that this spiritually significant time of year does not give politicians pause for thought. The massacre of children in Gaza is particularly poignant given its location in the Holy Land and the proximity to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, whom Christians revere as the Son of God. The profanity is shocking.

Read more …

“Only in the Mount Herzl cemetery did we bury 50 soldiers in 48 hours.”

Israeli Losses Multiply As Gaza Factions Ferociously Resist Aggression (Cradle)

The Israeli army has registered at least 5,000 wounded among its ranks, including 2,000 troops who have been left “disabled” during the two-month-long ethnic cleansing campaign of Gaza. “Israel has never witnessed an event like this before in terms of the number of injured people,” the head of the Rehabilitation Department at the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Limor Luria, told Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth on 9 December. She added that “58 percent of the soldiers have limb injuries, as they were subjected to the amputation of a leg or arm.” The Israeli army claims only 91 soldiers have been killed by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza since the start of the war on 7 October, casting doubt on whether the actual death toll is being kept secret as the Al-Qassam Brigades has documented the daily destruction of Israeli vehicles and squadrons for the past two months.

In an interview last month, the director of Mount Herzl Military Cemetery, David Oren Baruch, revealed that – at the time – one Israeli soldier was being buried every one hour to one hour and a half. “We are now going through a period. Every hour, there is a funeral, and every hour and a half, there is a funeral,” Baruch said on 19 November. “Only in the Mount Herzl cemetery did we bury 50 soldiers in 48 hours.” The Israeli army is currently facing a fierce battle in the southern city of Khan Younis. According to Yaniv Kubovits, the military affairs correspondent for Haaretz, Israeli army commanders have reported there are four Hamas battalions at the site “whose ability to launch attacks against the army has not been affected.” Battles are also raging in the north of Gaza, which the Israeli army claimed to have gained control of last month. Rocket attacks also continue to be launched against settlements near the Gaza envelope, raising questions on whether Tel Aviv’s stated goal of “eradicating Hamas” can be achieved.

Read more …

“Russia will not initiate a diplomatic dialogue. A sense of threat is very real in Russia. Diplomatic channels conveyed this message to the Americans, behind closed doors.”

Moscow on the Rocks (Pepe Escobar)

And then, casually, almost as an afterthought while meeting Donbass heroes, Putin announces he will run for President again in next March’s elections. Considering his massive popularity – at least 80% nationally – he’s bound to remain in power until 2030. Welcome to VVP-2024. Plenty of time for serial meetings with his dear friend Xi Jinping. The Russia-China strategic partnership – in charge of paving the road to multipolarity – is scheduled to be rocking more progressively than Emerson, Lake and Palmer in Tarkus (“Have you walked in the stones of years?”) These have been heady days in dazzling, snowy Moscow. To start with, let’s go on a roll call of all those indicators which are being reluctantly admitted even by rabid NATOstan media.

A manufacturing boom is in effect in a semi war economy. Investments are up, up and away – including by dodgy Russian oligarchs who can’t park their funds in the West anymore. Tourism is up and up – including legions of Chinese tour groups and everyone and his neighbor from West, Central and South Asia. There’s an oil and gas export boom – as EU clients continue to buy gas via Turkey or to the delight of New Delhi, Repackaged in India oil. The yuan replaces the U.S. dollar and the euro. Import substitution rules – while in parallel Made in Turkey or Made in China products replace Europeans. Last January, the IMF was betting that the Russian economy would shrink by 2.3%. Now this outpost of the Treasury Department admits Russian GDP will grow by 2.2%. Actually it’s 3%, according to Putin himself, based on figures provided by the “Disrupter” (as described by a Western rag), Madame Elvira Nabiullina.

I have been privileged to be part of key meetings on everything from the latest in the Ukraine-Belarus front to still secret, top-flight studies on the ideal mechanism to bypass the U.S. dollar in payment settlements. A small group of us, invited by the International Russophile Movement (MIR), were treated to a detailed visit to the astonishing Sretensky monastery complex, defined by mega cool guy Larry Johnson as an unparalleled architectural jewel where one may experience “the palpable presence of God.” Then there was the requisite ritual, long, languid dinner with a stunning Princess in unmatchable Patriarch’s Ponds – Moscow’s Soho; talking to the young, future generation planning a new ground-breaking think tank in St. Petersburg; the mesmerizing Russia exhibition at the VDNKh – complete with a four-story underground bunker built by Rosatom to highlight the history of the Russian nuclear program.

Yes: there are replicas of the supersonic TU-144, the K3 Leninsky Komsomol nuclear submarine and even the Tsar Bomba. Not to mention Gagarin’s rocket lighted as if it’s starring on a psychedelic trip. The spirit of Christmas in on at Red Square – complete with skating rink and countless Christmas trees from every Russian region displayed at GUM. Welcome to the true multipolar Moveable Feast; and in the era of genocide in every smartphone, unlike Hemingway’s time a century ago, that’s not exactly taking place in gloomy and fearful Paris.

High-level Russian diplomacy was stunned to discover that Europe was much more dogmatic than many believed. “A new generation” is needed for dialogue to resume – but that does not seem to be in the cards anytime soon. Embassies should work as mediators. Yet that’s not the case – especially when it comes to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Russia will not initiate a diplomatic dialogue. A sense of threat is very real in Russia. Diplomatic channels conveyed this message to the Americans, behind closed doors. On the wishful thinking by has-beens such as former NATO secretary-general Anders “Fogh of War” Rasmussen, bragging on blocking St. Petersburg out of the Baltic Sea: “This is something that may end up very badly.”

Read more …

“..any global governance settlement cannot be enforced without the equal involvement of Russia, China and the US,” Raffone said. “The EU is, regrettably, irrelevant in such an exercise..”

‘Putin Era’ Rolls On in Spite of West Endlessly Underestimating Him (Sp.)

Many in the West thought military conflict between Russia and Ukraine would spell doom for Russian leader Vladimir Putin. But instead the operation has only strengthened the longtime president’s political resilience. That’s according to Paolo Raffone, the director of CIPI Foundation in Brussels, who spoke to Sputnik in light of Putin’s recent announcement that he’d seek reelection in 2024. “One critical mistake in any military confrontation is to underestimate the enemy,” noted Raffone. “Since the outset of the Russian operation, the Western propaganda machine has diffused reports ridiculing Russian strategies, forces, and capabilities.” “Even at a later stage, the withdrawal of Russian forces from Bakhmut has been completely misinterpreted as a sign of weakness while, instead, it was a wise decision, although painful, dictated by the restructuring of logistics along an over extended frontline.”

The strategic analyst suggested Putin and his military advisers have played the long game. Meanwhile, Western leaders’ public promotion of Kiev’s chances for victory has given rise to an overconfidence in the regime’s capabilities, imperiling the entire project. “The over communication of the capabilities of the Ukrainian army to launch last summer’s counteroffensive has resulted in overestimating the real possibilities while underestimating the carefully prepared Russian defensive lines,” said Raffone. “In addition, the stream of declarations by the NATO secretary general shows the manipulative intent instead of representing the effectiveness of the situation.” “Over the last three days, the NATO ‘paper tiger’ has contradicted itself several times on the real possibilities for Ukraine to win. No doubt that in all military operations propaganda is as important as the field activities. However, the reality in the field remains while propaganda vanishes, producing a sense of despair and disaffection in the masses involved.”

Raffone claimed that, behind the scenes, a “secret realist diplomacy” has prevailed regarding the situation even as a chauvinistic Western press is unable to convey the reality of events on the ground. The disconnect with reality extends to Western political leaders who’ve been unable to reflect Russia’s advantageous position in their “storytelling and policies. He believes the United States is seeking a “credible face-saving exit strategy” from the Ukrainian confrontation amidst the political realities of upcoming elections in Russia, the United States, and the European Union. Until those elections are held, Raffone said “no political leader can deviate from the chosen anti-Putin stance,” meaning Western audiences may expect public vilification and hysterical mainstream media speculation to continue. “Serious strategic analysis indicates that any global governance settlement cannot be enforced without the equal involvement of Russia, China and the US,” Raffone said. “The EU is, regrettably, irrelevant in such an exercise..” [..]

Read more …

“They all talk about the de facto recognition of Russian control over territory and making the rest of Ukraine an anti-Russia on steroids..”

Russia Won’t Agree to ‘Minsk-3.0’ Deal on Ukraine (Sp.)

Russia will either have to “come to the negotiating table on terms that would be acceptable to Ukraine…or they will face a stronger Ukraine, backed by a stronger defense industrial base in the United States, in Europe, and in Ukraine that has more ability to go on the offense,” US deputy national security advisor John Finer warned during a talk at a DC neocon think tank this week. The Kremlin rejected Finer’s comments as “absolutely unrealistic.” “I don’t think that there are necessary preconditions for peace talks,” Russian foreign policy strategist Dmitry Suslov told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. “The objective reasons for Western interest in peace talks are there because the correlation of forces on the Ukrainian conflict is shifting in Russia’s favor, has already shifted in Russia’s favor.

“And I think Russian preponderance in all aspects on the front will continue to grow – in terms of the number of people…in terms of weapons and ammunition, in terms of the ability to deliver and supply those weapons and ammunition to the front, including the newest features of contemporary warfare like drones and anti-radio systems and so on and so forth. So, Russia will continue to increase its advantage and over time, this Russian material advantage will inevitably translate into breakthroughs on the front,” Suslov explained. Leading American neoliberal and neoconservative geopolitics experts realize this, the observer believes, hence the sudden calls for a truce, some type of diplomatic settlement or at least a freeze on the conflict.

“But from the Russian perspective, we do not see a readiness for serious discussions from the Biden administration. Most likely it wants, as Americans say, to ‘kick the can down the road’ until the elections and then to think what comes next after the elections,” Suslov said. One recent report by a well-respected US journalist suggested that forces behind the scenes in Washington have put out feelers for a peace deal with Russia involving freezing the conflict along its current frontiers, in exchange for a rump Ukrainian state’s inclusion into the NATO bloc. Such talk focused territory marks a fundamental misunderstanding of Russia’s actual security concerns, Suslov stressed.

“They all talk about the de facto recognition of Russian control over territory and making the rest of Ukraine an anti-Russia on steroids, integration of the rump Ukraine into the Western orbit in this or that form, robust militarization of this rump Ukraine. They talk about either the Israeli model or the Korean model, both of which would imply Ukraine becoming a militarized anti-Russian fortress with very strong connections with the West. This is completely unacceptable for Russia. This is a false vision because Russia will never be satisfied with territories. The most fundamental reason why Russia is fighting this struggle is security – more fundamental questions of European security,” the geopolitical observer said.

Moscow, Suslov said, is focused not on territory, but on “Ukrainian-NATO relations, the future of NATO’s presence in Ukrainian territory, the future of Ukrainian militarization versus demilitarization” (as outlined in the Russian Foreign Ministry’s December 2021 draft treaties on ironclad security guarantees). Accordingly, “without Western readiness to address those issues,” the Russian government will be extremely unlikely to entertain talks of peace or even a truce, the analyst believes.

Read more …

“It is necessary to confirm the neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine..”

Russia Won’t Allow Existence Of ‘Nazi State’ On Its Border – Zakharova (RT)

Moscow will not allow Ukraine to continue its existence as a “Nazi state,” threatening both Russia and other nations, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. Zakharova made the remarks in an exclusive interview with AFP, published in full on Saturday. Asked whether the goals of “denazification” and “demilitarization” of Ukraine, proclaimed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the beginning of the conflict in February 2022, Zakharova confirmed that was the case. Moreover, the events of the Ukrainian crisis have shown Russia’s decision to launch its special military operation was a necessity, she stressed.

“From the very beginning of the hostilities, the [Ukrainian] neo-Nazis have been cynically using the civilian population as ‘human shields’ and brutally treating Russian prisoners of war. Their main goal in this conflict is to kill as many Russians as possible,” Zakharova explained. “We will not allow the existence on our borders of an aggressive Nazi state from whose territory there is a danger for Russia and its neighbors.” Asked about prospects of somehow settling the conflict, Zakharova said that the only way to reach a “lasting peace” was, effectively, meeting all Russia’s demands. “It is necessary to confirm the neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine, carry out its demilitarization and denazification, acknowledge new territorial realities, and ensure the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities living in this country,” she explained.

Russia remains ready to resolve the conflict through diplomacy, the spokeswoman confirmed, stating that Moscow has never refused to do so. However, to make such negotiations possible, “the Kiev regime and its Western curators” must take “practical steps and show goodwill.” Thus far, neither of them had shown such “political will,” she added. “A comprehensive, sustainable and just resolution of the conflict over Ukraine depends, to a large extent, on addressing its very causes. The West must stop pumping up the Ukrainian military with weaponry, while Kiev must cease hostilities and withdraw its troops from Russian territory,” Zakharova explained, referring to the four formerly-Ukrainian regions of Zaporozhye, Kherson, as well as Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which got incorporated into Russia after referendums last fall.

Read more …

“An Estonian military officer has formulated the following thesis: that ‘there are only two options: either Ukraine will win, or there will be World War III..’”

Polish Media Debunks Narrative That Ukraine is Fighting for West’s Freedom (Sp.)

Kiev’s “cunning propaganda” suggesting that a Russian victory in Ukraine will inevitably be followed up with attacks on NATO countries are little more than a form of “demagoguery” and “blackmail” completely detached from reality. That’s according to an editorial published in Polish politics journal Mysl Polska. “An Estonian military officer has formulated the following thesis: that ‘there are only two options: either Ukraine will win, or there will be World War III’. This ridiculous proposition is probably shared by a large part of Ukraine’s supporters in our country,” the alternative conservative media outlet wrote, pointing to efforts by some actors to convince the public “that a Ukrainian defeat will mean we will definitely be attacked by Russia.”

But the latter claim is little more than a “cunning propaganda move by Kiev aimed at maintaining Western policy of unconditional military and financial support,” with these kind of “demagogic statements…often used by Ukrainian politicians as blackmail (for example, during the Polish truckers’ protests). This trick is also used by the failing administration of Joe Biden, which frightens the countries of NATO’s eastern flank with the prospect of an attack by Russia,” the journal emphasized. The reality is the exact opposition, and “there is no country in Europe that should be more interested in ending the war than Poland, which will be the first to face the consequences if the military situation escalates. Poland should be among the first countries to demand an end to this war, just like the Hungarians are doing. However, no political force in our country will dare to formulate such a demand… Why? Because the dogma of ‘fighting to the end’ continues to apply. The fact that it means ‘to the last Ukrainian’ is something no one in Poland cares about.”

The political journal lamented that “no one in Poland is talking about the fundamental change in the West’s policy toward Russia towards dialogue and the creation of a security system in which all parties (Russia and the West) will feel safe. To achieve this, we will need to end NATO’s march to the east, clearly declare that Ukraine will be a neutral country, end the policy of endless sanctions and revive all institutions that could be a platform for dialogue between Russia and the Europe (e.g. The OSCE). Someone might say, but isn’t that impossible? If so, they will be admitting that the Estonian military officer quoted above is right – that the alternative is World War III,” Mysl Polska summarized.

Read more …

“Yes, Russia stopped supplying energy to Europe… It was the Russian president who halted gas supplies through a working gas pipeline,” Scholz stated.”

Bizarre Plot Twist: Scholz Blames Putin for High Energy Prices in Europe (Sp.)

The leader of Germany’s coalition government attempted to scapegoat Russia for his country’s self-inflicted economic woes as Berlin faces the threat of deindustrialization. In a recent address at the Social Democratic Party (SPD) congress, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz blamed Russia for halting gas supplies to Europe amid rising energy costs. He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of stopping gas flows through a functional pipeline, significantly reducing Germany’s gas intake and contributing to a shortfall in Europe’s energy reserves. “Russia: Yes, Russia stopped supplying energy to Europe… It was the Russian president who halted gas supplies through a working gas pipeline,” Scholz stated. “This has implications for energy prices.”

