Jan 202024
 
 January 20, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  52 Responses »


Jackson Pollock Man with knife 1938-40

 

Dems Have Resurrected Law as a Weapon that Serves Power (Paul Craig Roberts)
Fani Willis: Wife of Lover an Adulterer and Political Conspirator (Turley)
Atlanta DA Fani Willis Just Stepped on a Rake (CTH)
Georgia Prosecutors Should Go, But That Won’t End the Trump Case (Turley)
Trump’s Lawyers Warn Of Nationwide ‘Chaos’ (RT)
Trump Warns Of Years Of Trauma If Presidents Don’t Have Total Immunity (Hill)
Gaza Will Be The Grave Of The Western-Led World Order (Takahashi)
Houthis Declare Safe Passage For All Russian, Chinese Ships In Red Sea (ZH)
Russia and the US Are Set For A Long Confrontation (Sushentsov)
The Ukraine Charade, Revisited (Pepe Escobar)
Western Mercenaries Used To Fill Kiev’s Expertise Gaps – Larry Johnson (RT)
French Mercenaries Dying For A Nazi Regime – Russia’s Top MP (RT)
Americans Enslaved Themselves to the State When They Accepted Income Tax (PCR)
The Biden Laptop is Proven Authentic as Past Deniers Double Down (Turley)
The Goddess of the WEF (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Crooke
https://twitter.com/i/status/1748027526666965195

 

 

Heritage

 

 

Tucker Robbins

 

 

Orban

 

 

 

 

We may be in for a full year+ of this. Why would it stop on November 8?

Dems Have Resurrected Law as a Weapon that Serves Power (Paul Craig Roberts)

Fani Willis, the incompetent and apparently corrupt black female Atlanta district attorney reportedly put in office by George Soros’ billions, is in more hot water than Trump is in from her fabricated case against him. Fani appointed Nathan Wade, who is believed to be her lover, special prosecutor to aid in Trump’s kangaroo trial. According to county records reviewed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fulton County paid Wade $654,000 in tax payers’ money since January 2022. The money appears to be what financed the couple’s lavish vacations. The white liberal Democrats are disturbed that Willis was so stupid as to damage her case against Trump by destroying her credibility and public perception of her integrity. Fani’s defense is, of course, that the race card is being played against her as she and her lover are black. There are two ways you can look at her self-justification.

One is that blacks have learned from Jews that a claim of victimhood is a shield against being held accountable. The other is that she has no comprehension of acceptable behavior for public officials. We have an interesting situation in which the prosecutions at the state and county level against Trump are in the hands of black women put in office by George Soros. Why is Soros doing this? Some people think that Soros himself got away with stealing his billions from the Bank of England via his manipulation of the British currency. Where was James Bond when the British needed him? Criminal justice in America is in a serious situation when one billionaire can staff up state and local district attorneys with blacks taught to hate “white exploiters” who are sicced on Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters. The trials are unconstitutional, because a black jury consisting of people taught to hate “white racists” does not constitute a “jury of peers” for a white person.

What happened to the justice system that a president of the US finds himself the target of weaponized law used for racial, ideological, and political reasons, and there is not a peep from law schools, bar associations, judges, or media? How can citizens have confidence in the veracity of prosecutions, the veracity of judges, law schools, bar associations? “Fulton County Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade allegedly did not disclose payments he received from working on the racketeering case against former President Donald Trump to his wife, leaving her without financial support throughout their divorce proceedings, according to a court document obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Wade, who was appointed to work on Trump’s case by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, is allegedly romantically involved with her and used the compensation he received from his position to take her on cruises and vacations, according to a motion filed Monday by a Trump co-defendant.

In separate filings for his divorce case obtained by the DCNF, Wade’s wife alleges he did not disclose to her over $700,000 in earnings from the county. “Wade’s wife alleges he has continued to draw from her bank account, leaving it “routinely overdrawn” despite “the clear inequity in financial circumstances.” His wife has been a stay-at-home mom for 20 years and relied on Wade for support during the course of their marriage, according to the filing. “Willis was subpoenaed earlier this week to testify in Wade’s divorce proceedings, according to CNN. “Wade filed for divorce on November 2, 2021, the day after his contract with Willis began, according to court filings. He had his divorce case sealed on February 10, 2022, according to the Monday motion filed by Trump co-defendant Michael Roman.

“Republican US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene sent a criminal referral Wednesday to Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr asking for an investigation into Willis and expressing “serious concerns” about the allegations. Greene suggested Willis could have violated a number of Georgia statutes, including violations of public oath, bribery, improper influence of a government official and more.”

Read more …

A DA should not be throwing mud.

Fani Willis: Wife of Lover an Adulterer and Political Conspirator (Turley)

In an surprising filing, Fulton County’s district attorney Fani Willis has accused the estranged wife of her alleged lover of conspiring to undermine the Trump prosecution by seeking her deposition in the messy divorce case of Nathan Wade. Willis, again, does not deny having an affair with Wade, who she appointed lead prosecutor in the case. Instead, she accuses Joycelyn Wade of an affair that broke up the marriage and suggests that she is coordinating with Trump forces to interfere with the prosecution. Willis is accused of major ethical violations in appointing her alleged lover to the position as she went on lavish vacations with him. She previously denounced those raising obvious ethical concerns as being racist due to the fact that both Willis and Wade are black. She did not, however, deny the intimate relationship or the allegation that Wade paid for her vacation expenses.

At issue in the filing is the demand for a pretrial deposition in the divorce case of Nathan and Joycelyn Wade on January 23. Willis’ counsel leveled a full attack on the motivations and associations of Joycelyn Wade. She accused Joycelyn Wade of having an adulterous relationship with a longtime friend of Nathan Wade’s. Willis’ counsel Cinque Axam then added that Joycelyn Wade “has conspired with interested parties in the criminal election interference case to use the civil discovery process to annoy, embarrass and oppress District Attorney Willis.” The filing noted that the allegations against Willis were used by Trump codefendant Mike Roman to seek judicial review and remedy for the alleged conflict of interest. A hearing has now been set by the court for Feb. 28th.

Willis bases her conspiracy theory on the fact that, on January 8, Roman’s filing was made public and on the same day, she was served a subpoena and Merchant moved to unseal the Wades’ divorce case. That certainly makes this all a bit different from the usual “other woman” element in the divorce case. However, it is not a smart move. The level of animus and vexatious language in the filing only magnifies the concern over the Willis-Wade relationship. By attacking the estranged wife of her alleged lover, Willis only increases concerns over the professional separation between Willis and Wade in making decisions in the case. Accusing the estranged wife of your alleged lover of being a political conspirator is about as compelling at accusing people raising ethical concerns of being virulent racists.

For example, if Wade were to exceed his authority or act unprofessionally in the case, Willis would be forced to take action against not only an alleged lover but someone she has had to defend as the ideal choice for the position. Their personal relationship would presumably weigh in the balance in any supervisory review or decision. Likewise, if Willis was taken on vacations by Wade and their relationship is continuing, the termination of his contract could have an economic impact on Willis. In the end, the accusatory motion was a mistake in my view. Willis could have objected to the necessity of the deposition on factual and legal grounds (as she does) without escalating the rhetoric and recriminations.

Read more …

”The scale of Lawfare stupid, perhaps driven by hubris and/or an entitled sense of just being above the rules, is simply off-the-charts. Crazy stuff.”

Atlanta DA Fani Willis Just Stepped on a Rake (CTH)

Boy howdy… when things get interesting, they REALLY get interesting. In an effort to deflect attention from the gross corruption she initiated in the prosecution of Donald Trump, Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis stepped into the middle of a contentious divorce between Willis’s married lover and appointed Special Prosecutor, Nathan Wade, and his wife, Joycelyn Wade. After discovering details of the relationship between Nathan Wade and Fani Willis, lawyers representing Mrs. Joycelyn Wade wanted a deposition of Fani Willis. At issue are the finances in the marriage and Mrs. Wade’s discovery that her husband, Nathan Wade, and Fani Willis had been living a life of indulgence from the marital income received (more than $650, 000) as a result of DA Willis hiring Nathan Wade to prosecute Donald Trump.

In an over-the-top court filing trying to avoid the deposition, the Fulton County’s district attorney accused the estranged wife of conspiring to undermine the Trump prosecution by seeking her testimony. Fani Willis does not deny the affair; instead, she accuses Joycelyn Wade of coordinating with Trump people and co-defendants to interfere with the prosecution. (VIA AJC Politics) – “Fulton County’s district attorney on Thursday fired back at allegations she has engaged in an “improper” relationship with her top deputy, accusing his estranged wife of trying to obstruct her prosecution of Donald Trump and his allies.” That approach by Fani Willis opened up a can of worms the district attorney likely didn’t expect. Because Mrs. Jocelyn Wade has credit card statements and receipts showing how her husband booked and paid for lavish travel, expenses and indulgences using Fani Willis’s real name as his companion.

The details and credit card statements are attached to the filing, which substantiates and supports the originating court filing by one of the co-defendants who made the allegation against Fani Willis and Nathan Wade. (via AJC Politics) […] “The records have emerged as part of the Wades’ contentious divorce proceedings in Cobb County Superior Court and have rocked Fulton’s sweeping racketeering case against the former president and 14 remaining defendants. One defendant is seeking to disqualify Willis and her office because of her alleged “improper, clandestine personal relationship” with Wade.”

[..] Nathan Wade was a lawyer specializing in family matters prior to being appointed by District Attorney Fani Willis. Mr. Wade never prosecuted a single felony case in his legal career. Judge Scott McAfee ordered District Attorney Fani Willis to file a written response by Feb. 2. He said he will hold a hearing on the allegations on Feb. 15.

Additionally, according to White House visitor logs, Mr. Nathan Wade visited White House lawyers prior to the indictment of President Trump. Also, DA Willis met with staff (Mary McCord) from the January 6 Committee prior to the indictment. The Georgia prosecutor meeting with Biden lawyers, prior to the indictment against Biden’s political opposition, is a big issue that has yet to surface in front of Judge McAfee. Something is going to change in this case as a result of these explosive findings. I suspect by Monday of next week Ms. Fani Willis will have to remove herself from any involvement in the case. Something substantive is going to change in Atlanta as a result of the discovery of her grossly inappropriate/unethical conduct, and the now exposed financial and personal relationship with the prosecutor she hired, Nathan Wade. The scale of Lawfare stupid, perhaps driven by hubris and/or an entitled sense of just being above the rules, is simply off-the-charts. Crazy stuff.

Read more …

“If these allegations are true, Willis is not just outside of the ethical navigational beacons. She is off the map.”

Georgia Prosecutors Should Go, But That Won’t End the Trump Case (Turley)

Chris Christie once said that Donald Trump is often portrayed by legal counsel as “the unluckiest S.O.B. in the world.” Perhaps, but when it comes to his enemies, Trump sometimes seems to find advantages despite his worst efforts. Many of us have criticized Trump for his personal attacks on Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis as being racist and unethical; he even accused her of having an affair with a gang member, a claim that was widely contested as unfounded and denied by key figures. This month, however, Willis has seemingly imploded with an ethical scandal which, unlike Trump’s prior claims, appears perhaps to be more well-founded, as it appears in an official court filing. It involves reports of an intimate relationship with Nathan Wade, appointed by Willis as lead prosecutor in the Trump case.

While a recusal or removal of Willis may delay the case, it will not end the legal threat for Trump. Willis is accused of having a romantic relationship with Wade when she appointed him in this historic prosecution of a former president. Wade has no experience in racketeering law, yet he reportedly was paid more than an expert on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) cases. Willis and Wade allegedly went on lavish vacations together, and the costs allegedly were covered by Wade, who has received nearly $654,000 in legal fees since January 2022 — approved, ultimately, by Willis. Wade has presented himself as the “only individual in the DA’s office who had authority to enter into agreements pertaining to the investigation.” Wade also has been held in contempt in his messy divorce.

The Georgia courts have established that a district attorney should be disqualified when there is a personal interest in the defendant’s conviction (Whitworth v. State, 275 Ga. App. 790, 793, 622 S.E.2d 21 [2005]). In this instance, Willis has staked much of her career on this case and appointed a prosecutor who’s alleged to be romantically involved with her; likewise, if the allegations are true, Willis may have an interest in furthering Wade’s career and benefits. Of course, Trump, the other defendants, and the public are entitled to disinterested prosecutors in this major case. Moreover, the Fulton County Code of Laws § 2-66 bars conflicts of interest “in fact and in appearance.” It expressly states that no “officer or employee shall, by his or her conduct, give reasonable basis for the impression that any person can improperly influence him or her, or unduly enjoy his or her favor, in the performance of any official acts or actions.”

These provisions are in addition to prohibitions on the receipt of gifts due to one’s office, such as possibly receiving alleged lavish vacations paid for by your subordinate. These are just some of the grounds supporting a motion by Michael Roman, one of the defendants in the massive racketeering case brought by Willis. If these allegations are true, Willis is not just outside of the ethical navigational beacons. She is off the map.

Read more …

“..if other states follow Colorado’s lead, it would “unleash chaos and bedlam.”

Trump’s Lawyers Warn Of Nationwide ‘Chaos’ (RT)

Donald Trump’s lawyers have warned that the entire entire US could be plunged into chaos if the country’s Supreme Court upholds the state of Colorado’s decision to remove the republican presidential frontrunner from its ballot. Last month, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Trump ineligible to run for re-election and removed him from the ballot for the presidential primary on March 5. The court cited the 14th Amendment, which bans insurrectionists from holding public office. Trump’s lawyers argued again on Thursday that the former president had not instigated the riot on January 6, 2021. The Colorado ruling, which was the first of its kind, has been left in limbo pending a decision by the US Supreme Court, with the first oral arguments in the case set for February 8.

“The court should put a swift and decisive end to these ballot-disqualification efforts, which threaten to disenfranchise tens of millions of Americans,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. They added that, if other states follow Colorado’s lead, it would “unleash chaos and bedlam.” The former president’s legal team also noted that the piece of legislation invoked by the Colorado Supreme Court can only be applied to an “officer of the United States,” which Trump is not. The attorneys insisted that the Republican firebrand was not inciting insurrection when he called on his supporters to “fight like hell” on January 6, and was merely “raising concerns about the integrity of the recent federal election.”

According to Trump’s defense team, he used the phrase strictly metaphorically, not expecting his supporters to interpret it as a call for violence. They added that, as events began to unfold on Capitol Hill that day, Trump “repeatedly called for peace, patriotism, and law and order.” House Speaker Mike Johnson, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and several other Republican lawmakers have also called on the US Supreme Court to void Colorado’s “insurrectionist ban.” A number of GOP secretaries of state also warned the judges that Trump’s potential removal from ballots would lead to a “foreseeable and unfortunate parade of horribles.” On January 6, the Maine secretary of state passed a tentative ballot ban similar to that in Colorado, with multiple lawsuits filed in other states as well. The final say, however, rests with the US Supreme Court.

Read more …

“..full immunity, without which it would be impossible for him/her to properly function. Any mistake, even if well intended, would be met with almost certain indictment by the opposing party at term end..”

Trump Warns Of Years Of Trauma If Presidents Don’t Have Total Immunity (Hill)

Former President Trump said there would be “years of trauma” if presidents are not awarded total immunity from prosecution for their actions in the White House — even if those actions “cross the line.” “A president of the United States must have full immunity, without which it would be impossible for him/her to properly function. Any mistake, even if well intended, would be met with almost certain indictment by the opposing party at term end,” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post early Thursday morning, writing in all capital letters. “Even events that ‘cross the line’ must fall under total immunity, or it will be years of trauma trying to determine good from bad,” he added. “There must be certainty.”

Trump compared the president to a police officer, who Trump argued should not be stopped from “doing the job of strong and effective crime prevention” simply because of a “bad apple,” adding, “Sometimes you just have to live with ‘great but slightly imperfect.’” Trump’s comments come one week after his attorney, John Sauer, made a similar case before a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals for a motion from Trump’s team to toss his election interference federal charges. During the hearing, the judges appeared skeptical of the argument that presidents could only be prosecuted if they had already been impeached and convicted by the Senate.

When asked whether a president who directed SEAL Team Six to kill a political opponent would then be immune from prosecution for that action, Sauer answered with a “qualified yes,” unless the president was convicted by the Senate first. One judge on the panel noted that, under that framework, a president could take any action on his or her last day in office without fear of criminal prosecution or simply resign shortly thereafter — preventing Congress from impeaching and convicting in time.

The appeals court seems poised to reject Trump’s argument in the case, and Trump has signaled his intention to appeal an unsatisfactory ruling to the Supreme Court. Trump again hinted at his intention to appeal to the high court in his post Thursday. “All presidents must have complete & total presidential immunity, or the authority & decisiveness of a president of the United States will be stripped & gone forever,” Trump wrote. “Hopefully this will be an easy decision. God bless the Supreme Court!” he added.

Read more …

“..However, it is too little, too late. Western credibility has been shredded irrevocably..”

Gaza Will Be The Grave Of The Western-Led World Order (Takahashi)

No matter how it concludes, South Africa’s lawsuit in the International Court of Justice arguing Israel has violated the Genocide Convention will go down in history. It will either be remembered as the first step towards finally holding a rogue state accountable for repeated, longstanding violations of international law; or as the last, dying breath of a dysfunctional, Western-led international system. For the hypocrisy of Western governments (and the Western political elite as a whole) has finally brought the so-called “rules-based world order” they purport to lead to the point of no return. Full-throttled Western support for Israel’s genocidal rampage in Gaza has truly exposed the double standards of the West with regard to human rights and international law. There is no turning back, and the West has only its own arrogance to blame.

The litany of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza are clear as the light of day for anybody who has access to a smartphone. Social media feeds are overflowing with videoclips of hospitals and schools being bombed, fathers pulling out the lifeless bodies of their children from under destroyed buildings, mothers crying over the corpses of their babies. And yet, the reaction of Western governments – besides seemingly limitless military and political support – has been to label any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism and attempt to ban outright any expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Regardless of this oppression, tens of thousands of people are coming out on the streets day after day expressing their disgust at Israeli atrocities and Western complicity. Desperate to regain some semblance of credibility, Western governments (including the US) have recently started to be marginally critical of Israeli attacks. However, it is too little, too late. Western credibility has been shredded irrevocably.

Of course, Western hypocrisy is nothing new. According to Western governments, the world should be up in arms about Russian aggression but should be perfectly happy with Israeli brutality and flouting of international norms. Ukrainians who throw Molotov cocktails at Russian occupation forces are heroes and freedom fighters, while Palestinians (and others) who dare to speak out against Israeli apartheid are terrorists. White-skinned refugees from Ukraine are more than welcome, while black and brown-skinned refugees from conflicts in the Middle East, Asia and Africa (most of which the West are behind) can sink to the bottom of the Mediterranean. The Western attitude has truly been: rules for thee, not for me. The Western position towards China exhibits the same insincerity. China is virtually encircled by American and allied military bases, armed to the hilt. Yet it is China that is guilty of… what? Unable to point to any concrete infraction, Western governments and media can only accuse China of “increased assertiveness”, ie, not knowing its assigned subjugate place in the Western hegemonic order.

International justice has become a sick joke. Were the International Criminal Court (ICC) functioning effectively, Israeli leaders would be on trial even as we speak, and there would have been no need for South Africa to approach the ICJ. As it stands, though, the ICC only indicted Africans until 2022, when it announced an investigation into the Russian invasion of Ukraine less than a week after its start. The ICC issued indictments, including for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, in less than a year. Conversely, it took over six years for the ICC to open an investigation into the situation in Palestine, and even now, years later, meaningful action has yet to be taken. While Israel continued its orgy of violence against the people of Gaza, Karim Khan, the British Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, visited Israel and stressed the need for Hamas’s crimes to be prosecuted, while going soft on Israeli crimes. Little wonder many civil society organisations are calling for him to be fired.

Read more …

“It represented pressure on Israel only, it did not represent pressure on any country in the world.”

Houthis Declare Safe Passage For All Russian, Chinese Ships In Red Sea (ZH)

In a remarkable development, and at a moment European retailers and factories are beginning to bear the brunt of the global shipping chaos and soaring Red Sea transit risk, the Houthis have declared safe passage for Russia and China. A senior Houthi official, Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, mentioned these US rivals by name in an interview with the Russian outlet Izvestia on Friday. “As for all other countries, including Russia and China, their shipping in the region is not threatened,” he said, stipulating this will remain as long as they are not linked to Israel or its supporters. “Moreover, we are ready to ensure the safe passage of their ships in the Red Sea, because free navigation plays a significant role for our country,” he added, but then underscored that attacks on ships will continue if they are “in any way connected with Israel.”

The spokesman went on to blame the Red Sea crisis on Israel’s (and its backers) refusal to reverse course in Gaza, given its aerial and ground campaign as continued. “Ansar Allah [the group’s formal name] does not pursue the goal of capturing or sinking this or that sea vessel,” he claimed. “Our goal is to raise the economic costs for [Israel] in order to stop the carnage in Gaza.” Some of the vessels which have come under attack thus far actually have connection to dozens of countries, but ships with Russian or Chinese ownership, or deep ties, have yet to be attacked. Another Houthi official told Reuters separately that the group doesn’t seek to expand its campaign, after a fragile peace took effect with Saudi Arabia and the EUA concerning the Yemeni civil war:

Yemen’s Houthis have said they do not intend to expand their attacks on shipping in and around the Red Sea, beyond their stated aims of blockading Israel and retaliating against the US and Britain for airstrikes. In an interview with Reuters, spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam, who is also the chief Houthi negotiator in peace talks over Yemen’s decade-old civil war, said the group had no plans to target its longstanding foes Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “We do not want the escalation to expand. This is not our demand. We imposed rules of engagement in which not a single drop of blood was shed or major material losses,” said Abdulsalam. “It represented pressure on Israel only, it did not represent pressure on any country in the world.”

Read more …

“.It was that the West would deal Russia a quick defeat, a lot of economic resources would be freed up, and relations with Moscow would be rebuilt on a different platform, more favorable to the EU..”

Russia and the US Are Set For A Long Confrontation (Sushentsov)

Relations between Russia and the United States have entered a prolonged phase that can be described as a “long confrontation.” If the interaction between Moscow and Washington were still the central process of international life, as was the case during the Cold War, this new phase might be considered temporary. But the Moscow-Washington confrontation is now one of many. More importantly, it is taking place in conditions that occur once every few centuries – a period of global redistribution of power and resource potential. This process affects our country and the US only in part. Within a few decades, the center of global production and consumption will finally shift to Asia, and the center of world economic gravity will be on the border of India and China. In this context, the long-standing Russian-American confrontation will remain one of the main fault-lines, but certainly not the only one.

Why do I think this confrontation will be protracted? Despite significant resource advantages and strong positions in key areas, the US finds itself in a situation where its pursuers are catching up fast. Washington is faced with an increasingly dense international environment that poses obstacles to previously unfettered American action. The four US strengths that underpin its offensive strategy are: first, its still-advanced military power; second, its central global financial system, which provides an international settlement infrastructure and a convertible currency; third, its strong position in a number of technological fields; and fourth, its ideology and values platform, which, together with the other three dimensions, provide what can be tentatively called a “pyramid of credibility” for American strategy in the world.

This pyramid exists in the economic and financial spheres as well as in foreign policy. Trust explains the irrational behavior of some European states. Incapable of a balanced analysis of the consequences of their decisions, for example on the Ukraine crisis, they are now forced to ask themselves, as the German magazine Der Spiegel does: “What if the United States has no permanent allies? Western Europeans trusted the logic offered by the United States, they literally ‘bought’ the proposal. It was that the West would deal Russia a quick defeat, a lot of economic resources would be freed up, and relations with Moscow would be rebuilt on a different platform, more favorable to the EU. The belief was that it would be an effective strategy.”

Read more …

“..There is no “Biden”. Just Team Biden: a corporate combo featuring low-rent messengers such as de facto neocon Little Blinkie..”

The Ukraine Charade, Revisited (Pepe Escobar)

Selected players scattered around the Beltway silos of power, diligently working as messengers for the people who really run the show in the Hegemon, have concluded that a no holds barred confrontation with Russia would lead to the collapse of all of NATO; undo decades of US iron grip on Europe; and ultimately cause the Empire’s downfall. Playing brinkmanship games sooner or later would meet the indestructible red lines inbuilt in the unmovable Russian object. US elites are smarter than that. They may excel on calculated risk. But when the stakes are this high, they know when to hedge and when to fold. The “loss” of Ukraine – now a graphic imperative – is not worth risking the loss of the whole Hegemonic ride. That would be too much for the Empire to lose.

So even as they get increasingly desperate with the accelerated imperial plunge into a geopolitical and geoeconomic abyss, they’re frantically changing the narrative – a domain in which they excel. And that explains why discombobulated European vassals in NATO-controlled EU are now in total panic. Davos this week offered bucketloads of Orwellian salad. The key, frantic messages: War is peace. Ukraine is not (italics mine) losing and Russia is not winning. Hence Ukraine needs way more weaponizing. Yet even Norwegian Wood Stoltenberg was told to toe the new line that matters: “NATO is not moving into Asia. It’s China that is coming close to us.” That certainly adds a new wacky meaning to the notion of moving tectonic plates. There is a total void of “leadership” in Washington.

There is no “Biden”. Just Team Biden: a corporate combo featuring low-rent messengers such as de facto neocon Little Blinkie. They do what they’re told by wealthy “donors” and the financial-military interests that really run the show, reciting the same old cliché-saturated lines day after day, bit players in a Theatre of the Absurd. Only one exhibit suffices. Reporter: “Are the airstrikes in Yemen working?” The President of the United States: “Well, when you say working, are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they gonna continue? Yes.” The same in what passes for “strategic thinking” applies to Ukraine. The Hegemon is not being lured into fighting in West Asia – as much as the genocidal arrangement in Tel Aviv, in tandem with US Zio-cons, wants to drag it into a war on Iran.

Still, the imperial machine is being steered to keep the Forever Wars engine running, non-stop, at varying speeds. The elites in charge are way more clinical than the whole Team Biden. They know they will not win in what will soon be country 404. But the tactical victory, so far, is massive: enormous profits out of the frantic weaponizing; totally gutting European industry and sovereignty; reducing the EU to the sub-status of a lowly vassal; and from now on plenty of time to find new proxy warriors against Russia – from Polish and Baltic fanatics to the whole Takfiri-neo ISIS galaxy.

Read more …

“I think Russia sent a very clear message in killing these mercenaries: If you are going to send them over here, if you are going to send that materiel, we’re gonna kill you..”

Western Mercenaries Used To Fill Kiev’s Expertise Gaps – Larry Johnson (RT)

Ukraine is probably experiencing a shortage of soldiers who can handle complex Western weapons systems, former CIA analyst Larry Johnson has told RT. A Russian report this week about a strike on “French mercenaries” in Kharkov may be a warning to would-be clandestine arms technicians that Paris plans to supply, he believes. France has denied having mercenaries in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world, responding to the statement by the Defense Ministry of Russia. Moscow said some 60 foreign fighters, most of them French, died in the long-range attack. Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron has announced plans to supply additional air-launched SCALP cruise missiles to support Kiev’s fight.

“I strongly suspect that many of those French ‘mercenaries’ – and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brits and Americans scattered in there as well – are being brought in to help operate systems that they’ve been trained on previously in prior military careers,” Johnson said. He named the US-made long-range Patriot anti-aircraft missile and the Storm Shadow, the British counterpart to SCALP, as examples of donated arms that may require competent foreign staff to deploy. France is making itself a target by openly arming Kiev, Johnson told the broadcaster, contrasting current events with how the US acted in the past, when it sought to undermine the USSR. “When the US ran covert operations through the CIA to fund the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets, it was done with some measure of secrecy and at least keeping up a pretense that we were not directly in conflict,” he pointed out.

“I think Russia sent a very clear message in killing these mercenaries: If you are going to send them over here, if you are going to send that materiel, we’re gonna kill you,” the analyst added. Johnson believes that Moscow could have acted in a far bolder manner in targeting Ukraine’s foreign donors, and that its reluctance to do so has been taken in the West as a sign of weakness. “It’s not that, but the West has a track record of misinterpreting Russia on many points,” he commented.

Read more …

“There was a time when our grandfathers and great grandfathers fought together against fascism. Now, it turns out that French mercenaries are dying for the Nazi regime in Ukraine..”

French Mercenaries Dying For A Nazi Regime – Russia’s Top MP (RT)

The French public and lawmakers should be aware that their compatriots are fighting and dying as mercenaries in Ukraine, Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said on Friday. The senior lawmaker was commenting on an announcement by the Defense Ministry in Moscow earlier this week, which said some 60 foreign fighters, most of them French citizens, were killed by a Russian long-range strike on the city of Kharkov on Tuesday. The Russian military described them as “mercenaries,” although the French Foreign Ministry disputed this description, insisting that Paris “has no ‘mercenaries’ either in Ukraine or anywhere else.”

In a post on social media, Volodin said the lower chamber of the Russian parliament will soon consider a formal request to French lawmakers about the incident. “There was a time when our grandfathers and great grandfathers fought together against fascism. Now, it turns out that French mercenaries are dying for the Nazi regime in Ukraine,” he stressed. On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned French Ambassador to Moscow Pierre Levy in connection with the incident. Ukrainian officials have denied the veracity of the Russian military’s announcement and have claimed that Moscow’s forces only hit civilian targets in Kharkov on Tuesday.

Last summer, the Le Monde newspaper reported that French national intelligence estimated the number of its nationals fighting in Ukraine at 320. The overall pool of would-be recruits was put at 800, including 120 identified as far-right and 40 deemed ultra-left in terms of ideology. Overwhelmingly, they wanted to fight for Kiev rather than Moscow. The report followed the arrest in April of two men who had returned to Paris from Ukraine, illegally carrying assault rifle magazines and optical sights. The local press described them as far-right individuals who were previously known to the French General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI). Both were sentenced to 15 months in jail, nine of which were suspended.

Read more …

“A “free American” has ceased to exist. Such an American predates 1913..”

Americans Enslaved Themselves to the State When They Accepted Income Tax (PCR)

It was not until 1913, 137 years after the Declaration of Independence established a free people who are no longer free, that there was an income tax. Years ago I researched and wrote the story of how it happened. It exists somewhere in print. In the old analogue, library card file days, it would have been easy to find. The income tax required a Constitutional Amendment. I remember some of the story. What I remember is this: The threshold for being subject to income tax was high, and the first rate was 1%. The Georgia legislature voted to ratify the amendment because as one legislative leader concluded, “there’s no one in Georgia with an income high enough to be subject to the tax. Let the Yankees tax themselves. Why should we object.” There was no vision of the future. 1913 was also the year that the Federal Reserve, with its policy of depression, inflation, recession, and inflation, was established and unleashed on America, and it was also the year that World War I and its inflation was about to be launched by the French, Russian, and British Governments.

