Apr 022024
 


Keith Haring Pop Shop II 1988

 

This Is Not an April Fool’s Gag (Jim Kunstler)
Biden Denies Proclaiming Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday (RT)
The Electric War Is Redrawing The Ukraine Map – In Black (Helmer)
Ukraine Counteroffensive ‘Biggest Debacle In Modern Warfare’ – David Sacks (RT)
Every NATO Member Has Military Personnel In Ukraine – Estonia (RT)
‘Too Old and in Poor Health’: Ukrainian Conscripts Unmotivated to Fight (Sp.)
Israel’s War, Netanyahu’s Gamble (Alastair Crooke)
The Sahel’s ‘Axis of Resistance’ (Pepe Escobar)
EU Can No Longer Expect US To Defend It – Rheinmetall CEO (RT)
How Private Interests Seized Control of America (Paul Craig Roberts)
Disney’s Litigation Against Florida Collapses as the Media Shrugs (Turley)
Weaponization of the Secret Service Has Put RFK Jr’s Life at Risk (Fleetwood)
Left Livid Over Trump Ally Efforts To Eliminate Anti-White Policies (ZH)
JK Rowling Could Be Imprisoned For “Misgendering” Trans People (MN)
Imran Khan’s Jail Sentence Suspended (RT)
Judge Orders Release Of ‘Border Riot’ Migrants Who Overwhelmed National Guard (ZH)

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1774949562504855745

 

 

Tucker sobriety

 

 

Trump

 

 

Matteo

 

 

Joan Rivers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geert Vanden Bossche predicts the collapse of society. And the rise of ivermectin. Not sure how the two can be combined.

This Is Not an April Fool’s Gag (Jim Kunstler)

Did you have a fabulous Transgender Visibility Day, uncluttered with any loose talk about one Jesus Christ and his travails in the Roman Levant some 2000 years ago? The Easter Bunny desisted from twerking on the White House lawn this time around, but the Party of Chaos still nailed down the vote of the .000429 percent of the population that identifies as opposite the clerical error made upon their sexual assignment at birth. All in all, this may be the last grotesque frivolity the political class indulges in for a long time to come, and I’ll tell you why.

I had the honor of interviewing the Belgian virologist Geert Vanden Bossche on Friday for my podcast, and he had quite a sobering message. “What I am predicting,” he said, “is a massive, massive tsunami” of illness and death among highly-vaccinated populations with dysregulated immune systems.

“You commit errors or even crimes at the very small scale, you can hide them,” he said (at around 47:00 minutes into the hour-long discussion). “I have seen this happen with the Ebola vaccination with Africa a number of years ago. . . . However, if you do this at the very large scale, like what has happened with this mass [Covid] vaccination campaign, the truth will surface. And those who have committed these crimes who have been lying to the people, who have not been taking care of the health and safety of the people, will be severely, severely punished. . . . If these people would now go out and say, ‘Yeah, wait a minute, we have been making some mistakes, it wasn’t all right, we have to correct them, we have to revise our opinion,’ these people will be stoned in the streets. . . . They can only hope that something will happen that will distract from this issue, but it won’t. . . . The truth will surface: this has been a large-scale experiment of gain-of-function on the very human population. This will be something that will be reported in history for many many generations to come.”

A bit further on (around 55:20 minutes) he says, “You will see what will happen, for example, in the next coming weeks. . . is more and more cases of more serious long Covid. . . . They will start to replace the surge of the cancers. . . now we have a more chronic phase. It will end with a hyper-acute phase, a huge, huge wave. . . I’ve been studying this now for four years. I know what I’m talking about. I’m probably the only person, in all modesty, who understands the immunology behind this. . . . (At 1:00:12) The thing I want your audience to understand, what we will be facing in the hyper-acute Covid crisis that is imminent, is that we will have to build a completely new world. . . . It is very very clear that when this starts, our hospitals will collapse. And that means the chaos in all kinds of layers of society — financial, economic, social, you name it — will be complete. And that is what I’m very clearly predicting. . . . It’s very strange for me to make such statements, but I’m not hiding it because I’m two hundred percent convinced that it will happen.”

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The kind old man with memory issues.

Biden Denies Proclaiming Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday (RT)

US President Joe Biden has rejected criticism over his annual proclamation of March 31 as Transgender Visibility Day, which this year coincided with Easter Sunday. The president’s ambiguous remarks on the matter, however, were perceived by his critics as a flat denial of the move he had made just a day before. Biden was pressed on the matter by reporters and asked about the criticism, voiced by Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, who called the step “outrageous and abhorrent’ tradition-busting moves.” The president stated the speaker was “thoroughly uninformed” on the matter, producing what appeared to be a flat denial to a follow-up question on how exactly Johnson was “uninformed.” “I didn’t do that.”

The remarks re-ignited the criticism, with Johnson taking to X (formerly Twitter) to poke fun at the president and posting a screenshot of Biden’s proclamation of March 31 as the Transgender Day of Visibility. “This you, Joe Biden?” the speaker wrote. Some, however, translated the president’s remarks as an attempt to explain that he was not the one to introduce the tradition in the first place, rather than a denial of his own move. The proclamation dates back to 2009, when then-President Barak Obama introduced it shortly after assuming office, marking March 31 as Transgender Visibility Day. The date will not coincide with Easter Sunday for decades to come. The White House appeared to back this position as well, with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisting any backlash over the president’s move was “misinformation.”

“So surprised by the misinformation that’s been out there around this and I want to be very clear: every year for the past several years on March 31, Transgender Day of Visibility is marked,” she stated, adding that the nature of the situation was evident “for folks who understand the calendar and how it works.”“Easter falls on different Sundays, right, every year, and this year it happened to coincide with Transgender Visibility Day. And so that is the simple fact. That is what has happened. That is where we are,” she explained.Still, the affair has triggered a storm of criticism from prominent Christians and conservatives alike, getting further aggravated by the fact that the Biden administration has opted to ban children participating in the Easter Egg design contest from using religiously themed designs.

Watters

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The next phase of the war? The end phase?

“If the current Russian plan of attack is causing swings of 300+ volts, it’s not even safe to plug in a cell phone..”

“Who knows what’s happening there. It must be chaos, and if it isn’t, it will be soon.”

The Electric War Is Redrawing The Ukraine Map – In Black (Helmer)

The electric war, which in its first phase commenced last October and November, has now entered its second and final phase – final, that is, for the Ukraine. This is strategic; war has never been fought like this in Europe. The US and NATO general staffs and politicians have been taken by complete surprise. “The Ukrainians are building Maginot and Siegfried lines according to the instructions of their foreign advisers,” according to a Moscow analyst, “as if the Russian offensive will be men, artillery and tanks running across the landscape towards Kiev. But they won’t have to. The offensive against Ukrainian electricity cannot be stopped at these lines.” Without effective defence for its power generating plants, distribution hubs, and grid lines, the Kiev regime’s power is being stopped across the country; the major Novorussian cities in the east – Odessa, Kharkov, Dniepropetrovsk – are being blacked out and their populations forced to evacuate; the warmaking resupplies of the NATO allies are being cut off at borders which are now exposed to reversal of electricity surges threatening the plants and grids of southern Poland, Romania and Moldova.

Even European and American money for President Vladimir Zelensky’s regime needs electricity to move. “The Russian General Staff is thinking electrically,” comments a NATO veteran and expert in applying electrical engineering to war. “The way the strikes are unfolding causes the Ukrainians to perform at lot of switching. Anyone who knows anything about high-voltage switching understands that the more it’s done, the greater the likelihood there is of some kind of fault occurring, including surges or transients. So, leaving enough power on today so the Ukrainians can throw switches tomorrow may be part of the plan.” “Even if the French/NATO plan a deployment in the Ukraine, what will they be deploying to?” the military engineer adds. “If the current Russian plan of attack is causing swings of 300+ volts, it’s not even safe to plug in a cell phone.


MAP OF RUSSIAN STRIKES AGAINST UKRAINE POWER PLANT TARGETS, MARCH 30

We can safely assume that all manner of appliances and other expensive electrical or electronic equipment has been destroyed in the affected areas. Indeed, even if the power engineers manage to get the power back on, millions of light fixtures, especially the electronic/LED variety, are burned out. Diagnostic equipment (medical and technical), process instruments, programmable logic controllers, power supplies, inverters, frequency drives, bank machines, computerized checkout, refrigeration equipment, are burned up” “Who knows what’s happening there. It must be chaos, and if it isn’t, it will be soon.” The Russian General Staff doesn’t telegraph its punches. The daily Ministry of Defense operations briefing – blocked for many US and allied audiences – concentrates on the five combat groups, Western, Southern, Eastern, Centre, and Dniepr; and their operational directions along the Donbass line of contact; at present, they are Kupyansk, Donetsk, Avdeyevka, South Donetsk, and Kherson.

Last Friday, for example, the briefing began almost nonchalantly: “Tonight [March 29], the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a group strike with high-precision long-range air, sea and land-based weapons, including aeroballistic hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, at energy facilities and air defence of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The objectives of the strike have been achieved. All objects are affected.” [..] “Ukraine is moving towards a truly definitive energy crisis”, Militarist reported on March 30. “In the east and west, thermal power plants are being eliminated one by one by completely demolishing the main turbine and generator sections. Dams also began to collapse from south to north. It is expected that all dams and thermal power plants will be put out of operation in the near future. The Ukrainian military industry will be destroyed both by direct attacks and by the energy crisis. The possibility of NATO-supported domestic production and maintenance will also be excluded. Thus, the logistics infrastructure in the rear may not be able to cope with events at the front.”

Macgregor

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“These people are fools who should have no credibility left. But of course the MSM never holds them accountable so we will get more of the same until Ukraine finally collapses..”

Ukraine Counteroffensive ‘Biggest Debacle In Modern Warfare’ – David Sacks (RT)

The failure of Ukraine’s 2023 summer counteroffensive against Russia was “easily predictable,” according to US tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist David Sacks, who has suggested that the Washington elite should be held accountable for talking up the doomed operation. Sacks’ comments came in response to a post on Saturday by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who condemned the unnecessary loss of life suffered by Kiev’s forces as they attempted to “attack a larger army” that had superior defenses. The failed Ukrainian counteroffensive was “one of the biggest debacles in the history of modern warfare,” Sacks said in agreement, adding that Kiev’s soldiers and tanks had effectively run “headlong into minefields while Russian artillery rained down on them from heavily fortified positions.” “This should have been easily predictable,” the former PayPal COO and founder of the Yammer corporate social network stressed.

According to estimates released in March by the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian military saw over 166,000 casualties during last year’s failed counteroffensive. Kiev’s overall casualties since the outbreak of the conflict with Russia stand at 444,000, the ministry has claimed. Sacks went on to suggest that US officials such as ex-CIA chief David Petraeus, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and current US Secretary of State Antony Blinken should all be held responsible for encouraging the doomed operation. “These people are fools who should have no credibility left. But of course the MSM never holds them accountable so we will get more of the same until Ukraine finally collapses,” Sacks surmised. Musk, meanwhile, has called the counteroffensive “a tragic waste of life for Ukraine,” suggesting that Kiev should not have attacked Russian forces – which had deployed vast minefields and had stronger artillery – while Ukrainian forces lacked armor or air superiority.

“Any fool could have predicted that,” the billionaire said, recalling that one year ago he had recommended that Kiev’s forces entrench and apply all resources to defense. Musk stated that Kiev would continue to have difficulty holding on to territory, but suggested that Russia was unlikely try to take over the entire country, arguing that it would face “extreme” local resistance in western regions of Ukraine. He also warned that if the conflict “lasts long enough, Odessa will fall,” and advised Kiev to reach a negotiated settlement with Moscow as soon as possible, before Russia gains more territory and Ukraine loses all access to the Black Sea. Moscow has stressed that it remains open to meaningful talks with Kiev, and has blamed the lack of a diplomatic breakthrough on the Ukrainian authorities, who refuse to accept the “reality on the ground.”

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Russia knows where they all are. Sitting ducks.

Every NATO Member Has Military Personnel In Ukraine – Estonia (RT)

Every NATO member already has military personnel in Ukraine, Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur claimed on Monday. Under no circumstances, however, will forces from the US-led bloc take part in the hostilities against Russia, the minister insisted in an interview with Austrian media outlet Die Presse. NATO servicemen are operating in the embattled country as advisers and are involved in training Ukrainian soldiers in Poland, the UK, and Estonia, Pevkur told the outlet. Western defense officials are currently planning to set up training camps in Ukraine in a bid to avoid issues with border crossings and to speed up the preparation process, he added.

At the same time, Pevkur insisted there is no talk of NATO soldiers fighting directly in the conflict, stating that “this has already been ruled out.” “The reality is that every NATO member country already has military personnel in Ukraine, such as military attaches or people who travel to Ukraine from time to time,” the official said. “What [French] President [Emmanuel] Macron said mainly related to personnel training,” he added. Macron openly raised the possibility of putting NATO troops on the ground in Ukraine in February, saying that “we cannot exclude anything” and that the West “will do everything necessary to prevent Russia from winning this war.”

The remarks, which Macron later described as having been “weighed, thought through, and measured,” prompted a wave of denials from a vast majority of NATO states and the bloc’s leadership. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg publicly refuted the idea shortly after Macron’s initial statement, saying that no plans existed to deploy troops to Ukraine. Numerous Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, have also denied any such plans. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said any NATO troop deployments in Ukraine would not change the situation on the battlefield, given that Western soldiers are already active in the country as military advisers and mercenaries. He nonetheless warned that the ramifications of such a move would be “tragic.”

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“..deep divisions in Ukraine’s parliament and more broadly in Ukrainian society.”

‘Too Old and in Poor Health’: Ukrainian Conscripts Unmotivated to Fight (Sp.)

Quite a few Ukrainian conscripts recruited by the “dysfunctional” and “unwieldy” drafting system are “often too old, in poor health and unmotivated,” The New York Times has cited brigade officers as saying. Alina Mykhailova, an officer in the Ukrainian Army’s Da Vinci Wolves battalion, told the newspaper that of the 200 conscripts they had received, only 25 showed a desire to fight. According to her, the goal is to “recruit volunteers faster, so that we get fewer of those people who are absolutely unmotivated.” “It’s like a market. You must try to find people with marketing methods,” another Ukrainian officer, Myroslav Hai, said, referring to public relations recruitment campaigns that aim to lure more people into joining the army. The remarks come after The Washington Post reported that the Kiev regime’s lack of any clear mobilization strategy aimed at plugging the gaping holes in the ranks of its armed forces is fueling “deep divisions in Ukraine’s parliament and more broadly in Ukrainian society.”

The Financial Times, in turn, suggested that Ukraine’s plans to mobilize half a million additional troops via a controversial new mobilization law have little hope of panning out if new Western assistance doesn’t arrive. The draft legislation, expected see a vote in Ukraine’s parliament in mid-April, looks to lower the draft age to 25, commit recruits to three years of service, and force eligible men to register via a digital portal, among other measures. Shortly after Russia started its special military operation, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced martial law and general draft in Ukraine. Under martial law, men aged between 18 and 60 are banned from leaving the country, and men aged 27 and older are eligible to be drafted, with some exceptions. In a sign that the problems of draft dodgers show no sign of being solved, draft cards are handed out not only in recruitment offices, but also on the streets, at gas stations, or in cafes.

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Mass protests against Netanyahu.

Israel’s War, Netanyahu’s Gamble (Alastair Crooke)

U.S. Democratic Party support for Israel is fast fissuring – an “ideological tremor”, Peter Beinart (editor of Jewish Currents) calls it. Since 7 Oct “it has become an earthquake” – a “Great Rupture”. This concerns the fusion of Liberalism to Zionism that long has defined the Democratic Party: “Israel’s war in Gaza has supercharged a transformation on the American Left. Solidarity with Palestinians is becoming as essential to leftist politics – as is support for abortion rights or opposition to fossil fuels. And, as happened during the Vietnam War and the struggle against South African apartheid – leftist fervour is reshaping the liberal mainstream”. Put plainly, in tandem to Israel moving to the far Right, pro-Palestinian support in the U.S. has hardened. By November 2023, 49 percent of American Jewish voters ages 18 to 35 opposed Biden’s request for additional military aid to Israel.

That is one vector; one direction of travel within the American polity. On the other path, American Jews – those most committed to Zionism; the ones who run establishment institutions – see that liberal America is becoming less ideologically hospitable. They are responding to this shift by forging common cause with the American Right. Netayanhu had made the observation that Israel and a wokish Democratic Party were on divergent paths some ten years earlier – shifting the Likud and the Israel Right away from the Democrats to the American Evangelicals (and thus, broadly in the direction of the Republican Party). As a former senior Israeli diplomat, Alon Pinkas, wrote in 2022: “With Netanyahu it was always transactional. So in the last decade or so he developed his own vile version of “replacement theory”: The majority of evangelical Christians will replace the vast majority of American Jews. Since it’s all about numbers, the evangelicals are the preferred ally”.

Beinart writes: “Supporters of Israel remain not only welcome in the Democratic Party but are also dominant. But the leaders of those institutions no longer represent much of their base”. “Senator Schumer, the highest Jewish representative in public life, acknowledged this divide in his speech earlier this month, when he said – the speech’s most remarkable line – that he “can understand the idealism that inspires so many young people in particular, to support a one-state solution”. A solution – to say it bluntly – that does not involve a ‘Zionist State’: “Those are the words of a politician who understands that his party is undergoing profound change”. Numbers of younger ‘changelings’ are larger than many recognize, especially among millennials and Gen Z; and the latter are joining a Palestine solidarity movement that is growing larger, but also more radical.

“That growing radicalism has produced a paradox: It is a movement that welcomes more and more American Jews – but correspondingly finds it harder to explain where Israeli Jews fit into its vision of Palestinian liberation”, Beinart worries. It was to bridge this Gulf that the Biden Administration confected its awkward stance at the UN Security Council this week, when the U.S. abstained on a ‘Ceasefire and Hostage Release Resolution’. The resolution was intended by the White House to ‘face both ways’, appealing to (older) American Jews who still identify as both progressive and Zionist, and – facing the other way – appealing to those who view the growing alliance between leading Zionist institutions and the Republican Party as uncomfortable, even unforgivable (and want the Gaza massacres to stop now). The Resolution ploy however, was not well thought-through (the latter lacuna becoming something of a White House habit). The content was badly mis-represented by the U.S., which stated that the resolution was ‘non-binding’. The New York Times actually mis-stated the resolution, saying that it ‘calls for’ a ceasefire. It did not.

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“The African Sahel is revolting against western neocolonialism – ejecting foreign troops and bases, devising alternative currencies, and challenging the old multinationals. Multipolarity, after all, cannot flower without resistance paving its path.”

The Sahel’s ‘Axis of Resistance’ (Pepe Escobar)

The emergence of Axes of Resistance in various geographies is an inextricable byproduct of the long and winding process leading us toward a multipolar world. These two things – resistance to the Hegemon and the emergence of multipolarity – are absolutely complementary. The Axis of Resistance in West Asia – across Arab and Muslim states – now finds as its soul sister the Axis of Resistance spanning the Sahel in Africa, west to east, from Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger to Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea. Unlike Niger, where the change in power against neocolonialism was associated with a military coup, in Senegal, the power change comes straight from the polls. Senegal plunged itself into a new era with the landslide victory of Bassirou Diomaye Faye, 44, in nationwide elections on 24 March. A former tax inspector who had just spent a fortnight stint in jail, Faye emerged with the profile of an underdog pan-African leader to turn the ‘most stable democracy in Africa,’ under French puppet incumbent Macky Sall, upside down.

The incoming Senegalese president now joins Ibrahim Traore, 36, in Burkina Faso, Aby Ahmed, 46, in Ethiopia, Andry Rajoelina, 48, in Madagascar, as well as future superstar Julius Malema, 44, in South Africa as part of the new, young pan-African generation focused on sovereignty. In his election manifesto, Faye pledged to reclaim Senegal’s sovereignty no less than eighteen times. Geoeconomics is key to these shifts. As Senegal becomes a substantial oil and gas producer, Faye will aim to renegotiate mining and energy contracts, including the largest ones with British Petroleum (BP) and UK gold mine operator, Endeavor Mining. Crucially, he plans to ditch the exploitative CFA franc – the French-controlled currency system used in 14 African states – even setting up a new currency as part of reshaping relations with neocolonial power France, Senegal’s top trading partner. Faye, echoing Comrade Xi Jinping, wants a “win-win” partnership.

Faye has not yet been clear on whether he intends to kick the French military out of Senegal. Were that to happen, the blow to Paris would be unprecedented, as embattled Petit Roi Emmanuel Macron and the French establishment consider Senegal the key player when it comes to blockading landlocked Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which have already left Paris in the (Sahel) dust. The three latter states, which have just formed an Alliance of the Sahel States (Alliance des Etats du Sahel, AES, in the original French), are not only a major Paris nightmare after serial humiliations but also a big American headache – epitomized in the spectacular breakdown of military cooperation between Washington and Nigerien capital Niamey.

The culprit, according to the US Deep State, is, of course, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obviously, no one in the US Beltway has been paying due attention to the Russia–Africa diplomatic flurry since last year, involving all key players from the Sahel to the new African BRICS members Egypt and Ethiopia. In sharp contrast to its prior regard of Niger as a staunch ally in the Sahel, Washington is now forced to present a calendar date to get its troops out of Niger – after a military cooperation deal was annulled. The Pentagon cannot be involved in military training in Nigerien territory anymore.

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Those are dollar signs in his eyes.

EU Can No Longer Expect US To Defend It – Rheinmetall CEO (RT)

Washington has sent a clear message to European NATO members that they can no longer rely on its military protection, the head of German defense giant Rheinmetall has argued. For decades, the EU has been taking for granted that the US would come to its rescue in case of war, but “that will no longer happen,” CEO Armin Papperger told The Financial Times. He cited the failure of the US Congress to approve continued military assistance to Ukraine as a signal to Europe that the Americans are not willing to pay for its security. The US is treaty-obligated to consider an attack on any NATO member as an attack on itself. The commitment has been put into question by former President Donald Trump, who has argued that US protection should be conditional on the other nations meeting their military spending obligations, and claimed he said as much to a European leader while in office.

President Joe Biden has denounced the remarks as “dangerous” and “un-American”. If Trump is elected president again in November, “the pressure will be higher” on Germany, Papperger said, but the risk will still be there regardless of who wins the presidency. ”The US focuses more on the Asia-Pacific area than on Europe,” he said. If a full-blown armed conflict erupts in the region, “the US will focus on Asia, and then Europe will be totally alone.” Papperger said his warning to European nations stems from his enduring perception of the world as “dangerous.” It has also shaped his response to the Ukraine crisis and the EU’s intention to ramp up arms production. Unlike people at the helm of other major producers, he did not hesitate to invest in expansion, the Financial Times report noted.

Since the Russia-Ukraine hostilities erupted in 2022, the Dusseldorf-based company’s share price has surged fivefold. Rheinmetall has announced plans to open armor and munitions factories in Ukraine, despite the risk of them being targeted by Russian forces. Kiev and its Western backers have claimed that a Russian victory in the conflict would expose NATO members in Europe to a future attack by Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin called this argument “simply delirious” last week, considering the vast advantage in military spending that the US-led military bloc has.

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“Social power is when people have power. Then you have government. State power is when the state has power. Then you have tyranny.”

How Private Interests Seized Control of America (Paul Craig Roberts)

One thing that we know with certainty about our time is that no Western government represents the people it rules. Western governments represent the interests of those whose campaign contributions elect the government. The government is simply purchased by campaign contributors. It is not a government in the sense of the word used by Thomas Jefferson and Albert Jay Nock. In the United States, the Supreme Court has legalized the purchase of the government by special interests who use government for their agendas. The Supreme Court actually ruled that it is a First Amendment right to purchase the government. Elsewhere in the Western world it is even worse, because the governments must first represent Washington’s interest. As representing Washington seldom conforms to their interests, no Western government has the support of the people.

I recently posted the approval ratings of the German chancellor, the British prime minister, and the French president, and they were even lower than Biden’s. The German chancellor has an approval rating of 17% In other words, 83% of Germans disapproved. Yet he rules them. Everywhere in Europe approval ratings are disapproval ratings with European leaders disapproved by 65 to 70% of the populations. How can this be called democracy? It can’t. Albert Jay Nock told us the truth of our situation in 1935 in the most important book describing the American political system that has ever been written. If you read and understand Nock’s book and read a couple of Charles Beard’s political histories of the US, you will have a very clear understanding why freedom in America is being extinguished. Albert Jay Nock distinguishes between social power and state power. Social power is when people have power. Then you have government. State power is when the state has power. Then you have tyranny.

This situation is one in which government becomes privatized by powerful interests, including government agencies, to serve their agendas and is transformed into an unaccountable state. Thomas Jefferson intended for the new nation to be governed by social power, that is, by the people. But other of the founding fathers wanted state power that they could enlist to privilege their pursuit of their own interest. Nock provides examples of this by the original founders. In my opinion, perhaps the best example of this was 60-70 years later with Abe Lincoln’s service to the railroads and support of the northern manufacturers for a tariff that would serve their interest at the expense of higher prices for the population. It was Lincoln’s support of the tariff that caused the secession of the Southern states and Lincoln’s invasion of the Confederacy. To cover up the fact that Lincoln was nothing but a shill for economic interests, historians invented a false account of Lincoln’s war against the Confederacy.

In the Western world democracy is merely an exercise used to convince the people that they are in control. I am not going to explicate Nock’s explanation of how we were doomed from the start. It began with the replacement of popular sovereignty with the state. Today unthinking patriots support the state at the expense of country and popular sovereignty. Originally, state power grew by handing out special favors to support the interests of those who gained control of the state. Today the situation has greatly worsened. The state is used to suppress those who object to the special interest agendas. For example, consider the massive repression of popular sovereignty. ( Websites, such as vDare.com, that point out the adverse consequences of the state turning a nation into a tower of babel are being suppressed by the state. vDare.com has been explaining that massive immigration of unassimilable people into a country in the name of diversity and multiculturalism actually means the destruction of the nation. The ultimate effect is to eliminate diversity.

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“DeSantis wrestled control away from Disney’s handpicked board and now Disney has dropped its challenge after suffering a series of losses in court..”

Disney’s Litigation Against Florida Collapses as the Media Shrugs (Turley)

It is a familiar pattern. Media outlets pick sides in a legal dispute and then distort the merits of the claims in favor of that party. In the fight between Disney and Florida, the media not only misrepresented a popular Florida parental rights bill (including falsely calling it the “Don’t Say Gay” law) but heralded Disney’s decision to enter the political fray to oppose the law. It then portrayed Disney’s legal moves to block state efforts to regain regulatory control over the company as brilliant and overwhelming. Some of us disagreed on all of those points, including the prospects of Disney’s ill-considered litigation strategy. Last week, that strategy collapsed with a settlement in which Disney decided to just “Let it go” and these same media outlets simply shrugged and moved on.

In a raw muscle play, Disney had its hand-picked board (the Reedy Creek Improvement District) effectively transfer authority to the company just before it was disbanded. Many in the media were thrilled by the move despite the unlikelihood of its being sustained legally. As I wrote at the time, it would be ridiculous for a court to rule that a company could stop a state from removing special treatment for a corporation like Disney. Even as the company racked up losses in court, the media and legal experts heralded its brilliance and toughness. In the meantime, as Disney itself admitted that it was losing money due to its political agenda, the media heaped praise on the corporation.

When it came to the lawsuits, the media portrayed the moves as brilliant and mocked Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., as outgunned as some of us struggled with how Disney could possibly prevail in the long term. NBC News chief political analyst Chuck Todd insisted that Republicans had “better be careful going after Disney.” MSNBC host and former 2020 Biden campaign aide Symone Sanders-Townsend agreed and said “Oh, my money’s on the Disney lobbyists, honey. My money is on the Disney lobbyists.” On a “Morning Joe,” co-host Joe Scarborough insisted “you can’t beat Disney.” MSNBC contributor Donny Deutsch agreed: DeSantis is “fighting a fight he can’t win, and this, to me, is a precursor of him on a bigger national stage. And he’s just stupid. It’s a stupid, stupid play.”

Vox wrote that “Disney is proving to be the foe that will not die.” Another Vox headline read “How Disney just beat Ron DeSantis.” The problem is that Disney was never winning, but viewers were not told that. The company was gushing money while losing in court. In the end, the Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act continued to garner overwhelming support in the state. DeSantis wrestled control away from Disney’s handpicked board and now Disney has dropped its challenge after suffering a series of losses in court. The response from the media? Crickets. For Disney’s part, it spent millions of dollars, alienated millions of customers, and created precedent against itself. It literally achieved nothing material from its litigation against the state beyond driving up its own costs and reinforcing the regulatory authority against the company. It then walked away.

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“For 55 years, every presidential administration has granted early protection to major candidates who requested it. The Biden administration is the sole outlier..”

Weaponization of the Secret Service Has Put RFK Jr’s Life at Risk (Fleetwood)

Secret Service records recently revealed the agency’s conclusions that Kennedy is at “elevated risk for adverse attention,” and after reviewing credible armed threats against Kennedy, the agency assembled a group of eight teams ready to step in quickly after they get the go-ahead. But they never got it. The threat to Kennedy is particularly acute because of his controversial politics and his family history—his father, RFK, Sr., a U.S. senator and presidential candidate, and his uncle, John F., a U.S. president, were both assassinated. RFK Jr. has provoked and challenged some of the most powerful forces in our country, especially concerning the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and endless foreign wars that so enrich defense contractors. The perils to Kennedy arise not only because of his name but also because of the mainstream media’s relentless demonization of him.

Kennedy’s wife, Cheryl Hines, the lead actress in the popular TV series Curb Your Enthusiasm, accused Biden of “playing politics” with her and RFK Jr.’s safety. “Yesterday, an intruder climbed the fence at my home and was arrested,” Kennedy tweeted a few months ago. “After being released from police custody later in the day, he immediately returned to my home and was arrested again.” In September, a heavily armed man impersonating a U.S. marshal and the CIA, with loaded concealed firearms and an accomplice, was arrested after infiltrating a private event. No wonder Hines is scared and worried. The Kennedy name is a lightning rod, a bright target for disturbed and demented individuals. Judicial Watch, a conservative foundation, filed a Freedom of Information request and lawsuit to determine why Kennedy’s multiple requests for Secret Service protection were not answered. Finally, they obtained a trove of previously hidden emails.

“These documents confirm the bureaucratic and political runaround the Biden administration went through to ultimately deny Robert F. Kennedy Jr. the requested Secret Service protection,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “The Biden administration’s refusal to provide Secret Service protection to Mr. Kennedy is dangerous and vindictive.” According to the reports, higher-ups ordered the Secret Service not to talk to Kennedy’s private security. Seventy percent of voters do not want Biden or Trump. According to a January 9, 2024, Gallup poll, Kennedy’s favorability rating of 52% is higher than Biden’s (41%) and Trump’s (42%). According to an earlier Gallup poll, 63% of U.S. adults think that the major parties do “such a poor job” of representing the American people that “a third major party is needed.”

This is a 7% increase from a year ago. Biden’s choice to deny Kennedy protection reflects insecurity, fearing Kennedy’s popularity and radical, transformative message have the potential to endanger his reelection. He might also worry that Secret Service protection will elevate Kennedy’s stature and give him a certain presidential aura as a credible contender among the media and voters. For 55 years, every presidential administration has granted early protection to major candidates who requested it. The Biden administration is the sole outlier. If another Kennedy is killed while campaigning for president, it will be a long-lasting, traumatic stain on the American psyche that will scar the soul of our democracy for decades to come. Unfortunately, we live in violent, polarized times. The United States has surpassed 400 mass shootings in 2023, a record-breaking year in gun violence.

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1774977436561670316

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“..it’s only natural to assume that a revived effort to paint him as a racist would follow..”

Left Livid Over Trump Ally Efforts To Eliminate Anti-White Policies (ZH)

With Donald Trump’s popularity growing among black and latino voters, it’s only natural to assume that a revived effort to paint him as a racist would follow. In a Monday ‘exclusive’ report, Axios is absolutely beside themselves, writing “Trump allies plot anti-racism protections — for white people” There’s a plot afoot!nTrump’s Justice Department would push to eliminate or upend programs in government and corporate America that are designed to counter racism that has favored whites. Does racism still favor whites? Last we checked, white people, particularly white men – who ‘toxically mansplain’ everything, are the scourge of the universe. Anyhow, Axios has presented quite the narrative; the Trump campaign’s longstanding promise to eliminate Biden DEI initatives + efforts by Trump allies to legally combat anti-white racism “with the Supreme Court’s turn to the right” = racism. First, here’s what Trump said last year:

“Every institution in America is under attack from this Marxist concept of ‘equity,'” adding “I will get this extremism out of the White House, out of the military, out of the Justice Department, and out of our government.” Trump campaign spox Steven Cheung told Axios: “As President Trump has said, all staff, offices, and initiatives connected to Biden’s un-American policy will be immediately terminated,” adding “President Trump is committed to weeding out discriminatory programs and racist ideology across the federal government.” This is apparently a very bad thing. “Longtime aides and allies preparing for a potential second Trump administration have been laying legal groundwork with a flurry of lawsuits and legal complaints — some of which have been successful. A central vehicle for the effort has been America First Legal, founded by former Trump aide Stephen Miller, who has called the group conservatives’ “long-awaited answer to the ACLU.”

“America First cited the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in February in a lawsuit against CBS and Paramount Global for what the group argued was discrimination against a white, straight man who was a writer for the show “Seal Team” in 2017.” -Axios. Axios then picks what we can assume they consider to be the most racist example – the February filing of a civil rights complaint against the NFL over the “Rooney Rule,” which America First says violates “Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and engaging in race and sex discrimination,” as the purpose of the 2003 rule was “increas[ing] the number of minorities hired in head coach, general manager, and executive positions,” to address “the historically low number of minorities in head coaching positions.”

The Rooney Rule has been amended several times since its adoption and now requires teams to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coach and general manager vacancies, at least one external minority for a coordinator job, and at least one minority and/or female candidate for senior level positions, such as club president and senior executives. Effectively, in the twenty years that the Rooney Rule has been in existence, all it has done – according to minority interviewees for head coaching positions and the former head of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith – is result in member clubs engaging in sham interviews with minority candidates solely to check the Rooney Rule box. Given the limited timeframe to hire executives and coaches after the season, this results in fewer opportunities for similarly situated, well-qualified candidates who are not minorities.” -America First Legal.

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For saying a woman is a woman..

JK Rowling Could Be Imprisoned For “Misgendering” Trans People (MN)

Author JK Rowling could be prosecuted for “misgendering” trans people under Scotland’s odious new hate crime law that comes into force today, an SNP minister has admitted. Senior police officers are expecting a deluge of complaints over online posts after the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 created a new crime of “stirring up hatred” relating to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or being intersex. A person could now be imprisoned for up to seven years if they engage in “insulting” behaviour towards ‘protected’ groups, and the prosecution only needs to prove that the hatred was “likely” rather than “intended”. Siobhian Brown, the SNP’s community safety minister, initially stated that calling a “trans woman” (a man) “he” would not be a crime. However, after the law came into force, Brown stated, “It could be reported and it could be investigated. Whether or not the police would think it was criminal is up to Police Scotland for that.”

Rowling has vowed to continue calling biological males men and says she will now be targeted for telling the truth. During their training program on enforcing the new law, police officers were taught that even the content of plays and comedy gigs should be considered as potential hate crimes. Many have asserted that merely retweeting a Ricky Gervais joke about transgender people could amount to a hate crime in Scotland. As we previously highlighted, authorities admit that dealing with the expected flood of hate crime reports would prevent them from investigating real crimes. A Police Scotland pilot in Aberdeen which was deemed a “success” and is expected to be implemented means “more than 24,000 offences a year will no longer be allocated to a front-line officer.” Been a victim of burglary? Tough, the police are too busy clamping down on tweets that offend transgender activists.

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“Despite the suspension, 71-year-old Khan will remain in jail on multiple other sentences..”

Imran Khan’s Jail Sentence Suspended (RT)

A Pakistani court on Monday granted the country’s former prime minister Imran Khan leave to appeal his conviction for graft and suspended his 14-year jail sentence, according to Reuters, citing his lawyer. Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were each handed a 14-year sentence on January 31 – just a week ahead of Pakistan’s February 8 elections, which Khan’s party alleges were rigged. Khan has been in prison since August last year on several charges. According to his lawyer, Barrister Ali Zafar, the Islamabad High Court said the couple’s sentences for corruption will remain suspended until a final decision on the convictions. “No evidence backs up this conviction,” he told reporters, claiming that was the reason why the court suspended the sentence on first hearing of the appeal.

Khan and his wife were charged with unlawfully selling state gifts, worth more than 140 million rupees ($500,000), while Khan was prime minister from 2018 to 2022. A list of these gifts reportedly included perfumes, diamond jewelry, dinner sets, and seven watches, mostly Rolexes. Despite the suspension, 71-year-old Khan will remain in jail on multiple other sentences imposed on the politician ahead of the polls, and which also disqualified him from holding any public office for ten years. In another such prosecution, the former PM was given ten years in prison for leaking state secrets. Khan claimed that the cable he released contained evidence of collusion between the Pakistani military and US officials to have him removed from power in April 2022. A former cricketer-turned-politician, Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote in 2022, with the opposition accusing him of mismanaging the economy and foreign policy.

Since then, the former leader has fought dozens of legal battles. Khan repeatedly denied the allegations and claimed that he was overthrown as a result of a conspiracy. His Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) also maintained that the cases were based on made-up charges to keep him out of politics. The PTI was barred from the election, forcing its candidates to run as independents. On March 3, Pakistan’s newly formed government elected Shehbaz Sharif, who heads the country’s Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, as prime minister, following a general election. The vote took place amid protests by Khan’s supporters, who insist the election was a sham. This is the second term for Sharif, who was first elected prime minister in April 2022, after Khan was ousted in the no-confidence vote.

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“So if the DA’s office is telling me that they are not ready to go, what we’re going to do is we’re going to release all these individuals on their own recognizance..”

Judge Orders Release Of ‘Border Riot’ Migrants Who Overwhelmed National Guard (ZH)

A group of migrants involved in a riot at the southern US border have been ordered to be released by an El Paso magistrate judge. The swarm of migrants overwhelmed Texas National Guard soldiers who were trying to organize them into groups to be taken into custody by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). At one point, a migrant attempted to grab a soldier’s firearm, one National Guard source told the NY Post. Following the riot, authorities confiscated knives and shanks from some of the migrants. “These people were willing to assault military,” said the Post’s source. “They were willing to assault law enforcement. They have complete disregard for our laws.” In an Easter Sunday decision, presiding Magistrate Judge Humberto Acosta ordered the rioters released after accusing the El Paso DA’s Office of being unprepared to proceed with detention hearings for each defendant, so they should be released, the El Paso Times reports.

“It is the ruling of the court is that all the rioting participation cases will be released on their own recognizance,” Acosta ordered, noting that they will only remain jailed if there’s a federal immigration hold blocking their release. The arrests were made by the Texas Department of Public Safety in connection with a March 21 stampede of asylum-seeking migrants — mostly men from Venezuela — who torn down razor wire along the Rio Grande and rushed the border fence at Border Safety Initiative Marker No. 36 in the Riverside area of El Paso’s Lower Valley. Some migrants face charges of assault of a public servant for knocking down National Guard troops before order was regained. The migrants had sought to surrender themselves to U.S. Border Patrol in bids for asylum.

It was unclear if Acosta’s decision applied only to the “riot participation” charge, or the assault and criminal mischief charges related to the border incident. It is unknown how many migrants were booked on the charge of “riot participation,” a Class B misdemeanor – though Acosta referred to “hundreds of arrestees,” who he says are entitled to individual detention hearings within 48 hours. The DA’s office requested a continuance to have the hearings at a later date, however Acosta rejected the request. “So if the DA’s office is telling me that they are not ready to go, what we’re going to do is we’re going to release all these individuals on their own recognizance,” Acosta said at the hearing.

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Pouch

 

 

Pet cat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1774594071472038207

 

 

Family
https://twitter.com/i/status/1774811222216507506

 

 

7 baby ducks

 

 

Parakat

 

 

Buffalo

 

 

 

 

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Feb 112024
 


Vincent van Gogh Landscape with snow 1888

 

War With Russia Could Be Decades Long – NATO Chief (RT)
Tucker Carlson Committed Treason to Talk To Putin… and the World Loved It (SCF)
Tucker-Putin ‘History Lesson’ Shows Russian-US Friendship Possible (Sp.)
The Real Propagandists Are Those Who Dismiss Tucker-Putin Interview (Marsden)
Tucker Carlson Is A ‘Traitor’ – Boris Johnson (RT)
Boris Johnson Nears £5m In Earnings Since Leaving Office (BBC)
Tapping Frozen Russian Assets Is ‘Economic Racketeering’ – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine At Risk Of ‘Cascading Frontline Collapse’ – NYT (RT)
White House Frustration With Garland Grows (Pol.)
Germany on Edge of Ruin Thanks to Energy War Against Russia (Sp.)
Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Make Insane (Paul Craig Roberts)
Mail-In Ballot Fraud Study Finds Trump ‘Almost Certainly’ Won In 2020 (ET)
Jailed Imran Khan Claims Electoral Win (Cradle)
Chernobyl Wolves Have Anti-Cancer Genome (RT)
The Artist Holding Valuable Art Hostage to Protect Julian Assange (Beard)

 

 

 

 

KJP

 

 

Trump ad
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756099327141851444

 

 

Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756409781625946376

 

 

Begala

 

 

 

 

Pentagon files
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756411956813082770

 

 

NATO

 

 

 

 

Watters

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

He sleeps better knowing that when he dies of old age, at least there will still be a war happening.

War With Russia Could Be Decades Long – NATO Chief (RT)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the bloc’s members to increase defense production in anticipation of “a confrontation” with Russia “that could last decades.” Stoltenberg has repeatedly warned that Western economies are ill-prepared for such a conflict.With Ukraine’s counteroffensive fizzled out and Russian forces poised to capture the key Donbass stronghold of Avdeevka, media reports have for weeks highlighted the worsening shortage of men and ammunition facing Kiev. Amid warnings of “a cascading collapse along the front,” Stoltenberg told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper that NATO members must increase arms production to meet Ukraine’s demand. “We need to restore and expand our industrial base more quickly so that we can increase supplies to Ukraine and replenish our own stocks. That means switching from slow production in times of peace to fast production, as is necessary in conflicts,” he said.

NATO recently signed contracts worth $1.2 billion to produce around 220,000 155-millimeter artillery shells, bringing to more than $10 billion the amount spent by the bloc on ammo deals in the past six months. However, the latest contracts will not be fulfilled until the end of 2025, and earlier ammo pledges to Ukraine – like the million artillery shells promised by the EU – have not been met. Meanwhile, American stockpiles have been depleted by Washington’s effort to arm both Ukraine and Israel, and a $61 billion military aid package promised by the White House remains stalled in Congress.“NATO is not looking for war with Russia. But we have to prepare ourselves for a confrontation that could last decades,” Stoltenberg told Die Welt. “If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wins in Ukraine, there is no guarantee that Russian aggression will not spread to other countries.”

Stoltenberg is one of multiple Western political and military leaders to predict a looming Russian attack on the bloc. Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen, Swedish General Micael Biden, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, and British Defense Minister Grant Shapps have all stated in recent weeks that such a conflict could break out in as little as three years. Aside from the fact that attacking NATO territory would enter Russia into a war with the entire alliance, Russian officials have repeatedly stressed that Moscow has no geopolitical, economic, or military interests in Poland or the Baltic states.

“It is absolutely out of the question,” Putin told American journalist Tucker Carlson earlier this week. “You just don’t have to be any kind of analyst, it goes against common sense to get involved in some kind of global war. And a global war will bring all of humanity to the brink of destruction. It’s obvious.” Putin argued that Western leaders are “trying to intimidate their own population with an imaginary Russian threat.” These predictions, he said, “are just horror stories for people in the street in order to extort additional money from US taxpayers and European taxpayers” to keep weapons and ammo flowing to Ukraine.

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“..the relentless allocation of public money to prop up a corrupt regime in Kiev..”

Tucker Carlson Committed Treason to Talk To Putin… and the World Loved It (SCF)

The Western states and their media can deprecate Russia’s perspective as much as they like but there is such a thing as historical truth. Most people around the world, including informed American scholars like John Mearsheimer, diplomats like Jack Matlock, and commentators like Jeffrey Sachs, know that the conflict in Ukraine has a much greater dimension than the Western propagandistic media would try to purvey. There is such a thing as the ring of truth. Most people, even those who have been formerly benighted by misinformation, generally appreciate a version of history that accords with the facts and rational analysis. Western politicians and media cannot deliver such an edifying account because they have systematically lied about and distorted the causes of conflict in Ukraine and more generally on the relations between the West and Russia. Putin went a long way towards setting the record straight in his interview with Tucker Carlson this week. It was by no means the first time that the Russian leader had done so.

