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


Ivan Aivazovsky Sea channel with lighthouse 1873

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

From RT via Azerbaycan:

Borrell’s Ideas Deepen EU Divisions – Moscow

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

From Zero Hedge:

European Parliament Set To Designate Russia A “Terrorist State”

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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Oct 302022
 


Balthus Girl at the window 1955

 

Americans Support Quick Diplomatic End To War In Ukraine (ReSt)
‘Russia Will Lose The Energy Battle,’ Says IEA Chief Fatih Birol (EN)
Russian Energy ‘Will Never Return’ – IEA (RT)
US LNG Cannot Replace The Russian Natural Gas That Europe Has Lost (OP)
Putin: “The Situation Is, To A Certain Extent, Revolutionary” (Escobar)
‘Massive’ Drone Attack On Black Sea Fleet – Russia (BBC)
Russia Suspends Its Participation In Grain Deal (RT)
British Navy Involved In Nord Stream 2 ‘Terrorist Attack’ – Russia (RT)
German Bailout Of Struggling Energy Giant May Reach €60 Billion – BBG (RT)
Orbán Says Hungary Is ‘Exempt’ From The Conflict (Dalos)
Japan Unveils Massive Spending Package (RT)
GM “Paused” Ads on Musk’s Twitter (WS)
Writers, Publishers, Editors Call for Termination of Barrett Book Deal (Turley)
UN Seeks $4 to 6 Trillion Per Year to Address Climate (Mish)

 

 

“Tough times never last but tough people do.”
~Robert H. Schuller

 

 

 

 

Tucker fair fight

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clare Daly

 

 

 

 

Twitter just reinstated Peter McCullough, but there’s more:

Senator Ron Johnson @SenRonJohnson:
“Hearing Dr. Peter McCullough has been stripped of his medical certifications. On what basis did this occur? He has dedicated his life to saving others. This is outrageous and must be reversed.”

 

 

 

 

You read this, you think: a voice of reason. But they still have to resort to blatant lies: “The poll’s release comes after Vladimir Putin doubled down on Russia’s war in Ukraine by mobilizing reserves and issuing threats to use nuclear weapons after recent gains by the Ukrainian military near the country’s eastern border with Russia.”

Putin mentioned nukes exactly once, and that was long before Ukraine’s “recent gains”. It was also not a threat. It was a statement.

Americans Support Quick Diplomatic End To War In Ukraine (ReSt)

Nearly 60 percent of Americans would support the United States engaging in diplomatic efforts “as soon as possible” to end the war in Ukraine, even if that means Ukraine having to make concessions to Russia, according to a new poll. The survey, conducted by Data for Progress on behalf of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, also found that a plurality (49 percent) said the Biden administration and Congress have not done enough diplomatically to help end the war (37 percent said they had). The poll’s release comes after Vladimir Putin doubled down on Russia’s war in Ukraine by mobilizing reserves and issuing threats to use nuclear weapons after recent gains by the Ukrainian military near the country’s eastern border with Russia.


Moscow has also recently orchestrated referendums in some Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine on whether citizens there want to secede and become part of the Russian Federation, leading experts to believe that regardless of the outcome, Putin plans to illegally annex parts of Ukraine. The survey also found that 47 percent said they support the continuation of U.S. military aid to Ukraine only if Washington is involved in ongoing diplomacy to end the war, while 41 percent said they would support aid regardless of whether the United States is engaged in negotiations. Just six percent said Russia’s war in Ukraine is among the top three most important issues facing the United States today, with the top three being inflation (46 percent), jobs and the economy (31 percent), and gun violence (26 percent).

Read more …

Fatih Birol has been issuing nonsense for many years. That’s precisely why he’s kept his job all this time.

But it’s very simple: if you have all the “energy”, you cannot lose the battle for it.

‘Russia Will Lose The Energy Battle,’ Says IEA Chief Fatih Birol (EN)

Russia will lose the energy battle it is waging against the West, according to Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Just before the invasion [of Ukraine], about 65% of the Russian total gas exports went to Europe and 55% of the Russian oil export went to Europe,” Birol told Euronews on Friday afternoon. “Europe was by far the largest market, the largest client for Russia, and Russia lost this client forever. The biggest client.” Birol’s comments appeared to refer to the retaliatory action that the European Union has taken in response to the Ukraine war: a near-total oil embargo of Russian gas and a highly expensive push to diversify gas suppliers, mainly through liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Asked if Russia could replace European clients with other regions, Birol said that would not be easy because “a big chunk” of Russian gas originates in Western Siberia and then flows to Europe via pipelines. Building brand-new pipelines to China or India could take up to 10 years, he predicted, and a significant amount of technology and investment. “You are not selling onions in the market, you are selling natural gas. It’s a different business,” Birol said. “So to replace the natural gas exports to Europe with Russia is, in the short term, a pipe dream.” But Russia is not the only country going through troubled times. In his interview with Euronews, recorded at the IEA’s headquarters in Paris, Birol spoke of an international crisis of unprecedented scope and reach, wreaking havoc in all corners of the world.

“We are in the middle of the first truly global energy crisis. Our world has never, ever witnessed an energy crisis with this depth and with this complexity,” he said. “In the 1970s, we had an oil crisis, but it was only oil. Now we have oil, natural gas, coal, electricity. The reason is very simple: Russia, the country that invaded Ukraine, is the largest energy exporter of the world.” Birol described Europe as the “epicentre” of the storm and characterised its decades-long reliance on cheap Russian fuels as a “mistake” at the root of the present crisis. The IEA chief predicted the continent will be able to make it through the upcoming winter with just some “economic and social bruises” and no major damage — but only if the winter “is not too long and not too cold, and if there are no major surprises.”

Birol, however, expressed greater concern about the 2023-2024 winter, citing three key factors: Europe’s absence of Russian gas, China’s economic recovery and tighter conditions in the LNG markets. “In the next few years, we have to be ready [to deal] with volatile and high energy prices and we have to find solutions,” he said. “But to be very frank, this winter is difficult and next winter may be even harder.”

Read more …

More Birol.

Russian Energy ‘Will Never Return’ – IEA (RT)

Russia may “never” regain its position in the global energy market due to Western sanctions in response to the country’s military operation in Ukraine, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its yearly World Energy Outlook, published on Thursday. The events in Ukraine are prompting a wholesale reorientation of global energy trade, leaving Russia with a much diminished position.All Russia’s trade ties with Europe based on fossil fuels had ultimately been undercut by Europe’s net zero ambitions, but […] now the rupture has come with a speed that few imagined possible … Russian fossil fuel exports will never return – in any of our scenarios – to the levels seen in 2021,” the agency said. It predicts that Russian oil and gas revenues will drop by more than half in the coming years, from around $75 billion last year to less than $30 billion in 2030.


Western sanctions prompted Russia, which previously supplied around 20% of the globe’s fossil fuels, to reorient its energy exports toward Asian markets, but according to the IEA the country is unsuccessful in finding markets for all of the flows that previously went to Europe. Longer term prospects are weakened by uncertainties over demand, as well as restricted access to international capital and technologies to develop more challenging fields and LNG projects, the agency explained. Overall, according to the IEA the world is facing a crisis of unprecedented depth and complexity in terms of energy, with a profound reorientation of international energy trade already underway. The agency predicts that the energy crisis is likely to force countries to speed up their energy transition, as solar and wind power, as well as electric vehicles, are deemed less vulnerable to political crises and sanctions than fossil fuels.

Read more …

Not even close.

US LNG Cannot Replace The Russian Natural Gas That Europe Has Lost (OP)

Europe cannot rely solely on imports of U.S. LNG to offset the pipeline gas supply it will have lost from Russia when it starts rebuilding inventories after the end of this winter, according to BloombergNEF. So far this year, American LNG has been crucial in meeting demand in Europe, which is scrambling for gas supply and willing to pay up for spot deliveries, outbidding most of Asia. The United States is shipping record volumes of LNG to Europe to help EU allies and nearly 70% of all American LNG exports were headed to Europe in September, according to Refinitiv Eikon data cited by Reuters. However, the significant drop in Russian gas supply this year occurred only in June, meaning that Europe could still stock up on some Russian gas earlier this year.

Ahead of the 2023/2024 winter, however, the gap in gas supply in Europe will be much wider without Russian gas. Europe will not be importing much Russian gas—or none at all if Russia cuts off deliveries via the one link left operational via Ukraine and via TurkStream—compared to relatively stable imports from Russia in the first half of this year, before Moscow started gradually cutting volumes via Nord Stream in June until shutting down the pipeline in early September. “The year-on-year increase is not sufficient to offset a total cut in Russian piped supply with under half of these volumes met by LNG increases,” BNEF analyst Arun Toora said.

“The good news is that Russia looks close to having played its last card in terms of gas leverage over Europe. However Europe’s challenges will not disappear with the daffodils next spring,” London-based consultancy Timera Energy said in a winter gas market outlook at the beginning of October. Without most of the Russian gas supply, Europe will likely need to offset around 40 bcm of additional lost Russian flows next year. LNG alone cannot meet this volume, considering a lack of new global liquefaction capacity in the short-term, including in the U.S., limited further demand elasticity in Asia, and European regasification capacity constraints. Therefore, European demand will need to fall, Timera Energy said.

Read more …

“Putin in fact did nail where we are: on the edge of a Revolution.”

Putin: “The Situation Is, To A Certain Extent, Revolutionary” (Escobar)

[..] the heart of the matter at Valdai is its 2022 report, “A World Without Superpowers”. The report’s central thesis – eminently correct – is that “the United States and its allies, in fact, no longer enjoy the status of dominant superpower, but the global infrastructure that serves it is still in place.” Of course all major interconnected issues at the current crossroads were precipitated because” Russia became the first major power which, guided by its own ideas of security and fairness, chose to discard the benefits of ‘global peace’ created by the only superpower.” Well, not exactly “global peace”; rather a Mafia-enforced ethos of “our way or the highway”.

The report quite diplomatically characterizes the freezing of Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves and the “mop up” of Russia’s property abroad as “Western jurisdictions”, “if necessary”, being “guided by political expediency rather than the law”. That’s in fact outright theft, under the shadow of the “rules-based international order”. The report – optimistically – foresees the advent of a sort of normalized “cold peace” as “the best available solution today” – acknowledging at least this is far from guaranteed, and “will not halt the fundamental rebuilding of the international system on new foundations.” The foundation for evolving multipolarity has in fact been presented by the Russia-China strategic partnership only three weeks before imperially-ordered provocations forced Russia to launch the Special Military Operation (SMO).

The Valdai report duly acknowledges the role of Global South medium-sized powers that “exemplify the democratization of international politics” and may “act as shock absorbers during periods of upheaval.” That’s a direct reference to the role of BRICS+ as key protagonists. On the Big Picture across the chessboard, the analysis tends to get more realistic when it considers that “the triumph of ‘the only true idea’ makes effective dialogue and agreement with supporters of different views and values impossible by definition.” Putin alluded to it several times in his address. There’s no evidence whatsoever the Empire and its vassals will be deviating from their normative, imposed, value-laden unilateralism.

As for world politics beginning to “rapidly return to a state of anarchy built on force”, that’s self-evident: only the Empire of Chaos wants to impose anarchy, as it completely ran out of geopolitical and geoeconomic tools to control rebel nations, apart from the sanctions tsunami. So the report is correct when it identifies that the childish neo-Hegelian “end of history” wet dream in the end hit the wall of History: we’re back to the pattern of large scale conflicts between centers of power. And it’s also a fact that “simply changing the ‘operator’ as it happened in earlier centuries” (as in the US taking over from Britain) “just won’t work.” China might harbor a desire to become the new sheriff, but the Beijing leadership definitely is not interested.

And even if that happened the Hegemon would fiercely prevented it, as “the entire system” remains “under its control (primarily finance and the economy).” So the only way out, once again, is multipolarity – which the report characterizes, rather vaguely, as “a world without superpowers”, still in need of “a system of self-regulation, which implies much greater freedom of action and responsibility for such actions.” Stranger things have happened in History. As it stands, we are plunged deep into the maelstrom of complete collapse. Putin in fact did nail where we are: on the edge of a Revolution.

Read more …

“..in recent days, Kyiv has accused Moscow of deliberately delaying the passage of ships, creating a queue of more than 170 vessels.”

How does a massive attack solve this?

‘Massive’ Drone Attack On Black Sea Fleet – Russia (BBC)

Russia has accused Ukraine of carrying out a “massive” drone attack on the Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol. The attack began at 04:20 (01:20 GMT) and involved nine aerial and seven marine drones, Russian officials said. At least one warship is said to have been damaged in the strikes. Ukraine has not yet acknowledged the incident. Ukrainian troops have been successfully retaking territory occupied by Russians recently. Russia has replied by launching large-scale attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, particularly on the country’s energy grid. Mikhail Razvozhaev, the Russian-installed governor of the Sevastopol, said Russia’s navy had repelled the latest attack. The strikes were the “most massive” on the city since Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian state media quoted the governor as saying.

He said that all unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) had been shot down and no “civilian infrastructure” had been damaged. At least one vessel sustained minor damage, the Russian Ministry of Defence said. “In the course of repelling a terrorist attack on the outer roadstead of Sevastopol, the use of naval weapons and naval aviation of the Black Sea Fleet destroyed four marine unmanned vehicles, three more devices were destroyed on the internal roadstead,” a statement from the ministry read. Russia also claimed the ships targeted on Saturday morning were involved in ensuring the “grain corridor” as part of the international initiative to export agricultural products from Ukrainian ports.

The agreement, brokered by the UN and Turkey, allowed Ukraine to resume its Black Sea grain exports, which had been blocked when Russia invaded the country. It was personally negotiated by the UN secretary general and celebrated as a major diplomatic victory that helped ease a global food crisis. But Russia complains that its own exports are still hindered, and has previously suggested it might not renew the deal. In recent days, Kyiv has accused Moscow of deliberately delaying the passage of ships, creating a queue of more than 170 vessels.

Read more …

“Russia “is suspending its participation in the implementation of agreements on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports..“

Russia Suspends Its Participation In Grain Deal (RT)

Moscow has halted its compliance with a grain deal with Kiev, brokered by the UN and Türkiye, after Ukraine launched a major drone attack on ships involved in securing safe passage for agricultural cargo, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Saturday.In a post on its Telegram channel, the ministry said Russia “is suspending its participation in the implementation of agreements on the export of agricultural products from Ukrainian ports”. It explained that the move was prompted by “a terror attack” against the ships of the Black Sea Fleet and civilian vessels involved in ensuring the security of the grain corridor. The ministry also alleged that the bombing was organized with the involvement of British military.

Read more …

Still no investigation results. Top secret.

British Navy Involved In Nord Stream 2 ‘Terrorist Attack’ – Russia (RT)

Britain’s Royal Navy played a part in orchestrating and staging the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday. The accusation follows the Russian Foreign Ministry’s claim that NATO conducted a military exercise during the summer, close to the location where the undersea explosions occurred. Writing on its official Telegram channel, the ministry alleged that Royal Navy operatives “took part in planning, supporting and implementing” a “terrorist attack” to blow up the gas pipelines on September 26. According to the Defense Ministry, the same British operatives were involved in the training of Ukrainian military personnel who recently attacked ships of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, which were implementing a grain deal between Russia and Ukraine, brokered by the UN and Türkiye.

The pipelines, which were built to deliver Russian natural gas directly to Germany, abruptly lost pressure on September 26, following a series of underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm. Both Western countries and Russia sounded the alarm about the incident, with Moscow denouncing it as a terrorist attack and calling for an investigation into the matter. In late September, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted that this summer, NATO conducted military drills not far from Bornholm, which featured intensive use of “deep-sea equipment’’. Earlier this month the Wall Street Journal, citing German officials familiar with the investigation, reported that the blasts which damaged the pipelines were caused by sabotage.

While the officials stopped short of naming the culprit, they were said to be “working under the assumption that Russia was behind the blasts.” Moscow has repeatedly denied that it had anything to do with the incident. Meanwhile, Sky News has cited a UK defense official as saying Nord Stream 1 and 2 could have been damaged by a remotely detonated underwater explosive device. At the time, the broadcaster said the pipelines might have been breached by mines lowered to the seabed, or explosives dropped from a boat or planted by an undersea drone.

Read more …

At some point, someone will say that is an awful lot of money to keep a bunch of neo-nazis in power.

German Bailout Of Struggling Energy Giant May Reach €60 Billion – BBG (RT)

Berlin is getting ready to boost financial aid to Uniper, the country’s largest gas supplier, which has been brought to the brink of insolvency due to rising energy prices, Bloomberg reported citing sources familiar with the matter. According to the report, the government may up the aid to €60 billion ($60 billion). The plan comes as the company’s financial situation is quickly worsening due to growing wholesale gas prices prompted by diminishing flows from Russia. Uniper’s adjusted net loss for the first nine months of the year reportedly amounted to €3.2 billion ($3.2 billion). And if gas prices do not subside, which is unlikely due to the approaching winter and the subsequent growth in demand, the government will have to spend twice as much to bail out the energy giant than previously expected.

German authorities announced plans to nationalize Uniper last month as part of efforts to keep the energy industry afloat amid the crisis. Uniper has been promised around €31 billion in aid from Berlin’s €200 billion energy aid package. In exchange, the government will acquire a 98.5% stake in the firm, which effectively means its full nationalization. The law cementing the deal is reportedly scheduled to be confirmed by the German Senate on Friday, and the funds could be transferred to Uniper next week, Bloomberg sources said. In an interview with Bloomberg, German Deputy Finance Minister Florian Toncar said Berlin will do all in its power to ensure Uniper remains operational but did not comment on the size of the aid.

“Uniper is a crucial company for the gas supply in Germany, otherwise we wouldn’t jump to such high stakes,” he was cited as saying. While European benchmark gas futures have fallen about 70% from their August highs on nearly full storage and liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries, gas prices remain around three times higher than the five-year average. According to Uniper, the company is forced to pay much more for gas now than it did for the pipeline supplies from Russia.

Read more …

The Guardian found an anti-Orban Hungarian.

Orbán Says Hungary Is ‘Exempt’ From The Conflict (Dalos)

The invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 will go down in the annals of European history. Russia’s undeclared war has cast an almost apocalyptic shadow. And it has dramatically altered the relationships that had prevailed between east and west since the collapse of the USSR. Whenever or however this armed conflict ends, it will undoubtedly take a long time for a new peace-guaranteeing equilibrium to be established. At the very least, the European Union and Nato now have to reckon with a hostile power on their borders and to prepare for a new phase of the cold war. Hungarians voted in general elections just weeks after the invasion, in April, and it seems reasonable to assume that the war next door had an influence on the result.

Given the climate of fear that the devastating “special military operation” created, Hungarians voted to keep Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz in power rather than risk an untested six-party coalition. This assumption also underlies Orbán’s response, which is to stay out of the conflict to the point of being “exempted”, a position that has been condemned as a betrayal by Hungary’s western allies. Hungary refuses to allow arms shipments destined for Kyiv to transit Hungarian territory and blocks the extension of EU sanctions against Russia to the energy sector. This latter stance is intended to enable an already controversial Russian-Hungarian project to build a nuclear power plant on the Danube (Paks II) to go ahead unaltered. The exemption clearly goes too far, even if Hungary does have special interests that merit consideration.

It has a 136km (84-mile) border with Ukraine and there are roughly 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in the Transcarpathian oblast in south-west Ukraine, many of them married to Ukrainians. It should be remembered that, while in purely geographical terms, Hungary stayed the same after 1989: the former Hungarian People’s Republic now borders five countries that owe their statehood to the end of the USSR and the dissolution of larger, multi-ethnic entities. To the south, the collapse of the former Yugoslavia led to the creation of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. Its northern border is no longer with the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic but with Republic of Slovakia and independent Ukraine. What now connects most of these newer political entities with Hungary, and indeed its old neighbours, Romania and Austria, is EU membership.

Serbia is on the waiting list, Ukraine has been awarded candidate status. But in the 1990s, all these countries made the transition to parliamentary democracy, during which the rivalries between the various political groups played out openly and, not infrequently, violently. Every twist and turn and every internal conflict in these republics still affects Hungary’s interests because of the Hungarian minorities living there: 1.5 million in Romania, 500,000 in Slovakia, 300,000 in Serbia, 16,000 in Croatia, 15,000 in Slovenia and 150,000 in Ukraine.

Read more …

Japanese govt bonds are bought by the BOJ AND the citizens. A closed loop.

Japan Unveils Massive Spending Package (RT)

The Japanese government has announced an economic package worth around 39 trillion yen (nearly $270 billion) to support the economy amid rising inflation and a weakening national currency, broadcaster NHK reported on Friday. The package includes local and central government spending, and is “aimed at overcoming rising prices and reviving the economy… to protect people’s livelihoods and businesses,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters in Tokyo. The government plans to lower utility bills to help households save an equivalent of $19 a month on electricity and $6 a month on gas, according to Kyodo News.


Inflation in Japan has seen its sharpest increase in 40 years, with core consumer prices in Tokyo, a leading indicator of nationwide figures, rising 3.4% in October from a year earlier, according to official figures. The increase has been attributed to rising energy, raw material and food prices amid the economic fallout of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as other factors, the Kyodo News said. The Bank of Japan, however, has been swimming against the global current of increasing interest rates as it kept its short-term interest rate at -0.1% on Friday. Last week, the Japanese yen fell to its weakest level against the dollar since August 1990, having lost more than a fifth of its value against the greenback this year alone.

Read more …

“..Twitter, is owned as of yesterday by the CEO and largest shareholder of Tesla. And the automakers that compete with Tesla, and are getting their clocks cleaned by Tesla, are now finding themselves advertising on Elon Musk’s platform.”

GM “Paused” Ads on Musk’s Twitter (WS)

Automakers spend lavishly on advertising, and they advertise heavily in the social media. But now, one of the social media platforms, Twitter, is owned as of yesterday by the CEO and largest shareholder of Tesla. And the automakers that compete with Tesla, and are getting their clocks cleaned by Tesla, are now finding themselves advertising on Elon Musk’s platform. And when you think about it, that’s kind of a hoot. No one likes to advertise on a competitor’s platform, for all sorts of reasons, but particularly because on a social-media platform, the competitor gathers the consumer tracking data and can get important insights into current and potential customers and their reactions to the products and ads – without even passing on those insights to the automaker.

Advertising on a competitor’s social media platform is a particular problem because of the vast amount of user data that those platforms collect – data on your customers and potential customers that you may actually not see yourself, unless the platform decides to share it with you. General Motors is the first automaker out the gate: It announced on the first day after Musk closed the acquisition of Twitter that it “paused” its paid advertising on Twitter. “We are engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership. As is normal course of business with a significant change in a media platform, we have temporarily paused our paid advertising. Our customer care interactions on Twitter will continue,” GM said in a statement emailed to CNBC.

Stellantis, which owns the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram brands, among a bunch of other brands, tweeted this morning via its Citroën account, pointing specifically at the issue: “Hello to the social media platform owned by one of our competitors.” This isn’t about advertisers’ concerns, if any, with Musk’s potential content moderation policies. Musk already tried to soothe those fears with his open letter, addressed to advertisers, that was suddenly full of lovey-dovey language, posted on Twitter, of course. “In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all.” And he said, “I very much believe that advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain, and inform you.” And he said, “Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise.”

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“The focus of the letter is the fact that Barrett voted with the majority in the Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

Writers, Publishers, Editors Call for Termination of Barrett Book Deal (Turley)

We have been discussing the rising support for censorship on the left in the last few years. Silencing opposing views has become an article of faith for many on the left, including leading Democratic leaders from President Joe Biden to former President Barack Obama. What is most distressing is how many journalists and writers have joined the call for censorship. However, even with this growing movement, the letter of hundreds of “literary figures” this week to Penguin Random House is chilling. The editors and writers call on the company to rescind a book deal with Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett because they disagree with her judicial philosophy. After all, why burn books when you can simply ban them?

The public letter entitled “We Dissent” makes the usual absurd protestation that, just because we are seeking to ban books of those with opposing views, we still “care deeply about freedom of speech.” They simply justify their anti-free speech position by insisting that any harm “in the form of censorship” is less than “the form of assault on inalienable human rights” in opposing abortion or other constitutional rights. Yet, the letter is not simply dangerous. It is perfectly delusional. While calling for the book to be blocked, the writers bizarrely insist “we are not calling for censorship.” While the letter has been described as signed by “literary figures,” it actually contains many who are loosely connected to the “broader literary community” like “Philip Tuley, Imam” and “Barbara Hirsch, Avid reader.” It also includes many who are simply identified by initials or first names like “Leslie” without any stated connection.

Nevertheless, there are many editors and publishing figures who list their companies (including HarperCollins, Random House and other companies) and university presses (including Cambridge, Harvard, Michigan Northwestern, Oxford) with their titles in calling for censorship. The list speaks loudly to why dissenting or conservative authors find it more difficult to publish today. These are editors who are publicly calling for banning the publication of those who hold opposing views from their own. It also includes academics like Ignacio Leopoldo Götz Römer, Stessin Distinguished Professor Emeritus, New College of Hofstra University and Carole DeSanti, Elizabeth Drew Professor of English Language and Literature, Smith College (and former VP and Exec Ed, PenguinRandomHouse).

The focus of the letter is the fact that Barrett voted with the majority in the Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Barrett has been the singled out in the past due to her judicial philosophy (which is shared by many federal judges and millions of citizens). Her home has been targeted and activists have published school information on her young children. Recently, Rhodes College alumni sought to strip references to Barrett from the college because they disagree with her views. Her college sorority was even forced to apologize for simply congratulating her for being one of a handful of women to be nominated to the high court. No attack appears to be beyond the pale for media or the left. Barrett sat through days of such baseless attacks on her character, but even had to face attacks referencing her children. Ibram X. Kendi, the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, claimed that her adoption of two Haitian children raised the image of a “white colonizer” and suggested that the children were little more than props for their mother.

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We’re rich!

UN Seeks $4 to 6 Trillion Per Year to Address Climate (Mish)

The Guardian reports UN finds ‘no credible pathway to 1.5C in place’: “The UN environment report analysed the gap between the CO2 cuts pledged by countries and the cuts needed to limit any rise in global temperature to 1.5C, the internationally agreed target. Progress has been “woefully inadequate” it concluded. Current pledges for action by 2030, if delivered in full, would mean a rise in global heating of about 2.5C and catastrophic extreme weather around the world. A rise of 1C to date has caused climate disasters in countries from Pakistan to Puerto Rico. If the long-term pledges by countries to hit net zero emissions by 2050 were delivered, global temperature would rise by 1.8C. But the glacial pace of action means meeting even this temperature limit was not credible, the UN report said. A study published this week found “large consensus” across all published research that new oil and gas fields are “incompatible” with the 1.5C target.”

What Would It Cost? Hooray! Only $4 trillion to 6 trillion per year. “A global transformation from a heavily fossil fuel- and unsustainable land use-dependent economy to a low-carbon economy is expected to require investments of at least US$4–6 trillion a year,” stated the UN report (page 26 of 132).
Q: US$4–6 trillion a year for how many years?
A: Based on figure ES.6 (lead chart) least eight years.
Q: What Percent of GDP?
A: 4 to 9 percent for developing countries, and 2 to 4 percent for developed countries. And developing countries will gladly fork over up to 9 percent of GDP every year for eight years. Yeah, right. Meanwhile, the EU is burning more trees and coal. Burning trees is magically deemed environmentally neutral.

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Elephant drum
https://twitter.com/i/status/1586018731385397248

 

 

 

 

Steller’s sea eagle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1586251819071590400

 

 

 

 

Good boi

 

 

 

 

Lyrebird

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 202022
 
 October 20, 2022  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Schooner and three masters 1886

 

American Advisor To Ukraine’s Military Reveals War Goals (RT)
Ukraine Tries To Capture Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)
US Lifts Ban On Funding ‘Neo-nazi’ Ukrainian Militia (JPost)
Europe’s Ultimate Choices On Ukraine (OR)
Bill Ackman Proposes Peace Plan For Ukraine And Russia (RT)
A Few Updates About The NATO Crusade Against Russia (Saker)
Europe Compensated All Gas Volumes Cut By Russia – Ursula Von Der Leyen (Az.)
EU Countries Urged To Share Gas (RT)
Hungary Opposes ‘Dangerous’ EU Gas Plan (RT)
Europe To Face Worse Gas Crisis In 2023 – Qatar (RT)
Ukraine’s Most Nationalist Region Once A Pro-Russian Hotbed (Plotnikov)
Biden Family Got $5 Million Interest-free, Forgivable Loan From China (JTN)
Net Zero: Doubling Down On Stupid (TT)
Ladapo Dismisses CDC Adding COVID Vaccine to Childhood Schedule (FV)
Ladapo: mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Given to Young Men (ET)

 

 

 

 

Under the seabed

 

 

 

 

Covid implants

 

 

 

 

Kari Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ukraine will refuse to negotiate with Russia and fight to return to its 1991 borders..”

Russia will refuse to go back even to 2014.

The US is aiming for forever war.

American Advisor To Ukraine’s Military Reveals War Goals (RT)

Ukraine will refuse to negotiate with Russia and fight to return to its 1991 borders – established following an independence vote ahead of the collapse of the Soviet Union – according to Dan Rice, an American citizen advising the commander in chief of Kiev’s armed forces. Speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett for an interview on Tuesday, Rice appealed to Western states for additional arms shipments to Ukraine, adding that while the country desperately needs air defense systems and aircraft, it has no interest in diplomacy with Moscow. “[Russia is] trying, in my opinion, to get to the negotiating table, to try to go back to the 2014 lines,” Rice claimed. “Ukraine won’t have it. Ukraine wants all of their land back, back to the ‘91 lines.”

