Jean Metzinger The blue bird 1912-13
Prof. John Mearsheimer – interesting… pic.twitter.com/VtgQNKMOrK
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) April 18, 2022
– "Azov" * go into the basements and shoot people. And how they raped the girls!
– I don’t understand for whom the Armed Forces of Ukraine are fighting, even if the government abandoned them?
“How can we explain to people later that the Ukrainians themselves are shooting at us? pic.twitter.com/Q2x35jBWcW
— Mig-31 BM Foxhound (@MiG31BmFoxhound) April 18, 2022
“Collectively going crazy has been a luxury we can’t afford anymore.”
• Thralldom and Its Uses (Jim Kunstler)
America has had enough of being in thrall, especially to figures and forces dedicated to our destruction. This spring is the beginning of a national life with less stuff, including, looks like, stuff to eat. That will sure enough put folks in touch with something real, and then they will naturally have to do something about it. Centralized control of the population via trackable digital money is the last thing that will avail in the face of hunger and desperation. In fact, that is just another set of empty wishes and promises. The reality is that centralized government, such as the one in Washington DC, is less and less in control of anything — except the manufactured pretense that it can fix the problems of less stuff and decaying money.
The federal government is increasingly impotent, unable to discharge its basic obligations to preserve public order and safety. Its previous attempt to fix something was the response to Covid-19, which has culminated in the fiasco of the mRNA vaccines, now pending and tending toward an astounding wave of early deaths among those in thrall to the transparently dishonest promises of officialdom (“safe and effective”). That’s the trouble with thrall. It narrows the field-of-vision so badly, you can’t see what’s coming at you indirectly, like: hardship and death. The country has been in serious trouble for more than a decade. Cavalcades of bad choices — and then lying to ourselves about these bad choices — has shoved us well over the edge of our cherished expectations. One way out, then, is to simply refuse to remain in thrall to officialdom and the manufactured bullshit that is its only product.
We are lately in thrall to the melodrama in Ukraine, largely engineered by figures and forces in our own government and for their own ends, which look suspiciously at odds with the nation’s actual interests (the nation being us, its people). Perhaps this illustrates the widening gulf between the slouching beast government has become and the people trying to operate their lives and destinies under it. No food for you, no fertilizers for future food for you, no spare parts for you, no free speech for you, no social or economic role for you, no health for you, and (watch it, now!) soon no life for you. Collectively going crazy has been a luxury we can’t afford anymore. You fell for RussiaGate and it kept you in thrall for years. You fell for the Adam Schiff orchestrated Ukraine phone call impeachment gambit. You fell for the Covid scare and the dangerously defective vaccines forced on you. You fell for the fraud-drenched election of the empty vessel known as “Joe Biden.” Don’t fall for the invitation to World War Three.
“Whoever wins the war in Ukraine, the non–West will win. Whoever wins, the 21st century will win, burying the mostly awful 20th at last. As for Americans, we have already lost.”
• The Great Acquiescence — Glory to Ukraine (Patrick Lawrence)
Since the Russiagate farrago overcame liberal America in 2016, there has been much debate as to whether our McCarthyesque circumstances are as bad as, similar to, or not as bad as things got during the Cold War decades. This no longer seems to me the useful question. In various important ways we have passed beyond even the worst of the Cold War’s many dreadful features. Our better reference is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, wherein the English novelist pictured a society of incubated beings — programmed from birth, hooked on a happiness-inducing drug called soma, devoid of everything we now consider human, wholly incapable of connection, of responsibility, and, indeed, desiring neither.
Infantile gratification is all that matters to those populating the World State Huxley imagined — such as anything matters. We are not there yet, let’s not exaggerate. But we ought to honor Huxley for his prescience, for we are heading in the direction of his unlivable world of mind-deprived children watched over by a small, chosen, diabolic elite. I am not surprised that it is Ukraine that brings us to what I consider a collective psychological crisis. After 30 years of post–Cold War triumphalism, Washington has decided to use Ukraine and its people in a go-for-broke attempt finally to subvert Russia. Stepping back for a better look, this is the decisive event in the imperium’s confrontation with the 21st century — its grand roll of the dice, its now-or-never moment.
