Aug 152022
 
 August 15, 2022  Posted by at 8:39 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Odilon Redon Street in Samois 1888

 

The Second Coming of the Heartland (Escobar)
Ukraine To Target Russian Soldiers At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (G.)
EU Ramps Up Exports To Russia (RT)
Sanctions Are ‘Wrong To The Core’ – Hungarian Parliament Leader (RT)
Gazprom Has Increased Gas Supply To Hungary (G.)
Ukraine To Legalize Guns Soon – Minister (RT)
US Fumes Over India’s Role In Transporting Banned Russian Oil – Reuters (RT)
A Deeper Dive Into the CDC Reversal (Tucker)
Trump And His Family Watched FBI Raid on CCTV (CB)
FBI Took Documents Protected By Attorney-Client Privilege From Mar-a-Lago (CB)
Rand Paul Calls To Repeal Espionage Act Following Mar-a-Lago Raid (JTN)
House GOP To Issue Scathing Report About Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal (CNN)
Atlantic Op-ed Claims Catholic Rosary Has Become ‘An Extremist Symbol’ (Fox)
South America’s ‘Lithium Fields’ And The Dark Side Of Our Electric Future (EN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoax

 

 

Schiff

 

 

 

 

Irish farmer

 

 

 

 

“This unelected gaggle of insufferable mediocrities – from von der Leyden and Borrell to that piece of Norwegian wood Stoltenberg..”

The Second Coming of the Heartland (Escobar)

[..] the inestimable Alastair Crooke has illustrated the death of Eurocentrism alluding to Lewis Carroll and Yeats: only through the looking glass we can see the full contours of the tawdry spectacle of narcissistic self-obsession and self-justification offered by “the worst”, still so “full of passionate intensity”, as depicted by Yeats. And yet, unlike Yeats, the best now do not “lack all conviction”. They may be few, ostracized by cancel culture, but they do see the “rough beast, its hour come out at last, slouching towards…” Brussels (not Jerusalem) “to be born”. This unelected gaggle of insufferable mediocrities – from von der Leyden and Borrell to that piece of Norwegian wood Stoltenberg – may dream they live in the pre-1914 era, when Europe was at the political center.

Yet now not only “the center cannot hold” (Yeats) but Eurocrat-infested Europe has been definitely engulfed by the maelstrom, an irrelevant political backwater seriously flirting with reversion to 12th century status. The physical aspects of the Fall – austerity, inflation, no hot showers, freezing to death to support neo-Nazis in Kiev – has been preceded, and no Christianized imagery need apply, by the fires of sulphur and brimstone of a Spiritual Fall. The transatlantic masters of those parrots posing as “elites” could never come up with any idea to sell to the Global South centered on harmony and much less “community”. What they sell, via their Unanimous Narrative, actually their take on “We Are the World”, is variations of “you will own nothing and be happy”. Worse: you will have to pay for it – dearly.

And you have no right to dream of any transcendence – irrespective if you’re a follower of Rumi, the Tao, shamanism or Prophet Muhammad. The most visible shock troops of this reductionist Western neo-nihilism – obscured by the fog of “equality”, “human rights” and “democracy” – are the thugs being swiftly denazified in Ukraine, sporting their tattoos and pentagrams. The Collective West Self-Justification Show staged to obliterate its ritualized suicide offers no hint of transcending sacrifice implied in a ceremonial seppuku. All they do is to wallow in the adamant refusal to admit they could be seriously mistaken. How would anyone dare to deride the set of “values” derived from the Enlightenment? If you don’t prostrate yourself in front of this glittering cultural altar, you’re just a barbarian set to be slandered, law-fared, canceled, persecuted, sanctioned and – HIMARS to the rescue – bombed.

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Nothing new.

Ukraine To Target Russian Soldiers At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (G.)

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said his forces will target Russian soldiers who shoot at or from Europe’s largest nuclear power station, amid warnings that the Kremlin may falsely claim Kyiv has directly struck the critical site. Zelenskiy said anyone giving orders for attacks on the site or nearby towns and cities should face trial by an international court, as concern about the safety of the nuclear site remained high. “Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the plant, or shoots using the plant as cover, must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army,” Zelenskiy said in a video address on Saturday night.


He called for new sanctions against Russia that would “necessarily block the Russian nuclear industry”, and he argued that “absolutely all officials of the terrorist state, as well as those who help them in this blackmail operation with the nuclear power plant, must be tried by an international court.” Russian troops captured the station – the biggest nuclear plant in Europe, responsible for up to 20% of Ukraine’s energy needs – early in the war. Two of its six reactors are currently operating and Ukraine has said Russia is trying to reconnect the power plant to occupied Crimea and shut off electricity supply to towns held by Kyiv.

German reporter

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But but sanctions?!

EU Ramps Up Exports To Russia (RT)

EU exports to Russia surged by 18% in June from the previous month, reaching €4.45 billion ($4.57 billion), foreign trade data from the statistics agency Eurostat shows. This was the second consecutive month that exports to Russia rose, following the April low of just €2.78 billion. However, the value of goods shipped to Russia remains well below the June 2021 figure of €7.21 billion, as some 28% of EU exports to Russia remain under Ukraine-related sanctions. In response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Brussels banned the export to Russia from the EU of airplanes, bearings, dual-use technology, luxury goods, and other products. These restrictions delivered an instant blow to the bloc’s exports to Russia, one of its largest trading partners in previous years.

Nevertheless, industrial equipment retained its position as the largest EU export to Russia, with June having seen shipments worth €1.12 billion, up 21% from May. The supply of medicines also increased, growing by 6% to €791 million over the previous month and surpassing last year’s figures by 31.5%. Medicine is now the second-largest EU export to Russia. The bloc’s exports of perfumes and cosmetics, excluding luxury goods that exceed €300 per single item, rose in June by 38% to €108 million. Shipments of plastics and plastic products grew by 16% to €234 million, while deliveries of optical, measuring, control, medical devices and instruments and electrical equipment and components also jumped. However, exports in all of these categories remain well below last year’s levels.

Germany remains the largest EU exporter to Russia, with €1.16 billion worth of goods shipped in June, a 5.4% increase against May. Poland nearly doubled its shipments to Russia against April-May to €395 million, while exports from the Baltic states increased by 34% month-on-month, to €481 million. Due to sanctions, the export of aircraft and aircraft components from Europe to Russia, which approached €3 billion in 2021, has dropped to zero since April 2022. Deliveries of cars and auto parts fell by more than ten times in annual terms and amounted to only €62 million in June.

Russia stopped publishing trade statistics shortly after the operation in Ukraine began. However, according to a report from the Bank of Russia in late July, citing data from Russia’s trading partners, the country’s overall imports of goods and services fell 22% in the second quarter of the year from the same time in 2021. Moscow repeatedly said that it will be able to overcome the impact of sanctions on imports, and that measures will be taken to substitute any missing goods with ones produced at home or obtained from other sources, such as China, Turkey and India. In a draft of the directive on monetary policy published earlier this week, Russia’s central bank predicted that despite the political pressure, imports would gradually recover.

“The pace of this recovery will be determined by the emergence of new financing and insurance mechanisms, the construction of new logistics routes and the formation of new trade relations. The mechanism of parallel imports, launched at the end of March, will also contribute to the growth of imports,” the regulator stated, as cited by the news agency RBC.

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Hungary says it; the rest do it secretly.

Sanctions Are ‘Wrong To The Core’ – Hungarian Parliament Leader (RT)

Hungarian National Assembly Speaker Laszlo Kover has condemned the EU’s economic sanctions on Russia as “wrong to the core,”predicting economic devastation as a result. Kover, a long-time critic of the EU, added that Hungary’s success depends on cooperation with both East and West. Speaking in the Hungarian town of Bugac on Saturday, Kover used a Hungarian proverb to describe the EU’s decision to impose massive economic sanctions on Russia while still relying on its energy exports. “Brussels politicians swung their legs without a horse under them,” he told attendees of the Kurultaj festival, an annual event celebrating Eurasian and Turkic steppe-nomadic horse culture. Kover added that the sanctions – imposed in seven successive rounds since Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February – are “wrong to the core,” and will result in economic ruin for Europe.

Kover is a member of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, and Orban himself has expressed a similar view on Brussels’ sanctions policy. In a speech last month, Orban bluntly assessed that “the sanctions are not destabilizing Moscow” as intended. Instead, he remarked, “Europe is in trouble.” The EU, which depends on Russia for around 40% of its gas and a third of its oil, is facing soaring energy costs and record inflation, having imposed a partial ban on Russian oil and announced a phased reduction of Russian gas imports. With multiple EU states imposing power rationing and the situation expected to worsen as winter sets in, Hungary has managed to carve out an exemption from the oil embargo, and has been in talks with Moscow to increase its gas purchases from Russia.

This stance has made Hungary an outlier in the EU, as has Orban’s insistence that NATO’s policy of arming Ukraine against Russia is a lost cause. The Hungarian premier responded to critics earlier this month by stating that “Brussels is not our boss,” and that the “independent, sovereign Hungarian nation”would work to “prevent” EU policies that aren’t in its national interest. As an EU member, Hungary is nevertheless party to most of Brussels’ sanctions on Russia. Likewise as a NATO country, Hungary would be bound to side with the US-led alliance if it became involved in open war with Russia. In his speech on Saturday, Kover described Hungary’s history and geography as making the country a “bridge” between East and West. “When the East and the West confronted each other, it only brought decline,” he said. “But if they cooperated, it brought Hungary a chance to rise.”

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“It is the only EU member state to have categorically ruled out acting on a plan to cut gas consumption by 15%..”

Gazprom Has Increased Gas Supply To Hungary (G.)

Gazprom has ramped up flows to Hungary through the TurkStream pipeline that transports gas via Bulgaria and Serbia, a Hungarian foreign ministry official has said. The Russian state-owned company started delivering more gas than it was contractually obliged to on Friday, Menczer Tamás, an official in Hungary’s ministry of foreign affairs and trade, wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday. By the end of August, Gazprom would supply Hungary with an addition 2.6m cubic metres a day, said Menczer, a member of Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party. TurkStream, which runs through the Black Sea, is called Balkan Stream in Bulgaria, where the pipeline enters EU territory. While Russia has stopped gas deliveries to Bulgaria, an EU member, Sofia continues to transit Russian gas to Serbia and Hungary.

Three weeks ago Hungary’s foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó, travelled to Moscow to discuss buying an additional 700m cubic metres of gas, becoming the only top official from an EU member state to visit Russia since late February, bar the Austrian chancellor, Karl Nehammer, who made a trip in April. Hungary, which is about 85% dependent on Russian gas, has consistently opposed the idea of any EU sanctions on Russian gas imports, and Orbán, the prime minister, has also lobbied hard to secure an exemption from EU sanctions on Russian crude oil imports. It is the only EU member state to have categorically ruled out acting on a plan to cut gas consumption by 15% from August this year until March 2023.

In Germany, which is also reliant on Russian gas imports, the economic ministry announced on Saturday night that the country needed to reduce its gas consumption by 20% to help the EU meet its 15% reduction target. As a first step, the government moved to lower the mandatory minimum temperature in offices in the private and public sector by one degree to 19C. The heating of private swimming pools, as well as lighting up buildings or monuments “for purely aesthetic purposes”, will be banned. Outdoor advertising signs are to be switched off from 10pm until 6am.

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They’re going to shoot each other.

Ukraine To Legalize Guns Soon – Minister (RT)

Ukraine will adopt a law legalizing firearms in the near future, amid the nation’s ongoing armed conflict with Russia, Internal Affairs Minister Denis Monastirsky told local media on Saturday. According to Monastirsky, the Ukrainian parliament may allow citizens to buy handguns and other weapons to protect their homes. While stating that he believes people should be able to do so, he said the Internal Affairs Ministry is against granting people the right to carry guns in public. “We are opposed to carrying weapons freely in public places, because we believe that the risks to public safety outweigh the benefits,” he stated, adding that the ministry has been working with Ukrainian MPs on the issue, and that a law could be adopted soon.

“[It] has been approved in the first reading and is now being prepared for the second one. I think that it would be submitted to the Parliament for consideration in the near future.” A bill on gun control that was approved by the Ukrainian parliament in late February, shortly before Moscow launched its military operation, allows citizens to buy and store at home short-barreled firearms, as well as using them at shooting ranges. In March, Monastirsky revealed that the Ukrainian authorities had distributed “tens of thousands” of assault rifles, usually reserved for the trained personnel, among civilians, in a move to turn the public into a resistance force against Russian troops.

At the time, Kiev also announced it would set free combat-experienced felons who agree to take up arms and fight against the Russian Army. According to media reports, on February 24 alone – the day Russia began the attack – the Kiev authorities handed out at least 10,000 automatic rifles among residents. In July, Viktor Andrusov, a former adviser to Monastirsky, announced that Ukrainians could gain the right to carry pistols for self-defense as early as next year. He also claimed, citing an unspecified poll, that 70% of Ukrainians support the move. Even before full-scale hostilities between Russia and Ukraine broke out, the number of unregistered firearms in Ukraine was estimated at between 3 and 5 million.

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“..that’s the way war works, it works in strange ways..”

US Fumes Over India’s Role In Transporting Banned Russian Oil – Reuters (RT)

Washington has approached New Delhi with queries about Russian oil products that were allegedly shipped to the US from India, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Michael Patra. According to Patra, the US Treasury informed the country’s authorities that an Indian vessel allegedly picked up oil from a Russian tanker on the high seas and delivered it to a port in the state of Gujarat on the country’s west coast, where the oil was processed and then shipped to New York. “You know that there are sanctions against people who are buying Russian oil, and this was reported to us by the US Treasury… It turns out, an Indian ship met a Russian tanker in mid-seas, picked up oil in the mid-seas, came to a port in Gujarat, it was processed in that port and converted into a distillate which actually goes into making single-use plastic.


“The refined output was put back on that ship and it set sail without a destination. In the mid-seas it received the destination so it reached its course, went to New York,” Patra said at an event in Odisha celebrating 75 years of Indian independence. The official did not reveal the name of the ship in question, nor provide any other details on the matter, but said “that’s the way war works, it works in strange ways.” The US banned Russian oil and oil products from entering the country earlier this year, as part of sanctions aimed at Russia in connection with the situation in Ukraine. India has abstained from sanctioning Moscow and, while prior to this year it rarely bought Russian oil, has stepped up purchases tenfold since March, taking advantage of the discount Moscow has offered. According to Bloomberg, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the South Asian nation’s second-biggest supplier in June, second only to Iraq.

https://www.rt.com/business/560800-india-us-russian-oil-products/ Read more …

“Meanwhile, as of this writing, the blasted US government still will not allow unvaccinated travelers across its borders!”

They’ll keep that up till after the US Open, just to spite Djokovic.

A Deeper Dive Into the CDC Reversal (Tucker)

It would have been fascinating to be a fly on the wall in the brainstorming sessions that led to this little treatise. The wording was chosen very carefully, not to say anything false outright, much less admit any errors of the past, but to imply that it was only possible to say these things now. “As SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, continues to circulate globally, high levels of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools have substantially reduced the risk for medically significant COVID-19 illness (severe acute illness and post–COVID-19 conditions) and associated hospitalization and death. These circumstances now allow public health efforts to minimize the individual and societal health impacts of COVID-19 by focusing on sustainable measures to further reduce medically significant illness as well as to minimize strain on the health care system, while reducing barriers to social, educational, and economic activity.“

In English: everyone can pretty much go back to normal. Focus on illness that is medically significant. Stop worrying about positive cases because nothing is going to stop them. Think about the bigger picture of overall social health. End the compulsion. Thank you. It’s only two and a half years late. What about mass testing? Forget it: “All persons should seek testing for active infection when they are symptomatic or if they have a known or suspected exposure to someone with COVID-19.” Oh. What about the magic of track and trace? “CDC now recommends case investigation and contact tracing only in health care settings and certain high-risk congregate settings.” Oh. What about the unvaccinated who were so demonized throughout the last year?

“CDC’s COVID-19 prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur, though they are generally mild, and persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection.” Remember when 40% of the members of the black community in New York City who refused the jab were not allowed into restaurants, bars, libraries, museums, or theaters? Now, no one wants to talk about that. Also, universities, colleges, the military, and so on – which still have mandates in place – do you hear this? Everything you have done to hate on people, dehumanize people, segregate people, humiliate others as unclean, fire people and destroy lives, now stands in disrepute.

Meanwhile, as of this writing, the blasted US government still will not allow unvaccinated travelers across its borders! Not one word of the CDC’s turgid treatise was untrue back in the Spring of 2020. There was always “infection-induced immunity,” though Fauci and Co. constantly pretended otherwise. It was always a terrible idea to introduce “barriers to social, educational, and economic activity.” The vaccines never promised in their authorization to stop infection and spread, even though all official statements of the CDC claimed otherwise, repeatedly and often. You might also wonder how the great reversal treats masking. On this subject, there is no backing off. After all, the Biden administration still has an appeal in process to reverse the court decision that the mask mandate was illegal all along. “At the high COVID-19 Community Level,” the CDC adds, “additional recommendations focus on all persons wearing masks indoors in public and further increasing protection to populations at high risk.”

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“Neither he nor any of his family have publicly said they were able to watch the raid as it unfolded.”

Trump And His Family Watched FBI Raid on CCTV (CB)

One of former President Donald Trump’s attorneys has revealed new details regarding the raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., early last week. Lawyer Christina Bobb said that the former president and many family members watched the FBI during “the whole” raid, meaning that they likely would have been able to see if agents planted any evidence, as Trump suggested last week. “It’s kind of funny. I think the folks in New York, President Trump and his family, probably had a better view than I did because they had the CCTV, they were able to watch,” Bobb told the streaming network Real America’s Voice, according to the New York Post. “I was, you know, I was stuck in the parking lot there to you know, collect paper and answer questions,” she added.

“But they were actually able to see the whole thing. So they actually have a better idea of what took place inside.” Bobb said that the FBI had initially instructed Trump’s staff and his attorneys to shut off the closed circuit TV security system, but they refused to do so and allowed it to remain in operation the entire raid. Since last Monday’s raid, Trump has repeatedly said that it is possible that the FBI could have planted evidence in order to give Joe Biden’s Justice Department something to charge him with since, as others have speculated, the partisan Jan. 6 Committee hearings have yet to produce anything significant.

“The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago,” Trump wrote on Truth Social last week, The Post noted. “Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, ‘planting.’ Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out? Obama and Clinton were never ‘raided,’ despite big disputes!” he added. Trump was physically in New York City when the raid took place. Neither he nor any of his family have publicly said they were able to watch the raid as it unfolded.

DeSantis

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“I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you! ”

FBI Took Documents Protected By Attorney-Client Privilege From Mar-a-Lago (CB)

The FBI grabbed documents that were protected by attorney-client privilege, and possibly executive privilege, during its raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. The Department of Justice opposed the request of the former president’s attorneys to appoint a special master to review the records, a source said to Fox News exclusively. Sources familiar with the investigation told Fox News Saturday that the former president’s team was informed that boxes labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33, and a set of documents—all seen on the final page of the FBI’s property receipt —contained information covered by attorney-client privilege.

The FBI seized classified records from Trump’s Palm Beach home during its unprecedented Monday morning raid, including some marked as top secret. But the former president is disputing the classification, saying the records have been declassified. “Sources told Fox News that some records could be covered by executive privilege, which gives the president of the United States and other officials within the executive branch the authority to withhold certain sensitive forms of advice and consultation between the president and senior advisors,” Fox News said. The former president responded to the news on his truth Social account on Sunday, saying “Oh great! It has just been learned that the FBI, in its now famous raid of Mar-a-Lago, took boxes of privileged “attorney-client” material, and also “executive” privileged material, which they knowingly should not have taken. By copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be immediately returned to the location from which they were taken. Thank you!

Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart unsealed the warrant on Friday after a request from both the Department of Justice and the former president. The warrant said that the search be done “on or before August 19, 2022,” and “in the daytime 6:00 am. to 10:00 p.m.” “The locations to be searched include the ‘45 Office,’ all storage rooms, and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by FPOTUS and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate,” it said. The warrant gave the FBI the authority to seize “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed” in violation of U.S. Code.

[..] Trump noted on his Truth Social platform on Friday that he, as president, had already declassified the documents that were confiscated by agents. “Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to “seize” anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request,” the former president posted. “They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.” he continued.

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He doesn’t defend Trump, he attacks that stupid Act. But all of DC thinks: it might come in handy some time.

Rand Paul Calls To Repeal Espionage Act Following Mar-a-Lago Raid (JTN)

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul called for the Espionage Act to be repealed as the Department of Justice is investigating whether former President Donald Trump mishandled classified materials under the 1917 law. “The espionage act was abused from the beginning to jail dissenters of WWI. It is long past time to repeal this egregious affront to the 1st Amendment,” Paul tweeted on Saturday, including a link to a 2019 article titled, “Repeal the Espionage Act” by Jacob G. Hornberger at the Future of Freedom Foundation. The article described the Espionage Act as a “tyrannical law” that was enacted during World War I “not to punish people for spying but rather for criticizing the draft and the war.”


Hornberger specifically defended WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, who is facing prosecution under the Espionage Act for releasing what Hornberger describes as “a mountain of evidence disclosing the inner workings and grave wrongdoing on the part of the U.S. national-security establishment.” Paul’s defense of the former president comes despite a tense relationship at times between the two. The FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida last week to try and find “physical documents with classification markings,” information about national defense, and “any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021,” according to a warrant from the agency.

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“The committee requested transcribed interviews with more than 30 administration officials, but the Biden administration refused to take part.”

House GOP To Issue Scathing Report About Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal (CNN)

At the height of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan there were only 36 State Department officials on the ground at the Kabul airport to process Afghans who were trying to evacuate, according to a soon-to-be released report from House Republicans, despite the department’s claims that they had surged resources to handle the crowds desperately trying to flee. This figure — which meant there was “roughly one consular officer for every 3,444 evacuees” — is one of several previously undisclosed details outlined in the highly critical report examining the chaotic US withdrawal last August.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans’ report, which is being published around one year after the country’s capital fell to the Taliban, reveals additional new details about the Biden administration’s failure to adequately plan for and execute the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The report, a final draft of which was obtained by CNN, also says the administration did not accurately portray the nature of the events on the ground and failed to put a plan in place to prevent American-trained Afghan commandos from being recruited by America’s adversaries.

“A lot of the Biden administration’s evacuation plans were done in the spring 2021 — some even before the president announced the withdrawal. And they were never updated despite the Taliban battlefield gains, despite the deteriorating security situation, and despite the revised intelligence assessments,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. President Joe Biden announced in mid-April 2021 that the US would withdraw all remaining troops from Afghanistan by September 11 of that year — the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that launched America’s war there. While Biden long wanted to end US involvement in the Afghanistan war, he attributed the decision, in part, to the deal brokered with the Taliban by the Trump administration, which had a commitment to withdraw by May 1, 2021.

The House report found that it was not until mid-June 2021 that the US Embassy in Kabul held an Operational Planning Team (OPT) meeting with members of the US military and US diplomats focused on pre-planning for non-combatant evacuation operations (NEO). The meeting was described by one US military officer involved as “the first time” that the embassy began “looking at the possibility of NEO.” Because of the “complete lack of proper planning by the Biden administration” there were consequences: evacuation flights “were taking off at only about 50% of their capacity” five days into the NEO, the report says. The report references slow processing at the gates and mayhem outside the gates — a government evacuation process so chaotic and disorderly that even staffers for Vice President Kamala Harris and first lady Jill Biden were contacting outside groups to try to get people out, representatives for the groups told the committee.

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Is there a more peaceful symbol than a rosary?

Atlantic Op-ed Claims Catholic Rosary Has Become ‘An Extremist Symbol’ (Fox)

Atlantic contributor Daniel Panneton declared that the Catholic rosary has become a “symbol” of religious radicalism. The rosary is a string of beads or knots used by Catholics as they pray a sequence of prayers, but one writer warned they have taken on a far darker meaning in modern times. “Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or ‘rad trad’) Catholics,” Panneton claimed in the Sunday piece titled, “How the Rosary Became an Extremist Symbol.” He added, “On this extremist fringe, rosary beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture. These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal.”

