Sep 232022
 
 September 23, 2022  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  117 Responses »


Max Ernst The Angel of the home or the Triumph of Surrealism 1937

 

Nuclear War Is Possible – US Commander (RT)
Ex-US General Warns Russia Of ‘Devastating Strike’ (RT)
Serbian President Warns of “Great World Conflict” Within Two Months (SN)
Medvedev Responds To Military Threat From Ex-US General (RT)
Von der Leyen Is Completely Wrong About anti-Russia Sanctions (Timofeev)
EU To Impose New Sanctions On Moscow – Borrell (RT)
Brussels’ Sanctions Caused Crisis – Orban (RT)
Austria To Reject Russian Gas Ban – FM (RT)
Ukraine: 5-Year Prison Sentence For Anyone Voting In “Sham Referendums” (ZH)
Ukraine Perfect Testing Ground For New US Weapons – Kiev (RT)
Lavrov Puts Spotlight On ‘Impunity’ In Ukraine (RT)
Jamie Dimon: Stopping Oil And Gas Production ‘Road To Hell’ For US (NYP)
A Greek Watergate Threatens the West (Varoufakis)
‘He’s Done’: How Donald Trump’s Legal Woes Have Just Gotten A Lot Worse (G.)

 

 

Poster seen in Amsterdam

 

 

“There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.”

 

 

 

 

Matt Walsh

 

 

CO2

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..the Kremlin would “without a doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people..”

Nuclear War Is Possible – US Commander (RT)

Navy Admiral Charles Richard, commander of US Strategic Command, declared on Wednesday that for the first time since the end of the Cold War, the US faces the possibility of nuclear war with a peer-level opponent. Speaking at an Air Force-organized conference in Maryland, Richard claimed that the US would have to prepare to escalate quickly against possible opponents, including to defend the United States itself. “All of us in this room are back in the business of contemplating…direct armed conflict with a nuclear-capable peer,” he said, according to a Pentagon summary of his comments. “We have not had to do that in over 30 years.”

“Russia and China can escalate to any level of violence that they choose in any domain with any instrument of power worldwide,” he continued. “We just haven’t faced competitors and opponents like that in a long time.” In the eyes of Moscow, the US is currently locked in a proxy conflict with Russia in Ukraine, and has steadily escalated its commitment of weapons, intelligence and financial assistance to Kiev since Russian troops entered Ukraine in February. Russia’s current nuclear doctrine allows for the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a first nuclear strike on its territory or infrastructure, or if the existence of the Russian state is threatened by either nuclear or conventional weapons. American doctrine allows for a nuclear first strike in “extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated this position on Wednesday, declaring that the Kremlin would “without a doubt use all available means to protect Russia and our people,” should Russian territory be threatened. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also warned that the US was “teetering on the brink” of becoming a direct party in the Ukraine conflict, with Washington risking “a direct collision between nuclear powers.” Similar warnings have come from within the US too, most notably from former President Donald Trump, who declared on Wednesday that the conflict, which he said “should have never happened,” could “end up being World War III.”

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These people appear to think they live in the 1960’s.

Ex-US General Warns Russia Of ‘Devastating Strike’ (RT)

The US could destroy Russia’s Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet or its bases on the peninsula if Moscow resorts to using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, Ben Hodges, has said. In an interview with the Daily Mail on Wednesday, Hodges described the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering the deployment of nukes as “very unlikely.” Putin will not do so because “he knows the US will have to respond if Russia uses a nuclear weapon,” he claimed. “The US response may not be nuclear… but could very well be a devastating strike that could, for example, destroy the Black Sea Fleet or destroy Russian bases in Crimea,” Hodges, who was in charge of the US forces in Europe between 2014 and 2018, said.


“So, I think President Putin and those around him will be reluctant to draw the US into the conflict directly.” The comments were made in response to Putin’s address earlier that day, in which he said Russia is fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine, citing the lavish assistance in lethal aid and intelligence provided to Kiev by the US, UK, EU and others. “If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people,”he warned. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the Biden administration took Putin’s words “seriously,”but insisted that it was “irresponsible rhetoric for a nuclear power to talk that way.”

Scott Ritter

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“..nuclear war between the United States and Russia would cause two-thirds of the planet to starve to death within two years..”

Serbian President Warns of “Great World Conflict” Within Two Months (SN)

The President of Serbia has warned that the planet is entering into a “great world conflict” that could take place within the next two months. Aleksandar Vucic made the alarming comments during the first day of the UN General Assembly session in New York. “You see a crisis in every part of the world,” Vucic told the Serbian state broadcaster RTS. “I think realistic predictions ought to be even darker,” he added. “Our position is even worse, since the UN has been weakened and the great powers have taken over and practically destroyed the UN order over the past several decades.” The Serbian leader cautioned that the war between Russia and Ukraine had moved on to a far deadlier phase.

“I assume that we’re leaving the phase of the special military operation and approaching a major armed conflict, and now the question becomes where is the line, and whether after a certain time – maybe a month or two, even – we will enter a great world conflict not seen since the Second World War,” he said. Vucic’s remarks were made on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an immediate “partial mobilization” of troops amounting to 300,000 soldiers. In a public address to the nation, Putin warned that he wasn’t bluffing and that he was prepared to use “all the means at our disposal” to protect Moscow’s territorial integrity. “Now they (the West) are talking about nuclear blackmail,” said Putin. “The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was shelled and also some high positions – representatives of NATO states – who are saying there might be possibility and permissibility to use nuclear weapons against Russia,” he added.

Putin ominously asserted that western powers should “be reminded that our country also has various weapons of destruction, and with regard to certain components they’re even more modern than NATO ones.” As we highlighted last month, a study conducted by Rutgers University found that nuclear war between the United States and Russia would cause two-thirds of the planet to starve to death within two years. 5 billion people would perish, primarily as a result of nuclear detonations causing huge infernos that inject soot into the atmosphere which blocks out the sun and devastates crops. One wonders how a generation that thinks words are “violence” and misgendering someone is stochastic terrorism will react to an intercontinental nuclear war. The mind truly boggles.

