Oct 142023
 
 October 14, 2023  Posted by at 5:15 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  8 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Old Man Sitting 1631

 

 

Benjamin -Bibi- Netanyahu has always been a warmonger. He thinks he, and his people, are superior to the Palestinians, and come to think of it, to Muslims in general. And when he first appeared on the scene some 30 years ago, he might have had a point, at least from a military point of view.

But he does not today, and that is very dangerous for his people. Bibi lives in the past, because he liked that past – he could feel superior. He does not recognize to what extent the world, including his, has changed. But change it did, while he was dreaming of winning warfare.

He is not unique in this. The entire US political system suffers from the same “affliction”. There has never been a better reason to introduce term limits in Congress and the Senate. Politicians like Pelosi and Feinstein are just about crying out for help: please get me out of here! Enter Joe Biden stage left. At least Joe has the excuse that he can’t find the exit.

Bibi is not 85 or 90 yet. He’s “only” 73. But he’s been around long enough to get stuck (rusted) in his own preferred ideas and view of the world. Bibi thinks he can do with the Palestinians whatever he sees fit. But, again, the world has changed. And Israel’s alleged military superiority has changed with it.

It didn’t have to be this way. Bibi is more or less the successor to Yithzak Rabin, who was elected PM in 1992 (he had earlier been PM from 1974-77) , and murdered in 1995. Rabin had entirely different ideas about his country. He rejected the use of force in favor of peace negotiations with the Palestinians (1993 Oslo Accords, 1994 Nobel Peace Prize).

That’s why he was murdered. Bibi first became PM in 1996. He had several stints in the job and kept floating to the top. And now Bibi threatens to raze the Gaza strip, and potentially kill 100s of 1000s of civilians. But there is no place in the world for people like him.

The Arab world around Israel has become much stronger and richer and more united. If Israel attempts to kill that many Muslims, it’s not just the Gaza strip that is under threat, but Israel itself is.

The Saudi’s have started talking to Iran, and there are many more such initiatives underway. Dividing the Arab world is no longer a feasible plan of action. Watch Turkey! But exactly like Bibi, the US political system doesn’t understand that either.

They could have though; the Ukraine war could have told them that. But Washington does not want to face its own diminishing role in the world any more the Bibi wants to in his part of it. Russia and China have advertized it loud enough through the BRICS, but the old US system wants nothing to do with multipolarity. They want things back to what they were 30 years ago, when those in charge today could still understand what was happening, and were the “masters”.

It’s not just Pelosi and Biden, Donald Trump doesn’t get it either. If he gets re-elected, he’ll move another embassy to Jerusalem. Bobby Kennedy also has a blind spot on Israel. They are all blind. They should go talk -a lot- to Putin and Xi. If there is to be peace in the Middle East, it will come from them.

Xi Jinping is 70, Putin is 71. Not the youngest either. But there is one main difference. They did not grow up in positions where they were kings. China and Russia 30 years ago were poor countries, perhaps desperately so. Therefore, the architects of the multipolar world have seen the changes they implemented, come to fruition.

That makes for a completely different world view from the Bibi’s and Pelosi’s etc etc who’ve only seen their positions shrink, and are trying to deny and counter that development. Growing at 70 is not the same as shrinking at 70. Or 80.

Yes, Bibi might well be crazy enough to drop a nuclear bomb. It’s up to Israel to get rid of him, and that threat. And it’s up to Xi and Putin to help them do that.

 

 

 

 

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Sep 212023
 
 September 21, 2023  Posted by at 1:54 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  10 Responses »


Théodore Géricault The Raft of the Medusa 1819

 

 

A short comment on an all too familiar sort of MSM article about US politics these days. This article, a few days old, comes from Gary O’Donoghue, Washington correspondent, BBC News.

The MSM must concede that Hunter Biden is under investigation. Now that it’s official, they can no longer hide it. Time for plan B. This is the BBC, more MSM than anyone. The new narrative is that both political sides are being probed now, supposed to make us think there’s a sort of balance, a neutrality.

And the DOJ is some kind of impartial office (just like the FBI and CIA). Even though the entire alphabet soup has been directed squarely against Trump for 8 years now. The result is that they list the charges against the two sides as follows: 91 against Trump, one -small one- against Hunter, and zero against Joe Biden (he’s not even mentioned here).

Not one word about Joe Biden’s own involvement in what Hunter is accused of. Not one word about the laptop. Or about the tens of millions of dollars the House Commitee says the Biden family received from foreign sources. Ergo: Trump is much worse than Hunter. And Joe never put a single finger wrong.

What Hunter Biden Charges Mean For The President

Politically speaking, there are currently two Americas. One is outraged and horrified that the former president, Donald Trump, is facing 91 federal and state criminal charges in what they see as a deep state conspiracy orchestrated in part by Joe Biden’s Department of Justice. The other believes that very same justice department has spent five years unfairly pursuing Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, over his tax affairs and behaviour while a self-declared and repentant drug addict. In other words, both Americas believe the department responsible for enforcing the laws of the land has been taken captive by the other side and is hopelessly politicised.

“..improper and partisan interference..” but not from the Democrats…

Hunter Biden’s lawyer responded to the news that his client had been indicted on three federal gun charges by accusing the prosecutor of bending to “improper and partisan interference” from Trump-supporting Republicans. Meanwhile, Andy Biggs, one of those conservatives in Congress, suggested the charges were simply a manoeuvre to make it look like the justice department was fair. “Don’t fall for it. They’re trying to protect him from way more serious charges coming his way!”, he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Republicans only focus on Hunter because of Trump’s “legal jeopardies”. Not because of the laptop contents. Which the FBI sat on for 5 years, and we would never have known about if the repair shop owner had not given a copy to Rudy Giuliani. The FBI were busy targeting Trump, after all. Hunter’s “legal woes” are only “a blow in a personal sense to his father”. Surely not because his father pops up a thousand times in the laptop in comprimising ways,

Hunter Biden’s legal woes will of course be a blow in a personal sense to his father and his family. But the ramifications go much further than that. Republicans have for some time known that the president’s son is a vulnerability. Exploiting that has the power not just to significantly rile up Joe Biden, but also to help distract from their own problems with Mr Trump’s legal jeopardies. Add to that the fact that most Democrats, when asked, are far from happy that Mr Biden is running for the White House again in 2024. Hunter seems like just another reason for some continuing to press for the 80-year-old president to step aside for the next generation.

But wait, this is not about Hunter, it’s about Trump. And it’s certainly not about Joe. Nothing Hunter did could possible be as grave as Trump’s actions. Why else would there be 91 charges against him?

All this means that the outcome of Hunter Biden’s case will play a significant part in what promises to be a turbulent election year. But Republicans face something of a dilemma. It’s true that the three gun-related charges are felonies rather than misdemeanours; and it’s true that further charges could come relating to Hunter Biden’s tax affairs and foreign dealings. But none of it currently quite rises to the scale and quantity of Donald Trump’s alleged crimes. So any attempt to weaponise Hunter Biden’s problems could simply invite the American people to compare and contrast. Also, as Democrats will no doubt continue to point out, Hunter Biden is not running for dog catcher, let alone to be President of the United States.

“After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about drug addicts being unable to bear arms.” Gotta love that line.

One intriguing aspect of Hunter Biden’s case is that his lawyers clearly believe the plea deal that broke down in July could still be resurrected – and that the recent expansion of Second Amendment rights by various courts could be an element in his defence. After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about drug addicts being unable to bear arms. That would be an extraordinary irony given where most Democrats stand on gun control.

“..seven months of existing investigations into Hunter Biden..” Again, the FBI has had the laptop for 5 years. What more can you say? Jim Jordan just yesterday in the House: “We have an investigation run by Mr. Weiss that not only had a sweetheart deal rejected, but according to The New York Times, there was an even sweeter earlier deal with Mr. Biden where he would not have to plead guilty to anything. Four and a half years and all that..”

Thursday’s indictment came just days after Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced an impeachment inquiry into President Biden – a move dismissed as a political stunt by the White House. Mr McCarthy said there were “serious and credible allegations” into the family’s business dealings and President Biden’s conduct. And Republicans will hope this new inquiry implicates the president in the peddling of power and corruption. So far, however, seven months of existing investigations into Hunter Biden have produced snippets from former business partners, an FBI informant and a couple of IRS agents, but nothing that comes close to a real smoking gun.

The reason for the impeachment inquiry vs Joe Biden is not to get rid of him, or even “win a vote”, it’s to establish a record. The Senate would never agree to impeach him, just like it didn’t Donald Trump when the GOP had a majority. But the record is crucial. Pelosi and Schiff knew it, and now so does the GOP.

That may change when the subpoenas begin to fly, but the Republican majority in the House is so slim, that it is far from certain that Republicans would win an impeachment vote on the House floor, if it got that far. What is certain, is that the once-clear distinction between the political and legal systems has become increasingly blurred. And that’s a major problem, according to Randy Zelin, adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School. “Somebody woke up one day and said, boy I have a new toy and that is called the federal criminal justice system, where I’m going to use the criminal system to punish people who don’t agree with my politics,” Prof Zelin told the BBC. “I think the sole influence here is that this country is being torn apart by this never-ending battle.”

This is how the media today wants you to see it. But where were they during the Steele dossier days? Or any of the other anti-Trump shenanigans? Remember, they never proved a single thing against him. They just “won” some votes in theaters where they had a majority. And now they’ve come up with 91 new charges in the theaters that the DOJ and FBI have been turned into. Vs zero for Joe Biden. And one puny one for Hunter. Hey, we have an election coming up.

I suggested recently that there wouldn’t be a US election in 2024. But trying to imagine what would happen if they attempted to have one, replete with Dominion machines and mail-in ballots, I’m starting to wonder if there will be a country left next year to hold an election in.

The two sides are so far apart (not really of course, they’re still neighbors, it’s all in the head), that they may as well live in different countries. And then one day they actually might. 1861 is not that long ago.

 

 

 

 

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Sep 112023
 
 September 11, 2023  Posted by at 9:37 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Edvard Munch Love and Pain (Vampire) 1893

 

Ukraine, West’s Objectives No Longer Aligned, Russia No Longer A Threat (Exp.)
30 Fighting Days Left For Ukraine’s Offensive – US Army Chief (BBC)
Ukraine’s Defeat Could Mean The End Of NATO In Its Current Form (Bowes)
Lavrov at G20: Americans Want to ‘Strategically Defeat Russia’ (Sp.)
West ‘Deadlocked’ Over Russia – Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine To Change Conscription Rules (RT)
Second UK Challenger 2 Tank Reportedly Destroyed In Ukraine (ZH)
NATO To Launch Biggest Military Exercise Since Cold War (Az.)
France Accused Of Planning ‘Aggression’ Against Niger (RT)
Lead Author Of Cochrane Mask Review Says Fauci Makes No Sense (Demasi)
Twilight Of The Democrats (Public)
Biden Aide Intervenes To End Rambling Press Conference (RT)
New Filings in the Hunter Biden Laptop Litigation (Turley)

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

Woody

 

 

 

 

Tapper goes for Musk

 

 

Alex Jones Musk

 

 

 

 

2 years ago it started

 

 

 

 

Is this where we’re going, the new narrative?: “..the war has weakened Russia to such an extent that it “no longer poses a credible threat to Europe..” (see Macgregor’s video). “..the Western objective of this conflict has been achieved”. And thus NATO can leave Ukraine to itself?!

The arms industry is in a bind: they want to keep selling, but they don’t want their products to be seen as inferior. They may contemplate cutting their losses.

Ukraine, West’s Objectives No Longer Aligned, Russia No Longer A Threat (Exp.)

Back in January, a poll of Daily Express readers found that most wanted the UK to give more support to Ukraine to ‘end the war quicker’. However, that was eight months ago and – with Russia digging in – the war shows no sign of ending anytime soon. Some analysts now believe that – as the war grinds on – continuing to write cheques for Urkaine may longer be in the West’s best interests. And a recent CNN poll shows that most Americans oppose Congress authorising additional funding to support Ukraine. Sean Bell, a former RAF Air Vice-Marshal and Ministry of Defence (MoD) staffer, suggests that the war has weakened Russia to such an extent that it “no longer poses a credible threat to Europe”. Given this, Bell argues that “the Western objective of this conflict has been achieved”.

Writing for Sky, Bell said: “Having achieved their strategic objective, Western democratic governments must also address the cost of living crisis, domestic priorities, and re-building national weapons inventories. “Ukraine, however, has not yet met its objective, which is to liberate its territory. Bell writes: “The harsh reality is that Ukraine’s objectives are no longer aligned with their backers.”Many Ukrainians will remain determined to expel all Russians from their territory. That is Ukraine’s right, their fight, their future, and their sacrifice. “The ensuing sacrifices, devastation and suffering will leave a dreadful legacy, but what is the price for peace?”

Macgregor

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Try on some logic on for size:

“Ukraine is winning and Russia is losing”. “That is because the aim of Russia was to subjugate Ukraine and to put it under Russia’s control..” “That has not happened and it never will happen, and that’s why Ukraine is winning.”

30 Fighting Days Left For Ukraine’s Offensive – US Army Chief (BBC)

Ukraine has little more than 30 days left of fighting before the weather hinders its counter-offensive, the top-ranking US military officer says. Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Gen Mark Milley said colder conditions would make it much harder for Ukraine to manoeuvre. He admitted the offensive had gone more slowly than expected. But he said: “There’s still heavy fighting going on. “The Ukrainians are still plugging away with steady progress.” Gen Milley said it was too early to say whether the counter-offensive had failed, but said Ukraine was “progressing at a very steady pace through the Russian front lines”. “There’s still a reasonable amount of time, probably about 30 to 45 days’ worth of fighting weather left, so the Ukrainians aren’t done.

“There’s battles not done… they haven’t finished the fighting part of what they’re trying to accomplish.” Kyiv’s counter-offensive, which was launched in the summer and aims to liberate Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine, has so far seen only small gains. But Ukrainian generals claim they have breached Russia’s formidable first line of defences in the south. “I said at the very beginning of this [war] that this was going to be long, slow, hard, and high-casualty-producing, and that’s exactly what it is,” Gen Milley said. In the same interview, Adm Sir Tony Radakin, the UK chief of defence staff, said “Ukraine is winning and Russia is losing”. “That is because the aim of Russia was to subjugate Ukraine and to put it under Russia’s control”, he said.

“That has not happened and it never will happen, and that’s why Ukraine is winning.” He added that Ukraine was making progress in its battle to regain its territory, having recovered 50% of the ground Russia seized. Ukraine’s progress was also down to the international community “applying economic pressure and diplomatic pressure, and Russia is suffering because of that”, he said. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin’s alliance with North Korea shows the Russian president is in a “state of desperation”, said Adm Radakin. He said the ties between the two countries showed how few partners Russia had left. North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un reportedly plans to visit Russia this month to meet Mr Putin for weapons talks.s

Blinken
https://twitter.com/i/status/1700821080364216791

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..‘we tried to help them, but they simply couldn’t be saved from themselves..’

Ukraine’s Defeat Could Mean The End Of NATO In Its Current Form (Bowes)

As the West’s proxy war in Ukraine slips inexorably towards utter failure, the neocons behind the debacle are faced with dwindling avenues of retreat. Early confidence that Russia, in its current form, would collapse under the pressure of the harshest sanctions regime in history failed to materialize. Early Russian miscalculations on the battlefield were not followed by a military meltdown, but by a pragmatic display of strategic adaptability, which is begrudgingly admired in the military war rooms of the West. The Russian army, far from falling apart, has steeled itself into making bold decisions to retreat when prudent and advance when required, both of which have proven devastating for their Ukrainian opponents. It follows that, as the Western political elites that cultivated this conflict peer into another winter of political, military, and potentially economic discontent, it is now that we potentially face the most dangerous period in Europe since the outbreak of WWII.

The catalyst for a wider war in Europe isn’t, in fact, a limited conflict in Ukraine in itself, one that started in 2014 and, notably, had been largely ignored by Western powers for almost a decade. The real issue is that NATO, which is currently engaged in a proxy War with Russia, is facing a ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ scenario regarding its growing military involvement in Ukraine. If the US-led bloc escalates further as defeat looms, it could likely lead to direct confrontation with Russia. If it doesn’t, its proxy will collapse and leave Russia victorious, a fate once utterly unthinkable in Brussels, Washington, and London, but now becoming a nightmarish reality. Such a defeat would be devastating and potentially terminal for the prestige and reputation of the whole NATO brand.

After all, despite the Soviet Union having long ceased to exist, the bloc still markets itself as an indispensable bulwark against imagined Russian expansionism. In the event of an increasingly likely Ukrainian defeat, that ‘essential partner’ in ‘countering Russia’ will have been proven utterly impotent and largely irrelevant. More cynically, the vast US arms industry would also be denied a huge and lucrative market. So, how does a multi billion-dollar machine that has prophesied absolute victory against Russia even begin to contemplate defeat? And how do senior EU bureaucrats like Ursula Von der Leyen climb down from their quasi-religious devotion to the ‘cause’ of utterly defeating Russia, which she has shamelessly evangelized for over a year and a half? Lastly, how does the American administration, which has gone politically, morally, and economically ‘all in’ against Russia in Ukraine, contemplate what amounts to an increasingly inevitable European version of Afghanistan 2.0?

They will need to do two things: Firstly, find someone to blame for their defeat and secondly, find a new enemy to deflect public opinion onto. The ‘someone to blame’ will be quite easy to identify – the narrative will be flush with attacks on states like Hungary, China, and to some extent India, who will be accused of “undermining the unified effort needed to isolate and defeat Russia.” Blaming Ukraine itself will also be central to this narrative. Western media will insure it’s singled out as incapable of ‘taking the medicine’ proffered by NATO and therefore suffering the consequences, not listening to Western military advice, failing to utilize Western aid correctly and, of course – given that little has been done by Zelensky to tackle the endemic corruption in Ukraine – this fact will be easily weaponized against him and used to lubricate a slick narrative of ‘we tried to help them, but they simply couldn’t be saved from themselves’.

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“The Americans want to strategically defeat us, as they put it. If they had anything new in mind they would like to tell us, they would have..”

Lavrov at G20: Americans Want to ‘Strategically Defeat Russia’ (Sp.)

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was representing Russia at the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi, gave a press conference on Sunday where he weighed in, among other things, on the issue of the push towards dedollarization and trade in local currencies that is gaining momentum on a global scale. “Everyone understands what the Americans want from Russia… They want to get rid of a competitor,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Sputnik at the G20 Summit in New Delhi. “The Americans want to strategically defeat us, as they put it. If they had anything new in mind they would like to tell us, they would have,” Lavrov, representing Russia at the two-day international gathering, succinctly stated when asked if he had engaged in any bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit with US representatives.

As for one of the central trends in the current increasingly multipolar world – ditching the dollar in mutual trade and payments – Lavrov acknowledged that there is “some progress with respect to dedollarization, including in our bilateral relations with India.” “Like I said before, our exporters have a lot of, massive amounts of rupees in their accounts in Indian banks, and now we are looking into the possible ways of investing them in a mutually beneficial way. Now, as for actual transactions, we are working as part of the BRICS group and, back in Johannesburg, a decision was made to look into the ways of expanding the use of national currencies in operations,” Sergey Lavrov said. The historic three-day BRICS Summit 2023 wrapped up on August 24 in the South African city of Johannesburg.

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which together constitute the group of major emerging economies named BRICS, stressed the importance of encouraging the use of local currencies in international trade and financial transactions between members of the group as well as their trading partners. Recalling the decisions hashed out at the recent BRICS Summit, Lavrov continued: “We looked into the ways of the possibility of creating additional payment platforms, because right now we only have platforms controlled by the West. And now, in fact with China, for example, we have financial operations, 70% or 80% of them are in rubles and in renminbi. And the same goes for India. Now, when the global community sees what’s happening with SWIFT, with how the West, with how the United States is using, are using it as their own instrument, they understand that there has to be an alternative.”

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Losing and at the same time bickering over putting Putin and Lavrov before a tribunal?! Gotcha.

West ‘Deadlocked’ Over Russia – Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine has made no progress in making the US and its allies agree to its idea of a tribunal for top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said in a speech on Friday. The nation’s top diplomat blasted the West’s “divisions” and “lack of will” on the issue at the Yalta European Strategy forum in Kiev. Western nations are just as reluctant to transfer frozen Russian assets to Ukraine, Kuleba said, adding that there has been little progress on this matter as well. “Unfortunately, we are in a kind of deadlock on both,” he said. The G7 group, which includes the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan, “stands firmly” in favor of what the diplomat described as a “hybrid tribunal,” in which Putin, as well as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, would maintain immunity from prosecution, Kuleba said, stressing that this is absolutely unacceptable for Kiev.

“The special tribunal is needed to create a precedent for punishing the Russian leaders,” he said. “The hybrid tribunal does not answer the question as to how to prosecute those three,” the top diplomat said, noting that he “simply cannot remember” the name of the Russian prime minister. Those who are against the “special tribunal” make a “clear statement that they consider Russia’s crimes in Ukraine less important than the crimes committed during the Yugoslavia war,” Kuleba said. Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Andrey Kostin, also said it would be “impossible to explain to Ukrainians that we could have a tribunal without Putin on the defendant’s bench.” The Ukrainian foreign minister also said he sees no way to resolve these differences between Kiev and its Western backers.

“President [Vladimir Zelensky] has recently asked me what has been done [to push through the idea of a tribunal] and I have admitted for the first time in my ministerial capacity that I cannot suggest a solution,” he said. Kuleba claims that any legal constraints preventing Kiev from achieving its desired results can be altered. “If a law does not fit an idea of attaining justice, the legislation should be changed,” he said. Kiev continues to push for Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’, which includes Russia withdrawing from Donbass, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea, as well as paying reparations to Ukraine and submitting to war crimes tribunals. Moscow has dismissed these demands as “nonsense” and has said it is ready for peace talks that reflect “the reality on the ground.”

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Once you start drafting the sick and handicapped, you’re probably close to losing the support of your people. There are reports about drafting all women. Must be popular too.

Ukraine To Change Conscription Rules (RT)

Ukraine plans to change conscription laws to enable the drafting of citizens whose health problems previously rendered them fit only for limited military duty, according to Dmitry Lubinets, Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman. However, the official offered assurances that people unable to fight on the front line will serve in the rear. The move comes as the country’s faltering counteroffensive has endured what Moscow says are “catastrophic” losses. Speaking on national TV on Saturday, Lubinets said that he had proposed to the country’s National Security Council to abolish the category ‘fit for limited military service’, adding that top officials had agreed with him.

“A Ukrainian citizen must either be fit for military service, or not,” he explained, adding that a potential conscript with health conditions that preclude participating in active combat can still contribute to defense efforts by serving at headquarters, or in missile and cyber forces. Lubinets also noted that the Ukrainian authorities had seen many cases when potential draftees bribed conscription officials to be registered as unfit for military service despite being completely healthy, while people with serious and long-standing medical conditions were told that they were fit for limited duty. “This issue should be addressed,” he stressed. During the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Ukraine’s conscription system has been repeatedly criticized for rampant corruption. The Financial Times reported last month that some male Ukrainians were paying up to $10,000 in bribes to avoid being sent to the front.

Around the same time, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky sacked all of the regional military conscription officials after a string of corruption scandals. In the wake of the purge, Kiev also said that it would review all draft exemptions issued after the start of the conflict with Russia. However, Zelensky has said that his top military commanders had been asking him to draft more people. Earlier this month, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry issued a decree allowing the conscription of people with such severe conditions as hepatitis, HIV without symptoms, and clinically-treated tuberculosis. The push to expand the draft comes amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which has been underway for more than three months but has failed to make any significant progress. According to Moscow, Kiev has lost some 66,000 troops since the start of the offensive.

GZ

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Of course many tanks have been destroyed, but this -very expensive- one was presented as nigh indestructable. Blown up not even by a jet or a tank, but by a “man-portable anti-tank guided missile”.

Second UK Challenger 2 Tank Reportedly Destroyed In Ukraine (ZH)

“No Challenger 2 has been lost in combat since it was first deployed in 1994, although one was destroyed in a friendly-fire incident in Iraq in 2003,” The Guardian reported Wednesday after the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed the first Challenger 2 was destroyed on the Ukrainian battlefield. Russian media now says it has happened again: “Russian forces have reportedly destroyed a second Challenger 2 main battle tank out of the 14 that London has supplied to Kiev, RIA Novosti reported on Saturday, citing a local civic leader from Zaporozhye Region.” If confirmed, this would mark another devastating development for Kiev and its backers.

The sources cited in this latest report say the UK-supplied tank took a direct hit from a Russian Kornet missile, which is a man-portable anti-tank guided missile capable of being mounted on a vehicle. One pro-Kremlin activist was cited in Russian media as saying it’s “open season” on British tanks in Ukraine and that they will “burn just as well as any other Western equipment.” While the UK has yet to confirm or deny these latest claims that a second Challenger 2 tank has been destroyed, the defense ministry did confirm destruction of the first one, based in part on ample video evidence: The UK has confirmed the first loss of a Challenger 2 tank by Ukraine, saying it was “hit by Russian artillery.”

Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday morning, the UK’s defence secretary Grant Shapps also confirmed the vehicle’s crew had survived. Video surfaced on social media early on Tuesday morning of a Ukrainian Challenger 2 burning at the side of the road believed to be south of the recently-liberated town of Robotyne. In the aftermath, British military sources further indicated there are as yet no plans for the UK to replace those tanks lost on the battlefield. Kiev is still awaiting the M1 Abrams tanks promised by Washington, but these are sophisticated enough to require many months of additional training for Ukrainian operators. So far, the main battle tanks supplied by the West have not been the “gamechanger” that Ukraine hoped.

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The arms industry loves it.

NATO To Launch Biggest Military Exercise Since Cold War (Az.)

NATO is preparing its biggest live joint command exercise since the cold war next year, assembling more than 40,000 troops to practice how the alliance would attempt to repel Russian aggression against one of its members, The Financial Times said, Report informs. The Steadfast Defender exercise comes as part of NATO’s rapid push to transform from crisis response to a war-fighting alliance, prompted by the invasion of Ukraine. It will start in spring next year and is expected to involve between 500 and 700 air combat missions, more than 50 ships, and about 41,000 troops, NATO officials said. It is designed to model potential maneuvers against an enemy modeled on a coalition led by Russia, named Occasus for the purposes of the drill. The exercise is also a first in terms of technical capability, using real world geographical data to create more realistic scenarios for troops.

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France tries to draw African nations into this, play them against each other.

France Accused Of Planning ‘Aggression’ Against Niger (RT)

Paris is planning to intervene in Niger, as it continues to deploy troops to several countries in the region, the West African state’s military government has claimed. Relations between Niger and former colonial power France deteriorated following a coup in July. “France continues to deploy its forces in several ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) countries as part of preparations for an aggression against Niger, which it is planning in collaboration with this community organization,” Colonel Amadou Abdramane, spokesman for the government in Niamey, said in a statement broadcast on national television on Saturday, as quoted by AFP. ECOWAS has threatened to intervene in the country to restore its ousted president Mohamed Bazoum to office. Top French officials have also stated several times that Paris would support military action by the bloc.

However, according to Niger’s military-appointed prime minister, Ali Lamine Zeine, military action by ECOWAS is not supported by all member states. He also told the media on Monday that the new government in Niamey was hoping to reach an agreement with the bloc in the “coming days.” Nigerien military leaders have previously denounced the presence of French troops in the country as “illegal” and demanded their prompt withdrawal. While speaking during the G20 summit in New Delhi, French President Emmanuel Macron said that since his country doesn’t recognize the Nigerien military government, any redeployment of its forces might be done only “at the request of President Bazoum.” Paris already had to withdraw troops from Burkina Faso earlier this year. France also pulled its forces out of Mali following tensions with the military government after a coup in 2020.

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“Once we excluded such low-quality studies from the review, we concluded there was no evidence that masks reduced transmission..”

Lead Author Of Cochrane Mask Review Says Fauci Makes No Sense (Demasi)

Former chief medical advisor to the US President Anthony Fauci was questioned over the weekend by CNN reporter Michael Smerconish, about face masks being able to curb the spread of covid-19. “There’s no doubt that masks work,” said Fauci. “Different studies give different percentages of advantage of wearing it, but there’s no doubt that the weight of the studies … indicate the benefit of wearing masks,” he added. Smerconish brought up the 2023 Cochrane review which found no evidence that physical interventions like face masks could stop viral transmission in the community and cited my interview with lead author of the study Tom Jefferson who confirmed, “There is just no evidence that they [masks] make any difference. Full stop.” Fauci replied, “Yeah but there are other studies,” stressing that masks work on an individual basis.

“When you’re talking about the effect on the epidemic or the pandemic as a whole, the data are less strong…but when you talk about an individual basis of someone protecting themselves or protecting themselves from spreading it to others, there’s no doubt that there are many studies that show there is an advantage,” said Fauci. Professor Tom Jefferson, who says he is committed to updating the Cochrane review as new evidence emerges, has responded to Fauci’s comments. “So, Fauci is saying that masks work for individuals but not at a population level? That simply doesn’t make sense,” said Jefferson. “And he says there are ‘other studies’…but what studies? He doesn’t name them so I cannot interpret his remarks without knowing what he is referring to,” he added.

Jefferson explains that the entire point of the Cochrane review was to systematically sift through all the available randomised data on physical interventions such as masks and determine what was useful and what was not. Since 2011, the Cochrane review only included randomised trials to minimise bias from confounders. “It might be that Fauci is relying on trash studies,” said Jefferson. “Many of them are observational, some are cross-sectional, and some actually use modelling. That is not strong evidence.” “Once we excluded such low-quality studies from the review, we concluded there was no evidence that masks reduced transmission,” he added. The problem with Fauci is that his story has changed. Initially, Fauci said that masks were ineffective and unnecessary. In March 2020, Fauci told 60 Minutes, “Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks.”

But only a few weeks later, he did a U-turn and began recommending widespread use of face masks. Fauci defended his U-turn saying, “When the facts change, I change my mind.” Jefferson retorted, “What facts changed? There were no randomised studies, no new evidence to justify his flip-flop. That’s simply not true.” Since then, Fauci has remained adamant that face masks not only stop people from infecting others, but they also protect the wearer. Fauci advocated for the use of cloth masks, and even encouraged double-masking in the absence of evidence. “You put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it would be more effective,” Fauci told NBC News. “What Fauci doesn’t understand is that cloth and surgical masks cannot stop viruses because viruses are too small and they still get through,” said Jefferson.

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“The old vibrancy and inspiring messages of “hope” and “change” are gone, and all that remains is a cynical and desperate thirst for power..”

Twilight Of The Democrats (Public)

For many years, Democrats insisted that they were the party of diplomatic solutions; today, they are eagerly sending depleted uranium rounds and internationally banned cluster munitions to Ukraine. Biden’s poor approval ratings are likely also influenced by the brewing scandal around his son. Over half of voters believe that the president’s actions related to the Hunter Biden probe are inappropriate, and 61% say they think the president was involved in his son’s business dealings. Indeed, there is mounting evidence that Biden’s Department of Justice is criminalizing the political activity of his enemies while shielding his son from real prosecution. When Biden took office, he vowed that his administration would put an end to the division of the Trump years and would restore unity. Yet, on several occasions, Biden has made highly charged and antagonistic remarks about ordinary American citizens. Despite the media’s efforts to portray him as a wise and grandfatherly figure, Biden often appears to be angry and confused, lashing out at us unpredictably.

Due to the president’s age and obvious cognitive decline, it is unclear who is actually running the country and calling the shots. Biden, a corrupt and disoriented old man controlled by shadowy figures behind the scenes, is emblematic of what the Democratic Party has become. The old vibrancy and inspiring messages of “hope” and “change” are gone, and all that remains is a cynical and desperate thirst for power. Like its figurehead, the Democratic Party operates through secrecy and can barely conceal its contempt for large swathes of the country. It has become a party of censorship, war, elitism, and dishonesty. There is only so long that Democrats can keep pretending Biden is a competent leader, and the latest CNN poll has provided a chance for many to finally state the obvious.

Said Van Jones on CNN, “A lot of Democrats look at these numbers and say, ‘The whispers are finally showing up in this data’… People are scared to come out and say anything about it, but I think it’s important for us to have this conversation now.” And yet Biden has shown no sign of throwing in the towel. Rumors periodically fly that he is about to announce he won’t run for a second term. Many thought it would happen in August. The problem for Democrats is that they might have no one who can replace him. Kamala Harris is even less popular than Biden, and San Francisco is Gavin Newsom’s albatross. This is perhaps what is most damning about the current state of the Democrats: Biden may really be the best they have to offer.

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We’ve seen quite a few of such videos, but cutting off your president mid-sentence at an international forum is quite the feat.

And he should never again complain about being babied.

Biden Aide Intervenes To End Rambling Press Conference (RT)

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre abruptly ended a news conference by US President Joe Biden on Sunday, cutting the president off mid-sentence as he rambled about “the third world” and his conversation with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. Biden took a number of scheduled questions from the press while on a visit to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, before telling reporters that he was “going to bed.” However, Biden kept answering additional questions, including on his talk with Li at the G20 summit in India on Saturday. “It wasn’t confrontational at all,”Biden said. “We talked about making sure that the third world…the, uh, the, uh, the southern hemisphere has access to changing…” As Biden continued to mumble, Jean-Pierre announced that “this ends the current press conference.”

After attempting to answer another question, Biden turned around and walked off stage. Biden’s press conferences are typically tightly managed by his aides, with the president handed cue cards and told which journalists to turn to for questions. Nevertheless, Biden still occasionally leaves the stage mid-sentence, often visibly confusedand guided by his staff. According to a recent Wall Street Journal poll, 73% of all voters think that the 80-year-old Biden is too old to serve as president, while 60% believe he lacks the mental capacity for the position. While Republicans have repeatedly hammered Biden over his apparent cognitive decline, Democrats are increasingly concerned about the president’s health too.

According to an NBC News survey in June, 43% of Democrats said that they had moderate to major concerns about Biden’s health, up from 21% in 2020. Biden’s trip to Vietnam came as the US attempts to strengthen its ties with more Asian nations in a bid to counter Chinese influence in the region. On Sunday, Biden and Vietnamese General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong announced a bilateral trade and investment deal, which included measures to boost semiconductor manufacturing and research in Vietnam.

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“..the absurd court arguments are largely being ignored by the media while an acknowledgment would force major media to fully cover the story.”

“..it seemed off that Hunter was deeply offended by the disclosure of pictures that were “voluntarily shared by [Hunter] Biden with others through the website, ‘Pornhub’ …

“It is the ultimate “to be or not to be” pitch when everyone knows exactly what the true question is. . . and it is not the authenticity of this laptop.”

New Filings in the Hunter Biden Laptop Litigation (Turley)

An FBI computer expert reportedly assessed the laptop and found that it “was not manipulated in any way.” The authenticity of the information was further confirmed “by matching the device number against Hunter Biden’s Apple iCloud ID.” Emails and messages have been confirmed by third parties who were the recipients. Yet, as Polonius said in Hamlet, “though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” The Biden team wants, in my opinion, to grind Isaac and delay the litigation as much as possible. It is using the Delaware courts to exact that sweet revenge against a now defunct computer shop owner. Moreover, the absurd court arguments are largely being ignored by the media while an acknowledgment would force major media to fully cover the story.

So, Hunter simply continued to disclaim knowledge of voicemail messages and emails from Isaac about an external hard drive, paying his repair bill and picking up the computer. However, he is crystal clear that he did not give consent to Isaac about gaining access to the laptop that may not be his. This is why Shakespeare wrote: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be, For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” Hunter has to challenge the terms of an agreement that he refuses to admit that he signed. Instead, he criticized the “boilerplate terms of the Repair Authorization” on the work order as being “well below the signature line” and referred to the Repair Authorization as a “typical small-print adhesion clause for which there was no proper notice or opportunity to bargain or negotiate.”

Biden is equally clear that he is terribly “embarrassed” by publication of private material that would be “highly offensive to a reasonable person,” in exposing pictures and communications that may not be him or his. That view was slammed by the Isaac team that noted that it seemed off that Hunter was deeply offended by the disclosure of pictures that were “voluntarily shared by [Hunter] Biden with others through the website, ‘Pornhub’ … the use of the ‘reasonable person’ standard should clearly not apply to Biden … It seems what would embarrass a reasonable person does not embarrass Biden.” What is most striking is how this story continues to be effectively buried by the media. It is not hard to imagine the coverage if one of the Trump kids tried to maintain this combined claim of ignorance and outrage in a court — or tried to continue to question the authenticity of files established by the FBI and other witnesses.

Devine and her colleagues at the New York Post (as well as Fox News and the Wall Street Journal) have pursued this story since the beginning when it was suppressed by social media companies before the election. They have pursued the story for years as the media went through a series of false denials and narratives. Instead, the media endlessly pursued every allegation in the now-infamous Steele dossier and the New York Times and Washington Post received Pulitzer Prizes for a story that not only has been debunked but shown to be the product of Hillary’s Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Yet, in pursuing a true story with sweeping implications of corruption and deceit, the New York Post remains the media’s persona non grata. It embarrassed not only the establishment but other media. That is not how you get a Pulitzer. Indeed, as I discussed in an earlier column, the denial of true stories can be “the stuff that Pulitzer Prizes are made of.” Instead, Hunter will continue his performance of Hamlet on the Delaware in continuing to question reality. It is the ultimate “to be or not to be” pitch when everyone knows exactly what the true question is. . . and it is not the authenticity of this laptop.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

US car market

 

 

 

 

Sync lions

 

 

Mother

 

 

Allende

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 262023
 


Andy Warhol Mick Jagger 1975

 

Glimpses Of An Endgame In Ukraine (Bhadrakumar)
Major Advancements For Russia, Ukraine On Its Last Legs – Macgregor (WF)
Even Strong Western Economies Turn Into Colonies – Zakharova (TASS)
Who Can Give Security Guarantees To Ukraine? (MoA)
IAEA Discovers Anti-Personnel Mines Near Zaporozhye Nuke Plant (TASS)
NATO Countries Using Ukraine to Get Rid of Outdated Weapons (Sp.)
The Polish Response To Putin’s Challenge (Helmer)
Zelensky Associate Was Present at Biden Bribery Meetings (GP)
Biden Claims To Have ‘Ended Cancer’ (RT)
Biden’s Dog Attacks 8 White House Staffers in Cover-Up (Sp.)
Biden Changes Long-Standing Position on Hunter’s Foreign Deals (Turley)
Hunter Biden’s Memoir Became Source of Tax Evasion Evidence (Sp.)
Members and the Media Panic as the Biden Scandal Mounts (Turley)
Twitter Rebrand to ‘X’ Fraught With Permit, Trademark Issues (DeMartino)
Musk: ‘X Will Become Most Valuable Brand on Earth’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

RFK Hannity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684030867264643072
https://twitter.com/i/status/1684017271012995075

 

 

Azov

 

 

 

 

Tucker Ice Cube


https://twitter.com/i/status/1684017033174827008

 

 

 

 

“..Polish leadership’s concern, paradoxically, will be that Donald Trump may not return as president in 2024..”

Glimpses Of An Endgame In Ukraine (Bhadrakumar)

It is one thing that the Russian people are well aware that their country is de facto fighting the NATO in Ukraine. But it is an entirely different matter that the war may dramatically escalate to a war with Poland, a NATO army that the US regards as its most important partner in continental Europe. By dwelling at some length on Polish revanchism, which has a controversial record in modern European history, Putin probably calculated that in Europe, including in Poland, there could be resistance to the machinations that might drag NATO into a continental war with Russia. Equally, Poland must be dithering too. According to Politico, Poland’s military is about 150,000 strong, out of which 30,000 belong to a new territorial defence force who are “weekend soldiers who undergo 16 days of training followed up by refresher courses.”

Again, Poland’s military might doesn’t translate into political influence in Europe because the centrist forces that dominate the EU distrust Warsaw, which is controlled by the nationalist Law and Justice Party whose disregard for democratic norms and the rule of law has damaged Poland’s reputation across the bloc. Above all, Poland has reason to be worried about the reliability of Washington. Going forward, Polish leadership’s concern, paradoxically, will be that Donald Trump may not return as president in 2024. Despite the cooperation with the Pentagon over the Ukraine war, Poland’s current leadership remains distrustful of President Joe Biden — much like Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

On balance, therefore, it stands to reason that the sabre-rattling by Lukashenko and Putin’s lesson on European history can be taken as more of a forewarning to the West with a view to modulate an endgame in Ukraine that is optimal for Russian interests. A dismemberment of Ukraine or an uncontrollable expansion of the war beyond its borders will not be in the Russian interests. But the Kremlin leadership will factor in the contingency that Washington’s follies stemming out of its desperate need to save face from a humiliating defeat in the proxy war, may leave no choice to the Russian forces but to cross the Dnieper and advance all the way to Poland’s border to prevent an occupation of Western Ukraine by the so-called Lublin Triangle, a regional alliance with virulent anti-Russian orientation comprising Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, formed in July 2020 and promoted by Washington.

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Article is bits and pieces thrown together, but still interesting.

Major Advancements For Russia, Ukraine On Its Last Legs – Macgregor (WF)

The same people driving this war in Eastern Europe and Ukraine are the people dominating the financial markets, dominating media and ultimately shaping policy for our government.. Government by donors. This is entirely a function of people with a lot of money. – Douglas MacGregor Ret. Col. Douglas Macgregor: “[Putin] represents, in the minds of many people around the world, someone who has decided to challenge not just American military and political hegemony, but American and Western financial hegemony.

Macgregor

The World Bank and associated institutions have effectively been puppets for the US… We talk all the time about the Chinese supposedly blackmailing people by lending them lots of money and then holding them accountable. Well, we do the same thing, only we do it in more subtle ways that are actually more damaging to the society, because we’re very intrusive… The bottom line is this is a new era that is coming, and they’ve already got 40 plus nations willing to join this new currency. India, China and Russia, of course, are at the center of this, at the core of it. And this is seen as a rebellion against our financial dominance. That has been so, from their standpoint, certainly destructive in so many ways for so long.”

WAKE UP: If Russia was the aggressor against Ukraine, the situation would be different now, and we would see Russians on the borders of Poland after they destroyed Ukraine, but this did not happen, because the Russians do not want this. – Col. Douglas Macgregor “It’s stupid to threaten Russia with nuclear weapons,” – said Douglas Macgregor, ex-adviser to the head of the Pentagon. “The Russians can flood the Atlantic with their submarines, as well as the Pacific Ocean, where they will be supported by the Chinese Navy..”

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They’re no longer strong.

Even Strong Western Economies Turn Into Colonies – Zakharova (TASS)

Even economically strong and developed Western countries have turned into colonies, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday. “Western countries, even strong and developed economies, have become colonies,” the diplomat noted, addressing a Russian-African women’s forum. “The most interesting thing is that European Union nations and NATO countries have already become neo-colonies. They are economically strong; they have a long history of democratic development, and many have given birth to democratic freedoms in the past. However, today, they are not just dependent, but they are completely subordinate to the will of their metropolis – that is, the Anglo-Saxon world – in terms of the economy, politics and morality.


However, the world is unwilling to follow the old path, get back on the same old track and repeat the same mistakes,” she added. “We are not only fighting for ourselves; we are fighting for the future of the world, deciding whether it will be a free world or we will return to the colonial past,” Zakharova noted. Still, the diplomat pointed out that Russia and Africa weren’t ready to sacrifice freedom for material benefits the way some Western countries did. “Although we appreciate material welfare, there are more important things. Welfare turns against humans when there is no internal freedom, free will, and an understanding of what’s good and bad,” Zakharova emphasized.

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How about Russia?

Who Can Give Security Guarantees To Ukraine? (MoA)

In 2013 the European Union pressed the Ukraine to sign a free trade agreement with it. Russia, which was the biggest trading partner of Ukraine, made a counter offer that was financially better and had less political restrictions attached to it. Then President Victor Yanukovych of Ukraine had to reject the EU agreement. The U.S., together with the German secret service BND, had long standing ties with the right-wing groups in west-Ukraine which had previously cooperated with Nazi Germany and had been attached to the German Nazi-Wehrmacht. The CIA reactivated these groups and instigated a violent color-revolution in Kiev. That revolution led to a civil war as large parts of the ethic Russians in east Ukraine rejected the new regime that had been installed by a west Ukrainian minority.

While the ethnic Russians in Ukraine lost control over most of their original areas they also soon defeated what was left of the Ukraine army. They did so twice. Since 2015 the conflict was stalled. The Minsk agreements, under which Ukraine was supposed to became federalized, were signed, but Ukraine stalled their implementation. Meanwhile the U.S. and Britain used the time to reinstate and rearm the Ukrainian army. By 2021 the Ukraine was ready to attack the People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. Russia activated its army and warned that it would have to interfere with such plans. The imminent launch of an Ukrainian attack was called off. In early 2022 the U.S. gave the Ukrainians a green light to launch their long planned attack. Russia intervened and the current war started.

The U.S. plans behind the war expected that the pre-coordinated western sanctions that immediately followed would ruin Russia, that Russia would be shunned by the rest of the world and that a military defeat of the Russian army would lead to regime change in Moscow. The Ukraine expected that, after winning a war against its separatists, it would immediately become a member of NATO. Neither of the (totally unrealistic) expectations was met. The Ukraine is now obviously losing the war. It will soon need to sign a capitulation like ceasefire agreement with Russia. But who or what can guarantee that any such agreement will be held up? NATO membership is no longer an option.

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Whose are they?

IAEA Discovers Anti-Personnel Mines Near Zaporozhye Nuke Plant (TASS)

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have observed directional anti-personnel mines on the periphery of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), the agency’s Director General Rafael Grossi said. According to him, while inspecting the site on July 23, the IAEA experts saw some mines located in a buffer zone between the site’s internal and external perimeter barriers. The experts reported that the mines were in a restricted area that plant personnel cannot access. No mines were discovered within the site. “As I have reported earlier, the IAEA has been aware of the previous placement of mines outside the site perimeter and also at particular places inside. Our team has raised this specific finding with the plant and they have been told that it is a military decision, and in an area controlled by military,” Grossi said.

According to him, “having such explosives on the site is inconsistent with the IAEA safety standards and nuclear security guidance.” That said, the IAEA experts concluded that “any detonation of these mines should not affect the site’s nuclear safety and security systems.” On June 22, ahead of Grossi’s visit to Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russia of plotting a terror attack on the Zaporozhye NPP. He said as much to the United States, Brazil, India, China, European, Middle East and African countries but provided no evidence to back up his allegation.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted these allegations as yet another lie. According to Renat Karchaa, adviser to the CEO of Russian state nuclear power corporation Rosenergoatom, Zelensky’s statements may indicate that Kiev is plotting a terror attack or a strike on the ZNPP in a bid to drag NATO into the conflict. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said on June 23 that Russia was alarmed over Kiev’s repeated allegations that Russian forces were mining the nuclear facility.

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And they don’t produce enough to replace them.

NATO Countries Using Ukraine to Get Rid of Outdated Weapons (Sp.)

NATO countries have been pumping weapons into Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict with Russia, but most of them are outdated and have been mothballed for decades, military expert and former high-ranking NATO artillery officer Pierre Henrot told Sputnik. “NATO countries in fact only send their oldest equipment to Ukraine and take the opportunity to replenish their armament for their armies with new generations of equipment. Examples abound: the Poles, who are the most committed alongside Ukraine, to the point that they are talking about entering western Ukraine themselves, provided very early [on] all their Soviet-era tanks to the Ukrainians and have just received for the Polish army a first contingent of American Abrams tanks, brand new and manufactured for them,” Henrot said.

Other countries have also provided decommissioned equipment, including 88 German Leopard 1 tanks that were withdrawn from arsenals in 2003, and French AMX 10-RC light tanks that were developed in the 1970s and have been decommissioned by the French army as well, the former officer added. “The worst is probably the delivery by France of VAB armoured infantry vehicles (Vehicules de l’Avant Blindes), in a four-wheeled version, which invariably gets bogged down in the autumn mud. Entering service in 1979, it has proven to be a rolling coffin for Ukrainian infantry over the past year,” the expert further explained. Some countries, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania, also sent Ukraine all their Soviet MiG or Sukhoi fighters, he said.

Another problem with such ragtag deliveries is that the spare parts and ammunition for such weapons are often different and incompatible with one another, Henrot pointed out. “It is as if the NATO partners were getting rid of their outdated weapons, already mothballed,” the former officer said. However, some of Western military aid is useful for the Ukrainian military, and of good quality, the expert noted, adding that it is usually equipment for small arms, bulletproof vests and night sight systems, as well as US-made Stingers and Javelins. “Where the Americans provided suitable and effective weapons, it was with the 2,000 portable anti-aircraft Stingers delivered or with the 10,000 Javelin anti-armor weapons provided; formidable weapons in the hands of infantrymen. It is the same for the NLAW [Next Generation Light AntiTank Weapons], a useful weapon on the battlefield,” he stated.

At the same time, the Western countries often lack sufficient capacities to produce weapons required by the Ukrainian military, Henrot mentioned. “NATO countries fail to keep up with the production of ammunition for artillery and even for small arms. Again, the variety of calibres is very large; it’s a headache, but above all, there are not enough production chains, and industrialists are reluctant to launch production units for an effort that could stop quite quickly, and they have not received a firm long-term contract from Western governments,” the expert explained. Henrot believes that the recent widely criticized decision of the United States to send cluster bombs to Ukraine is the demonstration of the same problem. “The Americans for their part have almost openly admitted that it was their last ammo in stock and that they have nothing left to deliver,” Henrot concluded.

