Sep 162022
 


Pablo Picasso Portrait of Dora Maar 1939

 

Fall Like A Thunderbolt (Schryver)
Don’t Listen To Those Asking To Stop Supporting Kiev, EU’s Borrell Says (RT)
US Openly A Party To Ukraine Conflict – Russia (RT)
Zelensky Guard Appears To Wear Nazi Insignia (RT)
A Turning-Point Once Every 500 Years (Batiushka)
American Patience With Germany Wearing Thin – Media (RT)
Pentagon Finds Hypersonic Research Partner (RT)
Moscow Responds To UN Nuclear Watchdog Resolution On Ukrainian Plant (RT)
Special Master Appointed, DOJ Bid To Delay Mar-a-Lago Ruling Rejected (Pol.)
Democrats Are Trying To Trump-Proof The Government (Lucas)
How Bill Gates And Partners Took Over The Global Covid Response (Pol.)
Tucker Carlson Notices the Missing Jubilation in Martha’s Vineyard (CTH)
Illinois Governor Declares Emergency Disaster As Migrants Bused In (JTN)
Switching To Renewable Energy Could Save Trillions (BBC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC reporting on DPRK (North Korea) overlaid on queen funeral procession

 

 

 

 

Ode to King

 

 

Lowkey @Lowkey0nline
“The British Crown legally owns 6.6 billion acres of land across the world. That is a sixth of the earth’s surface. Charles is now the world’s largest landowner, but I am sure that has nothing to do with colonialism…”

 

 

 

 

“Maskirovka is a Russian word meaning literally “masking” or “disguise”..”

Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Fall Like A Thunderbolt (Schryver)

[..] as the true nature of the events of the past two weeks comes into clearer focus, it is now possible to see that the Russians acted deliberately to provide the NATO commanders of this reconstituted Ukrainian force with some low-hanging fruit to blood their untested army, and provide it with a victory that would not only bolster its battlefield confidence, but more importantly serve essential political purposes at a time when western public support was flagging to a very discernible degree.More importantly, from the Russian perspective, providing NATO commanders a temptation they could not resist would draw this fresh army into the open field of battle where it could then be isolated and ultimately destroyed.

Therefore the Russians commenced, several weeks ago, to withdraw all but a token force from the area containing the towns of Balakliya, Kupyansk, and Izyum – thereby presenting an irresistible opportunity for the commanders of this NATO-trained, NATO-equipped, and NATO-led force to demonstrate, as they imagine it, the superiority of western combined-arms warfare. The subsequent attack achieved seemingly extraordinary success against the relative handful of Donbass militia and Rosgvardia troops left to defend Balakliya and Kupyansk. The Ukrainians and their “foreign volunteer” shock troops advanced mostly unopposed and occupied a fairly significant piece of real estate extending all the way to the Oskil River.

Relatively little soldier against soldier fighting has occurred. In fact, Ukrainian reports euphorically trumpeted the fact that the Ukrainian advance could not even keep up with the speed of the Russian retreat! The “glorious victory” of this quasi-NATO army has – at least for the time being – launched the western media narrative into an unprecedented spasm of triumphalism. Delusional reports of hundreds of abandoned tanks, thousands of casualties, and tens of thousands of captured Russian soldiers are circulating widely, willingly believed by those whose biases find them pleasing. Western think-tank monkeys and retired-generals-for-hire move from one mainstream news studio to the next spouting fantastical nonsense about next liberating the Donbass, then Crimea, followed by deposing Putin and hauling him before a tribunal at The Hague.

And if that were not enough, many have even begun to openly discuss the long-desired western pipe dream of dismantling Russia altogether; cutting it up into a dozen or more smaller republics that will then obediently fall in line with the rest of the “rules-based world order”. It’s all quite breathtaking to behold.

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Borrell has to go from Brussels, along with Von der Leyen. Their delusions are too costly.

Don’t Listen To Those Asking To Stop Supporting Kiev, EU’s Borrell Says (RT)

The EU must tackle elements of the public that want the Ukraine conflict to be over as soon as possible, and Kiev’s recent offensive in the northeast helped with that, according to Josep Borrell, the top EU official for foreign relations and security. “There is a temptation to abandon [Ukraine] in part of European society,” he told El Mundo newspaper in an interview published on Thursday. People “want to end the war because they cannot bear the consequences, the costs. We have to combat that mentality. The offensive on the northeastern front helps with that.” Borrell was referring to last week’s Ukrainian operation, in which Kiev’s troops pushed Russian forces out of large swathes of Kharkov Region.

Some US officials claimed credit on behalf of the American intelligence community for the advances. According to Borrell, the Ukrainian offensive was a “breath of fresh air” for Brussels since it serves as affirmation that its strategy was “sound.” He has stated on several occasions that Russia had to be defeated on the battlefield for the hostilities in Ukraine to stop. The official told the newspaper that the EU strategy to punish Russia required a long time for sanctions to act, and people should be prepared for it. “It’s like a diet. In a week you may not lose a kilo, but you have to continue,” he said, reiterating the metaphor he used on Tuesday during a speech in the European Parliament.

The EU joined the US in sending military aid to Ukraine and imposing economic sanctions on Russia. It came at a serious cost to European economies, which now have to deal with skyrocketing energy prices and potential shortages of natural gas due to the decision of their governments to decouple from Russian supplies. Borrell downplayed grim predictions that the upcoming winter could become a disaster for the EU. “There are political opposition forces that say we are going to freeze to death. Some of those people who say that are not ideological radicals, they insist that the way we are going is a crazy one,” he said. He suggested that the EU government had to do a better job of “educating” people about the situation.

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“Only naive, short-sighted politicians who know history poorly can talk about victory over Russia on the battlefield.”

US Openly A Party To Ukraine Conflict – Russia (RT)

It is cause for “deep concern” that the US government is “openly boasting” that Ukraine’s battlefield successes were achieved with the Pentagon’s direct involvement, the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said in an interview on Wednesday. “Against this background, Washington’s statements that the US is not a party to the conflict sound absolutely ridiculous and unfounded,” Antonov told RIA Novosti. “Facts and interviews of former and current politicians and generals say otherwise.” “Videos currently shown on Western channels clearly demonstrate that soldiers and officers who speak fluent English, many with pronounced British and American accents, are fighting against us,” the ambassador added.

The US has done everything to turn Ukraine into a dumping ground for its obsolete weapons, but also a testing range for new NATO equipment, Antonov said, pointing out the insatiable appetite of the US military-industrial complex for profits. By the Pentagon’s own admission, the US has sent Ukraine “more than $17.2 billion in security assistance” since 2014, and another $14.5 billion since February. Kiev’s patrons are “hungry for power and money” and not interested in peaceful solutions, said Antonov. There is little to no talk in the West about negotiations, only about sending more weapons to Ukraine, he added. “Their main main goal is to defeat Russia by any means, and subsequently prevent it from playing a key role in the international arena. And if possible, break it into pieces,” the ambassador said.

“They will not stop pushing Ukraine into further suicidal adventures, such as the ‘offensives’ that were doomed from the start.” Ukraine has claimed its recent advances in the Kharkov region are a “turning point” in the conflict. On Monday, the New York Times reported that the US and UK had been involved in planning the operation, including the admission by the Pentagon’s policy chief Colin Kahl that the US military “did do some modeling and some tabletop exercises,” which it shared with Kiev. “The current situation of Washington inciting Kiev against us is an indisputable, obvious fact,”said Antonov. If the Americans go along with Ukraine’s “insane” demands for long-range rockets, he added, “such a scenario would mean direct involvement of the US in a military confrontation with Russia.”

Even so, this will “not lead to real change on the frontline,” Antonov said, “Only naive, short-sighted politicians who know history poorly can talk about victory over Russia on the battlefield.” Russia’s mission is to “lay down the foundations of a multipolar world order and send the American ‘rules-based world order’ into the dustbin of history,” and Moscow’s diplomats “have no doubt that we will achieve victory,” he concluded.

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His own office published the photo. It appears to be gone now.

Zelensky Guard Appears To Wear Nazi Insignia (RT)

One of the armed guards of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has been spotted with insignia resembling a symbol of Nazi Germany unit used during World War II. The image shared by the office of the leader was made during his visit to the recently re-captured town of Izyum on Wednesday. The controversial skull-and-bones image was featured on the back of a heavily armed Ukrainian trooper, who appeared to be part of Zelensky’s security detail during the trip. It can be seen in one of the photos, which the president’s office released on social media. The symbol was the insignia of the SS-Totenkopfverbande units, the part of the Nazi paramilitary Schutzstaffel responsible for security at the death camps.

It was also adopted by the elite Panzer Division ‘Totenkopf’ of the Waffen-SS, which was formed from the death camp guards and fought on the Eastern front and committed multiple war crimes. In modern times, it was adopted by various far-right and nationalist groups in Ukraine, which got their inspiration from Ukrainian nationalist forces that collaborated with the Nazi Germany during World War II and fought against the Soviet Union. Organizations monitoring extremists consider it a hate symbol. In May, Zelensky’s office included a photo of a Ukrainian artillery trooper wearing a similar ‘death head’ patch on his chest in a selection posted on social media on the occasion of the Allied victory in the European theater of war. The same photo was also shared by the country’s defense ministry that day.


Russia cited the influence that extremists groups have in the Ukrainian national guard and military as one of the reasons for sending troops into the country in late February. Zelensky was elected president in 2019 on a platform of reconciliation with rebel forces in the east and normalization of ties with Russia. His initial attempts to deliver on the campaign promises were met with fierce criticisms and street protests by nationalist groups, which called for tougher policies and suppression of Donbass. The Ukrainian president has since reinvented himself as an uncompromising political figure seeking a complete defeat of Russia and its allies and rejecting any calls for peace talks.

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I cannot do Batiushka, the Orthodox priest, justice in the aggregator format. But I can point you to him.

A Turning-Point Once Every 500 Years (Batiushka)

I recall some forty years ago meeting an elderly English lady, a farmer’s wife called Mrs Dove, who had been present as a schoolgirl at the funeral of Queen Victoria. ‘When the old Queen died all those years ago’, she reminisced nostalgically, ‘everything was draped in black and everyone was dressed in black’. Now Victoria’s great-great-granddaughter, the new ‘old Queen’, is dead, the news announced beneath a rainbow over Windsor Castle. This is the town whose name the Queen’s grandfather, George V, had adopted as the family name, instead of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The Windsor name was officially adopted on 17 July 1917, just after the British-orchestrated Russian ‘Revolution’ of 1917, one year to the day before the Tsar and his Family were murdered in Ekaterinburg, on the very frontiers of Europe and Asia. The Russian Tsar had been betrayed by his look-alike cousin, King George V.

Whatever you say about Queen Elizabeth II, she personally had modesty, she had dignity, she had presence, she actually believed in something, she had all that her descendants seem utterly to lack. Perhaps her end was hastened by the behaviour of her son Prince Andrew, her grandson Prince Harry and the imbeciles who inhabit 10 Downing Street, the latest of whom she had to appoint Prime Minister only two days before she died. Why live any longer? She must have been fed up with it all. This is the final, final end of the Protestant Empire of Great Britain (1522-2022) (1), whose collapse began exactly three generations ago in 1947 in India. Perhaps the decline will go swiftly now under the disliked King Charles III (called in Russian Karl III) (2), who finds himself without Queen Diana, the only one who could have saved him. Expect the break-up of the UK to be rapid.

The 96 year-old Queen Elizabeth II died in Scotland, in Victoria’s castle at Balmoral, a relic of the 19th century and its British Empire. Her curious, clipped Germanic accent – no English people talk like that – betrayed the Queen’s foreign origins as the last of the rulers shaped by German Protestantism, imported by the City of London merchant and financial class just over 300 years before. However, it is not only her, it is the other leaders of the Western world, relics of the 20th century, who are dying out too. They are gerontocrats. In the USA Biden, born in the first half of the 20th century and soon to be 80, should really be in an old folk’s home. It is cruel to keep parading him in front of the media like that and asking him to remember things. As for Pope Francis, aged 85, he can hardly walk and says that he too might go early, like his predecessor, still alive at 95, a relic forced to serve in the Hitler Youth.

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“Washington has “doubts” about Germany’s fundamental loyalty to Kiev, questioning whether it wants Ukraine to “win” or just “not to lose.”

American Patience With Germany Wearing Thin – Media (RT)

Berlin appears to be increasingly out of step with its allies across the pond when it comes to arming Ukraine, Germany’s Die Welt daily reported on Thursday, adding that the issue is impacting relations between the NATO allies. The US allegedly wants Germany to take a more resolute approach towards military assistance for Kiev, it said. Last Sunday, the US ambassador to Berlin, Amy Gutmann, told the German broadcaster ZDF that she expects Germany to “take on a greater leadership role.” She acknowledged Berlin’s military assistance to Kiev, but said her expectations are “even higher.” “So far, Germany has done what we asked for,”a US official told Die Welt on Thursday, adding that Berlin could be moving “faster.”

The paper reported that Washington has “doubts” about Germany’s fundamental loyalty to Kiev, questioning whether it wants Ukraine to “win” or just “not to lose.” On Tuesday, the German tabloid Bild claimed that US officials allegedly sent a diplomatic note to Berlin, in which Secretary of State Antony Blinken supposedly said Washington would “welcome” a decision by Germany to send battle tanks to Ukraine while stopping short of directly asking for such a step. A spokeswoman for the US embassy in Berlin, however, denied this claim, telling Bild that no such outreach was made. “It is not true that we told Germany that they had to supply tanks,” a US official also told Die Welt on Thursday, adding that the US would rather see Germany take a greater leadership role, which now “means helping Ukraine.”

Last week, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told journalists that Berlin would not be the first to send Western-made tanks to Ukraine when no other nation had done so. The reports of Washington’s dissatisfaction with Germany’s response came as Lambrecht announced a fresh weapons package for Kiev. The new batch will include two Mars II multiple rocket launchers and 200 missiles for them, as well as 50 Dingo armored personnel carriers, she told journalists on Thursday.

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I still haven’t seen anyone explain how the US got so far behind on hypersonics. Spending 10x what Russia spends, and still be 10 years behind.

Pentagon Finds Hypersonic Research Partner (RT)

The Pentagon has agreed to work with Japan to find new ways to defend against hypersonic weapons, as the US rushes to produce a missile to compete with similar platforms under development in China, and already deployed by Russia. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his Japanese counterpart, Yasukazu Hamada, at the Pentagon headquarters on Wednesday, where they discussed future military coordination between the two nations and focused on China’s “coercive actions” toward Taiwan in recent weeks. “The ministers concurred that Japan and the United States would further accelerate cooperation in the area of equipment and technology to ensure technological edge of the alliance,” including “joint analysis on counter-hypersonic technology,” the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry noted that Washington and Tokyo would “cooperate closely and seamlessly” to prevent any “unilateral change in the status quo” in the Indo-Pacific region, where American warships frequently conduct ‘freedom of navigation’ missions through contested waters claimed by Beijing. Both Austin and Hamada “strongly condemned China’s ballistic missile launches in early August,” with Tokyo claiming some of the projectiles landed within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The two also accused Beijing of provocative military drills near Taiwan – which China considers part of its own territory – following a visit to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month. In the Pentagon’s readout of Wednesday’s meeting, Austin vowed to “modernize the US-Japan alliance, bolster integrated deterrence, and further cooperate with like-minded partners to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific,” though the release made no mention of hypersonic technology.

While various hypersonic missile designs have long been under development by the US defense establishment, no platform has been adopted into service. Following a test of the hypersonic AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) last May, the Air Force declared it a “major accomplishment,”though the missile failed to reach its theoretical top-speed of Mach 20 (or 20 times the speed of sound). China, too, is working on a hypersonic munition, which it has test-fired on a number of occasions, while Russia’s hypersonic Kh-47M2 Kinzhal has been in service for several years, seeing its first real-world operational deployments during the conflict with Ukraine.

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The IAEA cannot choose sides. But it does. Next they’re going to call for Russia to withdraw from the plant, though they know that will never happen.

Moscow Responds To UN Nuclear Watchdog Resolution On Ukrainian Plant (RT)

Russia has criticized the resolution adopted by the UN nuclear watchdog on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The document passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is “anti-Russian” and does not say a single word about the Ukrainian shelling of the facility, Russian diplomats have said. The facility, the largest of its kind in Europe, is located in Ukraine but currently controlled by Russian forces. On Thursday, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a document demanding Russia “immediately cease all actions against, and at, the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant and any other nuclear facility in Ukraine.” The text also said the board “deplores the Russian Federation’s persistent violent actions against nuclear facilities in Ukraine.”

Russia’s mission to the IAEA responded by saying that the document was “pushed through” by the West, while “the majority of humanity refused to support it.” The resolution passed with 26 votes in favor. Russia and China, which are also on the board, voted against it, while seven nations – Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, Burundi, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan – abstained. Those supporting the document mostly consisted of the US and its allies in Europe and elsewhere. The Russian diplomats also blasted the fact that the resolution fails to mention the shelling of the station, the evidence for which Moscow had provided several times. The officials also accused Western nations of “supporting and shielding” Kiev in “every possible way,” while blaming Ukraine for the attacks.

The document was passed in the wake of the IAEA mission that visited the Zaporozhye plant in early September. On Wednesday, in a phone call with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the IAEA’s work, which is contributing to the safety of the facility. This was the second resolution adopted by the IAEA amid the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The first one was passed in March before Russian forces had taken control of the power plant. The documents are similar in nature and in both cases were introduced by Canada and Poland on behalf of Ukraine, which is not on the agency’s board, according to Reuters. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the grounds of the plant. Kiev has denied the accusations and instead blamed Russia for the incidents, despite the area already being under Moscow’s control.

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George Webb – Investigative Journalist @RealGeorgeWebb1: “Dearie is Special Master. yep, the Carter page FISA guy.”

Special Master Appointed, DOJ Bid To Delay Mar-a-Lago Ruling Rejected (Pol.)

U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday rejected a Justice Department demand to let federal prosecutors continue their review of records marked classified that were recovered from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. In her ruling, Cannon refused to accept department officials’ contention that the records they are trying to review as part of an ongoing criminal investigation remain highly classified or contain extraordinarily sensitive defense information that could damage national security if released. “The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government’s conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion,” Cannon, a Trump appointee, wrote in her 10-page ruling denying the Justice Department’s request to essentially exclude about 100 documents marked classified from the special master process.

Cannon instead appointed Raymond Dearie, a senior federal judge in New York, to lead an independent review of the seized materials. He was one of two potential special masters proposed by the Trump team, and prosecutors said they found him acceptable even though he was not one of their initial picks. In a signed filing released by the court on Thursday night, Dearie accepted the task. Cannon urged him to complete his review by Nov. 30 — more than a month after the Oct. 17 deadline the Justice Department had most recently asked Cannon to set. While Cannon’s timeline appears to extend Dearie’s review well past the November midterm elections, she did instruct him “to prioritize review of the approximately 100 documents marked as classified (and papers physically attached thereto),” meaning it’s possible prosecutors could regain access to some or all of those materials before they get another look at the other records seized in the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of the Trump’s Florida estate.

Last week, the Justice Department appealed Cannon’s order to appoint a special master and indicated it would seek relief from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals if she did not agree to delay aspects of her ruling by Thursday night. The ruling is another setback for federal prosecutors, who have expressed alarm at the extraordinarily sensitive records they found in boxes intermingled with Trump’s personal items in his Mar-a-Lago storage room, as well as some recovered from his office. The Justice Department has warned that Cannon’s Sept. 5 order — which enjoined the department from furthering its criminal review of the documents seized by FBI agents — had also disrupted a parallel risk assessment of those documents by the intelligence community. Though Cannon allowed that review to continue, the Justice Department emphasized that her order had sown confusion within the executive branch.

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“The silliness of it all is that Trump might be the only Republican–at least top tier Republican–who could lose to either Joe Biden or Kamala Harris in 2024.”

Democrats Are Trying To Trump-Proof The Government (Lucas)

Trump Derangement Syndrome is clearly real. To be clear, it’s not necessarily better or worse than Trump sycophancy. Americans–whether serving in public office or everyday working stiffs–should never base their life around idolatry of or seething hatred for one prominent leader. But, of course, that has happened with Trump. I suppose polarizing is a shorter way to put it, but that term seems so trite. Anyway, the anti-Trump side is presently being more ridiculous and pettier. If Trump sycophancy becomes a legislative agenda, I’ll reconsider that judgment. The silliness of it all is that Trump might be the only Republican–at least top tier Republican–who could lose to either Joe Biden or Kamala Harris in 2024.

While that’s questionable, House Democrats are advancing bills through committee as if they think he’s a sure thing come January 2025 – or water down a second Trump term as much as possible by weakening presidential authority. Also, some of the bills are based on silly anti-Trump conspiracy theories. The bills would effectively politicize executive branch agencies that shouldn’t be. HR 8326, dubbed the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act would make it more difficult for a president to fire a Census Bureau director, while also granting the director broad new authorities to conduct statistical sampling. It would expand the number of Census Bureau employees with civil service protections. It also constrains future censuses from inquiring about citizenship–which could favor Democrats for enumeration and apportionment.

When the oversight committee advanced the bill in July, committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., complained about the “Trump administration’s illegal efforts to weaponize the Census Bureau for political gain.” House Oversight Committee Democrats Reps. Gerald Connolly of Virginia and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania co-sponsored H.R. 302, dubbed the Preventing a Patronage System Act. The theory is that if Trump is elected, he would eliminate the civil service system and return to a spoils system. The press release for the bill references Trump’s final months in office, when he signed an executive order creating a “Schedule F” category of federal employees.

The order determined that career employees with civil service protections involved with “policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating” positions that are “not normally subject to change as part of a presidential transition” could be more easily removed for insubordination, which was a problem during the Trump administration. This would affect a maximum 50,000 federal employees out of the 2.2 million federal workforce. That’s far from a patronage system. The Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act, or H.R. 2988, certainly is a more innocuous sounding name, since many Republican lawmakers love whistleblowers that rat out Democrats. But this bill practically encourages bad actors in the federal workforce to simply engage in meritless accusations–thus abuse the legal whistleblower protections.

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Filling a vacuum with money.

How Bill Gates And Partners Took Over The Global Covid Response (Pol.)

When Covid-19 struck, the governments of the world weren’t prepared. From America to Europe to Asia, they veered from minimizing the threat to closing their borders in ill-fated attempts to quell a viral spread that soon enveloped the world. While the most powerful nations looked inward, four non-governmental global health organizations began making plans for a life-or-death struggle against a virus that would know no boundaries. What followed was a steady, almost inexorable shift in power from the overwhelmed governments to a group of non-governmental organizations, according to a seven-month investigation by POLITICO journalists based in the U.S. and Europe and the German newspaper WELT.

Armed with expertise, bolstered by contacts at the highest levels of Western nations and empowered by well-grooved relationships with drug makers, the four organizations took on roles often played by governments — but without the accountability of governments. While nations were still debating the seriousness of the pandemic, the groups identified potential vaccine makers and targeted investments in the development of tests, treatments and shots. And they used their clout with the World Health Organization to help create an ambitious worldwide distribution plan for the dissemination of those Covid tools to needy nations, though it would ultimately fail to live up to its original promises.

The four organizations had worked together in the past, and three of them shared a common history. The largest and most powerful was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the world. Then there was Gavi, the global vaccine organization that Gates helped to found to inoculate people in low-income nations, and the Wellcome Trust, a British research foundation with a multibillion dollar endowment that had worked with the Gates Foundation in previous years. Finally, there was the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, the international vaccine research and development group that Gates and Wellcome both helped to create in 2017.

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Martha’s Vineyard finally gets diversity.

Tucker Carlson Notices the Missing Jubilation in Martha’s Vineyard (CTH)

A strange thing happened. After lecturing the nation on the virtues of mass migration, the white liberal democrats on Martha’s Vineyard did not celebrate the arrival of the non-white immigrants they have been demanding for years. Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted in his monologue that Martha’s Vineyard famous nimby residents, including former President Barack Obama, did not welcome the people of color as one would expect. Instead of celebrating the new diversity, oddly the residents quickly moved to find alternate off island locations to accept the arriving immigrants.

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“Border officials have seen more than 4 million encounters with foreign nationals attempting to cross the southern border since Biden first took office.”

Illinois Governor Declares Emergency Disaster As Migrants Bused In (JTN)

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday issued an emergency disaster proclamation in response to several hundred foreign nationals being bused to the state from the southern border by Texas’ governor. Pritzker activated about 75 members of the Illinois National Guard “to ensure all state resources are available to support asylum seekers arriving nearly daily to Chicago from the state of Texas,” the governor’s office said in a news release. It also “enables the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and other state agencies, in close coordination with the City of Chicago, Cook County, and other local governments, to ensure the individuals and families receive the assistance they need. This includes transport, emergency shelter and housing, food, health screenings, medical assessments, treatments, and other necessary care and services.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began busing foreign nationals who crossed the border into Texas illegally to Washington D.C. in April, to New York City this summer, and then to Chicago beginning late last month. All three cities are so-called “sanctuary cities” that proclaim to welcome illegal immigrants and not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. “Today, I signed a disaster proclamation allowing the state to speed up the procurement of the immediate resources needed to help Chicago, Cook County, and other jurisdictions provide humanitarian assistance to the asylum seekers who are being sent to our state with no official advance notice by the Governor of Texas,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Let me be clear: while other states may be treating these vulnerable families as pawns, here in Illinois, we are treating them as people.”

Abbott argues the crisis at the southern border was created by President Joe Biden’s open border policies and has called on the mayors of these sanctuary cities to demand that Biden enforce U.S. immigration law. Border officials have seen more than 4 million encounters with foreign nationals attempting to cross the southern border since Biden first took office. Texas has had to deal with the majority of them. The administration has released hundreds of thousands of them into Texas and other border state communities.

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“probabilistic” modelling..

Switching To Renewable Energy Could Save Trillions (BBC)

Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as much as $12tn (£10.2tn) by 2050, an Oxford University study says. The report said it was wrong and pessimistic to claim that moving quickly towards cleaner energy sources was expensive. Gas prices have soared on mounting concerns over energy supplies. But the researchers say that going green now makes economic sense because of the falling cost of renewables. “Even if you’re a climate denier, you should be on board with what we’re advocating,” Prof Doyne Farmer from the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School told BBC News. “Our central conclusion is that we should go full speed ahead with the green energy transition because it’s going to save us money,” he said.

The report’s findings are based on looking at historic price data for renewables and fossil fuels and then modelling how they’re likely to change in the future. The data for fossil fuels goes from 2020 back more than 100 years and shows that after accounting for inflation, and market volatility, the price hasn’t changed much. Renewables have only been around for a few decades, so there’s less data. But in that time continual improvements in technology have meant the cost of solar and wind power have fallen rapidly, at a rate approaching 10% a year. The report’s expectation that the price of renewables will continue to fall is based on “probabilistic” modelling, using data on how massive investment and economies of scale have made other similar technologies cheaper.

