Dec 292022
 


Max Ernst Inspired hill 1950

 

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

 

 

 

 

Barak Avi

 

 

 

 

GVB

 

 

 

 

FBI/Twitter

 

 

 

 

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

A War of Rhetoric & Reality (Patrick Lawrence)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Macgregor

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

Who’s going to pay? Not BlackRock.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Good thing then that it won’t be defeated.

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

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

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“rashists”

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

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

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

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

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

Berlin Promises To Ramp Up Sanctions Against Moscow (RT)

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

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

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

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

But they still keep arresting people two years later.

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

Jan. 6 Committee Withdraws Trump Subpoena (ZH)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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BBee woman

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Big art

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 152022
 
 November 15, 2022  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  62 Responses »


Salvador Dali Sick Boy (Self-portrait in Cadaqués) 1923

 

US Scrambles To Reassure Ukraine After Milley Comments On Negotiations (Pol.)
Zelenksy At G20 Summit: This is The Moment To End The War (Tel.)
UN Calls On Russia To Pay Ukraine Reparations (RT)
The Kherson Question (Nora Hoppe)
‘The Last Battle for the World’ (Batiushka)
Poland To Seize Gazprom Assets (RT)
G20: What Does It Mean For Putin And The Event Itself? (Maxim Hvatkov)
GOP Nears House Majority With Two Race Calls In Arizona (JTN)
Midterm Success Brings US Democrats To A Historic Dilemma (Desai)
The Triumph of The Centre (Soldo)
FTX Implosion Takes Its First Crypto Victim (RT)
What the Collapse of FTX Means (Burja)
Corporate Layoffs Are A Warning Sign Of Coming ‘Economic Crash Landing’ (JTN)
World Population Expected To Hit 8 Billion On Nov. 15 (JTN)
A Father Fights for His Son & What’s Left of Democracy (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
~ Khalil Gibran

 

 

 

 

“The four-star general said during an appearance at the Economic Club of New York that a victory by Ukraine may not be achieved militarily..”

US Scrambles To Reassure Ukraine After Milley Comments On Negotiations (Pol.)

The Biden administration is in damage control mode after a top U.S. general said a window for peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow could open this winter, with senior officials scrambling to assure Ukraine it wasn’t undercutting its goal of expelling the Russians. Specifically, senior U.S. officials are telling their counterparts in Ukraine that the expected winter fighting pause doesn’t mean talks should happen imminently. Instead, they’re relaying that Washington will continue to support Kyiv’s militarily as it launches the next phase of advances on the battlefield, according to Ukrainian and U.S. officials familiar with the outreach.

The scramble follows comments last week by Gen. Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs chair. The four-star general said during an appearance at the Economic Club of New York that a victory by Ukraine may not be achieved militarily, and that winter may provide an opportunity to begin negotiations with Russia. The general has spoken regularly with his Ukrainian counterpart, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyy, including on Monday, according to a U.S. official. During the discussion, Zaluzhnyy did not express any concern or mention Milley’s comments even once, the person said. The person, along with others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations.

Still, the flurry of calls and meetings with Ukrainians underscores the degree to which the administration is concerned about presenting a unified front on Ukraine and potential peace talks. Any prolonged public split among top U.S. officials could threaten the already delicate relationship between Washington and Kyiv at a key moment in the war. The Biden administration needs to ease those tensions as it balances its support for Ukraine with concerns that Western stockpiles of military equipment are running low, and the possibility of a Republican-controlled House next year that will slash aid for Kyiv. European leaders are growing anxious about the region’s energy crisis, with some raising questions with American counterparts in recent days about the extent to which talks could ease fears about rising costs.

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Google translation.

Using the optics of Kherson for a narrative that is utterly unrealistic. That’s how you prolong a war, not end it.

Zelenksy At G20 Summit: This is The Moment To End The War (Tel.)

Now is the time to end Russia’s “devastating” war and “save thousands of lives,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said in a video address on Tuesday at the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. He presented a plan based on the withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. “I am convinced that now is the time when the devastating Russian war must and can be stopped,” Zelensky said, addressing the leaders present, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden. “It will save thousands of lives.” Russian leader Vladimir Putin is not present, he is replaced by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.


The Ukrainian head of state stressed that the war must be ended “justly and on the basis of the UN Charter and international law” and called for the release of all Ukrainian prisoners. “Please choose your path to leadership and together we will surely implement the peace formula.” Zelensky wants “effective security guarantees” and insists on an international meeting where the agreements are laid down in a peace treaty. “There are and cannot be any excuses for nuclear blackmail,” he added, emphatically thanking the “G19” – excluding Russia – for “making this clear.” He also called for expansion and extension of the grain deal that expires on November 19. According to the UN, 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain and other foodstuffs have been exported through the Black Sea since the deal was struck in July. That helped prevent a global food crisis.

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The UN should never choose sides in a conflict. That makes it obsolete.

UN Calls On Russia To Pay Ukraine Reparations (RT)

By a majority of votes, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution that would oblige Russia to compensate losses inflicted on Ukraine during the conflict and has recognized the need to create a special “international mechanism” that would allow it to do so. The resolution was supported by 94 countries in the 193-member world body vote on Monday. Some 73 more states abstained, while 14 countries voted against. Among others, those voting against the resolution included Russia itself, as well as China, Iran, and Syria. “An international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss, or injury”arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” in Ukraine needs to be established, the resolution says.


The assembly’s members should create “an international register” that would include claims or data regarding damages, losses and injuries to Ukraine caused by Russia, the UN decided. While the UNGA resolutions are not legally binding, they do carry political weight. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, speaking on the topic of the resolution, called it a legally insignificant document. “At the same time, the co-authors cannot help but realize that the adoption of such a resolution will entail consequences that can boomerang back to them,” Nebenzia said. He added that the resolution intended to legalize the seizure of Russian assets previously frozen by Western countries.

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“The sacredness of Life is gone. We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.”

The Kherson Question (Nora Hoppe)

I follow the news regularly on Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. And I have recently read and heard many varying and divisionary views on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson, a city that is now lawfully part of Russia. Dispensing with the views of the pro-NATO side, which are of no interest, I am observing the division of thought amongst analysts, journalists and commenters in forums siding with the Russians: There are those who are outraged and see the withdrawal from Kherson as “a disgrace”, “a sign of weakness”, “an embarrassment”, “a poor strategy”, “unattractive optics”, etc. Others see it as the outcome of a difficult but wise decision – that was primarily made to save the lives of Russian soldiers, who would have been cut off by a massive flood if NATO were to blow up the Kakhovka Dam. (There may well be additional tactical reasons for the withdrawal, but they are not (yet) known to the public.)

When people speak of the “optics not looking good“… a film set immediately comes to my mind (I have worked in the film world for many years). And that immediately tells me how some people view this operation – as spectators: it has to have a good catchy script, suspense, uninterrupted action and – heaven forbid – no lulls! It has to ultimately supply a dopamine release. It has to have a “Dirty Harry Catharsis”. This reminds me of similar reactions to the prisoner exchange in mid-September, where some saw it as a sign of weakness to even think of releasing Azov prisoners… or when the Chinese government did not deliver a dramatic retort when Pelosi went to do her skit in Taiwan. What is at the base of these kinds of reactions? Why such impatience? Why such concern with “appearances”? Why such a need to satiate one’s own personal sense of justice and retribution?

Does it have something to do with consuming? Especially in the western world one has become an addicted consumer of not only things but “experiences” that can be lived indirectly. Today we witness events of other peoples’ wars and battles on computer screens from the comfort of our homes or on our tiny phones from chic cafés… these events can accessed at any moment – just press a key… and they appear – like a scene in a film, a game, a contest, a sports match. Even the dead bodies that lie mangled, bloodied or in gory stumps strewn over the mud become the pieces of a broken puppets on a stage. “Hell, one gets used to it…” The sacredness of Life is gone. We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.

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“..a war of liberation against the Combined West..”

‘The Last Battle for the World’ (Batiushka)

When last week Allied troops quit the right (= western, or in this case northern (1)) bank of the Dnieper and so the regional city of Kherson (original population 283,000), confusion reigned among those with a short-term view of this conflict. Probably they had been listening to Western propaganda for too long. Probably they had forgotten that if Russia had difficulties holding right-bank Kherson, then the Ukraine would certainly have even more difficulties. Let us return to some basic facts in order to clear up some of the confusion The government of the Russian Federation was reluctant to intervene in the post-regime change Ukraine of 2014. It always hoped that negotiations and diplomacy would overcome Western aggressiveness and stupidity.

The government of the Russian Federation knew that the USA through its NATO vassals was pumping the Ukraine full of arms and training its troops for the eight years between 2014 and 2022. Therefore the government of the Russian Federation had eight years in which to plan for this conflict, planning different scenarios and also preparing probing and distracting movements, like that towards Kiev last March. One scenario was that the US would continue to intervene on the side of its Kiev puppet and arm it to the teeth, also using NATO countries, officers and huge numbers of mercenaries to prolong the conflict, so that it would develop into a US war against Russia. That is exactly what has happened.

Russia defeated the Ukraine in March, but since then it has had to defeat the USA and its NATO allies, demilitarising them just as it demilitarised the Ukraine in the first month of the conflict. This is why there will be no quick end to what the conflict has become – a war of liberation against the Combined West. A NATO Ukraine with Cargill-Monsanto-Blackstone-Black Rock-owned land, anti-Slav biolabs, potential nuclear arms, US missiles on the border with the Federation, genocide in the Russian East and South, Western globalism and its escaped covid experiment with bioweapons helping it to destroy Russia and so set up its World Dictatorship, became more and more abhorrent. All this made Russian liberation more and more probable. But liberation only of the willing. And who was willing?

The government of the Russian Federation always knew that in the far west of the Ukraine, formerly Poland, there was hatred for Russia and therefore it had no interest in taking that. The government of the Russian Federation and its Allies first had to free its allies in the Donbass and then demilitarise and denazify the rest of the ‘Anti-Russia’ Ukraine, which was threatening its survival. Today Ukraine is running a budget deficit of up to $5 billion per month, with the country’s military spending increasing fivefold to $17 billion for the first seven months of 2022.

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Why do they want a pipeline that has no gas flowing through it?

Poland To Seize Gazprom Assets (RT)

Warsaw is set to confiscate the assets of Russian energy major Gazprom, the country’s media reported on Monday. The move will target the company’s 48% stake in EuroPolGaz, which owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline that used to carry Russian gas to the EU. The decision to seize Gazprom’s shares was reportedly made by Minister of Development and Technology Waldemar Buda at the request of Poland’s Internal Security Agency. It is intended to “ensure the security of [Poland’s] critical infrastructure,” the ministry said. According to the media, Polish authorities said the order should be implemented immediately and established a mandatory administration in respect of the Russian entity to ensure the continued functionality of EuroPolGaz, a joint venture between the Russian gas major and Poland’s PGNiG.


The Polish energy major also owns a 48% stake in EuroPolGaz, and Gas-Trading SA the remaining 4%. The Yamal-Europe gas pipeline passes through Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, and it used to carry nearly half of Gazprom’s westbound gas deliveries. Poland’s sanctions against the Russian gas producer have deprived the company of its shareholder status in EuroPolGaz since April, blocking its voting rights and the ability to repatriate dividends. In May, the Polish government terminated a Russian natural gas contract without waiting for its expiry at the end of 2022, saying the country’s section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline could be used for supplies from Germany.

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G20 – G7 = BRICS. Not exactly, but close.

G20: What Does It Mean For Putin And The Event Itself? (Maxim Hvatkov)

Participants of the G20 summit have already arrived in Bali, and it seems that some wish Putin was there. French President Emmanuel Macron has stated the need to continue dialogue with Russian President, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted that “it would be good if Putin went,” and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes that the participation of his Russian counterpart would be appropriate. All this is against the backdrop of China’s support. The Washington Post has written that Western countries are alarmed by the partnership between Putin and Xi. The newspaper’s sources do not think that Beijing will refuse to support Russia at the summit even after the meeting between Biden and and the Chinese head-of-state.

Although several days have passed since Sergey Lavrov’s trip was announced, it is still unknown whether any bilateral meetings are planned for the Russian minister. In particular, Moscow has yet to mention a possible encounter with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The main news about Lavrov in Bali, so far, was pushed by AP and some other Western outlets, on Monday, reporting that he had been taken to hospital with heart problems shortly after arriving. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said these reports are “top-level fake news”. The diplomat, who is also in Bali, said that she was reading the news with the foreign minister and they both “just couldn’t believe our eyes.” Earlier she announced that Lavrov plans to speak at the summit about Russia’s initiatives to provide food and energy to foreign markets. In addition, Moscow’s agenda includes presenting its plan to enhance gas cooperation with Turkey.

[..] However, it is not known whether the 2022 Bali summit will be useful in helping the world take a step forward in overcoming the Ukrainian crisis, as some expect. So far, all the statements of Western leaders have indicated the opposite. Western countries have been putting pressure on the summit’s host to exclude the Russian Federation from the event since Vladimir Putin announced the military operation in Ukraine last February. For example, the US president’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that Russia can no longer take part in the international community’s business “as usual,” while Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau even suggested that his country should take Moscow’s place in the G20 club. Nevertheless, Indonesia sent an invitation to President Putin, despite the pressure.

[..] The G20 format was born in the late 1990s after the Asian financial crisis, when the mainly Western countries in the ‘Big Seven’ – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada – realized that a number of large economies were not participating in discussions on global issues. The newcomers invited to the table include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the European Union. However, the format did not reach its current status until the next global financial crisis, in 2008-2009. Prior to that, the meetings had only included finance ministers and the heads of central banks. However, subsequently world leaders themselves met at the summits annually to consult, first and foremost, on financial and economic issues. In 2013, the G20 was held in St. Petersburg. [..] The G20 countries are home to two-thirds of the world’s population. They also account for 85% of world GDP and about 75% of world trade.

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Ballots, not votes.

GOP Nears House Majority With Two Race Calls In Arizona (JTN)

A Monday night vote dump from Arizona prompted the Associated Press to call two more congressional races in favor of Republican candidates, nearly one week after the Nov. 8 midterm elections. The AP called the contest in Arizona’s 1st District for the GOP’s David Schweikert and the 6th District race for Republican Juan Ciscomani. The outlet has projected Republicans to win 214 seats thus far, meaning they need just four more to claim the speaker’s gavel from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Republicans currently lead in seven of the 16 remaining uncalled races. Of those, one is New York’s 22nd District in which Republican Brandon Williams maintains a 4,000-vote lead over Democrat Francis Conole.


In Colorado, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert is hanging on to a slightly more than 1,000-vote lead. All remaining races currently favoring Republicans are in California. Should Williams and Boebert triumph, the GOP would need to win just two of the five California races in which they currently enjoy leads to take the House, barring any unexpected leader flips in the nine uncalled contests currently favoring Democrats. The final result, regardless of which party wins the House, is likely to be one of the narrowest margins of control in the history of the lower chamber.

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Dr. Radhika Desai, a professor at the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada and director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group. She also writes on current affairs for Valdai Club, CGTN, Counterpunch and other outlets and is the author of Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire and Capitalism, Coronavirus and War: A Geopolitical Economy

Midterm Success Brings US Democrats To A Historic Dilemma (Desai)

Pictures of a smirking President Biden graced the front pages of newspapers in the days following the midterm elections. The worst fears of the Democrats – that they would lose both houses of Congress to the Republicans in an electoral debacle that would pave the way to a MAGA Trump presidency in 2024 – remained unrealized. The feared ‘red wave’ had turned into a ‘red ripple’, and President Biden was already talking of running again in 2024, when he will be 82. How sound is this assessment? While the results are yet to be finalized, we know that the Democrats will likely continue narrowly controlling the Senate thanks to the casting vote of the vice president, and that the Republicans will gain a small majority in the House. All the praise for Biden for not losing more comes from comparisons with past midterm losses for incumbent presidents.

However, this fails to take account of critical recent changes which, if factored in, indicate not so much a secure electoral future for the Democrats but the possibility that the Democrats may have jumped from the proverbial frying pan of the increasingly complex structure of US politics, into the fire. Politics scholar William Galston has noticed the change. Speaking of US presidential elections, he observed that ‘between 1920 and 1984… the contest between the two parties resembles World War Two, with a high level of mobility and rapid gains and losses of large swaths of territory. By contrast, the contemporary era resembles World War One, with a single, mostly immobile line of battle and endless trench warfare.’ Given how few seats changed hands, it appears that this logic also applies to congressional elections, and despite recent demographic changes – college education, urbanization etc. – somewhere between 40 and 45% of the US electorate remains solidly Republican.

Moreover, Biden and his Democrats appear to have lost an unpopularity contest, rather than won a popularity contest. As President Biden’s approval rating plumbed new depths, many Democratic candidates shunned him in their campaigns. President Trump, for his part, didn’t do much better. Though most of the candidates he endorsed won, none of those he endorsed for highly contested races did. Many commentators blamed this on his emphasis on candidates who agreed with his false narrative of the ‘stolen’ 2020 presidential election. It led him to scrape the barrel of candidates, and to choose some pretty unattractive specimens. With Ron DeSantis pulling off a spectacular victory in Florida, the possibility that he will replace Trump as the Republican nominee for president is being canvassed. Even if that happens, Trumpist politics are going nowhere anytime soon.

This is clear from many aspects of the voting pattern. The small gains the Democrats made came very substantially from women and young people, generally turning out in large numbers and voting Democrat because they felt strongly about abortion rights. However, this factor may lose its utility for the Democrats if, as seems increasingly the case, the Republicans also soften their stance on abortion. For the rest, the gains came from the usual source, money. Not only was this the most expensive midterm ever, experts suggest that the Democrats outspent the Republicans very considerably. This has returned US elections to the pattern where elections are essentially bought by the highest spending party, a pattern that the election of President Donald Trump very briefly reversed.

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“..Trump would have to commandeer a vehicle in order to enact his agenda. The only possible vehicle that could assist him was the GOP. This party’s leadership had no desire to enact Trump’s populist revolution..”

The Triumph of The Centre (Soldo)

Film and television have trained our brains to expect narrative arcs in everything we experience, from rising action, through to a climax, and ending in a denouement. Real life is not like this at all, but many of us cannot help but to interpret at least some of our own lives in this fashion. We apply this trajectory to our high school lives, our first romantic relationships, even our careers. Thinking that we are at the centre of a story helps give our lives meaning, and we are all guilty of it from time to time. The rise of political theatre is also hostage to this frame of reference. We are wont to perceive political developments progressing along a neat and tidy storyline, with all the ups, downs, shocks, disappointments, and celebrations that are built into traditional storytelling. At the end, our political option is the winner, and they all went home happily ever after.

2016 USA is a classic case of this: two simultaneous challenges to the status quo came out of nowhere to threaten the ruling elites. From the left, the ‘BernieBros’ promised Americans a fairer deal that included goodies like universal healthcare. From the right, #MAGA tapped into the powerful energy of the GOP base and its rejection of mass migration, de-industrialization, and open hostility to ordinary, everyday Americans emanating from the coastal elites. For #MAGA, 2016 was indeed a fairy tale; an example of ‘people power’ where the people steamrolled first their own party’s elites, and then those of the opposing party as well. This massive surprise went to people’s heads (and to be fair, rightly so). The feeling was that the system could be reformed, the ship steered back ‘on course’, and that America genuinely could be made ‘great again’.

The problem was that it was one thing to win an election, but it was a totally different thing to actually govern and lead a revolution. And let’s be honest: a revolution is what the overwhelming majority of Trump voters in 2016 wanted. They saw a system that not only did not work for them, but was actively working against them. Trump tapped into this populist sentiment when no one else did, and rode it to the White House. Unfortunately for his supporters, Trump was no revolutionary and his presidency was a disaster thanks in part to the ruling elites subverting it, in part due to his own incapability, and also due to an Act of God. You wanted a revolutionary, instead you got a reality TV show host who was excellent on the campaign trail, but utterly out of his depth in the Oval Office.

He wasn’t the first to be ill-suited for the White House, but he was the first in a long, long time that [was] not fit and not installed by the elites. One man cannot do it all alone. The US system is a set of checks and balances to ensure that precisely this cannot happen. That means that Trump would have to commandeer a vehicle in order to enact his agenda. The only possible vehicle that could assist him was the GOP. This party’s leadership had no desire to enact Trump’s populist revolution and immediately got to work to strangle his agenda, while using him to implement their own (e.g. Paul Ryan’s tax cut bill in 2017 or SCOTUS appointments).

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There are 19,000 “coins”?!

FTX Implosion Takes Its First Crypto Victim (RT)

The cryptocurrency Solana, associated with the bankrupt FTX exchange, continued its three-day retreat on Monday to trade at around $14 a token. The price is now down 95% from its all-time high of $259.96 last November. The token has lost 61.6% of its value in the last seven days, according to data firm CoinGecko. The drop is a result of the November 8 collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. Since then, the price of Solana has declined by 51.5%, which translates into a $5.5 billion loss in market value. The launch of bankruptcy proceedings by FTX came days after larger rival Binance abandoned plans to acquire the company and left it with the task of raising roughly $9 billion from investors and rivals to stay afloat. Binance backed out of the deal after a due diligence examination and recent reports of mishandled customer funds, as well as alleged investigations by the US authorities into the company.


Meanwhile, blockchain research firm Nansen revealed over the weekend that $662 million flowed out of FTX’s US and international exchanges. The firm’s main wallet, which was used to process withdrawals, was drained of its entire balance of 45.8 million FTT tokens, worth an estimated $97.2 million, Nansen said. On Monday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced plans to set up an industry recovery fund in an effort to “reduce further cascading negative effects” of the FTX bankruptcy. Zhao added the fund will assist otherwise strong projects that are facing a liquidity squeeze. The crypto market has lost 17.6%, or $188.4 billion, since November 7, with major crypto Bitcoin sliding down 22.4% in one week. Ether, the second cryptocurrency by market value, has fallen 24.4% over the past seven days.

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“Daily volume hit a high of around $11 billion in mid-2021, at a time of soaring cryptocurrency prices and high market volatility—ideal conditions for both a hedge fund and an exchange.”

What the Collapse of FTX Means (Burja)

After beginning his career in traditional finance at leading quantitative trading firm Jane Street Capital, Bankman-Fried’s initial forays into cryptocurrency began in October 2017 with the founding of the cryptocurrency hedge fund Alameda Research. According to Bankman-Fried, it was founded initially to take advantage of a persistent but hard-to-exploit 20% disparity between the Bitcoin price denominated in Japanese yen and the same price denominated in U.S. dollars, one that lasted until January 2018. From there the firm expanded to quantitative trading more broadly across the entire cryptocurrency domain, moving its headquarters from California to Hong Kong, and later to the Bahamas, due to the difficulty of establishing and maintaining relationships with banks in the U.S. as a cryptocurrency trading firm.

It remains unclear why exactly Bankman-Fried and Alameda decided to start their own exchange. There are two sources of natural fit between an exchange and a quantitative trading firm: one legal, the other less so. The trading firm, acting as market maker, can supply the liquidity the new exchange needs to attract and retain new users. Alameda’s constant presence trading on FTX, initially providing almost 50% of liquidity, was almost certainly largely responsible for the site’s massive growth, as it grew trading volume from $50 million a day to $300 million a day in just four weeks between June and July 2019.16 The nascent exchange also benefited from a timely outflow of customers from the cryptocurrency exchange BitMex, at the time under investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) for illegally providing services to U.S. residents.

Alternatively, however, the exchange’s customer funds can also be used as capital for the trading firm to use on its own account—an illicit practice, as unlike banks, an exchange ostensibly keeps all customer deposits available for redemption and rather makes its money from transaction fees. That FTX’s spreads were notoriously tight, even in its early days, might suggest that Alameda was making money in a different way to the typical methods of market makers.17 FTX soared in popularity thanks to the high leverage it offered,18 provision of cross-margining,19 attractive user interface, and high-quality liquidity and risk engines. Daily active users grew from two thousand in 2019 to almost 15,000 in 2020 to over 60,000 in 2021. Daily volume hit a high of around $11 billion in mid-2021, at a time of soaring cryptocurrency prices and high market volatility—ideal conditions for both a hedge fund and an exchange.

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It’s beginning… “We now have $1 trillion in consumer debt on top of $4.1 trillion of Biden debt.”

Corporate Layoffs Are A Warning Sign Of Coming ‘Economic Crash Landing’ (JTN)

Three days after President Biden said the country’s “not anywhere near a recession right now,” Amazon founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos warned a sharp economic downturn is looming. “The economy does not look great right now,” Bezos told CNN on Saturday. “Things are slowing down. You’re seeing layoffs in many, many sectors of the economy. The probabilities say if we’re not in a recession right now, we’re likely to be in one very soon.” The billionaire entrepreneur declined to estimate how long he thinks the recession would last but cautioned people to prepare for a time of economic struggle. “Take as much risk off the table as you can,” he said. “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”


Two days after the interview, several media outlets reported that Amazon plans to lay off about 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles beginning this week, the largest job cuts in the company’s history. Amazon’s decision was the latest in a string of recent corporate layoffs amid fears of a coming recession next year. Last week, for example, Facebook parent Meta announced the company is laying off 13% of its staff. Meanwhile, Disney is planning a hiring freeze and some job cuts, according to an internal company memo obtained by CNBC. [..] economic experts have been warning a recession is looming. “I think we are on the verge of a debt-driven economic crash landing,” economist Stephen Moore told Just the News. “These layoff announcements are the canary in the coal mine. We now have $1 trillion in consumer debt on top of $4.1 trillion of Biden debt.”

Americans could hold nearly $1 trillion in collective credit card debt before the end of the year due to historically high inflation, which has caused everyday costs such as food to skyrocket. According to experts who previously spoke to Just the News, soaring inflation was caused by Biden’s economic policies — namely too much spending — combined with the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates near zero while continuing to print money. Now the Federal Reserve is raising rates to slow down the economy in order to combat inflation. Doing so, however, may push the economy into a downturn, even a recession, next year. Still, the Biden administration and some economists remain optimistic that the economy can avoid such a fate with a so-called soft landing. Many projections, however, see the situation differently.


There’s a 65% chance of a recession within the next 12-18 months, according to a survey of economists conducted by Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, for its Third-Quarter Economic Indicator. That estimate is up from 52% in its second quarter survey and about one-third in its first quarter survey. Meanwhile, Bloomberg economists’ projection models from last month show a 100% chance of an economic downturn by October 2023, up from a 65% probability for the comparable period in the model’s previous update. The CEOs of both Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, the U.S. and European economic teams for Barclays bank, and former Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren are among those who also forecast a recession next year.

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Symbolic numbers.

World Population Expected To Hit 8 Billion On Nov. 15 (JTN)

The world’s human population is expected to reach 8 billion on Tuesday, according to a United Nations report released earlier this year. The United Nations will host events on Tuesday to mark “milestone in human development” that is the “Day of Eight Billion,” according to NEXSTAR. The population cleared 7 billion just 12 years ago and is expected to reach 9 billion in another 15 years. “This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at advancements in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in July, per the outlet. “At the same time, it is a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for our planet and a moment to reflect on where we still fall short of our commitments to one another.”


The milestone will come as international representatives meet for the COP27 climate summit and float a draft agreement to establish an international climate damage fund that would compensate poorer countries, often some of the most densely populated, for climate-related damages. Many details, including funding sources and damage amounts, remain undetermined and the plan is likely to stall in the international community, barring extensive revisions. Approximately 70% of births occur in low-income and lower-middle-income nations, NEXSTAR observed. Those countries will account for 90% of global population growth in the 15-year period leading up to the projected 9 billion figure. Many such countries would be beneficiaries under the draft U.N. plan.

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Ithaka.

A Father Fights for His Son & What’s Left of Democracy (Lauria)

These personal attacks were planned as far back as March 8, 2008 when a secret, 32-page document from the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessment branch of the Pentagon described in detail the importance of destroying the “feeling of trust that is WikiLeaks’ center of gravity.” The leaked document, which was published by WikiLeaks itself, said: “This would be achieved with threats of exposure and criminal prosecution and an unrelenting assault on reputation.” An answer to these slurs and the missing focus on Assange as a man is Ithaka. The film, which made its U.S. premiere Sunday night in New York, focuses on the struggle of Assange’s father, John Shipton, and his wife, Stella Assange, to free him.

If you are looking for a film more fully explaining the legal and political complexities of the case and its background, this is not the movie to see. The Spanish film, Hacking Justice, will give you that, as well as the more concise exposition in the brilliant documentary, The War on Journalism, by Juan Passarelli. Ithaka, directed by Ben Lawrence and produced by Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, humanizes Assange and reveals the impact his ordeal has had on the people closest to him. The title comes from the poem of that name by C.P. Cavafy (read here by Sean Connery) about the pathos of an uncertain journey. It reflects Shipton’s travels throughout Europe and the U.S. in defense of his son, arguably the most consequential journalist of his generation.

The story begins with Shipton arriving in London to see his son for the first time behind bars after the publisher’s rights of asylum were lifted by a new Ecuadoran government leading to him being carried out of the embassy by London police in April 2019. “The story is that I am attempting in my own … modest way to get Julian out of the shit,” Shipton says. “What does it involve? Traipsing around Europe, building up coalitions of friendship.” He meets with parliamentarians, the media and supporters across the continent. Shipton describes the journey as the “difficulty of destiny over the ease of narrative.”He speaks to the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the German Bundestag in Berlin. In Paris, Shipton admits to supporters that “he’s not okay, but I say he’s okay not to worry people.”

