Feb 232024
 February 23, 2024  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  62 Responses »

Jean-Michel Basquiat Aboriginal 1984


Julian Assange’s Grand Inquisitor (Chris Hedges)
Totally Corrupt Weaponized Law Used As a Weapon (Paul Craig Roberts)
Kiev and Odessa Are Ours – Medvedev (RT)
Arming Ukraine With F-16s Could Trigger Nuclear War – Medvedev (RT)
Biden Disgraced US With Putin Insult – Kremlin (RT)
Seize Frozen Russian Assets In Navalny’s Name – German MP (RT)
Give Us All Your Heavy Weapons, Kiev’s Security Chief Tells EU (RT)
‘Almost Nobody’ Believes Ukraine Will Win – Orban (RT)
Von der Leyen’s Foreign Policy Subordinates Europe to US (Sp.)
Biden Backs Dutch PM Rutte for Top NATO Job (Sp.)
Red Lines: Will Iran Enter The Regional War? (Cradle)
Will Netanyahu Bring Down Biden? (Jeffrey Sachs)
Lara Trump Vows Largest-Ever Legal ‘Ballot Harvesting’ Operation (ET)
What the Left Has Bequeathed Us (Victor Davis Hanson)
Biden Dogs Accused of Dozens of Additional Attacks at White House (Turley)





Tucker Trump












Tucker immigration



UN Nada





“Julian contacted the US government, as Summers told the court, and spoke to them at length, in an attempt to prevent the unredacted cables from being published. In the end, the U.S. State Department chose not to act. ”

Julian Assange’s Grand Inquisitor (Chris Hedges)

Kangaroo Courtship by Mr. Fish

The prosecution for the U.S., which is seeking to deny Julian Assange’s appeal of an extradition order, begun by the Trump administration and embraced by the Biden administration, grounded its arguments on Wednesday in the dubious affidavits filed by a U.S. federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia, Gordon Kromberg. The charges articulated by Kromberg — often false — to make the case for extradition did not fly with the two High Court judges, Jeremy Johnson and Dame Victoria Sharp, who are overseeing Julian’s final appeal in the British courts. The prosecuting attorneys, under questioning from the judges, were knocked off balance when challenged about the veracity of several of the claims which Kromberg made in support of the indictment against Julian. This was especially the case when the attorneys argued that the classified documents Julian released in 2010 — known as the Iraq and Afghan war logs — were not redacted.

These unredacted documents, they told the court, jeopardized the lives of those named in the documents and caused some to “disappear.” As defense lawyers Edward Fitzgerald KC and Mark Summers KC made clear, and the judges seemed to acknowledge, the documents were indeed redacted by Julian as he worked with media partners, such as The Guardian and The New York Times, when WikiLeaks published classified military documents concerning the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, along with U.S. State Department cables. The unredacted versions were first published by the website Cryptome after two reporters from The Guardian published a book with the passcode to the documents, leading to their publication by other online organizations. Julian contacted the US government, as Summers told the court, and spoke to them at length, in an attempt to prevent the unredacted cables from being published. In the end, the U.S. State Department chose not to act.

U.S. officials have sheepishly admitted they have no evidence of anyone named in the documents being harmed. Other allegations — such as that Julian tried to help Chelsea Manning, who leaked the documents, decode a password hash to access documents or protect her identity, or that he sought to conspire with computer hackers — have also been debunked. A report provided to Judge Baraitser by a U.S. military forensic expert found that even if Manning was able to decode the password hash (which neither she nor anyone at WikiLeaks ever did) it would not have provided access to documents, it would not have provided her with anonymity and it would not have given her access to documents which she did not already have. The expert also described that someone with Manning’s technical knowledge, skill and experience, as well as her lawful access to Top Secret materials, would have known this. But these Kromberg-inspired canards are all the U.S. has, so it uses them.

By the end of the day, it seemed likely that, probably by April, since requested written briefs have to be turned into the judges in March, the two judges will permit an appeal on at least a few of the points. This will, conveniently for the Biden administration — which I expect does not want to take on the contentious issue of extraditing Julian while fueling the genocide in Gaza — mean that any extradition would occur after the election. The two-day hearing was Julian’s last chance to request an appeal of the extradition decision made in 2022 by the then British home secretary, Priti Patel and of many of the rulings of District Judge Vanessa Baraitser in 2021. If Julian is denied an appeal he can request the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for a stay of execution under Rule 39, which is given in “exceptional circumstances” and “only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm.” But it is possible the British court could order Julian’s immediate extradition prior to a Rule 39 instruction or decide to ignore a request from the ECtHR to allow Julian to have his case heard by the court.

Jen Robinson

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“This is America today. Law has no meaning. It is nothing but a weapon. We can have zero confidence it its application and zero confidence in its outcomes..”

Totally Corrupt Weaponized Law Used As a Weapon (Paul Craig Roberts)

The Democrats appear to be the New Stalinist Party. My conclusion is based on how they abuse law. President Trump has suffered eight years of legal abuse from Democrats and their corrupt prosecutors and judges. It began with Russiagate led by the CIA, Justice (sic) Department, and FBI. It was a total orchestration long since disproved. Then there were a series of concocted nonsense allegations–strippergate, documents gate, insurrection gate and two concocted and failed impeachment attempts. The Democrats then rescued their failed attempts by rolling them into indictments, which the Democrat controlled corrupt United States Justice (sic) Department and Soros-implanted Trump-hating Democrat state attorneys generals and district attorneys leveled against Trump. Some of these fake charges are falling apart, because the black female prosecutors are so stupid and incompetent that they have disqualified themselves and should actually face indictment for perjury.

As US Senator J.D. Vance recently said, “It’s like every other two-minute clip I watch of this Fani Willis interview she admits to committing another felony.” Of all the indictments, the most absurd is the one presided over by what must be the most corrupt judge in human history–New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron. The Trump-hating NY Attorney General, apparently another Soros implant, charged on her own with no civil complainants against Trump that he damaged unidentified people by overstating the value of his properties in his loan applications. She has zero evidence for the charge. Indeed, all of the lenders and every real estate valuation expert said that there was nothing wrong with Trump’s valuations. Lenders said they didn’t care about the valuations, they just wanted Trump’s business. Regardless, the ideological black woman implanted into NY “justice” by Soros’ money indicted Trump for civil fraud.

The trial was arranged to go to Engoron, who would not be satisfied if Trump were drawn and quartered in public view on the courthouse steps. Engoron has made the most stupid rulings based on nothing but his own hatred 0f Trump. The corrupt fool stupidly ruled without evidence that Trump’s real estate was worth a small fraction of what independent real estate evaluators place as the value of the properties. He simply ignored the facts in order to rule as he wanted. Engoron issued an order cancelling the Trump Organization’s business certificates. Apparently, he couldn’t make it stick. So now he has imposed a $350 million fine on Trump and his executives despite the fact that the NY Attorney General Letitia James, who is also busy at work trying to destroy a well-read website that documents the overrunning of the United States by recruited immigrant-invaders, has not a shred of evidence to support her hate-driven charge.

The American presstitute media hate Trump as much as Letitia and Engoron and have already ruled that Trump is guilty. So again we have an American convicted, just like Derick Chauvin, despite the fact that all of the evidence shows that he is innocent. This is America today. Law has no meaning. It is nothing but a weapon. We can have zero confidence it its application and zero confidence in its outcomes. American prisons are full of innocent people like the “insurrectionists” who could not afford to strand trial and who knew that if they did stand trial they would be punished for doing so. The way American “criminal justice” (sic) works is that a defendant, innocent or guilty, admits to a lessor offense, that is he admits to a crime that never happened, in order to avoid trial for a crime that he did not do, but conviction for which his sentence would be much longer.

“Law and Order Conservatives” have never caught on. Indeed, it was their outrage over “liberal judges” who let criminals off too easily that helped to produce a system in which everyone is guilty by accusation alone and self-incrimination. Where are all these liberal judges in Trump’s case, in the case of the 1,000 American patriots in prison because they attended a political rally in support of the President of the United States?

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Haven’t heard that for a while. And now it comes from Putin’s alter ego.

“Kiev is a Russian city, and a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation emanates from it..”

Kiev and Odessa Are Ours – Medvedev (RT)

Russia will have to continue fighting Ukraine until it takes Kiev and the coastal city of Odessa, former President Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. Both cities have “Russian roots” but are being run by US-led enemies of Moscow, meaning they present an existential threat, according to the senior official, who currently serves as deputy head of Russia’s National Security Council. The remarks were extracts from an interview that Medvedev gave to Russian media, which he shared on social media on Thursday. “Where should we stop? I don’t know,” he said, adding that a lot of “serious work” lies ahead. “Will that be Kiev? Probably. This should be Kiev too. If not now, then sometime later. There are two reasons. Kiev is a Russian city, and a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation emanates from it,” he said.

In a separate video, Medvedev addressed the southern Ukrainian port of Odessa, urging it to “return home.” “We in the Russian Federation have long been waiting for Odessa, if only because of its history and what kind of people live there and what language they speak. It is our Russian city,” he claimed. In May 2014, 42 pro-Russia supporters were burned to death in Odessa, a predominantly Russian-speaking city, having been trapped by a mob that supported the Western-backed protests in Kiev that would later overthrow the democratically elected government of Ukraine. Medvedev identified the source of the threat to the existence of Russia as an “international brigade of the opponents of Russia, led by the US,” who he claimed are in control of Kiev.

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“..The doomsday clock “is ticking” and has “sped up considerably..”

Arming Ukraine With F-16s Could Trigger Nuclear War – Medvedev (RT)

Supplying Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets poses a risk of triggering a nuclear conflict, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned. NATO member states are currently training Ukrainian pilots to operate F-16s ahead of the expected transfer of the aircraft. Kiev has been asking for the Western fighter jets for months, saying they were needed to combat Russian air superiority. ”An accidental, unintentional outbreak of a nuclear conflict is not something to be discarded, which is why all those machinations around Ukraine are dangerous,” Medvedev said in an extensive interview with Russian journalists, as quoted by TASS on Thursday.

The deputy head of Russia’s National Security Council cited the US-designed aircraft as a possible trigger, noting that Kiev wants them despite having no ground infrastructure to operate them. ”So if one of those planes takes off from a NATO nation [on a Ukrainian mission] – what would that be? An attack on Russia. I shall not describe what could happen next,” he said. “Such a development may not be even sanctioned by the NATO leadership and the US.” nRussian officials previously warned that delivering F-16s to Ukraine would be highly problematic, considering that the jets can deploy nuclear gravity bombs.

Medvedev said Russia’s standoff with the US and its allies was not at a stage that would force people to hide in a nuclear shelter, but described it as worse than the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The doomsday clock “is ticking” and has “sped up considerably,” he added. The doomsday clock – a representation of the likelihood of a global catastrophe maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – is currently 90 seconds to midnight, having advanced 10 seconds last year. The clock was first launched in 1947, when it was set at 23:53. Its most optimistic time was in the 1990s, when it was 17 minutes to midnight. Its current time is the closest it has ever been to midnight or ‘doomsday.’

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“.. The spokesman suggested that Biden was emulating a “Hollywood cowboy” to appeal to domestic audiences..”

Biden Disgraced US With Putin Insult – Kremlin (RT)

Americans should be ashamed of their leader after their president reportedly called Russia’s Vladimir Putin a “crazy S.O.B.” during a public event, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. Joe Biden’s alleged name-calling occurred during a fundraiser on Wednesday. According to US media, Biden singled out the Russian president while arguing that climate change was a worse threat for humanity than a nuclear conflict. Officials in Washington have claimed that Putin resorted to “nuclear blackmail” when discussing the Ukraine conflict. Moscow has denied this characterization. “This is a great disgrace for [the US],” Peskov said on Thursday, when asked about the reported incident. “If the president of that nation uses that kind of language, that is shameful.” The spokesman suggested that Biden was emulating a “Hollywood cowboy” to appeal to domestic audiences. Such remarks “can hardly hurt any foreign head of state, let alone President Putin,” Peskov added.

Biden has in the past used the same insult that he reportedly directed at Putin on Wednesday. During a press briefing in 2022, he exclaimed “what a stupid son-of-a-bitch,” after a member of the press corps asked him about inflation. In 2018, he resorted to the same language while bragging at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, about pressuring Kiev to fire its prosecutor general. He threatened to withhold a credit line. “I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch, he got fired,” Biden recalled of events in 2016, when he served as vice president. Last week, media reported that Biden had called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an “a**hole” on three different occasions in private conversations with other people, including with Democratic Party donors. He was said to have been venting frustration over Israel’s refusal to follow US suggestions on how it should prosecute its military campaign in Gaza.

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It’s still theft.

Seize Frozen Russian Assets In Navalny’s Name – German MP (RT)

Russia’s assets that remain frozen in the West should be confiscated in response to the death of opposition activist and anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny, German parliament member Norbert Rottgen has said. This money should be used to provide more arms to the Ukrainian military for use in the conflict with Russia, Rottgen suggested in his speech to the Bundestag on Wednesday. Legislation that would allow the confiscation of an estimated $300 billion in assets owned by the Russian central bank, which were blocked by the US and the EU after the outbreak of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022, should be named “Navalny Laws,” he added. Navalny died last Friday in a Russian prison, where he had been serving a lengthy sentence stemming from the violation of the terms of his earlier fraud sentence and his “extremist activities.” The opposition figure had denied any wrongdoing, describing the charges as politically motivated.

According to the prison authorities, Navalny suddenly “felt ill” after a walk and collapsed, with efforts to resuscitate him failing. The cause of the 47-year-old’s death remains unclear, but a source has told RT that it may have been the result of a blood clot. An investigation is ongoing. Rottgen was quick to blame the Russian president for Navalny’s passing, saying: “this murder was of course a matter for the boss. [Vladimir] Putin is the perpetrator.” The lawmaker from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) also insisted that Germany’s deliveries of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine must “now be ramped up.” Frank Schwabe from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which is part of the ruling coalition, also blamed Putin for the activist’s death. “We demand further sanctions for the Russian regime and must do everything we can to help Ukraine win,” he said.

Omid Nouripour, the leader of the Greens, another member of the ruling coalition, suggested that the Russian president bears “at least political” responsibility for what had happened to Navalny. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said it was “completely unacceptable” for Western politicians to make “outrageous statements” regarding Navalny’s death while the investigation into the case is still ongoing. Moscow has repeatedly said that the seizure of its funds by the US and the EU would be tantamount to “theft” and would trigger a response. Russian officials have also warned that such an “illegal” move could further undermine global trust in the Western financial system.

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“.. the “Kiev regime” is an accomplice in this Western scheme and a threat to the Ukrainian people themselves..”

Give Us All Your Heavy Weapons, Kiev’s Security Chief Tells EU (RT)

The EU should donate all its heavy weapons to Kiev, Ukrainian national security council chief Aleksey Danilov has said, claiming that the arms will in any case be useless in future conflicts. Discussing the perceived threats to the EU, Danilov told national media on Wednesday that the bloc is facing the potential rise of ultra-right forces, but suggested that nobody can predict what the security situation will be in two or three decades’ time. “This issue needs to be tackled now. We have great experience, and we understand that Europe will not need those guns, tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other hardware for its next war,” he declared. “They urgently need to donate them all to us, as Denmark did.” The Danish government has decided to give all its artillery systems to Ukraine, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced last week.

”We have weapons, we have ammunition, we have air defense, that we don’t have to use ourselves at the moment, that we should deliver to Ukraine,” she added, referring to all EU states. Danilov argued that in the future, current weapons will effectively be “scrap,” claiming that Kiev would have defeated Russia already if it had been given enough arms. Ukraine remains determined to prevail in the conflict, the official insisted, suggesting that with more Western arms donations, Kiev would ensure Moscow is not a “threat” to European NATO members. ”We are prepared to achieve the task of destroying the Russian Federation,” he stated. Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as a US-led proxy war against Russia, in which Ukrainian troops are being used as cannon fodder. Russian officials have claimed that the “Kiev regime” is an accomplice in this Western scheme and a threat to the Ukrainian people themselves.

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“..the immediate future is bleak for the European Union due to the way the Ukraine conflict is unfolding..”

‘Almost Nobody’ Believes Ukraine Will Win – Orban (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said the immediate future is bleak for the European Union due to the way the Ukraine conflict is unfolding. He made the comments during a Fidesz-KDNP parliamentary faction conference behind closed doors on Wednesday, according to media reports. Orban, who is a prominent critic of the bloc’s policies and has opposed its funding of Kiev’s conflict against Russia, predicted a major victory for conservative parties in the European Parliament elections in June. ”The war will not end. Europe’s burden will become heavier, because financial support for Ukraine will decrease due to disputes in the US amid the presidential election,” he told the conference, according to the newspaper Magyar Nemzet. ”Supporting the Ukrainians has a huge political price. Farmers are revolting all over Europe, and almost nobody believes in the victory of the Ukrainians,” Orban added.

There may be a change in policy from Brussels after the elections, and Washington could also alter its course following the presidential election later this year, he suggested. Orban’s prediction regarding the outcome of the Ukraine conflict appears to be consistent with the views of citizens in 12 EU member states who were surveyed recently by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). The results of the opinion poll were released on Wednesday and showed that only 10% of respondents believed Ukraine would beat Russia on the battlefield. Twice as many believed Russia would prevail, while 37% said a compromise settlement was the most likely outcome. Hungarians were the most pessimistic about a Ukrainian victory, with just 5% considering that this was the likely result of the conflict. A total of 31% predicted that Russia would win.

17 year old Ukr

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“..if Russia continues to be treated as the ultimate Other, to be excluded from the European security architecture and treated as a pariah, Europe’s demise will be accelerated and its recovery difficult to envisage.”

Von der Leyen’s Foreign Policy Subordinates Europe to US (Sp.)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s foreign policy has failed to strategically weaken Russia, created a perception of eroding the sovereignty of member states and made Europe more subordinate to the United States than at any point during the Cold War, experts told Sputnik. Earlier in the week, von der Leyen confirmed that she would run for reelection as EU Commission chief. She also announced a new European defense strategy to be unveiled in three weeks. The strategy will consist of four main points: spending more, spending better, spending “more European” by investing billions of European taxpayers’ money, and using the experience of the conflict in Ukraine to “outsmart Russia” on the battlefield.

“Facts on the ground suggest that the EU’s foreign policy, or lack thereof, has failed to strategically weaken Russia or bring an end to the conflict in Ukraine. Rather, the narrative surrounding Russia serves as a pretext to consolidate power within the EU,” Adriel Kasonta, a London-based political analyst, said, adding that “the war in Ukraine, once seen as a rallying point for European unity, is now perceived as a smokescreen for a broader agenda of centralization.” The expert noted that von der Leyen’s vision for the EU has been criticized for making the bloc more federalist and dominated by unelected bureaucrats. “The foreign policy trajectory represented by von der Leyen is marked by a push towards increased militarization and defense spending. A looming specter of a unified EU army has fueled fears that member states will witness a gradual erosion of sovereignty,” Kasonta explained.

