Jan 312024
 
 January 31, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  60 Responses »


Tamara de Lempicka The refugees 1937

 

Biden Wants Taylor Swift To Sing For Him – NYT (RT)
Is There A Taylor Swift Psyop? (ZH)
The Next Big Thing (Jim Kunstler)
US Foreign Arms Sales Rocket to Record Highs (Sp.)
Stoltenberg: Weapons for Ukraine Are ‘the Way to Peace’ (Sp.)
West Asks Countries To Secretly Send Russian Weapons To Ukraine – Lavrov (RT)
Russia Warns US Against Returning Tactical Nuclear Weapons to UK (Sp.)
The Palestinians Won in The Hague: So Did the Rest of Us (Patrick Lawrence)
ICJ Ruling Is What It Is: Symbolic. But What Happens Next Is Critical (Jay)
West Starts to Understand That Ukraine Project ‘Failing’ – Lavrov (Sp.)
Lavrov Blasts ‘Absurd’ Claims That Russia Will Attack NATO (RT)
Zelensky Ready To Further Fuel Ukraine Conflict (Sp.)
Ukraine To Teach Troops To Speak Ukrainian (RT)
US Facing ‘Death Spiral’ Of Swelling Debt – Nassim Taleb (RT)
Imran Khan Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison (RT)
Imran Khan Sentenced To 14-year New Jail Term (RT)

 

 

 

 

Illegals
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752498124877336987

 

 

Poll
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752450941633335551

 

 

A Delaware judge just retroactively voided Elon’s $55B Tesla pay package from 2018 where shareholders voted in favor for it, all milestones were hit, and Tesla stock is up 800% since then.


Elon Musk:”Never incorporate your company in the state of Delaware.”

 

 

Cybertruck

 

 

Tucker Russell Brand


https://twitter.com/i/status/1752487123528093806

 

 

 

 

Joe Biden, George Soros and Taylor Swift. What a plotline.

“Joe Biden is in [a] hole with young people, he knows it. And if he thinks Taylor can get him out of that hole, he’s gonna go for it.”

Biden Wants Taylor Swift To Sing For Him – NYT (RT)

US President Joe Biden is pursuing an endorsement from global pop superstar Taylor Swift ahead of November’s election, the New York Times has claimed. The Democratic leader’s campaign is reportedly seeking to counter flagging polls that show him trailing likely Republican candidate, Donald Trump. Trump’s strong performances in early Republican primaries and caucuses have suggested that a rematch of the 2020 election is the most likely scenario at the US ballot box later this year. As such, Biden’s staff plan to rehash tactics that proved successful in the caustic battle with Trump four years ago, the New York Times said on Monday. Principally, this is said to involve painting the former president as a threat to American democracy, along with a heavy focus on abortion rights as part of a broader appeal to voters against alleged conservative efforts to restrict personal freedoms.

One influential voice the Democrats again intend to harness is that of Swift, arguably the most famous popstar on the planet. Perhaps more specifically, her 280 million Instagram followers are of significant interest, the report claims. Swift publicly backed Biden and his vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris in 2020, saying that she would “proudly vote” for the Democratic ticket because “under their leadership, I believe America has a chance to start the healing process it so desperately needs.” Last year, a single social media post from Swift led to the registration of 35,000 new voters in the US, the NYT report said, and Democrats are keen to secure her backing to expand this enthusiasm to a national scale. It is also predicted that fund-raising appeals from the singer could boost Biden’s campaign to the tune of millions of dollars.

“Taylor Swift stands tall and unique,” California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, said last year. “What she was able to accomplish just in getting young people activated to consider that they have a voice and that they should have a voice in the next election, I think, is extremely powerful.” Perhaps courting Swift’s backing, the White House last week condemned salacious fake AI images of the singer that have been circulating on social media in recent days. Fox News anchor Jeanine Pirro, a vocal backer of Trump, on Monday warned Swift not to “get involved in politics.” “We don’t want to see you there,” Pirro said on the news network’s ‘The Five’ show. “Joe Biden is in [a] hole with young people, he knows it. And if he thinks Taylor can get him out of that hole, he’s gonna go for it.” Trump, though, is also no stranger to leaning on popular culture for support. He has previously boasted of backing from the likes of Kanye West and Kid Rock. The latest polling data shows Trump holding an advantage of between 1 and 5 percentage points over Biden in a head-to-head race.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1752521142831562803

Read more …

“..has been pitched by legacy media as finally finding the “perfect match”: Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce. The relationship doesn’t pass the sniff test..”

Is There A Taylor Swift Psyop? (ZH)

Welcome to the matrix. The current news cycle gives the impression that Taylor Swift is everywhere. According to Bloomberg data, corporate media headlines featuring “Taylor Swift” began ramping up in the first half of 2023 and hit new record highs later in the year. The singer, who has made an entire career whining about having chosen the wrong men, has been pitched by legacy media as finally finding the “perfect match”: Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce. The relationship doesn’t pass the sniff test, given Taylor’s terrible choices with men. Let’s begin with Michael Benz, a former Trump admin State Department official whose work has been cited in congressional hearings, posted on X a video from 2019 featuring the Pentagon’s psychological operations research that pitched the idea of turning Taylor into an asset to combat “disinformation.”

Back to Taylor’s relationship with Kelce. Consider this:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1752042447088017527

And there’s this.

We’re not alone. Fox News’ Jesse Watters also asked: “Why is Taylor Swift Everywhere?” Perhaps it’s not by chance that the story count in corporate media for Taylor has exponentially exploded, averaging above 1,000 per day since late September. Taylor’s surge comes as legacy corporate media is terrified about the rise of alternative media. Wall Street Journal Chief Emma Tucker warned WEF elites at Davos this month: “We no longer own the news.” [..] While it remains to be seen if Taylor has become a NATO asset. Certainty Democrats appear to be salivating all over her ahead of the presidential election to turn ‘Swifites’ into blue voters.

Read more …

“Joe Biden” will seize an excuse to declare a national emergency and subject the US to some manner of martial law..”

The Next Big Thing (Jim Kunstler)

I’m sure you can see exactly where all this is going. By all this, I refer to the cortège of disasters orchestrated by “Joe Biden” and associates — with help from a power-crazed globalist cabal — hauling our country at a gallop now to the graveyard of empires. Is there any question that they are out to wreck Western Civ? And speeding up the action because too many actual citizens are rising to oppose their degenerate wickedness? Most particularly, the people who have not surrendered their reason to the Woke-Marxist mind-fuck that calls itself “progressivism” have had enough of the purposeful inflow of something like ten-thousand fake asylum-seekers a day across the border, mostly men, a lot of them from China, and many more of them mutts from faraway lands where Jihad is the order of the day — meaning the crusade to exterminate the people of Western Civ. We’re supposed to be okay with that.

This deliberate, treasonous policy was rightfully declared an “invasion” last week by the Governor of Texas, requiring the human wave to be met with real force, not the welcome wagon that the federal border patrol has been turned into. The result so far is a real-live Mexican stand-off between the regime in Washington and the state of Texas, joined by twenty-five other sympathetic US states willing to send men and matériel to seal the border. None of this is reported in Monday morning’s New York Times, by the way, though you can read Is Dying Your Hair Bad for Your Health there. Nor will you read about the caravan of American truckers striking out from all points around the country to “peacefully protest and pray” at the border while Texas attempts to settle its hash with “Joe Biden.” Nor will you read about the uprising of European farmers blocking highways to protest ruinous EU rules on food imports, diesel fuel prices, carbon emissions inanity, and, of course, the officially-enabled tide of Africans and jihadists flooding into EU member states.

“Joe Biden’s” response so far is to say he’ll attend to the border situation only if Congress green-lights another massive aid package for Ukraine, a dishonest proffer from any angle. Ukraine is a lost cause that should never have been a cause of ours in the first place. Yet securing the US border is a principal duty of the executive branch, not some optional fringe benefit to be used as leverage for other projects. Congress has already got impeachment articles ready for Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, who has lied repeatedly under oath about the border being “secure.” But it’s obviously not enough. The failure is entirely “Joe Biden’s” and warrants his impeachment on its face, aside from all the evidence of bribery and racketeering among him and his family.

The best move would be to impeach both the president and his proclaimed “border czar” Veep Kamala Harris — which would put Speaker Mike Johnson in the oval office. But the impeachment process is too slow and awkward for that. So, now I will tell you where all this is actually going: “Joe Biden” will seize an excuse to declare a national emergency and subject the US to some manner of martial law. The excuse could be an outbreak of violence in the quarrel between the states and the feds over the border. Or it could be a widening of the war in the Middle East, a direct confrontation with Iran that would draw in Russia and Turkey and kickoff World War Three, a war we would have an excellent shot at losing, considering our DEI-ravaged, over-vaxxed army, our obsolete naval carrier groups that can be sunk by hypersonic missiles, and our depleted reserves of armaments already fobbed off by Ukraine and, lately, given to Israel in the Gaza campaign to destroy Hamas.

If such a war didn’t set off a world-ending exchange of nukes, it would at least collapse the economies of Europe and America and, with that, many governments, including possibly ours. And what role might all those recently-arrived illegal aliens play in such a fiasco? Any way you cut it, we’d be in for chaos and hardship. Or, if we somehow avert major war, “Joe Biden” can try the national emergency ploy when the much-heralded (by the WHO) “Disease X” trots onstage. (And we must ask whether that will just be a delayed side-effect of the mRNA vaccine deaths?) Ultimately, the purpose of any national emergency at this moment in history, whatever prompts it, will be to suspend the 2024 elections. The Democratic Party has gone so completely off-the-rails psychologically that it will do anything to avert losing control of the government.

Read more …

What it’s all about. The bottom line.

US Foreign Arms Sales Rocket to Record Highs (Sp.)

Capitalizing on armed conflicts across the world is not uncommon for Washington, something that is confirmed by the fact that the US’ foreign military sales (FMS) reached $80.9 billion in fiscal year 2023, soaring almost 56% from the previous year to set a new record. Apart from FMS, America’s so-called direct commercial sales (DCS) likewise increased last year to $157.5 billion from $153.6 billion in fiscal 2022, the State Department said in a statement. A record total of FMS and DCS in FY2023 stands at about $238 billion. The total $80.9 billion figure for FMS last year includes $62.25 billion in arms sales funded by US allied and partner nations, as well as $3.97 billion through the Title 22 Foreign Military Financing program, according to data released. An additional $14.68 billion was funded through other Department of State and Department of Defense programs, including the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.

Poland made some of the biggest purchases, buying Apache helicopters for $12 billion and also paying $10 billion for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS). Germany spent $8.5 billion on Chinook helicopters while Bulgaria paid $1.5 billion for Stryker armoured vehicles and Norway bought $1 billion worth of multi-mission helicopters. The Czech Republic bought $5.6 billion in F-35 jets and munitions. Outside of Europe, the State Department data indicated that South Korea paid $5 billion for F-35 fighter jets and Australia spent $6.3 billion on C130J-30 Super Hercules planes. Also, Japan reached a $1 billion deal for an E-2D Hawkeye surveillance plane. Examples of last year’s major DCS Congressional Notifications include a hefty agreement with the Ukrainian Defense Ministry to supply National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) worth $1.2 billion.

Other agreements worth approximately the above-mentioned sum pertain to Italy, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, and Norway, per the State Department. It’s safe to assume that commercializing wars has become a trend in US policy. In the same vein, in a 2022 extensive report by the Washington-based Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft think tank, the authors urged the Biden administration “to address a number of key issues if US policy on arms sales is to be made consistent with long-term US interests.”

“The key policy consideration is how to restrict sales to those that will help allies defend themselves without provoking arms races or increasing the prospects for conflict,” the report pointed out, referring to the AUKUS submarine deal, which “will benefit US contractors but risks fueling arms competition and increasing tensions with China.” On the “rapid” US military assistance to Ukraine, the report underscored that “the United States has failed to offer an accompanying diplomatic strategy aimed at ending the war before it evolves into a long, grinding conflict or escalates into a direct US-Russian confrontation.” Moscow has repeatedly warned the US and its allies that sending arms to Kiev would only prolong the Ukraine conflict. The authors warned that foreign arms sales can also pose risks to US security “by fueling conflicts, provoking American adversaries, stoking arms races, and drawing the US into unnecessary or counterproductive wars.”

Read more …

Works for the industry.

Stoltenberg: Weapons for Ukraine Are ‘the Way to Peace’ (Sp.)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press briefing that supporting Ukraine goes beyond charity, serving as an investment into global security. “Supporting Ukraine is not a charity, it is an investment in our own security,” Stoltenberg said during a press briefing on Monday. Stoltenberg also suggested that arms for Ukraine are “the way to peace.” In October, the White House requested from Congress supplemental funding of for more than $100 billion, including more than $60 billion for Ukraine, but Republican lawmakers have refused to approve the request without including substantive measures to strengthen US border security and address record levels of illegal immigration into the United States.

Western countries have been providing military aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s special military operation in February 2022 in the amount of hundreds of billions of dollars. The aid evolved from artillery munitions and training in 2022 to heavier weapons, including tanks, advanced air-defense systems, cluster munitions and missiles later that year and in 2023. The Kremlin has consistently warned against the West’s continued arms deliveries to Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly stated that Western military supplies do not bode well for Ukraine and only prolong the conflict. In addition, vehicles carrying supplied weapons are a legitimate target for the Russian Army.

Read more …

“In accordance with this certificate, the recipient of the weapon does not have the right to resell it or redirect it anywhere without the consent of the supplier country..”

West Asks Countries To Secretly Send Russian Weapons To Ukraine – Lavrov (RT)

Moscow has become aware of several cases of Western powers asking certain countries to secretly donate Russian-made weaponry to Kiev for use in the Ukraine conflict, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. The Russian diplomat’s comments come as Kiev ramps up its demands for more military aid, citing acute shortages in hardware and ammunition. The US and its allies have also been seeking to approve further financial and military support for Ukraine. Speaking at a roundtable meeting with the heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Moscow on Tuesday, Lavrov stated that Russia has been in contact with “certain countries” that the West has been trying to convince to hand over Russia-supplied weapons to Ukraine, without informing Moscow of such transfers.

The minister noted that there have been “several cases of this kind” recorded by Moscow over the past year and a half, and stressed that Russia will continue to demand that all international obligations regarding weapons transfers be observed. Lavrov pointed out that when a foreign country legally acquires Russian arms, the shipments come with a certain package of documents, including an end-user certificate. “In accordance with this certificate, the recipient of the weapon does not have the right to resell it or redirect it anywhere without the consent of the supplier country,” the minister explained.

At the same time, Russia’s top diplomat noted that the West has been pretending not to notice that its own weapons, which it has supplied to Ukraine, have already spread to war zones across the world, where they are frequently being used by extremists and terrorists. “The weapons that the West supplies to the Ukrainian regime have been found not only in conflict zones in the Middle East, but in illegal shipments that have been recorded in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Gaza,” Lavrov said. Last week, speaking at a UN Security Council meeting, Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s claims that Kiev has been reselling Western weapons on the black market, and expressed disbelief that Ukraine’s backers were unaware of this. Russia has repeatedly condemned Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine, insisting that such shipments only serve to prolong the fighting and lead to more bloodshed without affecting the eventual outcome.

Read more …

“..the United States is expected to station B61-12 gravity bombs, which are three times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, at the Lakenheath base for the first time in 15 years..”

Russia Warns US Against Returning Tactical Nuclear Weapons to UK (Sp.)

Russia strongly warns the US against returning its tactical nuclear weapons to the territory of the UK, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday.”Regarding the hypothetical return of US tactical nuclear weapons to the UK territory, I would like to strongly warn against this destabilizing step,” Ryabkov told reporters. The move would not strengthen the security of either the UK or the US, but would increase the level of escalation and threat in Europe, the diplomat said. “We assume that despite the rather sad experience, from the point of view of ensuring European security, the experience of recent years in London and Washington, hotheads are not drawing any lessons from this, so this scenario is quite possible,” he added.

The Telegraph reported on January 26 that the United States is expected to station B61-12 gravity bombs, which are three times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, at the Lakenheath base for the first time in 15 years after Washington decided to remove its nuclear arsenal from the United Kingdom in 2008. A Pentagon spokesperson, commenting on the development, said in a statement to Sputnik that it is a US policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence or absence of nuclear weapons at a specific location amid reports that Washington plans to station its nuclear weapons in the United Kingdom.

“It is U.S. policy to neither confirm nor deny the presence or absence of nuclear weapons at any general or specific location,” the statement said. The statement noted that the United States “routinely upgrades its military facilities in allied nations. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said that the Kremlin would view the deployment of US nuclear weapons in the United Kingdom as an escalatory action.

Read more …

“.. it ordered Israel should facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid, it actually said, “You have to cease fire because there is no [other] way of doing that.”

The Palestinians Won in The Hague: So Did the Rest of Us (Patrick Lawrence)

Half a dozen years ago I sat in the lobby lounge at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan talking at length with Richard Falk, the scholar, lawyer, U.N. rapporteur, and advocate of Palestinian rights. Inevitably, the conversation turned for a time to international law, a topic on which Falk has long been a recognized authority. Here is a little of what he said as we took our afternoon tea: When international law is on the side of the geopolitical actors, then they are very serious about its relevance. When the American embassy was seized in Tehran after the Iranian Revolution, they talked about the flouting of international law as if that was the most sacred body of law that ever existed. International law is used very instrumentally. If you’re protecting private investment in Venezuela or Chile, then it’s barbaric not to uphold it. But if it’s blocking the pursuit of some kind of interventionist project, then it’s flaky or irrelevant to talk about it …

I thought about that exchange over the weekend, as I considered the International Court of Justice’s ruling last Friday that the apartheid state of Israel may be guilty of genocide against Gaza’s Palestinian population, as South Africa charges, and that the case Pretoria brought last month must proceed. Later Friday, the estimable Phyllis Bennis quoted Falk in a piece she wrote for In These Times. Falk called the decision the court’s “greatest moment,” and went on to explain, “It strengthens the claims of international law to be respected by all sovereign states—not just some.” Consistency of thought: It does not get more admirable than this. There are many, many ways to look upon the ICJ’s ruling, many things worth saying. The very first of these is that the significance of the ICJ’s interim finding lies beyond dispute.

Will the barbarities of a nation self-evidently suffering a collective psychosis now stop? No. What Dick Falk said six years ago still holds: Israel has already made clear it will ignore The Hague’s judgment. But what “the Jewish state” does this week or next is not for the moment our question. What are the enduring consequences of this ruling for the global order? How shall we situate the court’s judgment? Where does its importance lie? These are our questions. And Falk was right last Friday, too: The ICJ has begun the work—the long work—of restoring international law as a foundational feature of a world order worthy of the term. Having made this point, I must immediately note the abject deflections we find in the reports of our corporate media—which, nearly to a one, urge their readers, listeners, and viewers to dismiss the ICJ’s interim finding as, borrowing from Falk, more or less flaky and irrelevant.

In the second paragraph of its main story Friday, The New York Times, fairly bursting to get the point across, wrote, “The court did not rule on whether Israel was committing genocide, and it did not call on Israel to stop its campaign to crush Hamas…” Three untruths here, straight off the top. One, the South Africans did not ask The Hague to issue a ruling on genocide one way or the other. In the cause of expedience, to stop the savagery as quickly as possible, it asked for what it got—a swift interim judgment so the court could order Israel to stop the violence and that the larger case on genocide could proceed. Two, a mountain has been made of the fact that the ICJ did not, in so many words, call upon Israel to cease fire in Gaza. This is preposterously misleading.

Peruse the six stipulations that comprise the ruling, the first of which reads, “Israel shall take all measures within its power to prevent all acts within the scope of Genocide Convention, Article 2.” Here I defer to Raz Segal, an Israeli historian who professes at Stockton University in New Jersey. This is from a segment of Democracy Now!, distributed last Friday: We’re already seeing headlines in The New York Times today which frame this as, “The court did not issue an order for a ceasefire”—which, in effect, it actually did, because if it ordered that Israel should cease from genocidal acts, and it ordered Israel should facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid, it actually said, “You have to cease fire because there is no [other] way of doing that.”

Read more …

“It’s the starter’s pistol of a global clampdown, which will impact humble Israelis as their economy tumbles and life gets tougher..”

ICJ Ruling Is What It Is: Symbolic. But What Happens Next Is Critical (Jay)

All eyes now will be on Joe Biden to see what card he will play next after he has cut UNRWA aid – a despicable move which will haunt him until his dying days For many, the ruling of the ICJ in the Hague was surreal as it swiftly delivered a judgement against Israel for its genocide in Gaza. Yet even though the interpretation from around the world was that the conclusion of the court was unequivocal, the only real way of judging the validity of both the court and its judgement is with its impact. One has to wonder why the court, for example, didn’t use the word “genocide” and also why it stopped short of calling for an all-out ceasefire. For those naïve enough to believe that the court is entirely independent, the decision by the U.S. to veto any decision made by the United Nations Security Council should set minds at rest. We know that the Americans will do nothing at all, but there might be plans, however, for other countries to use the ruling as a basis for a host of actions against Israel, beyond merely legal ones.

The Americans were quick to point out on the day of the ruling that the court did not rule that Israel carried out a genocide. And so, by definition, it didn’t. This mentality, which is popular among gangsters, is really all that matters and is what those seeking justice will have to grapple with now.But the ruling did throw a spotlight on just how desperate both the Americans and Israelis are becoming as the stunt they pulled on the same day of the ruling, to distract media attention away from the court case and its significance, is telling.UNRWA is the UN agency, which takes care of the Palestinians, not only in Israel but in other countries like Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. For the Biden administration to entirely pull its funding of this agency, the last lifeline for thousands of Palestinians who rely on it even for food aid, is desperate, pathetic and despicable.

For those wondering what this stunt was intended to do, all they had to do is watch BBC news and see how this once fine international broadcaster has become a propaganda channel for U.S. hegemony. Eight minutes were given to why the Biden administration took the decision and only a couple of minutes given to the court decision itself.The Americans and Israel are still fighting a media war, which, for them, must feel like flogging a dead horse, despite most analysts acknowledging that all of the West’s media giants are completely supportive of israel. Israel clearly prepared the dossier and tortured its Palestinian prisoners to fabricate a story about UNRWA workers being complicit with the October 7th attacks in a confession signed in blood. Shamefully, this “evidence” which wouldn’t stand up in any court in the U.S. or UK, was all it took for Biden to go ahead with the plan, which leading commentators like George Galloway in the UK have already called an act of genocide in itself.

The UNRWA stunt is absolutely disgusting as it is craven and an all-time new low point for Biden. It paints Biden as a U.S. president who is happy to play his role in murdering thousands of civilians all in the name of fighting the media and controlling the debate. Some commentators will no doubt note the irony that the Gaza campaign started with claims by Israel of Hamas beheading babies and Israeli women being raped – the latter claim just retracted by the New York Times in recent days – and is now noted for Israel’s baptism of fake news as it struggles now even to get the upper hand in Gaza amidst reports of Hamas fighters returning to northern Gaza.

The ruling however will send shockwaves around the world for Israel to deal with. Certainly most of the countries, which make up the UN General Assembly, which has a good working relationship with the court, will not keep quiet about a U.S. veto in the Security Council. The boycott of goods may well be cranked up to official sanctions on Israel’s goods, visas and even the entity’s participation of international events. But for Netanyahu, this is not a badge of honour. He knows that the ruling will only compound his all-time low ratings in his own country. It’s the starter’s pistol of a global clampdown, which will impact humble Israelis as their economy tumbles and life gets tougher. Biden of course, could use the ruling to leverage Bibi to call a ceasefire. That is of course if you believe the reports that sleepy Joe really wants one, or is just bluffing once again, using his own journalists to help him with this deception.

Read more …

Oh, they know.. Admitting it is something else.

West Starts to Understand That Ukraine Project ‘Failing’ – Lavrov (Sp.)

The West is beginning to understand that the “Ukraine project” is failing but can not stop assisting Kiev because of its economic benefit and fear of losing “prestige,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. “The figures that are hidden in Ukraine, they speak a lot about how important it is for the West to prevent the ‘failure’ of their ‘Ukraine project’. Moreover, they already understand that the failure has already begun. But nevertheless they cannot stop. And not only for reasons of prestige … And also from the point of view of economic benefits,” Lavrov said during a meeting with foreign diplomats in Moscow. Addressing the UN Security Council meeting on January 22, 2023, Lavrov emphasized that there are no interests – and there never were – in the conflict with Russia in favor of the Ukrainian people.

There are only “the interests of the Anglo-Saxons, their henchmen and the criminal, rotten Kiev elite, which is tied to the West by mutual responsibility and which is afraid of being swept away the day after the end of the war.” The Russian top diplomat pointed out that Moscow has never given up on a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict. “We never gave up on the peaceful resolution, we are always ready to negotiate — negotiate not about how to keep the leadership of the Kiev regime in place but about overcoming the inheritance of a decade-long destructive looting of the country and violence against the people, removing the reasons for the tragic Ukrainian situation,” Lavrov said. However, the key factor hindering a resolution of the conflict in Ukraine is the continued support of the West, he added.

Read more …

Without those claims, what is left?

Lavrov Blasts ‘Absurd’ Claims That Russia Will Attack NATO (RT)

Speculation in the West that Russia could attack the Baltic and Nordic states once the Ukraine conflict ends is pure fiction, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. Speaking to the heads of diplomatic missions on Tuesday, Lavrov said the US had gathered a group of 54 countries to provide military, technical and intelligence aid to Ukraine to help it fight Russia. “All this is being done to prevent Russia from claiming victory,” he added. He said Western countries were claiming that “if Russia wins and asserts its interests in this war, the Baltics, Sweden, and Finland will be next.” Three Baltic nations became NATO members in the early 2000s, more than a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both Helsinki and Stockholm applied to join the bloc after the start of the Ukraine conflict, although only Finland’s application has been ratified so far.

Lavrov noted that this view was shared by Joe Biden, referring to remarks by the US president in early December, when he said that “if [Russian President Vladimir] Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there” and could proceed to attack a NATO country. Moscow said at the time that such comments were “unacceptable for a responsible nuclear state.” The Russian foreign minister said that “the absurdity of such statements is clear to anyone who understands the slightest bit of history and the goals of the special military operation in Ukraine, which we announced openly and without hiding.” Russian officials have repeatedly said that Moscow is seeking the “denazification” and “demilitarization” of Ukraine, as well as an arrangement guaranteeing that the country would not join NATO, and would instead recommit to neutrality.

Lavrov further noted that the military campaign against Kiev is aimed at eliminating “historical injustice.” According to the minister, Moscow is fighting attempts to rewrite history, as well as efforts to turn territories where Russians and other peoples of Russia have lived for centuries “into a springboard for US-led NATO to be used to threaten the [country’s] security.” Last month, Putin said Moscow had no interest whatsoever in launching an offensive against the bloc. He added that the president of the United States – which he called the “master” of NATO – surely knows that “Russia has no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily… in waging war against [the bloc].”

Read more …

When you lose, escalate.

Zelensky Ready To Further Fuel Ukraine Conflict (Sp.)

Doubts about the West’s willingness to further prop up the Kiev regime may drive Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to stir up the Ukraine conflict even further by ordering riskier attacks against Russia, Time magazine reported. Zelensky is already taking “bigger risks” in order to turn the conflict around and bolster his political standing at home, according to the publication. Every one of these actions is ripe with the potential for Russian retaliation, which may in turn deepen the hostilities and directly drag in NATO, Time magazine notes, adding that neither Moscow nor Brussels wants such a development. Armed conflicts “take on a life of their own, particularly with one of the key players -in this case, Zelensky- becoming a wild/ card to watch, the magazine concluded.

This follows Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling reporters that Zelensky is currently in a tight spot because no one is providing him with money and Ukraine is up against a crisis at the moment. “Zelensky is in a tough position. He has stopped receiving money, there are not enough shells for him abroad, he is also facing a tense situation inside the country, and many people are dissatisfied. In order to cloak his positions, he resorts to disguising them with utterly ludicrous decrees. It is unlikely that this can help the Kiev regime in any way, [so] the difficulties will only mount. This is despite the fact that there certainly are still more or less bright minds who understand what needs to be done to get out of this situation,” Peskov said, commenting on Zelensky’s decree entitled “On the territories of the Russian Federation historically inhabited by Ukrainians.”

Time’s report comes after The American Conservative pointed out that Zelensky has issued frenzied orders to attack civilians in order to fuel the conflict and secure further assistance from the West. On January 21, 27 people were killed and 25 more wounded when Ukrainian troops shelled the Kirovsky district of the city of Donetsk, according to head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin. The shelling was preceded by the Ukrainian military’s strike on the Russian city of Belgorod on December 30, which killed 25 civilians and wounded 109 others. Moscow excoriated the murderous attack, slamming it as an act of terrorism. Also in December, President Vladimir Putin stressed in an interview with Russian media that Moscow has “no reason and no interest – neither geopolitical, nor economic, political, and military – to fight with NATO countries.” Russia and NATO members do not have any territorial claims against one another, Putin noted, adding that Moscow is unwilling to spoil relations with the alliance.

Read more …

“..Many soldiers reportedly continue to speak Russian on the front lines..”

Ukraine To Teach Troops To Speak Ukrainian (RT)

Special courses will be created for Kiev’s troops so that they can improve their command of the Ukrainian language, government official Taras Kremen has said.Kremen, who is Ukraine’s language ombudsman, made the announcement as he met with servicemen at a Territorial Defense Forces training center on Monday, his office said in a statement.Violations of the country’s language law, which among other things obliges the military to use Ukrainian, have been recorded in a large number of units, including in the capital Kiev, according to the commissioner.Ukraine historically has a large Russian-speaking population, especially in its eastern regions. Many soldiers reportedly continue to speak Russian on the front lines. In a 2001 census, more than 14.2 million Ukrainian citizens (almost 30% of the population) called Russian their native language.

During the meeting with servicemen, it was “agreed to open language courses for military personnel who want to improve their knowledge and properly prepare for the exam to determine the level of proficiency in the state language,” Kremen said. “I will be happy to assist in the creation of such a network [of courses] in other military units as well,” the commissioner added. Signed by then President Pyotr Poroshenko in 2019, the language law established Ukrainian as the sole state language and made it obligatory for use in all areas of social life. It was a continuation of Kiev’s policy of forcing out the Russian language, pursued by the authorities after the violent Western-backed coup in 2014.Since 2021, passing a Ukrainian language exam has been mandatory to become a government employee or to obtain Ukrainian citizenship.

“Nobody there [in the conflict zone] speaks Ukrainian,” a sniper from Kiev’s forces told the TSN media outlet in October. Despite concealing his identity, the serviceman enjoyed a certain celebrity status in Ukraine due to his regular interviews and podcast appearances.He claimed that Russian was common in all sections of the front line that he had been posted to. In his own unit, “two people speak the harshest Surzhik [a mix of Russian and Ukrainian] and, probably, two or three others [use] Ukrainian language. All the rest are Russian-speaking,” the sniper insisted. Moscow has repeatedly denounced Kiev’s clampdown on Russian culture and language, insisting that the “forced Ukrainization” violates international law and infringes upon the rights of native Russian speakers, who make up around a quarter of the population.

Read more …

“..It now amounts to about $102,000 for an average American family of three..”

US Facing ‘Death Spiral’ Of Swelling Debt – Nassim Taleb (RT)

The burgeoning US debt pile is akin to a “death spiral” that only a “miracle” could extract the country from, economist and ‘Black Swan’ author Nassim Taleb said at a business event on Monday, as quoted by Bloomberg. Taleb defined the expanding US debt load as a “white swan,” meaning a risk event that is highly predictable and more probable than a “black swan” event, a metaphor describing an occurrence that comes as a complete surprise. “So long as you have Congress keep extending the debt limit and doing deals because they’re afraid of the consequences of doing the right thing, that’s the political structure of the political system, eventually you’re going to have a debt spiral,” Taleb said. “And a debt spiral is like a death spiral.” Earlier this week, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the absolute level of US public debt looks like “a scary number.”

US government federal debt topped $34 trillion for the first time in history at the end of December. It now amounts to about $102,000 for an average American family of three. In 2023 alone, it grew by more than $4 trillion.According to Taleb, a former trader who is best known for publishing several bestselling books on economics, white swans include both the US deficit and the American economy that has grown more vulnerable to shocks than in previous years. He called such vulnerability a feature of globalization, as problems in one region can ricochet around the world.When asked how the US “debt spiral” could play out, Taleb said, “we need something to come in from the outside, or maybe some kind of miracle,” adding that this makes him “kind of gloomy about the entire political system in the Western world.”

Read more …

“..a classified cable that was sent to Islamabad by the Pakistani ambassador to Washington in 2022, which allegedly suggested that the US wanted Khan ousted over his neutrality in the Ukraine conflict.”

Imran Khan Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison (RT)

A Pakistani court has sentenced former prime minister Imran Khan to ten years behind bars. He has been charged with leaking state secrets, according to the spokesman for the politician’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI). On Tuesday, Zulfiqar Bukhari said, as quoted by AP, that the verdict was announced at a prison in the northern city of Rawalpindi, not far from the capital, Islamabad. The same sentence was also imposed on former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The charges relate to the so-called cipher, a classified cable sent to Islamabad by the Pakistani ambassador to Washington in 2022, shortly after the start of the Ukraine conflict. The document allegedly suggested that the US wanted to remove Khan over his neutrality regarding the hostilities.

The ex-Pakistani PM called the cipher case on Tuesday “false,” adding that it “is being completed in violation of constitutional requirements and legal regulations.” “This is not a trial but a fixed match outcome of which was predetermined,” he added. Echoing those comments, his party PTI noted that “there can be no more ridiculous case than the cipher.” “What can be more ridiculous than that Pakistan has imprisoned its prime minister and foreign minister for exposing the foreign conspiracy!” Khan, a former professional cricket player who became prime minister in 2018, was ousted in 2022 in a non-confidence vote. The opposition accused him of poor governance, as well as of mismanaging the economy and foreign policy. At the time, he claimed that he had been toppled as a result of a US conspiracy.

The controversy around the politician did not end there, however, with Khan becoming a target of dozens of cases, sparking mass street protests organized by his supporters, which resulted in dozens of casualties. In August 2023, the politician was sentenced to a three-year jail sentence on charges related to what prosecutors argued was an attempt to conceal receiving state gifts while Khan was serving as PM. The country’s judiciary, however, later suspended the sentence, granting him bail. Khan still remained incarcerated on other charges.

Read more …

And one day later, there’s more…

Imran Khan Sentenced To 14-year New Jail Term (RT)

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife have been sentenced to 14 years in prison in a corruption case. This comes after another court ruling in which Khan was given ten years for leaking state secrets. The politician and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were sentenced by a Pakistani accountability court on Wednesday in the city of Rawalpindi, not far from the capital, Islamabad. Both were charged with the illegal sale of state gifts while Khan was prime minister from 2018 to 2022. In addition to the sentence, the two have been barred from running for public office for ten years and fined $2.7 million.

This comes after Khan was sentenced to ten years on Tuesday for leaking state secrets. The charges are related to a cipher, a classified cable that was sent to Islamabad by the Pakistani ambassador to Washington in 2022, which allegedly suggested that the US wanted Khan ousted over his neutrality in the Ukraine conflict. Commenting on the verdict, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) denounced what it called the “complete destruction of every existing law in Pakistan in two days.” “Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi have faced yet another kangaroo trial in which no right to defense was given to both. Like cipher, this case has no basis to stand in any higher court.”

Both sentences come ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for February 8. The PTI said the “atrocities against [Khan] will be avenged by the power of the vote.” Khan, a former cricketer-turned-politician, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in 2022, with the opposition accusing him of mismanaging the economy and foreign policy. Khan claims that he was overthrown as a result of a US conspiracy. Since then, the former leader has fought dozens of legal battles. Islamabad’s attempts to prosecute him sparked massive public unrest with numerous casualties.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


In the earliest days of space exploration, most calculations for early space missions were done by “human computers,” and most of these computers were women. These calculations helped the U.S. launch its first satellite, Explorer 1, 65 years ago #Today.

 

 

Stonehenge

 

 

Paris
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752419193520115948

 

 

Big baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752304443435917681

 

 

Hummingbird

 

 

Baby elephant
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752315809270206564

 

 

Finch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752427413722611823

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 242023
 
 September 24, 2023  Posted by at 9:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  18 Responses »


Jackson Pollock Shooting Star 1947

 

‘New World Order’ Vs ’Empire Of Lies’ – Lavrov at UN (RT)
Is World War III About to Start? Part I: Drift Toward War (Cook)
Defeat (Michael Brenner)
McCarthy Reverses Course, Maintains Ukraine Aid in Pentagon Funding Bill (Sp.)
Kiev’s Counteroffensive Unlikely To Achieve Its Goals – US Officials (RT)
Jackson Hinkle: Western Elites Want War Against Russia, China (Sp.)
RFK, Jr. As A Third-Party Candidate (AT)
California Democrats Could Guarantee Trump 2024 Win (Seiler)
Middle East Security Requires Solution to Palestinian Issue – Saudi FM (Sp.)
Elon Musk: Media ‘Instructed Not To Cover’ Border Crisis (Fox)
What Biden’s Open-Border Agenda Means For The US (Robert Bridge)
Rhino Population Increasing In Africa For 1st Time In Decade (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fauci 30 yrs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..[if they want it] to be on the battlefield, let it be on the battlefield..”

‘New World Order’ Vs ’Empire Of Lies’ – Lavrov at UN (RT)

The world has a chance to achieve “authentic democratization” in international relations by establishing a multipolar world order, marking the first such opportunity since the end of World War II, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday. The US and its Western allies seek to prevent such a development by stirring up new conflicts to divide humanity and keep their “hegemony of the global minority” in place, he added. The US and its allies still reject the principle of equality in international relations, Lavrov said. Americans and Europeans keep looking down on the rest of the world and that leads to their “total intractability” in any negotiations. Washington and its allies “keep making promises left and right” that end up being reneged-on, the Russian minister added. “As Russian President Vladimir Putin put it, the West is now the real ‘empire of lies’,” he said.

NATO activities have reached “unprecedented” levels since the end of the Cold War, the top Russian diplomat believes. The US-led forces of the bloc have conducted drills that involved simulating nuclear strikes against Russia, he claimed, adding that Washington is also actively seeking to project its military might in the Asia-Pacific through establishing military-political “alliances” with nations like Australia, South Korea or Japan and pushing them towards closer cooperation with NATO. Such actions “risk creating a new explosive geopolitical hotspot in addition to the … European one,” Lavrov warned, adding that Western politicians have been so blinded by a feeling of impunity that they’ve lost “the sense of self-preservation.” For the first time since 1945, when the United Nations was established, the world has a chance to establish a truly democratic world order, the Russian foreign minister said.

The “global majority” – ie the nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America – are increasingly seeking independence and equality, as well as respect for their sovereignty in international relations. “It is obvious for Russia that there is no other way,” Lavrov told the UNGA, adding that this fact “encourages optimism in those believing in the rule of international law and wishing to see the UN restored to its role of a central coordinating body of world politics.” The US and its allies seek to stall the onset of a multipolar world order, in particular by “stirring up conflicts that artificially divide humanity into hostile blocs and prevent it from achieving common goals,” the Russian minister pointed out. The West wants the world to “play by its infamous and self-serving rules,” he said, adding that the international community should instead strive for a world where everyone “agrees on how to solve issues together, on the basis of a fair balance of interests.”