“Our latest research shows scaling-up key green technologies will continue to drive their costs down, and the faster we go, the more we will save,” says Dr Rupert Way, the report’s lead author from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

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Water man

 

 

 

More hands

 

 

 

 

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Sep 092022
 
 September 9, 2022  Posted by at 8:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Andy Warhol Queen Elizabeth, Reigning Queens Series 1985

 

The Price Of Poker (Denninger)
Putin: The West is Failing, the Future is Asia (Celente)
Asia’s Future Takes Shape In Vladivostok, The Russian Pacific (Escobar)
Putin’s 12,000 Ton Gold Hoard Sets The Stage For Asian Bretton Woods (Macleod)
Six Months In, What Exactly Does Russia Hope To Achieve In Ukraine? (Trenin)
The Coming Victory of Native Europeans in the UK and the EU (Batiushka)
A Dirty Joke: Ukraine’s Hero Comedian President Zelensky (Celente)
Ukraine Planned To Use IAEA Experts As A Tool For Blackmail (Ritter)
Pentagon Sent GPS-Guided Rounds To Ukraine (RT)
Italy’s Berlusconi Believes He Can Help Resolve Ukraine Crisis (RT)
Germany’s Energy Suicide: An Autopsy (Escobar)
We the Silent Majority (AT)
Fell Asleep A Princess, Awoke A Queen (CD)
Hillary Plays The Victim Despite History Of Avoiding Criminal Charges (Turley)
Greece Warns Of Ukraine-style War With Turkey In East Mediterranean (MEE)

 

 

London Bridge is down.

 

 


“Can’t believe they are going to make a MAN queen. This woke nonsense has gone too far.”

 

 

Ghana TV
https://twitter.com/i/status/1567873066260172800

 

 

 

 

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“For those who claim Russia is waging an “energy war” well, perhaps they are, but let’s not forget the west is attempting to wage an economic one! ”

The Price Of Poker (Denninger)

It appears that Putin’s government has announced that Nordstream I will not be restarted until western sanctions are lifted. “Russian natural gas supply via the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany will remain shut until the Western sanctions that impede gas turbine repairs are lifted, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. The gas crisis in Europe took a turn for the worse at the end of last week, when Russian gas giant Gazprom said after three-day maintenance ended on Friday that Nord Stream would remain shut until “operational defects in the equipment are eliminated,” upping the ante in its gas war against Europe.” As a reminder the pipeline had only one operational gas-turbine driven pump which, according to Gazprom, requires maintenance.

There are usually five of them available for service with a sixth held in reserve as a spare at that specific station through which the gas flows. As things stand now there are no spares and one sort-of-operating one that was shut down as a result of a fault discovered during an inspection. There are people saying that Russia could operate the one with the leak anyway but why does anyone believe there is any sort of duty to do so and shave the margins of safety? There clearly is no such duty and, further, the gas is Russia’s so if you think you have the right to sanction a nation and then demand they trade with you its rather obvious to me that your IQ is smaller than your shoe size. For those who claim Russia is waging an “energy war” well, perhaps they are, but let’s not forget the west is attempting to wage an economic one!


I’ve never in my life seen a “war” in which the people backing one side of it demand that the party on the other side continue to trade with them and not only that, but then attempt to put in price controls such that they demand not only the product but also what they pay for it. Putin obviously thinks that’s crazy. Now the West and Europe in particular get to choose: Either drop the sanctions or you get no gas. I fail to understand how this cannot be viewed as an entirely-reasonable position unless your view is that Russia has no right of national sovereignty at all, including the natural resources that lay within her border and those that transit same. If that’s your position — that the West has the right to impose a political and economic structure on a sovereign government then just come out and say it.

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“Beijing has been clear that it believes the world arrived at this point due to Washington’s interference in Kyiv.”

Putin: The West is Failing, the Future is Asia (Celente)

Russian President Vladimir Putin took an unveiled swipe at the U.S. Wednesday and said “Western nations” are hurting everyone — including their own people in their effort to maintain global order. “The West is failing,” Putin said. “The future is Asia.” Putin will meet with his Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan next week, according to Russian media. Russia sees China as an economic lifeline. China is Russia’s top trade partner with total trade last year jumping 35.9 percent to a record $146.9 billion. Reuters said trade between the two countries jumped 50 percent after the 2014 annexation of Crimea. That trend has continued. During the first five months of the year, trade between the countries hit $65.81 billion, up 28.9 percent from 2021.

Despite attempts from the Biden administration, China has refused to speak out against the Russian invasion. There’s a theory that when Putin met with Xi at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, he got the Chinese leader’s blessing before the conflict. Russia would be sunk without China’s support. Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat, has mentioned a new “world order.” “We, together with you [China], and with our sympathizers will move towards a multipolar, just, democratic world order,” Lavrov said in a video statement in April. President Joe Biden mentioned an emerging ‘new world order’ earlier that month and said it must be led by the U.S. Beijing has been clear that it believes the world arrived at this point due to Washington’s interference in Kyiv.


Shortly after the conflict started, Hua Chunying, the Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said the invasion of Ukraine could have been avoided. “China has taken a responsible attitude and persuaded all parties not to escalate tensions or incite war,” she said. “Those who follow the U.S.’s lead in fanning up flame and then shifting the blame onto others are truly irresponsible.” The Russian president said the ongoing economic global crisis was triggered by elites in the West “who would not, or even cannot, acknowledge objective facts” about changes in the world. He said they only see a “world order that benefits only them, forcing everyone to live under the rules, which they invented and which they regularly break and constantly change depending on the situation,” The Global Times reported.

Putin Western elites

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“Russia is ready for winter. There will be warmth and light everywhere.”

Asia’s Future Takes Shape In Vladivostok, The Russian Pacific (Escobar)

Pavel Sorokin, Russian First Deputy Minister of Energy, dismissed the notion of a storm or typhoon in the energy markets: “It’s a far cry from a natural process. It’s a man-made situation.” The Russian economy, in contrast, is seen by most analysts as slowly but surely designing its Arctic/Asian cooperation future – including, for instance, the creation of a sophisticated trans-shipment infrastructure for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov made sure that Russia will actually increase its gas production, considering the rise of LNG deliveries and the construction of Power of Siberia-2 to China: “We will not merely scale up the pipeline capacity but we will also expand LNG production: it has mobility and excellent purchases on the global market.”

On the Northern Sea Route, the emphasis is on building a powerful, modern icebreaker fleet – including nuclear. Gadzhimagomed Guseynov, First Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, is adamant: “What Russia has to do is to make the Northern Sea Route a sustainable and important transit route.” There is a long-term plan up to 2035 to create infrastructure for safe shipping navigation, following an ‘Arctic best practices’ of learning step by step. NOVATEK, according to its deputy chairman Evgeniy Ambrosov, has been conducting no less than a revolution in terms of Arctic navigation and shipbuilding in the last few years.


Kniessel, the former Austrian minister, recalled that she always missed the larger geopolitical picture in her discussions when she was active in European politics (she now lives in Lebanon): “I wrote about the passing of the torch from Atlanticism to the Pacific. Airlines, pipelines and waterways are moving East. The Far East is actually Pacific Russia.” Whatever Atlanticists may think of it, the last word for the moment might belong to Vitaly Markelov, from the board of directors of Gazprom: Russia is ready for winter. There will be warmth and light everywhere.”

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“There is the Chinese one kilo bar four-nines standard, which is widely owned, has already been adopted throughout Asia, and is traded even on Comex.”

Putin’s 12,000 Ton Gold Hoard Sets The Stage For Asian Bretton Woods (Macleod)

Unreported by western media, there are some interesting developments taking place in Asia over the future of currencies. Earlier this summer, it emerged that Sergei Glazyev, a senior Russian economist and Minister in charge of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EAEU), was leading a committee planning a new trade currency for the Eurasian Economic Union. [..] Logic suggests that a gold-backed currency will be the outcome of Glazyev’s EAEU committee’s trade currency deliberations after all, because of a subsequent announcement from Moscow concerning a new Russian bullion market.

In accordance with western sanctions, the London Bullion Market refused to accept Russian mined and processed gold. It was then natural for Russia to propose a new gold market based in Moscow with its own standards. It is equally sensible for Moscow to set up a price fixing committee, replicating that of the LBMA. But instead of it being the basis for a far larger unallocated gold deposit account offering by Russian and other banks, it will be a predominantly physical market. Based in Moscow, with a new market called the Moscow International Precious Metals Exchange, the Moscow Gold Standard will incorporate some of the LBMA’s features, such as good delivery lists with daily, or twice daily fixings. The new exchange is therefore being promoted as a logical replacement for the LBMA.


But could that be a cover, with the real objective being to provide a gold link to the new trade currency planned by Glazyev’s EAEU committee? Timing suggests that this may indeed be the case, but we will only know for sure as events unfold. If it is to be backed by gold, the considerations behind setting up a new trade currency are fairly straightforward. There is the Chinese one kilo bar four-nines standard, which is widely owned, has already been adopted throughout Asia, and is traded even on Comex. Given that China is Russia’s long-term partner, that is likely to be the standard unit. The adoption of the Chinese standard in the new Moscow exchange is logical, simplifying the relationship with the Shanghai Gold Exchange, and streamlining fungibility between contracts, arbitrage, and delivery.

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The focus is gradually shifting.

Six Months In, What Exactly Does Russia Hope To Achieve In Ukraine? (Trenin)

Putin’s latest comments reveal that Moscow’s thinking has shifted and compromise is no longer on the agenda Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to Ukraine as an “anti-Russian enclave” which has to be removed. He also said that the Russian soldiers taking part in the military operation there were fighting for their “own country.” These statements carry important implications. Over the last six-plus months, the mantra of the Russian officialdom has been that all aims of the offensive will be reached. On purpose, however, the specific objectives, such as how far Moscow’s forces plan move into Ukraine, have never been spelled out. This cannot but raise speculation about what the Kremlin is actually hoping to achieve. The only person who can authoritatively answer that question, however, is the president, and second-guessing him makes no sense.

Yet, two things cannot escape close attention. One is the radicalization of Moscow’s position on Ukraine as a result of both Western policies and Kiev’s actions; two is the widening gap between the minimum result of the military campaign that Russia can be satisfied with, and the maximum amount of what the US and its allies can accept. [..] Shortly after the start of hostilities Russia and Ukraine began peace talks. In late March 2022 at a meeting in Istanbul, Moscow demanded that Zelensky’s government recognize the sovereignty of the two Donbass republics within their constitutional borders, as well as Russia’s own sovereignty over Crimea, which was formally incorporated into the Russian Federation in 2014, plus accept a neutral and demilitarized status for territory controlled by Kiev.

At that point, Moscow still recognized the current Ukrainian authorities and was prepared to deal with them directly. For its part, Kiev initially appeared ready to accept Moscow’s demands (which were criticized by many within Russia as overly concessionary to Ukraine), but then quickly reverted to a hardline stance. Moscow has always suspected that this U-turn, as on previous occasions, was the result of US behind-the-scenes influence, often aided by the British and other allies. [..] As the fighting in Ukraine quickly became a proxy war between Russia and the US-led West, Russia’s views on Ukraine’s future radicalized further. While a quick cessation of hostilities and a peace settlement on Russian terms in the spring would have left Ukraine, minus Donbass, demilitarized and outside NATO, but otherwise under the present leadership with its virulently anti-Russian ideology and reliance on the West, the new thinking, as Putin’s remarks in Kaliningrad suggest, tends to regard any Ukrainian state that is not fully and securely cleansed of ultranationalist ideology and its agents as a clear and present danger; in fact, a ticking bomb right on Russia’s borders not far from its capital.

Dmitry Trenin is a Research Professor at the Higher School of Economics and a Lead Research Fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations. He is also a member of the Russian International Affairs Council

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“Johnson’s unelected replacement, MissTrust..”

The Coming Victory of Native Europeans in the UK and the EU (Batiushka)

A spectre is haunting Europe – it is the spectre of poverty. The bets are now on as to which European country will collapse first. Among the front runners you will find Portugal, Latvia, Ireland, Romania, Italy, Moldova, Spain, the Czech Republic, Germany, Bulgaria, France and Slovakia. But perhaps none of them is more likely to fall first than the UK. For it has a new Prime Minister, who, unthinkably, is an even greater clown than the last one and even threatens to press the nuclear button. Let me digress for a moment with a visit to the islands off the coast of North-Western Europe.

My visit to the UK, after Wiesbaden in Germany, came at a time when the English peasants were revolting, but the governing elite did not yet know it. In one last Marie-Antoinette farewell moment the unlate, unlamented Mr Johnson advised the revolting peasants of the UK to spend £20 buying a new and more economic kettle, so that after two years (if the Chinese-made kettle lasted that long) they could save £10 a year on their £2,500 + annual energy bills. ‘Let them eat cake’, he may as well have shouted to the breadless masses. The effete and wealthy Tory Party never understood the people. Johnson’s unelected replacement, MissTrust, for whom we should beg the CIA (which has long funded Nobel Prizes) to fund a Nobel Prize for Geography (after all Mr Obama won a Nobel Prize for Peace), faces many challenges:

Firstly, there is the self-inflicted mess Mr Johnson made of Brexit, notably by separating Northern Ireland from Great Britain as regards imports and exports and failing to impose any laws for necessary immigration and against unnecessary immigration. It was the Tory Party that imposed on the British people the then Common Market (later becoming the EU) in 1973. The people never asked to join – they were never consulted. Secondly, there is the self-inflicted covid chaos. Tory-imposed lockdowns bankrupted many and were hated by even more. The much-vaunted vaccines turned out to be useless after three months, and even extremely harmful to some. Today a million vaccinated Britons have covid week in, week out. The people never asked for lockdowns and false vaccines – they were never consulted.

Thirdly, there is the self-inflicted energy crisis and the spiralling energy and food prices, caused by illegal Tory government sanctions against the Russian decision to rescue Russians from Kiev’s genocide and persecution. The people never asked to be cold and hungry – they were never consulted. Fourthly, there are the self-inflicted dramatic problems of always underfunded national infrastructure, whether that of the Health Service (people dying in their homes and in ambulances because the hospitals are so full that they have to wait for many, many hours before they can be admitted), the ‘privatised’ electricity, gas, water and telecom companies, airports and railways, which are all breaking down. The people never asked for public services which are appalling because they are private – they were never consulted.

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“Zelensky ignored four draft notices on 15 April 2015, 23 June 2014, 15 August 2014, and 10 October 2015…”

A Dirty Joke: Ukraine’s Hero Comedian President Zelensky (Celente)

During the 2019 campaign, Zelensky’s history of draft-dodging became a focal point that former President Petro Poroshenko tried to scrutinize. On April 13, 2019, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry took to Facebook to confirm that Zelensky ignored four draft notices on 15 April 2015, 23 June 2014, 15 August 2014, and 10 October 2015. “Citizen Zelensky V.O. did not arrive at the military commissariat at his call,” the post read. [..] Zelensky has been criticized since the start of the invasion for not allowing fighting-aged men to leave the country and using the strategy of issuing military summonses at gas stations and other public areas. The New York Times reported that young men in Ukraine are required to do military service “unless they fall into an exempt category, like being enrolled in a university, having a disability or having at least three children.”

The European Court of Auditors released a special report in September that found “grand corruption and state capture” were still widespread in the country despite 20 years of European Union efforts to intervene and help in its reform agenda. “The EU has long been aware of the connections between oligarchs, high-level officials, politicians, the judiciary and state-owned enterprises. However, it has not developed a real strategy for targeting grand corruption,” the auditors said in a statement. Up until the Russian invasion, the EU has been the largest donor to Ukraine. The European Commission has committed around €5.6 billion to macro-financial assistance programs and €2.2 billion to assistance programs since 2014, the statement said. The Commission also guarantees European Investment Bank loans of €4.4 billion.


Juhan Parts, the member of the European Courts of Auditors responsible for the report “despite varied support the EU has offered to Ukraine, oligarchs and vested interests continue to undermine the rule of law in Ukraine and to threaten the country’s development.” Freedom House’s 2022 report lists Ukraine as “partly free,” with a score of 61 out of a possible 100.

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No, Russia will not leave.

Ukraine Planned To Use IAEA Experts As A Tool For Blackmail (Ritter)

On August 29, Grossi’s team travelled to Kiev, where the next day they met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Zelensky told Grossi that Ukraine believed it was critical for the IAEA to press home its demands for a demilitarized zone, which would enable Ukraine to take control of the plant. On September 1, Grossi and his team set off for the Zaporozhye facility. Prior to their arrival, they were stopped by Ukrainian officials, who warned Grossi that military activity in and around the facility had picked up that morning. According to Russian military sources, the Ukrainian army had attempted to seize the power plant in a commando raid that was thwarted by Russian forces.

As Grossi’s 14-man team arrived at the power plant, the sound of nearby combat could be readily heard. The deteriorating security situation at the facility prompted Grossi to withdraw the bulk of his team later that day. A six-person sub-team was tasked with remaining on-site for a few days longer, after which four inspectors would depart, leaving behind a two-person element, who would provide a permanent presence, on a rotational basis, at the facility. Afterwards, Grossi stated that the mission had been valuable. “We knew a lot before too, but of course it is being inspected now. We are trying to do a thorough assessment of the current situation.”


As to the security of the plant, Grossi noted that “[t]he physical integrity of the facility has been violated not once, but multiple times. This is by no means acceptable.” In addition to their personal observations, the team was presented with a petition signed by 20,000 residents from Russia-controlled parts of the Zaporozhye region demanding that the IAEA condemn the attacks on the nuclear power plant, which the signatories said were conducted solely by the Ukrainian forces. This was not the result either the Ukrainian government or its Western backers could have envisioned when they were pushing for the mission’s dispatch in mid- to late-August.

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Dangerous.

Pentagon Sent GPS-Guided Rounds To Ukraine (RT)

The Pentagon is spending over $90 million to acquire new M982 Excalibur munitions, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The department is replacing a stockpile previously sent to Ukraine, according to budget documents cited in the article. The 155mm shells, each of which costs tens of thousands of dollars and may go well over $100,000, depending on the variant and year they were manufactured, are designed to strike within two meters of the GPS coordinates of a target. The munitions were developed by Raytheon and BAE and are certified to be used with a number of NATO artillery pieces, including American M777 howitzers and German PzH2000 howitzers, which Ukraine possesses.

A document issued last month says that the Pentagon will spend $92 million to purchase “replacement M982 Excalibur munitions transferred to Ukraine in support of the international effort” to undermine Russia’s military operation, as quoted by Bloomberg. The money buys roughly 900 projectiles, a military analyst estimated for the news agency. The funds come from more than $40 billion in emergency spending authorized by the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Act, which US President Joe Biden signed into law in May. The Pentagon was allocated at least half of the sum, including $9 billion to replenish US military stocks.


The US did not officially announce the delivery of Excalibur munitions to Kiev. But Ukrainian troops have shared videos on social media in which they apparently fired the shells on the battlefield. In one video, reposted by a Russian war correspondent as proof that the precision rounds were being used by the Ukrainian side, a Ukrainian soldier jokingly remarked that his unit will “throw to the wind a heap of money” before loading the munition into a gun and firing it. Canadian media reported in April that their country was quietly shipping Excalibur shells to Ukraine to complement the declared deliveries of the US-made M777 howitzers.

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“..his dream is to one day see Russia become a member of the EU..”

Italy’s Berlusconi Believes He Can Help Resolve Ukraine Crisis (RT)

Western attempts to force Russia to change course regarding Ukraine with economic sanctions are backfiring, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said. The conflict must be resolved through diplomacy, he added, offering himself and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel as potential mediators. Berlusconi, who is currently running for a seat in the Italian Senate, offered his diplomatic services on Wednesday night on the TV program Porta a Porta. Discussing the situation in Ukraine, he argued that Russia will not be swayed by sanctions from the US and its allies. The recent G7 initiative to enforce a price cap on Russian oil will also fail, since there will be high demand for Russian crude in countries like China and India, he added.


Berlusconi lamented the fact that Russia is being pushed into allying itself with China, while his dream is to one day see Russia become a member of the EU. Host Bruno Vespa asked if Berlusconi could leverage his personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The politician said the hostilities in Ukraine have to end with diplomacy, so someone will eventually need to be the mediator between Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. “There is a person who could do that instead of me or together with me. It’s former German Chancellor Angela Merkel,” he said. “With Merkel, I feel I could try to mediate and put an end to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.”

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“It was Berlin and Brussels – mere messengers of Big Finance – which weaponized the supply of European energy on behalf of a financial racket, and against the interests of European industry and consumers.”

Germany’s Energy Suicide: An Autopsy (Escobar)

On the interminable soap opera involving the Nord Stream 1 turbine, the crucial fact is that Canada deliberately refused to deliver the repaired turbine to Gazprom – its owner – but instead sent it to Siemens Germany, where it is now. Siemens Germany is essentially under American control. Both the German and Canadian governments refuse to grant a legally binding sanction exemption for the transfer to Russia. That was the straw that broke the (Gazprom) camel’s back. Gazprom and the Kremlin concluded that if sabotage was the name of the game, they couldn’t care less whether Germany received zero gas via Nord Stream 1 (with brand new Nord Stream 2, ready to go, blocked by strictly political reasons).

Kremlin spokesman Dmity Peskov took pains to stress “problems in [gas] deliveries arose due to sanctions that have been imposed on our country and a number of companies by Western countries (…) There are no other reasons behind supply issues.” Peskov had to remind anyone with a brain that it’s not Gazprom’s fault if “the Europeans (…) make a decision to refuse to service their equipment” which they are contractually obligated to do. The fact is the whole Nord Stream 1 operation hinges on “one piece of equipment that needs serious maintenance.” Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who knows one or two things about the energy business, cleared up the technicalities:


“The entire problem lies precisely on [the EU’s] side, because all the conditions of the repair contract have been completely violated, along with the terms of shipping of the equipment.” All that is inscribed into what Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov describes as “a total war declared against us”, which is “being waged in hybrid forms, in all areas”, with “the degree of animosity of our opponents – of our enemies” being “enormous, extraordinary.” So none of this has anything to do with “Putin weaponizing energy”. It was Berlin and Brussels – mere messengers of Big Finance – which weaponized the supply of European energy on behalf of a financial racket, and against the interests of European industry and consumers.

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“Our political system is broken, our multicultural societies are in chaos, inflation is soaring, we’re bankrupt and awaiting possible mass civil protests in the near future..”

We the Silent Majority (AT)

We the silent majority were laughing at the ‘Woke’ Cultural Revolution and diversity obedience training years before it became fashionable. It was already obvious what would happen way back in 1993, coincidently, shortly after the collapse of the USSR when the European Union emerged offering the gullible an unhealthy dose of Gramscian Cultural Marxism disguised as freedom. As the vocal minority now scratch their collective heads at the mess they’ve created, we’re the silent majority occasionally heard muttering “I told you so.” Likewise, we are not responsible for the current political, economic and moral decline around you. We did not support corporate fascism in minimum wage gig-economies, lock downs, non-existent alternative energy sources, or an unhealthy obsession with homosexuality believing it had anything to do with freedom and democracy.

As attention spans wane due to a lack of sensationalism and the Ukraine becomes just another ongoing news item, the next self-inflicted crisis is an energy one. We silent majority raise an eyebrow as we’re told that Russia is an unreliable energy supplier sanctioned from supplying the oil needed and the reason behind rising food prices is the fault of a European drought as we had two weeks of hot sun in the summer. In our brave new world, everyone’s smiling but no one’s happy. Moreover, when we glance around us we all know something is wrong. The only difference between us is who we point our fingers at. Currently, it’s all Biden’s fault but yesterday Trump was to blame. Today it’s Russia, tomorrow it will be China (again). Russian and Chinese societies aren’t collapsing, ours are and we’ve got nowhere to flee as the stupid lash out in all directions to prolong the agony of indoctrinated beliefs they’re hiding behind.


Our political system is broken, our multicultural societies are in chaos, inflation is soaring, we’re bankrupt and awaiting possible mass civil protests in the near future; that’s if the fools in charge don’t lead us into a nuclear conflict first. Yet whilst muttering “here we go again”, nevertheless we the silent majority are prepared to join the coming mass civil disobedience protests as the minority complain about the agents of social programming they not so long ago cheered for and are too stupid to realize they’re the cause of, but think more of it is the solution.

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“Rhinos all night”

Fell Asleep A Princess, Awoke A Queen (CD)

Princess Elizabeth was deep in the Kenyan forest on the adventure of a lifetime, spotting wildlife from high up in the treetops, when her father died and she became queen. The world awoke on February 6, 1952, to the death of King George VI, who had succumbed during the night to lung cancer at the royal Sandringham residence in Norfolk. His 25-year-old daughter and heir to the throne only heard the news later the same day, when word reached Elizabeth thousands of miles from home in the wilderness of the Aberdare Range. Kenya, then a British colony, was the first stop on Elizabeth’s tour of the Commonwealth she had embarked upon with her husband, Prince Philip, in place of her ill father.

The royal couple had taken a night out of their official engagements to stay at a one-of-a-kind game-watching lodge perched in a tree in the Aberdares. It was during their night at the Treetops hotel that the king would die, and Elizabeth would become queen. Jim Corbett, the naturalist and hunter who accompanied the royal couple to Treetops, is credited with writing in the visitor book: “For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess and, after having what she described as her most thrilling experience, she climbed down from the tree next day a queen.” In fact, the Duke of Edinburgh broke the news to Elizabeth after they had left Treetops but the story stuck and the hotel became the fabled locale where a princess became a queen.


First opened in 1932 as an overnight stay for wealthy and intrepid visitors, Treetops overlooked a watering hole from its position in a giant fig tree. In its day, there wasn’t really anything like it. A private setting among branches, remote in the African bush, Treetops offered the privileged elite a chance to encounter wildlife up close, and in safety, as they grazed below. Elizabeth and Philip kept a handwritten tally of what they saw, recorded on a sheet of paper framed at Treetops. Large herds of elephant — “about 40” in one sighting — were spotted at the watering hole, along with baboons and waterbuck. “Rhinos all night”, read the list dated February 5/6, 1952, and signed by the Princess and Prince, and “in the morning, two bulls fighting”..

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“Virtually everything about that claim is breathtakingly untrue..”

Hillary Plays The Victim Despite History Of Avoiding Criminal Charges (Turley)

“I can’t believe we’re still talking about this, but my emails. . .”: Hillary Clinton’s disbelief this week was shared by many critics left dumbfounded by her claim her private server contained “zero” classified documents. The expression of utter incredulity was classic Clinton — she’s selling hats reading “But her emails” for $30 a pop. But Hillary’s denial of what was found on her server exposes something far more serious than signature hypocrisy. It reflects establishment figures’ sense of license that they can literally rewrite history with little fear of contradiction by the media. While calling for limits on free speech over “disinformation,” Hillary has no qualms about falsely denying what published government reports detail.

“As Trump’s problems continue to mount, the right is trying to make this about me again. There’s even a ‘Clinton Standard.’ The fact is that I had zero emails that were classified,” her but-my-emails tweet continued. “Comey admitted he was wrong after he claimed I had classified emails. Trump’s own State Department, under two different Secretaries, found I had no classified emails.” Virtually everything about that claim is breathtakingly untrue. Let’s quickly deal with the light lifting before getting back to the “Clinton Standard.” A 2018 Department of Justice inspector general report revealed “81 email chains containing approximately 193 individual emails” were “classified from the CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET levels at the time.” Clinton is echoing her allies’ recent spin that there were only three documents with classification markings among 33,000 emails. It is utter nonsense.