Panneton slammed an entire online ecosystem for disseminating imagery featuring Christian warriors both historical and modern, suggesting that “social-media pages are saturated with images of rosaries draped over firearms, warriors in prayer, Deus Vult (‘God wills it’) crusader memes, and exhortations for men to rise up and become Church Militants.” He observed that rosary beads “provide an aide-mémoire for a sequence of devotional prayers, are a widely recognized symbol of Catholicism and a source of strength. And many take genuine sustenance from Catholic theology’s concept of the Church Militant and the tradition of regarding the rosary as a weapon against Satan.”

The Atlantic contributor gave a wide variety of examples of how the modern association between rosaries and fighting men has become marketable to a niche audience, noting that “radical-traditional Catholics sustain their own cottage industry of goods and services,” such as one store that “sells replicas of the rosaries issued to American soldiers during the First World War as ‘combat rosaries.'” The Swiss Guard, who have been protecting the Vatican in their iconic 16th-century armor and uniforms for centuries, were also addressed, as Panneton recounted: “In 2016, the pontifical Swiss Guard accepted a donation of combat rosaries; during a ceremony at the Vatican, their commander described the gift as ‘the most powerful weapon that exists on the market.'”

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This is from Feb 2022, but I include it anyway, to show that the industry relies on not-yet existing tech to keep going. That’s always a very bad sign.

South America’s ‘Lithium Fields’ And The Dark Side Of Our Electric Future (EN)

Lithium extraction fields in South America have been captured by an aerial photographer in stunning high definition. But while the images may be breathtaking to look at, they represent the dark side of our swiftly electrifying world. Lithium represents a route out of our reliance on fossil fuel production. As the lightest known metal on the planet, it is now widely used in electric devices from mobile phones and laptops, to cars and aircraft. Lithium-ion batteries are most famous for powering electric vehicles, which are set to account for up to 60 per cent of new car sales by 2030. The battery of a Tesla Model S, for example, uses around 12 kg of lithium. These batteries are the key to lightweight, rechargeable power. As it stands, demand for lithium is unprecedented and many say it is crucial in order to transition to renewables. However, this doesn’t come without a cost – mining the chemical element can be harmful to the environment.

[..] Gleb Yushin, a professor at the School of Materials and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, US, argues that new battery technology needs to be developed using more common, environmentally-friendly materials. His paper is published in the journal Nature, alongside co-authors including Kostiantyn Turcheniuk. As reserves of lithium and cobalt will not meet future demand, suggested elements to focus on instead are iron and silicon. Researchers like Yushin are working on new battery alternatives that would replace lithium and cobalt (another harmful metal) with less toxic and more easily accessible materials.

As reserves of lithium and cobalt will not meet future demand, suggested elements to focus on instead are iron and silicon. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, iron flow batteries are also cheaper to manufacture, renewable energy veteran Rich Hossfeld told Bloomberg recently, in an article entitled ‘Iron battery breakthrough could eat lithium’s lunch’. “We call on materials scientists, engineers and funding agencies to prioritise the research and development of electrodes based on abundant elements,” maintains Yushin.“Otherwise, the roll-out of electric cars will stall within a decade.”

Lithium Fields’ in the Salar de Atacama salt flats in northern Chile. Tom Hegen

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Totally normal

 

 

Lucky chops

 

 

 

 

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Jun 152022
 


Claude Monet Meules 1890

 

Pope Francis: Russian War In Ukraine Was ‘Perhaps Provoked’ (Pol.eu)
Russia Tells Sievierodonetsk Defenders To Surrender (G.)
Economic Security is National Security (CTH)
Economic Security is National Security – The case for Trump (CTH)
Will Democratic Senators Endorse Biden In 2024? (DC)
Usual Midterm Indicators Very Unfavorable for Democrats (Gallup)
Biden’s Summit of No-Shows (Lawrence)
Children Are Being Infected With Up To Three Viruses At A Time (DM)
The Stock Market At The End Of The World (EdZ)
“Real Estate Tech” in Existential Crisis (WS)
Elon Musk Comes To Defense Of ‘Libs of TikTok’ Over Twitter Death Threats (NYP)
Twitter Responds To Death Threats Against ‘Libs of TikTok’ (JTN)
UK Asylum Flight To Rwanda Cancelled After 11th-hour ECHR Intervention (G.)
US And Partners Enter Pact To Secure Critical Minerals Like Lithium (R.)

 

 

“We didn’t do a good enough job explaining why my policies that caused the border crisis are Putin’s fault” ~ Biden

 

 

Tucker Kamala

 

 

“Joe Biden says he can’t remember a time when the American economy was stronger than it is today and I, for one, completely believe him.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s official: the pope is a heretic. What media does he read and watch? We said 1000 times that it was unprovoked. But no…

Pope Francis: Russian War In Ukraine Was ‘Perhaps Provoked’ (Pol.eu)

In an interview published Tuesday, Pope Francis said Russia’s war in Ukraine was “perhaps somehow either provoked or not prevented” — controversial remarks that will raise eyebrows internationally. He made the remarks during an interview with Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica conducted in mid-May but published Tuesday. “Someone may say to me at this point: but you are pro-Putin! No, I am not,” Francis said. “It would be simplistic and wrong to say such a thing. I am simply against reducing complexity to the distinction between good guys and bad guys, without reasoning about roots and interests, which are very complex.” The pope also recalled a conversation he had before the war with an unnamed head of state — a “wise man” — who told Francis he was concerned about NATO and Russia.


“He said, ‘They are barking at the gates of Russia. The situation could lead to war,’” the pope said. “That head of state was able to read the signs of what was happening.” The remarks will likely spark criticism as they echo Russia’s narrative that NATO expansion into former Soviet Union territory forced Moscow to invade Ukraine. Russia’s all-out assault, which began in late February, was launched unilaterally, leaving thousands dead. In the interview, the pontiff did criticize Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, pointing to the “brutality and ferocity” of the Russian troops, and emphasizing “the heroism of the Ukrainian people.” The pope’s new comments come a month after he said himself in an interview that NATO may have “perhaps facilitated” the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine by “barking” at Russia’s door.

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“stop their senseless resistance and lay down arms”

Russia Tells Sievierodonetsk Defenders To Surrender (G.)

Russia has told Ukrainian forces holed up in a chemical plant in the embattled eastern city of Sievierodonetsk to lay down their arms by early Wednesday. Ukraine says more than 500 civilians are trapped alongside soldiers inside Azot, a chemical factory where its forces have resisted weeks of Russian bombardment and assaults that have reduced much of Sievierodonetsk to ruins. Col Gen Mikhail Mizintsev, the officer who was in charge of the devastating siege of Mariupol, said fighters should “stop their senseless resistance and lay down arms” from 8am Moscow time (5am GMT).


The Russian army has shifted the bulk of its military efforts to capturing Sievierodonetsk in its attempt to take full control of Luhansk and Donetsk, collectively known as Donbas. Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk, told Ukrainian television on Tuesday that two more Russian battalion tactical groups had been moved into the area. The fight for Sievierodonetsk is turning into one of the war’s bloodiest battles and is seen as a potential turning point in Russia’s advances in Donbas.

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Two segments of the same -long- article by “sundance”.

Economic Security is National Security (CTH)

Donald Trump moved to face the challenge of China. A major shift in U.S. policy that is likely considered the biggest geopolitical shift in the last 75 years. Trump strategically began with Trade Authority 302 national security Steel and Aluminum tariffs at 25% and 10% not only toward China but targeted globally. The entire multinational system was stunned at the bold step with tariffs. But remember, before Trump went to Saudi Arabia, he held a meeting with Chairman Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago. The global trade world was shocked by the tariff announcement, but I’ll bet you a doughnut Chairman Xi was not. That February 2017 meeting, only one month after his inauguration, was President Trump graciously informing Chairman Xi, in the polite manner that respectful business people do, that a new era in the U.S-China relationship was about to begin.

New trade agreements, new terms and conditions were to be expected in the future. The tariff announcement hit Wall Street hard, but not Beijing – who knew it was likely. U.S. financial pundits proclaimed the sky was surely falling. These tariffs would cause prices to skyrocket, the global order of all things around trade was under attack by Trump. They waxed and shouted about supply chains being complicated and intertwined amid the modern manufacturing era that was too complex for President Trump to understand with such a heavy handed tariff hammer. Remember all of that? Remember how cars were going to cost thousands more, and beer kegs would forever be lost because the orange man had just triggered steel and aluminum tariffs?

Did any of that happen? No. Of course it didn’t. Actually, the opposite was true and no one could even fathom it. Communist China first responded by subsidizing all of their industries targeted by the tariffs with free energy and raw materials, etc. China triggered an immediate reaction to lower their own prices to offset tariffs. Beijing did not want the heavy industries and factories to start back up again in the U.S, so they reacted with measures to negate the tariff impact. China’s economy started to feel the pressure and panda was not happy. Eventually, as the tariffs expanded beyond Steel and Aluminum to other specific segments and categories, China devalued their currency to lower costs even further for U.S. importers. The net result was something no one could have imagined. With lower prices, and increased dollar strength, we began importing all Chinese products at cheaper rates than before the tariffs were triggered. Yes, we began importing deflation. No one saw that coming…. but Trump did.

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Segment 2.

Economic Security is National Security – The case for Trump (CTH)

We don’t have to guess at whether Donald Trump can put together a program to ensure Economic Security is National Security. We don’t have to guess at whether Donald Trump can deliver on economic policy. We don’t have guess if Trump’s policy platform, proposals and initiatives would be successful. We have the experience of it. We have the results of it. We have felt the success of it. We also don’t need to guess at who is the best candidate to lead Making America Great Again, we already know who that is. There is no other 2024 Presidential Candidate, who I am aware of, who could possibly achieve what Donald John Trump has achieved, or who could even fathom contemplating how to achieve a quarter of what President Trump achieved.

Governor Ron DeSantis has a lot of really good skills and policies on the domestic front unique to his position in Florida; however, it is not a slight toward him to point out he has never expressed any larger economic proposal that would give any confidence in a national economic policy. Look at the sum total of it, and there’s so much more that could be outlined to what Donald Trump achieved and could yet still achieve, it’s not even a close question. And that my friends is exactly why Donald Trump is under relentless attack from both wings of the UniParty in DC. Additionally, it is clear the Wall Street Republicans are trying to position Ron DeSantis as an alternative to another Trump term.

Look carefully at the current advocates for DeSantis, Nikki Haley and/or Kristi Noem, and you will note every one of those early voices are attached to favorable Wall Street politics and multinational corporate advocacy. Look at what Donald J. Trump was able to achieve while he was under constant political attack. Just imagine what Trump 2.0 would deliver. They, the leftist Democrats and Wall Street Republicans, are yet again absolutely petrified of that.

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“..Biden’s “leadership on the world stage has been impressive.”

We Asked All 50 Democratic Senators If They Would Endorse Biden In 2024. Only 5 Said ‘Yes’

Will Democratic Senators Endorse Biden In 2024? (DC)

The Daily Caller contacted all 50 Senate Democrats repeatedly and asked if they would support President Joe Biden in his 2024 presidential bid. Five Senators said “Yes.” A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader and Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer responded to the Daily Caller with a one-word answer: “Yes.” Spokespeople for Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Jack Reed of Rhode Island responded in the same way: “Yes.” Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s spokesperson also said the senator would endorse Biden, noting, “Yes, Senator Booker supports President Biden for re-election should he run again in 2024.” Several members of the Democratic Party have recently cast doubt on Biden’s support for his presidential run in 2024 amid his desperate polling numbers.

This week, Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refused to answer if she will endorse Biden, saying “we’ll take a look at it” when the time comes. Democratic officials and voters also cited the poor state of the country and Biden’s age as reasons they are hesitant to be fully behind Biden now in an article from The New York Times. (RELATED: A Slew Of Democrats Are Quietly Hoping Biden Won’t Run In 2024) Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coon’s spokesperson answered the Daily Caller’s inquiry with a reference to the senator’s recent comments about Biden’s 2024 run. “It’s my understanding that the president intends to seek a second term, and I understand why,” Coons said in a Monday interview, adding that Biden’s “leadership on the world stage has been impressive.”

Coons cited Biden’s performance in foreign policy, the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, Biden’s vow to tackle health care costs and his “clear plans” on how to handle inflation as reasons for why Biden deserves support. “I can understand why he might think running for reelection is a good idea,” Coons concluded in the interview. Coons’ spokesperson then confirmed to the Daily Caller that the senator would endorse Biden in 2024. “Yes, If President Biden runs, he’ll support him,” he said. The 45 other Democratic Senators did not respond to several inquiries form the Daily Caller if they would endorse Biden in 2024.

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Historic defeat? Or will mail-in ballots come to the rescue?

Usual Midterm Indicators Very Unfavorable for Democrats (Gallup)

With less than five months to go before voters elect all members of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate, the current Democratic congressional majority is facing an extremely unfavorable election environment. The party of the president typically loses U.S. House seats in midterm elections — an average of 23 since 1974. However, 2022 is not shaping up to be an average year. Rather, as of May, Gallup finds presidential job approval and three other key national mood indicators well below the historical averages measured in past midterm election years. On their own, those numbers would all predict a greater-than-average loss of seats for the Democratic Party this fall.

Gallup’s latest data, from a May 2-22 survey, finds 41% of Americans approving of the job President Joe Biden is doing, 18% approving of the job Congress is doing, 16% satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., and a 32-percentage-point deficit in positive (14%) versus negative (46%) ratings of current economic conditions. Each of those metrics is at least 10 points lower than the historical average at the time of past midterm elections, and most are on pace to be the worst of such readings. Midterm elections are widely seen as a referendum on the incumbent president, and this is justified by the high correspondence between overall job approval and seat loss for the president’s party. Given this, congressional seat losses for unpopular presidents’ parties have been above average historically, averaging 37 since 1946.

Biden’s current 41% approval rating puts him in the lower tier of all prior presidents’ job approval ratings taken just before past midterm elections. Biden currently has the same approval rating that Donald Trump did at the time of the 2018 elections, when the GOP lost 40 House seats, and similar to Ronald Reagan’s 42% in October 1982, before the Republicans lost 26 seats. Only one president, George W. Bush, had a lower rating than Biden does today, and his 38% rating in November 2006 was associated with a 30-seat loss.

Biden’s fellow Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama lost an even larger number of House seats in 1994 and 2010, respectively, with slightly higher approval ratings than Biden has now. Those steeper losses reflect the relatively large number of House seats held by Democrats going into those elections in addition to the president’s unpopularity. The Democratic Party lost fewer seats in Obama’s second midterm in 2014 when Obama was no more popular than in his first midterm four years earlier, but Democrats were defending fewer seats.

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Historic shift.

Biden’s Summit of No-Shows (Lawrence)

I tip my cap, as we all should, to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico. And to Presidents Luis Arce of Bolivia, Xiaomara Castro of Honduras, Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala and Nayib Bukele of El Savador. They all pointedly declined to join President Joe Biden at his Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles last week, joining to protest Biden’s refusal to invite Miguel Díaz–Canel, Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega, the presidents of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua respectively. Add it up. Eight of the region’s 33 nations were absent when Biden convened the summit “to demonstrate the resurgence of U.S. leadership in the region,” as the government-supervised New York Times forlornly put it. Don’t they ever get tired of these long-exhausted phrases over on Eighth Avenue?

“There can be no Americas summit if all the countries of the American continent do not participate,” López Obrador explained at a press conference announcing his decision. “Or there can be, but we believe that means continuing with the politics of old, of interventionism, of a lack of respect for the nations and their people.” Well said, Señor Presidente. Speaking more bluntly, Evo Morales, Bolivia’s president until the U.S. cultivated a coup that forced him into exile three years ago, called the summit “stillborn.” There is nothing like clear, plain language to get a clear, plain point across. This, the ninth such summit since Bill Clinton convened the first in Miami in 1994, was far more than Biden’s latest flop on the public relations side. In my read it is another sign among many that Washington is losing its hold over its southern neighbors.

This could prove an historic shift, reversing more than a century of usually coercive influence. Dollying out still further, the administration’s failure in Los Angeles last week signals a startlingly swift decline in American power everywhere other than Western Europe and among longtime allies such as Japan and South Korea. Biden drastically misread his moment with his “America is back” bit as he took office 18 months ago. Having overplayed his hand, he is now destined to preside over a significant inflection point in the late-phase imperium’s crumbling hegemony. It is exactly what Joe “Not on my watch” Biden wanted most to avoid.

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Immune systems need training.

Children Are Being Infected With Up To Three Viruses At A Time (DM)

Children are turning up in doctors’ clinics infected with as many as three different types of viruses, in what experts believe is the result of their immune systems being weakened from two years of COVID lockdowns and mask-wearing. Medical staff have come to expect a surge in cases of flu and severe colds during the winter. But they are reporting that there is not the usual downturn as summer approaches – and they suspect it could be due to the strict pandemic practices. Furthermore, some of common strains of the flu appear to have disappeared, flummoxing scientists. Thomas Murray, an infection-control expert and associate professor of pediatrics at Yale, told The Washington Post on Monday that his team was seeing children with combinations of seven common viruses – adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus, influenza and parainfluenza, as well as the coronavirus.

Some children were admitted with two viruses and a few with three, he said. ‘That’s not typical for any time of year and certainly not typical in May and June,’ he said. CDC data obtained by DailyMail.com showed lower overall levels of influenza infections among young children – but an abnormal surge starting several weeks ago during the beginning of the summer months, normally a dead period for respiratory infections. Other strange patterns have emerged. The rhinovirus, known as the common cold, is normally not severe enough to send people to hospital – but now it is. RSV normally tapers off in the warmer weather, as does the influenza, but they have not.

And the Yamagata strain of flu has not been seen since early 2020 – which researchers say could because it is extinct, or perhaps just dormant and waiting for the right moment to return. ‘It’s a massive natural experiment,’ said Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and chief science officer at the digital health platform eMed, told the Post.

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“they can legally just steal all our money?” and “Fuckfuckfuck” and “Bruh I was gonna exit today too RIP.”

The Stock Market At The End Of The World (EdZ)

Yesterday, as cryptocurrency prices crashed and many lost their shirts and asses due to overleveraging, Celsius Network, a loan platform for cryptocurrency, chose to pause all withdrawals, swaps, or transfers between accounts, citing “extreme market conditions.” To be clear, this means that billions of dollars of funds are being held hostage on a non-specific timeline by a company that several people have suggested may not have the liquidity to handle a full withdrawal of funds. It’s a bit like if you went to a bank and put money in there, but there was a rough day on the stock market, so now your debit card doesn’t work, and you can’t transfer money to anyone.

Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, also paused withdrawals of Bitcoin, citing a “stuck transaction,” a hold that lasted for three hours. In the last 48 hours, I’ve watched Bitcoin crumble from just under $25,000 on Monday to just over $21,000 as I write this – a number I’ll likely update multiple times before I finish writing this – and people are despairing. The Celsius Network subreddit includes some of the more depressing posts I’ve ever read, with users saying stuff like “they can legally just steal all our money?” and “Fuckfuckfuck” and “Bruh I was gonna exit today too RIP.” Crypto.com and BlockFi have both announced layoffs, and Coinbase retracted hundreds of job offers from people who had agreed to them, including at least one person who needed it for a visa.

What we are seeing is a connection between actions, consequences, ignorance and hubris. This crash – to whatever extent it continues – may end up damaging many millions more lives than the ones in 2017/2018 simply because more people have been exposed to crypto through hucksters and celebrities telling them this was the future. And just like the rest of the startup world, the crypto industry massively overhired to deal with the rush of new money and excitement in the industry, with clearly no strategy to prepare for the thing that crypto is best known for – crashing.

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Housing itself will follow, and mortgages.

“Real Estate Tech” in Existential Crisis (WS)

Here’s the problem with companies whose hype-and hoopla stocks have collapsed by 80% or 90%: They’re facing an existential crisis. They cannot raise more money. But their operations were never designed to make money in the first place. Their business model relied on burning cash, and the whole thing was designed from get-go to use home-made growth metrics to bamboozle investors into buying the stock and pump up the shares. Then the companies, based on their high share price, could issue more shares and raise more money, and feed their cash-burn machine. The plan was to fake it until they could make it.

But with their shares down 80% or 90%, they cannot fake it any longer, and they cannot sell more shares because no one wants them, and they’re going to run out of cash and won’t be able to cover their expenses, and then they cease to exist, and their shares will go to zero, unless they can get the cash-outflows under control, which means cost-cutting. And the fastest and most significant places to cut cost is staff and advertising. If they cannot cut their costs enough, and cannot get their expenses to be less than their revenues, they’ll eventually run out of money. And then that’s it. But if they can cut costs enough, and cut their staff and advertising and other things enough, so that costs come in line, their revenues may sag, or sag even more, and then they may be reporting declining revenues, or more rapidly declining revenues, and continued losses because revenues are now declining faster than expenses, and the whole thing turns into a classic mess.

There are hundreds of companies in this position that went public during the hype-and-hoopla era of money printing and interest rate repression, and they’re all fundamentally facing the same existential crisis, though each company has unique challenges, and in addition, all have to face their industry challenges.

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“A platform cannot be considered inclusive or fair if it is biased against half the country.”

Elon Musk Comes To Defense Of ‘Libs of TikTok’ Over Twitter Death Threats (NYP)

Elon Musk has come to the defense of the woman behind the controversial Twitter account “Libs of TikTok” after she tweeted that she was receiving death threats. Musk, the Tesla CEO who has committed to acquiring the social media site for $44 billion, tweeted: “Why?” after the “Libs of TikTok” creator — who was identified by The Washington Post as Chaya Raichik of Brooklyn, New York — tweeted on Monday she had “now received about a dozen death threats after radical leftists accused me of being a domestic terrorist extremist.” “Twitter has not removed any of the accounts of those who sent the threats,” she added. Musk then commented: “A platform cannot be considered inclusive or fair if it is biased against half the country.” The tech mogul has vowed to change Twitter’s content moderation policies once he takes the company private once the acquisition is complete.

Musk has said he intends to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, which was shut down after the events at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Raichik also tweeted that she was forced to relocate due to continuing death threats from other social media users. “Update: After the events of the past 2 days I’ve decided to move to a safer location until things calm down,” read a post from “Libs of TikTok” that was tweeted on Tuesday. “Thank you all for your kind words and support.” Raichik on Monday posted a screenshot of a message she received from another social media user who claimed to have sent her a pipe bomb “for literally supporting nazi bigots.” “Hi @FBI, I’m being threatened with a pipe bomb. Can you please look into this?” she tweeted in response.

Raichik tweeted that she received at least a dozen death threats from other social media users. Last week, Raichik was prevented from posting on her Twitter account after users protested a tweet thread about drag shows to which young children were invited. “Libs of TikTok” posts TikTok videos from liberals who often speak about gender identity and other hot-button issues that have become a staple of political and cultural debates. The account has amassed more than 1.2 million followers.

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But only after Musk commented.

Twitter Responds To Death Threats Against ‘Libs of TikTok’ (JTN)

Twitter suspended the accounts of users who sent death threats targeting the owner of the Libs of TikTok Twitter handle after Elon Musk criticized the company. Musk, who has been in discussions to buy Twitter, asked the company why it has not responded to the threats targeting Libs of TikTok, which reposts videos made by leftists. The Libs of TikTok account claimed on Monday to have “received about a dozen death threats after radical leftists accused me of being a domestic terrorist extremist.” The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz revealed in April that Chaya Raichik was behind the account, and Raichik told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson she was forced into hiding after Lorenz’s article.

Commentator Ian Miles Cheong responded to Musk questioning Twitter by criticizing the platform’s apparent bias against conservatives. “On a just platform, everyone would be treated equally. As it is, you can be banned for merely criticizing (not even threatening) woke progressives, but they can send conservatives death threats without any repercussions,” he wrote. “A platform cannot be considered inclusive or fair if it is biased against half the country,” Musk responded to Cheong. On Tuesday, Raichik thanked Musk and posted pictures captioned “How it started” with Musk’s comments and “How it’s going” with emails from Twitter notifying her about the threatening accounts being suspended.