Russia is calling for “an immediate and full” lifting of sanctions imposed against such nations as Cuba, Venezuela and Syria, Lavrov said, adding that such unilateral punitive measures “blatantly violate the principle of sovereign equality of nations” and interfere with these countries’ rights to development. “One should put an end to any coercive measures imposed in circumvention of the UN Security Council as well as to the West’s … practice of manipulating its sanctions policies to exert pressure on those deemed undesirable,” he added. Russia’s top diplomat also blasted the US over what he called threats against nations willing to work with Moscow. “It is shameful for a great power to run around like this and threaten everyone and only demonstrating its obsession with domination,” he told journalists after the UNGA session.

Moscow is ready for talks on its ongoing conflict with Kiev at any time, Lavrov told a press conference on the sidelines of the UN assembly. However, Russia will not consider any deals involving a ceasefire, he said, adding that Moscow and Kiev had supposedly almost reached an agreement in the first months of the conflict following a series of talks in Belarus and Türkiye only for this process to be disrupted, supposedly by Ukraine’s Western backers.“Putin said it very clearly: yes, we are ready for talks but we will not consider any ceasefire proposals because we did so once and were deceived.” Russia also respects Ukraine’s sovereignty in accordance with the Ukrainian declaration of independence and its constitution, Lavrov said, adding that both documents also declare the non-aligned status of Ukraine and respect for the Russian language and Russian-speaking minorities.

Ukraine’s sovereignty “was destroyed by those who staged and supported a coup, the leaders of which then declared a war on their own people,” Lavrov said, referring to the 2014 Maidan coup. The US and its allies are de-facto engaged in a conflict with Russia, Lavrov told the press conference. “We call it a hybrid war but it does not change things,” he said. Western nations are sending arms to Kiev and training its troops, he explained, so “They are de-facto fighting against us with the hands and bodies of Ukrainians.” Western nations also openly say that “Russia should be defeated on the battlefield,” Moscow’s top diplomat said, adding that Moscow is ready for such a development. “Under such circumstances, [if they want it] to be on the battlefield, let it be on the battlefield,” he said.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1705689214296129785

Read more …

“The only alternative would then be to activate a gigantic airlift of additional forces into Europe with U.S. cargo planes sitting ducks for destruction en route. Impossible.”

Is World War III About to Start? Part I: Drift Toward War (Cook)

Now the U.S., with the Neocons firmly entrenched in the State Department and elsewhere, surrounded Russia with military bases and attacked its perimeter with color revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, following on the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in the late 1990s and early 2000s. President Barack Obama then situated the Aegis Missile Defense System in Poland and Romania with the potential to activate missiles that could reach Moscow with nuclear warheads in six minutes. Talk was current of a possible “decapitation” strike against the Russian leadership. Finally, in 2014, with “cookies” Victoria Nuland and Vice President Joe “Burisma” Biden in charge, the U.S. fomented a coup in Ukraine with the aid of paid snipers to drive out a president friendly toward Russia and his replacement with a NeoNazi junta that put Ukraine on a war footing.

In response, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, where Sevastopol is the home of its Black Sea fleet, with 85 percent popular approval, while the eastern Ukrainian Donbass provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, ethnically-Russian, declared independence. Finally, after eight years of Ukrainian provocations, the death from Ukrainian shelling of more than 10,000 Donbass civilians, and the treachery of Germany and France in failing to uphold the Minsk agreements they had guaranteed, Russia entered Ukraine with its military forces in February 2022. The conflict was on, a conflict that Russia is winning. U.S.-led sanctions against Russia failed to bring down its economy or force regime change against Putin. But each Ukrainian setback on the battlefield has been followed by more weapons and money supplied to the Volodymyr Zelensky regime by the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and other NATO members.

But who was calling the shots? In March 2022, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators reached agreement on a tentative settlement at meetings in Istanbul. UK prime minister Boris Johnson then rushed to Kiev to induce Zelensky to tear up the agreement and continue the war. Western escalation has included billions of dollars worth of heavy tanks and other weapons to Ukraine, along with cluster munitions and depleted uranium projectiles. There have been drone attacks on Russia itself and on Crimea. But the Ukrainian counteroffensive has collapsed, with speculation increasing of a major Russian counterattack, possibly even cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea.

We have now come full circle. Warnings from Washington continue that Putin had better not go nuclear, which can be read as inviting him to do so. This is obviously a new phase of brinkmanship that could give the U.S. a pretext for themselves moving to nuclear war. Meanwhile, the U.S. understands that it could in no way challenge Russia in a conventional war even with the entire NATO alliance being activated. Even then, divisiveness within NATO and the absence of sufficient military force anywhere in Europe make this impossible at present. Veteran military analyst Scott Ritter writes in Sputnik News on September 21, 2023, that even were the U.S. to activate its entire military force stationed in Europe against Russia, it would be defeated within one to two weeks of intensive combat. The only alternative would then be to activate a gigantic airlift of additional forces into Europe with U.S. cargo planes sitting ducks for destruction en route. Impossible.

Read more …

“..deep emotions rather than reasoned thought are propelling us toward an avoidable, potentially catastrophic conflict..”

Defeat (Michael Brenner)

The march to war with China defies all conventional wisdom. After all, it poses no military threat to our security or core interests. China has no history of empire-building or conquest. China has been the source of great economic benefit via dense exchanges that serve us as well as them. Therefore, what is the justification for the widespread judgment that a crossing-of-swords is inescapable? Sensible nations do not commit themselves to a possibly cataclysmic war because China, the designated number one enemy, builds radar warning stations on sandy atolls in the South China Sea. Because it markets electric vehicles more cheaply than we can. Because its advances in developing semi-conductors may outclass ours.

Because of its treatment of an ethnic minority in western China. Because it follows our example in funding NGOs that promote a positive view of their country. Because it engages in industrial espionage just the way the United States and everybody else does. Because it wafts balloons over North America (declared benign by General Milley last week). None of these are compelling reasons to press hard for a confrontation. The truth is far simpler – and far more disquieting. We are obsessed with China because it exists. Like K-2, that itself is a challenge for we must prove our prowess (to others, but mainly to ourselves), that we can surmount it. That is the true meaning of a perceived existential threat. The focal shift from Russia in Europe to China in Asia is less a mechanism for coping with defeat than the pathological reaction of a country that, feeling a gnawing sense of diminishing prowess, can manage to do nothing more than try one final fling at proving to itself that it still has the right stuff – since living without that exalted sense of self is intolerable.

What is deemed heterodox, and daring, in Washington these days is to argue that we should wrap up the Ukraine affair one way or another so that we might gird our loins for the truly historic contest with Beijing. The disconcerting truth that nobody of consequence in the country’s foreign policy establishment has denounced this hazardous turn toward war supports the proposition that deep emotions rather than reasoned thought are propelling us toward an avoidable, potentially catastrophic conflict. A society represented by an entire political class that is not sobered by that prospect rightly can be judged as providing prime facie evidence of being collectively unhinged.

Second, amnesia may serve the purpose of sparing our political elites, and the American populace at large, the acute discomfort of acknowledging mistakes and defeat. However, that success is not matched by an analogous process of memory erasure in other places. We were fortunate, in the case of Vietnam, that the United States’ dominant position in the world outside of the Soviet Bloc and the PRC allowed us to maintain respect, status and influence. Things have now changed, though. Our relative strength in all domains is weaker, there are strong centrifugal forces around the global that are producing a dispersion of power, will and outlook among other states. The BRICs phenomenon is the concrete embodiment of that reality. Hence, the prerogatives of the United States are narrowing, our ability to shape the global system in conformity with our ideas and interests are under mounting challenge, and premiums are being placed on diplomacy of an order that seems beyond our present aptitudes. We are confounded.

Read more …

Yeah, America loves flip-floppers.

McCarthy Reverses Course, Maintains Ukraine Aid in Pentagon Funding Bill (Sp.)

In a surprising shift, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced he will keep $300 million in Ukraine aid within the Pentagon funding bill, going back on his earlier decision to remove it due to opposition from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). McCarthy’s decision was explained during a press briefing at the Capitol, where he revealed that he had reconsidered after realizing that another spending measure, which is set to be considered next week and funds the State Department and Foreign Operations, also includes financial support for Ukraine. Stripping Ukraine aid from the State Department and Foreign Operations bill became “more difficult to do,” leading McCarthy to choose to maintain the funding for Ukraine in both appropriations measures.

The House is scheduled to take a procedural vote next week to advance four appropriations bills, including those that fund the Pentagon and the State Department and Foreign Operations. McCarthy acknowledged that despite his decision to retain Ukraine aid in both bills, there will still be votes on amendments to remove the aid from both spending bills, according to Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA). However, these votes may not take place if lawmakers block the measures from being debated. A coalition of House conservatives had previously opposed the rule for the Pentagon appropriations bill twice this week, preventing the legislation from advancing to debate and a final vote.

These unexpected failures to pass the rule have presented challenges for McCarthy, who is trying to advance spending bills ahead of the September 30 government funding deadline. The Pentagon funding bill includes $300 million earmarked “to provide assistance, including training; equipment; lethal assistance; logistics support, supplies and services; salaries and stipends; sustainment; and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine… for replacement of any weapons or articles provided to the Government of Ukraine from the inventory of the US.” McCarthy is facing threats of a “vote to vacate” from members of his own party, which would boot him from his speaker position.

Read more …

NYT appears to lead the change in MSM narrative.

Kiev’s Counteroffensive Unlikely To Achieve Its Goals – US Officials (RT)

Officials in Washington have suggested that Ukraine’s military forces won’t be able to cut Russia’s land bridge to Crimea as part of their counteroffensive or achieve other key goals, the New York Times has reported. “Some American officials have said that the Ukrainian counteroffensive appears likely to fall short of its strategic goals,” the paper reported in an article on Friday. Kiev’s forces are struggling to achieve the aim of reaching the Sea of Azov in Russia’s Zaporozhye Region, because the minefields set up by Moscow’s forces, they say, have proven to be “a potent defense,” the Times added. According to US officials, conducting offensive operations would also soon become even more difficult for Ukraine “as the ground becomes soft and muddy”in the region.

The NYT also said that some in Washington have warned that “within a few weeks, the Ukrainian army will need time to rebuild their stockpile of equipment and to rest forces exhausted by the summer fighting.” The Ukrainian counteroffensive was launched in early June, although Kiev has so far only reported the capture of a handful of small villages some distance away from the main Russian defense lines. President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Ukraine has lost more than 71,000 troops and over 540 tanks since the beginning of summer, while failing to achieve any significant results on the battlefield. On Friday, President Vladimir Zelensky told journalists in Washington that Kiev “will do everything not to stop during difficult days in autumn with poor weather and in winter.”

Zelensky claimed that Ukraine has a “very, very comprehensive plan”to “de-occupy” Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine) and two other cities, which he refused to name, in the coming months. Ukraine suffered huge losses trying to defend Artyomovsk and the strategic city in Donetsk People’s Republic nonetheless fell under Russian control in May, after months of fighting. The NYT pointed out that US intelligence and military had warned the Zelensky government against spending its manpower and resources in Artyomovsk, suggesting that it would be better focused on operations in Zaporozhye Region. “Some American officials say the fight in [Artyomovsk] has become something of an obsession for Mr Zelensky and his military leaders,”the paper said.

Read more …

‘there’s nothing like that right now in the White House. There’s no communication whatsoever.’

Jackson Hinkle: Western Elites Want War Against Russia, China (Sp.)

The US establishment is not hesitant to start World War Three to maintain its globalist dominance, American political commentator Jackson Hinkle told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast.” I guess Tucker [Carlson] has got a point when he says, ‘I’m willing to bet my house that Joe Biden is going to start World War Three with Russia,’ because look what they’ve done,” Jackson Hinkle told Sputnik. “These people are insane. Even like, taking [ex-House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi on her jet to go to Taiwan and meet with Taiwanese officials. There was a lot of people, myself included, who were thinking, ‘Goodness, the [Chinese] People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is going to shoot her out of the sky or something right now? Is this going to be how it all begins?’ They’re reckless. They are completely Russophobic and beating the drums of war to go to war with China.”

Moreover, the American elite’s hostility toward Russia has surpassed that of the Cold War era, leading to a worrying breakdown in communications between Washington and Moscow, according to the political commentator. “The level of communication breakdown is so severe compared to the Cold War,” he said. “I got to meet the guy that actually developed the telephone, they had the red hotline telephone between the US and the USSR during the Cold War. And he told me he’s like, ‘there’s nothing like that right now in the White House. There’s no communication whatsoever.’ And we’re not too far off from that same sort of a lack of dialogue with the Chinese, because they want to go to war against the Chinese.”

It did not happen overnight, according to the analyst. Over the past 30 years, Washington and its allies have reneged on all the pledges they made to Moscow at the end of the Cold War. One of them was a verbal promise that NATO would not extend an inch east of Germany. “NATO since then, at the behest of the US, has violated that promise on 16 occasions now,” Hinkle remarked. The transatlantic alliance does not conceal its plans to draw in Ukraine and possibly Georgia, thus moving even closer to Russia’s borders.”

Read more …

“You won’t see RFK, Jr. tripping on stairs, falling off his bicycle at 5 mph, or saying I have to go to bed now during a news interview.”

RFK, Jr. As A Third-Party Candidate (AT)

Even as President Joe Biden leads in the 2024 primaries, Democrat presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has higher favorability and lower unfavorability numbers than either President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, (Trump 43%, Biden 41%, RFK, Jr. 14% unfavorability) according to a new poll by The Economist/YouGov. Rasmussen reports that a survey also revealed that twenty-five percent (25%) of likely Democrat voters would vote for RFK Jr. in the 2023 primaries for President. Three percent (3%) of Democrats favor author Marianne Williamson in the primaries, while seven percent (7%) would vote for another candidate. The Rasmussen Report is based on a national survey of 998 U.S. likely voters conducted September 14 and 17-18, 2023.

Teddy Roosevelt ran for president in 1912 on the Progressive Party ticket, a third party, against incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft. Taft was elected president in 1908, the successor of Teddy Roosevelt, but was defeated for reelection in 1912 by Woodrow Wilson because Roosevelt’s third party split the Republican vote. The Republicans won in 1920 with a campaign positioned around opposition to Wilson’s policies with Warren G. Harding promising a “return to normalcy.” Sound familiar? The Progressive Party was nicknamed the Bull Moose Party when Roosevelt boasted that he felt “strong as a bull moose” after losing the Republican nomination at the June 1912 convention in Chicago. RFK, Jr. is as strong as a bull moose both physically and mentally. RFK, Jr. is jacked and that is well documented. At 69, he is ripped like few others his age. He’d beat Putin in a Mr. Universe Senior contest. You won’t see RFK, Jr. tripping on stairs, falling off his bicycle at 5 mph, or saying I have to go to bed now during a news interview.

Don’t let spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary spasms in the larynx, cloud your judgement about RFK, Jr.’s mental acuity or toughness. He lived through the tragedy of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy and his dad’s assassinations, and has had an extraordinarily successful career as an environmental lawyer fighting for sane policies against the U.S. Department of Environment Protection and big business. His ideas on foreign policy, the economy, and other critical issues are clear, logical, and convincing. His detractors want you to believe he is feeding Americans’ hunger for conspiracies. Americans have been fed conspiracies constantly by the extreme Left. The Left bombards us every day with “conspiracy theories” that is if you liken a conspiracy to a lie.

RFK, Jr. explained convincingly the circumstances and facts surrounding his uncle’s death in a recent speech at a private residence New Hampshire. Attend one of his campaign events to find out firsthand that JFK, Jr. is a straight shooter, extremely well versed, and perspicacious on a multitude of topics affecting Main Street America. Can RFK, Jr. win the presidency on a third-party ticket? Who knows? At the very least a third party would in all likelihood obtain enough votes to allow a pro-Main Street America candidate like former President Donald J. Trump. This country needs to return to what made America great: hard work, freedom to choose, and the right to speak without fear of disparagement, or worse.

Read more …

It’s sort of amusing. But mostly, it’s deeply sad.

California Democrats Could Guarantee Trump 2024 Win (Seiler)

Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021 supposedly made him the leader of an “insurrection.” The best argument against that was advanced by former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in the Wall Street Journal: “The use of the term ‘officer of the United States’ in other constitutional provisions shows that it refers only to appointed officials, not to elected ones. In US vs Mouat (1888), the Supreme Court ruled that ‘unless a person in the service of the government … holds his place by virtue of an appointment … he is not, strictly speaking, an officer of the United States. Chief Justice John Roberts reiterated the point in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (2010): ‘The people do not vote for the Officers of the United States.” ”

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Hypothetically, what if Mr. Mukasey’s argument doesn’t hold up in the courts? Then California and other states’ attorneys general and governors, or lawsuits by political groups, could throw Mr. Trump off the ballot. Especially critical would be the swing states with Democratic governors: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. Or Fulton County (Atlanta) District Attorney Fani Willis, already prosecuting Trump for allegedly interfering in the 2020 election, could do it. But then, Republicans could do it in their swing states, throwing President Joe Biden off the ballot. They could say his alleged bribes from Communist China disqualify him under the 14th amendment’s Section 3 wording for having “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Republicans governors invoking that clause could include Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Joe Lombardo of Nevada, and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire. It would be what in military parlance is called Mutual Assured Destruction. If that happened, neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Biden would reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency in the Electoral College. Then what? Then we would have the fourth of what s called a Contingent Election, although the phrase itself isn t in the Constitution. It means the matter is decided by the House of Representatives (or the Senate for vice presidents). There have been three so far: Thomas Jefferson beat Aaron Burr in 1800; John Quincy Adams beat Andrew Jackson in 1825. And in 1837 the vice presidential election was given to Richard Mentor Johnson over Francis Granger.

Under a Contingent Election in the House, all 435 members don’t get to vote. Rather, each state delegation gets one vote, 50 votes total. On Sept. 18 Canadian political writer Stephen Marche wrote an article for the left-wing Guardian titled, Here’s the scary way Trump could win without the electoral or popular vote: In a contingent election, he could lose the popular vote, electoral college and all his legal cases and still end up the legal US president. He calculated: State delegations in the House would favor Republicans as a matter of course. In the struggle for congressional delegates, Republicans would have 19 safe House delegations and the Democrats would have 14, as it stands, with more states leaning Republican than Democrat. So California, by knocking Mr. Trump off the ballot, could guarantee he becomes president.

Again, none of this is likely to happen. If any state tries to keep him off the ballot, the courts almost certainly would put him back on, possibly reasoning along the lines Mr. Mukasey detailed. There’s one thing this whole escapade teaches us: A large number of California’s politicians hold in contempt the Constitution, democracy, and the people of the state they claim to represent. In this train-wreck of a state, with housing, homelessness, drug addiction, schooling, budget, and countless other problems festering—don’t they have anything better to do?

Read more …

“..guaranteeing the right of the Palestinian people to create an independent state within the 1967 borders..”

Middle East Security Requires Solution to Palestinian Issue – Saudi FM (Sp.)

Security in the Middle East requires a fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian problem, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on Saturday. “Security in the Middle East requires an acceleration in the search for a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian problem based on international law and the Arab peace initiative, guaranteeing the right of the Palestinian people to create an independent state within the 1967 borders,” the Saudi minister said at the UN General Assembly, adding that his country rejects any actions that impede the resolution of the Palestinian issue Bin Farhan Al Saud also noted the need for de-escalation in Sudan, called for a solution to the Syrian crisis and declared the country’s interest in security and stability in Yemen.

In addition, the minister said that Riyadh is striving to stabilize energy prices. On Wednesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud said that the country is “getting closer every day” to normalizing relations with Israel. On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is on the verge of a historic peace agreement with Saudi Arabia, which will change the face of the Middle East. Relations between Palestine and Israel have been adversarial since the latter’s founding in 1948. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition of their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in the occupied areas despite objections from the United Nations.

Read more …

“..if you’re going to leave your country, go somewhere else.”

Elon Musk: Media ‘Instructed Not To Cover’ Border Crisis (Fox)

Billionaire and X, formerly known as Twitter, owner Elon Musk on Thursday accused news outlets of ignoring the crisis along the southern border because they were “instructed” not to cover it. FOX News national correspondent Bill Melugin posted on social media how local news networks are covering the migrant crisis more than other national news networks. “Watching the TVs at gym in Eagle Pass. Every single local news station in the San Antonio market, both English & Spanish, are leading their shows and have much of their A blocks centered on the border crisis and the mass illegal crossing in Eagle Pass today,” he wrote. “National networks were MIA at the bridge today, other than @FoxNews.” Musk responded to Melugin’s post by writing, “This gets no coverage because the media NPCs are instructed not to cover it.”

NPC stands for “non-player characters,” meaning scripted characters in video games that are programmed with specific behavior rather than directly controlled by a human being. The term is used online for someone who doesn’t think for themselves. Thousands of predominantly Venezuelan adult illegal immigrants moved into Texas and gathered under a nearby bridge on Wednesday. Texas troopers told FOX News that their initial count of the number of migrants moving across the water into Eagle Pass on Wednesday was about 4,000. The migrants gathered under the bridge and were waiting to be processed by Border Patrol, in the hope of being released into the U.S. Concern about the border has reached a fever pitch in recent weeks as even some Democrats are warning that the crisis has gotten out of control, while other liberal figures still reject those claims.

Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams made an ominous warning about the immigration crisis at a town hall meeting earlier this month. “I don’t see an ending to this. I don’t see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City,” he said. MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan responded by ridiculing the mayor in a social media post, referring to him as a “Trump knock-off.” Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., similarly faced mockery after telling migrants, “We don’t have capacity, so we have to also message properly that we’re at our limit, if you’re going to leave your country, go somewhere else.”

Read more …

“..entering the US illegally now ranks up there with “basic American values.”

What Biden’s Open-Border Agenda Means For The US (Robert Bridge)

The defenders of open US borders like to sell the happy, optimistic narrative that asylum seekers are primarily innocent people looking to build a better life in the United States. The raw data, however, points to a much more complicated story. It’s the rarest occurrence of all when politicians admit that they were wrong, but that’s what is (almost) happening in Democrat-ruled cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, which are being forced to absorb a continuous influx of migrants, together with a large slab of humble pie. “Let me tell you something New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to — I don’t see an ending to this,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams told a hushed audience in Manhattan as he called for federal assistance just days before the anniversary of 9/11. “This issue will destroy New York City.” “We are past our breaking point,” Adams continued with his apocalyptic plot. “New Yorkers’ compassion may be limitless, but our resources are not.”

Back on the campaign trail in 2021, Adams’ campaign posted on what was then Twitter: “We should protect our immigrants. Period. Yes, New York City will remain a sanctuary city under an Adams administration.” Much of the Democratic Party’s headache stems from the creation of so-called ‘sanctuary cities,’ defined as a municipality that limits or rejects cooperation with the federal government in enforcing immigration law. In other words, the sort of neighborhood Antifa would fully endorse. Sanctuary policies have been around since the late 1970s, but they were practically unheard-of until quite recently. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimated that 564 US jurisdictions had adopted sanctuary policies in 2018. To put that into perspective, there were just 40 such protected zones when Barack Obama was sworn into the White House in 2009.

Not surprisingly, many illegal migrants, without any means of supporting themselves, flock to these ‘arrest-free’ zones where they can take advantage of social services such as housing, health care and public education without any fear of deportation. But it goes beyond just free handouts. Here is how FAIR describes sanctuary cities, and the obstacles they place in front of law enforcement and border patrol: “In their various forms, [sanctuary policies] forbid state and local officials (including law enforcement officers) from asking people about their immigration status; reporting suspected illegal aliens to the federal government; holding criminal aliens for arrest by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); or otherwise cooperating with or assisting federal immigration enforcement agents. These policies endanger public safety and enjoy very little public support. Rather, they are the product of intense pressure from well-funded groups that oppose nearly all forms of immigration enforcement, or due to the capitulation by local officials in the face of threatened lawsuits by self-anointed ‘civil liberties’ organizations.”

The ACLU, for example, is of the opinion that the actions of sanctuary cities “represent basic American values: a spirit of inclusiveness and respect for individual rights.” In other words, entering the US illegally now ranks up there with “basic American values.”

Read more …

1900: 500,000
1970: 70,000
2022: 23,290

Rhino Population Increasing In Africa For 1st Time In Decade (RT)

The African rhino population is growing across the continent for the first time in a decade, despite poaching remaining high, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced. According to the figures released ahead of the World Rhino Day on Friday, there was an estimate of 23,290 total rhinos at the end of 2022, an increase of 5.2% from the year before. Most notably, the number of white rhinos, which were assessed for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2020, has grown by 5.6% and now stands at around 16,803 animals. This is the first increase since 2012.

“With this good news, we can take a sigh of relief for the first time in a decade. However, it is imperative to further consolidate and build upon this positive development and not drop our guard,” said Dr Michael Knight, Chair of the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG). According to IUCN’s website, the positive development is attributed to a combination of protection and biological management initiatives by the privately owned Platinum Rhino project, which is aimed at protecting and breeding the species to prevent extinction. Earlier this year, the project was sold to the African Parks Foundation, which plans to rewild 2,000 rhinos over the coming decade. There are five species of rhino in the world, with Africa being a home to the white and black rhinos, while the remaining three – the Sumatran, Javan and Indian rhinos – live in Asia.

Poaching remains a huge problem. According to official figures, 448 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa in 2022, with neighboring Namibia recording 93 poached rhinos. While the numbers are still concerning, they represent a significant decline from in 2015, when 1,349 African rhinos were poached. At the beginning of the 20th century, about 500,000 rhinos roamed Africa and Asia. Their numbers dropped to just 70,000 by 1970. Despite southern white rhinos currently thriving in protected sanctuaries, the western black rhino and northern white rhinos have recently become extinct in the wild. The only two remaining northern white rhinos are kept under 24-hour guard in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dogs ball
https://twitter.com/i/status/1705482313700712594

 

 

Elephant

 

 

Sandstone

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 272023
 


Vincent van Gogh Pollard Willows and Setting Sun 1888

 

Air Defender 23: The Largest Exercise Since The Foundation Of NATO (Helmer)
G7 Members Want The Rest Of The World To Join Their Crusade (Lukyanov)
Lavrov Hails China’s “Balanced Position”, Ukraine Asked To Cede Territory (ZH)
NATO’s ‘Grave Mistake’ Led To Ukraine Conflict – Kissinger (RT)
Russia Protests To US Embassy Over Sullivan’s Crimea Statements (RT)
US Incites European Yes-Men To Poke Russia – Lavrov (TASS)
The EU Has No Leadership, Only NGOs And Think Tanks – Hungarian Minister (RMX)
Anti-China Bloc Tests AI-Powered Drone Swarms (RT)
Trial By Ordeal (Kunstler)
The Green Fraud (Jim Rickards)
IRS Whistleblower Defies the Biden Administration and the Media (Turley)
The DeSantis -Or GOP Generally- Political Question (Denninger)
US Debt A Pyramid Scheme – Russia’s Top MP (RT)
Inside Joe Biden’s Struggles To Create A ‘New Economic World Order’ (Pol.)

 

 

 

 

RFK jr
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662051461352632324

 

 

Kory
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662102658415575041

 

 

 

 

Steal election

 

 

 

 

“There is a grave risk that in three weeks’ time US and NATO forces will attempt direct combat against Russia..”

Air Defender 23: The Largest Exercise Since The Foundation Of NATO (Helmer)

There is a grave risk that in three weeks’ time US and NATO forces will attempt direct combat against Russia. The operational plan is to strike from Romanian airspace in the south and the Baltic states in the north, in camouflage of the NATO exercise called “Air Defender 23”, and under cover of US F-16 fighter aircraft purportedly operated by Ukrainian pilots but fuelled, directed, and guarded by more than two hundred US and NATO aircraft, including the most advanced US air war fighter, the F-35. “This [is] the largest deployment exercise since the foundation of NATO”, according to the cover story published by NATO headquarters. “ Commanded at US bases in Germany, ostensibly led by German officers, a Bundeswehr “fact sheet” claims “100 [US] Air National Guard aircraft from 35 different states will make the leap across the Atlantic to participate in Air Defender 2023.

In addition to the world’s most modern jets, the F35, more than 20 different types of aircraft and Airmen from 24 nations will practice air warfare operations together over Germany, but also over eastern Europe on the NATO border. Among them Eurofighter, F18, F16, A10, [Saab] Gripen jets.” Including the Ukrainian regime in Kiev as one of “our partners in East and South-Eastern Europe”, the German military announcement says “we want to promote collective defense of common values (freedom, democracy, prosperity) – attack on one NATO nation is an attack on responsiveness of airpower – Allied air forces are first responders.” Camouflaging US direction of the combined NATO attack operations from the Ramstein base in Germany, headquarters of the allied air command in Europe, are two parallel operations.

“Two NATO exercises, RAMSTEIN DUST for NATOs Deployable Air Command and Control capability, the DARS, and RAMSTEIN GUARD for Electronic Warfare are linked into our exercise.” In design since the start of the Russian Special Military Operation in February 2022, this plan of US and NATO air operations against Russia follows the defeat of the Ukrainian ground forces at Artemovsk (Bakhmut) and the strategic defeat of the US Patriot missile system at Kiev by the Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile on May 16. The use of NATO exercises to conceal active attacks on Russian targets was first demonstrated last September when the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up following the BALTOPS naval exercise. More recently, on May 13 a US-directed ambush of Russian aircraft was rehearsed when an Su-34 fighter-bomber, an SU-35 air-defence escort, and two Mi8 helicopters were hit simultaneously and downed in Russian airspace, over Bryansk region.

[..] The post-operational Russian intelligence reports of May 18 and May 20 indicate “a multifunctional radar station, as well as five launchers of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system manufactured by the United States were hit and completely destroyed.” In the days following, Russian military operations have intensified long-range missile attacks targeting anti-aircraft defence complexes, rail marshalling yards, fuel and ammunition stocks, equipment parks, and reserve assembly areas in the west of the Ukraine, including Khmelnitsky, Rivne, Zhitomir, and Lvov. The scope of targeting goes beyond the Electric War of previous months, a NATO forces veteran comments. “It’s now a full-on campaign. Now that the US/NATO air defence has proven to be useless against Russian strike capabilities, I expect them to take to the sky. It’s all they have left.”

The source agrees with retired US military experts in the alternative media who do not believe that supplying old F-16 aircraft to Kiev adds significant air defence or air attack capability against Russia. The F-16s for the Ukraine are a deception, camouflage for a much deeper NATO attack plan, the source warns. “How about the F-16s being cover for US F-22s or other US aircraft in Romanian or Polish airspace, firing stand- off weapons?”

Read more …

The G7 has rapidly become an irrelevant anachronism.

G7 Members Want The Rest Of The World To Join Their Crusade (Lukyanov)

One is reminded of American journalist Thomas Friedman’s international bestseller of the late nineties, ‘The World is Flat’. At the time, he was referring to the coming together of everything and everyone in the context of globalization. But nowadays the metaphor needs altering. Today, the message should be somehow simpler and even flatter, because otherwise there is no way for people to grasp the frightening multidimensionality that abounds. Such an approach is characteristic of contemporary international relations, and from there it spills over into the domestic politics of every country. That said, within states themselves everything is more closely understood, so real world factors are still important. On a global scale, however, the situation is more ambiguous.

The recent G7 summit in Hiroshima was a powerful illustration of the efforts being made to fix, if not cement, this very two-dimensional scheme at the global level. This is perhaps the first time that Russia and China have been given essentially equal status – as adversaries and major threats to the world that the US-led bloc represents. The organizers were very serious about widening their circle of sympathizers – with many of the major states of the non-Western world receiving invitations: India, Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia. Joining them were the heads of major international organizations. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky was the main guest, and this was noteworthy. His country’s issue is becoming, as the saying goes, a ‘rallying point’ for a community that considers itself to be ‘on the right side of history.’

Indeed, here is a curious detail: The Japanese press wrote that, after the summit, their Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was considering calling early elections because the success of the event, especially the arrival of the Ukrainian leader, had boosted his party’s ratings. In other words, Zelensky has managed to become a factor in the domestic politics of a country far removed from Ukraine. The need for a strong, personal, unifying motif is clear. In the absence of such elements, these communities tend to disintegrate because the world is not really two-dimensional. It is not only diverse, it is actually fragmented by interests, perceptions and agendas, and it needs maximum flexibility to respond to increasingly diverse challenges. It is very difficult to maintain cohesion without heavy artillery, both figuratively and, unfortunately, literally.

What should those against whom this consolidation is targeted do? Probably the opposite, i.e. they should aim to maximize the diversity of their connections and their options for development, and insist on the right not to make final and irrevocable choices about joining one bloc or the other. The good versus evil dichotomy is understandable and morally appealing, but in most cases irrelevant to the real international process. And the G7’s attempts to draw India, Brazil and others into its orbit on this basis will not be effective.

Read more …

China will call the shots…

Lavrov Hails China’s “Balanced Position”, Ukraine Asked To Cede Territory (ZH)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hailed China’s “balanced position” on the conflict in Ukraine during a Friday meeting with Chinese special envoy Li Hui in Moscow. China has thus far resisted Western pressure to condemn Moscow, but has instead tried to present a neutral stance while issuing occasional statements condemning NATO expansion and US global dominance. Beijing has also been among a handful of Asian countries to have greatly expanded Russian energy imports since the start of the war. The Chinese envoy on Friday once again called for an immediate ceasefire, at a moment Russian forces are consolidating gains in Donetsk, particularly in Bakhmut where Wagner finally declared victory over the weekend following more than 200 days of fierce fighting.

According to The Wall Street Journal Li Hui conveyed a clear message that: “US allies in Europe should assert their autonomy and urge an immediate ceasefire, leaving Russia in possession of the parts [of Ukraine] …that it now occupies.” China has also sent representatives to Ukraine and Europe, with EU officials conveying their stance that freezing the conflict was not in their interest. The Zelensky government too believes that a ‘freeze’ would only allow the Russians to resupply, regroup, and fortify their positions. Western allies have also been arguing against a freeze. EU officials reportedly told the Chinese envoy that “it’s impossible to split Europe from America” and that Europe remains committed and unified in support of Ukraine.

According to a review of Friday’s meeting between Russian and Chinese representatives: Russia’s Lavrov expressed gratitude for China’s “balanced position” and willingness to play a positive role in a meeting with China’s Ukraine envoy, the foreign ministry said. China’s Li Hui, who spent 10 years as ambassador to Moscow, has been on a tour of European capitals, and last week visited Kyiv. After those talks, China said it wanted to “form the greatest common denominator for resolving the Ukrainian crisis, and make its own efforts to stop the fighting and (establish a) ceasefire and restore peace as soon as possible”. Kyiv has told Li, however, that it would not accept any proposal that involved Ukraine losing territory.

Hawks in both Britain and the United States have urged Ukraine to stay the course, despite mounting troop casualties in the tens of thousands. The UK especially has long been accused of actively thwarting attempts at peace talks which were proposed last year – instead encouraging Ukraine to ‘win’ militarily. President Zelensky has all the while maintained that talks with Moscow are impossible until Russian troops leave every bit of Ukrainian territory.

Read more …

But now that is has all those weapons, it must join NATO anyway?! He doesn’t understand the “mistake”.

NATO’s ‘Grave Mistake’ Led To Ukraine Conflict – Kissinger (RT)

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has explained how his views on prospective NATO membership for Ukraine changed between 2008, when the bloc first acknowledged Kiev’s “aspirations” to join, and now when the stream of Western military aid turned its into the “best-armed country” in the region. “I’m in the ironical position that I was alone when I opposed membership, and I’m nearly alone when I advocate NATO membership,” the veteran politician told a Wall Street Journal contributor in an interview recorded days before his 100th birthday. “I think the offer to put Ukraine into NATO was a grave mistake and led to this war,” he explained, yet claimed that the scale of the conflict and “its nature, is a Russian peculiarity, and we were absolutely right to resist it.”

But after Washington and its allies turned Ukraine into the “best-armed country in Europe,” it clearly belongs to the US-led military bloc, the politician stated, reiterating his firm belief that peace in Europe cannot be achieved without Ukraine in NATO. Back in 2008, NATO declared that Kiev would join the bloc, but did not specify a date for that to happen. Russia, which sees the bloc’s eastward expansion as a major security threat, had singled out Kiev’s growing push to join the bloc as among the main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine more than a year ago. Kissinger drew the ire of Kiev last year when he suggested that Ukraine should accept a return to the “status quo ante,” or relinquish its territorial claims to Crimea and grant autonomy to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, in the name of peace.

In an interview with WSJ he went as far as to claim that from his “perspective, the Ukraine war is won,” but any peace terms are unlikely to include Crimea. “For Russia, the loss of Sevastopol, which was always not Ukrainian in history, would be such a comedown that the cohesion of the state would be in danger. And I think that’s not desirable for the world after Ukraine,” he said. The US-led bloc is already waging a proxy war against Russia, and Kissinger, despite his vast experience, is “totally wrong” to suggest that Ukrainian membership in NATO would somehow guarantee peace, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier this month. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, said that until the “Ukrainian nationalist regime” is dismantled it “won’t give up on attempts to regain lost territories,” and in response Moscow “would have to reply harshly with all available means,” likely triggering NATO’s Article 5.

Read more …

95+% of Crimeans voted to join Russia in 2014.

Russia Protests To US Embassy Over Sullivan’s Crimea Statements (RT)

The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned senior US diplomats and expressed a strong protest in connection with the words of White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about strikes on the territory of Russia, Report informs referring to TASS. On May 21, Sullivan said Washington does not allow Kyiv to use Western weapons to strike at the territory of Russia, noting that he does not consider Crimea to be part of it. “Senior diplomats of the US diplomatic mission in Moscow were summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 26, a strong protest was expressed about the unacceptable statements of the White House National Security Advisor J. Sullivan, who actually approved the strikes of the armed formations of the regime in Kyiv on Russian territory, including the Republic of Crimea and the Belgorod region,” the statement said.


Washington’s words about strikes on Crimea are hypocritical and false, the ministry said. “The assurances of US officials that the United States does not encourage such attacks on Russia are hypocritical and false, given the direct evidence of the use of weapons and equipment supplied for the needs of the Ukraine military by the Pentagon for the preparation and implementation of terrorist acts by Ukrainian militants,” the ministry said. The ministry noted that the hostile actions of the United States, which has long been a party to the conflict, plunged Russian-US relations into a deep and dangerous crisis, fraught with unpredictable consequences.

Read more …

“Washington believes that its self-preservation is ensured by the Atlantic Ocean.”

US Incites European Yes-Men To Poke Russia – Lavrov (TASS)

Washington is unleashing its European satellites to nip at Moscow’s heels, believing it can get away with anything, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “For now, Washington is egging its European satellites on [to antagonize] the Russian Federation, thinking they can get away with anything,” he said in an appearance on the “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” television program, according to an excerpt posted on Friday on journalist Pavel Zarubin’s Telegram channel. According to Lavrov, the US is sorely mistaken in entertaining the deluded belief that its “self-preservation” in any World War III scenario would be ensured by the Atlantic Ocean serving as a buffer zone. “Washington believes that its self-preservation is ensured by the Atlantic Ocean. This also represents a serious fallacy if they [the US] are preparing to bring the world to the very brink of World War III,” the top diplomat pointed out.

Read more …

“..Europe is stumbling around the stage of history as a clumsy sideshow, drifting from crisis to crisis..”