The Clinton email scandal is a scandal because these were emails. There is no classification automatically stamped on text being typed out and sent within minutes. While attachments can have classification markings, the whole point of using secure servers is that emails are created in the moment with inevitable slips in referencing classified material. Nevertheless, the emails had classified information, including top-secret information tied to “Special Access Programs.” Yet some allies emphasize the inspector general also noted that in some cases there was “conscious effort to avoid sending classified information, by writing around the most sensitive material.” It failed. The emails still contained classified information.

That’s why she was reckless to use her own server: Such mistakes on private servers are more vulnerable to capture by foreign intelligence services. Indeed, according to the FBI, “hostile actors gained access” to some of the information through the emails of Clinton’s associates and aides. “Comey admitted he was wrong. It’s not clear what Hillary is referencing here. But Comey never said there was no classified information in her emails — he said the opposite. He condemned her handling of the classified material while saying it didn’t warrant prosecution. Comey did backtrack later, but not on this point. He said his “mistake” was in how he described her conduct: “I should’ve worked harder to find a way to convey that it’s more than just the ordinary mistake, but it’s not criminal behavior, and find different words to describe that.”

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For now it’s just words.

Greece Warns Of Ukraine-style War With Turkey In East Mediterranean (MEE)

Tensions are boiling in the Eastern Mediterranean, with Greece saying the region risks falling into a war similar to that seen in Ukraine after Turkey raised the spectre of military action against its neighbour. Turkey and Greece have long been enmeshed in a series of disputes, including over maritime rights, the sovereignty of Aegean islands, natural gas and airspace boundaries. The Nato allies had a brief rapprochement after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis making a rare visit to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. Relations have, however, since plummeted. On Tuesday, Erdogan reiterated a veiled threat, stating Turkey could “come all of a sudden one night,” in response to what he claimed were hostilities emanating from Greece.

“What I’m talking about is not a dream,” he said at a press conference in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. “If what I said was that we could come one night all of a sudden [it means] that, when the time comes, we can come suddenly one night.” The comments sparked an outcry in Greece, a country of 10 million people which fought a brutal war of independence from the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. Many parts of Greece remained under Ottoman control before the empire’s collapse after the First World War. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Greek-Turkish war of 1919-1922 and, on 30 August, Turkey celebrated Victory Day, when it drove Greek forces from Anatolia.


The war culminated in the population exchanges between the two countries known in Greece as the Catastrophe, and the battle over Greek-majority cities along the Anatolian coast, such as Smyrna, which is today the city of Izmir. On Saturday, Erdogan made a pointed reference to the city, stating “Greece, look at history, go back in time; if you go too far, the price will be heavy. We have one thing to say to Greece: Remember Izmir.” In response, Athens sent letters to Nato, the European Union and the United Nations slamming what it called Erdogan’s “openly threatening” and “inflammatory” statements. The letters called for the organisations to condemn Erdogan’s statements, which they said “imbue the Turkish people with hatred, enmity and contempt towards their Greek neighbors”.

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Tucker Glenn Beck

 

 

 

 

Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1567582404193173505

 

 


Green bee eater

 

 

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Sep 082022
 


Joan Miró The farmer’s wife 1923

 

Western Elites’ “Sanctions Fever” Will See European People Freeze – Putin (ZH)
EU Gas Price Cap Plan Is ‘Foolish’ – Putin (RT)
Czech Republic Weighs In On Russian Gas Price Cap (RT)
NATO Will Pay A Price But We Must Stay The Course On Ukraine (Stoltenberg)
“Counter-Offensive” – You Keep Using That Word (Schryver)
Putin Comments On IAEA Report (RT)
Charles Gave: Europeans Are “Mad With Anger And it Will Worsen” (SN)
Truss Becoming PM Signals ‘Crisis Of Democracy’ In UK – Moscow (RT)
‘One Freak After Another’ – Ex-Russian President On UK Leaders (RT)
Can China Transition to a Consumption Economy? (Balding)
Why Disney Didn’t Buy Twitter (Vox)
Judge Orders Fauci, Others to Produce Records For Censorship Lawsuit (ET)
Former FBI Boss Warns Trump Search Warrant Might Be Tossed Out Entirely (JTN)
The US Army Special Operations Command Weaponizes Social Media (Helmer)
Silencing the Lambs — How Propaganda Works (John Pilger)
The Rise of the Key Opinion Leaders: End of Politics as we Know it? (Ugo Bardi)
Vaccines Are Taking An Average Of 5 Months To Kill People (Kirsch)

 

 

The European division of Russia’s oldest tour operator Intourist started offering winter tour packages to Russia for EU citizens. Package includes: unlimited hot showers, daily visits to Sandunovskaya Banya, and a heated room with electricity.

 

 

Permanent deindustrialization

She has to go

 

 

 

 

A metaphor for life itself.

 

 

 

 

“It will be no surprise when the market shares of European businesses, both in the continent and globally, will be taken by their American patrons.”

Western Elites’ “Sanctions Fever” Will See European People Freeze – Putin (ZH)

Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted the ongoing “sanctions fever” in the West in a wide-ranging speech before the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, in the country’s far east, where as we described earlier the Chinese delegation was the largest in attendance. Top Chinese legislator Li Zhanshu was in attendance when the Russian leader stressed, “no matter how much someone would like to isolate Russia, it is impossible to do this.” Instead, he said the blowback from EU and US-led sanctions and attempts at decoupling from Russian fossil fuels is wrecking lives in the West. “Now we are seeing how production and jobs in Europe are closing one after another,” Putin said, stressing that this is happening as “Western elites, who would not, or even cannot acknowledge objective facts.”

His theme, like in a number of prior major speeches, was Western elites’ inability to recognize the inevitable shift from a unipolar to multipolar world (literally the name for this year’s forum is “On the Path to a Multipolar World.”), or away from “the world order that benefits only them, forcing everyone to live under the rules, which they invented and which they regularly break and constantly change depending on the situation,” he said according to a state media translation. That they “would not, or even cannot acknowledge objective facts” about global changes reveals their “growing detachment” from the common people they claim to represent. And yet now, European populations could “freeze” while being denied crucial Russian energy by leaders who shortsightedly want to lash out in emotional response to the Ukraine invasion:

“The [coronavirus] epidemic has been replaced by other global challenges that threaten the entire world,” Putin told the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok. “I’m referring to the West’s sanctions fever,” he said, criticizing “blatant and aggressive” attempts to “subjugate” countries that have not imposed economic restrictions on Russia. He dismissed as “nonsense” the widespread allegations that Russia using gas as an energy weapon, saying it’s as simple as releasing the necessary parts for the safe and proper functioning of pipelines operated by Gazprom. “Give us turbines and we’ll turn on Nord Stream tomorrow, but they won’t give us anything,” Putin told the audience, further addressing the latest global headlines of an EU-mulled price cap on Russian oil and gas, calling the proposal “another stupidity.”

He suggested the dilemma remains simple: “There are contractual obligations and if there are any political decisions that contradict them, then we simply won’t fulfill them. We won’t supply anything at all if it contradicts our economic interests, in this case. We won’t supply gas, oil, coal or heating oil.” Part of the aforementioned objective facts Western leaders refuse to acknowledge is that nations importing Russian energy “are in no position to dictate their will.” Putin said he’s still “confident we haven’t lost anything and won’t lose anything [after invading Ukraine]. Our main gain is strengthening sovereignty.” s

Putin Ukraine grain

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A former communist country teaches former capitalist countries lessons on markets.

EU Gas Price Cap Plan Is ‘Foolish’ – Putin (RT)

The proposal by the EU to place a price cap on Russian natural gas imports is a foolish, non-market-oriented plan that has no future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. “Faced with what is happening now, EU politicians are thinking how to get away with it [paying market prices for gas], and to limit the price by administrative decisions. Another foolish notion, nonsense that will lead to further price increases in the global markets, including Europe,” Putin said during a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF). According to the president, it is impossible to solve anything to do with the economy and world trade with administrative decisions, which “only lead to distortions and higher prices.”

Putin stressed that the situation in the gas market is the result of sanctions and other actions taken by Brussels, including the switch to spot-market trading, while Russia has always preferred long-term contracts for gas exports. “We have always insisted that prices be formed on the basis of long-term contracts and be tied to such a market category as the price of oil and petroleum products… The EU forced us to link to spot prices. Now they’re trying to backtrack by setting price caps,” he said. According to Putin, accusing Russia of using energy as a weapon is “nonsense.” He stressed that Russia fulfills its contracts, while the current supply shortages are the result of decisions made by other countries – including Ukraine, which shut down one of its gas transit pipelines; Poland, which also shut down part of its section of the pipeline; and Canada, which delayed the maintenance of turbines for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

The president added that Russia is still willing to supply energy to those who need it, though Moscow no longer considers the EU to be its main export destination. “By receiving natural gas from Russia, the economies of the leading European countries have for decades enjoyed obvious competitive advantages,” Putin said, in reference to the lower gas costs paid under long-term contracts. “If they think that they don’t need these advantages, that does not bother us at all, because the need for energy resources in the world is huge.”

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“..a political tool, not a solution to the energy crisis..”

Czech Republic Weighs In On Russian Gas Price Cap (RT)

The Czech Republic will seek to take the issue of imposing a price cap on Russian gas off the agenda of an upcoming meeting of EU energy ministers, the nation’s minister of industry, Jozef Sikela, said on Wednesday. Speaking to the country’s Senate committee on the economy, Sikela indicated that he doesn’t want to discuss the issue at the meeting because it is “a political tool, not a solution to the energy crisis.” “It is not a constructive proposal, according to me. It is more another way to sanction Russia than an actual solution to the energy crisis in Europe,” he stressed.

On Friday, EU energy ministers are set to meet in Brussels to discuss how to rein in soaring energy prices. According to Sikela, among the issues he wants to raise is potentially separating electricity and gas prices. Doing so, he said, may lower electricity prices for the general public. The Czech minister said the recent shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline did not come as a surprise to him. “It’s part of the energy war we’re in… The decisive battle will be fought this winter,” he stated, adding that the country has done its best to prepare for it. “However, prices will go down only when Europe finds a way to break away from gas,” he reiterated.

On August 31, Gazprom completely shut down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, later announcing that it would remain closed indefinitely due to an oil leak in the turbine. This malfunction can only be remedied in Canada, which has imposed sanctions against Moscow. The technical issues on the main gas supply route to the EU have resulted in skyrocketing gas prices, exacerbating the energy crunch on the continent. Sikela’s comments come on the heels of massive protests in Prague that erupted this past weekend. Demonstrators urged the government to resign over high energy prices and inflation, with demands also having been heard to drop anti-Russia sanctions.

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NATO won’t let go of its new-found reason to exist. Perpetual war it is. Ergo: Stoltenberg must go. And no, NATO pays no price: the people do.

NATO Will Pay A Price But We Must Stay The Course On Ukraine (Stoltenberg)

The war in Ukraine is entering a critical phase. Winter is coming and it will be hard. Hard for the Ukrainian people and armed forces who are fighting for their freedom, and hard for those of us who support them. Our unity and solidarity will be seriously tested, as families and businesses feel the crunch of soaring energy prices and costs of living caused by Russia’s brutal invasion. We face a difficult six months, with the threat of energy cuts, disruptions and perhaps even civil unrest. But we must stay the course and stand up to tyranny — for Ukraine’s sake and for ours. We do pay a price for our support to Ukraine. But the price we pay is counted in dollars, euros and pounds, while Ukrainians are paying with their lives. And all of us will pay a much higher price if Russia and other authoritarian regimes believe they can invade their neighbours and trample on international law with impunity.

If Russia stops fighting, there will be peace. If Ukraine stops fighting, it will cease to exist as an independent nation. We have a moral responsibility to support this independent democracy at the heart of Europe. The price we pay in supporting Ukraine also benefits our own security. Vladimir Putin has clearly stated that he wants to wipe the country from the map and rewrite the European security order. Russia is temporarily occupying about 20 per cent of Ukraine — four times the size of Belgium, or half of the UK. Emboldened by any success, Russia could risk further aggression against other neighbours, and even an attack on Nato allies.

So we have a choice to make about the world we want to live in. Nato allies are committed to each nation’s right to choose its own destiny. That is why we are providing unprecedented financial, humanitarian and military assistance to help Ukraine prevail as a sovereign independent nation. Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, allied countries have provided billions of dollars of support for Ukraine’s security sector and institutions, and trained tens of thousands of troops, including special forces. This helped to make the Ukrainian armed forces stronger, better led and better prepared for Russia’s renewed invasion.

Since February, allies have rallied to Ukraine’s side with unprecedented military, humanitarian and financial support. In June, Nato leaders agreed a strengthened package of assistance, with fuel, food, medical supplies, military gear, secure communications and equipment to counter mines and drones. We are preparing more than a dozen new projects to help Ukraine face the winter. And we will continue to help the country strengthen its defence and security sector for the longer term, and transition from Soviet-era weapons to Nato-standard capabilities.

Hillary

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“They’re just the ones not rich enough, clever enough, or fast enough to elude the conscription gangs..”

“Counter-Offensive” – You Keep Using That Word (Schryver)

One thing few seem to appreciate is that what Ukraine has done over the past several days near Kherson and Kharkov does not even come close to what constitutes a “counter-offensive”. They’ve done nothing but launch highly localized severely under-powered probes which, sooner than later, become nothing but cramped kill zones for massed Russian artillery and air strikes. The leaders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine now command: effectively zero air power, sparse artillery with acute ammo shortages, limited UAV capability – and, to add insult to injury, Russian “battlefield hackers” are now proving able to commandeer many of their precious quadcopter surveillance drones, thereby blinding them completely in the midst of a battle.

Worst of all, the overwhelming majority of the soldiers are battle-naïve conscripts. Their tanks are few and far between; their troop carriers are obsolete and highly vulnerable; many if not most are compelled to march into battle on foot – and these are not Seal Team 6 physical specimens who do 20k runs on their day off. They’re just the ones not rich enough, clever enough, or fast enough to elude the conscription gangs. The AFU’s sole apparent advantage is that there are substantially more of them that can be brought to bear on a narrow front than there are Russians defending it. And yet all of these attacks so far have been tentative affairs with relatively small concentrations of force and firepower.

In the lexicon of battle, a “counter-offensive” is an entirely different animal. The German Ardennes counter-offensive in December 1944 consisted of: ~400,000 troops ~500 tanks ~700 mobile artillery ~1300 troop carriers, 4000+ artillery pieces, 1000+ aircraft THAT was a counter-offensive. The Tet Offensive in Vietnam consisted of 300,000+ troops attacking more or less simultaneously. What we are witnessing in Ukraine is categorically NOT a “counter-offensive”. Ukrainian operations over the past several days are, to the contrary, strongly indicative of the extremely limited mobility and firepower capacity of a severely depleted army whose combat-effectiveness is a fraction of the Russian and allied defenders whom they face on the field.

Oh, to be sure, their numerical superiority in troops can achieve a temporary advance within a narrow salient, and inflict some serious harm on isolated groups of Russian defenders in the process. That should come as no surprise to anyone – particularly the abundant Russian “doomers’ on Telegram who descend into inexplicable despair whenever the Ukrainians achieve any tactical success, however meagre and strategically meaningless. However, if you zoom out the map to reveal the entire front line of this war, you can readily see that we’re talking about a handful of teeny-weeny pimples protruding into the Russian-held side: territory in which the Russians have numerous highly mobile operational reserve units – infantry and artillery – that can be dispatched with relative alacrity to any quadrant of the battle map, utilizing the always significant advantage of interior lines of communication.

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“..Putin noted that the agency is under pressure from the US and other Western nations, and therefore cannot directly accuse Kiev of attacking the nuclear plant. ..”

Putin Comments On IAEA Report (RT)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can’t openly state that the attacks on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) are being carried out by Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, the Russian leader praised the agency as being a responsible international organization with a very professional leader, and stated that he trusts the IAEA’s latest report on the ZNPP. However, Putin noted that the agency is under pressure from the US and other Western nations, and therefore cannot directly accuse Kiev of attacking the nuclear plant.

“But this is obvious. We control the station, our servicemen are stationed there. What, are we attacking ourselves?” Putin said, calling the notion completely absurd and adding that the area around the power plant is littered with the remains of HIMARS rockets and other Western munitions. Putin also addressed the IAEA’s request that Russia remove its military equipment from the premises of the ZNPP. He insisted that there is no such equipment at the plant and explained that the only forces stationed there are the Russian National Guard, which is protecting the perimeter and the premises of the station itself. “We can even call journalists there tomorrow, including European and American journalists, to see for themselves,” Putin said, noting that it is obvious the strikes on the power plant and the city of Energodar are coming from across the reservoir where Kiev’s forces are located.

Putin further explained that Russia’s military equipment, which is engaged in counter-battery combat, is not located anywhere near the station and has in fact been moved quite far beyond the perimeter of the facility. The Russian leader also expressed his bewilderment at Kiev’s attempts to create a nuclear catastrophe by attacking the power plant, stating that “the Ukrainian side is creating threats to undermine nuclear security.” “Why they do this, I honestly don’t really understand. Just to draw more attention to their situation and create an additional crisis?” He also revealed that Kiev’s operatives have attempted to carry out terrorist attacks on Russian territory, targeting high-voltage power lines connected to Russian nuclear power facilities.

“They purposefully work in this direction. What for? What is the point of creating a nuclear threat for the whole of Europe? I do not really understand, but they are doing this.” Putin’s comments come after the IAEA released a report on Tuesday regarding the state of the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. The agency demanded that all attacks on the facility “be stopped immediately”and called for a cessation of any military activity within or in the vicinity of the plant. The report did not identify those responsible for shelling the plant.

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“They [Europeans] even believe that it is the bad Russians that have closed the tap of oil and gas, while it is our own leaders in Europe that have stupidly imposed these sanctions..”

Charles Gave: Europeans Are “Mad With Anger And it Will Worsen” (SN)

Predicting that cost of living protests in the Czech Republic and Germany will spread around the continent, a prominent economist warns that European citizens are “mad with anger and it will worsen.” On Saturday, over 70,000 people took to the streets of Prague to demand an end to weapons supplies and neutrality regarding the conflict in Ukraine. Numerous demonstrations are also set to take place in major German cities over the next month as energy bills and inflation soar as a result of sanctions on Russia and over dependence on green energy. “The demonstrations in Prague and Germany are only the beginning. The price of gas and consequently of electricity are driving the European citizens mad with anger and it will worsen,” French economist Charles Gave told Sputnik.

Gave went on to assert that many Europeans aren’t buying the narrative that the situation, which culminated in the shut down of gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, is all Vladimir Putin’s fault. “The European governments and the European Commission speak of a ‘manipulation’ by Russia, but people perceive very well that the decision to stop importing Russian gas and oil was a European decision, taken by Brussels without even thinking of the impact it will have on the European economy,” he said. The economist blasted European leaders for their obsession with net zero and climate change hysteria, which has left the continent totally lacking in self-sufficiency.

“For the last 15 years, our European leaders have gone into a climate craze, promoting magic mirrors and windmills as the solution. It does not work. These solutions demand the same capacity in gas power plants,” Gave said. The economist firmly blamed globalist technocrat leaders for sacrificing the interests of Europeans on the altar of prolonging a war that will cause economic devastation. “They [Europeans] even believe that it is the bad Russians that have closed the tap of oil and gas, while it is our own leaders in Europe that have stupidly imposed these sanctions that are destroying the European economy. We, Europeans, are bringing stagflation onto our head. Before the people realize it, it will be too late. Macron, [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz, von der Leyen and the like will never admit they were wrong and present excuses,” he asserted.

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“Zakharova later mocked what she called the “mind-blowing stupidity” of Truss.”

Truss Becoming PM Signals ‘Crisis Of Democracy’ In UK – Moscow (RT)

The selection of Liz Truss as prime minister signals a “crisis of democracy” in the UK, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. Asked by TASS whether Truss will be a disaster for Britain, Zakharova replied that if “shop owners are decorating the window in this way, then they believe this is the best item they have in stock today.” Sometimes, the spokeswoman claimed, countries with large populations and long-standing democratic traditions make you wonder if they really do not have anyone that can “adequately, professionally, and intelligently represent the various branches of government.” Perhaps the problem is in the crisis of British democracy, because this ‘result’ has nothing to do with the direct choice of the British people, since the system of indirect elections dominates the Anglo-Saxon duo.

Truss, formerly the foreign secretary in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, officially became prime minister on Tuesday. The day before, she was revealed as the winner of the Tory leadership election. She received 81,326 voters, while her competitor, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, was backed by 60,399. A YouGov poll published on the same day showed that half of the people in the UK are ‘disappointed’ about Truss taking over as prime minister, with one-third ‘very disappointed.’ Even among members of the ruling party, 54% do not have much confidence in Truss’ ability to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, and around one-third are ‘disappointed’ that she will lead the government.

Truss’ visit to Russia in February – amid tensions in Ukraine in the run-up to the launch of Moscow’s military operation – was remembered by many for a gaffe made by the then-foreign secretary. Truss confused the Russian regions of Voronezh and Rostov with Ukrainian regions, and told her counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that London would never recognize Russia’s sovereignty over these areas. According to reports, she was then allegedly corrected by Deborah Bronnert, the UK ambassador. Lavrov described the meeting with the foreign secretary as talking “to a deaf person.” Zakharova later mocked what she called the “mind-blowing stupidity” of Truss.

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Ha ha! “It seems that in Britain, which is famous for its traditions, a new tradition has emerged..”

‘One Freak After Another’ – Ex-Russian President On UK Leaders (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said the new UK prime minister, Liz Truss, will continue the “tradition” started by her predecessor Boris Johnson by finishing her tenure “in disgrace.”Truss, formerly the foreign secretary in Johnson’s Conservative government, officially became prime minister on Tuesday. Taking to Telegram on Wednesday, Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, commented on the succession of governments in the UK: “Out goes the freak guy, in comes the freak lady.” He described the new PM as “an incompetent and mediocre thermonuclear Russophobe who has no elementary ideas about politics, history, geography, but wants to defeat Russia in everything.”


The former president added that Truss, the third female prime minister in British history, is trying to imitate the first, Margaret Thatcher, “without having even 5% of her abilities,” and hopes to address the energy crisis and rising food inflation, which are “the result of her own crazy sanctions exercises.” In her first statement at Downing Street, Truss claimed that the energy crisis was caused by “Putin’s war.” “She will quarrel with everyone, fail in everything, and leave in disgrace, like her predecessor, shaggy Boriska. It seems that in Britain, which is famous for its traditions, a new tradition has emerged,” Medvedev wrote.

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Still not. “Highly indebted—with a large percentage of their income being used to service debt—Chinese households simply do not have the financial flexibility to ramp up spending.”

Can China Transition to a Consumption Economy? (Balding)

The great economist Michael Pettis at Tsinghua University has noted for years the importance for the Chinese economy to shift its growth dependency away from investment and toward greater consumption. As China faces its weakest sustained economic period in modern history, it bears worth asking, can China shift toward a more consumer-focused economy? The Chinese economy is unique among major economies due to its low share of the household sector within the macroeconomy. Most economies typically have a household sector that accounts for 60-75 percent of activity. The United States, for example, hovers around 70 percent. In China, however, households account for only about 45 percent. This difference creates a wide variety of problems, from misunderstanding basic economic data to how to solve policy problems like shifting activity.

The first problem this creates is when analysts compare cross-country data on debt to GDP in various formats, such as household debt to GDP. Due to the starkly different shares of income between households in China and other countries, Chinese households have significantly less income to repay debts than households in other countries. In fact, if we adjust household debt levels for household income rather than GDP, Chinese households are some of the most indebted in the world, even more than the United States and most OECD countries paying a significantly higher share of their income toward debt servicing due to interest rate differentials.

This simple, often overlooked adjustment has significant implications for how we conceptualize a move away from the investment infrastructure-driven growth model toward a consumption-driven growth model. While the 45 percent household share gives the superficial appearance that Chinese consumption can increase significantly, the reality is very different. The Chinese consumer simply does not have the financial capability to increase consumption share. Real estate sales are down with nominal sales of retail goods and services flat, meaning that after accounting for surging inflation, Chinese consumers are purchasing less than they did a year ago. Highly indebted—with a large percentage of their income being used to service debt—Chinese households simply do not have the financial flexibility to ramp up spending.

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“I went home, contemplated it for a weekend, and thought, ‘I’m not looking at this as carefully as I need to look at it.’”

Why Disney Didn’t Buy Twitter (Vox)

Elon Musk wanted to buy Twitter. Then he decided he didn’t. Bob Iger can relate. In 2016, Iger, then the CEO of Disney, had convinced himself that his company should own Twitter because it would be an excellent way to distribute Disney’s content around the world. Then, shortly before the 2016 US presidential election, he bailed out. Iger has told parts of this story before, but it always seemed confusing to me: In his 2019 memoir, he said the boards of both Disney and Twitter had agreed to the deal, but then he had second thoughts because of the “nastiness” rampant at Twitter. Really? Wasn’t the nastiness readily apparent to anyone who’d ever used the service for a second, let alone to someone who was ready to spend billions on it?

But today we got a longer version of the story, relayed by Iger at the Code Conference, in response to a question from The Verge’s Alex Heath. In this one, Iger says that Twitter would have been a “phenomenal” distribution platform for Disney but that it would have come with too many headaches. Among them: bots. (Sound familiar?) Here’s Iger, in his own words: “We were intent on going into the streaming business. We needed a technology solution. We have all this great IP. We weren’t a technology company. How do we get that IP to consumers around the world? … And we were kicking tires left and right. We thought about developing ourselves. Five years, $500 million. It wasn’t the money, it was the time, because the world was changing fast. And at the same time, we heard that Twitter was contemplating a sale.

“We enter the process immediately, looking at Twitter as the solution: a global distribution platform. It was viewed as sort of a social network. We were viewing it as something completely different. We could put news, sports, entertainment, [and] reach the world. And frankly, it would have been a phenomenal solution, distribution-wise. “Then, after we sold the whole concept to the Disney board and the Twitter board, and we’re really ready to execute — the negotiation was just about done — I went home, contemplated it for a weekend, and thought, ‘I’m not looking at this as carefully as I need to look at it.’ Yes, it’s a great solution from a distribution perspective. But it would come with so many other challenges and complexities that as a manager of a great global brand, I was not prepared to take on a major distraction and having to manage circumstances that weren’t even close to anything that we had faced before.

“Interestingly enough, because I read the news these days, we did look very carefully at all of the Twitter users — I guess they’re called users? — and we at that point estimated with some of Twitter’s help that a substantial portion — not a majority — were not real. “I don’t remember the number but we discounted the value heavily. But that was built into our economics. Actually, the deal that we had was pretty cheap. “Then you have to look, of course, at all the hate speech and potential to do as much harm as good. We’re in the business of manufacturing fun at Disney — of doing nothing but good, even though there are others today that criticize Disney for the opposite, which is wrong. This was just something that we were not ready to take on and I was not ready to take on as the CEO of a company and I thought it would have been irresponsible.”

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“Doughty ordered Fauci and Jean-Pierre to comply within 21 days.”

Judge Orders Fauci, Others to Produce Records For Censorship Lawsuit (ET)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and other top Biden administration officials who were resisting efforts to obtain their communications with Big Tech companies must hand over the records, a federal judge ruled on Sept. 6. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointee, ordered the government to quickly produce documents after it was sued by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri over alleged collusion with Big Tech firms such as Facebook. The initial tranche of discovery, released on Aug. 31, revealed that more than 50 government officials across a dozen agencies were involved in applying pressure to social media companies to censor users.