But that narrative collapses in light of his country’s role in imposing sanctions on Moscow and restricting the flow of Russian energy to Western Europe. Scholz’s decision to align with the US and Britain in sanctioning Russian energy sources worsened Germany’s problems. The nation has denied itself around 120 billion cubic meters of Russian gas as a result. Germany has instead increased gas imports from Norway and built new liquified natural gas (LNG) on its northern coast to import more-expensive supplies from the US — all choices made by the West, not Moscow.

The gas supply situation worsened further following last year’s terrorist attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines that run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Several countries, including Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, have conducted investigations into the incident, but have failed to name a culprit and refused to share their findings with Russia. Russian authorities have accused the US and Britain as the main forces behind the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines. Nikolai Shulginov, head of the Russian Ministry of Energy, stated in November that Russia had not “closed” the western direction of energy supplies and continues to be a reliable gas supplier even under current challenging conditions.

Read more …

“..this anti-interventionism would lead to the eventual collapse of NATO..”

EU Leaders Panicking Over Potential Trump Return – NYT (RT)

EU diplomats and think tank officials have been contacting former US President Donald Trump’s associates to figure out whether he would pull the US out of NATO if he returns to the White House, the New York Times reported on Friday. With less than a year to go until the 2024 presidential elections, Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee and is leading President Joe Biden in most polls. A host of former Trump administration officials and anti-Trump pundits have claimed in recent weeks that a second Trump presidency would herald the collapse of NATO, and that panic has reportedly spread to the EU. “European ambassadors and think tank officials have been making pilgrimages to associates of Mr. Trump to inquire about his intentions,” the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources.

These officials included Finland’s ambassador to the US, Mikko Hautala, who the newspaper said “reached out directly to Mr. Trump and sought to persuade him of his country’s value to NATO as a new member.” Other countries are expected to try and win Trump’s support with “flattery and transactional tributes,” the Times stated, citing interviews with current and former diplomats. Trump has not threatened to pull the US out of NATO. However, he spent his presidency railing against the bloc’s European members, accusing them of freeloading off the US’ massive military presence on the continent while failing to meet NATO’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defense. Trump used NATO’s annual summits to berate European leaders into boosting their military spending, and according to former National Security Advisor John Bolton, was ready to announce the US’ withdrawal from the alliance in 2018.

Trump’s final national security advisor, Robert O’Brien, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, told the Times that the former president’s NATO-related gripes should be viewed as a negotiating tactic, aimed at pressing European members into committing more money to the bloc. In a statement to the Times, Trump wrote that “it is the obligation of every US president to ensure that America’s alliances serve to protect the American people, and do not recklessly endanger American blood and treasure,” adding that his “highest priority” would be “the defense of our own country, our own borders, our own values, and our own people.”

Such a statement is consistent with Trump’s long-standing view that American troops should not be “the policemen of the world.” While Trump carried out military strikes on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, he attempted to withdraw American troops from all three countries, and was the only US president in modern history not to engage in a new foreign war. However, Trump’s former defense secretary, Marc Esper, told MSNBC on Thursday that this anti-interventionism would lead to the eventual collapse of NATO. If Trump were to pull military support for Ukraine, Esper claimed, “the whole effort to support Ukraine in its war with Russia would eventually crumble,” as would the alliance itself if Trump then began pulling troops from Europe.

Read more …

“..it makes no sense to insist that there is no direct evidence while opposing efforts to establish such evidence..”

With Hunter’s Indictment, Democrats Face A Moment Of Maddening Truth (Turley)

Author Aldous Huxley once said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.” Such a moment of madness has arrived in Congress as members prepare to vote on the formal approval of an impeachment inquiry. The second indictment of Hunter Biden shattered long-standing denials and narratives repeated by the White House and members of Congress. What is left in its wake is now plain to the public: corruption. The vote is not whether to impeach President Biden, but whether members support the investigation into these growing allegations of corruption by the Biden family. According to recent polling, nearly 70 percent of voters (and 40 percent of Democrats) believe that Biden has acted unlawfully or unethically or both. Yet with almost half of the Democratic Party viewing Biden’s conduct as worthy of investigation, it is not clear whether a single Democratic member will vote to look into these allegations.

In September, I testified at the first impeachment inquiry hearing and stated that the evidence had clearly passed the threshold for such an inquiry. While there was no requirement to hold a formal vote to start this process (as the Democrats did with Trump), I encouraged the members to hold such a vote. Since that hearing, the evidence has only mounted against President Biden. It is now clear that Biden lied when he maintained as a candidate, and later as president, that he had no knowledge of his son’s business dealings with foreign interests. Even Hunter himself contradicted the president on this claim. It is also now clear that he lied in denying that his son never made money in China. The indictment confirms massive transfers from Chinese sources.

It is also clear that Hunter was engaged in raw influence peddling. This included threatening at least one Chinese businessman that his father was sitting next to him and would retaliate against him if he did not send millions to the Bidens. President Biden also lied when he claimed this week that he had not had any “interactions” with his son’s business associates. There are emails, audiotapes and testimony now disproving that claim. Millions of dollars flowed to Biden family members through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. Hunter Biden sent emails saying that up to half of his income went to his father while they used shared accounts and credit cards for expenses. Even Biden associates now admit that they were selling “the Biden brand” and influence with Joe Biden. Advocates simply argue that they were merely selling the “illusion” of influence.

It is now time to see if a single Democratic member will stand against corruption and support an inquiry into the president’s role and later cover-up of this corruption. That includes the use of White House staff to spread false claims and attack critics. I have previously discussed four possible articles of impeachment that warrant investigation. One of the false narratives being bandied about is that there is no proof that the influence peddling Biden’s son and brothers benefited the president himself. Thus, the argument goes, even though he was the subject of the influence peddling, Joe Biden did not legally or constitutionally benefit from the payments to constitute bribery or other crimes.

That is utter nonsense. The courts have repeatedly found that benefits to family members (far more modest than the millions in this case) can constitute bribery for a politician. That has also been the position of the Justice Department in past cases. Regardless of whether Hunter or his associates were speaking truthfully about handing over percentages of these funds to Joe Biden, he practically and legally benefited from the millions going to his family. Even if members insist that they are not yet convinced, it makes no sense to insist that there is no direct evidence while opposing efforts to establish such evidence. These members have opposed any investigation into the allegations from the start.

Read more …

“..existing home sales have dropped near record lows, and roughly $6.5 trillion of commercial real estate debt remains an overhang..”

Americans Running Out Of Savings – JPMorgan (RT)

Most Americans have already drained the excess savings they made during the Covid-19 pandemic, Marko Kolanovic, a senior stock strategist at JPMorgan bank, said in a note this week. According to Kolanovic, inflation-adjusted liquid assets such as deposits and money market funds of nearly all US consumers will be below 2019 levels by mid-2024. “It is likely that only the top 1% of consumers by income will be better off than before the pandemic,” he warned, noting the recent surge of credit card and auto loan delinquencies and a growing number of bankruptcy protection filings.

According to JPMorgan’s earlier calculations, Americans’ excess savings reached a record high in August 2021 at $2.1 trillion. However, in October this year, they were down to around $148 billion. The bank’s strategists explained at the time that the trend stems from “tighter credit conditions and rising rates, wind-down of Covid-era stimulus and relief programs,” as well as multiple years of above average inflation. Kolanovic noted that the housing market is so far stable despite high borrowing costs, “as consumers locked in low interest rates.” “However, existing home sales have dropped near record lows, and roughly $6.5 trillion of commercial real estate debt remains an overhang,” he warned.

Meanwhile, US credit card debt has continued to surge this year, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases in the three months to September, according to the New York Federal Reserve bank. Researchers have noted that more and more households are having difficulty managing their debt amid persistently high inflation and rising interest rates, a tendency that could signal “real financial stress.”

Read more …

“..renewable energy is unreliable and uneconomic, and has an insatiable requirement for financial subsidy..”

Net Zero Requires 80 Million Kilometres of New Power Lines By 2040 (DS)

Achieving Net Zero means building 80 million kilometres of new and refurbished power lines within 17 years, equivalent to wrapping the Earth 2,000 times with new electricity grid capacity. All the high voltage lines built in the last century will need to be built again by 2040 to benefit from all the intermittent power produced by the vast number of wind turbines. The ecological costs of all this can only be guessed at. Electricity cables are made of aluminium and copper and strung on giant pylons made of steel and supported by large concrete bases. For their part, wind turbines are a menace to both avian and oceanic wildlife, consume vast quantities of raw materials, have a limited lifespan and are an increasing blight on both inland and offshore landscapes.

If the International Energy Agency (IEA) gets its way, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The roll-out of high voltage lines will be on an unprecedented scale. In a report on global electricity grids issued to coincide with COP28, the IEA states that “an unprecedented level of attention from policymakers and business leaders is needed to ensure grids support clean energy transitions and maintain electricity security”. Major changes in how grids operate and are regulated are said to be essential. Annual investment in grids, which has remained broadly stagnant, needs to double to more than $600 billion a year by 2030. The Australian science journalist Jo Nova is in no mood to be understanding: “Remember, it’s not their fault that renewables need far more land, more space, more backup and more infrastructure – it’s our fault we didn’t build a world ready for their holy energy.”

The IEA paints a world where electricity grids are becoming a “bottleneck” for transitions to Net Zero emissions. While investment in renewables has been increasing rapidly, global investment in grids “has barely changed”. In Europe, policymakers can speed up progress on grids by “enhancing planning, ensuring regulatory risk assessments allow for anticipatory investment, and streamlining administrative processes”. In plain English this means ripping up local planning laws in over-populated Britain and blanketing the country with millions of giant electricity pylons. These will be required to bring energy to urban areas from power intermittently generated far away in the North Sea and off the Scottish coast.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the British Government recently set out “major plans” to speed up connections and rapidly increase capacity on the electricity grid. The press release cunningly linked it with a £960 million government investment in “green industries”. The new package is “expected” to bring forward £90 billion of investment over the next 10 years. The Government promised that it will “reward” those living closest to new infrastructure with up to £1,000 a year off their electricity bills. In another part of the release, this is downgraded to communities “could” benefit, and the bung is limited to 10 years. Whatever the money is spent on, it is likely to be chickenfeed compared with the growing £12 billion annual subsidy paid by electricity consumers to the producers of renewable energy. But the next British government will face an empty exchequer and soaring state debt. Lack of finance along with the end of low interest rates and free money printing is likely to kill many of the green fantasises currently being peddled by collectivist Net Zero fanatics. It is becoming clearer by the day, to an increasing number of people, that renewable energy is unreliable and uneconomic, and has an insatiable requirement for financial subsidy.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Reindeer antlers

 

 

Reindeer cyclone

 

 

Kinetic

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 092023
 
 December 9, 2023  Posted by at 9:44 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Bernini The Vision of Constantine 1670

 

The Evil Israel Does is the Evil Israel Gets (Chris Hedges)
Iran’s Raisi Asks Putin To Support Gaza Action – Putin Is Evasive (Helmer)
Flooding Gaza Would Be War Crime – Russia (RT)
Dozens of Democrats Could Beat Trump – Biden (RT)
Zelensky Sees the Writing on the Wall – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
White House Touts ‘Year Of Suffering’ For Russian Troops (RT)
Medvedev Warns Of Direct Russia-NATO Clash (RT)
Hunter Indictment Designed Specifically To Avoid Joe Biden (Turley)
Hunter Is In A Lot Of Trouble (@willscharf)
Hunter Biden Claims GOP Is “Trying To Kill” Him (Sp.)
Hunter Biden is a Case Study of the Perils of Legal Gluttony (Turley)
Tucker Carlson Comments On Running As Trump’s VP (RT)
Is Truth Becoming Valueless? (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

 

The day before yesterday, Refaat received a phone call from the Israeli intelligence about locating him in the school where he took refuge. They informed him that they were going to kill him. He left the school not wanting to endanger the others, and at 6 p.m. his sister’s apartment was bombed, where he was killed, his sister and her four children

 

 

Cuomo RFK

 

 

 

 

Vivek

 

 

 

 

“The wars do not end. The suffering continues. The Palestinians die in the tens of thousands. This is by design.”

The Evil Israel Does is the Evil Israel Gets (Chris Hedges)

I knew Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, the co-founder of Hamas, along with Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Yassin. Al-Rantisi’s family were expelled to the Gaza Strip by Zionist militias from historic Palestine during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. He did not fit the demonized image of a Hamas leader. He was a soft spoken, articulate and highly educated pediatrician who had graduated first in his class at Egypt’s Alexandria University. As a nine-year-old boy, he witnessed executions in Khan Younis of 275 Palestinian men and boys, including his uncle, when Israel briefly occupied the Gaza Strip in 1956, the subject of Joe Sacco’s magisterial book Footnotes in Gaza. Scores of Palestinians were also executed by Israeli soldiers in the neighboring town of Rafah, where tens of thousands Palestinians are currently being forced to flee now that Khan Younis has come under attack.

“I still remember the wailing and the tears of my father over his brother,” al-Rantisi told Sacco and me when we visited him at his home. “I couldn’t sleep for many months after that…It left a wound in my heart that can never heal. I’m telling you a story and I’m almost crying. This sort of action can never be forgotten…[T]hey planted hatred in our hearts.” He knew he could never trust the Israelis. He knew that the goal of the Zionist state was the occupation of all of historic Palestine – Israel seized Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 along with Syria’s Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula – and the eternal subjugation or extermination of the Palestinian people. He knew he would avenge the killings.

Al-Rantisi and Yassin were assassinated in 2004 by Israel. Al-Rantisi’s widow, Jamila Abdallah Taha al-Shanti, had a doctorate in English and taught at the Islamic University in Gaza. The couple had six children, one of whom was killed along with his father. The family’s home was bombed and destroyed during the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza known as Operation Protective Edge. Jamila was killed by Israel on Oct. 19 of this year. Israel’s genocide in Gaza is rearing a new generation of enraged, traumatized and dispossessed Palestinians who have lost family members, friends, homes, communities and any hope of living ordinary lives. They, too, will seek retribution. Their small acts of terrorism will counter Israel’s ongoing state terror. They will hate as they have been hated. This lust for vengeance is universal. After World War Two, a clandestine unit of Jews who served in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, called “Gmul,” – Hebrew for “Recompense” – hunted down former Nazis and executed them. “I and the public know/What all schoolchildren learn,” W.H. Auden wrote. “Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return.”

[..] The Biden administration has little to gain from the leveling and depopulation of Gaza, indeed it is alienating huge segments of the Democratic Party, especially as it attacks protestors calling for a ceasefire as “pro-terrorist.” Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer led chants of “We stand with Israel” and “No ceasefire” at a pro-Israel rally on Nov. 4 in Washington D.C., despite a Reuters/Ipsos survey indicating 68 percent of respondents believed that Israel should implement a ceasefire and negotiate an end to the war. That number rises to 77 percent among Democrats. Biden has a dismal approval rating of 37 percent.

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council voted 13-1 for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and unconditional release of all hostages. The U.S. voted against the resolution. The U.K. abstained. The draft resolution was not adopted due to the U.S. veto. Biden’s real base is not disenchanted voters but the billionaire class, corporations, such as the weapons industry, which is making huge profits from the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, and groups such as the Israel lobby. They determine policy, even if it means Biden’s defeat in the next presidential election. If Biden loses, the oligarchs get Donald Trump, who serves their interests as doggedly as Biden. The wars do not end. The suffering continues. The Palestinians die in the tens of thousands. This is by design.

Read more …

“The war has to be economic and infrastructure suffocation [of Israel],” a Moscow source says. “Yes, that’s the only way to beat the beast.”

Iran’s Raisi Asks Putin To Support Gaza Action – Putin Is Evasive (Helmer)

An Iranian-Russian initiative on the Gaza War was tabled when Iranian President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi met with President Vladimir Putin for several hours on Thursday. For the time being the Kremlin is doing its best to hide it. According to Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, speaking after Raisi had returned home, “a significant part of the negotiations focused on the Palestinian issue and Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza. The two sides stressed the need for an immediate cessation of the war and genocide in Gaza and the West Bank, he said, noting that the presidents of Iran and Russia also called for stopping the forced migration of Gazans and the immediate opening of the Rafah border to deliver massive humanitarian aid to Gazan people.”

