Oct 012022
 


Henri Matisse Antibes 1908

 

Ukraine – Four Oblasts Join Russia (MoA)
Putin Speaks To Massive Crowd Celebrating New Territories (RT)
Turning Point (Schryver)
Slouching Toward Endgame (Jim Kunstler)
Long Way Home: How Former Ukrainian Regions Joined Russia (RT)
Czech MEP Wants Russian Region Split Between Two EU States (RT)
Putin Slams Western Money Printing (RT)
This Winter Will Be Hard But Next One Will Be Even Worse – EU (RT)
Washington’s Pointless War On Behalf Of A Fake Nation (Stockman)
India, China, Brazil Abstain From UN Vote Condemning Russian Annexation (ZH)
66 Nations at UN Say ‘End War in Ukraine’ (CN)
Ukraine Insists It Can Strike Russia Despite US Ban (RT)
Zelensky Sets Conditions For Talks With Russia (RT)
West and Russia Already Fighting WW3 – Fiona Hill (RT)
Court Orders Production Of Seth Rich Laptop (Techno Fog)
Pfizer CEO Pulls Out Of Testifying To EU Parliament COVID Panel (Pol.eu)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The UN owns the science

 

 

 

 

Netherlands inflation 17.1% in September.

 

 

Oliver Stone

 

 

 

 

“The Minsk I and II agreements that followed required Ukraine to give those Donbas oblasts significant autonomy. The United Nations Security Council acknowledged and supported the agreements.”

Ukraine – Four Oblasts Join Russia (MoA)

In 1922 Vladimir Il’ich Lenin, head of the revolutionary Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, decided that several regions which for centuries had been Russian and under Russian rule were to be put, for reasons unknown, under the administration of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine. In 1954 a similar decision was taken with regards to autonomous republic of Crimea. The sudden disintegration of the Union in 1991 led to unruly phases in the newly created republics. Ethnic Russian people suddenly found themselves in territory that was no longer ruled by Moscow. In several of the new countries ethnic non-Russian majorities started to suppress the Russian minorities. Today’s Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, are to various degrees prime examples for this.

Before 1991 the Ukraine had never existed as a state or independent entity. The early Cossack tribes in the yellow part and green parts of the map had asked for Russian protection against attacks from Poland, Lithuania and other neighbors. In the new Ukraine ethnic Russians were nearly half of the population and the parties they supported managed to win several countrywide elections. Big voting differences were visible along regional/ethnic lines. The country had strong economic relations with Russia. Its industry depended on Russian gas while nearly all its machine and steel exports went to Russia. The U.S. did not like that. It wanted to control rule the Ukraine to be able to put pressure on Russia.

It twice, in 2004 and in 2014, organized ‘color revolutions’ to overthrow elected Ukrainian governments which, for mostly economic reasons, tended to favor relations with Russia. The 2014 color revolution was exceptionally brutal. The U.S. had organized extreme right wing groups to take the lead in violent protests. (The same groups were in the early 1940s allied with German Nazis and, between 1948 and 1952, were waging a CIA led guerrilla war against the Soviet Union.) The street fighting ended with an unconstitutional change of the government of Ukraine. The first law that the new coup government implemented was a rejection of Russian as one of Ukraine’s state languages. For some 50% of Ukrainians Russian is their daily language. Ukrainian itself is a Russian dialect. Nearly 100% of Ukrainians understand Russian.

The ethnic Russian people in Ukraine feared being canceled. Crimea, which in 1991 had voted for and declared its independence before the Ukraine did so, voted, under Russian protection, to join Russia. Moscow accepted the move. People in other former Russian parts of Ukraine protested and a some in the east took up arms. They twice defeated the Ukrainian army and volunteer formations sent against them. The Minsk I and II agreements that followed required Ukraine to give those Donbas oblasts significant autonomy. The United Nations Security Council acknowledged and supported the agreements. But any attempts to implement them were sabotaged by the U.S. via the armed right wing movements that had control over the government in Kiev.

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Done deal. Fait accompli.

Putin Speaks To Massive Crowd Celebrating New Territories (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday evening addressed thousands of people gathered on Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate the beginning of the process to incorporate four former Ukrainian regions that voted overwhelmingly to join Russia. Putin’s emotional speech came just hours after he signed treaties on the inclusion of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, into the Russian Federation. The signing ceremony marked the start of the formal process of accession, which will entail the treaties being reviewed by the Constitutional Court and by both chambers of the parliament. Claiming it was Russia that originally “created modern Ukraine” by transferring Moscow’s “historical territories” to it, Putin said modern Russia had now given people in those regions “the right to choose.”

“People came to the referendum and made their choice: to be with their historical motherland, with Russia,” he said to applause from the crowd. For decades, Putin claimed, the Ukrainian authorities had unsuccessfully tried to eradicate people’s “historical identity,” to destroy their traditions and forbid them from speaking their native language. “These people carried love for their historical homeland in their hearts and passed it on to their children,” the president said, adding that Russia was not only opening its doors, but was “opening its heart” to them. “Welcome home,” he said, prompting chants of ‘Russia’ from the crowd. Putin also used the address to make several pledges: to improve security in the new territories, to revive their economies and to build schools and hospitals.

“We became stronger because we are together. The truth is behind us, and truth means strength, and thus victory. Victory will be ours,” Putin said in conclusion, before shaking hands with the heads of the regions, who joined him on the stage. Meanwhile, on Thursday, on the eve of what Putin described as a “historic day,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Kremlin “to step back from the brink” and to stop the “annexation” of the four Ukrainian regions. Guterres also warned Russia that neither the inclusion of new territories into Russia, nor the results of their referendums would be recognized as legal. Moscow, in turn, accused the secretary-general of abusing his power by making political statements on behalf of the UN.

Putin speech

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“..the Russian high command intentionally weakened their line in this particular area in order to entice the NATO commanders of this newly created army to attack precisely where they did..”

Turning Point (Schryver)

It is also indisputably established that the Russians had, in the weeks preceding the Ukrainian attack, significantly reduced the density of men and equipment in the geographic triangle formed by the Seversky Donets River running northwest to southeast, and the Oskol River running north to south. The confluence of these two rivers is immediately southeast of Izyum, with the transportation hub of Kupyansk straddling the Oskol to the north, and Andreevka on the left bank of the Seversky Donets to the northwest. The Russians had left small but satisfactorily supplied formations of Donbass militia and Rosgvardia (Russian National Guard), covered by relatively potent long-distance artillery fire, modest close air support, and occasional precision missile strikes against concentrations of Ukrainian forces.

[..] I remain persuaded the Russian high command intentionally weakened their line in this particular area in order to entice the NATO commanders of this newly created army to attack precisely where they did, and then to deliberately lead them into the triangular pocket defined by the two rivers, as described above. My argumentation supporting this view is as follows: First of all, it must be kept in mind that, from the very beginning of this now three-week-long battle, the Russian forces defending the area in question have been outnumbered at least 5:1 at almost every juncture. It is absurd to believe this disparity in force numbers was not anticipated by Russian commanders, and a battle plan conceived to exploit the geography and the inherent firepower superiority of the defending force so as to conduct a punishing tactical retreat.

And, in retrospect, it is now plainly evident that is precisely what they have done. Contrary to the ridiculously exaggerated tales of a disorderly Russian retreat – with a thousand destroyed/abandoned tanks and armored vehicles, thousands of casualties, and ten thousand captured (yes, numbers such as these were breathlessly reported by western “expert analysts” in the first week of the battle!) – the Russian forces conducted a remarkably disciplined fighting retreat, progressed through multiple prepared lines of defense, and exacted severe losses on Ukrainian men and equipment every step of the way, while suffering relatively modest losses themselves.

Yes, several towns and villages were briefly defended and then abandoned along the way. In each case, the Ukrainian propagandists and their western media allies trumpeted the glorious victories, but none of these stories of supposed martial brilliance bothered to mention the exorbitant price being paid for the modest pieces of real estate they claim to have “liberated”. Nor have the subsequent “filtration” purges of “Russian collaborators” in each of these towns and villages been reported in the completely one-sided western media accounts. Instead, western audiences were once again treated to evidence-free atrocity tales of barbaric Russian troops engaging in wanton rapes, murders, plunder, torture, indiscriminate massacres, and mass graves of innocent civilians.

Macgregor

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“..to maintain the flimsy pretense that NATO had any actual stake in whatever happens in Ukraine — as the result of the dumpster fire set there by America.”

Slouching Toward Endgame (Jim Kunstler)

Not many weeks ago German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock told the world that Germany would support Ukraine (and US-driven NATO policy) “no matter what German voters think.” That was all for show, you understand, to maintain the flimsy pretense that NATO had any actual stake in whatever happens in Ukraine — as the result of the dumpster fire set there by America. At the same time, that very same German foreign ministry was sneaking through back channels to feel out the Russian foreign ministry on ways Germany might get Russian natgas on the down-low, through third parties, say, Turkey, buying time until the glorious day those Nord Stream pipelines might re-open and the former normality of German economic life would resume?

“Joe Biden” slammed the door on that pretty conclusively Monday, blowing up the two pipelines, a premier act of insanity by a US government fueled at every level and in every direction by psychotic strategic thinking. For starters, consider that the Nord Stream sabotage amounts to the leading member of NATO committing an act-of-war against the rest of NATO. What else do you call depriving most of Europe the means to make a living — or merely to stay alive? As it happens, Germany is in no position to answer this casus belli by going to war against the USA. Germany has a Potemkin military — America has made sure of that since 1945, the last time these Teutons of northern forests went batshit crazy against Western Civ.

Seems to me that either Chancellor Olaf Scholz acknowledges this deadly affront to Germany and negates further participation in the NATO Ukraine idiocy, OR, within a few months he will face violent political uprising from his own people and his government will fall — and not necessarily within the framework of any orderly parliamentary procedure. More like mobs in the streets… chaos… government buildings torched… officials strung-up — real insurrection, not the fake kind we hear about endlessly from the American Party of Chaos. How, exactly, do any of the major NATO countries continue to regard the USA as any kind of ally? They won’t and they can’t.

Anyway, and despite the recent panicked expansion of NATO, member countries of the adjoining scaffold known as the European Union are peeling off one-by-one. Georgia Meloni, soon to be Prime Minister of Italy, couldn’t have put it more plainly when her coalition won last week’s election: she and they oppose in the strongest terms all the Woke nonsense that the World Economic Forum has programmed into the EU. She and they are against the cancellation of individual liberties and tyrannical affronts to due process of law; are against the degenerate campaign to undermine family, church, and national sovereignty; and are unwilling to act as a dumping ground for anymore Third World hordes the EU stupidly induces to come to Europe’s shores.

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“..Kiev refused to meet its responsibilities, particularly on the question of federalization, unless its troops were given control of the Donbass regions’ borders with Russia. This ran contrary to the terms of the Minsk agreements.”

