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.

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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.

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“..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.

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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.

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“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.”.

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“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.

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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?”

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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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

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.”

Read more …

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).

Read more …

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.

Read more …

@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.”

Read more …

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.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Princess and Emmanuel

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

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Pablo Picasso Marie-Thérèse Walter 1937

 

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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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 072022
 


Pablo Picasso Rest (Marie-Thérèse Walter) 1932

 

Zelensky Says Ukraine is Being Pushed to Make Concessions to Russia (Celente)
Blaming Putin Is Helping Putin (Dmitry Orlov)
Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia (AFP)
Your Show of Shows (Kunstler)
The White House Keeps Stoking Covid Fears (Bhattacharya)
COVID-19: Mask Mandates Could Increase Death Rate (Celente)
Florida Surgeon General Openly Questions Safety Of Covid-19 Vaccines (FP)
Elon Musk Threatens To Terminate Twitter Deal (PM)
Biden Admin Quietly Raised Amount of Ethanol Required in Gasoline (CTH)
Soros Spent $40 Million To Elect 75 ‘Social Justice’ Prosecutors (WE)
Exasperated Biden Has Only Himself To Blame For Poll Numbers (Levine)
Why Is Chuck Schumer Trying To Stop Antitrust Reform? (NW)
Ankara Tries To Sell ‘Ottoman Islands’ Theory (K.)
Nils Merzel’s New Book Argues Julian Assange Is Being Tortured (Conv.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuclear warheads
https://twitter.com/i/status/1533811236160290817

 

 

“Zelensky did not specify exactly what parties are beginning to grow impatient..”

Zelensky Says Ukraine is Being Pushed to Make Concessions to Russia (Celente)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday told reporters that he is starting to feel pressure from the West to negotiate for peace with Russia from a current position of weakness. Ukrayinska Pravda reported that Zelensky told reporters: “I do not have any negotiations on any plans (on the peace plan, which is being discussed by the United States, the European Union and Britain – ed.); such negotiations are currently at zero. Everyone really wants to push us little by little towards some result that is definitely undesirable for us, because we have not been asked yet, but beneficial for other parties that have their own interests. Again, different: both financial and political. “Fatigue is growing, people want some kind of result for themselves, and you and I need a result – for us. Thus, I did not discuss with them the structures for resolving the issue of this war with a positive result for us.”

Zelensky did not specify exactly what parties are beginning to grow impatient with the war but some high-profile people have recently said that Ukraine should consider some kind of concessions to achieve peace. Zelensky and his closest advisers have been adamant that they will not cede one inch of the country to Russia, despite Russian forces and separatists now controlling about 20 percent of the country. Zelensky has said earlier that Russian troops must leave the country before there can be any talk of a negotiate peace, which many see as an unfeasible position. Last week, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, called Zelensky’s demand idiotic “and unfeasible in principle,” Newsweek reported.

“Anticipating his inevitable defeat, Ukrainian President Zelensky found a convenient way out of the impasse,” Medvedev said. “No country, no problem. His actions and statements prove that now he is ready to put almost everything on the altar of his political ambitions.”

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“The logical steps needed to make it all Putin’s fault are then obvious: the shortages are because of the war and the war is Putin’s fault.”

Blaming Putin Is Helping Putin (Dmitry Orlov)

The systemic crisis which we are currently witnessing in the West (and in other parts of the world that are too tightly interconnected with the West to avoid experiencing it as well) is objectively being caused by the West itself. But Westerners, being unaccustomed to acknowledging their mistakes (being all superior, indispensable and infallible-like in their own addled minds), are forced to resort to explaining away their epic failures in virtually every sphere by blaming it all on Putin. That is, they don’t even blame Russia in general, but blame Putin personally; after all, Russia can be good and agreeable at times (as it was under Gorbachev and Yeltsin) but Putin makes it misbehave. That’s why it’s all got to be Putin’s fault.

Here’s what it’s come to: an entire President of the United States (or whoever runs his teleprompter), who, in the course of his election campaign, swore up and down that he will take responsibility for whatever happens under his command, now blames “Putin’s Price Hike” so regularly and monotonously that the phrase has become a meme. By now the narrative of “it’s all Putin’s fault” has spread to encompass all of the more sensitive problems: inflation, fuel prices, food price hikes and even… shortages of baby formula! It turns out that the shortages aren’t caused by the discovery of dangerous bacteria in the products of a monopoly producer but by shortages of imported sunflower oil from… the Ukraine. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, no less! The logical steps needed to make it all Putin’s fault are then obvious: the shortages are because of the war and the war is Putin’s fault.

This wonderful strategy works just fine for the short term, but it has a major vulnerability in the longer term because of a certain mechanism of mass psychology. Superficially, it is simple and seemingly bulletproof: Putin is irrational; he has imperial ambitions, suffers from paranoia, delusions of grandeur, is obsessed with restoring the USSR… Since his motives are irrational, they cannot be dealt with through rational means such as negotiation, diplomacy, compromise and so on. Putin is a crazy dictator with lots of nuclear missiles and so all we can do is suffer. This construct seems good enough for most purposes, such as explaining away social problems, economic issues and failures of leadership. But only in the short term.

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“This was a deprivation of a sovereign state of the right to carry out foreign policy.”

Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia (AFP)

Moscow on Monday furiously condemned the rejection by several European countries of a request for Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s plane to pass through their airspace, forcing him to cancel a trip to ally Serbia. “The unthinkable has happened,” Lavrov told an online news conference in Moscow. “This was a deprivation of a sovereign state of the right to carry out foreign policy.” Bulgaria, Macedonia and Montenegro refused a request from Russia for Lavrov’s plane to pass through their airspaces on the way to Serbia because of sanctions imposed over Moscow’s military action in Ukraine. Lavrov had been due to hold talks with top officials in Belgrade, one of Moscow’s few remaining allies in Europe since the launch of the offensive in late February.

Lavrov described the move as “outrageous”, insisting that Moscow’s relations with Belgrade would not be “destroyed”. He said Moscow had invited his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic to visit Russia in the near future instead. The Kremlin also denounced the moves, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman calling them “hostile actions”. “We are convinced that such actions will not be able to prevent our country’s continuation of contacts, especially with friendly countries,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists. Lavrov had previously been forced to cancel a trip to Geneva for disarmament talks in late February, after the European Union closed its airspace to Russian aviation.

A Russian diplomatic source told news agency Interfax there had been no choice but to cancel the visit to Serbia. “Russian diplomacy has not yet learned how to teleport,” the source said. The chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian parliament’s upper house, Konstantin Kosachev, suggested NATO was pressuring the three countries. “We are talking about a NATO demarche, and without the United States it could not have happened,” Kosachev said on Telegram.

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“..as a final indignity — actually, an advertisement to the world of our depraved weakness — the US military is hosting drag queen shows at our European air bases.”

Your Show of Shows (Kunstler)

The Party of Chaos certainly doesn’t need to reinforce the mass formation psychosis of its base who maintain that the 2020 election was the fairest-and-squarest in US history. The committee members will chant the talismanic phrase “The Big Lie” ad nauseam to ward off reasonable suspicions that they are the ones doing the lying. Since a kind of maniacal stupidity attends all the party’s doings these days, it could easily backfire on them. Even two years later probes are still pending in several swing states, and only a few weeks ago, the documentary 2000 Mules released time-stamped videocam footage of blatant wholesale drop-box ballot-stuffing around the country. Lawsuits filed lately also claim the committee itself is illegally constituted, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disallowed (against the rules) the minority Republicans from appointing their own chosen members.

Instead, she did it for them, planting the vehemently hostile rogues Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on it, meaning no witnesses will be called who might refute pertinent details of the “insurrection” narrative already constructed. Much of the testimony presented will be videotaped interviews with Trump White House officials and there will be no accounting for what may be edited out. In other words, you have an obvious setup for a star chamber, a device for disregarding individual rights and fair procedure. The context, of course, as I aver above, is a country that is imploding six ways to Sunday — to paraphrase Chuck Schumer, the Party of Chaos’s Senate leader. At least half the public is already onto the extravagant damage inflicted upon our national life by the beneficiaries of the 2020 election.

Thanks to “Joe Biden,” the dollar is hemorrhaging value, we instigated a war in Ukraine that will lead to global famine and mass refugee events, oil and natgas are unaffordable thanks to our destabilizing of global distribution networks, spare parts are unavailable for every imaginable machine in the land, the business model for farming is broken, real estate is groaning under rising mortgage interest rates, the CDC is still pushing Covid vaccines despite proof that they are ineffective and harmful, cities are overwhelmed with criminal violence and psychotic homeless drug fiends, and, as a final indignity — actually, an advertisement to the world of our depraved weakness — the US military is hosting drag queen shows at our European air bases.

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“..in at least 35% of pediatric “Covid deaths,” Covid couldn’t have been the cause.”

The White House Keeps Stoking Covid Fears (Bhattacharya)

“I’ve been a huge advocate of keeping schools fully open to in person education since October of 2020,” Ashish Jha, the White House’s Covid response coordinator, tweeted last week. “Still am.” So why is Dr. Jha engaged in scare-mongering about the danger of Covid to children? In a May 30 tweet, Dr. Jha asserted that Covid is “a far greater threat to kids than the flu is.” He linked to an article by Harvard Medical School instructor Jeremy Faust, which claims that Covid killed more than 600 children in 2021, whereas the flu kills “an average” of only 120 children annually. But Dr. Faust’s data are severely skewed, for three reasons.

First, while flu is seldom tested, everyone admitted to a hospital for any reason gets a Covid test. Between October 2018 and September 2019, 1.4 million flu tests were reported to public-health and clinical labs. As of May 31, 2022, there had been 897 million PCR tests for Covid. Second, evidence from audits of death certificates found that 35% of all pediatric deaths in 2020 “had co-occurring diagnosis codes that could not be plausibly categorized as either a chain-of-event or significant contributing condition,” according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Put another way, in at least 35% of pediatric “Covid deaths,” Covid couldn’t have been the cause.

Third, Dr. Faust relies on a figure for confirmed flu deaths that is well-known to underestimate actual flu deaths by an order of magnitude. Correcting for the lack of flu testing, the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases estimated 1,161 pediatric flu deaths in the 2012-13 season rather than the 142 that Dr. Faust reported. For the White House to amplify a false message of high Covid risk for children undermines public health and erodes public confidence. It foments an erroneous assessment of risk and is the kind of misinformation that leads to more school closings as well as burdensome mask and quarantine mandates.

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“Results from this study strongly suggest that mask mandates actually caused about 1.5 times the number of deaths..”

COVID-19: Mask Mandates Could Increase Death Rate (Celente)

A new study out of Kansas found that mask mandates could be associated with a higher rate of death due to the spread of COVID-19. The observational study, which was published in Medicine in February considered “whether mandatory mask use influenced the case fatality rate in Kansas” from August 2020 to October of the same year, Town Hall reported. Dr. Zacharias Fögen authored the observational study titled, “The Foegen Effect: A Mechanism by Which Facemasks Contribute to the COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate.” He wrote the main takeaway was that “contrary to the accepted thought that fewer people are dying due to infection rates are reduced by masks, this was not the case.”


“Results from this study strongly suggest that mask mandates actually caused about 1.5 times the number of deaths or 50% more deaths compared to no mask mandates,” the German doctor wrote. Fögen’s theory is that hypercondensed droplets caught by masks are re-inhaled and “introduced deeper into the respiratory tract.” The study focused on Kansas because the decision to force masks was up to the 105 counties and 81 refused to impose them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to insist that masks are an effective tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19. President Joe Biden has made mask usage one of the central themes in his administration’s fight against the virus. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order requiring masks on federal property and called for their widespread use for 100 days.

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“How can you force people to take a vaccine in order to stop transmission when that vaccine is not effective at stopping transmission?”

Florida Surgeon General Openly Questions Safety Of Covid-19 Vaccines (FP)

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday made some of his strongest statements yet against receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Delivered at a press conference announcing an agreement with the Special Olympics to lift a vaccine mandate, the Florida Department of Health leader went much further. He called into question the efficacy of COVID-19 shots and whether they are even safe to use. “People will say oh, you know, millions of people have taken these vaccines, they must be safe,” he said. “Well, you can’t know the answer to that when it is taboo to talk about having a reaction after vaccines.” Citing only anecdotal evidence, he suggested the vaccine has produced more side effects than others such as flu shots.


