Aug 132023
 
 August 13, 2023  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather 1882

 

Comer Ready To Subpoena Bidens’ Phone, Bank Records, Grant Immunity (JTN)
Prosecutors Want To Interview Joe Biden In Classified Memos Case (JTN)
Comer, Jordan Slam Hunter Biden Special Counsel ‘Coverup’ (ZH)
Now THAT Is Ridiculous (Denninger)
Appeals Court Judges Compare Biden Social Media Pressure To Mafia (JTN)
Congress Probing FBI Collection Of J6 Phone Location Data (JTN)
F-16 Training For Ukrainian Pilots Barely Getting Off the Runway (Sp.)
Russia Committed To Principle Of Inadmissibility Of Nuclear War (TASS)
Ray McGovern Has Never Been More Scared of Nuclear Catastrophe (SP)
US-Led NATO Drowns Ukraine in a Bloodbath (SCF)
US and NATO Arms Industries Hit Record $400 Billion in Sales (SCF)
Italy Launches $550 Million Airbnb Case (RT)

 

 

 

 

Greenwald

 

 

Devine

 

 

 

 

Schweizer

 

 

How much longer can the wagons protect them?

 

 

Event 201

 

 

 

 

“We’re getting closer every day to showing that Joe Biden was the ringleader in this, not Hunter Biden..”

Comer Ready To Subpoena Bidens’ Phone, Bank Records, Grant Immunity (JTN)

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer on Friday night pointedly dismissed the appointment of a special counsel in the Hunter Biden criminal probe as “another maneuver… to obstruct” Congress and vowed to escalate his investigation by subpoenaing Hunter and Joe Biden’s phone and bank records and offering witnesses immunity. “We’re getting closer every day to showing that Joe Biden was the ringleader in this, not Hunter Biden,” Comer said in an exclusive interview with the “Just the News, No Noise” television show just hours after Attorney General Merrick Garland shocked Washington by announcing that he was upgrading Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to a special counsel after four years of investigating the Biden family finances.

Comer dismissed Garland’s decision as ineffective, noting Weiss had years to bring serious charges and instead managed to construct a plea deal that spared Hunter Biden prison for tax evasion and gun charges that even the trial judge could not accept. “It’s another maneuver by the Justice Department to obstruct our investigation. I find it odd that, the day after I announced that we had put together a case that would win in court to subpoena Joe Biden’s personal bank records, then lo and behold, Merrick Garland strikes again,” Comer said.

“I assumed he would try to indict Trump or something. But no, he appoints a special counsel and he appoint the same person who had supposedly been investigating Hunter Biden for years, who let the statute of limitations expire on all of his obvious tax crimes, who tried to negotiate a sweetheart plea deal that led him off scot free. And less than two weeks later, after a judge rejects that sweetheart plea deal, Merrick Garland appointed special counsel for the sole purpose to obstruct our credible, effective oversight House investigation of Biden corruption.” Comer said he is now prepared to subpoena the credit card and bank records of the president and his son as well as their phone records to check witness allegations that Joe Biden got financial benefit from Hunter Biden’s clients and talked and met with them at various times.

“We’re at the point to where we put together a case where we have emails, we have text messages, we have pictures, we have bank records. Now we have sworn testimony from associates like Devon Archer. We are ready now to be able to subpoena the personal bank records of the Bidens,” he said. “What we’ve got now are their shady shell company. Now, we need the personal records,” he said. “Because when we show… that chart that shows China and Romania and Russia and the arrows go into shell companies and into the Biden’s family, we think there may be another arrow beyond the Biden family. And that would go to Joe Biden himself. And that’s what people have told us. That’s what the emails suggest. And that’s what we’re trying to determine now. And that’s where our investigation is headed.”

[..] “We’re going to continue to exercise our subpoena power. Hopefully, when we move to impeachment inquiry, that’ll be able to give us tools like granting immunity,” he explained. “If we could grant immunity. I think people like Devon Archer would have would have said a whole lot more. I think people like Eric Sherwood would tell a lot of things that that the Bidens have done that we know they’ve done, that everyone in America knows they’ve done.”

Read more …

Robert Hur? Almost forgot about him.

Prosecutors Want To Interview Joe Biden In Classified Memos Case (JTN)

Special Counsel Robert Hur wants to interview Joe Biden in his classified memos investigation, and the president’s attorneys have been in negotiations for about a month. Hur was appointed last January, two months after special counsel Jack Smith was appointed to investigate former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents, according to NBC News. The issues being negotiated include the time and place of the interview, as well as the scope of the questions. The reporting on this suggests that the investigation has a way to go before wrapping up, but “an interview with the person at the center of an investigation typically takes place near the end of the process,” according to NBC.


While most of the classified documents found starting in November of last year were related to Biden’s time as vice president, some went as far back as when he was a U.S. senator from Delaware. They were found in his office in Washington at the Penn Biden Center, at a second office of the Penn Biden Center in the Chinatown area of Washington, D.C. and at his home in Wilmington, Del. Trump was indicted on 37 counts based on seven charges in June in his classified documents investigation. One such charge was for a violation of the Espionage Act. Based on current polling, both Trump and Biden are well ahead in their races to be the nominees of their respective parties, setting up a 2024 rematch of the 2020 election for president.

Read more …

When the Weiss-negotiated Hunter plea deal was thrown out, Garland made Weiss a special counsel. What links the two moves is that both are designed to keep all information under wraps.

Garland and Weiss must know this will not be accepted -it’s against the law-, but they entered it on Friday, so they have a whole weekend in which Weiss is able to manipulate even more files than in his previous position.

Paul SPERRY: “By suddenly acquiring special counsel status, Hill investigators say embattled prosecutor David Weiss can now avoid testifying next month before the House Judiciary Committee and face grilling over reports he helped obstruct a broader investigation into Hunter Biden..”

Jack Posobiec: “The appointment of Weiss as a ‘Special Counsel’ allows the Biden DOJ to keep the investigation open indefinitely and stall all House requests for information to coverup the Biden family corruption ring..”

Comer, Jordan Slam Hunter Biden Special Counsel ‘Coverup’ (ZH)

The Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, James Comer (R-KY) said in a Friday statement that the announcement of a special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation is a DOJ “coverup.” “This move by Attorney General Garland is part of the Justice Department’s efforts to attempt a Biden family coverup in light of the House Oversight Committee’s mounting evidence of President Joe Biden’s role in his family’s schemes selling ‘the brand’ for millions of dollars to foreign nationals,” Comer said in a lengthy statement shortly after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of US Attorney David Weiss as special counsel, the Daily Caller reports.

“The Justice Department’s misconduct and politicization in the Biden criminal investigation already allowed the statute of limitations to run with respect to egregious felonies committed by Hunter Biden. Justice Department officials refused to follow evidence that could have led to Joe Biden, tipped off the Biden transition team and Hunter Biden’s lawyers about planned interviews and searches, and attempted to sneakily place Hunter Biden on the path to a sweetheart plea deal,” the statement continues.

“Let’s be clear what today’s move is really about. The Biden Justice Department is trying to stonewall congressional oversight as we have presented evidence to the American people about the Biden family’s corruption. The House Oversight Committee will continue to follow the Biden family’s money trail and interview witnesses to determine whether foreign actors targeted the Bidens, President Biden is compromised and corrupt, and our national security is threatened. We will also continue to work with the House Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means to root out misconduct at the Justice Department and hold bad actors accountable for weaponizing law enforcement powers,” Comer continued.

House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan (R-OH) conveyed similar sentiments, telling the Caller: “David Weiss can’t be trusted and this is just a new way to whitewash the Biden family’s corruption. Weiss has already signed off on a sweetheart plea deal that was so awful and unfair that a federal judge rejected it. We will continue to pursue facts brought to light by brave whistleblowers as well as Weiss’s inconsistent statements to Congress.” According to Garland, “The appointment of Mr. Weiss reinforces for the American people the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters,” adding “I am confident that Mr. Weiss will carry out his responsibility in an even-handed and urgent manner, and in accordance with the highest traditions of this department.” We’re sure he’s quite confident.

Read more …

Denninger’s not the only one who noticed this bit: “Durham’s appointment was invalid for the same reason — remember that? Where was the screaming then?”

NOTE: Durham’s probe also took 5 years or so. And what was the result?

Now THAT Is Ridiculous (Denninger)

There is a point that the in-your-face fraud reaches where one must that there is no longer a functional law enforcement capacity within a part of the government. In this case that’s the entire Federal government, as this is the DOJ itself and the AG of the nation, Garland: “Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss a special counsel in the Hunter Biden probe, as well as any other matters that arose or may arise from that investigation.” Weiss is the US Attorney who presented a negotiated plea agreement to the judge over Hunter’s conduct that the judge rejected as it appeared to have included terms intended to mislead both the court and the justice system generally. She sent that back, correctly flagging two provisions including an apparent undisclosed immunity deal that was out-of-scope of the charges that were negotiated.

This is flat-out improper and what’s worse is that it appeared both Weiss and Biden’s defense counsel colluded to place said terms in an addendum that was not disclosed in advance of the hearing to the judge which was clearly intended to keep her from knowing about it until, they hoped, she’s signed off on it. Further there are allegations that Biden’s counsel attempted to tamper with the evidentiary chain by trying to represent themselves as being related to counsel for parties that filed other briefs and have them either sealed or stricken from the record entirely. There was quite a tap-dance around that (as its a crazy-level breach of ethics, a violation of the duties of an officer of the court, as all counsel are, and also arguably criminal fraudulent misrepresentation) but as far as I know there hasn’t (yet anyway) been any serious consequences — although the judge was clearly inclined to hammer the responsible parties for very good cause.

That alone is enough to drag Garland out of office by his hair. But there’s more: The appointment appears to be facially-illegal and Garland knows damn well that it is. “(a) An individual named as Special Counsel shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decision making, and with appropriate experience to ensure both that the investigation will be conducted ably, expeditiously and thoroughly, and that investigative and prosecutorial decisions will be supported by an informed understanding of the criminal law and Department of Justice policies. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.”

Weiss cannot be appointed to this position as he is a sitting US Attorney! It is explicitly unlawful under the CFRs for Garland to appoint him — or any other sitting US Attorney. By definition a “Special Counsel” must not be a person inside the US Government; that’s the entire point of a Special Counsel! This act by Garland is not only impeachable it is void as Weiss is not qualified and thus the appointment is an open, public, in-your-face fraud. Where does this leave us as Americans? Nowhere good — and at some point we, as Americans, are going to have to deal with this problem whether we like it or not. PS: BTW Durham’s appointment was invalid for the same reason — remember that? Where was the screaming then?

Read more …

“..this is a really nice social media platform you’ve got there, would be a shame if something happened to it..”

Appeals Court Judges Compare Biden Social Media Pressure To Mafia (JTN)

Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod declared in court that the Biden administration’s efforts to persuade social media companies to remove, throttle and suppress purported misinformation on COVID-19, Hunter Biden’s laptop and elections reminded her of a mafia movie. That was just one of the most memorable examples of the frosty reception Justice Department Civil Division lawyer Daniel Tenny received Thursday from the three-judge panel considering whether to lift or modify last month’s ban on several forms of contact between the feds and companies — currently stayed by the 5th Circuit — as the First Amendment lawsuit led by Missouri and Louisiana proceeds. The back-and-forth at Thursday’s hearing resembled that between 6th Circuit judges and DOJ’s lawyer at a June hearing in a related social media censorship lawsuit against federal officials by users of X, formerly known as Twitter.

Both panels were appointed by Republican presidents. Echoing the injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, the 5th Circuit judges repeatedly cited specific conversations from the factual record that suggest social media companies feared legal consequences for not complying with White House and agency requests to censor or diminish the reach of websites or social media postings of which the Biden administration disapproved. When Tenny claimed the injunction’s wording was so broad and vague it could ban the government from alerting the public about “untrue statements” about a natural disaster, Judge Don Willett countered that documented private conversations were the issue. Federal officials appeared to practice “fairly unsubtle strong-arming” and make “not-so-veiled threats” in the vein of “this is a really nice social media platform you’ve got there, would be a shame if something happened to it,” Willett said.

Tenny, upon hearing what the judges appeared to be interpreting as coercive pressure, tried to soft pedal the severity of that pressure. “The government is generically going to be angry” when companies resist taking action, but the communications show officials and companies alternating between “friendly” and “testy” conversations, not specific orders to comply “or else.” Judge Elrod didn’t seem particularly convinced, telling Tenny that “Or else” isn’t required when the government and companies have a “very close working relationship” that resembles a supervisor addressing a subordinate. The “irate messages” actually show high-ranking officials badgering counterparts about why they hadn’t taken action against specific accounts as requested, Judge Elrod said: “It’s like ‘jump and how high.'”

Read more …

“..you can’t just have the government sweep up everything about you trying to find out if you did something wrong.”

Congress Probing FBI Collection Of J6 Phone Location Data (JTN)

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday launched a broad inquiry into the FBI’s use of “geofence warrants” to sweep up large buckets of Americans cell phone location data, a relatively new tool that is raising questions about search and seizure powers that date all the way back to the country’s founding, The tactic came to prominence during the Jan. 6 riot investigation when it was revealed more than 5,000 American phone devices had location data gathered by the FBI in a digital dragnet designed to identify anyone who was in or near the U.S. Capitol that fateful day. That geofence warrant plus revelations that the FBI accepted bank records volunteered by a major bank without seeking a warrant or subpoena have trigged concerns of both liberals and conservatives of a modern-day end run around the 4th Amendment.

“The use of geofence warrants raises serious Constitutional concerns,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Jordan wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland in a letter Thursday announcing the congressional inquiry. “First, location history data is not an exact science as the geo-location data represents only a probable estimation of a device’s location within a given radius and margin of error. Second, a geofence warrant is inherently tied to a specific location—not a known suspect, user, account, or crime. “For that reason, among others, courts have wavered on whether searches pursuant to geofence warrants comply with the Fourth Amendment’s requirements of probable cause and particularity,” Jordan added.

In an interview with Just the News, Jordan said the geofence warrant inquiry was part of a larger effort to help Congress modernize civil liberty protections in an era of unprecedented digital surveillance and technological data gathering that also includes bank records and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that was abused during the Russia collusion scandal. “We know that regarding Jan. 6, a couple years ago that the FBI was looking to get your your phone data location, where you were in relation to the Capitol, were you around the Capitol,” Jordan told the John Solomon Reports podcast. “And it was just sort of this blanket approach No predicate to say you know Sally Smith, or John Jones was here. We have reasonable belief they did this. We’d like to know we want to double check that. Nothing like that. Just a blanket.

“And then you couple this with what we learned from a testimony from a whistleblower at the FBI, a few months back, where Bank of America just turned over their customers debit card and credit card purchases in the DC area around Jan. 6 2021. I mean, this is scary stuff,” he added. “It’s so contrary to the principles that our country was founded on. Like, you can’t just have the government sweep up everything about you trying to find out if you did something wrong. That’s not how our system works. “But it sure looks like that’s what’s happening in modern day America, particularly with this Biden administration.”

Jordan’s letter raised a second concern that geo-fence warrants may have been “weaponized for political ends” by the Justice Department, approved against conservatives and Trump protesters but not against liberal activists from the 2020 George Floyd riots. “Federal law enforcement’s interest in geofenced data appears selective,” he wrote. “For example, in 2020, Minnesota police sought a geofence warrant to investigate violent rioting in Minneapolis and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) used geofence warrants to investigate arson throughout Kenosha, Wisconsin. However, it seems that the FBI did not pursue geofenced data to investigate the violent crime occurring at federal facilities during a similar time frame. “In contrast, the FBI readily used geofencing at an unprecedented scope and scale as a part of its investigation and prosecution of the events of January 6, 2021,” he added.

Read more …

They need to learn English first.

F-16 Training For Ukrainian Pilots Barely Getting Off the Runway (Sp.)

Kiev might be clamoring for American-made F-16s amid its faltering counteroffensive, but the first Ukrainian pilots to undergo training on the fighter jets most likely will not be ready to fly them until next summer, according to a US report. A mere handful of six pilots will undergo the first round of instruction, with two other pilots picked as reserve candidates, according to cited senior Ukrainian government and military officials. However, this first group of pilots is not expected to wrap up training anytime soon, sources acknowledged to the outlet. The officials reportedly bemoaned delays by their Western patrons in implementing the instruction program. None of the previously touted “game-changing weapons” funneled from the West have made much impact on the catastrophically slow pace of Ukraine’s ground forces fighting in the ongoing NATO-Russia proxy war.

So begging for the multi-role US fighters to be added to the mix has become Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s mantra of late. While Kiev may have banked on its pilots being ready to fly the single-engine craft, which debuted in the 1970s and has been updated repeatedly, by as early as September, that appears to have been wishful thinking. While sending Patriot missile system, NASAMS, HIMARS, Bradley fighting vehicles, Leopard II tanks, depleted uranium shells, and, more recently, cluster bombs, to Ukraine, President Joe Biden spent close to a year denying Ukrainian appeals for F-16s. He backtracked as the special military operation continued, saying in May that he would green light training Ukrainian pilots on US-made jets, and supported the transfer of the combat planes by other countries. Eleven NATO countries pledged to support the training, expected to primarily take place in Denmark, Romania, and the Netherlands.

After the start of training was pushed back several times, officials were now cited as saying the effort was only gradually getting off the ground. There had previously been reports that the training had hit a major snag due to the language barrier. Now, the outlet said that even though the selected Ukrainian pilots were already fluent in English, at least four months of special English lessons in Britain were required for them to grasp the terminology associated with the F-16s. To complicate matters further, the language instruction for pilots is to take place simultaneously with lessons for Ukraine’s ground staff – suggested as being less proficient in English. The reason for this was because Denmark had allegedly demanded that entire crews be sent together to train.

The language hurdle is believed to have pushed back the beginning of actual combat training, anticipated to take six months, as far as to January, sources said. As for the second batch of pilots, ostensibly of the same size, they might be nowhere near ready to fly F-16s until the end of next year. It was added that 20 more Ukrainian pilots were currently ready for English-language training. “This is called dragging it out,” a Ukrainian official was quoted as fuming. However, the sources revealed that they feared railing openly against their US and European “benefactors” lest they “appear ungrateful.”

Read more …

“Our opponents know these provisions perfectly well..”

Russia Committed To Principle Of Inadmissibility Of Nuclear War (TASS)

Russia is taking all necessary measures to guarantee national security but is firmly committed to the principle of the inadmissibility of a nuclear war, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday, commenting on the decisions made by Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States to not target strategic nuclear missiles. “The leadership of our country is firmly committed to the principle of the inadmissibility of a nuclear war. We proceed from the fact that there can be no winner in such a war and that it must not be unleashed,” the ministry said. “Russia is taking all necessary measures to ensure its national security, territorial integrity and sovereignty. And it will continue to do so.” According to the ministry, preventing a potential act of aggression against Russia and its allies “is among its highest state priorities.”

The ministry noted that the situation in the sphere of international security and strategic stability is degrading and “discussions about the expediency of measures on not targeting strategic nuclear forces, which have been in place between Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States since the early 1990s, have visibly invigorated.” “Calls are being heard to denounce the relevant agreements in which Russia takes part, “trigger a mechanism of nuclear deterrence,” and aim Russian missiles at the United States and the United Kingdom,” the ministry said. It recalled that on January 14, 1994, Russia and the United States signed the Moscow declaration, where the sides agreed not to aim strategic nuclear missiles at each other. A similar agreement with London was signed on February 15, 1994.

“These are political agreements and impose no legal obligations on the sides. Since they are not international treaties as defined in the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties of 1969, the procedure of their termination of denunciation is not regulated by international law,” the ministry said. “As for triggering the nuclear deterrence mechanism, in line with the provisions of the fundamentals of Russia’s state policy in the sphere of nuclear deterrence that were endorsed by the Russian presidential decree of June 2, 2020 No355, nuclear deterrence is carried out permanently with respect to certain states and military coalitions (blocs, unions) which view Russia as a potential enemy and possess nuclear weapons and/or other types of weapons of mass destruction or a considerable combat potential of conventional forces. One of the principles of nuclear deterrence is maintaining a certain part of forces and nuclear deterrence means on permanent combat alert. Our opponents know these provisions perfectly well,” the ministry stressed.

Read more …

“Sullivan, Blinken, Nuland… They have the reins of power and they’re telling Biden what to do. They have a sense of unreality that they can prevail. ”

Ray McGovern Has Never Been More Scared of Nuclear Catastrophe (SP)

A retired CIA expert on Russia and rare voice of reason coming from the bowels of the American deep state, Ray McGovern joins host Robert Scheer on another edition of the Scheer Intelligence podcast. With world peace, nuclear weapon prudence and film critique on the agenda, McGovern and Scheer delve into a host of relevant issues stemming from the war in Ukraine and the history behind it. From Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” to CNN’s strange truthful broadcast on Ukraine’s counteroffensive, the old boys from the Bronx prod each other’s encyclopedic minds to try and make sense of the state of the world.

While mixed opinions over the atomic bomb film fill the first segment of the episode, the conversation seems to always make its way back to the importance of potential nuclear war on the horizon. As McGovern said, “I spent six decades, count them, six decades following Soviet and now Russian policy. Most of that time professionally and now… really just as intently and I have never, never had so much fear that we are on the cusp of a nuclear catastrophe.” McGovern, an adviser to seven presidents, also dives into the motivations and ramifications of such reckless foreign policy decisions, made by people who supposedly check all the qualification boxes:

“Sullivan, Blinken, Nuland… They have the reins of power and they’re telling Biden what to do. They have a sense of unreality that they can prevail. That was very clear at their first major foreign policy adventure, where the Chinese were kind enough to come to Anchorage, Alaska and they were treated like the British imperialists treated the Chinese on the Yangtze River two centuries ago!” In the end, it is the citizens back home as well as the soldiers on the front lines who get dealt a bad hand from these decisions. McGovern points out the bleak realities of what these aid packages to countries like Ukraine really mean to all parties involved. The most sinister part being how it happens in front of people without them even knowing and that is by design, courtesy of McGovern’s famously coined military, industrial, congressional, intelligence, media, academia, think tank (MICIMATT) complex.

Read more …

SCF op-ed last week.

US-Led NATO Drowns Ukraine in a Bloodbath (SCF)

New figures indicate the Ukrainian military death toll is at least 400,000 after 500 days of conflict. The real figure may actually surpass 500,000. This is much greater than previously estimated, which was already dreadful. Yet, Washington incoherently keeps pushing the failed counteroffensive to the “last Ukrainian”. This bloodbath is an obscenity, a vast imperial crime, with no effort at all by the U.S. and European leaders to sue for peace. Crudely put, war is a racket and the warmongers make a packet. Not surprisingly, the actual casualty figures suffered by the Kiev regime’s military are a closely guarded secret. The NATO sponsors are also keeping a tight lip on the ghoulish losses because to do so would be an admission of the abysmal failure of their proxy war against Russia, and that would entail incurring an almighty political backlash from the Western public. Therein lies a diabolical Catch-22.

Nevertheless, despite the best efforts to conceal the carnage, up to recently several independent observers had estimated the death toll for the Ukrainian forces to be around 250,000 to 300,000 since the conflict erupted on February 24, 2022. Russian military casualties have been put at about 10 percent of those inflicted on the Ukrainian side. New data this week, however, indicate the scale of losses for the NATO-backed Kiev regime to be much higher. Satellite imagery cited by Intel Republic’s Telegram channel of newly dug cemeteries in Ukrainian territory suggests that at least 400,000 military personnel have died in battles with Russian forces. The graves presume individual bodies buried. In addition, not recorded are the countless dead who have been obliterated on battlefields or left to rot by Kiev regime commanders.

Another measure is gleaned from grim reports this week in the U.S. media that there have been 50,000 amputees among Ukrainian soldiers, according to the supply of prosthetic limbs from German manufacturers. Extrapolation from that figure of casualties corroborates the far higher estimate of war dead. Consequently, in light of the amputee numbers, comparisons have been made even by the U.S. media with the level of attrition seen during World War One. The latter is notorious for its horrendous and senseless slaughter of men. The comparisons are correct but strangely glided over by the U.S. media without dwelling on what should be compelling abhorrence towards the violence. If the battles in Ukraine have been previously called a “meat grinder”, then it would be accurate to refer to the country more as a bloodbath.

Read more …

SCF op-ed this week.

US and NATO Arms Industries Hit Record $400 Billion in Sales (SCF)

Western weapons manufacturers are popping champagne corks over record sales with total revenues hitting $400 billion for last year. According to media reports, this coming year-end will see that record figure exceeded by another salivating $50 billion. Ukraine may be resembling a bloodbath, as we noted in last week’s editorial. But apparently, Western military corporations are swimming in a bonanza of profits and stock market investments. Most of this lucrative new business stems from NATO’s proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, which is heading toward its second year. There is no sign of a diplomatic effort from the West or the Kiev regime it sponsors to end the bloodshed.

The main corporate beneficiaries making a financial killing from Ukraine are by far the American firms. They include such behemoths as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and RTX (formerly Raytheon). But also enjoying soaring profits are arms makers in other NATO countries: BAE in the United Kingdom, Airbus in France, Netherlands and Spain, Leonardo in Italy, and Germany’s Rheinmetall. This week the Joe Biden administration requested another $24 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded aid to Ukraine. It’s hard to keep track of the money flowing from NATO countries to prop up the Nazi regime in Kiev. Even the NATO authorities don’t seem to know the precise figures, such is the rampant corruption that is inevitably associated with the vast doling of funds. But estimates of total U.S. and NATO aid to Ukraine range from $150 billion to $200 billion over the past year alone.

What we are seeing is an audacious racket whereby the American and European public are subsidizing the funneling of their own taxpayers’ money into the coffers of weapons firms. And there is no democratic choice in the matter. It’s a fait accompli. Or, put another way, extortion. Of course, too, part of this huge scam is the hefty financial cuts for the inner circle of the Kiev regime, including its puppet president, Vladimir Zelensky, and the brazenly sleazy defense chief Aleksy Reznikov. It is reckoned that at least $400 million has been grafted by the top members of the regime from the arms bazaar flowing into Ukraine. Reznikov has even boasted that his country serves as a testing ground for NATO weaponry.

Read more …

“.. the company will have the right to sue hosts who have not paid the tax, and thus raise the funds to pay the government bill..”

Italy Launches $550 Million Airbnb Case (RT)

Italian authorities have accused US-based online accommodation booking firm Airbnb of not paying roughly €500 million ($547 million) in taxes, national news outlet Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Friday. A probe has been launched by Italy’s Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate), a government body that enforces financial laws and collects taxes, according to the outlet. Italian legislation governing short-term rental platforms states that professional landlords that lease accommodation must pay a 21% flat-rate tax on income they receive from rentals. In cases with non-professional hosts, or property owners for whom rentals are not the main source of income, platforms such as Airbnb have to act as agents and withhold the tax from transactions, before turning it over to the authorities.

Non-professional hosts make up the majority of Airbnb offers. The platform has repeatedly tried to contest the Italian legislation, but has so far failed. The EU Court of Justice ruled in December last year that the Italian law does not contradict broader EU legislation, effectively giving Italy the green light to demand the tax from the platform. According to the report, Airbnb has been negotiating with the Italian Revenue Agency for months to identify the exact group of hosts for whom the company should act as a tax agent. The final bill will depend on the number of non-professional hosts that Airbnb represents, the news outlet noted. Analysts have warned that after Airbnb and Italy’s tax authorities come to an understanding, the company will have the right to sue hosts who have not paid the tax, and thus raise the funds to pay the government bill.