War and inflation quickly brought income tax home to insouciant Americans who thought they were exempt.In 1963 prior to the Kennedy tax rate reductions the top tax rate was 91% on incomes above $200,000. Kennedy left it at 70%. Reagan left it at 50%. Today it is 39.6%, or with rounding 40% The highest medieval tax rate on serfs was 30%. Anything higher and they revolted and killed the feudal lords. 50% was the highest tax rate on cotton plantation slaves. The other 50% of their work went for their food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. What is indisputable is that for more than a hundred years the tax rate on American citizens has been higher or equal to the tax rate on medieval serfs and 19th century plantation slaves. What does this mean? It means that Americans and the entirety of Europeans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders are slaves in the same sense that blacks were slaves on southern cotton plantations.

The historical fact is that a free person is a person who owns his own labor. Just as a slave does not own his own labor, neither does any person who is subject to income tax. In the anti-South propaganda in the 19th century, such as the propagandistic “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” southern slave owners are portrayed unrealistically as demoralizing their work force and destroying their capital investments in human labor by demoralizing and alienating their slaves by separating families and whipping, beating, and raping their work force. A slave was expensive. To abuse him or her is the equivalent of abusing an expensive piece of machinery. It makes no sense for an owner to abuse his own resources. Yet southern planation owners are portrayed as people who ran torture prisons.

Neither the South nor the United States are responsible for black slaves in America. The slaves that came to the New World came from the Black Kingdom of Dahomey’s slave wars. The captured slaves were carried to the New World in ships often financed by Jews. The southern plantations were not responsible for the origin of their work force. Indeed, it was an inherited institution. For decades as April 15 approached, I pointed out that it is today’s white people who pay the income taxes who are the real victims of slavery. Even after the Reagan marginal tax rate reductions, Americans pay a higher rate of tax, that is, they are more enslaved, than medieval serfs and are almost exploited by “their government” to the same extent as 19th century black slaves. So what is “white privilege”? It is to be a slave owned by Washington, used to support privileged people of color, including millions of immigrant-invaders settled by Democrats on American slaves who pay for their upkeep?

A “free American” has ceased to exist. Such an American predates 1913. The American liberal-left doesn’t mind being enslaved to a good cause–the coercive use of American citizens to support causes that the people reject, such as the normalization of sexual perversion, the genocide of the Palestinians, the demonization of white people, the use of the “justice system” to destroy ideological and political opponents. Today the insouciant American people are enslaved for causes that are to their detriment, unlike the plantation’s agenda of growing cotton. The American people voluntarily accepted slavery, because they thought it would apply to others–the rich. But as multi-billionaire Warren Buffet has said, his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does.

Read more …

“I’m telling you, you’re wrong about these things, and you don’t listen.”

The Biden Laptop is Proven Authentic as Past Deniers Double Down (Turley)

After years of suppressing the story and casting doubts over its authenticity, many in the media in the last year have belatedly and reluctantly acknowledged that the Hunter Biden laptop is real. Some of us reached that conclusion years ago due to the self-authenticating emails confirmed by third parties. However, the denials and doubts have continued, including most recently by Rep. Dan Goldman (D., N.Y.) in hearings. The Justice Department has now again confirmed the authenticity and added details on why these denials are unsupported. This week, the Justice Department confirmed that the laptop was authenticated through forensic examination and a search warrant on Hunter’s Apple iCloud. Hunter’s electronic devices were backed up on the Cloud and “the results of the search were largely duplicative of information investigators had already obtained from Apple.”

That is only the latest such confirmation, but some have continued to desperately cast doubts the laptop, which Hunter himself said might be the product of Russian intelligence. Once again, the last dogs in this fruitless fight are the most partisan among us. Rep. Goldman, for example, recently lambasted witnesses who referenced the laptop and challenged the credibility of a journalist who cited the laptop. Goldman attacked Journalist Michael Shellenberger and declared “You have no idea, you know hard drives can be manipulated. Hard drives can be manipulated by Rudy Giuliani or Russia. There is actual evidence of it, but the point is it’s not the same thing.” Goldman has never revealed the “actual evidence” showing that the laptop is fake or why the Justice Department and FBI are making the same false claim in court if such evidence exists.

The same week that the Biden Administration again confirmed the authenticity of the laptop, one of the loudest laptop deniers wrote a telling column on why the public should avoid researching such questions on their own. The Washington Post’s Philip Bump has repeatedly pushed false stories from Lafayette Park to Russian collusion to the laptop. Even after many in the media admitted that the laptop was authentic, Bump was still declaring that it was a “conspiracy theory.” Recently, in response to a column on these false claims, the Post remarkably declared that Bump’s original claims on Lafayette Park, the Hunter Biden laptop, and Russian collusion were true and they stand by them. This week, Bump warned citizens that they needed to continue to get their news from the media and not try to learn the truth on their own.

In a column titled “Doing your own research is a good way to end up being wrong,” Bump states without an sense of self-awareness that citizens will often “embrace dubious information supporting their belief than information that corroborates the allegations” — precisely what critics have accused Bump of doing for years on the laptop and other false stories. Bump’s column is a must read for understanding the sense of entitlement of columnists in today’s age of “advocacy journalism.” It is consistent with what Bump said in an interview last year before he walked out after being confronted about false stories. In a podcast interview with Noam Dworman, Bump became exasperated and said “I’m gonna lose my mind” when Dworman offered facts contradicting his view. Ironically, when Dworman noted that half of the country does not believe his positions, Bump shot back “I know, because half the country doesn’t actually dig into the issues.”

However, Bump does not believe that they should actually dig into the issues but accept his view. He chastised Dworman and the public “because you don’t listen to the press. I’m sitting here and I’m telling you, you’re wrong about these things, and you don’t listen … you refuse to listen to what I’m saying to you. You asked me on to present evidence. I keep telling you.” Indeed, Bump and others kept telling people that the laptop was a “conspiracy theory” and possible Russian disinformation. Now, he is reminding people not to do their own research as the Post expressly declared that the prior false claims in his columns were actually true. This is why, at the start of our Republic, alternative media sprang up with pamphleteers like Thomas Paine. Citizens rejected the state-supporting media and searched for their own sources. Today citizen journalists can be found on the Internet in blogs and other sites that carry opposing views or accounts.

The media is already moving to be sure that the public is limited in what they are allowed to see or hear. After Donald Trump won the Iowa caucuses, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained to viewers that the network had decided that they should not hear Trump’s victory speech because he would only tell them “untrue things.” As noted by Bump, citizens are much safer to just accept what they are given and avoid the temptation to do their own research. Censorship is now actually proclaimed as a form of virtue signaling, assuring viewers that they will not have to hear certain opposing views or figures. There is little tolerance for those who insist on seeking out such news. After all, as the Post’s Bump explained, “I’m telling you, you’re wrong about these things, and you don’t listen.”

Read more …

“.. the loving smile of the life-giver caressing humanity like a spring zephyr wafting through the piney Schwarzwald on a June morning..”

The Goddess of the WEF (Kunstler)

Tell me: is there a fairer grandmotherly face than this in all of Western Civ? Does it not seem to radiate eons of aggregate wisdom, maternal kindness, bountiful nurture, caring, and healing, and even a hint of fun in the nursury. . . the rectified essence of Teutonic beauty, fertility, vitality, and virtue. . . the loving smile of the life-giver caressing humanity like a spring zephyr wafting through the piney Schwarzwald on a June morning? That is exactly why Ursula von der Leyen was (s)elected President of the European Commission, and why she was sent out to front the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week in her keynote speech to the assembled global grandees of Davos in the dead chill of January. It’s one thing when a cadaverous goblin such as Yuval Noah Harari tells you to eat bugs, and quite another thing when Oma Ursula tells you Keine Sorge, Kinder. Alles ist gut.

Ursula did offer us children-of-the-world one wee note of caution, though, as every good “grammy” might give to the global kindergarten: watch out for misinformation and disinformation on the internet! Like the evil imps of the Germanic Märchen, these wicked forces lurk and propagate on the internet — waiting to dash all of the WEF’s benevolent plans for our utopian future. That’s why, she explained, the European Commission has drawn up the Digital Services Act — because misinfo and disinfo can fluoresce into hate speech, the most dangerous thing in the world. It must be stomped out! Ground into the dirt under a boot heel! Misinfo and disinfo about what, exactly? Ursula omitted to specify, but we can guess, can’t we? For instance, about how more and more every year the WEF seems to operate like a global racketeering operation, seeking the levers of control in all the naughtiest sovereign nations of the earth overpopulated with “useless eaters” who are remorselessly busy wrecking the climate to enjoy, say, in the case of the USA, their loathsome motor-sports, mega-churches, gun shows, hot-tubs, and Golden Corral All-You-Can-Eat buffets!

The WEF, a racket? A cabal of haughty control freaks? What a hateful thing to say, after everything kindly onkel Schwabenklaus has done for mankind! It hurts our feelings to hear this! Yet, why do scores of billionaires flock to the yearly Davos meet-up and coordinate their funding streams into countless NGOs and shadowy activist organizations aimed at manipulating the activities of governments around the world? I assure you it’s hardly for the fabulous hors d’oeuvre platters or the even more fabulous on-call hookers. (The nabobs of finance must be satisfied with the services of their personal chefs and masseuses.) Ursula says the WEF notables meet annually “because our democracies and our businesses have interests that align: creating prosperity, wealth and security for people, creating a stable environment to unlock innovation and investment, and creating equal opportunity and freedom.”

I have some disappointing news for you: grandmother Ursula is lying (alas, we live in time of epic disappointments). If the WEF wanted “stability” you would not see Alex (and papa George) Soros pouring money into every county DA election from Maine to California to make sure that looting, car-jacking, and mayhem go unpunished. . . or that men of military age from every failed state on the planet get flown across the oceans to NGO-supported waystations in Central America so that the cartels of Mexico can take over the final leg of their illegal entry into the USA. . . or ditto the boats ferrying Africans and Arabs across the Mediterranean to overwhelm the societies of Europe — including especially Grammy Ursula’s Germany.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Ruyi bridge

 

 

Elephant

 

 

 

 

Lynx


“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”

Meet my mum
https://twitter.com/i/status/1748296319381176655

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 192024
 


Claude Monet The house at Yerres 1876

 

‘We Are Attacking Iran’ – Netanyahu (RT)
West Aware Zelensky ‘Getting Out Of Control’ – Lavrov (RT)
Zelensky’s Proposal for Russian Surrender Ridiculed (Sp.)
How the West Was Defeated (Pepe Escobar)
Russia Can’t Trust West – Lavrov (RT)
To End The War In Ukraine, Expose Its Core Lie (TLI)
The New British-Ukrainian Defense Agreement Is Great News For Russia (Poletaev)
Strikes On Mercenaries In Ukraine ‘Painful For The West’ (RT)
NATO Personnel In Ukraine Now ‘Fair Game’ For Russia – Scott Ritter (RT)
Johnson Throws Cold Water on Ukraine Funding, Prioritizing Border Security (Sp.)
Anti-Russian Leader A Favorite For Top EU Job – Politico (RT)
Judge In Trump-Georgia Case Orders Fani Willis To Explain Allegations (ZH)
Who Praised Javier Milei’s Anti-Socialism Speech Seen 27 Million Times (CS)
Can the World Afford Its First Trillionaire? (Robert Bridge)

 

 

 

 

98%

 

 

 

 

Yanis Day X

 

 

 

 

Israel can’t even beat Hamas. Fighting Iran would mean US involvement.

‘We Are Attacking Iran’ – Netanyahu (RT)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is making every possible effort to “prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons” and that Israel is already carrying out direct attacks on the Islamic Republic. Answering a reporter’s question in Tel Aviv on Saturday about why Israel is conducting attacks on Iran’s proxies rather than attacking Iran directly, Netanyahu replied: “Who says we are not attacking Iran, we are attacking.” Israel claims Iran was involved in plotting the October 7 attacks, when around 1,200 Israelis were killed and scores taken hostage in the Hamas surprise raid near Gaza. Israel retaliated by shelling the Palestinian enclave with artillery and airstrikes, so far leaving about 24,000 dead, according to local health officials. The operation is aimed at wiping out the militant group, Israel says.Israel has previously openly accused Iran of aiding Hamas “with money, training and weapons and technological know-how” and intelligence.

“Iran is standing behind it. We are in conflict with Iran. Imagine not what Iran can do to us, to destroy us,” Netanyahu said. Israel will only agree to a deal that sees it gain security control over all of Gaza, Netanyahu added. Iran has denied any role in the Hamas assault on Israel, with Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani saying such accusations were “based on political reasons.” Netanyahu added that “Iran is the head of the octopus and you see its tentacles all around from the Houthis to Hezbollah to Hamas.” Iran has widely been seen by Israel and the US and as the major destabilizing power in the Middle East, allegedly supplying weapons, military expertise, and training to Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The US has previously alleged that Iran is “deeply involved” in Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, claiming that it has provided the rebels with drones, missiles, and intelligence. Tehran has denied the allegation, insisting that “resistance groups” are acting independently and “not taking orders from Tehran to confront the war crimes and genocide committed by Israel.” Israel rarely publicly admits to attacking Iran directly, but the Islamic Republic has long been a target of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his several terms in power. In December former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett revealed that Israel had attacked an unmanned aerial vehicle base in Iran and assassinated a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander. Bennett, who was Israeli prime minister from June 2021 to June 2022, made the admission in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1748094652912193949

Read more …

“..The contradictory rhetoric “only reflects the wish of that individual and his associates… to keep power as much as they can..”

West Aware Zelensky ‘Getting Out Of Control’ – Lavrov (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is becoming increasingly unhinged as he clings to power, and his Western backers are looking for ways to keep him in check, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed on Thursday. Calls for Ukraine to hold a presidential election this year are part of that effort, he believes. A number of Western politicians have suggested that Ukraine should hold general elections that are due in 2024. Normal democratic procedures in the country were suspended under martial law, but the country could amend its laws to allow the election to go ahead. Zelensky has been sending mixed signals on the matter, alternately saying that he is willing to run for another term under certain circumstances and claiming that the Ukrainian people would not want an election while the country is fighting.

The contradictory rhetoric “only reflects the wish of that individual and his associates… to keep power as much as they can,” Lavrov remarked. Meanwhile, the West “would have liked to have more flexibility,” considering Kiev’s failure to score successes on the battlefield, he added. Having Zelensky run a re-election campaign “would put him more in line with Western interests, because he has been increasingly getting out of control,” the Russian foreign minister suggested. The Russian government does not care about Zelensky’s personal fate, Lavrov said. US Senator Lindsey Graham publicly called on Zelensky to hold a presidential election when he visited Kiev last September. He said this would show that Ukraine embraces “democracy and freedom.” Similar calls have come from other officials on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ukraine is due to vote this year not only for a new president, but also for a new parliament. The current composition of the national legislature gives Zelensky’s Servant of the People party a unilateral majority, but it is far from guaranteed to keep it in the event of an election. A survey released last month by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KMIS) indicated a drop in public faith in the parliament. In the year since December 2022, the number of people distrusting the institution has grown from 34% to 61%. Zelensky’s own trust rating dropped from 84% to 62% in 12 months, according to the same poll.

Read more …

“And on there is Zelensky’s demand for a little pink pony with a little pretty ribbon on top..”

Zelensky’s Proposal for Russian Surrender Ridiculed (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky unveiled a diplomatic proposal to end the long-running conflict in the Donbass region this week, but observers say the controversial leader’s “peace formula” is little more than wishful thinking. “It is the opposite of a peace formula,” said security analyst Mark Sleboda on Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Thursday. “It is a childish demand for Russian unconditional surrender that Russia should withdraw all of its troops from Ukrainian territory – including Crimea – [and] surrender the people of Crimea and Donbass to the tender mercies of Azov* Neo-Nazis.” Among the elements of Zelensky’s proposition is a call for Russia to put political and military leaders on trial and pay reparations to the Kiev regime.

“And on there is Zelensky’s demand for a little pink pony with a little pretty ribbon on top,” Sleboda added sarcastically. “This is a fantastical, maximalist demand. It is not a peace formula, which is why the Global South is just like, ‘Do we have to sit through another one of these things?’ And spoiler, China didn’t even bother to show up.” Zelensky unveiled the proposal at the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland earlier this week. Sleboda noted the venue was likely chosen to improve attendance as Zelensky has struggled to find an audience for such speeches in recent months. Zelensky has released similar proposals in the past although none have gained traction given Ukraine’s struggles on the battlefield. Sleboda noted that even The New York Times admitted Ukraine was losing, although indirectly.

“Even this article in the New York Times – if you scroll down into it long enough – they go through the list of demands and then they say ‘all of these demands are considered by analysts and even politicians backing the proposal to be unreachable, given the current balance of forces on the battlefield.’” Sleboda pointed out. “Which is a nice way of saying the Kiev regime is losing.” Discussion then shifted towards Russia’s recent targeting of mercenary fighters in Kharkov earlier this week. “Unfortunately for the mercenaries, things aren’t working out real well for them on the battlefield,” said host Garland Nixon. “Well, come to think of it, they’re not getting to the battlefield.”

Sleboda pointed out the alleged French mercenaries were reported to be working with the Russian Volunteers Corps, a neo-Nazi group that has been banned in Europe. “This isn’t like a safari tour in Afghanistan or Iraq or somewhere where they go out and kill some largely helpless villagers with AK-47s,” said Sleboda. “You’re fighting a world power that has ballistic cruise and hypersonic missiles dropping 1,500-pound, guided bombs on you and everything else.” “So yeah, newsflash: you don’t belong here. And if you insist on coming here then you’ll be priority target number one.”

Read more …

“..Let’s focus on what would be the 12 Greatest Hits of his remarkable exercise..”

How the West Was Defeated (Pepe Escobar)

Emmanuel Todd, historian, demographer, anthropologist, sociologist and political analyst, is part of a dying breed: one of the very few remaining exponents of old school French intelligentzia – a heir to those like Braudel, Sartre, Deleuze and Foucault who dazzled successive young Cold War generations from the West down to the East. The first nugget concerning his latest book, La Défaite de L’Occident (“The Defeat of the West”) is the minor miracle of actually being published last week in France, right within the NATO sphere: a hand grenade of a book, by an independent thinker, based on facts and verified data, blowing up the whole Russophobia edifice erected around the “aggression” by “Tsar” Putin. At least some sectors of strictly oligarch-controlled corporate media in France simply could not ignore Todd this time around for several reasons.

Most of all because he was the first Western intellectual, already in 1976, to have predicted the fall of the USSR in his book La Chute Finale, with his research based on Soviet infant mortality rates. Another key reason was his 2002 book Apres L’Empire, a sort of preview of the Empire’s Decline and Fall published a few months before Shock & Awe in Iraq. Now Todd, in what he has defined as his last book (“I closed the circle”) allows himself to go for broke and meticulously depict the defeat not only of the US but of the West as a whole – with his research focusing in and around the war in Ukraine. Considering the toxic NATOstan environment where Russophobia and cancel culture reign supreme, and every deviation is punishable, Todd has been very careful not to frame the current process as a Russian victory in Ukraine (although that’s implied in everything he describes, ranging from several indicators of social peace to the overall stability of the “Putin system”, which is “a product of the history of Russia, and not the work of one man”).

Rather, he focuses on the key reasons that have led to the West’s downfall. Among them: the end of the nation-state; de-industrialization (which explains NATO’s deficit in producing weapons for Ukraine); the “degree zero” of the West’s religious matrix, Protestantism; the sharp increase of mortality rates in the US (much higher than in Russia), along with suicides and homicides; and the supremacy of an imperial nihilism expressed by the obsession with Forever Wars. Todd methodically analyses, in sequence, Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Germany, Britain, Scandinavia and finally The Empire. Let’s focus on what would be the 12 Greatest Hits of his remarkable exercise.

1. At the start of the Special Military Operation (SMO) in February 2022, the combined GDP of Russia and Belarus was only 3.3% of the combined West (in this case the NATO sphere plus Japan and South Korea). Todd is amazed how these 3.3% capable of producing more weapons than the whole Western colossus not only are winning the war but reducing dominant notions of the “neoliberal political economy” (GDP rates) to shambles.
2. The “ideological solitude” and “ideological narcissism” of the West – incapable of understanding, for instance, how “the whole Muslim world seems to consider Russia as a partner rather than an adversary”.
3. Todd eschews the notion of “Weberian states” – evoking a delicious compatibility of vision between Putin and US realpolitik practitioner John Mearsheimer. Because they are forced to survive in an environment where only power relations matters, states are now acting as “Hobbesian agents.” And that brings us to the Russian notion of a nation-state, focused on “sovereignty”: the capacity of a state to independently define its internal and external policies, with no foreign interference whatsoever.

Read more …

“The West cannot be trusted. Even now, it wants only one thing – to live at the expense of others and to be more clever than others.”

Russia Can’t Trust West – Lavrov (RT)

The Ukraine conflict has helped Russia overcome the misconception that it can trust the West, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. Speaking at a press conference on Thursday on Moscow’s diplomacy in 2023, Lavrov argued that Russia’s military operation against Kiev has had positive consequences domestically, including a reinvigorating effect on society which has helped to bring people together. He added that the conflict, which also ushered in unprecedented Western sanctions, allowed the country’s economy to make great strides in both civilian and military production. The West’s “hybrid aggression,” which encompassed many areas, played a role in “making us understand how to go on living,” Lavrov said. “If there had been any illusions left over from the 1990s, that the West would open its arms to embrace us and that democracy would unite us all, they have been completely dispelled.”

“The West cannot be trusted. Even now, it wants only one thing – to live at the expense of others and to be more clever than others.” Lavrov’s comments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted last month that he was “naive” early on in his political career, despite having served in the Soviet KGB. He said he believed that there was no fundamental reason for the West and Moscow to be at odds after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, in reality, the former was seeking to break Russia into several entities with less ability to protect their national interests, the president stated. Putin had previously warned that a breakup of the country could lead to the Russian people ceasing to exist altogether, adding that unity is the key condition for the country’s success.

Read more …

“..That falsehood, repeated by President Joe Biden, is that when Vladimir Putin decided to invade, he intended to conquer all of Ukraine and “annihilate” it..”

To End The War In Ukraine, Expose Its Core Lie (TLI)

The essential argument used to avoid negotiation and continue support for the war in Ukraine is based on a falsehood. That falsehood, repeated by President Joe Biden, is that when Vladimir Putin decided to invade, he intended to conquer all of Ukraine and “annihilate” it. Its falsity has been exposed multiple times by military experts, who have pointed out, both before and after the invasion, that Russia could not have intended to conquer all of Ukraine because it did not invade with sufficient forces to do so. Indeed, this was a key reason why senior Ukrainian officials, and even President Volodymyr Zelensky himself, argued just days before the invasion that it would not occur. The mistake that most analysts at the time made (these authors included), was to assume that since the troops mobilized by Russia did not suffice for a full scale occupation of Ukraine, no military operation, not even a limited one, was in the offing.

It was only later that Western political leaders turned this mistake to their propaganda advantage by insisting that Russia had always intended to first take Kiev, then all of Ukraine, and ultimately even attack NATO. But if basic military logic is taken into account, the fact that Putin committed only 120,000–190,000 men to his campaign and did not mobilize more resources until months later, after Kiev rejected the Istanbul peace deal, indicates that his objectives in Ukraine were limited and revolved around guaranteeing the security of the populations of Donbass and Crimea from Ukrainian assaults and Russia from NATO expansion. Given that Ukraine had cut off Crimea’s water and electricity years before, this required a land bridge to the region; hence, the illegal annexations of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

We also have indirect confirmation that territory was not his objective from an unimpeachable source: NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, who stated that Putin invaded Ukraine to prevent NATO’s expansion. This would explain why, as soon as these goals were within reach when Ukrainian officials initialed the draft of the Istanbul Agreement in March 2022, Putin halted his assault and withdrew Russian forces from Kiev, rather than move further into Ukraine. This background is important, because the argument for increasing Western military support for Ukraine relies so heavily on the claim that Russia always intended to expand further, attack NATO, and reestablish the Russian empire. But, as noted scholar John Mearsheimer has pointed out, “there is no evidence in the public record that Putin was contemplating, much less intending to put an end to Ukraine as an independent state and make it part of greater Russia when he sent his troops into Ukraine on February 24th.”

It was never one of Putin’s stated goals, nor was it ever taken seriously by the Ukrainian leadership. David Arakhamia, the head of Ukraine’s negotiating team in Belarus and Istanbul, recently revealed that the “key point” for Russia was Ukraine not joining NATO, and “everything else was simply rhetoric and political ‘seasoning.’” Putin himself has consistently said that “this conflict is not about territory…[it] is about the principles underlying the new international order.” We should not take him at his word, but it is still worth asking: had Putin’s ambitions been territorial, would he have waited until 2014 to annex Crimea? Would the upper house of Russia’s parliament have rescinded Putin’s temporary authority to use troops in Ukraine in June 2015? Would he have opposed the 2014 independence referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk?

Read more …

“..The document practically states that all the activities of the Ukrainian state will revolve around the interests of the UK..”

The New British-Ukrainian Defense Agreement Is Great News For Russia (Poletaev)

So, six months down the line, the current UK prime minister arrived in Kiev and, in between the usual selfies with female train conductors, he signed the first UK-Ukraine agreement. The event didn’t receive widespread attention, but among the experts who have commented on it, opinions have differed markedly. Rishi Sunak’s opponents in the UK insist that it’s merely a PR move – an attempt to raise his faltering ratings, which have plunged to a record low. In Russia, some experts have called it a meaningless piece of paper, without thoroughly reading the document. For their part, Ukrainian analysts have declared the agreement to be an important milestone, an epochal moment, and tried to sell it as even more significant than actual accession to NATO.

The agreement is indeed important and is worth reading carefully. Firstly, the main slogan of the past two years (usually declared on behalf of the entire Western coalition) has been literally incorporated into the text: “The UK will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it needs, so that Ukraine can effectively defend itself.” In other words, it’s just like Boris Johnson said – we will not fight for you, but we’ll do what we can to help you. Secondly, for the next ten years – the entire duration of the agreement – the document notes that no territorial changes will be recognized. “The participants will work together, and with other partners of Ukraine, to ensure Ukrainian Armed Forces and security forces are able to fully restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.” As for the actual obligations on the part of the UK, the text includes only one point:

“In the event of a future Russian armed attack against Ukraine, at the request of either of the participants, the participants will consult within 24 hours to determine measures needed to counter or deter the aggression.” It further states: “The UK undertakes that, in those circumstances, and acting in accordance with its legal and constitutional requirements, it would: provide Ukraine with swift and sustained security assistance, modern military equipment across all domains as necessary, and economic assistance.” The amount of future economic assistance corresponds to the current military aid provided by the UK to Ukraine, which is believed to be between £2.3 billion ($2.9 billion) and £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) in 2023 and 2024.

In the rest of the document, we find non-binding general statements – for example, that the sides will “work together on deepening cooperation and partnership… strengthen [their] long-term relationship… provide advice and support… make significant contributions… create joint working groups…” and blah, blah, blah. All the usual technocratic claptrap of polite, mostly meaningless, words. Despite the general non-binding nature of the agreement, however, it clearly shows that Ukraine is getting tangled up in the web of Western influence and control. The document practically states that all the activities of the Ukrainian state will revolve around the interests of the UK: from the defense industry to civil and military construction, information security, the fight against corruption and organized crime, the distribution of humanitarian aid, and general economic issues. It gives global financial institutions virtually unlimited access to Ukraine.

Moreover, among the numerous Western-style reforms that Ukraine is obliged to carry out, the agreement stipulates “democratic civilian control of the Armed Forces, [as] an important indicator of the non-politicization of the Armed Forces.” This looks a lot like an attempt by Zelensky to enlist the support of the West in his conflict with Zaluzhny. Ukraine has been quick to declare that the Sunak-Zelensky deal will serve as an example for similar agreements with other G7 countries (France will probably sign a similar document next month). Such agreements will provide a legal backbone for the West’s Ukraine policy, which can be explained as follows: Kiev is the West’s tool. It sends the Ukrainians a clear signal: You are our outpost, our weapon, our battering ram, or whatever else, but you are not one of us. We will not put ourselves at risk for your sake, and there’s no place for you under the NATO umbrella.

Read more …

“The Russian military said that it targeted a “temporary assembly point of foreign fighters” in Kharkov..”

Strikes On Mercenaries In Ukraine ‘Painful For The West’ (RT)

Russia’s elimination of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine hurts the West because it demonstrates how Moscow can inflict “huge losses” with single precision strikes, Finnish news editor Janus Putkonen has told RT. The Russian military said that it targeted a “temporary assembly point of foreign fighters” in Kharkov on Tuesday, killing 60 foreign fighters and injuring more than 20 others, the majority of whom were “French mercenaries.” The French foreign ministry on Thursday denied the presence of any French mercenaries in Ukraine, although a pro-Russian resistance group in Kharkov told RIA Novosti that French-speaking personnel were present at the targeted building, and that some foreigners there had been “supervising” the RDK, a Ukrainian paramilitary unit associated with the country’s military intelligence agency.

“These kinds of strikes are painful for Western countries for sure, for many reasons,” Putkonen told RT. “[Western countries] are losing the information battle, because these mercenaries are at the forefront in Western propaganda for the war, and losing lots of them at the same time – hundreds of them in just a matter of days – is a major blow.” Tuesday’s strike is a microcosm of “the whole situation that is going on in Ukraine,” Putkonen continued. There are “huge losses” on the Ukrainian side, he explained, adding that while foreign soldiers can fight, they “cannot defend against precision strikes.” “Russia is calling the shots,” Putkonen concluded. Hours before the strike, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that his country could not allow Russia to win the conflict in Ukraine, and pledged further arms shipments to Kiev, including 40 SCALP air-launched cruise missiles. According to French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, the weapons are to be transferred in the first half of this year.

Read more …

“..it will make no distinction between the Ukrainian soldiers, foreign mercenaries, or members of NATO militaries operating on Ukrainian soil..”

NATO Personnel In Ukraine Now ‘Fair Game’ For Russia – Scott Ritter (RT)

Russia’s targeting of French-speaking personnel suggests that advisers from NATO countries operating in Ukraine have been put on notice, former US Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has said. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, more than 60 “foreign fighters” were killed and another 20 wounded in Tuesday’s high-precision strike on a building in Kharkov. Speaking with Sputnik on Thursday, Ritter pointed to the possibility that at least some of the French-speaking individuals may have been active-duty French military, “who were in Ukraine at the behest of their government, and now they’re dead.” “I think this shows a new mindset for the Russians,” he said. “In the past, Russia has not shown any hesitancy to eliminate foreign mercenaries fighting on behalf of the Ukrainian military. But there has seemed to be some sort of leniency towards military advisers or personnel who belong to NATO countries who are in Ukraine.”