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Attack!
https://twitter.com/i/status/1592391595755966465

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 122022
 
 November 12, 2022  Posted by at 9:03 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The three trees 1643

 

US Worried About EU Commitment To Punishing Russia (RT)
How Europe Is Destroying Its Own ‘Garden’ (MPN)
White House Divided On Pushing For Peace In Ukraine – NYT (RT)
Kiev Introduces New Restrictions On Speaking Russian (RT)
Sun Tzu Walks Into a Kherson Bar… (Escobar)
Russian Defense Ministry Gives Update On Kherson Withdrawal (RT)
Rewiring Eurasia: Mr. Patrushev Goes To Tehran (Escobar)
Kremlin Reacts To US Economic Pressure (RT)
Disruptions To Oil Supplies Possible Due To Upcoming EU Restrictions (Az.)
Greece Threatens To Block EU Gas Price Correction Mechanism (K.)
Bamboo Diplomacy: The China-SE Asia Romance (Escobar)
The Winners and Losers in a Shift in Control of Congress (Turley)
Federal Judge Declares Biden Loan Forgiveness Unconstitutional (Turley)
Flemish Government Preparing To Cancel WEF Membership (NNP)
A Committee Of Inquiry Into Bourla And von der Leyen (Anderson)

 

 

 

 

Elon has work to do…

 

 

Welfare queen

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
~Paulo Coelho

 

 

 

 

“People in Europe are “growing angry over sanctions and blame the US for rising costs,” putting their government under pressure to withdraw their support..”

US Worried About EU Commitment To Punishing Russia (RT)

EU nations are at risk of deviating from the US-led economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its military campaign in Ukraine, US officials told the media. People in Europe are “growing angry over sanctions and blame the US for rising costs,” putting their government under pressure to withdraw their support, Politico reported on Thursday, citing an internal US report. The document led to a “flurry of calls” among officials in Washington concerned about keeping European leaders on board with the strategy, sources in the US government told the outlet, adding that “things are holding steady for now, but it is a shaky situation.”

Countries in the EU have been struggling with surging inflation, driven to a large degree by rising energy prices. The bloc chose to stop trading with Russia, which used to be its biggest energy supplier, as part of the sanctions drive but is struggling to find a long-term replacement.The crunch has been aggravated by the interruption of gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Germany and exacerbated further by the bombing of the undersea route in late September. Both Nord Stream 1 and 2, the later was never operational due to Ukraine tensions, were damaged and now require major repairs.

Protests against the rising cost of living have gripped European nations, with mass demonstrations taking place in Greece, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Germany, to name a few. Rallies in Prague two weeks ago and in Rome last week specifically called to end military aid to Ukraine and open dialogue with Russia. French President Emmanuel Macron last month accused Washington of applying “double standards” in its energy policy. The US is propping up its own economy with subsidies and disregards the effect it has on prices across the Atlantic, he noted. American liquified natural gas has taken a large share of the European market since the Ukraine crisis broke out.

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“The impact of this crisis on every aspect of European life cannot be overstated.”

How Europe Is Destroying Its Own ‘Garden’ (MPN)

The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell is not particularly perceived by the EU’s political elite or mainstream media as a rightwing ideologue or warmonger. But seen through a different, non-western prism, it is hard not to mistake him for one. Borrell’s recent comments that “Europe is a garden” and that “the rest of the world is a jungle” were duly condemned as ‘racist’ by many politicians around the world, but mostly in the Global South. Borrell’s remarks, however, must also be viewed as an expression of superiority, not only of Borell personally, but of Europe’s ruling classes as a whole. Particularly interesting about the EU top diplomat’s words are these inaccurate depictions of Europe and its relationship with the rest of the world: “We have built a garden”, “everything works” and “the jungle could invade the garden”.

Without delving too deep into what is obviously an entrenched superiority complex, Borrell speaks as if an advocate of the so-called ‘Replacement Theory’, a racist notion advocated by the West’s – Europe especially – rightwing intellectuals, which sees refugees, migrants and non-Europeans as parasites aiming to destroy the continent’s supposedly perfect demographic, religious and social harmony. If stretched further into a historical dimension, one also feels compelled to remind the EU leadership of the central role that European colonialism, economical exploitation, political meddling and outright military intervention have played in turning much of the world into a supposed ‘jungle’. Would Libya, for example, have been reduced to the status of a failed state if the West did not wage a major war starting in March 2011?

The imagined ‘jungle’ aside, Europe’s past and present reality strongly negates Borell’s ethnocentric view. Sadly, Europe is the birthplace of the most horrible pages of history, from colonialism and slavery to the nationalistic, fascist and nihilistic movements that defined most of the last three centuries. Despite the desperate attempt to rewrite or ignore history in favor of a more amiable narrative focused on great splendors, technological advancement and civilizational triumph, Europe’s true nature continues to smolder underneath the ashes, ready to resurface whenever the geopolitical and socioeconomic factors take a wrong turn. The Syrian and Libyan refugee crisis, the Covid pandemic and, more recently, the Russia-Ukraine war are all examples of the proverbial wrong turn. In fact, Borrell’s words, aimed to reassure Europe of its moral superiority are but a foolhardy effort meant to conceal one of the most dramatic crises that Europe has experienced in nearly a century. The impact of this crisis on every aspect of European life cannot be overstated.

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“..Jake Sullivan maintained that Washington “is not pressuring Ukraine” into any talks with Russia, insisting that it is “consulting” Kiev as a partner and providing it with various forms of support..”

White House Divided On Pushing For Peace In Ukraine – NYT (RT)

The US government is divided on whether to pressure Ukraine into initiating peace talks with Russia, with some officials arguing that it won’t get better terms in the future, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing sources. According to White House officials interviewed by the outlet, Gen. Mark Milley, who heads the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated during internal meetings that Kiev’s forces had achieved all that they may reasonably expect before winter sets in and “should try to cement their gains at the bargaining table” with Russia. Milley was apparently referring to Moscow’s recent decision to withdraw its troops from the right bank of the Dnieper River, including the city of Kherson, a move made to preserve the lives of Russian soldiers.

However, other senior officials are said to oppose Milley’s line of thinking, arguing that neither Moscow nor Kiev is ready for talks now, while any lull in the fighting would allow Russia to regroup. Although they believe that the conflict will eventually be settled via diplomacy, the consensus is that the moment for talks “is not ripe,” and the US shouldn’t be seen as trying to hold Kiev back while it “has momentum.” The report comes as US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he does not “think that the conflict will be resolved until [Russian President Vladimir] Putin gets out of Ukraine.”

The same day, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan maintained that Washington “is not pressuring Ukraine” into any talks with Russia, insisting that it is “consulting” Kiev as a partner and providing it with various forms of support. Moscow has repeatedly stated that while it is not holding any talks with the US over Ukraine, it remains open to a diplomatic engagement with Kiev. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has set out conditions for any diplomatic engagement, which include the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage” and “punishment of every war criminal.” Zelensky earlier signed a decree prohibiting any negotiations with Putin, suggesting that Kiev would only talk to Russia when it has a different president.

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2014 redux.

Kiev Introduces New Restrictions On Speaking Russian (RT)

The Kiev City Council voted to remove the Russian language from the Ukrainian capital’s public school curriculum on Thursday, citing national security concerns. According to the statement on the council’s website, the ban also covers nursery schools. Vadim Vasilchuk, the chair of the council’s commission on education, said the measure “will prevent an escalation of tensions in society and strengthen the protection of the education space in Kiev from the hybrid activities of the enemy state.” “Language matters, and, in a time of war, it is an issue of national security,” Vasilchuk added. The legislator said all classes would be taught in Ukrainian, the country’s sole state language.

The move came after Alexey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, described the Russian language last month as “an element of enemy propaganda” that “must completely disappear from Ukrainian territory.” In August, Ukraine’s Education Ministry said that nearly all works of Russian and Belarusian authors would be removed from literature classes. Ukrainian activists and officials have also been tearing down monuments to Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s national poet and novelist, who lived in the 19th century. A bronze Pushkin bust was removed from its pedestal in the northern city of Zhitomir on Friday, while a monument in Kiev was taken down last month. The rights of the sizable Russian-speaking minority have been a highly contentious issue ever since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Donetsk and Lugansk regions broke away from Ukraine in 2014, following the coup in Kiev and in the wake of attempts by Ukrainian officials to restrict the use of Russian in public life. They formed the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR). Ukraine eventually adopted a set of laws that severely limit the use of Russian in public services, media, and education. Moscow repeatedly accused Ukraine of discriminating against Russian speakers. In the days leading up to the Russian military operation in Ukraine that was launched in February, President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukrainian authorities were conducting policies of “derussification and forced assimilation.” The DPR and LPR, together with two other former Ukrainian territories, joined Russia after holding referendums in late September.

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“Russian public opinion will have tremendous problems absorbing the news.”

Sun Tzu Walks Into a Kherson Bar… (Escobar) ft: 20px;”>

Deal or no deal, General Winter is coming to town – ready to entertain his guest of honor Sun Tzu with so many new dishes at their dinner table. The announcement of the Kherson Retreat may have signaled one of the gloomiest days of the Russian Federation since 1991. Leaving the right bank of the Dnieper to set up a defense line on the left bank may spell out total military sense. General Armageddon himself, since his first day on the job, had hinted this might have been inevitable. As it stands in the chessboard, Kherson is in the “wrong” side of the Dnieper. All residents of Kherson Oblast – 115,000 people in total – who wanted to be relocated to safer latitudes have been evacuated from the right bank. General Armageddon knew that was inevitable for several reasons:

no mobilization after the initial SMO plans hit the dust; destruction of strategic bridges across the Dnieper – complete with a three-month methodical Ukrainian pounding of bridges, ferries, pontoons and piers; no second bridgehead to the north of Kherson or to the west (towards Odessa or Nikolaev) to conduct an offensive. And then, the most important reason: massive weaponization coupled with NATO de facto running the war translated into enormous Western superiority in reconnaissance, communications and command and control. In the end, the Kherson Retreat may be a relatively minor tactical loss. Yet politically, it’s an unmitigated disaster, a devastating embarrassment. Kherson is a Russian city. Russians have lost – even if temporarily – the capital of a brand new territory attached to the Federation. Russian public opinion will have tremendous problems absorbing the news.

The list of negatives is considerable. Kiev forces secure their flank and may free up forces to go against Donbass. Weaponizing by the collective West gets a major boost. HIMARS can now potentially strike targets in Crimea. The optics are horrendous. Russia’s image across the Global South is severely tarnished; after all, this move amounts to abandoning Russian territory – while serial Ukrainian war crimes instantly disappear from the major “narrative”. At a minimum, the Russians a long time ago should have reinforced their major strategic advantage bridgehead on the west side of the Dnieper so that it could hold – short of a widely forecasted Kakhovka Dam flood. And yet the Russians also ignored the dam bombing threat for months. That spells out terrible planning.

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“All civilians who wished to leave the right bank of Kherson Region were provided with assistance.”

Russian Defense Ministry Gives Update On Kherson Withdrawal (RT)

Russian forces have completed the redeployment to the left bank of the River Dnieper in Kherson Region, the Defense Ministry has said. The maneuver was completed early Friday morning, according to the statement. The ministry denied reports that military hardware was abandoned on the other bank, or that Russian troops suffered casualties during the withdrawal. “Russian units have taken the prepared defensive lines and positions,” the ministry said. “No loss of personnel, weapons, vehicles, or materiel of the Russian forces was allowed. All civilians who wished to leave the right bank of Kherson Region were provided with assistance.” The statement claimed that Ukrainian troops tried to disrupt the movement of civilians across the river with artillery fire, but failed to do so. Russia intercepted 28 rockets fired by HIMARS launchers and diverted five others through electronic countermeasures, it said.


Russian artillery and aircraft deterred Ukrainian units from closing the gap with the river, the military added. They were stopped at least 30km from the river crossings, according to the statement. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered the troops to move across the river on Wednesday morning. He said the step was taken to avoid unnecessary deaths of the soldiers and to take up a stronger defensive position. The decision, which was described as “difficult” by military officials, left the provincial capital, Kherson, exposed to capture by Kiev’s forces. The regional authorities have urged residents of the city for weeks to leave and go to safe places to the east. Russia incorporated Kherson Region last month, after the people voted in a referendum to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. Kiev called the vote a “sham” and pledged to keep fighting until all land that it considers to be rightfully Ukrainian is taken.

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The west divides, south and east connect.

“..for the Russian Federation, strategic relations with Iran are essential for Russian national security.”

Rewiring Eurasia: Mr. Patrushev Goes To Tehran (Escobar)

Two guys are hanging out in a cozy room in Tehran with a tantalizing new map of the world in the background. Nothing to see here? On the contrary. These two Eurasian security giants are no less than the – unusually relaxed – Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. And why are they so relaxed? Because the future prospects revolving around the main theme of their conversation – the Russia-Iran strategic partnership – could not be more exciting. This was a very serious business affair: an official visit, at the invitation of Shamkhani.

Patrushev was in Tehran on the exact same day that Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu – following a recommendation from General Sergey Surovikin, the overall commander of the Special Military Operation – ordered a Russian retreat from Kherson. Patrushev knew it for days – so he had no problem to step on a plane to take care of business in Tehran. After all, the Kherson drama is part of the Patrushev negotiations with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Ukraine, which have been going on for weeks, with Saudi Arabia as eventual go-between. Besides Ukraine, the two discussed “information security, as well as measures to counter interference in the internal affairs of both countries by western special services,” according to a report by Russia’s TASS news agency.

Both countries, as we know, are particular targets of western information warfare and sabotage, with Iran currently the focus of one of these no-holds-barred, foreign-backed, destabilization campaign. Patrushev was officially received by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who went straight to the point: “The cooperation of independent countries is the strongest response to the sanctions and destabilization policies of the US and its allies.” Patrushev, for his part, assured Raisi that for the Russian Federation, strategic relations with Iran are essential for Russian national security.

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“Washington’s declaration that Russia no longer qualifies as a market economy..”

Kremlin Reacts To US Economic Pressure (RT)

Washington’s declaration that Russia no longer qualifies as a market economy not only puts pressure on Moscow but will have repercussions globally, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday. This latest step “to continue this really destructive line, in no way contributes to the stabilization in global markets,” he emphasized. Peskov was reacting to the US Department of Commerce’s announcement earlier on Friday that the US would no longer treat Russia as a market economy. The department claimed that American industries and manufacturers are struggling to compete with Russian companies in both domestic and global markets.


“This can only be viewed in one way, as it seems to me, it’s the continuation of actions to put pressure on the Russian Federation in all possible directions. We’ve seen pressure on the economy, numerous sanctions and so on,” Peskov said. He added that the Kremlin has been realizing that the Western sanctions have failed to destabilize the Russian economy. Instead, they “cause a fair amount of turbulence,” primarily for the European economy, because the US is more “resilient” in this regard. “Although the Americans also suffer from inflation and the chaos in the energy market,” Peskov added.

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“..If insurance was withdrawn mid-voyage, buyers and traders would have to figure out what to do with a stranded cargo potentially exposed to sanctions..”

Disruptions To Oil Supplies Possible Due To Upcoming EU Restrictions (Az.)

Oil-laden tankers risk being left languishing at sea if insurers do not urgently get clarity on an unfinished G7 and European Union plan to cap the price of Russian crude, two senior industry executives told Reuters, Report informs. The Group of Seven (G7), which includes the United States, Britain, Germany and France, agreed in September to enforce a low price on sales of Russian oil. US officials said the move, which is due to start on December 5, was aimed at allowing it to continue to flow, heading off a potential price shock after total EU bans were ratified in June. And with just three weeks to go, time is running out to fully convince the shipping services industry it will work. Concerns are centered around a scenario in which insurers discover that oil in transit at sea, which was believed to have been sold below the price cap, was in fact sold above it.

This would trigger the withdrawal of insurance cover as well as a refusal by buyers to accept delivery, leading to financial and logistical headaches and risking environmental dangers. “If the time is too short, I think everyone will have a Plan B to de-risk, terminate, stay away, not maybe conclude any new contracts until there is some clarity,” said George Voloshin, Global Anti-Financial Crime Expert at ACAMS, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists which consults with oil industry bankers, traders and insurers. If insurance was withdrawn mid-voyage, buyers and traders would have to figure out what to do with a stranded cargo potentially exposed to sanctions, complicating a strategy to deprive Russia of funds over its invasion of Ukraine. “It will probably be quite messy,” Voloshin said.

A European Commission official said the EU is aware that much more additional detail will be needed as time runs short for businesses to learn about their obligations, but that the issue must be dealt with at the G7 level. The official spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about the matter. “In that situation, the vessel will go off risk and financial and technical services will be withdrawn and no one is going to take delivery of the cargo,” Mike Salthouse, head of claims at British-based global ship insurer North, told Reuters. “This would be a bad development as no one will want uninsured ships sitting off coasts,” he added. Salthouse said an owner of a ship which was potentially not earning anything for many months “will price that into any decision they make about carrying cargo in the future”, adding that this was likely to act as a disincentive.

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“..it was not possible to impose a gas price cap that would not impact on long-term contracts or supply security..”

Greece Threatens To Block EU Gas Price Correction Mechanism (K.)

Greece is prepared to block a European Commission proposal for a gas price “correction mechanism,” set to be presented to the 27 EU states Friday, instead insisting on a firm cap to rein in an unprecedented energy crisis, Kathimerini has learned. The EU’s executive told its 27 member countries at a seminar Monday that it was not possible to impose a gas price cap that would not impact on long-term contracts or supply security. Germany, the bloc’s largest economy, and the Netherlands also oppose the idea. Reacting to Monday’s development, European Council President Charles Michel reportedly sent a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, asking her to put legislation on the table for an EU price cap on natural gas “as soon as possible.”


According to diplomatic sources, the 15 member countries calling for various versions of a price cap will ask the Commission to present a legal proposal during the Friday meeting of the 27 national ambassadors to the EU in Brussels. They say that the Commission has already put together a draft document but is not willing to take formal action. Failure to move in the direction of a price cap will prompt Greece – and other states – to block plans for a gas price “correction mechanism,” the sources said.

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An endless list of all links being forged in “the south”. Do read.

Bamboo Diplomacy: The China-SE Asia Romance (Escobar)

Beijing’s ties with countries now in ASEAN tend to bend the bamboo way: soft, clever, persistent and enduring. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is monopolizing the Asian and Global South spotlight for no fewer than 10 days, this week and the next, across a flurry of regional and international summits. First stop is Phnom Penh for the 25th China-ASEAN summit, the 25th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) summit, and the 17th East Asia Summit, all the way to Sunday. Next week will be Bali for the Group of Twenty, followed by Bangkok for the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit. No wonder the diplomatic spin across Southeast Asia is all about global governance entering the “Asia moment” – as coined by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. It’s a moment that may be set to last a century – and beyond.

In parallel, Chinese diplomacy is also predictably on a roll. Premier Li Keqiang – who will step down next March, after two terms in office – heads Beijing’s delegation in Cambodia after two key Southeast Asian interactions: the visit by Vietnamese leader Nguyen Phu Trong to China and Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng’s visit to Singapore. All that fits the pattern of increasing China-Southeast Asia integration. Since 2020, ASEAN has been China’s largest trading partner. China has been ASEAN’s top trading partner since 2009. Total China-ASEAN trade reached $878 billion in 2021, up from $686 billion in 2020. It had been $9 billion in 1991. China-ASEAN investment was more than US$340 billion by last July, according to the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing.

Interests particularly converge on deepening RCEP – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the largest trade deal on the planet. That translates in practice as closer integration of supply chains, infrastructure connectivity and the building of a new international land-sea trade corridor. So it’s no wonder all the slogans for these 10 days of summits reflect closer integration. The ASEAN 2022 theme is “ASEAN A C T: Addressing Challenges Together.” The Indonesians defined the G20 as “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.” And the Thais defined APEC as “Open. Connect. Balance.”

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We’re still counting. Incredible. In more ways than one.

The Winners and Losers in a Shift in Control of Congress (Turley)

WINNERS – Constitutionalism: The last two years have seen frontal assaults on constitutional values ranging from separation of powers to free speech. Democrats applauded, for example, as President Joe Biden unilaterally waived roughly $500 billion in loans owed to the American people. While courts repeatedly found Biden to have violated the Constitution, Congress remained conspicuously silent even as it joined the president in declaring Republicans threats to the Constitution. In an August New York Times column, “The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed,” law professors Ryan D. Doerfler of Harvard and Samuel Moyn of Yale called for our founding charter to be “radically altered” to “reclaim America from constitutionalism.”

It’s safe to say voters effectively reclaimed constitutionalism from such extremist voices. Once again, voters preferred divided government with a Congress willing and able to challenge a president rather than remain a pure pedestrian in the exercise of governance. There’s now a moving part in Congress that’s been dormant for two years. As those institutional gears engage, checks and balances will again force greater accountability and exposure in the constitutional system.

The Supreme Court: For two years, the left has targeted the nation’s highest court with calls for packing it. Polls have long showed this movement was contained almost entirely within the far left. Yet attacking the court and its justices was an article of faith for many Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who called for raw court packing. While the attacks are likely to continue, the shift in Congress will put an end to such radical proposals.

LOSERS- The media: Outlets, in framing the election, consistently echoed Democrats’ narratives — yet failed to deliver them victory. The media now face the prospect of inquiries that could further erode voter trust. Congressional investigations will likely drill down on the Hunter Biden influence-peddling scandal. The media played an active role in burying that scandal and will face questions of how they could turn a blind eye to globe-spanning corruption that involved millions of dollars from foreign political and intelligence figures. They may also see an investigation into backchannels political and government officials used to enlist surrogates in the media and social media for censorship.

The Bidens: The election’s biggest loser could be the Biden family. After successfully avoiding any media or congressional scrutiny of their alleged influence peddling, time is up for the Bidens. Despite Attorney General Merrick Garland’s refusal to appoint a special counsel, they will face investigations launched with the full authority of the Oversight Committee. Garland will also confront demands to show the same aggressive prosecution of contempt of Congress when Biden associates are the subject of such referrals. All this will add to whatever emerges from Delaware in the long-standing investigation of tax and other allegations against Hunter Biden. With the midterms over, the Justice Department will no longer be bound to avoid filings that might influence the election. Hunter could easily find himself under indictment as Congress ramps up a broad investigation into his foreign dealings.

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“Biden knew he couldn’t “forgive”your student loan debt…..

He lied for votes knowing it would get thrown out in court!”

Federal Judge Declares Biden Loan Forgiveness Unconstitutional (Turley)

We have previously discussed how the Administration stretched the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) to the breaking point as the basis for waiving roughly half a trillion dollars in debt owed to the public in college loans. Now, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman of the Northern District of Texas has issued an opinion declaring that President Joe Biden violated the Constitution in unilaterally forgiving the debt before the midterm election. Judge Pittman wrote “[i]n this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone.” It was former President Barack Obama who defied Congress with unilateral actions and declared that he would go it alone if needed because “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.”

President Biden took the same course when it was clear that the loan forgiveness program would not pass Congress. Biden simply announced that he would forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 annually; those who received Pell grants could receive up to $20,000 in relief; couples can qualify despite a joint annual income of $250,000. No vote of Congress — just hundreds of billions of dollars written off by Biden, as if he is an American tsar. Judge Pittman held that “it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved.”

I previously criticized the legal basis for the loan forgiveness program. The Biden Administration has largely counted on blocking anyone from getting to the merits by challenging the standing of anyone to sue over the giveaway. On the merits, the Biden Administration’s position is transparently opportunistic in my view. As the acronym indicates, this short bill was designed for military personnel who often found themselves in arrears while serving abroad. It allows the Education Secretary to grant student loan relief during a war, military operation or national emergency. But nothing in the barely five-page act supports a sweeping and unprecedented waiver of billions of dollars in loans owed to the government.

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“..the Flemish government will pay a whopping EUR 200,000 in membership fees to the WEF and approximately EUR 27,000 as a participation fee in their annual meeting in Davos..”

And Flanders isn’t even a country…

Flemish Government Preparing To Cancel WEF Membership (NNP)

The Flemish conservative party, Vlaams Belang, is pressuring the government to cancel its World Economic Forum (WEF) membership. This year, the Flemish government will pay a whopping EUR 200,000 in membership fees to the WEF and approximately EUR 27,000 as a participation fee in their annual meeting in Davos. Rairfoundation.com reports: In a press release by Vlaams Belang, Flemish Member of Parliament Sam van Rooy stated that the Flemish government is legitimizing and subsidizing a worldwide lobby organization that is openly pursuing a well-defined ideological agenda, namely that of globalism.” This agenda seems to have recently crystallized into the so-called “Great Reset,” which aims to create “a safer, more equal and more stable world” by “acting collectively and swiftly to renew all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.”

They are striving for a world government based on climate hysteria and social control. Because citizens in a democratic constitutional state are entitled to transparency regarding the policies pursued, MEP van Rooy asked Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon questions about the Flemish government’s ties and cooperation with the WEF. In his reply, Jambon stated that the Flemish government “has no structural contacts with the WEF outside of its participation in the WEF meeting in Davos” but that there are “more regular contacts at the level of the Flemish government.” According to the prime minister, those contacts also aim to follow up on the various activities and projects that take place annually, including outside the Davos meeting.

Until 2020, the Flemish government paid an annual membership fee of 55,000 euros to the WEF. Since 2022, however, Flanders has been “promoted” to “associate partner” of the WEF, which requires a membership fee of no less than 175,763.87 euros per year. This contribution has already been paid for 2022; the same bill is expected for 2023. About that “associate partnership,” Jambon states the following: “The associate partnership offers the advantage that Flanders can participate in more activities throughout the year and, in addition, projects are being worked on within a thematic platform, ‘Shaping the Future of Trade and Investment.’ Those activities and projects provide additional visibility and the opportunity to learn and contribute policy-wise.” So the entanglement between the Flemish government and the WEF is therefore increasing, says Van Rooy.

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German European Parlimentarian Christine Anderson posted this on Telegram.

A Committee Of Inquiry Into Bourla And von der Leyen (Anderson)

Christine Anderson (AfD): YouTube didn’t want you to know what we uncovered in the EU special committee on the Corona pandemic YouTube has deleted several videos with speeches by Christine Anderson (AfD), who is a member of the EU special committee on the Corona pandemic for the ID group. In some cases, even videos with questions that the MEP had asked in the committee were sanctioned. Following legal intervention, YouTube caved in and put videos that had already been censored back online. Anderson is now calling on YouTube to hand over the “medical misinformation guidelines” on which the platform operator bases its sanctions. “The impression here is that information that doesn’t fit the desired narrative should be suppressed. I won’t stand for that. If YouTube lets my deadline pass unused, I will file a lawsuit in court,” Anderson said.

Anderson regularly publicizes how high-ranking representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, such as the vice president of AstraZeneca, increasingly come under pressure during hearings and criticized Pfizer CEO Alfred Bourla for canceling his participation in one such meeting at short notice. “I call for a committee of inquiry to take a closer look at the relationship between the Pfizer CEO and EU-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.” Anderson and her Dutch colleague Rob Ross also uncovered a scandal: “Bourla’s representative on the committee, Janine Smalls, had to admit to Ross in a questioning that the pharmaceutical giant had no knowledge before the market launch of the Pfizer/BionTech drug whether it could be used to prevent the infection as well as the transmission of Covid-19 at all.


“Statements like – “If you vaccinate, you protect yourself and others!” – in the context of the Covid vaccination campaign were simply lies!” In a written question, Anderson is now asking the EU Commission where statements in support of the vaccination campaign originated, such as those still being used by the German government, and whether sanctions can be expected for such “fake news” within the framework of the EU action plan against disinformation. More background information and video links as well as contact possibilities for press representatives on Christine Anderson’s homepage (currently only available in German): www.christineanderson.eu/links/bab-11-2022

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Termites and ants

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 112022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The artist’s son Titus 1657

 

Will A Russian Kherson Exit Create The Right ‘Facts On The Ground’? (Snider)
The Pullout From Kherson (MoA)
Moscow Sets Out Conditions For Talks With EU (RT)
The Collective West Might Be Losing The War With Eurasia (Lee)
Energy Bills In Europe Are 90% Higher Than Last Year (OP)
Hungary Explains ‘Total Failure’ Of Sanctions On Russia (RT)
The Dysfunctional Relationship At The Heart Of The EU (Pol.eu)
Biden Supports National Security Review of Elon Musk Twitter Purchase (Turley)
Biden: GOP Vow To Investigate Son Hunter’s Business Deals ‘Almost Comedy’ (JTN)
Gingrich Suspects Trump Rethinking 2024 (JTN)
2022 Midterms Highlight the Distinct Difference Between Ballots and Votes (CTH)
Executives Flee Twitter As Musk Mentions ‘Bankruptcy’ (RT)
mRNA “Vaccines” Causing Cells To Produce Spike Proteins Is A Fairy Tale (OffG)
UK Exec Wining, Dining With People Plotting To Kill My Husband – Stella (DecUK)

 

 

Still puzzled by this.

 

 

Tucker midterms

 

 

 

 

A single word

 

 

 

 

 

 

“U.S. officials reportedly told Zelensky that Kiev “must show its willingness to end the war reasonably and peacefully.”

Will A Russian Kherson Exit Create The Right ‘Facts On The Ground’? (Snider)

Will the Russian withdrawal from the key city of Kherson this week continue what appears to be momentum toward a diplomatic end to the war in Ukraine? The signs may be pointing in that direction. In late September, Russia declared its annexation of the Donbas republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as the eastern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded by signing a decree banning any negotiations with Putin. Zelensky said that Ukraine is “ready for dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia.” That decree posed a problem, particularly for the United States, which is trying to maintain a coalition assembled to support Ukraine militarily, financially, and through sanctions on Russia.

Since imminent regime change in Moscow has appeared unlikely, waiting for another president might mean a potentially endless war. And that’s a hard sell for weary European allies — who are heading toward a cold winter — no matter their commitment to the cause of defending Ukraine. So, in a shift from its position that it had “ruled out the idea of pushing or even nudging Ukraine to the negotiating table,” the Biden administration reportedly began urging Zelensky to “signal an openness to negotiate with Russia and drop his government’s public refusal to engage in peace talks unless President Vladimir Putin is removed from power,” according to the Washington Post.