If the estimations are correct, the €500 million settlement will be the second-highest figure ever requested by Italy from an internet company, following the €870 million it demanded from Meta platforms. The multinational owner of Facebook and Instagram was accused of failing to pay VAT in the country earlier this year. In the last ten years, Italy’s authorities have stepped up efforts to battle tax evasion and have collected nearly €3 billion from multinationals that initially failed to pay tax, according to Il Sole 24 Ore. Over €800 million was collectively paid by internet giants Apple, Google, Meta, PayPal, and Netflix.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

3D

 

 

Draco

 

 

Mandarin duck
https://twitter.com/i/status/1690472670700175361

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 092023
 
 August 9, 2023  Posted by at 9:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  29 Responses »


Edward Hopper Excursion into Philosophy 1959

 

Ukrainian Counteroffensive ‘Highly Unlikely’ To Succeed – US Officials (RT)
Authorities Cannot Be Unaware Of Organ Trafficking – Hague Lawyer On Kiev (RT)
Ukraine Claims It Foiled Major Assassination Plot Against Zelensky (ZH)
Trump Derangement at The Post (RCW)
Rep. Justin Amash Defends President Trump Over 2020 Election Indictment (ZH)
Proving a Lie Will Not Necessarily Secure a Conviction for Jack Smith (Turley)
J6 Committee Failed To Preserve Records, Has No Data On Security Failures (Fox)
Is A Second Anti-Colonial Liberation On The Horizon? (Denis Rogatyuk)
Crisis in Niger: How France’s Interests in West Africa Are at Stake (Sp.)
Poll: Over 60% Of Nigeriens Consider Russia Most Reliable Partner (TASS)
Goal of Imran Khan’s Arrest to Keep Ex-Pakistani PM ‘Out of Elections’ (Sp.)
Imran Khan’s Supporters Are Silenced But Determined (BBC)
Musk’s Cage Match With Zuckerberg in Jeopardy as Neck & Back Woes Emerge (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Nap Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Fat pig

 

 

Born
https://twitter.com/i/status/1688864958497325056

 

 

 

 

On CNN of all places…

Ukrainian Counteroffensive ‘Highly Unlikely’ To Succeed – US Officials (RT)

Kiev’s Western backers are losing faith in the ability of the Ukrainian military to penetrate Russian defenses and turn the tide of the conflict, US and other Western officials told CNN on Tuesday. “[The Ukrainians are] still going to see, for the next couple of weeks, if there is a chance of making some progress. But for them to really make progress that would change the balance of this conflict, I think, it’s extremely, highly unlikely,” an unnamed “senior Western diplomat” told the American broadcaster. Illinois Representative Mike Quigley, a Democrat who recently met with US commanders in Europe, described their briefings as “sobering.” “We’re reminded of the challenges [the Ukrainians] face,” he said, adding that “This is the most difficult time of the war.”

Ukraine launched its long-awaited counteroffensive against Russian forces in early June, assaulting multiple points along the frontline from Zaporozhye to Donetsk regions. However, the Russian military had spent several months preparing a dense and multi-layered network of minefields, trenches, and fortifications, which the Ukrainian side has thus far failed to overcome. Advancing through minefields without air support, Ukraine’s Western-trained and NATO-equipped units have suffered horrendous casualties, losing 43,000 troops and 4,900 pieces of heavy weaponry in just over two months, according to the most recent figures from the Russian Defense Ministry. “[The] Russians have a number of defensive lines and [Ukrainian forces] haven’t really gone through the first line,” another anonymous Western diplomat told CNN.

“Even if they would keep on fighting for the next several weeks, if they haven’t been able to make more breakthroughs throughout these last seven, eight weeks, what is the likelihood that they will suddenly, with more depleted forces, make them?” Despite the best efforts of Ukraine’s armed forces chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, to convince the US that “the initiative is on our side,” officials told CNN that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky could soon be pushed to sue for peace if progress remains stalled. A senior US military official predicted that Kiev would rely more and more on piecemeal strikes within Russia – like the recent drone attacks on Moscow – to compensate for its shortcomings on the battlefield. The Kremlin has drawn similar conclusions from these attacks, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov declaring last week that Kiev was launching “terrorist strikes” as “acts of desperation” to distract from its failing counteroffensive.

Read more …

Always be aware of who and what you fund. Before you know it, it belongs to you.

Authorities Cannot Be Unaware Of Organ Trafficking – Hague Lawyer On Kiev (RT)

Illegal organ-trafficking is not possible without a cover-up from the authorities, Zoran Zivanovic, a lawyer who defended a number of Serbs in the Hague Tribunal in 2005, told RT Balkan on Monday. Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that officials in Kiev could be engaged in an organ trafficking business that also involves former Kosovo militants who had run similar operations. No accusations of organ theft and trafficking in Kosovo and Albania in 1999 led to any major prison sentences for those accused, Zivanovic said, adding that “some [of those involved] had been charged and … spent some time in jail,” he told RT Balkan. None of them received sentences “warranted by such serious crimes,” he added.

The network of those involved in the 1999 crimes likely included officials not only in Kosovo but also Albania, Zivanovic claimed. “It is hardly conceivable that the Albanian authorities were unaware of it. This [illegal business] entails organized participation of a large number of people. Captives who were harvested for organs were brought from another country, from Serbia, Kosovo, and Metohija. It cannot be that the authorities noticed nothing,” he said. On Monday, Zakharova said in an article published by the Russian Foreign Ministry that “there is data” showing that a black-market store selling organs of dead Ukrainian soldiers could be cooperating with “those linked to the Kosovo Liberation Army.” The former militants could also operate in Ukraine as mercenaries, she added.

The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman also accused members of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s administration of being personally involved in the organ trafficking scheme and of covering it up. Zakharova called Ukraine a world leader in the black-market organ trade. Rumors about organ trafficking in Kosovo and Albania have been circulating since the 1999 war between Serbia and its breakaway province, which ended in a NATO intervention that forced Serbian troops to withdraw from Kosovo. Various sources estimated the number of victims of organ traffickers that supposedly had strong links to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to be between 50 and 300. Media reports claimed that people – mostly Serbs, Roma, and Albanians opposing the KLA – were specifically kidnapped and killed for that purpose.

The allegations were detailed by the then-chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, in her book, ‘The Hunt: Me and the War Criminals in 2008’. They were also the subject of several journalistic investigations in the 2000s. In 2010, Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty presented a report on the issue to the Council of Europe, in which he described the “indications” of an illegal trade in human organs going back over a decade at the time. The Council of Europe supported the report and called for an investigation. The case was dismissed by the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo and a number of EU MPs.

Morgue

Read more …

Q: why would Russia want to kill Zelensky?

Ukraine Claims It Foiled Major Assassination Plot Against Zelensky (ZH)

Ukraine’s security services say they have thwarted a major assassination plot which targeted President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the country’s Secret Service (SSU) on Monday. A woman who lives in Ochakov in southern Ukraine has been arrested, allegedly for planning to inform Russian intelligence of Zelensky’s precise whereabouts as be visited the Mykolaiv region where the southeastern front with Russian forces is located. Security officials say she was “caught red-handed”. The SSU described that the detained woman, who hasn’t been identified, worked on a military base as a clerk in one of their military stores. She’s accused of “gathering intelligence” in order to pass the info along to her Russian handler so that a large-scale airstrike could be executed, specifically during Zelensky’s trip to the region in late July.

He had at that time visited a medical facility in Ochakiv along with other places in the southern region. She was caught in the act, Ukrainian officials allege, with Ukraine media sources saying “The suspected Russian agent tried to find out the schedule of the presidential route in the region. “The SBU managed to stay ahead of her actions and caught her in the act,” one Ukrainian media report reads. “She also traveled to photograph electronic warfare systems and ammunition warehouses in the area near Ochakiv on the Black Sea coast, as well,” it alleges further. Ukrainian intelligence officials say they received a tip about the woman’s alleged activities, which included mapping out the locations of key military locations and filming sensitive facilities.

Kiev officials have in the past during the conflict indicated there have been multiple assassination plots against the president uncovered and thwarted. But this case appeared to be the most serious, as the woman was caught “trying to pass intelligence to the invaders” in preparation for airstrikes which would coincide with Zelensky’s visit. In March, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak went so far as to suggest Zelensky has survived over a dozen assassination attempts. “Foreign sources talk of two or three attempts. I believe that there have been more than a dozen such attempts. We are constantly receiving intelligence that there are certain reconnaissance groups trying to enter government quarters and the like,” Podolyak has previously been quoted in Ukrainska Pravda as saying.

But these dramatic stories of thwarted plots also tend to be coupled with desperate appeals for more weapons and funding from the West. However, it is likely that there really are threats and plots against the Ukrainian leader given there’s an active war unfolding, even if perhaps accounts are exaggerated in some instances—also for the purpose of Western media consumption.

Read more …

No, this topic is much broader.

Trump Derangement at The Post (RCW)

The Washington Post has a Donald Trump obsession. Some might call it a vendetta. Although the flamboyant former president has been out of the White House for more than two and a half years, he gets far more front-page coverage in the Post than the current president, Joe Biden. And nearly all of the Post’s reporting on Trump is negative. To be sure, Trump’s endless legal troubles are big news and should be thoroughly covered. But in the pages of the capital city’s venerable daily paper the nation’s economic, social, educational, health, and foreign affairs problems facing the incumbent president take a back seat to Trump’s ongoing indictments of one kind or another. For June and July – a period of 61 days – Trump’s name appeared 33 times in Washington Post Page-One headlines. Biden, who is the current president, skated away with just 14 Page-One mentions.

Moreover, 31 of the 33 headlines with Trump’s name in them were negative. For example: “Justice Dept. reveals damning details in Trump case” “U.S.: Trump flouted law all along way” In contrast, eight of the 14 Biden mentions were positive, such as these: “Biden announces new loan forgiveness” “Biden’s border authority affirmed” Something is wrong here. Trump is not the president; Biden is. That is not to say that Trump is not newsworthy. He is. After all, polls show he is the leading Republican contender for the 2024 presidential nomination. But more than twice as much front-page coverage of Trump as of Biden seems a little over the top. Is news about Trump more important than news about the man who is currently charged with leading the nation through these perilous times and who is making decisions that affect our lives every day? And isn’t the front page where we expect to find coverage of the day’s most important events?

Editors running the Post apparently think their readers care more about Trump’s legal troubles than Biden’s leadership through these perilous times. Maybe they do. We live in highly partisan, and highly polarized, times. To be sure, every newspaper is free to place stories anywhere their editors decide to put them. There are no formal rules for what must be played on the front page. Each newsroom is free to make its own choices. Most newspapers have what is called a daily Page-One meeting. There, the paper’s top editors gather and discuss the stories they think should be placed on Page One. Each editor makes a pitch for their favorites. Clearly, Post editors agree with robot-like regularity that Trump, not Biden, is the top story of the day.

This past week Trump was in the media spotlight for being indicted again by a federal grand jury and appearing in court in Washington to plead “not guilty” to charges stemming from the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Tons of Page-One coverage of that in the Post, as it should be. But where was Biden when all this was coming down? He was on vacation at his Delaware beach house, riding his bike, and sunning himself on the sand: lots of nice pictures for TV. Do you think it was by accident that Biden just happened to be on vacation while Trump was in the dock? Or do you think Biden knew the indictments were coming down – after all, it was his own Justice Department that brought them – and decided to get out of town and leave the big news spotlight all to Trump? My guess is the latter.

Read more …

Amash detests Trump.

Rep. Justin Amash Defends President Trump Over 2020 Election Indictment (ZH)

Former U.S. representative for Michigan’s 3rd congressional district and founder of the Liberty Caucus, Justin Amash, who was the first Republican congressman to call for the impeachment of President Trump, has now taken to Twitter to defend him. On Sunday, Amash – who is well known for his distaste of President Trump – made a post on Twitter outlining why he believes Trump’s indictment is in error because of Trump’s actions being “political contention”. “I may not like Trump, but I love our Constitution, so I feel compelled to speak out. The latest indictment, which I encourage everyone to read, attempts to criminalize Trump’s routine misstatements of fact and law in connection with the 2020 election,” Amash wrote. “But this is precisely the sort of wrong that must be addressed politically under our Constitution, not criminally.”

“Our system can’t survive if political disputes are removed to the criminal realm. There’s no limiting principle to such an approach,” he continued. He wrote: “Remind me again which former presidents have been indicted for going to war without congressional approval, spying on Americans in violation of the Fourth Amendment, abusing emergency declarations to bypass checks and balances, or ignoring legal advisers to pursue a clearly unlawful policy.” “We don’t criminalize these actions, egregious as they are, because they are matters of political contention. We’re allowed to disagree about the workings of our constitutional system without fear of criminal reprisal,” he continued. Amash added: “Politicians are constantly misguided and just plain mistaken about a lot of things—often remarkably so.

It endangers all Americans to begin treating politicians’ false beliefs regarding political or constitutional matters, even when they’re obviously wrong, as criminal offenses.” “We impeach people for violating the public trust—for political misconduct or serious incompetence. We reject them. We vote them out. We never again elect them. We don’t imprison them,” he wrote. Finally, he concluded: “As an aside: Even on Jack Smith’s own terms—even assuming the applicability of the cited statutes to a political dispute—the indictment falls woefully short. Showing that others repeatedly told Trump he was wrong is not sufficient to prove he sought to defraud the United States or to corruptly obstruct an election. Proving Trump’s state of mind beyond a reasonable doubt—proving fraudulent or corrupt intent—requires much more than Smith alleges.”

Read more …

Protected speech.

Proving a Lie Will Not Necessarily Secure a Conviction for Jack Smith (Turley)

The latest federal indictment of former President Donald Trump was handed down this week with all of the authority of papal infallibility. Pundits lined up to proclaim that case as the greatest prosecution in history. Former Obama administration acting Solicitor General Neil Katyal even declared that the indictment touched off “the biggest legal case in our lifetimes, perhaps almost ever. It’s up there with cases like Dred Scott, it is up there with Brown v. Board of Education.” What was missing was any serious consideration of the implications of allowing the government to criminalize false statements in a campaign. Trump was not charged with conspiracy to incite violence or insurrection. Rather, he was charged because he “spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won.”

In order to secure convictions for this, Special Counsel Jack Smith would need to bulldoze through not just the First Amendment but also existing case law holding that even false statements are protected. The government acknowledges that the Constitution protects false statements made in campaigns, but it insists that Trump must have known that his statements were false and therefore was engaged in fraudulent statements to obstruct or challenge electoral results. As a threshold matter, one problem is immediately evident. If Trump actually did (or does) believe that he did not lose the election, the indictment collapses. And so in an effort to demonstrate his knowledge, the indictment details how many people told Trump that he was wrong about the election and wrong about the law. I was one of those voices. Trump did not listen to me, most legal analysts or even his White House counsel.

Instead, he listened to a small group of lawyers who assured him that a challenge might succeed and that there was evidence of massive election fraud. But Trump is allowed to seek out enablers who tell him what he wants to hear. All presidents do this. (Joe Biden, for example, ignored virtually unanimous legal opinion and relied upon a single law professor’s say-so to justify an obviously unconstitutional executive action that later had to be reversed). This case, which criminally targets the sitting president’s leading opponent, is much more dangerous because it sets up the federal government as the arbiter of truth. This indictment essentially charges Trump with not accepting the “truth.” There is no limiting principle to this indictment. The government would choose between which politicians are lying and which are lying without cause.

Read more …

“The Democrat-controlled January 6th Committee destroyed evidence that might have exonerated the protesters and the president as well as evidence that implicated Speaker Pelosi and the FBI/DOJ in criminal activity.”

J6 Committee Failed To Preserve Records, Has No Data On Security Failures (Fox)

The House select committee that investigated the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 failed to adequately preserve documents, data and video depositions – including communications it had with the Biden White House that are still missing – according to the Republican lawmaker overseeing the GOP investigation into the committee’s work. The now-disbanded “J6” committee, which was run by Democrats and included only two GOP members, has also failed to provide any evidence that it looked into Capitol Hill security failures on the day of the riot, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight for the Committee on House Administration, told Fox News Digital. Loudermilk said his staff has had difficulty gathering all the information it needs to investigate Rep. Bennie Thompson’s handling of the J6 investigation.

“Part of our task as this oversight subcommittee is to actually address the security failures, look into how did it happen… how were these folks able to get into the Capitol,” Loudermilk said. He said the documents they obtained came over in boxes and was completely unorganized. “Nothing was indexed. There was no table of contents index. Usually when you conduct this level of investigation, you use a database system and everything is digitized, indexed. We got nothing like that. We just got raw data,” he said. “So it took us a long time going through it and one thing I started realizing is we don’t have anything much at all from the Blue Team.” The “Blue Team,” as described by Loudermilk, represents the group within the J6 committee that was directed to investigate security failures at the Capitol.

Loudermilk explained that sources have told him the Blue Team was essentially “shut down” by the committee in order to focus on placing the blame on former President Trump. “We’ve got lots of depositions, we’ve got lots of subpoenas, we’ve got video and other documents provided through subpoenas by individuals. But we’re not seeing anything from the Blue Team as far as reports on the investigation they did looking into the actual breach itself,” he said. “What we also realized we didn’t have was the videos of all the depositions,” Loudermilk added. Loudermilk said he has been contacted by a defense attorney that needed access to key information in one of the video depositions, and the committee realized it did not have the videos he was seeking.

Fox News Digital obtained correspondence letters between Loudermilk and Thompson’s offices in which the two disagreed on whether the J6 committee preserved what it was required to under House rules. Loudermilk says Thompson’s committee was required by law and House rules to preserve and turn over all data related to their investigation at the end of the congressional term in December, and Loudermilk said as much to Thompson in a letter on June 26. In response, Thompson wrote a letter saying that Loudermilk’s letter had many “factual errors” and claimed his committee had followed the rules and turned over “4 terabytes” of data. Loudermilk told Fox News Digital that his committee has only received 2.5 terabytes of data and said the first footnote in Thompson’s letter to him on July 7 acknowledged they did not keep what they were supposed to.

Read more …

Excellent overview of Niger et al.

Is A Second Anti-Colonial Liberation On The Horizon? (Denis Rogatyuk)

Africa is the cradle of human civilization and the planet’s richest continent in terms of natural resources. But according to Captain Ibrahim Traore, the president of Burkina Faso, younger generations cannot understand why, despite its riches, Africa continues to be the poorest. Across the continent we have seen uprisings and armed rebellions by anti-colonialist military leaders who have sought to reclaim their sovereignty from European imperialist powers, particularly France. Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger are just some of the countries that make up the collective of former French colonies in West Africa. They have long served as the key source of natural resources for France and other European powers. Niger supplies 15% of the uranium needed for French nuclear reactors. Burkina Faso is a key exporter of gold, while Guinea is a crucial entry and exit point for trade between France and its former colonies. Mali is another major exporter of gold, and has been a battleground between the government and various armed Islamist groups.

The map of West Africa began to change radically in 2021. Like dominos, pro-French regimes began to fall to military uprisings, starting with Mali in May 2021 and the coup led by Assimi Goita, who immediately demanded that the French military leave the country. The Central African Republic also expelled French troops in June 2021. This was followed by the military takeover in Guinea by Mamady Doumbouya, a former French legionnaire, in September 2021. One year later, Traore became the world’s youngest president after seizing power in Burkina Faso, and he proceeded to expel the French military in January 2023. Finally, the military rebellion in Niger on July 26 led by Abdourahamane Tchiani, now assuming the presidency, also expelled French forces and banned the export of uranium to France.

The case of Burkina Faso and Traore is particularly interesting. During his recent trip to St. Petersburg for the Russia-Africa summit, Traore gave a speech in which he called Russia part of the African family. He condemned the looting of the continent by European powers, and ended with the slogan “Homeland or death! We shall win!” – echoing the words of Ernesto Che Guevara and the national motto of Cuba. Many have compared Traore to Thomas Sankara, the revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987, who was also called the “African Che Guevara.” Sankara likewise expelled French forces, nationalized the country’s resources, and implemented socialist policies of redistribution, before being assassinated in a pro-French coup.

So, what are France and its partners likely to do now? The United States and Britain have already cut all aid to Niger and its allies in response to their ban on exports of uranium to France. On July 30, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a confederation that includes many of France’s former colonies, issued an ultimatum to Niger – Tchiani has one week to step down or a military intervention would begin with the backing of France. Nigeria, a key French ally in the region and the leader of ECOWAS, was chosen as the launchpad for a possible military intervention into Niger. However, the senate of Nigeria rejected the demand of the highly unpopular president, Bola Tinabu, to authorize military action against its neighbour. The ultimatum has since expired, and Niger proceeded to close its airspace to any commercial aircraft.

The presidents of Burkina Faso and Mali have responded that any military intervention in Niger will amount to a declaration of war against them. But the African states also have an ace up their sleeve – their long-time friendship with Russia. At the recent Africa-Russia summit in St. Petersburg, delegations from 49 African countries were in attendance. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared support for Africa’s battle against neo-colonialism, stating that Moscow had written off $23 billion in African debt and that more than 50,000 tons of grain will be delivered free of charge to the continent.

Read more …

“France has a strong foothold in West Africa through its control of the CFA franc..”

Crisis in Niger: How France’s Interests in West Africa Are at Stake (Sp.)

To understand how the coup could affect France’s interests in West Africa, Sputnik Africa spoke to Dr. Ismael Buchanan, a senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science and International Relations of the Univeristy of Rwanda’s School of Governance. According to Buchanan, France has a strong foothold in West Africa through its control of the CFA franc, a currency used by 14 West African states that is pegged to the euro and backed by France. He said that some of those countries’ reserves are in the hands of France, and that it is Paris that has control over the printing of the currency. “It is the French government that has over control in printing the CFA currency for the 14 African states in West Africa, which sometimes people in those countries have complained about on how the CFA is pulling down African economies,” Buchanan said.

The political scientist also said that Paris’ presence in West Africa has given it access and opportunities to dominate many positions and lucrative contracts in the Francophone African economies in sectors such as power generation, transportation and logistics, infrastructure development, telecommunications, mining concessions, oil and gas, agro-processing and light manufacturing. “When it comes to the mining and energy sectors, you know very well that major French companies are the main players in these two sectors,” he noted. “So whatever sovereign rights these African countries have, they still need these French companies that have the technology and the capital to make good use of some of their resources, and this is very important and beneficial for France.”

Buchanan cited the example of French company Orano’s (formerly Areva) operations in Niger, which has the seventh-largest uranium reserves in the world and the second-largest uranium production in Africa after Namibia, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA). Orano operates three uranium mines in Niger: Arlit, Akokan and Imouraren. Uranium from Niger accounts for approximately 20% of France’s nuclear power production, according to the French news outlets. Orano has said it will not leave Niger, despite the tensions in the wake of the July 26 military coup.

Ovigwe Eguegu, a Nigerian policy adviser at the Development Reimagined consultancy, echoed Buchanan’s sentiment, noting that both France and the EU heavily benefit from Niger’s uranium exports. He pointed out that, following the eviction of French troop contingents from Mali and Burkina Faso, some of these troops have since been relocated to Niger, a country that served as a “cornerstone of US, French and European Union regional strategies” and that played an important role in France’s “energy security.” “That is why we are seeing this reluctance to exit Niger the way they exited Mali and exited Burkina Faso,” Eguegu said referring to Paris. He added that, due to its control of Niger and because of the fact that “the European Union has considered nuclear energy as green,” France “has always prioritized nuclear energy materials.”

Read more …

France’s fear.

Poll: Over 60% Of Nigeriens Consider Russia Most Reliable Partner (TASS)

More than 60% of Nigeriens deem Russia to be the country’s most reliable foreign policy partner, the Economist reported, citing data from a survey conducted by Premise Data. According to the poll, less than 10% of Nigeriens named Saudi Arabia as being the country’s most loyal partner, and about 5% of respondents named the US. Even fewer respondents listed China, France and the UN. According to the results of the survey, none of the respondents mentioned the United Kingdom. At the same time, while 54% of respondents opposed foreign intervention in Niger, half of those who favored such a scenario said they would support Russian intervention, so long as the country sides with the rebels.

US intervention was supported by 16% of respondents, the African Union by 14% and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) by only 4%. The poll was conducted among highly educated male citizens, 62% of whom live in the capital, Niamey. Nearly 80% of respondents supported the coup. On July 26, military rebels in Niger announced the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum, closure of national borders, introduction of a curfew and suspension of the constitution, as well as a ban on political parties. On July 28, they declared that General Abdourahmane Tchiani had become head of state. During the coup, Tchiani headed the presidential guard, units of which physically seized President Bazoum and continue to hold him and his family at his residence.

At an emergency summit on July 30, ECOWAS leaders demanded that the rebels reinstate the president and restore constitutional order to the country. The ECOWAS states gave Niger rebels one week to meet these demands. On August 4, the militaries of the ECOWAS member states announced that their emergency meeting had developed a contingency plan for intervention in Niger. The ECOWAS ultimatum expired on August 7. However, the Al Arabiya TV channel reports, citing a statement by the regional organization’s defense ministers, that the ECOWAS military leadership recognized the inadvisability of using force against Niger. At the same time, it decided to increase sanctions pressure to force the rebels to release Bazoum.

Read more …

Exact same as Trump.

Goal of Imran Khan’s Arrest to Keep Ex-Pakistani PM ‘Out of Elections’ (Sp.)

Pakistani authorities arrested former Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 5 after a court sentenced him to three years in prison on corruption charges. Khan’s lawyer condemned the court’s decision as a “murder of justice,” with supporters of the ex-PM perceiving the conviction as political interference ahead of the elections. Imran Khan’s arrest on Saturday shows that Pakistani government officials are prepared to go to great lengths to keep the former prime minister “out of elections,” Waqas Ahmed told Sputnik. The cricket legend-turned-political leader was arrested after an Islamabad court sentenced him to three years in prison on charges of corrupt practices in the Toshakhana case, with the move clearly being another attempt at political suppression of the ex-PM, the Pakistani journalist argued.

The conviction, unless overturned by an appeals court, would disqualify the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), also called the Pakistan Movement of Justice, the political party founded in 1996 by Imran Khan, from running in a national election for five years. Last October, Pakistan’s Election Commission stripped Khan of his parliamentary mandate after finding him guilty of “illegally” selling 52 valuables stored in the Toshakhana – Pakistan’s national treasury – and keeping hidden information about gifts he had received personally. According to current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Imran Khan sold state treasures in Dubai worth a total of 140 million Pakistani rupees ($500,000). Waqas Ahmed took issue with claims that the aforementioned gifts were disposed of “illegally.”

According to the rules, gifts received by a government functionary from a leader of another country are deposited in the nation’s treasury. However, if one seeks to retain the abovementioned gifts, this can be done by paying a specific amount of their value, which was 20% at the time of Khan’s prime ministership. These rules were revised in December 2018 to require a payment of 50%. “What you do after that gift is not written in the law,” underscored the journalist, and the judge in the case against Imran Khan was “obviously biased against him,” and “backed by the military establishment.” The sentencing by an Islamabad court came days before incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s coalition government was expected to dissolve parliament, allowing a caretaker assemblage to organize new elections in Pakistan.

Shortly after the court’s verdict, Khan’s supporters and his legal team questioned the ruling, slamming it as politically motivated and targeting a man who remains the most popular politician in Pakistan. “We weren’t even given a chance. We weren’t even allowed to cross [question], to say anything in defense or conduct our arguments. I haven’t seen this kind of injustice before,” Barrister Gohar Khan was quoted by the Pakistani press as saying, decrying what had taken place as a “murder of justice.” Despite attempts by the Pakistani military and the Pakistani government parties to undermine Imran Khan and his PTI, they have been unable to do so, Waqas Ahmed said. [..] “So it’s such a myth. That’s why […] despite this massive crackdown […] despite putting 10,000 people in jail […] putting him in jail, PTI keeps winning,” said the journalist.

Read more …

They think voting will do the trick.

Imran Khan’s Supporters Are Silenced But Determined (BBC)

When former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested over the weekend over corruption allegations, there was barely a whimper of protest. Not a single major demonstration was reported anywhere in the country. Compare this to a few months ago, when the 70-year-old was arrested and taken from a court complex in Islamabad on 9 May. It sparked protests around the country, which also led to violence in some places as Mr Khan’s supporters clashed with security forces. Some protesters raided military buildings and even ransacked the home of the most senior military commander in Lahore. But this time around, when Mr Khan was sentenced and then taken to a prison in Attock city, authorities were ready. His destination was kept secret and reports say there were a number of decoy convoys to deceive the media.

Police and the military were on high alert across all major cities, and dozens of people were pre-emptively taken into custody. Pakistan’s governing party and the army have pointed to the lack of protest over Mr Khan’s arrest as a sign that the former PM no longer enjoys the support of the people. But his Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) party and supporters say they have been forced into silence by a swift crackdown. The BBC also understands that media outlets were told not to cover PTI’s activities or even mention Mr Khan’s name on air following the mass protests in May. Thousands of Mr Khan’s supporters have been arrested since May. The army has said they intend to try them in military courts, which human rights groups have said is against international law. The PTI has also been systematically gutted, with numerous party workers and leaders being arrested, or facing court cases.