“There’s another vaccine that over 100 million Americans take every year, and it’s the influenza vaccine,” he said. “And the stream of adverse events that I’ve heard from people all over this country after these vaccines is nothing like the years of my life when I’ve been in medicine and have been administering the influenza vaccines. There is a difference, and you can’t say that millions of people getting it excuses you from that.” Regarding vaccine mandates, he said those make no sense based on what science now shows about this coronavirus and about vaccines in use now. “Scientifically, it makes zero sense,” Ladapo said. “How can you force people to take a vaccine in order to stop transmission when that vaccine is not effective at stopping transmission?”

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“..Parag Agrawal, current CEO said that for Musk to undertake this count he would need access to information that is not currently public.”

You can buy this car, but you cannot look at the engine…

Elon Musk Threatens To Terminate Twitter Deal (PM)

Elon Musk has accused Twitter of “resisting and thwarting” his inquiries about how many fake, or bot accounts are currently on the Twitter platform. Musk has been trying to get this information since his acquisition process for the platform began. Musk has reportedly called Twitter’s unwillingness to provide the information a “clear material breach” to the terms of the agreement that is still under negotiation. As a result, Musk is reserving his right to not complete the transaction.In the letter to Twitter Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde, Skadden attorney Mike Ringler for Musk said that “Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement,” according to CNBC.

He said further that Twitter must provide the information that is being requested, and that the merger agreement requires it. Ringler disputed Twitter’s claim that they are not responsible to give that data in order to close the deal. “Mr. Musk is entitled to seek, and Twitter is obligated to provide,” Ringler wrote, “information and data for, inter alia, ‘any reasonable business purpose related to the consummation of the transaction.'” “At this point,” Ringler continued, “Mr. Musk believes Twitter is transparently refusing to comply with its obligations under the merger agreement, which is causing further suspicion that the company is withholding the requested data due to concern for what Mr. Musk’s own analysis of that data will uncover.”

The letter, submitted to the SEC, posited that “If Twitter is confident in its publicized spam estimates, Mr. Musk does not understand the company’s reluctance to allow Mr. Musk to independently evaluate those estimates. As noted in our previous correspondence, Mr. Musk will of course comply with the restrictions provided under Section 6.4, including by ensuring that anyone reviewing the data is bound by a non-disclosure agreement, and Mr. Musk will not retain or otherwise use any competitively sensitive information if the transaction is not consummated.”

Musk has been adamant throughout the process that he needs to know how many of the accounts on Twitter are actual humans. There is speculation that if the number is higher than Twitter execs have reported, Musk could negotiate a new buying price that’s less than the $44 billion initially offered and agreed to. Musk and his team have been willing to do the calculations themselves, but Parag Agrawal, current CEO who took over after founder Jack Dorsey left in the fall, said that for Musk to undertake this count he would need access to information that is not currently public.

Read more …

From 10% to 15%. But small engines and older car engines cannot take more than 10%.

(bio-) Ethanol fulfills its promise as an unmitigated disaster.

But wait, didn’t we have a food problem?

Biden Admin Quietly Raised Amount of Ethanol Required in Gasoline (CTH)

Last Friday the Biden administration raised the mandatory amount of biofuel, specifically ethanol, that must be blended within the U.S. gasoline supply. The previous amount of 10% was raised to 15% by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is likely to lead to two sets of bigger issues, less food and higher gas prices. First issue. – The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a government mandate, passed in 2005 and expanded in 2007, that requires growing volumes of biofuels to be blended into U.S. transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel every year. Approximately 40 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is used for ethanol. Raising the amount of ethanol required in gasoline will result in the need for more biofuel (corn). With farming costs and outputs already under pressure this could be problematic.

Second issue – The EPA enforces the biofuel standard by requiring refineries to submit purchase credits (known as Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proving the purchases. This enforcement requirement sets up a system where the RIN credits are bought and sold by small refineries who do not have the infrastructure to do the blending process. They purchase second-hand RIN credits from parties that blended or imported biofuels directly. This sets up a secondary income stream, a trading market for the larger oil companies, refineries and importers. The RIN credit trading platform is similar to what we might expect to see if the ‘Carbon Trading’ scheme was ever put into place. However, now that the biofuel requirements for blended gasoline have gone from 10% to 15%, the price of the RIN credits will likely jump.

This will cost refineries billions in additional expenses,…. which will mean the cost of the gasoline from the refineries will increase,….. which will mean the cost of the gasoline at the pump will go higher. The EPA theory is that RIN credits should be expensive thereby forcing all oil refineries to invest in infrastructure that makes the blended fuel. All of the infrastructure from the refinery to the gas station would need to be modified to facilitate the new 15% RFS standard. Again, higher prices at the pumps as a result of oil companies and refineries needing to spend billions on upgrades. Which brings us to issue number three.

Third Issue – “Ethanol is a valuable source of octane in finished gasoline, but it is chemically different than petroleum gasoline and cannot be used in concentrations above 10 percent in small engines — like outboard boat motors, motorcycles, lawnmowers, generators or chain saws — or in any cars made before 2001. Complicating matters further, most cars on the road today still aren’t warrantied to run on gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol. Retail stations also must have compatible infrastructure in order to sell gasoline with higher ethanol blends.” This issue is known within the industry as “The Blend Wall.”

Read more …

America’s future is being shaped by a foreigner who will not see that future.

Soros Spent $40 Million To Elect 75 ‘Social Justice’ Prosecutors (WE)

Sky-high campaign donations from liberal anti-police billionaire George Soros and his groups have helped to elect 75 “social justice” prosecutors in whose cities jailings have plummeted and crime has surged, according to a new report provided to Secrets. In a 17-page report compiled by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, a decade of spending has put Soros prosecutors in enough big cities that they represent 1 in 5 people, or about 72 million. That includes about half of America’s 50 most populous cities and counties where 40% of U.S. homicides occur. Soros is a well-known proponent of social justice prosecution, which calls for lighter sentences, especially of minorities. The movement, however, has led to higher crime in some cities and has been decried by pro-law-and-order conservatives.


Police have led the charge against liberal prosecutors who have been refusing to file charges that lead to long prison sentences. In a statement to Secrets, LELDF President Jason Johnson hit the Soros funding. “Soros is using that campaign money and the hundreds of millions more for supporting organizations to quietly transform the criminal justice system for the worse, promoting dangerous policies and anti-police narratives to advance his radical agenda,” said Johnson. He added, “Over the past decade, George Soros has spent $40 million to elect 75 of his chosen prosecutors. In campaigns from Houston and Los Angeles to Philadelphia and Orlando, Soros was the campaign’s biggest spender by far — as much as 90% of the dollars spent in some races. Soros isn’t done yet — he’s already spent another million so far this year on his hand-picked district attorneys.”

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“Let Joe be Joe” is the thinking.”

Exasperated Biden Has Only Himself To Blame For Poll Numbers (Levine)

Leaks from the White House suggest that Joe Biden is in a snit over his plummeting poll numbers, now that they’ve sunk below those of Donald Trump. He is exasperated that he is not receiving credit for the great achievements of his administration and feels he is a victim of circumstances beyond his control: inflation, rising fuel prices, the border crisis, Afghanistan, the war in Ukraine, school shootings, COVID-19, and so on. Oh, woe is him. So goes the spin. Biden’s solution is to snarl at staff and demand better messaging. First lady Jill Biden and the president’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, are reported by Politico to be urging him to get out and about more. “Let Joe be Joe” is the thinking.

But isn’t that part of the problem? When Biden goes off script in front of a teleprompter, things go awry very quickly. He blurts out reckless thought bubbles, like when he said Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” or that the US would get involved militarily in Taiwan. The plan is to put the near-octogenarian president on the road to give him more opportunities to connect organically with people and talk up his accomplishments. Perhaps in a sign that he is upping the tempo of his lethargic work output, Biden cut short his weekend sojourn at his Delaware beach house earlier than usual, returning to the White House Sunday rather than Monday morning. But the subtext of the leaks of turmoil in the Oval points to one central grievance: Donald Trump.

The man whose legacy Biden has spent his entire presidency trying to erase just can’t be outstripped. It’s why Biden can’t mention his predecessor’s name, treating him more like Lord Voldemort than a former president. He is “seething,” reports Politico, that his standing in the polls is now worse than that of Trump, “whom Biden routinely refers to in private as ‘the worst president’ in history and an existential threat to the nation’s democracy.” What does that say about his own presidency? Biden’s Trump derangement is “the greatest source of West Wing frustration, coming from behind the Resolute Desk.” Well, no wonder. When you look at the polling comparison between Biden and Trump, there simply is no contest. There is not a single day in which Biden has done better than Trump in his second year in office.

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Money?!

Why Is Chuck Schumer Trying To Stop Antitrust Reform? (NW)

We’re all familiar with the concentrated market power of giant technology companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, which reach into all corners of Americans’ daily lives. For more than a decade, their monopolistic dominance has spawned Justice Department investigations, congressional hearings, civil lawsuits and legal penalties. Over and over again, antitrust bills are discussed and some are introduced—and then they die in the House and the Senate. Now, though, two bills that would begin to rein in the power of companies like these Big Tech behemoths are under consideration in the Senate. They’ve both passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by impressive margins and are ready for a full vote. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been dragging his feet on bringing them to the floor.

Letting these bills die would be a significant failure of the American antitrust movement, signaling to the Big Tech companies that even modest and highly limited restrictions on their behavior are politically impossible to achieve—that despite overwhelming popular support for reform, Washington is simply too intransigent and too bought and paid for to get anything done. A defeat would give these companies the green light to continue stomping all over their smaller competitors and harming consumers by invading our privacy and limiting our choice. But given Schumer’s own ties to Big Tech, his reluctance to bring this legislation to the floor—where it would almost certainly pass—is no surprise.

Schumer has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Tech and its employees over the past decade. Between 2013 and 2018—a time period when tough data protections were adopted in the European Union, and there were broad calls for the U.S. to do the same—these corporate giants gave Schumer more than almost any other member of Congress. In 2016, the technology industry gave Schumer $237,000. In just the spring of 2021, when antitrust legislation was under discussion in Congress, Schumer took $120,000 from Google and Apple executives and their aligned PACs. The ties go beyond campaign contributions. Schumer’s staff has been a revolving door for Big Tech. According to the New York Post, more than 80 former Schumer staffers have gone on to subsequently work at the Big Tech firms.

And Schumer’s two daughters have also both worked directly for Big Tech—one for Amazon, and one for Facebook subsidiary Instagram. Alison Schumer also advocated against regulation as a public affairs manager for Airbnb, the technology company that has in many ways distorted housing markets worldwide. Given all that money and those family connections, it’s no wonder that Schumer has been reluctant to take a hard line on the enormous problem of tech market concentration. Indeed, journalists who watch the sector have called Schumer a “quiet but reliable Washington ally” to Big Tech, as well as a “tech booster.” As recently as 2018, he said tech companies were too new to regulate aggressively. He proposed that the companies police themselves—an approach that has clearly failed.

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Lausanne Treaty, 1923. Yes, Turkey is smaller than the Ottoman empire. This is turning into a weird revisionist story.

Ankara Tries To Sell ‘Ottoman Islands’ Theory (K.)

The theory of “Ottoman islands” whose sovereignty has not been given to any country by any treaty is being pushed by Ankara in earnest. Indicatively, the idea has also been picked up and promoted by the Turkish media, targeting specific islands, such as Agathonisi and Farmakonisi. The pro-government Milliyet columnist and director of the Kanal D television network in Ankara, Zafer Sahin, said in an article that “a second Imia crisis is on the brink. This is because the situation has turned into a deep political and military crisis that goes beyond the Imia issue.” Greece and Turkey came close to war in 1996 over the rocky Imia islets.

In his article titled “The Ottoman Islands in the Aegean,” Sahin emphasized that Ankara, in addition to questioning the sovereignty of the eastern Aegean islands that are militarized, is also preparing to raise the issue of the sovereignty of islands whose sovereignty has not been determined, citing Gavdos as an example. “This is located south of Crete and is under a regime whose sovereignty has not been determined,” he said. Turkey has long promulgated theory of “gray zones” regarding the status of 152 Greek islands and islets, but it seems that now there is an attempt to connect them with the Ottoman Empire.