The EU Has No Leadership, Only NGOs And Think Tanks – Hungarian Minister (RMX)

No one has the courage and aptitude to lead Europe today, meaning there is no political leadership in the European Union, especially in the European Commission, said Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga at a Budapest conference on Thursday. “In the European Union today, it is non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations and think tanks that tell Europe how to run Europe, according to the will of their own leaders,” she said. “Recently, for asymmetric reasons, a crisis of confidence has arisen between the EU leadership and the Hungarian government. This is because the Hungarian government, unlike the EU institutions, says what it thinks and does what it says,” she added.

Varga said Europe is stumbling around the stage of history as a clumsy sideshow, drifting from crisis to crisis, and since the migration crisis, it has been trying to make policy in a way that is completely divorced from the real needs of its citizens. She said the institutional system also failed during the Covid crisis and then shot itself in the foot with sanctions against Russia after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war She warned that immigration is a crisis that still affects Europe and continues to cost the Hungarian budget heavily. “At the same time, by defending Europe, we have to constantly fight the judgments and proceedings of the European Court of Justice,” she said. “Waiting for yet another slap in the face instead of any good deed, that is the fate of Hungary.” Varga noted that during the coronavirus crisis, the EU made deals regarding vaccines, and yet those text messages have never been produced, referring to the murky case involving EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“We make no secret of the fact that we want to hold the functioning of the institutions in the European Union accountable in terms of the rule of law. Let’s talk about whether the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European institutions are respecting the rules, whether the rule of law is working in the institutions,” said the minister. On the issue of the Hungarian EU presidency, the European Parliament has no say in this, the minister said, stressing that more than 10 years ago, a unanimous European Council decision had established the order of the member states, which can only be changed by unanimity. The presidency is not only a right but also an obligation, and the opposition will not achieve anything by such an attempt, but it could do enormous damage. According to the minister, the European Parliament wants to block Hungary’s EU presidency precisely because it fears that Hungary will take stock of the dysfunctional state of EU institutions.

Read more …

“..urging the three members to stop “ignoring the concerns of the international community.”

Anti-China Bloc Tests AI-Powered Drone Swarms (RT)

The US, UK and Australia have shown off new AI-powered drone swarms, marking the first-ever collaboration on autonomous UAV technology between the members of the AUKUS security pact, described by officials as a way to counter China. The allies carried out the three-way “capabilities trial” late last month in Wiltshire, Britain, where they achieved the “live collaborative retraining of models in flight and the interchange of AI models between AUKUS nations” for the first time, according to the US military. “The work saw the initial joint deployment of Australian, UK and US AI-enabled assets in a collaborative swarm to detect and track military targets in a representative environment in real time,” the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.

Formed in 2021 as a way to deter China in the Indo-Pacific region, the AUKUS pact has repeatedly come under fire from Beijing. Under the “Pillar I” of the deal, the United States pledged to furnish nuclear submarine technology to Australia “at the earliest date possible.” Hosted by the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the drone tests were conducted as part of “Pillar II” of the AUKUS partnership, which calls to “develop and provide joint advanced military capabilities” between the three allies in order to “promote security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry insists that the new military initiatives will only “motivate an arms race, damage the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and harm regional stability and peace,” urging the three members to stop “ignoring the concerns of the international community.”

While officials have not offered extensive details about the UAV trials, the British military said they involved “more than 70 military and civilian defense personnel and industry contractors,” who tested swarms of Blue Bear Ghost and Boeing/Insitu CT220 drones. UK forces provided several tanks and armored vehicles for the demo, while private contractors supplied a number of self-propelled howitzers and Soviet-era BMP vehicles produced in the former Czechoslovakia. The gear was used to test the drones’ ability to track military targets on the battlefield.

“This trial demonstrates the military advantage of AUKUS advanced capabilities, as we work in coalition to identify, track and counter potential adversaries from a greater distance and with greater speed,” British Lt. Gen. Rob Magowan, a senior Defence Ministry official, said in a statement. The Australian military stated that the tests “achieved several world firsts,” including the live retraining of the drone swarms in flight. Russia also sees the West’s expansion of its military presence in Asia as a risk that could lead to prolonged conflict. “I cannot imagine the great Asian civilizations toeing the line the way the EU unfortunately did, and obediently delivering Washington’s agenda,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in March.

Read more …

“..we are living in a very badly-ordered society these days, a society in which anything goes and nothing matters, which is a poor principle for civilization.”

Trial By Ordeal (Kunstler)

Would it surprise you to learn that children well beneath the age of puberty are not inclined to think about sex at all? In a well-ordered society that recognizes children as different from adults, they don’t. And if something sexual comes to their attention, they are generally perplexed by it. Unless they’re born into an era when adults are busy erasing boundaries, guard-rails, and cultural inhibitions, in which case I must imagine that young children exposed to, say, pornography in a chaotic household find it traumatically sinister. So, why the gleeful celebration about sexualizing children now? I’ll tell you why: because we are living in a very badly-ordered society these days, a society in which anything goes and nothing matters, which is a poor principle for civilization.

It’s the same principle that has people shitting all over the sidewalks of San Francisco, looting Walgreens stores in broad daylight, pushing ineffective and unsafe vaccines (and lying about it), and arresting people for thought crimes. It’s a degenerate society. Morally bankrupt. Wicked. You might ask, how did it get that way? The concise answer is that a broken business model for daily life and a collapsing economy have so disordered millions of minds that values are seen as having no value. The scaffold for truth, beauty, honor, dignity, courage, prudence, generosity, etc., folded some time ago, in slow-motion, so we didn’t notice. The keepers of our culture have replaced it with a tacky system of ritual virtue-signaling fakery that they don’t really believe in, that persists simply because the moral vacuum it stands for provokes such unbearable anxiety.

The main lesson of the recent Durham Report — missed by even the most punctilious observers — is that our country does not want to fix itself, indeed the whole broken apparatus of fixing it is in the hands of the people who broke it. This epic negligence leaves the doors wide open for the broad range of lower-order criminal mischief we’re seeing expressed all around us. Now I will venture into shadowland. There is a rumor floating around the Internet that this seemingly coordinated campaign to sexualize children and initiate them into marginal behaviors was started to soften up the public for forthcoming shocking revelations contained in the much-whispered-about Jeffrey Epstein archive of videos that show eminent international figures caught in compromising sexual situations that include sexual acts with children.

Read more …

“What is new is that the climate crowd now has the political power they need to push their agenda using fear and the regulatory state..”

The Green Fraud (Jim Rickards)

Those yelling the loudest about climate change want to destroy the oil and natural gas industry, destroy nuclear power plant construction, shut down coal-fired plants, end coal mining, mandate electric vehicles (EVs) on very short deadlines and eliminate gas stoves in your kitchen, fireplaces and even outdoor barbecues. They also want to build wind turbine arrays offshore and on deserts, plains and even mountains near you. They want to install solar module fields on every rooftop and open space near a population center. The climate change radicals want to increase the mining of lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, rare earths and other dangerous chemicals to feed their obsession with EV batteries. They’re spending hundreds of billions of tax dollars to subsidize the EVs, battery manufacturing and a coast-to-coast network of charging stations to keep the EVs moving (even if they do have to stop for a charge every 180 miles).

The greenies also want to mandate “15-minute cities” where you can walk everywhere in town within 15 minutes, which means you won’t need your car to visit a doctor, dry cleaner, grocery store, pharmacy or any of the other locations we routinely visit for errands and necessities. That may sound attractive if you chose it voluntarily. That’s not what the greenies have in mind. They want 15-minute cities as a Trojan horse to eliminate automobiles entirely and force you to ride bicycles or use public transportation. In the end, you’ll need a permit to fly to another city. The permits will be rationed and you’ll have to put yourself on a waiting list until your turn. You can pay for your ticket with the new central bank digital currency (CBDC), assuming your social credit score is high enough and you didn’t vote for the wrong candidate in the last election.


In short, the climate change agenda is not about climate change. It’s about total political and economic control of the population. So-called climate change is an elite scare tactic to get you to fall into line and obey government orders (as most people do). Elites claim that if we don’t radically reduce CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CH4 (methane) emissions, global warming will melt the ice caps, raise sea levels, put island nations underwater and flood the New York City subway system in 10 years or less. They’ve been making similar claims for 40 years and they’ve been wrong every time. That doesn’t stop them. Fear works. What is new is that the climate crowd now has the political power they need to push their agenda using fear and the regulatory state to attack your means of transportation, your personal conveniences and your consumer choices.

Rickards

Read more …

“I don’t want to do any of this.”

IRS Whistleblower Defies the Biden Administration and the Media (Turley)

“I don’t want to do any of this.” Those words from 14-year IRS veteran Gary Shapley may be the most important line in his CBS News interview this week. After weeks of Democrats dismissing whistleblowers alleging the president’s administration interfered with investigations of Hunter Biden, Shapley had enough. Putting his career and much of his life at risk, Shapley came forward to say he and others believe Hunter is being protected and identified the Justice Department as the source of the protection. Shapley has every reason not to want to do any of this. After all, as President Joe Biden stated last year, “No one f–ks with a Biden.” For years, a Democrat-controlled Congress refused to investigate Biden family influence-peddling, and the press dismissed people raising Hunter’s laptop as spreading “Russian disinformation.”

The media have worked hard to minimize the blowback after acknowledging the laptop’s authenticity and the growing evidence of millions in influence-peddling. Part of this effort at “scandal implosion” has been to dismiss any criminal charges as relatively minor tax violations unconnected to the president. Indeed, when the president recently agreed to a rare sit-down interview, the White House chose MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle. Before asking about his son Hunter’s scandal, Ruhle emphasized it was “something personal” with “no ties to you.” Many of us guffawed at the claim given multiple references on the laptop to President Biden, including possibly sharing in the proceeds from influence-peddling with foreign governments.

The problem is Shapley suggests some uncomfortable questions on how Biden’s administration may have worked to minimize charges against his son and, according to Shapley, “slow-walked” the investigation. His interview explains why the Justice Department can indict figures like Rep. George Santos (R-NY) on a variety of fraud and money-laundering charges in a few months while spending years investigating Hunter Biden with no conclusion. Shapley made clear he had never seen this level of interference in his long service at the IRS and said it was done “at the direction of the Department of Justice.” And he said the interference began as soon as he “took control of this particular investigation”: “I immediately saw deviations from the normal process. It was way outside the norm of what I’ve experienced in the past.”

Navy Seal

Read more …

“Nobody would tolerate the price of gasoline varying by 10:1 based on which company you bought auto insurance from. Yet this sort of nonsense is bog-standard through the medical industry.”

The DeSantis -Or GOP Generally- Political Question (Denninger)

Is it not reasonable to expect that manufacturers are legally responsible for the integrity of their products? If, after discovering that a flaw or risk exists they continue trials, sweep said evidence under the rug or otherwise obfuscate what’s going on a courtroom is accessible to those allegedly harmed in which such evidence can be heard and a determination made? How about the rank price-fixing? What has DeSantis done in Florida about it? I can tell you what he did during the time I lived there: Nothing. In fact there are medical centers in NW FL in particular that feast on such disparities and have been known to be doing it for a very long time. In fact Florida has long been the capital of this sort of abuse and you have paid for it if you live in the state, directly and indirectly, particularly when inmates in a jail require care and thus you get the bill in your property taxes.

Can this be fixed at the state level with legislation or even just executive action? You bet; States are the exclusive issuers of both business and medical licenses. Any state can condition said licensing on non-discriminatory pricing irrespective of the method of payment. You expect this at WalMart, the grocery store and gas station. Nobody would tolerate the price of gasoline varying by 10:1 based on which company you bought auto insurance from. Yet this sort of nonsense is bog-standard through the medical industry. Where is the candidate who will put a stop to it and, if they’re a governor, can demonstrate they’re serious because they did put a stop to it? In addition the executive, which is the Governor’s department controls the prosecuting apparatus. DeSantis could have directed his prosecutors to go after medical providers for violations of the State anti-trust laws, which absolutely do exist in each state and which are available under existing law — no new legislation required. He, like the rest, actively refused.

DeSantis is NOT a governor who did either of these things. Folks if we are going to fix what’s wrong with this nation it starts with the medical system. If we don’t force one of the political parties to do it neither will because there are billions of reasons for them not to spread around the politicians in both parties. This has to stop because CMS, Medicare and Medicaid services, consumed one third of all dollars spent federally last year — $2 trillion of the $6 trillion total — and is in fact responsible for the entire trillion dollar deficit. That’s right — if it was stopped (that is, it spent only what it took in via taxes by stopping the screwing medical system-wide) the federal government would in fact run a modest surplus and the inflation you are having happen right now would not be happening.

Read more …

“The US public debt is a global financial pyramid, built by Washington to defraud other nations..”

US Debt A Pyramid Scheme – Russia’s Top MP (RT)

Senior Russian lawmaker Vyacheslav Volodin has branded the US federal government debt a global pyramid scheme that is heading for an inevitable collapse. The comments come as Washington struggles to agree on raising its debt ceiling to avoid a default. “Just think about it, in 2023 interest payments on the US debt could reach $1.5 trillion – almost a third of all US budget revenue!”Volodin, who serves as chairman of Russia’s lower house of parliament, said in a Telegram post on Friday. “The US public debt is a global financial pyramid, built by Washington to defraud other nations,” the State Duma member wrote. “History has shown that all pyramid schemes eventually fail,”he added, warning that the dollar is becoming toxic. Countries dependent on the US dollar should start looking for alternatives such as national currencies, to reduce risks for their citizens, Volodin concluded.


The US government faces a default on its $31 trillion in debt if lawmakers fail to raise the federal borrowing limit. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress earlier this week that bills can’t be paid if the debt ceiling is not raised by June 1. Reuters reported on Thursday that President Joe Biden and top Republican lawmaker Kevin McCarthy were edging close to a deal on the debt ceiling but have yet to agree on cuts to discretionary spending, which powers a wide range of military and domestic programs. Russia started settling trade deals with its partners in national currencies after the US effectively cut it off from dollar-denominated trade as part of sanctions arising from Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Wednesday that the ruble and the yuan are now dominating trade between Russia and China, and are used in 70% of mutual payments.

Read more …

A/ Joe Biden creates nothing.

B/ The US sees itself in the center of this ‘New Economic World Order’. It won’t be.

Inside Joe Biden’s Struggles To Create A ‘New Economic World Order’ (Pol.)

The Biden administration has been trying to bury the free-trade era for months. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai drove a nail into its coffin in January, telling the world’s one percent at Davos that the Biden administration would try to shape a “new economic world order” around protecting workers. And National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan sought to deliver last rites in April, promising the White House would forge a “new Washington consensus” to replace the one that had governed the globe for over a generation. “I remain convinced that through all of this disruption we’re moving towards a new economic order,” Tai told POLITICO in an interview. “I’d really like to fill that gap with a positive vision that we will be prepared for it.”

The goal is to replace the old paradigms of globalization — free trade and a reliance on markets — with a “worker-centered” trade policy that raises wages not just for Americans, but around the world. But building a new world economy is proving more difficult than eulogizing the old one. While the pro-globalization consensus has shown cracks for years — from the financial crisis to the election of former President Donald Trump — Biden’s team has struggled to outline how it will shape new rules and institutions to replace those that governed the world for the last half-century. Biden’s team is moving slowly to transform a paralyzed World Trade Organization, once the premier facilitator of globalization, into a new-look economic club that reflects its progressive values.

As those efforts crawl along, Biden has sought to forge new economic partnerships in Asia and Latin America, but the nascent efforts pale in comparison to China’s trillion-dollar infrastructure program for developing nations and risk replicating the corporate-friendly trade policies of the old system. Meanwhile, Biden’s quest to counter China’s technological growth risks sparking a new Cold War and dividing the world into two or more global trading blocs — a fate the White House insists it is trying to avoid. More fundamentally, Biden’s brain trust has yet to settle on a vision for how the next era of global economics will be constructed. Their initial ideas are abstract at best.

[..] Biden’s critics — from centrist free-trade holdouts to Trump-fueled populists who focus on competition with China — are hardly more concrete in their own ideas. Across the political spectrum, American policymakers are grappling with how to shape a new global economic system to replace the one they built decades ago. “I don’t know if the administration has clearly outlined what that new world looks like,” Sen. Marco Rubio , the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, told POLITICO after a Capitol Hill hearing in February when he assailed the old, pro-globalization paradigm. “But I don’t know if anybody else has either.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Dore Bitcoin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662133413132873728

Sunfish

 

 

Cobra mantis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662149543926939668

 

 

Flying fox
https://twitter.com/i/status/1662010935051968514

 

 

WTF

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 292023
 
 April 29, 2023  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  29 Responses »


Fayum mummy. Portrait of a boy, with a golden pendant. between 50 BCE and 250 CE

 

On War and Wars (James Howard Kunstler)
Russia Won’t Play By ‘Rules’ Invented By Anyone – Putin (RT)
Lavrov Points To Failed US-led Attempts To Isolate Russia (TASS)
US Helping To ‘Kill Russians’ – Zakharova (RT)
Western Arms May Not Be Enough, Ukrainian Troops Tell NYT (RT)
ISW: Ukraine Can Expel Russian Troops From Country With Counteroffensives (Az.)
Reznikov: If Russia Capitulates, Ukraine Is Ready To Start Negotiations (Az.)
US Blackmails Nations Into Fighting Moscow And Beijing – Shoigu (RT )
Serbian President Vucic Vows Country Will Not Join NATO (TASS)
UK Allegedly Censored Report On British Neo-nazis Fighting In Ukraine (RT)
US Pushed To Disclose Number Of Troops In Ukraine (RT)
Increasingly Frenetic Diplomatic Maneuvering Reshapes World Order (Bordachev)
Ukraine Looking To Grab More Of Russia’s Oil Revenues – Kommersant (RT)
Fewer Heterosexual Teens Than Ever – CDC (RT)
You Can’t Taper A Ponzi Scheme (John Rubino)
Government Vaccine Mandate Efforts Were Secretly Funded by Pfizer (Slay)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor China
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651690488502665216

 

 

Dunham Biden
https://twitter.com/i/status/1652003123479625732

 

 

 

 

Megyn Kelly Tucker

 

 

Putin Russian jews

 

 

RFK climate

 

 


“Russian T-14 “armata” tanks that were sent to the zone of special military operations in Ukraine are equipped with modern weapons and can be invisible to the enemy, writes the British newspaper “The Sun”. “Russian experts have produced special camouflage coverings ‘mantles’ for T-14 tanks, which absorb radar waves and at the same time repel and disperse them,” the article states.”

 

 

“Let’s hope Europe does not become again the slaughterhouse it was in the last century.”

On War and Wars (James Howard Kunstler)

Ukraine is the last in a string of hapless military adventures that has exhausted America’s credibility in the world, especially as regards our military superiority. (Think: Russia’s Kinzhal hypersonic missile.) There will be many unexpected consequences of that failure. One will be the crack-up of NATO, which has only been a false front for American military power. Germany couldn’t fight its way out of a duffle bag with what it’s got, and it is supposedly Europe’s leading economic power. The sad truth is that it will stop being any kind of power without the cheap Russian Natgas it was running on, and later this year Germany will be in a panic to try and restore its horribly damaged trade relations with Russia to get that natgas. Since NATO’s essential mission is to oppose Russia on everything, that will be the end of NATO. Europe will return to what it has always been: a region of squabbling national interests. Let’s hope Europe does not become again the slaughterhouse it was in the last century.

The failure of the Ukraine project could easily stimulate a collapse in Europe’s banking system, which would instantly spread to America’s banking system as obligations dissolve and payments stop. The net effect of all that will be the vanishing of a whole lot of capital, including the money in bank accounts, the money invested in stocks and bonds, the money lodged in pension plans, and the money controlled by insurance companies. As I’ve mentioned before — it’s worth repeating — you can go broke two ways: you can have no money, or you can have money that’s worthless. We’ve been steadily following the latter path through the “Joe Biden” years, but we’re close to simply not having money at all. Being broke will get Americans’ attention. And the first place they’ll look is the party in power.

\Multiple scandals have finally caught up to “Joe Biden” and are escaping the formidable suppression apparatus erected by the Deep State’s legal department. Attorney General Merrick Garland himself is now directly implicated in obstruction of justice by an IRS whistleblower. The allegation is that Mr. Garland interfered in the case against Hunter Biden in the Delaware US attorney’s office and lied about it to Congress. On top of that comes a new allegation, with hard documentary evidence (testimony by former Acting CIA Director Mike Morell), that Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan arranged, as “Biden” campaign officials in 2020, for fifty-one intel officers, including five retired CIA directors, to sign a phony letter denouncing the Hunter laptop as a Russian disinfo project, knowing it to be untrue. A case can be made for that amounting to election interference.

Read more …

“We are not going to crawl under the covers with them. But we’re not going to follow their rules either.”

Russia Won’t Play By ‘Rules’ Invented By Anyone – Putin (RT)

Moscow will not abide by the “so-called rules” invented and imposed by “certain countries,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, as he delivered a speech at a meeting of Russia’s Council of Legislators in St. Petersburg. Russia is currently enduring “economic aggression” from the collective West, Putin stated, urging the legislators, as well as other branches of the country’s authority, to work proactively rather than try to “wait out” this difficult period. The ultimate goal is creating a “basis for the long-term, independent, and successful development of our country,” he emphasized. The international diplomacy system has eroded greatly as of late, with “certain countries” imposing their own “rules” instead, Putin noted. “Our partners, or, one might say, already former partners, in some countries are maniacally destroying the legal framework and channels of communication, trying to impose their views and so-called rules on everyone. What are the rules? … Nobody saw them,” he stated.


“They’re writing something under the covers and they themselves are doing something with that under the covers. We are not going to crawl under the covers with them. But we’re not going to follow their rules either.” At the same time, Russia does not want to go into “self-isolation” and remains ready to cooperate fairly with “friendly countries,” Putin explained. “We will expand pragmatic, equal, mutually beneficial, exclusively partnership relations with friendly countries in Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America.” He noted that Russia has “many like-minded people” in the countries of the collective West, including the US. “Yet, the elites behave differently. But you and I know that the elites of these countries do not always pursue a policy aimed at the best interests of their own people. This will come around to haunt them,” he warned.

Read more …

“..some 85% of the world’s population are reluctant to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for former colonial powers..”

Lavrov Points To Failed US-led Attempts To Isolate Russia (TASS)

Efforts by Washington and its satellites to isolate Moscow are failing completely, with the global majority being unwilling ‘to pull the chestnuts out of the fire’ for former colonial powers, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Addressing the online Global Conference on Multipolarity on Saturday, Russia’s top diplomat said, “It seems only natural that efforts by Washington and its satellites to reverse the course of history and force the international community to live up to a ‘rules-based world order’ have failed. I will only mention the completely failed course toward isolating Russia that the Westerners have been pursuing.”


“The majority of countries inhabited by some 85% of the world’s population are reluctant to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for former colonial powers,” he added. Ahead of the conference, the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that the event would once again make it possible to heed politicians, public dignitaries, journalists, and academic and cultural figures from around the world, who stand up for multipolarity, and for fairer and more democratic inter-state relations.

Read more …

“The Russian people are getting killed with targeting done by the US, money [provided] by the US, weapons [supplied] by the US, and by the hands of a regime that was brought to power by the US ..”

US Helping To ‘Kill Russians’ – Zakharova (RT)

The US is directly contributing to the deaths of Russians by providing military and financial aid to Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed on Friday. She was reacting to a Kommersant interview with Lynne Tracy, the US ambassador to Moscow, who stated that Washington “does not view Russians as enemies.” “The Russian people are getting killed with targeting done by the US, money [provided] by the US, weapons [supplied] by the US, and by the hands of a regime that was brought to power by the US as a result of a coup orchestrated by the US,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram, referring to the Western-backed 2014 uprising in Kiev that ousted the democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovich.

In an interview published in Russian newspaper Kommersant on Thursday, Tracy said she supports informal contacts between Americans and Russians, and that the US “does not want to ‘cancel’ the Russian people in any way.” “No matter what differences we, the United States, have with the Russian government, they are not differences with the people of Russia,” she said. The Foreign Ministry later issued a statement criticizing the ambassador’s interview, in which it accused Tracy of cherry-picking and fabricating facts about Ukraine’s recent history. The US diplomat claimed that “a situation in which a leader who lost support and got scared of his own people takes a decision to flee” could not be called a coup.

“Madam Ambassador probably does not know and was not informed by her aides that this simple puzzle… lacks the truth and correct sequence of events,” the ministry said. The statement went on to explain that the protests in Kiev were infiltrated by violent extremists supported by US officials, and ended with a power-sharing agreement that the opposition forces immediately broke. Tracy’s failure to acknowledge the nature of the events in Kiev can be explained by either amnesia or ignorance, while her description has nothing to do with reality, the Russian ministry added. The statement included a screenshot of the interview with a large red ‘FAKE’ stamp on it.

Washington imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow shortly after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The US and many other NATO countries have since supplied Kiev with heavy weapons, including tanks and artillery systems, and shared intelligence with Ukraine. The State Department said in January that it was up to Kiev to determine how to use foreign arms. Russia has warned that the military aid makes the US and NATO de facto direct participants in the conflict. Moscow also repeatedly accused Ukraine of using US-made weapons, such as HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and M777 howitzers, to kill civilians. On April 13, Ukrainian troops used HIMARS launchers to shell a hospital in the Donbass city of Svatovo, local officials said. On Thursday, several areas in the Donetsk People’s Republic were hit with rockets and artillery rounds, leaving one woman dead and eight people, including four children, injured, according to the authorities.

Read more …

“We lost our best people – those who died and those who were taken out of the fight because of injuries..”

Western Arms May Not Be Enough, Ukrainian Troops Tell NYT (RT)

Ukrainian troops on the frontline are concerned that even with all the military assistance from the US and its allies, their Russian opponents still have an advantage, The New York Times has reported. “I don’t know where the Russians are getting so much artillery,” a 43-year-old private named Pavel, who is deployed near the Donbass city of Ugledar, told the US newspaper. “And there are also tanks, helicopters, and jets. The guys can’t get in and out of their positions, the firing is so heavy,” he complained. “We can’t go up against them with rifles. We need heavy equipment on the ground and support in the air.” Kiev is expected to launch a counteroffensive against Russia within weeks, utilizing tanks, armored vehicles, and other heavy weapons provided by Western nations.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov said on Friday that his troops were ready to push forward when the order comes from the military leadership. A company commander, who uses the callsign Dolphin, told NYT that his men had high morale and wanted to go on the offensive, despite the numbers not being in their favor. “We lost our best people – those who died and those who were taken out of the fight because of injuries,” he said of the unit’s recent action against Russian forces. “But there is one but,” he added. “There are more of them, but we’re stronger.”

Another fighter, a 23-year-old sergeant by the name Michael, described a lack of training in operating Western weapons. He is the only one in his company who knows how to properly use a US-made Mk-19 grenade launcher, the article said. “At the time it entered into service with the Ukrainian armed forces, there were no instructors who could explain how to work it,” he said. “The manuals were only in English and in the Ukrainian military few speak English.” Michael, according to NYT, has five years of experience with grenade launchers and is sharing it with others. Moscow cited the creeping expansion of NATO into Ukraine and a growing threat to Russian national security stemming from it, as one of the key reasons for launching its military operation in February 2022.

Read more …

The Institute for the Study of War is this war’s go-to think tank in media all over. They should really be called the Institute for the Promotion of War.

ISW: Ukraine Can Expel Russian Troops From Country With Counteroffensives (Az.)

Enabling further successful Ukrainian counteroffensives will deny the Kremlin a breather to replenish its resources, will further deplete Russia’s offensive potential, and eventually enable Ukrainian forces to expel Russia from Ukraine, said the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Report informs. According to ISW, the Kremlin’s plan for a quick war has failed: “The Kremlin’s ability to sustain a long war in Ukraine is not a given — it disproportionately depends on whether Russia gets the time and space to rebuild its capabilities. Russia’s ability to reconstitute its military capability is currently constrained. The Kremlin invaded Ukraine with insufficient resources which it has further exhausted to secure only limited gains. The Kremlin is trying to replenish its resources but is still pursuing half-measures below full national mobilization to regenerate its forces and mobilize its defense industrial base.”


The ISW noted that Russia may be weakened but the Kremlin’s intent regarding the US and NATO remains the same: “Russia not only seeks to eradicate Ukrainian statehood, but also to control other states in the region, such as Belarus and Moldova, and eventually link Russian military gains across the former Soviet Union. Putin still seeks to neutralize NATO and undermine the US. The Kremlin is rallying Russian society for a long fight against the West.

Read more …

Resnikov is minister of Defense.

Reznikov: If Russia Capitulates, Ukraine Is Ready To Start Negotiations (Az.)

Oleksii Reznikov: If Russia agrees to capitulation, Ukraine is ready to start negotiations, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said at a press conference, Report informs via UNIAN. According to him, the partners do not discuss the issue of peace: “Because they know very well that Ukraine will not talk to the current Russian leadership. However, negotiations on the capitulation of Russia and the payment of reparations are possible.”

Bakhmut

Read more …

“The goal of the US and its allies is to undermine the emerging multipolar world and preserve their dominance..”

US Blackmails Nations Into Fighting Moscow And Beijing – Shoigu (RT )

Washington resorts to various forms of coercion as it pushes to create regional alliances aimed against its geopolitical rivals, including Moscow and Beijing, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said. He was speaking to his counterparts representing other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at a meeting in New Delhi. “Unprecedented pressure is being applied to independent nations through the use of open blackmail, threats, ‘color revolutions,’ coups, and dissemination of blatant disinformation. All those tools long ago became the Western calling card,” the minister said on Friday. The goal of the US and its allies is to undermine the emerging multipolar world and preserve their dominance, according to Shoigu.

Washington chose to dismantle the system of global security in pursuit of its ambition and withdrew from multiple treaties with Russia, the minister told his audience. Shoigu said that Moscow had attempted to defuse tensions with NATO through diplomacy in 2021, but its proposals were rejected by the West, proving that it is unwilling to have a partnership of equals with Russia. “Today, Washington and its accomplices are executing a strategic plan to provoke other nations into military confrontation with the states they don’t like, primarily Russia and China.” The minister interpreted the Ukraine conflict as a vivid example of American “criminal policy.” The US goal in it is to “inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, create a threat to China and preserve its [hegemonic] position,” said Shoigu.

The official blasted Western supplies of weapons to Kiev, stating that they only prolong hostilities and create additional risks to Europe and the entire world. He said the arms “make their way to the black market and further into the hands of terrorist organizations.” The SCO, a Eurasian intergovernmental organization, includes China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan among its members.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1651888112916922370

Read more …

“Serbia will painstakingly maintain its military neutrality and defend its freedom on its own. This is our choice..”

Serbian President Vucic Vows Country Will Not Join NATO (TASS)

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic has promised the Serbs that the country will not join NATO as long as he remains the head of state. “Serbia today is one of the few countries with its own policies. It’s independent and free-thinking,” Vucic said while addressing a crowd of local residents in Sokobanja on Friday. “As long as I am president, and this will [last] another four years, and as the commander-in-chief, I guarantee you that Serbia will not join NATO or any other military bloc.” “Serbia will painstakingly maintain its military neutrality and defend its freedom on its own. This is our choice,” Vucic concluded. Earlier, Vucic stressed that Western representatives in their calls on Serbia to join NATO were referring to a global threat from Russia. Vucic stated separately that his country could not join the alliance because “NATO threatened” Belgrade. In particular, he added that it was representatives of the West that “intruded into Serbia’s territory” and were killing its people.

Don’t underestimate Orban
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651971665973108740

Read more …

“US Customs and Border Patrol warned in a memo that “Ukrainian nationalist groups including the Azo[v] Movement are actively recruiting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist-white supremacists to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions.”

UK Allegedly Censored Report On British Neo-nazis Fighting In Ukraine (RT)

A British intelligence report on the global threat of right-wing terrorism includes a completely redacted section on ‘returning foreign fighters’ from an unnamed European country, highly likely to be Ukraine. Published last July, the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament’s report on ‘Extreme Right-Wing Terrorism’ gave British lawmakers an overview of the threat posed by right-wing radicals at home and abroad. Drawn from material provided by Britain’s multiple intelligence agencies, including MI5 and MI6, the report totals 130 pages and includes detailed sections on right-wing violence in northern Europe and North America. However, one section that follows those on northern Europe and the US and Canada is entirely redacted, its six paragraphs replaced by asterisks.

A semi-redacted paragraph beneath offers some further context. It states that British intelligence officers are concerned that “There is no process in place to monitor those ‘G***’ individuals who have travelled overseas for Extreme Right-Wing Terrorism-related purposes and have returned to the UK. It notes that “there is a strong possibility that these returning foreign fighters, some of whom may have fought ***, will have been further radicalised” while in the unnamed country, and will have “developed connections with others who share their Extreme Right-Wing ideology.” “There is little doubt that for *** we are talking about interesting details of the situation in one of the countries of Eastern Europe,” Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Max Solopov wrote on Telegram on Thursday.

“Especially considering that the UK is the most involved country in the Ukrainian conflict after Russia.” Extremist ideology in Ukraine was covered extensively by the Western media before the start of Russia’s military operation last February. White supremacists from Germany, the US, UK, Scandinavia, and elsewhere traveled to Ukraine from 2014 onwards to join the neo-Nazi Azov militia, which would go on to be formally integrated into the Ukrainian military. When the trickle of foreign fighters into Ukraine increased to a deluge last year, US Customs and Border Patrol warned in a memo that “Ukrainian nationalist groups including the Azo[v] Movement are actively recruiting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist-white supremacists to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions.”

“What kind of training are foreign fighters receiving in Ukraine that they could possibly proliferate in US based militia and white nationalist groups?” the document asked, noting that this was an “intelligence gap” faced by US law enforcement at the time. Shortly before Russia’s military operation began, UK counterterrorism police were deployed to British airports to question people traveling to Ukraine. According to The Guardian, officers were looking to identify “far-right extremists” seeking weapons training and military experience. Such reports have since vanished from the Western media, replaced by stories sympathetic to foreign volunteers and articles downplaying the Azov Regiment’s neo-Nazi roots.

Read more …

“a partisan political ploy” that endangers the national security of the US, its allies in Europe, and “the courageous Ukrainian people.”

US Pushed To Disclose Number Of Troops In Ukraine (RT)

A resolution demanding President Joe Biden and the Defense Department inform Congress of troop deployments in Ukraine and plans for future military aid was approved on Friday by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives. The committee voted along party lines, 22-20, in favor of the proposal by Congressman Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican. Gaetz called the vote a “big win for accountability” and accused Democrats of being afraid of “truth and transparency on aid to Ukraine.” Under the terms of his privileged resolution, the White House and the Pentagon would have 14 days to send the House “copies of all documents indicating any plans for current or future military assistance to Ukraine and documents indicating whether any US Armed Forces, including special operations forces, are currently deployed in Ukraine.”

During the debate on the resolution, earlier this week, members of Biden’s party accused Gaetz of serving the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, “amplifying Russian propaganda” and threatening the bipartisan consensus in Congress that support for Ukraine must be “unwavering and indefinite.” Congresswoman Kathy Manning, a North Carolina Democrat, called the resolution “divisive and ill-advised” as well as “a partisan political ploy” that endangers the national security of the US, its allies in Europe, and “the courageous Ukrainian people.” Her colleague Gerry Connolly of Virginia accused Gaetz of wanting to force a peace on Kiev, and argued that there might be a time for oversight, “but now is not that time.”

Florida Republican Cory Mills, a military veteran, countered that the resolution was not against supporting Ukraine, but ensuring there is no “mission creep” like with Afghanistan or Iraq, where he spent a total of ten years and got “blown up twice.” Proposing the resolution earlier this month, Gaetz pointed to the leaked Pentagon documents to accuse Biden of “misleading the world on the state of the war in Ukraine” and demanding “total transparency” when it came to risking “war with a nuclear adversary.” The resolution now goes to the House floor, where Republicans have a slim majority. However, a significant faction within the party agrees with the Democrats and the White House on unconditional support for Kiev.

Read more …

“Perhaps the current changes are the most significant in the last few hundred years.”

Increasingly Frenetic Diplomatic Maneuvering Reshapes World Order (Bordachev)

There is no doubt that the world is undergoing a major transformation. Perhaps the current changes are the most significant in the last few hundred years. This is all the more so, because never before in the history of international politics has it involved so many actors with different historical and cultural backgrounds. This means that we are not talking about another redistribution of power within a limited circle of states, but about a much broader phenomenon. In practice, however, these sweeping changes have led to a highly paradoxical situation: Diplomacy is heavily influenced by tactical maneuvering rather than strategic considerations. This is particularly evident in Western behavior, but most others are no exception. Even the actions of powers such as China or Russia, which in many ways are genuine examples of diplomatic conservatism, show signs of contextual concerns.

But what about small and medium-sized countries, especially those that have become known for their skillful tactics in making the most of ambiguous international situations? In other words, it is not only the leading states, which are really the ones who will determine the composition of the new world order, but also the smaller opportunists who are now in a constant state of maneuvering. In popular analysis, the capacity for continuous jostling for position is now generally regarded as an attribute of medium-sized states occupying an intermediate geopolitical position, but it is the large countries that are the true masters of this genre. Western Europe, despite its long-term commitment to transatlantic relations, is certainly in the lead. The major powers of the European Union, acting in their personal capacity or under the guise of submissive European institutions, are in a state of permanent maneuvering: In relations with China, Russia or the rest of the so-called world majority, in addition to constant bargaining in relations with their powerful patron, the US.

For the rest of the world, it creates the illusion that the EU can one day break away from Washington and sail on relatively independently. And for the Americans, it creates few additional concerns, but nothing that threatens their monopoly on power. French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Beijing in the first half of April was certainly an example of such posturing. The French leader sought in every way to reinforce the perception among his Chinese counterparts that continental Europe could act, at least tactically, as more than just a territorial base for US interests. This was partly due to the economic opportunities that make cooperation with the Western Europeans beneficial for Beijing and the Chinese economy. It is also due to the persistent Chinese belief that Germany and France are acting so hardline towards Russia precisely because they do not believe that a conflict with Moscow would have dramatic consequences.

A confrontation with China, which the EU states are being gently nudged towards by the UK and the US, would indeed be a suicidal economic decision for the bloc. Especially in the current not-so-pleasant state of the socio-economic systems of most of “old Europe.” The reluctance of EU members to give up the benefits of cooperation with China was evident to all in Beijing during an earlier visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Moreover, Beijing quite rationally believes that the conflict between the West and Russia is more fundamental for the EU than the confrontation between the US and China. Our Chinese friends are well aware of the history of relations between Russia and Western Europe, and they know that hostility is rooted in European bloc capitals. Despite some positive experiences with Russia in an era of its comparatively EU-friendly behavior, the major countries of the bloc have their grievances with Moscow, perhaps even more seriously than those of Japan, another American ally.

Read more …

Russia will not pay this, the EU will.

Ukraine Looking To Grab More Of Russia’s Oil Revenues – Kommersant (RT)

Kiev is preparing to significantly increase tariffs for transporting Russian crude oil to the EU through its territory via the Druzhba pipeline, business daily Kommersant reported on Friday. According to the report from the Russian outlet, which cites the consultancy Argus and market sources, Ukrainian pipeline operator Ukrtransnafta has applied for a two-step increase in transit prices, by 25% from the current $14.90 per ton to $18.70 on June 1, and by an additional 23.5% to $23 on August 1. Transneft, Russia’s state pipeline transport company, confirmed to Kommersant having received notification from Ukrtransnafta of the tariff hike but said that it was not conducting negotiations with Kiev on the matter.