But some of the officials refused to provide any answers or answer all questions posed by the plaintiffs. Among them: Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. The government claimed that Fauci shouldn’t be required to answer all questions or provide records in his capacity as NIAID director or in his capacity as Biden’s chief medical adviser. It also attempted to withhold records and responses from Jean-Pierre. In the new ruling on Sept. 6 breaking the stalemate, Doughty said both Fauci and Jean-Pierre needed to comply with the interrogatories and record requests.

“First, the requested information is obviously very relevant to Plaintiffs’ claims. Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to Plaintiffs’ allegations in reference to alleged suppression of speech relating to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin, and to alleged suppression of speech about the efficiency of masks and COVID-19 lockdowns. Jean-Pierre’s communications as White House Press Secretary could be relevant to all of Plaintiffs’ examples,” Doughty said, referring to examples such as the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story ahead of the 2020 presidential election and censorship of claims COVID-19 originated in a Chinese laboratory. Doughty ordered Fauci and Jean-Pierre to comply within 21 days.

Fauci, additionally, must provide complete answers to questions regarding his role as NIAID director. “We know from the previous round of discovery that efforts to censor the speech of those who disagree with the government on covid policy have come from the top. Americans deserve to know Anthony Fauci’s participation in this enterprise, especially since he has publicly demanded that specific individuals, including two of our clients, Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, be censored on social media,” Jenin Younes, litigation counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance and a lawyer for some of the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “It is time for Dr. Fauci to answer for his flagrant disregard for Americans’ constitutional rights and civil liberties.”

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A pattern of judges fighting back?!

Former FBI Boss Warns Trump Search Warrant Might Be Tossed Out Entirely (JTN)

The FBI warrant to search former President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago may be thrown out entirely in court, according to former FBI boss Kevin Brock. News broke over Labor Day weekend that Trump had been granted a legal win when a federal judge ordered a special master to review the documents seized from Trump’s home. “I think the government would be concerned as well, because there’s concern that the the search warrant itself was overly broad from the get-go,” Kevin Brock said on “Just the News, Not Noise” Tuesday evening. “Because the scope that they were looking for was every single document generated during the Trump administration — that just seems too inexcusably overbroad.

Now there’s indications that they (the FBI) collected much more than they were authorized to collect.” Brock said that he believes that the search warrant could be suppressed entirely. “If I’m a prosecutor, I am concerned going forward that this search warrant could be suppressed and for those types of reasons, and they would lose access to anything that was collected throughout the search as a fruit of the poisonous tree,” Brock continued. “So I think that’s got to be in the back of their minds.” Brock also criticized how the FBI raided Trump’s home and how usually when the FBI does investigations, they try to take the least intrusive route possible at first.


“You go into a home, you set up a system where those things that you seize are assiduously documented,” said Brock, explaining how FBI searches typically work. “They’re given a specific tracking number, a barcode and each piece is gone through meticulously before you leave the premises to make sure that it’s within the scope of the document.” “And that’s only part one,” he continued. “Part two is the warrant is not to be overly broad as to what parts of the residence can be searched. You can only search those things where it’s reasonably expected you would find the type of evidence that you are looking for.”

Webb – Peter Strzok

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Well, they try: “..several hundred million dollars’ worth of cyber warheads..” “The average tweet received 0.49 likes and 0.02 retweets.”

The US Army Special Operations Command Weaponizes Social Media (Helmer)

The US Army’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been firing several hundred million dollars’ worth of cyber warheads at Russian targets from its headquarters at MacDill Airforce Base in Florida. They have all been duds. The weapons, the source, and their failure to strike effectively have been exposed in a new report, published on August 24, by the Cyber Policy Center of the Stanford Internet Observatory. The title of the 54-page study is “Unheard Voice: Evaluating Five Years of Pro-Western Covert Influence Operations”.

“We believe”, the report concludes, “this activity represents the most extensive case of covert pro-Western IO [influence operations] on social media to be reviewed and analyzed by open-source researchers to date… the data also shows the limitations of using inauthentic tactics to generate engagement and build influence online. The vast majority of posts and tweets we reviewed received no more than a handful of likes or retweets, and only 19% of the covert assets we identified had more than 1,000 followers. The average tweet received 0.49 likes and 0.02 retweets.” “Tellingly,” according to the Stanford report, “the two most followed assets in the data provided by Twitter were overt accounts that publicly declared a connection to the U.S. military.”

The report comes from a branch of Stanford University, and is funded by the Stanford Law School and the Spogli Institute for Institutional Studies, headed by Michael McFaul (lead image). McFaul, once a US ambassador to Moscow, has been a career advocate of war against Russia. The new report exposes many of McFaul’s allegations to be crude fabrications and propaganda which the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been paying contractors to fire at Russia for a decade. Strangely, there is no mention in the report of the US Army, Pentagon, the Special Operations Command, or its principal cyberwar contractor, the Rendon Group.

It is unclear who paid for the new investigation which was co-authored by Graphika. This is a New York consultancy without an office address, staffed by US, French and British intelligence analysts, and financed in part by the US Senate Intelligence Committee and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Graphika advertises its Russia war-making credentials in the mainstream and IT media, as well as on its Twitter account. Notwithstanding, the new report explicitly targets news faking and other information warfare tactics by the US Army forces aimed primarily at audiences in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

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“..to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival, a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

Silencing the Lambs — How Propaganda Works (John Pilger)

At its summit in Madrid in June, NATO, which is controlled by the United States, adopted a strategy document that militarises the European continent, and escalates the prospect of war with Russia and China. It proposes “multi domain warfighting against nuclear-armed peer-competitor.” In other words, nuclear war. It says: “NATO’s enlargement has been an historic success.” I read that in disbelief. The news from the war in Ukraine is mostly not news, but a one-sided litany of jingoism, distortion, omission. I have reported a number of wars and have never known such blanket propaganda.

In February, Russia invaded Ukraine as a response to almost eight years of killing and criminal destruction in the Russian-speaking region of Donbass on their border. In 2014, the United States had sponsored a coup in Kiev that got rid of Ukraine’s democratically elected, Russian-friendly president and installed a successor whom the Americans made clear was their man. In recent years, American “defender” missiles have been installed in eastern Europe, Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, almost certainly aimed at Russia, accompanied by false assurances all the way back to James Baker’s “promise” to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in February 1990 that NATO would never expand beyond Germany.

Ukraine is the frontline. NATO has effectively reached the very borderland through which Hitler’s army stormed in 1941, leaving more than 23 million dead in the Soviet Union. Last December, Russia proposed a far-reaching security plan for Europe. This was dismissed, derided or suppressed in the Western media. Who read its step-by-step proposals? On Feb. 24, President Volodymyr Zelensky threatened to develop nuclear weapons unless America armed and protected Ukraine. On the same day, Russia invaded — an unprovoked act of congenital infamy, according to the Western media. The history, the lies, the peace proposals, the solemn agreements on Donbass at Minsk counted for nothing.

On April 25, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin flew into Kiev and confirmed that America’s aim was to destroy the Russian Federation — the word he used was “weaken.” America had got the war it wanted, waged by an American bankrolled and armed proxy and expendable pawn. Almost none of this was explained to Western audiences. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is wanton and inexcusable. It is a crime to invade a sovereign country. There are no “buts” — except one. When did the present war in Ukraine begin and who started it? According to the United Nations, between 2014 and this year, some 14,000 people have been killed in the Kiev regime’s civil war on the Donbass. Many of the attacks were carried out by neo-Nazis.

In the same month, dozens of Russian-speaking people were burned alive or suffocated in a trade union building in Odessa besieged by fascist thugs, the followers of the Nazi collaborator and anti-Semitic fanatic Stepan Bandera. The New York Times called the thugs “nationalists.” “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment,” said Andreiy Biletsky, founder of the Azov Battaltion, “is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival, a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

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“I have the impression that Zelensky took Salvini as a model; the same beard, the same style of dressing in sweatshirts, the same populist rhetoric. Not the Nutella, though.”

The Rise of the Key Opinion Leaders: End of Politics as we Know it? (Ugo Bardi)

In ancient Japan, a “kagemusha” (shadow warrior) was an impersonator who took the aspect and the role of the actual leader. It was simply a decoy to be used in battle but, in our times, the problem for leaders is not so much to avoid bullets but to avoid the much more powerful propaganda techniques that may destroy them. The result is the rise of a new kind of kagemusha, the KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). The KOLs do not impersonate the true leaders, but express their ideas and plans in public, taking the blame for the failures and the mistakes that may result. The real leaders, instead, remain in the shadows. The KOLs operate in many fields, not just in politics. For instance, they are popular in science. But, their presence in politics is becoming more and more evident.

[..] The KOLs may now be spilling into politics. The first actor to become a high-rank politician was Ronald Reagan, but he was far from being a “puppet president”, although he profited from his experience as an actor to manage his public image. In recent times, though, we are seeing actors becoming frontmen for figures who remain backstage. A good example is Vladimir Zelensky, president of Ukraine. Independently of what you think of what’s happening in Ukraine, Zelensky is clearly a modern kagemusha: an actor playing the role of the president. The way he dresses, the short beard, the posture, all are part of a character that could have starred in a movie, except that the war in Ukraine is all too real. Because of the dangers involved in the current situation, it is understandable that the Ukrainian powers that be much prefer a kagemusha as president rather than to appear themselves on stage.

So far, Zelensky remains a relatively isolated case. But it is possible that the KOL fashion will spread to other countries and other leaders. As an example, I can cite Mr. Matteo Salvini in Italy. As the leader of the League, he became deputy prime minister in 2018, and he is still a member of parliament. Salvini is popularly known in Italy as “Captain Nutella,” owing to his penchant to present a public image of himself while eating junk food. He was never an actor, but he started his career as a participant in a TV game show, and he does not have much more than that in his professional CV (**). Incidentally, I have the impression that Zelensky took Salvini as a model; the same beard, the same style of dressing in sweatshirts, the same populist rhetoric. Not the Nutella, though.

I would not be surprised if Salvini, or some other equally shallow kagemusha-style character, will soon take the job of the prime minister of Italy. This winter we are going to see a serious crisis in which many Italians will find themselves without heating at home and with no fuel, no electric power, and no jobs. At that point, the Nutella will hit the fan, as they say. I don’t envy the person who will find him or herself in the role of the prime minister at that moment. The job could become as dangerous in Italy as it is in Ukraine now and, as you know, in Italy we already had a case of a prime minister hanged upside-down. Surely, during the coming hard times, the really powerful people will prefer to take a low-profile role.

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Steve has tons of graphs. Of course.

Vaccines Are Taking An Average Of 5 Months To Kill People (Kirsch)

The key point is this: The UK data shows statistical proof of causality of deaths (p<.001): the vaccine doses track with the excess deaths 23 weeks later. Dose dependency is key to showing causality. If no one can explain this, the precautionary principle of medicine requires any ethical society to halt the vaccines now. Executive Summary: Many people assumed the vaccine kills you quickly (in the first two weeks) because that’s when people notice the association and report it to VAERS. This is still true; it does kill some people quickly: half of the deaths reported in VAERS are in the first few weeks. But the key words are “reported in VAERS.” It turns out that if we don’t have that restriction but are just wondering when most of the deaths after COVID vaccination happen, the answer is different.

Thanks to a helper who works at HHS, we can now clearly see that most of the deaths from the vaccine are happening an average of 5 months from the last dose. That is for the second dose; it may be getting shorter the more shots you get but there are arguments both ways (since there can be survivor bias). Using data from the UK, we can see more clearly that the delay time is around 23 weeks (so a bit more than 5 weeks). We’ll dive into that shortly. This delay explains why the life insurance companies got off-the-charts all-cause mortality peaks for people under 60 in Q3 and Q4 rather than right after the shots rolled out.

The five month delay is also consistent with death reports where people are developing new aggressive cancers that are killing them over a 4 to 6 month period. The 5 month death delay was also confirmed using only European data. That analysis was posted Aug 11, but I learned about it after I wrote this post. So when you hear of a death from stroke, cardiac arrest, heart attack, cancer, and suicide that is happening around 5 months after vaccination, it could very well be a vaccine-related death.

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Malone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Webb test kits

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sep 032022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Belshazzar’s feast 1635-38

 

Unicorns Are Real (Batiushka)
Soul Man (Jim Kunstler)
Physical Integrity Of Nuclear Plant ‘Violated Several Times’ – IAEA Chief (RT)
IAEA Nuclear Watchdog Should Be Mistrusted ‘By Default’ – Zelensky Aide (RT)
The Moment of Greatest Danger (Schryver)
Russia To Halt All Oil Exports To Countries That Impose “Absurd” Price Cap (ZH)
Gazprom “Completely Halts” Nord Stream Gas Supplies Due To “Unexpected” Leak (ZH)
EU Country Bulgaria Wants To Negotiate Gas With Russians Again (NOS)
Hungary Reveals What Weakened EU (RT)
Biden’s Hateful Rhetoric Presents The GOP With A Sterling Opportunity (AT)
US Economic Decline And Global Instability Part 2: Rise of BRICS (PG)
College-Loan Forgiveness Plan Reveals Biden’s Constitutional Cynicism (Turley)
The Pandemic Did This? New York Times Fails Fact Check (Lerman)
Only Nine Percent of Law Professors Identify as Conservatives (Turley)
Biden-Big Tech Collusion Suit Reveals ‘Massive, Sprawling’ Censorship (JTN)
Hunter’s Techies Funded China Bat Virus Researcher (McCormick)

 

 

 

 

I thought he was in jail.

 

 

UDUMBASS

 

 

The NIH sneaked back in ivermectin.

 

 

DeSantis War Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Quite simply, if you are very ill and you don’t have the money, this year you will die.”

Unicorns Are Real (Batiushka)

An autumn chill is descending on every European country, though in each country in different ways. Gas-dependent Germany and Italy are desperate for Russian gas. It is not just homes, but whole factories which face imminent closure in energy-intensive industries. The result of that will be mass unemployment. By ‘mass’, I mean 20% and more. In France there is popular rejection of President Macron who has told his people that they (i.e. not him) must suffer so that the Ukraine can ‘win’. September is the first month of the annual strike-season in France. French people do not like being cold. Expect some headlines. In Latvia the Russian minority are fearful for their future, but so is everyone else. Heating will not be an option this winter. With a pension of just over 100 euros a month, many pensioners are simply going to die of the cold.

From Slovakia we have received the following: ‘Thanks for your email. Just to give you some idea of the current manufacturing costs here in Slovakia and to be brutally honest throughout the upside down world, We paid last year 85,000 euros for electricity, this year it’s going to be around 500,000 euros. As of 1 Jan 2023 it’s going to be 1.2 million euros at best. So that’s just the electricity, never mind the gas, the increase in raw materials, salaries and all other manufacturing costs, This is a hard way of saying it’s impossible to reduce and every customer of ours has to accept it or not. Surprisingly we have never ever been as busy! You cutting margins down low is of course difficult, but at least you have margins. We simply do not have anything to reduce’.

In Moldova the crisis is profound. As in Latvia and Lithuania up to half the population have fled their countries after they were pillaged by the EU (even though officially Moldova does not even belong to the EU!). Previously medicine came from the Ukraine. Now that is unobtainable, they have to use medicine from Germany. Only that costs ten times more. Quite simply, if you are very ill and you don’t have the money, this year you will die. In Romania, which has lost a quarter of its population to emigration after the great EU pillage, and where a salary of 600 euros per month is considered very good, food prices are the same as in Western Europe, where average salaries are four to five times more, and diesel costs even more than elsewhere. In Ireland restaurants are closing because they cannot afford their energy bills, which have increased by 1,000% (yes, one thousand per cent).

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“The country is verging on an economic catastrophe more consequential than the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the harbinger of it, a financial market crash, is sure to occur before November 8th.”

Soul Man (Jim Kunstler)

“Joe Biden’s” guardian of the rule of law, the DOJ under Merrick Garland, is on a rampage, not just seeking long prison sentences on J-6 misdemeanor defendants, but now going after their very attorneys, officers of the court, for daring to represent them. There is the recent Mar-a-Lago caper, of course, in which the FBI snatched a bale of documentary evidence Donald Trump had collected detailing these agencies’ four-year campaign to overthrow him. And, having gotten their mitts on it, the AG declared all the material part of a bogus “ongoing investigation” in order to prevent the docs being introduced in Mr. Trump’s just-opened defamation and racketeering lawsuit against HRC, her posse of Lawfare ninjas, and most of the people who worked in leadership of the FBI and DOJ circa 2016-2021.

In short, the FBI stole evidence of their own prior crimes to evade prosecution. Something tells me that’s not going to work out so well for AG Mr. Garland and Chris Wray of the FBI. You realize, don’t you, that all of “Joe Biden’s” scripted maundering about “democracy” and “justice” and “the rule of law” is a smokescreen sent up to hide the many crimes committed by his shadowy managers just now breaking into disclosure, and they are running out of dodges and distractions to divert the pliable center of the voting public from seeing it all.

Following Mark Zuckerberg’s epic mistake telling Joe Rogan that the government used his company, Facebook, and Jack Dorsey’s Twitter, to squash the first amendment, the wheels came off any pretense that this was not direct interference in the 2020 election by activists in government. For a whole year, the FBI sat on evidence that candidate “Joe Biden’s” family was running an international grifting operation fronted by his son Hunter, and when news reports about the notorious laptop began to leak out, the agency used its considerable powers of intimidation to make the news disappear.

[..] Thursday night, “Joe Biden” heralded a US economy firing on a gazillion cylinders. “American manufacturing has come alive across the heartland, and the future will be made in America, no matter what the white supremacists and the extremists say,” he declared. Is that so? Of course not. The country is verging on an economic catastrophe more consequential than the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the harbinger of it, a financial market crash, is sure to occur before November 8th. Everybody and his uncle on Wall Street knows that. The shadow regime behind “JB” knows that. He didn’t dare mention the word inflation, as if no one has noticed it. (Anyway, white supremacists did that.)

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“We are glad that the Russian Federation did what it did to keep our inspectors safe”

Physical Integrity Of Nuclear Plant ‘Violated Several Times’ – IAEA Chief (RT)

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi has confirmed that damage had been done to the Russian-held Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Ukraine, but refrained from naming the guilty party. “It’s obvious that… the physical integrity of the plant has been violated several times. By chance or by deliberation, we don’t have the elements to assess that, but this is the reality that we have to recognize,” Grossi told reporters after returning to Ukrainian-controlled territory on Friday. “I worried, I worry and I will continue to worry about the plant until we have a situation that’s more stable, that’s more predictable,” he added.

Grossi, who headed the team of IAEA experts that arrived at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on Thursday, said that he “saw a lot”during the visit, personally inspecting some of the “key areas” at the facility, including emergency systems, diesel generators and control rooms. The atomic agency was “not going anywhere”from the plant now, he assured reporters, reiterating that the UN nuclear watchdog plans to establish a permanent presence at the facility. The official also said that some experts from his team will remain at the station until Sunday or Monday to “dig deeper” and collect more data for the report.

Russia said that Ukraine has shelled the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and sent commandos to storm it on Thursday in a failed attempt to use the UN inspectors as “human shields.” Grossi acknowledged that the security situation at the plant was “difficult” during his visit.“There were moments where fire was obvious – heavy machine gun, artillery, mortars,” he said, adding that on two or three occasions things got “very concerning” for the UN team. Zaporozhye nuclear power plant has been under Russian control since March, but has continued to be operated by the Ukrainian staff. The IAEA chief has praised the “incredible degree of professionalism” of those employees, saying that he saw them “calm and moving.”

Ukrainian attempt to hold IAEA team hostage

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Translate: If they say anything not positive about Ukraine, remember: they cannot be trusted. And translate that in turn: Ukraine is worried about what IAEA will find.

IAEA Nuclear Watchdog Should Be Mistrusted ‘By Default’ – Zelensky Aide (RT)

International organizations including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are “cowardly” and cannot be trusted, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said. “I don’t like international institutions and mediation missions in general. They look extremely ineffective, extremely cowardly and extremely unprofessional,” Mikhail Podolyak said in an interview on Thursday evening. This applies “not only to the IAEA”, but also to the UN, Amnesty International, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Ukrainian official claimed, adding: “By default, you should not trust them.” Podolyak’s remarks came as he criticized the IAEA mission to the Russia-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which arrived earlier in the day.

He expressed his low expectations from the mission, based on the positive remarks that Director General Rafael Grossi made after touring the facility in Ukraine. The Ukrainian official said he was willing to give the IAEA inspectors the benefit of the doubt and wait for them make an official report that would “show the depth of their inner destruction”. He explained his concerns, citing several aspects of Grossi’s visit. They include its relatively short duration, which Podolyak assessed was too short for a proper fact-finding mission. He also criticized the willingness of the IAEA chief to talk to a representative of the Russian atomic energy body Rosatom, who, Podolyak said, “delivered a strange long speech” to the UN official.

The IAEA experts arrived at the station from Kiev despite continued military action in its vicinity. Kiev and Moscow have accused each other of being behind the shelling and of trying to derail the inspection. Some members of the mission stayed behind to monitor the situation, while Grossi and others left. Podolyak said the IAEA should blame Russia for attacks on the plant, and if their report fails to do so, only stating that inspectors witnessed evidence of strikes, his opinion about the organization will be vindicated.

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“..in 2007, at the Munich Security Conference, Putin delivered a landmark speech wherein he put the Empire on notice that Russia was drawing a line in the sand beyond which it would not permit further NATO expansion.”

The Moment of Greatest Danger (Schryver)

[..] this war has reached the stage equivalent to Nazi Germany in mid-January 1945: the war is lost; everyone knows it is lost, and all that remains is the positioning in advance of the inevitable surrender, the unrestrained looting, and the occasional harassment of the never-say-die snipers who will fight to their last round of ammo and last drop of blood. In other words, we’ve finally arrived at the most dangerous juncture of this conflict. You see, as I have frequently observed, this war, at its deepest root, has always been an existential struggle between Russia and the rapidly declining fortunes and dominion of the long-since irredeemably corrupted American Empire. Beginning with the fall of the Soviet Union, and continuing throughout the 1990s, the western vulture capitalists raced to divide, conquer, and despoil the unfathomable natural resource wealth of the former USSR.

And indeed, in ten short years, they managed to extract a massive pile of treasure at Russia’s expense, only to be prematurely thwarted by the unforeseen rise of the previously obscure Vladimir Putin. At first, the finely accoutered locusts believed they could manipulate Putin as easily as they had his immediate predecessors. But they were soon disabused of that fallacy. So then they began to pressure Putin and Russia by methodically assimilating into their “defensive alliance” all the previously unaligned nations that stood between NATO’s 1997 borders and the Russian frontier. This, of course, awakened in Russia a sober sense of their increasingly precarious position, and in 2007, at the Munich Security Conference, Putin delivered a landmark speech wherein he put the Empire on notice that Russia was drawing a line in the sand beyond which it would not permit further NATO expansion.

That line extended from eastern Poland to northern Armenia. Predictably, Putin’s declarations were first mocked and then summarily dismissed. I suspect this was the point at which Russia came to see that war was very likely inevitable in order to retain its sovereignty and security. Nevertheless, Putin exhibited extraordinary patience. While initiating an aggressive military upgrade and expansion program, he bided his time for the next several years. But with the threat to Russia’s strategic naval base in Syria and the US-orchestrated coup d’etat in Ukraine, he was compelled to act, albeit with considerable restraint, to alter the trajectory of events. He dispatched an expeditionary force to Syria to prevent the fall of the Assad regime at the hands of US-supported “moderate rebels”; he moved to reclaim historically Russian Crimea, and to much more aggressively support the ethnic Russian separatists in the Donbass region of Ukraine who were waging a tenuously balanced civil war against the US-installed regime in Kiev.

American designs in Syria were foiled. But the ongoing de facto NATO assimilation of Ukraine continued, as the US and its NATO allies set out to methodically construct what would eventually become the most formidable proxy army in history, with ambitions to lure Putin into a Slavic civil war that would sap Russian strength, mortally wound its still-fragile economy, and induce social unrest within Russia and discontent among its various loci of domestic power, and ultimately effect “regime change” in the Kremlin. But, at every juncture, Putin out-maneuvered them.

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“..companies that impose a price cap will not be among the recipients of Russian oil.”

Janet Yellen sounds especially thick.

Russia To Halt All Oil Exports To Countries That Impose “Absurd” Price-Cap (ZH)

It did not take long for the Kremlin to respond to the G-7 plan to impose price-caps on Russian oil, with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak warning that Moscow will ban exports of oil and other petroleum products to countries that impose a cap on the price of Russian crude. Novak made the remarks to reporters in Moscow on Sept. 1, according to Russian state media Tass, which came as Western powers were preparing to meet on Sept. 2 to agree on a Russian oil price cap. “We will simply not supply oil and petroleum products to such companies or states that impose restrictions, as we will not work non-competitively,” Novak said, while denouncing the price cap as “completely absurd.”

“It will completely destroy the market,” Novak continued, arguing that interference in market mechanisms in a key commodity like oil would have a destabilizing impact on energy security in countries across the world. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen took the opportunity of G-7 agreement to a nothingburger plan to take a victory lap: “The price cap will advance our two key objectives; The first, of course, is reducing revenues that Putin needs to continue waging his war of aggression. And the second is maintaining a reliable supply of oil to the global market and putting downward pressure on the price of energy for people in the U.S., in the UK, and around the world.”

But, echoing Novak’s remarks about a Russian oil export ban targeting countries that sign onto the cap, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a conference call on Sept. 2 that “companies that impose a price cap will not be among the recipients of Russian oil.”

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This will continue as long as the sanctions do. Remember, only one of six turbines were/are working.

Gazprom Completely Halts Nord Stream Gas Supplies Due To “Unexpected” Leak (ZH)

After a 3-day halt, Russian energy giant Gazprom was expected to resume critical supplies of nat gas to Europe via Nord Stream 1 tomorrow, but it appears that Putin is enjoying the game of cat and mouse a little too much, and gas flows won’t be getting restored any time soon, because moments ago Gazprom announced that it had “completely halted” transport of gas to Nord Stream until a previously undetected oil leakage is rectified. That could take hours, days… or months.
• GAZPROM ISSUES STATEMENT ON NORD STREAM 1 MAINTENANCE
• GAZPROM: TRANSPORT OF GAS TO THE NORD STREAM PIPELINE HAS BEEN COMPLETELY HALTED UNTIL FAULTS ARE RECTIFIED
• GAZPROM: DURING ROUTINE MAINTENANCE WORKS OIL LEAKAGE WAS DETECTED GAS SUPPLIES TO NORD STREAM FULLY STOPPED


That means that Europe will now be forced to rely even more on… well… Russian gas, in the form of much more expensive LNG resold by China. And after tumbling by more than 50% in the past few days, we fully expect European gas prices are about to go super parabolic and take out all time highs as soon as trading returns on Monday.

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Google translate from Dutch.

That makes Hungary, Serbia, Turkey, Bulgaria and some in Austria think of joining.