Long Way Home: How Former Ukrainian Regions Joined Russia (RT)

Maidan In late 2013, a wave of street protest began in Kiev, ostensibly sparked by the government of Viktor Yanukovich shunning an economic agreement with the EU – a deal sold to Ukrainians as a harbinger of immediate social and economic benefits. As weeks of determined protest stretched into months, the so-called Maidan demonstrations were hijacked by radical nationalists, resulting in violent clashes with security forces in which dozens died. International politicians lent their support to the protests, with senior US diplomats famously handing out cookies in central Kiev. The emboldened movement gathered momentum and, despite a power-sharing deal mediated in February 2014 by Russia, Germany, France and Poland, escalating violence forced then-President Viktor Yanukovich to flee. The US-backed coup in the capital rallied the radical forces, who resorted to openly threatening the pro-Russian population in Ukraine with violence if they dared oppose the newly-installed authorities in Kiev.


Minsk agreements The Crimean Peninsula had strong historic ties with Russia, having been transferred to Kiev’s control only in 1954 under Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev. The region is essential for Russia’s national security as its deep harbours host the Black Sea naval Fleet. In a daring operation that was thought to have eventually prevented significant bloodshed, Moscow deployed special forces across the peninsula, and local authorities held a referendum on breaking with Ukraine and joining Russia. Moscow formally accepted Crimea’s bid in March 2014. The situation with two Donbass regions developed differently. In mid-April 2014, Kiev sent the military to quash protests in Donetsk and Lugansk. Protesters responded by forming militias and fighting back, militarising an already inflamed conflict.

The following month, the two regions held referendums on declaring their independence. The conflict in eastern Ukraine sank into a stalemate after the Ukrainian military suffered serious losses to what Kiev claimed were Russian troops secretly fighting in Donbass. The warring parties agreed to a ceasefire and a reconciliation roadmap, formalized in two agreements signed in Minsk in 2014 and 2015 respectively, was agreed to. The peace plan never fully worked. While hostilities in Donbass dwindled, Kiev refused to meet its responsibilities, particularly on the question of federalization, unless its troops were given control of the Donbass regions’ borders with Russia. This ran contrary to the terms of the Minsk agreements. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko acknowledged in June that he agreed to the ceasefire only to win time to rebuild the Ukrainian military.


NATO encroachment The tension over Ukraine escalated in 2021, after Russia accused NATO of expanding into the country without formally admitting Kiev into the alliance. Moscow had for decades made clear that Ukraine’s would-be membership in the US-led bloc would be crossing Russia’s security red line. Moscow sought guarantees from Washington that would have addressed its concerns. However, US officials declared that NATO’s “open door” policy meant that Ukraine was free to defend itself as it wished. Kiev enshrined the goal of becoming a member of the military bloc in its constitution in 2019. Since then NATO members have intensively trained Ukrainian troops, providing Kiev with weapons and otherwise helping to field a more capable army. Over the same period, Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups became embedded into military structures, gaining political power well beyond their levels public support, given the results of elections held in 2019 and 2020.

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This Czech sees a cheap opportunity. One problem: “The distance between Prague and the city of Kaliningrad is around 660km.”

Czech MEP Wants Russian Region Split Between Two EU States (RT)

A long-time European Parliament member from the Czech Republic, Tomas Zdechovsky, has supported an idea posted by a blogger of separating the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad from Moscow and splitting it between Prague and Warsaw. On Thursday, Zdechovsky shared a tweet from a Polish blogger showing a map of Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad Region being split between Poland and the Czech Republic. The caption to the image read: “It’s time to divide Kaliningrad, so that our Czech brothers finally have access to the sea.” The Czech politician, who has been an MEP since 2014, even suggested a plan for how to have the region removed from Russia. “We will hold a referendum to make Kaliningrad Czech-Polish,” he wrote, adding that “instructions” on organizing a vote could be taken from Crimea.


The peninsula decided to become part of Russia in the wake of a 2014 referendum following the US-backed overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev. On Tuesday, referendums on whether to join Russia concluded in Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, which declared independence from Ukraine, and the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics in Donbass. The residents in all of the territories overwhelmingly supported joining Russia. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign treaties on incorporating the four new constituent members into the Russian state. The treaties have yet to be approved by the parliament. Kaliningrad is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania and the Baltic Sea and doesn’t share a border with the Czech Republic. The distance between Prague and the city of Kaliningrad is around 660km.

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“..you can’t feed anyone with paper, you need food.”

Putin Slams Western Money Printing (RT)

Paper money printed up by Western nations will not heat homes or feed anyone in the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. “People cannot be fed with printed dollars and euros, they cannot be fed with these pieces of paper,” Putin said during the ceremony for the accession of the two Donbass republics and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions into Russia. “All this is important, what I’m talking about, but what was just said is no less important – you can’t feed anyone with paper, you need food.” The president noted that EU politicians have been trying to convince people to eat less, wash up less, and dress warmer in their homes to conserve energy.


“And those who start asking fair questions on why this is so are immediately declared enemies, extremists, and radicals,” he said. Putin also reiterated his criticism of the Ukrainian grain deal mediated by the UN and Türkiye, which allows Kiev to export food via the Black Sea, saying it is not working as intended, as the shipments do little to alleviate food shortages in needy nations. “They are now exporting bread from Ukraine… under the pretext of ensuring food security for the poorest countries in the world. Where does it go? … everything goes to the same European countries, with only 5% sent to the poorest countries in the world. Again, another swindle and outright deception

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The EU won’t exist in its present form by next winter.

This Winter Will Be Hard But Next One Will Be Even Worse – EU (RT)

EU energy officials are concerned about the effects the ongoing energy crisis in Europe will have on the continent once cold weather sets in, Commissioner Kadri Simson told journalists on Friday. “Ministers were concerned, as am I, that this will not be an easy winter for us, and the next winter will be even more difficult,” said Simson during a press conference after an extraordinary meeting of EU energy ministers. The meeting was meant to address the skyrocketing gas prices in Europe and to develop a package of emergency measures aimed at assisting European households and businesses amid the crisis.

The agreed-upon steps include placing a cap on energy company revenues and distributing excess profits back to consumers. The plan also prescribes mandatory energy savings, requiring EU members to cut energy demand during peak hours by 5% and suggesting a 10% reduction in overall electricity use. The ministers failed, however, to agree on a price cap on wholesale natural gas, which was one of the key demands issued to the European Commission by a group of 15 EU member states ahead of the meeting. In a joint letter, the group argued that a price cap was the one measure that could help the bloc “mitigate the inflationary pressure, manage expectations and provide a framework in case of potential supply disruptions.”

While the European Commission has not completely ruled out the possibility of a price cap on natural gas, it has warned that such a move would weaken the bloc’s ability to secure gas supplies in the global market. The issue will reportedly be discussed at a later date, according to Lithuanian Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys. As Russian gas deliveries to the EU have declined by as much as 48% this year, according to Gazprom, inflation in the Eurozone has since hit double digits for the first time in recent history. It’s feared the situation will further deteriorate after the Russian Nord Stream pipelines suffered damage in a suspected act of sabotage earlier this week, which will severely limit potential gas deliveries to the bloc in the near future.

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“..all trapped in a newly declared country in which they didn’t especially wish to reside.”

Washington’s Pointless War On Behalf Of A Fake Nation (Stockman)

During the next 250 years the expansionist Czars annexed more and more of the adjacent territory, designating the eastern and southern regions as “Novorussiya” (New Russia), which territories included Catherine the Great’s purchase of Crimea from the Ottomans in 1783. That is to say, at the time of America’s own independence the heart of today’s Ukraine was ruled by the long arm of Czarist autocracy. After the Bolshevik revolution, of course, the map changed radically. In 1919 Lenin created the socialist state of Ukraine on part of the territory of the former Russian Empire. Ukraine officially became the Ukrainian People’s Republic with the capital of Kharkov in 1922 (moved to Kiev in 1934).

Accordingly, the new communist state swallowed up Novorussiya per the eastern and southern portions of the green area in the map below, including Donetsk, and Lugansk regions, as well as the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions bordering the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea that are the sites of today’s Russia-sponsored succession referendums. Then in 1939, as a result of the infamous Nazi-Soviet Pact, Stalin annexed the eastern territories of Poland, as designated by the yellow areas of the map. Thus, the historic territory of Galicia and the Polish city of Lvov were incorporated into Ukraine by the joint decree of Stalin and Hitler. In June of 1940, Stalin next annexed Northern Bukovina (brown area) from Romania. And then at the Yalta conference in 1945, upon Stalin’s insistence to Churchill and Roosevelt, the Hungarian Carpathian Ruthenia was incorporated into the Soviet Union and added to Ukraine.

Taken together, these Stalinist seizures are now known as Western Ukraine, the peoples of which understandably do not cotton to things Russian. At the same time, the 85% Russian-speaking population inhabiting the purple area (Crimea) was gifted to Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1954 for the very reason of extending his own accession to the communist dictatorship. Nevertheless, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited these communist-confected borders within which there were upwards of 40 millions Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, Tartars and countless lesser nationalities—all trapped in a newly declared country in which they didn’t especially wish to reside.

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“..you are intentionally pushing us to use the right of the veto in order to then wax lyrical about the fact that Russia abuses this right..”

India, China, Brazil Abstain From UN Vote Condemning Russian Annexation (ZH)

Russia on Friday vetoed a Western bid to condemn its annexations of four occupied Ukrainian regions following controversial referendums – and while this move was expected from the Kremlin, China, India, Brazil and Gabon abstained.Russia’s veto came after the United States and Ukraine co-sponsored the resolution hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would take over areas of Ukraine seized during the invasion following referendums organized by the Kremlin.


“This is exactly what the Security Council was made to do. Defend sovereignty, protect territorial integrity, promote peace and security,” said US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, adding “The United Nations was built on an idea that never again would one country be allowed to take another’s territory by force.” Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said that it was unprecedented to try and condemn a permanent member of the Security Council. “Do you seriously expect Russia to consider and support such a draft? And if not, then it turns out that you are intentionally pushing us to use the right of the veto in order to then wax lyrical about the fact that Russia abuses this right,” he said.

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They don’t care about condemning an annexation. This is what UN nations really want.

66 Nations at UN Say ‘End War in Ukraine’ (CN)

We have spent the past week reading and listening to speeches by world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Most of them condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the U.N. Charter and a serious setback for the peaceful world order that is the U.N.’s founding and defining principle. But what has not been reported in the United States is that leaders from 66 countries, mainly from the Global South, also used their General Assembly speeches to call urgently for diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine through peaceful negotiations, as the U.N. Charter requires. We have compiled excerpts from the speeches of all 66 countries to show the breadth and depth of their appeals, and we highlight a few of them here.

African leaders echoed one of the first speakers, Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, who also spoke in his capacity as the current chairman of the African Union when he said, “We call for de-escalation and a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, as well as for a negotiated solution, to avoid the catastrophic risk of a potentially global conflict.” The 66 nations that called for peace in Ukraine make up more than a third of the countries in the world, and they represent most of the Earth’s population, including India,China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Brazil and Mexico. While NATO and E.U. countries have rejected peace negotiations, and U.S. and U.K. leaders have actively undermined them, five European countries — Hungary, Malta, Portugal, San Marino and the Vatican — joined the calls for peace at the General Assembly.