“There are Ottoman islands that have not been transferred to the maps of the US and Great Britain, issued after the Second World War, which appear outside Greek territory,” Sahin claims. These theories began to emerge after the statements of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last week, who tried to threaten Greece into demilitarizing these islands. “Otherwise, the debate over sovereignty begins as they have been given [to Greece] under conditions,” he said.

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Not a word so far from the new Oz PM.

Nils Merzel’s New Book Argues Julian Assange Is Being Tortured (Conv.)

It is easy to forget why Julian Assange has been on trial in England for, well, seemingly forever. Didn’t he allegedly sexually assault two women in Sweden? Isn’t that why he holed up for years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid facing charges? When the bobbies finally dragged him out of the embassy, didn’t his dishevelled appearance confirm all those stories about his lousy personal hygiene? Didn’t he persuade Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning to hack into the United States military’s computers to reveal national security matters that endangered the lives of American soldiers and intelligence agents? He says he is a journalist, but hasn’t the New York Times made it clear he is just a “source” and not a publisher entitled to first amendment protection? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you are not alone. But the answers are actually no.

At very least, it’s more complicated than that. To take one example, the reason Assange was dishevelled was that staff in the Ecuadorian embassy had confiscated his shaving gear three months before to ensure his appearance matched his stereotype when the arrest took place. That is one of the findings of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, whose investigation of the case against Assange has been laid out in forensic detail in The Trial of Julian Assange.What is the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture doing investigating the Assange case, you might ask? So did Melzer when Assange’s lawyers first approached him in 2018: “I had more important things to do: I had to take care of “real” torture victims!” Melzer returned to a report he was writing about overcoming prejudice and self-deception when dealing with official corruption. “Not until a few months later,” he writes, “would I realise the striking irony of this situation.”

[..] He received nothing like full co-operation in investigating Assange’s case. He gathered around 10,000 pages of procedural files, but a lot of them came from leaks to journalists or from freedom-of-information requests. Many pages had been redacted. Rephrasing Carl Von Clausewitz’s maxim, Melzer wrote his book as “the continuation of diplomacy by other means”. What he finds is stark and disturbing: “The Assange case is the story of a man who is being persecuted and abused for exposing the dirty secrets of the powerful, including war crimes, torture and corruption. It is a story of deliberate judicial arbitrariness in Western democracies that are otherwise keen to present themselves as exemplary in the area of human rights.

“It is the story of wilful collusion by intelligence services behind the back of national parliaments and the general public. It is a story of manipulated and manipulative reporting in the mainstream media for the purpose of deliberately isolating, demonizing, and destroying a particular individual. It is the story of a man who has been scapegoated by all of us for our own societal failures to address government corruption and state-sanctioned crimes.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rubik
https://twitter.com/i/status/1533888946723340288

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 022022
 


Andy Warhol Mick Jagger 1975

 

The Balance In Attrition (BoT)
Ukraine Is Now America’s War, Too (New Yorker)
Lavrov Interview With The Xinhua News Agency (Saker)
How Ukraine’s ‘Ghost Of Kyiv’ Legendary Pilot Was Born (BBC)
Russia Will Quit The International Space Station Due To Sanctions (DM)
Belarus Opposition Seeks US Technology Help (F24)
UK, EU Tell Elon Musk Free Speech Will Not Be Allowed on Twitter (DE)
Pfizer TV Ad Recommends People Take IVM, HCQ, Z-Pak, Fluvoxamine (Kirsch)
8,607 Unreported Vaccinated COVID Deaths In Canada (Yakk)
Food Shortages In Six Months (Alt-M)
Food Shortages: Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste (Fox)

 

 

Thank you so much for doing our laundry!

 

 

Chomsky Trump

 

 

 

 

Ukraine HRC

 

 

@Trevornoah: “In America you have the right to seek the truth and speak the truth, even if it makes people in power uncomfortable.”
Unless your name is Julian Assange, in which case you face a gulag for the rest of your life.

 

 

CNN Musk

 

 

Twitter thread by “Baron of the Taiga”.

“..this is all ‘Phase 3’ stuff. Ukraine has to make it through Phase 2, and currently, even the most ardent Ukraine supporters who think Russia got battered in Phase 1, don’t think it is going well ..”

The Balance In Attrition (BoT)

However Russia used artillery in Phase 1, it is now using it several times more effectively, pressing its material and positional advantages in Donbas. It is following a method of wave strikes, taking however long they need to, before troops advance on the destroyed lines. We see Russia making good use of drones now, particularly for artillery correction. It is also locating and destroying more covert resource bases for the Ukrainian Army (like the aluminum plant recently). Russian air power is beginning to support infantry movement with success. On the other side, Ukraine is unable to respond effectively. It has an advantage in prepared fortifications and fallback positions set up well in advance (encirclement, while not impossible, is proving difficult outside a few stunning examples). But it is outgunned.

Whatever was going on in Phase 1, neither side was actually committed to a full-blown war of artillery. It was too slow for Russia’s phase objectives, and Ukraine lacked the equipment for it. It is now an artillery war, and NATO has really failed to equip the UAF to match Russia. Saying “we’re going to give you Dutch howitzers, they’ll be there in a month” is no good to Ukraine. They need top-of-the-line field guns, in Eastern Ukraine, yesterday. And they need a lot of them. The fact they continue to abandon anti-tank weapons in such numbers says a lot. By the time Russian tanks or other armored vehicles enter a settlement, not only have Ukrainian units been obliterated by artillery, but hardened infantry have swept in. Russia has learned its lesson.

If the current state of affairs persists, Russia will continue to decrease Ukraine’s holdings in Donbas. Many will not be encircled and captured, due to the way the defensive lines are set up, but those pushed out the other side will be decimated in terms of numbers. Of course, this plays into Kiev’s only strategy at this point, which is to buy time. It knows it cannot defeat Russia in Donbas, and certainly is not relying on any kind of logistical breakdown for Moscow (only Bellingcat thinks this will happen). Aside from whatever games are being played over Transnistria, the Ukrainian play seems obvious: • Maximize foreign support as much as possible • Reinforce every settlement west of the Dnieper with modern artillery, and at least a somewhat competent army.

If they can make the potential costs so high for Russia to advance on Nikolaev and especially Odessa, they could force a freeze in the battle lines, and then maybe play out some obscene hostage scenario in Tiraspol (unacceptable for Russia). A huge amount can go wrong (and is wrong) with this plan, including the lack of consideration of morale, how losing the east will affect western backing, the quality of any new army they can patch together, and how exhausted Russia might be. But of course, this is all ‘Phase 3’ stuff. Ukraine has to make it through Phase 2, and currently, even the most ardent Ukraine supporters who think Russia got battered in Phase 1, don’t think it is going well.

Read more …

Full proxy.

Ukraine Is Now America’s War, Too (New Yorker)

America has crossed a threshold in Ukraine, both in its short-term involvement and its long-term intent. The U.S. was initially cautious during the fall and winter as Russia, a nuclear country with veto power at the U.N. Security Council, amassed more than a hundred and fifty thousand troops along the Ukrainian border. It didn’t want to poke the Russian bear—or provoke Vladimir Putin personally. Two days after long convoys of Russian tanks rolled across the border, on February 24th, the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, still claimed that America’s goal—backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid—was simply to stand behind the Ukrainian people. The White House sanctioned Russia—initially targeting a few banks, oligarchs, political élites, government-owned enterprises, and Putin’s own family—to pressure the Russian leader to put his troops back in their box, without resorting to military intervention.

“Direct confrontation between nato and Russia is World War Three, something we must strive to prevent,” President Joe Biden said, in early March. Yet in just over nine weeks, the conflict has rapidly evolved into a full proxy war with Russia, with global ramifications. U.S. officials now frame America’s role in more ambitious terms that border on aggressive. The goal—backed by tens of billions of dollars in aid—is to “weaken” Russia and insure a sovereign Ukraine outlasts Putin. “Throughout our history, we’ve learned that when dictators do not pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and engage in more aggression,” the President told reporters on Thursday. “They keep moving. And the costs, the threats to America and the world, keep rising.”

Having basically run out of appropriated funds, Biden has asked Congress for thirty-three billion dollars—for new military, economic, and humanitarian support—in the latest of several packages for Ukraine. “The cost of this fight is not cheap,” the President acknowledged. (As Politico noted, the new aid is about half the size of the entire Russian defense budget—and also more than half of the U.S. State Department’s annual budget. Over the next five months, U.S. aid to Ukraine will average more than two hundred million dollars a day.) The investment, Biden said, was a small price “to lessen the risk of future conflicts” with Russia.

For Putin, the war in Ukraine always seemed to be, at least in part, a proxy fight with nato and its U.S. leadership. Ahead of his invasion, he publicly expressed deep paranoia about the military alliance and its further expansion into countries once aligned with the Soviet Union. He also brokered a five-thousand-word agreement with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to form a de-facto alliance of authoritarian regimes. They jointly opposed nato enlargement. Biden tried to resist that framing. At the start of the invasion, the U.S. invoked the principles of sovereignty, a democratically elected government, and territorial integrity. During the past week, however, Ukraine’s existential crisis has increasingly appeared to be America’s war, too. On April 24th, Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin took a train with blacked-out windows into Kyiv to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and symbolically reinforce American support.

The stealthy trip reflected the increasingly ambitious U.S. goal. “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine,” Austin told reporters, near the border in Poland. Blinken said, “We don’t know how the rest of this war will unfold, but we do know that a sovereign, independent Ukraine will be around a lot longer than Vladimir Putin is on the scene.” On Tuesday, Austin assembled defense leaders from more than forty countries—well beyond the nato framework—at Ramstein, a U.S. base in southwest Germany, to coördinate support for Ukraine. Austin, a retired general involved in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, announced the formation of a new coalition of “nations of good will” that will meet monthly to “intensify” an international campaign to win “today’s fight and the struggles to come.” In appealing for more aid, Biden said, “We have to do our part as well, leading the alliance.”

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“..the Russian military personnel are doing everything in their power to avoid victims among civilians..”

Lavrov Interview With The Xinhua News Agency (Saker)

[..] the special military operation is proceeding according to plan. Under this plan, the Russian military personnel are doing everything in their power to avoid victims among civilians. Blows are carried out with high-precision weapons, first of all at military infrastructure facilities and places where armoured vehicles are concentrated. Unlike the Ukrainian army and nationalist armed groups that use people as living shields, the Russian army provides the locals with all kinds of assistance and support. Humanitarian corridors open daily from Kharkov and Mariupol to evacuate people from dangerous districts, but the Kiev regime demands that the “national battalions” in control of those areas do not release the civilians. Nevertheless, many are able to leave with the assistance of Russian, DPR and LPR servicemen.

During the special military operation, the hotline of the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine has received requests for assistance in evacuating 2.8 million people to Russia, including 16,000 foreign citizens and employees of UN and OSCE international missions. In total, 1.02 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine, the DPR and LPR, of which over 120,000 are citizens of third countries, including over 300 Chinese nationals. There are over 9,500 temporary accommodation facilities operating in Russian regions. They have space for rest and hot meals, and everything that may be necessary. Newly arrived refugees are provided with qualified medical and psychological assistance.

Russia is taking measures to ensure civilian navigation in the Black and Azov seas. A humanitarian corridor opens daily, a safe lane for ships. However, Ukraine continues to block foreign ships, creating a threat of shelling in its internal waters and territorial sea. Moreover, Ukrainian naval units have mined the shore, the ports and territorial waters. These explosive devices disconnect from their anchor lines and drift into the open sea, so they pose a serious danger to both the fleets and the port infrastructure of the Black Sea countries.

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Obvious and abject nonsense from day 1. But it fits the overall coverage.

How Ukraine’s ‘Ghost Of Kyiv’ Legendary Pilot Was Born (BBC)

Ukraine’s fighter pilots are vastly outnumbered by the Russians, and have become legendary – thanks in part to the story of an alleged flying ace called the “Ghost of Kyiv”. This hero is said to have downed as many as 40 enemy planes – an incredible feat in an arena where Russia controls the skies. But now the Ukraine Air Force Command has warned on Facebook that the “Ghost of Kyiv is a superhero-legend whose character was created by Ukrainians!”. “We ask the Ukrainian community not to neglect the basic rules of information hygiene,” the message said, urging people to “check the sources of information, before spreading it”. Earlier reports had named the ace as Major Stepan Tarabalka, 29. The authorities confirmed that he was killed in combat on 13 March and honoured with a Hero of Ukraine medal posthumously.