Ukraine’s 1991 borders would include four formerly Ukrainian provinces – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye – as well as Crimea, all of which have voted to join the Russian Federation in a series of referendums. Crimea’s was held in 2014 soon after the ‘EuroMaidan’ revolution ousted Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich, while the other provinces voted to leave Ukraine last month. Despite Rice’s assessment of Moscow’s position, the Kremlin has made clear that it has no intention of reversing the referendums, with Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stating that while he is prepared to negotiate with Kiev, “the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson will not be discussed.”

Russia’s most recent call for negotiations came last week, when Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested Moscow’s goals could be achieved diplomatically and that it remains “open” to talks. However, he added that “it takes two sides to have a dialogue,” saying negotiations are unlikely given the “very, very hostile stance” toward Russia by Ukraine’s Western backers. A US Marine combat veteran and West Point graduate who now runs the consulting firm Thayer Leadership, Rice went on to voice hopes that Poland would provide its “old Russian fighters”to Ukraine in exchange for American F-16 jets, claiming the aircraft are currently “mothballed” and would come at no cost to the US taxpayer.

“The biggest thing they need right now is air defense systems – both missiles and aircraft. We really need the Ukrainian Air Force to be restocked,” he continued. “We [the United States] are putting in a lot of air defenses, they are just getting there though.” Rice was tapped to serve as a special advisor to Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, back in June, reportedly at the general’s “personal invitation.” His own LinkedIn page notes that he works in an “unpaid/voluntary role,” and says he will use his official access to “research the Ukrainian military leader development and learning, and how the culture changed between 2014-2022.”

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”Russia formally included the plant in its civilian atomic energy infrastructure earlier this month.”

Ukraine Tries To Capture Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)

Kiev launched an amphibious operation against the Russian city of Energodar in Zaporozhye Region, a senior local official has reported. Ukrainian commandos used around 30 speed boats overnight to cross the Dnepr River, targeting the city, Vladimir Rogov said, as cited on Wednesday morning by Russian media. “After artillery shelling of the city, they attempted to land, including to capture the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The fighting continued for several hours, at least three or three and a half. The assault was fended off,” he said. Earlier in the day the city administration reported Ukrainian artillery attacks on several key facilities in Energodar, including the city administration building, an access road, and a transformer station crucial for its power supply. The latter was disabled, causing a blackout, the head of the city administration, Aleksandr Volga, said.


Energodar is located in Zaporozhye Region, one of four former Ukrainian regions that voted to become part of Russia last month. Energodar has been under Russian control since March. The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest facility of its kind in Europe, is located on the shore of the Dnepr just outside the city. The site was the focus of a diplomatic spat between Russia and Ukraine, with both sides accusing each other of attacking it and risking a nuclear disaster. Kiev also claimed that Russia was stationing heavy weapons at the facility, which Moscow denies. Russia formally included the plant in its civilian atomic energy infrastructure earlier this month. The provincial capital, the city of Zaporozhye, remains under Ukrainian control and served as the staging ground for the amphibious operation, according to Rogov.

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It takes the Jerusalem Post to report on this. Everyone else has re-defined neo nazis.

US Lifts Ban On Funding ‘Neo-nazi’ Ukrainian Militia (JPost)

Congress is reported to have recently repealed its ban on a Ukrainian militia accused of being neo-Nazi, opening the way for American military assistance. Last June, Congress passed a resolution intended to block American military funding for Ukraine from being used to provide training or weaponry for the Azov Battalion, an independent unit that had been integrated into the former Soviet Republic’s national guard and was taking part in operations against Russian- backed rebels. Called a “neo-Nazi paramilitary militia” by Congressmen John Conyers Jr. and Ted Yoho, who cosponsored the bipartisan amendment, the battalion has been a source of controversy since its inception.

With the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on its unit flash – which resembles a black swastika on a yellow background – and founders drawn from the ranks of the paramilitary national socialist group called “Patriot of Ukraine,” the group would have been a fringe phenomenon in any Western nation, but with its army unequipped to face the separatist threat in the east, Kiev actually integrated Azov into its military forces. According to a report in The Nation, the Pentagon lobbied the House Defense Appropriations Committee to remove the Conyers-Yoho amendment from the 2016 defense budget, claiming it was unnecessary as such funding was already prohibited under another law. However, The Nation asserted that the law in question, known as the Leahy Law, only prohibits funding to groups that have “committed a gross violation of human rights,” which would not apply in this case.

The news that the Azov Battalion is now legally able to receive American aid has enraged the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which last week successfully blocked the battalion from holding a recruitment meeting in Nantes, France. “This step is hardly surprising to anyone who has been following the growing danger of Holocaust distortion in post-Communist Europe, and especially in the Baltics, Ukraine and Hungary,” said Wiesenthal Center Jerusalem office head Efraim Zuroff. “In recent years, the United States has purposely ignored the glorification of Nazi collaborators, the granting of financial benefits to those who fought alongside the Nazis, and the systematic promotion of the canard of equivalency between Communist and Nazi crimes by these countries because of various political interests.”

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“By refusing to take a balanced approach, the EU is disqualifying itself to be an honest broker on peace negotiations that sooner rather than latter will need to start in the conflict.”

Europe’s Ultimate Choices On Ukraine (OR)

EU’s decisions in support of Ukraine have purportedly been taken in the name of democracy, the rule of law and western values and against a military action by Russia considered unprovoked and illegal. The EU appears to have been also concerned about the unsettling of post-World War II borders – or rather the national frontiers that followed the end of the Cold War – and has expressed unfounded fears that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are the prelude for further aggression in Europe. Deep down, through its actions against Russia the European leadership psyche seems to have had a cathartic release, unleashing an old Russophobia manifested in Europe over decades if not centuries, melting together Czarist Russia, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation in an effort to portray and convince the average European about an inherent Russian malignity that needs to be rooted out once and for all.

In its one-sided defence of Ukraine, the EU has been unwilling to recognize and accept the civil war character of the Ukraine conflict, Russia’s legitimate security concerns and its ongoing warnings about it over years, the historical background of a conflict rooted on the mistreatment of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population that worsened since the US sponsored Ukraine coup in 2014 and its failure to support a diplomatic settlement in 2015 – i.e. the Minsk agreements -, in which they played a mayor facilitating role. The EU ignores the deep flaws of the current Ukraine government and the society it has tried to create, both defined now by blatant corruption, political persecution of opposition and an ultra-nationalist ideology, all this hardly reflecting so-called European values.

Sadly, the EU has been incapable to develop an autonomous and justly self-serving European alternative in the conflict and has become hostage of the US hegemonistic agenda. By refusing to take a balanced approach, the EU is disqualifying itself to be an honest broker on peace negotiations that sooner rather than latter will need to start in the conflict. Non-European countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now taking the lead, reflected for instance in the recent Russo-Ukrainian prisoner exchange, a prominent role unthinkable only a few months ago which is embarrassing for Europe given its traditional place in diplomacy.

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“It just saddens me to see death and destruction with no apparent end date or opportunity for resolution.”

Bill Ackman Proposes Peace Plan For Ukraine And Russia (RT)

Ukraine should recognize Crimea as part of Russia and renounce its bid to join NATO for the sake of peace, US billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has said. Just like SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk before him, Ackman was immediately criticized online for suggesting that Kiev should be ready to make concessions in order to end the hostilities. “Crimea was part of Russia until 1954 and is largely comprised of ethnic Russians, which was apparently why the world did little when Russia annexed it back in 2014,” Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, tweeted on Monday. He added that the borders should return to where they were prior to February 24, when Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring country and before four former Ukrainian regions voted to join Russia.

He added that the West should then help Kiev with its recovery, while the country should stay outside of NATO. “Thousands of lives will be saved and resources can be invested to rebuild [Ukraine] rather than in a war that will only lead to more destruction and death,” the billionaire wrote. “If there is a viable path to peace, we should pursue it. Each day the conflict continues, the risk to the world rises.” After receiving criticism online, Ackman clarified his stance on Tuesday. “Yesterday, I suggested that a reasonable peace settlement might be a return to the borders as of [February 24], a Marshall Plan to rebuild [Ukraine], and [Ukraine’s] decision to not join NATO. Then the knives came out. I was accused of being an appeaser and worse,” he wrote.

I ask: is [Ukraine] better off in a continued prolonged war that leads to 1,000s more [Ukrainian] deaths and the leveling of the country or does some kind of negotiated settlement make sense? … I am by no means an expert. It just saddens me to see death and destruction with no apparent end date or opportunity for resolution. “In a negotiated settlement, both parties must concede something or there is no opportunity for resolution. What is the least that both parties can concede that is acceptable for both? What am I missing in my analysis? What better ideas do you have?” Ackman argued.

Ackman’s comments came as more public figures in the West have been making suggestions for a possible peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. Venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur David Sacks tweeted on Sunday that the US should propose a ceasefire based on the February 23 lines and guarantee that Ukraine will not join NATO. Musk offered his own vision of a peace settlement this month, which includes Ukraine recognizing Crimea as Russian territory. Kiev and Western officials quickly blasted Musk for what they considered to be a plan that heavily favors Moscow.

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“..while most of the US and NATO forces are a sad joke, the US nuclear triad and the USN’s submarine force are both still world class and extremely dangerous and capable..”

A Few Updates About The NATO Crusade Against Russia (Saker)

What we are seeing is the creation of two parts of our planet: the AngloZionist Hegemony (in which only the USA and Israel have agency, the rest are colonies, occupied countries, volunteer slaves, etc.) and the Multipolar Free World. While the two blocks are not technically at war with each other, in reality they already very much are. Russia and Iran are bearing most of the military burden while other free countries quietly try to either stay out and keep a low profile or, even more quietly, assist China and rest of the Multipolar Free World to prevail economically. Of course, the AngloZionist Hegemony is using every means it has to subvert not only Russia, but also China, Iran and any other country daring to declare even a modicum of sovereignty.

The eventual and inevitable outcome of this confrontation is not in doubt, at least not to those who are aware of reality. It is not the outcome which I fear (in fact I await it with great anticipation!) but the potentially enormous costs of defeating the West’s last Crusade (last time Russia lost 27 million people, most of them innocent civilians, and that did not even do the full job – hence today’s war). I will never stop repeating that while most of the US and NATO forces are a sad joke, the US nuclear triad and the USN’s submarine force are both still world class and extremely dangerous and capable (and US SSNs come with not only anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities, but also with land-attack missiles).

This is why it is absolutely crucial for Russia to turn up the pain dial steadily but SLOWLY. Those dimwits who constantly advocate for “firm Russian actions” and simply “hit them hard!” are clueless civilians from countries who never won a real war adn who have no idea whatsoever about modern warfare or about the immense risks their warmongering hysterics create for our entire planet. I can sincerely say that I thank God that Putin is a very careful type who fully understands that there are no “quickfix solutions” to denazifying and demilitarizing the AngloZionist Hegemony. And yes, Russia will continue to unilaterally and gradually rotating up the pain dial, and Russia will do so without feeling the need to seek approval from those who have never won a war but who believe that wars are won by “showing toughness”.

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Ursula counts on your gullibility. Just look at this nonsense: “the market has really changed, from a pipeline gas market to a LNG market.”

The EU has cut itself off from pipeline gas. Now all it has is LNG. But that hasn’t changed “the market”, only the EU.

And now the US is talking about a export ban….

Europe Compensated All Gas Volumes Cut By Russia – Ursula Von Der Leyen (Az.)

Compared to September 2021, in September 2022, Russia has cut 80 percent of its pipeline gas supplies, said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 20-21 October 2022, according to the Commission. “But Europe has been able to compensate all that. We have diversified towards our trusted partners, like for example Norway and the United States. We have increased the savings. And it is good, we achieved in September a reduction of 15 percent. We have filled our storages up to 92 percent. We did not give in to this blackmail. We made it. And I think we can be proud of that. We resisted. That is important. But we also see that resisting Russian energy coercion comes at a price. European families have seen their gas bills skyrocketing. And our companies are struggling to keep up competitiveness. It is not only about the competitiveness in the Single Market – that is also important. But it is also about the global competitiveness that our companies are fighting for,” she said.


Ursula von der Leyen recalled that in March, the Commission proposed to the Council the option to cap gas prices. “At that time, this did not gain any traction. But today, we are coming back to this. So what is the model? The current benchmark determining gas prices is TTF. TTF is only focused on pipeline gas. What we see now is that the market has really changed, from a pipeline gas market to a LNG market. So we need a new, a specific price benchmark for LNG. The Commission will now develop this complementary benchmark together with the European regulator. But this takes time. So in the meantime, as a stop-gap measure, we will limit prices at TTF. We call this the market correction mechanism. Yesterday, we proposed guiding principles as a first step. On this basis, we will prepare the operational mechanism in a second step. This is concerning the price cap at wholesale level,” she said.

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“According to von der Leyen, the EU has managed to reduce its “huge dependency on Russian gas” by two thirds in eight months..”

EU Countries Urged To Share Gas (RT)

European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen has called on EU member states to jointly purchase gas in order to avoid competition that could push prices even higher. “Instead of outbidding each other, Europeans should buy gas together. For this, we will purchase together gas at {the} EU level… We do this because we have learnt the lesson. We literally saw in August, at the height of the filling season, how member states were outbidding each other and prices were spiking. We definitely can be smarter than this. So pooling our demand is a must,” Leyen said on Wednesday at the European Parliament session in Strasbourg. Her comments come a day after the EC announced a new emergency package of measures aimed at lowering gas prices and ensuring the EU’s winter energy supply.


Joint gas purchases are part of the plan, as is the introduction of binding “default rules” for member states to share gas in the case of an emergency. “We know that some member states are more directly exposed than others to Russian gas. The situation is especially challenging for landlocked countries in Central Europe. But in the end, in our single market with highly integrated supply chains, a disruption in one member state has a massive impact on all member states. So, sharing gas in a crisis is critical,” she stated. According to von der Leyen, the EU has managed to reduce its “huge dependency on Russian gas” by two thirds in eight months, and also to diversify supplies. However, she noted that this has come “at a high price” and urged the bloc to invest in “home-grown sources of energy” in order to maintain competitiveness.

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“Hungary has a long-term contract for gas supplies with Russia’s Gazprom, and the country “is guaranteed to receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia.”

Hungary Opposes ‘Dangerous’ EU Gas Plan (RT)

The European Commission’s proposal on joint gas purchases by EU member states is a risky move, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto warned on Wednesday. “The European Commission’s proposal is unsuitable and even dangerous… threatens to further cut gas supplies to Europe,” he stated in a video address posted to his Facebook page. The minister urged Hungary not to accept the “risky” proposal, which could only lead to a drop in supplies and an increase in energy prices. He stressed once more that Hungary opposes another “dangerous” notion – a price cap on Russian gas, which “would mean that the Russians would stop supplying natural gas to Europe.”

“According to simple economic principles, if we increase the quantity of a given product in a market, its price will decrease, but if we decrease the quantity of the product, the price will increase. Therefore, the amount of natural gas on the European market should be increased. It would be necessary for as much natural gas as possible to arrive in Europe from as many sources as possible,” he added. The minister said that Hungarian gas storages are currently 50% full, which means that the country has enough gas reserves for six months. He called this an “outstanding” result compared with other EU countries. Reuters, citing Aurora Energy Research analysts, recently reported that even a 100% gas storage level would only sustain the bloc for about three months.

Hungary has a long-term contract for gas supplies with Russia’s Gazprom, and the country “is guaranteed to receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia.” Also, at the end of August Hungary signed an additional two-month contract for the supply of up to 5.8 million cubic meters of Russian gas per day starting on September 1.

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“You just don’t have enough volume to bring [in] to replace that gas for the long term, unless you’re saying ‘I’m going to be building huge nuclear [plants], I’m going to allow coal, I’m going to burn fuel oils’”

Europe To Face Worse Gas Crisis In 2023 – Qatar (RT)

Europe is facing a shortage of natural gas over the next several years due to the break-up of trade with Russia, the energy minister of Qatar, a leading global exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has said. Replacing all Russian gas with other sources doesn’t seem like a viable strategy, Saad al-Kaabi told the Financial Times in an interview published on Tuesday. If “zero Russian gas” flowed in to the EU, as Brussels intends, “I think the problem is going to be huge and for a very long time,” he said. “You just don’t have enough volume to bring [in] to replace that gas for the long term, unless you’re saying ‘I’m going to be building huge nuclear [plants], I’m going to allow coal, I’m going to burn fuel oils’,” the minister explained. The EU leadership prides itself on having reduced the share of Russian gas in the bloc’s mix from some 40% to just 7.5% in seven months.

Brussels hopes to massively ramp up supplies of LNG and increase piped imports from Norway and Algeria to fully eliminate reliance on Russian energy. The surge in demand from Europe is meeting some resistance from traditional markets for LNG in Asia. China has reportedly ordered its state importer not to re-export excess gas due to concerns over a possible deficit in the winter. Kaabi warned in the interview that while European nations had accumulated enough gas in storage facilities to make it through the upcoming winter relatively unscathed, there is no certainty that this will be the case in future seasons. The energy crisis may be “much worse next year,” unless Russian gas is imported, he said. “This coming winter, because of the storage capacity being full, it’s fine,” the Qatari official stated.

“It’s really replenishing the reserves, or the storage, for next year that’s going to be the issue.” Next year and the following year, even up to 2025, are going to be the issue. Commenting on the challenges that the Europeans are having in securing supplies from his nation, the minister said Doha was concerned about losing the EU market in the future because of its larger goal of moving away from fossil fuels. Europe needs to “get off the discussion that gas is not needed for a long time,” he suggested, “because everybody who’s going to invest in the gas sector, they’re looking at 25, 30, 40-year horizons to invest and to get reasonable returns on the investments.” QatarEnergy, the state-owned company that Kaabi also heads, prefers long-term contracts for 15-20 years in foreign trade.

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Love good history lessons.

Ukraine’s Most Nationalist Region Once A Pro-Russian Hotbed (Plotnikov)

“In the last decade of the 19th century, despite all its own difficulties in terms of national and economic life, Galicia became the center of the Ukrainian movement. In Russia’s Ukrainian lands, it played the role of a cultural arsenal with respect to Russia’s Ukrainian lands, where the means to bring about a cultural and socio-political revival of the Ukrainian people were created and improved,” Mikhail Grushevsky, a historian who was one of the first ideologists of Ukrainian nationalism, wrote in an article entitled Ukrainian Piedmont, back in 1906. Today, it is difficult to dispute his assertions. During the 20th century, western Ukraine, which Galicia is part of, was the main center of Ukrainian identity and the engine driving Ukrainization in the rest of the country’s regions.

But the history of the Galician lands does not begin at the end of the 19th century. It has roots in the deep past, tracing back to the very origins of Russia. After the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772, Galicia came under the rule of Austria. Vienna needed to build an administrative system for the region, most of which was inhabited by Slavs. To do this, the Austrian authorities skillfully played on the incongruities between the Catholic Polish population (mainly townspeople and nobles) and the Orthodox peasantry. Seeing the latter as possible agents of Russian influence, a campaign was launched to Polonize them.

The effect, however, turned out to be exactly the opposite. Galician Russophilism was born amidst the Polonization drive in the first half to the middle of the 19th century, when Poles played the dominant role in the cultural and social life of the region. The local Rusyn population gave up hope of finding a way to integrate into the Austrian Empire without losing their traditions and culture, so they began to look for new meaning in the East. Moreover, in the period between the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) and the Crimean War (1853-1856), Russia really was the hegemon of continental Europe. Austria itself called on Russian troops to help suppress a Hungarian uprising. For the Rusyns, the power of the neighboring empire was obvious, and they perceived Russia as a place where they could occupy a privileged position as part of the national majority, and not be second-class subjects.

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Lending a whole new meaning to the term ‘conflict of interest’.

“..assisting them with potential business deals and investments while Joe Biden was Vice President; however, that work remained intentionally uncompensated while Joe Biden was Vice President..”

Biden Family Got $5 Million Interest-free, Forgivable Loan From China (JTN)

President Joe Biden has made waves this fall with his plan to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars of student loans, shifting the burden to taxpayers. Five years earlier, his family cashed in on a zero-interest, forgivable loan of its own from an energy company in communist China, according to evidence in the possession of the FBI. The loan arrangement, confirmed in documents obtained by Just the News and also new information released by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), shows the Chinese energy firm CEFC Beijing International Energy Company Limited understood the transaction would benefit Joe Biden’s family (referred to as “BD family” in the emails), but it also was creating heartburn with its own compliance/risk management officers.

The Chinese company’s leaders “fully support the framework of establishing the JV (joint venture), based on their trust on BD family,” stated a July 26, 2017 email from a CEFC official to Tony Bobulinski, a Hunter Biden business partner at the time. The email was written in part to explain why there had been a delay in getting the money to a firm called SinoHawk associated with the future president’s son and brother, Hunter Biden and James Biden, respectively. “The delay of wire is caused by the details on the JV building, as follows: 1) the positioning and strategy of the JV are not made fully clear to CEFC 2) 5 million is lent to BD family in the 10 million charter capital. How will this 5 million be used (or the 10 million as a whole)? This 5 million loan to BD family is interest-free,” the email stated.

“But if the 5 M is used up, should CEFC keep lending more to the family?” the email inquired. “If CEFC lends more, they need to know the interest rate for the subsequent loan(s).” The CEFC official went on to explain the nebulous transaction was raising worries with the company’s compliance officers. “Because of the reasons above, the risk management department of CEFC is showing concerns on the operation of SinoHawk, hence the delay of the wire,” CEFC’s Raymond Zhao wrote. At the time of the transaction, Joe Biden had already left the White House as vice president, was a private citizen and was planning for his eventual 2020 presidential run. Bobulinski has said in media interviews that Joe Biden was a silent partner in the Chinese transaction, identified in internal documents as “the big guy” who might get 10% of the deal.

Grassley on Monday released a letter he sent to the FBI that contained a summary of an October 2020 interview Bobulinski gave to the FBI concerning the Chinese loan transaction. According to Grassley, the $5 million Chinese transaction was paid to a Hunter Biden-connected firm in August 2017, one month after the email obtained by Just the News. Bobulinski told the FBI that some of the Chinese money paid in 2017 was actually deferred compensation for work Hunter and James Biden had done while Joe Biden was still vice president, Grassley wrote. Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson previously have said some $6 million paid in spring 2017 was appeared to be for pre-2017 work.

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“..gas power stations are doing the heavy lifting of grid balancing and wind backup. It wasn’t cheap before the war in Ukraine and it’s not cheap now.”

Net Zero: Doubling Down On Stupid (TT)

Most of my thinking lately dwells on the impossibility of Net Zero. Green energy lobbyists have ramped up the propaganda in recent months, doing all they can to obscure the reality of Net Zero. There are now endless debates as to the true cost of wind energy. Carbon Brief is pushing the line that wind energy is “nine times cheaper”. Andrew Montford of Net Zero Watch has a crack at this dodgy number. Montford’s analysis is often quite good. Personally I think the argument needs to be reframed. Costing energy is an imprecise science because it’s fraught with complexity. The slam dunk argument against wind energy is when we frame it as intermittent versus dispatchable energy. I argue that the cost of building and operating windmills is not a standalone figure.

We must also consider the cost of grid balancing and the various energy storage technologies. Energy storage is in its infancy. It is not cheap. It is not going to get cheaper any time soon. In all probability it’s going to remain a pricey affair for decades to come. There will be shortages of lithium and battery grade nickel in the next five to ten years, leading to production and supply chain problems. In the interim gas power stations are doing the heavy lifting of grid balancing and wind backup. It wasn’t cheap before the war in Ukraine and it’s not cheap now. Moreover, as we’ve dismantled our conventional power generation, we’ve lost a great deal of spinning reserve for short term grid balancing so we’re now having to build standalone flywheels – simulating the spinning metal mass of a power station turbine.

The demonstrator is set to cost £25m. The more intermittent energy we add the more it destabilises the grid so we could end up needing dozens of these contraptions. Elsewhere the renewables sector is looking at conversion of surplus wind energy (at times of low demand) into hydrogen which would then be piped to gas stations and converted into methane. Again, this is not past the demonstrator phase, so we have no real world data on costs and conversion losses. One analysis has it that the technology to convert power to hydrogen and back to power has a round-trip efficiency of 18%-46%, In comparison, two mature long-duration technologies, pumped-storage hydropower and compressed air energy storage, boast round-trip efficiencies of 70%-85% and 42%-67%, respectively.

A more technical paper, assessing German research, concludes that the balancing of fluctuations of renewable energy though green hydrogen seems feasible only up to a level of several GWh per day. “However, the German government’s idea of replacing a significant share of conventionally produced electric energy in the order of TWh with hydrogen does not stand up to scientific analysis”. In short, there is no current cost effective technology capable of mitigating intermittency caused by wind and solar.

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“The CDC panel voted 15-0 to add the Covid “vaccinations” to the Vaccines For Children program. Tomorrow they vote to move to the childhood schedule. ”

Ladapo Dismisses CDC Adding COVID Vaccine to Childhood Schedule (FV)

Amidst the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) upcoming vote to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the Vaccine for Kids program along with being on the childhood vaccine schedule, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo declared any decision will have minimal, if any, impact on the Sunshine State. The CDC is set to meet with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to vote. “Regardless of what [CDC] votes [Wednesday] on whether COVID-19 vax are added to routine child immunizations – nothing changes in FL,” Ladapo declared. “Thanks to [Gov. Ron DeSantis], COVID mandates are NOT allowed in FL, NOT pushed into schools, & I continue to recommend against them for healthy kids.

Ladapo recently recommended against men aged 18-39 receiving the mRNA COVID vaccines, citing a rise in cardiac risk to the tune of 84%. “Results from the stratified analysis for cardiac-related death following vaccination suggests mRNA vaccination may be driving the increased risk in males, especially among males aged 18 – 39,” the review from the Florida Department of Health says. “As such, the State Surgeon General recommends against males aged 18 to 39 from receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Those with preexisting cardiac conditions, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, should take particular caution when making this decision,” Ladapo’s office announced.

“Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health,” Ladapo said. “Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed – these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.” Shortly after the surgeon general tweeted the announcement, Twitter blocked users from seeing it before restoring it. Ladapo took to social media Monday morning to combat critics and skeptics of the new release. “I love the discussion that we’ve stimulated. Isn’t it great when we discuss science transparently instead of trying to cancel one another?” he said. “I’m going to respond to the more substantive critiques.”

Tucker CDC

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Only the state can mandate. But most will follow the CDC criminals.

Ladapo: mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Given to Young Men (ET)

Studies and other data show that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines should not be given to young men, Florida’s surgeon general says. Florida health officials recently analyzed data on vaccinated state residents and detected a sharp increase in heart-related deaths among males aged 18 to 39 after vaccination. The state is now recommending that population, with exceptions, should not get one of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. “In young men, from 18 to 39, it clearly was a signal for increased risk,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program. “That was the main finding.” [..]

Taken together with other research that has found young vaccinated males experiencing heart inflammation at higher rates than unvaccinated young males—including studies from Scandinavia, England, and the United States—Florida officials decided to issue the new recommendation, which contradicts guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “There are a number of studies that are indicating that these vaccines, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular and cardiac events. And we just added to that with another one,” Ladapo said.

“While our study is not definitive—and we never claimed it was—the fact that there is so much evidence that is consistent with our findings very obviously means that you need to consider whether doing … COVID-19, mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations, including them in a strategy, a public health strategy for young men at this point in the pandemic, makes sense. … It doesn’t make any sense. And obviously, should not be giving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to young men at this point in the pandemic,” he added later. The official statement communicating the updated Florida guidance says that the benefit of vaccination for young males is likely outweighed by the “abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death.” It noted that the other available COVID-19 vaccines were not linked with the risk.

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Baby Bear Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saturn the Moon Jupiter and its moons

 

 

Reindeer cyclone

 

 

 

 

Fever

 

 

 

 

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Oct 162022
 
 October 16, 2022  Posted by at 8:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Self-portrait 1629

 

Germany’s Failing ‘Stored’ Nat-gas & LNG Experiment (Vilches)
Nord Stream Saboteurs Plunged EU Into ‘Energy Poverty’ – Moscow (RT)
White House Comments On Paying For Starlink Service For Ukraine (RT)
Musk Makes U-turn On Starlink Service For Ukraine (RT)
Elon Musk Discovers Ukrainian ‘Kill List’ (RT)
The Ideological Tyranny of Liberal Interventionism (Ghorayeb)
European Auto Industry In Trouble – S&P (RT)
How 4,000 People From Groningen Managed To Turn Off The Gas Tap (NOS)
Strong US Dollar Is A Headache – IMF (RT)
Central Bank of G20 Host Indonesia Rails Against US Dollar (RT)
Will Beijing Join With Russia vs The West Or Keep Its Powder Dry? (Hvatkov)
Orban Warns Of ‘Protracted War’ (RT)
Hiding Hunter’s Laptop (Hanson)
Yes, They Claimed The Vaccines Would Prevent Transmission (Chung)
Twitter is a Weapon, not a Business (Robert Malone)

 

 

What an odd list.

 

 

John Maersheimer 2014

 

 

Walker

 

 

“Leave the climate activists glued to the wall. Make it an interactive exhibit by allowing patrons to throw tomato sauce at them and donate the proceeds to planting trees.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jinglemerkel Santakaputt.