In the latter part of her term, von der Leyen has reportedly forged a strong relationship with US President Joe Biden, who is also up for reelection later this year, due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Biden’s vocal internationalist stance, in contrast to his predecessor Donald Trump. Nevertheless, as Washington turns more attention to Asia, a trend that began during the Barack Obama administration, Europe is grappling with what it means for the continent. “As Washington pivots towards Asia to counter China, Europe finds itself urged to continue the proxy war on behalf of its transatlantic ally. This has translated into a recalibration of priorities, with more focus on military might and less emphasis on climate discussions. The EU’s trajectory, it seems, is bending towards aligning itself with American interests, even at the expense of its original environmental commitments,” Kasonta said, while also noting that growing discontent with the EU’s green policies also pushed von der Leyen “towards a shift in priorities.”

Srdja Trifkovic, the foreign affairs editor of the paleoconservative magazine Chronicles, pointed to von der Leyen’s close ties to the US foreign policy establishment. “Thanks to the war in Ukraine, von der Leyen has managed to bring Europe under American control more firmly than it had been at any time during the Cold War,” Trifkovic said. He also observed that the anti-Russian sentiment displayed by van der Leyen and people like her goes beyond a simple antipathy to the government of President Vladimir Putin and instead constitutes “loathing all things Russian,” as Trifkovic put it. “There is a remarkable mixture of hostility and repulsion that is primarily culturally motivated, rather than geopolitically driven,” Trifkovic continued, adding that “if Russia continues to be treated as the ultimate Other, to be excluded from the European security architecture and treated as a pariah, Europe’s demise will be accelerated and its recovery difficult to envisage.”

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Rutte is as much an American lackey as von der Leyen is. But still, who wants to head a club so much in decline?

Biden Backs Dutch PM Rutte for Top NATO Job (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden is supporting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to replace Jens Stoltenberg as the next NATO secretary general, Politico reported on Wednesday, citing a US official. The support of the president of the United States is likely to sway more allies to get on board with Rutte’s nomination, the report said. Politico reported earlier on Wednesday that two-thirds of NATO countries are now backing the Dutch prime minister’s nomination to become the next leader of NATO this year, but the decision requires unanimity among all NATO member states.

The report also cited NATO officials as saying that Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins are not in the mix of potential candidates since they have not put forward their candidacies. Stoltenberg’s term as NATO secretary general was due to expire in October 2022, but it was extended for another year, until September 30, 2023, against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis. In July, the alliance extended his term for another year, meaning that Stoltenberg will remain in the post until October 1, 2024. He is the second-longest serving NATO secretary general after former Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns, who held the post from 1971 to 1984.

Tucker NATO

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“Tehran’s approach is to apply pressure on Washington via non-aggressive methods – without entering the war..”

Red Lines: Will Iran Enter The Regional War? (Cradle)

On 14 October 2023, Iran issued a stern public ultimatum to Israel, cautioning that unless it ceases its genocidal assault on Gaza, significant repercussions will ensue, likening them to “a huge earthquake.” Tehran’s envoy to the UN later clarified that the Islamic Republic would only intervene in the Gaza war if the occupation state were to jeopardize Iranian interests or citizens. Given the events of the past four months, this raises the question: What are Iran’s red lines, and at what point would Tehran opt for direct confrontation? To grasp Iran’s motivations and reactions, it’s critical to understand its red lines—those non-negotiable boundaries it staunchly defends. At the heart of this lies the survival of the Islamic Republic itself, which recently celebrated its 44th anniversary. Any encroachment on Iran’s territorial integrity or vital interests triggers a defensive response to deter potential threats.

Foremost among these red lines are any broad attacks on Iran’s maritime assets, energy infrastructure, and strategic interests. Assaults on vital economic nodes like oil refineries or shipping lanes will likely prompt swift and resolute reactions from Iran’s leadership, signaling a readiness to safeguard national assets at any cost. Previously, the Iranian government denied involvement in the Hamas-led resistance Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. While ideologically aligned with Palestinian resistance factions, Tehran insists on their autonomy, wary of direct involvement that could destabilize its domestic front. Nevertheless, support for other allies in the Axis of Resistance like Hezbollah remains unwavering, serving as a deterrent against external aggression targeting Iran’s strategic depth. So far, Tehran has moved to influence Israel’s war in Gaza on the level of diplomacy, demanding the immediate cessation of killings, the lifting of the blockade on humanitarian aid, and the withdrawal of the Israeli military from the Gaza Strip. The key aims of the Iranians are to prevent a serious blow to the Palestinian resistance and its military capabilities and to prevent another mass displacement of Palestinians from their lands.

From Iran’s perspective, resistance against Israel and the US represents a cornerstone of the Islamic Republic’s strategic vision – part of its wider anti-imperialist struggle in West Asia, and ambition to force the US out of the region. Many in Tehran believe the Gaza war is orchestrated in Washington, with the US serving as Israel’s primary advocate in global arenas like the UN Security Council. As such, Iran aims to undermine US influence by exacerbating divisions between Washington and Tel Aviv. Despite Israel’s resolve to continue its campaign of ethnic cleansing, Iran’s strategy hinges on exploiting this discord, using diplomatic channels to influence US policy without resorting to direct confrontation. In essence, Tehran’s approach is to apply pressure on Washington via non-aggressive methods – without entering the war.

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“Netanyahu pursues the religious ideology of 7th century BC in the 21st century..”

Will Netanyahu Bring Down Biden? (Jeffrey Sachs)

The cabinet of Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is filled with religious extremists who believe that Israel’s brutality in Gaza is at God’s command. According to the Book of Joshua in the Hebrew Bible, dated by scholars to the 7th century BC, God promised the land to the Jewish people and instructed them to destroy the other nations living in the promised land. This text is used by extreme nationalists in Israel today, including by many of the 700,000 or so Israeli settlers living in occupied Palestinian lands in violation of international law. Netanyahu pursues the religious ideology of 7th century BC in the 21st century. Of course, the vast majority of the world today, including the vast majority of Americans, are certainly not in line with Israel’s religious zealots. The world is far more interested in the 1948 Genocide Convention than in the genocides supposedly ordained by God in the Book of Joshua. They don’t accept the Biblical idea that Israel should kill or expel the people of Palestine from their own land.

The two-state solution is the declared policy of the world community, as enshrined by the UN Security Council, and of the U.S. government. President Joe Biden is therefore caught between the powerful Israel Lobby and the opinion of American voters and of the world community. Given the power of the Israel lobby, and the sums it expends in campaign contributions, Biden is trying to have it both ways: supporting Israel but not endorsing Israel’s extremism. Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken hope to entice the Arab countries into yet another open-ended peace process with the two-state solution as the distant goal that is never reached. Israeli hardliners would of course block every step of the way. Biden knows all of this but wants the fig leaf of a peace process. Biden also hoped until recently that Saudi Arabia could be lured into normalizing relations with Israel in return for F-35 fighter jets, access to nuclear technology, and a vague commitment to an eventual two-state solution… someday, somehow.


The Saudis will have none of it. They made this clear in a declaration on February 6, stating: The Kingdom calls for the lifting of the siege on the people in Gaza; the evacuation of civilian casualties; the commitment to international laws and norms and international humanitarian law, and for moving the peace process forward in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and the United Nations, and the Arab Peace Initiative, which aims to find a just and comprehensive solution and establish an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as capital. Domestically, Biden confronts AIPAC (the innocuously named American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the lead organization of the Israel lobby. AIPAC’s long-running success is to turn millions of dollars of campaign contributions into billions of dollars of U.S. aid to Israel, an amazingly high return. Currently, AIPAC aims to turn around $100 million of campaign funding for the November election into a $16 billion supplemental aid package for Israel.

So far, Biden is going along with AIPAC, even as he loses younger voters. In an Economist/YouGov poll of January 21-23, 49% of those aged 19-29 held that Israel is committing a genocide against the Palestinian civilians. Only 22% said that in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, their sympathies are with Israel, versus 30% with Palestine, and the remaining 48% “about equal” or unsure. Only 21% agreed with increasing military aid to Israel. Israel has utterly alienated younger Americans. While Biden has called for peace based on the two-state solution and a reduction of violence in Gaza, Netanyahu has brazenly brushed Biden aside, provoking Biden to call Netanyahu an asshole on several occasions. Yet it is Netanyahu, not Biden, who still calls the shots in Washington. While Biden and Blinken wring their hands at Israel’s extreme violence, Netanyahu gets the U.S. bombs and even Biden’s full backing for the $16 billion with no U.S. red lines.

China ICJ

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“‘Hey, I just clicked on this to donate to the president … [and] I think it goes to the RNC, I don’t know if I trust that,’” she said. “That’s a problem.”

Lara Trump Vows Largest-Ever Legal ‘Ballot Harvesting’ Operation (ET)

Lara Trump says efforts of “historic” proportions are needed to ensure that Republicans, including her father-in-law, former President Donald Trump, win the Nov. 5 election. Ms. Trump says she is ready to take on that challenge if she becomes co-chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), as President Trump has recommended. In an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times before a Feb. 21 campaign stop, Ms. Trump declared: “We need to have the biggest legal ballot harvesting operation this country has ever seen.” Ballot harvesting, which is legal in many states, allows people to deliver other voters’ absentee or mail-in ballots to election officials. Some fear this practice facilitates election fraud. Republicans have long frowned upon it; Democrats have taken advantage of it. “Whether or not they [Democrats] do it legally, that’s up for discussion,” Ms. Trump said.

In any case, Ms. Trump says it’s time for Republicans to start “attacking the game differently.” Ms. Trump’s remarks to The Epoch Times, and later, to supporters, provided new insights about her vision for a revamped and reinvigorated RNC. “It feels, for a long time, like the Democrats have been playing chess and we’ve been playing checkers,” she said. Her goal is for the Republican Party “to be the opposite, to be steps ahead of them, and on our toes, and ahead of the game, and facing forward the whole time.” Ms. Trump, the wife of President Trump’s son, Eric, also advocates two other efforts that she says would be unprecedented. Republicans need to be urged to vote early, not just on election day, as they typically have preferred, she said. She also wants to see the RNC’s program for training poll watchers expanded nationwide.

“They don’t just stand in the background and kind of keep an eye out and look around for things,” Ms. Trump said. “They physically can count how many ballots are coming in, and how many ballots are going out.” Such measures are needed “to reassure people in a time like we’re in right now, where they really feel like there wasn’t something quite right about the 2020 election, and people still have a lot of unanswered questions,” she said. Ms. Trump said that the RNC, which is suffering from depleted coffers and anemic fundraising, must restore trust among Republican donors. “I’ve had family members of mine call me and say, ‘Hey, I just clicked on this to donate to the president … [and] I think it goes to the RNC, I don’t know if I trust that,’” she said. “That’s a problem.”

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“..welcome 8-million illegal aliens to “surge” into America on the premise a new constituency might support agendas that American citizens do not..”

What the Left Has Bequeathed Us (Victor Davis Hanson)

The Left has created new rules for national politics. Here are 20 some precedents they now have established for America in the future:

1) When in control of the Senate, demand the end of the filibuster; when not, don’t.

2) Call for the end of the Electoral College–but only if it appears to recently favor the candidate of the opposition.

3) In an election year, change any state balloting laws deemed unhelpful through administrative fiat or court order to favor your political candidate.

4) Seek to flip electors from voting in accordance with the popular vote count in their states; indict as an insurrectionist any of the opposition who dare do the same.

5) Raid the home of any opposition ex-president who removed classified files; exempt any sitting president of your party who did the same.

6) Swarm the private homes of, and then bully and intimidate any, Supreme Court officials, politicians, or citizens you oppose.

7) Appoint two special counsels: one to go after the current chief presidential opponent in an election year; the other to exempt and excuse the sitting president for the very crimes charged against his rival.

8) Lobby to remove any oppositional president through the 25th Amendment; smear any one as ageist who suggests a cognitively challenged sitting resident of your party should be subject to similar invocations of the 25th Amendment.

9) Exempt thousands of arrested rioters from charges of 120 days of arson, looting, injuring 1,500 law enforcement officers, and assault—but only if they are radical supporters of your party.

10) Excuse any demonstrator or rioter for desecrating public monuments and cemeteries or shutting down bridges and freeways, or swarming and disrupting the Capitol Rotunda—but only if they agree with you and/or are pro-Hamas. Otherwise, ensure the charged face lengthy prison sentences.

11) Try to pack the Supreme Court—but only if justices you don’t like are in a majority.

12) Seek in an election year to remove a presidential opponent off state ballots for crimes for which he has never been charged, much less convicted of.

13) First target a presidential opponent, and then change, warp, or redefine laws to convict him. Weaponized prosecutors should always indict their political opponents in jurisdictions where they are guaranteed like-minded justices and jury pools.

14) Violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution (the prohibition of “excessive fines”) by having sympathetic judges level multimillion-dollar fines to bankrupt the opposition candidate during a presidential campaign. The more there is no victim of a crime, the higher fines should be leveled for “damages”.

15) Open the border by destroying all the protocols and executive orders of a predecessor president. Then welcome 8-million illegal aliens to “surge” into America on the premise a new constituency might support agendas that American citizens do not. Then call the nonexistent border “secure,” while blaming a predecessor president for having left it secure.

16) Have local prosecutors invent criminal acts of an opposition national presidential candidate in efforts to make it impossible for him to campaign for the presidency.

17) Use the FBI to hire out social media auditors to censor any news deemed problematic for the correct presidential candidate.

18) Hire a foreign national to concoct a smear dossier about one’s opposition political nominee. Ensure the FBI also uses and pays the foreign national to spread untruths among the media and administrative state.

19) On the eve of any major national or midterm election, ensure a president drains the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gasoline prices.

20) On the eve of any major national or midterm election, ensure a president promises to cancel billions of dollars in contracted federal student loans.

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“..I have never come across a case with such a long history of dog attacks from multiple animals in one family..”

Biden Dogs Accused of Dozens of Additional Attacks at White House (Turley)

We have been writing about alarming record of the dogs of the Bidens attacking staff and Secret Service agents through the years. At first, the story was a humorous distraction as some of us wondered if the First Family had a vicious dog. It then became more alarming as each of the dogs were found to be attacking staff and had to be eventually removed. Even. more worrisome was the response of the White House and President Joe Biden, who dismissed a Secret Service agent’s account and brushed off the incidents. Now, a report indicates that Commander is responsible for at least 24 attacks. The record shows not only a lack of concern by the Bidens for staff, but a bizarre litany of vicious German Shepherds in their care. We began our discussion of these incidents with Major, who continued to attack staff until the press finally reported on the complaints from staff. Only when it became a public embarrassment did the Bidens send Major to Delaware.

Major was adopted in November 2018 from an animal shelter. Then, after the coverage died down, the Bidens simply brought Major back to the chagrin of the Secret Service. He then proceeded to continue to bite agents and staff. It was then discovered that their other dog, Champ, was also chomping on staff and agents. Again, the White House dismissed the concerns. First lady Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael LaRosa told CNN: “Yes, Major nipped someone on a walk. Out of an abundance of caution, the individual was seen by WHMU and then returned to work.” The difference between “nipped” and “bitten” is that you are bitten by other people’s dogs. Your dog however only nips, which is somewhere on the spectrum between a lick and a complete devouring. Then a book came out that detailed these attacks and the President himself seemed to attack an agent.

The book, “The Fight of His Life,” by author Chris Whipple details Biden’s continued mistrust of the Secret Service and his alleged avoidance of saying anything in front of agents. Biden has long had tense relations with the Secret Service, particularly after female agents complained about his exposing himself to them by insisting on swimming in the nude. The book claims that Biden has his own “deep state” conspiracy theories. Biden reportedly views the Secret Service as essentially the enemy within, suggesting that it is populated by “MAGA sympathizers” due to the fact that the service “is full of white ex-cops from the South who tend to be deeply conservative.” However, this is a major escalation in that reportedly strained relationship. In one eight-day period, agents were bitten every day. Indeed, outside of the White House, the Biden dogs would qualify for strict liability under the common law as displaying a vicious disposition.

After prior incidents, White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the injury as “minor” and insisted that Major was just “getting acclimated and accustomed to their surroundings and new people.” He was then sent away to Delaware with Champ. It was the equivalent of a politician going into “treatment” at the height of a scandal. Major was later returned to the White House but proceed to “acclimate” himself on the limbs of Secret Service agents. The White House failed to disclose the incidents and only partially confirmed past attacks when pressed by the media. Joe Biden was then quoted as saying that he does not trust the Secret Service and believes that one agent is outright lying about one attack by Major. The President is quoted as saying “Look, the Secret Service are never up here. It didn’t happen.”

The incident was reported by the agent and photos were taken to document that attack. The President’s denial of the location ignored the confirmed attack itself. Other agents complained about the disregard of the agents by the Bidens in the repeated attacks, including one agent who reportedly insisted that the president personally pay to repair a ripped coat after one attack on March 6, 2021. Then Commander was brought in to replace Major. Commander then started to bite people. Again, neither the Bidens nor the White House seemed particularly concerned for the staff and brushed off questions. It now turns out that the attacks increased but the press were not informed . . . again. According to new internal USSS documents obtained by CNN, that does not even include additional incidents that were previously reported involving executive residence staff and other White House workers.

[..] I have taught torts for three decades, including animal liability. In that time, I have never come across a case with such a long history of dog attacks from multiple animals in one family. There is no question that the Bidens would be strictly liable in these attacks, but have been allowed to escape such liability due to the fact that this is the official residence. Under the common law, the Bidens could claim that Major and Commander were entitled to “one free bite.” They are well beyond that threshold. The “one free bite rule” is a commonly misunderstood torts doctrine — suggesting that you are not subject to strict liability until after the first time your dog bites someone. In fact, you are subject to strict liability whenever you know or have reason to know of the vicious propensity of your animal. That can be satisfied by conduct such as frequent snapping or aggressive behavior.

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Bad dog











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Aug 162023

El Greco Dormition of the Mother of God 1565-1566


Hunter Biden’s Lead Criminal Defense Attorney Asks To Withdraw From Case (ZH)
Trump Attorneys Slam ‘Flawed, Unconstitutional’ Fulton County Indictment (Sp.)
Justice Shrugged: The Persecution of Donald Trump (Miele)
The Criminalization of Election Controversies (Turley)
Trump Must Turn Himself In At Georgia Jail – Sheriff (RT)
Ukraine Matters To Biden More Than Hawaii – Ron Paul (RT)
Team Biden Hurts US Prestige and Credibility By Walking Into Ukraine Trap (Sp.)
Ukraine Could Give Up Territory To Russia – NATO Official (RT)
If Ukraine Agrees To Give Up Territories, It Will Lose Kiev – Medvedev (TASS)
Western Military Dominance ‘Has Ended’ – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine’s Military Resources Are “Almost Exhausted” – Shoigu (ZH)
Shoigu Hails High Level Of Contacts Between Russia, Chinese Military (TASS)
Why US Drones Prove Useless in Ukraine (Sp.)
MI6 Plans To Send Ukrainian Mercenaries To Africa (RT)
How Charities Secretly Help Win Elections (Thayer)










RFK Fauci












Longtime Hunter attorney (let’s see who paid his bills!) Christopher Clark for 5+ years got used to anything he wrote being accepted. But when he went for the ultimate sweetheart deal, where Hunter could have shot someone on 5th avenue (the Trump thing) without facing punishment, Judge Maryellen Noreika said: “I don’t like these terms”. Which were in the small print of the deal, of course. And neither Hunter nor Clark ever expected her to read them. She put their world upside down. Now Christopher Clark is trying to sneak out of the building, hoping no-one will notice he wrote the whole thing. Oh, and he may be called as a witness now….