Raichik seemingly had a sense of humor about the situation. Commenting on a tweet from the Daily Wire about Musk’s response to the threats, she said: “It could’ve been worse… I could have been misgendered.”

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The UK is immoral and amoral.

UK Asylum Flight To Rwanda Cancelled After 11th-hour ECHR Intervention (G.)

Boris Johnson’s plan to send an inaugural flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda has been abandoned after a dramatic 11th-hour ruling by the European court of human rights. Up to seven people who had come to the UK seeking refuge had been expected to be removed to the east African country an hour and a half before the flight was due to take off. But a ruling by the ECHR on one of the seven cases allowed lawyers for the other six to make successful last-minute applications. The decision is a significant and embarrassing blow for Boris Johnson and his home secretary, Priti Patel, who had promised to start sending thousands of asylum seekers 4,000 miles to the east African country in May.

It comes hours after the prime minister threatened to take the UK out of the ECHR and accused lawyers of aiding criminals exploiting refugees in the Channel. The legality of the Rwanda policy will be tested in a full court hearing next month. Responding to the decision, Patel said she was “disappointed” by the legal challenge, made pointed criticisms of the ECHR ruling and said that the policy will continue. “We will not be deterred from doing the right thing and delivering our plans to control our nation’s borders,” she said. “Our legal team are reviewing every decision made on this flight and preparation for the next flight begins now.” Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said that the government must take responsibility for the failed flight, and indicated that the government does not mind clashing with lawyers and the European courts.

“Ministers are pursuing a policy they know isn’t workable and that won’t tackle criminal gangs,” she wrote on Twitter last night. “But they still paid Rwanda £120m and hired a jet that hasn’t taken off because they just want a row and someone else to blame.” [..] The ECHR examined the case of a 54-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker who crossed the Channel in a boat. He claimed asylum in the UK last month citing danger to his life in Iraq. Five days later, he was served with a notice of intent indicating that the Home Office was considering deeming his asylum claim inadmissible and relocating him to Rwanda. A doctor at the detention centre issued a report saying that he may have been a victim of torture, it is understood.

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“You will need six times more lithium by 2050..”

aka the death of “Green”.

US And Partners Enter Pact To Secure Critical Minerals Like Lithium (R.)

The United States, Canada and other countries have established a new partnership aimed at securing the supply of critical minerals, which are essential for clean energy and other technologies,as global demand for them rises, the State Department said on Tuesday. Demand for the minerals, such as nickel, lithium and cobalt, is projected to expand significantly in the coming decades. Massive amounts of these minerals will be needed to meet the United States’ emissions reduction goals, Jose Fernandez, under secretary for economic growth, energy and the environment at the State Department, said in a telephone interview. “You will need six times more lithium by 2050 than you use today in order to meet the clean energy goals,” Fernandez said, speaking from Toronto.


Canada “is an important supplier of critical minerals,” he added. The minerals are key inputs in batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and are also used in products ranging from computers to household appliances. The Minerals Security Partnership will aim to help “catalyze investment from governments and the private sector for strategic opportunities … that adhere to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards,” the State Department said in a statement. The U.S. government has been working with Canada to boost regional supply chains to counter China’s dominance in the sector. Critical minerals are “a generational economic opportunity for Canada if we get it right,” Canada’s natural resources minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, said in a phone interview.

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May 082022
 


Edgar Degas L’absinthe (In a café) 1875-76

 

“The Bitter Truth Is: Putin Can Win The War” (Blick)
Megalopolis x Russia: Total War (Escobar)
CIA: No ‘Practical Evidence’ Russia Is Preparing To Use Nukes (AMNA/FT)
The Third Patriotic War (Batiushka)
Biden Was ‘Livid’ Over Leaks About American Intel Used by Ukrainians (Celente)
Ukraine Is None Of America’s Business! (Zuesse)
White House Yields To A National Rage Addiction (Turley)
VP of Pfizer Arrested After #Pfizerdocuments Get Released (VT)
Vaxxed Hospitalised for Non-Covid Reasons at 5 Times the Rate of Unvaxxed (DS)
Preventable Deaths and Vitamin D3 (Malone)
Attenuated Viruses In Vaccines Cause Rise In Deadly Hepatitis In Children (DE)
Fully Vaccinated Are Developing Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (DE)
Study: Masks Might Make Covid Worse (CS)
This Is The List Of WEF Graduates (Malone Institute)
Mexico Calls for Latin American Lithium Alliance (RKC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kheriaty

 

 

Why did it take you so long to invent this link?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google translate from German.

The more bitter truth is the Ukraine can NOT win.

“The Bitter Truth Is: Putin Can Win The War” (Blick)

Russia appears to be making little progress with its invasion of Ukraine. But appearances could be deceiving. Because according to Markus Reisner, Austria’s top military strategist, Ukraine’s situation is much worse than is believed in the West. Putin’s tanks aren’t making any headway, Russian soldiers are surrendering, and soon Russia can no longer afford the war. Again and again breakdowns in the Russian military are known. It almost seems as if Ukraine can win the war. But the impression could be hugely deceptive. Russia is probably much stronger than people think in this country. At least the Austrian colonel and top military strategist Markus Reisner is convinced of this: “We need an objective picture of the situation. It doesn’t help us if we talk ourselves into the fact that the Russian attackers are in a bad state,” he explains in “Welt”.

“Because that belies how the situation really is.” Reisner expects further escalations in the Donbass in the next two to three weeks. According to him, these fights will be particularly fierce “because the Russians are now trying to bring about a decision”. The Ukrainians could defend themselves with American drones, among other things. But according to the military strategist, that will hardly be enough. «Ukraine urgently needs new weapons. The arms deliveries from the West are now a race against time,” Reisner believes. Because the western deliveries of heavy weapons had started too late. And in addition, Russia would capture or destroy a “not inconsiderable part” of the arms deliveries. In the meantime, the Kremlin has even published manuals on how to operate the captured weapons and how to use them against Ukraine.

“And that has already happened,” said the military expert. “According to US information, the weapons that the West brings to Ukraine within a week are used up within a day, i.e. used immediately by the Ukrainians or captured or destroyed by the Russians.” According to Reisner, Russia now wants to form two pincers in the Donbass near Izyum and Donetsk in order to encircle the Ukrainian troops. “The problem is that the positions of the Ukrainians in this area are not as strong as on the old contact line, i.e. in the east of Kramatorsk,” the Austrian fears. In the past, Ukraine has also had success using special forces to ambush Russian soldiers. But this tactic no longer works.

Reisner: “It worked elsewhere for the first six weeks, but now the Russians are prepared and the Russian special forces (Spetsnaz) are chasing the Ukrainian special forces and unfortunately destroying them quite often.” According to Markus Reisner, don’t let the slow progress of the Russians fool you. The Russians are now advancing “slowly, broadly and with massive infantry support, with the tanks being secured to the right and left by further armored trains.” Although the attackers can only manage about 1.5 kilometers per hour, they can avoid being ambushed.

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“..Russia’s superior engineers is why their hypersonic weapons are at least two or three generations ahead of the U.S…”

Megalopolis x Russia: Total War (Escobar)

Russia, based on purchasing power parity (PPP), is the 6th economy in the world, right behind Germany and ahead of both the UK and France. Its “hard” economy is similar to the U.S. Steel production may be about the same, but intellectual capacity is vastly superior. Russia has roughly the same number of engineers as the U.S., but they are much better educated. The Mossad attributes Israel’s economic miracle in creating an equivalent of Silicon Valley to a base of a million Russian immigrants. This Israeli Silicon Valley happens to be a key asset of the American MICIMATT (military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex), as indelibly named by Ray McGovern.

NATOstan media hysterically barking that Russia’s GDP is the size of Texas is nonsense. PPP is what really counts; that and Russia’s superior engineers is why their hypersonic weapons are at least two or three generations ahead of the U.S. Just ask the indispensable Andrei Martyanov. The Empire of Lies has no defensive missiles worthy of the name, and no equivalents to Mr. Zircon and Mr. Sarmat. The NATOstan sphere simply cannot win a war, any war against Russia for this reason alone. The deafening NATOstan “narrative” that Ukraine is defeating Russia does not even qualify as an innocuous joke (compare it with Russia’s “Reach Out and Touch Someone” strategy). The corrupt system of SBU fanatics intermingled with UkroNazi factions is kaput. The Pentagon knows it. The CIA cannot possibly admit it.

What the Empire of Lies has sort of won, so far, is a media “victory” for the UkroNazis, not a military victory. Gen Aleksandr Dvornikov, of Syria fame, has a clear mandate: to conquer the whole of Donbass, totally free up Crimea and prepare the advance towards Odessa and Transnistria while reducing a rump Ukraine to the status of failed state without any access to the sea. The Sea of Azov – linked to the Caspian by the Don-Volga canal – is already a Russian lake. And the Black Sea is next, the key connection between the Heartland and the Mediterranean. The Five Seas system – Black, Azov, Caspian, Baltic, White – enshrines Russia as a de facto continental naval power. Who needs warm waters?

Gonzalo Poland

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The most credible voice in the West. Putin has no reason to “contemplate losing”..

CIA: No ‘Practical Evidence’ Russia Is Preparing To Use Nukes (AMNA/FT)

CIA does not have any “practical evidence” that Russia is getting ready to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, its director, Bill Burns, said Saturday. Burns, a veteran diplomat, was speaking at the “Weekend Festival” organized by the Financial Times in Washington, DC. But, he added, “we can’t take lightly those possibilities” given Russia’s saber-rattling. Russia had announced shortly after its invasion of Ukraine began, on Feb. 24, that it had placed its nuclear deterrence forces under heightened alert and Russian President Vladimir Putin had threatened a “swift retaliation” on any third party intervening in the war. Burns said he believed Putin is determined to pursue the war and cannot contemplate losing. “[Putin] is in a frame of mind in which he doesn’t believe he can afford to lose; so the stakes are quite high in this phase,” he said.


“I think he’s convinced right now that doubling down … will enable him to make progress,” he added. The CIA Director also said that China is closely following developments in the Ukraine to find lessons in its own strategy to gain control of Taiwan. China has never made a secret of its belief that it considers Taiwan an integral part of its territory, adding that China was also “dismayed” by “the fact that what Putin has done is driving Europeans and Americans closer together.” “It strikes us … that (Chinese President) Xi Jinping is a little bit unsettled by the reputational damage that can come to China by the association with the brutishness of Russia’s aggression against Ukrainians [and] unsettled certainly by the economic uncertainty that’s been produced by the war,” Burns said.

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“If Russia does not win, the Russian Federation will be humiliated and dismantled and become just another group of colonies for Western asset-strippers and slavers.”

The Third Patriotic War (Batiushka)

Russia must win this War against NATO. However, the last thing Russia wants is a nuclear war, however much some fools in the West talk that up. And however tempting as targets the 1,000 or so US bases around the world may be, Russia certainly does not want the war to spread outside the current Ukrainian territory. If Russia does not win, the Russian Federation will be humiliated and dismantled and become just another group of colonies for Western asset-strippers and slavers. Then the British dream for its 1917 coup d’etat, turned into a nightmare because the stupid dream permitted Bolshevism to come to power, will become real.


After that, China will fall next and then the rest of the still free, if for the moment impoverished and exploited, world will fall just like dominos into neo-colonial Western hands. And that will be the end of the world under a US Global Dictatorship, euphemistically known as ‘the Unipolar World’. We are not ready for that. We prefer to fight. As President Putin has said, a world without Russia is not one we wish to live in. As we have said before, this is our ONLY chance to work towards a Union of Sovereign (NOT Soviet) Social (NOT Socialist) Republics and an Alliance of countries which favour Prosperity and Justice, not Poverty and Injustice.

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I don’t think Biden is capable of being livid over anything anymore. Even if he’s known for a mean temper.

Biden Was ‘Livid’ Over Leaks About American Intel Used by Ukrainians (Celente)

President Joe Biden was furious that senior U.S. officials went to the media about Washington sharing intel with Ukrainians that may have resulted in the sinking of Russia’s flagship and the killings of about a dozen Russian generals, according to a report. Thomas Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times, wrote Friday that his sources in D.C. implied that the leaks were not “part of any thought-out strategy,” and Biden was “livid” when he learned about them. Friedman said Biden got on the phone with the head of national intelligence and CIA to demand that these leaks end because it was inching the U.S. closer to conflict.

Friedman wrote: “Vladimir Putin surely has no illusions about how much the U.S. and NATO are arming Ukraine with material and intelligence, but when American officials start to brag in public about playing a role in killing Russian generals and sinking the Russian flagship, killing many sailors, we could be creating an opening for Putin to respond in ways that could dangerously widen this conflict — and drag the U.S. in deeper than it wants to be.” The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board last week called out Pope Francis for hinting that NATO shared some of the blame for the Ukraine war when he accused the Alliance of “barking at Russia’s gate.” Anyone with even an elementary understanding of what happened in Ukraine knows that the U.S. refused to negotiate in good faith with Russia over Moscow’s security concerns about Kyiv joining the Alliance.

So it was not unreasonable to hear the pope point that out. But the Journal took several issues with the pope, including his hope to meet with Putin. The paper wrote: The Pope said he has requested an audience with Mr. Putin but hasn’t heard back. Asked whether he’d visit Kyiv, he said he must go to Moscow first: “If Putin decided to leave the door open . . . ” This is a pattern. Recall that the Pope declined to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2020, at least partly because of America’s opposition to the Vatican’s egregious deal-making with the Chinese Communist Party. The paper seems to take personal offense that Francis believes it would be a more important trip to meet with Putin than the comedian, like all the political whores from the West.

America The Jesuit Review wrote that Francis explores this idea in his book “Evangelii Gaudium.” When looking at conflict, the pope explains, some people ignore it while others get sucked into it. But imagine a third way: Face the problem head-on and make it the start of a new process. As the pope reassures us, “Trust what God is doing through you.”

Biden salad
https://twitter.com/i/status/1522679779065057281

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“The heads-of-state of U.S.-and-allied countries should therefore be removed and prosecuted by the International Criminal Court in order to halt WW III before it reaches the nuclear stage.”

Ukraine Is None Of America’s Business! (Zuesse)

Russia never coup-grabbed Mexico, but in February 2014, America coup-grabbed Ukraine. That was an act of war against Russia (in order to steal Russia’s naval base in Crimea and in order for America to become able to place U.S. nukes in Ukraine only a five-minute missile-striking-distance away from obliterating Moscow), and Russia responded to America’s blatant aggression by allowing the residents in the region of Ukraine that the Soviet dictator had transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954, Crimea, to vote on whether they should remain in Ukraine or be returned to Russia. Over 90% of them voted to return to being Russians.

For this democratic response by Russia to America’s Ukrainian coup (and to America’s attempt to grab Russia’s naval base in Crimea to transform it into a U.S. naval base there), America and its vassal nations repeatedly sanctioned Russia — another step in America’s World War III aggression against Russia — and refused even to consider Russia’s demand that Ukraine must never be a member of America’s anti-Russian military alliance NATO or otherwise become a staging-area for a possible U.S.-and-allied invasion of Russia (a modern-day version of Adolf Hitler’s “Operation Barbarossa” blitz-attack to grab Russia). The heads-of-state of U.S.-and-allied countries should therefore be removed and prosecuted by the International Criminal Court in order to halt WW III before it reaches the nuclear stage.

If this would violate any laws, then it still must at least be attempted, in order to force the ‘news’-media in those countries to report on what is really at issue in the ‘war between Russia and Ukraine’, which is America’s empire and its world-endangering war against Russia (now using Ukraine as America’s proxy-soldiers and WW III introductory battleground). That is “aggressive war,” not any sort of defensive war by America and its vassal-nations. As such, it violates the U.N. Charter; and if the non-U.S.-allied nations won’t do everything they possibly can to defeat America at this stage in its global war of aggression against Russia, then the consequences of their collective failure in this matter will assuredly be the elimination of the entire world as we know it.

A post-WW-III world would be far worse for its survivors than it would be for its billions of non-survivors. The burden of guilt now is, consequently, not only upon the regimes that are seeking to expand yet further the American empire, but it is also upon the bystander nations, whose fates are also on the line in this matter. The fate of everyone is. And this is why everyone — and not ONLY the U.S. and its vassal-nations — must become actively involved here, to prevent the nuclear phase (which would be its final phase, and would be completed in considerably less than an hour). Imperialism must finally meet its match, to end it, for all time, before it ends all of us.

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Yield? They actively use it.

White House Yields To A National Rage Addiction (Turley)

Nearly 70 years ago, a little-known lawyer named Joseph Welch famously confronted Sen. Joseph McCarthy (D-Wis.) in defense of a young man hounded over alleged un-American views. Welch told McCarthy that “I think I have never really gauged … your recklessness” before asking: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” It was a defining moment in American politics as Welch called out a politician who had abandoned any semblance of principle in the pursuit of political advantage. This week, the same scene played out in the White House with one striking difference: This was no Joseph Welch to be found.

After someone in the Supreme Court leaked a draft opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a virtual flash-mob formed around the court and its members demanding retributive justice. This included renewed calls for court “packing,” as well as the potential targeting of individual justices at their homes. Like the leaking of the opinion itself, the doxing of justices and their families is being treated as fair game in our age of rage. There is more than a license to this rage; there is an addiction to it. That was evident in March 2020 when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stood in front of the Supreme Court to threaten Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh by name: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

Schumer’s reckless rhetoric was celebrated, not condemned, by many on the left, even after he attempted to walk it back by stating that “I should not have used the words I used … they did not come out the way I intended to.” What occurred at the White House this week is even more troubling. When asked for a response to the leaking of a justice’s draft opinion, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to condemn the leaker and said the real issue was the opinion itself. Then she was asked about the potential targeting of justices and their families at their homes, and whether that might be considered extreme. It should have been another easy question; few Americans would approve of such doxing, particularly since some of the justices have young children at home. Yet Psaki declared that “I don’t have an official U.S. government position on where people protest,” adding that “peaceful protest is not extreme.”

Magnetic doors
https://twitter.com/i/status/1487517697961345025

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Can’t see what he’s been charged with, if anything.

VP of Pfizer Arrested After #Pfizerdocuments Get Released (VT)

Rady Johnson, the executive Vice President of Pfizer, has been arrested at his home and charged with multiple counts of fraud by federal agents. He was taken into custody and is awaiting a bail hearing. This comes as 1,000s of classified documents from Pfizer were released, showing the true risks of the experimental vaccine. As a result of Rady’s arrest, the hashtag #pfizerdocuments has started trending on Twitter. Multiple celebrities are now calling for other employees at Pfizer to be arrested.


Since joining Pfizer in 1994, Rady held multiple high level positions in the company. Rady previously lead the Regulatory Law practice group as well as the Corporate Regulatory and Healthcare Law Audit functions. Keean Bexte, an independent journalist formerly employed by Rebel News, pointed out how 1,223 people died within the first 28 days after taking the Pfizer jab. There are reports that the vaccine killed all the animals during the trial. A judge has granted a media blackout on request of Rady’s lawyers, and Google is suppressing search results. Rady faces life in prison if convicted.

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Your immune system went out the window.

Vaxxed Hospitalised for Non-Covid Reasons at 5 Times the Rate of Unvaxxed (DS)

Over the past 15 months we’ve had a barrage of statistics presented to us shouting about how great the vaccines are at preventing hospitalisation from (or with) Covid. However, these statistics have been light on detail on how they were calculated and we’ve not seen much sight at all of the raw data that the statistics were based upon. Until now. In April, a paper was published by the UKHSA (currently in pre-print, which means that it hasn’t yet undergone the usual peer-review process) on its statistical analysis of a selection of hospitalisation data by vaccination status. The intent of this paper was to support its statements that the vaccines prevent hospitalisation. However, the paper also includes the raw data upon which the UKHSA statistics were derived, and these data tell a very different story to that presented by the UKHSA. The data show:


• Far higher accident and emergency admission rates for reasons other than Covid in the vaccinated than in the unvaccinated.
• Much higher rates of hospitalisation due to non-Covid acute respiratory illness in the vaccinated.
• Even higher A&E admissions and hospitalisations in the double-vaccinated (not boosted).
• Even where the data suggest that the vaccines offer some protection (the risk of admission to intensive care resulting from Covid infection) the results look like they might be an artefact created by the assumptions used by the UKHSA.

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Hope everyone’s taking their 5,000 IU daily, and not just for Covid.

Preventable Deaths and Vitamin D3 (Malone)

We had an inexpensive life-saving solution both before and during the pandemic… The inconvenient truth is that even at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a very simple, inexpensive and effective treatment was available that could have saved the majority of lives lost. All that the WHO and public health bureaucracy had to do was to recommend and support people taking sufficient Vitamin D3. This failure to act traces back to the unscientific bias and pro-vaccine obsession of Dr. Anthony Fauci. And once again the legacy media, while being paid by the US government and the pharmaceutical industry to promote vaccination, acted by censoring, defaming and suppressing the ability of physicians to inform people of scientific truth. The disease you suffered, the loss of life among your family and friends, could have been greatly reduced by simply getting enough Vitamin D3. This is another example of what happens when unelected bureaucrats are allowed to control free speech. Crimes against humanity.

The effectiveness of Vitamin D3 as an immune system-boosting prophylactic treatment for influenza and other respiratory RNA viruses was first discovered in 2006. Despite that fact that this treatment is amazingly effective for preventing death (by strengthening your immune system), it has never been investigated by the NIH, promoted by the CDC or by the US government for the treatment of influenza. One major issue has been that uncontrolled variables of dosing, timing of dosing and disease status have resulted in inconsistent clinical trial results (much as we have seen with the Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine COVID trials). However, when Vitamin D3 is given prophylactically at sufficient doses, there is clear and compelling evidence that Vitamin D blood levels of around 50 ng/ml will substantially reduce symptomatic infection, severe disease and mortality.

Longstanding worldwide public health policy is that Vitamin D should be taken at sufficient levels (typically supplemented in milk products) to prevent the bone disease called rickets. But this is just a minimal level to prevent a very obvious debilitating disease. The recommended Vitamin D levels in our milk are not sufficient for the more subtle immune system-boosting effects of this critical vitamin. Our bodies’ way of normally producing Vitamin D requires a lot of sunlight, but life in the modern world and northern latitudes make this difficult- particular in winter months which is often when the respiratory viruses cause the most disease and death. In a sense, disease and death from Influenza and other respiratory RNA viruses are a lifestyle disease. Just the way things are. Largely avoidable unnecessary death.

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Trojan virus.

Attenuated Viruses In Vaccines Cause Rise In Deadly Hepatitis In Children (DE)

The mystery hepatitis cases have recently been recorded in 14 states across America. Doctors in Ohio have reported 7 cases in children as young as 18 months, and North Dakota confirmed their first case on 5th May. As of the same date, six children have required a liver transplant and one has died. Could the actual reason for essentially banning the use of the Janssen vaccine instead have something to do with medicine regulators’ fears that the accentuated adenovirus it contains has gone rogue? Both the J&J and AstraZeneca Covid-19 injections are viral vector gene therapies. Both allegedly work by doing the following – First, the DNA instructions to create the SARS-CoV-2 antigen (spike protein; not the full SARS-CoV-2 virus) are inserted into a modified virus (adenovirus).

Then after the “vaccine” is injected into an individual, the viral vector delivers the spike protein DNA instructions to cells resulting in large amounts of the spike protein antigen. The resulting immune response to SARS-CoV-2 allegedly helps mimic what occurs during natural infection and results in a cellular immune response. The current theory, however, is that the adenovirus now circulating has been born from the AstraZeneca vaccine. Which would suggest the FDA have suspended the Janssen jab to prevent it from doing exactly the same thing. But that doesn’t mean the J&J jab isn’t the actual culprit.

The UK was the first country to roll-out the adenovirus based AstraZeneca Covid-19 injection en masse in January 2021, and it was also the first country to report an unusual increase in hepatitis cases of unknown cause among children. Just a coincidence? The theory behind the AstraZeneca virus going rogue is that the virus contained in the vaccine combines with the E1 gene from another circulating adenovirus, of which there are many. The result is a replicating ChAdOx1 virus.