“.. at the very best only 25% to 30% of the “supposed” 90% reserves could possibly ever be timely recovered and only very slowly through a period of time stretched out in months. ”

Germany’s Failing ‘Stored’ Nat-gas & LNG Experiment (Vilches)

Be that as it may, and as per the US State Dept. the NS1 and NS2 pipeline sabotage would supposedly have “no impact on European energy resilience”… then we should guess that Germans should just enjoy their Oktoberfest and — why not ? — also prepare to celebrate Christmas 2022 as if nothing negative had happened. On the contrary, if technical brain-power (currently AWOL) prevailed, then career strategists both sides of the Atlantic would now be spending all day and night trying to brush up hard on nat-gas management 101, better yet with a touch of sophomoric physics if all possible. And thus no-nonsense contingency plans would already be prepared and under deployment.

The reason is, as explained below, by EU and German design and commitment this is a failing EXPERIMENT. The planned ´stored´ nat-gas & LNG supply strategies have never ever been applied in equivalent circumstances with this strange methodology and humongous scale. Thusly, the 2022 German Oktoberfest will probably turn into a very acid sauerkraut with solid-beer icicles bizarrely hanging from the spouts. The Main Event would still be the December 2022 ´Jinglemerkel Santakaputt´ with nowhere to hide as all of Europe would be undergoing a thorough DE-industrialization process with sharp lowering of standards of living, and in many areas most probably with food issues, darkness & cold, deep frustration and un-heard-of unemployment with massive migrants wishing they had stayed back home (yes).

Be it from Qatar, Norway, or the US… or Russia…Liquefied Natural Gas cannot and will not save the day for Europe. First of all, LNG is and will be for a huge long time to come very scarce worldwide. Furthermore, there are very few loading and unloading terminals available at either end. For example, Germany has 0 (zero) LNG terminals. None. And even some loading terminals at source docks that are already built have serious operational problems or simply do not meet EU standards. Besides, there are not anywhere near enough LNG tankers available and very few are under construction. Who needed ugly dirty fracked LNG only 6 months ago ? And these infrastructure beasts take very long time to be conceived, approved, designed, funded, built, commissioned, certified, and offered to the market.

But it gets worse because many wrongly imagine that fracked sea-borne Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is a substitute of nat-gas (not). First, it´s terribly more expensive, most explosive & dangerous to handle, and definetly way too scarce to meet European needs. Environmentally, LNG is “fracking” dirty and very cumbersome to liquefy, load and re-gassify with yet non-existant infrastructure at both ends… and is far more difficult to store and many times more costly to freight (Suez could be a limitation) from ackward overseas sources yet unknown (in tankers that do not yet exist) and only in risky seaborne batches onto many dozens of delivery terminals not yet built nor adequately planned for…

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“Stockholm has rejected a plan to set up an official joint investigation team together with Germany and Denmark to look into the explosions [..] All three nations also refused to grant Russia access to the probe. ”

Nord Stream Saboteurs Plunged EU Into ‘Energy Poverty’ – Moscow (RT)

The perpetrators behind the attacks on Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines have destroyed the European Union’s hope of secure and sustainable energy supply, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Novak has said on the sidelines of the Russian Energy Week forum. “Those who had plotted and perpetrated this terrorist act have basically plunged Europe into an energy poverty, so to speak,” Novak said on Friday, adding that the sabotage of the pipelines has all but “nullified the energy security” the EU has long sought to achieve. The former energy minister previously said that Russia is still able to supply natural gas to the European Union through a string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that remains intact. According to President Vladimir Putin the ball was now in the EU’s court on whether it wanted this to happen.

Putin also suggested establishing a new “gas hub” in Türkiye to move the transit volumes to the Black Sea region. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan backed the idea during the leaders’ meeting earlier this week. The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, designed to carry Russian natural gas directly to Germany, bypassing transit states, including Ukraine and Poland, abruptly lost pressure last month, following a series of powerful underwater explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm. Moscow has called the incident a terrorist attack and said the US, a long-time critic of Germany’s reliance on Russian energy, stood to benefit most from the disabling of the routes, both politically and economically. Washington has denied any involvement. However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken hailed the incident as a “tremendous opportunity” for Europe “to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy.”

In the meantime, Stockholm has rejected a plan to set up an official joint investigation team together with Germany and Denmark to look into the explosions, Reuters reported, citing a Swedish investigator. Sweden allegedly argued that its own findings are too sensitive to share even with other EU nations. All three nations also refused to grant Russia access to the probe. Russia used to cover over 40% of the EU’s gas needs prior to the start of the military operation in Ukraine and ensuing sanctions. Supplies dropped dramatically this year, exacerbating the energy crisis, as the bloc is seeking to cut itself off from Russian energy to reduce its dependence and punish Moscow. The US, meanwhile, ramped up its supply of LNG to Europe over the past months, up to a point where it now accounts for nearly half of the bloc’s LNG imports, nearly twice the share recorded in 2021.

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..“burning” around $20 million per month on safeguarding the services from cyberattacks and jamming..”

White House Comments On Paying For Starlink Service For Ukraine (RT)

The Pentagon and US allies are exploring all options to maintain Starlink satellite services for Ukraine after tycoon Elon Musk said he’s no longer willing to provide the communications for free, the White House press secretary has said. During a briefing on Friday, Karine Jean-Pierre was asked if the Biden administration had considered Musk’s request for the Pentagon to foot the bill for satellite internet communications in Ukraine. “Look, we understand the importance of these capabilities to ensure stable communications for Ukraine’s forces in particular,” Jean-Pierre responded. Starlink, operated by Musk’s SpaceX company, has become the main communication tool for Ukraine’s forces since the start of the conflict with Russia.

According to the spokeswoman, the Pentagon is “working with allies and partners to look at all options on how best to support those needs identified by Ukraine specifically.” Further questions on the matter should be referred to the Department of Defense, she added. Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh confirmed on Friday that “the department has been in communication with SpaceX regarding Starlink,” but declined to expand on the nature of those contacts. The DoD understands the “fragility” of satellite communications and their importance for Ukraine “not just on the battlefield, but within the country itself,” Singh said. On Thursday CNN published a letter, which it said SpaceX had sent to the Pentagon in September, demanding that it cover the cost of operating the system in Ukraine. The company is no longer “in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time,” the document read.

Musk reacted to the report by pointing out that his “competitors in space launch and communications,” Lockheed Martin and Boeing, had jointly received over $60 billion in defense contracts in 2021 alone. The entrepreneur explained in a series of tweets how keeping up “warfront” communications was much more difficult and expensive. He said his aerospace company was allegedly forced to divert “massive resources” and was “burning” around $20 million per month on safeguarding the services from cyberattacks and jamming. “Russia is actively trying to kill Starlink,” Musk claimed, warning that it could well succeed in its efforts. “Starlink is the primary communications system of the Ukrainian army on the war front. If anyone else wants this job, please be my guest,” he wrote.

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“..the cost of the internet service in Ukraine, which could amount up to $ 400 million over the next year..”

Musk Makes U-turn On Starlink Service For Ukraine (RT)

The SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made an abrupt U-turn on his decision to stop funding the operation of the Starlink satellite communication service in Ukraine, where it has been actively used by the Ukrainian troops. Earlier, SpaceX reportedly asked the Pentagon to cover the cost of the internet service in Ukraine, which could amount up to $ 400 million over the next year. “We’ll just keep funding Ukraine government for free,” Musk wrote in a tweet on Saturday, adding that SpaceX would do it “even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of taxpayer dollars.” Earlier, the SpaceX CEO pointed to the fact that his “competitors in space launch and communications,” Lockheed Martin and Boeing, had jointly received over $60 billion in defense contracts in 2021 alone.

The entrepreneur also complained in a series of tweets that keeping up “warfront” communications was difficult and expensive. He also stated that Russia was “actively trying to kill Starlink,” forcing the US company to spend some $20 million per month on safeguarding the services from cyberattacks and jamming. On Thursday, CNN obtained a letter, where Musk supposedly informed the Pentagon his company was “not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.” SpaceX has donated around 20,000 Starlink satellite units to Ukraine since the beginning of the conflict in late February, providing internet connection and military coordination in chaotic battlegrounds that would otherwise be cut off from the web.

Kiev then praised the terminals as an “essential part of critical infrastructure” but continued to urge SpaceX to send thousands of additional terminals. Musk previously stated that SpaceX would have spent more than $100 million providing Starlink services to Ukraine by the end of the year. At the same time, the company reportedly admitted that most units it had sent to Ukraine were partially or fully funded by the American, British and Polish governments. SpaceX also recently came under fire over alleged Starlink outages across some regions of Ukraine, which some Ukrainian soldiers described as “catastrophic” loss of communications, according to Financial Times.

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“The website has published personal details – names, addresses, photos, social media pages – of children, the youngest of whom is not even 10 years old..”

Elon Musk Discovers Ukrainian ‘Kill List’ (RT)

Elon Musk has expressed concerns over a controversial website that lists supposed enemies of Kiev, amid claims that his own name briefly appeared on Mirotvorets following his threats to cut funding for Starlink satellite internet services actively used by the Ukrainian troops. “Is this list real? What’s the URL?” the SpaceX CEO tweeted in response to independent journalist Eva Karene Bartlett, who on Friday shared a viral screenshot that claims to show his persona added to the notorious database. “I’ve been speaking and writing about this list for years, after being placed on it in 2019, but now that Musk is on it, after Roger Waters and others, perhaps the ‘peacemaker’ list might itself be killed…,” Bartlett wrote.

Elon Musk’s name was not on the list as of Saturday, and it remains unclear whether it indeed briefly appeared on Mirotvorets. Some reports alleged his profile was swiftly scrubbed from the database, while Ukrainian activists claimed the picture was fake and called it a Russian provocation. Many of Musk’s followers were surprised to find out that he’d never heard of Mirotvorets before, and bombarded him with examples of prominent public figures on the database, some already marked “liquidated.” Musk admitted it was “concerning,” after checking with Wikipedia that such a list does indeed exist, and was allowed to stay online since 2014. Mirotvorets, or “Peacemaker,” is a supposedly independent database of individuals whom anonymous moderators consider to be threats to Ukrainian national security.

The site denies being a kill list; rather, it claims to be a source of information for law-enforcement agencies and “special services” about pro-Russian terrorists, separatists and war criminals, among others. It allegedly has links to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry. The Mirotvorets project gained some notoriety in 2015, when writer and historian Oles Buzina and politician Oleg Kalashnikov were assassinated in Ukraine after their profiles appeared on the website. In 2016, EU officials and journalist groups condemned Mirotvorets for leaking data on more than 4,000 members of the media. Human rights activists have discovered that the website features the personal details of 327 children, prompting the Russian authorities to share their concerns over this “huge injustice” with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The website has published personal details – names, addresses, photos, social media pages – of children, the youngest of whom is not even 10 years old yet, according to the head of the Foundation for the Fight against Repressions.

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“..American and Ukrainian politicians—along with their loyal supporters—are not actually interested in real support for the Ukrainian people. What they want is compliance and consensus for their foreign policy endeavors.”

The Ideological Tyranny of Liberal Interventionism (Ghorayeb)

Since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War this year, celebrities and public figures have been unanimous in their moral support for Ukraine. Some, like Telsa CEO Elon Musk, have gone further than words, lending significant material support to the cause. His spacecraft company, SpaceX, paid $80 million to provide Ukraine with the services of Starlink, which, among other things, enables Ukrainian troops to operate drones and communicate with each other. Musk has explicitly declared himself “pro-Ukraine.” A normal person would therefore view Musk, a self-professed centrist, as supporting an ally of the American government against the ravages of war.

However, Musk’s material and moral contributions mattered little when he proposed a peace plan outside the bounds of the liberal internationalist consensus. Russia, Musk tweeted, should be allowed to keep Crimea, and Ukraine should end its bit to join NATO and adopt a neutral status. Musk’s diplomatic musings swiftly drew the ire of the Ukrainian government and its supporters. It also attracted resentful remarks from his own government. Senator Lindsey Graham went on an angry rant against Musk that culminated in a call to cut electric vehicle tax credits, which he mistakenly thought benefitted Tesla. Elon’s car buyers haven’t qualified for a tax credit since 2018.

One may wonder why there is such intense outrage against Musk or why expressing an anti-war opinion is akin to providing support for Putin. Why is it that one tweet with a peace proposal has become a more powerful expression of Musk’s position than $80 million worth of material aid to Ukraine and numerous declarations of support? The reason is that American and Ukrainian politicians—along with their loyal supporters—are not actually interested in real support for the Ukrainian people. What they want is compliance and consensus for their foreign policy endeavors. Media outlets have noticeably censored and attempted to silence opinions that deviate from a consensus that stops short of extravagant government spending on weapons for Ukraine and unwavering admiration for Zelensky.

[..] Ideally, there would be a moral consensus against killing innocent people with room for civil political debate about the root causes of these wars, how we can de-escalate or end ongoing violence, and how to prevent them in the future. One could have contested Musk’s proposal with a counterargument about whether it is the optimal way of reaching what most people agree is wrong: killing innocent people. But this would only be possible if everyone involved in the discourse was concerned with achieving the end of the war and pursuing truth. However, the U.S. foreign policy elite—who have nakedly pursued their interests through intervention in the region before—and Ukraine’s corrupt president do not show an interest in either.

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No, electric cars won’t solve the problem..

European Auto Industry In Trouble – S&P (RT)

With energy prices in EU skyrocketing, a harsh winter could shut down production in parts of the automotive sector, S&P Global Mobility reported this week. According to a report titled “Winter is Coming,” the “combined black swan events” of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have stretched automotive supply lines, especially with regard to semiconductors. As a result, the industry “may face extensive pressure” from energy costs in the coming months. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2022 through 2023, quarterly production from Europe-based auto manufacturing plants is forecast to be between 4 and 4.5-million-units. However, “with potential utility restrictions,” that output could fall to as low as 2.75 million units per quarter, the report says.

The researcher projected significant supply chain disruptions from November through spring, citing mandatory energy rationing for the region’s auto producers and suppliers. “For an industry already struggling with low inventories of vehicles in dealer showrooms, an additional crisis could be incapacitating on a global scale,” it said. Edwin Pope, S&P Global Mobility principal analyst for materials and lightweighting, pointed out that “If you look through the supply chain – particularly where there’s any metallic structure forming through pressing, welding or extrusion – there’s a tremendous amount of energy involved.

“Total energy usage in these companies could be up to one-and-a-half times what we’re seeing in vehicle assembly today. Anecdotally, we’re hearing that some of this manufacturing capacity is becoming so uneconomic that companies are simply shutting up shop.” He also told Reuters that S&P Global Mobility’s analysis was conducted before the sabotage on the Russian Nord Stream gas pipelines late last month. “Events like that will inevitably shift the scales towards the lower end of what we have predicted, especially in terms of how long it takes to repair things of this nature,” Pope warned.

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Google translate.

“They only wanted to continue if the State imposed a production obligation on them, took over the liability and thus also the risk of prosecution.”

How 4,000 People From Groningen Managed To Turn Off The Gas Tap (NOS)

Only the threat of a criminal case would force oil companies Shell and Exxon to extract less gas in Groningen after the severe earthquake in 2012. A retired criminal court advised action group Groninger Soil Movement (GBB) to use heavy artillery. Public hearings by the Groningen parliamentary committee of inquiry for natural gas extraction have shown in recent weeks how great the impact of that advice has been. The committee closed those hearings yesterday. The GBB first filed a report on behalf of 4000 members in vain: the Public Prosecution Service saw no reason to prosecute NAM. The people of Groningen then asked the court in Arnhem to force the Public Prosecution Service to conduct such a criminal investigation.

In April 2017, the court ruled in their favor. The Public Prosecution Service should investigate whether gas extraction company NAM, a subsidiary of Shell and Exxon, has endangered Groningers. The case is still pending and has cost the GBB two tons in lawyers’ fees, but the effect was maximum. Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Shell, calls that criminal case a “game changer”. His company was suddenly accused of endangering people’s lives by extracting gas. His employees could be personally prosecuted for this. Shell and Exxon informed the Ministry of Economic Affairs that they wanted to stop gas production in Groningen. They only wanted to continue if the State imposed a production obligation on them, took over the liability and thus also the risk of prosecution.

Every other gas field in the world would be closed if it turns out that winning is not safe, both Rolf de Jong of Exxon and Van Beurden of Shell said. But they also realized that it was impossible to stop because Dutch households, hospitals and much industry depend on Groningen gas. It was one of the most startling issues to surface in the public hearings. Until then, the image was that former Minister Wiebes of Economic Affairs had single-handedly decided in 2018 to end gas extraction in Groningen in 2030. That was inescapable, he said, because the State Supervision of Mines then found that gas extraction might have to stop altogether to limit the risk of even more earthquakes. Moreover, the reinforcement operation, the reinforcement of unsafe houses, was completely out of control.

Many more houses had to be reinforced than the ministry wanted and, according to gas extraction company NAM, was necessary. Furthermore, it appeared from the interrogations that the cabinet was not in a hurry with the request of the oil companies. They feared that Shell and Exxon wanted to take the opportunity to also change the historic agreements on profit sharing. The two multinationals and the State divide the gas revenues, with the largest part of the profit (90 percent) going to the State. These are agreements that were made when gas extraction started in the early 1960s.

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“..appreciated 22% against the Japanese yen, 13% against the euro and 6% against emerging market currencies since the start of this year..”

Strong US Dollar Is A Headache – IMF (RT)

As countries around the world struggle to bring down soaring inflation, the weakening of their currencies relative to the US dollar has made that fight even harder, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. In a report published on Friday, the IMF elaborated how countries should respond to a strong dollar. It highlighted that the greenback is at its highest level since 2000, having appreciated 22% against the Japanese yen, 13% against the euro and 6% against emerging market currencies since the start of this year. “Such a sharp strengthening of the dollar in a matter of months has sizable macroeconomic implications for almost all countries, given the dominance of the dollar in international trade and finance,” the lender wrote.

It further indicated that while the US share in world merchandise exports has declined from 12% to 8% since 2000, the dollar’s share in world exports has held at around 40%. “On average, the estimated pass-through of a 10 percent dollar appreciation into inflation is 1 percent. Such pressures are especially acute in emerging markets, reflecting their higher import dependency and greater share of dollar-invoiced imports compared with advanced economies.” According to the report, approximately half of all cross-border loans and international debt securities are denominated in US dollars. While emerging market governments have made progress in issuing debt in their own currency, their private corporate sectors have high levels of dollar-denominated debt.

“As world interest rates rise, financial conditions have tightened considerably for many countries. A stronger dollar only compounds these pressures, especially for some emerging market and many low-income countries that are already at a high risk of debt distress,” the IMF said. The report suggested that the appropriate policy response is to allow the exchange rate to adjust, while using monetary policy to keep inflation close to its target. “The higher price of imported goods will help bring about the necessary adjustment to the fundamental shocks as it reduces imports, which in turn helps with reducing the buildup of external debt. Fiscal policy should be used to support the most vulnerable without jeopardizing inflation goals,” it said.

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“.. transactions in foreign currencies incur conversion costs, and when they are in US dollars, “the conversion fee is doubled..”

Central Bank of G20 Host Indonesia Rails Against US Dollar (RT)

Indonesia’s central bank has spoken out against the use of the US dollar in export-import transactions, and called for a switch to local currencies in international payments to reduce dependence on the greenback, news portal Tempo.co reported on Friday. Most of Indonesia’s international trade transactions are conducted in foreign currencies, predominantly the dollar, according to Nugroho Joko Prastowo, head of Bank Indonesia’s Solo Representative Office, as cited by local media. “90% of export-import settlements are in US dollars, when in fact the value of Indonesia’s direct exports to the US is only 10%, and the value of US imports is only 5%,” the official told journalists after opening a session on ‘Utilizing Local Currency Settlement (LCS) to Increase Export-Import Efficiency of the Greater Solo Region’.


He said transactions in foreign currencies incur conversion costs, and when they are in US dollars, “the conversion fee is doubled,” suggesting that a system of bilateral payments in local currency could solve the problem. The official said four countries have agreed to utilize LCS with Indonesia so far, namely China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. “Singapore has been plotted, although it has not been fully implemented, and soon the Philippines. Currently, the implementation of LCS with Saudi Arabia is also being explored,” he said. Indonesia will be hosting the G20 international forum, bringing together 19 countries and the European Union, on November 15-16 on the island of Bali. Indonesia currently holds the presidency of the group of leading economies.

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‘small fortresses with high walls’

Will Beijing Join With Russia vs The West Or Keep Its Powder Dry? (Hvatkov)

The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the pinnacle event in the country’s political life and held only every five years, kicks off in Beijing on October 16. Experts will be tuning in to pick up any signals related not only to the political standing and prospects of China’s leader Xi Jinping, who is likely to run for a third term, but also to the way the country is planning to build its relations with the US and Russia in the future. A new Mao – a new revolution? Western speculation believes that the event could signify a triumph for Xi as he will most likely remain at the helm of the party for a third term. Should that happen, it would go against the tradition which has formed in Chinese politics over the last 30 years. Up to now, the reins of power in the country were handed over to a new generation of leaders at the end of the second term. Thus, such a move would herald a new era in the history of modern China. Starting from 2018, it has become increasingly clear that Xi is going to defy this tradition. That year, amendments were made to the Chinese Constitution lifting the two-term limit on the presidency.

[..] Experts doubt that Beijing will abandon its policy of prudence and caution, and there are a number of reasons for that. “Much of what Vladimir Putin said in his speech at the accession ceremony is in line with China’s own attitudes. But when China talks about similar matters, the wording is often much broader and generally ambiguous. Naturally, Beijing is aware that its confrontation with the West is getting more intense. However, at the level of rhetoric, China tries to avoid being as explicit when expressing its position. Moscow and Beijing have similar viewpoints in that both believe the policies of the West are flawed, as they create artificial barriers to global trade, financial and economic ties and investment opportunities,” Lomanov said.

“China also criticizes the West for building ‘small fortresses with high walls’, referring to blocs like NATO and AUKUS, exclusive alliances designed to unite Western countries and those loyal to them, effectively cutting off everyone else. “China has always stressed the need to reform the existing system of global governance, as it is deeply unfair to developing countries. Despite all its leaps in economic development, China considers itself both a socialist country and the world’s leading developing nation. Therefore, at a practical level, the positions of Russia and China are indeed very close,” the expert from IMEMO RAS believes.

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“anyone who thinks NATO will protect us is wrong.”

Orban Warns Of ‘Protracted War’ (RT)

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Hungary needs an army “capable of striking and ensuring peace” in case the continent plunges into chaos over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the European Union’s failed policies towards Russia.“We cannot, like ostriches, bury our heads in the sand. We must accept the reality: if this continues, the economy of the continent will collapse, people will be in danger, and it seems that we must prepare for a protracted war,” Orban said on Saturday in Budapest, at a swearing-in ceremony of military volunteers. The Hungarian leader noted that “there are nations that have already begun making preparations and we can’t fall behind in this either,” as cited by the Budapest Times. “In times of war, we need an army capable of striking and capable of ensuring peace!” he told a group of some 250 young recruits, praising them as the “excellence of our nation.”


He added that Hungary needs “a few more” such battalions and announced new recruitment campaigns to be launched from December. Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy, has maintained a relatively neutral stance during the conflict in Ukraine, condemning the use of force by Moscow, but refusing to supply weapons to Kiev. Orban has frequently criticized the EU’s sanctions on Russia, calling them counterproductive. Over the past months, he has repeatedly called for “the failed policy of Brussels” to be changed, noting that the sanctions “didn’t fulfill the hopes that were pinned on them,” while Europe is “slowly bleeding.” Back in March, Orban said that he felt he couldn’t count on the US-led military bloc when it comes to real action concerning the country’s security, saying “anyone who thinks NATO will protect us is wrong.”

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Long overview.

Hiding Hunter’s Laptop (Hanson)

The definitive book on Cold War era information warfare from our Communist foes is Dezinformatsia: Active Measures in Soviet Strategy. In that book, disinformation is defined as “false, incomplete, or misleading information that is passed, fed, or confirmed to a targeted individual, group, or country.” The American public was subjected to a campaign right out of the Soviet playbook designed to obfuscate the Biden family corruption. It was concocted and deployed by a loosely connected conspiracy of the media, current and former government officials, the Biden campaign, and the social media tech companies. As soon as the story broke October 19, 2020 virtually every major and subsidiary media outlet reported on it with negative sentiment using one of two major themes:

First they argued that it was stolen. The immediate response was to deny the provenance of the laptop which was that Hunter Biden had abandoned it at a repair shop. They began questioning that story and throwing out the completely unfounded speculation that it may be stolen. This smear hit directly at John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the repair shop. He provided the contents of the laptop first to law enforcement and when they took no action, to Rudy Giuliani who eventually gave it to the New York Post. The bulk of the media accounts discussing the story in the next 24 hours included a reference to the “stolen” theme.

The second argument offered was that the laptop was not verified. This was the most defensible part of the smoke screen. Most of the media outlets did not have the hard drive so they could say they had not verified it themselves. However, the New York Post showed numerous items in their reporting that would lead any reasonable person to understand the laptop most likely belonged to Hunter Biden. During the taping of an interview with President Trump soon after the story broke, Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” ran with this narrative. Stahl denied that the Delaware computer suspected of belonging to Hunter Biden’s was even a story at all after claiming it has been “investigated and discredited.”

“It can’t be verified,” Stahl said of the laptop. “It can’t be verified.” “What can’t be verified?” Trump said. “The laptop!” It had been investigated, but unlike Stahl’s false claim to the contrary the laptop was not discredited. All of the investigations and verification measures showed the same thing: This was Hunter’s laptop, the information was his and it was devastating. One of the truly amazing things is the longevity of the media’s willingness to continue to ignore and suppress this story. It was not until March of 2022 that the New York Times and Washington Post both admitted the long-known fact that Hunter’s laptop was Hunter’s laptop.

Their admissions were not because of some ethical epiphany. They were merely part of a new aspect of the disinformation campaign about the likely charges coming from the ongoing investigation into Biden family corruption. They are based on the disinformation tactic popularized by John Ehrlichman, an aide to President Richard Nixon during Watergate. It’s called the modified limited hangout. In other words, mixing partial admissions with additional misinformation in order to confuse people.

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1000 times. The fact checks look like pretzels.

Yes, They Claimed The Vaccines Would Prevent Transmission (Chung)

No, you’re not crazy. Yes, they claimed the vaccines would prevent transmission. One of the most bizarre lies being told this week in response to Pfizer executive Janine Small’s testimony to EU Parliament is that, actually, the Covid vaccines were never supposed to stop the spread of the virus. Asked by Dutch MEP Rob Roos whether the company had tested its vaccine on “stopping the transmission of the virus” before it rolled out globally, Ms Small said “no” because “we had to really move at the speed of science to really understand what is taking place in the market”. “And from that point of view we had to do everything at risk,” she said. In a viral Twitter video which has now been viewed more than 12 million times, Mr Roos described the response as “scandalous”, arguing “millions of people worldwide felt compelled to get vaccinated because of the myth that ‘you do it for others’”.

Mr Roos said the admission removed the entire basis for vaccine mandates and passports which “led to massive institutional discrimination as people lost access to essential parts of society”. “I find this to be shocking, even criminal,” he said. Of course, fact checkers were not happy. This is not the bombshell it is being presented as, they argue, because it was public knowledge that the primary outcome measured in Pfizer’s clinical trials was reducing risk of disease, but not transmission. Moreover, as the Therapeutic Goods Administration stressed, “transmission effects” are “not an approved indication of any Covid-19 vaccine” currently available in Australia. In Australia, politicians and health officials held millions of people hostage for months, lecturing and threatening them to get vaccinated to regain their “freedoms”.


The vaccines were the “way out” of the pandemic, they were not to just to protect ourselves but to “protect others”, they would “stop the spread”, and not getting vaccinated was “selfish”. Vaccine passports, the “vaccinated economy”, were necessary so people who “did the right thing” would feel “safe” knowing they weren’t “mixing” with the unvaccinated, who were a “risk to the community”. By late 2021 and early 2022, as Omicron became dominant and it was clear vaccinated people were still catching and spreading the virus, the messaging changed. “Stopping the spread? What are you talking about? It’s about reducing hospitalisation and death. We have always been at war with hospitalisation and death.”

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Malone takes a turn away from vaccines.

Twitter is a Weapon, not a Business (Robert Malone)

The research and consulting firm “Edify” has recently disclosed results from a client-driven research project designed to analyze the relationships between the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR), Twitter, Biden White House, Obama White House, James Baker, Alexander Macgillivray, Vijaya Gadde, and Anthony Fauci’s daughter, Alison Fauci, who is an engineer at Twitter. The first two of these analyses have been published here and here, and at least one more is anticipated in the near future. The findings clearly document the deep web of relationships tying together WSGR, Twitter, the censorship of President Trump, President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden and the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Google. All of these run through Alexander Macgillivray. Macgillivray currently serves the Biden White House OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy) as the Principal Deputy U.S. CTO (Chief Technology Officer).

What Edify documents is the web of relationships which have guided the censorship practices of the US Government-Technology/Social media alliance. As I read through the first of the two analyses, titled “EDIFY: CRITICAL NEXUS: TWITTER, WSGR, MACGILLIVRAY & WHITE HOUSE” (September 15, 2022), my interest was piqued by the documentation of the deep connections between Twitter, Biden, Obama, and the central role of Twitter as a tool for information and psychological warfare. Precisely the hot button issue that I discussed on the Joe Rogan Experience when I used those three words “Mass Formation Psychosis,” which triggered such a visceral reaction from the Silicon Valley technology giants, the Trusted News Initiative, and Peter Breggin.

Based on relationship mapping, Edify draws the following conclusions: “Twitter is the central node and the keystone to understanding. Twitter’s inherent value to the elites, political class and federal apparatus writ large is found in its ability to engage in perception management, which is a technical term more commonly referred to as “psyops” or “psychological warfare”. Twitter engages in perception management in its capacity to establish and manipulate reality by means of actively determining and shaping the content on its platform. Twitter consumers can receive filtered content or are prevented from receiving, seeing or having the ability to publish content altogether.