Now, the air force stresses that “Tarabalka is not ‘Ghost of Kiev’, and he did not hit 40 planes”. It describes the “Ghost of Kyiv” as “a collective image of pilots of the Air Force’s 40th tactical aviation brigade, who defend the sky over the capital”, rather than a single man’s combat record. For weeks, Ukrainians did not have a name to go with the “Ghost of Kyiv” – but that did not stop the story going viral on social media. It was used as a marketing brand by a Ukrainian model aircraft manufacturer, while Ukrainian Iryna Kostyrenko showed off a military badge inspired by the legend. And the defence ministry tweeted a video celebrating Tarabalka’s heroism. Military experts told the BBC they doubted that one pilot could have downed as many as 40 Russian planes.

Ukrainian military historian Mikhail Zhirohov described the Ghost of Kyiv story as “propaganda for raising morale”. Speaking to the BBC from Chernihiv, he said that early on in the war the Russians dominated Ukrainian airspace, so a Ukrainian pilot “could only shoot down two or three”. “It’s essential to have this propaganda, because our armed forces are smaller, and many think we can’t be equal to them [the Russians]. We need this in wartime,” he said.


Took just 2 days…

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Russis has kept it running.

Russia Will Quit The International Space Station Due To Sanctions (DM)

Russia is set to pull out of the International Space Station and will no longer work with NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), according to the head of its space programme. General Director of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin told Russian state TV earlier today that Moscow will no longer co-operate with its international partners aboard the ISS, confirming that the decision to withdraw has already been taken. He said Roscosmos is not required to give an exact date of its withdrawal, but affirmed the Russian space programme will adhere to the stipulated year-long notice period. ‘The decision has been taken already, and we are not obliged to discuss it publicly, Rogozin told Rossiya 24 – though on Friday he said Russia would continue to work on the ISS ‘according to the time frame set out by our government, until at least 2024.’

It comes after Rogozin posted a storm of since-deleted tweets earlier this month in which he slammed Western sanctions imposed on Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine. ‘I believe that the restoration of normal relations between partners in the International Space Station and other joint projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions,’ the space chief tweeted. Space is one of the last remaining areas of cooperation between Moscow and Western nations, and Russia has for decades carried American astronauts to and from the ISS on board its Soyuz rockets, but ceased to do so in 2020.

The U.S. and Russia were conducting negotiations for a resumption of shared flights in February, but the invasion of Ukraine put paid to the plans and triggered a wave of unprecedented sanctions on Russian state-linked entities. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei shared a Russian ride back to Earth in late March after a U.S. record 355 days at the ISS alongside two Russian cosmonauts, and suggested the relations between the crew aboard the ISS had remained unaffected by the war in Ukraine. ‘About my relationship with my Russian crewmates, they were, are and will continue to be very dear friends of mine,’ the American Vande Hei said during a press conference earlier this month.

Read more …

When was the last time the US tried a color revolution in Belarus? Two years ago?

Belarus Opposition Seeks US Technology Help (F24)

The leader of Belarus’ opposition said Friday that the United States is looking at stepping up technological assistance in the struggle against strongman Alexander Lukashenko. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who along with Western observers says she won a 2020 election against Lukashenko, spoke with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other senior US officials and lawmakers on a trip to Washington. “I was assured of full support for the Belarusian democratic movement,” she told the State Department Correspondents’ Association. “We also spoke about providing Belarusian journalists and activists with equipment and technology,” she said. She said that she discussed ways to circumvent regime disinformation including broadcasts of forced confessions.


Franak Viacorka, a senior advisor to Tikhanovskaya, said pro-democracy forces have also spoken to US technology companies to seek an end to lumping Belarus into the “Russian media ecosystem,” which is closely censored. Lukashenko, who has grown closer to Moscow as he cracks down on dissent following the 2020 election, has been one of the main international supporters of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Tikhanovskaya said she shared with US officials evidence of Lukashenko’s support for the war as well as a list of companies and countries that help circumvent Western sanctions on the regime. “We spoke about making sanctions more effective, closing remaining loopholes, freezing Lukashenko’s assets and blocking the money given to him by the IMF,” she said.

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“The board [of Twitter] must be sure that if it operates in Europe it must fulfil the obligations..”

UK, EU Tell Elon Musk Free Speech Will Not Be Allowed on Twitter (DE)

Firms that fail to comply with British censorship after the passage of the Online Harms Bill would likely face fines of up to 10% of their global revenue, with executives facing consequences that include jail time if they refuse to placate Big Brother. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also called for further regulation on social media sites in the name of preventing “prejudice.” “Free speech can’t imply a free go for hatred,” the mayor wrote online after information of the acquisition emerged. “We should not overlook the impacts of online hate speech, which followers the flames of prejudice and results in appalling and tragic real-world violence.” “Social media corporations should do extra, not much less, to guard their communities,” he additionally wrote.

While Britain has some of the most high-profile censoring regimes in the Western World, it is far not the only nation where lawmakers have been taking aim at the idea of unfettered social media discourse. Thierry Breton, the European Union’s Tsar for the Internal Market, has asked that Musk follow all of the EU’s laws and regulations, including those governing the censoring of unpopular ideas. “Elon, there are guidelines,” the Monetary Instances stories Breton is saying. “You’re welcome however these are our guidelines. It’s not your guidelines which are able to apply right here.”

“Anybody who desires to profit from this market must fulfil our guidelines,” the EU bigwig reportedly continued. “The board [of Twitter] must be sure that if it operates in Europe it must fulfil the obligations, together with moderation, open algorithms, freedom of speech, transparency in guidelines, obligations to adjust to our personal guidelines for hate speech, revenge porn [and] harassment.” “If [Twitter] doesn’t adjust to our regulation, there are sanctions — 6 per cent of the income and, in the event that they proceed, banned from working in Europe,” the EU bureaucrat went on to threaten.

Read more …

Pfizer won’t be allowed to market the Paxlovid brand until full FDA approval”

Pfizer TV Ad Recommends People Take IVM, HCQ, Z-Pak, Fluvoxamine (Kirsch)

See that pill? They are OBVIOUSLY promoting ivermectin, HCQ, Z-Pak, fluvoxamine, zinc, and vitamin D! Finally! Pfizer thinks they are promoting Paxlovid, but we all know what they are really promoting 🙂


“Pfizer said in its full-year earnings announcement last month that it expects Paxlovid sales worth an enormous $22 billion for 2022. Getting the word out now is a clear strategy to get antiviral treatments to patients. [..] Pfizer won’t be allowed to market the Paxlovid brand until full FDA approval. That explains why its COVID pill ad serves more as an awareness campaign of oral treatments in general.”

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Interesting Twitter thread by Sheldon Yakiwchuk.

8,607 Unreported Vaccinated COVID Deaths In Canada (Yakk)

There are currently 8,607 Unreported Vaccinated COVID deaths in Canada. This is up from 7994 from last month – average 20/day COVID mortalities missing. Why isn’t Health Canada Reporting them? If you visit the COVID tracker by Health Infobase Canada – PHAC, you will find the following chart. The chart indicates that From December 14, 2020 to April 10, 2022 that there were 15,775 (green) COVID mortalities.

In this, 9511 Unvaccinated have Died (60.3%) and 6264 (39.7%) from the various stages of vaccinated COVID deaths. What’s important about this is how many deaths are reported in this time. 15,775 – Dec14, 2020-Apr10, 2022. A look back to December 14, 2020 shows that on this day, there were 13,553 deaths. Vaccinations hadn’t rolled out in Canada yet, so these were 100% unvaccinated.

April 10, 2022 – due to delays in reporting, there were 37,935 COVID deaths – as of April 8th, 2022.

37,935 – 13,553 = Total Deaths in this Time period = 24, 382. Where as the Current Dashboard (top image) only shows 15,775 or a difference of 8,607 – unreported deaths. Having a 60/40 split on vaccinated deaths in this time is shocking in itself…but what if those missing deaths are all in various stages of being Vaccinated? We’d be adding the unreported 8,607 to the reported 6,264 given a possible total of 14,871 Vaccinated deaths. 14,871/24,382 ->61% of the deaths in Vaccinated. 9,511/24,382 -> 39% of the COVID reported Deaths in the Unvaccinated Camps – Completely reversing the reported Statistics. Which is even more shocking than a 60/40 split of unvaccinated to vaccinated.


Problem is…even as bad as these statistics look – having been corrected…a closer look actually reveals that in the last week over week comparison of these, 81% of deaths are in the vaccinated 55% are in the boosted. Moving from 40% of mortality to 60% is insane…moving that to 81% of COVID Mortalities being in the Vaccinated Community can no longer support the safe and effective, especially seeing as 55% of these ->greater than unvaccinated are in the fully boosted population. And the problem with the Health Canada Reporting of this, is that these deaths are: 1. Not being accurately recorded as Vaccine Injuries. 2. This problem has grown by over 600 deaths in the last Month.

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“The IMF, the BIS, World Bank, The UN, the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Economic Forum, Bank of America and even Biden himself are all predicting a major food crisis in the near term..”

Food Shortages In Six Months (Alt-M)

A week ago there was a torrent of press releases from global institutions all mentioning the same exact same concern: Food shortages within the next 3 to 6 months. These statements line up very closely with my own estimates, as I have been warning regularly about impending dangers of inflation leading to food rationing and supply chain disruptions. The IMF, the BIS, World Bank, The UN, the Rockefeller Foundation, the World Economic Forum, Bank of America and even Biden himself are all predicting a major food crisis in the near term, and it is not a coincidence that the policies of these very institutions and the actions of puppet politicians that work with them are causing the crisis they are now predicting. That is to say, it’s easy to predict a disaster when you created the disaster.


The claim is that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the primary cause, but this is a distraction from the real issue. Yes, sanctions against Russia will eventually lead to less food supply, but the globalists and the media are purposely ignoring the bigger threat, which is currency devaluation and price inflation created by central banks pumping out tens of trillions of dollars in stimulus packages to prop up “too big to fail” corporate partners. In 2020 alone, the Fed created over $6 trillion from nothing and air dropped it into the economy through covid welfare programs. Add that to the many trillions of dollars that the Fed has printed since the credit crash in 2008 – It has been a nonstop dollar destruction party and now the public is starting to feel the consequences. Lucky for the central bankers that covid struck and Russia invaded Ukraine, because now they can deflect all the blame for the inflationary calamity they have engineered onto the pandemic and onto Putin.

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That energy transition they talk about? It will never happen.

Food Shortages: Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste (Fox)

A top Biden official said Sunday that the global food shortage crisis would push farmers toward relying on more green energy. “Never let a crisis go to waste,” U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Chief Samantha Power told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” Speaking of the global consequences of Russia’s war with Ukraine, the Biden official said that fertilizer shortages would provide farmers the opportunity to “hasten” their “transition” from fertilizer to more “natural” resources. “Fertilizer shortages are real now because Russia is a big exporter of fertilizer. Even though fertilizer is not sanctioned, less fertilizer is coming out of Russia,” she explained. “As a result we’re working with countries to think about natural solutions like manure and compost and this may hasten transitions that would have been in the interest of farmers to make eventually anyway. So never let a crisis go to waste.”


Power added that the administration was still asking Congress to pass more relief. Last week, President Biden requested an additional $33 billion from Congress for military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine. “But we really do need this financial support from the Congress to be able to meet emergency food needs, so we don’t see the cascading deadly effects of Russia’s war extend into Africa and beyond,” she said. President Biden’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm made similar remarks back in March, pushing for Congress to use this crisis to pass “clean energy” legislation and to “wean off” fossil fuels. “This crisis in Europe, and the crisis our allies are facing and the reduction of supply of natural gas and oil from Russia creates a moment that we should be acting,” she said at a clean energy summit.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

Tulsi Obama
https://twitter.com/i/status/1520713806086696960

 

 

Dogs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1520682823010721792

 

 

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

 

 

 

Mar 312022
 


Pablo Picasso Visage 1928

 

US Dollar Hegemony Ended Abruptly Last Wednesday – Michael Huddson (PR)
Mariupol Will Become A Key Hub Of Eurasian Integration (Escobar)
Lavrov: Russia, China Moving Towards Multipolar ‘Fair World Order’ (ZH)
Ukrainian Forces Want to Surrender, Azov Forces Shoot At Them (DE)
“Regime Change” Doesn’t Work, You Morons (Taibbi)
FEC Fines DNC and Clinton For Trump Dossier Hoax (WE)
Hunter Biden’s Role In Ukrainian Biolabs Raises Serious Questions (Blaze)
WaPo, Like New York Times, Finally Admits Hunter Biden Laptop Is Real (NYP)
New York Times – a Bastion of Censorship and Corruption (CHD)
Trudeau Gives Himself A Raise The Same Day As Carbon Tax Hike (Bexte)
Media Freedom Report Shakes Greece’s Conservative Government (EurActiv)
Triple Vaccinated Down To The Last 20% Of Their Immune Systems (DE)

 

 

The tweet that got Nick Hudson banned. The narrative still can’t tolerate dissent. It’s too feeble.