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Hard to explain, because people think AIDS=HIV.

Fully Vaccinated Are Developing Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (DE)

Official data made available by the U.S. Government and Centers for Disease Control strongly suggests that fully vaccinated Americans are developing Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. But they are not alone, because further data made available by the UK Government and the Government of Canada suggests the vaccinated population in both of these respective countries are also developing the debilitating condition. It’s a common misconception that Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is only caused by the HIV virus. This simply isn’t true. Acquired (or secondary) immunodeficiency is one of the major causes of infections in adults. These immunodeficiency disorders affect your immune system partially or as a whole, making your body an easy target for several diseases and infections. When immunodeficiency disorders affect your immune system, your body can no longer fight bacteria and diseases. Several factors in the environment can cause secondary immunodeficiency disorders.

Some common ones are:
• Radiation or chemotherapy, which can lead to a secondary immunodeficiency disorder known as neutropenia
• Infections due to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can result in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
• Leukaemia, a cancer that begins in the cells of the bone marrow that can lead to hypogammaglobulinemia—a type of secondary immunodeficiency
• Malnutrition, which affects up to 50% of populations in underdeveloped countries and leaves people vulnerable to respiratory infections and diarrhoea


But some of the less common causes include Drugs or medications. So it’s perfectly possible for a medication or drug to cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and data published by the U.S Government and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strongly suggests the Covid-19 injections should be added to the list. For months on end, official data coming out of both the UK and Canada has strongly insinuated that the vaccinated population are developing a nee form of AIDS. This is because the Covid-19 injections are proving to have a real-world negative effectiveness, implying that they are causing damage to the natural immune system.

Geert

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Large study.

Study: Masks Might Make Covid Worse (CS)

In the peer-reviewed study published in the journal Cureus, Dr. Beny Spira reviewed every European country with at least 1 million people between October 2020 – March 2021, when “the entire continent was undergoing an outburst of COVID-19.” Mask mandates and compliance across these countries varied significantly, from 5 per cent to 95 per cent. By comparing each respective country’s infection and death statistics, along with these mask-wearing percentages, Spira drew two conclusions: “While no cause-effect conclusions could be inferred from this observational analysis, the lack of negative correlations between mask usage and COVID-19 cases and deaths suggest that the widespread use of masks at a time when an effective intervention was most needed, i.e., during the strong 2020-2021 autumn-winter peak, was not able to reduce COVID-19 transmission.


Moreover, the moderate positive correlation between mask usage and deaths in Western Europe also suggests that the universal use of masks may have had harmful unintended consequences.” Of course, previous studies draw contrary conclusions, but Spira argues they falsely attributed mask mandates as having efficacy when in reality, they were implemented at the tail end of COVID waves.

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Download xls. list from inside the article.

This Is The List Of WEF Graduates (Malone Institute)

The WEF graduates and members are Foreign Agents. The full title of the US Foreign Principal Registration Act of 1938 (FARA) is “An Act to require the registration of certain persons employed by agencies to disseminate propaganda in the United States and for other purposes.” Citing Wikipedia, “The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) (2 U.S.C. § 611 et seq.) is a United States law requiring persons engaged in domestic political or advocacy work on behalf of foreign interests to register with the Department of Justice and disclose their relationship, activities, and related financial compensation. Its purpose is to allow the government and general public to be informed of the identities of individuals representing the interests of foreign governments or entities. The law is administered and enforced (or not…) by the FARA Unit of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES) in the National Security Division (NSD).”


The Malone Institute (primarily Dr. Jill Glasspool-Malone and Anita Hasbury-Snogles), in collaboration with the Pharos foundation and Pharos Media Productions in Sweden, has invested months of time and hundreds of labor hours to mine existing and historic publicly available data sources to develop a detailed summary of graduates from two WEF training programs; the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow (a one-year program that ran from 1993 to 2003) and Young Global Leaders (a five-year program started 2004/2005 and still running). These people have been intentionally and internationally deployed as foreign agents representing the interests of the WEF members to “penetrate the global cabinets of countries” as well as a wide range of key business sectors including banking/finance, other business sectors (including health and biotechnology), academia and health, media, technology, logistics, arts and culture, sports, politics and government, think tanks, telecommunications, real estate, financial investment/holding companies, a variety of non-governmental organizations, energy, aerospace and military, food and agriculture.

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You think they’ll let you keep it?

Mexico Calls for Latin American Lithium Alliance (RKC)

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, expressed his intentionto form an alliance with Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile, in order to promote mutual collaboration on lithium. “There has been communication with the president of Bolivia (Luis Arce), he, in turn, has a relationship, like us, with the president of Argentina (Alberto Fernández), who also has lithium, and with the president of Chile (Gabriel Boric), with the purpose of creating an association to help each other mutually,” said the Mexican president during his morning press conference today. In April, Mexico’s Congress approved a reform to the Mining Law of that country which launched the nationalization of lithium and the creation of a public body that is in charge of everything related to exploration, exploitation, and industrialization.


He pointed out that in the case of Chile and Argentina, private companies are in charge of exploiting the resource, but Mexico is still interested in collaborating in this work. “In the case of Bolivia and Mexico, lithium is nationalized, but there are shared interests [with Chile and Argentina] and we are going to work together, we are already doing it,” said López Obrador. In recent days, Bolivia celebrated the five-year anniversary of the state company, Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB). It was created by the government of Evo Morales with the aim of industrializing lithium and manufacturing value-added products within the country.

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2022

 

 

Central bank assets

 

 

 

Gonzalo Saudi

 

 

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

 

 

 

Feb 092022
 


René Magritte L’éternité 1935

 

The Pentagon’s Response To The DEMD Data Is An Even Bigger Story (Blaze)
Pfizer Quietly Adds Language Warning On Data (ZH)
Let The Re-Writing Of Covid History Begin? (Rossini)
Joe Rogan Shows Us The Real Purpose Of Cancel Culture (OffG)
The Blue Stack Strikes Back (Jilani)
First Canadian Provinces Scrap Covid Mandates (RT)
Towing Companies Refuse to Move Freedom Convoy Trucks (TC)
Johnson & Johnson Stops Covid-19 Vaccine Production (RT)
Americans Have ‘Lost Touch With Reality’ – Russia (RT)
Scientists Divulge Easy Way To Lose Weight (RT)
Elon Musk Gives Views On ‘Traditional’ Media (RT)
Lithium Price Rockets Nearly 500% In A Year (G.)
Jeff Bezos’ Yacht Can Count On Rotten Eggs (Engelen)

 

 

Jerrycans
https://twitter.com/i/status/1491204379294277632

 

 

 

 

India’s ambassador

 

 

 

 

Calgary police officer

 

 

She loves school

 

 

Why the changes when you know Renz has all the files?

The Pentagon’s Response To The DEMD Data Is An Even Bigger Story (Blaze)

One thing is clear about the revelation of the 2021 military epidemiological data and the military’s response to it: There is undoubtedly a public health and national security crisis in the military, and the Pentagon’s reaction only seems to be concerned with exonerating the vaccine, not fixing its own alleged problem. It’s now certain that the military’s health surveillance system — DMED — showed a massive increase in sickness and injury diagnoses in 2021 over previous years, particularly in the neurological, cardiovascular, oncological, and reproductive health categories. The military, in a very terse and cryptic statement to PolitiFact last week, admitted as much, but claimed without any further explanation that the data in the system accessed by several military doctors working with attorney Thomas Renz was only a “fraction” of the true numbers that existed. In the words of the Pentagon spokesman, it was a “glitch in the database.”

Where those true numbers existed, why they weren’t in the system for five years, what exactly was in the system, and why the 2021 numbers were accurate according to the DOD account remain a mystery. However, one by one, the military public health officials have been adding back random numbers to the 2016 through 2020 codes. I’m told by Renz and two of the whistleblowers that throughout the past week, they have queried the same data again, and in most of the ICD categories, they have found that the numbers from 2016 through 2020 were “increased” exponentially to look as though 2021 was not an abnormal year. This has been done without any transparency, any press release, any statement of narrative, and sloppily in a way that makes the already unbelievable narrative simply impossible to believe.

In addition to believing that every epidemiological report for five years was somehow completely tainted with false data — including during the first year of the pandemic itself — we would have to believe that the minute they discovered this from Renz, they suddenly discovered the exact numbers. A five-year mistake fixed overnight! Just take a look at the following statement given to the Epoch Times, the only other public comment delivered by an authorized Pentagon spokesman: “Comparing the DMED database to the source data contained in DMSS, AFHSD discovered that the total number of medical diagnoses from 2016-2020 that were accessible in DMED represented only a small fraction of actual medical diagnoses for those years. In contrast, the 2021 total number of medical diagnoses were up to date in DMED. Comparison of 2021 to 2016-2020 resulted in the appearance of significant increased occurrence of all medical diagnoses in 2021 because of the under-reported data for 2016-2020. AFHSD has taken DMED offline to identify and correct the root-cause of the data corruption,” said Maj. Charlie Dietz.

That’s it! They are only concerned with downplaying any potential culpability of the vaccine, not explaining how they were flying blind, according to their official narrative, on such an important endeavor for so many years. Just consider the fact that at last week’s meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), officials revealed that they have been monitoring vaccine safety data from the DOD, among other places.

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Full immunity, but not from investors.

Pfizer Quietly Adds Language Warning On Data (ZH)

Two weeks ago, the FDA begged a Texas judge to delay production on the first monthly batch of 55,000 pages of Covid-19 vaccine data submitted to the agency by Pfizer. Originally, the agency was set to produce just 500 pages-per-month. Now, Pfizer – which just forecast $54 billion in Covid-related sales in 2022, appears to be anticipating some bad news, as evidenced by several redline changes in their Q4 earnings releases. As Rubicon Capital’s Kelly Brown notes on Twitter, the changes center around disclosures of unfavorable safety data. For example, in Q4 they added: “or further information regarding the quality of pre-clinical, clinical or safety data, including by audit or inspection.”

More from Brown, who notes that Pfizer is now highlighting “concerns about clinical data integrity…” The company also notes that Covid-19 may “diminish in severity or prevalence, or disappear entirely.”

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“Truth and Liberty go hand-in-hand; as do lies and tyranny.”

Let The Re-Writing Of Covid History Begin? (Rossini)

It took much too long, but it appears that the tide of public opinion has finally turned. The term “trust the science” has suddenly lost its luster, especially when it comes from the mouth of a politician or so-called “expert.” The meanings of the words “science” and “expert” have been blown to pieces. But such is always the case when politicians get involved in things they shouldn’t be involved in. They have an uncanny ability of destroying everything they touch. Well, they touched the words “science” and “expert” and made them completely unrecognizable. I’ve heard the phrase “You can’t tell what’s true anymore” more than enough times over the last several years. We’ve all had a front row seat in what a so-called “post-truth” world looks like — It looks like totalitarian tyranny! Truth and Liberty go hand-in-hand; as do lies and tyranny.

Miraculously, as public opinion has changed, so has the “science”! Imagine that. The “science” now says that masks, lockdowns, and mandates are bad. If only the “science” crystal ball had said such things two years ago! Imagine all the pain, suffering and death that could have been avoided. One must also wonder, if public opinion didn’t change, would the “science” have remained unchanged as well? Who knows? But as the tyranny is (reluctantly) peeled away, the predictable re-writing of history has begun. Think of the Iraq War as an analogy for what you should expect going forward. The mania of lies and smears that led up to that failed war was deafening. Now think about today… How many people actually admit to supporting the Iraq War? Roughly… You can probably count them on one hand. Very (very) few people. Only the hard-core warmongers will admit to it.

Well, as Covid “history” is fabricated and branded into digital ink, you can be sure to see the same behavior from the lying class. Denial, followed by more denial: “I never supported the wearing of masks.” “I was always against lockdowns.” “Vaccine passports? What do you think I am, some kind of Nazi?” Be prepared, because just as people will not admit that they supported the Iraq War, so will they start changing their tunes about being petty dictators for a solid two years. The blame will also be offloaded onto a fictional collective. Be prepared to see the word “we” over and over: “We” should have known better. “We” made mistakes. “We” need to do a better job. The government needs more money. “We” thought that the masks, lockdowns & “vaccines” would work.

Tucker More & more people dying in the prime of life

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“Far more likely is that it was created and deployed to discredit Rogan’s COVID-questioning without having to engage with the Covid sceptic evidence or arguments.”

Joe Rogan Shows Us The Real Purpose Of Cancel Culture (OffG)

Joe Rogan has just been cancelled. Again. It’s not about covid “misinformation” this time. No, now he’s a racist. Some enterprising young mind combed through 13 years and hundreds of episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience, and cut together around twenty instances of Rogan using “the n-word”. This video was shared by award-winning musician India Arie, and used to explain her pulling her music from Spotify’s platform in protest of Rogan’s continued presence there. Rogan claims that these clips are all taken out of context in his recent apology video, and none were ever intended to be racist. This may well be true…we can’t check for ourselves, because Spotify removed all the episodes. These important bits of context were, naturally, removed from the viral video. Besides, it has since been said that context doesn’t even matter.

And you know what, they’re right. The context doesn’t matter, perhaps the intention doesn’t even matter, what matters is “Why now?” Some of these clips are over twelve years old, and yet there have never been any calls to boycott Spotify or cancel his show until just the last couple of days. Were they not racist before? Or was everyone just OK with the racism? Could there be something else behind this? …but why bother pausing the hate-fest to ask questions, right? The only message that matters is – Joe Rogan is a racist now, and streaming giant Spotify have pulled over seventy episodes of his show from their platform as a result. Of course the cyber-torches and internet-pitchforks coming for Joe Rogan is nothing new. Having preached the tenets of a healthy lifestyle, promoted alternate Covid treatments, and invited dissenting experts onto his show, Rogan has obviously been on the establishment’s hit list for a while.

[..] Rogan’s uses of “the n-word” are not new. They are all several years old and from 23 separate episodes, all multiple hours long. And there are almost 1800 episodes of the show to plough through if you decide to go searching. So making this video is at least two days’ work of simply watching the episodes – and that’s assuming you know where to start looking. And that’s before editing or trying to make it “go viral”. Was all this done on a whim by some bored pro-vaxxer? Does that sound likely? Far more likely is that it was created and deployed to discredit Rogan’s COVID-questioning without having to engage with the Covid sceptic evidence or arguments. It’s even possible the video may even have already existed before the current controversy. After all, why create this climate of stifling sensitivity if you don’t have the tools to use it?

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“It’s designed to look like they’re doing something, but they’re not doing anything. It’s more spectacle than substance.”

The Blue Stack Strikes Back (Jilani)

[..]The U.S. government, forbidden by contemporary constitutional law from simply censoring Rogan itself, dispatched Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to reinforce President Joe Biden’s message imparted last year that social media platforms are “killing people” by allowing too much freedom of speech about the pandemic, the virus, and the vaccines. “People have a right to make their own decisions, but they also have a right to accurate information to make that decision with,” Murthy told MSNBC. “This is not just about what the government can do,” he coyly noted, “this is about companies and individuals recognizing that the only way we get past misinformation is if we are careful about what we say and use the power that we have to limit the spread of misinformation.”

Murthy’s message reinforced the media outlets that had taken aim at Rogan, inspiring a wave of new reports not only focused on his discussions of COVID but also labeling him problematic in other regards. The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, whose role in this ecosystem is to disguise Democratic Party talking points as humor, criticized a segment in which Rogan and author Jordan Peterson poke fun at the absurdity of modern racial categorization, noting that nobody is actually “white” or “Black.” CNN signal boosted Noah’s criticism, as did a range of other outlets. Other activists found old clips of Rogan mentioning (but not using) racial slurs. Eventually, Spotify got the message. It announced new platform rules that include adding advisories to select content dealing with COVID.

It began deleting dozens of older Rogan episodes that contained transgressive content. Its CEO promised to devote $100 million of company money on content from “historically marginalized groups,” which in this case is likely to be defined exclusively by progressive activists (don’t expect a lot of sponsored podcasts on Asian American opposition to racial preferences in college admissions). In the span of a week, Rogan posted two separate apologies for his past content. The authors of the open letter that initiated the firestorm, however, are not satisfied. One of them told Rolling Stone that the Spotify advisories will just create a “‘false balance’ problem. It’s designed to look like they’re doing something, but they’re not doing anything. It’s more spectacle than substance.”

These activists know how to play the game. If you look back at any of the recent controversies over free speech—from QAnon to COVID to the last two presidential elections—this is how things work when a development or outcome is seen as unfavorable or undesirable by the favored political camp. First, activists create a panic about misinformation or offensive speech. Second, the social media platforms try to meet them halfway by introducing measures like warning labels. Third, the activists realize they’ve drawn blood, and continue to push for outright censorship. Finally, the social media platforms give in and remove the offending voice from their platforms altogether.

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Nothing much changed so far.

“Kenney just says he won’t bring back the vaccine passport “Unless we redefine full vaccination as having three shots”. Kenney said that “would make practical sense… make a requirement that people get a third shot.”

First Canadian Provinces Scrap Covid Mandates (RT)

Canada’s province of Saskatchewan announced on Tuesday it would stop requiring vaccine passes and masks. It comes as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted on the effectiveness of Covid-19 mandates amid trucker protests gripping the capital Ottawa. The prairie province, situated between Alberta and Manitoba, said it would stop requiring vaccine passports from next week and allow the mask mandate to expire at the end of February. It is one of the first Canadian provinces to offer a roadmap to ending the virus restrictions. Praising the soon-to-be-phased-out restrictions for helping to stem the spread of the virus, Premier Scott Moe, however, noted that they had created “two classes of citizens,” arguing that “the benefits of this policy no longer outweigh the costs.”

Urging Canadians not to “judge” their neighbors over their vaccination status, Moe said people should be entitled to decide whether to get vaccinated or not. “This government is going to respect that right,” he added. Another province, Alberta, also moved to ditch the restrictions on Tuesday. From midnight on Wednesday, residents will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination in public places, and from Monday next week children aged 12 and under would no longer be required to mask up. Compulsory masking will no longer apply to students in schools. “We’ll never be able to do a full accounting of the extent of the pain and hardship that restrictions have caused,” Premier Jason Kenney said.

[..] PM Trudeau has refused to meet with the truckers or hear their demands, referring to them as a “small, fringe minority” engaged in violence and hateful conduct. In a speech to the parliament on Monday, he accused the truckers of “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy, and our fellow citizens’ daily lives,” and demanded that their protest “has to stop” because the people of Ottawa and Canadians in general “deserve to get their lives back.” On Tuesday, the PM defended the mandates and restrictions his government put in place during the pandemic, saying they worked and will not be removed any time soon. “I can understand frustrations with mandates, but mandates are the way to avoid further restrictions,” he told reporters.

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“..heavy-duty tow trucks can transfer air from their system to the trucks to release their brakes. However, he added that “we have all the capabilities on our tow trucks to do it … but I don’t think anyone would want to.”

Towing Companies Refuse to Move Freedom Convoy Trucks (TC)

“I’ve contacted them all and they’re all refusing, as of today, to provide heavy tow truck work,” city manager Steve Kanellakos told reporters Monday evening, according to a report from the CBC. “Right now we’re reviewing their contracts or standing offer, and reviewing what actions we can take to deal with this unprecedented situation,” Kanellakos added. There are currently more than 400 trucks parked throughout the city in protest, which began over a week ago. The drivers have said that they will not move the trucks until the COVID vaccine mandates for drivers doing trips between the US and Canada are lifted. Kanellakos said that Mayor Jim Watson has also been reaching out to towing companies in other cities, but none are willing to help stop the protest.

“Right now, the consensus seems to be that many of them — or most of them — don’t want to do the work because … they rely on on the the heavy truck industry for their livelihood, and they don’t want to damage that part of their business,” Kanellakos said. “That’s the position they’re taking, at least.” The CBC report added that deputy police chief Steve Bell confirmed that they are having trouble finding a willing tow truck operator in “every jurisdiction that’s faced this, and it’s forcing us to come up with some creative solutions.” While Bell wouldn’t say what those creative solutions may be, he did say that they are moving “toward a position where we’re not going to let the tow truck operators … be an obstacle to ending what’s occurring.”

Also speaking to the CBC, Trucker Lloyd Crowe said that there is no way the city will be able to move the trucks without cooperation from the drivers who are protesting. “If you know anything about truck air brakes, once you pull that button, all 18 wheels are locked,” Crowe told CBC on Wednesday. “Nothing can move it, except maybe a big wrecker. And no wrecker worth his salt is going to come anywhere near this, because they’re on our side.” David Allen, president of Gary’s Towing in Thunder Bay told the news organization that while it would be hard, he does not believe that it is impossible. He explained that heavy-duty tow trucks can transfer air from their system to the trucks to release their brakes. However, he added that “we have all the capabilities on our tow trucks to do it … but I don’t think anyone would want to.”

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Curious.

Johnson & Johnson Stops Covid-19 Vaccine Production (RT)

US multinational Johnson & Johnson suspended production of its Covid-19 vaccine late last year amid a massive push by the federal government and health officials to promote getting inoculated, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the situation. The pause in production is reportedly temporary, but the one plant producing the vaccine in the Dutch city of Leiden has apparently shifted its focus to producing a potentially more profitable vaccine for an unrelated virus. It’s unclear if the production pause has affected the availability of the single-jab Covid vaccine, as the company has a stockpile of doses. However, one person familiar with the situation says the suspension could mean a reduction in output of a few hundred million doses.


The plant is expected to produce more after a few months’ break. Other facilities are awaiting regulatory approval or to actually be up and running to produce the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the NYT report. Organizations that distribute the vaccine worldwide told the NYT they were unaware of the production pause, with some expressing concern about the timing. “This is not the time to be switching production lines of anything, when the lives of people across the developing world hang in the balance,” Dr. Ayoade Alakija, co-head of African Union vaccine distribution. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Johnson & Johnson’s offering requires only a single shot for the initial inoculation, while the others are delivered via two shots.

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Long ago.

Americans Have ‘Lost Touch With Reality’ – Russia (RT)

Washington’s rhetoric about the possibility of imposing colossal sanctions on Russia is so outrageous that Moscow sees little point in even responding, one of the country’s top diplomats has said. In an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin was asked about the possibility of Washington imposing unprecedentedly harsh measures on the Russian energy and financial sectors, including additional sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking the gas fields of Siberia to consumers in Germany. “It’s long been clear to everyone that American legislators have lost touch with reality and are living in a kingdom of their own phobias regarding our country, churning out obscurantist plans to deter Russia on all fronts, with any justification or without one,” Pankin replied.


“I don’t see the point in reacting to the Capitol’s routine initiatives about this. We can only repeat once more our regret about what has happened, and confirm that there will inevitably be negative consequences from the harsh restrictions laid on us by the Western initiators of such measures,” the diplomat added. Asked whether Russia is prepared for the possibility of being cut off from the SWIFT banking system, which some American and European leaders have threatened if Moscow decides to invade Ukraine, Pankin said, “Our hope is that, as opposed to Washington’s completely unjustified movement towards the ‘sanction field’, reason will still prevail in Brussels and these measures will not happen, which would damage the stability of the international finance system itself, as well as global economic recovery and the possibility of fulfilling the [UN initiative] Sustainable Development Goals on time.”

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Sleep.

Scientists Divulge Easy Way To Lose Weight (RT)

Sleeping more can help people to consume less calories per day and to lose weight, if those healthy sleeping habits are maintained over a prolonged period of time, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, Illinois. The findings were published on Monday in peer-reviewed journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The clinical research involved 80 adults aged between 21 and 40. All the participants qualified as overweight with a body mass index ranging from 25 to 29.9, while ‘normal’ body weight falls into the range between 18.5 and 24.9. All the participants also had habitual sleep of 6.5 hours per night or less. The research was conducted for a prolonged period of time, running from November 2014 to October 2020.