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“The Polish authorities, who are nurturing their revanchist ambitions, hide the truth from their people. The truth is that the Ukrainian cannon fodder is no longer enough for the West.”

The Polish Response To Putin’s Challenge (Helmer)

[Putin] warned that President Vladimir Zelensky’s regime in Kiev may be contemplating a trade with Poland of the territory around Lvov in exchange for Polish military intervention to support Kiev against Russia: “Today we see that the regime in Kiev is ready to go to any length to save its treacherous hide and to prolong its existence. They do not care for the people of Ukraine or Ukrainian sovereignty or national interests. They are ready to sell anything, including people and land, just like their ideological forefathers led by Petlyura, who signed the so-called secret conventions with Poland in 1920 under which they ceded Galicia and Western Volhynia to Poland in return for military support. Traitors like them are ready now to open the gate to their foreign handlers and to sell Ukraine again.”

“As for the Polish leaders, they probably hope to form a coalition under the NATO umbrella in order to directly intervene in the conflict in Ukraine and to bite off as much as possible, to ‘regain’, as they see it, their historical territories, that is, modern-day Western Ukraine. It is also common knowledge that they dream about Belarusian land.” If that were to happen, Putin said Russia would support a Ukrainian regime replacing Zelensky and opposing the Poles. “The Polish authorities, who are nurturing their revanchist ambitions, hide the truth from their people. The truth is that the Ukrainian cannon fodder is no longer enough for the West. That is why it is planning to use other expendables – Poles, Lithuanians and everyone else they do not care about. I can tell you that this is an extremely dangerous game, and the authors of such plans should think about the consequences.”

The Polish state media have ignored Putin’s historical precedents and the deal-making underway between the Ukrainian military command and its Polish counterpart. The Polish commercial network TVN24, which is owned by the US media corporation Warner Bros. Discovery, broadcast a discussion with a think-tank academic and a retired military intelligence colonel. “‘The Russians are trying to drive a wedge between Poland and Ukraine,’ Agnieszka Legucka, an analyst for Russia at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, said in the Fakty po Faktach [Facts after Facts] programme. ‘Putin has recently been portraying himself as such an expert in history. Anyway, in 2019 he launched attacks on Poland, in particular when it comes to this historical dimension. He accused us of starting World War II,’ she said.

‘And Poland now, especially when it supports Ukraine so much both militarily and humanely, has become one of the countries that is attacked by the Russian authorities directly, including Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev.’ According to the expert, the Russians ‘are trying to drive a wedge between Poland and Ukraine. And the issue of the alleged separation of Ukraine and even Belarus is very eagerly raised by both Russian and Belarusian propaganda,’ she added.”

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“..if that document is true, who wants to believe that President Zelensky and his administration have not used that as leverage over Joe Biden..”

Zelensky Associate Was Present at Biden Bribery Meetings (GP)

Author Peter Schweizer went on with Jesse Watters on Monday night where he proceeded to drop another bomb on the Biden Crime Family. According to Schweizer, who wrote a best-seller “Secret Empires” on the Biden Family crimes, told Jesse that one of Vlodomyr Zelensky’s top officials was sitting in the room when they were discussing bribing the Bidens, Joe and Hunter. Ukrainian President Zelensky has a top official who was sitting in on meetings where they talked about bribing the Bidens. Schweizer suggests Zelensky is using this as leverage over the Biden regime for weapons and billions in US dollars. Peter Schweizer: We’ve been at this since 2018. ** They initially said there were no foreign deals. ** Then they shifted and said there were. There might have been foreign deals, but the Bidens made no money. ** Then it became Joe Biden didn’t know about any of the deals. ** Then it became Joe Biden didn’t participate in any of the deals. ** And now it’s that he was not in business with his son.


Look, the implications for this are huge, Jesse. If you look at that 1023 form that the FBI released, if that document is true, that document reveals that one of the people that was at those meetings that heard the conversations about bribing the Bidens worked for – President Zelensky. Who really wants to believe, if that meeting took place and that document is accurate, that that individual did not go and report to President Zelensky what he heard? And again, if that document is true, who wants to believe that President Zelensky and his administration have not used that as leverage over Joe Biden when it comes to negotiations on Ukraine policy? We may all have to start learning the Ukrainian word for compromise because this is a very clear indication of how this has shaped this administration’s policy towards Ukraine and also towards China. It is also convenient for Zelensky that there is not a team of US auditors in his country tracking where all of this money went.

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“Biden cured cancer in the same way that he marched for civil rights, was arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela, grew up in the black church, was raised in the Puerto Rican community, was a professor at UPenn, built the greatest economy in the world, and never spoke to his son about business..”

Biden Claims To Have ‘Ended Cancer’ (RT)

During a speech on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden seemed to claim that his administration had cured cancer. “I said I’d cure cancer. They looked at me like, ‘Why cancer’? Because no one thinks we can. That’s why. And we can. We ended cancer as we know it,” Biden said during a speech in the East Room of the White House. Biden was scheduled to speak about expanding Americans’ access to mental health care. After the cancer remark, he continued to talk about healthcare for military veterans, which is run by the federal government. The strange claim was quickly noticed by Republicans, who have often accused the 80-year-old Democrat of behaving as if afflicted by dementia. “Biden just told everyone that he cured cancer. I feel like that would have at least gotten a press release,” quipped Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

“Biden cured cancer in the same way that he marched for civil rights, was arrested trying to see Nelson Mandela, grew up in the black church, was raised in the Puerto Rican community, was a professor at UPenn, built the greatest economy in the world, and never spoke to his son about business,” tweeted Texas activist Christian Collins. Those were just some of the claims Biden had made over his 50-year political career that turned out to be tall tales. The longtime Democrat also has a history of misspeaking in public. Just last week, he introduced himself as an artificial intelligence. The week before, in Europe, he urged Russia to “stop attacking Russia.” Earlier this month, he also claimed that Moscow was “losing the war in Iraq.”


Biden’s elder son Beau passed away in 2015 from an aggressive brain cancer, which his father has publicly attributed to “burn pits,” a method used by the US military to dispose of garbage. Beau Biden was reportedly exposed to the toxic pits during his 2008 deployment in Iraq as a military lawyer, and earlier as a contractor in Kosovo. In February 2022, Biden announced a government program to find a cure for cancer, dubbing it a re-launch of the Obama administration’s 2016 ‘Cancer Moonshot’. The new program’s goal was to “reduce the cancer death rate by half within 25 years and improve the lives of people with cancer and cancer survivors,” according to the National Cancer Institute. In March this year, Biden had surgery to remove from his chest a “small skin lesion” that had “basal cell carcinoma,” according to the White House physician.

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I think I count 8 reported cases. In 4 months. Madness.

Biden’s Dog Attacks 8 White House Staffers in Cover-Up (Sp.)

Commander, President Joe Biden’s soon-to-be two-year canine, has been implicated in seven biting assaults within four months, attacking Secret Service and White House personnel, reports have claimed. A series of alarming occurrences featuring Commander have emerged, all of which were kept undisclosed until now. These incidents are reminiscent of attacks associated with Major, whom the White House claimed was handed over to the president’s close acquaintances in 2021 due to his biting spree. On November 3, Commander was at the center of a serious biting incident when he attacked a Secret Service uniformed officer, inflicting injuries on the arm and thigh before the victim was hospitalized.

The details of this incident were brought to public attention when relevant emails were disclosed to the conservative legal organization Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act. In another occurrence, Commander, broke the skin of another Secret Service member’s hand and arm. Additionally, Commander bit a security technician at President Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, the following month. “This is a special sort of craziness and corruption where a president would allow his dog to repeatedly attack and bite Secret Service and White House personnel. And rather than protect its agents, the Secret Service tried to illegally hide documents about the abuse of its agents and officers by the Biden family,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton noted. Reports suggest that Biden doubted the claims about Major attacking a Secret Service agent. Moreover, the White House has not revealed any biting events implicating Commander.

According to the reported emails, agents disclosed a series of incidents that occurred discreetly. On October 3, 2022, near the East Wing garden, Commander “inflicted a ‘friendly soft bite’ on [a Secret Service agent’s] forearm as [he] held the door open,” regardless “no skin was broken from the bite.” On the morning of October 5, 2022, the first recorded incident involved Commander hopping on an emergency response technician on the grounds of the presidential villa and biting their “arm/wrist area.” On November 10, a Secret Service Uniformed Division officer was bitten on the left thigh as First Lady Jill Biden walked Commander in the Kennedy Garden near the East Wing. Media sources reveal that the officer reported experiencing “bruising, tenderness, and pain” in the bite area. On November 14, one other Secret Service officer recounted an incident via email where they had to defend themselves as Commander charged toward them.

The officer described grabbing a black chair they were sitting on, making eye contact with the dog, and backing away to avoid being attacked. On December 11, Commander bit a Secret Service special agent in the Presidential Protective Division. This event transpired after the president yanked Commander’s leash following a movie. The agent reported being double-bitten, first on the arm with a 1.5cm cut and lesions, and a 1cm cut on their hand and thumb sustained from a second bite. On December 16, another Secret Service member was attacked and inflicted with canine bites, as indicated in a workplace injury form available to media sources. “I was walking across the complex, and a dog bit my left arm,” the officer wrote, expressing the wound as “Dog bite, superficial laceration, contusion, soreness, and bruising.”

On 2022’s Christmas Eve, a Secret Service inspector notified colleagues that another officer had been wounded at [undisclosed location] the day before. The inspector’s email cited that nearly every official in the room discussed specific incidents involving the First Family’s dog. On January 2 this year, an agency technical security investigator was the victim of an attack while responding to an alarm at the president’s Wilmington residence, frequently visited during weekends. “Commander squeezed his way through the door and immediately bit/latched onto the lower right side of my back,” the attack victim emailed. “These shocking records raise fundamental questions about President Biden and the Secret Service,” Fitton remarked.

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“The answer remains the same. The president was never in business with his son.”

That’s not “the same”. It is a big change from “I never talked to him about his business”.

Biden Changes Long-Standing Position on Hunter’s Foreign Deals (Turley)

Starting with his campaign for the presidency and continuing until this week, President Joe Biden has maintained one clear and consistent position on his son’s influence peddling schemes. As a virtual mantra, Biden — and the White House staff — have categorically maintained that he had no knowledge of any foreign dealings of his son. That has been proven to be a lie, but Biden continued to maintain the position. Yet, on the eve of the testimony of a key Biden associate, the White House has changed its position. Now the President is only claiming that he was “not in business” with his son.Some of us have written multiple columns over the last four years arguing that the President was clearly and knowingly lying in his denials of knowledge and discussions of these deals. Even when he made the statement, it was clearly untrue but most of the media shrugged and happily walked away.

Then the evidence began to mount. The laptop includes pictures and appointments of Hunter’s foreign business associates with Joe Biden. There is also a recording of Joe Biden discussing a Times report on Dec. 12, 2018, detailing Hunter’s dealings with Ye Jianming, the head of CEFC China Energy Company. He assures his son that “I think you’re clear” after lawyers worked on the New York Times before the story ran. There is also a recording of his uncle James assuring Hunter that he and his father were going to arrange for “safe harbor” for him as his world began to collapse. Then there is the July 30, 2017 Whatsapp message from Hunter Biden to one of his Chinese associates, Henry Zhao, the director of Harvest Fund Management and Communist Party official. Zhao was funneling money to Hunter’s firm BHR Partners. Hunter is quoted as writing:

“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.” Nevertheless, the White House has maintained the total denial . . . until this week before the testimony of Devon Archer. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by Fox News journalist Gillian Turner:

“Chairman James Comer today says that the Oversight Committee has evidence that the president in the past communicated directly with foreign business associates of his son Hunter Biden many times. Curious if the White House and the president still stand behind his comment that he’s never been involved and has never even spoken to his son about his business?” The response from Jean-Pierre was surprising: “So, I’ve been I’ve been asked this question a million times. The answer is not going to change. The answer remains the same. The president was never in business with his son. I just don’t have anything else to add.” It takes an utter contempt for the intelligence of the public to insist that “the answer remains the same” and then give an entirely new answer. However, that is only if most of the public is informed of the contradiction. None of the media in the White House press corp followed up on Turner’s questions when Jean-Pierre immediately moved on.

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“[Hunter Biden] was money laundering. He was racketeering. He committed wire fraud. He violated the Mann Act. The list goes on and on and on..”

Hunter’s plea deal covers two years of tax evasion. But “IRS agents saw evidence that the first son was engaged in tax evasion that “stretched back two decades.”

Hunter Biden’s Memoir Became Source of Tax Evasion Evidence (Sp.)

US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent Joseph Ziegler, who was known only as “Whistleblower X” in the Hunter Biden tax case prior to his testimony at the House Oversight Committee last Wednesday, said that some of the alleged tax evasion schemes in which Hunter Biden reportedly engaged in were detailed in his 2021 work, “Beautiful Things: A Memoir.” As per Ziegler, the opus showed that some of the expenses described by Hunter were for personal choices and not corporate benefit. “That’s almost the biggest component of this that I don’t think that the general public understands: You have statements being made in a book that are talking about going out to California, leaving your life and then going to start this new life. Yet, on your tax return you’re essentially stating things that are completely different,” Ziegler told the John Solomon Reports podcast.

The whistleblower said he and IRS supervisory agent Gary Shapley, also known as the first IRS whistleblower in Hunter Biden’s case, are gathering more documents to provide to Congress. The trove reportedly includes WhatsApp messages in addition to the one made public from 2017 in which Hunter invoked his father’s name to force his Chinese associate into forking out large sums of money. The whistleblower said there is evidence of US President Joe Biden’s association in the Hunter tax case. Earlier, the president repeatedly denied being related to his son’s business dealing or knowing anything about them. Ziegler told the media outlet that a family friend named Rob Walker told the FBI that then-Vice President Joe Biden attended a meeting with the Chinese executives, and that his son deducted as a business expense a hotel room in father’s name.

Ziegler highlighted his team was prevented from finding out whether Joe Biden actually used the room or was present at the hotel. “But what I think it’s important to know is that that was a deduction that was taken on Hunter’s tax return,” he said. Moreover, per the whistleblower, IRS agents saw evidence that the first son was engaged in tax evasion that “stretched back two decades.” “In my transcript, I talked about certain issues that Hunter had, I think, going back to the early 2000s,” he said.

In June, the younger Biden struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors on two minor tax crimes and a gun case. However, Republican congressmen said they are determined to get to the bottom of Hunter’s alleged crimes. Last week, House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer said he expects to file “between six and 10 criminal referrals” with the Justice Department related to Hunter after the congressional probe is completed.
“[Hunter Biden] was money laundering. He was racketeering. He committed wire fraud. He violated the Mann Act. The list goes on and on and on,” Comer alleged.

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Devon Archer is scheduled to testify on Friday. Will that happen? Will he be alive?

Members and the Media Panic as the Biden Scandal Mounts (Turley)

Now, Archer is expected to testify that Joe Biden participated in actual telephone calls with them. That will allow investigators to build further on the foundation Goldman laid. Archer will join other witnesses like Hunter’s business associate Tony Bobulinski, who said that he sat down with Joe Biden to discuss the deals. Bobulinski was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions. No matter the severity of the revelations, the liberal media calls the investigations a “clown show.” Others have continued to tell the public that there remain no alleged ties from Hunter to President Biden despite emails, pictures and witness testimony. Yet it is becoming harder and harder to avoid these details.

With the possible testimony of Hunter’s business associates, the only hope is that Republicans might be convinced to “move on.” What was most notable about the question to Christie was the reference to the plea bargain. A year ago, I wrote a column on how the political and media establishment would likely use a “scandal implosion” approach as the evidence mounted over the corruption allegations. After the Democrats lost the House, there was a need to cap off the scandal and I suggested that the Justice Department would secure a light plea on a couple tax counts with little or no jail time. Members and the media would then declare the scandal closed and demand that we all “move on.” It is unnerving to see how the response unfolded so precisely as predicted. Members made repeated reference to the plea bargain to avoid further discussion.

Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D.-Md.) was positively irate that “We are doing this all over again for the Hunter Biden show to someone who has pleaded guilty and has taken responsibility for not filing taxes for two years. This is ludicrous. Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here. None.” He then tore up papers in disgust. Members and the media were literally citing a plea bargain as dispositive, even as two lead investigators were saying it was fixed and politically influenced. Some in the media attacked these two IRS veterans as “so-called whistleblowers” (just as members previously attacked “so called journalists” for discussing censorship records). Others insisted that the allegations were still “unproven” or “unverified” while showing the same lack of interest in establishing the truth. Notably, these same media outlets did wall-to-wall coverage of the false Russian collusion claims in the Steele dossier.

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There’s a lot of X’s out there.

Twitter Rebrand to ‘X’ Fraught With Permit, Trademark Issues (DeMartino)

Later Sunday night, the logo began appearing in place of the social media site’s iconic bird logo for some users on some platforms. While the old Twitter branding remains for some users on some platforms, Musk promised in a Tweet (or an “X”) that the old branding would soon be gone completely. “And soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and, gradually, all the birds,” Musk wrote. Musk also changed his profile picture and the profile picture of the official “Twitter” account to the site’s new logo. X.com also now redirects to Twitter.com. X users responded to the delayed signage removal and the rebrand in general with a mix of mocking and indifference, while others took the opportunity to dunk on the city of San Francisco.

At present, there is also a question of whether the “X” branding is even available for Musk to use for social media sites. Both Microsoft and Meta* hold trademarks of “X.” The Meta patent lists the service as potentially “providing interactive websites featuring technology that enable online users to create personal profiles” that users can use “for broadcasting, transmitting, receiving, accessing, viewing, uploading, downloading, sharing, integrating, encoding, decoding, displaying, formatting, organizing, storing, caching, transferring and streaming of data, text, games, game content, digital media, images, music, audio, video and animations.” Another listed use for the Meta trademark of X includes “online social networking services.”

Microsoft’s patent, first filed in 2002, lists “on-line chatrooms” and “electronic bulletin boards” for users to share messages about video games and an online video game storefront. Both patents, particularly the Meta one, which seems related to a social media site, could cause legal problems for Musk, who has been in an online feud with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Musk has threatened to sue Meta for launching an X competitor called “Threads” and the two floated a potential cage fight being aired on Pay-Per-View.

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“Musk foresees these payment capabilities potentially becoming half of the global financial system.”

Musk: ‘X Will Become Most Valuable Brand on Earth’ (Sp.)

The rebranding of Twitter to “X” was announced over the weekend and near instantly began to face varying hurdles, from potential legal challenges to a barrage of criticism from users thrown off by the platform’s redesign. Some forecasts indicated the change could result in billions’ worth in losses for the firm’s value. Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of companies Tesla and SpaceX, announced his confidence in the success of X social media on Tuesday, vowing that the Twitter rebrand would make the platform the “most valuable brand on Earth.” Musk’s statement came in response to a US media article that estimated the rebranding could potentially decrease Twitter’s value by $4 billion to $20 billion.

Nevertheless, Musk remains undeterred, envisioning “X” as a comprehensive communication platform that also offers robust financial transactions. The potential integration of payment systems into Twitter/X has sparked speculation that users may soon be able to send and receive money directly through the platform. Musk foresees these payment capabilities potentially becoming half of the global financial system. While specific details about the payment systems have not been revealed, Musk emphasized the importance of executing them correctly for the magnum opus of Twitter/X to become a reality, noting his intentions to revolutionize the financial world. Linda Yaccarino, Twitter’s new CEO, has expressed enthusiasm about the transformation and hinted at more changes to come, signaling the company is just getting started.

Under Yaccarino’s leadership, the platform aims to fulfill its immense potential and meet the expectations of fans and critics alike. Since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, Musk has embarked on a series of changes to enhance the user experience and drive innovation on the platform. The rebranding to “X” was the latest in a series of moves aimed at revitalizing Twitter and positioning it as a leader in the ever-evolving social media landscape. With popular platforms such as TikTok vying for users’ attention, critics have underscored that the success of Musk’s rebranding strategy will undoubtedly face challenges as the viability of company’s future remains uncertain.

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Plimer

 

 

Viper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1683884068000215044

 

 

Peacock

 

 

Idolomantis diabolica
https://twitter.com/i/status/1683874828694982657

 

 


The exact moment the sunlight penetrates the wings of a Black and white Jacobin hummingbird revealing a secret of nature that cannot be seen with our eyes. No digital manipulation. IG: christianspencerphoto

 

 

Metallica
https://twitter.com/i/status/1683773227389140992

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 142023
 
 January 14, 2023  Posted by at 9:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  97 Responses »


John Waterhouse Diogenes 1882

 

Ukraine Is A ‘De Facto’ NATO Member – Kiev (RT)
Russia Speaks On Endgame For Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Internal Documents Show Prominent Democrats Knowingly Pushed Russiagate Lie (ET)
There’s More: Elon Musk Exposes Schiff For Mass Scale Collusion (TPN)
Where’s The Impeachment AND Indictment (Denninger)
House GOP Launches Investigation Into Biden Classified Documents (JTN)
Biden Visitor Logs Under Scrutiny After Classified Files Uncovered (RT)
Former Acting AG Derides Garland’s ‘Unforced Error’ On Document Probes (JTN)
House Republicans Consider Wiping Trump’s Impeachments Off the Books (WJ)
House GOP Begins Probe Into Afghanistan Withdrawal (JTN)
The Aristocracy Is Eating the Peasants (Rubino)
BBC Criticised For Letting Cardiologist ‘Hijack’ Interview (G.)
Covid Vaccines Are “Obviously Dangerous” – Senior Swedish Doctors (DS)
WHO Proposals Could Strip Nations of Their Sovereignty (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Tucker: Well, he’s dead!

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1614027701731446784

 

 

 

 

I’ve seen zero pushback from NATO or its members. Can anyone just make this claim?

Ukraine Is A ‘De Facto’ NATO Member – Kiev (RT)

Ukraine is already a “de facto” member of NATO, Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov told the BBC in an interview published on Friday. The minister added that he was “sure” Kiev’s formal accession to the alliance was not far off. “Ukraine as a country, and the armed forces of Ukraine, became [a] member of NATO. De facto, not de jure. Because we have weaponry, and the understanding of how to use it,” Reznikov said. He told the outlet he was certain Kiev would soon receive more powerful equipment from the West, including western-made battle tanks and fighter jets. The US and its allies have been reluctant to send heavier armament to Ukraine, with some arguing such a move could risk escalation and drag them directly into the ongoing conflict. Reznikov brushed off such concerns, branding them a mere formality.

“This concern about the next level of escalation, for me, is some kind of protocol,” the minister said. He also denied that his comments could be seen as controversial amid the West’s attempt to avoid being viewed as a party to the fighting. “Why [would it be] controversial? It’s true. It’s a fact,” he said, commenting on Kiev’s relations with NATO and the West’s military support of Ukraine. “I’m sure that in the near future, we’ll become a member of NATO, de jure,” the minister added. Moscow regards Ukraine’s potential NATO accession as a threat to its national security and has named establishing a neutral status for the country as one of the goals of the military offensive launched in February last year.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that Ukraine had become a de facto NATO member as early as in June 2022. He also filed a NATO membership application in September of the same year and called for a fast-track accession process. The military bloc itself, however, has been less eager to consider such a prospect. In November, NATO reiterated its pledge to accept Ukraine at some point, but said the issue was not on the agenda for the time being. In spring 2022, French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said the process could take decades, while Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said too many NATO members were against the idea altogether.

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“..if this result can be achieved through negotiations, we stand ready for this scenario. If not – then our tasks will be achieved by military means.”

Russia Speaks On Endgame For Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The Ukraine conflict may be concluded either through diplomatic, or military means, but only after Moscow has achieved its goals, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said on Friday. Speaking at a briefing at the UN Security Council, the envoy commented on a possible path for ending the hostilities between the two sides. The opportunity to settle the conflict “will only present itself once Ukraine stops posing a threat to Russia and discriminating against Russian-speaking Ukrainians,” he said. Nebenzia noted that “if this result can be achieved through negotiations, we stand ready for this scenario. If not – then our tasks will be achieved by military means.” The diplomat reiterated that Russia is fighting not against the Ukrainian people, but rather against “the criminal nationalist regime which came to power in 2014” after a coup in Kiev.

The new Ukrainian leadership has been trying to purge the country of “everything that is related to Russia, and to glorify Nazi accomplices,” he said. Nebenzia stated that “everything could have ended differently for Ukraine,” if Kiev had enforced the now-defunct Minsk Agreements, which were signed in 2014 and 2015 in a bid to pave the way for peace by granting the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics special status within the Ukrainian state. However, neither Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky or his predecessors, nor France and Germany, which took part in negotiating the Minsk Agreements, ever intended to fulfill the plan, according to Nebenzia. This diplomatic process “only served as a smokescreen behind which they secretly armed Ukraine in order to set it against Russia,” he stated.