EU Country Bulgaria Wants To Negotiate Gas With Russians Again (NOS)

Balkan country Bulgaria has made a 180-degree turn towards Russia. The government supported Ukraine and subsequent European sanctions and was subsequently cut off from Russian gas. Meanwhile, there is an interim government in power that cares little about European solidarity. The government is even reaching out to the Russians again, it was announced in a television interview this week: “Talks are being held at the highest level,” Prime Minister Galab Donev said. That announcement – that negotiations are underway with Russia – is causing great concern in the capital Sofia. Hundreds of protesters blocked the main entrance to the government building in recent days. They demand the resignation of the interim government, which has been in power for less than a month.

[..] In the capital Sofia, gas is used for communal district heating. The winters are quite cold and residents in the working-class neighborhoods already have high bills. At the district heating office, Bulgarians walk in and out worrying about their payment. They have no problem with their country renegotiating with Gazprom. Pro-European Prime Minister Kiril Petkov came to power in December. He promised to end corruption and wanted independence from Russia. His government condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine and supported European sanctions. At the end of April, Gazprom turned the tap off for Bulgaria and Poland because of the refusal to pay in rubles. The two countries were thus the first European member states to be cut off from Russian gas. A difficult situation for Bulgaria, the country was 90 percent dependent on gas from Russia.

Prime Minister Petkov then signed an agreement with the United States to supply seven liquefied gas (LNG) tankers to “improve Bulgaria’s energy security”. An agreement mediated by the European Commission. But the Petkov government was overthrown after a vote of no confidence. President Radev appointed an interim government with an energy minister who was quick to announce that “it is practically inevitable that Bulgaria will enter into negotiations with Gazprom Export on the recovery of gas resources under the current contract”.

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“..EU leaders’ failure to “protect people in Europe” has resulted in citizens paying the price for a “war they are not even responsible for.”

Hungary Reveals What Weakened EU (RT)

The armed conflict in Ukraine has “catastrophically” weakened the European Union, Hungary’s Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, has claimed. Speaking at the ‘Open Balkan’ summit in Belgrade on Friday, Szijjarto argued that the Ukraine conflict along with its “economic influence and a ruinous energy crisis… has led to a catastrophic weakening of Europe and the EU.” The diplomat went on to claim that EU leaders’ failure to “protect people in Europe” has resulted in citizens paying the price for a “war they are not even responsible for.” The Hungarian minister stressed that talks are needed within the bloc to ensure that the consequences of the conflict are not “fatal to the continent.” Szijjarto added that food shortages in developing countries caused by the fighting in Ukraine have left “hundreds of thousands of people under the threat of famine,” leading to a “new level of migrants’ aggression” at Hungary’s borders.


The official also stressed the importance of the EU’s expansion in the Western Balkans. Unlike most other EU member states, Hungary has remained relatively neutral since the start of the conflict in February, refusing to provide weapons to either Ukraine or Russia. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has argued that such shipments could see Hungary getting dragged into direct military confrontation – which is not in the country’s interest. Moreover, officials in Budapest have repeatedly criticized EU sanctions against Moscow, insisting that the punitive measures hurt the bloc itself more than they do Russia. Hungary has also called for dialogue with Russia to put an end to the Ukraine conflict.

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But this writer fails to use that opportunity.

Biden’s Hateful Rhetoric Presents The GOP With A Sterling Opportunity (AT)

Never before have government institutions been hijacked and misused to target political opponents. Never before has a virus been misused to impose lockdowns that infringe on the right to freedom of movement and the right to earn a living. Never before have vaccines been mandated causing people to be fired from their jobs or suffer from health issues. Never before has the U.S. government demonized its own citizens, calling them domestic terrorists. Never before has the U.S. government set up a ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ that sits in judgment of the utterances of citizens. Never before has the U.S. been subjected to prolonged disinformation campaigns, the Russian collusion hoax, the Ukraine call hoax, and now the insurrection hoax.

Never before has the U.S. had a president whose cognitive abilities are so impaired that he struggles to read off a teleprompter and causes citizens to wonder who is in charge. Biden continues by claiming that the Republican party is “dominated, driven, intimidated by Donald Trump” and his supporters, calling it “a threat to this country” because “they refuse to accept the results of a free election.” Perhaps Biden forgot the Russian collusion hoax concocted by the Democrats that baselessly attempted to delegitimize the results of the 2016 presidential election. It was the Democrats who refused to accept the results of a free election. Perhaps Biden forgot that big media and big tech suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop scandal prior to the 2020 elections.

A recent poll shows that nearly four of five Americans believe that “truthful” coverage would have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Perhaps Biden forgot about Mark Zuckerberg spending $419 million to infiltrate sacrosanct electoral infrastructure of the 2020 elections and push for mail-in voting. Perhaps Biden forgot that 69% of voters nationwide cast their ballot nontraditionally i.e., by mail and/or before Election Day for the 2020 elections. Mail votes are highly vulnerable to fraud. Biden also alleged that the “MAGA forces” are aligned with white supremacists, violent extremists, and other undesirables. Perhaps Biden forgot violent Democrat extremists threatening Supreme Court Justices, vandalizing Catholic churches, pregnancy centers, and the offices of pro-life groups.

McCabe

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“..Western media is in ‘lockstep’ with government on foreign policy to a degree that would make real dictators blush”.

US Economic Decline And Global Instability Part 2: Rise of BRICS (PG)

First Amendment of the US constitution- ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’ It is commonly stated that the press (aka the proverbial ‘4th estate’) in the US is ‘free’ and ‘independent’ and ‘essential for the functioning of a free society’, serving as a ‘watchdog’ on government actions and policies and vital to protect the ‘liberty’ of American citizens. As is often the case, things are not always as they seem. In a recent interview with Brian Berletic, Mark Sleboda commented that “Western media is in ‘lockstep’ with government on foreign policy to a degree that would make real dictators blush”.

While there is no doubt that Western (read corporate) media is indeed promoting US foreign policy, it is not the US government that formulates these polices, rather they are formulated and developed by the ruling elite, using corporate-funded foundations and ‘think tanks’, academic institutions and prominent politicians. These include the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Rand Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, American Heritage Foundation, Atlantic Council, Brookings, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Academic institutions such as The Kennedy School (Harvard), Hoover Institution (Stanford), Walsh School of Foreign Service (Georgetown) and School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins) not only provide ‘experts’ and government officials, such as Wendy Sherman (Kennedy School) current US Deputy Secretary of State in the Biden Administration, they serve as training grounds for government officials and corporate management, some of whom are employed by above listed universities and foundations.

Once formulated, these policies are ‘sold’ to the American public by a compliant and well-disciplined media. Approximately 90% of US media is controlled by six large corporations- Comcast, Walt Disney, AT&T, Paramount Global, Sony, and Fox, with a combined market cap of circa $500 billions. Like other large corporations, media conglomerates have the same class interests as the financial elite, i.e., promoting policies which increase corporate power and profits and maintain US global hegemony. So called ‘public’ media, such as National Public Radio (NPR) and the BBC, in the UK, function in a similar manner. Corporate media is closely integrated with large financial interests and serves as a ‘cheerleader’ for the Pentagon and US foreign policy.

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“The idea of a president giving away such a fortune with the stroke of a pen should alarm every American.”

College-Loan Forgiveness Plan Reveals Biden’s Constitutional Cynicism (Turley)

In 1987, President Reagan reached a milestone in sending to Congress the first trillion-dollar budget. The size of it caused intense debate in Congress over the debt load, but an eventual “consensus” budget was reached. What is shocking today is not simply the size of the more than $4 trillion federal budget but that President Biden just wiped out what is estimated to be $1 trillion owed to the country — the size of the Reagan budget — without a single vote, let alone approval, by Congress. The idea of a president giving away such a fortune with the stroke of a pen should alarm every American. Not only will the massive payout likely fuel inflation but critics have objected to having working-class people subsidize the debts of college-educated citizens.

Others object that it is unfair to those who sacrificed to pay off their loans or those of their children. When one such father asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) whether he would get a refund after struggling to pay off his daughter’s college education, Warren dismissed him with an “of course not.“ Some Democrats in Congress have joined Republicans in condemning the plan. Biden knew he could never get Congress to agree to such a massive write-off, so he did not try. Instead, he acted unilaterally, and Democrats like Warren expressed euphoria, although Warren wanted five times more debt forgiveness. The former law professor saw little problem with a president giving away hundreds of billions of dollars.

As was the case under President Obama when he circumvented Congress, Warren and others are celebrating their own constitutional obsolescence. This is not supposed to happen in a constitutional system based on shared, limited powers: The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, but Biden just gave away the store. James Madison described the essence of our system of separation of powers in Federalist 51 as premised on the belief that “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” No branch is supposed to have enough power to govern alone. Biden just did, however.

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“What can a pandemic NOT do?”

The Pandemic Did This? New York Times Fails Fact Check (Lerman)

Yesterday, September 1, 2022, The New York Times had a front page story entitled: “The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading.”The first paragraph states that “National test results released on Thursday showed in stark terms the pandemic’s devastating effects on American schoolchildren, with the performance of 9-year-olds in math and reading dropping to the levels from two decades ago.” Further down, the article says: “Then came the pandemic, which shuttered schools across the country almost overnight” and “experts say it will take more than the typical school day to make up gaps created by the pandemic.”

The definition of a pandemic, according to the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (ref: Last JM, editor. A dictionary of epidemiology, 4th edition. New York: Oxford University Press; 2001) is “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.” According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, “an epidemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads rapidly to many people.” Thus, a pandemic is a disease that spreads rapidly to many people all over the world. Based on this pretty much universally accepted definition, a pandemic can do exactly one thing: it can spread disease to many people around the world.

What can a pandemic NOT do? A pandemic cannot impose mandates or lockdowns. A pandemic cannot block borders or force people to stop traveling. A pandemic cannot shutter schools – overnight or otherwise. A pandemic cannot impact math and reading. A pandemic cannot cause learning gaps. What can our response to a pandemic do? If we decide to shut down schools for months and years on end in response to a pandemic, then it is our response that has caused whatever educational deficits and devastation to children ensue. It is not the pandemic. In case there’s any doubt that the effects of a pandemic are separate and distinct from society’s response to the pandemic, we can take a look at Sweden, where schools were never shut down, and where there was no learning loss and much less devastation to schoolchildren than in countries that closed schools during the Covid pandemic.

Blaming the pandemic for anything other than disease and/or death is misinformation. The New York Times headline and article contain clear and uncontestable instances of misinformation. Here is the information from the article, stated in a factually correct way: US public health leaders and politicians mandated prolonged school shutdowns in response to the Covid pandemic, and these school shutdowns had devastating effects on schoolchildren, creating learning gaps and erasing decades of progress in math and reading.

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Disaster around the corner.

Only Nine Percent of Law Professors Identify as Conservatives (Turley)

A new study offers further evidence of the alarming decline of ideological diversity on our law faculties. A study by Georgetown University’s Kevin Tobia and MIT’s Eric Martinez was featured on College Fix that finds that only nine percent of law school professors identify as conservative at the top 50 law schools. Notably, a 2017 study found 15 percent of faculties were conservative. This is the result of years of faculty replicating their own ideological preferences and eradicating the diversity that once existed on faculties. When I began teaching in the 1980s, faculties were undeniably liberal but contained a significant number of conservative and libertarian professors. It made for a healthy and balanced intellectual environment. Today such voices are relatively rare and faculties have become political echo chambers, leaving conservatives and Republican students increasingly afraid to speak openly in class.

The trend is the result of hiring systems where conservative or libertarian scholars are often rejected as simply “insufficiently intellectually rigorous” or “not interesting” in their scholarship. This can clearly be true with individual candidates but the wholesale reduction of such scholars shows a more systemic problem. Faculty insist that there is no bias against conservatives, but the obviously falling number of conservative faculty speaks for itself. In racial and gender discrimination cases, this type of pattern of de facto hiring preferences is routinely the basis for lawsuits. Obviously, intellectual diversity is different from racial discrimination. This is no protected class and there is no statutory mandate to support challenges. Faculties know that it is near impossible to challenge their hiring decisions. However, the de facto result of years of biased hiring practices is reflected in the low number of conservative faculty at these schools.

When confronted, faculty will often shrug and say that they are open to promising conservative faculty but they simply have not found any. They will also question what is a conservative or a liberal — even though professors seem to have little problem in answering such polls with those terms. There is little sympathy for conservative and libertarian students who have few faculty offering opposing views — or liberal students who would like exposure to the full array of legal thought and interpretations. Having taught for over three decades, I have never seen a more intolerant and orthodox environment. Schools have reached an ideological critical mass where faculties are replicating their own preferences. The overwhelming composition of faculties then serves to replicate and promote the views of liberal faculty on journals and in conferences.

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“..a 711-page “joint statement on discovery disputes.”

Biden-Big Tech Collusion Suit Reveals ‘Massive, Sprawling’ Censorship (JTN)

Even as President Biden warns the nation of the “extremist threat to our democracy” from Republicans in this fall’s elections, new evidence suggests a much wider campaign by his administration to sic Big Tech on critics than previously thought, going so far as removing a parody of Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci. The First Amendment lawsuit by Republican attorneys general and a civil liberties group against Biden, Fauci and several other high-level officials has revealed a “massive, sprawling federal ‘Censorship Enterprise'” related to COVID-19 and elections, the plaintiffs said in a 711-page “joint statement on discovery disputes.”

“If there was ever any doubt the federal government was behind censorship of Americans who dared to dissent from official Covid messaging, that doubt has been erased” by what the defendants have already turned over, New Civil Liberties Alliance lawyer Jenin Younes said. The Justice Department cited its 15,000-page document production to oppose the “anything but reasonably tailored” discovery requests by Missouri’s Eric Schmitt, Louisiana’s Jeff Landry and NCLA, which DOJ called “grossly disproportionate” to this stage of litigation. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta, Google’s YouTube and LinkedIn provided information separately.

The “defendants’ position” left out the elephant in the room: the likelihood of even greater harm to Democratic prospects if sensitive communications including Fauci and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre are required to be divulged before the midterms. Schmitt is the GOP nominee for retiring Sen. Roy Blunt’s seat. The plaintiffs are keen to compel Fauci to discuss the “nature and content” of his oral conversations with Zuckerberg, who gave the long-serving public health bureaucrat his personal cell phone number in March 2020. They also want all Fauci communication with social media platforms related to the anti-lockdown Great Barrington Declaration and its authors, who are represented by NCLA, as well as Trump coronavirus task force member Scott Atlas, former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak and China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.

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“Mike McCormick was Joe Biden’s stenographer and witnessed Biden in action around the world. In a recent blog post he claims there’s much more to Hunter Biden’s involvement in the Wuhan lab and Biden’s meetings with President Xi in China.”

Hunter’s Techies Funded China Bat Virus Researcher (McCormick)

Mere days after he returned from his infamous Air Force Two trip to China with his dad in December 2013, Hunter Biden, along with his Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners pals, began a long, intimate, and lucrative business relationship with biowarfare contractor Metabiota — at the very same time its scientists were collaborating on research with virologists associated with Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance. [..] Also as an eyewitness to Joe’s dealings — I traveled with him to Ukraine and China — I will present further evidence that he and his staffers directed even more USAID and Department of Defense (DOD) funding towards his and Hunter’s investment in Metabiota for its activities in Ukraine and China. Joe Biden enriching himself and his family by lining up government funding Metabiota is malfeasance, an impeachable offense.

But in my opinion, impeachment hardly answers for his criminal affiliation with this pandemic “predictor.” But the question that must be asked, and it’s only me asking: Who had the idea for Hunter and RSTP to back Metabiota — Joe or Xi? And understand, the only people that can answer that question are Joe and Xi. Because given that prominent CCP virologist Shi Zhengli was leading the Chinese side of this research collaboration, it is entirely reasonable that Xi Jinping would have known about her project. It’s also reasonable that he knew a lot about her research partners, meaning it’s quite likely he knew Metabiota and its founder, Wolfe, were tied to the DOD and highly regarded by the WEF. Whether Metabiota was a biowarfare contractor or a biotech software company, there is no doubt the CCP was keeping close tabs on it, and thus so was Xi.

So now what to make of Joe Biden and his four-and-a-half-hour meeting with Xi Jinping as crude, cruel, and callous Hunter waited in the wings. [..] At this point in time, Xi, the deadly serious president of China, the world’s most “ascendant” nation, thinks he is scheduled to talk to Joe Biden, the often ridiculous vice president of the United States, for only about an hour. Boy, was he wrong. So what changed? What was Joe up to? And why did Xi tolerate it? The meeting took place in the Great Hall of the People, adjacent to Tiananmen Square. It was supposed to adhere to the traditional world leader bilateral formula of a one-hour meeting with advisors present, followed by brief innocuous remarks to the press. But that’s not how it went. I know because I was there … sort of.

Chinese security denied me entry to the building. No reason given. So I retreated to a van in the motorcade and waited and waited and waited. So no, I was not in the meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. But then, no one was. No senior staffers. Not a one. From either side. And based on reports from White House staffers who did get in the building, they spent four hours sitting on the hard floor of an empty hallway and were as put out as the Chinese by what transpired.Joe had all the advisors leave — Chinese and American. Not Xi, Joe. It was just him and Xi and interpreters — off script, off schedule, off plan. Most unusual. And Joe knew it. His remarks after the meeting began with an apology to Xi’s advisors for not only kicking them out of the room, but then monopolizing Xi’s time.

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Posobiec Dutch farmers

 

 


You don’t have to put on the red light.

 

 


Kingfisher in action. Photo Jaap La Brijn

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sep 022022
 
 September 2, 2022  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , ,  59 Responses »


Marc Chagall The soldier drinks 1912

 

These Are The Leaders Of Biden’s Revolution (Tucker Carlson)
Biden’s Most Enduring Legacy? (Rickards)
German FM Made ‘Fantastic Admission’ – Lavrov (RT)
Ukrainian Troops Captured During Raid On Nuclear Plant – Official (RT)
Ukraine Suffers Heavy Losses In Failed Offensive – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine Planned To Use IAEA Team As ‘Human Shields’ – Russia (RT)
Getting it Wrong on Ukraine (Scott Ritter)
More Ukraine Military Aid Coming, White House Says (RT)
Wholesale Gas Prices Fall On Europe’s Plan To Avert Winter Energy Crisis (G.)
Sanctions Hinder Russian Gas Flow To EU – Gazprom (RT)
Dead of Winter (Doomberg)
Which Crime Syndicate Murdered Darya Dugina? (Escobar)
A Story for Children (Batiushka)
Greece’s Slide Toward Authoritarianism (Spiegel)
How Mikhail Gorbachev Became the Most Reviled Man in Russia (CP)

 

 

An American president attempting to incite a civil war. Never seen such a thing.

 

 

Tucker Biden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook fact check

 

 

 

 

Nothing accidental about the decor. But very wrong at the same time.

These Are The Leaders Of Biden’s Revolution (Tucker Carlson)

If you’re watching this right now, you are missing a rare primetime address from Joe Biden. Biden doesn’t give a lot of those for obvious reasons, but tonight’s topic is worthy of the occasion. America, ladies and gentlemen, is under attack and not from our usual enemies. The threat we face tonight is existential, but it’s not coming from barefoot religious extremists living in caves. It’s not the Chinese government. It’s not even Vladimir Putin himself, the most diabolically evil man in history. No, ladies and gentlemen, this threat is worse than all of that and it’s homegrown. As they say in the horror movies, it’s coming from inside the house. The single greatest threat to America today is Republican voters, all 75 million of them. They are Nazis and destroyers of democracy. They must be stopped. That is the message of Joe Biden’s speech.

Just moments ago, he referred to MAGA forces who are apparently marshaling at Red Lobster near you, ready to take over this country. Now, to underscore how deeply Joe Biden means all of this, tonight’s address in Philadelphia is not being categorized as a campaign event ahead of the midterm elections, which is what it looks like. No. Instead, this speech has the full sponsorship of the White House. In other words, what Joe Biden is saying right now is the official position of the entire executive branch of the U.S. government. That would include the Justice Department, the various Intel agencies and the world’s most powerful standing military. Think about that. Does it make you nervous? You don’t have to be a Trump voter to see a speech like this as a turning point in American history. For hundreds of years, the U.S. has had a political system comprised of two competing parties. If you were to declare one of those parties criminal and illegitimate, what would you be left with?

Well, you will be left with a one-party state and that is what Joe Biden is calling for tonight, a one-party state. It’s shocking. You may have trouble believing it’s even happening and yet it is live on television right now, and yet and here’s what we’re here to tell you, believe it or not, there is an upside to this catastrophe. Even as you watch your beloved country take a turn you never imagined possible, there is reason for hope. American liberals may have obvious dictatorial ambitions. There’s no question they do. Only would-be dictators fear free speech and an armed population. But just because liberals long for a one-party state doesn’t mean they’re going to get one. They won’t. In the end, they don’t have the skills to pull that off. Liberals are too incompetent to overthrow democracy, and that’s obvious from history.

Tucker Biden

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No, he trumped that last night.

Biden’s Most Enduring Legacy? (Rickards)

What are the advantages of a central bank digital currency? Well, the advantages are speed, cost, security and ease of use. Assume you buy a candy bar at a convenience store. You pay for it with a credit card, which begins a payment process involving maybe five parties including the merchant, the credit card company, the bank and an intermediary called a merchant acquirer (no need to list the details here, but it’s complicated). Ultimately the bank that issues your credit card sends you a bill and you pay it. You also pay a fee, maybe 3%, all to buy a candy bar. But with a central bank digital currency, you could simply pay for the candy bar with an account you have at the Fed. You would disintermediate the merchant acquirer, the banks and the credit card company. It would eliminate the fees we currently face. In a nutshell, the payment system will be faster, cheaper, easier, more streamlined and more secure.

The question is why are they doing this? Well, the banks and the government will tell you that it’s cheaper, faster and safer, so it makes sense. And that’s true, as far as it goes, but there are a lot of hidden agendas here. The first one is to eliminate cash. If you didn’t like the central bank digital currency system for privacy reasons, you might say, “Hey, I feel like I’m under surveillance. This is intrusive. I just don’t trust it. Where’s my alternative?” Particularly if they eliminate the traditional credit card payment system, you might buy your candy bar with cash. But if you’re the government and you want the central bank digital currency to succeed, you have to eliminate cash because it’s your competition. The government hates cash because it’s not traceable. If you spend it, they don’t know that you spent it or how you spent it. They can’t put you under surveillance with cash.

The other thing the government wants is the ability to impose negative interest rates. Instead of earning interest on your money in the bank, you’d be charged to keep it there. Cash stands in the way of negative interest rates because cash doesn’t have a negative interest rate. Assume you bury $100,000 in cash in your backyard. You come back a year later, you still have $100,000. You might not earn any interest on your money, but at least the government can’t take it away. But if all your money is in digital form within the banking system, they can impose negative interest rates on it. The government wants to use the banking system for a lot of other things. They might want to freeze your account, they might want to seize your assets, they might also want to put an expiration date on your money. sImagine you get paid and the government tells you, “That money is going to evaporate or disappear if you don’t spend it in the next six months.” How’s that for a stimulus program?

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How can this woman still have a job this morning?

German FM Made ‘Fantastic Admission’ – Lavrov (RT)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has described as “fantastic” a recent comment by his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, about Berlin’s commitment to backing Kiev. The German official said on Wednesday that her country’s government would stand by Ukraine regardless of what German voters think about it. On Thursday, Lavrov delivered a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations marking the start of the academic year. In it, he said that many Western politicians are in the grip of a “Russophobic obsession.” As a case in point, the minister cited Baerbock’s remark, which she made in Prague on Wednesday. According to Lavrov, what the German official said effectively boiled down to the following: “Yes, our citizens are suffering but they will have to suffer more because we will be supporting Ukraine no matter what.”

The Russian foreign minister described Baerbock’s statement as a “fantastic admission.” Speaking at a conference named ‘Democracy’s Clear and Present Danger: How Do We Respond?’ organized by the NGO Forum 2000, the top German diplomat said: “If I give the promise to people in Ukraine – ‘We stand with you, as long as you need us’ – then I want to deliver. No matter what my German voters think, but I want to deliver to the people of Ukraine.” Baerbock acknowledged that dissatisfaction with the German government among the country’s population would likely increase come winter. She did go on to explain that Berlin would not remain completely deaf to its citizens, though, promising “social measures” for those who “cannot pay [the] energy prices.”

However, the official made it clear that the “sanctions [against Russia] will stay also in winter time, even if it gets really tough for politicians.” Since the start of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine in late February, and in light of the Western sanctions against Moscow that followed, energy prices in Europe have climbed to historic highs. This has pushed inflation up significantly across the EU, and in Germany in particular. On Wednesday, gas prices surged again on the spot market after the operator of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline announced the beginning of a three-day shutdown for maintenance.

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Will Schryver @imetatronink:

“The AFU clown show in southern Ukraine scales new heights. In arguably the most embarrassing debacle of the war yet for Ukraine, they apparently permitted themselves to attempt an MI6-designed and directed commando operation to seize the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. The would-be commandos, 64 in number, recently “trained” in the UK, set out across the Kakhovskoye reservoir in seven high-speed boats, landed on the opposite shore 3 km from the NPP, where they were immediately met by a Russian ambush.”

“Apparently Russian intelligence was fully aware of their plans and had monitored the debutante commandos from the time they left Poland to pursue their ostensibly glorious operation – allegedly advocated by the corpulent Boris Johnson himself in his recent visit to Kiev.” “Of the 64 “commandos”, at least 47 are now dead, a few wounded, and a dozen trapped with no means of escape, all seven of their boats having been destroyed. The entire undertaking has been an unmitigated amateurish disaster.”

“Apparently, there were also two barges with 320 additional troops that attempted to cross the reservoir, but were sunk en route — all presumably drowned. In fact, some Ukrainian Telegram channels reported that 700 troops were involved. A joke of military planning / execution.”

Ukrainian Troops Captured During Raid On Nuclear Plant – Official (RT)

Three Ukrainian soldiers, who participated in a botched attempt to capture the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday morning, have been taken alive, Vladimir Rogov, a council member in the Moscow-allied administration of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Region, has claimed. Of the three, two have been injured and are in serious condition, the official said in an interview with Russian television. Doctors are fighting to save them, he added. An estimated 12 Ukrainian troops are still fighting against Russian forces, he claimed. The Russian Defense Ministry previously claimed that early in the morning, Kiev launched an operation apparently aimed at taking the nuclear site ahead of an inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


Some of the Ukrainian troops failed to reach the southern bank of the Dnepr when their vessels were hit and sank, the ministry stated. Up to 60 commandos used speedboats to make a landing, before Russian forces engaged them, the report said. The power plant and the surrounding city of Energodar have been under Russian control since March. Throughout August, it came under regular fire, which Kiev and Moscow blamed on each other. Ukrainian officials also accused Russia of stationing heavy weapons at the nuclear facility. The IAEA’s fact-finding mission is expected to arrive in Energodar later in the day, though there were reports that their progress was interrupted by military activity. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of attempting to derail the inspection.

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“..I felt sorry for them and I started wondering if this was worth doing at such a cost,” the WSJ quoted a doctor in an intensive care unit as saying..”