The de facto censorship occurs primarily along the lines of determining and enforcing community standards, guidelines and rules for user engagement. The evidence is clear that the decisions here appear to fall along clearly identifiable political lines resembling two-tier justice. Content determination, algorithmic manipulation and politically motivated censorship of off-reservation messaging and political opposition are all evidenced examples of how Twitter engages in perception management or appears to do so. Two evidenced domains of Twitter’s engagement in perception management include censoring content relative to COVID-19 and the Hunter Biden Laptop story.” [..] The quote above is just the beginning of the analytical conclusions, which include this gem:

“Alison Fauci is a Twitter software engineer who by title, would possess the technical capabilities and access to function as outlined in the testimony. Beyond Alison Fauci’s functionality as a conduit or intermediary for Dr. Anthony Fauci and his principals at the NIH/NIAID and up, Alison Fauci is by title technically positioned to potentially extract private Twitter user data on designated people including political opposition. Any such extracted data could be fed back upstream to the Obama, Biden cartel et al. It’s also further evidence of a distinct pattern of nepotism threading through all of these matters where spouses and children play critical roles determined by their placement into the broader construct. Alison Fauci was positioned to be a possible conduit of information in an intermediary fashion relative to the Anthony Fauci cohort and its preferences for Twitter’s censorship policies for reliable COVID content damaging to the COVID construct of enterprise fraud and that official narrative.”

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HEART

 

 

Cater snake

 

 


The Alpine Ibex’s preferred habitat is the rocky region along the snow line above alpine forests, where it occupies steep, rough terrain at elevations of 1,800 to 3,300 metres

 

 

Magician

 

 


A tiger’s tongue is so coarse, it can lick flesh to the bone. Photo: Tony Zerna

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 132022
 


Kazemir Malevich Floor polishers 1912

 

Covid Vaccine Destroys Natural Immunity – NEJM Study (DS)
94% of Vaxxed Patients With Subsequent Health Issues Have Abnormal Blood (ET)
Russian Energy Revenues Forecast To Soar (RT)
German GDP Forecast To Plunge (RT)
Germany Risks Deindustrialization — The Economist (RT)
The Specter of Germany Is Rising (Diana Johnstone)
Germany Has ‘Crossed Red Line’ – Russia (RT)
Europe Commits Suicide-by-Sanctions (Ron Paul)
Hungarian Official Says EU Is The Losing Side In Ukraine Conflict (RT)
New Gazprom Plant Is Shipping Its First LNG Cargo To Greece (BI)
Spain Doubles Russian Gas Imports (RT)
Ukrainian Mayor Announces Hunt For ‘Collaborators’ (RT)
Special Military Operation, Season 2 (Big Serge)
Armenia Requests Russian Military Assistance In Fight Against Azerbaijan (ZH)
New Orleans Mayor Justifies Luxury Flights Citing Skin Color And Gender (RT)
The Continued DOJ Targeting of Joe Biden Political Opposition (CTH)
UK Police Arrests Anti-Monarchy Protesters (G.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russia 2023

 

 

 

 

Russian TV

 

 

 

 

Can we now finally put an end to the nonsense? Yeah, I didn’t think so. One of the world’s prime medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine, says “vaccines” kill your immune system, and numerous countries will still go with mandates. As all of their experts read the New England Journal of Medicine. This is not just a little bit crazy, it’s outright criminal. Stay away from the stuff.

Covid Vaccine Destroys Natural Immunity – NEJM Study (DS)

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) shows not only that the effectiveness of the Pfizer Covid vaccine becomes negative (meaning the vaccinated are more likely to be infected than the unvaccinated) within five months but that the vaccine destroys any protection a person has from natural immunity. The study is a large observational study that looks at 887,193 children aged 5 to 11 years in North Carolina, of whom 273,157 (30.8%) received at least one dose of Pfizer vaccine between November 1st 2021 and June 3rd 2022. The study includes 193,346 SARS-CoV-2 infections reported between March 11th 2020 and June 3rd 2022. The researchers used a form of statistical modelling with adjustments for confounding factors (such as underlying conditions) to calculate estimates of vaccine effectiveness over time and against the different Covid variants.


The findings are depicted in the charts below. In chart A, notice that the green and blue lines, representing children vaccinated in November and December respectively, go through zero into negative territory at a sharp gradient within five months of the first injection. It’s unclear why the green line is not continued past April, as the researchers presumably had the data, but from what is shown it looks very much like the vaccine effectiveness will continue declining deep into negative territory. In chart B, we see both the red and blue lines – which represent children who are vaccinated and have been previously infected and not previously infected respectively – again going through zero at a steep gradient within five months of vaccination. The fact that the vaccinated who have natural immunity from previous infection also see negative effectiveness is a surprise as one would not expect those with natural immunity to be more susceptible to infection than those without it.

Charts C and D suggest that it is the vaccine that is causing this worrying erasure of natural immunity. Chart D shows the effectiveness of natural immunity from previous infection among the vaccinated. Notice that the blue line, which is protection against the Delta variant among the vaccinated-and-previously-infected, hits zero at a steep gradient within seven months. Now look at the blue line in chart C, which is protection against Delta in the previously infected and unvaccinated. It, too, is waning, but much more slowly, and after eight months it is still very much in positive territory at over 50%. The same can be said for natural immunity against earlier variants (green line), which wanes slowly and remains positive after 16 months. Why is natural immunity remaining protective for the unvaccinated, whereas in the vaccinated their ‘protection’ goes negative even if they have natural immunity?

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Need a blood transfusion? Don’t look at the vaccinated! Donor sperm? You know what to do.

94% of Vaxxed Patients With Subsequent Health Issues Have Abnormal Blood (ET)

Physicians in Italy studied the blood of patients who had been injected with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and found foreign matter long after vaccination, a new study shows.The three doctors, all of whom are surgeons—Franco Giovannini, M.D., Riccardo Benzi Cipelli, M.D., and Giampaolo Pisano, M.D.—examined freshly drawn blood of more than a thousand patients using direct observation under microscopes to see what was happening in the blood. Their results were published in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research in August 2022. For this study, the Italian doctors used optical microscopy, that is, regular light microscopes, to examine the blood. Blood cells are easily visible under a microscope.

Their shape, type, and how and if they are aggregated—clumped together—can help the skilled physician better understand the patient’s health. In their 60-page peer-reviewed study, the Italian researchers reported case studies from their observations. Although they could not explain what they observed, they noted in the study that what they saw was so strange that they felt the need to alert the medical community. [..] Of the 1006 patients, 426 were men and 580 were women. One hundred and forty-one received only one dose of an mRNA vaccine, 453 got two doses, and 412 received three doses in total. The patients ranged in age from 15 to 85. The average age of the patients was 49. All 1,006 patients were seeking healthcare because they were not feeling well: presenting with a wide variety of health issues.

On average, the patients whose blood was examined had been vaccinated about one month prior. Of the 1,006 patients, after vaccination, only about 5 percent—just 58 people—had blood that looked normal. [..] Each of the patients was being reviewed for symptoms, a wide range of which had arisen since their vaccinations. The images are dramatic. Side-by-side pictures of a patient’s blood before and after vaccination show stark differences. Before vaccination, the red blood cells are separate from each other and are round, while the blood drawn after vaccination shows red blood cells that are deformed, and that cluster in coagulation around visible foreign matter that was not present before. This foreign material seemed to collect itself into structures, sometimes forming crystals and other times forming long tubes or fibers.

Reminder

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Half the output, twice the income. Now there’s a business model.

Russian Energy Revenues Forecast To Soar (RT)

Russia expects to receive a boost in revenues from energy exports this month, according to its finance ministry. September is expected to bring an extra $6.67 billion into the state coffers, adding to August’s additional earnings of $1.4 billion. “Thus, the total amount of funds to be received as additional oil and gas revenues will reach $8.07 billion,” the ministry said in a statement released last week. According to the statement, the finance ministry is not planning to purchase foreign currency or gold with the extra funds received through energy sales.


In August, Western analysts predicted that Russia’s energy export revenues would surge by 38% year-on-year, totaling $337.5 billion in 2022. According to their outlook, energy export earnings will ease to $255.8 billion next year, but will still be higher than the 2021 figure of $244.2 billion. Growing demand from some of the world’s major economies, including India and China, boosted Russia’s energy exports to the volumes seen prior to the conflict in Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions. Moscow was forced to redirect supply to Asia and the Middle East, where countries refused to take sides in the conflict between Russia and the West.

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Half the output, 4x the cost. Not a business model.

German GDP Forecast To Plunge (RT)

The German economy is headed for a sharp decline next year, researchers from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy warned on Thursday. “The German economy is in a downward spiral. The recent price jumps for electricity and gas will reduce the purchasing power of private households and lead to a decline in private consumer spending. In addition, the slowing world economy will dampen not only exports but also investment activity. As a result, the German economy will slide into recession once again, at a time when it was just recovering from the pandemic-related crisis,” a press release stated.


Analysts explained that while in their summer forecast they assumed that “recovery would prevail despite the burdens” and predicted a strong rise in GDP, lingering concerns regarding the energy sphere forced them to lower their expectations significantly. “Now we expect GDP to increase by only 1.4% in the current year. In 2023, it is expected to decline by 0.7%,” they wrote, while previously the institute predicted a 3.3% growth for the country’s economy next year. Researchers also expect inflation to rise to 8% this year and 8.7% in 2023. Germany’s spending on energy imports is expected to rise by €123 billion this year and another €136 billion next year. As a result, the country’s industrial output is likely to drop. Private households’ purchasing power is also forecast to fall by 4.1%, the steepest drop recorded since Germany’s reunification in 1990.

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People cannot imagine the implications. But they will have to soon.

Germany Risks Deindustrialization — The Economist (RT)

The biggest challenge the German industrial sector currently faces is posed by rising energy costs, The Economist reported on Sunday, citing the association of German industry BDI. “The substance of our industry is under threat,”BDI President Siegfried Russwurm said as quoted by the media, adding that the situation was looking “toxic” for many businesses. According to the association, the electricity price for next year has already increased fifteen-fold, and the price of gas ten-fold. In July, the country’s industry, which has been forced to reduce production capacities, reportedly consumed 21% less gas than in the same month in 2021.

Smaller companies are struggling more than bigger ones, according to a study by the consulting company FTI Andersch, as cited by the media. Some 25% of firms with fewer than 1,000 employees were forced to cancel or decline orders, or are planning to do so, compared with 11% of those with over 1,000 employees. Almost 10,000 bread manufacturers are reportedly struggling as never before in post-war Germany, as the cost of the electricity and gas needed to heat ovens and run kneading machines have increased enormously. The BDI survey of 600 medium-sized companies showed that nearly one in ten interrupted or reduced output because of high input costs, while more than nine in ten said that the soaring prices of energy and raw materials is a big or an existential challenge for them.

One in five are reportedly considering relocating part or all of their production to another country. Bigger companies that use energy-intensive production capacities, such as chemicals or steel producers, may also relocate abroad, as they have to compete with rivals in other countries, where the cost of energy is lower. If energy prices remain high for a while, up to 3% of Germany’s energy-intensive businesses will relocate abroad, according to Holger Schmieding, the chief economist of private bank Berenberg.

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In light of the previous articles, this is funny. A bigger, stronger Germany? Better first worry how much longer Scholz is in the saddle.

The Specter of Germany Is Rising (Diana Johnstone)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is a colorless SPD politician, but his Aug. 29 speech in Prague was inflammatory in its implications. Scholz called for an expanded, militarized European Union under German leadership. He claimed that the Russian operation in Ukraine raised the question of “where the dividing line will be in the future between this free Europe and a neo-imperial autocracy.” We cannot simply watch, he said, “as free countries are wiped off the map and disappear behind walls or iron curtains.” (Note: the conflict in Ukraine is clearly the unfinished business of the collapse of the Soviet Union, aggravated by malicious outside provocation. As in the Cold War, Moscow’s defensive reactions are interpreted as harbingers of Russian invasion of Europe, and thus a pretext for arms buildups.)

To meet this imaginary threat, Germany will lead an expanded, militarized EU. First, Scholz told his European audience in the Czech capital, “I am committed to the enlargement of the European Union to include the states of the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and, in the long term, Georgia”. Worrying about Russia moving the dividing line West is a bit odd while planning to incorporate three former Soviet States, one of which (Georgia) is geographically and culturally very remote from Europe but on Russia’s doorstep. In the “Western Balkans”, Albania and four extremely weak statelets left from former Yugoslavia (North Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and widely unrecognized Kosovo) mainly produce emigrants and are far from EU economic and social standards.

Kosovo and Bosnia are militarily occupied de facto NATO protectorates. Serbia, more solid than the others, shows no signs of renouncing its beneficial relations with Russia and China, and popular enthusiasm for “Europe” among Serbs has faded. Adding these member states will achieve “a stronger, more sovereign, geopolitical European Union,” said Scholz. A “more geopolitical Germany” is more like it. As the EU grows eastward, Germany is “in the center” and will do everything to bring them all together. So, in addition to enlargement, Scholz calls for “a gradual shift to majority decisions in common foreign policy” to replace the unanimity required today.

What this means should be obvious to the French. Historically, the French have defended the consensus rule so as not to be dragged into a foreign policy they don’t want. French leaders have exalted the mythical “Franco-German couple” as guarantor of European harmony, mainly to keep German ambitions under control. But Scholz says he doesn’t want “an EU of exclusive states or directorates,” which implies the final divorce of that “couple.” With an EU of 30 or 36 states, he notes, “fast and pragmatic action is needed.” And he can be sure that German influence on most of these poor, indebted and often corrupt new Member States will produce the needed majority.

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For Russia, this is about WWII. And about letting Germany unify.

“The German government “has unilaterally acted to destroy bilateral relations [with Russia] that were unique in scale and depth and had been built over decades..”

Germany Has ‘Crossed Red Line’ – Russia (RT)

Germany has crossed a red line with Russia by sending arms to Ukraine, Moscow’s ambassador in Berlin said on Monday. The decision undermined decades of reconciliation since the end of World War II and the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the diplomat added. “The very fact that the Ukrainian regime is being supplied with German-made lethal weapons, which are used not only against Russian military service members, but also the civilian population of Donbass, crosses the red line,”Ambassador Sergey Nechaev said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper. He added that Berlin should have known better, “considering the moral and historic responsibility that Germany has before our people for the Nazi crimes.” “They have crossed the Rubicon,” Nechaev stated, using an idiom for passing the point of no return.

Berlin discarded its longstanding policy of not sending weapons into zones of armed conflict to join the US and other NATO allies in providing weapons to Ukraine. The German government says it has a moral responsibility to back Kiev so it can defend itself against Russia. Germany also joined an effort by the EU to decouple the economies of member states from Russia’s. German businesses have been relying on cheap Russian natural gas for five decades, since before the Soviet Union collapsed. The German government “has unilaterally acted to destroy bilateral relations [with Russia] that were unique in scale and depth and had been built over decades,” the Russian ambassador noted. “In essence, the post-war reconciliation of our nations and peoples is being eroded,”Nechaev said.

According to the diplomat, economic restrictions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine conflict have resulted in a sharp increase in utility bills, a surge in consumer prices, and a decrease in real incomes in Germany. Nechaev said the “sanctions war” against Moscow is being increasingly seen as “shooting yourself in the foot” in Germany, which has already faced protests over the cost-of-living crisis. The ambassador noted that Russia took no pleasure in seeing the damage, even if Berlin has itself to blame for it. “We believe the ongoing processes to be Germany’s domestic issue, in which we do not get involved,” he said. “And we certainly are not in the habit of delivering pompous lectures, the likes of which the West constantly makes about Russians.”

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“The solution, as always, is non-intervention. No sanctions, no “color revolutions,” no meddling. It’s really that simple.”

Europe Commits Suicide-by-Sanctions (Ron Paul)

European sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine earlier this year will likely go down in history as a prime example of how sanctions can result in unintended consequences. While seeking to punish Russia by cutting off gas and oil imports, European Union politicians forgot that Europe is completely dependent on Russian energy supplies and that the only people to suffer if those imports are shut down are the Europeans themselves. The Russians simply pivoted to the south and east and found plenty of new buyers in China, India, and elsewhere. In fact, Russia’s state-run Gazprom energy company has reported that its profits have increased by 100 percent in the first half of this year.

Russia is getting rich while Europeans are facing a freezing winter and economic collapse. All because of the false belief that sanctions are a cost-free way to force other countries to do what you want them to do. What happens when the people see dumb government policies making energy bills skyrocket as the economy grounds to a halt? They become desperate and take to the streets in protest. This weekend thousands of Austrians took to the streets in a “Freedom Rally” to demand an end to sanctions and the opening of Nord Stream II, the gas pipeline on the verge of opening earlier this year. Last week an estimated 100,000 Czechs took to the streets of Prague to protest NATO and EU policy. In France, the “Yellow Vests” are back in the streets protesting the destruction of their economy in the name of “defeating” Russia in Ukraine. In Germany, Serbia, and elsewhere, protests are gearing up.

Even the Washington Post was forced to admit that sanctions on Russia are not having the intended effect. In an article yesterday, the paper worries that sanctions are inflicting “collateral damage in Russia and beyond, potentially even hurting the very countries that impose them. Some even worried that the sanctions intended to deter and weaken Putin could end up emboldening and strengthening him.” This is all predictable. Sanctions kill. Sometimes they kill innocents in the country targeted for destruction and sometimes they kill innocents in the country imposing them. The solution, as always, is non-intervention. No sanctions, no “color revolutions,” no meddling. It’s really that simple.

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“Powers outside Europe are trying to condemn the bloc’s members to “military vulnerability, political subjugation, economic and energy incapacity, financial indebtedness and social disintegration..”

Hungarian Official Says EU Is The Losing Side In Ukraine Conflict (RT)

The EU has suffered severe political and economic damage from its handling of the situation in Ukraine, and can already be declared the loser in the conflict, the speaker of Hungary’s National Assembly claimed on Sunday.Laszlo Kover, who is a member of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, accused Brussels of failing to prevent the conflict through political means, with the result that it’s “unable to restore peace diplomatically.” “Under external pressure, the EU is acting against its most basic economic interests and should already be considered a loser, regardless of which of the parties directly involved in fighting will declare itself the winner,” he said.

Powers outside Europe are trying to condemn the bloc’s members to “military vulnerability, political subjugation, economic and energy incapacity, financial indebtedness and social disintegration,” with Brussels helping them to achieve this goal, the parliament speaker claimed. The EU is grappling with soaring natural gas prices, the prospect of energy shortages in winter and spiking inflation in the wake of sanctions it imposed on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine. Brussels has largely followed the US stance of seeking to weaken Russia through sanctions, while supplying Kiev with weapons and financial aid.

Hungary has remained relatively neutral since the outbreak of fighting in late February. It has refused to send arms to Ukraine and remained critical of the EU sanctions against Moscow, calling them ill-conceived and self-defeating. Budapest, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy, was also able to negotiate an exemption for itself from the bloc-wide ban on Russian oil. Last week, Mikulas Bek the European affairs minister of the Czech Republic, which now presides over the EU Council, has warned that Hungary’s stance on Russia could theoretically end up with it exiting the bloc. The country “has come a long way, reaching the edge of an abyss, and now it has to decide whether to go back from that edge or risk a jump,” Bek said.

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A new kind of self-flaggelation: we’ll buy your gas, but only if you make it twice as expensive.

New Gazprom Plant Is Shipping Its First LNG Cargo To Greece (BI)

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union pledged to reduce the bloc’s reliance on natural gas from Russia. But it appears new deals are still pushing through. The first cargo from Russia’s Portovaya liquefied natural gas, or LNG, plant, which is near the shut Nord Stream 1 pipeline, will be going to EU nation Greece, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The identity of the buyer and size of the cargo was not reported, but Greece has only one LNG facility that supplies the domestic market, as well as Bulgaria — also an EU country — and North Macedonia.

This is at odds with EU plans, rolled out in March, that aim to cut the bloc’s dependency on Russian gas by two-thirds by the end of 2022 and end its reliance on Russian supplies of the fuel “well before 2030.” Europe depends on Russia for 40% of its natural-gas needs, such as cooking in homes and firing up power stations. It’s fretting over a winter energy crisis, as Russia has reduced natural-gas flows to the continent, citing sanctions-related challenges. Challenges abound, particularly in the short-term after Russia halted natural-gas supply via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Europe is busy setting up LNG terminals to counter the energy crisis, as these facilities will turn the super-cooled fuel to gas.

Sweden, another EU nation, is also still importing Russian LNG. Last week, activists from Greenpeace Nordic protested Russian imports by blocking an LNG tanker from unloading Russian fuel in Sweden. s”The fact that Russian fossil gas is still allowed to flow into Sweden, more than six months after Putin began his invasion of Ukraine, is unacceptable,” Karolina Carlsson, a campaign leader at Greenpeace Nordic, said in a statement on September 8.

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Sanctions at work.

Spain Doubles Russian Gas Imports (RT)

The volume of Russian gas bought by Spain in August soared by 102.2% compared to the same period last year, according to data published on Monday by the Spanish energy company Enagas. The report highlighted that Madrid purchased 4,505 gigawatt hours (GWh) of gas from Moscow compared to 2,228 GWh in August 2021. Meanwhile, imports from Algeria, traditionally a major gas supplier to the country, dropped by 34.8%. Data also showed that imports from the United States accounted for 26.5% of supplies. Russia ranked fifth among the country’s main providers (11.8%), after the US, Algeria, Nigeria and France.


In total, in the first eight months of 2022, Spain purchased 32,770 GWh of gas from Russia, which is 22.88% more than in the same period of the previous year. The EU countries have been boosting gas purchases lately to stockpile for the winter season. On Friday, member states failed to reach a consensus on setting a price cap on Russian gas which was aimed at calming skyrocketing energy prices across the region.

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Support the neo-nazis.

Ukrainian Mayor Announces Hunt For ‘Collaborators’ (RT)

The city of Izyum, which fell under the control of Ukrainian forces last week, is about to see “cleanup” operations by the Ukrainian military, its mayor, Valery Marchenko, told the BBC on Monday. During these efforts, Ukrainian soldiers will search for Russian soldiers who could have potentially remained in the city, as well as those they call “collaborators,” Marchenko added. “The military are doing the cleanup [by] going around the city and looking for enemy soldiers that [could have been] hiding in private houses,”the mayor said, adding that the Ukrainian soldiers then forcefully drove them out. After they finish with the “cleanup,” the mayor added, the Kiev forces will “look for collaborators.”


According to him, these efforts might take up to ten days. After that, the civilians who fled the city would be allowed to return, according to Marchenko. Last week, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations said it would conduct similar operations in Balakleya, another town in Kharkov Region that has recently been retaken by Kiev’s forces. According to Marchenko, at least 1,000 Izyum residents died “as a result of military action” in the city and “even more” perished due to the lack of medical assistance. He did not blame any specific deaths on any side of the conflict but slammed Russia for “bombing” and “destroying” the city.

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“Plausible deniability works both ways; because NATO is not officially in Ukraine – only “volunteers” – targeting their personnel is not an overtly aggressive act.”

Special Military Operation, Season 2 (Big Serge)

First, I would like to comment on why I am against mobilization. One of the most important dimensions of this war is the economic front. Europe is being driven to the brink by the energy crisis. The Wall Street Journal keyed in on what I believe to be the most apt descriptor of the crisis, warning of a “new era of deindustrialization in Europe.” A full mobilization would be very costly for Russia’s economy, risking the edge that it currently holds in the economic confrontation with Europe. This, I believe, is the main reason that the Russian government was quick to quash rumors of mobilization today. There are other steps on the escalation ladder before going to total war footing.

There are already rumors that Russia is planning to change the formal designation of the war, from “Special Military Operation”. While that could mean a formal declaration of war, I think that is unlikely. Rather, Russia will likely give the Ukraine operation the same designation as its operations in Syria, loosening the rules of engagement and beginning to target Ukrainian assets in earnest. We saw a foretaste of this last night, when Russia wiped out over half of Ukraine’s power generation with a few missiles. There are many more targets that they can go after – more nodes in the electrical grid, water pumping and filtration facilities, and higher level command posts. There is at least some probability that Russia begins targeting the command facilities with NATO personnel in them.

Plausible deniability works both ways; because NATO is not officially in Ukraine – only “volunteers” – targeting their personnel is not an overtly aggressive act. Russia also has many ways to boost its force deployment in Ukraine that fall short of full mobilization. They have a pool of demobilized contract soldiers that they can call up, as well as a pool of reservists that they can raise with a partial mobilization. The Russian line is hardening. Just in the past 24 hours, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there were “no prospect for negotiations” with Ukraine, and Putin said “Unfriendly forces are targeting us, and we must take initiative in order to succeed in confronting them.”

Medvedev went even further just now: “”A certain Zelenskyy said that he will not hold a dialogue with those who issue ultimatums. The current ‘ultimatums’ are a warm-up for kids, a preview of demands to be made in the future. He knows them: the total surrender of the Kiev regime on Russia’s terms” If you believe the Russian government is utterly incompetent and duplicitous, feel free to view statements like this as bluster. But given the warning shot at Ukrainian power generation yesterday, my sense is that Russia is preparing to escalate to a higher level of intensity, which Ukraine cannot match with its indigenous resources. The only other player on the escalation ladder is the United States. Dark times are ahead for Ukraine – and perhaps for Americans on the other front of this war.

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Trying to open a second theater? Russia knows this territory like the back of its hand. NATO does not, but thinks it does.

Armenia Requests Russian Military Assistance In Fight Against Azerbaijan (ZH)

The overnight outbreak of fighting in multiple spots along the Armenian-Azerbaijan border is serious enough for Yerevan to have asked for its powerful ally Russia’s help. This has been revealed hours after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a late night telephone conversation with President Vladimir Putin. The Armenian government has since confirmed it has requested Russian military assistance to repel Azerbaijan aggression and shelling, according to a statement (machine translation): “During the meeting, further steps were discussed to counter the aggressive actions of Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of Armenia that began at midnight. In connection with the aggression against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, it was decided to officially appeal to the Russian Federation in order to implement the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, as well as to the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the UN Security Council.

Armenia is basing the request on the Collective Security Treaty Organization pact it has with Russia, and under which Russia previously sent peacekeeping forces to Nagorno-Karabakh after the Fall 2020 conflict. Independent geopolitical analyst and Russia watcher Clint Ehrlich concludes of the hugely significant request at a time the Ukraine war is raging: “If Russia accepts, we could see a second NATO-Russia proxy war explode.” Of the earlier in the night Putin phone call, the Kremlin said via TASS: “The Prime Minister gave details about the provocative, aggressive actions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the direction of the sovereign territory of Armenia, which began at midnight and were accompanied by shelling from artillery and large-caliber firearms. The Prime Minister considered the actions of the Azerbaijani side unacceptable and stressed the importance of an adequate response from the international community.”

However, it should be noted that during the last major flare-up in fighting between the two longtime rival nations which share a restive border, Moscow was careful to not get too deeply drawn in – only agreeing to help broker a ceasefire and send several hundred Russian peacekeeping forces to oversee the terms of the agreement. If Moscow does get pulled in, it might be seen in the West as an opportunity to “weaken” Russian forces on a separate front.

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The mayor feels threatened in economy, but her staff is not?! Bet you there are black women in that staff. Moreover, letting your security detail travel apart from you is hardly the safest option.

New Orleans Mayor Justifies Luxury Flights Citing Skin Color And Gender (RT)

The Democratic Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, has insisted that spending tens of thousands of dollars on first-class plane seats was necessary, suggesting that flying economy would be unsafe for a black woman. Cantrell is refusing to refund the $30,000 of taxpayers’ money she spent on the luxury seats to France and Switzerland. Speaking at a press conference last week, Cantrell insisted that her “travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not luxury.” That’s despite her entourage and security staff reportedly traveling coach during the trips.

“As the mother of a young child whom I live for, I am going to protect myself by any reasonable means in order to ensure I am there to see her grow into the strong woman I am raising her to be,” Cantrell explained, adding that “anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world black women walk in.” The mayor took a luxury American Airlines flight to Switzerland back in July and a first-class trip to France earlier this year, insisting that she was “doing business on behalf of the city.” “All expenses incurred doing business on behalf of the city of New Orleans will not be reimbursed to the city of New Orleans,” LaToya Cantrell said, speaking outside the Nix Library on Thursday. However, New Orleans’ travel policy for city officials makes it clear that all employees “are required to purchase the lowest airfare available” and that those who choose to upgrade their seats are responsible for the difference in cost.

Furthermore, if the city ends up overpaying for any travel expenses, the employees are required to reimburse the city within 20 business days. Speaking to Fox 8, the mayor’s staff said they are checking to see if the city policy applies to Cantrell, as she is an elected official and not specifically hired by the city itself. As reported by 4WWL, Cantrell also spent over $2,800 dollars back in March on a first-class trip to Miami for a US Conference of Mayors, while her entourage spent between $300 and $677. In January she also reportedly spent $2,300 on a luxury flight to a Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington while her staff paid just $250.

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It’s getting out of hand.

The Continued DOJ Targeting of Joe Biden Political Opposition (CTH)

During his opening monologue today, Fox News host Tucker Carlson outlined the history of the Biden administration targeting the democrat political opposition by using the Dept of Justice and FBI. During one part of the lengthy segment, Carlson outlined the recent subpoenas to people within the MAGA movement.