At first, Ukraine publicly rejected the pressure. Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak reiterated the promise that Ukraine will only “talk with the next leader” of Russia, and told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that talks could only resume once the Kremlin relinquishes all Ukrainian territory and that Kyiv would fight on even if it is “stabbed in the back” by its allies. But the pressure may have been strong. Several days of talks between Kiev and Washington culminated in a visit by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan with Zelensky. Perhaps coincidentally, Sullivan has also reportedly “been in contact with Yuri Ushakov, a foreign-policy adviser to Mr. Putin” and with Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. U.S. officials reportedly told Zelensky that Kiev “must show its willingness to end the war reasonably and peacefully.”

On November 8, the messaging from Ukraine suddenly changed dramatically. Zelensky announced that he is now open to diplomacy with Putin and urged the international community to “force Russia into real peace talks.” Zelensky insisted that his preconditions for talks are “restoration of (Ukraine’s) territorial integrity … compensation for all war damage, punishment for every war criminal and guarantees that it will not happen again.” Washington insists that its message was not an attempt to push Ukraine to the negotiating table, but rather an attempt to manage international perceptions. The plan was to “reinforce to the world that it’s Ukraine, not Russia, that wants to resolve the conflict.” One official said, “That doesn’t mean they need to go to the negotiating table right now. We don’t even think right now is the right time based on what Russia is doing.

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“Morale requires that the next Russian move has to be [a] big push with strategic significance.”

The Pullout From Kherson (MoA)

The Russian command decided to remove its troops in the Kherson region from the left bank of the Dnieper. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu did not look happy when he gave the order. He knows that another such setback will cost him his job. This move looks bad. That alone will have consequences. The Ukrainians, the Biden administration and the European supporter of Ukraine will be emboldened by this. The support in Russia for the war will shrink. Some people in Russia will start to call for President Putin’s head. There is no danger though that they will get it. This move is operationally sound. From the military point of view there is little chance to withstand a serious attack in the region as the resupply across the Dnieper river is very difficult and can not be guaranteed.

Moreover the possible breach of the Dnieper river dams would make any resupply impossible for at least a week or even longer. That would be enough time for the Ukrainians to slaughter whatever number of Russian troops were left behind. Strategically the move is bad. It closes for now the possibility of moving into Nikolaev (Mykolaiv) and further towards Odessa. This could have and should have been done earlier. But the Russian command did not commit sufficient forces for that fight. There were also sound reason for not doing that. Now it is too late to criticize those decisions. It is quite possible that, behind the scene, a deal has been made over this. If one was made we are unlikely to learn of it anytime soon. The priorities now should be to get the soldiers and equipment out of the area. It will require intense air defense coverage to prevent the close down of ferry points by Ukrainian artillery.

There is no reason to make it easy for the Ukraine to regain the area. Until the evacuation is done any significant Ukrainian move into the area should be responded to with effective artillery fire. Soon the Ukrainian army will start to move troops prepared for an attack in Kherson to other front lines. Russia must likewise move its troops to reinforce its positions elsewhere. Morale requires that the next Russian move has to be [a] big push with strategic significance. The concept of deep battle and deep operations should be reapplied. Historically it has nearly always worked to Russia’s advantage. But the big push does not need to be solely militarily. A further significant damage of Ukraine’s economy via its electricity network is an additional option. To severely interdict its supply lines from the west is another one.

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“Apparently, the EU needs to undermine its economy completely before calls to start the dialogue will be accompanied by concrete steps..”

Moscow Sets Out Conditions For Talks With EU (RT)

Russia is open to any negotiations with the EU to find a way out of the current crisis, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told local media on Thursday. However, she voiced concerns that any meaningful discussions may start only after the bloc has “completely destroyed” its own economy. Speaking to the Russian newspaper Argumenty i Fakty, Zakharova addressed a recent NBC report alleging that some Western officials believe that the upcoming winter may spell an opportunity for talks between Moscow and Kiev. However, she noted that Western calls to seek a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict, “unfortunately are just rhetoric,” adding that all EU policies, including military support for Ukraine, “are aimed at escalation.”

The shift in narrative has been spurred by an emerging rift between ordinary European citizens and policymakers, she believes. The former “are getting tired of permanent confrontation rhetoric and endless baseless accusations against Russia,” the spokeswoman said, adding that “there is a growing demand for putting an end to the Ukraine conflict.” These concerns are also underpinned by Europe’s economic woes, Zakharova continued. “News about new sanctions or regular calls to ‘punish’ Russia economically scare Europeans themselves,” she noted. “Apparently, the EU needs to undermine its economy completely before calls to start the dialogue will be accompanied by concrete steps,” the official remarked, adding the bloc is pursuing these policies to please the US. According to Zakharova, Moscow is open to “discussing ways out of the current crisis,” but any peace settlement must be of some benefit to Russia.

“It is important that any proposals take into account the real situation ‘on the ground’ and have an added value for our country,” she noted.In recent months, top EU officials have been sending conflicting signals about their stance on possible engagement with Moscow. While EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell claimed in April that the conflict in Ukraine “will be won on the battlefield,” last month he said that Brussels is ready to seek a “diplomatic solution” while vowing to continue to support Kiev militarily. Russian officials have repeatedly stated they are ready to conduct negotiations with Kiev to end the conflict. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has set out conditions for any diplomatic engagement, which include the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage” and “punishment of every war criminal.”

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“..the Europeans still constituted a new and serious – although declining – rival for God’s own People..”

The Collective West Might Be Losing The War With Eurasia (Lee)

[..] of all people, Leon Trotsky writing in, (War – In the International 1933) – opined … ‘’That prior to WW2 the US was Europe’s debtor but now Europe was relegated to the background. The United States is the principal factory, the principal depot and the Central Bank of the world.’’ America’s hegemony over Europe long pre-dated WW2 and actually later grew larger with the addition of ex Eastern European states which had been formerly part of the Soviet sphere of influence. Western Europe had willy-nilly long since been subordinated to the USA. A while later (1946) the Americans gave the British short shrift reminding them that they would have to adjust to the post-war realities and take the medicine – the American loan, as Michael Hudson explains:

‘’In effect the Sterling Area was to be absorbed into the Dollar Area, which would be extended throughout the world. Britain was to remain in a weak position in which it found itself at the end of WW2, with barely any free monetary reserves and dependent on dollar borrowings to meet its current obligations. The United States would gain access to Britain’s pre-war markets in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Far East. This first loan on the post-war agenda – which President Truman announced in forwarding it to Congress would set the course of American and British economic relations for many years to come. Truman was well aware of the change of fortunes for the UK, for the Anglo-American Loan Agreement spelled the end of Britain as a great power.’’(1)

Sometime later and under the changed geopolitical and economic conditions President Richard Nixon and his economist acolytes placed their chief diplomat, Henry Kissinger, in charge of arrangements to put in place a policy to keep the Europeans subordinate and while they were at it to simultaneously endeavor to put a limit on Japanese expansion. Then came the big game-changer: Gold was officially delinked from the US$ in August 1971. Nixon’s currency reforms – were designed among various other decisions and also generally aimed at European and Japanese interests. It should be noted that Japan did not play any political role at all but simply followed in America’s wake, as she invariably did in economic and even political matters since.

This unilateral decision by the Americans to deprive paper money from convertibility into gold was enough to tip the Europeans into disorder and turbulence. For all their protestations of loyalty in Europe, the leaders of each country feverishly groped for an outcome that answered their own interests. However still licking their wounds, and for all their weakness, the Europeans still constituted a new and serious – although declining – rival for God’s own People, American capitalism-imperialism, which says a lot about how far the former had slid down the slippery-slope.

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“..those loans would have long maturities of up to 35 years and require no repayment of the principal before 2033..”

Zelensky Says EU’s €18 Billion Aid Is What “True Solidarity” Looks Like (ZH)

What’s not to like about a massive interest-free loan that won’t have to be paid back for decades, or maybe never? Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says it shows “true solidarity”… “Grateful to the European Commission and President Ursula von der Leyen for announcing 18 billion-euro financial aid package for 2023,” Zelensky announced on social media Wednesday. “This shows true solidarity of the EU.” The EU Commission President explained in a statement that the whopping €18 billion support package for 2023 is being mulled to prepare the ground for the reconstruction of Ukraine as it continues on the path toward EU membership, after it was granted candidate status on June 23 of this year.

As Politico reported earlier, “Commissioners meeting today for their weekly College meeting will propose a new EU instrument to finance €18 billion (around €1.5 billion a month) in subsidized loans for Ukraine for 2023, according to a draft regulation also obtained by Paola.” The draft regulation reads as follows: “In order to finance the support under the Instrument in the form of loans, the Commission shall be empowered, on behalf of the Union, to borrow the necessary funds on the capital markets or from financial institutions.” The Commission would reportedly link interval disbursement of the funds based on commitments from Kyiv upholding ‘rule of law’ requirements and making democratic reforms, again as preparation for potential future EU admission.

According to further details, “Though the funds would officially be in the form of loans (aside from additional voluntary contributions by EU governments), those loans would have long maturities of up to 35 years and require no repayment of the principal before 2033. Interest would be subsidized by EU member countries.” The proposed package comes after last Thursday Ukrainian parliament approved a draft so-called “victory budget” for 2023, with a “record deficit” of $38 billion, including a little over $27 billion for the nation’s armed forces. Naturally the bulk of this is expected to be filled by donors, the IMF, United States and European Union.

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Europeans pay twice: billions for “True Solidarity” and double energy prices.

Energy Bills In Europe Are 90% Higher Than Last Year (OP)

Electricity and gas prices are soaring across Europe, with bills close to double from last year in most European capitals, according to new data from the Household Energy Price Index – a monthly tracker of energy prices for households across 33 European capitals, including the 27 EU member states and several non-members. According to the data collected for the HEPI, natural gas bills in Europe have gone up by as much as 111 percent over the past year, with electricity prices up by an average of 69 percent. Taken together, Euronews calculates these two make for a total 90-percent increase in household energy bills over the past year.

“Significantly higher [energy prices] compared to one year ago … can be attributed to a combination of factors, such as increased demand connected to post-pandemic economic recovery and extraordinary weather conditions, the record-high prices for natural gas, and high CO2 emissions allowances,” the authors of the latest HEPI report noted. The high energy bills are creating headaches for European governments: strikes and protests are multiplying and disgruntlement with energy policies is growing. The cost of living in most of Europe is already exorbitant because of the energy crisis and this crisis is only going to get worse after the EU embargoes on Russian oil and then fuels come into effect.

In some parts of Europe, according to the latest HEPI report, energy prices have reached record highs but in others, prices have actually fallen, at least in October. The news is not as good as it looks at first glance: the decline was a result of government intervention, i.e. energy subsidies. There have been a lot of subsidies as European governments try to alleviate the financial pain on households and businesses to avoid further disgruntlement. Germany alone will be spending some $200 billion on such coping measures, including a cap on energy prices up to a certain level of consumption.

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“Basically, we are the only ones in Europe who are arguing in favor of peace..”

Hungary Explains ‘Total Failure’ Of Sanctions On Russia (RT)

The sanctions on Russia have not achieved any of the EU’s stated goals and only backfired by hurting the economies of member states, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said.The EU, along with the US and several other countries, imposed sweeping restrictions on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in February. “The sanctions which have been introduced by the European Union [against] Russia have failed. It’s a total failure,” Szijjarto told Jordan’s Roya News on Sunday. It was said by the European Commission that the sanctions will help us to conclude this war as soon as possible and that it will bring Russia’s economy to its knees. What’s the outcome? It’s totally the opposite.

“The war is becoming more and more brutal … And, in the meantime, the European economy is suffering very badly,” Szijjarto stated, adding that the continent has been hit by a “tremendous energy crisis,” as well as high inflation and rising food prices. The minister said that Hungary paid €7 billion ($6.9 billion) for energy imports in 2021, but has to pay €19 billion ($18.9 billion) this year. “That’s huge. And this is the outcome of a failed sanctions policy.” Szijjarto said that, instead of economic restrictions, the EU should focus on achieving peace in the region. He argued that a settlement in Ukraine could come as a result of negotiations between Russia and the US.

“Basically, we are the only ones in Europe who are arguing in favor of peace,” he said. The foreign minister defended Hungary’s decision to reject Kiev’s calls to send weapons and not to participate in the training of Ukrainian troops. These measures “contribute to escalation” rather than helping to end the conflict, he said.Hungary’s economy heavily relies on Russian energy, and the government has resisted Brussels’ plans to completely ban oil and gas imports from Moscow. After tense negotiations, Budapest received several exemptions from the bloc-wide restrictions on purchases of Russian fossil fuels. Hungary said this week that it will not support the EU’s joint loan package, which would secure €18 billion ($17.9 billion) in aid for Kiev.

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Ursula vs Michel. The failure of the EU personified.

The Dysfunctional Relationship At The Heart Of The EU (Pol.eu)

When the leaders of the world’s most powerful countries meet at the G20 summit in Bali next week, don’t expect the European Union to present a united front. Rather than coordinate, the bloc’s top two officials — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel — are more likely to avoid each other, with staffers involved in organizing the trip under strict instructions to avoid any overlap in itineraries. In the nearly three years since their tenures began, relations between Michel and von der Leyen have undergone an extraordinary breakdown, with staff from the two institutions discouraged from communicating and the two leaders locking each other out from meetings with foreign dignitaries.

The dysfunctional partnership is not only impacting the EU’s legislative and political agenda, which depends on a delicate inter-institutional balancing act. It’s also threatening to undermine the EU’s standing in the world. One of the centerpieces of the G20 will be a meeting between Michel and Chinese leader Xi Jinping scheduled to take place on the fringes of the summit. Given the divisions within the EU about how to deal with Beijing, it’s shaping up to be a crucial meeting. But von der Leyen hasn’t been invited. The reason? Her refusal to allow Michel to attend a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G7 in Germany in June. Rivalry between the Commission and the Council has long been a challenge due to an inherent structural tension within the EU’s byzantine system.

The Commission is the bloc’s executive arm, with the ability to propose legislation, putting its president at the heart of nearly every EU initiative. But the Council is where heads of state or government meet to turn proposals into law. Though its president plays a coordinating role, moderating the debate between the real decision-makers, the position is arguably closer to where the bloc’s real power lies. One of the centerpieces of the G20 will be a meeting between Michel and Chinese leader Xi Jinping scheduled to take place on the fringes of the summit. Given the divisions within the EU about how to deal with Beijing, it’s shaping up to be a crucial meeting. But von der Leyen hasn’t been invited. The reason? Her refusal to allow Michel to attend a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G7 in Germany in June.

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“.. it’s worth being looked at.”

Biden Supports National Security Review of Elon Musk Twitter Purchase (Turley)

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that “I’m not going to change anything” after the midterm elections even with the possible loss of one or both houses of Congress. One thing that did not change is Biden’s continued suggestion that his political opponents are fascists or national security threats. Biden is now supporting an investigation into whether Elon Musk’s taking over of Twitter is a national security threat. Biden’s statement comes just a couple days after Musk’s call for supporters to vote for Republican control of Congress and the President attacking him for his plan to restore free speech protections on Twitter. During a press conference at the White House, a reporter asked Biden if he thought Musk was a national security threat because of his business ties to Saudi Arabia. Biden responded:

“I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation, and/or technical relationships with other countries, uh, is worthy of being looked at. Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting that … it’s worth being looked at.” This followed Biden’s tirade against Twitter for moving toward less censorship. The President seriously asked “how do people know the truth” if social media companies did not control what they could read or hear on these platforms. Biden could have simply demurred and said that he would leave such matters to the responsible agencies to consider. Instead, he added his call to those of Democratic politicians and pundits to initiate a national security review.

The call to unleash a national security review on Musk’s takeover is being pushed by various liberal legal experts and pundits without any sense of concern over the use of such powers for political ends. Among those calling for an investigation is Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review the deal. Of course, many of these Democratic leaders and pundits supported Twitter silencing those with opposing views for years. In previous hearings, Democratic senators demanded greater censorship from Twitter in areas ranging from Covid to climate change. However, according to Murphy, they are now worried about “the potential influence of the Government of Saudi Arabia” and “[a]ny potential that Twitter’s foreign ownership will result in increased censorship, misinformation, or political violence is a grave national security concern.”

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But this is not “.. worth being looked at.”

Biden: GOP Vow To Investigate Son Hunter’s Business Deals ‘Almost Comedy’ (JTN)

In his post-election press conference, President Biden derided the House GOP’s pledge to investigate his son Hunter’s foreign business dealings as “almost comedy.” GOP Congressman James Comer, the potential chair of the House Oversight Committee, has said Hunter’s business deals in China, Russia and Ukraine pose a national security risk and might have “compromised” the president himself. Biden was asked on Wednesday for his message to Republicans who are considering investigating his family and, particularly, his son Hunter’s business dealings. “‘Lots of luck in your senior year,’ as my coach used to say,” Biden retorted. “Look, I think the American public want us to move on and get things done for them.


“It was reported — whether it’s accurate or not, I’m not sure — but it was reported many times that Republicans were saying, and the former president said, ‘How many times are you going to impeach Biden?’ You know, impeachment proceedings against, I mean, I think the American people will look at all of that for what it is. It’s just almost comedy. I mean, it’s — but, you know, look, I can’t control what they’re going to do. All I can do is continue to try to make life better for the American people.” Comer said in September that the U.S. Treasury Department has refused to provide Biden family members’ “suspicious foreign business transactions” that were flagged by U.S. banks. “We’re not investigating Hunter Biden for political reasons,” Comer said. “We’re investigating Hunter Biden because we believe he’s a national security threat, who we fear has compromised Joe Biden.”

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If Trump next week wants to announce running, he will do it without the momentum.

Gingrich Suspects Trump Rethinking 2024 (JTN)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Just the News that former President Donald Trump is likely “rethinking and reappraising” running for president again in 2024, adding that he personally doesn’t see a scenario where Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis decides not to run for president in 2024. “I mean, just in my own emails today, the number of people who want somebody other than Trump who have decided, literally overnight, that person is going to be DeSantis, he’s going to find it almost impossible to avoid running,” Gingrich said on Wednesday. “I think Trump’s got to look at the results and be troubled,” he added. “I can tell you, for me, this was not the result I expected. I thought we’d win a lot more seats.”

Gingrich added that Republicans have to look at the results and ask themselves what they did wrong and where they go from here. Gingrich was asked if he thinks Trump is going to announce a 2024 run or decide that it’s no longer his time. “I think he’s a very, very smart man,” he said. “And I’m sure that he is very disappointed. He worked very hard. He did a whole array of rallies with thousands of people. And I know, because I have the same feeling, I know that he went into Election Day thinking it was going to be a huge success. And I suspect that he’s going through the same kind of rethinking and reappraising that I’m going through.

“He is a very smart guy, and he’s got asked two questions: Can he in fact beat DeSantis? He probably would say yes. Coming out of that fight, would he be able to win a general election? I don’t think he wants to run and, you know, have that kind of situation.” Gingrich elaborated on his personal reaction to the results of the midterm election so far. “I was pretty shaken because that was not the election I expected,” he admitted. “And I don’t have as much confidence in my own judgment as I would have had yesterday morning.”

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“Democrat party officials and political activist groups knew how to exploit the opportunities within the new system of ballot distribution and collection..”

2022 Midterms Highlight the Distinct Difference Between Ballots and Votes (CTH)

As the political discussion centers on the 2022 wins and losses from the midterm election, one thing that stands out in similarity to the 2020 general election is the difference between ballots and votes. It appears in some states this is the ‘new normal.’ Where votes were the focus, the Biden administration suffered losses. Where ballots were the focus, the Biden administration won. Perhaps the two states most reflective of ‘ballots’ being more important than ‘votes’ are Michigan and Pennsylvania. Despite negative polling and public opinion toward two specific candidates in those states, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman achieved victories. Whitmer and Fetterman were not campaigning for votes, that is old school.

Instead, the machinery behind both candidates focused on the modern path. The Democrat machines in both states focused on ballot collection and ignored the irrelevant votes as cast. Since the advent of ballot centric focus through mail-in and collection drop-off processes, votes have become increasingly less valuable amid the organizers who wish to control election outcomes. As a direct and specific result, ballot collection has become the key to Democrat party success. The effort to attain votes for candidates is less important than the strategy of collecting ballots. It should be emphasized; these are two distinctly different election systems. The system of ballot distribution and collection is far more susceptible to control than the traditional system of votes cast at precincts.

A vote cannot be cast by a person who is no longer alive, or no longer lives in the area. However, a ballot can be sent, completed and returned regardless of the status of the initially attributed and/or registered individual. While ballots and votes originate in two totally different processes, the end result of both “ballots” and “votes,” weighing on the presented election outcome, is identical. While initially the ballot form of election control was tested in Deep Blue states, through the process of mail-in returns under the guise and justification of “expanding democracy,” a useful tool for those who are vested in the distinction, I think we are now starting to see what happens on a national level when the process is expanded.

The controversial 2020 election showed the result of making ‘ballots’ the strategy for electoral success. Under the justification of COVID-19 mitigation, mail-in ballots took center stage. Ballot harvesting by Democrat operations was one term for the outcome. Democrat party officials and political activist groups knew how to exploit the opportunities within the new system of ballot distribution and collection, and when you combine that with a massive legal pressure campaign to accept any and all forms of ballots, well, you can see how they are dependent.

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“On Thursday, he tweeted that the platform’s usage continued to rise: “One thing is for sure: it isn’t boring!”

Executives Flee Twitter As Musk Mentions ‘Bankruptcy’ (RT)

At least six executives have reportedly resigned from Twitter this week. The social media platform’s new owner Elon Musk has called an all-hands meeting on Thursday, announcing a return to office hours and mentioning the possibility of bankruptcy unless the company can find a way to become profitable. Among the departures was the head of safety and moderation Yoel Roth, Bloomberg reported citing insider sources. Musk had kept Roth on despite the complaints from conservatives that he had been responsible for much of the political censorship on the platform – one of the reasons the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire cited for buying the company. “The economic picture ahead is dire,” Musk wrote in an email calling the meeting, according to the New York Times.

“Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn.” Unless Twitter can generate profits from its $8 monthly Blue program, bankruptcy is a very real possibility, Musk reportedly said, adding that the platform is currently too dependent on advertising.A number of companies have pulled their ads from Twitter in recent weeks, due to a pressure campaign by activists angry at Musk’s buyout of the company – and endorsement of Republicans in the US midterm elections.Musk also told staff that the days of free food, teleworking and other perks were over, according to multiple outlets. “If you can physically make it to an office and you don’t show up, resignation accepted,” he reportedly said.

Along with Roth, five other executives quit this week. The heads of privacy, information security and compliance resigned just before the deadline to submit a report to the US government, required under a 2011 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.The FTC is “tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern,” said spokesman Douglas Farrar, adding that “no CEO or company is above the law.” On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden told reporters “there’s a lot of ways” to investigate Musk’s acquisition of Twitter as a potential national security risk. Musk has warned the public that Twitter “will do lots of dumb things in coming months.” On Thursday, he tweeted that the platform’s usage continued to rise: “One thing is for sure: it isn’t boring!”

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Interesting take by Stefano Scoglio. “And that also explains why this material is so toxic without needing to introduce any spike protein.”

mRNA “Vaccines” Causing Cells To Produce Spike Proteins Is A Fairy Tale (OffG)

“Why, then, is it impossible for mRNA to enter the cell and cause it to produce spike proteins?” The first thing the researchers in the field state is that the living cell is a “formidable barrier”, very difficult if not impossible to penetrate. And then they list 5 factors that prevent the mRNA to enter cells, getting into the ribosomes where the spike protein is supposed to be produced: First: As soon as the genic material is injected, it is attacked by specific enzymes called extra-cellular ribonucleases, which degrade any foreign genetic material. Pharmaceutical companies claim that the lipid nanoparticles are supposed to protect the mRNA from the enzymatic attack: But nobody knows how much protection is offered. As the Pfizer “vaccine” injects 30 micrograms of mRNA, let’s say that about half, 15 micrograms, survive.

Second: At this point, the mRNA/lipids blend has to enter the cell, supposedly through endocytosis, i.e. the cell is forming an external pouch that brings in the material. But, the researchers state, often instead of endocytosis the cell produces exocytosis, that is the pouch is used to keep the foreign material outside: Let’s say that half enters and so we now have 7.5 micrograms inside the cell. Third: At this point enters the endosomes/lysosome system: all scientists in the field know that this enzymatic endocellular system attacks, degrades and eliminate at least 98 percent of any foreign material entering the cells. We are now down to 0.15 micrograms, that 150 nanograms, an infinitesimal quantity.

Fourth: If this were the end, you could at least claim that a very minuscule dose would enter the ribosomes. But alas, the ribonuclease enzymes are also inside the cell, they are called endocellular ribonucleases, and they would dispose very quickly of the minuscule amount of mRNA. Finally, the researchers mention a fifth element, the most important, the one that makes all the processes described so far completely useless and unnecessary. And that also explains why this material is so toxic without needing to introduce any spike protein. They indicate that these “vaccines” are so highly immunogenic. Indeed, they use this word immunogenic.

Quality Issues With mRNA Covid Vaccine Production

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Dark.

UK Exec Wining, Dining With People Plotting To Kill My Husband – Stella (DecUK)

Assange’s treatment in the US would be much worse. In 2020, UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked Assange’s extradition to the US because of the risk of suicide under the onerous conditions he would face. Baraitser’s decision was based on the fact that, if convicted, Assange would likely be moved to the ‘Supermax’ Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colorado, home to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza and Mexican druglord El Chapo. A former warden of the prison has said: “There’s no other way to say it — it’s worse than death.” Pre-trial, Assange could also be held under Special Administrative Measures, or SAMs, where inmates spend 23 or 24 hours a day in their cells with no contact with other prisoners.

The US then appealed Baraitser’s ruling, saying it would promise that Assange would not be subject to SAMs or housed in ADX. Crucially, though, the US reserved the right to reverse these promises in case of further violations by Assange, which can be easily invented. In December 2021, the UK High Court agreed with the US appeal and reversed the lower court decision not to extradite Assange. Many believe Assange would commit suicide before being put on a plane to the US. “I’m convinced that Julian cannot survive under the conditions the US will put him in,” says Stella. “I have no doubt they will put him in a regime of isolation. The only reason he’s surviving now is because he’s able to see me, to see the children. He has a hope of fighting extradition to the US.”

She adds: “He’s facing trial in the Eastern District of Virginia with a jury that will be composed of people who are either working for or somehow linked to the national security sector, because that is what that area is. That is the jury pool. He faces 175 years under the Espionage Act, under which there is no defence. He cannot explain, he cannot justify, he cannot defend himself from the accusation.” She pauses. “Under the indictment, Julian is accused of conspiring with a source to publish information: receiving that information from the source, possessing that information, and communicating it to the public. That is journalism. And if you define journalism as a crime, then Julian is guilty and he has no defence.”

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Nov 072022
 
 November 7, 2022  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  66 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Small self portrait 1627-28

 

Dead Hand’s Revenge: What Would Happen If The West Strikes Russia? (Duncan)
Ukraine Conflict Approaching Its Stalingrad – Serbian President (RT)
Democrats, Not Democracy, Are In Danger This Election (Turley)
The Trojan Horse Presidency (Dmitry Orlov)
There May Not Be a 2024 Election – Martin Armstrong (USAW)
Researchers Find Massive Anti-Russian ‘Bot Army’ (Cronau)
Scholz‘s 11-hours Visit to Beijing Spells Catastrophe (Pattberg)
US ‘Privately’ Urging Ukraine To Negotiate – WaPo (RT)
US Presidential Adviser Sullivan In Confidential Talks With Kremlin -WSJ (RT)
Kiev Prepares For Total Blackout – NYT (RT)
Maersk Warns Of ‘Dark Clouds On The Horizon’ (RT)
Energy Disaster Awaits EU After This Winter – Oil CEOs (RT)
Europe May See Forced De-Industrialization As Result Of Energy Crisis (ZH)
Biden Press Secretary Under Fire For ‘Mega MAGA Republican’ Comment (ZH)
Twitter Ad Boycott Organized By Soros, Clinton, Foreign Networks (Schachtel)
Wot’s In The Shots? (Weisser)

 

 

“I am so disappointed with my Grandpa. He is voting Democrat next week.
When he was alive, he was a staunch Republican.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seen this man?
https://twitter.com/i/status/1588920818943557634

 

 

 

 

Gates
https://twitter.com/i/status/1589050562942844929

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Having suddenly started, the nuclear war ended just as suddenly, destroying everyone. There were no winners or losers.”

Dead Hand’s Revenge: What Would Happen If The West Strikes Russia? (Duncan)

One of Perimeter’s developers, Alexander Zheleznyakov, described a possible scenario for using the system as follows: “Two hours after the start of hostilities, when it seemed that there was nothing and, most importantly, no one to fight, in the remote Siberian taiga, in the Kazakh steppes, in the swamps of central Russia, the hatches of mine launchers almost simultaneously opened, and dozens of silver giants rushed into the sky. Thirty minutes later, the fate of Moscow and Leningrad, Kiev and Minsk, Berlin and Prague, Beijing and Havana was shared by Washington and New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Bonn and London, Paris and Rome, Sydney and Tokyo. Having suddenly started, the nuclear war ended just as suddenly, destroying everyone. There were no winners or losers.

[..] Is the Dead Hand dead? Yarynich was the one to blow the whistle on Perimeter after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the early 1990s, he spoke cautiously about the key details of the Dead Hand system with American nuclear security expert Bruce Blair, who revealed the existence of the system in a New York Times op-ed, not mentioning the Russian colonel, though his colleagues were well aware who had leaked the information. In 2003, Yarynich himself wrote a book, ‘C3: Nuclear Command, Control, Cooperation,’ providing even more details. He had spent the rest of his life fighting for transparency within the nuclear command and control mechanisms of Russia and the US. “Nuclear weapons should not be viewed as a political instrument,” he believed.

“Today, we are facing an obvious absurdity,” Yarynich wrote in the introduction to his book. “On the one hand … the United States and Russia have become unprecedentedly open with each other, exchanging information that used to be completely secret during the Cold War.” “Now publicly accessible computer databases include information about the various types of American and Russian ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads, their numbers, characteristics, location, design bureaus and production facilities … The results of such decisive steps is evident: the process of nuclear arms reduction has started and is successfully continuing.” However, Yarynich argued, this isn’t enough: absolute secrecy still reigns when it comes to command and control of nuclear weapons. “Two issues are of greatest importance here,” he explained.

