Nov 202022
 
 November 20, 2022  Posted by at 2:20 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  9 Responses »


Ivan Aivazovsky Sea channel with lighthouse 1873

 

 

I suggest we have three “pairings” of people. In Russia, there’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. In the US, we have Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre. In the EU, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. Of course, there’s also President Biden and Putin; the EU has no president, it only has von der Leyen. Likewise, you at times see Russian and American Defense misters, but the EU doesn’t have one of those either. It sort of makes do with Borrell.

For the three pairings, the job titles are different, but these are the people you see talking most when Ukraine is the topic. Certainly Lavrov, but also Zakharova, are diplomats. Blinken and Borrell like to call themselves that, but they are obviously not. The job of a true diplomat is to always leave channels open to talk with everyone, and never condemn or speak ill of, anyone -in public. It’s bad manners. But Blinken is a neocon who’s been cheering on various US invasions for 30 years, and that disqualifies him from diplomacy. As for Jean-Pierre, let’s not even discuss her. We don’t want to insult Zakharova by even trying to make a comparison.

Von der Leyen and Borrell have the disadvantage that their power is not genuine. They have never been elected to their posts, other than by a small group of insiders that are easily controlled. Moreover, the EU has no army, it depends 100% on the US, so independent decisions are out of the question. The EU is talking again about its own army, and even about building its own fighter jet, but each would cost at least 10 years, and thus be useless in the current situation.

Perhaps that’s why Von der Leyen and Borrell talk more, and more aggressively, than the others. But with that talk, along with the sanctions they have made the bloc’s policy, they have brought a lot of misery to the people in their member countries. Of course, they claim this is inevitable, and it’s all Russia’s fault, but that is merely a claim. Just like the idea that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was totally unprovoked. That practically no country outside the “collective west” think it’s true says a lot.

And the next colossal and fully unnecessary blunder appears to come next week, when the European parliament is poised to declare Russia a “Terrorist State”. What they hope to achieve by that, who knows? Bragging rights? Diplomats don’t do those. Even the US refuses to go there, because “none of these efforts at keeping some kind of potential negotiations open would be possible if the US slapped a ‘terrorist state’ label on Russia.” The ‘terrorist state’ label comes straight from Zelensky, and the EU appears set to still follow him closely. While the US is creating some distance from him. The talk in Turkey last week between the US and Russian intelligence chiefs should not be overlooked. And yes, that’s right, the EU doesn’t have an intelligence chief.

When Zelensky and Poland tried to lure the US into a NATO war against Russia in reaction to the “missile over Poland”, the US for the first time said a firm “NO”. A turning point? It’s the US making clear they will not enter the war. Because as Lidia Misnik wrote: ‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ What’s more, as Batiushka said, “In Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to [Saddam] Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.”

 

 

The best thing to do for the EU would be to get rid of both Borrell and von der Leyen, and adopt a less antagonistic and more diplomatic position vs Russia, but that may be hard to achieve, given the power structure in Brussels. Still, there must be a few French and German real diplomats left. But, ironically (?!), the US may not agree. They may want for the EU to continue it’s self-destructive path for a while, at the same time that the US washes its hands clean(er). European pain is American gain in many ways. Just look at EU purchases of weapons and LNG. Once Europe freezes over, this will not be a viable attitude, but for now…until Christmas…

From RT via Azerbaycan:

Borrell’s Ideas Deepen EU Divisions – Moscow

The EU’s policies towards Moscow promoted by foreign policy chief Josep Borrell only deepen the divisions in the bloc, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday. Earlier this week, the top EU diplomat proposed six points to serve as guidelines for diplomacy towards Russia amid the Ukraine conflict. Commenting on Borrell’s plans, Zakharova said that while it is “too soon” to speak about what it may entail, Moscow “does not harbor any illusions” about the bloc’s political thinking. “Unfortunately, the ideas which are being sold to EU members by… Borrell do not contain even a hint of the EU’s strategic vision [regarding Russia].”

“They only work to deepen the … divisions in Europe,” the spokeswoman stated, adding that the EU has not proposed any measures to solve the numerous problems in bilateral relations. Revealing his six-point plan, Borrell described the stand-off with Russia as a “geopolitical battle,” and insisted that the EU should, among other things, isolate Russia internationally, hold it accountable for its alleged misdeeds, while cooperating with the bloc’s partners and supporting civil rights groups. While trying to root out any alternative points of view, the EU has fully embraced the idea of isolating Russia, Zakharova said, adding that “this is hopeless and will only impose costs on EU countries and their citizens, who are forced to pay out of their own pockets for the strategic blunders of their politicians.”

“It’s emblematic that most global capitals are not ready to follow … Brussels, which, in its medieval logic, is bringing the world back to the age of schism, high walls, and besieged fortresses,” she said. Her comments come as EU countries face protests over high energy prices and surging costs of living, which have been worsened by the sanctions on Russia. In late October, thousands of Czech citizens rallied in Prague to decry the rampant inflation, while calling on the government to begin direct talks with Moscow over gas imports.

EU member state Hungary has repeatedly spoken out against the sanctions. Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto claimed that they “have failed” and have only backfired on the EU and damaged the economy. Following the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, relations between the EU and Russia deteriorated rapidly as Western countries imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow. In June, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov claimed that EU-Russian ties had frayed to the point that it would be difficult to damage them any further.

 

 

You can just about watch the EU under the present “leadership” commit hara kiri in real time.

From Zero Hedge:

European Parliament Set To Designate Russia A “Terrorist State”

The European Parliament has prepared a resolution recognizing Russia as a “terrorist state” – to be subject of a vote held during a session in Strasbourg next week, according to a spokesperson’s briefing at a Friday news conference. The largely symbolic resolution was drafted by the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and cites Russia’s “intimidation and destruction of Ukrainians as a nation,” according a draft previously seen by Euronews. The political blocs Renew Europe and the European Conservatives and Reformists are also said to be backing a formal declaration which could come as early as next Wednesday.

While not legally binding, the resolution can be used for the EU to slap further sanctions on Moscow, and can create momentum for other countries like the UK to adopt the ‘terror state’ label for Russia. However, the UK has so far resisted these calls from some individual British politicians and officials. So far, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been the first to legally recognize Russia as a terrorist state. The Biden administration has also thus far resisted some isolated Congressional calls to do so, as the Kremlin has warned such a measure would destroy all ties and communications. It would make negotiated settlement in Ukraine almost an impossibility.

So far it’s especially been the Pentagon which has sought to keep an open line of communications. The CIA director William Burns was also in Turkey this week meeting with this Russian intelligence counterpart. But none of these efforts at keeping some kind of potential negotiations open would be possible if the US slapped a ‘terrorist state’ label on Russia. The US is also chiefly interested in pursuing prisoner swaps, with citizens like Brittney Griner now serving long prison sentences.

There are things shifting and moving, especially on the US side. It’s very much the question if that will happen fast enough for the people of Europe, who will be cold, and Ukraine, who will be cold and in the dark..

 

 

 

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Oct 122022
 
 October 12, 2022  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  65 Responses »


Salvador Dali The tartan el son 1919

 

Russia’s Victory Will Be NATO’s Defeat – Stoltenberg (RT)
NATO Admitted It’s At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)
Pfizer Admits It Had No Idea If mRNA Vaccine Would Prevent Transmission (OK)
Sweden Won’t Share Findings Of Nord Stream Probe With Russia (RT)
Will They Ever Learn? -answer: probably not- (Saker)
WHODUNNIT? A Pipeline Mystery -not really- (Blair)
Saving Private Ukraina: The End-Game on the Horizon? (Batiushka)
Putin Reveals Russia’s Goals In Global Energy Market (RT)
US Seeks ‘Economic Domination’ Over EU – Paris (RT)
Russia Would ‘Consider’ G20 Putin-Biden Meeting – Lavrov (RT)
Lavrov: Russia Open to Talks With the West, US Dismisses Comments (Antiwar)
Kiev Introduces Rolling Power Blackouts (RT)
Germany Discusses Distributing €200 Billion In Gas Price Subsidies (ZH)
Who’s Afraid of Tulsi Gabbard? Everyone (Luongo)

 

 


The Economist

 

 

Malone Ladapo

 

 

 

 

Kharkov Lebanon

 

 

 

 

Still not involved?

Russia’s Victory Will Be NATO’s Defeat – Stoltenberg (RT)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Tuesday that a military victory for Russia in Ukraine would spell defeat for the entire Western alliance. Despite providing “unprecedented support” to Kiev, Stoltenberg still claims that the US-led bloc is not a party to the conflict. Addressing reporters on the eve of a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Stoltenberg declared that continued arms shipments to Ukraine are vital to ensure “that Ukraine wins the battle, the war against the invading Russian forces.” However, this assistance has come at a price for the alliance’s own militaries. Germany’s weapons and ammo stocks have been critically depleted since late August. The same month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US’ stockpiles of 155mm artillery ammunition were “uncomfortably low.”

Asked whether weakening its own forces to strengthen Ukraine’s is a wise policy, Stoltenberg described the conflict in Ukraine as existential to the alliance. “If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wins, that is not only a big defeat for the Ukrainians, but it will be the defeat, and dangerous, for all of us,” he said. NATO is heavily invested in Ukraine, with the alliance’s members providing training, intelligence capability, and tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons to the Ukrainian military. Despite this “unprecedented support,” Stoltenberg has repeatedly claimed that “NATO is not a party to the conflict.”

Moscow sees things differently. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused NATO of waging war against Russia “by proxy,” while Putin has described Russia as fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. NATO leaders claim that their weapons systems have enabled Kiev’s troops to make a series of advances in the south and east of the country in recent weeks. However, with Moscow’s military operation under new command, these advances have come to a halt, and after two days of devastating Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian military and infrastructure targets, Kiev is once again pleading with the West for heavier and longer-range weapons.

Read more …

“Now is the right time to be firm and to be clear that NATO is there to protect and defend all allies.”

NATO Admitted It’s At War With Russia – Medvedev (RT)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg may have inadvertently admitted that the Western military alliance is at war with Moscow, at least in the eyes of former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. At issue is Stoltenberg’s statement on Tuesday that a military victory for Russia in Ukraine would be a defeat for NATO. Medvedev called the comment “an open confirmation of NATO’s participation in the war against our country – an unwise, but pure-hearted remark. The honest Norwegian fellow has finally admitted it.” Stoltenberg, formerly prime minister of Norway, made his comments in a press briefing as NATO ministers prepared to meet on Wednesday with Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov.

Among other issues, the ministers will discuss how to meet Kiev’s “urgent needs” and shore up their own weapons stockpiles after shipping billions of dollars’ worth of military aid to Ukraine in hopes of helping to defeat Russian forces. “There’s an urgent need for air defense, but of course also many other capabilities – precision-guided ammunition, HIMARS and other advanced, modern, NATO-standard systems,” Stoltenberg said of Ukraine’s aid requests. He added that NATO members are providing unprecedented support because “they understand that we have a moral, political and security interest in ensuring that Ukraine wins the war against President Putin.”

Russian officials have pointed out that providing more advanced weaponry to Ukraine, such as multiple rocket launcher (MRL) systems, will increase the risk of triggering a wider conflict. “The fastest way to bring the conflict in Ukraine to the point of no return is to arm the psychos in Kiev with longer-range MRLs,” Medvedev said. “The elderly leaders of Washington obkom and NATO upstarts must use their softened brains at least sometimes.” Stoltenberg insisted that NATO is “not a party to the conflict,” even as it plays a “key role.” He vowed that the bloc will stand with Ukraine “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. “It is important for all of us that Ukraine wins the battle, the war against the invading Russian forces, because if Putin wins, that is not only a big defeat for Ukrainians, but it will be a defeat and dangerous for all of us.”

The NATO chief also accused Putin of “reckless nuclear rhetoric,” contributing to “the most significant escalation since the start of the war.” However, when asked whether the risk of a miscalculation amid heightened tensions with Russia prompted NATO members to consider canceling or modifying the bloc’s planned nuclear drill next week, he said, “Now is the right time to be firm and to be clear that NATO is there to protect and defend all allies.”

Read more …

“..we had to really move at the speed of science..”

Pfizer Admits It Had No Idea If mRNA Vaccine Would Prevent Transmission (OK)

In a stunning turn of events, one of Pfizer’s top executives admitted Monday that the Pharma giant had no idea if the mRNA vaccine that Pfizer developed would prevent transmission of the coronavirus.According to The Blaze, the company’s president of international development markets, Janine Small, testified before the COVID committee of the European Parliament in place of CEO Albert Bourla. There was no word if Bourla missed the event after testing positive for COVID yet again, despite his previous claims that his company’s vaccine was 100% effective.One Dutch member of the European Parliamen asked Small if she could provide evidence that Pfizer believed its vaccine would prevent transmission before it was released widely in late 2020.

As quoted by The Blaze, the member of parliament specifically asked, “Was the Pfizer COVID vaccine tested on stopping the transmission of the virus before it entered the market? If not, please say it clearly. If yes, are you willing to share the data with this committee? ”That’s when the executive admitted, on the record, that the vaccine mandates and passports imposed by governments worldwide were entirely unjustified: “Regarding the question around, did we know about stopping immunization before it entered the market? No.” Small continued, saying that the company was moving too quickly to answer that extremely important question: “These, um, you know, we had to really move at the speed of science to really understand what is taking place in the market. And from that point of view, we had to do everything at risk.”

The Dutch politician summarized how governments claimed that getting vaccinated was a societal good that helped others, not just yourself: “If you don’t get vaccinated, you’re anti-social! This is what the Dutch prime minister and health minister told us. You don’t get vaccinated just for yourself, but also for others — you do it for all of society. That’s what they said,” Roos recounted. “Today, this turns out to be complete nonsense.” Roos also said he found the revelations “shocking, even criminal.”

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Can’t risk the Russians finding out who did it.

Sweden Won’t Share Findings Of Nord Stream Probe With Russia (RT)

Sweden will not share the results of its investigation into the explosions that severely damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in late September with Russia, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has said. President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow already knows who the main beneficiary of the attack is. Speaking to journalists on Monday, Andersson explained that “In Sweden, our preliminary investigations are confidential, and that, of course, also applies in this case.” She noted, however, that Russia can conduct its own probe at the site if it wants to, as Stockholm has removed the cordons in the area. “The Swedish economic zone is not a territory that Sweden disposes of,” Andersson clarified.


The Swedish authorities say they found evidence that points to sabotage. Last week, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin urged Stockholm to allow the Russian authorities and state-owned energy giant Gazprom to participate in the investigation. Commenting on the situation during a meeting of the Security Council of Russia on Monday, President Vladimir Putin said that despite the fact that Russia is not being given access to the investigation, “we all know well who the ultimate beneficiary of this crime is.” Earlier, Putin accused “the Anglo-Saxons,” a Russian colloquialism for the US-UK alliance, of being behind what Moscow described as an “act of international terrorism.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hailed the attack as a “tremendous opportunity” for Europe “to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy.”

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“..the Europeans have decided to exclude Russia from the investigation about what really happened with NS1 and NS2. Which makes sense: the EU cannot let Putin know that he blew up his own pipelines. right?”

Will They Ever Learn? -answer: probably not- (Saker)

It was also funny to see that once the Ukronazis realized how stupid (and dangerous!) their proud claims that they were the ones who blew up the truck on the bridge, they decided to blame Putin. So, as per our Ukronazi pals, Putin blew up the “Putin bridge” for some as of yet unnamed purpose, but most definitely an evil one. Even more hilarious were the hardcore Banderistas à la Aristovich who were celebrating each Russian strike because “now the Russians have one less missile to use”. Clearly, a war-winning mindset 🙂

In fact, the Russians are so evil that the Europeans have decided to exclude Russia from the investigation about what really happened with NS1 and NS2. Which makes sense: the EU cannot let Putin know that he blew up his own pipelines. right? And the fact that Russia is one of the main proprietors of NS1/NS2 does not matter one bit: as always (MH17, Skripal, Navalnyi, etc.) the Russian Snow Niggers need to be treated with the utmost contempt by the European Master Race. That will convince the Russians to take the Eurolemmings seriously. “Eurologic” at its best… But, seriously, away from the la-la land of various Nazi supporters and Russian 6th columnists, most of the traffic on the Crimean bridge was restored in less than 24 hours. Then came the Russian response: in a quick series of strikes, Russia switched off the electricity over the entire Ukraine, Lvov (the real capital of Banderastan) included.

Compare the two actions and tell me who is winning and who is losing this war 🙂 Of course, the usual gang of “alternatively gifted” Putin critics will scream that this is all too little too late. As for the Ukronazis, they are already chanting their favorite mantra about “Russia is running out of missiles! Russia is running out of missiles!“. A brilliant war-winning strategy for sure! Those still capable of critical/rational thought will realize that the sheer magnitude and devastating consequences of the Russian strikes is just a signal that Putin is doing what he has been doing since February:

• Acting unilaterally without any efforts to negotiate (but without rejecting any negotiations should somebody in the West come to his/her senses). • Slowly and gradually increase the pain dial not only for the rump Ukraine but also for the entire EU. One more thing: assuming that Russia fired somewhere in the range of 200 missiles (out of stocks having many thousands more) against power stations, communications nodes, railway infrastructure, command posts, field headquarters, transformers, etc. and that this was more than enough to “pull the plug” on a huge country like the Ukraine tells you all you need to know about both the Russian capabilities and the lack of capabilities of Ukronazi air defenses (including old Soviet-era S-300 slamming into the ground the same way US Patriot missiles did during the Gulf War).

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“(Obama, Trump, Sleepy Joe, Ned Price, Stinkin’ Blinken, Droolin’ Nuland etc)”

WHODUNNIT? A Pipeline Mystery -not really- (Blair)

Motive: The aphorisms of cui bono? and follow the money apply here. The USA from even before Nordstream 2 was built, repeatedly voiced and demonstrated their rabid opposition to it (Obama, Trump, Sleepy Joe, Ned Price, Stinkin’ Blinken, Droolin’ Nuland etc). The crash-test-dummy-in-chief himself is on the record of saying with a smirk that no matter what (even though it was a Russian-German project which had nothing to do with the USA), one way or another it would be stopped…nudge, nudge, wink, wink. The West forced Russia to invade Ukraine in February 2022 (in response to the massive buildup of Ukronazi forces on the border and the >30x ramp-up of Ukronazi shelling of Donbass), just before Nordstream 2 was due to come online.

This gave the new oafish Scholz sin-cojones government (possessing less balls than the previous Merkel government) the excuse to refuse pipeline certification. Hardly coincidental timing. In September, just prior to the pipeline explosions, there were widespread public protests in numerous German cities demanding that sanctions against Russia be revoked and that cheap pipeline gas again be bought from Russia. The pipeline explosions seemed to eliminate such a future option. The USA has defacto received a massive financial windfall from the pipeline sabotage (witness Stinkin’ Blinken’s nauseous crowing about this “tremendous opportunity”). Such despicable skulduggery was the ONLY way that super expensive US LNG could be EVER be exported to Europe, because it could NEVER be economically (nor environmentally) competitive with super cheap Russian gas.

So much for the USA’s much vaunted practice of “free market” competition, another Orwellian term spewed out like projectile vomitus by them, which is better translated as “rigged Mafioso thuggery” or as Putin called it, “terrorism”. Russia had zero motive to bomb the pipelines. On the contrary, it was hugely detrimental to their interests, representing the multi-billion dollar loss of built infrastructure, the several hundred million dollar loss of natural gas and the loss of a future bargaining chip which could entice Europe to overturn the anti-Russia sanctions and buy cheap Russian gas again. The fact that the Russians offered to repair the pipes proves that it continues to be in their interest to keep them.

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“..military men are essentially pacifists. That does not mean that they are cowards, it means that, as professionals, they want to achieve their aims avoiding losses as far as possible.”

Saving Private Ukraina: The End-Game on the Horizon? (Batiushka)

Unlike warmongering politicians, who do not do the fighting and do not face getting splattered by the brains and guts spilling out from inside other human-beings alive a few moments before, military men are essentially pacifists. That does not mean that they are cowards, it means that, as professionals, they want to achieve their aims avoiding losses as far as possible. The aim is not to kill other human-beings. All the more so in the Ukraine, where those opposing you are the same race as yourself and with similar values. Kiev is not going to be flattened, it is a Russian City, indeed, it is called ‘The Mother of Russian Cities’. The SMO is to be implemented with as few losses as possible.