According to Kommersant’s sources, Ukraine is currently negotiating the hike directly with buyers in Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. However, any arrangements with them will have to be formalized with the Russian Energy Ministry and Transneft, experts say. The latter traditionally pays in advance for the transit of Russian oil through Ukrainian territory. The transit cost is included in the price of oil deliveries, and Russian oil companies, having received payment from buyers, reimburse Transneft for the transit. The planned hike in transit costs will be the second this year, after Kiev raised the tariff by €2.10 per ton (18.3%) on January 1. Prior to that, the tariff was hiked twice last year.

Experts warn that overly frequent tariff hikes may bring oil transport via Druzhba to a halt, as buyers, despite not having many alternatives to Russian oil, may find the costs too high. According to Igor Yushkov, a professor at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, this scenario would hurt Ukraine, which relies on the transit fees. Druzhba carries crude some 4,000km from Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Supplies via the route were not targeted by the EU embargo on Russian crude that was introduced late last year.

Read more …

Propaganda or endocrine disruptors?

Fewer Heterosexual Teens Than Ever – CDC (RT)

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that a quarter of US high school students identify as homosexual, bisexual, or ‘questioning’, a figure that has more than doubled since 2015. Based on data collected in 2021 and released on Thursday, the CDC’s report found that 72.4% of high schoolers identify as heterosexual, down from almost 90% in 2015; 3.2% identify as gay or lesbian, 12% identify as bisexual, and 9% as ‘other’ or ‘questioning’. Girls were more likely than boys to place themselves in all three categories, with five times as many female students considering themselves bisexual (20% vs. 4%), and four times as many (13.7% vs. 3.7%) listing themselves in the ‘other’ category.

The CDC noted that the increase “might be a result of changes in question wording,” explaining that answers like “I am not sure about my sexual identity” or “I describe my sexual identity in some other way” were not included in its previous questionnaires. Just over 7% of the US adult population identifies as LGBTQ, according to a Gallup poll published in February. This figure has risen with each passing generation, with 20% of Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2004) identifying as LGBTQ, compared to 11.2% of Millennials, 3.3% of Generation X, 2.7% of Baby Boomers, and 1.7% of those born before the end of World War II. The number of transgender Americans, which the CDC survey did not measure, has exploded. Fewer than 0.05% of the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945) identified as transgender in the Gallup survey, compared to 1.9% of Generation Z, an almost forty-fold increase.

Some commentators argue that increased acceptance of alternative sexualities has made each successive generation more comfortable with coming out as LGBTQ. Others claim that “social contagion” – in which young people embrace LGBTQ identities in order to fit in with their peers – is responsible. A study published earlier this month found that adolescent girls with transgender friends were more likely to come out as transgender themselves. The study also linked heavy social media use to transgender identification. Although more and more high school students are embracing alternative sexualities, fewer and fewer are sexually active. According to CDC data, the number of students who have ever had sex has fallen from 47% in 2011 to 30% in 2021, while the number who said they were currently sexually active fell from 34% to 21% in that same period.

Read more …

“..during the entire fiat currency era, M2 has never before gone down. This means some debts won’t be paid..”

You Can’t Taper A Ponzi Scheme (John Rubino)

In a normal fiat currency system, the central bank simply creates the needed currency out of thin air, everyone gets paid, and the resulting decline in the value of the currency is small enough that few are bothered. But that’s not what’s happening today. As the above obligations come due, the amount of available money is … shrinking. The following chart of the M2 money supply growth rate shows a massive spike from all the covid lockdown stimmy checks (which partially accounts for last year’s surge in consumer prices) and a correspondingly dramatic plunge this year. Note that during the entire fiat currency era, M2 has never before gone down. This means some debts won’t be paid. Creditors thus stiffed will fail to pay their debts and so on until sectors start blowing up. Think back to last month’s local and regional bank near-death experience for a relatively benign example of what this unraveling will look like.

To sum up, the current global financial system is a Ponzi scheme and the new money spigot has been turned off. Excitement is about to ensue. During the pandemic, central banks discovered how easy it is to flood an economy with newly-conjured cash. The US, for instance, simply mailed checks to citizens and gifted “loans” to small businesses while tossing trillions in loan guarantees and direct aid at favored large corporations. Easy peasy. When today’s Ponzi scheme starts to unravel, those same governments will be faced with a choice between letting virtually everything grind to a halt as trouble at the collapsing periphery starts heading for the core (that is, as small players die in ways that threaten JP Morgan Chase), or restarting the stimmy check machine, but on a much bigger scale and with a major twist:


Instead of sending out paper or electronic checks to individual bank accounts, the Fed will roll out its much-discussed central bank digital currency and fund “free” account balances for everyone who it deems worthy of such a gift. The vast majority, traumatized by the disappearance of their jobs and stock portfolios, will willingly accept the free money. And just like that, the next financial system is born. Which, as always, takes us back to gold and silver. History says the first phase of this process will feature an equities bear market that takes precious metals down for the ride. But in the second phase (i.e., the CBDC introduction), people who prefer not to own “programable” currency that’s monitored 24/7 by the NSA will convert their Fed bucks to real assets. Shortages of gold and silver will ensue and prices will respond accordingly.

Read more …

A carefully crafted campaign.

Government Vaccine Mandate Efforts Were Secretly Funded by Pfizer (Slay)

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer was secretly funding pressure groups that pushed governments to introduce draconian vaccine mandates and passports, according to a bombshell new report. The report, from investigative journalist Lee Fang, reveals that Pfizer silently funded several groups advocating for vaccine mandates and passports. Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot is one of the most widely used vaccines in the world. Under vaccine mandates, people around the world the forced to take the jabs or face losing their jobs. In August 2021, the president of the Chicago Urban League, Karen Freeman-Wilson, in an interview on TV, argued that vaccine mandates would not disproportionately harm the black community. “The health and safety factor here far outweighs the concern about shutting people out or creating a barrier,” Freeman-Wilson said at the time.

Earlier that year, the Chicago Urban League had received $100,000 from Pfizer. The money was supposedly for a project to advance the promotion of “vaccine safety and effectiveness.” Part of this “promotion” involved lobbying governments to introduce tyrannical vaccine mandates. The organization did not list Pfizer as a donor or partner on its website. Freeman-Wilson did not mention the funding during the interview, either. The Chicago Urban League grant is one of many Pfizer-awarded groups to promote and encourage vaccine mandates. The pharmaceutical giant awarded grants to public health organizations, civil rights groups, as well as consumer, medical, and doctors’ groups. Most of these groups did not disclose the funding from Pfizer. The lack of transparency regarding the grants allowed Pfizer to secretly fund efforts to force the public into using their products.

In August 2021, the corporate watchdog group the National Consumers League announced support for “government and employer mandates” requiring Covid vaccination. The announcement came at around the same time the organization received a $75,000 grant from Pfizer for “vaccine policy efforts.” Houston-based public health organization the Immunization Partnership publicly lobbied against bills introduced in Texas aimed at banning vaccine passports and vaccine mandates. The organization did not disclose that Pfizer gave it $35,000 earlier that year for “legislative advocacy.”

Japan Pfizer

Read more …

 

 

 

 

1.27259146ºC
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651852516554932224

 

 


This is the Centennial Light, the world’s longest-lasting light bulb, burning since 1901. It is at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California and due to its longevity, the bulb has been noted by The Guinness Book of World Records

 

 

Gecko

 

 

 

 

 

 


Blue tit singing on a cold early morning you can see its song in the air

 

 

Armadillo

 

 

DogTwist
https://twitter.com/i/status/1652035202171146241

 

 

Logging
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651949402335084545

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 282023
 
 April 28, 2023  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Edgar Degas Danseuse au Tutu Vert 1887

 

Ukraine Peace Talks – A Grown Up Is Taking Charge (MoA)
Complicated Ukraine Crisis Must End By Negotiations – China (TASS)
Kremlin Explains Which Contact With Kiev Is ‘Welcome’ (RT)
China Shifting Away From Dollar In Cross-Border Transactions (RT)
FBI Claims China Has 50x More Hackers (RT)
De-Dollarization Kicks Into High Gear (Pepe Escobar)
Mr. Lavrov’s New York Shuffle (Pepe Escobar)
West No Longer Hides Planning Of Kiev’s Counteroffensive – Zakharova (TASS)
NATO Gives 1,550 Armored Vehicles, 230 Tanks To Ukraine – Stoltenberg (TASS)
Ukrainian Air Defense ‘Depleting’ – Minister (RT)
The EU Has Spilled Ukrainian Grain Meant For Africa All Over Itself (Marsden)
Zakharova: Why US and EU Fear Russian Media (RT)
In The Seeds War Who Is Burying Whom? (Helmer)
Pfizer & FDA Knew About Safety Concerns For Pregnant And Nursing Women (CR)
Biden Energy Secretary Wants All US Military Vehicles To Be Electric By 2030

 

 

 

 

RFK vaccines

 

 

 

 

Tucker ESG

 

 

Zelensky sells Ukraine

 

 

 

 

China sends their top diplomat. Everyone better take him seriously. Nothing else will be accepted.

Ukraine Peace Talks – A Grown Up Is Taking Charge (MoA)

The U.S. is unwilling to yet give up in its proxy war with Russia in Ukraine. Russia can not stop the war without securing its legitimate interest to keep NATO and/or the U.S. out of its neighbor state. A loss of the war would create an existential danger for Russia. With the two major powers engaged in a war a third party is needed to solve the conflict. In the spring of last year Turkey and Israel successfully helped to find a peace agreement. A good solution was found and Russia as well as Ukraine agreed to it. But the U.S. needed the war to continue. It sent the British prime minister Boris Johnson to Kiev to sabotage the deal. The Ukrainian president was told that the country would lose all ‘western’ support should it sign an agreement with Russia. As the somewhat neutral middle powers were unable to push any agreement through it became obvious that a third party with more heft was needed to seal a deal.

The time of moving towards a deal also needed to be right. On February 24, exactly a year after the war had started, China announced its Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis. This was not a peace plan but a lay out of things that will need to be understood and done to come to a sustainable solution of the crisis. A months later China took the next step that will be needed in the process. It introduced a high ranking diplomat who will hold the preliminary talks in Ukraine and Russia to find the potential ways to proceed. The announcement was made after a phone call between the presidents Xi and Zelensky:

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he held a “long and meaningful call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, a long-anticipated first contact between the leaders since Russia’s invasion 14 months ago. Xi appealed for negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv to begin, according to a Chinese government readout of the call, which Beijing said Zelenskyy requested. Xi pledged to send a “special representative” to Ukraine for talks about a “political settlement” — warning that “there is no winner in a nuclear war.” China hopes to become a neutral peace broker in the conflict, although the U.S. and others have questioned its impartiality given a “no limits” partnership in which it has lent Moscow rhetorical and financial support.”

[..] The Chinese special representative for Eurasian affairs is Lu Hui, a very senior diplomat. He has held several positions in China’s embassies in Moscow and Astana as well as within China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: In 2008-2009 Mr. Liu Hui served as a deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PRC. From August 2009 to August 2019 he served as an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Russian Federation. Ukraine’s readout of the call does not mention the envoy. The U.S. response to the announcement of an envoy was designed to put China’s efforts into doubt: “John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, said the U.S. welcomed the call as a “good thing.”

“We’ve been saying for quite some time that we believe it’s important for President Xi and PRC officials to avail themselves of the Ukrainian perspective on this illegal and unprovoked invasion by Russia,” Kirby told reporters, referring to China by the initials for its formal name, the People’s Republic of China. Earlier, Kirby, told NBC News, “We will let these two leaders speak to the details of their conversation.” A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was “way too soon after just getting word of this conversation to speculate about” whether the call should foster optimism about China’s peace plan. “Thus far, China has not shown itself to be unbiased when it comes to supporting Russia,” the official said.

Read more …

China starts to impose itself step by step.

Complicated Ukraine Crisis Must End By Negotiations – China (TASS)

No matter how complicated the conflict in Ukraine may be, it must be resolved at a negotiation table, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said during the meeting with foreign ministers of Central Asian countries in Xi An in northwestern China. “No matter how complicated the crisis may be, it must be resolved by negotiations; no matter how complicated a conflict may be, it must be resolved only by politics,” Qin Gang said, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry website. He added that “the significant historic background and complex real reasons have caused the Ukrainian crisis to develop to the current stage.”


“China and Central Asian countries have similar views and positions on the Ukrainian crisis,” Qin Gang noted. He added that Beijing is ready to work with the international community, including Central Asian states, in order to reach a “common denominator” for resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. On April 26-27, Qin Gang took part in the 4th meeting of foreign ministers of China and five Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the top diplomats exchanged opinions on pressing international and regional issues.

Read more …

“We are ready to welcome anything that can bring the conflict in Ukraine closer to an end and, naturally, the accomplishment of all Russia’s goals..”

Kremlin Explains Which Contact With Kiev Is ‘Welcome’ (RT)

Moscow backs any foreign contact with Kiev that seeks a political settlement to the Ukraine conflict and as long as Russia’s interests are respected, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. His comments came a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, for the first time since Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring state more than a year ago. “We are ready to welcome anything that can bring the conflict in Ukraine closer to an end and, naturally, the accomplishment of all Russia’s goals,” Peskov told journalists. The spokesman added that conversations between leaders are the “sovereign [right]” of each country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk peace accords as reasons for Russia’s attack on Ukrainian forces in February 2022. He also said Russia was seeking the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine. Peskov pointed out that the Kremlin is aware of the 12-point roadmap for peace publicly unveiled by China in February. According to the proposal, the conflict must be resolved through negotiations and in accordance with international law, while the “independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld.” Moscow, however, has accused Ukraine of effectively rendering potential negotiations useless by demanding that Russia surrender newly acquired territories.

In 2014, Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia in the wake of the coup in Kiev that year. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, did the same after holding referendums in September. Kiev considers these territories to be illegally occupied by Russia. Unlike many Western countries, China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Xi praised strategic partnership with Russia during a trip to Moscow last month. During his call with Zelensky, the Chinese leader reiterated that dialogue was “the only viable way forward.”

Read more …

First gradually, then all at once.

China Shifting Away From Dollar In Cross-Border Transactions (RT)

The yuan surpassed the US dollar to become the most-used currency in China’s cross-border transactions last month, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing official data. Cross-border payments and receipts in yuan surged from $434.5 billion in February to a record $549.9 billion in March, according to calculations by the outlet, based on data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. The Chinese currency was used in 48.4% of all cross-border transactions, reflecting a trend of shifting away from the dollar, as well as Beijing’s efforts to promote the use of the yuan. The share of the greenback in China’s international settlements dropped from 48.6% in February to 46.7% last month. The volume of cross-border transactions covers both current and capital accounts, the outlet said.


Although the share of the yuan in global settlements is still relatively low, it has been steadily on the rise over the past several years. China’s attempts to move away from the dollar in international trade have sped up against the backdrop of sweeping sanctions imposed by Western nations against Russia, a major global energy producer and exporter. Indian policymakers have also taken steps towards shifting away from the greenback to rubles and rupees in mutual trade with Moscow. Russia has been boosting its use of alternative currencies in transactions since last year. President Vladimir Putin has suggested that the Chinese yuan should be used more widely, not only in trade with China, but also in Russia’s transactions with countries in Africa and Latin America. The latest data from the Bank of Russia shows that the yuan has become a major player in Russia’s foreign trade.

Read more …

“..Chinese hackers outnumber US cybersecurity agents by at least “50 to 1..”

FBI Claims China Has 50x More Hackers (RT)

FBI Director Christopher Wray has claimed that Chinese hackers outnumber US cybersecurity agents by at least “50 to 1,” saying the People’s Republic operates a larger cyber program than all other world powers combined. Addressing lawmakers during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Thursday, Wray outlined the bureau’s recent cybersecurity efforts and its funding needs, stating the hackers are capable of inflicting “greater damage than ever before” while placing special emphasis on the “China threat.” “The scale of the Chinese cyber threat is unparalleled. They’ve got a bigger hacking program than every other major nation combined, and have stolen more of our personal and corporate data than all other nations, big or small, combined,” he said, adding that Washington is struggling to keep up with Beijing in the cyber realm.

“To give you a sense of what we’re up against, if each one of the FBI’s cyber agents and intel analysts focused exclusively on the China threat, on nothing but China, Chinese hackers would still outnumber FBI cyber personnel by at least 50 to 1.” The bureau head went on to warn of cyber attacks conducted by other foreign states, including Russia, Iran and North Korea, but said China posed the greatest danger to US privacy and security, pointing to its alleged “multi-pronged strategy” to surpass the United States as “the global superpower.” In addition to “nation-state actors,” Wray also noted the FBI’s concerns about private cyber criminals, saying the agency is now investigating “over 100 different ransomware variants,” referring to a common form of malware which seeks to hold user data hostage in exchange for payment.

The FBI has requested funding to create around 200 additional cyber positions at the bureau to address the purported threat from China, seeking just over $63 million, in addition to the $10.8 billion budget already proposed for the 2023 fiscal year. “There’s no country that presents a more significant threat to our innovation, our ideas, our economic security, our national security than the Chinese government,” Wray continued. “And that’s why we’ve grown the number of investigations into threats from China about 1,300%.” Chinese officials have denied US allegations of hacking and data theft, and instead leveled similar charges at Washington. Earlier this month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed the United States is now the “biggest threat to global cybersecurity” which seeks to “maintain its hegemony in cyberspace,” urging the US to cease its “global hacking operations.”

Read more …

“Cue to Beijing linking crude futures in Shanghai to converting yuan into gold. And all that without touching China’s massive gold reserves..”

De-Dollarization Kicks Into High Gear (Pepe Escobar)

The collective west is reaching Desperation Row – now timed with the astonishing announcement of a Biden-Harris US presidential ticket running again in 2024. This means that the US administration’s neo-con handlers will double down on their plan to unleash an industrial war against both Russia and China by 2025. And that brings us back to de-dollarization and what will replace the hegemonic reserve currency of the world. Today, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) represents more than 25 percent of global oil exports (Saudi Arabia stands at 17 percent). More than 25 percent of China’s oil imports come from Riyadh. And China, predictably, is the GCC’s top trading partner. The Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange went into business in March 2018.

Any oil producer, from anywhere, can sell in Shanghai in yuan today. This means that the balance of power in the oil markets is already shifting from the US dollar to the yuan. The catch is that most oil producers prefer not to keep large stashes of yuan; after all, everyone is still used to the petrodollar. Cue to Beijing linking crude futures in Shanghai to converting yuan into gold. And all that without touching China’s massive gold reserves. This simple process happens via gold exchanges set up in Shanghai and Hong Kong. And not by accident, it lies at the heart of a new currency to bypass the dollar being discussed by the EAEU. Dumping the dollar already has a mechanism: making full use of the Shanghai Energy Exchange’s future oil contracts in yuan.

That’s the preferred path for the end of the petrodollar. US global power projection is fundamentally based on controlling the global currency. Economic control underlies the Pentagon’s ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’ doctrine. Yet now, even military projection is in shambles, with Russia maintaining an unreachable advance on hypersonic missiles and Russia-China-Iran able to deploy an array of carrier-killers. The Hegemon – clinging to a toxic cocktail of neoliberalism, sanction dementia, and widespread threats – is bleeding from within. De-dollarization is an inevitable response to system collapse. In a Sun Tzu 2.0 environment, it is no wonder the Russia-China strategic partnership exhibits no intention of interrupting the enemy when he is so busy defeating himself

Read more …

“Let’s take a walk with him across the current wasteland. Mr. Lavrov, you’re the star of the show.”

Mr. Lavrov’s New York Shuffle (Pepe Escobar)

Now picture a true gentleman, the foremost diplomat of these troubled times, in total command of the facts and endowed with a delightful sense of humor, taking a perilous walk on the wild side, to quote iconic Lou Reed, and emerging unscathed. In fact, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s New York moment – as in his two interventions before the UN Security Council on April 24 and 25 – performed the diplomatic equivalent of bringing the house down. At least the sections of the house inhabited by the Global South – or Global Majority. April 24, during the 9308th meeting of the UNSC under the agenda “Maintenance of international peace and security, effective multilateralism through the protection of the principles of the UN Charter”, was particularly relevant. Lavrov stressed the symbolism of the meeting happening on the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, deemed quite significant by a 2018 UN General Assembly resolution.


In his preamble, Lavrov noted how “in two weeks, we will celebrate the 78th anniversary of Victory in World War II. The defeat of Nazi Germany, to which my country made a decisive contribution with the support of the Allies, laid the foundation for the post-war international order. The UN Charter has become its legal basis, and our organization itself, embodying true multilateralism, has acquired a central, coordinating role in world politics.” Well, not really. And that brings us to Lavrov’s true walk on the wild side, pinpointing how multilateralism has been trampled. Way beyond torrents of denigration by the usual suspects, and their attempt to submit him to an ice cold shower in New York, or even confine him to the – geopolitical – freezer, he prevailed. Let’s take a walk with him across the current wasteland. Mr. Lavrov, you’re the star of the show.

Read more …

“..once again are loudly confirming their direct involvement in the conflict.”

West No Longer Hides Planning Of Kiev’s Counteroffensive – Zakharova (TASS)

The West is no longer hiding that it is really behind the planning for Ukraine’s much-vaunted counteroffensive, and will pull out all the stops to ensure its success, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday. “The West openly states that it will do everything possible to make the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian armed forces, which is planned for the near future, a success. That is to say, as you can imagine, they do not even hide that they are behind all this military planning, not only tactical guidance, which we have repeatedly talked about, but also the ongoing disposition [of forces] according to their strategic plan,” she said.


Zakharova also stressed that representatives of Western countries, by openly demanding that the Russian side suffer the maximum possible losses, “once again are loudly confirming their direct involvement in the conflict.” On Tuesday, the New York Times, citing classified Pentagon and US intelligence documents that surfaced on the Internet, reported that the Ukrainian armed forces planned to launch a counteroffensive in the south next month. According to the newspaper, by the end of April, Ukraine is expected to have prepared 12 combat brigades with a complement of 4,000 servicemen each.

Read more …

“..providing as many weapons as possible to Kiev is the best way to facilitate peace in Ukraine..”

NATO Gives 1,550 Armored Vehicles, 230 Tanks To Ukraine – Stoltenberg (TASS)

More than 98% of the combat vehicles that NATO promised to Ukraine have already been delivered, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday. “Overall, through the Contact Group led by the United States, NATO Allies and partners have provided unprecedented support to Ukraine. More than 98% of the combat vehicles promised to Ukraine have already been delivered. That means over 1,550 armored vehicles, 230 tanks and other equipment, including vast amounts of ammunition. In total we have trained and equipped more than nine new Ukrainian armored brigades,” he pointed out at a meeting with Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in Brussels.


According to Stoltenberg, NATO believes that providing as many weapons as possible to Kiev is the best way to facilitate peace in Ukraine because it will allow President Vladimir Zelensky’s regime to be in a strong negotiating position. However, the NATO chief warned against underestimating the Russian army, and claimed that Russia was sending thousands of troops to attack the city of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine). Bettel, in turn, noted that Luxembourg did not have weapons to send to Ukraine, which was why it was making a financial contribution, paying for what Kiev was asking for.

Read more …

“..the importance of showcasing foreign weapons on the battlefield..”

Ukrainian Air Defense ‘Depleting’ – Minister (RT)

Kiev is running out of Soviet-made anti-aircraft missiles and needs the US and its allies to provide more weapons, including fighter jets, to close the gap with Russia, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov has said. “We have a Soviet [air defense] system, and its missile reserves are depleting. If we don’t produce them and only nations, from which we can’t get them, have more, we need to replenish them with something else,” Reznikov stated in an interview with national media on Thursday. The minister said Western-made anti-aircraft systems and an increasing number of missiles compatible with them are Kiev’s goals, as was acquiring fighter jets from NATO. “A modern generation 4++ plane is a fully-fledged part of air defense. Once we have them, they will close the gaps left by our soviet systems,” Reznikov said, expressing certainty that his nation will be able to work through Western resistance.

The US and its allies have been reluctant to send these types of weapons to Ukraine. Kiev needs sponsors to pledge to provide not only the fighter jets, but also all the munitions and maintenance services they require, the minister explained. “Some nations signed off on tanks, and what we see is them giving four or six, not 200 or 300.” Kiev’s problems with air defense were exposed by purported classified Pentagon assessments leaked online. A late February estimate predicted that most types of Soviet missiles would be gone by May, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. The US military proposed covering the shortfall with supplies of German Iris-T and American NASAMS and Patriot systems, according to the leak.

In the interview, Reznikov stressed the importance of showcasing foreign weapons on the battlefield for Kiev’s effort to maintain the flow of arms into the country. He recalled how he used a photo of an Australian-provided Bushmaster armored vehicle for that purpose. “I said: ‘I urgently need a video with a thank you to the Australian people.’ The guys recorded a message of gratitude in English, and I sent [it] through our ambassador to Australia,” he stated. “We said we needed more Bushmasters.” Kiev has long promised to use Western arms and training to launch a major counteroffensive against Russia sometime this spring and reclaim territory, but so far it has failed to materialize. Reznikov said the expectations for the operation have been overblown. Several Western media outlets have also warned that Kiev’s military achievements during the future push against Russia may prove to be lackluster and undermine requests for more military assistance.

Read more …

“Apparently Brussels has an endless supply of taxpayer cash to toss at the problems that it creates for itself..”

The EU Has Spilled Ukrainian Grain Meant For Africa All Over Itself (Marsden)

Leave it to the EU to manage parlaying food hogging into a disaster. Well, for everyone except perhaps Spain, the recipient of 16% of all grain shipments under the deal, which is reportedly using it to increase its production and export of pork by feeding the food destined for humans to Spanish pigs. Other EU farmers now need bailouts. “This is support for the farmers affected by the increase of imports from Ukraine, not for the consequences of the war,” said EU Agriculture Commissioner Janus Wojciechowski. “We have a ‘reserve’ for the crisis and we used only €56 million for the specific situation.” What a bargain! Only a few tens of billions of euros to fix an entirely self-made problem. Yet another resounding demonstration of competence by the big-brained Brussels bureaucrats.

There have been blatant indications for months that the plan was veering towards disaster. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out in January that 44% of Ukrainian grain was ending up in the EU. And with their own grains devalued as a result of their flooded markets, European farmers don’t seem happy about being made unwitting martyrs for Ukraine. They have been pushed out of their own markets in order to keep cash from grain sales flowing to Kiev. “In effect, prices in local/regional markets have dropped causing a significant impact on farmers’ income. The Commission is not reacting swiftly enough. Our members had already flagged the concerns about market disruptions last year,” said Paulo Gouveia, chief policy advisor for the European farmers cooperative, Copa-Cogeca. Apparently, the farmers just don’t have much of an appreciation for the amount of time it took for Brussels to amass the massive pile of cash required to cushion its policy disaster as it circled back and crash-landed on the EU’s own citizens and economy.

Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia have all sounded the alarm over the impact of the grain glut. “We have proven through statistical data and figures that Hungarian farmers are indeed incurring huge losses because of the grain going through the solidarity lane staying in Hungary instead of reaching its intended destination,” said Hungarian Agriculture Minister Istvan Nagy. Nagy says that Hungarian farmers have lost up to 37% of their income over the Ukrainian grain, driving down the price of local supply. But the EU initially denied Hungary’s and Slovakia’s requests for assistance and has only more recently considered another round of compensation that includes them. Nagy described the initial choice to exclude them as political, even though Slovakia has since evoked health concerns related to findings of unauthorized pesticides on Ukrainian wheat. And now Brussels is paying lip service to their concerns with another €100 million, which is couch cushion cash for the EU compared to the billions it regularly tosses around.

All this flooding of the EU with Ukrainian grain could have been avoided if it had simply ensured that the grain was used for its stated purpose. Russian President Vlaidmir Putin has been warning all along that the food was being misdirected. “From August 1, 2022, to March 20, 2023, 827 ships left Ukraine, of which only 3 million tonnes of grain were sent to Africa and 1.3 million to the poorest countries in Africa. As I said, almost 45% went to well-fed European countries, despite the fact that this whole deal was presented under the pretext of ensuring the interests of African countries,” Putin underscored at the Russia-Africa Parliamentary Conference in Moscow earlier this year.

[..] Apparently Brussels has an endless supply of taxpayer cash to toss at the problems that it creates for itself, bailing out everyone from farmers to businesses over its own backfiring efforts to stick it to Russia amid the crisis in Ukraine. It’s becoming increasingly clear that what the EU desperately needs is some adult supervision, but the available candidates seem few and far between.

Read more …

“Those who like these rules of the game have the right to play by them. We don’t. This is what we rebelled against.”

Zakharova: Why US and EU Fear Russian Media (RT)

The European Parliament’s insistence that Serbia censor RT Balkans and Sputnik in order to “harmonize” with the EU is absurd, evil, and a manifestation of imperialism and colonialism, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. On Wednesday, the parliament’s foreign affairs committee adopted the report by Slovakian MEP Vladimir Bilcik, criticizing Serbia for not joining the EU sanctions against Russia and demanding Belgrade shut down Russian “disinformation” outlets just as the bloc has done. The US State Department has also called for a ban on RT Balkans. “It’s an absurd situation,” Zakharova told reporters at the daily briefing in Moscow on Thursday. “These statements speak for themselves. The West isn’t even hiding, but saying the quiet part out loud.”

The US and the EU are now openly saying that Russia, Russian culture and language, or Russian media and journalists, simply shouldn’t exist, Zakharova noted. She compared the European Parliament’s demands to calls by Ukrainian officials to “exterminate” the Russian population in Crimea and Donbass, saying they can only be described as “evil.” “The only possible thing to say is that this is an imperialist point of view, a manifestation of neo-colonialism. Some countries, without any moral grounds, illegally arrogate to themselves the right to model the world and its development at their own discretion: who can live, speak, trade, produce, have children, and who cannot,” Zakharova told reporters. “This is a modern version of slavery, in which the colonial powers claim the right to be considered masters, and others – their slaves.”

“Those who like these rules of the game have the right to play by them. We don’t. This is what we rebelled against.” The US and its allies, Zakharova argued, want Russia to have no opportunity to speak, because the very existence of Russian media threatens the Western plans for narrative manipulation. “Our media, journalists and outlets report from the epicenters of world events, based on facts, encourage people to critically evaluate reality (as they should),” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. “Apparently, this goes against the plans that the American rulers have to ‘zombify’ their own population.”

American television, Zakharova noted, presents a “a one-sided, practically sterilized, filtered and adjusted picture of the world,” having reached an “ideological dead end.” Any airing of alternative viewpoints threatens to expose this media ecosystem as biased and contradictory. RT Balkans began operations in November 2022. The EU reportedly plans to blacklist the outlet as part of its 11th package of sanctions against Russia. The bloc had banned all broadcasting activities by RT and Sputnik in March 2022, calling them “Russian propaganda” that endangered Ukraine. Major social media platforms have blocked RT accounts in the bloc, while YouTube extended the ban globally.

Read more …

“Today we are buying seeds abroad, because during Yeltsin’s time all the seed banks were destroyed, and the seed breeding stations were closed..”

In The Seeds War Who Is Burying Whom? (Helmer)

This week Russian grain and berry producers went public with a warning that new regulations proposed by the federal Ministry of Agriculture to implement new legislation on seed production, due to come into effect in September, will lessen competition in the domestic market, raise seed and farm product prices, reduce crop yields, and lower production volumes. “The draft regulation, On the approval of the rules for the localization of the production of seeds of agricultural plants on the territory of the Russian Federation — allows foreign companies to do business on the territory of our country only if they work jointly with Russia’s scientific institutes. The share of the latter in joint ventures must be at least 51%, otherwise the foreign seed producers will not be able to work on the Russian market and supply products.”


This statement was authored by the Russian Grain Union and the Berry Union, and leaked to Vedomosti, a Moscow business newspaper. With imported seeds accounting for 97% of commercial beet plantings, 72% for sunflowers, 69% for potatoes, 56% for corn, and between 75% and 100% for berries, forcing the exit of foreign companies from the Russian market will cause scarcity, price inflation, and consumer protest.

[..] “The fact is that our seed production in Russia was destroyed back in the 90s,” tomato breeder Tatiana Tereshkova told an industry publication a year ago. “Once we had specialized farms with special equipment and people. But since they completely switched to import, the farms were overturned, and the specialists went to other areas. Now all this needs to be revived from scratch. If the state considers that this is really necessary, then everything can be resuscitated. There are the people; there is also the will. The main thing is that there should be no indulgence towards foreign manufacturers. It seems to me that in two to three years we will cope if necessary.”

After President Yeltsin and his US proxies, acting prime minister Yegor Gaidar and Kremlin chief of staff Anatoly Chubais had destroyed the Soviet seed research and development centres, Russian agriculture lagged far behind other countries. The commercial incentives were also transformed in favour of imports of foreign seeds, plant stock, and insecticides and herbicides. According to Vitaly Barakhtenko, founder of the Museum of Seeds and Plant Protection Products in St. Petersburg, “across the world seeds are usually harvested from the equatorial zone, because there are the most favourable conditions on the planet: constant sun, stable temperature. Imagine, in winter and summer about 28 degrees! Under these conditions, the seeds develop much better. Plus, you can grow three to four crops. No greenhouse in Russia will give such a result. But you can approach it.”

“Today we are buying seeds abroad, because during Yeltsin’s time all the seed banks were destroyed, and the seed breeding stations were closed,” Arkady Dudov, a Leningrad region farmer told an agro-industry website. “It takes decades to revive all this. Here in Leningrad we kept the seed bank for the country safely underground . Above, during the Great Patriotic War, the city population under the blockade were dying of hunger, but they did not eat the seeds. And then Yeltsin blew it all. As a result, all the seeds we have now are Dutch and American. They sell us the hybrids that we grow. But we cannot immediately cultivate a clean line from these fruits, it takes five years to do this. I took care of this problem for myself seven years ago, got the first seeds, the first results. But at the local level, this is not supported in any way; on the contrary, they are strangling the farmers by all sorts of checks.”

Read more …

Pure horror.

Pfizer & FDA Knew About Safety Concerns For Pregnant And Nursing Women (CR)

No wonder Pfizer and the FDA sought to hide these documents from the public for 75 years. To this day, the medical field is pressuring pregnant women to get these terrible shots, but now we know that Pfizer was tracking safety concerns for these women from day one. As we observe plummeting birth rates and skyrocketing fetal losses throughout the world, it is now clear that Pfizer and the FDA were aware that the vaccine could spread through the placenta and breast milk, as later studies seemed to confirm. Where is the action from Congress? This affects all of humanity, including a generation yet to be born. The eight-page confidential document was dated April 20, 2021, but tracked 458 pregnant women and 215 lactating women from the time the shots were released until February 28, 2021. That was the same date that Pfizer already recorded over 1,200 deaths and over 1,000 categories of serious adverse events. Here are the gory details, courtesy of Trial Site’s Sonia Elijah.


Pregnancy
• 54% of the 458 pregnant women reported adverse events. These included symptoms in line with AEs experienced by others who took the shots.
• 53 of the women (11.6%) experienced miscarriages, which is definitely on the high end of what we should expect.
• Most notably, six of the babies experienced serious AEs that Pfizer admitted were caused by the vaccine transferring “transplacentally.” This likely caused them to be born prematurely. So Pfizer knew from day one not only that the shots do not remain in the shoulder muscle and do indeed spread throughout the body, but that the spike protein could spread to the placenta.

• Two of the babies died after suffering from known respiratory ailments associated with the spike protein (severe respiratory distress and pneumothorax) after their mothers received the vaccine during the second semester.
• One of the infants was born at 24 weeks, which is extremely precarious, yet Pfizer never followed up on the outcome, even though the company seemed to think the baby was exposed “via transplacental route.”
• Another premature baby developed fetal tachycardia (rapid heart rate) just one week after the mother received her second dose. The baby was hospitalized, but the company never followed up on the outcome. Surveys have shown 8%-13% of people suffered rapid heartbeat after getting the shots.

Read more …

Are these people for real?

Biden Energy Secretary Wants All US Military Vehicles To Be Electric By 2030

As if the US military was not already crippled by woke activism at the highest levels of the Department of Defense, the latest news suggests that the nation’s military vehicle fleet will be hobbled as well. Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, a Canadian born lawyer with no military background, testified Wednesday to the Senate Armed Services Committee that she supported requiring the United States military to move to an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030. That’s less than seven years. She added: “And I do think that reducing our reliance on the volatility of globally-traded fossil fuels where we know that global events, such as the war in Ukraine, can jack up prices for people back home – it does not contribute to energy security.” “I think energy security is achieved when we have homegrown, clean energy that is abundant, like you see in Iowa. We think we can be a leader globally in how we have become energy-independent…”

Her assertions rest on a number of fallacies. First, Granholm does not address where the energy would come from to power the lithium based batteries that an EV fleet would rely on. Generally, green energy options are highly inefficient and carbon based fuels are the primary source of electricity for much of the nation. They seem to think electricity is magic, but every time a climate activist charges up their EV they are most likely using “fossil fuels” to do it. Iowa is held up as a golden idol among climate activists for its large windmill farms that produce up to 40% of the state’s power, but such systems tend to fail under harsh conditions and are in no way portable, which makes one wonder why Granholm cited Iowa as a reference for justifying military EVs? The advantage of gas based vehicles over EVs is obvious – There is no long wait time for recharging, refueling is instant and access to a large energy producing source is not required.

In a war zone, there are few places to plug in your Tesla Humvee. Shifting to EVs would essentially bottleneck operations, making vehicles less independent with less range and easier to disrupt. Second, as a side note, gas prices were rising well before the war in Ukraine due to inflation caused by government mismanagement and central bank fiat money creation. Let’s stop trying to perpetuate the lie that Russia is somehow responsible for our economic troubles. Third, a few years ago the US was a net exporter of crude oil, and after Biden’s entry into the White House this advantage suddenly disappeared. This increased production along with the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline would have ensured US energy security for many years to come. That was until the government interfered with oil output and Biden blocked Keystone. He then began selling off US strategic oil reserves in order to artificially manipulate market prices down while depleting military resources.

It’s also important to realize that the lithium needed to create the batteries for EVs is primarily mined overseas in countries like China (often with child slave labor). How does switching to EVs reliant on lithium make US energy secure, let alone the military more capable? Fourth, there is no evidence of a “climate crisis.” It doesn’t exist. So why are we talking about this at all? There is no telling how much damage the climate agenda will ultimately do to US defensive capabilities, but the overall trend in energy is more and more centralization. Centralization, as opposed to redundancy, leads to weakness. The reduction of US carbon based energy and the over-reliance on a green electrical grid is expected to trigger skyrocketing consumer prices over the next several years. Transfer this dynamic of high cost and logistical uncertainty over to the military and you have a recipe for disaster.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Giraffe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651518468955467780

 

 

Parrot pump

 

 

Sea butterfly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651570161965514752

 

 

DogCat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1651676706862690330

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 252023
 


Piet Mondriaan Composition No. 10 1939-42

 

Western Minority’s Place In a Multilateral World (Sputnik)
No One Authorised The West To Speak On Behalf Of All Mankind – Lavrov (Pravda)
Biden Prepares For Ukraine Failure – Politico (RT)
Ukrainian Commander Laments State Of Army – El Pais (RT)
Ukraine Gets Afghan-Style Warning From US – Politico (RT)
US Had Secret Plan To Kill Wagner PMC Commanders – WaPo (RT)
US Talked Ukraine Out Of Attacking Russia – WaPo (RT)
The Green Party Has Turned Germany Eastern European (Lukyanov)
Germany’s Green Energy Delusion And Its Environmental, Economic Price Tag (RMX)
Warsaw Slams German Stance On Ukraine’s NATO Bid (RT)
Russia And Ukraine Still Trading With Each Other Is Crazy – Seymour Hersh (RT)
Elderly Politicians Threaten US System’s Ability To Perform (Blankenship)
The United States of Paralysis (Chris Hedges)
Protesters to be Prosecuted for Flipping Off the French President (Turley)
Big Lies and Bigger Lies (Kunstler)
The Sanctions Boomerang: Why Trade Bans Backfire (Kneissl)
Antony Blinken and the ‘Made Men’ of the Biden Administration (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Tucker

Greenwald Tucker

Tucker pizza

 

 

 

 

Tucker media

Tucker 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Washington and its allies have abandoned diplomacy and demanded a battlefield showdown within the halls of the UN, created to prevent the horrors of war..”