For those who follow the Ukraine conflict outside of the confines of Western media propaganda, what Putin said would have been quite familiar. The powerful effect of Carlson’s interview is that he succeeded in bringing an important perspective to a wider American and Western audience who regrettably have been up to now badly misinformed by Western media. Already, growing numbers of American and European citizens have become wary and critical of the futile war in Ukraine and the relentless allocation of public money to prop up a corrupt regime in Kiev. Carlson deserves immense credit for having the courage and integrity to seek out a perspective that sheds light not just on why there is a bloody conflict in Ukraine but also on the corruption that is endemic in the Western states: the illusions of independent journalism, free speech, and promoting democracy.

Sooner or later, people will realize that the United States and its European vassals are nothing but rogue states whose imperialist crimes know no bounds. The Western media corporate machine plays a vital part in the cover-up of imperial crimes, not just in Ukraine, but also currently in Syria, Gaza, Yemen, Iraq, and beyond. Any lifting of the veil on this naked Western despotism must be shut down immediately. Hence the furious reaction to Carlson’s interview. But it’s too late. The truth is out. The escaping truth will have inevitable political and historical consequences. In regard just to Ukraine, the U.S.-led NATO proxy war is no longer tenable. Elitist Western regimes must be – and will be – held to account for the fueling of this war and the vast squandering and theft of public money to pursue their secretive imperialist interests.

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“..Why do we want to be in a state of internal friction and even war with this country? The only answer I come to is money.”

Tucker-Putin ‘History Lesson’ Shows Russian-US Friendship Possible (Sp.)

On Thursday, US Journalist and former Fox News Contributor Tucker Carlson interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin, the first such interview by a Western journalist since Russia launched its special operation in Ukraine. One controversial aspect of the interview was Putin’s insistence on starting with an extensive summary of the histories of Russia and Ukraine that lasted for nearly half an hour at the start of the interview. Many observers criticized the decision, fearing that it would cause those with shorter attention spans to tune out the interview before Putin addressed his decision to launch the special operation. Rick Sanchez, an American journalist, former anchor for CNN and current host of two shows on RT, told Sputnik’s Fault Lines that the history lesson was a necessary aspect of the interview to show Americans that the conflict in Ukraine did not start in February 2022 and that the US and Russia could have struck up a partnership in the wake of the Cold War.

“The word that comes to mind is necessary,” Sanchez said of the interview. “For some damn reason in this country, we have decided that we will allow our government officials, our State Department, oftentimes, people who aren’t even elected, to determine whom we are allowed to hear and whom we are allowed to listen to.” Sanchez argued that the segment of the interview that focused on the fall of the Soviet Union and Putin’s rise to the Presidency roughly a decade later illustrated how the United States rebuffed his overtures of friendship, despite verbal support from Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. “It almost seems as you listen to the man, that we have done everything possible to make sure Russia is not our friend. Even when they came to us offering to embrace and make friendship,” Sanchez explained. ”One can’t help but wonder why… Why do we want to be in a state of internal friction and even war with this country? The only answer I come to is money.”

On the subject of whether the history lesson segment went on too long, Sanchez agreed it might have been off-putting to Americans used to cable news and two-and-a-half minute interviews but noted that is not part of Russian culture and Putin likely wanted to provide the context Americans have been lacking in the conflict. “I think Putin went in saying, ‘I’ve got a long and important story to tell, and it begins with A [and] ends with Z.’ He was hell-bent on taking him through that,” Sanchez explained, noting that Putin’s knowledge of history and geopolitics and his ability to recall them was impressive to watch. “Say what you will about [Putin], you’re allowed to hate him, you’re still allowed to be mad at him about Ukraine or about anything else, but you can’t walk away from that interview and say ‘oh, that guy’s an idiot.’”

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“..might initiate a, quote, ‘surprise attack’” on Russia. “I didn’t say that,” Putin interjected. “Are we having a talk show or a serious conversation?”

The Real Propagandists Are Those Who Dismiss Tucker-Putin Interview (Marsden)

American establishment media spent the days in the run-up to Tucker Carlson’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin pre-judging it as propaganda, and soliciting the opinions of establishment figures, like former US secretary of state, first lady, and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, who dismissed Carlson a “useful idiot.” All this before they even had the slightest notion of the interview’s content. All they knew was that Putin would have an opportunity to speak, and that ever since Carlson left Fox News and turned independent, there wasn’t any obvious establishment figure to babysit him or control what went out. Worse, it would air on the X platform (formerly Twitter) owned by Elon Musk, who describes himself as a “free speech absolutist.” So it did not bode well for the kind of propagandistic framing that the Western establishment enjoys when it comes to locking down narratives under the guise of fighting a war on fake news.

The fact that journalists balked at the very notion of Carlson interviewing Putin reeked of professional jealousy. There isn’t a credible journalist out there who wouldn’t leap at the same opportunity if given the chance. Which is why, as journalists from CNN and the BBC confirmed, they’d long sought their own interviews with Putin — unsuccessfully. Presumably, Carlson’s format, audience reach, and freedom from establishment media constraints were appealing enough to land him the opportunity. Good for him. And for the journalistic record that can only benefit from any and all contributions. It’s not like other media outlets don’t also benefit from their Western colleagues questioning Putin. I experienced this myself when invited to ask a question during one of Putin’s marathon press conferences. For the record, no one had any clue what I’d be asking.

Neither did I, actually, as about five or six different themes suddenly went on spin cycle in my mind as I stood to speak. My question ultimately ended up being what Putin thinks about then President Donald Trump’s assertion that Islamic State had been defeated in Syria — Trump’s rationale for announcing the withdrawal of American troops just the day before. Putin’s response, in agreeing with Trump’s assessment, was newsworthy, and was quickly picked up by CNN and other Western media. The difference between me and Carlson? No competitors had to credit me as the source of the question. So the information Putin provided could safely be used without having to credit a “competitor” and denting any egos, as is often the case in press conferences. Not so with exclusive interviews.

Focusing on Carlson as some kind of flawed messenger serves as a convenient pretext for ignoring critical information and analysis. The fact that some journalists may think that Carlson’s questioning or approach was misguided — or that he didn’t push back enough for their tastes — doesn’t mean that they can’t subsequently take what Putin said and analyze it themselves. Every bit of information, analysis, or interview of any world leader is a valuable contribution. Litmus tests have no place in objective, impartial journalism. Many of those who criticize Carlson are the same ones who routinely search the Wikileaks database for leaked and dumped classified information to flesh out their own stories about various political issues and events that have since materialized — all while refusing to acknowledge that the publisher, Julian Assange, is as much of a journalist as they are.

Carlson’s flaws arguably even served the American and global public. Much like Carlson erroneously claimed prior to the interview that other journalists couldn’t be bothered to interview Putin before he came along, he also played fast and loose with his very first question to the Russian president, stating that Putin said in his February 22, 2022, national address, at the onset of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, that he “had come to the conclusion that the United States, through NATO, might initiate a, quote, ‘surprise attack’” on Russia. “I didn’t say that,” Putin interjected. “Are we having a talk show or a serious conversation?” Carlson’s lack of precision, sounding like a guy who thought he was having a chit-chat with another dude over beers in a bar, created an opportunity for Putin to launch a history lesson going back 2,000 years on how the Ukraine conflict came about.

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“..Nothing and no one could have stopped those lion-hearted Ukrainians from fighting for their country – and nothing will..”

Tucker Carlson Is A ‘Traitor’ – Boris Johnson (RT)

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denounced journalist Tucker Carlson as a “traitor” for failing to antagonize President Vladimir Putin during his interview with the Russian leader in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday. “We must not fall for this tissue of lies, above all the notion that Putin is somehow fated to succeed in Ukraine,” Johnson said. “On the contrary, he is doomed to fail.” The British politician, who resigned in disgrace in 2022 amid mounting scandals regarding his government’s flouting of its own Covid-19 rules, implored his followers to read the lengthy condemnation of Carlson’s sit-down with the Russian leader he penned for the Daily Mail. Johnson’s op-ed repeatedly invoked Adolf Hitler, insisting that Carlson was being “a traitor to journalism” by playing “Dictaphone to the dictator.”

The Russian president’s extended explanation of the history of Ukraine was merely a “mixture of semi-masticated Wikipedia and outright falsehood” – insisting Putin “demolished his own thesis” by “reckless and criminal violence” against Ukraine. Carlson had fallen down on the job by not asking “tough questions” or taking him to task “for the torture, the rapes, the blowing up of kindergartens” supposedly committed by the Russian military – atrocities often invoked by Ukraine’s supporters in the West in the absence of evidence. Johnson especially took issue with what he called the “ludicrous suggestion that the UK government persuaded the Ukrainians to fight on, rather than surrender to Putin’s tender mercies, in the spring of 2022,” claiming that “every member of the Ukrainian government will confirm” that it was Kiev that made the decision to tear up the peace treaty.“ Nothing and no one could have stopped those lion-hearted Ukrainians from fighting for their country – and nothing will,” he wrote.

He likened Carlson’s interview to the American newspapers that published sympathetic interviews with Hitler, insisting Putin was “exactly like” the Nazi bogeyman because he discoursed at length about “the alleged injustices suffered by speakers of his native tongue.” Johnson infamously pressured Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky not to accept what he called a “bad peace deal” in May of 2022, insisting that negotiating with Putin was the equivalent of reasoning with “a crocodile when it’s got your leg in its jaws,” given the Russians’ advances through Ukrainian territory. After successfully scuttling the negotiations, the British leader declared through a spokesperson that “the world must avoid any outcome where Putin’s unwarranted aggression appears to have paid off.” The 15-point peace deal negotiated between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul would have involved Kiev renouncing its efforts to join NATO and committing to neutrality in exchange for a withdrawal of Russian troops from parts of the country.

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“The £4.8m in earnings that Mr Johnson has declared since leaving No 10 just over five months ago is more than 50 times his yearly £84,144 MP salary..”

Boris Johnson Nears £5m In Earnings Since Leaving Office (BBC)

Boris Johnson has registered an advance payment of nearly £2.5m for speaking events, in his latest declaration of outside earnings. It brings the former prime minister’s declared income since leaving office last September to almost £4.8m. He has previously recorded nearly £1.8m in speaking fees since his departure. Mr Johnson has also registered a further £13,500 in accommodation from JCB boss Lord Bamford and his wife Carole for January and February. It brings the total value of accommodation he has registered from the couple for him and his family since leaving Downing Street to £74,000.The nearly £2.5m advance in his latest declaration is from the New York-based Harry Walker speaking agency, for an unspecified number of speeches.

It comes on top of almost £1.8m he has registered since leaving office for nine speeches delivered in the US, India, Portugal, the UK and Singapore. As well as a £510,000 advance for his political memoirs from publisher HarperCollins, he has also declared £1,943 since leaving No 10 in royalty payments for previously written books. Under ministerial rules, former ministers are not allowed to take jobs that involve influencing government for two years after leaving their post. But Mr Johnson’s latest declarations are the latest demonstration of how much former leaders can earn shortly after leaving office through book deals and on the lucrative speaking circuit. The £4.8m in earnings that Mr Johnson has declared since leaving No 10 just over five months ago is more than 50 times his yearly £84,144 MP salary.

A company set up to support his activities as a former PM has also received £1m from crypto currency investor Christopher Harborne. Mr Harborne has previously donated more than £15m to the Conservatives, the Brexit Party, and Reform UK. Mr Johnson was forced to resign by his ministers last July after a series of controversies prompted a mass walk-out among his ministers. He attempted a comeback after his successor, Liz Truss, quit within weeks of taking office last September. But despite obtaining enough support from Tory MPs to run in the contest to replace her, he ultimately stood aside, clearing the way for Rishi Sunak to become prime minister in October.

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“..EU members “clearly do not want to continue paying for the doomed ‘Ukrainian project’ from their own wallets..”

Tapping Frozen Russian Assets Is ‘Economic Racketeering’ – Moscow (RT)

The EU’s plan to seize the profits from frozen Russian assets and hand them over to Ukraine would be a gross violation of international law, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has told RIA Novosti. Belgium-based clearing house Euroclear, which holds an estimated €196.6 billion ($211 billion) in Russian assets, accumulated nearly €4.4 billion in interest from funds in sanctioned Russian accounts last year. EU ambassadors recently agreed to use the profits to support Ukraine. The proposal has yet to be approved by the European Council and would reportedly stop short of touching the assets themselves. Russia, however, regards any actions against its sovereign assets and those belonging to its citizens and companies “as economic racketeering on the part of the collective West,” the Foreign Ministry stated on Saturday.

“[The EU’s] invention of openly fraudulent schemes for the seizure of income from Russian assets is dictated by the need to create the illusion of legitimacy over attacks on our property and thereby camouflage what is in fact an outright theft,” the ministry added. It claimed that EU members “clearly do not want to continue paying for the doomed ‘Ukrainian project’ from their own wallets,” which is “why they are so tempted by the idea of spending funds stolen from our country to support the Zelensky regime.”

Last week, the EU agreed on a €50 billion aid package for Kiev over the next four years, although the decision was reached only after Hungary withdrew its veto amid pressure from Brussels. Meanwhile, a $60 billion US aid package for Ukraine has stalled in Congress, as Washington pushes for the confiscation of Russian assets to secure alternative funding. In total, the US and its allies have frozen an estimated $300 billion in Russian assets and reserves since the start of the Ukraine conflict in 2022. Moscow has condemned the measures, warning of tit-for-tat responses and lawsuits.

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“..Kiev only has enough air defense assets to last until March..”

Ukraine At Risk Of ‘Cascading Frontline Collapse’ – NYT (RT)

Ukraine’s worsening lack of ammunition and battle fatigue will most likely force Kiev to abandon its current frontline positions unless it receives new aid from the West, the New York Times reported on Friday. The paper said that Ukrainian defenses near the key stronghold of Avdeevka in Russia’s Donetsk Region are reeling under relentless attacks, and Kiev’s problems extend beyond one single battle. Ukrainian troops, the NYT added, are exhausted and suffer from a lack of weapons and ammunition, especially with regard to air defense systems. According to unnamed US officials interviewed by the outlet, Kiev only has enough air defense assets to last until March, unless it receives new shipments. This is far from certain, as the US – Ukraine’s main backer – is locked in congressional gridlock over President Joe Biden’s request to approve a $118 billion security bill, $60 billion of which is earmarked for Kiev.

Many Republicans have been reluctant to support the measure, claiming it does too little to improve security on the border with Mexico. Western officials believe that without US aid, “a cascading collapse along the front is a real possibility” in 2024, the article says. Nevertheless, they reportedly estimate that it will take at least a couple of months for the shortages to take a toll. According to analysts, by March, Ukraine could be struggling to carry out local counterattacks, and by summer, Kiev could find it difficult to repel Russian assaults. Without continued US support, NYT sources say “it’s hard to see how Ukraine will be able to maintain its current positions on the battlefield.”

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly complained of a shortage of ammunition, calling it “a very real and pressing problem.” Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing a senior EU official, that “It will not be easy for the Europeans to substitute for the US” in terms of military assistance. Last year, the EU announced an ambitious plan to provide Ukraine with 1 million shells by the spring of 2024. However, the bloc has struggled to deliver on this pledge, with top EU diplomat Josep Borrell saying Kiev will receive only half of that amount by March. Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, warning that they will only prolong the conflict without changing the ultimate outcome.

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“..had Garland moved sooner in his investigation into former President Donald Trump’s election interference, a trial may already be underway or even have concluded..”

White House Frustration With Garland Grows (Pol.)

Joe Biden has told aides and outside advisers that Attorney General Merrick Garland did not do enough to rein in a special counsel report stating that the president had diminished mental faculties, according to two people close to the president, as White House frustration with the head of the Justice Department grows. The report from special counsel Robert Hur ultimately cleared Biden of any charges stemming from his handling of classified documents that were found at Biden’s think tank and his home. But Hur’s explanation for not bringing charges — that Biden would have persuaded the jury that he was a forgetful old man — upended the presidential campaign and infuriated the White House.

Biden and his closest advisers believe Hur went well beyond his purview and was gratuitous and misleading in his descriptions, according to those two people, who were granted anonymity to speak freely. And they put part of the blame on Garland, who they say should have demanded edits to Hur’s report, including around the descriptions of Biden’s faltering memory. In White House meetings, aides have questioned why Garland felt the need to appoint a special counsel in the first place, though Biden has publicly said he supported the decision. While Biden himself has not weighed in on Garland’s future, most of the president’s senior advisers do not believe that the attorney general would remain in his post for a possible second term, according to the two people.

“This has been building for a while,” said one of those people. “No one is happy”. Frustration within the White House at Garland has been growing steadily. Last year, Biden privately denounced how long the probe into his son was taking, telling aides and outside allies that he believed the stress could send Hunter Biden spiraling back into addiction, according to the same two people. And the elder Biden, the people said, told those confidants that Garland should not have eventually empowered a special counsel to look into his son, believing that he again was caving to outside pressure. In recent weeks, President Biden has grumbled to aides and advisers that had Garland moved sooner in his investigation into former President Donald Trump’s election interference, a trial may already be underway or even have concluded, according to two people granted anonymity to discuss private matters.

That trial still could take place before the election and much of the delay is owed not to Garland but to deliberate resistance put up by the former president and his team. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice declined to comment. But one former senior Justice Department official noted that some of the frustrations being directed at Garland are better directed toward the White House. The president’s team had the option to exert executive privilege over elements of Hur’s report but declined to do so. And had Garland made edits to the report, he would have had to explain those redactions to Congress.

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“I am really uncertain that we can halt this trend. Many things would have to change very quickly.”

Germany on Edge of Ruin Thanks to Energy War Against Russia (Sp.)

In 2022, Berlin dutifully followed the Biden administration’s instructions to cut Germany off from Russian gas and ramp up arms deliveries to Ukraine for NATO’s proxy war against Russia. Two years on, alarming predictions of a major economic crisis and the wholesale deindustrialization of Europe’s biggest industrial economy are coming to pass. Germany’s industrial production has dropped for the seventh-straight month, reaching negative 1.6 percent in December, from negative 0.2 percent in November, according to data released Wednesday by Germany’s national statistics office. Among the sectors most heavily affected was the chemical industry, which faced losses of a whopping 7.6 percent – its worst showing since 1995. Construction suffered a 3.4 percent decline. Business media took the data as a sign of serious problems in the German economy, with Bloomberg running a piece entitled ‘Germany’s Days as an Industrial Superpower Are Coming to an End’, and citing the energy crisis stemming from the loss of Russian energy supplies as the straw that broke the back of the declining European economic powerhouse.

“There’s not a lot of hope, if I’m honest,” Stefan Klebert, CEO of GEA Group AG, a Dusseldorf-headquartered special purpose industrial machinery company, told the outlet. “I am really uncertain that we can halt this trend. Many things would have to change very quickly.” The company Klebert manages is nearly 150 years old, surviving 20th century crises from the two world wars to the 1929 depression. Now, it and its 18,000+ employees face an uncertain future. “Despite the motivation of our employees, we have arrived at a point where we can’t export truck tires from Germany at competitive prices,” Maria Rottger, head of Northern Europe operations at French-headquartered tire-making giant Michelin, said. “If Germany can’t export competitively in the international context, the country loses one of its biggest strengths,” he noted.

Some 5,000 of Michelin’s 66,000+ European employees are based in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In late 2023, the company announced cuts of over 1,500 jobs to its German operations. Goodyear, the American tire giant, announced the closure of two plants in the country, cutting 1,750 jobs. “You don’t have to be a pessimist to say that what we’re doing at the moment won’t be enough,” Volker Trier, the foreign trade chief at Germany’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said. “The speed of structural change is dizzying.” Dozens of other major German businesses have been affected by the energy crisis, with European chemical giant BASF SE recently slashing 2,600 jobs, and Cologne-headquartered specialty chemicals company Lanxess AG cutting 7 percent of its German workforce.

German businesses have spent years sounding the alarm about problems with infrastructure, an aging workforce, bureaucracy, economic costs associated with the pandemic and falling investment in education and other public services. The crisis in economic ties with Russia, combined with efforts by Berlin’s transatlantic “ally” to pluck high-tech industrial manufacturers out of Germany using generous subsidies, and growing competition from China, have combined to create a perfect storm of unprecedented industrial malaise. “We are no longer competitive,” German Finance Minister Christian Lindner admitted at a business event in Frankfurt on Monday. “We are getting poorer because we have no growth. We are falling behind.”

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“All that remains of America is an insane government with nuclear weapons.”

Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Make Insane (Paul Craig Roberts)

The prime minister of formerly “Great Britain,” an Indian named Sunak, Scholz and Macron, the non-entities who head Washington’s puppet states of Germany and France, and the non-entities in Norway, Finland, Poland and the rest of the militarily and economically impotent puppet governments that comprise the American Empire, declare their preparation for war with Russia. What a joke! None of these territories–they are so over-run by third world immigrant-invaders that they no longer rank as countries, just territories open for the taking–have confident nationalistic populations willing to lose their lives in defense of their subservience to Washington and their domestic oppression. Can anyone seriously imagine Sweden, whose military-aged ethnic males are afraid to prevent immigrant-invaders’ rapes of ethnic Swedish women because they would be arrested for hate crimes, forming an army capable of facing Russian troops?

Or Germans for that matter, a task beyond the Wehrmacht, possibly the finest army in modern history. Or the French–a task beyond Napoleon. Certainly not the Italians, again over-run, or the Dutch lost in sexual and drug lusts. Or for that matter Americans. Americans, whose main fighting element–Southern White Males–are racially discriminated against by Biden’s black Pentagon chief, who has prevented their promotions because “there are too many white officers,” have ceased to enlist. After all, what Southern “heterosexual white supremacist racist,” as the Biden regime describes its would be recruits, wants to be denied promotion because of his race and, because of his race and “sexual preference,” be lorded over by black female commanders and homosexuals, and soon by transgendered and illegal immigrant-invaders.

I am confident that it is impossible for any Western country to be capable of fielding an army that would not be wiped out instantly by a Russian force, a Chinese force, or even by an Iranian force. The last wars that the US won were against Spain in the 1890s and against Japan in 1945. After a 20-year effort, the US military was driven out of Afghanistan by a few thousand lightly-armed Taliban, just as it was driven out of Vietnam. I regret that this statement hurts the feelings of those who thought they were fighting for something important, but they were deceived for the profits of the military/security complex and for Washington’s hubris. In the entirety of the Western World the belief system has been destroyed. The destruction of essential beliefs has been going on since the 1960s when university students began their chant “Western Civilization has to go.” Well, it is gone. All that remains of America is an insane government with nuclear weapons.

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“Over 43 percent of 2020 votes were cast by mail..”

Mail-In Ballot Fraud Study Finds Trump ‘Almost Certainly’ Won In 2020 (ET)

The Heartland Institute study tried to gauge the probable impact that fraudulent mail-in ballots cast for both then-candidate Joe Biden and his opponent, President Donald Trump, would have had on the overall 2020 election results. The study was based on data obtained from a Heartland/Rasmussen survey in December that revealed that roughly one in five mail-in voters admitted to potentially fraudulent actions in the presidential election. After the researchers carried out additional analyses of the data, they concluded that mail-in ballot fraud “significantly” impacted the 2020 presidential election. They also found that, absent the huge expansion of mail-in ballots during the pandemic, which was often done without legislative approval, President Trump would most likely have won.

“Had the 2020 election been conducted like every national election has been over the past two centuries, wherein the vast majority of voters cast ballots in-person rather than by mail, Donald Trump would have almost certainly been re-elected,” the report’s authors wrote. Over 43 percent of 2020 votes were cast by mail, the highest percentage in U.S. history. The new study examined raw data from the December survey carried out jointly between Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports, which tried to assess the level of fraudulent voting that took place in 2020. The December survey, which President Trump called “the biggest story of the year,” suggested that roughly 20 percent of mail-in voters engaged in at least one potentially fraudulent action in the 2020 election, such as voting in a state where they’re no longer permanent residents.

In the new study, Heartland analysts say that, after reviewing the raw survey data, subjecting it to additional statistical treatment and more thorough analysis, they now believe they can conclude that 28.2 percent of respondents who voted by mail committed at least one type of behavior that is “under most circumstances, illegal” and so potentially amounts to voter fraud. “This means that more than one-in-four ballots cast by mail in 2020 were likely cast fraudulently, and thus should not have been counted,” the researchers wrote. A Heartland Institute research editor and research fellow who was involved in the study explained to The Epoch Times in a telephone interview that there are narrow exceptions where a surveyed behavior may be legal, like filling out a mail-in ballot on behalf of another voter if that person is blind, illiterate, or disabled, and requests assistance. However, the research fellow, Jack McPherrin, said such cases were within the margin of error and not statistically significant.

In addition to reassessing the likely overall degree of fraudulent mail-in ballots in the 2020 election, Heartland analysts calculated the potential impact that fraudulent mail-in ballots might have produced in the six key swing states that President Trump officially lost. This, then, was used to determine the impact of potentially fraudulent mail-in ballots on the overall 2020 election result. First, the researchers analyzed the electoral results for the six swing states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—under the 28.2 percent fraudulent mail-in ballot scenario that they estimated based on the raw survey data. Then they calculated the electoral results in the six states under the different scenarios, each with a lower assumed percentage of fraudulent ballots, ranging from 28.2 percent all the way down to 1 percent. For each of the 29 scenarios that they assessed, the researchers calculated the estimated number of fraudulent ballots, which were then subtracted from overall 2020 vote totals to generate a new estimate for vote totals.Overall, of the 29 different scenarios presented in the study, the researchers concluded that President Trump would have won the 2020 election in all but three.

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“You kept my trust, and your massive turnout has stunned everyone,” the AI voice said in the video..”

Jailed Imran Khan Claims Electoral Win (Cradle)

Independent candidates affiliated with imprisoned Pakistani political leader Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have won the most seats in elections for the National Assembly. Vote counting is ongoing, but the Election Commission of Pakistan announced that independent candidates have won 98 seats so far, with the winners of 22 seats still undetermined. The majority of the independents are affiliated with Khan’s PTI party. Members of the PTI ran as independents after the party was effectively banned last month. The Pakistani Supreme Court ruled that the party could not use its traditional electoral symbol, a cricket bat. Because many PTI supporters in rural areas are illiterate, the symbol would be the only way to identify the party on the ballot for many. Khan was slapped with three jail sentences last week and barred from holding any public post for ten years. The former premier has been the target of lawfare since being ousted in a US-backed legislative coup in early 2022.

The PTI has been the target of harassment and even abductions of its candidates by pro-military elements that do not wish to see Khan or his party return to power. The party has also seen restrictions imposed on rallies and media coverage, as authorities ordered journalists and television stations not to mention Khan’s party as part of their election coverage. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Party (PMLN) has won 69 seats, while the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has the third-most with 51 seats. None of the country’s three major parties will win the necessary 169 seats to form a government on their own, meaning a coalition must be formed to determine the next prime minister. Khan used an AI-generated video of himself to claim victory in the election from prison, asking his supporters to “now show the strength of protecting your vote.”

“You kept my trust, and your massive turnout has stunned everyone,” the AI voice said in the video. Khan’s opponent, former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was previously deposed in a coup and spent years abroad to avoid prison on corruption charges. However, Sharif is currently viewed as the military establishment’s choice. However, some PTI candidates who ran as independents could be pressured to align with other parties when forming a coalition. According to Michael Kugelman, the director of the South Asia Institute at the Wilson Center, “the military will likely pressure them to do so.” Sharif’s PMLN may also be able to form a coalition with other parties and exclude the PTI from the government, Kugelman added.

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“The density of the wolf population within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone [..] is estimated to be seven times greater than in surrounding reserves..”

Chernobyl Wolves Have Anti-Cancer Genome (RT)

Wolves in the irradiated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone have developed resistance to cancer, research which may help fight the disease in humans has shown.Biologists from Princeton University found that wolves are exposed to over 11 millirem of cancer-causing radiation daily for their entire lives. A standard chest X-ray, in comparison, exposes the whole body to around 1 to 2 millirem. In 1986, a nuclear reactor exploded at the power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, around 80 miles north of Kiev. The blast released 400 times more radiation than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II, and over 100,000 people were evacuated from the city. In the three decades since the accident, Chernobyl has remained abandoned. Local wildlife, however, reclaimed much of the area.

The density of the wolf population within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which is considered unsafe for human habitation, is estimated to be seven times greater than in surrounding reserves. Scientists put radio collars on wolves roaming the wastelands of the zone to monitor their movements and make real-time measurements of the radiation they are exposed to. Researchers also took blood samples to see how the wolves’ bodies respond to cancer-causing radiation. The study found that the reason why the animals are thriving in the radioactive zone is that part of their genetic information is resilient to the increased risk of the disease and their immune systems become similar to those of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Scientists say the bodies of dogs and wolves fight cancer in much the same way as the human body. The research may identify protective mutations that can increase the chances for humans to survive cancer, they added.

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“.. On the day the hearing begins, two video cameras in Cauterets, one fitted in a corner of the safe and one outside it, will begin live streaming on YouTube. In the event that Assange should die in prison, a remote-control button will be activated to set off the chemical reaction, and the contents of the safe will disintegrate..”

The Artist Holding Valuable Art Hostage to Protect Julian Assange (Beard)

One unusually warm January afternoon, I arrived in Cauterets, a small spa town in the Pyrenees, in southwest France, to meet the Russian artist Andrei Molodkin. There was a scattering of fromagerie stalls in the streets. Low-slung cable cars ferried skiers to the mountaintop, casting moving shadows over the families wandering through the town. Walking among them, I wondered what they’d think if they knew what Molodkin was doing up the hill. A few years ago, Molodkin bought a large nineteenth-century sanatorium, a stately, symmetrical, magnolia-yellow building with tiled floors and a gabled roof with a wrought-iron frame. On the day of my visit, Molodkin, who is fifty-seven, was wearing utilitarian black trousers, black work boots, and a black insulated jacket as he ushered me into the sanatorium’s spacious entrance hall. At one end of it was a freestanding, thirty-two-ton Swiss bank safe, about thirteen by nine feet, which Molodkin had imported from Amsterdam.

It had been brought into the building piecemeal, via forklift, last fall; the artist, along with several men who worked in a nearby factory, guided panels of the safe inside, then bolted them together with the help of two security advisers from Berlin. As Molodkin strained to open the heavy metal door of the safe, I counted five different locks. Inside were a handful of custom-built plywood crates, which will eventually hold a group of works donated by artists and collectors. There will be pieces by Picasso, Rembrandt, and Andy Warhol, as well as more contemporary works by artists such as Andres Serrano, Santiago Sierra, and Sarah Lucas, which Molodkin estimates at a collective value of around forty million dollars. “We have sixteen art works so far, but people keep offering to donate more,” he said, a note of satisfaction detectable in his voice.


A Swiss safe, part of Molodkin’s project “Dead Man’s Switch,” stands in the entrance hall of a former sanatorium in Cauterets, France.

In the middle of the crates was a small pneumatic pump connecting two white barrels, one containing acid powder and the other an accelerator that could cause a chemical reaction strong enough to turn the entire contents of the safe to debris within two hours. The project is called “Dead Man’s Switch,” and the “dead man” in question is the Australian WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, who is currently jailed on remand in London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison. In 2010, WikiLeaks published a spate of leaks from the Army private Chelsea Manning about U.S. military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. After Sweden issued a European arrest warrant for Assange in connection to sexual-assault allegations (a case that has since been dropped), Assange took refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012, where he remained for seven years. A hacking charge against Assange was unsealed in April, 2019; one month later, the U.S. government added new charges, indicting him for violating the Espionage Act for his part in WikiLeaks’ disclosure of secret military and diplomatic documents.

The indictment has raised concerns over its implications for First Amendment rights and journalists who report on national-security issues. On February 20 and 21, 2024, Assange will face a court hearing on what may be his final bid to appeal the United States’ order to extradite him. On the day the hearing begins, two video cameras in Cauterets, one fitted in a corner of the safe and one outside it, will begin live streaming on YouTube. In the event that Assange should die in prison, a remote-control button will be activated to set off the chemical reaction, and the contents of the safe will disintegrate. Only if Assange is released as a free man, Molodkin said, will the art be returned to its owners. Molodkin believes that Assange’s extradition to the United States and incarceration there would put his life “in great danger.” “Assange is a red line,” he said.

Molodkin met Stella Assange and members of WikiLeaks last March, in London, at an exhibition by a/political, an art organization. The organization was launched, in 2013, by the Kazakhstan-born entrepreneur and art collector Andrei Tretyakov (who helped Molodkin buy the sanatorium), and it supports the work of a number of artists who often engage with provocative political subjects. The members of WikiLeaks “are not involved,” Molodkin said.

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CO2

 

 

Hercules beetle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756303584499576860

 

 

Love is the answer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756245509306564893

 

 

Parrot
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756327412428570966

 

 

Epstein

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 042024
 
 February 4, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Jules Bastien-LePage The annunciation to the shepherds 1875

 

RFK Jr Slams American Attacks On Syria and Iraq (RT)
Israel vs. Hezbollah: A New War Will Consume The Entire Middle East (Sadygzade)
Biden’s Justification For Hitting Iran Puts NATO Troops in Danger (Sp.)
US House To Vote On Israel-only Aid Bill – Speaker (RT)
Staffers Speaking Out Shows How ‘Morally Bankrupt’ Biden Admin Has Grown (Sp.)
The Silence of the Damned (Chris Hedges)
Tucker Carlson Spotted In Moscow (RT)
Good Money After Bad: Where Will EU Funds for Ukraine Come From? (Sp.)
Ukraine Coerces Mass-Conscripts Unfit for Military Service – PoW (Sp.)
Is Zaluzhny Getting Ready to Take Down Zelensky? (Scott Ritter)
Taiwan Helping To Arm Moscow – WaPo (RT)
Florida Sends Troops To Stop Migrant ‘Invasion’ (RT)
Germany’s Economy Is Dying. Here’s Why And What Happens Next (RM)
F-35 Jet Fails to Meet Basic Operating Standards in 65 Areas (Sp.)
India Vows To Tackle Population Growth Challenges (RT)
It’s Not ‘Inflation’ – We’re Just Getting Ripped Off. Here’s Proof. (OW)
Imran Khan Sentenced To Third Prison Term In A Week (RT)

 

 


Paris, February 3 2024

 

 

Macron/Farmers
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753757359329919212

 

 

 

 

Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753827565293436943

 

 

Elon Musk: Biden’s strategy is very simple: 1. Get as many illegals in the country as possible. 2. Legalize them to create a permanent majority – a one-party state. That is why they are encouraging so much illegal immigration. Simple, yet effective.

Most people in America don’t know that the census is based on a simple headcount of people (including illegals) *not* just citizens. This shifts political power and money to states and Congressional districts with the highest number of illegals.

 

 

JK Rowling

 

 

 

 

“If we ‘do not seek conflict,’ then let’s get the troops out of there..” [..] “They are not welcome. They are not needed..”

RFK Jr Slams American Attacks On Syria and Iraq (RT)

The US should withdraw its ground troops from Middle Eastern countries that do not welcome them, independent candidate for US president Robert F. Kennedy Jr has said.He said the escalation could have been avoided, reacting in an X (formerly Twitter) post to Washington’s attack on more than 80 targets allegedly linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) in Iraq and Syria in a wide-ranging air assault. US Central Command says it hit 85 Iranian-linked targets in Syria and Iraq in retaliation against the recent “Iran-affiliated” fighters’ attack that killed three US servicemen in Jordan. President Joe Biden’s X post read that the US does not “seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But to all those who seek to do us harm: We will respond,” despite Iran denying involvement in the incident.

“If we ‘do not seek conflict,’ then let’s get the troops out of there,” Kennedy said, apparently reacting to Biden’s statement. “They are not welcome. They are not needed,” he added. Kennedy claimed that the current escalation would not have been necessary if Washington hadn’t put its military “in the crosshairs” of Shiite militias. He described the existence of these groups “as a legacy of our illegal war in Iraq.” He recalled that both Iraq and Syria had asked the US troops to leave their territory while Iran would not tolerate America’s military presence on its borders.

Besides pulling US troops “out of the Mideast,” Kennedy urged Washington to forge ties with regional powers instead. The presidential candidate also described the troop presence in the area as “indefensible targets for anyone in the region who wants to provoke a conflict.”Iraq has rebuked the US over the airstrikes, saying they constitute “a violation of Iraqi sovereignty” and “pose a threat that could lead Iraq and the region into dire consequences. The Syrian military, as quoted by SANA news agency, denounced the raid as “the aggression of the American occupation forces.”

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“If a temporary reduction in the intensity of the fighting in Gaza is achieved, the controversy within Israel surrounding the current Netanyahu government will escalate. Obviously, the end of the conflict would also lead to the end of the prime minister’s political career and those of other prominent figures.”

Israel vs. Hezbollah: A New War Will Consume The Entire Middle East (Sadygzade)

Since the first days of the current escalation, Israeli tensions with Hezbollah have increased. And thoughts of launching military action to the north were in the minds of the Jewish state’s political and military establishment as early as late October. For example, The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, reported that on October 11 US President Joe Biden persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to launch a preemptive strike against Hezbollah because of the risk of a major war in the region. On that day, Israeli intelligence received information about Hezbollah’s intention to invade Israel from several directions, and Israeli fighter jets were already in the air, waiting for orders to attack the group’s facilities in Lebanon. It took about six hours of negotiations and meetings for Israeli officials to back down, WSJ sources said. The situation on the border between Israel and Hezbollah remains tense, and the possibility of a full-scale conflict is real.

This was confirmed by Israeli media, citing remarks by National Security Council head Tzachi Hanegbi at a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on January 17. Hanegbi also provided interesting details regarding Hamas. According to the official, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has taken a harder line during negotiations for the exchange of hostages, which will likely draw out the process of returning the 117 people still held captive since the October attacks on Israel. In his remarks, Hanegbi emphasized that the physical elimination of Sinwar is still a pressing goal for Israeli security forces. However, neither Hanegbi nor other Israeli figures have offered concrete solutions for a long-term arrangement in Gaza. This is worrisome, as the WSJ notes, citing its White House sources. The newspaper claims that efforts to convince Netanyahu to agree to an end-of-conflict option that includes handing over control of Gaza to the Palestinian National Authority have failed.

Instead, Israel intends to carry out a prolonged operation against Hamas. However, recently negotiators from Israel, the US, Egypt and Qatar met in Paris and agreed on the basics of a new deal aimed at releasing the hostages. This was reported by NBC News on January 29. The plan envisions the gradual release of captives, starting with women and children. For its part, Israel will offer limited pauses in hostilities and the admission of humanitarian aid, as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners. The plan has been sent to representatives of Hamas. If a temporary reduction in the intensity of the fighting in Gaza is achieved, the controversy within Israel surrounding the current Netanyahu government will escalate. Obviously, the end of the conflict would also lead to the end of the prime minister’s political career and those of other prominent figures.

Even Washington, Israel’s most important ally, has delivered repeated messaging that Netanyahu must go. No one wants a major war in the region. Hezbollah, which is closely allied with Iran, also does not want tensions to escalate into open warfare. This is demonstrated by its restraint, both in statements by top officials and in attacks on Israeli forces. But if Netanyahu does decide to launch an operation in southern Lebanon, the war will be long and bloody. Representatives of the “Axis of Resistance” led by Iran will lend support with even greater effort. Then the specter of war will become a reality and the Middle East will burst into flames, the consequences of which no one can assess or foresee.

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“..there’s no leadership [the US] left it up to Netanyahu. He’s the tail wagging the dog..”

Biden’s Justification For Hitting Iran Puts NATO Troops in Danger (Sp.)

On Friday, US President Joe Biden fulfilled his promise to strike Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, further escalating the region even as the White House insists that it does not seek war with Iran. Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst for the Office of the Secretary of Defense with nearly 30 years of experience, told Sputnik’s Fault Lines that the justification used by the White House could easily be applied by Russia to NATO countries supporting Ukraine. “You’re hearing from congressmen and senators saying ‘but we need to hit Iran for supplying the Houthis and Hamas and Hezbollah,” Maloof explained. “Well, does Russia then have a right to hit US and NATO allies, as a result of supplying weapons to Ukraine to battle Russians?” The United States has placed the blame on Iran for the Sunday drone attack that killed three US service members and injured dozens more on the border of Syria and Jordan.

While the US admits that it has no evidence Iran helped plan the attack, the Biden administration has been clear it blames Iran because the country allegedly funds those groups and other militants. “This afternoon, at my direction, U.S. military forces struck targets at facilities in Iraq and Syria that the IRGC and affiliated militia use to attack U.S. forces,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement released Friday by the White House. “I think that if Biden were to follow through, then that raises a whole new specter of opening up NATO countries to potential attack,” he continued, adding that the US is simply hoping Russian President Vladimir Putin “doesn’t follow through” with that justification. Maloof argued that the US should reevaluate the situation in the Middle East but it’s difficult because the US looks “at the Middle East through the prism of Israel all the time.”

“We’ve got to somehow figure a way out of it. Instead, we’re digging that hole deeper and even though there might be some attempts to try and persuade [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to calm down and have a ceasefire and try to resolve things, it’s doing just the opposite. “The problem is that Biden has left the conduct of the war up to Netanyahu, and Netanyahu knows this and he’s basically dragging us along – we’re captives of Netanyahu,” Maloof explained. “You don’t have any, there’s no leadership [the US] left it up to Netanyahu. He’s the tail wagging the dog,” he added later. Maloof further argued that Israel has been getting the United States to do its dirty work for decades.

“We always hear Netanyahu wanting the United States involved, or us to bomb the sites… This is the way we’ve been conducting ourselves since… 2003 when we invaded Iraq.” Asked by Co-host Melik Abdul how the US should have responded to the attack, Maloof argued that the US should leave the region. “I think we shouldn’t even be in those locations. And I think we should have gotten out some time ago.”

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Biden will veto it. They want Ukraine on that bill.

US House To Vote On Israel-only Aid Bill – Speaker (RT)

The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, announced on Saturday that he would hold a vote on a “clean, standalone” aid package for Israel that will not entail any spending cuts. The newly proposed legislation is set to include $17.6 billion in additional military funding as well as “important funding for US forces in the region.” The initial $14.3 billion package, rejected by the Senate last year, included an equal amount in spending cuts to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and was therefore branded by Democrats as a “poison pill.” “Next week, we will take up and pass a clean, standalone Israel supplemental package,” he wrote in a letter to colleagues sent on Saturday afternoon. “The Senate will no longer have excuses, however misguided, against swift passage of this critical support for our ally.”

The announcement comes as the Senate prepares to vote on a long-anticipated national security supplemental requested by US President Joe Biden, which will include tougher US border controls paired with nearly $60 billion in aid to Ukraine, as well as more assistance to Israel and Taiwan. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday that he was preparing to release the legislation text “no later than Sunday” with the first procedural vote coming by midweek. However, Johnson previously criticized the impending deal, calling it “dead on arrival” in the lower chamber if the provisions are what they are rumored to be. The Senate leadership “is aware that by failing to include the House in their negotiations, they have eliminated the ability for swift consideration of any legislation,” Johnson wrote.

The White House previously indicated that it would oppose a stand-alone Israel aid bill, with John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, saying President Biden would veto it. While Washington is struggling to secure additional military funding for Ukraine, Brussels approved a €50 billion ($54 billion) aid package on Thursday, having reportedly pressured Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban into lifting his veto. Orban, who previously called Ukraine “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” accused the “imperialist EU” of “blackmailing” him into accepting the deal.

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“The fact that people within the administration who are risking their jobs often to take these actions are speaking out, I think, is important and just shows a real shift in this country..”

Staffers Speaking Out Shows How ‘Morally Bankrupt’ Biden Admin Has Grown (Sp.)

On Thursday, the head of the US Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, who is a world-renowned scholar on genocide, was confronted during a public event over her complicity in the Biden administration’s support of Israel and its actions in Gaza. “You wrote a book on genocide and you’re still working for the administration: You should resign and speak out,” Agnieszka Skyes told US media after recently leaving her job at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Margaret Flowers, the co-editor of Popular Resistance, told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour that the disconnect between the Biden administration and its employees shows how “morally bankrupt” the administration’s stance on Gaza has become.

“You have congressional staffers, hundreds of them, that called upon their bosses to support a ceasefire. You have White House staffers, executive office staffers protesting outside of the White House, calling on President [Joe] Biden to demand, you know, to push for a ceasefire,” Flowers summarized. “The fact that people within the administration who are risking their jobs often to take these actions are speaking out, I think, is important and just shows a real shift in this country and just how morally bankrupt this administration is for supporting genocide.” Co-host Garland Nixon noted that, particularly among the USAID employees, they have previously supported policies that “killed unmentionable thousands of people,” but this seems “too far” even for them.