The peace caucus also includes many of the small countries that have the most to lose from the failure of the U.N. system revealed by recent wars in Ukraine and the Greater Middle East, and who have the most to gain by strengthening the U.N. and enforcing the U.N. Charter to protect the weak and restrain the powerful. Philip Pierre, the prime minister of Saint Lucia, a small island state in the Caribbean, told the General Assembly, “Articles 2 and 33 of the U.N. Charter are unambiguous in binding Member States to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and to negotiate and settle all international disputes by peaceful means. …We therefore call upon all parties involved to immediately end the conflict in Ukraine, by undertaking immediate negotiations to permanently settle all disputes in accordance with the principles of the United Nations.”

Global South leaders lamented the breakdown of the U.N. system, not just in the war in Ukraine but throughout decades of war and economic coercion by the United States and its allies. President Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste directly challenged the West’s double standards, telling Western countries, “They should pause for a moment to reflect on the glaring contrast in their response to the wars elsewhere where women and children have died by the thousands from wars and starvation. The response to our beloved secretary-general’s cries for help in these situations have not met with equal compassion. As countries in the Global South, we see double standards. Our public opinion does not see the Ukraine war the same way it is seen in the North.”

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“Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov reiterated on Friday that Moscow would from now on treat any attack on those territories as an attack against Russia itself.”

Ukraine Insists It Can Strike Russia Despite US Ban (RT)

The US only forbids Kiev’s forces from attacking Russian territory with HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems), not all American weapons, Ukrainian ambassador to Washington Oksana Markarova has said on Thursday. The US has been Kiev’s main backer during the conflict with Moscow, providing Ukrainian forces with billions of dollars worth of military aid, including sophisticated hardware such as HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, M777 howitzers, and combat drones. Last month, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov said that Kiev had “agreements with the US that we will not use weapons provided to us by the US and partners on the territory of Russia”due to Washington’s concern that it could escalate the fighting even further.

During her interview with Ukrainska Pravda, Markarova was asked if the US ban covered all weapons sent by Washington to Kiev. The ambassador responded by clarifying that “this applies specifically to HIMARS,” but not other American hardware. She also insisted that HIMARS could still be used by Kiev against Crimea as “it was, is and will be Ukraine.” The peninsula overwhelmingly voted to become part of Russia in a referendum in 2014, with Ukrainian leadership vowing to reclaim control on numerous occasions. Crimea has been targeted with drone attacks during the ongoing conflict and several explosions at military facilities on the peninsula have been attributed to Ukrainian saboteurs. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties on accepting the two Donbass republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which declared independence from Ukraine, into the Russian state.

Residents of those territories voted in referendums, which concluded on Monday, to join Russia. The treaties now await their ratification by the parliament. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said earlier this week that Washington “will never recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territory by Russia” and therefore would have no objections to Ukraine using American weapons in Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions though Kiev’s attacks on the regions have regularly resulted in civilian deaths. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov reiterated on Friday that Moscow would from now on treat any attack on those territories as an attack against Russia itself. Moscow has long criticized the deliveries of weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies, arguing that it only escalates the fighting and increases the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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Zelensky ignored the Minsk agreements. That’s all.

Zelensky Sets Conditions For Talks With Russia (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has refused to negotiate a peace settlement as long as Vladimir Putin remains president of Russia, issuing a regime change demand via his official Telegram channel on Friday. Claiming he had “always offered Russia coexistence on equal, honest, dignified and fair terms,” Zelensky blamed Russia for the failure of negotiations, insisting that it was “obvious this is impossible with this Russian president.” “We are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but … with another president of Russia,” he wrote. Unlike the majority of his Telegram posts, this one was written only in Ukrainian, without an accompanying English translation. Zelensky has repeatedly rejected overtures of peace from Moscow, most recently turning down Putin’s offer on Friday to resume negotiations.

What made the offer a non-starter for Kiev is that Putin refused to relinquish the regions that voted this week to join Russia. “Only the path of strengthening Ukraine and expelling the occupiers from our entire territory will restore peace,”Zelensky declared in his address. Zelensky also confirmed that Ukraine had submitted an accelerated application to join NATO on Friday, something he previously admitted was probably never going to happen. While the Western media described the move as “more symbolic than practical,” the Ukrainian president seemed quite serious, arguing that Sweden and Finland were able to apply on an accelerated basis even without a Membership Action Plan and it was thus only “fair” that Ukraine do the same.

“De facto, we have already completed our path to NATO,” he said in another Telegram post. “De facto, we have already proven interoperability with the Alliance’s standards … We trust each other, we help each other and we protect each other.” Zelensky has previously acknowledged Ukraine might struggle to secure the consent of all 30 NATO member nations, pushing instead for the so-called Kiev Security Compact, which would oblige NATO’s core members to defend Ukraine “in case of aggression” while codifying the provision of bottomless military and financial aid as a stopgap measure.

Admitting Ukraine would draw NATO into immediate confrontation with Russia, under the Article 5 mutual defense provision. While the US is committed to the ‘open door’ policy when it comes to NATO, now is the wrong time to consider Ukraine’s membership application, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said on Friday. The move would also make peace with Moscow impossible, as Putin has made it clear since before the military operation began in February that Ukraine must remain a neutral country under all circumstances.

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“If the goal is to avoid a conflict in which we are already fighting, then does the rest of Washington’s approach to Russian aggression need to be reconsidered?”

West and Russia Already Fighting WW3 – Fiona Hill (RT)

The West has been fighting World War III against Russia “for a long time” without being aware of it, former White House advisor Fiona Hill told the New Yorker magazine on Thursday. Moscow, however, is aware, with President Vladimir Putin accusing the collective West of waging “hybrid war” on Russia. “We’ve been in this for a long time, and we’ve failed to recognize it,” said Hill, who served in Donald Trump’s national security council before testifying against him during the 2019 impeachment inquiry. With the US backing a coup in Kiev in 2014 and supplying military aid to Ukraine while it waged war against the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in the eight years since, Hill suggested that Washington could reevaluate its stated policy of supporting Ukraine without becoming a direct party to the conflict.

“If the goal is to avoid a conflict in which we are already fighting, then does the rest of Washington’s approach to Russian aggression need to be reconsidered?” the New Yorker paraphrased her argument. While Hill did not directly call for the US to enter open war with Russia, other US lawmakers and former officials have. Shortly after Russian troops rolled into Ukraine in February, a group of these national security experts called on President Joe Biden to enforce a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine. Such a measure would see the US and any willing NATO allies commit to shooting down Russian aircraft, something Moscow has explicitly said it would perceive as an act of war.

Russia already considers itself at war with NATO in Ukraine, and Putin has vowed to use “all available means” to defend its own territory, including four former Ukrainian regions set to join the Russian Federation in the coming days. In a speech on Friday after signing accession treaties for these four regions, Putin accused the West of waging a “hybrid war” against Russia to prevent the development of a “multipolar world.”

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“In the first lawsuit, the FBI produced no responsive documents. The parties knew the FBI had something, and so this sparked a second lawsuit – where the FBI somehow found 20,000 pages of potentially responsive documents.”

Court Orders Production Of Seth Rich Laptop (Techno Fog)

Today, a federal judge ordered the FBI to “produce the information it possesses related to Seth Rich’s laptop.” This case involves a multi-year fight by attorney Ty Clevenger to obtain records relating to the FBI/DOJ investigation of Seth Rich, particularly whether Rich was involved in the hack of the DNC or had communicated with Wikileaks. This fight dates back to 2017 and includes two FOIA lawsuit. In the first lawsuit, the FBI produced no responsive documents. The parties knew the FBI had something, and so this sparked a second lawsuit – where the FBI somehow found 20,000 pages of potentially responsive documents. The court explains:

Of those 20,000 pages, the government found 1,596 pages of responsive documents, of which the government withheld 1,469 pages under various FOIA exemptions (privacy, law enforcement exemption, etc.). The FBI also withheld the contents of Seth Rich’s personal laptop, which it possesses, in its entirety, alleging the privacy of Rich’s family in “preventing the public release of this information” outweighs the public interest in disclosure. The court rejected that argument, stating “the FBI has not satisfied its burden of showing more than a de minimis privacy interest that would justify withholding information from Seth Rich’s laptop.” What will the laptop reveal? Time will tell. (Time is especially relevant becausethe DOJ will appeal and drag this out.)


What might be more interesting is the FBI’s complete records on Seth Rich. The FBI has fought production of those records – first by failing to “find” its own documents, and now by alleging documents must be withheld due to “national security grounds” and the “basis that disclosure of the information would threaten intelligence-gathering efforts.” The information in the FBI’s possession includes that which was “provided by foreign government agency authorities under an implied assurance of confidentiality.” It also may – or may not – include whether the FBI used a “code name” associated with Seth Rich. And, if FBI representations are to be believed, it also includes “details of intelligence activities, sources, and methods related to national security.”

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1/ Tell him if he doesn’t show up, the deal is off.
2/ Tell Von der Leyen the same thing.

Pfizer CEO Pulls Out Of Testifying To EU Parliament COVID Panel (Pol.eu)

Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla has pulled out of an appointment to testify before the European Parliament’s special committee on COVID-19, at which he was expected to face tough questions on how secretive vaccine deals were struck. The decision follows an audit report into the EU’s vaccine procurement strategy published earlier in the month that raised new questions about contact between Bourla and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that preceded a multibillion-euro vaccine contract. The head of the U.S. pharmaceutical giant, the largest supplier of COVID-19 vaccines to the EU, was scheduled to appear before the panel on October 10. The committee is meeting with key officials involved in the EU’s vaccine procurement process to draw lessons on how to respond to future pandemics.

Other pharmaceutical executives have addressed the committee, including the CEO of Moderna and senior officials from AstraZeneca and Sanofi. The committee’s chair, Belgian MEP Kathleen Van Brempt, told POLITICO she “deeply regrets” the decision taken by Pfizer. After a visit to BioNTech’s headquarters last week, Van Brempt had said in a written statement that she looked forward to discussions “with other CEOs” including “Mr. Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer” on October 10. The report, by the European Court of Auditors, found that von der Leyen had been directly involved in preliminary negotiations for the EU’s biggest vaccine contract, for up to 1.8 billion doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, which was concluded in May 2021. This was a departure from the negotiating procedure followed with other contracts, where a joint negotiating team made up of officials from the Commission and member countries conducted exploratory talks.

The EU watchdog also noted that the Commission refused to provide records of the discussions with Pfizer, either in the form of minutes, names of experts consulted, agreed terms, or other evidence. Already in 2021, the New York Times reported on the seemingly-cozy relationship between Bourla and von der Leyen, with the two exchanging text messages in the run-up to the deal. Contacted by POLITICO, a spokesperson for Pfizer said the company’s president of international development markets, Janine Small, would attend the committee hearing. “She has been identified as best placed to support the committee in meeting their objectives,” the spokesperson said.

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there’s some debate about what time signature it’s actually in. Musicologists say that riff is in 13/8 time, effectively switching from 3/4 to 4/4 for every fourth bar. Depending on who you talk to, the rest of the song is in 3/4 or 12/8, with that 13/8 weaving in and out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 152022
 


Pablo Picasso Guernica [Study] III 1937

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health care

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Old Way, New Way (Dmitry Orlov)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Assisted suicide.

Germany To Halt Russian Coal Imports Next Month (ZH)

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

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


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

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The European Commission has a tail between its legs.

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

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

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


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

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

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

Three More Countries Set To Join BRICS (RT)

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


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

Read more …

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

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

Two More Gone (CTH)

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

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


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

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Little man just got a little littler..

