Sep 112022
 


Edouard Vuillard The two sisters 1899

 

Zelensky To Headline US Defense Industry Conference (Hill)
US Military Aid To Ukraine Grows To Historic Proportions (IC)
The Izium Withdrawal – A Catalyst For ‘Starting In Earnest’ (MoA)
Russian Military Explains Partial Withdrawal (RT)
Are We Indeed Headed Into WWIII And What Can Save Us? (Doctorow)
EU Has Run Out Of Energy – Orban (RT)
Greek Citizens Saving On Food To Pay For Energy (RT)
German Recession ‘Inevitable’ – Deutsche Bank
Hungary On ‘Edge Of Abyss’ In EU – Czech Minister (RT)
Trump Team And DOJ Suggest Rival ‘Special Master’ Candidates (G.)
Declassify the Documents From Trump’s Basement (Leonard Goodman)
US Household Net Worth Drops $6.1 Trillion in Q2 (CTH)
Declaration Of International Medical Crisis Over ‘Covid-19 Vaccines’ (DS)

 

 

It’s not very clear what is happening with the Ukraine ‘counterattack’. It’s taken Russia by surprise, for sure, but there appears to have been hardly any fighting. The Russians simply withdrew, with very few casualties or wounded. And this map of the “salient” doesn’t look all that good for Ukraine. Fish in a barrel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad start, Chuckie! That looks awful. In the internet age, people get to see these things.

 

 

Bannon

 

 

 

 

Invest!

Zelensky To Headline US Defense Industry Conference (Hill)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address U.S. defense contractors later this month when he headlines the annual Future Force Capabilities Conference and Exhibition hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA). Zelensky is scheduled to speak at the event Sept. 21, according to the program for the event available on the NDIA’s website. Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s minister of defense, is also scheduled to speak that day. News of the appearances was first reported by Reuters, which noted that the officials will speak via video link. Zelensky is expected to appeal for more weapons for his country during his speech, the outlet added.


News of the Ukrainian president’s speech to the NDIA — whose membership includes defense industry giants like Raytheon Technologies, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics — comes as Kyiv looks to fend off Russia’s invasion as it drags through its sixth month. Eight defense contractors — including Raytheon, Lockheed and General Dynamics — attended a meeting at the Pentagon in April to discuss how the U.S. could speed up production to help Ukraine fend off Moscow’s war. The U.S. has committed $15.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration, including $14.5 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

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“The U.S. is really preparing for a long war. … It’s actually preparing for endless war in Ukraine..”

US Military Aid To Ukraine Grows To Historic Proportions (IC)

SINCE RUSSIA’S UNPROVOKED invasion of Ukraine in February, the U.S. government has pumped more money and weapons into supporting the Ukrainian military than it sent in 2020 to Afghanistan, Israel, and Egypt combined — surpassing in a matter of months three of the largest recipients of U.S. military aid in history. Keeping track of the numbers is challenging. Since the war started, U.S. officials have announced a flurry of initiatives aimed at supporting Ukrainian defense efforts while keeping short of a more direct involvement in the conflict. On Thursday, on a surprise visit to Kyiv, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a new $675 million package of U.S. military equipment as well as a $2.2 billion “long-term” investment to bolster the security of Ukraine and 17 of its neighbor countries.

Weeks earlier, President Joe Biden unveiled a $3 billion aid package, the largest yet, symbolically choosing Ukraine’s Independence Day for the announcement. The administration noted on that occasion that the total military assistance committed to Ukraine this year had reached $12.9 billion, more than $15.5 billion since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. And this month, Biden also asked Congress to authorize an additional $13.7 billion for Ukraine, including money for equipment and intelligence.

Because the assistance is drawn from a variety of sources — and because it’s not always easy to distinguish between aid that’s been authorized, pledged, or delivered — some analysts estimate the true figure of the U.S. commitment to Ukraine is much higher: up to $40 billion in security assistance, or $110 million a day over the last year. This assistance is believed to be playing an important role in the advances Ukraine is making in an ongoing offensive to retake territory seized by Russia earlier this year; the cities of Kupiansk and Izium are reported to have just been liberated. What is clear is that the volume and speed of the assistance headed to Ukraine is unprecedented, and that legislators and observers are struggling to keep up.

[..] “The U.S. is really preparing for a long war. … It’s actually preparing for endless war in Ukraine,” said Stephen Semler, co-founder of the Security Policy Reform Institute, a grassroots-funded U.S. foreign policy think tank that has been tracking the assistance. “They’re saying, ‘We’re only doing this long-term approach because Putin is the one insisting on doing so.’ And that could be right — but at the same time, it’s not like the U.S. is expressing much confidence in its diplomatic skills to end the conflict, rather than just trying to outlast Putin.”

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A lot of pressure on Putin to go big.

The Izium Withdrawal – A Catalyst For ‘Starting In Earnest’ (MoA)

Russia pulled back from Kiev and started phase two of the war. Since then the Luhansk oblast and the land corridor to Crimea, especially Mariupol, have been won. The liberation of the Donetsk Republic has stalled. The number of Russian and allied forces fighting the war was kept steady or even decreased over time. Meanwhile the Ukrainian forces have grown manifold. They are getting a very significant amount of arms from ‘western’ sources and new promises to keep those supplies coming. Even when they are armed to a lesser degree, higher numbers of men do matter over time. This made potentially costly defeats, like recently at the Izium front, possible. The Russian military has readjusted to this threat by decreasing the held territory and by concentrating on the original aims of the war.

The Russian public, which at first did not fully understand why the war was necessary, has since grown in its awareness. It now understands the big game that is played against its country. It demands to adjust the level of resources put into the war to the one needed for a decisive victory. That is why Dima concludes that: “We can say that today was the best ever [..] day for the Russians in the territory of Ukraine.” It is now likely assured that they will be liberated. One way or another. I also believe that the withdrawal from the Izium region, which left behind a significant number of pro-Russian civilians under deadly threats from fascist ‘filtration’ groups, will be the catalyst for a significant escalation on the Russian side. I may, like so often, be wrong. There is still an intermediate play to come.

The 3rd Russian Corps, formed from well paid reservists, armed with new weapons and now reportedly deployed south of the Donbas region, might be a game changer. If it moves north, and manages to role up the Ukrainian fortifications at the Donetsk line from behind, it may become the decisive force. But the establishment of the mobile Ukrainian forces that in recent days moved, largely unopposed, towards the Oskol river, is a new card which the Ukrainians can play again against any weak spot in the Russian lines. The Russian public, softly led by the Kremlin through Russian media, is now likely to demand more. That must not mean the total mobilization of the Russian military. ‘Western’ claims that Russia is isolated are wrong. It has many friends it can call upon to contribute to its efforts. Diversion moves against the U.S. military in many regions of the world are just one of several possibilities.

Time is always the third force on the battlefield. Both opponents have to play against it. Europe is currently starving itself by boycotting Russian energy resources. That is unsustainable and it will, over time, have to stop following its current U.S. directed policies. Economically the Ukraine is broke and it can not, despite foreign subsidies, sustain a long war. There are also potential political changes within the U.S. that will play a role. Still, the game must be won on Ukrainian grounds. Russia must up its game. On July 7, in a session with Duma leaders and party factions heads, Putin said: “Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. Well, what can I say? Let them try. We have already heard a lot about the West wanting to fight us ”to the last Ukrainian.“ This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but that seems to be where it is going. But everyone should know that, by and large, we have not started anything in earnest yet.” Well, now may be the time to do so.

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There appear to be a lot of foreign fighters involved.

Russian Military Explains Partial Withdrawal (RT)

The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed withdrawal of troops from multiple locations across Ukraine’s Kherson region. The development comes amid a Ukrainian offensive in the area. “In order to achieve the goals of the special military operation, a decision was made to regroup troops in the areas of Balakleya and Izyum in order to build up efforts in the Donetsk direction,” the Russian military said in a statement on Saturday. The troops stationed in the area have been “re-deployed” over the past three days into territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the ministry claimed. During the operation, the military has performed a “number of distracting and demonstration activities imitating the real action of troops,” it added, without providing any further detail on said maneuvers.


In order to prevent “damage to Russian troops,”the military has been subjecting Ukrainian units in the area to “powerful” artillery, missile and aircraft attacks, the ministry said, claiming destruction of over 100 armor pieces and artillery, as well as elimination of “more than 2,000 Ukrainian and foreign fighters” in the past three days. The withdrawal comes amid a massive Ukrainian offensive that was launched in Kharkov Region on Thursday. The assault was preceded by attempts to advance in other areas, namely near the Russia-controlled southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.

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Ramstein.

Are We Indeed Headed Into WWIII And What Can Save Us? (Doctorow)

Izyum is close to the Russian-Ukrainian border southeast of Kharkov and is a major logistical base for munitions and weaponry that are sent onward to support the Donbas operation. The latest information on the Russian side appears to be that the Russians have now dispatched large numbers of reservists to this area to hold their positions. They also speak of intense artillery duels. We may well assume that both sides have experienced heavy loss of life. As yet, the outcome is unforeseeable. Meanwhile, Russian war correspondents on the ground in Donetsk insist that the Russian advance towards Slavyansk, in the center of the former Donetsk oblast, is continuing without pause, which suggests that the strikes on their munitions stores claimed by the Ukrainians have not been totally effective. If Slavyansk is taken in the coming few weeks, then Russia will quickly assume control of the entire territory of the Donbas.

In last night’s talk show program, host Vladimir Solovyov said that this latest push in the Ukrainian counter-offensive was timed to coincide with the gathering at the Ramstein air base, Germany of top officials from NATO and other allies under the direction of the visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. If the Ukrainian efforts were failing in the field, then the cry would go up: we must provide them with more weapons and training. And if the Ukrainian efforts in the counter-offensive were succeeding, those in attendance at Ramstein would hear exactly the same appeal to aid Kiev.

Though Evening with Solovyov, on air from about 23.00 Moscow time, offered viewers some few minutes of video recordings from the opening of the Ramstein gathering, far more complete coverage was provided to Russian audiences a few hours earlier by the afternoon news show Sixty Minutes. Here, nearly half an hour on air was given over to lengthy excerpts from CNN and other U.S. and European mainstream television reporting about Ramstein. Host Yevgeni Popov read the Russian translation of the various Western news bulletins. His presentation clearly sought to dramatize the threat and to set off alarm bells.

For his part, Vladimir Solovyov went beyond presentation of the threat posed by the United States and its allies to analysis of Russia’s possible response. He spoke at length, and we may assume that what he was saying had the direct approval of the Kremlin, because his guests, who are further removed from Power than he is, were, for the most part, allowed only to talk blather, such as the critique by one panelist of a recent pro-Ukraine, anti-Russia article in The New York Review of Books by Yale professor Timothy Snyder, who counts for nothing in the big strategic issues Russia faces today.

So, what did Solovyov have to say? First, that Ramstein marked a new stage in the war, because of the more threatening nature of the weapons systems announced for delivery, such as missiles with accuracy of 1 to 2 meters when fired from distances of 20 or 30 kilometers thanks to their GPS-guided flight, in contrast to the laser-guided missiles delivered to Ukraine up till now. In the same category, there are weapons designed to destroy the Russians’ radar systems used for directing artillery fire. Second, that Ramstein marked the further expansion of the coalition or holy crusade waging war on Russia. Third, that in effect this is no longer a proxy war but a real direct war with NATO and should be prosecuted with appropriate mustering of all resources at home and abroad.

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“There are few continents in such a difficult situation as ours, but only our continent is making its own life so much harder..”

EU Has Run Out Of Energy – Orban (RT)

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has blamed the European Union’s energy shortfall on bureaucrats and environmentalists, saying his own country is protected from the crisis. “If we want to dig to the bottom of the problems, we always end up in the same place: the issue of energy. And the situation is that Europe has run out of energy,” Orban wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday. The premier blamed the situation on“fundamentalist greens and the bureaucrats”playing “geopolitical games,” arguing that the bloc is refusing to use “different energy sources” for “political reasons,” driving up the cost of living and damaging its industries.

“There are few continents in such a difficult situation as ours, but only our continent is making its own life so much harder,” Orban said, pledging to do everything “needed by the homeland.” We will not have any shortage of energy. This is not a prediction, this is a statement of fact. There will be gas in Hungary and enough electricity. In late August Hungary secured a deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom for additional natural gas supplies, pumped via Serbia. Hungary is one of the few EU member states to comply with the Moscow’s ruble payment requirement for gas deliveries.

However, Budapest is also moving to cut energy consumption. Earlier this week, the government introduced an 18-degree Celsius temperature cap in all public institutions across the country. The authorities have also instituted a mandatory slashing of gas consumption for state institutions, except hospitals and social housing facilities. Hungary has repeatedly criticized EU sanctions against Russia introduced over the conflict in Ukraine. Budapest argues that the restrictions have failed to produce the intended result, while disrupting the supply of natural gas to the bloc and sending energy prices to unprecedented highs.

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“..natural gas prices soared 261.3% year-on-year and electricity costs were up 38.5%..”

Greek Citizens Saving On Food To Pay For Energy (RT)

A growing number of Greeks are cutting back on food to pay their taxes and energy bills, a survey by the General Confederation of Greek Workers and the Labor Institute has shown. When asked if rising prices had forced them to spend less on basic food items, 20% of respondents answered “much less” and 51% answered “less,” while a quarter reported “little” change in their spending habits and only 4% said the situation had not changed for them at all. A majority noted that the change in their spending habits had come from the necessity to pay more for energy. Nearly half of respondents (47%) said they expected a “difficult winter” as energy prices continue to rise, while one in five said they may not be able to pay for energy bills in the coming months “at all.”

“The Greek economy and society, after years of austerity, are facing a new wave of price increases and revaluation of basic goods, and stagnant incomes threaten the purchasing power of many households and social groups,” the authors of the survey conclude. They suggest that the cost of living crisis in the country could be solved only through government intervention, for instance, by hiking the minimum wage, reducing excise taxes on energy and food, and imposing a tax on energy companies’ excess profits.

The Greek government is already subsidizing energy bills for its residents, having started the practice last year. Last month, it vowed to spend almost €2 billion ($1.98 billion) subsidizing growing power bills in September, covering up to 100% of the increase for the poorest households. However, analysts say subsidies may not be enough, with inflation remaining close to its highest level in nearly three decades – 11.4% – as of last month, while natural gas prices soared 261.3% year-on-year and electricity costs were up 38.5%, according to data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

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Inevitable all over Europe. Who will sink into a depression?

German Recession ‘Inevitable’ – Deutsche Bank

The engine of European economic development, Germany, is set for a contraction, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing warned this week, as cited by CNBC. According to the media outlet, Sewing said in a speech at the Handelsblatt Banking Summit in Frankfurt that the war in Ukraine “destroyed a number of certainties” on which the global economic system had been predicated over the past few decades. He reportedly cited disrupted global value and supply chains, along with a bottleneck in the labor market and a shortage of gas and electricity leading to soaring costs, as key reasons why the Eurozone inflation is at record highs. “As a result, we will no longer be able to avert a recession in Germany. Yet we believe that our economy is resilient enough to cope well with this recession — provided the central banks act quickly and decisively now,” Sewing reportedly stated.


The Deutsche chief pointed out that, for now, many in Germany still have pandemic savings to fall back on in order to meet skyrocketing energy costs, while most companies remain “sufficiently financed.” “But the longer inflation remains high, the greater the strain and the higher the potential for social conflict,” he warned. Sewing also urged the German leaders to accelerate the nation’s decoupling from China. He indicated that China accounts for around 8% of German exports and 12% of imports, while more than one-tenth of the sales of companies listed on the German DAX stock index go to China. “Reducing this dependency will require a change no less fundamental than decoupling from Russian energy,” the chief executive said.

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Threatening your fellow members. Nice.

Hungary On ‘Edge Of Abyss’ In EU – Czech Minister (RT)

Hungary’ stance on Russia and the conflict in Ukraine could potentially see it exiting the EU, the Czech European affairs minister has warned. The EU is “a unity of many voices” that always finds common ground despite any disputes, Mikulas Bek told Cesky Rozhlas Plus radio on Thursday. “Negotiations are often tough in the EU, and many countries could engage in them. But Hungary, in my opinion, has come a long way, reaching the edge an abyss, and now it has to decide whether to go back from that edge or risk a jump, the consequences of which I don’t even want to speculate on,” the minister said. On the prospects of Budapest leaving the EU altogether, Bek said it’s theoretically possible.


Budapest has remained relatively neutral since the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, and refused to send weapons to Kiev unlike many of its neighbors. It has been critical of the EU sanctions against Russia, calling them ill-conceived and self-defeating. Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy, is exempt from the bloc-wide ban on Russian oil. The Czech European affairs minister, whose country currently presides over the EU Council, pledged to work hard in the coming months to make sure Hungary stays in line with European policies. “A small positive sign” was that Budapest backed down on its demand to remove three prominent Russia businessmen – Alisher Usmanov, Pyotr Aven and Viktor Rashnikov – from EU sanctions earlier this week, Mikulas Bek added.

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Listening to George Webb in the video below, something tells me Paul Huck won’t be the Special Master. Which is a shame. But then again, shame is all the US has left by now.

Trump Team And DOJ Suggest Rival ‘Special Master’ Candidates (G.)

The US justice department and lawyers for Donald Trump were unable to agree Friday night on who to have as the so-called special master to review for potential privilege protections the materials that the FBI seized from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this month. The justice department and Trump met a deadline to submit a joint filing but failed to reach consensus on most of the key issues at stake: not only the identity of the special master but also the scope of the work, and who should pay for the added expense. With both sides unable to agree on who should serve as the special master, the justice department and Trump’s lawyers each proposed two candidates, saying they would inform the judge overseeing the case, Aileen Cannon, on their positions after the weekend.

The justice department proposed two retired federal judges: former US district court judge Barbara Jones, who has previously served as a special master, and Thomas Griffith, a former US appeals court judge for the DC Circuit and a lecturer at Harvard Law School. Trump’s lawyers proposed a federal judge and an attorney in Florida: former US district court chief judge Raymond Dearie, one of four judges who authorized a wiretap on former Trump 2016 campaign aide Carter Page, and former Florida deputy attorney general Paul Huck. The disagreements between the two parties on the already contentious special master issue – the government earlier filed a notice of appeal against the order appointing the arbiter – were more numerous than the areas of consensus.

On what materials should be examined, the justice department said the special master should not review documents with classified markings or potentially subject to executive privilege, while Trump’s team said all documents should be reviewed. “The special master should not review documents with classification markings; should not adjudicate claims of executive privilege (but should submit to [the National Archives] any documents over which such claims are made),” the justice department said. On what access each side should get to the documents, the justice department said it wanted to review proposed protection designations before they went to the special master, while Trump said they should remain protected to protect the process.

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“Initially we were told that Trump possessed “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons” that he might sell to a foreign government like Saudi Arabia. This shocking accusation has been quietly dropped.”

Declassify the Documents From Trump’s Basement (Leonard Goodman)

Whatever your feelings about former President Trump, there are reasons to be skeptical when government officials say it was necessary to raid his Florida home to recover classified documents that threatened national security. Like the former president, I was once accused by the government of mishandling classified information connected to my representation of a detainee at Guantanamo Bay. There was nothing in my client’s file that posed any danger to national security. My client was an innocent shopkeeper who was sold to the Americans back in 2003 when the U.S. was paying bounties to corrupt Afghan warlords to turn in Al Qaeda or Taliban fighters, and then shipping those men 8,000 miles to our newly built prison camp in Cuba. The government decided to classify every document in the detainee files as “secret,” not to protect national security, but so it could lie with impunity and tell the American people that the prisoners at Gitmo were the “worst of the worst,” and “terrorists” captured on the battlefield.

I never revealed any classified information. I got into trouble after writing an article criticizing the government’s practice of classifying certain evidence above the security clearance level of the detainee’s lawyer, making it impossible to challenge. Following a hearing at the Department of Justice, I was allowed to keep my security clearance long enough to see my client released back to his home and his family after 12 years of unjust imprisonment. I was never in serious legal jeopardy. But the experience opened my eyes to the ways that our government abuses its power to classify information as “secret” to protect its own officials from embarrassment or criminal exposure. Since 9/11, the people most aggressively pursued for mishandling classified materials are whistleblowers, not traitors.

Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange revealed official crimes such as the murder of unarmed Iraqi civilians and journalists. Daniel Hale revealed that our drone assassination program regularly slaughters innocent civilians, contrary to public statements about surgical strikes. John Kiriakou revealed inconvenient facts about our torture program. Edward Snowden revealed an illegal mass surveillance program. All these truth-tellers were aggressively pursued under the Espionage Act. Assange may die in prison for telling the truth about the crimes of our leaders.

While Trump may not fit the mold of a selfless whistleblower, there is still cause for concern. First, the official justifications for the raid on Mar-a-Lago are highly suspect. Initially we were told that Trump possessed “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons” that he might sell to a foreign government like Saudi Arabia. This shocking accusation has been quietly dropped. Now we are told that the government has “grave concern” that Trump might blow the cover on “clandestine human sources” described in the mainstream media as the “lifeblood” of our intelligence community. “Disclosure could jeopardize the life of the human source,” a former legal adviser to the National Security Council told the New York Times.

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“..despite a calculated increase in home value of $1.5 trillion..”

“Consider this the cost of going green.”

US Household Net Worth Drops $6.1 Trillion in Q2 (CTH)

In the second quarter (April, May, June) 2022, the total U.S. household wealth dropped $6.1 trillion, despite a calculated increase in home value of $1.5 trillion. The majority of the loss is connected to a drop in Corporate Equity (stock market) and household investment in the stock market. FED “The net worth of households and nonprofit organizations declined $6.1 trillion to $143.8 trillion in the second quarter. The value of stocks on the household balance sheet declined by $7.7 trillion, while the value of real estate increased by $1.5 trillion.” Keep in mind this is backward looking data, and after a period of decelerating rates of growth, the overall real estate market is now in a period of decline as calculated for the most recent month of July [DATA].


The equity position of homeowners is now considerably less than the equity position when the feds calculated the second quarter household wealth (two months ago). Part of the issue goes back to what we have been discussing with inflation and specifically energy driven increases in fuel and electricity. Inflation sucks money out of the economy, making people less wealthy. Energy inflation sucks money exponentially faster out of each household, potentially making the already working-class poor, much poorer. The higher prices paid for housing, food, fuel and energy do not contribute to anything, the increased costs are just sucked out of the consumers’ pockets without generating any additional value. It just costs more to live, and that reduces wealth. Consider this the cost of going green.

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“..more than 11 million reports of adverse effects..” “We know that these numbers just about represent between 1% and 10% of all real events.”

Declaration Of International Medical Crisis Over ‘Covid-19 Vaccines’ (DS)

We, the medical doctors and scientists from all over the world, declare that there is an international medical crisis due to the diseases and deaths co-related to the administration of products known as ‘COVID-19 vaccines’. We are currently witnessing an excess in mortality in those countries where the majority of the population has received the so-called ‘COVID-19 vaccines’. To date, this excess mortality has neither been sufficiently investigated nor studied by national and international health institutions. The large number of sudden deaths in previously healthy young people who were inoculated with these ‘vaccines’, is particularly worrying, as is the high incidence of miscarriages and perinatal deaths which have not been investigated.


A large number of adverse side effects, including hospitalisations, permanent disabilities and deaths related to the so-called ‘COVID-19 vaccines’, have been reported officially. The registered number has no precedent in world vaccination history. Examining the reports on CDC’s VAERS, the U.K.’s Yellow Card System, the Australian Adverse Event Monitoring System, Europe’s EudraVigilance System and the WHO’s VigiAccess Database, to date there have been more than 11 million reports of adverse effects and more than 70,000 deaths co-related to the inoculation of the products known as ‘Covid vaccines’. We know that these numbers just about represent between 1% and 10% of all real events.

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Mike Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


Henri Matisse Bathers by a river 1909-16

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dies suddenly

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Early warning: you’re on your own.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas To Europe (ZH)

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

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

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

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Bet on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Surprise: Zelensky says it’s the Russians.

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

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

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

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

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“Russia may recover a lot sooner than Europe.”

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

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


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

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

Surprise: Zelensky says it’s a big success.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ukraine & the Politics of Permanent War (Chris Hedges)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Look at the future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Instrumental in Russiagate, too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Funeral Director John O’Looney

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The very first Calvin and Hobbes.

 

 

Biden WMD

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Kagu

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 152022
 


Pablo Picasso Guernica [Study] III 1937

 

Old Way, New Way (Dmitry Orlov)
Russia Continues To Earn More By Exporting Less Oil (ZH)
Germany To Halt Russian Coal Imports Next Month (ZH)
Lithuania To Allow Rail Transit Of Russian Goods To Kaliningrad (ZH)
Three More Countries Set To Join BRICS (RT)
Two More Gone (CTH)
Macron’s Minority Government Defeated on Vaccine Passports (SN)
Don Lemon: Republicans Must Be Treated As Danger To Society By Media (Fox)
Donald Trump on 2024: ‘I’ve Already Made That Decision’ (NYMag)
“Disgruntled” Chinese Homebuyers Refuse To Pay Their Mortgages (ZH)
High Inflation Figure Masks Even Higher Cost Hikes Of Necessities (ET)
Long Lines Are Back At US Food Banks (AP)
Dutch State Broadcasters Attack Coverage Of The Dutch Uprising (TCS)
It’s About Globalism, Stupid (Maajid Nawaz)
US Public Health Agencies Aren’t ‘Following the Science,’ Officials Say (CS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health care

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Syria, which refused to get the message too, asked the Russians for help. The Russians helped Syria, and now nobody is afraid of the US any more. Meanwhile, the US became spoiled by all this free money, grew fat, lazy, degenerate and weak and amassed the hugest pile of “debt”…”

Old Way, New Way (Dmitry Orlov)

The hardest part of living through a time of wrenching change is that nobody particularly bothers to inform you that the times have changed and that nothing will be the same again. Certainly not the talking heads on TV, who are often the last to know. You have to figure it out for yourself if you can. But I am here to help. It all has to do with energy. Not with technology—that’s incidental; not with military superiority—that’s fleeting and largely imaginary; certainly not with any sort of political or cultural self-righteousness—that’s delusional. There is no substitute for energy. If you run low, you can’t switch to running your industrial economy on fiddlesticks. It just shuts down. What’s worse, energy sources are not even particularly substitutable for each other. If you run low on gas, you can’t just switch to coal or to dried dung, even if you are up to your neck in it.