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“retired idiots with generals’ stripes” should not attempt to intimidate Moscow..”

Medvedev Responds To Military Threat From Ex-US General (RT)

Moscow may use nuclear weapons to defend its territory, including the Donbass republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, should they decide to join Russia, former president, Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday. He also warned that “retired idiots” in the Western military should not contemplate strikes on Moscow’s naval bases in the Black Sea. Writing on Telegram on Thursday, Medvedev stressed that the referendums, planned for between September 23 and 27, would definitely take place, and “the Donbass republics and other territories would be admitted to Russia.” The former president went on to say that the Russian military would “significantly reinforce” the defenses of all incorporated territories.

He added that to defend its territories, Russia may use “not only its mobilization capabilities, but also any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons.” Without naming names, Medvedev cautioned that “retired idiots with generals’ stripes” should not attempt to intimidate Moscow by claiming that NATO could attack Crimea, a peninsula that overwhelmingly voted to unite with Russia in 2014 following a coup in Kiev. “Hypersonic [missiles] are sure to hit targets in Europe and the US much faster,” he warned, adding that “the Western establishment and NATO citizens need to understand that Russia has chosen its own path” and there is “no way back.”

On Wednesday, Ben Hodges, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, said that Washington could destroy Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, that’s based in Crimea, or its bases on the peninsula if Moscow resorts to using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. He noted that it’s “very unlikely” that Russian President Vladimir Putin would order to deploy nukes. Last week, Medvedev accused Western “half-wits” from “stupid think tanks” of leading their countries down the road of nuclear Armageddon with their hybrid war against Moscow. He also warned that the “unrestrained pumping of the Kiev regime with the most dangerous types of weapons,” could prompt Russia to move its military campaign to the next level.

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Ivan Timofeev, Valdai Club Programme Director & one of Russia’s leading foreign policy experts.

Von der Leyen Is Completely Wrong About anti-Russia Sanctions (Timofeev)

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has, as could be expected, called for new sanctions against Russia in connection with the forthcomingreferendums in Donbass and two regions of Ukraine. These concern the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – which have been de-facto self-governing since 2014 – and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. In her opinion, the penalties already imposed on Russia are having an impact.”The sanctions have been very successful. If you look at the Russian economy, its industry is in tatters,” the politician asserted. Let’s allow ourselves to argue a little with Ms. von der Leyen. The key measure of the effectiveness of sanctions is whether they change the political course of the target country.

This criterion has been well researched in both academic and applied literature and few people have any doubts about its veracity. However, Russia has not changed its political course in Ukraine under the influence of the large-scale sanctions of the EU, US and other initiators. Moreover, its position is hardening, as evidenced by this week’s announcements of both a partial mobilization and the referendums. Thus, we can say that the measures are actually having a negative effect in terms of what they are supposed to be doing. Apparently, Ms. von der Leyen links effectiveness to the amount of pain inflicted. In other words, she believes that the greater it is, the better. There are problems here, too. The damage is indeed large. But we are not just sitting still and feeling sorry for ourselves. We are adapting very energetically.

Now, you can criticize Russia’s domestic financial policy and question import substitution as much as you like. And they will not, of course, make ‘everything as it was.’ But it is clear that the economy is shrinking much less than expected, that inflation has, at least so far, been brought under control, and that adaptations in sourcing, helped by domestic production, are mitigating the effects of the sanctions. The economy is simply becoming different. It is changing in terms of focus and quality. In a number of sectors it will “run slower” or limp along. But Russiawill continue to live. Of course, we have already heard the words “the Russian economy is in tatters,” from US President Barack Obama. That was in 2015. Seven years ago.

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10,000 sanctions. A silly game.

EU To Impose New Sanctions On Moscow – Borrell (RT)

The EU has agreed to slap new sanctions on Russia “as soon as possible” over plans to hold referendums in the Donbass republics and Russian-controlled regions in Ukraine on whether to unite with Russia, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said on Wednesday. Speaking after an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers, Josep Borrell said that the bloc had made a “political” decision to impose new sectoral and individual sanctions on Russia. “These restrictive measures would be brought forward as soon as possible against Russia in coordination with partners,” he said. While he did not clarify the details of the new sanctions, he hinted that they would hit the Russian economy, especially the technology sector, while the EU would also blacklist a number of individuals.


He also noted that the bloc would provide Ukraine with security assistance for “as long as it takes.” “Today it’s clear that we will continue to increase our military support and continue to provide arms to Ukraine,” he added. Borrell also commented on recent developments in the Ukraine conflict, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “trying to destroy Ukraine” and organizing partial mobilization to support what he called “illegal referenda.” On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization which calls on 300,000 reservists to take part in the conflict with Ukraine. The move comes a day after the two Donbass republics and Russian-controlled Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions decided to hold referendums from September 23 to 27, on whether to unite with Russia.

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Waiting for the first threats to throw him out.

Brussels’ Sanctions Caused Crisis – Orban (RT)

The EU leadership caused a continent-wide crisis by imposing sanctions on Russian energy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. The Eurosceptic politician criticized Brussels on his Facebook page on Wednesday evening as he announced a meeting with members of the ruling coalition in the parliament. According to local media, during the closed-door gathering, he blamed EU bureaucrats for the hardships that member states, including Hungary, currently face. Orban told MPs from his Fidesz party and the allied Christian Democrats (KDNP) that if the EU’s sanctions on Russia were dropped, gas prices would go down by one-half, and as a result, inflation would also decline, Magyar Nemzet daily reported.

The Hungarian PM said the EU leadership promised in early summer that the sanctions would hurt Russia’s economy, not people in the EU, but the opposite has occurred, according to the report. Orban predicted that dropping the sanctions would allow the EU to avoid a recession. In November, there will be a meaningful opportunity for the EU to reconsider the restrictions on trading with Russia, Orban reportedly said, and the ruling Hungarian coalition should work hard to have them lifted by the end of the year. The prime minister also lashed out at the Hungarian opposition, accusing them of backing Brussels’ policies without giving a second thought to the damage they are causing to the country, Magyar Nemzet said.