Mr Khan himself still faces some 200 cases. Several PTI members have since defected or quit politics altogether. Ali Akbar, a senior political analyst, said this is why Mr Khan’s calls for a protest went unheeded this time – not only did workers and supporters fear arrest, but they were also unable to mobilise support because of the lack of leadership left in PTI. Fatima, a PTI supporter whose name has been changed on request, said police action against party leaders had frightened her into silence – even online. “I used to still support the party on Twitter, but one day I received a phone call from an anonymous number warning me against posting such tweets. I got scared and my parents also advised me to delete my Twitter account as they said no-one would be able to help me if I were arrested,” she said.

Read more …

Ha ha ha!

Musk’s Cage Match With Zuckerberg in Jeopardy as Neck & Back Woes Emerge (Sp.)

Tech magnate Elon Musk’s much-anticipated cage match against rival Mark Zuckerberg is facing a potential setback, as the billionaire revealed concerns about his neck and upper back health. Musk, who recently flaunted his weightlifting prowess in a livestream, now faces the possibility of surgery before stepping into the ring with Zuckerberg. Despite the excitement surrounding the showdown, the exact date of the clash remains uncertain. “Exact date is still in flux. I’m getting an MRI of my neck & upper back tomorrow. May require surgery before the fight can happen. Will know this week,” Musk wrote on the platform formerly as Twitter. Musk’s injuries came to light after his announcement that the fight would be livestreamed on his platform, X, with the proceeds directed towards charity for veterans.


Musk had been diligently training for the bout, even engaging in a training session with renowned UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre. His recent livestream, in which he demonstrated his weightlifting prowess, was seen as a test of X’s live video feature. This is not the first time Musk’s medical issues have surfaced. In a past encounter, Musk participated in a sumo match that prompted injuries to his neck and back. “Managed to throw him, but it cost me smashing my c5-c6 disc & 8 years of mega back pain! Finally fixed with c5-c6 disc fusion,” Musk said at the time. While Zuckerberg had suggested a date for the face-off, the delay comes as no surprise to him. Zuckerberg remarked: “I suggested Aug 26 when he first challenged, but he hasn’t confirmed. Not holding my breath.”

Read more …

 

 

 

Splain

 

 

 

 

Abandoned
https://twitter.com/i/status/1689002375564931072

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 182023
 
 February 18, 2023  Posted by at 10:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Pablo Picasso The dream 1951

 

Seymour Hersh’s Trinity of Truth (Scott Ritter)
Seymour Hersh Believes Betting On Ukraine’s Victory ‘Suicidal’ (TASS)
‘Ukraine Would Have Wiped Out Donbass Last Year If Not For Russia’ (TASS)
Food For Thought (Gonzalo Lira)
NATO Involvement In Ukrainian Conflict Is Maximal – Zakharova (TASS)
Ukraine ‘Peace Petition’ Backed By Nearly Half A Million Germans (RT)
No Sense In Signing Any Agreements With Zelensky – Medvedev (TASS)
Moscow Warns EU Over Seized Assets (RT)
Oh Lightning, I Command Thee To Smite My Foe! (Kunstler)
George Soros Is Defending The Unipolar World Order, Not Freedom (Blankenship)
EU Parliament Blocks Scrutiny of Von der Leyen Over Pfizer Contract (Pol.eu)
Nancy Pelosi’s Daughter Caught on Tape Refuting J6 Narrative (GP)
Too Slow And Too Secret? Pace of Staley Investigation Undermines Trust (G.)
Trump Announces Upcoming Visit to East Palestine, FEMA Reverses Course {(CTH)

 

 

 

 

Galloway Ritter

 

 

 

 

Putin 2019

 

 

No more boosters in the UK.

 

 

And Idaho is putting it a bit stronger even.

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Sy Hersh, through his reporting, has exposed truths which have the potential of bringing down a presidency, destroying NATO, and proving Russia right in the eyes of the world..”

Seymour Hersh’s Trinity of Truth (Scott Ritter)

I’ve read nearly everything Sy Hersh has written, and am able to put his considerable journalistic output in its proper historical perspective. It is therefore that I feel very comfortable in concluding that, in terms of its potential for bringing about tectonic geopolitical change, Sy’s Nord Stream reporting is his most important work ever. The GOAT has produced what I call the Trinity of Truth. Truth One: The President of the United States, Joe Biden, by conspiring with members of his national security team to deliberately bypass constitutionally-mandated reporting requirements to Congress regarding acts of war undertaken by the United States, has committed an impeachable offense unmatched by any other president in the history of the United States.

Truth Two: The blow-back that will occur inside Germany to the revelations put forward by Seymour Hersh that the United States carried out an economic Pearl Harbor by destroying energy infrastructure critical to the well-being of the German nation has the potential of breaking up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU), upending more than eighty years of post-war European security and stability, and resulting in the diminishment of the United States on the world stage as it becomes isolated from long-time European allies that served as the foundation of the global acceptance of the so-called “rules based international order” that has served as the means by which the United States exerted global hegemony.

Truth Three: The decision to attack the Nord Stream pipeline puts a lie to the US contention that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was an unprovoked act of aggression, instead underscoring the harsh truth that the United States had a strategic plan which hinged on provoking a conflict with Russia in Ukraine to provide the geopolitical cover for ending Europe’s reliance upon cheap Russian natural gas by demonstrating that every time Russia sought a negotiated end to the crisis, whether before the invasion through implementation of the Minsk Accords, or after in the Istanbul round of talks scheduled for April 1, the United States sabotaged the effort, keeping the conflict alive long enough to implement its major objective—the destruction of Nord Stream. In short, Sy Hersh, through his reporting, has exposed truths which have the potential of bringing down a presidency, destroying NATO, and proving Russia right in the eyes of the world.

Read more …

“..It’s impossible to believe how just dumb this leadership was. <…> And then they stick to the war..”

Seymour Hersh Believes Betting On Ukraine’s Victory ‘Suicidal’ (TASS)

The US administration’s hopes for Ukraine’s victory in the conflict with Russia are ‘suicidal,’ US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview with the Consortium News portal. “It was suicidal to think you can win that war, that Ukraine can win that war. There’s just too much corruption. That was a very, very bad decision. We should have been pushing for peace, we should have made an agreement,” said Hersh, who earlier published his findings about explosions targeting Russia’s Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines. “It’s just silly not to right away assure the Russian government that we were not interested in making Ukraine a member of NATO. NATO didn’t want Ukraine anyway because of the corruption. There were just so many bad mistakes made. It’s impossible to believe how just dumb this leadership was. <…> And then they stick to the war,” he said.


On February 8, Hersh wrote in an article, citing sources, that US Navy divers had planted explosive devices under the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines under the cover of the BALTOPS exercise in June 2022 and Norwegians activated the bombs three months later. According to the journalist, the decision to conduct the operation was made by US President Joe Biden personally, following nine months of discussions with White House security specialists. White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a comment to TASS that Hersh’s account was utterly false and complete fiction.

Read more …

“700-800 rounds of ammunition per day flew into the republic.”

‘Ukraine Would Have Wiped Out Donbass Last Year If Not For Russia’ (TASS)

Ukraine would have levelled the Donbass republics a year ago if Russia had not intervened in time by recognizing the Lugansk and the Donetsk People’s Republics and launching its special military operation, Former LPR ambassador to Moscow Rodion Miroshnik said on Friday. “Exactly one year ago, the Ukrainian regime began artillery preparations before attacking Donbass! A 150,000-soldier group, armed and trained by NATO, was preparing to sweep away the Donbass. And if it were not for Russia’s decision to start a special military operation, we would have simply been levelled,” he wrote on his Telegram channel on the anniversary of the beginning of the escalation of the situation in the Donbass, “And neither the UN nor the OSCE would have noticed it.”


Miroshnik recalled that from February 17 to 24, when the Russian Federation began its special military operation, the Ukrainian armed forces fired 551 shells on the LPR territory. At that time, he recalled, “700-800 rounds of ammunition per day flew into the republic.” There were attempts to break through the defense, as well as casualties among civilians. Also on Friday, Miroshnik drew attention to the fact that a year ago, neither the guarantors (of the Minsk agreements) – France and Germany – nor the UN General Assembly had forced Kiev to fulfill its obligations. At that time, the republics understood that the clock was ticking as the Ukrainian military could wipe out the DPR and the LPR cities, so the emergency evacuation began. “But the world prefers not to see this and starts counting from February 24,” he pointed out.

Read more …

Twitter thread.

“They see the West as a paper tiger, run by fools and degenerates.”

Food For Thought (Gonzalo Lira)

I’ve been talking to a number of acquaintances in Russia. These are well-educated professionals who speak English fluently, many of whom have lived/worked in the US/Europe. Some are highly critical of Putin, and many were very much opposed to the SMO. Some observations. They are universally shocked at the racist Russophobia, from Europe especially. “I thought they were our friends/partners!” is a common complaint. They don’t understand why Europe destroyed its own economy with the sanctions. (There’s quite a bit of schadenfreude over that. They don’t understand why the Germans are not reacting to the Nord Stream terrorist attack. They see it as self-evident that the Americans did it—an act of war by one of Germany’s closest ally.

They have zero trust in the Europeans—because of the Russophobia and revelations. Hollande and Merkel have publicly bragged about how the Minsk agreements were entered into to buy time to arm Kiev. This has had a huge impact on them. So they won’t accept any negotiations or ceasefire. They all think Russia would be played for fools again by the West. Even the “doves” believe that the conflict can only end in total victory, i.e. complete military occupation of Ukraine. They don’t look forward to this—but they believe it is the only solution to guarantee Russian safety. They all view this conflict as a Russia vs. NATO war. And they all believe this war will last for years. There is a palpable sense of determination and *relief* that they too—like their grandfathers before—are involved in an existential war for the survival of their nation.

They one and all despise the Russians who fled to Europe, Israel and Georgia. They view them as fair-weather friends at best—traitors at worst. They all made it clear that they would not be welcomed back at the end of this conflict. Even the “doves” respect Putin, and they laugh at the idea of “regime change in Russia”. The principal criticism of Putin is that he’s been too gentle, too patient. Many (not all) would prefer a scorched earth, total war campaign, specifically targeting the Kiev leadership. All in all, they are satisfied with their leadership. Lavrov was universally praised, Peskov the one least respected. Shoigu, Gerasimov and Surovikin were all endorsed, though they all took some criticism, mostly because they think the war is going too slowly. Interestingly, I sensed a gnawing anxiety over Russia’s economy, which seems to be going so well—as if it’s too good to be true.

The 2015 sanctions nearly broke their economy—but now, with even worse sanctions, none are experiencing a loss of standard of living. They seem to have lost their respect, admiration—and fear—of the West. Certainly their trust. They all believe that “human rights”, “democracy”, etc. are empty platitudes the West uses to get its way. They see the West as a paper tiger, run by fools and degenerates. This is inevitably a very biased selection of opinions: Highly educated, well traveled, Western-oriented, fairly well-to-do people aged 27–60. So imagine how much more conservative Russian working class people’s opinions would be. Food for thought.

Read more …

“Now they directly control the leadership of the Kiev regime, they are all connected.”

NATO Involvement In Ukrainian Conflict Is Maximal – Zakharova (TASS)

The involvement of NATO countries in the conflict in Ukraine is maximal, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday. “NATO countries are playing innocent, trying to prove that they are not a party to the conflict [in Ukraine] <…>. The involvement [of NATO countries] is maximal, [they’ve been carrying out] provocative activity for many years. Now they directly control the leadership of the Kiev regime, they are all connected.” According to Zakharova, Moscow also drew attention to media reports that Ukraine might organize joint licensed production of shells and other weapons with the UK and create similar military enterprises with other NATO countries. “It is obvious that big Western capital is behind the pumping of the Ukrainian armed forces, the formation of combat operations,” the diplomat noted.

Read more …

“If the fighting goes on like this, Ukraine will soon be a depopulated, destroyed country..”

Ukraine ‘Peace Petition’ Backed By Nearly Half A Million Germans (RT)

Almost 500,000 Germans have supported a petition urging Chancellor Olaf Scholz to spearhead efforts for peace negotiations in Ukraine. The appeal is authored by journalist Alice Schwarzer and Sahra Wagenknecht, a prominent member of Germany’s Left Party (Die Linke), and implores officials in Berlin not to provide Kiev with more weapons. The document, which was published last Friday and has since gathered an increasing number of supporters, claims that the conflict in Ukraine has already cost the lives of more than 200,000 military personnel and 50,000 civilians. “If the fighting goes on like this, Ukraine will soon be a depopulated, destroyed country,” the authors warn. Wagenknecht and Schwarzer also argue that “a lot of people in Europe fear an expansion of the war.”

The petition asserts that Ukrainians need solidarity from Germany, but questions whether Berlin’s current policies truly reflect the support they require. “What is now, one year on, the actual goal of this war?” the authors ask, citing German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s recent comment about Europe being at war with Russia. The petition expresses skepticism over whether Scholz’s government will keep its word and not provide Ukraine with fighter jets. According to Wagenknecht and Schwarzer, the German chancellor has already crossed multiple “red lines” in recent months. The pair also warn that Russian President Vladimir Putin could unleash a “maximum counterstrike,” should Ukraine retake Crimea – which is among the goals set by senior officials in Kiev.

“Are we then inexorably sliding down a chute leading to a world war and nuclear war?” the petition asks, adding that numerous major conflicts have begun this way, and that another could end up being the last for mankind. The petition stresses that “to negotiate doesn’t mean to capitulate,” but rather to “make compromises on both sides.” The authors claim that half of the German population wants immediate peace talks, and suggest that the government should heed their calls. “We demand that the federal chancellor stop the escalation of weapons deliveries,” the document states, urging officials in Berlin to focus on peace efforts and form an international alliance to this end.

The petition had received 496,008 signatures at the time of writing. Moscow has repeatedly signaled it is open to talks with Kiev, provided that Ukrainian leaders accept Russia’s conditions and recognize what the Kremlin calls the “reality on the ground.” In early October 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky ruled out negotiations with his Russian counterpart. Kiev is insisting on a military victory over Russia, and refuses to make any territorial concessions to its neighbor.

Read more …

“..He is not supposed to hold any talks. He is supposed to sign what he is told to sign..”

No Sense In Signing Any Agreements With Zelensky – Medvedev (TASS)

Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that he sees no point in signing any agreements with Kiev, since it is highly likely that Ukraine’s next leader will annul them. Medvedev drew attention to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s statements that he was not inclined to hold any talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It’s not news, but there is a nuance he opted not to mention yesterday although he is quite aware of it. He is not supposed to hold any talks. He is supposed to sign what he is told to sign. Although, frankly speaking, this document will not be worth its weight in paper. You can remember the Minsk agreements that were signed by his predecessor,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel.

Read more …

The west keeps thinking they will be rebuilding Ukraine.

Moscow Warns EU Over Seized Assets (RT)

Any Western attempts to transfer seized Russian assets to Ukraine would be “barbarism,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed. If necessary, Moscow is ready to impose a tit-for-tat response, she added. Speaking at a press briefing on Friday, Zakharova noted that EU nations had invested heavily in Russia, meaning a significant amount of European-owned assets remains in the country. Their value is larger than that of the Russian assets seized by foreign nations, the spokeswoman argued. Zakharova insisted that Russia wants to operate within the law and would give the US and its allies “every last chance” to reconsider any plans to confiscate Russian property. However, she added that Moscow was fully prepared to defend its interests, including through the use of “equal compensatory measures.”

The remarks referred to a new EU working group, established to explore ways to make Russia fund the future reconstruction of Ukraine. “This must be done in accordance with EU and international law, and there is currently no direct model for this,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said, commenting on the new group. Stockholm currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council. Western nations have frozen hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of Russian sovereign reserves, as well the assets of Russians whom they consider close to the government. Moscow has branded the measures an act of robbery. Zakharova stressed that property rights should not be subject to the whims and geopolitical needs of a handful of nations, adding that US foreign policy was often prone to wild swings.

She claimed that a case in point is Venezuela, where Washington previously referred to Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader who has the right to manage the nation’s wealth. “Now Western delegations visit [Nicolas] Maduro, whom we always considered the legitimate president, as if nothing happened,” Zakharova said. “So everything they say now about Russia, their accusations, threats, and blackmail… can flip-flop in a moment. Mark my words.” The spokeswoman warned that the international community should oppose the push for the expropriation of Russian property, if not for its own sake. Countries could otherwise find themselves on the receiving end of the “ostensibly impartial” West-controlled financial system, Zakharova cautioned.

Read more …

“..Russia has every intention of pacifying the joint at all costs..”

Oh Lightning, I Command Thee To Smite My Foe! (Kunstler)

In the meantime, America is rapidly disintegrating on the home front. Is it attempted suicide or murder? It’s a little hard to tell. Things are blowing up from sea to shining sea — food processing facilities, giant chicken barns, regional electric grids, oil refineries. The latest, of course, is a chemical spill from the Norfolk-Southern train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, set ablaze by a conclave of government officials purportedly to keep the toxic liquids from seeping into the Ohio River watershed and beyond. Of course, in the dithering prior to lighting it up, enough vinyl chloride leached into streams feeding the big river to kill countless fish. And then torching the remaining chemical pools sent up a mushroom cloud of dioxin and other poisons that killed wildlife, pets, and chickens in the vicinity before the evil miasma wafted eastward on the wind to the densely-populated Atlantic coast.

One has to wonder whether an army of saboteurs is on the loose across the land. Considering the border with Mexico is wide open, why wouldn’t America’s adversaries send whole wrecking crews over here to mess with our infrastructure? There’s no question that people from all over the planet have been sneaking across the Rio Grande. Surely some of them are on a mission. America is filled with “soft” targets, things unguarded and indefensible — not least, tens of thousands of miles of railroad track. Of all the reasons to be unnerved by “Joe Biden’s” open border policy, this one is the least discussed, even in the alt-media. But it seems like a no-brainer for nefarious interests who might want to bamboozle and disable us.

The sad truth of this moment in history is that the USA has too much going sideways with our own business at home now to be dabbling in any foreign misadventures — and we couldn’t have picked a worse place than Ukraine to do it. The sheer logistics are implausible. The geography is lethally unfavorable. The place has been inarguably within Russia’s sphere of influence for centuries and Russia has every intention of pacifying the joint at all costs. Peace talks are apparently out of the question for our leaders. Something’s got to give, and that something is probably Western Civ’s financial system. It’s primed to blow anyway, and when it does, we’ll have other things to think about.

Read more …

Soros picks DeSantis.

George Soros Is Defending The Unipolar World Order, Not Freedom (Blankenship)

Contrary to the causes Soros claims to champion, his vision is more likely to usher in a third World War – not prevent one. There’s no credible evidence of a Russian regime-change operation in Moldova. China’s global position has little to do with Russia’s success or failure in Ukraine — the two are partners, but not a unified entity, or even allies; their societies and economies are distinct. What Soros was really rambling against wasn’t corruption or anti-democratic behavior — but the emerging multipolar world order, of which India and Türkiye are, to various degrees, becoming a part. I will not waste my time defending the likes of Modi or Erdogan, as their records are, in my opinion, indefensible. But it’s not their autocratic leanings that Soros hates about them — it’s their flickers of independence.


He may, in this respect, ultimately come to be disappointed by Brazil’s turn to democracy, as it will lead to more development in multipolarism and visibility in multilateral institutions. I also believe he seriously underestimates the US Republican Party’s sheer lack of principles and its willingness to tap into even the most wretched sources of untamed hatred for political support. Despite what the aging “philanthropist” desires, the era of unipolar liberal hegemony is over. The world is entering a new era of multilateralism and anti-hegemony. Soros’ speech before the Munich Security Conference may, in this way, be a symbol. A symbol of how the old way of doing things dies with the ramblings of an old man while the emerging multipolar world order is born in the thunderous cry of billions of youth across the Global South.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1626539057684660225

Read more …

It’s a closed circuit. The opposite of democratic. They only need the chiefs. The rest have no say.

EU Parliament Blocks Scrutiny of Von der Leyen Over Pfizer Contract (Pol.eu)

The top ranks of the European Parliament have slammed the door shut to a public cross-examination of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen over her personal role in negotiating a multibillion euro vaccine deal with Pfizer. Last month, lawmakers in the Parliament’s special committee on COVID-19 proposed to invite von der Leyen to answer questions on the EU’s largest vaccine contract, signed at the height of the pandemic. It was in the run-up to this contract that she is reported to have exchanged text messages with Pfizer’s Chief Executive Albert Bourla. However, at a closed-door meeting Thursday of the Conference of Presidents (CoP) — which includes the heads of all the political groups and the Parliament’s president — leaders refused the request to hold a public grilling.


Instead they decided to ask von der Leyen to answer questions in private at some point in the future, watering down the invitation to almost nothing. “It was agreed that CoP will be able to raise … [the Parliament’s COVID-19 committee’s] concerns in their next regular meeting with the president of the Commission,” said an EU official with knowledge of the confidential discussions. The European People’s Party MEP in the room, Siegfried Muresan, dismissed the suggestion that the group was protecting von der Leyen — also affiliated with the EPP — as a “conclusion in search of an argument.” “The broad consensus was that we’re in dialogue with her [and] that should continue in the formats that have worked so far and that we have established,” he told POLITICO.

Read more …

“Nancy Pelosi has contributed to destroying countless lives with her “insurrection” narrative and sham committee – And here is her daughter on camera saying it’s all a crock.”

Nancy Pelosi’s Daughter Caught on Tape Refuting J6 Narrative (GP)

In the video below, Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra Pelosi, is meeting with a January 6 defendant she wanted desperately to be in her sham documentary. It is a meeting with this same J6 defendant and his attorney. Alexandra Pelosi asked the defendant numerous times to participate. He politely declined. The Gateway Pundit reached out to the January 6 defendant in this video to confirm the details in the recording. Alexandra Pelosi agreed to be recorded by the defendant. In this video, Alexandra Pelosi is on camera saying many very shocking things. She mocks the idea that January 6th was an insurrection and admits that DC is too biased to hold fair trials and that many J6ers would be found not guilty if their cases were handled anywhere else in the country, and much more.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1626678002602893335

This video has not yet been made public. This is an exclusive video for The Gateway Pundit audience. From our source: “I did a lot of due diligence making sure that the defendant who shot this video had permission to do so. I spoke with his attorney who provided me documentation that Alexandra agreed to be filmed if they met. I wanted to bring this to you before anybody else if you’re interested in featuring it. Nancy Pelosi has contributed to destroying countless lives with her “insurrection” narrative and sham committee – And here is her daughter on camera saying it’s all a crock.” Here are some of the key moments in the video where Alexandra makes some particularly audacious comments.


Key moments:
2:43: Pelosi: “The Shaman did noth(ing)… What did the Shaman do? He stood there.”
4:24: “After the Democrats lose the house, then they get rid of the committee, people may lose I think interest… no one is going to care after the democrats are out of power. And you take Biden out of office- then who cares!?”
4:50: “DC is a lot of people who work for the government. I don’t think they’re sympathetic. If you got it moved (changed trial jurisdiction from DC) you’d totally get off” (laughs while saying this)
6:50: “If there was an insurrection… you were supposed to have a plan!” “It was the sorriest insurrection in history”
8:11: “You’re going to be able to laugh about this one day”
14:53: Pelosi talks about her friendship with Gavin McInnes and laughs at the notion that Proud Boys are white supremacists.

Daughter Pelosi

Read more …

Why does the Guardian cover this all of a sudden?

Too Slow And Too Secret? Pace of Staley Investigation Undermines Trust (G.)

Three years after it began, the findings of a City watchdog investigation into whether the former Barclays chief executive Jes Staley gave a full account of his relationship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to the bank’s board are still pending. There is a risk that justice delayed may prove justice denied for the British public. Our system relies on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other regulators to uphold the integrity and honesty of those who manage our money. The issue came to the fore again this week after the publication of allegations made in a court case brought by the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home, against Staley’s former employer, JPMorgan Chase bank.

It is alleged by Virgin Islands prosecutors that Staley held discussions with Epstein in which they referred to women by the names of Disney princesses, that Epstein procured women for Staley, and that Epstein emailed his friend photos of young women in seductive poses. Staley is not a party to the lawsuit and denies the allegations. JP Morgan declined to comment on the latest allegations. It previously called for the lawsuit to be dismissed, claiming it did not participate in or benefit from sex trafficking by its former client. As allegations about Staley’s ties to Epstein have mounted, so too has the pressure on the Barclays board to justify why they backed him to stay on as chief executive in 2020. The implications of this case are broad, says Simon Learmount, professor in corporate governance at Cambridge Judge Business School:

“This is a really, really important case, not just because of what it may reveal about the Staley-Epstein relationship, but the questions it raises about the Barclays board and boards in general.” Establishing who knew what, and when, and how they responded, is the task that faces the FCA. Its probe not only looked at Staley’s disclosures to the Barclays board, but those the board subsequently made to the FCA. The preliminary findings – which have still not been made public and are subject to legal challenge – therefore speak not only to Staley’s integrity but also the board’s. That includes Nigel Higgins, who received Staley’s disclosures and who is still chair of Barclays. Yet despite the clear public interest in good governance at the top of a British bank of systemic importance, the public may never know the final conclusions of the FCA inquiry. If its preliminary findings are successfully challenged, they will not be disclosed.

[..]Epstein’s luxurious celebrity lifestyle and royal friendships, his death in prison after a previous conviction for soliciting sex from a minor, have all served to keep his name in the headlines. As Epstein’s one-time banker at Wall Street investment bank JPMorgan Chase, Staley has been the focus of attention too. The pair exchanged thousands of messages, many of which were handed over to the UK authorities by US counterparts. A spokesperson for Staley admitted, following an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, that he had made multiple trips to Epstein’s private island, Little St James, in 2020. It was in February that year that the Barclays board decided, following an internal investigation commissioned from the law firm Clifford Chance, which reviewed the emails, that it would stand full square behind Staley. The banker, who had arrived from the US in 2015 with a £10m pay package, had their “full confidence”.

Read more …

They’ll blame Trump for the whole thing.

Trump Announces Upcoming Visit to East Palestine, FEMA Reverses Course {(CTH)

The announcement by President Trump with his intent to visit East Palestine next Wednesday, followed moments later by a reversal announcement from FEMA stating they will now offer support to East Palestine, do not seem coincidental. The Biden administration, including the EPA, FEMA and Transporation Secretary, was likely very worried about the optics of getting blasted by President Trump very visibly next week for their lack of urgency and concern. Moments after Trump announces his visit, FEMA reverses their prior denial of aid. lol

Ohio train tracks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1625998479393783809

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Just hours after saying he “[did] not expect” members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be in East Palestine, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine now confirms the government entity will, in fact, be sending a crew to assist with the aftermath of the train derailment in the village. In a joint statement released Friday night, DeWine and FEMA Regional Administrator Thomas C. Sivak said the agency would deploy a Regional Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) to Columbiana County starting Saturday, along with a senior response official. The workers will “support ongoing operations, including incident coordination and ongoing assessments of potential long-term recovery needs.”


[…] DeWine had previously requested federal help, and today the Department of Health and Human Services announced toxicologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be journeying to East Palestine to assist with public health testing. However, the governor’s request for FEMA assistance was initially denied, with the agency apparently telling his office the current situation “[did] not quality for assistance.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Treehopper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626574980644499465

 

 


“The incredible Gomesa Jiaho Queen orchid. It’s a hybrid originated by Jia Ho Orchids in 2018, being a cross breed of Gom. Mulattas’ Dancing and Gom. varicosa”

 

 

Black sea nettle

 

 

Frogfish

 

 

Lions
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626569203753926656

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 082023
 
 January 8, 2023  Posted by at 9:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  116 Responses »


Dorothea Lange On the road to Los Angeles, California 1937

 

What Have We Bargained for in Ukraine? (Dougherty)
Ukraine Running Out Of Time – Former US Officials (RT)
The WORST Political Upheaval EVER (Denninger)
The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes. (Jacobin)
Twitter Fires More Censors (RT)
Zelensky Sanctions Over 100 Russian Public Figures (RT)
Adam Schiff and the Underbelly of American Censorship (Turley)
Trump Suggests Biden Provoked Putin Into Invading Ukraine (PM)
Donald Trump Slams Arrest Of Ashli Babbitt’s Mother (PM)
Kristi Noem Blasts Jan. 6 Committee After Social Security Numbers Leaked (CB)
Greece To Build Fence On Border With Türkiye (RT)
Every Fourth European Has Trouble Heating Their Home (RT)
Faced With A New Wave Of Covid, China Is Opening Its Borders (Zagorenko)
Switzerland Slated To Destroy Millions Of mRNA Vaccine Doses In 2023 (Eugyp)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Jan 6 – Excellent
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611972143482568704

 

 

 

 

Fauci
https://twitter.com/i/status/1611796697847308288

 

 

 

 

“They”

 

 

J6

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The dangers of the conflict are much greater than hawks would have us believe.”