Modern industry runs on oil, natural gas, and coal, in that order, and they can be substituted for each other in very limited ways. Furthermore, energy has to be very cheap. Oil has to be about the cheapest liquid you can buy—cheaper than milk; cheaper even than bottled water. If energy isn’t cheap enough, then all the energy-hungry industry that runs on it becomes unprofitable and shuts down. That’s the stage at which we are now in much of the world. So, what happened? Once upon a time the US produced most of the oil in the world. But then the prolific wells in West Texas ran out and Saudi Arabia took over as the biggest oil producer. But the US wasn’t about to take that sitting down and hatched an ingenuous plan: Saudi Arabia will sell its oil for printed US dollars, then take most of those dollars and give them back to the US by “investing” it in US “debt”.

Everybody else who needed oil had to figure out a way to earn US dollars to buy it, and any US dollars they had left over after buying oil also had to be used to buy up US debt just because: “Nice economy you have there! Now we wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to it, would we?” Indeed, a few people didn’t get the message (Saddam of Iraq, Qaddafi of Libya) and got their countries bombed. And a whole lot of other defenseless countries got bombed just to keep the others scared. But then Syria, which refused to get the message too, asked the Russians for help. The Russians helped Syria, and now nobody is afraid of the US any more. Meanwhile, the US became spoiled by all this free money, grew fat, lazy, degenerate and weak and amassed the hugest pile of “debt” (in quotes because there is no question of ever repaying it) in all of human history.

In the meantime Russia, being the largest energy-producing country in the world, decided that it has had enough. Under the old scheme, Russia exported its resources cheaply, spend 1/3 of the revenue on imports and allowed 2/3 to leak out of the country, quite a lot of it also used to buy US “debt”. It couldn’t do anything about this right away, and so it spent the last decade developing its military to a point where now the US/NATO are afraid to go near it and its economy to a point where it doesn’t need much of the imports, at least not for a few years. And then a silly thing happened: the US confiscated Russia’s holdings of US “debt,” making everyone in the world take notice and start dumping it—even the Japanese!—sending the entire financial scheme into a tailspin.

Meanwhile, Russia has started to switch from selling its energy exports for dollars and euros, which then leave the country, where they can be confiscated, to selling them for rubles, which stay inside the country. Do you want to buy some Russian energy? Well, figure out how to earn some rubles! And if your own anti-Russian sanctions prevent you from doing so—well, la-di-da, whose fault is that? Also, given that there is now a worldwide energy shortage, the Russians asked themselves: Why sell lots of oil and gas for a little money when you can sell less of them for more money?

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As Dmitry writes: “Do you want to buy some Russian energy? Well, figure out how to earn some rubles!”

Russia Continues To Earn More By Exporting Less Oil (ZH)

Russian export revenues in June rose by $700m to the $20 billion mark, despite that oil exports fell by 250k b/d m/m to 7.4m b/d, the lowest since August 2021, Bloomberg’s Sherry Su reports citing the IEA’s latest Oil Market Report. Compared to a post-war peak level in April, total Russian oil exports in June were down 530k b/d, Or 7%, but export revenues were up by $2.3 billion, or 13%. Crude oil exports were down by 250k b/d in June to just above 5m b/d, still slightly higher than the pre-war average level according to Su. Shipments to the EU fell below 3m b/d for the first time since November 2020, bringing the EU share of Russian oil exports to 40%, compared to 49% in January-February.


Crude oil loadings to EU destinations fell 190k b/d m/m to 1.8m b/d, partly because of lower offtake on the Druzhba pipeline due to maintenance at a Hungarian refinery in June. Meanwhile, product loadings to the European Union fell by 135k b/d to 1.13m b/d, the IEA said. The fall in crude oil volumes came mostly from lower loadings on the Black Sea, as Rosneft’s 240k b/d Tuapse refinery reportedly came back online in June after a three-month shutdown. Total product exports out of Russia were relatively unchanged in June. Diesel exports increased slightly m/m to 825k b/d, 300k b/d lower than the pre-war average. Diesel Loadings to EU countries ticked up to 650 kb/d, returning to January-February average levels.

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Assisted suicide.

Germany To Halt Russian Coal Imports Next Month (ZH)

Germany will stop importing Russian coal from August 1 and crude oil from December 31, the country’s deputy finance minister, Joerg Kukies said today, as quoted by Reuters. “We will be off Russian coal in a few weeks,” Kukies said at the Sydney Energy Forum, which is taking place this week. “Anyone who knows the history of the Druzhba pipeline, which was already a tool of the Soviet empire over eastern Europe, ridding yourself of that dependence is not a trivial matter, but it is one that we will achieve in a few months,” he added. Kukies admitted, however, that replacing Russian hydrocarbons, not only in Germany, will be no easy task, citing the fact that together, the United States and Qatar could only supply some 30 billion cu m of natural gas equivalent to Europe, which imports more than 150 billion cu m of Russian gas annually.

Despite the challenge, Germany is in a rush to build LNG import terminals so it can replace at least part of Russian gas imports with liquefied gas from abroad. The problem here is, however, tightening supplies, with Freeport LNG in the U.S. offline until at least September, and Shell’s Prelude in Australia shut down amid industrial action. Demand for gas in Germany and Europe as a whole remains strong as governments seek to fill up their gas storage caverns ahead of the next heating season. Germany, specifically, is also on edge after Gazprom stopped the flow of gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline this week for regularly scheduled maintenance. Fears are that it will not turn the taps back on once the maintenance is done.


The suspension of coal and oil purchases from Russia is a result of sanctions the EU placed on Moscow earlier this year, providing buyers of the commodities with a temporal cushion of six months for each, so they could stock up on coal and oil before the respective embargos kicked in.

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The European Commission has a tail between its legs.

Lithuania To Allow Rail Transit Of Russian Goods To Kaliningrad (ZH)

It seems that saner minds are prevailing after ratcheting rhetoric coming from Moscow threateningly elevated Lithuania’s effective blockade of all overland trade and goods to an ‘act of war’ by the West… as the European Union is now refusing to back the full extent of Lithuania’s sanctions enforcement measures. The European Commission issued its legal guidance on the standoff Wednesday, which had over the past month resulted in some one million Russian citizens in the exclave remaining cut off from products brought by rail and road. “The transit of sanctioned goods by road with Russian operators is not allowed under the EU measures. No such similar prohibition exists for rail transport,” the European Union executive said, specifying that Russian goods should continue to be allowed by train.

“The Commission underlines the importance of monitoring the two-way trade flows between Russia and Kaliningrad … to ensure that sanctioned goods cannot enter the EU customs territory,” it added, emphasizing further that the rail exception doesn’t apply to weapons or munitions. The ban on transit still exits for freight brought by road, however. The EU said further this should be done through “targeted, proportionate and effective controls and other appropriate measures.” There was the additional caveat to the ruling that EU trade sanctions would not apply as long as Russia’s transport volumes do not exceed averages of the last three years, according to the “the real demand for essential goods at the destination.” It remains that food and humanitarian goods were reportedly never subject to the sanctions, nor was travel of citizens back-and-forth.


Lithuania’s government soon after the EU legal advice was issued said that it would adhere to it, albeit perhaps grudgingly: “Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday the previous trade rules, which blocked many sanctioned cargos from transport between mainland Russia and Kaliningrad, were “more acceptable”. “Kaliningrad transit rules may create an unjustified impression that the transatlantic community is softening its position and sanctions policy towards Russia”, the statement said. On Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko during a phone call agreed to a “possible joint response” to the blockade of transit to Kaliningrad by Lithuania. Without elaborating on details, but sounding ominous given threat of near future action, a Kremlin statement said of the call, “Emphasis was placed on the situation relating to the illegal restrictions imposed by Lithuania on the transit of goods to the Kaliningrad Region. In this context, some possible joint steps were discussed.”

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As western governments fail and fall, “the other side” unites.

Iran, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt add another 350 million people to the 3.2 billion already in BRICS.

Three More Countries Set To Join BRICS (RT)

Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt plan to join BRICS, and their potential membership bids could be discussed and answered at next year’s summit in South Africa, Purnima Anand, the president of the organization, told Russian media on Thursday. “All these countries have shown their interest in joining [BRICS] and are preparing to apply for membership. I believe this is a good step, because expansion is always looked upon favorably; it will definitely bolster BRICS’ global influence,” she told Russian newspaper Izvestia. The BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) account for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP. The bloc’s stated purposes include promoting peace, security, development, and cooperation globally, and contributing to the development of humanity.


Anand said the issue of expansion was raised during this year’s BRICS summit, which took place in late June in Beijing. The BRICS Forum president said she hopes the accession of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt will not take much time, given that they “are already engaged in the process,” though doubts that all three will join the alliance at the same time. “I hope that these countries will join the BRICS quite shortly, as all the representatives of core members are interested in expansion. So it will come very soon,” Anand added. The news of the three nations’ plans to join BRICS comes after Iran and Argentina officially applied for membership in late June, with Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh touting the bloc as a “very creative mechanism with broad aspects.”

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Italian president has refused Draghi’s resignation. Here’s why:

“President Sergio Mattarella cannot accept the prime minister’s resignation without himself departing. Mattarella only agreed to remain so long as the Draghi coalition would stand….”

Two More Gone (CTH)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned. Days later, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated. A few days passed and both the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, resigned and fled the country. Today, with their ruling governments in a state of turmoil, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have both tendered their resignations. The collapse of each of these national leaders is not necessarily connected; however, the global political system is reverberating with tremors directly connected to the post-pandemic economic turmoil. It would be naïve not to see these governing issues as consequences. The legitimacy of the governing class is slipping; perhaps it would be fair to say, some have ‘lost’ their legitimacy altogether.

Estonia is part of the EU and a member of NATO. Italy is a member of the G7, a part of the EU and a member of NATO. The parliamentary coalitions are fracturing. New alliances are being formed. One recent example that stunned everyone in the EU was the far-right and far-left in the French parliament joining forces to defeat the coalition government of Emmanuel Macron as he tried, and failed, to extend emergency COVID rules. The COVID rules in France are set to expire on July 31st. The first parliamentary goal for President Macron was to extend the COVID emergency and keep his powers. However, the legislative effort was rejected by 219 votes to 195, destroying the goals of Macron. Both populist groups joined forces to defeat the Macron coalition.


Yes, amid all of the economic damage created by western leaders and their Build Back Better efforts, the geopolitical world is having spasms as the rulers are being rejected by the ruled. In the parliamentary systems, the voices of the angry people are rising up. Those shouts are entering the halls of government through the direct representatives closest to the people. The ruling coalitions are no longer able to hold together as the people demand change. That is the connective tissue behind these resignations and departures. Western government leaders like Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson and Jacinda Ardern have the audacity to stand atop a two-year mountain of unilateral fiats, rules, regulations and mandates and then decry “autocracy” and threats to the “global order.” All of them have destroyed their own legitimacy by pretending to represent western democracy while carrying out two years of totalitarian power.

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Little man just got a little littler..

Macron’s Minority Government Defeated on Vaccine Passports (SN)

French President Emmanuel Macron suffered a humiliating setback in parliament after his vaccine passport scheme was defeated. Macron’s minority government wanted to extend the policy whereby anyone entering France has to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. However, the right-wing populist National Rally (RN), the hard-left La France Insoumise (LFI) and the right-wing Republicains (LR) all united to vote against the policy. Macron’s government lost the vote by a margin of 219 votes to 195. “The bill’s defeat was met with wild cheering and a standing ovation from opposition lawmakers, in footage that was widely circulated on social media,” reports the Telegraph. The bill was one of the first put to parliament by the new minority government, highlighting how Macron will find it incredibly difficult to get new laws passed in the country.


Elisabeth Borne, the French Prime Minister, condemned the vote. “The situation is serious. By joining together to vote against the measures to protect the French against Covid, LFI, LR and RN prevent any border control against the virus. After the disbelief on this vote, I will fight so that the spirit of responsibility wins in the Senate,” she tweeted. As we previously highlighted, the French Minister of Health admitted that vaccine passports are a “disguised” form of mandatory vaccines, despite President Macron claiming vaccine mandates “will not be compulsory.” On the first day the new program was in place, police in Paris were visibly patrolling bars and cafes demanding customers show proof they’ve had the jab. It later emerged that many businesses were refusing to enforce the scheme.

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He’s calling it out over himself.

Don Lemon: Republicans Must Be Treated As Danger To Society By Media (Fox)

Appearing on CNN’s New Day Thursday morning, Don Lemon once again urged the media to hold Republicans to a different standard than Democrats in their media coverage. The primetime host tied the GOP to the threat of “growing extremism” on the right. He warned journalists to not give a “false equivalence” to both sides, and instead acknowledge Republicans were endangering America. “We sit around and we talk about these things and we want to give this false equivalence to Democrats and Republicans. That is not where we are right now. Republicans are doing something that is very dangerous to our society and we have to acknowledge that. We have to acknowledge that as Americans, we must acknowledge that as journalists because if we don’t, we are not doing our jobs,” Lemon declared.

A Pew survey of nearly 12,000 journalists found that a majority of journalists, 55%, reject the idea that both sides “always deserve equal coverage.” Lemon was referring to Republicans who continue to support former President Trump after the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol, as well as the recent Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. “They have to answer for those questions if they come here on CNN, they must answer for that. If they go on MSNBC, they must answer for that. If they go on ABC, they must answer for that. And they cannot expect to be coddled when they go on to a news organization or if they step in front of a crowd of supporters or voters or Americans.” He made a similar plea in June, saying, “we cannot pretend as journalists” that both sides are “equal.”


Lemon referred to an interview he did with a former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers saying Republicans had become associated with “extremists.” He rejected any Republican opposition to that belief. “You have the inmates running the asylum basically. You have the extremists because I know there are Republicans sitting out there going, ‘Don Lemon that’s not what we are.’ Maybe it’s not what you are but it’s what party has become and what you have allowed to happen,” he lectured.

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Excuse me?! “..the House Select Committee on January 6 (whose hearings are the runaway TV-ratings hit of the summer)..”

The runaway TV-ratings hit that nobody watches…

Donald Trump on 2024: ‘I’ve Already Made That Decision’ (NYMag)

Donald Trump was impeached twice, lost the 2020 election by 7,052,770 votes, is entangled in investigations by federal prosecutors (over the Capitol insurrection and over the mishandling of classified White House documents and over election interference) and the District of Columbia attorney general (over financial fraud at the Presidential Inaugural Committee) and the Manhattan district attorney (over financial fraud at the Trump Organization) and the New York State attorney general (over financial fraud at the Trump Organization) and the Westchester County district attorney (over financial fraud at the Trump Organization) and the Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney (over criminal election interference in Georgia) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (over rules violations in plans to take his social-media company public through a SPAC) and the House Select Committee on January 6 (whose hearings are the runaway TV-ratings hit of the summer), yet on Monday, July 11, he was in a fantastic mood.

It was a beautiful day in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the former president maintains a golf club and private estate to which he decamps when the Palm Beach humidity and the habits of snowbirds shut down Mar-a-Lago for the Mother’s Day–to–Labor Day summer season, and it had been a beautiful weekend, too, one he said affirmed the choice he had made about his own future, the future of the Republican Party, and — whether he wins this time or if he loses as sorely as before — the future of the American experiment. At a rally in Alaska on Saturday, he told me by phone, his fans were adoring. “More love,” in his words, “than I’ve ever had before.” His voice was humming with excitement. He was still in awe.

After all of this time, after so many rallies, so many crowds, so many winding speeches and chants of “Lock her up” and “USA” and “Build the wall” and the familiar sounds of “Tiny Dancer” and “Memory” (from Cats) and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “YMCA” and that goofy little dance and the delusion and the fervor so great that it built up to an attack on the Capitol and the democratic process at the center of the Republic itself, the novelty of this had not faded. As a technical matter, the Anchorage event was on behalf of Sarah Palin and Kelly Tshibaka, Trump-endorsed candidates for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, respectively, but like all such endeavors, it was for its star a means of discerning through a vibe check what traditional polls could not so reliably or completely tell him.

And what it told him this time, he said, is that his voters — a portion of the electorate that he insists amounts to a majority of the country, though it does not — want to, and will, bring him back to power. “Look,” Trump said, “I feel very confident that, if I decide to run, I’ll win.”

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The Chinese didn’t buy real estate as an investment, but as an insurance. Xi must beware.

“Disgruntled” Chinese Homebuyers Refuse To Pay Their Mortgages (ZH)

While US snowflakes are all too happy to talk the talk (which remains free, even despite Biden’s hyperinflation), Chinese residents are increasingly walking the walk. First, it was the violent outcry against mandatory covid vaccines that put an end to Beijing’s desire to forcibly innoculate all Beijing residents in just 48 hours – a feat not all of America’s armed militias have been able to achieve, and now it’s a grassroots push for what appears to be a debt jubillee as millions of homeowners suddenly stop paying their mortgages, a shocking move that has sent shockwaves across China’s capital markets and has sparked panic within China’s political leadership circles.

As Bloomberg reports overnight, a rapidly increasing number of “disgruntled Chinese homebuyers” are refusing to pay mortgages for unfinished construction projects, exacerbating the country’s real estate woes and stoking fears that the crisis will spread to the wider financial system as countless mortgages default. According to researcher China Real Estate Information, homebuyers have stopped mortgage payments on at least 100 projects in more than 50 cities as of Wednesday, up from 58 projects on Tuesday and only 28 on Monday, according to Jefferies Financial Group Inc. analysts including Shujin Chen. “The names on the list doubled every day in the past three days,” Chen wrote in a note published Thursday.


“The incident would dampen buyer sentiment, especially for presold products offered by private developers given the higher risk on delivery, and weigh on the gradual sales recovery.” What’s behind this grassroot movement to halt mortgage payments altogether? Negative equity: “Analysts believe that a drop in home values may be another driver for the refusal to meet mortgage payments. “Investors are concerned about the spread of mortgage payment snubs to buyers, simply due to lower property prices, and the impact on property sales,” Chen wrote. According to Citi analysts, average selling prices of properties in nearby projects in 2022 were on average 15% lower than purchase costs in the past three years. Meanwhile, it’s only getting worse as China’s home prices fell for a ninth month in May, with June figures set for release Friday.

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Here comes Sri Lanka.

High Inflation Figure Masks Even Higher Cost Hikes Of Necessities (ET)

The June inflation figure of 9.1 percent, up half a percentage point from May and the highest since 1981, doesn’t tell half the story of how expensive life has become for Americans. The overall figure hides the fact that not all prices have risen uniformly and that products that have become especially expensive also happen to be the ones people usually can’t do without, such as food, fuel, and energy, according to Consumer Price Index data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Among foodstuffs, margarine and egg prices hiked the most over the 12 months ending in June, up more than 34 and 33 percent, respectively. Trailing behind were butter (up more than 21 percent), flour (up more than 19 percent), and chicken (up more than 18 percent). Milk and coffee were up about 16 percent.

Regular gasoline hiked more than 60 percent, diesel about 76 percent, and fuel oil, which many Americans use to heat their homes, nearly doubled in price. Natural gas went up more than 38 percent and electricity nearly 14 percent. The White House, through President Joe Biden’s Twitter account, on July 13 called the inflation figures “not acceptable” but “outdated,” noting that the average gasoline price had declined about 40 cents per gallon (about 8 percent) over the past 30 days. The products with the most prominent price hikes tend to also suffer supply issues. Gasoline production is constrained by the policies of the Biden administration and the financial elites more generally as part of their efforts to curb carbon emissions.

Egg production has been constrained by the avian flu outbreak that cut the number of laying hens by about 8 percent in recent months. Grain production has been hit with sky-high fertilizer prices and herbicide shortages. Higher grain prices, in turn, show up not only in bakery goods and flour, but also in the cost of animal feed, which then hits meat and milk prices, too. Normally, consumers respond to higher prices by tightening their belts—consuming less—which in turn leads prices down. But because of the lavish federal spending packages during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand has been artificially boosted. Prices will have to go up relatively steeply for another year or two before the productivity of the economy catches up with all the newly printed money, some economists have predicted.

Some prices, it appears, have already peaked. Beef steaks, for instance, hiked by more than 30 percent between October 2019 and October 2021 but are down about 5 percent since then. Similarly, car and truck rental prices went up more than 70 percent from July 2020 to July 2021 but have since dropped by about 11 percent.

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Those lines will get much longer.

Long Lines Are Back At US Food Banks (AP)

Long lines are back at food banks around the U.S. as working Americans overwhelmed by inflation turn to handouts to help feed their families. With gas prices soaring along with grocery costs, many people are seeking charitable food for the first time, and more are arriving on foot. Inflation in the U.S. is at a 40-year high and gas prices have been surging since April 2020, with the average cost nationwide briefly hitting $5 a gallon in June. Rapidly rising rents and an end to federal COVID-19 relief have also taken a financial toll. The food banks, which had started to see some relief as people returned to work after pandemic shutdowns, are struggling to meet the latest need even as federal programs provide less food to distribute, grocery store donations wane and cash gifts don’t go nearly as far.

[..] The Phoenix food bank’s main distribution center doled out food packages to 4,271 families during the third week in June, a 78% increase over the 2,396 families served during the same week last year, said St. Mary’s spokesman Jerry Brown. More than 900 families line up at the distribution center every weekday for an emergency government food box stuffed with goods such as canned beans, peanut butter and rice, said Brown. St. Mary’s adds products purchased with cash donations, as well as food provided by local supermarkets like bread, carrots and pork chops for a combined package worth about $75.

Distribution by the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Northern California has ticked up since hitting a pandemic low at the beginning of this year, increasing from 890 households served on the third Friday in January to 1,410 households on the third Friday in June, said marketing director Michael Altfest. At the Houston Food Bank, the largest food bank in the U.S. where food distribution levels earlier in the pandemic briefly peaked at a staggering 1 million pounds a day, an average of 610,000 pounds is now being given out daily. That’s up from about 500,000 pounds a day before the pandemic, said spokeswoman Paula Murphy said.

Murphy said cash donations have not eased, but inflation ensures they don’t go as far. Food bank executives said the sudden surge in demand caught them off guard. “Last year, we had expected a decrease in demand for 2022 because the economy had been doing so well,” said Michael Flood, CEO for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. “This issue with inflation came on pretty suddenly.” “A lot of these are people who are working and did OK during the pandemic and maybe even saw their wages go up,” said Flood. “But they have also seen food prices go up beyond their budgets.”

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Well, Rutte says in the Davos video at the bottom that he wants to buy the press.. Sorry the other video is mostly in Dutch.

Dutch State Broadcasters Attack Coverage Of The Dutch Uprising (TCS)

In a video entitled “The Great Reset: the recurring fabrications,” Nieuwsuur, a program produced by government broadcasters, claims that Bexte travelled to the Netherlands to perpetuate supposed conspiracy theories, saying that the WEF has “absolutely nothing” to do with the “nitrogen crisis” — by which they mean the nitrogen policy to cut emissions by 50% and destroy farmers’ livelihoods. “These bloggers from far-right websites have travelled to the Netherlands especially to see that image confirmed,” the host says before playing a clip of Bexte talking about the WEF’s support for the career-destroying nitrogen policy being protested. “But the WEF has absolutely nothing to do with the nitrogen crisis,” he continues. “It was the highest judge who ordered the Netherlands to comply with the nitrogen standards of the European Union.”


Yes, but where did the “nitrogen standards” of the European Union come from? The nitrogen policy that was introduced is just one of many policies being brought forth by the EU to better align with the UN’s radical Sustainable Development Goals to cut all emissions, which is itself part of the UN’s Agenda 2030. According to the European Commission’s website, “Sustainable development is a core principle of the Treaty on European Union and a priority objective for the Union’s internal and external policies. The United Nations 2030 Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) intended to apply universally to all countries.” Moreover, in an EU briefing entitled “European policies on climate and energy towards 2020, 2030 and 2050,” the European Parliament states the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will impact European policy, specifically regarding climate policy:

“Within the framework of the commitments laid down in the Paris Agreement, in November 2018, the European Commission published a new long-term strategy which confirms Europe’s commitment to lead on global climate action and to achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, through a socially fair transition in a cost-efficient manner… The strategy does not intend to launch new policies, nor does the European Commission intend to revise the 2030 targets. It is rather meant to set the direction of transition of EU climate and energy policy, and to frame what the EU considers as its long-term contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature objectives, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which will further affect a wider set of EU policies.”

Now, who has been a core contributor in shaping the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals? Why, the World Economic Forum, of course. In 2019, the WEF and UN signed a strategic partnership “to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” “The new Strategic Partnership Framework between the United Nations and the World Economic Forum has great potential to advance our efforts on key global challenges and opportunities, from climate change, health and education to gender equality, digital cooperation and financing for sustainable development,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the time.


So, yes. If the Netherlands is abiding by the EU’s climate policies, and the EU’s climate policies are based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the WEF signed a partnership with the UN to control what these goals are, I think it’s safe to say that the WEF absolutely has something to do with the nitrogen policy being protested right now.

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People observe and interpret. Be careful with that.