Last month, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the Minsk Agreements were “an attempt to give Ukraine time” so that its army could get stronger. Later, this revelation was confirmed by former French President Francois Hollande, who noted that the Minsk Agreements had helped Ukraine to achieve that goal. Merkel’s and Hollande’s confessions caused an uproar in Moscow, with Russian officials describing them as “formalization of betrayal.” In December, Ukraine floated the idea of a “Global Peace Summit,” building on Zelensky’s “peace formula,” which in particular demanded Russia withdraw its troops from all territories claimed by Kiev. Moscow dismissed the plan as ignoring the new status of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, and Crimea, as parts of Russia. Kiev wants to hold the summit at the UN headquarters in New York on February 24, with no indication that Moscow would be invited.

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What are the consequences for them?

Internal Documents Show Prominent Democrats Knowingly Pushed Russiagate Lie (ET)

The latest Twitter Files release shows how prominent Democrats knowingly pushed a false Russiagate-related narrative about “Russian bots” promoting a key House Intelligence Committee memo that detailed efforts to spy on the Trump campaign, despite the lawmakers being told by Twitter executives that it wasn’t true. The 14th instalment of the Twitter Files was released on Jan. 12 by journalist Matt Taibbi, who explained in a series of posts that, at a key moment in the Trump-Russia investigation, Democrats alleged that “Russian bots” were spreading an explosive report from then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). “At a crucial moment in a years-long furor,” Taibbi explained in one of the posts, “Democrats denounced a report about flaws in the Trump-Russia investigation, saying it was boosted by Russian ‘bots’ and ‘trolls.’”

“Twitter officials were aghast, finding no evidence of Russian influence,” Taibbi continued. In support of this take, Taibbi shared screenshots of correspondence from Twitter executives to several Congressional Democrats, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), confirming that they had “not identified any significant activity connected to Russia with respect to Tweets posting original content to this [#ReleaseTheMemo] hashtag.” The #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag spread like wildfire on Twitter, topping its trending list starting on Jan. 18, 2018 and reflecting the widespread call to publicly release a then-classified memo submitted by Nunes, who at the time was the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Widely referred to as the Nunes memo, it was later declassified under then-President Donald Trump’s order on Feb. 2, 2018. The memo showed how the FBI under the Obama administration used unverified opposition research—the infamous “Steele Dossier” funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee—to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page as part of an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The claims made in the Nunes memo were confirmed by Justice Department Inspector-General Michael Horowitz in his report, released on Dec. 9, 2019.

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But he still has his job.

There’s More: Elon Musk Exposes Schiff For Mass Scale Collusion (TPN)

On Friday, journalist Matt Taibbi dropped a Twitter Files supplemental to expose Democrat representative Adam Schiff once again for colluding with Twitter. Since former President Donald Trump took office, Schiff has spent every day accusing the former president of colluding with Russia, however it now appears that the only person colluding all this time was Schiff himself. In a previous Twitter Files drop, Schiff put pressure on Twitter to ban investigative journalist Paul Sperry. Twitter initially denied the request however later banned Sperry from the site.


Taibbi just followed up with a supplemental exposing Schiff of more wrongdoing. “Staff of House Democrat Adam Schiff wrote to Twitter quite often, asking that tweets be taken down. This important use of taxpayer resources involved an ask about a “Peter Douche” parody photo of Joe Biden. The DNC made the same request,” Taibbi tweeted. “The real issue was Donald Trump retweeted the Biden pic,” the journalist explained To its credit Twitter refused to remove it, with Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth saying it had obvious “humorous intent” and “any reasonable observer” – apparently, not a Schiff staffer – could see it was doctored.”

Taibbi continued: “Schiff staffer Jeff Lowenstein didn’t give up, claiming there was a “slippery slope concern here.”” “Twitter also refused requests for bans of content about Schiff and his staff, e.g. “complete suppress[ion of] any and all search results about Mr. Misko and other Committee staffers.” Twitter said this would not be “conceivable.”” Taibbi explained.

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“..enough to get any other person indicted and convicted..”

Where’s The Impeachment AND Indictment (Denninger)

Biden has now been “caught” with classified documents in two unsecured places (late update: It appears its three locations, but the third I do not have confirmation on as to what and where.) The documents were acquired and retained while and after he was Vice-President and thus had no more right to transport and possess them outside of a secure facility than any other person with a security clearance — that is, no right to do so whatsoever. One of the places is allegedly Biden’s house and not just anywhere in the house: In the garage. Further, the Penn Biden Center, the first (different) place said documents were found, is an unsecured facility that is frequently open to foreign persons and in fact its sponsor, the University of Pennsylvania, has received material donations from Chinese organizations linked to the Chinese government.

Hunter Biden also allegedly was involved in negotiating various business elements with the center including office space for himself and his staff, along with, it appears, Blinken who currently is Secretary of State! Folks, this is not trivial stuff. With regards to Penn we’re talking about something on order of $77 million from China in the form of donations and contracts, which of course leads to the obvious question as to what were they buying? I don’t care what the classified documents involve the fact that Biden removed them from their secure locations and they were not only in the Penn Center but others were in his garage where they were most-certainly not under any sort of “appropriate” security, never mind Biden have no lawful right to possess them in the first place beyond wherever he was using them while Vice-President in an official capacity, in a secure location, is enough to get any other person indicted and convicted.

Oh, and by the way, Hunter who never had a right of access to them and was in fact an agent of a foreign corporation, Burisma, has listed Biden’s address where the documents were as his residence so it must be presumed he had access to same. The President is not above the law. Never mind that it appears the Government knew this prior to the election and deliberately sat on the information. Indictment and impeachment now folks. This is actual impeachment-worthy conduct, never mind felony prosecution worthy conduct.

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Still puzzled about the garage. How do secret docs end up there?

House GOP Launches Investigation Into Biden Classified Documents (JTN)

House Republicans are seeking information on the appointment of special counsel Robert Hur to investigate President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents and hand over records of communications between the DOJ, FBI, and the White House. In a Friday letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., said the committee was “conducting oversight of the Justice Department’s actions with respect to former Vice President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, including the apparently unauthorized possession of classified material at a Washington, D.C. private office and in the garage of his Wilmington, Delaware residence.”

They further observed that Garland’s appointment of Hur had raised questions. Former President Donald Trump appointed Hur in 2018 to a legal posting in Maryland, wherein he established a record for taking on corrupt Democratic officials. Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh even found herself behind bars as a result of Hur’s efforts. He previously worked with former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and was an aide to now-FBI Director Christopher Wray. His association with the pair has raised some concerns among conservative circles. President Joe Biden, who vehemently condemned former President Donald Trump’s storage of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, appeared to have ink on his face this week following revelations that his aides had discovered classified documents in both his former office at the Penn Biden Center and his Delaware home.

The first discovery occurred in early November and the documents were handed over to the government at that time. Speculation has arisen that the government may have deliberately withheld the details of that incident until after the elections, which Jordan and Johnson addressed in their letter. “It is unclear when the Department first came to learn about the existence of these documents, and whether it actively concealed this information from the public on the eve of the 2022 elections,” they wrote. “It is also unclear what interactions, if any, the Department had with President Biden or his representatives about his mishandling of classified material.” The pair stopped short of making accusations, but noted that “[t]he Department’s actions here appear to depart from how it acted in similar circumstances.”

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“We need to know who all has had access to the president.”

Biden Visitor Logs Under Scrutiny After Classified Files Uncovered (RT)

Congressional Republicans are demanding to see visitor logs for US President Joe Biden’s homes, arguing that the discovery of classified files at one of his residences is a national security risk. Mr Biden acknowledged on Thursday that sensitive material was found in the garage of his house in Delaware. The White House deflected when asked if the visitor logs would be provided. The justice department has appointed an investigator to look into the files. News that sensitive documents dating from Mr Biden’s time as vice-president had been found in a private office at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, emerged earlier this week. That was followed by a disclosure that a second cache was discovered at Mr Biden’s home.

The first batch was found on 2 November, just before the US midterm elections, but only became public on Monday. Mr Biden kept an office at the think tank after he left the White House in 2017 until he launched his presidential campaign in 2019. On Thursday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed in a news conference that the second cache had been found on 20 December at Mr Biden’s private home in Wilmington, Delaware. He added that Mr Biden’s lawyers had called investigators on Thursday morning to notify them of an additional document, also found at the same residence. Citing the “extraordinary circumstances”, the attorney general appointed Robert Hur, a former senior justice department official during the Trump presidency, to lead an investigation in the Biden files.

Kevin McCarthy, the newly elected Republican Speaker of the House, questioned the timing of the first disclosure and accused Mr Biden of knowingly mishandling the sensitive papers. “He knowingly knew [sic] this happened going into [the] election, going into interviews. This is what makes America not trust their government,” Mr McCarthy said on Thursday. Other Republicans on Thursday demanded the president release a log of all the people who had visited Mr Biden’s Delaware home. James Comer, a Kentucky congressman and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News: “We need to know who all has had access to the president.” Colorado Republican Ken Buck wrote a letter to the White House calling on Mr Biden to “release all visitor logs”. Elise Stefanik, the number three House Republican and a New York congresswoman, said that the visitor logs were “a clear matter of national security”.

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“And so what he did though, is he forced his own hand, and in a really unskillful, you know, judge-like manner where he wasn’t thinking through the steps that would happen.”

Former Acting AG Derides Garland’s ‘Unforced Error’ On Document Probes (JTN)

Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker on Friday contended that Attorney General Merrick Garland’s handling of the Department of Justice investigations into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents had forced him to appoint a special counsel to handle an inquiry into President Joe Biden over the same issue. Garland, this week, appointed special counsel Robert Hur to probe the president’s handling of classified documents after previously appoint Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate Trump’s own alleged mishandling of sensitive materials. “I think this is a huge unforced error by Merrick Garland. He didn’t need to appoint a special counsel against Donald Trump,” Whitaker said on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.

“And so what he did though, is he forced his own hand, and in a really unskillful, you know, judge-like manner where he wasn’t thinking through the steps that would happen.” “[A]nd what makes it even more quizzical to me, is that he knew when he appointed the special counsel, Jack Smith, against Donald Trump, that Joe Biden had similar problems with classified document mishandling,” he went on. “So that tells me that they never planned on this Biden mishandling to ever see the light of day. They were planning on everybody to play nice, that the mainstream media wouldn’t cover it, wouldn’t hear about it, that it would just kind of never be announced.” “And then it came out. And he has been scrambling ever since… he created his own mess, and now he’s gonna have to live with it,” Whitaker concluded.

He then addressed the concurrent special counsel investigations, suggesting that the pair needed to come to agreement on the standards to which they would hold both of their investigative targets. “I think it’s gonna be very interesting if the special counsels coordinate their legal analysis,” he said. “[I]n each case, you’re fundamentally looking at this, you know, gross negligence or recklessness standard, that they need to kind of agree what the facts and circumstances that would trigger that.” Whitaker served as an acting Attorney General under former President Donald Trump, temporarily filling the vacancy between former AGs Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr.

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The ultimate step?

House Republicans Consider Wiping Trump’s Impeachments Off the Books (WJ)

From the moment former President Donald Trump took his oath of office six years ago, Democrats had one goal in mind: impeachment. First, with a big assist from the Department of Justice, the FBI and the legacy media, they alleged he had colluded with the Kremlin to win the presidency. Their hopes were dashed when Robert Mueller’s 22-month witch hunt ended in failure in the spring of 2019. Next, they seized on a phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate the Biden family’s business dealings in the country. Following a sham inquiry, Trump was impeached by the House. Finally, one week after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion, the House voted to impeach Trump a second time over his alleged role in what Democrats insist to this day was an “insurrection.”


As we know, both impeachment trials ended in Trump’s acquittal by the Senate. Now, according to The Washington Times, House Republicans are considering expunging Trump’s impeachments from the record. Asked if he would be willing to bring such legislation to the floor, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, “We’d look at it. … When you find that the final information of the Russia document is all a lie, and we watch what he went through, I would understand why members would want to bring that forward.” The Times noted that 42 Republicans, including House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York, got behind a resolution to exonerate Trump, but the Democrat-controlled Congress refused to vote on it. Now that Republicans control the House, it’s a real possibility.

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“It is absurd and disgraceful that the Biden administration has repeatedly denied our longstanding oversight requests and continues to withhold information related to the withdrawal..”

House GOP Begins Probe Into Afghanistan Withdrawal (JTN)

House Republicans have begun their probe into the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, asking that Secretary of State Antony Blinken provide them with a bevy of information on the matter. “We owe this to the American people, especially our service members and veterans,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas said, according to The Hill. The Texas lawmaker has set a deadline of Jan. 26 for the administration to hand over intelligence reports and communications with both the Taliban and Islamic Republic.

While he previously requested such information while serving as the committee’s ranking member, he now has formally asked as the committee chairman. Republicans have vowed to issue subpoenas should the administration continue to withhold the information. “It is absurd and disgraceful that the Biden administration has repeatedly denied our longstanding oversight requests and continues to withhold information related to the withdrawal,” he said, per the outlet. “In the event of continued noncompliance, the Committee will use the authorities available to it to enforce these requests as necessary, including through a compulsory process.”

Roughly 20 years following the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power and to eliminate the Al-Qaeda insurgents operating in the country, U.S. forces withdrew, leaving behind an ill-prepared regime that was unable to combat the rising tide of Islamic militants seeking to overtake the country. In the Summer of 2021, the Taliban launched an offensive amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops that culminated in the capture of Kabul and a hasty airlift operation on the part of the western allies to evacuate their personnel and supportive Afghans. The fiasco preceded a marked drop in President Joe Biden’s approval rating, which has been under water ever since.

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“Return to the gold standard and avoid monetary collapse — but at the cost of giving up the ability to create money at will..”

The Aristocracy Is Eating the Peasants (Rubino)

Most people (especially most Americans) still seem to view the events of the past half-century as more or less random. Booms and busts erupting out of nowhere, impoverishing all but a handful of lucky elites. Political crises that end up dividing rather than uniting. Wars that cost fortunes and resolve nothing. Everything is bad, and nothing is related to anything else. But of course that’s not true. Each of the above events serves the same purpose: to enrich a modern aristocracy at the expense of everyone else. And the endgame is looking even worse. To see the scam play out, let’s go back to 1995. Two decades previously, in 1971, the US and by extension the world had ditched sound, gold-backed money in favor of “fiat” currencies that their governments, via their central banks, could create in infinite quantities out of thin air.


The result was spiking inflation and exchange rate chaos in the 1970s and soaring government deficits in the 1980s. By the 1990s it had become clear to the people running major governments and big corporations that unsound money would lead to unsustainable debt, which in turn would destabilize the financial world and bring about a hyperinflationary depression followed by a French Revolution-style reckoning for those responsible. That generation’s elites were thus left with two choices: Return to the gold standard and avoid monetary collapse — but at the cost of giving up the ability to create money at will. Or use their fictitious currencies to steal as much real wealth as possible from the peasants and let future elites deal with the eventual collapse. They, as the sociopaths we now know them to be, chose the second strategy.

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Panic.

BBC Criticised For Letting Cardiologist ‘Hijack’ Interview (G.)

The BBC has come under fire from scientists for interviewing a cardiologist who claimed certain Covid vaccines could be behind excess deaths from coronary artery disease. Experts have criticised Dr Aseem Malhotra’s appearance on the corporation’s news channel on Friday, accusing him of pushing “extreme fringe” views, which are “misguided”, “dangerous” and could mislead the public. Scientists have described the doctor as “hijacking” an interview on statins to air his views, causing BBC staff to be “alarmed and embarrassed” by their booking. Malhotra recently retweeted a video by the MP Andrew Bridgen, who had the Tory whip removed on Wednesday after comparing the use of Covid vaccines to the Holocaust. After criticising new guidance on statins, he cited British Heart Foundation (BHF) figures that suggested there had been more than 30,000 excess deaths linked to heart disease since Covid first arrived.

Malhotra, a cardiologist at ROC Private Clinic, claimed mRNA Covid vaccines play a role, saying his “own research” showed “Covid mRNA vaccines do carry a cardiovascular risk”. He added that he has called for the vaccine rollout to be suspended pending an inquiry because of the “uncertainty” behind excess deaths. The BHF has said that, while Covid infections probably contributed significantly during the first year of the pandemic, ambulance delays, inaccessible care and lengthy waiting lists are now the key factors. Malhotra has become a vocal figure for hesitancy about Covid vaccines, claiming they pose a greater threat than the virus itself – a view repeatedly debunked by factcheckers. On Friday, he reiterated his claim the jabs were a likely cause of his father’s death. Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, was also interviewed by the BBC on Friday.

“I did a rapid response interview on the BBC news channel this morning to say that vaccine side-effects very, very rare in comparison with the preventable risks of Covid-19. The staff seemed alarmed and embarrassed that they had given him [Malhotra] a platform,” he tweeted. Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, said: “I am genuinely astonished by the BBC allowing someone with a known extreme fringe view on mRNA vaccines and the extent to which they are associated with cardiovascular problems to either hijack an interview on a tenuously related topic to express these views, or indeed to appear at all following even a cursory background check.”

Malhotra
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613837487796850688

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And should be halted immediately.

Covid Vaccines Are “Obviously Dangerous” – Senior Swedish Doctors (DS)

[..] a public statement by a group of five senior Swedish doctors who, in collaboration with Dr. Johan Eddebo, a researcher in digitalisation and human rights, are raising the alert about the Covid vaccines, which they describe as “obviously dangerous”. They say there should be an “immediate halt” to the mass vaccination pending “thorough investigations” of the true incidence and severity of adverse effects.

[..] If, as has been argued, the vaccinations, and especially the boosters, alter the immune profile of recipients such that Covid infections get ‘tolerated’ by the immune system, it’s possible that vaccinated individuals will tend towards a situation of long-term, repeat infections that do not get cleared, and do not present with obvious symptoms, while still promoting systemic damage. The literature now indicates an extensive substitution in the vaccinated of virus-neutralising antibodies for non-inflammatory ones, a ‘class switch’ from antibodies that work towards clearing the virus from our system, to a category of antibodies whose purpose is to desensitise us to irritants and allergens.

The net effect is that the inflammatory response to Covid infection gets down-regulated (reduced). This means that full-blown infections will present with milder symptoms, and that they won’t get cleared as effectively (partly since fever and inflammation are essential to your body getting rid of a pathogen). That these developments alone aren’t cause for an immediate halt to the mass vaccinations, as well as thorough investigations, is astonishing. There is of course another, and more well-known, potential partial explanation of the surprising excess mortality. We have indications of clotting disorders connected to the Covid vaccines, evident in a new major Nordic study, while repeated studies evidence a clear correlation between heart disease and Covid vaccination (see Le Vu et al., Karlstad et al. and Patone et al.).

A newly published Thai study moreover indicated that almost a third of the vaccinated youth enrolled exhibited cardiovascular manifestations, and a yet unpublished Swiss study suggests that as many as 3% of everyone vaccinated manifest heart muscle damage. And as stated above, we also see signals pertaining to fertility disturbances connected to the Covid vaccines. An Israeli study shows impaired motility and sperm concentrations after both Pfizer and Moderna vaccination. The safety committee of the European Medicines Agency has also affirmed that the vaccines may cause menstrual disturbances, and Pfizer’s own studies indicate that the lipid nanoparticles of the mRNA-vaccines cluster in the reproductive organs.

The hypothesis that COVID-19 vaccinations influence fertility is supported by a significant and unprecedented decline in the Swedish birth rate during the first months of 2022. According to Swedish demographers, the decline is ”surprising”. There are similar data from many other Western countries, and to continue the mass vaccinations for low-risk groups such as children or pregnant women is utterly irresponsible – especially since the vaccinations do little or nothing to stop the spread as was initially promised, and is often still falsely maintained.

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World government.

WHO Proposals Could Strip Nations of Their Sovereignty (CHD)

Secretive negotiations took place this week in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss proposed amendments to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR), considered a binding instrument of international law. Similar negotiations took place last month for drafting a new WHO pandemic treaty. While the two are often conflated, the proposed IHR amendments and the proposed pandemic treaty represent two separate but related sets of proposals that would fundamentally alter the WHO’s ability to respond to “public health emergencies” throughout the world — and, critics warn, significantly strip nations of their sovereignty. According to author and researcher James Roguski, these two proposals would transform the WHO from an advisory organization to a global governing body whose policies would be legally binding.


They also would greatly expand the scope and reach of the IHR, institute a system of global health certificates and “passports” and allow the WHO to mandate medical examinations, quarantine and treatment. Roguski said the proposed documents would give the WHO power over the means of production during a declared pandemic, call for the development of IHR infrastructure at “points of entry” (such as national borders), redirect billions of dollars to the “Pharmaceutical Hospital Emergency Industrial Complex” and remove mention of “respect for dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people.” Francis Boyle, J.D., Ph.D., professor of international law at the University of Illinois, said the proposed documents may also contravene international law.

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..an ant rolling a water droplet on a rough surface, an example of ideal nonwetting conditions

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 132023
 


Steve Schapiro Muhammad Ali, Monopoly, Louisville, KY 1963

 

Report Links Hunter Biden To Classified Files Found in Joe Biden’s Garage (KB)
‘This Is Election Interference’: House Oversight Veteran on Biden Files (ET)
Key ‘Russian Bots’ Claim Was False – Twitter Documents (RT)
Ukraine Suffered A Humiliating Defeat In Soledar (Ugolny)
Where Might Russia Commit Forces On An Offensive? (Big Serge)
Russia Reacts To Turkish Support Of Zelensky’s ‘Peace Plan’ (RT)
Nord Stream Attack: The Case Nobody Wants Solved (Celente)
7 Facts Fauci Knew But Hid From the Public (CHD)
Senator Questions CDC on Why It Expected 100s of Vaccine Adverse Events (ET)
Former Employees Sue ESPN After Being Fired for COVID-19 Vaccine Refusal (ET)
A Tale of Two Cultures -America and Russia (Moglia)
Everything Upside Down (Dionísio)
Britain and EU Enter Talks To Settle Brexit Disputes (RT)
Nixon Threatened to Reveal CIA Involvement in Kennedy Assassination (Stone)

 

 

 

 

Russiagate
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613730901946425346

 

 

Clown KJP
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613389755374501889

 

 

Carpe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613700648218005506

 

 

 

 

Hunter’s garage?! What are the odds Joe is being set up?

Report Links Hunter Biden To Classified Files Found in Joe Biden’s Garage (KB)

President Joe Biden has finally found himself on the wrong side of a special counsel investigation. On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that is appointing a special counsel to investigate the classified documents found in President Joe Biden’s private office and home. “Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to take over the investigation into President Joe Biden’s potential mishandling of classified documents,” CNN reported. “The special counsel is Robert Hur.” “Two special prosecutors have been appointed,” CNN also reported. In contrast to Donald Trump storing the documents he declassified as president and storing them at a safe storage facility at Mar-a-Lago, Joe Biden took the documents while vice president and they remain classified to this day.

And to make matters worse, it came out that a second batch of classified documents were found at his Wilmington home garage. These are in addition to those found in a think tank closet at the Penn Biden Center office in Washington, D.C. There are even reports of a third batch of classified documents that have been discovered. Biden went off-script talking to Fox News’ Peter Doocy about the security of his garage by claiming that is where he keeps his “Corvette.” “Classified material next to your Corvette! What were you thinking?” Doocy said to the President in response. Biden defended himself by saying, “My Corvette is in a locked garage, OK? So it’s not like they’re sitting out on the street.” Biden was so brazen about his illegal activity that he actually filmed a campaign video with his corvette in 2021. One can see stacks of boxes in the back of the garage where the classified documents were reportedly found.

Legal analyst Jonathan Turley reacted to the development on the documents being found in Biden’s garage. “The President just said that the documents found in his garage are in a ‘locked garage’ like his corvette,” Turley said. “The corvette standard is actually not in classified protocols…” “The corvette statement was remarkably ill-considered,” he added. “It was a cringe-worthy moment. After being given a carefully worded statement by his lawyers and staff, the President ad-libbed and suggested that his locked garage was a secure space for classified material.” Miranda Devine, author of the “Laptop from Hell,” has added a new twist to the story: Hunter Biden claimed he owned the house where Biden kept the classified documents. Devine provides the document showing Hunter Biden claiming to own the house. The address also appears on a copy of Hunter Biden’s driver’s license.

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People suggesting a third batch was found.

‘This Is Election Interference’: House Oversight Veteran on Biden Files (ET)

A House Oversight Committee veteran said the delay in publicizing President Joe Biden’s retention of classified documents from his time as vice president amounts to election interference. “The documents were allegedly discovered on Nov. 2. The midterms are on Nov. 8. To me, this is election interference by omission,” Mike Howell said in a Jan. 11 interview with The Epoch Times.“Does anyone think if this had been President Trump or any other Republican, the news wouldn’t have been leaked immediately for political gain? We needn’t wonder—just look at all the affirmative updates, releases, and leaks in the Trump case,” he said in a Jan. 10 statement.