What Have We Bargained for in Ukraine? (Dougherty)

‘Your money is not charity,” Volodymyr Zelensky told a joint session of the U.S. Congress a few weeks ago. “It is an investment in global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.” And many conservative hawks, hoping to hold back the rising tide of skepticism among Republicans, have echoed this line. After the speech, Representative Dan Crenshaw called the idea of ending aid to Ukraine “absurd” and said America had “made a pretty good investment here.” My friend and colleague Matthew Continetti writes that “securing America’s position and freedom’s future without direct intervention and for a rounding error in the federal budget is a strategic bargain. Ukraine needs more, not less, U.S. aid, and it needs it now.” In Commentary in November, Noah Rothman wrote that “Kyiv’s victories are our victories, too, insofar as they advance a core American national interest: preserving the stable European covenant that has blessed Western powers with the longest, most durable peace on the Continent in the modern age.”

This view holds that for pennies on the dollar, the U.S. has been able to preserve a democracy threatened by an authoritarian regime, cripple a rival military, strengthen the NATO alliance, prevent Vladimir Putin from an inevitable invasion of NATO territory, and scare off Xi Jinping from ever messing with Taiwan. For these conservatives, the policy preferred by Joe Biden and the Democrats is one whose costs are greatly outweighed by its benefits. Except, none of this is quite true. Crippling a rival military is only worthwhile when you have a strategic reason for doing so, and we conspicuously lack one. The NATO alliance’s duties have been radically expanded with no radical expansion in the share of the alliance’s burdens shouldered by Europe.

Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist project is at odds with the democratic and liberal-internationalist values that are used to sell the conflict abroad. The conflict’s financial and moral costs to the U.S. have been growing for nearly a decade, and taking on Ukraine as a permanent dependent will grow them even more. The arc of the conflict is just as likely to encourage as to discourage Xi in his pursuit of Taiwan, given the ways in which our enmeshment in Europe will deplete our attention, resources, and will to be the world’s cop. And finally, no conflict in this blood-stained area of the globe is a mom-and-pop bingo game in which you can cash out your modest investments at any time; Vladimir Putin and Russia have a say in how this ends.

The advocates for continued aid to Ukraine must downplay the costs involved, because support for continued aid began to drop precipitously when the Biden administration began briefing the press on our strategy. It didn’t help the hawks’ cause when retired general David Petraeus went on Sunday morning television and claimed that if Russia used a so-called tactical nuke in Ukraine, the U.S. would enter the war as a full belligerent, annihilate Russia’s army, and launch decapitation strikes on the Kremlin. It instead made people ask themselves how Russia would respond to such drastic countermeasures, and to shudder at the possible answers.

Read more …

Gates and Rice. A veiled push for more and faster.

Ukraine Running Out Of Time – Former US Officials (RT)

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates have admitted that Ukraine’s economy and military are almost completely reliant on bailouts from the West, and barring a dramatic turnaround, its chances of victory are slipping away. Ukraine’s “economy is in a shambles,” the ex-diplomat and former Pentagon chief wrote in the Washington Post on Saturday. The country’s “military capability and economy are now dependent almost entirely on lifelines from the West,” they continued, arguing that should Ukraine fail to mount a successful offensive in the near future, President Zelensky will be pressured by the West to negotiate a ceasefire with Russian President Vladimir Putin – something the Ukrainian leader has repeatedly refused to consider.

With the frontline relatively static since autumn, Russian forces have ground down their Ukrainian opponents in fierce fighting near Bakhmut/Artyomovsk, with an American mercenary commander recently acknowledging that Ukraine is suffering “extraordinarily high casualties” in that sector, and Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Vadim Pristaiko, describing his side’s casualties as “huge” and “indigestible.” Kiev has publicly proclaimed that it plans a major offensive in the spring, but Rice and Gates wrote that Ukraine may have “weeks, not months” to stay in the fight. To that end, they advocated sending the country more and heavier weapons. Although the US has already allocated more than $110 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine since February, they said that Washington won’t send heavy tanks. Germany “and other allies” should fill this need instead, they argued.

The Biden administration announced on Friday that it would give Ukraine 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles – the most modern armor sent to Kiev so far – as part of a $3 billion weapons package. France also pledged a number of wheeled ‘light tanks’, and Germany promised 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles. Nevertheless, Kiev says it needs more. In an interview with The Economist last month, Ukrainian general Valery Zaluzhny said he would need 300 more tanks, up to 700 infantry fighting vehicles, and 500 howitzers to conduct offensive operations. This is more than the number of such vehicles in the entire British or German inventory. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly insisted that “pumping” Ukraine with weapons will ultimately have no effect on the outcome of the conflict and will only serve to prolong the hostilities and lead to more bloodshed.

Read more …

“..what’s going on now is in fact much less than we’ve come through before..”

The WORST Political Upheaval EVER (Denninger)

The polarization caused by the last three years didn’t come from a virus: It came from what so-called “leaders” did when the virus showed up and we, the people in this nation let them do every bit of it. The 2022 midterms were a clean demonstration of this and those actions were nasty in terms of their impact. Several states saw their margins of victory for either GOP or Democrat governors increase, not narrow, and yet the margin didn’t come from people shifting allegiance within the state; it came from migration either to or from said state. DeSantis and Lee both gained margin precisely because people left NY, Michigan, Illinois, California and other “Blue” states and moved to “Red” ones.

This had no value for DeSantis or Lee because once you win by one vote you have the same outcome as if you win by one million votes but that same shift meant that illogical repeat performances, such as Witmer, won as well because the GOP voters who left meant what remained was enough for her not to be fired. (While Pritzker also easily won that race was never really in doubt even if people didn’t leave Illinois, so I’m intentionally excluding it.) It didn’t help that the GOP ran candidates that were ridiculously outside of where mainstream public opinion is — for example, Michigan’s GOP ran a candidate opposed to abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. The GOP had to be out of its mind to do this, but do it they did and they lost.

At its core the problem, however, does not lie there: It lies in the destruction of norms that society has relied on. Don’t kid yourself no matter who screams about it: Without heterosexual reproduction and the resilience afforded by stable, two-parent homes as an “ordinary and normal” thing society eventually collapses because without a productive next generation you have nothing. Have we put any thought into this and how to at least move things back toward a more-stable outcome in that regard, and thus are we inevitably consigned to a hellscape and collapse? It’s easy to argue “No. Not one bit.” But I’ll take the other side of that wager simply because what’s going on now is in fact much less than we’ve come through before, and the pendulum will, with a high degree of probability, swing back the other way.

Read more …

The left, WITH the media, and WITH intel, played hardball since 2015. But that was never a problem.

The Right Played Hardball in Congress. The Left Should Take Notes. (Jacobin)

Kevin McCarthy has been at the head of the Republican’s House caucus since 2019. In any other ordinary year, the position of Speaker of the House would have been his almost automatically following the Republicans’ narrow victory in last year’s midterm election. But a small group on the party’s right wing turned a coronation into a multi-round fight. Twenty congressmembers were at the core of the right-wing rebellion; all but one are connected to the House Freedom Caucus, the ideological home of the party’s rightmost flank. These Republicans are notorious for their support of Donald Trump and the January 6 riots. They deserve every decent person’s scorn. But when it comes to tactics, one has to admit that they know how to play.

Desperate for their support, McCarthy had to give on issue after issue. McCarthy folded early on policy questions. He fought against the 2022 lame-duck spending bill, a core right-wing priority. He called for the resignation or impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a target of the Right’s ire. McCarthy also agreed to create a new subcommittee in the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the “weaponization” of the federal government by the Biden administration and the FBI and CIA. More significant in the long term, he also agreed to rules changes and committee assignments that will dramatically strengthen the Right’s hand.

McCarthy agreed to add three members from the Freedom Caucus to the House Rules Committee. That will allow the far right to help shape the issues to be considered by the House. McCarthy’s own PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, agreed not to intervene in open primaries against far-right candidates. McCarthy agreed to bring back the Holman Rule, which allows legislators to propose defunding specific federal programs, to fire specific federal officials, and to slash officials’ pay. Most significantly, he agreed to bring back the “motion to vacate the chair,” which will allow just one Republican to call for a snap vote to remove the speaker. This is a rule that the right wing previously used to remove John Boehner. Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a leading conspiracy theorist from the Republican fringe, extracted a much sought-after seat on the House Oversight Committee from McCarthy in return for her support.

Read more …

It would appear there’s still tons of them left.

Twitter Fires More Censors (RT)

The social network has fired at least a dozen employees responsible for handling the “misinformation policy, global appeals and state media” at its Dublin and Singapore offices, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the latest in a series of radical reforms conducted by the company’s new CEO Elon Musk. Twitter’s head of Trust and Safety, Ella Irwin, told the publication that in order to “consolidate teams,” the company only eliminated duplicate positions and cut jobs with not enough workload to justify their existence. The Friday’s cuts reportedly affected the head of site integrity for Twitter’s Asia-Pacific region, Nur Azhar Bin Ayob, and senior director of revenue policy, Analuisa Dominguez, while others asked not to be identified.

In a separate statement to Reuters, Irwin admitted some fresh cuts in her department, but said that the company still has “thousands of people” responsible for content moderation and has “not made cuts to the teams that do that work daily.” After finalizing his purchase of Twitter for $44 billion in October, Musk acknowledged that bankruptcy was a possibility for the social media giant if it does not start generating more cash. In an attempt to cut costs, he fired half of the company’s staff, including most of the top executives and ordered the remaining employees to stop working from home. All in all, an estimated two-thirds of the company’s employees and contractors globally were laid off, fired or quit.

As the site’s new owner, Musk also pushed to scale back content restrictions, vowing to make Twitter a refuge for free speech, while ushering in a range of policy changes which triggered backlash from the media establishment and its celebrity allies. He reactivated the accounts of dozens of its more controversial users and began sharing internal company communications hinting at a massive political conspiracy between the US administration, intelligence agencies and the Big Tech platforms to censor politically inconvenient stories, opinions and people. The billionaire appeared to acknowledge that not everyone supported his recent political diversions this week, polling his followers as to whether he should “stay out of politics” or “keep shooting his feet.” He later joked, that “if I dig my grave deep enough, maybe it comes out the other side of Earth.”

Read more …

Everybody just sanctions and censors.

Zelensky Sanctions Over 100 Russian Public Figures (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on Saturday, imposing personal sanctions on some 119 Russian public figures. Kiev’s new blacklist includes prominent artists and journalists. Ukraine sanctioned Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov, pop singer Philipp Kirkorov, as well as stand-up comedian Evgeny Petrosyan and opera star Anna Netrebko. Kiev also targeted a number of Russian journalists, including RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan and head of the Rossiya Segodnya media group Dmitry Kiselyov. The restrictions imposed for a 10-year period include freeze of assets, travel and visa bans, stripping of Ukrainian state awards, and some other measures. Kiev has repeatedly sanctioned Russian officials and public figures amid the ongoing conflict, with hundreds of them blacklisted already.


Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” Shortly before the hostilities broke out, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Last September, Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia following referendums.

Read more …

“We don’t do this.”

Adam Schiff and the Underbelly of American Censorship (Turley)

“We don’t do this.” That response from Twitter to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is a singular indictment, coming at the height of Twitter’s censorship operations. Apparently, there were some things that even Twitter’s censors refused to do. One of those things was silencing critics of Schiff and his House committee. In the latest tranche of “Twitter Files,” journalist Matt Taibbi revealed that Twitter balked at Schiff’s demand that Twitter suspend an array of posters or label their content as “misinformation” and “reduce the visibility” of them. Among those who Schiff secretly tried to censor was New York Post columnist Paul Sperry. Sperry drew Schiff’s ire by writing about a conversation allegedly overheard by one of his sources.

Sperry’s article, which appeared in RealClearInvestigations, cited two sources as overhearing two White House staffers discussing how to remove newly-elected President Trump from office. The article raised the possibility of bias on the part of an alleged key player in launching the first Trump impeachment, CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella. The sources reportedly said that Ciaramella was in a conversation with Sean Misko, a holdover from the Obama administration who later joined Schiff’s staff. The conversation — in Sperry’s words — showed that “just days after [Trump] was sworn in they were already trying to get rid of him.” Rather than simply refute the allegation, Schiff wanted Sperry and other critics silenced.

His office reportedly laid out steps to cleanse Twitter of their criticism, including an instruction to “remove any and all content about Mr. Misko and other Committee staff from its service — to include quotes, retweets, and reactions to that content.” The date of Schiff’s non-public letter in November 2020 is notable: Earlier that year, I wrote a column for The Hill criticizing Schiff for pushing for censorship of misinformation in a letter that he sent to social media companies. His office promptly objected to the very suggestion that Schiff supported censorship. We now know Schiff was actively seeking to censor specific critics on social media. These likely were viewed as more than “requests” since Schiff was sending public letters threatening possible legislative action against these same companies. He wanted his critics silenced on social media. After all, criticizing his investigations or staff must, by definition, be misinformation — right?

Read more …

US was building up Ukraine under Trump presidency too.

Trump Suggests Biden Provoked Putin Into Invading Ukraine (PM)

Saturday night, speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, former President Donald Trump suggested that Joe Biden influenced Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine in February 2022. Speaking of Biden, Trump said in video posted by Jack Posobiec on Instagram, “We have a man who has no mind left and his mind in prime time wasn’t any good, but he has no mind left. And this is the guy negotiating for us. We have a man that convinced Putin to go into Ukraine.” “Because if you look at the psychology that he used, it’s the exact opposite,” Trump said in reference to Biden’s January 2022 comments referring to Putin’s expansion into Ukraine as a “minor incursion.”

Biden said during a press conference before Putin invaded Ukraine, “I think what you’re gonna see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not do, etc.” “Putin would have never ever gone in,” Trump said and remarked of Biden, “he knew the ramifications.” “Do you remember when Biden said, well they might take some small parts of Ukraine,” Trump said in reference to the “minor incursion” remarks. “That was what Putin wanted to hear. That there would be no problem if you take some parts of Ukraine,” Trump added.

Trump had been speaking of the war in Ukraine and the escalating conflict, including the danger of nuclear war. Trump referred to nuclear as the second “n-word” you should never say. The US has sent over $60 billion to Ukraine to aid in their ongoing war with their Russian invaders since February 2022. Congress is set to greenlight more money for Ukraine as President Volodymyr Zelensky asks the US for continued aid.

Read more …

A very dark side of America.

Donald Trump Slams Arrest Of Ashli Babbitt’s Mother (PM)

Speaking at an event at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday evening, Donald Trump slammed the Biden regime over the arrest of Ashli Babbitt’s mother. Ashli Babbitt was killed by a United States Capitol Police officer on Jan. 6. Witthoeft was arrested outside of the Capitol on Friday, the two-year anniversary of her daughter’s death. Trump brought up the arrest during a special CPAC event at Mar-a-Lago, pointing to the weaponization of law enforcement under the Biden regime. “We have a weaponized country right now with law enforcement. It’s a disgrace what’s happening to our country. Ashli Babbitt’s mother was arrested yesterday, because she was protesting the death of her daughter being shot by a lunatic who got a record of— not so good.

“And then they try and protect him and they do things— what they’ve done to that family. That they shot her, there was no reason, and then they arrested— because the mother was in a group— and they arrested yesterday the mother of Ashli Babbitt. So she loses her daughter and then on top of it, she gets arrested. “We’re not gonna let this go on. We’re not gonna let this go. on these people are horrible, horrible. And what they’ve done to protest us. I mean, these were protesters, they were protesting a dishonest election. “And whenever you mentioned that they don’t want to ever talk to you because they don’t want to have that out there. The one thing they don’t want to talk about is a dishonest election. Because they know and they’ve been caught.”

In footage circulated on social media by streamer Woke Societies, Micki Witthoeft was seen being handcuffed and taken into custody by multiple police officers while onlookers protested. “You murdered [Ashli] inside the Capitol, now you’re going to arrest her?” one onlooker said. “I did not murder her daughter,” one officer replied in front of the crowd of people. On Jan. 6, 2021, Babbitt, an unarmed Air Force veteran, was fatally shot by Lt. Michael Byrd. while attempting to make entry into the interior of the Capitol Building. According to The National Pulse’s Raheem Kassam, Witthoeft was arrested for “jaywalking.”

Read more …

That leak feels like warfare.

Kristi Noem Blasts Jan. 6 Committee After Social Security Numbers Leaked (CB)

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem blasted members of the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 Committee after her Social Security number, along those of her family members, were allegedly leaked to the public. In a tweet, the GOP governor appeared to suggest she would take legal action against members. “My lawyers have asked the @WhiteHouse, the @USNatArchives, and @BennieGThompson which of them is responsible for leaking the Social Security Numbers of me, my husband, my 3 kids, and my son-in-law,” she tweeted on Friday, in a post that included images of a letter her attorneys have sent to the aforementioned parties. “What specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect our identities?” — Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) January 6, 2023

The Washington Times reported the leak: “The recently sunsetted House Jan. 6 committee released Trump White House visitor logs from December 2020 containing nearly 2,000 unreacted Social Security numbers. At least three of the numbers, inadvertently leaked as part of the hoard of documents the committee posted online in recent weeks, belonged to members of Trump’s cabinet others. Several Republican governors and floods of other Trump allies have been caught up in the privacy breach. “House Jan. 6 Committee leaks thousands of Trump allies’ Social Security numbers: Report — The Washington Times (@WashTimes) January 7, 2023”

The document was taken down on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the leak, but the Government Publishing Office, which was responsible for posting the file online, does not appear to have notified the individuals whose private information was leaked. Attorneys for Noem demanded to know “how the breach of privacy occurred, who was responsible, what steps each of you has taken to remedy the breach, and what specific measures and remedies will be taken to protect Governor Noem and her family in light of the public dissemination of their private information and the heightened risk for identity theft and any other future privacy violations.” Ian Fury, a spokesman for the governor, said, “To my knowledge, we were not notified. The governor was not notified” of the leak, Slay News noted.

Former Trump Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, whose information was also leaked, told the Washington Post: “Whether it was a careless and sloppy handling of records or a deliberate disregard of decorum, either scenario is a perfunctory and callous display of government and a frightening reminder of the current state in Washington. … President Reagan was a savant indeed — the nine most frightening words to hear are ‘I am from the government and here to help.’”

Read more …

What good will it do?

Greece To Build Fence On Border With Türkiye (RT)

Greece is planning to build a new 140-km fence to cover its whole European border with neighboring Türkiye in an effort to contain the significant flows of illegal migrants, Minister of Citizen Protection Takis Theodorikakos has announced. Construction of the first 35-km span of the new fence is set to begin “immediately,” the official told the broadcaster SKAI on Saturday. “It is a final decision of the government to create a 140-kilometer fence on the Evros [River],” Theodorikakos stated. Greece and Türkiye share an approximately 200-km common border in Europe that runs primarily along the Evros River, yet there is a stretch of dry land between the two countries. Greece already has concrete and barbed wire barrier installed at over 40km of the border, namely along the span near the Turkish city of Edirne. The fence was originally erected in 2012 and was extended in 2021.


The Evros River on its own has not proven to be a sufficiently challenging obstacle for illegal migrants, Theodorikakos noted, with the eponymous province remaining a hotspot for irregular crossings. “In Evros, the Greek police, with their deployment, have prevented the illegal invasion of the country by 256,000 illegal immigrants,” the minister said without providing a time span for this “invasion.” Over the past year, the EU has seen the highest level of illegal migration since the 2015-2016 migrant crisis. According to the latest figures by Frontex, the bloc’s border agency, some 308,000 “irregular entries” were detected across the external borders of the EU during the first 11 months of 2022, constituting a sharp 68% increase from the same period in 2021. The Western Balkan and Central Mediterranean routes have seen the most illegal migrant traffic over the past year, according to Frontex.

Read more …

Just the poor parts.

Every Fourth European Has Trouble Heating Their Home (RT)

More than a quarter of Europeans are experiencing problems heating their homes and paying debts for housing and utilities, the Hungarian media reported on Friday citing a survey by the Szazadveg think tank. According to the survey, dubbed Europe Project, 26% of EU residents, or roughly 100 million people, are unable to properly heat their homes. Greeks appeared to be the worst affected, with 56% of the population facing difficulties with heating. In Portugal and France, 34% of residents described the same problems. Finland, Hungary, Austria and Denmark were the least affected, with less than 15% of residents admitting to difficulties. Every fourth respondent in the survey said they were unable to pay their heating bill at least once during the past year.


That figure was also the highest in Greece, with 51% of the population affected, followed by Cyprus with 37%, Ireland and Bulgaria, with 35% each. The respondents blamed inflation for their problems, as rising prices on everything from energy to food impact their ability to pay bills. According to the survey, heating bills have become far less affordable than in 2021. The authors noted that in 2021, based on data from Europe’s official statistics agency Eurostat, only 6.9% of European households (some 29.9 million people) were unable to adequately heat their homes, and 6.4% struggled with paying bills. The survey was conducted among 38,000 randomly selected European adults between October 13 and December 7, 2022. The research covered the EU, UK, Norway, Switzerland, Moldova, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Read more …

No other choice?!

Faced With A New Wave Of Covid, China Is Opening Its Borders (Zagorenko)

The situation is now much less dire. The authorities can focus on protecting the elderly and improving the nation’s immunity. A new push to get more people vaccinated has already been announced, although the corresponding official document does not go into specifics about how the authorities will go about it. Besides, people are much more aware of the virus and of the methods of protection. Pedestrians still go about their days in masks, still take care with hygiene and still avoid unnecessary close contacts. And more freedom does not mean that people will go out of their way to get infected. As one local Twitter user pointed out: “So in Beijing, now that everyone is free to go anywhere, ppl are exercising that right by staying at home.”

The hardest test of the new lighter rules begins on January 8, when China reopens its borders. People will be able to enter and leave the country freely and, soon after that, the Spring Festival trips will begin in earnest. Travel to and from will not be the same as before, at least at first. A number of countries, including the US, UK, France, and Spain, now have mandatory testing of everyone arriving from China to prevent the virus from spreading further. However, even if the number of daily cases rises for a short time, the world is much less vulnerable to Covid now.

China will still need to carefully weigh each step on its path towards the pre-pandemic normal. The rules might change once again and there might be setbacks or new local lockdowns. However, the process of making life easier and more predictable for a large part of the world has begun. The protests might have brought these changes about sooner than expected, or they might have simply happened at the right time. Whatever the case, China was bound to change its policy sooner or later. After all, no emergency can last forever.

Read more …

“..nervously awaiting the delivery of a further 2 million in the coming weeks, and surely lamenting that 11.6 million more are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2023..”

Switzerland Slated To Destroy Millions Of mRNA Vaccine Doses In 2023 (Eugyp)

Switzerland, home to less than 9 million people, is one of the biggest mRNA vaccine customers in the world relative to population. The’ve already received a staggering 33 million Covid vaccine doses, only a little over half of which were ever administered. The small country is now sitting on 13.5 million doses, nervously awaiting the delivery of a further 2 million in the coming weeks, and surely lamenting that 11.6 million more are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2023. The vast majority of these will sit for some months in freezers before the Swiss Confederation destroys them. The country already binned more than eleven million doses last year, the greater part of them after a deal to supply surplus snake oil to the third world via the failed Covax initiative fell through because nobody in Africa wants this stuff either.


Vaccine credulity may still be the mainstream, politically acceptable position, but revealed preferences show that enormous majorities everywhere are done with mass vaccination. Pharmaceutical executives can sing their doubtful hymns to the miraculous safety and efficacy of their jabs, but the quiet worldwide rejection of their garbage products is a stinging rebuke, suggesting that billions across the world harbour unexpressed scepticism towards the mRNA Covid vaccines. From here, it is only downhill for the vaccinators.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schaffer

 

 

 

 

Fungi

 

 

Great White

 

 

Walnut

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 062023
 


Dorothea Lange One nation indivisible. San Francisco 1942

 

Putin Calls for Ceasefire, Ukraine Rejects, Biden Pushes for More War (Celente)
White House Rejects Putin’s Christmas Truce As But A “Cynical Ploy” (ZH)
Ukraine Warns Germany Of ‘Russians Outside Berlin’ (RT)
US Won’t Fulfill Ukrainian Request – WaPo (RT)
2022: The World As We Knew It Ended. Decades Of Conflict Lie Ahead (Timofeev)
Russian “New Mobilization Process” For Major Offensive Imminent? (ZH)
Arrest Of Russian Outlet’s Journalist Is Blow To Press Freedom – Moscow (RT)
The Coup We Never Knew (Hanson)
The Ginni Thomas Investigation Ends Without a Mention in J6 Report (Turley)
Trump Announces Plan To Destroy The Drug Cartels With The US Military (PM)
Sotomayor Felt “Sense of Despair” Because Babies Would be Protected (LN)
These Doctors Pushed Masking, Lockdowns on Twitter. But They Don’t Exist (SFS)
Swiss Organization To Provide Safe Blood Transfusions From Unvaxxed (NN)
What Caused Damar Hamlin’s Cardiac Arrest? Experts Weigh In (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Have the vaccines saved lives?

 

 

 

 

 

 

EV

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..the West wants to destroy Russia, so it provided Ukraine with more weapons than it could ever imagine and Zelensky’s goals grew..”

Putin Calls for Ceasefire, Ukraine Rejects, Biden Pushes for More War (Celente)

Ukraine rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call for a unilateral, 36-hour ceasefire to mark the celebration of Orthodox Christmas, calling Putin “hypocritical” for even suggesting laying down arms, albeit briefly. Mikhailo Podolyak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top adviser, took to Twitter and said Russian troops must withdraw from all occupied territories, and only then will they have a “temporary truce.” “Keep hypocrisy to yourself,” he concluded. Reuters reported that the Kremlin released the statement from Putin calling for the truce after a conversation with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“Proceeding from the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the areas of hostilities, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and allow them to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on Christmas Day,” Putin said, according to the report. Needless to say, Washington continued to promote war. President Joe Biden said the ceasefire was an effort by Putin to find breathing room. “He was ready to bomb hospitals and nurseries and churches” on 25 December and on New Year’s Day. I think he’s trying to find some oxygen,” he said. Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, said if Putin was sincere with his peace goals, he would withdraw troops. “A so-called ceasefire brings neither freedom nor security to people living in daily fear under Russian occupation,” Baerbock tweeted, according to Al Jazeera.

Ukraine’s position has been clear since the outbreak of war: all Russian troops must leave the country before any negotiated settlement can occur. But the West wants to destroy Russia, so it provided Ukraine with more weapons than it could ever imagine and Zelensky’s goals grew. Kyiv now wants Crimea and said it will not negotiate until Russian leaders face war-crime trials, which will never happen. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, spoke with Putin on the phone Thursday and called for the ceasefire. He said “calls for peace and negotiations should be supported by a unilateral ceasefire and a vision for a fair solution.” Putin, again, indicated that he is willing to negotiate for peace, but he will not part with any new territory.

Zelensky, meanwhile, warned that he expects a major Russian offensive after Putin mobilized hundreds of thousands of troops. “We have no doubt that the current masters of Russia will throw everything they have left and everyone they can muster to try to turn the tide of the war and at least postpone their defeat,” Zelensky said. “We have to disrupt this Russian scenario. We are preparing for this. The terrorists must lose.”

Read more …

NATO wants to keep up the fight.

White House Rejects Putin’s Christmas Truce As But A “Cynical Ploy” (ZH)

Update(1553ET): The White House has rejected Putin’s call for a Christmas truce in Ukraine. The Russian leader earlier in the day ordered a unilateral 36-hour ceasefire for his forces starting Friday, which will still apparently be in effect despite Ukraine rejecting it. Presumably Russian forces have been told to cease firing along the line of contact starting on Orthodox Christmas Eve day (Friday), unless they are fired upon from the Ukrainian side. The Biden administration cast it as a “cynical ploy” in order for Russian forces to regroup. Biden himself said the ceasefire proposal isn’t “serious” – as The Hill cites of the president’s words: President Biden said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s call for a temporary, Christmas ceasefire is an effort to “find some oxygen,” dismissing that the Kremlin is serious about finding an off ramp for its assault against Ukraine.

The president said he was “reluctant to respond to anything Putin says,” but characterized the Kremlin as cynically attacking civilians over the December holidays. “He was ready to bomb hospitals and nurseries and church’s on the 25th and New Years — I mean, I think he’s trying to find some oxygen,” Biden added. At the State Department, spokesman Ned Price called Putin’s Christmas truce declaration a “cynical ploy… to rest, to refit, to regroup, and ultimately to re-attack, to re-attack with potentially even more vengeance, even more brutality, even more lethality, if they had their way.”