It’s About Globalism, Stupid (Maajid Nawaz)

1) Framing is Everything – i) It is No Longer About Brexit – Contrary to what you will read, the UK leadership race is no longer about Brexit. Brexit is done. It will not be undone. Even Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has told his party that Brexit will not be reversed. This is not to say that Brexit is no longer relevant. It is relevant. It is to say instead that Brexit is not the main impetus for the domestic palace coup that has just unfolded against outgoing PM Boris Johnson.

ii) It is No Longer About Covid – This leadership challenge is also no longer about Covid. The Covid control mechanisms of emergency legislation, supply-chain disruption and the weaponisation of Big Pharma have already served their purpose. As with Brexit, the UK is unlikely to go backwards on Covid policy. Any intervention now from the authorities about Covid will again only serve to keep opponents stuck fighting our last battle, just as the state launches its next psychological war against its own population. This is not to say that Covid policy is no longer relevant. It is relevant. Rather, it is to say again that Covid is not the main impetus for the domestic palace coup that has just unfolded against outgoing PM Boris Johnson.

iii) It is No Longer About War in Ukraine – The UK leadership contest is also not about the war in Ukraine. A keen observer will already notice corporatist media spin turning against deeper involvement, as well as the establishment-liberal US outlets turning sour on Biden. The Ukraine war has served its purpose. Billions have been laundered. Global food and gas shortages have been precipitated. This is not to say that Russia and Ukraine are no longer relevant. They are relevant. This is to say instead that war in Ukraine is not the main impetus for the domestic palace coup that has just unfolded against outgoing PM Boris Johnson. And so what exactly is going on in Britain? Arriving at an answer is only possible if the globalist playbook is understood first.

2) The Global Uprising: Centralisation vs Decentralisation: – Division has been sown after Brexit. Civil norms has been crushed after Covid. The ‘means of production’ have been disrupted after war in Ukraine. What comes next is the purpose they all served: the Great Reset. Combined, these cumulative crises of monumental fiscal suicide, unprecedented supply chain disruption and food and energy shortages are in danger of causing the collapse of the global financial system, sparking truly unprecedented global uprisings. In fact, we are already witnessing this.

[..] The collapse of the global financial system now appears inevitable. It actually collapsed in 2008. What has proceeded since then is merely the execution of a carefully planned, if not vicious, controlled demolition. The demolition is orchestrated by WEF establishment globalists so that their own controlled opposition may steer this global reset towards further centralised tyranny, as opposed to allowing it to enable decentralised democracy. Popular resistance will now be used as a pretext to clamp down and suspend liberty by rolling out militarised forces to subjugate the very conveniently rebelling citizens. [..] This is how the global financial establishment seeks to ride the current global revolution in order to retain their power. We are at the end of a natural generational cycle: a historic turning. We are witnessing the ‘reset’ part of Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset. They have told us what they plan to do. After the reset they will seek to ‘Build Back Better’ in order to create their New World Order.

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Marty Makary M.D., M.P.H. and Tracy Beth Høeg M.D., Ph.D.

“I can’t tell you how many people at the FDA have told me, ‘I don’t like any of this, but I just need to make it to my retirement.’”

US Public Health Agencies Aren’t ‘Following the Science,’ Officials Say (CS)

The calls and text messages are relentless. On the other end are doctors and scientists at the top levels of the NIH, FDA and CDC. They are variously frustrated, exasperated and alarmed about the direction of the agencies to which they have devoted their careers. “It’s like a horror movie I’m being forced to watch and I can’t close my eyes,” one senior FDA official lamented. “People are getting bad advice and we can’t say anything.” That particular FDA doctor was referring to two recent developments inside the agency. First, how, with no solid clinical data, the agency authorized Covid vaccines for infants and toddlers, including those who already had Covid. And second, the fact that just months before, the FDA bypassed their external experts to authorize booster shots for young children.

That doctor is hardly alone. At the NIH, doctors and scientists complain to us about low morale and lower staffing: The NIH’s Vaccine Research Center has had many of its senior scientists leave over the last year, including the director, deputy director and chief medical officer. “They have no leadership right now. Suddenly there’s an enormous number of jobs opening up at the highest level positions,” one NIH scientist told us. (The people who spoke to us would only agree to be quoted anonymously, citing fear of professional repercussions.) The CDC has experienced a similar exodus. “There’s been a large amount of turnover. Morale is low,” one high level official at the CDC told us. “Things have become so political, so what are we there for?” Another CDC scientist told us: “I used to be proud to tell people I work at the CDC. Now I’m embarrassed.”

Why are they embarrassed? In short, bad science. The longer answer: that the heads of their agencies are using weak or flawed data to make critically important public health decisions. That such decisions are being driven by what’s politically palatable to people in Washington or to the Biden administration. And that they have a myopic focus on one virus instead of overall health. Nowhere has this problem been clearer—or the stakes higher—than on official public health policy regarding children and Covid. First, they demanded that young children be masked in schools. On this score, the agencies were wrong. Compelling studies later found schools that masked children had no different rates of transmission. And for social and linguistic development, children need to see the faces of others.

Next came school closures. The agencies were wrong—and catastrophically so. Poor and minority children suffered learning loss with an 11-point drop in math scores alone and a 20% drop in math pass rates. There are dozens of statistics of this kind. Then they ignored natural immunity. Wrong again. The vast majority of children have already had Covid, but this has made no difference in the blanket mandates for childhood vaccines. And now, by mandating vaccines and boosters for young healthy people, with no strong supporting data, these agencies are only further eroding public trust. One CDC scientist told us about her shame and frustration about what happened to American children during the pandemic: “CDC failed to balance the risks of Covid with other risks that come from closing schools,” she said. “Learning loss, mental health exacerbations were obvious early on and those worsened as the guidance insisted on keeping schools virtual. CDC guidance worsened racial equity for generations to come. It failed this generation of children.” An official at the FDA put it this way: “I can’t tell you how many people at the FDA have told me, ‘I don’t like any of this, but I just need to make it to my retirement.’”

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Morales
https://twitter.com/i/status/1547604089705353218

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 222022
 


James Ensor Baths at Ostend 1890

 

Just 11% of Americans Blame Putin for High Energy Prices (BB)
Ruble Rises To Seven-year High, Best Performing Currency In The World (BNE)
Russia Leapfrogs Saudi Arabia As China’s Biggest Oil Supplier (Fortune)
Inflation as a Political Power Play Gone Wrong (Varoufakis)
The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages (Michael Hudson)
Biden: We Need More Money for the Second Pandemic (Celente)
Be Warned, A Full-blooded European Sovereign Debt Crisis Is Coming (Blain)
The New Yorker Accidentally Makes Ron DeSantis Look Awesome (NR)
Can DeSantis Displace Trump as the GOP Combatant-in-Chief? (New Yorker)
How Did America Become Ruled By Its Military-Industrial Complex? (Zuesse)
British ‘Watchdog’ Journalists Unmasked As Security State Lapdogs (Cook)
Court Orders EPA to Reassess Glyphosate Risk to Human Health, Environment (CHD)
US Supreme Court Denies Bayer Bid To Block Roundup Lawsuits (AFP)

 

 

 

 

Yeadon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“By the far the largest share of Americans—52 percent—say it is Biden’s energy policies that are to blame for high gas prices.”

Just 11% of Americans Blame Putin for High Energy Prices (BB)

President Joe Biden’s attempts to convince the American people that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is responsible for high gas prices and inflation has failed, polling data released Tuesday showed. “With the biggest single driver of inflation being Putin’s war against Ukraine, @POTUS has taken action to blunt the impact of Putin’s Price Hike for families,” the White Hosue falsely claimed on Monday. The American public is not buying what the Biden White House is selling. Just 11 percent of Americans think Putin is to blame for high energy prices, according to a poll of 1,000 U.S. likely voters taken by Rasmussen between June 16 and June 19. Biden has also sought to blame oil companies and refiners for high prices but just 29 percent find that convincing.

By the far the largest share of Americans—52 percent—say it is Biden’s energy policies that are to blame for high gas prices. Biden has nominated at least two opponents of fossil fuel to key financial regulation posts—although those nominations were ultimately defeated. On the campaign trail, Biden said a number of times that he would end fossil fuels and stand athwart fossil fuel expansion. One of his first actions as president was to cancel the permits needed for the Keystone Pipeline. Biden increased the royalty rate—essentially, a tax rate—on oil production on federal lands by 50 percent this year, the first hike in 100 years. It’s only now that high gas prices have become a political liability for the president that his administration has pivoted to claiming the Biden administration is not opposed to fossil fuel extraction.

Eighty percent of Republicans think Biden’s policies are most to blame for rising fuel costs. Most troubling for Biden, 54 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party blame Biden. Among Democratic voters, only 24 percent blame Biden, 46 percent blame major oil companies, and 20 percent blame Putin. So Biden’s “Putin price hikes” message is not even resonating within his own party. The issue of gas prices has increasing salience with voters. Ninety-two percent of voters view the rising price of gasoline, home heating oil and other petroleum products as a serious problem, including 68 percent who consider rising fuel costs a Very Serious problem. In April, 83 percent said rising petroleum prices were a serious problem.

A single word

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Will it get too strong?

Ruble Rises To Seven-year High, Best Performing Currency In The World (BNE)

Russia’s ruble jumped 6% against the euro on June 21 to a seven-year high, making it the best performing currency in the world. By 1338 GMT, the ruble had gained 6.3% to trade at 58.75 versus the euro , its strongest point since early June 2015, reports Reuters. And the ruble was up 4.6% against the dollar at 57.47, just below the 57.0750 it traded at on June 17, its strongest level since late March 2018. Analysts say the rate is largely artificial as its value has been boosted by the strict capital controls imposed by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The value has also been pushed up by soaring commodity prices that has earned Russia a windfall of over €100bn of payments for oil and gas exported to Europe since the war began. The value has been lowered further by the extreme sanctions imposed by the West on Russia that has seen the volume of imports, predominantly equipment and machinery, cut in half leading to record current account surpluses. Some economists have dubbed the current strong ruble “Dutch Disease on steroids” as the value of the currency is being pushed up by the same commodity export inflows that pushed up the Netherlands guilder when that country began to produce gas.

The government has become concerned by the high level of the ruble and is working to weaken it back to its fair value that economists estimate to be around RUB65-70. However, with the sanctions in place the authorities have fewer tools at their disposal. The so-called budget rule that automatically syphons off excess earnings to the National Welfare Fund (NWF) to sterilise them has been suspended after the West seized some $300bn of CBR reserves. Another alternative is to reduce the inflow of revenues from raw material exports.

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“Total imports from Russia increased 80% year-on-year to almost $10.3 billion.”

Russia Leapfrogs Saudi Arabia As China’s Biggest Oil Supplier (Fortune)

Russia has reclaimed its position as China’s biggest oil supplier, overtaking Saudi Arabia in May as Beijing cashed in on discounted Russian energy. Last month, Chinese imports of Russian oil surged by 55% from a year earlier, according to data from the Chinese government. The increase meant Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia as China’s biggest source market for oil, recovering the top spot after a gap of 19 months. China imported around 8.42 million tons of crude oil from Russia in May, the data showed—the equivalent of 1.98 million barrels per day, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, China’s purchases of Russian liquefied natural gas rose 54% from the previous May. Total imports from Russia increased 80% year-on-year to almost $10.3 billion.

China and Russia have maintained strong political and economic ties since the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, with the country’s two presidents holding a “warm and friendly” phone call last week in which they committed to deepening the relationship between their two countries. Western sanctions on Russian energy in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine have forced Moscow to slash the price of its energy exports as it searches further afield for buyers to plug the gap set to be left by Europe. In May, Reuters reported that the spot price of Russian oil was around $29 less per barrel than it was before the invasion of Ukraine and well below the price of oil from the Middle East, Africa, the U.S. and Europe.

The price of Urals—Russia’s main export blend—averaged $73.24 a barrel between mid-April and mid-May, according to Bloomberg, making it almost a third cheaper than Brent crude futures over the same period. Urals is usually traded at a discount to Brent crude, but the gap between the price of the two products is reported to have widened drastically since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. According to data from Finnish fuel refiner Neste, Urals was priced, on average, at $33.63 less than Brent over the five days to Monday. A year earlier, the price difference was around $1.50, according to Neste.

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“As the locked-down multitudes spent some of their furlough money on scarce imports, prices began to rise.”

Inflation as a Political Power Play Gone Wrong (Varoufakis)

For 50 years, the US economy has sustained the net exports of Europe, Japan, South Korea, then China and other emerging economies, while the lion’s share of those foreigners’ profits rushed to Wall Street in search of higher returns. On the back of this tsunami of capital heading for America, the financiers were building pyramids of private money (such as options and derivatives) to fund the corporations building up a global labyrinth of ports, ships, warehouses, storage yards, and road and rail transport. When the crash of 2008 burned down these pyramids, the whole financialized labyrinth of global just-in-time supply chains was imperiled. To save not just the bankers but also the labyrinth itself, central bankers stepped in to replace the financiers’ pyramids with public money.

Meanwhile, governments were cutting public expenditure, jobs, and services. It was nothing short of lavish socialism for capital and harsh austerity for labor. Wages shrunk, and prices and profits were stagnant, but the price of assets purchased by the rich (and thus their wealth) skyrocketed. Thus, investment (relative to available cash) dropped to an all-time low, capacity shrunk, market power boomed, and capitalists became both richer and more reliant on central-bank money than ever. It was a new power game. The traditional struggle between capital and labor to increase their respective shares of total income through mark-ups and wage increases continued but was no longer the source of most new wealth.

After 2008, universal austerity yielded low investment (money demand), which, combined with plentiful central-bank liquidity (money supply), kept the price of money (interest rates) close to zero. With productive capacity (even new housing) on the wane, good jobs scarce, and wages stagnant, wealth triumphed in equity and real-estate markets, which had decoupled from the real economy. Then came the pandemic, which changed one big thing: Western governments were forced to channel some of the new rivers of central-bank money to the locked-down masses within economies that, over the decades, had depleted their capacity to produce stuff and were now facing busted supply chains to boot. As the locked-down multitudes spent some of their furlough money on scarce imports, prices began to rise.

Corporations with great paper wealth responded by exploiting their immense market power (yielded by their shrunken productive capacity) to push prices through the roof. After two decades of a central-bank-supported bonanza of soaring asset prices and rising corporate debt, a little price inflation was all it took to end the power game that shaped the post-2008 world in the image of a revived ruling class. So, what happens now?

Inflation
https://twitter.com/i/status/1539163807729303552

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“Biden has thoroughly backed up Republican-appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in endorsing a financial crash in hope that it will roll back U.S. wage levels.”

The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages (Michael Hudson)

The Federal Reserve Board’s ostensible policy aim is to manage the money supply and bank credit in a way that maintains price stability. That usually means fighting inflation, which is blamed entirely on “too much employment,” euphemized as “too much money.”[1] In Congress’s more progressive days, the Fed was charged with a second objective: to promote full employment. The problem is that full employment is supposed to be inflationary – and the way to fight inflation is to reduce employment, which is viewed simplistically as being determined by the supply of credit.

So in practice, one of the Fed’s two directives has to give. And hardly by surprise, the “full employment” aim is thrown overboard – if indeed it ever was taken seriously by the Fed’s managers. In the Carter Administration (1777-80) leading up to the great price inflation of 1980, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker expressed his economic philosophy in a note card that he kept in his pocket, to whip out and demonstrate where his priority lay. The card charted the weekly wage of the average U.S. construction worker. Chairman Volcker wanted wages to go down, blaming the inflation on too much employment – meaning too full. He pushed the U.S. bank rate to an unprecedented 20 percent – the highest normal rate since Babylonian times back in the first millennium BC. This did indeed crash the economy, and with it employment and prosperity.

Volcker called this “harsh monetary medicine,” as if the crash of financial markets and economic growth showed that his “cure” for inflation was working. Apart from employment and wage levels, another victim of Volcker’s interest-rate hike was the Democratic Party’s fortunes in the 1980 presidential election. They lost the White House for twelve years. The party thus is taking great courage – or simply being ignorant – by entering on this autumn’s midterm election by emulating Mr. Volcker’s attempt to drive down wage levels by financial tightening, which already has crashed the stock market by 20 percent. President Biden has thoroughly backed up Republican-appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in endorsing a financial crash in hope that it will roll back U.S. wage levels. That is the policy of the Democratic Party’s donor class and hence political constituency.

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“We have to think ahead. And that’s not something the last outfit did very well. That’s something we’ve been doing fairly well. That’s why we need the money. Thank you all very much.”

Biden: We Need More Money for the Second Pandemic (Celente)

President Joe Biden warned Americans Thursday that there is going to be a second pandemic and we need to be ready. Transcript from the White House: “Well, we’ll get through at least this year. We do need more money. But we don’t just need more money for vaccines for children, eventually; we need more money to plan for the second pandemic. There’s going to be another pandemic. We have to think ahead. And that’s not something the last outfit did very well. That’s something we’ve been doing fairly well. That’s why we need the money. Thank you all very much.”


Bloomberg reported last week that researchers believe that there is a 50/50 chance of another pandemic in the next 25 years. The report said that the Biden administration wants $88.2 billion in funding to adjust the pandemic preparedness in the U.S. to focus on a central White House response. “The plan is aimed at avoiding confusion that has plagued the U.S. pandemic response. The government would need to invest tens of billions of dollars to back the ideas in the new plan to strengthen U.S. biodefense, people familiar with the new plan told Bloomberg.” 1 Americans are still getting infected with COVD. About 300 people in the United States are dying from the virus each day and the average number of new infections each day was over 100,000 since the end of May.

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“So buy Italy, sell Germany, and ignore anyone who says sell dollars.”

Be Warned, A Full-blooded European Sovereign Debt Crisis Is Coming (Blain)

Welcome to the age of divergence! A new long-term trend is upon us. Buy Dollars, Sell Europe. Unfortunately, it’s likely to play into Putin’s hands in Ukraine. Hurts to say it, but Europe is going to struggle most with what’s coming next. It’s got limited choices between galloping inflation, economic misery, and political instability. Being Europe, there is a significant risk it’s likely to reap the non-benefits of all three. After the US and UK hiked interest rates this week, the global inflation threat is so pronounced that even the Swiss National Bank surprised markets by joining the central bank tightening trend. The Bank of Japan – well, they have a different view, keeping up QE and zero interest rates, but they have a different demography, and a tumbling yen that doesn’t particularly bother them.

Thus far, central banks are struggling in this crisis. Addressing the massive exogenous inflation shock of the Ukraine war, following the exogenous shock of the pandemic with 50 basis point rate hikes, feels like treating a gaping flesh wound with a kid’s sticky plaster. It isn’t going to stop inflation. The Bank of England is now predicting Q3 inflation of 11% and raising interest rates is a massive problem for markets. Reading through acres of market research, the credibility of central banks is being called into question around the globe. They face a devil or the deep blue sea choice – how to a) preserve jobs and economic stability by avoiding a market crash, or b) slash inflation? And/or is not an option. It’s a thankless task, made more complex by the consequences of the last 13 years of monetary experimentation.

The ECB? It exists in the same economic world as the rest of us. But being a committee of 19 national members makes it somewhat unwieldy. At the best of times, steering an economy with imprecise monetary tools is challenging. For the ECB, it’s a compromise at best. That’s a major reason that 10 years after the last European Sovereign Debt Crisis, absolutely nothing is fixed about the debt-raddled south. [..] A full-blooded European Sovereign Credit Crisis is coming, and perversely it will give us a clear investment winner! I am not for one second suggesting Italy is an attractive investment proposition, but it’s a screaming speculative opportunity! Buy Italy!

That’s because keeping Italy and several other debt-stressed members in the Euro remains the defining policy of the ECB, and thus the European Union. So buy Italy, sell Germany, and ignore anyone who says sell dollars. Why would you? The US may longer be the globally trusted world policeman, but it’s still the global hegemon. There is not a credible dollar replacement. US Treasuries remain the ultimate safe haven, and if folk sell Treasuries, it’s because they need dollars to pay as the benchmark for all commodity and finished goods trade.

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“..what we learn from the profile is that DeSantis is smart, serious, hard-working, focused, honest, and apparently incorruptible..”

The New Yorker Accidentally Makes Ron DeSantis Look Awesome (NR)

The New Yorker set out to do a hit piece on Florida governor Ron DeSantis. But what we learn from the profile is that DeSantis is smart, serious, hard-working, focused, honest, and apparently incorruptible. He ignores media “noise” and does what he thinks is best for Florida based on analysis of data and science. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood, then attended Yale, where he worked several jobs to pay tuition, and Harvard Law School. He served in the military in Iraq. The main thing the New Yorker hates about DeSantis is his effectiveness and hence the implicit threat he poses to Democrats: “Like Trump with a brain.”

Quotes from the piece: “He’d read all the medical literature — all of it, not just the abstracts.” “Ron’s strength as a politician is that he doesn’t give a f**k. . . . Ron’s weakness as a politician is that he doesn’t give a f**k. Big donors? He doesn’t give a s**t. Cancels on them all the time.” “He’s good-looking. . . . His wife is really good-looking. His family is beautiful. They look like they’re from central casting.” “He’s a serious guy. Driven.” “He was stubborn. If he set his mind to something, you couldn’t shake him. He was focussed and motivated. He didn’t get that from me.” [This is Ron DeSantis Sr. speaking. DeSantis’s dad opened the door in a Florida State University T-shirt and proceeded to chat amiably about his son’s baseball prowess.]

“Ron was a voracious worker, and he worked at phenomenal speed. He was a superb writer, especially for his age.” “He’s so f***ing smart and so creative. You couldn’t even plagiarize off his work. He’d take some angle, and everyone knew there was only one person who could have done that.” “He’s just incredibly disciplined.” And summations by the author of the piece, Dexter Filkins: “DeSantis has an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy.” He’s “articulate and fast on his feet.” He’s “dogged and precise.”

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Looks like an election time PR piece.

Can DeSantis Displace Trump as the GOP Combatant-in-Chief? (New Yorker)

One Sunday afternoon in September, 2020, Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist at Stanford University, was at home in Los Altos when he got an unexpected call. It was Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, and he wanted to talk about the coronavirus. In the early months of the pandemic, Bhattacharya had established himself as an outlier among public-health experts. He is one of three scientists who drafted the Great Barrington Declaration, which argued that many governments were doing more harm than good by shutting down economies and schools. The only practical approach, they said, would be to protect the most vulnerable—mainly by isolating the elderly—and allow everyone else to go about their lives until vaccines and herd immunity neutralized the disease. With covid-19 killing hundreds of Americans every day, the signers of the declaration became pariahs in their profession. “I’ve lost friends,” Bhattacharya told me. “I’m lucky to have tenure.”

DeSantis, young and aggressively confident, was similarly convinced that he could find a better way to handle the virus. Talking with him, Bhattacharya was surprised by his command of the research. “He’d read all the medical literature—all of it, not just the abstracts,” he told me. The science, though, remained unclear—Did the virus linger on surfaces? Did it travel in droplets or in a fog?—and many politicians found that the most appealing solutions were the ones that fit their ideology. For DeSantis, who espouses a libertarian vision of small government and personal freedom, the ideas in the Great Barrington Declaration resonated. In his view, the government, apart from protecting the elderly and making treatments available, should do almost nothing.

Initially, as the virus began spreading in Florida, DeSantis had ordered a statewide lockdown, in accordance with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recommendations. Three weeks later, he changed his mind. “We will never do any of these lockdowns again,” he said. After talking to Bhattacharya, he lifted nearly all remaining restrictions—on schools, government buildings, stores, restaurants, and other private businesses—and halted the enforcement of mask mandates. As the death toll mounted, he was mocked by critics as “DeathSantis” and denounced by the mainstream press. “Any public distrust of this administration has been well-earned,” the Miami Herald editorial board wrote. “We can’t trust the governor with our lives.” A former political adviser with knowledge of the covid response told me that DeSantis was unfazed: “We were getting crucified, but to him it was just noise.” DeSantis revels in defying what he sees as a corrupt and self-satisfied liberal establishment.

Those who work closely with him say that he is unique among elected officials in his disregard for public opinion and the press. “Ron’s strength as a politician is that he doesn’t give a fuck,” a Republican consultant who knows him told me. “Ron’s weakness as a politician is that he doesn’t give a fuck. Big donors? He doesn’t give a shit. Cancels on them all the time.”

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FDR=peace. Truman=war.

How Did America Become Ruled By Its Military-Industrial Complex? (Zuesse)

A document dated 21 January 1946 from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and titled “STATEMENT OF EFFECT OF ATOMIC WEAPONS ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND MILITARY ORGANIZATION”, opened with a “Memorandum by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army,” which itself opened:

“Upon reading the Joint Strategic Survey Committee’s statement on the above subject (J.C.S. 1477/5), I obtained a somewhat unfavorable over-all impression. While most of the specific statements made seem reasonable, the over-all tone seems to depreciate the importance of of the development of atomic weapons and to insist unnecessarily strongly that the conventional armed services will not be eliminated. While I agree entirely, so far as the immediate future is concerned, with the latter concept, I have not felt that there is strong public demand at the present that the services be in fact eliminated. The general tone of the statement might therefore be misconstrued by Congress and the public, and be looked upon as an indication of reactionism on the part of the military and an unwillingness under any circumstances to reduce the size of the military establishment.”

That was at a time when the widespread American assumption was that there would continue to be no standing army in this country. Within less than two years of FDR’s death on 12 April 1945, such a permanent-war U.S. Government became officially created. FDR’s plan for a U.N. that would internationally outlaw all empires became replaced by Truman’s plan for an America that would itself become what Hitler, himself, had only aspired to create: the world’s very first all-encompassing global empire. Truman’s dream is today’s American dream, in today’s Washington DC; and here was how the Nobel Peace-Prize-winning U.S. President, Barack Obama (the other of history’s slickest liars), stated it to graduating West Point cadets, on 28 May 2014:

“The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world. ” It’s endlessly onward and upward, for the U.S. All other nations are “dispensable.” And that objective is backed-up now, by half of the world’s military expenditures. This is how it happened. It happened by deceit, at every step of the way.