There was a one-on-one session between Raisi and Putin at the commencement of the talks; a session of the two presidents with brief public statements; and then closed delegation presentations and a supper. Altogether, the talks lasted five hours. There were no press briefings at the conclusion. There has been a blackout on the talks by Russian Defense Ministry, the military bloggers, and Moscow media like Vzglyad which has been taking a pro-Israel line. No Russian official will clarify what Abdollahian meant by his claim that “Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza” – except to point out that Abdollahian’s wording does not mean that the “initiative” at this stage was initiated by the Russian side. Vedomosti reports that “Iran would like Russia to more actively express the pro-Palestinian position within the framework of public discourse, which would correspond to Iranian rhetoric. From the point of view of the North–South economy, of course, Tehran has a priority, it’s just that against the current background it, like any Muslim country, cannot demonstrate that it can have something more important than the situation in the Gaza Strip.”

According to the Kremlin communiqué, Raisi told Putin “the events unfolding in Gaza” are “surely genocide and a crime against humanity. It is lamentable that more than 6,000 children have been killed by the hands of the Zionist regime. Even sadder is the fact that all these crimes have been supported by the United States and Western countries. What is even more regrettable is that international organisations and the human rights organisations have lost their effectiveness… One of the issues that I would like to discuss with you, Mr Putin, is Palestine, as well as the challenges faced by the oppressed but strong Palestinian people. According to statistics, one child dies every ten minutes. Bombing must be stopped as soon as possible. This is not a regional issue, but a global issue, and a solution should be found promptly.”

Putin replied by changing the subject. “Mr President, I will definitely take you up on your invitation [to visit Iran]. And I should note that we will keep working almost through the end of the year. We have scheduled the signing of an agreement on creating a free trade area between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union in late December. It will create additional opportunities for expanding our interaction.” The Kremlin has published the names of the Russian delegation accompanying Putin at the talks but refuses to disclose the names of their Iranian counterparts. “Wait for additional materials on our website”, the spokesman said. Although Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was the second ranking member of the Russian side, Iranian sources confirm there was no military counterpart on their side.

Privately, Russian sources believe the two sides are discussing the protracted, long war strategy of Hamas and Hezbollah and the parallel engagement from Yemen and Iraq. They are also discussing ideas for breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza with massive humanitarian aid in which the Arab states and China are also engaged in the planning. “The war has to be economic and infrastructure suffocation [of Israel],” a Moscow source says. “Yes, that’s the only way to beat the beast.”

Putin 2024

Read more …

I’m afraid they’re crazy enough to try.

Flooding Gaza Would Be War Crime – Russia (RT)

If Israel is truly considering flooding the “Hamas tunnels” under Gaza with seawater, this would be a clear-cut atrocity, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said at the Security Council meeting on Friday. China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates called for the emergency session, given the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian enclave after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) resumed military operations at the start of December. “In recent days, shocking information has spread about Israeli plans to flood underground structures in the Gaza Strip with seawater,” Polyansky told the council. “According to publicly available information, the IDF has already built a system of pipes and pumps designed to pump seawater, and is currently discussing with the United States the practical possibility of such flooding: will there be enough water, will the ‘topography’ of the tunnels allow it, and so on.”

“Such a step, if taken, would constitute a clear war crime”. Polyansky explained that the flooding would be indiscriminate and the equivalent of ordering “take no prisoners,” while the sea water would contaminate the groundwater in Gaza and make the area uninhabitable. Documents published in mid-October suggest that the Israeli authorities would like to displace all of Gaza’s Palestinian population into Egypt. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the Gaza-based militant group raided nearby Israeli settlements on October 7, killing an estimated 1,200 people and taking scores hostage. Since then, more than 16,000 Palestinians have died in Israeli operations in Gaza.

After a week-long “humanitarian pause” at the end of November, Israel has launched a “more brutal and bloody phase” of its operation, Polyansky told the UN, with the scale of destruction indicating “indiscriminate” use of force and striking of targets considered protected by humanitarian law. “The brutal Hamas raid on October 7 cannot justify Israeli crimes against humanity,” the Russian diplomat argued. “Failure to respect humanitarian law by one side does not relieve the other from the same obligations.” Polyansky added that he doubted the International Criminal Court would do anything, as it will not act “against its Western masters.” The ICC is likely to “forgive” Israel just as it turned a blind eye to Western atrocities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, he added.

Read more …

But “I just have to run.”

Dozens of Democrats Could Beat Trump – Biden (RT)

President Joe Biden has claimed there are dozens of Democrats who could defeat Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election, but has insisted he must be the one to do so. Some sections of the Democratic Party and the media are already treating Biden as the default nominee for next year’s presidential election. The party’s Florida branch has refused to place any other names on the ballot for its primary vote, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has refused to organize debates with other contenders. Biden was asked by the media on Wednesday whether he thought there were fellow Democrats who could defeat Trump. “Probably 50 of them,” the president responded, declining to offer any names. “I’m not the only one, but I will defeat him.”

Questions about Biden’s willingness to run for a second term were triggered by remarks he made at a campaign fundraiser in Boston on Tuesday. “If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running,” said the incumbent leader. Again citing the challenge from his predecessor, Biden later told journalists outside the White House that “I just have to run.” Biden overcame Trump in the 2020 presidential election, and a likely rematch has been touted by the Democrats as an existential battle against the Republican frontrunner’s supposed authoritarianism. However, Biden’s approval ratings recently reached a low of just 37%, according to a CNN poll published on Wednesday. Last month, a New York Times survey predicted Biden would lose to Trump in five of six battleground states. Critics of the Democrats’ strategy claim that the party would rather risk losing to a man it has branded a unique threat to democracy, rather than make Biden contest the nomination fairly against potentially better candidates.

Read more …

“..the counter-counter offensive..”

Zelensky Sees the Writing on the Wall – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky must face the “writing on the wall” after the failure of his summer counter-offensive, says a former UN weapons inspector. In an interview with YouTube host Danny Haiphong, Scott Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, Ritter gave a stark assessment of the notoriously botched Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in early summer of 2023. “The counteroffensive is over. It’s been a strategic defeat for the Ukrainians for the collective West. And what I think we’re going to see now is that the Russians, having absorbed the Ukrainian blow, are going to slowly go on the counter-counter offensive and begin to put pressure on the Ukrainians,” Ritter stressed. “The Russians will be on the initiative from now on. And eventually the Ukrainian line is going to collapse.”

Ukraine’s inability to secure any sort of tangible success on the battlefield will lead to political turmoil in Kiev, the pundit argued. Eventually, Zelensky will face the rage of his soldiers. “They feel betrayed by his incompetence. Especially when it becomes clear how corrupt he is, and how corrupt his government is. Everybody knows it,” Ritter pointed out. “There is a growing resentment over this. There are people who aren’t getting their pensions paid. People who aren’t getting the healthcare they need because of the corruption.” Ritter noted how the US is funding the entire country, paying salaries to civil servants, military personnel and healthcare workers — Washington completely disregards the same needs at home.

“As an American I take umbrage at this. If you’re going to do that there, first, do it here. Let’s take care of the immigration problem. Let’s take care of the dirty water up in Flint, Michigan. Let’s take care of the homeless problem. Let’s take care of all those junkies on the street of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Let’s take care of America before we start taking care of Ukraine,” he concluded. Recently, the Ukrainian media have given substantial coverage to rising tensions between President Zelensky and Ukraine’s top general Valery Zaluzhny. In the interview with British magazine the The Economist, the Commander-in-Chief admitted that the Ukrainian forces had reached an impasse. Zaluzhny came under fire for that statement, with Zelensky rushing to refute it.

Read more …

“He said he disagreed with the notion that the operation “not going as far as people wanted reflects some degree of Ukrainian failure.”

White House Touts ‘Year Of Suffering’ For Russian Troops (RT)

The White House wants to keep funding Ukraine in its conflict with Russia because it believes that in a year Moscow may be willing to concede to Kiev’s demands, an aide to Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, said in an interview on Tuesday. Jon Finer, Sullivan’s principal deputy, discussed the White House Ukraine strategy at an event hosted by the Aspen Institute, an influential US think-tank. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s request to allocate over $110 billion in foreign security aid, including for Ukraine, was blocked from a vote in the Senate. Finer made a case for releasing the funds despite Kiev’s inability to secure any major successes on the battlefield during its summer counteroffensive. He said he disagreed with the notion that the operation “not going as far as people wanted reflects some degree of Ukrainian failure.”

If Washington keeps bankrolling Kiev’s war effort for the next year, the Ukrainian government will maintain “a degree of parity” with Russia, he promised. “Another year of funding and another year in which Russia will have to suffer on the battlefield is fundamentally a better position than we are in today without that funding,” Finer said. “I think there is no way to dispute that.” By the end of 2024, Western nations will have ramped up arms production and be helping Ukraine do the same, the White House expects. Then Russia will have to either “come to the negotiating table on terms that would be acceptable to Ukraine” or face a stronger opponent, according to Finer’s expectations.

Kiev’s demands for peace include full control over pre-2014 Ukrainian territory, war reparations and a tribunal for the Russian leadership, as detailed last year by President Vladimir Zelensky. Moscow has dismissed it from the start as detached from reality. Moscow has cited NATO expansion in Europe and the promised inclusion of Ukraine into the US-led military bloc as a threat to its national security. Preventing that outcome is imperative, senior Russian officials have said. In the first weeks of hostilities, Ukraine and Russia came to a preliminary agreement on a truce, which would have seen Kiev drop its NATO aspirations and pledge neutrality. Then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Kiev to “make war instead,” David Arakhamia, who led the Ukrainian delegation at the talks in Istanbul, confirmed in a recent interview.

Read more …

“..no American president has ever “extorted so much money for a minor country that is in the process of collapsing..”

Medvedev Warns Of Direct Russia-NATO Clash (RT)

Moscow and Washington are tiptoeing on the precipice of a hot war, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said, adding that the last similar crisis in relations dates back to the height of the Cold War in the early 1960s. Writing on Telegram on Friday, Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, weighed in on what he called US President Joe Biden’s “primitive blackmail” of Congress. He was referring to the American leader’s recent plea to lawmakers to approve a $111 billion security package, which included funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. To convince Republicans – who have been reluctant to support the measure due to a dispute over border security – Biden warned that Russia might not stop at Ukraine and go on to attack NATO countries, leading to a direct clash involving the US. His plea, however, failed to impress the Senate Republicans, who blocked the funding.

Medvedev said the Biden administration’s ploy “is nothing new.” According to the official, many US presidents in the past have said, “Give the money to our guy (fill in the name), or you will have to fight the Russians.” The difference, Medvedev added, is that no American president has ever “extorted so much money for a minor country that is in the process of collapsing,” which is also connected to a corruption controversy involving both the sitting US president and his family members – in reference to allegations that both Biden and his son Hunter accepted bribes from a Ukrainian gas executive. The former Russian president went on: “Never since the Cuban Missile Crisis has the threat of a direct clash between Russia and NATO leading to World War III been so real.”

The 1962 crisis brought the US and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war after Moscow responded to Washington’s deployment of missiles in Türkiye by placing its own atomic assets in allied Cuba. The two superpowers narrowly managed to defuse the tensions by withdrawing their missiles from both countries. Medvedev predicted that despite the gridlock in Congress, both the administration and its “cowering fosterling” in Kiev would get the money sooner or later, allowing all parties involved to continue profiting off the conflict. Russia has repeatedly warned the West against sending arms to Kiev, arguing that doing so will only prolong the conflict while making it a direct participant in the hostilities.

Read more …

How do you withdraw $1.6 million from an ATM?

Hunter Indictment Designed Specifically To Avoid Joe Biden (Turley)

The 56-page indictment of Hunter Biden for tax evasion makes for racy reading, with the special counsel describing a four-year criminal pattern directed at maintaining Biden’s “extravagant lifestyle.” That lifestyle included massive expenses for strippers, sex clubs, fast cars and other distractions. The steps taken by Hunter to evade taxes are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the efforts of the Justice Department to evade any direct implications for his father, President Biden. In that sense, the indictment itself is a marvel of evasion. There are three glaring omissions in the indictment that tend to shield critical payments and conduct that implicate the president. First, the special counsel only indicts tax evasion that occurred in recent years. That’s because the long “investigation” into Hunter inexplicably allowed the statute of limitations to expire on the most controversial payments from Ukraine gas company Burisma.

Recent testimony from IRS whistleblowers suggests that wasn’t an accident. Investigators were stonewalled, they claimed, and the Justice Department was previously moving to reject any charges against Hunter Biden. Exploring those earlier Ukrainian payments opens up questions about Hunter’s influence peddling and would have highlighted the conflict in his father’s extraordinary move to force the Ukrainians to fire a prosecutor investigating Burisma by holding back a billion dollars in aid for the country. There is still no explanation why special counsel David Weiss would allow the statute of limitations to run out. But this recent indictment keeps the focus squarely on taxes not paid, not how the money was “earned” in the first place. Also missing in the indictment is any charge against Hunter Biden as an unregistered foreign agent.

Recently, the Justice Department added a charge to the indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) that he ran afoul of FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act. FARA also was used to go after Donald Trump associates such as Paul Manafort. The problem with charging Hunter with FARA is obvious. It opens up questions about the millions of dollars going to the Biden family from foreign sources, a topic that Attorney General Merrick Garland has spent years avoiding. In the second indictment, Weiss spends more time detailing the salacious use of this money rather than how and why it was given to the Bidens. He just matter-of-factly describes millions flowing through these accounts from China, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and other countries. By focusing on tax evasion alone, Weiss again avoids any direct reference to the focus of the influence-peddling used to raise these millions of dollars.

Even without mentioning the president, the implications of the indictment are devastating for the narrative and denials of Joe Biden. The president has continued to maintain that he had no knowledge or interaction with these dealings. Those statements are clearly and knowingly false. The president also maintained that his son has “never done anything wrong” and never accepted any money from China. That is also untrue, according to the Justice Department and Hunter himself. Yet Weiss continues to avoid any need to address the person who was the selling point of the influence peddling. It was the same person who repeatedly called in to dinners and meetings, repeatedly attended events, and held meetings and photo shots for these clients. Instead, Weiss indicts the failure to pay taxes on the proceeds of these dealings without addressing that underlying corruption. It is akin to arresting a bank robber for speeding away from the crime scene without mentioning the reason for his flight.

Read more …

X thread.

Hunter Is In A Lot Of Trouble (@willscharf)

I have reviewed the new Hunter Biden indictment. As a former federal prosecutor, and someone who has followed the Hunter saga quite closely for years, here are my initial reactions:

(1) Hunter is in a lot of trouble. With the sweetheart deal previously offered to him now off the table, Hunter is in an awful lot of trouble. He is facing four counts of willfully failing to pay his taxes for tax years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, and two counts of failing to file a tax return for tax years 2017 and 2018, all in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203. He is also charged with one count of tax evasion and two counts of filing false and fraudulent tax forms for tax year 2018, in violation of § 7201 and § 7206, for chalking up hundreds of thousands of dollars of fake business expenses. These fake expenses included payments for: hotel rooms that he turned into crack dens, payoffs for his girlfriends, strippers, escorts, luxury cars, a sex club membership, porn sites. He also tried to claim his daughter’s law school tuition as business-related legal expenses. He tried to hide income, and made numerous false statements under penalty of perjury. If he were to go to trial and be convicted of all of these counts, based on my calculations, the advisory federal sentencing guidelines range for him could easily reach 4–5 years’ imprisonment. Even if he were to plead guilty to these counts, his guidelines range sentence would likely be around 3 years. That is a lot of prison time for the son of a sitting president.

(2) Weiss appears to be playing this straight. I said after David Weiss’s appointment as special counsel that this was going to go in one of two directions: Either Weiss was going to continue the concerted effort to cover up and clean up Hunter’s long history of criminal activity to protect Joe Biden and the Biden family. Or Weiss was going rogue, and would hammer Hunter with the full force of the law. My assumption was cover up, but based on this indictment and the previous firearms indictment, I can’t find fault with his actions thus far. He is appropriately and vigorously prosecuting the tax and gun crimes that we already knew about. The real test will be what comes next. Will Hunter be offered a new sweetheart plea deal to sweep this all under the rug? Most importantly, will more indictments follow? Foreign money laundering? Failure to register as a foreign agent? Bribery? Only time will tell, but I am hopeful that maybe—just maybe—we will see some justice here.