If the fighters killed weren’t simply mercenaries but serving French military professionals, “this shows that Russia has made a decision that everybody in Ukraine now is fair game,” Ritter added. He suggested that this might mean Russia is moving to the “end of the game” in Ukraine, in which it will make no distinction between the Ukrainian soldiers, foreign mercenaries, or members of NATO militaries operating on Ukrainian soil. The Ukrainian side has given conflicting accounts of Tuesday’s strike, first saying the missiles hit an unused hospital and then that a residential building was struck causing civilian casualties. Donbass Insider Editor-in-chief Christelle Neant told RT on Thursday that “many wounded French-speaking individuals were admitted to hospitals” in Kharkov, according to Ukrainian intelligence sources.

Neant said that Kiev uses foreign mercenaries “primarily for media purposes” and that the Frenchmen in Kharkov may have been instructors teaching the Ukrainians how to handle weapons provided by the West. Earl Rasmussen of the Eurasia Center told RT that the Kharkov strike might be a message to Ukraine that Russia won’t treat Western fighters any differently than Ukrainian ones. He also allowed for the possibility the stricken foreigners may have been instructors. Thousands of fighters from the West flocked to Ukraine after the conflict with Russia escalated in February 2022, but their enthusiasm dropped off after up to 180 of them died in a missile strike on base in Yavorov in mid-March. Since then, almost 6,000 of the 13,500 foreigners who came to fight for Ukraine have been killed, and over 5,600 have returned home, the Russian Defense Ministry said earlier this month.

Read more …

“..before we even talk about Ukraine, I’m going to tell the president what I’m telling all of you and we’ve told the American people: border, border, border..”

Johnson Throws Cold Water on Ukraine Funding, Prioritizing Border Security (Sp.)

On Wednesday, US House Speaker Mike Johnson revealed his determination to continue with a stalemate between Democrats and Republicans regarding legislation that would pave the way for continued funding to Ukraine. The deal is currently being worked on in the Senate with the aim to pair border and immigration policy changes (what Republicans want) alongside funding for Ukraine (what Democrats are asking for). “I don’t think now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform because we know how complicated that is,” Johnson said early Wednesday. “You can’t do that quickly. I do think it’s past time to secure the border.” Biden called for the top four congressional leaders and other lawmakers, including Johnson to the White House in an effort to move forward with an agreement on legislation for border security and funding for Ukraine. The Senate has been working for weeks in an effort to craft some common ground legislation, but some senators last week said significant disagreements remain an issue.

“With regard to Ukraine, we have needed, we have requested publicly and privately in every form, answers to critical questions: What is the end game and the strategy in Ukraine? How will we have accountability for the funds?” said Johnson, seeming to suggest that a bipartisan deal may not be enough to encourage their support of continued funding for Ukraine. “We need to know that Ukraine would not be another Afghanistan.” “And you see a lot of the American people scratching their heads, having real questions about why that would continue without these appropriate answers. So I’m going to push for those. But before we even talk about Ukraine, I’m going to tell the president what I’m telling all of you and we’ve told the American people: border, border, border, we have to take care of our own house,” the house speaker said at a conference on Wednesday.

“We have to secure our own borders before we talk about doing anything else. And that’s the message I’ve had since day one. It’s the message we’ll continue to have.” Senator Mitch McConnell—who was reported to be one of the people invited to Wednesday’s meeting—said voting on the supplemental legislation could take place as soon as next week. “I am more optimistic than ever before that we come to an agreement,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, told reporters after Wednesday’s meeting. “There was a large amount of agreement around the table, that we must do Ukraine, and we must do border. There was tremendous focus on Ukraine, and an understanding that if we don’t come to Ukraine’s aid, that the consequences for America around the globe would be nothing short of devastating,” Schumer said.

Johnson said that the meeting was “productive” and that he had emphasized that US border security should be prioritized before Ukraine. “We understand the necessity about Ukraine funding and we want to say that the status quo is unacceptable,” Johnson said on Wednesday. “We need the Commander-in-Chief of this country, the President of the United States, to show strength on the world stage, and not weakness. We cannot continue with the current status quo.”

Read more …

“..the “dream team” of women some EU diplomats would like to see leading the bloc..”

Anti-Russian Leader A Favorite For Top EU Job – Politico (RT)

Estonian PM Kaja Kallas, an outspoken critic of Russia, is rumored to be on the “dream team” of women some EU diplomats would like to see leading the bloc after the European Parliament elections in June, Politico EU said on Thursday. The combination would see Kallas take over as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the post currently held by Spain’s Josep Borrell, while Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen would become the new chair of the European Council. Ursula von der Leyen of Germany would remain head of the European Commission and Roberta Metsola of Malta would keep chairing the European Parliament. “It’s my dream team,” a diplomat who asked for anonymity to speak freely told Politico. “It would send such a strong message.”

According to Politico, Kallas is a name “increasingly mentioned in corridor chats and over coffee,” given the Ukraine conflict. She has already put her name in the hat to succeed Jens Stoltenberg as the secretary-general of NATO. The Estonian leader has been an outspoken critic of Russia and a partisan of Kiev. Facing calls to resign last August, after Estonian media revealed that her husband Arvo Hallik held a stake in a shipping company operating in Russia despite the EU sanctions, Kallas refused and vowed to stay in power “for the freedom of Ukraine and for Estonia.” With Brussels former European Council President Donald Tusk now the prime minister of Poland, it is “simply impossible to avoid” giving Eastern Europe the foreign policy portfolio given the Ukraine conflict, one EU diplomat said.

The rumored “dream team” would give one leadership post each to the bloc’s east, west, north and south. The scheme would also “make sense” due to the political alignment within the EU, leaving the European People’s Party (EPP) in charge of the Commission and the Parliament, while the socialists run the Council and the “liberals” control the External Action Service. With Christine Lagarde of France as president of the European Central Bank until 2027 and Nadia Calviño of Spain in charge of the European Investment Bank, the EU’s most powerful positions would all be held by women, who are considered “underrepresented” in the bloc. No woman has ever chaired the European Council. Von der Leyen is the first at the head of the Commission. There have been three female chairs of the European Parliament since 1979 and two foreign policy heads – Catherine Ashton of the UK and Federica Mogherini of Italy – since the post was created in 1999.

Read more …

“..fatally defective..”

Judge In Trump-Georgia Case Orders Fani Willis To Explain Allegations (ZH)

The judge in the Trump-Georgia case has ordered Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) to answer to accusations that she hired her romantic partner as a top prosecutor on the case. Judge Scot McAfee on Thursday ordered Willis to respond to the allegations in writing by Feb. 2, and has scheduled a hearing on the matter for Feb. 15. The accusation, first found in a court filing by attorney and Trump co-defendant Mike Roman, accuses Willis of hiring her paramour Nathan Wade – whose involvement, Roman argues, makes the indictment “fatally defective.” Roman has asked McAfee to dismiss the charges, and to block the Fulton County DA’s office from further involvement in the case. Wade (who was hired without proper approval), is a private attorney in the midst of a divorce who “has little to no experience trying felony cases, much less complex RICO actions,” according to a 127-page filing in former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election trial in Georgia.

Wade ended up pocketing nearly $700,000 from Fulton county taxpayers – with which he allegedly took Willis on lavish vacations. He also billed taxpayers $2,000 to talk to the Biden White House about prosecuting Biden’s political opponent. Allegations surfaced last week from one of Trump’s co-defendants, Mike Roman, a political operative who served as Trump’s director of Election Day operations on his 2020 reelection campaign, who accused Willis and Wade of engaging in an “improper” romantic relationship. Citing “sources close” to both Willis and Wade, Roman’s lawyer, Ashleigh Merchant, claimed the pair have been involved in an “ongoing, personal and romantic relationship,” and went on vacations together. The filings argued the alleged relationship, which Merchant claims started before the election interference began, makes the indictment “fatally defective” and requests it be dismissed. -The Hill

During a church service last Sunday, Willis appeared to defend her actions. “I’m a little confused. I appointed three special counselors. It’s my right to do, paid them all the same hourly rate. They only attack one.” “I hired one white woman, a good personal friend and a great lawyer, a superstar, I tell you. I hired one white man — brilliant — my friend and a great lawyer. And I hired one Black man, another superstar, a great friend and a great lawyer,” she continued, without referencing Wade by name. “The Black man I chose has been a judge for more than 10 years, run[s] a private practice more than 20 [years],” said Willis. “Represented businesses in civil litigation … served a prosecutor, a criminal defense lawyer, special assistant attorney general.” Willis then pretended to talk to God, asking: “God, isn’t it them who’s playing the race card when they only question one?”

How many of the other attorneys was Fani (allegedly) banging? More recently we learned that Fani was coordinating with the Jan. 6 committee to shape her case against Trump. In mid-April of 2022, Committee staff quietly met with attorneys working on the case in Fulton County for DA Fani Willis, right around the time she was preparing to convene a special grand jury investigation – during which she employed her alleged paramour, Nathan Wade, who would also coordinate with the Biden White House on their case. So – Fani coordinated with both the J6 committee and the White House, who helped them assemble their case against the former president.

Read more …

“..Milei’s speech has more views than all other speeches from 2024 combined, including those from the EU President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and French President Emmanuel Macron.”

Who Praised Javier Milei’s Anti-Socialism Speech Seen 27 Million Times (CS)

A number of high profile figures have lauded Argentinian President Javier Milei’s takedown of socialism and “international organizations” while speaking next to Klaus Schwab at his annual WEF Davos meeting. In what has easily become the most viral speech of the year, and most popular in WEF history, Milei lambasted Western governments for shrouding socialism in the guise of social justice, even taking a shot at the West’s “radical feminist agenda.” The WEF has understandably downplayed the significance of Milei’s speech. In their article summarizing Day 3 of the Davos meetings, Milei’s speech was pushed to the bottom and given an equally brief write-up as it was dry. Conversely, a number of high profile figures have offered praise of Milei’s speech. On X, a post of the speech has been seen over 27 million times.

X and Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted the speech and praised Milei for his “Good explanation of what makes countries more or less prosperous.” Musk also posted a meme on Thursday showing a man secretly watching Milei’s speech while having sex with a beautiful woman. Dr Jordan Peterson chimed in on Wednesday with a simple exclamation mark over another user’s post that read “Javier Milei just told a bunch of WEF socialists at Davos that they are THE PROBLEM, not the solution.”Former Republican candidate, and potential Donald Trump VP pick Vivek Ramiswamy, similarly posted three clapping emojis over the same post that Peterson commented on. Ramiswamy later posted: “The World Economic Forum is really just Old World Europe rearing its ugly head again. We fought a revolution in 1776 to say hell no to the Old World vision. It’s time we say so again: self-governance over aristocracy is what makes America great.”

On Thursday, Former US National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn posted: “The more I think about Argentine President Javier Milei’s speech at the WEF, the more I realize he gave the globalists a double barreled middle finger to them in their own board room. Well done!” Canadian Freedom Convoy organizer Tamara Lich said Milei dropped “truth bombs.” On YouTube, The WEF’s account shows that Milei’s speech has more views than all other speeches from 2024 combined, including those from the EU President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Milei

Read more …

“..the U.S. is the most unequal major economy in the world..”

Can the World Afford Its First Trillionaire? (Robert Bridge)

Since 2020, the wealthiest five individuals in the world have seen their fortunes explode, while during the same period some five billion people around the world have become poorer. The net worth of these billionaires – Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault and his family of luxury company LVMH, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Oracle founder Larry Ellison and investor Warren Buffett – has exploded 114% to $869 billion, after taking inflation into account, according to Oxfam’s annual inequality report. Currently, Elon Musk, who runs several companies, including Tesla and SpaceX, is the richest man on the planet, with a personal fortune of just under $250 billion. “We have the top five billionaires, they have doubled their wealth. On the other hand, almost 5 billion people have become poorer,” Amitabh Behar, Oxfam’s interim executive director, told reporters in Davos, Switzerland, the site of this year’s World Economic Forum.

“Very soon, Oxfam predicts that we will have a trillionaire within a decade,” Behar said. “Whereas to fight poverty, we need more than 200 years.” To put the idea of a trillionaire (a thousand billions) into some perspective, the United States currently spends about that much annually on its entire military machine. In total, billionaires have seen their wealth explode by $3.3 trillion, or 34%, since 2020, with their fortunes expanding three times faster than the rate of inflation, according to Oxfam. American billionaires, many of whom accrue their wealth from the equity in the companies they lead, have become $1.6 trillion richer. The driving force behind this massive surge in personal profits is raw corporate power. Seventy percent of the world’s largest business interests have either a billionaire at the helm or a billionaire as its principal shareholder.

Moreover, the top 1% of income earners possesses 43% of the world’s financial assets, according to Oxfam, which pooled its data from Wealth X. In the United States, this group owns 32%; in Asia, it’s 50%. In the Middle East, the top 1% holds 48% of the financial wealth, while in Europe, it’s 47%. About 150 of the world’s largest corporations made nearly $1.8 trillion in profits in the one year leading up to June 2023, Oxfam reported. That’s 52.5% more than their average was between 2018 to 2021. While economic inequality is as old as Rome, in the United States the disparity has increased dramatically over the last four decades. Inequality can be measured in a variety of ways, frequently using income. The Gini coefficient, developed by Italian Statistician Corrado Gini in 1921, is one of the most accurate measures of how income is distributed across the population with 0 being perfectly equal (where everyone receives an equal share) and 1 being completely unequal (where 100 percent of income goes to only one person).

The United States has a Gini coefficient of 0.485, the highest it has been in half a century, according to the Census Bureau, far exceeding that of other advanced economies. This measurement proves that the U.S. is the most unequal major economy in the world. In 1980, the top 1 percent of earners in the United States earned a little over 10 percent of the country’s income. Currently, they bring home about 20 percent, more than the entire bottom half of earners. Despite its massive amount of inequality, Americans have shown tremendous patience with the status quo. The last time there was any sort of backlash against the 1% came in 2011 with the Occupy Wall Street protests, where thousands of protesters railed against economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of money in politics.

Americans showed that they had had enough following the 2008 bank bailouts under the George W. Bush administration that utilized taxpayer funds to purchase toxic assets from ‘too big to fail’ banks and financial institutions. Protesters were also enraged by the undue influence of corporate money in the US political process. Today, Wall Street quietly goes about its business of making obscene amounts of money, while much of the public’s attention is preoccupied with other matters unconnected to class, like race, gender, and identity politics, trifles which the corporate-owned mainstream media is only too happy to promote. Whether it will take the world’s first trillionaire to make the people ‘class conscious’ once again remains to be seen.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Babies swimming

 

 


Squint your eyes, and the diamonds morph into squares.

 

 

Cary Grant

 

 

Petals

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 162023
 


Pablo Picasso TheBull state VII 1945

 

US Is ‘Going To Hell’ – Trump (RT)
Prosecutors Want To Silence Trump With Gag Order (RT)
Judge Halts New York Attorney General’s Fraud Trial Against Trump (ET)
Judge Delays Trial For Trump, Others In Georgia 2020 Election Case (Pol.)
Trump To Be ‘Imprisoned With Ivanka’ Says Maxine Waters As Trials Delayed (ZH)
Trump Ready to State Under Oath He Didn’t Order Mar-a-Lago Tapes Deleted (Sp.)
Trump ‘Liked’ What Putin Said About Him (RT)
The Conundrum (James Howard Kunstler)
Bidengate: Why Joe’s 2024 Bid Seems Doomed (Sp.)
Opposition to Further Ukraine Aid Growing Among US House Republicans (Sp.)
Russia Attracting Those Ready To Stand Up Against Parasitical West (TASS)
Poland Threatens Permanent Ban On Ukrainian Grain (RT)
Russia Doesn’t Need Mercenaries – Putin (RT)

 

 

And just like that, everything’s about Trump again. How does he do it?

 

 

 

 

Megyn Trump

 

 

Biden 2005
https://twitter.com/i/status/1702701015517077564

 

 

 

 

Tulsi

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I watched him yesterday, he couldn’t put two sentences [together], he can’t talk,” he said of Biden. “It’s not an age thing, it’s a competence thing.”

US Is ‘Going To Hell’ – Trump (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has said America is in rapid decline, and re-electing him would give the country a last chance to turn things around. “Our country’s going to hell. Our country’s going down,” Trump told journalist Megyn Kelly in an interview for the SiriusXM satellite radio station, aired on Thursday. The US “has one last chance,”which makes the presidential vote in 2024 “the most important election we’ve ever had,” he claimed. The former leader acknowledged that he said the same about his victorious presidential race of 2016, but insisted that the next year’s vote will be even more crucial. “Our country is going bad, our country is being destroyed” under the Biden administration, he insisted, adding: “We’re a nation in serious decline, and I think I can turn it around very fast.”

With Trump currently indicted in four separate cases, Kelly asked how concerned he was about potentially ending up behind bars. “I have a great attitude, it doesn’t affect me at all because I’m fighting for the country, I’m fighting for the people,” the Republican candidate replied. The 77-year old said the “good”polling numbers make him confident he is “going to win the election no matter what happens ”because the people know the charges are “fake.” A survey, published by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday, suggested that 62% of Republican voters want Trump to be their party’s nominee in 2024. The poll also said Trump is currently trailing the incumbent President Joe Biden by just 1%.

Trump reiterated his earlier claim that he does not believe Biden will stand for re-election in 2024 due to the 80-year-old’s apparent poor health. “I watched him yesterday, he couldn’t put two sentences [together], he can’t talk,” he said of Biden. “It’s not an age thing, it’s a competence thing.” In August, a Wall Street Journal poll found that 73% of US voters think Biden is too old to seek a second term, while only 36% described him as mentally fit to fulfil his duties. However, Trump’s age, at just three years younger than Biden, is apparently also an issue for many Americans. A study by the NBC in June said that 55% of those surveyed had concerns about his physical and mental health.

Poso Trump

Read more …

I can hear the media bosses going: gag order? Are you nuts? He’s our bread and butter!

“How else would I explain that Jack Smith is DERANGED, or Crooked Joe is INCOMPETENT?”

Prosecutors Want To Silence Trump With Gag Order (RT)

US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan has unsealed a redacted copy of a government filing in which special counsel Jack Smith asked for a “narrow, well-defined”gag order against former President Donald Trump in a criminal case related to an alleged conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The special counsel’s office claimed that Trump has been spreading “disparaging and inflammatory public posts on Truth Social on a near-daily basis regarding the citizens of the District of Columbia, the Court, prosecutors, and prospective witnesses.”

Trump’s statements are “intended to undermine public confidence in an institution—the judicial system—and to undermine confidence in and intimidate individuals—the Court, the jury pool, witnesses, and prosecutors,” they wrote in last week’s filing released on Friday, drawing parallels to “his previous public disinformation campaign regarding the 2020 presidential election.” Trump lashed out against the unsealed request, arguing that he is “campaigning for President against an incompetent person,”who has “weaponized” the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to silence his political opponent. “How else would I explain that Jack Smith is DERANGED, or Crooked Joe is INCOMPETENT?”he fumed. A spokesperson for the Trump campaign, Steven Cheung, also accused Biden of “corruptly and cynically continuing to attempt to deprive President Trump of his First Amendment rights.”

Trump is set to be tried on federal conspiracy charges related to his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election on March 4 of next year, Judge Tanya Chutkan announced last month, rejecting the former president’s legal team’s request to postpone the federal case until April 2026. The ex-president has slammed the case as politically motivated, claiming he was unfairly targeted to remove him as a contender in the 2024 presidential race. The former president’s supporters have argued Judge Chutkan is not impartial and should recuse herself. Chutkan has famously doled out even harsher sentences to January 6 protesters than prosecutors demanded, sending dozens of them to prison. She has made no secret of her belief that the ‘Stop the Steal’ protest-turned-riot was an assault on US democracy directed by Trump.

Read more …

You can only know what a property is worth when it’s actually sold. Which makes me wonder what Letitia James bases her claim on.

“Do you know I don’t believe I ever got even a default notice, and even during COVID, the banks were all paid? And yet you’re suing on behalf of banks, I guess. It’s crazy. The whole case is crazy.”

Judge Halts New York Attorney General’s Fraud Trial Against Trump (ET)

A New York appeals court judge halted the scheduled Oct. 2 trial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ fraud lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, a spokesman for the court confirmed Thursday. State Justice David Friedman, with the 1st Department of the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, granted an interim stay of the trial—slated to start Oct. 2—and referred the matter to a five-judge panel, which expects to rule in the last week of September, a spokesperson said. He also ordered the full appeals court to consider a reported lawsuit that President Trump had filed against the trial judge, Arthur Engoron, on an expedited basis.

President Trump’s lawyers had raised issue with Judge Engoron’s refusal to grant a request for a three-week trial delay, which he said was “completely without merit.” They also asked the judge to pause the trial until he issues a ruling on the statute of limitations regarding certain claims in Ms. James’s lawsuit, it was reported. First reported by the Daily Beast, the lawsuit against Judge Engoron also asserted that the jurist is overstepping his authority. A state appellate court issued a ruling several months ago that asked the judge to determine which Trump Organization real estate deals are too old and beyond the statue of limitations.

The judge declined to issue a comment on the matter via a court spokesperson. Meanwhile, Ms. James’ office issued a statement on Thursday ruling, telling multiple news organizations that “we are confident in our case and will be ready for trial.” The lawsuit filed by Ms. James, a Democrat, alleges President Trump defrauded banks, insurers, and others with annual financial statements that inflated the value of his skyscrapers, golf courses, and other assets and boosted his net worth by as much as $3.6 billion. Her lawsuit seeks $250 million in penalties and a ban on the former president doing business in New York.

The front-runner for the Republican nomination in next year’s presidential election, President Trump has denied wrongdoing. He’s noted that Ms. James pledged to go after him while she was campaigning for attorney general. In sworn testimony given for the lawsuit in April, the former commander-in-chief said he didn’t think his financial statements would be taken seriously because they have a disclaimer that says they shouldn’t be trusted. He told Ms. James: “You don’t have a case and you should drop this case.” “Do you know the banks were fully paid? Do you know the banks made a lot of money?” President Trump testified. “Do you know I don’t believe I ever got even a default notice, and even during COVID, the banks were all paid? And yet you’re suing on behalf of banks, I guess. It’s crazy. The whole case is crazy.”

Read more …

“The judge noted that five of the co-defendants are seeking to transfer their charges to federal court, a challenge that could take months to resolve and raise extraordinary complications if any of their motions are granted.”

Judge Delays Trial For Trump, Others In Georgia 2020 Election Case (Pol.)

The Georgia judge overseeing the massive, 2020 election-related racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants has ruled that the former president will not go on trial next month alongside attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, both of whom demanded an expedited schedule. In an order Thursday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee called the decision to split the sprawling case into multiple trials an “absolute necessity,” given the complexity of the case and the burden it would create for the state’s court system. McAfee said he doubted the Fulton County courthouse could handle a trial for all the defendants at once. He also worried that such a sprawling case would create an unmanageable process for selecting a jury and exacerbate the risk of delays if any defendant or attorney is unexpectedly absent.

Prosecutors had claimed they were prepared to put all 19 defendants on trial together on Oct. 23, but McAfee scoffed at that possibility. “The Fulton County Courthouse simply contains no courtroom adequately large enough to hold all 19 defendants, their multiple attorneys and support staff, the sheriff’s deputies, court personnel, and the State’s prosecutorial team. Relocating to another larger venue raises security concerns that cannot be rapidly addressed,” the judge wrote. McAfee’s order underscored the significant uncertainties hanging over the case, which charges Trump and 18 co-defendants with conspiring to subvert Georgia’s election. The judge noted that five of the co-defendants are seeking to transfer their charges to federal court, a challenge that could take months to resolve and raise extraordinary complications if any of their motions are granted.

“How a grant of removal midtrial would impact this case, particularly on the issue of double jeopardy … and overlooking or wrongly adjudicating these legal uncertainties risks automatic acquittal,” McAfee wrote. Though McAfee has not yet set a trial date for Trump, it appears likely to extend deep into 2024 or later. The judge has set a Dec. 1 deadline for the defendants — other than Chesebro and Powell, who are on an expedited timeline — to file any pretrial motions. The judge must also contend with the fact that Trump has two federal criminal trials scheduled for next year, one beginning on March 4 in Washington, D.C. and the other beginning on May 20 in Fort Pierce, Fla.

McAfee said there’s a possibility more than two trials will be required to handle all the defendants and he raised the specter of enlisting another state judge, should the necessary timelines intersect. If any defendants opt for a speedy trial this month, McAfee ruled, they will be joined with Chesebro and Powell. However, if any opt for an expedited timeline next month or later, he said he has “received assurances that other members of the Fulton County bench stand ready.”

Read more …

“Prosecutors wanted to put all 19 defendants in the case on trial at the same time, which Judge Scott McAfee laughed out of the courtroom.”

Out of curiosity: What exactly would Ivanka be jailed for?

Trump To Be ‘Imprisoned With Ivanka’ Says Maxine Waters As Trials Delayed (ZH)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who hooked her Daughter up with $750,000 in campaign funds over a decade with minimal repercussions, lashed out on X after former President Trump’s trial date in his Georgia RICO case was delayed – the first of two such delays issued late in the week. On Thursday, the Florida judge overseeing Trump’s 2020 election-related case ruled that the former president will not go on trial next month along with attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesbro, both of whom asked for an expedited schedule, Politico reported. Prosecutors wanted to put all 19 defendants in the case on trial at the same time, which Judge Scott McAfee laughed out of the courtroom. “The Fulton County Courthouse simply contains no courtroom adequately large enough to hold all 19 defendants, their multiple attorneys and support staff, the sheriff’s deputies, court personnel, and the State’s prosecutorial team.

Relocating to another larger venue raises security concerns that cannot be rapidly addressed,” he wrote. “Many are worried that the Judge has extended Trump’s trial date,” Waters posted Thursday night on X. “Not to worry! TRUMP CAN’T RUN. TRUMP CAN’T HIDE.” she continued, adding “He will be imprisoned with Ivanka by his side!” This is the same Maxine Waters that told Democrats in 2018 “wherever we have to show up. If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!” On Friday, a New York appeals court judge halted a trials scheduled for Oct. 2 in NY Attorney General Letitia James’ fraud lawsuit against Trump and the Trump Organization.

Read more …

“And they were my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn’t even have to give them the tapes, I don’t think..”

Trump Ready to State Under Oath He Didn’t Order Mar-a-Lago Tapes Deleted (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump has confirmed his readiness to testify under oath that he did not order Mar-a-Lago security video linked to the investigation into his documents handling be deleted. “Sure, I’m going to — I’ll testify,” Trump told an American news agency in an interview. He further insisted that the tapes were not deleted, highlighting that he voluntarily shared them with investigators even though they are his property “In other words, there was nothing done to them. And they were my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn’t even have to give them the tapes, I don’t think,” Trump stated.

The allegation that Trump ordered the video tapes be deleted was the basis of a superseding indictment filed in July against Trump, his aide, Walt Nauta, and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira. The indictment added another three charges against Trump in the case related to obstruction and willful retention of national defense information, bringing the total number of counts against Trump in the case to 40.

Read more …

“[Trump] was accused of having a special relationship with Russia, which is total nonsense. But he was the president who introduced the most sanctions against Russia,” Putin noted..”

Trump ‘Liked’ What Putin Said About Him (RT)

Donald Trump has said he welcomed friendly comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who stated that Moscow would be glad if the former US president were to make good on his vow to resolve the Ukraine crisis within a matter of days. Speaking to NBC News’ Kristen Welker for an interview published on Friday, Trump was asked about the recent praise from the Russian leader, who said last week that “Mr. Trump keeps saying he will resolve all burning issues within several days, including the Ukrainian crisis… Well, that would be good.” “I like that he said that because that means what I’m saying is right,” Trump replied, referring to his stance on Ukraine, adding “I would get him into a room, I would get [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky into a room and I would get a deal worked out.”

However, in his remarks on Tuesday Putin actually went on to say that Moscow does not expect any substantial change in US foreign policy vis-a-vis Russia, regardless of who takes the White House after next year’s election. “[Trump] was accused of having a special relationship with Russia, which is total nonsense. But he was the president who introduced the most sanctions against Russia,” Putin noted. The former US president went on to reiterate vows to negotiate an end to the Ukraine conflict within “24 hours” should he win reelection next year, having previously stated, “I know Zelensky very well, I know Putin very well – even better – and I had a very good relationship with both of them.” He has also been critical of the billions of dollars in US military support to Kiev, urging Zelensky to “make a deal” with his Russian counterpart to bring an end to the fighting.

When pressed on how he would find a solution to the conflict, Trump declined to elaborate, only saying he would “make a fair deal for everybody.” “If I tell you exactly, I lose all my bargaining chips. I mean, you can’t really say exactly what you’re going to do. But I would say certain things to Putin. I would say certain things to Zelensky,” he continued. Though Trump faced near-constant criticism during his time in office for alleged “collusion” with the Kremlin to win the 2016 election, he insisted “there was nobody tougher than me with Russia.” He nevertheless stated that he “got along” with Putin “really well” during his presidency, saying “that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. He’s got 1,700 nuclear missiles. And so do we.”

Despite a string of criminal cases in multiple states over the alleged mishandling of classified documents, a purported hush-money scheme with porn actress Stormy Daniels and interference in the 2020 election, Trump is currently the front-runner for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination, consistently polling well ahead of his main competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Trump has denied all wrongdoing in each of the cases, while President Putin also recently weighed in on the matter, saying the criminal charges amount to the “persecution of a political competitor.”

Read more …

“..an odor of rot and sulfur trails his every bumbling misstep while his maunderings from the podium set off alarms in party HQ. What to do, indeed…?”

The Conundrum (James Howard Kunstler)

Just as a janky investment can turn catastrophically ruinous in the finance world, “Joe Biden” has transmuted from an asset to a liability for the Party of Chaos as we enter the season when things get real. Just weeks ago, the phantasm in the White House could do nothing wrong, despite doing absolutely everything wrong in the thirty-two months he’s haunted the Oval Office. But now, an odor of rot and sulfur trails his every bumbling misstep while his maunderings from the podium set off alarms in party HQ. What to do, indeed…? As of five minutes ago, “JB” was still pretending to run for reelection, which, of course, was a bamboozle that only the Wokester rank-and-file, hoaxed into an epic psychotic rapture, might swallow.