Here’s Clark’s way out ?! “Biden attorney Abbe Lowell blamed prosecutors for drafting the agreements the judge wouldn’t approve..”

Hunter Biden’s Lead Criminal Defense Attorney Asks To Withdraw From Case (ZH)

Hunter Biden’s top criminal defense attorney has asked a federal judge for permission to withdraw from the case after a plea deal unraveled in late July. Christopher Clark, Hunter’s longtime defense attorney, filed a motion with the Delaware judge overseeing Hunter’s case on the grounds that he could now be called as a witness in future proceedings, CNN reports. “Based on recent developments, it appears that the negotiation and drafting of the plea agreement and diversion agreement will be contested, and Mr. Clark is a percipient witness to those issues,” reads the Tuesday filing. Last week federal prosecutors announced that the had reached an impasse on Hunter’s plea deal related to tax offenses and a “diversion agreement” to take care of a gun possession charges.

After the deal unraveled, the feds asked Judge Maryellen Noreika to withdraw a late August deadline to renegotiate the plea deal, after she said she was not ready to accept it & asked both sides to file additional briefs explaining the legal structure of the revised deal. Noreika also called the deal federal prosecutors reached with Hunter over his gun possession offense “unusual,” and that it contained some “non-standard terms,” such as “broad immunity” from other potential charges. Under the original plea agreement, Biden intended to plea guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes committed in 2017 and 2018, and would avoid prison on the gun possession charge. As part of the conditions for Hunter’s release, he must not consume alcohol or prohibited drugs, or possess a firearm, must submit to random drug tests as required, must actively seek employment and not violate any laws.

On Sunday, Biden attorney Abbe Lowell blamed prosecutors for drafting the agreements the judge wouldn’t approve. Biden’s lawyers said Sunday they believed the gun diversion deal was still “valid and binding.” Abbe Lowell, one of the attorneys, placed blame on prosecutors for drafting the agreements the judge took issue with. -CNN. After the plea deal unraveled, US Attorney David Weiss requested and was granted “special counsel” status by Attorney General Merrick Garland. According to prosecutors, there is still an ongoing investigation which may carry future charges outside the scope of the plea deal. Biden pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes, and will avoid prison charge for possessing a gun while addicted to an illegal drug. The deal sought to cap a five-year investigation into Hunter’s tax affairs and business dealings, which federal prosecutors say Hunter failed to pay over $100,000 of income tax on at least $1.5 million in income between 2017 and 2018.

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“We look forward to a detailed review of this indictment which is undoubtedly just as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been..”

Trump Attorneys Slam ‘Flawed, Unconstitutional’ Fulton County Indictment (Sp.)

A 41-count indictment, including against former US President Donald Trump, approved by a Fulton County grand jury in the state of Georgia in an election interference case, is “flawed and unconstitutional,” Trump attorneys said, adding that they look forward to a detailed review of the indictment. A Fulton County grand jury indicted Monday night Trump with 13 criminal charges related to an investigation alleging he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to a court document. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis later told reporters that the grand jury had issued arrest warrants for the 19 defendants named in the indictment, but they all have until August 25 to voluntarily surrender.

“This one-sided grand jury presentation relied on witnesses who harbor their own personal and political interests— some of whom ran campaigns touting their efforts against the accused and/or profited from book deals and employment opportunities as a result. We look forward to a detailed review of this indictment which is undoubtedly just as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been,” the attorneys noted in a statement distributed by the ex-president in an email to his supporters.

The process leading up to the decision was “shocking and absurd, starting with the leak of a presumed and premature indictment before the witnesses had testified or the grand jurors had deliberated and ending with the District Attorney being unable to offer any explanation,” they stressed. “In light of this major fumble, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office clearly decided to force through and rush this 98-page indictment,” the attorneys emphasized. The former US president was previously indicted on charges related to his supporters’ storming of the Capitol in January 2021, financial fraud in payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and mishandling of classified government documents.

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“You either agree with the government’s interpretation of election results or else you risk going to jail.”

Justice Shrugged: The Persecution of Donald Trump (Miele)

Trump’s refusal to accept the election results turns on his deep sense of individualistic ambition, his willingness to challenge societal norms, and his determination not to surrender his principles, even at the expense of public ridicule, political persecution, and now potentially years in prison. But you can’t view the 2020 election in a vacuum. Trump was no different than Rearden in fighting what he knows is a rigged system. For the preceding five years, Trump had been the victim of a series of vicious attacks by the Deep State and the media who never really accepted him as president. So Trump had no reason to accept the election results parroted by the same actors who had already tried to destroy him multiple times. And now, two and a half years after the 2020 election, as Trump has a fighting chance of returning to the White House in the greatest political comeback in history, his enemies have come for him again, with three separate indictments and soon to be a fourth.

The four-count indictment most recently brought against Trump by Special Counsel Jack Smith is intended to make a victory in 2024 nearly impossible. The Deep State in this case represents the entrenched bureaucracy of the federal government as well as the individual states’ election officials. This is the same Deep State that gathered up 51 national security officials to sign a statement prior to the 2020 election that falsely claimed that Hunter Biden’s laptop “has all the classic earmarks of Russian disinformation.” It had none of them. No wonder Trump was disinclined to accept their conclusions that the election was secure and fair. Trump sought to prove his concerns about the legitimacy of the 2020 election by pursuing a vigorous legal strategy as was guaranteed to him under the First Amendment’s right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Biden’s weaponized Department of Justice is determined to deny that right to Donald Trump, and by extension to the rest of us. You either agree with the government’s interpretation of election results or else you risk going to jail. The indictment brought against Trump acknowledges that everyone has a First Amendment right to speak their minds and even to “formally challenge the results of the election through lawful and appropriate means,” but it then avers that Trump’s right to believe he won the election is abrogated by a string of court losses and equally pessimistic assessments from so-called experts.

Here’s where it gets interesting, and where the Department of Justice has overstepped. The four counts in the indictment are based on what prosecutor Jack Smith calls three conspiracies: “A conspiracy to defraud the United States” by seeking to stop the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021; “a conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the Jan. 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified; and “a conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.”

All of these alleged conspiracies and the resulting four charges are directly related to the joint congressional session on Jan. 6, when the Electoral College votes were opened and debated to determine whether they should be counted. Moreover, when Jack Smith announced the indictment, he suggested that Trump was responsible for the riot that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on that day, yet none of the charges hold Trump responsible for the violence. Every charge in this dubious indictment could have been brought even if the protesters had marched “peacefully and patriotically” to the Capitol as Trump had requested. The charges in the indictment have nothing to do with the violence; they only relate to Trump’s insistence that he won the election, and that he would do whatever it takes to prove it.

In other words, these are not real crimes like insurrection or sedition; they are thought crimes. Smith’s “conspiracy” charges simply reflect that Trump consulted his lawyers to develop a legal strategy on how to right the wrong that he perceived. In its substance, from paragraphs 8 to 123, the indictment merely alleges over and over again that Trump refused to accept the conclusions of others that the election of Biden was legitimate, and that he had help from like-minded attorneys. How infuriating that must be to prosecutor Smith, who believes with all his heart that no one could doubt the veracity of what government officials (like him!) tell us.

Tucker 2020

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Every single word, even every thought, becomes a crime..

The Criminalization of Election Controversies (Turley)

The long-anticipated indictment by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected in the coming days and will focus on alleged election tampering and related offenses in the 2020 presidential election. If indictments were treated like frequent flyer miles, Donald Trump would get the Georgia indictment for free. However, it will be anything but costless. Regardless of the merits, it will magnify both the cost and complications for Trump. Like the New York indictment, a Georgia indictment would not be subject to a presidential pardon. Not only have GOP candidates indicated that they would pardon Trump on any federal charges if elected to the presidency, Trump could pardon himself (including a preemptive pardon before trial) if elected — but that power does not reach state convictions.

As with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, many view Willis as a Democratic prosecutor pursuing the highly unpopular former president. However, given the three grand juries and the three years that have passed, Willis may have found new evidence or witnesses that could tie Trump to criminal conduct in seeking to challenge the results in the election. Thus far, the focus has been on the controversial call that Trump had with Georgia officials — a call widely cited as indisputable evidence of an effort at voting fraud. Yet, the call was similar to a settlement discussion, as state officials and the Trump team hashed out their differences and a Trump demand for a statewide recount. Trump had lost the state by less than 12,000 votes. That might be what he meant when he stated, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”

Mark Meadows was charged for asking for a politician’s phone number…

While others have portrayed the statement as a raw call for fabricating the votes, it seems more likely that Trump was swatting back claims that there was no value to a statewide recount by pointing out that he wouldn’t have to find a statistically high number of votes to change the outcome of the election. It is telling that many politicians and pundits refuse to even acknowledge that obvious alternate meaning. For Trump’s part, he is not helping with his signature, all-caps social media attacks. In addition to attacking Willis for a supposedly “racist” and “unethical” past, Trump recently declared that Willis “wants to indict me for a perfect phone call; this was even better than my perfect call on Ukraine.” I have previously disagreed with the claimed perfection of that Ukraine call, the subject of Trump’s first impeachment. However, neither call needs to be “perfect” to be protected.

The importance made of the call in the likely Georgia indictment will be one of the greatest “tells” as to what Willis has in terms of evidence. If the call is a critical linchpin to the prosecution, it will look like a political stunt out of the Bragg-school of prosecution. There have also been stories indicating that Willis is focusing on connections of Trump team members like Rudy Giuliani to a “breach” of the voting system on Jan. 7, 2021. The team was seeking access to the voting machines to show that they could be compromised or manipulated. Text messages state that the team secured an “invitation” to examine the machines in Coffee County.

Pipe burst

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The biggest show on earth. Brought to you by Disney…

Trump Must Turn Himself In At Georgia Jail – Sheriff (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants on his racketeering case are set to be booked on their charges at a county jail in Georgia, a departure from the courthouse processing seen in his three other criminal cases. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office announced the decision on Tuesday, saying that Trump and the other defendants could appear at the local jail to turn themselves in “at any time,” though noted the plan is still subject to change due to the “unprecedented nature” of the case. “At this point, based on guidance received from the district attorney’s office and presiding judge, it is expected that all 19 defendants named in the indictment will be booked at the Rice Street Jail,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement, pointing out that the facility is “open 24/7.”

That procedure would differ from Trump’s other ongoing criminal litigation, in which he has been processed inside courthouses. During booking, defendants are typically photographed and fingerprinted, and while Trump was not required to provide mugshots for his other lawsuits, Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat said he planned to snap a photo of the ex-president for the racketeering case. “It doesn’t matter your status. We have a mugshot ready for you,” Labat told reporters ahead of the latest indictment. “Unless someone tells me differently, we are following our normal practices.” Trump and a long list of his current and former allies were hit with a sweeping 41-count indictment earlier this week, with prosecutors alleging they worked to invalidate Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential race.

Among the charges is a felony racketeering count, as well as several counts for conspiracy to interfere in an election, perjury, and soliciting a public official to violate their oath. The latest round of charges mark Trump’s fourth criminal indictment this year alone, with federal prosecutors previously slapping him with dozens of felony counts for the alleged mishandling of classified material after leaving the White House in 2021. He has also been charged in New York for an alleged hush-money scheme with porn actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign, and faces a separate election-interference case led by special counsel Jack Smith, who is also spearheading the classified documents trial. Trump, who has announced his candidacy in the 2024 presidential contest, has denied all wrongdoing in each case, insisting he has been unfairly targeted in a politically motivated “witch hunt” which began during his own presidency.

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“..$900 from each and every US household, at a time when most Americans say they can’t afford a $1,000 emergency.”

Ukraine Matters To Biden More Than Hawaii – Ron Paul (RT)

President Joe Biden is demanding another $24 billion for Ukraine while the US “disintegrates,”former Texas congressman Ron Paul wrote on Monday, pointing out the unprecedented devastation from the Hawaii fires. It’s “hard to look at recent footage of the devastation in Maui and then hear President Biden tell Congress that he needs another $24 billion for Ukraine,” Paul said. “How can this Administration continue to justify tens of billions of dollars for this losing war that is not in our interest while the rest of the United States disintegrates?” The US has poured “well over $120 billion” into the “proxy war on Russia,” Paul added. He cited a Heritage Foundation analysis that calculated this comes out to $900 from each and every US household, at a time when most Americans say they can’t afford a $1,000 emergency.

“How many Americans would rather have those $900 dollars back in their pocket rather than in the pockets of Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, and Ukraine’s oligarchs?” Paul asked, noting that even the establishment media is now admitting that “Ukraine is not winning and cannot win.” “Continuing to pour money into a losing cause will just result in bankruptcy at home and more dead Ukrainians overseas,” Paul concluded. The Texas physician served in Congress for a total of 23 years and ran for president three times – as a Libertarian in 1988, and in Republican primaries in 2008 and 2012 – before retiring in 2013 to found the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Multiple fires broke out in Hawaii last week, devastating the island of Maui and practically destroying the historic town of Lahaina.

As of Sunday, the death toll was reported at 96, with at least 1,000 more people still missing. “This is the largest natural disaster we’ve ever experienced,” Hawaii Governor Josh Green said at a news conference on Sunday. Damages to homes alone were estimated at $6 billion. Biden spent the weekend on the beach in Rehoboth, Delaware. He said “no comment” when asked about Maui. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday confirmed there were no plans for the president to visit Hawaii. Last week, Biden sent Congress a request for $13 billion in “security assistance” and $7.3 billion for “economic and humanitarian assistance” for Ukraine, which has included paying the salaries of government employees in Kiev.

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“hyperbolic rhetoric”

Team Biden Hurts US Prestige and Credibility By Walking Into Ukraine Trap (Sp.)

US observers have raised the question whether President Joe Biden could shift from his maximalist aims in Ukraine which threaten to turn into a trap for Washington. Prior to the much-anticipated 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive, American politicians and mainstream press had drawn a picture of what the endgame in Ukraine should look like, with Kiev forces seizing as much territory as it could to gain the upper hand in negotiations. Citing White House officials, the US media suggested that by the end of summer, Ukraine would tip the balance in its favor. However, the reality on the ground does not match expectations. The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a DC-based think tank, has raised the question as to whether Team Biden has a Plan B for a face-saving exit after it persuaded everyone in the West that anything short of Kiev’s victory would be a global catastrophe.

In fact, the Biden administration set a trap for itself by employing a “hyperbolic rhetoric” in order to sell the idea of Washington’s Ukraine war to the American public and the world’s community. President Biden raised the stakes as high as possible while claiming in February 2023 during his speech in Poland that “what literally is at stake is not just Ukraine, it’s freedom.” Another talking point of the US foreign policy establishment, lawmakers and academia was that Russia’s victory would not only “embolden” Moscow for new “invasions” but also encourage Beijing to “take military action” against Taiwan – something that has been repeatedly denied as nonsense by China which has always seen the island as its inalienable territory.

Republican presidential contender Chris Christie has even gone so far as to claim that China’s potential “invasion” of Taiwan would inevitably necessitate putting American boots on the ground. As a result, the hyped-up narrative deprived Team Biden of room for maneuver: should the US president decide to pull out, he would have to explain to the international community why he is “giving up” on democracy and human values, bowing down to “dictators”, and leaving the world in “danger.”

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Ukraine Could Give Up Territory To Russia – NATO Official (RT)

Kiev could end up relinquishing some of its former territory in exchange for NATO membership, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s chief of staff, Stian Jenssen said at a debate on Tuesday. In his own statements on the issue, Stoltenberg has insisted that Kiev will set its own terms for “victory.” “I think that a solution could be for Ukraine to give up territory, and get NATO membership in return,” Jenssen said at the debate, according to Norway’s VG newspaper. This discussion is already underway within NATO, he said, suggesting that it could be a “possible solution” to the conflict. No NATO leaders have publicly endorsed the idea of Kiev giving up its claims to the territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, or Zaporozhye, which were incorporated into the Russian Federation following referendums last September.

Likewise, while Western officials have cast doubt on Ukraine’s ability to seize Crimea – an historical Russian territory which rejoined the Russian Federation in 2014, none have urged Kiev to abandon its claim to the peninsula. Such an idea has apparently been floated behind the scenes, however. Swiss outlet Neue Zürcher Zeitung claimed in February, citing sources, that CIA Director William Burns had offered Russia a “land for peace” deal in which Moscow would keep “20% of Ukrainian territory.” The White House, the CIA, and the Kremlin all denied that such a proposal had been made. Whether such a deal would be accepted by Kiev or Moscow remains doubtful. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated last year that securing the military neutrality of Ukraine was a key factor behind his decision to send troops into the country, and that having a NATO-aligned Ukraine on Russia’s borders would present an unacceptable security risk.

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council chief Aleksey Danilov stated on Tuesday that Kiev will never negotiate with Putin’s government, that none of Ukraine’s Western backers are pushing for peace, and that “Russia must be destroyed like a modern-day Carthage.” Achieving this goal is proving extremely difficult for Kiev. Two months into its long-anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, the Ukrainian military has lost more than 43,000 men and nearly 5,000 pieces of heavy equipment, according to the latest figures from the Russian Defense Ministry.

Stoltenberg insists that NATO will “ensure that Ukraine gets the weapons it needs to be able to retake territory, liberate the lands and win this war and prevail as a sovereign, independent nation.” While he has delivered variations on this statement throughout the conflict, NATO has been more evasive on when Ukraine can join the military bloc. After a summit in Lithuania last month at which Kiev was denied an offer of membership, NATO’s 31 members put out a joint statement explaining that Ukraine can join only “when allies agree and conditions are met.”

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“..To enter the bloc [NATO], the Kiev authorities would have to give up even Kiev itself, the capital of Ancient Rus..”

If Ukraine Agrees To Give Up Territories, It Will Lose Kiev – Medvedev (TASS)

Should Ukraine agree to relinquish disputed territories for the sake of joining NATO, it will have to give up even Kiev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, said on his Telegram channel. While commenting on a remark by the director of NATO’s Secretary-General’s Private Office, Stian Jenssen, to the effect that Ukraine might become a member of the alliance in case of territorial concessions to Russia, Medvedev wrote: “Why? The idea is curious. The only question is that all of allegedly ‘their’ territories are highly disputable. To enter the bloc [NATO], the Kiev authorities would have to give up even Kiev itself, the capital of Ancient Rus,” he added.