(3) Joe Biden is a liar. If the facts in the indictment are proven, and based on Hunter’s previous abortive plea deal I believe they can be and will be, this indictment is further proof (as if we needed more) that Joe Biden lied repeatedly to the American people during the 2020 election. “My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China.” That was Joe Biden at the presidential debate on October 22, 2020. That was a lie. Biden denied that Hunter had made “a fortune in China, in Moscow and various other places” at the presidential debate on September 29, 2020. That was a lie. I could go on, but the point is made. Joe Biden needs to answer to the American people for his lies. They implicate him in criminal conspiracies abroad involving the shadiest of foreign actors, and cut to the heart of his fitness for office.

(4) More egg on the media’s face. As if mainstream media credibility could fall even lower . . . The mainstream media was an active participant in Joe Biden’s lies in 2020. The media actively ran cover, burying Hunter Biden stories, showing a startling lack of interest in the Biden family’s web of foreign business interests, and insisting — insisting! — that there was nothing to see here. The blackout on reporting about Hunter’s now-validated laptop was the pinnacle of this all hands on deck effort. I want to hear from the journalists who participated in burying these stories, who wrote fake “explainer” pieces on how the Republicans were conspiracy theorists, who lashed out at Trump for attacking Joe over the Hunter scandals. Who decided that getting Joe elected was more important than uncovering the truth. Is that what they taught you in journalism school?

Read more …

Playing the victim appears to be Hunter’s second nature.

Hunter Biden Claims GOP Is “Trying To Kill” Him (Sp.)

Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, sat down with the Grammy-nominated musician Moby for a podcast interview that was released on Friday, detailing that the GOP is harassing him as part of an effort to tank his father’s 2024 reelection bid. The 58-year-old musician explained at the beginning of the “Moby Pod” interview that he had previously met Biden at one of his art shows while the two had been recovering from an addiction. During the interview, Biden claimed right-wing attacks against him were not actually “about” him, but are instead part of a broader approach to attack his father’s presidency. “They are trying to, in their most illegitimate, but rational way, they’re trying to destroy a presidency,” Biden said on Friday. “And so it’s not about me, and [in] their most base way, what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to kill me, knowing that it will be a pain greater than my father could be able to handle.”

“They decided that the one way in which they would be able to certainly just undermine my dad’s confidence and ability to continue to campaign and move forward – particularly after the death of my brother – [was] to think that he could lose his son that he just had regained from an almost-death, through addiction,” said Biden. During the interview, Biden also lamented his challenges with drug and alcohol addiction following the death of his mother, sister and his brother, as well as his shame at feeling like the “f***-up” in his family. He acknowledged it’s difficult to maintain sobriety when he’s the focus of “a hatred and an intensity that is both specific and global.”This is the first time Biden has spoken publicly on the topic since his memoir was released in 2021. Since then, he has allowed public statements to come from his attorneys. During the podcast, he said he was speaking out (after being advised to keep a low profile) because he wanted to help others suffering from an addiction.

“One of the reasons why I’m gonna survive this – and I’m gonna survive it clean and sober – is because I am not gonna let these motherf****** use me as just another example of why people in recovery are never gonna be OK, never to be trusted, they’re all degenerates – I’m just not gonna let that happen.” He later described being doxxed by the New York Post, which he said led to Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats, shouting through bullhorns outside his house when his wife was eight months pregnant. During the podcast, Biden also mentioned feeling sorry for Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who he said are “not healthy people.” The two lawmakers have been some of Biden’s toughest credits, with Greene holding up posters displaying him in graphic and sexual photos during an Oversight Committee hearing in July. The photos had come from the infamous scandal-ridden laptop belonging to Biden.

“The second thing that I realized is that these people are just sad, very very sick people that have most likely just faced traumas in their lives that they’ve decided that they are going to turn into an evil that decides that they’re going to inflict on the rest of the world,” Biden said.

Read more …

“..why ask for a sweeping immunity deal? The answer was why not. That all came crashing down when Judge Noreika just cleared her throat in court.”

Hunter Biden is a Case Study of the Perils of Legal Gluttony (Turley)

Five months ago, exasperated Biden defense counsel Chris Clark snapped at federal prosecutors to “just rip it up” after a plea bargain hit a snag in a hearing before Judge Maryellen Noreika. They did and, for the first time, Hunter could be facing a real chance for jail time. The six misdemeanor charges and three felonies carry a potential sentence of 17 years for alleged tax evasion and filing a false return. It could have been worse. The Justice Department inexplicably allowed the statute of limitations to run on the most serious allegations involving payments from years going back to 2016. Those are mentioned in the narrative of the indictment but not charged as separate offenses. None of this would have happened if Judge Noreika did not ask a very simple question about the plea agreement and a sweeping immunity provision buried in its language.

Many judges would have likely flagged through the agreement and given Hunter the sweetest of sweetheart deals. Noreika noticed that the deal seemed to give Hunter immunity for any crime going forward and asked the prosecutor if he had ever seen any agreement like this one. He honestly answered “no.” It was later learned that there was a push within the Justice Department to have no charges at all brought against Hunter in an investigation that was heavily laden with special treatment, according to IRS whistleblowers. The investigation by the House has shown how Hunter and his counsel allowed their appetite for special treatment to turn into a raging disorder. The Justice Department reportedly gave Hunter a “heads up” about planned searches and interviews, scuttling those efforts. Even though the Justice Department had an agreement to “toll the statute” to prevent the early charges from expiring, the Special Counsel just let them die without any rational reason.

In this “all-you-can-eat” legal Smorgasbord, it is little surprise that the Biden team would demand an unprecedented immunity deal and just two misdemeanors after years of tax evasion covering millions from insider trading. After all, Attorney General Merrick Garland had refused the calls of many of us to appoint a Special Counsel to look into the corruption scandal. The scandal was capped off legally and the media was running cover for Hunter.The laptop was falsely denounced as Russian disinformation and the media largely dismissed influence peddling claims. Whenever new allegations surfaced, the President and the media would literally run to the nearest ice cream shop to discuss the President’s favorite flavors. In other words, why ask for a sweeping immunity deal? The answer was why not. That all came crashing down when Judge Noreika just cleared her throat in court.

As the prosecutors struggled to explain the absurd immunity provision, the Biden legal team was obviously shocked at the notion that they might have to exercise portion control. After all, the President himself has declared “no one f**ks with a Biden.” That is when they told the prosecutors to “just rip it up.” Those are the four most dangerous words that a criminal defendant could utter in a hearing on a plea deal. They could have immediately narrowed the immunity deal and even added a few misdemeanors to salvage the deal. Instead, they shredded their client. What followed was performative and frankly a tad pathetic. To the thrill of some in the media, the Biden team promised to get aggressive with witnesses and critics. They started to make demands as if they still controlled events, including saying that they would only comply with a congressional subpoena on their own terms.

It won’t work. A bill has come due. While Garland is still protecting President Biden from a Special Counsel, Hunter Biden is going to have to face these alleged crimes and corruption. Even the media is now admitting that he was influence peddling, though maintaining a final line of defense for the president. The last defense is that it was corrupt, but merely illusory because it did not actually influence Joe Biden. In other words, Hunter is rapidly becoming expendable.

Read more …

“To go from being, like, a well-paid street corner schizophrenic to, like, a politician – it’s just kind of hard to envision..”

Tucker Carlson Comments On Running As Trump’s VP (RT)

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has stopped short of ruling out becoming former US President Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate in 2024, suggesting that he would need a directive from God to take the job if it’s offered to him. Carlson, who has attracted millions of viewers to his channel on X (formerly Twitter) since being fired by Fox in April, made his comments on Thursday night in response to a media report that he was the potential VP candidate favored by former First Lady Melania Trump. Asked about the report after he gave a speech at an event in Washington, Carlson said, “God would have to yell at me very loud” to accept such an offer. Independent media outlet Semafor was first to report on Carlson’s response. The political commentator noted that he doesn’t really know the first lady.

He has repeatedly insisted that he has no interest in running for elected office. “To go from being, like, a well-paid street corner schizophrenic to, like, a politician – it’s just kind of hard to envision,” he said on Thursday. However, Semafor reported, there were cheers from the audience when he didn’t fully rule out joining Trump’s 2024 ticket. Axios reported on Thursday that the former first lady was advocating for her husband to pick Carlson as his running mate. “She thinks Carlson would make a powerful onstage extension of her husband,” the outlet said, citing an unidentified person close to Trump. Trump is polling as, far and away, the leading Republican candidate to face Democrat incumbent Joe Biden in next year’s presidential election. He also faces 91 felony charges in four separate criminal cases filed by prosecutors in Washington, New York, Florida, and Georgia.

Carlson has said that he became an avid Trump supporter after the FBI raided the former president’s home in Florida last summer. He has vowed to vote for Trump and lead protests if the ex-president is convicted of a crime and jailed: “You cannot allow the regime, the president of the United States, the Justice Department, to knock the frontrunner out of the race. You can’t do that.” Other potential Trump VP candidates include Senator J.D. Vance, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Representative Byron Donalds, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake, according to the Axios report.

Read more …

“Many misinterpret 1984 as a warning against Stalinism and Nazism, but George Orwell was predicting the future of the Western world. That future is here.”

Is Truth Becoming Valueless? (Paul Craig Roberts)

In America and its Western puppet states, there is today no greater crime than to be a truth-teller. Despite habeas corpus and due process enshrined in British law and the US Constitution, Julian Assange has been illegally detained for a decade for telling the truth. Reiner Fuellmich, the Germany attorney, who was about to file charges against the pharmaceutical companies for deaths and injuries from the Covid “vaccine,” was kidnapped in Mexico by the German government and placed in solitary confinement in Germany on obviously false charges in order to prevent the lawsuit. Barry Young, the New Zealand Covid database administrator who released the official data showing that the alleged “vaccine” was a deadly killer, has been arrested for revealing the truth. Be sure you understand what I am telling you. Those who tell you the truth are being arrested and treated worst than mass murderers. Murder is not a threat to the corrupt ruling establishment, but Truth is.

All truth-tellers have a target on their backs, including me. For reporting accurately on Putin’s hopes for reconciliation with Washington, I was labeled a “Putin agent/dupe.” This was just the beginning. George Soros, who Elon Musk said “appears to want nothing less than the destruction of Western civilization,” finances “fact checkers” and “verification” sites, the purpose of which is to discredit those who tell the truth. The State Department, the FBI, CIA, Mossad, and any number of government agencies and official organizations in the West work overtime to discredit truth-tellers. Wikipedia labeled me an “anti-semite” for quoting WW II historian David Irving in a book review. A truth-suppression website–NewsGuard–financed by who?–describes my website, which is read in every country in the world, as “A Conspiracy-oriented website that regularly publishes falsehoods about US election, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and other issues.”

It is extraordinary that after describing me as a disinformation artist, NewsGuard accurately describes me as an Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, a presidential appointment which requires confirmation by the US Senate in order to take office, as an editor of the Wall Street Journal, as an author of books published by Harvard University Press and Oxford University Press, highly prestigious publishers who required credibility on the part of their peer-reviewed authors. So here I stand, with numerous top secret security clearances over many years, confirmed in a presidential appointment by the US Senate, a Wall Street Journal editor, a Business Week columnist for a dozen or more years, an academic at Stanford University and occupant for a dozen years of the William E. Simon Chair for Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and all of these front line institutions appointed a “conspiracy theorist.”

I have the French Legion of Honor signed by French President Mitterrand, the US Treasury’s Meritorious Service Award, the US Treasury’s Silver Medal, the International Journalism Award from the Press Club of Mexico. I have been in Who’s Who In America and Who Who’s in the World for decades. I have Who’s Who in America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. I have been on boards of multi-billion dollar financial and manufacturing institutions. I have been an adviser to J.P. Morgan Guaranty Trust and other large money managers. I have endless endorsements from distinguished Americans. And a dismal unverified hired gun organization called NewsGuard declares the entire journalistic, academic, business, and political establishment to have appointed a “conspiracy theorist” to the highest positions in the society.

No, I am not bragging on myself. I am pointing out that NewsGuard has no shame. The organization declares a truth-teller who has the highest honors to be a liar. Every corrupt, evil, material interest has money to demonize the truth. NewsGuard is one of their operatives. These are people devoid of integrity, but these sorts of sites are plentiful online, and given the insouciance of the American people, these sites might have more influence than truth-tellers. It raises the questions: can truth prevail when endless money can shout truth down? Can truth survive when people show scant interest in supporting truth and those who tell it? If you look objectively with open eyes at the news and at the indoctrination that passes for education, you will see that you live in a world of lies constructed by official narratives. Throughout the Western world police powers are being used to enforce the official narratives–every one of which is a lie.

Think about what this means for science and scholarship when Big Pharma-paid shills can shout down and discredit honest independent scientists, when educators can turn fiction into fact and fact into lies, when we live in Orwell’s world where Newspeak and Doublethink prevail: “War is peace,” “Freedom is slavery,” “Ignorance is strength.” Many misinterpret 1984 as a warning against Stalinism and Nazism, but George Orwell was predicting the future of the Western world. That future is here. Stand with me or soon you will find that you cannot stand at all.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


JOHN LENNON was taken from us 43yrs ago today. Every year on the anniversary of his death, the National Trust leave the bedroom light on in John’s childhood home, all night.

 

 

 

 

Bronze doors

 

 

 

 

Dragon

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 082023
 


Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait with Straw Hat 1887

 

Netanyahu’s Game Of Russian Roulette (Cradle)
Behind Enemy Bars: Palestinian and Israeli Prisoners (Inlakesh)
Gaza Divides the World, Again (Patrick Lawrence)
‘The Death Rattle of The Western Empire’: US Hegemony Crumbling (Sp.)
The Military/Security Complex Proved to be Too Strong for Peace (PCR)
The Military-Industrial Complex (RFK Jr)
Russian Intel Chief Warns US Of ‘Second Vietnam’ (RT)
Pentagon Threatens Americans Over Ukraine – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Moscow Rejects US Narrative On Aid For Kiev (RT)
The Diamond Crack-Up (John Helmer)
Hunter Biden Indicted by Feds on 9 Counts Related to Tax Evasion (Sp.)
“If People Think Things Are Bad Now…” Tucker And Alex Jones (ZH)
Trump Witness Says He Valued Mar-a-Lago at More Than $1 Billion (ET)

 

 

 

Today, the world mourns the loss of Professor Refaat Al-Areer, one of Palestine’s most prolific poets and activists. There is reason to believe that the Zionist regime deliberately targeted his sister’s home, killing his brother, sister, and her 4 kids

 

 


Elon Musk: “Drops more bombs than a B-52“

 

 

 

 

Biden
https://twitter.com/i/status/1732462667107865071

 

 

Noted among Putin’s entourage in Saudi Arabia: Chechen leader Kadyrov and central bank head Elvira Nabiullina
https://twitter.com/i/status/1732474995366875435

 

 

Weaponizing AI
https://twitter.com/i/status/1732569528817607133

 

 

 

 

Vivek

 

 

Elon Musk in response via email to an Axios reporter asking about X: “I have never lost money for those who invest in me and I am not starting now.”

Since Elon Musk Bought X:

-SEC sues Musk over the purchase
-FTC demands internal X documents
-Biden DOJ sues SpaceX for not hiring refugees for secret rocket technology
-Biden DOJ and SEC open investigations against Tesla over a literal glass house
-Biden DOJ opens criminal investigation against Tesla over self-driving cars
-Federal investigation into Neuralink
-EOCC sues Tesla over harassment
-Massive media campaign against X
-Massive corporate boycott campaign

.

 

 

 

 

“Netanyahu, however, harbors a different agenda, seeking to prolong the conflict for personal gains rather than political success..”