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Britain is rotting on all sides simultaneously.

British ‘Watchdog’ Journalists Unmasked As Security State Lapdogs (Cook)

Events of the past few days suggest British journalism – the so-called Fourth Estate – is not what it purports to be: a watchdog monitoring the centers of state power. It is quite the opposite. The pretensions of the establishment media took a severe battering this month as the defamation trial of Guardian columnist Carole Cadwalladr reached its conclusion and the hacked emails of Paul Mason, a long-time stalwart of the BBC, Channel 4 and the Guardian, were published online. Both of these celebrated journalists have found themselves outed as recruits – in their differing ways – to a covert information war being waged by Western intelligence agencies.

Had they been honest about it, that collusion might not matter so much. After all, few journalists are as neutral or as dispassionate as the profession likes to pretend. But as have many of their colleagues, Cadwalladr and Mason have broken what should be a core principle of journalism: transparency. The role of serious journalists is to bring matters of import into the public space for debate and scrutiny. Journalists thinking critically aspire to hold those who wield power – primarily state agencies – to account on the principle that, without scrutiny, power quickly corrupts. The purpose of real journalism – as opposed to the gossip, entertainment and national-security stenography that usually passes for journalism – is to hit up, not down.

And yet, each of these journalists, we now know, was actively colluding, or seeking to collude, with state actors who prefer to operate in the shadows, out of sight. Both journalists were coopted to advance the aims of the intelligence services. And worse, each of them either sought to become a conduit for, or actively assist in, covert smear campaigns run by Western intelligence services against other journalists. What they were doing – along with so many other establishment journalists – is the very antithesis of journalism. They were helping to conceal the operation of power to make it harder to scrutinize. And not only that. In the process, they were trying to weaken already marginalized journalists fighting to hold state power to account.

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Both the Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit come out against Bayer.

Court Orders EPA to Reassess Glyphosate Risk to Human Health, Environment (CHD)

In a historic victory for farmworkers and the environment on June 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and its represented farmworker and conservation clients by overturning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision that the toxic pesticide glyphosate is safe for humans and imperiled wildlife. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto-Bayer’s flagship Roundup weedkiller, the most widely used pesticide in the world. The 54-page opinion held the Trump administration’s 2020 interim registration of glyphosate to be unlawful because “EPA did not adequately consider whether glyphosate causes cancer and shirked its duties under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).”

Represented by the Center for Food Safety, the petitioners in the lawsuit included the Rural Coalition, Farmworker Association of Florida, Organización en California de Lideres Campesinas and Beyond Pesticides. A consolidated case is led by Natural Resources Defense Council and includes Pesticide Action Network. “Today’s decision gives voice to those who suffer from glyphosate’s cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said Amy van Saun, senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety and lead counsel in the case. “EPA’s ‘no cancer’ risk conclusion did not stand up to scrutiny. Today is a major victory for farmworkers and others exposed to glyphosate. Imperiled wildlife also won today, as the court agreed that EPA needed to ensure the safety of endangered species before greenlighting glyphosate.”

[..] As to its cancer conclusion, the court concluded that EPA flouted its own Cancer Guidelines and ignored the criticisms of its own experts. EPA’s “not likely to cause cancer” conclusion was inconsistent with the evidence before it, in the form of both epidemiological studies (real-world cancer cases) and lab animal studies. In addition to its lack of conclusion as to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk (the cancer most tied to glyphosate), the court also concluded that EPA’s general “no cancer” decision was divorced from its own guidelines and experts when EPA selectively discounted evidence that glyphosate causes tumors in animals.

Read more …

1000s of lawsuits. $15 billion set aside. Let’s make sure it’s not enough.

US Supreme Court Denies Bayer Bid To Block Roundup Lawsuits (AFP)

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a bid from Bayer-owned Monsanto that aimed to challenge thousands of lawsuits claiming its weedkiller Roundup causes cancer, a potentially costly ruling. The high court did not explain its decision, which left intact a $25 million ruling in favor of a California man who alleged he developed cancer after using the chemical for years. The decision marks a major blow to the German conglomerate’s legal fight against Roundup-related cases, and Bayer has set aside more than $15 billion to deal with a wave of US lawsuits linked to the weedkiller.


“Bayer respectfully disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision,” the company said in a statement. Bayer has been plagued by problems since it bought Monsanto, which owns Roundup, in 2018 for $63 billion and inherited its legal woes. The German firm says it has not committed any wrongdoing, and maintains that scientific studies and regulatory approvals show Roundup’s main ingredient glyphosate is safe. Glyphosate is nonetheless classified as a “probable carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jun 122022
 
 June 12, 2022  Posted by at 1:21 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  2 Responses »


Evelyn De Morgan Night and Sleep 1878

 

 

Yes, yes, I know, high time for another update on the Monastiraki kitchen you have been so wonderfully, gracefully supporting for 7 years now (I first got here in June 2015). First of all, we are doing great, the level of commitment of the crew is unprecedented, very happy with that, it’s rare. I remember in 2015 there were 51 NGOs “helping” the refugees on Lesbos, for millions of EU funded euros, but the Monastiraki kitchen is something entirely different. Give your time, your money, your love. We want no official status, no subsidies, no CEO who makes a ton of money, we just do it.

BUT: see, if you have “just” your family to feed, you’ll be scared seeing prices for food and energy rise. When you feed 500 people, it’s a whole different story. And a much scarier one. Because I realize that there is no way prices will not rise much more. Rising energy prices -which have yet to be reflected in store prices- guarantee that, and so does the slim edge on which many people here already live. We will go from feeding 500 people to 600-700?!, and the food for every one of them will cost 40-50% more than it did before. That is our future.

 

I saw this report a few days ago on RT (so no link, RT’s only on my phone in Greece), and scary as it looks, it still downplays matters a lot -because it’s based on “official” numbers”. Inflation at 11%? Well, not in my supermarket, it’s more like prices have almost doubled. But look at the energy costs that even official numbers cite:

Inflation in Greece surged to 11.3% year-on-year in May from 10.2% recorded in the previous month, according to the latest data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). According to ELSTAT, natural gas prices saw an annual surge of 172.7%, while electricity bills increased 80.2% and expenses for heating oil grew by 65.1%. The cost of housing reportedly soared 35% year-on-year, transportation prices were up 18.8%, while prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages jumped by 12.1%.

Foods included in the ‘household basket’ saw the biggest price increases with oil and fat rising by 23.2% and dairy by 14.1%. Prices for meat, bread and cereal, and vegetables increased by 13.8%, 13.4%, and 13%, respectively. Meanwhile, prices for fresh fruit grew by 10.8%. Coffee and tea, juice and other beverages, and sweets saw price hikes of 6.3%, 5.6%, and 4.7%, respectively. The price of fish rose 4.1%, while that of alcohol saw an increase of 2.1%.

Greece’s annual EU-harmonized inflation also saw a sharp rise to 10.5% in May from 9.1% in April, further squeezing disposable incomes. EU-harmonized inflation is an index of components used across the EU to measure inflation in a consistent way.

The reality of food prices is a much more grim. In my last article on the kitchen, Dec ’21, I said prices were up 35% from a year ago. Since then, beautiful Filothei -who does the shopping- says this is what happened to prices for our staples:

• Mince meat + 37%
• Pasta + 38%
• Cheese +50%
• Tomato paste +27%
• Vegetables + 50%
• Plates: the aluminum ones we used are up over 100%, we -hope we- found a cheaper plastic solution, but still +40%

 

 

On top of that, there are the energy prices. If and when electricity is up 80%, and heating oil 65%, it doesn’t take much brain capacity to figure out that an already battered population is in for a world of trouble. So for us, not only are prices rising, so will -and is- our client base. Double whammy. Already 500 meals instead of 250. Already our new reality, and there is no end in sight. The influence of rising energy costs on food prices will take another 6 months or so to seep through. That is not included in today’s prices! But it will be. And there is no guarantee any government can control any of it, let alone the Greek one. I must admit it scares me at times. At this point we even must worry also about the Monastiraki kitchen crew members; are they alright? Do they have a place to live, food to eat?

 

Here’s the money we have spent from your donations since my last Monastiraki kitchen article on December 12:

• Dec 21 €400 plates, €50 spices
• Dec 28 €1,500 checks supermarket
• Mar 2 2022 €109.20 table (old one was broken, must be foldable, easy to transport)
• Mar 22 2022 €400 plates
• April 12 €320 olive oil, 3×19 liters tins, 1 free , excellent quality organic oil – From the nuns in the convent that also owns our home base, which we can use for free. We have an agreement that we will fix it up, but that would cost €5000 or so, and with prices rising as they do, even if we had the money, we couldn’t spend it on that. Which means we still have no fridge, no safe storage for food (mice, insects). Double edged sword.-
• Water : We made a deal with a store to buy 100 bottles of cold water for €30 every week (18 weeks=€540). Summers here are hot, it’s simply needed. No running water on the square, no fridge, got to be practical.
• June 7 €1500 checks supermarket

 

 

I asked Filothei why €1,000 in supermarket checks we bought in September lasted 3 months, and €1,500 from December lasted 5 months. As prices rose 30% or more. Her reply, basically, is that we went though much of our storage supply. That doesn’t appear to me to be the way to go if you already know things will only get more expensive. Storage should be full, even if we have to store the pasta under our beds. Filothei thinks it will take €450-€550 to replenish the storage, we’ll do that ASAP. So the €1,500 we spent on checks last week is really only €1,000. Important details.

 

 

Also, I should never forget the local people who support the kitchen. There is a baker who sends over enough bread for everyone. Another baker sends over tons of fantastic sweets, luxurious pies etc., every week (€100 each time?). They wish to remain anonymous. And there are many like them. The store where we get the water sends over food for vegetarians, to name one example. Plus, of course, most vegetables come from Filothei’s organic garden (how big does a garden have to be before you call it a farm?!). It’s a brilliant operation, and I’m proud to be part of it.

We are a lucky kitchen. Because of all these people, and because of you. Thank you. I’ll end with the usual play:

 

 

 

Most of you will know the drill of this by now: any Paypal donations ending in $0.99 or $0.37 go straight to the Monastiraki kitchen, while other donations go to the Automatic Earth -which also badly needs them. (Note: a lot of Automatic Earth donations also end up at the kitchen).

I dislike few things more than asking people for money, even though the Automatic Earth now runs primarily on donations, and there’s some sweet justice in that as well, in depending on people’s appreciation of what we do, instead of ad revenues.

But I cannot do this on my own right now. The Monastiraki kitchen will realistically need about €1,500 per month (not all from my readers). I don’t have that to spare. So I’m calling on you. Unashamedly, because I know there is no reason to be ashamed of the cause.

I love all you people, and I’m sorry I can’t thank you all individually who have supported -and still do- the Monastiraki kitchen and the Automatic Earth all this time, and I ask you to keep on doing just that. The details for donations on Paypal and Patreon, for both causes, are in the top of the two sidebars of this site. Could not be much easier. If you’d rather send a check, go to our Store and Donations page. Bitcoin: 1HYLLUR2JFs24X1zTS4XbNJidGo2XNHiTT.

Love you. Thank you. This kitchen would not exist without you, these people would not get fed.

 

 

 

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

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

 

Jun 112022
 


Robert Campin Portrait of a woman 1430-35

 

The Goal Is Not To Help Ukraine, But To Fight Putin – Jacques Baud (TP)
Biden Tries Blaming Russia for White House Energy Policy and Inflation (CTH)
Ukraine Is Blackmailing The Global South By Demanding Weapons For Wheat (Kol.)
Traitors and Patriots (Batiushka)
UK: 5,000 Non-Covid Excess Deaths in the Last Five Weeks (DS)
Funding of Promising COVID-19 Treatment Withdrawn Without Explanation (DS)
Get Your Monkeypox On (Jim Kunstler)
Primetime Jan. 6 Hearings Air To Dismal TV Ratings (JTN)
Liz Cheney Said Trump Had A ‘Seven-part Plan’ To Overturn The Election (CNN)
Trump Pentagon First Offered National Guard to Capitol on Jan 2 (JTN)
Perry to Cheney: Your Pardon Story Is An Absolute Shameless, Soulless Lie (JTN)
Erdogan Threatens Greece Over ‘Militarizing’ Aegean Islands (ZH)
Agreement In The Dispute Over Spying Attacks On Julian Assange’s Lawyer (Zeit)

 

 

 

 

Ryan Cole
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535169325610553344

 

 

 

 

Kerseboom

 

 

Original from Swiss journal, Zeitgeschehen im Fokus.

Baud is a former strategic intelligence officer in the Swiss Department of Defense.

“This is about supporting decision-making based on facts and not on the basis of divine inspiration.”

The Goal Is Not To Help Ukraine, But To Fight Putin -Jacques Baud (TP)

JB: It is also interesting that if one takes some distance to assess the conflict and does not immediately side with Ukraine, one is declared a ” Putin-Empathizer.” This is unbelievable. What I think about Putin has nothing to do with the assessment of the situation. That is the business of the Ukrainians. I have said this several times: if I were Ukrainian, I probably would have taken up arms. But that is not the point. I, as Swiss, will not give up my Swissness. In order to help Ukraine, I don’t have to become a Ukrainian; but I have to look at the big picture I have as Swiss to bring a less passionate but more constructive point of view. The journalists who criticize me are more Russia-haters than Ukraine-lovers.

JB: When an onlooker sees an old lady being attacked by a thug on the street, he does not encourage her to fight back, but tries to separate the two. We are in the situation of this onlooker; but our response is to give weapons so that Ukraine fights. For a Ukrainian it is legitimate to want to fight. But for a Swiss or another European, our role is to try to limit the damage. But no one is even attempting to do that in the West. When Zelensky was looking for a mediator, he turned to Turkey, China, and Israel. He did not choose a European Union country or even Switzerland. He understood that Switzerland is no longer an independent partner.

[..] JB: Paradoxically, everything we give to Ukraine today only highlights the help and compassion we have not given to those who have been unjustly attacked by the West in the Middle East and elsewhere. This will have consequences in the future. Many have noticed this with the refugees. The “blond, blue-eyed” refugees are gladly helped; the others are not. Maybe we can understand this, even if we cannot approve of it. But what is incomprehensible, remains the fact that we keep silent about one attacker, while another is punished with more than 6 000 sanctions.

[..] It also doesn’t mean that you have to be in favor of Russia; that has nothing to do with it. If you look at Justitia, she is blind and holds a scale in her hand. That is exactly what is missing today. Western countries are partial and biased. The same applies to the European Union. A modern state should not be guided by passion, but by reason. These principles were established by Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau in the 18th century. Our “woke” culture has forgotten them. We let our feelings guide us and we follow them. That is the problem.

[..] The rule of law means that decisions are not based on feelings or intuitions, but on the basis of facts. That is why modern states have intelligence services. This is about supporting decision-making based on facts and not on the basis of divine inspiration. This is a fundamental difference between enlightened governance and despotic obscurantism. Fighting a dictatorship does not entitle us to forget the principles of the rule of law. Since the Balkan War, the West seems to believe that the end justifies the means. It is irrelevant what individual ministers think as persons, they are allowed to hate Putin, that is their right as citizens —but not as ministers. Feelings cannot be the basis of their policy.

Read more …

Kissinger in 2014: “Demonizing Vladimir Putin is not politics; it is an alibi for not having politics.”

Biden Tries Blaming Russia for White House Energy Policy and Inflation (CTH)

It’s worth paying attention to where and when Joe Biden is standing when he makes his ridiculous economic claims today about Russia being the cause of the energy policy from the White House. Do not let it go unnoticed that it’s June, the last month of the second quarter for economic data. Do not let it pass your reference that Joe Biden is speaking from the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) as he spins his nonsense about the inflation, he alone is responsible for. And do not overlook the attendee mentioned in this subtle statement, “And, John, I can’t thank you. You’re — you’re the real deal. Anybody — well, I won’t get into — get you in trouble, but thanks for sticking up for me.”

“John” is the White House Port Envoy John D Porcari. A severely partisan former Obama official who was selected by Joe Biden to lead the fraudulent effort to improve supply chains when the White House was under assault in the fall of 2021. Porcari was the person who designed “operation hide the ships” to give the illusion of port efficiency improvement, and it is almost a certainty that it was Porcari who leveraged his influence with the POLA to hold back the December 2021 import data in order to try and improve the GDP statistics. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters with negative GDP growth. The first quarter of 2022 was -1.5% as detailed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That means if April, May and June 2022 are also negative GDP then we are factually in an economic recession.

That makes this month, June 2022, critical for Joe Biden. The White House will do anything to avoid that label appearing on their economic policy when the reporting is released at the end of July. So it’s June, the last month of the second quarter…. and Joe Biden is giving a speech from the Port of Los Angeles….. and the White House will do anything and everything to avoid that “economic recession” label. What does that mean? That means it’s time for John Porcari to work his magic influence again and get the POLA import data held back and delayed so that it is not deducted from the GDP.

Read more …

Not how we prefer to see it.

Ukraine Is Blackmailing The Global South By Demanding Weapons For Wheat (Kol.)

Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasily Bodnar officially demanded weapons in exchange for resuming wheat exports by sea in what amounts to the blatant blackmailing of the Global South in the midst of the artificially manufactured food crisis. He said that “Effective security guarantees are required for maritime shipments to resume. These guarantees must be provided through the supply of appropriate weapons to Ukraine to protect its coasts from maritime threats and the involvement of the navies of third countries in protecting the relevant part of the Black Sea.” This comprehensively debunks the US-led Western Mainstream Media’s (MSM) fake news that Russia is the one that’s supposedly holding the Global South hostage by allegedly blockading Ukrainian ports.

The background context is that Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya already explained the artificially manufactured origins of the global food crisis late last month. In short, he blamed it on the economic consequences caused by the West’s response to COVID (particularly with respect to spiking inflation and influencing food demand); Ukraine’s mining of its own ports; and the anti-Russian sanctions. President Putin later reiterated these causes in a TV interview that he gave a little over a week later on the same day that he met with Macky Sall, the Chairman of the African Union. His guest extended credence to the Kremlin’s explanation by declaring that “Anti-Russia sanctions have made this situation worse and now we do not have access to grain from Russia, primarily to wheat.”

All the while and in spite of the artificially manufactured origins of the food crisis that lie entirely beyond Russia’s control, Moscow has been doing its utmost to encourage Kiev to at the very least resume its wheat exports to the Global South. To that end, it proposed four potential corridors: the Azov Sea; the Black Sea; overland through Belarus en route to Baltic ports; and across Western Europe. Suffice to say, Kiev has flat-out refused to employ any of these means, though it’s also worth noting that Nebenzya mentioned in his speech late last month that Russia has “reasonable suspicions” to believe that Kiev is exporting wheat to those Western European countries that already have copious reserves of this commodity in exchange for arms exactly as happened with the Central Powers near the end of WWI.

Read more …

“..Putin has very slowly and very cautiously, but incrementally, been remedying the situation. It is his life’s work – to reverse treachery.”

Traitors and Patriots (Batiushka)

The prolific Russian nationalist author of 91 books, Oleg Platonov (born 1950), relates in his work on the fall of the Soviet Union how in the 1980s, on the eve of the country’s collapse, Westerners, whom The Saker rightly calls ‘Euro-Atlanticists’, betrayed the USSR. These ‘Euro-Atlanticists’ were the ‘Communists’ who in the 1990s overnight became super Capitalists, bought shares for almost nothing in valuable, about-to-be privatised national companies and so became ‘oligarchs’. Their shameful acts, in fact thefts of national property by those with insider knowledge, created an underclass of homeless. They reveal how these money-launderers sold out their own country and people and souls, often then going to live in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Nice, Marbella, Nicosia etc.

The Traitors were opposed by the Patriots, some of whom worked in the national intelligence services, where some of the best brains met. One of these Patriots, the future President Putin, was then a lowly colonel in Dresden in East Germany, working in the Soviet intelligence services (not a head of it, like so many US Presidents, heads of the CIA). When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, his office sought answers from Moscow as to what to do. And there was no answer. ‘Moscow is silent’. I believe the story is related in many places, among them in ‘The Putin Interviews’ by Oliver Stone. It was that paralysis and silence of the Centre in Moscow that was among the most decisive events in the future President’s life. He realised that Moscow was betraying the Soviet Union, that it had been taken over by the Traitors, the ‘Nomenklatura’. They believed in nothing, except in their own disgraceful gain. They were anti-Patriots.

Since coming to power in 2000, V. V. Putin has very slowly and very cautiously, but incrementally, been remedying the situation. It is his life’s work – to reverse treachery. In 19th century Russian history people like him were known as ‘Slavophiles’ and they were opposed by ‘Westerners’. These are very vague and rather crude terms, for there are many types of Slavophiles, from primitive and bigoted nationalists to genuine Patriots, who are well-educated realists and seek only the well-being of their people. Similarly, the term ‘Westerners’ can describe outright Traitors and murderers, like Litvinenko and Skripal, but also those who realise that if Russia is to defend itself against the West, it must fight obscurantism and make use of, and then improve on, Western technology. President Putin would probably not identify with either of these historical tags, but rather perhaps with aspects of both of them.

Read more …

We see this in lots of places. I added the New Brunswick chart.

Still, when Justin Bieber gets facial paralysis, it is reportedly from Covid….

UK: 5,000 Non-Covid Excess Deaths in the Last Five Weeks (DS)

New official data from the ONS released today add a further 730 non-Covid excess deaths in England and Wales to the total of the last five weeks, bringing the figure to 4,964. This means nearly 5,000 more people than usual have died in England and Wales in the last five weeks of causes other than COVID-19. The total deaths in the most recent week were 10.1% above the five-year average, as depicted in the chart below. The chart shows in blue that Covid deaths account for less than half of the excess deaths this week, though note that the chart over-counts Covid deaths as it includes any death with Covid. The 4,964 figure for non-Covid excess deaths quoted above is calculated using deaths due to Covid, i.e., where Covid is recorded as the underlying cause on the death certificate.

Private homes, care homes and hospitals are all experiencing excess deaths at present: 23.4%, 6.5% and 5.3% respectively in the most recent week. The ONS report does not comment on what might lie behind these worrying trends. The fact that it coincides with the spring vaccine booster campaign among older folk has raised worries for many, particularly in light of the ONS data showing hospitalisation rates for non-Covid reasons many times higher in the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated, and the vaccine safety concerns raised by clinical practitioners who believe their vaccinated patients are at greater risk of disease and death.

Read more …

“..there did not seem to be enough support from the scientific community for a study on the benefits of fish liver oil against viral infections..”

Funding of Promising COVID-19 Treatment Withdrawn Without Explanation (DS)

In 2020 a cell culture lab-study performed by a group of Icelandic scientists led by Dr. Einar Stefánsson, Professor of Medicine at the University of Iceland, showed that free fatty acids found in fish liver oil can quickly destroy viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The study was conducted in collaboration with U.S. partners. Laboratory results showed fish liver oil with 1% and 2% free fatty agents destroyed 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 within 10 minutes. According to an article in Vidskiptabbladid in November 2020, the research, in collaboration with fish liver oil producer Lysi hf. had been approved by the Scientific Ethics Committee and the first phase of the study was being planned with the participation of 30 infected individuals.


Icelandic daily Fréttin recently contacted Professor Stefánsson for news of the project, but he said the research project had to be discontinued due to lack of funds. According to Dr. Stefánsson, the Icelandic Centre for Research, RANNÍS, had approved a “substantial grant” to finance the study, but later the grant was withdrawn without explanation. He said there did not seem to be enough support from the scientific community for a study on the benefits of fish liver oil against viral infections, so unfortunately the project had to be cancelled. Related to this, it might be noted that in April 2020 the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority banned an advertisement from Lysi hf. which claimed the consumption of fish liver oil might be beneficial against viruses such as herpes, RS and coronaviruses, preventing infection. The authority had shortly before warned consumers of advertisements for products that might strengthen the immune system, for example against SARS-CoV-2 infection, since information or claims of such product characteristics was “wrong and misleading” for consumers.

Read more …

“And now, the Party of Chaos is so keenly desperate to stay out of prison that they apparently seek to repeat the trick in the fall midterm..”

Get Your Monkeypox On (Jim Kunstler)

If the January 6th Committee show is short-and-sweet, say a few weeks, it will be quickly forgotten in the welling summertime heat as the great masses of America groan under $5… $7… maybe $10-a-gallon gasoline prices (or maybe no gas at all) while diesel prices at $6.50 today are already destroying the trucking industry — and thus the entire system for delivering all goods around the country. The zeitgeist is quivering with intimations of food shortages and the philosopher reminds us that any given body politic is just nine missed meals away from bloody rebellion. Have another look at that motley January 6th committee group photo and consider the lampposts along Pennsylvania Avenue.

It’s a dangerous game trying to beat down the population this way, and to what end, exactly? I doubt that even the Blue Team could articulate it… or would dare to… because at this point their sole aim, really, is to hide their many acts of criminality over a span of the past six years and escape prosecution, a compelling motive. And it’s getting harder and harder to conceal all that, especially their campaign to physically harm over 200-million people with mRNA “vaccines.” The body-count is rising — way higher even than deaths from the hypothetical “pandemic” that the “vaccines” were supposedly concocted to vanquish, and spectacularly failed to.

And was this Covid-19 “pandemic” itself cooked up tacitly to disorder the 2020 election with mail-in ballots so easily replicated, harvested, and stuffed by the bale into drop-boxes under cover of night? Kind of looks like it, more and more. And now, the Party of Chaos is so keenly desperate to stay out of prison that they apparently seek to repeat the trick in the fall midterm, which is otherwise quite certain to sweep them ignominiously off the game board like so many misplayed quoits.