“First, what measures have been taken by the nuclear powers against accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons, and how reliable are those measures? Second, what is the ideology for hypothetical authorized deployment of nuclear weapons?” In 2007, Yarynich gave a detailed interview to Wired magazine. In it, he repeated his story about the technical features of the Perimeter, and most importantly, confirmed that the system is constantly being updated, and that he’s proud to have been involved in its development: it successfully managed its task in the Cold War and can continue to serve. All he wanted was for the system to be talked about. Yarynich believed that publicity around the system would be useful to Russia: no one wants to die in vain.

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“..we’re facing the Battle of Stalingrad, the decisive battle in the conflict in Ukraine, the battle for Kherson..”

Ukraine Conflict Approaching Its Stalingrad – Serbian President (RT)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has compared the anticipated battle for Kherson between Russian and Ukrainian forces to the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II, warning that aftershocks from the fighting would be felt far outside the conflict zone. “Challenging times are ahead of us. Next winter will be even harsher than this one because we’re facing the Battle of Stalingrad, the decisive battle in the conflict in Ukraine, the battle for Kherson,” Vucic said in an interview with Pink TV on Sunday. Both sides are likely to deploy thousands of tanks, aircraft and artillery pieces in the struggle for the key city, he predicted. “The West [which is backing Ukraine in the conflict and supplying it with arms] thinks it’ll be able to ruin Russia that way, while Russia believes it’ll be able to defend what it obtained at the start of the war and bring it to an end,” the Serbian leader said.

The massive fighting in Kherson “is going to create additional problems everywhere,” Vucic warned. Stalingrad is believed to have been the biggest and bloodiest battle of World War II, and proved to be a turning point in the conflict. According to some estimations, the fighting between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany between August 1942 and February 1943 resulted in up to two million casualties, with more than a million dead. The city of Kherson on the Dnieper River came under Russian control just days after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Kherson Region was officially declared part of the Russian state in early October, together with Zaporozhye Region and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, after people in those territories overwhelmingly supported the move in referendums.

The Ukrainian government has made the recapture of Kherson one of its main goals, having planned a large-scale offensive on the city for months. In recent weeks, the Kiev troops have repeatedly tried to advance in the area, but all of those attacks have been repelled. On Sunday, Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the regional administration, warned that Ukraine had been “deploying more and more APCs and tanks” near Kherson in what could be preparation for another offensive. Russia has been making plans to defend the city from a possible attack. Last month, the authorities started relocating civilians from Kherson and areas on the right bank of the Dnieper over concerns that Ukrainian strikes on the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric dam could lead to major flooding.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted that “those living in Kherson must be evacuated from the most dangerous zone of action. The civilian population must not suffer from shelling, any kind of offensive and counter-offensive, and other activities related to military operations.”

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“.. it is democracy or death, gas or grandchildren — you choose.”

Democrats, Not Democracy, Are In Danger This Election (Turley)

Historian Michael Beschloss’s warning on MSNBC — speculating that “our children will be arrested and conceivably killed” if Republicans win control of Congress — summed up the final pitch by President Biden and fellow Democrats ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections. Apparently, it is not gas prices, the economy or crime that once again are the top polling issues for voters. Instead, it is democracy or death, gas or grandchildren — you choose. Biden returned to this theme in what White House chief of staff Ron Klain called his “final warning” to voters. The president ominously cautioned voters who might be thinking of voting for Republicans that, “make no mistake, democracy is on the ballot for all of us.” In other words, be afraid, be very afraid.

Biden was widely criticized for an earlier Philadelphia speech that denounced political opponents as fascists plotting to overthrow democracy. Yet he and others have returned to that theme as Democrats appear to be losing ground even in traditional blue states. Among others, Hillary Clinton warned that the GOP is trying to “steal” the election and that “they’re going after democracy.“ The president’s attacks do not appear to be gaining much traction, with polls showing that most people view him as inciting political unrest. Nevertheless, on almost every network and cable news program, the mantra seems unrelenting: If the GOP prevails in the midterms, democracy could be lost.

Whereas the media once pushed a false Russia collusion claim in the 2016 election, this time it is pushing a claim that the GOP itself represents the threat to our liberties and very lives. As Democratic alarm over a GOP win in both houses of Congress has increased with polling in the past two weeks, so has the alarming rhetoric. Beschloss, for instance, warned that not only may democracy have just a few days left but there may be no one allowed to record its fall: “Fifty years from now, if historians are allowed to write in this country and if there are still free publishing houses and a free press — which I’m not certain of, but if that is true — a historian will say what was at stake … was the fact whether we will be a democracy in the future, whether our children will be arrested and conceivably killed.”

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“What if the president is an organo-servo-robot, a senile puppet, backed up by a vice president specifically chosen for being even more feeble-minded?”

The Trojan Horse Presidency (Dmitry Orlov)

The US midterm elections are nigh and, as I happen to be a good and patriotic Russian national, it behooves me to meddle in them. Election-meddling is an example of Russia’s soft power, which is much nicer than Russia’s hard power, so you should be glad that it’s still on offer. I am on record saying that “The United States is not a democracy and it doesn’t matter who is president” multiple times in multiple places, and I stand by that statement, which I believe to be a provable statement of fact. Statistics show that there is zero correlation between public preferences and public policy decisions but a strong correlation between business lobby group preferences and pubic policy decisions. Thus the US is not a democracy (rule by the people) but an oligopoly (rule by business groups).

From this it follows that it doesn’t matter who is president because both parties of the Democrat-Republican duopoly are owned by the same set of business groups. And so it doesn’t matter who is president and your vote means nothing? Granted; but then does it matter WHETHER there is a president? Methinks, it does! What if the president is an organo-servo-robot, a senile puppet, backed up by a vice president specifically chosen for being even more feeble-minded? This is an excellent ploy for putting in power an extremist group that is only tangentially related to the usual business lobbies that determine what gets done in Washington. Don’t think of some vast and amorphous “deep state”: executing such a power grab requires tight coordination, some amount of secrecy or, at least, discretion, and, of course, vast sums of money.

Think instead of a singularly well-endowed evil oligarch and his multiple minions whom he has carefully groomed and insinuated into positions of power.The overall goal of such an extremist group may well go far beyond the usual interests of business lobbies, such as preserving shareholder equity, a wider spot at the federal subsidy trough, knocking down transnational barriers to trade and movement of capital, lower business taxes and so on. These zealots may well have an altogether different view of the future in mind, in which a tiny group of ultra-rich owns everything while the rest of us own nothing but, being made tame and docile through all sorts of medical and technical manipulation, feel happy about this state of affairs… like so many animals in a menagerie… not too many animals, mind you: drastic population reduction is likely a key goal of theirs.

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“It’s just so corrupt, it is over the top. It doesn’t matter who wins. Nobody is going to accept this thing, and that is the problem.”

There May Not Be a 2024 Election – Martin Armstrong (USAW)

Legendary financial and geopolitical cycle analyst Martin Armstrong says, “The cheating in the midterm election next week is going to be so great that it is almost impossible to make a prediction. . . . In a fair midterm election, the Republicans would win the House and the Senate.” So, what does his Socrates program see for next week? Armstrong, says, “It’s going to be tight, and the Republicans have a shot at taking the House. Technically, they should take the House and the Senate. I am just not sure. The corruption is so bad, it’s crazy. Pennsylvania sent out hundreds of thousands of ballots to people who are not documented or even American. I’ve gotten emails from people in Canada, they are getting mail-in ballots. They mailed them to Canada. .Where this ends up, who knows? It’s just so corrupt, it is over the top. It doesn’t matter who wins. Nobody is going to accept this thing, and that is the problem.”

The cheating is going to be so in your face President Trump may not even be able to run for President two years from now. Armstrong contends, “We may not even have an election in 2024. It is not looking very good, and it’s probably because this election is not going to be accepted. When it is so over-the-top corrupt, what do you do for the next one? The United States will not exist after 2032. After 2028 and 2029, we are going to have to redesign a government from scratch. America is being destroyed. Republics always end in absolute corruption. We just saw the same thing happen in Brazil. They staged a major effort to take Bolsonaro out. . . . This is a worldwide effort. They had to get rid of Trump. The other one who stood in their way is Bolsonaro. Then there is Putin (Russia) and Xi Jinping (China). I think you are going to have historians look back at this 50 years from now, and they will call this period ‘The Climate Change Wars’. .They are trying to take down as much oil energy capacity as possible.”

Armstrong is still seeing very strong signals on domestic violence everywhere. Armstrong explains, “Our computer is showing it’s going to be a rocket launch for volatility and civil unrest next year.” Armstrong also contends there will be a major loss of confidence in government around the world. That means gold will start having big demand from big money. Armstrong also predicts, “The whole monetary system as we know it is collapsing. That was what the bond crisis in the UK was about.”

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Set up well before Feb 24.

Researchers Find Massive Anti-Russian ‘Bot Army’ (Cronau)

A team of researchers at the University of Adelaide have found that as many as 80 percent of tweets about the 2022 Russia-Ukraine invasion in its early weeks were part of a covert propaganda campaign originating from automated fake “bot” accounts. An anti-Russia propaganda campaign originating from a “bot army” of phony automated Twitter accounts flooded the internet at the start of the war. The research shows that of the more than 5 million tweets studied, 90.2 percent (both bot and non-bot) came from accounts that were pro-Ukraine, with fewer than 7 percent of the accounts being classed as pro-Russian. The university researchers also found these automated tweets had been purposely used to drive up fear amongst people targeted by them, boosting a high level of statistically measurable “angst” in the online discourse.

The research team analysed a massively unprecedented 5,203,746 tweets, sent with key hashtags, in the first two weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine from Feb. 24. The researchers looked at predominately English-language accounts. A calculated 1.8 million unique Twitter accounts in the dataset posted at least one English-language tweet. The results were published in August in a research paper, titled “#IStandWithPutin versus #IStandWithUkraine: The interaction of bots and humans in discussion of the Russia/Ukraine war,” by the University of Adelaide’s School of Mathematical Science.The size of the sample under study, of over 5-million tweets, dwarfs other recent studies of covert propaganda in social media surrounding the Ukraine war.

The little-reported Stanford University/Graphika research on Western disinformation, analysed by Declassified Australia in September, examined just under 300,000 tweets from 146 Twitter accounts. The Meta/Facebook research on Russian disinformation reported widely by mainstream media, including by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) a fortnight later, looked at only 1,600 Facebook accounts. Reports on the new research have appeared in only a few independent media sites, and on Russia’s RT. The ground-breaking study exposing a massive anti-Russia social media disinformation campaign has been effectively ignored by Western establishment media, showing how stories that don’t fit the desired pro-Western narrative are routinely buried.

The Adelaide University researchers unearthed a massive organised pro-Ukraine influence operation underway from the early stages of the conflict. Overall, the study found automated “bot” accounts to be the source of between 60 to 80 percent of all tweets in the dataset. The published data shows that in the first week of the Ukraine-Russia war there was a huge mass of pro-Ukrainian hashtag bot activity. Approximately 3.5 million tweets using the hashtag #IStandWithUkraine were sent by bots in that first week. In fact, it was like someone had flicked a switch at the start of the war as pro-Ukraine bot activity suddenly burst into life. In that first day of the war the #IStandWithUkraine hashtag was used in as many as 38,000 tweets each hour, rising to 50,000 tweets an hour by day three of the war.

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“Germany is a beaten, crushed, debilitated US-occupied nation. It should not exist in this form.”

Scholz‘s 11-hours Visit to Beijing Spells Catastrophe (Pattberg)

[..] the lazy China experts fall over each other on German regime tv, regime press, and anti-Chinese social media, laureating aeriform German stuff like unfreedom, German democracy, and holocaust guilt. And what are they demonizing? Of course, they are demonizing China’s evil trinity of poverty alleviation, superior technologies, and unbelievable material wealth. Mr. Scholz wanted to be the first Western leader to meet Mr. Xi in person. He is a busy man. Mr. Scholz, I mean, not Mr. Xi. Mr. Xi is always in Beijing, fixing his own country and guiding his people. That wanker Scholz, on the other hand, has been, let me see, so far been to…. HOLY MOTHER!…. 47 foreign capitals in 2022 alone! What an Emperor of Man! What a Ruler of the Universe! Stoltz‘s AWESOME!!!

Germany depends on China’s industries A LOT. China might be the only nation that unconditionally keeps up with the German poop and still deals with the neonazis after Berlin started WW III with Russia this summer. If the Middle Kingdom was Middle Earth [an Anglo-Saxon fantasy world], then the Germans would be the Balin dwarves toiling under the mountains. It would be good for cave king Stoltz to discuss steel legions, rare earth mining, and bolt-throwers. But maybe the German mines ran dry and empty, so the Stoltz people crawled back to the surface with this new business plan of… morally harassing orcses, wizards, and little Chinese girls alike. Germany is a beaten, crushed, debilitated US-occupied nation. It should not exist in this form. But the victorious Western allies did not release these poor wretched people.

Instead, they decided to chain them to the BRD regime [Federal Republic of Deutschland] and tell lies about how great it is to change from a glorious 1000-year-old Reich into a homo anal-fixated Iew-worshiping seepage. Watch any US movie and the villains are probably Germans. Also, watch gay porn, German’s best.This century of humiliation went smoothly for roughly 60 years, from 1949 until 2009, before the World Wide Web took off and became unstoppable. Suddenly, Germans could share experiences online, check the facts, and compare historic accounts. Their country, they found, is a US strap dildo. Their mountain,… the misty mountain of Saruman the Schmuel. People started to expose this false US love bombing. Now the BRD regime is in trouble under a mountain of lies and make-beliefs: Deutschland was never a free, sovereign land since 1949.

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“..the encouragement isn’t aimed at pushing Ukraine to engage in actual peace talks with Moscow..”

US ‘Privately’ Urging Ukraine To Negotiate – WaPo (RT)

The White House is privately asking top Ukrainian officials to show openness to peace talks with Russia, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. Kiev’s public refusal to negotiate with Moscow unless President Vladimir Putin is removed from power in Russia must be abandoned, people familiar with the discussions told the paper. However, the encouragement isn’t aimed at pushing Ukraine to engage in actual peace talks with Moscow to put an end to the fighting, which has been underway since late February, the sources pointed out. The move is more of a “calculated attempt” to make sure Vladimir Zelensky’s government retains the support of foreign nations in which the public have become increasingly concerned about the prospect of the conflict continuing for years, they explained.

“Ukraine fatigue is a real thing for some of our partners,” an unnamed US official told the WaPo. Last month, Zelensky signed a decree, which officially made it “impossible” for him to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The move followed the incorporation of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, into the Russian state as a result of referendums held in those territories. Russia, which has repeatedly invited Ukrainian authorities to come to the negotiating table in recent months, has blamed Kiev for undermining any potential for a peaceful settlement of the crisis. “How can we discuss any possible agreements when there’s no willingness to even talk to us from the other side?”Putin said on Monday. “So, we’ll wait. Maybe the necessary conditions will come about.”

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov suggested last week that the negotiations should also include the US. Any peace deal with Kiev would have little credibility because it could be instantly rescinded by Ukraine’s backers in the West, he said. “The deciding vote rests with Washington,” Peskov insisted.

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Ukraine demands things they know Russia will not oblige. The only hope for peace appears to be China.

US Presidential Adviser Sullivan In Confidential Talks With Kremlin -WSJ (RT)

President Biden’s top national-security adviser has engaged in recent months in confidential conversations with top aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to reduce the risk of a broader conflict over Ukraine and warn Moscow against using nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, US and allied officials said, Report informs referring to The Wall Street Journal. The officials said that US national-security adviser Jake Sullivan has been in contact with Yuri Ushakov, a foreign-policy adviser to Putin. Sullivan also has spoken with his direct counterpart in the Russian government, Nikolai Patrushev, the officials added. The aim has been to guard against the risk of escalation and keep communications channels open, and not to discuss a settlement of the war in Ukraine, the officials said. Asked whether Sullivan has engaged in undisclosed conversations with Ushakov or Patrushev, National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said: “People claim a lot of things” and declined to comment further. The Kremlin didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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“..a contingency plan that anticipates the evacuation of approximately 3 million of its remaining residents..”

Kiev Prepares For Total Blackout – NYT (RT)

Authorities in Ukraine’s capital city, Kiev, are reportedly working on a contingency plan that anticipates the evacuation of approximately three million of its remaining residents, should power supply become completely cut off, the New York Times has claimed. The article published on Saturday quoted Roman Tkachuk, the director of security for the Kiev municipal government, as having warned that the city “may lose our entire electricity system,” if Russia continues striking Ukrainian energy infrastructure. According to the report, Kiev authorities expect that, if worse comes to worst, they would have at least 12 hours’ notice before the grid collapses completely. Tkachuk explained that if there are signs of imminent failure, “we will start informing people and requesting them to leave.”

Should the Ukrainian capital face a total blackout, there would also be no water supply, and the sewage systems would grind to a halt, too, the official warned. He hastened to assure, however, that the situation is currently under control, and there is no exodus of city residents. With winter approaching, Kiev authorities are preparing some 1,000 heating shelters that can double as bunkers during Russian strikes. In a bid to prevent uncontrollable failures, Ukraine’s national energy utility has been imposing rolling blackouts in several regions, including the capital, over the past several weeks. In its statement on Saturday, Ukrenergo explained that the measures were needed to “ensure sustainable balancing of the power system and avoid repeated accidents” affecting the national power grid.

In early October, Moscow launched massive long-range missile and ‘kamikaze drone’ strikes on Ukrainian military, energy and communication facilities. That followed what Russian President Vladimir Putin called a series of “terrorist attacks” masterminded by Kiev on Russian soil, including a truck bombing that damaged the Crimean Bridge, a strategic link connecting the peninsula with the mainland. Such tactics, Putin said, posed a threat to Russia and could not be left without a response. According to Ukrainian authorities, as much as 40% of the country’s energy infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed as a result.

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Supply chain tension.

Maersk Warns Of ‘Dark Clouds On The Horizon’ (RT)

Danish shipping group Maersk warned this week of slowing demand for transport and logistics and said it had slashed its forecast for container demand for this year.“It is clear that freight rates have peaked and started to normalize during the quarter, driven by both decreasing demand and easing of supply chain congestion,” Maersk CEO Soeren Skou said in a statement.The world’s biggest shipping company, which is often seen as a barometer of global trade, now expects container demand to contract between 2% and 4% in 2022, down from its previous projection of +1% to -1%. “With the war in Ukraine, an energy crisis in Europe, high inflation, and a looming global recession there are plenty of dark clouds on the horizon,”Skou warned. “This weighs on consumer purchasing power which in turn impacts global transportation and logistics demand.


“While we expect a slow-down of the global economy to lead to a softer market in Ocean, we will continue to pursue the growth opportunities within our Logistics business,” he added. Freight rates soared in line with higher consumer demand during the pandemic, resulting in congested ports and delays. Although rates have since come down, it still costs more to ship a container than before the pandemic.Maersk anticipates its average contract rate still coming in higher this year than in 2021, although it now expects the figure to be $200 lower per container than its August forecast. On Wednesday, the company reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $10.9 billion for the quarter, above the analyst consensus projection of $9.8 billion and up by around 60% from the same period a year ago.

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“..the Czech Republic where households saw their energy bills increase tenfold..”

Energy Disaster Awaits EU After This Winter – Oil CEOs (RT)

The EU is “in good shape” in terms of energy reserves this winter, however, a real risk of a shortfall lies ahead in 2023, major oil and gas executives have warned. The region is facing an unprecedented energy crunch following a drop in imports from Russia. The oil and gas shortages, and record-high inflation, have resulted in an overall cost-of-living crisis across the bloc. But while concerns are focused on the turmoil of the coming winter, it is the next cold season that they should really worry about, CEO of major oil trader Vitol, Russell Hardy, has said. “We’ve got a difficult winter ahead, and subsequent to that we’ve got a more difficult winter in the year ahead of that because the production that is available to Europe in the first half of 2023 is considerably less than the production we had available to us in the first half of 2022,” he said at a conference in Abu Dhabi last week.

Energy prices have gone off the charts and are close to “unaffordability” with many households “spending 50% of their disposable income on energy or higher,” BP CEO Bernard Looney has warned, agreeing with his colleague that the next winter “in Europe could be even more challenging.” Even though the EU has managed to fill its energy stockpiles by 90%, according to IEA data, the reserves are made up mostly of Russian gas. But as the bloc is speeding up the transition away from Russian pipeline deliveries, there will be no supplies from the bloc’s former biggest supplier.

“The issue is not this winter. It will be the next one because we are not going to have Russian gas – 98% [less] next year, maybe nothing,” Eni chief Claudio Descalzi pointed out. Given the demand from China, a major importer of gas, and skyrocketing LNG prices, executives of energy companies are worried about possible social unrest, pointing at some EU countries, like the Czech Republic where households saw their energy bills increase tenfold.

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“..a government trying to juggle energy shortages with climate goals without extending the lives of nuclear power plants.”

Europe May See Forced De-Industrialization As Result Of Energy Crisis (ZH)

The European Union has been quietly celebrating a consistent decline in gas and electricity consumption this year amid record-breaking prices, a cutoff of much of the Russian gas supply, and a liquidity crisis in the energy market. Yet the cause for celebration is dubious: businesses are not just curbing their energy use and continuing on a business-as-usual basis. They are shutting down factories, downsizing, or relocating. Europe may well be on the way to deindustrialization. That the European Union is heading for a recession is now quite clear to anyone watching the indicators. The latest there—eurozone manufacturing activity—fell to the lowest since May 2020. The October reading for S&P Global’s PMI also signaled a looming recession, falling on the month and being the fourth monthly reading below 50—an indication of an economic contraction.

In perhaps worse news, however, German conglomerate BASF said last month it would permanently downside in its home country and expand in China. The announcement served as a blow to a government trying to juggle energy shortages with climate goals without extending the lives of nuclear power plants. “The European chemical market has been growing only weakly for about a decade [and] the significant increase in natural gas and power prices over the course of this year is putting pressure on chemical value chains,” said BASF’s chief executive, Martin Brudermueller, as quoted by the FT, in late October. Yet it is worth noting that the energy crisis was not the only reason for BASF’s plans to shrink its presence at home and grow abroad. Increasingly tighter EU regulation was also a factor behind this decision, Brudermueller said.

Other industries also seem to have problems with new EU regulations. The trade body for the steel and aluminum industries, which have also suffered significantly from the energy cost inflation, recently proposed that the EU takes a gradual approach with its new Cross-Border Adjustment Mechanism, also known as the import carbon tax.

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“We request that you promptly investigate these potential violations and immediately intervene to ensure that the government officials do not abuse their official authority..”

Biden Press Secretary Under Fire For ‘Mega MAGA Republican’ Comment (ZH)

A government watchdog group has filed a complaint against White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, alleging that she violated the Hatch Act when she made comments about “Mega MAGA Republican” officials. In a Nov. 3 complaint, Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) told the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) that Jean-Pierre violated the federal law that limits the political activities of federal employees, when she said during a Nov. press conference, “Unfortunately, we have seen mega MAGA Republican officials who don’t believe in the rule of law,” adding “They refuse to accept the results of free and fair elections, and they fan the flames of political violence through what they praise and what they refuse to condemn.”

PPT director Michael Chamberlain said the comments were “disparaging President Biden’s political opponents,” adding that her statements “were clearly made in her role as an employee of the White House and appear to be political in nature, seeking the defeat of her political opponents in the Republican party in the upcoming general election less than a week away on November 8.” As The Epoch Times further notes; “The watchdog group is asking the OSC to “promptly investigate Ms. Jean-Pierre’s conduct as a potential Hatch Act violation based on her use of her official position to advocate for the defeat of a political party.” “We request that you promptly investigate these potential violations and immediately intervene to ensure that the government officials do not abuse their official authority in an attempt to influence the results of the impending 2022 general election.”

“The comments appear to be clearly designed to influence voters in next week’s election,” Chamberlain said in a separate statement. “A quick and complete investigation into these statements would be a good first step in helping to restore the American public’s trust in its government.” PPT in a release said that Jean-Pierre’s statement is an “attempt to sway an election” and is a “direct violation of the Hatch Act’s prohibition” against government employees using their office to influence an election. The group alleges that her statement cannot be attributed to “an insufficient knowledge of the restrictions of the Hatch Act,” in part because her predecessor, Jen Psaki, and White House Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, have previously been found in violation of the same federal law. Furthermore, Jean-Pierre herself “has on several occasions cited the Hatch Act as justification for avoiding responding to queries from the press corps,” PPT noted.

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Arabella.

Twitter Ad Boycott Organized By Soros, Clinton, Foreign Networks (Schachtel)

The campaign to pull corporate advertising from Twitter, following its purchase by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, is being led by a network of left wing dark money activists with ties to prominent Democrat politicians and mega donors. An advocacy group formed in 2020 called Accountable Tech is organizing the pressure campaign, which has thus far succeeded in having the likes of Pfizer, Audi, General Mills, and other corporations pull their advertising expenditures from the platform. Accountable Tech has taken credit for organizing an “open letter” signed by dozens of progressive groups, which demanded that multinational corporations cease advertising with Twitter immediately.

The far-left activist groups wrote: “Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter came with his promise to advertisers like you that the social network would not transform into a “free-for-all hellscape” and would remain “warm and welcoming to all.”The letter continues: “We, the undersigned organizations, call on you to notify Musk and publicly commit that you will cease all advertising on Twitter globally if he follows through on his plans to undermine brand safety and community standards including gutting content moderation.” You get the gist of it by now. The parties to this letter are attempting to force Elon Musk to revert Twitter back to its old, state-attached form. Now here’s some background on Accountable Tech.

Accountable Tech is financed by The North Fund, a D.C. nonprofit that is controlled by Arabella Advisors. Yes, there are multiple levels of confusion and separation, and this is on purpose. But the relevant outfit here is Arabella Advisors. “Arabella” is a for-profit “philanthropic consulting company” founded by Clinton confidant Eric Kessler. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jesse Lehrich, another Clinton network operative, is a co-founder of Accountable Tech. The organization also employs former Clinton campaign operative Zach Praiss as its digital director. Arabella is considered the leading “dark money” political outfit in the United States. Yes, it’s much bigger and much more influential than the highly publicized “Koch Network.”

The Arabella network shields the sources of its funding by funneling its cash and political expenditures through 501c4 non profits. However, its for-profit outfit brought in $1.7 billion in 2020, and spent $1.2 billion on the 2020 election cycle. Through its subsidiaries, Arabella has dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into projects such as fighting the Kavanaugh nomination and impeaching President Donald Trump. They’ve also financed the “NeverTrump” political advocacy of progressive war activist Bill Kristol.

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“..the contract between Pfizer and the US government prohibits independent researchers from studying the vaccines..”

Wot’s In The Shots? (Weisser)

What is in the Pfizer vaccines? Recently, Dr David Nixon, a Brisbane GP, decided to find out, putting droplets of vaccine and the blood of vaccinated patients under a dark-field microscope. That’s a more radical decision than it might sound. According to Sasha Latypova, a scientist with 25 years of experience in clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies, the contract between Pfizer and the US government prohibits independent researchers from studying the vaccines. They claim it would ‘divert’ these precious resources away from their intended use fulfilling an ‘urgent’ need. Is that true in Australia? Who knows? All the Commonwealth Department of Health has said about its contract with Pfizer is that it is commercial-in-confidence.


The Therapeutic Goods Administration performs tests on all Covid vaccines for composition and strength, purity and integrity, identity and endotoxins, but it provides scant details other than the batch numbers tested and whether they passed. (Spoiler alert: they did.) In the US, the Centers for Disease Control specifically states that all Covid-19 vaccines are free from ‘metals, such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys’ and ‘manufactured products such as micro-electronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, and nanowire semiconductors’.Notably, this list does not include graphene oxide which has been widely investigated for biomedical applications. Some researchers sing its praises, its ‘ultra-high drug-loading efficiency due to the wide surface area’, its exceptional ‘chemical and mechanical constancy, sublime conductivity and excellent biocompatibility’.

But there’s a catch. ‘The toxic effect of graphene oxide on living cells and organs’ is ‘a limiting factor’ on its use in the medicine. So is there graphene oxide in the Pfizer shots? What Nixon found, and filmed, is bizarre to say the least. Inside a droplet of vaccine are strange mechanical structures. They seem motionless at first but when Nixon used time-lapse photography to condense 48 hours of footage into two minutes, it showed what appear to be mechanical arms assembling and disassembling glowing rectangular structures that look like circuitry and micro chips. These are not ‘manufactured products’ in the CDC’s words because they construct and deconstruct themselves but the formation of the crystals seems to be stimulated by electromagnetic radiation and stops when the slide with the vaccine is shielded by a Faraday bag. Nixon’s findings are similar to those of teams in New Zealand, Germany, Spain and South Korea.


An Italian group led by Riccardo Benzi Cipelli analysed the blood of over 1,000 people, one month after they were vaccinated, who had been referred for tests because they had experienced side effects. They ranged in age from 15 to 85 and had had between one and three doses. More than 94 per cent had abnormal readings, deformed red blood cells, reduced in counts and clumped around luminescent foreign objects which also attracted clusters of fibrin. Some of the foreign objects dotted the blood like a starry night, some self-assembled into crystalline structures and others into spindly branches and tubes. The Italians think the objects are metallic particles and say they resemble ‘graphene oxide and possibly other metallic compounds’. They believe the damaged blood is contributing to post-vaccine coagulation disorders, which in turn contribute to increased malignancies, while graphene-family materials are associated with oxidative stress, DNA damage, inflammation and damage to those parts of the immune system that suppress tumours.