The technique most often deployed, is for the DOJ/FBI to claim an anonymous source has provided information against the subpoena target, and therefore the target must prove their innocence against the “sources” claims. Having received one of these DC subpoenas directly, my experience with the construct leads me to believe the DOJ is just making up the “anonymous sources.” However, if you refuse to participate in the bizarre demand to prove your innocence, the lack of cooperation becomes the Lawfare angle used to entrap the target. The process is something like this: It is unlawful to rob banks. We were told you rob banks. Prove you do not rob banks or be subject to arrest for being unresponsive.


It is not quite impossible to construct an accusatory claim that is grounded in abject absurdity, but it is highly unlikely these absurd claims -factual lies without any basis whatsoever- would organically lead to the origin of DOJ investigations. Yet, this is what Merrick Garland’s DOJ would have us believe. Either the DOJ is making this stuff up, or affiliates in ideological alignment are making stuff up in order to feed the DOJ. Regardless, the political weaponization of the DOJ and FBI as described by Mr. Carlson is absolutely accurate.

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How to end a monarchy.

UK Police Arrests Anti-Monarchy Protesters (G.)

Civil liberties campaigners and others have expressed alarm about the response of police to anti-monarchy protesters after a number of incidents, the latest of which included the arrest of a man in Edinburgh for apparently heckling Prince Andrew. The advocacy group Liberty said that new powers recently given to the police to curtail protest, and how they were being enforced by officers, were a cause for deep concern. The Labour MP Zarah Sultana said in response to incidents in Edinburgh, London and Oxford: “No one should be arrested for just expressing republican views. Extraordinary – and shocking – that this needs saying.”

Police Scotland said a 22-year-old man and a 52-year-old man had been arrested in connection with a breach of the peace on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh shortly before 3pm on Monday. It came after police were seen pulling a man out of a crowd of people, some of whom appeared to push him, after he was seen shouting at the procession accompanying the Queen’s coffin as King Charles, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex marched behind the hearse. Earlier, a woman was charged after being arrested by police in Edinburgh on Sunday as she staged a protest during the accession proclamation for the King. Police said the woman, 22, had been arrested on Sunday outside St Giles’ Cathedral in connection with a breach of the peace and would appear at Edinburgh sheriff court at a later date.

The woman, called Mariángela and who had been seen holding a sign that said “Fuck imperialism, abolish monarchy”, was arrested moments before the reading of the proclamation. The incident took place outside the cathedral, where the Queen’s coffin lay on Monday. On Monday night Global Majority Vs Campaign, the group Mariángela represents, released a statement following the arrest, saying it “condemned the centuries of colonial injustice, genocide, and unlawful extraction that have been – and continue to be – carried out in the name of the British Crown”. It added: “Calling for the abolition of the monarchy is as old as the monarchy itself and is a cornerstone of freedom of speech in the UK.”

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Sagan

 

 

 

 

Brian Catt

 

 

 

 

Trees Height

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sep 102022
 


Marc Chagall The Smolensk newspaper 1914

 

Ukraine Will Retake Crimea In A Year – Ex-US General (RT)
Ukraine’s Top General Doesn’t Rule Out “Limited” Nuclear War (ZH)
Zelensky Is Literally Selling Ukraine To Wall Street Corporations (Norton)
Ukraine Counterattacks! Please Remain Calm (Big Serge)
Izyum: The Non-Salient (Big Serge)
Belgium Objects To Russian Gas Cap Plan (RT)
EU Fails To Agree Russian Gas Price Cap – Hungary {(RT)
Germany Frustrated Over Neighbors’ Gas-sharing Reluctance – Bloomberg (RT)
Germany Is Now Generating Nearly A Third Of Its Electricity From Coal (BI)
Ukrainian Grain Going To EU Instead Of Africa – El Pais (RT)
Ukraine Faces Winter Food Shortages – Economist (RT)
Major LNG Supplier Issues Dire Warning To EU (RT)
EU: Neocolonialism, Hyper-Financialization and Hyper-Globalization (CHS)
Here It Comes (Kunstler)
COVID-19 and the Surge in Decidual Cast Shedding (GMS)
The High-Speed, Bivalent COVID Boosters are Here (Nass)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Lock

 

 

Putin: We are the flesh and blood of our heroes

 

 

 

 

He’s not stupid enough to actually believe this. He’s a second hand car salesman.

Ukraine Will Retake Crimea In A Year – Ex-US General (RT)

Ukraine could “restore full sovereignty” within a year, retaking all of its lost territory including Crimea, retired US General Ben Hodges told Newsweek on Thursday at the Tbilisi International Conference of the McCain Institute in Georgia. Hodges is now a lobbyist at the Centre for European Policy Analysis, a pressure group funded by NATO and US arms manufacturers. Western support for Kiev has resulted in a financial bonanza for these companies. “The Ukrainians saved their country,” Hodges gushed, declaring that “half a year after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion…the supposed second-best army in the world is now the second-best army in Ukraine,” with Russia’s “ability to conduct further offensive operations…all but exhausted.”

Now, Hodges said, it was up to the US and NATO to step in and make sure the war is won, starting with a full-throated proclamation of support for Kiev. Washington should stop publicizing the cost of the military aid it sends overseas, he continued, suggesting the deliveries be framed in terms of the percentage of “what is needed for Ukraine to defeat Russia and regain their territory.” The retired general did not elaborate on how those numbers could be calculated. The administration of US President Joe Biden has poured over $44 billion into the war effort since February. While Ukraine and its Western backers have declared the Kherson counteroffensive a rousing success, boasting of recapturing several villages, Kiev has banned journalists from the front lines, making these claims difficult to verify.

Russia has argued the initiative “failed miserably,” pointing to the loss of over 1,200 Ukrainian servicemen in a single day of fighting. Ukrainian MP Alexey Goncharenko echoed Hodges’ optimism in comments to Newsweek, declaring “next year will be the decisive year of the war” and that “with the help of the free world, Ukraine has an opportunity to win.” That will require a lot more weapons, he clarified, mentioning aircraft, air defense systems, and rockets superior to the HIMARS. Crimea became part of Russia in the wake of a 2014 referendum following the US-backed overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev.

Ukraine and NATO consider it illegally annexed territory, and the US has reportedly given Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky the go-ahead to attack the peninsula. The Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk declared their independence that same year and were recognized as independent states by the Kremlin this past February. Zelensky has vowed to retake all three regions, promising on Sunday that “Ukraine will return” to Donbass, Kharkov, Zhaporozhye, Kherson, and “definitely to Crimea.”

Putin 2007

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Ukraine has no nukes.

Ukraine’s Top General Doesn’t Rule Out “Limited” Nuclear War (ZH)

Ukraine’s top military chief has warned that Russia could unleash nukes if its army is against the ropes in Ukraine. The comments were issued Wednesday amid an ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south and east which both Kiev and Washington say has so far had “success”. Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Gen. Valery Zaluzhny stated “There is a direct threat of the use, under certain circumstances, of tactical nuclear weapons by the Russian armed forces.” He wrote this in an op-ed published by state run outlet Ukrinform, with the alarming words being picked up by The Washington Post and others. “It is also impossible to completely rule out the possibility of the direct involvement of the world’s leading countries in a ‘limited’ nuclear conflict, in which the prospect of World War III is already directly visible,” Zaluzhny added.

The top commander further issued his first official confirmation that the unprecedented large strikes on Russia’s Crimea bases and an arms depot widely reported in August were Ukrainian operations. The initial early August huge Saki air base explosion had previously only been acknowledged as a Ukrainian strike via anonymous leaks to Western media outlets by senior Kiev officials. At around the same time as those opening Crimea attacks, which have continued sporadically since then, President Zelensky vowed to “liberate” the Russian-held territory, which the Kremlin gained control of after a 2014 popular referendum, which wasn’t recognized by Europe or the US. According to Gen. Zaluzhny’s words as featured in The Washington Post:

“With the fighting all but certain to continue into 2023, Ukraine has to make the war “even sharper and more tangible for the Russians and for other occupied regions, despite the massive distance to the targets,” Zaluzhny wrote. He called the Crimean strikes a “convincing example” of Kyiv’s calls for allies to send longer-range weapons for its outgunned soldiers. Moscow, he said, can hit 20 times farther.” Moscow for its part has also expressed alarm over the potential for nuclear-armed confrontation with the West over Ukraine, given Washington’s steadily growing involvement – especially the billions of dollars in weapons and military aid being poured into the Ukrainian side. It has also rejected charges that it is prepared to use nukes.

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I’m going to have to get back to this in a separate article. They are trying to create a world war.

Zelensky Is Literally Selling Ukraine To Wall Street Corporations (Norton)

Ukraine’s Western-backed leader Volodymyr Zelensky virtually opened the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of September 6, symbolically ringing the bell via video stream. Zelensky announced that his country is “open for business” – that is to say, that foreign corporations are free to come and exploit its plentiful resources and low-paid labor. In a speech launching the neoliberal selloff program Advantage Ukraine, Zelensky offered Wall Street “a chance for you to invest now in projects worth of hundreds of billions of dollars.” The financial news service Business Wire published a press release from the Ukrainian government in which Zelensky boasted:


“The $400+ [billion] in investment options featured on AdvantageUkraine.com span public private partnerships, privatization and private ventures. A USAID-supported project team of investment bankers and researchers appointed by Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy will work with businesses interested in investing.” It also quoted the president of NYSE Group, Lynn Martin, who said: “As the largest exchange globally, we stand for freedom, investor protection and unfettered access to capital. We are pleased to welcome President Zelenskyy virtually to the NYSE bell podium, a symbol of the freedom and opportunity our U.S. capital markets have enabled around the globe. We are honored the President has chosen the NYSE to mark the kickoff of Advantage Ukraine and engage with the world’s business community.”

The press release cited executives of US corporate giants Google, Alphabet, and Microsoft, who salivated over the economic possibilities offered by Ukraine. Reuters noted that the Ukrainian government hired British public relations firm WPP to run the marketing operation for Advantage Ukraine. Zelensky coordinated his New York Stock Exchange publicity stunt with an editorial in the Wall Street Journal imploring US capitalists to “Invest in the Future of Ukraine.” “I committed my administration to creating a favorable environment for investment that would make Ukraine the greatest growth opportunity in Europe since the end of World War II,” Zelensky wrote. He continued:

“To create a safe, transparent environment for business engagement, Ukraine is pursuing investment guarantees from both the Group of Seven and the European Union, reforming the country’s tax system, and establishing a strong new legal framework. Our country has already adopted rules and laws to allow companies to build transparent corporate structures, attract foreign investment more easily, and use additional mechanisms to protect intangible assets. Favorable conditions will allow us to establish Ukraine as a powerful IT hub and implement innovative business ideas quickly and effectively.”

In an interview with Multipolarista, economist Michael Hudson compared the new emergency anti-labor laws imposed by the Ukrainian government to the brutal neoliberal policies implemented by Chile’s far-right Pinochet dictatorship after a CIA-backed coup in 1973. “It’s jaw dropping,” Hudson said of Zelensky’s Wall Street Journal op-ed. “It’s like a parody of what a socialist would have written about how the class war would be put in into action by a fascist government.” “So of course he was welcomed on the stock exchange for abolishing labor’s rights,” Hudson added. “You could not have a more black-and-white example” of class war. “This is exactly what [French President] Macron said when he said the ‘end of abundance.’ The Ukrainian labor force has just experienced the end of affluence, neoliberal style.

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Izyum is pivotal. Russia took it very early in the SMO.

“..they are attempting a thrust toward Kupyansk, with the aim of cutting the line connecting Izyum to Belgorod in the north. This operation, I believe, is doomed to spectacular failure.”

Ukraine Counterattacks! Please Remain Calm (Big Serge)

A modest city with a prewar population of perhaps 50,000 people, Izyum was always slated to be a focal point in this war, due to its location at a critical intersection. The topography of northeastern Ukraine is dominated by a few critically important features which determine patterns of movement. These include the crucial E40/M03 highway, which connects the metropolis of Kharkov and the urban agglomeration of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, which are the largest and most important cities in the western Donbas. The region is furthermore shaped by the Severodonetsk River – alternatively called simply the Donets (from which the Donbas, or Donets Basin, draws its name) – which snakes lazily around the plain.


The Donets forms a geographic barrier between the Donbas to the south and the Kharkov region to the north, while the E40/M03 highway forms the main arterial for transit between Kharkov and the urban centers of the western Donbas. Izyum is a strategically crucial city because it is where the highway crosses the river; as an added cherry on top, the Oskil River – a major tributary of the Donets – confluences with the Donets less than five miles to the east of Izyum, meaning the city essentially sits directly on the intersection of all the most important geographic features of the region. A highly simplified map of the area looks like this:

Capturing Izyum was a major objective for Russia in the early weeks of the war (as I argued in a previous piece, this was a major reason for the pinning move on Kiev), because it not only interdicts and complicates supply to Ukrainian forces in the Donbas, but it also gave Russia an early position on the Donets river. It is obvious why Ukraine would want to dislodge Russia from Izyum. This would simplify and secure lines of communication to Slovyansk and greatly complicate the Russian push in the Donbas by freeing Ukraine’s northern flank. To achieve this, they are attempting a thrust toward Kupyansk, with the aim of cutting the line connecting Izyum to Belgorod in the north. This operation, I believe, is doomed to spectacular failure.

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From same long article by Big Serge.

“..a salient is a position where a force is already encircled on 3 sides, leaving only the exit to be snapped shut.”

And then it becomes a cauldron.

Izyum: The Non-Salient (Big Serge)

In military parlance, a “salient” simply means a bulge in the frontline, where one side has achieved some level of penetration at a particular point. A salient is a classically vulnerable position – a glaringly obvious operational focal point, because simultaneous attacks at the base of the bulge can easily cut it off and trap the forces inside. Essentially, a salient is a position where a force is already encircled on 3 sides, leaving only the exit to be snapped shut. In the opening phase of the war, Izyum was indeed a salient. Russia had captured an exposed position which jutted out into Ukrainian territory, and there was talk of a Ukrainian counteroffensive to take advantage of this. Furthermore, the only safe supply line to Izyum ran through Kupyansk, making this a vulnerable position indeed. However, throughout the following weeks, Russia took control of the territory directly to the east of Izyum, including the town of Lyman.


This concretized the Russian flank and secured additional lines of communication into Izyum, creating redundancies for the highway from Kupyansk. The window of opportunity for an easy encirclement or interdiction of supply to Izyum ended when Russia cleared all the Ukrainian forces from the north side of the Donets river. Supply lines to Izyum are now shielded from the south by the Donets, and from the west by the Oskil. Because Russia has redundant supply lines to the northeast of Izyum, for Ukraine to reach operational depth, they must cross the Donets and Oskil rivers. Even suppressing Kupyansk is not enough to disrupt Russia’s ability to project force here. The Oskil river – which, incidentally is more than a kilometer wide in places – presents a major barrier that will prevent Ukraine from exploiting their early advances. They have more or less advanced into a wall, and already the map presents an unfolding catastrophe for them. Courtesy of Rybar:


“This is a Salient with Ukrainians inside”

In short, the Ukrainian advance has been too slow and lacks a clear path to reach operational objectives. Already, Russia has begun to deploy huge reserves to this theater, and fear is beginning to show among the more operationally aware Ukrainians. One Ukrainian journalist at the front had this to say: “There is heavy fighting near Kupyansk, worse than Balakleysky. We are taking heavy losses. The enemy is transferring a bunch of reserves by air. The “Wagnerites” have already arrived in the city itself. The sky is filled with aircraft. Hearing about all this, a haunting feeling of an ambush arises in the soul. What if this all really turns out to be a strategic level ambush?”


I do not believe this is an “ambush” per se by the Russian army. The word ambush implies that the Russian forces were already in position, drawing the Ukrainians into a specific maneuver plan where they could be attacked from prepared positions. That’s not what’s happening at all – Russian forces are coming in fresh from reserve and were not pre-deployed to the sector. What the operation reflects instead is Russia’s preference to wage a high-firepower, mobile defense. Frontline positions are, relatively speaking, thinly manned, which powerful mobile reserves are held back. This is a flexible, firefighting approach which allows the Ukrainians to advance into vulnerable positions so that they can be destroyed.

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US/NATO wants a price cap on Russian gas only. De Croo wants a cap on all gas.

Belgium Objects To Russian Gas Cap Plan (RT)

Imposing a price cap on Russian gas would be insufficient, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has said, calling for the proposed ceiling to be applied to all gas imported into the European Union. In an interview with POLITICO on Thursday, De Croo said this “key measure” on the part of the bloc “needs to [include] all types of gas.” He also warned that failure to heed his advice would be a “big mistake.” In the Belgian official’s view, the price cap would have to be implemented in a “dynamic way,” that is, making sure it would still make sense for exporters to sell gas to the EU instead of shifting to Asian markets. De Croo clarified that with the current gas prices in Asia being roughly 50% lower, setting the price cap just 5 percent higher than Asia would ensure that “all traders in the world will still continue to sell in Europe.”

Earlier on Thursday, Belgium’s Energy Minister revealed that his country would not support the European commission’s plan to impose a price cap specifically on Russian gas imports. “A cap on Russian gas only is a purely political objective,” the minister said, adding that Belgium “will not agree to this” as it did not “see the added value in that.” De Croo has been lobbying his plan since March, and while some member states such as Poland and Greece back the proposal, others, like France, remain skeptical, POLITICO reports. Gas prices in Europe surged following the start of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine in late February and have remained considerably higher than last year’s levels. This has led to a rise in overall inflation.

Last Friday, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that it would not resume supplying gas to EU consumers via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, citing sanctions-related maintenance issues. The bloc, meanwhile, has accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies.

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“If price restrictions were to be imposed exclusively on Russian gas, that would evidently lead to an immediate cut-off in Russian gas supplies. It does not take a Nobel Prize to recognize that,” he warned.”

EU Fails To Agree Russian Gas Price Cap – Hungary {(RT)

EU energy ministers have failed to reach a consensus on setting a price cap on Russian gas at an emergency meeting on Friday, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto told reporters. “Today there was no solution, there was only a political dispute, which served as a reference point for the European Commission. We now expect that next week or the week after that, not only the member states, but also the European Commission will make written, substantial proposals,” Szijjarto said, as cited by RIA news agency. Earlier this week, the European Commission prepared suggestions on measures aimed at tackling rising energy prices, which were to be discussed by the energy ministers.


Among them was the proposal to introduce a price cap on Russian pipeline gas. The idea, however, faced opposition among member states and was not widely supported at Friday’s meeting, Reuters reported, citing two unnamed diplomats. Earlier, reports also emerged that some EU countries suggested that a price cap should not single out Russia, but instead be applied to all gas imports to the bloc. In a Facebook video posted ahead of the meeting, Szijjarto said the proposed price cap on Russian gas goes against both European and Hungarian interests. “If price restrictions were to be imposed exclusively on Russian gas, that would evidently lead to an immediate cut-off in Russian gas supplies. It does not take a Nobel Prize to recognize that,” he warned.


@WallStreetSilv: They seriously are going to get the rest of the world to quit using the US Dollar with their arrogance on this issue. They are pushing the entire world towards China and the BRICS.

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Germany screwed up its energy policy like no-one else. And now they resort to blackmail.

Germany Frustrated Over Neighbors’ Gas-sharing Reluctance – Bloomberg (RT)

Germany’s neighbors Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Poland have refused to engage in “constructive negotiations” about gas solidarity deals, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a report to lawmakers seen by Bloomberg. The paper, which was presented to the Bundestag’s energy and climate committee late on Wednesday, reportedly assumed that the reluctance could exacerbate the gas crunch in Germany “because a substantial building bloc of the EU’s gas crisis resilience in the form of bilateral agreements would not be available.” The gas-sharing pacts between member states are part of a larger EU mechanism for energy emergency situations. They guarantee that one country will supply the other if they don’t have enough gas to provide the needs of households and social services, which enjoy special protection under EU law.


According to Habeck, the main reason the countries are refusing bilateral agreements with Berlin is because they don’t want to be on the hook to compensate their suppliers in case gas gets rerouted to Germany. The economy minister also highlighted that Germany is in talks with Italy and the Czech Republic. The agreement with Italy would be a trilateral deal involving Switzerland as gas would need to transit that country into Germany. Discussions with Rome are on hold until after elections later this month, Habeck noted. The Czech Republic would be willing to sign such an agreement, but only if there’s a cap on government compensation for suppliers. Given these problems, “there is currently no progress to be expected from negotiations about bilateral solidarity agreements,” Habeck stressed in the report.

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Makes Trump look awfully smart.

Germany Is Now Generating Nearly A Third Of Its Electricity From Coal (BI)

Germany is relying more on coal to generate electricity, as Russian gas cuts force the country to seek alternative sources of fuel before winter. The European nation produced 82.6 kilowatt-hours of electricity from coal-fired power plants in the first six months of 2022, a 17.2% rise from the the same period last year, according to new data from Germany’s national statistics office, Destatis. As a result, it generated 31.4% of its electricity from coal. Meanwhile, Germany slashed its electricity production from natural gas, reducing it from 14.4% to 11.7% of its total electricity mix, Destatis noted. Soaring prices have made natural gas less and less affordable in recent months.

The shift from gas to coal highlights Germany’s desperate efforts to stockpile fuel before cold weather takes hold later this year, as repeated gas cuts from Russia deplete European supplies. Russia has been accused of “weaponizing” energy in retaliation to Western sanctions and boycotts imposed on the nation following its invasion of Ukraine. Given coal is cheaper than gas and a more accessible fuel resource for Germany, the country has effectively been forced it to make a u-turn back to the dirtiest fossil fuel. One of its energy companies, Uniper, recently fired up a mothballed coal-fueled power plant to cut its dependency on Russian energy. Dutch TTF natural gas futures, the European benchmark for natural gas prices, have been soaring as the market tightens, with prices reaching record highs above 340 euros this year.

Prices were down 4% at 204 euros at last check Thursday, thanks to prospects of a European plan to cap Russian gas prices. Rotterdam coal delivery for October fell 5% to $338, down from more than $430 in March, according to ICE Futures. Analysts warned that greater demand for coal could dial up the cost of the commodity. “When nat gas is this expensive then consumers prefer coal and oil instead, so this goes also up in price,” SEB analyst Ole Hvalbye told Insider. While Europe faces a crippling energy crisis, Germany has been hit the hardest with one of the country’s biggest banks, Commerzbank, predicting it could fall into a 2009-style recession if Russia permanently chokes off supply.

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As Putin said.

Ukrainian Grain Going To EU Instead Of Africa – El Pais (RT)

At least 38% of the grain exported from Ukraine under the UN-brokered deal is shipped to the EU instead of the developing countries in Africa for which it was intended, Spain’s El Pais newspaper reported on Thursday, citing UN data and ship tracking figures. According to the report, more than 2.3 million tons of corn, wheat, barley and other agricultural products were exported through the Black Sea corridor from Ukraine between August 1 and September 7. Of this total, about 900,000 tons were sent to the ports of EU member states. The report notes that it is impossible to trace from the available data whether the EU is the final destination of the shipments or a transit point. On July 22, multilateral agreements were signed in Istanbul establishing the framework of exports of Ukrainian grain, food, and fertilizers via the Black Sea.


The agreements also lifted restrictions on Russian grain and fertilizer exports. However, according to Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, the part of the food deal that concerns the export of Russian products has not been implemented, which could lead to the termination of the deal by Moscow. Speaking at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Western nations of lying when they claimed Ukraine needed access to sea shipping to alleviate surging food prices and the risk of famine in poor countries, as a lion’s share of the grain is being exported to Western states. In his remark earlier on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sided with the Russian leader, saying that Ukrainian grain is “unfortunately” going mostly to rich countries.

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“..disproportionate grain exports under a UN-brokered deal that can offset massive debts for weapons and aid..”

Any questions?

Ukraine Faces Winter Food Shortages – Economist (RT)

Ukraine may face food shortages this winter due to disproportionate grain exports under a UN-brokered deal that can offset massive debts for weapons and aid. That’s according to economist Yegor Klopenko, founder of the ITLEADERS venture investors club, who spoke to the news agency Prime on Friday. Ukraine’s debt to the West grew by $70-100 billion just in the first half of the year, according to Klopenko’s estimates. He is certain that Ukraine will never be able to repay this money. Instead, it is bartering its grain in an effort to ensure more aid in the future. “As a result, Ukraine may have problems with food, as the authorities there are ready to give the West everything without thinking about the population,” he says.

More than 2.3 million tons of corn, wheat, barley and other agricultural products were reportedly exported through the Black Sea corridor from Ukraine between August 1 and September 7. Spain’s El Pais newspaper on Thursday reported that at least 38% of this grain is currently shipped to the EU instead of developing countries in Africa for which it was intended. “In turn, Europe cannot admit publicly that Ukrainian grain will end up on the tables of Europeans and not in starving Africa,” the expert states, adding that he thinks that, thanks to Russia’s help, the food situation in Africa will not be as severe as it could have been. Russia is expected to have a record harvest this year, and he believes its grain will go to African countries, driven by the EU’s reluctance to lift sanctions on Russian exports.

According to Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, the part of the Ukraine food deal that concerns the export of Russian products has not been implemented, which could lead to the termination of the entire deal by Moscow. Klopenko says that while Russia, the EU, Africa and the Middle East all seem to have sources for grain supplies, Ukraine may be the only country facing food shortages come winter.

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“Prices, which were $2 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2020, have rocketed 2,750% to $57 per MMBtu in August..”

Major LNG Supplier Issues Dire Warning To EU (RT)

The biggest US exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Cheniere Energy, has warned that limited supplies worldwide mean this winter could be “really, really tight.” According to Reuters, Cheniere, which has sent 70% of its output to Europe this year, also said that a resurgence in Chinese LNG demand would exacerbate the energy crisis. “At the end of the day, what’s going to decide how tight the market will be is how cold it is and how government policies, industry rationing work,” Cheniere’s executive vice president for worldwide trading, Corey Grindal, said at a Gastech conference on Thursday. Grindal noted that for now the current price environment indicates that LNG supplies will continue to go to Europe.


Prices, which were $2 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in 2020, have rocketed 2,750% to $57 per MMBtu in August. The US has stepped up exports of the fuel to the EU this year, taking advantage of elevated prices in the region. China has also been supplying leftover LNG to the EU, as its zero-Covid policies are still weighing on domestic demand, according to Bloomberg. Analysts, however, warn that a total Russian gas shutoff would send the EU into an energy crisis that would last multiple winters. Natural gas deliveries from Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline to the bloc remain cut off indefinitely due to maintenance issues. According to the Kremlin, technical issues with gas deliveries via the pipeline will persist until the West lifts its sanctions on Russia.

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Re: Germany demanding gas from its neighbors.

EU: Neocolonialism, Hyper-Financialization and Hyper-Globalization (CHS)

The European Union (EU) was seen as the culmination of a centuries-long process of integration that would finally put an end to the ceaseless conflicts that had led to disastrous wars in the 20th century that had knocked Europe from global preeminence. Wary of the predations of the U.S. and rising Asian powers, European nations sought the economic and diplomatic strength of a confederation that would be greater than the sum of its parts, a union that would restore Europe’s rightful place as a global power. This worthy goal was undermined by the destructive dynamics of the past forty years: Neocolonialism, Financialization and Globalization. These dynamics are unstable due to their internal contradictions.

In classical colonialism, the Core dominates the Periphery with force, extracting economic value by exploiting the subject states’ commodities and forcing the colonies to buy the valued-added finished goods produced by the colonial power’s domestic economy. This extractive model was at odds with the liberal worldview of the colonial powers which held self-rule and open markets as necessary to stable prosperity. The contradictions of classical colonialism led to its collapse as colonies broke free and the colonial powers were forced to navigate a more open global economy. Beneath the glossy vibe of strength through unity, the EU institutionalized a Neocolonial Model in which some EU members are more equal than others, a divide that was starkly revealed in the debt crisis of 2011-2012.

In Neocolonialism, the forces of financialization (debt and leverage controlled by State-approved banking cartels) are used to indenture the local Elites and populace to the banking center: the peripheral Neocolonials borrow money to buy the finished goods sold by the Core, doubly enriching the center with 1) interest and the transactional skim of financializing assets such as real estate, harbors, etc. and 2) the profits made selling goods to the debtors. (China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is another version of the Neocolonial Model in which credit and financialization indebt and disempower the Periphery nations to the benefit of the Neocolonial Power.)

In essence, the Core nations of the EU colonized the Periphery nations via the euro which enabled a massive expansion of debt and consumption in the Periphery. The banks and exporters of the Core extracted enormous profits from this expansion of debt-fueled consumption. The Periphery’s neocolonial status was starkly revealed by the debt crisis: the assets and income of the Periphery flowed to the Core as interest on the private and sovereign debts that are owed to the Core’s commercial and central banks. This was the perfection of Neocolonial Neofeudalism. The Periphery nations of the E.U. are effectively neocolonial debtors of the Core countries’ banks, and the taxpayers of the Core nations are now feudal serfs whose labor is devoted to making good on any bank loans to the Periphery that go bad.

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“Germany is just flat-out hanging itself in the basement.” “They need a “national emergency” and they’ll manufacture one if necessary. Wait for it.”

Here It Comes (Kunstler)

A federal judge this week ordered the White House, Anthony, Fauci, Secretaries Becerra and Mayorkas, and a slew of other US officials to surrender their email correspondence with social and news media companies in the matter of government working to suppress the first amendment and, in the censoring, de-platforming, and defaming of many individual citizens who attempted to present views of the Covid melodrama contrary to the official narratives. This was in a suit brought by state Attorneys General Eric Schmidt (MO) and Jeff Landry (LA). From it, a million more lawsuits for personal injury may bloom. Mark Zuckerberg let the cat out of the bag days ago as to how the FBI leaned right on him.