The “president’s” stage managers run a “campaign committee” on next-to-zero contributions, you see, but all it really does is send out millions of algo-concocted, drivel-filled emails five times a day to keep the big pretend going while the DC Blob desperately looks for a way out. Ever since the fabled Laptop from Hell entered stage left, the un-raptured of the land have been exposed to gales of evidence that “Joe Biden” ran a family influence-peddling racket as veep, and that it likely has something to do with the extravagant mess spawned in Ukraine. The crude and lawless labors of the DOJ and the FBI to cover all that up have been failing lately as a harsh music of blown whistles ominously cleaves the dank night air over the Potomac swamp.

The coming House impeachment inquiry, with its extraordinary subpoena powers, can easily un-confuse these matters as Rep Comer (R-KY) goes after the Biden family bank records. The equation is pretty straightforward: Millions of dollars rattling around the coffers of “Joe” and Jill, and Jim and Frank, and the Biden kids and grand-kids divided by the low six-figure salaries of a senator and vice-president, times, say, the $20 to $50-million inflows of revenue (for no discernible services rendered) from Ukraine, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, and Gawd-knows how many other entities arguably hostile to the USA’s interests through Hunter Biden’s multitudinous shell companies. It’s called money-laundering.

Meanwhile, mirabile dictu, Special Counsel David Weiss goosed three counts of illegal gun possession against Hunter Biden out of a federal grand jury Thursday. Somehow, a loaded garbage barge of tax evasion charges that was last seen a few weeks ago steaming into Indictment Central happened to sail off into the Bermuda Triangle and vanish from the docket. Also in question: what about that “diversion agreement” sneakily embedded in the plea deal that blew up a month ago in Judge Maryellen Noreika’s courtroom? That little gem would have let Hunter B off the hook for any other past federal crime imputed in the many reams of evidence about Biden family moneygrubbing already made public. If the plea deal evaporated, did not the diversion agreement go up in a vapor with it? Hunter’s lawyers apparently say it’s still in force. How does that work?

Read more …

“That’s the tragedy of America in 2023, is that we would never have allowed Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln to get away with this stuff..”

Bidengate: Why Joe’s 2024 Bid Seems Doomed (Sp.)

The White House insists that the US president did nothing wrong and that GOP lawmakers don’t actually have any basis for the impeachment inquiry. Moreover, US legal observers have drawn attention to the fact that conviction is unlikely in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Republicans also don’t seem that united to bring the investigation to its logical end, per Steven Abramowicz, the owner and CEO of the Mill Creek View and the host of the Mill Creek View podcast. “An impeachment inquiry would do nothing but tell us what we’ve already known for over a year, and that is that there were crimes committed,” Abramowicz told Sputnik’s Fault Lines podcast. “Okay, great. We know about the Teapot Dome. We know about Watergate. We know everything we need to know from the history books.

But what we don’t know is will [House Speaker] Kevin McCarthy get a backbone, stand up to the Republicans who have maybe some vested interest and actually bring this guy to the floor for an impeachment for the history books? And the answer is, you know what? It doesn’t matter.” “This is September 20, 2023. There’s an election in just over a year from now. It would take way too long. And the Senate, filled with people like Mitt Romney, will never vote to remove [Joe Biden]. So I will know exactly what we already know, but it’ll be in the official record and nobody’s going to be removed from office. And the next five presidents are going to be able to say: ‘Oh, I don’t have to follow the rules because those guys did’. Whether you think Trump was a criminal or Biden’s, it doesn’t matter. We’ve had two presidents now under a cloud and no controlling legal authority, as Al Gore said, to do a darn thing about it. And I think that’s why we call it the swamp,” he continued.

What’s especially frustrating, according to Abramowicz, is that there is reportedly a vast number of genuine documents implicating the Biden family, and still, the Democratic Party and the White House claim that there is nothing there. “That’s the tragedy of America in 2023, is that we would never have allowed Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln to get away with this stuff. And so here we are in our new era with our current batch of leaders,” the US observer emphasized. Meanwhile, prominent American legal scholar Jonathan Turley argued in one of his recent blog posts that even though the House GOP impeachment inquiry is unlikely to be supported by the US Senate, it is still worth trying. “An impeachment inquiry does not mean that an impeachment itself is inevitable. But it dramatically increases the chances of finally forcing answers to troubling questions of influence-peddling and corruption,” Turley underscored.

To add insult to injury, the first son was indicted at the time when the GOP was closing in on the US president. Having been indicted by Weiss, Hunter faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Still, some US observers argue that the indictment may turn out to be a “ruse”. In particular, they suggest that the probe would be used by the DoJ as an excuse for declaring all evidence “sub judice” and off-limits to journalists (and even Republican lawmakers). In addition, the special counsel can stretch the investigation until long after the 2024 election, they say. “Well, I’m highly skeptical. I think this sort of reeks of BS,” journalist and author Daniel Lazare told Sputnik’s Critical Hour podcast, when asked what he thinks about the Hunter Biden’s indictment outcome.

“What I suspect is that the DoJ is throwing a bone and not even a very good bone at that in order to get people off the really important charge,” the journalist stressed, suggesting that Hunter’s alleged tax crimes were “really important” but neither the Justice Department nor Weiss appeared to have any appetite to catch the first son red-handed. As was previously suggested by a couple of IRS whistleblowers in Hunter’s case, the Justice Department simply let some damning cases expire.

Read more …

“Congress is set to vote on a continuing resolution before the end of September to temporarily fund the US government and avoid a shutdown..”

Opposition to Further Ukraine Aid Growing Among US House Republicans (Sp.)

Opposition to providing more US aid to Ukraine is growing among Republican members of the House of Representatives, an American news agency reported on Friday. An increasing number of Republican lawmakers, including some so-called moderates, are opposing the addition of further aid to Ukraine as part of a government funding measure slated for a vote later this month, the report stated, citing several Republican lawmakers. Not just the Freedom Caucus of conservative Republicans, but there are many lawmakers who are concerned with potential additional funding, the report cited US Congresswoman Lisa McClain as saying. Congress is set to vote on a continuing resolution before the end of September to temporarily fund the US government and avoid a shutdown. The Senate is seeking to include additional aid for Ukraine in the legislation.

Meanwhile, more and more House Republicans come out against further transfers of taxpayer dollars and military equipment to Ukraine. US Congressman Andy Biggs vowed not to support a new Ukraine aid package and expressed doubt that any such measure would reach the House floor soon, the report said. Biggs pointed out, however, that there still may be enough votes to advance additional aid to Ukraine given the presence of many “war hawks” in Congress, the report said. US Congresswoman Nancy Mace emphasized that the US House has many other issues to address ahead of further Ukraine funding, the news agency stated.

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has previously vowed to stop writing “blank checks” to Ukraine and is seeking to detach aid for Ukraine from the spending bill as well as hold a separate vote on it instead, media reported earlier. In addition to working on passing a spending measure by the end of the month, McCarthy also recently announced an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. The Biden administration has repeatedly expressed confidence in lasting bipartisan support for Ukraine in Congress and in the lawmakers’ ability to pass more aid packages.

Read more …

Patrushev.

Russia Attracting Those Ready To Stand Up Against Parasitical West (TASS)

Russia has become a magnet drawing all those who wish to confront the West’s parasitical ways, an endeavor in which the majority of countries stand ready to lend a hand, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said in an interview with the Razvedchik (Intelligence Officer) magazine. “Russia has become a center of attraction for all those who are ready to oppose the parasitical practices of the West, because we are offering an alternative path,” he said. According to him, the main contours of this path are outlined in the latest edition of Russia’s official Foreign Policy Concept. Patrushev pointed out that Russia is open to cooperation with all constructively minded countries, and social and political forces that are ready to move forward together on the path of development and to lay the foundations for a new, truly democratic, multipolar world order.

“Most countries stand ready to cooperate in [moving] this trend [forward],” he stressed. According to the top security official, humanity has now entered a critical era, a new period in world history: We are witnessing the final disintegration of the “Western-centric colonialist world order,” at the core which is an inherently rapacious civilizational model. “Within the framework of this model, a narrow group of countries has built a pyramid, ensconced themselves at its pinnacle and self-endowed themselves with exceptional powers,” he said. “In essence, we are dealing with a multi-level parasitical superstructure on a global scale.” Patrushev highlighted the fact that the word “parasite” translates from the Greek as “sponger.”

“In ancient Greece, this was the name given to swindlers who preyed on the trust of wealthy fellow citizens and used cunning and guile, and often resorted to violence, to seize control over their [victims’] homes. This is exactly how the Western powers have acted, ensuring their dominance and employing the most brutal and inhumane methods,” he said. According to the Security Council Secretary, the 11th International Meeting of High Representatives on Security Issues, held in Russia on May 23-25, 2023, provided direct proof of this growing global disposition against the dominance of an overweening West. Even though the gathering took place in a difficult international environment, in conditions of open pressure, with the ambassadors of the US, the UK and France attempting to compel its participants to cancel their plans to travel to Russia, in the end it was attended by delegations from 101 countries and six international organizations.

At the same time, “such hostile actions [of the West] did not surprise anyone,” Patrushev pointed out, highlighting the fact that “the West does not recognize any [international meeting] formats that are organized without it taking the leading role, [nor does it recognize] bilateral and multilateral interaction based on equality [among nations] and international law.” Patrushev underscored that the meeting participants emphasized in their speeches and presentations that the turbulence now being seen in processes throughout the contemporary world is a direct consequence of the desire of the West and global transnational corporations to reverse the process of restoring balance and justice. In addition, the most important thesis of the meeting was that the main principle of international relations should be mutual respect and unconditional recognition of the right of others to choose their own development path, and their social, political and economic structures, Patrushev added.

Read more …

“..Ukrainian agricultural products should be sent to the destinations they were typically delivered to before the conflict with Russia broke out last year, adding that they “cannot constantly flood Europe.”

Poland Threatens Permanent Ban On Ukrainian Grain (RT)

Poland has threatened to introduce an indefinite embargo on supplies of Ukrainian grain if the EU does not extend its own bloc-wide import ban. Warsaw’s minister of economic development and technology, Waldemar Buda, said the measure could enter force at midnight on Friday. A temporary EU ban on Ukrainian grain imports, introduced after Poland and four other Eastern EU countries complained about cheap Ukrainian produce flooding the market, is set to expire on September 15. “If the European Commission does not make a decision on the issue of [banning imports of] Ukrainian grain, Poland will make its own at midnight. It [the ban] will be indefinite,” the minister said.

Echoing the remarks, Polish Minister for EU Affairs Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek stressed that his country would protect the interests of its farmers “one way or another,” regardless of whether a decision was made at EU or national level. “The decision [to ban Ukrainian agriculture produce] was made by the Council of Ministers. On Tuesday, the resolution was unanimously adopted. We intend to introduce a national import ban if such a measure would not be introduced at the EU level,” Szynkowski vel Sek warned. Poland would not be satisfied with another temporary extension of the embargo on Ukrainian grain, and is expecting “structural decisions” from the European Commission, Agriculture Minister Robert Telus warned earlier on Friday. “We should resolve this for the future. We need tools for future cooperation between Ukraine and the EU,” the minister urged.

In May, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia imposed a sweeping ban on Ukrainian grain imports. The move came after Brussels suspended customs duties on all agricultural produce from Ukraine for one year, to support the nation’s economy. However, a glut of cheap Ukrainian grain left EU producers struggling against what they viewed as unfair competition. Telus said Ukrainian agricultural products should be sent to the destinations they were typically delivered to before the conflict with Russia broke out last year, adding that they “cannot constantly flood Europe.” Farmers in the five EU countries most affected claim they have suffered substantial losses due to the surge in imports of Ukrainian agricultural produce, which was initially destined for Africa and the Middle East.

Read more …

”With 300,000 Russians signing military contracts just this year, Moscow has no need for foreign fighters..”

Russia Doesn’t Need Mercenaries – Putin (RT)

With 300,000 Russians signing military contracts just this year, Moscow has no need for foreign fighters, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. As media speculated on mercenary recruitment he told reporters in Sochi, after meeting with President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, that “this is total nonsense.” Russia “has no such need to invite people from abroad for combat operations,” he added. The Russian president was addressing a question about speculation in the West that North Korea might have pledged to send soldiers when Putin met with Kim Jong-un earlier this week. Putin reminded journalists of the 270,000 voluntary enlistments so far this year, then noted that this number was already obsolete.

“As of this morning, there are 300,000 contracts,” he said, praising the “highest patriotic considerations” that motivated Russians to volunteer for military service. The soldiers were also equipped with “state-of-the-art weapons and hardware,” he added. Lukashenko chimed in to note that American mercenaries are “fighting for Ukrainians already” and accused the US and some of its NATO allies – starting with Poland – of wanting to send regular troops as well. In early July, the Russian Foreign Ministry estimated that almost 12,000 foreign fighters had joined the Ukrainian armed forces since the conflict escalated in February 2022, but only 2,200 or so remained active.

The rest had either died or left the country, according to Moscow, as Kiev used them “mostly as cannon fodder for meat assaults” with no regard for their lives. The US outlet ABC News reported in mid-August that casualty rates in some units of foreign fighters had reached 85% during the summer offensive, citing two Americans and several other Western mercenaries. Earlier this week, Putin estimated that Ukraine had lost 71,000 men in just the three months of the “summer counteroffensive,” along with much of the armor and vehicles provided by the West.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strijdom

 

 


This is the OmniVision OV6948, the world’s smallest camera, measuring just 0.575 x 0.575 x 0.232mm: it’s good for 40,000-pixel color images using an RGB Bayer back-side-illuminating chip

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 022023
 
 September 2, 2023  Posted by at 8:56 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  38 Responses »


William-Adolphe Bouguereau La naissance de Vénus 1879

 

Happenings Await (Jim Kunstler)
White House Preparing For Biden Impeachment – NBC (RT)
Biden Dragged US Into Proxy War With Russia That Moscow Is Winning – MTG (Sp.)
Rise of BRICS ‘Devastating’ For US – MTG (RT)
Nikki Haley Calls US Senate ‘Most Privileged Nursing Home In The Country’ (G.)
Conflict Should Be Transferred To ‘Russian Territory’ – Ukraine Spy Chief (RT)
US To Send Depleted Uranium Munitions To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)
How Much Do Mercenaries Make in Ukraine? (Sp.)
Only 10% of Western Firms Have Left Russia – Austria (RT)
African Coups Expose And Unravel A Web Of Western Meddling (Marsden)
Russia Inherits Prigozhin’s African Odyssey (Bhadrakumar)
History’s Starting to Rhyme – The Fight for Uranium (Jim Rickards)
JPMorgan Flagged Over $1 Billion In Suspicious Epstein Transfers (ZH)
BRICS and the Future of Humanity (Solo)

 

 

 

 

Sachs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697822863548612813

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Tucker
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697603136276598857

 

 

DAX Anthony

 

 

 

 

17% of Americans got the latest booster. They’ve seen enough.

“..the party will be so badly damaged by then that it will have no other option except to let Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in to drive out the remaining demons..”

Happenings Await (Jim Kunstler)

In what might be one of his last official acts, “Joe Biden” announced last week that Americans would be “encouraged” to get a new-and-improved mRNA vaccine booster against the new Covid virus strain EG.5 “Eris” (named after the Greek goddess of strife and discord). The “president,” said he asked Congress for funding “for a new vaccine that is necessary, that works…. It will likely be recommended that everybody get it no matter whether they’ve gotten it before or not.” Say, what…? Did the earlier vaccines not work, Joe? Most assuredly they did not. The shots injured, disabled, and killed a great many people, and it staggers the rational mind that the CDC is still pushing these shots. You might conclude that they’re pretending this didn’t happen to evade responsibility. After all, what would be the consequences if these officials admitted that all the previous Covid vaccines were ineffective and harmful?

And what would be the reaction of the 81.3 percent of the population who got at least one dose of the previous vaccines and the 65.6 percent who are “fully vaccinated” with two or more shots? (Note, statistics from the CDC.) I’ll tell you what would happen: the CDC officials and a great many other persons on the public payroll would be in court on criminal charges. And doctors and hospitals would be subject to so many lawsuits they would never again have time to actually practice medicine, while millions of people with damaged immune systems and wrecked organs take flight like so many black swans flapping into the setting sun of their own prematurely attenuated lives. If you care to be astounded, listen to this talk that Dr. Peter McCullough gave to an audience in New Hampshire a few days ago, calling out all the principals who devised the Covid-19 fiasco by name: Ralph Baric, Anthony Fauci, Peter Daszek, and Francis Collins, and then describing exactly how the dastardly act and the cover-up went down.

Speaking of happenings this autumn, expect the war in Ukraine to come to an end. The news media might omit to inform you about this, but it awaits. Russia will not trumpet its victory, so as to avoid inflaming America’s crazed neo-cons. Rather it will just quietly take charge of its successfully neutralized neighbor, make provision for some sort of administration over what remains of the rump state — in a way that affords Russia a sense of permanent security — at the same time that Russia commences new negotiations separately with several European nations to reestablish realistic relations.

The US will be delicately hung out to dry on this. Short of resorting to nuclear World War Three, there is nothing the US can do about it — except for the Democratic Party to blame the whole sorry thing on “Joe Biden” as he is forced to resign from office pending that aforesaid impeachment threat. No other explanation for the end of our Ukraine project will be required. The party of chaos will flounder a while in the very chaos that it induced, trying laughably to switch out Kamala Harris for Gavin Newsom — or some other ploy to stay in business. But the party will be so badly damaged by then that it will have no other option except to let Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in to drive out the remaining demons and save the venerable old org from suicide.

If you think that these various momentous happenings won’t affect the financial markets and the banking system in the coming season, prepare to be amazed. This is how America truly gets to feel the pain, and this might be how the pitchforks finally come out for the people who wrecked our country.

Read more …

Nobody believes McCarthy will actually do it. “He ain’t no Nancy”. He’ll ask for a vote first.

White House Preparing For Biden Impeachment – NBC (RT)

The White House has brought together two dozen legal and media experts to combat an expected Republican effort to impeach US President Joe Biden, NBC reported on Friday, citing a White House aide familiar with the administration’s strategy. According to eight inside sources, the counter-impeachment strategy has reportedly been under development for several months as House Republicans have attempted to investigate the president and his son, Hunter Biden, and their foreign business entanglements. The White House aide who revealed the project to NBC also shared its ultimate goal: to present any impeachment inquiry as an “evidence-free partisan sham that shows a [Republican Party] penchant for chaos.”

The administration’s response will show that its opponents are “out of touch,” one official explained, by juxtaposing Republican attacks on Biden with the president’s work on “economic issues” that affect ordinary Americans. The team has been constructed to prevent any impeachment inquiry from interfering in White House business, the aide explained. This is supposed to allow administration officials to concentrate on their jobs without being “bogged down in the minutia of ongoing investigations.” “Never in modern history has an impeachment been based on no evidence whatsoever,” the aide told the news outlet, implying that taking on the Bidens would constitute such an impeachment.

White House aides on the counter-impeachment team have reportedly spent August’s vacation researching Republican talking points, putting together a message and response team to fight back. They have commissioned polls and studied political ads in the hope of disseminating a unified message supporting Biden to the Democratic Party. The Republican investigation into Biden and his son initially focused on the younger Biden’s alleged crimes, which – according to evidence gathered from a laptop he left in a Delaware repair shop, at least – include influence peddling and corruption as well as more pedestrian drug, gun, and prostitution offenses.

Hunter Biden has not been convicted of anything related to the current investigation, though he was about to enter a guilty plea on tax evasion and gun charges last month before a judge balked at the sweetheart deal he had worked out with prosecutors which would see him avoid a custodial sentence or felony conviction entirely. An issue for an impeachment would be the extent to which the elder Biden was involved in his son’s business deals in countries like Ukraine and China, deals which were directly affected by the policies Joe Biden was making as Vice President under then-president Barack Obama. While the president has denied any knowledge of or participation in his son’s professional activities, email records, as well as the testimony of Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer, contradict his public statements on the matter.

Comer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697067369770758613

Read more …

MTG is, let’s say, a unique voice.

Biden Dragged US Into Proxy War With Russia That Moscow Is Winning – MTG (Sp.)

Republican firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has consistently spoken out against sending more arms supplies to Ukraine. After the Biden administration signed off on the delivery of DPICM cluster munitions to Kiev in July, the congresswoman warned that Washington was dragging the US into an unwanted war with Russia. US President Joe Biden has every single American “involved in a proxy war with Russia” that Moscow “is winning,” Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) told an audience gathered at a town hall meeting in Floyd County on August 31. The politician, who has been staunchly opposed to how the Biden administration has been bankrolling the regime in Kiev, told constituents: The Republican politician went on to point out that the intelligence community was blatantly “lying” to Americans, claiming that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, wants to “take over Europe.” “If that was the case… He would be much more aggressive in the war, and he’s not,” the politician, also known by her initials, MTG, emphatically stressed.

“Now, I’m old enough to remember, and I know you are. Every single foreign war America has been involved in… What did we see on television? … Bombing after bombing. Remember all that? Do you guys remember we watched the rockets being fired… We watched troops fighting… How many of you have been able to watch the war in Ukraine that you’re paying for on the nightly news? None of you. You want to know why? America is being lied to about that war. Here’s the tragedy. They’re losing. Russia is winning. That’s the truth,” stated the Georgia congresswoman. MTG weighed in on the cost-of-living issues plaguing the people of America, saying that “energy bills are going up, your groceries are going up… inflation is hurting you. You’re watching your retirement money shrink to nothing because inflation’s going up.” Pointing out that the US federal government was mired in debt “worth $32 trillion,” she queried: “Are we going to end up in another war?”

[..] Reacting to the latest exorbitant military assistance for Ukraine announcement, Marjorie Taylor Greene told the gathering on constituents on August 31: “Washington has sent $113 billion over there. 113 billion. I voted no to every single penny of it. No, I said, no.” She added that there were “innocent people dying every single day” in the Ukraine conflagration. Indeed, despite the massive military assisstance to Kiev, the Ukrainian counteroffensive that started in June has brought no tangible results so far, with the costly Western-gifted weapons destroyed by Russia’s military. The Ukrainian military has sustained tremendous losses, including over 43,000 troops dead and even more wounded. “… But what funding that war means is means we are funding death. We are funding the murder of innocent people,” the congresswoman stressed to the crowd. If the “arrogant leaders” in Washington continue to fund the Ukraine conflagration at the rate they are doing it now, it’s “going to drag on for decades,” said MTG.

Read more …

She’s not wrong here.

Rise of BRICS ‘Devastating’ For US – MTG (RT)

As BRICS gains momentum, the US economy becomes weaker because the members of the grouping can circumvent American sanctions and trade in their own currencies, Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said on Thursday. Speaking to her constituents in Georgia, the Republican congresswoman lashed out at the administration of US President Joe Biden, which she said is turning a blind eye to the rise of BRICS – an economic group which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa and accounts for more than a quarter of global GDP. The Republican firebrand claimed that while the Washington is “doing… nonsense” – including providing all kinds of support to Ukraine which is locked in a conflict with Russia – “there are other countries in the world, powerful countries, organizing together because they are tired of the United States.”

In this sense, the BRICS countries are making serious trade agreements “where they are saying: we’ll buy from you, you’ll buy from us, we don’t care about US sanctions and we’ll sell to one another, buy and sell in our own currency, not the US dollar,” she stated. “This is one of the most devastating things that can happen to all of us,” Greene claimed. As BRICS becomes more powerful, the US dollar gets weaker, she said. “And you know what happens to all of us? We’re going to go broke,” the congresswoman predicted, adding that this dynamic will negatively affect the retirement plans and personal savings of ordinary Americans. “What is going to happen to our children, when the US dollar means nothing anymore, because Russia, and China, and India with its huge population of billions of people have more buying power in their own currencies than we do?

This is a very serious concern,” Greene said. The congresswoman’s remarks come on the heels of a historic BRICS summit in South Africa, where the group agreed to an unprecedented expansion, admitting six new countries – Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – which will become full-fledged members in 2024. In a declaration summarizing the summit, BRICS, which has historically positioned itself as an alternative to Western-dominated international institutions, reaffirmed its commitment to inclusiveness, while expressing support for the “legitimate aspirations” of African, Asian, and Latin American countries to play a more prominent role in the global arena.

Read more …

“An old political saying, that the word “Senate” comes from the same Latin word as “senile”, is circulating again.”

Nikki Haley Calls US Senate ‘Most Privileged Nursing Home In The Country’ (G.)

The US Senate is “the most privileged nursing home in the country”, the Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said. The former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations, 51, was speaking to Fox News a day after the Republican leader in the Senate, 81-year-old Mitch McConnell, suffered a second freeze in a month, this time while speaking to reporters in Kentucky. “What I will say is, right now, the Senate is the most privileged nursing home in the country,” Haley said. “I mean, Mitch McConnell has done some great things, and he deserves credit. But you have to know when to leave.”

On Thursday, the congressional physician said McConnell was clear to work, perhaps while suffering the after-effects of concussion, sustained in a fall in March, or dehydration. Other falls have been reported, including a “face plant” at a Washington airport, but McConnell has said he will complete his current six-year term, his seventh, which ends in 2026. It was reported on Thursday that some Republican senators were discussing whether to force a confrontation on the issue of their leader’s health. Haley said: “No one should feel good about seeing [McConnell’s freezes] any more than we should feel good about seeing Dianne Feinstein, any more than we should feel good about a lot of what’s happening or seeing Joe Biden’s decline.”

Feinstein, 90, is a Democrat and the senior senator from California. Her health and mental capacity long in question, she has said she will retire next year. Biden, 80, is the oldest president ever elected and would be 86 by the end of his second term if he wins re-election. A recent poll showed that more than 75% of Americans think he is too old to run again. This week, the Guardian reported a claim in a new book that Biden has privately admitted he is occasionally tired. The current Senate is the oldest in US history. An old political saying, that the word “Senate” comes from the same Latin word as “senile”, is circulating again.

Polling shows support for upper age limits for elected officials. Haley has called for mental competency tests for candidates over 75, though aiming such remarks more at Biden than Trump, the 77-year-old Republican frontrunner. “I wouldn’t care if they did [tests] over the age of 50,” Haley told Fox News. “But these people are making decisions on our national security. They’re making decisions on our economy, on the border. “We need to know they’re at the top of their game. You can’t say that right now, looking at Congress.”

Read more …

Russian hardliners are going to get tired of this.

Conflict Should Be Transferred To ‘Russian Territory’ – Ukraine Spy Chief (RT)

Kiev should bring the ongoing hostilities with Moscow to Russian territory, the head of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) has said, contradicting Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s earlier statement. Both officials’ comments, however, come as Moscow has repeatedly accused Kiev of staging numerous “terrorist attacks” inside Russia. In an interview with Ukrainian TV anchor Natalya Moseichuk, Kirill Budanov touted a transfer of military action to Russian territory as an “excellent idea.” “The war must be extended to other territory – which for us is clearly Russia – and other areas where they have influence,” he said. According to Budanov, such a tactic would help Ukraine stretch and paralyze Russian forces. “The wider the operations are, the better,” the intelligence official added.

Budanov’s remarks starkly contrast with Zelensky’s comments last month when he ruled out attacks on Russian territory, explaining that this “would pose a great risk that we would be left alone” without the West’s help. Around the same time, however, Mikhail Podoliak, a top aide to the Ukrainian leader, said that Kiev’s Western backers supported the destruction of “everything Russian” in the territories it deems “occupied,” including the Crimean Peninsula, a statement the Kremlin shrugged off as wishful thinking. Russian territory, including Moscow, has come under recurring drone raids targeting civilian facilities in recent months. Ukraine has stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attacks, with Podoliak blaming “unidentified” aircraft instead.

In addition to aerial attacks, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of attempting to stage incursions into border regions, resulting in intense skirmishes and civilian deaths. In one notable example, in May, a Ukrainian saboteur group infiltrated the Belgorod region, killing one civilian and injuring several others. Kiev claimed this was an operation conducted by the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), comprised of neo-Nazi militants and another collaborationist group called the “Freedom of Russia Legion.”

Read more …

Yeah, attack Russian territory with these…

US To Send Depleted Uranium Munitions To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)

The US is set to become the second country after the UK to greenlight shipments of depleted-uranium shells to Ukraine, according to Reuters, despite concerns that such munitions could have a dramatic negative effect on public health and the environment. The munitions are intended for US Abrams tanks, first of which are expected to arrive in Ukraine in the coming weeks, the agency reported. According to several unnamed US officials and a “document” cited by Reuters on Saturday, the depleted uranium shells will be part of the next multi-million dollar arms donation expected to be announced next week. The reported plan follows another highly controversial US move to cluster munitions to Ukraine, which had been criticized even by some of Washington’s closest allies.

Should the US approve depleted-uranium shells for Ukraine, it would follow an earlier move by the UK, which announced similar shipments in March. The UK’s decision left Moscow furious, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying that the delivery would be “taking this escalation to a new and very serious stage.” Russia’s embassy in London accused the US and its allies of being willing to turn Ukraine into “not only an anti-Russian military shooting range, but also a radioactive landfill.” When these toxic shells first showed up in Ukraine, Moscow warned that the UK “will be held accountable” for the irreparable harm caused to civilians and soldiers alike. However, both UK and US officials have disputed health hazards associated with DU shells – which use a dense uranium core to improve their armor-piercing capabilities – and deny studies that the weapons were linked to a spike in cancer and birth defects in Iraq.

In the wake of the British move, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would respond by placing tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus. He noted that in this respect Moscow’s actions do not differ from those of the US, which has nuclear weapons deployed in five European countries. Moscow said it will only remove these weapons if the US removes its own nuclear missiles from Europe and dismantles the infrastructure associated with them. Ukraine’s Western backers claim that they are not directly participating in the conflict in Ukraine, and have avoided providing certain weapons – notably fighter jets and long-range missiles – that would risk provoking a direct clash with Russia. Nevertheless, they have sent Kiev more than $100 billion worth of arms, while ignoring Moscow’s repeated warnings that every subsequent weapons package brings the US and NATO closer to active participation in the conflict. Furthermore, by enabling Ukraine’s drone attacks on Russian civilians, Western nations have become “sponsors of terrorism,” according to the Kremlin.

Read more …

How much of your money, that is.

How Much Do Mercenaries Make in Ukraine? (Sp.)