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Gorilla

 

 

A flying gurnard fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 042022
 
 October 4, 2022  Posted by at 8:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Cafe Royan [The Coffee] 1940

 

Developing Developments (Kunstler)
The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Sabotage (Monkeywerx)
Macgregor: US Likely Attacked Nord Stream Pipelines to Isolate Germany (SN)
In Nord Stream Attack, US Sees ‘A Tremendous Opportunity’ (Maté)
Jeffrey Sachs Offers Nord Stream Theory (RT)
Medvedev Comments On Musk’s Ukraine Proposal (RT)
Duma Ratifies Accession Treaties For Donbass, Kherson, Zaporozhye (RT)
Kremlin Comments On Borders Of New Territories (RT)
Kiev’s Counter Attacks On Kherson Have Failed – Official (RT)
British Intelligence Predicted Ukraine War 30 Years Ago (Dec.uk)
Ukraine Grain Deal Not Enough – Moscow (RT)
Belgium Suffers Unplanned Nuclear Reactor Shutdown (RT)
Ukraine Scolds EU Over Aid Delays (RT)
Truss Exposes The Inherent Instability Of Western Democracies (Hryce)
Trump Seeks $475 Million In Defamation Suit Against CNN (ZH)
Hunter Biden Probe to Look Into ‘What Happened in 2020’: Jim Jordan (ET)
The Biggest Problem China Faces Isn’t Real Estate (Balding)

 

 

Best amicus brief ever?!

 

 

Tucker regime change

 

 

 

 

Greenwald Donbass

 

 

Hey! Sanctions!

 

 

 

 

“The Russian negotiation table is open for business. Failing to report to it, Ukraine will have to decide what sort of rump state it will become — a merely half-assed agricultural backwater or a fully ass-blown-off failed state.”

Developing Developments (Kunstler)

What no government official can acknowledge — even among the Euroland victim nations of this awesome stupidity — is that the US demolition of the Nord Streams was an act-of-war against our own allies. By the way, the blogger who styles himself as “Monkey Werx,” notable for tracking the world-wide military flight movements, presents a comprehensive play-by-play of just exactly how the mission was accomplished. I’ll summarize but you can read his full report (click here) for yourself. MW reports that overnight on the 26th of September, a Navy P8 Poseidon submarine-hunter jet flew out of the US to the Baltic. It did not land in the UK to refuel — thus avoiding any tracking complications — but rather rendezvoused over Grudziadz, Poland, with a US Bart-12 mid-air refueling plane, which it hooked up with for more than an hour.

The P8 was equipped with Mk54 air-launched torpedoes. After un-docking from the Bart-12 refueler, the P8 followed a route west along the Nord Stream pipelines, descended to bomb-run altitude, and dropped its weapons. Kaboom. Then, fully refueled, the P8 flew directly back to the USA. Days later, when confronted at the UN by Russia with a yes-or-no question as to US responsibility for the Nord Stream caper, the US representatives refused to answer one way or another. Cute. So, the questions loom: How many more days before Germany and the rest of Euroland begin to apprehend how they have been hosed by America into an economic collapse scenario? (How many days before a team of competent professionals hunts down Klaus Schwab and his colleagues somewhere in Switzerland?) When will the Eurofolk turn on their idiot government leaders and flush them out of office?

When will all (except for psychotic Poland) bail out of the USA’s Ukraine crusade? I will tell you: this will all begin pretty darn soon. And if so, that will be the end of the NATO alliance. Meanwhile, the US-led propaganda campaign has Russia utterly on-the-ropes against a raging and triumphant Ukraine army. Nothing could be further from the truth. Russia made a few tactical retreats the past month in preparation for a final systematic and methodical mopping-up of the remaining Ukraine army. Russia is bringing in Iskander hypersonic missiles, not necessarily nuclear-armed, and will assemble Russian army regulars to replace the mash-up of Donbas militia volunteers who have borne the brunt on the thinly defended line leading to the much talked-about tactical retreat around the Kharkov-Izium-Lyman front. The Russian negotiation table is open for business. Failing to report to it, Ukraine will have to decide what sort of rump state it will become — a merely half-assed agricultural backwater or a fully ass-blown-off failed state.

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“..why fly an aircraft all the way from the United States and not land in the UK for refueling, but instead hook up for an hour plus with another US Air Force refueler out of Germany?”

The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Sabotage (Monkeywerx)

As we sit here today, October 1, 2022, the United States has no official statement on the sabotage although Biden is pushing the standard doublespeak rhetoric and as they say, the best defense is a good offense. There is, however, an official release from the White House back in February 2022 that states the United States will take further action with Germany to end the Nord Stream Pipeline 2. So let’s look at the flight data logically… The United States has Navy P8’s stationed in the UK so why fly an aircraft all the way from the United States and not land in the UK for refueling, but instead hook up for an hour plus with another US Air Force refueler out of Germany? Could it be that the UK’s new Prime Minister would not condone the activity?

We have already seen her call out Nancy Pelosi who we know is a bobblehead and not in line with the New World Order, and we know the new UK PM is indeed a WEF appointee which is part of the NWO. Clearly, the United States did not want to land in the UK or anywhere else for a reason. Could it also be because it was armed with external weapons or they didn’t want any record of the aircraft in the area? Landing would create a log and even though we see them wipe the flight record data, the airport log is still intact. Let’s talk about the P8 weaponry for a minute. The Navy P8 Poseiden has 11 external hardpoints for mounting weapons as well as an internal bomb bay, and one weapon, in particular, is a High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability (HAAWC) system. HAAWC is an all-weather add-on glide kit that enables the Mk54 torpedo to be launched near or below the cruising altitude of the P8 Poseidon.

What that means: the flight path and altitude of the P8 in question are indeed capable of conducting a “bomb run” on the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. Now let’s look at the flight specifics. Note the last flight path just before exiting the area runs right along the pipeline in which they could have released the ordinance and continued their climb out, thus exiting the area and returning to the United States. Also, note the little hump just before the climb out (red arrow). That is consistent with a weapons release. Pitch down, increased AoA, weapon release, little bubble up, then a climb out (the blue line is the inbound leg of the same flight). You may also not the flight path. It circles over the area first, then flies downrange and starts the initial bomb run, then it does a quick readjustment on a final bomb run, releases, and exits immediately.

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“You have several inches of concrete around various metal alloys to move the natural gas. So it’s not something that you could simply drop a grenade down at the end of a fish line and disrupt. ”

Macgregor: US Likely Attacked Nord Stream Pipelines to Isolate Germany (SN)

A former Pentagon advisor says the most likely culprits behind the Nord Stream pipeline blasts are the United States and Britain, and that the attack was carried out to prevent Germany from bailing on the war in Ukraine. Retired US Army colonel Douglas Macgregor made the comments during an appearance on the Judging Freedom podcast. Macgregor said a process of elimination rules out Germany, because they are dependent on Nord Stream for their energy security, while it also served no benefit for Russia to have sabotaged its own infrastructure. “Would the Russians destroy their own pipeline? 40 percent of Russian gross national product or GDP consists of foreign currency that comes into the country to purchase natural gas, oil, coal and so forth. So the Russians did not do this. The notion that they did I think is absurd,” Macgregor said.

Referring to Polish MEP Radoslaw Sikorski’s infamous deleted tweet in which he wrote, “Thank you, USA,” Macgregor noted, “Who else might be involved? Well the Poles apparently seem to be very enthusiastic about it.” However, citing reports that more than 500 kg of TNT had been detected in both explosions, the former Pentagon advisor suggested only the United States and British Royal Navy had the capability to pull off the attack. “Then you have to look at who are the state actors that have the capability to do this. And that means the Royal Navy, the United States Navy Special Operations,” said Macgregor. “I think that’s pretty clear. We know that thousands of pounds of TNT were used because these pipelines are enormously robust. You have several inches of concrete around various metal alloys to move the natural gas. So it’s not something that you could simply drop a grenade down at the end of a fish line and disrupt. That means it takes a certain amount of sophistication,” he added.

Macgregor suggested that the motive behind the attacks was to prevent Germany from bailing on the Ukraine war after Berlin began “to give the impression that they were no longer going to go along with this proxy war in Ukraine.” “I’m hesitant to say ‘we know it must have been Washington’. I can’t say that because we just don’t know. But it’s very clear that we have foreclosed Berlin’s options. Berlin was drifting away from this alliance. [Chancellor] Olaf Scholz said ‘I’m not sending any more equipment, I won’t send any tanks’. Now he’s in a bind because the United States has simply robbed him of the option of bailing out. Who’s going to supply him gas and oil and coal and everything else if he bails out? Where does he turn now? And remember, the Germans, who are facing terrible consequences at home refuse to restart nuclear power plants,” the former official said.

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“Nord Stream 2, Trump declared in July 2018, is a “tragedy.“

In Nord Stream Attack, US Sees ‘A Tremendous Opportunity’ (Maté)

Western sanctions on Russia have already led to job losses, skyrocketing bills, and fears of energy rationing amid forecasts of exceptionally cold temperatures ahead. Just before the Nord Stream blasts, the head of German’s steel federation warned that without Russian energy, “a winter of de-industrialization threatens us in Germany.” Ahead of this feared winter of de-industrialization, Blinken’s optimistic response to a now assured shut-off of Russian gas might seem odd for a top diplomat. But it is perfectly consistent with a longstanding US effort to kill Nord Stream for good. In waging a multi-year campaign against Nord Stream, the US has sought to weaken Russia’s economy; undermine Russian integration with the rest of Europe; preserve lucrative transit fees for the US client state in Ukraine; and increase European dependence on US energy, in particular Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

In short, the “tremendous opportunity” that Blinken draws from the Nord Stream sabotage derives from the very goals that he imputed to Putin: “the weaponization of energy” for “imperial designs.” As one of Blinken’s predecessors, Condoleezza Rice, explained in 2014: “Over the long-run, you simply want to change the structure of energy dependence. You want to depend more on the North America energy platform.” The US drive to promote dependence on North American energy was escalated by President Donald Trump, who imposed sanctions to stop the Nord Stream 2’s construction while urging the German government to buy American LNG instead. Nord Stream 2, Trump declared in July 2018, is a “tragedy.” In his view, “it’s a horrific thing that’s being done, where you’re feeding billions and billions of dollars… primarily from Germany, into the coffers of Russia.”

Trump’s disdain for the “horrific” Russia-Germany energy project strained US relations with both countries. But because his actions contradicted the predominant Russiagate narrative that he was in fact a Kremlin asset being blackmailed to do Vladimir Putin’s bidding, the Nord Stream sanctions were among many confrontational Trump policies toward Russia that went widely ignored at home. Trump’s sanctions on Nord Stream 2 caused such a rift with Germany that Biden, upon taking office, initially waved them. But the Ukraine crisis gave Biden a backdoor opportunity to revive Trump’s quest. As Russian forces amassed on Ukraine’s borders in 2021, Biden pressured Germany to commit to cancelling Nord Stream 2 in the event of an invasion. When the Germans still refused, the White House announced that it would achieve its goal with or without them. “If Russia invades…then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2,” Biden declared on February 7, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at his side. “We will bring an end to it.”

Trump NS2

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Includes Sachs’ role in the Shock Doctrine. Rarely mentioned.

Jeffrey Sachs Offers Nord Stream Theory (RT)

Economist Jeffrey Sachs speculated on Monday that the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines was the work of the US and maybe Poland, to the chagrin of Bloomberg TV hosts who quickly tried to change the subject. Now a professor at Columbia University, Sachs became notorious in Russia for masterminding the “shock therapy” reforms in the 1990s – but has been sharply critical of the West’s approach to the conflict in Ukraine in recent months. Invited to Bloomberg’s ‘Surveillance’ show on Monday, Sachs was asked to comment on Russia he “knew so well” under President Boris Yeltsin. Instead, the hosts scrambled to cut him off after he said the conflict is “on the path of escalation to nuclear war” and did not start in February 2022.

“Most of the world doesn’t see it the way we describe it,” Sachs told Bloomberg’s Tom Keene, at which point co-host Lisa Abramowicz tried to change the subject to inflation in Europe. The EU is in a “very sharp economic downturn,” Sachs agreed. The continent was “getting hammered” by energy shortages, made worse by “the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline which I would bet was a US action – perhaps US and Poland,” he managed to add before Keene cut him off, asking for evidence of that claim. “Well first of all, there’s direct radar evidence that US helicopters, military helicopters that are normally based in Gdansk, were circling over this area. We also had the threats from the US, earlier in this year, that ‘one way or the other, we are going to end Nord Stream.’ We also have the remarkable statement by [US] Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken last Friday in a press conference; he says ‘this is also a tremendous opportunity.’ Sorry, it’s a strange way to talk if you’re worried about piracy on international infrastructure of vital significance,” Sachs retorted.

“I know this runs counter to our narrative, you’re not allowed to say these things in the West, but the fact of the matter is – all over the world, when I talk to people, they think the US did it,” he added. Abramowicz again tried to change the subject, saying Bloomberg couldn’t provide “counterbalance” to what he was saying. Undeterred, Sachs answered the next question by describing the current situation as “the most dangerous moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis” in 1962, with the US picking fights with both Russia and China, without any attempts to de-escalate things. Currently director of the Center for Sustainable Development at New York’s Columbia University, Sachs gained notoriety among the Russians for his “shock therapy” reforms in 1991-1993. The overhaul of the entire Soviet economy ended up destroying the lives of millions of Russians and handing the country’s wealth over to a handful of oligarchs.

Sachs

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“Musk sent hundreds of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites and terminals to Ukraine. Though their stated purpose was humanitarian, Kiev has since admitted to using them for the war effort.”

Medvedev Comments On Musk’s Ukraine Proposal (RT)

After Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Kiev’s online troll army savaged Elon Musk’s proposal for ending the conflict with Russia, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev jokingly called the Tesla and SpaceX founder a “shadowy agent” of the Kremlin, comparing him to Stierlitz, the legendary fictional Soviet spy. “Kudos to [Elon Musk]! However, the shadowy agent has lost the cover. Deserves a new rank, fast. His next tweet will run like, Ukraine is an artificial state. Anticipating…” Medvedev tweeted, in English, on Monday evening. On his Telegram channel, in Russian, instead of “shadowy agent” the former president called Musk “Eustace” – a reference to the code name of the main character in the Soviet-era series ‘17 Moments of Spring,’ better known under his German alias Otto von Stierlitz.


Both references were clearly tongue-in-cheek and poked fun not at Musk, but at the utter hysterics of the Ukrainian government and its online influencers over the American billionaire’s earnest peace proposal. Crimea would remain Russian and have its water supply guaranteed, Ukraine would declare neutrality, and the four regions that just joined Russia hold UN-supervised referendums on their fate, Musk suggested earlier in the day. The poll was quickly swamped by what he called the “biggest bot attack I’ve ever seen.” It wasn’t just Kiev’s info-warriors and their Western NAFO backers, however. Ukraine’s departing ambassador to Germany used some very un-diplomatic language, while President Vladimir Zelensky himself launched a poll asking his followers if they preferred Musk who supported Ukraine over this one, who “supports Russia.” Early on in the conflict, Musk sent hundreds of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites and terminals to Ukraine. Though their stated purpose was humanitarian, Kiev has since admitted to using them for the war effort.

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Russia calmly goes through the legal moves. Important point:

“..accession to Russia is the only way to save the people living in the four former Ukrainian territories from shelling by Ukrainian troops. “The only way to end this is reunification [with Russia],”

Duma Ratifies Accession Treaties For Donbass, Kherson, Zaporozhye (RT)

The State Duma has unanimously ratified the treaties on the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, to the Russian Federation. President Vladimir Putin submitted the documents regarding the four former Ukrainian territories to the lower house of parliament on Sunday. All four voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia in referendums held between September 23 and 27. Addressing legislators before the vote, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that accession will “serve the interests of all people of our multiethnic country.” He added that Kiev had oppressed Russian-speaking people, which made the existence of certain territories within the Ukrainian state impossible.


State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin argued that accession to Russia is the only way to save the people living in the four former Ukrainian territories from shelling by Ukrainian troops. “The only way to end this is reunification [with Russia],” he said. The accession treaties, which were signed by Putin on Friday, were then approved by the Russian Constitutional Court. The next step in the accession process is ratification by the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament. The DPR and LPR broke off from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kiev. Russia recognized them as independent states in February.

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Kremlin is mocked in the west for not knowing exactly what they incorporated. No, because they want to be precise. To that end, Lavrov has been given special powers to negotiate borders.

Kremlin Comments On Borders Of New Territories (RT)

Moscow has yet to determine the future borders of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which are set to be incorporated into Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told journalists. “We will continue to consult with the residents of those regions on the issue of borders,” the official said on Monday. The two former Ukrainian regions voted last month to break away from Kiev and request being accepted into Russia. However, parts of them are still controlled by Ukrainian troops. The issue of borders came up last week, when President Vladimir Putin signed orders recognizing the two regions’ independence. The documents did not include any reference to the demarcation of the territories. When asked by journalists for clarification, Peskov promised to give an answer later.

Further complicating the situation is the fact that Russian forces are in control of a small chunk of Ukraine’s Nikolaev Region, which borders Kherson Region. Vladimir Saldo, the head of the Kherson administration, claimed last week that the land would be incorporated into Russia. This week, the Russian parliament is scheduled to ratify the unification treaties with the two regions, as well as the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. The latter two territories, which were recognized as independent by Russia in February, are defined “by the 2014 borders,” according to Peskov. Russian troops and Donbass militias have since seized much of the disputed land, but not all of it.

Kiev blasted the referendums that paved the way for the accession as a “sham”and reiterated its intention to defeat Russia on the battlefield and oust its troops from all land that it claims as Ukrainian. Moscow said the ballots were a legitimate exercise of the right to self-determination.

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180º different from western and Kiev stories.

Kiev’s Counter Attacks On Kherson Have Failed – Official (RT)

Attempts by Ukrainian forces to break through Russia’s defenses in Kherson Region have been thwarted, the deputy head of the local administration, Kirill Stremousov, has said. In a Telegram post on Monday, Stremousov stated that “everything is under control in the Nikolayev direction,”despite Kiev’s efforts to retake the region. He noted that Ukraine’s forces had advanced southward along the Dnieper River to the village of Dudchany before “taking a beating” from Russian Aerospace Forces. The official admitted that the Ukrainians were able to advance a little bit, but noted that the region’s defense systems were working and that “at the moment, the situation is completely under control.” Stremousov concluded by urging people not to give into panic because of what they hear and read on social media. “This is not Kharkov, this is not [Krasny] Liman, we are holding the fence,” he proclaimed.


Russia’s Defense Ministry has also confirmed repelling the attack, stating that over 400 Ukrainian servicemen, 43 tanks and 89 units of special military equipment were eliminated in the Nikolayev-Krivoy Rog area. The announcement comes as Kiev’s forces have mounted large-scale offensives along several points of engagement with Russia. On Saturday, Russian troops were forced to withdraw from their defensive positions in the town of Krasny Liman in the Donetsk People’s Republic after they were nearly encircled by Ukrainian forces, which had brought in reserves and reached a “considerable superiority in men and material.” It has been noted, however, that the Ukrainian side has been suffering significant casualties in the offensive, having reportedly lost over 500 soldiers (200 dead, 320 injured), as well as ten tanks and 25 infantry fighting vehicles during the attack on Krasny Liman, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

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“It is not entirely clear, even to the Ukrainians, still less to the Russians, that Ukraine is a real country..”

British Intelligence Predicted Ukraine War 30 Years Ago (Dec.uk)

When British intelligence warned that Vladimir Putin was about to attack Ukraine earlier this year, the spooks’ foresight won many plaudits. Yet their prediction mirrored a scenario Whitehall had long known might unfold. In May 1992, just six months after the Soviet Union broke up, Britain’s then Prime Minister John Major was being briefed by his staff. They were concerned about a potential clash between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea. [..] Major’s foreign policy advisor and former ambassador to Moscow, Rodric Braithwaite, wrote a confidential background note that would today be considered heretical. “It is not entirely clear, even to the Ukrainians, still less to the Russians, that Ukraine is a real country,” Braithwaite noted. “Hence the tensions between the two.”

Braithwaite, who went on to chair the Joint Intelligence Committee later in 1992, gave the Prime Minister a potted history of the region, stretching back to the middle ages. He highlighted the “artificial famine which [Soviet leader Joseph] Stalin imposed on the Ukraine in 1930-31, when many millions of peasants were deported or starved to death.” “So it was not surprising then very many Ukrainians greeted the Germans as liberators in 1941, and that large numbers agreed to join the German army”, Braithwaite reasoned, referring to Nazi collaborators during World War II. Although these resistance groups were ultimately defeated by Stalin, Ukrainian nationalism survived as a political movement. “Throughout 1990 the number and size of popular demonstrations for independence swelled,” Braithwaite noted, adding that Russia looked like an “empire” to Ukrainians.

On the other hand, he said: “Russians would simply not recognise the picture. For Russians, the Ukraine is an integral part of Russia, its history and its culture. The Ukrainian language is no more than a dialect”. He went on: “I have not met a single Russian, even among the most sophisticated, who really believes that the Ukraine is now permanently severed from the motherland.” In a candid remark, Braithwaite said: “The Ukrainians know that. They also know that Ukraine itself is divided: between the ultra-nationalist…Western Ukraine…and the East which is predominantly inhabited by ethnic Russians.”

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“In the second half of 2022 we will be able to export up to 30 million tons. This is exactly the volume that we promised within the framework of our agreements with the UN to solve the problem of world hunger..”

Ukraine Grain Deal Not Enough – Moscow (RT)

The deal that unblocked Ukrainian grain exports is not enough to help poor nations put food on the table, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said in an interview with RBK news, published on Monday. “As part of this deal, about 4.6 million tons of agro-industrial products were exported from Ukrainian ports. The main product, a little less than half, was corn, about 1.2 million tons was wheat. Of course, this cannot cover the needs of starving countries, including the need for grain. In fact, it is merely a variation in the global market,” the minister stated. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko recently said that, according to estimations, the global grain market is about 800 million tons.

Patrushev also noted that the main recipients of Ukrainian grain are European countries, which “are not countries that really need it.” The official explained that Russian agricultural products could make a difference, but there are still restrains, which need to be overcome. “There are still barriers that continue to hold back our exports. If we call things by their proper names – these are hidden sanctions on the transportation of [Russian] products… Primarily, it is the limited availability of ships. International logistics companies prefer not to work with our exporters,” the minister explained. He also noted, however, that the problems are being worked out with exporters, and Russian companies which have their own fleet have fewer problems in that area.

According to Patrushev, since the beginning of the agricultural year which stared on July 1, Russia has already delivered about 8.3 million tons of grain to foreign markets, “and the growth rate of exports is increasing every day.” “This season we see an opportunity to supply no less, and maybe even more than 50 million tons of grain to the world market. In the second half of 2022 we will be able to export up to 30 million tons. This is exactly the volume that we promised within the framework of our agreements with the UN to solve the problem of world hunger,” the minister said.

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When it rains.

Belgium Suffers Unplanned Nuclear Reactor Shutdown (RT)

One of Belgium’s six functioning nuclear reactors has shut down unexpectedly, the plant’s operator Engie told VRT News on Monday. The reactor, called Tihange 3, underwent an automatic shutdown at around 8:25am local time at which point “employees then brought the power plant into a safe condition,” the company said. The reasons for the stoppage are unclear but an investigation into the incident has been launched. According to local media, the unexpected shutdown of a reactor that provided 1,038 megawatts of electricity to Belgium would not jeopardize the country’s energy supply. Belgium shut down one of the reactors at its Doel plant “for good” just over a week ago, following through on long-held plans to dismantle its nuclear energy infrastructure even as the EU finds itself in an energy crisis.

Electrabel, which runs the Doel plant, explained that the company was merely fulfilling a 2003 agreement to enact a “gradual phase-out of nuclear energy for industrial electricity production.” Belgium’s reactors had previously supplied half of the country’s electricity needs. All were due to close by 2025 until the government signed a tentative agreement with Electrabel in March to potentially extend the life of the two newest reactors by ten years. This came amid concern about the country’s increasing dependence on fossil fuels, especially from Russia. The unexpectedly stricken Tihange 3 thus had its demise postponed until 2035, as did another reactor at the Doel plant. However, the deal is not binding and efforts to similarly extend the life of the neighboring Tihange 2 reactor past its planned shutdown date of February 1, 2023 were rebuffed in July.

The Belgian government has stressed that clinging to its once-scorned nuclear energy capacity in the EU’s time of need should not be seen as discarding its commitment to renewable energy. At the same time as it revealed the draft agreement to keep Tihange 3 and Doel 4 operational until 2035, it announced a €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) investment in wind, hydrogen, and solar energy “to give a boost to the transition to climate neutrality.” The investment will also pay for small modular nuclear reactors. As early as 2007, Belgian scientists were warning that closing the country’s nuclear plants would double the price of energy, harm the country’s energy independence, and increase its reliance on fossil fuels. Costs are already at or near record highs across the EU due to sanctions on Russian energy, a situation exacerbated by last week’s alleged sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline that had previously carried Russian gas to Europe.

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Bite the hand.

Ukraine Scolds EU Over Aid Delays (RT)

Delays in economic aid from the European Union to Ukraine are “unacceptable” and must be resolved to avert disaster, a senior Ukranian official warned, pointing to massive budget shortfalls as the EU approved another $4.9 billion (€5 billion) assistance package. Speaking to Politico on Monday, a top economic adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Oleg Ustenko, slammed the European bloc after it agreed to send another tranche of aid between mid-October and the end of the year, insisting his country’s needs must be met sooner. “Our minister of finance is under extreme high pressure, when he sends these checks to the military, to pension funds … we have to have this money in his hands. So something like one week or several weeks’ delay is just not acceptable,” Ustenko told the outlet.

While the EU initially approved $8.8 billion (€9 billion) in assistance last May, only a small fraction of that has been sent so far. The latest move would break up a $4.9 billion (€5 billion) payment into three installments to be transferred before the end of 2022, though the rest of the original package likely won’t be sent until next year. Monday’s agreement followed months of debate between EU member states over the exact form the aid should take, with Germany arguing in favor of grants instead of loans. Berlin has accepted a plan to provide the latest $4.9 billion as a loan, but the body has yet to reach a consensus on the remaining funds. Ukraine has heavily relied on foreign aid since Russia’s attack commenced in February, with the country’s economic output taking a massive hit of up to 40% this year and the government facing a budget gap of some $5 billion per month.

While the United States has raced to inject cash into Ukraine, approving some $20 billion in economic and humanitarian assistance alone, the EU has been more hesitant, instead sending a little over $13 billion between all of its members, according to an aid tracking tool created by the Kiel Institute. American weapons transfers to Kiev have also dwarfed those of Europe by nearly ten-fold. Washington has reportedly noticed the disparity, with US officials recently telling Bloomberg that the Joe Biden administration “has pressed Europe to do more” to support Ukraine and take on “more burden sharing.” Talks on future aid from the EU will be held at an upcoming meeting in the German capital later this month, where Ustenko voiced hopes that member states will be convinced to speed up the process, saying “Berlin is going to be just the next step of these discussions.”

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UK is especially unstable. She has, what, two more weeks?

Truss Exposes The Inherent Instability Of Western Democracies (Hryce)

Even fervent believers in the stability of Western democracies must surely have had their faith shaken last week by the extraordinary economic and political crises created by the newly-minted UK prime minister, Liz Truss. In the week after the prime minister’s hand-picked chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, handed down a ‘mini-budget’ on September 23, the English pound crashed; the government bond market took a dive; interest and mortgage rates rose; some mortgage markets shut down; the Bank of England staged a highly unusual fiscal intervention to prevent the collapse of major pension funds; and the IMF criticized Truss in a manner usually reserved for the leaders of debt-ridden banana republics. The global importance of these events and the ongoing economic and political disruption that they will inevitably cause should not be underestimated.

Political commentator Alastair Campbell, formerly Tony Blair’s chief of staff, accurately described last week as “the week that everything changed.” Quite simply, the fact that the Truss mini-budget provided for billions of pounds worth of unfunded and uncosted tax cuts – including, most provocatively, a cut in the 45% top level income tax rate – caused the financial markets to register a serious vote of no confidence in the Truss government, with all the attendant consequences that followed. Incidentally, the events of last week show where real power ultimately lies in the West – and it is definitely not with politicians. Truss’s mini-budget is, of course, a product of the crude neo-liberal economic ideology that she so fanatically believes in, and which proved decisive in attracting the 80,000 or so Thatcher-worshipping members of the Tory party that anointed Truss prime minister only a few weeks ago.

Faced with an economic disaster entirely of her own making – one of her first acts as prime minister was to sack the head of the Treasury – Truss simply doubled down, and retreated petulantly to her Downing Street bunker. She did emerge briefly late last week to do a round of disastrous radio interviews with regional BBC stations – in which Truss continued to robotically tout the benefits of ‘trickle-down economics’, and (unsuccessfully) tried to blame the economic crisis entirely on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the conflict in Ukraine. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of commentators in the UK – irrespective of their political affiliations – have been strongly critical of the Truss mini-budget and the prime minister herself. Even Daily Telegraph columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard accused Truss of having “embarked on a course of sheer madness.”

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The Nic Sandmann case may have opened some venues.

Trump Seeks $475 Million In Defamation Suit Against CNN (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against CNN tonight, claiming the so-called news outlet defamed him in an effort to reduce his chances of running for president again in 2024. The suit, which was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, alleges Trump has been a “long-time critic” of CNN, “not because CNN does a bad job of reporting the news, but because CNN seeks to create the news.” “CNN’s campaign of dissuasion in the form of libel and slander against the Plaintiff has only escalated in recent months as CNN fears the Plaintiff will run for president in 2024,” the suit reads. “As a part of its concerted effort to tilt the political balance to the Left, CNN has tried to taint the Plaintiff with a series of ever-more scandalous, false, and defamatory labels of ‘racist,’ ‘Russian lackey,’ ‘insurrectionist,’ and ultimately ‘Hitler.’”