Read more …

Outdone by a rerun of Young Sheldon.

Primetime Jan. 6 Hearings Air To Dismal TV Ratings (JTN)

The primetime hearings for the Jan. 6 commission’s investigation into the 2021 Capitol riot were broadcast live on almost every major station, yet failed to capture national interest and produced ratings far below other comparable national televised political events. Almost 20 million viewers tuned in for the hearings on Thursday night, according to The Hill. By contrast, President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in March pulled in 38 million viewers. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union attracted over 45 million, per the New York Post. The 20 million figure did stand above a typical congressional hearing, The Hill noted, citing the roughly 9 million viewers for Trump’s first impeachment trial.


Members of the Jan. 6 Commission have sought to present a case blaming Trump for the violence that occurred at the Capitol amid congressional efforts to certify the presidential election results. Their narrative stands in contrast to growing sentiment among the American public who increasingly do not blame the former president for the incident. An NBC poll released Monday, showed that only 45% of Americans blamed Trump for the riot which, while still a plurality, marked a seven-point decline in that sentiment from January of 2021. Republicans have largely denounced the hearings as a “kangaroo court” and slammed the commission’s Republican members for their participation in it.

Tucker J 6

Read more …

Trump is certainly not squeaky clean, but this is ridiculous.

Liz Cheney Said Trump Had A ‘Seven-part Plan’ To Overturn The Election (CNN)

Former President Donald Trump had a “sophisticated seven-point plan” to overturn the 2020 presidential election over the course of several months, January 6 committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said, detailing how the panel plans to use its future hearings to tackle each part of the scheme. “On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain president of the United States, despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power,” Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said in her opening statement at Thursday’s prime-time hearing.

Cheney did not detail the specific points of the plan in her opening statement. She said that the rioters who breached the Capitol and fought with police were motivated by Trump’s actions falsely claiming that the election was stolen from him. “President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said, echoing the statement she made in 2021 when she voted to impeach Trump. A committee source later provided CNN the following description of the “sophisticated seven-part plan”: “President Trump oversaw a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the 2020 election and prevent the transition of presidential power.

  1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
  2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.
  3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and the law.
  4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.
  5. President Trump’s legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.
  6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the US Capitol.
  7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.

Read more …

Trump himself said this too. But it was refused.

Trump Pentagon First Offered National Guard to Capitol on Jan 2 (JTN)

The Pentagon first raised the possibility of sending National Guard troops to the U.S. Capitol four days before the Jan. 6 riots, setting in motion a series of rejections by Capitol Police and Democrats that left Congress vulnerable as threats of violence were rising, according to government memos that validate Trump administration officials’ long-held claims. An official timeline of the Jan. 6 tragedy assembled by Capitol Police shows that a Defense Department official reached out to a Capitol Police deputy chief, Sean Gallagher, on Jan. 2, 2021 to see if a request for troops was forthcoming, but the offer was quickly rejected after a consultation with then-Chief Steve Sund.

“Carol Corbin (DOD) texts USCP Deputy Chief Sean Gallagher, Protective Service Bureau, to determine whether USCP is considering a request for National Guard soldiers for January 6, 2021 event,” the timeline reads in the lone entry listed for Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. The following morning, the timeline states, “Gallagher replies to DOD via text that a request for National Guard support not forthcoming at this time after consultation with COP Sund.” The rejection came as the Capitol Police department was beginning to change its assessment, recognizing that the massive Trump rally to protest the November 2020 election results planned for Jan. 6, 2021 had the potential for violence.

Earlier analyses suggested such violence was unlikely and the Jan. 6 event was likely to be “similar to the previous Million MAGA March rallies in November and December,” police records show For instance, Capitol Police had determined that as of Dec. 16, 2020 there was “no information regarding specific disruptions or acts of civil disobedience targeting this function.” But by late December, Capitol Police internal emails and documents show, information began flowing in that some groups expected to attend were talking on social media or fringe websites about tactics like blocking tunnels leading to the Capitol. On Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, just hours after Gallagher rejected the Pentagon’s initial offer, the Capitol Police issued a new and darker security assessment to its commanders and executives and to the two political appointees in Congress responsible for security, the House and Senate sergeants at arms, the timeline shows.

“Due to the tense political environment following the 2020 election, the threat of disruptive actions or violence cannot be ruled out,” the new assessment declared. “Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021 as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election. This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.” Within 24 hours, Sund had changed his mind and began seeking permission from the political powers surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to deploy the National Guard as a preventive measure on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

[..] “The Capitol Police timeline shows what we have been saying for the last year — that DOD support via the National Guard was refused by the House and Senate sergeant at arms, who report to Pelosi,” Patel said. “Now we have it in their own writing, days before Jan. 6. And despite the FBI warning of potential for serious disturbance, no perimeter was established, no agents put on the street, and no fence put up.”

Read more …

“..shameless and soulless..”

Perry to Cheney: Your Pardon Story Is An Absolute Shameless, Soulless Lie (JTN)

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) blasted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for claiming he sought a presidential pardon because he thought he may have done something wrong on Jan. 6. On the John Solomon Reports podcast Friday, when asked if he did anything wrong on Jan. 6, Perry said, “No, of course not. I was in the Capitol doing my legislative duties on January 6.” Rep. Scott Perry: Liz Cheney’s claim that I sought a presidential pardon for Jan 6, ‘an absolute shameless and soulless lie’ “[T]he notion that I ever sought a presidential pardon for myself, or other members of Congress, is an absolute shameless and soulless lie,” he added.

“It’s just simply no surprise, considering this latest fabrications come from a sham committee using a breathtaking abuse of power to conjure up political theater to destroy their opponents and … distract the American people from the economic and national security nightmare. This is a nightmare created by their one-party rule and quite honestly, rogue Republicans — and you know, Republicans in name only — and their compatriots on the radical left. “This is a kangaroo court. And it’s more fitting to be aired with the filth of scripted reality TV than masquerading as a newsworthy item, which is why I’m using all my time as a member of Congress to try to address the fact that Americans can’t literally afford gasoline, groceries, their food, and … to suffer under the policies of those who control the sham committee.”

Perry asked where the primetime committee hearing was for the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and the inflation, border, and drug crises. “[T]hat’s what I’m working on and that’s exactly what the American people demand Congress work on, not producing political theater to the tune of $8 million to destroy their opponents.” During the Jan. 6 committee hearing aired on TV Thursday, Cheney said, “As you will see, Rep. Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6th to seek a Presidential Pardon.” She added, “Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

Read more …

A senior Turkish diplomat says Erdogan is full of it. The 1923 Lausanne Treaty simply states that all islands more than 3 km from Turkey are Greek. No more, no less. There are over 2,400 islands. No-one tried to name them all for the Treaty. No need.

Erdogan Threatens Greece Over ‘Militarizing’ Aegean Islands (ZH)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday accused Greece of militarizing its islands in the Aegean Sea with an eye toward threatening Turkey, in but the latest salvo in a series of tit-for-tat accusations between the two NATO members. Erdogan urged immediate demilitarization of the islands, stressing Turkey will never relinquish its “rights” in the Aegean Sea, statements which come weeks after he condemned Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for lobbying the White House to block impending US F-16 sales to Ankara. The fresh words also came on the final day of Turkey’s multi-national “Efes-2022” military drill, centered on the coastal city of Izmir. “We invite Greece to stop arming the islands that have non-military status and to act in accordance with international agreements,” Erdogan said.

“I’m not joking, I’m speaking seriously. This nation is determined.” “I warn Greece to avoid dreams, acts and statements that will result in regret. Come to your senses,” he said in a televised speech related to the drills. “Turkey will not renounce its rights in the Aegean and will not back down from using rights that are established by international agreements when it comes to arming islands,” he added. Erdogan further vowed that Turkey would continue its controversial hydrocarbons exploration of the region, which Greece, Cyprus, and some EU countries like France have condemned as violating Greek and Cypriot territorial waters. Erdogan claimed that Greece is violating the1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Paris Treaty. He declared that Greece was previously given the islands on condition that they’d remain demilitarized.

“The agreements are there but Greece is violating them. It’s arming them. If Greece does not stop this violation, the sovereignty of the islands will be brought up for discussion,” he said. “It’s that clear. You will abide by the agreements.” In questioning the “sovereignty of the islands,” Erdogan appeared to suggest Turkish military intervention is on the table, also given he uttered the veiled threat on the occasion of major Turkish-led military exercises. Greece responded by saying Turkey has long deliberately misinterpreted and misrepresented the content of the historic treaties, and further that Ankara’s standing threat of war justifies that Greece take steps to defend itself. As The Associated Press reports: In Athens, Greek government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said Greece was dealing with Turkish “provocations” with “calm and determination.””It is clear to everyone that our country has upgraded its geostrategic and geopolitical footprint as well as its deterrent capacity to be able at any time to defend its national sovereignty and sovereign rights,” he said.

Turkish ambassador
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535217612917026818

Read more …

Translation from Die Zeit.

Agreement In The Dispute Over Spying Attacks On Julian Assange’s Lawyer (Zeit)

A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is in prison in the UK, has reached an out-of-court settlement with the UK government over allegations of spying. As the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg announced, the government in London recognized that the rights of lawyer Jennifer Robinson had been violated by spying attacks. Confidential journalistic material was also affected. Robinson received a payment of 1,000 pounds (around 1,170 euros), the statement said. The lawsuit before the Human Rights Court, which has now been dropped, was also about the disclosure of information to the United States, which wants to obtain Assange’s extradition.


How exactly the lawyer from the law firm Doughty Street Chambers is said to have been spied on is not known. The government is keeping it under wraps for national security reasons, Robinson said in an interview with the dpa news agency. “I’d really like to know that too, because it raises important questions about what information was shared.” After a court in London approved Assange’s extradition, Home Secretary Priti Patel is eagerly awaiting the decision. The US judiciary wants to put Assange on trial for allegations of espionage. He faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted. He is accused of having stolen and published secret material from US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan together with whistleblower Chelsea Manning, thereby endangering the lives of US informants.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo blame game

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Gallery
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535209164376576000

 

 

kid+dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1534956581321850880

 

 

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May 092022
 


Henri Gervex Rolla 1878

 

It’s Not Over. It’s Just Begun (Naomi Wolf)
FDA: Americans Should Treat COVID-19 Like the Flu (ET)
White House Warns Of Covid Surges In The Winter (Pol.)
US Senator Says Biden Admin Disinformation Board Likely Illegal (JTN)
Ukraine Will Prevail As Europe Did In 1945 – Scholz (G.)
Bono Showed up in Kyiv, Ukraine Along with Justin From Canada (CTH)
Europe’s Mad Ban on Russian Oil (Vilches)
Biden To Deliver Remarks On Inflation Tuesday (CNN)
Michigan Police Seize Voting Machine (JTN)
Courts Find No Government Coercion Of Big Tech On Covid ‘Misinformation’ (JTN)
Anatomy of the American Baby Formula Shortage (JTN)

 

 

“On Victory Day, let’s remember the heroic peoples of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and elsewhere that fought together, making unbelievable sacrifices to liberate Europe from the horrors of fascism. Nothing – including today’s NATO-Nazi marriage of convenience – can erase that history.”

 

 

 

 

Biden prostitute
https://twitter.com/i/status/1523317412179111937

 

 

MEP Christine Anderson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1523255207312130048

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renz Harari

 

 

Naomi Wolf works on the Pfizer docs with a whole team of people.

It’s Not Over. It’s Just Begun (Naomi Wolf)

On MSNBC that morning, Dr Anthony Fauci, that entangled mass of compromised spiritual matter, who had presided over the intentional wastelands of the pandemic; who had for two years delivered in his nasal Brooklyn cadences its lie-based soundbites with their dearth of scientific studies, that wrecked livelihoods, destroyed kids’ educations, and that drove whole communities into destitution — had declared, as if he were God Himself, that the pandemic was over. Well — okay then! I realized as we drove that my grief was not actually grief. As any pop psychologist will tell you, just beneath depression is rage. I realized — I was furious.


Brian and I had been fighting, side by side, relentlessly, for over two years, in a bitter, exhausting war to return America to — simply to normal; to its historic status as a great, free society, in which people could enjoy their Constitutional liberties. We were part of a loose community —a movement, say — of people braver and more dedicated than we; we were part of what you might call a liberty movement. But these heroes and heroines alongside whom we fought, were all pitiably few in number. There were maybe hundreds; maybe a few thousand. Many more perhaps were in sympathy with us, but our energies were still spread very thin. As I have written before, these heroes and heroines risked medical licenses, risked livelihoods. They were smeared and mocked by their peers. They were stripped of credentials. They staked their savings and lost them as they had their incomes taken away.

But they burned, as the rebels in 1775 had burned, to defend our way of life and our institutions. They would not let the dream of America die. They were the miserably few real doctors and real reporters, real activists and real lawyers. They were the truck drivers; they were teachers and cops and firefighters. They were patriots. They did not have easy lives. You know who had easier lives over the past two years? The damn quislings. The people who stayed at the cocktail parties and who mocked the unvaccinated. The doctors who were silent about vaccine harms when teens presented with heart damage, because they might lose their licenses if they breathed a word of what they knew.


The ex-Brooklynites who were supposed to be journalists but who smeared and attacked the medical freedom movement instead of reporting on Pfizer’s internal documents showing massive undisclosed medical catastrophes, in what is turning out to be one of the great corporate coverups of our generation. I realized the source of my rage: the labor and nightmares and isolation and persecution and money worries and — well — awful battles waged by us few hundreds, few thousands, had helped these quislings and collaborators have back what — what we had wanted them to have back; indeed, what we had wanted us all to have back; our America.

Naomi Wolf Pfizer

Read more …

FDA and CDC need to be disbanded.

FDA: Americans Should Treat COVID-19 Like the Flu (ET)

Several top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials, including Commissioner Robert Califf, admitted that Americans will now have to accept COVID-19 as another respiratory virus, comparing it to influenza. Califf, Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock, and top vaccine official Dr. Peter Marks wrote for the Journal of the American Medical Association that COVID-19 will be around for the foreseeable future while suggesting that it will require yearly vaccines targeting the most threatening variations of the virus. “Widespread vaccine- and infection-induced immunity, combined with the availability of effective therapeutics, could blunt the effects of future outbreaks,” the officials said, referring to another name for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“Nonetheless, it is time to accept that the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is the new normal.” The virus “will likely circulate globally for the foreseeable future, taking its place alongside other common respiratory viruses such as influenza. And it likely will require similar annual consideration for vaccine composition updates in consultation with the [FDA],” they continued. It’s a departure from the rhetoric that was expressed by public health officials in 2020 and 2021. In late October 2020, for example, current White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci said that President Donald Trump’s comparisons to the flu were false, telling NBC at the time “it is not correct to say it’s the same as flu.”

About a year later, Fauci told CBS News that Americans will “likely” have to deal with COVID-19 in a similar manner as influenza. “That’s entirely conceivable and likely, as a matter of fact, we are not going to be in a situation of this degree of intensity indefinitely,” he said when asked about the Omicron variant. Data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that while cases have trended slightly upward in the United States, the numbers are a fraction of the cases that were reported in mid-January when the seven-day average stood at around 800,000 per day. As of May 6, the seven-day average was about 68,000 per day.

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Ha ha ha. The White House knows better than the FDA.

White House Warns Of Covid Surges In The Winter (Pol.)

Covid cases surged during the last two winters and are likely to again this year — unless the country can prepare and act, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said Sunday morning. “If we don’t get ahead of this thing, we’ll have a lot of waning immunity, this virus continues to evolve and we may see a pretty sizable wave of infections, hospitalizations and deaths this fall and winter,” Jha said on ABC’s “This Week.” Congress needs to provide resources, Jha said, specifically $22.5 billion, a number that will help with a vaccine supply that’s dwindling. In March, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said: “If the science shows that fourth doses are needed for the general population later this year, we will not have the supply necessary to ensure shots are available.”


The money, once allocated, would go toward Covid vaccine supply and coronavirus testing. “If Congress doesn’t step up and fund these, I think, urgent and emergent priorities … they can’t wait until the fall, it will be too late,” Jha said. And the proof is in the jab. With cases increasing in the Northeast, deaths remain low because of high vaccination rates. “That’s not true for the whole country,” Jha said. With enough resources to get more people vaccinated and more therapeutics in place, he said, “I do think we can get through this winter without a lot of suffering and death.”

Read more …

“Federal funding available for the board and for Jankowicz’s salary “is ‘none,’” he said, because “Congress explicitly defunded it, just weeks ago.”

US Senator Says Biden Admin Disinformation Board Likely Illegal (JTN)

Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., says the creation of a board within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tasked with combating “disinformation” is likely illegal. Creating the board and hiring its new director without Congressional authorization violates several federal laws, Hagerty, R-Tenn., said. Knowingly and willfully violating one of them carries a $5,000 fine and up to two years in prison, he adds. Hagerty sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas saying his “actions merit review by Congress, both as a general matter, as well as under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and because the actions may be in violation of provisions of the Antideficiency Act.”

He told Mayorkas that “you will comply with the requirements” of the CRA when it comes to the creation of DHS’ disinformation board because the law requires “any agency action that falls within the definition of a ‘rule’ must be submitted to Congress for review before it can take effect.” Creating the board and hiring its new director, Nina Jankowicz, “may also be a direct violation of provisions of the Antideficiency Act,” Hagerty wrote. The law prohibits “making or authorizing an expenditure from, or creating or authorizing an obligation under, any appropriation or fund in excess of the amount available in the appropriation or fund unless authorized by law.” Federal funding available for the board and for Jankowicz’s salary “is ‘none,’” he said, because “Congress explicitly defunded it, just weeks ago.”

Citing a section of the fiscal 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Act, Hagerty said the law “specifically prohibits the Secretary of Homeland Security from using any funds provided by Congress to carry out Section 872 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which means it defunded any action to ‘allocate or reallocate functions among the officers of the Department of Homeland Security or to establish, consolidate, or alter organizational units within the Department of Homeland Security.’” Hagerty also put Mayorkas on notice, writing: “As you know, an officer or employee, including you, who violates the Antideficiency Act ‘shall be subject to appropriate administrative discipline,’ and, for willful violations, faces a criminal fine, imprisonment, or both.”

Read more …

The man whose country was defeated, for which 25-40 million Russians gave their life. Maybe that man should shut his face on Victory Day.

Ukraine Will Prevail As Europe Did In 1945 – Scholz (G.)

Ukraine will prevail over Russia as freedom prevailed over the Nazi dictatorship in 1945, the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, will say in a TV address to mark the 77th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, in which he will accuse Vladimir Putin of falsifying history. In the speech, which will be aired on German TV at 8.20pm CET (7.20pm BST) on Sunday, Scholz says the “legacy of 8 May” for his country must be to help to ensure that there will never again be genocide or tyranny in Europe. “I am deeply convinced. Putin will not win the war,” the centre-left politician says. “Ukraine will prevail. Freedom and safety will win, just like freedom and safety triumphed over servitude, violence and dictatorship 77 years ago.”

Scholz says it is “falsifying history and disgraceful” of Russia’s president to equate his own “barbaric war of aggression” with the fight against National Socialism. “It is our duty to state this clearly,” his speech says. In keeping with previous postwar German leaders’ messages on 8 May, Scholz thanks the Allied forces for their defeat of Nazi Germany, and says his country owes a debt to both Russia and Ukraine, which suffered millions of casualties in the second world war. Scholz has repeatedly declared Germany’s support for Ukraine’s defensive effort but diplomatic relations between Berlin and Kyiv have been frosty. Ukrainian diplomats have accused his left-liberal coalition government of stalling over embargoes on Russian energy and deliveries of military hardware.

The chancellor, meanwhile, appeared personally piqued after Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, previously a Social Democratic party (SPD) ally, was told last month he was not welcome to visit Kyiv along with eastern European leaders. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week he had made up with Steinmeier and invited Scholz to pay a symbolic visit to Ukraine’s capital on 9 May. The German leader did not give any indication on Sunday of whether he was likely to accept or not.

Read more …

“Bono’s appearance in any State Dept/CIA construct usually precedes the bombing of the proverbial milk factories and subsequent “babies are casualties of war” narrative.”

Bono Showed up in Kyiv, Ukraine Along with Justin From Canada (CTH)

It’s the new cool thing. It’s the latest rage on Insta. All the most virtuous people are doing it. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to support the movement. Travel to Kyiv, Ukraine, snap a few selfies… Social media archives will record history. According to pop culture, the Facebook, Insta, Twitter and YouTube social media campaign to save Kyiv, is bigger than the Berlin wall falling. The CIA, DoS, DHS and Nina Jankowicz have declared it true. When the conflict in Ukraine first began, the White House announced the victor would be the one who could “tell a better story.” The war in Ukraine would be determined by who was more likeable on social media. From that moment forth, winning the PR battle has been the focus.


Within days of the White House declaring the strategy, Google, DuckDuckGo, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all announced they would filter and block content that did not support World War Reddit. Anyone who was not supporting Ukraine and “churchill in a T-Shirt” ran the risk of being deplatformed; and so, the strategy has continued through today. After writing pro-Ukraine poems for Nancy Pelosi to read to congress, now Bono travels to Ukraine. I said on March 1st when Bono shows up, that’s the moment when you know western propaganda over Ukraine will soon apex. Bono’s appearance in any State Dept/CIA construct usually precedes the bombing of the proverbial milk factories and subsequent “babies are casualties of war” narrative.

Read more …

May I call you Ursula ?

Europe’s Mad Ban on Russian Oil (Vilches)

May I call you Ursula ? Thank you. “We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion [… a phenomenal bad joke of sorts… ] in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimises the impact on global markets” you said. Question: will the Russians just idly watch you trying to execute such enormity at the EU´s preferred speed and political and geopolitical sequencing? And the Russians would never dare to strike back with natural gas or other restrictions no? For starters, what about nickel, uranium, and lithium? Not having them would be like trying to prepare tasty food without salt, pepper or mustard. Without uranium no nuclear power is possible, did you know? [ more on that later ]. Ursula, your pink unicorn wishful thinking is unfathomable gal.

This mad-ban requires EU approval with conditional support from Hungary, Greece, and others. So some special EU members will be exempted while regular EU ´kelpers´ will not. Now could that lead to serious friction ? How many years will it take all of Europe to reconvert its industry and supply chains? “This is why we will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within 6 months and refined products by the end of the year.” Okay, so Aunty Ursie you believe the Russians are dumb enough to let you phase this idea out nice and easy at your own pace and whenever you decide to act per your own special EU schedule. No market dynamics involved as Europe plays everybody else´s pieces too as grandpas would do with 3-year-old grandkids.

No way Ursula, the Russians play world-class professional chess while you play elementary school checkers, not even being good at that either. The instant Russia perceives the initial execution of your game plan regarding banning of Russian oil, they´ll make their moves, not yours. And those Russian moves will not be nice and pretty. For one, Europe will not have anywhere nearly ready its own diesel refining capacity by the end of 2022 while the middle distillate market is ever much tighter everywhere as demand recovers from the Covid pandemic. So the EU “plan” is to frantically search for hard-to-find or simply non-existent substitutes while investing tons of time, money, effort and risk. Well, the Russians know that already even before you start. Diesel is already in critically short supply in the EU. Furthermore, Europe will continue buying Russian oil and distillates via third countries once it introduces any embargo only that at much higher prices than today. Such old, quick and dirty business is known as “triangulation” Ursula.

The existential threat imposed on Russia by the EU with its macabre “Ukraine Plan” and sanctions has not left Russia any way out other than playing hardball for keeps. Furthermore, the Russian non-military retaliation domain is actually unlimited due to the full-scale and open-ended addiction that Europe has developed for Russian imports of different sorts including commodities of any and every imaginable type. Without such, Europe will cease to exist as we know it in a matter of a very few months, if not weeks. As Francis Fukuyama should posit, Europe´s dependency on Russian commodities is the end of its own history.

Read more …

They think they found a way to blame the GOP – and Putin, of course.

Biden To Deliver Remarks On Inflation Tuesday (CNN)

President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on inflation Tuesday, a White House official said, as his administration looks to further address one of the key economic concerns for voters heading into November’s midterm elections. “He’ll detail his plan to fight inflation and lower costs for working families, and contrast his approach with Congressional Republicans’ ultra-MAGA plan to raise taxes on 75 million American families and threaten to sunset programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” the official said in an email. A CNN poll released last week found 8 in 10 US adults said the federal government wasn’t doing enough to curb inflation, and a majority said the President’s policies have hurt the economy.


Even within the Democratic Party, just 7 in 10 approve of Biden on the economy (71%) and helping the middle class (71%), considerably lower than the 86% of Democrats who approve of his performance overall. Inflation rates have been increasing sharply since August 2021 and have been out of the normal 2%-to-4% range for a full year. The Consumer Price Index rose 8.5% for the year ending in March, a rate that hadn’t been seen since December of 1981. “It’s our job to make sure that inflation of that unpleasant high nature doesn’t get entrenched in the economy,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week, just after he announced a half-point interest rate hike to combat inflation.

Read more …

2000 mules coming right at you.

Michigan Police Seize Voting Machine (JTN)

Michigan State Police seized a voting machine as part of an investigation into possible unauthorized access to election equipment. Law enforcement and officials at Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office had a warrant and took a voting machine from Irving Township into custody, officials told CNN and The Epoch Times. “The Township intends to fully cooperate with law enforcement, and the Township attorneys have been in contact with the Michigan State Police regarding this matter. The Township has no further comment at this time,” Irving Township supervisor Jamie Knight told The Epoch Times. County clerk Pamela Palmer told CNN that she did not know about any machine issue until police notified her of the equipment’s seizure. The 2020 election investigation has expanded in Michigan. “As we found out more information we’ve expanded our area to see if any other places were compromised,” Michigan State Police Lieutenant Derrick Carroll said. “We have gone to other regions.”