Howell was an attorney for the Department of Homeland Security under President Donald Trump. He previously worked as a lawyer on the House Oversight Committee as well as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He now leads the Oversight Project at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Heritage Oversight is, in Howell’s words, “suing the Biden administration aggressively” over Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. “We’re gathering as much as we can and hoping that Congress makes use of it,” he said, noting that FOIA lawsuits are just one of the organization’s tactics. Notably, Heritage Oversight obtained an email to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas that shows that he knew Haitian migrants weren’t whipped by Border Patrol agents at Del Rio, Texas, by Sept. 24, 2021.

Yet during a press conference that same day, Mayorkas offered no clarification on the whipping allegations, instead saying that the images “painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism.” “He [Mayorkas] chose to ignore the information to preserve the far-left narrative on this whole incident,” Howell said in a 2022 Heritage Foundation interview. Heritage Oversight filed FOIA requests with the Department of Justice and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regarding the classified materials found at the Penn Biden Center. “Why was this information not made public prior [to] the election? It likely would have had substantial electoral salience,” Howell wrote in his FOIA request to the Department of Justice.

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“..one of the greatest outbreaks of mass delusion in US history..”

Key ‘Russian Bots’ Claim Was False – Twitter Documents (RT)

Twitter executives knew that several hashtags denounced by leading congressional Democrats and corporate media as “Russian disinformation” were a product of authentic Americans, but chose not to say so in public, journalist Matt Taibbi revealed on Thursday. Taibbi has been publishing the “Twitter Files,” internal company documents provided by the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, since early December. Evidence published so far shed light on the censorship of key stories ahead of the 2020 presidential election, FBI pressure, direct White House interference on Covid-19 matters, and the banning of Donald Trump – the sitting US president at the time.

Thursday’s revelations concern the events of January and February 2018 and the memo by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of California detailing how the FBI used the “Steele Dossier” to spy on Trump’s campaign and presidency. Democrats and major media outlets denounced Nunes in what Taibbi described as “oddly identical language,” while attributing the calls to #ReleaseTheMemo to “Russian bots” and “trolls.” Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Adam Schiff – ranking Democrats in the Senate and House intelligence committees – wrote to Twitter on January 23, 2018, claiming that #ReleaseTheMemo “gained the immediate attention and assistance of social media accounts linked to Russian influence operations.”

Another Democrat, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, followed up with a letter denouncing as “reprehensible that Russian agents have so eagerly manipulated innocent Americans.” Twitter, however, “found no evidence, as in zero, that Russians were anywhere near this story,” Taibbi wrote on Substack. Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth personally reviewed the accounts that started the hashtag and found “none of them show any signs of affiliation to Russia.” The engagement was “overwhelmingly organic” and driven by prominent real people, Roth found. He also noted that Schiff, Feinstein and Blumenthal all pointed to the same source – the “Hamilton68 dashboard,” run by an outfit calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD). “All the swirl is based on Hamilton,” he wrote.

Documents show that Twitter executives eventually realized that Democrats weren’t looking for solutions, but were just using the Russia accusation to push them further. One executive even compared it to the children’s book ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’. Yet for some reason, the company chose not to say so publicly, allowing Democrats and the media to continue blaming “Russian bots” for any problems in US society – government shutdowns, school shootings, gun control, etc. “By spreading the Russia collusion hoax, they instigated one of the greatest outbreaks of mass delusion in US history,” Nunes told Taibbi when reached for comment, referring to the Democrats. The memo itself was published on February 2, 2018. Justice Department Inspector-General Michael Horowitz confirmed its findings in his report, published in December 2019.

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Detailed history.

Ukraine Suffered A Humiliating Defeat In Soledar (Ugolny)

Soledar is a conglomeration of several settlements established around salt mines and railway stations. In 2001, when Ukraine last conducted a census, around 13,000 people lived here. The town stretches along the right bank of the Bakhmutka River from southeast to northwest. In late 2022, it became an infamous urban warzone. In peaceful times, however, it was known as the largest source of mineral salt in Central and Eastern Europe, covering around 80% of Ukraine’s needs. Deep salt mines have also made Soledar a tourist and leisure destination with tours around the caves. There was, however, a second, military purpose to the city and its industries, as was typical for the Soviet Union. In the case of Soledar, several of its depleted mines were used as spacious and secure military warehouses.

Last year, this previously disregarded aspect of Soledar’s identity became its most prominent feature. Salt production stopped, and the gypsum plant ceased operating; the only visitors around were now Ukrainian soldiers – and developing asthma was the least of their problems. Soledar became the focus of Russian offensive operations last May, after troops seized Popasnaya and breached the first line of Ukrainian defenses. The Ukrainian command turned the town into a major piece of its second defensive line, a stretch of fortifications along the Dzerzhinsk – Bakhmut (Artyomovsk) – Soledar – Seversk line. Up until early August, fighting continued around Soledar: Russian forces were busy cutting off the pocket of Ukrainian forces near Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, and gradually advancing toward Soledar and Artyomovsk, seizing fortifications at Pilipchatino and Pokrovskoye along the way.

Wagner units and the 6th Cossack Regiment of Lugansk gradually moved into the combat area. Russian troops enjoyed uncontested superiority in terms of artillery, but there were some early signs of ‘ammunition hunger’ looming on the horizon. The Russians were unable to penetrate Ukrainian defenses in one burst. The troops, exhausted after a major operation to liberate the entirety of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), simply could not break through the numerically superior Ukrainian forces. Ukrainian defenses in the area consisted of the 93rd Mechanized Brigade, supported by numerous units of the Territorial Defense Forces. The second line was formed by the 24th Mechanized Brigade, which had suffered losses during the earlier fighting in Popasnaya.

Combined, these forces were sufficient to hold off the attacks along most of the Artyomovsk-Soledar-Lisichansk line, a stretch of fortifications that would not be breached until December – a development that would ultimately spell defeat for the Ukrainians.

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Twitter thread – with maps.

Where Might Russia Commit Forces On An Offensive? (Big Serge)

Let’s do a quick parsing of the situation and examine the possibilities. Where might Russia commit forces on an offensive? Let’s do a quick parsing of the situation and examine the possibilities. Right now, the contact line is some 700 kilometers stretching from the Dnieper estuary in the south to northern Lugansk oblast. Troop concentrations and active combat are broadly present on four major axes. (Maps by me). The Svatove axis is where Ukraine’s Kharkov counteroffensive was stonewalled after crossing the Oskil river and struggling to break Lyman in a timely manner. Ukrainian efforts to continue the advance have been repeatedly defeated. The Bakhmut axis has been the subject of most attention lately, but there is a paucity of Russian regular forces in this direction.


Most of the work here is being achieved by the Wagner PMC and LNR forces, assisted by VDV. Most of the Russian army forces currently committed in Ukraine are currently on the Svatove and Zaporozhia axes in a defensive stance. Contrary to the impression given by western sources, the regular Russian Army has not been engaged in widespread attacking activity lately. Much of Russia’s combat power is currently uncommitted, and will be used to renew offensive operations in the coming weeks and months. The question is when and where. There remains a distinct possibility that there will be no “Big Arrow” offensive, and instead we will see lots of “small arrow” attacks with Russia going over to the offensive on all the existing Axes. This would mean forward progress, but no major new fronts being opened. )

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Erdogan playing both sides.

Russia Reacts To Turkish Support Of Zelensky’s ‘Peace Plan’ (RT)

Türkiye’s stated support of the “so-called peace plan” formulated by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky does not change the fact that Russia considers it unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. Zakharova was asked about remarks made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who stated that his country backed the ten-point proposal for peace in Ukraine promoted by Kiev. “It is unlikely that Ankara’s support of this project would promote the search for an optimal way towards peace in Ukraine,” she said, citing Russia’s previous rejection of the Ukrainian formula. “I don’t see any sense in any additional comments on it.”

The ‘peace plan’ was presented by Zelensky at the summit of G20 leaders in Bali, Indonesia, in November. It involves a full Russian withdrawal from territories that Kiev considers to be its own and long-term support of Ukraine by international donors. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who represented Russia at the gathering, called Zelensky’s virtual address “militant, Russophobic and aggressive” and dismissed his ten-point agenda as “unrealistic and inadequate.” The Kremlin called such proposals a non-starter, insisting that if Ukraine wants peace it should take into account “the new realities,” referring to the four former Ukrainian regions that voted to join Russia last fall, after Crimea did the same in 2014 following a coup in Kiev.

Cavusoglu expressed Türkiye’s positive stance towards Zelensky’s proposition on Tuesday during a press conference in South Africa. He touted Ankara’s role as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev and said his government wanted to see a resolution to the conflict “the sooner the better.” Zelensky floated the idea of a UN-sponsored ‘Global Peace Summit’ to discuss his ideas, suggesting that it could take place in February 2023. His foreign minister, Dmitry Kuleba, stated that Russia would have to be tried by an “international court” before being allowed at the table.

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“I, for the life of me, don’t understand why the EU doesn’t want to know who did it..” [..] “Is it because we know the answer? Or is it because it’s the wrong answer?”

Nord Stream Attack: The Case Nobody Wants Solved (Celente)

The attack on the Nord Stream pipelines that run deep under the Baltic Sea in late September has all but disappeared from the Western media’s radar, but now Russia is demanding answers and formally accused Sweden of withholding damning evidence on the identity of the perpetrators. Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said Thursday that Stockholm’s decision not to release the investigation’s findings a a puzzling move and is evidence that they are hiding something from the public. “Russian experts in the course of an objective investigation may come to uncomfortable conclusions and, finally, reveal to the public the ugly truth about who committed these acts of sabotage and terrorist attacks,” she said, according to Russian outlet TASS.

“Sweden’s refusal to set up a joint group to investigate the sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines is perplexing. There are no doubts regarding the nature of the incident – this was an act of sabotage. Thus Swedish authorities clearly have something to hide,” she said. Russia has blamed UK special forces of carrying out the attack. Polish war hawk Radek Sikorski actually thanked the U.S. for the attack in a Twitter post. Mick Wallace, member of the European Parliament, posted a video on his Twitter account where he expressed dismay over the investigation. He said the attack resulted in one of the world’s worst releases of methane gas ever and called the incident “environmental terrorism.”

“I, for the life of me, don’t understand why the EU doesn’t want to know who did it,” he said in the video posted on 5 January. He continued, “Is it because we know the answer? Or is it because it’s the wrong answer?” Wallace also expressed confusion as to how quickly the news story disappeared from the news cycle. “Initially, of course, the Russians were blamed,” he said. “But common sense kind of prevailed and we kind of thought, ‘If the Russians don’t want any gas, they can kind of turn the tap off at their end.” DW, the German news outlet, also raised questions about the blast. The outlet tweeted on Tuesday, “Russia has made an initial estimate of the cost needed to repair the #NordStream pipeline. That raises the question: Why would Russia undergo the expensive process of repairing their own pipeline if they bombed it themselves?”

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“This does not bode well for Fauci and those involved in the cover-up.”

7 Facts Fauci Knew But Hid From the Public (CHD)

House Republicans on Monday commissioned a special investigative panel focused on the coronavirus pandemic during which they hope to press scientists and federal officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, about the origin of the public health crisis and the government’s response to it. The following is a paraphrase of the opening round — the warning shot — by U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) Tuesday in which he used his time to outline seven facts that Dr. Anthony Fauci knew, and, more importantly, what Fauci did, and did not do, when he was made aware of these facts. This does not bode well for Fauci and those involved in the cover-up.


1/ Fauci understood that American tax dollars went to EcoHealth Alliance and that money was then funneled to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) lab in China.
2/ Fauci knew EcoHealth Alliance was given an exemption from the pause on gain-of-function research.
3/ Fauci knew that the security standards at the WIV lab in China were deficient.
4/ Fauci knew that EcoHealth Alliance was not in compliance with its grant reporting requirements and wasn’t adhering to the contract.
5/ Fauci knew that gain-of-function research was in fact being conducted in the WIV lab in China.
6/ Fauci knew that the standard P3CO interagency review process wasn’t followed in approving the grant to EcoHealth Alliance.
7/ Fauci knew that the virus likely came from the lab where U.S. taxpayer dollars were sent … the very city where that lab is at, a deadly virus breaks out that would ultimately kill six million people around the world.

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”Without immediately providing complete and reliable information about COVID-19 vaccine adverse events, you are obstructing Congressional oversight..”

Senator Questions CDC on Why It Expected 100s of Vaccine Adverse Events (ET)

A U.S. senator is questioning why a top agency was expecting hundreds of safety signals for the COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), claimed in 2022 that safety monitoring revealed no “unexpected safety signals” for the vaccines. But the results to which she was referring showed hundreds of safety signals, or adverse events potentially linked to the shots. The Epoch Times obtained the results through a Freedom of Information Act after the CDC refused to release them. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is now wondering why the CDC expected so many signals after vaccination. In a Jan. 10 letter citing The Epoch Times article on the results, Johnson demanded the CDC explain how it determined what is and is not an “unexpected safety signal.”

“The American people have a right to know the extent to which your agency was aware of and tracked COVID-19 vaccine adverse events. Your lack of transparency is unacceptable. Without immediately providing complete and reliable information about COVID-19 vaccine adverse events, you are obstructing Congressional oversight and leaving the public in the dark,” added Johnson, who was stonewalled when he requested the monitoring results. A CDC spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email that it received the senator’s letter. “A reply is forthcoming,” the spokesperson said, declining to comment further. The CDC has made multiple false statements on the outcomes found from a type of analysis called Proportional Reporting Ratio (PRR).

The analysis involves comparing the number of adverse events reported to a system co-managed by the CDC after COVID-19 vaccination to the number of adverse events reported after vaccination with other vaccines. The CDC initially said that performing PRRs was outside of its purview, contradicting a government document that stated the agency “will perform” the technique. Dr. John Su, a top CDC official, then claimed it started performing the analysis in February 2021 and continued to do so as of July 18, 2022. Both statements turned out to be wrong. After being pressed by Johnson, the CDC later said that it did not start the PRRs until March 25, 2022, and stopped performing them on July 31, 2022.

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How many of these lawsuits will we see? Probably depends on the success of the first few.

Former Employees Sue ESPN After Being Fired for COVID-19 Vaccine Refusal (ET)

Two former employees are suing ESPN for being fired over COVID-19 vaccine refusal, alleging the company violated their rights and state and federal law in the process. Beth Faber, a former producer with the network, and Allison Williams, a college football reporter, brought the suit on Jan. 11 in federal court in Connecticut, where Disney-owned ESPN is based. Faber was fired on Sept. 9, 2021, after ESPN denied her request for a religious accommodation to the company’s mandate. Williams was fired on Oct. 19, 2021, after ESPN rejected requests for exemptions based on disability and religious beliefs. ESPN officials claimed that no accommodation was possible because venues at which the employees would work would not accept unvaccinated people, according to the suit.


But plaintiffs allege the defendants made no effort to confirm that and pointed to how most NFL and college football teams had unvaccinated personnel, as ESPN itself reported. “Defendants impermissibly took adverse employment against Plaintiffs, including wrongfully terminating them, denying them of financial compensation, and in the case of Williams, pursuant to a contract, and intentionally harming their relationship in their industry, because they complained about the discrimination they suffered based on their religious beliefs, a protective activity,” the suit states. ESPN declined to comment or say how many workers were fired over vaccine refusal. The lawsuit came after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission issued “right to sue” letters to Faber and Williams.

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“..what with Clinton was a matter of lying to save his bottom, with Biden lying seems actually a matter of pride.“

A Tale of Two Cultures -America and Russia (Moglia)

As for the USA, the inaudible and noiseless foot of time, along with forgetfulness and dark oblivion, have erased from the collective memory the purportedly original reason that triggered the Vietnam war – and the consequent millions killed, the many maimed and the countless wounded on both sides. Namely the ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident. When, allegedly, North Vietnamese torpedo boats fired on a US destroyer that was in international water according to the US, and in domestic waters according to the Vietnamese. Nevertheless those involved on the US side still found it then necessary to invent a plausible cause. But not now. What changed or what happened then between 1965 and the present? And what identifiable original or ideological cause can be found for the Western so-called ‘rulers’ to disregard the Minks agreements and the agreement about the non-expansion of NATO?

Even the often quoted notion of so-called ‘plausible deniability’ has seemingly gone the way of all flesh. One socio-political interpretation may be perhaps found well over 20 years ago. That is, a related pattern-setting event can be traced back to the Clinton-Lewinsky business. When the president of the Unites States had the gall to tell the nation, in prime time, that ‘I did not have sex with that woman’ notwithstanding ample, legal and irrefutable evidence. That the president of the ‘exceptional nation’ would allow himself to be entrapped into an obvious and decidedly bawdy situation, while simultaneously showing himself as the lyingest knave in Christendom, should at least have raised some doubts about his qualifications for the position.

But it didn’t, and at the time various qualified voices expressed concern about the implications of the resolution. For when a preposterous lie to the public and parliament (by the highest representative of the state) is essentially endorsed by allowing the perjurer (for he was under oath) to remain in office, a pattern and precedent is established for others to follow suit in times to come. One obvious, recent and worthy fellow and follower is Giuseppe Biden along with his remarkable family. And we can see clearly an evolution. For what with Clinton was a matter of lying to save his bottom, with Biden lying seems actually a matter of pride. (E.G. “18 FBI agents have verified that Hunter Biden’s laptop is Russian disinformation!”)

Yet already after the Lewinsky business, the list of patent, unrestrained and preposterous lies excreted by subsequent US state department administrations would fill a long row of portable toilets and stink to high heaven. Beginning with Yugoslavia, followed by the very murky 9/11 affair, Saddam’s weapons of mass distraction, Gadhafi’s breach of human rights, Hassad’s ‘chemical poisons’ in Syria, bringing democracy to Afghanistan, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Middle Eastern terrorist groups that are enemies one day and freedom fighters the next, financed and supplied in either case by the exceptional nation.

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“..how is it that a country that spends $800 billion of its military budget [..] has practically the same firepower as a country that spends $65 billion?..

Everything Upside Down (Dionísio)

8 years of fortified constructions, tunnels, bunkers and endless armament depots, two months of repositioning of reserves and military human losses, the structure finally begins to collapse. The human losses are in the tens of thousands of young people, not so young, national and foreign, and after all the inevitable happens. The comedian who is president, in his daily videos from some bunker or mansion, has always resisted in doing what the opponent does when he considers that the effort is too much for the gain: retreat to a more solid line of defense, saving men and equipment. The official narrative, shared endlessly over and over again, about “the most important victories since the second great war” for the domestic side, will not be despising, for the decision to fight to the last man.

After all, any decision, to call this major defensive fortification line as lost, implies a total reversal in the narrative propagated by the North Atlantic corporate press. It´s a must to first prepare the public who are the relentless followers of such narratives. Telling them the truth is not an option, as this would mean effectively saying the opposite of what has been said, namely regarding the inevitable outcome of the conflict. In yet another war used as a cycle of capitalist accumulation, a fact that can be clearly stated in the reversal of the trend in the world arms market until 2014, which placed the two indirect contenders (US and Russian Federation) in direct competition and with very close numbers, this situation has, as it were, reversed, with the USA today being the undisputed leader in world arms sales, with around 2/3 more in sales value than its largest direct competitor (Russian Federation).

It doesn’t mean that they sell more quantity…. They mainly sell more expensive. The data at hand brings light about the use of war and the military industrial complex as an instrument of the capitalist accumulation cycle, or, on the contrary, as an instrument whose fundamental objective is national defense. The “Global Fire Power 2023” which establishes the “Fire Power Index”, places the US in first with 0.0712, Russian Federation with 0.0714 and the RPC with 0.0722. In other words, the top two appear tied and the third is very close. The 4th place, India, is much further away, with 0.1025. What does this tell us about the role of each army?

The first question that comes to mind is, how is it that a country that spends $800 billion of its military budget (and we do not include here the “dark money” of the secret services, nor all the research paid for through federal programs that also goes to military ends), has practically the same firepower as a country that spends $65 billion, and little more than another that spends $290 billion? The answer lies in several aspects: 1) the North American military-industrial complex is private, therefore, it aims to pursue profit, the enrichment of an elite and the concentration of wealth, with the state being an instrument of this accumulation; 2) the other two have a military-industrial complex that is essentially public – not exclusively – mainly in the most sensitive areas, and is not intended to do more than fulfill its public role, i.e., to guarantee an effective national defense capable of defending the country’s sovereignty.

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Tempted to check what decade it is.

Britain and EU Enter Talks To Settle Brexit Disputes (RT)

The EU and UK are gradually moving towards settling a longstanding post-Brexit trade dispute and are preparing to launch intense negotiations next week, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. On Monday, London struck an agreement with Brussels to share live data on trade with Northern Ireland, which was described as “a critical prerequisite to building trust and providing assurance” and laid “a new basis for EU-UK discussions.” British Foreign Minister James Cleverly and European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said the deal was an important step towards further talks on the trading rules known as the Northern Ireland Protocol.


The dispute stems from the Brexit deal in which Britain agreed to leave Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market for goods in order to preserve a 1998 peace deal between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and EU member Ireland, thus avoiding instituting a land border between the two. However, the UK has so far failed to implement parts of those agreements and in response the EU has opened several infringement procedures. The aim of next week’s talks between Cleverly and Sefcovic is to prepare the ground for a negotiating “tunnel,” the outlet said, citing people who spoke on condition of anonymity. The CEO of Northern Ireland’s Manufacturing NI, Stephen Kelly, who has been outspoken on a number of Brexit-related issues, expressed hope that the UK and EU would announce “a deep scoping exercise, deep conversation – what’s traditionally known as a tunnel” after the meeting of the UK foreign minister and chief EU negotiator on January 16.

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Roger Stone.

Nixon Threatened to Reveal CIA Involvement in Kennedy Assassination (Stone)

A stunning, long-overlooked Nixon Watergate-era tape shows Richard Nixon warning CIA Director Richard Helms that he knows of CIA involvement in the murder of John F. Kennedy- “I know who shot John.” This shocking new tape depicts Nixon increasingly besieged by Watergate but unaware that at least four of the Watergate burglars were still on the CIA payroll at the time of the break-in, and that the CIA had thus infiltrated the burglary team. Recently declassified documents reveal that Watergate Special Prosecutor Nick Akerman was aware of both the CIA’s advance knowledge and involvement in the break-in — but said and did nothing.

Senator Howard Baker, the Republican Leader on the Senate Watergate Committee and his counsel Fred Thompson himself, a future U.S. Senator from Tennessee, like Baker, stumbled on the CIA’s deep advanced knowledge and direct involvement in the Watergate break-in. Baker and Thompson both knew that at least four of the Watergate burglars were on the CIA payroll at the time of the break-in and that through CREEP Security Director James McCord, had infiltrated the burglary team. Senate Watergate Committee Chairman Sam Ervin stoutly refused to allow Baker and the Committee Republicans including Edward J. Gurney of Florida the right to publish a Minority Report which noted this stunning information regarding the CIA.

Nixon deeply distrusted the CIA because he knew that President Eisenhower had ordered the agency to give top secret briefings to both Nixon and Kennedy after both were the certain nominees of their parties. Nixon was sore that Kennedy utilized the information in their debates, attacking Nixon for being “soft” on communist Cuba, knowing full well that Nixon had chaired a working group as Vice President overseeing preparations for the “Bay of Pigs” invasion. Nixon, of course, could not reveal this upcoming attempt to topple Castro in the details. White House Domestic Policy Chief John Ehrlichman wrote that when he served as the White House Legal Counsel, Nixon ordered him to request that the CIA hand over all documents pertaining to John Kennedy’s murder. Nixon was furious when Richard Helms, the CIA Director, refused his presidential order to hand them over.

This stunning new Watergate-era tape captures an increasingly besieged Nixon desperately seeking to mobilize the CIA in his defense by threatening to expose their greatest secrets. Nixon also knew that Congressman Gerald Ford, as a member of the Warren Commission, had, at the explicit direction of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI Director, altered the official autopsy diagram for President John F. Kennedy; moving the marking from a bullet in his upper back to his neck in order to accommodate the single-bullet theory and to conceal the fact that Kennedy had been hit with more than the reported three shots.

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Bridgen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613555822705143814

 

 

Alice Cooper Jeff Beck

 

 


The last picture taken of David Bowie. By his wife, Iman, on his birthday, 8th January 2016 – 2 days before his death.

 

 

Employee

 

 


The rainbow lorikeet has a very bright plumage: the head is deep blue with a greenish-yellow nuchal collar, and the rest of the upper parts are deep green. The chest is red with blue-black barring. The belly is deep green & the thighs and rump are yellow

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 292022
 


Odilon Redon Sunset n.d.