Trump seeks $475 million in punitive damages, alleging that CNN “has sought to use its massive influence – purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source – to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.” The former president notified the outlet in July of his intention to sue for “repeated defamatory statements.” Trump also warned he would sue other outlets he alleges have “defamed and defrauded the public” about the 2020 presidential election results.

As a reminder, Trump had a lawsuit against 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and former top FBI officials tossed in early September by U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks, who said Trump was “seeking to flaunt a two-hundred-page political manifesto outlining his grievances against those that have opposed him, and this Court is not the appropriate forum.” That is “a high legal bar to clear given First Amendment protections granted to the free press under the Constitution,” according to The Hill. “The New York Times, for example, has not lost a defamation case in more than 50 years.” However, as JustTheNews reports, winning such a case is not impossible, however. Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann successfully secured considerable financial settlements from both CNN and the Washington Post for their coverage of a controversy that suggested the high schooler instigated a confrontation with an Indian activist.

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“51 former intelligence officials signed a letter..”

Hunter Biden Probe to Look Into ‘What Happened in 2020’: Jim Jordan (ET)

If the GOP takes a majority in the House, one of the “key elements” of its investigatory plans into Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, next year will involve looking into “what happened in 2020,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). Just weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the New York Post ran a story about Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings in Ukraine and China, which was promptly dismissed as dubious by mainstream media outlets and suppressed on social media platforms. At the time, 51 former intelligence officials signed a letter claiming that the New York Post’s story had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” In an interview with Breitbart, Jordan said that he wants to know on what intelligence the 51 former officials based their letter.

“We had 51 former intelligence officials tell us that this was Russian disinformation. We had the FBI sit down with Facebook and say, ‘Hey, be careful, wink wink. We think there’s Russian disinformation.’ … All that was done to suppress that story, which had an impact on how people voted in the most important election we have, the election for president of the United States,” Jordan told Breitbart. “Did someone from The New York Times tell them something? Did someone from the FBI leak some false—was it this Timothy Thibault, who [has] since left the FBI, who suppressed that information at the FBI? I want to know. That’s pretty important stuff, so I really want to look into that angle.”

Most of the investigative activities related to Hunter Biden would be headquartered at the Oversight Committee, with Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) expected to lead it. Jordan will continue to remain a member and chair of the Judiciary. Comer plans to look into Hunter Biden’s suspicious banking and business transactions, he added.

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They cannot have a real weight in a reserve currency basket. Not when Xi can devalue by 50% tomorrow morning just because he’s constipated. Nobody wants the yuan, including the Chinese.

The Biggest Problem China Faces Isn’t Real Estate (Balding)

After it joined the World Trade Organization in 2000 and anchored the Chinese yuan (a.k.a. renminbi) to the U.S. dollar, China linked its economy to the United States. Enforcing a fixed exchange rate regime with strict capital controls, China benefited from large inflows and relatively low-interest rates due largely to the low-interest rate environment in the United States. What happens to the Chinese economy when interest rates increase in the United States? Sovereign currency policy faces the intractable dilemma of what economists call the “impossible trinity.” Countries can have a fixed exchange rate, free capital flow, or sovereign monetary policy but must choose only two of three. Economics textbooks give clean and clear definitions of each. Still, in reality, China tried to manipulate each and come out worse due to its attempts to manipulate the laws of economics.

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) technocrats attempted to create a system where they could enjoy the best of the three options and leave behind the worst parts. China implemented a quasi-fixed exchange rate, which is effectively a U.S. dollar index, with tightly controlled capital flows, and a semi-sovereign monetary policy. What almost no one noticed with the convoluted creation of Chinese currency policy attempting to adhere to the ‘impossible trinity’ was that for the last 20 years, China benefited from business cycle synchronization with the United States. Because the yuan was tied directly to the U.S. dollar and the United States kept interest rates low, China could keep its interest rates low. Now that the Federal Reserve (Fed) is raising interest rates, what impact will this have on China?

First, the days of easy money flows to China are over. For large parts of the last 20 years, Chinese interest rates were 3-5 percent higher than the United States. With either a fixed or semi-fixed exchange rate, this gave investors in China access to easy higher returns. With portfolio returns and foreign direct investment based upon interest rate differentials between the United States and China, this drew investor capital with fixed or heavily managed exchange rates creating easy returns. Investors have soured on China as an investment destination for a range of reasons. But when baseline returns are higher in U.S. government debt without any of the China issues, the financial motivation will dry up the biggest reason to send money.

Second, this will place enormous upward pressure on Chinese interest rates right as China’s economy is teetering. For most of the period since 2000, the Chinese and U.S. economies have been highly correlated. This allowed Chinese interest rates to follow the United States and enjoy a sustained period of low-cost money. However, now as the Fed is seeking to tamp down inflation and overheated demand, China is suffering through its weakest economy in probably post-opening up history.

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The atlas moth has wings that mimick two cobras watching her back.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sep 292022
 


Kazimir Malevich Sportsmen 1931

 

A Possible Strategy For Peace (Gav Don)
American Roulette (Batiushka)
Fourth Leak Found On Nord Stream Pipelines, Swedish Coast Guard Says (R.)
Nord Stream Damage Might Be Irreparable (RT)
Denmark Comments On Future Of Nord Stream (RT)
Lugansk Republic And Kherson Region Appeal To Moscow (RT)
Germany and EU Have Been Handed Over A Declaration Of War (Escobar)
Poland Wants ‘Devastating’ Retaliation Against Russia (RT)
Poland Attacks Germany And Blames Russia (John Helmer)
The Anglo-American Axis Benefits (Korybko)
Kremlin Says Nord Stream Explosions ‘A Big Problem For Russia’ (RT)
Russia Issues Emergency Call To UN Security Council (RT)
Brussels ‘Imposes’ Anti-Russia Sanctions On EU Members – Orban (RT)
EU To Ban Russian Toilet Paper (RT)
Giorgia On Our Mind (Escobar)

 

 

 

 

More Meloni

 

 

 

 

 

 

Record debt + record drawdown = strong dollar.

 

 

RIP

 

 

 

 

“If a negotiated peace is not available Moscow can still opt for an imposed one, in which it would complete the occupation of Donetsk Oblast and call a unilateral halt to offensive operations.”

A Possible Strategy For Peace (Gav Don)

Notwithstanding the Nordstream attacks it is possible to see, inside the announcements and moves that have emerged this week, the skeleton of a Russian strategy towards a negotiated peace with Kyiv. An uncomfortable one, to be sure, but peace nevertheless. If a negotiated peace is not available Moscow can still opt for an imposed one, in which it would complete the occupation of Donetsk Oblast and call a unilateral halt to offensive operations. Presented with that fait accompli Kyiv is likely to continue its present policy of shelling civilians in Russian-occupied territory wherever its guns can reach – a policy in blatant breach of the Law of Armed Conflict but one which has been consistently and thoroughly ignored by the major media channels in both Europe and the USA, and even by Turkish and Iraq media.

An enforced peace would therefore require Russia to create and police an effective artillery “no fire” zone for some 20 kms west of its new imposed border with Ukraine, and a “no-rocket” zone for another 50 kms on top. Russia’s present artillery and rocket forces cannot do that, since Ukrainian artillery can evade counterbattery fire by the tactic of “shoot and scoot”. Russian air forces are also unable to enforce a no-fire zone because at high altitude they are vulnerable to a SAM shoot-down, and at low altitude to the widespread presence of Man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS). To create an effective no-fire zone Russia needs a force of unmanned drones capable of delivering 20-40 kgs of high explosive within 2 metres of their targets, both stationary and evading counterfire in “scoot” mode.

These drones would have to be sufficiently numerous to give saturation coverage day and night, working in pairs (so that one of the pair can engage MANPADS and SAM launchers which target the other member of the pair), and cheap enough to be disposable. At the start of the war Russia did not have a drone with those specifications, but now it does. The 1,000 or so Shahed 136 drones ordered this month are beginning to arrive (the first examples of 136 wreckage with their distinctive wingtips have now appeared in Ukraine). Russia has renamed the model the Geranium.

The 136 is an ideal candidate for enforcing a deep no-fire zone. Its 36 kg warhead can completely destroy a heavy artillery piece, a mortar or a Multiple Launch Rocket launch truck. The 136 can loiter for some 20 hours at heights well above the reach of MANPADs, before being dived onto the target by its operator. It can also carry out a chase of a moving target (it was a 136 which hit the bridge of the merchant ship Mercer Street while under way off Oman last year), and can break away and re-attack repeatedly if the target evades successfully.

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“..when you depend on that someone else for vital gas, oil, fertiliser, wheat, paper, titanium etc, maybe you really should after all make an effort to understand their viewpoint.”

American Roulette (Batiushka)

1. Another Ukraine There will always be an East Slav-speaking country between south-eastern Poland and south-western Russia, whatever it will be called. However, in the future it will be a country within its natural borders, occupied only by those who voluntarily identify with the government and culture in their capital of Kiev. Moreover, deNazified, it will present no military, biological or nuclear threat to its neighbours and will be independent of geopoliticians in Washington and Brussels.

2. Another Russia As a result of the War against NATO, Russia will be freed of the froth of Westernised sycophants formed in the 1990s, the liberal chattering classes, called in Russian ‘the creative class’. The 5% who are enserfed to the West and its overpriced consumer baubles are only repeating the treason of the Westernised ruling class and traitors from before 1917 who also wasted their fortunes on overpriced Western consumer baubles. Those who will continue to behave like chimpanzees with regard to their Western lords and masters should go and live in the West, if they have not already fled Russian justice for Finland, Georgia or elsewhere. Russia at war against NATO (= the US) is a land that needs patriots, not traitors.

3. Another Europe At the present time Central and Western Europe risk ‘Donbassisation’ as a result of US demands for absolute obedience to their anti-Russian tyranny, known as ‘sanctions’. This means that NATO-ised Central and Western Europe will become deindustrialised, impoverished, cold, hungry and also left defenceless, as their arms will have been destroyed in the Ukraine. However, it is only at that low point that they will begin to understand that their future is not across the Atlantic, but next door, with Eastern Europe and Eurasia, the gateway to Asian growth and prosperity.

4. Another World Seven billion of the eight billion people of the world, 87.5% of the planet, await the day of freedom from Western imperialism, exploitation and nuclear threats, aspiring to humanity, truth, justice and prosperity. Their only hope is the coming Russian victory over the US. Once that is here, much will fall back into its natural place. Asia with China and India, Africa, Latin America and all the Western peoples (basically, Western and Central Europe, North America and Oceania), so long oppressed by the gloomy darkness of the feudal Western elite, will be able to follow in Russian footsteps and walk, at first dazzled, into the bright daylight of freedom.

In 1939, quite infamously, Winston Churchill expressed his extraordinary ethnocentric ignorance by calling Russia ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’. Like many ignorant people, he was of course talking about himself. When you cannot be bothered to understand someone else’s viewpoint, just call it ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’. You will then have successfully defined yourself as a blinkered and selfish narcissist. The only thing is, when you depend on that someone else for vital gas, oil, fertiliser, wheat, paper, titanium etc, maybe you really should after all make an effort to understand their viewpoint. Otherwise, they will definitely consider your death-wish, the totally suicidal behaviour of your American Roulette as, ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’.

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No surprise.

Fourth Leak Found On Nord Stream Pipelines, Swedish Coast Guard Says (R.)

Sweden’s coast guard discovered a fourth gas leak on the damaged Nord Stream pipelines earlier this week, a spokesperson told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper. The European Union suspects sabotage was behind the gas leaks on the subsea Russian pipelines to Europe and has promised a “robust” response to any intentional disruption of its energy infrastructure. “Two of these four are in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone,” coast guard spokesperson Jenny Larsson told the paper late on Wednesday. The other two breaches are in the Danish exclusive economic zone.


The coast guard did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Thursday. While neither pipeline was in use at the time of the suspected blasts, they were filled with gas that has been spewing out in the Baltic Sea since Monday’s ruptures. The fourth leak was on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, in close proximity to a larger hole found on the nearby Nord Stream 1, the Swedish coast guard said.

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This looks overdone. Maybe go look first?! They will have to take out damaged pipes anyway. Once that is done, the salt will be removed with pressurized gas. An issue only if it takes years to repair.

Nord Stream Damage Might Be Irreparable (RT)

What is being touted as potential sabotage on the Russian Nord Stream gas pipelines might have dealt them irreparable damage, Germany’s Tagesspiegel reported on Wednesday, citing “government circles.” The two pipelines were seriously damaged earlier this week. If the damage is not repaired quickly enough, too much salty sea water could run into the pipes lying at the bottom of the Baltic Sea and irreversibly corrode them, German officials have warned, according to the news media outlet. Denmark said on Wednesday that its authorities would be able to launch a probe into the issue no sooner than in a week or two due to “safety concerns,” Tagesspiegel added. The media outlet does not mention any plans for repair work by either Russia or Germany.

A group of senior German MPs were quick to point the finger at Russia and blame Moscow for the incident. “An attack on the energy supply infrastructure is intended to spread fear and terror,” Roderich Kiesewetter, a German MP and spokesman for crisis prevention for the Conservative Union parliamentary group, told the RND media group. “Therefore, it is likely that Russia is trying … to stir up uncertainty among the European population” and supposedly demonstrate its ability to attack critical infrastructure, he added, accusing Moscow of employing a “state terrorism” approach. The head of the German parliament’s Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, told journalists that “it cannot be ruled out that [such attacks] will be directed by Russia in order to shake our markets.”

She also used the occasion to call on Germany and the EU to “free” themselves from the “dependence on Russian raw materials as quickly as possible.” Danish authorities confirmed leaks on the pipelines on Monday after their operator reported a loss of pressure on both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines earlier that day. Danish and Swedish authorities then spoke of a series of undersea explosions in the area. Russian, American, and Swedish authorities said the leaks might have been the result of a deliberate attack. The EU vowed “the strongest possible response” to any attacks on its active energy infrastructure but stopped short of naming any suspects in the Nord Stream incident. Russia branded the incident a “terrorist attack” and said it would summon a UN Security Council meeting over it.

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Maybe not so irreparable.

“German gas pipeline grid company Gasunie Deutschland said the damage could be repaired. “There are good teams in place to handle pipeline accidents, there are emergency pipe inventories and experts for onshore and offshore..”

Denmark Comments On Future Of Nord Stream (RT)

More than half of all of the gas contained in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines has spilled out, the head of the Danish Energy Agency, Kristoffer Boettzauw, told journalists on Wednesday. The pipelines suffered a leak on Monday following what many officials suspect to have been a deliberate attack. Gas will keep leaving the pipes until at least the end of the week, Boettzauw said, speaking about a future investigation into the incident. Only after the pipes run out of gas can the Danish authorities “try to get out and investigate what the cause is, and approach the pipes,” he added. The ongoing emissions are not poisonous, the nation’s specialists said, according to the media.


Denmark’s energy agency also said that the leaks could discharge an equivalent of one third of Denmark’s total annual greenhouse emissions. The pipelines’ operators told the Danish authorities that the damaged pipes contained a total of 778 million standard cubic meters of natural gas. Earlier, the German media warned that the pipes could be rendered permanently inoperable if the damage was not repaired before sea water got into the pipes and corroded them. German gas pipeline grid company Gasunie Deutschland said the damage could be repaired. “There are good teams in place to handle pipeline accidents, there are emergency pipe inventories and experts for onshore and offshore,” its managing director, Jens Schumann, told Reuters, adding that he was “relatively optimistic” about the prospect of repair work.

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Russia is bringing troops to the regions, some newly conscripted, AND some from the northern Ukraine border.

Lugansk Republic And Kherson Region Appeal To Moscow (RT)

The leader of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) and his counterpart in Kherson Region have officially asked President Vladimir Putin to be accepted into the Russian Federation. The move follows referendums on joining Russia, where the overwhelming majority voted in favor. In a video address published on Wednesday, LPR leader Leonid Pasechnik said the republic’s residents have not received support from any country other than Russia, and have been continuously bombarded by Kiev’s forces for the past eight years. Vladimir Saldo, leader of Ukraine’s Kherson Region, which is now mostly controlled by Russian forces, penned a similar address to Putin on Wednesday. In his letter, he also asked for his territory to be accepted into Russia, stating that the people of Kherson have expressed their desire to “reunite” with the country, which has “always lived in their hearts.”


The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR), along with Kherson Region and part of Zaporozhye Region in southern Ukraine, voted to join Russia in referendums that were held between September 23 and 27. While the process of officially integrating these new provinces into the Russian Federation may take some time, as it requires approval from parliament and the president, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has expressed optimism that it will be done “fast enough.” Meanwhile, the EU and the US have called the referendums a “sham” and have vowed to “never recognize” the regions as part of the Russian Federation.

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“The crucial vector is that we may be facing the case of a EU/NATO member involved in an act of sabotage against the number one EU/NATO economy. That’s a casus belli.”

Germany and EU Have Been Handed Over A Declaration Of War (Escobar)

It gets curiouser and curiouser when we know that simultaneously to the sabotage the Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland was partially opened, a “new gas supply corridor” servicing “the Danish and Polish markets”: actually a minor affair, considering months ago their sponsors were in trouble finding gas, and now it will be even harder, with much higher costs. NS2 had already been attacked – in the open – all along its construction. Back in February, Polish ships actively tried to prevent the Fortuna pipe-laying vessel from finishing NS2. The pipes were being laid south of – you guessed it – Bornholm. NATO for its part has been very active on the underwater drones department.

The Americans have access to long distance Norwegian underwater drones which can be modified with other designs. Alternatively, professional navy clearance divers could have been employed in the sabotage – even as tidal currents around Bornholm are a serious matter. The Big Picture reveals the collective West in absolute panic, with Atlanticist “elites” willing to resort to anything – outrageous lies, assassinations, terrorism, sabotage, all out financial war, support to neo-Nazis – to prevent their descent into a geopolitical and geoeconomic abyss. Disabling NS and NS2 represents the definitive closure of any possibility of a German-Russia deal on gas supplies, with the added benefit of relegating Germany to the lowly status of absolute US vassal.

So that brings us to the key question of which Western intel apparatus designed the sabotage. Prime candidates are of course CIA and MI6 – with Poland set up as the fall guy and Denmark playing a very dodgy part: it’s impossible that Copenhagen was not at least “briefed” on the intel. Prescient as ever, as early as in April 2021 Russians were asking questions about the military security of Nord Stream. The crucial vector is that we may be facing the case of a EU/NATO member involved in an act of sabotage against the number one EU/NATO economy. That’s a casus belli. Outside of the appalling mediocrity and cowardice of the current administration in Berlin, it’s clear that the BND – German intel – as well as the German Navy and informed industrialists sooner or later will do the math.

This was far from an isolated attack. On September 22 there was an attempt against Turkish Stream by Kiev saboteurs. The day before, naval drones with English language IDs were found in Crimea, suspected of being part of the plot. Add to it US helicopters overflying the future sabotage nodes weeks ago; a UK “research” vessel loitering in Danish waters since mid-September; and NATO tweeting about the testing of “new unmanned systems at sea” on the same day of the sabotage. [..] Gazprom is threatening to sue the Ukrainian energy company Naftofgaz for unpaid bills. That would lead to the end of Russian gas transiting Ukraine towards the EU.

As if all of that was not serious enough, Germany is contractually obligated to purchase at least 40 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year until 2030. Just say no? They can’t: Gazprom is legally entitled to get paid even without shipping gas. That’s the spirit of a long-term contract. And it’s already happening: because of sanctions, Berlin does not get all the gas it needs but still needs to pay.

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“..the Russian military doctrine, which states that nuclear weapons may only be employed if such arms or other weapons of mass destruction are being targeted at the country or its being faced with an existential threat from conventional arms.”

Poland Wants ‘Devastating’ Retaliation Against Russia (RT)

NATO’s response to any use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine must be “devastating” but only employ conventional arms, as Moscow’s threat is not directed at the bloc, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau has said. “To the best of our knowledge, Putin is threatening to use tactical nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil, not to attack NATO, which means that NATO should respond in a conventional way,” Rau claimed during his Wednesday’s appearance on NBC News program Meet the Press. “But the response should be devastating. And I suppose this is the clear message that the NATO alliance is sending to Russia right now,” the minister pointed out.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that “the consequences would be horrific” for Russian if it uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, adding that this message has already been communicated to the Russian leadership publicly and privately. The warning followed an address by Vladimir Putin a week ago, in which he announced partial mobilization in Russia and slammed “some senior officials in NATO states” for suggesting that deploying nuclear weapons against Russia was justified. The President made it clear that such a move won’t be left unanswered by Russia, reminding that it has its own arsenal of destructive weapons, some of which surpass their Western-counterparts. “If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff,” Putin stated.

Over the past week, the US and allies have increased intelligence gathering and surveillance over concerns that signs that Russia decides to deploy nukes could “come too late,” Politico reported on Tuesday. According to US officials, who talked to the outlet, air, space and cyberspace monitoring of Russian units in Ukraine that could potentially receive the nuclear order from the Kremlin has been stepped up, with special attention also being paid to Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad. Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov reiterated last week that “we are not threatening anyone with nuclear weapons.” He referred the journalists to the Russian military doctrine, which states that nuclear weapons may only be employed if such arms or other weapons of mass destruction are being targeted at the country or its being faced with an existential threat from conventional arms.

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John Helmer is sure it was Poland. He approaches the issue in a different way than I did yesterday. I simply asked: Cui bono?

“This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.”

Poland Attacks Germany And Blames Russia (John Helmer)

The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island, was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces. It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The operation is a repeat of the Bornholm Bash operation of April 2021, which attempted to sabotage Russian vessels laying the gas pipes, but ended in ignominious retreat by the Polish forces. That was a direct attack on Russia. This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.

Morawiecki is bluffing. “It is a very strange coincidence,” he has announced, “that on the same day that the Baltic Gas Pipeline opens, someone is most likely committing an act of sabotage. This shows what means the Russians can resort to in order to destabilize Europe. They are to blame for the very high gas prices”. The truth bubbling up from the seabed at Bornholm is the opposite of what Morawiecki says. But the political value to Morawiecki, already running for the Polish election in eleven months’ time, is his government’s claim to have solved all of Poland’s needs for gas and electricity through the winter — when he knows that won’t come true.

Inaugurating the 21-year old Baltic Pipe project from the Norwegian and Danish gas networks, Morawiecki announced: “This gas pipeline is the end of the era of dependence on Russian gas. It is also a gas pipeline of security, sovereignty and freedom not only for Polish, but in the future, also for others…[Opposition Civic Platform leader Donald] Tusk’s government preferred Russian gas. They wanted to conclude a deal with the Russians even by 2045…thanks to the Baltic Pipe, extraction from Polish deposits, LNG supply from the USA and Qatar, as well as interconnection with its neighbours, Poland is now secured in terms of gas supplies.”

Baltic Pipe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1574954366456700928

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While Andrew Korybko, American living in Moscow, feels sure it is NOT Poland.

The Anglo-American Axis Benefits (Korybko)

The unprecedented damage done to the Nord Stream pipelines Monday night was certainly an act of sabotage exactly as Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Russia suspect, though nobody can agree on who carried out this ecological terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea. Kiev, however, predictably blamed Russia for destroying its own pipeline in a remix of its earlier conspiracy theory alleging that Russia regularly bombs the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant that’s also under its control. That ridiculous scenario can therefore reasonably be ruled out, especially since Moscow could just keep the tap turned off for technical reasons without risking getting caught sabotaging its own pipelines in NATO-controlled waters.

Continental European countries like Poland also shouldn’t be suspected either even though that aspiring regional leader’s newly inaugurated Baltic Pipe from Norway makes it a major energy player nowadays. There’s just too much risk of serious ecological blowback to that country’s direct interests to justify carrying out such an act of terrorism just to forever cripple its only potential pipeline competitor, the two Nord Streams. That said, the attack nevertheless does indeed serve Poland’s larger interests for exactly that reason even if it most likely wasn’t behind what happened or had any advance knowledge about it, which is why suspicion should fall on its allies in the Anglo-American Axis (AAA).

Both have an interest in dividing and ruling the EU by facilitating Poland’s rise as a continental Great Power capable of eventually competing with the bloc’s de facto German leader (at least in Central & Eastern Europe [CEE]), which was explained in my mid-September analysis about how “Poland’s Hyping Up The German Threat To Central Europe To Consolidate Its Regional Influence”. In order to knock Germany out of the geopolitical and geo-economic game for good, the AAA must not only successfully trick it into committing economic suicide through its compliance with the anti-Russian sanctions, but also destroy any chance of a strategically meaningful rapprochement with Russia in the future.

Sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines accomplishes precisely that by completely disincentivizing Germany from potentially clinging to whatever energy-driven plans it might have for eventually repairing relations with Russia. With that scenario confidently discounted after Monday night’s ecological terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea, which also served the purpose of making Poland among the continent’s most pivotal energy hubs, Germany might also figure that it doesn’t have anything more to lose vis a vis Russia by possibly being the first country to send cutting-edge battle tanks to Kiev. This artificially manufactured strategic inertia would thus doom Russian-German relations for decades. Considering these outcomes, both immediate and emerging, there’s no doubt that the AAA benefits the most from the ecological terrorist attack that was just carried out in the Baltic Sea against the two Nord Stream pipelines. They’re insulated from the consequences of the ecological disaster that they created and are thus able to advance their grand strategic goals without any cost to themselves.

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“American LNG suppliers, on the other hand, have been making incredible profits after having multiplied their deliveries to the European continent, Peskov pointed out, adding that these companies are “very interested in maintaining these super-duper profits in the future.”

Kremlin Says Nord Stream Explosions ‘A Big Problem For Russia’ (RT)

Moscow has denounced as “stupid and absurd” any allegations of its being behind the suspected explosions of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines earlier this week, stating that the incident actually creates many issues for Russia. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov explained that the damage to the pipelines posed a “big problem” for Russia as it had essentially lost its gas supply routes to Europe. Both lines of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline were pumped full of gas and were prepared to deliver it to Europe at the time of the alleged explosion, said Peskov, adding that “this gas is very expensive and now it is all going up in the air.”

Peskov also noted that neither Russia nor Europe had anything to gain from the destruction of the pipelines, especially Germany, for which this incident poses a threat to the future development of its industry, as well as its profitability and competitiveness. American LNG suppliers, on the other hand, have been making incredible profits after having multiplied their deliveries to the European continent, Peskov pointed out, adding that these companies are “very interested in maintaining these super-duper profits in the future.” While no suspects behind the incident have officially been named, the Kremlin spokesperson advised against making any official announcements before a proper investigation into the incident is carried out.

Peskov did, however, draw attention to US President Joe Biden’s statements from early February, when the American leader threatened to “bring an end” to Nord Stream 2. “What the US president meant by that, we don’t know,” admitted the Kremlin official, but highlighted the “borderline insane hysterical-euphoric reaction” of Polish officials who have already thanked Washington for sabotaging the pipeline. The Kremlin’s response comes after some European and Kiev officials, including President Vladimir Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podolyak, suggested that the attack on the pipeline was a “false flag” operation carried out by Russia in order to make Ukraine look bad and to further drive energy prices up in the EU.

However, after the former Polish FM publicly thanked the US for the apparent sabotage on Twitter, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova urged the EU to treat the US as the possible culprit behind the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines. She said Moscow would call for a UN Security Council session over the incident. A number of Western nations have repeatedly opposed Russia’s undersea pipelines delivering gas to Europe, both before and after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. The recently built Nord Stream 2 network, which never went into operation due to Germany’s refusal to certify it, has drawn particular opposition from countries like the US and Poland, which has called for the pipeline to be “totally scrapped.”

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As multiple countries want to kick Russia off the council.

Russia Issues Emergency Call To UN Security Council (RT)

Moscow wishes to call an emergency UN Security Council session over the “provocations” at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday in a Telegram post. Both pipelines were severely damaged earlier this week in what many suspect was a deliberate attack. Danish authorities confirmed gas leaks from the pipelines not far from the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea on Monday after the operator reported a loss of pressure in both Nord Stream 1 and 2. Swedish and Danish authorities later confirmed a series of undersea explosions had been detected before the leaks were confirmed.

Russian, American, and Swedish officials all said that the damage might have been the result of a targeted attack on pipeline infrastructure. No suspects behind the incident have officially been named, although in a tweet former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski “thanked” Washington for destroying the pipeline. Moscow, which called the incident a “terrorist attack,”also named the US as a potential suspect. Several high-ranking German MPs have pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of attempts to “stir up uncertainty among the European population.”

There has been no shortage of threats from sfome Western nations against Russian undersea pipelines, particularly Nord Stream 2 both before and after late February, when Moscow sent troops into Ukraine. It had been ready to pump gas since September last year, but was not put into operation due to Germany’s refusal to certify it. Polish President Andrzej Duda demanded last month that the pipeline be “totally scrapped.” US President Joe Biden warned in early February, before Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, that if Moscow acts against Kiev, “there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.” A journalist asked him to clarify what exactly he meant, to which Biden responded: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.”

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He resorts to democracy (!), with national consultations. Can’t have that. If the people decide, we’ll have …. anarchy!

Brussels ‘Imposes’ Anti-Russia Sanctions On EU Members – Orban (RT)

The EU has forced anti-Russia sanctions upon the people of the bloc’s member states, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday, as he announced the launch at home of national consultations on the matter. Brussels did not ask Europeans about their opinion on the sanctions policy but made them pay the price as restrictions it imposed on Russia backfired, Orban said, in a series of posts on Facebook. The EU sanctions introduced over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine “will cause huge damage to Europe,” he warned, adding that the restrictions had already made “Europeans poorer”because of skyrocketing energy prices. “It is time to get honest about it with our American friends. Until it is too late,” the prime minister said, pointing to the role the US played in the global sanctions campaign against Russia.

The sanctions have failed to end the conflict in Ukraine, Orban argued, adding that they also appear to hurt Europe more than Russia. Hungary is heavily dependent on Russian energy supply. It has also been one of the staunchest opponents of Brussels’ energy sanctions against Moscow and in particular opposed banning imports of Russian oil until it was granted a waiver by Brussels. Budapest still declared a state of emergency over tightening energy supplies this summer. On Wednesday, Orban confirmed the plans to hold the national consultations on the EU sanctions imposed against Russia, saying that he’d asked “everyone to have their say, because we can only put an end to rising energy prices by acting together.” Hungary is the first EU nation to do so.