The majority of the populations in both countries are adherents of the Orthodox Church, with Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Christians traditionally celebrating Christmas on Jan. 7th. Germany was earlier in the day among the first Western countries to reject Putin’s announcement as inauthentic. And yet, ironically enough, calls have rang out from the West for months since the start of the conflict for Russian troops to cease fighting. One would think that any pause in fighting, however temporary, would be welcomed by the West – but alas not.

Update (1109ET): Within a mere hour after President Putin declared there would be a 36-hour ceasefire for all Russian forces along the line of contact in observation of Orthodox Christmas, Zelensky’s office has issued a firm rejection, calling it “hypocrisy” and demanding that all Russian troops must leave occupied territory immediately. Zelensky advisor Mykhailo Podolyak announced on Twitter, that Russian forces… must leave the occupied territories – only then will it have a “temporary truce”. Keep hypocrisy to yourself. He had earlier responded to Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill by calling the proposed Christmas ceasefire “a trap”. Ukrainian officials are also calling this a ploy for Russian forces to regroup and to take the momentum out of the Ukrainian army counteroffensive, which has been making some gains of late.

Update (1015ET): Shortly after Erdogan spoke with Putin this morning, the Russian leader has ordered a temporary cease-fire in Ukraine Friday and Saturday to mark Orthodox Christmas. The statement from the Kremlin cites earlier appeal from Patriarch Kirill for ceasefire over the holiday. Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill had previously said in a statement posted to the church’s official website: “I, Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and of all Rus, appeal to all parties involved in the internecine conflict with a call to cease fire and establish a Christmas truce from 12:00 on January 6 to 00:00 on January 7 so that Orthodox people can attend services on Christmas Eve and on the day of the Nativity of Christ.” [..] Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7th, and is a major holiday just as in the West during December (the Orthodox Church’s Julian calendar December 25 falls on January 7 on the West’s Gregorian calendar).

Bloomberg has meanwhile hinted at a negative response from Ukrainian leaders, given their initial reaction to Patriarch Kirill’s Christmas truce call: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to cease fighting in Ukraine for 36 hours starting Friday at noon, Moscow time, in what appeared to be a rare sign of conciliation in an invasion that’s heading for its second year. The Kremlin said Putin gave the order Thursday for Russian Orthodox Christmas. It follows an appeal by the patriarch of that church, which has close ties to the Kremlin. Ukrainian officials denounced that as a trap. Kyiv has demanded Russia remove its troops from Ukraine as a condition for any ceasefire.

Read more …

Almost funny.

Ukraine Warns Germany Of ‘Russians Outside Berlin’ (RT)

Should Germany fail to provide Ukraine with tanks, it will soon have to use them to defend its own capital from advancing Russian troops, Alexey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, warned on Wednesday. Speaking to Ukrainian TV, Danilov took a swipe at Germany’s leadership, particularly at Chancellor Olaf Scholz, criticizing him for refusing to send Kiev modern Leopard 2 battle tanks. If Scholz “wants the Germans to deploy German tanks to fight off the Russians outside of Berlin and Stuttgart, he could continue this game, conducting sociological surveys on whether they need to give us tanks or not,” he said. The official also highlighted the significance of the Ukraine conflict for Europe, adding that it poses “huge challenges” to the region.

“Those countries that understand that help us at 150% capacity. Those countries that are slowly wising up about the need to tackle this issue, they also started to act,” Danilov stated. While Berlin has been providing Kiev with large amounts of weaponry, it has been reluctant to supply it with modern Leopard 2 battle tanks. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had earlier explained that because no other country had made equivalent weaponry available to Ukraine, Berlin should not be the first one to do so. A December YouGov poll also showed that 45% of Germans do not want to send Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev, with another 33% saying they were in favor of such a step. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly voiced discontent over Germany’s stance on the matter, with Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba saying last month that Kiev does not understand why Germany is sending artillery but not heavy armor.

On Monday, Michael Mueller, who sits on the Bundestag’s Foreign Policy Committee, told the German media that Berlin would continue to refrain from any “ill-considered unilateral moves,” especially in the context of arms shipments. Such deliveries are possible only “in coordination with our NATO partners,” he said, adding that the US-led military bloc wants to avoid becoming a direct party to the Ukraine conflict. Moscow has long warned Kiev backers against sending weapons to Ukraine, arguing that it would only prolong the hostilities. President Vladimir Putin also accused the West of turning Ukraine into “a colony,” and using its people as “cannon fodder, a battering ram against Russia.”

Read more …

M1 Abrams main battle tank is scrap metal: “..tanks’ heavy fuel consumption and propensity to break down make them unsuitable for the Ukrainian military.”

US Won’t Fulfill Ukrainian Request – WaPo (RT)

The US will not send M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing officials. Despite repeated requests from the Ukrainian government, no NATO power has donated Western-designed battle tanks thus far. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official said that the Abrams tanks’ heavy fuel consumption and propensity to break down make them unsuitable for the Ukrainian military. One of the heaviest main battle tanks in service worldwide, the M1 Abrams weighs in at 60 tons, with the latest M1A2 variant increasing this heft to more than 73 tons. An M1 Abrams tank costs more than $450 per mile in fuel and repairs, according to a 1991 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report adjusted for inflation.

The Abrams’ poor reliability was noted by the GAO. After a decade in service with the US military, the report stated that the average M1 Abrams needs its track replaced after as little as 710 miles, with engines typically suffering catastrophic “blowouts” after 350 hours of operation. However, the US Army insists that the latest M1A2 variant, which rolled off production lines in 2020, “is the most reliable Abrams tank ever produced.” Ukraine has repeatedly requested delivery of the American-made behemoths, portraying them as crucial to its war effort. Mikhail Podoliak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, put them on his “Christmas wishlist” in a social media post last month, while Zelensky has himself repeatedly asked the US and its allies for tanks since March.

Zelensky and his officials have singled out Germany in particular, asking Berlin for Marder infantry fighting vehicles and Leopard main battle tanks on multiple occasions. Germany has thus far rebuffed these requests, with lawmaker and Bundestag Foreign Policy Committee member Michael Mueller telling reporters this week that sending the tanks could trigger “an escalation that none of us want to imagine.” France on Wednesday became the first NATO member to announce the transfer of Western-made “light tanks” to Ukraine, although the vehicles in question – six-wheeled AMX-10 units – are outdated, and technically closer to armored fighting vehicles than tanks such as the Abrams or Leopard.

The French AMX-10s are similar in weight to the US-made Bradley Fighting Vehicle, with both coming in at less than 30 tons. US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the transfer of an unspecified number of Bradleys is currently being discussed in the White House. Russia has repeatedly warned the West against arming Kiev, saying that doing so will only serve to prolong the conflict, and risks making Western nations de-facto participants.

Read more …

“..It remains to be seen if the next cycle will not be the last for mankind..”

2022: The World As We Knew It Ended. Decades Of Conflict Lie Ahead (Timofeev)

In 2022, the remnants of the ‘end of history’ era finally became a thing of the past. However, there has not been a return to the Cold War either. Russian policy is mainly concerned about security interests. It is not derived from ideology, although it does include components of the identity of ‘the Russian world’, as well as historical motives for opposing Nazism. Russia does not offer a global ideological alternative comparable to liberalism – nor has China yet taken such initiatives. The end of the ‘end of history’ is notable for several other details. Firstly, a major power has risked giving up the benefits of the ‘global world’ overnight. Historians will argue about whether Moscow anticipated such harsh sanctions and the departure of hundreds of foreign companies so quickly. However, it is clear that Russia is vigorously adapting to the new realities and is in no hurry to return to US-centric globalization.

Secondly, Western countries have embarked on a very tough ‘purge’ of Russian assets abroad. Overnight, their jurisdictions ceased to be ‘safe havens’ where the ‘rule of law’ is followed. Now it is politics that calls the shots and Russia is the only harbor to which its citizens can return to relative peace. Stereotypes about the ‘stability and security’ of the West are breaking down. Of course, they are unlikely to begin a similar purge of other assets there. But looking at the Russians, outside investors are wondering whether they should hedge their risks. Thirdly, it turned out that in the West, they might face not only asset stripping, but outright discrimination on the grounds of nationality. Thousands of Russians ‘fleeing’ the ‘bloody regime’ have suddenly faced rejection and contempt. Others trying to prove that they are even bigger ‘Russophobes’ than their host partners are running ahead of the anti-Russian propaganda train. However, this does not guarantee that the stubborn dogmatists will embrace them.

The conflict between Russia and the West is likely to drag on for decades, regardless of how the conflict in Ukraine ends. In Europe, Russia will play the role of North Korea, while possessing much greater capabilities. Whether Ukraine has the strength, the will, and resources to become a European South Korea is a big question. Conflict between Russia and the West will lead to a strengthening of China’s role as an alternative financial center and source of modernization. A stronger China will only accelerate its rivalry with the US and its allies. The ‘end of history’ has ended with a return to its usual course. One of these is the collapse of the world order as a result of large-scale conflicts between centers of power. It remains to be seen if the next cycle will not be the last for mankind, given the risks of an open military clash between the great powers with a subsequent escalation into full-scale nuclear conflict.

Read more …

Ukraine makes up stories and the west duly repeats them.

Russian “New Mobilization Process” For Major Offensive Imminent? (ZH)

Ukraine says it’s bracing for a major new Russian offensive, which will involve a large influx of new ground forces at a time Russian forces are under pressure and reportedly lacking enough manpower to maintain front lines, but did not give a timeline for the expected push. In fresh statements widely circulated Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia is planning a major “new offensive” which will involve a planned “new mobilization processes.” He suggested the new mobilization is imminent given recent Russian battlefield losses in the east, which includes the devastating strike on a barracks in the city of Makiivka, resulting an a huge Russian troop death toll.

“We have no doubt that the current masters of Russia will throw everything they have left and everyone they can muster to try to turn the tide of the war and at least postpone their defeat,” Zelensky said. “We have to disrupt this Russian scenario. We are preparing for this. The terrorists must lose.” Kiev had begun issuing these warnings of a major escalation by Moscow shortly after last month Putin referred to the Ukraine special operation as a “war” for the first time. As the The Hill also details: Some Ukrainian officials also warned last month about a potential new Russian offensive in January or February, including Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, a top commander in the Ukrainian army who told The Economist that Russia is preparing some 200,000 troops and could have another go at Kyiv.

Previously, Ukraine’s defense minister Oleksii Reznikov also issued a New Year message, and in it appealed to the Russian people, warning that Putin his about to declare martial law and close borders to men, in preparation for a new wave of mobilization. Reznikov called for Russians to resist these efforts and stand for peace in the video address… Within Russia, public opinion appears increasingly divided on how military and Kremlin leadership is executing the war, particularly in the wake of the Makiivka barracks attack, which left up to hundreds of Russian conscripts killed. Hawks within Russia in the meantime have continued pushing for a more muscular escalation in order to achieve the military objectives laid out since the start of the invasion. Others are calling for both sides to implement a Christmas truce this weekend in observation of Orthodox Christmas (Jan.7 according to the Julian calendar).

Read more …

“Just last month, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia protested French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to offer Russia security guarantees..”

Arrest Of Russian Outlet’s Journalist Is Blow To Press Freedom – Moscow (RT)

The arrest of Sputnik Lithuania’s editor-in-chief is a violation of international norms of freedom of speech and the rights of journalists, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. She called on international organizations to react appropriately to Latvia’s “overreach” in arresting Marat Kasem. “Riga has once again demonstrated that for it such values of a democratic society as media pluralism and the rights of journalists are nothing more than empty phrases,” Zakharova said in a statement. Earlier, the spokeswoman shared a video on her Telegram channel of Kasem speaking about the problems he was facing, noting that he had complained for years about pressure and mistreatment at the hands of governments in the Baltic states.

All the international organizations concerned with freedom of speech, who spent years ignoring Kasem’s safety concerns, should “finally justify their existence” and intervene, Zakharova argued. “It is not just a duty, but an obligation of the international community to do everything so these overreaching regimes would return to following the law,” she said. Kasem is a Latvian citizen, but has lived and worked in Moscow for the past several years. He returned to Latvia on family business just before New Year’s Eve. On Thursday, the authorities in Riga ordered his arrest and charged him with espionage and violating EU sanctions against Russia. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years behind bars. His lawyer has not yet been given the case files, and her request to release Kasem on bail has been denied. He is currently being held in Riga’s Central jail.

Moscow has complained about the ongoing persecution of several journalists in Baltic states back in 2021, prior to the conflict in Ukraine escalating. Kasem had been detained in Vilnius and deported from Lithuania as a “threat to national security” in 2019. His colleague Valentin Rozentsov, editor-in-chief of Sputnik Latvia, was detained and interrogated in Riga in 2018. The former Soviet republics have adopted a hardline stance on the conflict in Ukraine. Just last month, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia protested French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to offer Russia security guarantees, and demanded no exemptions on the ban on Russian fertilizer exports, despite EU concerns about potential famine in Africa.

Read more …

Lots of things changed and somehow became normal.

The Coup We Never Knew (Hanson)

Did someone or something seize control of the United States? What happened to the U.S. border? Where did it go? Who erased it? Why and how did 5 million people enter our country illegally? Did Congress secretly repeal our immigration laws? Did Joe Biden issue an executive order allowing foreign nationals to walk across the border and reside in the United States as they pleased? Since when did money not have to be paid back? Who insisted that the more dollars the federal government printed, the more prosperity would follow? When did America embrace zero interest? Why do we believe $30 trillion in debt is no big deal? When did clean-burning, cheap, and abundant natural gas become the equivalent to dirty coal?

How did prized natural gas that had granted America’s wishes of energy self-sufficiency, reduced pollution, and inexpensive electricity become almost overnight a pariah fuel whose extraction was a war against nature? Which lawmakers, which laws, which votes of the people declared natural gas development and pipelines near criminal? Was it not against federal law to swarm the homes of Supreme Court justices, to picket and to intimidate their households in efforts to affect their rulings? How then with impunity did bullies surround the homes of Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts, and Clarence Thomas—furious over a court decision on abortion? How could these mobs so easily throng our justices’ homes, with placards declaring “Off with their d—s”?

Since when did Americans create a government Ministry of Truth? And on whose orders did the FBI contract private news organizations to censor stories it did not like and writers whom it feared? How did we wake up one morning to new customs of impeaching a president over a phone call? Of the speaker of the House tearing up the State of the Union address on national television? Of barring congressional members from serving on their assigned congressional committees? When did we assume the FBI had the right to subvert the campaign of a candidate it disliked? Was it legal suddenly for one presidential candidate to hire a foreign ex-spy to subvert the campaign of her rival?

Was some state or federal law passed that allowed biological males to compete in female sports? Did Congress enact such a law? Did the Supreme Court guarantee that biological male students could shower in gym locker rooms with biological women? Were women ever asked to redefine the very sports they had championed? When did the government pass a law depriving Americans of their freedom during a pandemic? In America can health officials simply cancel rental contracts or declare loan payments in suspension? How could it become illegal for mom-and-pop stores to sell flowers or shoes during a quarantine but not so for Walmart or Target?

Read more …

The emptiness expands.

The Ginni Thomas Investigation Ends Without a Mention in J6 Report (Turley)

The Jan. 6 committee issued its long-awaited report at 2022’s end, with the expected breathless punditry. Spoiler alert: It turns out the culprit of this “whodunit” was … wait for it … Donald Trump. What’s more interesting is the dog that did not bark. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story “Silver Blaze,” the local inspector asks Sherlock Holmes, “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” Holmes responds, “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” When the inspector objects, “The dog did nothing in the night-time,” Holmes replies, “That was the curious incident.” In the 895-page report, the “curious incident” is the lack of any reference to Ginni Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife.

For months, members, the media and an army of pundits hammered away at the “smoking gun” texts Thomas sent to Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and others calling the election stolen and demanding challenges to certifying the electoral votes. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was the first member of Congress to call for Justice Thomas to be impeached over his wife’s 29 messages. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) called for Thomas to resign immediately as a “corrupt jurist.” Former Sen. Barbara Boxer and others joined these calls. (Boxer was particularly ironic since she used the same underlying federal law to challenge the certification of George W. Bush’s election.) Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) demanded an investigation. On the committee itself, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) fueled the frenzy and demanded subpoenas for both Thomases.

The media also went into hyperbolic overload. Liberal sites demanded Thomas be impeached, citing “watchdogs” who turned out to be the same crowd that has long denounced the justice. MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan tweeted, “I have a question for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats: Why haven’t you impeached Clarence Thomas yet?” CNN and MSNBC commentator Tristan Snell tweeted that the couple had to be subpoenaed: “At best, they are material fact witnesses. At worst, they are co-conspirators to be charged with seditious conspiracy.” Professor Laurence Tribe (who declared Trump should be charged with attempted murder) also demanded the justice and his wife be subpoenaed. MSNBC’s Zeeshan Aleem declared in June that the scandal “keeps getting worse” but “the silver lining is that it will likely intensify calls for overhauling the high court, and help strip more people of the illusion that the Supreme Court is an apolitical branch of government and a neutral arbiter of the law.”

Activists like Sarah Lipton-Lubet, Take Back the Court Action Fund executive director, declared that “there’s much more to the story of Ginni Thomas’ participation in the January 6 attack that the House Select Committee and the American public deserve to know.” Yet it turns out what we knew was largely all we needed to know. There was not “much more to the story.” The entire Ginni Thomas scandal merited nary a mention in the massive report. Indeed, it doesn’t appear the committee had anything more than what we knew when the controversy began. The texts were never denied, and they weren’t surprising since Ginni Thomas was publicly supporting Trump and his claims. She was willing, moreover, to answer the committee’s questions voluntarily.

Read more …

Something’s not going right.

Trump Announces Plan To Destroy The Drug Cartels With The US Military (PM)

Former President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he would order the US military to declare cartels as enemy combatants if he were to be reelected president. Trump said that he would deploy the Navy and Special Forces to defend the security of the Western hemisphere. Trump made the announcement as President Joe Biden prepares to make his first trip to the southern border, after having previously said that there were “more important” things to deal with. “The drug cartels are waging war on America—and it’s now time for America to wage war on the cartels,” President Trump said in his announcement. “The drug cartels and their allies in the Biden administration have the blood of countless millions on their hands. Millions and millions of families and people are being destroyed. When I am back in the White House, the drug kingpins and vicious traffickers will never sleep soundly again.”

A statement from Trump lays out an action plan that he says will “destroy the drug cartels,” which includes steps such as:
• “Restore all Trump border policies and fully secure the border”
• “Deploy all necessary military assets, including the US Navy, to impose a full naval embargo on the cartels, to ensure they cannot use our region’s waters to traffic illicit drugs to the US”
• “Order the Department of Defense to make appropriate use of special forces, cyber warfare, and other covert and overt actions to inflict maximum damage on cartel leadership, infrastructure, and operations”
• “Designate the major drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations”
• “Cut off the cartels’ access to the global financial system”
• “Get full cooperation of neighboring governments to dismantle the cartels, or else fully expose the bribes and corruption that protect these criminal networks”
• “Ask Congress to ensure drug smugglers and traffickers can receive the Death Penalty”

“Joe Biden has spent the last two years dismantling the southern border,” the statement says. “Biden’s Open Borders policies are killing innocent Americans, ravaging American communities, enriching the cartels, and destabilizing large parts of Mexico and Latin America.” Trump’s statement points out that since Biden took office, 200,000 Americans have died from drug overdoses, with hundreds of thousands of pounds of fentanyl, heroin, meth, cocaine, and other illicit narcotics “pouring across our wide-open border and into American communities.” Enough fentanyl was seized at the border last year to kill every single American. “BOTTOM LINE,” Trump’s statement ends, “Biden has destroyed the border—President Trump will destroy the cartels.”

Read more …

From Abortion

Sotomayor Felt “Sense of Despair” Because Babies Would be Protected (LN)

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed a “sense of despair” and sadness Wednesday about recent decisions by the conservative-majority court, including the Dobbs v. Jackson abortion case. Sotomayor and two other justices dissented in the historic June ruling, which overturned Roe v. Wade and began allowing laws to protect unborn babies from abortion again. Research estimates at least 10,000 unborn babies were saved from abortions just in the first two months. Speaking at the Association of American Law Schools’ annual meeting in San Diego, Sotomayor said she feels “deeply sad” about the new direction of the court, according to Reuters. “I did have a sense of despair about the direction my court was going,” the Obama appointee said.

Although she did not mention the Dobbs case specifically, Sotomayor talked about feeling “shell-shocked” and “deeply sad” about recent rulings, adding: “It’s not an option to fall into despair. I have to get up and keep fighting,” Reuters reports. Sotomayor would have upheld Roe and continued to force states to legalize killing unborn babies for any reason up to viability, but she was overruled. Some of her arguments against Dobbs were based on false and misleading claims by the pro-abortion movement and have been debunked by researchers and doctors. The Dobbs decision may have been the most monumental ruling by the Supreme Court in decades. For nearly 50 years under Roe, American abortion laws were among the most extreme and permissive in the world.

Just a few other countries, including China and North Korea, allow elective abortions up to birth, as Roe did. As a result, more than 63 million unborn babies were legally aborted in the U.S. Now, because of Dobbs, state and local lawmakers may pass legislation to protect unborn babies again. Already 14 states are enforcing laws that limit or ban abortions and eight more are fighting in court to do the same. In November, voters also elected more pro-life lawmakers to their state legislatures in several states, paving the way for even more protections. Despite her pro-abortion leanings, Sotomayor recently did defend her conservative colleague Justice Clarence Thomas from unfounded leftist attacks, saying she knows he “cares about people.” Thomas joined the majority in Dobbs.

Read more …

Whatever.

These Doctors Pushed Masking, Lockdowns on Twitter. But They Don’t Exist (SFS)

Last month, Dr. Robert Honeyman lost their sister to Covid. They wrote about it on Twitter and received dozens of condolences, over 4,000 retweets and 43,000 likes. Exactly one month later, on Dec. 12, Honeyman wrote that another tragedy had befallen their family. “Sad to announce that my husband has entered a coma after being in hospital with Covid. The doctor is unsure if he will come out,” they tweeted. “This year has been the toughest of my life losing my sister to this virus. This is the first time in my life I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel.” Again, the condolences and well-wishes rolled in. But there was a problem: Honeyman wasn’t real.

The transgender “Doctor of Sociology and Feminist studies” with a “keen interest in poetry” who used they/them pronouns was, in fact, a stock photo described on DepositPhotos, a royalty-free image site, as “Smiling happy, handsome latino man outside—headshot portrait.” Their supposedly comatose husband, Dr. Patrick C. Honeyman, was also fake. His Twitter photo had been stolen from an insurance professional in Wayne, Indiana. The two fake doctors, whose accounts urged extreme caution about Covid-19, were part of a network of at least four fake accounts that touted their ties to the LGBTQ+ community, vocally advocated for mask-wearing and social distancing, and dished out criticism to those they felt were not taking the pandemic seriously.

The Honeymans could not be reached for comment, as they do not exist. At publication time, Robert Honeyman’s account was no longer active. The fake doctors were uncovered by Joshua Gutterman Tranen, a self-described “gay writer” pursuing a master’s of fine arts at Bennington College. He saw Robert Honeyman’s tweet about their husband being in a coma, noticed people he followed also followed them, and thought that they might be part of the LGBTQ+ academic community. But after 10 minutes of googling, Gutterman Tranen concluded that Robert Honeyman’s photo was a stock image and their biography stretched boundaries of believability: an academic who left no traces on academic websites and had lost two family members to Covid in late 2022, despite masking and distancing.

The character looked like “liberal Mad Libs,” Gutterman Tranen said. “I’m a self-identified leftist, and I understand that people have a lot of different identities, but it felt concocted in the lab about how many identities and horrible experiences can we put on one person,” he said.

Read more …

“..Della Pietra has contacted hundreds of clinics all over Europe, all of which still don’t allow people “the human right of free blood choice.”

Swiss Organization To Provide Safe Blood Transfusions From Unvaxxed (NN)

An organization in Switzerland called Safe Blood Donation has been set up to provide people all over the world with safe blood transfusions exclusively from people who remain unvaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). The organization was founded in late 2022 by Swiss naturopath George Della Pietra. According to the group’s website, the group’s goal is to provide people all over the world with a way to receive life-saving blood transfusions while refusing to take the vaccines developed against COVID-19. “Be it an emergency, a scheduled operation or because you need regular transfusions for other medical reasons. This is where Safe Blood Donation comes into play as an intermediary,” reads a statement on the organization’s website.

The group will essentially act as a middleman to connect people all over the world with medical partners who are willing to accept blood donations and provide blood transfusions to people with health needs, but are hesitant to go to hospitals where they will almost certainly receive blood from vaccinated individuals. Della Pietra created his organization due to the release of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines causing disputes all over the world over blood treatments and transfusions. Specifically, people who are skeptical of the benefits that come with taking the experimental vaccines and doesn’t want their body tainted by the unsafe products. [..] Della Pietra has contacted hundreds of clinics all over Europe, all of which still don’t allow people “the human right of free blood choice.”

Furthermore, dozens of clinics he contacted have all refused to become a partner of the new organization. Some of these clinics are sympathetic, but claimed they do not want to be mentioned for fear of reprisals from the mainstream medical community. The founder further noted that his main goal is not to run Safe Blood Donation as a blood bank, noting that “this is not possible at the moment” due to legal concerns, but to act as a quick referral service “to match blood donors and recipients” who are then sent to a medical partner’s clinic where the safe, unvaccinated blood transfusion will be handled. In return for providing people with this service, members are also urged to “make themselves available as blood donors” for other people looking for unvaccinated blood transfusions.

Read more …

“..in all cases there has been “airtight privacy” about whether they were vaccinated and what their diagnosis was..”

What Caused Damar Hamlin’s Cardiac Arrest? Experts Weigh In (CHD)

Damar Hamlin’s sudden collapse on live TV during Monday night’s NFL game triggered an avalanche of media coverage, with experts weighing in on what might have caused the 24-year-old player’s cardiac arrest after what appeared to be a routine tackle. Some news outlets quickly concluded Hamlin’s heart attack most likely was caused by commotio cordis, a rare phenomenon that occurs when a small and extremely fast-moving projectile — such as a baseball, hockey puck or lacrosse ball — strikes the chest in a precise location, disrupting the heart’s rhythm. The condition affects about 10-20 people per year, usually teenage boys. Most mainstream media reports rejected the theory that Hamlin’s cardiac arrest might be linked to COVID-19 vaccines, using terms such as “far-right,” “vile,” “anti-vaxxer” and “conspiracy theorists.”

However, Dr. Peter McCullough told “Good Morning CHD” host Aimee Villella McBride why he believes the vaccines can’t be ruled out. McCullough, an internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist and leading expert on COVID-19 treatment, explained the possible role of the vaccines in cardiac arrest and other heart injuries among athletes. He explained that any physician watching replays of Hamlin’s collapse immediately starts thinking through a differential diagnosis of what could have caused it. He said: “Let me tell you that I did see head and neck contact with a tackle, which is not uncommon at all in football. Remember that the shoulder pads have a breastbone protector, [a] pretty substantial breastbone [protector], so they take helmets in the chest all the time.”

McCullough acknowledged that when a baseball hits an unprotected breastbone, it can precipitate a cardiac arrest, but said he was not aware of that happening in pro football, leading him to rule out commotio cordis. “And as I watched things unfold it was relatively clear that [Hamlin] was in a primary cardiac arrest,” he said. McCullough believes there is a public health obligation to disclose what happened. He said: “This is a player who is employed by a team, and the team and the league mandated the vaccine very publicly. “So we have a situation where we have a public figure, the public employer mandates the vaccine in a very public manner, there is a disclosure that 95% of the players have taken the vaccine, and the FDA says the vaccine causes myocarditis and the published peer-reviewed literature says that it can be fatal.”