The participants were observed for a two-week period to establish a baseline and were then randomly separated in two groups. The control group continued with their sleeping habits without any intervention, while another group received “an individualized sleep hygiene counseling session,” aimed at prolonging their bedtime to some 8.5 hours. No further support beyond the counseling was provided to the participants, who continued to sleep in their own beds, though they wore tracking devices to register the duration of their sleeping time. “Most other studies on this topic in labs are short-lived, for a couple of days, and food intake is measured by how much participants consume from an offered diet,” lead researcher Dr Esra Tasali at the University of Chicago’s Sleep Center stated.

“In our study we only manipulated sleep and had the participants eat whatever they wanted, with no food logging or anything else to track their nutrition by themselves.” The sleep duration was increased for the sleep extension group by 1.2 hours per night on average, which led to a significant decrease in energy intake compared to the control group. The people from the sleep extension group consumed some 270 kilocalories on average less, which is quite significant given that recommended daily intake is 2,000 kilocalories for women and 2,500 for men. “No significant treatment effect in total energy expenditure was found, resulting in weight reduction in the sleep extension group vs the control group,” the study reads.

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Fear sells, not just negative news.

Elon Musk Gives Views On ‘Traditional’ Media (RT)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, known for his prolific tweeting, questioned his 73 million followers about why “traditional” media outlets operate as a “relentless hatestream” before then engaging in discussions with his followers on the topic. “Why is the “traditional” media such a relentless hatestream? Real question,” Musk tweeted on Monday. This post was quickly followed by another, clarifying the billionaire’s position. “Most news outlets attempt to answer the question: ‘What are the worst things happening on Earth today?’ It’s a big planet! Obviously, some bad things are happening somewhere at any given time, but focusing relentlessly on those does not give an accurate picture of reality,” he wrote.


Musk then engaged in debate with followers, disagreeing with one view that “negative news sells better,” pointing to some popular “citizen podcasts” which “aren’t negative.” “Maybe part of why traditional media outlets are so negative is because old habits die hard? They so rarely even try to be positive,” Musk added, sharing his frustration over the constant flow of the “news that makes one sad & angry.” The degree of Musk’s apparent disdain for traditional news media became known when he agreed with another commenter who said the target audience of most media was “the amygdala of the bottom 50% of humanity.” “Sadly true,” the carmaker’s chief executive wrote.

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When everyone’s got an EV, they’ll be useless.

Lithium Price Rockets Nearly 500% In A Year (G.)

Lithium prices have “gone ballistic” as surging electric vehicles sales worldwide create massive demand for the critical component of lithium-ion batteries. According to figures from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (BMI), the price of the lithium-rich raw material spodumene rose 478.3% between January 2021 and January 2022. In January alone the price of spodumene jumped 45.5% to US$2,400 a tonne, up from $1,650 in December. Similar price rises were recorded for lithium carbonate and hydroxide – refined lithium at different stages of purity – over the past year. BMI is forecasting the price will continue to increase for at least the next six month off the back of massive demand for battery cells.


In January the consulting firm McKinsey predicted the market for lithium batteries would grow to at least $360bn by 2030, with growth averaging 20% a year until the end of the decade. But some analysts have sounded a note of caution as lithium pricing can be volatile – demand can grow quickly but new mines open and increase supply, dropping the price again. Tim Buckley, an energy transition analyst and director of Clean Energy Finance, says demand for lithium is likely to remain high. “It’s unsustainably high – it’s gone ballistic. It’s just brilliant to watch – the world’s transforming before our eyes,” Buckley said. “Nothing excites financial markets more than a 500% increase in prices.”

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Google translation from Dutch.

Jeff Bezos’ Yacht Can Count On Rotten Eggs (Engelen)

Not so long ago there was a ship whose fortunes could serve as the perfect symbol of the age in which we were then. And no, I’m not talking about the Titanic, that monument of hubris and stupidity, which went down on its maiden voyage and disappeared into the icy ocean with 1,522 people on board, and with that, two years before the outbreak of the First World War, announced the end of the bourgeois belle époque. Not to mention the Probo Koala, that tanker full of chemical waste on its way to the Ivory Coast to discharge its toxic cargo, which suddenly became the focus of our nascent environmental consciousness, only to then, like a hot potato, to be shifted from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, to end up in the harbor of Amsterdam where it lay rotting for months and acted as a constant reminder of the end of our ecological innocence.

No, I’m talking about that Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, which, with over four thousand passengers on board, ran aground at nightfall off the coast of Italy, at the port of Giglio, and began to overturn slowly, because the sun-tanned captain of the ship, and I’m exaggerating oly a little here, let his Moldovan sweetheart give him a blowjob during the maneuver. Meanwhile, a new ship has forced itself as a symbol on our collective consciousness. I am, of course, talking about the three-masted three-masted ship owned by Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, which is currently being built at a cost of half a billion dollars at yacht builder Oceanco in Alblasserdam and is nearing completion. It would be a sailing yacht with a length of 127 meters long and a height of 55 meters, which, according to news agency Bloomberg, sets a new standard in the wonderful world of superyachts, with many undisclosed details.

In order to be able to choose the sea in the future, however, the yacht has to cross the Nieuwe Maas through the Koningshaven in Rotterdam. As it happens, the iconic Lift Bridge blocks the passage of the yacht: up to 44 meters high, the mouth of the bridge can be opened, too low for the masts of Bezos. And so, despite previous promises to residents, the city council has pledged to dismantle the bridge one more time to allow the yacht to escape. It is again the perfect fusion of an era, in this case of the corona pandemic entering its third year in three weeks, and of the neoliberal nature of the crisis that accompanied it. The measures taken by the state to prevent the spread of the virus and to prevent healthcare overload have had major redistributive consequences. Not only have the billions in monetary easing by central banks further exacerbated wealth inequalities, as the insane house and apartment prices in major cities illustrate: good for investors, bad luck for residents.

The shutting down or throttling of social intercourse has also greatly favored some and disadvantaged others. Household consumption expenditure did not fall during the four so-called lockdowns. What has happened is that one retail channel (the middle class with its physical stores) has been closed and the other retail channel (Amazon) has remained open, with a massive shift in terms of employees, logistics, turnover and thus profits from one channel to another. [..] That is what makes this such a significant event: after two years of corona measures, we have finally arrived in the neofeudal caste society that Thomas Piketty has been warning about since 2014. In that world, ordinary citizens with their bridges are only set pieces in the lives of the super rich. Knowing that will help you understand a little better why Twitter – another such platform – is circulating the call to treat Bezos’ ship with rotten eggs as it passes. You can hardly miss him!

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Brand/Taibbi

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Mar 092021
 
 March 9, 2021  Posted by at 9:58 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Keith Haring Untitled 1983

 

Overweight, Obese Americans Make Up 8 in 10 Covid Hospitalizations (F.)
Mutant COVID Strains In Florida, New York Threaten US Recovery – BofA (ZH)
Covid Outbreak In BC Care Home Where Residents, Staff Already Vaccinated (CBC)
Fully Vaccinated People Can Gather Without Masks – CDC (AP)
CDC About To Be Canceled By Google and Facebook for COVID Heresy (Black)
US Says Russia-Backed Outlets Spread Covid Vaccine ‘Disinformation’ (CNBC)
Propaganda About ‘Vaccine Disinformation’ Is Just Another Russiagate (Malic)
Pfizer Seeks Sovereign Assets As Collateral For Vaccine Injury Lawsuits (TN)
Brazil Supreme Court Ruling Annuls Ex-President Lula’s Convictions (RT)
UK Supported Coup In Bolivia To Gain Access To Its ‘White Gold’ (DUK)
The Prophet Of The Trump Era (Taibbi)
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Kaboom (Kunstler)
The Past Is Another Country – Enforcing Orthodoxy (Lawrence)
The Self-silencing Majority (Bari Weiss)

 

 

People say the Burger King International Women’s Day campaign “backfired”. But I’m thinking: look at all the free publicity they’re getting.

 

 

 

Burger King gets a lot more attention than the president.

 

 

 

Where’s the huge nationwide campaign to prevent this?

Overweight, Obese Americans Make Up 8 in 10 Covid Hospitalizations (F.)

Nearly 8 in 10 people who were hospitalized for coronavirus were either overweight or obese, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Monday, which also found a higher body mass index is associated with serious coronavirus outcomes, such as hospitalization, being placed on a ventilator and even death. The study found obese patients with BMIs higher than 30 made up about half of all coronavirus hospital admissions between March and December of 2020. Overweight patients, or people with BMIs higher than 25 but lower than 30, accounted for 28.3% of hospitalized coronavirus patients during the same time frame.

Researchers also found an association between BMI and patients requiring admission to an intensive care unit, invasive mechanical ventilation and death, especially in people aged 65 and older. According to the CDC, obesity may contribute to serious coronavirus illness because excess weight impairs lung function and may also disrupt the body’s immune system. The CDC study looked at 71,491 coronavirus patients who tested positive for the virus during emergency room or inpatient visits at 238 American hospitals that tracked patients’ height and weight. 42.4%. That’s how much of the U.S. population is considered obese based on BMI, according to a 2018 CDC study, the most recent of its kind.

Black and Hispanic Americans, whose communities have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, are also more likely to live with obesity. Nearly 40% of Black adults reported having a BMI of higher than 30, followed by Hispanics (33.8%) and Whites (29.9%), according to CDC data from 2017-2019. Last week, the World Obesity Federation released a study based on Johns Hopkins University data that found “a dramatic correlation” between obesity rates and international death rates. Countries like the U.S. and U.K, where more than half of the population is classified as either overweight or obese, see more deaths per capita. Meanwhile, Vietnam, the country with the world’s lowest coronavirus death rate, has an adult obesity rate of only 18.3%, the second-lowest globally.

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Because bankers are experts on diseases.

Mutant COVID Strains In Florida, New York Threaten US Recovery – BofA (ZH)

Dr. Fauci and other health experts are warning about the prospect of a “4th wave” of COVID infections as mutated strains of the virus comprise a growing share of new COVID infections in the US, even as the JNJ one-shot vaccine promises to accelerate the pace of vaccinations. Worries about spreading mutant strains are being amplified by research showing that B.1.1.7 (first identified in the UK, also known as the “Kent” strain, after where it was first isolated and identified) might be on the cusp of becoming the most prevalent strain in the US. According to research cited in a note published Monday by a team of researchers at BofA, Florida is on the cusp of seeing the UK variant become the “dominant” strain in the state.


And although hospitalizations, new cases and deaths have slowed in the Sunshine State, researchers are concerned that the variants are slowing the ebb of the pandemic in the state – and could possibly supercharge it. Cases and hospitalizations are still slowing in the state, just not as quickly as they were in January. The team of analysts at BofA said these trends have raised concerns about Florida becoming a bellwether state for the spread of the new variants, which many fear could surge as states from Texas to Connecticut move to loosen at least some (or in Texas’s case, practically all) virus-related restrictions. The fact that the state’s positivity ratio has declined since the start of the year suggests that the virus truly is receding (in other words, the lower case numbers aren’t due to solely to a pullback in testing).

Perhaps counterintuitively, the analysts at BofA are worried that the UK variant might not be as dominant in Florida as they believe. They also gamed out two additional scenarios that they said would lead to a greater outlook. “We see three possible explanations for Florida’s continued improvement. First, the spread of the new variant might not be as far along as estimated. So the old variant might still be contracting off a much larger base, while the new variant is growing off a small base. This would not be good news as it would suggest an imminent increase in cases as the new variant continues to spread.


Second, vaccines might be more effective at containing the virus than we thought, by making both vaccinated people and their close contacts less vulnerable. This would be good news because the cumulative effect of vaccines should increase quickly as the roll-out gains momentum. The third explanation, which is least likely in our view, is that the B.1.1.7 variant is significantly less contagious than widely estimated. This would probably be the best news of all.”

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Lovely.

Covid Outbreak In BC Care Home Where Residents, Staff Already Vaccinated (CBC)

A new outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the Cottonwoods Care Centre in the Interior Health region where staff and residents had already received vaccines, B.C’s provincial health officer announced Monday. In a live news conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said being vaccinated doesn’t mean transmission will be stopped and that precautions must remain in place for seniors and care homes. “You can have transmission even when people are fully vaccinated,” she said. “The illness seems to be milder and doesn’t transmit as much [and we] won’t see rapid explosive outbreaks.”


Two staff members and 10 residents have tested positive at the Cottonwoods long-term care facility in Kelowna which has 221 publicly-funded beds. Henry said that all staff and residents at the home were offered immunizations and that there was very high uptake of the vaccine. She said some of the cases were among people who had received two doses of the vaccine. “This serves to remind us that while we are confident is very effective and prevents severe illness and death it doesn’t necessarily mean that all transmission will be stopped.” Henry added the province will give new guidance by the end of month that will allow for increased visits at long-term care centres.

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The CDC is on a roll: fresh from reporting that facemasks prevent 1.32% of infections, ignores outbreaks like the one in BC, and also ignores the WHO stating we have no idea if vaccines reduce transmission.

But let us, in turn, NOT ignore how dangerous it is to discriminate against people who are simply not infected.

Fully Vaccinated People Can Gather Without Masks – CDC (AP)

Fully vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to long-awaited guidance from federal health officials. The recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way — in a single household — with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the guidance Monday. The guidance is designed to address a growing demand, as more adults have been getting vaccinated and wondering if it gives them greater freedom to visit family members, travel, or do other things like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world last year.

“With more and more people vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. During a press briefing Monday, she called the guidance a “first step” toward restoring normalcy in how people come together. She said more activities would be ok’d for vaccinated individuals once caseloads and deaths decline, more Americans are vaccinated, and as more science emerges on the ability of those who have been vaccinated to get and spread the virus. The CDC is continuing to recommend that fully vaccinated people still wear well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings, and physically distance themselves from others when out in public. The CDC also advised vaccinated people to get tested if they develop symptoms that could be related to COVID-19.

The CDC guidance did not speak to people who may have gained some level of immunity from being infected, and recovering from, the coronavirus. Officials say a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. About 31 million Americans — or only about 9% of the U.S. population — have been fully vaccinated with a federally authorized COVID-19 vaccine so far, according to the CDC.

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“..the difference between mask mandates and no mask mandate is literally just a 1.32% difference..”

CDC About To Be Canceled By Google and Facebook for COVID Heresy (Black)

On Friday afternoon, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (still called the CDC, even though they added a ‘P’) released a heretical report about mask-wearing and COVID-19. The report, authored by at least a dozen medical doctors, PhD researchers, and, bizarrely, a handful of attorneys, examined how mask mandates across the US affected COVID cases and death rates. You’d think with all of the media propaganda about mask effectiveness… and all the virtue signaling, with politicians and reporters appearing on live TV wearing masks… that the data would prove incontrovertibly and overwhelmingly that masks have saved the world. But that’s not what the report says. According to the CDC’s analysis, between March 1 and December 31 last year, statewide mask mandates were in effect in 2,313 of the 3,142 counties in the United States.

And, looking at the county-by-county data, the CDC concludes that mask mandates were associated with an average 1.32% decrease in the growth rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths during the first 100 days after the mask policy was implemented. Wait, what? Only 1.32%? You read that correctly, they didn’t misplace the decimal: according to the federal government agency that is responsible for managing the COVID-1984 pandemic, the difference between mask mandates and no mask mandate is literally just a 1.32% difference. And bear in mind, it’s entirely possible that the real figure is even lower than that, given all the questionable COVID statistics. For example, the CDC reports that influenza cases in the United States have dropped to almost zero in the 2020-2021 flu season, down from 56 MILLION the previous year.

It’s amazing they expect anyone to take this data seriously. Are we honestly supposed to believe that the flu has been eradicated? Or is it possible, that, maybe just maybe, at least some influenza cases have been misdiagnosed as COVID? If that’s the case, then the real impact of masks on COVID growth rates is potentially much lower than 1.32%. Even the CDC seems to understand this, because at the end of its report, they inspidly conclude by stating that mask mandates “have the potential to slow the spread of COVID-19. . .” Really? “Potential”? That’s HERESY! And an obvious contradiction to WHO guidance. It makes we wonder whether Google and Facebook are gearing up to censor this report, given they have self-appointed themselves as the Ministry of Truth.

Read more …

Why does the Kremlin bother to deny this?

US Says Russia-Backed Outlets Spread Covid Vaccine ‘Disinformation’ (CNBC)

The United States has identified three online publications directed by Russia’s intelligence services that it says are seeking to undermine Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, a State Department spokeswoman said on Sunday. The outlets “spread many types of disinformation, including about both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as international organizations, military conflicts, protests, and any divisive issue that they can exploit,” the spokeswoman said. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) first reported on the identification of the alleged campaign on Sunday. A Kremlin spokesman denied the U.S. claim Russia was spreading false information about vaccines to the WSJ.


[..] Russia approved its Sputnik V vaccine in August, before a large-scale trial had begun, saying it was the first country to do so for a Covid-19 shot. Peer-reviewed trials months later proved it was almost 92% effective in fighting the virus. Pfizer, headquartered in New York, and Germany’s BioNTech, produced the first vaccine that was authorized in the United States, which regulators approved in December. The second, made by Moderna, headquartered in Massachusetts, was authorized later that month. The State Department’s Global Engagement Center, set up to counter propaganda and disinformation campaigns, identified the three outlets, the spokeswoman said.

Read more …

Well, obviously.

Propaganda About ‘Vaccine Disinformation’ Is Just Another Russiagate (Malic)

By accusing Moscow of spreading disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, US propagandists that spread the original ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy are doing it again, stoking fear and hatred and projecting amid a pandemic. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal quoted an unnamed State Department official to claim that Russia is using four websites “linked to” intelligence agencies to “inject false narratives” about Western vaccines against Covid-19 that “can be amplified” by other media. Asked about this on Monday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Biden administration is “monitoring” and “taking steps to address” these efforts. Meanwhile, the WSJ report was being, well, amplified on Twitter by prolific influencers declaring the alleged Russian behavior to be a “crime against humanity.”

Thing is, all of this amounts to a disinformation and influence operation itself – by the very methodology the people involved are using. The WSJ source is someone from the Global Engagement Center, set up in 2016 as a propaganda shop against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists, which was later expanded to advancing “fact-based narratives that support United States allies and interests” and countering “Russian disinformation.” The claim that the four websites were Russian spy cutouts was “a result of a joint interagency conclusion,” the Journal cited an unnamed State Department spokesman as saying. In other words, just like the infamous ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’ that made Russiagate official.

The WSJ article also previews a “report” – published Monday – by the Alliance For Securing Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund NGO notorious for their ‘Hamilton68 dashboard’ that promoted and amplified Russiagate by seeing ‘Kremlin bots and trolls’ everywhere. Now we’re getting somewhere! Except the report itself ends up being full of qualifications, weasel-words and hair-splitting parsing of how certain headlines in the media are “coded,” in an effort to, well, promote a narrative. ASD analyzed tweets – of course they did – from Russian, Chinese and Iranian media and concluded that “there were few instances of any studied country promoting verifiably false information about vaccines” but that reports about certain Western vaccines “were often sensationalized while downplaying or completely omitting key contextual information.”

Keep in mind that demanding “context” is a favorite trick of so-called fact-checkers to argue that something is false even when factually true. As ASD itself admits, Russia, China and Iran sought to persuade their own public that their vaccines were “safer, more effective, and more affordable than certain vaccines produced in the West.” Except, that’s what clinical trial results published in reputable Western medical journals such as Lancet literally say when it comes to Sputnik V. Doesn’t matter, it’s now “disinformation” to point out facts that the Russian vaccine costs less than the mRNA vaccines made in the West, or doesn’t require their expensive cold storage.

Read more …

It’s like a CIA operation.

Pfizer Seeks Sovereign Assets As Collateral For Vaccine Injury Lawsuits (TN)

As reported by New Delhi-based World Is One News (WION), Pfizer is demanding countries put up sovereign assets as collateral for expected vaccine injury lawsuits resulting from its COVID-19 inoculation. In other words, it wants governments to guarantee the company will be compensated for any expenses resulting from injury lawsuits against it. WION reports that Argentina and Brazil have rejected Pfizer’s demands. Initially, the company demanded indemnification legislation to be enacted, such as that which it enjoys in the U.S. Argentina proposed legislation that would restrict Pfizer’s financial responsibility for injuries to those resulting from negligence or malice. Pfizer rejected the proposal. It also rejected a rewritten proposal that included a clearer definition of negligence.

Pfizer then demanded the Argentinian government put up sovereign assets — including its bank reserves, military bases and embassy buildings — as collateral. Argentina refused. A similar situation occurred in Brazil. Pfizer demanded Brazil: • “Waive sovereignty of its assets abroad in favor of Pfizer” • Not apply its domestic laws to the company • Not penalize Pfizer for vaccine delivery delays • Exempt Pfizer from all civil liability for side effects. Brazil rejected Pfizer’s demands, calling them “abusive.” As noted by WION, Pfizer developed its vaccine with the help of government funding, and now it — a private company — is demanding governments hand over sovereign assets to ensure the company won’t lose a dime if its product injures people, even if those injuries are the result of negligent company practices, fraud or malice.

[..] In the U.S., vaccine makers already enjoy full indemnity against injuries occurring from this or any other pandemic vaccine under the PREP Act. If you’re injured, you’d have to file a compensation claim with the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP),6 which is funded by U.S. taxpayers via Congressional appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). While similar to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), which applies to nonpandemic vaccines, the CICP is even less generous when it comes to compensation. For example, while the NVICP pays some of the costs associated with any given claim, the CICP does not. This means you’ll also be responsible for attorney fees and expert witness fees.

Read more …

Well, the rich got rid of him anyway.

Brazil Supreme Court Ruling Annuls Ex-President Lula’s Convictions (RT)

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has cancelled all sentences against the country’s former leftist president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, restoring his political rights to run again for office ahead of next year’s election.
Supreme Court judge Edson Fachin ruled on Monday that the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba, which had convicted Lula of money laundering and corruption, actually had no jurisdiction over the cases. The judge annulled all sentences handed to the 75-year-old in relation to ‘Operation Lava Jato’ (Car Wash) – a major anti-graft investigation in which three ex-presidents and numerous officials were indicted. Monday’s ruling means that Lula’s political rights have been restored, making him eligible to run against Brazil’s current leader, Jair Bolsonaro, in the presidential election in 2022.


The country’s so-called ‘Clean Record Act’ bars those with convictions from holding public office, a measure which already cost the veteran politician a spot in the 2018 presidential race. The judge’s decision was procedural and didn’t focus on the validity of the earlier cases against Lula. A lower court will now have to decide if he should be retried on those charges. Brazil’s Prosecutor General, Augusto Aras, has already announced that he intends to appeal the Supreme Court ruling. Lula served as Brazil’s president between 2003 and 2011, a period of rapid economic growth for the country which saw millions getting out of poverty through social welfare programs.

Read more …

Lithium.

UK Supported Coup In Bolivia To Gain Access To Its ‘White Gold’ (DUK)

On 10 November 2019, after the head of the army called for his resignation, Bolivia’s socialist president, Evo Morales, stepped down. It followed weeks of protests after the release of a report by the Organisation of American States (OAS) alleging irregularities in the election Morales had won the previous month. Persecution from the new regime forced Morales to flee the country and an “interim president”, Jeanine Áñez, was installed. Widely condemned as a coup, resulting protests were met with lethal force. Days after taking power, on 14 November, the Áñez regime forced through Decree 4078 which gave immunity to the military for any actions taken in “the defence of society and maintenance of public order”. The following day, on 15 November, Bolivian military forces shot and killed eight protesters in the city of Sacaba.

On 21 November, regime forces killed another 10 protesters in the neighbourhood of Senkata just outside the capital La Paz. Despite the deadly violence, which was condemned by human rights groups, the British embassy in La Paz moved quickly to support Bolivia’s new regime, Declassified can reveal from documents we have obtained. We have seen a project list for a Foreign Office programme in Bolivia called “Frontline Diplomatic Enabling Activity”, which the UK government describes as a “small pot of money that [embassies] receive and have authority over to spend on projects supporting [embassy] activity”. Bolivia has the world’s second-largest reserves of lithium, a metal that is used to make batteries and which has become increasingly important due to the burgeoning electric car industry.