Netanyahu’s Game Of Russian Roulette (Cradle)

Forced into a Gaza truce by an angry public demanding prisoner exchanges, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now faces his toughest challenge since launching air and land assaults on the Gaza Strip in October. The frequency of his threats to both Hamas in Gaza and Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Israel’s northern front has spiked since Netanyahu’s reluctant acceptance of the Qatar-brokered truce. While the prime minister and Washington’s goals align on waging a war on the Palestinian resistance, and, by extension, on Gaza, their policies diverge on the strategy and duration of the conflict. Faced with threats of its own and attacks by resistance factions in West Asia, the US prefers employing a leveraged military approach without any extensive involvement on the ground.

Lately, the Biden administration has been taking a sterner approach towards Tel Aviv’s actions in the northern Gaza Strip, and has called for Israeli coordination with the US on the ground war. Hours ahead of the truce being implemented, Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored that “the massive loss of civilian life and displacement of the scale that we saw in Northern Gaza [should] not be repeated in the South.” The spokesman for the White House National Security Council, John Kirby, has also recently told reporters that the Biden administration “does not support southern operations unless or until the Israelis can show that they have accounted for all the internally displaced people of Gaza.” Netanyahu, however, harbors a different agenda, seeking to prolong the conflict for personal gains rather than political success.

The continuation of the war means he will stay in office longer, and have the time to strike internal and external deals that ensure his post-conflict survival. For now, “King Bibi” faces mounting pressure from both allies and adversaries. International calls for tangible outcomes from the conflict are intensifying, with the mainstream media increasingly compelled – by social media – to highlight Israeli war crimes in Gaza. Domestically, Netanyahu is grappling with almost daily demands for his resignation or for the removal of extremist cabinet ministers from the Otzma Yehudit and religious Zionist parties. In the aftermath of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, the Israeli opposition tempted Netanyahu’s Likud party with offers to dismiss Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir – as well as the removal of the prime minister himself – as a condition for participating in an emergency government.

These proposals aimed to resolve Israel’s ongoing political and social unrest since 2019, which has led to five consecutive electoral cycles in four years and frequent mass anti-government protests. A national unity government would also be able to resume and possibly develop the Abraham Accords, strained by the presence of extremist parties in the government. Netanyahu’s radical ministers have often negatively affected both these nascent Israeli-Arab relations and Tel Aviv’s relationship with US Democrats.

Read more …

“We were sitting in the tunnels and we were terribly afraid not that Hamas but Israel would kill us, and then they would say – Hamas killed you.”

Behind Enemy Bars: Palestinian and Israeli Prisoners (Inlakesh)

The issue of Prisoners of War (POWs) taken captive by Hamas-led Palestinian resistance forces has become one of the key justifications for Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip. While western audiences are often presented with the image of these groups as bloodthirsty terrorists, a closer look reveals that Hamas and other factions may have treated Israeli captives more humanely than how Israel treats Palestinian political prisoners. While the Israeli POW issue spans eight weeks, the plight of Palestinian captives has persisted since at least 1967. There are said to be some 137 Israelis that are currently being held captive in Gaza, whom Hamas claims all are males and/or soldiers.

In the seven-day truce struck in November between Hamas and Israel, the Palestinian resistance released 108 women and children held captive in Gaza. In return, Israel was to release 300 Palestinian women and children held in detention and permit much-needed aid into Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Stanley Cohen, a US attorney who has represented both Hamas and Hezbollah members, tells The Cradle that “the laws of war do not limit Prisoners of War to State actors.” He says that “all the laws of war apply, whether it’s state actors or non-state actors.” This would mean that the same legal obligations on the treatment of POWs should apply to both Hamas and Israel, despite there being a greater moral expectation often placed on UN member states.

Access to interviews with detainees is limited due to Israeli government restrictions on media interaction with the recently freed captives, especially since the embarrassing PR blunder in late October when one of the four Israelis unconditionally released before the truce – 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz – said at a presser that “they treated us very well” in Gaza, but had endured “hell” while being taken captive. But despite the challenges in obtaining their full stories, certain facts stand out. Recent audio recordings quoted by Israeli media have revealed statements from freed prisoners who claim they were more fearful of Israeli actions than those by Hamas. One former detainee, criticizing the Israeli government, highlighted the lack of support and the challenges faced during their captivity:

“We were sitting in the tunnels and we were terribly afraid not that Hamas but Israel would kill us, and then they would say – Hamas killed you.” Another former Israeli captive went further in expressing disdain for the Israeli government’s responses on and after the events of 7 October: “The feeling we had there was that no one was doing anything for us. The fact is that I was in a hiding place that was shelled and we had to be smuggled out and were wounded. Not including the helicopter that shot at us on the way to Gaza. You claim that there is intelligence, but the fact is that we are being shelled. My husband was separated from us three days before we returned to Israel and taken to the tunnels. And you are talking about washing the tunnels with sea water? You are shelling the route of tunnels in the exact area where they are.”

Read more …

“It is repugnant to see how, despite the cruelty of the facts on view to the world, the government of the United States of America and its satellites aim to justify the unjustifiable..”

Gaza Divides the World, Again (Patrick Lawrence)

My award for courageous elocution of the week goes hands-down to Samuel Moncada, Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations, who addressed the General Assembly last Tuesday on the topic of Israel and its barbaric attacks on the Palestinians of Gaza. His remarks, which Consortium News reproduced, were appropriately lengthy. Here I draw from his introductory paragraphs: “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela robustly condemns the Israeli aggression against the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territories. This is an operation of mass expulsion of an entire people in order to annex their territory by the occupying power. It’s a new cycle of expansionist terror, of so much that has been suffered by the Palestinian people over 75 years of occupation…. It is repugnant to see how, despite the cruelty of the facts on view to the world, the government of the United States of America and its satellites aim to justify the unjustifiable:

That the occupying power is carrying out a genocide against the Palestinian people as defined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court. We ask ourselves where are those who in other cases rush to apply the responsibility to protect but now are ignoring the human rights of Palestinians submitted to the Israeli occupation?” It is one thing, I have to say, for publications such as ScheerPost and Consortium News to publish commentary of this kind, or for many thousands of honorable people to march in the name of decency and justice. It is quite, quite another for a sovereign state to denounce Israel and the U.S. in a chamber such as the General Assembly. It all counts, everything we do. But Moncada and the government he represents just elevated the condemnation of apartheid Israel to the level of global diplomacy and state-to-state relations.

Jump-cut to the Land of Eire. Members of the Dáil, the lower house of Ireland’s national assembly, were the first in Europe—and remain alone in this—to speak for Palestinian rights and against the Israel Defense Forces’ savagery after Hamas’s October 7 incursion into southern Israel (which the Dáil also denounced). As noted previously in this space, the Dáil voted last month on expelling the Israeli ambassador and referring Israel to the ICC. These motions were defeated, narrowly. But the government’s countermotions nonetheless “deplore the escalation of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory since [October 7].” As to the ICC referral, the government pointed out that an investigation into Israeli war crimes has been in train since 2021—so, no point.

These are specific cases suggesting a larger whole. After the U.S., in February 2022, finally succeeded in provoking Russia to intervene in Ukraine, we recall, 90 percent of humanity declined to line up behind Washington and its European client states. “The international community” whose support the Biden regime incessantly cited, turned out to be the 20–odd nations we refer to as the West. Hamas’s attacks on noncombatants on October 7 have been more or less universally condemned, as they should be. But Israel’s unrestrained response and the Biden regime’s unrestrained support of it have again divided the world. The trans–Atlantic alliance, with the U.S. per usual in the lead, is full-tilt behind Israel’s outright genocide. Support for it is scarce in the non–West, while expressions of support for the Palestinians of Gaza are many if in some cases muted.

Ireland is, of course, an exceptional and interesting case, I should pause to note. The government of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar won the day in the Dáil last month, yes, but Ireland’s identity is nonetheless as non–Western as it is Western. The Irish know Western colonialism firsthand and have not forgotten their time under it. During the Troubles, the Irish Republican Army insisted Ireland must be understood as a Third World country. If you want to go further back, Ireland lay beyond the Roman walls; Rome never attempted to conquer it. These historical realities are often detectable in Dublin’s foreign policies and certainly, I would argue, in its position on the Israel–Gaza crisis. How fine it is to know the Dublin City Council began Wednesday to fly the Palestinian flag atop it for a week.

Read more …

But as a country, we don’t really have the intellectual resources to dig our way out of the hole that we’re in…”

‘The Death Rattle of The Western Empire’: US Hegemony Crumbling (Sp.)

Speaking to Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Wednesday, Jon Jeter, an award-winning foreign correspondent, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a former Washington Post bureau chief, said the wider perception of the United States as a the world’s most prominent political and military locomotive has shifted dramatically. He put that sea-change down to the developments within the Ukrainian and Gaza crises. “The events since October 7th, I think that’s the death rattle of the Western empire of the United States as the single greatest political and economic and military power in the world,” said Jeter. That to me is the final nail in the coffin, because we can’t go back to the world the way it was before October 6th.” The fading of US international hegemony has its roots at home too.

Dimming global engagement among the general public and the ineptitude of current US political establishment have added to the overall weakening US foothold on the international arena. “But as a country, we don’t really have the intellectual resources to dig our way out of the hole that we’re in. <…> I’ve seen this transition from a country that was very much engaged with the world. As a teenager, you could see it in the 1970s, and the 1980s up until Reagan, and then it started to change. We started to dumb down the conversation”, Jeter believes. The speakers also discussed the effect developments on the African continent earlier this year on the status-quo the US desperately seeks to uphold.

“One of the things that happened was the African summit [in Russia]. A bunch of African leaders came and the next week they went back and started overthrowing countries and kicking the French out. <…> the world that was scared of the big bully. And after they saw somebody punch back, people aren’t as afraid anymore,” noted Garland Nixon, The Critical Hour’s co-host. Jeter stressed the irreversible changes over the past couple of years to the balance of power and their lasting effect on the global political makeup. “I don’t think the United States or the West can put that genie back in the bottle. You know, Germany is de-industrializing. There’s turn to the right by many countries in Europe, Italy and now the Netherlands. And I don’t think they’re going to find answers that can really help to restore the West to its past glory,” Jeter concluded.

Read more …

“Truth is not very powerful as it does not serve very many powerful interests..”

The Military/Security Complex Proved to be Too Strong for Peace (PCR)

Henry Kissinger’s death resulted in an outpouring of hatred toward the former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, especially from CounterPunch. Even a few of my readers mistook my explanation of Kissinger as a justification of the war crimes so many accuse him of. I have noticed over recent decades the increasing tendency of Americans to respond emotionally, instead of rationally, to information. Since I explained Kissinger, instead of denouncing him, I was seen as apologizing for him or justifying him. I have no doubt that large numbers of civilians were killed and maimed in the bombings associated with the Vietnam war, some of which–Cambodia for example–Kissinger approved. But, of course, the Secretary of State is not the official who orders bombings.

Moreover, there is no indication that Kissinger engaged in bombing civilians simply because he enjoyed killing people and committing war crimes or because he believed in ethnic cleansing like the Zionist government in Israel. The Democrats and the left-wing have been very adroit at shifting the blame for the Vietnam War to Republican Nixon from Democrat Lyndon Johnson. Nixon and Kissinger wanted to end the war, but they had to do so in a way that did not discredit Nixon with his conservative base, a base that believed in the Domino Theory and that the Soviet Union’s mission was world conquest. The same base made it difficult for Nixon to defuse Cold War tensions with arms control agreements, such as SALT I. The North Vietnamese were not in much of a hurry to enable Nixon to exit the war on comfortable terms.

The only option remaining was to increase the violence in order to force an acceptable exit. That is what produced Cambodia, not blood-lust on the part of Kissinger and Nixon. Because Kissinger was a Jew, in denouncing him today some compare him to Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza. This is to misread both Kissinger and the events of his time. Nixon was distrusted by the ruling establishment because he worked to defuse both the tensions of the Cold War and the hostile relationship with China. This went against many vested interests and belief about communist motives. As I have explained, the CIA used Watergate and the Washington Post to assassinate Nixon. The liberal-left hated Nixon for his work as a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee that led to the conviction of Alger Hiss and for his rhetoric, which was nothing but a sop to his base. The liberal-left was too busy enjoying Nixon’s discrediting to notice that he was another victim of the CIA like they believed Salvador Allende to be.

In my life I have seen close up so much that is then falsely explained and goes down in history books as wrongful accounts. Truth is not very powerful as it does not serve very many powerful interests. The fact remains that the Cambodia bombing was the desperate act of a government that wanted to end the Vietnam War. A legitimate question is: why didn’t Nixon simply walk away from the war? The answer is that he would have lost his conservative base, and, of course, the liberal-left would have piled on as well. Nixon and Kissinger hoped to create a more stable world by defusing the tensions between the West and the communist powers. This is also the reason left-leaning governments were overthrown elsewhere. The reasoning was that stability was impossible if Soviet leaning governments kept popping up in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The Nixon/Kissinger decision is not everyone’s. But, the Cuban Missile Crisis had made clear that one alternative to stability was conflict that could result in nuclear war. Reagan faced the same conundrum, but was able to reconcile with Gorbachev. It is a crime that subsequent administrations threw Reagan’s accomplishment away. The military/security complex proved to be too strong for peace.

Read more …

X thread.

The Military-Industrial Complex (RFK Jr)

On my seventh birthday, January 17, 1961—three days before my uncle, John F. Kennedy, took his oath of office as United States President—his predecessor, President Dwight Eisenhower, appeared on national television to deliver his farewell address, which history increasingly regards as one of the most important and prophetic speeches in American history. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.””

President Eisenhower took special care to include an expanded definition of his term “military-industrial complex” that would include the top bureaucrats at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Eisenhower warned that the federal government’s rising medical and scientific technocracy posed its own unique threats toward our democracy and freedom. “In this revolution, [scientific/medical] research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government . . . Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity . . . The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded . . .

[W]e must also be alert to the . . . danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” Eisenhower ended his speech with an admonition that echoes now in rebuke as we emerge from the COVID era that trampled the core principles that had, for 240 years, maintained America as the global exemplar for democracy, constitutional government, and personal freedom. “It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system—ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.”

The Wuhan Cover Up
Robert F Kennedy, Jr

Read more …

Wasn’t that Afghanistan?

Russian Intel Chief Warns US Of ‘Second Vietnam’ (RT)

By backing Kiev in its fight with Moscow, the US risks sleepwalking into another Vietnam War-style debacle, Sergey Naryshkin, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), has said. In an opinion piece for Razvedchik magazine issued by the SVR and published on Thursday, Naryshkin predicted tectonic geopolitical shifts in the coming year, which he said would be marked by an intensified confrontation between the West and those countries that oppose its hegemony. The intelligence chief suggested that the Western bloc would try to defend the dominance that is slipping from its grasp, with the ripples of the struggle likely to spread across the world.

The West will be particularly focused on the Ukraine conflict, Naryshkin said, predicting that it “would try to prolong the fighting as much as possible” in a bid to turn hostilities into “a second Afghanistan” and defeat Russia in a battle of attrition, using unprecedented sanctions and pumping Kiev with weapons. However, he warned that there is a high chance that continued support for the “Kiev junta” – given that the Ukraine conflict is becoming an increasingly “toxic” issue in the eyes of the global community – would lead to a rapid erosion of Western authority. The further we go, the more Ukraine will turn into a ‘black hole’, absorbing material and human resources. In the end, the US risks bringing upon itself a ‘second Vietnam’.”

According to Naryshkin, should this come to pass, every US administration will have to deal with this conundrum until “a more or less reasonable person comes to power in Washington” with enough courage and determination to extinguish the crisis. The 1955-1975 Vietnam War, in which the US actively supported anti-Communist forces, is widely regarded as one of the worst conflicts in America’s recent history. Apart from claiming the lives of about 58,000 US soldiers, it shattered public confidence in the government, in no small measure due to several controversies surrounding alleged war crimes committed by Washington. Under relentless public pressure, US forces completely withdrew from Vietnam in 1973, with the Washington-backed government being defeated a few years later. Russian officials have repeatedly warned the West against arming Ukraine, arguing that it will only prolong the conflict but not change its ultimate outcome. Moscow has also said that by supporting Kiev, NATO is essentially waging a war against Russia.

Read more …

“Pay the oligarchs or we’ll kill your kids.”