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

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


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

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He’s calling it out over himself.

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

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

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


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

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

The runaway TV-ratings hit that nobody watches…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Here comes Sri Lanka.

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

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

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

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

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

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Those lines will get much longer.

Long Lines Are Back At US Food Banks (AP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Read more …

People observe and interpret. Be careful with that.

It’s About Globalism, Stupid (Maajid Nawaz)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 022022
 


Pablo Picasso Femme aux bras leves- Tête de Dora Maar- 1936

 

Does Lithuania Want To Start A War With Russia? (Bandow)
EU to Allow Russia to Resume Transports to Kaliningrad (Spiegel)
Europe Fails With German Help (Vilches)
We Are Z (Batiushka)
The More You Grow Up, The More You Realise The World Is Unfair (Savenkova)
Ukraine Is the Latest Neocon Disaster (Sachs)
Independence Day (Jim Kunstler)
Biden Admin Delays Decision On Expanded Offshore Drilling (JTN)
Oil Exec: Biden Admin Breaking The ‘Backbone Of The Energy Revolution’ (Fox)
US Falls Behind In Hypersonic Weapons Race After Another Failed Test (ZH)
Rep. Jim Banks Demands White House Jan 6 Surveillance Logs (Fed.)
Soros’s Connection To US Media Infrastructure And Politics (ET)
28% Of Voters Think May ‘Soon Be Necessary To Take Up Arms’ Vs Government (JTN)
Beet This: Ukraine Wins Fight To Protect Borshch Soup (AFP)
Julian Assange Submits High Court Appeal To Fight Extradition (BBC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zelenko
https://twitter.com/i/status/1542607162991693824

 

 

 

 

Jon Voight
https://twitter.com/i/status/1542848913576796162

 

 

 

 

“Washington should privately deliver a clear message to Vilnius and other capitals throughout Europe, especially in the East: Inciting Moscow to strike would relieve the U.S. of any obligation to defend them, even if they are NATO members.” —
@Doug_Bandow

Does Lithuania Want To Start A War With Russia? (Bandow)

In NATO the smallest members tend to be the most aggressive. It’s probably because they know they wouldn’t be called on to fight any wars they caused. They simply are too small to make a difference. So Lithuania, with an army of just 8,850 active-duty personnel and 5,650 reservists, is now enforcing a blockade of sorts against Russia through Kaliningrad. The latter was seized from Germany at the end of World War II and ended up separated from the rest of Russia after the Baltic States seceded from the Soviet Union. Vilnius is forbidding transport of coal, metals, electronics, and other E.U.-sanctioned products to Kaliningrad, whose governor said that roughly half of the territory’s typical imports were on the ban list. Lithuanian officials claimed to be only “following orders,” as it were, from a higher authority.

“We just implement the sanctions, which were imposed on European Union level, and this has nothing to do with the bilateral relations between Russia and Lithuania,” announced Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. With Russian flights over E.U. territory also prohibited, resupply of the isolated oblast is possible only by sea. For Moscow, blocking internal transit, even transit conducted through a third country, could be a casus belli. Russian officials muttered darkly about retaliation and “serious consequences.” The Russian Foreign Ministry warned: “If in the near future cargo transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not restored in full, then Russia reserves the right to take actions to protect its national interests.”

It seems strange for Lithuania to be waving a red cape at the Russian bear. The Baltic states have spent years wailing about their vulnerability to Russian attack, demanding that NATO and the U.S. do more for them. In fact, some Lithuanian officials have a sense of preemptive martyrdom. For instance, Laurynas Kasciunas, who handles national-security issues in Lithuania’s Siemas, or parliament, asserted: “We are in a sense a modern-day West Berlin.” That reflects a highly inflated sense of international importance—Berlin was a Cold War flashpoint because the U.S. and Soviet Union were sparring over the future of Germany, a once and future dominant continental power. Lithuania’s role? Not so much.

In fact, absent provocation, why would Russia attack any of the Baltics? What benefits would it expect to gain from overrunning three small nations, which lack the historical significance attributed to Ukraine? Especially considering they already are in NATO and an invasion likely would trigger full-scale war. Moreover, Moscow’s difficulties in Ukraine suggest that the Baltic states might not be the easy prey once assumed, though Russia has doubtless learned from its mistakes and likely would seek a decisive result. Still, giving the Putin government cause for war is foolish. Alliance officials acknowledge that, given current deployments, the three states likely would be overrun before meaningful assistance arrived.

Read more …

Who’s your daddy?

EU to Allow Russia to Resume Transports to Kaliningrad (Spiegel)

It is a dispute that goes beyond a mere confrontation between the European Union and Russia. Should Moscow be allowed to transport goods like steel and aluminum through EU member state Lithuania to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad – even though those goods are on the sanctions list? DER SPIEGEL has learned that the European Commission intends to publish a clarification on the issue in the coming days. Its key message will be that Moscow will be allowed to use the transit route for all goods, but only limited amounts. The move will put an end to a disagreement that had not only been a significant source of tension between Russia and Brussels – but also exposed deep rifts within the EU regarding the correct approach to Moscow.


Since June 17, Lithuania has been blocking shipments of goods such as construction materials, metal and coal into Kaliningrad on the strength of EU sanctions imposed on Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The ban has affected the rail line between Moscow and Kaliningrad in addition to deliveries by road. Air and sea routes are not affected by the sanctions. In Russia’s view, it amounts to a “blockade,” and it is criticized on a daily basis in the country. Indeed, an all-out military invasion has been among the responses discussed on state television. The European Commission clarification expressly applies to all EU member states, but it mostly only affects the situation in Kaliningrad. According to the document, Russia will be allowed to transport sanctioned goods to Kaliningrad, but only in amounts comparable to pre-invasion deliveries.

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“..the current lower volume of its oil exports at much higher prices thanks to EU sanctions allows the Ruble to become ever stronger while saving Russian oil for sale to others..”

Europe Fails With German Help (Vilches)

And precisely to address the current self-inflicted energy debacle, German Minister Habeck is compounding this ugly all-inclusive European conundrum in at least 14 different ways and has (1) shut down Germany´s nuclear power plants including the domino impact upon the inter-connected European electrical grid without any foresight or consideration whatsoever (2) banned excellent, cheap Russian hydrocarbons and distilled petroleum products thereof to which Europe´s entire economy and energy infrastructure is uniquely matched and tuned for, including the superb, proven, mostly un-replaceable Russian Urals crude oil blend and the most convenient Russian Druzbha door-to-door pipeline rendering 24x7x365 already vetted exceptional performance

(3) shut down and indefinetly cancelled the most-needed NS2 pipeline for delivery of Russian hydrocarbons, with possible partial expropiatory theft yet again beyond bank deposits and other assets (4) fully ignored the very loud Siemens compliance warning regarding the EU ban on return-delivery of NS1 equipment back to Russia under well-known, scheduled and mandatory Canadian maintenance requirements (5) re-introduced the dirtiest of coals, namely brown coal, as feedstock for German and EU coal-fired power plants (6) rationed hot water and fuel consumption including the amount of time that Herr Habeck himself spends in the shower (7) shamefully placed Russia´s Gazprom Germania in a ´trusteeship´ of sorts which will also prove to be a very expensive mistake

(8) promoted a fully counter-productive wind-mill expansion program requiring fossil-fueled equipment for the extraction and transportation of thousands of tons of nickel and rare earths that Europe does not have, plus subsequent movement, erection and maintenance of such wind mills with other fossil fueled equipment that Europe has to import, plus additional fossil fuel power-generating equipment always needed as backstop during low wind seasons such as the last several months, plus tons of fossil-fuel powered equipment to eventually de-commission such wind-mills (9) fast-tracked the LNG Acceleration Act to favor in every possible way the construction of fully unnecessary and super-costly Liquefied Natural Gas terminals in detriment of many other much needed infrastructures so as to many months from now eventually buy über-expensive LNG from the USA which is really the Master Pupeteer behind this anti-Europe Master Plan

(10) with direct benefit to Russia, the current lower volume of its oil exports at much higher prices thanks to EU sanctions allows the Ruble to become ever stronger while saving Russian oil for sale to others (11) pushed for a naïve buyer´s oil price cap cartel in a seller’s market (!!!) (12) seized Russian LNG tankers (13) crashed German nat-gas giant Uniper now ready for bail-out and Lehman moment (14) launched Germany and the EU in the most nonsensical “firehose” oil & gas policies already explained to death and with excruciating details

Read more …

“..Where as a result more money is spent on Offence (‘Defence’) than on any basic human needs..”

We Are Z (Batiushka)

The Schloss Elmau, ‘a Luxury Spa Retreat and Cultural Hideaway’ was a very suitable location at the end of June 2022 for the G7 elitists, ‘hiding away’ from the anger of their exploited peoples. Holed up in a castle in Bavaria (sounds familiar?), protected by thousands of paramilitaries, the neo-feudal Gang of 7 of the Western world met and condemned freedom, which is another word for multipolarity. Now freedom is represented by Z. Z means belonging to the Russian World, which is carrying out the existential Special Operation to save itself and the world from the global dictatorship of evil. The Russian World means all who are opposed to the Western/Anglo-Zionist/Globalist/NATO/Nazi ideology and its fake and failed puppet-states, which exist only to ensure the prolongation of colonial oppression and buy overpriced US arms and parrot their propaganda.

We who identify with Z live all over the world, even within the semi-conquered heartlands of the Evil Empire, in the USA, Canada, the UK, the EU, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. Here in Europe we in Z fight against the US-imposed EU Fourth Reich. But everywhere the letter Z is to be drawn as a sign of hope by all free people who still believe in the God, Who is not mocked. We are Z, who do not belong to your world, Where freedom is denied in the name of the tyrannical ‘democratic’ system, in which only one country controls the rest of the world and cruelly exploits it, Where as a result universal traditions of faith, patriotism and family are despised and trampled down, Where as a result more money is spent on Offence (‘Defence’) than on any basic human needs, Where as a result rich countries live in debt at the expense of poor countries,

Where as a result transnational corporations rule and exploit vast tracts of the globe, Where the land, the sea and the air are sullied by complex manmade chemical compounds which destroy life, Where as a result vastly rich individuals are richer than whole nations, Where as a result corruption is so rife that many are murdered or are in prison for no other reason than telling the truth, Where as a result slavery has again become commonplace, Where as a result countries such as Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen suffer genocide at the hands of Western imperialism, Where as a result there is no right to self-determination for oppressed peoples, like those in the Crimea and the Donbass, Where as a result the mainstream media, all controlled by the same hegemon, can only tell lies and oppress, Where as a result one billion are obese and one billion starve, Where the words Freedom and Truth, Justice and Tradition, Humanity and Sovereignty are cynically mocked and heartily detested.

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Faina Savenkova, 13, Lugansk. Good afternoon Mr. Assange!

The More You Grow Up, The More You Realise The World Is Unfair (Savenkova)

The more you grow up, the more you realise that the world is unfair. When the war in Donbass began eight years ago, few could have imagined that instead of the peaceful country of Ukraine, its authorities would make it miserable and torn apart, with a fierce hatred of the inhabitants towards each other. But it happened. That Ukraine – with Russian literature, great achievements and normal attitude towards each other – will never be the same again. Just as there will not be the West, which is the stuff of legends: with history, freedom and people to believe in and strive to be like them. Musicians, actors, presenters, politicians… they are all the same. The world itself is changing. Television replaces your walks in the rain and the Internet replaces your books.