The UK government has stated that lithium battery technology is a priority for its “industrial strategy”. In June 2019, it announced it was investing £23-million in “electric car battery development”. The government has further noted: “It’s estimated that South America holds 54% of the world’s lithium resources, which are increasingly in demand to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles and energy diversification programmes.” It added: “The UK aims to have a thriving, sustainable battery industry, which would translate to a £2.7 billion opportunity … and our bilateral partnerships are essential to ensure this.”

In February 2019, Evo Morales’ government had chosen a Chinese consortium to be its strategic partner on a new $2.3-billion lithium project which would focus on production from the Coipasa and Pastos Grandes salars (salt flats under which the lithium is deposited). But after the coup, the regime’s new minister for mining cast doubt on whether the deal would be honoured by the new government.

Read more …

“Kids ran around him like he was a shrubbery.”

The Prophet Of The Trump Era (Taibbi)

I entered Martin Gurri’s world on August 1, 2015. Though I hadn’t read The Revolt of the Public, at the time a little-known book by the former CIA analyst of open news sources, I hit a disorienting moment of a type he’d described in his opening chapter. There are times, he wrote, “when tomorrow no longer resembles yesterday… the compass cracks, by which we navigate existence. We are lost at sea.” Gurri’s book is about how popular uprisings are triggered by collapses of faith in traditional hierarchies of power. I felt such a collapse that day in Waterloo, Iowa, covering the Republican presidential primary. The first debate was five days away and the man expected to occupy center stage, Donald Trump, held a seemingly inexplicable six-point lead.

Two weeks before, on July 18th, Trump lashed out against former Republican nominee John McCain. Even McCain’s critics considered his physical and mental scars from years as a Vietnam war prisoner to be unassailable proofs of his patriotic gravitas, but the service-evading Trump was having none of it. “I don’t like losers,” he said, adding, “He’s only a war hero because he was captured.” It was the universal belief among colleagues in campaign journalism that this was an unsurvivable gaffe, a “Dean scream” moment. We expected him to apologize and wash out. Instead, he called McCain a “dummy” and kept a firm grasp on the lead.

A different candidate, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, was in Waterloo. Two years before, Time all but dubbed Christie the favorite for 2016 with a silhouette cover portrait, over the nastily shallow (but publicity-generating) double-entendre headline, THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. Christie was every Washington consultant’s idea of a “crossover” superstar. I’d describe the concept in Rolling Stone as someone “mean enough for the right-wing, but also knows a gay person or once read a French novel.” Christie parked himself in the middle of Waterloo’s annual “Irish fest” street fair, waiting for an Iowan to ask for a souvenir campaign handshake. He had his hand out and thumb stuck upwards, like an Iguanodon. Nobody came. Kids ran around him like he was a shrubbery.

Read more …

“Even the news media may seek to know who is actually in charge of the executive branch before much longer..”

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Kaboom (Kunstler)

One-time $1,400 handouts and even regular $300 unemployment subsidies won’t pay the mortgages or feed families very long, and every day there are fewer families bringing in anything close to that mythical $150,000. For many, it’s more like… nothing. The one-time bailouts of recklessly insolvent city and state governments and pension funds will only postpone their collapse. The varying guaranteed basic income schemes, enhanced child credits, advances on tax refunds, and other gimmicks would turn the former working class into sub-lumpenproles with nothing to occupy them but crime and vice. In fact, we already have a sizable underclass demonstrating exactly what you’ll get from enlarging the social group dependent on government support.

The only other question for now is when do the different population groups in this land explode in violence? The group loosely bundled as “Red” is angry enough with the ongoing insults of Wokery, failed rule-of-law, and abridgments of basic constitutional rights. The states where they dominate are likely to resist any more fiats by the federal government, like the imminent attempt to confiscate firearms. The “Blue” auxiliary armies are beyond their creators’ control. Antifa will be ready to rock-and-roll in the streets with good weather because so many young people have absolutely no prospects to thrive in the collapsing economy, and the streets have become their social space, with so little money for lattes and beers. And BLM need look no further than the Derrick Chauvin trial in Minnesota, starting today, for an excuse to resume its characteristic activities.

Does anyone seriously believe that the husk of Joe Biden will remain in office more than another few weeks? It’s obvious that he doesn’t have the mental mojo to work an authentic press conference, and surely not the customary address to a joint session of Congress. Even the news media may seek to know who is actually in charge of the executive branch before much longer. Pay close attention to events unspooling. Get ready for trouble. It’s coming every which way, from money to public order to rollicking spring weather.

Read more …

This is our exceptionalist consciousness at work: “It can’t happen here..”

The Past Is Another Country – Enforcing Orthodoxy (Lawrence)

To censor is an act of deprivation, a taking away. To enforce an intolerant orthodoxy is an act of imposition. The two cannot be understood separately from one another.

[..] It is time, then, to sit up and look squarely at the grave threats with which a creeping, apple-pie authoritarianism now faces us. Censorship and its sibling, official propaganda, have lately come to imperil our civil liberties, our civil rights — especially our right to express ourselves freely— and altogether our right to knowledge, our right to understand the world we live in and the events that shape it, and at last our right to shape those events. Compared to these, the supposed threats of the Jan. 6 protests on Capitol Hill and the running, no-evidence business of the Russians having intruded into hundreds of corporate and government computer systems are nothing. Numerous are the voices raised in opposition to this menacing, corrosive drift in America. But too few grasp the gravity of our shared predicament.

Complacency — complacency induced by propaganda, indeed — is another of our urgent problems. One can read in any history book about suppression and repression and the incessant repetition of officially approved perspectives to the exclusion of all dissenting views. But the past is another country in the American mind, ever distant. Such circumstances are supposed to befall others but never Americans. We customarily identify grim polities of this kind and blighted pubic space with the Soviets, or the Latin American dictators, or the too-numerous-to-name despotic regimes that fill history texts. This is our exceptionalist consciousness at work: “It can’t happen here,” as Sinclair Lewis titled the anti-fascist novel he published — note the date — in 1935.

It has not happened here — let us not succumb to language inflation — but we are now on notice that it can. Overcoming exceptionalism, even among those who purport to reject its ideology, is where the project must begin. When we are sitting up, we owe it to ourselves and those around us to get up. If we are to defend our rights as just enumerated, it is up to each of us to act. And taking part in a patently broken electoral system — this is my personal view —can no longer be considered acting: It amounts to acquiescing. “Aux armes, citoyens!” is a thought I leave to other sorts of columnists. My salutation is simpler: “Arise!” will do. We had better wake up, this is to say, if we are to avert a very dark age and reinvent the country and its institutions—which, forget about reform or restoration, is what must be considered the imperative now.

Read more …

Why she left the NYT.

The Self-silencing Majority (Bari Weiss)

I was born in 1984, which puts me among the last generation born into America before the phrase “cancel culture” existed. That world I was born into was liberal. I don’t mean that in the partisan sense, but in the classical and therefore the most capacious sense of that word. It was a liberal consensus shared by liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats. The consensus view relied on a few foundational truths that seemed as obvious as the blue of the sky: the belief that everyone is created in the image of God; the belief that everyone is equal because of it; the presumption of innocence; a revulsion to mob justice; a commitment to pluralism and free speech, and to liberty of thought and of faith.

As I’ve observed elsewhere, this worldview recognized that there were whole realms of human life located outside the province of politics, like friendships, art, music, family and love. It was possible for Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be the best of friends, because, as Scalia once said, some things are more important than votes. Most importantly, this worldview insisted that what bound us together was not blood or soil, but a commitment to a shared set of ideas. Even with all of its failings, the thing that makes America exceptional is that it is a departure from the notion, still prevalent in so many other places, that biology, birthplace, class, rank, gender, race are destiny. Our second founding fathers, abolitionists like Frederick Douglass, were living testimonies to that truth.

This old consensus — every single aspect of it — has been run over by the new illiberal orthodoxy. Because this ideology cloaks itself in the language of progress, many understandably fall for its self-branding. Don’t. It promises revolutionary justice, but it threatens to drag us back into the mean of history, in which we are pitted against one another according to tribe. The primary mode of this ideological movement is not building or renewing or reforming, but tearing down. Persuasion is replaced with public shaming. Forgiveness is replaced with punishment. Mercy is replaced with vengeance. Pluralism with conformity; debate with de-platforming; facts with feelings; ideas with identity.

Read more …

 

 

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WS Merwin

 

 

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Feb 202021
 
 February 20, 2021  Posted by at 4:49 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  21 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Head of a Woman 1946
Missing, stolen painting .. gifted to the National Gallery by Picasso in 1946 in recognition of Athens’s resistance to Nazi occupation; he inscribed on the back: “For the Greek people, a tribute from Picasso.”

 

 

Dr. D posted this as a short comment, not an article, and he’s welcome, encouraged even, to expand on it at a later date. But I think it’s important enough, and detailed enough, to in fact make it an article. We can take if from here. The blind drive towards EV’s is going to hurt, and we should prepare for that.

The idea, and the concept, that we can simply switch from one energy source to another and keep motoring and do all the other things we do, is nothing but a cheap and meaningless sales pitch. To produce 20 million Tesla’s would require 165% of the entire 2019 global lithium production, says this from mining.com:

 

 

That’s just Tesla, that doesn’t yet include the entire rest of the world’s car manufacturers who also claim they’ll go “green”. But then we’ll just raise the production of lithium! Well, there may be a problem with that…

Wouldn’t it be hilarious if “green” cars in the end prove to be more polluting than “dirty” cars?

 

 

Dr. D: More math, like garlic and holy water, keeps the riff raff away.

One solution to Texas’ problem is to have long-term storage that the grid refuses to buy and install. But you can! For only $10,000, 5-10x the cost of yesterday’s generator, you can own a brand new Tesla Powerwall. That maybe MIGHT not catch on fire like all their cars and solar panels have. With it, you can have 13kw of power, and that’s not joking: an American house uses 1kw a day, so that’s almost two weeks of power. For $10,000, and a little house fire.

There are 3M Texans without power, so say 1M households, not sure how they account it or how carefully. 1M Powerwalls, and their NOT drawing on the grid would help the rest of Texas households too! For only $10 BILLION dollars. (And a 10-year lifespan). Chicken feed these days.

Cool. He’s building a factory there, we’ll buy one today. You know, with that extra $10k most American families have hanging around.

But…then there’s math. At 200lbs/pc 1 Million Powerwalls would need 200 MILLION pounds of lithium or 100,000 tons. (90,718 Metric Tonnes)

 

Pic

 

Oh wait: that’s more Lithium than is mined in WHOLE CONTINENTS, like top producer Australia @ 42,000 tonnes. Next is Chile, 18,000 tonnes.

I detect a problem.

More problems follow. Lithium is both unbelievably reactive and unbelievably toxic. It catches on fire in water — not like there’s any “water” where humans live, and as lithium is a major ingredient in psychology drugs, causing mood leveling or even erasing emotions altogether, and doesn’t decay, even a small amount of escaped lithium is a big deal. That’s both in the Pecos and Red River, AND at the mining site, where it consumes tens of thousands of gallons in the world’s driest environments, like Bolivia.

The Environmental Impact of Lithium Batteries

“Lithium extraction harms the soil and causes air contamination. In Argentina’s Salar de Hombre Muerto, residents believe that lithium operations contaminated streams used by humans and livestock and for crop irrigation. In Chile, the landscape is marred by mountains of discarded salt and canals filled with contaminated water with an unnatural blue hue.

… In Australia, only two percent of the country’s 3,300 metric tons of lithium-ion waste is recycled.

… recovered cells are usually shredded, creating a mixture of metal that can then be separated using pyrometallurgical techniques—burning—which wastes a lot of the lithium.”

Two other key ingredients, cobalt and nickel, are more in danger of creating a bottleneck in the move towards electric vehicles, and at a potentially huge environmental cost. Cobalt is found in huge quantities right across the Democratic Republic of Congo and central Africa, and hardly anywhere else. The price has quadrupled in the last two years.

Unlike most metals, which are not toxic when they’re pulled from the ground as metal ores, cobalt is “uniquely terrible,” according to Gleb Yushin, chief technical officer and founder of battery materials company Sila Nanotechnologies.”

Not done yet, where one solution to one 7-day crisis takes more lithium than is mined? Then polluted? Then not recycled? Then as not recycled, permanently escapes into your water supply?

There’s still this: it takes 60kw to produce 1kw of lithium battery capacity. Now it’s reusable, so there are many, many cycles in a battery, but your 13 Million Kwh are going to need 78M Kwh to create, just for the battery side, or 78,000 megawatts.

Are you sure you wouldn’t rather – say it with me now:

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”? You know, by reducing, reusing, economizing, using less, and creating only things that last longer?

Nope. If I DON’T buy a Powerwall, who profits? No subsidy, no GDP, no sales tax, no Wall Street IPO. No 18 weeks’ work at $20/hr, tied up to Jamie Dimon and Uncle Sam to buy it.

Thoreau said he could walk to Boston on foot quicker than he could get the money to take the train there. Is chopping fallen wood and sitting on a rammed clay floor next to your small wood stove REALLY that bad? That’s 18 weeks you can stay home and read Cicero – from a real-to-god, paper book — with your children. Or not. Don’t, end up in the dark and curse: “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer. I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” What do you think he’s going to do for you that you’re not doing for yourself?

 

 

See also:

The Spiralling Environmental Cost Of Our Lithium Battery Addiction

And

Bolivia: Where revolutionaries and lithium miners go to die

 

 

 

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Feb 122020
 


Dorothea Lange Daughter of white tobacco sharecropper at country store. Person County, North Carolina 1939

 

China Reports 97 New Deaths, 2,059 New Cases Confirmed (SCMP)
Coronavirus Cases Fall, Experts Disagree Over Whether Peak Is Near (R.)
Japan Cruise Ship Virus Cases Jump To 175 (R.)
At Least 500 Wuhan Medical Staff Infected With Coronavirus (SCMP)
China’s Banks Face $6 Trillion Coronavirus Cataclysm (ZH)
China Home Sales Crash In First Week Of February ‘Worse Than SARS’ (ZH)
Trump Swipes At Resigned Prosecutors, Judge In Roger Stone Case (Hill)
Despite Iowa Fiasco, Nevada Democrats Plan to Use New Software “Tool” (Webb)
Executive Order (Kunstler)
Third Whistle-Blower Comes Forward To Corroborate Complaints About OPCW (RT)
Subprime Auto Loans, Serious Delinquencies Soar. These Are the Good Times (WS)
Job Openings Plunge the Most Since the Great Recession (WS)
How Unfunded Pensions Will Destroy Your Retirement (Raoul Pal)
Volkswagen and Daimler Push For More ‘Sustainable’ Chile Lithium (R.)

 

 

And there we go once more with the Covid19 statistics (will that new name ever stick?):

 

• Deaths: 1,115, up 97 from yesterday’s 1,108


• Cases: 45,171, up 2059 from yesterday’s 43,112

 

“Everyone” is saying the numbers are going down, and that must mean we’re over the peak, or something.

But I quoted Ben Hunt yesterday in Corona Cartoon Numbers as saying the numbers conformed to a simple quadratic function, and speaking in the “voice” of Xi Jinping:

Yesterday we told everyone that 500 people have died since the outbreak. That’s a made-up number, of course, but that’s what we told everyone. Today let’s tell everyone that an additional 15% of that number died yesterday, so 75 new deaths for 575 total dead. And tomorrow let’s tell everyone that 14% of that total number died, and the day after 13%, and then 12% and then 11%. Clear progress!

That was in reaction to this predicted sequence Hunt saw presented by Antimonic:

 

 

My updated interpretation of this was:

Today according to “official” numbers we have 43,103 cases and 1,018 fatalities, which is up 108 from yesterday’s 910. What’s that, 10.5%? Close enough for discomfort.

And sure enough, today’s 97 deaths constitute 9.5% of yesterday’s 1,108. If this sequence holds (note that it was never meant as anything precise, just a trend), tomorrow’s new added deaths should be around 8.5% of 1,115, or 93-96 deaths. Let’s see. If that is correct, we know Beijing has been reporting false deaths numbers according to that quadratic “formula” -we already know, really.

 

 

 

You wait 2,5 months to name the thing, and then expect everyone to use that name?

China Reports 97 New Deaths, 2,059 New Cases Confirmed (SCMP)

China’s health authority reported 97 new deaths attributable to the Covid-19 outbreak and 2,015 newly-confirmed cases as of Tuesday. This brings the national totals to 1,113 and 44,653, respectively. As of yesterday, 744 recovered patients have been discharged, while the total number of recovery cases stands at 4,740. Outside Hubei province – epicentre of the Covid-19 epidemic – new infections on the mainland fell for the eighth consecutive day. Health authorities in Hubei reported 94 new deaths attributable to the contagion, and 1,638 newly confirmed cases as of Tuesday. This brings the totals announced by the province’s health commission to 1,068 and 33,366, respectively.


Officials in Hubei had reported 103 fatalities and 2,097 newly confirmed cases a day earlier. Some 1,104 of the new cases announced were confirmed in Hubei’s capital of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated at a seafood and meat market. The figures from Hubei on Tuesday mark the lowest number of newly confirmed cases since the beginning of February. It is also the first time that Hubei has reported fewer than 2,000 new daily cases since February 2. Michael Ryan, the World Health Organisation’s head of emergency programmes, said on Tuesday in Geneva that Covid-19 had the potential to spread faster than either the Ebola or Sars viruses. Earlier this week, Covid-19 exceeded the Sars outbreak of 2002-03 in terms of deaths attributed to it.

Read more …

“China’s foremost medical adviser on the outbreak, Zhong Nanshan..” Who said two weeks ago it would all be over within a week or ten days. “China’s foremost medical adviser on the outbreak”. Zhong now says: “I hope this outbreak or this event may be over in something like April..”

Coronavirus Cases Fall, Experts Disagree Over Whether Peak Is Near (R.)

China on Wednesday reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases since late January, lending weight to a prediction from its senior medical adviser that the outbreak could be over by April. Global markets took heart from the outlook but other international experts remain alarmed by the spread of the flu-like virus, which has killed more than 1,100 people, all but two in mainland China, and said optimism could be premature. China’s foremost medical adviser on the outbreak, Zhong Nanshan, said the numbers of new cases were falling in some provinces, and forecast the epidemic would peak this month.

“I hope this outbreak or this event may be over in something like April,” Zhong, an epidemiologist whose previous forecast of an earlier peak turned out to be premature, told Reuters on Tuesday. Total cases of the new coronavirus in China have hit 44,653, according to health officials, including 2,015 new confirmed cases on Tuesday. That was the lowest daily rise in new cases since Jan. 30. China last week amended its guidelines on prevention and control of the coronavirus, saying that only when asymptomatic cases show clinical signs should they be recorded as a confirmed case. However, it is not clear if the government data previously included asymptomatic cases. The number of deaths on the mainland rose by 97 to 1,113 by the end of Tuesday.

While Chinese officials said the situation was under control, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned the epidemic posed a global threat potentially worse than terrorism. The world must “wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one”, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday, adding the first vaccine was 18 months away. Asked about Zhong’s prediction, Australia’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said: “I think it’s far too premature to say that.” “We’ve just got to watch the data very closely over the coming weeks before we make any predictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp, while praising China’s “Herculean efforts” to contain the virus.

[..] Even if the epidemic ends soon, it has already taken a toll on China’s economy, with companies laying off workers and other firms needing loans running into billions of dollars to stay afloat. Supply chains for car manufacturers to smartphone makers have broken down. Wu Chaoming, chief economist at Fortune Securities, wrote in a report that the impact on China’s labor market would be far greater than that of a 2002-2003 outbreak of another coronavirus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. About 24% of the labor force, or 186 million people, “could face some risks in salary reduction or even being laid off”, he said. ANZ bank said China’s first-quarter growth would likely slow to 3.2-4.0% compared with an earlier projection of 5.0%. China’s aviation regulator urged countries to lift virus-related travel restrictions as soon as possible, but airlines showed no sign of easing their curbs on flights.

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Highest concentration of infections outside of China.

Japan Cruise Ship Virus Cases Jump To 175 (R.)

Another 39 people have tested positive for the coronavirus on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan as well as one quarantine officer, bringing the total to 175, the health ministry said on Wednesday. The Diamond Princess was placed in quarantine for two weeks upon arriving in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on Feb. 3, after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus. About 3,700 people are aboard the ship, which usually has a crew of 1,100 and a passenger capacity of 2,670. The ministry said tests are being conducted for others who are deemed to need them and it will announce the results later.


The U.K.-flagged Diamond Princess is managed by Princess Cruise Lines, one of the world’s largest cruise lines and a unit of Carnival Corp. The government was considering allowing elderly and those with chronic illnesses to disembark before the Feb. 19 target date for ending the quarantine, some media reported, but added it would take time to figure out where they could be sent. As of last week, about 80% of the passengers were aged 60 or over, with 215 in their 80s and 11 in the 90s, the English-language Japan Times newspaper reported.

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Yup. Poor hygiene.

At Least 500 Wuhan Medical Staff Infected With Coronavirus (SCMP)

At least 500 hospital staff in Wuhan had been infected with the deadly new strain of coronavirus by mid January, multiple medical sources have confirmed, leaving hospitals short-staffed and causing deep concern among health care workers. While the government has reported individual cases of health care workers becoming infected, it has not provided the full picture, and the sources said doctors and nurses had been told not to make the total public.
The reason for this edict was not explained, but the authorities have been trying to boost morale among frontline medical staff, especially following the death of Li Wenliang, who was killed by the disease weeks after being reprimanded by police for warning colleagues about the new virus.


A slide circulating online, however, reveals the scale of infections among medical workers in Wuhan. It said that by mid-January there had been about 500 confirmed cases among hospital staff with a further 600 suspected ones. A source from a major hospital in Wuhan with knowledge of the situation confirmed that the slide was authentic. The figures shown on the slide were also in line with the figures given by two other doctors from major hospitals in Wuhan.

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How many businesses and banks can the PBOC save if the virus lasts into April or beyond?

China’s Banks Face $6 Trillion Coronavirus Cataclysm (ZH)

In a little noticed post back in November, we reported that as part of a stress test conducted by China’s central bank in the first half of 2019, 30 medium- and large-sized banks were tested; In the base-case scenario, assuming GDP growth dropped to 5.3% – nine out of 30 major banks failed and saw their capital adequacy ratio drop to 13.47% from 14.43%. In the worst-case scenario, assuming GDP growth dropped to 4.15%, some 2% below the latest official GDP print, more than half of China’s banks, or 17 out of the 30 major banks failed the test. Needless to say, the implications for a Chinese financial system – whose size is roughly $41 trillion – having over $20 trillion in “problematic” bank assets, would be dire.

Why do we bring this up now? Because according to many Wall Street estimates, as a result of the slowdown resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic, China’s economic growth is set to slow sharply, with some banks such as JPMorgan now expecting as little as 1% GDP growth in Q1 assuming the epidemic is contained in the next few weeks; if it isn’t, Chinese Q1 GDP growth may print negative for the first time on record. This is a big problem, because as noted above if the PBOC’s 2019 stress test is credible, more than half of China’s banks would fail the “stress test” should GDP drop to just 4.15%; and one can only imagine what happens to China’s banks if GDP prints negative.

Or, alternatively, one can read the fine print, where we find that among the immediate first order consequences of a GDP crunch is that the bad loan ratio at the nation’s 30 biggest banks would rise five-fold, flooding the country with trillions in non-performing loans, and potentially unleashing a tsunami of bank defaults. [..] “The banking industry is taking a big hit,” You Chun, a Shanghai-based analyst at National Institution for Finance & Development told Bloomberg. “The outbreak has already damaged China’s most vibrant small businesses and if it prolongs, many firms will go under and be unable to repay their loans.” [..] .. a recent nationwide survey showed that about 30% [of small businesses] expect to see revenue plunge more than 50% this year because of the virus and 85% said they are unable to maintain operations for more than three months with cash currently available.

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“..new apartment sales crashed 90% in the first week of February..[..] .. Sales of existing homes in 8 cities plunged 91% over the same period..”

That can’t last long, but: “Real estate transactions have been forbidden in many cities.”

Seen more reports on that seconnd pic: the virus spreading through pipes in buildings.