Ukraine Suffers Heavy Losses In Failed Offensive – Moscow (RT)

Kiev’s attempts to take the initiative and advance in the south of the country have failed and resulted in heavy losses, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Thursday. The Ukrainian forces lost over 350 personnel, as Russian warplanes and artillery were used for kinetic action against Kiev’s forces over the last 24 hours, the ministry’s spokesman said during a daily briefing. Kiev also lost 31 tanks, 22 infantry fighting vehicles, 18 of other types of armored vehicles, eight armed pickup trucks, and 17 of other types of military vehicles, the statement said. This week, Ukraine launched a long-touted offensive to reclaim territories in the south of the country controlled by Russia. Kiev reported capturing some villages, but officials were mostly tight-lipped about the details of the operation, including its cost, citing secrecy.


The Russian side described the action as disastrous for Kiev. A previous Russian military briefing on Wednesday said Ukraine lost over 1,200 soldiers and dozens of pieces of military hardware to Russian fire in a single day. The fact that Ukraine was paying a heavy toll was corroborated by some Western news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper spoke to some of the Ukrainian soldiers injured on the battlefield and medics treating them to glimpse into the situation on the frontline. “When they started bringing in such a large number of wounded, then, honestly, I felt sorry for them and I started wondering if this was worth doing at such a cost,” the WSJ quoted a doctor in an intensive care unit as saying.

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“..we fully understand the complete silence of all Western sponsors of the Zelensky regime..”

Ukraine Planned To Use IAEA Team As ‘Human Shields’ – Russia (RT)

Kiev forces wanted to seize the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in a daring military raid and use the personnel of the UN nuclear watchdog as “human shields” to maintain control over the facility, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Thursday. The botched raid came shortly before a team of experts with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – including the organization’s head, Rafael Grossi – arrived at the plant for an inspection. According to the Russian military, multiple Ukrainian “saboteur groups” crossed the Kakhovka Reservoir in speedboats and barges near the plant early in the morning, but were intercepted and destroyed by Russian troops and National Guard forces.

“Obviously, if the operation of the Kiev regime to seize the station was a success, the head of the IAEA, [Rafael] Grossi, and the experts of the mission would become a ‘human shield’ for Ukrainian saboteurs to prevent any attempts to destroy them by the Russian armed forces,” the Russian MoD said in a statement. The operation aimed at capturing the nuclear power plant appears to have been “planned in advance by Zelensky’s regime,” the Russian military suggested. Moreover, the delay in Grossi’s visit to the installation, originally planned for August 31, stemmed from the Ukrainians’ need for more time to get ready for that “military provocation,” it alleged.

The ultimate goal of the operation was seizing control of the plant, while the presence of the IAEA team would have allowed the “saboteurs”to not only take cover from any potential Russian actions, but also to cement the new “status quo,” the military said. The success of the operation would have likely been reinforced by a “new wave of loud statements from Washington and European capitals, calling upon Russia to establish a ‘demilitarized zone’ around the nuclear plant, with IAEA observers guarded by Ukrainian troops,” it asserted. “In this regard, we fully understand the complete silence of all Western sponsors of the Zelensky regime, which de-facto confirms their tacit participation in the preparation of today’s provocation at the Zaporozhye plant,” the military concluded.

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“..neither Arkin nor his editorial bosses at Newsweek felt any need to explain how Russia could be losing the war twice..”

Getting it Wrong on Ukraine (Scott Ritter)

Six months into Russia’s “Special Military Operation,” fact-challenged reporting that constitutes Western media’s approach to covering the conflict in Ukraine has become apparent to any discerning audience. Less understood is why anyone would sacrifice their integrity to participate in such a travesty. The story of William Arkin is a case in point. On March 30 (a little more than a month into the war), Arkin penned an article which began with the following sentence: “Russia’s armed forces are reaching a state of exhaustion, stalemated on the battlefield and unable to make additional gains, while Ukraine is slowly pushing them back, continuing to inflict destruction on the invaders.” Arkin went on to quote a “high-level officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency,” who spoke on condition of anonymity, who declared that “The war in Ukraine is over.”

A little less than three months later, on June 14, Arkin wrote a piece for Newsweek with the headline: “Russia Is Losing the Ukraine War. Don’t Be Fooled by What Happened in Severodonetsk.” Apparently neither Arkin nor his editorial bosses at Newsweek felt any need to explain how Russia could be losing the war twice. Anyone who has been following what I’ve been writing and saying since the beginning of Russia’s “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine knows I hold the exact opposite view. Russia, I maintain, is winning the Ukraine conflict, in decisive fashion. But I don’t write for Newsweek. William Arkin does.

Arkin proclaims that Russia is losing though it had, at the time the article was published, just taken the strategic city of Severdonetsk, killing and capturing thousands of Ukrainian forces, and rendering thousands more combat ineffective since they had to abandon their equipment to flee for their lives. (Russia has since captured all of the territory encompassing the Lugansk People’s Republic, including the city of Lysychansk, inflicting thousands of additional casualties on the Ukrainian military.) “The Russian army’s so-called victory,” Arkin proclaimed at the time, “is the latest installment in its humiliating military display and comes with a crushing human cost.” The humiliating display instead is Arkin’s lack of acumen in conducting an independent assessment of the military situation on the ground in Ukraine.

This was again reinforced last week when Arkin penned another article in which he helps disseminate the outlandish claims of his Pentagon sources. “[F]rom late February through August, with only a moderate infusion of weapons from the West, some supportive declarations from Western leaders and a smattering of ‘We Stand with Ukraine’ signs on U.S. lawns,” Arkin writes, Ukraine has been able to “hold at bay the mighty Russian military,” something apparently none thought it could do.

Putin global inflation

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More death coming.

More Ukraine Military Aid Coming, White House Says (RT)

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday that the Biden administration was preparing to announce more packages of military aid for Kiev’s beleaguered forces. Kirby’s statement came a week after US President Joe Biden authorized a record arms shipment worth nearly $3 billion. “There will be announcements of future security assistance in coming days,” Kirby said at a press conference. The upcoming packages will likely be drawn from the $40 billion allocated to Ukraine in a military and economic aid bill passed by Congress in May. The US has doled out this aid in near-weekly installments since the bill’s passage, with last week’s package the largest yet, totaling $2.98 billion. President Biden has promised to keep bankrolling Ukraine’s military for “as long as it takes,” although the US’ end goal in the conflict is unclear.


While Biden wrote earlier this summer that the US does “not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia,” he has spoken of a desire to affect regime change in Moscow, and his own secretary of defense has stated that weakening Russia is a core US objective. Furthermore, Biden’s officials said that they are willing to risk “a global recession and mounting hunger” just to oppose Russia, the Washington Post stated in June. It is unclear to what extent the supply of American weapons has helped Ukraine hold off Russian forces. A long-awaited counter-offensive in the south of the country ended in dismal failure for Ukraine earlier this week, with Moscow claiming to have destroyed more than 130 Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles and killed more than 1,200 troops in a single day.

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“There is work on emergency measures on electricity prices. There might be also something on demand reduction for electricity.”

Wholesale Gas Prices Fall On Europe’s Plan To Avert Winter Energy Crisis (G.)

Wholesale gas prices have tumbled amid signs that European leaders’ plans to avert a winter energy crisis are taking shape. The price of gas for delivery on Friday dropped 21% from last night’s price of 405p per therm to 320p, as the European Commission confirmed it is working on “emergency measures” and the German government said it is “prepared” for the winter. The British wholesale gas price for delivery next week fell 9% to 350p while the month-ahead price fell 6% to 431p on Thursday. Earlier this week the day-ahead price fell from 447p a therm after the European Commission said it was working “flat out” on an emergency package as well as examining structural reform of the electricity market.

The European Commission said on Thursday it was looking into options to cap energy prices and cut electricity demand as part of its upcoming proposals to tackle soaring energy costs. Mechthild Wörsdörfer, deputy director general of the commission’s energy department, told a meeting of European parliament’s energy committee: “There is work on emergency measures on electricity prices. There might be also something on demand reduction for electricity.” The European Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen, will outline the commission’s ideas on capping energy prices in a speech on 14 September. European countries have rushed to fill up gas storage facilities after Russia cut supplies into Europe. Germany is among the nations most exposed to potential shortages of gas and there are fears that – if the Kremlin switched off supplies altogether – its economy could tumble into recession.

[..] Gas market traders are on tenterhooks to see whether Russia state-owned gas giant Gazprom returns the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea back to service after a three-day maintenance shut down, which began on Wednesday. European gas storage facilities are now almost 80% full on average, nearing an EU target for countries to hit 80% full by 1 November. Researchers at Wood Mackenzie predicted high natural gas prices will drive down European demand to 7% below the five-year average in the months through to March, leaving a “best-case scenario” of storage levels at 31% at winter’s end.


Russian gas journey to Europe… Same gas as before, but now liquefied, and routed via China, at much higher price and transport costs…

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“Our opponents have issued so many sanctions-related documents that they created a situation which could be called sanctions confusion..”

Sanctions Hinder Russian Gas Flow To EU – Gazprom (RT)

Western sanctions could obstruct Siemens Energy from carrying out regular maintenance of equipment for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said on Wednesday. “Our opponents have issued so many sanctions-related documents that they created a situation which could be called sanctions confusion,” Miller told Russia 1 TV. “And today Siemens has practically no opportunity to provide regular major overhauls of our gas-pumping equipment. Siemens simply has nowhere to carry out this work.” German manufacturer Siemens Energy, which normally services the turbines, said earlier on Wednesday it was not involved in the latest maintenance work being carried out by Gazprom at the compressor station. Russian gas flows via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany have been suspended from August 31 until September 3 for repairs.


Since July, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been operating at reduced capacity due to the shutdown of several gas turbines. One of them was sent to Montreal for repairs and became stuck there due to Canadian sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. At Germany’s request, Ottawa announced an exemption for the turbines in July, and sent one of them over, but Gazprom refused to take delivery, citing irregularities in the documentation. Gazprom has cited faulty or delayed equipment as the main reason for the 80% reduction of deliveries via the pipeline. The Kremlin said on Tuesday that only sanctions prevent Nord Stream 1 from working at full capacity.

Putin EU

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“There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” – Henry Kissinger

Dead of Winter (Doomberg)

In the United Kingdom, a grassroots protest movement has broken out in response to the ongoing energy crisis. With the bill from its failed national policies coming due, ordinary citizens are organizing campaigns to ensure they are not the ones left holding the bag. The mission of Don’t Pay UK is to gather at least one million commitments from Her Majesty’s loyal subjects to simply stop paying their energy bills as of October 1, 2022. At the time of this writing, Don’t Pay UK has passed 130,000 signatures. We expect that number to grow. In reading a recent profile of the movement by Euronews Green, we were struck by the framing of the crisis by some of the movement’s organizers. This quote from the piece and the photo we have reproduced below caught our attention (emphasis added throughout):

“Lewis Ford, an organiser from Hull, agrees the movement is ‘a lot about solidarity’, especially for those forced to choose between heating their home and feeding their family. ‘We’re already talking about the idea of setting up warm banks, which is an absolutely preposterous idea,’ the 31-year-old IT consultant tells Euronews Green. ‘We’re one of the richest nations. So, it’s not like there’s no money, it’s the fact that the money is being kept in one space.’” Sadly for Mr. Ford and the well-intended but totally naïve young woman holding out hope that the unicorn concept of “cheaper cleaner greener” energy is actually a thing, they are both victims of insidious propaganda. As reality will soon demonstrate, if a country can’t afford to keep its citizens warm during the winter, then that country is poor, not rich. And if the proposed solution to this crisis is to double down on the same crazy policies that caused it in the first place, then we should expect the problem to get worse, not better.

As longtime readers of Doomberg will know, we’ve been fascinated by the European energy situation for the better part of the past year, long before the true potential for a crisis was considered acceptable mainstream thought. In re-reading a piece we wrote last October called “Putin’s Fools Rush In,” we correctly predicted who held the real power in the developing conflict. We also badly overestimated the willingness of Western political leaders to recognize reality. Here are two quotes revealing the miscalculation: “The prize Putin will soon collect is the inevitable go-ahead by Germany to begin operating the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, an act that will decisively and irreversibly conclude a years-long struggle between the United States and Russia in Putin’s favor.” s“Energy is life. Those projects will get developed. The geopolitical power vacuum we are creating will get filled. We might not be serious, but our enemies are ruthlessly so. They raise a toast to our self-inflicted demise.”

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“The hit on the Moskva was a NATO operation, ordered by the US. The Russian Ministry of Defense knows – and the Americans know they know. Retaliation will come – in the time and place of Moscow’s choosing.”

Which Crime Syndicate Murdered Darya Dugina? (Escobar)

Disclosure: I prize my friendship with Alexander Dugin – we met in person in Iran, Lebanon and Russia: a towering intellectual and extremely sensitive spirit, eons away from the crude stereotype of “Putin’s brain” or worse, “Putin’s Rasputin” slapped on him by Western media sub-zoology specimens. His vision of Eurasianism should be granted the merit of an ample intellectual discussion, a real dialogue of civilizations. But obviously the current woke incarnation of the collective West lacks the sophistication to engage in real debate. So he’s been demonized to Kingdom Come. Darya, who I had the honor to meet in Moscow, was a young, shining star with an ebullient personality who graduated in History of Philosophy at Moscow University: her main research was on the political philosophy of late Neoplatonism.

Obviously that had nothing to do with the profile of a ruthless operative capable of “compromising” money flows. She did not seem to understand finance, much less “dark” financial ops. What she did understand is how the Ukrainian battlefield mirrored a larger than life clash of civilizations: globalism against Eurasianism. Back to the assertions by the Russian intel agent, they cannot be simply dismissed. For instance, at the time he came up with the definitive version of the hit on the Moskva – the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet. As he emailed to a select audience, “the destruction of the flagship of the fleet was planned as a strategic task. Therefore, the operation of delivering the PKR [anti-ship missile] to Odessa took place in strict secrecy and under the cover of electronic warfare. As the ‘killer’ of the cruiser, they chose the PKR, but not the Neptune, as spread by Ukrainian propaganda, but the fifth-generation NSM PKR (Naval Strike Missile, range of destruction 185 km, developed by Norway-USA).

The NSM is able to reach the target along a programmed route thanks to the GPS-adjusted INS, independently find the target by flying up to it at an altitude of 3-5 meters. When reaching the target, the NSM maneuvers and puts electronic interference. A highly sensitive thermal imager is used as a homing system, which independently determines the most vulnerable places of the target ship. A stationary container installation secretly delivered to Ukraine was used as a launcher. Thus, after the damage to the cruiser Moskva, which led to its flooding (…) the Black Sea Fleet, unfortunately, no longer has a single ship with a long-range anti-aircraft missile system. But not everything is so bad. A three-band radar ‘Sky-M’ is located in Crimea, which is capable of tracking all air targets at a range of up to 600 km.” So there you go. The hit on the Moskva was a NATO operation, ordered by the US. The Russian Ministry of Defense knows – and the Americans know they know. Retaliation will come – in the time and place of Moscow’s choosing.

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“..and took all the money and the lands of the little prince and broke all the guns that the Kingdom of the West had sent him.”

A Story for Children (Batiushka)

Once upon a time there was a world where there were four Kingdoms. These were called the Kingdom of the North, the Kingdom of the East, the Kingdom of the South and the Kingdom of the West. Now the smallest Kingdom by far was the Kingdom of the West, which was only a tiny part of the whole. But it was by far the richest of the four Kingdoms. This was because it kept stealing things with guns and with cunning from the other three Kingdoms. But it turned out to be by far the stupidest Kingdom. This was because it loved itself so much that it could no longer see in front of its nose. Now it all happened in this way.

First of all, the wizards of the Kingdom of the West created a nasty illness called a Pestilence. They wanted to kill the people in the other three Kingdoms. In fact, the other three Kingdoms threw off the Pestilence. And because they were cowards, the rulers of the Kingdom of the West scared themselves and made themselves very ill and very poor instead. Then the Kingdom of the West said: ‘We will start a War with the Kingdom of the North because that is the Kingdom that is the closest to us. Then we will be able to take all their lands and all their money. And in that way we shall get back all the money we lost in our Pestilence and we will all be happy again’. So the Kingdom of the West found a little prince in the Kingdom of the North, whose country was next to the Kingdom of the West. And they paid him and all the rich people there lots of money and sent them lots of guns to fight against the very big Kingdom of the North.

And then the Kingdom of the West added, ‘To make sure we win, we will not buy any things from the Kingdom of the North any more and so they will have no money, but we will be richer and richer’. However, made blind by their love for themselves, the Kingdom of the West had not seen that the Kingdom of the North was much bigger, much richer and much stronger than it was. And as well as that, the Kingdom of the North was helped by the Kingdom of the East and the Kingdom of the South. And those two Kingdoms very much wanted all the things the Kingdom of the North had to sell. So the Kingdom of the North sold all its things to the Kingdom of the East and the Kingdom of the South and became rich. Then the Kingdom of the North conquered the little prince, making his rich people run away, and took all the money and the lands of the little prince and broke all the guns that the Kingdom of the West had sent him.

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Don’t piss off the German media. You can’t afford to.

Greece’s Slide Toward Authoritarianism (Spiegel)

Once again this summer, millions of Europeans were able to experience the pleasant side of Greece: the sun, the beaches and the hospitality. Greece is, with good reason, a favorite destination for holidaymakers in Europe. Which perhaps helps explain why governments in other European capitals seem happy to overlook the more unpleasant aspects of their EU partner. The European Commission and various courts have long been focused on the erosion of democracy in Hungary and Poland. But thus far, nobody in Brussels, Berlin or Paris has seemed particularly concerned that Greece, under the leadership of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has also been increasingly drifting toward autocracy.

Mitsotakis poses as a liberal reformer who has improved his country’s financial and economic prospects. But he isn’t quite as fond of talking about the countless legal violations that Greek civil servants have committed on his watch. In migration policy, especially, the Greek government has essentially abrogated international and European law. In the last two years, Greek security personnel have intercepted thousands of refugees and violently forced them to return to Turkey. They have also used other migrants as slaves to assist in these illegal pushbacks. In other instances, Greek officials have towed asylum-seekers out to sea and abandoned them on unsafe inflatable rafts. Almost never is a Greek official forced to answer for crimes committed on the country’s borders. What does frequently happen, by contrast, is that those who document such crimes come under intense pressure.

The NGO Josoor, for example, a group that has spent two-and-a-half years helping pushback victims, recently suspended operations after months of harassment by Greek agencies. Members of other aid groups have been persecuted as migrant smugglers. And DER SPIEGEL reporter Giorgos Christides has been vilified as a Turkish agent in pro-government Greek media outlets. After DER SPIEGEL published a report last week about Greek officials declining to provide any assistance to a five-year-old Syrian girl who lay dying on an island in the Evros River, which demarcates part of the Turkish-Greek border, the government in Athens eschewed any self-criticism. Instead, they assailed Christides for allegedly using illegal methods to establish contact with the victim’s parents. It is precisely this kind of guilt reversal that has become common practice in Athens.

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“Gorbachev’s spouse, Raisa, asserted the resulting deaths of 200 Armenian protestors in a crackdown ordered by Gorbachev left him tormented and never the same.”

How Mikhail Gorbachev Became the Most Reviled Man in Russia (CP)

[..] it was not only in the economic realm that Gorbachev’s reforms caused chaos. Liberated from decades of control from an overbearing state, Gorbachev’s perestroika untied the heretofore tightly wrapped package of nationalism that Lenin and Stalin previously contained. Nationalists in the republics came to hate Gorbachev for his attempt at retaining the USSR, even a democratized one with autonomous republics. Meanwhile, Great Russian chauvinists despised Gorbachev for letting the Soviet system unwind and failing to use state power to keep the empire intact. One notable exception on the latter was in Armenia, where protests were causing an uncontrolled opening of the Soviet border with Iran. Gorbachev’s spouse, Raisa, asserted the resulting deaths of 200 Armenian protestors in a crackdown ordered by Gorbachev left him tormented and never the same.


Yet, this limited use of force in Armenia was largely the exception to Gorbachev’s refusal to use violence against protestors. The Balts were also having none of Gorbachev’s attempts to reform the Soviet system. Gorbachev’s reforms gave them an opening to bolt for the exit, and they ran. Ukrainian, along with Russian, nationalists also awoke under Gorbachev. Many in the Russian and Ukrainian republics also backed independence from the USSR for economic reasons. Why? Russians assumed they were rich and were held back by parasite Soviet republics draining their wealth. Likewise, Ukrainians pitched independence as the road to milk and honey. Ukraine’s vast black earth belt and formidable industry in the Donbas surely would make it rich once liberated from the Soviet Union, so they thought.

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Walls closing in

 

 

 

 

Tucker Desmet

 

 


“Are you happy with the Chancellor’s work?” Find the trick.

 

 

Hanson Smollett

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 312022
 
 August 31, 2022  Posted by at 8:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Henri Matisse Bathers by a river 1909-16

 

UK Inflation May Top 22% Next Year – Goldman Sachs (RT)
Thousands Of UK Pubs ‘Face Closure’ Without Energy Bills Support (G.)
Greek PM: Resources Against Energy Hikes Not ‘Infinite’ (K.)
The Real Problem Is That Europe Doesn’t Have Any Energy Supplies (Every)
China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas To Europe (ZH)
Poland Warns Of EU ‘Implosion’ Over Ukraine Conflict (RT)
US Urges Shutdown Of Nuclear Plant Slated For IAEA Inspection (RT)
Ukraine Targets Possible IAEA Route To Zaporozhye – Local Official (RT)
EU Has No Alternative To Russian Energy – ex Saudi Aramco VP (RT)
Promised “Major Ukrainian Counter-attack” Ends In Disaster (Saker)
Ukraine & the Politics of Permanent War (Chris Hedges)
France Accuses Russia Of Using Gas As ‘Weapon Of War’ (RT)
The SCO: Half The World’s Population To Forge The New World Order (Trenin)
FBI Put The Hunter Biden Story Right In Facebook’s Lap (Devine)
Top FBI Agent Resigns Amid Claims He Shielded Hunter Biden From Probe (NYP)
Three Ways the Psychotic Covid Panic Narrative Was Created (DS)
Fauci’s Presence Is No Longer Politically Sustainable (CHD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dies suddenly

 

 

 

 

Soon the Debt Rattle will live up to its original name again.

UK Inflation May Top 22% Next Year – Goldman Sachs (RT)

Inflation in Britain could jump above 22% in 2023 if gas prices continue to grow, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing Goldman Sachs analysts. The bank’s economists estimate that if prices keep rising, the UK may be forced to hike its energy cap by a further 80% in January, which would in turn push inflation up to 22.4% and cause a 3.4% drop in the country’s GDP. Moreover, even if energy prices stabilize, analysts say the peak inflation rate will be around 14.8% in January, which is enough to plunge the country into a recession. According to Bloomberg, investors expect drastic measures from the Bank of England in the coming months to battle inflation, including a key rate hike of up to 4.25% from the current 1.75%. Goldman Sachs’ inflation forecast tops the previous one made last week by Citigroup, which expects inflation in the UK to surge to 18.6% next year, and the Bank of England’s expectation of 13%.

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“..Let’s not forget that for most licensees the pub is not just their business but also their family home.”

Thousands Of UK Pubs ‘Face Closure’ Without Energy Bills Support (G.)

Thousands of pubs face closure without urgent government support to soften the blow from soaring energy bills, the beer industry has said, putting jobs at risk in a sector still battling to recover from the Covid pandemic. The bosses of companies owning almost half of the UK’s 47,000 pubs said tenants were already giving notice because they could not cope with energy bills, which are due to rise more than fivefold in some cases. Unlike households, businesses do not benefit from a cap on what suppliers can charge for gas and electricity, leaving many firms facing oblivion without state intervention. In a letter to the government and the Conservative leadership candidates, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the British Beer and Pub Association said mass job losses were inevitable in the absence of help for an industry that employs 940,000 people.

Nick Mackenzie, the chief executive of the 3,100-strong pub chain Greene King, said the energy bill blow had come just as the sector was battling back from the ravages of the Covid-19 lockdowns, which hit hospitality particularly hard and left many with punishing debts. “While the government has introduced measures to help households cope with this spike in prices, businesses are having to face this alone, and it is only going to get worse come the autumn,” Mackenzie said. “Without immediate government intervention to support the sector, we could face the prospect of pubs being unable to pay their bills, jobs being lost and beloved locals across the country forced to close their doors, meaning all the good work done to keep pubs open during the pandemic could be wasted.” His counterpart at St Austell Brewery, Kevin Georgel, said thousands of pubs could be forced to call last orders for good.

Chris Jowsey, the chief executive of Admiral Taverns, said the impact was frightening. He said: “One of our licensees reluctantly gave notice to leave his pub after the cost of electricity increased by 450%, making it impossible to trade profitably. Let’s not forget that for most licensees the pub is not just their business but also their family home.”


“I got this electricity bill today, how in the name of God is this possible, we’re a small coffee shop in westmeath”

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Early warning: you’re on your own.

Greek PM: Resources Against Energy Hikes Not ‘Infinite’ (K.)

The Greek economy does not have “infinite” resources to keep offsetting the impact of skyrocketing energy prices, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told ministers on Tuesday, warning of a “tough” winter ahead. “Any steps we take will be measured so that temporary needs do not undermine national imperatives… If we have succeeded in supporting society so far, to the best of our ability, it is precisely because we exhaust the fiscal limits, without abolishing them,” the prime minister told a cabinet meeting at his office in Athens. The prime minister hailed the European Commission’s announcement on Monday that it intends to introduce a series of reforms to the energy market to contain runaway prices, but warned against delaying any such initiatives.


“Every day that passes without a joint approach to the energy crisis makes the problems for all Europeans grow,” said Mitsotakis, who had presented Brussels with list of such reform proposals earlier in the year. The energy crisis, added Mitsotakis, is a concerted assault against the West by Russia, which “is seeking to create social turmoil and political instability inside the countries opposing its plans by applying economic pressure.” He added that Greece is among the countries being targeted by Moscow for taking Ukraine’s side in Russia’s ongoing invasion. “Mr Putin is doing nothing to hide it, and neither is Mr Erdogan, who has publicly stated that he would like a different government in Athens,” Mitsotakis added, referring to Russian and Turkish presidents, respectively.

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“The brutal lesson is that neoliberalism is like a chocolate teapot..”

The Real Problem Is That Europe Doesn’t Have Any Energy Supplies (Every)

Of course, the real problem is that Europe doesn’t have any energy supplies to force state or private capital into – or at least not ones it is prepared to tap: indeed, Germany’s economy minister says the “bitter reality” is that Russia will not resume gas supply. Enjoy those stocks you have built up at huge expense, because there will be far less flow ahead. As such, what power source will the EU link electricity prices to? Solar panels, in winter when northern Europe’s energy requirements are at their highest? Burning the M&Ms that unicorns excrete? Underlining the point, Brent oil prices rose 4% to over $105 yesterday before retreating slightly (and wheat and corn went up 3-4% too, showing that central banks are still behind the curve on that front); Iraq slipped into chaos, with the US airlifting its personnel out of another Greater Middle East embassy(!); it was rumored OPEC+ may announce a production cut ahead; that the US might have to dip into its Strategic Petroleum Reserve even more – as if there can’t be a real crisis that demands its use ahead; and US Department of Defence spokesman Kirby warned he was concerned about the possibility of energy shortages ahead.