Why read when you can watch a movie? Why be literate at all? Just know how to count to 100 and put an X. It’s been done before. And it’s probably a very comfortable world for some. But not for those who remember what IT is like to ask the right questions. Because asking them can destroy the cardboard world that we are encouraged to think is real. Such was the case with Julian Assange, who has become an example to many. He is one of those who has not been afraid to openly declare that people have a right to know the truth, shattering the known and so familiar illusion. He broke through the breach in this painstakingly built-up cardboard wall at the cost of his “normal” life. Let it not be in vain and others who wish to live in truth push that breach from horizon to horizon. And I will keep trying to push that breach to my horizon in Donbass…

Good afternoon Mr. Assange! I have been thinking for a long time how to start this letter… I have written many letters over the years to presidents, politicians and artists in Europe and the USA. Even to the Pope. I was ignored and dismissed, except for the clerks and small officials who answered with formal replies. But I kept writing and begging. It was all about one thing: to help stop the war in Donbass and to influence Ukraine not to kill children in Donetsk and Lugansk, Makeyevka and Pervomaisk. Many people said I was doing it for nothing. Just wasting my time. But listening to them, I remembered you because you were and are an example to me.

You could have said nothing to the world about what America was doing and simply remained silent and lived quietly, as many journalists did. But the truth is necessary. And the easiest and the most difficult thing at the same time is to tell it to people. You have become an example for many, including me. Thank you for your honesty, for your strength of will and for not breaking under the blows of fate. Thank you for the fact that you were able to give strength to fight injustice. May God bless you and your family.

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Not a fan of Jeffrey Sachs, but this may be useful.

Ukraine Is the Latest Neocon Disaster (Sachs)

The war in Ukraine is the culmination of a 30-year project of the American neoconservative movement. The Biden administration is packed with the same neocons who championed the U.S. wars of choice in Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Syria (2011), Libya (2011), and who did so much to provoke Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The neocon track record is one of unmitigated disaster, yet Biden has staffed his team with neocons. As a result, Biden is steering Ukraine, the U.S. and the European Union towards yet another geopolitical debacle. If Europe has any insight, it will separate itself from these U.S. foreign policy debacles.

The neocon movement emerged in the 1970s around a group of public intellectuals, several of whom were influenced by University of Chicago political scientist Leo Strauss and Yale University classicist Donald Kagan. Neocon leaders included Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan (son of Donald), Frederick Kagan (son of Donald), Victoria Nuland (wife of Robert), Elliott Cohen, Elliott Abrams and Kimberley Allen Kagan (wife of Frederick). The main message of the neocons is that the U.S. must predominate in military power in every region of the world and must confront rising regional powers that could someday challenge U.S. global or regional dominance, most important Russia and China. For this purpose, U.S. military force should be pre-positioned in hundreds of military bases around the world and the U.S. should be prepared to lead wars of choice as necessary. The United Nations is to be used by the U.S. only when useful for U.S. purposes.

This approach was spelled out first by Paul Wolfowitz in his draft Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) written for the Department of Defense in 2002. The draft called for extending the U.S.-led security network to Central and Eastern Europe despite the explicit promise by German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher in 1990 that German unification would not be followed by NATO’s eastward enlargement. Wolfowitz also made the case for American wars of choice, defending America’s right to act independently, even alone, in response to crises of concern to the U.S. According to General Wesley Clark, Wolfowitz already made clear to Clark in May 1991 that the U.S. would lead regime-change operations in Iraq, Syria and other former Soviet allies.

The neocons championed NATO enlargement to Ukraine even before that became official U.S. policy under President George W. Bush, Jr. in 2008. They viewed Ukraine’s NATO membership as key to U.S. regional and global dominance. Robert Kagan spelled out the neocon case for NATO enlargement in April 2006: “[T]he Russians and Chinese see nothing natural in [the ‘color revolutions’ of the former Soviet Union], only Western-backed coups designed to advance Western influence in strategically vital parts of the world. Are they so wrong? Might not the successful liberalization of Ukraine, urged and supported by the Western democracies, be but the prelude to the incorporation of that nation into NATO and the European Union — in short, the expansion of Western liberal hegemony?”

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“..the Green New Deal is dead because even a Democratic majority Congress is too chicken to vote for measures likely to bring down the electric grid..”

Independence Day (Jim Kunstler)

[..] this Party of Chaos is insane, and rejoice this holiday weekend that you are not them. Independence, after all, was not just throwing off the yoke of King George III, but of establishing conditions for a people to thrive and pursue happiness without nefarious interference by vicious authorities of a leviathan state. That was something worth fighting for in 1776 and worth fighting for now. One such battle was decided this week in the US Supreme Court: West Virginia v EPA, about US government agencies under the executive branch usurping legislative and judicial prerogatives — in this case to enforce “Green New Deal” policies on the electric power industry by agency fiat, as if by law. No-can-do, the SCOTUS said in a 6-3 decision.

The ruling will tend to quash the growing tyranny of the unelected federal bureaucracy issuing diktats that nobody has voted for, like the Department of Education’s increasingly insane use of the 1972 Title IX [nine] update of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to jam biological male transsexuals into women’s sports and locker rooms. Much of this agency mischief has emanated in recent years from whoever is in the White House issuing executive orders to get around a recalcitrant Congress. Barack Obama was especially prolific at it and now the junta behind “Joe Biden” is trying to emulate Mr. O. The upshot is that the Green New Deal is dead because even a Democratic majority Congress is too chicken to vote for measures likely to bring down the electric grid and put an end to mass motoring (though current trends suggest exactly that outcome is in the cards even without government action).

The ruling also tends to foil the World Economic Forum’s effort to re-set Western Civ as a transhuman technocratic “green” nirvana. Rather, the USA and Euroland are on the express track to a Palookaville of grubby, post-industrial, neo-medieval hardship. Try to imagine Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse minus reliable electric service. All you’re left with is an ill-dressed schmuck wearing goggles in a dark, empty room. Not to mention the technocrat elite’s wished-for boons of computer-enabled eternal life and never-ending orgasm. Fugettabowdit. Mr. Zuckerberg will be lucky months from now if he can avoid being clamped to a stake and torched by the angered new peasantry he helped to create.

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Damned if you do, doomed if you don’t.

Biden Admin Delays Decision On Expanded Offshore Drilling (JTN)

The Biden administration on Friday issued a nebulous statement on the future of up to 11 offshore oil and gas drilling leases, insisting its final decision could result in the government approving any number of them from zero to all 11. An Interior Department official said government was equally mulling options to allow all, none, or some of the sales, according to The Hill. The previous, Obama-era, offshore drilling plan expired on Thursday. Among the sales in question are 10 sites in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Cook Inlet near Alaska. It does not include any prospective leases in the Alaskan Arctic or off the Atlantic or Pacific coasts. Any decision by the Biden administration on the plan will not affect current drilling operations, The Hill asserted.

The lack of a decision on the lease comes amid a nationwide energy crunch. The price of gas surpassed $5 per gallon for the first time in U.S. history in early June. While both inflation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have partly fueled America’s energy woes, President Joe Biden has drawn considerable considerable criticism for his resistance to expanding domestic energy production. Biden canceled construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline on his first day in office. Moreover, his decision to offset rising prices by releasing 1 million barrels per day from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve drew sharp criticism from Republicans who demanded the president encourage domestic energy production instead.

Energy policy has become a major talking point for Republicans seeking to capitalize off of voter discontent with the administration’s handling of the economy. Republicans in June drafted a framework to “restore energy dominance” in response to federal policies. On the other side, Biden has faced pressure from environmental groups seeking to obstruct what oil and gas drilling expansions Washington is exploring. A slew of environmental groups on Thursday filed a class action suit over a series of leases in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Utah.

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“What this administration should be actually doing is promoting more American oil and gas development..”

But they want the green vote!

Oil Exec: Biden Admin Breaking The ‘Backbone Of The Energy Revolution’ (Fox)

As the AAA national average for gas sits at $4.84 per gallon heading into the July 4th weekend, one American oil executive is begging the Biden administration to tap into the Permian Basin’s full potential. “The Permian Basin is the most prolific in the United States,” American Petroleum Institute Senior Vice President Frank Macchiarola told “Mornings with Maria” Friday. “It’s really been the backbone of the energy revolution here.” Macchiarola expressed hope that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to impose a discretionary re-designation of the Permian Basin, which is located in Texas and New Mexico and accounts for 40% of all oil produced in the U.S., falls through. “What this administration should be actually doing is promoting more American oil and gas development,” the oil executive told FOX Business’ Dagen McDowell.


In response to Biden’s moratorium on federal land and offshore drilling, the American Petroleum Institute introduced a plan to promote and restore U.S. energy independence. “That breaks down the barriers for infrastructure, that lifts the steel tariffs, that promotes LNG exports,” Macchiarola explained. “These are the types of steps that the administration should be taking, not looking to put limitations on the most prolific basin that we have here in the United States.” Pumping 5.2 million barrels per day, or 95 million gallons of gas, the Permian Basin is credited with pushing the U.S. to become the leading producer of oil and natural gas, according to Macchiarola.

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They’ve been behind for a long time.

US Falls Behind In Hypersonic Weapons Race After Another Failed Test (ZH)

America is lagging behind its international competitors in the hypersonic weapons race. This week’s test provided more insight into just how badly the U.S. is behind. Bloomberg was the first to report the Common Hypersonic Glide Body atop a two-stage missile booster that failed after an “anomaly” occurred during launch at the Missile Range Facility in Hawaii. The booster failed to ignite, which would’ve accelerated the rocket in excess of Mach 5, at which the glide body separates and uses speed and an unpredictable path to strike targets without being detected by the most advanced defense shields in the world.

“While the Department was unable to collect data on the entirety of the planned flight profile, the information gathered from this event will provide vital insights,” said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cdr. Tim Gorman in a statement. He didn’t provide additional details about the failed test. Gorman said officials would use data from the rocket’s failures to correct the issue for future tests. Even though the hypersonic weapons program has experienced multiple “fight test anomalies” over the last year, the spokesman was confident the delivery of the weapons to modern battlefields would occur “on target dates beginning in the early 2020s.”

The previous test of the glide body ended early when the booster rocket failed, which prevented the missile from leaving the launch pad. The Navy and Army have jointly been working on developing hypersonic weapons. The Air Force has also been working on a hypersonic weapon. After several failed tests earlier this year, the service successfully tested a hypersonic missile off Southern California in May. It’s no secret the U.S. is falling behind the hypersonic weapons race as the largest military in the world, in terms of size and defense budget, has yet to field hypersonic weapons. Meanwhile, Russia and China have completed successful tests and or fielded super fast weapons on the modern battlefield.

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“..Cipollone was not at the White House that morning. ..”

Why do I get the feeliing Cassidy was/is a plant?

Rep. Jim Banks Demands White House Jan 6 Surveillance Logs (Fed.)

Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks is demanding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) disclose White House surveillance records to lawmakers in their investigation of blockbuster claims by the Jan. 6 Committee’s latest star witness. On Tuesday, a top aide to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson, offered sensational revelations in public testimony before the nine-member House panel depicting a president in rage as supporters ransacked congressional chambers. At one point, Hutchinson said President Donald Trump assaulted a Secret Service agent and attempted to hijack the presidential limousine with plans to drive himself to the Capitol.

“The president said something to the effect of, ‘I’m the f’ing president, take me up to the Capitol now,’” Hutchinson told lawmakers, citing a conversation with then-White House Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato in the absence of a firsthand account. Hours later, Hutchinson’s sources disputed the graphic events in question and told news outlets they were prepared to offer on-the-record denials under oath. Days after a centerpiece of Hutchinson’s uncorroborated testimony fell apart, more claims are beginning to fail the credibility test under closer scrutiny. While Trump was intent on going to the Capitol, Hutchinson said, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone allegedly pressured aides to make sure the president remained far from the complex.

“We understand, Ms. Hutchinson, that you also spoke to Mr. Cipollone on the morning of the 6th, as you were about to go to the rally on the Ellipse,” said Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who led Tuesday’s questioning. “Mr. Cipollone said something to you like, ‘make sure the movement to the Capitol does not happen.’ Is that correct?” Hutchinson nodded. “That’s correct. I saw Mr. Cipollone right before I walked out onto West Exec that morning, and Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of ‘please make sure we don’t go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.’ According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of White House staffing on Jan. 6, however, Cipollone was not at the White House that morning.

“Every Trump White House senior staff member knows that Cipollone was not at the White House that morning so that conversation could not have taken place,” one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Federalist. “In Cipollone’s absence, Pat Philbin was filling in for Pat [Cipollone] that morning.” “Besides the fact that Pat [Cipollone] wasn’t there,” they added, “He simply doesn’t speak like that.” To independently investigate Hutchinson’s claims, Banks sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas requesting to “review White House gate logs, surveillance video, and all other records that could indicate which of these senior staff were present at the White House during the times referenced in Ms. Hutchinson’s attached testimony.”

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“The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros..”

Soros’s Connection To US Media Infrastructure And Politics (ET)

Matt Palumbo, author of “The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros,” details billionaire George Soros’s connection to American politics, and illustrates how Soros controls not only what is written about him, but also influences how the American public perceives news events. Soros created a financial concept called reflexivity, which Palumbo said is “brilliant,” because it can cause what Soros wants in the finance sector to happen. “But expectations set reality and Soros realized, ‘Well, that’s true of media as well.’ If you tell people what to expect, they’re going to reinterpret reality,” and that can be used to affect how people interpret news events, Palumbo said during a recent interview for EpochTV’s “Facts Matter” program.

“For whatever reason, if people think something’s going to happen, it actually will happen,” and Soros applied this to media companies’ coverage to make people believe something that did not actually happen, happened, said Palumbo. Soros-backed media agencies use this concept to create false narratives and make people believe in something that did not actually occur. The reason Soros is able to have this level of influence is that he gives tens of millions of dollars to the U.S. media infrastructure. There are many Soros-linked mainstream media organizations including, “ABC, CBS, CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, I mean, it is a very long list. Type Soros’s name and just look at how they cover him, and if it’s ever anything negative, it’s ‘anti-Semites say: negative claim,’” said Palumbo, adding that their coverage always seems to favor Democrats and Soros.

A watchdog group called the Media Research Center (MRC) has documented Soros’s ties to media infrastructure. “Soros has spent more than $52 million funding media properties, including the infrastructure of news—journalism schools, investigative journalism, and even industry organizations,” according to an MRC report. Many left-wing groups, including media companies, get funding via Soros’s Open Society Foundation. That group is known to fund progressive initiatives like Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police, as well as political candidates and district attorney campaigns, said Palumbo. Soros’s foundation claims to promote democracy and individualism, but in reality, it supports a more radical agenda, said Palumbo.

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Leading, your honor!

28% Of Voters Think May ‘Soon Be Necessary To Take Up Arms’ Vs Government (JTN)

More than one-in-four U.S. voters are so alienated from their government that they believe it may “soon be necessary to take up arms” against it, according to a new survey. Twenty-eight percent of the 1,000 registered U.S. voter in the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics survey released Thursday agreed and said yes to the question. In a partisan breakdown, one-in-three Republicans and Independent voters held that view, compared to one-in-five Democrats, the survey also found. The finding comes amid the televised Democrat-led House committee’s hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, which has focused in large part on whether former President Trump and members of his inner circle helped incite the riot. The survey was led by Republican pollster Neil Newhouse and Democratic pollster Joel Benenson.


The institute said the survey was designed to “probe polarization and its relationship to the news sources upon which Americans rely in a fractionated media environment.” “The portrait that it paints reveals not only the growing divides we have witnessed in recent years but strong sentiments that the majority of media outlets contribute to these divisions by intentionally misleading their audiences to promote a political point of view,” the institute also said. On the issue of new sources, CNN was rated by 47% of respondents as making “a good faith effort to report the news,” while 41% said the cable network intentionally tries “to mislead their viewers to persuade people to take a political point of view.” Only about one-in-three surveyed indicated the Fox News Network passed on the “good faith” test, the survey also found.

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Almost funny.

Beet This: Ukraine Wins Fight To Protect Borshch Soup (AFP)

The UN’s cultural agency on Friday inscribed the culture surrounding beetroot soup known as borshch in Ukraine on its list of endangered cultural heritage, a recognition sought urgently by Kviv after its invasion by neighbouring Russia. Ukraine prizes borshch, a nourishing soup with beetroot as its base, as a national dish even though it is also widely enjoyed in Russia, other ex-Soviet countries and Poland. The Ukrainian culture of borshch cooking “was today inscribed on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding,” by a UNESCO committee, it said. The decision was approved after a fast-track process prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the “negative impact on this tradition” caused by the war, the agency said.


“People are unable not only to cook or grow local vegetables for borsht, but also to come together” to eat it, “which undermines the social and cultural well-being of communities,” it said, using one of several alternative spellings for the soup. Kyiv hailed the move as a much-needed victory on the cultural front after four months of Russian bombardments. For the first time in history, the nomination jumped the queue and was considered in an expedited fashion given “the military aggression against Ukraine in real time and the real threat to the cultural object,” Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzeppar said on Twitter, adding: “Ukrainian Borsht derussified!”

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From the government back to the courts.

Julian Assange Submits High Court Appeal To Fight Extradition (BBC)

Julian Assange is seeking permission to appeal against a decision to extradite him to the United States. Last month, the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the Wikileaks founder’s extradition to the US. The High Court in London confirmed to the BBC an application by Mr Assange has been submitted. The Australian is wanted by American authorities over documents leaked in 2010 and 2011, which the US says broke the law and endangered lives. The documents are related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Mr Assange had until Friday to decide whether or not to appeal against his extradition.


The Australian is being held at Belmarsh prison in London after mounting a lengthy battle to avoid being extradited. Extradition allows one country to ask another to hand over a suspect to face trial. Previously, Mr Assange’s wife, Stella, said her husband had done “nothing wrong” and “he has committed no crime”. “He is a journalist and a publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job”, she said. The Wikileaks co-founder is wanted by the US on 18 counts, including a spying accusation, after his organisation published confidential military records and diplomatic cables.

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Rogan Real Fauci
https://twitter.com/i/status/1542497337171496961

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 202022
 
 June 20, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


Henri Matisse Notre-Dame, une fin d’après-midi 1902

 

Boris Urges World Leaders To Hold Their Nerve For A Long War In Ukraine (DM)
Prepare To Fight Russia In A Third World War – Britain’s Top General (DM)
Lithuania Bans Transit Of Sanctioned Russian Goods To Kaliningrad (RFE)
Russia’s New Rules (Luongo)
St. Petersburg Sets The Stage For The War of Economic Corridors (Escobar)
OSCE: Ukraine Started Shelling Donbas Nine Days Before Russian Attack (KK)
Ukraine’s EU Accession Plan Is a Suicide Pill for Desperate EU (Jay)
Pfizer’s mRNA Jabs “Temporarily” Impair Semen Concentration’ (Wiley)
Pfizer Vaccine Effects On Total Motile Count In Sperm Donors (El Gato)
FDA Unanimously Approve Covid Vaccine For 0-4 Years (HART)
Experts Question CDC’s Approval Of Covid Vaccines For Under-5s (DM)
Germany Turns To Coal For Electricity Amid Gas Shortage Concerns (JTN)
Macron Faces 5 Years Of Gridlock After Stunning Parliamentary Defeat (Pol.eu)
Australia Government Lobbying Behind The Scenes For Assange’s Freedom (SMH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell Brand: “The problem with ‘following the science’ is that the science follows the money”

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

 

 

He’ll do anything to divert attention from his troubles.

Boris Urges World Leaders To Hold Their Nerve For A Long War In Ukraine (DM)

Boris Johnson has urged world leaders to hold their nerve for a long war in Ukraine, or risk the ‘greatest victory for aggression in Europe since the Second World War’. In a thinly-veiled barb at Emmanuel Macron’s pleas to ‘make nice’ with warmonger Putin, the Prime Minister has said a Russian victory in Ukraine would be ‘catastrophic’ and urged the international community to use its power to expel Moscow’s invading armies. ‘We’ve got to make it clear that we are supporting the Ukrainians in their ambitions… to expel the Russians, expel Putin’s armies, from everything that he has obtained since February 24, and make sure the Ukrainians are not encouraged to go for a bad peace, something that simply wouldn’t endure.’

Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Johnson said: ‘Time is now the vital factor. Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack. Our task is to enlist time on Ukraine’s side.’ The Tory leader, himself battling inflation spiralling domestic fuel prices, told allies that economic concerns should not lead to a rushed settlement in war-torn Ukraine. Allowing Russia to keep territory in Ukraine ‘would be the greatest victory for aggression in Europe since the Second World War’, Mr Johnson added. [..] Speaking after his second visit to Kyiv, Mr Johnson said: ‘It would a catastrophe if Putin won. He’d love nothing more than to say ”Let’s freeze this conflict, let’s have a ceasefire like we had back in 2014”. For him, that would be a tremendous victory. You’d have a situation in which Putin was able to consolidate his gains and then to launch another attack.

‘We’ve got to make it clear that we are supporting the Ukrainians in their ambitions… to expel the Russians, expel Putin’s armies, from everything that he has obtained since February 24, and make sure the Ukrainians are not encouraged to go for a bad peace, something that simply wouldn’t endure.’ [..] Mr Johnson told Mr Zelensky yesterday that the UK is prepared to launch a major operation to train Ukrainian armed forces, training up to 120,000 troops every 120 days to prepare them for combat against Putin’s soldiers. Mr Johnson said that it was important to prevent the Russians ‘freezing’ the conflict so they could consolidate their gains before mounting another attack.

He said the Ukrainians should be supported in their ambition to regain territory occupied by the Russian forces since they invaded in February. However, he stopped short of calling for the recovery of all the lands Ukraine had lost since 2014 – including Crimea – something Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has previously called for.

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No.