 

Ukraine Shells Prison Holding POWs – Donbass Official (RT)
US Should Not Fund Ukrainian ‘Blacklist’ (Scott Ritter)
Provoking Beijing (MoA)
UK Official Says Nuclear War Threat Higher Than During the Cold War (Antiwar)
US GDP Drops 0.9 Percent In Second Quarter (PM)
‘Horror Chart’ Suggests Germany On Brink Of Huge Energy Crisis (RT)
Hanover Becomes First German City To Ban Hot Water In Public Buildings (DM)
EU Ban On Russian Gas ‘Impossible’ – Austria (RT)
EU Gas Solidarity Complicated By Lack Of Fuel Sharing Deals (R.)
Worst Is Yet To Come From Trudeau Liberals (Jordan Peterson)
Bill Barr To Merrick Garland: Appoint A Special Counsel Already (Fed.)
Joe Biden Met With 14 Of His Son’s Business Associates (RT)
They Can’t Let Him Back In (Michael Anton)

 

 

 

 

Never forget

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss O’Looney


https://twitter.com/i/status/1552438998009790465

 

 

Hesitancy

 

 

 

 

Breaking, not confirmed.

Ukraine Shells Prison Holding POWs – Donbass Official (RT)

Dozens were killed after Ukrainian forces struck a jail with POWs in Donbass, local official says Ukrainian troops shelled a prison housing POWs in Yelenovka early Friday morning, Donetsk People’s Republic Deputy Information Minister Daniil Bezsonov wrote on his Telegram channel. “There was a direct hit at a building with prisoners,” Bezsonov wrote. “The results as of now: 40 killed, 130 wounded.” The minister added that he believes Kiev used US-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers for the attack. The facility reportedly housed Ukrainian fighters captured by Russian and allied forces during the siege of the Azovstal steel mill in the city of Mariupol.

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“Many on this list are citizens of the United States, some of whom, like me, have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

US Should Not Fund Ukrainian ‘Blacklist’ (Scott Ritter)

Dear Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Congressman Tonko, My name is Scott Ritter. I am a New York State resident, currently residing in the Town of Bethlehem, in Albany County. My family and I have lived at our current address since July 2000. I am writing to you in your collective role as my elected representatives in the United States Congress, specifically regarding H.R. 7691, the Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022, which became Public Law 117-128 on May 21, 2022, which each of you voted in favor of. I draw your attention to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically the following language: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

By enacting Public Law 117-128, you appear to have abrogated your Constitutional responsibilities in so far as you may have, in fact, made a law which both abridges the freedom of speech and a free press by enabling the Government of Ukraine, through the use of US taxpayer dollars appropriated under Public Law 117-128, to publish a “blacklist” singling out US citizens as “Russian propagandists” for exercising their Constitutional rights pertaining to free speech and a free press. The “blacklist” in question was published on July 14, 2022, by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, and consists of a list of politicians, academics, and activists who the Center claims promote “Russian propaganda.” Many on this list are citizens of the United States, some of whom, like me, have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

While the specific criterion used by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation for selecting persons for inclusion on this “blacklist” is not known, in my case the Ukrainian government appears to have taken umbrage against my articulation of Ukraine as a NATO base of operations, my analysis of the Bucha Massacre in early March which assigns responsibility to Ukrainian security services, and my description of the current Ukraine-Russian conflict as a “proxy conflict” being waged on behalf of the United States. Whether one agrees with my positions on these and other matters pertaining to Ukraine is not the point; by articulating my views, I am exercising my rights under the Constitution of the United States. While the Government of Ukraine is free to express its opinions regarding my viewpoints as it sees fit, the Government of the United States, by using funds appropriated by the United States Congress, should not facilitate the actions of the Government of Ukraine in this regard.

[..] As a constituent whose name has appeared on a so-called “blacklist” published by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, my personal and professional life has been, and continues to be, detrimentally impacted by the chilling effect of being labeled a “Russian propagandist” for simply exercising the right to free speech guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Moreover, Ukraine has a history of converting “blacklists” of this nature into “kill lists”, where those who speak out against the policies of the Ukrainian government are being murdered or threatened with violence.

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Nancy missed the past 30 years.

Provoking Beijing (MoA)

Yves Smith is aghast about the U.S. eyepoking of China: “The neocons above all seem unable to process that the days of US hegemony are over. It boggles the mind that they are not just eyepoking but escalating greatly with China via the still-planned Pelosi visit to Taiwan in August. As we’ll explain, China is fully cognizant of the fact that Pelosi is number two in line after Harris should something happen to the increasingly addle-brained Biden. And they don’t buy for a second that Pelosi is operating without the explicit approval of the Administration. Note that it’s entirely possible that Pelosi revived her Taiwan trip plan (recall she put it off after coming down with Covid) all on her own. The Pentagon gave her a face-saving out by saying they didn’t recommend it. China, which is routinely screechy when it is upset about what it perceives to be foreign transgressions, has managed to find new registers in its objections the proposed Pelosi visit.”

Pelosi is not only number two in line but has been hostile to the Chinese government for more than 30 years. In 1991 she and two other members of Congress made a stunt on the Tiananmen square where two years before protests had taken place. The multiday protest in the square had ended peacefully. But outside of the square bloody riots took place over several days and nights during which hundreds of soldiers and rioters got killed. The protest and riots had been a U.S. instigated color revolution attempt with the father of the color revolution concept, Gene Sharp, being personally in the Beijing and consulting the protest leaders. After the attempt had failed the CIA organized the exit of hundreds of protest leaders and agents to Hong Kong where they formed the base for the 2020 color revolution attempt there. Lots of those ‘activists’ have now moved to Taiwan.

In 1991 Pelosi and two congressmen unfolded a banner on Tianamen in front of the international media that said: “To those who died for democracy in China.” Police immediately intervened and ended the stunt. The stunt had a positive echo in U.S. media (Note: The video title says it is 1989 but the announcer says it is two years later). Pelosi may think she can recreate another positive media echo by traveling to Taiwan. But the China of 2022 is no longer the China of 1991. It is now the world’s biggest economy and its military force rivals the one the U.S. has. It no longer condones eyepoking and ‘human rights’ stunts. It knows a U.S. provocation when it sees one. In the 1950s and 60s the U.S. financed terrorism in Tibet. In 1989 it coached and financed a bloody color revolution attempt in Beijing. In the 1990s it brought Islamist terrorism to Xinjiang. In this century the U.S. instigated several periods of riots in Hong Kong.

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“..during the Cold War, there was an “understanding of the Soviet doctrine and capabilities — and vice versa” because they kept more negotiation channels open.”

UK Official Says Nuclear War Threat Higher Than During the Cold War (Antiwar)

British National Security Advisor Stephen Lovegrove warned on Thursday that there is a greater risk of nuclear war today than there was during the Cold War due to a lack of communication channels. “The Cold War’s two monolithic blocks of the USSR (Soviet Union) and NATO — though not without alarming bumps — were able to reach a shared understanding of doctrine that is today absent,” Lovegrove said. He said during the Cold War, there was an “understanding of the Soviet doctrine and capabilities — and vice versa” because they kept more negotiation channels open. “This gave us both a higher level of confidence that we would not miscalculate our way into nuclear war,” Lovegrove said.

“Today we do not have the same foundations with others who may threaten us in future — particularly with China,” he said. Today, there is only one remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the US and Russia, the New START, which limits the deployment of nuclear warheads, bombers, submarines, and missiles. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the US has abandoned diplomacy with Moscow, and US officials have said they can’t imagine negotiating a replacement of New START before it expires in 2026. The US has no nuclear arms control treaties with China, which has a vastly smaller arsenal than the US or Russia. Current estimates put Beijing’s arsenal at around 350 warheads, while the US has 5,550 and Russia has about 6,200.

During the Trump administration, the US tried to get Beijing to take part in trilateral arms control talks with Moscow and Washington. But China has little interest in such talks while its arsenal is so much smaller. If the US were serious about getting China involved, it would need to work with Russia to significantly reduce its stockpiles. Besides the lack of communication, the risk of nuclear war is significantly higher today because the US is funding a war on Russia’s border and helping Ukraine with intelligence to carry out attacks on Russian forces. The US is also stoking tensions with China by deploying more military forces in the South China Sea and increasing support for Taiwan.

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What Is A Woman? – Part 2

US GDP Drops 0.9 Percent In Second Quarter (PM)

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released their report on the second quarter GDP. “Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, according to the ‘advance’ estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 1.6 percent.” By standard definitions, two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth indicates that a nation is in an economic recession. President Joe Biden said on Monday that the US is not facing a recession. “We’re not going to be in a recession, in my view,” Biden said. “The unemployment rate is still one of the lowest we’ve had in history. It’s in the 3.6 percent area. We still find ourselves with people investing.”

“The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, federal government spending, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by increases in exports and personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased,” the BEA reports. The White House last week adjusted the definition of recession to distinctly not mean that two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth is a recession. “While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle,” the White House wrote.


“Instead, both official determinations of recessions and economists’ assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data—including the labor market, consumer and business spending, industrial production, and incomes. Based on these data, it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year—even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter—indicates a recession,” the White House said.

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Zschaepitz : “This horror chart suggests that #Germany is heading for a huge energy crisis. Not only are gas prices near record highs, but electricity prices in particular are signaling stress.”

‘Horror Chart’ Suggests Germany On Brink Of Huge Energy Crisis (RT)

Germany is heading for a “huge energy crisis,” a senior editor at one of the country’s most influential newspapers, Die Welt, warned on Wednesday. “Not only [are] gas prices near record highs, but electricity prices in particular are signaling stress,” Holger Zschaepitz, a senior editor on the daily’s economic and financial desk, wrote on Twitter. In what he called a “horror chart” that he posted with his tweet, Zschaepitz showed that the price of electricity had reached almost €400 per megawatt hour on the energy exchange, or €0.40 per kilowatt-hour. If consumer prices reflected such market rates, Germans would be paying around €0.80 per kilowatt-hour rather than the current €0.30, including taxes and fees. However, such a sharp increase would be socially explosive, Zschaepitz suggests.

Meanwhile, in such a case energy companies would no longer be able to produce competitively, he adds. Electricity prices in Germany are influenced by the price of natural gas, which is the source of 15% of the country’s electricity, according to official statistics. Gas prices have nearly quadrupled this year, primarily due to shrinking flow from Russia, the continent’s major supplier. The price crunch has already led to a partial nationalization of one of Germany’s largest energy supply companies. The German government announced last week it would acquire a 30% stake in Uniper after the company asked for a bailout, citing “extreme financial pressure” caused by the reduced Russian natural gas deliveries.

The curtailment of gas flows meant that rather than being able to fully rely on its long-term contracts at a fixed price, Uniper has recently been forced to buy gas on the spot market at a much higher price to make up for shortages. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, European energy firms are racking up debt to cover the soaring costs, with their liabilities having reportedly reached over $1.7 trillion.

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Shoot. Foot.

Hanover Becomes First German City To Ban Hot Water In Public Buildings (DM)

The Germany city of Hanover has become the first big city in Europe to ban hot water and central heating in public buildings in response to Vladimir Putin’s weaponizing of gas supplies. The drastic step comes as Germans have been told to expect sky high electricity bills and sweeping gas rationing measures that will affect their day-to-day lives. In a sign of things to come, Hanover, the capital of Lower Saxony in the north west of the country, will cut off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms. Other desperate gas-saving measures include switching off public fountains and blacking out night-time lights on major buildings such as the town hall and museums. The city’s mayor, Belit Onay, spoke of an ‘imminent gas shortage’ that meant they had to reduce the city’s energy consumption by 15 per cent.


The plans call for shutting off heating within public buildings between April and September each year, and thermostats set at just 20C (68F) for the rest of the year, although there will be some exemptions. There will also be a ban on portable air conditioners, heaters and radiators among the general populace as the average German begins to pay a price for standing up to the Russian dictator. The panic among European states – especially Germany – will likely come as music to Putin’s ears, as he is seen to be cutting energy supplies in retaliation for countries that have supported Ukraine after he invaded the country. Germany, like most of Europe, has been enjoying a hot summer which should soften the blow of the cold showers, but public officials are introducing the measures now in fear of what awaits them when the season turns.

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“..the German industry also depends on it, and if it collapses, the Austrian industry will also collapse, and we will face mass unemployment..”

EU Ban On Russian Gas ‘Impossible’ – Austria (RT)

The European Union cannot ban Russian natural gas, as the step would harm EU members more than Russia, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer warned on Thursday, as cited by Austrian media outlets. Chancellor Nehammer made the comments during a visit to Vienna by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “Sanctions must hit those against whom they are directed more, but not harm those who decide them,” Nehammer told the Austria Press Agency. A ban on gas supplies from Russia – an idea that has been circulating within the EU since Moscow started its military operation in Ukraine – would lead to a domino effect in Europe, the Austrian chancellor suggested.

“Austria’s position is that an embargo on gas is impossible. Not only because Austria depends on Russian gas, the German industry also depends on it, and if it collapses, the Austrian industry will also collapse, and we will face mass unemployment,” Nehammer said, as cited by Lenta.ru. Viktor Orban criticized the gas rationing plan approved by the EU – which aims to reduce gas consumption within the bloc by 15% from August to March next year – earlier this week. According to the Hungarian PM, the mandatory rationing of natural gas is “the first sign of a war economy,” and warned of a possible recession and unemployment in Europe.

Europe has seen reduced gas flow from Russia – a major supplier – due to technical issues at a major pipeline. Nord Stream 1 is currently operating at 20% capacity. The reduction comes as the continent is trying to top up its gas reserves ahead of the heating season. The EU pledged earlier this year to end the bloc’s reliance on Russian energy. A partial embargo on oil was agreed upon, but several rounds of sanctions have not included similar restrictions on Russian natural gas.

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The EU is made up of bureaucrats, so of course pratical things do not get done.

EU Gas Solidarity Complicated By Lack Of Fuel Sharing Deals (R.)

The European Union clinched a deal this week to cope with a gas supply crisis, but to make it work member states need to establish bilateral pacts to share gas and, right now, most have no such agreement in place. Only six such deals have been secured, leaving most of the EU’s 27 countries without firm terms on how and when they would share gas in a supply crunch, or the financial compensation they would give or get for doing so. “[Bilateral deals] are really … the only thing that will hold at the end of the day if there is a real supply crisis,” Christian Egenhofer, associate senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies, said. “They organise the legal stuff, the compensation, the financial but also the infrastructure constraints,” he said.

Fearing Russia may completely halt gas flows, EU countries agreed on Tuesday to curb their gas use by 15% over winter, to fill storage and free up fuel to share around in a supply crisis. But it is up to individual countries to sort out how that sharing of fuel will happen in practice. EU laws oblige member states to send gas to a neighboring state whose households or essential services like hospitals face a severe shortage. To make that happen, governments arrange bilateral deals. However, just eight countries are covered by the six agreements so far – including between Germany and Austria, Estonia and Latvia, and Italy and Slovenia. “This is not sufficient,” EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson said last month, urging countries to arrange more.

A handful of countries are negotiating new two-way agreements, government officials said. A German-Czech deal is due to be signed by winter, and Germany is working on further agreements with Poland and Italy, its economy ministry said. But some countries heavily reliant on Russian gas – such as landlocked Hungary, which opposed this week’s deal – have none. Italy and France are the EU’s biggest gas users after economic powerhouse Germany. Italy has just one bilateral deal on emergency gas sharing and France has none. A senior Italian official said the country was negotiating a deal with Greece on gas storage.

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“I simply cannot believe that this absolute failure of economic policy is now being trumpeted as a positive accomplishment.

Worst Is Yet To Come From Trudeau Liberals (Jordan Peterson)

I have had the great privilege of travelling to 40 American cities in just about as many states and to 15 European countries in the last four months, in the waning days of the great COVID panic, and I have learned many things about our great and self-conscious nation. First: I have not travelled anywhere else where the citizens and the government are more neurotically “concerned” about the pandemic. It may have escaped Canadians’ notice, but virtually nowhere else in the developed world is it now required to wear a mask, as is still mandatory in many of Canada’s airports and on flights out of our benighted country. There is absolutely no excuse for this, except the punitive self-righteousness of the Trudeau Liberals.

What else might you expect, however, from a government that also includes Chrystia Freeland, a deputy prime minister who has bragged about her colleagues’ appalling economic performance, claiming that it is actually good for Canadians to empty their wallets at the gas pumps, because of its implications in fighting the “climate emergency.” I simply cannot believe that this absolute failure of economic policy is now being trumpeted as a positive accomplishment. Here’s a hint for you saintly progressives: if you cared about the poor (the real poor, not the hypothetical poor you are hypothetically saving in the future), you would seek to drive down the cost of energy — energy that is precisely equivalent to work and, therefore, to the wealth that ameliorates poverty.

Second: it is almost impossible to overstate the degree to which Canada’s international reputation has been damaged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Americans I have talked to (including people very well-placed politically on the Democratic and Republican fronts alike) listen in disbelief when I recount the claim brought forth by the Trudeau Liberals: that the trucker Freedom Convoy was financed by Americans hell-bent on bringing about a Jan. 6-style insurrection in Ottawa. Who would benefit from that, even in principle? Even if the Americans (Republican MAGA-types, say) cared about us — which they don’t — why in the world would they want to destabilize Canadian democracy? What’s the motive, to justify the crime? There is none. Even the American Democrats think that idea is insane.

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Barr 180º.

Bill Barr To Merrick Garland: Appoint A Special Counsel Already (Fed.)

Recent developments warrant the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, former Attorney General William Barr says. “[I]ntervening events, especially recent reports about FBI whistleblowers and the possible reach of the investigation, warrant adding the protections of special counsel status to assure that key decisions are made independently without political ‘favor,’” Barr told The Federalist. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been under federal investigation since 2018 for issues related to his foreign business practices, including obtaining investments and board positions from politically compromised figures in communist China and other trouble spots. Multiple U.S. attorney’s offices were tasked with components of the investigation, with the Delaware office being the lead.

Hunter Biden’s problems became much more public with the news that he had left a laptop full of incriminating information at a computer repair store in Delaware. That news was then suppressed by Democrat-allied intelligence officials falsely claiming it was Russian disinformation. This week, multiple FBI whistleblowers, including those in senior positions, accused FBI headquarters of “improperly discredit[ing] and falsely claim[ing] that derogatory information about Biden’s activities was disinformation, causing investigative activity and sourcing to be shut down,” according to a Monday letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. That fact, as well as concern over the investigation’s complexity and scope, convinced the former attorney general of the need for a special counsel.

By highlighting the apparent breadth of the still-pending investigation into Hunter Biden’s affairs, Barr’s comments confirm concerns of three insiders, reported by The Federalist on Wednesday, that “the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office investigating Hunter Biden lacks the wherewithal and resources to adequately probe the dubious financial dealings of the Biden family and their business partners.” Barr’s view that a special counsel is now warranted to continue the investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings represents a change from the position he took in December 2020.

During a December 21, 2020 press conference, when asked whether he agreed with Republicans that a special counsel was needed to handle the Biden investigation, Barr negated the idea. “I think it’s being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department, and to this point I have seen no reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” the outgoing attorney general told reporters.

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Get that counsel.

Joe Biden Met With 14 Of His Son’s Business Associates (RT)

Despite repeated denials that he ever spoke to his son Hunter about the latter’s overseas business dealings, Fox News reported on Thursday that President Joe Biden met with at least 14 of Hunter’s business associates from the US, Mexico, Ukraine, China and Kazakhstan. Abandoned in a Delaware computer repair shop some time before the 2020 election and unearthed by the New York Post, Hunter’s laptop contained presumed evidence of numerous foreign deals in which businessmen offered tens of millions of dollars for introductions to Joe Biden, as well as graphic proof of Hunter’s drug use and dalliances with prostitutes.

“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden insisted in 2019. When last month Britain’s Daily Mail published a 2018 voicemail featuring Biden speaking to Hunter about a deal with Chinese oil firm CEFC, the official line remained the same, with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that “what the president said still stands.” Fox News’ latest report casts serious doubt on Biden’s denial. According to the news site, Joe Biden met with Mexican businessmen Miguel Aleman Velasco and Miguel Aleman Magnani in 2014, giving the pair a tour of the White House. A year later, Biden reportedly spoke by video with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and all three Mexicans – whom Hunter was doing business with or in negotiations with at the time – visited them at the vice presidential residence in Washington DC.

In a text message found on the laptop, Hunter told his business partner, Jeff Cooper, that he had spoken to his father about the deal involving Slim. Joe Biden also reportedly met with former Colombian President Andres Pastrana Arango and Eric Schwerin, another of Hunter’s business partners, in 2012, before dining with Arango and Juan Esteban Orduz, a Colombian businessman, later that same day. Files from the laptop show that during a single dinner in 2015, Joe Biden met with Hunter’s business associates from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia, including an executive from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter a reported $50,000 per month from 2014 to 2018 to sit on its board. The following day, the Burisma executive emailed Hunter, thanking him for “giving an opportunity to meet your father.”

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Anton is a former Trump WH adviser.

They Can’t Let Him Back In (Michael Anton)

Why? They say Jan. 6. But their determination began much earlier. And just what is so terrible about Trump anyway? I get many of his critics’ points, I really do. I hear them all the time from my mother. But even if we were to stipulate them all, do Trump’s faults really warrant tearing the country apart by shutting out half of it from the political process? Love him or hate him, during Trump’s presidency, the economy was strong, markets were up, inflation was under control, gas prices were low, illegal border crossings were down, crime was lower, trade deals were renegotiated, ISIS was defeated, NATO allies were stepping up, and China was stepping back (a little). Deny all that if you want to. The point here is that something like 100 million Americans believe it, strongly, and are bewildered and angered by elite hatred for the man they think delivered it.

Nor was Trump’s record all that radical—much less so than that of Joe Biden, who is using school-lunch funding to push gender ideology on poor kids, to cite but one example. Trump’s core agenda—border protection, trade balance, foreign restraint—was quite moderate, both intrinsically and in comparison to past Republican and Democratic precedent. And that’s before we even get to the fact that Trump neglected much of his own agenda in favor of the old Chamber of Commerce, fusionist, Reaganite, Conservatism, Inc., agenda. Corporate tax cuts, deregulation, and bombing Syria: These are all things Trump’s base doesn’t want, but the oligarchs desperately do, which Trump gave them. And still they try to destroy him.

Again, why? I think it’s because, while Trump’s core MAGA agenda is decidedly not outside the historic bipartisan mainstream, it is well outside the present regime’s core interests. Our rulers’ wealth and power rise with open borders, trade giveaways, and endless war. Trump, at least in principle, and often in practice, threatens all three. The old America—the one in which Republicans cared about the heartland and weren’t solely valets to corporate power, Democrats were pro-worker and anti-war, and Bill Clinton and The New York Times could advocate border security—is in the process of being replaced, if it hasn’t already been, by one in which there is only one acceptable opinion on not just these, but all other issues.

Anti-Trump hysteria is in the final analysis not about Trump. The regime can’t allow Trump to be president not because of who he is (although that grates), but because of who his followers are. That class—Angelo Codevilla’s “country class”—must not be allowed representation by candidates who might implement their preferences, which also, and above all, must not be allowed. The rubes have no legitimate standing to affect the outcome of any political process, because of who they are, but mostly because of what they want. Complaints about the nature of Trump are just proxies for objections to the nature of his base. It doesn’t help stabilize our already twitchy situation that those who bleat the loudest about democracy are also audibly and visibly determined to deny a real choice to half the country. “No matter how you vote, you will not get X”—whether X is a candidate or a policy—is guaranteed to increase discontent with the present regime.

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Bear

 

 

 

 

Gerry Ritz

 

 

 

 

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Jan 092021
 
 January 9, 2021  Posted by at 4:32 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  30 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Blue Trees (Your Turn Will Come, My Beauty!) 1888

 

 

You would think that if there’s one group of people who’d recognize a coup if they saw one, it would be the American people. Because their intelligence services have been involved in almost all coups in the world for many decades; let’s say since WWII, to keep it simple.

Just in the most recent past, they staged and conducted coups in Libya, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela and many other places (think Bolivia). Libya was the only real “successful” one, thanks to Gaddafi being sodomized with a bayonet, leading to Hillary’s giddy We Came, We Saw, He Died, the by far ugliest face of the US by a mile. That and the open-air slave markets that resulted from sodomizing to death the man who led Africa’s wealthiest country and gave his people benefits that Americans can only dream of.

And now Hillary’s crew are about to be handed the reins again. Or as Michael Tracey put it”: The new corporate authoritarian liberal-left monoculture is going to be absolutely ruthless – and in 12 days it is merging with the state. This [is] only the beginning. Duck for cover.

The screwed-up coups in Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela etc. would appear to signal that the CIA is not very adept (anymore?!) at organizing coups, or maybe they just chronically overestimate their skills at it. Whichever way it may be, they have done more damage to America and its standing in the world than Donald Trump could ever have dreamt of doing.

So you would think Americans would recognize a coup, but instead they’re the last group of people on the planet who would. Because their media doesn’t present them as coups. They’re labeled as spreading democracy, freedom etc., as standing up against the bad guys, and liberating innocent people -even if many of them die in the process. People dying is a feature of these coups, not a bug. People get shot, bombed, disappeared, in a word: killed.