“This is not a time for privacy,” McCullough said. “The public needs to know that diagnosis because he was under one of these mandates and this happened on the national and world stage.” McCullough said numerous athletes have collapsed on the field and been resuscitated, but that in all cases there has been “airtight privacy” about whether they were vaccinated and what their diagnosis was. “I think the Hamlin case is going to break through all this,” he said.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Cut a tree

 

 

Chinese exercise
https://twitter.com/i/status/1610702098198413313

 

 

1842 farmer

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 292022
 


Max Ernst Inspired hill 1950

 

A War of Rhetoric & Reality (Patrick Lawrence)
Report Warns Risk of Nuclear War At Its Highest Since US Nuked Japan (Antiwar)
Russia Steps Up Kherson Shelling, Dismisses Zelenskiy’s Peace Plan (RT)
Zelensky To Join WEF in Davos, Sign New Postwar Loans With BlackRock (PM)
Ukrainian Proposal Is Not ‘A Peace Plan’ – Kremlin (RT)
Italian Minister: Russia Will Dare Use Nuclear Weapons If It Is Defeated (RT)
Ukraine Law Firm Runs Campaign Targeting Ordinary People In Western Europe (RT)
Jan. 6 Committee Withdraws Trump Subpoena (ZH)
‘Just Take A Look At’ Biden’s Accounts’: Trump Tells GOP (DCE)
Elon Musk Says Gain-of-function Research In Wuhan Was Bioweapon Research (PM)
PIC Updates Its ‘Aluminum – Vaccine Risk Statement’ (PIC)
‘Health Experts’ Slam DeSantis’ Probe into Moderna, Pfizer (FlV)
IgG4-Related Disease (IgG4RD) Means Fibrosis And Organ Destruction (Rose)

 

 

 

 

Barak Avi

 

 

 

 

GVB

 

 

 

 

FBI/Twitter

 

 

 

 

“Either Russia prevails on its terms,” came the answer, “or there is a nuclear exchange.”

A War of Rhetoric & Reality (Patrick Lawrence)

Passing through Austin, Texas, the other night, we had drinks with a distinguished observer of global affairs and took the opportunity to ask how he thought the war in Ukraine would conclude. It is a common question these days. While no answer can be definitive, it is always interesting to discover what wise heads see out front. “Either Russia prevails on its terms,” came the answer, “or there is a nuclear exchange.” I do not think this stark assessment would have necessarily held up even a month ago. I may not have agreed with it, in any case. But the war has escalated markedly over the past week or two. And our Austin companion’s either/or prediction seems now to be the terrible truth of new circumstances. There are numerous indications that Russia is preparing to launch a major offensive in coming weeks or months.

With Volodymyr Zelensky’s circus-like visit to Washington last week, the Biden administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress have drastically, recklessly increased their investment in the Ukrainian president’s regime — a good-money-after-bad judgment if ever there was one. This now shakes out as a war between rhetoric and reality. And the former, a war waged with immense volumes of Western weaponry in defense of ideological bombast, is far more dangerous than the latter, a war waged on the ground with clearly defined objectives. As John Mearsheimer and Jack Matlock, two astute students of this conflict, have argued, neither side can afford to lose in Ukraine. But what is at stake for Russia and the West — Ukraine being the latter’s proxy — is very different.

A Russian defeat in Ukraine would be a direct threat to its security, sovereignty, and altogether its survival. These are legitimate causes. What people would not defend themselves against such a threat — especially given Washington’s long record of subterfuge in nations, not least the Russian Federation, that insist on their independence. The Biden administration’s rhetoric since the Ukraine crisis sharpened prior to the outbreak of hostilities in February has cast this conflict as a near-cosmic confrontation between liberalism and authoritarianism. I do not see that this is very different from Bush II’s biblical baloney about Gog and Magog as it prepared to invade Iraq, or Mike Pompeo’s unhinged end-times talk when he was whipping up war fever against Russia and China while serving as Donald Trump’s secretary of state.

This irresponsible rhetoric has painted every breathing, walking-around American into a corner from which the only escape is capitulation. That is why it is dangerous. Russia can win battles and wage extensive artillery and rocket campaigns and remain open to negotiation at any opportunity conditions present. Putin made this point clear once again on Sunday. It is difficult to see, by contrast, how our addled president can find his way to talks given how he and the third-rate neoconservatives who control his foreign policies have cast this conflict. And it is too easy to imagine these people reaching for the nuclear buttons once their follies become evident.

Read more …

“..an all-out nuclear exchange would send enough dust in the air to block sunlight resulting in “a period of chaos and violence, during which most of the surviving world population would die from hunger.”

Report Warns Risk of Nuclear War At Its Highest Since US Nuked Japan (Antiwar)

A Swedish group that assesses catastrophic risks warned in its annual report this year that the risk of nuclear weapons use is higher today than at any point since the US dropped nuclear weapons on Japan in 1945, AFP reported on Tuesday. Kennette Benedict, an advisor to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists who led the report for the Global Challenges Foundation, said the risk of nuclear war was greater than during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The report warned that an all-out nuclear exchange would send enough dust in the air to block sunlight resulting in “a period of chaos and violence, during which most of the surviving world population would die from hunger.”

President Biden acknowledged the risk back in October when he said the chances of nuclear “armageddon” are higher today than at any point since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Despite his recognition of the danger of his policy of supporting Ukraine against Russia, Biden continues to escalate US involvement in the war, and there is no end in sight to the fighting. Ukraine’s war effort is entirely reliant on Western support, and the US is not just sending weapons but also providing training, intelligence, and other kinds of targeting support. According to recent media reports, the Pentagon now tacitly backs Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory, and the CIA is directing sabotage operations inside Russia.

Russian officials have made clear that they believe they are not just fighting Ukrainian forces in the war but also the US and NATO. This means Russia has the pretext to launch strikes on the US and NATO, although there’s no sign that such a decision has been made. If Russia eventually chooses to retaliate by using conventional weapons against NATO, the conflict could quickly spiral into nuclear war. If Moscow decides to use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, most experts believe it would lead to a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia.

Read more …

It was never going to be a quiet New Year’s.

Russia Steps Up Kherson Shelling, Dismisses Zelenskiy’s Peace Plan (RT)

Ukraine’s recently liberated southern city of Kherson suffered intense mortar and artillery attacks from Russian forces across the Dnipro river, while the Kremlin rejected a Ukrainian peace plan, demanding that Kyiv accept its annexation of four regions. Kherson has remained under bombardment from Russian forces which had retreated to the east bank of the river when the city was retaken in a major victory for Ukraine last month. On Wednesday, the shelling hit the maternity wing of a hospital, though no-one was hurt, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s deputy chief of staff. Staff and patients were moved to a shelter, Tymoshenko said in a post on Telegram. “It was frightening … the explosions began abruptly, the window handle started to tear off … oh, my hands are still shaking,” Olha Prysidko, a new mother, said. “When we came to the basement, the shelling wasn’t over. Not for a minute.”

Macgregor

Read more …

“..already helping Ukraine to structure the fund for the reconstruction of our state.”

Who’s going to pay? Not BlackRock.

Zelensky To Join WEF in Davos, Sign New Postwar Loans With BlackRock (PM)

On Wednesday it was revealed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government is prepping to participate in January’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, and that the Ukrainian leader is in talks with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink regarding rebuilding efforts following the war with Russia. According to Bloomberg, Zelensky said in an evening address to the nation, “Specialists of this company are already helping Ukraine to structure the fund for the reconstruction of our state.” Zelensky reportedly had a video call with Fink in September. He did not reveal whether he would be attending the WEF in person or virtually.


According to a Wednesday post on the Ukrainian President’s official website, Zelensky said, “In accordance with the preliminary agreements struck earlier this year between the Head of State and Larry Fink, the BlackRock team has been working for several months on a project to advise the Ukrainian government on how to structure the country’s reconstruction funds.” “Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Larry Fink agreed to focus in the near term on coordinating the efforts of all potential investors and participants in the reconstruction of our country, channeling investment into the most relevant and impactful sectors of the Ukrainian economy,” the post added. “During the conversation, it was emphasized that certain BlackRock leaders plan to visit Ukraine in the new year,” the post continued. “The President thanked Larry Fink for the work of the professional team that BlackRock has allocated to advise on structuring the reconstruction projects.”

Read more …

“No plan that ignores that reality can pretend to have peace in mind..”

Ukrainian Proposal Is Not ‘A Peace Plan’ – Kremlin (RT)

No proposal that refuses to account for reality can pretend to aim for peace, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday, responding to a question about Russia’s official position on a “peace plan” floated by the Ukrainian government. “No plan that ignores that reality can pretend to have peace in mind,” Peskov said. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s proposal, floated earlier this month, envisioned a UN-sponsored “Global Peace Summit” taking place in February 2023. According to Zelensky, the agenda would be based on his ten-point “peace formula,” which includes the withdrawal of Russian troops from all territories claimed by Ukraine, Moscow paying reparations, and holding war crimes trials for individuals that Kiev accuses of aggression.

Zelensky’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba brought up the proposal anew on Monday, insisting that Russia must face judgment by an “international court” before being allowed at the table. Moscow’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky dismissed Kuleba’s statement as “nonsense,” commenting that there can be no peace talks without Russia, while the actions of Ukraine’s government may result in such a meeting eventually taking place without their participation. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Kiev must recognize the status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye as parts of Russia as a prerequisite for any peace talks. In addition to the four regions, Moscow seeks to “prevent the creation and continuation of any threats to our security from Ukrainian territory,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Wednesday.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the 2014 ceasefire, brokered by Germany and France, to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” Moscow demands that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

Read more …

Good thing then that it won’t be defeated.

Italian Minister: Russia Will Dare Use Nuclear Weapons If It Is Defeated (RT)

“Russia will dare to use nuclear weapons if it is defeated,” Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto said in an interview with the local media, Report informs.He said that the use of tactical nuclear power is foreseen by Russia: “For us, it is inconceivable, but for Moscow, yes. But if Moscow understands that there is no return, it will go for it.” The minister assured that Rome will stand by Kyiv until the last Russian soldier leaves the sovereign lands of Ukraine: “We will help Ukraine to protect itself. Russia has crossed the border it should not have crossed.”

Read more …

“rashists”

Ukraine Law Firm Runs Campaign Targeting Ordinary People In Western Europe (RT)

Boutique Ukrainian law firm T&M has launched an appalling new service allowing residents of Western European countries to “cleanse Europe of rashists,” a reference to the derogatory neologism used by officials in Kiev, which combines the words “Russian” and “fascist.” Titled “give in charge rashist” (apparently a bad translation of the Ukrainian title “turn in a rashist”), the webportal invites visitors who are “tired of potential invaders living near you” to “let us know and we will try to solve this issue in the legal field.” “We are a team of lawyers who decided to use legal methods to cleanse Europe of potential invaders,” the site explains. “No one will know who surrendered the rashist. It’s completely free. You pay nothing, but you get a bonus to karma. You are making a personal contribution to a peaceful future.”

Reporting a “possible aggressor” is said to be “easy.” Concerned citizens can easily use a form to anonymously submit the names and social media accounts of Russian citizens living in any European country, who may be “potentially dangerous” and a “carrier of propaganda and violence.” In return, the Lviv-based T&M “do everything to ensure that the relevant European authorities check the legality of such a person’s stay in Europe,” and “send a corresponding statement to the state authorities of the country in which the presence of a potentially dangerous rashist was reported.” The obvious desired end result is that the Russian in question will be arrested and deported, or perhaps even worse. A disclaimer at the bottom of the page states the service “is not intended to incite ethnic, racial, religious or other enmity,” and only serves to bring its stated targets “to justice.”

T&M has been operating in Lviv since 2014, specializing in sports law, road traffic accidents, IT and technology transfer, and corporate relations. “Give in charge rashist” is a sub-page of T&M’s main site and links back to it in its disclaimers section. “We do not collect your personal data in any way, and we use the personal data of rashists that you provide us exclusively for contacting state authorities,” it concludes. It is unknown if any “rashists” have been reported to authorities as a result of this abhorrent resource, or where they are located or what has happened to them if so. This is just the latest example of how a highly hostile environment for Russians is being created abroad, in which they are, regardless of their political leanings and beliefs, viewed as one and the same. The purpose is to ensure all Russians are falsely considered “the enemy within” by local citizens in their host countries, plotting misdeeds and wrongdoing in support of the Kremlin’s devilish plans for global domination.

Read more …

“..the West should be engaged in the “permanent strengthening of our common security in the face of Russia.”

Berlin Promises To Ramp Up Sanctions Against Moscow (RT)

Any business as usual with Russia is impossible in the near future due to the Ukraine conflict, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Tuesday. She also vowed that Berlin and its allies would intensify sanctions pressure against Moscow. Speaking to Romania’s Digi 24 TV Channel, the minister emphasized that “there can be no normal relations with this Russia” amid the fighting between Moscow and Kiev’s forces and the stand-off with the West. EU would prefer “a peaceful and democratic Russia that does not pose a threat to its neighbors,” Baerbock stated, adding that she harbors “no illusions” on the matter. “We are living in a different reality right now.” Against this backdrop, the minister noted that the West should be engaged in the “permanent strengthening of our common security in the face of Russia.”

According to Baerbock, as long as Moscow wages “the brutal war of aggression,” the West will gradually tighten its sanctions policy. However, she did not clarify what additional restrictions could be in the offing. She went on to add that Western capitals would support Ukraine “as long as necessary,” providing it with arms, as well as humanitarian and financial aid, because the nation “defends the freedom of Europe.” However, she struck a more cautious tone about Kiev’s aspirations to join the EU. While hailing the bloc’s decision to grant Ukraine candidate status in June as a “historic moment,” Baerbock admitted that “the road there will still be long and certainly sometimes difficult.” To pave the way for Kiev’ accession, Western countries are doing their best to help the nation harmonize its legal system with EU standards, she said.

Following the start of Russia’s military operation against Ukraine in late February, Germany has provided Ukraine with large amounts of weaponry and joined Western sanctions against Moscow. The restrictions targeted entire sectors of the Russian economy, particularly energy exports, while hundreds of senior officials were blacklisted, and about half of the nation’s foreign exchange reserves were frozen, a move that was denounced by Moscow as essentially “theft.” On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that the EU is waging a “hybrid war” against Moscow, arguing that Brussels’ policies have only hurt the interests of the bloc’s citizens while bringing its relations with Russia to their “lowest point.”

Read more …

What a catastrophic failure. Do call it was it is.

But they still keep arresting people two years later.

Julie Kelly: “And Senate GOP just handed FBI a half-billion dollar raise and gave DOJ $212 million just to prosecute Trump supporters.”

Jan. 6 Committee Withdraws Trump Subpoena (ZH)

The January 6th special committee has formally withdrawn its subpoena of former President Donald Trump. “In light of the imminent end of our investigation, the Select Committee can no longer pursue the specific information covered by the subpoena,” wrote Rep. Bernie Thompson (D-MI) in a Wednesday night letter sent to Trump’s attorneys, which was obtained by CNN. “Therefore, through this letter, I hereby formally withdraw the subpoena issued to former President Trump, and notify you that he is no longer obligated to comply or produce records in response to said subpoena,” the letter continues.


Trump took a victory lap on Truth Social, writing: “Was just advised that the Unselect Committee of political Thugs has withdrawn the Subpoena of me concerning the January 6th Protest of the CROOKED 2020 Presidential Election. They probably did so because they knew I did nothing wrong, or they were about to lose in Court. Perhaps the FBI’s involvement in RIGGING the Election played into their decision. In any event, the Subpoena is DEAD!” As CNN notes, the committee has already dropped several subpoenas against other witnesses, and has wrapped up its investigation by referring Trump to the DOJ for potential criminal prosecution on four separate charges. The referrals, however, hold no legal weight.

Read more …

“evidence that the finances, credit cards, and bank accounts of Hunter and Joe Biden were co-mingled, if not shared.”

‘Just Take A Look At’ Biden’s Accounts’: Trump Tells GOP (DCE)

Former President Donald J. Trump shared a campaign video to Truth Social providing a stern rebuke to the release of his 2015-2020 tax returns by the Democrat-led House Means and Ways Committee on Tuesday. He further called for the new Republican-led House to “immediately obtain the financial records of Joe Biden and his entire criminal enterprise.” The dramatic legal battle over the former president’s tax records ended in November when the United States Supreme Court declined to overturn an appellate court ruling that ordered Trump to hand over the records to Congress. The sole Republican candidate to announce for the 2024 presidential race denounced the move as “an outrageous abuse of power” from “radical Democrats” Friday.

“There is no legitimate legislative purpose for their action, and if you look at what they’ve done, it’s so sad for our country,” he said, after sharing the video with Breitbart. The former president called the action “unconstitutional.” “It’s nothing but another deranged political witch-hunt, which has been going on from the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower,” he added. “Although these tax returns contain relatively little information and not information that almost anybody would understand — they’re extremely complex — the radical Democrats’ behavior is a shame upon the U.S. Congress,” Trump added. He then called upon the House GOP to aggressively acquire Biden’s financial records, as reported by Breitbart:

“The new Republican House should immediately obtain the financial records of Joe Biden and his entire criminal enterprise because that’s exactly what it is. Biden is a corrupt politician who spent years selling out America all over the world, including to Communist China. Just take a look at his accounts, take a look at all of his homes, and take a look at what his son, Hunter, has contributed to the family. The American public deserves to know the truth. We should also get to the bottom line on how Biden, on a salary of a U.S. Senator, was able to buy one mansion after another, all these different locations. When I’m president, we will expose the Washington cartel, and we will Make America Great Again.”

Incoming Republican Chairman Rep. James Comer of the U.S. House Oversight Committee told CNN in November that Hunter Biden is expected to be subpoenaed about his father’s involvement in his business dealings overseas. Comer explicitly told reporters “This is an investigation of Joe Biden.” “This committee will evaluate whether this president is compromised or swayed by foreign dollars,” Comer added. He explained, as previously reported by Newsweek, that the investigation will have “evidence that the finances, credit cards, and bank accounts of Hunter and Joe Biden were co-mingled, if not shared.”

Read more …

“Musk argues that “‘Gain-of-function’ in this context is just another way of saying ‘bioweapon.'”

Elon Musk Says Gain-of-function Research In Wuhan Was Bioweapon Research (PM)

Elon Musk went on the Fauci attack on Wednesday, insinuating that the gain-of-function (GoF) work the doctor was advocating for was essentially bioweapon research. “‘Gain-of-function’ should be called ‘bioweapon’ research, as the function referred is death!” Musk tweeted. The Twitter CEO points to a Yahoo News article from last year that unearthed a paper that Fauci wrote a decade ago, where he argues that the benefits of GoF research outweigh the potential pandemic risk. GoF research consists of genetically altering an organism, such as a virus, in order to gain an increased understanding of its function, work that was taking place at the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. “In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?,” Fauci asks in his 2012 paper.


He goes on to say that GoF research is “important work,” clearly stating that the benefits “outweigh the risks.” Musk argues that “‘Gain-of-function’ in this context is just another way of saying ‘bioweapon.'” He also points out that Fauci’s wife, Christine Grady, is the head of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, where she is “the person who is supposed to make sure that Fauci behaves ethically.” There is mounting evidence pointing to the fact that the COVID-19 virus originated from a leak at the Wuhan lab, despite insistence from the government and from Fauci himself that this was not the case. It was revealed earlier this year that many scientists in Britain and the United States were more concerned about keeping “international harmony” than with opening the debate regarding the lab-leak theory.

Read more …

“..up to 22 doses of aluminum-containing vaccines are administered to children..”

PIC Updates Its ‘Aluminum – Vaccine Risk Statement’ (PIC)

The document explains that both the FDA and ATSDR have raised concerns about the negative effects of aluminum exposure in humans. Scientific studies have shown that small amounts of aluminum can interfere with cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system. Some of the most damaging effects of aluminum range from motor skill impairment to encephalopathy (altered mental state, personality changes, difficulty thinking, loss of memory, seizures, coma, and more). Studies have also shown that adverse effects of aluminum may not be restricted to neurological conditions.* A study referenced in the PIC document and published in Academic Pediatrics found that asthma occurred in 1 in 183 vaccinated children for every 1 mg (1,000 mcg) increase in aluminum exposure.

In the United States, up to 22 doses of aluminum-containing vaccines are administered to children, with 11 doses administered from birth to 6 months of age. “Overexposure to aluminum may lead to significant harm,” said Dr. Shira Miller, founder and president of Physicians for Informed Consent. “In California, where PIC is headquartered, since Senate Bill 277 (SB 277) was enacted in 2015, numerous doses of aluminum-containing vaccines are mandated for public and private K-12 school attendance — with no exceptions for religious or personal belief exemptions. PIC asserts that vaccine mandates are unscientific and unethical and a threat to public health. SB 277, and any other law that coerces vaccination, needs to be repealed.”

Read more …

“..decades of established procedure designed to ensure the safety and efficacy of the vaccines..”

‘Health Experts’ Slam DeSantis’ Probe into Moderna, Pfizer (FlV)

After the Florida Supreme Court accepted Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate mRNA COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, “health experts” fear the move “betrays decades of established procedure designed to ensure the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, and only serves to stoke further immunization fears.” Brian Castrucci, president and CEO of public health group the de Beaumont Foundation, told The Hill that the governor “appears to be focused on creating fear around vaccines that have been shown to be safe and effective.” “These vaccines have been tested and scrutinized more than any other vaccine, and they continue to save lives. Vaccine safety is not a partisan issue and attempting to make it one puts lives at risk,” he went on.

At a roundtable earlier in December, DeSantis was joined by Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and other health experts telling their personal stories and experience dealing with adverse effects of the mRNA vaccines. Doctors warned that more research should have been conducted to weigh the risk and benefits for certain age groups and between men and women. For example, Ladapo’s Department of Health warn of a higher risk of cardiac death particularly among young males. “It is against the law to mislead and to misrepresent, particularly when you’re talking about the efficacy of a drug,” DeSantis said of the mRNA vaccine manufacturers. The petition to the Court argued it is “likely” the companies and those who benefit from the vaccines made misleading claims to consumers “for financial gain.”

It specifically points out Moderna and Pfizer’s claims about preventing the COVID-19 disease with “94.1% efficacy” and “91.3% vaccine efficacy.” Earlier in December, DeSantis also announced that a public health integrity committee will be established. The board will advise the public and provide oversight moving forward of the public health establishment. Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at Johns Hopkins University and former principal deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told The Hill that DeSantis’ request is not a good example of a “legitimate avenue” for scrutinizing vaccine recommendations.

“This is turning a matter of health and science into a political wedge issue, with the likely consequence that many people will be misled into placing themselves and their families at risk of serious illness and death,” he said. At the roundtable, DeSantis slammed ‘experts’ for dismissing dissenting opinions. “Part of the reason I think it’s been a bad response is because from the very beginning, you had a lot of arrogance, that it’s our way or the highway, and anyone that offers any type of a dissenting opinion, and they were censoring from day one, people that would write anti lock down things in March of 2020, April 2020, some of those would get taken down off some of these big tech platforms,” DeSantis said. “Anything [the CDC will] put out, you just assume, at this point, that it’s not worth the paper that it’s printed on.”

Read more …

Jessica Rose is one of many -but never enough- doctors reinstated on Twitter.

IgG4-Related Disease (IgG4RD) Means Fibrosis And Organ Destruction (Rose)

A recent paper published in Science confirms what many of us have been saying for well over a year now: repeated injections with modified mRNA encapsulated by LNPs messes up your immune system. It messes it up in a specific way. We have evidence from this work that the fibrosis and organ destruction we are witnessing in countless numbers of folks post COVID injection, is due to the shots and more specifically, likely due to the eventual class switching to IgG4 and subsequent prevalence (perhaps dominance) of this antibody subclass. Just so that you know, the typical relative percentages of the four subclasses of IgG in the blood are the following: 60-70% IgG1, 20-30% IgG2, 5-8% IgG3, 1-3% IgG4. So if IgG4 percentages are much higher than 1-3% in the blood, then something is out of the ordinary.

It may even manifest pathologically. To reiterate from my last Substack article, the authors found a 48,075% increase (from 0.04% – 19.27%) in spike-specific IgG4 antibodies in test subjects between the 2nd and 3rd injections of the Comirnaty product, so I suppose this would translate to a presence of IgG4 in the blood at levels higher than 1-3%. Probably closer to 20%? In any case, the shift in IgG subclass ratios is notable following the 2nd and 3rd injections. Before I dig into IgG4RD, I want to make something clear. The role of IgG4 as a ‘tolerizing antibody’ is inherently linked to T regulatory cells (Tregs) – the immune ‘tolerancers’: IgG4 is not directly responsible for tolerization. This means that IgG4 is not so much the tolerizer, as it is a medium for tolerization via Tregs.


I think calling it a tolerizing antibody is appropriate. I have provided background on Tregs in a previous Substack, but I will give a very quick summary here of their role in immunological tolerance – and also what immunological tolerance is! Immunological tolerance is the process of making sure that your immune system doesn’t turn on you. Imagine if you didn’t have a system in place to ensure that your immune cells only recognized foreign antigens as bag guys? Imagine what would happen, therefore, if your immune cells recognized your antigens as bad guys? Maybe… autoimmunity? An antigen (Ag) is a molecule that can bind to a specific antibody or T-cell receptor. Antigens can be proteins, peptides (amino acid chains), polysaccharides (chains of monosaccharides/simple sugars), lipids, or nucleic acids.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

BBee woman

 

 

 

 

Throwback to subprime. John Bird (smaller of the two Johns) died aged 86 yesterday.

 

 

 

 

Big art

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 212022
 
 December 21, 2022  Posted by at 9:31 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


VIncent van Gogh Weeping woman 1883

 

Musk Advocates Modern ‘Church Commission’ To Investigate FBI Corruption (ZH)
FBI Paid Twitter $3.5m ‘To Do Its Bidding’ (DM)
Twitter ‘Directly Assisted’ Pentagon’s Propaganda Campaign (RT)
White House Dodges Question About FBI Interference (RT)
Musk Announces Policy Change For Twitter Polls (RT)
The J6 Referral Falls Short of a Credible Criminal Case (Turley)
Dems Dump Trump Tax Data In Tuesday Night Release (ZH)
The Road from Serfdom (Batiushka)
Zelensky Planning To Visit US Capitol In Person On Wednesday (Hill)
Macron Doubles Down On ‘Security Guarantees’ For Russia (RT)
Nationalization Of German Gas Giant Approved – Reuters (RT)
Germany, Poland Order More Russian Oil – Transneft (RT)
The European Non-Union after Qatargate: Was it Designed to Fail? (Ugo Bardi)
S&D Chief Summons MEP Eva Kaili Over ‘Ghost’ Vote (RT)
The Most Important Dataset of the Pandemic was Just Released (GP)
White House Can’t Mandate COVID Jabs for Federal Contractors: Appeals Court (ET)

 

 

 

 

10 minutes

 

 

 

 

Redfield
https://twitter.com/i/status/1604943195057840129

 

 

 

 

Stick jump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1605312190353141761

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new Church Committee. Would it make any sense? It was hard enough to get anywhere investigating US intel in 1975, but now?! Musk has added Lee Fang to his team of journalists, and his contribution is CENTCOM files. They are all involved, all the agencies, and which politician, let alone a whole committee, will stand up to them? Twitter just sold themselves to the agencies; that was their business model.

“Brookings: Watergate shocked the American public and spurred many of its representatives in Congress to demand an investigation into the past activities of [the FBI, CIA,] NSA and others. The result was the creation of two congressional committees in 1975, chaired by Frank Church (D-ID) in the Senate and Otis Pike (D-N.Y.) in the House of Representatives. Their hearings exposed secret, arguably illegal wiretapping, bugging, and harassment of American citizens, including Supreme Court justices, reporters, and government officials, all in the name of collecting intelligence about threats to national security. The most notorious case, first exposed in the 1960s and fully documented by the Church Committee, was the wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr. by the NSA and by the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, who believed him to be part of a Communist conspiracy.”

Musk Advocates Modern ‘Church Commission’ To Investigate FBI Corruption (ZH)

In the wake of the most recent ‘Twitter Files’ release – which showed that the FBI infiltrated the social media giant, then primed its ‘Trust & Safety’ head to interpret things like the Hunter Biden release as foreign influence – CEO Elon Musk asked Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) whether he approved ‘hidden state censorship in direct violation of the Constitution.”

Some have speculated that the speed at which Twitter reacted to the NY Post’s Hunter Biden bombshell was the result of a “powerful Dem” reaching out to the FBI’s operative, Elvis Chan. Musk also advocated for a modern-day Church Commission, responding to a suggestion promoted by investor David Sacks.

“Hear, hear!!” Musk replied. Of note, thought leaders such as Eric Weinstein have been calling for a new Church Commission for years to unravel revelations that the FBI participated in the Russiagate hoax against candidate – and then sitting President, Donald Trump. Meanwhile, in response to the Twitter Files revelation that the FBI was deeply embedded at Twitter, Rep. Jim Jordan said: “I have concerns about whether the government was running a misinformation operation on We the People.” Perhaps Jordan will get behind the new Church Commission idea?