“Well, they (the Ukrainian authorities – TASS) would have to move the capital to Lvov then. If, of course, the Poles agree,” Medvedev remarked. The director of NATO Secretary General’s Private Office, Stian Jenssen, said earlier on Tuesday that Ukraine could become a NATO member if it agreed to cede territories that it currently refused to recognize as part of Russia.

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“..Kiev’s foreign advisers are essentially using the Ukraine conflict as a testing ground for various military strategies involving Western weapons, while President Vladimir Zelensky supplies the manpower for these experiments…”

Western Military Dominance ‘Has Ended’ – Moscow (RT)

Asian, African and Latin American states have seen their role in the global arena increase as Western military dominance has started to wane, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said. Speaking at the 21st International Security Conference in Moscow on Tuesday, the minister argued that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has “put an end to the dominance of the collective West in the military sphere.” “Just as the defeat of fascism by the Red Army in Europe in the last century gave a powerful impetus to anti-colonial movements throughout the world, so will the defeat of the Ukrainian neo-fascists supported by the West serve as a factor in counteracting modern neo-colonialism,” Shoigu said.

The minister noted that Russia is currently fighting “not just the armed forces of Ukraine, but the entire collective West,” which, he added, has recently been joined by several states from the Asia-Pacific region. In its confrontations with Kiev’s forces, which have been provided with foreign weaponry worth billions of dollars, Russia has dispelled many myths about the superiority of Western military standards, Shoigu said. It has become clear that the use of Western weapons and supposedly advanced NATO tactics and training “cannot ensure superiority on the battlefield,” he added. The minister also claimed that Kiev’s foreign advisers are essentially using the Ukraine conflict as a testing ground for various military strategies involving Western weapons, while President Vladimir Zelensky supplies the manpower for these experiments.

Shoigu said the losses among Ukrainian military personnel are being disregarded by Ukraine’s Western backers. The Russian minister also claimed that Ukraine’s military resources are almost completely exhausted, according to preliminary estimates. Russia’s Defense Ministry had previously reported that since launching their counteroffensive operation in early June, Ukraine’s forces had lost some 43,000 soldiers as well as nearly 5,000 pieces of heavy equipment, including dozens of Western tanks and combat vehicles. Shoigu suggested that the US is using the Ukraine conflict to line the pockets of its defense industry by forcing its partners in Europe to procure new products to replace those they have sent to Kiev.

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“Under these conditions, bilateral relations between Russia and China have surpassed the level of strategic ties in all respects, becoming more than just allied.”

Ukraine’s Military Resources Are “Almost Exhausted” – Shoigu (ZH)

Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu in fresh remarks before a security conference in Moscow acknowledged that while the special military operation in Ukraine has been a real test for Russia, the reality is that Ukraine’s ability to fight and its resources have been “almost exhausted”. He further said the Russian military has learned much about the West’s advanced weapons systems in the process. “In the special military operation, the Russian army has debunked many myths about the superiority of Western military standards,” he said in the rare public speech, as cited in Reuters. “The preliminary results of combat operations show that Ukraine’s military resources are almost exhausted,” he emphasized at one point, but without providing further specifics.

Importantly, China’s own defense chief, Li Shangfu, was in the audience for the event. The Kremlin has recently said that a Putin trip to Beijing to meet with President Xi Jinping is “on the agenda”, to happen by year’s end. Shoigu during the speech touted the large numbers of Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles that have been taken out on the Ukrainian battlefield. “We have data on … the destruction of German tanks, American armored vehicles, British missiles and other weapons systems,” he said. “We are ready to share our assessments … with our partners.” Likely he had China in particular in mind, also as he followed by comparing the West’s deep involvement in Ukraine to the Taiwan situation. He then said: “Under these conditions, bilateral relations between Russia and China have surpassed the level of strategic ties in all respects, becoming more than just allied.”

While time may soon tell whether or not Ukraine’s defenses are “almost exhausted” – it has become very clear that the counteroffensive is not going well, and Biden’s ‘all in’ support to Kiev is becoming politically unpopular and an additional liability for Democrats going into the 2024 presidential election. Another key part of the Russian defense chief’s speech touched on nuclear weapons. He blasted allegations by the West that Putin is ready to use them: “From a military point of view, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve the set goals,” Shoigu said at an international security conference in Moscow. He slammed media speculation that Russia could potentially use nuclear or chemical weapons to compensate for slow progress in its nearly six-month military campaign in Ukraine as “absolute lies.”

Read more …

As NATO eyes the Pacific.

Shoigu Hails High Level Of Contacts Between Russia, Chinese Military (TASS)

Russia and China maintain communication between the two countries’ military at a high level and conduct joint land, naval and air drills, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday. “We are maintaining contacts at a high level, exchanging delegations, conducting joint exercises and drill – this is shown on all global channels – about our joint patrols on land, at sea, and in the air,” he said during a working meeting Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu on the sidelines of the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security. The Russian defense minister noted that cooperation with China is developed both bilaterally and within multilateral formats, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the ADMM-Plus (ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus).

“Russia and China are strategic partners, good neighbors and close friends,” he stressed. “During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia this March, the leaders of our countries reiterated that Russian-Chinese comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation have reached the highest point ever in the entire history of bilateral relations. We are implementing our leaders’ agreements in practice.” Shoigu thanked his Chinese counterpart for taking part in the Moscow security conference, noting that Li’s speech at the conference opening and the analysis of international situation “deserve closer attention.”

The Russian defense minister noted that China traditionally takes an active part in the Army international forum and China’s products traditionally attract specialists’ interest. “Yesterday, I visited your exposition, which broadly represents China’s defense sector. I saw many new and promising things,” Shoigu said, adding that since the previous exhibition, where China also took part, “a serious step forward had been taken.” “Today, all companies, all countries taking part in the exhibition take into account the experience of the latest development, including in the zone of the special military operation,” he said. The Russian minister said he is confident that today’s meeting will help strengthen the traditionally friendly ties between the two countries’ defense ministries and enhancing regional and global security.

He noted that this is his third meeting with his Chinese counterpart this year and congratulated him on the 96th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which was marked on August 1. The Army 2023 international military-technical forum is running at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center, the Alabino training ground and the Kubinka airfield outside Moscow on August 14-20. About 1,500 leading Russian defense enterprises and 85 foreign companies and businesses from seven countries are participating in the forum’s expositions and business program. The forum has been organized by the Russian Defense Ministry. TASS is the forum’s strategic media partner.

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“..despite “outstanding performance characteristics” their highly-sophisticated equipment couldn’t perform appropriately in Ukraine’s tough battlefield conditions.”

Why US Drones Prove Useless in Ukraine (Sp.)

After China banned exports of long-range remotely-piloted aircraft to Ukraine, US military experts found that American arm-makers have nothing to offer the Ukrainian military to fill the gap. On one hand, US defense-tech firms produce drones with a price tag starting from $16,000, well above China’s DJI Mavic UAVs that cost around $2,000 or even less. What’s more, according to the US mainstream press, some US defense contractors who have spent months testing their drones in Ukraine have now decided to leave their drones in storage. The crux of the matter is that despite “outstanding performance characteristics” their highly-sophisticated equipment couldn’t perform appropriately in Ukraine’s tough battlefield conditions.

American arms manufacturers have long been focused on qualitative superiority of their systems while their Russian and Chinese peers concentrated on functionality and quantity, as per David T. Pyne, an EMP Task Force scholar and former US Department of Defense officer. “During the latter stages of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, the US focused on producing more expensive high-tech weapon systems that were qualitatively superior to Soviet systems in most areas while the Soviets more than compensated for US technological superiority by outproducing the US and its NATO allies by a wide margin. While Russia has caught up with the US technologically, I think the same Cold War-era mentality that quality is more important than quantity continues to hold true here in the US as we continue to prioritize more high-tech equipment even though it costs a lot more money to produce,” Pyne told Sputnik.

According to Pyne, Russia appears to have a much more cost-effective military budget than the US has “because its procurement, manufacturing and personnel costs are lower.” Russia’s electronic warfare (EW) systems, air defenses and aircraft reportedly pose yet another challenge to NATO-grade unmanned vehicles. “Russian electronic warfare capabilities remain the best in the world across the electromagnetic spectrum,” the EMP Task Force scholar stressed. “I think that Russian EW systems remain highly effective against US-built drones although media reports indicate that the US is helping Ukraine learn how to more effectively counter Russian GPS jamming equipment, likely reducing the percentage of Ukrainian drones it can successfully jam down to perhaps eighty percent.”

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“..a “sabotage hit squad” consisting of some 100 Ukrainian “nationalist and neo-Nazi militants..”

MI6 Plans To Send Ukrainian Mercenaries To Africa (RT)

The UK foreign intelligence service MI6 has allegedly prepared a group of saboteurs to disrupt Russia’s growing economic cooperation with African states, a military-diplomatic source told the RIA and TASS news agencies on Wednesday. The British spy agency created a “sabotage hit squad” consisting of some 100 Ukrainian “nationalist and neo-Nazi militants,” the source claimed, citing “information confirmed by several sources.” London reportedly asked Kiev back in July to “provide maximum and prompt assistance to representatives of the British intelligence MI6 and SAS special unit” in order to select fighters with “significant combat experience on the ‘eastern front’.”

The source, cited by both RIA and TASS, claimed that the British-Ukrainian unit will be tasked with “sabotage of infrastructure in African countries, as well as the elimination of African leaders oriented towards cooperation with Russia.” The militant group, alleged to be headed by Kiev’s Main Directorate of Intelligence officer Lt. Col. Vitaliy Prashchuk, is expected to be deployed to the Sudanese city of Omdurman from the Ukrainian port of Izmail by a “chartered civilian ship” sometime during the second half of August, the source added. London has been deeply involved in the Ukraine conflict since its escalation in February 2022, supplying domestically produced and foreign military hardware to Ukraine, training Ukrainian troops in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, and sharing intelligence.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May that British special forces “are operating very close to the front lines” and that their “guiding influence on Ukrainian special-forces activity is evident in the sabotage operations Ukraine has conducted against Russian railway, airfield, fuel and other logistical nodes.” “We can’t rule out that the British participated in the planning, organization and support of terrorist attacks carried out by the Kiev regime on the territory of Russia,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said at the time, adding that Moscow reserves the right to respond to such conduct by the UK at a time and place of its choosing.

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“..charities and foundations are strictly forbidden by law to operate with the effect, much less the intent, of benefiting a political party..”

How Charities Secretly Help Win Elections (Thayer)

This investigation reveals the shocking true story of the Everybody Votes campaign—the largest and most corrupt “charitable” voter registration effort in American history—that may have decided the 2020 presidential election and could decide 2024. Commissioned by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, funded by the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, and coordinated with cutthroat Democratic consultants, the Everybody Votes campaign used the guise of civic-minded charity to selectively register millions of “non-white” swing-state voters in the hopes of getting out the Democratic vote for a 2020 presidential win. It worked. Our exclusive research reveals how a little-known organization called the Voter Registration Project (VRP) leveraged connections with billionaire private foundations, Sam Bankman-Fried’s mother, and foreign billionaires with a history of breaking U.S. election law to raise $190 million for the Everybody Votes campaign and register 5.1 million people.

Using data from leaked copies of the campaign’s secret plans, as well as 2020 exit polls, our researchers have discovered that the VRP’s 5.1 million new registrations provided Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with somewhere between 1 million to 2.7 million votes across eight specially chosen swing states during the 2020 election. If the state-by-state projections of the campaign’s Democratic consultants held true into 2020, the Everybody Votes campaign’s “massive registration surge” would have provided Democrats more votes than the total margins of victory in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Biden ultimately won each of these states in 2020, netting him 53 electoral college votes.

Our investigation proves, once and for all, that Democrats used truckloads of money from private foundations and public charities to give their donors enormous tax breaks and pad their electoral margins in 2020, even though charities and foundations are strictly forbidden by law to operate with the effect, much less the intent, of benefiting a political party. The investigation also proves that the campaign’s supposed concerns for the “civic participation” of “underrepresented communities” were nothing more than a convenient lie. Unearthed drafts of the Everybody Votes campaign’s original partisan schematics prove that the campaign was designed to win elections first and worry about “civic participation” later. Changing the electorate’s racial composition was only ever a secondary concern.

If the Everybody Votes campaign was a political action committee (PAC) or a 501(c)(4) “dark money” group and if the organizers had just admitted they cared more about electoral results than inequality, then there would be no scandal. But it wasn’t, and they didn’t, and the result is an enormous scandal entangling some of the Left’s biggest political donors and many of its most powerful nonprofit activist groups. It’s not just a scandal of the past either. The operation was so successful in 2020 that the Everybody Votes campaign has announced it will continue on through 2024, registering millions more. New job listings suggest that this cycle’s operations will target Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin—each a must-win presidential swing state. Only time will tell if the campaign is a repeat success.

Read more …









Dig through earth





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Jun 202023
 June 20, 2023  Posted by at 5:00 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  6 Responses »

Thomas Cole The Course of Empire – The Consummation of Empire 1836



Andrew Korybko:


Putin’s Three Latest Appearances

President Putin strongly suggested in a series of appearances last week that a political solution to the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine is still possible. Those of his supporters in the Alt-Media Community who convinced themselves that the special operation won’t stop until Russian forces reach the Polish border are bound to be infuriated by this assessment, but it’s based on his own words as proven by the official Kremlin website. Here are the three appearances that will be cited in this analysis:

* 13 June: “Meeting with war correspondents

* 16 June: “Plenary session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum

* 17 June: “Meeting with heads of delegations of African states

What follows are relevant excerpts from each appearance along with a one-sentence summary of the point that he conveyed in each passage. After going through all three of them, the next subchapter will summarize President Putin’s envisaged end game to this proxy war. Finally, the last part of this analysis will then conclude with a few thoughts about the viability of his plans, which are arguably quite reasonable if one takes the time to calmly dwell upon them.

Meeting With War Correspondents

* Russia still intends to achieve its original objectives in the special operation.

– “[The goals and tasks of the special military operation] are changing in accordance with the current situation but of course overall we are not changing anything. Our goals are fundamental for us.”

* The demilitarization of Ukraine remains on track.

– “We are dealing with this gradually, methodically…The Ukrainian defence industry will soon cease to exist altogether. What do they produce? Ammunition is delivered, equipment is delivered and weapons are delivered – everything is delivered. You won’t live long like that, you won’t last. So, the issue of demilitarisation is raised in very practical terms.”

* Kiev’s counteroffensive is failing.

– “If we look at irretrievable losses, clearly, the defending side suffers fewer losses, but this ratio of 1 to 10 is in our favour. Our losses are one-tenth of the losses of the Ukrainian forces. The situation is even more serious with armour…By my calculations, these losses are about 25 or maybe 30 percent of the equipment supplied from abroad.”

* Attacks against Russia’s pre-2014 territory are designed to divert its forces from the frontlines.

– “As for border areas, there is a problem, and it is connected – and I think you understand this too – mainly with a desire to divert our forces and resources to this side, to withdraw part of the units from those areas that are considered the most important and critical from the point of view of possible offensive by the armed forces of Ukraine.”

* The creation of buffer zones to protect Russia’s pre-2014 territory is being considered.

– “If this continues, then we will apparently have to consider the issue – and I say this very carefully – in order to create some kind of buffer zone on the territory of Ukraine at such a distance from which it would be impossible to reach our territory. But this is a separate issue, I am not saying that we will start this work tomorrow. We have to see how the situation develops.”

* The now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine helped Russia solidify its eastern and southern gains.

– “Even though they tossed it, nevertheless, we used this time to get where we are now which is practically all of Novorossiya and a significant portion of the Donetsk People’s Republic with access to the Sea of ​​Azov and Mariupol. And almost all of the Lugansk People’s Republic, with a few exceptions.”

* Russia might mobilize if it decides to move on Kiev again, but there’s no need for that today.

– “Do we need to go back [to Kiev] or not? Why am I asking this rhetorical question? Clearly, you do not have an answer to it, only I can answer that. But depending on our goals, we must decide on mobilisation, but there is no need for that today.”

* One of the fundamental factors of this conflict is that the West is flooding Ukraine with arms.

– “You know, this is a fundamental question, absolutely fundamental. When we say – I said it, and you repeated it – that the West is flooding Ukraine with weapons, this is a fact, nobody is hiding this; on the contrary, they are proud of it.”

* Russia’s military-technical production surged over the past year.

– “During the year, we increased the production of our main weapons by 2.7 times. As for the manufacture of the most in-demand weapons, we increased this by ten times. Ten times!”

* Not every one of Russia’s responses to the crossing of its “red lines” is covered by the media.

– “Not everything may be covered by the media, although there is nothing to be ashamed of. Are strikes on Ukraine’s energy system not an answer to them crossing the red lines? And the destruction of the headquarters of the main intelligence directorate of the armed forces of Ukraine outside Kiev, almost within Kiev’s city limits, is it not the answer? It is.”

* The Ukrainian state exists and must be treated with respect, but it’s unacceptable to threaten Russia.

– “With regard to ‘what Ukraine are they talking about,’ Ukraine, such as it may be, does exist and we must treat it with respect…If they want to live in our historical territories, then they should influence their political leadership so that it establishes proper relations with Russia and no one poses a threat to us from these territories. This is the issue. This is what the issue is all about.”

* It’s debatable that the West will continue supplying weapons to Ukraine no matter its losses.

– “This is debatable (which was said in response to a war correspondent’s claim that ‘Clearly, no matter what losses Ukraine suffers, the Western countries will continue to supply weapons to it’).”

* There’s no guarantee that Russia will go on the offensive after the failure of Kiev’s counteroffensive.

– “I think that, being aware – I say this with good reason – of the catastrophic losses, the leadership, whatever it may be it has a head on its shoulders, should think about what to do next. We will wait and see what the situation is like and take further steps based on this understanding.”

* Depleted uranium shells are being shipped to Ukraine because the West already ran out of all others.

– “They simply have no shells, but they have depleted-uranium shells in warehouses. It appears that they have now decided to use these shells for the time being. They have swept the warehouses clean”.

* The EU’s snowballing economic problems will impede its plans to produce more arms for Ukraine.

– “The (EU’s) economic problems are snowballing…So, it is not so easy to produce everything there, and even more difficult to expand production and build new facilities. This will come in handy for us, because Russia has a special situation. We must build up our armaments; we will have to, and we will accumulate strategic reserves in warehouses.”

* American mission creep is creating very serious risks for Russia.

– “The United States is getting more and more involved in this conflict, almost directly involved, provoking serious international security crises. Correcting the movements of drones that are attacking our warships is a very serious risk. This is very serious, and they should know that we know about it. We will think about what to do with this in the future. In general, this is how it is.”

* Peace talks could resume and the Istanbul draft treaty be revived if the US cuts off Kiev’s arms supply.

– “We have never refused – as I said a thousand times – to participate in any talks that may lead to a peace settlement…Ultimately it is about the United States’ interests. We know that they hold the key to solving issues. If they genuinely want to end today’s conflict via negotiations, they only need to make one decision which is to stop supplying weapons and equipment. That’s it. Ukraine itself does not manufacture anything. Tomorrow, they will want to hold talks that are not formal, but substantive, and not to confront us with ultimatums, but to return to what was agreed upon, say, in Istanbul.”