The brutal lesson is that neoliberalism is like a chocolate teapot – it looks amazingly sweet until things get ‘hot’, and then it serves no purpose at all. Yet industrial policy/corporatism/fascism/Common Prosperity also needs to be based on the real, and realpolitik, not the ideal. If the EU throws de facto MMT/printed money at energy subsidies within a neoliberal framework with no concrete, achievable plan for more energy supply (of what? From whom?) then it is simply going to drive global energy prices higher, many EM into the ground – some of whom are located close to Europe, EUR well through the parity floor, and inflation still into the sky. So let’s hope there is joined-up thinking behind their latest proposals. Relatedly, the title of today’s Daily, ‘The Power of the Powerless’ (which I have used before) addresses the energy situation in Europe, but was also the title of a political pamphlet by dissident Vaclav Havel against communist Czechoslovakia.

He argued the first step to bringing down the regime was for a powerless greengrocer not to place the state-backed sign saying, ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ in his window. If Europe (and others) had done the same with certain neoliberal-approved signs they arguably would not be in the critical mess they are in now. Finally, and also linked to the Daily title –as even the ECB agrees with me!– military reports are that a Ukrainian Kherson counter-offensive has begun. Market participants who have read any history will know that watching the success or failure on that key front will likely also be key to the global geopolitical and inflation outlook longer term. Far more so than most central bank warble, regardless of how much power they like to think they have.

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“.. the move was to “protect the legitimate business rights and interests of the relevant importers and exporters..”

China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas To Europe (ZH)

One month ago, we were surprised to read how, despite a suppressed appetite for energy amid its housing crash and economic downturn (for which “zero covid” has emerged as a convenient scapegoat for emperor Xi), China has been soaking up more Russian natural gas so far this year, while imports from most other sources declined. In July, the SCMP reported that according to Chinese customs data, in the first six months of the year, China bought a total of 2.35 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – valued at US$2.16 billion. The import volume increased by 28.7% year on year, with the value surging by 182%. It meant Russia has surpassed Indonesia and the United States to become China’s fourth-largest supplier of LNG so far this year!

This, of course, is not to be confused with pipeline gas, where Russian producer Gazprom recently announced that its daily supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline had reached a new all-time high (Russia is China’s second-largest pipeline natural gas supplier after Turkmenistan), and earlier revealed that the supply of Russian pipeline gas to China had increased by 63.4% in the first half of 2022. What was behind this bizarre surge in Russian LNG imports, analysts speculated? After all, while China imports over half of the natural gas it consumes, with around two-thirds in the form of LNG, demand this year had fallen sharply amid economic headwinds and widespread shutdowns. In other words, why the surge in Russian LNG when i) domestic demand is just not there and ii) at the expense of everyone else?

“The increase in Russian LNG could be a displacement of cargoes going to Japan or South Korea because of sanctions, or weaker demand there,” said Michal Meidan, director of the China Energy Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. One thing that was clear: China wanted to keep its arms-length gas dealing with Russia as unclear as possible, which is why the General Administration of Customs of China stopped publicizing the breakdown in trade volume for pipeline natural gas since the beginning of the year, with spokesman Li Kuiwen confirming that the move was to “protect the legitimate business rights and interests of the relevant importers and exporters”.

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Bet on it.

Poland Warns Of EU ‘Implosion’ Over Ukraine Conflict (RT)

A burgeoning divide within the EU on the Ukraine conflict could implode the bloc, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told French media on Monday. This is because certain member states would prefer to seek peace rather than sticking with Kiev until it prevails in its fight against Russia, the Polish leader said. Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper, Morawiecki indicated that Russia would endeavor to persuade the West to end the hostilities in Ukraine and get back to “business as usual,” taking advantage of divisions among EU members on the matter. “So yes, a threat of implosion exists. That is why it is so important to maintain a dialogue between us, to find compromises and a common denominator,” he said.

On Monday, Morawiecki met with French President Emmanuel Macron. According to the Polish prime minister, the two discussed the Ukraine conflict, how to “force Russian troops to withdraw,” as well as the EU’s economic woes. The Polish leader said he and Macron share a common vision for strengthening the bloc’s military capabilities. However, Morawiecki admitted that he and the French leader have a number of differences over Ukraine, saying that while they both believe that European unity should be defended, Macron would do better to talk less to Russian President Vladimir Putin and more to Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky. “My view is that Zelensky deserves all the French support, because he is fighting for the most important European values, for freedom, justice, sovereignty. He should be the main recipient of phone calls from the Elysee Palace,” Morawiecki noted.

He also said that if Poland held the rotating EU presidency, it would push for the seizing of Russian assets, which are now just frozen, because “this type of sanctions could really threaten Russia.” Morawiecki’s comments come after the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, admitted on Sunday that the bloc would encounter “major challenges” due to the anti-Russian sanctions that it slapped on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. Meanwhile, Politico reported on Monday that Germany and France had spoken against a full visa ban on Russian nationals, which has apparently frustrated some Russia hawks in the EU, who are calling for a stronger pushback against Moscow.

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Of course in an energy crisis, you shut down your biggest nuclear plant.

US Urges Shutdown Of Nuclear Plant Slated For IAEA Inspection (RT)

Senior US officials have urged a full shutdown of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control. A “controlled shutdown” of the facility “would be the safest and least risky option in the near-term,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told journalists on Monday. The same call came from an unnamed senior US defense official, who briefed journalists the same day. The power plant and the city of Energodar that hosts it have been under Russian control since March, though Ukrainian civilian workers continue to operate the facility. For several weeks now, the site has been under constant artillery and drone attacks. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of being behind the strikes.

Kiev has also claimed that Russian forces have used the Zaporozhye facility as a military base and have deployed heavy weapons there, which Moscow has denied. This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, is expected to visit the plant for an on-site inspection. The agency’s delegation will be led by its head, Rafael Grossi, and may arrive at the site as soon as Wednesday. The Soviet-built Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is the largest facility of its kind in Europe. It hosts six of Ukraine’s 15 power-generating reactors, which are spread across four plants. The facility reached its full capacity of over 6,000 MW for the first time in December 2021, when all of its VVER-1000 units became operational at the same time.

At the moment, only reactors five and six remain online. Despite hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, the Zaporozhye plant supplies power to parts of Ukraine controlled by both sides, according to the head of the Russia-allied administration of Zaporozhye Region, Vladimir Rogov. The Russian military suggested in mid-March that shutting down the reactors could become necessary due to Ukrainian attacks on the plant. Such a proposal was voiced by Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, who heads the unit of the Russian armed forces trained in dealing with the consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction, including radiation contamination.

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Surprise: Zelensky says it’s the Russians.

Ukraine Targets Possible IAEA Route To Zaporozhye – Local Official (RT)

Ukrainian forces are shelling a potential route of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission, which is set to examine the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant this week, local authorities claimed on Tuesday. Zaporozhye Region council member Vladimir Rogov told RIA Novosti that “Ukrainian nationalists are targeting locations that could be visited by the IAEA mission in Energodar,” where the plant is located. He added that “[Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s regime also started a military operation in the south of the country,” which raises concerns for the safety of the IAEA mission. Rogov also said Kiev’s forces have shelled the NPP’s resort house that could accommodate the IAEA delegation.

On Monday, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi announced that an expert group would visit the NPP this week to assess the damage sustained by the plant and check the safety and security systems. Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant has been under Russian control since March. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of attacking the plant, while warning that the shelling could trigger a disaster that would eclipse the Chernobyl incident. Kiev insists, however, that Russian forces are shelling the site while stationing military hardware there. On Sunday night, Ukrainian forces shelled Energodar, the city where the plant is located, local officials said.

They claimed that the attack, which injured nine people and deliberately hit a number of residential houses, was meant to torpedo the upcoming IAEA mission. “This provocation by Kiev-controlled militants is aimed at derailing the visit of the IAEA chief to the Zaporozhye NPP,” they said at the time. Also on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Kiev’s forces attempted a counter-offensive in Kherson in southern Ukraine, but “failed miserably.” The ministry went on to say that the Ukrainian army had attempted to attack in three directions, but made no gains and suffered “great losses,” which included dozens of tanks and armored fighting vehicles.

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“Russia may recover a lot sooner than Europe.”

EU Has No Alternative To Russian Energy – ex Saudi Aramco VP (RT)

There’s not enough capacity in the world to replace Russia’s gas supply to the European Union, while Moscow has plenty of markets to sell its energy to, the former executive vice president at Saudi Aramco, Sadad Al-Husseini, told CNBC on Monday. “The US doesn’t have the LNG capacity to replace Russia’s exports to Europe,” he said, noting that power bills across the EU are set to soar this winter. According to Al-Husseini, that could lead to serious problems on the global energy market. “This situation is a new world, and it’s not a very good one for energy,” he warned. “In any case, there isn’t enough LNG capacity in the world to make up for the Russian exports to Europe,” the former executive said, adding that, “It will take years for the EU to find resources to replace Russian supply.”


As regards to Moscow losing EU buyers, he noted that, despite Western sanctions, there are “plenty of alternative markets” for Russian energy, including China, Japan, or India. Meanwhile, Europe does not have alternative energy sources, he said, “while the US is maxed out already, North Africa has got problems,” and OPEC is also running out of spare capacity. “So, it’s a global problem,” he said. The official suggested that, while the Russian economy may suffer under Western sanctions, the rest of the world will be suffering with them. However, he stressed that “Russia may recover a lot sooner than Europe.”

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@imetatronink:
“• 48 tanks
• 83 armored vehicles
• ~1200 soldiers
A massacre.
This will be the final AFU “offensive” of the war.”

Surprise: Zelensky says it’s a big success.

Promised “Major Ukrainian Counter-attack” Ends In Disaster (Saker)

(machine translation) The Defense Ministry called the losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during the failed offensive of Ukraine near Kherson Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, as a result, the AFU units suffered heavy losses, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters. “Today, during the day, on the direct instructions of Zelensky, Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions in three directions. As a result of the active defense of the grouping of Russian troops, the AFU units suffered heavy losses,” TASS reports. The ministry added that “the enemy’s losses in manpower amounted to more than 560 servicemen, another attempt at offensive actions of the enemy failed miserably.”

According to the Defense Ministry, the Russian Armed Forces destroyed 26 Ukrainian tanks, 23 infantry fighting vehicles, nine other armored combat vehicles, shot down two Su-25 attack aircraft. Earlier on Monday, Deputy head of the administration of the Kherson region Kirill Stremousov said: the AFU has been shelling several settlements of the Kherson region since Sunday evening. Schools, social infrastructure were destroyed, residential buildings were damaged, the official confirmed. But there is no question of any APU offensive on Kherson, statements in the Ukrainian media – “this is some kind of illusion, a movie,” Stremousov pointed out.

As the head of the Kakhovsky district, Vladimir Leontiev, in turn, reported, the AFU inflicted more than 10 missile strikes on Novaya Kakhovka, including residential buildings and schools. Some strikes were carried out from HIMARS, residential buildings and a school were damaged, the head of the district said. Aviation, missile troops and artillery hit nine control points of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the day, including on the territory of the Mykolaiv region, the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, said on Monday.

‘Now is the time for Russian soldiers to flee’: Zelensky

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“Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating.”

Ukraine & the Politics of Permanent War (Chris Hedges)

No one, including the most bullish supporters of Ukraine, expect the nation’s war with Russia to end soon. The fighting has been reduced to artillery duels across hundreds of miles of front lines and creeping advances and retreats. Ukraine, like Afghanistan, will bleed for a very long time. This is by design. On Aug. 24, the Biden administration announced yet another massive military aid package to Ukraine worth nearly $3 billion. It will take months, and in some cases years, for this military equipment to reach Ukraine. In another sign that Washington assumes the conflict will be a long war of attrition it will give a name to the U.S. military assistance mission in Ukraine and make it a separate command overseen by a two- or three-star general.

Since August 2021, Biden has approved more than $8 billion in weapons transfers from existing stockpiles, known as drawdowns, to be shipped to Ukraine, which do not require congressional approval. Including humanitarian assistance, replenishing depleting U.S. weapons stocks and expanding U.S. troop presence in Europe, Congress has approved over $53.6 billion ($13.6 billion in March and a further $40.1 billion in May) since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. War takes precedence over the most serious existential threats we face. The proposed budget for the CDC in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion while the proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Our approved assistance to Ukraine is more than twice these amounts.

The militarists who have waged permanent war costing trillions of dollars over the past two decades have invested heavily in controlling the public narrative. The enemy, whether Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, is always the epitome of evil, the new Hitler. Those we support are always heroic defenders of liberty and democracy. Anyone who questions the righteousness of the cause is accused of being an agent of a foreign power and a traitor. The mass media cravenly disseminates these binary absurdities in 24-hour news cycles. Its news celebrities and experts, universally drawn from the intelligence community and military, rarely deviate from the approved script. Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating. Its goal: to keep billions of dollars flowing into the hands of the war industry and prevent the public from asking inconvenient questions.

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You put in the sanctions. That backfired. Well, you always know who to blame. Problem is, when people are cold and dark, they will look at you.

France Accuses Russia Of Using Gas As ‘Weapon Of War’ (RT)

French Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Tuesday accused Moscow of using its gas exports as a weapon after a reduction of Russian supplies to France was reported. “Very clearly Russia is using gas as a weapon of war and we must prepare for the worst case scenario of a complete interruption of supplies,” the minister told France Inter radio. EU governments are trying to fill up gas storages to avoid shortages during the fast-approaching heating season, and any supply shortfalls from Russia, which is still a large source of gas for the bloc, are met with increased worry.


Earlier on Tuesday, Le Figaro reported that, according to a press release from French energy supplier Engie, Russia’s Gazprom has cut gas supplies because of an unspecified contractual dispute. Furthermore, the Russian energy major is slated to halt supplies to the EU via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline due to maintenance from Wednesday to Friday. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday warned domestic companies that they would be the first to face energy rationing in the event of shortages of natural gas or electricity, and called on them to draft energy saving plans by September.

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Look at the future.

The SCO: Half The World’s Population To Forge The New World Order (Trenin)

Over 20 years after it began as an attempt at cooperation between five-Russian led post-Soviet states and an emerging China, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has become a major global institution, representing close to half of the world’s population. From September 15-16, Samarkand, one of the ancient centers of human civilization, will host the annual summit of the group. The Uzbek presidency’s priorities include strengthening the SCO’s capabilities in assuring regional security and stability; promoting friendship and good-neighborliness; raising its global profile; countering threats in the information and ideological spheres; expanding parliamentary links; energizing economic interaction; enhancing connectivity; intensifying cultural and humanitarian contacts; and raising the general effectiveness of the collective and its mechanisms.

All of this looks impressive, but quite anodyne, and the documents to be formally approved at the summit do not promise any major sensations – beyond the long-expected admission of Iran as the SCO’s ninth member state. Yet the environment in which the Samarkand summit will be held differs greatly even from last year’s gathering in Dushanbe. Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has led to a proxy war between Moscow and Washington. Meanwhile, Sino-US relations, already confrontational, have become palpably strained over the recent visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. sNATO’s new strategic concept adopted last June in Madrid describes Russia as the most significant and direct threat, and China – for the first time – as a challenge to Western interests, security and values. As a result, the international community has moved visibly closer to a Cold War-style division between two camps in an intensifying rivalry over the world order.

That said, the SCO is unlikely to become the non-West’s version of NATO. While the US-led bloc is now more united than ever in its effort to preserve the order built and developed in the heyday of its global dominance, non-Western nations do not display anything similar to that sort of unity, hierarchy, and internal discipline. Russia and China, although they both reject US global hegemony, pursue very different grand strategies and – despite their public declarations of a cooperation that “knows no limits,” and a partnership that is “more than an alliance” – are careful not to damage their other important connections – e.g., China’s with the US and EU; and Russia’s with India – as they cooperate with each other. Moreover, China and India, not to mention the latter and Pakistan, while all members of the SCO, view each other as major security threats.

Despite such diversity and complexity, however, the SCO, at the start of its third decade, is not only still in business, but is steadily getting more active and becoming more attractive to others. In 2001, it started at six; after 2017, the membership expanded to eight, with another 20 countries or so listed as observers, dialogue partners, or in the process of joining. Iran’s accession this year is spurring the interest of Turkey and a number of Arab countries, notably the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar. The SCO community could potentially include much of the Eurasian continent between Belarus and Cambodia. Such enlargement carries obvious risks in terms of even wider diversity of interest, conflict, and frictions between the countries that aspire to join. Yet, the example of China and Russia; India and Pakistan finding the SCO useful to their interests is a convincing argument for accession.

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“..how did the FBI know about our story weeks before it was published, maybe even before we were told about the laptop by Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello?”

FBI Put The Hunter Biden Story Right In Facebook’s Lap (Devine)

Since our story had nothing to do with Russian disinformation, what made Facebook think it was the “dump” the FBI warned them about? We asked Facebook: “Was there mention made in the FBI briefing of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Ukraine or a laptop?” Facebook’s answer was curious. “The FBI shared general warnings about foreign interference — nothing specific about Hunter Biden.” Note the omissions. Whatever was said, the briefing must have been specific enough for Facebook to recognize immediately that our story was exactly what the FBI was warning about and move at record speed to throttle it.

At 11:10 a.m. the morning the story went live, Democratic operative Andy Stone, Facebook’s communications manager, issued a statement on Twitter announcing “we are reducing its distribution on our platform” while the story is “fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners.” All morning the bombshell story had been the subject of frenetic commentary from journalists on twitter. But Stone’s announcement killed it stone dead. Twitter followed Facebook’s lead and locked The Post’s account for two weeks. Mission accomplished. Polls show that the outcome of the election may have been different if the story had not been censored.

[..] the question is, how did the FBI know about our story weeks before it was published, maybe even before we were told about the laptop by Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello? Were they spying on John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the Delaware Mac repair shop where Hunter had abandoned his laptop in April 2019? Mac Isaac believed he was under surveillance after he first contacted the FBI on October 9, 2019, via his father, to tell them he had the laptop and was concerned about evidence of crimes he believed it contained. The FBI’s response was oddly hostile. sWhat followed was a curious visit to his Delaware home by FBI agents Mike DeMeo and Joshua Wilson of the FBI’s Baltimore office a month later, and again to his store on December 9, this time with a subpoena for Hunter’s water-damaged laptop and a hard drive clone of its contents which Mac Isaac had made.

[..] We don’t know whether Mac Isaac was under FBI surveillance. But we don’t have to speculate about Rudy Giuliani. We know the FBI spied on the former mayor’s cloud for two years from May, 2019, a month after he began working as then president Donald Trump’s personal attorney. A year after raiding Giuliani’s Upper East Side apartment last April, ostensibly over FARA violations, the FBI returned all his devices, without charging him, and told the New York Times he was no longer under investigation. So the FBI had access to all Giuliani’s emails and iMessages for two years. Were they spying on Giuliani in order to spy on Trump? Unfortunately for them, Trump rarely writes emails or texts so they came up empty there. But it is possible that they saw the email to Giuliani from his lawyer Bob Costello at 4.28 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2020, telling him of Mac Isaac’s “amazing discovery.”

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Instrumental in Russiagate, too.

Top FBI Agent Resigns Amid Claims He Shielded Hunter Biden From Probe (NYP)

A top FBI agent at the Washington field office reportedly resigned from his post last week after facing intense scrutiny over allegations he helped shield Hunter Biden from criminal investigations into his laptop and business dealings. Timothy Thibault, an FBI assistant special agent in charge, was allegedly forced out after he was accused of political bias in his handling of probes involving President Biden’s son, sources told the Washington Times on Monday. The agent was escorted out of the field office by at least two “headquarters-looking types” last Friday, the sources said. Thibault, a 25-year-veteran, had already been on leave for a month after the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), started raising concerns about whistleblower claims the FBI had obstructed its own investigations into the first son.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray in July, Grassley said Thibault and FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten were allegedly involved in “a scheme” to “undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.” Thibault also allegedly tried to kill off a valid avenue of investigation of possible Hunter Biden criminality up until at least one month before the Nov. 2020 election, according to Grassley. “Thibault allegedly ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason as required by FBI guidelines…. [and] subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future,” Grassley wrote. It was the same month The Post first started reporting on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which included troves of emails related to his shady overseas business dealings.

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“..we counted 14 different ways of attributing deaths to COVID-19..”

Three Ways the Psychotic Covid Panic Narrative Was Created (DS)

Throughout restrictions which Lord Sumption called a “catastrophe”, we were exposed to the mantra of ‘follow the science’. But unfortunately, the only ‘science’ that seems to have been followed in the major decisions is that of modellers and government departments. Models are akin to opinions. If they are science, the evidence they provide sits on the lowest rung of the ladder. Modellers are accountable to no one; most have never seen a patient in their lives as they have no clinical background, which impedes their understanding of how people behave. Individuals are not herds of buffalos. Some modellers have a consistent track record of getting their predictions dramatically wrong with (again) catastrophic consequences.

Since the start, we have looked at the evidence underpinning the fear-generating narrative pushed by the Government, some politicians, the media and many Twitterati, who overnight forgot the principles of scientific investigation, equipoise or uncertainty and the work of many pioneers in respiratory virus epidemiology spanning a century. The psychotic narrative rests on three legs of what we call the Covid narrative stool. The first leg is the number of cases. We have shown that misuse of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based on a superficial understanding amplified the number of ‘cases’ as many of these were not likely to be infectious at all. The second leg was the hospital pressure theme. Here using data which should have been available (but are not), we have shown that up to 40% of hospital cases were infected while in hospital, a phenomenon which shows no sign of abating. The data from three devolved nations and our interpretation have been serialised on our website.

Finally deaths. A death in epidemiology is the one inevitable outcome you can observe and tally. The question is: what caused it? This is called attribution. Looking at the data from freedom of information requests made by an alert public and the response at times by patronising authorities, we counted 14 different ways of attributing deaths to COVID-19. The first prize for the most bizarre was the Care Quality Commission’s: it left it to the care provider to decide the cause of death. So it is possible that administrators decided what role SARS-CoV-2 played in your grandmother’s death. In one health authority’s case, deaths of people who tested ‘negative’ were rolled into the Covid total.

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“..even if he was “only right five percent of the time,” it still means “we were lied to five percent of the time.”

Fauci’s Presence Is No Longer Politically Sustainable (CHD)

While Dr. Anthony Fauci claims he’s stepping down to “pursue the next chapter” of his career, an attorney who has been pursuing legal accountability for Fauci’s actions believes it’s because “his presence is no longer politically sustainable.” Fauci announced on Aug. 22 that he is stepping down from his positions as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Laboratory of Immunoregulation and as chief medical adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden. “The huge pop we are all hearing is the global opening of champagne bottles celebrating Fauci’s departure,” attorney Thomas Renz told The Epoch Times.

Renz is the lead attorney in several major cases brought against the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Biden administration and Fauci himself; regarding forced vaccine mandates, the COVID-19 lockdowns, mask mandates, business closures, alleged hospital negligence, vaccine injuries to military personnel and civilians and efforts to censor the truth about COVID-19. While his assertions have been dismissed as “false,” “rich in conspiracy theory” and “based on faulty data due to a database glitch,” Renz responded to critics that even if he was “only right five percent of the time,” it still means “we were lied to five percent of the time.”

According to Renz, the whole COVID-19 playbook used by the government and the liberal media to force compliance of restrictive protocols is filled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies. While Fauci demanded the use of masks and social distancing because these measures were supposed to prevent the spread of the virus, numerous studies and scientists say otherwise. The CDC admitted in August 2020 that “sustaining social distancing interventions over several months might not be feasible economically and socially.” Fauci himself has flip-flopped numerous times on the effectiveness of wearing masks. Democrat politicians who imposed mask mandates, lockdowns, quarantines and rules barring indoor personal-care services were frequently caught doing precisely what they forbade others to do.

UK Funeral Director John O’Looney

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The very first Calvin and Hobbes.

 

 

Biden WMD

 

 

 

 

Tucker Carlson – This isn’t bad policy; this is nuts

 

 

Kagu

 

 

Flying fox young bats ride clinging to their mother’s breast with their mouth, even though some young are two-thirds the weight of their mothers & quite capable of flying on their own. Photo: Hemant Kumar.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 292022
 
 August 29, 2022  Posted by at 8:38 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  72 Responses »


Samuel Peploe Beach scene 1907

 

Wave Of European Ammonia Plant Closures To Exacerbate Food Crisis (ZH)
Russia Can Afford Complete Halt In Gas Supplies To Europe – Bloomberg (RT)
Hungary Says It ‘Won’t Even Negotiate’ Energy Sanctions On Russia (RT)
The Real World Consequences Of Europe’s Coming Energy Crisis (ZH)
You Have No Idea How Bad Europe’s Energy Crisis Is (FP)
Germany Vows To Support Ukraine ‘For Years’ (RT)
Britain’s Financial Support For Ukraine To Run Out By New Year – Times (RT)
50,000 Ukrainian Refugees Face Homelessness In UK (RT)
Putin Is Trapped And Desperate. Will His Friends In The West Rescue Him? (G.)
IAEA Assembles Team For Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)
Ukraine Relying On US-developed Blueprint To Fight Russia – CNN (RT)
EU To Suspend Visa Deal With Russia – FT (RT)
New York Times Calls For Merrick Garland To Indict Donald Trump (PM)
Mar-a-Lago Affidavit Reveals The Government Has No Case Against Trump (Brock)
The Truth About Lockdown (Lord Sumption)
Latest Covid Booster Shots To Be Released Without Human Testing (NYP)

 

 

 

 

Covid theater

 

 

 

 

Dark Brandon

 

 


Situation under control

 

 

Ages of companies:

Twitter: 16 years
Facebook: 18 years
Tesla: 19 years
Google: 24 years
Netflix: 25 years
Amazon: 28 years
Apple: 46 years
Microsoft: 47 years
Sony: 76 years
Samsung: 84 years
Boeing: 106 years
IBM: 111 years
Nintendo: 133 years
Nokia: 157 years

 

 

 

 

If you were doubting they are creating a “you have nothing” society that needs to be built back better, then ask yourself why Europe doesn’t support its fertilizer industry. The consequences are clear enough. And sure, there’s the nitrogen narrative. But closing down both farmers and ammonia plants will lead to a civil war of sorts. Your leaders think they can win that. I’m not so sure.

Wave Of European Ammonia Plant Closures To Exacerbate Food Crisis (ZH)

A wave of European ammonia-plant shutdowns due to soaring natural gas prices has resulted in a devastating fertilizer crunch, worsening by the week, with as much as 70% of production offline. “Ammonia prices, though volatile, rose 15% in 3Q and could climb higher as Europe’s record gas prices curtail output and send ammonia producers to the global market in search of replacement supplies to run upgrade facilities — with winter still around the corner,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s Alexis Maxwell wrote in a note. As of Friday, 70% of capacity is offline across the continent, according to Fertilizers Europe, representing top regional producers.

“The current crisis begs for a swift and decisive action from EU and national policymakers for both energy and fertilizer market,” Jacob Hansen, director general of Fertilizers Europe, said in a statement.” Producers from Norway’s Yara International ASA to CF Industries to Borealis AG recently reduced or halted production because European NatGas prices hit a record high of 343 euros per megawatt hour, making it uneconomical to operate. “We confirm we are reducing and stopping production of some fertilizer plants in the different EU sites and this for economic reasons,” a spokesperson for Borealis AG said.”