The Ukraine is to be freed, not destroyed. This war is against the USA and its blind but subservient vassals, not against the Ukraine and the Ukrainians. The Ukrainian people are being held hostage. The aim of any liberation is to free and save the hostages, not to kill them. The hostages are not the enemy. The enemies are the hostage-takers, Zelensky and Company. This whole operation is about saving the Ukraine, not destroying it. Another thing that some in Western countries forget is that Russians have Asian patience. This is quite unlike Western impatience. Russia has not forgotten the Teutonic Knights in 1242, the Poles in the Time of Troubles (1598-1613), the Swedes at Poltava in 1709, Napoleon in 1812, the Franco-British in 1854-56, the Kaiser in 1914, Hitler in 1941, or Clinton in the 1990s.

It is all listed and remembered, just as the Chinese have not forgotten the British-run genocide of the Chinese in the Opium Wars, just as the Indians have not forgotten British atrocities in the First Indian War of Independence (the British call it ‘The Indian Mutiny’) in 1857-8, just as the Iranians have not forgotten the overthrow of their democracy by the British in 1953 and then the torture-chambers of the Shah’s secret police. The point is that you should not poke the bear. Like Asians, Eurasian Russians have huge patience, but they forget absolutely nothing. When Kiev started its massacres in the Ukraine in 2014, all was noted. After the Bridge, that patience came to an end. The Russians have now appointed as Commander in Chief of what is now an anti-terrorist operation General Surovikin, nicknamed ‘General Armageddon’. His name, which comes from the Russian word for ‘severe’, recalls to any Russian the great hero of 18th century Russian military history, General Suvorov. My advice to Ukrainians after two days with 200 missiles? Either surrender asap or else get out now.

Read more …

Balance.

Putin Reveals Russia’s Goals In Global Energy Market (RT)

Russia’s actions regarding energy resources are aimed at ensuring market stability, and not creating obstacles for anyone, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday while meeting with his UAE counterpart, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in St. Petersburg. The leader of the UAE is on an official visit to Russia to discuss cooperation between the two countries, as well as regional and international issues. “We are actively working within the framework of OPEC+. I know your position, our actions, our decisions are not directed against anyone … They are aimed at stability in the world energy markets, so that both consumers of energy resources and those involved in their production, as well as suppliers feel calm, stable and confident. So that the supply and demand will be balanced,”Putin said.

Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) agreed to an oil production cut of 2 million barrels per day starting in November. The reduction, which is the largest output cut since early 2020, was approved despite US pressure to pump more. It is expected to stem the latest slide in global oil prices. US President Joe Biden expressed disappointment with the decision, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called the move “unhelpful and unwise.” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak, who attended the OPEC+ meeting, said that the output cut is necessary to balance the market before the seasonal decline in demand.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Washington seeks to force through its decisions regarding the oil market and manipulate prices, even at the cost of destabilizing the global energy market. Analysts interviewed by Bloomberg warn that the output cut may lead to a jump in oil prices above $100 a barrel and force the US to tap its strategic reserves. They also believe that Russia may introduce even larger output cuts than those announced by OPEC+ in response to the introduction of an oil price cap by the EU last week. Given the rise in oil prices, Russia’s oil export profits are unlikely to suffer even with production cuts, they say.

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Le Maire basically says the same thing Putin does. Wonder if he knows that.

US Seeks ‘Economic Domination’ Over EU – Paris (RT)

The US should not be allowed to dominate the global energy market while the EU suffers from the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has warned. “The conflict in Ukraine must not end in American economic domination and a weakening of the EU,” he said, speaking at the National Assembly on Monday. Le Maire said it’s unacceptable that Washington “sells its liquefied natural gas at four times the price than it sets for its own industrialists,” adding that “the economic weakening of Europe is not in anyone’s interest.” “We must reach a more balanced economic relationship on the energy issue between our American partners and the European continent,” Le Maire said.

Prior to the conflict in Ukraine, Russia was the EU’s largest gas supplier, responsible for about 45% of the bloc’s gas imports. However, due to sanctions imposed on Moscow in recent months, Russian gas supplies to the EU have decreased significantly. Facing an energy crisis, EU countries have rushed to fill their storage facilities – the level of reserves in underground storages was close to 91% as of Monday, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe. The storage sites are largely filled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), and are currently at their highest seasonal levels since at least 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. However, LNG imports from overseas cost much more than gas supplied via pipeline from Russia under long-term contracts, and energy prices in the bloc continue to rise.

The EU has considered setting a cap on natural gas prices for all suppliers, but a number of countries are opposed to this. Norway, a non-EU state but a partner in the European Economic Area (EEA) and one of EU’s major gas suppliers, recently warned that a step such as this could aggravate the situation, forcing exporters to divert supplies to other markets.

Read more …

Too many people don’t want these talks. But if George Webb is right, they will take place at the end of the month.

Russia Would ‘Consider’ G20 Putin-Biden Meeting – Lavrov (RT)

The presidents of Russia and the US might meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia, provided that Washington actually wants to participate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “We never reject meetings, and if such a proposal comes, we will consider it,” the top diplomat explained during an interview on Russian television on Tuesday. He stressed that no such proposal had been sent by the US so far, contrary to what some people may believe. An opportunity for US President Joe Biden to have a one-on-one meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin may present itself during the upcoming summit of G20 leaders in Bali, Indonesia, which is scheduled for mid-November.

When asked about the possibility of bilateral talks, Biden did not rule it out, telling reporters on Thursday that “it remains to be seen.” Lavrov said that drawing conclusions about the schedules of the two leaders from an off-hand remark was “more suitable for journalistic analytical speculation than for real politics.” Speaking on Russian political talk show ‘60 Minutes,’ Lavrov called “a lie” claims that the US government was seeking to resolve the stand-off with Russia over the Ukraine crisis and that it was Moscow’s position that prevented peace negotiations.

“We have received no serious proposals for contact. There were some half-hearted approaches, which we did not reject either and suggested that the people, who want to engage with us in backdoor diplomacy, formulate concrete proposals,” Lavrov revealed. The would-be mediators did not respond properly, he added. The minister also expressed skepticism that talks with the US could produce substantial results regarding Ukraine, considering the circumstances. He explained that the US had long become a “de facto” party to the conflict by arming the Ukrainian military and feeding them intelligence.

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“Zelensky recently signed a decree ruling out any dialogue with Putin’s government.”

Lavrov: Russia Open to Talks With the West, US Dismisses Comments (Antiwar)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday said that Moscow was open to talks with Western powers as Turkey is looking to broker negotiations. Lavrov also said that Russia would consider a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Biden if one was proposed. “We have repeatedly said that we never refuse meetings. If there is a proposal, then we will consider it,” he said. A potential venue for talks between Biden and Putin could be the sidelines of the upcoming summit of G20 leaders that will be held in mid-November in Indonesia. But according to Lavrov, Russia has not received any serious proposals from the US to negotiate.

The US was quick to dismiss Lavrov’s comments, accusing him of “posturing” and calling for Russia to stop launching strikes across Ukraine. “We see this as posturing. We do not see this as a constructive, legitimate offer to engage in the dialogue and diplomacy that is absolutely necessary to see an end to this brutal war of aggression,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. Despite the US dismissal of potential talks, Turkey appears eager to broker negotiations between the two sides. The Kremlin said that Putin will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, and it’s “possible” that the two leaders will discuss a Turkish proposal to host talks between the West and Russia. Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar spoke with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, on Tuesday and noted a “common understanding” when it came to the need to reach a ceasefire, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

“The importance of declaring a ceasefire urgently in order to prevent further loss of lives and to re-establish peace and stability in the region was emphasized, and it was gladly observed that there was a common understanding regarding the ceasefire,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a readout of the call. While there are growing calls for peace talks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his position that he won’t hold talks with Russia as long as Putin is president during a virtual meeting with the G7. Zelensky recently signed a decree ruling out any dialogue with Putin’s government.

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Soon black-ins.

Kiev Introduces Rolling Power Blackouts (RT)

Residents of the Ukrainian capital and Kiev Region will experience power outages of up to four hours under a new schedule of rolling blackouts introduced by the grid operator.The measure was introduced on Tuesday and is aimed at “balancing the power system and avoiding large-scale blackouts,” privately-owned energy company DTEK announced on Tuesday. It cited instructions it received from the national transmission system operator, Ukrenergo.The rotating outages will affect both industrial consumers and regular citizens, and was introduced after a massive Russian attack on Ukraine’s infrastructure on Monday. Ukrenergo called on people to dial down their use of electricity to decrease the load on the grid.


On Monday evening, it claimed there was a 26.5% drop in consumption in the capital and surrounding region, compared to an average autumn day.The company urged users to keep consumption low during peak evening hours, and said it ordered operators in Kiev, Chernigov, Zhitomir, and Cheboksary to introduce rolling blackouts, which will be in force for several days.Issues with basic utilities such as electricity and water were reported by Ukrainian media in many parts of the country following the strikes. Moscow states that the strikes were in retaliation for what it described as a series of “Ukrainian terrorist attacks” on Russian infrastructure. Key facilities were damaged in nearly a dozen Ukrainian regions, according to Kiev.

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Greece talks about half a billion. I don’t think Germany is 400x bigger.

Germany Discusses Distributing €200 Billion In Gas Price Subsidies (ZH)

A German government-appointed expert panel on Monday proposed a two-stage system for distributing some of the up to €200 billion in subsidies Germany recently announced (and sparked outrage across Europe in the process) to ease the strain of high energy prices, a plan that the group said would still encourage people to save gas, but will merely subsidize even more gas purchases and in a supply-constrained environment, lead to even higher inflation (especially when paired with Russian “price caps”). According to AP, the panel suggested that the state take on the cost of natural gas customers’ monthly bill in December, followed by a price subsidy for part of their consumption starting next spring.

That “gas and heating price brake” would kick in next March and apply until April 2024, panel co-chair Veronika Grimm said. Private gas customers would pay 0.12 euros per kilowatt hour for the first 80% of the amount they used in 2021. That “corresponds roughly to the price level that is expected in the future,” Grimm said, telling reporters in Berlin that the plan aims to introduce a “new normal” but prevent price rises beyond that…. whatever that is. “It’s not going to be the case that the price goes back down to 7 cents in the future — we won’t receive Russian gas for a long time.” Grimm argued that the plan still incentivizes people to save gas, because people who do so will avoid paying higher prices beyond the cap level.

She also noted that Germany, which has Europe’s biggest economy, needs to reduce its previous gas consumption by about 20% to prevent a potential shortage this winter, which will never happen voluntarily and will required forced rationing throughout the winter, i.e., rolling blackouts. Co-chair Siegfried Russwurm, the head of the Federation of German Industries, said the proposal foresees businesses paying 0.07 euros per kilowatt hour for 70% of their 2023 gas use, starting at the beginning of January. Russwurm said that gas price rises are posing an “existential” threat to an increasing number of companies.

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“If you can no longer stomach the direction that so-called woke Democratic Party ideologues are taking our country, I invite you to join me.”

Who’s Afraid of Tulsi Gabbard? Everyone (Luongo)

This isn’t the biggest news of the week but it may turn out to be so if I’m right about what this means and where it leads. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard formally left the Democratic Party in a public announcement this morning on Twitter. Here’s Gabbard’s full statement: “I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, are……hostile to people of faith & spirituality, demonize the police & protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.


I believe in a government that is of, by, and for the people. Unfortunately, today’s Democratic Party does not. Instead, it stands for a government of, by, and for the powerful elite. I’m calling on my fellow common sense independent-minded Democrats to join me…. …in leaving the Democratic Party. If you can no longer stomach the direction that so-called woke Democratic Party ideologues are taking our country, I invite you to join me.”

Gabbard’s statement is a big deal given the timing, less than a month out from the mid-term elections. I know a lot of people are really torn on Gabbard. She elicits from the “patriot or “MAGA” crowd the same kind of unthinking division that Donald Trump elicits from the world. There are few nuanced takes on either of these people. This is because they represent threats to the people who are desperately trying to maintain control over the political and economic system. It doesn’t matter if they are competent or not. Since that system is failing, rapidly, the socio-political immune system must be vaccinated against all foreign ideas.


So, the modus operandi is always the same. As they rise in popularity seed and amplify their faults to gaslight some would be supporters. In the case of Gabbard it was her invitation to the 2015 WEF Young Leaders conference and her positions on key domestic policy issues. People don’t like Gabbard for these reasons. Some of them are valid criticisms. Her voting record is Progressive on domestic economic issues. But, like a lot of young people, they come in with certain ideas and they leave with others after peaking behind the curtain. This focus on past specifics keeps many projecting personal anxieties onto them rather than assessing their personal journey. This precludes thinking strategically about how they can be an asset and only knee-jerk rejecting them for failing to pass some purity test.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Peanuts leaves

 

 

Damien Hurst

 

 

Terhes

 

 

 

 


The golden pheasant, family Phasianidae, native to Western China.

 

 


The Nicobar Pidgeon is the closest living relative of the Dodo Bird. Photo: Allen Chang

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


Pablo Picasso Cafe Royan [The Coffee] 1940

 

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

 

 

Best amicus brief ever?!

 

 

Tucker regime change

 

 

 

 

Greenwald Donbass

 

 

Hey! Sanctions!

 

 

 

 

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

Developing Developments (Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

The Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Sabotage (Monkeywerx)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump NS2

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

Jeffrey Sachs Offers Nord Stream Theory (RT)

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

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

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

Sachs

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

Medvedev Comments On Musk’s Ukraine Proposal (RT)

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


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

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Russia calmly goes through the legal moves. Important point:

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

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

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


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

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

Kremlin Comments On Borders Of New Territories (RT)

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

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

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

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180º different from western and Kiev stories.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ukraine Grain Deal Not Enough – Moscow (RT)

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

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

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

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When it rains.

Belgium Suffers Unplanned Nuclear Reactor Shutdown (RT)

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

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

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

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Bite the hand.

Ukraine Scolds EU Over Aid Delays (RT)

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

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

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

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

Truss Exposes The Inherent Instability Of Western Democracies (Hryce)

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

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

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

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The Nic Sandmann case may have opened some venues.

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

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

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

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

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“51 former intelligence officials signed a letter..”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sep 252022
 
 September 25, 2022  Posted by at 8:24 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  69 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Night fishing at Antibes 1939

 

Ukraine, EU’s Dictatorship And Change Of Global Order – Lavrov (RT)
Russia Calls Out Western Elites At UN (RT)
Hungarian FM Warns Of Apocalyptic Conflict (RT)
As Democracy Dies in the EU, Von der Leyen Reveals its Sins (Luongo)
Azov Delegation Visits the US (MR)
Strike Kills Hundreds Of Foreign Fighters In Ukraine – Russia (RT)
Germany Needs Russian Gas – Saxony PM Kretschmer (RT)
Truss’s Extreme Right-Wing Putsch (Pettifor)
The Decline And Fall Of The American Empire (Doug Casey)
Ukraine: The CIA’s 75-year-old Proxy (Sussman)
Ford Forced To Park Thousands Of Unfinished Vehicles (RT)
Republicans Push For Special Counsel In Hunter Biden Probe (CB)
WaPo Columnist Calls for the End of Impartiality and Balance (Turley)
Covid Update: What Is The Truth? (NIH)

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

 

 

Amish warp speed

 

 

 

 

 

 

“[Zelensky] advised everyone who feels Russian to ‘go to Russia’ for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. That’s what the residents of said regions are doing now, taking their lands, on which their ancestors lived for centuries, with them”.

Ukraine, EU’s Dictatorship And Change Of Global Order – Lavrov (RT)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke at the 77th UN General Assembly on Saturday, explaining Russian stance on the key international issues, relationship with the collective West and the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. After delivering his speech at the UNGA, Lavrov gave a big press conference on the sidelines of the event. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is largely a result of the inability of the collective West to negotiate with Russia and address its security concerns, Lavrov told the UNGA. All the repeated attempts to establish the rules of co-existence made by Moscow have been ignored, he said. “We have repeatedly proposed over the years to agree on the rules for coexistence in Europe based on the principle of equal and indivisible security, approved at the highest level of OSCE documents. We made our last proposal to make this principle legally binding in December 2021, to which we received an arrogant refusal,” Lavrov stated.

Ukraine has become a mere tool for Washington to maintain its global dominance and target Russia, the top diplomat believes. “It is evident to any unbiased observer: for the Anglo-Saxons, who have completely subjugated Europe, Ukraine is simply expendable material in the fight against Russia. NATO declared our country a direct threat on the path to total US dominance, and named China as a long-term strategic challenge,” Lavrov told the UNGA. The minister further elaborated on the matter at the press conference after his speech, stating that Moscow already views the US and its NATO bloc as parties of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Recently, Ukrainian military has admitted that the Pentagon chooses targets for them, he explained. “What is this if not a direct participation in aiming of deadly weapons and participation in the war?” Lavrov said.

Russia’s top diplomat also touched upon the ongoing referendums in the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics, as well as in the Russian-controlled parts of Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. While the vote has already triggered a “tantrum” in Ukraine and in the West, with the G7 vowing even more anti-Russian sanctions, the referendums are actually fully in line with Kiev’s wishes, Lavrov suggested. “The people living there are essentially only reacting to what President Zelensky recommended for them to do in one of his interviews in August 2021. Back then, he advised everyone who feels Russian to ‘go to Russia’ for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. That’s what the residents of said regions are doing now, taking their lands, on which their ancestors lived for centuries, with them”.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington’s strive for global domination and exceptionalism has reached an unprecedented height, resulting in multiple aggressive wars and claiming lives of “many hundreds of thousands” of people worldwide, Lavrov stated. “Having proclaimed victory in the Cold War, Washington elevated itself almost to the rank of the messenger of God on earth, with no obligations, but only “sacred” rights to act with impunity, as it pleases and anywhere,” Lavrov said. Any nation can fall victim to Washington’s ambitions should it somehow anger the “self-styled masters of the world,” Lavrov warned. That fate has befallen people of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and other countries, he added.

The EU, while being “subjugated” by the US, is showing same symptoms of exceptionalism and arrogance, Lavrov believes. The minister recalled fresh remarks by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who threatened Italy with consequences should the upcoming polls actually show the projected right-wing tilt. “This is arrogance, sense of impunity, exceptionalism. Only they have the right to make judgments. What Mrs. von der Leyen said about the Italian elections was astounding,” Lavrov told the press conference, adding that he did not recall such threats made by an EU leader before. “The European Union, in principle, is becoming an authoritarian, rigid, dictatorial entity,” the top diplomat said.

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A bit more Lavrov.

Russia Calls Out Western Elites At UN (RT)

Years of NATO encroachment on Russia and the West’s refusal to negotiate over Ukraine left Russia “no choice” but to launch its special military operation, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN on Saturday. However, Lavrov added that Russia is now shaping “the future of the world order.” “The US and its allies want to stop the march of history,” Lavrov declared from the podium in New York, describing how in the aftermath of the Cold War, Washington appointed itself “almost an envoy of God on earth,” launching foreign conflicts at will and expanding the NATO alliance deeper into Eastern Europe. The shifting of NATO’s borders to the east and its official declaration of interest in the Indo-Pacific region mean that the US-led bloc “now has the goal of subjugating the Asian area,” Lavrov stated.

However, it was the West’s refusal to negotiate over Ukraine that led Russia to fight back, he continued. “The West watched in silence as the coup plotters started bombing the east of Ukraine,” he said, referring to Kiev’s attacks on the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics even after the Minsk agreements had been signed in 2014 and 2015. “Were we supposed to put up with Kiev’s attempt to ban the Russian language, education, Russian media and culture? The demands of chasing Russians out of Crimea? The declaration of war against the Donbass, the population of which was declared not human beings, but ‘creatures’ by both the former and the current Kiev’s authorities?”

Once the US and NATO rejected a Russian-proposed security deal for Ukraine, Moscow had “no choice but to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and start a special military operation,” Lavrov said, adding that “any sovereign self-respecting state would do the same, a state that understands its responsibility to its own people.” Seven months into that operation, and with Russia recently announcing the mobilization of some 300,000 additional troops, Lavrov told the assembly that “the future of the world order is being decided,” with the US-led “unipolar” model “receding into the past.”