* Many Americans are afraid of their country starting World War III since they know it won’t win.

– “[The US] pretend(s) not to be [afraid to endlessly escalate the situation and raise the stakes]. In fact, there are many people there who think clearly and are unwilling to lead the world into a third world war in which there will be no winners; even the United States will not come out of it as a winner.”

Plenary Session Of The St Petersburg International Economic Forum

* President Putin repeated Russia’s military-technical statistics from his last appearance.

– “Our defence industry is gaining momentum every day. We have increased military production by 2.7 times during the last year. Our production of the most critical weapons has gone up ten times and keeps increasing.

* Basing Ukraine’s NATO-supplied F-16s outside that country would pose a serious danger for Russia.

– “The F-16s will be burning too (if they’re sent to Ukraine), no doubt about it. But if they are located at air bases outside Ukraine and are used in hostilities, we will have to think about how and where we can hit the resources that are used against us in the hostilities. There is a serious danger of NATO’s further involvement in this armed conflict.”

* The door to diplomacy remains open if the West decides to resume talks with Russia.

– “We never closed [the door to diplomacy]. They were the ones who decided to close it, yet they keep peeking through the crack at us”.

* Attacks inside Russia are designed to provoke an overwhelming response.

“Knowing that there is little chance of success (on the frontline), they are provoking us (through the Belgorod and Kremlin attacks) into making a harsh response, hoping to point the finger at us and say, ‘Look at them; they are malicious and cruel; nobody should have any dealings with them.’ They want to say this to all the partners we are working with now. So, no, there is no need to take such actions.”

* Nevertheless, a buffer zone is still in the cards, though Russia won’t let this distract it from the front.

– “As for these adjacent territories, it is an attempt to distract our attention from the possible key areas of the main offensive they are considering, an attempt to force us to redeploy units we have amassed in other areas of combat, and so on…I have already said that if these attacks on our adjacent territories continue, we will consider the possibility of creating a buffer zone in the Ukrainian territory. They should know what this can lead to. We use long-range high-precision weapons against military targets, and we are succeeding in all these areas.”

* Russia isn’t contemplating a nuclear first strike and will only use these weapons in self-defense.

– “I have already said that the use of the ultimate deterrent is only possible in case of a threat to the Russian state. In this case, we will certainly use all the forces and means at the disposal of the Russian state. There is no doubt about that.”

Meeting With Heads Of Delegations Of African States

* Russia will still talk with Ukraine despite the possibility that it might withdraw from other agreements.

– “Russia has never rejected any talks…Turkiye hosted a whole series of talks between Russia and Ukraine to work out confidence-building measures, which you have just mentioned, and draft the text of the treaty…But after we withdrew our forces from Kiev, as we had promised, the Kiev authorities, just like their masters usually do, dumped it into the dustbin of history, let’s put it mildly, I will try to avoid any foul expressions. They rejected this. Where are the guarantees that they will not withdraw from other agreements? But even amidst such circumstances, we never refused to hold talks.”

Putin’s Envisaged End Game

The preceding subchapters highlighted the most relevant excerpts from President Putin’s latest media appearances with respect to his envisaged end game. At present, he’s clearly reluctant to escalate the conflict through a second round of mobilization, which he said could precede another march on Kiev. That’s not needed for the time being, however, since the first one already served its military purpose of solidifying Russia’s gains in the east and south even if its political one of reaching a peace deal failed.

The demilitarization of Ukraine remains one of President Putin’s most important objectives, which he said is proceeding as proven by the destruction of its military-industrial complex. Although the enemy continues attacking Russia’s pre-2014 borders, he believes that this is aimed at diverting his country’s forces from the front, which is why he’s hesitant to carve out a buffer zone there right now even though it remains in the cards and could possibly be achieved with only missiles instead of dispatching troops.

The NATO-Russian “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” that Secretary-General Stoltenberg finally acknowledged in mid-February is trending in Moscow’s favor as evidenced by its military-industrial output spiking between 2.7-10 times depending on the particular product. The West is already running very low on supplies to Ukraine and that’s why it’s now resorting to the dispatch of depleted uranium, President Putin noted, since it literally doesn’t have any other shells left.

He believes that these abovementioned military-strategic dynamics could combine with the EU’s “snowballing” economic problems to make it impossible for NATO to defeat Russia in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition”. In that event, peace talks might resume upon the end of Kiev’s NATObacked counteroffensive, during which time the now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine could be revived as the basis for facilitating a speedy resolution to this conflict.

The abovementioned scenario is only possible if the US cuts off its arms supply to Ukraine, which House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul said is possible if the counteroffensive fails since Congress might then be unable to pass a supplemental spending package for sustaining this aid. Nevertheless, the US’ mission creep could lead to an incident with Russia in the air, at sea, and/or concerning the basing of Ukraine’s promised F-16s in a NATO country before that happens.

This might even be deliberate if its liberalglobalist elite became desperate enough to escalate the conflict if they thought that doing so might coerce Russia into abandoning its newly unified regions and thus helping them “save face” before voters if they agree to a peace deal. Should a 1962-like nuclear standoff emerge as a result of a US-initiated provocation, President Putin would likely regard it as a bluff but would still only use nukes in self-defense instead of a first strike like an influential expert suggested.

He obviously doesn’t want it to get to that point, but it’s America’s prerogative whether it does or not. Russia is more than capable of staying in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” if the US refuses for whatever reason to cut off Kiev’s arms supply after the end of its failed counteroffensive, but the latter is unlikely to be able to rely on the EU much any longer since it’s already mostly run through all its stockpiles. This fact raises the chances of a meaningful de-escalation unless warmongers intervene.

Concluding Thoughts

President Putin believes that the odds favor at least freezing the Line of Contact (LOC) through a ceasefire, if not outright ending the conflict by reviving last year’s now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine, albeit with amendments reflecting the new ground reality of Kiev having lost four more regions. There’s even the chance that a creative diplomatic-legal solution can be found for making the LOC the new international border without violating the Russian Constitution’s prohibition on ceding territory.

Speculation about the devilish details of a peace treaty aside, the point is that these discussions could begin taking place literally the day after the US cuts off Kiev’s arms supply should it tacitly cede victory to Russia in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” after the counteroffensive ends. Its ruling liberal-globalist elite might instead escalate out of desperation to coerce sensitive concessions from Russia in order to “save face” before voters if they agree to a peace deal, however, which could lead to a standoff.

In any case, President Putin doesn’t presently have any plans to escalate Russia’s involvement in the conflict as proven by him ruling out a second round of mobilization, remaining reluctant to carve out a buffer zone, and refusing to publicize every response to the crossing of his country’s “red lines”. Right now, he’s wagering that Kiev’s failed counteroffensive, the EU’s economic troubles, and NATO’s depleted stockpiles will combine to revive last year’s now-defunct draft treaty, which is actually quite reasonable.



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May 062023

Willem de Kooning Rosy-fingered Dawn at Louse Point 1963


Andrew Korybko:


Dual American-Chilean national Gonzalo Lira was recently arrested by Ukraine’s secret police on charges pertaining to “wartime propaganda”, for which he faces the possibility of 5-8 years in jail. The US Government’s (USG) silence on this incident completely contrasts with its hysteria over Wall Street Journal (WSJ) employee Evan Gershkovich’s arrest in Russia last month on charges of espionage after he was caught red-handed soliciting classified military-industrial information from a regional lawmaker.

This is a betrayal of American principles since the freedom of speech is regarded as a sacred right of all its citizens no matter where they might be at any given time. Regardless of whatever one might think about Lira’s views and the particular piece of Ukrainian legislation that was cited as the basis for arresting him, the USG is supposed to support the rights of its nationals abroad. This is especially so whenever they’re arrested for expressing an opinion and/or practicing journalism like he was.

Its silence in the face of this scandalous incident suggests a degree of complicity in, or at the very least tacit approval of, Lira’s arrest since nothing else cogently explains the conspicuous lack of any response. These suspicions are further reinforced by the fact that one of the USG’s leading information warfare assets in Ukraine, transgender mercenary Michael John Cirillo, admitted to the Daily Beast that he colluded with the SBU on its case against Lira and even plans to testify against him.

In his exact words, “I’ve already given my sworn statement to SBU about Gonzalo Lira several months ago and expect to be called as a witness in his prosecution.” Cirillo also added on Twitter that “When I’m on Capitol Hill in 10 days, no doubt the arrest of Gonzalo Lira will be a prime topic of conversation.” Instead of seeking his release, the USG is relying on one of its top propagandists in that country to pursue Lira’s conviction, prior to which their proxy brazenly plans to boast about this to Congress.

It should also be noted that Cirillo told this to Julia Davis, who’s banned by Russia on the basis of having worked against its national interests at the behest of hostile powers, which obviously refers to the USG in this context. Her article also mentions that she obtained exclusive footage of Lira’s arrest, which could only have been obtained by the SBU, whose employees shared it with her precisely because they know that she’s one of their patron’s most reliable agents and would thus use it to humiliate Lira in her piece.

These facts lead to the conclusion that the USG is indeed complicit in Ukraine’s arrest of this dual American national. It’s not even hiding its complicity in Lira’s persecution either after one of its leading information warfare assets in that country admitted to colluding with the secret police on this case, told the media that he plans to testify against him, and even plans to brag about this to Congress. The USG is perversely proud of this since it hopes to pressure critics of its proxy war into self-censoring.

This objective also clearly includes its own citizens like Lira, who the USG hates with a passion since his brave reporting from Kharkov discredited many of their claims about this conflict. It could have simply requested that Kiev deport him in order to lessen the damage that he’s inflicted on their information warfare operations, but it preferred to make an example out of him by pursuing his prosecution. Cirillo’s role in this incident and his plans to brag about it to Congress leave no doubt about the USG’ complicity.

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Feb 212023
 February 21, 2023  Posted by at 10:12 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  53 Responses »

Pierre Dumonstier II The right hand of Artemisia Gentileschi holding a brush 1625


Recognizing The War Is Lost The ‘West’ Seeks An Exit (MoA)
Between That Rock and The Hard Place (Kunstler)
Trump Reveals How He Would End Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Biden’s Visit To Ukraine Aimed To Encourage Kiev To Start Offensive Soon (TASS)
Medvedev Says Biden Received Security Guarantees Before Going To Kiev (TASS)
Kiev Must Send People To Slaughter As Part Of Biden Election Campaign (TASS)
Joe Biden Is Making Europe Great Again – For The US (Marsden)
Merkel Confirms Minsk Agreements Were Meant To Give Ukraine ‘More Time’ (TASS)
American Projects Against Background Of Biden’s Kiev Visit – Zakharova (TASS)
Germany Comments On Fighter Jet Supplies For Ukraine (RT)
Kevin McCarthy Gives Tucker Carlson 41,000 Hours Of Jan. 6 Footage (ZH)
James O’Keefe Out At Project Veritas (ZH)
US Food Additives Banned In Europe (CBS)















Benny Johnson








“.. the short period of U.S. global hegemony has ended. The time for multi-polarity has come..”

“..if Russia would seem to lose the war China would have to intervene. It would otherwise become the very next country that the U.S. would try to obliterate.”

Recognizing The War Is Lost The ‘West’ Seeks An Exit (MoA)

U.S. President Joe Biden is in Kiev today to rescue his lunatic project of destroying Russia by proxy war. But there is no good way to do that. A review of ‘western’ media shows that the inevitable outcome of the war is now recognized. The only still open alternatives are to risk a large nuclear war or to retreat from ‘western’ dreams of its permanent hegemony. Few ‘western’ officials will admit that the war is lost, that Russia has won in Ukraine. But it has. It had won the war when it successfully trapped the Ukrainian army into a war of attrition. As the Russian commentator Sacha Rogers writes (in Russian, machine translation):

“This war has already been won (moreover, what is most offensive for various “unrecognized geniuses”, without their participation and contrary to their foolish ideas of how it should be won). It was won at the moment when, instead of a highly maneuverable war, our General Staff imposed a positional “standing” with an attrition war on the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Strictly by the textbook: Attrition warfare is a military strategy consisting of belligerent attempts to win a war by wearing down the enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and material.” Ukraine has already lost two armies and it is begging for a third one. But the ‘West’ is unable to deliver it:

“Less than a quarter of the modern battle tanks the West has promised to Ukraine are likely to arrive in time to counter an anticipated Russian spring offensive. Kyiv is expecting its supporters to send up to 320 western tanks in total but estimates suggest barely 50 will reach the front lines by the start of April, prompting concerns they will not be enough to have a substantial impact on the fighting. The recognition that the Ukraine has lost the war is creating a panic in those quarters that are committed to ‘western’ uni-polarity.

[..] On the one side of the current discussion you have those, see above, who think of the outcome of the war in absolute terms. The U.S. must win in the proxy war it has caused, no matter what. But there are alternatives. They will require to acknowledge that the short period of U.S. global hegemony has ended. The time for multi-polarity has come. Count Secretary of State Anthony Blinken as one who is unwilling to admit that As soon as China ‘threatened’ to negotiate peace in Ukraine did he accuse it -without evidence- of aiding Russia in the war: “In his interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” which was taped on Saturday night for broadcast on Sunday, Mr. Blinken said the United States would soon be offering new information to demonstrate Beijing was “strongly considering providing lethal assistance to Russia.”

“Mr. Wang has been using the conference in Munich as a platform to tell European leaders and diplomats that China is ready to bolster ties with them and to try to play a role in ending the war in Ukraine. In his public remarks on Saturday, he said that China would soon offer a peace proposal to stop the fighting. But Mr. Blinken warned in a separate event against the allure of cease-fires that Russia might exploit to regroup for new offensives.” China has not yet supported Russia in the war. But if Russia would seem to lose the war China would have to intervene. It would otherwise become the very next country that the U.S. would try to obliterate.

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“..It leaves our country to stew in its own rancid economic and financial juices in abject isolation from, basically, the rest of the world..”

Between That Rock and The Hard Place (Kunstler)

One must conclude that NATO is looking for a way out of this. But there is no way out except to declare by word or deed, directly or otherwise, that NATO has outlived the reason for its existence. Any sane analysis by Europeans would arrive at the unnerving realization that the USA has become the enemy of NATO, not Russia. If all that is so, then a seismic shift is underway that will leave America hung out to dry on the Ukraine project. Germany will have to make a deal with Russia to rebuild the Nord Streams. What could the US do about that? Impose sanctions on Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the rest of the bunch? Where does that leave Western Civ?

I’ll tell you: it leaves Western Civ diminished. It leaves our country to stew in its own rancid economic and financial juices in abject isolation from, basically, the rest of the world. (Fare-the-well hegemonic dream; hello multi-polarity!) It leaves Ukraine neutralized and no longer a problem… It leaves Russia able to feel secure in its borders and free to get on with being a normal nation… and it leaves Europe the hope that it can resume modern life a while longer with the familiar comforts and conveniences. The end of the Ukraine conflict also exposes the rotten web of Globalist schemers who planted their operators in every niche of American life and all around Western Civ — George Soros’s empire of meddling NGOs, Bill Gates’s World Health Org puppet show, the ridiculous World Economic Forum’s network of stooges in high places from Justin Trudeau to BlackRock’s Larry Fink.

The end of the Ukraine conflict reveals the submission of the Democratic Party to nefarious interests intent on wrecking this country. Even the most benign end to the Ukraine conflict — such as, by default, Europe and Russia settling-up on their own to stop the fighting — will be another humiliation for “Joe Biden” and the crew behind him, as bad as the last days in Kabul. Their other crimes await full disclosure, everything from treasonous bribery to the fraud and genocide around Covid-19. There will have to be a severe political realignment in America. But before that can happen, expect many seasons of terrible disorder.

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“I’ll tell one guy this, and I’ll tell one guy that… We would have a deal made in 24 hours..”

Trump Reveals How He Would End Ukraine Conflict (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump claims he would end the Ukraine conflict within hours, if he wins the presidential election in 2024, by directly appealing to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Speaking at a rally in Florida on Monday, Trump was asked what he would do to put an end to the hostilities, and replied that he would spring into action even before being sworn into office. “I would literally start calling, not from the day I took over, but from the night I won. And I’ll call two people… [Russian President Vladimir] Putin… and [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky. And I’ll say we’re going to meet. I guarantee I could work that out.” “I’ll tell one guy this, and I’ll tell one guy that… We would have a deal made in 24 hours,” he said.

Trump went on to say that “continuing to pour money in” Ukraine is delaying a peaceful settlement and “getting a lot of people killed.” In recent months, Trump has repeatedly called for the US to lead the way in negotiating a peace settlement in Ukraine, while blasting the way President Joe Biden has handled the conflict. In late January, he claimed that his successor “has brought us to the brink of World War III” through “weakness and incompetence.” He also condemned the US’ decision to send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, saying the move could bring about a nuclear war. Trump’s comments come as Biden made a surprise visit to Kiev on Monday to personally meet with Zelensky, while promising another $500 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including more artillery ammunition, rockets, and anti-armor systems.

Tucker Trump

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Politico: “CIA warned Zelensky that the West can cut military aid if there is no progress on the Ukrainian side”.

Biden’s Visit To Ukraine Aimed To Encourage Kiev To Start Offensive Soon (TASS)

Dmitry Suslov, a deputy director of the Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics, on Monday said that US President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine was designed to encourage Kiev to start a counteroffensive as soon as possible. The analyst told TASS that Biden’s visit was meant to underscore the importance of the current moment and reaffirm Washington’s commitment to support Ukraine over a long term. “The United States has recently been constantly saying that the military conflict in Ukraine has reached a pivotal phase and a turning point. Therefore, the West transfers to Ukraine a much larger number of weapons at the moment than it did last year.

Quantitatively, the supply of weapons at the beginning of this year has increased significantly, and they have also increased qualitatively: tanks are now being transferred, and there’s talk of long-range missiles. The United States constantly says that right here and now, no later than the beginning of spring, no later than March, the Ukrainian armed forces should start a decisive counteroffensive,” he said. “I think Biden’s visit is designed to stimulate Kiev to go on the offensive earlier. Second, to signal the United States’ commitment to protecting and supporting Ukraine in the medium and long term,” Suslov added. The analyst said it’s possible that some “sensitive issues” were discussed during the visit, such as providing planes by third countries and donations of longer-range missiles. Suslov also said there’s a chance the sides discussed political and diplomatic settlement.

According to the analyst, supplies of long-range missiles are more important than supplies of aircraft. “With aircraft, it’s necessary to train pilots, and that’s a long process. Ukraine doesn’t have the appropriate infrastructure to accommodate and maintaining these aircraft. There’s a lot of technical issues. I think there may be an announcement of aircraft supplies, but after the end of the conflict. And as for long-range missiles, some decisions can be made. At least they tend to think in Kiev that the conditions for the decision about tanks and Washington’s agreement to provide Ukraine with tanks occurred during the visit of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to Washington, and that during Biden’s visit to Kiev now there’s also potential to make serious progress with respect to long-range missiles,” the analyst said.