Western Minority’s Place In a Multilateral World (Sputnik)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov chaired Monday’s session of the UN Security Council, dedicated to “effective multilateralism.” In his opening remarks, he outlined the nature of the current conflict, which he said was really between the UN Charter and the “rules-based order” of the collective West. Lavrov also noted that the US had effectively denied visas to his accredited media pool, a move to which Moscow has vowed to respond in such a way “to make Americans remember that things should not be done in such a fashion.” The UN-centric system is going through a deep crisis caused by some members’ desire to replace international law with their “rules-based order,” Lavrov said. Such “rules” are invented ad hoc and applied to stop independent development. They are enforced through means ranging from military force to embargoes, financial sanctions, confiscation of property, “destruction of critical infrastructure” – likely a reference to Nord Stream sabotage – and “manipulation of universally agreed norms and procedures.” The WTO has been paralyzed, market mechanisms have collapsed, and the IMF has been turned into “an instrument for achieving the objectives of the US and its allies.”

“In a desperate attempt to assert its dominance by punishing the disobedient, the US has moved to destroy globalization, which for many years it extolled as the greatest good of all mankind,” said the Russian foreign minister. Now the US and its allies blacklist anyone who dissents from their “golden billion” and tell the rest of the world, “those who are not with us are against us.” Yet the “Western minority” has no right to speak for the entire world, Lavrov said. Its “rules-based order” amounts to rejection of sovereign equality, the key principle of the UN Charter, as evidenced by EU commissioner Josep Borrell’s infamous statement about the European “garden” and the “jungle” outside it. In addition to the string of US military “adventures” from Yugoslavia and Iraq to Libya, the worst violation of the UN Charter was its meddling in the affairs of post-Soviet states, Lavrov said. As examples, he brought up the “color revolutions” in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan and the 2014 coup in Kiev. When the UN sought to stop the ensuing war by endorsing the Minsk Agreements, they were “trampled by Kiev and its Western masters, who recently cynically and even proudly admitted that they never intended to fulfill them, but only wanted to buy time to pump Ukraine with weapons against Russia,” the Russian foreign minister added.

Today “it is clear to everyone” that the Ukraine conflict isn’t about Ukraine at all, but “about how international relations will be built: through crafting a stable consensus based on a balance of interests, or through aggressive and explosive promotion of hegemony,” Lavrov said. Russia has “honestly said what we are fighting for” in Ukraine, he added. The goals of its military operation are to eliminate the threat to its security posed by NATO, and protect the people whose rights recognized by international conventions have been systematically violated, by a regime that seeks to “expel and exterminate” them. The West has made a “brazen attempt to subjugate” the UN by taking over its secretariats and other international institutions, Lavrov told the Security Council. Washington and its allies have abandoned diplomacy and demanded a battlefield showdown within the halls of the UN, created to prevent the horrors of war. Genuine multilateralism “requires the UN to adapt to objective trends” of emerging multipolarity in international relations, the Russian foreign minister argued. The Security Council should be reformed to increase the representation of Africa, Asia and Latin America, as the current “exorbitant overrepresentation” of the West “undermines the principle of multilateralism.”

Read more …

“The Western minority should respect other members of the world community..”

No One Authorised The West To Speak On Behalf Of All Mankind – Lavrov (Pravda)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Kyiv could not represent residents of the Donbass after the 2014 coup. “Obviously, the Nazi Kiev regime cannot in any way be considered as a regime to represent residents of the territories who refused to accept the results of the bloody coup in February 2014 and against whom the putschists unleashed a war for that,” the minister said. Lavrov drew a comparison between Donbass residents and Kosovo Serbs, whom current Kosovo authorities can not represent. According to Lavrov, the European Union promised autonomy to the Serbs similarly to how Berlin and Paris promised a special status to the Donbass. The Western minority should respect other members of the world community, Sergei Lavrov also said speaking at a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.


“I want to address all the journalists who are now covering the meeting. Your colleagues from the Russian media were not allowed here, as the US Embassy in Moscow mockingly announced its readiness to issue them passports with visas at the time when our plane took off,” Lavrov said. The US Embassy in Moscow announced that visas for Russian journalists were ready after the plane of the Russian delegation took off. No one authorised the West to speak on behalf of all mankind, Lavrov said. Lavrov also said that the activities of the OSCE and the UN were a threat to USA’s global ambitions. “As then US Secretary of State Jim Baker told [President] George W. Bush: “The main threat to NATO is the OSCE,” Lavrov said. The Russian Foreign Minister arrived in New York on Monday, April 24. For the next two days, he will chair the meetings of the UN Security Council. Most of the Russian delegation received US visas to participate in the events, while some members were denied permits.

Read more …

Narrative shift.

Biden Prepares For Ukraine Failure – Politico (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s administration is “quietly preparing for the possibility” that Ukraine’s much-heralded offensive doesn’t deliver the “total victory” Kiev wanted, Politico reported on Monday, citing several anonymous officials. While the US government’s public support for Ukraine is “unwavering,” officials have expressed fears in private that the White House could be caught in a crossfire of criticism should the attack fall short of expectations, the outlet said. The ‘hawks’ would claim the US and its allies had not given Ukraine enough weapons and ammunition, while the ‘doves’ would see it as proof that Kiev can’t win. “If Ukraine can’t gain dramatically on the battlefield, the question inevitably arises as to whether it is time for a negotiated stop to the fighting,” Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, told Politico.

“It’s expensive, we’re running low on munitions, we’ve got other contingencies around the world to prepare for.” One official, who requested anonymity, said the US had “surged” weapons and equipment to Ukraine and “nearly completed” all that Kiev had asked for. But behind closed doors, the US is “worried about what Ukraine can accomplish.” The US military believes the conflict has bogged down in a trench war, with neither side able to advance very far or very fast. Politico originally reported that Ukraine had suffered 100,000 troops killed, but later changed that to refer to total casualties, including the wounded. The outlet also noted that Kiev’s forces have gone through “historic amounts of ammunition and weaponry,” and that “even the West’s prodigious output” has been unable to meet their needs.

The Pentagon now doubts that Ukraine can achieve its objective of reaching Crimea, though the US military still hopes it could “hamper” the Russian supply lines. A negotiated truce would be sold to both the Western and Ukrainian public as a temporary ceasefire, “leaving the door open for Ukraine to regain more of its territory at a future date,” some US officials told Politico. This has been done before, with the 2015 Minsk Agreement – according to recent admissions by the German and French leaders at the time – though the outlet did not bring that up. US officials also proposed to sweeten the deal with “NATO-like security guarantees” to Kiev, more money from the EU, and even more weapons for the Ukrainian military, while “re-engaging China” to push Russia into negotiating.

Read more …

“Professional soldiers… are already exhausted, injured or recovering. Or… dead..”

Ukrainian Commander Laments State Of Army – El Pais (RT)

Kiev needs more troops, ammunition and equipment to continue its military conflict with Moscow, Ukrainian Brigadier General Sergey Melnik told Spain’s El Pais in an interview published on Monday. Ukraine has already lost most of its professional soldiers as the conflict drags on, he admitted. “The problem is that we have a lack of people and equipment,” said the general, who commands troops near the Russian border in Kharkov Region. “Professional soldiers… are already exhausted, injured or recovering. Or… dead,” he added. Melnik said Kiev is now relying on “people without military experience,” who first need to be trained and have an “adequate [level of] preparation to face the enemy.”

According to El Pais, the general also “stressed several times during the interview” that Ukraine needs more air-defense systems, citing the threat posed by Russian aircraft. He also admitted that Kiev’s forces would need to gain massive superiority in manpower and firepower if they are to have any hope of succeeding with a planned counteroffensive. Ukraine will need “four to six times” as many troops as Moscow has fielded in its ongoing military campaign if it is to break through the defenses built by the Russian forces in their current positions, he told El Pais. He claimed that Ukraine has “enough weapons” to launch the expected offensive but said the more weapons Kiev’s troops get from the West, the better.

Earlier in April, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal told The Hill that the much-touted Ukrainian counteroffensive may not get underway until summer. He also called on Kiev’s Western backers to provide it with more weapons, including fighter jets. He also said Ukraine needed “more artillery, ammunition” and missiles. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported that the US and other Western nations are struggling to meet Ukraine’s demands and are “falling short” of supplying Kiev with enough military equipment and ammunition. A retired US Army colonel and former Pentagon adviser, Douglas Macgregor, also said this month that Russia was “winning” the fight in Ukraine as Kiev does not have enough resources for a successful offensive.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1650421370273030144

Read more …

“The warning came in the context of US fears that the “ever-imminent counteroffensive” by Kiev’s forces might fall far short of expectations..”

Ukraine Gets Afghan-Style Warning From US – Politico (RT)

The White House has given Ukraine the same warning delivered to the US-backed regime in Afghanistan in 2021, Politico reported on Monday citing anonymous sources in President Joe Biden’s administration. According to the outlet, Washington has urged Kiev not to spread its troops too thin or overextend its ambitions. This is what Biden reportedly told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at some point, before the US pulled out of Afghanistan and the Taliban took over the country. The warning came in the context of US fears that the “ever-imminent counteroffensive” by Kiev’s forces might fall far short of expectations, leaving Biden open to criticism from both hawks and doves, at home and in Europe. Politico originally reported that Ukraine had suffered 100,000 troops killed over the past 14 months, later editing that to refer to total casualties, including the wounded and missing.

Many of Kiev’s top soldiers were “either sidelined or exhausted,” the outlet said, having gone through “historic amounts” of weapons and ammunition even the West’s “prodigious output” could not keep pace with. Some US officials have reportedly pitched the idea of a negotiated ceasefire, leaving the door open for Kiev to resume hostilities after rearming and recovering. The US was supposed to leave Afghanistan by May 2021, according to a peace deal Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump had reached with the Taliban. Biden unilaterally delayed the departure by several months. As US troops began to withdraw, both Biden and his aides repeatedly told reporters that the Afghan government’s forces were capable of holding off the Taliban for at least several months.

Earlier this month, the White House released a report tacitly admitting a lot of things had gone wrong with the withdrawal, but blaming it all on Trump and the Afghans themselves. “No agency predicted a Taliban takeover in nine days,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “No agency predicted the rapid fleeing of President [Ashraf] Ghani … And no agency predicted that the more than 300,000 trained and equipped Afghan national security and defense forces would fail to fight for their country, especially after 20 years of American support.” The US-armed and -funded Afghan army had surrendered to the Taliban without much of a fight, and Kabul fell on August 15, before the US managed to finish the evacuation.

Read more …

In Africa.

US Had Secret Plan To Kill Wagner PMC Commanders – WaPo (RT)

US officials considered killing military leaders of the Russian private military company Wagner in an attempt to curb its allegedly growing influence in Africa, The Washington Post reported on Sunday. A document allegedly leaked by a US guardsman on a Discord server mentions dozens of options for “coordinated US and allied disruption efforts” against Wagner, including “kinetic” ones, the newspaper reported. The US also thought about providing information to help Ukraine kill commanders of the group in Africa, the document claims. The trove of documents showed little evidence that the CIA, the Pentagon and other US agencies have caused any major setbacks for Wagner in the past six years, according to the Post. They did mention a single “successful unattributed attack in Libya” that “destroyed a Wagner logistics aircraft,” but the newspaper didn’t provide details about the operation.

Western nations have long accused the Wagner group of spreading malign influence in Africa. Its head, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, has described the services provided by his employees as furthering the anti-colonialist aspirations of African nations. Anas El Gomati, a Libya-based commentator interviewed by the Post for its story, claimed that Wagner was “probably the most destabilizing actor” currently operating in the country. Libya was one of the most prosperous nations on the continent, before a NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi resulted in his brutal death in 2011. The country has since been fractured among warring factions. Another leaks-based story published by the Post on Monday pointed the finger at Ukraine’s military intelligence service GUR and its head, Kirill Budanov, as the would-be attackers against Wagner in Africa. The Ukrainian agency planned such an operation in Mali, an NSA document reportedly said.

The Post described Budanov as “an ambitious 37-year-old general and rising star in the Ukrainian military,” for whom US and European officials privately express “admiration” and whose “audacity sometimes makes them nervous.” Russia accused GUR of masterminding the attack on the Crimean Bridge last October. The powerful explosion killed the seemingly unwitting driver of a truck – carrying a disguised bomb as well as a couple in a car – which happened to be nearby when the device went off. Moscow has also blamed Ukrainian special services for the bomb assassinations of journalist Darya Dugina in August 2022 and military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky earlier this month. Behind closed doors, Washington is holding Kiev responsible for the first crime, according to US media outlets.

Read more …

“..the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate (HUR), Kirill Budanov, had instructed subordinates to “get ready for mass strikes on 24 February..”

US Talked Ukraine Out Of Attacking Russia – WaPo (RT)

Ukraine was planning a series of strikes on targets deep inside Russia, including Moscow, to mark the anniversary of the start of the conflict earlier this year but was talked out of the idea after late intervention by the US, the Washington Post has claimed. The outlet also cited unnamed Ukrainian officials as acknowledging that Washington has the final say in at least some of Kiev’s military operations. The Post alleged on Monday, citing leaked Pentagon documents, that the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence directorate (HUR), Kirill Budanov, had instructed subordinates to “get ready for mass strikes on 24 February” on several Russian cities. However, US officials were“secretly monitoring” Kiev’s plans and were concerned that Russia could unleash a devastating response, potentially including the use of tactical nuclear weapons, the paper claimed.

According to the Post, the CIA issued a classified report on February 22 stating that the Ukrainian intelligence agency “had agreed, at Washington’s request, to postpone strikes.” “Ukrainian officials have long privately said that the United States has de facto control over some military operations,” the paper added. One example is said to be that Kiev’s forces will not use advanced US-provided rocket systems without first confirming their targets with “US military personnel from a base in Europe.” The newspaper stated it was unclear which US officials exactly had intervened to stop the planned anniversary attacks, but noted that Washington had ordered its citizens to leave Russia in mid-February, indicating that the US was taking Ukraine’s alleged plans seriously.

Earlier this month, the FBI arrested 21-year-old US Air National Guard Jack Teixeira, who is suspected of posting classified Pentagon materials on at least one closed group on the Discord social media platform. While the Pentagon has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the leaked documents, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has said that the materials had “no business” being “on the front pages of newspapers or on television.” On Sunday, an explosives-laden drone was found some 30km to the east of Moscow after apparently crashing. Several Russian media outlets claimed that the UAV was of Ukrainian design, and was carrying Canadian-made block demolition charges.

Read more …

“Add to this the fact that Berlin is becoming the main center of the Russian anti-Kremlin diaspora, for both objective and subjective reasons, and you have a perfect picture of a 180-degree turn. Or, to use the Greens Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock’s own terminology, 360 degrees.”

The Green Party Has Turned Germany Eastern European (Lukyanov)

For decades, Germany has been an example of pragmatism within a common system, where Berlin (and previously Bonn) didn’t set the rules, but was left with an undeniable niche, in which it could pursue its own interests. That meant that despite being an ally of the US, it could maintain friendly relations with Moscow. The country is now moving into a qualitatively different area – that of Russia’s main opponent. As a chronicler of such processes, it is interesting to observe how quickly a transition can take place from one type of “special relationship” to another, diametrically opposed, stance.= The general tone in the political atmosphere is now set by the Greens, and this party has, from the outset, been a collection of more or less lofty like-minded moralists.

Therefore, in the spectrum of positions on Russia in NATO Europe, which are almost entirely negative but vary in intensity, Germany has now moved as much towards a conventional Eastern European stance as it had previously been a pillar of the normal Western European positioning. The guarantee that relations with Russia will not return to any kind of normalcy after the Ukraine war means that there will not be even the minimum conditions for a return to the old economic model, i.e. there won’t be any reverse in the “energy transition.” The general Western system remains intact, but there is a fundamental difference from earlier times. In the past, in return for ceding all security rights and privileges to its senior partner, the US, Germany was allowed to operate its own commercial sphere of influence and it had permission to pursue economic expansion to the East.

Now, in exchange for Washington’s promise to maintain the security umbrella, Berlin is prepared to abandon its previous understanding of pragmatism, radically change its economic system in a direction that suits the US, and take on a greater share of the military burden. As a result, efforts to educate the German elite in the principles of unconditional Atlanticism, in which enormous effort has been invested for decades, are now paying off 200%. Add to this the fact that Berlin is becoming the main center of the Russian anti-Kremlin diaspora, for both objective and subjective reasons, and you have a perfect picture of a 180-degree turn. Or, to use the Greens Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock’s own terminology, 360 degrees.

Read more …

“..it is impossible to supply the economy with gas or oil, or even to heat houses and apartments, with ideology or political statements instead of actual supply chains.”

Germany’s Green Energy Delusion And Its Environmental, Economic Price Tag (RMX)

For a long time, nuclear energy has been one of the most divisive areas of energy policy in the EU’s supply. The technology offers stable energy supplies and has positive environmental and economic indicators, but the radical Green parties of Europe have worked hard to convince many that these plants should be closed. This has been achieved mainly in Germany and Austria. Downsizing has begun and further investment has become impossible. Reality, however, has shown that this ideology-driven energy policy comes at a heavy price. It was not by chance that energy policy expert Oliver Hortay recently recalled an estimate by a Berkeley University researcher that the social cost of German nuclear plant closures had already reached $12 billion a year. The threat of energy shortages in Europe has led to a change in the perception of nuclear power among EU citizens. In Germany, for example, the percentage of people who oppose nuclear power has fallen from 65 to 20 percent. But it seems that the will of the electorate does not matter.

“It’s a black day for climate protection in Germany,” Jens Spahn, a conservative member of the CDU, told RTL television the other day. It is hard to talk about a green transition when carbon emissions are rising. The huge expansion of solar and wind capacity in Germany is no guarantee of security of supply. The country is increasingly using coal instead of Russian gas. In fact, mines that had previously been closed down have had to be reopened, and a German energy company has even started to dismantle a wind farm to allow for the expansion of a neighboring coal mine. On average, 30,000 tons of coal are transported daily by trains from North Sea ports to large power stations across Germany. Last year, the war caused the country to increase its coal imports by 8 percent to 44.4 million tons. These are the hard facts.

The Greens went after gas boilers, too. They will now be banned in German homes from 2024. Greens say they cannot meet their climate commitments otherwise. However, it is coal-fired power stations, not residential gas boilers, that threaten climate targets. Péter Szijjártó, the Hungarian minister of foreign affairs and trade, often warns that it is impossible to supply the economy with gas or oil, or even to heat houses and apartments, with ideology or political statements instead of actual supply chains. In other words, the Hungarian government continues to treat energy security as a physical and not an ideological issue. That means it is not willing to give up working, proven and reliable sources. An ideology-driven energy policy is very expensive, has harmful consequences, and in the future, could even end with us freezing in our homes if an especially cold winter hits Europe.

Read more …

“..The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine could have been avoided altogether if Germany hadn’t tried to delay Kiev’s membership of NATO..”

Warsaw Slams German Stance On Ukraine’s NATO Bid (RT)

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine could have been avoided altogether if Germany hadn’t tried to delay Kiev’s membership of NATO, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Piotr Wawrzyk has claimed. “It’s known that France, Germany, and countries in Western Europe, in general, have always been against Ukraine joining either the EU or NATO,” Wawrzyk told Polskie Radio on Sunday. Recent comments by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius were a sign that Berlin’s opinion is unlikely to change, the diplomat insisted. Pistorius suggested on Thursday that “this is not the time to decide”about Ukraine’s place in NATO. The bloc’s members should consider this issue “with a cool head and a hot heart. Not the other way around,” he said.

“The question is when will the time for those ‘cool heads’ arrive? Five, ten or 30 years after the war [in Ukraine]?” Wawrzyk asked. “If Germany… had not tried to delay Ukraine’s accession into NATO, if Ukraine had received an invitation to join the alliance many years ago in Munich, there wouldn’t have been a war in Ukraine today,” he claimed. Warsaw, which has been among Kiev’s main backers in the EU during the conflict, is “constantly trying to convince the Western partners to change their minds and for Ukraine to join the alliance as soon as possible,” the deputy foreign minister said. “In our opinion, the sooner this happens, the better, because it’ll be a guarantee of security not only for Ukraine and Poland, but also for the entire region,” he said.

Russia, which considers NATO’s eastward expansion a major security threat, had singled out the need to prevent Ukraine from joining the US-led bloc among the main reasons for its military operation in its neighboring country more than a year ago. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed during his visit to Kiev last week that “all NATO allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member,” but didn’t specify when exactly it would happen. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov reacted to Stoltenberg’s statement by saying “NATO’s continued line of absorbing and drawing Ukraine” into the bloc was further proof that Moscow’s decision to launch its military operation was the right one.

Read more …

“I don’t know [whether] I should be giggling about it because it’s really quite a crazy situation..”

Russia And Ukraine Still Trading With Each Other Is Crazy – Seymour Hersh (RT)

Russia and Ukraine, despite being locked in an armed conflict, continue to trade products and services with each other, a situation that journalist Seymour Hersh described as “quite crazy” in an interview with the TV show ‘Going Underground.’ “Oil and money transcends any sort of rationality, I guess,” Hersh said in the interview aired by RT on Monday. He added that it wasn’t too hard to find tell-tale signs of Ukrainian corruption. Hersh elaborated on his recent allegations of rampant graft in the Ukrainian government. The reporter has claimed that the CIA estimated that President Vladimir Zelensky and his entourage embezzled at least $400 million last year from the money provided by the US to buy diesel for the Ukrainian army. Overpriced fuel bought by Kiev allegedly came via the black market from Russia.

“All you have to do is look at the high life in Kiev today,” he said. “There is a really good high life: the fancy restaurants are going, you can find liquor stores with everything in it, there is a lot of money being pushed around.” Ukrainian officials have a long history of skimming from procurement contracts, and the conflict with Russia has not changed that, Hersh alleged. “Everybody is going to brokers. Everybody is now getting third parties involved, because it increases the chance for money on the side. And the corruption there is beyond belief,” he said. CIA Director William Burns raised the issue of corruption during his visit to Kiev in January, Hersh said, citing information he had been given by a source about the meeting. In addition to briefing Zelensky on complaints from Ukrainian generals about the president’s own alleged greed, the US spy chief listed 35 other alleged embezzlers.

The Ukrainian leader later fired 10 of the “most ostentatious” individuals, but others were “left untouched”, Hersh said, describing the crackdown on officials which the Ukrainian government conducted after Burns’ visit. Meanwhile, Russia continues to pay to Ukraine transit fees for oil and gas, pumped to Eastern Europe via pipelines through Ukrainian territory. The infrastructure was built during the Soviet era to supply consumers in the Warsaw Pact. Washington has described such trade as Moscow “weaponizing” its abundance of energy, Hersh noted. “I don’t know [whether] I should be giggling about it because it’s really quite a crazy situation,” he concluded.

Read more …

“..President Biden cannot confirm any federal judges without all Democratic Party Senators present on the Judiciary Committee including Feinstein..” “She has missed 58 votes, as of writing this piece, in the Senate over the last month..”

Elderly Politicians Threaten US System’s Ability To Perform (Blankenship)

In October of 1984, former US President Ronald Reagan, who was then an incumbent 73-year-old commander-in-chief, participated in the second presidential debate against his Democratic Party opponent Walter Mondale. The president was asked about his age and mental fitness for office by the moderator, given that he was then the oldest president in history, and responded famously: “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” This witty line, according to the Reagan Foundation, boosted his polls and helped cement his second term in office. It also helped normalize the fact that an American president could indeed be an elderly person, though, of course, it was revealed later that President Reagan suffered from Alzheimer’s disease during his presidency.

Donald Trump, and current President Joe Biden were both respectively the oldest presidents in American history. In fact, Biden is the first president to be 80 years old – and he recently stated that he would seek reelection in 2024, which would make him 86 by the time he completes his second term, if he wins that bid. However, the issue of an aging and perhaps out-of-touch president has not been simply an issue with the executive branch of government. In fact, the last Congress convened, the 117th Congress, was the oldest in American history with an average age of 59 and close to a quarter over 70. It was led by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who was 82 years old by the time she left office in January 2023. The current 118th Congress is the third-oldest since 1789 with an average of 58 years old.

While the 117th Congress broke the trend of an increasingly greater share of members over the age of 70 years old, still, the 118th Congress is older than the average American – the median age of the country’s population is 38. This is even with the election of the first Gen Z member of congress, 26-year-old Florida Congressman Maxwell Frost, who won his seat last November. All this raises questions over whether or not Congress can actually understand and tackle issues that are relevant to the typical American, i.e. people in their early middle age, and younger generations. There are also questions of whether there should be some age limit for members to actually be in Congress. After all, many argue, if there is a limit on young people and children participating in politics – shouldn’t there be an upper-age ceiling too?

It has been reported by Congressional insiders, including pharmacists, that the public would be surprised if they knew just how many of their representatives are prescribed medicine for dementia, which implies they are obviously not able to perform their mandate. The example of 89-year-old California Senator Dianne Feinstein is salient. She has missed 58 votes, as of writing this piece, in the Senate over the last month because of illness and her advanced age. Because of the current composition of the Senate, President Biden cannot confirm any federal judges without all Democratic Party Senators present on the Judiciary Committee including Feinstein, which is jeopardizing the function of the judiciary branch. She has not given any indication of when she will return – but has stated she will not seek reelection.

Read more …

“Those cast aside can participate in society, he writes, only through sadness.”..

The United States of Paralysis (Chris Hedges)

Democracies are slain with false promises and hollow platitudes. Biden told us as a candidate he would raise the minimum wage to $15 and hand out $2,000 stimulus checks. He told us his American Jobs Plan would create “millions of good jobs.” He told us he would strengthen collective bargaining and ensure universal pre-kindergarten, universal paid family and medical leave, and free community college. He promised a publicly funded option for healthcare. He promised not to drill on federal lands and to promote a “green energy revolution and environmental justice.” None of that happened. But, by now, most people have figured out the game. Why not vote for Trump and his grandiose, fantasy-driven promises? Are they any less real than those peddled by Biden and the Democrats? Why pay homage to a political system that is about betrayal?

Why not sever yourself from the rational world that has only brought misery? Why pay fealty to old truths that have become hypocritical banalities? Why not blow the whole thing up? As research by professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page underscores, our political system has turned the consent of the governed into a cruel joke. “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence,” they write. The French sociologist Emile Durkheim in his book “On Suicide” called our state of hopelessness and despair, anomie, which he defined as “rulelessness.”

Rulelessness means the rules that govern a society and create a sense of organic solidarity no longer function. It means that the rules we are taught — hard work and honesty will assure us a place in society; we live in a meritocracy; we are free; our opinions and votes matter; our government protects our interests — are a lie. Of course, if you are poor, or a person of color, these rules were always a myth, but a majority of the American public was once able to find a secure place in society, which is the bulwark of any democracy, as numerous political theorists going back to Aristotle point out. Tens of millions of Americans, cast adrift by deindustrialization, understand that their lives will not improve, nor will the lives of their children. Society, as Durkheim writes, is no longer “sufficiently present” for them. Those cast aside can participate in society, he writes, only through sadness.

Read more …

I can totally see Napoleon do that.

Protesters to be Prosecuted for Flipping Off the French President (Turley)

Five years ago, I wrote a column criticizing Democratic and Republican members of Congress who joined the media in gushing over an address from French President Emmanuel Macron as he called for European style censorship. Free speech has been in a virtual free fall in France for decades and Macron is a major voice in that movement. This week, the French added another outrage to Macron’s legacy by promising to prosecute three citizens who protested the President by flipping him off at an event. The use of “Le Doigt” could now land them in “La Prison.” The three will be prosecuted under France’s abusive criminal code that allows for the arrest of those who engage in speech that “affect the personal dignity or the respect owed to a public official.” It is a breathtaking denial of political speech and invites selective prosecution.

If convicted, they could face a fine of 15,000 euros and potentially up to one year in prison, according to La Chaîne Info. Macron has hit a record low in polling, but his government will now enforce respect for him through threats of incarceration. France has been a leader in the rollback on free speech in the West with ever widening laws curtailing free speech. These laws criminalize speech under vague standards referring to “inciting” or “intimidating” others based on race or religion. For example, fashion designer John Galliano has been found guilty in a French court on charges of making anti-Semitic comments against at least three people in a Paris bar. At his sentencing, Judge Anne Marie Sauteraud read out a list of the bad words used by Galliano to Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgitti, including using ‘dirty whore” in criticism.

In another case, the father of French conservative presidential candidate Marine Le Pen was fined because he had called people from the Roma minority “smelly.” A French mother was prosecuted because her son went to school with a shirt reading “I am a bomb.” A French teenager was charged for criticizing Islam as a “religion of hate.” Yet, our leaders (and many in the media) were ecstatic when Macron came to the Congress and called for a joint war against “fake news,” declaring, “Democracy is about true choices and rational decisions. The corruption of information is an attempt to corrode the very spirit of our democracies.” Nothing says Democracy like jailing those who do not show you respect.

The anti-free speech wave has now reached our own shores and many like Hillary Clinton have even called on Europeans to censor Americans on social media if Twitter or other companies fail to do so. Many have argued (falsely) that hate speech is not protected under our Constitution, including members of Congress. In France, the middle finger is not free speech when directed at a public official. Likewise, speech considered harmful or disrespectful to particular groups is barred. It is all about instilling good virtue but punishing the wicked. After all, as Maximilien Robespierre taught the French, “Terror is only justice: prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue.”

Read more …

“Joe Biden” will either be impeached for real high crimes and misdemeanors, or he will be bum-rushed out of the White House on some medical pretext before Independence Day..”

Big Lies and Bigger Lies (Kunstler)

“If you’re going to lie,” Joseph Goebbels used to say (in German of course), “make it a whopper.” How did that work out for the Third Reich? Today, The New York Times says “Joe Biden” is revving up to run for president again in 2024. Is that so? One DNC strategist, Maria Cardona, was quoted saying, “Democrats complain that he might be too old. But then, when they’re asked, ‘Well, who?’ There is no one else.” There you have the sucking chest wound at the center of the Democratic Party, a malodorous vacuum where, as they like to say, democracy dies in darkness. You understand, this is exactly what you get when all you do is tell lies, always and everywhere, about everything. Now I will tell you the truth: “Joe Biden” will not be running for president ever again.

“Joe Biden” will either be impeached for real high crimes and misdemeanors, or he will be bum-rushed out of the White House on some medical pretext before Independence Day. “Joe Biden’s” crimes have finally caught up with him. He sold out his country. The facts have been out in plain sight since before a coalition of rogues and frauds stuffed him into the Oval Office, January, 2021. As vice-president under Mr. Obama, “JB” was allowed to run a global grifting operation that netted his family tens of millions. (Mr. Obama received plenty of his own sanitized grift in the form of absurdly large book deals and TV contracts, enough swag to lead the deluxe life of a senior panjandrum. His job, post-presidency, was to feed the Woke hustle with an occasional speech and otherwise shut up.)

The coalition of rogues and frauds, a.k.a. the permanent bureaucracy or the Deep State, had committed so many crimes since 2016 that its sole agenda turned to driving the one-man wrecking-crew called Donald Trump out of office and making sure he never got close to a lever of power again, by any means necessary. That is still all that animates this gang. They managed to roll enough of the American public in the process to maintain power and influence over them via control of the news, censorship, and use of their captive legal system to harass and punish their enemies. And now it’s all falling apart.

Read more …

Karin Kneissl is an Austrian former Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“..every government from Riyadh to Beijing understood that such sanctions can happen to them as well..”

The Sanctions Boomerang: Why Trade Bans Backfire (Kneissl)

Although sanctions rarely perform as intended, the west’s weaponization of currencies, financial services, and insurance coverage continues to grow unabated, with the EU now proposing its eleventh package of sanctions against Russia. With every sanctions ruling, loopholes and circumvention remain an issue, invariably leading to the constant upgrading of further sanctions. Despite Washington’s extreme belligerence on this front, many US companies have remained in Russia to hedge their bets and observe the local market, including analytical services such as Platts, which provides data on the energy market. British Petroleum remains a shareholder in Russian energy giant Rosneft – albeit without exercising its vote – and spare parts for German cars in Russia are still traded via third states.

As seen in the recent Moscow visit of China’s new Defense Minister Li Shangfu to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, sanctions often boomerang on those who create them. In this case, they have brought two major US adversary states into an effective alliance. Economists Patricia Adams and Lawrence Adams recently penned an article for the American Thinker in which they define the west’s sweeping sanctions on Russia as “the most monumental miscalculation in modern history.” The IMF has raised its forecast for Russia’s economy substantially for the third time in a row – despite sanctions and a slew of other western ‘punishments,’ Russia is expected to see positive growth in both 2023 and 2024. In addition, an unprecedented global trend toward de-dollarization is having a significant impact on energy trades that have long been conducted in the petrodollar, with geopolitical ramifications across West Asia and beyond.

Instead, the petro-yuan is gradually shifting into sight – witnessed this year with the French multinational TotalEnergies’ sale of an Emirati liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo to China National Offshore Oil Corp, with payment settled in yuan through the Shanghai Petroleum & Gas Exchange (SHPGX). When the US and its allies blocked access by most Russian banks to the Belgium-based global financial messaging system, SWIFT, and froze some $300 billion in Russian foreign exchange reserves, every government from Riyadh to Beijing understood that such sanctions can happen to them as well. This realization has prompted many countries to take action to decrease their vulnerability to sanctions, with China creating a new financial infrastructure outside US control and pushing for commodity suppliers to short-circuit the dollar. The establishment of a BRICS bank as a counterweight to the IMF is just one more step in that direction.

Read more …

“..many people are less interested in what Blinken is doing as secretary of state than in what he did to become secretary of state..”

Antony Blinken and the ‘Made Men’ of the Biden Administration (Turley)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken would really, really prefer to talk about grain in Ukraine this week. But many people are less interested in what Blinken is doing as secretary of state than in what he did to become secretary of state. This week, Blinken was implicated in a political coverup that could well have made the difference in the 2020 election. According to the sworn testimony of former acting CIA Director Michael Morrell, Blinken – then a high-ranking Biden campaign official – was “the impetus” of the false claim that the Hunter Biden laptop story was really Russian disinformation. Morrell then organized dozens of ex-national security officials to sign the letter claiming that the Hunter laptop story had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” Morrell further admitted that the Biden campaign “helped to strategize about the public release of the statement.”

Finally, he admitted that one of his goals was not just to warn about Russian influence but “to help then-Vice President Biden in the debate and to assist him in winning the election.” Help it did. Biden claimed in a presidential debate that the laptop story was “garbage” and part of a “Russian plan.” Biden used the letter to say “nobody believes” that the laptop is real. In reality, the letter was part of a political plan with the direct involvement of his campaign, but Biden never revealed their involvement. Indeed, over years of controversy surrounding this debunked letter, no one in the Biden campaign or White House (including Blinken) revealed their involvement. Of course, the letter was all the media needed. Discussion of the laptop was blocked on social media, and virtually every major media outlet dismissed the story before the election.

That was also all Biden needed to win a close election. The allegations that the Biden family had cashed in millions through influence peddling could have made the difference. It never happened, in part because of Blinken’s work. Once in power, Blinken was given one of the top Cabinet positions. He was now one of the “made” men of the administration. He was not alone. The 2016 election was marred by false allegations of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Unlike the influence peddling allegations made against Biden, the media ran with those stories for years. It later turned out that the funding and distribution of the infamous Steele dossier originated with the Clinton campaign. The campaign, however, reportedly lied in denying any such funding until after the election. It was later sanctioned for hiding the funding as legal expenses.

Those involved in spreading this false story were rewarded handsomely. For example, the second collusion story planted in the media by the campaign concerned the Russian Alfa Bank. The campaign used key Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, who went public with the entirely false claim of a secret back channel between Moscow and the Trump campaign. Sullivan was also a “made” man who was later made Biden’s national security adviser. Others who were implicated in either the Steele dossier or Alfa Bank hoaxes also later found jobs in the administration. The Brookings Institution proved a virtual turnstile for these political operatives.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escher

 

 

Escher’s Rubik’s cube
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650505621437857792

 

 

Naked bird
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650575337020076033

 

 

Kulning
https://twitter.com/i/status/1650563147084750849

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 112023
 
 March 11, 2023  Posted by at 9:43 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Edward Hopper The barber shop 1931

 

Banking Rout Rattles Global Markets (RT)
The Real-World Impact Of SVB’s Failure (ZH)
The US Opts For Ham Handed Political Gestures (Larry Johnson)
US Must Pull Troops Out Of Syria, Stop Marauding – China (TASS)
Russia And China Dominate Washington’s Mindset (Gupta)
Moveable Multipolarity in Moscow: Ridin’ the ‘Newcoin’ Train (Escobar)
Pope Francis Sees Countries’ ‘Imperial Interests’ In Ukraine Conflict (TASS)
West Was Seeking Pretext To ‘Get Its Claws Into’ Russia – Lavrov (TASS)
Lavrov: Western Media Version Of Nord Stream Events ‘Incoherent Babble’ (TASS)
CIA Issued Advance Nord Stream Warning To Allies – WSJ (RT)
Everything, All at Once (Kunstler)
Lavrov Likens Protests In Georgia To 2014 Kiev Coup (RT)
Irish MEP Blasts West’s ‘Criminal’ Approach To Ukraine (RT)
Borrell: EU To Increase Financial & Military Support To Ukraine (Az.)
France’s First Lady Fails In Transgender Lawsuit (RT)

 

 

 

 

Nap/Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arestovich

 

 

 

 

Shaman

 

 

 

 

And nobody saw anything coming?

Banking Rout Rattles Global Markets (RT)

European and Asian stock markets plummeted on Friday, following a rout in US equities amid liquidity concerns in the banking sector. The meltdown was triggered by US bank SVB Financial, known as Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which plunged 60% on Thursday after revealing that it needed to raise more than $2 billion in capital to offset losses from bond sales. The announcement rocked financial stocks, with Euro Stoxx Banks index on Friday on pace for its worst day since June, led by a decline of more than 8% for Deutsche Bank. Societe Generale, HSBC, ING Group and Commerzbank all tumbled more than 5%. Asian stocks suffered their worst day in five months, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plummeting 3% on losses in heavyweight technology stocks. The Shanghai Composite dropped 1.4%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.67%.

Investors started offloading US bank stocks on Thursday after SVB, a major lender to the tech industry, announced aggressive measures to support its balance sheet. The bank had reportedly been forced to sell all of its available-for-sale bonds at a $1.8 billion loss as its startup clients withdrew deposits. The news, which follows the collapse of the crypto-focused bank Silvergate, led to another wave of deposit withdrawals, people familiar with the matter told CNBC. All of this led to the four largest US banks – JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup – seeing their stock prices lose a cumulative $52 billion in a single day.