Pentagon Threatens Americans Over Ukraine – Tucker Carlson (RT)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reportedly told members of Congress that unless they approve more funding to Ukraine, Americans will be sent to fight Russia directly, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on Thursday. According to Carlson, Austin spoke at a classified briefing for members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, and at one point told members that “we’ll send your uncles, cousins and sons to fight Russia” unless Kiev gets the $60 billion in aid requested by the White House. “The Biden administration is openly threatening Americans over Ukraine,” said Carlson said on X (formerly Twitter), summarizing Austin’s message as “Pay the oligarchs or we’ll kill your kids.” “He really said this?” asked X owner Elon Musk. “He really did. Confirmed,” Carlson replied.

Carlson was by far the most popular host of an evening talk show on cable TV when Fox News mysteriously chose to part ways with him in April. He has since speculated that its corporate owners “really didn’t like” some of his coverage that challenged official narratives. In May, he launched his own show on Musk’s platform in a format similar to his long-form interviews for Fox. On Tuesday, his guest was Congressman Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican opposed to sending any more money to Ukraine – on account of the US being too heavily in debt. “How could Washington possibly send tens of billions more to sleazy oligarchs in Ukraine now that the whole enterprise has been revealed as a fruitless, corrupt and incredibly destructive disaster?” Carlson wondered in the introduction to that interview.

The US Congress has approved over $120 billion worth of aid to Kiev since the conflict with Russia escalated in February 2022, in the form of weapons and ammunition coming from the Pentagon’s stockpiles as well as cash payments to the Ukrainian government. That money has mostly run out at this point, and the White House has asked for $60 billion more – choosing to bundle it with aid for Israel, weapons for Taiwan and “border security.” Some Republicans in both the House and the Senate have refused to go along, however. GOP senators stormed out of their briefing on Wednesday and later voted against advancing the aid package. Meanwhile, Republican chairs of the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Intelligence committees in the House of Representatives have embraced the White House talking points in a memo aiming to persuade their party members to back the Ukraine funding bill, according to Axios.

Read more …

“In an attempt to ‘add fuel’ to the fire of the Ukrainian proxy war, [US] authorities have finally lost touch with reality..”

Moscow Rejects US Narrative On Aid For Kiev (RT)

Claims in Washington that Russian President Vladimir Putin may attack NATO, unless Congress allocates tens of billions of dollars in additional Ukraine funding are “bogeyman stories,” Moscow’s top diplomat in the US capital said on Wednesday. White House officials, including President Joe Biden, have claimed that by withholding aid from Kiev, American lawmakers were increasing the risk of a direct US-Russia war. “If Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there,” Biden said in an address on Wednesday, in which he made a last-ditch appeal to lawmakers to appropriate over $110 billion in assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Touting the scenario of a Russian attack on NATO, Biden stressed that then American troops will have to get involved directly. The Russian leadership has not expressed an intention to “take Ukraine,” let alone invade any NATO member.

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov called the narrative “myth-making and [the] propagation of dangerous lies” about his nation. “In an attempt to ‘add fuel’ to the fire of the Ukrainian proxy war, [US] authorities have finally lost touch with reality,” he claimed in remarks posted by the embassy. “Washington and [the] insatiable US military-industrial complex are direct beneficiaries of the bloodshed in Ukraine,” Antonov added. In his pitch to Congress, Biden claimed that the Russian leader’s ambition was to “dominate Ukraine” and warned that “the entire world is watching” Washington’s actions. America is “the reason Putin has not totally overrun Ukraine and moved beyond that,” he claimed. Moscow has cited NATO’s expansion in Europe and the pledge that Ukraine will eventually join the US-led military bloc among the causes of the crisis. It was willing to seal a truce with Kiev in the early phase of the conflict in exchange for Ukrainian neutrality.

However, Russia’s opponent ditched a proposed peace agreement and opted for continued hostilities, after then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the country to “just make war,” according to David Arakhamia, who headed the Ukrainian delegation at the Türkiye-mediated negotiations. Biden accused Republican opponents of his request of being willing to “literally kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield” and “give Putin the greatest gift he could hope for and abandon our global leadership not just to Ukraine.” Nevertheless, Republican senators voted unanimously against the aid, which was bundled in a spending package, later in the day. The GOP legislators insisted that the White House and Democratic lawmakers make concessions on immigration reform and border security before they were willing to approve additional tens of billions of aid to Kiev.

Read more …

“I hope and believe business rises above the political nonsense.”

The Diamond Crack-Up (John Helmer)

It has never happened before among the world’s diamond-producing and diamond-processing countries. Meeting together last month in Zimbabwe in what is called the Kimberley Process (KP), the 57-member states refused to agree to the US and European Union (EU) attempt to exclude Russia, producer of half the diamonds in global trade. To camouflage the outcome of the fight, the KP delegates decided not to issue a communiqué. Without that, the rules of the meeting nullified all points of agreement which the Kimberley Process states had accepted during their two-day sessions. This dramatic collapse of the Kimberley Process happened in Harare on November 10. The disagreement and deadlock came over a letter from the Kiev regime, backed by the US, the EU, Japan, and Canada (the G7 member states) to impose a full ban on the trade in Russian diamonds.

The Ukrainian attempt was backed by intense pressure from the US State Department and by Jewish diamantaires in New York for the international diamond trade to accept the US Diamond Protocol, a scheme of registration, inspection, auditing, and certification enforced by US intelligence and Treasury agents, to prevent any Russian-mined diamond from entering the international diamond jewellery market. Instead, what has happened is that the global diamond industry has been cracked in half by the sanctions war. The defeat of the so-called “western bloc” in Zimbabwe is big news in Africa and India. It has not been reported in the New York and London financial press. Diamonds are now likely to follow oil, gas, coal, gold, and other commodities into parallel and competing global market operations.

In the diamond war, however, the outcome is also going to backfire on the Israeli diamond industry and the traditional Jewish centres in Antwerp, Belgium, and New York City, which have combined to take sides against Russia. In time, they will be replaced by the Arabs, Indians, and perhaps the Chinese. The Israelis don’t think so. They are calculating that in the short run they will gain from the recovery of diamond prices when the shortage of Russian supplies hits much harder than it has to date. A source in Antwerp reports “absolutely no backlash [against the Gaza war] here from any of the five main diamond communities including the Lebanese. The Israeli industry has been declining for many years anyway, especially manufacturing – it’s uncompetitive with the Indians — but also trading. There is no diamantaire sympathy with any Arab country (or Iran). I hope and believe business rises above the political nonsense.”

The Kimberley Process, first created in 2003 to stop “blood diamonds” from entering the market from the genocidal wars of western Africa, is about to be confronted by blood diamonds from Israel. The story of the US attempt to start sanctions against Russian diamonds from the US and its allies began here when the Belgian government was resisting to save the multi-billion dollar Antwerp diamond business.

Read more …

This does not yet include anything FARA related.

Hunter Biden Indicted by Feds on 9 Counts Related to Tax Evasion (Sp.)

US federal prosecutors filed nine new counts against Hunter Biden and alleged he engaged in a scheme to evade over a million in taxes, a court filing revealed. “The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020,” the document, filed in a federal court in California on Thursday, said. The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills.” He evaded taxes while getting paid millions, the document revealed.

Between 2016 and October 15, 2020, according to the document, Hunter Biden received more than $7 million in total gross income. The document also said Burisma agreed to pay the defendant $1 million annually, which they reduced to $500,000 a year in March 2017. The indictment also details Hunter Biden’s business dealings with other foreign contacts. Between 2015 and 2017, Hunter Biden and two business associates split a payment of $3.1 million tied to attempts to help a Romanian businessperson contest bribery charges he was facing in his home country. Hunter Biden and business associates in 2015 met with individuals tied to CEFC China Energy company for talks on infrastructure projects.

“On or about March 1, 2017, State Energy HK, a Hong Kong entity associated with CEFC, paid approximately $3 million to Business Associate 1’s entity for sourcing deals and for identifying other potential ventures. The Defendant [Hunter Biden] had an oral agreement with Business Associate 1 to receive one-third of those funds, or a million dollars. The Defendant, in turn, directed a portion of those million dollars to Business Associate 3,” the document said. Republican-led House panels are probing Hunter Biden for alleged criminal activity, including foreign bribery and influence peddling. Last month, the Oversight Committee subpoenaed Hunter Biden to appear for a deposition.

Read more …

Perhaps Elon Musk WILL reinstate him..

“If People Think Things Are Bad Now…” Tucker And Alex Jones (ZH)

Dubbed “the most censored man in the world”, Jones began by discussing his (correct) prediction about 9/11. As Tucker points out, “the 9/11 thing, you called it in public.” But Jones says his most accurate prediction was around a decade ago when he read the “Rockefeller Foundation Operation Lockstep report,” which he says: “described using a virus to bring in world government, a world medical ID, which they would then build a social credit score off of……that they would make people wear masks for fear, shut down sporting events and things like that… and basically phase in this new tyranny.” These warnings, among other things, were the reason, Carlson argues, why Jones was so widely deplatformed. “Fundamentally, Alex Jones is right about a lot of things. And in fact, that’s why they don’t like him.”

“To this day, nobody has been more aggressively censored, I don’t think, than you… I read about it, and I felt that it was a major moment in the history of American media. I don’t think anybody defended you when that happened. Anybody, with any kind of audience,” To which Jones replied: “When Tim Cook admitted that he met on the weekend in August of 2017 with the other big tech heads, and they made the decision to “curate” like it’s a museum – and take me off, it was hundreds of platforms. It wasn’t just the big ones. Everything from LinkedIn, to our bank accounts being taken away, to everything ensuing over the next week and that month. And I knew I was a test case.” “It was the questioning the school shooting thing that came later. They kind of dredged that up from my past, blew that up after I’d been deplatformed, and said I’d been deplatformed for that.

“Once they deplatformed me, it made the show in ways only get bigger… So then they panicked and said ‘okay, let’s look at his record and create more of a reason,’ so they took things out of context from 5-6 years before, blew em up as a current thing out of context, and deceptively reported on what I said to create a strawman argument to then facilitate the reason.”

The discussion turns to the current state of America with Jones laying the blame for the growing division of the nation by race squarely at the feet of China. “The CCP, along with the SPLC and ADL, see America’s weakness and they are literally coming in and saying ‘white people are inherently bad because of the color of their skin……and then they organize all them into race-based groups under the Democratic party flag to attack who is left… which tends to be more conservative.” Jones warns however that “they are panicking” because “more and more blacks and hispanics are voting Republican,” which, he explains is why the open border policy is being allowed. “They are bringing in all these totally disenfranchised people from around the world… putting them in camps where they indoctrinated into a subdued political under-class… that’s then going to be turned loose on America.”

Read more …

“If they want the best house in the country, that would be one of the top two or three that would be available if they were for sale..”

Trump Witness Says He Valued Mar-a-Lago at More Than $1 Billion (ET)

A Florida real estate agent this week testified in former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York that his Mar-a-Lago property is worth at least $1 billion. Lawrence Moens, who was called as a witness by the defense, testified that the Florida property could be sold as a home, saying he would value it at over $1 billion as of 2021. “It’s something breathtaking. It’s something amazing to see,” he said of Mar-a-Lago, adding that he had valued it at over $1.2 billion in 2021. He also told the court that President Trump’s company had actually undervalued Mar-a-Lago by about half. Mr. Moens’s valuation assumes that Mar-a-Lago is a personal residence, a premise that a judge already has rejected in the ongoing civil fraud trial.

“I work very hard to sell rich people property in Palm Beach,” testified Mr. Moens. “I’m on the front lines every day of selling properties, and I have a pretty good handle on what’s happening in the market.” Spanning 17 acres with waterfront on two sides, the Trump estate and social club is his home, a place where the former president and current Republican 2024 front-runner has conducted high-profile meetings while in and out of office, and the spot where federal special counsel Jack Smith alleges he improperly stashed classified documents, which President Trump denies. Mar-a-Lago also is a key element of the current New York civil case. State Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit claims that the ex-president and his company deceived lenders and others by giving them financial statements that greatly overstated the values of some of his prime assets, including Mar-a-Lago.

Testifying for Trump’s defense, a Florida real estate attorney said the property could be sold as a home, notwithstanding decades-old legal documents in which Trump said he intended to forswear its use as anything but a club. Then a Palm Beach luxury real estate broker testified that he’d value the historic estate at over $1 billion as of 2021. Judge Arthur Engoron, in a pretrial ruling declaring that Trump and his company engaged in fraud, found that he exaggerated Mar-a-Lago’s worth by as much as 2,300 percent, compared to the Palm Beach County tax appraiser’s valuations. They ranged from $18 million to $28 million. However, some real estate professionals who aren’t involved in the case expressed concern about the judge’s ruling several months ago, suggesting that he made an error by relying solely on the tax appraiser’s valuations.

Some Palm Beach luxury real estate agents have told The Associated Press that the property would sell for $300 million to $600 million, and possibly $1 billion or more if it sparked a bidding war among uber-wealthy contenders.
During a short cross-examination Tuesday, state attorney Kevin Wallace asked whether he was a member of the Mar-a-Lago club. “I am,” Mr. Moens said, saying that he joined in 1995 or 1996. “I don’t go too often. I don’t like clubs,” he added. “You’re not running a process that is re-creatable … is that fair?” Mr. Wallace asked about his valuations of Mar-a-Lago. “That’s fair,” Mr. Moens said. In a pre-trial deposition over the summer, Mr. Moens had said that he “could dream up anyone from Elon Musk to Bill Gates and everyone in between” to purchase Mar-a-Lago. “Kings, emperors, heads of state.”

“If they want the best house in the country, that would be one of the top two or three that would be available if they were for sale,” he added. “I wish he’d let me sell it, but it’s not for sale,” he said. Another defense witness, Miami-based real estate attorney John Shubin, also testified that “there is absolutely no prohibition on the use of Mar-a-Lago as a single-family residence.” He noted that the property is simultaneously a club and President Trump’s residence. Mr. Shubin also pointed to a 1993 agreement between the former president and the city that said Mar-a-Lago would revert to private residential use if the club were “abandoned.”

Read more …

 

 


 

 

Kirsch Brand
https://twitter.com/i/status/1732804423783432628

 

 


Malabar giant squirrel found in India

 

 

Easy

 

 

Elephant shoe

 

 

Mommy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1732662224374915560

 

 


The water quality in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland, is monitored by clams. If the water gets too toxic, they close, and the triggers shut off the city’s water supply automatically

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 072023
 


Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait with Straw Hat Aug-Sep 1887

 

Amid Fear of Trump ‘Dictatorship’, Some See Assassination (Robert Bridge)
The ‘Jan. 6 Jurisprudence’ About to Be Unleashed on Trump (Julie Kelly)
Israel Headed for Strategic Defeat in Gaza (Scott Ritter)
Erdogan Sees Netanyahu Balancing On Brink Of Collapse (TASS)
Putin Visits to UAE, Saudi Arabia Prompted by Global Dynamics of Gaza War (Sp.)
Russia Will Attack NATO – Biden (RT)
US Is Withholding Aid To Push Ukraine Towards Negotiations With Russia (MoA)
Is Ukraine Aid ‘Dead’? (Sp.)
Yellen Says Ukraine’s Defeat Would Be Fault of the US (Sp.)
US Aid To Ukraine Laundered Back To Military-Industrial Complex – Massie (RT)
Ukraine Won’t Get Operational Pause in Winter – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Ramaswamy in GOP Presidential Debate Says Ukraine Conflict ‘Pointless’ (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Threatened With Contempt Of Congress If He Bails On Testimony
US State Dept Sued For Conspiring To Censor American Media Companies (ZH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNDER THE CLOUDS OF WAR, IT IS HUMANITY HANGING ON THE CROSS OF IRON

 

 

Nap/Ritter

 

 

 

 

Ireland

 

 

Escobar

 

 

 

 

First thing they did was try to undo everything Trump did.

“..by the end of his ninth day at the White House, Biden had signed 40 executive orders, actions, and presidential memorandum – an all-time record..”