He also outlined a number of measures, such as energy subsidies, which the Fidesz–KDNP government is taking to alleviate the effects of the skyrocketing prices, the newspaper reported. Orban, who was re-elected in a landslide victory in April, is an outspoken critic of the EU leadership. He has called the bloc the main loser in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, in which it sided with Kiev. The sanctions were imposed by Brussels in retaliation for Russia’s decision to send troops into Ukraine in late February.

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Hungary, Serbia, Austria. Next!

“in case of further steps, primarily in the energy sector, with regard to gas, there will be a clear ‘no’ from Austria.”

Austria To Reject Russian Gas Ban – FM (RT)

Vienna will say an emphatic ‘no’ to proposals of a ban on Russian natural gas imports, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Thursday, noting that the already adopted EU sanctions packages are comprehensive and may require clarification. “I have said in the past that we should discuss this [possible tightening of sanctions] in an appropriate way, namely behind closed doors, but yes – we have already adopted six large-scale sanctions packages, and now we can think about closing the loopholes,” the FM told ORF while answering a question on whether Vienna’s position has changed regarding the possible strengthening of sanctions against Russia. Schallenberg added that “in case of further steps, primarily in the energy sector, with regard to gas, there will be a clear ‘no’ from Austria.”


Austria, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy and sources around 80% of natural gas from Russia, has been opposing the EU’s plan to restrict imports from Moscow. The Federation of Austrian Industries earlier warned that the suspension of Russian gas supplies would be “a serious blow” to the welfare of the Austrian people as it threatens some 300,000 jobs. According to the president of the federation, Georg Knill, almost the entire food industry depends on the supply of the “blue fuel.” He stated in May that he saw danger not so much in the fact that Russia could “turn off the taps,”but in the decision of the European Union to stop importing Russian gas. In March, the EU rolled out a plan to reduce dependence on Russian gas by two thirds before the end of the year. The proposal is part of a wider plan to become independent from all Russian fossil fuels “well before 2030.”

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Voting Sep 23-27. Percentages predicted run from 80% to 95%, depending on the region. Russia will annex them.

Ukraine: 5-Year Prison Sentence For Anyone Voting In “Sham Referendums” (ZH)

Starting last month Ukrainian lawmakers began seeking to implement severe consequences for those participating in Russia-sponsored referendums in occupied territories of Ukraine. For example, a law is being pushed through parliament which criminalizes obtaining a Russian passport in temporarily occupied territories, Ukrainian sources reported last week, according to Yahoo News. Proposed possible punishments have included losing Ukrainian citizenship, or even lengthy jail sentences. But other officials have argued for a more compromising approach given the necessity of survival in occupied areas. But now the Ukrainian government has reiterated its willingness to impose steep penalties for even participating in any Kremlin-sponsored vote to join the Russian Federation.

Russian President Putin’s Wednesday morning address announcing partial mobilization also affirmed plans to move forward with referendums in the LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. Ukraine has responded by warning its citizens that any official who promotes or organizes the voting faces a “prison term of five to ten years” – as well as possible asset seizure by the state, and being barred from employment in select positions for up to 15 years. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk announced this week that a five year prison term is currently being considered for anyone caught participating in “sham referenda” by government authorities:

“Some lawyers believe that those actions fall under Article 110 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, ‘Infringement on Ukraine’s territorial integrity,’ punishable with a prison term of up to five years,” she told the Strana portal on Tuesday. She further called on citizens currently in occupied to territories to “leave, if possible.” Vereshchuk was cited further as follows according to a Russian media translation of her words: “This [may] mean imprisonment for up to five years. So, once again I strongly advise residents of the temporarily occupied territories: do not take a [Russian] passport, do not go to referendums, do not cooperate with the occupiers and leave, if it’s possible,” the official stated.

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Come test them on my country!

Ukraine Perfect Testing Ground For New US Weapons – Kiev (RT)

US defense companies should send their new weapons to Ukraine so they can be tested in actual combat against Russian forces, Kiev’s deputy defense minister, Vladimir Gavrilov, has said. Gavrilov made the suggestion during a speech before hundreds of American defense industry representatives and military acquisitions personnel at the Future Force Capabilities Conference and Exhibition in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. “If you have some ideas, or some pilot projects to be tested before mass manufacturing, you can send it to us and we will explain how to do it. And in the end you will get the stamp, proved by the war in Ukraine. You will sell it easy,” he said, as cited by the Military Times.

According to the deputy defense minister, startup companies, including those involved in anti-drone and anti-jamming equipment, have already brought new technologies to the Ukrainian battlefield. “And they come back with a product that is competitive in the market now because it was tested in a combat zone,” Gavrilov said, without revealing the companies that have worked with Ukraine in this capacity. His comments were made on the day Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization, which he said is necessary because Russia has been fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu later stated that around 300,000 reservists are planned to be called up.

In view of this shift in Russia’s tactics, Kiev will require more counter-drone and electronic warfare technologies, armored vehicles, and long-range anti-tank and precision fire weapons, Gavrilov said. Ukraine is now almost entirely dependent on weapons supplied by the US, UK, EU, and other nations, according to Shoigu, as most of the Soviet-made hardware it had before the fighting began in late February has been destroyed by Russian forces.

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8 years, not 6 months.