The Russian military has reported a major uptick in Ukraine’s recruitment of foreign mercenaries. Estimates on just how much these ‘soldiers of fortune’ get paid vary wildly, from less than $1,000 a month to $2,000 per day. Sputnik did a little digging and spoke to a pair of veteran military experts to try to get to the bottom of things. A Bundeswehr vet who volunteered to fight alongside the Ukrainian Army gave a tell-all interview to German media recently, revealing the surprisingly low going rate of foreigners taking part in NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine “It depends on how much time you spend on the front lines. There is a principle of combat payments – that is, they pay for each day spent in battle…Per month, it turns out to about €2,000-€2,500 euros. For Ukraine, this is quite a lot,” the mercenary said.

He added that troops who spend more time on the front can get even more, up to about €3,000 (or $3,260), per month. The merc’s testimony seems to match up with figures put out in February by Russia’s Investigative Committee, which has been collecting information on potential war crimes in Ukraine. According to investigators’ figures, foreigners in Ukraine receive between 30,000 and 100,000 hryvnia (about $815-$2,710). The Investigative Committee launched criminal cases against 160 mercs from 33 different countries, including Georgia, the US, Latvia, Israel and Sweden related to suspected crimes against Russian troops and civilians.

The ballpark figures have also been separately confirmed in an investigation by French media this summer, which uncovered that mercs attached to Ukraine’s infamous International Legion receive a base salary of €500 euros, and up to €3,000 a month when they’re on the front lines. Volunteers also complained about having to pay out of pocket for vehicles, supplies and even small arms, notwithstanding the nearly $100 billion in aid doled out by the West to date for weapons. The monthly figures are a far cry from the smattering of information reported during the early stages of the crisis last year, including reporting by British media in March 2022 on payments of up to $2,000 per day plus bonuses for multilingual former soldiers willing to head to Ukraine to engage in extraction operations.

It also challenges the traditional range of “security contractor” job postings, which similarly cite a pay rate of $500-$1,000 per day, equivalent to a six-figure salary when annualized (assuming that the fighter lives that long). “$1,000-$2,000 a month, I think, is kind of low. If you told me that’s for a day, I’d say okay, I can see that. Maybe a little on the high side, but up to that amount for a commander or something, yes, I can see that. But if you’re talking on a per month basis, actually it’s quite low for a mercenary type of situation,” Earl Rasmussen, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel-turned international consultant with over two decades of military experience, told Sputnik.

Read more …

“Schallenberg said Russia would remain important for the EU, urging the bloc’s lawmakers to “get real.”

Only 10% of Western Firms Have Left Russia – Austria (RT)

More than 90% of Western businesses that were present in Russia before the conflict with Ukraine broke out are still operating in the country, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Thursday. In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Schallenberg also highlighted Russian companies are still active in Austria and Germany, while Vienna’s dependence on gas supplies from the sanctions-hit country remains high. “Exit from the Russian market is a far more complicated process than it is often described,” Schallenberg said. Austria’s reliance on Russian gas supplies has been reduced but still amounts to 50%, the minister said, stressing that the landlocked country cannot build LNG terminals, unlike some fellow EU member states.

“All in all, only 12% of Austria’s energy requirements are covered by Russian gas supplies,” the minister added. “We have created strategic gas reserves, and won’t face intermittent power outages during the upcoming winter.” Earlier this year, Schallenberg said Russia would remain important for the EU, urging the bloc’s lawmakers to “get real.” The minister defended the right of Raiffeisen Bank International, Austria’s second-largest lender, to continue operating in Russia, as it is one of only two foreign banks that is systemically important for the Russian economy, along with pan-European commercial bank UniCredit. “To think that there won’t be Russia anymore and we can decouple in all areas is delusional,” he stated in a March interview with Reuters.

Read more …

It all fell apart with the murder of Gaddafi.

African Coups Expose And Unravel A Web Of Western Meddling (Marsden)

French prosecutors have just charged former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who spearheaded Western support for the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, over alleged Libyan financing of Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign. Time sure does fly! It seems like it was just yesterday that the Libyan leader was visiting Sarkozy at the Élysée in the wake of Sarkozy’s 2007 election victory, insisting on making himself comfortable in a traditional Bedouin tent on the lawn of the lavish state guest house. Sarkozy had made a trip to Tripoli himself just a few months earlier, barely weeks after taking office. His spokesman called France and Libya’s anti-terrorist cooperation a “longtime common combat.”

But suspicions about Sarkozy’s motives for leading the regime change charge arose in 2012, when Libyan intelligence officials implicated French agents in the capture and killing of Gaddafi in October 2011, alleging a cover-up related to Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign. Anonymous European officials also started singing the same tune to the Western press. When former US president Barack Obama took office in 2009, Paris insiders said that, given his focus on containing China, Obama delegated much of Africa to the French and Brits – who promptly screwed things up. And Obama was still talking about those screwups in 2016 when he told The Atlantic in an interview that he “had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up,” in the wake of the French- and UK-backed coup against Gaddafi.

Obama underscored, in the same interview, just how easy it was to “purchase France’s involvement in a way that made it less expensive for us and less risky for [America]” – just by allowing Sarkozy to take credit for the coup. The idea that France or a French president can be “purchased” seems relevant here. These events in Libya should also raise questions about the recent coup in Gabon and the role of France in creating the conditions that ultimately gave rise to it. As with Libya and Gaddafi, Sarkozy also seemed to have an odd fixation with Gabon, making three visits to the country between his election in mid-2007 and February 2010, including shortly after Ali Bongo took power in 2009, with 42% of the vote, in the wake of his father Omar’s death. Kind of weird for a French president whose predecessor, Jacques Chirac – who loved Africa so much he built the Musée du Quai d’Orsay in tribute to it – had lamented his lack of interest in the continent.

“The main interest of my trip is to reaffirm loyalty. I want to show that France is faithful,” Sarkozy said during one of those visits to Gabonese President Ali Bongo in 2010. In the wake of these new corruption charges, it seems that French “loyalty” in the case of Libya may have been tied directly to French presidential or special interests. And, by some accounts, that could also be the case with Gabon.

Read more …

“More than anyone, the CIA and Kiev had a score to settle and wanted Prigozhin dead… Projecting Russian influence into Africa is a crucial part of Putin’s foreign policy, and Wagner is the key to this success..”

Russia Inherits Prigozhin’s African Odyssey (Bhadrakumar)

Africa, especially west Africa, has a strong sense of collective identity. Trends in one country have a way of spreading across the continent. Therefore, It might or might not be a coincidence that the military takeover in Gabon on Wednesday came just a day after French President Emmanuel Macron took a tough stance vis-a-vis the generals in power in Niger. Macron not only scoffed at the generals’ demand seeking removal of the French envoy in Niamey and the French troops numbering 1500 personnel in that country but threatened to attack Niger. Apparently, Macron meant business. AFP had reported last week the stern warning by the spokesman for the French general staff, Colonel Pierre Gaudillière, that “French military forces are ready to respond to any resurgence of tension that would undermine French military and diplomatic bases in Niger” and that “measures have been taken to protect these bases”.

But the generals in Niamey hit back despatching a communication to the French foreign ministry that Macron’s envoy, Ambassador Sylvain Itté “no longer enjoys the privileges and immunities attached to his status as a member of the diplomatic staff of the French Embassy”; his “diplomatic cards and visas” and those of his family members “are cancelled”; and, the Niger police “have been instructed to proceed with the expulsion” of Itté. It is a humiliating rebuff to Macron. He has no option now but to dial back his threat. A bloodbath in Niger to vent his anger at the deportation of his ambassador will be disastrous for France’s international standing. Besides, a “known unknown” factor also comes into play which will make Paris (and Washington) think twice — the ghost of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. This needs explaining.

Although no credible source has linked Russia to the coup in Niger, its strong connection with interventions in African countries — Central African Republic, Sudan, Mali and Libya — through the Wagner group leaves unanswered questions. This of course brings up the circumstances of the plane crash of Prigozhin in mysterious circumstances, which Russian investigators now estimate as an act of sabotage. There is no question that Prigozhin was an obstacle to the US/NATO plans in Africa. John Varoli, former foreign correspondent for New York Times, Bloomberg and Reuters TV (who was based in Moscow from 1992 to 2013 and was “trained as a US foreign policy expert with a focus on Russia and Ukraine”) wrote a riveting blog in Substack recently where he concluded on the following lines:

“More than anyone, the CIA and Kiev had a score to settle and wanted Prigozhin dead… Projecting Russian influence into Africa is a crucial part of Putin’s foreign policy, and Wagner is the key to this success. Relations with African leaders are built on Prigozhin’s personal charisma… Likewise, by eliminating Prigozhin and his top officers, NATO has dealt a blow to the Kremlin’s ambitions in Africa… Like with any high-profile assassination, we will never know the full truth. But one thing is for certain — the U.S., certain NATO members and Ukraine benefit the most from Prigozhin’s demise, while the Kremlin gains absolutely nothing. All available information points to Western involvement and guilt.”

Read more …

All roads lead to Africa.

History’s Starting to Rhyme – The Fight for Uranium (Jim Rickards)

Another conflict with escalatory potential involves the state of Niger, located in the Sahara desert. A recent military coup d’état overthrew the elected government several weeks ago (although the coup leaders contend the election was fraudulent). Some surveys show that the military junta enjoys broad popular support. Niger is France’s largest supplier of uranium, while France is one of the largest builders of nuclear power plants in the world. France desperately needs to restore order in Niger, including forcing the junta to step aside and reinstate the elected government. France has special forces including the French Foreign Legion ready to intervene. However, France does not want to proceed unilaterally, and is trying to recruit African allies to join the invasion.

The most significant regional grouping is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which includes both Francophone states like Senegal and Côte D’Ivoire and important Anglophone states such as Nigeria. France is recruiting ECOWAS to participate in its invasion of Niger. ECOWAS members are divided on the idea. In any case, ECOWAS action would require approval of the African Union and possibly the United Nations as well as weeks of mobilization. So no military action is likely for several months at the earliest. There’s no evidence that Russia was involved in the Niger coup, but Russia certainly stands as a major beneficiary. Russia is the other large manufacturer of nuclear power plants in addition to France. Russia gets its uranium from inside Russia, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian republics. (Russia also owns large amounts of U.S. uranium deposits obtained in a deal authorized by Hillary Clinton in exchange for huge donations to the Clinton Foundation).

If Russia can cut off France’s access to Nigérien uranium, it will tighten its hold on global uranium supplies and enhance its position as a provider of nuclear power plants. There is some talk now (not confirmed) that Russia may offer support to the Nigérien coup, including possible deployment of the Wagner Group mercenary army. That would greatly complicate any plans for French or ECOWAS involvement. Again, we would have the specter of Russia (via Wagner) and France (a NATO member) squaring off in a war for uranium in the Sahara desert. The escalatory potential is obvious. By the way, the bloodthirsty Victoria Nuland visited Niger recently and was not warmly received. She departed the country empty-handed. No doubt she left some threats of U.S. support for the French behind.

Read more …

“The only reason that JPMorgan after 16 years reported the $1 billion in suspicious transactions was because he was arrested and then he was dead..”

OK, what makes them suspicious? And isn’t there a law that says these MUST be reported -when they happen, not 16 years later?!

Also: what are the names on the transfers? We don’t get even one?

JPMorgan Flagged Over $1 Billion In Suspicious Epstein Transfers (ZH)

JPMorgan flagged over $1 billion in suspicious transactions linked to deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which the bank reported to the US government, the US Virgin Islands has claimed in its lawsuit against the bank. “JPMorgan was a full-service bank for Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking,” said Mimi Liu, an attorney for the USVI, which says the enormous sum bolsters key allegations in their legal action against the bank, which they say knowingly benefited from Epstein’s wrongdoing, Bloomberg reports, noting that this is the first time in the case that the ‘sheer volume of Epstein’s financial activity at JPMorgan over a 16-year period has been disclosed.’ The suspicious activity was detailed in a 2019 filing to the US Department of Treasury, a USVI attorney told a federal court in Manhattan on Thursday.

The filing was made after Epstein died in a Manhattan jail cell a month after his arrest on sex trafficking charges. Epstein had been with the bank from the late 1990s through 2013, when they finally cut ties with him. Epstein notoriously trafficked some of his victims to a private island in the USVI. JPMorgan denies that it let Epstein’s activities slide, and says it reported around 150 cash transactions to a federal regulator between 2002 and 2013. Last month, the USVI told the judge in the case that the bank facilitated over $1.1 million in payments from Jeffrey Epstein to “girls or women,” many of whom had Eastern European surnames. Over $320,000 of the payments were made to “numerous individuals for whom JPMorgan had no previously identified payments,” Singer wrote, accusing the bank of failing to disclose the payments until after the end of discovery – the period in which parties in a lawsuit exchange evidence.

The bank claims that’s irrelevant, because the USVI doesn’t have legal standing to claim JPMorgan obstructed a trafficking investigation because it wasn’t a victim. That said, Liu is urging the judge in the case to decide various claims in the USVI’s favor without a trial. “The only reason that JPMorgan after 16 years reported the $1 billion in suspicious transactions was because he was arrested and then he was dead,” she said. JPMorgan claims they had no idea what Epstein was up to – pointing to depositions from current and former employees who say they had no knowledge of the trafficking. “There is hotly disputed testimony and evidence,” said Feliia Ellsworth, an attorney for the bank.

Read more …

BRICS and human rights.

BRICS and the Future of Humanity (Solo)

In Egypt, there are over 60,000 political prisoners and arbitrary detentions. There is also torture, enforced disappearances, death sentences; the persecution of independent journalists and the repression of any dissent are the order of the day. In Iran, the protests following the murder of the young Masha Amini were brutally repressed, leading to several death sentences after show trials. Here too, arrests (often of journalists, accused of documenting protests and abuses), torture, and enforced disappearances, not to mention discrimination against women and the persecution of gays and lesbians are widespread. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy where human rights are systematically violated, freedom of expression is attacked and women are discriminated against by law.

Here too there are unfair trials, arbitrary detentions and death sentences often imposed for simply participating in sit-ins and protests. With the bombings in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has also caused massacres of civilians and one of the most serious humanitarian crises in the world. In the UAE, consensual same-sex relationships between adults are criminalized and political dissidents are subjected to abuse, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment. Press freedom is hindered and limited by controls and bans. In India, democracy is degenerating into an increasingly totalitarian form and aims to transform a multilingual and multireligious country into a monolithic entity dominated by a fanatical Hindu party. Protests and dissent are repressed and religious and ethnic minorities persecuted.

As of 2022, the NGO Reporters Without Borders ranks China as one of the ten countries in the world with the least freedom of the press. In Russia, conscientious objectors and all those who refuse to participate in the war against Ukraine are persecuted, arrested and imprisoned. Brazil, Argentina and South Africa are the only BRICS members to have abolished the death penalty. China invaded Tibet in 1950 and annexed it in 1959, bloodily suppressing the revolt of the population; a situation that continues today. Russia has been carrying on an invasion war in Ukraine for over a year that has caused thousands of dead and wounded and terrible devastation, which is countered by an equally criminal warmongering policy by NATO, the European Union and the United States.

Currently, only Brazil and South Africa are among the 92 signatories and 68 states parties to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Among the remaining BRICS members India, Russia and China are nuclear powers with expanding arsenals.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Skull moth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697615347153510622

 

 

Jump

 

 

Alpaca

 

 

Pelican

 

 

Sea slug
https://twitter.com/i/status/1697636709955936532

 

 

Dogfather

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 162023
 


El Greco Dormition of the Mother of God 1565-1566

 

Hunter Biden’s Lead Criminal Defense Attorney Asks To Withdraw From Case (ZH)
Trump Attorneys Slam ‘Flawed, Unconstitutional’ Fulton County Indictment (Sp.)
Justice Shrugged: The Persecution of Donald Trump (Miele)
The Criminalization of Election Controversies (Turley)
Trump Must Turn Himself In At Georgia Jail – Sheriff (RT)
Ukraine Matters To Biden More Than Hawaii – Ron Paul (RT)
Team Biden Hurts US Prestige and Credibility By Walking Into Ukraine Trap (Sp.)
Ukraine Could Give Up Territory To Russia – NATO Official (RT)
If Ukraine Agrees To Give Up Territories, It Will Lose Kiev – Medvedev (TASS)
Western Military Dominance ‘Has Ended’ – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine’s Military Resources Are “Almost Exhausted” – Shoigu (ZH)
Shoigu Hails High Level Of Contacts Between Russia, Chinese Military (TASS)
Why US Drones Prove Useless in Ukraine (Sp.)
MI6 Plans To Send Ukrainian Mercenaries To Africa (RT)
How Charities Secretly Help Win Elections (Thayer)

 

 

 

 

Ramaswamy

 

 

 

 

RFK Fauci

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenwald

 

 

 

 

Longtime Hunter attorney (let’s see who paid his bills!) Christopher Clark for 5+ years got used to anything he wrote being accepted. But when he went for the ultimate sweetheart deal, where Hunter could have shot someone on 5th avenue (the Trump thing) without facing punishment, Judge Maryellen Noreika said: “I don’t like these terms”. Which were in the small print of the deal, of course. And neither Hunter nor Clark ever expected her to read them. She put their world upside down. Now Christopher Clark is trying to sneak out of the building, hoping no-one will notice he wrote the whole thing. Oh, and he may be called as a witness now….

Here’s Clark’s way out ?! “Biden attorney Abbe Lowell blamed prosecutors for drafting the agreements the judge wouldn’t approve..”

Hunter Biden’s Lead Criminal Defense Attorney Asks To Withdraw From Case (ZH)

Hunter Biden’s top criminal defense attorney has asked a federal judge for permission to withdraw from the case after a plea deal unraveled in late July. Christopher Clark, Hunter’s longtime defense attorney, filed a motion with the Delaware judge overseeing Hunter’s case on the grounds that he could now be called as a witness in future proceedings, CNN reports. “Based on recent developments, it appears that the negotiation and drafting of the plea agreement and diversion agreement will be contested, and Mr. Clark is a percipient witness to those issues,” reads the Tuesday filing. Last week federal prosecutors announced that the had reached an impasse on Hunter’s plea deal related to tax offenses and a “diversion agreement” to take care of a gun possession charges.

After the deal unraveled, the feds asked Judge Maryellen Noreika to withdraw a late August deadline to renegotiate the plea deal, after she said she was not ready to accept it & asked both sides to file additional briefs explaining the legal structure of the revised deal. Noreika also called the deal federal prosecutors reached with Hunter over his gun possession offense “unusual,” and that it contained some “non-standard terms,” such as “broad immunity” from other potential charges. Under the original plea agreement, Biden intended to plea guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes committed in 2017 and 2018, and would avoid prison on the gun possession charge. As part of the conditions for Hunter’s release, he must not consume alcohol or prohibited drugs, or possess a firearm, must submit to random drug tests as required, must actively seek employment and not violate any laws.

On Sunday, Biden attorney Abbe Lowell blamed prosecutors for drafting the agreements the judge wouldn’t approve. Biden’s lawyers said Sunday they believed the gun diversion deal was still “valid and binding.” Abbe Lowell, one of the attorneys, placed blame on prosecutors for drafting the agreements the judge took issue with. -CNN. After the plea deal unraveled, US Attorney David Weiss requested and was granted “special counsel” status by Attorney General Merrick Garland. According to prosecutors, there is still an ongoing investigation which may carry future charges outside the scope of the plea deal. Biden pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes, and will avoid prison charge for possessing a gun while addicted to an illegal drug. The deal sought to cap a five-year investigation into Hunter’s tax affairs and business dealings, which federal prosecutors say Hunter failed to pay over $100,000 of income tax on at least $1.5 million in income between 2017 and 2018.

Read more …

“We look forward to a detailed review of this indictment which is undoubtedly just as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been..”

Trump Attorneys Slam ‘Flawed, Unconstitutional’ Fulton County Indictment (Sp.)

A 41-count indictment, including against former US President Donald Trump, approved by a Fulton County grand jury in the state of Georgia in an election interference case, is “flawed and unconstitutional,” Trump attorneys said, adding that they look forward to a detailed review of the indictment. A Fulton County grand jury indicted Monday night Trump with 13 criminal charges related to an investigation alleging he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to a court document. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis later told reporters that the grand jury had issued arrest warrants for the 19 defendants named in the indictment, but they all have until August 25 to voluntarily surrender.

“This one-sided grand jury presentation relied on witnesses who harbor their own personal and political interests— some of whom ran campaigns touting their efforts against the accused and/or profited from book deals and employment opportunities as a result. We look forward to a detailed review of this indictment which is undoubtedly just as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been,” the attorneys noted in a statement distributed by the ex-president in an email to his supporters.

The process leading up to the decision was “shocking and absurd, starting with the leak of a presumed and premature indictment before the witnesses had testified or the grand jurors had deliberated and ending with the District Attorney being unable to offer any explanation,” they stressed. “In light of this major fumble, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office clearly decided to force through and rush this 98-page indictment,” the attorneys emphasized. The former US president was previously indicted on charges related to his supporters’ storming of the Capitol in January 2021, financial fraud in payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and mishandling of classified government documents.

Read more …

“You either agree with the government’s interpretation of election results or else you risk going to jail.”

Justice Shrugged: The Persecution of Donald Trump (Miele)

Trump’s refusal to accept the election results turns on his deep sense of individualistic ambition, his willingness to challenge societal norms, and his determination not to surrender his principles, even at the expense of public ridicule, political persecution, and now potentially years in prison. But you can’t view the 2020 election in a vacuum. Trump was no different than Rearden in fighting what he knows is a rigged system. For the preceding five years, Trump had been the victim of a series of vicious attacks by the Deep State and the media who never really accepted him as president. So Trump had no reason to accept the election results parroted by the same actors who had already tried to destroy him multiple times. And now, two and a half years after the 2020 election, as Trump has a fighting chance of returning to the White House in the greatest political comeback in history, his enemies have come for him again, with three separate indictments and soon to be a fourth.

The four-count indictment most recently brought against Trump by Special Counsel Jack Smith is intended to make a victory in 2024 nearly impossible. The Deep State in this case represents the entrenched bureaucracy of the federal government as well as the individual states’ election officials. This is the same Deep State that gathered up 51 national security officials to sign a statement prior to the 2020 election that falsely claimed that Hunter Biden’s laptop “has all the classic earmarks of Russian disinformation.” It had none of them. No wonder Trump was disinclined to accept their conclusions that the election was secure and fair. Trump sought to prove his concerns about the legitimacy of the 2020 election by pursuing a vigorous legal strategy as was guaranteed to him under the First Amendment’s right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Biden’s weaponized Department of Justice is determined to deny that right to Donald Trump, and by extension to the rest of us. You either agree with the government’s interpretation of election results or else you risk going to jail. The indictment brought against Trump acknowledges that everyone has a First Amendment right to speak their minds and even to “formally challenge the results of the election through lawful and appropriate means,” but it then avers that Trump’s right to believe he won the election is abrogated by a string of court losses and equally pessimistic assessments from so-called experts.

Here’s where it gets interesting, and where the Department of Justice has overstepped. The four counts in the indictment are based on what prosecutor Jack Smith calls three conspiracies: “A conspiracy to defraud the United States” by seeking to stop the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021; “a conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the Jan. 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified; and “a conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted.”

All of these alleged conspiracies and the resulting four charges are directly related to the joint congressional session on Jan. 6, when the Electoral College votes were opened and debated to determine whether they should be counted. Moreover, when Jack Smith announced the indictment, he suggested that Trump was responsible for the riot that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on that day, yet none of the charges hold Trump responsible for the violence. Every charge in this dubious indictment could have been brought even if the protesters had marched “peacefully and patriotically” to the Capitol as Trump had requested. The charges in the indictment have nothing to do with the violence; they only relate to Trump’s insistence that he won the election, and that he would do whatever it takes to prove it.

In other words, these are not real crimes like insurrection or sedition; they are thought crimes. Smith’s “conspiracy” charges simply reflect that Trump consulted his lawyers to develop a legal strategy on how to right the wrong that he perceived. In its substance, from paragraphs 8 to 123, the indictment merely alleges over and over again that Trump refused to accept the conclusions of others that the election of Biden was legitimate, and that he had help from like-minded attorneys. How infuriating that must be to prosecutor Smith, who believes with all his heart that no one could doubt the veracity of what government officials (like him!) tell us.

Tucker 2020

Read more …

Every single word, even every thought, becomes a crime..

The Criminalization of Election Controversies (Turley)

The long-anticipated indictment by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected in the coming days and will focus on alleged election tampering and related offenses in the 2020 presidential election. If indictments were treated like frequent flyer miles, Donald Trump would get the Georgia indictment for free. However, it will be anything but costless. Regardless of the merits, it will magnify both the cost and complications for Trump. Like the New York indictment, a Georgia indictment would not be subject to a presidential pardon. Not only have GOP candidates indicated that they would pardon Trump on any federal charges if elected to the presidency, Trump could pardon himself (including a preemptive pardon before trial) if elected — but that power does not reach state convictions.


As with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, many view Willis as a Democratic prosecutor pursuing the highly unpopular former president. However, given the three grand juries and the three years that have passed, Willis may have found new evidence or witnesses that could tie Trump to criminal conduct in seeking to challenge the results in the election. Thus far, the focus has been on the controversial call that Trump had with Georgia officials — a call widely cited as indisputable evidence of an effort at voting fraud. Yet, the call was similar to a settlement discussion, as state officials and the Trump team hashed out their differences and a Trump demand for a statewide recount. Trump had lost the state by less than 12,000 votes. That might be what he meant when he stated, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”


Mark Meadows was charged for asking for a politician’s phone number…

While others have portrayed the statement as a raw call for fabricating the votes, it seems more likely that Trump was swatting back claims that there was no value to a statewide recount by pointing out that he wouldn’t have to find a statistically high number of votes to change the outcome of the election. It is telling that many politicians and pundits refuse to even acknowledge that obvious alternate meaning. For Trump’s part, he is not helping with his signature, all-caps social media attacks. In addition to attacking Willis for a supposedly “racist” and “unethical” past, Trump recently declared that Willis “wants to indict me for a perfect phone call; this was even better than my perfect call on Ukraine.” I have previously disagreed with the claimed perfection of that Ukraine call, the subject of Trump’s first impeachment. However, neither call needs to be “perfect” to be protected.


The importance made of the call in the likely Georgia indictment will be one of the greatest “tells” as to what Willis has in terms of evidence. If the call is a critical linchpin to the prosecution, it will look like a political stunt out of the Bragg-school of prosecution. There have also been stories indicating that Willis is focusing on connections of Trump team members like Rudy Giuliani to a “breach” of the voting system on Jan. 7, 2021. The team was seeking access to the voting machines to show that they could be compromised or manipulated. Text messages state that the team secured an “invitation” to examine the machines in Coffee County.

Pipe burst

Read more …

The biggest show on earth. Brought to you by Disney…

Trump Must Turn Himself In At Georgia Jail – Sheriff (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants on his racketeering case are set to be booked on their charges at a county jail in Georgia, a departure from the courthouse processing seen in his three other criminal cases. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office announced the decision on Tuesday, saying that Trump and the other defendants could appear at the local jail to turn themselves in “at any time,” though noted the plan is still subject to change due to the “unprecedented nature” of the case. “At this point, based on guidance received from the district attorney’s office and presiding judge, it is expected that all 19 defendants named in the indictment will be booked at the Rice Street Jail,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement, pointing out that the facility is “open 24/7.”

That procedure would differ from Trump’s other ongoing criminal litigation, in which he has been processed inside courthouses. During booking, defendants are typically photographed and fingerprinted, and while Trump was not required to provide mugshots for his other lawsuits, Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat said he planned to snap a photo of the ex-president for the racketeering case. “It doesn’t matter your status. We have a mugshot ready for you,” Labat told reporters ahead of the latest indictment. “Unless someone tells me differently, we are following our normal practices.” Trump and a long list of his current and former allies were hit with a sweeping 41-count indictment earlier this week, with prosecutors alleging they worked to invalidate Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential race.

Among the charges is a felony racketeering count, as well as several counts for conspiracy to interfere in an election, perjury, and soliciting a public official to violate their oath. The latest round of charges mark Trump’s fourth criminal indictment this year alone, with federal prosecutors previously slapping him with dozens of felony counts for the alleged mishandling of classified material after leaving the White House in 2021. He has also been charged in New York for an alleged hush-money scheme with porn actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign, and faces a separate election-interference case led by special counsel Jack Smith, who is also spearheading the classified documents trial. Trump, who has announced his candidacy in the 2024 presidential contest, has denied all wrongdoing in each case, insisting he has been unfairly targeted in a politically motivated “witch hunt” which began during his own presidency.

Read more …

“..$900 from each and every US household, at a time when most Americans say they can’t afford a $1,000 emergency.”

Ukraine Matters To Biden More Than Hawaii – Ron Paul (RT)

President Joe Biden is demanding another $24 billion for Ukraine while the US “disintegrates,”former Texas congressman Ron Paul wrote on Monday, pointing out the unprecedented devastation from the Hawaii fires. It’s “hard to look at recent footage of the devastation in Maui and then hear President Biden tell Congress that he needs another $24 billion for Ukraine,” Paul said. “How can this Administration continue to justify tens of billions of dollars for this losing war that is not in our interest while the rest of the United States disintegrates?” The US has poured “well over $120 billion” into the “proxy war on Russia,” Paul added. He cited a Heritage Foundation analysis that calculated this comes out to $900 from each and every US household, at a time when most Americans say they can’t afford a $1,000 emergency.

“How many Americans would rather have those $900 dollars back in their pocket rather than in the pockets of Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, and Ukraine’s oligarchs?” Paul asked, noting that even the establishment media is now admitting that “Ukraine is not winning and cannot win.” “Continuing to pour money into a losing cause will just result in bankruptcy at home and more dead Ukrainians overseas,” Paul concluded. The Texas physician served in Congress for a total of 23 years and ran for president three times – as a Libertarian in 1988, and in Republican primaries in 2008 and 2012 – before retiring in 2013 to found the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Multiple fires broke out in Hawaii last week, devastating the island of Maui and practically destroying the historic town of Lahaina.

As of Sunday, the death toll was reported at 96, with at least 1,000 more people still missing. “This is the largest natural disaster we’ve ever experienced,” Hawaii Governor Josh Green said at a news conference on Sunday. Damages to homes alone were estimated at $6 billion. Biden spent the weekend on the beach in Rehoboth, Delaware. He said “no comment” when asked about Maui. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday confirmed there were no plans for the president to visit Hawaii. Last week, Biden sent Congress a request for $13 billion in “security assistance” and $7.3 billion for “economic and humanitarian assistance” for Ukraine, which has included paying the salaries of government employees in Kiev.

Read more …

“hyperbolic rhetoric”

Team Biden Hurts US Prestige and Credibility By Walking Into Ukraine Trap (Sp.)