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“It’s a definite red line for us. We don’t want to force the Hungarian people, who are in no way responsible for the war, to pay for it..”

Hungarian FM Warns Of Apocalyptic Conflict (RT)

The international community should now focus on ensuring that the current escalation between Moscow and NATO does not spiral into a direct military conflict, the Hungarian foreign minister has said. Speaking to Russian news outlet RIA Novosti while in New York for the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, Peter Szijjarto said: “If you ask me, the most important task now is to prevent tensions in relations between Russia and NATO from growing into an open military confrontation.” The diplomat warned that the consequences would be catastrophic. Szijjarto went on to say that, like others from his generation, he had always hoped that he would never experience a war as devastating as WWII.


“We don’t want to put the existence of the planet on the line, because a direct conflict between NATO and Russia has no end, and everyone knows what it means,” he warned. According to Szijjarto, Hungary, which is a member of the military alliance itself, is doing its best to prevent this doomsday scenario. On Friday, he indicated that Budapest will not rush to impose new sanctions on Moscow, especially those affecting energy supplies. “It’s a definite red line for us. We don’t want to force the Hungarian people, who are in no way responsible for the war, to pay for it,” Szijjarto said. He also warned that the European economy is sliding into recession due to the punitive measures against Russia already in place.

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“..Von der Leyen and her merry tribe of vandals in Brussels cast themselves as the protectors of the sacred right of a ‘democracy’ they deny to anyone who disagrees with her.”

As Democracy Dies in the EU, Von der Leyen Reveals its Sins (Luongo)

It’s no secret at this point that the EU is an anti-democratic organization. The leadership isn’t elected, but selected from a pre-determined pool of candidates from within the Party structure. Everyone with the power to make a decision was placed there not by popular vote but by backroom collusion. As we approach this weekend’s Italian elections there is real despair in the air that there is any light out of this dark time. That no matter what decisions we try to make, they are only in service of those that seek total dominion. And yet all you hear from these Eurocrats is that we are in a “war of Democracy versus Autocracy,” as EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen put it in her hellish EU state of the union address to the European Parliament recently.

Cloaking herself in the inverse of the EU flag’s colors to show solidarity with another anti-democratic regime, Ukraine, Von der Leyen and her merry tribe of vandals in Brussels cast themselves as the protectors of the sacred right of a ‘democracy’ they deny to anyone who disagrees with her. The same can be said for nearly every major government in Europe. Every time an ‘election’ rolls around the local system is gamed to ensure a particular outcome. The political establishment always coalesces around maintaining the status quo, freezing out any possibility of an ‘unworkable’ or ‘representative’ coalition. Any outcome they can’t overcome that lies outside the scope of the EU’s values is either laden with poison pills, immediately put under pressure by the EU’s Byzantine rules, and eventually forced out of office.


There is no better example of this anti-democratic structure made flesh than Italy. For more than a decade Italians have been saddled with mostly-unelected technocratic governments who, at best, stymie any populist/sovereigntist impulses within Italy’s electorate or, at worst, advance the EU’s centralization agenda under the false rubrics of Climate Change and “European Values.” European Values is a phrase that is synonymous with the phrase “rules-based order.” We make the rules, they say, and you abide by them. We’re allowed to break those rules because 1) we can and 2) we are the goodies. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that as the Italians go to the polls this weekend with the center-right coalition led by the Brothers of Italy (FdI) likely to win a major, uncontestable victory, the unelected, openly totalitarian President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, openly threaten Italians to ‘vote right’ or face her wrath.

Meloni

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Italy bad, Azov good.

Azov Delegation Visits the US (MR)

Half a dozen representatives of the neo-Nazi-led Azov movement in Ukraine are currently visiting the United States, taking meetings in Washington and reaching out to Ukrainian Americans. Three are veterans of the far-right Azov Regiment who held out for numerous weeks in the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Among them is Giorgi Kuparashvili, a co-founder of the Azov Regiment and a leader of its Yevhen Konovalets Military School, named for the founder of the fascistic Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. According to journalist Leonid Ragozin, “The school functioned outside Ukraine’s system of military education — one of many reasons to suspect that Azov was highly autonomous and never truly integrated in [the] armed forces.”

The Azov veterans were accompanied by two wives and a mother of POWs from Azovstal, including Kateryna Prokopenko, who is married to the just-freed, far-right Azov Regiment commander Denys Prokopenko. (According to the US-funded Radio Svoboda, the Georgian-born Kuparashvili mentored Prokopenko.) The three women represented the Azovstal Defenders’ Family Association, led by Kateryna Prokopenko. The group first made an impromptu appearance at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey (UACCNJ) in Whippany on Saturday, September 17. The last minute event, thrown together the day before, promised to “dispel the Russian agitprop that the Azov regiment is nazi.” The UACCNJ warned Facebook followers, “WE ARE NOT RECOMMENDING THAT YOU BRING YOUNG CHILDREN,” but the audience appears to have mostly consisted of children from its Saturday school.

According to Michael Hrycak, the New Jersey Department Commander of the Ukrainian American Veterans (UAV), his organization invited Azov “to visit the United States to spread their story about holding out in Mariupol.” He claimed the delegation would be giving testimony to Congress and the United Nations. The Defense Ministry of Ukraine tweeted that they should. Walter Kovbasniuk, the past commander of UAV Post 17 in Passaic, New Jersey, exchanged “Azov’s signature salute” with a former POW, “their fists held tight across their chests.” Leonid Ragozin has described this “making ‘from heart to the sun’ gesture” as “a crypto-fascist substitute for Sieg Heil.” In Washington DC, the Azov delegation met with a North American leader of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and at least a few members of Congress: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).

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“Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu revealed that Russian forces and the militias of the Donbass republics had eliminated more than 2,000 foreign mercenaries.”

Strike Kills Hundreds Of Foreign Fighters In Ukraine – Russia (RT)

Up to 300 foreigners fighting for Kiev against Moscow have been killed in Nikolayev Region in southern Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday. “Up to 300 militants were eliminated by a missile attack on the point of temporary deployment of foreign mercenaries in the area of the village of Kalinovka, Nikolayev Region,” the ministry’s spokesman, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, announced during his daily briefing. This adds to a growing list of foreign combatants who have lost their lives fighting for Ukraine. Earlier this week, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu revealed that Russian forces and the militias of the Donbass republics had eliminated more than 2,000 foreign mercenaries.

As of September 21, 1,000 foreigners remained in the ranks of the Ukrainian military, according to the minister, whereas in April the number was estimated at 3,000. Russian forces also eliminated more than 200 Ukrainian troops in Nikolayev Region, and almost as many more in Kharkov Region and in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Konashenkov said. The military spokesman also revealed during the briefing that in the vicinity of the village of Sergeyevka, in southeastern Dnepropetrovsk Region, a Russian fighter shot down a Ukrainian MiG-29 that had been “converted to use American HARM anti-radar missiles.” Since the launch of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in late February, Moscow has been warning Western countries to stop“pumping up” Ukraine with weapons, arguing that it would only prolong the conflict.

However, in the wake of Russia’s recent announcement of a partial mobilization of reservists, Kiev’s supporters, including the US and UK, have pledged to sustain or increase their military assistance to Ukraine. On Friday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted that his country’s forces have been suffering at least 50 casualties a day. He claimed, however, that the Russian side was losing several times more. Zelensky’s comments came soon after Shoigu’s announcement that Russia’s forces have lost 5,937 troops since the beginning of the military offensive. According to the minister, the losses on the Ukrainian side were ten times higher, at an estimated 61,000 soldiers dead.

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Kretschmer keeps calling for détente.

Germany Needs Russian Gas – Saxony PM Kretschmer (RT)

Russian gas supplies are critical for Germany, and will remain so in the foreseeable future despite Berlin’s attempts to diversify its energy sources, Saxony’s minister-president Michael Kretschmer warned. In an interview with the newspapers belonging to Germany’s Funke Mediengruppe on Saturday, Kretschmer said: “We are already witnessing that we can’t do without Russian gas.” The official added that the sanctions imposed by Berlin over Russia’s offensive against Ukraine have “contributed to this shortage situation.” According to Kretschmer, Berlin should try to make sure that it keeps receiving Russian gas after the armed conflict in Ukraine is over. He added that the current exorbitant prices for the fuel are ruining Germany’s industry.


As a stopgap measure to alleviate the situation Saxony’s governor suggested prolonging the operational lives of Germany’s three nuclear power plants, as well as reactivating some of the existing facilities that had previously been shut down. According to the German government’s current plans, two of the three remaining nuclear power plants should be kept on stand-by until mid-April 2023. However, barring any changes, all nuclear facilities will be disconnected from the German grid by the end of this year. Saxony’s minister-president went on to say that Germany should not give up its ambitious plans to become climate neutral, but noted that a “new path” is needed. The governor explained that previous plans to use “gas as a bridge technology” are apparently not going to materialize. Apart from prolonging the use of nuclear power plants, Kretschmer also suggested turning more to Qatar as a gas supplier and also tapping domestic gas supplies.

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“An unelected government that has chosen this moment to use the power of the state to capture public wealth and divert it to the top ranks of the private sector..”

Markets don’t like this at all. Sterling and gilts are off a cliff.

Truss’s Extreme Right-Wing Putsch (Pettifor)

Budgets often reflect nothing more than the dreams and aspirations of a finance minister. Today Britain’s finance minister presented a budget which revealed something more sinister. The overthrow of the Johnson government was indeed a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt to dislodge the electoral mandate (for “levelling up”) of a government and replace it with an undemocratic mandate to serve the interests of the very rich, while bearing (or “levelling”) down on the poor. This IS the right wing Revolt of the Rich. Johnson’s elected government’s 2019 manifesto promised: “Millions more invested every week in science, schools, apprenticeships and infrastructure while controlling debt.”


UK 10 Year Bond Chart

Today, the Debt Management Office reported effectively that debt was no longer being controlled – but would expand by £72 billion by the end of this year -£45bn of which is attributed to the debt-financed tax-cutting package “that sparked a historic increase in borrowing costs.” Britain now has an extreme right-wing government with no electoral mandate, and one supported by a minority of Tory MPs in a deeply divided governing party. An unelected government that has chosen this moment to use the power of the state to capture public wealth and divert it to the top ranks of the private sector – bankers, investors, developers and speculators. At the same time the poor are threatened with the loss of livelihoods if they do not single-handedly increase their own meagre earnings.


They are expected to do this as the economy is deliberately plunged into recession by a combination of inflationary rises in globalised energy and food prices; by a corresponding fall in real (inflation-adjusted) wages; and by the ratcheting up of interest rates by the Bank of England. Speaking of the Bank of England: that institution is now engaged in open conflict with the Liz Truss regime and Kwasi Kwarteng, the new finance minister – a conflict that can only end in economic upheaval. Yesterday the Bank published a statement on the decision of the members of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to raise the Bank rate of interest to 2.25% and admitted that consumer price inflation is not worsening, but is already falling – “from 10.1% in July to 9.9% in August. It also asserted dishonestly that “nominal wages have continued to rise.” Nominal wages are not real wages and economists at the Bank of England know that. Real Wages are falling. Bank of England economists know that too.

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“U.S. founders modeled the country on Rome, all the way down to the architecture of government buildings, the use of the eagle as the national bird, the use of Latin mottos, and the unfortunate use of the fasces—the axe surrounded by rods—as a symbol of state power.”

The Decline And Fall Of The American Empire (Doug Casey)

Rome reached its peak of military power around the year 107, when Trajan completed the conquest of Dacia (the territory of modern Romania). With Dacia, the empire peaked in size, but I’d argue it was already past its peak by almost every other measure. The U.S. reached its peak relative to the world, and in some ways its absolute peak, as early as the 1950s. In 1950 this country produced 50% of the world’s GNP and 80% of its vehicles. Now it’s about 21% of world GNP and 5% of its vehicles. It owned two-thirds of the world’s gold reserves; now it holds one-fourth. It was, by a huge margin, the world’s biggest creditor, whereas now it’s the biggest debtor by a huge margin. The income of the average American was by far the highest in the world; today it ranks about eighth, and it’s slipping.

But it’s not just the U.S.—it’s Western civilization that’s in decline. In 1910 Europe controlled almost the whole world—politically, financially, and militarily. Now it’s becoming a Disneyland with real buildings and a petting zoo for the Chinese. It’s even further down the slippery slope than the U.S. Like America, Rome was founded by refugees—from Troy, at least in myth. Like America, it was ruled by kings in its early history. Later, Romans became self-governing, with several Assemblies and a Senate. Later still, power devolved to the executive, which was likely not an accident. U.S. founders modeled the country on Rome, all the way down to the architecture of government buildings, the use of the eagle as the national bird, the use of Latin mottos, and the unfortunate use of the fasces—the axe surrounded by rods—as a symbol of state power.

Publius, the pseudonymous author of The Federalist Papers, took his name from one of Rome’s first consuls. As it was in Rome, military prowess is at the center of the national identity of the U.S. When you adopt a model in earnest, you grow to resemble it. A considerable cottage industry has developed comparing ancient and modern times since Edward Gibbon published The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776—the same year as Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and the U.S. Declaration of Independence were written. I’m a big fan of all three, but D&F is not only a great history, it’s very elegant and readable literature. And it’s actually a laugh riot; Gibbon had a subtle wit.

There have been huge advances in our understanding of Rome since Gibbon’s time, driven by archeological discoveries. There were many things he just didn’t know, because he was as much a philologist as an historian, and he based his writing on what the ancients said about themselves. There was no real science of archeology when Gibbon wrote; little had been done even to correlate the surviving ancient texts with what was on the surviving monuments—even the well-known monuments—and on the coins. Not to mention scientists digging around in the provinces for what was left of Roman villas, battle sites, and that sort of thing. So Gibbon, like most historians, was to a degree a collector of hearsay.

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“Do not throw away your weapons now. Take them in your hands. Destroy the enemy.…People! Know! Moscow, Poland, the Hungarians, the Jews are your enemies. Destroy them!”

Ukraine: The CIA’s 75-year-old Proxy (Sussman)

The MSM have constructed an undiluted narrative about “Putin’s War” that disguises America’s imperialist expansion into eastern Europe. It is utterly Orwellian in its effort to project onto Russia what the U.S. and its main imperial ally, the UK (which a British journalist deemed “America’s tugboat”), have been doing non-stop since 1945—and indeed for centuries. Looking back, the U.S. under Truman began the policy of turning enemies (Germany, Japan) into friends and friends (the important war-time alliance with the USSR) into enemies. The CIA, established in 1947, was the main clandestine instrument of this policy, working closely with the neo-Nazi Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) to carry out acts to sabotage, divide and destabilize the Soviet state.

The OUN, in particular the faction led by the German ally Stepan Bandera and his second in command, Yaroslav Stetsko, OUN-B, was a violently anti-semitic, anti-communist, and anti-Russian organization, which collaborated with the Nazi occupation and actively participated in the slaughter of millions of Poles, Ukrainian Jews, and ethnically Russian and Ukrainian communists in the region. Nonetheless, The Washington Post treated Stetsko as a national hero, a “lonely patriot.” The OUN-German alliance in 1941 was backed by the leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic churches. The latter’s archbishop, Andrey Sheptytsky, penned a pastoral letter that declared: “We greet the victorious German Army as deliverer from the enemy. We render our obedient homage to the government which has been erected. We recognize Mr. Yaroslav Stetsko as Head of State … of the Ukraine.”

On the occasion of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the OUN put up posters in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov that read: “Do not throw away your weapons now. Take them in your hands. Destroy the enemy.…People! Know! Moscow, Poland, the Hungarians, the Jews are your enemies. Destroy them!…Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes! Glory to the Leader! [Bandera]” Notably, this call for ethnic cleansing does not cite the Germans then occupying Ukraine, yet the fascist and neo-Nazi propagandists who are waging a war in the Donbas region today portray their forebearers as heroes for having defended Ukrainian nationalism from the Soviets and Germany. The Pentagon successfully pressed Congress to lift restrictions on training and providing military assistance to groups, such as the Azov Battalion, that are based on fascist or neo-Nazi ideology.

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What is to come. Sign of the times.

Ford Forced To Park Thousands Of Unfinished Vehicles (RT)

Ford Motor Co. continues to be plagued by parts shortages, so much so that America’s largest automaker has reportedly resorted to parking thousands of unfinished pickups at an idle former NASCAR track in Kentucky. Footage posted online purports to show massive parking lots at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky, jammed with row after row of new Ford trucks. Automotive media outlets, such as The Drive, reported this week that the stashed vehicles are partially finished trucks that can’t be completed or shipped to customers because certain parts aren’t available. Ford apparently began hauling trucks to the speedway in late August. The Drive posted satellite photos of the facility from August 24 and September 19, showing formerly empty parking lots filled with vehicles.


Major automakers have struggled since last year with protracted shortages of computer chips. Ford’s parts shortfalls are widespread, ranging from windshield wiper motors to infotainment systems. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the company even has shortages of its iconic “blue oval” badges and the nameplates that identify vehicle models. Ford announced earlier this week that it had as many as 45,000 unfinished vehicles in inventory that wouldn’t be completed by the end of September because of parts shortages. The company added that its third-quarter costs would be about $1 billion higher than planned because of rampant inflation. [..] Customers have had to bide their time on long waiting lists for some Ford models, such as the F-150 Lightning electric pickup. Last month, Ford announced price increases of as much as $8,500 for the Lightning.

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There’s been a probe since Obama. Crickets.

Republicans Push For Special Counsel In Hunter Biden Probe (CB)

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and 32 other Senate Republicans are demanding special counsel powers for the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden. The lawmakers say they fear Attorney General Merrick Garland or others at the Justice Department may attempt to meddle in the probe to protect President Joe Biden and his son. “It is clear that Hunter Biden thrived off of a ‘pay to play’ culture of access to his father, then Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for financial compensation,” Cornyn and his colleagues wrote in the letter. “Given that the investigation involves the President’s son,” the letter from Cornyn says, “we believe it is important to provide U.S. Attorney Weiss with special counsel authorities and protections to allow him to investigate an appropriate scope of potentially criminal conduct, avoid the appearance of impropriety, and provide additional assurances to the American people that the Hunter Biden investigation is free from political influence.”

“There is no way of knowing the entire scope of the investigation, but evidence seems to be mounting that Hunter Biden committed numerous federal crimes, including, but not limited to, tax fraud, money laundering, and foreign-lobbying violations,” the senators wrote in a letter. “Given the politicization of the DOJ under your watch and the importance of avoiding any appearance of impropriety, the undersigned request that you provide U.S. Attorney Weiss the full protections and authorities of a special counsel,” the letter said. “This is one important action that you can take that will go a long way to restoring faith in our governmental institutions.”

[..] In the letter, the Republicans said that Hunter must be investigated amid concerns that “he is continuing to profit off” his father’s name. “Hunter Biden’s connections throughout the Russian sphere of influence have now become especially relevant in the fast-moving and developing Russian war in Ukraine,” the Republicans on the House Oversight Committee said. “Hunter Biden’s dealings have not gone unnoticed, and a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe begun under the Obama Administration has expanded to include a wide variety of potential violations and crimes.

“According to the New York Times, Hunter Biden is currently under investigation by the DOJ for possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and possible criminal tax evasion and money laundering,” it continued. “Given Hunter Biden’s foreign business relationships in Ukraine and Russia and the current international landscape, we are concerned about whether Hunter Biden continues to profit off his status as President Biden’s son as well as whether foreign adversaries may be attempting to exploit questionable business dealings. NARA may possess documents relevant to this investigation from then-Vice President Biden’s tenure,” they said.

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“Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”

WaPo Columnist Calls for the End of Impartiality and Balance (Turley)

In an age of rage, Washington Post columnist and MSNBC contributor Jennifer Rubin has long been a standout in her attacks on Republicans and conservatives: “We have to collectively, in essence, burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them because if there are survivors, if there are people who weather this storm, they will do it again.” However, her recent column shows that she has made a clean break not only from Republicans but from reason. The writer (long cited by the Post as their “Republican columnist” for balance) has called for the media to abandon balance and impartiality. Rubin is demanding that the media just become overt advocates in refusing to report both sides in the myriad of political issues in this election.