“I think also [that] some of the people that go to work in these institutions don’t fully have a good political analysis of what it is that they’re actually working for,” Flowers responded. “We know that the the USAID, which has ‘AID’ in its name, is an institution that has really worked hand-in-hand with the CIA to undermine governments all around the world to, you know, put in place support for organizations, media, nonprofit groups within countries that are strictly there to destabilize the countries so that the United States can try to overthrow their governments.” “This is an overreach point. I think we’re seeing that in so many different areas, though, right now, the kind of overreach of the United States and its Western allies and the whole world is seeing it but it’s great that folks are seeing it here, too,” Flowers explained.

The shift, according to Flowers, comes because Israel’s actions in Gaza are on display for the entire world to see. “We know that … all of these main, mainstream corporate media outlets are really in place to defend the status quo, and they’ve been doing that. But at a certain point, when you have the rest of the media world publishing the truth about what’s happening and you have public opinion shifting, they can’t continue on that same line as strongly as they were, because they can’t save face by doing that when the rest of the world actually sees what’s going on,” Flowers argued. “This is a huge issue for people, whereas foreign policy has not typically been a strong factor that folks care about. Things have gone so far that people do now,” she added.

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“..Palestinians have been reduced to eating grass and drinking contaminated water…”

The Silence of the Damned (Chris Hedges)

There is no effective health care system left in Gaza. Infants are dying. Children are having their limbs amputated without anesthesia. Thousands of cancer patients and those in need of dialysis lack treatment. The last cancer hospital in Gaza has ceased functioning. An estimated 50,000 pregnant women have no safe place to give birth. They undergo cesarean sections without anesthesia. Miscarriage rates are up 300 percent since the Israeli assault began. The wounded bleed to death. There is no sanitation or clean water. Hospitals have been bombed and shelled. Nasser Hospital, one of the last functioning hospitals in Gaza, is “near collapse.” Clinics, along with ambulances – 79 in Gaza and over 212 in the West Bank – have been destroyed.

Some 400 doctors, nurses, medics and healthcare workers have been killed — more than the total of all healthcare workers killed in conflicts around the world combined since 2016. Over 100 more have been detained, interrogated, beaten and tortured, or disappeared by Israeli soldiers. Israeli soldiers routinely enter hospitals to carry out forced evacuations – on Wednesday troops entered al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis and demanded doctors and displaced Palestinians leave – as well as round up detainees, including the wounded, sick and medical staff. On Tuesday, disguised as hospital workers and civilians, Israeli soldiers entered Jenin’s Ibn Sina Hospital in the West Bank and assassinated three Palestinians as they slept.

The cuts to funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) — collective punishment for the alleged involvement in the Oct. 7 attack of 12 of its 13,000 UNRWA workers — will accelerate the horror, turning the attacks, starvation, lack of health care and spread of infectious diseases in Gaza into a tidal wave of death. The evidence-free charges, which include the accusation that 10 percent of all of UNRWA’s Gaza staff have ties to Islamist militant groups, appeared in the Wall Street Journal. The reporter, Carrie-Keller Lynn, served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Given the numerous lies Israel has employed to justify its genocide, including “beheaded babies” and “mass rape,” it is reasonable to assume this may be another fabrication. The allegations, of which details remain scant, are apparently based on confessions by Palestinian detainees — most certainly after being beaten or tortured. These allegations were enough to see 17 countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Australia and Japan cut or delay funding to the vital U.N. agency.

UNRWA is all that stands between the Palestinians in Gaza and famine. A handful of countries, including Ireland, Norway and Turkey, maintain their funding. Eight of the UNRWA employees accused of participating in the Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel, where 1,139 people were killed and 240 abducted, were fired. Two have been suspended. UNRWA has promised an investigation. They account for 0.04 percent of UNRWA’s staff. Israel is seeking to destroy not only Gaza’s health care system and infrastructure, but UNRWA which provides food and aid to 2 million Palestinians. The object is to make Gaza uninhabitable and ethnically cleanse the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands are already starving. Over 70 percent of the housing has been destroyed. More than 26,700 people have been killed and over 65,600 have been injured. Thousands are missing. Some 90 percent of Gaza’s pre-war population has been displaced, with many living in the open. Palestinians have been reduced to eating grass and drinking contaminated water.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1753752270783783330

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If he can get Putin, that would be great.

“..the Russian leader would wait to sit down with any American journalist until the US population was no longer so “seriously stupefied by Russia-hating propaganda.”

Tucker Carlson Spotted In Moscow (RT)

American journalist Tucker Carlson has spent several days in Russia and even attended a ballet performance at the Bolshoi Theatre, Telegram channel Mash reported on Saturday, sharing several photos of the conservative commentator. Carlson allegedly touched down at Vnukovo airport on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul on Thursday after several hours’ delay, according to the channel. He was later spotted taking in the ballet Spartacus at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The conservative commentator has yet to confirm the trip and it remains unclear what business he had in Russia. However, rumors of his intention to interview President Vladimir Putin have been circulating since last year.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not rule out the possibility of Carlson interviewing Putin when asked about it in September, though he explained that the Russian leader would wait to sit down with any American journalist until the US population was no longer so “seriously stupefied by Russia-hating propaganda.” Carlson himself told Swiss outlet Die Weltwoche that he had been prevented from setting up an interview with Putin by the White House. While he expressed dismay that he did not receive more support from his fellow journalists regarding his intention to sit down with the Russian president and questioned why Americans are “not allowed to hear” Putin’s voice, he declined to provide any further details regarding when the interview was supposed take place or how the presidential administration of Joe Biden intervened to stop it.

The former Fox News host claimed previous attempts to secure an interview with Putin had led to aggressive surveillance by the National Security Agency, alleging he was “unmasked” by the spooks and the contents of his emails were leaked to the media in 2021 in order to “paint [him] as a disloyal American” and force him off the cable news network. The NSA denied Carlson was an intelligence target and claimed it never sought to take him off the air.

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“..According to the European Council, the bloc has set up the so-called Ukraine Facility for the period 2024-2027 to “contribute to the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of the country..”

Good Money After Bad: Where Will EU Funds for Ukraine Come From? (Sp.)

European Union (EU) member states have agreed on a €50 billion ($54 billion) support package for Ukraine over four years, overcoming Hungary’s resistance. But where will the EU get that money? The EU could commandeer interest paid on frozen Russian assets to fund Ukraine during its war with Moscow. Europe’s economy is facing stagnation, with zero economic growth for October-to-December period reported by EU statistics agency Eurostat. The Eurozone inflation rate has yet to fall below the target two percent threshold, with consumer prices still remaining high. Against that backdrop EU member states are cutting subsidies, reducing energy consumption and diminishing industrial production. Protests by farmers have rocked the continent since early January. Nonetheless, Brussels has found €50 billion ($54 billion) to support the embattled Kiev regime for four more years. But where will this money come from?

According to the European Council, the bloc has set up the so-called Ukraine Facility for the period 2024-2027 to “contribute to the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of the country, foster social cohesion and progressive integration into the Union, with a view to possible future Union membership.” To that end the EC has allocated €50 billion, of which: • €33 billion ($35.9 billion) comes “in the form of loans guaranteed by extending until 2027 the existing EU budget guarantee, over and above the ceilings, for financial assistance to Ukraine available until the end of 2027,” the document sets out. • €17 billion ($18.5 billion) comes “in the form of non-repayable support, under a new thematic instrument the Ukraine Reserve, set up over and above the ceilings of the MFF 2021-27.” The EC document specifies that revenues “could be generated under the relevant Union legal acts, concerning the use of extraordinary revenues held by private entities stemming directly from the immobilized Central Bank of Russia assets.”

On February 1, CNN claimed that the EU had taken a step towards seizing billions of dollars in interest payments generated by Russian assets frozen in European accounts. Media reported that roughly €200 billion ($218 billion) remain in the EU, mainly in Euroclear, a Belgium-based financial services company. The media outlet highlighted that the EU approved the €50 billion Ukraine package as it “came closer to finalizing a plan” of using the profits from the Russian Central Bank’s sequestred assets — indicating that it has yet to gain access to the funds. Euroclear revealed on Thursday that the frozen Russian assets had yielded €5.2 billion ($5.6 billion) in interest on income assets since 2022.

On Monday, EU member states “agreed in principle” that profits from the Russian assets will be set aside and not be paid out as dividends to shareholders until the bloc’s members decide to set up a “financial contribution to the [EU] budget that shall be raised on these net profits to support Ukraine”, according to a draft document quoted by Euroactive. The document claimed that the levy will be “consistent with applicable contractual obligations, and in accordance with [EU] and international law.” After that the EC would transfer the money to the EU’s accounts and then to Ukraine, the media noted, specifying that the proposal targets future profits and would not be applied retrospectively. It is believed that Russia’s frozen assets in the EU could generate an estimated €15-17 billion over four years, which would be transferred to Ukraine, according to the press.

Speaking to Sputnik last October, Jacques Sapir, director of studies at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris, argued that any attempt by the EU to grab Russia’s frozen assets or revenues from them could turn into a legal nightmare for the EU leadership and particular member states where the money is being stored. “As a matter of fact, if assets belong to the Russian state legally, you will have to prove that this state is a ‘failing state,’ something impossible,” Sapir told Sputnik on October 29, 2023. “If assets belong to private persons, you need a legal conviction against these persons. If you can’t do both and that you take away revenues to divert them to a third party (Ukraine) this is no less than a theft. Then you will be liable to legal action. But, what is even more important, you will probably discourage all foreign investors from investing in the EU.”

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“..I said that I have a metal plate in my arm – and now it is still there. They didn’t care..”

Ukraine Coerces Mass-Conscripts Unfit for Military Service – PoW (Sp.)

The Ukrainian Armed Forces are massively conscripting people who are unfit for military service for health and age reasons, prisoners of war told Sputnik. “Caught in such a time that they gave everyone a military ID. They gave everyone a military ID…. I passed the medical examination right away. I said that I have a metal plate in my arm – and now it is still there. They didn’t care,” one prisoner, Nazar Vashkevich, said. Another, Viktor Tkachenko, reported that he had received a draft notice for the fifth time, despite having several confirmed illnesses that preclude service in the army. “I was mobilized. I received a summons, the fifth, at work. It turned out that according to my state of health I was able to serve. Before that I was unsuitable. I had many medical reports: high blood pressure, hernia, pinched vertebrae,” he said.

According to the captives, the Ukrainian Army has begun to take people en masse who do not fit the draft. “Here, look: people over 50. They are already taking 50-year-olds. My grandfather was with me – he is 57 years old. He also has health problems… So where can he fight? How should he go on the assaults? How should he go to the trenches? Why? To get killed right away? And there’s a boy with me, even younger. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He’s 24. He was drafted. It turns out that he is a senior gunner by rank,” Vashkevich complained. Volodymyr Zelensky said in December 2023 that he had been approached by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with a request to recruit an additional 450,000-500,000 men for the army. The government submitted a draft law on mobilization to parliament. The minimum age for mobilization was lowered from 27 to 25 years. The bill caused outrage in the country and was sent back for revision.

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“..a political arena which, if he remains as a military commander, will be corrupted by his presence.”

Is Zaluzhny Getting Ready to Take Down Zelensky? (Scott Ritter)

President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly summoned the commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Valerie Zaluzhny, to a meeting on Monday, January 29, 2024, where he informed his military commander that he was being relived from his position. According to accounts that have appeared in western media, Zaluzhny refused to step down. As of Friday, February 2, 2024, the precise status of General Zaluzhny remains uncertain amid a swirl of rumors regarding his imminent dismissal. The rift between Zelensky and Zaluzhny represents a serious blow to one of the fundamental principles which underpins democratic society—a civil-military relationship predicated on the simple proposition that a democratically elected civilian leadership is the final authority on all matter, including military, and in the case of disputes between the civil and military leadership, civilian authority retains supreme authority.

If the reports of what is tantamount to a refusal to obey the lawful order of his civilian commander in chief are true, General Zaluzhny has opened a pandora’s box which, if left unresolved, could lead to the rapid unravelling of Ukraine’s civilian-controlled government and open the door for the emergence of a government that is either subordinated to the will of the Ukrainian military, or which has been replaced by a military junta. Neither bodes well either for the sustainment of the notion that Ukraine functions as a democracy along the lines of its European and American allies, or for the prospects of stable governance for Ukraine at a time when it faces unprecedented economic, military, and foreign policy challenges. History is replete with examples of civil-military disagreements during times of war.

American history is home for two premier examples—the split between George McClellan and Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, and the disagreements between Douglas MacArthur and Harry Truman during the Korean conflict. However, in both cases when the civilian authority demanded that the military authority resign, the military authority complied. Zaluzhny, it appears, refused to step aside, taking the issue of military defiance of civil authority into unchartered territory. Managing civil-military relations is a complex process that balances the advice the military provides to its civilian masters with the actual oversight provided by the civilian leadership over military affairs. Given the disparity that exists fact-based military reality and the simplified and often politicized fiction that civilian leadership embraces, rifts are not only to be expected, but are in fact a reality that must be anticipated, and mechanisms put in place to keep them from erupting into crises.

One of the biggest problems faced in the civil-military relationship is that of agenda control and information management. While disagreements can and will emerge between military leaders and their civilian masters over military issues, the military can never lose sight of the fact that if the civil-military relationship is to succeed, the military cannot possess an agenda that deviates from that of its civilian leadership. Nor should the military take advantage of the fact that it in large part dominates the flow of information to society about military matters to use the media as a tool to articulate its own agenda.

In the case of the Zelensky-Zaluzhny split, the record seems to reflect that Zaluzhny has, for some time now, been engaged in activities which point to his having an agenda that not only deviates from that of his commander in chief, but in many ways is designed to be in opposition to his commander in chief—an agenda which paints Zaluzhny as a political competitor to Zelensky. Again, the examples of George McClellan and Douglas MacArthur point to the fact that such actions are not unique in the history of civil-military relations in democracies. However, in both of those circumstances, the military commanders resigned their positions when ordered to do so, and continued their political opposition in the civil arena, without the active backing of a military which was obligated to remain loyal to its civilian leadership. Zaluzhny, however, has refused to step aside, taking his differences with Zelensky into a political arena which, if he remains as a military commander, will be corrupted by his presence.

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Huh, what? Our friends?

Taiwan Helping To Arm Moscow – WaPo (RT)

Companies based in Taiwan have sold Russia more than $20 million in advanced equipment that can be used for weapons production, Washington Post has claimed, noting that Moscow’s defense sector has ramped up purchases in recent months. Citing “trade records and Russian tax documents” obtained by the outlet, the Post pointed to entities in the Russian arms industry that have boosted transactions with Taiwan, with one firm, I Machine Technology, importing over $20 million in CNC machine tools produced on the island since January 2023. The machines were reportedly sent in 63 separate shipments. “The Taiwan-made machines accounted for virtually all of the Russian company’s imports in the first seven months of last year, according to the records, and the company’s sales during that period were overwhelmingly to the Russian defense industry,” the newspaper added, although it did not specify how the CNC machines were to be used.

Former US arms control official Kevin Wolf told the Post that such transfers likely violated sanctions imposed by both Washington and Taipei in response to the conflict in Ukraine. However, an executive from I Machine Technology, Aleksey Bredikhin, argued that this was not the case. Instead, Bredikhin said that any purchases after January were for spare parts only, and did not run afoul of Taiwan’s export controls, which were further tightened early this year. “I’m not buying anything from them except for parts,” he added. Nonetheless, the American official claimed that the CNC machines were “very important for making military items” and could be connected to “military-end uses,” including manufacturing drones. Another executive from one of the Taiwanese producers, Yu Ming Je, questioned the authenticity of the files obtained by the Post, and also insisted that the sales were in line with local laws.

Asked about ties to Russia’s arms industry, Yu said he was not aware of any such connections with his company, adding “Distributors basically have many users.” A close strategic ally of the US and a frequent buyer of American arms, Taiwan has largely fallen in line with the US sanctions policy toward Moscow, imposing several layers of penalties since Russia sent troops into Ukraine in early 2022. In announcing its latest round of sanctions, which mirrored those already imposed by the US and European Union, Taiwan’s economy ministry vowed to “in principle” block all export license applications to Russian firms going forward. The ministry declined to comment on whether such equipment sales violated export rules, but said the government planned to specifically bar sales to I Machine Technology in the future.

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It’ll be quite the day in Texas..

Florida Sends Troops To Stop Migrant ‘Invasion’ (RT)

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that he will deploy members of the Florida National Guard to assist Texas in repelling an “invasion” of illegal immigrants. US President Joe Biden’s administration has fought to prevent Texas from sealing the border. Roughly 1,000 soldiers will be sent to Texas, DeSantis’ office said in a statement on Thursday. They will be joined by members of the Florida State Guard, and around 90 members of various Florida law enforcement agencies already at the border. “States have every right to defend their sovereignty and we are pleased to increase our support to Texas as the Lone Star State works to stop the invasion across the border,” DeSantis said. “Our reinforcements will help Texas to add additional barriers, including razor wire along the border. We don’t have a country if we don’t have a border.”

During his first week in office, Biden signed a flurry of executive orders repealing former President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions. Illegal crossings have surged as a result, with a record 302,000 people caught crossing the 2,000-mile border in December, and more than 10 million entering the US since 2021. Under Biden’s policy of ‘catch and release’, apprehended migrants are immediately released into the US, with orders to show up at immigration hearings years in the future. Texas – which shares more than 1,200 miles of border with Mexico – deployed national guardsmen to the border in 2021 and began constructing razor wire obstacles at popular crossing points. The Biden administration responded by suing the state, and the Supreme Court ruled last month that federal agents could access the border to remove the razor wire. Texas Governor Greg Abbott vowed to defy the ruling and install more wire, arguing that the Biden administration has neglected the constitutional obligation to enforce federal immigration law, and that his duty to protect his constituents supersedes any federal laws.

Although the Department of Homeland Security gave Abbott three days to begin removing the obstacles late last month, a US Customs and Border Patrol official told Fox News that the agency had “no plans” to move in and destroy the barriers after Abbott ignored the deadline. Some 25 Republican governors issued a joint statement of solidarity with Abbott last week, accusing Biden of “illegally allowing mass parole across America of migrants who entered our country illegally.” Florida has been sending law enforcement officers and soldiers to assist Texas since 2021. National Guard troops have built obstacles and observation posts, while Florida Highway Patrol officers have apprehended almost 150,000 illegal aliens and charged 2,102 people with smuggling or human trafficking charges, DeSantis’ office said.

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“..relocate not only low-skilled component production but also, to a lesser extent, high-skilled production processes..”

Germany’s Economy Is Dying. Here’s Why And What Happens Next (RM)

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, injecting some humor at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, stated that Germany is not the “sick man” of Europe but rather “a tired man,” following the recent years of crisis, in need of a “good cup of coffee.” However, the economic indicators point to something more than fatigue. Although Germany could be described as merely being in a mild recession – the GDP readings, after all, can hardly be called awful – in reality the economy finds itself in the uneasy place of having no clear prospects for an imminent recovery. Initial estimates suggest a 0.3% decline in GDP in 2023, positioning Germany as the only major industrialized nation in the red. Germany’s national debt saw an increase of about €48 billion, reaching almost €2.6 trillion. While this may appear alarming at first glance, it’s crucial to consider the broader economic context. Germany’s debt-to-GDP ratio, standing at approximately 65%, is relatively favorable compared to many Western countries.

Moreover, Germany has implemented strict limits on deficits, demonstrating a commitment to financial prudence. In light of these measures, there is a counterargument that Germany could potentially consider taking on more debt. Sentiment among businesses deteriorated further at the beginning of the year, as illustrated by the ifo Business Climate Index in January, which fell to 85.2 points. Both the current situation and expectations for the coming months were evaluated more pessimistically. The ifo Institute has reduced its growth forecast for 2024 to 0.7%, compared to the previously predicted 0.9%. This downgrade is partially attributable to additional cuts in the federal budget, which became necessary due to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court that prohibited leftover Covid-stimulus funds from being repurposed.

The German economy is on the brink of a crisis as deindustrialization firmly takes root. Companies, driven by economic considerations, are increasingly relocating their production overseas, posing a significant threat to a nation heavily reliant on industrial output. This trend has immediate and profound consequences that extend beyond the evident impact on industrial sectors. The offshoring of production could entail a surge in layoffs, further aggravating the economic challenges faced by the workforce. In November 2023, according to preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), German exports experienced a decline of 5.0% year-on-year, while imports recorded a notable decrease of 12.2%.

While the primary focus is on the industrial landscape, it is crucial to acknowledge the interconnectedness of these shifts. A case in point is the German chemical industry, which finds itself in a deep and prolonged downturn, having lost approximately 23% of its production capacity. Furthermore, leading managers have expressed considerable skepticism about a swift recovery. The challenges are exacerbated by Germany’s struggle with high energy costs, particularly affecting industries engaged in global competition. Despite government attempts to counteract these challenges, such as a billion-dollar electricity price package, success has been limited.

Meanwhile, according to a report by Deloitte, an alarming two out of three German companies have partially relocated their operations abroad due to the country’s ongoing energy crisis. This trend is particularly pronounced in critical sectors, such as mechanical engineering, industrial goods, and automotive industries, where 69% of companies have relocated their operations to a moderate or large extent. Key findings from the Deloitte report shed light on the reasons behind this significant shift. Most businesses attribute their decisions to move operations overseas to the combination of high energy prices and inflation. Notably, companies in these industries are planning to relocate not only low-skilled component production but also, to a lesser extent, high-skilled production processes.

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No, I’m not surprised.

F-35 Jet Fails to Meet Basic Operating Standards in 65 Areas (Sp.)

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter still suffers at least 65 basic deficiencies where it continues to fail to meet basic testing specifications, the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) said in a report. The JPO [F-35 Joint Project Office] completed the readiness review for JSE [joint simulation environment] trials in September 2023, and certified it as ready for testing, despite 65 deficiencies against the baseline JSE requirements, the report said on Friday. The F-35 program development cycle continues to experience delays due to immature and deficient Block 4 mission systems software and avionics stability problems with the new Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3) hardware going into Lot 15 production aircraft, the report said.

“As a result, deliveries of production Lot 15 aircraft in the TR-3 configuration are on hold until more testing can be completed and the avionics issues resolved. …[T]hese delays prevented the F-35 JPO from adequately planning and programming for hardware modifications … of the upgraded hardware configuration,” the report said. Also, the necessary flight test instrumentation, including both aircraft and open-air battle shaping instrumentation, for both, the remaining TR-2 configuration and upgraded TR-3 aircraft, are not all on contract and will not be available in time, the report added.

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Just yesterday, we saw plummeting birth rates everywhere.

India Vows To Tackle Population Growth Challenges (RT)

The most populous country in the world will constitute a high-powered committee to consider the challenges arising from “fast population growth and demographic changes.” The move was announced as part of India’s interim budget, unveiled on Thursday, ahead of national elections later this year. India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, revealed that the proposed committee will address population-related challenges and form recommendations for the government. The initiative, she stressed, comes as part of the vision of Narendra Modi’s government, which hopes to transform the country into a developed nation by 2047. This development comes against the backdrop of a legislative move to adopt laws to control the population.

Members of Parliament belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rajendra Agrawal and Rakesh Sinha, had earlier introduced separate bills to regulate the country’s population. However, neither of them have passed. Meanwhile, the country’s new census has been delayed for several years. The most recent demographic data available comes from the 2011 census. Although top Indian officials have expressed concern over the population boom, the fifth round of India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) released in 2022 showed that female fertility levels have dipped below the replacement fertility level in all but five Indian states. Despite that, last year, India overtook China to become the most populous nation in the world, as per United Nations (UN) data.

India has the highest number of young people in the world; however, the UN, in a 2023 report, noted that by 2046, the number of older adults in the country will be greater than the number of children younger than 15 years old. In 2022, the median age in India was believed to be 28 years; this is in sharp contrast to other larger nations with significantly higher median ages. An aging population could mean severe economic trouble for India unless the country grows its national wealth rapidly in the coming decades, an analysis in The Hindu newspaper observed last year. In December, India’s Reserve Bank updated the GDP growth projection for the current financial year to 7% compared to the previously estimated 6.5%. Meanwhile, India remains among the top countries with high income and wealth inequality even as the share of the population living in multidimensional poverty fell from 25 to 15% between 2015-16 and 2019-21, the UNDP said in a report last year.

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“..CEOs crowing about keeping their prices high while their costs go down..”

It’s Not ‘Inflation’ – We’re Just Getting Ripped Off. Here’s Proof. (OW)

Many Americans are still experiencing the sticker shock they first faced two years ago when inflation hit its peak. But if inflation is down now, why are families still feeling the pinch? The answer lies in corporate profits — and we have the data to prove it. Our new report for the Groundwork Collaborative finds that corporate profits accounted for more than half — 53 percent — of inflation from April to September 2023. That’s an astronomical percentage. Corporate profits drove just 11 percent of price growth in the four decades prior to the pandemic. Businesses have been quick to blame rising costs on supply chain shocks from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. But two years later, our economy has mostly returned to normal. In some cases, companies’ costs to make things and stock shelves have actually decreased.

Let’s demonstrate with one glaring example: diapers. The hyper-consolidated diaper industry is dominated by just two companies, Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark, which own well-known diaper brands like Pampers, Huggies, and Luvs. The cost of wood pulp, a key ingredient for making diapers absorbent, did spike during the pandemic, increasing by more than 50 percent between 2020 and 2021. But last year it declined by 25 percent. Did that drop in costs lead Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark to lower their prices? Far from it. Diaper prices have increased to nearly $22 on average. These corporate giants have no plans to bring prices down anytime soon. In fact, their own executives are openly bragging about how they’re going to “expand margins” on earnings calls. Procter & Gamble predicted $800 million in windfall profits as input costs decline. Kimberly-Clark’s CEO said the company has “a lot of opportunity” to expand margins over time.

It’s not just diapers — while many corporations were quick to pass along rising costs, they’ve been in no hurry to pass along their savings. A recent survey from the Richmond Fed and Duke University revealed that 60 percent of companies plan to hike prices this year by more than they did before the pandemic, even though their costs have moderated. Corporations across industries, from housing to groceries and used cars, are juicing their profit margins even as the cost of doing business goes down. And they’re not hiding the ball. Since the summer of 2021, Groundwork began listening in on hundreds of corporate earnings calls where we heard CEO after CEO boasting about their ability to raise prices on consumers. Now we hear something slightly different: CEOs crowing about keeping their prices high while their costs go down.

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This is what the Dems have in mind for Trump.

Imran Khan Sentenced To Third Prison Term In A Week (RT)

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi have been sentenced to seven years in prison and fined after a court declared their marriage unlawful on Saturday. It was the third ruling against Khan this week. The civil court was set up in Rawalpindi prison, where the ex-PM has been held since August last year on more than 100 charges. The sentences came before a parliamentary election on February 8 that Khan, who remains popular among voters, is barred from contesting. On Wednesday, Khan along with his wife were sentenced to 14-year terms for illegally selling state gifts, and the day before Khan was given ten years in prison for leaking state secrets. He claimed the cable he released contained evidence of collusion between the Pakistani military and US officials to have him removed from power in April 2022.

Khan’s representatives say he will appeal all three cases. The sentences add up to 34 years and will be served concurrently. The marriage case was filed by Bushra Bibi’s former husband Khawar Maneka, who claimed that she did not observe “iddat” – a mandatory three-month waiting period that a woman must abide by under Islamic law after the death of her husband or a divorce, before marrying another man. The Khans have denied wrongdoing. Imran Khan, however, argued that the case was brought to “humiliate and disgrace” him and his wife. “This marks the first instance in history where a case related to iddat has been initiated,” he told reporters.

The court decision has been condemned by members of Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, a PTI official, called the marriage case “fake”, saying the judgements against Khan represent a “mockery of the law.” “The way these trials are being conducted leaves a huge question mark on the February 8 elections. This is a test case for Pakistan’s higher judiciary,” he told Al Jazeera. PTI President Gohar Ali Khan described the trial as “shameful” and vowed to appeal the verdict in a higher court.

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Bohemian grove

 

 

Giraffe lion

 

 

Branch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753863250427715898

 

 

Freeman

 

 

Peggy Sue

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 312024
 
 January 31, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  60 Responses »


Tamara de Lempicka The refugees 1937

 

Biden Wants Taylor Swift To Sing For Him – NYT (RT)
Is There A Taylor Swift Psyop? (ZH)
The Next Big Thing (Jim Kunstler)
US Foreign Arms Sales Rocket to Record Highs (Sp.)
Stoltenberg: Weapons for Ukraine Are ‘the Way to Peace’ (Sp.)
West Asks Countries To Secretly Send Russian Weapons To Ukraine – Lavrov (RT)
Russia Warns US Against Returning Tactical Nuclear Weapons to UK (Sp.)
The Palestinians Won in The Hague: So Did the Rest of Us (Patrick Lawrence)
ICJ Ruling Is What It Is: Symbolic. But What Happens Next Is Critical (Jay)
West Starts to Understand That Ukraine Project ‘Failing’ – Lavrov (Sp.)
Lavrov Blasts ‘Absurd’ Claims That Russia Will Attack NATO (RT)
Zelensky Ready To Further Fuel Ukraine Conflict (Sp.)
Ukraine To Teach Troops To Speak Ukrainian (RT)
US Facing ‘Death Spiral’ Of Swelling Debt – Nassim Taleb (RT)
Imran Khan Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison (RT)
Imran Khan Sentenced To 14-year New Jail Term (RT)

 

 

 

 

Illegals
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752498124877336987

 

 

Poll
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752450941633335551

 

 

A Delaware judge just retroactively voided Elon’s $55B Tesla pay package from 2018 where shareholders voted in favor for it, all milestones were hit, and Tesla stock is up 800% since then.


Elon Musk:”Never incorporate your company in the state of Delaware.”

 

 

Cybertruck

 

 

Tucker Russell Brand


https://twitter.com/i/status/1752487123528093806

 

 

 

 

Joe Biden, George Soros and Taylor Swift. What a plotline.

“Joe Biden is in [a] hole with young people, he knows it. And if he thinks Taylor can get him out of that hole, he’s gonna go for it.”

Biden Wants Taylor Swift To Sing For Him – NYT (RT)

US President Joe Biden is pursuing an endorsement from global pop superstar Taylor Swift ahead of November’s election, the New York Times has claimed. The Democratic leader’s campaign is reportedly seeking to counter flagging polls that show him trailing likely Republican candidate, Donald Trump. Trump’s strong performances in early Republican primaries and caucuses have suggested that a rematch of the 2020 election is the most likely scenario at the US ballot box later this year. As such, Biden’s staff plan to rehash tactics that proved successful in the caustic battle with Trump four years ago, the New York Times said on Monday. Principally, this is said to involve painting the former president as a threat to American democracy, along with a heavy focus on abortion rights as part of a broader appeal to voters against alleged conservative efforts to restrict personal freedoms.

One influential voice the Democrats again intend to harness is that of Swift, arguably the most famous popstar on the planet. Perhaps more specifically, her 280 million Instagram followers are of significant interest, the report claims. Swift publicly backed Biden and his vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris in 2020, saying that she would “proudly vote” for the Democratic ticket because “under their leadership, I believe America has a chance to start the healing process it so desperately needs.” Last year, a single social media post from Swift led to the registration of 35,000 new voters in the US, the NYT report said, and Democrats are keen to secure her backing to expand this enthusiasm to a national scale. It is also predicted that fund-raising appeals from the singer could boost Biden’s campaign to the tune of millions of dollars.

“Taylor Swift stands tall and unique,” California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, said last year. “What she was able to accomplish just in getting young people activated to consider that they have a voice and that they should have a voice in the next election, I think, is extremely powerful.” Perhaps courting Swift’s backing, the White House last week condemned salacious fake AI images of the singer that have been circulating on social media in recent days. Fox News anchor Jeanine Pirro, a vocal backer of Trump, on Monday warned Swift not to “get involved in politics.” “We don’t want to see you there,” Pirro said on the news network’s ‘The Five’ show. “Joe Biden is in [a] hole with young people, he knows it. And if he thinks Taylor can get him out of that hole, he’s gonna go for it.” Trump, though, is also no stranger to leaning on popular culture for support. He has previously boasted of backing from the likes of Kanye West and Kid Rock. The latest polling data shows Trump holding an advantage of between 1 and 5 percentage points over Biden in a head-to-head race.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1752521142831562803

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“..has been pitched by legacy media as finally finding the “perfect match”: Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce. The relationship doesn’t pass the sniff test..”

Is There A Taylor Swift Psyop? (ZH)

Welcome to the matrix. The current news cycle gives the impression that Taylor Swift is everywhere. According to Bloomberg data, corporate media headlines featuring “Taylor Swift” began ramping up in the first half of 2023 and hit new record highs later in the year. The singer, who has made an entire career whining about having chosen the wrong men, has been pitched by legacy media as finally finding the “perfect match”: Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce. The relationship doesn’t pass the sniff test, given Taylor’s terrible choices with men. Let’s begin with Michael Benz, a former Trump admin State Department official whose work has been cited in congressional hearings, posted on X a video from 2019 featuring the Pentagon’s psychological operations research that pitched the idea of turning Taylor into an asset to combat “disinformation.”

Back to Taylor’s relationship with Kelce. Consider this:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1752042447088017527

And there’s this.

We’re not alone. Fox News’ Jesse Watters also asked: “Why is Taylor Swift Everywhere?” Perhaps it’s not by chance that the story count in corporate media for Taylor has exponentially exploded, averaging above 1,000 per day since late September. Taylor’s surge comes as legacy corporate media is terrified about the rise of alternative media. Wall Street Journal Chief Emma Tucker warned WEF elites at Davos this month: “We no longer own the news.” [..] While it remains to be seen if Taylor has become a NATO asset. Certainty Democrats appear to be salivating all over her ahead of the presidential election to turn ‘Swifites’ into blue voters.

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“Joe Biden” will seize an excuse to declare a national emergency and subject the US to some manner of martial law..”

The Next Big Thing (Jim Kunstler)

I’m sure you can see exactly where all this is going. By all this, I refer to the cortège of disasters orchestrated by “Joe Biden” and associates — with help from a power-crazed globalist cabal — hauling our country at a gallop now to the graveyard of empires. Is there any question that they are out to wreck Western Civ? And speeding up the action because too many actual citizens are rising to oppose their degenerate wickedness? Most particularly, the people who have not surrendered their reason to the Woke-Marxist mind-fuck that calls itself “progressivism” have had enough of the purposeful inflow of something like ten-thousand fake asylum-seekers a day across the border, mostly men, a lot of them from China, and many more of them mutts from faraway lands where Jihad is the order of the day — meaning the crusade to exterminate the people of Western Civ. We’re supposed to be okay with that.

This deliberate, treasonous policy was rightfully declared an “invasion” last week by the Governor of Texas, requiring the human wave to be met with real force, not the welcome wagon that the federal border patrol has been turned into. The result so far is a real-live Mexican stand-off between the regime in Washington and the state of Texas, joined by twenty-five other sympathetic US states willing to send men and matériel to seal the border. None of this is reported in Monday morning’s New York Times, by the way, though you can read Is Dying Your Hair Bad for Your Health there. Nor will you read about the caravan of American truckers striking out from all points around the country to “peacefully protest and pray” at the border while Texas attempts to settle its hash with “Joe Biden.” Nor will you read about the uprising of European farmers blocking highways to protest ruinous EU rules on food imports, diesel fuel prices, carbon emissions inanity, and, of course, the officially-enabled tide of Africans and jihadists flooding into EU member states.

“Joe Biden’s” response so far is to say he’ll attend to the border situation only if Congress green-lights another massive aid package for Ukraine, a dishonest proffer from any angle. Ukraine is a lost cause that should never have been a cause of ours in the first place. Yet securing the US border is a principal duty of the executive branch, not some optional fringe benefit to be used as leverage for other projects. Congress has already got impeachment articles ready for Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, who has lied repeatedly under oath about the border being “secure.” But it’s obviously not enough. The failure is entirely “Joe Biden’s” and warrants his impeachment on its face, aside from all the evidence of bribery and racketeering among him and his family.

The best move would be to impeach both the president and his proclaimed “border czar” Veep Kamala Harris — which would put Speaker Mike Johnson in the oval office. But the impeachment process is too slow and awkward for that. So, now I will tell you where all this is actually going: “Joe Biden” will seize an excuse to declare a national emergency and subject the US to some manner of martial law. The excuse could be an outbreak of violence in the quarrel between the states and the feds over the border. Or it could be a widening of the war in the Middle East, a direct confrontation with Iran that would draw in Russia and Turkey and kickoff World War Three, a war we would have an excellent shot at losing, considering our DEI-ravaged, over-vaxxed army, our obsolete naval carrier groups that can be sunk by hypersonic missiles, and our depleted reserves of armaments already fobbed off by Ukraine and, lately, given to Israel in the Gaza campaign to destroy Hamas.

If such a war didn’t set off a world-ending exchange of nukes, it would at least collapse the economies of Europe and America and, with that, many governments, including possibly ours. And what role might all those recently-arrived illegal aliens play in such a fiasco? Any way you cut it, we’d be in for chaos and hardship. Or, if we somehow avert major war, “Joe Biden” can try the national emergency ploy when the much-heralded (by the WHO) “Disease X” trots onstage. (And we must ask whether that will just be a delayed side-effect of the mRNA vaccine deaths?) Ultimately, the purpose of any national emergency at this moment in history, whatever prompts it, will be to suspend the 2024 elections. The Democratic Party has gone so completely off-the-rails psychologically that it will do anything to avert losing control of the government.

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What it’s all about. The bottom line.

US Foreign Arms Sales Rocket to Record Highs (Sp.)

Capitalizing on armed conflicts across the world is not uncommon for Washington, something that is confirmed by the fact that the US’ foreign military sales (FMS) reached $80.9 billion in fiscal year 2023, soaring almost 56% from the previous year to set a new record. Apart from FMS, America’s so-called direct commercial sales (DCS) likewise increased last year to $157.5 billion from $153.6 billion in fiscal 2022, the State Department said in a statement. A record total of FMS and DCS in FY2023 stands at about $238 billion. The total $80.9 billion figure for FMS last year includes $62.25 billion in arms sales funded by US allied and partner nations, as well as $3.97 billion through the Title 22 Foreign Military Financing program, according to data released. An additional $14.68 billion was funded through other Department of State and Department of Defense programs, including the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

Poland made some of the biggest purchases, buying Apache helicopters for $12 billion and also paying $10 billion for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). Germany spent $8.5 billion on Chinook helicopters while Bulgaria paid $1.5 billion for Stryker armoured vehicles and Norway bought $1 billion worth of multi-mission helicopters. The Czech Republic bought $5.6 billion in F-35 jets and munitions. Outside of Europe, the State Department data indicated that South Korea paid $5 billion for F-35 fighter jets and Australia spent $6.3 billion on C130J-30 Super Hercules planes. Also, Japan reached a $1 billion deal for an E-2D Hawkeye surveillance plane. Examples of last year’s major DCS Congressional Notifications include a hefty agreement with the Ukrainian Defense Ministry to supply National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) worth $1.2 billion.

Other agreements worth approximately the above-mentioned sum pertain to Italy, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, and Norway, per the State Department. It’s safe to assume that commercializing wars has become a trend in US policy. In the same vein, in a 2022 extensive report by the Washington-based Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft think tank, the authors urged the Biden administration “to address a number of key issues if US policy on arms sales is to be made consistent with long-term US interests.”

“The key policy consideration is how to restrict sales to those that will help allies defend themselves without provoking arms races or increasing the prospects for conflict,” the report pointed out, referring to the AUKUS submarine deal, which “will benefit US contractors but risks fueling arms competition and increasing tensions with China.” On the “rapid” US military assistance to Ukraine, the report underscored that “the United States has failed to offer an accompanying diplomatic strategy aimed at ending the war before it evolves into a long, grinding conflict or escalates into a direct US-Russian confrontation.” Moscow has repeatedly warned the US and its allies that sending arms to Kiev would only prolong the Ukraine conflict. The authors warned that foreign arms sales can also pose risks to US security “by fueling conflicts, provoking American adversaries, stoking arms races, and drawing the US into unnecessary or counterproductive wars.”

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Works for the industry.

Stoltenberg: Weapons for Ukraine Are ‘the Way to Peace’ (Sp.)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press briefing that supporting Ukraine goes beyond charity, serving as an investment into global security. “Supporting Ukraine is not a charity, it is an investment in our own security,” Stoltenberg said during a press briefing on Monday. Stoltenberg also suggested that arms for Ukraine are “the way to peace.” In October, the White House requested from Congress supplemental funding of for more than $100 billion, including more than $60 billion for Ukraine, but Republican lawmakers have refused to approve the request without including substantive measures to strengthen US border security and address record levels of illegal immigration into the United States.

Western countries have been providing military aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s special military operation in February 2022 in the amount of hundreds of billions of dollars. The aid evolved from artillery munitions and training in 2022 to heavier weapons, including tanks, advanced air-defense systems, cluster munitions and missiles later that year and in 2023. The Kremlin has consistently warned against the West’s continued arms deliveries to Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly stated that Western military supplies do not bode well for Ukraine and only prolong the conflict. In addition, vehicles carrying supplied weapons are a legitimate target for the Russian Army.

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“In accordance with this certificate, the recipient of the weapon does not have the right to resell it or redirect it anywhere without the consent of the supplier country..”

West Asks Countries To Secretly Send Russian Weapons To Ukraine – Lavrov (RT)

Moscow has become aware of several cases of Western powers asking certain countries to secretly donate Russian-made weaponry to Kiev for use in the Ukraine conflict, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. The Russian diplomat’s comments come as Kiev ramps up its demands for more military aid, citing acute shortages in hardware and ammunition. The US and its allies have also been seeking to approve further financial and military support for Ukraine. Speaking at a roundtable meeting with the heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Moscow on Tuesday, Lavrov stated that Russia has been in contact with “certain countries” that the West has been trying to convince to hand over Russia-supplied weapons to Ukraine, without informing Moscow of such transfers.

The minister noted that there have been “several cases of this kind” recorded by Moscow over the past year and a half, and stressed that Russia will continue to demand that all international obligations regarding weapons transfers be observed. Lavrov pointed out that when a foreign country legally acquires Russian arms, the shipments come with a certain package of documents, including an end-user certificate. “In accordance with this certificate, the recipient of the weapon does not have the right to resell it or redirect it anywhere without the consent of the supplier country,” the minister explained.

At the same time, Russia’s top diplomat noted that the West has been pretending not to notice that its own weapons, which it has supplied to Ukraine, have already spread to war zones across the world, where they are frequently being used by extremists and terrorists. “The weapons that the West supplies to the Ukrainian regime have been found not only in conflict zones in the Middle East, but in illegal shipments that have been recorded in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Gaza,” Lavrov said. Last week, speaking at a UN Security Council meeting, Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s claims that Kiev has been reselling Western weapons on the black market, and expressed disbelief that Ukraine’s backers were unaware of this. Russia has repeatedly condemned Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine, insisting that such shipments only serve to prolong the fighting and lead to more bloodshed without affecting the eventual outcome.

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“..the United States is expected to station B61-12 gravity bombs, which are three times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, at the Lakenheath base for the first time in 15 years..”

Russia Warns US Against Returning Tactical Nuclear Weapons to UK (Sp.)

Russia strongly warns the US against returning its tactical nuclear weapons to the territory of the UK, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday.”Regarding the hypothetical return of US tactical nuclear weapons to the UK territory, I would like to strongly warn against this destabilizing step,” Ryabkov told reporters. The move would not strengthen the security of either the UK or the US, but would increase the level of escalation and threat in Europe, the diplomat said. “We assume that despite the rather sad experience, from the point of view of ensuring European security, the experience of recent years in London and Washington, hotheads are not drawing any lessons from this, so this scenario is quite possible,” he added.

The Telegraph reported on January 26 that the United States is expected to station B61-12 gravity bombs, which are three times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, at the Lakenheath base for the first time in 15 years after Washington decided to remove its nuclear arsenal from the United Kingdom in 2008. A Pentagon spokesperson, commenting on the development, said in a statement to Sputnik that it is a US policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence or absence of nuclear weapons at a specific location amid reports that Washington plans to station its nuclear weapons in the United Kingdom.

“It is U.S. policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence or absence of nuclear weapons at any general or specific location,” the statement said. The statement noted that the United States “routinely upgrades its military facilities in allied nations. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said that the Kremlin would view the deployment of US nuclear weapons in the United Kingdom as an escalatory action.

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“.. it ordered Israel should facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid, it actually said, “You have to cease fire because there is no [other] way of doing that.”