Broke it will be when all this is over, however far in the future that will prove. A little like Cú Chulainn, the Irish hero who drowned swinging his sword in a rage against the incoming tide, we cannot win this one. And we are falling apart as the realization of our loss arrives subliminally among us. Whoever wins the war in Ukraine, the non–West will win. Whoever wins, the 21st century will win, burying the mostly awful 20th at last. As for Americans, we have already lost.
Putin on Ukraine
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) April 18, 2022
“..the Soviet Union destroyed 80 percent of the Wehrmacht in WWII..”
“They do not know what a revival of Nazism means to the Russian people or even that there is a revival of Nazism in Ukraine..”
• The Importance of Ignorance in Info Wars (Lauria)
There is fertile ground to wage information warfare in the U.S. on Ukraine. In all of America’s wars, ignorance of foreign affairs plays a big role. Americans’ lack of knowledge of other countries is compounded by the fact that the U.S. has never been invaded, except briefly by the British in 1812, and that the U.S. itself began as an invasion by Europeans in which they wiped out the indigenous population, and then later invaded Mexico and then Spanish possessions and frankly, have never stopped invading other nations. The lack of knowledge of this history makes Americans vulnerable to propaganda cloaking American expansionism. In the context of the Ukraine war this ignorance plays an important part in the susceptibility of the American public to war propaganda.
Americans generally don’t understand the psyche of Russia, which was invaded numerous times, particularly by the biggest European powers in the 19th and 20th centuries. They generally do not know, because they are never told, that the Soviet Union destroyed 80 percent of the Wehrmacht in WWII. They do not know what a revival of Nazism means to the Russian people or even that there is a revival of Nazism in Ukraine because it is whitewashed out of the corporate media story. Under the guise of respectability and objectivity, the news media of the U.S. and Europe, which is closely aligned with their governments, has played an important role in the information war by deliberately omitting three crucial facts from their Ukraine war narrative, which completely changes the picture.
Media is leaving out the role of U.S. in the 2014 coup in Kiev; that an 8-year civil war has been fought in the eastern Donbass region against Russian-speaking Ukrainians who resisted the coup (Russia’s help at the time was falsely portrayed as an invasion); and that Neo-Nazi fighters, now incorporated into the Ukrainian state military, played a big role in the coup, in the civil war and in the current fighting in the Russian invasion. There is abundant evidence that the U.S. was behind the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected president in 2014, especially a leaked phone conversation between a high-ranking State Dept. official and the American ambassador in Kiev discussing weeks before the coup who would make up the new government. There is more than abundant evidence about the influence of neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
There was also little emphasis in the media’s information war on diplomatic moves that could have prevented the Russian invasion: namely the seven-year-old Minsk accords that could have ended the civil war if the U.S., Germany and France pressured Kiev to implement it.
• Ukraine and the Profits of War (TomD)
The war in Ukraine will indeed be a bonanza for the likes of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. First of all, there will be the contracts to resupply weapons like Raytheon’s Stinger anti-aircraft missile and the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin-produced Javelin anti-tank missile that Washington has already provided to Ukraine by the thousands. The bigger stream of profits, however, will come from assured post-conflict increases in national-security spending here and in Europe justified, at least in part, by the Russian invasion and the disaster that’s followed. Indeed, direct arms transfers to Ukraine already reflect only part of the extra money going to U.S. military contractors. This fiscal year alone, they are guaranteed to also reap significant benefits from the Pentagon’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program, both of which finance the acquisition of American weaponry and other equipment, as well as military training.
These have, in fact, been the two primary channels for military aid to Ukraine from the moment the Russians invaded and seized Crimea in 2014. Since then, the United States has committed around $5 billion in security assistance to that country. According to the State Department, the United States has provided such military aid to help Ukraine “preserve its territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO.” So, when Russian troops began to mass on the Ukrainian border last year, Washington quickly upped the ante. On March 31, 2021, the U.S. European Command declared a “potential imminent crisis,” given the estimated 100,000 Russian troops already along that border and within Crimea. As last year ended, the Biden administration had committed $650 million in weaponry to Ukraine, including anti-aircraft and anti-armor equipment like the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin anti-tank missile.