Prepare To Fight Russia In A Third World War – Britain’s Top General (DM)

Britain’s top army general has told his troops to prepare to fight and beat Putin’s armies in a European land war, it has emerged tonight. General Sir Patrick Sanders, who assumed overall command of the British Army this week, warned soldiers ‘we are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again’ as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rocks global stability. In a tub-thumping message to British troops, he wrote: ‘I am the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power… The scale of the enduring threat from Russia shows we’ve entered a new era of insecurity. ‘It is my singular duty to make our Army as lethal and effective as it can be. The time is now and the opportunity is ours to seize.’

It comes as Putin menaces NATO countries and this week taunted former Soviet states in Europe by declaring: ‘They are part of historic Russia’. Putin made the comments in response to a dramatic statement by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who sensationally declared he did not recognise the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. Tokayev, sat metres away from the brooding Russian despot at the St Petersburg Economic Forum (SPIEF) yesterday, described the DPR and LPR as ‘quasi-state territories’. ‘We don’t recognise Taiwan, Kosovo, South Ossetia or Abkhazia… we apply this principle to the quasi-state territories, which in our view, are the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics’, the Kazakh President said in a daring defiance of Putin’s war in eastern Ukraine.

The Russian President sat quietly, considering Tokayev’s comments, before appearing to deliver a calm but quietly menacing warning. ‘What is the Soviet Union?’ Putin asked rhetorically. ‘This is historic Russia.’ He went on to paint Kazakhstan as a nation friendly to Russia, but quickly added: ‘The same thing could have happened with Ukraine, but they wouldn’t be our allies.’

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Provocation, trying to make a bigger war.

Lithuania Bans Transit Of Sanctioned Russian Goods To Kaliningrad (RFE)

Lithuania has begun a ban on the rail transit of goods subject to European Union sanctions to the Russian far-western exclave of Kaliningrad, transport authorities in the Baltic nation said on June 18. The EU sanctions list includes coal, metals, construction materials, and advanced technology. Anton Alikhanov, the governor of the Russian oblast, said the ban would cover around 50 percent of the items that Kaliningrad imports. Alikhanov said the region, which has an ice-free port on the Baltic Sea, will call on Russian federal authorities to take tit-for-tat measures against the EU country for imposing the ban. He said he would also seek to have more goods sent by ship to the oblast.


The cargo unit of Lithuania’s state railways service set out details of the ban in a letter to clients following “clarification” from the European Commission on the mechanism for applying the sanctions. Previously, Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Mantas Adomenas said the ministry was waiting for “clarification from the European Commission on applying European sanctions to Kaliningrad cargo transit.” The commission stated that sanctioned goods and cargo should still be prohibited even if they travel from one part of Russia to another but through EU territory. [..] Russia’s Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, became part of the Soviet Union after World War II. It has a population of about 430,000 people and hosts the headquarters of Russia’s Baltic sea fleet.

 

 

Gonzalo Lira – A message for Americans

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“..perpetuate old colonialist behavior well past its use-by date..”

Russia’s New Rules (Luongo)

Russia is done with the West. The divorce is nearly complete. In the past few days we’ve heard from all major Russian leaders the same thing, “The West will play by our rules now.” You can decide for yourselves whether Russia is writing checks they can’t cash, but in the words of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov telling the BBC bluntly, “We do not care about the eyes of the West.” Lavrov has always been the soul of politeness and discretion when dealing with European media. His open hostility towards his BBC interviewer was not only palpable, it was hard to argue with. He followed that up with: “I don’t think there’s even room for maneuver left anymore,” Lavrov replied. “Because both [Prime Minister Boris] Johnson and [Foreign Secretary Liz] Truss say publicly: ’We must defeat Russia, we must bring Russia to its knees. Go on, then, do it.”

Russia’s leadership never talks in such openly blunt terms. It’s almost like Lavrov was channeling comedian Dennis Miller who used to say, “Feeling froggy, take that leap.” See where it gets you. Russia knows it has the West on the ropes. We need what they produce and now they are determined to set the rules on who gets them and for what price. It knows that European leaders are puppets with Klaus Schwab’s hand up their asses. And it knows Davos has zero leverage over Russia’s actions from here on out. Which brings me to the statements linked above by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, speaking at a panel at the St. Petersburg Economic Investment Forum (SPEIF) who just put the situation in the starkest terms there is.

“The game of nominal value of money is over, as this system does not allow to control the supply of resources. …Our product, our rules. We don’t play by the rules we didn’t create.” Miller’s statement should be thought of as a statement of principle across all theatres of operation for Russia. This doesn’t just apply to natural gas or oil. This is everything, all of Russia’s dealings with the West from here on out will be on its terms not the West’s. This is clearly the biggest geopolitical middle finger in the post WWII period. Miller is clearly laying out the rules for a new, commodity-centric monetary system, one based on what Credit Suisse’s Zoltan Poszar called ‘outside money’ — commodities, gold, even bitcoin — rather than the West’s egregious use of ‘inside money’ — debt-based fiat and credit — to perpetuate old colonialist behavior well past its use-by date.

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Much more here from Pepe. Do read.

St. Petersburg Sets The Stage For The War of Economic Corridors (Escobar)

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has been configured for years now as absolutely essential to understand the evolving dynamics and the trials and tribulations of Eurasia integration. St. Petersburg in 2022 is even more crucial as it directly connects to three simultaneous developments I had previously outlined, in no particular order: First, the coming of the “new G8” – four BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China), plus Iran, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico, whose GDP per purchasing parity power (PPP) already dwarfs the old, western-dominated G8. Second, the Chinese “Three Rings” strategy of developing geoeconomic relations with its neighbors and partners. Third, the development of BRICS+, or extended BRICS, including some members of the “new G8,” to be discussed at the upcoming summit in China.

There was hardly any doubt President Putin would be the star of St. Petersburg 2022, delivering a sharp, detailed speech to the plenary session. Among the highlights, Putin smashed the illusions of the so-called ‘golden billion’ who live in the industrialized west (only 12 percent of the global population) and the “irresponsible macroeconomic policies of the G7 countries.” The Russian president noted how “EU losses due to sanctions against Russia” could exceed $400 billion per year, and that Europe’s high energy prices – something that actually started “in the third quarter of last year” – are due to “blindly believing in renewable sources.” He also duly dismissed the west’s ‘Putin price hike’ propaganda, saying the food and energy crisis is linked to misguided western economic policies, i.e., “Russian grain and fertilizers are being sanctioned” to the detriment of the west.

In a nutshell: the west misjudged Russia’s sovereignty when sanctioning it, and now is paying a very heavy price. Chinese President Xi Jinping, addressing the forum by video, sent a message to the whole Global South. He evoked “true multilateralism,” insisting that emerging markets must have “a say in global economic management,” and called for “improved North-South and South-South dialogue.” It was up to Kazakh President Tokayev, the ruler of a deeply strategic partner of both Russia and China, to deliver the punch line in person: Eurasia integration should progress hand in hand with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


The International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC)

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More intensified than started.

OSCE: Ukraine Started Shelling Donbas Nine Days Before Russian Attack (KK)

It is important to remember that the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine started in 2014 after the Obama administration and U.S. Congress members installed a new government in Ukraine, in what the head of the “private CIA” firm Stratfor called “the most blatant coup in history.” In response to the U.S.-backed coup, the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the Donbas held a referendum on seceding from Ukraine, in which 96% of Luhansk and 89% of Donetsk voted for the creation of two new self-described independent republics in eastern Ukraine. Moscow said the vote reflected the “will of the people,” but the EU called the elections “illegal and illegitimate”, which quickly turned violent and descended into an all-out conflict between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatist forces of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Between 2014 and 2022 the War in Donbas killed an estimated 14,000 people, forcing millions of people to flee the region, and turning the conflict zone into one of the world’s most mine-contaminated areas. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has had observers on-the-ground monitoring the situation in Donbas since the outbreak of open conflict began in 2014. The OSCE has been the only international civilian observer mission allowed to collect information from both sides of the contact line, and its data, while incomplete, remains the best available. The OSCE observer mission provides maps in daily reports documenting the location of ceasefire violations and explosions along the contact line between the Ukrainian military and the Donbas republics.

These maps clearly show that Ukraine began artillery strikes against the Donbas republics on February 16th, 2022. In other words, Ukraine began shelling the independent republics of Donetsk and Luhansk nine days before Russia announced its ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine. While the western corporate media remained completely silent, explosions documented by the OSCE increased from 76 on February 15th, to 316 on February 16th, to 654 on February 17th, and to 1,413 on February 18th. When you look carefully at the daily maps of these explosions, it is clear that the vast majority of explosions occurred on the Russian separatist side of the ceasefire line.

Feb 14: 174 ceasefire violations, 41 explosions
Feb 15: 153 ceasefire violations, 76 explosions
Feb 16: 509 ceasefire violations, 316 explosions
Feb 17: 870 ceasefire violations, 654 explosions
Feb 18: 1,566 ceasefire violations, 1,413 explosions
Feb 19-20: 3,231 ceasefire violations, 2,026 explosions
Feb 21: 1,927 ceasefire violations, 1,481 explosions
Feb 21: Russia recognizes independence of Donetsk and Luhansk
Feb 22: 1,710 ceasefire violations, 1,420 explosions
Feb 24: Russia launches ‘special military operation’

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All 27 countries will agree? Can’t see it.

Ukraine’s EU Accession Plan Is a Suicide Pill for Desperate EU (Jay)

It might take a decade for Ukraine to even join the EU club, but Macron and others are upbeat about Ukraine becoming an EU member state, ahead of a key vote by all 27-member states in Brussels. In reality, the grandiose, if not desperate move pushed by the French president, won’t go through as at least three member states have said already that they won’t back it. But what’s the real story behind this somewhat banal plan to make Ukraine a member of the European Union? Is there a hidden agenda? Well of course there is. It is simply that in 2028 Macron is hotly tipped to be running the EU. In this year, two top jobs will become vacant in Brussels – European Commission President and European Council of Ministers chief – and he is an obvious choice to take one of them.

Macron’s dream is that before then, France takes a leading role – if not the leading role – within the EU and that the bloc’s so-called ‘foreign policy’ is more or less run by him and his team. So what’s the link? In a nutshell, federalists like Macron dream of an EU which punches above its weight and despite the Maastricht treaty in 1992 and the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, the EU’s efforts to garner more power away from member states towards Brussels haven’t amounted to much in practical terms. On paper, the EU has a considerable amount of clout on the international circuit in terms of peacekeeping and humanitarian stuff. You know the sort of thing.

But in real terms whenever the EU wants to actually soldier ahead with something big, right at the last moment member states themselves hold back from pressing the button and block the move. This explains why only a couple of weeks into the Ukraine war, Macron himself went in person to visit Putin while the EU’s top diplo wonk, Josep incredibly-boring Borrell went to Washington to give a joint press conference with his left-wing US president. That tells you all you need to know about the EU’s real powers when it comes to the international stage. The EU’s top foreign policy chief didn’t go to Moscow as probably Putin wouldn’t have received him as, to be fair, Borrell hasn’t really much to say and no real power to do anything.