The Palestinians Won in The Hague: So Did the Rest of Us (Patrick Lawrence)

Half a dozen years ago I sat in the lobby lounge at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan talking at length with Richard Falk, the scholar, lawyer, U.N. rapporteur, and advocate of Palestinian rights. Inevitably, the conversation turned for a time to international law, a topic on which Falk has long been a recognized authority. Here is a little of what he said as we took our afternoon tea: When international law is on the side of the geopolitical actors, then they are very serious about its relevance. When the American embassy was seized in Tehran after the Iranian Revolution, they talked about the flouting of international law as if that was the most sacred body of law that ever existed. International law is used very instrumentally. If you’re protecting private investment in Venezuela or Chile, then it’s barbaric not to uphold it. But if it’s blocking the pursuit of some kind of interventionist project, then it’s flaky or irrelevant to talk about it …

I thought about that exchange over the weekend, as I considered the International Court of Justice’s ruling last Friday that the apartheid state of Israel may be guilty of genocide against Gaza’s Palestinian population, as South Africa charges, and that the case Pretoria brought last month must proceed. Later Friday, the estimable Phyllis Bennis quoted Falk in a piece she wrote for In These Times. Falk called the decision the court’s “greatest moment,” and went on to explain, “It strengthens the claims of international law to be respected by all sovereign states—not just some.” Consistency of thought: It does not get more admirable than this. There are many, many ways to look upon the ICJ’s ruling, many things worth saying. The very first of these is that the significance of the ICJ’s interim finding lies beyond dispute.

Will the barbarities of a nation self-evidently suffering a collective psychosis now stop? No. What Dick Falk said six years ago still holds: Israel has already made clear it will ignore The Hague’s judgment. But what “the Jewish state” does this week or next is not for the moment our question. What are the enduring consequences of this ruling for the global order? How shall we situate the court’s judgment? Where does its importance lie? These are our questions. And Falk was right last Friday, too: The ICJ has begun the work—the long work—of restoring international law as a foundational feature of a world order worthy of the term. Having made this point, I must immediately note the abject deflections we find in the reports of our corporate media—which, nearly to a one, urge their readers, listeners, and viewers to dismiss the ICJ’s interim finding as, borrowing from Falk, more or less flaky and irrelevant.

In the second paragraph of its main story Friday, The New York Times, fairly bursting to get the point across, wrote, “The court did not rule on whether Israel was committing genocide, and it did not call on Israel to stop its campaign to crush Hamas…” Three untruths here, straight off the top. One, the South Africans did not ask The Hague to issue a ruling on genocide one way or the other. In the cause of expedience, to stop the savagery as quickly as possible, it asked for what it got—a swift interim judgment so the court could order Israel to stop the violence and that the larger case on genocide could proceed. Two, a mountain has been made of the fact that the ICJ did not, in so many words, call upon Israel to cease fire in Gaza. This is preposterously misleading.

Peruse the six stipulations that comprise the ruling, the first of which reads, “Israel shall take all measures within its power to prevent all acts within the scope of Genocide Convention, Article 2.” Here I defer to Raz Segal, an Israeli historian who professes at Stockton University in New Jersey. This is from a segment of Democracy Now!, distributed last Friday: We’re already seeing headlines in The New York Times today which frame this as, “The court did not issue an order for a ceasefire”—which, in effect, it actually did, because if it ordered that Israel should cease from genocidal acts, and it ordered Israel should facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid, it actually said, “You have to cease fire because there is no [other] way of doing that.”

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“It’s the starter’s pistol of a global clampdown, which will impact humble Israelis as their economy tumbles and life gets tougher..”

ICJ Ruling Is What It Is: Symbolic. But What Happens Next Is Critical (Jay)

All eyes now will be on Joe Biden to see what card he will play next after he has cut UNRWA aid – a despicable move which will haunt him until his dying days For many, the ruling of the ICJ in the Hague was surreal as it swiftly delivered a judgement against Israel for its genocide in Gaza. Yet even though the interpretation from around the world was that the conclusion of the court was unequivocal, the only real way of judging the validity of both the court and its judgement is with its impact. One has to wonder why the court, for example, didn’t use the word “genocide” and also why it stopped short of calling for an all-out ceasefire. For those naïve enough to believe that the court is entirely independent, the decision by the U.S. to veto any decision made by the United Nations Security Council should set minds at rest. We know that the Americans will do nothing at all, but there might be plans, however, for other countries to use the ruling as a basis for a host of actions against Israel, beyond merely legal ones.

The Americans were quick to point out on the day of the ruling that the court did not rule that Israel carried out a genocide. And so, by definition, it didn’t. This mentality, which is popular among gangsters, is really all that matters and is what those seeking justice will have to grapple with now.But the ruling did throw a spotlight on just how desperate both the Americans and Israelis are becoming as the stunt they pulled on the same day of the ruling, to distract media attention away from the court case and its significance, is telling.UNRWA is the UN agency, which takes care of the Palestinians, not only in Israel but in other countries like Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. For the Biden administration to entirely pull its funding of this agency, the last lifeline for thousands of Palestinians who rely on it even for food aid, is desperate, pathetic and despicable.

For those wondering what this stunt was intended to do, all they had to do is watch BBC news and see how this once fine international broadcaster has become a propaganda channel for U.S. hegemony. Eight minutes were given to why the Biden administration took the decision and only a couple of minutes given to the court decision itself.The Americans and Israel are still fighting a media war, which, for them, must feel like flogging a dead horse, despite most analysts acknowledging that all of the West’s media giants are completely supportive of israel. Israel clearly prepared the dossier and tortured its Palestinian prisoners to fabricate a story about UNRWA workers being complicit with the October 7th attacks in a confession signed in blood. Shamefully, this “evidence” which wouldn’t stand up in any court in the U.S. or UK, was all it took for Biden to go ahead with the plan, which leading commentators like George Galloway in the UK have already called an act of genocide in itself.

The UNRWA stunt is absolutely disgusting as it is craven and an all-time new low point for Biden. It paints Biden as a U.S. president who is happy to play his role in murdering thousands of civilians all in the name of fighting the media and controlling the debate. Some commentators will no doubt note the irony that the Gaza campaign started with claims by Israel of Hamas beheading babies and Israeli women being raped – the latter claim just retracted by the New York Times in recent days – and is now noted for Israel’s baptism of fake news as it struggles now even to get the upper hand in Gaza amidst reports of Hamas fighters returning to northern Gaza.

The ruling however will send shockwaves around the world for Israel to deal with. Certainly most of the countries, which make up the UN General Assembly, which has a good working relationship with the court, will not keep quiet about a U.S. veto in the Security Council. The boycott of goods may well be cranked up to official sanctions on Israel’s goods, visas and even the entity’s participation of international events. But for Netanyahu, this is not a badge of honour. He knows that the ruling will only compound his all-time low ratings in his own country. It’s the starter’s pistol of a global clampdown, which will impact humble Israelis as their economy tumbles and life gets tougher. Biden of course, could use the ruling to leverage Bibi to call a ceasefire. That is of course if you believe the reports that sleepy Joe really wants one, or is just bluffing once again, using his own journalists to help him with this deception.

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Oh, they know.. Admitting it is something else.

West Starts to Understand That Ukraine Project ‘Failing’ – Lavrov (Sp.)

The West is beginning to understand that the “Ukraine project” is failing but can not stop assisting Kiev because of its economic benefit and fear of losing “prestige,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. “The figures that are hidden in Ukraine, they speak a lot about how important it is for the West to prevent the ‘failure’ of their ‘Ukraine project’. Moreover, they already understand that the failure has already begun. But nevertheless they cannot stop. And not only for reasons of prestige … And also from the point of view of economic benefits,” Lavrov said during a meeting with foreign diplomats in Moscow. Addressing the UN Security Council meeting on January 22, 2023, Lavrov emphasized that there are no interests – and there never were – in the conflict with Russia in favor of the Ukrainian people.

There are only “the interests of the Anglo-Saxons, their henchmen and the criminal, rotten Kiev elite, which is tied to the West by mutual responsibility and which is afraid of being swept away the day after the end of the war.” The Russian top diplomat pointed out that Moscow has never given up on a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict. “We never gave up on the peaceful resolution, we are always ready to negotiate — negotiate not about how to keep the leadership of the Kiev regime in place but about overcoming the inheritance of a decade-long destructive looting of the country and violence against the people, removing the reasons for the tragic Ukrainian situation,” Lavrov said. However, the key factor hindering a resolution of the conflict in Ukraine is the continued support of the West, he added.

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Without those claims, what is left?

Lavrov Blasts ‘Absurd’ Claims That Russia Will Attack NATO (RT)

Speculation in the West that Russia could attack the Baltic and Nordic states once the Ukraine conflict ends is pure fiction, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. Speaking to the heads of diplomatic missions on Tuesday, Lavrov said the US had gathered a group of 54 countries to provide military, technical and intelligence aid to Ukraine to help it fight Russia. “All this is being done to prevent Russia from claiming victory,” he added. He said Western countries were claiming that “if Russia wins and asserts its interests in this war, the Baltics, Sweden, and Finland will be next.” Three Baltic nations became NATO members in the early 2000s, more than a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both Helsinki and Stockholm applied to join the bloc after the start of the Ukraine conflict, although only Finland’s application has been ratified so far.

Lavrov noted that this view was shared by Joe Biden, referring to remarks by the US president in early December, when he said that “if [Russian President Vladimir] Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there” and could proceed to attack a NATO country. Moscow said at the time that such comments were “unacceptable for a responsible nuclear state.” The Russian foreign minister said that “the absurdity of such statements is clear to anyone who understands the slightest bit of history and the goals of the special military operation in Ukraine, which we announced openly and without hiding.” Russian officials have repeatedly said that Moscow is seeking the “denazification” and “demilitarization” of Ukraine, as well as an arrangement guaranteeing that the country would not join NATO, and would instead recommit to neutrality.

Lavrov further noted that the military campaign against Kiev is aimed at eliminating “historical injustice.” According to the minister, Moscow is fighting attempts to rewrite history, as well as efforts to turn territories where Russians and other peoples of Russia have lived for centuries “into a springboard for US-led NATO to be used to threaten the [country’s] security.” Last month, Putin said Moscow had no interest whatsoever in launching an offensive against the bloc. He added that the president of the United States – which he called the “master” of NATO – surely knows that “Russia has no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily… in waging war against [the bloc].”

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When you lose, escalate.

Zelensky Ready To Further Fuel Ukraine Conflict (Sp.)

Doubts about the West’s willingness to further prop up the Kiev regime may drive Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to stir up the Ukraine conflict even further by ordering riskier attacks against Russia, Time magazine reported. Zelensky is already taking “bigger risks” in order to turn the conflict around and bolster his political standing at home, according to the publication. Every one of these actions is ripe with the potential for Russian retaliation, which may in turn deepen the hostilities and directly drag in NATO, Time magazine notes, adding that neither Moscow nor Brussels wants such a development. Armed conflicts “take on a life of their own, particularly with one of the key players -in this case, Zelensky- becoming a wild/ card to watch, the magazine concluded.

This follows Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling reporters that Zelensky is currently in a tight spot because no one is providing him with money and Ukraine is up against a crisis at the moment. “Zelensky is in a tough position. He has stopped receiving money, there are not enough shells for him abroad, he is also facing a tense situation inside the country, and many people are dissatisfied. In order to cloak his positions, he resorts to disguising them with utterly ludicrous decrees. It is unlikely that this can help the Kiev regime in any way, [so] the difficulties will only mount. This is despite the fact that there certainly are still more or less bright minds who understand what needs to be done to get out of this situation,” Peskov said, commenting on Zelensky’s decree entitled “On the territories of the Russian Federation historically inhabited by Ukrainians.”

Time’s report comes after The American Conservative pointed out that Zelensky has issued frenzied orders to attack civilians in order to fuel the conflict and secure further assistance from the West. On January 21, 27 people were killed and 25 more wounded when Ukrainian troops shelled the Kirovsky district of the city of Donetsk, according to head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin. The shelling was preceded by the Ukrainian military’s strike on the Russian city of Belgorod on December 30, which killed 25 civilians and wounded 109 others. Moscow excoriated the murderous attack, slamming it as an act of terrorism. Also in December, President Vladimir Putin stressed in an interview with Russian media that Moscow has “no reason and no interest – neither geopolitical, nor economic, political, and military – to fight with NATO countries.” Russia and NATO members do not have any territorial claims against one another, Putin noted, adding that Moscow is unwilling to spoil relations with the alliance.

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“..Many soldiers reportedly continue to speak Russian on the front lines..”

Ukraine To Teach Troops To Speak Ukrainian (RT)

Special courses will be created for Kiev’s troops so that they can improve their command of the Ukrainian language, government official Taras Kremen has said.Kremen, who is Ukraine’s language ombudsman, made the announcement as he met with servicemen at a Territorial Defense Forces training center on Monday, his office said in a statement.Violations of the country’s language law, which among other things obliges the military to use Ukrainian, have been recorded in a large number of units, including in the capital Kiev, according to the commissioner.Ukraine historically has a large Russian-speaking population, especially in its eastern regions. Many soldiers reportedly continue to speak Russian on the front lines. In a 2001 census, more than 14.2 million Ukrainian citizens (almost 30% of the population) called Russian their native language.

During the meeting with servicemen, it was “agreed to open language courses for military personnel who want to improve their knowledge and properly prepare for the exam to determine the level of proficiency in the state language,” Kremen said. “I will be happy to assist in the creation of such a network [of courses] in other military units as well,” the commissioner added. Signed by then President Pyotr Poroshenko in 2019, the language law established Ukrainian as the sole state language and made it obligatory for use in all areas of social life. It was a continuation of Kiev’s policy of forcing out the Russian language, pursued by the authorities after the violent Western-backed coup in 2014.Since 2021, passing a Ukrainian language exam has been mandatory to become a government employee or to obtain Ukrainian citizenship.

“Nobody there [in the conflict zone] speaks Ukrainian,” a sniper from Kiev’s forces told the TSN media outlet in October. Despite concealing his identity, the serviceman enjoyed a certain celebrity status in Ukraine due to his regular interviews and podcast appearances.He claimed that Russian was common in all sections of the front line that he had been posted to. In his own unit, “two people speak the harshest Surzhik [a mix of Russian and Ukrainian] and, probably, two or three others [use] Ukrainian language. All the rest are Russian-speaking,” the sniper insisted. Moscow has repeatedly denounced Kiev’s clampdown on Russian culture and language, insisting that the “forced Ukrainization” violates international law and infringes upon the rights of native Russian speakers, who make up around a quarter of the population.

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“..It now amounts to about $102,000 for an average American family of three..”

US Facing ‘Death Spiral’ Of Swelling Debt – Nassim Taleb (RT)

The burgeoning US debt pile is akin to a “death spiral” that only a “miracle” could extract the country from, economist and ‘Black Swan’ author Nassim Taleb said at a business event on Monday, as quoted by Bloomberg. Taleb defined the expanding US debt load as a “white swan,” meaning a risk event that is highly predictable and more probable than a “black swan” event, a metaphor describing an occurrence that comes as a complete surprise. “So long as you have Congress keep extending the debt limit and doing deals because they’re afraid of the consequences of doing the right thing, that’s the political structure of the political system, eventually you’re going to have a debt spiral,” Taleb said. “And a debt spiral is like a death spiral.” Earlier this week, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the absolute level of US public debt looks like “a scary number.”

US government federal debt topped $34 trillion for the first time in history at the end of December. It now amounts to about $102,000 for an average American family of three. In 2023 alone, it grew by more than $4 trillion.According to Taleb, a former trader who is best known for publishing several bestselling books on economics, white swans include both the US deficit and the American economy that has grown more vulnerable to shocks than in previous years. He called such vulnerability a feature of globalization, as problems in one region can ricochet around the world.When asked how the US “debt spiral” could play out, Taleb said, “we need something to come in from the outside, or maybe some kind of miracle,” adding that this makes him “kind of gloomy about the entire political system in the Western world.”

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“..a classified cable that was sent to Islamabad by the Pakistani ambassador to Washington in 2022, which allegedly suggested that the US wanted Khan ousted over his neutrality in the Ukraine conflict.”

Imran Khan Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison (RT)

A Pakistani court has sentenced former prime minister Imran Khan to ten years behind bars. He has been charged with leaking state secrets, according to the spokesman for the politician’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI). On Tuesday, Zulfiqar Bukhari said, as quoted by AP, that the verdict was announced at a prison in the northern city of Rawalpindi, not far from the capital, Islamabad. The same sentence was also imposed on former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The charges relate to the so-called cipher, a classified cable sent to Islamabad by the Pakistani ambassador to Washington in 2022, shortly after the start of the Ukraine conflict. The document allegedly suggested that the US wanted to remove Khan over his neutrality regarding the hostilities.

The ex-Pakistani PM called the cipher case on Tuesday “false,” adding that it “is being completed in violation of constitutional requirements and legal regulations.” “This is not a trial but a fixed match outcome of which was predetermined,” he added. Echoing those comments, his party PTI noted that “there can be no more ridiculous case than the cipher.” “What can be more ridiculous than that Pakistan has imprisoned its prime minister and foreign minister for exposing the foreign conspiracy!” Khan, a former professional cricket player who became prime minister in 2018, was ousted in 2022 in a non-confidence vote. The opposition accused him of poor governance, as well as of mismanaging the economy and foreign policy. At the time, he claimed that he had been toppled as a result of a US conspiracy.

The controversy around the politician did not end there, however, with Khan becoming a target of dozens of cases, sparking mass street protests organized by his supporters, which resulted in dozens of casualties. In August 2023, the politician was sentenced to a three-year jail sentence on charges related to what prosecutors argued was an attempt to conceal receiving state gifts while Khan was serving as PM. The country’s judiciary, however, later suspended the sentence, granting him bail. Khan still remained incarcerated on other charges.

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And one day later, there’s more…

Imran Khan Sentenced To 14-year New Jail Term (RT)

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife have been sentenced to 14 years in prison in a corruption case. This comes after another court ruling in which Khan was given ten years for leaking state secrets. The politician and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were sentenced by a Pakistani accountability court on Wednesday in the city of Rawalpindi, not far from the capital, Islamabad. Both were charged with the illegal sale of state gifts while Khan was prime minister from 2018 to 2022. In addition to the sentence, the two have been barred from running for public office for ten years and fined $2.7 million.

This comes after Khan was sentenced to ten years on Tuesday for leaking state secrets. The charges are related to a cipher, a classified cable that was sent to Islamabad by the Pakistani ambassador to Washington in 2022, which allegedly suggested that the US wanted Khan ousted over his neutrality in the Ukraine conflict. Commenting on the verdict, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) denounced what it called the “complete destruction of every existing law in Pakistan in two days.” “Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi have faced yet another kangaroo trial in which no right to defense was given to both. Like cipher, this case has no basis to stand in any higher court.”

Both sentences come ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for February 8. The PTI said the “atrocities against [Khan] will be avenged by the power of the vote.” Khan, a former cricketer-turned-politician, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in 2022, with the opposition accusing him of mismanaging the economy and foreign policy. Khan claims that he was overthrown as a result of a US conspiracy. Since then, the former leader has fought dozens of legal battles. Islamabad’s attempts to prosecute him sparked massive public unrest with numerous casualties.

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In the earliest days of space exploration, most calculations for early space missions were done by “human computers,” and most of these computers were women. These calculations helped the U.S. launch its first satellite, Explorer 1, 65 years ago #Today.

 

 

Stonehenge

 

 

Paris
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752419193520115948

 

 

Big baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752304443435917681

 

 

Hummingbird

 

 

Baby elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752315809270206564

 

 

Finch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752427413722611823

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 202023
 
 December 20, 2023  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  53 Responses »


Edward Hopper Hotel by a railroad 1952

 

Colorado Supreme Court Disqualifies Trump From 2024 Ballot (ZH)
This Is What An *Actual* Attack On Democracy Looks Like (Ramaswamy)
The Colorado Supreme Court 4-3 Decision Is Pure Nonsense (CTH)
Trump Could Leave NATO – Reuters (RT)
Russia Is Counting On Donald Trump’s Return – Czech President (RT)
We Are Well Beyond Hypocrisy (Victor Davis Hanson)
US Escalation in the Red Sea – A Lose/Lose Proposition (Bentley)
Ukraine – Another Lost US/NATO War With No Regrets (Sp.)
Ukrainians Tell MP They Would Give Up Citizenship To Avoid Conscription (RT)
The Multifront Attack on Elon Musk (Jeffrey Tucker)
Media Matters Sues Texas AG In Federal Court (ET)
Giuliani Sued Again By Election Workers Over Latest False Claims (BBC)
The Terror Watchlist Prepared the Way to Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)
US National Debt Jumps $2.6 Trillion In Six Months (RT)
US Judge Orders More Than 170 Jeffrey Epstein Associates To Be Named (BBC)
Imran Khan Uses AI To Deliver Speech From Prison (RT)
Assange Appeal Hearing Set for February (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Vigano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you thought things were crazy before…

Colorado Supreme Court Disqualifies Trump From 2024 Ballot (ZH)

The Colorado Supreme Court has disqualified Donald Trump from Colorado’s 2024 presidential election ballot, and in a 4-3 ruling has effectively blocked Trump from seeking the presidency because of his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, citing the post-Civil War-era 14th Amendment to the US Constitution that bans insurrectionists from holding public office. The Colorado case was the first constitutional challenge to Trump’s 2024 run to go through a full trial. Voters, represented by the advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, had argued he should be barred from the ballot for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Colorado’s highest court – whose seven-member bench was entirely appointed by Democratic governors – overturned a ruling from a district court judge who found that Trump incited an insurrection for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, but said he could not be barred from the ballot because it was unclear that the provision was intended to cover the presidency.

In its ruling, the Democrat-controlled court found that Trump engaged in insurrection by inflaming his supporters with false claims of election fraud and directing them to the Capitol. The state justices determined that the office of the president is covered under the insurrection clause, which specifically lists those who previously took oaths to support the Constitution as “a member of Congress,” “officer of the United States,” “member of any State legislature” or an “executive or judicial officer of any State.” The district court had previously ruled that the office of the president was not covered under the clause. The majority opinion was unsigned but joined by four of the seven justices. [..] Three justices dissented from Tuesday’s decision: Chief Justice Brian Boatright, Carlos Samour and Justice Maria Berkenkotter. Each wrote separate dissents taking issue with how the plaintiffs brought their 14th Amendment lawsuit using a provision of Colorado election law.

Berkenkotter wrote that “the majority construes the court’s authority too broadly.” “The questions presented here simply reach a magnitude of complexity not contemplated by the Colorado General Assembly for its election code enforcement statute,” wrote Boatright. “The proceedings below ran counter to the letter and spirit of the statutory timeframe because the Electors’ claim overwhelmed the process.” Samour similarly wrote that Colorado’s election law provides no “engine” for such a lawsuit, also noting that no federal legislation existed to enforce the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause. “Even if we are convinced that a candidate committed horrible acts in the past—dare I say, engaged in insurrection—there must be procedural due process before we can declare that individual disqualified from holding public office. Procedural due process is one of the aspects of America’s democracy that sets this country apart,” Samour wrote.

Ironically, all this ruling will do is further cement Trump’s status as leading presidential candidate as it not only affirms his status as target #1 of the Biden Department of Justice and liberal court system, but will test the Conservative-dominated Supreme Court appeal over its interpretation of the 14th Amendment, which according to many including a Colorado District court, does not apply to the Presidency. Indeed, as Vivek Ramaswami observed, the 14th Amendment was part of the “Reconstruction Amendments” that were ratified following the Civil War. “It was passed to prohibit former Confederate military and political leaders from holding high federal or state office. These men had clearly taken part in a rebellion against the United States: the Civil War. That makes it all the more absurd that a left-wing group in Colorado is asking a federal court to disqualify the 45th President on the same grounds, equating his speech to rebellion against the United States.”

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X thread.

This Is What An *Actual* Attack On Democracy Looks Like (Ramaswamy)

This is what an *actual* attack on democracy looks like: in an un-American, unconstitutional, and *unprecedented* decision, a cabal of Democrat judges are barring Trump from the ballot in Colorado. Having tried every trick in the book to eliminate President Trump from running in this election, the bipartisan Establishment is now deploying a new tactic to bar him from ever holding office again: the 14th Amendment. I pledge to *withdraw* from the Colorado GOP primary unless Trump is also allowed to be on the state’s ballot, and I demand that Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, and Nikki Haley to do the same immediately – or else they are tacitly endorsing this illegal maneuver which will have disastrous consequences for our country.

Today’s decision is the latest election interference tactic to silence political opponents and swing the election for whatever puppet the Democrats put up this time by depriving Americans of the right to vote for their candidate of choice. The 14th Amendment was part of the “Reconstruction Amendments” that were ratified following the Civil War. It was passed to prohibit former Confederate military and political leaders from holding high federal or state office. These men had clearly taken part in a rebellion against the United States: the Civil War. That makes it all the more absurd that a left-wing group in Colorado is asking a federal court to disqualify the 45th President on the same grounds, equating his speech to rebellion against the United States.

And there’s another legal problem: Trump is not a former “officer of the United States,” as that term is used in the Constitution, meaning Section 3 does not apply. As the Supreme Court explained in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (2010), an “officer of the United States” is someone appointed by the President to aid him in his duties under Article II, Section 2. The term does not apply to elected officials, and certainly not to the President himself. The Framers of the 14th Amendment would be appalled to see this narrow provision—intended to bar former U.S. officials who switched to the Confederacy from seeking public office—being weaponized by a sitting President and his political allies to prevent a former President from seeking reelection. Our country is becoming unrecognizable to our Founding Fathers.

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“..psychological lawfare stuff – intended for media consumption..”

The Colorado Supreme Court 4-3 Decision Is Pure Nonsense (CTH)

Three main points before getting to the substance.
#1) It was a 4-3 decision. Meaning it was the politics of the court, literally the political makeup and perspective therein, that determined the outcome of the decision. This is showcased in point #3, which is the funniest part.
#2) The entire framework of the case against Trump in the Colorado decision is predicated on this: “[the complainants] asserted that he was ineligible under Section Three because he engaged in insurrection on January 6, 2021, after swearing an oath as President to support the U.S. Constitution.” [pdf, page 6] REMINDER – President Donald Trump was not charged with “insurrection,” is not accused of “insurrection,” does not fit the complaint under the definitions of “insurrection,” and has never been found guilty of insurrection. The complaint is moot before the court. But hey, it’s Lawfare… and we all know Lawfare is created for public media consumption, so that takes us directly to the biggest point.
#3) Instead of me writing it, let me screengrab it so we can all laugh together.

Wait, what? Yes, that’s correct. As long as President Trump appeals the decision to the Supreme Court, the appeals court stays their own ruling – essentially indefinitely. The Colorado primary ballots printed, and the primary election will be over, before the Supreme Court puts this on their docket. In addition to the virtual guarantee the high court will overrule this political nonsense, SCOTUS can make the entire issue moot before them by following their own normal schedule for submissions, arguments, deliberation and opinions delivered by the court. The Colorado appellate court knows this, that’s why they put this self-stay into their 4-3 ruling. It’s a politically correct way of giving the optics of telling their tribe, ‘hey we’re with you,’ without the ramifications of the political backlash. In other words, psychological lawfare stuff – intended for media consumption.

Making the issue that much better for Donald Trump, the efforts of the Prescott-Bush clan (look it up – they live in CO) will backfire bigly. The public backlash against a judicial ruling that interferes with the right of the citizens to determine their own election candidates plays perfectly into the sunlight operation against the Lawfare left. This backlash will be epic, albeit hidden by MSNBC and the rest of the insufferable media. Why? Because it doesn’t fit the Lawfare narrative. I’m not even going to highlight the nonsense from the leftists who are in a frenzy over this one. Just smile, pretend it’s the end of the world, eat your favorite foods and live your best life while trying not to laugh. Seriously, this is just that level of goofy. Remember what I said about Ron DeSantis in 2022, and everyone looked at me funny. Well, this is way more predictable than me saying DeSantis will collapse in sunlight.

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“If he defeats Biden, he “would likely install loyalists in key positions in the Pentagon, State Department and CIA whose primary allegiance would be to him..”

Trump Could Leave NATO – Reuters (RT)

Donald Trump’s potential second term in the White House might see Washington stop funding Ukraine, withdraw from NATO, and further cut economic ties with China, Reuters reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources. During his 2017-2021 presidency, many of Trump’s policies ended up obstructed by unelected government officials and sometimes even his own appointees, according to numerous insider accounts. He seeks to get around that problem by appointing “loyalists” more amenable to his “isolationist policies and whims,” the outlet claimed. Reuters admitted that Trump himself has offered “few clues” about his intentions. The article was based on interviews with almost 20 current and former aides and diplomats, most of whom were not named.

According to eight European diplomats, there are “acute fears” that the second Trump administration would cut off aid to Ukraine and doubts whether it would honor the US commitment to “defend NATO allies.” “There are rumors that he wants to take the US away from NATO or withdraw from Europe, of course it sounds worrying but… we are not in a panic,” said a diplomat from one Baltic country. Another diplomat, representing a northern European NATO member state, outlined the options his and some other embassies have sent to their capitals about the November 2024 election. If the incumbent president, Democrat Joe Biden, is reelected, “Things might go rather well: the US keeps on rehabilitating herself,” he said.

A “mild” version of the second Trump presidency would be “a repetition of his first term with some aggressive overtones.” If he actually follows through on pledges to dismantle the ‘Deep State’ apparatus, that would be the “doomsday option,” according to the diplomat. Trump is currently the favorite for the Republican presidential nomination. If he defeats Biden, he “would likely install loyalists in key positions in the Pentagon, State Department and CIA whose primary allegiance would be to him,” the anonymous aides told Reuters. That would enable him to “advance his foreign policy priorities faster and more efficiently than he was able to when previously in office.”

Making political appointments is the constitutional prerogative of US presidents. However, Trump has hinted he might purge the lower ranks of the federal bureaucracy, on many occasions describing the “Washington swamp” as an impediment to genuine reforms. “President Trump came to realize that personnel is policy,” Robert O’Brien, Trump’s fourth national security advisor, told Reuters. “At the outset of his administration, there were a lot of people that were interested in implementing their own policies, not the president’s policies.” Four people who “converse” with the 45th president have said that he regularly gets advice from former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, Ambassador Richard Grenell, and his one-time deputy, Kash Patel. None of them responded to Reuters’ interview requests. Neither Trump nor his campaign commented on the story.

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“The Czech leader, who previously served as a senior NATO military official and is a staunch supporter of Kiev in its fight with Moscow..”

Russia Is Counting On Donald Trump’s Return – Czech President (RT)

The Ukraine conflict may experience a “significant shift” next year, and not “in the good sense of the word,” Czech President Petr Pavel told the news service of the web portal Seznam.cz in an interview published on Monday. The Czech leader, who previously served as a senior NATO military official and is a staunch supporter of Kiev in its fight with Moscow, pointed to the 2024 presidential election in the US as the key moment for the confrontation. He claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was counting on Donald Trump winning at the ballot box come November and then striking a deal with Russia on Ukraine, which would ignore the wishes of Kiev and other European nations. The outcome, according to Pavel, would be “some kind of compromise that would theoretically return Russia to the status of a key player, and the others would have to put up with it somehow.”

He described the scenario as “unfavorable” for EU nations, including his own. In his public statements, Putin previously rejected the analysis outlined by Pavel. He argued that the personality of the US president was largely irrelevant to the country’s policy vis-a-vis Moscow. “[Trump] was accused of having a special relationship with Russia, which is total nonsense and bulls**t. But he was the president who introduced the most sanctions against Russia,” Putin noted in September at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The US elites perceive Russia as an existential enemy, he added. They suppress the voices of Americans, who want good relations with Moscow, the Russian leader claimed.

“We have no idea who will be elected, but whoever it is, the anti-Russian vector of US policy is unlikely to change,” Putin concluded. Kiev has recently suffered a series of setbacks in terms of securing Western aid on both sides of the Atlantic. In Washington, a partisan conflict over border security caused a White House request for over $60 billion in additional Ukraine assistance to be blocked. In Brussels, Hungary vetoed a European Commission proposal to allocate €50 billion ($54 billion) over four years to support Kiev. In his interview, Pavel also said Putin had “made it clear” that peace talks on Ukraine are only possible with the US, and not Kiev or any European nation. Moscow perceives the conflict to be part of a Washington-led proxy war against Russia and believes the US has the ultimate say on it.

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“Do we remember when, not long ago, whistleblowers were noble?”

We Are Well Beyond Hypocrisy (Victor Davis Hanson)

The Left is saturating the airwaves with outrage over the current House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry. They allege that formally investigating Joe Biden’s role in the family grifting operation is somehow a poor constitutional precedent, if not out-of-bounds entirely. So we hear further arguments that it will be unwise to impeach a first-term president when he loses his House majority, that there is no reason to “waste” congressional time and effort when Biden will be automatically acquitted in the Democratically controlled Senate, and that the impeachment is cynically timed to synchronize with president’s reelection efforts. All of these are the precise arguments many of us cited when Donald Trump was impeached in December 2019 (as his reelection campaign began, and immediately after being cleared of the 22-month, $40-million-special-counsel Russian-collusion hoax).

The Democrats tried to remove an elected president over a phone call without a special counsel’s report. So Trump was impeached only after the 2018 election led to a Democratic House majority, which went from eating up nearly two years of his administration in the Russian-collusion hoax straight into the impeachment farce. There was no concern about the cost to the nation of putting an elected government into a continual state of siege. There is one difference, though, between the Trump impeachment and the Biden impeachment inquiry. Donald Trump was impeached because he accurately accused the members of the Ukrainian government of paying Hunter Biden, with his zero fossil fuel expertise, an astronomical sum to serve on the Burisma board—as the costly quid that earned the lucrative quo from his dad Vice President Joe Biden.

No one now denies that Joe Biden got prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired by threatening to cancel legislatively-approved U.S. aid. Shokin knew about the skullduggery through which the Biden family eventually received $6.5 million from Ukraine—and so Biden ensured his firing, and publicly bragged about it in performance-art fashion. In sum, Trump had a perfect right as commander in chief to delay (he did not cancel) aid to Ukraine, to ensure that its government was not still paying off the Bidens for their lobbying efforts on its behalf. It is also now clear that Biden serially lied about his ignorance of Hunter’s shake-down operation. In fact, he was, as Devon Archer emphasized, “the brand” central to Hunter’s scheme to coerce money from foreign governments. Joe was proverbially, in Hunter’s words “the man sitting next to me” and thus able to either punish or reward foreign interests, depending on the size of the checks they wrote to his various fronting family members.

The left is now furious that Hunter has been subpoenaed by the House to testify in private about how he earned his multimillion-dollar income, whether he fully paid taxes on it, and to whom he distributed his winnings. Hunter has refused to testify. He is now being held in contempt of the U.S. Congress—to the silence of the usually self-righteous former senator Joe “pay your fair share” Biden. We hear sanctimonious harangues that Joe is guilty of loving “his only son” Hunter too much, or that it is way out of bounds for a Department of Justice prosecutor to hound Joe Biden by going “after his family,” or that Republican congressional subpoenas and contempt findings should be summarily ignored. Ask Peter Navarro or Steve Bannon whether one can simply ignore a House subpoena. Ask Ivanka Trump whether she was, or was not, subpoenaed to appear before the January 6 committee. Ask the Trump sons whether they could breezily say “no” to Letitia James’s subpoenas in her farcical real-estate-valuation suit against Trump.

Do we remember when, not long ago, whistleblowers were noble? The alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella, an Obama holdover who had burrowed inside the Trump administration, had zero firsthand knowledge of the Trump phone call to Ukrainian president Zelensky. Ukrainian expatriate Lt. Col Alexander Vindman was on the call, as a member of the Trump national security team. He broke the law and apparently disclosed the classified call—in outrage that Trump was apparently too hard on his native Ukraine— to Ciaramella, and then hid the latter’s identity. Both met privately with Rep. Adam Schiff (D—CA) to engineer an impeachment writ. Instead, both came forward as whistleblowers to testify before Congress about how the Biden Justice Department deliberately and carefully ensured that the mountain of evidence for the prosecution of Hunter Biden that they had presented had simply been ignored—at least long enough for the statute of limitations to run out on his most egregious crimes.

When they both made their case that facts proved the Biden family received huge sums for selling access to or action from Joe Biden, they were roundly trashed by Democrats in congress and pilloried as disgruntled politicos by a toady press.

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“The choice is between demanding an end to the Gaza humanitarian tragedy or escalating the conflict into a war that will have global consequences.”

US Escalation in the Red Sea – A Lose/Lose Proposition (Bentley)

The latest escalation in world military affairs, the situation in the Red Sea and Yemen, has the real potential to eclipse both the war in Ukraine and the invasion of Gaza, both in terms of military and economic impact, on a global scale. The hubris and abject idiocy of US plans to open yet another conflict that they cannot hope to win, and that cannot lead to anything but the destruction of the world economy can only be described as criminally insane. In a recent letter to “Dear America”, the Houthi leaders wrote, “A desperate plea for reflection. The consequences are dire, and the responsibility lies with the guardians of the American dream. Beware, for the path you tread upon carries weighty consequences, reverberating across oceans and continents. Choose wisely…” The choice is between demanding an end to the Gaza humanitarian tragedy or escalating the conflict into a war that will have global consequences. The US has already announced its intention to choose the latter. It is a choice for which the American people, if they allow it to happen, will suffer gravely.

The US and UK have moved at least 24 combat ships into the seas off the coast of Yemen, ostensibly “to protect global shipping lanes”. This is a lie. The Houthis have clearly stated that, one, that they are only targeting ships serving Israeli interests, and that all other shipping is under no threat, and two, that they are willing to cease all military operations against Israeli shipping as soon as Israel stops its attacks on Gaza and the West Bank. It is ONLY Israeli shipping that is under threat, and it is ONLY Israeli shipping that US and UK naval forces are deployed to protect. But by escalating the situation in the Red Sea, they are putting at risk ALL shipping passing through the Red Sea and Suez Canal, which accounts for 12% of all global trade and 30% of all container shipping, as well as about 8% of world trade in both oil and LNG, for a total annual value of over a trillion US dollars.

As things stand now, only Israel-linked shipping is at risk, and even that risk can be completely eliminated by the cessation of Israeli attacks on Gaza and the West Bank. But if the US attacks Yemen, the Houthis will respond, and they do have the capability to sink US Navy ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. And once that happens, the Red Sea becomes an active war zone, and then, all bets are off, along with all shipping in the Red Sea, and 12% of all global trade. Think about it… The economies of the EU nations are already in serious decline. The US national debt stands at over $33 TRILLION, and the era of the US dollar’s reserve currency status in global trade is closing fast. A 12% overnight decline in global trade would almost certainly lead these economies into economic depression equivalent to the Great Depression of almost 100 years ago.

As I have said many times before, economic war and military war are two sides of the same coin. The Houthis have a major economic advantage based on their geography to influence and even threaten global economic activity, and have proven their ability and willingness to use it. And it is by no means certain that the Western armada assembled along the Yemeni coast can even defeat the Houthis militarily without unacceptable and unsustainable losses. According to Fabian Hinz, a research fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Houthis are known to possess two types of larger anti-ship ballistic missiles: The Asef, which has a ranger 450km range, and the Tankil,which has a range of 500km. These missiles can travel at speeds up to Mach 5, and carry warheads of between 300 to 500 kg. (By comparison, Chinese anti-ship missiles with 600 kg warheads have been dubbed “Aircraft Carrier Killers”.) The range of these missiles allows the Houthis to cover not only the southern third of the Red Sea, but all of the Gulf of Aden and much of the Arabian Sea as well.

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“No empires have lasted forever and that of the US/NATO world will be the last..”

Ukraine – Another Lost US/NATO War With No Regrets (Sp.)

One of the enigmatic aspects of international politics is that big and militarily superior countries have systematically lost wars in smaller countries over the last 50 years, from Vietnam to Ukraine. “Losing” here means military defeat, being forced out, losing the struggle for the hearts and minds of the people, and facing fiasco when it comes to achieving the professed noble motives like introducing human rights, democracy, freedom or liberating women. And given the tremendous human costs, particularly in the Middle East, the US’ “Global War on Terror” since September 11, 2001 is also an intellectual and moral disaster. The US – by far the world’s largest military spender, interventionist, warrior, occupier, global base-builder with the most militarized foreign policy – is in a class of its own. In losing wars too.

It is now rapidly losing legitimacy, relevance and credibility in the eyes of most of the world outside US/NATO/EU/ANPO/AUKUS. Firstly, all these imperial militarist adventures have been woefully anti-intellectual and imbued with the arrogance of power, elements of racism and hubris. Secondly, after quite predictable fiascos and defeats – such as in Iraq – there comes a time when propaganda, psychological operations (PSYOPS), media influencing, and psycho-political projection no longer do the trick. There comes a time, too, when even the biggest military spender and economy cannot finance its weapons addiction and its arsenals of weapons and ammunition dry up.

It’s called over-extension and diminishing legitimacy in the eyes of others, it’s called militarism to death and is transforming into imperial decline and eventual fall. No empires have lasted forever and that of the US/NATO world will be the last. No one is so foolish to believe that, in an incredibly diverse world, everybody else would accept one player to be the all-dominating system and shape others into its own image. Missionary times are a thing of the past. Enter Ukraine. NATO set itself up in Kiev immediately after it became independent and declared in 2008 that it would become a member of the alliance. It was a gross violation of the promises indisputably given to the last Soviet President, Michael Gorbachev, but such was the unipolar we-can-do-whatever-we-want sentiment.

In an autistic manner, NATO refused to listen to Russia’s legitimate security concerns and also did not bother about the fact that there was only a tiny minority among the Ukrainian people in favour of membership of NATO. Instead, a regime change in Kiev was all that was needed: installing a pro-Western leadership, paying it well and giving it an offer it could not refuse by wooing it step-by-step into the ever-expanding alliance. Russia then put its foot down, and insult had to be added to injury: We will help you, Ukraine, for as long as it takes for you to win “our” war against Russia and “weaken” it; you’ll be covered the whole way, just fight for us to the last Ukrainian.

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“..73% claiming that retaining their Ukrainian passport was not worth the risk..”

Ukrainians Tell MP They Would Give Up Citizenship To Avoid Conscription (RT)

A majority of Ukrainians responding to a Facebook poll by a leading lawmaker have said they would be willing to renounce their citizenship in order to avoid being drafted into the military. In a series of Facebook posts on Monday, Mariana Bezuglaya, an MP from President Vladimir Zelensky’s ruling party, initially asked female followers if they would give up their Ukrainian passports to avoid potential forced mobilization to “rear positions” in the military industry. Even though the lawmaker emphasized that frontline combat positions are currently out of the question for women, some 65% of the more than 3,800 respondents said they would renounce their citizenship rather than take the risk.

In two follow-up polls, the MP wondered if women would at least consider registering with the military authorities for potential mobilization in the future, in exchange for reopening the borders for men, or for the demobilization of those who have already served for two years. Only 17% and 22% of respondents agreed, respectively. In her last “experimental survey” on Monday, Bezuglaya addressed men with a similar question: “In order not to be mobilized, am I ready to renounce Ukrainian citizenship?” Over 4,300 users took part in the poll, with 73% claiming that retaining their Ukrainian passport was not worth the risk. Bezuglaya is currently deputy chair of the parliamentary committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, and is best known for proposing a bill in May 2022 that would have allowed Ukrainian officers to execute soldiers for insubordination without a trial.

Earlier this month, the lawmaker marked International Volunteer Day by thanking everyone who had already signed up to the military, but demanded more enlistment and urged women to join the ranks. The 35-year-old claimed she had undergone military training herself in 2015, when the government in Kiev was waging its “anti-terrorist operation” against the residents of Donbass. Kiev’s push to recruit more troops follows its underwhelming summer counteroffensive, which according to estimates by the Russian Defense Ministry has cost Ukraine over 125,000 troops. Last month, Zelensky promised a “comprehensive proposal” to reform the conscription system, which has yet to be announced. According to Russian intelligence, Ukraine’s backers in the West have demanded that the draft be expanded to teenagers, older men, and women.

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“The presumption here is preposterous: that Elon doesn’t care if his product is flawed and doesn’t desire improvement.”

The Multifront Attack on Elon Musk (Jeffrey Tucker)

[..] Musk bought the Twitter platform and purged 4 out of 5 employees, including the many government agents who had been hired to turn Twitter into a government propaganda machine. Since then he has upheld the First Amendment and innovated a series of tools that allow for internal and crowd-source fact-checking to make his renamed platform the most reliable source of news and opinion in the world. Since he took over, he has faced a barrage of state-generated attacks. The SEC has sued Musk over the purchase of the platform. According to the New York Times, “his takeover has been the subject of several lawsuits and investigations by the federal authorities. The Federal Trade Commission has probed whether X had the resources to protect users’ privacy after he laid off much of its staff and several senior executives responsible for privacy and security resigned. The agency has also sought to depose Mr. Musk. Former Twitter shareholders have also sued Mr. Musk for fraud in a case related to his belated disclosure of his stake in the company.”