Despite such elevated levels of American military assistance, Russian troops did indeed invade Ukraine in February. Since then, according to Pentagon reports, the U.S. has committed to giving approximately $2.6 billion in military aid to that country, bringing the Biden administration total to more than $3.2 billion and still rising. Some of this assistance was included in a March emergency-spending package for Ukraine, which required the direct procurement of weapons from the defense industry, including drones, laser-guided rocket systems, machine guns, ammunition, and other supplies. The major military-industrial corporations will now seek Pentagon contracts to deliver that extra weaponry, even as they are gearing up to replenish Pentagon stocks already delivered to the Ukrainians.
On that front, in fact, military contractors have much to look forward to. More than half of the Pentagon’s $6.5 billion portion of the emergency-spending package for Ukraine is designated simply to replenish DoD inventories. In all, lawmakers allocated $3.5 billion to that effort, $1.75 billion more than the president even requested. They also boosted funding by $150 million for the State Department’s FMF program for Ukraine. And keep in mind that those figures don’t even include emergency financing for the Pentagon’s acquisition and maintenance costs, which are guaranteed to provide more revenue streams for the major weapons makers.
Character assassination. Algorithms. Shadow banning. De-platforming.
• American Commissars (Chris Hedges)
The ruling class, made up of the traditional elites that run the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, is employing draconian forms of censorship on its right-wing and left-wing critics in a desperate effort to cling to power. The traditional elites were discredited for pushing through a series of corporate assaults on workers, from deindustrialization to trade deals. They were unable to stem rising inflation, the looming economic crisis and the ecological emergency. They were incapable of carrying out significant social and political reform to ameliorate widespread suffering and refused to accept responsibility for two decades of military fiascos in the Middle East. And now they have launched a new and sophisticated McCarthyism. Character assassination. Algorithms. Shadow banning. De-platforming.
Censorship is the last resort of desperate and unpopular regimes. It magically appears to make a crisis go away. It comforts the powerful with the narrative they want to hear, one fed back to them by courtiers in the media, government agencies, think tanks and academia. The problem of Donald Trump is solved by censoring Donald Trump. The problem of left-wing critics, such as myself, is solved by censoring us. The result is a world of make-believe. YouTube disappeared six years of my RT show, “On Contact,” although not one episode dealt with Russia. It is not a secret as to why my show vanished. It gave a voice to writers and dissidents, including Noam Chomsky and Cornel West, as well as activists from Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, third parties and the prison abolitionist movement.
It called out the Democratic Party for its subservience to corporate power. It excoriated the crimes of the apartheid state of Israel. It covered Julian Assange in numerous episodes. It gave a voice to military critics, many of them combat veterans, who condemned US war crimes. It no longer matters how prominent you are or how big a following you have. If you challenge power, you are at risk of being censored. Former British MP George Galloway detailed a similar experience during an April 15 panel organized by Consortium News in which I took part: “I have been threatened with travel restrictions were I to continue the television broadcast I had been doing for almost an entire decade. I have been stamped by the false label ‘Russian State Media,’ which I never had, by the way, when I was presenting a show on Russian state media. It was only given after I ceased to have a show on Russian state media, ceased because the government made it a crime for me to do so.”
As will the most vaxxed states.
• Lockdown-Heavy States Had Some of the Worst Health Results (McMaken)
As hard as it is to believe, the Chinese regime is still employing a “zero covid” strategy and claims it can eradicate covid entirely through lockdowns and vaccinations. China’s draconian, nightmarish, near-total lockdown policy—which is notably still “necessary” in spite of widespread vaccination—has recently been revived in Shanghai where residents are now struggling to find food. But the regime has only doubled down on the policy, with Chinese President Xi Jinping declaring that “persistence is victory.” This approach has no basis in any actual science, however, and contradicts decades of epidemiological research condemning lockdowns. Moreover, a 2021 joint study from USC and the Rand Corporation concluded “excess mortality increases” following “the implementation of SIP [shelter-in-place] policies.”