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“to ensure deconfliction.”

Medvedev Says Biden Received Security Guarantees Before Going To Kiev (TASS)

US President Joe Biden has received security guarantees before his trip to Ukraine, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said, without specifying who gave the American leader these guarantees. “Biden, having previously received security guarantees, finally went to Kiev. He promised many weapons and swore allegiance to the neo-Nazi regime to the grave,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Monday, “And, of course, there were mutual incantations of victory, which will come with new weapons and courageous people.”

Medvedev noted that Western countries are “quite faithfully” supplying Kiev with arms and money. “In huge quantities, allowing the military-industrial complex of NATO countries to make money and steal weapons to sell to terrorists all over the world,” he specified. Biden visited Kiev on Monday, February 20, to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky and express support for Kiev. The Associated Press earlier reported, citing the White House, that Washington had been in contact with Moscow shortly before Biden’s visit to Ukraine “to ensure deconfliction.”

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“..the show “Biden in Kiev” ended without incidents and without surprises, “despite the decorative air alarm over the center of Kiev, designed to give the whole action a much-needed shade.”

Kiev Must Send People To Slaughter As Part Of Biden Election Campaign (TASS)

Federation Council Deputy Speaker Konstantin Kosachev on Monday said the outcome of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine showed Kiev officials had no choice but to send people to the “senseless slaughter” as part of the US president’s reelection campaign. “The bottom line of the visit: Kiev has been left with no choice but to try and rush people to the senseless slaughter as part of Biden’s election campaign; Europe is paralyzed and totally deprived of initiative; and Biden in the role of a hero is going to Poland to show where that center of the European Union is, which is more desired by Washington. Not much. If you don’t count Biden’s ‘the Ukrainians helped us to get the meaning of democracy,’” the lawmaker said on Telegram.

According to the Russian politician, the show “Biden in Kiev” ended without incidents and without surprises, “despite the decorative air alarm over the center of Kiev, designed to give the whole action a much-needed shade.” Kosachev noted that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “rushed to convert the arrival of the main sponsor into another encouraging comments for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, promising Biden that the results of the negotiations would significantly affect the situation on the battlefield.” “And this means that he correctly caught the signal, with which the US president came to Kiev: Show some achievements, and quickly,” the lawmaker said.

He said that the demand for “Ukrainian combat success” coming from Washington occurs in the context of statistics that show that less than half of Americans (48%) approve the supplies of American weapons to Ukraine, 29% are against them, and 22% remain undecided. Kosachev said that “in America, foreign policy is traditionally subordinated to domestic policy,” and Biden in Kiev launched his election campaign “in the most heroic surroundings in order to prove to everyone that he can still ‘do it just like in the good old days’,” the lawmaker said. He added that if Ukraine still doesn’t support Biden’s campaign with triumphs on the battlefields, then the current US president “still has more options for further actions that can then be presented as wisdom and flexibility, compared to Brussels or Berlin, which were forced to burn all bridges to Russia.”

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Making Europe Great Again = MEGA.

Joe Biden Is Making Europe Great Again – For The US (Marsden)

When Russia finally drew the line and the conflict went red hot, Biden was quick to hightail it over to Brussels to take that dirty authoritarian Russian gas off Europe’s hands and replace it with molecules of freedom. Captain America was going to save the day, and European bureaucrats ignored the fact that US-branded freedom has a price tag. For starters, it has ended up costing Europe an amount several times the typical domestic market price paid for US liquified natural gas. American gas exports to Europe have spiked 148% year on year. Biden also pushed Europe to go green as yet another reason not to ever again turn back to Russian gas. “Today we’ve agreed on a joint game plan toward that goal while accelerating our progress toward a secure clean energy future. This initiative focuses on two core issues: One, helping Europe reduce its dependency on Russian gas as quickly as possible. And, secondly, reducing Europe’s demand for gas overall,” Biden said last March during his EU visit.

However, now the US President has changed his tune. “We’re still going to need oil and gas for a while,” Biden declared, going off script to say the quiet part aloud in his State of the Union address. “We’re going to need oil for another decade. And beyond that.” Oh wow, in that case, maybe Europe should be turning the Nord Stream pipeline of cheap Russian gas back on so that European governments can stop shoveling cash out the door in an attempt to keep their industry and economy – not to mention consumers – from being crushed by exorbitant energy costs. Whoops, the pipelines were mysteriously blown up. “If Russia invades – that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine – then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it,” Biden said last February.

A new report by Pulitzer and Polk Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh now attributes the terrorist act to a covert American operation in cooperation with Norway, whose sales of gas to Europe have risen from $27 billion in 2021 to $109 billion last year, with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accusing Oslo of war profiteering. Both countries have denied the accusations. But even without cheap gas, as Biden sees it, Europe has a bright future. “Time and again, Democrats and Republicans came together…to defend a stronger and safer Europe,” he said in his annual address. Maybe share that with French and German economic ministers who were just in Washington to tell big bipartisan Team America to lay off Europe and to stop shutting out European imports under the new Inflation Reduction Act favoring “made in America” products – particularly green ones. Screwing over the EU because, hey, “business is business” is one of the very rare concepts on which both Democrats and Republicans seem to agree.

Brussels could have at least stopped sanctioning its own natural resource supplies from Russia if it had realized, as Biden just admitted, that fossil fuels were here for the foreseeable future. But that would mean not being able to pretend to stick it to Russian President Vladimir Putin. If the EU’s commitment to its green energy fantasies to the detriment of its own economy has proven anything, it’s that blind ideology is the first and foremost criteria for decision making in the EU. So, the EU is staying the course while the US actively works to seduce its industry to relocate across the pond where energy is still plentiful because, unlike Europe, the US is not dumb enough to actually align reality with their lofty rhetoric if it’s going to be economically suicidal.

There’s no doubt that Europe is doing better than ever as far as US interests are concerned. Washington planted the idea of a divorce from Russia in Brussel’s ear, and then rushed in to take Moscow’s place before the ink was even dry. Europe is hardly more free than it was when it at least had the option to play the field between the two geopolitical spheres. Now it’s totally dependent on Washington with European citizens subsidizing American greatness and freedom at the expense of their own.

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Everyone talks to the pranksters…

Merkel Confirms Minsk Agreements Were Meant To Give Ukraine ‘More Time’ (TASS)

The signing of the Minsk agreements gave Ukraine time to develop between 2014 and 2021 and served to ensure that the West be able to furnish the necessary support to Kiev, Germany’s ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a conversation made public by Russian pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov (Vovan) and Alexei Stolyarov (Lexus) on Monday. The pranksters telephoned the ex-chancellor on behalf Ukraine’s former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. Being certain that she was talking to a former Ukrainian leader, Merkel said that now there was no point in “digging into 2014.” “Then (in 2014 – TASS), in order to prevent even worse things, everyone signed this agreement. Was it possible to stop the war then?

This question is no longer relevant. I believe that the Minsk agreements gave Ukraine more time to develop between 2014 and 2021. Now Ukraine can both make a response and also to get the necessary support,” she said. In an interview with the German daily Die Zeit, published on December 7, 2022, Merkel stated that the 2014 Minsk agreements were an attempt to let Ukraine gain time. She said “it was clear to everyone” that the conflict had been frozen and the problem had not been resolved. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said that he found Merkel’s statement completely unexpected and disappointing.

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“The fate of Saakashvili, the fate of [Venezuelan oppositionist Juan] Guaido – this is what awaits all those who have sold their souls to the Americans..”

American Projects Against Background Of Biden’s Kiev Visit – Zakharova (TASS)

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called to mind “the fate of American projects” in comments on US President Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev and his meeting with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. “Looking at today’s footage of Biden with his ward Zelensky from Kiev, do not forget the fate of all previous American projects,” the diplomat wrote on her Telegram channel on Monday. In this context, Zakharova mentioned former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, pointing out that the politician “is paying a steep price to be remembered in the West.” “The fate of Saakashvili, the fate of [Venezuelan oppositionist Juan] Guaido – this is what awaits all those who have sold their souls to the Americans: damned by their own people, needed by no one, forced to spend lavishly the money earned in America from betraying their countries on American lawyers,” she added.

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“..Earlier in February, Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace told Sky News that the UK would not send warplanes to Kiev anytime soon..”

Germany Comments On Fighter Jet Supplies For Ukraine (RT)

Germany can hardly meet Kiev’s requests for fighter jets since its Armed Forces do not possess the relevant aircraft types, its defense minister Boris Pistorius told journalists on Monday. When asked about potential aircraft deliveries to Ukraine, Pistorius said that, so far, the discussions about potential fighter jet deliveries have only covered the “fighter jet types that the Bundeswehr does not possess.” “That is a question for other nations rather than Germany,” the minister said. He did not rule out potential aircraft deliveries, though. “The military actions in Ukraine is something where one can never absolutely rule out anything,” he said, adding, though, that this idea hardly applies to German military aircraft right now. The German Armed Forces, the Bundeswehr, currently mostly relies on Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets.

Its Air Force, the Luftwaffe, has over 140 such aircraft, according to a 2021 report by Airbus. Produced since the early 1990s, these fourth-generation jet fighters are produced jointly by the UK’s BAE Systems, Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo. Apart from Typhoons, the German Air Force also has almost 90 older Panavia Tornado jets developed back in the 1970s. In January, Pistorius outright ruled out the idea of Germany sending fighter jets to Ukraine, saying it was “out of the question.” He also called such a move too risky, saying that it would “venture into dimensions that I would currently warn against.” Ukraine repeatedly called on its Western backers to supply it with heavier weapons like tanks and warplanes amid the ongoing military conflict with Russia. Kiev was mostly focused, however, on US-made F-16 jets.

Ukrainian officials recently expressed their optimism about overcoming Western reluctance to donate fighter jets. Last week, Financial Times reported that the US might still consider sending F-16 fighter jets to Kiev, or greenlighting their re-export from other nations that have them. On Monday, Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper also reported that Rome might consider sending five warplanes to Kiev. The deal could involve old AMX Ghibli fighter-bombers that the Italian Air Force plans to retire by the end of the year, the paper said, adding that Italy would only agree to send the jets to Ukraine if other nations provide it with Western-made military aircraft first. The UK, which otherwise spearheaded the Western-made tank delivery campaign for Ukraine, has so far ruled out sending jets to Kiev. Earlier in February, Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace told Sky News that the UK would not send warplanes to Kiev anytime soon.

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Now Tucker has to deliver.

Kevin McCarthy Gives Tucker Carlson 41,000 Hours Of Jan. 6 Footage (ZH)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has given Fox News host Tucker Carlson exclusive access to 41,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage from January 6th, 2021, according to Axios, which reports that excerpts will begin airing in the coming weeks. Last week, Carlson’s producers were on Capitol Hill to begin reviewing the trove – which includes various camera angles from around the Capitol complex. The archive was previously reported at ‘just’ 14,000 hours. “[T]here was never any legitimate reason for this footage to remain secret,” Carlson told Axios. “If there was ever a question that’s in the public’s interest to know, it’s what actually happened on January 6. By definition, this video will reveal it. It’s impossible for me to understand why any honest person would be bothered by that.”

According to the report, the process to give Carlson access began in early February, according to a communication between the show and a McCarthy aide shown to Axios. In January, McCarthy told reporters in Statuary Hall that he thinks “the American public should actually see all [that] happened instead of a report that’s written [on] a political basis.” Carlson, meanwhile, railed against Washington’s “regime of secrecy and deceit.” Will the new footage shed light on whoever unlocked the doors and encouraged protesters to come inside the Capitol? Or what Ray Epps was up to during the entire day? Only time will tell…

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Brought to you by Pfizer.

James O’Keefe Out At Project Veritas (ZH)

Project Veritas founder and CEO James O’Keefe is exiting the organization. O’Keefe announced to his staff Monday that he was leaving over a conflict in vision between himself and the board in an poignant 15-minute video. “Throughout my 13 years doing this my mission has evolved,” O’Keefe said in his announcement. “Over the last few weeks I have felt a lot of despair and seen a lot of evil and felt overcome with various emotions.” A clearly emotional O’Keefe expressed gratitude for his employees, but noted that: “The external threats and pressure inflicted upon myself has been unimaginable,” O’Keefe continued. Employees had been dissatisfied by O’Keefe’s management and alleged he wasted money and was “outright cruel” to his staff, according to the The Daily Beast.


Speculation has been rampant about the timing of this debacle as O’Keefe points out: “A few days after the Pfizer story, I was informed by an officer of Project Veritas that he would resign unless I step down as CEO. We’ve been having a conflict of vision over fundraising, there were tactical disagreements about the boldness of approach soliciting donations.” As The Epoch Times’ Zachary Stieber reports, O’Keefe said he confronted one executive at a meeting on Feb. 2 and said that if the person would not follow his lead, he would have to exit the group. O’Keefe then fired the man. Later that same day, a different officer informed O’Keefe he was going to the Project Veritas board to restructure the company.

O’Keefe said he received an agenda for the board meeting as he was set to depart on a flight, and that the meeting was scheduled for the moment he was due to land. “It became clear to me in that moment [that] I would be removed from my position at Project Veritas,” O’Keefe said.

Bannon PV

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“Titanium dioxide (also known as E171); Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) (E443); Potassium bromate (E924); Azodicarbonamide (E927a) and Propylparaben (E217)”

US Food Additives Banned In Europe (CBS)

From baguettes to focaccia, Europe is famous for its bread. But there’s one ingredient conspicuously missing: Potassium bromate. It’s a suspected carcinogen that’s banned for human consumption in Europe, China and India, but not in the United States. In the U.S., the chemical compound is used by some food makers, usually in the form of fine crystals or powder, to strengthen dough. It is estimated to be present in more than 100 products. “There is evidence that it may be toxic to human consumers, that it may even either initiate or promote the development of tumors,” professor Erik Millstone, an expert on food additives at England’s University of Sussex, told CBS News. He said European regulators take a much more cautious approach to food safety than their U.S. counterparts.

Asked if it can be said with certainty that differences in regulations mean people in the U.S. have developed cancers that they would not have developed if they’d been eating exclusively in Europe, Millstone said that was “almost certainly the conclusion that we could reach.” It’s not just potassium bromate. A range of other chemicals and substances banned in Europe over health concerns are also permitted in the U.S., including Titanium dioxide (also known as E171); Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) (E443); Potassium bromate (E924); Azodicarbonamide (E927a) and Propylparaben (E217). Millstone, who’s spent almost half a century researching food and agriculture science, said most Americans were likely completely unaware that they were being exposed on a daily basis to substances in their food viewed as dangerous in Europe.

“They probably just think, ‘Well, if it’s available or it’s in the store, it’s probably fine,'” he said. In a statement to CBS News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said all food additives require “pre-market evaluation” and “regulations require evidence that each substance is safe at its intended level of use before it may be added to foods.” “Post-approval, our scientists continue to review relevant new information to determine whether there are safety questions and whether the use of such substance is no longer safe,” the agency added. [..] In a statement to CBS News, the FDA said that when used properly, potassium bromate converts into a harmless substance during food production. The FDA acknowledged, however, that not all of the compound used in any given recipe may convert during the production process, but that control measures were utilized to minimize the amount in final products.

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Great white



Green Turtle



Brain wash








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Oct 102022

Paul Gauguin Clovis Gauguin asleep 1884


Massive Wave Of Missile Attacks Reported Across Ukraine (RT)
Europe To Feel Impact Of Energy Crisis For Decades – Kremlin (RT)
Trump Calls For ‘Immediate’ Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)
Global Margin Call Hits European Debt Markets (AT)
Nord Stream 2 Offers Germany a Date with Destiny (Escobar)
‘Unthinkable’ Number Of Mercenaries Gathered In Zaporozhye (RT)
German Army Has Ammo For Only Two Days Of War – Media (RT)
The Last Vestiges Of Press Freedom Disappear In Kiev (Sukharevskaya)
OPEC Move Balances ‘Chaos That The Americans Create’ – Kremlin (RT)
UK National Grid Warns Of 3-Hour Rolling Blackouts This Winter (ZH)
The EU is Forcing Twitter to Censor -and Musk Can’t Stop It- (Kogon)
White House Spending $265k On Staff To Deflect Hunter Biden Probe (NYP)
The Chilling Numbers That Reveal The Scale Of Joe Biden’s Border Disaster (NYP)
Is the US Blood Supply Tainted? (CHD)
Ex-Partner Of Ukrainian ‘Heiress’ Who Infiltrated Mar-a-Lago Shot In Canada (G.)





Tik Tok Kerch





Soros Ukraine



Are the kids OK? (Got McCullough banned from Twitter).





Peace talks. Now!

Massive Wave Of Missile Attacks Reported Across Ukraine (RT)

Multiple missile strikes targeted Ukrainian cities all across the country on Monday morning, according to local officials and media, which attributed the attacks to Russia. This comes two days after a bomb damaged the strategic Crimean Bridge – which Moscow called a Ukrainian terrorist attack. President Vladimir Zelensky highlighted the attacks on the capital, Kiev and the cities of Dnepr and Zaporozhye, before urging people to take shelter. Local officials in Lviv, Kharkov, and Odessa also reported that their cities came under fire. The office of Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, reported they had detected at least 75 missiles and claimed they had intercepted 41.


In Kiev, damage from the strikes was reported near the headquarters of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which is located in the government area of the capital. City officials halted operations of the metro system, and the stations are now being used as shelters for civilians. The head of Lviv Region, Maksim Kozitsky, reported that elements of the western province’s energy infrastructure came under attack. Boris Filatov, the mayor of Dnepr, a major city in central Ukraine, confirmed the strikes and said he could only feel “hatred and the wish to fight,” while urging residents to take shelter.

Vitaly Kim, who heads the southern Nikolaev Region which borders Russia’s Kherson Region, reported dozens of projectiles and a number of kamikaze drones coming from Russian troops. He claimed that Moscow was targeting “critical infrastructure” throughout the country. With similar accounts coming in from many parts of the country, senior Ukrainian officials have expressed determination to fight Russia. “Our courage will never be destroyed by terrorists’ missiles, even when they hit the heart of our capital,” Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov tweeted, also claiming that Russia’s future is that of “a globally despised rogue terrorist state.”

Gerashchenko later said that five civilians were killed and 12 injured in the capital. Strikes were also reported in the eastern city of Dnepr, and explosions in Lviv, western Ukraine. In a post on his Telegram channel, President Vladimir Zelensky confirmed that there had been missile strikes across Ukraine. “Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded,” he wrote.

Kiev explosions 10-10-22

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It’s not easy to rebuild what you lose.

Europe To Feel Impact Of Energy Crisis For Decades – Kremlin (RT)

Turning away from Russian energy will lead to “very deplorable consequences” for Europe, with up to 20 years of deindustrialization ahead, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed. In an interview with the TV channel Rossiya, fragments of which were released on Sunday, Peskov claimed that the Americans are now making “crazy money” by selling gas to Europe at exorbitant prices. “And Europeans pay them, thereby depriving their economy of competitiveness. Production is collapsing. Deindustrialization is coming. All this will have very, very deplorable consequences for the European continent over probably, at least, the next 10-20 years,” Peskov said.