In her column, Rubin rejects the “need for false balance” because the coverage can suggest that Republicans are “rational.” “The Kabuki dance in which Trump, his defenders and his supporters are treated as rational (clever even!) is what comes from a media establishment that refuses to discard its need for false balance that it has developed over the course of decades.” That balance was once called “journalism” but Rubin now calls it facilitating “disinformation.” Balanced reporting is now dangerous and makes the media “a megaphone for disinformation, upholding the pretense that there are two political parties with equally valid takes on reality.” Rubin’s attack on disinformation is ironic given her own past controversies in misrepresenting news, cases, and events.

For full disclosure, I clashed with Rubin over her personally attacking me for a theory that I did not agree with in a column that I did not write. I also challenged her on an equally bizarre column where she wrote about my impeachment testimony and later column misrepresenting the holding in an appellate case involving Trump. That false account was never corrected by the Washington Post. It appears that misrepresenting the holding of a major case is not being a “a megaphone for disinformation.” Rubin, however, is not alone in this call to abandon the foundational principle of impartiality in journalism. We have been discussing the rise of advocacy journalism and the rejection of objectivity in journalism schools. Writers, editors, commentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers.

This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy. Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll decried how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that the journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”

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April 2022.

Covid Update: What Is The Truth? (NIH)

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most manipulated infectious disease events in history, characterized by official lies in an unending stream lead by government bureaucracies, medical associations, medical boards, the media, and international agencies. We have witnessed a long list of unprecedented intrusions into medical practice, including attacks on medical experts, destruction of medical careers among doctors refusing to participate in killing their patients and a massive regimentation of health care, led by non-qualified individuals with enormous wealth, power and influence.

For the first time in American history a president, governors, mayors, hospital administrators and federal bureaucrats are determining medical treatments based not on accurate scientifically based or even experience based information, but rather to force the acceptance of special forms of care and “prevention”—including remdesivir, use of respirators and ultimately a series of essentially untested messenger RNA vaccines. For the first time in history medical treatment, protocols are not being formulated based on the experience of the physicians treating the largest number of patients successfully, but rather individuals and bureaucracies that have never treated a single patient—including Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, EcoHealth Alliance, the CDC, WHO, state public health officers and hospital administrators.

The media (TV, newspapers, magazines, etc), medical societies, state medical boards and the owners of social media have appointed themselves to be the sole source of information concerning this so-called “pandemic”. Websites have been removed, highly credentialed and experienced clinical doctors and scientific experts in the field of infectious diseases have been demonized, careers have been destroyed and all dissenting information has been labeled “misinformation” and “dangerous lies”, even when sourced from top experts in the fields of virology, infectious diseases, pulmonary critical care, and epidemiology. These blackouts of truth occur even when this information is backed by extensive scientific citations from some of the most qualified medical specialists in the world. Incredibly, even individuals, such as Dr. Michael Yeadon, a retired ex-Chief Scientist, and vice-president for the science division of Pfizer Pharmaceutical company in the UK, who charged the company with making an extremely dangerous vaccine, is ignored and demonized. Further, he, along with other highly qualified scientists have stated that no one should take this vaccine.

Dr. Peter McCullough, one of the most cited experts in his field, who has successfully treated over 2000 COVID patients by using a protocol of early treatment (which the so-called experts completely ignored), has been the victim of a particularly vicious assault by those benefiting financially from the vaccines. He has published his results in peer reviewed journals, reporting an 80% reduction in hospitalizations and a 75% reduction in deaths by using early treatment. Despite this, he is under an unrelenting series of attacks by the information controllers, none of which have treated a single patient.

Neither Anthony Fauci, the CDC, WHO nor any medical governmental establishment has ever offered any early treatment other than Tylenol, hydration and call an ambulance once you have difficulty breathing. This is unprecedented in the entire history of medical care as early treatment of infections is critical to saving lives and preventing severe complications. Not only have these medical organizations and federal lapdogs not even suggested early treatment, they attacked anyone who attempted to initiate such treatment with all the weapons at their disposal—loss of license, removal of hospital privileges, shaming, destruction of reputations and even arrest.

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George Webb

 

 

 

 

Guano/Nitrogen/Haber

 

 

Moto dog

 

 


Green vine snake

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 062022
 


Odilon Redon Peyrelebade landscape 1880

 

Russia Explains Why It Won’t Use Nukes In Ukraine (RT)
The Decline and Fall of the Western Empire (Batiushka)
NATO Chief: Russia Must Not Win Its War In Ukraine (OP)
Lavrov Speaks Out On US Effort To Dominate World (RT)
Germany Risks Facing ‘Winter Of Anger’ (RT)
Zelenskyy Lashes Out At EU Aid Delay (Pol.eu)
Two EU Members Reject Gas Rationing Plan (RT)
Russia Connects USAID’s Bat Capture Program To Emergence Of Covid-19 (Tass)
FBI Director Sets New Record For Lies, Dodges, And Obfuscations (Fed.)
Pentagon Rejects DC Request For National Guard To Handle Illegal Migrants
Democrats Abandon Covid Protocols To Vote On Bill (OK)
Mass Coral Growth at Great Barrier Reef Defies Doomsday Predictions (DS)
Assange Family Barred From Taking Melzer Book Into Australia Parliament (G.)

 

 

 

 

Arming Ukraine

 

 

German electricity bill more than triples

 

 

60 years ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Blinken claimed that the US is a much more “responsible” nuclear-armed state..”

Russia Explains Why It Won’t Use Nukes In Ukraine (RT)

Allegations about Russia threatening to use nuclear weapons against Kiev are “untenable and baseless,” the deputy head of Moscow’s delegation to the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, Andrey Belousov, said on Friday in New York. “This is impossible since Russian doctrinal guidelines strictly limit emergency situations in which the use of nuclear weapons is hypothetically possible, namely in response to aggression involving weapons of mass destruction, or in response to aggression involving conventional weapons, where the very existence of the state is threatened,” Belousov explained. “None of these hypothetical scenarios is relevant to the situation in Ukraine,” he stated.

The Russian diplomat also rejected insinuations about Moscow placing its nuclear deterrent on “high alert,” explaining that the current state of “increased vigilance,” with extra personnel on duty at strategic command posts, is “completely different” from an actual “state of high alert of strategic nuclear forces.” Belousov argued that any warnings about a “serious risk of nuclear war” ever voiced by Russian officials in the context of the Ukraine crisis were directed at NATO, as a way to deter Western countries from direct aggression, as they “dangerously balance on the edge of a direct armed confrontation with Russia.”

While he did not name the accusers, Belousov’s response comes after the Ukrainian delegation to the NPT conference on Wednesday accused Moscow of “nuclear terrorism” and “openly threatening the world with its ability to use nuclear weapons,” while citing rhetoric by the “Russian media, think tanks and experts.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also accused Russia of “reckless, dangerous nuclear saber-rattling” to “those supporting Ukraine’s self-defense,” in his address on Monday. Blinken claimed that the US is a much more “responsible” nuclear-armed state, and “would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies, and partners.”

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“World War One. World War Two. Korea. Vietnam. Palestine. Iran. Nicaragua. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Ukraine. Taiwan.”

The Decline and Fall of the Western Empire (Batiushka)

Sometime in the future a learned academic will be writing a weighty tome with the title The Decline and Fall of the Western Empire. Perhaps the Contents Page will include, among others, twelve chapters with titles something like this: World War One. World War Two. Korea. Vietnam. Palestine. Iran. Nicaragua. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Ukraine. Taiwan. Indeed, Karin Kneissel, the former Austrian Foreign Minister, is at present writing a book with the working title A Requiem for Europe. In an interview with Asia Times on 31 July she declared that ‘European countries are growing ever weaker on the international stage and their places are being taken by Asian countries’. She said that the Europe ‘where she was born and grew up and to which she was devoted no longer exists’. ‘European leaders, through ignorance and arrogance, are neglecting the existing geopolitical realities and basic principles of diplomacy and this has created a dangerous situation’.


She added: ‘This is connected with Eurocentrism. We believe that we are so great that nobody can do without us…It seems to me that Europe needs Russia more than Russia needs Europe. If I am right, then is it really in the interests of the Old World to treat Moscow as an enemy, inclining Moscow to Beijing? Today Europeans are more and more disillusioned and desperate and this may cause mass disorder and anti-government violence’. Kneissel, who is from Central Europe, makes it sound as if Europe is living in the past, before 1914, when it was politically central to the world, instead of being a more or less irrelevant political backwater as it is in 2022. What is certain is that the physical fall of an empire is always preceded by its spiritual fall. What did this spiritual fall consist of?

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“..it’s also an attack on our values and the world order we want..”

NATO Chief: Russia Must Not Win Its War In Ukraine (OP)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia must not be permitted to win in the war it launched against Ukraine, which has given rise to the most dangerous moment for Europe since World War II. Speaking in Norway on August 4, Stoltenberg said the alliance and its member countries may have to continue to support Ukraine with arms and other assistance for a long time in order to keep Russia from succeeding after it launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24. “It’s in our interest that this type of aggressive policy does not succeed,” Stoltenberg said. “This is the most dangerous situation in Europe since World War II,” he said, adding, “what happens in Ukraine is terrible but it would be much worse if there was a war between Russia and NATO.”


Stoltenberg then reaffirmed the alliance’s resolve to defend all its 30 member countries. “If (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin even thinks of doing something similar to a NATO country as he has done to Georgia, Moldova or Ukraine, then all of NATO will be involved immediately,” Stoltenberg said. The war has led previously nonaligned Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership, with the request so far ratified by 23 of the 30 member states, including the United States. “This is not just an attack on Ukraine, an independent democratic nation with more than 40 million people, it’s also an attack on our values and the world order we want,” the NATO chief said of the war.

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“The Americans have taken up a course of suppressing any independence..”

Lavrov Speaks Out On US Effort To Dominate World (RT)

Washington’s attempts to spread its influence to more and more areas around the globe are doomed to fail, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday. “Our American colleagues demonstrate permissiveness” for themselves in international affairs “every time they try to assert their dominance” in new places, Lavrov said during a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh. “The Americans have taken up a course of suppressing any independence,” Russia’s top diplomat insisted. But those who follow their actions “understand the futility of a policy according to which you can just turn a blind eye to one situation, one crisis created by the US, and expect that everything will be more or less OK there,” he said.


Lavrov mentioned the conflict in Ukraine and the current crisis over Taiwan as examples of reckless policies pursued by the US. “They decided to turn Ukraine into a menace for Russia and for many years ignored the racist policies of the Kiev regime, which has been destroying everything Russian… they violated the principles of indivisible security, which they signed up for at the highest level and which they simply trampled upon,” he explained. Moscow has pointed to the persecution of Russian speakers in Donbass by the Kiev authorities and the US push to make Ukraine a member of NATO as being among the main reasons for launching its military operation in the neighboring country in late February. “Similarly, in the case of [US House speaker] Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, they [the Americans] ignored their own principles, which they proclaimed publicly,” the Russian foreign minister pointed out.

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“..some groups have already sought to organize protests in Berlin under the slogans “Revolt,” “Uprising,” and “Civil War.”

Germany Risks Facing ‘Winter Of Anger’ (RT)

Germany’s federal and regional governments are bracing for a potential wave of protests which might come this autumn or winter, the state-funded ARD and RBB broadcasters reported this week. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet fears that rising food and energy prices could lead to social unrest and be exploited by various “radical” movements, the outlets explained. According to the media, the protests might be similar to the ones Germany experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the government faced resistance to its lockdown and vaccination policies. ARD’s Tagesschau news service reported that some groups have already sought to organize protests in Berlin under the slogans “Revolt,” “Uprising,” and “Civil War.”

According to the reports, the protests might be similar to those experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the government faced resistance to its lockdown and vaccination policies. The new rallies might once again unite people known as the Querdenker (lateral thinkers) in Germany. This is a loose organization of grassroots movements that became prominent during the anti-lockdown protests. The German media has repeatedly pointed to the movement’s supposed links to various far-right extremist groups. A “Free Saxony” movement in the eastern German state of Saxony has also called for “massive civil resistance,” according to Tagesschau, citing Matthias Quent, a researcher with the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences.

Saxony’s interior minister, Armin Schuster, also told ARD that his ministry was preparing for “various” scenarios, adding that some “groups, activists or parties” might seek to “exploit” the current situation for their own narrow goals. Some of those who “mobilize and agitate”people had already drawn the attention of his ministry, he added. According to the media, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck also faced criticism during his summer tour across Germany and his speech in the town of Bayreuth in Bavaria was “massively disturbed” last week. The protesters, who staged demonstrations during his tour reportedly called for the launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to alleviate the energy crisis. They also allegedly demanded sanctions imposed against Russia be lifted.

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The hand that feeds you..

Zelensky is hurting from the Amnesty report.

Zelenskyy Lashes Out At EU Aid Delay (Pol.eu)

A new draft proposal by the European Commission would provide €8 billion in financial aid to Ukraine through a mix of grants and loans, two EU officials told POLITICO Friday. The EU would disburse up to €5 billion as long-term loans leveraged on the back of guarantees provided by EU countries, according to their contribution to the bloc’s budget. Interest payments would be subsidized by the EU’s budget. The remaining amount, around €3 billion, would be provided as grants, the officials said. The new draft proposal comes after Germany refused to provide guarantees to back up to €9 billion in loans for Ukraine. Berlin argued that grants are better suited to help Kyiv — which is already heavily in debt — and pointed to its own bilateral grant of €1 billion.

That position caused Italy and France, which also provided bilateral aid, to raise issues as well, forcing the Commission back to the drawing board. While there’s no timeline yet, the Commission is aiming to obtain approval by the European Parliament and EU countries in September so that disbursement can start in October, one official said. The issue of aid has become fraught, with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy blasting the EU for the delay in his most recent overnight address. Back in May, EU leaders pledged to provide “up to €9 billion” in macro financial assistance to Kyiv. But so far, the Commission has only been able to disburse €1 billion in loans backed by the EU’s budget.

The challenge is acute, because Kyiv has been running a budget deficit of around $5 billion per month since Russia’s invasion. It has called on international donors for help so it can cover basic costs like pensions and public sector wages — or risk financial collapse. “Every day and in various ways, I remind some leaders of the European Union that Ukrainian pensioners, our displaced persons, our teachers and other people who depend on budget payments cannot be held hostage to their indecision or bureaucracy,” Zelenskyy said. “Such an artificial delay of macro-financial assistance to our state is either a crime or a mistake, and it is difficult to say which is worse in such conditions of a full-scale war,” Zelenskyy said, referring to the remaining €8 billion.

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Make peace and your kids won’t be in the cold.

Two EU Members Reject Gas Rationing Plan (RT)

Poland and Hungary have refused to support the EU’s plan to cut gas consumption by 15%, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing a document published by the Czech Republic, which currently chairs negotiations within the bloc. EU countries last week agreed on a plan to reduce gas usage in order to fill storages amid concern of a possible shut-off of Russian supplies. The EU Council approved the plan on Friday. However, according to Reuters, the vote for approval only required a simple majority – meaning the support of 15 of the bloc’s 28 members – to be adopted. Hungary, which is currently in talks to secure more gas supplies from Russia, had opposed the scheme from the very beginning. According to the document seen by Reuters, Budapest questioned the legality of the plan, claiming that it would affect the country’s energy security.


Poland, meanwhile, initially agreed to cut consumption but on Friday voted against the plan, the agency reports. Warsaw called the legal basis of the document “defective” and said that decisions affecting the energy mix of EU countries should be made with the unanimous approval of all of member states. The newly adopted rationing plan is not mandatory unless the EU Council triggers a ‘Union alert’ on gas supply security. It also includes a number of exemptions. In particular, member states that are not connected to the gas networks of other EU countries are exempt from the requirement. In addition, members can request a relaxation of the conditions if they have exceeded their storage capacity targets or if their strategically important industries are heavily dependent on gas.

Read more …

Something George Webb is looking into.

Russia Connects USAID’s Bat Capture Program To Emergence Of Covid-19 (Tass)

Russian Defense Ministry assumes a connection between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program on bat control and the emergence of Covid, Russian Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops commander Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov said Thursday. “We consider a possibility that the USAID is involved in the emergency of the novel coronavirus. Since 2009, the agency funded the PREDICT program, which focused on studying novel coronaviruses and capturing bats that transmit these viruses. One of the program’s contractors was Metabiota, notorious for its military biological operations in Ukraine,” he said. He also stated that the statements made by US congressmen also raise concerns about the role of US biologists in the emergence and spread of COVID-19.

Kirillov pointed out that member of the US House Intelligence Committee Jason Crow warned US citizens during the National Security Conference in July against handing over their DNA samples to private companies, because they could be sold to third parties. “There are now weapons under development, and developed, that are designed to target specific people,” Crow said at the time. “Considering the interest of the US Administration to research of focused action biological means, such statements provide a new angle on the reasons behind the emergence of the novel coronavirus infection and the spread of the COVID-19 pathogen,” Kirillov said.

The general noted that the Johns Hopkins University held the Event 201 exercise that focused on actions amid an epidemic of an unknown coronavirus. “According to the exercise background, [the coronavirus] was transmitted from bats to humans through an intermediate carrier – pigs. This is how the Spanish flu, which took lives of tens of millions of human lives, became a pandemic,” Kirillov noted. “The implementation of the COVID-19 development scenario, as well as the emergency shutdown of the PREDICT program in 2019, make it possible to assume the intentional nature of the pandemic and the US’ involvement in its emergence,” he concluded.

Read more …

“..concerns that “the FBI has become too politicized in its decision making” were allegedly “removed from this year’s final report”..

FBI Director Sets New Record For Lies, Dodges, And Obfuscations (Fed.)

Ranking member Chuck Grassley was just one of the many Republicans who grilled Wray about the FBI’s increasing partisanship and the effect that a weaponized federal agency has on Americans’ trust in its institutions. “Director Wray, simply put, the FBI’s credibility is on the line, as are principles that helped found and sustain our great nation,” Grassley said in his opening statement. Grassley sent a letter to Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland last month outlining how both the Department of Justice and the nation’s primary domestic intelligence agency are “institutionally corrupted to their very core to the point in which the United States Congress and the American people will have no confidence in the equal application of the law.”

That was after multiple whistleblowers alleged that high-ranking bureau officials manipulated evidence related to an investigation into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and his “pay-to-play scandal of influence-peddling.” Evidence also suggests that “FBI Headquarters either improperly withheld information or presented inaccurate information to the U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh and possibly also Delaware” about Hunter. When Grassley asked Wray on Thursday why concerns that “the FBI has become too politicized in its decision making” were allegedly “removed from this year’s final report” and what Wray plans to do to address those concerns, the director dodged the question.

“I think you’ve answered the process. But you haven’t answered this specific thing about why that information was taken out of the report,” Grassley noted after Wray went on a tangent about visiting various field offices. “Yeah, I don’t, I’m not familiar with that. … Let me see if there’s something we can share with you on that,” Wray said. [..] One of Wray’s talking points during the hearing was the spike in violent crime across the county. When Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas asked him how that violence is related to the crime rings operating thanks to the compromised U.S.-Mexico border, Wray danced around the issue.

“Director Wray, I’ve always thought of you as a straight shooter but you won’t answer that question?” Cornyn asked. It was then that Wray conceded that the “border presents significant security issues” that feed the violence he claims his agency is struggling to combat. “There’s a wide array of criminal threats that we encounter down at the border. You mentioned a little bit in some of your questions, the transnational criminal organizations that use diverse and complex methods to traffick drugs, that then cascades over into prison and street gangs who distribute it,” Wray admitted.

Read more …

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has had enough of open borders, sent 6,500 migrants aboard 160 buses to Washington..

Pentagon Rejects DC Request For National Guard To Handle Illegal Migrants

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser revealed Friday the Defense Department rejected her request to provide National Guard troops to the city to deal with a growing number of a illegal migrants being bused from Texas. Bowser said she plans to modify her request and submit it again in hopes that being more specific about the use of troops may persuade the Pentagon to change its mind. “We want to continue to work with the Department of Defense so that they understand our operational needs, and to assure that any political considerations are not a part of their decision,” she said. Bowser said the Pentagon raised “the concern about the open-ended nature of our request, and their ability to respond to it.”