“..he may be a son of a b*tch, but he is our son of a b*tch,”

Lavrov Puts Spotlight On ‘Impunity’ In Ukraine (RT)

The current crisis in Ukraine was brought about by the West systematically covering up the crimes of the Kiev government since the 2014 coup, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN Security Council on Thursday. Lavrov noted that “impunity” is a good term for what has been happening in Ukraine, not since February but since 2014, when US-backed nationalists and neo-Nazis seized power by force. No one has ever been held responsible for the murders on the Maidan, the burning of peaceful protesters in Odessa, or the assassinations of dissidents, he pointed out. Civilians of Donbass have been bombed mercilessly for years and dubbed terrorists and even subhuman, simply for refusing to accept the results of the coup and insisting on their basic human right to speak Russian, Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister presented a long list of human rights violations by Kiev that went ignored by various European and global human rights groups, from “burning books, just like in Nazi Germany” to using banned ‘petal’ land mines against civilians this summer. “Such outrages became possible and remain unpunished due to the fact that the US and its allies, with the connivance of international human rights institutions, have been systematically covering up the crimes of the Kiev regime for eight years, basing their policy towards [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky based on the well-known American principle: he may be a son of a b*tch, but he is our son of a b*tch,” said Lavrov.

This was a reference to an apocryphal quote attributed to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and thought to apply either to Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua or Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic – both US-backed dictators. Lavrov also accused the Ukrainian armed forces of using civilians as human shields and said that Russia and the Donbass republics are fighting against the “Western military machine” in Ukraine, with the US and its allies perilously close to being overt participants in the conflict. Moscow has shared evidence demonstrating that the West has sought to turn Ukraine into a forward outpost that could threaten Russia’s security, Lavrov told the UN. “I can assure you, we will not let that happen.”

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Tlaib literally has no idea what she’s talking about. You can’t “save the climate” by bankrupting your economy.

Jamie Dimon: Stopping Oil And Gas Production ‘Road To Hell’ For US (NYP)

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said slamming the brakes on new oil and gas production “would be the road to hell for America” after Rep. Rashida Tlaib asked him to divest in oil. Dimon’s comments came during a House hearing where the far-left Michigan Democrat asked him and other top bank execs if they would commit to no longer investing funds into oil and gas companies to slow down climate change. “Please answer with a simple yes or no, does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products,” Tlaib asked, with Dimon up first. “Absolutely not and that would be the road to hell for America,” Dimon shot back.


Tlaib then slammed JPMorgan-Chase and circled back to criticism Dimon leveled against President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt during the hearing. She encouraged people to cancel their accounts with the major bank. “Sir, you know what, everybody that got relief from student loans — has a bank account with your bank — should probably take out their account and close their account,” an irritated Tlaib said. “The fact that you’re not even there to help relieve many of the folks that are in debt, extreme debt, because of student loan debt and you’re out there criticizing it,” Tlaib said before moving on to the next bank executive on the panel, Citi CEO Jane Fraser, who offered a more diplomatic response.

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Note: this case would be non-existant if the politician who was tapped was not also a European parliament member.

A Greek Watergate Threatens the West (Varoufakis)

The sequence of events leading to the exposure of Greece’s Watergate scandal began in July 2019, immediately after Mr Mitsotakis won the last general election on behalf of New Democracy, our conservative party. One of the very first decrees he issued, as incoming Prime Minister, was one that gave his office direct control over and responsibility for EYP. “Why on earth is the PM taking over the supervision of EYP?”, I remember a parliamentary colleague asking me that very day. It was, indeed, a curious move. Our trepidation only grew following two personnel choices. First, Mitsotakis appointed a nephew of his, Grigoris Dimitriadis, to oversee EYP on his behalf. Secondly, he chose as EYP’s new head Panagiotis Kontoleon, the CEO of the Greek franchise of the private security firm G4 — a man with no record of public service, and whose appointment Mitsotakis could only complete after amending the relevant law to remove the prerequisite that the EYP chief holds a postgraduate degree.

Given his concerted and very public efforts to take complete control of the state intelligence agency, something no other PM had ever done, it became impossible to shift blame to some other minister once the faeces hit the proverbial fan. Of the more than 17,000 wiretaps that EYP admits it has placed during the last year alone, two cases are at the heart of the current scandal. The first is that of Thanasis Koukakis, an investigative journalist who dared look into Greek shipowners’ loans that had been illegally written off by the Bank of Piraeus (one of the banks that Greek taxpayers have had to repeatedly bailout). It turns out that Koukakis was one of EYP’s “subjects of interest”, an outrage that would have probably gone unnoticed without the second, higher profile, case.

It was this case that broke the camel’s back: an investigation begun by the European Parliament’s IT department accidentally revealed that Nikos Androulakis, an MEP belonging to PASOK (the formerly dominant party in Greek politics), was being phone-tapped by EYP. It was explosive news because, at the time his phone was tapped, Androulakis was contesting the leadership of PASOK — a contest that he, eventually, won. The significance of that contest cannot be understated, since its outcome mattered a great deal to Mitsotakis and his governing New Democracy party. Since the middle of the pandemic, opinion polls have persistently suggested that the next election, which must take place by July 2023, will result in a hung parliament. While Mitsotakis’ New Democracy seemed likely to remain the largest party, it was not even close to an absolute majority. PASOK, in third place, was therefore positioned as kingmaker: whoever the party chose to side with would end up in government.

The stakes of PASOK’s leadership race suddenly seemed very high. Of the three main candidates, the one that would almost certainly choose to back New Democracy and Mitsotakis to form a government was Andreas Loverdos — an MP and former minister who had served gladly in New Democracy-PASOK coalition governments between 2011 and 2015. Every newspaper, radio and television station supporting Mitsotakis was rooting for Loverdos to beat Androulakis in the PASOK leadership primary. Is it any wonder that the revelation of EYP’s surveillance of Androulakis was big news? In a period during which the ruling party was rooting for Androulakis’s opponent, the nation’s spy agency — which ruling party’s leader and his nephew controlled and supervised to the full — was tapping Androulakis’ phone!

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Let’s turn to the Guardian for the real news.

Letitia James ran on “get Trump” and then spent her entire tenure as NY AG trying to “get Trump”, already the most investigated and prosecuted person in the history of the US. She will fail just like the others.

Meanwhile: why did James make this a civil, not a criminal case?

And: if Trump defrauded banks and pension funds, why did none of them ever file a case?