SVB, which had a market value of $16.8 billion to end last week, was worth $6.3 billion as of Thursday. “The issues at SVB have been like a cold shower and with the Fed having just countenanced the idea of faster hikes once again, the potential for a very unhappy equity market should the jobs data surprise on the upside is very real indeed,” James Athey, investment director at global investment company Abrdn, told Bloomberg. “It has always been the case that the sort of hikes we have seen from the Fed were going to cause problems somewhere,” he added.

Read more …

FDIC guarantees up to $250k. Over 90% of SVB accounts held more than that. “About 37,000 customers accounted for nearly $157 billion or 74% of the bank’s assets with an average account size of over $4 million….at the end of 2022, 87% of the bank’s $173 billion in deposits were uninsured.”

Trying to find some stuff in between all the graphs ad stats. Here’s two threads ZH picked up on:

The Real-World Impact Of SVB’s Failure (ZH)

Brad Hargreaves explains in a brief thread how SVB’s closure & receivership is going to have a massive impact on the tech ecosystem. “SVB was not just a dominant player in tech but were highly integrated in some nontraditional ways. A few things we’ll see in the coming days / weeks… One, SVB was incredibly integrated into the lives of many founders. Not just their startup’s bank & lender, but also provided personal mortgages and other financial services. A whole mess for FDIC (or the eventual buyer) to unwind. Two, any “uninsured” balances at SVB – those above $250K – are in jeopardy. FDIC plans to pay them out “as it sells the assets of SVB”. Lots of startups exclusively banked with SVB as *this was a covenant of their debt*!

CEOs yesterday faced a hard choice: Pull your deposits and go into default on your venture debt or risk losing everything if the bank failed. Many chose to hold tight as SVB’s outright failure seemed outlandish. Now they may not be able to make payroll next week. Unpaid wages pierce the corporate veil, so boards are *incredibly* sensitive to employing workers they may not be able to pay. Expect mass layoffs later today, Monday at latest. And given the weak fundraising environment, a number of startups have been reliant on venture lenders – e.g., SVB – not aggressively pursuing amortization of debt or triggering default for covenant foot faults (e.g., cash balances). How will the FDIC handle this? Mass defaults?

Having run a startup through the GFC, this is the first thing I’ve seen since that is even vaguely reminiscent of that time. Total clusterfuck. One more thing: SVB also offered *wealth management services* to many of its founders. So your corporate lender, corporate bank, personal mortgage lender, and family’s wealth manager is… all one bank, which is now in FDIC receivership. Fun. JPow got his fucking debt crisis alright.”

[..] Garry Tan, the CEO of YCombinator echoes what we said just two days ago, namely that “this is an *extinction level event* for startups and will set startups and innovation back by 10 years or more” and warns that “30% of YC companies exposed through SVB can’t make payroll in the next 30 days.”

“The most important thing the FDIC and the US Government can do right now is *make the receivership as short as possible* There are thousands of US startups that banked at SVB, often as their *sole bank*. $250K per account is not going to last long. The #1 pressing issue for these startups is *payroll* – you can’t have people work if you can’t pay them. This means mass furlough. It might mean thousands of startups die before the FDIC gets through its receivership process and releases the funds. From what I hear, there are venture debt options coming from providers like Brex, but we’re going to need *a lot* of options in order to avoid a mass shutdown of all American startups in the next few weeks.

This is an *extinction level event* for startups and will set startups and innovation back by 10 years or more. BIG TECH will not care about this. They have cash elsewhere. All little startups, tomorrow’s Google’s and Facebooks, will be extinguished if we don’t find a fix. 30% of YC companies exposed through SVB can’t make payroll in the next 30 days. If you or your company are affected, I recommend that you reach out to your local congressman to get this on their radar TODAY. Now.

Pomboy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634364937072959492

Read more …

50 feet is a nice sized boat. But how do you get 6 people to sit and sleep on it, along with tons of equipment?!

The US Opts For Ham Handed Political Gestures (Larry Johnson)

In theory, a covert operation is supposed to be elegant, sophisticated and smart. But that is not the case with the United States these days. Ham-fisted and clumsy are more apt descriptors. Yesterday’s simultaneous release of a new account of who destroyed the Nordstream pipeline in the New York Times, Die Zeit and a London paper placing the blame on shadowy pro-Ukrainians was not a coincidence. This was a coordinated information operation and the media reaction to this news is quite telling. The same news outlets that strenuously ignored Sy Hersh’s explosive, detailed revelation that it was a U.S. operation with help from Norway stumbled over themselves to breathlessly report that an unidentified pro-Ukrainian group was the guilty party.


Bavaria Cruiser 50 – Sailing yacht Andromeda. Image: Spiegel

Die Zeit provided the most hilarity with their fantastic tale of six people on a private yacht carrying out the deed. Looks to me like Die Zeit was channeling a Gilligan’s Island episode. We had Ginger and Mary Ann, accompanied by the Professor, the Skipper, Thurston Howell and Gilligan. They set to sea with a 1000 pounds of high explosive and used their snorkel gear to plant the charge. I bet you it was Ginger and Mary Ann who planted the bomb, of course, was built by the crafty Professor. Take a look at Moon of Alabama’s detailed breakdown of the nonsense:


“No. You do not dive down to 80+ meter for an industrial size job, involving the placement of hundreds of pounds of explosives in eight individual charges on very sturdy pipelines, from a sparsely manned boat. Such deep dives require special gases, special breathing equipment, special training, a decompression chamber for emergencies and lots of well trained people to maintain all that stuff. All three articles neglected to point out that you cannot dive in regular scuba gear to 200 feet in an arctic sea. You need a dry suit (as my friend Mark says, you look like the Stay Puft marshmallow man). That suit requires some specialized support equipment that does not fit on a yacht. This is a desperate, juvenile attempt to shift the blame from the United States. I cannot wait to see what happens when Sy drops a new story on Nordstream.”

A competent intelligence service would have prepared a detailed story that was plausible and contained enough details to create doubt in the minds of those who accepted Sy’s account. Instead of releasing the same skimpy story in three different media outlets on the same day, the release should have been spread out over a few days or a week. This bungled attempt to shift the blame to Ukraine is just one more piece of evidence that America does not have a competent intelligence service.

Read more …

China yesterday brokered a peace deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia. China wants the fighting to stop, to safeguard the Belt and Road.

US Must Pull Troops Out Of Syria, Stop Marauding – China (TASS)

China calls on the US to withdraw its troops from Syria and to stop plundering that country, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a news briefing on Friday. “The United States has illegally intervened in military activities related to the Syrian crisis, which has led to the death of a large number of innocent civilians and a serious humanitarian disaster,” Mao said. “We call on the United States to sincerely respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of other countries, and to immediately stop its illegal military presence and marauding in Syria,” she said. Mao called on the US authorities to lift “illegal unilateral sanctions” against Syria and to stop actions that aggravate the humanitarian situation in the country.


According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, during the years of the Syrian crisis in the country at least 350,000 people have lost their lives to the military conflict, and 14 million are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. The House of Representatives of the US Congress on Wednesday failed to pass a resolution according to which the Washington administration should withdraw all US troops from Syria. The initiative was introduced in February by Republican Matt Gaetz, from Florida. He stressed that Congress had not given permission to use US forces in combat operations on Syrian territory. On March 4, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, visited Syria, where he claimed that the US military presence in the country was of critical importance to the security of both the United States and its allies.

Read more …

“The China-Russia axis is the biggest cause for concern for Washington because of “their shared threat perceptions of the US”..”

Russia And China Dominate Washington’s Mindset (Gupta)

A top US intelligence official has expressed concern that the Chinese government – under its powerful President Xi Jinping, who started his historic third term this week – could emerge as the most potent force on the global stage in alliance with Russia to weaken Washington’s influence. Earlier this week, Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence in the administration of US President Joe Biden, appeared before a Senate committee to present the annual threat assessment report. Asia Editor Joydeep Sen Gupta decodes the key pressure points of the report, which identifies Beijing as a ‘near-peer competitor’ in a changing world order, The report dwells on China-Russia bonhomie as one of the high points of the annual review, which seldom gets a makeover from year to year.

Significantly, the section on China is much more elaborate this year than in recent times. It reinforces the Biden administration’s growing focus on Asia’s biggest economy, which is seen as punching above its weight in its bid to challenge the US’ military might. The report makes reference to China’s “capability to directly attempt to alter the rules-based global order in every realm and across multiple regions,” while acknowledging Beijing’s exalted status. The report identifies Beijing as a “near-peer competitor” for its ability to threaten its neighbors (read India). Simultaneously, it takes note of Russia’s “unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine” that “has emerged as a defining characteristic of the current era.” The China-Russia axis is the biggest cause for concern for Washington because of “their shared threat perceptions of the US” in diverse fields largely pertaining to defense and security.

Haines singles out the Ukraine conflict “as a tectonic event that is reshaping Moscow’s relationships with the West and China,” and warns of potential conflict between Russia and the West that may lead to dire consequences. However, the report strikes a contradictory note when it cites Moscow’s dwindling influence because of a “range of constraints,” despite noting its prowess in military, security, malign influence, cyber, and intelligence tools. Russia’s interests in the oil-and-natural resources-rich Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for “military access rights and economic opportunities” at Washington’s expense finds special mention. It also names the Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, and Syria in the Levant, where Russia “will present itself as an indispensable mediator and security partner.”

It predicts that both Russia and Iran will improve their “bilateral economic and defense cooperation” in a bid to circumvent Western sanctions. Similarly, it rings alarm bells regarding Russia’s overtures in Latin America in “countries that Moscow sees as key players or close partners, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela” to amplify its influence. “Russia will continue to use energy as a foreign policy tool to try to coerce cooperation and weaken Western unity on Ukraine,” the report says.

The focal point of the report is China’s strengthening of its military and its expanded operations in the Indo-Pacific region, which is being countered by a grouping consisting of the US, Japan, Australia, and India known as the Quad. A substantial part of the report is devoted to the Chinese Communist regime’s efforts to press Taiwan on unification and whether Beijing will attack the island nation. The Chinese military, according to the report, is working towards meeting Xi’s goal – to become powerful enough by 2027 to ward off any US-led intervention in the event of an armed conflict over Taiwan. It warns that China will avoid signing nuclear arms agreements with either the US or Russia because of an inadequate arsenal that needs to be modernized.

Read more …

As the west loses itself, the south is taking shape.

Moveable Multipolarity in Moscow: Ridin’ the ‘Newcoin’ Train (Escobar)

[..] please allow me to introduce one such technical blueprint for the newcoin. Let me start by saying that it should be partially (I suggest a share of at least 40% of value) backed by gold, for reasons that will soon become clear. The remaining 60% of the newcoin would be composed of the basket of currencies of the participating countries. Gold would provide the “external money” anchor to the structure and the basket of currencies element would allow the participants to retain their sovereignty and monetary flexibility. There would clearly be a need to create a Central Bank for the newcoin, which would emit new currency. This Central Bank could become a counterparty to cross-swaps, as well as provide clearing functions for the system and enforce the regulations. Any country would be free to join the newcoin on several conditions.

First, the candidate country needs to demonstrate that it has physical unencumbered gold in its domestic storage and pledge a certain amount in exchange for receiving corresponding amount of newcoin (using the 40% ratio mentioned above). Economic equivalent of this initial transaction would be a sale of the gold to the “gold pool” backing the newcoin in exchange for proportional amount of the newcoin backed by the pool. The actual legal form of this transaction is less important, as it is necessary simply to guarantee that the newcoin that is being emitted is always backed by at least 40% in gold. There is no need to even publicly disclose the gold reserves of each country, as long as all participants can be satisfied that sufficient reserves are always present. An annual joint audit and monitoring mechanism may be sufficient.

Second, a candidate country would need to establish a gold price discovery mechanism in its domestic currency. Most likely, one of the participating precious metals exchanges would start physical gold trading in each of the local currencies. This would establish a fair cross-rate for the local currencies using “external money” mechanism to set and adjust them over time. The gold price of the local currencies would drive their value in the basket for the newly-emitted newcoins. Each country would remain sovereign and be free to emit as much of local currency as they choose to, but this would eventually adjust the share of their currency in the newcoin’s value. At the same time, a country would only be able to obtain additional newcoin from the central bank in exchange for a pledge of additional gold. The net result is that the value of each component of newcoin in gold terms would be transparent and fair, which would translate into the transparency of newcoin’s value as well.

Finally, emissions or sales of newcoin by the central bank would be allowed only in exchange for gold for anyone outside the newcoin zone. In other words, the only two ways external parties can obtain large amounts of newcoin is either receiving it in exchange for physical gold or as a payment for goods and services provided. At the same time, the central bank would not be obliged to purchase newcoin in exchange for gold, removing the risk of the “run on the bank.”

Read more …

“The pontiff has repeatedly said that his visit to Kiev, on which the Ukrainian authorities have been insisting, is only possible if he is also able to make a trip to Moscow.”

Pope Francis Sees Countries’ ‘Imperial Interests’ In Ukraine Conflict (TASS)

Pope Francis believes that “the imperial interests” of various countries are shining through in the Ukraine conflict, the Vatican News writes, citing the pontiff’s interview for the Italian Swiss Radio and Television. “In a little over a hundred years, there have been three world wars: in 1914-1918, in 1939-1945, and this one, which is a world war. It started in bits and pieces and now no one can say it is not worldwide. The great powers are all caught up in it. The battlefield is Ukraine. Everyone is fighting there,” Pope Francis said, as cited by the Vatican News. “There are imperial interests there, not only of the Russian empire, but of empires elsewhere. It is typical of the empire to put nations in second place,” he added.


The pope confirmed his readiness to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, “an educated man.” Pope Francis noted that right after the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, he went to the Russian Embassy at the Holy See to say that he was willing to go to Moscow if the Russian authorities gave him “a window to negotiate.” “[Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov wrote to me, saying thank you but now is not the time,” Pope Francis said. The pontiff has repeatedly said that his visit to Kiev, on which the Ukrainian authorities have been insisting, is only possible if he is also able to make a trip to Moscow. He previously echoed this sentiment on his way back from an apostolic journey to Africa in early February. The pope said at that time that he was open to meet with the presidents of both Ukraine and Russia. Pope Francis has met with Putin before, with the Russian leader’s last trip to the Vatican taking place in July 2019.

Read more …

“..the West is loath to listen to Russia’s criticism of its attempts to “live at the expense of others” in the post-colonial era.”

West Was Seeking Pretext To ‘Get Its Claws Into’ Russia – Lavrov (TASS)

The West was looking for some sort of pretext to “get its claws into” Russia after Moscow had come to be seen as too independent a player in the international arena, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday. “[The West] was waiting for a pretext to get its claws into Russia. They were waiting for a chance to do this because they had begun to see Russia as too independent a player, which, if perhaps not building up as much economic power as China or India, was nevertheless among the leading world economies and holds rather weighty moral and political stances in the international arena, advocating from a position of justice on those issues that are of critical importance for the developing countries,” he said in an interview with the “Bolshaya Igra” (“The Great Game”) public affairs program on Russia’s Channel One television. According to the top Russian diplomat, the West is loath to listen to Russia’s criticism of its attempts to “live at the expense of others” in the post-colonial era.

Read more …

“We had no plans. They had plans – to abandon Russian gas. They survived the winter, but how much did it cost the government and the taxpayers? They are not very eager to tell..”

Lavrov: Western Media Version Of Nord Stream Events ‘Incoherent Babble’ (TASS)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the latest reports in the Western media about the alleged involvement of a “Ukrainian oligarch” in the explosions on the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines “incoherent babble.” “When they threw in the last wave of stories in the American and to some extent in the German press regarding a new version [about the causes of the emergency on gas pipelines] – about “the Ukrainian oligarch, who had better confess himself,” [and that they] “did not want to talk about Ukraine’s involvement, because it could spoil German-Ukrainian relations” and all that jazz: this is incoherent babble,” he said. In an interview with “The Great Game” program on Channel One, the Russian top diplomat noted that even if one accepts the rationale about the “Ukrainian fingerprint” mentioned in the media, it will raise some questions in Germany.

“The burghers will wonder: why do I need this Ukraine at all, if they blow us up, whoever he (the saboteur – TASS) may be – an agent of Kiev, paid for by someone from abroad, or just a lone ranger, why do I need to send Leopards there, why do I need to admit this country into NATO?” Lavrov said. “Yes, now [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz is boasting: “We survived the winter, Russia’s plan did not work.” We had no plans. They had plans – to abandon Russian gas. They survived the winter, but how much did it cost the government and the taxpayers? They are not very eager to tell,” Lavrov said. He also called the coverage of the incident in the Western media frivolous, citing as an example their information about the establishment of a “Ukrainian connection” in the emergencies on the gas pipelines.

“There was information in the Wall Street Journal, if I’m not mistaken, where they said that back in June and July, the CIA warned the secret services of Germany and other European countries about a “Ukrainian trail” for the plot. And in September, after the attack took place, The Times said that a week after the explosion it was established that the trail was Ukrainian. So, in June they warned that there would be [a Ukrainian trace] and in September it was established that it was. Anyway, they look at it in a very juvenile way, not the way an adult should,” he concluded.

Read more …

What Lavrov talked about.

CIA Issued Advance Nord Stream Warning To Allies – WSJ (RT)

The CIA warned allies in the EU about a potential attack by a pro-Ukrainian group on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing intelligence officials. According to the report, around June and July of last year, the CIA informed Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and other European agencies that three Ukrainian nationals were trying to rent out ships in states around the Baltic Sea, including Sweden, in preparation to target the pipelines, which were eventually attacked in September. As early as one month after the blasts, CIA Director William Burns and the White House’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, were said to have been considering the possibility that Kiev had orchestrated the sabotage on the route built to deliver Russian gas to Germany.

The report comes after the New York Times cited US officials on Tuesday as saying that an unidentified “pro-Ukrainian group” may have carried out the bombing. The WSJ said this assessment by US intelligence officials “isn’t definitive” and that they claimed they saw “no indication” that the alleged perpetrators had ties to the Ukrainian government. German news organizations reported this week that investigators were looking at a yacht operated by a Polish-based company that was “apparently” owned by two Ukrainians, in a possible connection with the sabotage. The German authorities later confirmed that they had searched the vessel in January, but did not disclose details about any items seized.

The new reports about alleged Ukrainian involvement contradict last month’s investigation by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh, who cited a source as claiming that the bombing was carried out by the US with help from Norway. The US and Ukraine have both denied any involvement, and the White House dismissed Hersh’s claims as “utterly false.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested on Wednesday that the reports about a Ukrainian link were an attempt to divert attention from the real perpetrators and absolve NATO countries. “Obviously, this is a coordinated media hoax campaign,” Peskov said. Moscow has argued that the West is not really interested in a comprehensive international investigation of the incident.

Read more …

..But waitagoshdarnminnit!..

Everything, All at Once (Kunstler)

The defining moment of the week was the White House ceremony with Dr. Jill Biden and her side-piece, Tony Blinken, presenting an International Women of Courage award to Ms. Alba Rueda of Argentina, a biological man. But, of course! Kisses all around. Mattias Desmet, author of The Psychology of Totalitarianism, pointed out some time ago that a psychotic political regime would require the people to swallow ever-greater absurdities as things played out in its death-wish drive toward national nullity. But was that little scene more absurd than the regime’s campaign in Ukraine to do… uh, to do what, exactly? To punish Vladimir Putin, or something like that. Or is it nuclear war they’re really after? A war, they’re telling themselves, that we would surely win, as if being a continent-sized ashtray is winning.

Meanwhile, our Intel Community has discovered that it was… well might have been… Ukraine, after all, who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines — with help from some outside parties (namely, America’s Intel Community). But waitagoshdarnminnit! How does that get anybody off-the-hook for the costly caper? NATO supposedly backs Ukraine, right? And Germany is the European leader of NATO, right? So you’re telling me Ukraine blew up a systemically-important asset of a leading country that supports Ukraine? Something doesn’t add up in that-there rebus puzzle. I’ll spare you the mental labor. The US Spook Industrial Complex is just laying another trip on you. And the “you” includes poor bamboozled Germany, led by arguably the biggest sap ever elected by a supposedly advanced nation, Olaf Scholz, whose name will evermore ring through history as a synonym for “chump.”

Sooner or later, one or both of the following must happen: the German people will dump this chump and / or his replacement will find a way to bow out of Germany’s commitment to America’s foolish proxy war against Russia, leading post-haste to the disintegration of NATO, and leaving America’s army of vaccine-injured transsexuals to reconquer the Donbas and Crimea, led by Tony Blinken in an off-the-shoulder cocktail dress. Anyway, by the time that hallucination comes to pass, all the other things that are happening at once will be so vividly in America’s face that the epic sleepwalk of the Walking Woke ends with a jolt like unto a cattle prod upside the brain-pan. For instance, the implosion of our financial markets along with a sudden, shocking expiration of the US dollar as a credible currency. The mighty “woosh” heard from sea to shining sea will be the sound of capital going up in a vapor. The event will halt all that jabber about debt ceilings, budgets, and billions for Ukraine. A nauseated silence spreads across the land. Then, what?

Read more …

“A whole range of European nations have much more strict regulations in this field..”

Lavrov Likens Protests In Georgia To 2014 Kiev Coup (RT)

The massive protests Georgia has been facing over the past week closely resemble the 2014 Maidan coup in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday. Backed by external powers, these protests are just another plot attempt, he told the ‘Great Game’ show on Russia’s Channel 1. Over the last week, thousands of people have gathered by the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi in order to protest a bill that would have required individuals and organizations with foreign funding to register as “agents of foreign influence.”The demonstrators hit the streets after the bill, which was introduced by the ‘Georgian Dream’ party, passed its first reading. The protests quickly spiraled out into clashes with the police in which several officers were injured and dozens of demonstrators were detained.

“[That] closely resembles Kiev’s ‘Maidan’ [coup],” Lavrov said, adding that, “There is no doubt that … the bill was nothing but a pretext for essentially launching a coup attempt.” According to the minister, the bill introduced by the Georgian lawmakers “pales” in comparison to how noncommercial organizations are regulated in the US, France, or Israel. The protests in Georgia have been “orchestrated” from abroad, the Russian minister believes, adding that their real goal is to create another “irritating” situation on Russia’s borders. In pursuing its goals, the West is attempting to sacrifice Georgia’s national interests and close economic ties with Russia, he added. Lavrov also blasted the EU over what he called a “hypocritical” stance on the issue. “A whole range of European nations have much more strict regulations in this field,” the minister insisted, adding that EU top diplomat Josep Borrell still claimed “without batting an eye” that the Georgian bill “contradicts European values” and deprives Georgia of the prospect of joining the bloc.

“The hypocrisy is obvious,” the minister added. Earlier this week, Borrell’s office issued a statement that blasted the bill as “incompatible with EU values and standards” and going “against Georgia’s stated objective of joining the European Union.” The statement also warned of “serious repercussions” for relations between Tbilisi and Brussels if the bill was passed. The Russian minister also pointed out the striking differences in how the EU and the US treated the protests in Georgia and Moldova. While backing demonstrations in Tbilisi, Washington and its allies still condemned similar actions in Moldova, which saw months of protests over a surge in cost of living and energy prices, Lavrov said. His words came as Georgian MPs have rejected the controversial bill during the second reading, despite it being previously withdrawn by its authors. The procedure was necessary for it to be officially squashed. The nation’s authorities have also announced they would be releasing all of the people who had been detained during the protests.

Korybko
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633813474139619330

Read more …

“The Global South is not on board with helping this proxy war persist, because it makes no sense..”

Irish MEP Blasts West’s ‘Criminal’ Approach To Ukraine (RT)

Irish MEP Mick Wallace has condemned the EU’s continued military support for Kiev, saying Brussels is not taking the option of peace talks seriously and arguing that Ukraine is being “sacrificed” for the geopolitical “obsessions” of the US. During a speech in the European Parliament, a clip from which Wallace posted to Twitter, he insisted that the EU, led by Washington, was refusing to “take the option of Peace seriously” amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. Instead, Wallace said, the EU was standing by and watching “the slaughter and devastation” continue. “The Global South is not on board with helping this proxy war persist, because it makes no sense,” Wallace said, adding that it is “increasingly clear that Ukraine is being sacrificed for the obsessions of the US establishment.”

The Irish MEP said the only people benefiting from the conflict were “weapons manufacturers and Western corporations,” which he claimed were “buying up Ukraine now for a pittance.” “The Russian invasion is criminal, but the manner in which the West has been dealing with this has also been criminal,” he concluded. Russia has repeatedly said it is open to talks with Ukraine if its leaders accept what the Kremlin calls the “reality on the ground,” referring to the status of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which voted to join Russia in public referendums last autumn. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has floated a ten-point “peace formula” that would require Moscow to withdraw all of its troops from the territory Kiev claims as its own. However, Russia has rejected that proposal as unrealistic.

A 12-point peace plan put forward by China was met with a cool response from the West, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saying Beijing does not have “much credibility” in the issue. US State Secretary Antony Blinken, however, admitted that the plan included some “positive elements.” Last week, Wallace also called the September 2022 sabotage of the Russian-German Nord Stream pipelines “a premeditated terrorist attack on critical European infrastructure.” Fellow Irish MEP Clare Daly said it was “jaw-dropping” that the EU was not investigating potential US and Norwegian links to the attack after a report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh alleged Washington was behind the sabotage.

Read more …

Sanctions failed. Here’s what’s next: your money.

Borrell: EU To Increase Financial & Military Support To Ukraine (Az.)

The EU has nearly exhausted its options for punitive measures against Russia and the bloc’s attention needs to shift to financial and military support for Ukraine, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview, Report informs. “There is not much more to do from the point of view of sanctions, but we can continue to increase financial and military support,” Borrell told EURACTIV in Stockholm, following a meeting of EU defense ministers. “It would be strange that one year after the invasion began, there would be much more options left. We have been using our step-by-step process, and we have been incremental – maybe sometimes too incremental,” he added. Over the past year, the EU has approved 10 rounds of sanctions against Moscow meant to make financing the war more difficult and starve Russia of tech equipment and spare parts for arms to be used against Ukraine.


“But indeed, one year after the invasion, we’re getting to the end of the ladder,” Borrell admitted when asked about the next potential steps the bloc could take in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “The answer is always the same – to continue supporting Ukraine. Ukraine needs a lot of money just to keep the machinery working, a state at war has a lot of financial needs – this will require a lot of effort from our side – so sanctions and military support are not everything.”. Borrell said battlefield operations were “up to Ukraine to decide” but Europe’s responsibility “is to support them, also by providing arms and ammunition.”

Read more …

Crazy story competition.

“France’s first lady is actually her own transgender brother..?!

France’s First Lady Fails In Transgender Lawsuit (RT)

A Paris judge has thrown out Brigitte Macron’s case against two women who claimed in a YouTube show that France’s first lady is actually her own transgender brother. President Emmanuel Macron’s wife had a case for public defamation, but not for invasion of privacy and violation of image, the judge ruled. The video, posted on December 10, 2021, advanced a “completely outlandish” theory that Brigitte Macron was actually the trangender identity of her brother, Jean-Michel Trogneux. The video received hundreds of thousands of views, and the transgender rumor trended on Twitter for several days. The first lady filed a lawsuit in February 2022, almost two months after the video was posted, claiming it violated her “right to image” and invaded her brother’s privacy.

The hours-long video described the surgeries Macron allegedly underwent, denied she had given birth to three children, and publicized personal information about Trogneux, according to the lawsuit. The video was also said to have used “retouched, enlarged and recolored”photographs. Brigitte Macron’s separate lawsuit against the two women, for public defamation, was actually filed two weeks earlier, on January 31, 2022. That case is still pending. The first lady’s official biography says she was born Brigitte Marie-Claude Trogneux to a family of chocolatiers from Amiens. She married a banker named Andre-Louis Auziere in 1974 and had three children. In 1993, when she was 40 and teaching at La Providence Jesuit high school in Amiens, she met Emmanuel Macron – who was 15 at the time, and a classmate of her daughter Laurence.

Brigitte divorced Auziere in 2006 and married Macron in 2007. She is widely reported to have been key to his victory in the 2017 presidential election. Macron had planned to create an official “first lady” position for Brigitte using the American model, complete with a budget and staff, but changed his mind after popular backlash. The transgender rumor about the first lady appeared ahead of France’s 2022 presidential elections and quickly gained traction online. Macron ended up easily winning re-election.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capuchin bird

 

 

Robin Hood

 

 


Father and son

 

 

Elephant feet

 

 

Tarantula
https://twitter.com/i/status/1634130152622895108

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 032023
 
 February 3, 2023  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Henri Cartier-Bresson A visitor to the Forbidden City, Beijing 1948

 

White House Denies Biden Offered Putin ‘20% Of Ukraine’ (RT)
German Politicians Eye Revival Of Fascism — Lavrov (TASS)
Germany ‘Open’ To Idea West Behind Nord Stream Sabotage – The Times (RT)
Lavrov: Moldova Could Become A New “Anti-Russia” (RT)
Serbia More Objective On Ukraine Conflict Than Other Nations – President (TASS)
EU Urged To Sanction Steven Seagal (RT)
One Ukrainian Billionaire Funded Hunter Biden, Zelensky, Azov (Kanekoa)
Hunter Biden Email Promising Russian Oligarch Info Raises Fresh Concern (NYP)
Hunter Biden Finally Admits Infamous Laptop Is His (NYP)
Joe Biden’s Shady Plan To Funnel $10 Million To Hunter’s Legal Fund (TPN)
The Press Versus The President, Part Four (CJR)
Jaw-Dropping Story of Covid Conspiracy and a Worldwide Cover-Up (Dalgleish)
‘Stunning Increase’ in Serious Harm Reports in Young Healthy Pilots (ET)
Dr. Peter McCullough Unbowed After Winning Legal Case (DW)
100% of COVID Deaths in Canada Now Due to mRNA Vaccine (NP)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Putin unipolar
https://twitter.com/i/status/1620977797710905346

 

 

Putin trust

 

 

 

 

Vit. D, Covid

 

 

Nuke Moscow

 

 

 

Putin: “Those who draw countries into a new war and declare this as a fait accompli, those who expect to defeat Russia on the battlefield, must understand that a modern war with Russia will be completely different for them.

 

 

Veritas

 

 

 

 

I don’t think this came out of nowhere.

White House Denies Biden Offered Putin ‘20% Of Ukraine’ (RT)

President Joe Biden allegedly sent CIA chief William Burns on a secret mission to Moscow and then Kiev in mid-January, according to a report in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NNZ) on Wednesday. The White House and the CIA both addressed the allegeations on Thursday, saying it was not true that the US had offered Russia 20% of Ukrainian territory as part of a peace proposal. According to confidential conversations with two German lawmakers dealing with foreign policy – one from the ruling coalition, the other from the opposition – Burns reportedly offered a “land for peace” deal in which Russia would keep some “20% of Ukraine’s territory” – about the size of the Donbass.

The Swiss-German newspaper mentioned the supposed proposal in passing, focusing on the chain of events that led to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden announcing they would send Leopard 2 and Abrams heavy tanks to the government in Kiev. The NZZ report is “not accurate” and the CIA will say the same, deputy spokesperson for the White House’ National Security Council, Sean Davett, told Newsweek. A CIA official then told the US outlet that reports of a secret Moscow trip by Burns, or a peace proposal on behalf of the White House were “completely false.” The Washington Post reported earlier that Burns had taken a secret trip to Kiev ahead of the tank announcement, in order to meet and brief Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.


From what the two German politicians told NZZ, the peace offer hinted at a split in Washington regarding the conflict. While Burns and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan want to wrap up the fighting in Ukraine quickly to focus on China, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin are committed to backing Kiev. The Swiss outlet further pointed to the recent report by the Rand Corporation, urging Washington to avoid a “long war” in Ukraine – among other reasons, so the US can focus on China. Both Ukraine and Russia refused the US proposal, NZZ claimed. Kiev said it was unwilling to give up any territory, while Moscow was confident of victory. Asked about the NZZ report, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy told Newsweek he found it “interesting” but declined to comment on “speculation.”

Lula

Read more …

“Why do people refuse to see the Nazi ideology that lies at the heart of the Kiev regime?”

German Politicians Eye Revival Of Fascism — Lavrov (TASS)

Seeking Russia’s defeat as the “final solution to the Russian question” is nothing more than Nazism and there are politicians in the West, for instance, in Germany, who wouldn’t be against resurrecting it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a Thursday interview with TV news anchor Dmitry Kiselyov. According to the top diplomat, in its pursuit of “the final solution to the Russian question”, the West is gunning to hand Russia “a strategic defeat so it won’t recover for a long time.” “Is this not racism, is this not Nazism, is this not an attempt at the ‘final solution to the Russian question?” he pondered. “Yes, not yet in gas chambers at this point. There are still a lot of decent people in Germany who won’t permit the revival of Fascism but there are also those who wouldn’t be against it at all,” he insisted.


The Russian foreign minister noted that now, just like during the Great Patriotic War, Nazi dogma is being used against Russia.”Why do people refuse to see the Nazi ideology that lies at the heart of the Kiev regime?” he wondered. “And all these statements voiced by its enthusiasts and puppeteers are impossible to be perceived as anything other than an attempt at the final solution to the Russian question,” he stressed. “This is why we are in the epicenter of a geopolitical battle,” Lavrov stressed. “There is no sense in doubting this and those who are confronting practical tasks on the frontlines are doing the most important thing. They are heroes and the feats they perform are feats for the sake of mankind’s future,” he added.

Putin Stalingrad

Read more …

“Lavrov: The United States directly participated in the bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.”

Germany ‘Open’ To Idea West Behind Nord Stream Sabotage – The Times (RT)

German officials are “open to theories” that the sabotage of the Nord Stream undersea pipelines was carried out by a Western nation “with the aim of blaming it on Russia,” The Times reported. In a Wednesday report, the British newspaper described the mystery of who was behind the attacks as “one of the biggest questions of the 21st century.” The two pipelines, each of which has two strings, were damaged by explosions in late September. Germany, the recipient of Russian natural gas, for which the undersea energy routes were built, as well as Sweden and Denmark, in whose territorial waters the damage was done, are each running a separate investigation. Citing European officials, the Times said a failure to provide transparency in the probes risks encouraging “dangerous conspiracy theories” and “wild speculations.”

“This was a major infrastructure attack. It’s strange that we’ve heard very little,” an unidentified Western analyst was quoted as saying. The German investigation is thought to have made little progress and is “yet to uncover any compelling evidence” pointing to Russia, The Times said, adding that Berlin is “open to theories that a Western state carried out the bombing with the aim of blaming it on Russia.” It noted that 23 diplomatic and intelligence agencies across nine Western nations had also told the Washington Post recently that they had yet to see evidence implicating Russia and some said they did not believe Moscow was the culprit. Following the blasts, however, Kiev and some of its most-vocal backers were quick to assign blame on Russia, claiming that it damaged its own infrastructure to put pressure on the EU.


Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, explained the apparent irrationality of such a move, telling The Times that Moscow “relies on actions which are illogical but that it believes will intimidate.” The Russian government described the sabotage as a “terrorist attack” and said that the US was the nation that benefited most from it, by speeding up Europe’s attempts to wean itself off Russian gas. US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland declared that she was “gratified” with the destruction of the Nord Stream 2 project during a Congress hearing last week. Responding to the remark, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that the US diplomat had essentially “confessed” Washington was behind the sabotage.

Read more …

And a new battlefield?!

Lavrov: Moldova Could Become A New “Anti-Russia” (RT)

Moldova could follow in Ukraine’s footsteps and become a new “anti-Russia,” Moscow’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has suggested in an interview with the Russian media. The diplomat claimed that the West had installed a president in Chisinau who is hell-bent on bringing the former Soviet republic into the US-led fold. On Thursday, Russia’s RIA Novosti and Rossiya 24 media outlets published an interview with Lavrov. He was asked which country, in his opinion, could go down the same path as Ukraine and become an “anti-Russia.” The foreign minister responded by claiming the West was “currently considering Moldova for this role.” He said the country had been chosen primarily because the West succeeded in installing “through some very peculiar methods, far from free and democratic [ones],” a pliant president at the helm there.

Maia Sandu is “rushing into NATO” and “has Romanian citizenship,” Lavrov noted. The diplomat concluded that the Moldovan head of state is ready to merge her country with neighboring Romania and to “do practically anything.” Lavrov said the West and Moldova’s leadership have effectively put on hold the normalization process regarding the breakaway region of Transnistria in the 5+2 format. This involves the US and Russia, along with the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, as well as Moldova and Transnistria. He claimed that the new Moldovan government is no longer interested in the process and is considering retaking the region by force and booting Russian peacekeepers out of Transnistria. Late last month, President Sandu told Politico “there [was] a serious discussion” underway in Chisinau “about our capacity to defend ourselves, whether we can do it ourselves, or whether we should be part of a larger alliance.”


While she did not identify NATO directly, Sandu has consistently been pursuing pro-Western policies since coming to office back in 2020. Moldova was granted EU candidate status last year. It has also been actively cooperating with NATO in recent years, sending its troops to participate in the military bloc’s force in Kosovo. The Moldovan president held a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in New York in September 2021, and the country’s foreign minister attended a meeting of the organization in Romania last December. However, the outstanding issue of Transnistria precludes Moldova from becoming a member state of the US-led organization, as NATO requires all aspiring entrants to resolve all territorial and ethnic disputes first.

Read more …

Whoever wants to be objective will be accused of being pro-Russian.

Serbia More Objective On Ukraine Conflict Than Other Nations – President (TASS)

Belgrade is capable of assessing the developments in Ukraine in the most objective manner because it refrains from putting labels on the parties to the conflict, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said at a special session of the country’s parliament on Thursday. “In Serbia, we can freely figure out what both parties to the war think. It’s not like this in other countries as there is total censorship everywhere. There are no [opinions] of the two parties, just one party is good and the other is bad,” the Serbian leader noted. “Today, we are witnessing a kind of World War III, which will grow in size and scale, becoming more difficult than it is now as early as in the coming days, weeks and months,” the Serbian president stressed.


Vucic pointed out earlier that Serbia was not providing weapons to Ukraine and had no plans to do so. He emphasized that Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine was the reason for the West’s immense pressure on Serbia, particularly in terms of sanctions on Russia. Vucic has repeatedly noted that Serbia’s joining the policy of sanctions against Russia would not produce any results. Addressing the nation soon after the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Vucic said that though his country supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity, it would not impose sanctions on Russia. He also announced that his country would temporarily suspend all army and police drills with foreign partners. He noted that Serbia viewed Russia and Ukraine as fraternal nations, regretted the developments in Eastern Europe and was ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Kiev.

Read more …

“..a coalition consisting of senior members of the US Congress, MEPs, and Ukrainian parliamentarians handed a list of individuals it wants sanctioned..”

EU Urged To Sanction Steven Seagal (RT)

Hollywood action movie star Steven Seagal is among ten individuals facing calls for sanctions by a group of politicians in the US-Europe Sanctions Coalition for their alleged support of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, Euractiv reported on Thursday. According to the news website, a coalition consisting of senior members of the US Congress, MEPs, and Ukrainian parliamentarians handed a list of individuals it wants sanctioned to Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Tobias Billstrom earlier this week. The list was previously sent to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, in late December, according to Ukrainian MP Aleksey Goncharenko, a member of the coalition who spoke to Euractiv.