 

 

Maajid Nawaz CBDC

 

 

 

 

The very moment Russia’s reserves were stolen.

US Dollar Hegemony Ended Abruptly Last Wednesday – Michael Huddson (PR)

Well, what happened was that, as I’ve described in Super Imperialism, when the United States went off gold, foreign central banks didn’t have anything to buy with their dollars that were flowing into their countries – again, mainly from the US military deficit but also from the investment takeovers. And they found that these dollars came in, the only thing they could do would be to recycle them to the United States. And what do central banks hold? They don’t buy property, usually, back then they didn’t. They buy Treasury bonds. And so, the United States would be spending dollars abroad and foreign central banks didn’t really have anything to do but send it right back to buy treasury bonds to finance not only the balance of payments deficit, but also the budget deficit that was largely military in character. So, dollar hegemony was the system where foreign central banks keep their monetary and international savings reserves in dollars and the dollars are used to finance the military bases around the world, almost eight hundred military bases surrounding them. So, basically central banks have to keep their savings by weaponizing them, by militarizing them, by lending them to the United States, to keep spending abroad.

This gave America a free ride. Imagine if you went to the grocery store and you just paid by giving them an IOU. And then the next week you want to buy more groceries and you give them another IOU. And they say, wait a minute, you have an IOU before and you say, well just use the IOU to pay the milk company that delivers, or the farmers that deliver. You can use this as your money and just you’ll as a customer, keep writing IOU’s and you never have to pay anything because your IOU is other people’s money. Well, that’s what dollar hegemony was, and it was a free ride. And it all ended last Wednesday when the United States grabbed Russia’s reserves having grabbed Afghanistan’s foreign reserves and Venezuela’s foreign reserves and those of other countries.

And all of a sudden, this means that other countries can no longer safely hold their reserves by sending their money back, depositing them in US banks or buying US Treasury Securities, or having other US investments because they could simply be grabbed as happened to Russia. So, all of a sudden this last week, you’re seeing the world economy fracture into two parts, a dollarized part and other countries that do not follow the neoliberal policies that the United States insists that its allies follow. We’re seeing the birth of a new dual World economy. MF: Wow, there’s a lot to unpack there. So, are we seeing then other countries starting to disinvest in US dollars? You’ve written about how the treasury bonds that these central banks buy up have been basically funding our domestic economy. Are they starting to shed those bonds or what’s happening?

MH: No, they haven’t been funding our domestic economy because the Federal Reserve can create its own money to fund the domestic economy. We don’t need to borrow from foreign countries to fund our economy. We can print it ourselves. What the dollar hegemony does is fund the balance of payments deficit. It funds our spending in other economies, our spending abroad. It doesn’t help our economy, but it does help us get a free ride from other countries. The more dollars we spend in making a military base, all these military expenditures get turned over to the local Central Bank that turns and sends them back to the Federal Reserve or deposits them in US bank accounts. So, it’s the international free ride we get, not a domestic free ride.

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Even in the hands of Ukraine oligarchs? Hard to imagine by now.

Mariupol Will Become A Key Hub Of Eurasian Integration (Escobar)

Mariupol, the strategic Sea of Azov port, remains in the eye of the storm in Ukraine. The NATO narrative is that Azovstal – one of Europe’s biggest iron and steel works – was nearly destroyed by the Russian Army and its allied Donetsk forces who “lay siege” to Mariupol. The true story is that the neo-Nazi Azov batallion took scores of Mariupol civilians as human shields since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, and retreated to Azovstal as a last stand. After an ultimatum delivered last week, they are now being completely exterminated by the Russian and Donetsk forces and Chechen Spetsnaz. Azovstal, part of the Metinvest group controlled by Ukraine’s wealthiest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, is indeed one of the biggest metallurgic plants in Europe, self-described as a “high-performance integrated metallurgical enterprise that produces coke and sinter, steel as well as high-quality rolled products, bars and shapes.”

Amidst a flurry of testimonials detailing the horrors inflicted by the Azov neo-Nazis on Mariupol’s civilian population, a way more auspicious, invisible story bodes well for the immediate future. Russia is the world’s fifth largest steel producer, apart from holding huge iron and coal deposits. Mariupol – a steel Mecca – used to source coal from Donbass, but under de facto neo-Nazi rule since the 2014 Maidan events, was turned into an importer. Iron, for instance, started to be supplied from Krivbas in Ukraine, over 200 kilometers away. After Donetsk solidifies itself as an independent republic or, via referendum, chooses to become part of the Russian Federation, this situation is bound to change.

Azovstal is invested in a broad product line of very useful stuff: structural steel, rail for railroads, hardened steel for chains, mining equipment, rolled steel used in factory apparatus, trucks and railroad cars. Parts of the factory complex are quite modern while some, decades old, are badly in need of upgrading, which Russian industry can certainly provide. Strategically, this is a huge complex, right at the Sea of Azov, which is now, for all practical purposes, incorporated into the Donetsk People’s Republic, and close to the Black Sea. That implies a short trip to the Eastern Mediterranean, including many potential customers in West Asia. And crossing Suez and reaching the Indian Ocean, are customers all across South and Southeast Asia.

So the Donetsk People’s Republic, possibly part of the future Novorossiya, and even part of Russia, will be in control of a lot of steel-making capacity for southern Europe, West Asia, and beyond. One of the inevitable consequences is that it will be able to supply a real freight railroad construction boom in Russia, China and the Central Asian ‘stans.’ Railroad construction happens to be the privileged connectivity mode for Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). And, crucially, of the increasingly turbo-charged International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC). So, mid-term, Mariupol should expect to become one of the key hubs of a boom in north-south routes – INSTC across Russia and linking with the ‘stans’ – as well as major BRI upgrades east-west and sub-BRI corridors.

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“..shortly before the meetings – which Lavrov will attend – to discuss ways to help Afghanistan. Both the US and the Taliban are expected to be in attendance..”

Lavrov: Russia, China Moving Towards Multipolar ‘Fair World Order’ (ZH)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his Chinese counterpart on Wednesday, where he said the two are carving a path towards a ‘fairer world order.’ The meeting between Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, marks the first visit to a key ally since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, according to The Economic Times. The two countries will work to achieve “a multipolar, fair, and democratic world order,” Lavrov said, speaking from the Chinese city of Tunxi located in the eastern inland Anhui Province. In a video released by the Russian foreign ministry ahead of a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Lavrov said the world was “living through a very serious stage in the history of international relations”.


At the end of this reshaping of global relations “we, together with you, and with our sympathisers will move towards a multipolar, just, democratic world order”, Lavrov said. -Economic Times” Lavrov and Yi were seen on Chinese state TV in face masks bumping elbows in front of their national flags shortly before the meetings – which Lavrov will attend – to discuss ways to help Afghanistan. Both the US and the Taliban are expected to be in attendance. US officials have grown frustrated with Beijing’s refusal to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, and have accused China of signalling a “willingness” to provide both economic and military aid to Russia. According to Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency, Wang said that despite “new challenges” to relations between China and Russia, “the will of both sides to develop bilateral relations has become even stronger.” Earlier this month Wang said that China’s relationship with Russia is “one of the most crucial bilateral relationships in the world,” and is “ironclad.”

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“..Because the Ukrainian forces kind of wanted to give up, SMS messages come that say that ‘you can give up and nothing will happen to you’. So, they want to surrender, and Azov starts shooting at them..”

Ukrainian Forces Want to Surrender, Azov Forces Shoot At Them (DE)

US Navy veteran and independent journalist, Patrick Lancaster, has been making regular reports from Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis. His reports reveal that what is happening on the ground is not what Western corporate media would have you believe. “Over the 8 years of the Ukraine War I made more video reports in anti-Ukraine Government (Donetsk People’s Republic) controlled territory than any other western journalist,” he says. In his report on Friday, Lancaster interviewed residents of the ethnic Greek village of Sartana, one of the villages surrounding Mariupol, Ukraine. “This is right on, what you could say is the frontline now. Nobody knows exactly where the frontline starts and ends at this point there’s just so much information and [ ] minute by minute the lines are changing,” Lancaster said.

Eight years ago, a referendum was held and “mostly people asked for Russian language. But they decided to Ukrainise us, so that everybody speaks Ukrainian … It was forbidden to speak Russian in the store. There was some tension. Employees paid fines for not saying ‘Good afternoon’ in Ukrainian in stores,” one resident explained. “Today I’m trying to find guys from Mariupol to find out how things are there. My parents stayed there. But they say that everything is very sad. Today I heard another story that the Ukrainian armed forces started shootings with Azov. Because the Ukrainian forces kind of wanted to give up, SMS messages come that say that ‘you can give up and nothing will happen to you’. So, they want to surrender, and Azov starts shooting at them. And they [Ukrainian forces and Azov] are at war with each other.” another resident said.


Earlier this month members of the Azov Battalion, a self-declared neo-Nazi former paramilitary group that is now a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, bombed the village most likely aiming for a church. Village residents also believe it was Azov who bombed the school. “Ukrainians say it’s only Russia who shoots now. – They always say so. It’s their policy. A dirty policy,” the second resident said. Other interviewees explained that Ukrainians bombed Mariupol to create a panic: “So that people leave, and they use them as a human shield. And now all people are there. And they’re holding them at gunpoint, don’t let them go. Literally shoot them if they run away,” they said.

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Hmmm. Feels a bit like Matt lost his grip on the material.

“Regime Change” Doesn’t Work, You Morons (Taibbi)

Not long ago, candidate Joe Biden’s most troubling behavioral tendency was the surprise outburst of belligerence. Campaigning, he’d challenge questioners to push-up contests, jam fingers in the sternums even of supporters, and plunge into rambling monologues about leg hairs and chain-fights. Now, the president’s face is often a mask of terror, like a man unsure of how he came to be standing in the middle of an intersection. Mental cars racing past, he met the press Monday, to clarify a statement made last week about Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Many interpreted this as a call for regime change. Not at all, Biden said, reading from a large-print cheat sheet — this reportedly happened — that reminded him to say he was merely expressing “moral outrage,” and “not articulating a change in policy.”

When he ran out of pre-prepared remarks, he drifted back to danger, saying: “It’s more an aspiration than anything. He shouldn’t be in power.” The AP writeup offered help: “He said he was expressing an ‘aspiration’ rather than a goal of American foreign policy.” (I’m sure nuclear-armed Putin appreciated the semantic difference). When Biden moved more toward candor, saying he made “no apologies” for his remarks, another reporter quickly tried to guide him back to a safe harbor: Q: Your personal feelings, sir? Your personal feelings? THE PRESIDENT: Personal. My personal feelings. Biden even offered his Princess Bride/Vizzini-esque analysis that “the last thing I want to do is engage in a land war… with Russia”:

Although administration mouthpieces Tony Blinken and Jen Psaki scrambled to reassure a nervous world that the U.S. is not intent on “doing regime change” in Russia, officials everywhere have been telling reporters the opposite on background. This cat was out of the bag weeks ago. As Joe Lauria at Consortium points out, Biden was asked on February 24th, at the start of the invasion, what sanctions would accomplish if they hadn’t prevented war. His answer: No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening. That has to sh- — this is going to take time. And we have to show resolve, so he knows what’s coming and so the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them. That’s what this is all about. Biden said virtually the same thing in Brussels last week:

“Sanctions never deter… The maintenance of sanctions, the increasing the pain … we will sustain what we’re doing not just next month, the following month, but for the remainder of this entire year. That’s what will stop him.” We heard this more explicitly from Boris Johnson on March 1st, “The measures we are introducing, that large parts of the world are introducing, are to bring down the Putin regime,” Johnson said. Lauria points out this was two days after British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey wrote in the Telegraph that “His failure must be complete… the Russian people empowered to see how little he cares for them. In showing them that, Putin’s days as President will surely be numbered… He’ll lose power and he won’t get to choose his successor.”