‘He’s Done’: How Donald Trump’s Legal Woes Have Just Gotten A Lot Worse (G.)

Donald Trump’s legal perils have become insurmountable and could snuff out the former US president’s hopes of an election-winning comeback, according to political analysts and legal experts. On Wednesday, Trump and three of his adult children were accused of lying to tax collectors, lenders and insurers in a “staggering” fraud scheme that routinely misstated the value of his properties to enrich themselves. The civil lawsuit, filed by New York’s attorney general, came as the FBI investigates Trump’s holding of sensitive government documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and a special grand jury in Georgia considers whether he and others attempted to influence state election officials after his defeat there by Joe Biden.

The former US president has repeatedly hinted that he intends to run for the White House again in 2024. But the cascade of criminal, civil and congressional investigations could yet derail that bid. “He’s done,” said Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University, in Washington, who has accurately predicted every presidential election since 1984. “He’s got too many burdens, too much baggage to be able to run again even presuming he escapes jail, he escapes bankruptcy. I’m not sure he’s going to escape jail.” After a three-year investigation, Letitia James, the New York attorney general, alleged that Trump provided fraudulent statements of his net worth and false asset valuations to obtain and satisfy loans, get insurance benefits and pay lower taxes. Offspring Don Jr, Ivanka and Eric were also named as defendants.

At a press conference, James riffed on the title of Trump’s 1987 memoir and business how-to book, The Art of the Deal. “This investigation revealed that Donald Trump engaged in years of illegal conduct to inflate his net worth, to deceive banks and the people of the great state of New York. Claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to ‘the art of the deal’. It’s the art of the steal,” she said. Her office requested that the former president pay at least $250m in penalties and that his family be banned from running businesses in the state. James cannot bring criminal charges against Trump in this civil investigation but she said she was referring allegations of criminal fraud to federal prosecutors in Manhattan as well as the Internal Revenue Service.

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Phone vs life
https://twitter.com/i/status/1573015092828180480

 

 

 

 

Correa

 

 

Monarchs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1573185623036420096

 

 

 

 

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Apr 232021
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Christ and St Mary Magdalene at the Tomb 1638

 

Biden Vows To Cut Nearly Half Of Greenhouse Emissions By 2030 (SAC)
GOP Sen. Ron Johson Criticizes ‘Big Push’ To Get Everyone Vaccinated (F.)
Greek Gov’t Legislates “Legal Impunity” For Epidemiologists’ Committee (KTG)
Greece to Recognize Validity of Sputnik V Vaccine for Travelers (GR)
One Dose Of Pfizer Or Oxford Jab Reduces Covid Infection Rate By 65% (G.)
Japan Rolls Out Vaccine Slowly, Despite Looming Olympics (Y!)
Russia To Withdraw Troops From Deployment On Border With Ukraine (RT)
Russia To Make Areas Of Airspace Inaccessible To Foreign Missiles, Drones (RT)
Russia Behind ‘Directed Energy’ Attacks On US Troops In Syria – Pentagon (ZH)
Who Runs The World? Blackrock and Vanguard (Sardi)
Why The ‘Magic Money Tree’ Suddenly Appeared When Covid-19 Hit (RP)

 

 

Flooding at a coal mine in one of the smallest of 61 counties in #Xinjiang #China shut down 35% of #Bitcoin’s global mining power this weekend.

 

 

Not the Onion. But way over the top.

 

 

Big differences.

 

 

If you find yourself hopeful when seeing this, snap out of it. This is just a way to spend trillions of your money on greenwashing. Here is the pattern that will continue, again:

“..the Obama administration aimed to reduce emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Currently, the U.S. has not yet reached the halfway point in achieving that goal.”

Replacing one source of energy with another one is useless, only using -a whole lot- less energy works. For that, we will need to redesign our cities and homes. Not our cars. And that will cost a lot of money, which won’t be available anymore, because it’s been spent on grandiose plans for windmills and solar panels to one-on-one replace all present sources. And that’s just the first problem.

Biden Vows To Cut Nearly Half Of Greenhouse Emissions By 2030 (SAC)

President Joe Biden on Earth Day vowed to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52%—compared to 2005 levels—by 2030, as part of a broader goal of achieving net-zero emissions in the country by 2050. “These steps will set America on a path of a net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050,” Biden told a virtual climate summit, attended by 40 leaders from around the world, Thursday morning as he announced the new emissions goal. “Scientists tell us that this is the decisive decade, this is the decade we must make decisions that will avoid the worst consequences of a climate crisis,” Biden said.


“This is a moral imperative. An economic imperative. A moment of peril, but also a moment of extraordinary possibilities,” the president added. The new greenhouse target more than doubles the United States’ previous target under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, when the Obama administration aimed to reduce emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Currently, the U.S. has not yet reached the halfway point in achieving that goal.

Biden energy boom

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Heretic.

GOP Sen. Ron Johson Criticizes ‘Big Push’ To Get Everyone Vaccinated (F.)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) on Thursday questioned the “big push” to ensure everyone is vaccinated against coronavirus, putting him at odds with many of his Senate Republican colleagues who have attempted to close the partisan gap in vaccination rates. In an interview with conservative Wisconsin radio host Vicki McKenna, herself a vocal coronavirus vaccine skeptic, Johnson launched into a condemnation of “vaccine passports,” a credential that would allow businesses to verify vaccination status. But Johnson also went a step further, declaring he sees “no reason to be pushing vaccines on people,” arguing their distribution should be “limited” to those most vulnerable to coronavirus, and asking, “if you have a vaccine, quite honestly, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?”

Johnson said he is “getting highly suspicious” of the “big push to make sure everybody gets the vaccine,” stating it’s “not a fully approved vaccine” but also arguing that the fact it is 95% effective means only a limited number of people need to be vaccinated. The comments put Johnson at odds with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who spent much of the last Senate recess urging Republican men to get vaccinated amid public opinion polling that shows they are the least likely to do so. Johnson is one of the Senate’s most prolific promoters of coronavirus pseudoscience, holding hearings last year as the chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to promote unproven treatments like Hydroxychloroquine.