The FTC has demanded internal X documents. Says The Hill: “the FTC has sent more than a dozen letters to Twitter since Musk completed his acquisition in October. It states that the agency has demanded Twitter provide internal communications “relating to Elon Musk” from any Twitter employee, information about the platform’s Twitter Blue verification subscription service and the names of journalists who were granted access to Twitter records.” The Biden Department of Justice has sued SpaceX…get this…for not hiring refugees for secret rocket technology. CNN says: “The suit claims that ‘from at least September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX routinely discouraged asylees and refugees from applying and refused to hire or consider them, because of their citizenship status, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),’ according to an August 24 DOJ news release.”

The Biden Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commision have sued Tesla over improper perks. Forbes says: “The widened investigation comes after federal prosecutors and the SEC began probing a secret Tesla project known as Project 42 that employees described as a glass house for Musk in the Austin, Texas, area near Tesla’s factory, the Journal reported in August.” The Biden Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation against Tesla over self-driving cars. Reuters reports: “The U.S. Department of Justice launched the previously undisclosed probe last year following more than a dozen crashes, some of them fatal, involving Tesla’s driver assistance system Autopilot, which was activated during the accidents, the people said.” The presumption here is preposterous: that Elon doesn’t care if his product is flawed and doesn’t desire improvement.

There is a federal investigation of Neuralink. Reuters again: “Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a medical device company, is under federal investigation for potential animal-welfare violations amid internal staff complaints that its animal testing is being rushed, causing needless suffering and deaths, according to documents reviewed by Reuters and sources familiar with the investigation and company operations.”Then there is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigation over harassment at Tesla. The EEOC says: “Since at least 2015 to the present, Black employees at Tesla’s Fremont, California manufacturing facilities have routinely endured racial abuse, pervasive stereotyping, and hostility as well as epithets… Slurs were used casually and openly in high-traffic areas and at worker hubs.

“Black employees regularly encountered graffiti, including variations of the N-word, swastikas, threats, and nooses, on desks and other equipment, in bathroom stalls, within elevators, and even on new vehicles rolling off the production line.” Finally, we have the aggressive advertising boycott on the part of major corporations, including Disney, CNBC, Comcast, Warner Bros, IBM, and the Financial Times, among many others. Musk has refused to be intimidated by these people. He has said that he refuses to be blackmailed by money and instead told the companies to “Go f*** yourself.” Which is rather remarkable and really does speak to a major problem in social media today, which is the extent to which so many platforms are willing to do the bidding of the corporatist system in order to serve the bottom line.

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“..radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square..”

Media Matters Sues Texas AG In Federal Court (ET)

Media Matters for America is suing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in federal court, arguing that reporting by its senior investigative reporter on Elon Musk’s X app is being “chilled” by the AG’s announced investigation. Media Matters, a progressive watchdog group, filed its lawsuit Tuesday. It had reported last month that, according to its analysis, X was a platform hosting bigots and that it had paid far-right extremists, warning advertisers that their content was running beside pro-Hitler and anti-Semitic content. The report was then cited by major companies, like Apple, Disney, Sony, and Fox Sports, who announced they were boycotting the platform from their advertising campaigns.

This triggered Mr. Paxton to announce on Nov. 21 an investigation into Media Matters “for potential fraudulent activity” in its report, after X responded to the allegations saying that the progressive group had manufactured its results. X has sued Media Matters for defamation over the report in a Texas federal court, citing advertising data showing that report author Eric Hananoki was among only two users to see an Apple ad next to the hateful content, while explaining that content follows the search history of users. “Attorney General Paxton was extremely troubled by the allegations that Media Matters, a radical anti-free speech organization, fraudulently manipulated data on X.com (formerly known as Twitter),” the Office of the Attorney General in Texas said in announcing its investigation following X’s comments.

Mr. Paxton argued that his case was to protect the First Amendment rights of Texans. X has come under attack from progressive groups after Mr. Musk’s takeover of Twitter and the release of internal communications that revealed the company censored speech in favor of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in the run-up to the 2020 election. Mr. Paxton’s office explained in its statement that it was pursuing its investigation of Media Matters’s report under the Texas Business Organizations Code and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which allows his office to “vigorously enforce against nonprofits who commit fraudulent acts in or affecting the state of Texas.” “We are examining the issue closely to ensure that the public has not been deceived by the schemes of radical left-wing organizations who would like nothing more than to limit freedom by reducing participation in the public square,” Mr. Paxton said of the negative publicity directed at X since Mr. Musk’s takeover and efforts to reform the platform in favor of free speech for all Americans, regardless of political view.

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“Of course I don’t regret it,” Mr Giuliani told reporters on 11 December. “I told the truth. They were engaged in changing votes.”

Giuliani Sued Again By Election Workers Over Latest False Claims (BBC)

Two Georgia poll workers have filed a new lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani, days after winning a $148m (£116m) defamation case against him. Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss allege that Mr Giuliani continued to lie when he repeated false claims mid-trial that “they were engaged in changing votes”. The mother-daughter pair are seeking an injunction to bar Mr Giuliani from making further false statements about them. “It must stop,” the lawsuit demands. An attorney for Mr Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The new legal action says that Mr Giuliani “has engaged in, and is engaging in, a continuing course of repetitive false speech and harassment”.

They added in their filing that his “wrongful conduct was extreme and outrageous, and it was calculated to cause harm to Ms Freeman and Ms Moss”. The two women previously filed a defamation case against Mr Giuliani, who was found liable for spreading lies that the poll workers had tampered with votes during the 2020 election. A jury ultimately ordered Mr Giuliani to pay the women $148m (£116m) in damages.. During the trial, Mr Giuliani insisted numerous times that he told the truth about the women and reiterated falsehoods about them. These statements are the source of the new lawsuit. “Of course I don’t regret it,” Mr Giuliani told reporters on 11 December. “I told the truth. They were engaged in changing votes.”

In another instance on 15 December, he said his statements “were supportable and are supportable today”. The women’s new lawsuit notes several other instances where Mr Giuliani made allegedly defamatory statements during and after the trial, including in right-wing media appearances. Last week, a Washington DC jury heard hours of painful testimony from Ms Moss about the fallout of those claims. She testified that she and her mother were subjected to violent and racist threats that made them fear for their lives. Mr Giuliani did not testify during the trial, but Judge Beryl Howell, who presided over the case, warned his attorneys that his remarks could be defamatory.

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“..9/11, which was blamed without any evidence on Muslim terrorists when all evidence points to an inside job so that the US could remake the Middle East for Israel.”

The Terror Watchlist Prepared the Way to Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)

Did you know that there are 2,000,000 names on the Federal government’s terror watchlist? The National Security Council claims most are not Americans, but the Department of Homeland Security admits that there have been tens of thousands of Americans who have been treated like terrorists. It does not occur to the National Security council that there are no terrorist events corresponding to two million terrorists. If there truly were two million terrorists, the US would be in chaos. So what is the list for? It expands the security bureaucracy. The list has grown from 120,000 to two million, seventeen times larger than its original figure. Is this in response to terrorists events? You name the events.

The list enables the FBI to pressure people into becoming informants and false witnesses in frame ups by threatening to add them to the terror list, The list allows authorities to punish and to silence truth-tellers who expose the official narratives for the lies that they are. You can add your own explanations. Remember, the Nazi-sounding Department of Homeland Security and the terror watchlist were the creations of 9/11, which was blamed without any evidence on Muslim terrorists when all evidence points to an inside job so that the US could remake the Middle East for Israel.

In other words, a false flag attack was used to strip Americans of their rights to travel. It is unclear to me how the watchlist can continue to exist after Federal Judge Anthony Trenga declared the watchlist unconstitutional. Did the federal nazis appeal his decision and get it over-ruled? The watchlist is just a way of controlling people. Its other useful function is to acclimatize Americans to the warrantless invasion of their privacy and accustom them to obeying arbitrary orders. The watchlist is a way of preparing Americans for tyranny.

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“.. It is likely to grow by $5.2 billion daily for the next ten years..”

US National Debt Jumps $2.6 Trillion In Six Months (RT)

US national debt has continued to mount, jumping by $2.6 trillion in the six months through December to reach $33.8 trillion, according to the Treasury Department. The Treasury indicated that factors such as tax cuts, stimulus programs, increased government spending, and decreased tax revenues have been driving up debt. “The national debt just exceeded $100,000 per citizen,” Republican Congressman John James said last week. “This should send a message to the White House that this reckless federal spending is at a breaking point.” The latest fiscal data showed that as of November 2023, it cost $169 billion for the US to maintain the debt, which equates to 16% of total federal spending. Interest payments on the national debt are estimated to have surged above $1 trillion on an annualized basis as of the end of October, according to Bloomberg calculations based on US Treasury data.

According to Bank of America (BoA), public debt could surge by $20 trillion over the next decade. It is likely to grow by $5.2 billion daily for the next ten years, which would put it at around $54 trillion by 2033, BoA warned last month. The US exceeded its debt ceiling, which was legally set at $31.4 trillion, in January 2023. After months of warnings of a potentially disastrous default from the Treasury, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan debt bill in June that allowed the limit to be lifted until January 2025. This effectively permitted the government to continue unlimited borrowing through next year. Debt spiked to $32 trillion less than two weeks after the bill was approved, and has been piling up ever since. The situation has caused major international credit ratings agencies Fitch and Moody’s to cut their outlooks for the US this year.

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“..Judge Loretta Preska calls for Epstein’s connections to be “unsealed in full”.

US Judge Orders More Than 170 Jeffrey Epstein Associates To Be Named (BBC)

The names of more than 170 associates of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein could be made public next month after a ruling from a US judge. Prince Andrew is expected to be among them, if evidence is released from a woman who claims he groped her in 2001. The identities are being revealed under a settled lawsuit against sex trafficker and Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell. Anyone on the list has until 1 January to appeal to have their name removed. Epstein, a millionaire financier known to mix with high-profile figures like Prince Andrew, died in jail in 2019. His death, as he awaited federal sex-trafficking charges, was ruled to be a suicide by the New York medical examiner. The 51-page ruling issued on Monday by New York Judge Loretta Preska calls for Epstein’s connections to be “unsealed in full”.

It is the latest filing in the case brought by Ms Giuffre against Maxwell, a former British socialite who is serving a 20-year prison term for the crimes she committed with Epstein. Ms Giuffre’s defamation lawsuit was brought in 2015 and settled in 2017, leaving the names of scores of Epstein associates under a court-ordered seal. They include 40 documents of evidence from Johanna Sjoberg, who has claimed Prince Andrew groped her breast while sitting on a couch inside Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001. Buckingham Palace has previously said the allegations are “categorically untrue”. Last year, the Duke of York paid millions to Ms Giuffre to settle a lawsuit she filed claiming that he sexually abused her when she was 17 years old.

Prince Andrew said he had never met Ms Giuffre and denied her allegations. In her ruling, Judge Preska noted that many of the individuals named in the lawsuit have already been publicly identified by the media or in Maxwell’s criminal trial. She added that many others “did not raise an objection” to the release of the documents. Some of the names on the list will remain sealed, including those belonging to child victims, the judge said in her ruling. US congressional Republicans are pushing to subpoena the flight logs for Epstein’s private plane. Convicted in 2008 for soliciting prostitution from a minor, Epstein had moved in social circles that included key figures in the world of business and politics.

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“The US officials allegedly hinted to the Pakistani diplomat that if the prime minister lost an impending no-confidence vote in parliament, “all will be forgiven in Washington.”

Imran Khan Uses AI To Deliver Speech From Prison (RT)

Former Pakistani Prime Minister, who is currently imprisoned, has used artificial intelligence to deliver a speech to his supporters. The four-minute address was broadcast during a ‘virtual rally’ attended by more than 4.5 million people across Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube. Pakistani authorities have clamped down on gatherings organized by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party since he was briefly arrested for the first time in May. The former prime minister was sentenced to three years behind bars in August for illegally selling state gifts. The 71-year-old faces a slew of other charges, all of which he claims are politically motivated. According to PTI representatives, the cricket-star-turned-politician wrote a script for the speech and passed it on to his supporters through lawyers. It was then dubbed with the help of a tool developed by the AI firm ElevenLabs, which can create a ‘voice clone’ of a person based on speech samples.

In his message, Khan accused the Pakistani government of kidnapping and harassing activists from his party.He also stressed that his “determination for real freedom is very strong,” thanking the PTI social media team for “this historic attempt” to circumvent government restrictions. Meanwhile, the NetBlocks watchdog reported that it had detected disruptions in social media availability in Pakistan, starting late on Sunday. The group alleged that this may have been due to deliberate “internet censorship.” Khan was charged by a special court in October with breaching state secrecy laws over an alleged conspiracy to reveal what he characterized as proof of US interference in orchestrating his removal from power last year.

The diplomatic cable at the center of the case was sent by then-Pakistani Ambassador to the US Asad Majeed Khan after his meeting with two senior US State Department officials in March 2022. According to multiple media reports purportedly based on the document, Washington made clear that it was unhappy about Khan’s failure to toe the West’s line. The US officials allegedly hinted to the Pakistani diplomat that if the prime minister lost an impending no-confidence vote in parliament, “all will be forgiven in Washington.”Khan was ousted about a month after the meeting, and has since mounted a major protest campaign. While the US has denied exerting any pressure on Pakistan, the International Monetary Fund unexpectedly extended a $3 billion bailout for Islamabad in July – a decision that The Intercept has claimed was influenced by Washington.

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“..what will likely be his last appeal against being extradited..”

Assange Appeal Hearing Set for February (Lauria)

Imprisoned publisher Julian Assange will face two High Court judges over two days on Feb. 20-21, 2024 in London in what will likely be his last appeal against being extradited to the United States to face charges of violating the Espionage Act. Assange’s wife Stella Assange confirmed that the hearing will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice. Assange had had an earlier request to appeal rejected by High Court Judge Jonathan Swift on June 6. Assange then filed an application to appeal that decision and the dates have now been set. Assange is seeking to challenge both the home secretary’s decision to extradite him as well as to cross appeal the decision by the lower court judge, Vanessa Baraitser.

Baraitser had ruled in January 2021 to release Assange from Belmarsh Prison and deny the U.S. request for extradition based on Assange’s mental health, his propensity to commit suicide and conditions of U.S. prisons. On every point of law, however, Baraitser sided with the United States. The U.S. appealed her decision, issuing “diplomatic assurances” that Assange would not be mistreated in prison. The High Court, after a two-day hearing in March 2022, accepted those “assurances” and rejected Assange’s appeal. His application to the U.K. Supreme Court to hear the case was then denied. Assange then applied for a new appeal of Baraitser’s legal decisions and the home secretary’s extradition order.

Swift rejected Assange’s 150-page argument in a three-page ruling. The appeal of that decision will now take place in February. If convicted under the World War I-era Espionage Act, the WikiLeaks publisher and journalist is facing up to 175 years in a U.S. dungeon for publishing classified material revealing crimes by the U.S. state, including war crimes. Assange was also charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, though the indictment against him does not accuse him of stealing U.S. documents or even of helping his source, Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, to do so.

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Kory

 

 


https://twitter.com/goddeketal/status/1737200419397414943

 

 

Impawsible

 

 

Basket star

 

 


The Cashew of Pirangi is the world’s largest cashew tree located in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. It covers an area between 7,300 and 8,400 square meters. Having the size of 70 normally sized cashew trees, it has a circumference of 500 meters. The spread over a hectare of land was, unlike other trees, created by the tree’s outward growth. When bent towards the ground (because of their weight), the branches tend to take new roots where they touch the ground. The tree is said to have been planted in 1880s. However, based on its growth characteristics, the tree is estimated to be more than a thousand years old.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 192023
 


Pablo Picasso Portrait of the artist’s mother 1896 (he was 15)

 

They Can Wait at Leisure, Whilst Netanyahu Labours – and Errs (Alastair Crooke)
US Prepares Its Ukraine War Coalition Fleet In The Red Sea (Helmer)
Middle East ‘Totally Out Of Control’ – Trump (RT)
Russian Policy Towards The Gaza War & Palestine Genocide Is Mistaken (Helmer)
The American Political Crisis (Paul Craig Roberts)
Impeachment: Biden Under Formal Investigation (Patrick Lawrence)
Trump Attorneys Ask Fulton County Judge to Dismiss Indictment (ET)
Yatsenyuk Suggests How West Could Pressure Russia (RT)
EU May Strip Hungary Of Voting Rights To Seal Ukraine Aid Deal – FT (TASS)
Brussels Launches Legal Action Against Elon Musk’s X (EN)
In the Game of Strip Poker, Someone Ends Up Naked (Kunstler)
Secret Pakistan Document Undermines Espionage Case Against Imran Khan (IC)
Rolling Thunder Global Propaganda – Mark Crispin Miller (USAW)
Pfizer Seeks To Treat Most TURBO CANCERS Caused By mRNA Vaccines (Makis)

 

 

 

 

Tucker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1736924390258782402

 

 

Water vs fire

 

 

 

 

Blair-Bush initiative..

They Can Wait at Leisure, Whilst Netanyahu Labours – and Errs (Alastair Crooke)

In a small dimly lit room in Gaza, it was possible to discern first the museum-piece wheel chair, and then the crumpled, blanketed figure of the paraplegic figure who occupied it. Suddenly a high-pitched squeal seemed to emit from the wheelchair; it’s occupant’s hearing aid had gone wild, and was to continue to shriek at regular intervals during my visit. I wondered how much the chair-occupant could hear, with such a mal-adjusted ear-piece. Settled into discussion, I realised that disabled or not, his mental state was sharper than a knife. He was as tough as nails; had a dry humour and his eyes perpetually sparkled. He was clearly enjoying himself – except when wrestling with the whistles and shrieks from his hearing aid. How was it that such charisma was packed within such a slight figure? This man in the wheelchair and with the rickety earpiece – Sheikh Ahmad Yasin – was the founder of Hamas. And what he said to me that morning has come to upend the Islamic world today.

What he said was: “Hamas is not an Islamic movement. It is a liberation movement, and anyone, be they Christian, or Buddhist – or even I – could join it. We all were welcome”. Why was this simple formula somehow so significant and connected to today’s events? Well, the ethos of Gaza, at that time (2000-2002), was predominantly that of ideological Islamism. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was deeply embedded. It was not then a resistance movement per se – it was capable of violence, but its prime focus was social work and uncorrupted governance. It wanted to show how well it could govern. Yasin’s comment was revolutionary because liberation trumped dogma and the various ‘schools’ of political Islam. This ultimately was to become ‘Gaza Hamas’ – at odds with its conventional leadership resident in Doha. Sinwar and Dief are ‘Yasin’s children’.

‘Long story short’, a little while later, Yasin, on one of his Friday prayers’ wheel-chair trundles across the road to his adjacent mosque, was blown to pieces by an Israeli missile as he exited. The Muslim Brotherhood wing of Hamas did get their chance to show their hand at governance: They (fairly) won the 2006 Palestinian Authority elections in Gaza, and took a majority of seats – some in the West Bank too. President Bush and Condaleeza Rice were horrified. They had supported the elections … but they never once imagined …Thus, PM Blair and President Bush put together a secret (unacknowledged to the EU) plan in response: Hamas leaders – plus the movements’ social support NGOs – were to be eliminated.

And the Palestinian Authority would crack down on all and every Hamas activity – in close collaboration with Israel. The West Bank, in this plan, would be the recipient of large financial aid to construct a prosperous western-style consumer/security state, and Gaza explicitly was to be impoverished. It would be made to ‘stew in its own juices’ under 16 years of siege; to wallow in poverty. The Israelis gave the Blair plan its empirical basis – calculating exactly how many calories, per head, how much fuel and gas would be allowed to enter Gaza – that would just maintain a subsistence standard of living. And since this Blair-Bush initiative, Palestinians have been irredeemably divided, with no political project even faintly possible.

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Operation Prosperity Guardian..

US Prepares Its Ukraine War Coalition Fleet In The Red Sea (Helmer)

On Monday, General Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, announced that the US is assembling a fleet of warships to defend Israel’s port of Eilat, the Gulf of Aqaba, and Israel’s Red Sea shipping route by threatening to attack Yemen if it exercises its Law of the Sea right to regulate military transit through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The Austin fleet is to be assembled from the coalition of NATO states at war with Russia in the Ukraine. Austin’s call, announced by the Pentagon while Austin is in Israel, follows the failure of the USS Eisenhower and its squadron, with additional French and British warships, to prevent the collapse of commercial container and tanker shipping to and from Israel. “The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen,” Austin announced, “threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners, and violates international law.

“The Red Sea is a critical waterway that has been essential to freedom of navigation and a major commercial corridor that facilitates international trade. Countries that seek to uphold the foundational principle of freedom of navigation must come together to tackle the challenge posed by this non-state actor launching ballistic missiles and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) at merchant vessels from many nations lawfully transiting international waters.” “This is an international challenge that demands collective action. Therefore, today I am announcing the establishment of Operation Prosperity Guardian, an important new multinational security initiative under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces and the leadership of its Task Force 153, which focuses on security in the Red Sea.

Operation Prosperity Guardian is bringing together multiple countries to include the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain, to jointly address security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with the goal of ensuring freedom of navigation for all countries and bolstering regional security and prosperity.” Bahrain on the Persian Gulf — the only Arab state included on Austin’s list — and the Seychelles, the island state in the Indian Ocean, are included to provide shore base facilities for the proposed Yemen-attack fleet. However, no country with naval bases on the Red Sea shore, territorial waters, and exclusive economic zones extending into the waterway — Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti — has publicly agreed to participate or approved this escalation of the Gaza war to benefit Israel. The Pentagon has also asked the Australian Navy for a frigate to join the Red Sea fleet, but the Australian government in Canberra is reluctant to agree, and Austin has dropped the country from his list.

All of the governments on Austin’s list, with the exception of the US, voted last week at the United Nations General Assembly for Israel to halt its operations in the Gaza war. In this context, none of these states recognizes Israel’s right to impose its blockade of Gaza’s ports extending into Palestine’s territorial waters, the Gaza Maritime Area, and Israel’s de facto military rule of the international waters of the Mediterranean, including the Gaza Marine gas field. “Freedom of navigation”, Austin’s version of the legal doctrine of his Operation Prosperity Guardian, does not apply to the Gaza Maritime Area.

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“I am the only candidate who can make this promise to you: I will prevent World War III..”

Middle East ‘Totally Out Of Control’ – Trump (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has claimed that the current situation in the Middle East is “out of control” and suggested that, unlike Joe Biden, he could avert looming disaster in that region and globally. Trump, who is running for a new term in office, warned that a “catastrophe” could happen in the Middle East if the situation is “not handled with strength and precision,” in comments posted on his social media platform Truth Social on Sunday. In similar remarks made during a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada, he accused the Biden administration of squandering his legacy in the form of the Abraham Accords, with which he claimed to have “made peace” in the region.

Under Trump, the US mediated a series of normalization treaties between Israel and Arab nations. Saudi Arabia was reportedly negotiating a similar arrangement when the October 7 attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas took place. Israel’s response using overwhelming military action in Gaza has triggered mass outcry in the Muslim world, effectively making such a deal impossible for the foreseeable future. The former president is campaigning on the claim that, under his leadership, the conflict in the Middle East would not have erupted, and neither would the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine. Trump has repeatedly claimed that he could stop the latter crisis in 24 hours. With Biden left in power for another four years after the 2024 election, the world faces an existential threat, Trump told supporters in Nevada. “I am the only candidate who can make this promise to you: I will prevent World War III,” he said.

Trump’s bid to regain the presidency is being undermined by dozens of charges filed against him in several cases, including one that alleges that he sought to defraud voters in Georgia in 2020 by subverting his election loss in the state. He claims to be a victim of political persecution. Biden has been supportive of Israel’s campaign in Gaza, but this position has alienated a large portion of Democratic voters. According to pollster YouGov, as of late November, just 22% of them sympathized with Israelis more than Palestinians, compared to 14% holding the opposite view. The same metrics for Republicans were 63% and 3%, respectively. A majority of American voters would support a ceasefire in both the Middle East and the Ukraine conflicts.

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“Constitution’s Article 18(3): “The exercise of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen shall not violate the rights and freedoms of other people.”

Russian Policy Towards The Gaza War & Palestine Genocide Is Mistaken (Helmer)

In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national address of October 28 he erased all differences between the Jewish religion, Zionist ideology, and Israeli state policy. He invoked this trinity in the “chain of heroes of Israel that has continued for over 3,000 years, from Joshua, Judah Maccabee and Bar Kochba, and up to the heroes of 1948, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War and Israel’s other wars. Our heroic soldiers have one supreme goal: To destroy the murderous enemy and ensure our existence in our land. We have always said ‘Never again’. ‘Never again’ is now.” And finally, he invoked the benediction of the Jewish God. “On your behalf, on behalf of all of us, I pray for the wellbeing of our soldiers: ‘May G-d make the enemies who rise against us be struck down before them! May He subdue our enemies under them and crown them with deliverance and victory.’”

If Netanyahu were a Russian Israeli, these remarks would be a Russian crime. In the constitution for the multi-ethnic and multicultural Russian Federation, every Russian has the Article 26 right “to determine and indicate his nationality”, and the Article 28 freedom of religious belief, including the right to no religious belief. Russians living in Israel and Palestine have the same rights, which is why the Foreign and Emergencies Ministries are doing everything they can now to evacuate them to Russia if that’s why they request. However, the Russians in Israel, like the Russians in Russia, cannot exercise their Article 26 and 28 rights without accepting the Constitution’s Article 18(3): “The exercise of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen shall not violate the rights and freedoms of other people.”

Speaking jurisprudentially, the one million Russians of Israel – about 90% of whom have taken Israeli nationality under Aliyah, the law of Jewish return – are violating their Article 18(3) duty if they profit from, collaborate in, or defend state and settler terrorism against the Palestinians, wherever and however this is occurring between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The Russians of Israel — if that is the nationality they choose in order to apply for evacuation to safe haven — may also be violating the Russian law against terrorism and extremism under Articles 205 and 282 of the Russian Criminal Code depending on where they live, how they live, the arms and military training they have accepted, what they do for a living, and who they vote for in Israeli elections.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russians at home and also abroad may not support or participate in terrorism propaganda, plans, or acts, whether of the Arab, Muslim, Israeli, Zionist, or Jewish variety. It is not yet settled in Russian foreign policy whether the rights of national liberation and self-defence apply as equally to Palestine state groups like Hamas, Fatah and their associated armed units as they apply to Israel state groups like the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and their associated armed settler units.

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“The Democrats welcome the invaders as they have ways to add them to Democrat votes. The Republican businessmen welcome the invaders, as they provide cheap labor and hold down US wages..”

The American Political Crisis (Paul Craig Roberts)

It is necessary to understand that Congress and the President are not accountable to the voters. More important than votes is the campaign contributions that lead to election. The House and Senate and President are elected on the basis of large sums of money contributed by the rich and powerful financial and economic interests, such as the military/security complex, Wall Street, the pharmaceutical, energy, agribusiness and other industries. Elected officials have to comply with the interests of those who provide the money, or next election the money goes to their opponents. The Jewish billionaire George Soros uses his money to put in office aggressive partisan Democrat state attorneys general who target Republicans. The result is that the Republicans cannot defend Trump, because the establishment doesn’t want Trump defended.

It is necessary to understand that the US is not a nation. It is a Tower of Babel. Untold millions of immigrant-invaders enter the country illegally every year, for year after year, and nothing can be done to stop the invasion. The Democrats welcome the invaders as they have ways to add them to Democrat votes. The Republican businessmen welcome the invaders, as they provide cheap labor and hold down US wages. The two political parties serving their short-term interests are destroying America. The immigrant-invaders overwhelm the school systems, medical facilities, police, and support systems of affected states and localities, making it difficult for them to service the interests on their municipal bonds. So, you see, it matters not how many votes this or that poll shows this or that candidate has.

Trump is being prosecuted by Democrat prosecutors in courts presided over by Democrat judges in jurisdictions where there are black Democrat juries. Law is being used as a weapon to remove a president and presidential candidate perceived by the establishment to be a threat. Trump will not be permitted to be President. If he is not imprisoned, he will be assassinated, unless the Establishment thinks it can control Trump by controlling his appointments and continuing to harass him. Perhaps the Establishment thinks that 8 years of high stress on an elderly man has done its damage and a little more stress will finish Trump off.

On top of it all, US living standards are falling. Middle class jobs are disappearing and the middle class with them. Many Americans work 2 or 3 part time jobs with no pension or medical benefits. After the Soviet collapse, US corporations began offshoring manufacturing jobs to China and Asia. The Federal Reserve, the central bank, serves the interests of the large banks at the expense of everyone else. In short, the US has become a dysfunctional country. But the foreign policy is still in the hands of the aggressive neoconservatives, who still cling to their agenda of US hegemony, principally to constrain Russia and China and to open the Middle East to Israeli expansion. As I hope this makes clear, the US is unstable across the board. The notion that an election can correct the situation is absurd.

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“The Biden family will stay as far outside the corridors of justice as it can in coming months, avoiding hearings, courtrooms, and legal proceedings for the simple reason it cannot win in any such context..”

Impeachment: Biden Under Formal Investigation (Patrick Lawrence)

Six days before the House vote, the Justice Department unsealed a nine-count indictment charging Hunter Biden with tax evasion, failure to file returns, and “false or fraudulent” returns when he did file them during his dissolute, influence-peddling years, 2016 to 2019. Three of the violations are felonies. In my read the new indictment is more of the same from David Weiss, the corrupt special counsel who has been protecting the Bidens for years: The document is full of rip-roaring language but makes no mention of Hunter’s violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which is the front door leading to Pop’s collaboration as Hunter sold vice-presidential access to the Ukrainians, the Chinese, the Kazakhs, and others. It will be interesting nonetheless to see how this sop to demands for justice plays out.

My prediction: The new indictment is Weiss’s groundwork for another excessively lenient plea bargain such as the one he fashioned last summer but failed to get past a conscientious judge. The question is whether such a plan would withstand sharpening congressional scrutiny — or whether it would worsen the mess that now surrounds the Bidens and their allies. The House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed Hunter Biden to sit for closed-door questioning by the time the grand jury indictments were made public. This session was scheduled for last Wednesday, hours before the House impeachment vote. Hunter is now threatened with a contempt of Congress citation for failing to appear. The younger Biden instead gave a press conference in front of the Capitol during which he got two things done.

One, he altered the Biden regime’s story for the second time. As readers will recall, the president’s first claim — he never discussed Hunter’s business with him — evolved some time ago into, “The president was never in business with Hunter.” Last week Hunter had it this way: “Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not financially involved in my business.” If you net this out, it amounts to an implicit admission that Pop lied in his earlier versions of the Biden family story. It was on this point that a Fox News reporter sent Jean–Pierre into near hysterics last week. Two, during his appearance at the Capitol with microphones before him like bouquets of flowers, Hunter Biden lapsed into the tinniest of Pop’s many public-relations ploys: He played the pity card by pimping his personal difficulties. “They ridiculed my struggle with addiction; they belittled my recovery,” he complained of those running the impeachment proceedings. “And they have tried to dehumanize me — all to embarrass and damage my father, who has devoted his entire public life to service.”

I don’t see how much of this spaghetti will stick to the wall, but the tableau tells us something important. The Biden family will stay as far outside the corridors of justice as it can in coming months, avoiding hearings, courtrooms, and legal proceedings for the simple reason it cannot win in any such context. I have not yet heard of a court of public opinion trumping a court of law, but, desperate as the Bidens are at this point, it seems the only strategy available to them.

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“Instead, it directly targets core protected political speech and activity. For this reason, it is categorically invalid under the First Amendment.”

Trump Attorneys Ask Fulton County Judge to Dismiss Indictment (ET)

Former President Trump’s Georgia attorneys submitted a court filing on Dec. 18 arguing that the former president’s comments were political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment in the aftermath of the 2020 election. “Every single alleged overt act listed and count charged against President Trump seeks to criminalize content-based, core political speech and expressive conduct,” President Trump’s team wrote.
The former president and more than a dozen other people were indicted in Fulton County, Georgia, by District Attorney Fani Willis, who accused them of conspiring to overturn the election in the state. Several defendants in the case have pleaded guilty in exchange for more lenient punishment, although President Trump and the remaining defendants have pleaded not guilty.

On Dec. 18, the former president’s lawyers said that even if the facts that the prosecutors have alleged are true, a judge should dismiss the indictment as a violation of his core First Amendment rights. “This Court should hold that the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech, when applied to the core political speech and expressive conduct alleged in the indictment against a President of the United States, demands a pretrial remedy and that remedy is dismissal of the indictment,” the lawyers said. But Ms. Willis’ case “does not merely criminalize conduct with an incidental impact on protected speech,” they said. “Instead, it directly targets core protected political speech and activity. For this reason, it is categorically invalid under the First Amendment.”

Ms. Willis has said she is seeking an August trial date for President Trump and the remaining co-defendants, a time frame that would put the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in court defending himself in the months, weeks, and even days leading up to the November general election. Trump lawyer Steve Sadow has said that if the former president is the nominee, this would be “the most effective election interference in the history of the United States.” Ms. Willis’s team has also said they want to have a single trial for the rest of the defendants. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the case, has expressed skepticism about the idea of trying too many people at once. He said earlier this month that even 12 people at once could be a stretch.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have been exchanging evidence. Pretrial motions for most of the defendants are due early next month. In an interview with The Associated Press, Ms. Willis said she believes more of the co-defendants will take plea deals, although she did not elaborate. Attorney Sidney Powell, Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, attorney Kenneth Chesebro, and bail bondsman Scott Hall have taken plea deals in exchange for guilty pleas. Last week, Ms. Powell issued a 13-word apology, which was part of the plea agreement. “I apologize for my actions in connection with the events in Coffee County,” she wrote.

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How to start WWIII.

Yatsenyuk Suggests How West Could Pressure Russia (RT)

Meaningful negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will only be possible if the West demonstrates readiness to fight Russia and secure NATO membership for Ukraine, former Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has said. In an interview with Espreso TV on Saturday, Yatsenyuk, who headed the government in the first two years after the Maidan coup in 2014, acknowledged that negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the current format are “unrealistic.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has insisted that the conflict should be settled based on his so-called ten-point peace plan, which calls for Russia’s withdrawal from all territories claimed by Kiev, reparations from Moscow, and a war crimes tribunal. Zelensky also officially banned any talks with Putin last year.

Yatsenyuk, who now chairs the Kiev Security Forum, said he can “hardly imagine” a scenario in which talks between Kiev and Moscow would lead to Russia’s withdrawal of its troops and the payment of reparations, while Ukraine joins NATO and the EU at the same time. He recalled how Russia submitted proposals for long-term security guarantees to the US and NATO in December 2021, shortly before the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine. Moscow’s demands included preventing the further eastward expansion of NATO, denying accession to the alliance of the former USSR states, and limiting the bloc’s military activities close to Russian borders. However, the West refused to discuss the Russian proposals.

According to the former prime minister, NATO and EU member states should play the “very same game” as Russia did back then and tell Moscow that “we’ve made a political decision, Ukraine will be a member of NATO. Full stop. We are not discussing this decision with you.” “Within this decision, we invite you to sign a new agreement between Russia and NATO, a new agreement on conventional arms control in Europe, a new START agreement on the limitation of strategic nuclear weapons, a new agreement on cybersecurity,” Yatsenyuk continued. He agreed when the host pointed out that Moscow would never agree to such terms, but insisted that the move would still put Kiev and the West in a stronger position. “To the world’s publicity, we will say this: ‘We wanted exactly this kind of negotiation with Russia, we offered them what we could, and Russia refused it too,’” the former PM explained.

Yatsenyuk then said peace talks would only make sense “if the West was ready to demonstrate such political will,” calling it “the establishment of a new world order.” “I want the West to theoretically agree to this model and reaffirm the readiness to fight for the new member [Ukraine],” he concluded. Moscow has repeatedly indicated that it is ready for a dialogue with a view to ending the conflict in Ukraine, so long as Russia’s core interests are respected. On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said any talks would have to account for “Russia’s legitimate interests,” and must mean “putting an end to attempts to build [one’s] own security at the expense of others,” referring to Ukraine’s efforts to join the NATO bloc.

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“Maybe Hungary can create more trouble. Maybe Hungary can force us to use a few different tools. But ultimately Hungary cannot stop us providing money to Ukraine..”

EU May Strip Hungary Of Voting Rights To Seal Ukraine Aid Deal – FT (TASS)

EU member states are considering the possibility of stripping Hungary of its voting rights in order to conclude an agreement on allocating funds to Ukraine, The Financial Times has quoted European diplomats as saying. According to the officials, the EU may apply Article 7 of the 2007 European Union Treaty, which allows for depriving a country of the right to vote due to a violation of European legislation. This process can be blocked by any other EU member, but as the daily notes, after Poland’s recent elections, “Hungary no longer has a guaranteed protector” the EU. Despite this, some EU members are wary of the idea of imposing restrictions on Budapest. Instead, they intend to demonstrate to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban the “full costs” of isolating the country within the EU in order to force him to change his mind regarding the allocation of funds to Ukraine.

If that fails, the FT says, the EU’s 26 other members could strike a deal on their own, although “it would take time and only offer a short-term fix.” “Maybe Hungary can create more trouble. Maybe Hungary can force us to use a few different tools. But ultimately Hungary cannot stop us providing money to Ukraine,” said another EU senior official present at the summit. On December 15, Orban said that Budapest did not intend to support the idea of financial aid to Ukraine from the EU budget. He confirmed that at the EU summit in Brussels he had blocked an amendment to the EU budget that envisaged the allocation of 50 billion euros to Ukraine in 2024-2027.

Fico

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“We take any breach of our rules very seriously. And the evidence we currently have is enough to formally open a proceeding against X..”

Brussels Launches Legal Action Against Elon Musk’s X (EN)

The European Commission has launched legal action against social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, under its landmark rules for online platforms, the Digital Services Act (DSA). The executive said Monday it would probe whether X may have breached EU rules “in areas linked to risk management, content moderation, dark patterns, advertising transparency and data access for researchers.” The move represents the first-ever proceeding under the DSA, which was designed to create a safer space online, and adds further turmoil to a company that has struggled to find a stable footing since the $44-billion acquisition by Elon Musk. It follows a request for information sent by the Commission to X in October after it received indications the platform was spreading illegal content and disinformation, particularly terrorist and violent content in the context of the Israel-Hamas war.

Since August 2023, X is one of 17 platforms designated under the DSA as a “very large online platform,” which makes it subject to new, stringent norms on the dissemination of illegal content, the protection of fundamental rights and public security. “We take any breach of our rules very seriously. And the evidence we currently have is enough to formally open a proceeding against X,” said Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice-president. The opening of the proceeding makes it clear that “the time of big online platforms behaving like they are ‘too big to care’ has come to an end,” said Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the internal market, promising an “in-depth investigation.” The executive will continue monitoring the platform’s compliance with all other obligations under the DSA and could take further action if any wrongdoing is detected, said a Commission spokesperson. The Commission has urged the company to “cooperate” on the probe, the spokesperson added.

Four potential infringements: The Commission said on Monday its investigation would focus on alleged breaches under four articles of the DSA related to: • The dissemination of illegal content, including measures taken to identify and swiftly remove illegal content and to allow users to flag such content. • Measures taken to combat information manipulation, such as the so-called “community notes” introduced in 2021 to debunk misleading posts. • Measures to increase transparency, amid suspected failures to provide researchers with adequate access to X’s publicly accessible data, including on paid ads. • The suspected deceptive design of X’s user interface, such as the so-called “blue checkmark,” a paid-for continuation promoted by Elon Musk that designates a user as an “active, notable, and authentic” member of the platform.

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“..the law against “obstructing official proceedings,” is about to be adjudicated in the US Supreme Court involving convicted J-6 defendants..”

In the Game of Strip Poker, Someone Ends Up Naked (Kunstler)

The blob’s weakness and idiocy are clearly on display in the four court cases against Mr. Trump, which look like a cartoon of thieves throwing stuff out of a hijacked furniture truck at the cars in pursuit behind them. There’s DA Alvin Bragg’s joke case in Manhattan around the dead-on-arrival Stormy Daniels business. End-of-story, as T0ny Soprano always liked to say. New York’s AG, Letitia James, vowed to get Mr. Trump on something, anything, while electioneering, and delivered a bullshit case to Judge Arthur Engoron that is sure to get tossed on appeal — and will eventually get both Ms. James and the Judge disbarred (and possibly prosecuted) for their trouble. There’s Fulton County (GA) DA Fani Willis’s laughable RICO rap against Trump, Guiliani, et al,. for complaining about the obviously janky ballot-counting activity there in 2020.

And then, there are US AG Merrick Garland’s two cases against the former president. The DC case brought under Special Counsel Jack Smith, claiming that Mr. Trump somehow led an “insurrection” at the US Capitol on 1/6/21. This turkey was rehearsed in earlier House J-6 Committee hearings, so shabbily staged that Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) arranged to have all the evidence destroyed (including witness deposition transcripts) as soon as the hearings wrapped. Mr. Trump’s defense is probably immaterial in Judge Tanya Chutkan’s DC courtroom. But one of the case’s main predicates, the law against “obstructing official proceedings,” is about to be adjudicated in the US Supreme Court involving convicted J-6 defendants. If the court tosses it, Jack Smith’s case goes out the window too. If not, and Mr. Trump is successfully railroaded by Judge Chutkin, you can be sure the appeal will be expedited to SCOTUS and die there. If there even is a trial before the election of 2024. In any case, Mr. Trump will still be on the ballot next November.

The second Garland / Jack Smith case is the most interesting. That would be the Mar-a-Lago documents case. According to the reporter who styles himself as “Sundance” at The Last Refuge news site, the purpose of the August 2022 Mar-a-Lago raid was not to seek classified documents at issue in a dispute between the former president and the National Archives — as the public has been given to understand by the blob’s news media. The actual purpose was to find a 10-inch-thick dossier of documents collected over many months by Mr. Trump’s deputies to be used in future prosecutions of DOJ, FBI, and other officials and private persons (including Hillary Clinton, the DNC, the DNC’s law firm Perkins Coie,) who were implicated in the Russia collusion hoax, especially after the failure of Special Counsel John Durham to even depose many of these parties and persons.

There were apparently many copies made of Mr. Trump’s dossier, and distributed among anti-blobsters, but these were all heavily redacted — names were all blacked out. The binder at Mar-a-Lago was unredacted and this was what the FBI was after in the August 2022 raid. Is there any chance by now that the FBI hasn’t disposed of 10,000 emails and documents that were in its possession pertaining to the Russia hoax and other crimes? Do you suppose that the unredacted Trump dossier was the only copy? I wouldn’t. So far, Mr. Trump and his lawyers have not mentioned this. Why wouldn’t they play this hand close to the chest? Will it be consequential in the long and tortured course of things? What do you think?

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The US wants him gone..

Secret Pakistan Document Undermines Espionage Case Against Imran Khan (IC)

A crucial document from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, undermines a major plank in the high-profile prosecution of the country’s former prime minister, Imran Khan. Khan remains behind bars while he faces trial for allegedly mishandling a secret document, known as a cypher, which the prosecution claims compromised the integrity of the encrypted communication system used by the state’s security apparatus. But according to an ISI analysis leaked to The Intercept, that claim is entirely false. Internally, the agency concluded that the leak of the text of a cypher could in no way compromise the integrity of the system, an assessment contrary to public claims made repeatedly by prosecutors.The main charge against Khan relates to his handling of a diplomatic cable describing a key meeting in March 2022 between U.S. and Pakistani officials in Washington.

Khan, while prime minister, had repeatedly alluded to the existence of a cypher that outlined U.S. pressure on Pakistan to remove him from power in a vote of no confidence. Though he never disclosed its full contents, at times, in public speeches, he quoted statements recorded in it from U.S. officials promising to reward Pakistan for his ouster. At one rally, Khan even waved what he said was the printed text of the document, without revealing its exact contents. Prosecutors assert that Khan damaged Pakistani national security by exposing the text of this encrypted document, contents they say could potentially be used by rival intelligence agencies to crack the code of a wide range of other secret Pakistani communications. A criminal complaint against Khan alleges that he “compromised the entire cypher security system of the state and secret communication method of Pakistani missions abroad,” through his alleged mishandling of the cypher.

The former prime minister faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty under Pakistan’s Official Secrets Act and could face the death penalty if charged with treason in the case. On August 9, 2023, The Intercept published the text of the cypher outlining U.S. pressure against Pakistan to remove Khan. Shortly afterward, Pakistan’s own intelligence agency issued an assessment addressing the very question of how damaging publishing such a text would be. The internal conclusion of the ISI was crystal clear: No threat to Pakistan’s encryption existed.On August 11, two days after The Intercept story was published, an internal request for information was sent to the ISI by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The question at hand: Does the revelation of the plain text of such a cypher compromise the integrity of the system’s encryption?