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The price?

“..it fined Clinton’s treasurer $8,000 and the DNC’s treasurer $105,000..”

FEC Fines DNC and Clinton For Trump Dossier Hoax (WE)

The Federal Election Commission has fined the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for lying about the funding of the infamous, and discredited, Russian “dossier” used in a smear attempt against Donald Trump weeks before he shocked the world with his 2016 presidential victory. The election agency said that Clinton and the DNC violated strict rules on describing expenditures of payments funneled to the opposition research firm Fusion GPS through their law firm. A combined $1,024,407.97 was paid by the treasurers of the DNC and Clinton campaign to law firm Perkins Coie for Fusion GPS’s information, and the party and campaign hid the reason, claiming it was for legal services, not opposition research.

Instead, the DNC’s $849,407.97 and the Clinton campaign’s $175,000 covered Fusion GPS’s opposition research on the dossier, a basis for the so-called “Russia hoax” that dogged Trump’s first term. The memo said that the Clinton campaign and DNC argued that they were correct in describing their payment as for “legal advice and services” because it was Perkins Coie that hired Fusion GPS. But the agency said the law is clear and was violated. It added that neither the campaign nor the party conceded to lying but won’t contest the finding. “Solely for the purpose of settling this matter expeditiously and to avoid further legal costs, respondent[s] does not concede, but will not further contest the commission’s finding of probable cause to proceed” with the probe, said the FEC.

The FEC, in a memo to the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, which filed its complaint over three years ago, said it fined Clinton’s treasurer $8,000 and the DNC’s treasurer $105,000. The memo, shared with Secrets, is to be made public in a month. Dan Backer, who brought the complaint on behalf of the foundation, which focuses on free speech and the First Amendment, told Secrets, “This may well be the first time that Hillary Clinton — one of the most evidently corrupt politicians in American history — has actually been held legally accountable, and I’m proud to have forced the FEC to do their job for once. The Coolidge Reagan Foundation proved that with pluck and grit, Americans who stand with integrity can stand up to the Clinton machine and other corrupt political elites.”

[..] Backer, with Washington’s Chalmers & Adams law firm, held out hope for further action against the former first lady. He said, “Hillary Clinton and her cronies willfully engaged in the greatest political fraud in history — destroying our nation’s faith in the electoral process, and it’s high time they were held accountable. I hope this is only the beginning.”

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Hunter and Fauci and Peter Daszak. Fine friends.

Hunter Biden’s Role In Ukrainian Biolabs Raises Serious Questions (Blaze)

Recent emails unearthed by the U.K. Daily Mail and the National Pulse reveal that during the last decade, Hunter Biden seemed to have a keen interest in pathogen research in Ukraine and using it as a tool for geopolitical affairs in that country. It just so happens to be that a pathogen connected to gain-of-function research destroyed the world, and then the next “big current thing” on the geopolitical stage was none other than Ukraine. Shouldn’t the American people get some answers as to why our government was so heavily involved – via the vice president’s son – in both pathogen research and Ukraine and to make sure Ukraine is not Wuhan 2.0?

Earlier this month, I detailed the known connections between biotech firm Metabiota Inc., responsible for the pathogen research in Ukraine, the DOD, and EcoHealth Alliance, along with the Wuhan lab most likely responsible for the leak of SARS-CoV-2. I also noted that Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners (RSTP), a subsidiary of the Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz-founded Rosemont Capital, gave Metabiota, a company accused of dangerous lab protocols during the African Ebola pandemic, its first infusion of cash a decade ago. Now, new emails from Hunter’s laptop demonstrate that his involvement in Metabiota and pathogen research in Ukraine was much deeper than just an initial investment.

[..] After receiving 18.4 million from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) between February 2014 and November 2016, with $307,091 earmarked for “Ukraine research projects,” “Metabiota has worked in Ukraine for Black & Veatch, a US defense contractor with deep ties to military intelligence agencies, which built secure labs in Ukraine that analyzed killer diseases and bioweapons,” according to the Daily Mail. “It raises the question, what is the real purpose of this venture? It’s very odd,” said former senior CIA officer Sam Faddis in an interview with the Daily Mail. “His father was the Vice President of the United States and in charge of relations with Ukraine. So why was Hunter not only on the board of a suspect Ukrainian gas firm, but also hooked them up with a company working on bioweapons research?”

Biden was so involved in Metabiota that one email written that same month in 2014 reveals that he and his business partner Eric Schwerin discussed subletting their office space to the San-Francisco-based biotech firm. So, what exactly were they working on? Last week, the National Pulse reported that a feature in the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine’s 2016 Annual Report recounts an October 2016 meeting involving U.S. military officials and their Ukrainian counterparts together with Black & Veatch and Metabiota staff to discuss the lab work. The discussion centered around “existing frameworks, regulatory coordination, and ongoing cooperative projects in research, surveillance and diagnostics of a number of dangerous zoonotic diseases, such as avian influenza, leptospirosis, Crimea Congo hemorrhagic fever, and brucellosis.”

Gaetz and Nadler?!

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WaPo and NYT will still be considered serious media. Wanna bet? They have nothing to lose.

WaPo, Like New York Times, Finally Admits Hunter Biden Laptop Is Real (NYP)

The Washington Post on Wednesday became the second major news outlet to reverse course and admit that emails from the infamous Hunter Biden laptop are authentic — nine months after it obtained them and a year and a half after the New York Post first reported on them. The paper said two security experts used cryptographic signatures from Google and other technology companies to validate nearly 22,000 emails from 2009 to 2019, including messages related to Hunter Biden’s controversial overseas business dealings. Some verified emails involved a deal President Biden’s son pursued with the CEFC China Energy conglomerate for which he was paid nearly $5 million, according to the Washington Post. Other verified emails related to his work for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, for which Hunter Biden was paid as much as $83,333 or a month, or $1 million a year.

In October 2020, the New York Post exclusively revealed the existence of Hunter Biden’s emails after being given a copy of the hard drive from a damaged MacBook Pro laptop that the owner of a repair shop in the Biden family’s hometown of Wilmington, Del., said was dropped off in April 2019 and never retrieved. Following the expose, the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” feature said the paper “has not been able to verify or authenticate these emails” and said there were “fears that the emails could be part of a broader disinformation campaign” by Russia. Washington Post op-eds also called the emails “unverified” and said they “have never been authenticated,” and a news analysis dismissed the New York Post’s reporting as “sketchy.”

On Wednesday, the Washington Post said it was given a copy of the hard drive in June by Republican activist Jack Maxey, who previously worked as a researcher for the “War Room” podcast run by Steve Bannon, a former adviser to ex-President Donald Trump. The paper said it spent months reviewing the data and making two copies of the hard drive so they could be analyzed by Matt Green, a Johns Hopkins University security researcher, and Jake Williams, a forensics expert and former National Security Agency operative. Both experts concluded that the verified emails carried cryptographic signatures that would be hard to fake, even for the best computer hackers. Earlier this month, the New York Times said it had obtained emails that appeared to have come from the laptop and which were authenticated by people familiar with them and the federal tax probe of Hunter Biden that he publicly acknowledged in December 2020.


The Times buried its verification of the emails in the 24th paragraph of a 38-paragraph story that said Hunter Biden had paid off a significant tax debt to the IRS, potentially making it harder for prosecutors to win a conviction or a long sentence against him for tax fraud. US Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) — who, with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), has been investigating Hunter Biden’s overseas business deals — responded by accusing the Gray Lady of “finally, quietly, covering its tracks.” “I am just amazed that the New York Times just now came to the conclusion that the Hunter Biden laptop was genuine,” Johnson told WABC 770 AM’s “The Cats Roundtable” last week.

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Yes, this.

New York Times – a Bastion of Censorship and Corruption (CHD)

In a bold, but clearly disingenuous, statement from its famed editorial board, “a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate, and certain longstanding values,” The New York Times issued a cautionary statement: “For all the tolerance and enlightenment that modern society claims, Americans are losing hold of a fundamental right as citizens of a free country: the right to speak their minds and voice their opinions in public without fear of being shamed or shunned.” The editorial board pounded the point home: “People should be able to put forward viewpoints, ask questions and make mistakes, and take unpopular but good-faith positions on issues that society is still working through — all without fearing cancellation …. Freedom of speech requires not just a commitment to openness and tolerance in the abstract. It demands conscientiousness…

“We believe it isn’t enough for Americans to just believe in the rights of others to speak freely; they should also find ways to actively support and protect those rights.” Of course, The New York Times should be leading by example. In fact, it has not supported free speech, protected the First Amendment, or allowed honest debate. It has not allowed competing perspectives about the most important issues of the day. Instead, it has been a mouthpiece for greedy corporations and corrupt government officials. In support of the newspaper’s interests, and at the expense of the interests of American citizens, The New York Times censored Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s latest book, “The Real Anthony Fauci,” in every conceivable way.

It ranked the book No. 7 on its non-fiction bestseller list even though the book outsold any other book in America that week by thousands of copies. Then it refused to allow Skyhorse Publishing to place an advertisement for the book because its censorship division, ironically called “Standards Management,” decided the book itself constituted misinformation — despite the paper’s stated policy that “Standards” only looks into whether an ad itself is “non-defamatory and accurate.” The New York Times followed up with a scathing hit piece targeting Kennedy as “a leading voice in the campaign to discredit coronavirus vaccines and other measures being advanced by the Biden White House to battle a pandemic that was … killing close to 1,900 people a day.”

The Times accused Kennedy of circulating “false information” — without indicating what that information was or explaining why it was false — and of comparing the government pandemic response to the Holocaust, even though he didn’t do that. Finally, The New York Times refused to review “The Real Anthony Fauci” or so much as comment on its historic grassroots success, even though it’s become a cult classic, selling more than 1 million copies in just four months, and launching a worldwide movement against government corruption and corporate greed. “Despite all the lying, or maybe in reaction to it,” Tucker Carlson told me, “Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is becoming a legitimate folk hero.”

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Not much left of that country.

Trudeau Gives Himself A Raise The Same Day As Carbon Tax Hike (Bexte)

PM Justin Trudeau is giving himself and every MP a raise on April 1 — the same day he’s set to hike the carbon tax, leaving gas even less affordable. As of April 1, Trudeau’s estimated salary will be $379,404, a $21,604 pay increase. Simultaneously, Ministers will see their salaries rise by an additional $15,865, while backbenchers and senators will be receiving a $10,802 pay hike — more than enough to keep politicians comfortable as inflation skyrockets. Of course, the vast majority of Canadians are totally against this — but it will happen anyway. According to a Canadian Taxpayers Federation Leger poll, 79 per cent of Canadians (nearly 8-in-10) are opposed to MPs receiving a third pay raise since the pandemic started.


“It’s wrong for politicians to pocket bigger paycheques while the people they represent suffer through a pandemic, pay cuts, job and business losses,” said Federal Director of the CTF Franco Terrazzano. “It shouldn’t be rocket science for MPs to do the right thing and stop taking bigger salaries during the pandemic.” He further calls the pay raise a “slap in the face” to all the Canadians who’ve struggled throughout the pandemic. Of course, politicians aren’t the only government employees to receive raises throughout the pandemic. As the Western Standard reported in January, 528, 347 federal and provincial government employees received raises since the pandemic began, all while restrictions were decimating small businesses. “We’ve seen a tale of two pandemics: one full of private sector pain and the other full of financial gain for bureaucrats and politicians,” Terrazzano said at the time.

Read more …

But where in Europe is there media freedom?

Media Freedom Report Shakes Greece’s Conservative Government (EurActiv)

Six international organisations for the freedom of the press have published a report accusing Greece’s ruling New Democracy party (EPP) of trying to control media. While the report raises the alarm over a “systemic press freedom crisis”, the government replies that people are still free to opt on what media to follow. In an interview with EURACTIV last week, Pavol Szalai, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Head of EU/Balkans Desk, said, “The situation of press freedom in Greece is becoming comparable to the one in Hungary”. “We can see a deliberate political will to reduce press freedom. And at the same time, there are other dangerous situations linked to organised crime, which is probably behind the murder of Georges Karaivaz, who is one of the two EU journalists murdered last year”, he added.