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Not every court will be this blind.

Courts Find No Government Coercion Of Big Tech On Covid ‘Misinformation’ (JTN)

Social media users alleged that federal authorities used an old gangster tactic to compel Twitter and Facebook to censor purported COVID-19 misinformation: “Nice place you’ve got here, be a shame if something happened to it.” Federal judges in Ohio and California didn’t buy those arguments, dismissing both First Amendment cases Thursday for lack of legal standing. Both claimed Facebook and Twitter might have punished the plaintiffs anyway under their own terms of service. “The 1st amendment is a dead letter,” Stanford University medical professor Jay Bhattacharya, also a target of censorship for his anti-lockdown Great Barrington Declaration, tweeted in response to the rulings.

“The judges are looking at this very technically,” faulting the absence of direct orders to censor, New Civil Liberties Alliance lawyer Jenin Younes, counsel in the Ohio case, told Just the News. She believes her three clients have better chances in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, pointing to its 2019 ruling against the University of Michigan, which both the court and feds ignored. The 6th Circuit let a First Amendment group represent students challenging the university’s “bias response team,” agreeing it imposed an “objective chill” on their speech regardless of whether it had “actual power to punish” them. The student-run Harvard Law Review blasted the ruling at the time for a “lax view of standing” that “seemingly dispensed with the requirement that a plaintiff show actual injury.

The setbacks may take a backseat to a broader lawsuit filed Thursday. The attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana accused the Biden administration of “colluding” with Big Tech to censor information about the Hunter Biden laptop story, origins of COVID and security of voting via mail during the pandemic. Justin Hart, identified by MIT researchers as an “anchor” for data-driven mask skepticism on Twitter, sued Facebook, Twitter, President Biden, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and federal offices last summer in California, alleging “state action” against his posts. Murthy and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki publicly disclosed “within days” of Hart’s suspensions from Facebook and Twitter that the feds were pressuring social media to remove “misinformation super-spreaders” and that White House “senior staff” were directly contacting the companies.

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An unexpected emergency?! “..the Biden Food and Drug Administration was alerted by a whistleblower last fall..”

Anatomy of the American Baby Formula Shortage (JTN)

At the outset of his presidency, Joe Biden promised competence by a bigger, better government. A few days ago, one of his loyal allies exposed a gross incompetence by federal officials on Biden’s watch that defied that promise and inflamed a baby formula shortage now panicking parents nationwide. Rep. Rose DeLauro, D-Conn., a reliable liberal ally, unveiled documents showing the Biden Food and Drug Administration was alerted by a whistleblower last fall about potential contamination issues at the Abbott Nutrition baby formula factory in Michigan and failed for months to act aggressively. “The FDA reacted far too slowly to this report,” DeLauro said in releasing a letter to the Health and Human Services inspector general demanding an immediate investigation to an incident that has led to babies being sickened and dying and a belated recall that has emptied shelves of formula nationwide.

The congresswoman, the chairwoman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, laid out a four-month-long trail of federal bumbles and stumbles: the report came in Oct. 20, the whistleblower didn’t even get interviewed for two months, the plant didn’t get inspected until Jan. 31 and the recall didn’t get issued until Feb. 17. “Why did the FDA not spring into action?” she implored during a congressional hearing. “Why did it take four months to pull this formula off store shelves? How many infants were fed contaminated formula during this time, by parents who trusted that the formula they were buying was safe? How many additional illnesses and deaths were there due to FDA’s slow response?”

Now the bureaucratic stumbling has escalated into a national crisis, as video of bare shelves and panicked parents harken in America some of the same fears and images as the bread lines and rationing that befell the Soviet Union in the early 1990s just before its collapse. The problems began even before the recall as inflation, labor shortages and supply chain slowdowns began putting pressure on the baby food staple last fall. In November, baby formula was already substantially more expensive and supply shortages had already risen to 11%. By the first week of April, the shortages had soared to 31%, and last week the number stood at a stunning 40%, according to statistics kept by Datasembly.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Musk SNL
https://twitter.com/i/status/1523366203242262529

Buffett

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Rogan Vikings

 

 

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Mar 152022
 
 March 15, 2022  Posted by at 9:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  49 Responses »


Salvador Dali Memory of the child woman 1932

 

China Has Already Decided To Send Economic Aid To Russia, US Fears (G.)
White House Threatens China Will Pay for Support for Russia (Antiwar)
Biden Blames Putin, Covid For Record-high Inflation In US (Fox)
Stop Putin’s War! (CP)
Stocks Give Up Gains Following Kremlin Comments (ZH)
Germany To Buy Dozens Of US Stealth Jets (Y!)
Orwell Was Right (Taibbi)
Playing Dumb (Kunstler)
France Lifts Covid-19 Rules On Unvaccinated, Mask Wearing (AP)
Ed Dowd: 25 To 44 yo Experienced An 84% Increase In Excess Mortality (Kirsch)
Triple Vaccinated Just Weeks Away From Developing AIDS (DE)
UK Supreme Court Slams Door On Assange Appeal (Gosztola)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Tulsi

 

 

 

 

Majewski

 

 

The Guardian is the ideal voice of empire. But that means a lot of things must be igored. China doesn’t see the world through US/NATO eyes. It doesn’t think the Ukraine conflict started 3 weeks ago (but 30 years). And it doesn’t think not parroting the US means turning its back on Washington. China is its own nation.

China Has Already Decided To Send Economic Aid To Russia, US Fears (G.)

China has already decided to provide Russia with economic and financial support during its war on Ukraine and is contemplating sending military supplies such as armed drones, US officials fear. The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, laid out the US case against Russia’s invasion in an “intense” seven-hour meeting in Rome with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, pointing out that Moscow had feigned interest in diplomacy while preparing for invasion, and also that the Russian military was clearly showing signs of frailty. The US delegation in Rome had not expected the Chinese diplomats to negotiate, seeing them as message deliverers to Beijing.

“It was an intense seven-hour session, reflecting the gravity of the moment, as well as our commitment to maintaining open lines of communication,” a senior administration official said. “This meeting was not about negotiating specific issues or outcomes, but about a candid, direct exchange of views.” Asked if it had been successful, the official replied: “I suppose it depends on how you define success, but we believe that it is important to keep open lines of communication between the United States and China, especially on areas where we disagree.” However, the Americans walked away from the Rome meeting pessimistic that the Chinese government would change its minds about backing Moscow.

“The key here is first to get China to recalculate and re-evaluate their position. We see no sign of that re-evaluation,” said another US official familiar with the discussions. “They’ve already decided that they’re going to provide economic and financial support, and they underscored that today. The question really is whether they will go further.” [..] Russia needs economic and financial aid most urgently, in the face of devastating sanctions imposed by the US and its allies since the 24 February invasion. The country is danger of default on its debt payments, with two interest payments due on Wednesday, though it will have a 30-day grace period.

Moscow is unable to access nearly all of its $640bn in gold and foreign exchange reserves, but still holds part of those reserves in yuan, so Beijing will be able to step in to provide immediate assistance. There is pessimism in Washington about the possibility of steering China away from throwing in its lot with Russia, largely because it sees the partnership as being driven from the top. “It really is a project of Xi Jinping. He is totally, fundamentally behind this closer partnership with Russia,” the US official said. There is more scepticism lower down the ranks, but Xi and Putin have bonded over their shared view of the US as being heavy- and high-handed, and determined to end the period of US global dominance.

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Yes, China has called for an investigation into the biolabs.

White House Threatens China Will Pay for Support for Russia (Antiwar)

China will face major “consequences” should it help Russia evade an ever-growing raft of American sanctions, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has warned, just a day before he’s set to meet with Beijing’s top diplomat in Rome. Sullivan’s warning on Sunday came soon after unnamed Western officials told the New York Times and Washington Post that Russia is seeking weapons and economic relief from China amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. A spokesperson for the Chinese government said they were unaware of such a request, while Moscow has yet to confirm the reports.

In response to the attack on Ukraine launched in late February, the Joe Biden administration has imposed countless layers of new sanctions explicitly aiming to cripple and isolate the Russian economy. China, however, is one among several nations refusing to condemn the invasion or sever its economic ties with Russia. Despite American pressure to join in on the sanctions spree, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stated that Beijing’s relationship with Russia “even exceeds an alliance” in its “closeness and effectiveness,” suggesting the country is unlikely to bow to Western demands anytime soon.

As President Biden has ruled out direct military action in Ukraine, the administration has instead focused on arming the country’s military while attempting to make Russia an international pariah in the diplomatic and economic spheres. China has so far been able to obstruct Biden on both counts. Beijing’s UN delegation is supporting Russia’s claim that US-funded labs in Ukraine were working on chemical and biological weapons – a charge rejected by Washington as a “conspiracy theory” – and is now calling for an international investigation. Chinese financial support could also help Russia to weather the storm as its economy struggles to adapt to punishing Western sanctions.

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To which I can add this graph from yesterday. And then you can make your own mind up.

Biden Blames Putin, Covid For Record-high Inflation In US (Fox)

President Biden on Monday said Russian President Vladimir Putin and the COVID-19 pandemic are to blame for record-high inflation in the United States and maintained that rising prices have “nothing to do” with his administration’s policies. The president spoke Monday at the National League of Cities Congressional Cities Conference and addressed the increase in U.S. gas prices, as well as every day household items. “We know that families are still struggling with higher prices,” Biden said. “Let’s be absolutely clear about why prices are high now or high for two reasons.” The first, Biden said, is due to “the way the global economy works.”

“A factory in Taiwan that makes computer chips shuts down to a COVID outbreak. It causes a ripple effect to slow down auto-manufacturing,” Biden said. “So, because of the pandemic, we had significant disruption disruptions in the supply chain, and our supply chain is so important with so many materials that come from other places.” “And now, a second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin,” Biden said. “We’ve seen the price of gas go up over a dollar just since he put his troops on the border on the border of Ukraine — they went up a dollar and five cents,” Biden said.

“Big part of that reason is Putin began amassing troops along the border and then crossed. And guess what? The world took notice,” Biden said. “The market anticipated, prices went up, and then Putin invaded.” He added: “Make no mistake, the current spike in gas prices is largely the fault of Vladimir Putin — it has nothing to do with the American Rescue Plan.” Biden said that “rescuing our economy didn’t cause this problem,” but he vowed to “fix it.”

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Strange article at Counterpunch. Lots of weird points. But it has this right: the IMF, World Bank and US have Ukraine in a death grip. What else is new?

Stop Putin’s War! (CP)

Washington’s NATO alliance is part of that imperial history. The United States set it up, as its first Secretary General Lord Ismay famously said, to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down” in Europe. In other words, it is a vehicle of U.S. imperial domination of European capitalism. Most of the other NATO and EU states have a sordid history of colonialism of their own. And many have been accomplices to Washington’s wars, most recently in Afghanistan, where NATO played a large role in “pacifying” the country, committing numerous war crimes in the process. Moreover, the decision by the United States and European powers to expand NATO and the EU into Eastern Europe is one of the causes of the war in Ukraine.

It triggered Putin’s growing determination over the last decade to reclaim Russia’s lost sphere of influence. The United States and the EU offer no alternative to Ukraine but subjection to its imperial interests and neoliberal economics. In fact, through the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the United States is one of the oppressors of Ukraine.These international financial institutions have locked Ukraine in debt that now exceeds $129 billion. The country’s workers and oppressed have paid an enormous price to service these loans. Like they have throughout the Global South, the international financial institutions have required Ukraine to cut social programs, privatize state industry, layoff state workers, and cut workers’ wages and benefits in return for further loans.

Ukraine’s annual payments siphon off billions of dollars that would otherwise go to much needed social reforms to improve the majority’s abysmally low standards of living. The United States and NATO aim to defend and in fact expand their military rule over Eastern Europe and enforcement of neoliberal economics. They have no solution to the plight of the majority of Ukrainians fighting for their liberation. Despite all of this, many people horrified by Putin’s war are mistakenly demanding that Washington and Brussels intervene directly or set up a no-fly zone. That would lead to military confrontations between the United States/NATO and Russia, risking World War III between nuclear powers.

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“Peskov went on to confirm that Russia “did not request China military aid..”

Stocks Give Up Gains Following Kremlin Comments (ZH)

US equity futures surged overnight – again – on hopes of an ‘imminent’ peace deal between Russia and Ukraine; and now – once again – equities are reverting lower following comments from the Kremlin that do not sound very ‘peace-deal-like… Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call that “Russia will realize all its plans in Ukraine operation,” adding that the “operation would be complete on schedule,” and would not rule out taking “full control” of major Ukraine cities. We don’t think this is the ‘hope’ that Zelensky and the market was looking for.


Peskov went on to confirm that Russia “did not request China military aid,” adding that “Russia had the resources to complete the Ukraine operation alone.” And he could not resist a jab the puppetmasters, commenting that “it appears that the bosses of Ukraine across the ocean are giving orders to the Ukrainian army.” And given the recent modest bounce in Biden’s approval, do we really think his administrations wants this war over already… this far from the Midterms?

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Cui bono? Follow the money.

Germany To Buy Dozens Of US Stealth Jets (Y!)

Germany on Monday unveiled plans to buy dozens of US-made F-35 fighter jets, as part of a multi-billion-euro push to modernise its armed forces in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Berlin intends to buy 35 F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin to replace Germany’s decades-old Tornado fleet, as well as purchasing an additional 15 Eurofighter jets. Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht called the purchase agreement “a good step forwards” for Germany’s Bundeswehr armed forces. “There can only be one answer to Putin’s aggression, and that is unity in NATO and credible deterrence,” Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, commander of the German Air Force, told reporters.

Germany’s Tornados are the only Luftwaffe planes certified to carry US nuclear bombs stationed in Germany that are a key part of NATO deterrence. Lockheed’s fifth-generation F-35 stealth jets are considered the most modern combat aircraft in the world, and their unique shape and coating make them harder to detect by enemy radar. The additional Eurofighter jets Germany plans to purchase, made by a consortium that includes Airbus, would be used for other operations, including electronic warfare like jamming enemy air defence systems. In a landmark speech late last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to invest an extra 100 billion euros ($112 billion) to bring the nation’s chronically underfunded Bundeswehr into the modern age.

The spending boost marks a major reversal for Europe’s top economy, upending its policy of keeping a low military profile in part out of guilt over World War II. After years of criticism that the country wasn’t shouldering enough of the financial burden in the NATO military alliance, Scholz vowed to spend “more than two percent” of Germany’s gross domestic product annually on defence, surpassing NATO’s own two-percent target.

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War victims or cancel culture?

Orwell Was Right (Taibbi)

In the last weeks, Russia took an already exacting speech environment to new extremes. A law was passed that would impose 15-year prison sentences for anyone spreading “fake news” about the Ukraine invasion; access was cut to Facebook and Twitter; stations like Echo Moskvi and TV Rain as well as BBC Russia, Radio Liberty, the New Times, Deutsche Welle, Doxa, and Latvia-based Meduza were effectively shut down; Wikipedia was threatened with a block over its invasion page; and national authorities have appeared to step in to prevent coverage of soldiers killed in the war, requiring local outlets to use terms like “special operation” instead. The latter development is connected to the state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, issuing a remarkably desperate dictum requiring news outlets to “use information and data received by them only from official Russian sources.”

Russia also appears in the middle of a general crackdown on local media, not so much because those outlets are dissenting, but because they’re more likely to provide indirect evidence of war failures or the effect of sanctions. The desperation to control news has grown to the point where Russian diplomats in foreign countries are pressuring state outlets in countries like Iran to stop using the term “war” to describe what’s going on in Ukraine. On the flip side, a slew of actions have been taken to crack down on “fake news” and “misinformation” in the West. The big one was the European Union banning RT and Sputnik. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube also cut access to all Russian state media, because the EU sanctions also required that internet platforms delist any RT or Sputnik content, even from individuals.

The statute reads, “As regards the posts made by individuals that reproduce the content of RT and Sputnik, those posts shall not be published, and if published, shall be deleted.” Other governments across the West, from Australia to Canada, have taken similar actions. In the U.S., Google and YouTube disallowed Russian state media ads (following a request by Senator Mark Warner) and demonetized “a number of Russian channels,” including RT but also many non-Russian individuals, before proceeding to demonetize all individual Russian content creators, even the individuals opposing the invasion. Even DuckDuckGo, the speechier, more pro-privacy alternative to Google, announced it was de-ranking “sites associated with Russian disinformation.” A growing list of Westerners have seen accounts frozen for supposed parroting of Russian talking points or “abusive” commentary.

YouTube banned Oliver Stone’s documentary Ukraine on Fire, while Netflix is going so far as to shelve a production of Anna Karenina. In what might have been the craziest move of all, Meta reportedly followed up a decision to un-ban the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion with a mind-blowing decision to alter its hate speech policies to “allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion,” according to internal emails seen by Reuters.

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“The member nations of NATO have even less desire to join the battle, and are doing a poor job of pretending they oppose Russia’s disagreeable but necessary work there..”

Playing Dumb (Kunstler)

Threatened by losing the war against its own citizens, the US government now seeks a wider kinetic war over its would-be client state, Ukraine. The stakes must be pretty high for “Joe Biden” and Company to risk starting World War Three. Why else inflame a dangerous situation by sending more weapons there? I’ll tell you why: to prolong Russia’s operations to neutralize Ukraine so it won’t cause further trouble to them or anybody else in the world. The longer the US can keep that going, the longer we can put off the various reckonings at home.

America has no intention of actually defending Ukraine. It’s really just a global version of the interpersonal game “Let’s You and Him Fight,” as described by pioneering psychologist Eric Berne (1910 -1970), father of transactional analysis. The member nations of NATO have even less desire to join the battle, and are doing a poor job of pretending they oppose Russia’s disagreeable but necessary work there. So far, they have had to sacrifice desperately needed natural gas supplies from Russia. You can be sure they will find a way to sneak around US sanctions and reverse the blunder. They have no choice really, unless they want to go forward without any industries. Google-up the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and you’ll catch a glimpse of that possible European future. Of course, they’ll also have to answer to their own citizens for the awful mistakes Covid-19.

The best outcome, as others have pointed out, will be the disassembly of Ukraine into an eastern Russian zone — perhaps annexed into Russia — and a rump western Ukraine state that will be as quiet and inoffensive as Moldova and Slovakia next door (When was the last time they caused any trouble in the world?) It would be best for everyone, and especially the Third World, if the Russian operation is concluded as quickly as possible with a structured peace settlement, leaving a chance to get a Ukrainian grain crop planted, because otherwise a lot of innocent people will go hungry. Is the USA interested in a peace settlement? Or do we want to drive events further toward tragedy and our own national suicide?

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Now do this everywhere.

And also: Macron has an election coming up.

France Lifts Covid-19 Rules On Unvaccinated, Mask Wearing (AP)

France lifted most COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, abolishing the need to wear face masks in most settings and allowing people who aren’t vaccinated back into restaurants, sports arenas and other venues. The move had been announced earlier this month by the French government based on assessments of the improving situation in hospitals and following weeks of a steady decline in infections. It comes less than a month before the first round of the presidential election scheduled on April 10. But in recent days, the number of new infections has started increasing again, raising concerns from some scientists it may be too soon to lift restrictions. The number of new infections have reached more than 60,000 based on a seven-day average, up from about 50,000 a week before.


Starting from Monday, people aren’t required anymore to show proof of vaccination to enter places like restaurants and bars, cinemas, theaters, fairs and to use interregional transport. The so-called vaccine pass had taken effect at the end of January. A restaurant owner in Paris, Laurent Negre, praised a “return to normal.” “We got used to these restrictions and complicated protocols so we will enjoy work more now … So it’s good news,” he said. Parisian Bartholome Laisi, 23, said “it’s a good thing because people will be able to get more freedom of movement. But we need to be careful and monitor it, to avoid another (virus) wave right after.” In hospitals and nursing homes, unvaccinated people must provide a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery to enter. Wearing masks are no longer required in schools, businesses and offices. They remain mandatory on public transportation and at hospitals and other health facilities.

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What’s the consequence for life insurance?

Ed Dowd: 25 To 44 yo Experienced An 84% Increase In Excess Mortality (Kirsch)

Someone sent me this article: Edward Dowd on Future Recession, Shocking Findings in the CDC Covid Data and Democide which describes his appearance on War Room. That article says: “And the money chart is really Chart 4, which shows that the Millennial age group, 25 to 44 experienced an 84% increase in excess mortality into the fall. It’s the worst-ever excess mortality, I think, in history. I called Ed to clarify where he got the chart and then looked for verification of this. I found the verification. Then I verified that the deaths couldn’t be explained by the COVID delta variant. OK, so what caused all the deaths? The only explanation is the vaccine because the deaths are so massive.


[..] Now let’s go over some of the details of what Ed Dowd found and explain why there is no other explanation. Ed’s friend (who I know but doesn’t want to be disclosed publicly) spent about a week analyzing the CDC data. The graph in the article is from the CDC data, but is plotted by Ed’s friend. He didn’t make anything up. The work was replicated independently (see also the graphs). US mortality graphs show a spike in the same time period (Aug to Oct). These graphs of excess mortality in Europe show things got worse, not better after the vaccine rollout:

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Maybe a bit too scary?

Triple Vaccinated Just Weeks Away From Developing AIDS (DE)

The following chart shows the Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness among the triple vaccinated population in England in 4 week periods between Week 51 of 2021 and Week 9 of 2022 – As you can see the vaccine effectiveness has been falling month and month, with the lowest effectiveness recorded among 40-49-year-olds at minus-248.92%. But the sharpest decline in jab effectivness has been recorded among 18-29-year-olds, falling to minus-201.52% by Week 9 of 2022 from +10.19 in Week 51 to Week 2. However, vaccine effectiveness isn’t really a measure of a vaccine, it is a measure of a vaccine recipients immune system performance compared to the immune system performance of an unvaccinated person.

The following chart shows the immune system performance of the triple vaccinated population in England by age group in four week periods, compared to the natural immune system of the unvaccinated population – As you can see the lowest immune system performance is currently among 60-69-year-olds at minus-72.35%, but all triple vaccinated people aged 30 to 59 are not far begind, with an immune system performance ranging from minus-70.83% to minus-71.34%. Even the 18 to 29-year-olds are within this region at minus-66.84%, falling from an immune system performance of +11.35% between week 51 and week 2, meaning they have suffered the fastest decline in immune system performance.

AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged. People with acquired immune deficiency syndrome are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers and for infections that usually occur only in individuals with a weak immune system. If that immune system performance was to hit around the -95% mark then this would strongly suggest the triple vaccinated population have developed some new form of Covid-19 vaccine induced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and unfortunately based on the current trend seen over the past 3 months, the youngest age groups do not have long to wait.

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The day his marriage is announced.

UK Supreme Court Slams Door On Assange Appeal (Gosztola)

Without any explanation, the British Supreme Court denied WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange “permission to appeal” a decision by the British High Court. The Supreme Court maintained the appeal did not “raise an arguable point of law” and sent the case back to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the district court which initially blocked the United States government’s extradition request on January 4, 2021. By refusing to grant Assange a hearing, the U.S. government effectively won their appeal. Prosecutors convinced the British courts to disregard concerns that he may be subject to treatment in a U.S. jail or prison that would be oppressive to his mental health.

The Westminster Magistrates’ Court may now refer the extradition to the British Home Office for Home Secretary Priti Patel to review. According to Birnberg Peirce, the law firm representing Assange, they are entitled to make submissions to the Home Secretary for consideration before the extradition request is approved. If Patel approves the extradition, Assange’s defense may submit an appeal on the issues of freedom of the press that were not addressed before the High Court yet. That would likely prevent Assange from extradition. However, if the High Court and Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal because they did not believe it raised “arguable points of law,” he could potentially be transferred to the U.S. before the year is over.

[..] An application for appeal released by Assange’s legal team reflects the arguments they were blocked from presenting to the Supreme Court. “The manner in which assurances were permitted to be introduced in this case for the first time on appeal totally undermines the primacy of the extradition hearing and deprives the defendant of an opportunity to test them and their implications before the district judge,” attorneys argued. “It is generally regarded as unfair, wrong, and abusive for a party to elect—for a perceived or actual tactical advantage—to conduct litigation in one way and then, when met with an adverse judicial decision on that, to attempt to re-litigate or appeal on a new and different basis.”

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@BrianRoemmele
To manufacture each EV battery, you must process
25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium
30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt
5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, 25,000 pounds of ore for copper
Diging up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust
For just – one – battery.

A typical electric car battery has:
25 pounds of lithium
60 pounds of nickel
44 pounds of manganese
30 pounds cobalt
200 pounds of copper
400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic
The first 4 ingredients are from limited sources and will continue to rise in cost.

 

 

Lindsey Graham

 

 

 

Russell Brand Credit Suisse

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 132022
 


Pablo Picasso Studio with plaster head 1925

 

Perfectly Lawful and Legal and Unfortunate (Anna Von Reitz)
Much Wants More And Loses All (GEFIRA)
Boomerang Sanctions (Kadi)
Putin’s Options (Jim Rickards)
Russia’s Long-term Economic Prospects (Milanovic)
Fiat Currencies Are Going To “Fail Spectacularly” (Lawrence Lepard)
‘We Are in a New Cold War’ With China: Ex-US Assistant Secretary of State (ET)
Children in China Diagnosed With Leukemia After Taking Chinese Vaccines (ET)
Hospitals No Longer Required to Report COVID Deaths (Mercola)
Moderna Approved a $926 Million Golden Parachute For Its CEO (DM)

 

 

We see the world through the eyes of Hollywood. There’s good and there’s bad, and WE are always on the good side. But the world is not like that. We know this because the best literature never is either. But who reads literature anymore?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter: We trained Nazis

 

 

“..you are all better off letting Vladimir Putin take out the garbage for you.”