China Home Sales Crash In First Week Of February ‘Worse Than SARS’ (ZH)

Bloomberg cited a new report via China Merchants Securities (CMSC) that said new apartment sales crashed 90% in the first week of February over the same period last year. Sales of existing homes in 8 cities plunged 91% over the same period. “The sector is bracing for a worse impact than the 2003 SARS pandemic,” said Bai Yanjun, an analyst at property-consulting firm China Index Holdings Ltd. “In 2003, the home market was on a cyclical rise. Now, it’s already reeling from an adjustment.” Long before the coronavirus outbreak, China’s housing market has been on shaky grounds amid declining demand, stricter mortgage requirements, and price discounts.

The latest shock: two-thirds of China’s economy has come to a standstill, could generate enough pessimism to pop the country’s massive housing bubble. After all, coronavirus is a mass distraction from the overall domestic problems the Communist Party of China (CPC) faces. The CPC failed to stimulate the economy last year, with credit impulse not turning up as expected. The virus outbreak has allowed the CPC to scapegoat the slowdown and the inevitable crash. “…China’s ability to stimulate its economy is now virtually nil, since China’s record debt load has now made it virtually impossible to push the country’s credit impulse higher,” we noted last week. Real estate transactions have been forbidden in many cities. This means fire sales could be seen once selling restrictions end.

E-House China Enterprise Holdings Ltd.’s research institute said four units per day were being sold in Beijing last week, and this is down from several hundred per day during the same period in the previous year. China International Capital Corp. analyst Eric Zhang said demand could pick back up in April, assuming the virus outbreak is under control.

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The 4 prosecutors in the Roger Stone case should be investigated. They won’t be, if only because they’re not independent. But this feels like sour grapes for the Mueller report failure.

Stone is a dirty trickster, but he’s been that for decades, and he’s only one of many in DC, on both sides. You can’t be locked up for that. Stone faces two main allegations, IIRC:

1) Lying about his link to WIkiLeaks/Russia. But we know Stone never had any such links. He lied to the Trump campaign about having them though, and then to the DOJ about that. But in essence, he was lying about something that never existed.

Sentencing him for that serves only to keep the illusion alive (just like the coward Rober Mueller did), that WikiLeaks had Russia links, and it’s high time to get rid of that ridiculous notion once and for all.

2) Stone is accused of threatening Randy Credico, his friend who testified to the DOJ. Or more specifically, he’s accused of threatening to kill Credico’s dog, Bianca. Credico wrote to Judge Amy Berman last month pleading with her NOT to send Stone to prison, and saying neither the threats against him or Bianca were serious.

Summarized, there are (were) 4 prosecutors who wanted to send Stone to prison for 9 years for threatening a dog, which according to the dog’s owner wasn’t even a real threat. And if the DOJ or Barr or Trump criticize this, they become the accused, “lawless”, parties.

Trump Swipes At Resigned Prosecutors, Judge In Roger Stone Case (Hill)

President Trump on Tuesday swiped at the prosecutors and judge in the case of longtime confidant Roger Stone amid the fallout of the Justice Department’s decision to intervene in Stone’s sentencing recommendation. Trump weighed in on the sentencing late Tuesday even as Democrats and critics expressed alarm that the president seemed to be blurring the line between the executive branch and the Department of Justice (DOJ). “Who are the four prosecutors (Mueller people?) who cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9 year prison sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal, the Mueller Scam, and shouldn’t ever even have started? 13 Angry Democrats?” Trump tweeted.

All four prosecutors who worked on Stone’s case resigned Tuesday after the DOJ asked a federal court to reduce the seven- to nine-year prison sentence they had originally recommended. One prosecutor, Aaron Zelinsky, worked on former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Stone, a 67-year-old right-wing provocateur, was found guilty in November of lying to Congress and witness tampering related to his efforts to provide the Trump campaign inside information about WikiLeaks in 2016. The timing of the DOJ’s involvement raised questions given that it came hours after Trump ridiculed the initial recommendation as a “miscarriage of justice” and previous accusations from Democrats that Attorney General William Barr has interceded at times in the president’s favor.

The president later told reporters he had not spoken with DOJ officials about Stone’s case but insisted he had the right to do so. He declined to say whether he was considering commuting Stone’s eventual sentence. “All starting to unravel with the ridiculous 9 year sentence recommendation!” Trump tweeted Tuesday night. Trump late Tuesday also swiped at D.C. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the Stone case, implying she had treated his former campaign chairman unfairly. “Is this the Judge that put Paul Manafort in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, something that not even mobster Al Capone had to endure? How did she treat Crooked Hillary Clinton? Just asking!” Trump tweeted.

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The most boring show on TV. If you watch it or g-d forbid write about it, I feel for you.

Iowa: screwed up app, and ButtGeek gets bought into contention.

New Hampshire: Klobuchar gets bought into contention.

All of a sudden Warren and Biden are gone, and two no-no’s are Sanders’ only rivals left?

Despite Iowa Fiasco, Nevada Democrats Plan to Use New Software “Tool” (Webb)

Even while the chaos of the recent Iowa Caucus remains fresh in voters’ minds, the Nevada State Democratic Party is setting itself up for more of the same by using a new software application for reporting results that is set to be coded and tested in less than a month. The application, still currently under development, will come preloaded onto iPads that will be distributed to precinct chairs during Nevada’s upcoming caucus, scheduled for February 22. The scramble to create this new application followed revelations that the same company that had developed the software largely blamed for the Iowa debacle – known as Shadow Inc. – had also developed the two applications that Nevada Democrats had planned to use both for early voting and for Caucus Day.

[..] .. the Shadow Inc. app was reported to have been developed over a period of roughly two months, though the company’s CEO, Gerard Niemira, has since claimed that the app’s creation began last August. In contrast, Nevada Democrats are now slated to use a software application developed in less than half that time [..] Another issue is the fact that Nevada Democrats decided to go this route after consulting “a group of tech and security folks” whose names and affiliations were not provided. As previously mentioned, after the Iowa debacle, several media reports quoted technology and cybersecurity experts as well as software developers who had cited the rushed development of the Shadow Inc. app as having largely led to the app’s failure and the resulting chaos in Iowa.

It thus seems odd that a group of “tech and security folks” are urging Nevada Democrats to pay for the development of a new program in an even shorter time frame as a way to prevent Nevada’s caucus from repeating Iowa’s failures. Though the identity of this group remains unknown, concerns have been raised that some may have links to the 2020 presidential campaign of Pete Buttigieg, given that the Shadow Inc.-developed app used in Iowa was found to have ties to the Buttigieg campaign and the Iowa caucus chaos clearly benefited the Buttigieg campaign. Concerns about possible connections between these tech and security consultants and the Buttigieg campaign have only grown since it was revealed that Nevada Democrats recently hired an organizer for Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign, Emily Goldman, as the Caucus’ Voter Protection Director, just weeks before the caucus is set to take place.

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I felt a song coming on. From one of my favorite albums.

Executive Order (Kunstler)

In this pause between past and future Deep State seditions, and the full-blown advent of Corona Virus in every region of the world, we pause to consider Mr. Trump’s executive order requiring new federal buildings to be designed in the classical style. The directive has caused heads to explode in the cultural wing of Progressive Wokesterdom, since the worship of government power has replaced religion for them and federal buildings are their churches — the places from which encyclicals are hurled at the masses on such matters as who gets to think and say what, who gets to use which bathroom, and especially whose life and livelihood can be destroyed for being branded a heretic.

[..] A virtue of classicism is that it employs structural devices that allow buildings to stand up: arches, columns, colonnades. These are replicable in modules or bays along scales from small to large. These devices honestly express the tectonic sturdiness of a building within the realities of gravity. A hidden virtue of classicism is that it is based on the three-part representation of the human figure: the whole and all the parts within it exist in nested hierarchies of base-shaft-and-head. This is true of columns with capitols set on a base, of windows with their sills, sashes, and lintels, and the whole building from base to roof. Classical architecture follows proportioning systems universally found in nature, such as the Fibonacci series of ratios, which are seen in everything from the self-assembly of seashells to the growth of tree branches.

Thus, classicism links us to nature and to our own humanity. Classical ornaments — the swags, moldings, entablatures, cartouches, corbels, festoons, and what-have-you — are not mandatory, but, of course, they also provide a way of expressing our place in nature, which is a pathway to expressing truth and beauty.

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Just disband the thing alright. And defund Bellingcat.

Third Whistle-Blower Comes Forward To Corroborate Complaints About OPCW (RT)

A third whistle-blower has come forward to corroborate the previous complaints that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) tried to suppress evidence-gathering in the Douma probe, a report says. The alleged new whistleblower, whose redacted email was shared by the Grayzone Project on Tuesday, backed the complaints made by two former OPCW employees — South African engineer and organization’s veteran Ian Henderson, and another whistleblower known as ‘Alex.’ OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias had earlier dismissed the pair — dubbed Inspector A and Inspector B in the organization’s inquiry into their claims — as low-level rogue employees who conducted field work without proper authorization and which simply “could not accept that their views were not backed by evidence.”

However, the person, described by Grayzone as a former senior official with the OPCW, stood by Henderson and ‘Alex,’ writing that his time with the organization was “the most stressful and unpleasant” one in his life. “I feel ashamed for the Organization and I am glad I left it. “I fear those behind the crimes that have been perpetrated in the name of ‘humanity and democracy,’ they will not hesitate to do harm to me and my family,” the person wrote, explaining the decision to remain anonymous. Henderson was deployed with the fact-finding mission to Syria shortly after the alleged chemical attack in Douma. The inspector concluded that the cylinders, supposedly containing chlorine, were more likely manually placed on the ground rather than dropped from planes.

According to him, the higher-ups discarded his findings without explanation, and sidelined him from the rest of the mission. Its final report was later used by the US and some European countries to implicate the Syrian government of Bashar Assad in conducting the attack, which the Syrian authorities vehemently deny.

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What keeps America motoring.

Subprime Auto Loans, Serious Delinquencies Soar. These Are the Good Times (WS)

Auto loan and lease balances have surged to a new record of $1.33 trillion. Delinquencies of auto loans to borrowers with prime credit rates hover near historic lows. But subprime loans (borrowers with a credit score below 620) are exploding at a breath-taking rate, and they’re driving up the overall delinquency rates to Financial Crisis levels. Yet, these are the good times, and there is no employment crisis where millions of people have lost their jobs. All combined, prime and subprime auto-loan delinquencies that are 90 days or more past due – “serious” delinquencies – in the fourth quarter 2019, surged by 15.5% from a year ago to a breath-taking historic high of $66 billion, according to data from the New York Fed released today:

Loan delinquencies are a flow. Fresh delinquencies that hit lenders go into the 30-day basket, then a month later into the 60-day basket, and then into the 90-day basket, and as they move from one stage to the next, more delinquencies come in behind them. When the delinquency cannot be cured, lenders hire a company to repossess the vehicle. Finding the vehicle is generally a breeze with modern technology. The vehicle is then sold at auction, a fluid and routine process.[..] Seriously delinquent auto loans jumped to 4.94% of the $1.33 trillion in total loans and leases outstanding, above where the delinquency rate had been in Q3 2010 as the auto industry was collapsing, with GM and Chrysler already in bankruptcy, and with the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression approaching its peak. But this time, there is no unemployment crisis; these are the good times:

About 22% of the $1.33 trillion in auto loans outstanding are subprime, so about $293 billion are subprime. Of them, $68 billion are 90+ days delinquent. This means that about 23% of all subprime auto loans are seriously delinquent. Nearly a quarter!

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The biggest threat vs Trump’s re-election. Will the Dems weaponize it?

Job Openings Plunge the Most Since the Great Recession (WS)

The number of job openings in December dropped by 364,000 from November (seasonally adjusted), after having already plunged by 574,000 in November, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). This two-month plunge of 938,000 job openings came after a series of ups and downs with downward trend starting after the peak in January 2019. It brought the number of job openings in December to 6.42 million (seasonally adjusted), same level as in October 2017. Since the peak in January 2019, over 1.2 million job openings have dissolved into ambient air (November and December in red).

On a not-seasonally adjusted basis, job openings in December plunged by 14.9% from December 2018, the steepest since the Great Recession. In total, 1.05 million job openings have disappeared over the period. This was the seventh month in a row of year-over-year declines. Year-over-year comparisons eliminate seasonal fluctuations. And the fact that this year-over-year drop of 14.9% in December occurred in the not-seasonally adjusted data shows that the drop to 6.42 million job openings was not due to seasonal adjustments gone berserk. It was due to other reasons. There had been a minuscule dip into the negative in January 2013, and then the more visible dip into the negative in late 2016 and early 2017. What we’re seeing now is in an entirely different ballpark:

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I haven’t watched the entire video, but this is a topic that warrants much more scrutiny.

How Unfunded Pensions Will Destroy Your Retirement (Raoul Pal)

How can ordinary people behaving rationally create a generational threat? Raoul Pal, in his role as CEO and co-founder of Global Macro Investor, joins Real Vision to explain the interconnected problem of the everything bubble and the coming retirement crisis to answer the question, “why do we invest?” He explains in detail how the baby boomer generation, through the rational and reasonable behavior of seeking to live and retire comfortably, has fueled the creation of a massive financial bubble that touches nearly every corner of the economy as pensions take more and more risk. Pal breaks down the crucial demographic, economic, and political trends that have combined to create the problem and suggests potential solutions for Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Xers to get out door before the fire of the coming recession. Filmed on February 4, 2020 in Grand Cayman.

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Now taking bets on when the term “sustainable” loses the last bit of its meaning. And no, electric cars don’t solve single problem. They create plenty new ones, though, so if problems are your thing…

Volkswagen and Daimler Push For More ‘Sustainable’ Chile Lithium (R.)

German automakers Volkswagen and Daimler have launched a study to push for more “sustainable” lithium mining in Chile, according to lobbyist filings reviewed by Reuters, a sign of growing supply chain concerns ahead of an expected electric vehicle boom. Chile’s Atacama salt flat is by far the biggest source of supply of the ultralight battery metal in South America’s so-called “lithium triangle.” The region, whose fragile ecosystem relies on a limited water supply, is home to the globe’s top two producers, U.S.-based Albemarle and Chile’s SQM. But concerns over sustainability have long plagued Atacama’s miners, which extract the metal from pools of brine beneath the world’s driest desert.

Residents and environmental groups worry about potential damage to a regional ecosystem home to an ancient indigenous culture, lagoons inhabited with rare flamingos and a booming tourism industry. Lobbying records show a team from German development agency GIZ and the public-private Fundacion Chile met with Cristóbal De La Maza, chief of top Chilean environmental regulator SMA, early this year to formally present plans for the “feasibility study.” “This project is driven by the Volkswagen and Daimler companies,” the filings read. “The growing importance of batteries has made the sustainability of lithium a key priority for these companies.”

Pressure is mounting on German carmakers to fast-track production of electric vehicles to meet increasingly stringent European Union anti-pollution rules. Volkswagen alone has staked its future on a $91 billion plan to profitably mass-producing zero-emission vehicles. That push has prompted beefed-up scrutiny of mining practices around key metals such as cobalt, copper and lithium, all of which are predicted to see a spike in demand in coming years. [..] Australia, the world’s No. 1 producer of the white metal, mines its lithium from hard rock, not brine.

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Joseph Shabalala died this week. He was the founder -and “father”- of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the South African vocal group that accompanied Paul Simon on his Graceland album and tour.

 

 

 

The Automatic Earth will not survive without your Paypal and Patreon donations. Please support us.

 

Nov 122019
 


Pablo Picasso Still life with fruit basket 1942

 

Schiff Witness Vindman Testified He Advised Ukrainians to Ignore Trump (GP)
Gabbard Lawyers Demand Retraction Of Clinton’s Russia ‘Defamation’ (Hill)
Alexander Downer: Australia Should Reduce UK Intel Sharing If Corbyn Wins (G.)
Bolivian Coup Comes Less Than a Week After Morales Stopped Lithium Deal (CD)
Russia Accuses Bolivian Opposition Of Unleashing Wave Of Violence (R.)
Correa: Morales Was Forced Out In ‘Coup’, OAS Is ‘A US Instrument’ (RT)
Death Throes of a Party (Kunstler)
White Helmets ‘MI-6 Co-Founder’ Found Dead In Turkey
US Northeast ‘Siberian Express’ Arctic Blast Could Break 200 Records (Ind.)

 

 

As I write this there are many helicopters flying overhead because Xi Jinping is visiting the Akropolis Museum. And of course half the city center is closed.

And really, Vindman told Ukraine to not do what Trump wanted? Do we call that treason or is there a better word? Read the whole article.

Schiff Witness Vindman Testified He Advised Ukrainians to Ignore Trump (GP)

Adam Schiff’s star witness Alexander Vindman testified to the House Intel Committee that he “thought” the President was wrong in his policy with Ukraine. So he later told Ukrainians to ignore the President. Alexander Vindman’s testimony was recently released and it shows an ignorant underling in the NSC who believed the President’s policy in the Ukraine was flawed and because of this Vindman notified a group of ‘Ukrainians’ to ignore the President’s requests. The Conservative Treehouse reported on the release and highlighted some interesting pieces from the testimony. Apparently in his opening remarks young Vindman stated that he believed the President ‘demanded’ something from the Ukrainians. Representative Ratcliff destroyed him on this assertion –


Ratcliffe challenges Vindman to find in the President’s transcript of the call where the President ‘demanded’ anything from the Ukrainian President – Vindman could not name anywhere in the transcript where the President demanded anything and that it was all what Vindman perceived and not based on the law or others interpretations of the meeting. Vindman had concerns about the President’s policy (who is he?) – Congressman Ratcliffe next destroyed the witness Vindman pointing out how Vindman told Ukrainian officials (not detailed in the discussion) to ignore President Trump – a blatant crime committed by the underling –

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This has the potential to get really amusing.

Gabbard Lawyers Demand Retraction Of Clinton’s Russia ‘Defamation’ (Hill)

Lawyers representing Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) on Monday called on Hillary Clinton to retract her comments alleging that the 2020 presidential candidate was a favorite candidate of the Russians, accusing the 2016 Democratic nominee of defamation. “Your statement is defamatory, and we demand that you retract it immediately,” Gabbard’s lawyer wrote in a letter, demanding that Clinton verbally retract the comments and post the retraction on Twitter. Clinton made the remarks last month on the “Campaign HQ” podcast. “She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her, so far,” Clinton said, without referring to Gabbard by name.

Clinton also said “they” are grooming Gabbard to run as a third-party candidate against the eventual Democratic nominee. A Clinton spokesman later said the former secretary of State had been referring to Republicans with the grooming comment. “It appears you may now be claiming that this statement is about Republicans (not Russians) grooming Gabbard,” Gabbard’s lawyer wrote in the letter. “But this makes no sense in light of what you actually said. After you made the statement linking Congresswoman Gabbard to the Russians, you (through your spokesman) doubled down on it with the Russian nesting dolls remark.”


Gabbard has consistently denied she is interested in a third-party White House bid. The congresswoman has faced repeated criticism for some of her foreign policy views, particularly about American military involvement in Syria.

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Well, well, look what the cat dragged in. Next up is Joseph Mifsud?

Alexander Downer: Australia Should Reduce UK Intel Sharing If Corbyn Wins (G.)

Australia’s former top diplomat in the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, has intervened in the British election contest, declaring the Morrison government would need to “substantially reduce” intelligence sharing with London in the event Jeremy Corbyn wins on 12 December. In an excoriating assessment of the Labour leader at the National Press Club in Canberra, Downer contended that a Corbyn victory would imperil substantial Australian investments in Britain, and would trigger a reassessment of the “very intimate” security relationship between Canberra and London. Downer is a former leader of the Liberal party in Australia, and was foreign affairs minister in the Howard government for more than a decade. He was appointed after his retirement from politics as high commissioner in London by the Liberal government in Canberra.

[..] Downer’s appearance at Canberra’s National Press Club on Tuesday was billed as a situation report on Brexit, but the former diplomat and foreign affairs minister faced sustained questioning about his participation in the Barr inquiry in the United States. Donald Trump has established the Barr inquiry to discredit the Mueller investigation. The Mueller investigation began after Downer was allegedly told by George Papadopoulos, then a Trump campaign aide, that Russia had obtained damaging information about Hillary Clinton from her emails.


Downer then informed US authorities, which has led to accusations from Trump allies, such as the Senate judiciary committee chairman, Lindsey Graham, about the then high commissioner’s “directed” role in relaying information to US authorities about the Clinton emails. Australia has rejected those accusations. Downer refused to give direct answers to questions about the level of his participation in the Barr inquiry, or whether he now regretted his conversation in a London wine bar with Papadopoulos. He said he did not want to “play into the toxic politics of America” or disrupt the orderly business of the inquiry by providing commentary, although he signalled without saying so directly that he had been interviewed, and was “fully cooperating with the Australian government”.

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Morales had been talking about using the lithium reserves for the Bolivian people for much longer. Word has it that his plane is stuck in Paraguay because countries refuse to allow it in their airspace.

Bolivian Coup Comes Less Than a Week After Morales Stopped Lithium Deal (CD)

The Sunday military coup in Bolivia has put in place a government which appears likely to reverse a decision by just-resigned President Evo Morales to cancel an agreement with a German company for developing lithium deposits in the Latin American country for batteries like those in electric cars. “Bolivia’s lithium belongs to the Bolivian people,” tweeted Washington Monthly contributor David Atkins. “Not to multinational corporate cabals.” The coup, which on Sunday resulted in Morales resigning and going into hiding, was the result of days of protests from right-wing elements angry at the leftist Morales government. Sen. Jeanine Añez, of the center-right party Democratic Unity, is currently the interim president in the unstable post-coup government in advance of elections.

Investment analyst publisher Argus urged investors to keep an eye on the developing situation and noted that gas and oil production from foreign companies in Bolivia had remained steady. The Morales move on Nov. 4 to cancel the December 2018 agreement with Germany’s ACI Systems Alemania (ACISA) came after weeks of protests from residents of the Potosí area. The region has 50% to 70% of the world’s lithium reserves in the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. Among other clients, ACISA provides batteries to Tesla; Tesla’s stock rose Monday after the weekend. As Bloomberg News noted in 2018, that has set the country up to be incredibly important in the next decade:


“Demand for lithium is expected to more than double by 2025. The soft, light mineral is mined mainly in Australia, Chile, and Argentina. Bolivia has plenty—9 million tons that have never been mined commercially, the second-largest amount in the world—but until now there’s been no practical way to mine and sell it.” Morales’ cancellation of the ACISA deal opened the door to either a renegotiation of the agreement with terms delivering more of the profits to the area’s population or the outright nationalization of the Bolivian lithium extraction industry. As Telesur reported in June, the Morales government announced at the time it was “determined to industrialize Bolivia and has invested huge amounts to ensure that lithium is processed within the country to export it only in value-added form, such as in batteries.”

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Russia’s too quiet lately, on South America and in Syria.

Russia Accuses Bolivian Opposition Of Unleashing Wave Of Violence (R.)

Russia on Monday accused Bolivia’s opposition of unleashing a wave of violence in the South American nation and said it looked like a government push for dialogue had been swept aside by an orchestrated coup. Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Sunday he was resigning to ease violence that has gripped Bolivia since a disputed election, but he stoked fears of more unrest by saying he was the victim of a “coup” and faced arrest. Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement it was alarmed by the events and called on all political forces to show common sense and to act responsibly.

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The coup against Correa was way more subtle: his deputy Lenin Moreno did the deed.

Correa: Morales Was Forced Out In ‘Coup’, OAS Is ‘A US Instrument’ (RT)

Former leader of Ecuador Rafael Correa said the resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales was the result of a coup d’etat and that events could have ended in worse violence, if the socialist leader had not resigned. “Of course there was a coup d’etat,” Correa told RT Spanish in an exclusive interview on Monday, explaining that such an insubordination of the country’s armed forces “cannot exist in a constitutional state of law” or democracy. “If Evo Morales did not resign, there would have been a bloodbath because there was no public order,” he said. Morales resigned on Sunday at the demands of Bolivia’s military chief, following weeks of protests and only hours after he had promised fresh elections. Morales previously proclaimed he had won the October 20 general election with a 10-point lead, a result which was quickly contested by the opposition, who accused him of tampering with the vote.