This week, a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the states with the harshest lockdowns tended to perform the worst in a composite measure of mortality, economic performance, and education. The states that performed the best were in many cases states where lockdowns were weak or nonexistent, with Utah and Nebraska at the top of the list. The study, authored by Phil Kerpen, Stephen Moore, and Casey B. Mulligan, also concluded that antilockdown Florida, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Utah “were outliers” that performed unexpectedly well compared to their neighbors. Prolockdown California, Illinois, New Mexico, and Colorado, on the other hand, performed more poorly than their neighbors.
The chief value of the report is that it takes economic, educational, and health variables and normalizes them across states. For example, it’s difficult to meaningfully compare economies when some states are far more reliant on service industries than others. In this case, the authors find the “combined economic performance” for states taking the nature of each state’s economy into account. By this metric, the states that performed the best during the pandemic were lockdown-light states Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho, and Utah. The states with the worst outcomes were lockdown-heavy Hawaii, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Illinois.
On the matter of education—which the authors note is closely tied to both economic performance and mortality in the longer term—the authors look at bans on in-person education, state by state, and presumed resulting “learning loss.” In this case, the best performers were Wyoming, Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, and Utah. The worst performers were California, Oregon, Maryland, Washington, and Hawaii. Of course, if faced with statistics such as these, lockdown advocates are likely to admit that lost educational opportunities and lost economic prosperity are unfortunate. But, they will say education and property rights had to limited in the name of preventing mortality and protecting “public health.”
Where the WHO will be awarded dictatorial powers.
• Second Global Covid-19 Summit Scheduled For May 12 (R.)
A second Global Covid-19 Summit will be held virtually next month for countries to discuss efforts to end the pandemic and prepare for future health threats, according to a joint statement on Monday. “The emergence and spread of new variants, like Omicron, have reinforced the need for a strategy aimed at controlling Covid-19 worldwide,” the White House said in a news release with the Group of Seven and Group of 20 nations. The announcement comes amid a surge of Covid-19 cases in parts of the United States and around the world prompted by easily transmissible variants of the virus.
China’s most populous city, Shanghai, is trying to return to normal after a nearly three-week shutdown, which, along with wider China curbs, are taking a toll on the world’s No 2 economy. The summit will build on efforts and commitments made at the first global summit in September, including getting more people vaccinated, sending tests and treatments to highest-risk populations, expanding protections to health care workers and generating financing for pandemic preparedness, the statement said. “We know we must prepare now to build, sustain, and finance the global capacity we need, not only for emerging COVID-19 variants, but also future health crises,” it said.
“We’re very clear that the Bidens got some $31 million..”
• Hunter Biden’s China Business Deals Should Raise ‘Alarm Bells’ (ET)
“We’re very clear that the Bidens got some $31 million, based on the laptop, from a series of deals that happened beginning when Joe Biden was vice president of the United States. And those deals happened courtesy of four Chinese businessmen,” Schweizer said. All four Chinese businessmen were “directly linked” to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence, he added. The fact that these Chinese businessmen would want to talk to the Bidens was interesting, Schweizer said, since the latter did not bring any capital or investors to the table, something financial investment firms would do. Surely, the Chinese businessmen weren’t philanthropies either, he added, the question then became what they wanted in return.
“When you look at the cluster of who provided the funds to the Bidens, and the fact that the Bidens did not really provide anything tangible in return, this has all the markings of elite capture and of a Chinese intelligence operation,” he said. According to his book, one of the Chinese businessmen was a Chinese tycoon named Che Feng, who helped Hunter Biden and his associates secure a deal involving a Chinese investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). Schweizer said the deal netted him about $20 million. Rosemont Seneca Partners, a U.S. investment and advisory firm Hunter Biden co-founded, became one of the shareholders of BHR, which was incorporated in Shanghai in 2013. Hunter gained an unpaid board seat on BHR as a result. In October 2019, George Mesires, Hunter Biden’s attorney, issued a statement saying that the younger Biden had decided to resign from his seat on the BHR board of directors.