The report was drafted following a December 2021 visit to the country. The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) report noted that the systemic crisis affecting press freedom in Greece has been exacerbated by the New Democracy government’s attempts to “control the message” and minimise critical and dissenting voices. “Newspapers and individual journalists that are ideologically on the side of the opposition or take a neutral stance are singled out by the government for unequal treatment that undermines their journalistic activities. This has been further compounded by a lack of transparency around the allocation of state advertising and its distribution based on established partisan lines,” the report added. The report also says journalists covering migration issues such as pushbacks is becoming “increasingly difficult”.


“The press freedom violations faced by journalists doing so are linked to the government’s restrictive migration policy and an unwillingness to accept public scrutiny of it leading to obstructions to reporting such as arbitrary arrest and detention, restriction of access, surveillance and harassment”. Without replying to any element of the report, New Democracy issued a statement saying the freedom of the press in Greece is institutionally guaranteed. “Every citizen can be freely informed, at any time, through the media of his choice”, the conservative party said. “The report highlights how Greece is becoming a problematic country on issues of press freedom and democracy,” main opposition leader and former PM Alexis Tsipras tweeted.

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When will this be the front page headline everywhere?

Triple Vaccinated Down To The Last 20% Of Their Immune Systems (DE)

According to the latest UK Government figures, most triple vaccinated people in England have now lost 80% of their immune system capability compared to the natural immune system capability of unvaccinated people, meaning they are now down to the last 20% of their immune system for fighting viruses, bacteria, disease and cancer. But this disaster isn’t only occurring in the UK. Official Government of Canada data shows that on average, triple vaccinated Canadians have now lost 75% of their immune system capability compared to the natural immune system capability of unvaccinated Canadians. Meaning they are now down to the last 25% of their immune system for fighting viruses, bacteria, disease and cancer.

And the picture is also the same in New Zealand, with official Government data showing that on average, fully vaccinated people in New Zealand have lost 74% of their immune system capability. In short, because authorities in the UK, Canada and New Zealand have done such a good job at collating and publishing data on Covid-19 by vaccination status, they have exposed the fact that the triple vaccinated population are rapidly developing some new form of Covid-19 vaccine induced Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The body’s immune system primarily defends one’s body against infections like bacteria, viruses and parasites. There are two broad categories of immune deficiency: those that one is born with, and those that are acquired after birth .


Immune deficiency syndrome refers to a broad range of medical disorders that prevent your body from protecting itself from illnesses such as viruses and bacteria. There are a number of different types of congenital and acquired immune deficiency syndromes that can impact the body in a variety of ways. Secondary (acquired) immune problems can result from many causes, including viral infections, malnutrition, metabolic disorders (like kidney disease), and cancer treatments or other medications. Unfortunately, official data from around the world now strongly suggests the Covid-19 vaccines should be added to the list of causes of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

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Alec Antic: Three Minutes of Truth Bombs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mar 242022
 


Vincent van Gogh Weaver 1884

 

Biden Says US Must Lead ‘New World Order,’ Lead it Where Exactly? (Celente)
Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia (Lauria)
Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back (NW)
Sanctioning Russia Could Topple The West (Fazi)
WIll Poland Invade The Western Ukraine? (Saker)
Lavrov: Peacekeeping Effort Could Result In Direct Clash With NATO (JTN)
Ukraine Says Russia Is Holding Aid Workers Captive In Mariupol (JTN)
How Russia Got Stronger As Bidens And Clintons Got Richer (JTN)
The Death Of The Supreme Court Confirmation Process (Turley)
Anger Towards the Unvaccinated was Intentional Psychological Manipulation (NE)
“Dictatorship Of The Worst Kind” – Trudeau Lambasted In EU Parliament (TNC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GPS
https://twitter.com/i/status/1506882331537248256

 

 


Nigeria: 206M people, only 4.4% fully vaxxed, zero deaths and 87 daily cases

 

 

The official government li(n)e

 

 

“Lead it?” Where? Down the crapper!”

Biden Says US Must Lead ‘New World Order,’ Lead it Where Exactly? (Celente)

What’s the big headline making the news last week? “BIDEN: AMERICA WILL LEAD NEW WORLD ORDER.” In his speech, President Joe Biden declared, “Now is the time where things are shifting. There’s going to be a new world order out there and we’ve got to lead it.” “Lead it?” Where? Down the crapper! America’s roads are rotted, bridges collapse, archaic subways and rail systems crumble, the middle class evaporates as 61 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, people can’t afford to buy homes or afford to pay rent, etc., etc. Q. And who is the “we’ve” that “got to lead it”? A. The Republican and Democratic crime syndicate… people like Joe Biden who’s been sucking off the public tit for 50 years and championed the sending of our jobs overseas and making the billionaires richer and the Bigs bigger.

Yet, as the nation descends, there is always more money to enrich the military/industrial/intelligence complex with over $1 trillion per year dumped into their coffers. Name the war that the D.C. Gang started since the end of WWII and assess the cost benefit analysis. Here are a few: • Korean War: Lost • Vietnam War: Lost • Afghanistan War: Lost • Iraq War: Lost • Syrian War: Ongoing Bloody Disaster • Libyan War: Ongoing Bloody Disaster • Yemen War: Worst Humanitarian Disaster on Earth. Therefore, with a stellar track record of monumental failures, why would anyone with a brain bigger than a pea believe or follow warped-brain politician’s war dictates… politicians who shoot off their fat mouths to start wars, but never shoot a rifle to fight the wars they start?

[..] As we reported last week, with significant percentages of the world’s corn, wheat, barley and fertilizers unable to be shipped out of Russia and Ukraine—and/or sanctioned—food and fertilizer prices have sharply spiked since the Ukraine War began: Wheat is up almost 22 percent, barley 32 percent and fertilizers jumped by 40 percent. The two nations accounted for 75 percent of the world’s sunflower seed oil, 32 percent of the barley, 30 percent wheat and 17 percent of corn exports. And over the past year, barley prices rocketed up 82 percent, wheat prices spiked 69 percent and corn prices jumped 36 percent.

“Ukraine has only compounded a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe,” said David M. Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program. “There is no precedent even close to this since World War II.” Beyond WWII, as we reported, the COVID War destroyed the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people. The imbecilic, non-scientific draconian lockdown mandates pushed hunger up 18 percent… from 720 million to 811 million people according to the UN. And now with the Ukraine War raging, the United Nations said its implications on the global food market would push up an additional 13.1 million people into hunger. “We’ll be taking food from the hungry to give to the starving,” Beasley said.

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“This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians..”

Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia (Lauria)

Western corporate media, depending almost exclusively on Ukrainian sources, report that Russia is losing the war, with its military offensive “stalled,” and in frustration has deliberately targeted civilians and flattened cities. Biden has bought into this part of the story, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.” He has also said that Russia is planning a “false flag” chemical attack to pin on Ukraine. But on Tuesday, the Pentagon took the bold step of leaking two stories to reporters that contradict those tales. “Russia’s conduct in the brutal war tells a different story than the widely accepted view that Vladimir Putin is intent on demolishing Ukraine and inflicting maximum civilian damage—and it reveals the Russian leader’s strategic balancing act,” reported Newsweek in an article entitled, “Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back. Here’s Why.”

The piece quotes an unnamed analyst at the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) saying, “The heart of Kyiv has barely been touched. And almost all of the long-range strikes have been aimed at military targets.” A retired U.S. Air Force officer now working as an analyst for a Pentagon contractor, added: “We need to understand Russia’s actual conduct. If we merely convince ourselves that Russia is bombing indiscriminately, or [that] it is failing to inflict more harm because its personnel are not up to the task or because it is technically inept, then we are not seeing the real conflict.” The article says: “As of the past weekend, in 24 days of conflict, Russia has flown some 1,400 strike sorties and delivered almost 1,000 missiles (by contrast, the United States flew more sorties and delivered more weapons in the first day of the 2003 Iraq war). …

“A proportion of those strikes have damaged and destroyed civilian structures and killed and injured innocent civilians, but the level of death and destruction is low compared to Russia’s capacity. ‘I know it’s hard … to swallow that the carnage and destruction could be much worse than it is,’ says the DIA analyst. ‘But that’s what the facts show. This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians, that perhaps he is mindful that he needs to limit damage in order to leave an out for negotiations.’” These Pentagon sources confirm what Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense have been saying all along: that instead of being “stalled,” Russia is executing a methodical war plan to encircle cities, opening humanitarian corridors for civilians, leaving civilian infrastructure like water, electricity, telephony and internet intact, and trying to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible.

Until these Pentagon leaks it was difficult to confirm that Russia was entirely telling the truth and that corporate media were publishing fables cooked up by Ukraine’s publicity machine.

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If Russia hasn’t done what Americans would do, it must mean they are failing…

Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back (NW)

Over the course of almost four weeks, missiles fired at Kyiv have been scarce. Ukrainian media have reported just more than a dozen incidents involving Russian cruise and ballistic missiles intercepted over the city and its closest suburbs since February 24. And all of them, U.S. experts say, have been clearly headed for legitimate military targets. “The fact that the mobile S-300 SAM systems are still operating is a powerful indictment of Russia’s ability to conduct dynamic or time-sensitive targeting,” the Atlantic Council asserted this week in a military brief. The DIA analyst disagrees: “For whatever reason, clearly the Russians have been reluctant to strike inside the urban megalopolis of Kyiv.


“Yes they might not be up to the U.S. task [in dynamic targeting] or in establishing air superiority … But this is the Russian air force, subordinate to the ground forces. And this war is different: it’s being fought on the ground, where everything strategic that Russia might destroy in front of its forces—bridges, communications, airfields, etc.—also becomes unusable to them as they move forward.” From the very beginning of air strikes, both U.S. analysts agree, some of the limited air and missile attacks have also had some internal logic. Take, for instance, the airfield at Hostomel, northwest of Kyiv. It wasn’t directly attacked because Russia initially used it to land paratroopers, with the hope of advancing to the capital city. Instead the airfield and the surrounding countryside became the scene a major battle, as Ukrainian forces mounted a fierce defense. In the south, Kherson airport also wasn’t attacked. The reason has become clear: Russia is now using that very airfield to stage its own forces.

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“..the main source of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves — oil and gas exports — has been excluded from the sanctions..”

Sanctioning Russia Could Topple The West (Fazi)

So what should we expect from the sanctions? Western pundits and commentators have little doubt: the sanctions will hamstring the Russian economy, sow discontent among the Russian people and elites alike, and possibly even cause the downfall of the Putin regime. At the very least, we’re told, they will hinder Russia’s war efforts. But history suggests otherwise: see Iraq, or more recently Iran. Far more likely is that this turns out to be the latest Western strategic miscalculation in a long list of strategic blunders, of which the United States’ inglorious withdrawal from Afghanistan is just the most recent example. After all, Russia has been preparing for this moment for quite some time.

Following the first wave of Western sanctions, in 2014, and partly in retaliation against them, Putin embarked on what analysts have dubbed a “Fortress Russia” strategy, building up the country’s international reserves and diversifying them away from US dollars and British pounds, reducing its foreign exposure, boosting its economic cooperation with China, and pursuing import substitution strategies in several industries, including food, medicine and technology, in an effort to insulate Russia as much as possible from external shocks. True, Putin made the mistake of leaving around half of those reserves parked in foreign central banks, resulting in these now being confiscated. But nonetheless Russia still has access to more than $300 billion in gold and foreign-exchange reserves — more than most countries in the world and more than enough to cushion any short-term fall in exports, or prop up the rouble (for a while).

Moreover, the Russian central bank reacted to the sanctions by stopping capital flows out of Russia and nationalising the foreign exchange earnings of major exporters, requiring Russian firms to convert 80% of their dollar and euro earnings into roubles. It also raised interest rates to 20% in an effort to attract foreign capital. These measures are aimed at bolstering the rouble’s value and providing a flow of foreign exchange into the country. They appear to be working: while the rouble is around 40% of its value since the start of the conflict, the Russian currency’s free-fall seems to have come to a halt for now, even registering an uptick over the past two weeks. For the time being, Russia’s financial account — the difference between the money flowing in and out of the country — is far from disastrous.

Let’s not forget that the main source of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves — oil and gas exports — has been excluded from the sanctions, for obvious reasons: for most European countries, Russia accounts for a huge part of their oil and gas imports (and other staple commodities), and there’s simply no way of replacing those energy sources from one day to the next. In short, Russia runs no risk, in the short term, of running out of reserves and not being able to pay for its imports. But even assuming that the West decided to put a stop to all its imports from Russia overnight, there’s no reason to believe that this would bring the Russian military machine to a halt. The notion that “we are financing Russia’s war by purchasing gas and oil”, as the Finnish prime minister recently stated, is fundamentally misplaced.