US observers have raised the question whether President Joe Biden could shift from his maximalist aims in Ukraine which threaten to turn into a trap for Washington. Prior to the much-anticipated 2023 Ukrainian counteroffensive, American politicians and mainstream press had drawn a picture of what the endgame in Ukraine should look like, with Kiev forces seizing as much territory as it could to gain the upper hand in negotiations. Citing White House officials, the US media suggested that by the end of summer, Ukraine would tip the balance in its favor. However, the reality on the ground does not match expectations. The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a DC-based think tank, has raised the question as to whether Team Biden has a Plan B for a face-saving exit after it persuaded everyone in the West that anything short of Kiev’s victory would be a global catastrophe.

In fact, the Biden administration set a trap for itself by employing a “hyperbolic rhetoric” in order to sell the idea of Washington’s Ukraine war to the American public and the world’s community. President Biden raised the stakes as high as possible while claiming in February 2023 during his speech in Poland that “what literally is at stake is not just Ukraine, it’s freedom.” Another talking point of the US foreign policy establishment, lawmakers and academia was that Russia’s victory would not only “embolden” Moscow for new “invasions” but also encourage Beijing to “take military action” against Taiwan – something that has been repeatedly denied as nonsense by China which has always seen the island as its inalienable territory.

Republican presidential contender Chris Christie has even gone so far as to claim that China’s potential “invasion” of Taiwan would inevitably necessitate putting American boots on the ground. As a result, the hyped-up narrative deprived Team Biden of room for maneuver: should the US president decide to pull out, he would have to explain to the international community why he is “giving up” on democracy and human values, bowing down to “dictators”, and leaving the world in “danger.”

Read more …

Anathema.

Ukraine Could Give Up Territory To Russia – NATO Official (RT)

Kiev could end up relinquishing some of its former territory in exchange for NATO membership, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s chief of staff, Stian Jenssen said at a debate on Tuesday. In his own statements on the issue, Stoltenberg has insisted that Kiev will set its own terms for “victory.” “I think that a solution could be for Ukraine to give up territory, and get NATO membership in return,” Jenssen said at the debate, according to Norway’s VG newspaper. This discussion is already underway within NATO, he said, suggesting that it could be a “possible solution” to the conflict. No NATO leaders have publicly endorsed the idea of Kiev giving up its claims to the territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, or Zaporozhye, which were incorporated into the Russian Federation following referendums last September.

Likewise, while Western officials have cast doubt on Ukraine’s ability to seize Crimea – an historical Russian territory which rejoined the Russian Federation in 2014, none have urged Kiev to abandon its claim to the peninsula. Such an idea has apparently been floated behind the scenes, however. Swiss outlet Neue Zürcher Zeitung claimed in February, citing sources, that CIA Director William Burns had offered Russia a “land for peace” deal in which Moscow would keep “20% of Ukrainian territory.” The White House, the CIA, and the Kremlin all denied that such a proposal had been made. Whether such a deal would be accepted by Kiev or Moscow remains doubtful. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated last year that securing the military neutrality of Ukraine was a key factor behind his decision to send troops into the country, and that having a NATO-aligned Ukraine on Russia’s borders would present an unacceptable security risk.

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council chief Aleksey Danilov stated on Tuesday that Kiev will never negotiate with Putin’s government, that none of Ukraine’s Western backers are pushing for peace, and that “Russia must be destroyed like a modern-day Carthage.” Achieving this goal is proving extremely difficult for Kiev. Two months into its long-anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, the Ukrainian military has lost more than 43,000 men and nearly 5,000 pieces of heavy equipment, according to the latest figures from the Russian Defense Ministry.

Stoltenberg insists that NATO will “ensure that Ukraine gets the weapons it needs to be able to retake territory, liberate the lands and win this war and prevail as a sovereign, independent nation.” While he has delivered variations on this statement throughout the conflict, NATO has been more evasive on when Ukraine can join the military bloc. After a summit in Lithuania last month at which Kiev was denied an offer of membership, NATO’s 31 members put out a joint statement explaining that Ukraine can join only “when allies agree and conditions are met.”

Read more …

“..To enter the bloc [NATO], the Kiev authorities would have to give up even Kiev itself, the capital of Ancient Rus..”

If Ukraine Agrees To Give Up Territories, It Will Lose Kiev – Medvedev (TASS)

Should Ukraine agree to relinquish disputed territories for the sake of joining NATO, it will have to give up even Kiev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, said on his Telegram channel. While commenting on a remark by the director of NATO’s Secretary-General’s Private Office, Stian Jenssen, to the effect that Ukraine might become a member of the alliance in case of territorial concessions to Russia, Medvedev wrote: “Why? The idea is curious. The only question is that all of allegedly ‘their’ territories are highly disputable. To enter the bloc [NATO], the Kiev authorities would have to give up even Kiev itself, the capital of Ancient Rus,” he added.


“Well, they (the Ukrainian authorities – TASS) would have to move the capital to Lvov then. If, of course, the Poles agree,” Medvedev remarked. The director of NATO Secretary General’s Private Office, Stian Jenssen, said earlier on Tuesday that Ukraine could become a NATO member if it agreed to cede territories that it currently refused to recognize as part of Russia.

Read more …

“..Kiev’s foreign advisers are essentially using the Ukraine conflict as a testing ground for various military strategies involving Western weapons, while President Vladimir Zelensky supplies the manpower for these experiments…”

Western Military Dominance ‘Has Ended’ – Moscow (RT)

Asian, African and Latin American states have seen their role in the global arena increase as Western military dominance has started to wane, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said. Speaking at the 21st International Security Conference in Moscow on Tuesday, the minister argued that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has “put an end to the dominance of the collective West in the military sphere.” “Just as the defeat of fascism by the Red Army in Europe in the last century gave a powerful impetus to anti-colonial movements throughout the world, so will the defeat of the Ukrainian neo-fascists supported by the West serve as a factor in counteracting modern neo-colonialism,” Shoigu said.

The minister noted that Russia is currently fighting “not just the armed forces of Ukraine, but the entire collective West,” which, he added, has recently been joined by several states from the Asia-Pacific region. In its confrontations with Kiev’s forces, which have been provided with foreign weaponry worth billions of dollars, Russia has dispelled many myths about the superiority of Western military standards, Shoigu said. It has become clear that the use of Western weapons and supposedly advanced NATO tactics and training “cannot ensure superiority on the battlefield,” he added. The minister also claimed that Kiev’s foreign advisers are essentially using the Ukraine conflict as a testing ground for various military strategies involving Western weapons, while President Vladimir Zelensky supplies the manpower for these experiments.

Shoigu said the losses among Ukrainian military personnel are being disregarded by Ukraine’s Western backers. The Russian minister also claimed that Ukraine’s military resources are almost completely exhausted, according to preliminary estimates. Russia’s Defense Ministry had previously reported that since launching their counteroffensive operation in early June, Ukraine’s forces had lost some 43,000 soldiers as well as nearly 5,000 pieces of heavy equipment, including dozens of Western tanks and combat vehicles. Shoigu suggested that the US is using the Ukraine conflict to line the pockets of its defense industry by forcing its partners in Europe to procure new products to replace those they have sent to Kiev.

Read more …

“Under these conditions, bilateral relations between Russia and China have surpassed the level of strategic ties in all respects, becoming more than just allied.”

Ukraine’s Military Resources Are “Almost Exhausted” – Shoigu (ZH)

Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu in fresh remarks before a security conference in Moscow acknowledged that while the special military operation in Ukraine has been a real test for Russia, the reality is that Ukraine’s ability to fight and its resources have been “almost exhausted”. He further said the Russian military has learned much about the West’s advanced weapons systems in the process. “In the special military operation, the Russian army has debunked many myths about the superiority of Western military standards,” he said in the rare public speech, as cited in Reuters. “The preliminary results of combat operations show that Ukraine’s military resources are almost exhausted,” he emphasized at one point, but without providing further specifics.

Importantly, China’s own defense chief, Li Shangfu, was in the audience for the event. The Kremlin has recently said that a Putin trip to Beijing to meet with President Xi Jinping is “on the agenda”, to happen by year’s end. Shoigu during the speech touted the large numbers of Western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles that have been taken out on the Ukrainian battlefield. “We have data on … the destruction of German tanks, American armored vehicles, British missiles and other weapons systems,” he said. “We are ready to share our assessments … with our partners.” Likely he had China in particular in mind, also as he followed by comparing the West’s deep involvement in Ukraine to the Taiwan situation. He then said: “Under these conditions, bilateral relations between Russia and China have surpassed the level of strategic ties in all respects, becoming more than just allied.”

While time may soon tell whether or not Ukraine’s defenses are “almost exhausted” – it has become very clear that the counteroffensive is not going well, and Biden’s ‘all in’ support to Kiev is becoming politically unpopular and an additional liability for Democrats going into the 2024 presidential election. Another key part of the Russian defense chief’s speech touched on nuclear weapons. He blasted allegations by the West that Putin is ready to use them: “From a military point of view, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve the set goals,” Shoigu said at an international security conference in Moscow. He slammed media speculation that Russia could potentially use nuclear or chemical weapons to compensate for slow progress in its nearly six-month military campaign in Ukraine as “absolute lies.”

Read more …

As NATO eyes the Pacific.

Shoigu Hails High Level Of Contacts Between Russia, Chinese Military (TASS)

Russia and China maintain communication between the two countries’ military at a high level and conduct joint land, naval and air drills, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday. “We are maintaining contacts at a high level, exchanging delegations, conducting joint exercises and drill – this is shown on all global channels – about our joint patrols on land, at sea, and in the air,” he said during a working meeting Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu on the sidelines of the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security. The Russian defense minister noted that cooperation with China is developed both bilaterally and within multilateral formats, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the ADMM-Plus (ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus).

“Russia and China are strategic partners, good neighbors and close friends,” he stressed. “During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia this March, the leaders of our countries reiterated that Russian-Chinese comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation have reached the highest point ever in the entire history of bilateral relations. We are implementing our leaders’ agreements in practice.” Shoigu thanked his Chinese counterpart for taking part in the Moscow security conference, noting that Li’s speech at the conference opening and the analysis of international situation “deserve closer attention.”

The Russian defense minister noted that China traditionally takes an active part in the Army international forum and China’s products traditionally attract specialists’ interest. “Yesterday, I visited your exposition, which broadly represents China’s defense sector. I saw many new and promising things,” Shoigu said, adding that since the previous exhibition, where China also took part, “a serious step forward had been taken.” “Today, all companies, all countries taking part in the exhibition take into account the experience of the latest development, including in the zone of the special military operation,” he said. The Russian minister said he is confident that today’s meeting will help strengthen the traditionally friendly ties between the two countries’ defense ministries and enhancing regional and global security.

He noted that this is his third meeting with his Chinese counterpart this year and congratulated him on the 96th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which was marked on August 1. The Army 2023 international military-technical forum is running at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center, the Alabino training ground and the Kubinka airfield outside Moscow on August 14-20. About 1,500 leading Russian defense enterprises and 85 foreign companies and businesses from seven countries are participating in the forum’s expositions and business program. The forum has been organized by the Russian Defense Ministry. TASS is the forum’s strategic media partner.

Read more …

“..despite “outstanding performance characteristics” their highly-sophisticated equipment couldn’t perform appropriately in Ukraine’s tough battlefield conditions.”

Why US Drones Prove Useless in Ukraine (Sp.)

After China banned exports of long-range remotely-piloted aircraft to Ukraine, US military experts found that American arm-makers have nothing to offer the Ukrainian military to fill the gap. On one hand, US defense-tech firms produce drones with a price tag starting from $16,000, well above China’s DJI Mavic UAVs that cost around $2,000 or even less. What’s more, according to the US mainstream press, some US defense contractors who have spent months testing their drones in Ukraine have now decided to leave their drones in storage. The crux of the matter is that despite “outstanding performance characteristics” their highly-sophisticated equipment couldn’t perform appropriately in Ukraine’s tough battlefield conditions.

American arms manufacturers have long been focused on qualitative superiority of their systems while their Russian and Chinese peers concentrated on functionality and quantity, as per David T. Pyne, an EMP Task Force scholar and former US Department of Defense officer. “During the latter stages of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, the US focused on producing more expensive high-tech weapon systems that were qualitatively superior to Soviet systems in most areas while the Soviets more than compensated for US technological superiority by outproducing the US and its NATO allies by a wide margin. While Russia has caught up with the US technologically, I think the same Cold War-era mentality that quality is more important than quantity continues to hold true here in the US as we continue to prioritize more high-tech equipment even though it costs a lot more money to produce,” Pyne told Sputnik.

According to Pyne, Russia appears to have a much more cost-effective military budget than the US has “because its procurement, manufacturing and personnel costs are lower.” Russia’s electronic warfare (EW) systems, air defenses and aircraft reportedly pose yet another challenge to NATO-grade unmanned vehicles. “Russian electronic warfare capabilities remain the best in the world across the electromagnetic spectrum,” the EMP Task Force scholar stressed. “I think that Russian EW systems remain highly effective against US-built drones although media reports indicate that the US is helping Ukraine learn how to more effectively counter Russian GPS jamming equipment, likely reducing the percentage of Ukrainian drones it can successfully jam down to perhaps eighty percent.”

Read more …

“..a “sabotage hit squad” consisting of some 100 Ukrainian “nationalist and neo-Nazi militants..”

MI6 Plans To Send Ukrainian Mercenaries To Africa (RT)

The UK foreign intelligence service MI6 has allegedly prepared a group of saboteurs to disrupt Russia’s growing economic cooperation with African states, a military-diplomatic source told the RIA and TASS news agencies on Wednesday. The British spy agency created a “sabotage hit squad” consisting of some 100 Ukrainian “nationalist and neo-Nazi militants,” the source claimed, citing “information confirmed by several sources.” London reportedly asked Kiev back in July to “provide maximum and prompt assistance to representatives of the British intelligence MI6 and SAS special unit” in order to select fighters with “significant combat experience on the ‘eastern front’.”

The source, cited by both RIA and TASS, claimed that the British-Ukrainian unit will be tasked with “sabotage of infrastructure in African countries, as well as the elimination of African leaders oriented towards cooperation with Russia.” The militant group, alleged to be headed by Kiev’s Main Directorate of Intelligence officer Lt. Col. Vitaliy Prashchuk, is expected to be deployed to the Sudanese city of Omdurman from the Ukrainian port of Izmail by a “chartered civilian ship” sometime during the second half of August, the source added. London has been deeply involved in the Ukraine conflict since its escalation in February 2022, supplying domestically produced and foreign military hardware to Ukraine, training Ukrainian troops in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, and sharing intelligence.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May that British special forces “are operating very close to the front lines” and that their “guiding influence on Ukrainian special-forces activity is evident in the sabotage operations Ukraine has conducted against Russian railway, airfield, fuel and other logistical nodes.” “We can’t rule out that the British participated in the planning, organization and support of terrorist attacks carried out by the Kiev regime on the territory of Russia,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said at the time, adding that Moscow reserves the right to respond to such conduct by the UK at a time and place of its choosing.

Read more …

“..charities and foundations are strictly forbidden by law to operate with the effect, much less the intent, of benefiting a political party..”

How Charities Secretly Help Win Elections (Thayer)

This investigation reveals the shocking true story of the Everybody Votes campaign—the largest and most corrupt “charitable” voter registration effort in American history—that may have decided the 2020 presidential election and could decide 2024. Commissioned by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, funded by the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, and coordinated with cutthroat Democratic consultants, the Everybody Votes campaign used the guise of civic-minded charity to selectively register millions of “non-white” swing-state voters in the hopes of getting out the Democratic vote for a 2020 presidential win. It worked. Our exclusive research reveals how a little-known organization called the Voter Registration Project (VRP) leveraged connections with billionaire private foundations, Sam Bankman-Fried’s mother, and foreign billionaires with a history of breaking U.S. election law to raise $190 million for the Everybody Votes campaign and register 5.1 million people.

Using data from leaked copies of the campaign’s secret plans, as well as 2020 exit polls, our researchers have discovered that the VRP’s 5.1 million new registrations provided Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with somewhere between 1 million to 2.7 million votes across eight specially chosen swing states during the 2020 election. If the state-by-state projections of the campaign’s Democratic consultants held true into 2020, the Everybody Votes campaign’s “massive registration surge” would have provided Democrats more votes than the total margins of victory in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Biden ultimately won each of these states in 2020, netting him 53 electoral college votes.

Our investigation proves, once and for all, that Democrats used truckloads of money from private foundations and public charities to give their donors enormous tax breaks and pad their electoral margins in 2020, even though charities and foundations are strictly forbidden by law to operate with the effect, much less the intent, of benefiting a political party. The investigation also proves that the campaign’s supposed concerns for the “civic participation” of “underrepresented communities” were nothing more than a convenient lie. Unearthed drafts of the Everybody Votes campaign’s original partisan schematics prove that the campaign was designed to win elections first and worry about “civic participation” later. Changing the electorate’s racial composition was only ever a secondary concern.

If the Everybody Votes campaign was a political action committee (PAC) or a 501(c)(4) “dark money” group and if the organizers had just admitted they cared more about electoral results than inequality, then there would be no scandal. But it wasn’t, and they didn’t, and the result is an enormous scandal entangling some of the Left’s biggest political donors and many of its most powerful nonprofit activist groups. It’s not just a scandal of the past either. The operation was so successful in 2020 that the Everybody Votes campaign has announced it will continue on through 2024, registering millions more. New job listings suggest that this cycle’s operations will target Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin—each a must-win presidential swing state. Only time will tell if the campaign is a repeat success.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dig through earth
https://twitter.com/i/status/1691436302162345984

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 122023
 
 July 12, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


René Magritte The voice of blood 1948

 

Ceasefire and Peace Talks Should Be Focus of NATO Summit (CD)
NATO Summit, a Theater of the Absurd (Scott Ritter)
Understanding The NATO Summit (Kim Dotcom)
Stoltenberg: No Point in Discussing NATO Membership if Kiev Loses (Sp.)
Should Ukraine Join NATO? Don’t Kid Yourself: It Already Has (Tracey)
China Warns Against NATO Expansion Into Asia-Pacific (RT)
Ukraine Lost 26,000 Troops and 3,000 Arms In Counteroffensive – Shoigu (Sp.)
Trump Slams Biden Over Cluster Bombs For Ukraine (RT)
NATO Neck Deep In Ukraine Conflict Due To Weapons Pipeline – Zakharova (TASS)
Underestimate Russia at Your Own Risk (NC)
US Trying To Use Foreign Mercenaries To Plug Gaps In Ukraine (Marsden)
The Blob Begins to Quiver (Kunstler)
Judge Refuses Hold On Order Limiting Admin Contact With Social Media (AP)
The Truth About Bidenomics: More Debt, More Inflation (Lacalle)
Putin Issues Warning About US Banking System (RT)

 

 

 

 

RFK Camus

 

 

RFK Wuhan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1678816812119519254

 

 

 

 

Kiev Nov 2013

 

 

EP
https://twitter.com/i/status/1678806221254426633

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..It does not have the right to encourage escalation of a war where there will be no winners.”

Ceasefire and Peace Talks Should Be Focus of NATO Summit (CD)

The start of NATO’s annual summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on Tuesday has been dominated by talk of maintaining the flow of weapons to Ukraine and potentially expanding the Western military alliance to include the war-ravaged nation as its conflict with invading Russian forces drags on. But anti-war campaigners argued that approach is a recipe for a prolonged and possibly larger military conflict, one that could ultimately involve nuclear weapons. Lindsey German, a founding member and convenor of the United Kingdom-based Stop the War Coalition, wrote Monday ahead of the two-day summit that “a ceasefire and peace talks are the only means to end this bloody spiral,” warning a primary focus on weaponry and NATO expansion would signal that “Western powers are preparing for an even greater war.”

The alternative to serious peace negotiations, German wrote, is that the war “grinds on, with battles such as Bakhmut increasingly resembling those of the First World War. And that further ‘red lines’ are crossed—more cruise missiles, more cluster bombs. And then what? Tactical nuclear weapons?” “While Ukraine has every right to defend itself from the invasion and war with Russia, it does not have the right to demand weapons which even the British government has said it will not send,” German added, referring to cluster munitions—weapons that the U.S. is preparing to send Ukraine. “It does not have the right to encourage escalation of a war where there will be no winners.” “A ceasefire and peace talks are the only means to end this bloody spiral.”

NATO leaders gathered in Lithuania for the 2023 summit are reportedly expected to issue a statement pledging to “extend an invitation” to Ukraine to join the military alliance once “allies agree and conditions are met,” offering no specific timeline. U.S. President Joe Biden endorsed the draft communique on Tuesday. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is in attendance at the NATO summit, criticized the available details of the document, saying it “seems there is no readiness neither to invite Ukraine to NATO nor to make it a member of the alliance.”

Ukraine’s push to join NATO was recently backed by dozens of “foreign policy experts,” many of whom work for organizations that receive funding from weapons companies and industry lobbyists. Eli Clifton of Responsible Statecraft reported that 21 of the 46 signatories to a new open letter supporting Ukraine’s NATO bid “are associated with institutions with financial ties to the weapons industry, an industry that presumably stands to benefit from the policy recommendations laid out in a letter that had a particular focus on providing more Western weapons to Ukraine, a fact not shared with readers.”

Read more …

Check out the doc.

NATO Summit, a Theater of the Absurd (Scott Ritter)

NATO had placed high hopes on the Ukrainian army being able to carry out a counteroffensive against Russia which would achieve discernable results both in terms of territory re-captured and casualties inflicted on the Russian army. The results, however, have been dismal to date — tens of thousands of Ukrainian casualties and thousands of destroyed vehicles while failing to breach even the first line of the Russian defenses. One of the challenges NATO will face in Vilnius is the question of how to recover from this setback. Many NATO countries are starting to exhibit “Ukraine fatigue” as they see their armories stripped bare and their coffers emptied in what, by every measurement, appears to be a losing cause.

The scope and scale of the Ukrainian military defeat is such that the focus of many NATO members appears to be shifting from the unrealistic goal of strategically defeating Russia to a more realistic objective of bringing about a cessation to the conflict that preserves Ukraine as a viable nation state. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the NATO summit. However, his demands for NATO membership will not be met — U.S. President Joe Biden himself has weighed in on the matter, saying this would not be possible while Ukraine is at war with Russia. There will be face-saving gestures from NATO, such as the creation of a NATO-Ukraine Council and talk of eventual post-conflict security guarantees.

But the reality is Zelensky’s presence will do Ukraine more harm than good, since it will only accentuate the internal disagreement within NATO on the issue of Ukrainian membership and highlight NATO’s impotence when it comes to doing anything that can meaningfully alter the current trajectory on the battlefield, which is heading toward a strategic defeat for both Ukraine and NATO. The vision of the Madrid summit was that of NATO capitalizing on its strategic victory against Russia to further expand its ranks in Europe (both Finland and Sweden were invited), and to push its influence into the Pacific Ocean. While NATO’s Pacific partners (Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea) have been invited to Vilnius, the hopes that their presence would coincide with the announcement of the opening of a NATO liaison office in Japan have been quashed by France, which objects to an alliance ostensibly focused on North Atlantic security becoming involved in the Pacific.

A Scott Ritter Investigation: Agent Zelensky – Part 1

Read more …

Twitter thread.

“NATO has lost this war. Biden has lost this war. The lunatic Democrats have lost this war. The uni-party warmongers have lost this war. The EU has lost this war. Ukraine and Zelensky have lost this war.”

Understanding The NATO Summit (Kim Dotcom)

:The steam for the US proxy war in Ukraine is running out. No commitment is given to Ukraine to obtain NATO membership because the West has come to realize that they can’t win a war against Russia and that peace will only be possible with a neutral Ukraine. Ukraine will never be a member of NATO. Zelenskyy has realized this and is fuming in Vilnius, attacking NATO as disrespectful and calling the conditions absurd. In a moment of clarity he acknowledged what’s really going on: “It seems there is no readiness neither to invite Ukraine to NATO nor to make it a member of the Alliance. This means a window of opportunity is being left to bargain Ukraine’s membership in NATO in negotiations with Russia.”

That’s exactly right. NATO has lost this war. Biden has lost this war. The lunatic Democrats have lost this war. The uni-party warmongers have lost this war. The EU has lost this war. Ukraine and Zelensky have lost this war. Russia wins and rightfully so because everything that happened in Ukraine was a fraud against the Ukrainian people perpetrated by a failing US empire in its final stand against a rising multipolar world. Zelenskyy was never a leader who did what’s best for his people. He will be remembered as a US puppet and actor for foreign interests. 350,000 Ukrainians dead because of him and his puppet masters in the US. He lost $12.7 trillion worth of land and resources to Russia because he did not sign the reasonable peace agreement that Russia had proposed to him.

Instead he fell for empty promises from Biden that the US will support Ukraine until victory. What a fool. The good news is this war may be over soon. The West has lost its appetite to throw more money into the Ukrainian black hole. With the US and EU entering recession they have enough problems at home. Protests and riots will become regular news. Biden wouldn’t stand a chance in the next election. His brain is Swiss cheese and the only alternative for the Democrats is Kennedy. Trump will use the fatal mistake in Ukraine and the dire economic outlook of the US to run a successful campaign. Kennedy, who says all the right things, would be his only real obstacle but the Democrats have messed their country up so royally that Trump seems like the only choice.

The reality is that it doesn’t matter who the next US president is. The insurmountable debt burden combined with de-dollarization in global trade and the rise of BRICS+ are going to send the US into a decade long depression with unseen levels of poverty and violence. Hopefully humanity dodged a bullet and nuclear war is no longer imminent. At least that is my read of the situation right now. But things could flare up again if peace negotiations fail. Russia may be tempted to take Odessa and turn Ukraine into rump state without access to the sea. Russia is holding all the cards. Let’s see how Putin plays them.

Read more …

Does anyone doubt it will?

Stoltenberg: No Point in Discussing NATO Membership if Kiev Loses (Sp.)

NATO summit kicked off on Tuesday with the focus on Ukraine possible invitation to the alliance. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the Eastern European state would join the bloc when all member states agree on it and if it meets all the conditions. There is no point in discussing Ukraine’s NATO membership if Kiev does not prevail in the ongoing conflict, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday. “I think all allies agree that when a war is going on that’s not the time for making the Ukraine the full member of the alliance,” he stressed. “We also made clear that we will issue an invitation for Ukraine to join NATO when allies agree and conditions are met,” Stoltenberg told a press conference. The secretary general also said that the procedure does not have a specific time frame.

In the final communiqué, NATO members confirmed that they see Ukraine in the alliance in the future. “We fully support Ukraine’s right to choose its own security arrangements,” the document says. “Ukraine’s future is in NATO. We reaffirm the commitment we made at the 2008 Summit in Bucharest that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, and today we recognise that Ukraine’s path to full Euro-Atlantic integration has moved beyond the need for the Membership Action Plan.” Per the NATO communiqué, Ukraine has become increasingly interoperable and politically integrated with the transatlantic alliance and “made substantial progress on its reform path.” The alliance particularly referred to the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine and the 2009 Complement, stressing that NATO member states will continue to support and review Ukraine’s “progress on interoperability” and “additional democratic and security sector reforms that are required.”

“NATO Foreign Ministers will regularly assess progress through the adapted Annual National Programme. The Alliance will support Ukraine in making these reforms on its path towards future membership. We will be in a position to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the Alliance when Allies agree and conditions are met,” the document reads. The bloc has announced the establishment of the NATO-Ukraine Council, a new joint body where NATO member states and Ukraine would sit as “equal members” to advance political dialogue, cooperation and “Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in the alliance.” sStill, the Kiev leadership is seeking admission to NATO in an expedited manner insisting that no other decision will suit Ukraine. On the opening day of the NATO summit in Vilnius, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that it is “absurd” that there is no time frame for inviting Ukraine to the alliance.

Read more …

“..who needs the bother of formal NATO membership anyway, when you can sneak in through the back door?”

Should Ukraine Join NATO? Don’t Kid Yourself: It Already Has (Tracey)

As NATO members gather in Lithuania this week with traditional Eastern European fanfare, the chief focus of their deliberations is whether to extend formal membership to Ukraine amid the ongoing war. But the question of whether Ukraine officially joins NATO may have turned into something of a red herring. The truth is Ukraine has already been unofficially incorporated into NATO. As University of Chicago international relations professor Paul Poast, a passionate advocate for NATO’s swift admittance of Ukraine, aptly put it, “NATO has already expanded into the war zone. The allies should just acknowledge that reality.”

A year and a half into the war, it can hardly be denied that NATO forces have gained substantially more than the mere “foothold” in Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed to have launched his invasion of Ukraine to preempt. With the U.S. effectively assuming financial, material, political, strategic, and operational dominion over Ukrainian state warfare, the “foothold” has turned into a heavily-fortified bridgehead. Rockets lobbed at Russian troop positions are ultimately the product of U.S. commanders “controlling every shot,” as Ukrainian officials have occasionally acknowledged. A great deal of American engineering ingenuity is currently being harnessed to pulverize Russians. But as Putin is keenly aware, much of this U.S. and NATO “infrastructure” had been well-established long before any invasion was launched.

For example, exactly two years earlier to the day of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, 2020, the nascent government of Volodmyr Zelensky decreed what was hailed as being Ukraine’s first “comprehensive and systematic” framework to achieve “the full Euro-Atlantic integration of the state” with particular emphasis on “deepening cooperation with NATO.” Almost exactly one year before that, in February 2019, an amendment to the Ukrainian Constitution was passed proclaiming that it was a non-negotiable national priority for Ukraine to pursue “full-fledged” NATO membership at the earliest possible opportunity. By June of 2019, Ukraine received an unusual prize: certification for one of its more seasoned Special Forces units to join the “NATO Response Force,” a specialized “rapid deployment” alliance formation which had been nurtured to life in 2002 by the famously foresighted Donald Rumsfeld. The summer before the invasion started, U.S. and Ukraine special forces convened their largest-ever joint “multinational maritime exercise” in the Black Sea.

Given all of this, who needs the bother of formal NATO membership anyway, when you can sneak in through the back door? Steady incremental assimilation seems like much less of a headache than the customary slog of conventional ratification. And then when the question of full membership does arise, proponents have been handed an argument on a platter: With NATO irreversibly entrenched in Ukraine already, it may as well just dispense with the niceties and go all the way. Oleksii Reznikov, the Ukrainian Defense Minister, is fond of declaring that Ukraine has already “de facto joined the Alliance,” given the massive surge in joint war-planning activity. And no existing alliance member seemed compelled to dispute Reznikov’s characterization—which is perfectly intuitive, given that Ukraine has been furnished over the past year and a half with what is essentially a brand new military, conveniently up to NATO specifications fresh out the box.