Amid Fear of Trump ‘Dictatorship’, Some See Assassination (Robert Bridge)

As polls show Donald Trump has taken a broad lead over U.S. President Joe Biden in five battleground states, the Liberal media has shifted into full-panic mode, while making some not-so-subtle calls for the Orange Man’s ‘elimination.’ Whether real or imagined, Washington, D.C. appears to be heading for its own ‘Caesarian moment’ as the mainstream media is talking up the prospects of a dictatorship descending upon the fair land should a Trump restoration come to pass. “Are you afraid of a Donald Trump dictatorship,” asked Greg Sargent in an opinion piece in The Washington Post. “Well, know this: The only thing you have to fear is fear of Tyrannus Trumpus itself.”

Brace yourself, dear reader, for the remainder of the hit piece is littered with no less preposterous forms of government rule to describe Donald Trump, without ever providing an iota of proof to support the claims: “authoritarian rule,” “full-blown autocracy,” Trumpian tyranny,” “dictatorial intentions,” “despotism,” “threat to democracy,” “antidemocratic menace,” violent coup.” and “autocratic threat.” It’s just a little ironic that for all the Liberal handwringing over the possibility of The Donald seizing “autocratic powers” come November, there was no such consternation when Joe Biden behaved worse than any Caligula just hours after being elected in 2020.

The septuagenarian leader, alone at his desk and donning a black mask, signed off on dozens of executive orders that served as a death sentence for: a viable U.S.-Mexico border wall; the $9 billion, 1,200-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada that would have made America energy independent; biological males from using the female bathrooms and changing rooms, and a raft of other issues that were resolved without an ounce of congressional debate. Incredibly, by the end of his ninth day at the White House, Biden had signed 40 executive orders, actions, and presidential memorandum – an all-time record. Despite all of this, Biden is now acting like he is the Maginot Line against the possibility of all-out tyranny/ authoritarianism/ dictatorship/ autocracy, take your pick.

“If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running. But we cannot let him win,” the 81-year-old Democrat told a fundraiser event in Massachusetts. In a cloud of self-righteousness and grand delusion, the Liberals sincerely believe that Trump is about to enjoy, in the words of Robert Kagan, the premier neocon who co-wrote the infamous tract Project for a New American Century, “a clear path to dictatorship in the United States, and it is getting shorter every day.” Unfortunately, Kagan didn’t think to apply the brakes there, but went on to provide an apocalyptic-sounding fender-bender that many people took as the latest call to ‘take out’ Trump, the upcoming “president for life.”

“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?” [..] Maybe Trump, should he be re-elected, will focus his attention on media harassment. In the meantime, however, he seems to be having fun trolling his opponents. Trump mocked questions about ‘dictatorial rule’ this week, saying he would be a dictator only on “day one,” and then he’s going to shut down the border and get to drilling for oil. “After that, I’m not a dictator, OK?” It’s tempting to ask how the ancient Romans would have responded to such a deal.

Read more …

“..Washington “is the worst possible place for any Jan. 6 defendant, but especially Donald Trump, to have a trial.”

The ‘Jan. 6 Jurisprudence’ About to Be Unleashed on Trump (Julie Kelly)

Defense attorneys have coined the term “January 6 Jurisprudence” to describe the treatment received by the more than 1,200 defendants arrested so far in connection with the events of Jan. 6, 2021. This carve-out legal system involves the unprecedented and possibly unlawful use of a corporate evidence-tampering statute; excessive prison sentences and indefinite periods of pretrial incarceration; and the designation of nonviolent offenses as federal crimes of terrorism. A universal feature is the requirement that a Jan. 6 defendant, usually a supporter of Donald Trump, face trial in Washington, D.C., a city overwhelmingly populated by Democrats. Federal judges have denied every change of venue motion filed in Jan. 6 cases, arguing those who protested at the Capitol can get a fair trial in the nation’s capital. The results so far appear to contradict the court’s collective conclusion.

Court records show the jury selection process has repeatedly revealed a strong degree of bias against anyone tied to Jan. 6. At least 130 defendants have been convicted at trial – not one has been acquitted by a jury – and hundreds have been sentenced to prison time ranging from seven days to 22 years. Defense lawyers say this track record helps explain why the vast majority of defendants have opted for a plea deal rather than go to trial. This is the same environment that now awaits the former president as he prepares to stand trial in Washington on March 4, 2024 for election interference, in addition to an array of criminal and civil cases against him elsewhere. While Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team and Trump’s counsel spar over a number of issues, perhaps the biggest dispute will concern whether it will be possible to seat an impartial jury for the presumptive 2024 GOP nominee in a city that voted 92% for Joe Biden in 2020.

After Smith indicted Trump in August, a Jan. 6 defense attorney who is not representing the former president, J. Daniel Hull, told the New York Times that Washington “is the worst possible place for any Jan. 6 defendant, but especially Donald Trump, to have a trial.” U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan recently set a jury selection schedule for Smith’s four-count indictment against Trump for the events of Jan. 6. She ordered both parties to begin developing a questionnaire, due Jan. 9, 2024, that hundreds of D.C. residents will be asked to complete so the court can begin the initial step of weeding out unqualified jurors. Stakes are high for both sides. Trump’s lawyers must navigate constraints on how many jurors can be stricken from consideration to ensure their client gets a fair trial. The Department of Justice must convince the American people that a case brought by a Democratic administration and handled by a Democratic-appointed judge with a record of inflammatory statements about the former president will be heard by unbiased jurors.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees, among other rights, “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.” In extreme cases, criminal defendants can petition to move their trial out of the prosecuting jurisdiction for a number of reasons, not the least of which is sustained, negative press coverage that taints the jury pool. Trump’s lawyers are not discussing their strategy publicly, but sources have indicated to RealClearInvestigations that the defense will file a change of venue motion in the next month or two. Given the partisan composition of Washington, saturation coverage of the former president’s ongoing legal woes, and the city’s relatively small population, Trump will have a strong argument in favor of moving the trial outside of the nation’s capital. Yet a review of Jan. 6 cases to date suggests the odds are against that. Not a single judge on the D.C. District Court has granted a change of venue motion even for high-profile trials such as those for members of the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, the so-called “militia” groups involved in the Capitol protest

Read more …

“War, the Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz famously noted, is politics by other means. Hamas has proven the maxim to its fullest extent, accomplishing politically that which could only be initiated by Israel’s criminal use of force against the Palestinian people.”

Israel Headed for Strategic Defeat in Gaza (Scott Ritter)

The attack carried out by Hamas on October 7 against Israeli military positions and settlements which, collectively, formed what is known as the “Gaza barrier system”, triggered a massive Israeli military response. There are two aspects of this cause-and-effect relationship that stand out. First, and perhaps most importantly, it was the goal and objective of Hamas to have Israel respond impulsively. Hamas did not have to think out of the box, so to speak, to imagine such a reaction—since 2006, it has been established and well-known Israeli policy to conduct military campaign based upon the premise of collective punishment of a civilian population. Moreover, given the Israeli predilection for revenge that dates to the massacre of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich summer Olympics, a massive military incursion into Gaza to hold to account those responsible for the October 7 attacks was likewise as predictable as snow falling in Siberia in the wintertime.

Second, and less predictable than the first, was the poor performance of the Israeli security establishment, including the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and Israeli intelligence. Not only did the Israeli security forces fail to act on what appears to have been ample evidence pointing to a Hamas attack along the lines of that executed on October 7, but once the Hamas attack began, the failure of the IDF to defend against the attack, and the plodding, indiscriminate nature of the Israeli counterattack, which appears to have inflicted significant casualties on Israeli civilians that the Israeli authorities have attributed to the Hamas attackers, seriously eroded the notion of the invincibility and infallibility of the Israeli military and security establishment. But this was only the beginning of what would amount to a strategic Israeli defeat at the hands of Hamas. The Israelis proceeded to mobilize some 300,000 reservists, most of whom were sent to the Gaza front.

While these forces were assembled, the Israeli Air Force began a bombing campaign against the civilian infrastructure of Gaza, including hospitals, mosques, schools, and refugee camps, which shocked the world in terms of its lethality. By ignoring the fundamental precepts of international humanitarian law, Israel allowed itself to be characterized as a practitioner of genocide, and its actions against Gaza as war crimes. This is the core of the Hamas victory—the political defeat of Israel on the global stage, where international sympathies rapidly aligned with the people of Gaza and Palestine, and away from Israel. War, the Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz famously noted, is politics by other means. Hamas has proven the maxim to its fullest extent, accomplishing politically that which could only be initiated by Israel’s criminal use of force against the Palestinian people.

But even as international pressure began to accumulate for Israel to halt its offensive, Hamas was able to achieve what many outside observers had believed to be unthinkable—it fought the IDF to a standstill in Gaza itself, inflicting significant human and material losses on the IDF. After declaring that Israel would never agree to a ceasefire or an exchange of prisoners with Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suddenly caved into international pressure to sign up for what became a six-day “pause” where humanitarian goods were delivered to the Palestinian civilians in Gaza, and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel were exchanged for hostages seized by Hamas on October 7.

One of the major reasons for this decision lay not in the extreme pressure being put on Israel by the United States and its European allies for such an outcome, but the fact that the IDF was suffering serious losses on the battlefield in Gaza and along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah was engaged in military operations in support of Hamas. The casualties among Israeli main battle tanks were unsustainable, and the morale of the IDF soldiers was collapsing—indeed, Israel had to courts-martial two IDF officers who withdrew their battalion from the Gaza battlefield under pressure from Hamas.

Ritter

Read more …

“This coalition is breaking apart. Don’t think that they are strong, they will quit [politics]. We already said 50 to 60 days ago that Netanyahu is going away..”

Erdogan Sees Netanyahu Balancing On Brink Of Collapse (TASS)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is balancing on the verge of collapse, something that he may indicate any time soon, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. “Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu is on the brink of collapse or bankruptcy right now. And he may make such an announcement at any moment,” the state-run Anadolu agency quoted the Turkish president as saying upon returning from Qatar. “And then there is the West which connives with the wrongdoings of both Netanyahu and his administration. Fortunately, the West has largely reconsidered its view of Israel since October 7,” Erdogan told Turkish journalists.

Erdogan described the ruling coalition in Israel as unhealthy. “This coalition is breaking apart. Don’t think that they are strong, they will quit [politics]. We already said 50 to 60 days ago that Netanyahu is going away,” the Turkish leader said. “Now, certain people emerge who are telling Israel: ‘We are tired of feeding you’,” he maintained. “Look at France that in the early days was making statements of support [for Israel]. Now French President [Emmanuel] Macron is making completely different statements,” the Turkish president said. “Many other Western countries, too, are no longer making the statements of the kind they were making in the first days [of the conflict],” Erdogan noted as he urged patience before the world revisits its attitude toward Israel’s actions.

Read more …

“For the Gulf States, relations with Russia are seen as an essential leverage in adapting to their changing relationship with the US..”

Putin Visits to UAE, Saudi Arabia Prompted by Global Dynamics of Gaza War (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday to meet with UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discuss bilateral, regional, and international affairs. As part of his brief Middle East tour, the Russian leader is also visiting Saudi Arabia, while later hosting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow. Vladimir Putin’s visit to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia could be used by the Arab countries “as a signal, perhaps to the West,” to show that “we have other options and we’re not really happy with your policy towards Gaza,” Abdulaziz Algashian, a Saudi political analyst, told Sputnik. The Russian President’s trip to the Middle East comes amid turbulent developments in the region, with the Russian leader acutely aware of the “international dynamics of the Gaza war,” pointed out Algashian. He added that the Arab countries might seek to “leverage this visit and relations with Russia” relative to the Palestinian issue.

“For the Gulf States, relations with Russia are seen as an essential leverage in adapting to their changing relationship with the US,” agreed Sami Hamdi, Saudi political analyst and head of the International Interest, a risk analysis group. “There are concerns in the Gulf capitals that the US is no longer committed to their security or their interests, and there is therefore a belief that relations with Russia are essential in order to both advance their interests by pursuing alternative alliance structures and simultaneously strongarm Washington into upholding its commitment to them,” he pointed out. Looking ahead, “the extent of future cooperation with Russia as it stands remains dependent on the nature of the US-Gulf relationship. Although Gulf States will preserve their ties, the eagerness to expand those ties will correlate and fluctuate in accordance with the nature of their relationship with the US,” the Saudi political analyst speculated.

On a broader scale, there are a wide swathe of reasons for why Vladimir Putin chose this moment to embark upon his first foray to the region since 2019, underscored Algashian, a research fellow with SEPAD international research network and collaborative project based at Lancaster University’s Richardson Institute. These range from the Middle East’s resentment over the West’s stance on Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza to a need for further “entrenching” of economic relations, the pundit stressed.

Read more …

“Washington’s speculations about a potential stand-off show that “[US] authorities have finally lost touch with reality..”

Russia Will Attack NATO – Biden (RT)

If Russia prevails in the Ukraine conflict, it may find itself in a position to launch an attack on NATO that could trigger a global conflict involving American troops, US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday, when he urged Congress to pass a $111 billion national security package. The bill, which was backed by Democrats, included aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. He also lashed out at Republicans – who have been reluctant to support the measure due to disputes over security at the southern US border, saying that by doing so, they “are willing to give [Russian President Vladimir] Putin the greatest gift he could hope for.” “If Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there,” Biden argued. “If Putin attacks a NATO ally…, well, we’ve committed as a NATO member that we’d defend every inch of NATO territory,” he stated, adding that Washington would like to avert this kind of a stand-off because it could result in “American troops fighting Russian troops.”

However, Republicans remained unconvinced, blocking the spending package in the Senate, with the final vote being 49 in favor and 51 against. The measure was opposed by all GOP lawmakers, as well as independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who normally votes with Democrats, but this time expressed concerns about Israel’s military strategy in the conflict with Hamas. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also voted “no” in order to have a chance to reintroduce the package later. Moscow’s ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov, commenting on Biden’s remarks about a potential clash between Russia and NATO, suggested that “such bogeyman stories are fabricated in order to justify to taxpayers and sober-minded political forces the huge expenses for ‘containing’ the Russian Federation.” Washington’s speculations about a potential stand-off show that “[US] authorities have finally lost touch with reality,” he added. “This kind of provocative rhetoric is unacceptable for a responsible nuclear state.”

Biden

Read more …

“..the Republicans as well as the Democrats, likely in consent with the White House, have so far blocked all further aid.”

US Is Withholding Aid To Push Ukraine Towards Negotiations With Russia (MoA)

It would have been easy for the Democrats to commit a few billions for border security. But Biden wants to end the war in Ukraine. Starving it of money is the easiest way to push it towards negotiations. All this was planned by the Pentagon think tank RAND which, early this year, published a study about how to end the war in Ukraine: “Avoiding a Long War – U.S. Policy and the Trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict” (A 2019 study by RAND, Extending Russia – Competing from Advantageous Ground, had recommended to openly arm Ukraine to keep Russia busy. It has been the basis of U.S. Ukraine policy ever since.)

But in early 2023 RAND had turned a corner and argued that a prolonged war in Ukraine will be too costly for the U.S. to sustain: “The biggest Ukraine problem the White House currently has is President Vladimir Zelenski who has rejected any and all negotiations with Russia.” The RAND study had foreseen such a situation and had found ways to push Ukraine towards talks with Russia: “[T]he United States could decide to condition future military aid on a Ukrainian commitment to negotiations. Setting conditions on aid to Ukraine would address a primary source of Kyiv’s optimism that may be prolonging the war: a belief that Western aid will continue indefinitely or grow in quality and quantity. At the same time, the United States could also promise more aid for the postwar period to address Ukraine’s fears about the durability of peace. Washington has done so in other cases, …”

Linking aid to Ukrainian willingness to negotiate has been anathema in Western policy discussions and for good reason: Ukraine is defending itself against unprovoked Russian aggression. However, the U.S. calculus may change as the costs and risks of the war mount. And the use of this U.S. lever can be calibrated. For example, the United States could level off aid, not dramatically reduce it, if Ukraine does not negotiate. And, again, a decision to level off wartime support pending negotiations can be made in tandem with promises about postwar sustained increases in assistance over the long term. That was a nice plan. But how well the aid lever can be calibrated depends of course on Congress, not on the president’s say so.