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A translation at the Saker. Not clear from what.

“..if the Baltic statehood develops in the same direction in which it has been developing for the last thirty years, then sooner or later the denazification operation is inevitable.”

Will Poland Invade The Western Ukraine? (Saker)

the pro-American European lobby is in a state of unstable equilibrium; it wants to intervene in this conflict, but is afraid. The Americans do not yet give sufficient guarantees. Biden is now going to Poland to talk about exactly this, and we’ll see what he tells them. Well, I think not now, not now, but in general, given what trends have prevailed in the Baltics. Sooner or later the denazification operation will have to be carried out, because, as the history of Ukraine shows, living next to the Nazi state, even if it is small, means everything equally uncomfortable. Just because we are two different systems, we are on different sides of good and evil, and we will always be in confrontation with each other, and confrontation with the state that is on our borders will always be used by our enemies, regardless of who is this enemy at the moment.

Therefore, naturally, if the Balts do not take it reasonably, then sooner or later they, just like Ukraine, will ask for the denazification operation. Ukraine asked for a long time, in fact, persuaded for 30 years. Therefore, Ukraine began to prepare for a war with Russia from the first day of its Independence. It was, by the way, her idea-fix. Well, it was getting ready, getting ready, now 30 years have passed – she got ready. Finally, she asked for the war. By and large, the Balts behave in the same way. They now think that they are covered by NATO and the EU, but as the practice of recent years has shown, this is a very unreliable umbrella.

It is unlikely that anyone will be especially tense and risk a major war for the Baltic states. Moreover, there is always a casus bellum. It’s just that now, of course, Russia is too busy to go to the Baltic states. If only they won’t interfere with Russia on their own along with the Poles. They once tried to attack Belarus. They can repeat. If they themselves do not get involved in this matter, then the problem, the Baltics, is a problem of the distant future. During this time, they can change their minds, correct themselves, establish normal contacts, and choose other politicians. But if the Baltic statehood develops in the same direction in which it has been developing for the last thirty years, then sooner or later the denazification operation is inevitable.

Read more …

“Sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would lead to a direct clash between the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the alliance.”

Lavrov: Peacekeeping Effort Could Result In Direct Clash With NATO (JTN)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned this week that if NATO sends peacekeepers into Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, that action will lead to a direct military confrontation between Russian and allied forces. According to the Russian state news agency TASS, Lavrov said Wednesday morning, “Sending NATO peacekeepers to Ukraine would lead to a direct clash between the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the alliance.” Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations eliminated the possibility of the U.S. becoming part of a peacekeeping operation inside Ukraine, reiterating that the Biden administration will not send American troops into the country under conflict.


“We don’t want to escalate this into a war with the United States,” said Thomas-Greenfield. “But we will support our NATO allies,” adding that President Biden “has made clear that if there is an attack on any of our NATO allies, under Article 5, that we will support those countries and defend those countries.” The war has been going on for about a month as Russia’s far larger army continues to fight for control of Ukraine’s major cities. In the past days, the battle for Ukraine’s strategic port city of Mariupol has grown increasingly fiery. Thus far, the resistance effort from Ukraine has been unexpectedly fierce, though western experts warn that the Ukrainian’s longtime outlook against Russian forces may spell trouble.

Read more …

Just The News, a right wing unit, has trouble positioning itself. They must be both anti-Biden AND anti-Putin.

Ukraine Says Russia Is Holding Aid Workers Captive In Mariupol (JTN)

Speaking Tuesday night in a video address to his nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian forces of seizing a humanitarian convoy in Mariupol.Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the Russians are holding captive 11 bus drivers and four rescue workers as well as their vehicles. Zelenskyy said the efforts to establish stable humanitarian corridors in Mariupol, which has been under heavy attack, are being “foiled by the Russian occupiers, by shelling, or deliberate terror.” A senior U.S. defense official told the Associated Press that Russian ships in the Sea of Azov are adding to the shelling of Mariupol, a strategic port city.


On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Russian military operation is unfolding “strictly in accordance with the plans and purposes that were established beforehand.” He added that Putin’s aims are to “get rid of the military potential of Ukraine” and to “ensure that Ukraine changes from an anti-Russian center to a neutral country.”

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Uranium One. Nuff said.

How Russia Got Stronger As Bidens And Clintons Got Richer (JTN)

By 2010, the Obama-Biden-Clinton Russian reset was in full swing. The administration put forth a mutual nuclear disarmament treaty known as “New START,” which, while noble in its declared intentions, risked weakening a compliant partner such as the United States while strengthening a Russia not constrained by the rules. Another deal that Obama, Biden, and Clinton gave the Russians was called the “123 Agreement,” which allowed state-owned Russian entities like nuclear behemoth Rosatom to sell nuclear materials directly to U.S. utility companies. This deal continues to pay huge dividends to the Obama Foundation’s top donor, Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. And President Biden has allowed that deal to survive even during the Ukraine war, exempting nuclear fuel sales to U.S. utilities from his recent sanctions targeting Russian energy imports.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-driven 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, and other so-called denuclearization efforts with Libya and North Korea, effectively sent hundreds of thousands of tons of uranium to Russia for enrichment — a huge cash and energy windfall for Putin. On top of these nuclear handouts, the Obama-Biden-Clinton team gave Russia one of the biggest prizes of all: Uranium One. Before the Russian takeover, Uranium One was a Canadian company that mined Uranium around the world. It had assets on at least three continents — Eurasia, Africa, and North America. Its assets in Wyoming, Utah, and other states constituted approximately 20% of U.S. uranium capacity and meant that the Obama-Biden Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) would have to sign off on the deal. They could have said no, but the deal was approved.

Investors in the deal had funneled $145 million into Secretary Clinton’s family foundation. Its approval helped to give Russia a near-monopoly on global uranium production. After investigative reporter and author Peter Schweizer broke the Uranium One story in 2015, a State Department under secretary, Jose Fernandez, took the blame. Fernandez later landed a “very rewarding” position at the Clinton-connected Center for American Progress. Fernandez has now come back through the revolving door and is a top official in the Biden State Department.

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“First, I put on my socks, then my pants, then my shirt, then my jacket … and then I am fully dressed.”

The Death Of The Supreme Court Confirmation Process (Turley)

“This is not a normal day for America. We have never had this moment before.” Those 15 words from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) captured the historic confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court. In other respects, however, the hearing was an all-too-familiar moment, particularly in its lack of substantive legal discussion. The Jackson hearing continued the rapid reduction of the range of questions for nominees, leaving these hearings as little more than performance art for senators and an endurance test for nominees. The hearing was impressive in the ability of senators to move effortlessly between diametrically opposing positions. For those with memories extending back to 2020, there were turns that were enough to snap your neck.

In Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s hearing, members like Sen. Chris Coons (D-R.I.) declared: “What’s at issue is her judicial philosophy.” Yesterday, during Jackson’s hearing (around the 6:30 mark), Coons declared: “I don’t believe that ‘a judicial philosophy’ is always all that meaningful.” It was clear from the outset that Jackson would not discuss her judicial philosophy on interpreting the Constitution or statutes — the very issue Democratic senators cited in voting against Barrett in 2020. When asked about her judicial philosophy, Jackson responded with a discussion of her “judicial methodology.” Indeed, on the second day of questioning, Jackson told Sen. Grassley that “I do have a philosophy. My philosophy is my methodology.” It is akin to asking someone about their preferred clothing style and having them respond, “First, I put on my socks, then my pants, then my shirt, then my jacket … and then I am fully dressed.”

Given that evasion, it was not surprising that Coons felt compelled to say judicial philosophy was really not that important and the key all along was methodology. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) agreed. After labeling Barrett an unacceptable “originalist,” she now dismisses originalism and judicial philosophy questions for Jackson (around the 8:48 mark) because “I do not find labels particularly useful.” In reality, it did not seem like any substantive answers were “particularly useful.” I have complained about that lack of substance in prior hearings where nominees discussed favorite movies and baseball but not long-held principles of constitutional interpretation. The Ginsburg Rule — enabling nominees to refuse to answer questions about their positions on particular rights — has reduced confirmation hearings to the nutritional value of a Slurpee.

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“They were unsure whether saying “get vaccinated to protect others” would increase willingness to vaccinate.”

Anger Towards the Unvaccinated was Intentional Psychological Manipulation (NE)

As the first wave of the pandemic died down in 2020, the narrative was already being pushed that vaccines were the only way out. However, even before it was clear that the vaccines would predominantly be mRNA based, many were rightly hesitant to receive a novel vaccine that had been produced at warp speed. With The Science™ so convinced that their solution was the only solution, something had to be done to increase uptake. Even though there were many opposing opinions (that were ignored), it was thought that without high rates of vaccine uptake, the pandemic would likely be prolonged. Something had to be done about vaccine hesitancy, so along came Yale University with a study which began in July 2020.

The study, which was not published online until October 2021 (once everyone was vaccinated) was to test “how persuasive messaging affects COVID-19 vaccine uptake intentions”. Recent studies had shown that explaining vaccine herd immunity increased willingness to receive a vaccine and reduced the time people would wait to get vaccinated. However, other work found that prosocial appeals did not increase vaccination intentions and prosocial concerns were absent in densely populated areas. They were unsure whether saying “get vaccinated to protect others” would increase willingness to vaccinate. The authors of the study suggested that something else would be needed to get people to encourage others close to them to get vaccinated and to hold negative judgments of those who don’t get vaccinated.

“Viewing vaccination through the lens of a collective action problem suggests that in addition to increasing individuals’ intentions to receive a vaccine, effective public health messages would also increase people’s willingness to encourage those close to them to vaccinate and to hold negative judgments of those who do not vaccinate. By encouraging those close to them to vaccinate, people are both promoting compliance with social norms and increasing their own level of protection against the disease. Also, by judging those who do not vaccinate more negatively, they apply social pressure to others to promote cooperative behavior. This would be consistent with theories of cooperation, like indirect reciprocity or partner choice, that rely on free riders being punished or ostracized for their past actions to encourage prosocial outcomes. Thus, effective messaging could have outsized effects on promoting vaccination if it both causes people to vaccinate themselves and to encourage those around them to do so.”

Promotion of fear

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Kolakusic is fast becomig everyone’s favorite European.

“Dictatorship Of The Worst Kind” – Trudeau Lambasted In EU Parliament (TNC)

Croatian Member of European (MEP) Parliament and former judge Mislav Kolakusic called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau out to his face in Brussels on Tuesday, savaging Trudeau over “civil rights violations” against Freedom Convoy protesters. Speaking before the European Parliament, Kolakusic accused the prime minister of engaging in a “dictatorship of the worst kind” by using the Emergencies Act to crush peaceful demonstrations. Kolakusic’s speech followed Trudeau’s own address to the parliament, where the prime minister had sounded off on purported threats to democracy posed by freedom protesters. Kolakusic responded to Trudeau’s claims through a Croatian translator.

“To defend our rights and the rights of our children, which we have acquired over the centuries, many of us – including myself – are willing to risk our own freedom and our own lives,” he said. “Unfortunately, today there are those among us who trample on these fundamental values.” Kolakusic then turned to face Trudeau. “Canada, once a symbol of the modern world, has become a symbol of civil rights violations under your quasi-liberal boot in recent months,” he said. Kolakusic went on to blast Trudeau for the militarized crackdown on Ottawa protesters where one woman using a walker had been trampled by a police-mounted riot horse. He also referred to how Trudeau had used the Emergencies Act to freeze the bank accounts of convoy protesters and donors.

“We watched how you trample women with horses, how you block the bank accounts of single parents so that they can’t even pay their children’s education and medicine, that they can’t pay utilities, mortgages for their homes. To you, these may be liberal methods, for many citizens of the world, it is a dictatorship of the worst kind. Rest assured that the citizens of the world, united, can stop any regime that wants to destroy,” said Kolakusic.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1506702485225938949

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When you zoom in, you realise that these black horses are actually the shadows of Zebras

Photo by Beverly Joubert – taken above the shallow waters of the Makgadikgadi Pan, a salt pan in Botswana – NatGeo 2018 Wildlife Photo of the Year

 

 

Black Rock

 

 

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