“So having just looked at their letter, they appear to say a more specified request would help them understand our needs,” she said. Bowser’s announcement came the same day Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed he is now beginning to ship illegal migrants to New York City after Mayor Eric Adams refused his request to come visit the border. According to Abbott’s office, more than 6,500 migrants have been moved aboard 160 buses to Washington. In its letter to the District of Columbia government, the Pentagon said troops are unnecessary because the city has already received enough federal funding through a nonprofit agency to house and care for the migrants.

Read more …

“Democrats are telling their senators not to get tested for covid to ensure they can pass their $800 billion spending bill before summer recess. They can’t lose a single vote so a positive covid test would derail the bill. ”

Democrats Abandon Covid Protocols To Vote On Bill (OK)

After years of obsessively following and promoting COVID related policies, Democrats are abandoning their precious mass testing policy now that it suits their political agenda. The laughably named “Inflation Reduction Act,” which naturally does nothing to reduce inflation, is so important to the Democrats’ legislative agenda that they’re throwing caution to the wind to ensure that no Senators will miss an upcoming vote. During the pandemic, there have been concerns over delayed votes due to potential positive COVID tests, but that won’t be getting in the way this time. According to a new report, there’s a new and unofficial “Don’t Test, Don’t Tell” policy to ensure they don’t delay enacting their latest tax and spending bill: This is, as usual from Democratic politicians these days, the height of hypocrisy.


They’ve indefinitely advocated for mass testing and “taking COVID seriously,” which causes huge disruptions to work and school life, as well as creating panic over every positive COVID test, regardless of severity. Democrats have criticized Republicans for not doing enough to combat every possible positive case, even though their politicians, including President Biden, continue to get the virus. After making COVID “interventions” a pseudo-religious ritual for those on the left, suddenly politics comes first. Possibly the most unintentionally comedic part of this unofficial announcement is that they seem to believe that wearing masks will prevent the spread of the virus: “They’re not going to delay it if a member has gotten Covid. Counterparts are saying they’re not going to test anymore. It’s not an official mandate but we all know we’re not letting Covid get in the way. The deal is happening. Less testing, just wear masks and get it done.”.

Read more …

“Only three of the 24 reefs surveyed in the last two years had decreased hard coral cover…”

Mass Coral Growth at Great Barrier Reef Defies Doomsday Predictions (DS)

The near vertiginous rise in the annual growth of coral at the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is continuing, with further major increases recorded across large areas. According to the 2021-22 annual summary from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), levels of coral cover in the northern and central areas of the reef were at their highest levels over the past 36 years of monitoring. The growth is of course excellent news for environmentalists, but curiously, at the time of writing, the news is being downplayed in the mainstream media. The demise of the world’s coral reefs has long been a go-to poster scare story for Net Zero promoters. As late as October 2020, the BBC was telling stories about the Reef losing half of its coral.[..]

This notion that global warming will cause corals to die is frankly a big whopping fib. Tropical coral, which is closely related to its cnidarian cousin the jellyfish, thrives in waters between 24°C and 32°C. It is highly adaptable but seems to dislike sudden changes in temperature, often caused by natural weather oscillations such as El Niño events. As the latest results from the AIMS show, coral quickly recovers when normal localised conditions return. In fact, coral often grows faster in warmer waters nearer the equator than the GBR. The big agitprop lie suggests minor long-term sea temperatures changes will wipe out the coral, but the scientific evidence suggests otherwise.


Recovery is said to have continued following a “period of cumulative disturbances” from 2014 to 2020. Only three of the 24 reefs surveyed in the last two years had decreased hard coral cover. The biggest disturbance, of course, arose around 2016 and was caused by a powerful, and natural, El Niño Pacific oscillation that quickly raised surrounding ocean temperatures by up to 3°C. Sudden warming spooks the coral and they expel symbiotic algae in a process commonly known as bleaching.

Read more …

The book by the UN special rapporteur on torture, no less.

Assange Family Barred From Taking Melzer Book Into Australia Parliament (G.)

Security staff at Parliament House in Canberra seized copies of a book about Julian Assange from his family members as they entered the building to meet MPs on Thursday, deeming it “protest material”. Assange’s family and supporters visited parliament on Thursday to urge the Albanese government to intervene in the proposed extradition of the WikiLeaks founder from the UK to the United States. They were carrying copies of a book on Assange’s case by Nils Melzer, the former United Nations special rapporteur on torture, which they intended to give to MPs and media. But Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, said parliament security refused to let the family take the book into the building, because they deemed it to be “protest material”.


“I was saying ‘this is ridiculous. They’re books’,” Gabriel Shipton said. “I offered to call Andrew Wilkie, who was the MP who co-chaired the Parliamentary Friends of the Bring Julian Assange Home Group. He said ‘yes, go ahead, call him, but you can’t take the books in’.” The family was able to distribute books to MPs and media from a box already stored in Wilkie’s office, and a staffer from Wilkie’s office was able to later retrieve the seized books. But Louise Bennet, a campaigner with the Bring Assange Home Campaign, said the actions of security were “ridiculous”. “They were incredibly adamant that it was protest material and that it was not allowed into the building,” Bennet said. “It just blows my mind. This is the sort of thing that we see in Trump’s America, that we criticise in China. What is our parliament afraid of that we can’t bring a book in?”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

EVs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 012022
 
 August 1, 2022  Posted by at 8:14 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  12 Responses »


Salvador Dali The knight of death 1934

 

 

If you’re Chinese or Russian, and you watch videos of the top three “most powerful” people in the US, Biden, Kamala and Pelosi, what do you think? You think all three are incoherent and should not be anywhere near any decisive, let alone nuclear, lever.

If you’re anybody anywhere, and you look at the top three “most powerful” people in the world, Xi, Putin and Biden, what do you think? You think two of them have got it together (nothing to do with you liking them or not), and one can’t even read coherently from a teleprompter.

Nowhere near half of Americans understand these two things to be true, but probably some 90% of Chinese and Russians do, as well as a vast majority of people in other non-US/NATO/EU countries.

Another threesome: Sergei Lavrov (Russia), Tony Blinken (US) and Liz Truss (UK) are all foreign ministers (or Secretaries of State, give the beast a name). Who would you trust to represent your own interests best in the field of diplomacy? It’s not even a question, is it? If the US or UK had a Lavrov, he would be their man (he would most likely decline). But they don’t. The US has a nobody (they have lots of those!) in the role, and the UK has someone with zero qualifications who dreams of getting the top job.

The world outside of the G7 or G20 (give the wheel a spin) sees this happening. Is it any wonder they clamor to be part of BRICS? The “collective west” is fast finishing off itself, and yes, you’re right, that is a dangerous moment. It’s also why it very much looks like the “collective west” is trying to open a second theater of war in Europe. One that looks a lot like the one they opened in Ukraine. And the EU, to its utter shame, does nothing to prevent this from happening – on its “own” soil!.

I know, there’s Crazy Nancy on her way to Taipei as well as we speak, we’ll get to that yet. Imagine: you’re 80-odd years old, and you want your legacy to be WWIII. Not your grandchildren, but live nukes. Just imagine that.

Kosovo’s unilateral secession from Serbia was recognized by the “main Western powers” in 2008. But not China, Russia, or the UN!. Not too long after Bill Clinton’s NATO bombed the heebeejeebees out of former Yugoslavia in 1990. Just because they could. Today, the US -and NATO- try to use a tiny sliver of former Yugoslavia to ignite a major fire in Europe, a second fire besides Ukraine.

Kosovo is the size of half a postage stamp, only two US states are smaller, Rhode Island and Delaware. 1.8 million people live there, it’s like one NYC borough. But you can use the historic hatred to rekindle the flames. Right, Blinken? Well, turns out there are still some Serbs living in Kosovo, because that’s where they grew up.

The brilliant Kosovo PM now has the fantastic idea to start a fight with these Serbs, over the fact that their cars have Serb license plates and they themselves have Serb IDs, a whole 14(!) years later. Yeah, that’s worth a fight, obviously.

So America’s “top diplomat” Blinken invited Kosovo president Osmani and PM Albin Kurti to DC last week.

 

 

I’ll let some people other than me explain this to you. First, political analyst Alexandar Pavic:

In Kosovo As In Ukraine, The Same Western ‘Invisible Hand’ Foments Conflict

In addition to the conflict in Ukraine, Europe is now faced with the prospect of renewed conflict in Kosovo, Serbia’s breakaway province (officially named Kosovo and Metohija according to the Serbian constitution). Kosovo’s unilateral secession was recognized by the main Western powers in 2008. This came nine years after NATO’s attack on Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, after which NATO forces occupied the province and helped install an ethnic Albanian-led government dominated by former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army terrorist organization.

The current crisis was triggered by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, who initially wanted to force the majority Serb population in the north of the region to accept Kosovan license plates and ID papers starting from August 1, and to ban entry to the province or issue temporary papers to travelers with Serbian-issued plates and documents.

Kurti attempted a similar stunt in September 2021, triggering a crisis where local Serbs in northern Kosovo organized roadblocks and Kosovo police reportedly beat up and intimidated Serb civilians, while the authorities in Belgrade put the Serbian military on high alert and ordered overflights by fighter planes over the administrative border between Serbia proper and Kosovo. The EU eventually brokered a temporary agreement, pending a final deal that was supposed to have been reached by April 2022, under EU auspices. However, nothing has come of that.

From Kosovo to Ukraine, it seems there’s a pattern regarding agreements in which Western powers have a hand. Since the start of this year’s special military operation in Ukraine, Russian officials have repeated time and again that the West had never pressed Kiev to fulfill its part of the 2015 Minsk 2 peace agreement, intended to end Kiev’s standoff with the Donbass republics. Recently, former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko openly admitted that Ukraine never intended to fulfill the agreement but was merely buying time until it could build up an army capable of overrunning Donbass.

The situation with Kosovo is not much different. The EU brokered an agreement between Pristina and Belgrade in April 2013, the so-called Brussels Agreement, by which Serbia was supposed to dismantle its “parallel” police and judicial structures in Kosovo and convince the Kosovo Serbs to accept integration into the Kosovo police and legal system, without recognizing the territory’s independence. And the Belgrade authorities did this, despite a large public outcry over the move.

 

However, there was a second part to the agreement, by which Pristina was obligated to form an Association of Serb Municipalities, with substantial local powers and ties to Serbia proper. The Albanian part of the Brussels Agreement has not been fulfilled to the present day. Or, as Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic noted on July 31, that 3,390 days have passed since the Brussels Agreement was signed, and still no sign of the Association.

As in the case of Ukraine, the collective West has put absolutely zero pressure on the side it supports to fulfill its part of a signed international agreement. And again, as in the case of Ukraine, this has encouraged Pristina to take an increasingly belligerent stance, which may very well lead to a more serious conflict.

There’s an additional ingredient to the Kosovo mix, thanks to the Ukraine conflict. Namely, the Serbs – both in Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina – stand practically alone among European peoples in refusing to join Western sanctions against Russia, and in consistently demonstrating open support for Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. As a result, the government in Belgrade has been under constant, increasing pressure by the main Western capitals, as well as the EU and NATO, to change its policy and join the West’s collective economic suicide.

Since Belgrade has proven to be a tough nut for the West to diplomatically crack when it comes to opposing Russia, it’s not at all far-fetched to imagine that the Kosovo Albanians just might be seen by the West as a useful tool by which to additionally turn the screws on Belgrade. In the same cynical way in which the unfortunate Ukrainians are being used to pressure and weaken Russia.

 

Next, from RT, about Richard Grenell. No love lost on my part about him, but he did negotiate a bunch of peace deals, and knows the territory much better than Blinken.

Trump’s Kosovo Envoy Slams US Over Crisis

Richard Grenell, who negotiated a Kosovo-Serbia deal under the Trump administration after a turn in charge of the US intelligence community, blamed the “reckless” prime minister in Pristina for the renewed tensions with Belgrade on Sunday and slammed the State Department for enabling him. “What’s happening in the Balkans isn’t Russia. Whoever says this to you is trying to manipulate you,” Grenell tweeted on Sunday evening. “This is about Albin Kurti trying once again to give it [to] Serbia. He is living in the past.”

“The people of Kosovo want peace and jobs, Albin. Stop picking fights,” Grenell added. Serbian military was placed on high alert and local Serbs put up roadblocks earlier in the day, after Kosovo police showed up at two administrative crossings with Serbia, intending to enforce Kurti’s decision to confiscate Serbian license plates and documents. This would have effectively cut off the remaining Serbs living in the north of the breakaway province.

According to Grenell, this was all about Kurti “making unilateral moves to reject Serbian IDs and license plates inside Kosovo,” which he called “unnecessary.” Describing the PM a “far left radical and experienced fascist,” Grenell further called his actions “foolish” and “reckless,” and urged Serbian leaders to “not take the bait.” “Even the Albanians know Kurti is the problem,”Grenell tweeted. He also blamed Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met with Kurti and Kosovo president Vjosa Osmani earlier in the week.

US President Joe Biden has “ignored the Balkans,” the envoy added, pointing out that he had negotiated multiple agreements between Kosovo and Serbia under President Donald Trump, trying to overcome the conflict through economic cooperation. Grenell also accused the EU of orchestrating war crimes charges against Kosovo President Hashim Thaci to punish him for working with Trump – resulting in Kurti and Osmani taking power.

And then Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

Why Are Serbia And Kosovo On The Brink Of War Again?

Tensions between Belgrade and Pristina occur regularly, as a result of the fact that the Kosovo issue has not been resolved since 1999, when the province de facto gained independence after the US-led NATO campaign against the former Yugoslavia. However, this time there is a risk of more or less routine friction escalating into a dangerous conflict, because the context has changed dramatically.

The problem of Kosovo was solved at the end of the twentieth century in strict accordance with the then dominant approach, and in the seeming absence of an alternative. Disputes in most of Europe (ie. outside the former USSR) were settled according to the EU’s ideas of fairness, and where they could not be worked out amicably, pressure was exerted on those who rebelled, up to the use of military force (primarily American, as always).

[..] it was the EU that regulated the processes taking place locally, and, in general, this setup was taken for granted. Moreover, other powers which have been traditionally active and important in the Balkans – Russia and Turkey – indicated their presence (sometimes quite clearly), but did not pretend to have a decisive voice in the way things were arranged. This framework also defined the room to maneuver for the countries of the region, including those who were most loudly dissatisfied, like Serbia.

Now two main circumstances have changed. First, the EU is in such a vulnerable state that it is not ready to take full responsibility for the extremely complex political situation in its immediate periphery. It cannot promise membership, and more precisely – even if such a pledge were made, it doesn’t guarantee anything.

The EU’s management of the central Balkan problems – in Bosnia and Kosovo – has not led to the desired outcome over the past quarter of a century. Thus, it’s all the less likely that it will work out now. Because the second circumstance is that Russia and the West (the EU plus the US and NATO) are in a state of acute confrontation.

As a result, there is no reason to expect Moscow’s assistance in resolving the situation (be it Kosovo or Bosnia). Right now, the West’s favorite practice of “selective interaction” (we work together with Russia where we need it, we refuse to engage on other issues) can no longer be applied. There will be no cooperation: Russia and the West will be on opposite sides of the barricades everywhere, no matter the issue at hand. We are in a systemic cold war. And this reality can greatly influence what will happen in the Balkans.

The question is to what extent regional actors have retained their passion for showdown, revenge or expansion. There are suspicions that this zeal has been exhausted and emasculated. But if it still burns, then external forces will enter the fray this time, supporting opposing sides.

Blinken et al, which very much includes his EU counterparts, see the past struggles in the Balkans as something they can reignite at their convenience today. The initial boundaries are simple. Russia will come to the aid of Serbia. Kosovo will appeal to Albania. And then to NATO. So the idea is you got this hot cauldron, with 5-6-15 nations, and NATO can do whatever it wants in there.

But NATO has no chance in Ukraine, and it doesn’t have one in Kosovo. But it can ship billions worth of weapons in there and pay Raytheon. Problem I see with this genius plan is that Russia saw it coming from lightyears away. And that is the same issue as the difference between Lavrov and Blinken: they may have the same job title, but there’s no comparison.

 

 

 

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Jul 252022
 
 July 25, 2022  Posted by at 9:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Mathew Brady Abe Lincoln 1864

 

Five Months Into The Special Military Operation (Saker)
Moscow Reveals Target Of Strike On Odessa Port (RT)
Russia Not Asking For Sanctions Removal – Lavrov (RT)
On the Future of Europe: A Proposition from 1 January 2023 (Batiushka)
Hungary Warns Of Shift In World Order (RT)
Hungary Spreading ‘Russian Propaganda’ – Ukraine (RT)
Logistical Nightmares For The Ukrainian Army (Milacic)
Media Miss Major Moves on Russia-Ukraine (Ray McGovern)
Jan. 6 Committee Still Probing Links Between Trump And Extremist Groups (CBS)
How Mario Draghi Broke Italy (Fazi)

 

 

 

 

Tulsi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1551154675394744320

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carl Sagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The truth is that by the laws of warfare the Ukraine lost the war in less than a week.”

Five Months Into The Special Military Operation (Saker)

[..] if you look at the size of the Russian force which took the Antonov airport near Kiev (one airborne regiment) and the size of the force which moved by land towards that airport, you can easily convince yourself that this force was not intended to attack or invade Kiev. This force did exactly what it was intended to do, it forces the Ukronazis to move forces to protect Kiev and, thereby, it pinned them down just long enough to establish air superiority, attack and cut off the forces near and in the Donbass, destroy the Ukrainian C4I and almost the entire Ukrainian air force. This took just a few days and once that mission was completed, these forces withdrew as they had literally nothing to gain by staying in place. If anything it is the Ukrainian side which is running out of weapons, supplies and soldiers (more about that later). The Russians have all the firepower they need for many years ahead.

“Russia had to change her plans and tactics because of the heavy losses suffered by the Russian military early in the operation” Actually, there is a grain of truth here, but not the correct explanation. As I have mentioned several times, the special military operation is “special” because it is an operation which is not a regular combined arms operation. The Russians began the SMO with fewer soldiers than the opposing side, and they privileged maneuver and long range strikes over the taking and holding of towns and cities. Most crucially, the Russians very deliberately tried all they could to minimize Ukrainian casualties and to preserve the Ukrainian civilian infrastructure (unlike the “democratic” countries out there who first destroy power plants, bridges, water stations, etc. to inflict the maximum of “shock and awe” on the civilian population!). The Russians could have easily turned, say, Kiev into Baghdad or Belgrade under US/NATO bombs, but they deliberately chose to save as many lives and civilian infrastructure as possible, even at the cost of lives of Russian soldiers).

What apparently did take the Russians by surprise is the willingness of the Ukrainian forces in some towns to attack the Russian columns even though the local authorities seemed to have indicated to the Russians that, like in, say, Kherson, their city would not resist. Simply put, they chose the Mariupol model rather than the Kherson model. This choice was mainly dictated by the very powerful Nazi death squads who would at best arrest anybody negotiating with Russia and, at worst, simply shoot them on the spot. The Russians found plenty of bodies of executed Ukrainian soldiers. But this does not tell the full story either. The truth is that by the laws of warfare the Ukraine lost the war in less than a week.

What is my evidence for such an apparently outlandish and over-the-top statement? Simple: since the beginning of the SMO, the Ukrainians failed to execute a single operational level attack or counter-attack. At most they were able to execute small, tactical level attacks, the vast majority of which almost instantly failed, a few were defeated in a few days, and, crucially, not a single one gave the Ukrainian side the operational initiative. Not once.

Read more …

Are these sanctions gone or not?

“Russia and the United Nations signed a memorandum providing for the UN’s involvement in lifting international sanctions on the export of Russian grain and fertilizers..”

Moscow Reveals Target Of Strike On Odessa Port (RT)

The Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed striking targets in the major Ukrainian port of Odessa on Saturday, revealing that its missiles hit military infrastructure and arms stockpiles. “In the seaport of Odessa, on the territory of a shipyard, a docked Ukrainian warship and a warehouse of Harpoon anti-ship missiles, supplied by the US to the Kiev regime, have been destroyed by sea-based high-precision long-range missiles,” the ministry said on Sunday. The attack also crippled a repair facility where vessels of the Ukrainian navy have been fixed, it added. The strike on the target in Odessa, which is a major trade hub in the southwest of Ukraine, came a day after the signing of a UN-brokered deal to unblock grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

During the conflict that has been underway since February 24, Moscow has insisted that its troops only fire at Ukrainian forces and military infrastructure, not civilian facilities. According to Kiev officials, four cruise missiles were used in the attack on the port of Odessa, allegedly targeting grain silos located there. Two of the missiles were intercepted and two made it through, but failed to inflict significant damage, they said. Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky described the strike as “barbarism” and insisted “Russian Kalibr missiles destroyed the very possibility of statements” on the need for dialogue and any agreements with Moscow. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “unequivocally condemns” the attack on the port of Odessa, his spokesman said.