Prepare for an avalanche of unwelcome news evading the censors as we slide out of summer into the cold-and-flu season, as it’s called. Hundreds of millions throughout the highly-vaxxed nations will be walking around with crippled immune systems. The life insurance companies may require a bail-out, from all those “unknown causes” that killed people. But so will every other institution in Western Civ. Alas, the money for that is fated to go up in a vapor later this fall as history’s greatest margin call gets underway. Let’s face it, Europe and North America are sloughing off their industrial economies and the financialization racketeering underneath all that doesn’t produce anything of value. Seventy percent of the pubs in the UK are shuttering because they can’t pay the electric bill.

Germany is just flat-out hanging itself in the basement. The Euro is going to trash. A little birdie told me to expect a last gasp stock market rally the next ten days, with the Dow nearing 35,000. What a set-up. Markets are truly diabolical the way they prey on human wishes. God help the suckers watching CNBC. Following his Mouth-of-Hell speech last week, declaring war on half the country, “Joe Biden’s” prospects are dimming along with sclerotic circuits in his brainpan. The Party of Chaos is desperate to survive the midterm election. Therefore, look for them to grudge up an excuse to make them not happen. They need a “national emergency” and they’ll manufacture one if necessary. Wait for it.

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The scariest thing I’ve read in a while. Imagine if I were a woman. And had been jabbed. My medical know-how doesn’t go far enough to know if the uterus lining is restored, but I’m scared regardless.

Decidual cast shedding (DCS) less than 40 reports in 109 years. 243 reported in survey in 7 months in 2021. The complete lining of the womb is shed.

COVID-19 and the Surge in Decidual Cast Shedding (GMS)

The COVID-19 pandemic expanded recognition and discussion across social media sites of a variety of symptoms related to SARS-CoV-2 infection and side effects related to COVID-19 vaccines. After the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines specifically, there was a marked increase of women sharing irregular menstruation experiences on a variety of social media platforms, and a few formal surveys were conducted. One survey launched in April 2021 had more than 150,000 respondents [1]. The survey was limited because it did not differentiate between specific symptoms, length, or severity of symptoms, nor did it address potential causes. The survey indicated that menstrual irregularities increased exponentially starting in 2021.

To follow up those findings and gather a wider array of general and menstruation-related symptom data, a new user-centered survey, the MyCycleStorySM survey, was designed and disseminated [2]. As survey submissions accumulated, it became clear that individuals were reporting a variety of unusual symptoms, many severe. One such rare symptom was the passage of decidual casts, also known as decidual cast shedding (DCS). Some of the respondents provided detailed descriptions of their experiences. A subset of these testimonials is included in the below hyperlink [26].

A decidual cast may occur when the cessation of progesterone levels results in loss of support for the decidualized endometrial lining [3]. This results in a synchronized detachment of the entire decidualized layer of endometrium, and it passes from the uterus through the cervix and vagina. This tissue mass/clot is often triangular, consistent with the internal shape of the intrauterine cavity (Figure 1). Other less common causes of DCS include cessation of exogenous estrogen/ progesterone therapies, and use of oral contraceptives and injectable progesterone [4].


Depictions of DCS specimens from MyCycleStorySM participants. Participants were so distressed by their abnormal menstrual phenomena documented with photographs.

A Google search of the phrase “decidual cast shedding” brings up the following definition: “a large, intact piece of tissue that is passed through the vagina in one solid piece. It happens when the thick mucus lining of the uterus, called the decidua, sheds in the near exact shape of a uterine cavity, creating a triangular cast” [19]. An extensive literature review of previous documented decidual cast shedding cases was performed by the authors, substantiating that this experience is extremely rare. Literature search terms “decidual cast” and “membranous shedding” and “membranous dysmenorrhea” were used to identify the prevalence of DCS in the pre-pandemic era. We found fifteen publications between 1913 and 2022 detailing less than 40 cases of “decidual cast shedding” or “membranous dysmenorrhea” [3-18]. There were 292 (4.83 % of the sample) predominantly non-Hispanic white women who identified a DCS incident during the 7.5 months of data collection in mid-to-late 2021, and 96.2% of these respondents reported that they had experienced health problems or menstrual irregularities since January 2021.

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8 mice.

The High-Speed, Bivalent COVID Boosters are Here (Nass)

This is the fastest rollout of a new vaccine in world history. How did it happen? Instead of this being a tale of human grit and ingenuity, it is a tale of human weakness and recklessness. Let me ask again: how did such a rapid vaccine rollout occur? It occurred the only way it could possibly occur: by bending the rules, creating a new regulatory playbook and failing to obtain any human data for the new vaccines. The manufacturers did not have to go through months-long trials, and FDA did not have to pore over any human trial data, because there weren’t any. Let that sink in: the new BA.4/5 bivalent vaccines have only been tested in mice, not humans.

Here is an amazing fact: On the same day that the CDC gave its approval to start the vaccine program, September 1, health agencies in Canada, Switzerland and the European Union’s FDA (the European Medicines Association) also rolled out new, bivalent booster shot programs. Almost simultaneously, the UK authorized 2 different bivalent boosters on August 15 and September 3. The UK has told people to expect the largest rollout in history for the new bivalent boosters. And it has started the program by promising large bonuses to doctors if they manage to vaccinate every single resident of a nursing home by October 23. These other countries are using an earlier omicron mRNA as the template for their omicron-ancestral bivalent vaccines, while the US is using the mRNA code for the later omicron variant BA.4/5 spike.

[..] Omicron variants have been present since last November, and it was soon discovered that both vaccine-induced and natural immunity due to earlier variants were very limited for omicron variants, because they are so different from the ancestral strain. The health agencies and manufacturers have been testing omicron vaccine prototypes for up to 9 months. Most of those tests involved BA.1 and BA.2 omicron strains. However, 90% of current cases are caused by omicron BA.5, which is genetically far from BA.1 and BA.2. But there was some human data (involving a few hundred subjects each) for several of the earlier omicron vaccine prototypes, so the health agencies decided to simply pretend that mRNA designed for BA.1 and BA.2 was close enough to BA.5 that the data were comparable.

Since 50% of the vaccine contents would be the old vaccine, FDA claimed it had already established the safety and efficacy of that half. Then, to round things out, there were data from mice, which generated comparable antibody levels to the new vaccines as they had to older vaccines. And of course, we can rely on mice to behave exactly like people, right? After all, they have been ‘humanized’ to contain a human ACE-2 receptor. No, we cannot rely on mice. We cannot even rely on nonhuman primates as a model for vaccines, as every species reacts uniquely and unpredictably to infections and to vaccinations. But mice data do bulk up FDA’s authorization ‘package’ so it looks like FDA did a more thorough review.

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Steve Bannon

 

 

Steve Bannon just broke that at least 35 Trump Allies had their homes raided yesterday by the FBI.

 

 


Inflation in Turkey. Seven years ago 55,000 lira got you a car. Today it gets you a phone.

 

 

Climate denier

 

 

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I’d have you do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I’ll follow you.
I’ll want to know each step you take
That I may walk the same,
For some day down that lonely road
You’ll hear me call your name.

– A. Rowswell

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 162022
 
 July 16, 2022  Posted by at 9:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  27 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Guernica [Study] V 1937

 

Useful European Idiots (Vilches)
The Imaginary War (Lawrence)
Is A US-Russia War Becoming Inevitable? (Pat Buchanan)
The Stupendous Tale (Tarik)
Europe’s Thirst For LNG Is Causing Blackouts In Developing Countries (OP)
Geert Vanden Bossche: Mass Covid Vax Triggering New Pandemics (NA)
Low Demand For Young Kids’ Covid Vaccines Is Alarming Doctors (Pol.)
Health Experts Are Quitting The NIH and CDC In Droves (DM)
Elon Musk Wants To Push Twitter Trial Back To 2023 (NYP)
A Tale of the Taco (Jim Kunstler)
Assange Fights Extradition To United States With Two Appeals (Dissenter)

 

 

 

 

Twitter board

 

 

 

 

NATO myths

 

 

 

 

“The US-UK cabal does not want Europe and Russia to trade, do business, relate, or grow together in any way, shape, or form.”

Useful European Idiots (Vilches)

“ Washington and London have drawn ´useful European idiots´ into an economic war against Russia ” – said former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev – adding that “the onset of a systemic crisis in the Eurozone is beginning to come true.” He added that Anglo-Saxons on both sides of the Atlantic conned EU members “like a couple of shell-game tricksters” by drawing them into an unwarranted economic war against Moscow which is actually an Anglo-Saxon project, not theirs. Paraphrasing James Carville, “it´s the Anglo-Saxons, stupid”. The US-UK cabal does not want Europe and Russia to trade, do business, relate, or grow together in any way, shape, or form. So they designed, built and forced upon Europe the current John Bolton-Ukraine war which had plan A (now failed) with Russia as target and plan B as substitute with Europe itself as the intended victim coming next.

What Dmitry Medvedev may not know though is that such ”useful European idiots” can be broken down into 3 fairly distinct categories starting with the EU “well-trained career idiots” basically focused on continuously earning salaries and perks way above their capabilities. So they know that (a) the EU system rewards them generously despite their obvious mediocrity and limitations and (b) thus do not dare to question, doubt, let alone defy the EU system or dictats. They all know and feel every day of their lives that the EU ´system´ has a very strict pecking order and what top-cock (or top-hen) says to do or say or think is to be summarily executed without questioning the mandate, even if against European best interests as is the case.

This simplifies the problem from the Washington-London perspective as by controlling a handful of EU leaders (more on that later) the rest just follow the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Furthermore, these EU-captured intellectual simpleton retards are not dumb enough to the extreme of questioning their unequivocal role (they are aware of it) and accordingly constantly strengthen their vested-interests relationship. In sum, they work hard at it. Then there is a second category of “useful European idiots” grouping the visible top EU leaders – many unelected — who can either be (a) plain corrupt as traditionally allowed for in Europe or (b) perceive themselves as God-chosen to lead Europe to a glorious yet undefined destiny no matter if actively hijacking any representational capacity and values they may have received.

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“.. a Marvel Comics of a conflict with little grounding in reality..”

The Imaginary War (Lawrence)

What were the policy cliques, “the intelligence community” and the press that serves both going to do when the kind of war in Ukraine they talked incessantly about turned out to be imaginary, a Marvel Comics of a conflict with little grounding in reality? I have wondered about this since the Russian intervention began on Feb. 24. I knew the answer would be interesting when finally we had one. Now we have one. Taking the government-supervised New York Times as a guide, the result is a variant of what we saw as the Russiagate fiasco came unglued: Those who manufacture orthodoxies as well as consent are slithering out the side door. I could tell you I don’t intend to single out the Times in this wild chicanery, except that I do.

The once-but-no-longer newspaper of record continues to be singularly wicked in its deceits and deceptions as it imposes the official but imaginary version of the war on unsuspecting readers. As Consortium News’s properly suspecting readers will recall, Vladimir Putin was clear when he told the world Russia’s intentions as it began its intervention. These were two: Russian forces went into Ukraine to “demilitarize and de–Nazify” it, a pair of limited, defined objectives. An astute reader of these commentaries pointed out in a recent comment thread that the Russian president had once again proven, whatever else one may think of him, a focused statesman with an excellent grasp of history. At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, the Allied Control Council declared its postwar purpose in Germany as “the four D’s.” These were de–Nazification, demilitarization, democratization and decentralization.

Let’s give David Thompson, who brought this historical reference to my attention, a deserved byline here: “Putin’s reiteration of the de–Nazification and demilitarization principles established from the Potsdam Conference is not just some quaint tip of the hat to history. He was laying down a marker to the United States and the United Kingdom that the agreement reached at Potsdam in 1945 is still relevant and valid ….” The Russian president, whose entire argument with the West is that a just and stable order in Europe must serve the security interests of all sides, was simply restating objectives the trans–Atlantic alliance had once signed on to accomplish. In other words, he was pointing out said alliance’s gross hypocrisy as it arms the ideological descendants of German Nazis.

I dwell on this matter because the imaginary war began with the Biden regime’s and the press’s quite irresponsible misrepresentations of the Russian Federation’s aims in Ukraine. All else has flowed from it. You remember: Russian forces were going to “conquer” the whole of the nation, wipe out the Kiev regime, install a puppet government and then drive on to Poland, the Baltic states, Transnistria and the rest of Moldova, and who could imagine what after that. De–Nazification, we can now read, is a phony Kremlin dodge. Having lied outright on this score, the next edition of the comic went onto the market. Russia is failing to achieve its imaginary objectives. Low morale, desertions, poorly trained troops with not enough to eat, logistical failures, lousy artillery, inadequate ordnance, incompetent officers: The Russians were riding for a fall on Ukrainian soil.

The corollary here was the heroism, courage and battlefield grit of Ukrainian troops, least of all, the Azov Battalion, who were not any longer neo–Nazis. Never mind the Times, The Guardian, the BBC and various other mainstream publications and broadcasters had earlier told us about these ideological fanatics. That was then, this is now.

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Not yet.

Is A US-Russia War Becoming Inevitable? (Pat Buchanan)

At the NATO summit in Madrid, Finland was invited to join the alliance. What does this mean for Finland? If Russian President Vladimir Putin breaches the 830-mile Finnish border, the United States will rise to Helsinki’s defense and fight Russia on Finland’s side. If Putin makes a military move into Finland, the U.S. will go to war against the world’s largest nation with an arsenal of between 4,500 and 6,000 battlefield and strategic nuclear weapons. No Cold War president would have dreamed of making such a commitment — to risk the survival of our nation to defend territory of a country thousands of miles away that has never been a U.S. vital interest. To go to war with the Soviet Union over the preservation of Finnish territory would have been seen as madness during the Cold War.

Recall: Harry Truman refused to use force to break Joseph Stalin’s blockade of Berlin. Dwight Eisenhower refused to send U.S. troops to save the Hungarian freedom fighters being run down by Soviet tanks in Budapest in 1956. Lyndon B. Johnson did nothing to assist the Czech patriots crushed by Warsaw Pact armies in 1968. When Lech Walesa’s Solidarity was smashed on Moscow’s order in Poland in 1981, Ronald Reagan made brave statements and sent Xerox machines. While the U.S. issued annual declarations of support during the Cold War for the “captive nations” of Central and Eastern Europe, the liberation of these nations from Soviet control was never deemed so vital to the West as to justify a war with the USSR.

Indeed, in the 40 years of the Cold War, NATO, which had begun in 1949 with 12 member nations, added only four more — Greece, Turkey, Spain and West Germany. Yet, with the invitation to Sweden and Finland to join as the 31st and 32nd nations to receive an Article 5 war guarantee, NATO will have doubled its membership since what was thought — certainly by the Russians — to have been the end of the Cold War. All the nations once part of Moscow’s Warsaw Pact — East Germany, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria — are now members of a U.S.-led NATO — directed against Russia. Three former republics of the USSR — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania — are now also members of NATO, a military alliance formed to corral and contain the nation to which they had belonged during the Cold War. Lithuania, with 2% of Russia’s population, has just declared a partial blockade of goods moving across its territory to Kaliningrad, Russia’s enclave on the Baltic Sea. To Putin’s protest, Vilnius has reminded Moscow that Lithuania is a member of NATO.

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Stupendously long, too.

The Stupendous Tale (Tarik)

I love Elvira. She’s my sweetheart, ma babe. Were I set to marry a central banker, she’d be the one. And if Putin is the Father of modern Russia, then Nabiullina is the fiercely protective Mother. Her handling of the Ruble attack after the Crimean intervention, was truly heroic. I can almost hear the strident cries from all her brats: the public, the business class, academia, media and the government, to lower rates and open wide the money spigot. Had she fallen under the pressure as they all do since Volker, had she not risen interest rates to 17%, the ruble would have been irrevocably broken.

The entire economy would have loaded up on unsustainable debt that would trigger the familiar hyper inflationary trend common to US$ vassals going rogue with no understanding of the money game (Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Turkey, Argentina…), and thus annihilated Putin’s achievements on all fronts. Instead, by letting inviable western focused businesses fail, financial resources could flow to local production and eastbound and southbound ventures. As a result the economy cleansed itself of obsolete dead weights, excessive unserviceable debt, and business discipline was enforced, leaving it lean and mean, ready do tackle any future rough patch.

Once the last treacherous FDI dollar and Euro left the space, the ruble stabilized, interest rates slowly normalized, dollar reserves now kept at strict minimum to cover trade requirements while overall reserves quickly recovered all losses. Sure some short term pain on certain sectors, but necessary and long term well worth it. No wonder Putin today would ask her for another term (note that he asked, she did not offer). With roughest seas ahead, he imperatively needs a proven captain that can handle any coming economic tempest. What’s funny, those accusing her of “Atlanticism” seem to have completely missed that her policies selectively strained precisely those western bent businesses, while protecting the Eurasianists and patriots. Some reproach her playing into IMF hands yet she kept the RCB free from its predatory loans, thus keeping Russia safe from the coercive influence. Go figure.

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BRICS getting stronger by the day. This is why.

Europe’s Thirst For LNG Is Causing Blackouts In Developing Countries (OP)

In June, the European Union imported more liquefied natural gas from the United States than pipeline gas from Russia for the first time ever. The unprecedented shift came as the EU scrambled to fill up its gas storage facilities ahead of the next heating season in fear Russia could turn off the gas tap at any moment. It also pushed LNG prices sky-high, making it unaffordable for developing countries. “Because of the Ukraine war, every single molecule that was available in our region has been purchased by Europe, because they’re trying to reduce their dependence on Russia,” Pakistan’s Petroleum Minister Musadik Malik said earlier this month as quoted by the Wall Street Journal.


Pakistan has been suffering from blackouts because of insufficient LNG supplies that the country needs to keep its power plants going. And the reason for the insufficient supplies is that Europe can pay more for the commodity, so traders are sending their cargos there, including cargos originally destined for Pakistan and other Asian countries. According to data from Wood Mackenzie cited by the Wall Street Journal, while Europe’s LNG imports soared 49 percent from the start of the year to mid-June, Pakistan’s imports fell by 15 percent during the same period, those to India shed 16 percent, and China’s LNG imports fell by more than a fifth. “The European gas crisis is sucking the world dry of LNG,” Valery Chow, head of Asia Pacific gas and LNG research at Wood Mackenzie, told the WSJ.”Emerging markets in Asia have borne the brunt of this and there is no end in sight.”

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“If the antiviral treatments are not made massively available to the vaccinated people, the highly vaccinated countries will likely experience a tsunami of hospitalizations and death..”

Geert Vanden Bossche: Mass Covid Vax Triggering New Pandemics (NA)

In his first interview with The New American, renowned scientist Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche described why mass vaccination with non-sterilizing (“leaky”) vaccines could not lead to herd immunity, and why he expected the Covid infection and disease to aggravate in the vaccinated individuals. The New American is proud to become the first media to speak with Dr. Vanden Bossche about his latest research dedicated to the issue of Covid mass vaccination initiating a chain reaction of new pandemics and epidemics with a potentially catastrophic impact on global health. In addition to that, the doctor explained how the constant Covid reinfections trigger relapse or metastasis of certain cancers in vaccinated people.


If the antiviral treatments are not made massively available to the vaccinated people, the highly vaccinated countries will likely experience a tsunami of hospitalizations and deaths among the vaccinated, especially the elderly and those vaccinated early on, said Dr. Vanden Bossche. The doctor pleaded with the parents NOT to vaccinate their children against Covid. The vaccination would irreparably damage their innate immune system and leave them vulnerable to infection and re-infection by Covid and a range of other deadly pathogens. That would result in a massive loss of children’s lives.

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They should listen to Geert.

Low Demand For Young Kids’ Covid Vaccines Is Alarming Doctors (Pol.)

States where parents have hesitated to inoculate their children against Covid-19 are now ordering fewer doses of the vaccines for children under 5 than others, underscoring the challenge facing the Biden administration as a highly transmissible variant sweeps the nation. Experts broadly agree states shouldn’t order more doses than they think they’ll use. But they worry the low demand in states such as Alabama and Mississippi is a warning sign of the widening ambivalence among many parents about the benefits of vaccinating children against the virus and continuing politicization of health care. “Never before have we had a vaccine available for young children that has been in billions of people before it was given to a young child,” said Kawsar Talaat, a vaccine expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“The distrust in government, the distrust in public health and the distrust in science is growing and is very, very worrisome.” OLITICO contacted each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to ask how many of the recently authorized Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines they ordered and 38 jurisdictions provided that data. Several of the states that reported placing some of the lowest orders relative to their under-5 populations also have low Covid-19 vaccination rates for 5- to 11-year-olds, an early indication that vaccinations for the youngest kids could follow a similar pattern. Since they became eligible last fall, 36.6 percent of 5- to 11-year-olds have received one Covid-19 shot and only 30 percent are fully vaccinated, compared to 69 percent of adults aged 18 to 49.

Public health experts and doctors attribute the slow uptake in part to the fact that many parents don’t believe that the vaccine is necessary, effective, or that its benefits outweigh any risks. [..] Florida — the only state to explicitly advise against Covid-19 vaccines for young children — did not pre-order any of the 5-and-under vaccines. It has now permitted practitioners and health systems to order the shots through a state portal, but is not making them available in state-run health programs.

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No credibility left. Or trust.

Health Experts Are Quitting The NIH and CDC In Droves (DM)

Two of America’s top health agencies are reportedly hemorrhaging staff as poor decision-making, described by staff as ‘bad science,’ has led to low morale. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are both suffering staff shortages, according to Dr. Marty Makary, a top public-health expert at Johns Hopkins University, writes at Common Sense, the Substack run by former New York Times columnist, Bari Weiss. Major decisions made by the agencies that hurt morale included support for masking in schools, school closures during the pandemic and the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for children four and under.

Both agencies, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been mired in controversy throughout the pandemic for inconsistent messaging and for decision-making that didn’t seem to line up with available science. ‘They have no leadership right now. Suddenly, there’s an enormous number of jobs opening up at the highest level positions,’ an anonymous NIH scientist told Common Sense. Schools became a battleground of the COVID-19 pandemic in America. When the virus stormed the world in 2020, many officials immediately shut things down – schools, retail stores, entertainment venues, restaurants – out of an fear of the unknown. Initial data showed children suffered limited risk when they contracted the virus, though, and that it was mainly the elderly and severely immunocompromised that bore the virus’s burden.

Despite the evidence, the CDC still recommended schools stay closed until the end of the 2019-2020 school year. While individual school districts were allowed to make decisions for themselves – and many Republican leaning counties did quickly reopen schools – many major metropolitan areas under Democratic control kept schools closed for extended periods of time. Earlier this year, Makary told DailyMail.com that the decision to keep schools closed was one of the worst made in the pandemic, specifically citing that minority communities who disproportionately lived in these areas were set the furthest behind academically. ‘CDC failed to balance the risks of COVID with other risks that come from closing schools,’ an anonymous CDC scientist told Common Sense.

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“Human reviewers randomly sampled 100 accounts per day (less than 0.00005% of daily users)..” “That’s it. No automation, no AI, no machine learning.”

Elon Musk Wants To Push Twitter Trial Back To 2023 (NYP)

Elon Musk told a judge Friday that he needs until next year to respond to Twitter’s “meritless” claims that the mogul tried to scuttle the $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform. Musk’s attorneys accused Twitter of fudging the figures over fake accounts and want the trial pushed back until at least Feb. 13, 2023, to gather information over the disputed bot data, according to court documents filed with the Delaware court Friday evening. “The core dispute over false and spam accounts is fundamental to Twitter’s value,” Musk’s lawyers wrote in the 14-page filing. “It is also extremely fact and expert intensive, requiring substantial time for discovery.”

Musk, who first agreed to buy the site for $44 billion in April, pulled out of the deal last week after repeatedly claiming Twitter may be lying about what percentage of its users are bots — a move that Twitter’s lawyers blasted in their suit filed Wednesday as a “bad faith” attempt to walk away from the agreement. Twitter is seeking an unusually short four-day Delaware Court of Chancery trial starting in September, which some observers have interpreted as a show of confidence in its legal case. Musk’s lawyers called Twitter’s request an unjustifiable “bid for extreme expedition,” and accused the company of “a two-month treasure hunt of delays, technical bottlenecks, evasive answers, and, ultimately, refusals,”

“In a May 6 meeting with Twitter executives, Musk was flabbergasted to learn just how meager Twitter’s process was,” Musk’s lawyers wrote in the filing. “Human reviewers randomly sampled 100 accounts per day (less than 0.00005% of daily users) and applied unidentified standards to somehow conclude every quarter for nearly three years that fewer than 5% of Twitter users were false or spam. That’s it. No automation, no AI, no machine learning.”

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“Have Americans been wearing their masks over the wrong bodily orifice? Is anyone conducting a peer-reviewed study on this?”

A Tale of the Taco (Jim Kunstler)

Has anyone noticed, by the way, that the US is under an invasion of breakfast tacos? So many of them, and so many kinds! Huevos con chorizo… Huevos y tocino… Huevos con queso! The diversity is staggering! Oddly, the US fast food industry has remained silent on the issue, despite the threat to their operations. Someone, please, send a memo to Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas: a mighty influx of breakfast tacos marches day-and-night across our border with Mexico. They are being distributed — for free! — by bus and airplane from sea to shining sea — while millions of Egg McMuffins, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Croissan’wiches, Grand Slamwiches, Kickin’ Maple Chicken BreakFEASTs, Country Fried Steak Biscuits, Chocolate Chip/Pecan Waffles, and Texas Melts go uneaten, wilting under the infrared Glo-Ray warming bulbs of American franchise eateries.


The wonder really is: how can America even manage to eat breakfast with its head so far up its ass? Perhaps Dr. Jill Biden can address that question in an upcoming speech to the National Association of Colorectal Surgeons. Now that the mRNA vaccines have Covid-19 so well under control — ask Dr. Anthony Fauci (he knows!) — shouldn’t we be concerned with this new scourge of cranialrectosis (the next pandemic)? Have Americans been wearing their masks over the wrong bodily orifice? Is anyone conducting a peer-reviewed study on this?

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“..Baraitser failed to recognize that the US government “misrepresented” facts in the case and the case was “pursued for ulterior political motives.”

Assange Fights Extradition To United States With Two Appeals (Dissenter)

On June 23, grounds for appeal were submitted against Patel’s Home Office. They claimed Patel erred by failing to recognize that the US-UK Extradition Treaty prohibited extradition for a political offense.Edward Fitzgerald QC emphasized to the district judge that due process protections, like the Magna Carta of 1215, were enshrined in UK law for centuries. He noted the US Constitution contained protections against arbitrary detention as well. Yet as the “Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign” observed, during proceedings Baraitser acted like she could discard the Magna Carta in favor of a lesser law, which the UK Parliament passed.

Attorneys also maintained Patel erred when she accepted that “specialty arrangements” with the US government would protect Assange from the death penalty, criminal contempt proceedings, and further prosecution for “conduct outside of the extradition request.”The legal team filed long-awaited grounds of appeal against District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s decision on June 30. They claimed the district judge erred when she determined it would not be “unjust and oppressive” to extradite him given the passage of time. On human rights grounds, the attorneys maintained the district judge was wrong to determine extradition would not deny his right to fair trial, his right to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment, his right to freedom of expression, and his right to be free from a novel and unforeseeable extension of the law.

Further grounds of appeal included a claim that Baraitser failed to recognize that the US government “misrepresented” facts in the case and the case was “pursued for ulterior political motives. “His attorneys objected to Baraitser accepting a second superseding indictment that was sprung on Assange just weeks before the extradition hearing in September 2020. They contend she should have “excised” all allegations from this indictment to uphold “procedural fairness.” Patel approved Assange’s extradition on June 17, and the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ordered his extradition on April 20 after the UK Supreme Court refused to hear a prior appeal. But Assange’s legal team did not appeal that decision. They appealed an earlier decision issued by Baraitser on January 4, 2021.

Baraitser’s decision initially determined that extradition would be “oppressive” for mental health reasons and blocked extradition, however, the UK High Court of Justice overturned the decision after the US government appealed. The rest of the district judge’s decision was troubling to Assange’s attorneys, as well as press freedom and human rights groups opposed to the prosecution. It was not appropriate for the attorneys to file an appeal until after the US government’s appeal was settled. The challenge to the district judge’s refusal to recognize Assange’s right to freedom of expression is a relief to press freedom organizations. Human rights organizations like Amnesty International will appreciate the appeal related to the risk of cruel and inhuman treatment. Assange’s legal team requested an extension for drafting their appeals, and the US government did not object. The extension was granted by the UK High Court.

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Read the whole note

 

 


One of the best examples of cryptic plumage and mimicry in Australian birds is seen in the tawny frogmouth, which perch low on tree branches during the day camouflaged as part of the tree

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 132022
 
 June 13, 2022  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Caravaggio I musici 1595-96

 

Russia Gains More Ground in Donbas Region (WSJ)
Should Russia Pay Reparations For The Ukraine War? (Barry Eichengreen)
Effort to Force Russia to Pay Reparations to Ukraine Faces Uphill Battle (WSJ)
Global Nuclear Arsenal Set To Grow For First Time In Decades (R.)
Army Official Predicted Vaccines Might Be Paused Over Myocarditis (ET)
99% Certain Justin Bieber’s Facial Paralysis Caused By Covid Vaccine (Kirsch)
USS Liberty: A Forgotten Anniversary (Moglia)
Greens Unlikely To Survive The Coming Winter (CoS)
Freeport LNG Explosion Raises Risk Of European Winter Energy Crisis (CNN)
Jan. 6 Committee Caught ‘Lying and Altering Evidence’ (TH)
Cost of Living Crisis a Result of Lockdowns, Experts Tell MPs (DS)
Elon Musk’s Twitter ‘Best’ Offer Looks Bogus (Gasparino)
Henry Kissinger At 99: How To Avoid Another World War (Ferguson)

 

 

 

 

3xvaxxed

 

 

 

 

Tulsi woke
https://twitter.com/i/status/1535920648622444545

 

 

 

 

Are the leaders of France, Germany and Italy going to talk some sense into Zelensky?