[..] Johnson has drawn outrage from lawmakers in both parties for some of his recent comments, particularly on the Jan. 6 attack, which he has routinely sought to downplay. He said the attack “didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me” in February, and last month he said the attackers “truly respect law enforcement” and claimed he wasn’t concerned for his safety during the incident – but might have been if the attackers were affiliated with Black Lives Matter.

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First time I’ve seen this. Many countries will follow. No investigation allowed.

Greek Gov’t Legislates “Legal Impunity” For Epidemiologists’ Committee (KTG)

The Greek government has tabled a amendment to the Parliament to secure legal impunity for the committee of the epidemiologists advising the government on pandemic issues. The regulation comes amid pressure from the opposition to make the minutes of the meetings public. The introduction to provide impunity to infectious disease committee members in charge of the pandemic measures is for sure a unique worldwide. The amendment introduces impunity for the epidemiologists’ committee members from any form of prosecution or even questioning and protects them from having to testify if they were in “conflict of interest.”

The amendment was submitted by the Health Ministry in a legislation of Code of Judicial Officers of the Justice Ministry. It reportedly bears the signatures of the Health and Justice Ministers and other members of the government. It will be voted in the parliament later on Thursday. According to news website news247.gr, Article 4 of the amendment stipulates that members of the National Committee for the Protection of Public Health against the coronavirus disease Covid 19, the Committee for the Management of Public Health Emergencies by Infectious Diseases and the National Vaccination Committee are not liable, not prosecuted and are not examined for opinion they formulated or vote they gave in the exercise of their duties in the context of the operation of the above committees. Prosecution is allowed only for defamation or insult.

Particularly troubling, notes the website, is the provision that committee members are not prosecuted but can not even be questioned. It raises questions about what this means in the event that either a public prosecutor’s investigation or a possible pre-investigation committee of the Parliament is conducted in the future. In this case, it is possible that the members of the committee may not even be called as witnesses. It should be noted that this regulation comes after the intense pressure from the opposition to make public the minutes of the infectious disease committees and also in a period of the pandemic where the decisions of the committee are extremely important. At the same time, it comes in the middle of the vaccination process and also concerns the vaccination committee.

It is worth recalling that there have already been complaints from the opposition about conflicts of interest between members of the committee and their professional activities, notes news247. It should also be recalled that there has been recently a debate about the committee decisions and how much the members obey the government s plans to open or close activities than the scientific dictates. The gradual lifting of the lockdown and the opening of tourism in mid-May (unofficially on April 19) with daily infections are over 3000 and an average of 75 deaths per day while had many Greeks wonder why there was a 5.5 months lockdown anyway. [..] The government, ministers and lawmakers have immunity anyway.

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Also: “Germany to buy 30 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine”. EU Covid management is crumbling.

Greece to Recognize Validity of Sputnik V Vaccine for Travelers (GR)

Greece is taking all possible necessary precautions to ensure a successful launch of the 2021 tourism season on May 14 to avoid last year’s losses — including accepting the validity of Russia’s “Sputnik V” vaccine in allowing Russians to visit the country. The vaccine, dubbed the “traveling companion,” has a 97.6% efficacy rate under trial conditions, according to its makers. This was based on data analysis on the infection rate among people receiving both shots of the vaccine. The Sputnik V vaccine was registered in 60 countries worldwide as of April 19, 2021 from Argentina and Mexico to Israel and the Philippines. Russian officials say they have signed deals to produce it in South Korea and India. Via a post on Twitter on April 6, 2021, the distributor confirmed that it could supply Greece with the vaccine for 500,000 people in May.


A soft opening of the tourism sector in Greece commenced on Monday, April 20, by lifting its seven-day quarantine requirements for international travelers arriving from the EU, the Schengen Area, the US, the UK, Israel, Serbia, and the United Arab Emirates upon proof of vaccination, immunity, or a negative PCR test on arrival. Expected in this is group is hundreds of thousands of tourists from Russia as a result of joint efforts to resume tourism activity between the two countries. However, the Sputnik V is still under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). There are not enough doses of other vaccines available in the EU to satisfy demand, so the desire for new options is substantial. The EU Green Passport regulation, due to be adopted soon, does not recognize vaccines that have not yet been approved by the EMA. However, it is flexible enough to allow EU member states to accept the validity of certain vaccines, such as Russia’s Sputnik V, on what it calls a “bilateral level.”

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That’s less effective than ivermectin. Good thing they didn’t research that, so they can keep saying: well, there’s no research! The only way to keep the EUA.

One Dose Of Pfizer Or Oxford Jab Reduces Covid Infection Rate By 65% (G.)

One shot of the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces coronavirus infections by nearly two-thirds and protects older and more vulnerable people as much as younger, healthy individuals, a study has found. The results from Oxford University and the Office for National Statistics are a welcome boost to the vaccination programme and the first to show the impact on new infections and immune responses in a large group of adults in the general population. By driving down rates of infection the vaccines will not only prevent hospitalisations and deaths but help break chains of transmission and so reduce the risk of a damaging resurgence of disease as the UK reopens.

The researchers analysed Covid test results from more than 350,000 people in the UK between December and April. They found that 21 days after a first jab – the time it takes the immune system to mount a decent response – new Covid infections dropped by 65%. The vaccines were more effective against symptomatic than asymptomatic infections, reducing rates by 72% and 57% respectively, compared with those seen in the unvaccinated population. A second shot of the Pfizer vaccine boosted protection further, causing symptomatic infections to fall by 90% and asymptomatic infections by 70%. Because the Oxford vaccine was approved and rolled out later, it is too early to assess the impact of those second doses.

Scientists on the team said the findings supported the UK’s decision to prioritise giving first shots to elderly and more vulnerable people by delaying second doses. “There was no evidence that the vaccines were less effective among older adults or those with long-term health conditions,” said Dr Koen Pouwels, a researcher on the team.