The developments come amid an ongoing energy crunch in the EU. Since the start of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine in late February, gas prices have climbed to record highs in Europe. In late July, EU member states agreed on a plan to reduce their gas consumption by 15% over the coming months, to increase the bloc’s energy security at a time when it seeks to rid itself of its dependence on Russian energy. Russia also reduced its gas exports to Europe, citing technical issues related to sanctions the West imposed over Russia’s military action. Massive gas leaks on the Russian Nord Stream pipelines, which have allegedly been a result of a targeted attack, has sent gas prices in Europe further up.

The prices have been climbing up for quite some time, leaving some EU nations, including Germany –the EU’s economic powerhouse– in a bind. In early September, Germany’s largest gas importer, Uniper, requested additional financial aid from the government as it was struggling to replace missing Russian gas supplies despite already receiving billions of euro to cover gas purchases. The operators of the Large Hadron Collider – the European nuclear research center (CERN) – also admitted in September that the ongoing energy crisis threatens the operation of the world’s largest particle accelerator. It could be shut down to decrease the energy consumption burden at peak demand periods, CERN said at that time.

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As EU companies can’t produce because of energy prices.

EU To Ban Russian Toilet Paper (RT)

Seeking to deprive Moscow of trade revenue over the conflict in Ukraine, the EU has proposed banning the import of Russian-made hygiene products, from soap and shaving needs to toilet paper and deodorant. The eighth wave of anti-Russian sanctions, unveiled in Brussels on Wednesday, would also ban the import of several steel products and attempt to impose a price cap on Russian oil. “We do not accept the sham referenda and any kind of annexation in Ukraine, and we are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further escalation,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced in Brussels. According to her, the proposed sanctions package is expected to deprive Russia of “an additional 7 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in revenues.”

The scheme requires EU residents to make do without Russian-made “beauty or make-up” products, shaving supplies, “personal deodorants,” dental floss, soap, and toilet paper, according to Politico. Von der Leyen’s announcement comes just days after one of Germany’s pioneer toilet paper manufacturers, Hakle, filed for bankruptcy citing the skyrocketing prices of energy and source materials. Hakle and other German companies had asked the federal government to cap the energy price as a way of staying solvent – but that was before a series of explosions on Monday damaged the two Nord Stream pipelines and cut off Germany from Russian natural gas, perhaps permanently. Meanwhile, government officials have been instructing Germans to shower less and use washcloths, to save on hot water.

Commenting on the proposed sanctions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that between the sanitation products and water savings, “one involuntarily recalls the famous letter from 200 years ago,” in which the French Emperor Napoleon allegedly told his wife Josephine, “Do not wash.” The EU also intends to sanction philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, whose daughter Darya was assassinated last month in a Moscow car bombing. Russia has identified two suspects in the terrorist attack, both Ukrainian nationals.

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“Ursula “My Grand Dad was a Nazi” von der Leyen, the sadomaso dominatrix in charge of the European Commission. The prime catfight cage match to watch in fact is Giorgia versus dominatrix Ursula.”

Giorgia On Our Mind (Escobar)

No one ever lost money betting on the EU oligarchy always behaving like a bunch of self-entitled, stubborn, unelected pricks. They never learn anything. And they always blame everyone except themselves. Giorgia, following her instincts, has a decent shot at burying them even deeper. She is more calculating and less impulsive than Salvini. She won’t go for a euro exit and much less an Italexit. She won’t interfere with her Finance Minister – who will have to deal with the ECB. But she remains a “semi-fascist”, so Brussels will want her scalp – in the form of cutting off Italy’s budget appropriations. These Eurocrats would never dare doing it against Germany or France. And that brings to the political set up of the – supremely undemocratic – European Council.


Giorgia’s party is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists bloc, along with only two other members, the PMs of Poland and Czech Republic. The Socialists & Democrats bloc has seven members. And so does Renew Europe (the former “liberals”): that includes the president of the European Council, the supremely mediocre Charles Michel. The center-right European People’s Party has six members. That includes Ursula “My Grand Dad was a Nazi” von der Leyen, the sadomaso dominatrix in charge of the European Commission. The prime catfight cage match to watch in fact is Giorgia versus dominatrix Ursula. Once again, Mediterranean swagger against the Teutonic techno-barbarians. The more Brussels harassment of Giorgia, the more she will counter-attack, with full support of her post-truth Roman legions: Italian voters. Grab the Negronis and the Aperol Spritz; it’s show time.

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Ardern

 

 


Saying goodbye to a species, the very last male Northern White Rhino. 2018

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 222022
 


Pablo Picasso Dora Maar with green nails 1936

 

EU To Face ‘Infinitely’ Higher Energy Prices Because Of Sanctions – Banker (RT)
EU Proposes Voluntary Goal For Countries To Cut Gas Use By 15% (R.)
Sinking Germany (D’Eramo)
Why Nord Stream II Must Be Opened Immediately (MoA)
Russia Will Expand Goals in Ukraine Over Weapon Transfers: Lavrov (Celente)
Corruption Concerns Involving Ukraine Revived As War With Russia Drags On (AP)
Ukraine Uses Russian Invasion to Wreck Workers’ Rights (CN)
Ukrainian Official Continues Offending Germans After Losing His Post In Berlin (RT)
Ukraine War Must End To Prevent Nuclear ‘Abyss’ – Lukashenko (AFP)
South American Trade Bloc Snubs Zelensky (RT)
The Brutal Reality Of The US-UK ‘Special Relationship’ (Chomsky)
‘Emotion And Pain’ As Dutch Farmers Fight Against Huge Cuts To Livestock (G.)
The Media Starts the Spin on Possible Hunter Biden Charges (Turley)
Fauci, Biden Officials Subpoenaed Over Collusion To Suppress Free Speech (JTN)
1 in 5,000 COVID Shots Caused ‘Serious Side Effects’ (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Joe Trumpo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1550144764523077633

 

 

 

 

Weather channel classic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549922559658848258

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The IMF warned on Tuesday that Germany, the EU’s chief economic powerhouse, risks losing almost 5% of its GDP if Russia completely shuts off its gas supply.”

EU To Face ‘Infinitely’ Higher Energy Prices Because Of Sanctions – Banker (RT)

The EU rushed to back Ukraine without asking its businesses or citizens for permission and now the European economy is suffering the most from the anti-Russia sanctions, French investment banker Philippe Villin has said. European politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels threw their support behind Ukraine “without a democratic debate,” Villin wrote in an op-ed published by Le Figaro on Monday. “What is worse, they did not even consider it useful to consult with us about the military escalation, or the terrible consequences of the sanctions for our economies,” he said. Villin stressed that the world economy had already been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as tension between China and Taiwan, who are both vital to the global supply chain. The current crisis also spurred inflation, including energy price hikes and the risk of shortages.

“And the worst thing is that Europe is suffering from the increase of the prices of energy and raw materials far more than the United States or China,” Villin wrote. The fact is that, as a consequence of the sanctions, energy prices will be infinitely higher in Europe than anywhere else. The banker added that businesses would “lose huge shares of the market” and be forced to cut jobs if the crisis escalated. “I hope that, before our people eventually revolt, a quick electric shock will open up a political debate, in which we, citizens and business leaders, could challenge our blind politicians and Eurocrats, who are leading us to ruin by lying to us.” Many countries, including EU members, imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia after Moscow launched a military campaign against Ukraine in late February.

On Thursday, Russian gas giant Gazprom resumed the flow of gas to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline following a 10-day shutdown for maintenance. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had previously urged EU nations to cut the use of gas by 15% between August and June in case Moscow decided to end deliveries. The IMF warned on Tuesday that Germany, the EU’s chief economic powerhouse, risks losing almost 5% of its GDP if Russia completely shuts off its gas supply.

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Greece, Spain and Portugal immediately said no. Others will follow. I’m starting to wonder if the EU will make it to Christmas.

EU Proposes Voluntary Goal For Countries To Cut Gas Use By 15% (R.)

The European Union set out emergency plans on Wednesday for countries to cut their gas use by 15% until March, warning them that without deep cuts now they could struggle for fuel during winter if Russia cuts off supply. Europe is racing to fill its gas storage ahead of winter and build a buffer in case Moscow further restricts supplies in retaliation for European support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. A dozen EU countries are already facing reduced Russian deliveries. EU officials say a full Russian gas halt is likely. read more The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a voluntary target for all EU countries to cut gas use by 15% from August to March, compared with their average consumption in the same period during 2016-2021.

The proposal would enable Brussels to make the target mandatory in a supply emergency, if the EU declares a substantial risk of severe gas shortages. The regulation needs approval from a reinforced majority of EU countries. Country diplomats are set to discuss it on Friday, with the aim of approving it at an emergency meeting of their energy ministers on July 26. “Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon. And therefore, in any event, whether it’s a partial, major cut-off of Russian gas or a total cut-off of Russian gas, Europe needs to be ready,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. The plan has faced resistance from some countries, which feel their contingency plans do not need reinforcement from the EU.

Countries would be required to update their emergency gas plans by end-September to show how they will meet the EU target.Among those opposed is Poland, which has filled its gas storage to 98% of capacity after Russia cut its supply in April. Others have less stored, such as Hungary, which is at 47% full.But EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson said countries have reduced their combined gas demand by just 5% despite months of dwindling supplies from Russia and soaring prices, with deeper cuts urgently needed. A 15% cut would save about 45 billion cubic metres of gas from August-March. Russia supplied 40% of the EU’s gas before its invasion of Ukraine, or around 155 bcm per year, but flows have since plummeted.

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“The new Iron Curtain has been raised, and won’t be crossed for years to come.”

Sinking Germany (D’Eramo)

Each day, then, we discover new difficulties in decoupling Russia from the global economy. This is partly because sanctions have proven less effective than predicted, despite the tenacious efforts of the US and Europe. To date, there have been at least six sets of successive sanctions, each more drastic than the last: the removal of Russia from the international financial system operated by SWIFT; the freezing of the Russian Central Bank’s foreign reserves, which amounted to around $630 billion; the freezing of $600 million deposited by Russia in American banks, and the refusal to accept these funds as payment for Russia’s foreign debt; the exclusion of Russia’s most important banks from the City of London; and the restriction of Russian deposits in British banks.

Western airports (and airspace) are now closed to Russian planes, and the Russian merchant navy is forbidden from docking in Western ports (Japan and Australia included). Technological exports to Russia are banned, as are many imports. The European Union has sanctions in place against 98 entities and 1,158 individuals, including President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov; oligarchs with ties to the Kremlin like Roman Abramovich; 351 representatives to the Duma; members of Russia’s National Security Council; high-ranking officers of the armed forces; entrepreneurs and financiers; propagandists and actors. All Western banks and a majority of Western companies have closed shop in Russia and sold their branches. Russia has responded by banning the export of more than 200 products, demanding ruble payments for oil and gas exports, and blocking provisions to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland when they refused to accept this stipulation.

Paradoxically, though, certain sanctions have played into Moscow’s hands. The embargo on oil and gas has increased Russian revenues due to the price rises it has caused, while foreign observers note that Russian supermarket shelves still seem to be well-stocked. In the first four months of the year, Russia’s balance of trade ran its highest surplus since 1994, at $96 billion. Yet, after its initial collapse during the first days of the war, the ruble gradually recovered, such that it is now worth more than it was last year. In 2021, 70 rubles were needed to buy a dollar. On 7 March – its worst day – that figure had nearly doubled; but as of 18 July it dropped back down to 57.

The relative inefficacy of sanctions was predictable. If decades of economic warfare had proved incapable of bringing down effectively defenceless regimes such as Castro’s Cuba (by now targeted for over 70 years), Bolivarian Venezuela (30 years) or Khomeinist Iran (42 years of American sanctions, plus around ten years of international measures), it’s difficult to imagine them triggering regime change in a country like Russia, which has been preparing for this eventuality by revamping its industrial capacities. Yet the more ineffective the sanctions the more the war drags on, lurching from one escalation to the next, and deepening divisions that seem ever more irremediable. By now we can assume that relations with Russia will be interrupted for at least some decades (a regrettable situation for any Westerner who hasn’t had the good fortune to visit Moscow and St Petersburg). The new Iron Curtain has been raised, and won’t be crossed for years to come.

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“..when the public has no gas to even take a shower or cannot buy oil and flour at the supermarket, what is the meaning of the “security” the European politicians tout?”

Why Nord Stream II Must Be Opened Immediately (MoA)

The German and other European governments have pledged to suicide the German economy and the wealth of their citizens solely out of spite over the Russian government’s action in the Ukraine. They deny that it is THEIR action that is causing the crisis. [..] They, and their media, ignore that Russia has had, and has, sound reasons to defend the Donbas republics. They do not tell you that the Ukraine, in late February, had planned and was ready to attack the citizens of Donetzk and Luhansk with overwhelming force. Here is additional evidence for that: “OSCE Reports Reveal Ukraine Started Shelling The Donbas Nine Days Before Russia’s ‘Special Military Operation'”

They deny that Ukraine is controlled by extreme right wing elements. They deny that there are full fledged Nazis formations in control of Ukraine even as their own media have for years warned of those. They are lying to you. All German natural gas storage sites can be filled to the brim via Nord Stream II if the Germany government would allow for it. It does not do so. That is the reason why you in Europe will to have pay much more for heating and electricity in the months and years to come. Russia will win the war. It is only a question of time. Meanwhile the sanctions will impoverish Europe:

“[C]an the European public wait? Before the sanctions have a “desired effect,” it is the ordinary people that will suffer. Russia’s economy is still standing, but the crisis has cast a long shadow over European economies. Leaders of EU countries face low growth and record inflation. The euro is at parity with the dollar. According to a Bloomberg report, the European Commission is set to warn that a halt of Russian gas supplies to the EU could potentially reduce its GDP by as much as 1.5 percent. The EU is well in a position to find out that it is not that Russia cannot live without Europe, but Europe cannot live without Russia. EU’s sanctions against Russia serve as a boomerang. After all, it is the European public that is paying the price for the decision of policymakers. European politicians talk in high spirits about what kinds of sanctions would hurt Russia most and that aligning with the US makes them more secure. But when the public has no gas to even take a shower or cannot buy oil and flour at the supermarket, what is the meaning of the “security” the European politicians tout?”

It is on you to expose the politicians behind these sanctions and to force them to change course. Your well being depends on that.

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There is talk of Ukrainian counteroffensives in Kherson and Crimea. Bad idea.

Russia Will Expand Goals in Ukraine Over Weapon Transfers: Lavrov (Celente)

Russia’s top diplomat signaled Wednesday that Moscow will expand its goals in Ukraine due to Kyiv’s increased weapon capacity due to Western intervention. Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, said in an interview with state media that Russia’s military is no longer “only” focused on the eastern part of Ukraine. He implied that Moscow’s strategy has changed after Western intervention with longer-range weapons, the BBC reported. He told Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT, that Moscow cannot allow the remaining region of Ukraine controlled by President Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces to “possess weapons that would pose a direct threat to our territory.” “The geography is different now,” he said. He now named Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as new objectives, the report said.


Kherson is considered valuable real estate and is a shipbuilding center. The New York Times reported that the area has been a Russian staging ground in recent weeks. There are reports that Ukraine could be staging a counteroffensive there. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said the window of opportunity for Ukraine could be closing before the Kremlin annexes that territory. Natalia Humeniuk, the spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern forces, told the paper that Ukraine’s single goal is to reclaim all its territory. Lavrov took particular issue with the U.S.’s decision to provide Ukraine with HIMARS. He called out the “impotent anger” and a “desire to make things worse.”

French howitzers
https://twitter.com/i/status/1550047368782876672

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AP tries to connect the corruption to Russia. They should look at Zelensky and Kolomoisky.

Corruption Concerns Involving Ukraine Revived As War With Russia Drags On (AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s dismissal of senior officials is casting an inconvenient light on an issue that the Biden administration has largely ignored since the outbreak of war with Russia: Ukraine’s history of rampant corruption and shaky governance. As it presses ahead with providing tens of billions of dollars in military, economic and direct financial support aid to Ukraine and encourages its allies to do the same, the Biden administration is now once again grappling with longstanding worries about Ukraine’s suitability as a recipient of massive infusions of American aid. Those issues, which date back decades and were not an insignificant part of former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, had been largely pushed to the back burner in the immediate run-up to Russia’s invasion and during the first months of the conflict as the U.S. and its partners rallied to Ukraine’s defense.

But Zelenskyy’s weekend firings of his top prosecutor, intelligence chief and other senior officials have resurfaced those concerns and may have inadvertently given fresh attention to allegations of high-level corruption in Kyiv made by one outspoken U.S. lawmaker. It’s a delicate issue for the Biden administration. With billions in aid flowing to Ukraine, the White House continues to make the case for supporting Zelenskyy’s government to an American public increasingly focused on domestic issues like high gas prices and inflation. High-profile supporters of Ukraine in both parties also want to avoid a backlash that could make it more difficult to pass future aid packages. U.S. officials are quick to say that Zelenskyy is well within his right to appoint whomever he wants to senior positions, including the prosecutor general, and remove anyone who he sees as collaborating with Russia.

Yet even as Russian troops were massing near the Ukrainian border last fall, the Biden administration was pushing Zelenskyy to do more to act on corruption — a perennial U.S. demand going back to Ukraine’s early days of independence. “In all of our relationships, and including in this relationship, we invest not in personalities; we invest in institutions, and, of course, President Zelenskyy has spoken to his rationale for making these personnel shifts,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Monday. Price declined to comment further on Zelenskyy’s reasoning for the dismissals or address the specifics but said there was no question that Russia has been trying to interfere in Ukraine. “Moscow has long sought to subvert, to destabilize the Ukrainian government,” Price said. “Ever since Ukraine chose the path of democracy and a Western orientation this has been something that Moscow has sought to subvert.”

George Webb Kolomoisky

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Nice country.

Ukraine Uses Russian Invasion to Wreck Workers’ Rights (CN)

The Ukrainian parliament has passed two new radical measures on labour liberalisation, prompting fears of Ukrainians losing workplace rights permanently as Russia’s war puts huge pressure on the country’s economy. In two laws passed on Monday and Tuesday, MPs voted to legalise “zero-hours contracts” and made moves towards removing up to 70 percent of the country’s workforce from protections guaranteed by national labour law. The latter measure means the national labour code no longer applies to employees of small- and medium-sized enterprises; instead, it is proposed that each worker strikes an individual labour agreement with their employer. It also removes the legal authority of trade unions to veto workplace dismissals.

Draft law 5371 had previously been criticised by the International Labor Organization, as well as Ukrainian and European trade unions, on the basis that it could “infringe international labour standards.” Ukraine’s ruling Servant of the People party argued that the “extreme over-regulation of employment contradicts the principles of market self-regulation [and] modern personnel management.” Red tape in Ukraine’s HR laws, it suggested, “creates bureaucratic barriers both for the self-realisation of employees and for raising the competitiveness of employers.” The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine will now ask President Volodymyr Zelensky to veto draft law 5371 when it goes to him for signature — but will not make the same request over the proposed law on zero-hours contracts, Ukrainian MP Vadym Ivchenko told openDemocracy.

Nataliia Lomonosova, an analyst at Ukrainian think tank Cedos, warned that the two laws could further deteriorate an already difficult socio-economic situation for Ukrainians suffering from Russia’s military campaign. According to the U.N.’s latest numbers, Russia’s invasion has led to at least 7 million people becoming displaced inside Ukraine itself, which has been compounded by a severe economic crisis hitting families and individuals hard. At the same time, the World Bank has predicted that Ukraine’s economy will contract by 45 percent this year.

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“Melnik blasted Kretschmer, accusing him of “constant pandering” to Putin and calling his approach “disgusting.”

Don’t even mention peace!

Ukrainian Official Continues Offending Germans After Losing His Post In Berlin (RT)

The former Ukrainian ambassador to Berlin, Andrey Melnik, slammed the minister president of the eastern German state of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, after he said Europe should mediate a ceasefire between Kiev and Moscow instead of adding more fuel to the fire in the ongoing conflict. “Ukrainians are in favor of you sticking your head in a freezer to freeze your hot Russia fantasies,” the outspoken Ukrainian diplomat wrote in a Twitter post addressed to Kretschmer on Tuesday. The former ambassador’s rant was sparked by the prime minister of Saxony’s call for Europe and Germany to help ‘freeze’ the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev and not to abandon Russian energy imports.

The conflict is throwing Europe and the entire world into chaos, Kretschmer told journalists on Tuesday. He warned that Europe risks losing the economic strength needed to maintain security and remain competitive on the world stage, adding: “We have to work to ensure that this war is frozen.” He also characterized Europe’s position on the conflict as “very one-sided” – helping Ukraine win and completely abandoning Russian energy – which he said is a mistake. “I firmly believe that we need these supplies of raw materials,” Kretschmer said, adding that European leaders “must together try to … influence Russian President [Vladimir Putin] and convince Ukraine that we all have to freeze this conflict together.”

Melnik blasted Kretschmer, accusing him of “constant pandering” to Putin and calling his approach “disgusting.” The minister president of Saxony faced a barrage of criticism from fellow politicians at home as well. The general secretary of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), Bijan Djir-Sarai, accused him of failing to understand the threat Russia supposedly poses. “Thank God this man is not responsible for our foreign policy,” he said. Green politician Jamila Schaefer told German tabloid Bild that Kretschmer’s suggestion “damages the reputation of the Federal Republic of Germany,”accusing him of “dangerous ignorance.” Kretschmer’s fellow Christian Democrats were just as critical. MP Matthias Hauer tweeted that his position does not reflect that of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

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I said: Don’t mention peace!

Ukraine War Must End To Prevent Nuclear ‘Abyss’ – Lukashenko (AFP)

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko Thursday said Russia, Ukraine and the West must agree to halt the Ukraine conflict to avoid the “abyss of nuclear war” and insisted Kyiv should accept Moscow’s demands. “We must stop, reach an agreement, end this mess, operation and war in Ukraine,” Lukashenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top ally, told AFP in an exclusive interview in Minsk. “Let’s stop and then we will figure out how to go on living,” he said during the one-hour interview at the Palace of Independence. “There’s no need to go further. Further lies the abyss of nuclear war. There’s no need to go there,” he said, speaking on the 148th day of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.

Lukashenko accused the West of seeking a conflict with Russia and of provoking the Ukraine war. “You have fomented the war and are continuing it,” he said. “We have seen the reasons for this war,” he added. “If Russia had not got ahead of you, members of NATO, you would have organised and struck a blow against it,” he said, echoing Putin. Belarus has served as a staging ground for Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, but Lukashenko has so far avoided becoming a party to the conflict. Analysts say that he is keenly aware of the fact that most Belarusians do not support sending troops into Ukraine. The 67-year-old leader, who has ruled Belarus for nearly three decades, insisted that Kyiv authorities can end the war if they re-start talks with Moscow and accept its demands.

“Everything depends on Ukraine,” he said. “Right now, the peculiarity of the moment is that this war can be ended on more acceptable terms for Ukraine.” He urged Kyiv authorities to “sit down at the negotiating table and agree that they will never threaten Russia”. Talks between Russia and Ukraine largely ground to a halt in mid-April. Lukashenko said that Ukraine must accept the loss of territory occupied by Russia in eastern and southern Ukraine. “This is no longer being discussed,” he said. “One could have discussed this in February or March.”

Lukashenko

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First Africa, now South America. They prefer BRICS.

South American Trade Bloc Snubs Zelensky (RT)

South America’s Mercosur trade bloc has declined a request by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to speak at its summit, host nation Paraguay said on Wednesday, according to the AFP news agency. Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay failed to reach an agreement on whether to invite the Ukrainian leader, Deputy Foreign Minister, Raul Cano said, albeit refusing to name the countries that opposed the move. “There was no consensus on such communication, that’s why the Ukrainian counterpart has already been informed that under current circumstances there are no conditions allowing to speak with the president of Ukraine in the Mercosur format,” the minister explained.


Earlier this month, Julio Cesar Arriola, Paraguay’s Foreign Minister, said that Zelensky had talked with Mario Abdo Benitez, the nation’s president, on the phone and asked for the opportunity to address the upcoming Mercosur summit. According to Arriola, Benitez promised to discuss the matter with his colleagues in the bloc. Mercosur is an economic and political organization that was established in 1991 to create a common market and incentivize development in South America. After Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, Zelensky has addressed a slew of national parliaments and major international forums, including NATO, the G7 and the UN in an effort to rally countries to Kiev’s cause and help it fight off Moscow’s offensive. However, in late June, when the Ukrainian president took part in a virtual meeting with the African Union, only a handful of leaders reportedly tuned in to listen to his speech. Following the conference call, the President of Senegal and African Union Chairperson, Macky Sall, indicated that Africa’s position of neutrality over the conflict in Ukraine remained unchanged.

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“..that the United States stands for something in the world – something of which the world has need, something which the world is going to like, something, in the final analysis, which the world is going to take, whether it likes it or not.”

The Brutal Reality Of The US-UK ‘Special Relationship’ (Chomsky)

The abject submission of British authorities to the Master in Washington in the case of journalist Julian Assange is painful to observe but – unfortunately – not difficult to understand. The roots go back to the Second World War, when Britain handed the mantle of world domination over to its former colony. The US had long surpassed the UK as an economic power and had displaced it from “our little region over here,” as Secretary of War Henry Stimson described the Western hemisphere. But it had not yet become a truly global power. At the time, British officials were well aware that the UK was becoming a “junior partner” to the US, now subject to its will, which was often exercised crudely.

Given their own ample experience with imperial arrogance, brutality and hypocrisy, British diplomats could easily read between the lines when their American counterparts protested that US global domination is “part of our obligation to the security of the world…what was good for us was good for the world”, as Abe Fortas, a leading figure in the New Deal administrations, put it. The British Foreign Office, parsing this apparent altruistic concern, concluded that Washington was, in fact, guided by “the economic imperialism of American business interests” and was “attempting to elbow us out…under the cloak of a benevolent and avuncular internationalism”.

UK officials continued that their American counterparts believe “that the United States stands for something in the world – something of which the world has need, something which the world is going to like, something, in the final analysis, which the world is going to take, whether it likes it or not.” What true believers in the historical profession call “Wilsonian idealism”. From then, Britain takes it, whether it likes it or not. Things could have gone a different way at various points in modern history, recently if Jeremy Corbyn hadn’t been destroyed by a vicious media campaign. But today’s British authorities just take the orders and Julian Assange is one of the victims.

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10,000 Dutch farmers risk losing their farms altogether. This will not be accepted.

‘Emotion And Pain’ As Dutch Farmers Fight Against Huge Cuts To Livestock (G.)

Along roads and bridges in the Netherlands, people are hanging the Dutch flag upside down. It is a sign of solidarity with the Dutch farming sector, which will also be upturned by a radical 30% reduction in livestock numbers, a move being made to meet environmental targets. In recent weeks, farmers have blocked off food distribution centres with hundreds of tractors, blockaded major roads and turned up outside regional assemblies and ministers’ homes to protest. One late-night protest ended with a police officer accused of firing a gun at a 16-year-old farmer’s son. It comes as authorities in the Netherlands have released details of the cuts in ammonia, nitrogen oxides and nitrous oxide needed to protect more than 150 nature reserves in the country. And it is the farming sector that is going to bear the brunt of emissions cuts.

“This is not a democracy any more: it’s a dictatorship,” says Jeroen van Maanen, a farmer with 130 cows in Zeewolde, central Netherlands, who has joined the protests. Manure, when mixed with urine, releases ammonia, a nitrogen compound. If it enters lakes and streams via farm runoff, excessive nitrogen can damage sensitive natural habitats. The country has the seventh biggest livestock population in the EU but is comparatively small in size. This gives it Europe’s highest livestock density, with insufficient land to make good use of the waste from more than 100 million cattle, chickens and pigs. Van Maanen says farmers are being unfairly targeted: “If you come for us and our families, you come at a farmer’s soul,” he says. “We’ve proposed all kinds of solutions but we are ignored.

“And finally, they come up with a plan for a reduction in livestock. No other sector has reduced nitrogen in the last 30 years [as much as] we have. This is why there’s a lot of emotion and pain.” The latest government coalition has not, so far, been dissuaded by the protests from its drive to tackle the country’s environmental problems. After a landmark court ruling in 2019, it needs to reduce nitrogen emissions in order to allow building projects to go-ahead in the country. There is no choice, says Rudi Buis, spokesperson for the agriculture ministry. “Even if you stop with the policy tomorrow, the problem doesn’t go away. If you want to build a house or a road, a lawyer will say: first reduce nitrogen and then you get a licence. We have to do something. It’s not a luxury. It has to happen.” [..] “We know exactly what allowance each farmer has and what they produce, while a lot of industrial companies don’t need permission – but they emit nitrogen.”

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“..,the position of Attorney General Garland has gone from dubious to ridiculous..”

The Media Starts the Spin on Possible Hunter Biden Charges (Turley)

The media is reporting that the criminal investigation of Hunter Biden is at a “critical stage” with the grand jury considering an array of charges including various tax violations and possible foreign lobbying violations. I previously testified in Congress on possible criminal exposure for Hunter under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). There seems ample evidence for such charges but there remain some glaring questions in how the Biden Administration has handled the investigation of the Biden family. What is also striking is the initial response of pundits on cable channels like MSNBC that has long ignored or downplayed the allegations. The most glaring question raised by the report is, again, the refusal of Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a Special Counsel despite overwhelming justification for such an appointment.

For over a year, I have been writing on the obvious need for a special counsel in an investigation that not only is embarrassing for the Biden family but implicates not just Hunter but his uncle and his father. Given this mounting evidence, the position of Attorney General Garland has gone from dubious to ridiculous in evading the issue of a special counsel appointment. He continues to refuse to acknowledge these conflicts with the President. Federal regulations allow the appointment of a special counsel when it is in the public interest and an “investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances.”