Russia Gains More Ground in Donbas Region (WSJ)

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy plan to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv this week, officials said, as reports showed Russia making gains in the country’s east and Ukrainian officials urgently sought arms from Western nations to hold Russian forces at bay. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi were planning to visit the Ukrainian capital on Thursday, said two European officials, who cautioned that plans could yet change. The trip would be the first to Ukraine since the beginning of the war for the three Western leaders.

News of the planned meeting came as Ukrainian officials said Russia had made fresh gains in its efforts to encircle and capture the city of Severodonetsk, which would bring Moscow significantly closer to its goal of controlling the Donbas area in the country’s east, its foremost target recently in the war. Serhiy Haidai, the Ukrainian governor of the Luhansk region, which includes Severodonetsk, said on Sunday that Russians had destroyed a second bridge connecting Severodonetsk to Lysychansk, a Ukrainian stronghold just across the Siverskyi Donets river. Russian forces also shelled a chemical plant in the city’s industrial section, where civilians had taken shelter in bunkers, Mr. Haidai said.

The battlefield advances were the latest evidence that Russia is outgunning Ukrainian forces, using its superior artillery power to steadily take territory. Its gains have thrown added focus onto Ukraine’s pleas for more powerful and longer-range artillery and other weaponry from the West, as well as on Ukraine’s lack of capacity to manufacture ammunition for the Soviet-era heavy weapons in its arsenal.

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Why would an economist want to opine on this?

Should Russia Pay Reparations For The Ukraine War? (Barry Eichengreen)

Russia’s war on Ukraine shows no sign of ending, but it is not too soon to start thinking about how to ensure postwar Ukraine’s stability, prosperity, and security. Already, two discussions are occurring: one about financing economic reconstruction, and the other about affirming Ukraine’s external security. The problem is that these discussions are proceeding separately, even though the issues are intimately related. Reconstruction costs are uncertain because the course of the war is uncertain. Ukraine’s prewar GDP was about $150bn (£120bn). Given a capital-output ratio of three, and assuming that a third of the capital stock will be destroyed, we are again talking about $150bn. As always, alternative assumptions yield alternative scenarios, but $150bn seems like a reasonable starting point.


This is not an impossible amount of aid for donors to commit. It is one-sixth the size of the NextGenerationEU program on which EU states agreed in July 2020. It is one-twelfth the size of the American Rescue Plan Act signed by Joe Biden in March 2021. Still, it seems wrong to ask the US and Europe to repair what Russia has broken. So, it is tempting to suggest that Ukraine’s reconstruction should be financed by garnishing Russian assets. At $284bn, the Bank of Russia’s frozen reserves would certainly fit the bill. True, there is a moral case for reparations: Russia started an unprovoked war and has almost certainly committed war crimes in prosecuting it. There is also an argument grounded in deterrence. As Volodymyr Zelenskiy put it at Davos this year: “If the aggressor loses everything, then it definitely deprives him of his motivation to start a war.”

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It’s a popular topic.

Effort to Force Russia to Pay Reparations to Ukraine Faces Uphill Battle (WSJ)

Since Russian forces swept into Ukraine on Feb. 24, swaths of the country’s buildings and infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed, leading to calls for Moscow to pay for the damage. As the leading western backer of Ukraine in the conflict, the U.S., which also holds some of Russia’s frozen assets, would likely be critical to any effort to get Moscow to pay for that damage. Yet even if Washington were to try to force Russia to pay reparations, the Biden administration would have limited options for making Moscow comply, particularly while the war rages on, according to former officials and legal experts. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on Russia to compensate his country, saying in early May the war had caused more than $600 billion in damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure. The figure has only grown as the war continues.


There is, in theory, a pot of money for the West to draw on if it wants to force Russia to pay. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in March that half the country’s gold and foreign-currency reserves were frozen as a result of sanctions, denying Moscow access to roughly $300 billion, according to the TASS news agency. The share of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves held in Chinese currency wasn’t affected. When the Biden administration in late April submitted its $33 billion supplemental funding request for Ukraine, the White House said it was “proposing legislation to streamline the process to recoup proceeds from seized and forfeited assets and use them to remediate the harm caused in Ukraine.”

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Cui bono?

Global Nuclear Arsenal Set To Grow For First Time In Decades (R.)

The global nuclear arsenal is expected to grow in the coming years for the first time since the cold war, and the risk of such weapons being used is the greatest in decades, a leading conflict and armaments thinktank says. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and western support for Kyiv has heightened tensions among the world’s nine nuclear-armed states, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) thinktank said on Monday in a new set of research. While the number of nuclear weapons fell slightly between January 2021 and January 2022, Sipri said that unless immediate action was taken by the nuclear powers, global inventories of warheads could soon begin rising for the first time in decades.

“All of the nuclear-armed states are increasing or upgrading their arsenals and most are sharpening nuclear rhetoric and the role nuclear weapons play in their military strategies,” Wilfred Wan, the director of Sipri’s weapons of mass destruction program, said in the thinktank’s 2022 yearbook. “This is a very worrying trend.” Three days after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls a “special military operation”, President Vladimir Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert. He has also warned of consequences that would be “such as you have never seen in your entire history” for countries that stood in Russia’s way.

Russia has the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal with a total of 5,977 warheads, 550 more than the United States. The two countries possess more than 90% of the world’s warheads, though Sipri said China was in the middle of an expansion with more than 300 new missile silos according to the latest estimate. Sipri said the global number of nuclear warheads fell from 13,080 in January 2021 to 12,705 in January 2022. An estimated 3,732 warheads were deployed with missiles and aircraft, and around 2,000 – nearly all belonging to Russia or the US – were kept in a state of high readiness.

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No, it’s too rare.

Army Official Predicted Vaccines Might Be Paused Over Myocarditis (ET)

A U.S. military official predicted a pause in the administration of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines could happen if more cases of post-vaccination heart inflammation were detected, according to newly obtained emails. Harry Chang, a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, made the prediction on April 27, 2021—the same day the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the agency was not seeing a safety signal when it came to heart inflammation experienced after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Chang noted the pause in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over blood clots and said an increased number of heart inflammation issues could trigger a similar action.


“A pause of the Pfizer/Moderna administration (much like the J&J blood clot pause) will have an adverse impact on US/CA vaccination rates; assessed as unlikely due to causes of myocarditis can come from multiple sources (eg. COVID, other conditions, other vaccines/prescriptions, etc),” Chang wrote in an email. Myocarditis is a type of heart inflammation. “However, increased reported #s & media attention is likely to trigger a safety review pause by ACIP/FDA,” he added, referring to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the CDC on vaccines, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which decides whether to clear immunizations. Chang was talking to Tricia Blocher, an official at the California Department of Public Health, and other California and military officials. He was reacting to a story about the U.S. Department of Defense detecting a higher-than-expected number of cases of heart inflammation in troops following COVID-19 vaccination.”

Montagnier

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Very rare,

99% Certain Justin Bieber’s Facial Paralysis Caused By Covid Vaccine (Kirsch)

The VAERS data shows that Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (RHS) is 160 times more likely after a COVID vaccination than for all the other vaccines combined in any given year. And if you exclude the anthrax vaccine from that comparison, the likelihood is simply too high to calculate (0 cases in 32 years). So the COVID vaccine should definitely be considered as a possible cause for this rare disease because when you’ve been vaccinated, it’s no longer rare. For example, one doctor tweeted he say 4 cases in a month, but had never seen any cases before in the 32 years he’s practiced medicine. All the cases had gotten the COVID vax 3 to 4 months earlier.


I show below that the estimated rate of RHS after COVID vaccination is likely at least 338 cases per 100,000. The medical literature says it occurs naturally in 5 cases per 100,000. Therefore, because it is much more likely after vaccine than by chance, it is 99% likely that Justin’s RHS was caused by the vaccine, and only 1% chance that he got “unlucky.” Sadly, it’s unlikely Bieber’s doctors will ever acknowledge that so it’s unlikely he’ll get the care he needs (treat both the RHS and the vaccine injury). He’ll simply assume he is just unlucky. The mainstream press isn’t doing its job if they don’t report this (which they won’t).

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“..the attack on the Liberty dramatically demonstrates the nature of who exercises actual power in the United States.”

USS Liberty: A Forgotten Anniversary (Moglia)

It is a property of the past to sink into oblivion, and of unpleasant truths to fade into evanescence. To such past belongs the attack on the USS Liberty. When to the session of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, Israel’s 1967 war of Middle East invasion is/was for me but a negligible blip compared to other important personal events. Such as my getting ready to read the thesis for my degree in Electronic Engineering, in Genova, Italy. Therefore, without particular consciousness I submitted to the sentences of the official media without examining the authority of the judge. My first doubts arose not long later when I decided to visit the Eastern Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery, located on the Sinai Peninsula at the very foot of Mt. Sinai. It could then only be reached from Tel Aviv via Sharm-el-Sheikh and a bus trip.


On welcoming the tourists on the bus the guide announced with pride that the Sinai was “now and forever an unalienable part of Israel.” I found the declaration irrelevant, if not odd, but I consider that moment as the beginning of my associated historical interest. The official US line is that, on Jun 8, 1967, the Israelis mistakenly attacked by air, and torpedoed by sea, an unarmed US intelligence ship, killing 34 sailors and wounding 171 others. 2022 marks the 55th anniversary of that attack. Following are some details of the ship, of the episode and of its aftermath. For, similar to occasions that perhaps we all have felt, a detail that uncalled-for returns to mind, rekindles fuller memories of a larger connected event, not otherwise spontaneously recalled. The detail is the inspired arrogance of the Israeli guide I mentioned. More in general, I think that the attack on the Liberty dramatically demonstrates the nature of who exercises actual power in the United States.

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“..there is simply no way of maintaining even a fraction of the western standard of living in the event that anyone were foolish enough to remove the fossil fuels..”

Greens Unlikely To Survive The Coming Winter (CoS)

By 2017, real-life James Bond Villain Klaus Schwab was inviting celebrities, representatives of the technocracy, the godzillionaires and the political class to fly their carbon-belching private jets to Switzerland to learn about The Fourth Industrial Revolution, and to discuss how they could get the little people to cut their carbon footprints. By 2020, this had morphed in to the Green New Great Reset in which we – but not they, of course – would own nothing, and allegedly be happy as we ate our insects, spent our central bank digital basic incomes, and were driven around in a new fleet of corporate-owned, hydrogen-powered self-driving cars. There was – to paraphrase Captain Blackadder – just one teensy-weensy problem with the Great Plan adopted by the Davos crowd… it was bollocks!

Only by ignoring the physicists, engineers and technicians who were expected to make it happen, and by listening instead to the siren voices of climate NGOs, bankers and economists, could the technocracy convince itself that the world could seamlessly transition to the proposed bright green future. And to our cost, politicians of all stripes who bought into this nonsense are now grappling with the inevitable economic consequences. The problem, at is simplest, is that much of what was considered “green” was largely a conjuring trick. States like Britain and Germany, which claim to be world leaders simply offshored their most polluting industries (and a large part of the waste) to less prosperous parts of the world where governments were happy to load the environmental costs onto the indigenous population in exchange for tradable foreign currency.

This was the only politically-acceptable means of hiding the fact that there is simply no way of maintaining even a fraction of the western standard of living in the event that anyone were foolish enough to remove the fossil fuels which make up some 80 percent of the energy mix in the UK, and 85 percent of the global economy. Even this is a simplification of the problem because each fuel source has its uses in specific niches of the global economy and so is not interchangeable. Wind and solar, for example, cannot generate the heat required to manufacture steel (although they can recycle it) or, ironically, to produce the silicon wafers and high-grade glass required in solar panels.

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In 2021, LNG was maybe 10% of EU gas. It will have to be much more going forward. Disaster assured.

Freeport LNG Explosion Raises Risk Of European Winter Energy Crisis (CNN)

A fire at one of the world’s biggest suppliers of liquefied natural gas has thrown Europe’s fragile energy security into doubt and spooked global gas markets. Freeport LNG, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer in Texas, will shut its doors for at least three weeks, the company confirmed to CNN Business. “The cause of the fire at Freeport LNG’s liquefaction facility on Quintana Island remains under investigation,” Heather Browne, a company spokesperson, said.
Europe has snapped up global stocks of LNG in recent months as it attempts to sharply pivot away from Russia’s natural gas exports. The region, including the United Kingdom, imported 28.2 million tons between February and April, according to Independent Commodity Intelligence Services — up 29% from the same period last year.


The United States is the world’s largest supplier of LNG, accounting for just over a fifth of global exports, according to data from analytics firm Vortexa. Output from the Freeport LNG facility makes up 18% of these exports. With no direct pipeline between the United States and Europe, American energy companies cool their natural gas for export to -260 degrees Fahrenheit and place the liquefied gas on tanker ships for overseas transport. That process, though more complex than land transport, has become crucial to Europe meeting its energy demands during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Freeport blast could deal a blow to that stopgap solution, particularly if the facility fails to come back online soon. “Despite the initial estimate of three weeks of downtime by the operator, the production impact is likely to stretch into July,” Felix Booth, head of LNG at Vortexa, told CNN Business.

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Adam Schiff is back.

Jan. 6 Committee Caught ‘Lying and Altering Evidence’ (TH)

The January 6 committee is facing pressure as details reveal it lied and altered evidence to favor Democrat’s radical narrative of the Capitol Hill protests. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) called out the committee for changing text messages between him and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during an interview on Fox News. A spokesperson admitted that the messages Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA.) showed during the hearings had been adjusted to support the idea that Meadows wanted former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results. In a statement, the spokesperson confessed that “the Select Committee on Monday created and provided Representative Schiff a graphic to use during the business meeting quoting from a text message from ‘a lawmaker’ to Mr. Meadows.

The graphic read, ‘On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.’ In the graphic, the period at the end of that sentence was added inadvertently. The Select Committee is responsible for and regrets the error.” Jordan fired back saying “this committee has altered evidence and lied to the American people about it, so much so that they had to issue a statement which says, ‘We regret the error,’ which is government speak for, ‘We got caught lying.’” The “error” was that Schiff presented the message out of context by cutting out key words and ending it with a period.

According to the Federalist, the original text message was a summary of a legal briefing Jordan forwarded from lawyer Joseph Schmitz to Meadows the day before the Capitol protests, meaning that a “lawmaker” did not write the message at all. Jordan has been blocked from taking part in the committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.). He is now undergoing his own investigation of the events that took place that day last year.

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“..the ability of governments to respond to this cost-of-living crisis via either tax cuts or increased benefits is limited due to the hit to public finances caused by lockdown-induced government spending.”

Cost of Living Crisis a Result of Lockdowns, Experts Tell MPs (DS)

The cost of living crisis and runaway inflation are a result of imposing ruinous lockdowns on society, experts have told MPs and Peers. The comments came in the latest meeting of the the Pandemic Response and Recovery All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). Chaired by the Rt Hon Esther McVey MP, the group heard from experts about the societal consequences of closing businesses and schools, prohibiting healthcare, ordering the public to stay at home and unchecked money printing. One businessman told the group how government COVID-19 policies personally affected him, costing him £120,000, destroying his previously thriving business and leaving him in debt. Professor of Industrial Economics at the University of Nottingham Business School, David Paton, explained why lockdowns are at the root of the current crisis:


“Eye-watering sums of money were spent during lockdowns, on furlough and business support schemes which helped mask the inevitable economic consequences we are now seeing. Many of our current problems could have been avoided had the government carried out an effective cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns and other restrictions. Quite simply, the lack of spending opportunities during lockdown contributed to a build up of personal and corporate savings. As restrictions eased, people began to spend these savings and, combined with the supply chain issues that built up in the meantime, sustained inflation became the inevitable result. Even worse, having spent about £70 billion, paying healthy people not to work and some £150 billion in total on support measures, the ability of governments to respond to this cost-of-living crisis via either tax cuts or increased benefits is limited due to the hit to public finances caused by lockdown-induced government spending.”

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Gasparino doesn’t appear to like Musk.

Elon Musk’s Twitter ‘Best’ Offer Looks Bogus (Gasparino)

[..] here’s the viewpoint of two bankers, one who has worked with his Tesla board, and another at a firm involved in his Twitter financing machinations. They say virtually the same thing. Musk is telling people he still wants Twitter. He thinks he can make it work as a private company, clean up the bot problem and sell it at a profit sometime in the next five years. But Musk wants the company (like everything else) on his terms, which are always in flux. He doesn’t read balance sheets but goes by his gut and has no issue with flouting conventional banker norms (i.e. your word is your bond) to get his prize. His gut told him to waive due diligence. It’s now telling him that even though he signed a deal leaving him on the hook for the $1 billion breakup fee and maybe more in damages, he can get Twitter to the table and agree to his terms, aka a much lower purchase price.

He might be right. Twitter first said it would enforce the initial deal terms, maybe even go to court, but now appears to be playing ball with Musk. It recently said it will turn over more data on its bot issue — a move that means talks are back on. The bankers tell me the Twitter board knows that finding another suitor will be difficult even at around the $40 a share it’s trading at now. The board can’t just accept anything, but also can’t tell Musk to just pound sand. So the thinking among my two guys is that Twitter agrees to a lower price, possibly significantly lower, and Crazy Elon gets his public square, albeit for much cheaper. That means the deal is on, right? Seems so. But no one really knows with Crazy Elon.

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Kissinger and Niall Ferguson. Not my favorite people, but here goes…

Henry Kissinger At 99: How To Avoid Another World War (Ferguson)

Henry Kissinger turned 99 on May 27. Born in Germany at the height of the Weimar hyperinflation, he was not yet ten years old when Hitler came to power and was just 15 when he and his family landed as refugees in New York City. It is somehow almost as astonishing that this former US secretary of state and giant of geopolitics left office 45 years ago. As he heads towards his century, Kissinger has lost none of the intellectual firepower that set him apart from other foreign policy professors and practitioners of his and subsequent generations. In the time I have spent writing the second volume of his biography, Kissinger has published not one but two books — the first, co-authored with the former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the computer scientist Daniel Huttenlocher, on artificial intelligence, the second a collection of six biographical case studies in leadership.


We meet at his rural retreat, deep in the woods of Connecticut, where he and his wife, Nancy, have spent most of their time since the onset of Covid. The pandemic had its silver linings for them. It was the first time in 48 years of marriage that the compulsively peripatetic Dr Kissinger came to an enforced halt. Cut off from the temptations of Manhattan restaurants and Beijing banquets, he has shed pounds. Though he walks with a stick, depends on a hearing aid and speaks more slowly than of old in that unmistakable bullfrog baritone, his mind is as keen as ever. Nor has Kissinger lost his knack for infuriating the liberal professors and progressive or “woke” students who dominate Harvard, the university where he built his reputation as a scholar and public intellectual in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Bach

 

 

 

 

Mariupol

 

 

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

 

 

 

Feb 272019
 


Salvador Dali Remorse – Sphinx Embedded in the Sand 1931

 

Michael Cohen Testimony: Trump A ‘Racist’, ‘Cheat’ And ‘Conman’ (G.)
3 Days That Will Decide Brexit – March 12-14th Will Seal Britain’s Fate (Exp.)
UK Economy Could Be 9% Weaker Under No-Deal Brexit – Government (G.)
The UK Doesn’t Have The Right Pallets For Exporting To The EU (BI)
The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies (Pilger)
Survival of the Richest (Nomi Prins)
Hey Yellen, It Was Trump Who Was Right (Every)
Now that Housing Bubble #2 Is Bursting…How Low Will It Go? (CHS)
Russia’s Share Of European Gas Market Surges To Almost 37%, Dwarfing LNG (RT)
UK Hunger Survey To Measure Food Insecurity (G.)
Glyphosate Found In 95% Of Wine And Beer (Ind.)
Am I The Only One Who’s Terrified About The Warm Weather? (G.)

 

 

Lots of wet panties, male and female, today in anticipation of Michael Cohen’s testimony. Of course, it’s been leaked, full text is here. A few quotes:

I may once again be in a party of one, but I think it’s awfully weak, it’s grasping for stuff rather than conveying it. First, there’s the inevitable Assange link:

In July 2016 [..] Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of “wouldn’t that be great.”

Anything related to Assange, whether from Mueller or Cohen, lacks credibility as long as he can’t defend himself against it. And Trump merely says: wouldn’t that be great? Not exactly the stuff of collusion or conspiracy.

Just as inevitable in smear campaigns: Trump the racist.

Mr. Trump is a racist. The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries “shitholes.” While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.

Calling a country a shithole is not racist. The policies that have created a situation in which many shithole countries are populated by black people stem from many decades of US/Europe policies that predate Trump. The rest is not racist either, if you look closer. Perhaps Trump is a bit racist, like so many Americans. But Cohen’s prepared words don’t show that.

Also: Trump doesn’t tell the full truth about his wealth. But Michael Cohen always has…

It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.

Gee, lock him up. I don’t get it. There’s so much wrong with Trump, but politics and media have singled out Russia collusion, and then failed to prove a thing about it, and now they switch to ‘racist conman’, with the weakest of accusations. I swear, they might as well all be working for the Donald.

Michael Cohen Testimony: Trump A ‘Racist’, ‘Cheat’ And ‘Conman’ (G.)

Michael Cohen is to accuse Donald Trump of being a “conman” and a “cheat” who had advanced knowledge that a longtime adviser was communicating with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, according to opening testimony he will deliver to Congress on Wednesday. Cohen’s prepared remarks, confirmed by the Guardian, include a series of explosive allegations about the presidential campaign. The president’s former lawyer, who will publicly testify before the House oversight committee on Wednesday, will state that Trump was told by Roger Stone that WikiLeaks would publish emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr Trump put Mr Stone on the speakerphone,” Cohen’s opening statement reads. “Mr Stone told Mr Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr Assange told Mr Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr Trump responded by stating to the effect of ‘wouldn’t that be great.’” The remarkable allegations by Cohen go further than what has been made public thus far by the special counsel investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign in Moscow.

Cohen will also suggest his instructions to lie to Congress about a possible Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the 2016 campaign came from the president – albeit not directly. “In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing,” Cohen will say. “In his way, he was telling me to lie.” “Mr Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates,” he will add.

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Humor me and please read this. It’s so confusing that you almost forget it’s also complete madness.

3 Days That Will Decide Brexit – March 12-14th Will Seal Britain’s Fate (Exp.)

In a dramatic statement to the House of Commons, Mrs May confirmed that she will put her Withdrawal Agreement – including whatever additional assurances she has secured from Brussels – to a “meaningful vote” by March 12. If that fails, MPs will be offered two separate votes the following day – one on a no-deal Brexit, and the other on requesting an extension to the two-year Article 50 negotiation process to delay EU withdrawal beyond March 29. The sequence of votes will be proposed in an amendable motion tabled by the Prime Minister for debate and vote in the Commons on Wednesday. To uproar in the Commons, Mrs May told MPs: “They are commitments I am making as Prime Minister and I will stick by them, as I have previous commitments to make statements and table amendable motions by specific dates.”

Deputy Political Editor for Sky News Beth Rigby tweeted of Mrs May’s speech: “This really is a big shift. “May has finally played her cards and sided with the Europhile wing of her party .. “Vote for her deal (March 12) Vote for no-deal (March 13) Vote for delay (March 14) .. “Only yesterday she refused to even acknowledge there might have to be a delay to Brexit.”

Mrs May has declared a meaningful vote will take place by March 12, where MPs will vote on her Brexit deal. Should this deal not be voted through, on March 13, MPs will then be offered two separate votes by March 13 on whether the UK leaves with no deal or delays Brexit beyond March 29. The delay will then be voted on March 14, when a motion would be brought forward on whether Parliament wishes to seek a short limited extension to Article 50. If the House votes for an extension, this extension will have to be approved by the House with the EU and then necessary legislation will be brought forward to change the exit date.

[..] In her statement to MPs following a Cabinet meeting with senior colleagues at 10 Downing Street, Theresa May said she wanted to set out “three further commitments” to the Commons. She said: “First, we will hold a second meaningful vote by Tuesday, March 12 at the latest. “Second, if the Government has not won a meaningful vote by Tuesday, March 12, then it will – in addition to its obligations to table a neutral amendable motion under Section 13 of the EU Withdrawal Act – table a motion to be voted on by Wednesday March 13 at the latest, asking this House if it supports leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement and a framework for a future relationship on March 29.

“So the United Kingdom will only leave without a deal on March 29 if there is explicit consent in the House for that outcome. “Third, if the House, having rejected the deal negotiated with the EU, then rejects leaving on March 29 without a Withdrawal Agreement and future framework, the Government will on March 14 bring forward a motion on whether Parliament wants to seek a short, limited extension to Article 50.” The Prime Minister also said she still believes she will be able to secure a deal: “I’ve had a real sense from the meetings I’ve had, and the conversations I’ve had in recent days, that we can achieve that deal. “It’s within our grasp to leave with a deal on March 29 and that’s where all of my energies are going to be focused.”

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Scared yet? Because that’s the idea.

UK Economy Could Be 9% Weaker Under No-Deal Brexit – Government (G.)

The government has issued a bleak warning over a no-deal Brexit, estimating the UK economy could be 9% weaker in the long run, businesses in Northern Ireland might go bust and food prices will increase. In an official document only published after repeated demands by the former Conservative MP Anna Soubry, the government also revealed it was behind on contingency planning for a third of “critical projects” in relation to business and trade. The latest no-deal notice states:

• The economy would be 6%-9% smaller over the next 15 years than it otherwise might have been, in the event of no deal, in line with Bank of England forecasts. • The flow of goods through Dover would be “very significantly reduced for months”. • With 30% of food coming from the EU, prices are likely to increase and there is a risk that panic buying might create shortages. • Only six of the 40 planned international trade agreements have been signed.

The document was published just hours after Theresa May was forced to promise two key votes, allowing MPs the option to reject no deal and to potentially delay Brexit for a short period, following pressure from remain-minded cabinet ministers. The prime minister set out a timetable that includes a vote on her Brexit deal by 12 March; if that fails, a vote the following day to support no deal, and if that also fails, a vote on 14 March on extending article 50. The delay is likely to further agitate the Tory party’s Eurosceptics, with Brexiter ministers including Andrea Leadsom and Liz Truss expressing their frustration over the issue in cabinet on Tuesday morning. Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, May did not specify the length of any delay, saying only that she would prefer it to be the shortest possible. An extension beyond the end of June would involve the UK taking part in the European parliament elections.

[..] The no-deal notice said customs checks alone could cost businesses £13bn a year and that it was impossible to predict the impact of new tariffs. It said this was partly because the government’s communications to businesses and individuals about the need to prepare for no deal had not been effective. [..] The EU, which would treat the UK as a third country in the event of no deal, could impose tariffs of 70% on beef exports, 45% on lamb and 10% on cars, it said. “This would be compounded by the challenges of even modest reductions in flow at the border.”

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Absolutely fabulous.

The UK Doesn’t Have The Right Pallets For Exporting To The EU (BI)

The UK government is due to hold emergency talks with industry leaders on Tuesday after discovering that the country doesn’t have the right pallets to continue exporting goods to the European Union if it leaves without a deal next month. Under strict EU rules, pallets – wooden or plastic structures that companies use to transport large volumes of goods – arriving from non-member states must be heat-treated or cleaned to prevent contamination and have specific markings to confirm that they meet standards. Most pallets that British exporters are using do not conform to the rules for non-EU countries, or “third countries,” as EU member states follow a much more relaxed set of regulations.

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs last week told business leaders that the UK would not have enough EU-approved pallets for exporting to the continent if it leaves without a withdrawal agreement next month. That means UK companies would be competing for a small number of pallets that meet EU rules, and those that miss out would be forced to wait for new pallets, which could take weeks to be ready. DEFRA has arranged for a conference call on Tuesday morning to discuss the pallet shortage, with 31 days until Brexit day on March 29. “It is the tiny, procedural, mundane-seeming stuff that will absolutely trip people up,” one industry figure briefed by Theresa May’s government told Business Insider, adding that the country was “not even remotely ready” for a no-deal Brexit.

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Chavez is the guy US intelligence have been chasing for so long, and still trying to get at after his death.

Got to love the man quoting world literature. Also because in the next article, Nomi Prins does the same.

The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies (Pilger)

Travelling with Hugo Chavez, I soon understood the threat of Venezuela. At a farming co-operative in Lara state, people waited patiently and with good humor in the heat. Jugs of water and melon juice were passed around. A guitar was played; a woman, Katarina, stood and sang with a husky contralto. “What did her words say?” I asked. “That we are proud,” was the reply. The applause for her merged with the arrival of Chavez. Under one arm he carried a satchel bursting with books. He wore his big red shirt and greeted people by name, stopping to listen. What struck me was his capacity to listen. But now he read. For almost two hours he read into the microphone from the stack of books beside him: Orwell, Dickens, Tolstoy, Zola, Hemingway, Chomsky, Neruda: a page here, a line or two there. People clapped and whistled as he moved from author to author.

Then farmers took the microphone and told him what they knew, and what they needed; one ancient face, carved it seemed from a nearby banyan, made a long, critical speech on the subject of irrigation; Chavez took notes. Wine is grown here, a dark Syrah type grape. “John, John, come up here,” said El Presidente, having watched me fall asleep in the heat and the depths of Oliver Twist. “He likes red wine,” Chavez told the cheering, whistling audience, and presented me with a bottle of “vino de la gente.” My few words in bad Spanish brought whistles and laughter. Watching Chavez with the people, la gente, made sense of a man who promised, on coming to power, that his every move would be subject to the will of the people. In eight years, Chavez won eight elections and referendums: a world record. He was electorally the most popular head of state in the Western Hemisphere, probably in the world.