The request reportedly includes Russian tycoons Magomed Gadzhiev, Vladimir Lisin and Vladimir Potanin, politician Franz Klintsevich, and Ksenia Sobchak – a Russian opposition figure and former presidential candidate. Also featured are entertainers such as Philipp Kirkorov and Igor Krutoy, a Russian state company official, the co-chair of Ukrainian Opposition Platform – For Life party, Vadim Rabinovich, as well as US actor Seagal. The ‘90s Hollywood star, who has been a Russian citizen since 2016, was included in the list for expressing his support for the Kremlin’s military operation in Ukraine and flying to Moscow in April to celebrate his 70th birthday with associates of President Vladimir Putin, whom he called a “great world leader.”


Back in August, it was also reported that the actor was working on a documentary about Kiev’s war against the Donbass republics, which have since joined Russia after holding public referendums. According to Ukrainian MP Aleksey Goncharenko, a member of the coalition who spoke to Euractiv, the purpose of the list is to “synchronize sanctions” across all member countries. The official insisted that “those who are guilty of the crime of aggression against Ukraine” must be held responsible and “pay their price.”

Read more …

Reportedly, he’s under investigation from Kiev now.

One Ukrainian Billionaire Funded Hunter Biden, Zelensky, Azov (Kanekoa)

The real person who was the benefactor to, and the boss of, Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, at the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, was not the CEO of Burisma Holdings, Mykola Zlochevsky, but it was instead Ihor Kolomoysky, who was part of the newly installed Ukrainian Government, which the Obama Administration itself had actually just installed in Ukraine, in what the head of the “private CIA” firm Stratfor correctly called “the most blatant coup in history.” Shortly after the Obama Administration’s Ukrainian coup, on March 2, 2014, Kolomoysky, who supported Yanukovych’s overthrow, was appointed the governor of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Hunter Biden, with no experience in the industry or region, would join Kolomoysky’s Burisma Holdings two months later, on May 12, 2014.


A 2012 study of Burisma Holdings done in Ukraine by the AntiCorruption Action Centre (ANTAC), an investigative nonprofit co-funded by American billionaire George Soros and the U.S. State Department, found that the true owner of Burisma Holdings was none other than Ukrainian billionaire-oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky.

Read more …

“Classified” files.

Hunter Biden Email Promising Russian Oligarch Info Raises Fresh Concern (NYP)

A Hunter Biden email sent to an American aluminum company and promising information on Russian oligarchs is raising fresh concerns about the first son’s access to classified documents recently discovered in his father’s Wilmington, Del., home as lawmakers prepare to investigate allegations of influence peddling. Documents dating back to 2011 on his notorious “laptop from hell” showed Hunter offered to sell intelligence on Russian oligarchs to the US aluminum firm Alcoa Inc. for $55,000, according to The Post’s exclusive October 2021 report. As his father served as former President Barack Obama’s second-in-command, Hunter Biden offered to provide a “statistical analysis of political and corporate risks, elite networks associated with Oleg Deripaska, the Russian CEO of Basic Element company and United company RUSAL,” which had just signed a metal supply agreement with Alcoa.

Hunter Biden also offered the company a “list of elites of similar rank in Russia, map of [Deripaska’s] networks based on frequency of interaction with selected elites and countries.” The deeply detailed proposal has come under sharp scrutiny given recent revelations that Hunter Biden had access to the Delaware lake-front home where secret papers from his father’s time as vice president were discovered in a garage, basement and library — combined with Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the high-profile former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told The Post that the Alcoa solicitation fits within a broader picture. “The Biden family is the most corrupt family in the history of American politics,” he said. “The biggest question facing Republican investigators: Where to begin?”

Banks is not alone. Others, such as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), have raised suspicions that Hunter Biden, who has previously listed the 6,850-square-foot mansion as his home, may have used the classified documents in business dealings. Johnson said an April 12, 2014 Hunter Biden email to his business partner about Ukraine from 2014 looked “suspiciously” like it could have come from classified information. “It reads like one of those scene-setters — highly detailed information in terms of Ukraine,” Johnson told Fox News Tuesday. The email from Hunter to Devon Archer included a 22-point memo he described as “thoughts after doing some research” included prescient predictions that Petro Poroshenko would be elected Ukraine’s president and “some sort of decentralization will likely occur in the East.”

“If it doesn’t the Russians will continue to escalate there [sic] destabilization campaign, which could lead to a full scale take over of the eastern region most critically Donetsk,” Hunter Biden wrote. “The strategic value is to create a land bridge for RU[ssia] to Crimea.” In hearings to start next week, the House Oversight Committee will investigate Hunter Biden’s alleged influence peddling, cashing in on ties to his then-vice president father to rake in millions from foreign companies, its chairman, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), told the National Press Club on Monday.

Read more …

“51 former intel “experts” promised us the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinfo.”

Hunter just admitted it was all real.

They all deserve jail time.”

Hunter Biden Finally Admits Infamous Laptop Is His (NYP)

So much for “the laptop ‘could be’ mine.” First son Hunter Biden’s lawyers admitted late Wednesday that the infamous laptop that the now-52-year-old abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop in the throes of his crack cocaine addiction does indeed belong to him. The revelation came in a petulant letter from Hunter’s lawyers seeking a criminal probe into what they called attempts to “weaponize” its contents. In the 14-page letter to Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings, Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell claimed that repair shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac “unlawfully” accessed Hunter’s laptop data and worked with former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to “weaponize” sordid and incriminating contents on it against Joe Biden.

“This failed dirty political trick directly resulted in the exposure, exploitation, and manipulation of Mr. Biden’s private and personal information,” Lowell wrote. “Mr. Mac Isaac’s intentional, reckless, and unlawful conduct allowed for hundreds of gigabytes of Mr. Biden’s personal data, without any discretion, to be circulated around the Internet.” Mac Isaac took possession of the laptop and hard drive late in 2019 after trying and failing for months to notify Hunter that the device was ready to be picked up. Once the shop owner saw the laptop’s contents — including emails detailing influence-peddling involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and videos of the younger Biden smoking crack and having sex with prostitutes and his work subordinates — he alerted the FBI.


[..] Lowell’s letter singles out Mac Isaac, Giuliani, Costello, former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon, former Trump White House aide Garrett Ziegler, Bannon associate Jack Maxey, and Yaacov Apelbaum, founder and CEO of cyber analytics firm XRVision and former aide to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), as parties who gained unauthorized access to the laptop’s contents and disseminated it to the media and lawmakers. “We believe that the facts and circumstances merit further investigation as to whether the conduct of Messrs. Mac Isaac, Costello, Giuliani, Bannon, Ziegler, Maxey, and Apelbaum violated several provisions of Delaware’s criminal code — including, but not necessarily limited to, computer-related property offenses … theft … possession of stolen property … and misapplication of another’s property … Each of these offenses, if violated, has the potential to be a felony, depending on the value of the property in question,” Lowell writes.

Tucker laptop

Read more …

They appear a bit surprised.

Joe Biden’s Shady Plan To Funnel $10 Million To Hunter’s Legal Fund (TPN)

According to the Washington Post and NBC News, allies of President Joe Biden are working on creating a legal fund to help out Hunter Biden, the son of the current president, as he faces investigations and legal challenges now that the GOP controls the House of Representatives. The Washington Post, which first reported on the matter, claimed that the fund could add up to about $10 million dollars, giving Hunter a significant backdrop on which to rely as the GOP starts probing into his alleged influence peddling, particularly his connections in communist China. NBC, reporting on the effort to help pay Hunter’s legal bills, reports that the effort is still in its preliminary stages, as those seeking to help Hunter are trying to decide on what method of fighting back against GOP accusations and investigations will be most effective, with the new legal strategy being a change in tack from the way Hunter and his allies have been dealing with accusations against him up until now. In that outlet’s words:

“The discussions are in the preliminary stage, and as of now Hunter Biden’s legal advisers have not been planning for the potential creation a defense fund to help him pay for representation in the face of GOP investigations they view as unfounded and overtly political. There have been ongoing discussions within Hunter Biden’s circle of advisers about how to respond to Republican probes and accompanying GOP attacks, said multiple people with knowledge of the discussions. Until recently, the strategy was to exercise caution and restraint, preparing for future moves quietly until the federal criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, which has been run out of Delaware, has reached a conclusion about whether charges will be filed.”


While Hunter and his allies have been trying to “exercise caution and restraint”, NBC notes that the new legal fund, if created and funded with enough to help Hunter hire some of the best lawyers, would give him the ability to ” shift to a more proactive legal strategy in the coming months”. What form that new strategy would take is unclear. The legal fund’s creation comes as the sharks start to circle Hunter. Rep. James Comer, for example, recently sent a letter demanding answers from Hunter’s art dealer, saying: “Your arrangement with Hunter Biden raises serious ethics concerns and calls into question whether the Biden family is again selling access and influence.”

Read more …

“..all these countries,” aware of Bolton’s hawkish views, “thought we were going to blow them up” when Bolton sat in on the negotiations.”

The Press Versus The President, Part Four (CJR)

sTrump, in July 2018, finally had a summit meeting with Vladimir Putin, the man he mistakenly claimed in 2015 to have met years earlier and his supposed puppet master, according to Steele’s dossier. In advance of the summit, Trump met with his national security adviser, John Bolton, to discuss how to deal with Russian meddling. The president “remained unwilling or unable to admit any Russian meddling because he believed doing so would undercut the legitimacy of his election and the narrative of the witch hunt against him,” Bolton wrote in his 2020 memoir The Room Where It Happened. At a press briefing, the final question was whether US intelligence or Putin should be believed with regard to meddling in the 2016 election. After going on a tangent about the server at the DNC, Trump said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that did it. Then, a bit later in his answer, he expressed “great confidence in my intelligence people.”

The first remark received all the attention. Some outlets, like the Times, didn’t include his comments about “great confidence” in US intelligence in their stories, while others, such as the Post, did. Trump flew home to Washington, and when aides talked to him the next day about the reaction, he said he meant the opposite. A clarification was released, but the cleanup was not enough for critics such as Roger Cohen, then a columnist at the Times, who wrote of the “disgusting spectacle of the American president kowtowing in Helsinki to Vladimir Putin.” Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host, saw the day’s events as affirmation of her having covered the Trump-Russia matter “more than anyone else,” because, as her blog pointed out, Americans were now “coming to grips with a worst-case scenario that the US president is compromised by a hostile foreign power.”


For his part, Trump, when asked about Helsinki in my interview, blasted Bolton. “Bolton was one of the dumber people, but I loved him for the negotiations,” he said, because “all these countries,” aware of Bolton’s hawkish views, “thought we were going to blow them up” when Bolton sat in on the negotiations.

Read more …

“Suppression of debate has “cost… at least a trillion pounds, given the disastrous legacy of lockdown on education, mental health and misdiagnosis leading to early deaths from cardiac and cancer.”

Jaw-Dropping Story of Covid Conspiracy and a Worldwide Cover-Up (Dalgleish)

We wrote a manuscript and shared it with the Government, Cabinet and scientific advisors saying that it was extremely likely that this was a laboratory escape and had clear and present security implications. Imagine our surprise when we were told quite categorically that there was no way it could have been a laboratory escape and was a natural zoonosis. We tried to publish this on many occasions and each and every one of the top journals, including Nature, Science, The Lancet and many others refused to publish this as it was not in the public interest. What was to follow was a complete suppression of any debate about the origin, which would appear to have been driven by Tony Fauci from the NIAID in America.

Indeed, he was so intent on quashing any evidence of the origin that he commissioned a paper from a group of scientists, who we now know also had concerns that it may not be natural but nevertheless, they published the paper in Nature Medicine saying all the evidence showed it was completely natural and was not a laboratory leaked virus. This paper was published in Nature Medicine and then used by Tony Faucci as absolute proof that it was not a lab leak. What was incredible was that this narrative was picked by governments throughout the world, all the mainstream media and the majority of scientists, who should have known better than to accept the narrative rather than look at the evidence. Birger Sorensen and I were only able to get our observations out under the disguise of a vaccine paper, which was published in QRB Discovery, a journal with a biophysics bent which appreciated our argument that the inserts affected the charge of the virus and this was why it was able to be so infectious.


Although ignored, this paper was soon to be downloaded a record of over a quarter of a million times! The narrative that this could not have possibly come from a laboratory, even though it was very strange the outbreak should have occurred in a place not known for coronavirus outbreaks, was so strongly adhered to that even in the West any suggestion that it may have been due to a laboratory accident was shut down with cries of xenophobia. Among many other put-downs was the allegation this was some sort of conspiracy theory. The ‘lab leak as conspiracy theory’ narrative was so strong that it ended up censoring discussion on all the social media networks and only scientists who produced theories or suggestions that it came from a bat in an original roundabout way were allowed any voice. China’s put-down was especially strong and it was so very obvious that they were covering up something as all specimens and databases were either altered or withdrawn.

Read more …

DMED Is the most accurate adverse event reporting system.

‘Stunning Increase’ in Serious Harm Reports in Young Healthy Pilots (ET)

It’s been a year since four Department of Defense (DOD) whistleblowers found a sudden increase in various diseases in the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED), which coincided directly with the introduction of COVID-19 vaccinations. Now, new data shows more evidence. That’s according to Lt. Col.Theresa Long, M.D., MPH, a board-certified aerospace medicine doctor and Army Brigade flight surgeon with specialty training as an aviation mishap investigator and safety officer, who was one of the four whistleblowers. Long’s background has uniquely equipped her to recognize what she described as “unusual diagnoses and alarming trends only after the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccinations.” Long said what she has now found has led her to file yet another whistleblower complaint with Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-Wis.) office.

She described this data as “more alarming DMED data” after she “went back into the ‘fixed’ DMED again to look for signals of harm for Army aviation.” “What I found was a clear signal, that something in 2021 changed the health of service members,” Long told The Epoch Times. She said these signals were consistent with those in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports. But unlike VAERS reports, DMED data showed spikes in the number of diagnoses “made by a healthcare professional within the DOD on service members.” According to the Military Health System, the DMED provides remote access to a subset of data contained in the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS). The DMSS contains up-to-date and historical data on diseases and medical events (including reportable events) and “is available to authorized users such as U.S. military medical providers, epidemiologists, medical researchers, safety officers or medical operations/ clinical support staff for surveying health conditions in the U.S. military.”


“After querying all pilots across the DOD, for all-cause morbidity and mortality, I found a stunning increase in the number of reportable events, spiking from an average of 226 reportable events a year (2016-2019) to 4,059 reports in 2022,” she explained. A DOD reportable event is any patient safety event resulting in death, permanent harm, or severe temporary harm—and all require a comprehensive systematic analysis and a follow-on corrective action implementation plan report. “The point is there is a statistically significant increase in death, permanent harm, or severe temporary harm in young healthy fit pilots,” she continued.

Menstrual cycle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621342165010890753

Read more …

“Baylor accused McCullough in the $1 million lawsuit of “reputational harm..”

Dr. Peter McCullough Unbowed After Winning Legal Case (DW)

A district judge vindicated Texas cardiologist and outspoken COVID vaccine critic Dr. Peter McCullough on Wednesday, dismissing a lawsuit filed against him approximately two years ago by his former employer Baylor Scott and White Health system. McCullough, dubbed a prominent purveyor of COVID misinformation by his detractors, was sued by the health system two years ago for allegedly violating a separation agreement and bringing the Baylor Scott and White Health name into the media. Associate Judge Tahira Khan Merritt of the Judicial District Court Dallas County dismissed the suit with prejudice. “This is a strong victory for freedom of speech and fair balanced publication and media presentation of clinical data as it has emerged over the course of the pandemic crisis,” McCullough told The Daily Wire.

“My analyses and conclusions have been accurate, consistent, and have always been my own, not those of any institution.” Baylor accused McCullough in the $1 million lawsuit of “reputational harm,” stating that McCullough gave several media interviews and was published in journals that mentioned Baylor as an affiliate even though he had parted ways with the employer. Baylor Scott & White Health told The Dallas Morning News in a written statement at the time of the filings that McCullough’s views don’t represent those of the health care provider. “The lawsuit was filed to enforce this separation and avoid public confusion,” the statement said. “We take very seriously our responsibility to be a trusted source of medical information in the communities we serve.”


Yet, representatives for the cardiologist asserted McCullough never stated he was employed by the health system and that it was third parties who referenced the relationship. “The lawsuit, in a sense, represented a form of intimidation and professional reprisal, and I feel vindicated by the dismissal,” McCullough said.

Read more …

Arrived at by deduction: “..Health Canada no longer provides data on death by vaccination status.”

100% of COVID Deaths in Canada Now Due to mRNA Vaccine (NP)

New data shows that 100% of COVID deaths in Canada are being caused by the mRNA vaccines that were forced on the population by the Trudeau regime and Big Pharma. Covid deaths in Canada doubled in 2022 with a 85% vaccinated population. Health Canada reports Covid deaths week-by-week, starting from the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. In 2020, the total Covid deaths reported to the Public Health Agency Canada by provinces and territories was 9,225. In 2021, as vaccines became accessible to Canadians between January and July, Covid deaths didn’t decrease over the year. Instead, the figure slightly increased to 9,934. And, in 2022, with an approximately 85% vaccinated population in January and a less deadly Covid variant dominant, Covid deaths increased again.

Over 2022, Health Canada data shows 15,844 deaths occurred due to Covid – almost double the number of deaths in 2020 when citizens were “unprotected.” Over half of these reported deaths between 2020 and 2022 were among Canadians aged 80 years and older. Health Canada no longer provides data on death by vaccination status. As such, there’s no way to decipher which deaths in 2022 were among vaccinated populations and which were among unvaccinated. The health agency does show overall death percentages by vaccine status from the start of the vaccine rollout in December 2020. This data reveals that just over half of all Covid deaths took place among those who received at least one Covid vaccine. Legacy media created hysteria around the Delta variant in 2021, as the just-vaccinated population was learning they were not immune from getting infected with – or dying from – Covid.


Data suggested that the Delta variant was more contagious than the previously dominant Alpha, but less deadly. Furthermore, research indicates the Omicron variant – which became dominant in 2022 – is even less lethal than the Delta. As previously reported by The Counter Signal, Canada’s 2022 excess deaths trajectory is on pace to shatter the total from 2021 – and obliterate that from 2020. Excess deaths is the term that indicates whether a region had more or fewer deaths than expected, given demographics and historical trends. The figure helps calculate the true impact of a health crisis. Health Canada data indicates 13,940 excess deaths took place in 2022 up to August 27. By this same period in 2021, the total excess deaths was 10,406. In 2020, the total was 8,057. In other words, as the percentage of Canadians “vaccinated” against Covid increased, so too did the excess death total and the Covid deaths.

Read more …

 

 

 


People who died in the first 14 days after getting vaccinated were counted as unvaccinated.

 

 

 

 


The Natural History Museum in London is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 80 million items. Being a striking examples of Romanesque architecture, it is sometimes dubbed a cathedral of nature: this is its central hall

 

 

Hummingbird shower

 

 

Bumblebee tongue
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621227736059592707

 

 

Baby tiger
https://twitter.com/i/status/1621096344835469312

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 242023
 


Vincent van Gogh The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884

 

Russia and West On Verge Of ‘Real War’ – Lavrov (RT)
War Between West, Russia No Longer Hybrid, But Real, Says Lavrov (TASS)
Why the End of the American Empire Was Delayed (Batiushka)
US Plans Threatened WWIII And Forced Moscow’s Hand – Medvedev (RT)
Germany Rewrites History To Blame Russia For Its Own Bad Decisions (Marsden)
Hungary To Oppose EU’s Anti-Russian Nuclear Sanctions – Foreign Minister (TASS)
Italy’s New Foreign Policy And A Multipolar World Order (Papalia)
Poland Considered Partitioning Ukraine – Former FM (RT)
Wagner Founder Gives Explanation For US Hostility (RT)
Meta/Facebook Takes Azov Regiment Off Its Dangerous Organizations List (EG)
The 2024 Election and the “Get Out of Jail Free” Vote (Turley)
Mar-A-Lago Raid Was Just Another Russia-Collusion Hoax (Fed.)
FDA Panel To Consider Annual Covid-19 Vaccine Shots (Hill)
Collapse Is Not An Event, But A Process (Ugo Bardi)
Temperatures in Northern Hemisphere Due to Fall Over Next 25 Years (DS)
Carbon Credits Are the Biggest Scam Since Indulgences (IM)

 

 

???? “To be published June 6 2023”.

 

 

Zelensky Addressing a Chambers of Commerce meeting in Boca Raton

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo F-16s

 

 

 

 

Wagenknecht
https://twitter.com/i/status/1617331636433035264

 

 

Shellenberger

 

 

 

 

EU Foreign Ministers will discuss the allocation of a new tranche of military aid to Ukraine from the “European Peace Fund” – Josep Borrell

 

 

Stating the obvious.

Russia and West On Verge Of ‘Real War’ – Lavrov (RT)

The current situation in Ukraine shows that the conflict between Russia and the West can no longer be defined as a “hybrid war” but is instead approaching being a real one, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, Lavrov also noted that this “almost real” war was something that the West “has been preparing for a long time against Russia.” The minister claimed that Western powers are seeking to destroy everything Russian, from the language to the culture that had existed in Ukraine for centuries, and even forbid people from speaking their native language.

Lavrov went on to point out that such practices have become commonplace throughout Ukraine and that the country’s last two presidents, Pyotr Poroshenko and current leader Vladimir Zelensky, have both turned into “presidents of war” and “Russophobic leaders” after gaining power, despite running their presidential campaigns under the promise of establishing peace. The minister also recalled that Ukraine has adopted laws that prohibit using the Russian language in education, media, and even in everyday life. “And this is all supported by the West,” Lavrov said, adding that this support extends to neo-Nazi marches with swastikas and symbols of banned Nazi divisions being held across the country. He also accused the West of turning a blind eye to the fact that Kiev’s forces continue to deliberately choose targets and carry out attacks in such a way as to terrorize the civilian population.

“The West knows perfectly well that the Ukrainian regime deliberately bombs cities and towns using Western-supplied weapons,” the minister said. Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s position that it has not carried out attacks in Ukraine against civilian infrastructure, and that the damage to it is attributable to Kiev’s regular practice of deploying heavy weapons and air defense systems in residential areas. Despite the spiraling tensions, Lavrov noted that Moscow remains open to negotiations with Kiev, and warned that those who refuse talks should understand that the longer they are delayed, the harder it will be to find a solution. The minister also asked the Ukrainian government to explain, perhaps through a third party, how it sees the situation in the country playing out and the possibility of negotiations with Russia.

Read more …

Same issue, but different words.

War Between West, Russia No Longer Hybrid, But Real, Says Lavrov (TASS)

What is going on in Ukraine is no longer a hybrid war, but a real war between the West and Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. “When we talk about what is going on in Ukraine, we are talking about the fact that this is no longer a hybrid war, but a real one, the West has been preparing for a long time against Russia, trying to destroy everything Russian: from language to culture, which has been in Ukraine for centuries, and forbidding people to speak their native language,” he said at a press conference following talks with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.


“In Ukraine, this is all common practice. Both the former president [of Ukraine, Pyotr] Poroshenko and the current one [Vladimir] Zelensky, who were elected under the slogan of establishing peace, immediately after being elected turned into war presidents, Russophobe presidents,” Lavrov said. The Russian top diplomat recalled that Ukraine has adopted laws that prohibit education in Russian, media in Russian, including such media in Ukraine, laws that even, in fact, prohibit the use of the Russian language in everyday life. “Any cultural contacts related to the Russian language are prohibited. And this is all supported by the West. Just like the West supports the regular marches of neo-Nazis with swastikas, with symbols of division which were banned by the Nuremberg Tribunal, recognized as criminal. The West supports all this,” Lavrov said.

Read more …

“..it never really grasped how completely underhand and perfidious the West is..”

Why the End of the American Empire Was Delayed (Batiushka)

Why did President Putin and the Russian Federation as a whole allow the White House to take over Kiev and then most of the Donbass in 2014-2015? As a result, Russian forces have been faced since 2022 with the far worse task of liberating, demilitarising and denazifying the Ukraine. Worse still, because Washington has forced Kiev to reject any peace negotiations with Moscow and is sending the Ukraine much of what it has through its NATO proxies, Russian forces are faced with the even worse task of liberating, demilitarising and denazifying the whole of the US-run NATO. President Putin has himself admitted that he made a mistake in not acting in 2015. So why this delay in resistance and bringing about the collapse of the American Reich? There are three clear reasons:

1. In 2014-15 the Russian Federation was far too weak militarily, economically and politically to stand up to the bully of the Western world. A war of liberation initiated then could have ended up very badly for Russia, which had suffered greatly from Western ‘sanctions’ just for its liberation of the Crimea.

2. The Russian Federation government had too little support inside its Westernised self to resist. CIA assets, including treacherous followers of the Vlasovtsy (5), had infiltrated all its institutions, including even the Russian Orthodox Church. This was already clear in 1993 during the October Coup, Black October, in which probably thousands of Russian patriots were massacred by the pro-Western Yeltsin regime. Five years ago, I met a former US marine, who had been sent in 1993 to a base outside Moscow, together with 4,000 other marines, who had been instructed that they might be needed to put down an anti-American revolt in Moscow. (In the end, they were not). 4,000 US troops around Moscow in 1993 at the invitation of its drunken ruler? Yes. A fifth column of Russian Westernisers, pussy rioters, liberals, journalists, actors, musicians, oligarchs, politicians, educationalists? Yes. All Russian institutions infiltrated by traitors? Yes. Only in 2022 was the Russian Federation ready to resist the American bully. It had taken it until 2022 to get ready, and even then the traitors were there in abundance, though soon running away to Israel, Finland, Georgia and elsewhere (6).

3. Western readers should not underestimate the incredible naivety of Russians towards the West. The Russians did not think that the West would forbid Kiev to reject a peace agreement in March/April 2022, thus forcing Kiev and Western economies to commit suicide, like a spoilt child who hurts himself just in order to spite his parents. As a result the limited operation to free the Donbass had to be entirely rethought. Again, President Putin was quite recently shocked to learn that he had been lied to by the German Merkel and the French Hollande. He had been tricked into believing that the West was sincere and that it was actually going to implement the Minsk Accords to protect the Donbass. As those two Western leaders recently admitted, the Minsk accords had only been playing for time to allow the Kiev Army to prepare, dig in, arm, train and then invade. Western leaders are liars. Fact. The origin of this extraordinary Russian naivety seems to be because between 1917 and 1991 Russia was cut off from the West, it lived in a bubble, so that it never really grasped how completely underhand and perfidious the West is. I have been living in Western Europe for too long not to know it. Ten years ago a Muscovite put it to me very well: ‘We knew that the Communists were lieing to us about Communism. What we didn’t know is that they were telling us the truth about Capitalism’.

Read more …

..“serious crisis” at the UN and other international institutions, which were created to resolve international disputes but have been turned into a battlefield by the West instead.”

US Plans Threatened WWIII And Forced Moscow’s Hand – Medvedev (RT)

The US and its allies almost ignited a third world war by preparing to attack Russia, which had no choice but to do something about it, former president Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday, addressing the leadership of the ruling United Russia party in Moscow. “Our party should help the people around the world understand that the ongoing special operation was a forced and last-resort response to preparations for aggression by the US and its satellites,” Medvedev said. “It is obvious that the world came close to the threat of WWIII because of what was happening,” he added. Medvedev also described a “serious crisis” at the UN and other international institutions, which were created to resolve international disputes but have been turned into a battlefield by the West instead.


“Our opponents are trying to enlist as many votes as possible in support of their anti-Russian initiatives, using underhanded means such as economic pressure, extortion and political bribery,” Medvedev said, adding that the main mission of Russian diplomacy remained countering this “cynical line” by the West. Medvedev was president of Russia between 2008 and 2012, when he became the chairman of the ruling party and prime minister. He stepped down as PM in 2020 to run the national security council. Though the West considered him a “liberal” during his presidency, Medvedev has been blunt and outspoken about the special military operation in Ukraine since it was launched in February 2022. Just last week, he ridiculed the World Economic Forum in Davos and warned the West that the current conflict is existential in nature for Russia, which should be kept in mind when it comes to nuclear weapons and their possible use.

Read more …

The Greens play a curious role in Germany. They have a lot of power.

Germany Rewrites History To Blame Russia For Its Own Bad Decisions (Marsden)

The German town of Brunsbuttel, near Hamburg, received a new floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Friday, another step in the country’s search to replace the gas supplies it now can’t get from Russia. Small protests in the vicinity of the port held by locals unhappy with the new facility belied the official fanfare. Meanwhile, wider criticism has been levelled against Berlin’s efforts to boost gas imports by both land and sea, which climate activists believe to be very environmentally unfriendly. German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck, of the Green Party, said the new terminal was necessary because “half of the gas supply to Germany stopped, because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has cut it off. Now the supply has been stopped completely and it will not come back to us.”

Except that’s not how it all went down. Nearly a year ago, just before the Ukraine conflict turned hot and as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stopped the approval process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany and into Europe, Habeck was already keen to give Russian gas the boot. He told public radio that the country could go without it. The comment promptly raised eyebrows in the Western press, with Bloomberg, for example, calling the proposition “tricky.” Habeck’s Greens, and the German government more generally, have long been obsessed with renewables. The Ukraine conflict was merely an excuse to double down. Even the International Energy Agency took note of this back in March 2022. “Progress towards net zero ambitions in Europe will bring down gas use and imports over time,” according to an IEA report.

In April, Habeck said, “We are working actively to become independent on fossil fuels from Russia,” and cited “great progress.” Not once, but twice, Habeck publicly declared that he had reduced his shower time, in hat had become both a means of saving energy and also of sticking it to Putin, a gesture reminiscent of the folks who pull on escalator handrails thinking that they’re helping move all the people to the top. Habeck said that such measures would “annoy Putin.” Actually, it mostly just annoyed Germans and Europeans. Habeck appeared alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a meeting of bloc representatives in Versailles on March 8, when she said, “We must become independent from Russian oil, coal and gas.” Habeck echoed the sentiment: “All the German government’s, the country’s, efforts are going toward reducing this dependency as quickly as possible and then using the energy policy room for maneuver we have gained, including in security policy terms.”

Read more …

“Hungary will not support any EU sanctions that would potentially limit cooperation with Russia in the nuclear field..”

Hungary To Oppose EU’s Anti-Russian Nuclear Sanctions – Foreign Minister (TASS)

Hungary will not support any EU sanctions that would potentially limit cooperation with Russia in the nuclear field, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told reporters during a break at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels Monday. “Hungary will not support any sanctions that in any way limit nuclear cooperation with Russia,” Szijjarto said. The Minister noted that “the European Commission has, obviously, commenced the development of the 10th sanctions package.” However, Hungary warned that it will not support any proposals “if they include restrictions on cooperation with Russia in the nuclear area,” Szijjarto said.


“This would cause enormous damage to our country and violate its energy security,” he underscored. “I made it clear that nuclear energy is crucial for Hungary’s power supply,” the Foreign Minister said, noting that the Paks Nuclear Power plant, which uses Russian nuclear fuel, provides half of the country’s energy supply. “Without the Paks NPP, the current power supply in Hungary would be impossible. Just as it would be impossible to ensure Hungary’s power security in the upcoming decades without construction of new reactor units at the Paks NPP,” Szijjarto said.

Read more …

‘Italy’s posture must return to the defence of its national interests … It doesn’t mean having a negative stance toward others, it means having a positive one for ourselves … because everyone else is doing it’

Italy’s New Foreign Policy And A Multipolar World Order (Papalia)

In recent developments Meloni’s foreign policy has been pointing away from the EU and NATO. She and her political allies have publicly supported Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbàn, who has attacked the sanctions against Russia, following the EU’s condemnation of his authoritarian policies; Hungary is a NATO member but has signed a separate deal with Gazprom to secure supplies of Russian gas. Meloni’s party is also allied to the governing nationalist Right in Poland, the Czech Republic’s governing Civic Democratic Party, and the far right Sweden Democrats Party that triumphed in elections in September 2022. The German far right Alternative für Deutschland Party was ‘jubilant’ over Meloni’s success; it too has opposed sanctions against Russia and its vote is also on the rise.

As in the 1930s, one should not discount ideological and political affinities across national borders, particularly when national interests also align. As Bhadrakumar warns: ‘Do not underestimate the “Meloni effect”. The heart of the matter is that far-right forces invariably have more to offer to the electorate in times of insecurity and economic hardship.’ In the current era, these affinities can be gathered under the broad ideological umbrella of ‘sovereigntism’, putting EU unity at risk. Should Italy distance itself from NATO or leave it altogether, particularly in the light of Turkey’s ambivalent stance and the possibility of a Russian victory in Ukraine, it is doubtful that the alliance would be able to survive. This is not as far-fetched a thought as it might seem.

According to retired Italian General Fabio Mini, former commander of the NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo (2002–03), NATO’s expansion to Eastern Europe over recent decades, promoted by the United States, has further undermined the alliance’s cohesion and unity of purpose. The Ukraine–Russia crisis, as pointed out by Thomas Hughes, a scholar of international and defence policy, ‘marks an existential crisis for NATO’. Under these circumstances the United States would find it increasingly difficult to maintain a military presence in Italy. On 1 October 2022, following news that Germany’s Social Democrat-led government had rejected Italy’s proposed Europe-wide price cap on gas and that Italy would no longer receive gas from Russia through Austria, Meloni addressed a crowd of angry farmers in Milan: ‘Italy’s posture must return to the defence of its national interests … It doesn’t mean having a negative stance toward others, it means having a positive one for ourselves … because everyone else is doing it’.

Read more …

Poles falling over each other to be the most belligerent.

Poland Considered Partitioning Ukraine – Former FM (RT)

Former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has suggested that the government in Warsaw considered partitioning Ukraine in the first weeks of the military conflict between Kiev and Moscow. His comments came in an interview with Radio ZET on Monday, prompting a strong retort from the country’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki. Sikorski was asked if the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) government had ever entertained the idea of dividing up Ukraine. He replied by stating that there was “a moment of hesitation in the first 10 days of the war, when we all didn’t know how it would go, that maybe Ukraine would fall.” “Had it not been for the heroism of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and the help of the West, things could have been different,” Sikorski said.

His remarks soon drew a reaction from Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who accused Sikorski of behaving “like a Russian propagandist.” “The former foreign minister must weigh his words. I expect these disgraceful statements to be withdrawn. I call on the opposition to dissociate themselves from Radoslaw Sikorski’s declaration,” Morawiecki tweeted. It is not the first time Sikorski has been at odds with the government in Warsaw. In September, the ex-minister tweeted “Thank you, USA” alongside a photo of a massive gas leak caused by the sabotage of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

Sikorski further congratulated those responsible for the act, saying the severe damage caused to the natural gas pipelines would force Russia to talk to Poland and Ukraine if it wanted to continue delivering gas to Europe. “Good work,” he concluded in a second tweet. He later deleted both tweets. Russia responded to the former FM’s post by calling it an “official statement” confirming the Nord Stream incident was a “terrorist attack.” It still remains unclear who exactly was behind the sabotage as both Ukraine and Washington and its allies have denied responsibility.

Read more …

“..Of course, if you’re doing a reversal of concepts, you can make anyone look bad.”

Wagner Founder Gives Explanation For US Hostility (RT)

The Wagner Group scares the US because it is willing to oppose American atrocities around the world, the private military company’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed on Monday, answering a question from RT. Washington said last week that it would designate the Russian PMC as an international criminal organization, accusing it of “widespread atrocities and human rights abuses.” “Unlike American paramilitary structures,” Prigozhin said in a written response to RT, “Wagner PMC only goes after the enemies of peace, and does not commit crimes. Of course, if you’re doing a reversal of concepts, you can make anyone look bad.”

The US is the only country to use nuclear weapons in history, and “organized wars and revolutions” in “Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Mozambique, Central Africa and so on,” Prigozhin noted, adding that in some of those countries Wagner came in and “stopped the wars with an iron fist.” Calling the US “a powerful criminal syndicate subsisting on the money of the entire world,” Prigozhin said Wagner was “more like the vice police” in relation. Washington “trained bandits and terrorists all over the world so that there would be unrest everywhere,” while the “fantasy island called the USA” lives in peace, he added. Used to people not fighting back or getting intimidated by name-calling, the Americans don’t know what to do with Wagner, who “looks into the eyes of the personification of world evil without fear.”

Prigozhin said the US objective is to break up Russia just as it did to the USSR, then take on China, in order to maintain its global hegemony. The Wagner Group was originally established in 2014. Over the past year, its fighters have taken part in battles against the Ukrainian military in the Donbass. Earlier this month, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged Wagner’s role in capturing the key town of Soledar. US authorities have accused the PMC of unspecified “human rights violations” in Syria and the Central African Republic, where Wagner helped the government against jihadist insurgents. Last month, the State Department declared Wagner an “entity of particular concern” for religious freedom in Africa, in the same category as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Read more …

Why?

Meta/Facebook Takes Azov Regiment Off Its Dangerous Organizations List (EG)

Facebook parent company Meta has removed the Azov Regiment, a controversial unit within the Ukrainian National Guard with alleged far-right political leanings, from its list of dangerous individuals and organizations. The move, first reported by The Kyiv Independent, means members of the unit can now create Facebook and Instagram accounts and post without Meta automatically flagging and removing their content. Additionally, unaffiliated users can praise the Azov Regiment, provided they abide by the company’s Community Standards. “The war in Ukraine has meant changing circumstances in many areas and it has become clear that the Azov Regiment does not meet our strict criteria for designation as a dangerous organization,” a company spokesperson told The Kyiv Independent.

Sharing more information on the policy change, Meta told The Washington Post it recently began to view the Azov Regiment as a separate entity from other groups associated with the far-right nationalist Azov Movement. Specifically, the company pointed to Ukraine’s National Corp political party and founder Andriy Biletsky, noting they’re still on its list of dangerous individuals and organizations. “Hate speech, hate symbols, calls for violence and any other content which violates our Community Standards are still banned, and we will remove this content if we find it,” Meta said. The Azov Regiment was founded in 2014 by Biletsky following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the start of the Donbas War that same year. Before the unit was integrated into Ukraine’s National Guard in November 2014, it was controversial for its adherence to neo-Nazi ideology.

In 2015, a spokesperson for the Azov Regiment said 10 to 20 percent of the unit’s recruits were self-professed Nazis. At the start of the 2022 conflict, Ukrainian officials said the Azov Regiment still had some extremists among its ranks but claimed the unit had largely become depoliticized. During the months-long siege of Mariupol, the Azov Regiment played a prominent role in the city’s defense. Russia captured many of the battalion’s fighters at the end of the battle. The change underscores just how much Meta’s content moderation policies have changed since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Partway through last year, the company began temporarily allowing people in Ukraine and a handful of other countries to call for violence against Russian soldiers. After the decision created controversy, Meta said it would turn to the Oversight Board for policy guidance, a request the company later withdrew, citing “ongoing safety and security concerns” related to the war.

Read more …

“..Both of these investigations could easily take a year or more.”

The 2024 Election and the “Get Out of Jail Free” Vote (Turley)

President Biden has declared that the criminal investigation into his possession of classified material ultimately will fizzle out because “there is no ‘there’ there.” To the contrary, there obviously is a great deal “there,” enough that a special counsel was appointed to investigate a classified documents trail from a D.C. office closet to Biden’s Delaware garage. Although the president wants Americans to look down the road past images of classified documents next to his vintage Corvette, we may be heading into one of the most bizarre, unsettling moments in our constitutional history. There is now a distinct possibility we will have not just two leading candidates campaigning for the presidency with their own respective special counsels in tow, but two candidates who could be indicted or close to indictment at the time of the election. That would present some novel political and constitutional questions.