 

Anyway, it’s way more and better than ironic that all these very deadly CIA-led operations are not labeled coups, but then the clowns and actors spectacle that took place in Washington DC this week, is. Which is possible only because they never told people what a coup actually is. Only then can you make them believe that some wanker in a furry viking helmet outfit is trying to overthrow the government. At the initiative of the democratically elected president, no less.

Are these people extremists and terrorists or are they clowns and actors? I would lean towards the latter option. A coup requires a plan, a playbook, most often elites who think they have a shot at taking over a country, which in turn requires support from at least part of an army. The best these folks could think of was sitting in Pelosi’s office and take selfies.

 

 

That doesn’t make the march on the Capitol a good thing, far from it, but there are a lot of people out there who don’t like the way the president they elected in 2016 has been treated by the MSM, his political opponents, and US intelligence. And after the theater that has been Russiagate, the Mueller debacle and the Zelensky call-based impeachment, maybe that shouldn’t be too surprising.

The main problem for Trump lately would appear to have been his legal representation. I’ve said all along: let the dice roll where they may, there are many questions surrounding the election and they have the right to go looking for answers to these questions.

But if you look at what the status is today of what the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Lin Wood have come up with, you think they might as well have been working for the other side. Still, we’ve at least seen the dice roll, and they came up they way they did. The process was allowed to proceed, and this is the outcome. This has misled Trump as well as his followers. They thought there was something substantial -and tanglible- there, because that’s what they were told all along.

This doesn’t mean the US should continue using voting machines, however. There are many countries that hold elections, and there are very few that either use those machines and/or see their elections contested. There’s a reason for that combination. These things can be manipulated, and they will be if they’re used. Get rid of them or this chapter will be repeated endlessly.

 

Then again, it all plays out well for anyone but Trump. And perhaps a few GOP’ers who stood by him. You could say, Trump entered the swamp and drowned in it, it swallowed him whole. Which is not to say that he’s such a perfect character, hell no, but he was the one and only chance to get rid of the power cabal that is DC. Which is a much bigger danger than he could ever be.

Where career politicians like Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell and Joe Biden can reside for decades, and be handed ever more handsome amounts of money by the lobbyists who write their laws, which benefit the corporations they work for. Trump was the chance to do at least something about this. They ate him alive.

Now the story is that Trump is/was the main danger, and that he was attempting a coup against his own government. To finish off the job, after being hunted down by the MSM for 4+ years, social media, for whom unceremoniously dumping Trump, after he was their main attraction for years -at least for clickbait-, was just a business decision dressed in some vague set of moral principles, are now simply deleting him.

And people cheer that. They don’t understand that from now on, as US president you serve at the behest, grace and kindness of the CIA, New York Times and WaPo, but even more that of @jack and Zuckerberg, and not that of the American people. As the noise about an attempted coup allows Team Biden to slip in Sally Yates, Susan Rice and Victoria Nuland and their whole gang of neocon warmongers.

The entire media focus on Trump served to hide what those people were doing behind the scenes all along. And now it’s time to duck for cover. They’re going to try and impeach him again, and then prosecute him, and erase everything he’s done, cheered on by the same media who never told you what a coup actually is. Because they are a big club, and he’s not in it, and neither are you.

And if you think you can vent an opinion on social media in the future that doesn’t coincide with that of the big club, perhaps you haven’t been paying attention.

 

 

 

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Oct 282020
 


Gustav Klimt Pine forest I 1901

 

Last Round-up at the Wokester Corral (Jim Kunstler)
Multi-Organ Impairment In Low-Risk Individuals With Long COVID (medrxiv)
UK Study Finds Evidence Of Waning Antibody Immunity To COVID19 Over Time (R.)
Spanish Doctors In First Walkout In 25 Years To Protest New COVID19 Order (ZH)
White House Watch: Biden 49%, Trump 47% (Rasmussen)
Don’t Believe The Polls – Trump Is Winning (Hill)
Bobulinski Says He Met Joe Biden Twice In Connection With Chinese Venture (JTN)
How The Authenticity of Hunter’s Laptop Became Immaterial (Turley)
Biden Calls Russia #1 Threat But Slammed Romney For Saying It In 2012 (JTN)
Senate Investigates Hunter Biden’s Failure to Register as Foreign Agent (RCI)
The Last Days of the Trumpian Reich (CJ Hopkins)
‘Covid First’ China Is Trumping ‘America First’ In Economic Recovery (Roach)
Banksy’s Foolproof Plan for Dealing With Anyone Who Steals His Art (Y!)
Newly Sworn-In ACB Immediately Orders All Women To Wear Handmaid Outfit (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Kim Dotcom Joe Biden

 

 

“…a free society is obliged to tolerate the expression of disagreeable ideas up to the limit, as the Supreme Court put it, of “crying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.”

Last Round-up at the Wokester Corral (Jim Kunstler)

I have some questions for former friends who have dumped me on account of my support for Mr. Trump’s re-election — which is mostly a vote to prevent the Democratic Party and its fellow travelers from running the government. On the whole, these former friends are college-educated, mature in experience, and cultured. Some of them are well-acquainted with history, which is to say, they ought to know better than to support the obviously illiberal motives of the political Left. Are you against the principle of free speech? The Democratic Party is. They used to be champions of the First Amendment; now they want to make it conditional on ideas and sentiments they support. Contrary ideas are to be labeled “hate speech,” and suppressed, along with anything that might hurt somebody’s feelings.

How did you come to such a complete misunderstanding of what free speech means? Namely, that a free society is obliged to tolerate the expression of disagreeable ideas up to the limit, as the Supreme Court put it, of “crying ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” I will answer my own question partially by saying: you have been programmed against free speech by what used to be the very vehicles of it, the newspapers and TV News channels, which have, amazingly, come out against freedom of the press and turned into propaganda outlets for Woke Progressivism and its illiberal agenda — thereby inadvertently committing suicide of the entire profession. We’ve seen this acted-out most vividly just the past week in the social media companies’ efforts to suppress all news of the Biden family’s global business operations, along with The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and other leading news organizations that Americans used to depend on to know what was happening in the nation.

This is especially unforgivable during a national election. Did you support the movement on campus in recent years to shut down events featuring speakers such as Charles Murray (The Bell Curve), Heather Mac Donald of City Journal, Dinesh D’Souza, and many others who represented not-so-Woke ideas that “offended” you? Since when are your feelings so special that they negate the open exchange of ideas in the places that used to be dedicated to it, the universities? Should higher education only entertain ideas that you and your cohorts approve of? What if, in some future, a different cohort gains control of higher education and seeks to exclude your ideas on the grounds that they’re “offensive” (i.e. they just don’t like them)?

Are you in favor of a politicized Department of Justice and CIA? That is what the Democratic Party’s Resistance League deliberately brought about during the 2016 election, and they continue to promote it. Is it okay for bureaucrats to break the law to disable their political adversaries? That was the essence of the RussiaGate ruse. Former employees of those agencies, such as ex-CIA chief John Brennan and Andrew Weissmann, who ran the Mueller investigation, to this day still hype “Russian collusion” falsehoods to deflect attention from their own misdeeds. You let them get away with that.

Read more …

201 participants, median age 44, 70% women, large majority not high risk. Only 18% hospitalized. Median time 140 days from first symptom: 99% suffered at least four symptoms. 42% suffered at least ten. In 66%, injuries in at least one organ, in 25% in at least two organs.

Multi-Organ Impairment In Low-Risk Individuals With Long COVID (medrxiv)

Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has disproportionately affected older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions. Research has focused on short-term outcomes in hospital, and single organ involvement. Consequently, impact of long COVID (persistent symptoms three months post-infection) across multiple organs in low-risk individuals is yet to be assessed.

Methods An ongoing prospective, longitudinal, two-centre, observational study was performed in individuals symptomatic after recovery from acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. Symptoms and organ function (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen) were assessed by standardised questionnaires (EQ-5D-5L, Dyspnoea-12), blood investigations and quantitative magnetic resonance imaging, defining single and multi-organ impairment by consensus definitions.

Findings Between April and September 2020, 201 individuals (mean age 44 (SD 11.0) years, 70% female, 87% white, 31% healthcare workers) completed assessments following SARS-CoV-2 infection (median 140, IQR 105-160 days after initial symptoms). The prevalence of pre-existing conditions (obesity: 20%, hypertension: 6%; diabetes: 2%; heart disease: 4%) was low, and only 18% of individuals had been hospitalised with COVID-19. Fatigue (98%), muscle aches (88%), breathlessness (87%), and headaches (83%) were the most frequently reported symptoms. Ongoing cardiorespiratory (92%) and gastrointestinal (73%) symptoms were common, and 42% of individuals had ten or more symptoms.

There was evidence of mild organ impairment in heart (32%), lungs (33%), kidneys (12%), liver (10%), pancreas (17%), and spleen (6%). Single (66%) and multi-organ (25%) impairment was observed, and was significantly associated with risk of prior COVID-19 hospitalisation (p<0.05).

Interpretation In a young, low-risk population with ongoing symptoms, almost 70% of individuals have impairment in one or more organs four months after initial symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There are implications not only for burden of long COVID but also public health approaches which have assumed low risk in young people with no comorbidities.

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It’s the combination of the article above, and this one, that has me thinking. Both talk about what happens in a 6 month period or longer.

UK Study Finds Evidence Of Waning Antibody Immunity To COVID19 Over Time (R.)

Antibodies against the novel coronavirus declined rapidly in the British population during the summer, a study found on Tuesday, suggesting protection after infection may not be long lasting and raising the prospect of waning immunity in the community. Scientists at Imperial College London have tracked antibody levels in the British population following the first wave of COVID-19 infections in March and April. Their study found that antibody prevalence fell by a quarter, from 6% of the population around the end of June to just 4.4% in September. That raises the prospect of decreasing population immunity ahead of a second wave of infections in recent weeks that has forced local lockdowns and restrictions.

Although immunity to the novel coronavirus is a complex and murky area, and may be assisted by T cells, as well as B cells that can stimulate the quick production of antibodies following re-exposure to the virus, the researchers said the experience of other coronaviruses suggested immunity might not be enduring. “We can see the antibodies and we can see them declining and we know that antibodies on their own are quite protective,” Wendy Barclay, head of the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London told reporters. “On the balance of evidence I would say, with what we know for other coronaviruses, it would look as if immunity declines away at the same rate as antibodies decline away, and that this is an indication of waning immunity at the population level.”

Those for whom COVID-19 was confirmed with a gold standard PCR test had a less pronounced decline in antibodies, compared to people who had been asymptomatic and unaware of their original infection. There was no change in the levels of antibodies seen in healthcare workers, possibly due to repeated exposure to the virus. The study backs up findings from similar surveys in Germany which found the vast majority of people didn’t have COVID-19 antibodies, even in hotspots for the disease, and that antibodies might fade in those who do.

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“The order requires doctors and nurses to report to any of a range of assignments that could be handed to them by the government during the state of emergency..”

Spanish Doctors In First Walkout In 25 Years To Protest New COVID19 Order (ZH)

Doctors across Spain have walked out on Tuesday in what media outlets have called the first medical strike to rock the country in 25 years. As the coronavirus pandemic rages across Spain, where the Health Ministry reported another 18,418 new daily cases on Tuesday, doctors are beginning the strike, which was called in defiance of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s latest emergency order, which was implemented on Sunday. The order requires doctors and nurses to report to any of a range of assignments that could be handed to them by the government during the state of emergency, which could be in place for months. Doctors complained that the new law violated their rights, and compromised the standard of care for patients, as doctors would end up working in an area they weren’t specialized in.


The strike will continue indefinitely, with doctors set to continue striking on the last Tuesday of every month until a deal has been reached. For the first time, 200,000 new cases were confirmed in Spain over the previous two weeks, and cases on Tuesday were up 33% compared with the prior week. And over the last 24 hours, another 267 people have died. “The Health Ministry hasn’t even dignified us with a meeting to try and get us to call off the strike,” he told Spanish health journal iSanidad. Spain’s hospitals harbor nearly 16,700 active COVID-19 patients – up more than 600 compared to Monday, with one quarter of all the country’s ICU units used to treat those with an infectious disease.

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The day before, Trump was ahead.

White House Watch: Biden 49%, Trump 47% (Rasmussen)

Democrat Joe Biden has edged back ahead in Rasmussen Reports’ daily White House Watch survey. The latest national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows Biden earning 49% support to President Trump’s 47%. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate, while two percent (2%) are still undecided. Yesterday, Trump was ahead for the first time since mid-September – by a minimal 48% to 47%. The race has been tightening since early in the month.


Rasmussen Reports has been releasing White House Watch weekly on Wednesdays since the beginning of July. But starting this week, White House Watch will be posted daily at 10:30 am Eastern. Trump earns 82% support among Republicans. Biden has 78% of the Democrat vote and leads by three among voters not affiliated with either major party. The survey of 1,500 Likely Voters was conducted October 22 and 25-26, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

Trump: VOTE

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FYI.

Don’t Believe The Polls – Trump Is Winning (Hill)

We predict that President Trump is going to win the 2020 presidential election — and win big. While the majority of the polls suggest that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is leading, or at best that it’s close, those polls suffer from at least three problems. First, the tone of the questions. There is significant evidence from behavioral psychology that suggests that the way a question is framed predetermines the range of potential answers. In fact, Gallup has found that respondents can answer very differently to questions with the same topic even in the same survey based on the language that’s used. And the use of metaphors can even dwarf the importance of pre-existing differences between Republicans and Democrats.

One of the reasons respondents do that is because of a tendency to give socially desirable answers, which was the case especially during the 2016 election. Most people don’t like confrontation, so the easiest, albeit not necessarily the best, solution is to avoid it. Right now, saying that you’re voting for Trump/Pence is often not the socially desirable answer. In fact, a recent poll by the Cato Institute suggests that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that the political climate is sufficiently harsh that they don’t want to give their genuine opinion about politics.

Second, the sample of respondents. Who responds depends on many factors, including the medium (e.g., landline versus cellphone), the location, the sample size and demographic factors. Moreover, the pool of respondents is not necessarily the same as the pool of likely voters. Even though election polls all contain a margin of error, that margin of error is unreliable if the underlying sample does not reflect the population. Researchers have also identified self-screening as the major contributing factor to the polling failures during the 2016 election cycle. For example, distrust of pollsters also leads to lower response rates for Trump supporters. Rasmussen finds that 17 percent of likely U.S. voters who “strongly approve” of the job President Trump is doing say they are less likely to let others know how they intend to vote in the upcoming election.

By comparison, only 8 percent of those who “strongly disapprove” of the president’s performance say the same. While proper sampling methodology matters more than the size, having a representative sample with enough people still helps considerably. Robert Cahaly of the Trafalgar Group notes how their work to create minimum samples sizes of 1,000 voters, added to their work to doggedly pursue the “quiet Trump voter,” led to Trafalgar being one of the most successful battleground polling firms in the country in 2016. Cahaly explains that “we don’t do a state with less than a thousand. You see these polls, 400, 500, 600 people for a state. I don’t buy that. Your margin of error is far too high.”

Third, the content of the current news cycle. What’s going on in a particular moment in time can influence voter attitudes, particularly in swing states. For example, the recent revelation of Hunter Biden’s hidden emails on his laptop, coupled with the link to his father, has come at an opportune time for the president. Moreover, if the economic recovery continues, the good news may continue putting wind in Trump’s sails.

Leaflet left on reporters’ chairs in Airforce One.

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Crickets in the MSM.

Bobulinski Says He Met Joe Biden Twice In Connection With Chinese Venture (JTN)

In a lengthy interview with Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night, former Biden family business associate Tony Bobulinski accused Joe Biden of a “blatant lie” in denying any familiarity with his son Hunter’s business undertakings, claiming he himself met with Biden on two separate occasions to discuss prospective ventures into Chinese markets. Bobulinski painted a picture of the Democratic presidential nominee as actively aware in broad strokes of plans for the Biden family to enter into a business partnership with Chinese nationals closely tied to the Chinese Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army — yet with Biden himself maintaining enough distance from the operational details in face-to-face encounters to preserve what his brother Jim Biden would characterize as “plausible deniability.”


Biden’s family members, Bobuilnski claimed, were “putting their entire family legacy on the line” in their dealings with the Chinese. “They knew exactly what they were doing,” he said. They were dealing with a Chinese owned enterprise … that had strong financial support and political support from the Chinese Communist Party. That’s how it was presented to me. That’s not my own words. That’s how they presented it to me and read me in on it.” Bobulinski made headlines last week when he claimed to have firsthand evidence of Biden’s involvement in those deals. “I’ve seen Vice President Biden saying he never talked to Hunter about his business,” Bobulinski said in a statement. “I’ve seen firsthand that that’s not true.”

Tucker Bobulinkski

In a largely unbroken 45-minute interview with Carlson on Tuesday, Bobulinski further went on the record, telling the Fox host that he was approached by the Biden family and several associates in 2017 in order to help manage a business venture in China. Bobulinski said he met with Biden at the Milken Institute’s 2017 Global Conference in Los Angeles. “They were wining and dining me to get me more engaged,” he told Carlson. “I didn’t request to meet with Joe,” Bobulinski said. “They requested I meet with Joe.” Bobulinski, a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant, said he met with Biden twice in the course of his association with the family. Biden reportedly told Bobulinski to “keep an eye on Hunter and [Biden’s brother] James” during their dealings.


Chinese officials, Bobulinski said, looked at him as “irrelevant,” seeing “the Biden family” as the main focus of their dealings. He claimed that the Bidens received a $5 million no-collateral, no-interest loan from Chinese officials. Bobulinski was motivated to come forward, he told Carlson, after California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff denounced recently leaked emails involving Hunter Biden as “Russian disinformation.” That allegation, Bobulinski told Carlson, also smeared his own family’s name. “I was at the end of the rope,” he said. “I called [Biden associate] Rob Walker. I told him if that statement wasn’t retracted by midnight on Sunday then I was going on record.”

Tucker Bobulinkski 8 Minutes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1321285423793131527

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“It simply does not matter. It is disinformation because it is simply inconvenient to treat it as real information.”

How The Authenticity of Hunter’s Laptop Became Immaterial (Turley)

Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden was again insisting that the scandal involving Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation despite the direct refutation of that claim by the FBI. No mainstream reporter bothered to ask the simple question of whether this was his son’s laptop and emails, including emails clearly engaging in an influence peddling scheme and referring to Joe Biden’s knowledge. Instead, media has maintained a consistent and narrow focus. Indeed, in her interview, Leslie Stahl immediately dismissed any “scandal” involving Hunter in an interview with the President on 60 Minutes. It was an open example of what I previously noted in a column: “After all, an allegation is a scandal only if it is damaging. No coverage, no damage, no scandal.”

In her interview with Joe Biden, CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell did not push Biden to simply confirm that the emails were fake or whether he did in fact meet with Hunter’s associates (despite his prior denials). Instead O’Donnell asked: “Do you believe the recent leak of material allegedly from Hunter’s computer is part of a Russian disinformation campaign?” Biden responded with the same answer that has gone unchallenged dozens of times: “From what I’ve read and know the intelligence community warned the president that Giuliani was being fed disinformation from the Russians. And we also know that Putin is trying very hard to spread disinformation about Joe Biden. And so when you put the combination of Russia, Giuliani– the president, together– it’s just what it is. It’s a smear campaign because he has nothing he wants to talk about. What is he running on? What is he running on?”

It did not matter that the answer omitted the key assertion that this was not Hunter’s laptop or emails or that he did not leave the computer with this store. Recently, Washington Post columnist Thomas Rid wrote said the quiet part out loud by telling the media: “We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t.” Let that sink in for a second. It does not matter if these are real emails and not Russian disinformation. They probably are real but should be treated as disinformation even though American intelligence has repeatedly rebutted that claim. It does not even matter that the FBI has seized the computer as evidence in a criminal fraud investigation or that a Biden confidant is now giving his allegations to the FBI under threat of criminal charges if he lies to investigators. It simply does not matter. It is disinformation because it is simply inconvenient to treat it as real information.

Read more …

Times change. RussiaRussia has become indispensible.

Biden Calls Russia #1 Threat But Slammed Romney For Saying It In 2012 (JTN)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden recently identified Russia as the number one threat to America but in 2012, when he was vice president, Biden called then-GOP presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney “out of touch” for taking the same position. Biden said Romney views the “world through a Cold War prism that is totally out of touch with the realities of the 21st century.” Biden slammed Romney for referring to Russia as “our number one geopolitical foe,” which was greeted with laughter from members of the audience watching Biden’s address in April 2012. “Governor Romney is mired in a Cold War mindset,” Biden said in a foreign policy speech at New York University in 2012.

Biden referred to Romney’s criticism of Obama’s handling of the New START treaty, which was a nuclear arms control treaty reached with Russia in 2010. “Governor Romney was part of a very small group of Cold War holdovers who never met an arms control treaty that he likes,” he said. “He was way out of the mainstream on this issue, unless you think that’s just political hyperbole.” “He acts like he thinks the Cold War is still on, Russia is still our major adversary,” Biden said in an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” in 2012. “I don’t know where he has been. We have disagreements with Russia, but they’re united with us on Iran. One of only two ways we’re getting material into Afghanistan to our troops is through Russia … if there is an oil shutdown in any way in the Gulf, they’ll consider increasing oil supplies to Europe. This is not 1956.”

In October 2012, Obama mocked Romney’s position on Russia as the top threat to the U.S. during a presidential debate. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” Obama said. In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday evening, Biden said Russia is the greatest threat to the U.S. “The biggest threat to America right now in terms of breaking up our security and our alliances is Russia,” he said.

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“The email indicates Hunter was familiar with the requirements of the law. It is a crime to knowingly violate FARA. Violations carry a maximum punishment of five years in prison.”

Senate Investigates Hunter Biden’s Failure to Register as Foreign Agent (RCI)

A search of Justice Department databases reveals that Hunter Biden failed to register as a foreign agent while promoting the interests of foreign business partners in Washington, including brokering meetings with his father and other government officials, and RealClear Investigations has learned at least one Senate committee is investigating whether Joe Biden’s son violated federal laws requiring disclosure of such foreign contacts. The Obama administration did not prosecute Hunter Biden for potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, despite its much more aggressive pursuit of FARA cases relative to other administrations — including its opening of criminal investigations on no fewer than six Trump campaign advisers in 2016.

One of them, Paul Manafort, ended up in prison in part for failing to publicly disclose his lobbying on behalf of Ukrainian clients and partners. Newly discovered April 2015 emails show Hunter Biden appeared to be helping a Ukrainian energy executive meet with and lobby his father, who was vice president at the time. Hunter, who held a lucrative seat on the board of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma at the time, also sought meetings with State Department officials. None of these contacts was publicly disclosed in government filings, according to a search of both FARA and Lobbying Disclosure Act records, which show Hunter registered as a federal lobbyist in 2001 and stopped filing disclosures in 2008. In contrast, Hunter’s former law partner and fellow lobbyist, William Oldaker, has registered as a foreign agent under FARA. Oldaker is Joe Biden’s longtime campaign lawyer and fundraiser.

At least one Senate committee is actively investigating Hunter’s compliance with the FARA law. Though it has not sent a criminal referral to Justice, RCI has also learned that a public-interest law firm is preparing a complaint to Justice regarding Hunter Biden’s arranging meetings between his foreign contacts and his father when he was vice president. Former investigators and prosecutors say the uneven enforcement of the federal statute smacks of politics. “It’s a double standard, 100%,” said former assistant FBI director Chris Swecker, who led public corruption cases out of Washington. Added Swecker, who also served as a prosecutor: “It’s strange how in this election there is no curiosity whatsoever about foreign influence on a potential president of the United States, especially from this country’s greatest threat — China.”

[..] In a May 2017 email, their mutual business partner, James Biden, sent his nephew Hunter, Bobulinski and other partners a list of friendly American political contacts whom they could exploit to advance the proposed joint venture with their Chinese partners. Among the “key domestic contacts” were: Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who is now Joe Biden’s vice presidential running mate. (FARA records show James Biden has not registered as a foreign agent, either.) In an earlier email that same month, Hunter sought to avoid registering as a foreign agent as part of the venture. “We don’t want to have to register as foreign agents,” he told Bobulinski on May 1, 2017, and suggested setting up a U.S. shell company to work around it. The email indicates Hunter was familiar with the requirements of the law. It is a crime to knowingly violate FARA. Violations carry a maximum punishment of five years in prison.

@RobertPLewis: “I didn’t think the audio from Hunter Biden’s laptop could be worse than the child endangerment pics, but it is. Verbal admission from Hunter that he knew he and his dad were in bed & business with Chinese intelligence. Bruh. That’s treason”

Hunter: F*cking spy chief of China

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“Trump will face some sort of Nuremberg trial, where he will have to answer for mass-murdering six million people with the Coronavirus by taking off his mask on the White House balcony. Hillary Clinton will be appointed … something.”