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See? Like Pilger and Chavez, Nomi talks about literature. No space here to do this justice, please go read it. Key point: unlike the poor(er), the rich don’t live off the rewards of labor, but of that of wealth.

Survival of the Richest (Nomi Prins)

In George Orwell’s iconic 1945 novel, Animal Farm, the pigs who gain control in a rebellion against a human farmer eventually impose a dictatorship on the other animals on the basis of a single commandment: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” In terms of the American republic, the modern equivalent would be: “All citizens are equal, but the wealthy are so much more equal than anyone else (and plan to remain that way).” Certainly, inequality is the economic great wall between those with power and those without it. As the animals of Orwell’s farm grew ever less equal, so in the present moment in a country that still claims equal opportunity for its citizens, one in which three Americans now have as much wealth as the bottom half of society (160 million people), you could certainly say that we live in an increasingly Orwellian society.

Or perhaps an increasingly Twainian one. After all, Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner wrote a classic 1873 novel that put an unforgettable label on their moment and could do the same for ours. The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today depicted the greed and political corruption of post-Civil War America. Its title caught the spirit of what proved to be a long moment when the uber-rich came to dominate Washington and the rest of America. It was a period saturated with robber barons, professional grifters, and incomprehensibly wealthy banking magnates. (Anything sound familiar?) The main difference between that last century’s gilded moment and this one was that those robber barons built tangible things like railroads.

Today’s equivalent crew of the mega-wealthy build remarkably intangible things like tech and electronic platforms, while a grifter of a president opts for the only new infrastructure in sight, a great wall to nowhere. In Twain’s epoch, the U.S. was emerging from the Civil War. Opportunists were rising from the ashes of the nation’s battered soul. Land speculation, government lobbying, and shady deals soon converged to create an unequal society of the first order (at least until now). Soon after their novel came out, a series of recessions ravaged the country, followed by a 1907 financial panic in New York City caused by a speculator-led copper-market scam.

To fully grasp the nature of inequality in our twenty-first-century gilded age, it’s important to understand the difference between wealth and income and what kinds of inequality stem from each. Simply put, income is how much money you make in terms of paid work or any return on investments or assets (or other things you own that have the potential to change in value). Wealth is simply the gross accumulation of those very assets and any return or appreciation on them. The more wealth you have, the easier it is to have a higher annual income.

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Tyler got his hands on a piece by Michael Every at Dutch Rabobank.

Hey Yellen, It Was Trump Who Was Right (Every)

Rabo are already predicting a US recession in 2020, which will drag many down with it, and as the OECD now warns that swollen corporate debt piles, which central banks have so encouraged, is of ever lower quality and potentially more dangerous than it was back in 2008. 54% of investment grade bonds are now BBB-rated, up from 30% in 2008. The OECD argues “In the case of a downturn, highly leveraged companies would face difficulties in servicing their debt, which in turn, through higher default rates, may amplify the effects…Any developments in these areas will come at a time when non-financial companies in the next three years will have to pay back or refinance about USD4 trillion worth of corporate bonds. This is close to the total balance sheet of the US Federal Reserve.”

Guess what guys? China is right ahead of you on that curve – which is why it is trying to find another whale to nuke ASAP: things are looking truly ugly given many firms can’t even pay the interest on their debt, let alone the principle. And guess what else? That OECD and China warning sounds like an admission of the Minsky debt dynamic that you might have thought all central banks would have to have learned the lessons of post-GFC. Apparently not, however – because they think they already know everything. As former Fed Chair Yellen mocked yesterday, Trump doesn’t understand what the Fed’s dual mandates of price stability and stable employment are. That might well be true.

But was it the Fed or Trump who publicly called out how dangerous continuous Fed rate hikes are in a debt-laden, Minsky-teetering financial system where the yield curve is still inverted 9bps on 1s-5s even after a pause? I think Yellen will find it was Trump who was right and the Fed who was forced into a humiliating and frankly incongruous policy U-turn. So much expertise! Trump also made a similar intervention over oil prices overnight, and once again they dipped, though are opening up strongly this morning in Asia. [..] easy policy in the UK; ultra-easy policy in China; promises of more easing in Japan; an ECB U-turn to come(?); and the Fed on hold and stopping QT soon at least. And that’s with bullish markets and reasonable global growth – just wait until things head south: if all you have is a nuke, everything looks like a whale.

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Every bubble that bursts ends up below its starting level. Nicole had these graphs, Tulip, South Sea etc., that showed just that. This graph doesn’t quite do that.

Now that Housing Bubble #2 Is Bursting…How Low Will It Go? (CHS)

There are two generalities that can be applied to all asset bubbles: 1. Bubbles inflate for longer and reach higher levels than most pre-bubble analysts expected 2. All bubbles burst, despite mantra-like claims that “this time it’s different” The bubble burst tends to follow a symmetrical reversal of very similar time durations and magnitudes as the initial rise. If the bubble took four years to inflate and rose by X, the retrace tends to take about the same length of time and tends to retrace much or all of X. If we look at the chart of the Case-Shiller Housing Index below, this symmetry is visible in Housing Bubble #1 which skyrocketed from 2003-2007 and burst from 2008-2012.

Housing Bubble #1 wasn’t allowed to fully retrace the bubble, as the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to near-zero in 2009 and bought $1+ trillion in sketchy mortgage-backed securities (MBS), essentially turning America’s mortgage market into a branch of the central bank and federal agency guarantors of mortgages (Fannie and Freddie, VA, FHA). These unprecedented measures stopped the bubble decline by instantly making millions of people who previously could not qualify for a privately originated mortgage qualified buyers. This vast expansion of the pool of buyers (expanded by a flood of buyers from China and other hot-money locales) drove sales and prices higher for six years (2012-2018).

As noted on the chart below, this suggests the bubble burst will likely run from 2019-2025, give or take a few quarters. The question is: what’s the likely magnitude of the decline? Scenario 1 (blue line) is a symmetrical repeat of Housing Bubble #2: a retrace of the majority of the bubble’s rise but not 100%, which reverses off this somewhat higher base to start Housing Bubble #3. Since the mainstream consensus denies the possibility that Housing Bubble #2 even exists (perish the thought that real estate prices could ever–gasp–drop), they most certainly deny the possibility that prices could retrace much of the gains since 2012.

More realistic analysts would probably agree that if the current slowdown (never say recession, it might cost you your job) gathers momentum, some decline in housing prices is possible. They would likely agree with Scenario 1 that any such decline would be modest and would simply set the stage for an even grander housing bubble #3. But there is a good case for Scenario 2, in which price plummets below the 2012 lows and keeps on going, ultimately retracing the entire housing bubble gains from 2003.

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Interesting how Europe smears Putin wherever it can, except where it counts.

Russia’s Share Of European Gas Market Surges To Almost 37%, Dwarfing LNG (RT)

Russia’s state-run energy major Gazprom said its share of sales of natural gas in the European Union has increased to 36.7 percent last year, rising over two percent against 34.2 percent in 2017. “In 2018, according to preliminary data, the share of gas supplies to the EU countries and Turkey has reached an all-time high and totaled 36.7 percent,” the director general of Gazprom Export Elena Burmistrova said at Gazprom’s Investor Day event, taking place in Singapore. Burmistrova added that Gazprom’s gas exports to Europe last year amounted to record 201.8 billion cubic meters, and is expected to significantly grow by 2035 due to the increasing demand.

According to a member of Gazprom’s management committee, Oleg Aksyutin, the company saw no threat to Gazprom’s business in the European market from global producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), including the US. The company’s gas exports to Europe are reportedly three times more than the amount of LNG shipped to Europe by all global producers combined. Though the share of LNG shipments have been growing, it still makes up only 13 percent of the entire gas market, according to Burmistrova. The executive added that prices for natural gas saw a significant surge. “In 2018, in accordance with linked fuel prices, the average price of Gazprom gas increased by 24.6 percent to $245.5 for 1,000 cubic meters,” she said, stressing that in 2016 it stood at $167.

When it comes to China, one of the world’s biggest energy consumers, Gazprom is planning to become the country’s biggest supplier as soon as 2035, with the company’s share expected to reach 13 percent of Chinese overall consumption by the same year.

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It’s completely insane that any western country would have to do a Hunger Survey. Don’t fall for thinking it’s normal.

UK Hunger Survey To Measure Food Insecurity (G.)

The government is to introduce an official measure of how often low-income families across the UK skip meals or go hungry because they cannot afford to buy enough food, the Guardian can reveal. A national index of food insecurity is to be incorporated into an established UK-wide annual survey run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that monitors household incomes and living standards. Campaigners, who have been calling for the measure for three years, said the move was “a massive step forward” that would provide authoritative evidence of the extent and causes of hunger in the UK. They say food insecurity is strongly linked to poverty caused by austerity and welfare cuts and is driving widening health inequality.

Food insecurity is generally defined as experiencing hunger, the inability to secure food of sufficient quality and quantity to enable good health and participation in society, and cutting down on food because of a lack of money. The decision, which took campaigners by surprise, was revealed at an informal meeting on Tuesday attended by the DWP, the Office for National Statistics, Public Health England and the Scottish and Welsh governments, as well as a number of food poverty charities. Ministers have for years resisted calls to bring England into line with the US and Canada by measuring food insecurity. Critics said this was to avoid shedding unwanted light on the impact of welfare policy and the public health consequences of being unable to eat regularly or healthily.

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Why the hunger? Here’s why: we feed ourselves with plastics and poison.

Glyphosate Found In 95% Of Wine And Beer (Ind.)

A new study has shown that traces of a commonly-used and possibly cancerous weed killer can be found in the majority of wine and beer. Researches tested five wines and 15 beers from the US, Asia and Europe for traces of pesticide glyphosate. The research found that of the 20 samples, 19 (95 per cent) contained particles of the chemical, including products labelled as organic. The US Public Interest Research Group, which conducted the study, said the levels of the pesticide aren’t necessarily dangerous, but are still concerning. In 2015, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency categorised glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”, leading the state of California to add it to its list of chemicals that can cause cancer, which makes companies responsible for providing warnings to potential consumers.

The findings of the study coincide with the beginning of a class action lawsuit against Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last year. The suit claims that Roundup caused thousands of plaintiffs to develop non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. The first plaintiff, Ed Hardeman, testified this week, alleging that his use of the chemical on his 56 acres of land caused him to develop cancer aged 66. [..] Bayer has not commented on the results of the study, but the researchers are calling for glyphosate to be banned unless it can be proven safe.

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The earth’s weather system is far too complex to draw conclusions from a sunny day. The only things we can say about the climate must be based on long-term stats. This kind of article doesn’t help one bit, it merely points out the author literally doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Am I The Only One Who’s Terrified About The Warm Weather? (G.)

They were everywhere in London on the weekend. The people in short sleeves or sandals. The ones with sunglasses ostentatiously hanging from the front of their shirts or balanced on top of their heads. The beer gardens and riverside pubs of the capital were heaving; corner shops ran out of ice-cream. Outside it was 17C (62F). Monday was another warm day, without a cloud in the sky, and in the late afternoon the light took on a magical, honey-coloured hue. It brought to mind one of those summer evenings you remember from childhood, when you’d be in the park all day and your parents let you stay out until bedtime, and you felt like you were doing something deliciously naughty just by being there.

Except it isn’t early summer: it’s February. And the entire developed world has not so much been doing something slightly naughty as systematically attacking the global ecosystem over a period of decades, and that’s how we go into this mess. We should try to hold on to this fact as young, posh men the nation over develop a strange delusion that anyone would want to see their elbows; this is not supposed to be happening. Less than a month ago, there was video footage of extreme cold weather coming out of Chicago. Forks supported in midair by suddenly frozen noodles, water poured from kettles instantly freezing on its way to the ground: you know the sort of thing.

OK, that was on the other side of the world, and was extreme and terrifying enough. But at least it was terrifying in the right direction. On Monday, though, the temperature hit 20.3C in Ceredigion, west Wales: the highest February temperature ever recorded in Britain and the first time the thermometer had breached 20C in winter. The BBC weather account tweeted it out with a gif of the sunshine icon and the same excitable breathlessness with which Springwatch would announce it had found a new type of vole. My response contained a single word, repeated seven times. It began with F.

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 December 3, 2018  Posted by at 10:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  7 Responses »


Jules Adler Panorama de Paris vu du Sacré Coeur 1935

 

How Trump’s Bashing Of The New York Times and CNN Has Benefited All (F24)
Dow Futures Surge After Trump And Xi Agree To Pause Trade War (CNBC)
China Agrees To ‘Reduce And Remove’ Tariffs On US Cars: Trump (AFP)
UK Faces Constitutional Crisis Over Brexit Legal Advice – Labour (BBC)
Qatar To Withdraw From OPEC, Focus On LNG Exports (R.)
Macron Tells PM To Hold Talks, Mulls State Of Emergency (R.)
France’s Meltdown, Macron’s Disdain (Milliere)
Deutsche Bank Takeover Speculation Intensifies (ZH)
Merkel Protege Suggests Reducing Gas Flow Through Nord Stream 2 Pipeline (R.)
EU Delays Euro Zone Budget, Deposit Insurance Plans (R.)
World Bank Promises $200 Billion In 2021-25 Climate Cash (AFP)

 

 

A topic I’ve addressed a lot. It’s just that I would say “The New York Times and CNN’ Bashing of Trump”, not the other way around., After all, who started? Read the whole thing, it shows how smart Trump is when it comes to media.

“Concluding his December 2017 interview with The New York Times, Trump said: “Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes […] So they basically have to let me win.“

How Trump’s Bashing Of The New York Times and CNN Has Benefited All (F24)

Although Donald Trump has an antagonistic relationship with The New York Times and CNN, the ‘Trump bump’ has been a business boon to these outlets, while the US president has been keen to use them to pursue publicity and legitimacy. While Trump often rails against the US media generally – most notably as “enemies of the people” – the country’s foremost newspaper of record, The New York Times, and its oldest 24-hour news network, CNN, are frequently singled out for opprobrium as “The Failing New York Times” and “Fake News CNN”. The acrimony between Trump and CNN reached its zenith on November 8 when the White House revoked the press access of its reporter Jim Acosta after a rancorous post-midterm news conference – only for his press pass to be restored thanks to judicial review three days later.

Meanwhile the vitriolic rhetoric from the White House has provoked considerable alarm amongst the press. New York Times’ publisher A.G. Sulzberger warned on July 30 that Trump’s increasingly splenetic attacks on the news media “will lead to violence”, before its sister paper The Boston Globe led the way in launching the #EnemyofNone campaign against the president’s relentless attacks on the American press. Despite these tensions, The New York Times – like CNN – is far from failing. On the contrary, both outlets are enjoying booming subscription and viewer figures thanks to Trump’s presidency. From Trump’s election on November 8, 2016 until the end of that month, The New York Times saw an increase of 132,000 in paid subscriptions – 10 times the growth rate in November 2015.

This trajectory has continued. “NYT has well surpassed initial expectations for subscriber growth […] following the ‘Trump bump’,” JP Morgan analyst Alexia Quadrani wrote to clients in April 2018. The New York Times Company’s share price outperformed those of Apple, Amazon and Facebook between Trump’s election in 2016 and the end of June 2018, soaring by 141 percent. “When I talked to the [executive] editor of The New York Times [Dean Baquet], he told me with a smile on his face that Donald Trump has done at least one good thing – and that is that he has boosted the circulation of The New York Times,” Marvin Kalb, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. and author of “Enemy of the People”, a book on Trump’s hostile regard towards the US media, told FRANCE 24.

“People who subscribe to and read [The New York] Times are for the most part people who oppose Trump, who do not think it is fake news,” explained Robert Shapiro, a professor of political science at Columbia University, whose area of expertise includes the relationship between mass media and US politics, in an interview with FRANCE 24. The paper has “used the facts of the Trump presidency to draw attention to the bad things that he is doing, and that’s attracted readers who want to get information to use against Trump”, Shapiro continued.

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Anything to buy and sell some more.

Dow Futures Surge After Trump And Xi Agree To Pause Trade War (CNBC)

U.S. stock market futures surged after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day ceasefire in the trade war that has weighed heavily on global stock markets for most of 2018. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 488 points as of 11:31 p.m. ET Sunday. The advance implied a 471.54 point gain for the Dow at Monday’s open. Meanwhile, S&P 500 futures added around 1.71 percent, while futures on the Nasdaq-100, home of many technology companies which sell to China, jumped about 2.75 percent. Futures on oil and copper jumped on hopes a possible new China-U.S. trade agreement would boost global economic growth.

The two leaders, who met for dinner on Saturday at the G-20 summit in Argentina, agreed to hold off on additional tariffs on each other’s goods at the start of the new year to allow for talks to continue. The U.S. agreed to leave tariffs on more than $200 billion worth of Chinese products at 10 percent. If after 90 days the two countries are unable to reach an agreement, that rate will be raised to 25 percent, according to the White House. Trade negotiations will address forced technology transfer and intellectual property. “The explicit delay in tariffs is on the positive end of expectations,” said Helen Qiao, China and Asia economist with Bank of America Lynch, in a note to clients. “In contrast to the fear — especially in Asia —that the hawks in US administration would make impossible demands, evidence of President Trump working towards a trade deal with China has emerged.”

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Something tells me they’ll want something in return.

China Agrees To ‘Reduce And Remove’ Tariffs On US Cars: Trump (AFP)

China has agreed to scale back tariffs on imported US cars, President Donald Trump said Sunday, one day after agreeing with Xi Jinping to a ceasefire in the trade war between the world’s top two economies. Asia stocks had rallied on the news that Washington and Beijing would not impose any new tariffs during a three-month grace period, during which the two sides are meant to finalize a more detailed agreement. “China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40 percent,” Trump said on Twitter. On Saturday, Trump and Xi agreed to put a stop to their tit-for-tat tariffs row, which had roiled world markets for months.

The Republican president called their agreement – which Washington hopes will help close a yawning trade gap with the Asian giant and help protect US intellectual property – an “incredible” deal. Trump agreed to hold off on his threat to slap 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from January 1, leaving them at the current 10% rate. In return, China is to purchase “very substantial” amounts of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products from the US. In July, China reduced auto import duties from 25 percent to 15 percent, a boon for international carmakers keen to grow sales in the world’s largest auto market. But as trade tensions ratcheted up with the US this summer, Beijing retaliated by slapping vehicles imported from the US with an extra 25 percent tariff, bringing the total tariff rate to 40%.

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May’s worst crisis to date. Parliament first votes on December 11.

UK Faces Constitutional Crisis Over Brexit Legal Advice – Labour (BBC)

The UK faces a “constitutional crisis” if Theresa May does not publish the full legal advice on her Brexit deal on Monday, Labour has warned. The PM says the advice is confidential. but some MPs think ministers do not want to admit it says the UK could be indefinitely tied to EU customs rules. Ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson has joined calls for its publication, which critics say could sink the PM’s deal. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will make a statement about it on Monday. He is set to publish a reduced version of the legal advice – despite calls from MPs from all parties to publish a full version.

His statement to the House of Commons will be followed by five days of debate on the deal. MPs say the statement from the attorney general does not respect a binding Commons vote last month, which required the government to lay before Parliament “any legal advice in full”. Labour is planning to join forces with other parties, including the DUP, who keep Mrs May in power, to initiate contempt of Parliament proceedings unless the government backs down. Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told Sky News: “If they don’t produce [the advice] tomorrow (Monday) then we will start contempt proceedings. This will be a collision course between the government and Parliament.”

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Reuters manages to do an entire article on this without mentioning the Saudi-led Qatar boycott even once. Well done!

Qatar To Withdraw From OPEC, Focus On LNG Exports (R.)

Qatar said on Monday it was quitting OPEC from January 2019 but would attend the oil exporter group’s meeting this week, saying the decision meant Doha could focus on cementing its position as the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter. Doha, one of the smallest oil producers in OPEC, is locked in a diplomatic dispute with the group’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia but said the move to leave OPEC was not driven by politics. Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad al-Kaabi told a news conference that Qatar, which he said been a member of OPEC for 57 years, would still attend the group’s meeting on Thursday and Friday this week, and would abide by its commitments.

“Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to OPEC this morning,” the minister said. “For me to put efforts and resources and time in an organization that we are a very small player in and I don’t have a say in what happens … practically it does not work, so for us it’s better to focus on our big growth potential,” he said. [..] Qatar has oil output of only 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), compared with the 11 million bpd produced by Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest oil producer and world’s biggest exporter. But Doha is an influential player in the global LNG market with annual production of 77 million tonnes per year, based on its huge reserves of the fuel in the Gulf.

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Perhaps the best indicator of where Macron finds himself are the policemen taking off their helmets to show solidarity with the gilets jaunes.

Macron Tells PM To Hold Talks, Mulls State Of Emergency (R.)

Riot police on Saturday were overwhelmed as protesters ran amok in Paris’s wealthiest neighborhoods, torching dozens of cars, looting boutiques and smashing up luxury private homes and cafes in the worst disturbances the capital has seen since 1968. The unrest began as a backlash against fuel tax hikes but has spread. It poses the most formidable challenge yet to Macron’s presidency, with the escalating violence and depth of public anger against his economic reforms catching the 40-year-old leader off-guard and battling to regain control.

After a meeting with members of his government on Sunday, the French presidency said in a statement that the president had asked his interior minister to prepare security forces for future protests and his prime minister to hold talks with political party leaders and representatives of the protesters. A French presidential source said Macron would not speak to the nation on Sunday despite calls for him to offer immediate concessions to demonstrators, and said the idea of imposing a state of emergency had not been discussed. Arriving back from the G20 summit in Argentina, Macron had earlier rushed to the Arc de Triomphe, a revered monument and epicenter of Saturday’s clashes, where protesters had scrawled “Macron resign” and “The yellow vests will triumph”.

The “yellow vest” rebellion erupted out of nowhere on Nov. 17, with protesters blocking roads across France and impeding access to some shopping malls, fuel depots and airports. Violent groups from the far right and far left as well as youths from the suburbs infiltrated Saturday’s protests, the authorities said. Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux had indicated the Macron administration was considering imposing a state of emergency. The president was open to dialogue, he said, but would not reverse policy reforms.

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A president with a low enough approval rating and etractors that are sufficiently organized will always have a hard time.

France’s Meltdown, Macron’s Disdain (Milliere)

On November 11th, French President Emmanuel Macron commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I by inviting seventy heads of state to organize a costly, useless, grandiloquent “Forum of Peace” that did not lead to anything. He also invited US President Donald Trump, and then chose to insult him. In a pompous speech, Macron – knowing that a few days earlier, Donald Trump had defined himself as a nationalist committed to defending America – invoked “patriotism”; then defined it, strangely, as “the exact opposite of nationalism”; then called it “treason”. In addition, shortly before the meeting, Macron had not only spoken of the “urgency” of building a European army; he also placed the United States among the “enemies” of Europe.

This was not the first time Macron placed Europe above the interests of his own country. It was, however, the first time he had placed the United States on the list of enemies of Europe. President Trump apparently understood immediately that Macron’s attitude was a way to maintain his delusions of grandeur,as well as to try to derive a domestic political advantage. Trump also apparently understood that he could not just sit there and accept insults. In a series of tweets, Trump reminded the world that France had needed the help of the USA to regain freedom during World Wars, that NATO was still protecting a virtually defenseless Europe and that many European countries were still not paying the amount promised for their own defense.

Trump added that Macron had an extremely low approval rating (26%), was facing an extremely high level of unemployment, and was probably trying to divert attention from that. Trump was right. For months, the popularity of Macron has been in free fall: he is now the most unpopular French President in modern history at this stage of his mandate. The French population has turned away from him in droves. Unemployment in France is not only at an alarmingly high level (9.1%); it has been been alarmingly high for years. The number of people in poverty is also high (8.8 million people, 14.2% of the population). Economic growth is effectively non-existent (0.4% in the third quarter of 2018, up from 0.2% the previous three months). The median income (20,520 euros, or $23,000, a year,) is unsustainably low. It indicates that half the French live on less than 1710 euros ($1946) a month. Five million people are surviving on less than 855 euros ($973) a month.

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Deutsche is the archetypical too big to fail hot potato. The Fed must help, and so does Merkel. But to what end?

Deutsche Bank Takeover Speculation Intensifies (ZH)

Since taking over troubled German lender Deutsche Bank back in April, Christian Sewing has watched the recidivist lender’s troubles go from bad to worse. On Friday, the bank’s shares reached an all-time low; they’re now down 50% YTD, making Deutsche the worst performer in a poorly performing index of the world’s largest global banks. The latest selloff was inspired by the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office deciding to raid six Deutsche buildings, including the bank’s headquarters The raid, which continued for two days, doubled as the first public revelation about the latest criminal scandal involving Europe’s biggest bank by assets, which has already paid $18 billion in legal penalties since the financial crisis.

Prosecutors revealed that they were investigating at least two employees in the bank’s wealth management unit (part of the division overseen by Sewing before he took the CEO job) for allegedly helping customers set up accounts in offshore tax shelters and helping criminals launder their ill-gotten gains – allegations that prosecutors said were inspired by the infamous ‘Panama Papers’ leak. During their raid, prosecutors searched the offices of five senior Deutsche executives, including the bank’s chief compliance officer, who was rumored to be leaving the bank in a report published just days before nearly 200 police officers, tax inspectors and prosecutors showed up outside Deutsche’s international headquarters and demanded that everybody step away from their computers.

Given the abysmal week the bank just had, it’s hardly surprising that the financial media has published a barrage of negative stories featuring anonymously sourced quotes from Deutsche “investors” effectively demanding that, if Sewing can’t get his shit together in the next quarter or two, he will need to abandon the “strategic alternatives” (cost-cutting, shifting the bank’s investment strategy to emphasize growth in wealth management) that he championed as a road toward salvation (alongside cost-cutting, of course) and seriously consider a sale.

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Nordstream2 would bankrupt Ukraine. Hence the anti-Russia desperation.

Merkel Protege Suggests Reducing Gas Flow Through Nord Stream 2 Pipeline (R.)

Germany must answer urgent, growing political concerns about the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project given Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships and their crew off the coast of Crimea, a senior German conservative said on Sunday. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a top candidate to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democrats, told public broadcaster ARD it would be “too radical” to withdraw political support for the project, but Berlin could reduce the amount of gas to flow through the pipeline. Russia is resisting international calls to release three Ukrainian ships seized last weekend in the Kerch Strait near the Crimea region that Moscow illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Moscow has accused the 24 sailors of illegally crossing the Russian border, which Ukraine denies. After meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Merkel on Saturday called on Russia to release the sailors and allow free shipping access to the Sea of Azov, but stopped short of endorsing any additional sanctions against Moscow. Kramp-Karrenbauer is a close Merkel ally but has taken a firmer stance on Russia’s actions in recent days. On Friday, she told Reuters the EU and the US should consider banning from their ports Russian ships originating from the Sea of Azov in response to the incident. She told ARD on Sunday that it was time to draw a firmer line against Russian actions, including its annexation of Crimea and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

[..] Her suggestion of banning Russian ships from European ports triggered criticism from some Social Democrats, including former foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, who urged calm and accused Ukraine of trying to drag Germany into a war with Russia.

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They’re still dead set on more Europe.

EU Delays Euro Zone Budget, Deposit Insurance Plans (R.)

EU finance ministers will agree on Monday to give the euro zone bailout fund new responsibilities, but they will delay decisions on the euro zone budget and a deposit guarantee scheme after failing to reach agreement, a draft document showed. The ministers will discuss deeper economic integration of the 19 countries sharing the euro, to prepare the single currency bloc for the next potential crisis. However, after a year of negotiations, fraught with political difficulties, little of the original ambition, championed by French President Emmanuel Macron, remains.

The two flagship ideas – a separate budget for euro zone countries to help stabilize their economies and a deposit guarantee scheme to make all euro zone bank deposits safe – are too controversial and will be worked on further until June 2019, according to the draft document, seen by Reuters. In the case of the deposit guarantee scheme, mistrust among euro zone countries is so great that they could not even agree on a roadmap for beginning political negotiations on EDIS (European Deposit Insurance Scheme), as mandated by EU leaders. “Further technical work is still needed to agree on a roadmap. We will establish a High-level working group with a mandate to work on next steps. The High-level group should report back by June 2019,” said the draft report by EU finance ministers.

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Advice: don’t support anything the World Bank is involved in. They are not your friends.

World Bank Promises $200 Billion In 2021-25 Climate Cash (AFP)

The World Bank on Monday unveiled $200 billion in climate action investment for 2021-25, adding this amounts to a doubling of its current five-year funding. The World Bank said the move, coinciding with a UN climate summit meeting of some 200 nations in Poland, represented a “significantly ramped up ambition” to tackle climate change, “sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same.” Developed countries are committed to lifting combined annual public and private spending to $100 billion in developing countries by 2020 to fight the impact of climate change — up from 48.5 billion in 2016 and 56.7 billion last year, according to latest OECD data.

Southern hemisphere countries fighting the impact of warming temperatures are nonetheless pushing northern counterparts for firmer commitments. In a statement, the World Bank said the breakdown of the $200 billion would comprise “approximately $100 billion in direct finance from the World Bank.” Around one third of the remaining funding will come from two World Bank Group agencies with the rest private capital “mobilised by the World Bank Group.” “If we don’t reduce emissions and build adaptation now, we’ll have 100 million more people living in poverty by 2030,” John Roome, World Bank senior director for climate change, warned. “And we also know that the less we address this issue proactively just in three regions – Africa, South Asia and Latin America – we’ll have 133 million climate migrants,” Roome told AFP.

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