A great deal already has been written about comparisons of the two cases and the obvious differences. The Justice Department’s Trump investigation includes not only accusations of mishandling classified material but also of false statements and obstruction; far more documents are involved, too. Yet enough similarities exist that Justice could weigh charges in both cases, even if only misdemeanors. Moreover, the Biden allegations are serious in their own way. The documents in Donald Trump’s possession at Mar-a-Lago were largely housed in a locked storage room with security added at the FBI’s request; there was ’round-the-clock Secret Service protection and camera surveillance. That is not ideal — but it is better than a dozen documents scattered around a closet, garage and library in different states.

There is no question of gross mishandling in Biden’s case. There is only the question of who was responsible. If the evidence shows that Joe Biden used any of these clearly marked documents to write his book or other projects, his insistence on “inadvertent” possession will take on a more sinister meaning as an effort to deceive the public and the FBI. Both of these investigations could easily take a year or more. The average time of a special counsel investigation of a president is over 900 days. These two investigations should take less than the average — but they are starting in 2023, with a presidential election in 2024. Trump has already announced, and Biden is expected to do so soon.

Read more …

Equal justice?

Mar-A-Lago Raid Was Just Another Russia-Collusion Hoax (Fed.)

The search of Biden’s home followed the discovery in November 2022 of at least 10 classified documents, including ones reportedly marked “top secret.” Those documents also dated back to his days as vice president under Barack Obama and were stored in a closet at a private office building in D.C. But the so-called “think tank” where they were stored, the Penn Biden Center, did not open until February 2018, meaning Biden had kept the classified documents found there at another location for the year following his time as vice president. That the classified documents Biden removed from the White House and earlier the Senate were not missed at the time and are only now being discovered — at least a decade later for some — and then only after multiple searches of different locations, contrasts sharply with what happened following Trump’s time in office.

According to then-archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, he watched “the Trumps leave the White House and getting off in the helicopter” at the end of Trump’s term. Ferriero recalled someone was “carrying a white banker box,” prompting Ferriero to ask himself, “What the hell’s in that box?” Ferriero claimed, “[T]hat began a whole process of trying to determine whether any records had not been turned over to the Archives,” with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) “going through materials transferred from the White House in the chaotic final days of Trump’s presidency.” According to The Washington Post, “officials had noticed that certain high-profile documents were missing,” such as “Trump’s correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he had termed ‘love letters.’”

The NARA also could not locate the “National Weather Service map of Hurricane Dorian, which Trump had famously marked up with a black Sharpie pen to extend to Alabama,” or the letter Obama had left for Trump upon the change in administrations. NARA sought the return of these documents, and in January 2022, Trump representatives worked with NARA employees to arrange for 15 boxes of presidential papers to be returned to the archive. Within those boxes were some documents marked “classified,” which led NARA to refer the matter to the Department of Justice. The DOJ then launched an investigation into Trump, even though when alerted to Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified documents, NARA made no such referral.

A grand jury later issued a subpoena for any presidential documents, and following a search of Mar-a-Lago by Trump’s representatives, those documents were turned over. However, after a source told the DOJ that some documents remained at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI obtained a search warrant and executed a surprise raid on the former president’s home. This entire sequence began because NARA went looking for missing documents and then, rather than work with Trump to establish his presidential library and to arrange for the documents to be stored under the auspices of NARA’s custody at a mutually agreeable location — something NARA had done for Obama — NARA created a federal criminal case out of the matter.

Read more …

Maybe 1% will take them.

FDA Panel To Consider Annual Covid-19 Vaccine Shots (Hill)

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory panel on vaccines is set to consider an annual schedule for the coronavirus vaccine, akin to how flu vaccines are administered, when it meets this week. The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet Thursday to discuss how to simplify and streamline the COVID-19 vaccination process, including the composition of coronavirus vaccines and the recommended scheduling for these shots. The rapid evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, resulting in variants with an improved ability to escape immune protection, means that “periodically updating the composition of COVID-19 vaccines as needed,” as was done with the updated bivalent booster, requires consideration, according to panel documents posted Monday.


The panel said it anticipates evaluating the composition of the COVID-19 vaccine annually in June and making a recommendation for the following year — though it acknowledged the difficulties of mounting a globally coordinated vaccine recommendation. “FDA anticipates conducting an assessment of SARS-CoV-2 strains at least annually and to engage VRBPAC in about early June of each year regarding strain selection for the fall season,” the VRBPAC documents said. While acknowledging that COVID-19 and the flu are not identical, VRBPAC said the deployment of the bivalent COVID-19 boosters, created to target both the ancestral strain of the virus as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, was “analogous” to annual flu vaccinations.

Read more …

“There is nothing definitive in the universe, and collapses exist because the old must leave space for the new. ”

Collapse Is Not An Event, But A Process (Ugo Bardi)

About ten years ago, my friend and colleague Massimo Nicolazzi wrote that the inversion of the declining trend of oil production in the US could not be neglected any longer. I commented by saying that it was a short-lived flare that couldn’t last for long. It turned out that Nicolazzi was right and I was wrong. By now, the growth of the US oil production curve has been lasting for more than ten years and is still ongoing — it was not just a short-lived flare. Of course, it cannot last forever but, for the time being, it changed everything. Among others, it propeled the American Empire back to the path of world domination that the Neocons theorized in the 1990s.

Does that mean that Hubbert’s “peak oil” theory is wrong and must be discarded? Of course not. It only means reinforcing some of the basic rules of complex systems. For instance, the one that goes “complex systems always surprise you,” and also, “never take an example as a rule.” So, when dealing with collapse (that I call the “Seneca Cliff) we should always remember that collapse is not an event, it is a process. Collapses have a history, they are the result of the interaction of several factors, and the same processes that generate collapse can also generate its opposite, which I tend to call the “Seneca Rebound.” It is normal. There is nothing definitive in the universe, and collapses exist because the old must leave space for the new.

Recently, for another unexpected change, I identified a new trend: the rapid growth of renewable energy production worldwide. A trend that can be well described by some recent studies in terms of the EROI (energy returned for energy invested) of renewables having become several times larger than that of fossil fuels. No wonder we are seeing — or we’ll soon see — a revolving door effect in energy production. Fossils are out, renewables are in. History rhymes, as it usually does! Then, just like Nicolazzi’s statement about tight oil was not believed by peak-oil hardliners (including me), my statements on renewables were understood as a mortal offense by catastrophistic hardliners. You can’t believe how nasty their comments have been: apart from branding me an incompetent, an idiot, and ignorant of the basic laws of physics, catastrophism seems to be strictly linked to conspirationism, so people have been writing that I cannot tell the truth because I am blackmailed by the powers that be (no, really, someone wrote exactly that!).

The problem is the science of complex systems is never black or white. It doesn’t allow for absolute truths, nor it is sympathetic to people choosing between complacency and panic (the two functioning modes of human beings according to James Schlesinger). The science of complex systems is, well, a little complex and it needs a little mental flexibility to be understood. Not that it takes superhuman mental capabilities, not at all. It is just that you need to free yourself from the schematic way of reasoning that’s normally imposed on all of us by the media.

Read more …

“..the North Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, an important sea current that has been pumping warmer water into the Arctic, is weakening and that’s leading to a cooler North Atlantic area and lower temperatures, as was observed in the period 1950-1970.”

Temperatures in Northern Hemisphere Due to Fall Over Next 25 Years (DS)

Whisper it quietly – and don’t tell Al ‘Boiling Oceans’ Gore – but the Northern hemisphere may be entering a temperature cooling phase until the 2050s with a decline up to 0.3°C. By extension, the rest of the globe will also be cooled. These sensational findings, ignored by the mainstream media, were released last year and are the work of six top international scientists led by Nour-Eddine Omrani of the Norwegian Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research. Published in the Nature journal Climate and Atmospheric Science, the scientists say that the North Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, an important sea current that has been pumping warmer water into the Arctic, is weakening and that’s leading to a cooler North Atlantic area and lower temperatures, as was observed in the period 1950-1970.

Certainly, current observations back up these suggestions. As we reported recently, Arctic summer sea ice stopped declining about a decade ago and has shown recent growth. The Greenland surface ice sheet grew by almost 500 billion tonnes in the year to August 2022, and this was nearly equivalent to its estimated annual loss. Of course, climate alarmists have not quite caught up with these recent trends, with Sir David Attenborough telling his BBC Frozen Planet II audience that the summer sea ice could all be gone within 12 years.

Interestingly, the six scientists, whose work has helped debunk the ‘settled’ science myth, still attribute some global warming to human causes. The Northern hemisphere is characterised by “several multidecadal climate trends that have been attributed to anthropogenic climate change”. But producing work that predicts 30 years of global cooling puts them outside the ‘settled’ narrative that claims human-produced carbon dioxide is the main – possibly the only – determinant of global and local temperatures. At the very least, it dials down the hysteria pushing for almost immediate punitive net-Zero measures. Lead author Omrani is reported to have said that the expected warming pause “gives us time to work out technical, political and economic solutions before the next warming phase, which will take over again from 2050”.

Read more …

“..there’s a growing push to implement the carbon credit scam worldwide. And that’s not a coincidence.”

Carbon Credits Are the Biggest Scam Since Indulgences (IM)

In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church convinced the commoners to buy indulgences to alleviate their sins. And they made a fortune in the process. Similarly, today, our overlords—the mainstream media, central bankers, and their political allies—are working overtime to convince the commoners to pay for their alleged climate sins. Enter carbon credits, government-issued permits that grant you the privilege to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide. Although advocates promote them as a way to “save the environment,” in reality, carbon credits are nothing more than a devious mechanism to tax, regulate, and control you. It’s not a coincidence that the most philosophically and ethically bent people are promoting them.


For example, at a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, participants revealed and touted an “individual carbon footprint tracker.” It will track where people travel, how they travel, what they eat, and what they consume. Carbon accounting is already creeping into many places, like Google Flights. A federal carbon tax is already a reality in Trudeau’s Canada, and it’s causing the price of food and other goods and services to soar. But Canadians haven’t seen anything yet—the federal carbon tax will triple by 2030. In short, there’s a growing push to implement the carbon credit scam worldwide. And that’s not a coincidence. Remember, central banks only exist to harvest wealth from the populace through inflation and redirect it to the politically connected, an insidious practice known as seigniorage.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Pfizer India
https://twitter.com/i/status/1617493297735270400

 

 


‘Girls in the Windows’ – New York (1960) – Ormond Gigli
The building was knocked down the next day

 

 

Kafka

 

 


This iconic picture by Masa Ushioda is now famous as the ‘whale’s high five’ and was taken off the coast of Hona, Hawaii in 2018

 

 

Limit

 

 


Lifeguards working in Croatia.

 

 

Pelican landing
https://twitter.com/i/status/1617631392644628480

 

 


Alligator lurking in the duckweed. Photo: Cole Frechou

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 192023
 
 January 19, 2023  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  88 Responses »


Theo van Doesburg Counter-Construction 1923

 

US May Assist Ukrainian Strikes On Crimea – NYT (RT)
NATO Inflates Russia Threat To Justify Its Existence – Chinese Media (TASS)
Putin: Victory In Ukraine Is “Unavoidable” (ZH)
West Expects Ukraine To ‘Succeed On The Battlefield’ – Blinken (TASS)
‘Fragmented World’ Sleepwalks Into World War III (Escobar)
West ‘Tired’ Of Ukraine Situation – Poland (RT)
Lavrov Lambasts Zelensky’s ‘Absurd’ Ideas Of How To Settle Conflict (TASS)
Russia Posts Record Current Account Surplus (RT)
Saudi Arabia Ready To Ditch Dollar In Trade – Finance Minister (RT)
500 Advertisers Paused Spending At Twitter, Daily Revenue Plunges 40% (ZH)
Microsoft Announces Mass Layoffs (RT)
John Kerry Fuels Davos Controversy With ‘ET’ Speech (RT)
Against the Tide (Jim Kunstler)
The Biden Scam Unravels (Denninger)
Hunter Biden Lived In Classified Doc House While Raking In Chinese Millions (ZH)
After 4 Shots Covid Jabs Sharply Reduced Immune Function In Mice (Berenson)
Jacinda Ardern Resigns As New Zealand’s Prime Minister (PM)

 

 

 

 

Arestovich

 

 

 

 

Tucker FAA
https://twitter.com/i/status/1615605196280799235

 

 

 

 

All Vaccinated Will Die Soon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1615160992371019782

 

 

What?
https://twitter.com/i/status/1615754513994125314

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..willingness to help Ukraine “go on the offense – including targeting Crimea.”

US May Assist Ukrainian Strikes On Crimea – NYT (RT)

The US government is weighing whether to supply Ukraine with the capability to attack the strategically important Crimean Peninsula, according to the New York Times. The discussions highlight a gradual shift among US officials toward more brazen support for Kiev, even as Washington insists it does not seek confrontation with Moscow. Following months of hesitation, the White House is now warming up to the idea that Ukraine may “need the power” for strikes deep inside Russian territory, namely its military stronghold in Crimea, the Times reported on Wednesday, citing several unnamed US officials.

“American officials are discussing with their Ukrainian counterparts the use of American-supplied weapons, from HIMARS rocket systems to Bradley fighting vehicles, to possibly target … Crimea,” the outlet said, adding that Washington “has come to believe that if the Ukrainian military can show Russia that its control of Crimea can be threatened, that would strengthen Kiev’s position in any future negotiations.” Despite Moscow’s heavy fortifications on the peninsula, which hosts Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and other military bases, Crimea remains a “major focus” of Ukrainian battleplans, according to the Times. It is unclear exactly how Washington hopes to assist attacks on the region, but the outlet suggested the decision to supply Kiev with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles showed willingness to help Ukraine “go on the offense – including targeting Crimea.”

Alongside troop transports provided by France and Germany, the military vehicles “could be the vanguard of an armored force that Ukraine could employ in a counteroffensive this winter or spring,” unnamed “government and independent analysts” told the Times. However, even as the White House considers supporting attacks on Russian soil, President Joe Biden continues to refuse Ukrainian requests for longer-range missiles and heavy battle tanks that could be used in a future offensive. He has previously warned that such aid could provoke direct hostilities with Moscow and even kick off a nuclear war, though such concerns appear to be slowly waning as the conflict drags on. “The fear of escalation has changed since the beginning,” an unnamed US defense source told a British newspaper last month, suggesting the Pentagon had “given a tacit endorsement of Ukraine’s long-range attacks on targets inside Russia.”

While State Department spokesman Ned Price insisted on Wednesday that the US is not placing any “limits” on Ukrainian strikes or “making targeting decisions” on Kiev’s behalf, the latest discussions at the White House may indicate a shift in opinion among some officials. Historically a Russian territory from the late 18th century until its transfer to Ukraine under Soviet authorities in 1954, Crimea held a referendum to reunify with Russia following the Euromaidan coup of 2014. Kiev and its Western allies have refused to recognize the vote, however, and say the peninsula is still rightfully Ukrainian land, with President Vladimir Zelensky reiterating hopes for the “reconquest” of the region last month.

Read more …

“Without the function of dealing with such a so-called threat as Russia, NATO would have no use at all…”

NATO Inflates Russia Threat To Justify Its Existence – Chinese Media (TASS)

NATO is trying to inflate the so-called Russia threat to justify its existence, China’s Global Times newspaper said in an editorial on Wednesday. “Without the function of dealing with such a so-called threat as Russia, NATO would have no use at all. Therefore, the NATO chief needs to consider how to prolong the alliance’s life. NATO finds a way to justify its existence by setting up targets, including Russia,” the editorial reads. “But it is impossible for the West as a whole to cut off relations with Russia completely. Russia is an important pole in the multipolar world that the Western world cannot avoid or ignore,” the paper noted.


“If the West and Russia continue to fall into an abnormal state of relations, such as confrontation and conflict, Europe, which is closely connected with Russia, will suffer the most. What’s more, European countries are not monolithic. As large-scale military conflicts in Ukraine ends and sporadic conflicts occur, some European countries may relax sanctions against Russia and develop their bilateral relations, because they know that continuing to contain Russia may undermine their interests, even more than Russia’s,” the editorial added. “The Russia-Ukraine conflict is not a confrontation between the West and Russia, but simply between Washington-led NATO and Moscow,” the newspaper emphasized.

Read more …

“Putin said once that his mother was declared dead and was about to be taken for burial when his father, who had just come home on a visit from the frontlines, managed to ward off a funeral team at the last moment and helped her recover.”

Putin: Victory In Ukraine Is “Unavoidable” (ZH)

In a highly anticipated speech Wednesday on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Red Army breaking the Nazi siege of St. Petersburg (during Soviet times: Leningrad) on Jan. 18, 1943, President Vladimir Putin said that victory in Ukraine is “unavoidable”. Addressing military veterans, Putin said, “Large-scale combat operations involving heavy weapons, artillery, tanks and aircraft haven’t stopped in Donbas since 2014.” He added: “All that we are doing today as part of the special military operation is an attempt to stop this war. This is the meaning of our operation — protecting people who live on those territories.” The talk was filled with the usual themes he’s emphasized since the February invasion, but absent was what many pundits and officials in the West were anticipating when the speech was first unveiled a day ago: formal declaration of war.

But the full mobilization has yet to come; instead, he again reviewed Moscow’s perspective of the causes underlying the conflict. He asserted that Russia attempted to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the years-running war in Donbas, in order to prevent the need to send troops, but emphasized “we were just duped and cheated” by Ukraine and the West. He also said that Russia had a duty to protect the Russian-speakers of eastern Ukraine. The Zelensky government has of late cracked down even harder on Russian culture, placing severe restrictions on Russian books and music, and even arresting Ukrainian Orthodox clerics that maintain unity with the Moscow Patriarchate church.

The Associated Press references some interesting background regarding Putin’s personal family history, which makes the West’s ‘Putler’ references hollow and shallow, given that the Nazi siege of Leningrad (Petersburg) directly impacted Putin’s family: “Putin on Wednesday laid a wreath at the city’s Piskaryov memorial cemetery, where 420,000 civilian victims of the siege and 70,000 Soviet soldiers were buried. He also put flowers in a section where his brother, who died as a child during the siege, was buried in a mass grave.” Putin said once that his mother was declared dead and was about to be taken for burial when his father, who had just come home on a visit from the frontlines, managed to ward off a funeral team at the last moment and helped her recover.

Read more …

I don’t think he thinks that.

West Expects Ukraine To ‘Succeed On The Battlefield’ – Blinken (TASS)

Western countries are adapting their military aid to Kiev and expect Ukraine to “succeed on the battlefield,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a joint press conference with UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Tuesday.According to him, Ukraine has been “strongly supported by our two countries and many other countries.” “We continue to adapt along the way,” the US top diplomat said. “The bottom line is we are determined to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs to succeed on the battlefield,” he asserted. As Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine evolved, so did Western military aid to Kiev, according to Blinken. He stressed that it started “months before the Russian aggression.”


“If you look at the trajectory from Stingers, to Javelins, to HIMARS, to Bradley Fighting Vehicles, to Patriot missile batteries, we have continuously provided what Ukraine needs,” the diplomat said. According to his estimates, Kiev has already received “some $25 billion in security assistance to Ukraine over less than a year.” “I would anticipate that you’ll hear more announcements in the days to come,” he added. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials have repeatedly noted the danger of Western weapon supplies to Ukraine ending up in other regions. Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov cautioned that the militarization of Ukraine by the West directly threatens European and global security.

Read more …

“The resistance of Russia’s economy is leading the imperial American system to the precipice. Nobody had foreseen that the Russian economy would hold facing NATO’s ‘economic power’”

‘Fragmented World’ Sleepwalks Into World War III (Escobar)

Emmanuel Todd was not at Davos. But it was the French anthropologist, historian, demographer and geopolitical analyst who ended up ruffling all the appropriate feathers across the collective West these past few days with a fascinating anthropological object: a reality-based interview. Todd spoke to Le Figaro – the newspaper of choice of the French establishment and haute bourgeoisie. The interview was published last Friday on page 22, sandwiched between proverbial Russophobic screeds and with an extremely brief mention on the bottom of the front page. So people really had to work hard to find it.

Todd joked that he has the – absurd – reputation of a “rebel destroy” in France, while in Japan he’s respected, featured in mainstream media, and his books are published with great success, including the latest (over 100,000 copies sold): “The Third World War Has Already Started”. Significantly, this Japanese best seller does not exist in French, considering the whole Paris-based publishing industry toes the EU/NATO line on Ukraine. The fact that Todd gets several things right is a minor miracle in the current, abysmally myopic European intellectual landscape (there are other analysts especially in Italy and Germany, but they carry much less weight than Todd). So here’s Todd’s concise Greatest Hits.

– A new World War is on: By “switching from a limited territorial war to a global economic clash, between the collective West on one side and Russia linked to China on the other side, this became a World War”.
– The Kremlin, says Todd, made a mistake, calculating that a decomposed Ukraine society would collapse right away. Of course he does not get into detail on how Ukraine had been weaponized to the hilt by the NATO military alliance.
– Todd is spot on when he stresses how Germany and France had become minor partners at NATO and were not aware of what was being plotted in Ukraine militarily: “They did not know that the Americans, British and Poles could allow Ukraine to fight an extended war. NATO’s fundamental axis now is Washington-London-Warsaw-Kiev.”
– Todd’s major give away is a killer: “The resistance of Russia’s economy is leading the imperial American system to the precipice. Nobody had foreseen that the Russian economy would hold facing NATO’s ‘economic power’”.

– Consequently, “monetary and financial American controls over the world may collapse, and with them the possibility for the US of financing for nothing their enormous trade deficit”.
– And that’s why “we are in an endless war, in a clash where the conclusion is the collapse of one or the other.”
– On China, Todd might sound like a more pugnacious version of Liu He at Davos: “That’s the fundamental dilemma of the American economy: it cannot face Chinese competition without importing qualified Chinese work force.”
– As for the Russian economy, “it does accept market rules, but with an important role for the state, and it keeps the flexibility of forming engineers that allow adaptations, industrial and military.”

– And that bring us, once again, to globalization, in a manner that Davos roundtables were incapable of understanding: “We have delocalized so much of our industrial activity that we don’t know whether our war production may be sustained”.
– On a more erudite interpretation of that “clash of civilizations” fallacy, Todd goes for soft power and comes up with a startling conclusion: “On 75 percent of the planet, the organization of parenthood was patrilineal, and that’s why we may identify a strong understanding of the Russian position. For the collective non-West, Russia affirms a reassuring moral conservatism.”
– So what Moscow has been able to pull off is to “reposition itself as the archetype of a big power, not only “anti-colonialist” but also patrilineal and conservative in terms of traditional mores.”

Read more …

“Support for Ukraine only ranked sixth among Democrats and tenth among Republicans.”

West ‘Tired’ Of Ukraine Situation – Poland (RT)

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday that Ukraine’s backers seem to be growing “a little tired” and showing less “emotional” involvement in the ongoing conflict, despite a steady flow of Western weaponry and other aid to Kiev and unprecedented economic pressure on Moscow. “A few months ago, the discussions were on a different emotional level – and the interest was different,” Morawiecki said in an interview with the state broadcaster TVP, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. “The West, the free world, is a little tired and would like to live a normal life,” Morawiecki claimed. “Today, I see this very clearly and I want to warn world leaders, because Russia is patient and looks to tighten its grip on Ukraine in the long term.”

“Everyone would like to live a normal life, but if Ukraine falls, will it be a normal life?” he argued, adding that “fortunately” he sees a “broad consensus” on the issue of Ukraine among the Western leaders in Davos. After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last February, the US and its allies imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow, freezing half its gold and foreign currency reserves and targeting Russian energy exports. The restrictions, however, caused energy prices and living costs to surge, prompting multiple protests across Europe over the past year. Ukrainian officials pledged to fight until their forces seized control of all the territory the country considers its own, while the leaders in Washington and the EU have vowed to help for as long as it takes.

However, according to this week’s opinion poll, roughly half of the people in nine EU nations favor a swift end to the armed conflict in Ukraine, even if it means Kiev would have to relinquish some territory. Americans also don’t consider the ongoing conflict as their top priority, according to a Morning Consult poll made public in December. Democrats cared more about things like climate change and preventing another global pandemic, while Republicans wished the government would focus on immigration, terrorism and drug trafficking. Support for Ukraine only ranked sixth among Democrats and tenth among Republicans.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in July that helping his country should be more important for Americans than domestic concerns, claiming that inflation and coronavirus are “nothing” compared to Ukraine’s struggle, and urging Americans to make sacrifices and support aid for Kiev “until we win.” Since the beginning of the conflict, Poland has become a key hub for the transfer of military aid to Ukraine. Addressing the WEF on Wednesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda pleaded for more deliveries of heavy weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, saying the country may not continue to exist otherwise.

Read more …

“..food security, energy security, biological security, withdrawal of Russian troops from everywhere, Russia’s repentance, tribunal and condemnation..”

Lavrov Lambasts Zelensky’s ‘Absurd’ Ideas Of How To Settle Conflict (TASS)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is putting forward absurd ideas of how to handle the conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference devoted to Russian diplomacy in 2022 on Wednesday. “Zelensky puts forward completely absurd initiatives, like a ten-point plan, where everything is piled up – food security, energy security, biological security, withdrawal of Russian troops from everywhere, Russia’s repentance, tribunal and condemnation,” Lavrov said. Lavrov stressed that negotiations with Zelensky were out of the question. “At least because he legally forbade negotiations with the Russian government,” he recalled.


While addressing the G20 summit in mid-November by video link, Zelensky said that Kiev had its own ten-point “peace plan.” He mentioned nuclear, food and energy security, the exchange of “held persons” according to the “all-for-all” formula, and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Once again Zelensky recalled that Kiev was insisting on international security guarantees and had developed a draft of the corresponding document. The Ukrainian leader added that Kiev wished to see the establishment of an international mechanism to compensate for Ukraine’s losses from hostilities at the expense of Russian assets.

Read more …

“..severe sanctions on Russia that will plunge the Russian economy into recession for decades..”

Russia Posts Record Current Account Surplus (RT)

Russia’s current account surplus almost doubled last year and hit a record high amid rising global energy prices and despite the imposition of Western sanctions, the country’s central bank reported on Tuesday. The current account – which measures the difference between outgoing funds and money coming into the country through trade, investment and transfers – grew by almost 86% year-on-year in 2022 to $227.4 billion, the regulator’s preliminary data showed. The central bank said soaring commodity prices throughout 2022 had helped push the current account balance higher, while imports slowly recovered in the second half of the year.


“The value of imports of goods and services was reduced,” the regulator said. “Nevertheless, the decline in imports observed in the first half of 2022 compared to last year’s indicator was replaced by their gradual recovery.” Russia’s foreign trade surplus in goods and services also surged by 66% from $170.1 billion in 2021 to $282.3 billion last year, reaching a historic maximum for the second straight year. It comes as Moscow has rerouted the bulk of its trade flows eastwards after Western sanctions largely disrupted supply chains with European markets. Trade between Russia and China soared by nearly a third in 2022 to over $190 billion, according to China’s customs data.

Read more …

Yes, the riyal is still pegged to the dollar.

Saudi Arabia Ready To Ditch Dollar In Trade – Finance Minister (RT)

Saudi Arabia is ready to discuss trading in currencies other than the US dollar, according to the Kingdom’s finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan, as cited by Bloomberg. Al-Jadaan’s comments come a month after China’s President Xi Jinping said that Beijing is ready to make energy purchases in yuan instead of the US dollar in trade exchanges with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). China’s leader highlighted the necessity of the shift while speaking at a Chinese-Arab summit hosted by Saudi Arabia earlier this week. “There are no issues with discussing how we settle our trade arrangements, whether it is in US dollar, in euro or in Saudi riyal,” Al-Jadaan said on Tuesday during an interview with Bloomberg in Davos, Switzerland. The oil-rich kingdom is seeking to deepen its ties with vital trade partners, including China.


The readiness for talks on the issue expressed by Riyadh may signal that the world’s biggest oil exporter is open to diversifying away from the US dollar after decades of pricing crude exports in the US currency. The riyal, the Saudi national currency, has been pegged to the greenback, too. The trend towards the shift to national currencies that is recently being observed among the major participants in global trade chains is partially attributed to the policies of secondary sanctions that Washington is pursuing. Initially, the steps towards ditching the US currency in trade, particularly in the energy sector, were intensified in the wake of the sweeping sanctions introduced by Western nations against Russia, one of the world’s major energy producers and exporters, over the military operation in Ukraine.

Read more …

I think they’ll be okay.

500 Advertisers Paused Spending At Twitter, Daily Revenue Plunges 40% (ZH)

Questions are swirling about the health of Twitter Inc.’s ad business. Since taking over Twitter, Elon Musk has faced an exodus of executives and advertisers. Nearly three months as ‘Chief Twit,’ Musk’s social media platform might be experiencing a significant decline in daily ad revenue and hundreds of top advertisers paused spending. The Information reported that a senior Twitter manager told staff on Tuesday that more than 500 of Twitter’s top advertisers have paused spending since Musk bought the company on October 27.

An alarming crisis is festering in the company’s core ads business. Siddharth Rao, a manager supervising the engineers working on Twitter’s ad business, also told employees that daily revenue plunged 40% versus the same day a year ago, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. “While Musk plans to diversify Twitter’s revenue away from ads in the long run, continued deterioration of that business will make it harder for the company to break even on a free cash flow basis in 2023 as Musk predicted it would three weeks ago,” The Information said. Musk reduced the company’s headcount by thousands of employees to supplement sliding ad revenue and quickly pushed a paid verification subscription for users.

However, Axios reported under Musk’s leadership, the social media company has secured content sponsorship deals with three dozen news outlets, media companies, and sports leagues. “This year, almost all of the major sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA Tour and more, plan to run content deals on Twitter around regular season games and tentpole events, like March Madness, NBA Playoffs and the Super Bowl, according to the schedule seen by Axios.” Twitter makes most of its money through advertising and now user subscriptions. It remains to be seen if Musk’s radical overhaul of the social media platform will be successful.

Read more …

It’s not just Twitter.

Microsoft Announces Mass Layoffs (RT)

Microsoft announced on Wednesday it will eliminate 10,000 jobs worldwide, almost 5% of its workforce, and take a $1.2-billion charge as global growth is slowing down. In a note to employees seen by Reuters, the company’s chief executive Satya Nadella said the layoffs would conclude by the end of March, with notifications beginning Wednesday. According to the CEO, the company was grappling with a slump in the personal computer market as customers that were accelerating their spending on digital technology during the pandemic are now trying to “optimize their digital spend to do more with less.”


“We’re also seeing organizations in every industry and geography exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one,” Nadella wrote. He added, however, that Microsoft will continue to hire in key strategic areas, emphasizing the importance of building a “new computer platform” using advances in artificial intelligence. Microsoft’s jobs-cut announcement follows similar ones from other big tech companies amid rising concerns of a global slowdown. Amazon said earlier it will be slashing about 18,000 positions while Facebook parent Meta is laying off 11,000, about 13% of its workforce. Twitter’s new CEO Elon Musk has recently also slashed the company’s workforce.

Read more …

Delusions of grandeur. They can be dangerous.

John Kerry Fuels Davos Controversy With ‘ET’ Speech (RT)

US climate envoy John Kerry has drawn widespread mockery for his speech to the World Economic Forum, in which he sought to portray the people gathered there as wise saviors of the world. “When you start to think about it, it’s pretty extraordinary that we – a select group of human beings, because of whatever touched us at some point in our lives – are able to sit in a room and come together and actually talk about saving the planet,” Kerry told a WEF panel on Tuesday. “I mean, it’s so almost extraterrestrial to think about ‘saving the planet.’ If you say that to most people, most people think you’re just a crazy, tree-hugging, lefty liberal, you know, do-gooder, or whatever, and there’s no relationship. But really, that’s where we are,” he added.

Later in the speech, Kerry lamented that “allegedly wise adult human beings” ignored the science, mathematics and physics of climate change, and said he was certain the world will “get to a low-carbon, no-carbon economy” because “we have to.” Kerry lost the 2004 US presidential election but went on to be secretary of state during Barack Obama’s second presidential term, taking over from Hillary Clinton. He returned to Washington in 2021 as President Joe Biden’s “climate change czar.”While some critics on social media pointed out that Kerry preaches carbon caps while jetting around the world on a private jet, others zeroed in on his “extraterrestrial” remarks about a select few. “Who are you going to sacrifice to save the planet,” tweeted psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson, “and do you think and how will you ensure that they have any say in the matter?”

“I always knew they were aliens,” joked Timcast co-host Luke Rudkowski. Others, like conservative radio host Vince Coglianese, compared the Davos event to a summit of cartoon supervillains. “WEF is increasingly becoming an unelected world government that the people never asked for and don’t want,” billionaire Elon Musk commented on the gathering. The 2023 WEF summit is reportedly being attended by 2,700 participants, including more than 600 global CEOs, 116 billionaires and over 50 world leaders.Kerry’s speech about a “touched” few special leaders wasn’t the only controversy at this year’s gathering in the Swiss Alps. Someone at the WEF also decided it was a good idea to have former CNN employee Brian Stelter host a panel on “Clear and Present Danger of Disinformation,” at which European Commission VP Vera Jourova asserted the US will “soon” have laws against “hate speech,” just like the EU.

Read more …

“The payments per patient ranged wildly, state by state from $18,000 (NJ) to a whopping $471,000 (WVa). Why was that?”

Against the Tide (Jim Kunstler)

Former US attorney and chief-of-staff to the SecDef, Kash Patel, had a good idea: start with the latest insult to the country. Haul in the newly-appointed special counsel assigned to the “Joe Biden” purloined document scandal. His name is Robert Hur. He was a top aide to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the height of RussiaGate, and liaison to the Robert Mueller operation. Mr. Hur participated in filing falsified warrants based on Steele Dossier nonsense to the FISA court. He should have been accountable for that. He’s not fit to serve as any sort of legal arbiter in a national scandal. He was not appointed to shed any light on the issue, but to bury it under a load of procedural horse-shit, in particular, the dodge that questions about “ongoing investigations” can’t be answered. Let’s disarm that weapon from the get-go. And why not appoint Mr. Patel chief counsel to the Weaponization of Government Committee?

Another person who must answer right away is CDC Director Rochelle Walensky because her agency is still aggressively pushing mRNA shots strongly implicated in causing injury and death among the American people. There are no more obvious weapons against the people than these deadly products retailed by Pfizer and Moderna. The government’s “vaccination” crusade has to stop ASAP. Not one more dose of the stuff should be given to anybody. An audit needs to be run on the CDC’s data base to determine exactly how it was manipulated to hide the facts about “vaccine” injuries and deaths. The public should also hear why Ms. Walensky’s CDC promoted “incentive payments” to hospitals for each patient who died testing positive for Covid-19 (not necessarily from Covid-19). The payments per patient ranged wildly, state by state from $18,000 (NJ) to a whopping $471,000 (WVa). Why was that?

The payments amounted to a bonanza for hospital administrators, who were incentivized not only to misattribute cause-of-death — the proverbial motorcycle crash victim who tests positive — but to let people die on ventilators. The Weaponization of Government Committee might also subpoena FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf and his two predecessors during the Covid-19 event, Janet Woodcock and Stephen Hahn. The country needs to hear what they knew about the operation that produced the “vaccines” with such astonishing speed — as if these products were somehow in development before Covid-19 even appeared on the scene. They also need to answer about the shenanigans behind the following: the fudged and expedited “vaccine” trials; the demonization and virtual outlawing of existing safe and effective FDA-approved drugs for early treatment, ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and other meds; the promotion of toxic remdesivir as a primary therapy for C-19; and the initiation and extension (for three years) of an emergency use authorization that shielded the drug companies from liability while injuries and deaths mounted.

Read more …

Puzzled by this:

Hunter also claimed that said house was owned by him, but the tax and deed records say otherwise.

The Biden Scam Unravels (Denninger)

Well now the classified document scandal has really blown up in Biden’s face. But even more-intriguing is that there is an apparent set of evidence of both hinky dealing and intentional cover-up to be found in Biden’s tax returns and the revelation that Hunter was paying Joe $50,000 a month to rent a house that was worth a couple of million. Hunter also claimed that said house was owned by him, but the tax and deed records say otherwise. That, however, is Hunter’s problem — not Joe’s. Joe’s tax return not only shows the property tax paid on the house it also deducts mortgage interest. It’s his house both by deed and by who’s covering the mandatory bills. Joe’s tax returns from the subject year shows business income from pass-throughs (two S corps) which is perfectly legal.

The tax returns do not show income in that classification from other sources; ergo, said “rental” has to be inside one of those two corporations or there is a serious felony involved, because that would be $600,000 of undeclared (and untaxed) income. Line 17 of Schedule 1 shows this and ties back from Schedule E, as it must. The other “business income or loss” from Schedule C is inconsequential in amount. But this leads to a very serious question: There’s nothing wrong with an S corp owning property but does it not have to be titled into the corporation? It wasn’t; at all times material the house was owned by Jill and Joe Biden in their personal capacity. It was not in a trust of some sort nor was it retitled into an S-corp as there’s no record of either.

That seems rather hinky but perhaps not. In any event rental property is very different than a personal residence in that with rental property there’s depreciation and all other manner of things you can deduct that isn’t true for a personal residence — but if you convert it back to a personal residence that gets recaptured which is something I’ve warned other people to be careful of. So let’s see the records on those two S-Corps that the Bidens declared and paid taxes on during that year. Is the rental income from Hunter in there, and if so, how does the S-Corp, which I remind as a corporation must keep formal books of account and not lie in any material respect account for income from an asset it does not own?

If the rental income isn’t in those two S-Corps then either it never existed or Joe and Jill ripped off the government and committed tax fraud on the $600,000 paid by Hunter to Joe that is not declared anywhere in their state or federal tax returns. In any event someone is hiding something in there. Whether this is more confabulation of a drug-addled Hunter or was disclosure of “10% for the big guy” kicked back to his father under the table and either improperly buried in an S-Corp “profit” that never owned the asset in question and thus can’t do that or Joe and Jill got $600,000 worth of undeclared income and didn’t pay taxes on it is now the question that demands an answer.

Read more …

“..the same media which suggested the Trumps were Russian operatives based on a hoax – are virtually silent at actual risks to national security posed by the Biden family.”

Hunter Biden Lived In Classified Doc House While Raking In Chinese Millions (ZH)

[..] Second, the Washington Free Beacon reports that photos from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop place him at the Wilmington House in July, 2017. Of note, the classified documents were reportedly brought to the house in January of that year. The photos ‘are the most concrete evidence to date’ that Hunter – who was actively negotiating a deal with a CCP-linked Chinese energy company – had access to areas of his father’s home where classified documents were stored. A Washington Free Beacon review of the laptop found four 2017 photographs of Hunter Biden, clad in a white collared shirt and a camouflage baseball cap, behind the wheel of his father’s 1967 Corvette Stingray. GPS metadata embedded in the photos indicate they were taken within a minute of each other at 6:49 p.m. on July 30 of that year, just outside the president’s Wilmington, Del., residence. The photos show Hunter Biden posing in the vehicle beside two young girls. One appears to be his then-12-year-old niece, Natalie Biden. The other could not be identified.

Former Secret Service agent and certified cyber forensics expert, Konstantinos Gus Dimitrelos, analyzed the photos and confirmed their authenticity. “If requested, I will testify the photographs are genuine and were taken on July 30, 2017,” he told the Free Beacon. And as the Beacon further reports – corroborating Breitbart’s reporting, “At the time the photos were taken, Hunter Biden was negotiating a lucrative business deal with the now-defunct Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC, which was closely tied to the Chinese government. Biden’s former bus