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“Everybody over twelve in this land knows that his kid Hunter was on the grift in Ukraine, plain and simple, and that Joe assisted in the operation. Color him toast.”

Death Throes of a Party (Kunstler)

Is it possible that Rep. Adam Schiff was hung out to dry by the devious Ms. Pelosi, feeding his vanity to be a one-man impeachment wrecking crew, knowing that the congressman from Hollywood would utterly blow it? Hmmmmm. Begins to look that way as Mr. Schiff’s House Intel Committee goes public this Wednesday with its soviet-style format on full display. Well, first, why? Why allow this nitwit to stage an ersatz impeachment only to see it fail? Perhaps to cancel the Jacobin menace metastasizing in the Democratic Party and get on with the business of winning the 2020 elections — with old-school candidates hand-picked to end-run the gang of fantasists currently on display.

The House Speaker must sniff the odor of failure in the wind. Joe Biden, smiling cretinously, blunders through the primary venues with a big red “L” plastered on his forehead, often uncertain of what state he’s landed in, or what direction to face the camera. Everybody over twelve in this land knows that his kid Hunter was on the grift in Ukraine, plain and simple, and that Joe assisted in the operation. Color him toast. Elizabeth Warren has been caught lying very publicly twice now, first as a phony Cherokee Indian (for career advancement in academia), and lately claiming falsely that she was canned from a teaching job years ago for being pregnant (with a 2007 tape of her out telling a contradictory story). Of course, that’s just the cherry-on-top of her dazzlingly unsound policy proposals to bankrupt the nation. Doesn’t look like she can reel it all back in and pretend to be a credible person in time for a full-on campaign.


[..] Which brings us back to Rep. Adam Schiff and his monkeyshines in the star chamber of his personal devising. Now that the show goes public, will he haul many of the same characters back into the witness chair to spin out his engineered narrative, without any cross examination allowed, or other felicities of due process? Someone ought to advise him that playing the Robespierre role tends toward an unhappy ending for the player. Especially when Mr. Jordan of Ohio, newly-seated on the Intel Committee, starts barking out points-of-order. I’m even half-wondering if Mr. Durham, the federal attorney, has not already measured up bills of indictment for Mr. Schiff himself, for the phony CIA agent “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella, the pre-wired IC Inspector General Michael Atkinson, US chargé d’affaires for Ukraine Bill Taylor, and the spectacularly seditious Colonel Vindman, whose antics stand out in this latest coup attempt against the elected president. And then what kind of bag does that leave Ms. Pelosi holding?

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There have been dozens of changes made to his Wikipedia page in the past day.

White Helmets ‘MI-6 Co-Founder’ Found Dead In Turkey (ZH)

The White Helmets, a roughly 3,000 member NGO formally known as the Syrian Civil Defense, was established in Turkey in “late 2012 – early 2013” Le Mesurier trained an initial group of 20 Syrians. The group then received funding from Le Mesurier’s Netherlands-based non-profit group, Mayday Rescue – which is in turn funded by grants from the Dutch, British, Danish and German governments. According to reporter and author Max Blumenthal, the White Helmets received at least $55 million from the British Foreign Office and $23 million from the Agency for International Development. They have also received millions from Qatar, which has backed several extremist groups in Syria including Al Qaeda.

The US has provided at least $32 million to the group – around 1/3 of their total funding – through a USAID scheme orchestrated by the Obama State Department and routed overseas using a Washington D.C. contractor participating in USAID’s Syria regional program, Chemonics. According to their website, the White Helmets have been directly funded by Mayday Rescue, and a company called Chemonics, since 2014. Yet there’s evidence that both of those organizations started supporting the White Helmets back in early 2013, right around the time the White Helmets claim to have formed as self-organized groups. Mayday Rescue, as we said, is funded by the Dutch, British, Danish and German governments. And Chemonics?


They are a Washington, D.C. based contractor that was awarded $128.5 million in January 2013 to support “a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria” as part of USAID’s Syria regional program. At least $32 million has been given directly to the White Helmets as of February 2018. -TruthInMedia Notably, the Trump administration cut US funding to the White Helmets last May, placing them under “active review.” While the White Helmets tout themselves as ‘first responders’, the group has been accused of staging multiple chemical attacks – including an April 7 incident in Duma, Syria which the White House used as a pretext to bomb Syrian government facilities and bases.

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See? Siberia!!! It’s the Russians again.

US Northeast ‘Siberian Express’ Arctic Blast Could Break 200 Records (Ind.)

An Arctic blast sweeping across the eastern United States was expected to bring below-freezing temperatures and as many as 200 record lows throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service. The unusually cold air mass came from Siberia — a phenomenon called “Siberian Express” — and was predicted to bring historic low temperatures from the Great Plains to the Gulf Coast beginning on Monday and lasting until Wednesday night. The cold front rolled through the upper Midwest on Sunday before heading south towards Texas, where forecasters said temperatures nearly 30 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius) below typical November averages would be felt beginning on Tuesday morning.


[..] The weather service’s Weather Prediction Centre tweeted on Monday morning that the nation’s cold spot was located in Malta, Montana, where the temperature sat at -24 degrees Fahrenheit (-31 degrees Celsius). The centre said earlier that 148 daily record lows were forecast “to be broken, tied, or come within 1 degree between Tuesday and Thursday this week,” while National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Donofrio told the Associated Press that some 200 records may be broken this week nationwide. The January-like temperatures are far from common at this time of year in the southeastern US, though it’s not the first time a Siberian Express brought historic lows to the country. The term was reportedly first coined during the January 1982 cold front with air from Siberian origins, which brought record-lows to many parts of the country.

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Watch this interview and replace every mention of “Jamie Dimon” with “Al Capone” and it works perfectly.

 

 

 

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May 082019
 


 

 

The Psychology of Russiagate (Gabor Maté)
Trump Tax Returns Show Over $1 Billion In Business Losses In A Decade (G.)
White House Orders Don McGahn Not To Comply With Congressional Subpoena (G.)
‘Bond King’ Gundlach: US National Debt ‘Totally Out Of Control’ (CNBC)
The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q1 2019 (WS)
Stocks Could Drop 10-20% If China And US ‘Dig In’ On Trade War – Siegel (CNBC)
China Says April Trade Surplus $13.84 Billion, Far Below Expectations (CNBC)
Germany, Wealthy Regions Are Biggest Winners Of EU Single Market (R.)
Hackers Steal $41 Million Worth Of Bitcoin From Binance Crypto Exchange (R.)
A War Is Brewing Over Lithium Mining At The Edge Of Death Valley (LA Times)
People Who Publicly Fret About Assange Rape Allegations Are Lying (CJ)
Humanity Is About to Kill 1 Million Species in a Murder-Suicide (NYMag)

 

 

This is fantastic. Please watch. Trump as a traumatized man. Elected by a society deeply in denial about its own trauma.

The Psychology of Russiagate (Gabor Maté)

What’s interesting is that in the aftermath of the Mueller thunderbolt of no proof of collusion, there were articles about how people are disappointed about this finding. Now, disappointment means that you’re expecting something and you wanted something to happen, and it didn’t happen. So that means that some people wanted Mueller to find evidence of collusion, which means that emotionally they were invested in it. It wasn’t just that they wanted to know the truth. They actually wanted the truth to look a certain way. And wherever we want the truth to look a certain way, there’s some reason that has to do with their own emotional needs and not just with the concern for reality.

And in politics in general, we think that people make decisions on intellectual grounds based on facts and beliefs. Very often, actually, people’s dynamics are driven by emotional forces that they’re not even aware of in themselves. And I, really, as I observed this whole Russiagate phenomenon from the beginning, it really seemed to me that there was a lot of emotionality in it that had little to do with the actual facts of the case. There is no question that for a lot of people in this country, the election of Trump was a traumatic event. Now, when a trauma reaction happens, which is to say you’re hurt and you’re pained and you’re confused and you’re scared and you’re bewildered, there’s basically two things you can do about it.

One is you can own that I’m pained and I’m hurt and I’m bewildered and I’m really scared. And then try and look at what happened to bring me to that situation. Or you can instead of dealing with those emotions come up with some kind of explanation that makes me feel better about them. So that I’ve got this pain. I’ve got this bewilderment. I’ve got this fear. So what I’m looking at, what does it say about American society that a man like this could even run for office, let alone be elected? What does it say about American society that so many people are actually enrolled in believing that this man could be any kind of a savior? What does that say about the divisions and the conflicts and the contradictions and the genuine problems in this culture? And how do we address those issues?

You can look at that. Or you can say there must be a devil somewhere behind all this, and that devil is a foreign power, and his name is Putin, and his country is Russia. Now you’ve got a simple explanation that doesn’t invite you or necessitate that you explore your own pain and your own fear and your own trauma.

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Is it just me, or is this a really strange way to present old news as new? They really can’t find anything on the man? Didn’t he even write a book about this?

Trump Tax Returns Show Over $1 Billion In Business Losses In A Decade (G.)

Donald Trump’s businesses lost a total of more than $1bn from 1985 to 1994, enabling him to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. The newspaper, which said it obtained printouts from Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, found that Trump’s core businesses, including casinos, hotels and apartment buildings, lost $1.17bn over a decade. Trump posted losses in excess of $250m in both 1990 and 1991, according to the records, which appeared to be more than double any other individual US taxpayer in an annual IRS sampling of high-income earners.


The New York Times report comes amid a fresh battle between Democrats in Congress and the Trump administration over the release of the president’s tax returns. On Monday, the US Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, refused a request by the congressman Richard Neal, the Democratic chairman of the House ways and means committee, for Trump’s tax returns. Democrats want Trump’s tax data as part of their investigations of possible conflicts of interest posed by his continued ownership of extensive business interests, even as he serves as president. Responding to the New York Times’ revelations, Charles Harder, a lawyer for the president, said the tax information was “highly inaccurate”.

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Yeah, well, if they try to keep Russigate going at this point in time, it’s not going to be easy.

White House Orders Don McGahn Not To Comply With Congressional Subpoena (G.)

The White House has informed Congress that it has ordered the former counsel Don McGahn not to hand over documents subpoenaed by a congressional committee investigating the findings of the special counsel Robert Mueller. In a letter to the House judiciary committee chairman, Jerrold Nadler, the White House lawyer Pat Cipollone cited “significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege”. McGahn’s refusal is sure to set the Trump administration on course for another collision with the Democratic-led House over lawmakers’ pursuit of documents related to the Russia investigation.


In a subpoena, Congress had requested documents from McGahn pertaining to 36 matters, including discrete episodes in the Russia affair ranging from the resignation of the former national security adviser Michael Flynn to the 9 June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Cipollone said McGahn “does not have the legal right to disclose these documents to third persons”. In a follow-up letter to Congress, a lawyer for McGahn said he intended to follow the White House direction. “Where co-equal branches of government are making contradictory demands on Mr McGahn concerning the same set of documents,” the letter reads, “the appropriate response for Mr McGahn is to maintain the status quo unless and until the committee and the executive branch can reach an accommodation.”

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“Using leverage ratios alone, “45%, not just of the BBB but the entire corporate bond market would be junk right now..”

‘Bond King’ Gundlach: US National Debt ‘Totally Out Of Control’ (CNBC)

U.S. debt has climbed to an alarming level, according to DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach. “People are starting to realize that the deficit and debt are totally out of control,” Gundlach said on CNBC’s “Halftime Report” Tuesday. Gundlach said the “main reason” the yield curve between 3-year and 5-year Treasury notes is steepening is the ballooning deficit. Last year, U.S. national debt increased by more than 6% of GDP, he said. An even bigger deficit could mean trouble in a recession, said Gundlach, whose DoubleLine has $130 billion in assets under management. Gundlach — sometimes known as the “bond king” — also flagged trouble in the corporate bond market, which got “dragged down” in the “economic mess that we’re in.”


“The corporate bond market is so much worse today than it was in 2006,” he said. Among Gundlach’s concerns: a corporate bond market that has tripled in size, and a BBB-rated bond market that is now bigger than the junk-bond market. Using leverage ratios alone, “45%, not just of the BBB but the entire corporate bond market would be junk right now,” he said, citing figures from Morgan Stanley. A recession or downturn could “spark” a wave of downgrades from investment grade bonds into junk bonds, he said. “The economy is in such bad shape to withstand a downturn again,” Gundlach said. “The national debt is exploding while we’re having some of the best GDP year over year that we’ve had in recent years.”

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Jubilee.

The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q1 2019 (WS)

Consumer debt – or consumer “credit” more euphemistically – includes auto loans, student loans, credit-card debt, and personal loans, but it excludes housing related debt, such as mortgages and HELOCs. Growing consumer debt helps prop up the US economy because it means that consumers – they’re called “consumers” not “people” for a reason – spend money they don’t have. There is always a reckoning in the future, but to heck with the future, and so here we go. Credit card debt and other revolving credit, such as personal lines of credit, in Q1 rose 3.4% compared to Q1 last year, to $1.0 trillion (not seasonally adjusted), according to the Federal Reserve Tuesday afternoon. This was a record for a first quarter, when consumers cut back while they try to dig themselves out from under their shopping season debts. But it wasn’t good enough. Credit card balances in Q1 were flat with Q4 2008, despite a decade of inflation, population growth, and economic growth. Our debt slaves are lackadaisical:

The thing is, over the same period, nominal GDP rose 5.1%. And in terms of GDP, credit card debts actually fell, which explains the soft-ish retail data in the first quarter. In a very un-American way, consumers were again lackadaisical in charging up their credit cards to the max. Credit cards are a key element in the banking industry’s profits. At commercial banks, the average interest rate on credit-card plans is 15.1% and the average assessed interest rate is 16.9%, on $1 trillion in outstanding credit balances. This amounts to around $150 billion to $169 billion a year in interest income! These banks rely on consumers to spend money they don’t have. So why don’t they consume with sufficient energy? That’s a baffling question for economists.


Total auto loans and leases outstanding for new and used vehicles in Q1 rose by $44.5 billion from a year ago, or by 4.0%, to a record of $1.16 trillion, despite new-vehicle sales that declined in Q1 by 3.2%, though there was some strength in used vehicles sales. The increase in borrowing was due to higher transaction prices of new and used vehicles, the rising average loan-to-value ratio, and the lengthening average duration of loans:

Student loans rose by 4.9% year-over-year in Q1, or by $74 billion, to a new record of $1.6 trillion (not seasonally adjusted). It has doubled since the beginning of 2010. Confusingly, enrollment in higher-education, based on the latest data available from the National Center for Education Statistics fell by 7% between 2010 and 2016. In other words, fewer students are enrolled, but all combined they borrow more as tuition continues to rise, and as the entire industry feeds on those government-guaranteed student loans. This ranges from device makers, such as Apple, text-book publishers, concert-ticket sellers, and commercial real estate investors specializing in student housing. Every dime a student borrows is spent, and it props up Corporate America, the university financial complex (UFI, my term), and the US economy overall – with heck to pay later:

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The Fed is the only thing dominating markets. Not China.

Stocks Could Drop 10-20% If China And US ‘Dig In’ On Trade War – Siegel (CNBC)

Stocks could drop significantly if the United States and China dig in during trade talks, Wharton finance professor Jeremy Siegel told CNBC on Tuesday. Tensions between the U.S. and China are high as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Monday that new tariffs on 25% of goods will go through on Friday. Siegel said this causes major risk to the downside. “If both sides dig in this market could go down 10% to 20%,” Siegel said on “Squawk Alley. ” “It’s a question of what happens on Friday. If it does happen on Friday, what is the retaliation of the Chinese? And that’s totally dominating the market for the next two or three weeks.”


Siegel said the market built in about a 90% chance that trade negotiations with China would be resolved. Since Trump’s tweets on Sunday threatening to raise tariffs the market, the market now projects no more than a 70% chance of a resolution, he said. This change is what is shocking the market downward, he said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite all closed down more than 1.6% on Tuesday. Investors are waiting to see how the trade talks with China go this week but Trump will be watching the market, Siegel said. “The strongest thing that Donald Trump has going for him in next year’s election is the economy and the stock market. He cannot afford that to falter,” said Siegel.

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Why is Reuters still polling economists?

China Says April Trade Surplus $13.84 Billion, Far Below Expectations (CNBC)

China posted a big miss in its overall trade surplus for April, as exports unexpectedly fell and imports surprisingly rose. The numbers came on Wednesday as the trade impasse between the U.S. and China continues to drag on. Customs data on Wednesday showed that trade surplus for April came in at $13.84 billion. That was far lower than the $35 billion economists polled by Reuters had expected, and below the $32.65 billion posted in March. Dollar-denominated exports also missed expectations in April, falling 2.7% from a year ago, according to data from the China’s General Administration of Customs. Economists polled by Reuters expected an increase of 2.3% from a year earlier.


However, April imports unexpectedly rose by 4% from a year ago, compared to a decline of 3.6% that economists predicted. Imports in March fell 7.6%. China’s trade surplus with the U.S., meanwhile, rose to $21.01 billion in April from $20.5 billion in March, the data showed. U.S. and Chinese officials have met several times in a bid to hammer out a trade deal, but Washington said this week that tariffs on Chinese products will increase on Friday, fueling fears that negotiations could be derailed. The outlook for Chinese exports will remain challenging even if a trade deal is reached with the U.S. soon, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics.

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In other news: the sky is blue. What I like here is they state everyone is better off because of the single market. I don’t even want to see their ‘proof’ for that.

Germany, Wealthy Regions Are Biggest Winners Of EU Single Market (R.)

The European Union’s industrial heartlands, its urban regions and Germany are the biggest beneficiaries of the bloc’s single market, according to a study that highlights the economic and social inequalities plaguing the bloc. The single market seeks to guarantee free movement of goods, capital, services and labor across the 28-nation EU. A report by the Bertelsmann Foundation found that Germany, Europe’s largest economy, benefited most in absolute terms from the single market, earning an extra 86 billion euros ($96 billion) a year because of it. It found that each German was on average 1,046 euros richer as a result of single market membership, while on average EU citizens were only 840 euros richer. “Not everyone profits equally from the single market, but everyone does gain,” said Aart De Geus, president of the Germany-based foundation.


The inequalities highlighted in the report are shaping EU politics ahead of this month’s European Parliament elections, in which some have called for a continent-wide minimum wage, while Italy, wrestling with low growth, has demanded the right to break European fiscal rules to finance tax cuts. Wealthy, advanced economies near the EU’s economic core such as Austria and the Netherlands are also far richer as a result of being members, the report showed, while poorer southern and eastern European countries benefit far less. “For countries like the Netherlands or Austria, the internal market is gold, since they have competitive sectors but are reliant on exports because they have small domestic markets,” said Dominic Ponattu, one of the study’s authors.

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Call me crazy, but isn’t this happening a little too often?

Hackers Steal $41 Million Worth Of Bitcoin From Binance Crypto Exchange (R.)

Hackers stole bitcoin worth $41 million from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, the company said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of thefts from cryptocurrency exchanges around the world. The 7,000 bitcoin were withdrawn by hackers using a variety of techniques, “including phishing, viruses and other attacks”, according to a post on Binance’s website by chief executive officer Zhao Changpeng. The post said user funds would not be affected because the company would use its secure asset fund for users to cover the loss.


Bitcoin’s price dropped by as much as 4.2 percent in early Asian trading as news of the hack broke, although it later recovered some of its losses. Zhao said on Twitter other crypto exchanges, including Coinbase, had blocked deposits from addresses linked to the hack. Last year, $950 million of cryptocurrencies was stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges and infrastructure services such as wallets, up nearly 260 percent from the previous year, research from U.S.-based cyber security firm CiptherTrace showed. Exchanges in Japan and South Korea accounted for 58 percent of the thefts last year, the research found.

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It ain’t easy being green.

A War Is Brewing Over Lithium Mining At The Edge Of Death Valley (LA Times)

A small Cessna soared high above the Mojave Desert recently, its engine growling in the choppy morning air. As the aircraft skirted the mountains on the edge of Death Valley National Park, a clutch of passengers and environmentalists peered intently at a broiling salt flat thousands of feet below. The desolate beauty of the Panamint Valley has long drawn all manner of naturalists, adventurers and social outcasts — including Charles Manson — off-road vehicle riders and top gun fighter pilots who blast overhead in simulated dogfights. Now this prehistoric lake bed is shaping up to be an unlikely battleground between environmentalists and battery technologists who believe the area might hold the key to a carbon-free future.


Recently, the Australia-based firm Battery Mineral Resources Ltd. asked the federal government for permission to drill four exploratory wells to see if the hot, salty brine beneath the valley floor contains economically viable concentrations of lithium. The soft, silvery-white metal is a key component of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and is crucial to the production of electric and hybrid vehicles. The drilling request has generated strong opposition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife, who say the drilling project would be an initial step toward the creation of a full-scale lithium mining operation. They say lithium extraction would bring industrial sprawl, large and unsightly drying ponds and threaten a fragile ecosystem that supports Nelson’s bighorn sheep, desert tortoises and the Panamint alligator lizard, among other species.

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Why go into allegations that have no proven substance? There is no point in that which supports Assange. Tons of sympathy for Caitlin, but I really think this should be about Julian, not about her.

People Who Publicly Fret About Assange Rape Allegations Are Lying (CJ)

As a survivor of multiple sexual assaults, I have found it unspeakably infuriating the way this same patriarchal imperialist system which has allowed rape culture to thrive throughout the entirety of its existence has suddenly become deeply, deeply concerned about plot hole-riddled and completely unproven allegations against a man who just so happens to have published humiliating truths about that very same imperialist system. This same warmongering power structure which has never given a shit about women beyond our ability to fly a stealth bomber and squeeze new recruits out of our vaginas suddenly has the full force of its propaganda machine whipping liberals into a hysteria about allegations of acts that aren’t even illegal in the nations those liberals live in. Acts that these liberals have never even thought about pushing to make laws against in their own governments.


Do you know how you can be absolutely certain that anyone you see on social media rending their garments about Assange’s Swedish allegations is completely full of shit? Because no matter how hard you search through their post history, you will never, ever find any similarly enthusiastic push to ban the actions that Assange is accused of in their own government. In their own land, where their own daughters and sons will be impacted. They focus solely on shaky allegations against a target of the CIA and the Pentagon which are alleged to have happened in Sweden, a nation with very different sexual consent laws than the nations of these English-speaking concern trolls.

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Good headline.

Humanity Is About to Kill 1 Million Species in a Murder-Suicide (NYMag)

Human beings are more prosperous and numerous than we’ve ever been, while the Earth’s other species are dying off faster than at any time in human history. These two conditions are related. But if the second one persists long enough, we will be following our fellow organisms into the dustbin of geological history. This is the primary takeaway from a new United Nations report on our planet’s rapidly diminishing biodiversity. Humanity is reshaping the natural world at such scale and rapidity, an estimated 1 million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, according to the U.N. assessment.

Climate change is a major driver of all this death, but burning fossil fuels is far from our species’ only method of mass ecocide. We are also harvesting fish populations faster than they can reproduce themselves, annually dumping upward of 300 million tons of heavy metals and toxic sludge into the oceans, introducing devastating diseases and invasive species into vulnerable environments as we send people and goods hurtling across the globe, and simply taking up too much space — about 75 percent of the Earth’s land, and 85 percent of its wetlands, have been severely altered or destroyed by human development.

All this plunder has worked out fairly well for us, thus far. But all of our prosperity depends upon the natural world reproducing itself. As the New York Times notes, the U.N. has previously estimated that nature provides the economies of the Americas with $24 trillion worth of non-monetized benefits each year: “The Amazon rain forest absorbs immense quantities of carbon dioxide and helps slow the pace of global warming. Wetlands purify drinking water. Coral reefs sustain tourism and fisheries in the Caribbean. Exotic tropical plants form the basis of a variety of medicines. But as these natural landscapes wither and become less biologically rich, the services they can provide to humans have been dwindling.”

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There is no man or woman who can’t be touched

But you who come between them will be judged

-Leonard Cohen