Read more …

Why Twitter never needed a viable business model.

FBI Paid Twitter $3.5m ‘To Do Its Bidding’ (DM)

The FBI handed nearly $3.5 million of taxpayers money to Twitter to pay its staff to handle requests from the bureau as it sought to ban accounts. A Twitter employee wrote in a February 2020 email that the company’s Safety, Content & Law Enforcement (SCALE) had ‘collected $3,415,323’ in less than two years from the FBI for ‘law-enforcement related projects.’ The email, which was revealed by journalist Michael Shellenberger, stated that SCALE had instituted a ‘reimbursement program’ in exchange for devoting staff hours to ‘processing requests from the FBI’. The emails was entitled ‘Run the business – We made money!’. The accounts the FBI asked Twitter to ban were largely linked to conservatives and ‘foreign influence operations’.

Twitter initially believed the Hunter Biden laptop story was ‘Russian disinformation’. It was revealed Monday that Jim Baker, Twitter’s top lawyer and ex-FBI general counsel, personally intervened to say it should be banned. Baker told Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security, that the laptop story should be blocked – a day after getting a top secret briefing from his former FBI colleagues. He wrote: ‘There are some facts that indicate the materials may have been hacked. We simply need more information.’ We went on to write: ‘I’m guessing we are going to restrict access to their article as violation of our Hacked Materials policy.’ An investigation into Twitter’s behavior around the 2020 presidential election by the incoming Republican majority in the house has been promised with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy telling Fox News this week: ‘This is going to be a much bigger situation than people realize.’

Current Twitter CEO Elon Musk said of the emails: ‘Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public.’ In a previous dump, journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted: ‘Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary.’ In response to the latest developments, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said in an appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox News: ‘We’re going to do more than just subpoena them. We’re going to change the course of where the FBI is today.’ He went on: ‘Every day we learn something more.’ The congressman from California continued: ‘Why are they [the FBI] able to do this? Working together, using private businesses to go after individuals right before an election, denying the American public the truth?’

Read more …

Lee Fang does the CENTCOM part of the Twitter Files.

Twitter ‘Directly Assisted’ Pentagon’s Propaganda Campaign (RT)

Twitter executives have granted the US Defense Department special privileges to use the social media platform for its covert online influence campaigns for at least five years, newly released internal company communications show. Investigative journalist Lee Fang published the eighth batch of documents on Tuesday, after the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, authorized the release in an effort to provide transparency about Twitter’s past decision-making. “Despite promises to shut down covert state-run propaganda networks, Twitter docs show that the social media giant directly assisted the US military’s influence operations,” wrote Fang. The journalist was allowed to make requests for internal Twitter documents through an attorney, “meaning that the search results may not have been exhaustive.”

The exposed collusion spanned since at least 2017, when Nathaniel Kahler, an official working with the US Central Command, sent an email to Twitter, requesting verification and “whitelisting” of several dozen Arab-language accounts CENTCOM was using “to amplify certain messages.” The very same day, Twitter integrity team members applied a “special exemption tag” that essentially granted the accounts the privileges of verification without a visible blue check mark. While the Pentagon allegedly promised not to conceal their affiliation, at some point profile bios and photos of some of these accounts were changed, and they began posing as ordinary users or “unbiased” sources of opinion and information.

Some accounts on the list were promoting US-backed militants in Syria, and anti-Iran propaganda in Iraq. Another was used to justify US drone strikes as “accurate” and only killing terrorists, not civilians, in Yemen. “It sounds like DOD was doing something shady and definitely not in line with what they had presented to us at the time,” one former Twitter employee told The Intercept. Other emails obtained by The Intercept showed that high-level Twitter officials, including former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, attorney Stacia Cardille, and deputy general counsel Jim Baker, discussed the collusion as “potentially problematic” in the following years, but allowed many of the accounts to remain active.

In one email, Baker speculated that “DoD might want to give us a timetable for shutting them down in a more prolonged way that will not compromise any ongoing operations or reveal their connections to DoD.” However, none of the emails provided to The Intercept shed any light on what exactly was discussed at the classified meetings with the Pentagon officials. The influence campaign appears to be linked to a larger-scale operation that ran beyond those several dozen Twitter accounts and across many other internet platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and Telegram, as initially highlighted by researchers at Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory back in August, and corroborated by a Washington Post investigation in September.

Read more …

“I’m just going to refer you to the FBI. I’m not going to comment from here about that..”

We ask about the FBI, and you refer us to…..the FBI?!

White House Dodges Question About FBI Interference (RT)

The White House has declined to comment on the latest revelations from the Twitter Files, which appear to show that the FBI was involved in a campaign to preemptively discredit reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop and quash it after publication. “I’m just going to refer you to the FBI. I’m not going to comment from here about that,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a daily briefing on Monday, when asked about the allegations. The son of current president and then-candidate Joe Biden forgot his laptop at a repair shop in Delaware, the owner of which later was subpoenaed by the FBI to relinquish it. However, he made a copy of the information on the device, which was then handed over to the New York Post during the 2020 election campaign. When the Post published a story about Hunter Biden’s possible influence peddling, Twitter briefly banned users from sharing it on its platform.

According to bestselling author Michael Shellenberger, who was given access to internal Twitter communications by its new owner, Elon Musk, the FBI “primed” the company’s executives to treat the legitimate news as a “hack-and-dump” operation by a malicious actor. The federal agency sent warnings to Twitter about threats of foreign influence operations amid the 2020 elections, Shellenberger reported. It also had former FBI employees – “Bu alumni” – working for Twitter, who supported the narrative and later argued that the laptop was what the agency had been warning about. Ex-FBI General Counsel Jim Baker, who was a prominent figure in the ‘Russiagate’ saga, repeatedly insisted that “the Hunter Biden materials were either faked, hacked, or both, and a violation of Twitter policy,” Shellenberger said.

He added that considering how much time the FBI had to verify the authenticity of the laptop, it was “inconceivable” that Baker believed the New York Post reporting was not legitimate. The FBI took possession of the laptop in December 2019, while the Post published the story in October 2020. Other coverage of the Twitter Files by Shellenberger and journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss explained how the US intelligence community worked hand-in-glove with the platform to flag speech for suspension that the US government deemed “misinformation.” It also showed the FBI and Twitter locked horns over the agency’s claims of increased activity by ‘propaganda’ bots, of which Twitter said it found no evidence.

St. Pierre
https://twitter.com/i/status/1605231966248263681

Read more …

Blue checks only.

Musk Announces Policy Change For Twitter Polls (RT)

Twitter CEO Elon Musk stated on Monday that henceforth only Twitter Blue subscribers will be able to voice their opinions in polls about policy changes on the platform. The billionaire’s comments came after he ran a poll asking users if he should resign, which the majority voted in favor of. Following the poll, one Twitter user suggested that only Blue subscribers, who pay a monthly fee, should be allowed to vote on such matters, since they “actually have skin in the game.” “Good point. Twitter will make that change,” Musk replied. Another user told the platform’s CEO that it’s “unwise to run a poll like this when you are now deep state enemy #1,” claiming that his adversaries have “the biggest bot army on Twitter.” Echoing this sentiment, the third user asked: “did bots brigade the Elon poll yesterday”?

“Interesting,” Musk noted. Twitter Blue is a paid monthly subscription, which adds a distinguishing blue checkmark to a user’s account and offers early access to some of the platform’s new features. For US users, the price starts at $8 per month. Musk launched the poll on Sunday asking Twitter users “should I step down as head of Twitter?” while promising to abide by its results. More than 17 million users took part in the survey, with 57.5% voting that the billionaire should quit. Before the poll concluded, Musk also warned his audience to “be careful what you wish, as you might get it.” He added that “no one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.”

After completing his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, Musk became its majority owner, which means that no one can force him out. However, in recent weeks, the CEO has introduced a number of controversial changes that have caused a massive public backlash. Those have included loosening the Covid-19 misinformation rules and an announcement that the platform would ban users for posting links to rival social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. In an apparent attempt at damage control, Musk later clarified that the new policy regarding other platforms would be “adjusted,” and that suspensions would only be applied “when that account’s primary purpose is promotion of competitors, which essentially falls under the no spam rule.”

Read more …

18 months of emptiness.

The J6 Referral Falls Short of a Credible Criminal Case (Turley)

This week the January 6th Committee voted to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department, including the proposed indictment of former President Donald Trump. However, the Committee’s splashy finale lacked any substantial new evidence to make a compelling criminal case against former President Donald Trump. The Committee repackaged largely the same evidence that it has previously put forward over the past year. That is not enough. Indeed, the reliance on a new videotape of former Trump aide Hope Hicks seems a case of putting “hope over experience” in the criminal Justice system. While still based largely on the failure to act, Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Cal.) insisted that “if that’s not criminal, nothing is.” The opposite may be true from a First Amendment perspective. If the failure to act is criminal, it is hard to see what would not be criminal under this standard.

After members like Schiff, again, promised new evidence to support criminal charges, the Committee continued its pattern of rehashing previously known evidence with network-quality videotapes. The failure of the Committee to offer any new and direct evidence of criminal conduct was obvious at the outset. Vice Chair Liz Cheney began her remarks by again detailing what Trump failed to do. It was a repeat of the prior hearings and for some likely left the impression of actors who are refusing to leave the stage long after the audience departed. The one new piece of evidence was largely duplicative. It shows former aide Hope Hicks saying that she also called upon Trump to make a public statement calling for peace and telling him that there is no evidence of systemic fraud.

Nevertheless, the videotape has been heralded by figures like former acting Solicitor General Neil Katyal on MSNBC as “evidence I’ve never seen before from Hope Hicks.” Katyal bizarrely claims “I think that tells you all you need to know about premeditation. Call it criminal intent. The House committees evidence here is very strong.” So all you need for premeditation is the failure to accept the weight of evidence or to act promptly after the start of a riot. Katyal might “call it criminal intent” but many judges would likely call it something else. The fact is that the J6 Committee failed to change many minds largely because of what was on display in the final public meeting. It was the same highly scripted, one-sided account repeated mantra-like for months. There is justifiable anger over these accounts, but this hearing was billed as presenting the case for criminal charges. It missed that mark by a considerable measure.

Of course, to raise obvious legal barriers to prosecution today is to invite an Internet flash mob accusing you for being an insurrectionist or fellow traveler. Major media from the Washington Post to National Public Radio routinely refer to the riot as an insurrection despite a deep disagreement over the characterization of the criminal conduct. The media unrelentingly echoes this one view despite polls showing most citizens view that day as a reprehensible “riot” motivated by loyalty to Trump.

Read more …

And as J6 falls flat on its face, here’s some more revenge. The release time indicates more emptiness.

Dems Dump Trump Tax Data In Tuesday Night Release (ZH)

After a Tuesday vote, Democrats on the House and Ways Committee have voted to release six years of President Trump’s tax returns, in what Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the top Republican on the Committee, called a ‘new political weapon.’ “This meeting actually sets a terrible precedent that unleashes a dangerous new political weapon that reaches far beyond the former president,” Brady told reporters on Tuesday. “I won’t speculate on what the next Congress and this committee will focus on related to tax returns, but I do know that a major focus will be on the IRS.” The committee voted along party lines, 24-16, to make public the returns – which will span 2015 to 2020. While the returns could be released as soon as hours, per The Hill, Chairman Richard Neal said that ‘sensitive information’ would be redacted, which may take days.

Update: Hours after they voted to release Trump’s tax returns, House Democrats released a report which includes the data from Trump’s taxes. You can read the report below as we are currently doing, however upon first read – and the fact that it was quietly released on a Tuesday night instead of via a Washington Post bombshell detailing specific ‘evil things’ Trump’s done, we are going to – for now, assume this is a giant nothingburger. In a coordinated response to the release, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there is an “urgent need for legislation to ensure the public can trust in real accountability and transparency during the audit of a sitting president’s tax returns – not only in the case of President Trump, but for any president,” adding “we will move swiftly to advance Chairman Richard Neal’s legislation requiring the Internal Revenue Service to conduct an annual audit of the President’s finances.”

In their closing observations, Democrats suggested that the IRS did not sufficiently audit Trump, and that high net worth individuals who use lawyers and accounting firms should be subject to enhanced actions. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the top Republican on the Committee, warned in a press conference, “Longstanding privacy protections for all taxpayers have been compromised. Going forward, the majority chairman in the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee will have nearly unlimited power to target or make public the tax returns of private citizens—and not just private citizens: political enemies, business and labor leaders or even the returns of Supreme Court justices themselves.”

Read more …

“The whole Western house is now on fire in an act of suicide.”

The Road from Serfdom (Batiushka)

Today, the whole free (= Non-Western) world is looking on and anxiously watching, basically supportive of Russia, but not too visibly – just in case this millennial transformation goes wrong. Fundamentally, the free world knows that if Russia loses, then the cause of freedom and sovereignty in the world is finished, independent China India are finished. Then the Klaus Schwab-style nightmare of the World Dictatorship of Serfs, ceases to be fantasy and is put into practice. There will be no further point in human life and so the world will end in the Apocalypse. Alternatively, others proclaim another, equally catastrophic scenario. This is that the West will not back down in its war in the Ukraine and therefore will make the future nuclear through a false flag nuclear incident in the Ukraine, which it will pin on Russia, like Flight MH17. But the cold and hungry of the West do not want nuclear war and even if some of the elite are so crazy as to want it, not all. Crazy elitists could be replaced. As for the journalists who have continually lied to date, they would simply say that they had previously only reported what they had been told to report.

In other words, a nuclear war is not an inevitable scenario. In any case, how can Russia lose? We all believe that Russia will win, because treasonous regime change in Russia is not going to happen as it did in February 1917, and that was the only reason why, fully armed and ready for victory, Russia lost then (4). Even the arms merchants behind NATO are fearful of any official involvement or of the war spreading and Russia itself is careful to avoid any spread of war to a NATO country. They only want to fill their pockets, not the Apocalypse. It is precisely the loss of the war by the West that could provide the solution to the Western problem. The solution to reverse the situation in the West has to be radical because, as we have said, the Western delusion is millennial, the delusion lies at its very roots (5). Warnings have been given for centuries but nobody has ever listened. It is rather like a child who you tell not to play with matches, but who still insists on playing with matches to see what will happen if he lights a match and then sets fire to the whole house. And that is what has happened. The whole Western house is now on fire in an act of suicide.

The solution is regime change in the EU and the US/UK, that is, the changing of the elites. Now, all the Western countries of the world are run by elites with their many hangers-on. The elites provide bipartisan dictatorships. The ironic fact that it actually dares call these dictatorships, by the rich on behalf of the rich, ‘liberal democracies’ is irrelevant. I doubt if any regime change will come through some sort of armed uprising and I would not encourage that either. Rather governments – together with their fantastical, anti-Russian rhetoric – will collapse through the weight of their own lies, injustices and corruption, of protests, strikes and bankruptcies, of cold, poverty and hunger among people who have never been so cold, poor and hungry before. In other words, Western regimes will collapse under pressure from the grassroots, because they are so rotten on the inside. Which will collapse first, the EU or the US/UK, Eurosodom or Gomerica? We suspect the Eurozionists of the EU because those countries are bearing the brunt of their own elites’ suicide bid on the orders of the US/UK elite, and there are already splits among them.

Read more …

“..the perfect ending to two years where President Biden has had some landmark successes..”

Zelensky Planning To Visit US Capitol In Person On Wednesday (Hill)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to visit the U.S. Capitol in person on Wednesday, sources confirmed to The Hill. The visit is not set stone, but hinges on security, according to a second source familiar with the planning. The media leaks, the source said, are “not helping.” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) confirmed the plans to The Hill. If the visit does materialize, it would likely mark the first time the Ukrainian president has left his country since before Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday encouraging them to “be present for a very special focus on Democracy Wednesday night.” Punchbowl News first reported on the possible historic visit, citing several sources familiar with the plans.


The visit comes as Zelensky, his top military officials and aides have warned that Russia is planning to renew a large-scale ground invasion of Ukraine, and as the country suffers under devastating aerial attacks that have destroyed its energy and electricity infrastructure entering the winter season. Congress on Tuesday proposed to provide Ukraine with $45 billion in military, economic and other assistance related to Russia’s war against the country, as part of the omnibus spending package lawmakers hope to pass by the end of the week. “That President Zelensky is going to make his first trip outside the country since the war began to speak to us, to thank us and to challenge us to continue to support the Ukrainian people I think is the perfect ending to two years where President Biden has had some landmark successes,” he said.

Peskov

Read more …

Reason. Short supply.

Macron Doubles Down On ‘Security Guarantees’ For Russia (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has reiterated his belief that the conflict in Ukraine will inevitably be resolved at the negotiations table, and that the West and NATO in particular will have to come up with security guarantees not only for Kiev, but Moscow as well, to secure a lasting peace.“The day of peace will involve discussions. First and foremost for guarantees to Ukraine, for its territorial integrity, its long-term security. But also for Russia, as a party that it will be to an armistice and peace treaty,” Macron said in an interview with the TF1 and LCI channels broadcast on Tuesday.The French leader first voiced the idea of “security guarantees” for Russia earlier this month, arguing that one of the “essential points” NATO had to address is Russia’s concern that the military bloc “comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia.”

His comments triggered a barrage of criticism not only from Kiev but also fellow EU leaders from Poland, Slovakia and the Baltic states. French diplomats tried to downplay the comment, insisting that it was taken “out of context,” while Macron himself urged European allies not to “create controversy where there is none.”In the latest interview, Macron urged critics to explain what kind of alternative to eventual talks with Moscow they are proposing. “What the people who refuse to prepare this and work on it are proposing is full war. It will involve the whole continent,” he said.

Last December, Russia presented a list of security demands to the US and NATO, asking the West to impose a ban on Ukraine entering the military bloc, while insisting that NATO should retreat to its borders of 1997, before it began to expand.In January, the US and NATO refused, saying they would only be interested in strategic arms control talks. Since the conflict in Ukraine escalated in February, the bloc has also moved to welcome Sweden and Finland into the military alliance, though the expansion has yet to be finalized.

Read more …

“If approval is not granted, we would have to review very critically the so-called going concern forecast for our company..”

Nationalization Of German Gas Giant Approved – Reuters (RT)

Shareholders of struggling German gas importer Uniper on Monday approved the company’s state bailout, which has so far cost the government more than €50 billion ($54 billion), Reuters reports. The company’s investors reportedly voted in favor of the two main measures, an €8 billion ($8.4 billion) capital injection by the state and allowing a further injection of up to €25 billion (nearly $27 billion). Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach reportedly called a virtual extraordinary shareholder meeting earlier on Monday to approve the bailout plan and nationalization, warning that the firm will otherwise have to consider insolvency. The warning followed last week’s approval by the European Commission of the energy giant’s takeover by the German government. “(The measures) are indispensable for this company’s future,” Maubach said, as quoted by Reuters.


“If approval is not granted, we would have to review very critically the so-called going concern forecast for our company. In the Management Board’s view, a possible insolvency could lead to a complete loss for shareholders,” he warned. According to Maubach, Uniper currently has access to around €2.5 billion ($2.6 billion) of funds. The report indicated that as part of the bailout, the German government will end up owning just below 99% of Uniper. The German Finance Ministry will be responsible for the stake. Uniper, Germany’s top gas trader, has suffered one of the biggest financial losses in the nation’s corporate history due to skyrocketing energy prices and halted gas flows from its main supplier, Russia. The government has rushed in to rescue the firm to avoid a domino effect across the country’s energy sector.

Read more …

Meanwhile in the real world… (the ban is only for shipped oil..)

Germany, Poland Order More Russian Oil – Transneft (RT)

Russia’s Transneft has received applications from Poland and Germany to pump oil for December, 2023 and the first quarter of next year, respectively, despite reports of unwillingness to continue deliveries, Nikolai Tokarev, president of Transneft, said on the air of the Rossiya-24 TV channel, Report informs referring to TASS. “They announced that they would not take oil from Russia from January 1. Now we have received applications from Polish consumers asking for 3 million tons next year, and 360,000 tons for December, and Germany has already submitted an application for the first quarter, he said.On December 12, the Polish Cabinet called for the introduction of ‘full, comprehensive sanctions without exceptions’ against Russia, including ‘comprehensive sanctions against the northern pipeline (Druzhba).’


“If this does not happen, then we will continue discussions together with the [Orlen] concern, or the concern will decide what to do next with the commitments already made,” Anna Moskva, minister of Climate and Environment of Poland, who is responsible for energy issues, told reporters. Orlen has long-term oil supply contracts with Rosneft and Tatneft. The first provides for the supply of up to 300,000 tons of oil per month and expires in December 2022, the second is concluded for 200,000 tons of oil per month and expires in December 2024. Orlen supplies all these deliveries through pipelines. Russian oil in Poland is planned to be replaced through contracts with Saudi Aramco, supplies from Nigeria, Angola, the North Sea region and from the Norwegian shelf.

Read more …

“Maybe the whole European Union is a non-place. A non-union.”

The European Non-Union after Qatargate: Was it Designed to Fail? (Ugo Bardi)

You probably know the concept of “non-places.” The hall of a hotel is a good example. It looks like the living room of a home, but it is not the same thing. It is a place where people stay for brief periods of time, but do not interact with each other. They don’t know each other, they don’t even understand each other’s language. The Babel Tower was a good example of a non-place, but nowadays non-places are common. In addition to hotels, you have airports, train stations, shopping malls, waiting rooms, and many more examples.

Non-places are the ideal kind of places to engage in illegal or hidden operations. For instance, hotels are the typical place where you can meet your secret sexual partner, discuss illegal deals, or give or receive a bribe in cash. That doesn’t mean, of course, that all the customers of a hotel are criminals. It just means that non-places provide the anonymity you need for certain kinds of transactions. Anonymity makes you also vulnerable to attacks that can take the form of “character assassination,” as it happened to Dominique Strauss-Kahn in 2011.

The European Parliament provides a special kind of anonymity owing to its multinational organization. Each national delegation is jealous of its national language and its members would feel offended if they were asked to speak in English (*) which some of them are unable to do, anyway. That’s why the Union has 24 official languages and, consequently, the “Alcide De Gasperi” room in the palace of the European Parliament in Brussels has 24 translation boots, each one with at least two official interpreters. (theoretically, each boot should have 23 translators, but they would not fit inside, and I suppose that the translations are made first into English and then translated into the other 23 languages).

Given this organization, you understand the fragmentation of the European Parliament. A few years ago, I was there, and I noted how it looks mostly like the hall of a large hotel, a typical non-place. Throngs of people moving up and down, but very little interaction among those who don’t speak the same language. Even outside the parliament building, I found that the Italian delegation had a coffee shop that served Italian coffee, where everyone spoke Italian, and where you feel like being in Italy. I had the impression, and some Spanish friends confirmed it, that the whole central area of Brussels is a non-place: each national delegation had its coffee shops, restaurants, etcetera. Maybe the whole European Union is a non-place. A non-union.

Read more …

Remember, she said she acted on orders from Borrell and others.

S&D Chief Summons MEP Eva Kaili Over ‘Ghost’ Vote (RT)

The President of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament, Iratxe Garcia Perez, had summoned MEP Eva Kaili for her “ghost” vote at the LIBE committee on Qatar, but the meeting never took place as Kaili was arrested as part of the Qatar scandal investigation, Report informs, citing EURActiv. A vote at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on Qatar’s visa liberalisation exposed Kaili as she was not a member of the committee. During the previous plenary session of the EU House, Kaili participated in the LIBE committee and voted in favour of Qatar’s visa liberalisation. It was the same period when Kaili spoke in the plenary, saying Qatar is a “frontrunner in labour rights”.

An S&D source told EURACTIV that Kaili was not even sitting with her S&D group but in the back seats with her partner Francesco Giorgi and two people who came directly from Doha. When the votes were counted at the end of the voting process, EU lawmakers realised that there was an additional vote, the one of Kaili. Then German S&D MEP Birgit Sippel (SPD), who voted against the Commission’s proposal for Qatar’s visa liberalisation, then filed an internal complaint against Kaili to the S&D chief Garcia. A source from Garcia’s office told EURACTIV that it was the first time that the S&D chief received a complaint against Kaili. “Iratxe Garcia had scheduled a meeting in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg for Kaili to explain why she was present at that vote and, above all, why she participated in the voting process”, a source from Garcia’s office told EURACTIV.

However, the meeting never occurred as Kaili was arrested for the Qatar scandal. The same source explained that Nikos Androulakis, the President of the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok – S&D), told Garcia after the summer that Kaili would not be a candidate for the next EU elections without elaborating further. Another incident that surprised socialists, according to the source, was when the Greek MEP broke the S&D line for the selection of the next secretary of the European Parliament and voted in favour of the centre-right EPP candidate, Alessandro Chiocchetti. EURACTIV Greece reported last September that after the vote, a closed-door S&D meeting took place in which socialist lawmakers lashed out at her for her position.

Read more …

“..an increase in diagnoses of “sudden death” (R96) of +1,082 percent. With diagnostic key R96.1, the increase is even +1,673 percent..”

The Most Important Dataset of the Pandemic was Just Released (GP)

Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA vaccines, calls this the most important dataset of the Pandemic. Tom Lausen is a data activist. Via A Midwestern Doctor Lausen previously revealed the PEI and the RKI (the German equivalent of the CDC) were concealing concerning vaccine safety data. Lausen estimated that 90% of the suspicious deaths that occur after vaccination are not reported to the PEI, and approximately 90% of those reported come from the patient themselves or their relatives.

The National Association for Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (NASHIP) provided the data covering over 72 million insured Germans. NASHIP or “Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (KBV),” is the coordinating body of all 17 State Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Germany. As of 2018, it represented about 175,000 office-based physicians and psychotherapists. “The association is also actively involved in negotiations on the range of services provided by statutory health insurance companies and the remuneration of doctors. Furthermore, the KBV carries out a “security mandate” in accordance with Section 75 (1) SGB V, which is intended to ensure that all legally insured patients can receive adequate outpatient care.”

Using coded data covering 72 million Germans available from the health insurers, the number of people who died “suddenly and unexpectedly” skyrocketed compared to previous years. “It was found that in 2021 not only were 2,487,526 patients with vaccination side effects seen by the doctor, but that there were also drastic changes in clinical pictures and deaths since the start of the corona vaccination.” The following diagnostic keys were evaluated in order to analyze the rise in sudden deaths:

R96.0 Sudden death
R96.1 Death occurring within less than 24 hours of onset of symptoms, unless otherwise stated
R98 Death without others present
R99 Other imprecise or unspecified causes of death
I46.1 Sudden cardiac death

According to KBV data, in 2021 there was an increase in diagnoses of “sudden death” (R96) of +1,082 percent. With diagnostic key R96.1, the increase is even +1,673 percent.

Read more …

“No one should have to fear losing their jobs just because they opt against getting a shot.”

Geez, we’re still discussing this?

White House Can’t Mandate COVID Jabs for Federal Contractors: Appeals Court (ET)

A federal appeals court on Monday struck down a White House rule requiring anyone employed by a federal contractor to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of government contracts. A three-panel judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to affirm a lower court judgment that barred President Joe Biden’s September 2021 executive order in three states after Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi sued to challenge the rule. These three states sued the Biden administration in the Western District of Louisiana in their capacities as federal contractors themselves, winning an injunction and stay by the district court.