He emphasized that in the past, there was “a mutual balance,” as Russia was interested in buyers of its energy resources as much as they were interested in Russia. However, Peskov argued, Europe started to repeat “like a mantra” that it had to rid itself of its dependency on Russian energy, and this eventually resulted in the current situation. The Americans are selling gas at prices that are “three or even four” times higher than Russian gas, Peskov said, adding that “the Europeans are making their economy less competitive as they pay” such money to US suppliers. Gas prices in Europe surged earlier this year in the wake of Russia launching its military operation in Ukraine in late February.

After the EU and other Western countries imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and began a campaign of cutting themselves off from Russian energy supplies, gas prices hit record highs, leading to a rise in overall inflation on the continent. Earlier this week, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo warned that the continent might soon face a significant reduction in industrial activity and social unrest if nothing is done to lower energy prices. Reuters, meanwhile, reported that the US is now delivering more natural gas to the EU than Russia for the first time in history, but that American gas was some ten times more expensive than Russian supplies.

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“We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in World War III and there will be nothing left of our planet..”

Trump Calls For ‘Immediate’ Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has warned that World War III could break out unless the conflict between Russia and Ukraine quickly ends with a peace settlement. He made the remarks while criticizing President Joe Biden’s foreign policy during a ‘Save America’ rally in Minden, Nevada on Saturday. “And now we have a war between Russia and Ukraine with potentially hundreds of thousands of people dying,” Trump said. “We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in World War III and there will be nothing left of our planet,” he stated, blasting the “stupid people” in Biden administration.

Trump has said on several occasions that the Ukraine conflict would not have happened had he been re-elected in 2020. Declaring a partial mobilization of reservists last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of risking a nuclear disaster by “encouraging” Ukrainian troops to shell the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. He also accused Kiev’s backers of “nuclear blackmail” by making statements about “the possibility and admissibility” of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia. The country will defend itself by all means at its disposal, Putin added.

Some Western officials have interpreted Putin’s speech as a threat to use tactical nuclear weapons. CIA chief William Burns said on Sunday, however, that there is “no practical evidence” that Russia is planning to conduct nuclear strikes. Biden, nevertheless, told a crowd of supporters on Thursday that the US has not faced “the prospect of Armageddon” since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Also on Thursday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who has ruled out negotiating with Putin, called for “preemptive strikes” to deter Russia from using nuclear weapons. His office later said the president’s comments were misrepresented.


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“It’s a global margin call. I hope we survive.”

Global Margin Call Hits European Debt Markets (AT)

Risk gauges in Germany’s government debt market rose last week to levels higher than recorded in the 2008 world financial crash, as margin calls forced the liquidation of derivatives positions held by banks, insurers and pension funds. Big institutional investors that spent the past ten years insuring their portfolios against falling interest rates now face massive losses as hedges blow up. A key measure of market risk, the spread between German government bonds (Bunds) and interest rate swap agreements jumped above the previous record set in 2008. The cost of hedging German government debt with interest-rate options, or option-implied volatility, meanwhile rose to the highest level on record. The blowout in the euro derivatives market follows a near-collapse of the British government debt, or gilts, market, averted at the last minute by a 50 billion pound bond-buying spree by the Bank of England.

The world’s central banks responded to the 2008 world financial crash and the European financial crisis of 2011 by pushing bond yields down.

“Real” yields, namely the yield on inflation-indexed government bonds, went deeply into negative numbers in Germany and the UK, followed by the US market. That pulled the rug from under insurance companies and pension funds, which invest pension payments and insurance premiums to provide for future income. To compensate, European and UK institutions locked in long interest rates with derivative contracts, or interest-rate swaps, that receive a long-term interest rate while paying a short-term interest rate. Swaps are a leveraged position that requires collateral worth a fraction of the notional amount of the contract. When the Fed jacked up interest rates in late 2021, the value of interest rate swaps that pay fixed and receive floating imploded.

Pension funds and insurers were stuck with the equivalent of a ten-to-one margin position in long government bonds. The price of long government bonds fell by nearly 20% across the Group of Seven countries, and the value of derivatives contracts evaporated. That left the institutions with margin calls that they could meet only by liquidating assets. That in turn led to a run on the UK government bond market, followed closely by the rest of European bond markets. The Bank of England’s emergency bond-buying delayed a market crash, but the UK gilts market remains on a knife edge, with option hedging costs at an all-time high.

A portfolio manager at one of Germany’s largest insurance companies said, “It’s a global margin call. I hope we survive.” Weaker European banks may have trouble finding short-term funding. The cost of credit default swaps that insure 5-year bonds of Credit Suisse is now higher than it was in 2008, at nearly 400 basis points (4 percentage points) above the cost of interbank funding. The venerable Swiss institution is a special case, with a series of losses due to poor risk controls. Credit Suisse probably will survive – bank regulators will force it to sell assets and shrink – but it will also call in collateral from customers.

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Step 1: cripple the largest nation of the group.

Nord Stream 2 Offers Germany a Date with Destiny (Escobar)

It started with Gazprom revealing that the Line B string of NS2 is intact; not only it escaped Pipeline Terror but may “potentially” be used to pump gas to Germany. That confirms once again that NS2 is an engineering marvel. In fact the whole system: the pipes are so strong they were not broken, but merely punctured. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak followed up, with a caveat: restoration of the whole system, including NS, is possible, and “requires time and appropriate funds”. But first, in Russia’s order of priorities, the perpetrators must be conclusively identified. Sources in Moscow confirmed Gazprom’s assessment of NS2. Even Bloomberg had to report it.

Subsequently in Vienna, attending the Opec+ meeting, Novak remarked the Russian Federation is “ready to supply gas through the second line of Nord Stream 2. This is possible if necessary”. So we know it’s possible. “Necessary” will depend on a political decision by Germany. Novak also sharply noted that neither Russia nor the Nord Stream operators are allowed to investigate Pipeline Terror. Russia insists that without its participation the investigation is flawed. Whatever the modus operandi of Pipeline Terror, incompetence was part of the package. No explosive charges were placed or detonated on Line B of NS2. That means, as Novak said, it’s virtually ready for business. Line B is capable of pumping 27.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year, which happens to be half of the total capacity of NS.

NS’s capacity had been reduced to 20%, due to the interminable turbine saga, before it was completely shut down. Crucially, Line B of NS2 would still pump 2.75 times the capacity of the recently inaugurated Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland via Denmark. Which basically profits Poland, unlike NS2 servicing several EU customers. In a rational world, Berlin would scrap the Russian sanctions pile up and immediately order the start of forever-delayed NS2, guaranteed to at least attenuate the ongoing process of de-energization, de-industrialization and deep socio-economic crisis imposed by the usual suspects on Germany. But the collective West remains enslaved by geopolitical psychopaths guided by irrationality. So that’s not likely to happen.

The operators of NS and NS2 – Nord Stream AG and Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG – cannot reach the scene of the crime because of absurd restrictions imposed by the Danes and the Swedes. The operators need no less than 20 working days to obtain the “permits” to carry out their own inspections. Copenhagen police is handling the crime scene near the Danish exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in parallel to the Swedish Coast Guard around the Swedish EEZ. If this looks like one of those Scandinavian noir series popular on Netflix, that’s because it is. With a crucial twist: it’s NATO investigating itself – Sweden is about to enter NATO – with no Russians allowed. All top working hypotheses on Pipeline Terror point to an intra-NATO dirty op against NATO member Germany.

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“..We know about representatives from more than 30 different countries..”

‘Unthinkable’ Number Of Mercenaries Gathered In Zaporozhye (RT)

Ukraine has amassed a sizeable number of foreign fighters on the frontline in Zaporozhye Region, which recently voted to join Russia, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the local administration’s chief council, told RIA Novosti on Sunday. “The Kiev regime has accumulated an unthinkable number of mercenaries on the line of contact. We know about representatives from more than 30 different countries,” Rogov said. He went on to say that Ukraine has been deploying to the area both mercenaries and troops from the western part of the country in order to instill terror in local residents who voted in the recent referendums. In late September, Zaporozhye, along with Kherson Region and the two Donbass republics, voted overwhelmingly in referendums to join Russia.

On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin signed into law unification treaties with the former Ukrainian territories, officially making them part of Russia. Zaporozhye Region is also home to a nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March. It has been repeatedly shelled throughout the conflict. Moscow has accused Ukraine of attacking the facility, while Kiev blames the Russian forces. Russia has on numerous occasions conducted strikes on foreign fighters in Ukraine, including with high-precision weapons. Moscow has also warned that the best thing mercenaries from other countries can expect in Ukraine is a “long term in prison.” On September 21, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed that Russian forces and the militias of the Donbass republics had eliminated more than 2,000 mercenaries, with 1,000 foreign fighters remaining in the ranks of the Ukrainian military.

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“.. It was said that the problem “has been known for years..”

German Army Has Ammo For Only Two Days Of War – Media (RT)

The German Army (Bundeswehr) has enough ammunition for only one or two days of warfare, the German edition of news website Business Insider (BI) reported on Saturday, citing defense industry and parliamentary sources. According to BI, Berlin is significantly lagging behind the NATO requirement of maintaining stocks for at least 30 days of fighting. It was said that the problem “has been known for years,” as military drills have suffered from insufficient stores. Stockpiles were further depleted after Germany, together with many other Western countries, began sending weapons and ammunition to Ukraine after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February.

The deliveries included 53,000 rounds for self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, 21.8 million rounds for firearms, and 50 bunker-buster missiles, according to the German government. The situation with the shortage “will not improve if ammunition is removed from the Bundeswehr stocks, while corresponding orders are not placed on the defense industry at the same time,”Hans Christoph Atzpodien, CEO of the German Security and Defense Industry Association (BDSV), told BI. The outlet’s sources, meanwhile, were quoted as saying that there have been “no significant orders” for defense companies to produce more armaments.

Eva Hoegl, the German parliament’s defense commissioner, told BI that an additional €20 billion ($19.5bn) is needed to replenish the stocks. Germany announced the establishment of a €100 billion ($97.4 billion) fund in February to strengthen the Bundeswehr in light of the Ukraine conflict. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht traveled to Ukraine’s southern port city of Odessa earlier this month. After the trip, she announced that Berlin would continue to support Kiev for as long as necessary.

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Olga Sukharevskaya, ex-Ukrainian diplomat.

The Last Vestiges Of Press Freedom Disappear In Kiev (Sukharevskaya)

On August 30, Ukraine’s rubber-stamp parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a bill on the media at the first reading. Despite the numerous changes that the 300-page document has undergone since President Vladimir Zelensky’s team developed and submitted it a few years ago, its essence remains unchanged. If it becomes law, the authorities’ power over virtually all outlets will be essentially limitless. The main danger this bill presents is that it grants government agencies the authority to block internet resources without any court proceedings, and revoke licenses from broadcast and print media solely on the basis of complaints. This huge power would be vested in the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting.

Ukrainian journalists have been criticizing this bill since the first version appeared in 2018, asserting that it abolishes both freedom of speech and freedom of the press. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir called that version of the law “a blatant violation of freedom of speech,” stating that its adoption “could jeopardize pluralism in the media market, impose additional costs on the media, and negatively affect the reflection of a diversity of ideas and opinions.” Criticism of the bill from both the OSCE and Ukrainian journalists had an effect. In 2020, it was sent for revision, but the changes only include some clarifications concerning gender equality and coverage of sexual orientations.

At the same time, it still contains a ban on publishing any messages contradicting the official government line on military issues. It is likewise forbidden to cover speeches made by officials of the ‘aggressor country’ [meaning Russia] or cast former USSR party functionaries in a positive light. For example, including Ukraine’s own Leonid Brezhnev. The law would also hold foreign media responsible for any of its audiovisual content available in Ukraine. Moreover, social networks, including foreign ones, will be obliged to remove any material the National Council deems undesirable. The deadlines for removing ‘incorrect’ content or replacing it with ‘correct’ material have also been tightened. Among the ‘offenses’ that can get a media outlet banned is distributing programs in which any participant is on the ‘list of persons who pose a threat to the national media space of Ukraine.’

This is compiled by the National Council itself and does not require anyone’s consent. Otherwise, the essence and spirit of the bill is preserved, including severe censorship of “objectionable” media. The American Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) didn’t call on the Verkhovna Rada to reject Bill No. 2693-D ‘On Media’ for nothing. Maya Sever, president of the European Federation of Journalists, has bluntly stated that it means compulsory media regulation “fully controlled by the government worthy of the worst authoritarian regimes.” She is convinced that “a state that would apply such provisions simply has no place in the European Union.”

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“..a “victory for common sense..”

OPEC Move Balances ‘Chaos That The Americans Create’ – Kremlin (RT)

The decision to cut oil production made earlier this week by OPEC and allies is a “victory for common sense,” said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I’m not inclined to say that this is some kind of a victory for us. No. This is a victory for common sense,” he said on the TV channel Russia-1 on Sunday. Peskov noted that Washington seeks to push through its decisions about the oil market and manipulate prices, even at the cost of destabilizing the global energy market. It has already partially succeeded, he added, having tapped its own reserves and influenced the EU to introduce an oil price cap in its latest package of sanctions. However, according to the spokesman, OPEC+ can counterbalance such measures.

“And the fact that [these actions] are countered by the balanced, thoughtful and planned work of the countries that take a responsible position within OPEC+, including our country, is very good. This at least somewhat balances the chaos that the Americans are creating,” Peskov stressed. OPEC+ announced earlier this week that the countries comprising the group will cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day starting in November. The cuts will be distributed based on the quotas under the OPEC+ deal as of August 2022. The curtailing of output was aimed at stabilizing the global oil market ahead of a seasonal drop in demand and amid fears of a global recession. Meanwhile, according to reports, Russia may cut its production by more than the amount prescribed by OPEC+ due to the new sanctions. US President Joe Biden expressed disappointment with the OPEC+ decision, while the head of the US Treasury, Janet Yellen, called the move “unhelpful and unwise.”

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The government denies it.

UK National Grid Warns Of 3-Hour Rolling Blackouts This Winter (ZH)

People in England, Scotland and Wales could be in for three hour power cuts this winter if it can’t import enough gas and electric imports from other parts of Europe, the British National Grid has warned. The utility said that the scenario was “unlikely,” but that a perfect storm of Russian gas cuts and a cold snap akin to 2018’s “beast from the east” could result in the rolling blackouts – reminiscent of power outages experienced in the 1970s. According to The Guardian, the pre-planned outages would be announced one day in advance, and would aim to reduce total power consumption by 5%. It would require the approval of King Charles on the recommendation of the business secretary.

The National Grid included the scenario as one of several that could occur this winter, as it prepares for a highly uncertain period for power supplies due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We’re heading into winter in an unprecedented situation. Even during the cold war, the Soviet Union kept the gas flowing so it’s very unpredictable,” said one senior industry source. National Grid has worked on a series of initiatives to attempt to manage supply and demand this winter. It is ready to call into action five coal-fired power plants, which can generate up to 2 gigawatts of power – after signing deals with Drax, EDF and Uniper at a cost of £340m to £395m. It will also launch a “demand flexibility service” on 1 November that will encourage businesses and consumers to use power outside peak demand periods, including early evenings on weekdays.

Consumers with smart meters will be notified the day before and will be paid for using power outside these time periods. The initiative was trialled by Octopus Energy earlier this year. -The Guardian If enough households participate in the load-shifting scheme, it could free up an extra 2GW – enough to power approximately 600,000 homes. The utility says it’s “cautiously confident” that there will be enough juice to get through the winter. The Grid’s “base case” scenario is that there will be a surplus of around 3.7GW energy, and forecast a “sufficient operational surplus throughout winter,” notwithstanding tight margins from early December to mid-January.

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One more reason to abolish the EU.

The EU is Forcing Twitter to Censor -and Musk Can’t Stop It- (Kogon)

There has been much talk recently of the Biden administration exerting informal pressure on Twitter and other social media to censor unwelcome content and voices, and lawsuits have even been launched against the government for infringing the alleged victims’ 1st Amendment rights. But all that such pressure appears thus far to have consisted of are some chummy nudges in emails. There has surely not been any threat of fines. How could there be without a law authorizing the executive branch to impose them? And such a law would be blatantly unconstitutional, since precisely what the 1st Amendment states concerning freedom of speech is that “Congress shall make no law…abridging” it.

But there’s the rub. Congress, needless to say, has not made any such law. But what if a foreign power made such a law and it de facto abridged the freedom of speech also of Americans? Unbeknownst to most Americans, this has in fact occurred and their 1st Amendment rights are being vitiated, namely, by the European Union. There is a financial gun pointed at Twitter. But it is not the Biden administration, but rather the European Commission, under the leadership of Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, that has its finger on the trigger. The law in question is the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which was passed by the European Parliament last July 5 amidst almost total indifference – in Europe as much as in the United States – despite its momentous and disastrous implications for freedom of speech worldwide.

The DSA gives the European Commission the power to impose fines of up to 6% of global turnover on “very large online platforms or very large online search engines” that it finds to be non-compliant with its censorship requirements. “Very large” is defined as any platform or search engine that has over 45 million users in the EU. Note that while the size criterion is limited to users in the EU, the sanction is based precisely on the company’s global turnover. The DSA has been designed to function in combination with the EU’s so-called Code of Practice on Disinformation: an ostensibly voluntary code for “combatting disinformation” – aka censoring – that was originally launched in 2018 and of which Twitter, Facebook/Meta and Google/YouTube are all signatories.

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To be fair, it’s not all Hunter. A lot more needs to fit under that carpet.

White House Spending $265k On Staff To Deflect Hunter Biden Probe (NYP)

The White House is gearing up for a growing army of staff to fend off potential Republican-led probes on everything from Hunter Biden to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — and taxpayers are footing the bill. Battening down the hatches should the GOP regain control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, the White House is shelling out $265,000 a year in salary for staff whose primary portfolio will be to run comms and defense for the administration from an approaching blizzard of subpoenas. In May, the White House poached Richard A. Sauber, the top attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs, to serve as a “deputy counsel to the president” tasked with handling House oversight probes.

Ian Sams, a veteran of Vice President Harris’ failed 2020 presidential campaign, was hired to run official comms for the team. White House records show the two men will take home $155,000 and $110,000 respectively. And the team is only expected to grow, the Washington Post reported — indicating that its staffing and operational expenditures will balloon further. “Americans deserve transparency from President Biden about his family’s suspicious business dealings. But instead of providing transparency, the White House is hiring staff at the American taxpayers’ expense to stonewall congressional oversight and accountability.” said Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who is on track to chair the House Oversight Committee next year if Republicans retake the House.

“Let’s be clear: no amount of Biden White House staff or stonewalling will stop Republicans’ quest for transparency and accountability on behalf of the American people,” he added. House Republicans have vowed to investigate everything from the origins of coronavirus, to the botched withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. The party’s marquee probe will focus on Hunter Biden and what connections his father, President Biden, had to his shady overseas business dealings.