According to Guterres, “the full implementation [of the deal] by Russia, Ukraine and Turkey is imperative” because the products that are covered by it are “desperately needed to address the global food crisis and ease the suffering of millions of people in need around the globe,” he added. The Russia-Ukraine agreement, which had been agreed on Friday with the mediation of Turkey and the UN, sets out a framework for resuming Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea ports, which had been disrupted by the fighting. In addition, Russia and the United Nations signed a memorandum providing for the UN’s involvement in lifting international sanctions on the export of Russian grain and fertilizers to world markets.

Read more …

“As far as food is concerned, our Western colleagues… should remove the obstacles they themselves have created..”

Russia Not Asking For Sanctions Removal – Lavrov (RT)

Moscow is not asking for the lifting of sanctions, but urges Western states to fix the problems they have created on the global food market, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday. “We are not asking for the removal of sanctions – those are problems that deserve to be dealt with separately. We will simply develop our economy now by counting on reliable partners and not on those who have once again proved their total incapacity… As far as food is concerned, our Western colleagues… should remove the obstacles they themselves have created,” the diplomat said after talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, in Egypt.

He noted that Moscow would not have agreed to Friday’s deal unblocking Ukraine’s grain exports if the issue of freeing up Russian exports had not been resolved. Moscow is now counting on the UN to stick to its promise and assist in removing restrictions holding back Russian grain shipments. “Those illegitimate restrictions that were imposed… prevented operations with Russian grain, including insurance, including the admission of our ships to foreign ports and foreign ships’ entry into Russian ports,” Sergey Lavrov said. “After the signing of agreements in Istanbul at the initiative of the UN Secretary General, he volunteered to seek the removal of these illegitimate restrictions. Let’s count on him to succeed,” the foreign minister added. Lavrov recently accused the West of intentionally “keeping silent” about the impact of Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia’s exports.

At a news conference last month, he said: “There is a problem with the export of Russian grain. Although the West loudly reminds everyone that grain is not subject to sanctions, for some reason they are bashfully silent about the fact that ships carrying Russian grain are subject to sanctions. They are not accepted in European ports, they are not insured, and, overall, all logistics and financial matters, which are associated with the supply of grain to the world markets, are under sanctions of our Western colleagues.” Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the UN and Turkey signed a deal to unblock exports of grain, food, and fertilizers from Ukrainian ports on Friday. In addition to the agreement, Russia and the UN signed a memorandum implying UN involvement in lifting restrictions on the export of Russian grain and fertilizers to world markets.

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“..where does the US/NATO defeat in the Ukraine leave the European peninsula?..”

On the Future of Europe: A Proposition from 1 January 2023 (Batiushka)

As schoolchildren will tell you, the names of the continents begin and end with the same letter, A: Asia, Africa, America, Australia, Antarctica. There is one exception: Europe, which though still beginning and ending with the same letter, the letter is not A, but E. Why the difference? Is it perhaps because Europe is not really a Continent? After all, it is not a vast landmass surrounded by an ocean (if it were a small one, it would be called an island). Its borders are arbitrary, having frequently changed, were only relatively recently pushed to the Urals, and are still much disputed. In reality, surely Europe is the artificially isolated north-western peninsula of Asia? It is not a geographical Continent at all, it is an ideological construct. That is why the slogan of so many EU-fanatics, like the former French President Chirac, was: ‘Faisons l’Europe’ – ‘Let’s Create Europe’.

We ask the above question because in this winter of 2022-2023 the old EU and Non-EU Europe has had to face a new reality following the war that the US/NATO lost in the ‘Ukraine’, as it used to be called. Europe-wide, indeed worldwide, food riots with looting of supermarkets and ‘bill boycotts’ (the wave of civil disobedience with the refusal/inability to pay soaring fuel bills) made this clear. Obviously, a worldwide reconfiguration is coming. Already the new world is becoming multipolar, with several main centres within the old BRICS, Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and now more to come, perhaps Iran, Türkiye, Argentina, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Mexico, Lebanon and Indonesia. In general, all Asia, Africa and Latin America now at last have their own future.

Not only are the old, thoroughly corrupted international organisations like the UN, WTO, WEF or IMF rightly disappearing into the sewers of history along with their discredited puppet-master, the US elite, but so too are pro-US regional groupings, like its European political and economic arm the EU and its European military arm, NATO. And here precisely, we ask where does the US/NATO defeat in the Ukraine leave the European peninsula, both the EU part of it and the rest of it, outside the EU? After World War I Europe had to be reconfigured, and again after World War II. Now, after whatever you call the 2022 Western rout in the Ukraine (World War III, or World War I, Part III), what is its destiny?

Surely the greatest revelation of the US proxy war in the Ukraine is Europe’s dependence on Russia. Without Russia, it simply cannot survive – though Russia can survive without it. The fact is that for the last few centuries, the largest European country has been Russia for surface area and, over the last century and a half, for population. The most common European language in Europe is Russian, the second German, the third French, the fourth English, the fifth Italian. As regards natural resources, whether agricultural or mineral, and as regards military power, the most important country, once again, is Russia.

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The topic is so taboo that only the black sheep can mention it.

Hungary Warns Of Shift In World Order (RT)

The Russia-Ukraine conflict could end the West’s dominance and shift the balance of power in the world, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. Russia launched a military campaign against the neighboring country in late February. Orban argued that the decision to impose sanctions on Moscow and supply Kiev with heavy weapons de facto turned the EU and NATO member states into participants in the conflict, but ultimately yielded no results. “Instead, today we are sitting inside a car with flat tires on all four wheels,” Orban said in a speech in the Romanian city of Baile Tusnad on Saturday. “The world is not only not with us, but it is demonstratively not with us,” the PM added, arguing that, instead of thinking about gaining the upper hand on the battlefield in Ukraine, the West should now focus on achieving peace through negotiations.


Orban also warned that the conflict could easily put an end to Western supremacy and “create a multipolar world order.” “We must try to persuade the West to develop a new strategy,” the PM said. He later added that the conflict “will end when the Americans and the Russians come to an agreement.” Hungary has refused to send weapons to Ukraine, while Orban said this month that the EU “shot itself in the lungs” with its ill-considered sanctions. Hungarian officials also criticized the proposal by Brussels to ration gas in an attempt to phase out deliveries from Moscow. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto traveled to Moscow on Thursday to negotiate the purchase of additional gas volumes in order to ensure that the country has enough reserves for the winter. “It is currently simply impossible to buy this much extra natural gas in Europe without Russian sources,” Szijjarto told reporters.

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Huh? “..Orban’s remarks about the ineffectiveness of anti-Russia sanctions are “a classic example of Russian propaganda..”

Hungary Spreading ‘Russian Propaganda’ – Ukraine (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s remarks about the ineffectiveness of anti-Russia sanctions are “a classic example of Russian propaganda,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko claimed on Sunday. Orban said on Saturday that the decision to impose sanctions on Moscow and supply Kiev with heavy weapons had turned the EU and NATO member states into de facto participants in the conflict, while failing to deliver results. Responding in a Facebook post, Nikolenko said the idea that “sanctions did not shake Russia” represent “a classic example of Russian propaganda.” The Foreign Ministry spokesman claimed that sanctions are effective, as they have “significantly reduced” the capabilities of the Russian military, while Western arms supplies have helped to save the lives of Ukrainians.

He claimed that if sanctions and weapons were ineffective, the Kremlin would not have used “crazy resources” to stop them. Moscow has been warning the West against supplying Kiev with weapons, saying it will not prevent Russia from achieving its military goals, but will lead to extra casualties. Russian officials have also pointed to the boomerang effect of Western sanctions. In a speech in the Romanian city of Baile Tusnad on Saturday, Orban said the conflict could put an end to Western supremacy and “create a multipolar world order.” The Hungarian leader argued that the West needs to develop “a new strategy.” Nikolenko countered that “Europe is in an economic crisis not because of sanctions, but because of Russia’s hybrid war.” Moscow, meanwhile, categorically denies accusations of using energy supplies as a political weapon.

The Ukrainian official said Russian President Vladimir Putin “will not stop until he destroys the European order based on democratic values,” meaning that “joint decisive action” is needed. “Together, we will surely defeat Russia, even despite the head of the Hungarian government’ fears that the Russian army has an ‘asymmetrical advantage,’” Nikolenko said, referring to Orban’s claim that Ukraine cannot win the war due to the disparity of forces. Nikolenko has lambasted Western politicians in the past. Earlier this month, Nikolenko accusedUS Congresswoman Victoria Spartz of attempting to bring “Russian propaganda” into American politics. Spartz called for a mechanism to track military aid provided to Kiev, and expressed doubts over the reliability of President Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of staff. Nikolenko advised Spartz “to stop trying to earn extra political capital on baseless speculation around the topic of war” and “stop undermining the existing mechanisms of providing US military assistance to Ukraine.”

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Nothing fits anymore.

Logistical Nightmares For The Ukrainian Army (Milacic)

In early July, right after Lisichansk was won by the Russian forces, the Russian military and its allies from DNR and LNR, put on display there a large number of captured Ukrainian military equipment. Rows of tanks, rocket launchers and armored vehicles stretched for hundreds of meters. All this was seized by the Russians in just one sector of the front alone. Let’s be honest, most of the Western military assistance to Ukraine is quickly destroyed or falls into the hands of the Russian military, without having any significant impact on the course of the war, and successful exceptions like the US-supplied M142 HIMARS only confirm the rule. Why is this happening?

The whole thing might be pretty simple: while receiving Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Javelin anti-tank systems and French Ceasar self-propelled guns, the Ukrainian army must quickly switch to a single NATO standard, strengthen its combat capability in the wish to stop Russian army. On closer examination, however, it turns out that everything is way more complicated. The unified NATO standard is mainly associated with the calibers of ammunition, and not with the unification of equipment. It is impossible to switch from the German “Leopard” to the French “Leclerc” without a long and serious preparation. A good MRLS operator, used to the Soviet-designed Grad, will not be able to handle America’s famous HIMARS. Each weapon system handed over to Kyiv also requires special retraining of Ukrainian military specialists. And this is just the tip of the iceberg though.

The delivery of one or two self-propelled guns with perfectly trained crews may look good in propaganda videos, but it turns into a logistical nightmare for the Ukrainian military suppliers. Full-fledged confrontation with the enemy requires units trained and equipped with unified weapons, not a battery recruited from different European and Soviet models using five different types of shells. All of them need different parts and accessories. Moreover, gun and tank crews will most likely be unable to replace each other. They are trained to fight with different models of high-tech weapons systems.

This is actually why the Eastern European countries are delivering to Ukraine what is left of their old Warsaw Pact-era stockpiles, not the latest European models. After all, mass-scale training of specialists takes months and calls for multiple instructors. The Kyiv authorities are having problems even with specialists trained in the use of Soviet-era technology. For example, on July 20, numerous telegram channels posted a video with an elderly Ukrainian tank captain, a reservist, who, after being taken prisoner by the Russians, said that all the junior officers of his brigade were over 45 years old, most of whom had received military training in Soviet universities (in the USSR, reserve officers were trained in civilian universities).

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The US midterms are the main consideration.

Media Miss Major Moves on Russia-Ukraine (Ray McGovern)

Corporate media are ignoring the stark implications of Russia’s stated intention to take control of more Ukrainian territory than just Donetsk and Luhansk. I discussed this on The Critical Hour yesterday and supplement those thoughts in the paragraphs below. On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced Moscow’s broadened aims, explaining, “Now the geography is different. It’s far from being only the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, it’s also Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts and a number of other territories.” (I had just written on this.) In his interview, Lavrov pointed specifically to HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, made by Lockheed-Martin) as the kind of “weapon that will pose a direct threat to our territory and the territories of those republics who have declared their independence (Donetsk and Luhansk).”

The HIMARS being provided to Ukraine have a range of 50 miles, putting them also at easy reach of Crimea – which Kyiv (and the U.S.) insist is legally still part of Ukraine. It all depends on “geography. Just a few hours after the Lavrov interview was reported came the announcement by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the US will give Ukraine four more HIMARS, bringing the total to 16. Austin bragged that HIMARS have already “made a difference on the battlefield.” But which battlefield? Lavrov and Russian President Putin can have no illusions that the wider, strategic “battlefield” includes Russia. Indeed, this is the same benighted Lloyd Austin who let that cat out of the bag three months ago: “One of the US’s goals in Ukraine is to see a weakened Russia. … The US is ready to move heaven and earth to help Ukraine win the war against Russia.”

It seems a sure thing that Biden’s advisers anticipate being engaged in a proxy war in Ukraine at least until this November when the US mid-term elections take place. Until then the Democrats surely will not want to appear to be slackers in confronting Russia on this critical issue (which, truth be told, they themselves did so much to create). The reality, of course, is that US policy makers go blithely along, enriching the MICIMATT (and enhancing campaign coffers) by giving advanced weaponry to Ukraine – and replacing them as needed. It’s very good for the multifaceted profiteering business. What is really troublesome is that there appears to be little understanding of the high stakes involved; little appreciation of what it means that Russia considers US/NATO behavior in Ukraine an existential threat – one that Russia is determined to remove, and can.

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@ScottAdamsSays: We’re all the way down to “He probably knows someone bad.”

This is going down like everything Schiff is involved in. “We have evidence that…”

Jan. 6 Committee Still Probing Links Between Trump And Extremist Groups (CBS)

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, said Sunday the panel is still examining possible links between former President Donald Trump and far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, members of which have been charged for their roles in the attack. “That remains an ongoing part of our investigation,” Schiff said in an interview on “Face the Nation.” “We have certainly shown some links between the president, the key advisors like Roger Stone and Mike Flynn, and elements of these white nationalist groups, but that component of our investigation continues.” More than a dozen members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, including their respective leaders Stewart Rhodes and Enrique Tarrio, have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 assault.

Federal prosecutors claim the members conspired to storm the Capitol to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by delaying by force the required tallying of state electoral votes. The select committee has examined the role of far-right extremist groups on Jan. 6 and last Thursday held its eighth public hearing mapping out what investigators described as a multi-pronged campaign from Trump to thwart the transfer of presidential power. The hearing focused on the 187-minute span on Jan. 6 from when the former president ended his speech at a rally on the Ellipse to when he issued a tweet telling the mob of his supporters to leave the Capitol, during which committee members said Trump did nothing to quell the violence that unfolded.

“I think we really need to think about what we’ve demonstrated already, about the president’s knowledge that the election wasn’t stolen, and his response and his intent, and to me that is most graphically demonstrated, when he told top Justice Department officials basically to just say the election was stolen or just say it was corrupt and that he would take care of the rest,” he said. “Those kind of pieces of testimony, they’re directly on the president’s knowledge and intent.” The California Democrat said he believes Trump engaged in the “most supreme dereliction of duty ever” with his inaction to stop the violence at the Capitol, and the former president’s multiple attempts to reverse the outcome of the election “invoke various criminal laws, and his conduct ought to be the subject of investigation.”

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One man wrecking crew.

How Mario Draghi Broke Italy (Fazi)

Mario Draghi’s defenestration has left the Italian — and indeed international — establishment reeling in horror. This is not surprising. When he was nominated as Italy’s prime minister at the beginning of last year, Europe’s political and economic elites welcomed his arrival as a miracle. Virtually every party in the Italian parliament — including the two formerly “populist” parties that won the elections in 2018, the Five Star Movement and the League — offered their support. The tone of the discussion was captured well by the powerful governor of the Campania region, Vincenzo De Luca (PD), who compared Draghi to “Christ” himself. Everyone agreed: a Draghi government would be a blessing, a final opportunity to redeem its sins and “make Italy great again”. Draghi, they said, simply by virtue of his “charisma”, “competence”, “intelligence” and “international clout”, would keep bond markets at bay, enact much-needed reforms, and relaunch Italy’s stagnant economy.

Alas, reality hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations: Draghi leaves behind a country in tatters. The latest European Commission macroeconomic forecast predicted that Italy will experience the slowest economic growth in the bloc next year, at just 0.9%, owing to a decline in consumer spending due to rising prices and lower business investment — a result of rising borrowing and energy costs, as well as disruptions in the supply of Russian gas. Italy is also experiencing one of the fastest-growing inflation rates in Europe — which is currently at 8.6%, the highest level in more than three decades. Interest rates on Italian government bonds have also been steadily climbing ever since Draghi came to power, rising four-fold under his watch; today they stand at the highest level in almost a decade.

And this “polycrisis” has taken its toll on Italian society: 5.6 million Italians — almost 10% of the population, including 1.4 million minors — currently live in absolute poverty, the highest level on record. Many of these are in work, and that number is bound to increase as real wages in Italy continue to fall at the highest pace in the bloc. Meanwhile, almost 100,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are at risk of insolvency — a 2% increase compared to last year. So much for “Super Mario”, then. Of course, one could argue that other countries are experiencing similar problems, but it would be a mistake to let Draghi off the hook. He has been one of the staunchest supporters of the measures that led to this situation, having been a driving force in pushing for tough EU sanctions against Moscow — sanctions that are crippling Europe’s economies, while leaving Russia largely unscathed.

Draghi even boasted about the bold measures adopted by Italy to wean the country off Russian gas — the result being that Italy is now the country that pays the highest wholesale electricity prices in the entire EU. The absurdity of these policies becomes apparent when we consider his attempt to reduce Italy’s dependence on Russian gas by reviving several coal-fired power plants — coal that Italy largely imports from Russia.

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Princess and Emmanuel

 

 

 

 

Surf dogs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1550852001763717121

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 222022
 


Pablo Picasso Dora Maar with green nails 1936

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sinking Germany (D’Eramo)

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

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

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

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

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

Why Nord Stream II Must Be Opened Immediately (MoA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

George Webb Kolomoisky

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Nice country.

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t even mention peace!

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

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

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

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

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I said: Don’t mention peace!

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

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

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

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

Lukashenko

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First Africa, now South America. They prefer BRICS.

South American Trade Bloc Snubs Zelensky (RT)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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at least 38,000 severe cases

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

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

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

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

Wolensky

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

 

 


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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 212022
 


Pablo Picasso Marie-Thérèse Walter 1937

 

Ukraine Must Win By Winter – Zelensky Aide (RT)
The Power Troika Trumps Biden In West Asia (Escobar)
US and UK Want ‘Real War’ Between Russia and EU – Lavrov (RT)
Putin Blasts “Globalist” World Order as “Totalitarian (SN)
China Blames US For Ukraine Conflict (RT)
Ukraine Offers Itself as a ‘Testing Ground’ for NATO Weapons (Antiwar)
Russia Warns Of ‘Tougher’ Terms For Talks With Ukraine (RT)
Putin Says Russia Will Honor Gas Commitment (ZH)
The Great American Military Rebrand (Taibbi)
Former Clinton Advisor Says Hillary is Preparing to Run Again in 2024 (SN)
Jan. 6 Committee Has Yet To Establish A Criminal Case Against Trump (Turley)
Rhine Water Levels Drop Below Critical Threshold (ZH)
The C-19 Vaccine And The Innate Antibody Response Of Children (Geert)

 

 

 

 

Climate change overload
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549770683890253825

 

 

 

 

Hunter & Soros

 

 

 

 

Gingrich

 

 

 

 

 

 

These people are dangerous. Get rid of them.

Ukraine Must Win By Winter – Zelensky Aide (RT)

The Ukrainian military must defeat Russia before winter, Andrey Yermak, chief of staff to President Vladimir Zelensky, said in an interview on Tuesday. Amid a shakeup in Ukraine’s government and Russian gains on the battlefield, Yermak insisted that more Western weapons could turn the tide. “Today, our main goal is victory,” Yermak said, “to do this, we need our military to have everything they need. They have everything except sufficient equipment and sufficient weapons.” The US alone has already allocated more than $55 billion worth of military and economic aid to Ukraine since February, and even though the Biden administration’s Lend-Lease program of arms shipments is set to come online in August, Yermak stated that time was not on his country’s side.