Perfectly Lawful and Legal and Unfortunate (Anna Von Reitz)

When the old Russian Federation broke up, and Russia released the Ukraine as an independent country it came with the proviso that if there was evidence of criminality, genocide, international threats to Russia on Ukrainian soil, etc. Russia could come back in and secure the situation. This is part of Russia’s obligation to the rest of the world as well as a matter of Russian security. So, Ukraine was free to be its own country, with the understanding that they were going to be good little international citizens. And if they got out of hand, Russia would come back in and clean things up. Following Ukrainian independence in 1991, the Usual Suspects piled on. It was like a gold rush. Drug smuggling. Human trafficking. Arms sales. Counterfeiting. Organ harvesting. Oil privateering.

Every sordid nasty dirty business in the world was imported to Ukraine, by all the Agencies, the “US Corp”, the DOD, the Mobs of various nations, and associated corporations like Blackwater and Halliburton and on and on and on. All the Dirty Deal Guys showed up like gangbangers. And everyone including Russia just shook their heads. It was business as usual for the Ollie Norths of the world.[..] So, Russia invoked its treaty proviso and came in to clean the situation up and as Vladimir Putin said, “take the garbage out” — not because they wanted to spend all that money and risk their lives and take all the abuse that the propaganda machine can throw — but because otherwise, they’d have all those stockpiles of chemical and biological weapon on their back door step, along with all the other nastiness that was already going on.

[..] Tough as it is, say, aye, Vladimir Putin. Thank you, Russia. And to the people of Ukraine, we know you are, for the most part, innocent victims of the oligarchs and their western Sugar Daddies. Make it easy on yourselves. Stay home and step back. Let Russia clean out the Vermin for you. You’ll be glad you did. If the US/Ukrainian oligarchy had been allowed to continue, the vicious animals would have come in and used a pretext to engage in war on your beautiful land. They would have done what they did in Iraq and polluted it will dirty bombs and dirty artillery shells and ruined your land for farming for generations.

Then they would have gone home and jerked up the price of food for everyone ten times over, because your produce, your wheat, and everything else wouldn’t be there to compete against them. These mean and diabolical criminals always have ten axes to grind. They always figure to win, if not one way, then by another. Take it from the Americans. We’ve been dealing with them for 160 years. We know what they do. We know how they think. And you are all better off letting Vladimir Putin take out the garbage for you. Believe it or not.

Putin evil plan

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Key: “Russians view the hostilities as a repeat of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.”

Much Wants More And Loses All (GEFIRA)

The collective post-West has been running amok for the last two weeks. The powers that be make believe that they did not expect that events would unfold the way they are unfolding now (though they did their best to make things happen as they are happening) and they make a show imposing sanctions on the aggressor and assuring the populace that the aggressor sooner or later will cave in. There is yet a third aspect to the phenomenon: the same powers that be want the people to forget that merely twenty years back they themselves assaulted Yugoslavia/Serbia, used missiles with depleted uranium, bombed cities and shot at civilians. Of course, that earlier event was a humanitarian action while the current one is a brutal act of aggression, but we digress.

Now there is a big misconception on the part of the post-West about Russia. If the Western media claim the Russian people are against the war or that the Russian people are about to rebel and overthrow President Putin, then they are either delusional or lying through their teeth. Reality is something that refuses to obey our wishes. The Russian people have rallied around their president and and their authorities; the Russian people – unlike citizens of the post-Western countries – are patriotic and ready to sacrifice themselves in defence of their fatherland. Western sanctions? The post-West may withdraw businesses and impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs, which is music to the ears of the Russian people. They resented Western dominance anyway and they will be more than happy to see the oligarchs mopped up from their society.

Russians view the hostilities as a repeat of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Contrary to what has been done to the Western collective mentality, the Russian authorities under Vladimir Putin took great efforts to raise Russia’s citizens in patriotic values. Russians are going to win because they do not care about money so much as the West does. That’s one big misconception that Western people have about their opponents from the East. It is the West that cannot imagine a life without money and the resultant luxuries. Sanctions or no sanctions, Western companies will sooner or later (I bet: sooner) resume business with Russia because – as everybody in the West knows – “money makes the world go round”. No less a person than Comrade Lenin famously said: capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will make a noose to hang them. And so they will, make no bones about it.

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“The current soaring fuel prices at service stations world-wide are not an outcome of the Russian action in Ukraine. They are the outcome of the sanctions.”

Boomerang Sanctions (Kadi)

The current Western sanctions on nations that refuse to follow the directives of the West do not carry any weight at all; or anything that comes close. Non-Western countries can survive without Tesla, Porsche and Ferrari cars. Earth will continue to spin without French perfumes and champaign. With those facts known though unspoken, the USA continues to impose sanctions on other nations by utilizing the power of the Greenback, ie US Dollar of USD for short. But this approach is foolish to say the least, and it is bound to backfire. America is determined to keep the stature of the USD as the single reserve world currency. But to maintain this stature, America must make sure that the rest of the world needs to use the USD and that it has no other alternative.

But when successive American administrations impose sanctions on other nations that prevent them from using the USD, they are effectively shooting their last and only remaining asset in the foot. This is not a complex issue that requires a PhD in macro-economics to understand. It is very simple in fact. You cannot coerce people to do something by way of banning them from doing it. This is a simple logical contradiction that even children can understand. This oxymoronic comedy of errors appears more ludicrous when we see that the USD is the only asset left that the USA can use to impose sanctions with. Do successive American administrations really believe that sanctioned and potentially sanctionable nations, are going to sit idle and starve themselves to death without taking pre-emptive measures to avert this?

If anything, sanctions over the years have taught even small and developing countries like Cuba, Syria and Iran to be self-reliant and innovative. Those countries have produced whole ‘armies’ of technicians who are able to manufacture spare parts even for old American cars. When you see photos of 1950’s Chevvies in Cuba, rest assured that there are hardly any original made-in-America parts left in them. If an American owns such an antique model and cannot find parts for it in the US, he/she may be able to find them in Cuba. [..] The current soaring fuel prices at service stations world-wide are not an outcome of the Russian action in Ukraine. They are the outcome of the sanctions.

These sanctions can only turn back and hurt the hand that created them. They are not arrows aimed at targets. They are boomerangs, but even boomerangs are meant to return to the hand that launched them when they miss the target. But Western sanctions are sharply-pointed boomerangs that can only hit back, and hit with vengeance, and the soaring fuel prices may just be only the beginning.

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“The shooting war may or may not be over soon, but the financial war has just started and will continue after the shooting stops.”

Putin’s Options (Jim Rickards)

There’s no doubt that the financial sanctions put on Russia by the U.S., the U.K., EU members and others are the most severe ever imposed. The U.S. Treasury has announced 15 separate sanctions programs in recent days and no doubt more are on the way. The targets of these sanctions include Russian banks, Russian stocks and bonds and various payment channels. Most significantly, the U.S. froze the accounts of the Central Bank of Russia. That’s the first time a major central bank’s assets have been frozen since the Cold War, and possibly ever. Yet the financial attacks on Russia go far beyond official sanctions. Numerous private companies including Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, Shell and some major airlines have ceased their business activities in Russia.

Visa and Mastercard have stopped accepting credit card charges from Russia. Google and Apple have turned off the mobile payment apps on phones held by Russian citizens. Shipping giant Maersk has stopped its vessels from unloading or taking cargo from Russian ports. Stock index funds are pushing Russian companies out of their indexes and the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is divesting Russian stocks. The list of public and private embargoes and boycotts goes on. The financial impact on Russia will be extreme. The Russian economy may be expected to collapse by 20% or more in the first half of 2022, an amount comparable to the economic collapses in the second quarter of 2020 during the first lockdown stage of the pandemic. But Russia has not stood still.

The Central Bank of Russia imposed capital controls so that Russian companies cannot pay interest or principal on international debts. That means those loans and bonds may soon go into default. Many such securities may be stuffed into 401(k) plans of Americans under the umbrella of “emerging markets” funds or ETFs. Even more important is the possibility that interbank lending may start to dry up as Russian banks are frozen and Western banks reduce leverage and shrink balance sheets in order to reduce risk. This will lead to defaults in the West and could even mark the beginning of a global liquidity crisis that can only be contained by Federal Reserve currency swap lines, like we saw in the early stages of the pandemic when markets were collapsing.

But even that technique may not work since there are no swap arrangements in place between the Fed and the Central Bank of Russia. The shooting war may or may not be over soon, but the financial war has just started and will continue after the shooting stops. For that matter, a global financial panic may emerge even before the shooting stops. We all see what’s happening on the surface. Here’s what you don’t see: Someone is on the wrong side of every one of those trades. Hedge funds and banks are losing billions and are sinking. It takes about a week for bodies to float to the surface.

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“US sanctions once imposed are extraordinary difficult to lift.”

Russia’s Long-term Economic Prospects (Milanovic)

When we look at Russia’s long-term economic prospects, it is also useful to begin with some assumptions and to look at historical examples. We can make two assumptions. First, that the current Russian regime, in one form or another, might continue for some ten to twenty years. Second, we can assume that American and Western sanctions will continue throughout the entire period of say, 50 years that we consider here. The arguments for this are as follows. US sanctions once imposed are extraordinary difficult to lift. As of today, there are already 6,000 various Western sanctions imposed against Russia which is more than the sum of sanctions in existence against Iran, Syria and North Korea put together. History shows that US sanctions can last almost without any time limit: sanctions on Cuba are more than 60 years old, on Iran, more than 40 years old, and even the sanctions on the USSR (e.g. the Jackson-Vanik amendment) that were imposed for one reason continued on the books during twenty years after the end of the USSR even after the original reason that led to the sanctions (Jewish migration) had entirely disappeared.

When the post-Putin government tries to have sanctions lifted, it will be faced by a such a list of concessions that would be politically impossible to satisfy. Thus, sanctions, perhaps not in the exactly the same form, may be expected to last for the entire duration of what we call the long-term here (50 years). It seems obvious then that Russian long-term economic policy will have to follow two objectives: import substitution, and the shift of the economic activity away from Europe towards Asia. While these objectives are, I think, clear the realization will be extremely difficult. As before, consider the historical precedents. Soviet industrialization can be seen as an attempt to substitute imports by creating a strong domestic industrial base. That process however was based on two elements that would be missing in Russia’s future.

First, Soviet access to Western technology that was at the origin of most large Soviet complexes like the Krivoy Rog and the largest factory of tractors in the world in Tsaritsyn (later Stalingrad). The surplus extracted through collectivization, and hunger and death of millions, and even the gold taken from Orthodox churches, were used to purchase Western technology. There was never any doubt among the Bolsheviks, from Lenin to Trotsky to Stalin to Bukharin, that for the USSR to develop, it had to industrialize and to do so it needs to import technology from the more developed countries. (That conscience of relative underdevelopment of Russia was extremely strong among all Russian Marxists who were all modernizers.) The ability to import similarly advanced Western technology that could provide the basis for downstream import substitution, will not exist under the regime of sanctions. Therefore such technology would have to be invented locally.

There is, however, is a huge temporal break. Had anyone proposed import substitution approach in the 1990s, it would have been difficult to implement but not impossible: the USSR (and Russia) had at that time a broad industrial base (production of airplanes, cars, white goods; largest producer of steel etc.). The sector was not internationally competitive but, it could have been improved, and with right investments made competitive. But most of these industrial complexes have in the meantime been privatized and liquidated, and whatever was not, is technologically obsolete. In thirty years after the beginning of the “transition”, Russia has not been able to develop any technologically advanced industry except in the military area.

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“Putin just shot “King Dollar” in the head. We can see it in the financial markets, as the price of everything commodity related is going up relentlessly in dollar terms. ”

Fiat Currencies Are Going To “Fail Spectacularly” (Lawrence Lepard)

What just happened in the last two weeks is enormously important and misunderstood by many investors. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the corresponding Western sanctions and seizure of Russian FX reserves are nothing short of a monetary earthquake. The last comparable event was Nixon’s abandonment of the gold standard in 1971. Russia, with the backing and support of China, just told the world that it is no longer going to sell its oil, gas and wheat for Western currencies which are programmed to debase. The West in its response just said to all countries around the world: “If you have foreign exchange reserves, held in our system, they are no longer safe if we disagree with your politics.” It is similar to what the Canadians did when they moved to seize the bank accounts of Canadians who had demonstrated support for the truckers without due process of law.

Both of these political moves are blatant advertisements for what I call “non state controlled money without counterparty risk”, like gold and bitcoin. If governments can weaponize their money when they do not like what you are doing, what is the natural defense? The US Dollar has been the reserve currency of the world since WW II and the Bretton Woods agreement. This has given the US an enormous advantage and subsidy from the rest of the world because everyone else needs to produce goods and services to obtain dollars and the US can simply produce dollars at no cost by printing them. Putin is now cast in the role of Charles de Gaulle who complained about the “exorbitant privilege” of the US with its dollar hegemony. As we all know, de Gaulle demanded gold in exchange for France’s US dollar FX surpluses and this outflow forced Nixon to close the gold window.

Recall that post this event, gold went from $35 per ounce to $800 per ounce (23x). Russia’s move will lead to a similar move in favor of gold. Putin could see that the US fiscal and monetary situation was becoming untenable and he decided to use this to create an existential threat to the US and the world financial system. He undoubtedly knows that the West has artificially suppressed the price of gold and that is why he has been building his gold reserves steadily for the past 20 years. Putin just shot “King Dollar” in the head. We can see it in the financial markets, as the price of everything commodity related is going up relentlessly in dollar terms.

Russia is long commodities, long gold and doesn’t need fiat currency. His debt to GDP ratio is low and taxes are low. If the world financial markets collapse on a relative basis, the position of Russia will be improved significantly. This is what I believe he is playing for. If investors do not recognize this they will be caught wrong footed as I believe many are today.

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Seeing the world through US eyes alone may not be sufficient anymore.

‘We Are in a New Cold War’ With China: Ex-US Assistant Secretary of State (ET)

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and United States are engaged in a cold war, according to a former senior state department official. As such, the Chinese regime’s burgeoning alliance with Russia has broad implications for the future of the Indo-Pacific region. “People don’t really want to have to ponder things like global devastation, but it’s here and it’s with us,” David Stilwell, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs and retired Air Force Brigadier General, told EpochTV’s “China Insider” program on March 10. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] has nukes and are building out their nuclear arsenal considerably right now,” he said. “We are in a new Cold War.”

Stilwell said that China’s effective alliance with Russia, wherein the CCP has tacitly supported a war of aggression against Ukraine, had already drawn nations throughout the Indo-Pacific closer to the United States hardened their resolve against the CCP. The worsening ties between states like Japan and South Korea with China were unavoidable, Stilwell said, because of CCP leadership’s choice to give cover to Russia’s war in spite of the fact that China previously pledged to defend Ukraine from nuclear threats. “It’s unavoidable,” Stilwell said. “The PRC named themselves … in the negotiations with Russia going into the war. They declared themselves to be basically on board with the invasion of Ukraine and all those things.” “They can’t walk that back. That’s out there. It’s commitment. But, I have to think that China’s rethinking it given how poorly this has gone for the Russians.”

Stilwell said that this strategic rethink was important for CCP leader Xi Jinping’s plans to forcibly unite Taiwan with mainland China, and that Russian failures in Ukraine would likely render Chinese military strategists more cautious in their ambitions regarding Taiwan. The CCP’s initial goal for forcing the unification of Taiwan with the mainland was to be achieved by 2049, Stilwell said. Xi, however, appeared to advance that goal to 2035. U.S. military officials, meanwhile, have warned that it could happen as soon as 2027. Stilwell agreed with that assessment. He said that, should Xi obtain a third term as leader of the CCP later this year, Xi would likely try to solidify his personal legacy by taking Taiwan before that term ends in 2027.

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Sounds just like the west:

“..parents who were reluctant to vaccinate their children have faced pressure to comply. Some said they lost work bonuses or were given a talk by their supervisors. In other cases, their children faced punishment varying from losing honors or even getting barred from attending school..”

Children in China Diagnosed With Leukemia After Taking Chinese Vaccines (ET)

After receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Li Jun’s 4-year-old developed a fever and coughs, which quickly subsided after intravenous therapy at the hospital. But after the second shot, the father could tell something was wrong. Swelling appeared around his daughter’s eyes and did not go away. For weeks, the girl complained about pains on her legs, where bruises started to emerge seemingly out of nowhere. In January, a few weeks after the second dose, the 4-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “My baby was perfectly healthy before the vaccine dose,” Li (an alias), from China’s north-central Gansu Province, told The Epoch Times. “I took her for a health check. Everything was normal.”

He is among hundreds of Chinese that belong to a social media group claiming to be suffering from or have a household member suffering from leukemia, developed after taking Chinese vaccines. Eight of them confirmed the situation when reached by The Epoch Times. Names of the interviewees have been withheld to protect their safety. The leukemia cases span across different age groups from all parts of China. But Li and others particularly pointed to a rise in patients from the younger age group in the last few months, coinciding with the regime’s push to inoculate children between 3 and 11 years old beginning last October.

Li’s daughter had her first injection in mid-November under the request of her kindergarten. She is now undergoing chemotherapy at the Lanzhou No. 2 People’s Hospital where at least 20 children are being treated for similar symptoms, most of them between the age of 3 and 8, according to Li. “Our doctor from the hospital told us that since November, the children coming to their hematology division to treat leukemia have doubled the previous years’ number and they are having a shortage of beds,” he said. Li claimed that at least eight children from Suzhou district, where he lives, have died recently from leukemia.

There had been some resistance from Chinese parents when the campaign to vaccinate children first rolled out. They expressed concern about the lack of data about the effects of Chinese vaccines on young people. The vaccines are supplied by two Chinese drugmakers, Sinopharm and Sinovac, which carry an efficacy rate of 79 percent and 50.4 percent, respectively, based on available data from trials conducted on adults. [..] But parents who were reluctant to vaccinate their children have faced pressure to comply. Some said they lost work bonuses or were given a talk by their supervisors. In other cases, their children faced punishment varying from losing honors or even getting barred from attending school, as in the case of Wang Long’s 10-year-old son.

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“It is a very hard statistic to massage since people are either dead or they’re not.”

Hospitals No Longer Required to Report COVID Deaths (Mercola)

With the end of the HHS COVID death reporting system, the only means of tracking COVID deaths will now rely on the collection of data from death certificates at the state level. However, as the unnamed official told the WSWS reporter: “… deaths are reported by the counties/states but the process is very slow and many coroners are actually not wanting to cite COVID as the reason, while hospitals rely on diagnoses.” This last part of the sentence may refer to the hospital incentives for a COVID diagnosis, which increases the potential it would be listed in the ICD codes that were communicated to the HHS. Although the CDC and HHS would like the data to remain hidden, a cost-benefit analysis by Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., and independent researcher Kathy Dopp revealed the jab is deadlier than the infection in anyone under the age of 80.

The analysis looked at publicly available official data from the U.S. and U.K. for all age groups and compared all-cause mortality to the risk of dying from COVID-19. Seneff and Dopp wrote: “As of 6 February 2022, based on publicly available official UK and US data, all age groups under 50 years old are at greater risk of fatality after receiving a COVID-19 inoculation than an unvaccinated person is at risk of a COVID-19 death. “All age groups under 80 years old have virtually no benefit from receiving a COVID-19 inoculation, and the younger ages incur significant risk. This analysis is conservative because it ignores the fact that inoculation-induced adverse events such as thrombosis, myocarditis, Bell’s palsy, and other vaccine-induced injuries can lead to shortened life span.”

Their analysis is upheld by OneAmerica’s announcement that the death rate in working-age Americans from 18 to 64 years in the third quarter of 2021 was 40% higher than prepandemic levels. This finding is stunning since one of the most reliable data points we have is all-cause mortality. It is a very hard statistic to massage since people are either dead or they’re not. Their inclusion in the national death index database is based on one primary criterion — they’ve died — regardless of the cause. As noted in a (not peer-reviewed) study led by scientist Denis Rancourt, who looked at U.S. mortality between March 2020 and October 2021: “All-cause mortality by time is the most reliable data for detecting true catastrophic events causing death, and for gauging the population-level impact of any surge in deaths from any cause.”

South Australia

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“..a 9,751 percent raise from his proposed severance of $9.4 million in 2019..”

Moderna Approved a $926 Million Golden Parachute For Its CEO (DM)

The amount of money that Moderna’s CEO would get if the company is sold and he’s replaced is now a jaw-dropping $926 million, a 9,751 percent raise from his proposed severance of $9.4 million in 2019. Stephane Bancel’s ‘change-in-control’ package was approved at the end of last year by the Massachusetts-based company’s board of directors, CNBC reported. Most of the golden parachute – $922.5 million, to be exact – is in the form of stock, which has yo-yoed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rest includes a cash payment of $1.5 million and a bonus of $2.5 million. Bancel, 49, who is already worth a reported $4.3 billion, would only get the money if the company is sold or merged and he loses his job in the process. Last year, he earned a combined $18.2 million, a 41 percent increase from 2020.


The French-born executive’s last known address is a three-bedroom, 1,537-square-foot apartment in Boston worth an estimated $1.2 million, according to Zillow. Things have changed a lot for Moderna since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. It went from losing $747 million that year to making $12.2 billion in 2021, largely from sales of its two-dose vaccine, its only commercially available product. The biotech company is also developing shots for the flu and other infectious disease. Much of Bancel’s sky-high parachute is tied to Moderna’s stocks, but share prices have gone up and down during the pandemic, making it hard to determine how much they’ll be worth if and when Bancel cashes them out. Moderna shares reached a record high of $497.49 each on August 10, 2021, before tumbling to $253.98 by December 31. On Thursday, one share was worth $139.52.

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meme war 3

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 122022
 


René Magritte The victory 1939

 

A Global Monetary & Commodity Inferno Of Nuclear Proportions (Von Greyerz)
Inflation: SMOKING (Denninger)
Crashin’ and Burnin’ (Kunstler)
‘A New Page in the Art of War’ (Escobar)
On a Knife’s Edge in Ukraine (Lauria)
Russia Allows Chinese Banks To Buy Oil Without Letters Of Credit (ZH)
In Praise of “Whataboutism” (Kimberley)
Are You SURE This Is A Good Idea? (Denninger)
One Ukrainian Billionaire Funded Hunter Biden, Zelensky, Azov Battalion (Koa)
Pfizer Vaccine Accumulates In Ovaries; Ovarian Cancer At All Time High (DE)
Forget About Covid, They Say (Tucker)
Some Australians Face A Fourth Covid Booster Shot – And One Every Year (DM)
Google Ministry of Information Announces Zero Tolerance Policy (CTH)
Restaurants Now Requiring Proof Of Ukraine Support (BBee)

 

 

Inflation while money doesn’t move?

 

 

Tucker rule of law

 

 

Jen Psaki tells the Tik-Tok influencers in her briefing that Russia “of course hacked our election here” in 2016.

 

 

Von Greyerz has good analyses.

A Global Monetary & Commodity Inferno Of Nuclear Proportions (Von Greyerz)

Russia has the biggest natural resource reserves in the world which include coal, natural gas, oil, gold, timber, rare earth metals etc. In Rubles these reserves will obviously appreciate substantially with the falling currency. In total, the Russian natural resource reserves are estimated at $75 trillion. That is 66% higher than the second country USA and more than twice as much as Saudi Arabia and Canada. Even if the total Russian supply is not lost to the world, it is clear that the West is determined to punish Russia to the furthest extent possible. Therefore, as we have already seen in the major escalation of oil and gas prices, the shortages will put insufferable pressure on the prices of natural resources.

The global market for grains, vegetable oil and fertilisers was already extremely tight before Russia’s attack. What is happening now is a commodity black swan across both energy and agricultural resources. The World Food Programme warned of a catastrophic scarcity for several hundred million people last November. What is happening now will make this exponentially worse. “Everything is going up vertically. The whole production chain is under pressure from every side,” said UN’s ex-head of agricultural markets. Energy and agricultural products are interlinked. Gas is feedstock for fertiliser production in Europe. Russia and Belarus together account for 1/3 of the world’s potash exports.Around 33% of world exports of barley come from Russia and Ukraine together, 30% of wheat, 20% of maize and 80% of sunflower oil. The consequences are unforeseeable.

Goldman Sachs Commodity Index is up 3X since April 2020. The exponential phase of the move has just started. UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FOA) are reporting a 43% increase in food price since 2020. And remember, this was before the real problems had started. I have for quite a few years warned about the coming inflation, leading to hyperinflation, based on unlimited money printing. But the dynamite of a global commodity crisis and shortages thrown into the already catastrophic debt and global monetary fire will create an inferno of nuclear proportions. If a miracle doesn’t stop this war very quickly (which is extremely unlikely), the world will soon be entering a hyperinflationary commodity explosion (think both energy, metals and food) combined with a cataclysmic deflationary asset implosion (think debt, stocks and property).

The world will be experiencing totally unknown consequences without the ability to solve any of them for a very long time. All the above would most likely happen even without a global war. But if the war spreads outside Russia and Ukraine, then all bets are off. At this point I am not going to speculate about such an outcome since what is standing in front of us currently certainly is bad enough.

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Well, yes, prices are rising.

Inflation: SMOKING (Denninger)

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.9 percent before seasonal adjustment. Gasoline was only up 6.6% in the February index. Most of the damage had not yet been taken; that’s in the last two weeks and will be in the next report. Groceries were up 1.4% on the month which annualizes to 18%, a figure that is worse than the early 1980s inflation and will flat-out ruin lower and middle-income Americans. Shelter was the largest non-food and fuel increase, which also monkey-hammers modest-income persons.