The response, filed by the Inter-Services Intelligence Secretariat under the heading ISI-Policy Matters, and titled “Breach of Crypto Security,” determined that contrary to the present charges against Khan, revealing the text of a cypher poses no risk to the government’s encrypted communications network. “If plain text of an encrypted message (cryptogram) … is leaked it has no effect on security of encryptor,” the analysis, which was filed on August 23, concludes. “Leakage of a plain text message does not compromise the algorithm.”

Concern about the security of an encryption system is not entirely unfounded. Some encryption systems can theoretically be compromised by what is known as a “plaintext attack,” in which an attacker has access to a copy of both the plain and encrypted versions of a document’s text and can use the two versions to determine the encryption system.But the spy agency’s conclusion in the days following The Intercept’s publication of the secret cypher was that the disclosure of the short piece of text alone — without the encryption key — did not pose a risk. “If plain text of an encrypted message (cryptogram) using DTE is leaked, it has no effect on security of the encryptor due to following,” the analysis reads, referring to “an offline encryption device.”

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“It’s the perfect crime because there is a long delay between the pulling of the trigger and the collapse due to the bullet. You see what I mean? Sometimes it can take people two years to succumb to the consequences of taking the shot..”

Rolling Thunder Global Propaganda – Mark Crispin Miller (USAW)

New York University (NYU) Professor Mark Crispin Miller (MCM) is an expert in propaganda. Dr. Miller says from infection to injection, Covid 19 was a global “propaganda masterpiece.” Propaganda on this level has never happened before in human history. Dr. Miller explains, “The media has been crucial to this entire operation, and I would take that a little further. I would say since the beginning of 2020, we have been subjected to a ‘Rolling Thunder of Propaganda’ drives one after another. First, there was the (CV19) virus panic. Then, there was the George Floyd moment. Now, there is a new documentary that shows George Floyed was not actually murdered. . . . It’s called ‘The Fall of Minneapolis.’ . . . . There was the 2020 Election. There was the so-called ‘insurrection.’ That was a wave of crackpot hysteria . . . because it was not an insurrection . . . or coup attempt.

Then, there was Ukraine, and the entire back story of Russia’s invasion was completely missing from all the coverage. . . . This is all the result of the media doing the opposite of what it is supposed to do. The ‘Framers’ (of the Constitution) realized the absolute necessity of having a free press. . . . This was before the corporate media cartels, which is what we have now. . . . The Framers knew . . . to offer a counterforce to federal power, we absolutely had to have a free press. . . . The reason why the press has First Amendment protections is it . . .tells truths the federal authorities does not want us to know. To say the press has failed abysmally is actually giving them too much credit. They have been instrumental throughout this nightmare, whose aim is radical depopulation and destruction of democracy. . . . if you just tell the other side of the story, you are public enemy #1.”

With more than 700 million mRNA CV19 bioweapon injections in the US alone and more than 13 billion CV19 injections globally, the implications of this depopulation agenda is the biggest story ever short of a global thermal nuclear exchange. This, too, was part of the “Rolling Thunder Global Propaganda” campaign. Dr. Miller has dedicated his Substack to reveal mounting and massive deaths and injuries one person at a time. Many doctors are revealing data and sources proving the CV19 vax did not help a single person. Dr. Miller calls the CV19 so-called vaccine “the perfect crime.” Dr. Miller explains, “It’s the perfect crime because there is a long delay between the pulling of the trigger and the collapse due to the bullet. You see what I mean? Sometimes it can take people two years to succumb to the consequences of taking the shot. It’s the perfect crime. I also liken it to the infamous mass murders of mid-century. . . . This had much more sophistication than those mass murders.

It’s not just the bigger numbers, but they got people to take this willingly. Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were all coercive. . . . This is the first mass murder that is the result of getting people to clamor for it. The panic over the Corona virus was so successful that people were craving vaccination—craving it.” The good news from Dr. Miller is that it appears people are waking up at a fast pace. He points to the low uptake of more CV19 boosters in a range of only 3%. Dr. Miller is dedicated to waking people up to the mass propaganda psyop that has led people in a disastrous direction. Dr. Miller says, “People can subscribe to my Substack, and you can do it for free. I am doing this for the public good. I am always grateful for paid subscribers because I am on disability now as a professor at NYU, but I am not doing it for that reason. I am doing it because something really, really evil is going on, and people have to snap out of it. People have to wake up. I do believe people can wake up, and there are indications that people are waking up.”


From the comments on the Mark Crispin Miller article.

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X thread.

Pfizer Seeks To Treat Most TURBO CANCERS Caused By mRNA Vaccines (Makis)

Pfizer completes $43 Billion acquisition of Seagen on Dec.14, 2023 – becomes largest oncology company to treat most TURBO CANCERS caused by mRNA Vaccines – deep dive into the sinister aspects of this very bizarre deal. Pfizer OVERPAYS $43 billion on small Cancer Drug Company that barely makes $2 billion a year. Pfizer doesn’t need the cash. It will also issue $31 billion in debt to purchase it. Everyone is taking this at face value. But something very sinister lurks in the details of this deal. Pfizer (and Moderna) COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines cause Turbo Cancers. Based on my published description of 100s of Turbo Cancer cases in over 30 articles: Here are the Top 5 Turbo Cancers we will see by numbers in mRNA Vaccinated people:

• Lymphoma (various types) • Brain Cancers (mostly glioblastoma) • Breast Cancer (mostly triple negative, Stage 3/4) • Colon Cancer (Stage 4) • Lung Cancer (Stage 4). Rounding out the Top 10 Turbo Cancers by # of people affected (no particular order): • leukemias (worst prognosis) • melanomas (Stage 4) • sarcomas (Stage 3,4) • testicular/ovarian (rapid progression, Stage 1-4) • kidney (RCC Stage 4). Pfizer’s new acquisition takes them from being able to treat 2 of these Turbo Cancers, to being able to treat 7 out of 10. Not bad. But there’s more. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla did a media interview tour about the $43 Billion Cancer drug deal and this is what he has to say:

– 33% of people WILL get cancer (he’s certain)
– entire families WILL be affected (he’s certain)
– The new cancer treatments are like “missiles” that will target “most” cancers
– he will produce them AT A SCALE THAT HAS NOT BEEN SEEN BEFORE.
– 2025
– “We have a Global Network”
– ” we have very quick way of completing clinical trials”
– will be produced “AT SCALE”, “just like mRNA”

Think about what he is telegraphing. Read the above again. Why would any company need to produce cancer treatments “AT SCALE”? Seeking Alpha analysis theorizes it would take Pfizer at least a decade just to break even from this deal. Financially, this $43 billion Acquisition makes NO SENSE for Pfizer. Unless something else happens…

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Be kind
https://twitter.com/i/status/1736743114524520451

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1737001536591462815

 

 

 

 

Lucky chops
https://twitter.com/i/status/1736821687411257744

 

 

China students

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 242023
 
 October 24, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Joseph Mallord William Turner Wreckers, Coast of Northumberland 1834

 

A Blueprint For The Complete Ethnic Cleansing Of Gaza (Ofir)
Israel A ‘Nuclear Wildcard’ On ‘Dangerous Road To Armageddon’: Macgregor (ZH)
The Existential Trap – The Pentagon Has Just Fallen Into It (Helmer)
US Fears Israel Has No ‘Clear’ Plan For Gaza Invasion – NYT (RT)
New World Order Won’t Be Built By US – Kremlin (TASS)
Biden’s Taunt to Show Him the Money May Have Just Backfired (Turley)
Halloween Parable (James Howard Kunstler)
Revelations About Dugina Murder Mean ‘CIA Knows War in Ukraine is Lost’ (Sp.)
EU’s Borrell Asks Media ‘Not To Forget About Ukraine’ (RT)
Orban Blasts EU As ‘Parody’ Of USSR (RT)
US Treasury Deficit Doubles as Biden Bankrolls Foreign Conflicts (Tweedie)
Imran Khan Charged Over Exposing Alleged US Meddling (RT)
More Americans Are Rejecting the Constitution and Embracing Violence (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Alastair Crooke

 

 

,,what Arafat walked away from in July 2000″

 

 

Carter 2013

 

 

 

 

Hadid
https://twitter.com/i/status/1716320417613250799

 

 

Marine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How and why does Egypt have 10 million available apartment units?

A Blueprint For The Complete Ethnic Cleansing Of Gaza (Ofir)

The Hamas attack on Israeli towns surrounding Gaza on October 7 has provided a pretext for an unprecedented, genocidal revenge campaign by Israel involving the massacre of now nearly 5,000 Palestinians, including over 2,000 children – and that may only be the beginning. Now, an Israeli think tank with ties to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting plans for the complete ethnic cleansing of Gaza. On October 17, the Misgav Institute for National Security & Zionist Strategy published a position paper advocating for the “relocation and final settlement of the entire Gaza population.” The report advocates exploiting the current moment to accomplish a long-held Zionist goal of moving Palestinians off the land of historic Palestine.

The report’s subtitle makes it clear: “There is at the moment a unique and rare opportunity to evacuate the whole Gaza Strip in coordination with the Egyptian government.” The Misgav Institute is headed by former Netanyahu National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat, who remains influential in Israeli security circles. The Institute’s former chairpersons and founding associates include Yoaz Hendel (chair 2012-19), a right-centrist who was Minister of Communications intermittently in the years 2020-22; Moshe Yaalon, former Defense Minister (note that both Hendel and Yaalon have become opposed to Netanyahu in the recent years); Moshe Arens, also former Defense Minister — and other top political personas. The main arguments of the report, which the Institute highlighted on social media upon the report’s release, are translated as follows:

• There is a need for an immediate, viable plan for the resettlement and economic rehabilitation of the entire Arab population in the Gaza Strip, which sits well with the geopolitical interests of Israel, Egypt, U.S.A. and Saudi Arabia.
• In 2017 it was reported that in Egypt there were 10 million available apartment units, of which half were built and half under construction. For example, in two of the biggest Cairo satellite cities, “October 6” and “Ramadan 10” there is an immense number of built and empty apartments under governmental and private ownership as well as empty lots for building that would in total suffice the housing of about 6 million residents.
• The average cost of a three-room apartment of 95 square meters for an average Gaza family of 5.14 people in one of the two mentioned cities stands at $19,000. In calculating the total population that resides in the Gaza Strip, which stands between 1.4-2.2 million people, it is possible to assess that the amount that would need to be transferred to Egypt in order to finance would be around $5 to 8 billion.
• An encouraging injection to the Egyptian economy at this magnitude would provide an enormous and immediate advantage to [Egyptian President] El-Sisi’s regime. Such money sums, compared to the Israeli economy, are miniscule. The investment of a mere few billions of dollars (even if it is $20 or 30 billion) in order to solve this difficult issue is an innovative, cheap and viable solution.
• There is no doubt that in order for this plan to be enacted, many conditions need to exist in parallel. At the moment, these conditions exist, and it is unclear when such an opportunity will arise again, if at all.

It appears that this ethnic-cleansing plan is based on a similar logic to that of the “Abraham Accords,” involving the infusion of massive sums towards despotic regimes to write off the Palestinian issue. But this time, it is not just about slow annexation and bantustanization through “economic peace” — but advocating for the complete population transfer of Palestinians from Gaza. It is not the first time that suggestions for a full ethnic cleansing have appeared from Israeli analysts or even politicians. In the midst of the 2014 Gaza onslaught, Moshe Feiglin, who was then part of Likud and deputy chair of the Knesset, sent Netanyahu a public, 7-point proposal for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza. He repeated the genocidal advocacy in 2018. Feiglin is now a libertarian politician. In a recent interview on Channel 14, Feiglin called for a “Dresden” on Gaza (referring to the WW2 firebombing of Dresden in February 1945, killing some 25,000 people) — “a storm of fire on all of Gaza!” he proclaimed, demanding to “not leave stone on stone” and emphasizing “total fire!” and “the end of ends!”

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Türkiye and Russia to become involved.

Israel A ‘Nuclear Wildcard’ On ‘Dangerous Road To Armageddon’: Macgregor (ZH)

Tucker Carlson sat down with Col. Douglas Macgregor (ret.), who laid out a disturbing scenario in which the United States could quickly be pulled into a direct conflict with Iran, Russia and China over Israel’s anticipated response to the October 7 Hamas attack. Carlson starts off highlighting Lindsey Graham, who vowed; “…if Hezbollah, which is a proxy of Iran, launches a massive attack on Israel, I consider that a threat to the… state of Israel, existential in nature. I will introduce a resolution [in] the United States Senate to allow military action by the United States in conjunction with Israel to knock Iran out of the Oil Business…” Carlson then asks: “So what would war with Iran mean? Well, it’s hard to know because virtually no one who’s talking about it in public is operating from a deep interest in America’s interest. Is this good for us, or is it not?”

If, as Sen. Graham suggests, we start bombing critical infrastructure in Iran, Macgregor warns “the destruction would be wholesale” as Iran would target “all the bases we have in Iraq and Syria – with around 1000 Americans – would be targeted… and this time accurately.” According to Macgregor, “The chosen destination” if we continue on this path, “is Armageddon,” and the implications (of which nobody seems to be considering) for the United States, Europe, and the Middle East are grave. For example, “just on the economic side, about 20% of the world’s oil passes through the Straits of Hormuz every month – probably 25% of liquefied natural gas, and you’re talking about shutting down 2 to three million barrels a day of oil from Iran. “You know this entire region is involved in the war. This is not an Iranian Monopoly by any stretch of the imagination,” he continued.

The two also discussed how one of the primary challenges of in contemplating war with Iran is the unpredictable nature of such conflicts. Economic sanctions, which have been the go-to strategy for years, have failed to cripple Iran’s military capabilities. When military force comes into play, a whole new set of unknowns emerges. The U.S. military, as it stands, may not be adequately prepared for such a conflict – particularly if the enemy has new weapons systems and capabilities. “We’ve had the luxury of sitting around forward operating bases and striking opponents that were armed with AK-47s, and command detonated mines and the occasional mortar or rocket. Very, very low-intensity combat,” he said, referring to the types of engagements the US military has grown accustomed to.

According to Macgregor, “This is a high-end, conventional war that we’re looking at, with the potential to go nuclear – which, obviously, I don’t think we or the Russians want to happen, but we have the wild-card in Israel. They do have a nuclear capability.” “We don’t know what the trip wire is for them to employ such a weapon. At that point of course, all bets are off and I think most of the world would turn against Israel. Right now, they just have to worry about the Muslim world against them,” he continued, explaining that by focusing on Hamas and Hezbollah as immediate threats, the broader implications are obscured. For example, attacking urban environments such as Gaza comes with a high risk of civilian casualties – the consequences of which would catastrophic, both morally and strategically.

“Hezbollah has a very large operation in Mexico,” says Macgregor. “There are no doubt many, many Hezbollah agents inside the United States. We can only begin to imagine the kind of trouble they could cause.” In the midst of all this, the question arises: How will a war with Iran affect American domestic politics? History shows that war is often used to stifle dissent, but in today’s connected world, censorship can only go so far. Public opinion, initially in favor of violence against Hamas, may wane as the conflict escalates and images of destruction flood the media. “But what’s most important, I think, for Americans to understand is, if we attack Iran on the basis of Hezbollah’s alleged willingness to attack Israel, if Israel gets into a real shooting war with Hezbollah, they have the largest armed forces in the region.”

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“..the entire portfolio of US air defence systems is being defeated..”

The Existential Trap – The Pentagon Has Just Fallen Into It (Helmer)

“In a small change that could have major meaning,” Pentagon officials are telling their press, “the U.S. is changing its plans for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. The change could place the strike group in waters where Chinese warships have been active in recent months. Last week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that the Eisenhower strike group would head to the eastern Mediterranean instead of Europe as had been planned. Sailing in the eastern Mediterranean would have put the strike group to the west of Israel. But that plan changed after a week in which U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq came under fire from Iran-backed militias, and a U.S. Navy ship in the Red Sea downed missiles launched from Yemen…On Saturday, Austin said in a statement the strike group will now go to the ‘Central Command area of responsibility.’ Central Command covers a vast amount of Middle East territory, including the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.”

The purpose of “these steps,” Austin said, is to “bolster regional deterrence efforts, increase force protection for U.S. forces in the region, and assist in the defense of Israel.” The priority order is a switch. Israel comes last – Iran, Russia and China come first. For the first time too, the US command has acknowledged what President Vladimir Putin meant when he said in Beijing last Wednesday, October 18, that he has deployed MiG-31s armed with Kinzhal missiles within range of the Eisenhower. Austin added for Sunday television viewers in the US: “If any group or any country is looking to widen this conflict and take advantage of this very unfortunate situation that we see, our advice is: don’t. We maintain the right to defend ourselves, and we won’t hesitate to take the appropriate action.”

The US doctrine of self-defence while attacking states like Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia isn’t new. In September 1969, when Libyan Army Captain Muammar Qaddafi took control of his country, he carefully skirted the US Air Force (USAF) base at Wheelus (Mellaha), which was stocking nuclear weapons at the time; Qaddafi then squeezed the US forces out of Wheelus over twelve months, but the USAF evacuated its nuclear weapons swiftly. Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon don’t have time; the Israelis even less. But Austin’s rush to change the sailing orders for the Eisenhower and fly THAADs and Patriots to US bases in the Arab territories reveals he’s short of time too. This is because the entire portfolio of US air defence systems is being defeated. The Russian Kinzhal has defeated the US Patriot batteries around Kiev; the Hamas swarms of drones and rockets defeated Israel’s Iron Dome on October 7. THAAD has been tested in combat once, against a Houthi missile, rocket and drone attack against Abu Dhabi targets in January 2022. “Several were intercepted, a few of them [weren’t].”

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Bakhmut on steroids.

US Fears Israel Has No ‘Clear’ Plan For Gaza Invasion – NYT (RT)

US officials have expressed concerns that Israel has no workable plan for sending ground forces into Gaza, and are questioning whether the IDF can achieve its goal of annihilating the Hamas militant group without the right preparations, according to the New York Times. In recent discussions with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has emphasized the need for “careful consideration” before launching a ground campaign in the densely populated territory, the New York Times reported on Monday. “The [US] administration is also concerned… that the Israel Defense Forces do not yet have a clear military pathway to achieve Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s goal of eradicating Hamas,” the outlet said, adding that “In conversations with Israeli officials since the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, American officials said they have not yet seen an achievable plan of action.”

Although the White House has maintained that American officials are not making decisions on Israel’s behalf, the Pentagon has reportedly dispatched three-star Marine Lt. Gen. James Glynn to advise the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on urban operations. The officer previously led US special operators tasked with fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), and before that served in Fallujah, Iraq during some of the most vicious house-to-house fighting following the 2003 US invasion. Glynn will reportedly advise Israeli forces on “how to mitigate civilian casualties in urban warfare,” according to the Associated Press, which cited an unnamed US official. However, National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby told reporters on Monday that American advisers will not serve in a combat role, and would merely consult with Israeli commanders. Another unnamed official told the New York Times, meanwhile, that Glynn would not remain on the ground in Israel should a ground invasion begin.

During a call with Gallant on Monday, Defense Secretary Austin reportedly emphasized “the importance of civilian protection,” and “encouraged” the Israeli military to “conduct their operations in accordance with the law of war.” The IDF has already come under fire from some human rights groups for indiscriminate strikes on civilian structures in Gaza, which have left at least 5,000 Palestinians dead and thousands more injured, according to local officials. Some 1,400 in Israel have been killed since the latest round of hostilities erupted on October 7, when Hamas launched one of its largest terrorist attacks to date. Hundreds of thousands of residents in Gaza have been displaced amid the violence, with many in dire need of aid, also prompting warnings of a looming humanitarian disaster from the United Nations and other organizations.

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“..has a US-centric world order in mind.” “That is, a world that revolves around the United States. This will no longer be the case..”

New World Order Won’t Be Built By US – Kremlin (TASS)

The Kremlin endorses US President Joe Biden’s statement that the world is in need of a new order, but Moscow does not agree that such an order can be built under the auspices of Washington alone, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media. “We absolutely agree with Mr. Biden. This is a rare occasion when we absolutely agree with what he said. Indeed, the world is in need of a new order, [but one] based on entirely different principles [than what the US promotes],” he said. The Kremlin believes that any future world order must be free of any attempts to concentrate all control mechanisms in the hands of a single country and of all attempts by a single power to impose its will and its decisions on other countries.

“There should be a world order based on international law, not on ‘rules.’ It should be based on mutual respect, mutual benefit, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and so on,” Peskov enumerated. The Kremlin disagrees, however, with Biden on the other part of his statement, Peskov continued. “Mr. Biden also said that the United States is capable of building such an order. We disagree with this part of his statement,” Peskov said. He stressed that the US, “one way or another, whatever world order it may be talking about, has a US-centric world order in mind.” “That is, a world that revolves around the United States. This will no longer be the case,” he stated.

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The Biden team is insulting what’s left of the intelligence of the American people.

Biden’s Taunt to Show Him the Money May Have Just Backfired (Turley)

“Where’s the money?” That laughing quip from President Joe Biden was his surprising reaction to the disclosure that a trusted FBI informant had conveyed an alleged bribe worth millions, paid to Joe Biden by a Ukrainian businessman. Biden seemed almost to morph into the Cuba Gooding Jr. character in “Jerry Maguire,” getting Tom Cruise’s character to chant “show me the money” over and over again. Much like in the movie, the pundits and politicians picked up the refrain, insisting that nothing matters unless critics can show a direct payment to Jill or Joe Biden among the millions sent to Biden family members. At the same time, they opposed any investigation by the House. Now, the House Oversight Committee committee has released evidence of one such transfer that might even satisfy Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The payment occurred in 2018, after the president’s brother, James Biden, received $200,000 from a company called Americore. James has long been criticized for raw influence peddling, and Americore was one of the companies where he had reportedly suggested access to sell to his brother. On March 1, 2018, Americore wired James the money to his personal rather than his business account. On the very same day, James wrote a check in that same amount to the personal bank account of his brother Joe, who had left office as Vice President and was widely discussed as a possible candidate for the presidency. James listed the money as a “loan repayment.”

“Loans” have long been a source of controversy with the Bidens. IRS whistleblowers, for example, detailed how Hunter took massive payments from corrupt foreign sources and listed them as “loans,” despite no evidence of repayment or any standard loan agreement. He allegedly neither paid them back nor paid taxes on the money. Even if Joe Biden did loan almost a quarter of a million dollars to his brother, it would raise concerns over whether this disbursement came while he was vice president. The payments could have given Joe Biden an interest in not just the influence peddling of his brother but also the viability of this company.

The White House has insisted that it was a loan to his brother that was repaid. But if there is no evidence of an actual loan, it would constitute a payment from an influence-seekling company to Joe Biden. At a minimum, the payment shows the fluidity of the accounts and finances of the Biden influence-peddling operation. While I have long criticized influence peddling by both Republicans and Democrats for decades, the Bidens constitute a class to themselves. The House committees have now traced millions of dollars passing through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts to Biden family members, even grandchildren.

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“..V. Putin is not the enemy of Western Civ, he’s one of its last remaining defenders..”

Halloween Parable (James Howard Kunstler)


The Dead Rise on John Streets

You might have noticed that the massive investment in Halloween yard shrines by families growing broke in America reflects the ghoulish convergence of malevolent events undermining and overtaking what used to be normal life in this land. Nothing is normal anymore. The groaning mummies, howling werewolves, and shrieking skeletons are trying to tell us something. The message might be: detach from reality long enough and death comes creeping ’round your door. You see where consensual madness has gotten us? Believe enough things that are not true and nemesis comes roaring in, all fangs and claws, to gleefully shred you. So. Maybe it’s time to stop believing things that are not true. Start with the first principle of US life in our time: that anything goes and nothing matters.

This proposition has ruled for as long as most of us can remember. Consequence was exiled on Main Street so you can get away with anything now — until you discover that, somehow, everything is broken. Your livelihood is broken. Your community is broken. Your household is broken. Your car is broken. Your children are broken. Your health is broken. Your faith is broken. Your country is broken. Here’s a first principle worth considering: court death and it will oblige you. Granted, there is a certain libido for nonexistence in the human psyche because life is so hard sometimes that you yearn to be relieved of it. But not everyone in America seeks to walk that way. Probably fewer than half of us. So why do we allow that other half to drag us to the bone orchard?

Do you see what it means to get your mind right when times get hard and the path is uncertain? Everybody knows that a ghoul was installed in the now-haunted White House. And everybody knows that the method of his installation was a fraud, a gigantic falsehood. The catch is that the fewer than half of us liked it that way, they celebrated it, did a victory dance, and then rubbed it in with prosecutions against the rest of us who saw exactly what happened and didn’t like it. They acted like it didn’t matter what you saw. They tried to control the transmission of ideas and sentiment about these matters by placing half the CIA and the FBI on Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

Nice try, but only cads and fools think that you can stuff reality in a black box, lock it up, and throw away the key. Reality has Houdini-like powers to escape because reality is true magic. Reality is the ultimate super-power. Reality is not some asshole in a spandex suit with a cape and a mask. Reality is the white light that reveals the world. Reality is telling us that the war project in Ukraine started by the neocon pseudopod of our Deep State blob is not working out. The fiasco could not be more rank. Instead of weakening Russia, it crippled the USA. V. Putin is not the enemy of Western Civ, he’s one of its last remaining defenders. Was it not in everyone’s interest that for seventy-five years Ukraine existed as an inert borderland, making trouble for nobody, itself especially? Could we not respect that reality and leave it alone?

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“..hey, look, here’s all the good stuff we tried to do. And it’s not our fault. The Ukrainians sometimes went off the reservation and did bad things.”

Revelations About Dugina Murder Mean ‘CIA Knows War in Ukraine is Lost’ (Sp.)

Over a year has passed since the assassination of Daria Dugina, a journalist and the daughter of the renowned Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin. Recently, a surprising admission about the culprits of this heinous crime was made by a US newspaper. While the Kiev regime has so far denied its involvement in Dugina’s murder, the Washington Post has reported citing its sources that the assassination was orchestrated by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU). The newspaper’s sources also alleged that the US Central Intelligence Agency has invested a lot of money and effort since 2015 to turn Ukraine’s intelligence services into “potent allies against Moscow.” Commenting on this development, retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official Larry Johnson suggests that the timing of the WaPo’s revelations may not be coincidental.

“You have to ask yourself, why was this published now? Because this was not just created on a whim. There is a purpose behind this. I take it as an indication that the CIA realizes that the war in Ukraine is lost and that it’s not going to succeed,” he told Sputnik. “Therefore, they’re starting to put out their story about, hey, look, here’s all the good stuff we tried to do. And it’s not our fault. The Ukrainians sometimes went off the reservation and did bad things.” According to Johnson, the CIA should probably seek to distance itself from the crimes committed by the SBU and Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence, who seem increasingly focused on assassinating people they brand as enemies of Ukraine. “If you’ve got people that are doing things that you see as counterproductive to your policy and in this case actually murdering journalists, that is a violation for the CIA. But again, the CIA has their persons within the ranks who find ways to excuse that, justify and say that it’s okay,” he remarked.

Referring to the part of the newspaper’s report that broached the subject of the CIA providing training to Ukrainian intelligence services, Johnson wondered aloud what exactly did this training involve, seeing how the techniques mentioned in the article – for example, the way the bomb that killed Dugina was smuggled into Russia – have little to do with actual intelligence work. “The goal of intelligence is to recruit people from the other side who have access to information you want and cannot get through any other means. And you want to recruit them and have them provided that information without tipping off the other side that you have access to that information,” he explained. Johnson also said he thinks “Russia has far better human intelligence on what Ukraine is going to do than Ukraine has on what Russia is going to do.”

Regarding the potential risks Ukrainian intelligence services may present to those who support them, Johnson described them as minimal, noting that the problem may arise “if members of the GUR or SBU feel that they were betrayed by the West.” “And then there’s always the possibility that they could try to seek revenge out of that. But again, I think this decision to publish this story is all about, I think, the end game of U.S. policy in support for Ukraine. It’s not the flag in a problem per se, but it’s just the CIA basically saying, here’s what we’ve tried to do and it’s not our fault,” he surmised. Daria Dugina was murdered on August 20, 2022, when an explosive device that had been planted in her car detonated. An investigation conducted by the Russian authorities established that the bomb was planted by Ukrainian national Natalia Vovk who worked for the Ukrainian special services, the mastermind behind Dugina’s murder.

Read more …

What a disaster EU “leadership” is.

EU’s Borrell Asks Media ‘Not To Forget About Ukraine’ (RT)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has urged the media not to shift all of its attention away from Ukraine and onto the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Speaking ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, Borrell told reporters that Ukraine “continues to fight” and said Kiev would be on the agenda for the discussions. “Do not forget about Ukraine,” added the diplomat. Borrell also noted that ministers would discuss the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as European sanctions against Russia. During his brief exchange with reporters, Borrell primarily spoke about the fighting between Israel and Hamas, while none of the journalists present asked about the Ukraine conflict.

Despite previously expressing solidarity with Israel, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has lamented that this month’s escalation in the Middle East has diverted the spotlight away from his country. “If international attention shifts away from Ukraine, one way or another, it will have consequences,” Zelensky warned in an interview with France 2 earlier this month. “The fate of Ukraine depends on the unity of the rest of the world.” US officials have declared that they will continue funding Kiev and Israel, with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen insisting that Washington “can certainly afford” two wars.

She also admitted that direct US economic aid to Kiev was “what enables them to fight this war.” Ukrainian Defense Ministry official Gennady Kovalenko told the Washington Post earlier in October that Kiev “depends 100% on the United States.” US President Joe Biden is reportedly planning to ask Congress to approve a new $100 billion aid bill that would include funding for Israel and Ukraine. However, a report by Axios last week suggested that the Pentagon has decided to give Israel tens of thousands of 155mm artillery shells that were originally intended for Ukraine.

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“For Westerners, freedom means escape — get rid of yourself, get rid of what you were born into, change nation, change gender, change identity.”

Orban Blasts EU As ‘Parody’ Of USSR (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has marked the anniversary of his country’s failed 1956 uprising against the USSR by accusing the European Union of seeking Soviet-like dominance in trying to strip Budapest of its identity. “Today, things pop up that remind us of the Soviet times,” Orban said in a speech on Monday in the western Hungarian city of Veszprem. “Yes, it happens that history repeats itself. Fortunately, what once was tragedy is now a comedy at best. Fortunately, Brussels is not Moscow. Moscow was a tragedy. Brussels is just a bad contemporary parody.” Orban said Brussels has tried to impose a model of liberal democracy that the Hungarian people have rejected.

He added that although the EU’s domineering methods harken back to the Soviet era, the bloc is not able to rule with an iron fist. “We had to dance to the tune that Moscow whistled,” Orban said of Hungary’s four decades under Soviet control. “Brussels whistles too, but we dance as we want to, and if we don’t want to, then we don’t dance.” Hungary’s October 23 holiday commemorates the start of a 1956 revolution, which was crushed by Soviet troops after just 12 days. Orban typically gives a speech to supporters on the holiday and has previously used it to make comparisons between Soviet oppression and EU tactics. Last year, he predicted that the bloc would end up like the Soviet Union.

Orban has clashed with the EU on anti-Russia sanctions, illegal immigration, and LGBTQ “propaganda,” among other issues. Just last week, he roiled Western allies by meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing. He has called for seeking a negotiated end to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and has argued that sanctions against Moscow have made citizens of EU countries poorer. The PM suggested in Monday’s speech that Hungarians have a different view of freedom than their Western allies. “For Westerners, freedom means escape — get rid of yourself, get rid of what you were born into, change nation, change gender, change identity.” He added that for Hungarians, freedom is a “life instinct,” and they’re not willing to give up their identity. “The thought of not being a man, a Christian and a Hungarian is like tearing our hearts apart.”

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Money grows on trees.

US Treasury Deficit Doubles as Biden Bankrolls Foreign Conflicts (Tweedie)

US President Joe Biden’s appeal for cash to arm Ukraine and Israel could meet resistance from Congress thanks to the runaway federal budget. Treasury department figures released late last week showed the government deficit had hit almost £1.7 trillion, up from £1.37 trillion a year earlier, a 23 percent increase in the public debt — although lower than the $2.78 trillion left by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. The news was worse than it sounded however. The 2022 deficit included the budget for Biden’s student loan repayment program, money that was never spent as the Supreme Court struck it down. The treasury then claimed those unspent public funds as a “saving” in 2023 — meaning the true deficit doubled from $1 trillion in 2022 to $2 trillion this year. That news came a day before Biden asked Congress for a $106 billion emergency foreign military aid budget.

The lion’s share, $61.4 billion, is earmarked for Washington’s proxy conflict with Russia in Ukraine, while another $14.3 billion is to arm Israel for its latest attempt to destroy the Hamas movement in the besieged Gaza Strip. That request dwarfs the $77 billion in arms and cash gifted to the Kiev regime since the start of Russia’s de-Nazification operation in February 2022. Economist Sergio Rossi told Sputnik that the mounting deficit would make it harder for Biden to persuade Congress to approve his $100 billion budget request for more arms to Ukraine and Israel “in light of the problematic economic situation and outlook for the US stakeholders, namely, households, firms, and a variety of financial institutions.” “Usually, when the domestic economic situation worsens, these stakeholders and their political supporters reduce the volume of foreign aid, to focus on supporting their own national economy first of all,” Rossi said.

He said the funding the conflict in Ukraine — while preparing for a Pacific showdown with China over Taiwan — had already put too much strain on Washington’s finances before the Palestinian Hamas movement launched a surprise attack into southern Israel. “The US government cannot continue financing two military conflicts, particularly if the latter will continue without any foreseeable peaceful agreement before long,” Rossi stressed. “There are already signs that the political consensus for such a financial support is diminishing across the US economy, notably where both the labour and the product markets are in a difficult situation for a number of middle-class workers and several small or medium-sized firms.” The state of the US economy was “worrying,” he said, and the outlook for the next two years was “even worse,” thanks to “global macroeconomic issues related to different geopolitical problems.”

The “mushroom” of ensuing inflation has badly affected consumer purchasing power. “As a result, firms’ investment is discouraged, both because of this inflationary pressure and the Fed’s repeated increases in the policy rates of interest.” “The US economy is even closer to a recession than it was one year ago,” Rossi warned, although “there is no potential risk of a default of the US federal government.” He pointed out that Congress could simply raise the public debt ceiling and the US Federal Reserve could buy up government bonds as an effective loan. “This, however, is a time bomb that eventually can burst, particularly once some viable and credible alternative to the US dollar will emerge across the global economy,” Rossi said. “The BRICS community could provide such an alternative in a not-too-distant future.”

Read more …

Khan=Trump.

Imran Khan Charged Over Exposing Alleged US Meddling (RT)

A special court in Pakistan formally charged former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his then-foreign minister on Monday with breaching state secrecy laws. The charges stem from their alleged conspiracy to reveal what Khan characterized as US interference in orchestrating his removal by political opponents last year. Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain lodged indictments against Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi concerning the so-called ‘cipher case.’ The allegations revolve around their purported unlawful retention and public disclosure of a classified document, which Khan’s side is said to have had the necessary cipher to decode. Pakistani media reports suggest that additional individuals, including Khan’s aide Muhammad Azam Khan and former Federal Minister Asad Umar, may also face charges in the ongoing investigation.

The document in question is a diplomatic cable sent by then-Pakistani Ambassador to the US Asad Majeed Khan after his March 2022 meeting with two senior US Department of State officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu. Various media sources, including The Intercept, reported that Lu criticized Imran Khan for adopting an “aggressively neutral position” on the Ukraine conflict that erupted in late February of the same year. Unlike the United States and its European allies, the Pakistani prime minister refrained from siding with Kiev. Instead, he conducted a scheduled visit to Moscow and declared during a rally that Pakistanis were not “slaves” to Washington, defying Western criticisms.

The US official reportedly discussed the no-confidence vote against Khan, which he was facing in parliament at the time. If it were to succeed, “all will be forgiven in Washington,” Lu was quoted as telling the ambassador, while if Khan stayed in power, Islamabad would supposedly face “isolation.” The US government denied that anything said by Lu during the meeting amounted to taking a position on who should be in power in Pakistan. Khan was ousted about a month after the meeting and has since been charged with a number of crimes, including some related to terrorism and corruption. He has claimed that his political opponents seek to bar him from the upcoming parliamentary elections with Washington’s blessing. Notably, after Khan’s downfall, US-Pakistani relations experienced a period of thawing.

Islamabad received an unexpected windfall this July when the International Monetary Fund extended a $3 billion bailout. The Intercept claimed that the US backed the rescue in exchange for Pakistan agreeing to supply munitions worth $900 million to Ukraine. The Pakistani government has denied the reported arms sale ever taking place.

Read more …

“..called upon President Joe Biden to defy rulings of the Supreme Court that he considers “mistaken”..

More Americans Are Rejecting the Constitution and Embracing Violence (Turley)

A recent startling poll shows that a majority of voters not only view the opposing party as a threat to the nation but justifying violence to combat their agenda. The poll captures a crisis of faith that I have been writing about for over a decade as an academic and a commentator. Many now question democracy as a sustainable system of government. It represents the single greatest threat to this nation: a citizenry that has lost faith not just with our system of government but with each other. The polls by the University of Virginia Center for Politics shows a nation at war with itself. Fifty-two percent of Biden supporters say Republicans are now a threat to American life while 47 percent of Trump supporters say the same about Democrats.

Among Biden supporters, 41 percent now believe violence is justified “to stop [Republicans] from achieving their goals.” An almost identical percentage, 38 percent, of Trump supporters now embrace violence to stop Democrats. Not surprisingly, many of these people have lost faith in democracy. Some 31 percent of Trump supporters believe that the nation should explore alternative forms of government. Roughly a quarter (24 percent) of Biden supporters also question the viability of democracy. Faith is the one thing that no system of government can do without. Without faith in the underlying values of a constitutional system, authority rests on a mix of coercion and capitulation.

For years, I have written about this growing loss of faith and how it has been fueled by our intellectual and political elites. In the echo chamber of news and social media, citizens constantly hear how the opposing party is composed of “traitors” and how the constitutional system works to protect enemies of the people. Viewers now get a steady diet of figures like MSNBC commentator Elie Mystal who called the U.S. Constitution “trash” and argued that we should simply just dump it. In a New York Times column, “The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed,” law professors Ryan D. Doerfler of Harvard and Samuel Moyn of Yale called for the Constitution to be “radically altered” to “reclaim America from constitutionalism.”

Georgetown University Law School Professor Rosa Brooks went on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” to lash out at Americans becoming “slaves” to the U.S. Constitution and that the Constitution itself is now the problem for the country. They are part of the radical chic that has become the norm in academia — and widely embraced by the media. According to these law professors the problem is not just our Constitution, but constitutionalism in general. Others have argued that key protections or institutions should just be ignored. In a recent open letter, Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet and San Francisco State University political scientist Aaron Belkin called upon President Joe Biden to defy rulings of the Supreme Court that he considers “mistaken” in the name of “popular constitutionalism.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

100 years
https://twitter.com/i/status/1716383954943578623

 

 

WHO

 

 

Switzerland grants diplomatic immunity to WEF
https://twitter.com/i/status/1716394092098097201

 

 

Snake spider

 

 

Riomaggiore
https://twitter.com/i/status/1716533959905972281

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 032023
 
 September 3, 2023  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Claude Monet Bain à la Grenouillère 1869

 

Biden’s Use Of Fake Names In Email Could Cost Him (Turley)
Zelensky Sponsor Kolomoysky Charged With Money Laundering (RT)
Russia Is ‘Absolutely Invincible’ – Putin (RT)
US Laying Groundwork for Defeats in 2 Wars of Choice, vs Russia & China (Sp.)
Moscow Warns Of Direct Clash With NATO (RT)
Ukraine’s Western Backers Are ‘Pro-Nazi Coalition’ – Medvedev (RT)
Is Ukraine Losing Because Foreign Fighters Are Walking Away? (ZH)
Funny Old Man Borrell Typifies The Arrogant Mediocrities Running The EU (Bordachev)
German Chancellor Says Nuclear Power ‘Dead Horse’ Despite Energy Crunch (Sp.)
Sanctions Against Russia Turning Germany Into ‘Kamikaze’ – MP (RT)
EU Migration System ‘Has Been Broken For Years’ – Austria (RT)
Alexander Dugin: Global Liberalism in Crisis (Sp.)
7 Civilisations -1 Against 6 (Alexander Dugin)
Why They Hate Imran Khan? A Short Note. (Haider Mehdi)

 

 

 

 

Imagine Putin doing this. Or Trump. What excuses this behavior?

https://twitter.com/i/status/1697988586425954547

 

 

 

 

RFK Pfizer trial
https://twitter.com/i/status/1698081641296437328

 

 

 

 

Maui

 

 

 

 

“People under 50 kilograms banned from the streets in China due to Typhoon Saola”

 

 

 

 

Look who’s back…

”..Obama has 30 days to bar the release of the emails and to help shield his former vice president in a growing corruption scandal ..”

Biden’s Use Of Fake Names In Email Could Cost Him (Turley)

Last year, at an event at the White House, former president Barack Obama jokingly referred to the current president as “Vice President Biden.” At the time, it was described as the more popular politician “reminding Biden who’s boss.” Yet, this needling carried an added bite, given reports of Obama’s private doubts about Biden’s judgment. In 2020, Obama had famously warned fellow Democrats, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f— things up.” Obama is now being asked to bail Biden out from another debacle of his own making, going back to his time in Obama’s administration. Various committees and private groups are seeking more than 5,000 emails from Biden in which he used an array of aliases during the Obama administration.

Under the Presidential Records Act, Obama has 30 days to bar the release of the emails and to help shield his former vice president in a growing corruption scandal over the influence-peddling operation run by Biden’s son, Hunter. Recently, it was learned that Joe Biden went by a variety of code names and false names, including Robin Ware. Robert L. Peters, JRB Ware, Celtic and “The Big Guy.” House investigators believe that may only be a partial list. For many Americans, it is understandably unnerving to learn that their president has more aliases than Anthony Weiner. However, while the number seems unusual, the practice is not unprecedented. Top officials have used such aliases in the past for emails, including former Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

During the Obama administration, the practice was defended by then-White House press secretary Jay Carney, who assured the public that any such emails would still be subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and congressional inquiries. He added, “We do not use and should not use private email accounts for work.” The problem is that there was “work” being discussed on some of these emails, including official foreign travel plans and the hiring of associates of Hunter for high-level positions. More importantly, some emails are relevant to the clients of Biden’s son. Biden has previously lied that he knew nothing of these dealings, but these emails could reveal even more about his knowledge and involvement.

Congress is investigating more than $20 million that was transferred to members of the Biden family from foreign sources through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. Even the Washington Post has been forced to admit that the president has lied in the past about aspects of Hunter’s dealings. Devon Archer recently confirmed that Joe Biden’s long-standing denial of any knowledge of their business dealings is “categorically false.” Most reporters now admit that Hunter was clearly engaging in influence-peddling, Washington’s favorite form of corruption. Yet in the face of this growing evidence, Democrats insist that Hunter and his associates were merely selling “the illusion of influence,” not actual access or influence over Joe Biden. Obviously, these foreign clients believed that they were buying more than an illusion for the millions they spent. One corrupt Ukrainian figure said that Hunter Biden was dumber than his dog, but that he paid him anyway for access to his father.

Read more …

Is Kolomoysky the target, or Zelensky?

Zelensky Sponsor Kolomoysky Charged With Money Laundering (RT)

Ukrainian authorities have informed oligarch Igor Kolomoysky, whose support helped Vladimir Zelensky secure the presidency, that he is suspected of fraud and real estate laundering amid Kiev’s ongoing crusade against rampant corruption. In a statement on Saturday, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that the billionaire – whom it described as the “de facto owner of a large financial and industrial group” – had legalized more than 500 million Ukrainian hryvnia ($13.5 million) by “transferring it abroad, while using the infrastructure of banking institutions controlled by him.” Ukrainian officials stated that Kolomoysky, who has Cypriot and Israeli citizenship, was informed that he is suspected on two counts – fraud, and legalization of property obtained by criminal means.

The development was also confirmed by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, which said that Kolomoysky was “served with a motion to choose pre-trial restrictive measures,” adding that the agency is continuing its investigation into the matter in coordination with the SBU and Economic Security Bureau. This comes after Kolomoysky’s home was searched by SBU operatives in early February, according to local media reports. At the time, the raid reportedly focused on Kolomoysky’s potential involvement in the alleged embezzlement of 40 billion hryvnia ($1.1 billion) and evading customs duties at the oil companies Ukrtatnafta and Ukrnafta. Kolomoysky burst on to the political scene in 2014, when he was appointed governor of the southeastern Dnepropetrovsk Region following a Western-backed coup in Kiev.