Read more …

“They also accused Beijing of posing “cyber, space, hybrid and other asymmetric threats,” and of engaging in “the malicious use of emerging and disruptive technologies.”

China Warns Against NATO Expansion Into Asia-Pacific (RT)

The Chinese government has urged NATO not to expand into the Asia-Pacific, warning that it would retaliate to any increased Western military presence in the region after the alliance criticized Beijing during its summit in Lithuania. China’s Mission to the European Union issued a statement on Tuesday in response to NATO’s joint communique, which accused Beijing of pursuing “coercive policies” that “challenge” Western interests. “The China-related content of the communique disregards basic facts, wantonly distorts China’s position and policies, and deliberately discredits China. We firmly oppose and reject this,” the Chinese diplomats said. The statement went on to pledge that Beijing would “safeguard its sovereignty” and oppose “NATO’s eastward expansion into the Asia-Pacific.”

It added that “any actions that damage China’s legitimate rights and interests will be met with a resolute response.” Leaders of the Western military alliance met on Tuesday in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, to discuss additional aid to Ukraine, among other matters. They also accused Beijing of posing “cyber, space, hybrid and other asymmetric threats,” and of engaging in “the malicious use of emerging and disruptive technologies.” The Chinese EU mission argued that NATO had failed to reflect on its own responsibilities, and instead “blindly blames other countries, keeps meddling in extraterritorial affairs [and] creates confrontation.”

It added that the bloc’s “ambitions for expansion and hegemony are obvious,” and warned that its status as a “nuclear alliance” would only “further aggravate regional tensions.” The statement comes after Chinese officials warned against the opening of a NATO liaison office in Japan, which would mark the bloc’s first facility in Asia. Though Tokyo indicated it was considering the idea, France has reportedly shot down the project, insisting NATO should remain confined to the North Atlantic. The relations between the US and China have deteriorated significantly in recent years, with countries clashing over Taiwan, global trade, and human rights.

Beijing’s remarks on NATO’s expansion echo previous criticisms from Moscow, which has repeatedly decried the alliance’s gradual expansion eastward in recent decades, and stressed that it considers Western military sites close to its borders a threat to national security. NATO has rejected these claims, insisting that the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine does not make the alliance a party to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Kiev had hoped it would be offered a clear path to NATO membership at the Vilnius summit on Tuesday, but was disappointed after the alliance reiterated its prior promises to admit Ukraine as a member at some point in the future, after its armed conflict with Russia is resolved.

Read more …

“We know that the results of our combat work are carefully monitored and analyzed by foreign intelligence services..”

Ukraine Lost 26,000 Troops and 3,000 Arms In Counteroffensive – Shoigu (Sp.)

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported about the situation in special military operation zone. Shoigu stressed that Kiev failed to achieve its goals in all directions and lost roughly 26 thousands of troops and 3 thousands of military equipment. “To sum up some results, what did they achieve for this widely promoted and announced, as they called it, strategic counteroffensive. As a result, what have they got approaching the NATO summit? Since June 4, the enemy’s losses have amounted to more than 26,000 military and 3,000 units of various weapons,” Defense Minister stressed. Russian army decimated 21 Ukrainian aircraft, 5 helicopters, over 1200 tanks and other armored vehicles, including 17 Leopards.

He stressed that Kiev continues to unsuccessfully try to break through the defense of the Russian military in different directions, and several waves of attacks have been launched in two days, the minister said. “They are actively fighting, trying to break through our defenses in different directions. Just over the past two days, several waves of attacks have been launched,” the minister said. High-precision strikes of the Russian military against the reserves of the Ukrainian military, including Western equipment, significantly reduce the offensive potential of the enemy, the minister concluded. Shoigu stressed that should the US supply Ukraine with cluster munitions, the Russian Armed Forces would use similar arms against Kiev militants. Sergey Shoigu added that the Russian Armed Forces launched its own counterattack in Krasny Liman direction and advanced 1.5 km.

The intelligence services of the United States and other NATO countries carefully monitor and analyze the results of the combat work of the Russian military, Shoigu stressed. “We know that the results of our combat work are carefully monitored and analyzed by foreign intelligence services, primarily the United States and NATO countries,” Shoigu said. Western intelligence agencies note the high efficiency of the defense of the Russian armed forces, minefields, preemptive airstrikes, as well as the highest resilience of the Russian military and the prompt response measures of commanders, the minister concluded. Russian President Vladimir Putin carefully monitors the situation – he is is briefed twice a day by the command of the Combined Group, as well as individual commanders with detailed reports on the current situation of the special military operation, Shoigu said.

Read more …

“Joe Biden is needlessly and dangerously leading us into World War three, which would be a nightmare beyond imagination—obliteration!”

Trump Slams Biden Over Cluster Bombs For Ukraine (RT)

In sending Kiev cluster bombs, the US government is “dragging us further toward World War Three,” former US president Donald Trump warned on Tuesday. President Joe Biden “should be trying to end the war and stop the horrific death and destruction being caused by an incompetent administration,” Trump said in a statement posted on his Truth Social platform. The 45th US president objected to the use of cluster munitions on both humanitarian and strategic grounds, pointing to the fact that unexploded ordnance “will be killing and maiming innocent Ukrainian men, women, and children for decades to come,” long after the war has ended.

Trump also called out Biden’s statement, made in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria over the weekend, that cluster munitions were being sent because the US has run out of conventional 155mm artillery shells. If true, Trump retorted, this “only further emphasizes the urgency of immediately deescalating this bloody, dangerous, and out of control conflict.” “It certainly means we should not be sending Ukraine our last stockpiles at a time when our own arsenals, according to Crooked Joe Biden, are so perilously diminished,” the former president added, arguing that Biden’s policy of “endless war” in Ukraine has “tremendously weakened” the US.

“Joe Biden is needlessly and dangerously leading us into World War three, which would be a nightmare beyond imagination—obliteration!” Trump said. Trump, who currently leads the polls for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, vowed to achieve “peace through strength” once he returns to office after the next election. The White House announced last week it would send dual-purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM) artillery shells to Ukraine. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told reporters that the danger the munitions, which are banned in over 100 countries, pose to civilians was diminished because a Russian victory in the conflict would be far worse. He also accused Russia of having used the weapons in Ukraine.

Moscow has denied the US allegations. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday that if any US cluster munitions make it to Ukraine, the Russian military will respond with equivalent weapons of its own that are “much more effective” and “diverse.” The US offer of cluster munitions has been condemned by the UN, NATO allies such as the UK, Canada and Spain, as well as members of Biden’s own party in the US House of Representatives. “Either cluster bombs are bad, or they are not bad. You can’t determine the value of a cluster bomb based on who’s being blown up by it,” comedian and podcast host Russell Brand said on Tuesday.

Read more …

“It is NATO that has pushed the Kiev regime this far..”

NATO Neck Deep In Ukraine Conflict Due To Weapons Pipeline – Zakharova (TASS)

NATO is deeply involved in the conflict in Ukraine through the bloc’s provision of weapons, mercenaries, funds and intelligence to Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Qatar’s Al Jazeera television. “Do you really think that NATO is not at war with Russia? In fact, it’s NATO that provides all of the weapons, fighters, mercenaries, instructors, advisors and intelligence data to the Kiev regime. NATO is definitely involved in these military activities; there is no doubt about it. It is NATO that has pushed the Kiev regime this far,” she noted.


On February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation based on a request from the heads of the Donbass republics amid escalating tensions in the region, with the authorities in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) reporting some of the heaviest Ukrainian shelling up to that time. In response, the West imposed major sanctions on Russia. In addition, Western countries started to provide weapons and military equipment to Kiev, the aggregate value of which is currently estimated in the billions of dollars. However, the Kiev authorities have repeatedly demanded that Ukrainian forces be provided with yet more weapons and more advanced equipment, long-range missiles and aircraft.

Read more …

Operation Barbarossa.

Underestimate Russia at Your Own Risk (NC)

In honor of the NATO summit July 11 and 12, this is a comparison of how the Nazi leadership in World War Two and today’s collective West similarly underestimated Russia and overestimated their capabilities. Despite Russia’s overwhelming upper hand in Ukraine, Western officials and media continue to largely pump sunshine and weave stories of Russian collapse. There are increasing breaks in the fever, and it looks like maybe, hopefully the acceptance of the loss is gaining traction in Washington. Meanwhile, the unwillingness or inability for hardliners to objectively assess efforts against Russia occurs today just as it did during Operation Barbarossa. As Seymour Hersh writes:

“There is an enormous gap between the way the professionals in the American intelligence community assess the situation and what the White House and the supine Washington press project to the public by uncritically reproducing the statements of Blinken and his hawkish cohorts.” This too is reminiscent of the Nazi offensive against the Soviet Union when the failure was hidden from the German public. Adding to the similarities is the fact that both the Third Reich command and today’s officials in the West simultaneously downplay Russia’s military capabilities while endlessly hyping the threat from Moscow. Hitler, similar to so many Western “experts” and officials today, mocked Russia’s supposed backwardness while also hyping the threat “Slavic Bolshevism” posed to the West.

The progression of his comments show him seesawing between a reluctant acceptance and desperate hope as his miscalculations of Russia slowly dawn on him. It’s a path today’s governments in the West are still discovering. On the other hand, Goebbel’s diary entries are faster to admit that Operation Barbarossa was a disaster. Prior to the operation, he writes how there is no way the USSR could hope to oppose “the strongest army in all of history” and adds that “I consider the Russian military force to be very weak, even weaker than the Fuhrer believes. If anything is a sure thing, it is this.”

Indeed, German high command anticipated a quick collapse of Soviet resistance along the lines of the Blitzkrieg in Poland, but within a few weeks of the launch of the German offensive, it’s clear that Berlin underestimated the Russians. And the winter of 1941-42 saw the Nazi war machine stopped 12 miles short of Moscow and then driven back. It was all downhill from there. Despite evidence that Russian resistance was much more capable than anticipated, Hitler continues to talk of Russian inferiority and a breakup of the country for months before a realization of the situation begins to set in. Read in tandem with Goebbels’ more honest diary entries, it calls to mind today’s battle within the Blob between the realists and anti-Russian fanatics.

Read more …

“You’d think he’d have taken an offramp at that point. Nope, not Rambo here.”

US Trying To Use Foreign Mercenaries To Plug Gaps In Ukraine (Marsden)

Western mercenaries from countries other than the US are dying for Washington’s interests while President Joe Biden warns Americans themselves to stay away. Most of the foreign mercenaries in Ukraine at this point aren’t American, according to Russia’s Channel One news. It’s actually Poland and Canada that lead the charge, with the US coming in third. And now reports are starting to emerge of US intelligence attempting to fill the void with even more foreign recruits to fight for US interests against Russia in Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense estimates that about 2,000 of the approximately 7,000 ‘volunteers’ have been killed. Recent reporting reveals a troubling trend among Western mercenary deaths: combatants whose military experience is virtually non-existent.

Presumably it all looked like good Hollywood action hero fun from afar — until the bullets started whizzing by. In a story published in May about two Canadian mercenaries who volunteered for Ukraine’s “International Legion” and were killed in the Artyomovsk (named Bakhmut by Ukraine) battle, the CBC revealed that one had previously served in the Canadian Forces as a medic and had been photographed working in search and rescue in Kharkov. Kyle Porter, a 27-year old from Calgary, had been in touch with Canada’s state broadcaster. “Let me figure out how I am going to survive the next few days,” he wrote. “It was a meat grinder the first time and I’m not expecting it any better this time around.” You’d think he’d have taken an offramp at that point. Nope, not Rambo here.

The question that everyone should be asking is how on earth Canadians, whose combat experience amounts to administering band-aids and applying tourniquets, could subsequently end up serving on the front lines — all while the Canadian government seemingly just shrugs. We’re talking here about a government that legislated zero-risk against overwhelmingly survivable Covid, but now can’t even be bothered to save unprepared Canadians from a much more likely death in Ukraine. Last May, the CBC reported on yet another Canadian veteran, identified only as “Shadow,” describing how he and his colleagues had repeatedly come under fire in the Donbas.

While “Shadow” might seem like a code name for a main character in a Hollywood movie about a badass who goes around single-handedly meting out justice, in reality he’s a meteorological technician who “experienced combat for the first time as a volunteer in Ukraine,” according to the report. The weather guy probably shouldn’t be placed in a position to be “blown out of their sniper’s nest by a shell.” For all his weather expertise, Shadow doesn’t seem to be too well-versed in grand chess geopolitics either. “If NATO had stepped in, the war would have been done in like less than a week, but because everyone sat back and watched, well, we are seeing all those civilians dying,” he told the CBC. Actually, direct NATO military confrontation with Russia would have resulted in World War III, and probably a few more civilian deaths than Shadow imagines.

Read more …

“..the US reduced in a few short years to a broke, socially disordered, marginalized power susceptible to its own political breakup..”

The Blob Begins to Quiver (Kunstler)

One likely, reality-based alternative is to stand by and let Russia complete its Special Military Operation to pacify and neutralize Ukraine. The prevailing theory is that this would be the end of America’s world dominance militarily, and effectively the end of NATO, but also the end financially for the US, as the non-West abandons the dollar. In that scenario, the BRICs dump their trillions in US bond holdings, sending all that putative “money” back to America, stoking a king-hell inflation, effectively bankrupting us. It would be the final fruit of the disastrous “Joe Biden” regime imposed on us via election fraud by the Blob: the US reduced in a few short years to a broke, socially disordered, marginalized power susceptible to its own political breakup — not a tantalizing outcome, but perhaps better than turning the planet Earth into a smoldering ashtray.

That outcome would force our country to turn inward and face its own stupendous failures of honor, decency, and integrity. It would be the end of the Blob’s hegemony inside the USA. The question is whether the Blob sets America’s house on fire in the attempt to save itself and escape a legal accounting for its crimes. One kindling stack already burning is the pile-up of jive prosecutions aimed at Mr. Trump. You know that the attempt to kick him off the game-board using Special Counsel Jack Smith may easily lead to severe civil disorder, and possibly a counter-coup, a US first!

The current Mar-a-Lago “Doc Box” case is as much a complete fabrication as were RussiaGate and Impeachment Number One — Mr. Trump’s telephone inquiry to Ukraine about the Biden family grifting operations there, now firmly documented to be true. An upright judge would summarily dismiss the Mar-a-Lago case and slam sanctions on the US attorneys involved, including disbarment and criminal investigation for mounting a maliciously fraudulent prosecution. AG Merrick Garland and his deputy, Lisa Monaco, obviously would have some ‘splainin’ to do, possibly before juries.

A long list of public figures populating the Blob await a reckoning: Hillary and Bill Clinton and their retainers, Barack Obama and retinue, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Christopher Wray (plus Rosenstein, Strzok, McCabe, Carlin, Ohr, Mueller, Weissmann, Horowitz, Atkinson, Ciaramella, Vindman), Rep. Adam Schiff, Senator Mark Warner, William Barr, Avril Haines, Marie Yovanovitch, William Burns, James Boasberg, Marc Elias, Michael Bromwich, David Laufman, Alejandro Mayorkas, Xavier Baccerra, Anthony Fauci, Rochelle Walensky, Francis Collins, Lloyd Austin. Mark Milley, Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, Ron Klain, Nancy Pelosi, Liz Cheney… the list goes way on, but there’s a start.

Read more …

“COVID-19 vaccines, legal issues involving President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and election fraud allegations were among the topics spotlighted in the lawsuit..“

Judge Refuses Hold On Order Limiting Admin Contact With Social Media (AP)

The Biden administration asked a federal appeals court Monday to temporarily block a lower court’s order limiting executive branch officials’ discussions with social media companies about controversial online posts. The request for an emergency stay was filed at the 5th U.S. District Court of Appeals shortly after U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty rejected an administration motion that he put his own July 4 order on hold. The order came in a lawsuit filed by Republican attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, as well as a conservative website owner and four individual critics of government COVID-19 policies. The lawsuit claimed the administration, in effect, censored free speech by using threats of regulatory action or protection while pressuring companies to remove what it deemed misinformation.

COVID-19 vaccines, legal issues involving President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and election fraud allegations were among the topics spotlighted in the lawsuit. Doughty was nominated to the federal bench by former President Donald Trump. His injunction blocked the Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI and multiple other government agencies and administration officials from meeting with or contacting social media companies for the purpose of “encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.” Administration attorneys said in the motion filed at the 5th Circuit that Doughty’s ruling was too broad and vague, and had the potential to chill government officials’ speech on important matters.

And they said Doughty failed to point to any evidence that the administration had made threats against social media companies to coerce them to take down posts. “The district court identified no evidence suggesting that a threat accompanied any request for the removal of content. Indeed, the order denying the stay — presumably highlighting the ostensibly strongest evidence — referred to ‘a series of public media statements,’” the administration said. They asked that the 5th Circuit block Doughty’s order while the case is pursued at the appeals court in New Orleans or, at minimum, grant a 10-day block of the order so the administration could prepare to go to the Supreme Court to seek a longer stay.

Earlier Monday, Doughty rejected administration requests that he stay his own order pending appeal. “In essence,” Doughty’s Monday order said, “Defendants argue that the injunction should be stayed because it might interfere with the Government’s ability to continue working with social-media companies to censor Americans’ core political speech on the basis of viewpoint. In other words, the Government seeks a stay of the injunction so that it can continue violating the First Amendment.”

Read more …

“..the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution now has liquid assets worth $1,200 less than they did before covid..”

The Truth About Bidenomics: More Debt, More Inflation (Lacalle)

Estimates of United States growth have improved but remain massively below the Federal Reserve projections. After the largest monetary and fiscal stimulus in recent years, growth remains well below trend, and debt is significantly higher. It is interesting to hear Janet Yellen say that “trickle-down economics did not work” when this is the failed trickle-down: massive government deficit spending leads to negative real wage growth and weaker GDP.Current consensus real GDP growth for 4Q23 stands at 0.2 percent, significantly lower than the median projection of one percent in the FOMC’s June Summary of Economic Projections. The latest figure, for example, shows evidence of headline strength hiding weakness in the details.

New durable-goods orders surged in May, but this headline growth disguised that core capital-goods orders were revised down again. Even if we consider the optimistic assumptions of the Biden administration, which assume a two percent per annum GDP growth until 2032 and 3.8 percent unemployment, the United States federal government deficit would not fall below five percent of GDP even in 2032. That is a deficit that rises from $1.1 trillion in 2023 to $2.01 trillion in 2032, an accumulated deficit between 2023 and 2032 of $15.46 trillion. That is a 106 percent debt to GDP, according to the Biden administration calculations even with very bullish estimates of growth that consider no recession or stagnation in the entire forecast period.

One of the biggest problems of this neo-Keynesian approach to government budgets is that it leaves households with less money in real terms, and the “anti-inflation” measures increase debt and inflation. Take the American Rescue Plan. It was supposed to be the helicopter money solution to the crisis, giving families cash and supporting consumption through the pandemic. Adjusted for inflation, Bloomberg Economics estimates the average household in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution now has liquid assets worth $1,200 less than they did before covid. You wanted the stimulus check? With printed money? You paid for it multiple times over in higher inflation. The other key policy items of the Biden administration, the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, were created to incentivize aggregate demand and boost investment in areas where the private sector seemed to be underinvesting. However, it was not the case.

The problem is that the government does not have more or better information about the requirements of the real economy, assumes erroneously that the private sector did not invest because of some flaw in the market, and these massive federal expenditure programs generate more inflation as they add artificial demand created with newly printed units of currency to an economy that is already working at full capacity and full employment. Thus, it puts more fuel to the fire of inflation. Bloomberg Economics warns that “If successful, the benefits of these projects will play out in the long term – and other deliverables, like reduced dependence on China and lower carbon emissions, won’t show up directly in the GDP data. In the near term, our view is that the costs in terms of higher inflation and recession risks offset the benefits and may even outweigh them”. Even if we assume a benign view of multiplier effects, the result is that these plans accelerate the risk of a recession by artificially tightening an already strong labor market and putting more pressure on supply chains.

Read more …

Andrey Kostin does the warning.

Putin Issues Warning About US Banking System (RT)

The increase in the level of sovereignty and independence of the Russian banking sector has been quite timely, given the negative trends that are growing globally, namely in the US banking system, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated. Putin was meeting with Andrey Kostin, the CEO of Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB, who assured the president that the country’s banking sector was secure. “Regarding anti-Russia sanctions, we have probably become somewhat immune because of them, and we have enhanced our sovereignty in this field,” Kostin told the Russian leader in Kremlin on Tuesday. “Look at what is now happening in the United States. This is virtually the largest financial and banking crisis since 2008, and it is already spreading to Europe,” the Russian top banker noted, adding “that sanctions against Russia are a double-edged sword.”


By imposing economic restrictions against Moscow, the West has “demolished the global trade system and caused an inflation surge,” while its attempts to resolve this problem by standard methods devalued bank assets, Kostin pointed out. The Russian banking sector is feeling “quite safe,” the VTB chief executive maintained, adding that he believes there won’t be any problems, “although we incurred certain losses last year when our property was simply taken away from us.” Putin, who has previously named economic sovereignty as the country’s top priority, agreed with Kostin, saying: “Perhaps what you have said about raising the level of independence and sovereignty is rather timely, considering greater negative trends in the US banking system.” The Russian president has earlier stated that the country’s economy was successfully withstanding the outside pressure, warning that Western sanctions will have a boomerang effect.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Blumenthal
https://twitter.com/i/status/1678783695388286977

 

 

Tucker Tate

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 022023
 


Douglas Percy Bliss High Noon, Windley 1951

 

Kiev Must Show ‘Battlefield Results’ In Next Ten Days – Zelensky (RT)
Ukrainian Counteroffensive Will Be Long And ‘Very Bloody’ – Top US General (Az. )
Ukraine Preparing for Second Stage of Counteroffensive in Zaporozhye Region – Official
Kiev Ready For Talks If It Gains Control Of 1991 Border – Zelensky (TASS)
Ukraine’s Growing Addiction to Foreign Mercenaries (Scott Ritter)
Medvedev Raises Specter Of Poland Using Nuclear Weapons (TASS)
Prigozhin’s Folly (Seymour Hersh)
Orban: ‘Weak Nations Will Perish, Strong Will Survive’ (Sp.)
Sweden Should Reconsider Turmoil It Would Become Part of in NATO – Maloof (Sp.)
Tulsi Gabbard Slams Biden for Nuclear Warmongering (Sp.)
Prices Rising Across The Eurozone (RT)
Gas Prices Fall 50% In Europe (Az.)
Dedollarization Accelerates: Argentina Makes IMF Payment Using Yuan, SDR (Sp.)
US Military Veterans Tell Family Members Not To Enlist – WSJ (RT)
Musk Explains New Twitter Limits (RT)
Twitter’s Rate Limiting Is Temporary (S.I.R.)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1675246410684301314

 

 

 

 

“NATO without Ukraine is not NATO..” ?!

Kiev Must Show ‘Battlefield Results’ In Next Ten Days – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine wants to make some progress on the battlefield in its counteroffensive against Russia before the upcoming NATO summit, President Vladimir Zelensky said on Friday, although he admitted that this would lead to new losses. Speaking to several Spanish media outlets, the Ukrainian leader stated that Kiev has to “show results” before NATO leaders convene in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11, adding that “every kilometer costs lives.” Zelensky noted that “torrential rains… slowed down some processes quite a bit” and reiterated calls for Kiev’s Western backers to continue sending arms to Ukraine. He also claimed that Ukraine’s offensive operations conducted last autumn were undermined by the late arrival of artillery.

“We stopped because we couldn’t advance. Advancing meant losing people and we had no artillery,” he explained. “We are very cautious in this aspect. Fast things are not always safe.” The Ukrainian president also reiterated his long-standing demands that Kiev eventually be admitted to NATO. “NATO without Ukraine is not NATO,” he stated, claiming that there were no other armies on the continent like Ukraine’s that had the same battlefield experience. Zelensky’s comments come after Igor Zhovka, a deputy head of the president’s office, warned that the Ukrainian leader could skip the NATO summit altogether if the bloc did not make a serious commitment to Kiev’s accession. Earlier, Jens Stoltenberg, the head of the US-led military bloc, stated that any discussions about Ukraine’s membership could start only on the condition that it prevails over Russia.

Ukraine launched a large-scale offensive against Russian positions in early June but has failed to gain any ground and has suffered heavy losses, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Zelensky himself has admitted difficulties, saying that the offensive is proceeding “slower than desired” in the face of “tough resistance” from Russian troops. According to a Financial Times report from earlier this week, Western officials have been unimpressed by Ukraine’s performance on the battlefield, with the paper’s sources noting that long-term Western support for Kiev is contingent on the eventual outcome of the offensive.

Read more …

So start peace talks.

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Will Be Long And ‘Very Bloody’ – Top US General (Az. )

Ukraine’s counteroffensive will be “very difficult” and achieving significant gains could take a long time, a top US military officer has warned, Report informs, citing Yahoo. Army general Mark Milley told the National Press Club in Washington that the counteroffensive was “advancing steadily, deliberately working its way through very difficult minefields … 500 meters a day, 1,000 meters a day, 2,000 meters a day, that kind of thing”.


Mr Milley said he was unsurprised progress was slower than some people predicted. He said: “War on paper and real war are different. In real war, real people die. Real people are on those front lines and real people are in those vehicles. Real bodies are being shredded by high explosives.” Mr Milley added: “What I had said was this is going to take six, eight, 10 weeks, it’s going to be very difficult. It’s going to be very long, and it’s going to be very, very bloody. And no one should have any illusions about any of that.”

Read more …

“They are currently trying to confuse our intelligence, so along the entire line of contact on the Zaporozhye front, they are constantly maneuvering and transferring troops.”

Ukraine Preparing for Second Stage of Counteroffensive in Zaporozhye (Sp.)

Ukraine launched its long-advertised counteroffensive in early June after multiple postponements. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukrainian troops continue to try but are failing to advance along three directions: South Donetsk, Artemovsk (Bakhmut) and Zaporozhye, the latter being of primary focus. Ukrainian troops are preparing to attempt the second stage of a large-scale counter-offensive in the Zaporozhye region in the coming days, Vladimir Rogov, a senior official of the Zaporozhye regional administration, told Sputnik.

“The enemy is already prepared for the second stage of a full-scale offensive. It can start any day, at any moment. They are currently trying to confuse our intelligence, so along the entire line of contact on the Zaporozhye front, they are constantly maneuvering and transferring troops. This is being done in order to hide the location of the main forces,” Rogov explained. He added that Ukrainian forces could concentrate the main blow for a breakthrough at any location of the front line. “Over the past four weeks, they have conducted the maximum number of attempts at reconnaissance in combat, offensive options, breakthroughs, studying our reaction and interaction of units, plus regular shelling of our rear in order to hit infrastructure facilities – bridges, transport hubs, units, depots with equipment and ammunition, airfields,” Rogov told Sputnik.

Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, after the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine. On September 30, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, signed agreements on the accession of these territories to Russia, following referendums that showed that an overwhelming majority of the local population supported becoming part of Russia.

Read more …

aka never no talks.

Kiev Ready For Talks If It Gains Control Of 1991 Border – Zelensky (TASS)

The government in Kiev will be ready to hold talks to end the conflict in Ukraine if its armed forces gain control of the borders that the country believes are recognized internationally, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said at a joint news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Saturday. These borders would include the Crimea, Donbass and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, the president said, when asked if Ukraine would be ready for talks if its troops regained control of the positions they had held before Russia started its special military operation in February 2022.


“Are we ready for diplomatic settlement and what kind of diplomatic settlement are we ready for if we’re at the borders as of February 24?” Zelensky said, repeating a question from a reporter, according to a video of the news conference that he posted to Telegram. “It wasn’t our borders on February 24, it was a line of engagement,” he went on to say. “And so we emphasize once again: Ukraine will be ready for some format of diplomacy when we are really on our borders, on our real borders according to international law.” Zelensky also brought up the issue of the country’s much-desired NATO membership. He said he believes that there is every reason for the alliance to invite the country to join when the bloc convenes for a summit in Vilnius on July 11-12. He said he was expecting a clear signal in this context.

Read more …

“..not only are they legitimate targets under the laws of war, but also the fact that they themselves most likely lack any protections under international humanitarian law..”

Ukraine’s Growing Addiction to Foreign Mercenaries (Scott Ritter)

A Russian missile strike on a popular restaurant in the city of Kramatorsk has set off a wave of discussion over the presence of foreign military personnel in Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense has described the target as a gathering place for the command and officers of the 56th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade of the Ukrainian army and claims to have killed scores of Ukrainian soldiers—and foreign mercenaries. While the Ukrainian government has not made any mention of the presence of foreign volunteers/mercenaries at the Del Rio Pizzeria, video from the scene of the attack shows numerous personnel in uniform, many of whom are obviously foreigners, congregated at the scene, providing first aid, and helping rescue victims.

The presence of military vehicles near the destroyed restaurant reinforces the Russian contention that there was a congregation of military personnel at the time of the attack. This would appear to lay to rest any question about the legality of the Russian strike—it conformed with the accepted precepts set forth under the laws of war. The legal status of the foreign personnel working alongside the Ukrainian army is not so certain. The fact that many are dressed in camouflage uniforms and engage in social media activity which advertises the military/paramilitary aspects of the work they are engaged in only reinforces the reality that not only are they legitimate targets under the laws of war, but also the fact that they themselves most likely lack any protections under international humanitarian law when it comes to being treated as lawful combatants.

The lack of legal status, however, does not appear to serve as a deterrent for the scores of foreign soldiers of fortune that had congregated at the Del Rio Pizzeria, or the thousands of others who, like them, had travelled to Ukraine to participate in a war with Russia that is entering its sixteenth month, and which has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom are combatants fighting on the side of Ukraine. The presence of these foreigners in such numbers under such conditions is suggestive of two unescapable realties: that there is a high demand for their services, and that foreign governments are actively facilitating the availability of personnel possessing skill sets attractive to the Ukrainian military.

An examination of the 56th Motorized Infantry Brigade might provide better insight into both the role played by the foreigners that had been congregated in Kramatorsk, and the scope and scale of their involvement. When the Special Military Operation began, the 56th Brigade was stationed in Mariupol, and was in the process of transitioning into a naval infantry (Marine) unit. The brigade was largely destroyed in the subsequent fighting for the city, and the surviving remnants reconstituted using mobilized personnel from the territorial forces. Most recently, the 56th Brigade was operating in the vicinity of the city of Bakhmut, where once again it suffered heavy casualties.