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“In FY 2022 (all Biden’s watch), gotaways hit 599,000 — up 54% versus FY 2021 and 768% compared to FY 2020.”

The Chilling Numbers That Reveal The Scale Of Joe Biden’s Border Disaster (NYP)

Democrats are napping peacefully through the US-Mexico “border” crisis they engineered. Perhaps these data will snap them from their slumber: US Department of Homeland Security reports that the Mexican cartels’ income from smuggling illegal migrants into America has soared from $500 million in 2018 to $13 billion this year — up 2,500%. If these criminals merged into a corporation, their 2022 gross revenues would rival that of — are you sitting down? — Fox Corporation. Fox News Channel’s parent company earned $12.91 billion in the year ended June 30, 2021, and $13.97 billion 12 months later. This fact might awaken Sleepy Joe Biden and the lazy Left: Mexico’s human-trafficking cartels are now as big as Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

If Democrats still are dozing through the havoc of their no-border strategy, these figures might rouse them: Border Patrol agents apprehended 951,568 illegal immigrants during President Donald Trump’s final 19 months in office. In President Biden’s first 19 months, Border Patrol encountered a staggering 3,588,877 illegals — up a sickening 377%. In Fiscal Year 2020, the last fully under Trump’s control, 69,000 illegal migrants were detected on the “border” but got away into America’s interior. FY 2021 (four months of Trump, eight of Biden) witnessed 389,155 gotaways — up 464%. In FY 2022 (all Biden’s watch), gotaways hit 599,000 — up 54% versus FY 2021 and 768% compared to FY 2020.

At least 266,000 unaccompanied migrant children/minors have been encountered at the southern border since President Biden took office, per CBP data,” Fox News Channel’s priceless southern-frontier correspondent Bill Melugin explained via Twitter on September 26. “That’s enough to fill up approximately three Rose Bowls.” Fourteen House Republicans wrote Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sept. 23 to complain that “between October 2021 and July 2022, more than 130,000 Venezuelan nationals were encountered after entering the United States illegally.” The Marxist Nicolás Maduro regime, they added, “is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States.”

Twelve US senators contacted the US Marshals Service about crooks cascading across the “border.” According to their August 30 letter, “So far in FY22, CBP has apprehended over 9,000 criminal immigrants, including 53 for homicide or manslaughter, 283 for sex crimes and almost 900 for assault, battery and domestic violence.” During Trump’s FYs 2017 through 2020, 11 terrorists on the watch list were captured at the border — two, six, zero and three, in those respective years.

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“The sudden transition … from a state of perfect normalcy to a pathological one … is unprecedented. … “

Is the US Blood Supply Tainted? (CHD)

Funeral directors and embalmers in the U.S. and U.K. have gone public with shocking descriptions of highly unusual blood clots in up to 85% of the bodies coming under their care — a “massive increase” compared to pre-COVID-19 vaccine times when ordinary-looking clots might be found in 5% to 10% of the deceased. “In all my years of embalming, we would run across clots from time to time,” said Richard Hirschman, an experienced funeral director in Alabama, “but since May last year [2021], something about the blood has changed. It’s not normal. It’s drastic.” The rampant clotting and the clots’ disturbing sci-fi appearance — “long fibrous entities that can completely block a vein or artery,” which Hirschman likens to calamari, rubber bands, spaghetti, worms or parasites — are just some of the concerns prompting questions about blood supply safety.

About 55% of blood is plasma — which, among other functions, supplies proteins “for blood clotting and immunity” — with the remaining 45% consisting of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets suspended in the plasma. Depending on their blood type, individuals who give blood can choose to donate whole blood, plasma or platelets, or they can make a “Power Red” donation (a “concentrated dose” of red blood cells). The American Red Cross says it will not accept blood from someone whose blood “does not clot normally,” but — following guidance from the same branch of the FDA that oversees vaccines — welcomes immediate donations from anyone who received one of the mRNA or other COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S., as long as the person says he is “symptom-free and feeling well.”

[..] In one of the most alarming studies, published in August in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research, Italian surgeons described atypical clumping of red blood cells and the presence of “extraordinarily anomalous structures and substances” of “various shapes and sizes of unclear origin” in over 94% of symptomatic, COVID-19-vaccinated individuals whose blood they examined. The 1,006 study participants, ranging in age from 15 to 85, received a first (14%), second (45%) or third (41%) dose of a Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine about a month before the analysis of their blood. Pointing to other studies that found foreign materials in the blood of COVID-19 vaccine recipients and in COVID-19 vaccine vials — materials “that the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and the many promoters of the experimental injections claimed were not in them at all” — the Italian authors concluded the vaccine-induced blood alterations were “likely … to be involved in producing the coagulation disorders commonly reported after anti-COVID injections.”

Putting the matter even more plainly, they stated: “[S]uch abrupt changes as we have documented in the peripheral blood profile of 948 patients have never been observed after inoculation by any vaccines in the past according to our clinical experience. The sudden transition … from a state of perfect normalcy to a pathological one … is unprecedented. … “In our collective experience, and in our shared professional opinion, the large quantity of particles in the blood of mRNA injection recipients is incompatible with normal blood flow especially at the level of the capillaries.”

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I dare you to find a crazier story than this today.

Ex-Partner Of Ukrainian ‘Heiress’ Who Infiltrated Mar-a-Lago Shot In Canada (G.)

An associate of the Ukrainian woman who posed as a member of the Rothschild banking family at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club was reportedly shot outside a lakeside resort north-west of Montreal, Canadian newspaper LaPresse has reported. The shooting left Valeriy Tarasenko, 44, with “significant injuries”, but he was expected to survive, said the Sûreté du Québec, the Quebec provincial police. The police said it had launched a search for the shooter and any accomplices behind the attack. Tarasenko is known as a former business partner of Inna Yashchyshyn, a Russian-speaking Ukrainian immigrant who was identified by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project over the summer for posing as “Anna de Rothschild” at Mar-a-Lago.

Quebec police told LaPresse that they were trying to “shed some light on the circumstances that led to the injuries of the victim”. But for now, “to protect the investigation, no other detail can be shared”, the police added. Tarasenko, who was born in Ukraine and raised in Moscow, told the Post-Gazette and OCCRP that he had hired Yashchyshyn in 2014 to live in his Miami condo and watch his two daughters while he traveled on business. The FBI, according to the report, has been looking into a Miami charity, United Hearts of Mercy, Yashchyshyn launched in 2015 and carries the same name as a nonprofit founded by Tarasenko in Canada in 2010. According to a statement by the charity’s accountant that was turned over to the FBI, the charity, established to collect money for impoverished children, was in fact a front for organized crime.

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Feb 252015
 February 25, 2015  Posted by at 3:18 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  8 Responses »

Gordon Parks “New York, New York. Scene in Harlem area.” 1943

Riddle me this, Batman. I don’t think I get it, and I definitely don’t get why nobody is asking any questions. The IMF and EU make a lot of noise – through the Eurogroup – about all the conditions Greece has to address to get even a mild extension of support, while the same IMF and EU keep on handing out cash to Ukraine without as much as a whisper – at least publicly.

The Kiev government, which has been ceaselessly and ruthlessly attacking its own people, is now portrayed as needing – monetary and military – western help in order to be able to ‘defend’ itself. From the people it’s been attacking, presumably. And hardly a soul in the west asks what that is all about.

Why did Kiev kill 5000 of its own citizens? Because there are people in East Ukraine who had – and still have – the guts to say they don’t want to be ruled by a regime willing to murder them for saying they don’t want to be ruled by it. And just in case there’s any confusion left about this, yes, that is the regime we are actively supporting, in undoubtedly many more ways than are made public. All the doubts about the western narrative are swept aside with one move: blame Putin.

Of the two countries, Greece, despite its humanitarian issues, is by far the luckiest one. Ukraine is quite a few steps further down the hill. One can be forgiven for contemplating that the west, aided by President Poroshenko and the Yats regime in Kiev, is dead set on obliterating the entire nation.

There are again peace talks under way, with no – direct – Anglo-Saxon involvement, but as the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany meet, Britain announces it’s sending military personnel into Ukraine and Poroshenko buys weapons from UAE, which is the same as saying from America. Where does he get the money? Chocolate sales? Had a good Valentine’s campaign?

Baltic states reinforce their armies (Lithuania just launched conscription), as NATO expands its presence there. The constantly repeated message is that Putin will attack them. It’s a made-up story. Poroshenko says he wants Crimea back, even as he knows full well that’s not going to happen.

What part of the fresh round of IMF/EU loans will go towards arms purchases? Can Brussels please supply a run-down ASAP? Don’t Europeans have a right to know where their money goes?

To start with, here’s a – partial – overview of loans from Constantin Gurdgiev:

IMF Package for Ukraine: Some Pesky Macros

Ukraine package of funding from the IMF and other lenders remains still largely unspecified, but it is worth recapping what we do know and what we don’t.Total package is USD40 billion. Of which, USD17.5 billion will come from the IMF and USD22.5 billion will come from the EU. The US seemed to have avoided being drawn into the financial singularity they helped (directly or not) to create. We have no idea as to the distribution of the USD22.5 billion across the individual EU states, but it is pretty safe to assume that countries like Greece won’t be too keen contributing.

Cyprus probably as well. Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy – all struggling with debts of their own also need this new ‘commitment’ like a hole in the head. Belgium might cheerfully pony up (with distinctly Belgian cheer that is genuinely overwhelming to those in Belgium). But what about the countries like the Baltics and those of the Southern EU? Does Bulgaria have spare hundreds of million floating around? Hungary clearly can’t expect much of good will from Kiev, given its tango with Moscow, so it is not exactly likely to cheer on the funding plans… Who will?

Austria and Germany and France, though France is never too keen on parting with cash, unless it gets more cash in return through some other doors. In Poland, farmers are protesting about EUR100 million that the country lent to Ukraine. Wait till they get the bill for their share of the USD22.5 billion coming due.

Recall that in April 2014, IMF has already provided USD17 billion to Ukraine and has paid up USD4.5 billion to-date. In addition, Ukraine received USD2 billion in credit guarantees (not even funds) from the US, EUR1.8 billion in funding from the EU and another EUR1.6 billion in pre-April loans from the same source. Germany sent bilateral EUR500 million and Poland sent EUR100 million, with Japan lending USD300 million.

Here’s a kicker. With all this ‘help’ Ukrainian debt/GDP ratio is racing beyond sustainability bounds. Under pre-February ‘deal’ scenario, IMF expected Ukrainian debt to peak at USD109 billion in 2017. Now, with the new ‘deal’ we are looking at debt (assuming no write down in a major restructuring) reaching for USD149 billion through 2018 and continuing to head North from there.

In other words, the loans are only and exclusively making Ukraine’s position worse. The Greeks may feel like debt slaves, but Ukrainians face a far darker feudal situation. They’re going to be -debt -prisoners in their own country. And that has nothing to do with Putin, it’s the ultimate shock doctrine. The distinct impression to me is the country will be turned into a testing ground for NATO and western military industries. Which is why ‘we’ have been so intent on engaging Russia in the Ukraine conflict.

But back to the loans first:

The point is that the situation in the Ukrainian economy is so grave, that lending Kiev money cannot be an answer to the problems of stabilising the economy and getting economic recovery on a sustainable footing. With all of this, the IMF ‘plan’ begs three questions:

  1. Least important: Where’s the European money coming from?
  2. More important: Why would anyone lend funds to a country with fundamentals that make Greece look like Norway?
  3. Most important: How on earth can this be a sustainable package for the country that really needs at least 50% of the total funding in the form of grants, not loans? That needs real investment, not debt? That needs serious reconstruction and such deep reforms, it should reasonably be given a decade to put them in place, not 4 years that IMF is prepared to hold off on repayment of debts owed to it under the new programme?

Why indeed? One thing seems certain: reconstruction is not in the cards. All assets will be sold for scrap, and most citizens ‘encouraged’ to cross one of many borders Ukraine has. Britain is next up in the escalation process. Again, as German/French talks with Russia continue.

Britain To Send Military Advisers To Ukraine, Announces Cameron

Britain was pulled closer towards a renewed cold war with Russia when David Cameron announced UK military trainers are to be deployed to help Ukraine forces stave off further Russian backed incursions into sovereign Ukraine territory. The decision – announced on Tuesday but under consideration by the UK national security council since before Christmas – represents the first deployment of British troops to the country since the near civil war in eastern Ukraine began more than a year ago. Downing Street said the deployment was not just a practical bilateral response to a request for support, but a signal to the Russians that Britain will not countenance further large scale annexations of towns in Ukraine.

The prime minister said Britain would be “the strongest pole in the tent”, and argued for tougher sanctions against Moscow if Russian-backed militias in eastern Ukraine failed to observe the provisions of a ceasefire agreement reached this month with the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko. Downing Street said some personnel would be leaving this week as part of the training mission. Initially 30 trainers will be despatched to Kiev with 25 providing advice on medical training, logistics, intelligence analysis and infantry training. A bigger programme of infantry training is expected to follow soon after taking the total number of trainers to 75.

That’s simply war-mongering, and precious little else. We may wonder about the timing, but not the intention. Cameron goes on to make some really bizarre statements:

He said there was no doubt about Russian support for the rebels. “What we are seeing is Russian-backed aggression, often these are Russian troops, they are Russian tanks, they are Russian Grad missiles. You can’t buy these things on eBay, they are coming from Russia, people shouldn’t be in any doubt about that. “We have got the intelligence, we have got the pictures and the world knows that. Sometimes people don’t want to see that but that is the fact.”

No, Mr. Cameron, the problem is, the world does not know that, because it has never been shown either the intelligence or the pictures. Why not provide them? Because you don’t have them, is the only reason I can think of after a full year full of alleged activity of which there is not one shred of proof, but a million tons of accusations and innuendo. It’s literally a propaganda war, with the other side hardly firing back at all. And then there’s this from RT:

East Ukraine Artillery Withdrawal In Focus – As Poroshenko Buys UAE Weapons

While the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine were meeting in Paris to talk about the Eastern Ukraine peace settlement, it was revealed that the Ukrainian president has struck a deal on arms supplies from the UAE. The four ministers agreed on the need for the ceasefire to be respected, as well as on the need to extend the OSCE mission in Eastern Ukraine, reinforcing it with more funding, personnel and equipment. It’s important for Kiev troops and the rebels to start withdrawing heavy weapons right now, without waiting for the time “when not a single shot is fired,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the meeting.

He added that his German and French counterparts thought it a positive development that the Donetsk and the Lugansk rebels had started to pull their artillery back. “The situation has significantly improved, that was acknowledged by my partners,” Lavrov said. “However, sporadic violations are being registered by the OSCE observers.” The withdrawal of heavy weaponry by Kiev troops and the rebels is part of the ceasefire deal struck in Minsk earlier in February. The Donetsk militia has announced it is complying.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has meanwhile reached an agreement on weapons supplies from the United Arab Emirates. That’s according to a Facebook post by advisor to Ukrainian Interior Minister, Anton Gerashchenko. The deal was struck with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. “It’s worth emphasizing that unlike Europeans and Americans, the Arabs aren’t afraid of Putin’s threats of a third world war starting in case of arms and ammunition supplies to Ukraine,” Gerashchenko wrote. He also said he believed the UAE blamed Russia for the drop in oil prices. “So, this is going to be their little revenge,” the adviser said.

Curious. Now it’s the Russians who are to blame for the oil price plunge? Weren’t they supposed to be the major victims? And when did Putin threaten with WWIII? There’s more to this:

[..].. former US diplomat James Jatras told RT: “This discussion in Washington about supplying weapons has been going on for some time. Usually that indicates that some kind of a covert program is already in operation and that we already are supplying some weapons directly,” he said. Jatras added that it is hard to believe that UAE would sell these weapons to Ukraine “without a green light from Washington.”

I would think the same thing: plenty forces in Washington who want nothing more than to supply weapons to Kiev, and there’s always a way. Note that Germany and France, the western partners in the peace talks, have so far managed to prevent direct arms supplies. They’ve now been blindsided, or so it would seem. Maybe it’s time for Merkel to pull her weight here, and a bit less on Greece. Germany doesn’t want an escalating warzone on its doorstep.

Meanwhile, the gas delivery issue is heating up again (pun intended). Ukraine continues to provoke Russia, but it will have to pay eventually. Unless escalation is the real goal, and freezing Eastern Europeans will be deemed a justifiable sacrifice.

Kiev Cash-For-Gas Fail Could Cost EU Its Supply (In 2 Days) – Gazprom

Russia will completely cut Ukraine off gas supplies in two days if Kiev fails to pay for deliveries, which will create transit risks for Europe, Gazprom has said. Ukraine has not paid for March deliveries and is extracting all it can from the current paid supply, seriously risking an early termination of the advance settlement and a supply cutoff, Gazprom’s CEO Alexey Miller told journalists. The prepaid gas volumes now stand at 219 million cubic meters. “It takes about two days to get payment from Naftogaz deposited to a Gazprom account. That’s why a delivery to Ukraine of 114 million cubic meters will lead to a complete termination of Russian gas supplies as early as in two days, which creates serious risks for the transit to Europe,” Miller said.

Earlier this month, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak estimated Ukraine’s debt to Russian energy giant Gazprom at $2.3 billion. In the end of 2014, Kiev’s massive gas debt that stood above $5 billion, forced Moscow to suspend gas deliveries to Ukraine for nearly six months. On December 9, Russia resumed its supplies under the so-called winter package deal, which expires on April 1, 2015. [..] On Monday, Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz accused Gazprom of failing to deliver gas that Kiev had paid for in advance. Naftogaz says Russia has broken an agreement to deliver 114 million of cubic meters of natural gas to Ukraine by delivering only 47 million cubic meters.

During a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on February 20, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed concern about an increase in daily applications by Ukraine for the supply of gas, TASS reports. He noted that “Ukraine’s consumers have requested a larger supply; the volume has increased by 2.5 times. This means that the prepaid volumes left are enough for no more than two to three days.”

Overall, there seems to be little left that can be done to de-escalate the situation. The Donbass rebels may retreat some heavy weapons, but they won’t want to risk being defeated by a freshly replenished Ukraine/US/UK army. The make-up of which is ever harder to envision, since a few hundred thousand potential soldiers have already fled the country. Unless they extend the draft to 12- to 80-year-old women, what Ukrainians will be left to fight? And who will want to? Except for the private battallions of questionable make-up, that is.

Ukraine will at some point in the not too distant future be so impoverished that a new Maidan type revolution may be inevitable. There should really be elections in the country as soon as possible, but that doesn’t look likely to happen. Why Yatsenyuk is still PM should be a mystery, he was elected by a parliament at gunpoint. And he’s a US puppet, who’s recently invited three US citizens into key positions in his cabinet. Ukrainians may be scared to speak up, but if they don’t, things could get much worse real fast.

It’s once again time for the people to take to the streets. But that risks turning into an awful bloodbath that could make Kiev look like the Dresden. Unless all international parties retreat from Ukraine, there doesn’t seem to be a solution that would benefit the people.