A year later, however, he was dismissed from his post over a conflict with then-Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko amid a struggle for control of Ukrnafta and state-owned oil pipeline operator Ukrtransnafta. In 2016, Ukrainian authorities also nationalized Kolomoysky’s PrivatBank after declaring it a major threat to the country’s financial system following allegations of large-scale fraud. Kolomoysky is also widely considered to have played a major role in the rise to power of incumbent President Vladimir Zelensky. Before launching his political campaign in 2019, Zelensky was a comedian, whose show was hosted by a Kolomoysky-controlled media holding. The magnate himself said he “wanted” Zelensky to become president, but denied close contacts with him.

In 2021, the US State Department sanctioned both Kolomoysky and his family members, citing his involvement “in corrupt acts that undermined rule of law and the Ukrainian public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions.” In July 2022, media in Ukraine reported that he was stripped of his Ukrainian passport. However, while the news was confirmed by several officials in Kiev, the relevant presidential decree is classified while the oligarch himself dismissed the reports as “nonsense.”

Read more …

Talking about the spirit of the Russian people. Ergo, WWII.

Russia Is ‘Absolutely Invincible’ – Putin (RT)

Russia has always been and remains “absolutely invincible,”President Vladimir Putin told a group of students at an open lesson marking the start of the academic year on Friday. The mentality of the Russian people makes it impossible for the country to be defeated by anyone, he added. The president recalled the history of his own family, telling students about his ancestors who lived through World War II. According to Putin, his grandmother was fatally shot by a Nazi soldier but, even as she was dying, she was still thinking about her husband and told Putin’s grandfather “not to cry” in order not to upset her in her final moments. “Do you understand the depth of these relationships between the ordinary people, this love?” the president said, adding that, even in the face of death, his grandmother was caring for her loved one.

“How can we not take that for a model?” he added. Putin also said that all members of his family felt deep respect for each other and had a “strong inner culture.” Putin also said he believes most families in Russia are like this. “And here I understood why we won the Great Patriotic War,” the president said, referring to the Soviet struggle against Nazi Germany in World War II. “One cannot defeat a people with such a mentality,” he said, adding that “we have been absolutely invincible. And we remain as such now.” His words came as Russia has been locked in a conflict with neighboring Ukraine for more than a year and a half. The latest developments have seen Kiev’s forces unable to breach Russian defenses in nearly three months since the start of the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Read more …

“..US establishment politicians maintain that “if the US does not defend Ukraine, China will invade Taiwan”, a theory the report says is flawed.”

US Laying Groundwork for Defeats in 2 Wars of Choice, vs Russia & China (Sp.)

In an effort to live up to its promise to “fight Russia to the last Ukrainian,” the Biden administration is “laying the groundwork for defeats in two more wars of choice, against Russia and China,” a US report has asserted. The Democrat POTUS has been burning through cash (although national debt stands at $33 trillion), and munitions stockpiles in an effort to prop up the Kiev regime. The US announced a new package of military assistance for Ukraine on 29 August, worth $250 million, that includes AIM-9M missiles for air defense, munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 155mm and 105mm artillery ammunition, mine-clearing equipment, Javelin and other anti-armor systems and rockets, three million rounds of small arms ammunition, as well as other items.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated on 29 August that the US and its allies “will stand united with Ukraine, for as long as it takes”. Some of the contenders for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination fully support this stance – former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley recently stated: “A win for Russia is a win for China. We have to know that. Ukraine is the first line of defense for us.” According to the report, US establishment politicians maintain that “if the US does not defend Ukraine, China will invade Taiwan”, a theory the report says is flawed. “If China does make a move on Taiwan in the next few years, stockpiles already reduced by Ukrainian aid will make aiding Taiwan more difficult and expensive if policy makers decide to do so. The foreign policy establishment that lost in Iraq and Afghanistan is laying the groundwork for defeats in two more wars of choice, against Russia and China—both nuclear powers, putting human civilization on the line,” the American media outlet highlighted.

The US military aid donated to Ukraine thus far amounts to more than $41 billion, with a further $100 billion appropriated for supporting Kiev, the report’s author emphasized. But by continuing to pile military aid worth billions upon Kiev the US is purportedly fast-depleting its own military stockpiles of various weapons. Accordingly, America’s own manufacturers are left “struggling” to replace the hollowed-out weapons caches. Amid its botched counteroffensive, launched on 4 June, Ukraine has been rapidly chewing through all the weapons funneled from the West. However, Kiev still has no territorial gains to show for it, with its military sustaining tremendous losses. As of 30 August 2023, Ukraine has reportedly lost 466 airplanes, 247 helicopters, 6,234 unmanned aerial vehicles, 433 air defense missile systems, 11,570 tanks and other armored fighting vehicles, as well as 12,528 special military motor vehicles since the beginning of the special military operation.

Macgregor

Read more …

“Anything could happen. Nothing is ruled out amid such an intense proxy-standoff between NATO and Russia..”

Moscow Warns Of Direct Clash With NATO (RT)

The military confrontation in Ukraine has reached a point where it could easily spiral into a full-blown conflict between Russia and NATO, Moscow’s deputy envoy to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said on Friday. The diplomat blamed the US-led military bloc’s ever deeper involvement in the fighting between Moscow and Kiev. “We have repeatedly warned that the situation is quite dangerous and there is a big risk of a direct clash between Russia and NATO,” Polyansky said while answering questions on X (formerly Twitter). The US-led alliance is already supporting Ukrainian forces by every means possible, except for direct troop deployment, he said.

Moscow sees “many indications that there are some instructors, mercenaries” in Ukraine, the deputy envoy stated. He also pointed to some “strange messages” about the deaths of NATO officers and generals. “That does raise major suspicions,” he said, adding that “we cannot rule out that they [NATO specialists] are participating in certain actions in Ukraine,” Polyansky added, without naming any specific examples. Polyansky also claimed that the current situation is “very bad” for the Ukrainian military and that “Western aid is their only salvation.” Many people in the US and elsewhere “are starting to understand that the Kiev regime is losing,” he added.

“Anything could happen. Nothing is ruled out amid such an intense proxy-standoff between NATO and Russia,” the diplomat warned. Ukraine’s Western backers maintain that they are not directly participating in the conflict despite having sent more than $100 billion in arms to Kiev. Moscow has repeatedly said that continued weapons supplies only prolong the conflict and extend human suffering as well as increase the risks of a direct confrontation between Russia and the US-led military bloc. It has also blasted the US and its allies, accusing them of enabling Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian civilians, and labeling them as “sponsors of terrorism.”

Read more …

“..Russia should not “lapse into sweet daydreaming” about achieving reconciliation with the West and joining what he called a “big polyamory family of non-binary genders.”

Ukraine’s Western Backers Are ‘Pro-Nazi Coalition’ – Medvedev (RT)

Washington and its allies in Europe and elsewhere continue to support Kiev despite it acting increasingly like the Nazis during World War II, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in a Telegram post on Saturday. Moscow should abandon hope of reconciling with the West and see it for what it is, he believes. The leaders of Ukraine are “increasingly talking about ‘holding all Russians accountable’,” Medvedev said, adding that Kiev sees all Russian citizens as ‘Russians’ regardless of their ethnic background. In a thinly veiled reference to the Nazis’ plans for the Soviet Union, the former president said that the world had already seen similar aspirations. Medvedev noted that Ukraine is still being supported by almost every single Western leader, as well as by the heads of Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

All of them “are direct and obvious Nazi accomplices,” he stated, adding that “they should be treated as the leaders of a pro-Nazi coalition.” The former president, who now serves as the deputy head of Russia’s National Security Council and the Military Industrial Committee, then insisted that Russia should not “lapse into sweet daydreaming” about achieving reconciliation with the West and joining what he called a “big polyamory family of non-binary genders.” Medvedev had earlier condemned what he called open glorification of Nazism in Ukraine, pointing to an initiative calling for the establishment of the Stepan Bandera Order that would supposedly be awarded to Ukrainian servicemen.

Bandera was a notorious Ukrainian nationalist leader during World War II whose organization was responsible for mass killings of Jews and Poles in Ukraine. The petition requesting the creation of such an order in Ukraine appeared on the official website of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in May. It has since received nearly 2,300 signatures of the required 25,000. Medvedev blasted the initiative by comparing it to Germany establishing an order of Adolf Hitler or Italy introducing an order of Bennito Mussolini. “What is there to be ashamed of?” Medvedev mockingly wrote on Telegram at the time. “Let’s just glorify all European Nazis at once. This appears to be the new European ideology,” he added.

Read more …

“..One potential explanation is the sheer number of foreign fighters joining with Ukraine last year that are now gone..”

Is Ukraine Losing Because Foreign Fighters Are Walking Away? (ZH)

It has been almost 3 months since the launch of Ukraine’s long anticipated counter-offensive which many “experts” claimed would be the fatal blow that would remove Russian forces from the country altogether. The initial action gained little; around 90 square miles of territory in June and a handful of villages, and at great cost. There are no accurate casualty reports for Ukraine, which is by design, but estimates suggest that the nation’s military has doubled its number of dead since the counter offensive began. Official numbers from the DoD claim that Ukraine has lost over 100,000 troops since the beginning of the conflict (almost double the amount of US dead during the entirety of the Vietnam War). Other estimates are far higher.

Foreign fighters back from the front lines report a mismanaged and chaotic Ukrainian military using ill conceived tactics. Some say that the units they were assigned to have lost 80% or more of their men in recent months. Ukraine military leadership has also been misusing their fleet of tanks and armored vehicles from NATO, sending them ‘straight into mine fields’ in some cases. As volunteers note, the Ukrainians were given training on how to operate the vehicles, but no training on how to use them effectively in a fight. There is also a flurry of reports suggesting that friendly fire has been doing significant damage, so much so that “mercenaries” have taken to covering themselves in reflective blue or yellow tape so that they aren’t mistaken for Russian troops.

This disorganization seems to be far removed from the precision shown by Ukraine in their 2022 offensive, which forced Russia to reposition a large number of forces and give up over 3000 square miles of territory. Numerous successful strikes on Russian armored columns were widely publicized, all with a suspicious level of expertise employed by Ukraine. Yet, by 2023 their momentum was stopped cold. They were tied up in Bakhmut where they lost thousands of soldiers. And now, Ukraine’s hyped up counter action has been effectively dragged down to a crawl. You wouldn’t know it by reading sensationalized western media reports and propaganda, but Ukraine is losing, badly. So what happened? What changed since the end of 2022?

One potential explanation is the sheer number of foreign fighters joining with Ukraine last year that are now gone. While the data on volunteers is limited, multiple sources claim at least 20,000 mercenaries (many with prior combat experience) joined with Ukraine in 2022. Then, there are the covert operatives – At least one General out of the UK let slip that Royal Marine units were in fact deployed on high risk operations in Ukraine. Sources also indicate that US special operations teams have been stationed out of the US embassy in Kyiv since the beginning of the war. Though officials claim that the soldiers do not go to the front lines and stay near the embassy (which begs the question – what’s the point of having them there?). The presence of highly trained western covert ops troops in Ukraine would help explain the far more effective offensive in 2022.

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“..You are already in paradise, fellow Western Europeans, what more do you need?..”

Funny Old Man Borrell Typifies The Arrogant Mediocrities Running The EU (Bordachev)

Josep Borrell, the head of the European Union’s diplomacy, known and loved by us, in Moscow, for his paradoxical statements, has reported on the effectiveness of his bloc’s economic war against Russia. In the first lines of his message, he claims that “sanctions are working” and that those who claim otherwise are simply telling untruths. But the main indicator of the effectiveness of sanctions for Borrell is not even the dynamics of the Russian economy. The emphasis in the report is on the reduction of Russia’s bilateral trade with EU countries: This is what particularly pleases their chief diplomat. However, for him, it doesn’t matter that Russia’s trade with the rest of the world, with the exception of the US, has grown at the same time (even Japan and South Korea do not show a significant decline in trade turnover).

The EU’s chief diplomat is known to live in his own ‘Garden of Eden’, and everything outside this hallowed ground has no meaning for him. One could simply mock the degradation of the Western European perception of the surrounding reality embodied in Borrell’s remarks. But this approach is not an aberration; it reflects the whole philosophy of the EU’s relations with the rest of the world. It is only now that we have seen the inadequacy of such a strategy in a reality which there will never again be a center and a vast periphery to serve its interests. We are now really opening our eyes to the – to put it politely – uniqueness of our partners in Western Europe. What the Russian foreign policy culture, in a delicate manner, has tried not to talk about for the past 30 years is becoming public knowledge.

The question is what lessons can be learned for the future when the active military phase of relations with the West subsides somewhat? This will happen sooner or later, unless the world really splits into opposing closed camps. And then it will be extremely dangerous for us to harbor illusions about the fundamental intentions of our Western neighbors towards the rest of humanity. Josep Borrell is a somewhat caricatured but still credible embodiment of the nature of EU foreign policy. This funny old man is certainly a product of his time – the ‘beautiful 80s and 90s’ in Spanish and European history. In those days, either the most backward or the least ambitious, went into politics. And they are a product of a Western European order which educates its elite in a spirit of exclusivity and contempt for others.

From the point of view of mass psychology, exceptionalism is a very good means of control. Those who consider themselves special, the best and unparalleled in their superiority, never compare their own position with others. This means that they are ready to accept not only aggression against “outsiders,” but also the restriction of their rights: they are still the best in the world. You are already in paradise, fellow Western Europeans, what more do you need?

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It will get dark in Germany. Too late to prevent it now.

“..Anyone who wanted to build new nuclear power plants would need 15 years and would have to spend €15-20 billion ($16.2-21.6 billion) each..”

German Chancellor Says Nuclear Power ‘Dead Horse’ Despite Energy Crunch (Sp.)

Berlin’s move to join the West’s energy sanctions against Russia and ditch Moscow’s reliable and abundant energy supplies, along with the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage and the “green agenda” aimed at replacing fossil fuels and phasing out nuclear energy, have all contributed to Germany’s dismal economic data and looming deindustrialization. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has insisted that nuclear energy “is over” in Germany, and firmly dismissed calls from Free Democrats (FDP) lawmakers in his coalition government to re-embrace the technology in light of the ongoing energy crunch. “The issue of nuclear energy in Germany is a dead horse. Anyone who wanted to build new nuclear power plants would need 15 years and would have to spend €15-20 billion ($16.2-21.6 billion) each,” the chancellor said in an interview for German radio.

He added that the phase-out “has been done by law… I don’t need to put my foot down at all.” The issue of nuclear energy has fired off a fierce debate among Germany’s coalition partners in the government: Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the Free Democrats, and the Greens. The energy crisis and soaring electricity costs have prompted the FDP to argue the need for halting the dismantling of Germany’s nuclear power plants. The door for resorting to nuclear power ought to be left open, the FDP – a proponent of the technology – has argued. The FDP’s parliamentary group approved a policy statement earlier in the week that called on Germany “to stop the dismantling of the nuclear power plants that are still fit to use,” adding: “That is the only way we will remain capable of acting in every situation.”

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“..Germany should “react accordingly to the new multipolarity.” “Germany and Europe need a sovereign foreign policy that is no longer subordinate to the US and NATO..”

Sanctions Against Russia Turning Germany Into ‘Kamikaze’ – MP (RT)

Western sanctions have failed to destabilize Russia and are now backfiring on the countries that imposed them, including Germany, Sevim Dagdelen, a German MP from the Left Party (Die Linke) wrote in an op-ed for the Berliner Zeitung published on Friday. According to the lawmaker, Russia’s economy has successfully weathered the restrictions and is steadily adjusting to the new economic realities. “In order to ruin Russia, it was hoped that the punitive measures that violate international law will have a long-lasting effect. But the reality is different. Even the Russian auto industry is recovering. Chinese companies are stepping in for the German manufacturers who leave Russia,” Dagdelen wrote. “Contrary to what was hoped, Russia has not been ruined. The consequences of the sanctions are evident, but on our side.

“While Germany’s economy collapsed by 0.3% in the last quarter and stagnation is also threatening the Eurozone, Russia is now forecast to grow by 2.5% this year. As is often the case, a merciless idealism characteristic of the German ruling party obscures the view of reality.” According to the lawmaker, the sanctions are strengthening Russia while the German government “is ruining domestic economy with open eyes.” “The federal government acts here like a kamikaze pilot, replacing politics with dubious morality and is happy about a friendly nod from Washington,” she stated, noting that double-digit inflation in Germany is the product of sanctions, as well as the “ever increasing military support for Ukraine.” Dagdelen also noted that the sanctions war has prompted the largest redistribution of capital in the country, with large corporations boosting profits while ordinary German consumers suffer from a drop in real wages and a cost-of-living crisis.

The lawmaker criticized the government that “wants nothing to do with diplomacy” and urged Berlin to distance itself from Washington and NATO. She suggested closer ties with BRICS, a G7 rival economic bloc of countries that includes Russia and that will represent nearly 40% of global GDP after it officially admits new members at the beginning of next year. According to Dagdelen, Germany should “react accordingly to the new multipolarity.” “Germany and Europe need a sovereign foreign policy that is no longer subordinate to the US and NATO. Supporting the BRICS peace initiative would be a first step towards freeing ourselves from the socially and politically fatal paternalism of the US. It would represent a step towards democratic sovereignty. No war is our war, not even this one.”

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No solutions here.

EU Migration System ‘Has Been Broken For Years’ – Austria (RT)

The EU must urgently fix its dysfunctional asylum system to prevent another iteration of the 2015 migration crisis that could potentially lead to the collapse of the entire bloc, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said in an interview published on Saturday. Speaking to Welt am Sonntag, Nehammer railed against the current EU regulations, claiming that the bloc’s “asylum system has been broken for years” and calling for immediate action. He admitted that while European policymakers have finally got “more sense of reality” and had started discussing migration, “the road is far from over.” According to the chancellor, migration is among the serious issues that need to be addressed at the European level, “as irregular migration can be an issue that can divide and possibly even destroy the European Union.”

To solve the problem, Nehammer proposed a list of changes, including the creation of effective border protection, rapid asylum procedures both at the EU’s external borders and in third countries, and concluding agreements with other nations allowing for the rapid deportation of migrants. He also strongly opposed an initiative supported by Germany and the EU Parliament that would exempt women with children from these suggested practices, branding it “impractical and ultimately counterproductive.” According to Nehammer, such an exemption would result in women and children being sent off by their relatives “on the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean and helplessly handed over to unscrupulous traffickers.”

“Such a derogation would be practically an invitation for women with children to risk illegal migration to Europe – and, if protection is granted, to bring the entire family to join them,” Nehammer told the German newspaper. The bloc saw a sharp increase in asylum applications between June 2022 and May 2023, according to EU data. The number is approaching the record levels of the 2015 crisis, when some 1.3 million migrants sought refuge in the EU. In 2022 alone, the number of asylum applications in the bloc hit almost one million, with the most people coming from Syria, Afghanistan, and Türkiye. Furthermore, the bloc’s social welfare system remains under severe pressure from refugees who fled to the EU from Ukraine.

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“.. there is no other possible vision of the future in the modern Western liberal civilization outside of global decay..”

Alexander Dugin: Global Liberalism in Crisis (Sp.)

Liberalism is headed for “catastrophe” following decades of global ideological hegemony, political philosopher Alexander Dugin told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 allowed liberalism to emerge as the undisputed, dominant global ideology. Over the past several years, however, the ideology’s future has come increasingly under question. Populist upheavals in the United States and Europe exposed growing discontent with the inability of liberal institutions to cope with foreign policy and economic failures. At the same time, new emerging powers such as Russia, China, and India among others have begun to put forth their own ideological alternatives. Dugin said that liberalism had no solutions for the problems it helped create – a fact that is implicitly admitted by the ideology’s own supporters.

Liberalism’s only path forward, he warned, was to double down on its mistakes. “If we consider the futuristic vision in the cinema and the art made by the Liberal West, we don’t see a single positive scenario. Everything is a ‘Mad Max’, everything is Armageddon – atomic catastrophe, atmospheric catastrophe, or ecological catastrophe,” he said. “So, there is no other possible vision of the future in the modern Western liberal civilization outside of global decay. That offers a revelation of liberalism’s inner void because liberalism started as an individualistic version of humanism, but now it is approaching anti-human, transhuman individualism.” “That is precisely the political agenda of [Joe] Biden, of Kamala Harris, of modern day progressives in the United States that are openly post-human,” he added.

“They are trying to destroy history, the family, the sexes, and all kinds of traditional institutions. It is just a kind of imperative, political imperative of destruction of humanity. So, that is the catastrophe [of liberalism].” Dugin argued that liberalism was a “disguised path to the abyss” from the very beginning due to its intrinsic desire to tear down all forms of collective identity, such as religion, family, and nationality, in the name of individualism. The Russian philosopher insisted that it was only a matter of time before the ideology began trying to deconstruct the very concept of humanity. “The last thing [liberals] needed to accomplish on their way is to liberate individuals from their human identity – precisely because it is the last form of collective identity,” he said. As evidence of liberals’ increasingly “anti-human” worldview, Dugin pointed to the growing popularity of transhumanism, a movement that advocates for the use of emerging technologies to remake human beings, and radical environmentalism among Western elites.

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“..Fukuyama is left only doomed to lecture the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, the last hope of globalists to stop the onset of multipolarity..”

7 Civilisations -1 Against 6 (Alexander Dugin)

But at the XV summit, held from 22 to 24 August 2023 in Johannesburg, the final formation of the multipolar club took place. The entry of three Islamic powers – Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia and the UAE – was fundamental. Thus, the direct participation in the multipolar world of the entire Islamic civilisation, represented by both branches – Sunnism and Shiism – was assured. In addition, along with Portuguese-speaking Brazil, Spanish-speaking Argentina, another strong and independent power, joined the BRICS. Even in the mid-twentieth century, theorists of South American unification into a consolidated “Greater Space” – primarily Argentine general Juan Perón and Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas – considered a decisive rapprochement between Brazil and Argentina to be the first principle of this process. If this is achieved, the process of integration of the Latin American ecumene (term of A.Buela) will be irreversible. And that is exactly what is happening now in the context of the accession of the two major powers of South America, Brazil and Argentina, to the multipolar club.

The admission of Ethiopia is also highly symbolic. It is the only African country that remained independent throughout the colonial era, preserving its sovereignty, its independence and its unique culture (Ethiopians are the oldest Christian people). Combined with South Africa, Ethiopia strengthens by its presence in the multipolar club the African continent as a whole. In fact, the new composition of the BRICS gives us a complete model of uniting all poles – civilisations, “Greater Spaces”, with the exception of the West, which desperately seeks to preserve its hegemony and unipolar structure. But now it faces not disparate and fragmented countries, full of internal and external contradictions, but a united force of the majority of humanity, determined to build a multipolar world. This multipolar world consists of the following civilisations:

— The West (the USA+EU and their vassals, which includes, alas, the once proud and sovereign Japan now degraded to passive puppet of the Western conquerors);
— China (+Taiwan) with its satellites;
— Russia (as an integrator of the entire Eurasian space);
— India and its zone of influence;
— Latin America (with the core of Brazil+Argentina);
— Africa (South Africa+Ethiopia, with Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, etc., liberated from French colonial influence).
— Islamic world (in both versions – Shiite Iran, Sunni Saudi Arabia and UAE).

At the same time, one civilisation – the Western one – claims hegemony, while the other six deny it, accepting only a multipolar system and recognising the West as only one of the civilisations, along with others. May be still strongest (relatively and not for too long) but not unique. So the rightness of Samuel Huntington, who saw the future in the return of civilisations, has been confirmed in practice, while the fallacy of Fukuyama’s thesis, who believed that the global hegemony of the liberal West (the end of history) has already been achieved, has become obvious. Therefore, Fukuyama is left only doomed to lecture the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, the last hope of globalists to stop the onset of multipolarity, for which Russia in Ukraine is fighting today.

August 2023 can be considered the birthday of the multipolar world. Multipolarity is established and somehow institutionalized. It is time to take a closer look at how the civilisational poles themselves interpret the situation in which they find themselves. And here we should take into account that virtually every sovereign civilisation has its own idea of the structure of history, the nature of historical time, its direction, the goal and the end. Contrary to Fukuyama, who ambitiously proclaimed a single end of history (in his liberal version), each sovereign civilisation operates with its own understanding, interpretation and description of the end of history.

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X thread.

Why They Hate Imran Khan? A Short Note. (Haider Mehdi)

*Why they hate Imran Khan? A Short Note. Haider Mehdi. 1 Sep 2023*

He took away religion from the Molvis. Took away Spirituality from the Sufis. Took away intellectualism from the intellectuals. Took away social welfare from the socialists/ leftists / communists. Took away patriotism from the Military. Took away machismo from the so called hulks. Took away fame from the rich and famous.

Every man, father, husband, brother hates him because their wives, sisters and daughters fell madly in love with him! He left everybody without their pretentious personas. Naked! Except the poor. To whom he gives dignity and compassion and well being. And the Youth to whom he gives hope and pride. And the Nation to whom he gives self respect and honour! He’s a rare one. Value him. Save him. Fight for him. Sacrifice for him.

Salaams and Prayers
Haider Mehdi

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Windows
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697966780788924516

 

 

Future or climate killer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 302023
 
 August 30, 2023  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Joan Miró Caballo, pipa y flor roja (Horse Pipe and Red Flower) , 1920

 

Zelensky In Danger Of Military Coup – Larry Johnson (RT)
Zelensky Aide’s Claim Raises ‘Apocalyptic’ Risks – Medvedev (RT)
Kremlin Reacts To Claim West Endorses Destroying ‘Everything Russian’ (RT)
Orbán Warns Tucker “A 3rd World War Is Knocking On The Door” (ZH)
Ukraine Security Guarantees Won’t Be Ready This Year – WSJ (RT)
Putin’s Attitude To Western Sanctions Shocked Scholz – Bild (RT)
US-Led Campaign To Use Ukraine To ‘Cripple’ Russia Has Failed (Tony Cox)
‘Dying By The Dozens Every Day’ – Ukraine Losses Climb (BBC)
End Game For The American Empire (Jim Quinn)
Petrodollar Be Warned (Bhadrakumar)
Pakistani Court Suspends Imran Khan’s Prison Sentence (RT)
Raffensperger and Meadows Testify in Key Hearing on Georgia Allegations (Turley)
Washington Post Stands by Controversial Claims (Turley)
National Archive Has 5,400 Biden Pseudonym Documents From Time As VP (ZH)
A New Covid ‘Variant’…Just in Time for Election Season! (Ron Paul)
More Than 1,600 Scientists Declare Climate ‘Emergency’ A Myth (JTN)

 

 

 

 

There are more such videos, like this one that Trump posted.

 

 

Tucker Putin

 

 

 

 

RFK vaccines

 

 

What is this?

 

 

 

 

“Zelensky very well could be ousted in a coup within the next three to four weeks, because of the great disgruntlement among troops on the eastern front..”

“..Washington will have to figure out how to “back away” from the conflict, because it has massively underestimated Russia’s economic and military strength..”

Zelensky In Danger Of Military Coup – Larry Johnson (RT)

Failures on the battlefield could push the Ukrainian military to move against President Vladimir Zelensky, retired CIA analyst Larry Johnson has said. “Zelensky very well could be ousted in a coup within the next three to four weeks, because of the great disgruntlement among troops on the eastern front,” Johnson told Redacted host Clayton Morris in an interview posted over the weekend. Ukraine’s grand offensive in Zaporozhye, launched in early June with Western-trained troops and NATO-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, has failed to achieve a breakthrough anywhere. Additional brigades, intended to exploit the intended breach, have been deployed to continue the frontal attacks instead, to the point that the US and its allies are publicly airing their frustrationswith Ukrainian tactics.

Johnson is not the first American analyst to speculate about the military turning on Zelensky. Earlier this month, former US Marine officer Scott Ritter said the likelihood of a military coup was growing with each destroyed Ukrainian brigade. “We could be reaching a Kerensky 1917 moment, where the military just says ‘We’re done’,” Ritter told MOATS host George Galloway. He also brought up a recent Politico article, which laid out who would run Ukraine if Russia somehow assassinated Zelensky. According to Ritter, however, Moscow has no intention of going after Zelensky, as he might be replaced by someone even more hardline.

Johnson told Redacted that the way the conflict is going, Ukraine’s survival as a country was “in great doubt.” Kiev is already entirely dependent on the West, and its needs will only grow while its capabilities will continue to shrink, the former CIA official said. The US strategy for the conflict was to trap Russia in an unwinnable war and induce regime change in Moscow, according to Johnson. Instead, “that’s going to happen to Ukraine,” and Washington will have to figure out how to “back away” from the conflict, because it has massively underestimated Russia’s economic and military strength. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reasoned along similar lines earlier this month, saying in an interview that Ukraine’s Western patrons are publicly committed to “fight until the last Ukrainian” but have a history of abandoning their allies and proxies, from South Vietnam to “Ashraf Ghani’s regime in Afghanistan in 2021.”

Faced with Western concerns about his legitimacy if he cancels the 2024 presidential election, Zelensky has proposed holding the vote – but demanded funding from the West to do so. The Ukrainian leader has also voiced fears that he might be abandoned by the West if Ukraine goes too far in attacking Russia. His aide Mikhail Podolyak has since argued that the US and its allies have given their blessing for attacks on “occupied territories” – meaning Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson. Since Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in 2014 and the four regions did the same last September, Moscow considers them no less Russian territory than Belgorod or Kursk, which have also been targeted by Ukraine.

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“..a reasonable casus belli to justify corresponding actions by Moscow against “everyone in NATO states.”

Zelensky Aide’s Claim Raises ‘Apocalyptic’ Risks – Medvedev (RT)

A recent claim by an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that Western nations support Kiev’s attempts to “destroy everything Russian”increases the risk of all-out war between Moscow and NATO, former president Dmitry Medvedev has said. Commenting on Mikhail Podoliak’s statement, the former Russian leader wrote on his Telegram channel: “If this is true, and we have no reason to doubt that it is, then it constitutes direct, legally significant proof of Western involvement in a war against Russia” and serves as a reasonable casus belli to justify corresponding actions by Moscow against “everyone in NATO states.” Medevedev went on to warn that “the predictions of the Apocalypse are getting closer.”

Podoliak made his claims in an interview on Ukrainian TV on Monday, stating that foreign backers were increasingly supportive of all actions Kiev deem necessary in its fight against Moscow. “A year ago, even when there were some strikes on Crimea, everyone said: ‘No, no, let’s just do without it’. Today, the absolute consensus among the countries that support us is that we can destroy everything Russian in the occupied territories,” he declared. He further pledged to ramp up strikes deep inside Russia by “unknown drones.” Kiev does not formally claim credit for regular kamikaze drone attacks on Moscow and other Russian cities.

The campaign was detailed by The Economist on Sunday, described as partially “intended to have a psychological impact” on the Russian population, and facilitated by Western intelligence regarding Russian air defenses. According to the British magazine, Kiev supports competing drone operators, both private and state-run. Some of the strikes “appear to be PR projects designed to bring a prototype to the attention of procurement bosses, rather than having military value,” the outlet noted. Senior Russian officials have accused the US and its allies of waging a proxy war against their nation, with Ukraine providing “cannon fodder.” Kiev relies on the West for weapons, funding, training and intelligence in the conflict, and some in Washington have declared the “strategic defeat” of Russia their goal.

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“And they certainly want to do everything possible and impossible to drag Western nations as deep as they can into this conflict..”

Kremlin Reacts To Claim West Endorses Destroying ‘Everything Russian’ (RT)

Claims by an aide of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that Western nations support efforts to “destroy everything Russian” in Crimea are merely wishful thinking, a Kremlin spokesman has said. “Representatives of the Kiev regime want to believe that. And they certainly want to do everything possible and impossible to drag Western nations as deep as they can into this conflict,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday. He suggested there was a “clash of points of view” regarding an acceptable level of involvement for the US and its allies in targeting Crimea, since officials “realize the inevitable drawbacks” of this policy. Mikhail Podoliak, the Ukrainian aide behind the claim, alleged that Western nations were increasingly supportive of the way his government is attacking Russian targets.

“A year ago, even when there were some strikes on Crimea, everyone said: ‘No, no, let’s just do without it.’ Today, the absolute consensus among the countries that support us is that we can destroy everything Russian in the occupied territories,” he said on Ukrainian television on Monday. Podoliak added that attacks on Moscow and other Russian locations by “unknown drones” will be escalated. Ukrainian officials do not claim credit for the regular kamikaze drone raids, for which Moscow has blamed Kiev’s forces. Zelensky claimed in a recent interview that, if the armed conflict were to spill over into territory that Kiev and its supporters recognize as Russia, his country would be “left alone.” According to The Economist, Ukrainian drone attacks are to some extent part of Kiev’s psychological warfare, and reflect competition among Ukrainian drone operators for funding.

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His English is very good. You go try learn Hungarian…

Orbán Warns Tucker “A 3rd World War Is Knocking On The Door” (ZH)

Reflecting on NATO’s stance in the Ukraine war, Orbán exclaims: “this is a bad strategy, we have to stop it” adding that “we cannot beat [the Russians], we will not kill their leader, they will never give it up, they will invest more.” “What finally will count is boots on the ground, and the Russians are far stronger.” Orbán then makes the ultimate mistake among global leaders, he praises former US president Trump: “Call back Trump. That’s the only way out. Call back Trump,” Orbán said. “Because you know, you can criticize him for many reasons. I understand all the discussion. But the best foreign policy of the recent several decades belonged to him. He did not initiate any new war. He treated nicely the North Koreans and Russia, even the Chinese. You know, he delivered a policy which was the best one for the Middle East, Abraham Accords. So he had very good foreign policy.”

“He’s [Trump] criticized because he’s not educated enough to understand foreign policy. This is not the case,” Orbán told Carlson. “Facts count and his foreign policy was the best form for the world in the last several decades I have seen. And if he would have been the president at the moment the Russian invasion started, no, it would not be possible to do that by the Russians. So Trump is the man to save the world and probably the human beings in the world as well.” Additionally, commenting on the fact that the US government is currently indicting the former president, the Hungarian leader frowns and says: “…using the justice system against a political opponent… in Hungary, that’s impossible to imagine… that was done by the communists.”

Tucker Orban

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What are these alleged “guarantees”?

Ukraine Security Guarantees Won’t Be Ready This Year – WSJ (RT)

Ukraine’s Western backers are unlikely to finalize security guarantees for Kiev by the end of this year, the Wall Street Journal has reported. With only the US and UK having started talks, a lot of question marks still hang over the nature and scope of the future commitments, the media outlet claims. In an article on Monday, the WSJ, citing anonymous European officials, reported that security guarantees are expected to take many months to thrash out, with some of the bilateral arrangements likely to be agreed only next year. For the time being, there is no consensus on how detailed the pledges should be, the newspaper claimed.

Among the thorny issues to be resolved is reportedly the question of correctly predicting Ukraine’s future military needs and ensuring that Western defense industries can fulfill any such promises without undermining their own countries’ defense capabilities. To date, the US and the UK are the only two nations to have set the process in motion, with the State Department announcing that American and Ukrainian officials held their first meeting in early August. Several days later, London also confirmed the start of negotiations. According to the WSJ, US officials are hoping to hold a second round of talks in the coming weeks, with French representatives expecting to sit down with the Ukrainians around the same time as well.

Elsewhere in Europe, negotiations have yet to start, the article noted. The Biden administration is reportedly anxious to prevent its successor in the Oval Office from backtracking on any security commitments. With Donald Trump comfortably in the lead among the Republican contenders, European allies are said to be concerned that, if elected in 2024, he may renege on any agreement, just like he did with the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal during his first term. The Republican firebrand has repeatedly argued that US military aid for Ukraine should be scaled back.

In an interview with 1+1 TV channel on Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said he expected to “have an Israeli model, the one which has weapons, technologies, training, funding.” Israel has been the biggest recipient of US foreign military aid since World War II, although annual allocations for Ukraine have surpassed those offered to West Jerusalem since hostilities between Kiev and Moscow erupted last year. The G7 countries pledged to provide Ukraine with security guarantees after NATO failed to offer the country membership during its Vilnius summit in July. More than a dozen other countries, mostly European, have since agreed to join the initiative. In mid-July, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow had nothing against security guarantees for Ukraine in principle, so long as Russia’s national security is not compromised.

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Putin had foreseen the sanctions, Scholz had not?!

Putin’s Attitude To Western Sanctions Shocked Scholz – Bild (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was surprised by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s complete lack of concern about Western sanctions shortly after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, Bild has reported. In an article on Monday, the German tabloid cited the contents of a conversation between Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, which was revealed by journalist Stephan Lamby in his new book ‘Emergency: Governing in Times of War’. The exchange, in which the two leaders discussed their phone calls with Putin, is said to have taken place on March 4, 2022 – just over a week after Moscow sent its forces into Ukraine. It’s “not getting any better,” Scholz reportedly told Macron during that conversation.

“Something bothers me more than the talks: [Putin] doesn’t complain about the sanctions at all. I don’t know if he did that in conversation with you, but he didn’t even mention the sanctions,” he remarked. The French leader replied that Putin hadn’t addressed the issue of Western restrictions during phone calls with him either. The US and EU imposed stringent sanctions on Moscow after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, expecting them to cripple the Russian economy and prevent the country from supporting its military effort. However, the measures failed to achieve the desired result. Earlier this month, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said Russia had fully overcome the economic downturn caused by Western restrictions and had “good” prospects for rapid development.

During their exchange, Scholz told Macron that the Russian leader had outlined “his ideas on how to find a compromise. He spoke of demilitarization, denazification.” The German chancellor also said Putin had “asked me for Crimea to be recognized as part of Russia,” and the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk to be recognized as independent states. “Nothing new, to put it bluntly,” he added. The two republics officially became part of the Russian state together with Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions last fall as a result of referendums held in those areas. Kiev and its Western backers labeled the referendums a “sham.” According to the German chancellor, he also proposed holding a summit in a bid to find a solution to the crisis.

“When I asked him whether there might be a meeting on Ukraine, sooner or later, with you, me, [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky and with him – Putin – he did not completely refuse.” However, he added that the Russian president had set out two conditions for such a summit to happen. These specified that the talks shouldn’t become grounds for a ceasefire and that they should take place without Zelensky’s participation, he claimed. No such summit has since been organized, while phone conversations between Putin and the leaders of Germany and France have also come to a halt in recent months. After listening to Scholz, Macron replied: “Thank you, that was very similar to the conversation I had with [Putin] yesterday. I think he is now quite determined to go to the end.”

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“The 2023 Russian Army is a different beast from the 2022 Russian Army from the early stages of the war.”

US-Led Campaign To Use Ukraine To ‘Cripple’ Russia Has Failed (Tony Cox)

While assessments of the battlefield situation diverge wildly, NATO has clearly failed so far in its effort to weaken the Russian military. Moscow’s forces are inarguably stronger, better-armed and larger today than when the conflict started in February 2022. They’ve also gained 18 months of experience in fighting NATO-trained troops and countering NATO-supplied weaponry. In fact, Russian troops have become so formidable in this regard that even Western media outlets have quoted defense analysts on the increasingly effective tactics employed by Moscow’s battle-hardened forces. Those experts have praised the Russian military’s abilities in shooting down Ukrainian drones, setting up redoubtable defensive lines, and destroying tanks and artillery units. Retired UK General Sir Richard Barrons contrasted Russia’s “textbook” defensive positions against the current Ukrainian counteroffensive with Moscow’s retreat last year from wide swathes of territory in the Kharkov and Kherson regions.

“If you add all that together, everybody knows this will be a harder fight than for Kherson and Kharkiv in the autumn of last year,” Barrons told Associated Press in June. He added that Ukraine’s backers have used Kiev’s successes in taking back territory last year as “benchmarks, which I think is unfair, unreasonable in the circumstances.”The Center for European Policy Assessment (CEPA), which is funded by a variety of US weapons makers, offered a similar view on the strengthening of Russia’s military. “The Russians have gone to school on the Ukrainians and have been learning quickly,” Chels Michta, a US military intelligence officer, wrote in May. “The 2023 Russian Army is a different beast from the 2022 Russian Army from the early stages of the war.”

Another measure of the increased effectiveness of Russian forces is the fact that Kiev has reportedly abandoned the battle tactics preached by Western military trainers. In response to heavy losses by the nine NATO-trained brigades at the forefront of their counteroffensive, “Ukrainian military commanders have changed tactics, focusing on wearing down Russian forces with artillery and long-range missiles instead of plunging into minefields under fire,” the New York Times reported on August 2, citing unidentified US officials. [..] Russia also has more troops to work with than when the conflict began. More than 231,000 Russians have signed contracts to enlist so far this year, National Security Council deputy chief Dmitry Medvedev said on August 3. Moscow called up 300,000 reservists in 2022.

After increasing the number of Russian combat troops by about 13% to 1.15 million, Putin approved a plan in December to expand by a further 30%, to 1.5 million, in the years ahead. Despite the casualties suffered in Ukraine, Russian ground forces are clearly bigger than when the conflict began, US Army General Christopher Cavoli has conceded. Cavoli, who heads the US European Command, told US lawmakers in April that Russian naval and air-force losses had been minimal.

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The BBC, quoting NYT quoting “US officials”, says 70,000 Ukraine deaths. We know, from Macgregor et al, that the real number is 400,000 or more. Why would the BBC volunteer to be off by 80%+?

‘Dying By The Dozens Every Day’ – Ukraine Losses Climb (BBC)

There has been a dramatic rise in Ukraine’s number of dead, according to new estimates by unnamed US officials. The BBC’s Quentin Sommerville has been on the front line in the east, where the grim task of counting the dead has become a daily reality. The unknown soldiers lie piled high in a small brick mortuary, not very far from the front line in Donetsk, where 26-year-old Margo says she speaks to the dead. “It may sound weird… but I’m the one who wants to apologise for their deaths. I want to thank them somehow. It’s as if they can hear, but they can’t respond.” At her cluttered desk outside the mortuary’s heavy door, she sits, pen in hand. It is her job to record the particulars of the fallen. Ukraine gives no official toll of its war dead – the Ukrainian armed forces have reiterated that their war casualty numbers are a state secret – but Margo knows the losses are huge.

The figures remain classified. But US officials, quoted by the New York Times, recently put the number at 70,000 dead and as many as 120,000 injured. It is a staggering figure, from an armed forces estimated at only half a million strong. The UN has recorded 9,177 civilian deaths to date. [..] As recently as April, leaked estimates from the Pentagon put Ukrainian deaths at the much lower figure of 17,500. The alleged jump to more than 70,000 can be partly explained by the counter-offensive in the south. In its early days it was especially hard on Ukrainian infantry – “worse than Bakhmut” one brigade commander who is fighting there told me. The city in Donetsk fell to Russia in May in one of the bloodiest battles of the war so far.

Ukraine has now changed tactics there, but the beginning of the push to breach Russia’s occupation defences in June was costly, for young newly trained soldiers in particular. They were dying “by the dozens” every day, one senior sergeant fighting around the Donetsk village of Velyka Novosilka told me in June. At the mortuary, one of a number along the front line, they work to put names to the unknown soldiers, who come direct from the battlefield. sBody bags are brought outside, one at a time, and the search for clues begins. Inside the first body bag is the corpse of a young man, his eyes still open, his hands folded carefully across his lap.

His face is cut, and there is a gash on the side of his leg. Another body is brought out, the fingers missing on the right hand, blood and battlefield mud stain his uniform. Their pockets are cut open by mortuary staff, still full of the artefacts of everyday life – keys, a mobile phone, a wallet with family snaps. In death, these items are now clues that might reunite the unidentified with their families. Written in black marker pen on another body bag, the word “Unidentified” is scored out and replaced with a man’s name and army company details. More body bags emerge, but reporting restrictions don’t allow me to say how many.

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“..He makes James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter look like Mount Rushmore candidates..”

End Game For The American Empire (Jim Quinn)

I believe Ray Dalio‘s chart of the changing world order is accurate as to where we stand in the cycle, even though he is one of those global elitists. The beginning of the decline can be pegged to the start of the 21st Century, with the dot.com crash and 9/11 ushering in an astronomical increase in debt, money printing, and despotism, as each crisis created by debt and money printing was met with the “solution” of more debt and money printing. With interest on the national debt about to surpass $1 trillion per year and unfunded future debt obligations exceeding $200 trillion, there is no way out. The American economic system will implode in a matter of a few years.

The internal conflict since the election of Trump in 2016 and the subsequent coup, election fraud, scamdemic, and now unwarranted un-Constitutional persecution of Trump, leaves the country on the brink of civil war. I know the regime media and distracted masses scoff at the possibility of civil war, but the same was true in 1859. There are a lot of rightfully angry people in this country with a seething rage for those who have destroyed this country for their own gain. The 2024 election sure seems like a spark that could ignite this powder keg, and the 300 million weapons owned by the angry people are waiting to be put to proper use.