In upholding the lower court finding, Judge Kurt Engelhardt, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, said in his majority opinion that a broad interpretation of the law could have given Biden “nearly unlimited authority to introduce requirements into federal contracts.” He illustrated his point by saying that Biden could “hypothetically” mandate that all third-party federal contractors’ employees reduce their BMI (body mass index) below a certain number based “on the theory that obesity is a primary contributor to unhealthiness and absenteeism.” The U.S. government has contracts with hundreds of third-party contractors, and judges have indicated that the issue might affect up to 20 percent of American employees.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita touted the ruling as a legal victory against what he called President Joe Biden’s executive overreach. Rokita, who joined with two other plaintiff states in the legal action, decried Biden’s “truly unprecedented” use of the federal Procurement Act to wield executive power to impose the mandate on third-party contractors. “Hoosiers and all Americans should have the liberty to make their own decisions on whether to get vaccinated,” Rokita said in a statement. “That includes individuals who happen to work as federal contractors. No one should have to fear losing their jobs just because they opt against getting a shot.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Camouflage
https://twitter.com/i/status/1605206945194983425

 

 

Monkey man
https://twitter.com/i/status/1605167895067168768

 

 

Terry Hall and Sinead O’Connor

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 262022
 
 November 26, 2022  Posted by at 9:08 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Sheperd and sheperdess in a meadow 1888

 

A Light in the Darkness (Jim Kunstler)
Twitter Has Lost 50 Of Its Top 100 Advertisers Since Elon Musk Took Over (NPR)
Antifa Plans To Burn Down Tesla Outlets Following Twitter Bans (Cheong)
Elon Musk: I’ll Make An Alternative Phone If Apple, Google Ban Twitter (PM)
Putin Expresses Regret Over Donbass (RT)
UK Urges Ukraine To ‘Maintain Momentum’ In Winter (RT)
Ending NATO and Correcting Stalin’s Mistake (Batiushka)
Ukrainian Troops Used As ‘Cannon Fodder’ – Putin (RT)
Moscow Won’t Declare Ukraine ‘Terrorist State’ (RT)
China Dissuaded US From Ukraine Warplane Plan – Spectator (RT)
The Ukraine Is Committing “Suicide By Cop” (Saker)
On Ukrainian ‘Refugees’ (Batiushka)
The Economist: Gas & Energy Prices To Lead To Surge In Deaths In Europe (RT)
J6 Staff Lash Out at Liz Cheney for Burying Parts of the Investigation (Turley)
Louisiana AG: Fauci ‘Can’t Recall’ Details Of His COVID-19 Response (JTN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 25th – Utter nonsense in Ukraine – Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think Elon Musk is right: the Mainstream News Media will now face a venue where its habitual lying is called out forcefully..”

A Light in the Darkness (Jim Kunstler)

It’s hard to overstate how damaging Twitter’s dark years of insidiously massaging public opinion have been to this country. Open debate could have clarified the fog of deliberate disinformation surrounding everything Covid-19. It would have been much harder for public health officialdom to gaslight America over the origin of the disease, and probably impossible to conceal the nefarious operations behind the Emergency Use Authorization, the suppression of effective early treatments, and the direct ties to drug companies’ profits. The result of that has been the broad deployment of dangerous and deadly pseudo-vaccines that have killed millions and disabled many more. The absence of honest debate has turned doctors into murderers and accomplices to genocide.

The scope of this bureaucratic crime is really outside the experience of most Americans, who never imagined that their elected and appointed leaders would act against them with such rank dishonesty, cruelty, and bad faith. But there it is. And if Twitter continues to open up, the more likely that the responsible parties will be held accountable. Likewise, the now-pervasive Kafka-esque program of political persecution carried out against citizens by government officials, including the many seditious schemes of RussiaGate; the ongoing, escalating mischief around elections; and the use of the FBI and DOJ as a combined secret police and kangaroo court apparatus.

You can add to all that turpitude, the wild irresponsibility of “Joe Biden’s” open border policy, our idiotic provocation of Russia in Ukraine, the surrender of America’s national sovereignty to the globalist Great Re-set cabal and its tools in the World Health Organization, and the domestic campaign by Woke Jacobins to sexually disorder the lives of American children. I think Elon Musk is right: the Mainstream News Media will now face a venue where its habitual lying is called out forcefully. You can already see The WashPo and CNN attempt to make small shifts in their coverage of events, which double as efforts to cover-up their past lying in the hopes that the public won’t notice that it happened.

Read more …

On a much smaller scale, TAE suffers from the same practices.

Twitter Has Lost 50 Of Its Top 100 Advertisers Since Elon Musk Took Over (NPR)

Half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers appear to no longer be advertising on the website. A report from Media Matters for America states that these 50 advertisers have spent almost $2 billion on Twitter ads since 2020 and more than $750 million just in 2022. Seven additional advertisers have slowed their advertising to almost nothing, according to the report, which was published on Tuesday. These companies have paid Twitter more than $255 million since 2020. Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Ford, Jeep, Kyndryl, Merck & Co. and Novartis AG all issued statements about halting Twitter ads or were reported and confirmed as doing so. The others ceased advertising on the platform for a “significant period of time following direct outreach, controversies, and warnings from media buyers.”

The report wrote that even with these hits to advertising revenue, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has “continued his rash of brand unsafe actions — including amplifying conspiracy theories, unilaterally reinstating banned accounts such as that of former President Donald Trump, courting and engaging with far-right accounts, and instituting a haphazard verification scheme that allowed extremists and scammers to purchase a blue check.” Twitter users like author Stephen King have criticized the new blue checkmark system. The symbol used to verify the identity of Twitter accounts, so it was easy to confirm a tweet’s source. Eli Lilly and Co. stopped showing ads on Twitter the day after an account impersonating the pharmaceutical company — complete with a purchased blue check mark — posted, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.”

Eli Lilly asked Twitter to take it down, but the tweet remained up for hours, because the platform’s staff was stretched thin due to recent layoffs and resignations. The tweet garnered hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes, and Eli Lilly’s stock soon took a dive. Endpoints News reported that 12 pharmaceutical giants soon stopped buying Twitter ads, citing Pathmatics, which collects data on corporate advertising and digital marketing trends. King quipped on Twitter, “Pretty soon the only advertiser left on Twitter will be My Pillow.” The pillow-manufacturing company is run by pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.

Read more …

“This is just a drop in the ocean of years of violent organizing on Twitter..”

Antifa Plans To Burn Down Tesla Outlets Following Twitter Bans (Cheong)

Following his takeover of Twitter, “Chief Twit” Elon Musk has quickly begun to address many of the platform’s problems. Musk, who intends for Twitter to be a platform for legal free speech, has moved to crack down on terrorists and violent far-left extremists who have for many years been a fixture on Twitter and used it to organize riots. Now Tesla, which Musk owns, has become the target of violent retaliation by far-left militants angered by the suspension of their accounts. This week, Musk moved to ban a pro-Palestinian “resistance” group called “Jisr Collective,” which promoted and celebrated terrorist acts against Israeli civilians. In a separate thread, Musk called for members of the public to report violations of the site’s terms of service against child sexual exploitation and far-left extremist violence.

Numerous self-identified Antifa militants including several prominent organizers have been banned for calling for violence against Chaya Raichik, who operates the popular “Libs of TikTok” account, and Daily Wire host Matt Walsh. “Incitement to violence will result in account suspension,” said Musk in response to journalist Andy Ngo, who explained that a large number of Antifa accounts operate on the website to promote riots and provide tips to each other on how to identify targets and commit violence. Ngo detailed how following his reporting on members of the loosely-knit far-left militant organization, he was chased down and beaten up, forcing him to seek refuge at a Portland hotel in 2021. “Antifa used Twitter to direct comrades to swarm me after I ran into a hotel following a violent street beating,” wrote Ngo.

“That is a disturbing story and very concerning that Twitter took no action, despite clear violation of ToS. Report in this thread for now,” replied Musk, prompting numerous users to provide him with clear examples of militants in violation of the site’s rules against threats and intimidation. Many of the users reported on the thread were banned several hours after being reported to Musk, suggesting that he took direct action to shut down their accounts. Hours after the bans, Antifa militants took to the social media platform to organize arson attacks on Tesla locations around the United States, posting the addresses of Tesla service centers and dealerships. “As revenge for [Elon Musk] suspending violent extremist accounts on Twitter, [Antifa] in Portland are organizing arson attacks on [Tesla] locations tonight,” reported Ngo, who provided screenshots of the calls to action. “This is just a drop in the ocean of years of violent organizing on Twitter,” he added.

Read more …

“App store fees are obviously too high due to the iOS/Android duopoly. It is a hidden 30 percent tax on the Internet.”

Elon Musk: I’ll Make An Alternative Phone If Apple, Google Ban Twitter (PM)

On Friday, Twitter owner Elon Musk, who also is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, said that if Twitter is removed from app stores owned by Apple and Google, whose phones only use those systems, he would create an alternative phone. Liz Wheeler wrote, “If Apple & Google boot Twitter from their app stores, @elonmusk should produce his own smartphone. Half the country would happily ditch the biased, snooping iPhone & Android. The man builds rockets to Mars, a silly little smartphone should be easy, right?” Musk replied, “I certainly hope it does not come to that, but, yes, if there is no other choice, I will make an alternative phone.” On Friday, Taylor Lorenz used her latest column in the Washington Post to call for Apple and Google app stores to pull Twitter from their stores.

This came after Musk announced that there will be a general amnesty for all banned accounts, following a poll of Twitter users.. Lorenz complains that Musk brought back conservative Christian satire site The Babylon Bee, who was banned by noting that Rachel Levine is a biological male. After Time Magazine awarded Levine “woman of the year,” The Babylon Bee awarded Levine “man of the year.” On November 18, Musk noted how Apple and Google through their vertical integration have a duopoly on the market and wrote, “App store fees are obviously too high due to the iOS/Android duopoly. It is a hidden 30 percent tax on the Internet.” Musk followed up and tagged the antitrust division in the Department of Justice.

Read more …

“If not for the coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014, none [of this] would have happened..”

Putin Expresses Regret Over Donbass (RT)

The Donbass republics should probably have rejoined Russia sooner, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the mothers of troops involved in the military operation in Ukraine on Friday. In such a case, fewer lives might have been lost, the president stressed. “There might not have been so many casualties among civilians, there would not be so many children killed,” the Russian leader suggested. He maintained, however, that back in 2014, Russia did not have a full understanding of the situation in Donbass or of the true sentiments of the locals. “[We] believed that we might still be able to reach an agreement and … reunify Donetsk and Lugansk with Ukraine within … the Minsk Agreements,” Putin noted, adding that Russia was “genuinely working towards that.”

Commenting on the matter further, the president blamed the 2014 coup in Kiev for the subsequent crisis in Donbass and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. “If not for the coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014, none [of this] would have happened,” he said. Brokered by Germany and France, the Minsk Agreements were first signed in 2014 in the wake of the ousting of then-President Viktor Yanukovich, which plunged Ukraine into a conflict between the post-coup government in Kiev and the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Having subsequently become the respective people’s republics, the territories declared their independence from Ukraine the same year. The accords were designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state.

Yet, their implementation was stalled – something Moscow repeatedly blamed on Kiev. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the deal to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. On February 24, Russia sent troops into Ukraine, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements. Putin spoke at that time of the need to protect the Russian-speaking population of Donbass. This autumn, four formerly Ukrainian territories, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, were incorporated into Russia following referendums.

Read more …

“..the international community” has provided Kiev with “300,000 pieces of arctic warfare kit.”

UK Urges Ukraine To ‘Maintain Momentum’ In Winter (RT)

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has called on Ukraine to “keep up the pressure” on Russian forces in the coming months, arguing that Kiev is well-prepared to fight in freezing conditions. Wallace made the remarks in an interview with The Daily Beast on Thursday. The defense secretary suggested that Kiev’s forces had the advantage “in equipment training and [the] quality of their personnel” over Russian troops. With this in mind, “it would be in Ukraine’s interest to maintain momentum through the winter,” he said, adding that “the international community” has provided Kiev with “300,000 pieces of arctic warfare kit.”

Wallace’s comments come after US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin warned that Ukraine might be about to face a “harsh winter,” as the country is reeling under Russian strikes on its infrastructure. Moscow has been targeting Ukrainian energy facilities since October 10, after accusing Kiev of attacking Russian structures, including the strategic Crimean Bridge. Due to these strikes, Ukraine has been experiencing rolling blackouts, with Ukrainian authorities saying that these attacks knocked out about 40% of the nation’s energy infrastructure. However, by urging Ukraine to push on, the British defense secretary is contradicting earlier statements made by General Mark Milley, who heads the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, as he warned that Ukraine’s chances of “kicking the Russians out of all” of the country were low.

The top US general also indicated that the upcoming winter was a diplomatic opportunity for Kiev. “When there’s an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it. Seize the moment,” he said. At the same time, US President Joe Biden said last week that he expected the ongoing conflict in Ukraine to “slow down” in winter due to the “inability to move as easily around the country”while vowing to continue supporting Kiev. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is open to negotiations with Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, however, has listed several conditions for any dialogue with Russia, including the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage,” and the “punishment of every war criminal.”

Read more …

“..today it is in the Warsaws of the ‘New Europe’, far from the North Atlantic, that you will find the most fanatical latecomer-devotees of NATO..”

Ending NATO and Correcting Stalin’s Mistake (Batiushka)

Judging by its name, NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was only ever about the USA and the UK, an agreement between Americans and the half-American Churchill. After all, what relevance does the ‘North Atlantic’ have to Baltic Germany or Mediterranean Italy, let alone to Aegean Greece and Black Sea Turkey? Even Spain and Portugal look towards the Caribbean and the South Atlantic, not to the North Atlantic. NATO is clearly an organisation that descended directly from the Atlantic Charter, made up by Roosevelt and Churchill in a bay off Newfoundland in 1941 (not even in the Atlantic), and then imposed on all the others.

So, whatever was the North Atlantic doing in the foothills of the Himalayas, in Afghanistan? Apart from the fact that that was its greatest defeat (so far), just what was it doing there? And what is the North Atlantic, or at least parts of it, doing in the South China Sea? Surely there is a clue in the name – China? It belongs to China. Whatever are the US Navy and others doing there? Surely, even the geographically-challenged Liz Truss, who wanted the whole world to be ruled by NATO, must have been thinking that it was time to rename NATO? Perhaps the Nazi American Tyranny Organisation? Like that you could keep the same initials. As the Saker has pointed out, the first NATO Secretary-General, the Indian-born colonial, General Hastings (1) Ismay, bluntly admitted that the purpose of NATO was ‘to keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down’ (2).

And as the Saker has explained: ‘Keep the Germans down’ means crush all Europeans who might be rivals to the Anglosphere’s control of Western Europe, and now control all of Europe, apart from the free Russian Lands. ‘Keep the Americans in’ means crush all European liberation movements, De Gaulle’s or any others. ‘Keep the Soviet Union out’ means destroy Russia, so that it does not liberate Europe from the tyranny of the Anglosphere. The latter is symbolised by the US and British flags that have been omnipresent, even on fashion items, T-shirts and jeans, ever since the 1960s. That is why true Europeans refuse to wear such items.

In reality, it is obvious that NATO should have been packed away on 1 July 1991, the day the Warsaw Pact was packed away. If it had been packed away in 1991, the NATO rout would have been avoided thirty years later in Afghanistan. Indeed, the fact that it was not packed away then is a tragedy which has cost millions of lives, especially all over the tragic Middle East, and today all over the tragic Ukraine. Interestingly, the answer to the aggression and bullying of NATO (the American elite always bullies), the Warsaw Pact was named after the Capital of Poland. Ironically – and there is nothing so ironic as history – today it is in the Warsaws of the ‘New Europe’, far from the North Atlantic, that you will find the most fanatical latecomer-devotees of NATO. What is the significance of NATO?

Read more …

“..we are dealing with a neo-Nazi regime, without any exaggerations.”

Ukrainian Troops Used As ‘Cannon Fodder’ – Putin (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia is not fighting against the people of Ukraine, but against those who would use them as cannon fodder in the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Speaking to the mothers of Russian servicemen on Friday, the president said that those who supply Ukraine with weapons and fund the Kiev government have no consideration for Ukraine’s losses. Meanwhile, those who do not fall in line with orders are executed on the spot right in front of their comrades, Putin added. “Our boys have seen this firsthand. The bodies of the executed are just left to lie there. Just recently there was another case – five people were shot right in front of the lineup, those who refused to go or left their positions,” the president said.

He appeared to be referring to an incident reported by Russia’s Defense Ministry last week, in which Kiev allegedly sent nationalist militants into the village of Belogorovka to “put things in order” and intimidate Ukrainian servicemen, a number of whom had refused to follow orders and were shot. “There is a completely different moral atmosphere [in Kiev’s forces],” Putin noted, adding that this once again confirmed that “we are dealing with a neo-Nazi regime, without any exaggerations.” The president said that in light of such a situation, Moscow is further reassured it is doing the right thing by protecting the people who live in the territories that have recently joined the Russian Federation. Last month, Russia incorporated the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the former Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, after these territories held referendums on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

Read more …

“The doctrine of ‘state terrorism’ is exploited by the US and other Western countries to justify interfering in the internal affairs of others, which violates the UN Charter..”

Moscow Won’t Declare Ukraine ‘Terrorist State’ (RT)

Russia will not designate Ukraine a “terrorist state” despite “outrageous” breaches of international humanitarian law by Kiev, Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov told journalists on Friday. Moscow rejects any doctrine that suggests a nation can be declared “terrorist” and sees no reason to adhere to this “flawed” policy that is used by the West, he said. The doctrine of ‘state terrorism’ is exploited by the US and other Western countries to justify interfering in the internal affairs of others, which violates the UN Charter, the deputy minister noted. It is also used to “legitimize their unilateral coercive measures violating the principle of sovereign equality of all nations,” Syromolotov added.

Russia has always considered such unilateral sanctions “unacceptable,” the high-ranking diplomat stressed. Terrorism as a criminal act always involves individual criminal responsibility of those involved in making attacks, Syromolotov explained, adding that only individuals and not entire nations can be held accountable in such cases. Designating Ukraine a terrorist state now would be “legally flawed” in nature, he explained. The diplomat also blasted a recent resolution by the EU parliament that called Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism,” saying this was part of an “information and political campaign waged by the West against our nation,” one which had nothing to do with the real fight against this international threat.

Amid the ongoing conflict with Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly referred to Russia as a “terrorist” state and called on other nations – particularly in the West – to designate it as such. In mid-October, he asked the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly to do so before it adopted a relevant resolution. Zelensky once again urged the “world” to recognize Russia as a “terrorist state” earlier this week. However, Washington, Ukraine’s top military backer in the conflict, has been reluctant to meet Kiev’s request so far. On Tuesday, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack said that the country simply could not designate Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” as it does not meet the relevant criteria.

Read more …

“Warsaw announced that it would transfer the jets to US forces at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Hours after this announcement, the Pentagon stopped the transfer, describing the Polish proposal as “not tenable.”

China Dissuaded US From Ukraine Warplane Plan – Spectator (RT)

China pressed the US into abandoning a plan to supply Ukraine with Polish warplanes in March, according to a report in the Spectator on Friday. Throughout the conflict, Beijing has pressed both sides to de-escalate, the report claimed. Two weeks after Russian troops entered Ukraine in late February, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly stated that Washington had given its NATO allies a “green light” to supply Ukraine with Soviet-era fighter jets its pilots could use, and that it was working on a deal where Poland would transfer its fleet of MiG-29 fighters to Kiev. Within days, Warsaw announced that it would transfer the jets to US forces at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Hours after this announcement, the Pentagon stopped the transfer, describing the Polish proposal as “not tenable.”

China was directly responsible for this about-turn, The Spectator report claimed. Citing an unnamed Chinese source, writer Owen Matthews described how “an urgent and confidential back-channel initiative involving former European leaders” began. This initiative was “ultimately endorsed by the Chinese,” and Washington backed down. Nearly nine months later, NATO has still not provided Ukraine with fighter jets, despite intense lobbying from Kiev. China’s efforts to prevent escalation went both ways, the report claimed. While Beijing pressed the US into stopping the transfer of warplanes, its generals reportedly phoned their Russian colleagues for assurances that Moscow would stick to its long-standing nuclear doctrine: that it reserves the right to use atomic weapons in the event of a first nuclear strike on its territory or infrastructure, or if the existence of the Russian state is threatened by either nuclear or conventional weapons.

China’s position on Ukraine remains a neutral one. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared last week that Beijing stands ready to work with Russia “and other like-minded countries to promote the development of a multipolar world,” and according to Matthews’ report, Beijing and Moscow signed a limited mutual defense pact earlier this year. Nevertheless, China has not sold military hardware to Russia, and its diplomats continue to publicly call for a negotiated settlement to the conflict.

Read more …

“..now they are going to pay a horrible price for these delusions and, frankly, lack of decency/morality.”

The Ukraine Is Committing “Suicide By Cop” (Saker)

Yesterday I received an email from a Ukrainian friend of mine. By “Ukrainian” I mean that his culture and self-identity is Ukrainian, he loves his heritage, speaks the language and loves his country. In fact, he is what I would call a “real Ukrainian” as opposed to the Ukronazis in power in Kiev. We correspond regularly and exchange opinions on what is taking place. Here is and excerpt of what I wrote to him yesterday: “I am also heartbroken with the evolution of the war to liberate the Ukraine from NATO: while I have no doubts about the outcome, I am horrified at the thought of what this does to the civilian population. My sadness is even made deeper by the realization that to a large degree the people of the Ukraine did it to themselves.

Russia tried REALLY HARD to not have a war, then she tried REALLY HARD to save the civilians and the civilian infrastructure. But the people under Nazi occupation believed all the propaganda coming out of the regime in Kiev and the West and now there will be hell to pay. For 6 months these naive people thought the Ukraine was winning because they could not even fathom that Russia was only using about 10% of her forces and trying really hard to save as many Ukrainians. But no, they were celebrating the murder of Dugina, the attack on the Crimean Bridge, the attacks on the ZNPP and now they are going to pay a horrible price for these delusions and, frankly, lack of decency/morality.

As Douglas MacGregor said “the Russians are about to bring a sledge-hammer” to vaporize the NATO forces in the Ukraine. We did not want that. It was imposed on us. What else can I say? The Nazis will be crushed, but the costs of doing so will be needlessly high. Millions of refugees will be added to the millions who already fled. I feel utterly disgusted, sad and angry about this outcome As one Rock song I know (“Gates of Babylon” by Rainbow – see below) says: “sleep with the devil, and then you must pay, sleep with the devil and the devil will take you away“. I am sad to say that I believe that the people of the Ukraine did “sleep with the devil” (the West) and now comes the inevitable.

Read more …

“As for the Ukrainians, they call Russians ‘moskali’ (Muscovites) and the Russians call Ukrainians ‘khokhly’. A ‘moskal’ is also a bigoted Great Russian chauvinist with a superiority complex, who despises provincials in the Ukraine who used to have a certain hairstyle called a ‘khokhol’ (literally a forelock, a style revived by some hair-conscious Ukrainian nationalists today). However, as a very good half-Polish, half-Ukrainian friend explained to me years ago: ‘Ukrainians live in the Ukraine, khokhly (plural of khokhol) live anywhere they can’. What he meant by this is that the lowest sort of Ukrainians are not patriots at all..”

On Ukrainian ‘Refugees’ (Batiushka)

[..] most of the best Ukrainians, the real and honourable Ukrainians, have stayed in the Ukraine. Of all the ‘refugees’ I have met so far (and that must be over 100), I have not yet met one who is authentic. Whether by unintended consequence or by design, the Russian Federation is very successfully ‘dekhohklifying’ the Ukraine. Russia is successfully emptying the Ukraine of the lowest and most unprincipled layer of parasites, the khokhly. The population of the Ukraine is already down to fewer than 30 million – so far. More are leaving every day, streaming into Poland The khokhly go westwards. Let Western Europe take them, the rubbish. The good ones will stay. A few months ago I still thought that Russia would just free the Donbass, as it announced last February and also take the land-bridge of Zaporozhie and Kherson to protect the Crimea from the Nazis, who were turning off the water supply from there.

Then I realised that Russia would have to go further, simply because the West was supplying the Kiev regime with shells and missiles that were falling not just on the liberated areas, but even in southern Russia. Today it seems to me that Russia will have to liberate the whole of the Ukraine, even as far as Lvov and the border with Poland. Why not, if the trouble-making khokhly have gone and are bankrupting Western social security systems with their parasitic sponging? Why should the treacherous Poles get anything out of this? The Poles rejoiced when the UK blew up Nordstream and then tried to start World War III, blaming a murderous Ukrainian missile on Russians. Let them pay for the consequences. If the Nazis are either all dead or living in the EU, there is no reason for Russia to stop in the Donbass, or Kiev, or even Lvov.

Liberate right up to the Polish border, freeing freezing Non-NATO Moldova on the way and stopping only there, at the Romanian border. Maybe let the Romanians have back North Bukovina (Chernivtsy) and the nice Hungarians have (the to-be-renamed) Zakarpattia. As for the rest: Winner takes all. Russia may now take all of the Ukraine because all the Nazi khokhly will have left for stupid Western Europe. It will have a nice straight border then. It is not a question of how many Ukrainian ‘refugees’ will go back. It is a question of how many of them Russia will allow back. The answer is very few.

Read more …

“..the increase in deaths might be limited to 32,000 above the historical average (accounting for changes in population). A harsh winter could cost a total of 335,000 extra lives.”

The Economist: Gas & Energy Prices To Lead To Surge In Deaths In Europe (RT)

Rising electricity prices, bad weather conditions and epidemics will affect the increase in deaths in Europe this coming winter, Report informs referring to The Economist. Although heatwaves get more press, cold temperatures are usually deadlier than hot ones. Between December and February, 21% more Europeans die per week than from June to August. The relationship between energy prices and winter deaths could change this year. But if past patterns persist, current electricity prices would drive deaths above the historical average even in the mildest winter. Exact mortality totals still depend on other factors, particularly temperature. In a mild winter, the increase in deaths might be limited to 32,000 above the historical average (accounting for changes in population). A harsh winter could cost a total of 335,000 extra lives.

Read more …

“But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.”

J6 Staff Lash Out at Liz Cheney for Burying Parts of the Investigation (Turley)

There is a deepening division on the J6 Committee as staffers turn on Liz Cheney over the final report on the January 6th riot. Angry rhetoric is flying with staffers accusing the Committee of becoming a “Cheney 2024 campaign” while both the Cheney spokesperson and Committee spokesperson lashed out at the staff members as “disgruntled” and producing shoddy or biased work. The underlying issue, however, is important and revealing. The Committee’s color coated teams include a “Blue Team” on the failure to prepare adequately for the riot. That part of the investigation is reportedly being dumped or reduced. Members of the “Green” and “Purple” teams are also reportedly irate. Cheney was soundly defeated in her primary in Wyoming and will soon leave Congress.

She is being pushed by some Democrats as a possible surprise candidate for House Speaker if they could get a few Republican votes. That seems highly unlikely. The Republicans are likely to end up with the identical margin held by the Democrats for the past two years. Alternatively, some Democrats want Cheney to run for president either to dog Donald Trump in the primary debates or to run as an independent to siphon off votes in the general election. That seems to be the suspicion for some staffers in the Washington Post story. Fifteen former and current staffers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, expressed concerns that important findings unrelated to Trump will not become available to the American public…

Several committee staff members were floored earlier this month when they were told that a draft report would focus almost entirely on Trump and the work of the committee’s “Gold Team,” excluding reams of other investigative work. Potentially left on the cutting room floor, or relegated to an appendix, were many revelations from the “Blue Team” — the group that dug into the law enforcement and intelligence community’s failure to assess the looming threat and prepare for the well-forecast attack on the Capitol. The proposed report would also cut back on much of the work of the Green Team, which looked at financing for the Jan. 6 attack, and the Purple Team, which examined militia groups and extremism.

“We all came from prestigious jobs, dropping what we were doing because we were told this would be an important fact-finding investigation that would inform the public,” said one former committee staffer. “But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.” If true, the report will largely track the virtual exclusive focus of the hearings with open references to the 2024 election as an overriding concern. Some of us have lamented that the J6 Committee could have been so much more than a one-sided, highly partisan investigation. House Democrats barred two Republican members originally selected by GOP leaders, who then boycotted the panel in response.

Read more …

“Wow! It was amazing to spend 7 hours with Dr. Fauci,” Laundry wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “The man who single-handedly wrecked the U.S. economy based upon ‘the science.’

Louisiana AG: Fauci ‘Can’t Recall’ Details Of His COVID-19 Response (JTN)

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry says that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the U.S. president, could not recall details of his COVID-19 response during a deposition. Landry and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt deposed Fauci as part of their “lawsuit against the federal government for allegedly colluding with social media companies to censor speech.” According to a press release from Landry’s office, “Louisiana and Missouri filed this landmark lawsuit in May of 2022 and have since uncovered troves of discovery showing that the federal government and the Biden Administration have worked with social media companies to censor speech on topics like COVID-19 and other issues.”


Landry commented on Fauci’s deposition on Wednesday. “Wow! It was amazing to spend 7 hours with Dr. Fauci,” Laundry wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “The man who single-handedly wrecked the U.S. economy based upon ‘the science.’ Only to discover that he can’t recall practically anything dealing with his Covid response!” Prior to the deposition taking place, Landry said he hoped to “find out how involved #Fauci was in the censorship of the American people during the COVID pandemic.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resonance

 

 

 

 

 

 

CO2

 

 


The smallest bird in the world is the Zunzunito, or the bee bird.

 

 

 

 

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