Hunter Biden held a 10 percent stake in BHR but divested as of November last year, his lawyer told The New York Times. Che was business partners with Ma Jian, who was then-vice minister of China’s MSS and was reportedly headed the ministry’s No. 8 bureau, which targeted foreigners with its counterintelligence apparatus, according to the book. Ma was vice minister of state security from 2006 until January 2015, when he was placed under Party investigation for corruption, amid a sweeping anti-corruption campaign initiated by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2012. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2018, after being found guilty of accepting bribes, insider trading, and making “coercive” business deals.
Before his political downfall, Ma was a key member of a political faction loyal to former Chinese regime leader Jiang Zemin. The so-called Jiang faction is known for opposing Xi’s leadership. Che, who is also the son-in-law of Dai Xianlong, the former governor of China’s central bank, was also named in the 2017 Paradise Papers for making about $14.6 million in preferred stocks through his offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands between 2009 and 2013. According to Chinese media, Che was placed under investigation in June 2015. “[Che] would fade from the [BHR] deal after both he and Ma were arrested and charged with money laundering and bribery, respectively. But the partnership between Hunter and Chinese officials was off and running,” according to his book.
“It’s a doomsday machine, it’s the atomic bomb, everyone gets wiped out — that’s the key.”
• Jack Dorsey Lashes Out At Twitter Board As Elon Musk Tries To Buy Company (DW)
Former Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey slammed the company’s board of directors in a tweet over the weekend which comes as entrepreneur Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, offered $43 billion to buy the company outright last week. Dorsey was responding to the following tweet when he made his remark, “If look into the history of Twitter board, it’s intriguing as I was a witness on its early beginnings, mired in plots and coups, and particularly amongst Twitter’s founding members. I wish if it could be made into a Hollywood thriller one day.” Dorsey responded, “It’s consistently been the dysfunction of the company.”
Dorsey also said “big facts” in response to the following statement from venture capitalist Fred Destin: “What I do know for sure is that this old Silicon Valley proverb is grounded in age-old wisdom that still applies today: Good boards don’t create good companies, but a bad board will kill a company every time.” When later asked if he was allowed to speak like this publicly given the fact that he is still on the company’s board, Dorsey responded, “No.” Twitter has attempted to stop Musk from taking over the company by adopting a so-called “poison pill” that effectively allows all shareholders, except those trying to buy out the company, to purchase newly offered shares at a discounted price.
Musk would have to purchase the new shares at a higher price, which could end up being too much for him to afford, if he wanted to take over the company. Despite throwing a massive roadblock in Musk’s way, the adoption of the poison pill would not bar Musk from being able to buy the company, it would only make it harder. “A poison pill is a way to stave off someone until you can get a higher price. It makes it outrageously expensive for the person to buy it,” said Charles Elson, the founding director of the University of Delaware’s Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance. “It’s a doomsday machine, it’s the atomic bomb, everyone gets wiped out — that’s the key.”
"This is abysmal performance!" – Mr. Wonderful slams Twitter's lack of fulfilment to shareholders pic.twitter.com/JszVTONczt
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2022) April 19, 2022
Still can’t see him lose.
• Macron Should Prepare For A Brutal Shock After Latest Polls (Exp.)
In 2017, Macron turned a comfortable second-round victory over Le Pen into an electoral route once he bested her on economic policy during their candidates’ debate. Five years ago, Macron was the pro-change candidate and his televised mastery of policy detail, in concert with his seemingly non-ideological, moderate prescriptions for French economic ills, ended Le Pen’s slim hopes. Ironically, perhaps, it is Macron’s stewardship of the economy that yet could see Le Pen victorious. Macron is seen by many as “the president of the rich,” and most say his economic reforms favour the affluent to the neglect of those on modest incomes. Hence, Le Pen’s healthy leads on issues such as inflation, jobs, and the economy. If most voters prioritise these issues when casting their ballots, Macron will be lucky to eke out a victory.