I believe we are already in the midst of stages 16 – Loss of Reserve Currency and 17 – Weak Leadership. The American empire initiated war in the Ukraine has set in motion the demise of the USD as the reserve currency of the world, ending its seventy seven year reign as the one and only settlement currency for global trade. Biden, the weakest, dumbest, most corrupt, illegitimate president in the history of our country, has succeeded in pushing Russia, China, India, Brazil, and now the Middle East and South American oil producers towards an economic alliance which will accelerate the demise of the USD.

Biden, as the puppet of evil globalist forces, has encouraged an invasion of our southern border by barbarian hordes, has destroyed our economy, flouted the Constitution, and has set us on a path towards global conflict. He makes James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter look like Mount Rushmore candidates compared to his “accomplishments”. They were just ineffective and weak. He is corrupt, evil and destructive. 2024 would be the sixteenth year of this Fourth Turning, right in the wheelhouse of civil war, revolution, and global conflict. We have entered the endgame and now it’s just a matter of how much destruction, death, and retribution will be required to achieve a new world order better than what we have today. Not winning is not an option.

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“The times ahead will be turbulent as the old, self-centered, hegemonic western mindset won’t surrender easily..”

Petrodollar Be Warned (Bhadrakumar)

[..] the historical significance of the BRICS expansion needs to be weighed in the following terms: First, Iran and two erstwhile US regional allies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, get much-needed space to negotiate an equal relationship with Washington based on mutual respect and benefit. Make no mistake, they are in a mood to capitalize on it. Second, the western dominance of West Asia is ending, in a historical sense, heralding a profound shift in the regional order. The process that China kickstarted – with quiet Russian support from behind the curtain – in mediating the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation will now advance toward its logical conclusion sooner rather than later.

This means that the west’s colonial mindset of “divide and rule” will have no takers anymore among regional states. Thus, what happened in Johannesburg would be consequential for Israel and Turkey as well. Finally, most importantly, the de-dollarization process, which would have moved at a snail’s pace, will now accelerate. What Putin had warned when the Biden administration imposed the “sanctions from hell” against Russia — especially its ouster from the SWIFT payment system —namely, that there would be a very heavy price to pay by the United States, is coming true. The blowback is only beginning in the international financial and trading system. The west simply cannot win in the looming confrontation with the Global Majority. And the transition can be addressed by Washington only through reconciliation with Moscow and Beijing, not an easy poison for the Americans to swallow.

That will have to begin with an end to the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and a retreat or abandonment of the attempt to fuel tensions with China over Taiwan. On the other hand, any change of course in the US strategy away from its belligerent militarized policies will have long-term implications for the entire US-led western alliance system, while in the short term, impacting President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, too. The humiliating defeat in the Ukraine war cannot be covered up any longer. The times ahead will be turbulent as the old, self-centered, hegemonic western mindset won’t surrender easily. As for the entrenched interest groups in the US and Europe, their basic instinct will be to manufacture delaying tactics to stall the march of history. But it won’t work if BRICS stays the course.

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Striking similarities between the Trump and Imran Khan cases. Both non-politicians, both immensely popular, both hounded mercilessly by the political elites. 100 charges against Trump, 181 against Khan.

“..the US State Department had pressured Pakistan to oust Khan over his “aggressively neutral position” on Ukraine.”

Pakistani Court Suspends Imran Khan’s Prison Sentence (RT)

The former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has had his jail sentence suspended after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered his release on bail on Tuesday. Khan was found guilty earlier this month of having illegally concealed and sold gifts that he’d accepted on behalf of the state during his time in office. The suspension of Khan’s sentence was announced by a two-judge bench of the IHC, which overturned a lower-court decision to imprison the former premier for three years then ordered Khan’s immediate release. Khan continues to face dozens of other charges, however, meaning he may yet be rearrested as soon as he is released from the maximum-security prison in Attock where he is currently being held.

His spokesperson Raoof Hasan has told Al Jazeera that Khan should not have been convicted in the first place, calling the charges against him a “fake case without any substance.” “We are only hoping that he is not rearrested in one of the 180-plus frivolous or fraudulent cases that have been unfortunately registered against him,” Hasan told the outlet, noting that in nine cases specifically, Khan was denied bail because he could not appear before the court as he was already in prison. To counter the possibility of a rearrest, Hasan stated that Khan’s legal team has submitted a petition for a “blanket bail” which would “ensure he will not be rearrested in any other cases after the suspension of his current sentence.” A hearing on the issue of the blanket bail is likely to take place on Wednesday, according to Al Jazeera.

While Khan’s supporters have applauded the court’s decision and are preparing for his release, his opponents are pointing out that it may be too early for celebrations. Lawyer Mirza Moiz Baig explained to Al Jazeera that “It is important to remember that only the sentence has been suspended, not the actual conviction” and that, despite the suspension, Khan remains barred from electoral politics for another five years and will not be able to contest upcoming elections. After losing a no-confidence vote in April, Khan, who is now 70, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has insisted that the charges against him were politically motivated. A report by The Intercept earlier this month also suggested that the US State Department had pressured Pakistan to oust Khan over his “aggressively neutral position” on Ukraine.

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“Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes.”

Raffensperger and Meadows Testify in Key Hearing on Georgia Allegations (Turley)

The hearing yesterday on the motion of former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to remove his case to federal court from Georgia state court had a number of notable moments. The testimony of both Meadows and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger offered insights into the case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. While I have said that the sweeping indictment contains some serious allegations of criminal conduct against individual defendants, I have been critical of its broad scope and its implications for free speech in future challenges to election. Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes. What was most striking is that Raffensperger confirmed a key aspect of “the call” with Georgia officials that I previously raised about the purpose of that call. For his part, Meadows categorically denied key allegations made by Willis in the indictment.

The hearing confirmed, as I have noted, that there are good-faith arguments on both sides of the removal issue. In my view, Meadows and his counsel, George J. Terwilliger III, did well overall in showing that Chief of Staff has a broad portfolio of responsibilities and it is not possible to dismiss all of the cited actions in this indictment as purely political and not involving official conduct. Yet, as U.S. District Judge Steve Jones noted, there is little clarity on this issue in terms of precedent and we will have to await his decision. There will likely be an appeal of any order. I thought both Meadows and Raffensperger did well on the stand. I was particularly interested in Raffensperger’s description of the call. I have always supported Raffensperger on his position in that call and the decisions of his staff. I have also rejected the claims of former President Donald Trump on the election allegations and his claims in the call.

Despite the recent attack in the Washington Post, it is not the merits of Trump’s claims but the use of the call as a criminal act that drew my criticism. The call was misrepresented by the Post and the transcript later showed that Trump was not simply demanding that votes be added to the count but rather asking for another recount or continued investigation. Again, I disagreed with that position but the words about the finding of 11,780 votes was in reference to what he was seeking in a continued investigation. Critics were enraged by the suggestion that Trump was making the case for a recount as opposed to just demanding the addition of votes to the tally or fraudulent findings. Raffensperger described the call in the same terms. He correctly described the call as “extraordinary” in a president personally seeking such an investigation, particularly after the completion of the earlier recount. That is manifestly true. However, he also acknowledged that this was a “settlement negotiation.”

So what was the subject of the settlement talks? Another recount or further investigation. The very thing that critics this week were apoplectic about in the coverage. That does not mean that Trump had grounds for the demand. Trump participation in the call was extraordinary and his demands were equally so. However, the reference to the vote deficit in demanding continued investigation was a predictable argument in such a settlement negotiation. As I previously stated, I have covered such challenges for years as a legal analyst for CBS, NBC, BBC, and Fox. Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes.

[..] The most interesting takeaway is that Willis may have overplayed her hand by including Meadows. In doing so, she may have created the strongest avenue for removal. I believe that she hoped that Meadows would “flip.” Instead, he is leading the charge to federal court. Even if Judge Jones denies the motion, it can now be appealed and that are solid arguments here in his favor. If Willis showed greater restraint, she could have omitted Meadows and the strongest claim for removal. If he succeeds, it strengthens the case for others to seek removal.

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“In other words, it was false. Not arguably false. It was false.”

Washington Post Stands by Controversial Claims (Turley)

This morning, I was surprised to receive a note from the Washington Post on my prior criticism of the Post’s Philip Bump as previously spreading “false stories” and refusing to accept the facts after they were established by the media. The Post has declared that Bump’s original claims on Lafayette Park, the Hunter Biden laptop, and Russian collusion were true and they stand by them. In light of the unprompted review by the Post, I wanted to lay out what the Post is now embracing as true. At the outset, here is the email that I received this morning: “Dear Jonathan, In your recent piece in The Hill, you wrote that “Bump has repeatedly spread false stories and then refused to accept the falsity of his own earlier claims, even after most of the media have admitted the errors.” The Washington Post stands by Philip Bump’s reporting and your characterization of his articles as “false” is incorrect.”

[..] Many of us criticized Trump’s photo op in front of the church as well as the level of force used to clear the area of Lafayette Park. Yet, media and pundits like Bump and University of Texas Professor Steve Vladeck (who is a CNN contributor) went further to claim that former Attorney General Bill Barr cleared the park in order to hold the photo op. There was never evidence to support that factual conclusion. I testified in Congress not long after the clearing of the area and stated that the conspiracy theory was already contradicted by the available evidence. I encouraged Congress to investigate the question and establish the truth of the matter. The issue was not whether it was worthy of investigation but whether it was established as fact.

We previously discussed how the Inspector General report on the Lafayette Park protests and the debunking of Bump’s conspiracy theory. The Inspector General of the Department of Interior conducted an investigation over the last year and found that the clearing was not done “to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church.” In other words, it was false. Not arguably false. It was false.

[..] The Hunter Biden Laptop and Campaign Spying. The Post also stands by Bump’s repeated claims of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign. I previously criticized Bump for those columns. Bump was, as usual, consistent and categorical in embracing any claims against Trump. For example, Bump slammed Trump for claiming that his campaign was spied on by the FBI under the Obama Administration. (Trump used the term “wiretapping” which is a rather dated term for surveillance). Bump again guffawed at the suggestion. Later it was shown that the surveillance did target both the campaign and campaign associates.

In 2021, when media organizations were finally admitting that the laptop was authentic, Bump was still declaring that it was a “conspiracy theory.” Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Bump continued to suggest that “the laptop was seeded by Russian intelligence.” The media like the New York Times later admitted that the laptop was authentic but the Post now insists that Bump was correct that the laptop was seeded by Russian intelligence and that there was never FBI spying on the Trump campaign. Bump and I have sparred in past years over Russian collusion. FBI officials have acknowledged that the Russian collusion investigation was based on false reports, including the Steele dossier. The Special Counsel found that the investigation lacked a factual foundation for the full investigation launched under former FBI Director James Comey.

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“..during his tenure as vice president.” 4 years=1450 days=over 3 pseudonym emails per day, every day. Why?

National Archive Has 5,400 Biden Pseudonym Documents From Time As VP (ZH)

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) revealed it’s in possession of some 5,400 records that contain email pseudonyms that President Joe Biden used during his tenure as vice president. The jarring number was revealed in a letter from the Archives to the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), which last year filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any documents that referenced three pseudonymous email accounts: robinware456@gmail.com, JRBWare@gmail.com and Robert.L.Peters@pci.gov. “We have performed a search of our collection for Vice Presidential records related to your [June 9, 2022] request and have identified approximately 5,138 email messages, 25 electronic files and 200 pages of potentially responsive records that must be processed in order to respond to your request,” said the letter from NARA.

Roswell, Georgia-based SLF received that letter last year, but made it public on Monday as it announced it has taken its FOIA pursuit to the next level, by filing a federal lawsuit against the Archives to compel the release of the records. “SLF requested these now highly sought after emails from NARA on June 9, 2022, through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request,” said the group in a statement. “Unfortunately, after identifying nearly 5,400 potentially responsive records, NARA has dragged its feet and still has not produced a single email. SLF now turns to the court, asking it to order NARA to produce Biden’s emails.”

The revelation of the high quantity of documents comes on the heels of a push for the same documents by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer. Earlier this month, he sent a letter to NARA asking it to turn over any unredacted documents that reference the pseudonyms. “Joe Biden has stated there was ‘an absolute wall’ between his family’s foreign business schemes and his duties as Vice President, but evidence reveals that access was wide open for his family’s influence peddling,” said Comer in a statement. “We already have evidence of then-Vice President Biden speaking, dining, and having coffee with his son’s foreign business associates,” Comer continued.

“We also know that Hunter Biden and his associates were informed of then-Vice President Biden’s official government duties in countries where they had a financial interest. The National Archives must provide these unredacted records to further our investigation into the Biden family’s corruption.” While mystery swirls around the several thousand documents, we do know that one of the emails details plans for a phone call with Ukraine’s former president, Petro Poroshenko. An aide to Biden, John Flynn, copied Hunter at his email address at Rosemont Seneca Partners – while Hunter was serving on the board of Ukrainian energy giant, Burisma, which was deemed to be corrupt by the Obama-Biden State Department.

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“The public figures who openly became monsters, demanding the unvaccinated be drummed out of society and maybe even off the face of the earth have not been shamed or shunned..”

A New Covid ‘Variant’…Just in Time for Election Season! (Ron Paul)

Just four and a half months since President Biden declared an end to the Covid “emergency,” the media is suddenly full of stories about the return of Covid. This time a new “variant” is being rolled out and the media, in collusion with big Pharma and the fear-industrial complex, are churning out stories about how forced masking is making a comeback. Also, the “unvaccinated” are again to be denied basic human rights in the name of fighting a virus that the vaccine demonstrably does not protect against. In short, they are desperately trying to revive the tyranny, insanity, and utter irrationality of the two-year Covid scare. And they are pretending none of us remembers how they destroyed society with their lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates.

They are hoping that none of us will remember the suicides, lost jobs, broken marriages, increased alcoholism and drug abuse, and the rest of what went along with the world’s experiment with global lockdown. Even Fauci himself is back – like a moth drawn to the light of publicity. Despite all the scientific evidence that the lockdowns were a disaster, that they did far more harm than good, Fauci has re-emerged with his trademark arrogance and claimed that they were the right thing to do and should be done again if that’s what it takes to force people to take the vaccine. A vaccine that does not work. They won’t even allow us to mention the spike in all-around mortality or the millions who may have been vaccine-injured the first time around.

They want us to think that 20-year-old world-class athletes have always just dropped dead of heart attacks out of the blue. It’s all normal! Don’t question it! What are you, some kind of conspiracy theorist? Are you a science-denier? Yes, look for a renewal of all those old hollow phrases used to attack those of us who can see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears. Their slogans are meant to silence any debate. The same “experts” like Fauci who claimed “I am the science” are back and they shamelessly demand to silence us again. The big question is…why? Why are they doing this and how do they think they can get away with it a second time?

One reason they believe they can get away with it again is that no one has ever been punished for what they did the first time. The Federal Government made sure that the pharmaceutical companies would not be liable for vaccine damages. The public figures who openly became monsters, demanding the unvaccinated be drummed out of society and maybe even off the face of the earth have not been shamed or shunned. Politicians who displayed cowardice and worse have not been voted out of office for their treachery. [..] Last time around they generated fear to radically change how America voted. Suddenly everyone was mailed ballots. How closely were they checked? No one knew and no one dared ask. The people who did ask about the election are now facing jail terms.

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“Misguided climate science has metastasized into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience. In turn, the pseudoscience has become a scapegoat for a wide variety of other unrelated ills.”

More Than 1,600 Scientists Declare Climate ‘Emergency’ A Myth (JTN)

A coalition of 1,609 scientists from around the world have signed a declaration stating “there is no climate emergency” and that they “strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy” being pushed across the globe. The declaration does not deny the harmful effect of greenhouse gasses, but instead challenges the hysteria brought about by the narrative of imminent doom. The declaration, put together by the Global Climate Intelligence Group (CLINTEL), was made public this month and urges that “Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific.” CLINTEL is an independent foundation that operates in the fields of climate change and climate policy. CLINTEL was founded in 2019 by emeritus professor of geophysics Guus Berkhout and science journalist Marcel Crok.

“Scientists should openly address uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of their policy measures,” the declaration says. Of the 1,609 scientists who have signed the declaration, two signatories are Nobel Prize laureates. The most recent to sign is Nobel Prize winner Dr. John F. Clauser, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics. In an announcement from CLINTEL, Clauser is quoted as saying “Misguided climate science has metastasized into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience. In turn, the pseudoscience has become a scapegoat for a wide variety of other unrelated ills. It has been promoted and extended by similarly misguided business marketing agents, politicians, journalists, government agencies, and environmentalists.”

The underlying report that engendered the declaration lays out a series of statements challenging many of the common climate claims. For example, one of the most common claims – and repeated without question by many – is that the earth will soon pass “tipping points that will lead to catastrophic environmental damage, including dangerous sea level rise, entire species going extinct, and even greater suffering in many nations, especially the poorest.” The sense of immediate crisis has been repeated constantly by mainstream media, including The New York Times, which said flatly, “Earth is likely to cross a critical threshold for global warming within the next decade.”

In 2009, former vice president Al Gore famously predicted that “the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013.” He later backtracked, according to Reuters, who said Gore was merely quoting other scientific reports. Gore had three years earlier published “An Inconvenient Truth” the subtitle of which was “The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It.” A documentary film based on the book earned $24,146,161 in gross receipts that year. sCelebrity activist Greta Thunberg tweeted in 2018 – five years after Gore’s doomsday prediction – that “climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.” The Highland County Press reported that she deleted the tweet.

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Eagle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1696565920976515411

 

 

Handpan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1696584955583750496

 

 

saki
https://twitter.com/i/status/1696617489147277428

 

 


Stunning shot of a mature supercell thunderstorm, illuminated at varying heights from the setting sun in West Texas. Photo Laura Rowe

 

 

 

 

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Aug 102023
 


Priest and scribe Ka-aper ca. 2465-2323 BC

 

Ukraine Defeat Ominous to Team Biden Admitted by US Press (Sp.)
US Stokes Tension in Persian Gulf as It Loses Control, Needs More Wars (Sp.)
West’s ‘Neo-Colonial Geopolitical Crusade Against Russia’ Is Doomed – Moscow (RT)
US Told Pakistan To Remove Imran Khan From Power – Intercept (RT)
US Regime Change Karen Wants To Speak To The Manager In Niger (Marsden)
All-Africa War Possible – Ex-Presidential Aide (RT)
GOP Memo: Hunter Sold ‘Biden’ Brand for At Least $20 Million As Joe Was VP (Sp.)
Trump: Biden ‘Petrified of China’ Because They Pay Him Millions of Dollars (Sp.)
Search Warrant Was Issued For Donald Trump’s Twitter Account (BBC)
Critical Mineral Shortage to Put US Energy Security at Risk (Sp.)
Shakespeare Banned In US School Districts Over ‘Sexual Content’ (RT)
The “Magic Negro Of The Billionaire Industrial Complex” (ZH)

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

RFK Dore

 

 

Watters

 

 

 

 

“CNN is telling it as it sees it, in its own limited way. “

Ukraine Defeat Ominous to Team Biden Admitted by US Press (Sp.)

Having lauded the Kiev regime’s resolve and the Ukrainian military’s resourcefulness for quite some time, the US mainstream press has suddenly changed its tune, being forced to admit that the well-advertised Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed. Some established American newspapers went even so far as to report that the US military tactics had proven almost useless on the Ukrainian battlefield. “After two months of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, the US press is finally waking up to the fact that the offensive is going extremely poorly,” Daniel Lazare, an independent journalist, author, and writer, told Sputnik. “Ukraine has made minimal gains due to very dense Russian defenses, including mines and drone swarms, which are completely changing the battlefield equation. This is devastating news for the Biden administration, which after the disastrous retreat from Afghanistan in August 2021, is now two years later facing an equally dangerous situation in Ukraine.”

As of August 4, Ukraine had lost more than 43,000 soldiers and over 4,900 units of various weaponry, including 26 planes, nine helicopters, 1,831 tanks and other armored fighting vehicles, including 25 German-made Leopard tanks, seven French-made AMX wheeled tanks, and 21 US-made Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), as well as 747 field artillery guns and mortars, since the beginning of Kiev’s counteroffensive, per Russia’s Ministry of Defense. Thus, Ukraine’s attrition rate is so high it could hardly be ignored by Western politicians and corporate press. “These articles are not a ploy. That’s not how the US mass media works. They’re honest,” Lazare said. “CNN is telling it as it sees it, in its own limited way.

And after months of pro-Pentagon propaganda, where CNN essentially toed the Defense Department line all the way, essentially now it realizes it can’t do that much longer because the facts are running strongly against it. So CNN, The New York Times, Politico, etc., are forced to recognize the reality of what’s happening in Ukraine. And it’s extremely negative from a US perspective. I think it is a sobering-up process. They are alerting their readers to how dangerous and negative the situation in Ukraine is becoming in terms of American strategic interests. And therefore, they are preparing them for worse to come. But it’s honest in the sense that no one is bribing CNN and it has no ulterior motive in mind. It simply is telling the truth in its own half-witted, politically distorted fashion.”

Still, those who have followed the Ukraine conflict from the very beginning have already noticed that the US media’s prognoses don’t work. So, for them the Ukraine counteroffensive failure was hardly surprising, per US independent journalist and geopolitical analyst Max Parry. “There is no way anyone could follow this conflict closely without noticing Western corporate media’s continuous pattern of failure in its predictions about the outcome of the war in favor of Kiev and then backtracking each time only to come up with excuses as to why its prognostications have been wrong,” Parry told Sputnik. “As a result, it has only revealed the incompetence of Washington’s military strategists and NATO, whose forces have trained Ukraine, and the media’s own role as a propaganda arm of the US.”

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“..its coveted superior role of “being the world policeman that the laws don’t apply to” slipping from its grasp..”

US Stokes Tension in Persian Gulf as It Loses Control, Needs More Wars (Sp.)

The Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, which plays a crucial role for global trade, have yet again found themselves in the focus of the US military, as Washington has accused Iran of “seizing and harassing” civilian vessels – a practice that the Islamic Republic has resolutely denied employing. The United States realizes that it is losing control, and cannot maintain it without creating more wars, which explains why it is stoking tension in the Persian Gulf, Laith Marouf, a broadcaster and journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, told Sputnik. With increasingly more countries rejecting the US-driven so-called “rules-based order,” and America feeling that its coveted superior role of “being the world policeman that the laws don’t apply to” slipping from its grasp, Washington is desperate to fan hostilities in the region, Marouf underscored.

According to the US press, thousands of US Marines and sailors have been brought to the Persian Gulf by the USS Bataan and the USS Carter Hall, as part of a buildup ongoing for months. On August 4, unnamed US officials told the press that the Pentagon was considering putting armed personnel on commercial ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, as a part of an intensified response from Washington to the allegedly destabilizing activity caused by Iran’s “harassment and seizure of merchant vessels.” The Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed the US’ claims as untrue. “In the last two years, we saw multiple ships confiscated by the United States – some in international waters – that belong to Iran,” Laith Marouf pointed out, adding:

“It seems like the United States wants to police the world, and in this situation, they want to become a valet service for these international shipping companies that are looting oil from the Gulf… The more the United States acts in such pirate ways, the more we will lose control of the situation.” Reports of more than 3,000 US military personnel having arrived in the Red Sea on board two warships following Washington’s allegations of Iran “seizing” several civilian ships in the waterways is a dangerous escalation, Mazda Majidi, long-time antiwar and social justice activist from Iran, told Sputnik. “It’s really an escalation that’s not really called for by actual developments on the ground,” the activist said, underscoring that it was pretty much a “war footing.” Washington accuses Iran’s Navy of no less than 20 such incidents involving commercial vessels over the past two years.

“The average, accordingly, is less than one a month,” underscored Mazda Majidi, who has written extensively on the nuclear deal and other issues pertaining to Iran and the Middle East. He added that, like the Iranian Navy has said, some of the instances were a reaction to a distress signal, when they went in to see if they could help. “But in the bigger picture, the ongoing problem is the continual US seizure of Iranian oil tankers around the globe. And while the US claims that these are based on the sanctions on Iran, that sanctions that the US has placed on Iran. Those sanctions do not apply to international waters. In other words, the US Navy has no legal right to seize Iranian oil tankers anywhere it sees fit. So in that sense, the Iranian reaction is related to what the US has been doing to tankers carrying Iranian oil,” Mazda Majidi said.

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“Russia will achieve peace on its own terms.”

West’s ‘Neo-Colonial Geopolitical Crusade Against Russia’ Is Doomed – Moscow (RT)

The West is treating Ukraine the same way it treated Georgia, as a proxy against Russia to be used and abandoned, Moscow’s deputy envoy to the UN Dmitry Polyansky has said. August 8 is a “sad day in Georgian history,” Polyansky tweeted on the anniversary of the 2008 conflict. “It’s very hard to rectify the bloody mistakes of [the] Saakashvili regime which acted in 2008 as a puppet of the West. Now Saakashvili is in prison in Georgia but his poisonous legacy is still felt.” The “Kiev regime is doing a far more nefarious mistake right now naively hoping that the West will not abandon it after NATO’s proxy war with Russia until the last Ukrainian,” Polyansky added. “And Washington and its allies are still bringing death and devastation to the post-Soviet space in their futile neo-colonial geopolitical crusade against Russia.”

Mikhail Saakashvili became the president of Georgia in the US-backed ‘Rose revolution’ in 2003. In August 2008, as the world’s attention was on the Beijing Olympics, he launched an attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia, hoping to overwhelm the Russian peacekeeping battalion stationed there since the 1990s. Moscow’s quick reaction surprised both Tbilisi and Washington. Georgia’s Western-trained military was dismantled within five days. Saakashvili lost the 2012 election and went to the US, then to Ukraine after the US-backed coup in Kiev. Russia’s president at the time, Dmitry Medvedev, also commented on the anniversary of the conflict. In a Telegram post, he said that Saakashvili had been a proxy of the West, “which was trying to stir up the situation in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders even then.”

Washington and its vassals are “once again waging a criminal war by proxy” against Russia, Medvedev added. “Just like in August 2008, our enemies will be crushed, and Russia will achieve peace on its own terms.” The US and NATO have sent over $100 billion worth of weapons, equipment and ammunition to Kiev, as well as cash to keep the Ukrainian government afloat, while insisting they were not a party to the conflict with Russia. Earlier this year, they supplied modern Western tanks to the Ukrainian military, with the expectation of a grand spring-summer offensive that would push the Russians into the sea. Kiev launched the offensive in early June, but has achieved little while losing 5,000 vehicles and 43,000 soldiers, according to Russian Defense Ministry estimates. Earlier this week, senior US and Western officials told CNN that it was “extremely, highly unlikely” the Ukrainians could make progress on the battlefield that could change the balance of the conflict.

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Smells like Nuland around here.

US Told Pakistan To Remove Imran Khan From Power – Intercept (RT)

The US State Department pressured Pakistan to remove its popular prime minister, Imran Khan, last year over the latter’s neutrality regarding the conflict in Ukraine, The Intercept reported on Wednesday, citing a secret diplomatic cable obtained from a Pakistani military source. The cable documents a meeting between US State Department officials and Pakistan’s ambassador to the US on March 7, 2022. “People here and in Europe are quite concerned about why Pakistan is taking such an aggressively neutral position” on Ukraine, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu warns his Pakistani counterpart in the cable, blaming the PM alone for the offending policy.

While Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan attempts to correct the American, pointing out that Pakistan’s position on Ukraine is shared across the government, Lu counters that it is the PM’s behavior that is the problem, but that “if the no-confidence vote against the Prime Minister succeeds, all will be forgiven in Washington.” “Otherwise, I think it will be tough going ahead,” he threatens, adding that Europe will follow the US’ lead in the “isolation of the prime minister.” Ambassador Khan reflects in his notes that the threat seems to be coming directly from the White House and suggests a strong diplomatic response. Khan, who apparently obtained a copy of the cable in the weeks following the meeting, pointed at the US as the director of his ouster after he was removed following a no-confidence vote last April – just as Lu had suggested.

His successor, Shehbaz Sharif, admitted the cable existed and that some of its messaging was inappropriate, but stopped short of acknowledging its confirmation of Khan’s claims. Washington has categorically denied pressuring Islamabad to remove Khan. While the document obtained by The Intercept does not technically constitute a direct order, it attaches strongly-worded threats to noncompliance, hints at rewards for obedience, and confirms both were viewed as coming directly from President Joe Biden. Immediately following Khan’s ouster, Pakistan reversed its neutrality on Ukraine, demonstrating its fealty to Washington by supplying copious amounts of weapons to Kiev.

Its military was reportedly rewarded with a defense pact covering “joint exercises, operations, training, basing and equipment.” While polls have suggested Khan would easily win an election were he permitted to run again, he was sentenced to three years in prison last week on corruption charges, blocking him from contesting elections expected to take place this year. He has been charged with numerous crimes since his ouster, from insulting state officials to terrorism, and last month it was announced he would be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act for revealing the contents of the cable documenting the conspiracy to oust him.

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I meant Karen.

US Regime Change Karen Wants To Speak To The Manager In Niger (Marsden)

France has been kicked out of Niger by its new military government, by extension placing US interests there in peril. Who would ever have thought that the US footing the bill for training Nigerien soldiers would result in a net gain for Russia and China? Apparently not the US State Department. Enter Victoria Nuland with demands to speak to those in charge. Officially the acting US deputy secretary of state, Nuland should really change her title to ‘Regime Change Karen’. In modern parlance, a ‘Karen’ is a middle-aged woman “who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors.” Karens can often be spotted at the customer service desks of big box stores demanding to speak to the manager – or in this case, the military leaders now in charge of Niger.

Nuland rocked up to Niger and demanded to speak to the ousted president, but was refused the opportunity. Instead, she got to meet with one of the coup leaders – the new army chief of staff, Brigadier General Moussa Salaou Barmou, who not only trained at Fort Benning and at Washington’s National Defense University, but was photographed alongside US Special Operations in Africa Commander Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga just a few weeks ago at a US drone base in Niger. In a State Department teleconference on Monday, Nuland said that she was in Niger “because we wanted to speak frankly to the people responsible to this challenge to the democratic order.” That didn’t actually require a foreign trip, though. She could have just stayed home and called a staff meeting. You made this mess yourselves, guys. “The benefit from the joint mortar training event is twofold – providing Nigerien soldiers with a tangible skill, while also bolstering the partnership between US and Niger forces,” the Pentagon said in 2021 of a joint training exercise. Looks like all those skills came in handy when it came to kicking out US-allied France.

“We met with the self-proclaimed chief of defense of this operation, General Barmou, and three of the colonels supporting him,” Nuland said. “I will say that these conversations were extremely frank and at times quite difficult because, again, we were pushing for a negotiated solution.” Interesting how peace and negotiations suddenly appear on the table when Washington loses its foothold, finds itself in too weak or precarious a position to start dropping bombs, and needs to buy some time to regain the upper hand. Such was the case with the Russia-Ukraine Minsk agreements of 2014 and 2015, which used peace as a pretext for better arming Kiev against Moscow as Western allies trained and supplied Ukrainian neo-Nazis at Russia’s doorstep. Nuland not so subtly hinted at Washington’s priorities when she said that she “had a chance first to sit with a broad cross-section of Nigerien civil society,” describing them as “long-time friends of the United States.” In other words, to better shore up the in-country proxies to defend US interests.

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Not what Russia needs right now. That’s why it’s happening.

All-Africa War Possible – Ex-Presidential Aide (RT)

A military intervention in Niger could set off a broader war, Antinekar al-Hassan, a political adviser to the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. “I don’t think ECOWAS will make the mistake of intervening militarily in Niger, because if they intervene militarily, that means all of Africa will be at war,” al-Hassan said. Bazum was arrested on July 26, by a group of Nigerien military officers led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has threatened to deploy troops unless he was restored to power, but their ultimatum to Niamey expired on Sunday. In the meantime, the bloc has closed borders and stopped all trade and transactions with Niger. Al-Hassan said he was against these sanctions, calling them “illegal and illegitimate.” “We’re against the sanctions. They will hurt the people of Niger, not the junta,” he said.

The new military government has refused any talks with the ousted president, who has no intent of stepping down, according to al-Hassan. “He did not sign anything and is not preparing to resign. He would rather die than resign,” al-Hassan said. In an op-ed supposedly written from prison and published in the Washington Post on August 4, Bazoum had appealed to the “US government and the entire international community to help us restore our constitutional order.” ECOWAS military chiefs reportedly finalized their war plans last Friday, but noted the actual intervention requires a political decision by the bloc’s governments. Chad and Guinea have opposed both sanctions and intervention in Niger, while Burkina Faso and Mali said they would regard any military move against Niamey as a declaration of war against both of them as well.


According to the French broadcaster RFI, which was banned in Niger, ECOWAS was mustering a force of about 25,000 troops, most of them from neighboring Nigeria. The new military government in Niamey accused France on Wednesday of setting free terrorists so they could attack a military camp in Niger and violating the country’s airspace as part of a campaign of destabilization. Paris denied that any terrorists were set free, or that any attack took place, and insisted the French aircraft were operating in Nigerien airspace under a military pact with Bazoum’s government. France refused to recognize the generals’ repudiation of the deal last week, and vowed to keep some 1,500 troops in the Sahel country.

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How much more proof is required? Asking for a friend.

GOP Memo: Hunter Sold ‘Biden’ Brand for At Least $20 Million As Joe Was VP (Sp.)

Companies related to the Biden family received a whopping $20 million from foreign nationals during Joe Biden’s vice presidency, as per the GOP-led House Oversight and Accountability Committee. On August 9, the Committee on Oversight and Accountability Majority Staff released a third bank records memorandum within the framework of the ongoing investigation of the Bidens’ alleged influence peddling schemes. The committee identified over $20 million in payments from foreign sources to the Biden family and their business associates during Joe Biden’s vice presidential tenure. Per House GOP investigators, Biden family members and partners routinely collected money from Ukrainian, Kazakh, Chinese, Russian, and Romanian nationals in exchange for protection, assistance, and access to then-Vice President Joe Biden.

“Joe Biden was ‘The Brand’ sold around the world to enrich the Biden family and he was used to ‘signal’ their access, influence, and power,” the congressional memo reads. “Then-Vice President Biden met – in person, for significant periods of time – with those individuals or their representatives. Then-Vice President Biden joined approximately 20 phone calls on speakerphone with Hunter Biden’s foreign business associates and attended dinners with foreign oligarchs who paid huge sums of money to Hunter Biden. Joe Biden, ‘the brand,’ was the only product the Bidens sold.” The memo also referred to the change of the White House’s narrative regarding Joe Biden’s apparent involvement in his son’s business dealings.

While, previously, Team Biden had claimed that Joe was unaware of Hunter’s financial activities and never discussed them, now they say that the “President was not in business with his son.” Still, the White House staff refuses to comment about this departure from previous statements, the memo noted. Commenting on the release of the third memo, Committee Chairman James Comer opined that the data obtained by the committee confirms the assumption that the Bidens, including Joe, were involved in “pay-for-play.” Comer particularly drew parallels between bank records and Hunter’s partners getting access to then-Vice President Biden, including two dinners in April 2014 and 2015 at Washington, DC’s Café Milano.

Most recently, US renowned legal scholar Jonathan Turley brought focus on the discussions surrounding Joe’s visits to Café Milano. The lawyer noted that the testimony by Devon Archer – Hunter’s longtime business partner – indicated that the elder Biden had indeed spent time with his son’s clients and was aware of Hunter’s business schemes. “Then-Vice President Joe Biden dined with oligarchs from around the world who had sent money to his son. It’s clear Joe Biden knew about his son’s business dealings and allowed himself to be ‘the brand’ sold to enrich the Biden family while he was Vice President of the United States,” Comer emphasized.

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By the balls.

Trump: Biden ‘Petrified of China’ Because They Pay Him Millions of Dollars (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he believes incumbent President Joe Biden is “so petrified of China” because they are paying him “millions and millions of dollars.” “I believe we have a compromised president. I believe he’s so petrified of China because they know how much money has been given to him, and they know where it is,” Trump said during an interview with US media. “As of today, I think $32 million that went into his accounts, the various accounts of the family. That’s a tremendous amount of money. And nothing was done for it. It was just a bribe … I’m amazed nothing was ever done.”

Trump added during the interview that Biden “is so afraid of China, and the reason he’s afraid is because I believe they paid him a tremendous amount of money, and he doesn’t want people to find out about it.” The former US president claimed that he believes China paid the Bidens “a lot more than that.” “You look at the University of Pennsylvania, you take a look at what’s going on over there, where China pays millions and millions of dollars at Biden’s center. I guess they’re paying him a million dollars a year, or I think they have it at 999,000 dollars a year.

That way you don’t have to maybe reproach because it’s under a million,” Trump claimed. The former commander-in-chief claimed that all signs point to China paying Biden “a fortune” because he has not seen “anyone so weak on China” before. Trump went to reference Beijing’s influence in Cuba and South America over the last three years. At one point during the interview, Trump went so far as to describe Biden as a “Manchurian candidate,” otherwise known as an individual who has become a puppet for a foreign nation. Trump later shifted and called on congressional lawmakers to undertake impeachment proceedings against Biden over evidence gathered by the House Oversight Committee regarding the Biden family’s business dealings.

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Michael Tracey: “Amazing: Jack Smith tried to impose a gag order on Twitter by arguing Trump was likely to “flee from prosecution” if it came out that his account had been seized. DC district court then *affirmed* the validity of this claim. Later, the claim was mysteriously retracted as “errant”.

“..may have included unpublished posts..”

Search Warrant Was Issued For Donald Trump’s Twitter Account (BBC)

The US special counsel investigating Donald Trump obtained a secret search warrant for the ex-president’s Twitter data in January, unsealed records show. Jack Smith requested “data and records” relating to Mr Trump’s account which may have included unpublished posts. After initially resisting the warrant, Twitter eventually complied, but missed a court-ordered deadline by three days. The delay resulted in the company being handed a $350,000 (£275,000) fine for contempt of court. The existence of the search warrant and the legal fight over it was revealed in court documents unsealed on Wednesday. According to the unsealed ruling, which still includes some redactions, Twitter’s lawyers did not object to the warrant itself, but disputed the nondisclosure order which kept it secret.

The company, now known as X under the ownership of Elon Musk, argued that it should be allowed to notify customers whose accounts are subject to search warrants. X handed over the data in February, but appealed the fine. Its case was rejected by a US appeals court last month. There is little indication in the documents about what exactly Mr Smith was seeking, with the court filing noting that only that the warrant directed the company “to produce data and records” related to Mr Trump’s account. The US congressional panel investigating the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot found that Mr Trump had drafted – but never sent – a tweet urging his supporters to come to Washington. It said: “I will be making a Big Speech at 10 a.m. on January 6th at the Ellipse (South of the White House). Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the steal!”

The @realdonaldtrump account, which has 86.5m followers, was suspended after the riot. It was reinstated in November 2022 after Mr Musk ran a poll asking users whether the former president should be allowed back on the platform. Mr Trump has not posted on X since being reinstated, instead preferring to use his own Truth Social network. Experts have noted that his Truth Social business contracts mean he potentially stands to lose millions if he resumes posting on X. Mr Trump responded to news of the search warrant on Truth Social, writing that it was a “major ‘hit’ on my civil rights… These are DARK DAYS IN AMERICA!”

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Casus belli?

Critical Mineral Shortage to Put US Energy Security at Risk (Sp.)

Last week, the US Department of Energy (DOE) in a new assessment expanded its list of critical materials, defined as those indispensable to the clean energy transition with high supply risks, adding six new elements in 2023. The DOE warned the list will only grow bigger amid the global race to net-zero emissions and underscored the importance to energy security of establishing reliant and robust critical mineral supply chains.
Nickel, platinum, and silicon carbide join lithium and magnesium as critical in the medium term (2025-2035), while graphite, terbium, and iridium join cobalt, gallium, dysprosium and neodymium as elements considered critical in both the short and medium term (from now until 2035).

The DOE raised the status of copper and aluminum from non-critical to “near critical” in the medium term largely due to their importance to electrification across a wide spectrum. The report, citing International Energy Agency (IEA) data, said critical mineral demand will have to grow by up to 600% by 2040 if the world is to achieve net-zero by 2050. The demand for critical minerals is being driven by a surge in the adoption of electric vehicles, which the IEA says could account for 60% of all auto sales by 2030. The swift growth in EV sales and green electricity networks boosted demand for vital components such as lithium-ion batteries and rare earth magnets, the report noted. The report was released just as the US-China trade war escalated even further, with Beijing’s export controls on gallium going into effect, unveiled last month in retaliation to Washington’s restrictions on Chinese technology.

The US, and many Western allies, have invested heavily in trying to achieve supply chain independence from China. The Biden administration intensified efforts last week in discussions with Mongolian officials about “creative ways” to extract rare earth minerals from the landlocked country, which neighbors both China and Russia. The US faces a daunting task in breaking its mineral dependence on China. For example, China is the leading producing nation for 30 of 50 minerals the US Geological Survey classified as critical to the economy with vulnerable supply chains.

Jonathan Poston, a business strategy consultant for Artax Consulting, shed more light on the implications involving China’s dominance of key critical minerals, most particularly, rare earth elements. “Rare earth elements are a group of 17 elements that are essential for a wide range of clean energy technologies, including magnets, batteries, and catalysts,” Poston told Sputnik. “China is the world’s leading producer of rare earth elements, along with graphite – critical to lithium-ion batteries – and there are concerns about China’s control of the global supply chain.”

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To be replaced with Barbie.

Shakespeare Banned In US School Districts Over ‘Sexual Content’ (RT)

Multiple Florida schools leery of running afoul of a controversial new law banning books with sexual content are dropping Shakespeare plays from their curricula, the Tampa Bay Times reported on Wednesday. Hillsborough County public schools will only be assigning excerpts from the works of Shakespeare during the coming academic year, district officials revealed. While they told the Times they had altered their instructional guides for teachers because of “revised state teaching standards and a new set of state exams that cover a vast array of books and writing styles,” district spokeswoman Tanya Arja admitted the decision was “also in consideration of the law,” referring to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law.

Better known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, the measure took effect last month, requiring schools to suspend access to reading material alleged to contain pornography, depictions or descriptions of sexual conduct, pending resolution of any complaints from parents or the state. “I think the rest of the nation – no, the world, is laughing at us,” Joseph Cool, a teacher at Gaither High, told the Times on Tuesday, pointing out that “taking Shakespeare in its entirety out because the relationship between Romeo and Juliet is somehow exploiting minors is just absurd.” Because of uncertainty over what constitutes forbidden content, school districts have been preemptively removing books from their libraries in order to avoid parental challenges while trained “media specialists” screen the contents for anything that could potentially run afoul of the law.

If the specialists flag a book, a district-level panel is required to review it and make the final decision on whether it remains in the library. Parents may also file a complaint about any book on the school district’s website, requiring the district to pull the title within five days and keep it out of libraries until it can be reviewed. Local CBS affiliate WJAX found earlier this week that Duval County had removed 19 titles from its shelves ahead of the 2023-2024 school year, while St. Johns County had dropped 31 books and Clay County pulled 115.

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Zero Hedge lifts out a reference to Obama’s presumed homosexuality, but the David Samuels interview for Tablet Magazine with David Garrow has a lot more.

The “Magic Negro Of The Billionaire Industrial Complex” (ZH)

“I also found the Cuba thing deeply puzzling and offensive,” Garrow said. “It’s a fucking dictatorship that imprisons all sorts of truly progressive, creative people.” Many of the regime’s political prisoners are black but in the style of Frank, Obama is basically uncritical of the regime’s all-white Stalinist dictatorship. But then, as David Garrow says, the composite character is not a normal politician or human being. In one of his first actions, Obama canceled missile defense for U.S. allies Poland and the Czech Republic, and Garrow laments his “failure to object to Russia taking Crimea and the Donbas.” “For Barack, everything has to be a success,” Garrow explained. “Everything has to be a victory.”

And on his own terms, Obama may be the most successful president ever. He transformed the nation into a place where the outgoing president picks his successor and deploys the FBI and DOJ to help Hillary Clinton and harm candidate and President Donald Trump. “From the first time I saw it,” Garrow said, “I realized that Christopher Steele’s shit was just complete crap. It was bad corporate intelligence, even. It was nonsensical.” Samuels is also concerned. “A new milieu had been created consisting of party operatives, the people in the FBI and the CIA who are carrying out White House policy, and the press,” Samuels explains. “That’s something people still seem loathe to admit, even to themselves, in part because it puts them in a state of dissonance with this new kind of controlled consensus that the press maintains, which is obviously garbage. But if you question it, you’re some kind of nut.”


The interview keeps returning to Dreams from My Father, which biographer David Garrow exposed as a novel, infuriating the president. “There was something about this fictional character that he created actually becoming president,” contends Samuels, “that helped precipitate the disaster that we are living through now.” The nation has been transformed into a “Gilded Age oligarchy” by Obama, the “Magic Negro of the billionaire industrial complex.”

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