It is hard to imagine a stronger case for the appointment of a special counsel. Attorney General Garland has failed in his duty to protect the Justice Department from such conflicts or the appearance of such conflicts. There will be lingering questions over the independence of the investigation. For example, if you are investigating lobbying violations tied to Hunter’s open influence peddling, why would you not ask to question the man referred to as the “big guy” who was purportedly cut in for a ten percent share of one of the most dubious deals? He is also the same man who reportedly received money from shared accounts and was referenced by Hunter to foreign clients as part of the inducement for giving him money. He is the object of the influence peddling. He is also now the President of the United States.

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“..information was requested in identifying all communications with any social media platform relating to content modulation and/or misinformation.”

Fauci, Biden Officials Subpoenaed Over Collusion To Suppress Free Speech (JTN)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, other Biden administration officials and five social media companies have 30 days to respond to subpoenas in a lawsuit alleging collusion to suppress freedom of speech. Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry were granted permission to proceed with the discovery phase of the trial last week in a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty. In addition to Fauci, who announced earlier this week he would retire in 2025, and Jean-Pierre, discovery requests were served to ask for information and documents from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Jen Easterly and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and Nina Jankowicz, who led the DHS Disinformation Governance Board until it was disbanded.

Third-party subpoenas were served to Twitter, YouTube, Meta, Instagram and LinkedIn. A media release from Schmitt, a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, said information was requested in identifying all communications with any social media platform relating to content modulation and/or misinformation. The suit requests all communications with Mark Zuckerberg from Jan. 1, 2020, to the present. Also requested were any communications to any social media platform relating to the “Great Barrington Declaration,” a letter published in October 2020 in response to COVID-19 policies that recommended “focused protection” — an approach to reaching herd immunity by allowing those at minimal risk of death to live normal lives by building up immunity through natural infection while protecting those at highest risk.

“In May, Missouri and Louisiana filed a landmark lawsuit against top-ranking Biden Administration officials for allegedly colluding with social media giants to suppress free speech on topics like COVID-19 and election security,” Schmitt said in a statement. “Earlier this month, a federal court granted our motion for expedited discovery, allowing us to collect important documents from Biden Administration officials. Yesterday, we served discovery requests and today served third-party subpoenas to do exactly that. We will fight to get to the bottom of this alleged collusion and expose the suppression of freedom of speech by social-media giants at the behest of top-ranking government officials.”

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at least 38,000 severe cases

1 in 5,000 COVID Shots Caused ‘Serious Side Effects’ (CHD)

The German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) on Wednesday posted a “stunning tweet” admitting 1 of every 5,000 COVID-19 vaccinations cause “serious side effects.”Although likely an “underestimation” due to voluntary reporting, according to Alex Berenson, the admission implies almost 300,000 Americans and Europeans have experienced a severe adverse event after receiving a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Translated, the tweet says, “One in 5000 people is affected by a serious side effect after a COVID19 vaccination. If you suspect an adverse reaction, get medical attention and report your symptoms to @PEI_Germany.” The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which uses the handle “@PEI-Germany” is Germany’s federal institute for vaccines and biomedical drugs.

The figure came from a PEI safety report summarizing suspected cases of side effects and vaccination complications that were reported to PEI between Dec. 27, 2020, when Germany launched its vaccination campaign, and March 31, 2022. During that time, 172,062,925 vaccinations were administered in Germany — of those, 17.1% were Spikevax, 7.4% were AstraZeneca, 2.1% were Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and 0.1% were Novavax. During the same time period, PEI received 296,233 reports of suspected side effects. The reporting rate was 1.7 per 1,000 vaccine doses for all vaccines combined and 0.2 serious reaction reports per 1,000 doses. So, the 1 in 5,000 people experiencing a serious reaction is actually 1 in 5,000 doses.

PEI on Thursday corrected its tweet to reflect accurate numbers. According to @PEI_Germany, “the reporting rate for serious reactions is 0.2 reports per 1,000 vaccine doses,” the Tweet read. “The German admission today marks at least a small — and long overdue — step toward honesty from public health authorities on the COVID jabs,” said Berenson, a New York Times bestselling author who writes regularly on Substack. Reacting to the updated tweet from Germany’s Health Ministry, one person said, “It’s even worse, it’s 1 DOSE, not one in 5,000 people …”

Wolensky

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Vandana Shiva: “THIS Is Bill Gates’s Farming Agenda”

 

 


The Oriental dwarf kingfisher averages 13 cm (5.1 in) in length

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 122022
 


Banksy Monkey Parliament 2009

 

Finland Announces Plans To Join NATO In Historic Move (CNBC)
Nothing to Celebrate? (Tweedie)
We Will Win (Batiushka)
Russian-Captured Ukrainian Territories Will Soon Ask To ‘Join Russia’ (ZH)
Blinken, Austin Past Ties to Investment Firms Forgotten by Media (Celente)
Garland Allowing ‘Mob Rule’ In US – GOP (Fox)
Efforts To Codify Roe vs Wade Fail In The Senate (ET)
FDA Refuses To Reopen Biggest Baby Formula Plant in US (DM)
Acting NIH Director Admits Appearance of Conflict of Interest in Payments (ET)
Top US Scientist Warned Chinese Of US Investigations Into Wuhan Lab (DC)
Trudeau Government Gave $3 Million To WEF And $1.6 Billion To UN In 2021 (TNC)
Prepare For More Chinese Capital Controls As Exodus Worsens (BBG)
Oath Keepers Rescued 16 Police Officers On Jan 6 (ET)
Feds Open Investigation Into Elon Musk (DW)
Al Jazeera Accuses Israel of Killing -American- Journalist (CD)

 

 

Finland wants to join NATO.

Russia says NATO missiles in Ukraine would be too close to Moscow. Check the distance from the Ukraine border to Moscow. Then from the Finland border to St. Petersburg.

 

 

Tulsi armageddon

 

 

 

 

Zero covid

 

 

“Finland shares a 830-mile border with Russia..”

When NATO was founded, they did’t even dare.

Finland Announces Plans To Join NATO In Historic Move (CNBC)

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Thursday that the country should apply to join NATO “without delay.” Finland has had a decades-long policy of military neutrality that would come to an end if it becomes a full member of the military alliance. Thursday’s announcement is the strongest sign yet that Finland will make a formal application to join NATO. The government will debate the issue over the weekend and the Finnish parliament is expected to give its final approval to the application as early as Monday. At the same time, there is a risk the move from Helsinki could spark aggression from Russia, where President Vladimir Putin has expressed his opposition against NATO’s enlargement.


Finland shares a 830-mile border with Russia; if it joins the military alliance, the land border that Russia shares with NATO territories would roughly double (Russia has land borders with 14 countries and five of them are NATO members: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Norway). Finland has been reviewing its security policy in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which showed the Kremlin is willing attack a neighboring nation. Finland has been invaded in the past — in 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland in what became known as the Winter War.

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Ukraine will become a landlocked “country”.

Nothing to Celebrate? (Tweedie)

On May 8, when Victory in Europe (VE) Day is celebrated in the West, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN that Russia had “nothing to celebrate” on its own Victory Day on May 9. Her reasoning, faithfully transcribed on the US mission’s website, was that “They have not succeeded in defeating the Ukrainians.” Given that Victory Day and VE Day both specifically commemorate the allied defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, Thomas-Greenfield’s comments were like saying the US, Britain and France had nothing to celebrate this year because they got chased out of Afghanistan by the Taliban last August. The ambassador is either an apologist for Nazism or merely too ignorant to do her job. She should at least read some objective reports about the conflict in the Ukraine.

In fact Russians had two immediate military victories to celebrate that Monday. Russian and Lugansk People’s Republic troops captured the town of Popasna, a lynchpin in the Ukrainian army’s defensive line that it had held for eight years. Meanwhile Kiev, apparently desperate for a victory of its own to rain on the parade through Moscow’s Red Square, launched an airborne and marine assault on the now-famous Zmeinyy (Snake) Island off the coast of Odessa oblast. Some sources say the Russians withdrew their small force holding the island as bait for a trap, but either way it went horribly wrong for the Ukrainians. They lost four jet fighters and strike aircraft, up to 10 helicopters, a corvette and three infantry landing craft. More than 60 of their personnel were killed, of which 27 were abandoned on the island.

The Ukraine is like a bull elephant that has been shot right in the heart in mid-charge. The beast keeps on bellowing and rampaging around, not yet realising that it’s already dead. It becomes clearer by the day that the Ukrainian army attempting to occupy the remains of the Donbass republics, newly recognised by Russia just as the West ‘recognised’ its creations of Kosovo and South Sudan, is dead on its feet. Its navy, air force, artillery, tanks and transportation are almost destroyed. Its casualties are replaced with boys and old men press-ganged off the streets of Kiev and Lvov, some without proper boots. Its senior officers are fled or dead.

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“..the Russian Federation is a very unequal and corrupt society because of these oligarchs, who simply repeat the Western oligarch model..”

We Will Win (Batiushka)

Russia before 1917 was rotten from the inside, a house of cards. The whole ‘Revolution’ was a story of the treachery of the elite, the aristocrats, including many Romanovs, the politicians, the generals and the new bourgeoisie. Having lost their faith, they replaced all loyalty to the Faith, the Tsar and Home with pure greed. The same thing happened with the USSR. A generation after the people’s war won by those trained in the Tsar’s Army, the Soviet Union turned into a State in whose official Communist ideology nobody believed any more. The elite had lost faith in it and so the USSR also fell. After 1991 the Russian Federation was handed over to the future oligarchs, the new aristocrats, just as before the Revolution the Russian Empire had been far too much in the hands of the past oligarchs, the old aristocrats.


Whoever says oligarchs automatically says corruption. And when the rich have enough riches, they next want power and betray to get it. Like the rest of the world, the Russian Federation is a very unequal and corrupt society because of these oligarchs, who simply repeat the Western oligarch model. Have no illusions: Oligarchs rule the Western world. It is illusory to think otherwise. In France Pompidou was and Macron is a Rothschild banker (the ones who own The Economist and much of the rest of the media). French conglomerates stand beside them. In Germany banks and huge automobile and chemical industries put up their political candidates. In the UK all candidates are vetted by the financial sharks of the City. As for the USA, think of Trump or Hoover, and all is clear. Follow the money.

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“He stressed it would be “up to local residents” and that the process would be “absolutely clear and legitimate”

Russian-Captured Ukrainian Territories Will Soon Ask To ‘Join Russia’ (ZH)

Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency is reporting for the first time Wednesday that the Russian military occupied southern Ukrainian city of Kherson will soon petition the Kremlin to become part of the Russian Federation. It was in late April that a pro-Moscow “military-civilian administration” was installed after Kherson fell to the invading forces, complete with a local transition to the Russian ruble. While the news hasn’t been officially confirmed by the Kremlin, it’s significant that the report surfaced through RIA and not Ukrainian or opposition sources, suggesting such referendums or even simple declared annexations in captured regions could be imminent.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has in his latest statements invoked Crimea – which came under Russian control due to a Kremlin-backed ‘popular referendum’ in 2014 – as a model for what could happen regarding Kherson’s political future. He stressed it would be “up to local residents” and that the process would be “absolutely clear and legitimate”. Additionally, according to The Moscow Times, “Occupied Kherson, as well as the Pryazovske region on the Sea of Azov, reportedly began trading with Crimea shortly after Russian forces installed pro-Moscow administrations in the area.”

And Reuters writes of more signs of annexation of the city coming soon as follows: “TASS cited the Russian-controlled administration as saying that pension bodies and a banking system would be created from scratch for the region, and that branches of a Russian bank could be open there before the end of May,” according to its report. However, some correspondents are saying there won’t be a referendum, or possibly just the appearance of one as a pretext…

Lavrov

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It’s not even a revolving door anymore.

Blinken, Austin Past Ties to Investment Firms Forgotten by Media (Celente)

Top officials in the Biden administration who have been the most vocal backers of providing Ukraine with more arms than Kyiv knows what to do with have deep ties to consulting and investment firms that has raised concerns in the past about the government’s revolving door with the defense industry. The Presstitutes no longer discuss these ties because they are on the same team as the government when it comes to Ukraine. More weapons, more weapons, more weapons. Two of the biggest names in the Biden administration with these past ties are Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. They have been some of the top proponents of donating weapons to Ukrainians.

BLINKEN: “Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding. Russia has sought, as its principal aim, to totally subjugate Ukraine, to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. That has failed.” AUSTIN: “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine. It had already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops, quite frankly, and we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability.”

One of the names that kept popping up about a year or so ago was Blinken and Austin’s ties to a little-known investment firm called Pine Island Capital Partner. In December 2020, Pine Island Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company that claimed to have “unusual access to information” said in its SEC filings that it was “well-suited to take advantage of the current and future opportunities present in the aerospace, defense and government service industries.” (Austin also sat on the board of Raytheon Technologies in 2020, according to OpenSecrets.org. Forbes estimated that Austin’s net worth is about $7 million after serving on boards in retirement.)

From CNBC in December 2020: Pine Island’s team includes Tony Blinken, Biden’s choice to be secretary of State, and Ret. Gen. Lloyd Austin, his nominee for Defense secretary. Austin was listed on the original SPAC proposal, while Blinken was left off as he took a leave of absence from the firm when he joined the Biden campaign. Axios reported a month earlier that Pine Island was formed in 2018 by John Thain, the CEO who reportedly got his office renovated for $1 million while his Bank of America Merrill Lynch took a major loss in 2009; Phil Cooper, the former Goldman Sachs buyout big, and Clyde Tuggle, ex-Coca-Cola executive.

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“So, I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges homes..”

Garland Allowing ‘Mob Rule’ In US – GOP (Fox)

Nearly 50 House Republicans pressed Attorney General Merrick Garland Wednesday to prosecute those protesting outside the homes of Supreme Court justices over an anticipated ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Led by Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., the members of Congress cite a federal law that makes it illegal to “picket or parade” outside a courthouse or a judge’s home “with the intent of influencing … the discharge of his duty.” “We therefore ask a simple question: as Supreme Court Justices are being illegally targeted at their homes, do you intend to enforce the law?” the Republicans wrote. “Your failure to act is a shameless and implicit endorsement of mob rule in America.”

Forty-seven House Republicans signed the letter, including House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.; GOP Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson; and R-La., Byron Donalds, R-Fla. They join a chorus of voices, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who are condemning the protests at the justices’ homes. Over the weekend, protesters picketed outside the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts. People protested outside of Justice Samuel Alito’s home Monday.

“The right to peaceful assembly is among the most sacred rights we hold as Americans,” the GOP members wrote. “Yet our sacred right to peacefully assemble has never permitted Americans to intimidate judges, jurors or officers of the court. “We urge you to enforce the laws of the United States and stop the mob,” they added. “You should send the clear and unmistakable message to all Americans — regardless of party or political affiliation — that the intimidation of justices and the judicial process will not stand.”

The White House isn’t explicitly condemning protests outside the justices’ homes. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday intimidation is not acceptable. “@POTUS strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism,” Psaki tweeted. “Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.” “So, I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges homes,” Psaki elaborated Tuesday. “And that’s the president’s position.”

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Filibuster had nothing to do with it.

Efforts To Codify Roe vs Wade Fail In The Senate (ET)

The Senate voted on May 11 to filibuster the Democratic-sponsored Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would have codified the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling into federal law as the Supreme Court appears intent on striking down the precedent. The 51–49 procedural cloture motion vote was mostly party-line, with all Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voting against the measure. The measure failed as expected because Democrats didn’t meet the 60-vote filibuster threshold needed to advance the legislation in the upper chamber. According to a draft opinion leaked to Politico and published on May 2—written by Justice Samuel Alito and confirmed as genuine by the court—a majority of the justices have agreed preliminarily to overturn Roe v. Wade.


The court hasn’t yet issued a final opinion. Under the 1973 standard, states are prohibited from imposing restrictions on abortion in the first trimester, during which SCOTUS ruled that the mother’s right to privacy outweighed state interest in protecting life. The move effectively overturned existing abortion laws in more than two dozen states, and since then, pro-life advocates have fought to return the power to regulate abortion to the states. Democrats decided immediately after the draft was leaked to try again on the WHPA, which the Senate failed to advance in February. A different version of the legislation was passed by the House of Representatives in September 2021 in a party-line vote, with Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a pro-life Catholic, being the only Democrat to oppose it.

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“..there was not an outbreak caused by products from the facility..”

FDA Refuses To Reopen Biggest Baby Formula Plant in US (DM)

The biggest baby formula supplier in the U.S. has denied its Michigan plant is responsible for the deaths of two children despite the FDA closing it down. The plant was shutdown nearly three months ago after a bacterial infection caused the deaths and other serious illnesses. In mid-February Abbott Laboratories issued a nationwide baby formula recall and ceased operations at its plant in Sturgis, Michigan amid reports of babies contracting bacterial infections from its products. An Abbott spokesperson told DailyMail.com Tuesday that ‘thorough investigation’ by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Abbott revealed ‘infant formula produced at our Sturgis facility is not the likely source of infection in the reported cases and that there was not an outbreak caused by products from the facility’.


However, despite the findings of the investigation, the plant remains shuttered nearly three months later, fueling the nationwide baby formula shortage. The FDA – which said it found food safety violations at the plant, as well as five strains of Cronobacter, a bacteria that can cause blood infections and meningitis – has refused to say when the plant can resume operations. Abbott claims they are ‘working closely with the FDA to restart operations’ at the plant, with the spokesperson noting: ‘We continue to make progress on corrective actions and will be implementing additional actions as we work toward addressing items related to the recent recall’. The FDA told DailyMail.com it was holding discussions with ‘Abbott and other manufacturers to increase production of different specialty and metabolic products’ but refused to say when the Sturgis plant could reopen.

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“..he conceded that they don’t look ethical..”

Well, no. 1, they were secret. Isn’t that enough?

Acting NIH Director Admits Appearance of Conflict of Interest in Payments (ET)

Undisclosed royalty payments estimated at $350 million from pharmaceutical and other firms to Dr. Anthony Fauci and hundreds of National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists do present “an appearance of a conflict of interest,” according to the agency’s acting director. Dr. Lawrence Tabak, who took over as NIH director following the December 2021 resignation of the agency’s long-time leader, Dr. Francis Collins, told a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee that federal law allows the royalty payments, but he conceded that they don’t look ethical. “Right now, I think the NIH has a credibility problem and this only feeds into this, and I’m only just learning about this,” Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) told Tabak.

“People in my district say, ‘Well, so-and-so has a financial interest,’ or they don’t like ivermectin because they aren’t benefitting from that royalty. “You may have very sound scientific reasons for recommending a medicine or not, but the idea that people get a financial benefit from certain research that’s been done and grants that were awarded, that is, to me, the height of the appearance of a conflict of interest.” In response, Tabak said NIH doesn’t endorse particular medicines. “We support the science that validates whether an invention is or is not efficacious, we don’t say this is good or this is bad. … I certainly can understand that it might seem as a conflict of interest,” he said. Moolenaar seemed taken aback by Tabak’s response and, while pointing to Fauci, who was also testifying, said that “truthfully, I would say you’ve had leaders of NIH saying certain medicines are not good.”

Tabak said such statements by NIH are based on clinical trials that are supported by the agency. Moolenaar then asked Tabak, “But if the agency is awarding who is the beneficiary of the grant, who is doing the trial, and there is somehow finances involved, that there is a financial benefit that could be accrued if someone’s patent or invention is considered validated, do you not see that as a conflict or at least the appearance of a conflict of interest?” After conceding that there’s an appearance of a conflict of interest, Tabak suggested to Moolenaar that “maybe this is the sort of thing that we can work together on so that we can explain to you the firewalls that we do have because they are substantial and significant.”

[..] The $350 million in royalty payments were made between 2010 and 2020, according to Open the Books, the nonprofit that took the NIH to court when it refused to acknowledge the group’s FOIA request for documents. Collins received 14 payments, Fauci received 23 payments, and his deputy, Clifford Lane, received eight payments, according to Open the Books. Adam Andrzejewski, founder and president of Open the Books, told The Epoch Times on May 11 that NIH continues to withhold important information about the royalty payments, including the names of particular payers and the specific amounts paid to individuals at NIH.

Glenn Beck

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And got a fine reward.

Top US Scientist Warned Chinese Of US Investigations Into Wuhan Lab (DC)

The head of a U.S. national laboratory in Texas accepted a position at a Chinese university roughly one year after warning Chinese scientists about potential congressional investigations into COVID-19’s origins, according to emails obtained by Judicial Watch. In an April 2020 email chain, Dr. James W. Le Duc, director of the Galveston National Laboratory (GNL), warned top science officials in China, including a director at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), about Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s interest in investigating the pandemic’s origins. In April 2021, emails show Le Duc accepted a position on the “Biosafety Advisory Committee” at China’s Westlake University, a private research university with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“These startling documents show that China had partners here in the United States willing to go to bat for them on the Wuhan lab controversy,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said in a statement. Judicial Watch obtained Le Duc’s emails through a public records request to the University of Texas Medical Branch. Judicial Watch’s investigation follows years of mystery surrounding COVID-19’s origins. Early on, the theory that COVID leaked from the WIV was roundly dismissed by government officials and prominent scientists; at one point a New York Times reporter even claimed the Wuhan-origin theory had “racist roots.” However, scientists and experts increasingly consider it the “most likely” origin for the virus, and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has even accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health and other top U.S. scientists of covering-up their own culpability in a possible Wuhan lab leak.

Le Duc first sent his warning to Shi, whose controversial research is at the center of the COVID origins debate, and other Chinese scientists in a series of emails beginning in April 2020. “I wonder if you would have time for a phone call sometime soon… The email below is relevant,” Le Duc wrote to Shi on April 16, 2020. Le Duc’s email linked to a Forbes report on Sen. Rubio’s interest in investigating COVID’s origins. Le Duc’s email also included a message he’d received from a former commander at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, warning that Rubio was pushing for a Wuhan lab investigation.

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“The controversial WEF has received renewed attention in the Conservative leadership race after candidate and MP Pierre Poilievre committed to boycotting the organization.”

Trudeau Government Gave $3 Million To WEF And $1.6 Billion To UN In 2021 (TNC)

The Liberal government funnelled more than a billion-and-a-half taxpayer dollars into various United Nations bodies, and millions into the World Economic Forum (WEF) last year, public accounts data shows. According to the transfer payments section of the 2020-2021 Public Accounts of Canada, the WEF received $2,915,095 from Canadian taxpayers in the form of grants and contributions. Funding was provided by two departments – the Department of Environment and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. The largest of the transfer payments to WEF was a $1,141,851 contribution from the International Development Assistance for Multilateral Programming. WEF also received another $1 million grant under the same program. Other payments were cited as “contributions in support of conserving nature” and for the “establishment and management of conservation measures.”

The Trudeau government also generously funded the UN to the tune of $1.576 billion in the form of financial support, contributions and grants. Funding came primarily from Global Affairs, although other departments including Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship also gave the UN money. Six UN-affiliated organizations received transfer payments worth more than $100 million each. The largest payment was given to the United Nations Children’s Fund, totalling $543 million. Meanwhile UN peacekeeping operations saw contributions worth $235 million, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees received $139 million. Other large recipients include the UN Population Fund and the United Nations Organizations.

[..] According to Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Franco Terrazzano, the Trudeau government needs to do a better job accounting for its funding of international organizations like the WEF, while Canada deals with a debt of over $1 trillion. “That’s a lot of money, and we can’t just keep sending a ton of tax dollars to international organizations because we’ve been doing it for years,” Terrazzano told True North. “The feds are more than $1 trillion in debt, so it’s on the government to make a clear case for every cent it sends to international organizations, and if it can’t make the case then we need to see reductions.” The controversial WEF has received renewed attention in the Conservative leadership race after candidate and MP Pierre Poilievre committed to boycotting the organization.

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Money flees..

Prepare For More Chinese Capital Controls As Exodus Worsens (BBG)

Strict capital controls made it impossible for several European companies to send dividends abroad and a Japanese beverage maker could not get paid due to “tougher restrictions on cross-border wire transactions.” This is not Russia in 2022, but China in late 2016 and early 2017, when the yuan plunged toward 7 per dollar. Those types of curbs could soon be brought back as part of Beijing’s arsenal to manage currency depreciation, especially in a context similar to 2016-17: Once again, the Fed hikes and capital flees. Besides the headline exchange rate, how much and how quickly money can leave China will become equally, if not more, important. Global portfolio managers, foreign businesses and the local rich are either leaving China or bringing much less capital onshore.


The nation suffered an unprecedented outflow from bond and stock investors in March and net selling continued into April, according to estimates from the International Institute of Finance. Total capital outflows, including errors and omissions, may surge to about $300b this year from $129b in 2021, IIF said in a report last week. While that figure is well below $725b, IIF’s estimate for 2016, Beijing’s options for combating it are much narrower this time around. Trade wars, Covid and supply-chain disruptions were not on the minds of foreign executives back then. In 2022, however, 52% of 121 companies polled by the American Chamber of Commerce in China have either cut or delayed investments. With only 1% planning to increase local investment, authorities have a daunting task to boost foreign direct investment as long as China sticks to its Covid Zero strategy.

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What a stupid story this has become.

Oath Keepers Rescued 16 Police Officers On Jan 6 (ET)

Video footage widely circulated in 2021 that shows a Capitol Police lieutenant asking members of the Oath Keepers for rescue help at the U.S. Capitol blows a hole in the seditious conspiracy charges brought against the group by federal prosecutors, two defense attorneys say. In the footage, Lt. Tarik Khalid Johnson asks a group of men to help him get more than a dozen trapped Capitol Police officers out of the Capitol and through a tightly packed crowd of protesters on the building’s east steps. It was widely reported in January 2021 that Johnson wore a red Make America Great Again cap on Jan. 6 as a ruse to “trick” supporters of President Donald Trump into helping him rescue fellow officers from the Capitol.

He was later suspended for wearing the MAGA cap. Johnson is a registered Democrat, according to online records. The men who answered the call to help were members of the Oath Keepers, a nationwide group of current and former military, law enforcement, and first responders who have been targeted by federal prosecutors for allegedly conspiring to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The video is at least the second example showing the Oath Keepers coming to the aid of Capitol Police inside the building that day. Would a group of men seditiously plotting an attack on the Capitol, allegedly to prevent certification of Electoral College votes, rush into the building to extract police trapped inside—all while being followed by a filmmaker?

“The prosecutors’ narrative has more holes than Swiss cheese, but it [the video footage] does directly refute their claim,” said Jonathon Moseley, who previously represented Florida Oath Keepers leader Kelly Meggs. Prosecutors “just keep ignoring the self-contradictions in their stories.” The video footage was shot by part-time filmmaker Rico La Starza. One of several versions of the video footage posted online includes an introduction by La Starza. He said the video shows “me helping a group of Oath Keepers help Capitol Police get out. They looked scared and tired.”

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Just trying to scare him.

Feds Open Investigation Into Elon Musk (DW)

The U.S. government has reportedly opened an investigation into Elon Musk’s business dealings surrounding his recent $44 billion purchase of Twitter. “The Securities and Exchange Commission is probing Mr. Musk’s tardy submission of a public form that investors must file when they buy more than 5% of a company’s shares,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “The disclosure functions as an early sign to shareholders and companies that a significant investor could seek to control or influence a company.” The report said that Musk’s April 4 disclosure filing was at least 10 days late, a move that is believed to have saved him more than $140 million because share prices could have been higher if the public knew about his ownership of 5% of the company.

“The case is easy. It’s straightforward,” Daniel Taylor, a University of Pennsylvania accounting professor, said. “But whether they’re going to pick that battle with Elon is another question.” The report noted that a lawsuit against Musk from the SEC would likely not stop him from taking over Twitter since the company’s board of director’s unanimously approved to be acquired by Musk and the SEC may lack the power to do so. Musk’s purchase of Twitter is also reportedly being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Musk said this week that he will reverse Twitter’s permanent ban on former President Donald Trump if and when the sale is finalized.

“I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk said, adding that the decision was “morally bad.” “That doesn’t mean that someone gets to say whatever they want to say,” Musk said. “If they say something that is illegal or destructive to the world, then there should be perhaps a timeout, temporary suspension or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very little traction.” “I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk added.

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Murdering American citizens in broad daylight. Try that in Kiev.

Al Jazeera Accuses Israel of Killing -American- Journalist (CD)

The media outlet Al Jazeera accused Israeli forces of “deliberately targeting and killing our colleague” on Wednesday after journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the face while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. In a statement, the Al Jazeera Media Network said that Abu Akleh — who worked as the publication’s Palestine correspondent — was wearing a press jacket that clearly identified her as a journalist when Israeli forces shot her “with live fire.” Al Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, called the attack “a blatant murder,” saying Abu Akleh, 51, was “assassinated in cold blood.” The statement continued:

“Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty. Al Jazeera holds the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of Shireen. It also calls on the international community to condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for their intentional targeting and killing of Shireen. The Israeli authorities are also responsible for the targeting of Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi, who was also shot in the back while covering the same event, and he is currently undergoing treatment. Al Jazeera extends its sincere condolences to the family of Shireen in Palestine, and to her extended family around the world, and we pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how hard they try to cover up their crime, and bring them to justice.”

The Israeli government initially denied responsibility for killing Abu Akleh and wounding al-Samudi, claiming that they may have been shot by “Palestinian gunmen.” “There is a considerable chance that armed Palestinians, who fired wildly, were the ones who brought about the journalist’s unfortunate death,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. But al-Samudi, speaking to the Associated Press following the incident, dismissed the Israeli government’s narrative as a “complete lie.” “He said they were all wearing protective gear that clearly marked them as reporters, and they passed by Israeli troops so the soldiers would know that they were there,” AP reported. “He said a first shot missed them, then a second struck him, and a third killed Abu Akleh. He said there were no militants or other civilians in the area — only the reporters and the army.”

Shireen Abu Akleh

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Fazer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1524553912463806464

 

 

 

 

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