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mRNA affects both men and women’s reproductive systems.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/andr.13209

Pfizer’s mRNA Jabs “Temporarily” Impair Semen Concentration’ (Wiley)

37 semen donors from three sperm banks that provided 220 samples, were included in that retrospective longitudinal multicenter cohort study. BNT162b2 vaccination included two doses, and vaccination completion was scheduled 7 days after the second dose. The study included four phases: T0 – pre-vaccination baseline control, which encompassed 1–2 initial samples per SD; T1, T2 and T3 – short, intermediate, and long terms evaluations, respectively. Each included 1–3 semen samples per donor provided 15–45, 75-120, and over 150 days after vaccination completion, respectively. The primary endpoints were semen parameters. Three statistical analyses were conducted: 1) generalized estimated equation model; 2) first sample and 3) samples’ mean of each donor per period were compared to T0.


Repetitive measurements revealed -15.4% sperm concentration decrease on T2 (CI -25.5%–3.9%, p = 0.01) leading to total motile count 22.1% reduction (CI -35% – -6.6%, p = 0.007) compared to T0. Similarly, analysis of first semen sample only and samples’ mean per donor resulted in concentration and TMC reductions on T2 compared to T0 – median decline of 12 million/ml and 31 million motile spermatozoa, respectively (p = 0.02 and 0.002 respectively) on first sample evaluation and median decline of 9.5◊106 and 27.3 million motile spermatozoa (p = 0.004 and 0.003, respectively) on samples’ mean examination. T3 evaluation demonstrated overall recovery. Semen volume and sperm motility were not impaired.

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El Gato’s take on the study above.

Pfizer Vaccine Effects On Total Motile Count In Sperm Donors (El Gato)

these mRNA drugs are broadly systemic and concentrate in (amongst others) reproductive organs and effects on menstrual cycles are widely documented. In light of this quite worrying fact (especially with a compound carrying high CG enrichment relative to high virus and the attendant risks thereof) it has been surprising to me that there have no been more studies on this topic. But a few are starting to emerge. this israeli study was published 2 days ago: and the results are, well, nuts. (sorry). There was strong a priori reason to suspect effects, especially in light of the higher and more persistent prevalence of vaccine induced S proteins vs natural infection and the CG enrichment issued mentioned above.


“Over the first pandemic months, there was insufficient data regarding the possible impact of Covid-19 on human reproduction. Yet, it was clear it employs the Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor for cellular entry. Various testicular cells including Leydig, Sertoli, spermatogonia and spermatozoa express ACE2 and related proteases resulting with viral fusion. Cytokine storm-induced dysfunction, autophagy regulation and damaged blood-testis barrier were also suggested as possible pathogenic mechanism for testicular damage. Clinical reports of orchitis, supported by histological findings, further emphasized testicular involvement. Therefore, detrimental impact on both spermatogenesis and testosterone production 10 seem an obvious outcome they evaluated donors from 3 sperm banks over a longitudinal period commencing before pfizer vaccine and following up after.”

“Conclusions: Systemic immune response after BNT162b2 vaccine is a reasonable cause for transient semen concentration and TMC decline. Long-term prognosis remains good”. But i am left wondering about these claims and fear they may provide an example of the sort of “nerf or refute your own findings in the abstract so that we can publish this without massive controversy” behavior that has become all too common in medical and scientific journals who withhold peer review from those whose findings look too worrying if stated plainly. (but that will often let such data out if buried deep in supplements and appendixes).

I’m struggling to see how one could call this “recovery.” Post day 150, sperm concentration was -15.9% vs baseline, lower even than in the 75-120 day period. Average time post vaxx for T3 collection was 174 +/- 26.8 days so we’re talking about 6 months post vaxx with NO recovery in sperm concentration. Total motile count was slightly recovered from T2, but was still down 19.4% vs baseline, seeming to make up somewhat in volume what is lost in concentration.

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Cabal.

FDA Unanimously Approve Covid Vaccine For 0-4 Years (HART)

The FDA met on 15th June and despite all the evidence of non-efficacy from the infant Pfizer vaccine and the still total lack of data on long-term harms, they voted to go ahead. If the last eighteen months are anything to go by, the MHRA will follow soon, followed after a respectable few weeks by the JCVI. Indeed, vaccination for this age-group is already listed for JCVI discussion. Before the UK regulators make any decision, they would do well to read a detailed letter to the FDA from Senator Robert F Kennedy.

It was depressing that in the FDA open meeting, none of the members pointed out that 2 months follow-up is totally inadequate for assessing safety, nor questioned the use of an antibody level as a measure of success. No specific level of antibody exists which provides protection against covid so how can this be used as a useful measure? For young children, much of their reduced risk from covid arises from their superior innate immunity. In the presentation to the FDA, Pfizer presented evidence that the only antibodies produced in the children were to the Wuhan spike with no detectable antibodies to the Omicron spike. Moderna was also authorised for children at the same meeting, despite several countries having dropped it for all under 30s. Their lengthy document (189 pages of single-spaced typing) was only sent to members two working days ahead of the meeting.

But what of the Pfizer data on which the decision was apparently based? The Pfizer submission must be the most extreme case of data manipulation and bad science ever presented to the FDA. The study was approved on the basis of 4,500 participants but 3,000 of them did not make it to the end of the trial. That alone is enough to make the findings null and void. There are three other measures that were used to assess efficacy: total covid, ‘severe’ covid and hospitalisations. The researchers found that there were 30% more covid cases in the vaccine arm in the three weeks after first dose, so they ignored that data. They also ignored the data after the second dose where there was no benefit. They then ignored a full week after the third dose too.

In total 97% of the covid cases in the trial were ignored. Finally, they focused on 7 cases in the placebo arm more than a week after vaccination and 3 in the vaccine arm and on the basis of those tiny numbers over that very short period, they claimed efficacy. Pfizer described this issue thus: “Vaccine efficacy post Dose 3 cannot be precisely estimated due to the limited number of cases accrued during blinded follow-up, as reflected in the wide confidence intervals associated with the estimates.”

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“Pfizer study used just THREE children to prove it works..”

Experts Question CDC’s Approval Of Covid Vaccines For Under-5s (DM)

In the wake of the CDC’s approval of Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for babies as young as six months, at least one expert has questioned the move. Dr. Sarah Long, an infectious diseases expert at the Drexel University College of Medicine, told the New York Times: ‘We should just assume that we don’t have efficacy data.’ That comes off the back of Pfizer’s own reporting that said their statements of 80% effectiveness in children under five was based on the responses of just three children. Those children were part of a group of ten but seven were given a placebo. And there are also concerns about the Moderna shot, which is only between 37 per cent and 51 per cent effective, depending on the age of the child receiving it.


According to the Times report, the CDC noted in their meeting this past Friday on whether or not to approve the vaccines that Pfizer’s metric was unreliable. Dr. Long said that despite this she was ‘comfortable enough’ in approving the vaccines based on other data. Both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines were shown to have a success rate of around 95% in adults. However in Moderna’s case, that number is just 37% in children aged two through five. The shot is effective in 51 per cent of children aged between six months and 23 months. Earlier in June 2022, FDA advisors met to discuss new vaccines to deal with new mutations of Covid-19. Public health authorities have expressed a worry that a new mutation in the latter part of the year, could undermine vaccines, reports CNBC.

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Coming full circle.

Germany Turns To Coal For Electricity Amid Gas Shortage Concerns (JTN)

Germany plans on limiting the use of natural gas and increasing the use of coal to generate electricity over concerns about a possible gas shortage as Russia cuts supplies, according to German Economy Minister Robert Habeck. “That’s bitter, but it’s simply necessary in this situation to lower gas usage,” Habeck, an environmentalist Green party member, said, the Associated Press reported. Russia’s majority state-owned Gazprom announced plans last week to sharply reduce gas to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Although the company cited technical reasons, Haebeck said the move appeared political. Germany has been scaling back gas imports because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.


The nation was attempting to phase out coal-generated power. Germany is set to shut down its last coal-fired power plant no later than 2038, The German government is asking citizens to reduce their energy use due to the supply situation. The European country is hoping to fill its gas storage facilities to 90% capacity by this fall in order to ensure heat throughout the winter. The facilities are currently at less than 60% capacity.

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“Macron’s Ensemble coalition is on track to win 245 seats, down from 345 in the outgoing chamber..”

Macron Faces 5 Years Of Gridlock After Stunning Parliamentary Defeat (Pol.eu)

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to face a potentially tumultuous five years of deadlock after his centrist alliance fell short of an absolute majority in a parliamentary runoff on Sunday, just weeks after he was reelected to the Elysée. Voters massively came out in support of the far-right National Rally and the left-wing coalition NUPES, depriving Macron of a ruling majority. With almost all votes counted, Macron’s Ensemble coalition is on track to win 245 seats, down from 345 in the outgoing chamber. NUPES, led by the far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon is set to win 141 seats, while Marine Le Pen’s National Rally will likely walk away with 89 seats. The runoff vote determines the composition of the National Assembly, the parliament’s lower chamber.


In the first round of voting last Sunday, Macron’s coalition of parties was neck and neck with the NUPES alliance, sparking concern among some in Macron’s camp that the French president’s popularity was sharply in decline. On Sunday, Macron’s supporters were left reeling after several party big guns, including the speaker of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand and Christophe Castaner, Macron’s party whip in the outgoing chamber, lost their seats. Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon and Environment Minister Amélie de Montchalin also lost their seats — which will likely force their resignations, as has been convention since the Sarkozy era. The newly appointed Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who won her seat in Normandy with a slim majority, said Ensemble would work to broaden its support in parliament and build a “majority of action.”

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“in the end the Americans can’t say no [to his release], given that President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning for exposing the very war crime that Assange went on to publicise worldwide”

Australia Government Lobbying Behind The Scenes For Assange’s Freedom (SMH)

The federal government is lobbying US counterparts behind the scenes to secure the freedom of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, after the United Kingdom’s decision to approve his extradition to the United States. The Trump administration brought charges against Assange under the Espionage Act relating to the leaking and publication of the WikiLeaks cables a decade ago. The UK Home Office announced late on Friday (AEST) that “after consideration by both the Magistrates Court and High Court, the extradition of Julian Assange to the US was ordered”. “In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. “Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”

Assange’s legal team has 14 days to appeal the decision to the High Court and will do so while he remains in Belmarsh prison. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, while still opposition leader in December, said “enough is enough” and that it was time for Assange to be returned to Australia. Asked about Assange’s extradition on Saturday, he told The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age that he stood by the comments he made in December. At the time, Albanese said “he [Assange] has paid a big price for the publication of that information already. And I do not see what purpose is served by the ongoing pursuit of Mr Assange”. Albanese met US President Joe Biden at the Quad meeting in Tokyo in late May, days after the federal election, but there has been no indication that he raised the Assange matter with him during their meeting.

A source in the federal government, who asked not to be named so they could discuss the matter, has confirmed to The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age that Assange’s case has been raised with senior US officials. Former foreign minister Bob Carr said the discussions over Assange’s release would be “governed by sensitive, nuanced alliance diplomacy appropriate between partners”. “I trust the judgment of Prime Minister Albanese on this, given his recent statement cautioning against megaphone diplomacy and his comments last December,” he said. But Carr predicted that “in the end the Americans can’t say no [to his release], given that President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning for exposing the very war crime that Assange went on to publicise worldwide”. “The Yank has had her sentence commuted; the Aussie faces an extradition and a cruel sentencing.

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Hinton Oliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound On

 

 

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