Prices for used vehicles dropped, no doubt due to the insanity of large trucks which of course are fuel pigs and most people buy them because they like them, not because they tow or haul something. When the pump shuts off at $100 before the tank is full they suddenly get a lot less attractive, don’t they? The fiction of “owners-equivalent rent” continues. Actual house prices have risen astronomically yet OER is only up 4.3%. Anyone who believes that figure is nuts. Incidentally this intentional distortion was part and parcel of the housing crash in 2008 and why we’ll have another one; rentals have been priced exclusive of capital cost recovery for quite some time and that’s a problem because the owners have thought they’d be “ok” due to capital appreciation in the asset value.

Then Covid hit, the moratoriums came and the rocket-shot in price that “rescued” what was otherwise a flat-out disaster that would have bankrupted basically everyone who owned and rented out single-family residences. The problem is that as with last time this “asset value” addition is a mirage; liquidity will be forced to tighten as when you can’t buy food you riot and a burned house is worth zero. You can’t print chickens, cows, wheat and corn — you have to grow them and when the input costs go up so does the price in the store. Thus these intentional (but transparent and fully-visible) lies in the CPI table, specifically OER, which I’ve outlined for over a decade as the cause of much of bad policy by both The Fed and Government, but which was intentionally put into the computation by the government itself, is going to lead to the same sort of bad outcome.

Insurance is going to take off too. Unfortunately that’s a “sunk cost” for virtually everyone in some form or fashion. If you think car insurance is going to get nasty health insurance was up 1.9% on the month which annualizes to 25.3%. Every single employed person either pays this directly (e.g. Obamacare) or it is a direct deduction from their wage and salary offer if the employer is forced to provide it for him or her with it commonly being $500 a month — so this is $100 per month, or over $1,000 a year that is going to come directly in the form of less money in your pocket or even firings if you no longer are worth the extra $100 a month to the employer! The annualized change in price for goods, both durables and non-durables, are all up double-digits with durable goods approaching 20%.

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“America has gazed into the abyss and apparently decided to sign a lease and move in.”

Crashin’ and Burnin’ (Kunstler)

Yes, life in the early twenty-first century looks more and more like a bad horror movie. And now the critics are moving in, savaging the production. “A massive murderous fraud,” many are saying of the Covid-19 extravaganza, and the audience, once back out in the blinding, clarifying daylight, are saying to themselves, Yeah, kinda seems like it was. Fraud vitiates liability protection. It is a well-known principle among the artisans of law. Moderna stock is down 70 percent and Pfizer more than 20. Wall Street has sniffed out a motherlode of rot, according to Mr. Edward Dowd, BlackRock investment advisor emeritus, who is saying it loudly over the alt-streams, making a whole lot of public health officials and doctors nervous as roaches when the lights flash on.

Mom impersonator Rochelle Walensky, chief of the CDC, has concealed much dire information about the number of “vaccine” injuries and fatalities of the past year, while still importuning everybody to vaxx-up and boost-up, knowing they might be harmed by it. Does she just skate on that? And then, of course, there is Dr. Fauci, missing in action lately. (Anybody look for him down in Paraguay?) The clock is ticking on when the millions of lawsuits might commence along with prosecutions for crimes against humanity.

Cue “Joe Biden,” then, to crash the global economy and give folks other things to think about — like, how am I going to keep driving sixty miles each way to work with gasoline at $8 a gallon? How, indeed, is anything like an advanced economy going to stagger forward now that nobody in the world will sell each other anything? Well, it probably just won’t. All that’s left is the sound of money being shot out of cannons, and nobody seems to notice that it gets shredded in the process. America has gazed into the abyss and apparently decided to sign a lease and move in.

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“The whole world will be interested to know what exactly the American bio-laboratories in Ukraine were doing.”

‘A New Page in the Art of War’ (Escobar)

By now what we may call a Triple Threat has been established as the catalyst anticipating the launch of Operation Z. • Ukraine developing nuclear weapons. Zelensky himself hinted at it in the Munich Security Conference. • U.S. bioweapons labs in Ukraine. Confirmed, tersely, by none other than the Sinister Cookie Distributor neocon wife in the uber-neocon Kaganate of Nulands, who described them as “biological research facilities”. ” • An imminent attack on Donbass with massive civilian deaths. It could have been in March, according to documents seized by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Or even in late February, according to SVR intelligence, which was monitoring the line of contact on a minute-by-minute basis. This is what eventually prompted Operation Z as a Russian version of R2P (“Responsibility to Protect”).

So after years of CIA-instigated shouts of “conspiracy theory!” and less than zero “fact checkers” activity, it turns out “it was all happening in Ukraine”, as divine messenger Maria Zakharova once again pointed out: “We have found your own products. We have found your biological material.” The first-class investigative work of Dilyana Gaytandzhieva on Pentagon bioweapons was fully vindicated. Based on documents received from Ukrainian biolab employees, the Russian ModD revealed that research with samples of bat coronavirus, among other experiments, were conducted in a Pentagon-funded biolab.

The purpose of all this research – which included another Pentagon project to study the transfer of pathogens by wild birds migrating between Ukraine and Russia and other neighboring countries – was “to create a mechanism for the covert spread of deadly pathogens.” In trademark pysop mode, everything was turned upside down by the United States government: those evil Russkies could take control of biological samples, so any “accident” involving biological and chemical weapons in Ukraine would have to be blamed on Russia. The White House, in yet another flagrant display of unredeemable stupidity, accused Russia of “false claims” and China of “endorsing this propaganda”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov came up with the adult perspective: “The whole world will be interested to know what exactly the American bio-laboratories in Ukraine were doing.”

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“Keep in mind the U.S. hadn’t uttered a word about Russia using bio or chemical weapons in Ukraine until Nuland opened her mouth.”

On a Knife’s Edge in Ukraine (Lauria)

Nuland’s answer under oath to Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday appeared to confirm the U.S. has biological weapons in Ukrainian labs. Rubio asked her point blank whether Ukraine had biological or chemical weapons. A very uncomfortable Nuland answered that Ukraine was conducting “biological research” and the U.S. was worried “materials” would fall into Russian hands. It is hard to imagine she was worried about Russia seizing experimental vaccines or blood samples. She may be referring to gain-of-function research on pathogens that National Institutes of Health Director Anthony Fauci testified could have a “dual use” purpose — both civilian and military. Here was Nuland apparently twice spilling the beans: the first time speaking on an unsecured telephone about U.S. plans for the 2014 coup in Kiev. And now about U.S.-funded bio research in Ukraine.

Damage control was clearly in order. First the White House scrambled to say Russian charges that the U.S. was running bioweapons research near the Russian border was “absurd” and “preposterous.” Then the Pentagon explained that these may be leftover pathogens from Soviet days and were part of a U.S. program begun 30 years ago to destroy WMD in former Soviet republics. That was the explanation of Robert Pope, the director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He said: “Scientists being scientists, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these strain collections in some of these laboratories still have pathogen strains that go all the way back to the origins of that program.”

But documents on the website of the U.S. embassy in Kiev show the U.S. paid for and opened new labs in Ukraine as late as 2019. Now the U.S. reaction to Nuland’s revelations has turned more sinister. Keep in mind the U.S. hadn’t uttered a word about Russia using bio or chemical weapons in Ukraine until Nuland opened her mouth. Now the U.S. is putting out the word that these Soviet-era pathogens may be used by Russia in the current conflict. Rubio set that ball rolling when he asked Nuland that if these weapons would be used, was there any doubt Russia would be the side using them. (It was a backhanded admission the U.S. and Ukraine have them too). She said: “There’s no doubt in my mind” it would be Russia.”

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That’s pretty unique. And risky.

Russia Allows Chinese Banks To Buy Oil Without Letters Of Credit (ZH)

One week ago, Shell quietly purchased Russian seaborne crude (at a record discount of $28.50) amid a self-imposed boycott by most other Western purchasers of Russian energy products, only to spark widespread populist outrage over its indirect funding of the Putin regime and prompting a vow from the largest European energy company to not purchase Russian crude any more. As a result, Moscow has found itself in the crippling position where despite carve outs for its oil exports (Europe has vocally refused to join the US ban of Russian energy exports), not a single western major is willing to buy Russian oil over fears of public backlash, while Chinese banks are reportedly on the fence when it comes to providing letters of credit to shippers seeking to purchase Russian oil, in the process freezing Russia’s entire seaborne oil exporting industry.

So fast forward to today, when in hopes of short circuiting the Chinese quasi-ban, Russian oil giant Surgutneftegaz (Surgut) has allowed Chinese buyers to receive oil without providing guarantees known as letters of credit (LC) in order to bypass Western sanctions, Reuters reported citing three people with knowledge of the matter said. A letter of credit, which allows 30 days for payment and is backed by a bank, is seen as the strongest guarantee for both sides. The change in terms will allow Surgutneftegaz – which will now face a direct monetary risk that “something might happen” to the uninsured cargo but since it has no other choices it will gladly take it – to continue to sell ESPO Blend crude from the port of Kozmino in Russia’s Far East to China, the world’s top oil importer.

As a reminder, Russian ESPO crude exports – of around 750,000 barrels per day in normal times – provide China’s biggest source of spot crude. While China has repeatedly voiced opposition to the sanctions, calling them ineffective and insisting it will maintain normal economic and trade exchanges with Russia, Bloomberg recently reported that Chinese state banks had restricted purchases of Russian commodities and stopped issuing U.S. dollar-denominated letters of credit for purchases of physical Russian commodities ready for export, perhaps out of fear of being seen as violating western sanctions. To get round the restrictions, Chinese companies are using open accounts that allow the customer to buy goods on a deferred payment basis, with a requirement to pay in full up to three days after the cargo is loaded. It was not immediately clear which banks were involved.

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“Why shouldn’t George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden be called war criminals too?”

In Praise of “Whataboutism” (Kimberley)

The word “whataboutism” is used to silence and insult opponents of U.S. imperialism. It should be embraced as a means of revealing what is too often kept hidden. Anyone who speaks out against imperialism, capitalism, or racism with concrete examples of the terrible harm they do, can expect to be charged with the dreaded term “whataboutism.” Like clockwork, the act of revealing American crimes will result in an accusation that is used to silence dissent. When war propaganda prevails regarding Ukraine or any other place where the hegemon is doing its dirty work, it is reasonable to ask probing questions. Why are the deaths of 14,000 people killed by Ukraine’s civil war swept under the rug? Why is it forbidden to ask about the U.S. destruction of Libya? But once having asked a good question, one will be told that raising the topic is proof of the whataboutism sin.

The word whataboutism is in the dictionary and is defined as, “the act or practice of responding to an accusation of wrongdoing by claiming that an offense committed by another is similar or worse.” That meaning is accurate and also completely defensible. The charge is meant to censor the speaker, excuse U.S. actions, and defend its human rights violations. The denials and apologies are exactly why whataboutism should be defended. It is terrible when lies and crimes are not countered with verifiable information exposing them. The term has gained popularity in part because there is so much hypocrisy to point out and there are so many adherents to American exceptionalism who defend what they should condemn.

When the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it would begin investigating “the Situation in Ukraine” corporate media and their political partners gloated and pointed fingers at Russia. They didn’t point out that the U.S., like Russia, is not a signatory of the Treaty of Rome which brought the ICC into existence. Not only is the U.S. not a member state, but in 2002 Congress passed the American Service Members Protection Act , popularly known as the Hague Invasion Act. It gives the U.S. the right to extract any American held at the court in the Hague. The removal part isn’t even necessary because the act prohibits the extradition of Americans to the ICC. The chest thumping about the investigation into Ukraine should surely be followed by a discussion of U.S. hostility to the ICC. It is a clear example of when and how whataboutism should be practiced.

Not mentioning the U.S. relationship or rather lack of relationship with the ICC would be an indication of agreement with exceptionalist doctrine. If Vladimir Putin is described as a war criminal, thug, dictator, and a modern day Hitler, it is appropriate and indeed necessary to ask about American presidents. For brevity’s sake consider only those American presidents who served since 2001. U.S. invasions and interventions in western Asia, North Africa, central Asia and the Horn of Africa have displaced more than 37 million people since the “war on terror” began. Why shouldn’t George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden be called war criminals too? Silence in the face of their criminality gives license and approval to U.S. aggressions.

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Blow up the internet to save propaganda.

Are You SURE This Is A Good Idea? (Denninger)

What could possibly go wrong with setting an example like this? “Cogent Communications will pull the plug on its connectivity to customers in Russia in response to President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The US-based biz is one of the planet’s largest internet backbones – the freeways of the internet – and says it carries roughly a quarter of global ‘net traffic.” Modern-day “aggregators”, of which Cogent is one, often are the source of address delegations as well. Cogent has confirmed they’re canceling IP addresses delegated out; when you are using an aggregator you don’t actually “own” any delegations you may have as for routing purposes the aggregator has the registration on those. For residential users this is not a major issue, but for commercial places where reverse mapping is a factor it can be at least a moderate hassle.

Much-more ominous, however, is this: “ICANN on Wednesday rebuffed a request from Mykhailo Fedorov, First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, to revoke all Russian web domains, shut down Russian DNS root servers, and invalidate associated TLS/SSL certificates in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” First, ICANN has no ownership of DNS root servers; they’re privately owned and operated. What they could do is remove “undesirable ones” from the “hints” file that is publicly distributed. Actually getting ISPs around the globe to change their hint files is quite-possibly another matter. Again, this is a distributed data set and what is distributed in terms of the root hints are suggestions, not commands. Could ICANN revoke the .RU top-level domain? Yes, but doing so risks a schism. Again there is nothing that can be done to enforce upon ISPs (or for that matter anyone willing to run their own local resolver, such as I do here at my home) what top-level domains exist and who is the delegated authority for them.

[..] ICANN wisely told Ukraine to go blow goats, but what also concerns me is that the people in Ukraine who made the request do not understand how this all works because in addition to asking for imposition of a deliberate schism they also asked for all Russian TLS/SSL certificates to be revoked. ICANN does not issue said certificates nor does it control the issuers, directly or indirectly, that people use as the “root of trust” for said certificates. As just one example ICANN has no operational control over Verisign which is one of the many firms that issues end-entity certificates. If you go to PayPal’s web page their certificate is issued by DigiCert and they, and only they, are the ones who validate that indeed they issued it and PayPal owns it.

The various operating system firms distribute a base “trusted root” list and there’s a consortium that agrees (most of the time) on what goes in and is removed from there; for example Google (Chrome) and Mozilla (Firefox) both have such a list and are part of the consortium that makes such decisions, as does Microsoft, the various Linux distributions, Apple and FreeBSD. Attempts to tamper with this for political reasons are extremely unwise because while they may indeed be a “weapon” that can be used to inflict pain on various entities for political purpose any abuse of this sort risks a schism on the Internet as a whole and evasion of the sanction, if undertaken and it will be by the targeted parties, wildly increases the risk of compromise of the entire trust structure on which secure transactions rest. The impact of such an event will not be localized to the sanctioned parties; by definition if you do that the impact is likely to be global.

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Hunter and Azov.

One Ukrainian Billionaire Funded Hunter Biden, Zelensky, Azov Battalion (Koa)

The real person who was the benefactor to, and the boss of, Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, at the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, was not the CEO of Burisma Holdings, Mykola Zlochevsky, but it was instead Ihor Kolomoysky, who was part of the newly installed Ukrainian Government, which the Obama Administration itself had actually just installed in Ukraine, in what the head of the “private CIA” firm Stratfor correctly called “the most blatant coup in history.” Shortly after the Obama Administration’s Ukrainian coup, on March 2, 2014, Kolomoysky, who supported Yanukovych’s overthrow, was appointed the governor of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Hunter Biden, with no experience in the industry or region, would join Kolomoysky’s Burisma Holdings two months later on May 12, 2014.

A 2012 study of Burisma Holdings done in Ukraine by the AntiCorruption Action Centre (ANTAC), an investigative nonprofit co-funded by American billionaire George Soros and the U.S. State Department, found that the true owner of Burisma Holdings was none other than Ukrainian billionaire-oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky. The study, which was funded to dig up corruption on the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, instead found that Ihor Kolomoysky “managed to seize the largest reserves of natural gas in Ukraine”. Burisma Holdings changed owners in 2011 when it was taken over by an off-shore Cyprus enterprise called Brociti Investments Ltd, and subsequently, moved addresses under the same roof as Ukrnaftoburinnya and Esko-Pivnich, two Ukrainian gas companies which happened to be also owned by Kolomoysky through off-shore entities in the British Virgin Islands.

Oleh Kanivets, who worked as CEO of Ukrnaftoburinnya, confirmed Kolomoysky as the owner of Burisma Holding in the 2012 report saying, “The Privat Group is the immediate owner. This company was founded by Mykola Zlochevsky some time ago, but he later sold his shares to the Privat Group.” In other words, Hunter Biden’s boss and benefactor at Burisma Holdings is the same Ukrainian billionaire-oligarch who also claimed the position of boss and benefactor over Volodymyr Zelensky before he became Ukraine’s president.

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“1.34ml after 1 hour, 2.34ml after 4 hours, and then 12.3ml after 48 hours.”

Pfizer Vaccine Accumulates In Ovaries; Ovarian Cancer At All Time High (DE)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been forced by court order to publish all confidential documents sent to them by Pfizer in regard to emergency use approval of the Pfizer Covid-19 injection. The latest round of documents were published 1st March 22, and one of the documents confirms that the Pfizer Covid-19 injection accumulates in the ovaries over time. What are the consequences of this? Well official UK data shows that cases of Ovarian cancer in 2021 were at an all time high, and the UK Medicine Regulator received over 40,000 reports relating to reproductive and menstrual disorders suspected as adverse reactions to the Covid-19 injections in 2021 alone. The study, which can be found in the long list of confidential Pfizer documents that the FDA have been forced to publish via a court order here, was carried out on Wistar Han rats, 21 of which were female and 21 of which were male.


Each rat received a single intramuscular dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 injection and then the content and concentration of total radioactivity in blood, plasma and tissues were determined at pre-defined points following administration. In other words, the scientists conducting the study measured how much of the Covid-19 injection has spread to other parts of the body such as the skin, liver, spleen, heart etc. But one of the most concerning findings from the study is the fact that the Pfizer injection accumulates in the ovaries over time. An ‘ovary’ is one of a pair of female glands in which the eggs form and the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone are made. In the first 15 minutes following injection of the Pfizer jab, researchers found that the total lipid concentration in the ovaries measured 0.104ml. This then increased to 1.34ml after 1 hour, 2.34ml after 4 hours, and then 12.3ml after 48 hours.

Ed Dowd

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“Forget how health bureaucracies headed by political appointees took over the task of regulating nearly the whole of life, while messaging the country that freedom just doesn’t matter much anymore!”

Forget About Covid, They Say (Tucker)

Earlier this year, a phrase was trending because Bari Weiss used it on a talk show: “I’m done with Covid.” Many people cheered simply because the subject has been the source of vast oppression for billions of people for two years. There are two ways to be over Covid. One way is to do what the memo from the consultants of the Democratic National Committee suggested: declare the war won and move on. For political reasons. Deaths attributed to Covid nationally are higher now than they were in the summer of 2020 when the whole country was locked down. They are also higher now than during the election of November the same year. But today we are just supposed to treat it for what it is: a seasonal virus with a disparate impact on the aged and frail.

Rationality is back! In that sense, it’s good to forget about Covid if it means living life normally and behaving with clarity about what does and does not work to mitigate a virus. The Democrats decided that the hyper-restrictionist ways were risking political fortunes. Hence, the line and the talking points needed to change. Another way to get over Covid is to forget completely about the last two years, especially the astonishing failures of compulsory pandemic controls. Forget about the school closures that cost a generation two years of learning. Forget that the hospitals were largely closed to people without a Covid-related malady. Forget about the preventable nursing-home deaths. Forget that dentistry was practically abolished for a few months, or that one could not even get a haircut.

Forget the stay-at-home orders, the church and business closures, the playground and gym closures, the bankruptcies, the travel restrictions, the firings, the crazed advice for everyone to mask up and physically separate, the record drug-related deaths, the mass depression, the segregation, the brutalization of small business, the labor-force dropouts, the forced stoppages of art and culture, and the capacity limits on venues that forced weddings and funerals to be on Zoom. Forget about a closer look at the bogus mathematical models, vaccine trials, the circumstances behind the Emergency Use Authorizations, the adverse effects, the inaccuracies of the PCR test, and misclassification of deaths, the billions and trillions of misdirected funds, the division of all workers between essential and nonessential, and the millions who were forced to get jabs they did not want.

Forget about the possibility of a lab leak, the role of China, the deadly use of ventilators, the neglect of therapeutics, the near-banning of all talk of natural immunity, the overselling of the vaccine, the lost religious holidays, the lonely deaths due to the blocking of loved ones from hospitals, the censorship of science, the manipulated and hidden CDC data, the payments to the major media, the symbiotic relationship between government and Big Tech, the demonization of dissent, and the abuse of emergency powers. Forget how health bureaucracies headed by political appointees took over the task of regulating nearly the whole of life, while messaging the country that freedom just doesn’t matter much anymore!

Who precisely benefits from this method of being “over Covid?” The unrepentant hegemon that gave us this disaster to begin with. They want to be in the clear. They don’t just desire to be exonerated; they don’t want to be judged at all. They want to be unaccountable. The best path toward that end is to foster public amnesia.

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No knowledge whatsoever of adverse events?!

Some Australians Face A Fourth Covid Booster Shot – And One Every Year (DM)

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has flagged that older Australians may get a new Covid vaccine booster shot every year. Mr Hunt said the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has been looking into a potential fourth vaccine shot for weeks. After some significant research he said ATAGI will potentially be ‘going to recommend a second booster’ for people aged 65 and over, and an annual jab is being considered. Mr Hunt said it could be a matter of weeks before older Australians known they can have a second Covid booster Mr Hunt said advice from the nation’s leading vaccine advisory group could come through by the end of the month on whether a fourth dose would be recommended.

So, Australians could find out in a matter of weeks whether they need to receive a second COVID-19 vaccine booster ahead of a predicted winter surge in infections. Mr Hunt said it was more likely than not a fourth dose will be the course of action for some groups ahead of winter, when a spike in both COVID and flu infections is forecast. ‘I can’t pre-empt the decision but … they are potentially going to recommend a second booster, which would be potentially the start of an annual program for people 65 and above,’ Mr Hunt told reporters in Canberra. ‘We’re expecting that advice from ATAGI within the next three weeks, if not earlier.’

The fourth dose plan will be a major topic of discussion when Prime Minister Scott Morrison meets with state and territory leaders at Friday’s national cabinet meeting. It comes as the government announced $2.1 billion to prepare for the months ahead. The plan will involve $1.2 billion to help protect residential aged care and disability care sectors, $356 million to protect vulnerable population groups and a further $571 million for vaccines.

Electronic pill

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“The Ministry of Information thanks you for your good citizenship as we battle against Vladimir Putin’s inflation and gas prices.”

Google Ministry of Information Announces Zero Tolerance Policy (CTH)

Comrade citizens, after success with the Ministry of Information controlling efforts surrounding the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and public health vaccinations, The Division of Correct Thinking has announced they will also not tolerate any information against their war efforts in Ukraine. All good global citizens will appreciate the Ministry’s effort to protect you from bad Russian influences. Only the approved truth must remain visible to combat any Russian efforts to influence our thinking. The only horrors approved for review must be approved by the compliance division within the Google Ministry of Information. Comrade citizens, as our experience with COVID and the heroic vaccination program has shown us, the Ministry always looks out for our physical and mental health.

The inherent dangers of wrong thoughts could lead to misplaced sympathies, lack of necessary motivation and questions about the altruism within the Ministry for Peace. Further guidance continues…. Comrades, we must also be on guard for dissident agent provocateurs who may surface with unapproved information. The Ministry anticipates subversive efforts against the health of our state that may involve messages from non-reliable sources. The state fact-checking operations have been activated to level red status in anticipation of this problem. Help do your part. If you are concerned you may have been influenced by any information that could potentially be defined as friendly toward the Russian government, you must help deprogram your wrong thoughts by watching replays of Rocky IV or Red Dawn.


These are historically accurate documentaries, provided by brilliant Hollywood research teams, and they outline prior efforts of the Russian government to attack our nation. Any comrade citizen who wishes to donate their monthly chocolate or gasoline ration to the brave Ukranian people should contact their local re-education office using the Tik Tok code: GOOD CITIZEN. You may also text your good citizenship status to 1-800-YesWeCan, and you will receive a link to download a QR code providing you access to the full YouTube library of approved reference material. In the approved library, you will find quality content highlighting the glorious efforts of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the patriotic resistance of the Ukrainian military. The Ministry of Information thanks you for your good citizenship as we battle against Vladimir Putin’s inflation and gas prices.

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“We need to support Ukraine as it is the latest thing we are supposed to support..”

Restaurants Now Requiring Proof Of Ukraine Support (BBee)

As the war between Russia and Ukraine rages on, restaurants across the country are now requiring proof of Ukraine support in order to eat in their restaurants. Patrons are being asked to produce a photo ID and open up their social media profiles to prove they have been adequately supporting Ukraine by posting flags and sharing the latest wartime propaganda. “We need to support Ukraine as it is the latest thing we are supposed to support,” said the manager of one NYC cafe. “If you aren’t adequately supporting the thing that everyone says we are supposed to be supporting at this time, you don’t deserve to eat in my store!” When asked about whether he would still require vaccine cards due to the pandemic, he stared blankly and said: “The what? I’m not sure what you’re talking about.” Patrons who don’t have adequate evidence of Ukraine support will then have to show adequate evidence of Russia hatred before entering.

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Tom and Jerry

 

 

 

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