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“A majority of Japanese already oppose holding the Games this summer..”

Japan Rolls Out Vaccine Slowly, Despite Looming Olympics (Y!)

Three months before it hosts the Olympics – the biggest international event since the pandemic began – Japan has fully vaccinated less than one percent of its population in a cautious, slow-moving programme. Olympic organisers and local officials stress vaccines are not a prerequisite for the Games. Participants will not have to be inoculated before arrival and there are no plans to prioritise vaccination of Japanese athletes or volunteers. But the slow rollout in the world’s third-largest economy, which experts say is driven by a mixture of caution and entrenched bureaucratic hurdles, is starting to weigh on public opinion. The government has emphasised caution to build trust in the vaccine, said Takakazu Yamagishi, director of the Center for International Affairs at Nanzan University, who researches health policy.

But, seeing speedy vaccinations elsewhere, “more and more people are realising that the delayed vaccination process has put Japan in a difficult position to hold the Olympics,” he told AFP. This could “weaken their support for the Games”. A majority of Japanese already oppose holding the Games this summer, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who faces a general election this year, has been under pressure for months over his coronavirus response. The country’s outbreak has been comparatively small so far, with fewer than 10,000 deaths. But several regions, including Tokyo, requested new virus states of emergency this week over a fresh wave of cases that has already overwhelmed some local healthcare systems.

Writing in the British Medical Journal this month, four health experts cited Japan’s “sluggish vaccine rollout” among other factors in urging plans to hold the Games “be reconsidered as a matter of urgency”. Polls show three-quarters of Japan’s public consider the rollout slow, with 60 percent saying they are dissatisfied with the programme. Olympic organisers insist the rollout’s pace will not impact the Games. “We’ll be able to deliver the Games even without vaccination,” Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters on Wednesday.

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A big nothing. But a warning at the same time.

Russia To Withdraw Troops From Deployment On Border With Ukraine (RT)

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has announced that troops deployed in the west and south of the country in recent days will soon begin returning to base, saying they have now passed tests of their combat readiness. The chief of the country’s military revealed on Thursday that a number of units of the regular army and airborne divisions had been transferred to the area, near the shared border with Ukraine, as part of surprise military exercises. The buildup had caused alarm in Kiev, and been cited by Western nations as a potential precursor to an invasion, which the Kremlin repeatedly denied.


According to Shoigu, “the goals of the sudden inspection have been fully achieved. The troops demonstrated their ability to ensure reliable defense of the country.” As a result, he has now ordered commanders to “plan and begin the return of troops to their places of regular deployment, beginning from April 23.” By the end of the month, the minister said, “the personnel of the 58th Army of the Southern Military District, the 41st Army of the Central Military District, the 7th, 76th Air Assault and 98th Airborne Divisions of the Airborne Forces” will return to their normal bases. However, he warned that the army would “react and respond adequately to all changes in the situation near Russian borders.”

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“.. render foreign satellite navigation systems completely useless, disabling an enemy’s high-precision weapons.”

Russia To Make Areas Of Airspace Inaccessible To Foreign Missiles, Drones (RT)

Russia’s electronic warfare specialists will practice creating ‘protection areas’ in the country’s airspace that could render foreign satellite navigation systems completely useless, disabling an enemy’s high-precision weapons. According to Moscow daily Izvestia, citing a source in the Defense Ministry, radio-electronic warfare troops will practice using the technology during exercises this year, with the practice to be held nationwide in 2022. The system, known as Field-21, creates interference that disorients foreign satellite navigation systems, including the American GPS NAVSTAR. According to experts, the creation of special zones could be used to protect military facilities, as well as industrial areas, making the airspace virtually impenetrable. They believe the new approach will radically increase national security.


With satellite navigation foiled, enemy high-precision weapons and drones will not be able to direct themselves towards their target. “Electronic warfare systems hit several cruise missile systems at once,” military historian Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia. “Satellite navigation interference causes them to get ‘lost’ in space and dramatically reduces their accuracy. If the radio altimeter signal is suppressed, the ammunition will also not be able to perform its combat mission as expected.” Radio-electronic troops have already been deployed in Syria, where an electronic warfare protection dome has been created over the areas of Tartus and Khmeimim, protecting the military from attacks by militant drones. Russia has been involved in the Syrian Civil War since 2015, when it was invited by the Damascus government, led by President Bashar Assad, to help fight against a terrorist insurgency in the country.

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One thing about flimsy nonsensical narratives is you must keep feeding them. Then when someone asks for proof, you can point to all the other “cases” and say: see?! it fits a pattern.

Russia Behind ‘Directed Energy’ Attacks On US Troops In Syria – Pentagon (ZH)

In the newest dramatic allegations against suspected Russian malfeasance, the Department of Defense (DoD) on Thursday revealed that it believes the Russian military targeted US troops in Syria with ‘directed energy attacks’ in order to make them ill and unable to conduct normal operations. Apparently some US troops occupying the country began reporting “flu-like symptoms” which caused the DoD to investigate possible linkage to microwave or directed energy weapons on the battlefield of Syria. Politico reports that “officials identified Russia as a likely culprit, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.” DoD officials said they briefed top lawmakers on intelligence which they say points to Russia being behind a series of these suspected high tech attacks.

This follows a major investigation being conducted since last year of similar mysterious attacks against US personnel across the globe. Controversy has raged since late 2016 into 2017 and the “Havana syndrome” story, which involved some 50 diplomatic officials working at the US Embassy in Cuba coming down with strange illnesses and symptoms which many blamed on high tech ‘sonic attacks’ of some sort. Personnel reported experiencing everything from vomiting to concussions to chronic headaches to minor brain injuries. But analysts and scientists have been deeply divided on the issue, with speculation ranging from high pitched sounds from crickets or even mass hysteria causing the illness.