“The main task of Lend-Lease is that we get everything on time,” he explained. “It is very important for us not to enter the winter. After winter, when the Russians will have more time to dig in, it will certainly be more difficult.” Asked whether Ukraine’s military could retake the Black Sea coastline before winter, as Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov told the UK’s Sunday Times earlier this month that it would, Yermak did not answer directly, saying instead that “our goal is definitely the de-occupation of all our territories,” without providing a timeframe. “It’s hard work,” Yermak admitted, “when there is an enemy against you who has much more weapons and men.”

In Reznikov’s estimation, Ukraine needs around 50 M142 HIMARS rocket artillery systems from the US to hold back the advancing Russian military, and 100 of these truck-mounted launchers to conduct a counteroffensive. Reznikov announced these figures during a meeting of the Atlantic Council, a NATO-backed think tank, on Tuesday. To date, Washington has given Ukraine eight HIMARS systems, and the White House revealed on Tuesday that a fresh package of military aid to be announced this week will include more of these weapons systems. Ukraine has suffered a string of losses on the battlefield, with the entirety of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) coming under the control of Russian-allied forces at the beginning of this month, and Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) forces seizing operational control of Seversk – within striking distance of the major cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk – in recent days.

Meanwhile in Kiev, Zelensky’s government appears consumed by a witch hunt, with Zelensky firing Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and the head of the country’s top security agency, Ivan Bakanov, over the weekend. According to the Ukrainian leader, “high treason and collaboration” was rampant in both services. Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday approved the firings, and Zelensky went on to remove five more regional bosses of Bakanov’s agency, as well as its deputy head, Vladimir Gorbenko.

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Excellent from Pepe. Don’t miss.

The Power Troika Trumps Biden In West Asia (Escobar)

The Tehran summit uniting Iran-Russia-Turkey was a fascinating affair in more ways than one. Ostensibly about the Astana peace process in Syria, launched in 2017, the summit joint statement duly noted that Iran, Russia and (recently rebranded) Turkiye will continue, “cooperating to eliminate terrorists” in Syria and “won’t accept new facts in Syria in the name of defeating terrorism.” That’s a wholesale rejection of the “war on terror” exceptionalist unipolarity that once ruled West Asia. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his own speech, was even more explicit. He stressed “specific steps to promote the intra-Syrian inclusive political dialogue” and most of called a spade a spade: “The western states led by the US are strongly encouraging separatist sentiment in some areas of the country and plundering its natural resources with a view to ultimately pulling the Syrian state apart.”

So there will be “extra steps in our trilateral format” aimed at “stabilizing the situation in those areas” and crucially, “returning control to the legitimate government of Syria.” For better or for worse, the days of imperial plunder will be over. The bilateral meetings on the summit’s sidelines – Putin/Raisi and Putin/Erdogan – were even more intriguing. Context is key here: the Tehran gathering took place after Putin’s visit to Turkmenistan in late June for the 6th Caspian summit, where all the littoral nations, Iran included, were present, and after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s travels in Algeria, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, where he met all his Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) counterparts.

So we see Russian diplomacy carefully weaving its geopolitical tapestry from West Asia to Central Asia – with everybody and his neighbor eager to talk and to listen to Moscow. As it stands, the Russia-Turkey entente cordiale tends to lean towards conflict management, and is strong on trade relations. Iran-Russia is a completely different ball game: much more of a strategic partnership. So it’s hardly a coincidence that the National Oil Company of Iran (NIOC), timed to the Tehran summit, announced the signing of a $40 billion strategic cooperation agreement with Russia’s Gazprom. That’s the largest foreign investment in the history of Iran’s energy industry – badly needed since the early 2000s. Seven deals worth $4 billion apply to the development of oil fields; others focus on the construction of new export gas pipelines and LNG projects.

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“I think they still haven’t realized that they’re playing very dangerous games. But many in Europe are beginning to understand that.”

US and UK Want ‘Real War’ Between Russia and EU – Lavrov (RT)

The US and UK want to escalate the Russia-Ukraine conflict into a larger confrontation between Moscow and members of the European Union, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday in an interview with RT and Sputnik. “Our US and British colleagues… with the support from the Germans, Poles, and the Baltic states, very much want to make this war a real war, pitting Russia against European countries,”Lavrov said, speaking to RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan. The Western governments are “literally holding Ukraine back from any constructive steps”towards a peace settlement, Lavrov argued. They are not only “flooding” the country with weapons, but “forcing” Ukraine to use them more brazenly, he added.

Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring country in late February. Many countries, including NATO members, imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and have been supplying Kiev with heavy weapons. The latest deliveries include US-made M142 HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and M777 howitzers. Lavrov claimed that the US and Britain are “benefiting” from the conflict between Russia and the EU because the economies of the bloc’s members are bearing the brunt of the sanctions. He added that the US has been acting “irresponsibly” by stoking tensions with Russia. “I think they still haven’t realized that they’re playing very dangerous games. But many in Europe are beginning to understand that.” US President Joe Biden said last week that Russia must suffer “a strategic failure” in Ukraine and vowed more support for Kiev.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.” In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.

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“No matter how much Western and so-called supranational elites strive to preserve the existing order of things, a new era is coming, a new stage in world history..”

Putin Blasts “Globalist” World Order as “Totalitarian (SN)

Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted earlier today that the “globalist” world order is “totalitarian” and is “holding back creative pursuit.” Putin made the comments during a forum in Moscow. The notorious leader claimed that the west had only achieved its global preeminence due to the historic plunder of other nations and had no moral right to enforce a unipolar model on the planet. “The model of the total dominance of the so-called ‘golden billion’ is unjust. Why should this ‘golden billion’ among the planet’s population dominate others, impose its own rules of conduct?” Putin asked. “Based on the illusion of ‘exclusivity,’ this model divides people into first and second class status, and is therefore racist and neo-colonial in its essence,” he added.


“And the globalist, supposedly liberal ideology which underlies it is increasingly acquiring the features of totalitarianism, holding back creative pursuit, free historical creation,” Putin claimed. The Russian President went on to stress his view that the globalist world order was built off the exploitation of other countries. “Of course, this ‘golden billion’ did not become ‘golden’ by accident. It has achieved a lot. But it did not only take up its positions thanks to the realization of some ideas, but to a large extent due to the robbery of other peoples – both in Asia and Africa. That’s what happened.” He then proclaimed that western elites are terrified that their global order is being dismantled. “No matter how much Western and so-called supranational elites strive to preserve the existing order of things, a new era is coming, a new stage in world history. And only truly sovereign states can ensure high dynamics for growth and become an example for others,” said Putin.

Putin on elites

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“It is quite clear to the world who exactly is causing the global food crisis..”

China Blames US For Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has accused the US of starting the crisis in Ukraine and fueling the conflict in the east European country. Spokeman Zhao Lijian told reporters at a regular press briefing on Tuesday that Washington should stop playing “world police” and work on creating conditions for peace talks instead. Zhao was asked about recent remarks from US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who once again threatened China with a “very steep cost” should Beijing help Moscow evade Western sanctions – without providing evidence that this is happening. Accusing Price of sounding “as if the US were the world police,” Zhao said that China “takes an objective and fair stance and stands on the side of peace and justice” when it comes to Ukraine.

“We firmly oppose any unwarranted suspicion, threat and pressure targeting China. We are also firmly against unilateral illegal sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction with no basis in international law,” Zhao said. Washington needs to “stop playing up bloc confrontation and creating a new Cold War by taking advantage of the situation,” Zhao added, urging the US to instead “facilitate a proper settlement of the crisis in a responsible way and create the environment and conditions needed for peace talks between parties concerned.” This is not the first time China has pushed back on US pressure to side with the West against Russia in the matter of Ukraine. Last month, Zhao’s colleague Wang Wenbin also chidedWashington for fueling the conflict and wanting to “fight to the last Ukrainian” while Beijing wanted a negotiated peace. He stopped short of blaming the US for starting the current military confrontation, however.

At the end of June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters the alliance had been “preparing for this since 2014,” referring to the US-backed government in Kiev which came to power after the coup ousted the elected president and triggered the crisis with Crimea and Donbass. At Tuesday’s press conference, Zhao also rejected US accusations that China was contributing to food shortages in Africa, pointing the finger back at Washington. “It is quite clear to the world who exactly is causing the global food crisis,” he said. “We hope that the US will seriously reflect on its disreputable role in the global food crisis and stop smearing and making groundless accusations against China.”

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Not the Ukraine, but its “leaders”.

Ukraine Offers Itself as a ‘Testing Ground’ for NATO Weapons (Antiwar)

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov on Tuesday openly offered Ukraine as a venue to test NATO weapons against Russia in an online conversation with the director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. Reznikov said that Ukraine “is essentially a testing ground” for the advanced weaponry the US and its allies are pouring into the country. “Many weapons are now getting tested in the field in the real conditions of the battle against the Russian Army, which has plenty of modern systems of its own,” he said. The Ukrainian military chief made the offer in a fresh pitch for more Western arms. “We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here,” he said.


One weapons system that is getting its first use on the battlefield in Ukraine is the Polish Krab artillery system that was provided by Warsaw. “So, I think for our partners in Poland, in the United States, France, or Germany, it’s a good chance to test the equipment. So, give us the tools. We will finish the job and you will have all the new information,” Reznikov said. The Western response to the war in Ukraine has been a boon for US arms makers, who are making money sending weapons into the war zone, replenishing NATO stockpiles, and selling arms to European countries that have decided to boost military spending. Kyiv has been asking for more advanced arms than it has been sending, including F-15 and F-16 fighter jets. Ukrainian pilots would need to be trained to fly the US aircraft, and the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act includes $100 million to go towards that training, although the massive spending bill has not yet been finalized.

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“Lavrov: “Should the west supply Kiev with long-range weapons, the geographical objectives of the special operation in Ukraine will move even further. Meaning further west and north.”

Russia Warns Of ‘Tougher’ Terms For Talks With Ukraine (RT)

Moscow will make much harsher demands if and when talks on a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine conflict resume, Leonid Slutsky, a member of Moscow’s negotiating team, has warned.“Today, the conditions on our part will be tougher regarding demilitarization and ‘denazification’; tougher both in terms of essence and the timeframe of their implementation,” Slutsky, who leads the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) in the Russian State Duma, said during a press conference on Tuesday. However, the parliamentarian pointed out that currently “Kiev doesn’t show any eagerness to resume the negotiations.” On Monday, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov also addressed the possibility of the resumption of talks with Ukraine, saying that Russia’s demands would be “different” if the two sides sit down at the negotiating table now.

However, much like Slutsky, he had to acknowledge that “for now, there’s no interest in this from both Kiev and the Western countries”that are backing Ukraine in the conflict.The peace process had been put on hold by the Ukrainian side after the latest round of negotiations, which took place in Istanbul in late March, according to the aide. “After that, the Ukrainian delegation didn’t maintain any contact with us,” Ushakov said. Moscow had initially been optimistic about the outcome of the talks in Turkey’s largest city, but later accused Kiev of backtracking on all the progress that had been achieved there and declared that it had lost all trust in the Ukrainian negotiators.

In his interview with Forbes on Monday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba insisted that Kiev would only be eager to resume talks after Moscow suffers “defeat on the battlefield.” “Otherwise, it will be the language of ultimatums again” on the part of Russia, he explained. According to Kuleba, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky doesn’t rule out “the possibility of negotiations,” but believes “there is no reason” for it at the moment. Despite Russian forces steadily gaining ground in Donbass, Ukraine’s top negotiator David Arakhamia suggested last month that Kiev could achieve a “favorable position” on the front by late August after it conducts “counteroffensive operations in certain areas.”

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Nordstream 1 has been restarted, but only on one turbine.

Putin Says Russia Will Honor Gas Commitment (ZH)

As we reported previously, Nord Stream 1, the main artery for Russian gas to Europe, is currently down due to regular maintenance and European governments are worried the Kremlin won’t restore its flow when the work ends Thursday, roughly around the time the ECB announces a historic rate hike (as much as 50bps according to the latest press reports). A prolonged outage could lead to an even greater energy crisis, prompting governments to ration energy, hurting industry and sending the country into recession even faster. Putin echoed comments made late Tuesday after his visit to Tehran, where the Russian president said that Kremlin-controlled energy exporter Gazprom PJSC, pipeline operator’s majority shareholder, “has always fulfilled and will fulfill all of its obligations.”

But he added that flows might fall to some 20% of capacity as soon as next week if a critical pipeline turbine that was undergoing repairs in Canada isn’t returned to Russia soon. Putin said that another turbine had to go for maintenance on July 26. Even before the maintenance began, Gazprom last month cut deliveries on the pipeline to 40% of its capacity, blaming Canadian sanctions that had prevented the return of the turbine being repaired there. European officials have dismissed the turbine explanation as a pretext for Moscow to try and wreak economic havoc on the continent. Germany has been racing to return the turbine to Russia after Canada earlier this month tweaked its own sanctions, allowing turbines for the Nord Stream pipeline to be repaired and returned to Russia.


In response to the threat of a complete Russian shutdown, the European Union has been pressing governments to step up their energy-conservation campaigns, rolling out new plans for possible rationing on Wednesday. The commission’s plan is expected to offer guidelines for curbing energy use and establish criteria governments can use to determine which industries to give priority to if there isn’t enough gas to go around. The guidelines also call for public buildings to limit air conditioning to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and cap thermostats at about 66 degrees during colder months.

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“Billions of dollars in weapons the military did not seek..”

The Great American Military Rebrand (Taibbi)

Fast forward to last week. As January 6th hearings, a presidential fist-bump, and a Kardashian spawn’s gender reveal gobbled attention, the House quietly passed a monster $839 billion defense package. It was “the definition of a bipartisan bill,” chirped Alabama’s Mike Rogers, as 180 Democrats and 149 Republicans joined to smash by tens of billions previous records for military spending. With this already underreported story, just one news outlet, Roll Call, described a “first of its kind” report published by the Department of Defense Comptroller’s office, which revealed at least $58 billion of “congressional additions” above Joe Biden’s budget request.

As former Senate aide and defense budget analyst Winslow Wheeler puts it, these “additions” are “not (all) earmarks under either the House’s or Senate’s shriveled definition of them, but they are all earmarks… under the classic understanding.” What’s in those requests? As Roll Call’s Donnelly explains, the $58 billion included “money to respond to disasters and the war in Ukraine,” but also: Billions of dollars in weapons the military did not seek, such as more than $4 billion worth of unrequested warships, many of them built by the constituents of senior appropriators. This felt like Duke Cunningham days, back with a vengeance. The $58 billion revealed by the Department of Defense only pertained to “congressional increases” larger than $20 million. I asked the DoD to ask if they also counted smaller appropriations.

So far, they’ve declined to comment, but according to several sources (and Roll Call), the actual amount of “additions” is almost surely far higher than $58 billion. Both the triumphant return of the earmark and the enormous defense hike should have been big stories. To put $58 billion (at least) in defense “increases” in context, the amount of overall federal earmarks in 2006, the infamous year that prompted so much outrage, was said to be $26 billion. Meanwhile Biden’s one-year arms increase exceeds the pace of Donald Trump’s infamous $200 billion collective defense hike between 2017-2019. These are major surges past the levels of both pork and weapons spending that had progressives roaring for “change,” yet there’s almost zero outcry now. Why?

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Dick Morris knows a thing or two.

Former Clinton Advisor Says Hillary is Preparing to Run Again in 2024 (SN)

A former top advisor to Bill Clinton claims that Joe Biden will be forced to step aside and be replaced by Hillary, who is preparing to run again for president in 2024. No, not again! The prediction was made by Dick Morris, who ran Bill Clinton’s successful re-election campaign in 1996 and was once touted as Clinton’s most influential advisor. According to Morris, the Democratic establishment knows “that Biden can’t run again in 2024” due to his “quickly declining mental abilities” and the economic disaster he had presided over. Morris says that Biden will eventually cave to extreme pressure not to run, but that he won’t be replaced by Kamala Harris, who would get trounced by Trump.


The former advisor says a “black candidate” will emerge, along with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who will “wreak havoc” because the party is now dominated by far-left agitators, although AOC won’t be old enough to be president, so the rules would have to be changed for that to happen. “As leftist candidates emerge as front-runners in the Democratic primary, pressure will grow on Hillary Clinton to enter the race,” writes Morris. “Much like Biden’s surprise entrance in 2020, Democrats will see her as their savior, an experienced politician able to bridge the left and more moderate wings of the party.” Morris says Hillary’s recent media interviews and her cronies touting her as Biden’s replacement are clear signs she is set to run again in 2024.

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“It is difficult to make a criminal case over what an official failed to do..”

Jan. 6 Committee Has Yet To Establish A Criminal Case Against Trump (Turley)

The eighth and final scheduled hearing of the House Jan. 6 select committee is scheduled for Thursday, and its members reportedly will present a time line of events on that day, particularly the 187 minutes between the end of then-President Trump’s speech on the Ellipse and his call for supporters to leave the Capitol. It will again replay moments from the horrific to the heroic. What it has not shown thus far, however, is what was promised at the outset: a clear criminal case against Trump. At the start of the hearings, committee members promised they had the long-sought smoking-gun evidence — new material that would close the circle on Trump. Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) indicated he thought there was now “credible evidence” to support a variety of criminal charges. His colleague, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), said the committee would show that Trump organized a “coup” on Jan. 6, 2021.

No sooner had the hearings begun when many in the media declared that the criminal case had been conclusively proven — even though most of what was being presented was already generally known. It often sounded more like a prayer than proof. Former Nixon counsel John Dean said an indictment would be forthcoming because “I don’t see how the line prosecutors at the Department of Justice can’t take a lot of this evidence and use it. … Trump is in trouble. Trump is in trouble.” Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe said the question was only what would be charged first, since Trump’s felonies were shown “without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt, and the crimes are obvious.” That included an allegedly clear case of attempted murder of former Vice President Pence.

Yet, on the eve of the primetime hearing this week, committee members sound strikingly less prosecutorial. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) told CNN that “I look at it as a dereliction of duty. He didn’t act. He did not take action to stop the violence.” It is difficult to make a criminal case over what an official failed to do. Yet the last hearing seemed to focus on a number of things that did not occur, from a draft tweet that was not sent to an executive order that was never signed. There were discussions of appointing Trump attorney Sidney Powell as a special counsel, seizing voting machines or replacing the Justice Department’s leadership. As unnerving as these proposals were, they also were not carried out. It is the type of evidence used to show mens rea — “guilty mind.” However, crimes generally require both guilty minds and guilty acts. Building a criminal case on the failure to act to stop the violence is a notoriously difficult case to make.

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The Rhine is also important for exports, and there is no alternative.

Rhine Water Levels Drop Below Critical Threshold (ZH)

Water levels on the River Rhine have steadily declined and fallen to emergency levels this week, indicating more headwinds for the German economy already careening towards recession. One of the most vital waterways in Europe’s economic heartland is below a very important 78 centimeters (31 inches) threshold at a measuring station in Kaub, Germany. As of Wednesday, Kaub sits at 68 centimeters (27 inches) and is dropping fast, indicating that barge transport disruptions could be imminent. Riverlake, a vessel broker, already says barges hauling goods between Upper Rhine from Rotterdam have reduced weight to about a third of capacity to improve draft in shallow parts of the waterway, according to Bloomberg.

For some context, barges on inland waterways haul about 5%-10% of German freight, with about 80% of that on the Rhine, including a third of domestic shipping of crude oil, natural gas, and coal, Berenberg economist Salomon Fiedler wrote Wednesday in a note to clients. Citing a report by the Kiel Institute, Fiedler said if Kaub sustains water levels below 78 centimeters for several weeks or longer, German industrial production will be “about 1% lower than in a month with no low-water days.” He said the following month would be an impact of 1.5%. The water crisis on the 800-mile (1,288-kilometer) river that runs from Switzerland to the North Sea is similar to the one in 2018.