The Last Days of the Trumpian Reich (CJ Hopkins)

So, according to the corporate media, this is it for Russian-backed Hitler. Game over. The walls are closing in. It’s the last days of the Trumpian Reich. Get those vuvuzelas ready! Yes, apparently, the American people, who were all a bunch of Putin-worshipping, white-supremacist neo-Nazis when they elected Trump in 2016, have come to their senses and are going to deliver a landslide victory to “Slappy” Joe Biden and bring down the curtain on this “Age of Darkness,” or save the world from “racial Orwellianism” or the “bottomless pit of facsism,” or whatever. White supremacy will be defeated and globalization will rise from the ashes! Decency will be restored! Love will trump hate! Black lives will matter!

Slappy and Kamala will immediately fly down and liberate the concentration camps. Trump will face some sort of Nuremberg trial, where he will have to answer for mass-murdering six million people with the Coronavirus by taking off his mask on the White House balcony. Hillary Clinton will be appointed … something. Exuberant liberals will pour into the streets, chanting unintelligible slogans through their designer masks and plastic head bubbles. OK, sure, the global economy will be ruined, and millions of people will be unemployed, and homeless, or will have needlessly died, so that GloboCap could simulate an apocalyptic global plague, and foment racialized civil unrest, and just generally create an atmosphere of confusion, depression, and paranoia, but the War on Populism will finally be over … and GloboCap will start to “Build Back Better!”

OK, it won’t be “better” right away. As our friends at the World Economic Forum note: “Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, the world is off-balance – and it will remain so for years to come. Far from settling into a ‘new normal’, we should expect a Covid19 domino effect, triggering further disruptions – positive as well as negative – over the decade ahead. The wave of civil unrest that spread across America and beyond recently may be one example …” So, all right, maybe not quite the end of the War on Populism, but at least a new stage of it. A chaotic, destructive, violent stage of it, which will require a lot of “emergency measures” and will end up radically transforming the planet into one big pathologized-totalitarian marketplace.

Read more …

Stephen Roach knows a thing or two.

‘Covid First’ China Is Trumping ‘America First’ In Economic Recovery (Roach)

Just as China led the world in economic recovery in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008, it is playing a similar role today. Its post-Covid rebound is gathering momentum amid a developed world that remains on shaky ground. Unfortunately, this is a bitter pill for many to swallow – especially in the United States, where demonisation of China has reached epic proportions. The two crises are, of course, different. Wall Street was ground zero for the 2008 crisis, while the Covid-19 pandemic was spawned in the wet markets of Wuhan. But in both cases, China’s crisis-response strategy was far more effective than that deployed by the US. In the five years following the onset of the 2008 crisis, annual real GDP growth in China averaged 8.6 per cent (on a purchasing power parity basis).

While that was slower than the blistering (and unsustainable) 11.6 per cent average pace of the five previous years, it was four times the US economy’s anaemic 2.1 per cent average annual growth over the post-crisis 2010-14 period. China’s pandemic response hints at a comparable outcome in the years ahead. The GDP report for the third quarter of 2020 suggests a rapid return to the pre-Covid trend. The 4.9 per cent year-on-year figure for real GDP growth does not convey a full sense of the self-sustaining recovery that is now emerging in China. Measuring economic growth on a sequential quarterly basis and converting those comparisons to annual rates – the preferred construct of US statisticians and policymakers – provides a much cleaner sense of real-time shifts in the underlying momentum of any economy.

On that basis, China’s real GDP rose at an 11 per cent sequential annual rate in the third quarter, following a 55 per cent post-lockdown surge in the second quarter. The comparison with the US is noteworthy. Both economies experienced comparable contractions during their respective lockdowns, which came one quarter later for the US. China’s 33.8 per cent sequential (annualised) plunge in the first quarter was almost identical to the 31.2 per cent US contraction in the second quarter. Based on incoming high-frequency (monthly) data, the so-called GDPNow estimate of the Atlanta Federal Reserve puts third-quarter sequential real GDP growth in the US at around 35 per cent. While that is a welcome and marked turnaround from the record decline during the lockdown, it is about 20 percentage points short of China’s post-lockdown rebound and still leaves the US economy about 3 per cent below its peak of late 2019.

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“The big problem I had with people removing my street work wasn’t that it was exploiting and stealing from the community — it was because the stolen stuff looked so much better than what I was making in the studio..”

Banksy’s Foolproof Plan for Dealing With Anyone Who Steals His Art (Y!)

Contemporary art is a tricky business. If you’ve collected a painting or sculpture by a modern artist, odds are good that you’ll have some record of the transaction, and some method of verifying that the work you have is both genuine and genuinely obtained. That becomes a bit more complicated when the artist in question — though world-famous — has a penchant for anonymously leaving their work in urban spaces to create impromptu public art. Yes, we’re talking about Banksy, and one of his lesser-known practices which has recently come into sharp relief. Last week, a clip from Antiques Roadshow went viral. It features a man looking to get a small painting by Banksy evaluated. When asked how he’d come by it, the man admit he’d seen it while walking down a street in Brighton one night.

Recognizing it as Banksy’s handiwork, he then removed it from where it had been screwed into place. What follows is a brief and memorable lesson in morality. Pro tip: it’s generally considered poor form to admit to stealing something while being recorded for television. As the show’s host reveals, Banksy has established a virtual portal to authenticate whether specific works of his are both genuine and genuinely obtained — and, as the guy trying to get a painting valued admits, he’d visited the site and been told that the painting could not be validated because it was not obtained legally. Dubbed Pest Control, the service offers an easy-to-use interface to determine a particular work’s validity.

Elsewhere on Pest Control’s site, they offer a more extensive explanation of what they do — namely, issue certificates of authenticity. As for what that means, well — here’s what Pest Control themselves have to say: “The certificate of authenticity (COA) means you can buy, sell or insure a piece of art knowing it’s legitimate and the wheels won’t fall off,” they write. “Pest Control is the only source of COA’s for Banksy. We issue them for paintings, prints, sculptures and other attempts at creativity. We don’t issue them for things like stickers, posters, defaced currency or anything which wasn’t originally intended as a ‘work of art’.” Pest Control also offers a “Keeping It Real” service, which lets prospective buyers of a work by Banksy confirm that the work is, in fact, legitimate.

[..] “The big problem I had with people removing my street work wasn’t that it was exploiting and stealing from the community — it was because the stolen stuff looked so much better than what I was making in the studio,” he told artnet news.

Read more …

“All women are now required to bear at least seventeen babies.”

Newly Sworn-In ACB Immediately Orders All Women To Wear Handmaid Outfit (BBee)

After being sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, Amy Coney Barrett immediately issued a decree that all women are to wear red handmaid’s outfits for the rest of their lives. “Execute papal order 66,” she said, her eyes glowing red. “Implement the theocratic state.” Barrett sent out squads of soldiers to round up women and make sure they wear the garment at all times. All women are now required to bear at least seventeen babies. Attendance at Catholic Mass is also mandatory. Those who violate the order will be executed, “no exceptions,” said Barrett. “She can’t do this! This is unconstitutional!” screamed Rachel Maddow as enforcement squads kicked in the doors at MSNBC’s studios and grabbed her for reconditioning as a subservient handmaid. “I warned you! I WARNED ALL OF YOU!” The whole country turning into a Christofascist state seems to be a negative to many, but the nation is quite a bit more peaceful now.

Read more …

 

 

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Oct 262020
 


Henri Matisse Nu Blue IV 1952

 

America’s Class War Disguised As Race War May Cause A Civil War (Feierstein)
Will Anyone From The Left Realize Why Trump Won — Again? (MacKinnon)
Suppression Is A Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Hunter Biden Story (Taibbi)
Trump’s Post-Election Execution List (Axios)
Yes, Virginia, the Trump Administration Does Have a China Strategy (Paskal)
The Mother of All Stock Market Bubbles (Lendman)
NYC Hotel Occupancy Rate Crashes Toward 10% As Permanent Closures Loom (ZH)
Greece Insists On Turkish Arms Embargo (K.)
Soil Fungi Act Like A Support Network For Trees (Folio)

 

 

“The US just had its worst day of COVID cases ever—83k—and we’re somehow still lower than the trailing European average.

Adjusted for population, Belgium and the Czech Republic are averaging 300,000 cases/day for the last week.”

 

 

Biden stops campaigning 9 days before election

 

 

Leaflet left on chair of every member of the press boarding Airforce One yesterday.

 

 

“This is the biggest political corruption scandal of our lifetime.”

America’s Class War Disguised As Race War May Cause A Civil War (Feierstein)

In the United States, a class war has been amplified by a biased media and social media. Silicon Valley uses algorithms to move forward politically driven narratives and financial interests designed to polarize and sow seeds of discord that increase tribalism across the nation. US intelligence operatives and the media have joined forces with the Democratic Party to deploy psychological operations, disinformation, and propaganda campaigns, the likes of which have never been used before against the American people, in an attempt to influence the outcome of the November presidential election.

Facebook and Twitter censored a factual New York Post article based on evidence that was legally obtained from the laptop of his son, Hunter Biden, about a decades-long corruption and influence-peddling scandal that then Vice President Joe Biden perpetrated. The Biden family made tens of millions of dollars from Hunter Biden’s corrupt business deals in Ukraine and China. US VP Joe Biden threatened to withhold one billion dollars in aid from Ukraine until they fired a prosecutor named Victor Shokin. Shokin was investigating Burisma holdings. Burisma Holdings is the Ukrainian energy firm that hired Hunter Biden. Hunter had no experience in energy markets or Ukraine, and Burisma paid Hunter $50,000 per month. Joe Biden’s threat worked, Shokin was fired, the Burisma holdings investigation ended, Ukraine received its billion dollars, and Hunter pocketed the cash.

Joe Biden disappears for days at a time, refuses to answer reporters’ questions or discuss if, as President, Biden intends to end the filibuster, pack the Supreme Court with liberal judges, add four US Senators (DC and Puerto Rico), and end the electoral college. The people and the media must demand that Joe Biden immediately: outline his policy intentions and address every issue and allegation found within the emails, photos, and videos found on his son’s computer—well, over a week of silence is unacceptable. Facebook and Twitter’s censorship of this blatant corruption and the media’s journalistic malpractice are crimes against democracy. This is the biggest political corruption scandal of our lifetime.

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“The sense of devastation and despair this has created is like nothing I have ever experienced. They have stripped us of everything that gave us joy. Every social outlet, every relief, has been made illegal.”

Will Anyone From The Left Realize Why Trump Won — Again? (MacKinnon)

Weeks before the 2016 election, I sent an email to several media and political personalities predicting that Donald Trump would win Pennsylvania and get 306 electoral votes. I’m not a professional pollster, but I did work on three winning presidential campaigns, and I simply tried to block out the noise from supporters of both the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns. I pulled up the 2012 electoral map to see which states Mitt Romney won and then, factoring in the latest data and political miscalculations, made an educated guess for 2016. Using that same system, I have come up with a prediction for 2020: an absolute floor of 278 electoral votes for Trump, with a real chance that he’ll win more than 310 electoral votes.

That may upset Joe Biden’s supporters and the Trump haters, but hopefully some of those who oppose Trump will ask themselves if this is a possibility and, if so, why it would happen — again. It is not an exaggeration to state that much of the mainstream media, academia, entertainment, medicine and science, Big Tech, the “deep state,” the Never Trumpers, the Democratic Party, and other entrenched establishment elites have joined forces to defeat Trump. Of course, they have a right to oppose the president on any grounds. But they should stop to consider what they themselves might represent to many Americans who struggle to pay bills, feed their children and, in some cases, simply survive.

To those Americans, those who adamantly oppose the president — Democrats or Republicans — look like the power center that has ruled over them for decades and made their lives miserable. These elites typically preach, “Do as I say, not as I do.” They’re rarely subject to the rules and dictates that they hand down. They have an “inside track” because they hold the keys to a club that’s off limits to the average American. For anyone who can do the math, the main answer to why Trump won in 2016 — and why I believe he will win again on Nov. 3 — should be blindingly obvious: Trump went out of his way to expose those elites to the American people as the very problem making their lives exponentially worse. He convinced enough voters that he is not one of those “ivory tower elites” and can’t be bought by their special interests.

[..] With the coronavirus pandemic, this year has been surreal — and painful — in so many ways for most Americans. There’s no question those issues will play a key role in the election. The virus has touched everyone, and its economic effects have been especially devastating to the working class. Trump, now a COVID-19 survivor, has made it clear that, in general, he opposes perpetual lockdowns to deal with the virus. After the government of Ireland issued a truly punishing new lockdown in that country, one person summed up the collective hopelessness in a tweet: “The sense of devastation and despair this has created is like nothing I have ever experienced. They have stripped us of everything that gave us joy. Every social outlet, every relief, has been made illegal.”

Read more …

“The suppression story is almost certainly a bigger scandal than the Hunter Biden affair itself, but it’s all become part of the same picture.”

Suppression Is A Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Hunter Biden Story (Taibbi)

As has been hinted at by several prominent journalists, controversies erupted within newsrooms across New York and Washington in the last week. Editors have been telling charges that any effort to determine whether or not the Biden laptop material is true, or to ask the Biden campaign to confirm or deny the story, will either not be allowed or put through heightened fact-checking procedures. On the other hand, if you want to assert without any evidence at all that the New York Post story is Russian interference, you can essentially go straight into print.

Many people on the liberal side of the political aisle don’t have a problem with this, focused as they are on the upcoming Trump-Biden election. But this same press corps might be weeks away from assuming responsibility for challenging a Biden administration. If they’ve already calculated once that a true story may be buried for political reasons because the other “side” is worse, they will surely make that same calculation again. What happens a month from now when an ambitious Republican like Tom Cotton leaks a document damaging to a President-Elect Biden? Or two years from now, if in the weeks before midterm elections, we get bad economic news, or a Biden/Harris administration foreign policy initiative takes a turn for the worse? Are we sure those stories will be run?

The Republican version of Burisma story – essentially, that former General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin was Elliott Ness, and Joe Biden intervened to fire him specifically to aid his son’s company – is also not supported by evidence. What Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his cohorts have done to date is take a few unreported or under-reported facts and leap straight to a maximalist interpretation of corruption on Joe Biden’s part. This isn’t right, but the room to make that argument has been created by the ongoing squelching of information coming from Ukraine. The suppression story is almost certainly a bigger scandal than the Hunter Biden affair itself, but it’s all become part of the same picture.

Bobulinski mail to Jim Biden:

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Nice headline, Axios! Execution. Big word.

Trump’s Post-Election Execution List (Axios)

If President Trump wins re-election, he’ll move to immediately fire FBI Director Christopher Wray and also expects to replace CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, two people who’ve discussed these officials’ fates with the president tell Axios. The list of planned replacements is much longer, but these are Trump’s priorities, starting with Wray. Wray and Haspel are despised and distrusted almost universally in Trump’s inner circle. He would have fired both already, one official said, if not for the political headaches of acting before Nov. 3. A win, no matter the margin, will embolden Trump to ax anyone he sees as constraining him from enacting desired policies or going after perceived enemies.

Trump last week signed an executive order that set off alarm bells as a means to politicize the civil service. An administration official said the order “is a really big deal” that would make it easier for presidents to get rid of career government officials. There could be shake-ups across other departments. The president has never been impressed with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, for example. But that doesn’t carry the urgency of replacing Wray or Haspel. The nature of top intelligence and law enforcement posts has traditionally carried an expectation for a higher degree of independence and separation from politics. While Trump has also privately vented about Attorney General Bill Barr, he hasn’t made any formal plans to replace him, an official said.

Trump is furious that Barr isn’t releasing before the election what Trump hoped would be a bombshell report by U.S. Attorney John Durham on the Obama administration’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation. Durham’s investigation has yet to produce any high-profile indictments of Obama-era officials as Trump had hoped. “The attorney general wants to finish the work that he’s been involved in since day one,” a senior administration official told Axios. “The view of Haspel in the West Wing is that she still sees her job as manipulating people and outcomes, the way she must have when she was working assets in the field,” one source with direct knowledge of the internal conversations told Axios. “It’s bred a lot of suspicion of her motives.”

Trump is also increasingly frustrated with Haspel for opposing the declassification of documents that would help the Justice Department’s Durham report. A source familiar with conversations at the CIA says, “Since the beginning of DNI’s push to declassify documents, and how strongly she feels about protecting sources connected to those materials, there have been rumblings around the agency that the director plans to depart the CIA regardless of who wins the election.” As for Wray,[..] Trump is angry his second FBI chief didn’t launch a formal investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business connections — and didn’t purge more officials Trump believes abused power to investigate his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia.

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Comprehensive National Power (CNP).

Yes, Virginia, the Trump Administration Does Have a China Strategy (Paskal)

On October 26, a week before the U.S. presidential election, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will begin two days of high-level talks in Delhi. In person. That shouldn’t be a surprise. If one puts politics aside, and connects the many and varied dots, one can see that the U.S. administration has a clear China strategy that is well thought out, multifaceted, and based on a deep understanding of China. It even has a name. But before getting to the administration’s strategy, we need to understand what it is designed to counter — China’s concept of Comprehensive National Power (CNP). Comprehensive National Power is a dominant framework in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) view of the world. CCP think tanks and organizations use it to shape policies and gauge success.

The premise is that a nation’s Comprehensive National Power can be given a numerical value based on a specific but exceptionally wide range of factors, from military strength, to soft power, to access to natural resources, to advances in research and development, and much more. Retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain Bernard Moreland — whose last posting was as U.S. Coast Guard liaison to Beijing — explains: “One of the important things to understand about CNP is that it is an objective metric. Beijing constantly calculates and recalculates China’s CNP relative to other nations the same way many of us watch our 401(k) grow. For us in the West, concepts like ‘national power’ are subjective vague concepts. The [Chinese Communist Party is] obsessed with engineering and calculating everything and believe that all issues can be reduced to numbers and algorithms. This is what they mean when they euphemistically refer to ‘scientific approaches.’”

The result is that any possible tactic – legal or otherwise – is considered fair game in serving the CCP’s goal of increasing China’s Comprehensive National Power. That includes using proxies and diversions to make counteractions more difficult. In an October 21 article for Foreign Affairs, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien detailed some of the many ways Beijing is trying to advance its CNP. They include intellectual property theft, co-opting international organization, using fishing boats for military action, hostage diplomacy, coercive economic policies, use and intimidation of Chinese nationals overseas to advance China’s interests, infiltrating and corrupting foreign education systems, debt traps, bribery, blurring the lines between state, commercial and military activities, and more. Much, much more.

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“Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google—four companies—have a combined market cap (over $6 trillion) that is greater than the GDP of every country in the world, minus the US and China.”

The Mother of All Stock Market Bubbles (Lendman)

Never before in US equity market history was there as great a disconnect between economic reality and equity prices as now. At a time of economic collapse and likely protracted US Depression, market valuations are at or near all-time highs. David Stockman explained some of the extremes in a period he called “outright fiscal insanity.” Count the ways: “Amazon, a company that didn’t exist pre-1994 is “43% of the S&P 500 consumer discretionary index.” “Nearly two-thirds of the market is underperforming so far this year.” “Year-to-date, only one in three stocks is actually in the green.” “One in five stocks is down 50% or more from its all-time high.” “The five largest stocks in the S&P 500 have a combined market cap that equals that of the ‘smallest’ 389 stocks.”

“Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google—four companies—have a combined market cap (over $6 trillion) that is greater than the GDP of every country in the world, minus the US and China.” “Tesla, having surpassed Walmart (with one-twentieth of the revenue!), has become the ninth-largest stock in the US.” All of the above give new meaning to the term surreal. If a Hollywood script writer presented the above scenario to a producer for filming, it would either be accepted as science fiction or rejected outright as too unrealistic. Who’d believe it? Under these conditions, it’s impossible to invest wisely because markets are dominated by speculative excess — riverboat gambling replacing what sound investing used to be.

No matter which right wing of the US one-party state wins control of the White House and/or Congress, nothing will change — things more likely to worsen until an inevitable day of reckoning arrives. Stockman asked: “How could the S&P 500 be trading at its highest multiple in 70 years when the growth rate of corporate earnings has been sinking for more than two decades?” “The recent S&P index value implies a PE multiple of 36.8X—a place the S&P 500 has never been before.” “The forward PE is now above the record high reached during the dot-com madness at the” end of the 1990s. In calendar year 2020, corporate earnings crashed. They’re “23% (below) their 2019 peak.” Yet market valuations are at levels that suggest double-digit earnings growth ahead — despite evidence indicating protracted economic Depression, mass unemployment, along with reduced business and consumer spending.

Read more …

Everyone’s still waiting for tourism to rise again.

NYC Hotel Occupancy Rate Crashes Toward 10% As Permanent Closures Loom (ZH)

Prices at New York City hotels have plunged as the hospitality industry continues to try and grapple with the effects of the global pandemic. Some hotels, like the Midtown Hilton, have remained closed since March. Others, like the Pierre, are operating in limited capacity. Those that are open for business have slashed prices by more than 60%, according to a new writeup by AlJazeera. Despite October usually being a fruitful month for tourism in NYC, coronavirus has forced the cancellation of staple events like the NYC Marathon and Fashion Week. And while the industry has definitely recovered since March, it still has a long way to go. 200 of New York’s roughly 700 hotels remain closed, the article notes.

Lukas Hartwich, an analyst at real estate research firm Green Street, said: “Next year is going to be far worse than any year we’ve ever had except this one. It’s going to be 2022 before we get back to where we were during the worst part of the last recession.” Occupancy rates in NYC stand under 40% right now, with the average daily room price at $135. Those figures, last October, stood at 92% and $336. Industry locals say the 2020 figure may even be inflated, as many hotels stopped reporting data for the time being. Vijay Dandapani, chief executive officer of the Hotel Association of New York City, said: “The true hotel occupancy is less than 10%. Hotels have theoretically been able to be open, but in many cases it’s pointless.”

In addition to risk-adverse travelers, corporate travel has also diminished, acting as a major headwind for the industry. Executives in the industry predict that up to 20% of the city’s hotels could wind up permanently closed. Those that have stayed open, like the Pierre, are offering limited services. For example, at the Pierre, room service stops after breakfast and the concierge clocks out at 5PM now.

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Good luck taking on the arms industry.

Greece Insists On Turkish Arms Embargo (K.)

With Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan making clear his plans to continue exploratory activities within Greece’s continental shelf over the next two months, Athens is pressing its case for an arms embargo against Turkey. Reacting to Ankara’s operational escalation in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, Athens is determined to stress that it is unacceptable for European Union countries to continue exporting arms to Turkey while it threatens a member-state. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has insisted already on the need for an arms embargo on Turkey by Greece’s EU partners, and also raised the issue in person with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. The case was also made by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in a letter to his counterparts in Germany, Italy and Spain.


The most serious aspect of the assistance provided by many of Greece’s European partners to Turkey is not only the equipment but, more importantly, the know-how that has enabled Ankara to rapidly develop and expand its domestic defense industry, including in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles. Mitsotakis has made special reference to the know-how provided by Berlin to Ankara for the German-designed Type 214 submarine and for the anaerobic propulsion (AIP) systems. There is similar cooperation between Berlin and Ankara in the production of the integrated program of Leopard tank (2A4). Berlin also provides significant technological assistance in the production of the Korkut medium-range anti-aircraft system (Rheinmetall type), as well as PorSav missiles.

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One day, when it’s too late, we’ll acknowledge that it’s all one system of interconnected and co-dependent entities.

Soil Fungi Act Like A Support Network For Trees (Folio)

Being highly connected to a strong social network has its benefits. Now a new University of Alberta study is showing the same goes for trees, thanks to their underground neighbours. The study, published in the Journal of Ecology, is the first to show that the growth of adult trees is linked to their participation in fungal networks living in the forest soil.Though past research has focused on seedlings, these findings give new insight into the value of fungal networks to older trees—which are more environmentally beneficial for functions like capturing carbon and stabilizing soil erosion. “Large trees make up the bulk of the forest, so they drive what the forest is doing,” said researcher Joseph Birch, who led the study for his PhD thesis in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences.

When they colonize the roots of a tree, fungal networks act as a sort of highway, allowing water, nutrients and even the compounds that send defence signals against insect attacks to flow back and forth among the trees. The network also helps nutrients flow to resource-limited trees “like family units that support one another in times of stress,” Birch noted. Cores taken from 350 Douglas firs in British Columbia showed that annual tree ring growth was related to the extent of fungal connections a tree had with other trees. “They had much higher growth than trees that had only a few connections.” The research also showed that trees with more connections to many unique fungi had much greater growth than those with only one or two connections.

“We found that the more connected an adult tree is, the more it has significant growth advantages, which means the network could really influence large-scale important interactions in the forest, like carbon storage. If you have this network that is helping trees grow faster, that helps sequester more carbon year after year.”

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