Europe’s benchmark NatGas price soared nearly a third this week as Russian supplies to Europe via Nord Stream 1 pipeline have been reduced to 20% over the summer and face a temporary halt on Aug. 31 for three days. The region’s fertilizer industry association warned the energy crisis is rippling across many industries and could heavily impact the food industry. “We are extremely concerned that as prices of natural gas keep increasing, more plants in Europe will be forced to close. “This will switch the EU from being a key exporter to an importer, putting more pressure on fertilizer prices and consequently affecting the next planting season,” said Maximo Torero, chief economist at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Stop the sanctions, negotiate for peace, and you can have all the oil you want. Blaming this on Russia is just a stupid story.

Russia Can Afford Complete Halt In Gas Supplies To Europe – Bloomberg (RT)

Russia can shut down its natural gas exports to Europe entirely for more than a year, without inflicting significant damage on the national economy, Bloomberg has reported, citing strategists at Capital Economics. In light of the current price situation, Russia’s “balance of payments is in such a strong position that, if oil prices and oil exports remain at current levels, Russia could keep gas exports to Europe at 20% of normal levels for at least three years,” analysts at the consultancy said in a note seen by the agency. A year-long supply cut-off by Russia could happen “without adverse consequences for its economy,” Liam Peach, one of the economists at Capital Economic said. sAccording to Peach, despite reduced volumes, Russia’s quarterly earnings generated by gas exports could amount to $20 billion.


“Whether or not Russia turns off the taps completely will be a political decision and the length of any cut-off would depend on the size of offsetting oil revenues,” Peach said. Several European leaders have repeatedly accused Moscow of using gas as a weapon of political pressure, with the Kremlin rejecting the allegation. The latest technical problems with Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a key gas route from Russia to Europe, prompted Gazprom to slash deliveries, sending prices skyrocketing. Another major test for the market is expected to arise next week, when the energy giant halts gas flows through Nord Stream 1 for three days due for maintenance work, starting on August 31.

Chomsky Unprovoked

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Waiting for the next country to “fall out of line”. Not much time left.

Hungary Says It ‘Won’t Even Negotiate’ Energy Sanctions On Russia (RT)

Budapest refuses to negotiate any further EU restrictions targeting Russian energy because there is no current alternative to supplies from Moscow, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Saturday. The EU has slapped several rounds of sanctions on Moscow in response to the conflict in Ukraine, and is pushing for a complete phasing-out of energy supplies from Russia. “We’re not even willing to negotiate any sanctions on energy, be it oil or gas,” Szijjarto said at an economic forum in Tihany, adding that “the courage of the Hungarian government” has helped Budapest to withstand pressure from Brussels.


“There is no security of energy supply to Europe without using Russian sources,” Szijjarto stated, arguing that Russian gas cannot be replaced in the foreseeable future. The foreign minister added that the “largely misguided sanctions response” to Russia’s military campaign is one of the factors driving up inflation and contributing to a global recession.Hungary, whose economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas from Russia, was exempted from an EU-wide ban on Russian crude in May. The bloc banned the import of oil by sea, but Hungary continues to receive the commodity via a pipeline. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said last month that Europe has “shot itself in the lungs”with its ill-considered sanctions against Russia.

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“..the European people are being positioned to face the consequences while being told there will be no consequences..”

The Real World Consequences Of Europe’s Coming Energy Crisis (ZH)

The IEA is an institution that is hostile to carbon based energy and industries and calls for the end of all carbon emissions by 2050. This is why none of their bullet points from March that have been attempted have worked; because they aren’t designed to work, only promote further carbon controls while harming global power generation in the process. There are currently no practical replacements for oil, coal and natural gas; none. Especially not in a reasonable time frame that would spare Europeans from a full blown disaster. The only way green technology would be able to provide enough energy for the world’s populations would be if the human population was greatly reduced. Europe’s energy crisis actually helps the IEA agenda, just as it helps the UN and WEF climate agendas. But what about all the people that will suffer in the meantime?

Expect to see extensive energy rationing this winter in the EU. Around 80% of all EU natural gas is imported and Russia’s natural gas exports make up around 40% of Europe’s heating and electricity. With Russia now reducing exports down to 20% of their original levels, there is zero chance that the EU will be able to maintain their normal energy usage. Supply-side shortages will mean a price explosion going into winter as demand increases. Prices have the potential to double (or more) by the beginning of 2023. European governments will likely prioritize heating for public homes over energy for industry; they will do this to prevent civil unrest, as some government officials are already warning about. There is a chance that EU industry will be hobbled as energy supplies are rerouted for public consumption. We have seen something similar to this in China this year as their drought conditions worsen.

Civil unrest will probably happen anyway. Climate restrictions, green energy rules on carbon emissions and other ludicrous measures are making it impossible for Europeans to adapt to crisis events. Prices will be high, and price caps won’t help with supply shortages. When people start to freeze, there will be anger and desperation. The only legitimate short term solution to prevent a historic energy calamity in the EU this winter would be to remove sanctions on Russia. But, NATO has made it clear that this will not happen. So, the European people are being positioned to face the consequences while being told there will be no consequences. And, when the pain starts to hit, they will be told that it’s all for the “greater good.”

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Actually, we do.

You Have No Idea How Bad Europe’s Energy Crisis Is (FP)

Normally, Europe can refill its gas storage during the summer and coast in the winter, when usage is higher. Now, with colder months looming and Russia’s tightening chokehold on natural gas flows, Europe has been locked in a race against time to fill its tanks, which leaders have stocked by paying eye-watering prices. So far, experts said, European nations have been largely on track with their plans—but that doesn’t mean that they will be out of the woods come winter. In the winter, Europe typically “uses a lot of what it has in storage while, at the same time, importing lots of gas from other sources,” Munton said. “It needs both. But as we think about this winter, there is a very real threat that there won’t be any Russian gas at all.” In normal times, Russian gas supplies about 40 percent of European imports.

Without Russia’s supply in the winter, Munton added, European nations will be forced to rely on imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) even more from suppliers such as the United States. The problem is that Asia—a larger LNG market—is also vying for the same supplies, which means prices are always going to be higher than old piped gas from the East. “That’s really the crisis that Europe and the world confronts,” he added. As Europe abandons Moscow’s energy supply, many leaders have rushed to secure alternative deals and supplies with other countries. Italy has secured more gas from Algeria while other nations have turned to Azerbaijan, Norway, and Qatar.

Germany has also expressed its hopes for a new LNG deal with Canada, which in turn has been considerably less optimistic. Others have invested considerably more into LNG infrastructure, with Germany racing to build five floating LNG terminals and the Netherlands, Finland, and Italy all preparing for more floating units to import gas. But in the immediate future, energy experts said there is only so much that countries can do to shore up their supplies. “There’s a limit to what you can do in the near term to bring additional supplies into Europe because there’s only so much LNG in the world,” said Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and a former special assistant to former U.S. President Barack Obama.

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The 10-year war scenario. Question: will Putin tolerate that? I don’t see it.

Germany Vows To Support Ukraine ‘For Years’ (RT)

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia could “could go on for years”, but Berlin will keep supporting Kiev all the way, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. “Unfortunately, we have to assume that Ukraine will still need new heavy weapons from its friends next summer,” Baerbock told the Bild tabloid on Sunday. “Ukraine is also defending our freedom, our peace,” the minister said, adding that Berlin will support Kiev “financially and militarily — and for as long as it is necessary, full stop!” Baerbock’s pledge comes despite her admission earlier this week that Germany’s military is facing an “absolute deficit” of hardware, due to arms shipments to Ukraine. Berlin has so far supplied artillery pieces, shoulder-fired rockets and anti-aircraft self-propelled guns to Ukraine.


Nevertheless, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has faced criticism throughout the six months of the conflict, for his apparent reluctance to send more sophisticated weaponry to Kiev. Baerbock said on Wednesday that Germany’s Iris-T anti-aircraft missile system will be sent to Ukraine in the coming weeks, and that more deliveries should be expected by the end of the year. In her interview with Bild, the diplomat pledged to “cushion the social imbalances resulting from high energy prices” in Germany, caused by a drop in deliveries of Russian gas to Europe, amid sanctions against Moscow. Baerbock also defended Ukraine’s claim to Crimea, which overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a referendum in 2014. “Crimea also belongs to Ukraine. The world has never recognized the annexation of 2014, which was against international law,” the Green party politician claimed.

Lord Dannatt

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Oh-oh.

Britain’s Financial Support For Ukraine To Run Out By New Year – Times (RT)

The UK’s financial support for Ukraine’s military will run dry by the end of the year, a Defense Ministry source has told the Sunday Times. London has already given Kiev more than £2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) in military aid, but whoever leads the country next will have to deal with strained public finances and declining public enthusiasm for a protracted conflict. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Kiev last week, where he announced a new package of military aid to Ukraine worth £54 million ($63 million), on top of the £2.3 billion committed by the UK since Russia’s military operation began in February. Johnson promised to support Kiev’s military for “however long it takes,” and his likely successor, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, is known for her even more hawkish stance toward Russia.


“The reality, as one Ministry of Defence source acknowledged, is that the UK’s financial contribution to the war effort will have dried up by the end of the year,” the Sunday Times article noted. “This means that the new prime minister will very soon face the question of whether to commit billions of pounds of additional support at a time when the public finances are under intense strain.” Britain is currently grappling with soaring inflation – predicted to hit 18% in early 2023 – and record fuel prices. Driven by market forces, supply disruption due to the conflict in Ukraine, and Britain’s decision to cut off its energy imports from Russia, much of this price hike is being passed on to consumers, with energy regulator Ofgem raising the energy price cap on Friday by 80%. This move will see the average household pay more than £3,500 per year in energy bills.

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Victims of failed western policies.

50,000 Ukrainian Refugees Face Homelessness In UK (RT)

Some 50,000 Ukrainians could be homeless in the UK next year, as the government’s scheme to match refugees with British families breaks down, The Guardian reported on Sunday. With the cost of living spiraling, the opposition wants the government to boost payments to host families. Analysis by the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and children’s charity Barnardos found that, based on feedback from British hosts, between 15,000 and 21,000 Ukrainians could be homeless by the winter, rising to more than 50,000 by mid-2023, the newspaper reported. To date, 83,900 refugees have arrived in the UK since March under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, under which British households are paid £350 ($411) per month to house refugees for six months.

However, as of earlier this month, 1,330 Ukrainian households in England – 385 single refugees and 945 families with children – have left the scheme and are now homeless. It is unclear why these matches did not work out, but campaigners told The Guardian that some hosts signed up enthusiastically without understanding “the implications and consequences of this sort of responsibility,”while others are finding that due to the rising cost of living in the UK, £350 per month is no longer sufficient to support new additions to the household. A further wave of homelessness is expected from September onwards, when most of the six-month sponsorship agreements expire.

Minister of State for Refugees Lord Harrington has lobbied the Treasury to double monthly payments for those who can host refugees for more than six months, but the government has given no indication that it will act on his recommendations, and Harrington has taken to pleading with British households to join the scheme. However, while some of the activists who spoke to The Guardian said the impending crisis could be averted with more financial support from the government, a majority of sponsors aren’t motivated by money. According to a recent government survey, only a quarter of those quitting the scheme after six months said they were doing so because they could no longer afford to take part, and just four in ten said that more money would encourage them to extend their participation. A majority (58%) said they only ever intended to provide short-term accommodation. sYet Ukrainian refugees arriving in Britain under the scheme have been given visas for three years.

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Simon Tisdall in the Guardian. Does he really see things this way?

Putin Is Trapped And Desperate. Will His Friends In The West Rescue Him? (G.)

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” So wrote American author Henry David Thoreau in 1854. It’s a fate that is rapidly overtaking Vladimir Putin as he struggles to escape the disastrous trap he set for himself in Ukraine. Russia’s president keeps understandably schtum about his “special military operation”. But indefinite stalemate is not what he expected. He didn’t expect car bombs in Moscow and humiliating attacks on fortress Crimea, either. Least of all did Putin anticipate 80,000 Russian soldiers dead or wounded. Dying with them is his Peter the Great pipe dream of a “greater Russia”. Extinct already is his reputation as anything other than a killer and a crook. An endless military quagmire is not a scenario Putin can afford as slow-burn western sanctions corrode his economy and his military’s manpower and materiel are steadily depleted.

So what are his options? He could declare a specious victory, claim the Nato “threat” is neutralised and propose a settlement recognising Russia’s annexation of occupied areas. But he surely knows Kyiv will never willingly accept such terms. He could gamble on a huge battlefield escalation, for example, using Belarus to open a second front north of Kyiv – the region he failed to overrun in February. But it’s uncertain his generals have the capability or the stomach. He certainly dare not retreat. So as pressure on him grows to produce a breakthrough, Putin may well decide his best option is to raise the cost of the war to Ukraine’s backers – and undermine Kyiv’s resistance that way. In fact, he has already begun. It’s telling that British, French and German leaders all proclaimed long-term support for Ukraine last week. They know Putin is betting they will buckle.

The context is rising anxiety over Europe’s energy and cost of living crises, largely caused by the invasion and Kremlin cuts to gas supplies. The winter fallout from this coldest of cold wars could prove paralysing. Yet Putin may just be getting started. He has many means by which to undermine western unity and staying power. Europe is littered with easily exploited potential flashpoints and geopolitical faultlines bequeathed from Soviet times. Likewise, Russia has surprising numbers of allies and sympathisers scattered across a politically fractured European landscape. So will Putin’s friends in the west help rescue the beast from the east? Belarus’s Alexander Lukashenko is already in Putin’s pocket. Moscow ensured the dictator survived after his theft of the 2020 presidential election provoked nationwide protests. Lukashenko will do as he’s told.

Inside the EU, Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s prime minister, is seen as Putin’s Trojan horse. Like many on Europe’s far right, Orbán admires his intolerant nationalist ideology and shares his racist, homophobic outlook. He has repeatedly obstructed EU sanctions. Last month he cut a unilateral gas deal with the Kremlin. Orbán plainly cannot be trusted.

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Imagine the pressure on these people.

IAEA Assembles Team For Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)

The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has cobbled together a team of independent experts to visit Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is now under Russia’s control, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The plant and the nearby city of Energodar have been repeatedly shelled by Kiev’s forces in recent weeks. According to the outlet, the members of the delegation include Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA chief, and 13 other experts from “mostly neutral countries.” The report also reveals that neither the US nor Britain have any representatives on the team, given that Russia had dismissed those countries as “unfairly biased” over their support for the government in Kiev.

The NYT report says the IAEA mission includes experts from Poland and Lithuania, countries that support Ukraine, but also others from Serbia and China, which have much warmer relations with Russia. A number of delegation members also come from Albania, France, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, and North Macedonia. The goal of the mission, according to Grossi, is to see what exactly is happening at the plant, inspect its integrity, speak to both Russian and Ukrainian staff there, and establish a permanent presence on the ground. The move follows a phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron last week, during which the two leaders agreed on dispatching an international mission to the area “as soon as possible.”

The team will apparently travel on terms arranged by Ukraine and the United Nations, which means the experts will arrive at Zaporozhye via territory currently controlled by Kiev’s forces. Moscow had previously insisted that such a mission should arrive only via Russian-controlled territory. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of attacking the nuclear plant, while warning that the shelling could trigger a disaster that would eclipse the 1986 Chernobyl incident. At the same time, Kiev insists that it is Russian forces who are shelling the site while stationing military hardware there.

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When will Russia take out the offices of Ukraine intelligence?

Ukraine Relying On US-developed Blueprint To Fight Russia – CNN (RT)

During its conflict with Russia, Ukraine has been relying on a US-developed doctrine that involves both the military and civilians taking part in defensive activities, CNN reported on Saturday. The Resistance Operating Concept (ROC), which is said to provide a blueprint for smaller states to counter larger powers, was developed in 2013 in response to Russia’s conflict with Georgia in 2008. It was further enhanced after Crimea’s “nearly bloodless” reunification with Moscow in 2014, which “stunned Ukraine and the West,” CNN said. The ROC represents “an innovative and unconventional approach to warfare and total defense,” and guides the actions not only of the Ukrainian military, but also the civilian population.

“It’s all hands on deck in terms of the comprehensive defense for the government of Ukraine,” explained retired Lt. Gen. Mark Schwartz, who was in charge of Special Operations Command Europe during the development of the concept. “They’re using every resource and they’re also using some highly unconventional means by which to disrupt the Russian Federation military.” Schwartz said it was “just incredible to watch… despite the unbelievable loss of life and sacrifice, what the will to resist and the resolve to resist can do.” Explosions at Russia’s military facilities in Crimea – far from the front line in Donbass – earlier in August were signs that the ROC had been in play, claimed Kevin D. Stringer, a retired army colonel who led the development team for the concept.

Kiev never officially confirmed its involvement in the incidents, but CNN said it saw a Ukrainian government report confirming that it was behind them. Russia said the blasts at its Saki airfield in western Crimea were the result of an accident, while an ammunition depot in the north of the peninsula had been targeted in an “act of sabotage.” “Since you can’t do it conventionally, you would use special operations forces, and those [forces] would need resistance support – intelligence, resources, logistics – in order to access these regions,” Stringer said, explaining the alleged actions by Kiev. Civilian resistance under the ROC includes nonviolent actions such as boycotting public events, labor strikes, and even using satire and jokes as means of resistance. Violent actions, like using Molotov cocktails, arson and putting chemicals in gas tanks to sabotage enemy vehicles, are also part of the concept.

Generally, the doctrine calls for a major PR campaign to control the narrative of the conflict, preventing the dissemination of the other side’s message, and keeping the population united. Video footage showing destroyed Russian hardware and edited to catchy tunes forms part of the strategy, along with clips of Ukrainian troops rescuing stray animals, and daily addresses by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky – “whether intentional or not,” CNN claimed. At least 15 countries have taken part in some form of training on the Pentagon’s resistance doctrine over the past decade, Nicole Kirschmann, a spokeswoman for Special Operations Command Europe, revealed. The program isn’t universal. It’s being tailored in accordance with each country’s population, resources and terrain. CNN’s report mentioned Estonia, Lithuania and Poland as nations that have expressed enthusiasm for the ROC.

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“The Kremlin also expressed hope at the time that “common sense” would eventually prevail.”

EU To Suspend Visa Deal With Russia – FT (RT)

EU foreign ministers plan to back a suspension of the 2007 EU-Russia visa facilitation deal at a two-day meeting in Prague, next week, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing three officials familiar with the matter. In response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, several member states have actively been lobbying for either a ban or heavy restrictions on the number of Russian citizens entering the bloc. “It is inappropriate for Russian tourists to stroll in our cities, on our marinas,” a senior EU official told the newspaper. “We have to send a signal to the Russian population that this war is not OK, it is not acceptable.” The suspension of the agreement would make the process of applying for all EU visas more complicated and expensive, as well as increasing waiting times.


“We are in an exceptional situation and it requires exceptional steps. We want to go beyond suspending the visa facilitation,” an EU official was quoted as saying. The official stated that additional restrictions could be adopted by the end of the year, according to the FT. Countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia have already stopped issuing visas to Russian citizens. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said this week that Russian tourists pose a security threat to the country, and that a travel ban could incentivize some Russians to “pressure” the Kremlin. Others, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell, spoke out against a full ban on Russian travelers. They argued that the bloc should not punish ordinary Russians for the actions of their government. Moscow blasted the proposed measures as “flagrant nationalism” and xenophobia. The Kremlin also expressed hope at the time that “common sense” would eventually prevail.

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“..January 6 Committee, which hauled witnesses before the cameras to give hearsay testimony.”

New York Times Calls For Merrick Garland To Indict Donald Trump (PM)

The New York Times Editorial Board has called for the Biden administration’s Department of Justice to prosecute former President Donald Trump. The crimes of which he’s accused have not yet been fully elucidated, due to a heavily redacted affidavit, provided under duress by the DOJ to explain why a search warrant was approved for an FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. The Times asserts that the “nation has been transfixed” by the overly produced, prime time hearings of the essentially partisan, Democrat-run January 6 Committee, which hauled witnesses before the cameras to give hearsay testimony.

The DOJ’s seeking of a search warrant to raid Trump’s home was not connected to any charges that may be brought by that Committee. The DOJ is seeking criminal charges against the former president for how he handled documents, while the January 6 Committee is searching for evidence that Trump was involved in planning the riot at the Capitol that occurred on that day in 2021 The Times asserts that there is no question as whether or not Trump spurred on an angry mob to enter the Capitol, saying that “When all else failed,” in his political redress to seek potential election improprieties, “he roused an armed mob that stormed the Capitol and threatened lawmakers.”

The results of the January 6 Committee, they say, is that “Mr. Trump must have known he was at the center of a frantic, sprawling and knowingly fraudulent effort that led directly to the Capitol siege. For hours, Mr. Trump refused to call off the mob.” They further encourage Attorney General Merrick Garland to seek an indictment against Trump, saying “If Attorney General Merrick Garland and his staff conclude that there is sufficient evidence to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt on a serious charge in a court of law, then they must seek an indictment too.” What the Times asserts is that “If Mr. Garland decides to pursue prosecution, a message that the Justice Department must send early and often is that even if Mr. Trump genuinely believed, as he claimed, that the election had been marred by fraud, his schemes to interfere in the certification of the vote would still be crimes.

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Kevin R. Brock is a former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

Mar-a-Lago Affidavit Reveals The Government Has No Case Against Trump (Brock)

When two dozen or more FBI agents searched former President Trump’s residence three weeks ago, most Americans initially were left wondering what in the world must Trump have done. After all, a prodigious FBI search logically indicates an equally prodigious violation of some federal statute; therefore, it must be really serious. One former Department of Justice (DOJ) official told Politico that the evidence sought “was likely so pulverizing in its force” that it would “eviscerate” the possibility of the optics for such an invasive law enforcement action not being good. Well, it’s now pretty official: The optics aren’t good. Everyone in America, from plumber to president, is constitutionally protected from a government search that lacks adequate cause.

We now know why the DOJ wanted the affidavit — which is supposed to articulate the probable cause needed for a legitimate search — to be kept under seal. After the magistrate who authorized the search forced the DOJ to unseal a redacted version, two realities came into better focus. First, the affidavit confirmed that the FBI’s investigation was triggered in January 2022 at the request of the National Archives, which wanted certain documents, especially classified documents, that it considered to be presidential records to be turned over to it by Trump. Second, from what I have seen, I don’t believe the affidavit articulates how a federal law was or is being broken. For those who hold out hope that the affidavit’s redacted sections fill that gap, there is almost no chance that they do.

As to the first point, this matter is, as suspected, nothing more than a document dispute that was chugging along, appropriately, as a negotiation behind the scenes and apparently making some progress. I don’t see anything in the affidavit asserting a refusal by Trump to cooperate. Any clinging hope — in certain quarters — that the affidavit possessed “pulverizing” cause to believe Trump was engaged in a truly serious federal violation can — I think — be considered dashed. The pipe dream that Trump was engaged in espionage, actively providing secrets to an enemy I think is as fanciful as the Steele dossier’s Moscow hotel bed reverie. And, no, I don’t believe a smoking gun of espionage or something equally shocking will be in the redacted sections. If the FBI had that, it would have fronted that in the unredacted portions.

But that’s not all that’s needed — in this case in particular. A criminal violation of those statutes only exists if it can be established that the person being investigated was not authorized to possess, store, transfer or copy those documents. This is an easy element to establish against anyone in America. Except one person. The unredacted parts of the affidavit make no attempt to articulate cause that Trump was not authorized to have these documents in his home. The reason is that, as president, he had broad, legally intimidating authority, established by law and court determinations, to declassify any and all documents and to determine what is and is not a presidential record. Trump and his legal team have asserted that this authority was exercised while he was still president. Therefore, a violation of these fairly low-level and seldom-prosecuted document-oriented statutes cannot be proven.

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“..our children and grandchildren will be paying for it for decades to come..”

The Truth About Lockdown (Lord Sumption)

It was always obvious that you could not close down a country for months on end without serious consequences. The shocking thing that emerges from Sunak’s interview is that the government refused to take them into account. There was no assessment of the likely collateral costs of lockdown. There was no cost-benefit analysis. There was no planning. In government the issues were not even discussed. Sunak’s own attempts to raise them hit a brick wall. Ministers took refuge in evasive buck-passing, claiming to be “following the science”. Yet the critical question was never a scientific one. It was a political question, in which the likely hospital admissions and deaths from Covid were just one element.

The scientists said it was not their job to think about the social or economic implications of their advice. They were right about that. The problem was it turned out to be no one else’s job. We are still paying for this negligence, and our children and grandchildren will be paying for it for decades to come. In 2020, U.K. GDP fell by nearly a tenth, the biggest hit to the economy for at least a century. According to Treasury estimates, 460,000 people left the workforce never to return. The policy took a wrecking ball to the public finances. The IMF estimates that government spending rose by more than £400 billion, or about £6,000 for every man, woman and child. Most of this was unproductive spending. It went on paying people for not working and supporting businesses forced to cease operations.

At one point, in the spring of 2020, the government was spending about twice as much on compensating for the lockdown as it was on the NHS. Borrowing rose to £330 billion, a peacetime record. Then there are the non-financial costs. Other mortal conditions went undiagnosed and untreated. In October 2020, after four months of lockdown, the Office for National Statistics reported more than 25,000 excess deaths at home from conditions such as cancer, heart disease and dementia. A year after the last lockdown ended, the NHS still has a vast backlog. Excess deaths, 95% of them due to conditions other than Covid, are running at about 1,000 a week. There has been a huge impact on mental health, with children and the poor worst affected.

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Tell them to fuck off.

Latest Covid Booster Shots To Be Released Without Human Testing (NYP)

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve new COVID-19 booster shots this week — before the vaccines are tested on humans, according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal. The new boosters are similar to the COVID vaccines currently available in the US with minor modifications that protect recipients from the latest version of the Omicron variant. Instead of waiting on data from testing in humans, the agency will use data from trials in mice — as well as the real world evidence of the safety of currently available COVID vaccines and test results from earlier iterations of boosters targeting older strains to evaluate the newest boosters, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said.

“Real world evidence from the current mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, which have been administered to millions of individuals, show us that the vaccines are safe,” Califf said on Twitter. “As we know from prior experience, strain changes can be made without affecting safety.” He added that modifying existing vaccines to include protection against different viral strains doesn’t require a change in ingredient and is a common practice the FDA does with flu vaccines. “FDA has extensive experience with reviewing strain changes in vaccines, as is done with the annual flu vaccine,” Califf said. Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have submitted new COVID vaccine boosters to the agency for approval and the FDA hopes to roll out a booster campaign this fall.

However, some health experts are wary of the decision to release the shots without completed human trials. In June, two experts penned an op-ed demanding that the FDA not rush through the roll-out of the newest shots. “I’m uncomfortable that we would move forward — that we would give millions or tens of millions of doses to people — based on mouse data,” one of the authors, Paul Offit, told the Journal. Offit, an FDA adviser and director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, believes the comparison between flu shots and COVID-19 shots is not well grounded due to the differences in mutations and protection levels.

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Walker Wheeler

 

 

McDonalds 1953

 

 

KFC 1970s

 

 

 

 

 

 

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