There are also downsides to withholding or giving aid promises: “Clarifying the future of U.S. aid to Ukraine could create perverse incentives depending on how the policy is implemented. Committing to increased wartime assistance to Ukraine to reduce Russian optimism could embolden the Ukrainians to obstruct negotiations, blame failure on Moscow, and gain more Western support. Announcing a decrease or leveling off in assistance to Ukraine to reduce Kyiv’s optimism about the war could lead Russia to see the move as a signal of waning U.S. support for Ukraine. If it took this view, Russia might keep fighting in the hope that the United States would give up on Ukraine entirely. Although recognizing that Ukraine is fighting a defensive war for survival and Russia an aggressive war of aggrandizement, the United States would nonetheless have to carefully and dispassionately monitor events and target its efforts to create the intended effect on whichever side’s optimism is determined to be the key impediment to starting talks.

This would probably have been a good way to go if Biden had control over dispensing or withholding funds to Kiev. But the Republicans as well as the Democrats, likely in consent with the White House, have so far blocked all further aid. Their current path then seems to be a different one towards negotiations with Russia – regime change in Kiev. President Zelenski is unwilling to take up peace talks. If he can be pushed out of office during the next few months his likely replacement, General Zaluzny, will probably be more inclined to seek an end of the war. Thus the current tactic is to pressure Zelenski into leaving by withholding all future funds. If another Ukrainian leader comes in, aid might again flow to prevent a total takeover of the country by Russia. Still – the aid calibration would be a problem. So maybe giving up and leave, as Biden did in Afghanistan, might be the preferred option.

Read more …

“We remember the old quotes about the money being carted around in Iraq on palettes and not even weighed or metered… I think that that’s what’s happening again in Ukraine.”

Is Ukraine Aid ‘Dead’? (Sp.)

Investigative journalist Christopher Helali joined Sputnik’s Political Misfits program Wednesday to discuss the growing opposition within the United States towards continued funding for Ukraine’s proxy conflict against Russia. The reported size of the latest proposed foreign aid package – some $110.5 billion – provoked incredulity from host John Kiriakou. “What has the United States not given Ukraine that would have such an enormous price tag?” asked Kirkiakou. Helali said that the “aid package is not only military assistance but also funding for rebuilding, for infrastructure… it’s funding for Ukraine, it’s funding for Israel, it’s also… a very small amount for the Palestinians.”
However Helali clarified that “Ukraine is at the forefront,” noting that the lion’s share of funding in the bill was earmarked for the Kiev regime.

“This is funding for rearmament, for new weapons systems, and things like that,” the analyst stressed. Rampant corruption in Ukraine has repeatedly stymied aspirations to join the European Union and other international bodies. Some Western politicians also point out the very high level of corruption in Ukraine. The business dealings of Hunter Biden in Ukraine, the son of US President Joe Biden, have also come under harsh criticism. President Biden has claimed he had no involvement in his son’s business ventures. “But of course there’s no real oversight,” added Helali, “there’s been a lot of reporting – I’m sure you’ve all been seeing it – about the rampant corruption, some officials have been buying yachts and houses and all sorts of fine luxury items. I think it’s going to be held up because there’s a lot of questions around this amount of money.”

Helali noted the large amounts of money that have gone unaccounted for in previous US-backed military operations, saying, “We remember the old quotes about the money being carted around in Iraq on palettes and not even weighed or metered… I think that that’s what’s happening again in Ukraine.” Funding for Ukraine did in fact fail in the US Senate on Wednesday when the legislative body refused to advance a supplemental foreign aid bill. Republican legislators, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Mike Johnson, have used the opportunity to call for increased funding for US border security to secure GOP support.

Helali said that increased border funding is a nonstarter for segments of the Democratic Party base, claiming they see US border policy as an ““instrument of oppression” and a “remnant of colonialism and US empire.” The journalist nevertheless believes the Biden administration will be forced to compromise on the issue, claiming, “I think eventually Democrats will have to cave because they need this funding.”

Read more …

Meet the new war expert.

Yellen Says Ukraine’s Defeat Would Be Fault of the US (Sp.)

US lawmakers are debating a $111 billion supplemental spending package, of which $61 billion would be included for Ukraine. The spending package would also include funding for Israel, Taiwan, and US border security. During a trip to Mexico City on Tuesday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US would be responsible for Ukraine’s defeat should Congress fail to approve US President Joe Biden’s latest supplemental spending package, according to media reports. “I’ve talked to members of Congress, my colleagues have. I think they understand this, that this is a dire situation and we can hold ourselves responsible for Ukraine’s defeat if we don’t manage to get this funding to Ukraine that’s needed, and I’m including direct budget support here because that’s utterly essential,” Yellen told the media.

At the US Institute of Peace this week, Andrey Yermak, President Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of staff, said not receiving this most recent spending package from the US exposes Ukraine to a “big risk” in losing its war. The package would include $61 billion to Ukraine, which is nearly as much as the US has already spent on helping to weaponize the country. The US government has spent more than $75 billion on Ukraine thus far, a figure that does not include all war-related spending which is estimated to be about $113 billion. “Ukraine is just running out of money,” Yellen said. “They’re spending more than every penny they’re taking in, in tax revenue, on military salaries and defense, and they wouldn’t have any schools or hospital or first responders if not for the money we’re sending to them to support them,” added the US Treasury Secretary.

[..] US House Speaker Mike Johnson said Republican support for the Biden Administration latest supplemental spending package will have to include permanent changes to the US border policy. Before any further spending, wrote Johnson, funding is first dependent upon “enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws”. “Second,” Johnson wrote in a letter to Young, “Congress and the American people must be provided with answers to our repeated questions concerning: the Administration’s strategy to prevail in Ukraine; clearly defined and obtainable objectives; transparency and accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars invested there; and what specific resources are required to achieve victory and a sustainable peace.”

Read more …

“But no one mentions that we have abetted the killing of an entire generation of Ukrainian men that will not be replaced. To fight a war that they cannot win..”

US Aid To Ukraine Laundered Back To Military-Industrial Complex – Massie (RT)

The US Congress is continuing to vote in favor of sending billions of dollars to Ukraine because a lot of those funds end up being laundered back to the US military-industrial complex, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie has said. In an interview with Tucker Carlson on X (formerly Twitter) published on Wednesday, the politician was asked to explain why Washington continued to push for more funding for Ukraine despite it becoming obvious that Kiev’s forces “cannot win.” Massie, who has repeatedly voted against sending money to fund Kiev’s operations, alleged that a lot of the funds that are sent to Ukraine ultimately end up “enriching” people within specific US districts and “stockholders, some of whom are congressmen.”

“You know, people are getting rich, so let’s do it. It’s an immoral argument, but it is one. But that’s not the argument they’re making in public,” he said, noting that those supporting the funding of Ukraine with US tax dollars are instead arguing that it is a “moral obligation” to do so. “You’re a bad person if you’re against this,” he complained, referring to a statement recently made by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who suggested that failing to support “the fight for freedom in Ukraine” meant letting Russian President Vladimir Putin “prevail.” “But no one mentions that we have abetted the killing of an entire generation of Ukrainian men that will not be replaced. To fight a war that they cannot win,” Massie noted.

The congressman surmised that, in order to support the US government’s proposals on Ukraine aid, a person has to be “economically illiterate and morally deficient.” Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has hit out against Republicans like Massie, who have refused to aid packages to Ukraine, calling the failure to support Kiev “absolutely crazy” and “against US interests.” The US leader has repeatedly pledged that Washington would support Kiev for “as long as it takes” in its conflict with Russia.

Read more …

“..The goal and objective of Russia is demilitarization. Demilitarization could have been done peacefully. Right now it’s being done violently. And it means the absolute destruction of the Ukrainian military. And that is going to happen this winter. It will be destroyed in its totality.”

Ukraine Won’t Get Operational Pause in Winter – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

It was expected that Zelensky would inform American congressmen about the latest developments on the ground in Ukraine and urge them to disburse over $60 billion for Ukraine.On the same day, the upper chamber failed to vote on a Ukraine aid bill because Democrats threw out GOP border reforms from it. In response, Republicans made it clear that they will not support any further assistance to Kiev unless border measures are included in the legislation. Meanwhile, the current Ukraine military package has almost been exhausted. There are also rumors in the Western press that NATO allies want Zelensky either to hold the talks or to freeze the conflict along the line of contact. Will the Kiev regime be forced to take a pause during the winter season?

“Well, what we won’t see is a pause,” Scott Ritter, former Marine intelligence officer and UN weapons inspector, told Sputnik. “I mean, the Ukrainians and even the collective West, they’re throwing terms out there like: ‘You know, it’s a frozen conflict. We fought them to a standstill.’ No, it’s not a frozen conflict and they haven’t fought the Russians to a standstill. Last winter, you know, the Ukrainians had their victory in Kharkov and Kherson. The Russians were consolidating their defenses, they had mobilized 300,000 men, and they were building the defenses. And so there was a pause that allowed [Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Gen. Valery] Zaluzhny to plan an operation. They had the luxury of time to build the nine, I think they actually built 12 brigades, equipped them, prepared them for this counteroffensive, etc.”

“Right now, we have a situation where the Russians are ready. Those 300,000 are fully trained. The majority of them have not been committed to the battlefield. In addition to that, over 450,000 volunteers and contract soldiers were absorbed. The Russians are at full strength with all the equipment, all the wherewithal. There will be no operational pause. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, have nothing to replace what’s happening. They’re now literally grabbing teenagers and pregnant women and putting them on the battlefield to fill the holes in the lines. There’s nothing coming behind, and the West is out of money. There’s no equipment. The Russians are not going to hit the pause button to give Ukraine a chance to catch their breath. The entire purpose of the Russian approach has been to grind the Ukrainians down to the point of exhaustion. And now we’re there.” [..] nobody is going to give Ukraine a pause, according to Ritter. While Moscow has repeatedly made it clear that it is open to constructive peace negotiations, the absence of Kiev’s initiative would mean the prolongation of the conflict, the former Marine officer believes.

“We’re going to see increasingly the elimination of cohesion on the battlefield as Ukrainians will retreat, as holes will be punched in the line. The Ukrainians are, I believe, in a very short period of time, going to be compelled to make a precipitous retreat back to more defensive positions. And that in itself is a very difficult military maneuver, one which Russia could exploit. You know, if they’re prepared to push them back even further, but this winter will be a winter of continued death and destruction for the Ukrainians. And the Russians will continue to put the pedal to the metal and keep putting the pressure on the Ukrainians. The goal and objective of Russia is demilitarization. Demilitarization could have been done peacefully. Right now it’s being done violently. And it means the absolute destruction of the Ukrainian military. And that is going to happen this winter. It will be destroyed in its totality.”

Read more …

Nikki=Corrupt

Ramaswamy in GOP Presidential Debate Says Ukraine Conflict ‘Pointless’ (Sp.)

US entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy during the fourth Republican primary presidential debate said the Ukraine conflict is pointless and slammed former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for not backing efforts to reach a peace deal. “I was the first person to say we need a reasonable peace deal in Ukraine. Now a lot of the neocons are quietly coming along to that position, with the exceptions of Nikki Haley and [President] Joe Biden, who still support what I believe is a pointless war in Ukraine,” Ramaswamy said on Tuesday during the debate in Alabama. Ramaswamy and Haley were joined on stage by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in what some expect to be the final debate of the 2024 primary. Haley maintains 9% support in the Republican Party primary, trailing former US President Donald Trump’s 64% support and DeSantis’ 16% support, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released in November.

Vivek Nikki
https://twitter.com/i/status/1732592114603794574

Read more …

“Hunter Biden is trying to play by his own rules instead of following the rules required of everyone else..”

Hunter Biden Threatened With Contempt Of Congress If He Bails On Testimony

Hunter Biden will be slapped with contempt of congress if he skips out on his Dec. 13 closed-door deposition, according to a Wednesday letter from House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to Hunter’s defense attorney, Abbe D. Lowell. “Contrary to the assertions in your letter, there is no ‘choice’ for Mr. Biden to make; the subpoenas compel him to appear for a deposition on December 13. If Mr. Biden does not appear for his deposition on December 13, 2023, the Committees will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings,” reads the letter, issued a week after Lowell suggested that Hunter should instead be allowed to testify publicly.

Hunter was subpoenaed on Nov. 8 to appear for a deposition before the committee. In response, Comer said: “Hunter Biden is trying to play by his own rules instead of following the rules required of everyone else,” adding “Our lawfully issued subpoena to Hunter Biden requires him to appear for a deposition on December 13.” Comer and Jordan are investigating extensive evidence that the Biden family was running an international influence peddling scheme, raking in tens of millions of dollars from foreign business partners despite no obvious product or service in exchange. House lawmakers are also seeking testimony from Hunter’s uncle James Biden, as well as multiple former business associates.

Read more …

“”The State Department is tasked with foreign relations and has no authority over domestic affairs..”

US State Dept Sued For Conspiring To Censor American Media Companies (ZH)

Following bombshell censorship revelations exposed over the last year, beginning with the Twitter Files, the state of Texas, The Daily Wire, and The Federalist have filed a lawsuit against the US State Department on Tuesday, alleging that the government agency funded censorship technology designed to bankrupt domestic media outlets which have disfavored political opinions. According to the Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak; “The State Department is tasked with foreign relations and has no authority over domestic affairs, yet it took a government office designed for countering foreign terrorist propaganda, the Global Engagement Center (GEC), and unleashed it against Americans engaged in what it claimed was “disinformation,” according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas on Tuesday night by the New Civil Liberties Alliance. It was “one of the most audacious, manipulative, secretive, and gravest abuses of power and infringements of First Amendment rights by the federal government in American history,” said the suit, which also names Secretary of State Antony Blinken and five other officials as defendants.”

Of note, the GEC, founded in 2011 under a different name to combat foreign propaganda in a counterterrorism capacity. In establishing the entity, Congress made clear that “none of the funds authorized” for the program “shall be used for purposes other than countering foreign propaganda.” They of course ignored all that, and turned its focus on Americans according to the complaint, using taxpayer funds to finance and promote censorship shops such as NewsGuard and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), which target conservative outlets – ZeroHege included – with the stated goal of killing ad revenue. “Through its Global Engagement Center, the State Department actively intervened in the news-media market to limit the reach and business viability of domestic news organizations by funding censorship technology and private censorship enterprises,” reads a Wednesday press release from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “The State Department’s mission to obliterate the First Amendment is completely un-American. This agency will not get away with their illegal campaign to silence citizens and publications they disagree with.”

As the lawsuit explains, The Daily Wire, The Federalist, and other conservative news organizations were “branded ‘unreliable’ or ‘risky’ by the government-funded and government-promoted censorship enterprises… starving them of advertising revenue and reducing the circulation of their reporting and speech—all as a direct result of [the State Department’s] unlawful censorship scheme.” The outlets are being represented by The New Civil Liberties Alliance’s Mark Chenoweth, who said that “the federal government cannot do indirectly what the First Amendment forbids it from doing directly.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Piers Corbyn

 

 

Robert Frost

 

 

Cat paws

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 062023
 


William Merritt Chase Back Of A Nude 1888

 

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

 

 


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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

International Committee of the Red Cross

 

 

Milei

 

 

Byron York

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

US Border Control Bill Collapses – NBC (RT)

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

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

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

Read more …

More “national security bill”.

Bernie Sanders Opposes $10 Billion Israel Aid (RT)

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

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

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

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

Read more …

He knew what was coming.

Zelensky Bails On Briefing With US Senate (RT)

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

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

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

Tucker Massie

Read more …

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

Israel Has Crossed Its Rubicon (Rall)

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

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

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

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

Scott Horton

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

Biden Works To Create Plausible Deniability On Gaza (Plitnick)

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

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

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

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

Read more …

Crazy.

Israel Mulls Flooding Hamas Tunnels – WSJ (RT)

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

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

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

Read more …

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

Israel Uses AI Genocide Programme To Obliterate Gaza (Cook)

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick Moore Net Zero

 

 

 

 

David Martin Covid 1966

 

 

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

 

 

Questions

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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