The previous crisis resulted in transport disruptions that hit industrial production. One noticeable difference is the economy today is sliding toward a recession as it contends with an energy crisis, high inflation, faltering economic growth, and supply chain bottlenecks — unlike anything ever seen before. Germany’s economy grew by a paltry 0.2% in the first quarter, just barely escaping a technical recession following a contraction in the prior quarter, while the inflation rate printed a mind-numbing 7.6% in June. Alarming signs of stagflation are developing, and hyperinflation of energy prices thanks to Europe’s sanctions on Russia is the leading cause of the economic turbulence.

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Don’t rob your kids of their immune systems.

The C-19 Vaccine And The Innate Antibody Response Of Children (Geert)

Question: For those children who, unfortunately, have gotten a Covid-19 vaccine, does this one hijacking (the shot(s) and subsequent infections that are not neutralized) of their immune response prejudice their innate antibody response to different degrees based on the similarities of the various glycosolated pathogens they will later encounter?

Answer: The problem comes from the infection-enhancing antibodies (IEAbs). As viral infection rates are only climbing, and as these Abs render vaccinees highly susceptible to infection, more and more vaccinees are now sitting on high titers of these Abs. Children who have gotten a Covid-19 vaccine will, of course, not be an exception. Because the IEAbs will continuously outcompete the innate Abs, the latter will not manage to educate the cell-based innate immune system (NK cells) on how to recognize a SC-2 infected host cell at an early stage of infection at a time where innate Abs are no longer functional or already overridden by foreign-centered immune cells. The latter can now happen very rapidly due to ADEI, which basically drives the virus into the adaptive immune system and promotes stimulation of foreign-centered T and B cells. This also applies to host cells infected by other glycosylated viruses that generate acute self-limiting infection/ disease because the patterns these viruses express on the surface of infected host cells are shared.

So the answer is yes, these children are at high risk of suffering from irreversible deficiency of their innate immune system to recognize ‘foreign’ from ‘self’. When you prevent innate immune effector cells from learning how to recognize self-mimicking patterns expressed on host cells infected by glycosylated viruses for a long enough period, these NK cells will never be able to recognize such viruses, nor will they be able to recognize ‘altered self’ patterns expressed on pathologically altered host cells. Unfortunately, the latter inability opens the door to immune pathology and cancer.

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EmmanuelVI


EmmanuelVII

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panama
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549870641129848832

Peru
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549869009835016192

 

 


New Zealand has set a new high in COVID deaths and currently has one of the highest death rates in the world, despite a continued mask mandate and exceptionally high vaccination and booster rates

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 172022
 


Albrecht Dürer Praying hands 1508

 

Lavrov to Boris Johnson: Just Try to Bring Russia to Its Knees (Celente)
Fauci Admits ‘Not Enough Data’ On Boosters For 5-Year-olds (Fox)
Gazprom Defends Gas Cuts As Prices In Europe Soar (AFP)
German Official Warns Of Gas Shortages, Bankruptcies, Massive Price Hikes (RMX) s
Tesco Sales Fall Amid ‘Unprecedented Increases In Cost Of Living’ (G.)
US Energy Chief To Discuss Record Pump Prices With Refiners Next Week (R.)
MBS and Putin: Why Talk to One and Not the Other? (Warner)
Elon Musk To Make Twitter Inclusive, User-Friendly & Profitable (TMS)
New CNN Boss: Stop Calling Trump’s Election Fraud Claims ‘The Big Lie’ (DM)
Trump Demands Equal Time On TV Networks To Counter Jan. 6 Hearings (JTN)
COVID Dr. Simone Gold Sentenced To Prison For Jan. 6 Riot (JTN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail.”

– Rudyard Kipling, “The Jungle Book”

 

 

 

 

Lavrov did a BBC interview yesterday.

Lavrov to Boris Johnson: Just Try to Bring Russia to Its Knees (Celente)

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s top diplomat, said in an interview Thursday that the Kremlin was forced to carry out a “special military operation” in Ukraine because there was “no other way of explaining to the West that dragging Ukraine into NATO was a criminal act.” Lavrov spoke with the BBC about the fallout from the war, and how Russia has been largely ostracized from the West. He pointed the the UK in particular. “I don’t think there’s even room for manoeuvre any more,” Lavrov said. He said both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have both said openly that “we should defeat Russia, we should force Russia to its knees.” “Go on, then, do it!” Lavrov said.


Truss and Johnson have been two of the most outspoken critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov may have been referencing Truss’ comment in February when she said she wanted to “degrade” the Russian economy. “We’ve now imposed the most severe sanctions that Russia has ever seen, stopping access to vast swathes of the Russian economy, and stopping them build up their armed forces, cutting the Russian economy off at the knees,” she said. Johnson in May called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “crocodile” chewing on Ukraine’s leg. “How can you deal with a crocodile when it’s in the middle of eating your left leg?,” Johnson said. “The guy’s completely not to be trusted.”

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“That’s not science. That’s conjecture. And we should not be making public policy on it..”

Fauci Admits ‘Not Enough Data’ On Boosters For 5-Year-olds (Fox)

Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted Thursday that even though the Biden administration recommends that everyone over the age of 5 gets a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, there is currently insufficient evidence to prove that the boosters actually lower rates of hospitalization or death in children. During a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., asked Fauci if he was aware of any studies that showed a reduction in deaths or hospitalizations for children who had received boosters. “Right now, there’s not enough data that has been accumulated, Senator Paul, to indicate that that’s the case,” Fauci stated.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases began to explain that he thinks the basis for the recommendation had to do with looking at morbidity and mortality of children in different age groups, when the senator cut him off. “So there are no studies. And Americans should all know this. There are no studies on children showing a reduction in hospitalization or death with taking a booster,” Paul said. Paul, who is also a doctor, noted that the only studies that had been done were antibody studies, which he argued were not enough to prove a vaccine’s efficacy. He claimed that just because a vaccine produces antibodies, that does not mean it is necessary. To illustrate his point, he argued that a person could get 10 boosters and get antibodies from all of them, but that does not mean a person needs to get 10 booster shots.

Fauci, who testified virtually because he currently has COVID-19, called Paul’s hypothetical “somewhat of an absurd exaggeration,” but Paul claimed that this is basically what the government is doing. “That’s not science. That’s conjecture. And we should not be making public policy on it,” he said.

Rand Paul Fauci

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The “pumping turbines” in Nordstream I need repair. German company Siemens sent them all the way to Montreal to be fixed. Because of Canada and German sanctions, they cannot be brought back to the pipeline. Unless both countries circumvent their own sanctions. They will.

Gazprom Defends Gas Cuts As Prices In Europe Soar (AFP)

Russian energy giant Gazprom on Thursday defended gas cuts to Europe as prices soared and tensions raged between Russia and the West over Ukraine. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that Moscow will play by its own rules after cutting daily gas supplies to Germany and Italy. “Our product, our rules. We don’t play by rules we didn’t create,” Miller said during a panel discussion at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia’s second city. Earlier this week, Gazprom slashed its natural gas deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline, after saying Germany’s Siemens had delayed the repair work of compressor units at the Portovaya compression station. “For now, there is no way to solve the problem that arose with the compressor station,” Miller said.

“Siemens is still silent, trying to find a solution.” Italian energy giant Eni also reported problems, saying it will receive only 65 percent of the gas requested Thursday from Gazprom. Gazprom has said exports to countries that did not belong to the former Soviet Union were down 28.9 percent between January 1 and June 15 compared to the same period last year. “Of course, Gazprom is reducing the volume of gas supplies to Europe,” Miller said, pointing out that the prices have increased several-fold. [..] Moscow has lost several European gas clients after it demanded that all “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian natural gas in rubles in response to a barrage of Western sanctions over Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Poland, Bulgaria, Finland and the Netherlands have had their natural gas deliveries suspended over refusing to pay in rubles. The Nord Stream pipeline was commissioned in 2012 and delivers gas from northwestern Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The launch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that was set to double Russian gas deliveries to Germany was halted in response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. “Nord Stream 2 is under pressure and gas could be supplied to Germany even today via it. But it has not been put in operation because it is not certified,” Miller said.

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Your governments volunteer to do this to you.

German Official Warns Of Gas Shortages, Bankruptcies, Massive Price Hikes (RMX)

A gas shortage and high prices will send “shockwaves through the country,” leading to landlords cutting the heat for tenants and widespread company bankruptcies, warned Klaus Müller, the head of Germany’s Federal Network Agency, which is the regulatory office for electricity, gas, telecommunications, postal services, and railway markets. Müller paints a bleak picture about the crisis in an interview with German newspaper Rheinische Post, saying it will “send shockwaves throughout the country. Banks will ramp up their business with installment loans, and ailing companies will fall into insolvency.”

Müller’s office, which is a federal agency within the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, has a bird’s eye view of the economic situation in Germany and also special insight into how economic conditions will develop into the future. Müller says he expects gas prices to continue to climb, resulting in increased inflation that goes far beyond energy. He also warns that there will be a dramatic lack of gas in the winter, which could lead to landlords turning down the heat to save on energy. In turn, Germans may have to grapple with colder apartments. [..] The government has already pushed businesses and citizens to reduce their energy consumption, but that pressure may come in the form of new laws and regulations in the future, with Müller calling for more pressure to be applied to save gas.

Although Germany has pushed for a general ban on Russian oil imports, the country is highly reliant on natural gas from Russia. If Russia were to cut gas in the critical winter months or even restrict supplies, it could lead to critical damage to the German economy, a scenario energy experts have already warned about. Germans will not only be colder in their apartments, but companies will also face mass bankruptcies, said Müller. However, he said government policies could help mitigate financial losses and preserve critical gas supplies. He said he wants to encourage companies to save gas with a bonus scheme.

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Bigger market share, less income.

Tesco Sales Fall Amid ‘Unprecedented Increases In Cost Of Living’ (G.)

Tesco said sales have fallen at its UK stores in recent weeks as its customers face “unprecedented increases in the cost of living”. The UK’s largest supermarket said it had gained market share but sales in the three months to 28 May fell 1.5% on the same period last year when the UK was in lockdown. Ken Murphy, the chief executive of Tesco, said: “The market environment remains incredibly challenging.” He said it was difficult to separate the significant impact of last year’s coronavirus lockdowns from other influences on shoppers but said Tesco was seeing “some early indications of changing customer behaviour as a result of the inflationary environment”.


He said: “Customers are facing unprecedented increases in the cost of living and it is therefore even more important that we work with our supplier partners to mitigate as much inflation as possible.” Tesco said sales of clothing and general merchandise, such as homewares and toys, were most affected, while online sales were also affected as shoppers returned to supermarkets. It said the decline in the volume of goods sold was partly offset by inflation. Sales in the Republic of Ireland were down 2.4% but were up 2% overall because of strong growth in central Europe and at its Booker wholesale chain. The retailer’s comments come after more than one in five (22%) of those who took part in a recent survey said they skipped a meal or reduced the size of meals because they could not afford to buy food.

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Looking for a scapegoat.

US Energy Chief To Discuss Record Pump Prices With Refiners Next Week (R.)

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is expected to meet with refining executives on June 23 as tensions between the White House and the oil industry mount over soaring gasoline prices, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The planned talks come as President Joe Biden, under pressure over high gasoline prices, has demanded that oil refining companies explain why they are not putting more fuel on the market as they reap windfall profits. read more The Energy Department had no comment, but referred to a letter Biden sent on Wednesday to executives from companies, including Marathon Petroleum , Valero Energy and Exxon Mobil, that said he had directed Granholm to hold an emergency meeting and engage the National Petroleum Council in coming days.


The NPC is a privately-funded panel that makes recommendations to the energy secretary and executive branch. The U.S. oil industry’s main trade groups pushed back on the Biden administration on Wednesday in a letter to Biden, pointing out that the nation’s oil refineries are already running at close to full capacity. “Any suggestion that U.S. refiners are not doing our part to bring stability to the market is false,” said Chet Thompson, the head of the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers. Energy companies are enjoying bumper profits since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as punitive U.S. sanctions against Moscow add to a global supply squeeze driving crude prices above $100 a barrel and U.S. gasoline prices to records over $5 a gallon. U.S. refiners, meanwhile, are running at near-peak levels to process fuel – currently at 94% of capacity, according to government data.

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OPEC+ has brought Putin and MBS closer than you may think.

MBS and Putin: Why Talk to One and Not the Other? (Warner)

The administration’s argument for a Biden-MBS meeting is that it is in the greatest interest for Middle East peace and peace “around the world” that the two should talk. Overall peace as well as increased oil production override the horrendous human rights record of the Saudi leader, according to the Biden team. If “pariah” was the term Biden used to describe MBS during his campaign and then changed his mind, what about the president’s views on Vladimir Putin? If the Biden team sees meeting MBS face-to-face as a positive step to increase oil production and reduce tensions in the Middle East, surely there is a more pressing need to have another Biden-Putin summit to stop the carnage in Ukraine and increase grain delivery.

But the last and only summit between the two, in Geneva on June 16, 2022, led to no concrete results. On the contrary; eight months later Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Putin was obviously not impressed enough with Biden to alter his plans for attacking Ukraine. For the moment, no mention is being made of a follow-up meeting. If Biden can’t talk to Putin, who can? The most promising candidate is French President Emmanuel Macron. According to reports, Macron has had a hundred hours of telephone conversations with the Russian president since December. To what avail? While the conversations may have solidified Macron’s self-image as a big league international leader, the war continues to rage in Ukraine. So President Biden is planning to meet MBS in the interest of Middle East peace and peace “around the world,” but no mention is being made of a follow-up to the Geneva summit in the interest of peace in Ukraine.

Biden is also to meet MBS for increased oil supplies but he is not willing to meet Putin for increased grain. The problems of peace and oil override (I avoid the use of trump even with a small t) human rights violations while a direct discussion with Putin for peace and grain has no possibility. The fundamental question is the value of talking. Any proposal to have Biden meet again with Putin brings back memories of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain 1938 talks with Hitler. The appeasement agreed upon in Munich had no positive effect in stopping World War II. Macron is being criticized along these lines. Biden would certainly be rebuked for even proposing a second summit.

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“it’s essential to have free speech and for people to be able to communicate freely.”

Elon Musk To Make Twitter Inclusive, User-Friendly & Profitable (TMS)

Elon Musk is aiming to significantly transform Twitter, according to him during a meeting with the platform’s employees on Thursday. He plans to purge it of bot/fake accounts, increase the number of real users, and allow free speech to flourish while boosting profitability. Employees who do their job responsibly will not be fired. Elon Musk met with Twitter employees on Thursday to answer their questions, clarifying the future of the platform that will become his if the purchase will be completed. He spoke about some plans, and also explained his views on remote work and layoffs, which employees are afraid of.

Musk Veritas

During the meeting, Musk made it clear that freedom of speech is a priority for him. Speaking about his stance on content moderation, he said, “We should allow people to say what they want.” Musk emphasized that “it’s essential to have free speech and for people to be able to communicate freely.” To be very clear, he said that Twitter should work to prevent the spread of potentially harmful or offensive content in order for users to feel comfortable using the platform. “There’s freedom of speech and freedom of reach,” Musk said. He explained that anyone can go to Times Square and say whatever they want, but this does not mean that it needs to be advertised to millions of people.

Therefore, Musk believes that people should be allowed to say whatever they want that is within the law, but they should not be amplified and widely spread. “Anyone could just go into the middle of Times Square right now and say anything they want. They can just walk into the middle of Times Square and deny the Holocaust … but that doesn’t mean that needs to be promoted to millions of people. So I think people should be allowed to say pretty outrageous things that are in the bounds of the law but that don’t get amplified and don’t get a ton of reach.” In addition, Musk said that he has a plan to attract hundreds of thousands of new users to the platform, bringing their total to a billion or more. To date, the platform has just over 200 million accounts, although it is difficult to say for sure how many of them are bots/fake.

Employees

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CNN is losing too much money.

New CNN Boss: Stop Calling Trump’s Election Fraud Claims ‘The Big Lie’ (DM)

CNN’s new boss Chris Licht has ordered staff to stop using the phrase ‘the big lie’ to describe Donald Trump’s 2020 election fraud claims, as it’s a Democrat slogan. The wording is a popular one for the network. According to Mediaite, the phrase has been said 168 times in the first half of June alone. Hosts like Reliable Sources’ Brian Stelter are often fond of the phrase to the point where they use it prominently in graphic packages and chyrons. But Licht has ordered Stelter and other journalists to stop, and has suggested ‘Trump’s election lie’ or ‘election lie’ as possible replacements. He issued the edict days after warning staff over their incessant use of ‘BREAKING NEWS’ graphics on stories, which he said was melodramatic, and ultimately diluted the power of big stories when they did break.

Licht was asked to opine on the term during a conference call Tuesday with the network’s management and the producers of various shows. He allegedly said that he preferred staff avoid it, though was clear in saying that this was not mandatory. A source said that Licht believes the specific phrasing of ‘the big lie’ – a reference to Hitler’s Nazi propaganda efforts during the Third Reich – is a Democratic Party talking point. CNN has come under fire for moving away from its well-respected news coverage towards dreary opinion programming, where hosts on seven and eight-figure salaries parrot woke talking points. Licht is also said to be keen to move the well-resourced network back towards neutral news coverage, with CNN hailed over its coverage of the Ukraine war and other big international news stories.

[..] Licht, as part of his efforts to revamp the outlet, has been evaluating news personalities and programs that became polarizing during Donald Trump’s presidency. Those who fail to get on board with the network’s new priority to become ‘less partisan’ could be terminated, CNN insiders told Axios. Licht isn’t reportedly looking to get rid of primetime personality programming, but he does want CNN’s news staff to present information in a way that upholds the network’s apparent values of unbiased reporting. Analysts allege this could prove problematic for network correspondents Jim Acosta and Brian Stelter, among others, who have ‘become the face of the network’s liberal shift.’

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“Trump’s statement appeared to appeal to the Federal Communications Commission’s equal time provision that mandates that U.S. radio and television broadcast stations must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates..”

Trump Demands Equal Time On TV Networks To Counter Jan. 6 Hearings (JTN)

Kept by congressional Democrats from putting on a defense, former President Donald Trump demanded Thursday that television networks airing the Jan. committee hearings provide him equal time to provide his side of the case. “I DEMAND EQUAL TIME!!!” Trump said in a midday statement posted on his Truth Social media site just hours before the Democrat-led panel began a new hearing on the Capitol riots. “The Fake News Networks are perpetuating lies, falsehoods, and Russia, Russia, Russia-type disinformation (same sick people, here we go again!) by allowing the low rated but nevertheless one sided and slanderous Unselect Committee hearings to go endlessly and aimlessly on (and on and on!),” the 45th president added.


Democrats holding the Jan. 6 hearings have refused to let House Republicans to put their own members on the committee and have openly talked about the hearings being a vehicle to keep Trump from running again. “The point is that the constitutional purpose is clear, to keep people exactly like Donald Trump and other traitors to the union from holding public office,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told ABC News earlier this year. Trump’s statement appeared to appeal to the Federal Communications Commission’s equal time provision that mandates that U.S. radio and television broadcast stations must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates who request it if their opponents has gotten it. Trump called the Jan. 6 hearings “a one-sided, highly partisan Witch Hunt, the likes of which has never been seen in Congress before and that he deserved time on national TV to present his side of the case, including election irregularities and Democrat failures to secure Capitol.

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Simone Gold was at the Capitol not to riot, but to talk about and protest the vaccine rollout. And she did.

COVID Dr. Simone Gold Sentenced To Prison For Jan. 6 Riot (JTN)

Founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, Dr. Simone Gold, was sentenced to 60 days in prison for her role in the Jan. 6 riot. Gold, who rose to fame during the COVID pandemic for pointing out the vaccine’s unknown factors, will have one year of supervised release following the prison sentence, Department of Justice records show. She must also pay $500 in restitution and the maximum fine of $9,500. Gold pleaded guilty in December to entering and remaining in the Capitol building. On the afternoon of Jan. 6, Gold spoke in Statuary Hall about her opposition to vaccine mandates and government lockdowns, the DOJ’s Statement of Offense claims. She was arrested by FBI agents 12 days later. She made headlines in 2021 for telling the “Mad Truth with Dr. Gina” podcast that it is illegal “to mandate an experimental medication or treatment for anything” and advocating for those who are less vulnerable to abstain from vaccination.

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Gonzalo Lira: “Oh boy. So one of the Americans captured in Ukraine, Robert Drueke, is not a trained combat soldier—he’s a chemical weapons specialist.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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