In a different political climate, Macron could have coasted home upon the support of those who care most about health care, climate change, education, and, of course, Ukraine. Unfortunately for Macron, only health policy matters a great deal to a good number of voters. Instead, a Macron victory will mirror Biden’s 2020 election over Donald Trump in one crucial aspect. It will be more about his opponent’s perceived failings than his own qualities as a candidate and officeholder. Just as most Biden voters cast a negative ballot – their vote was more against Trump than for Biden, himself – our poll finds that more Macron voters will be voting against Le Pen’s “far right” image than for Macron. And, there are certainly enough anti-Le Pen voters across France to hand Macron a second term. He may be the latest beneficiary of the cordon sanitaire, the convention that those on the moderate Left and the moderate Right vote for whichever mainstream candidate prevents the far-right candidate from winning.
Her last name will seal her loss.
• EU Uses 18 Year Old Embezzlement Charges to Derail Le Pen Presidential Bid (SN)
Presumably as part of a deliberate effort to derail her presidential chances, the European Union has exhumed 18-year-old embezzlement charges against Marine Le Pen. “The EU’s anti-fraud body has accused French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and associates of embezzling around 600,000 euros during their time as MEPs,” reports AFP. The National Rally leader is personally accused of embezzling “around 137,000 euros ($150,000) worth of public money from the Strasbourg parliament when she was an MEP between 2004 and 2017.” Le Pen’s lawyer Rodolphe Bosselut dismissed the charges, adding that the “timing” of them was suspicious. Noting that the report relates to “old facts more than ten years old,” Bosselut highlighted how Le Pen “has not been summoned by any French judicial authority” to answer the charges.
“I’m surprised by the timing of such a strong disclosure and the instrumentalisation,” said Bosselut. The EU has chosen to resurrect the old claims just days before the final round of the French presidential election, in which Le Pen will face off against incumbent Emmanuel Macron. Although still a long shot, recent polls had shown Le Pen closing the gap on Macron, causing consternation amongst globalist technocrats. Given the context, the EU dragging up old charges is clearly an act of election interference intended to tarnish Le Pen before this weekend’s vote. As we previously highlighted, after Hungary’s Viktor Orban won re-election in a landslide, the EU responded by slapping sanctions on the country as a form of punishment for the electorate exercising their democratic will.
“After all, they were ‘just doing their job’ – and they would not want to feel harassed or burdened, would they?”
• From Rachel Carson to Monsanto: The Silence of Spring (OffG)
In 2016, Rosemary Mason wrote an open letter to European Chemicals Agency Executive Director Geert Dancet: Open Letter to the ECHA about Scientific Fraud and Ecocide. More of an in-depth report than a letter, it can be accessed on the academia.edu site. In it, she explained how current EU legislation was originally set up to protect the pesticides industry and Monsanto and other agrochemical corporations helped the EU design the regulatory systems for their own products. She also drew Dancet’s attention to the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology and how, in 2016 Volume 46, Monsanto commissioned five reviews published in a supplement to the journal. Monsanto also funded them. Mason argues the aim was to cast serious doubts about the adverse effects of glyphosate by using junk science. Straight out of the Big Tobacco playbook.
Mason told Dancet: CEO Hugh Grant and the US EPA knew that glyphosate caused all of these problems. The corporation concealed the carcinogenic effects of PCBs on humans and animals for seven years. They have no plans to protect you and your families from the tsunami of sickness that is affecting us all in the UK and the US.” Meanwhile, on the US Right to Know site, the article Roundup Cancer Cases – Key Documents and Analysis sets out just why more than 100,000 cancer sufferers are attempting to hold Monsanto to account in US courts. In a just (and sane) world, CEOs would be held personally responsible for the products they peddle and earn millions from. But no doubt they would do their utmost to dodge culpability. After all, they were ‘just doing their job’ – and they would not want to feel harassed or burdened, would they?
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