But Politico reports of these newest allegations of the potential targeting of Americans in northeast Syria as follows: “The briefings included information about injuries sustained by U.S. troops in Syria, the people said. The investigation includes one incident in Syria in the fall of 2020 in which several troops developed flu-like symptoms, two people familiar with the Pentagon probe said.” The CIA is said to also be looking into these suspected attacks via its own task force. Strangely, the Politico report also included a denial that troops in Syria were ever found to be victims of such weapons by the Pentagon press spokesperson, strongly suggesting this is a continuation of the current, highly politicized “just blame Russia” climate in Washington…

A Pentagon spokesperson, however, said the department is not aware of directed-energy attacks against U.S. troops in Syria. The spokesperson declined further comment on the Pentagon’s interactions with Capitol Hill or any internal investigation. “The incidents of suspected directed-energy attacks by Russia on Americans abroad became so concerning that the Pentagon’s office of special operations and low-intensity conflict began investigating last year, according to two former national security officials involved in the effort. It’s unclear exactly how many troops were injured, or the extent of their injuries.”

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Pretty brilliant exposé. By someone calling herself Covid Lie.

Who Runs The World? Blackrock and Vanguard (Sardi)

If you’ve been wondering how the world economy has been hijacked and humanity has been kidnapped by a completely bogus narrative, look no further than this video by Dutch creator, Covid Lie. What she uncovers is that the stock of the world’s largest corporations are owned by the same institutional investors. They all own each other. This means that “competing” brands, like Coke and Pepsi aren’t really competitors, at all, since their stock is owned by exactly the same investment companies, investment funds, insurance companies, banks and in some cases, governments. This is the case, across all industries. As she says:

“The smaller investors are owned by larger investors. Those are owned by even bigger investors. The visible top of this pyramid shows only two companies whose names we have often seen…They are Vanguard and BlackRock. The power of these two companies is beyond your imagination. Not only do they own a large part of the stocks of nearly all big companies but also the stocks of the investors in those companies. This gives them a complete monopoly. A Bloomberg report states that both these companies in the year 2028, together will have investments in the amount of 20 trillion dollars. That means that they will own almost everything. Bloomberg calls BlackRock “The fourth branch of government”, because it’s the only private agency that closely works with the central banks.

BlackRock lends money to the central bank but it’s also the advisor. It also develops the software the central bank uses. Many BlackRock employees were in the White House with Bush and Obama. Its CEO. Larry Fink can count on a warm welcome from leaders and politicians. Not so strange, if you know that he is the front man of the ruling company but Larry Fink does not pull the strings himself. BlackRock, itself is also owned by shareholders. Who are those shareholders? We come to a strange conclusion. The biggest shareholder is Vanguard. But now he gets murky. Vanguard is a private company and we cannot see who the shareholders are.

The elite who own Vanguard apparently do not like being in the spotlight but of course they cannot hide from who is willing to dig. Reports from Oxfam and Bloomberg say that 1% of the world, together owns more money than the other 99%. Even worse, Oxfam says that 82% of all earned money in 2017 went to this 1%. In other words, these two investment companies, Vanguard and BlackRock hold a monopoly in all industries in the world and they, in turn are owned by the richest families in the world, some of whom are royalty and who have been very rich since before the Industrial Revolution. Why doesn’t everybody know this? Why aren’t there movies and documentaries about this? Why isn’t it in the news? Because 90% of the international media is owned by nine media conglomerates.

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How did we get from austerity to spending trillions?

Why The ‘Magic Money Tree’ Suddenly Appeared When Covid-19 Hit (RP)

Coronavirus has proven that austerity was a political choice and that the ‘Magic Money Tree’ really does exist, progressive economists have said. Whether it be Joe Biden’s $1.9trillion relief bill or Rishi Sunak’s £50billion furlough scheme, centrist and conservative governments have suddenly found a way to spend in the public’s interest. All it took was a pandemic. In an event for Let’s Talk It Over entitled ‘The Austerity Doctrine in the Time of Coronavirus’, Yanis Varoufakis, Stephanie Kelton, Naomi Klein and Brian Eno discussed whether the “pandemic has ended the reign of austerity as policy and mindset”. Stephanie Kelton, a former economic adviser to Bernie Sanders, said: “Everything was in a budgeting framework and then Covid happened.

“Governments started committing huge sums of money. So where does it come from? The CARE act, for example, was Congress’ way of ordering up $2.2billion from the Federal Reserve. “They can commit to spending money that they do not have. If the votes are there, then the money follows. “Almost no-one believes any longer that the ‘coffers’ can be empty. “Everyone can now see that the government no longer needs to keep its powder dry. As Kelton explains in her now famous tome, countries that print their own money can easily spend their way towards economic prosperity without any notion of paying it back – as long as the economic potential of the nation is not reached. In the US, the total federal debt is nearing $30trillion – but does it really matter? To enact austerity to ‘pay for’ a year of generous public spending would not achieve anything except for a downward economic spiral, Varoufakis said.

The former Greek Finance Minister added: “I’m calling in from the epicentre of austerity. If there was a New Deal in 2011, after we had lost 25 percent of our GDP (in the crisis), it would have been a majestic success. “But instead, we continued and had a downward spiral. “We need to have major debt restructuring at the public and private level for countries that don’t have the same privilege as the United States in printing their own money. “The nightmare of the powerful is that the weak have alternatives. So when they hear about Universal Basic Income and job creation schemes they think it will become a nightmare for them. “As oligarchs, they are following the right instincts. Using the ‘magic money tree’ to empower the power is seriously circumscribing their own power.”

In essence, the powerful adore austerity and malign public debt because anything close to Modern Monetary Theory would give working people too many alternatives, Varoufakis said. Naomi Klein claimed that tax rises after the pandemic are a necessity – but only on the rich. Modern Monetary Theory dictates that one of the roles of taxation, in addition to curbing inflation, is to reduce inequality. She explained: “In theory, we need to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy not because we need to do it, but because of the levels of inequality. “It’s also a moral hazard for the wealthy to not have to live in the mess that they made. We’ve seen the wealthy retreat into their castles, as it were, and the pandemic has made this even more apparent. “Austerity is about disciplining a workforce.”

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