Read more …

“US National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby [..] underscored that the United States saw no Russian intentions to use nukes amid the Ukraine crisis.”

Medvedev Raises Specter Of Poland Using Nuclear Weapons (TASS)

The potential deployment of nuclear weapons to Poland may prompt the country to use them, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev told TASS. Commenting on Poland’s ambitions to take part in NATO’s Nuclear Sharing program, he said, “The only danger arising from the request to deploy nuclear weapons to Poland is that such weapons will be used.” Earlier, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki announced that Warsaw would like to join NATO’s Nuclear Sharing program amid Russia’s intentions to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. Speaking during an online press briefing on Friday, US National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said that he has absolutely nothing to say about this kind of negotiations. However, he underscored that the United States saw no Russian intentions to use nukes amid the Ukraine crisis.


On March 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that, at Minsk’s request, Moscow would deploy its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, similar to what the United States has long been doing on the territory of its allies. Moscow has already provided Minsk with Iskander tactical missile systems capable of carrying nuclear weapons and has helped Minsk to re-equip its military aircraft to carry specialized weapons. As well, Belarusian missile crews and pilots have undergone training in Russia. On June 16, Putin said that the first Russian nuclear warheads had already been delivered to Belarus, while the rest would arrive before the end of this year. On June 23, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said that his republic had already received a substantial portion of warheads that were planned to be delivered.

Read more …

“..He is, after all, no matter how cunning financially, an ex-hot dog cart owner with no political or military accomplishments.”

Prigozhin’s Folly (Seymour Hersh)

[..] below is a look at what is really going that was provided to me by a knowledgeable source in the American intelligence community: “I thought I might clear some of the smoke. First and most importantly, Putin is now in a much stronger position. We realized as early as January of 2023 that a showdown between the generals, backed by Putin, and Prigo, backed by anti-Russian extremists, was inevitable. The age-old conflict between the ‘special’ war fighters and a large, slow, clumsy, unimaginative regular army. The army always wins because they own the peripheral assets that make victory, either offensive or defensive, possible. Most importantly, they control logistics. special forces see themselves as the premier offensive asset. When the overall strategy is offensive, big army tolerates their hubris and public chest thumping because SF are willing to take high risk and pay a high price. Successful offense requires a large expenditure of men and equipment. Successful defense, on the other hand, requires husbanding these assets.

“Wagner members were the spearhead of the original Russian Ukraine offensive. They were the ‘little green men’. When the offensive grew into an all-out attack by the regular army, Wagner continued to assist but reluctantly had to take a back seat in the period of instability and readjustment that followed. Prigo, no shy violet, took the initiative to grow his forces and stabilize his sector. “The regular army welcomed the help. Prigo and Wagner, as is the wont of special forces, took the limelight and took the credit for stopping the hated Ukrainians. The press gobbled it up. Meanwhile, the big army and Putin slowly changed their strategy from offensive conquest of greater Ukraine to defense of what they already had. Prigo refused to accept the change and continued on the offensive against Bakhmut. Therein lies the rub. Rather than create a public crisis and court-martial the asshole [Prigozhin], Moscow simply withheld the resources and let Prigo use up his manpower and firepower reserves, dooming him to a stand-down. He is, after all, no matter how cunning financially, an ex-hot dog cart owner with no political or military accomplishments.

“What we never heard is three months ago Wagner was cycled out of the Bakhmut front and sent to an abandoned barracks north of Rostov-on-Don [in southern Russia] for demobilization. The heavy equipment was mostly redistributed, and the force was reduced to about 8,000, 2,000 of which left for Rostov escorted by local police. “Putin fully backed the army who let Prigo make a fool of himself and now disappear into ignominy. All without raising a sweat militarily or causing Putin to face a political standoff with the fundamentalists, who were ardent Prigo admirers. Pretty shrewd.” There is an enormous gap between the way the professionals in the American intelligence community assess the situation and what the White House and the supine Washington press project to the public by uncritically reproducing the statements of Blinken and his hawkish cohorts.

The current battlefield statistics that were shared with me suggest that the Biden administration’s overall foreign policy may be at risk in Ukraine. They also raise questions about the involvement of the NATO alliance, which has been providing the Ukrainian forces with training and weapons for the current lagging counter-offensive. I learned that in the first two weeks of the operation, the Ukraine military seized only 44 square miles of territory previously held by the Russian army, much of it open land. In contrast, Russia is now in control of 40,000 square miles of Ukrainian territory. I have been told that in the past ten days Ukrainian forces have not fought their way through the Russian defenses in any significant way. They have recovered only two more square miles of Russian-seized territory. At that pace, one informed official said, waggishly, it would take Zelensky’s military 117 years to rid the country. of Russian occupation.

Read more …

“Brussels is calling for mandatory migrant quotas once again. The Soros-empire strikes back..”

Orban: ‘Weak Nations Will Perish, Strong Will Survive’ (Sp.)

Hungary must strengthen its own defense capabilities and law enforcement agencies, as the time will come when weak nations will perish, and only the strong ones will remain, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday. “We need a strong country, a strong government, a strong economy, a strong army and, last but not least, strong law enforcement agencies… We have to train and equip ourselves,” Viktor Orban declared at a graduation ceremony at the Faculty of Law Sciences of the National University of Public Administration (NKE) in Budapest. 166 students of the Faculty of Law Enforcement were taking their oath of office at the event attended by Orban, Minister of the Interior Sandor Pinter, and Minister of National Defense Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky.

The prime minister warned that the world is experiencing tremendous upheavals, and “strong people are greatly needed, because the truth is worth little without strength.” Orban emphasized that Hungary must face up to the challenge that thousands of migrants from the south are “besieging our borders.” In June, Viktor Orban had slammed the European Union’s newly-adopted quotas for the equitable resettlement of migrants from the Middle East and across the Mediterranean Sea in EU member states. “Brussels is calling for mandatory migrant quotas once again. The Soros-empire strikes back,” Orban tweeted at the time. Addressing graduates on Saturday, the Hungarian PM emphasized that crime levels had gone down in the country, and today, “Hungary is one of the safest countries in Europe, or perhaps the safest,” and we are all proud of that.

As far back as in 2019, Viktor Orban has been urging the need for Hungary to beef up its military to defend itself. “I belong among those who consider NATO important, but I don’t think Hungary’s military security can be based on NATO… We need to be able to avert attacks with our own power,” Orban told US media at the time. Orban also advocated for Europeans to be able to address security threats without US assistance. In 2022, the PM said that Hungary will speed up its defense development program to “radically increase our defense capabilities.” He also emphasized that his country would not only refrain from supplying weapons to its neighbor, Ukraine, after the conflict there escalated, but would not permit such deliveries to transit through Hungarian territory.

This was a matter of national security, Peter Szijjarto, minister of foreign affairs, underscored. On May 2-23, Hungary blocked the European Union from allocating its eighth €500 million aid package from the so-called European Peace Fund to pay for military assistance to the Kiev regime. Orban has insisted that the ongoing hostilities stem from a “failure of diplomacy.” The politician has also offered especially harsh criticism of the European Union’s aggressively anti-Russian policies. Rather than pursuing a strategy of further ramping up tensions, the veteran Hungarian leader urged an immediate end to escalation by the West.

Read more …

“.. Sweden has traditionally been unaligned and that “neutrality was important for Sweden before,” adding that “ought to remain that way.”

Sweden Should Reconsider Turmoil It Would Become Part of in NATO – Maloof (Sp.)

Ankara and Stockholm already have a rocky relationship as the Scandinavian state seeks to join the NATO alliance, but Turkiye has conditioned its assent for Sweden’s admission based on the ending of its support for Kurdish nationalist groups that Ankara considers terrorist organizations. Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the US Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik that both Sweden and NATO should consider what benefit is gained by adding the Scandinavian state to the alliance, especially given the kind of tensions that further NATO expansion to the East is likely to create in the region. Maloof explained that NATO’s policy “seems to be to contain Russia at all costs, never mind anybody else and what their political considerations might be.

“I think it’s been damaging for Europe generally to have this kind of an expansion. It certainly has alarmed [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to the point that he basically said ‘it’s a red line if you do it in Ukraine,’ and they attempted that, and we saw the reaction, it had to do with fundamental security.” “The United States does not appreciate the sensitivities and the security concerns, historically, of Russia, and previous to that in the Soviet Union. When the Cold War was over, NATO expanded, but the Warsaw Pact went away. And so that raises a very serious question: what’s the point and purpose of NATO’s continued existence? Before [the conflict in] Ukraine, they were looking around for a new purpose. We had them looking into space, looking at the Arctic, NATO officials now are looking into the Asia-Pacific.

What is that? What’s that all about? What’s the point? It really raises questions about what the concerns are, really, about dominance and the need by the United States and using NATO as a basis to extend its hegemony everywhere – and at what cost,” Maloof said. The former Pentagon official noted that Sweden has traditionally been unaligned and that “neutrality was important for Sweden before,” adding that “ought to remain that way.” Stockholm already has its own security arrangements with other Scandinavian countries separate from the NATO alliance, and expanding that to include 31 other states across Europe “can have repercussions.”

Read more …

RFK Jr.’s running mate?

Tulsi Gabbard Slams Biden for Nuclear Warmongering (Sp.)

Former US presidential contender and ex-lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard has accused US President Joe Biden of pushing the world to the brink of a possible nuclear war as the Ukrainian conflict continues to escalate. “We are faced with the reality. Now, President Biden’s actions and policies have pushed us to the brink of nuclear war. This is an existential crisis, not only for us here, but the world. This proxy war against Russia using the Ukrainian people’s lives continues to escalate,” Gabbard said on Saturday at a meeting in a university in Centennial, the US state of Colorado, which was broadcast on her social media.

The politician also said that NATO’s weapons delivery to Ukraine would “only increase the likelihood” of a possible direct confrontation between the United States, NATO member states and Russia. “Now if you hear President Biden and his administration … talk about this, they talk about World War III and nuclear war as though it is just another war, just another conflict … it is so far removed from the reality … they are not being honest with the American people what the cost and consequences of these wars would look like,” Gabbard added.

Western countries have been providing financial, humanitarian and military support to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022. The support evolved from lighter artillery munitions and training in 2022 to heavier weapons, including tanks, later that year and in 2023. Russia has been warning countries giving weapons to Ukraine that it sees military shipments as legitimate targets. Moreover, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that NATO allies’ arming and training Ukrainians is tantamount to a direct involvement in the conflict.

Read more …

This caught my eye: As “core inflation” rose over 5%, gas prices were cut in half. Odd.

Prices Rising Across The Eurozone (RT)

Core inflation in the euro area accelerated and stayed stubbornly high in June, a preliminary reading revealed on Friday. Head inflation in the 20 countries that share the euro hit 5.5% this month, coming in slightly lower than analyst projections. But core inflation, which excludes energy and food, remained high and surged to 5.4% as price growth in the service sector also rose to 5.4%, up from 5.0% recorded in April. “The core rate is likely to remain well above the 5% mark in the next months which will [require] further rate hikes by the ECB,” said Ulrike Kastens, an economist for Europe at DWS.


Although the Eurozone’s core inflation eased somewhat from 5.6% in April to 5.3% in May, the latest deterioration may eclipse an improvement in the headline inflation gauge, economists warn. “Base effects and statistical distortions are likely to keep the core reading elevated over the next couple of months and see the ECB hiking at least until September,” said Bloomberg’s senior economist, Maeva Cousin. Consumer price growth will be closely monitored by the European Central Bank, which hiked interest rates to their highest level in 22 years on June 15. The regulator moved the benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 4%, in a ninth consecutive rate hike.

Read more …

“..abnormally warm weather, high level of gas in storage facilities and reduced demand for gas in the EU..”

Gas Prices Fall 50% In Europe (Az.)

The price of gas in Europe in January-June 2023 fell by half, to about $425 per 1,000 cubic meters, Report informs via TASS. The main factors behind this decline were abnormally warm weather, high level of gas in storage facilities and reduced demand for gas in the EU. On December 30, 2022, gas futures were trading at about $845 per 1,000 cubic meters, but on June 30, 2023, trading closed at $425 – 50% lower compared to the beginning of the year.

Read more …

And the IMF accepts it.

Dedollarization Accelerates: Argentina Makes IMF Payment Using Yuan, SDR (Sp.)

The US dollar, which has enjoyed the status of de facto world reserve currency since 1945, has come under growing strain as countries search for alternatives amid Washington’s efforts to use its financial might to bully and sanction adversaries into submission. Argentina made a loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund worth the equivalent of $2.7 billion “without using dollars” on Friday, using Chinese yuan and special-drawing rights notes (the IMF reserve asset based on a basket of five currencies – the yuan, the euro, the dollar, the yen, and the pound) instead. Argentina’s Economy Ministry said the payment – the first ever of its kind by Buenos Aires, was made in yuan and SDRs to hang on to dwindling dollar reserves in the Argentinian Central Bank’s coffers.

The Latin American nation, which is in the grip of a major economic and debt crisis, has turned to yuan as one means to help stabilize the situation, signing a 130 billion yuan ($19 billion) currency swap agreement with Beijing in April amid plummeting agricultural exports caused by an unprecedented drought, which has already caused $20 billion in damage. Argentina and the IMF reached an agreement in 2022 to restructure the nation’s $44 billion debt. The IMF had approved a $57 billion loan to the administration of now former President Mauricio Macri in 2018, with current President Alberto Fernandez left to clean up the consequences of what he has dubbed “reckless,” “toxic and irresponsible” borrowing.

After his election in 2019, Fernandez asked the IMF not to move forward with transferring the remainder of the loan amount, citing a dearth of dollars in the nation’s coffers to pay it back with. Argentina’s economic crisis has resulted in inflation topping 110 percent, and poverty reaching 40 percent of the population, even as GDP continues to grow, rising 1.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023. International reserves have dwindled to about $28 billion, their lowest since 2016.

Read more …

“..her father returned from a deployment to Afghanistan. During the nightly fireworks show, he cowered in a fetal position while his family looked on.”

US Military Veterans Tell Family Members Not To Enlist – WSJ (RT)

The US military’s recruiting woes have reportedly intensified as current and former troops increasingly advise their family members against enlistment, weakening a tradition of multi-generation service that has historically been the nation’s primary source of new soldiers. Veterans have soured on recommending that loved ones follow in their footsteps in the face of a tight labor market and rising concerns over low pay, debilitating injuries, suicides, and indecisive wars, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The recruiting crisis also comes amid controversy over the Pentagon’s prioritization of left-wing issues, such as transgenderism and critical race theory.

The sudden end of the Afghanistan war in August 2021 added to the consternation of some current or former troops, such as US Navy veteran Catalina Gasper, the WSJ said. “We were left with the gut-wrenching feeling of, ‘What was it all for?’” said Gasper, who still suffers from a traumatic brain injury incurred during a Taliban attack on her base in Kabul. She vowed to do all she could to make sure her children never join the military. “I just don’t see how it’s sustainable if the machine keeps chewing up and spitting out” our young people.

Likewise, US Air Force officer Ernest Nisperos decided that he did not want his children to join the military after realizing the toll that his deployments took on him. One of his daughters, Sky Nisperos, said that after years of dreaming about following her father and grandfather into military service, she would instead become a graphic designer. One event that stuck in her mind came during a 2019 family trip to Disneyland after her father returned from a deployment to Afghanistan. During the nightly fireworks show, he cowered in a fetal position while his family looked on.

Read more …

The video and the Twitter thread below explain what is happening. It’s serious. Twitter must protect itself and its users.

Musk Explains New Twitter Limits (RT)

Twitter owner Elon Musk announced on Saturday that users of the platform will be limited to viewing a maximum of 8,000 posts per day, claiming that the measure would cut down on “data scraping and system manipulation.” Musk’s announcement came hours after Twitter users around the world found themselves unable to view their timelines or read comments under tweets. “To address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation, we’ve applied the following temporary limits,” Musk tweeted, explaining that verified accounts would be limited to reading 6,000 posts per day, unverified accounts to 600 posts per day, and new unverified accounts to 300 per day. Shortly afterwards, Musk posted an update saying that the limits would be increased to 8,000, 800, and 400 respectively. He did not say for how long the “temporary” limits would remain in force.

Since purchasing Twitter for $44 billion last October, Musk has repeatedly promised to clamp down on non-human use of the platform, for example by data-mining companies. As of Friday, Twitter has not been viewable to anyone without an account, a decision that Musk said was made as “several hundred organizations (maybe more) were scraping Twitter data extremely aggressively, to the point where it was affecting the real user experience.” Concurrently, Musk has been encouraging users to shell out for verification, which costs $8 per month. The prospect of ten times more tweets, however, has not gone down well with users, and as of Saturday evening, “#RIPTwitter” and “Goodbye Twitter” were trending topics in the US.

American whistleblower Edward Snowden explained that he could no longer use Twitter effectively as, for security reasons, he often browses the platform without logging in. Other users who follow breaking news stories on Twitter – for example updates from the conflict in Ukraine – complained that even when verified they burn through their allocated tweets in a matter of hours. It remains unclear whether Musk will keep the new restrictions in place. Shortly after purchasing Twitter last year, the billionaire said that he would end up doing “lots of dumb things” in his bid to overhaul the platform, and would “keep what works and change what doesn’t.”

Scraping

Read more …

Twitter thread.

Twitter’s Rate Limiting Is Temporary (S.I.R.)

Some people asked me to share what I just shared in a space about the rate limits. I don’t work for Twitter but, I do architect IT cloud solutions as my day job. It is temporary. Twitter’s rate limiting is not what everyone is thinking it is. It is not to punish non-paying users. “Data scraping” is a big deal. This is where automated systems load the website or app and pull your tweets/data. It’s a huge security issue. Automated systems are pulling every tweet/word/user account information to store in an unknown database somewhere else. This could be state actors like China, the US Government, Australia, or other bad political actors like PAC’s that are trying to gain access to everyone’s information to analyze and use for nefarious things.

Manipulating what is said on the site can be done at scale with data scrapping. It could also be used to figure out the identity of Anons or to punish people in their country for what they tweet. Looking at you #Australia and #Canada and #UnitedKingdom. The temporary measures of limiting tweets is to protect users just as much as it is to protect the entire Twitter network from going down. They are currently scrambling to get ahead of this and tune their network security to block it from happening again. It’s also important to note that twitter has 500,000+ servers. That’s not free. In cloud data centers, the companies that use them have to pay for what is called “ingress and egress” of data going “in and out” of the servers.

A data scrapping event that is large enough for them to start limiting means that it was a MASSIVE event that could be considered an attack on the site. It would also put massive load on their servers and cost them so much money it could threaten the site’s financial ability to keep running. It could be on purpose to put twitter out of business from cost alone. Many people are misunderstanding why @elonmusk wants people to pay for twitter or for the twitter API (a programming interface that can pull data for other sites and apps). The reason he wants people to pay is because if China or porn companies want to create massive bot farms of fake accounts, it is currently free.

These bad actors are highly skilled and operate like a business. They have professional staff that continuously change their tactics and Twitter engineers have to fight 24/7 to stay ahead of them. If they have to pay for every account or pay to use the API, it would cost them A LOT of money. This limits the amount of people who could create bots, put automated porn on here, and the hacking/scrapping/DDOS attacks on the site. It protects you. It also guarantees twitter will continue to exist without bloating it with tons of ads. This is all a part of the plan to create a free-speech place we can enjoy without being controlled by outside actors or advertising companies. I know $8 is a lot to some people but, it is for many reasons. None of the reasons are to hurt or punish people.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

SoF

 

 

 

 

Cat

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 212023
 


Odilon Redon Sunset 1902

 

Key Donbass City Captured – Wagner Chief (RT)
Bakhmut Has Fallen – Artyomovsk Has Been Liberated (MoA)
Putin Congratulates Wagner Assault Teams With Liberation Of Artyomovsk (TASS)
Zelenskyy Appears To Confirm Loss Of Bakhmut (Az.)
Ukraine To Recapture Artyomovsk – Zelensky’s Top Aide (RT)
Russian Hypersonic Strikes Likely Caused Mercenary Casualties (MWM)
Germany Pours Cold Water On Fighter Jets For Ukraine (RT)
F-16s May Suffer Considerable Losses If Deployed To Ukraine – Magazine (TASS)
Poland Wants Zelensky To Apologize For WW2 Ukrainian Nazi Massacre (RT)
The United States Has Been Destroyed by Its Ruling Elites (PCR)
China Questions ‘Credibility’ Of G7 Members (RT)
US and Israeli Envoys Clash Over Soros (RT)
Exxon Crushes Progressive “Net Zero” Dreams (ZH)
FBI Improperly Used Surveillance Program to Spy on Jan. 6 Suspects – Court (ET)
Monty Python Pressured To Drop Gender Transition Skit (RT)

 

 

May 20, 2019: Zelensky becomes president

May 20, 2022: loses Mariupol

May 20, 2023: loses Bakhmut

 

 

 

RFK jr
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660045079187267589

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We’ve taken the whole city – every building – so that nobody could say that we didn’t capture some small part of it..”

In the last few months, they went slow, to minimize casualties.

Key Donbass City Captured – Wagner Chief (RT)

The key Donbass city of Artyomovsk, known as Bakhmut in Ukraine, has been fully liberated by the Russian forces, Evgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner private military company has announced. “Today at noon, Bakhmut was fully captured,” Prigozhin said in a video address published on Saturday. The last part of an area of high-rise buildings where the Ukrainians were holed up is now under the control of Russian forces, he stated. The Wagner Group will remain in Artyomovsk until Thursday, Prigozhin said, adding that during this period, fortifications will be created across the city. Control will then be passed on to the Russian Defense Ministry, and Wagner Group servicemen will go on leave to rest and regroup following months of intense fighting. According to Prigozhin, the PMC’s operation in the city, which he called ‘the Bakhmut meat-grinder’, had gone on for 224 days.


“We’ve taken the whole city – every building – so that nobody could say that we didn’t capture some small part of it,” he said. Kiev has denied Prigozhin’s claims that Artyomovsk has been captured. Ukrainian military spokesman Sergey Cherevaty told Reuters: “This is not true. Our units are fighting in Bakhmut.” The Wagner chief also personally addressed Ukraine’s president, Vladimir Zelensky, saying, “without sarcasm” that the Ukrainian troops “fought bravely, fought well”defending Artyomovsk. “Today, when you see [US President Joe] Biden, kiss him on the top of his head and tell him that I said ‘hi,’” he said. Earlier on Saturday, Zelensky arrived at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, where he is expected to hold talks with Biden.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1659923608683126784

https://twitter.com/i/status/1659942493771759616

Read more …

“The losses there for the Ukrainians amounted to 300 to 500 men per day over that last 5 months. That sums up to a total of 60,000 casualties.”

Bakhmut Has Fallen – Artyomovsk Has Been Liberated (MoA)

The so far largest battle of the 21st century ended today. Bakhmut has fallen. Artyomovsk (the Russian/Soviet name of the city) has been liberated. This was announced today by the titular leader of the Wagner forces, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a video posted on Telegram. Why the Ukrainian leadership had decided to hold onto the city even months after the situation there was already in its disfavor is beyond me. The fight was decided by the numerical superiority of Russian artillery fire and the Ukraine had never a chance to top that. The losses there for the Ukrainians amounted to 300 to 500 men per day over that last 5 months. That sums up to a total of 60,000 casualties. Ten days ago Ukrainian units, including the fascist Azov brigade, rolled up the Russian flanks north and south of Bakhmut to allow the Ukrainian troops in the city to flee west.


That attack alone, only one or 2 kilometer deep, cost them some 1,600+ men and some 50+ armored vehicles. On the Russian side the fighting in the city was largely done by Wagner troops. But they were never able to do it on their own. Russian military intelligence, artillery and logistics all played an important role in the fight. The city has been destroyed but it will continued to exist as it is an important logistical hub with several rail and road connections running through it. Mariupol, which fell/was liberated a year ago, is already being rebuild. In a month or two, when the frontline has moved away from Artyomovsk, rebuilding will start there too. For a moment now the front line in Ukraine seems all around relative quit. It is not clear to me when or where a new operational move will start.

Read more …

I’ve consistently used Bakhmut. Maybe it’s time to change that?

Putin Congratulates Wagner Assault Teams With Liberation Of Artyomovsk (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated assault teams of the Wagner private military company and Russian troops with the liberation of the city of Artyomovsk, the Kremlin’s press office said in a statement on Sunday. “Vladimir Putin congratulates Wagner assault teams as well as all Russian troops, who rendered the required assistance and shielded the flanks, with the completion of the operation to liberate Artyomovsk,” the statement reads. “Everyone, who distinguished himself in the battle, will be recommended for the state decorations,” the statement added. The Russian Defense Ministry announced earlier in the day that the city of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine) has been completely liberated in the course of the special military operation in Ukraine.


“In the Artyomovsk tactical direction, the assault teams of the Wagner private military company with the support of artillery and aviation of the southern battlegroup have completed the liberation of the city of Artyomovsk,” the ministry stated. Artyomovsk is located in the north of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and it served as a major transportation hub for the Ukrainian army’s supplies in Donbass. Fierce fighting to liberate the city started on August 1, 2022. The battle for this city is one of the largest battles during the liberation of Donbass since 2014. Some 72,000 people lived in Artyomovsk before the battle started.

Read more …

“It is tragedy,” Zelenskiy said. “There is nothing on this place.”

Zelenskyy Appears To Confirm Loss Of Bakhmut (Az.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared to confirm the loss of the city of Bakhmut to Russia on Sunday, when asked if it remained in Kyiv’s control, Report informs via Reuters. “I think no,” he said ahead of a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Japan. “For today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts.” Russia claimed on Saturday to have fully captured the smashed eastern Ukrainian city, which if true would mark an end to the longest and bloodiest battle of the 15-month war. “It is tragedy,” Zelenskiy said. “There is nothing on this place.” The assault on the largely levelled city was led by troops from the Wagner Group of mercenaries, whose leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said earlier in the day that his troops had finally pushed the Ukrainians out of the last built-up area inside the city.

Read more …

“The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied that the city had fallen and insisted that the fighting is still ongoing..”

Ukraine To Recapture Artyomovsk – Zelensky’s Top Aide (RT)

Ukraine will recapture the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, President Vladimir Zelensky’s senior adviser Mikhail Podoliak said on Saturday night. His remarks came after Wagner private military company boss Evgen Prigozhin announced that his fighters had taken complete control of the city. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed in the early hours of Sunday that Wagner had executed the operation with the help from regular troops. Podoliak, however, insisted that the Russians were exhausted by the fighting. “What will Russia do next, even if it captures two more [city] blocks? With what forces will they proceed, and where, and why?” Podoliak said in an interview on Ukrainian TV. “As for us, we cannot stop somewhere in the middle. Bakhmut will be liberated, just like any other Ukrainian territory,” the adviser said.


The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied that the city had fallen and insisted that the fighting is still ongoing. Podoliak claimed that Prigozhin sought to divert attention from Zelensky’s overseas tour with stops in several European countries, Saudi Arabia, and Japan. The Ukrainian leader attended the Arab League summit in Jeddah on Friday and the G7 meeting in Hiroshima the next day. The news of the fall of Artyomovsk also comes as Ukraine is gearing up for its much-touted counteroffensive. Officials in Kiev repeatedly stressed that its timing and success would depend on weapons deliveries from the West. Zelensky promised last month that Ukrainian soldiers would not leave Artyomovsk because the retreat would “give Russian troops and Wagner a chance to capture more of our land.” The city itself has been largely destroyed by months in intense warfare.

Read more …

”..when the systems were deployed as early as April 2023 there was widespread speculation that military contractors from Western countries were responsible for manning and maintaining them..”

Russian Hypersonic Strikes Likely Caused Mercenary Casualties (MWM)

On May 16 as part of a broad spectrum of attacks on targets in the Ukrainian capital Kiev Russian Air Force MiG-31K strike fighters launched Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ballistic missiles to target Ukraine’s Patriot air defence systems. Recently delivered from Germany and the United States, Patriots are considered by far the most costly and high end weapons systems in Ukrainian service, and are very widely deployed both by seven NATO members and by key overseas strategic partners such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Israel. The strikes on the Patriots followed warnings form Russian officials, as well as from several analysts in the West, that any systems delivered to Ukraine would very quickly be targeted and destroyed after becoming operational. The reputational loss the Patriot was expected to suffer was thus reportedly a major factor leading Washington to hesitate to approve transfers of the assets.

While a radar system and five missile batteries from the Patriot system were reported to have been destroyed in the MiG-31K strike, reportedly after firing 32 surface to air missiles as part of unsuccessful attempts to intercept the Kinzhal missiles, little remains known regarding casualties among the system’s crew or the nature of the personnel which were manning it when it was struck. Washington’s decision to deliver Patriot systems announced in December was largely motivated by an urgent need to strengthen the defences of major Ukrainian cities. Not only were cities such as Kiev considered at serious risk of needing to be abandoned due to the rapid destruction of infrastructure in Russian strikes, but Ukraine’s existing air defence network reliant on massive arsenals inherited from the Soviet era had also been very seriously depleted limiting their ability to defend either cities or frontline forces.

Nevertheless the Patriot as a highly complex weapons system was considered far too advanced for Ukrainian personnel to be able to train to operate in time for the assets to have an impact on the war, meaning when the systems were deployed as early as April 2023 there was widespread speculation that military contractors from Western countries were responsible for manning and maintaining them. Western personnel on the ground have played a very large role in the Russian-Ukrainian War, from British Royal Marines deployed to the frontlines and massive ‘stealth networks’ of CIA and other personnel performing roles such as organising logistics, to contractors usually formerly members of Western militaries who have deployed in an unofficial capacity often in full frontline units.

The presence of Western contractors already trained in operating a range of Western weapons systems has according to multiple reports played a key role in Ukraine’s seemingly seamless integration of new military hardware from its supporters in Europe and the United States, where non-Soviet equipment was previously used only in very limited roles before February 2022. Regarding the need for contractors to operate Patriot systems in Ukraine, the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) advisory body was among many sources to issue reports that Ukrainian personnel would be unable to operate Patriot missile systems before 2024 at the earliest. “There is a lot of learning to do before Ukraine will have a functioning Patriot system on the ground,” it emphasised, highlighting taking local repair crews as an example that this would take approximately 53 weeks. With Ukrainian personnel thus unlikely to have been manning the Patriot systems deployed in April and attacked in May, less than five months after the decision was taken to supply the systems, it is likely that contractors from NATO member states with experience operating the Patriots were the ones targeted. The scale of the destruction caused by the strikes means casualties among these personnel are likely, although they are unlikely to be disclosed at least until many years after the war’s conclusion.

Read more …

“..Western countries are “sticking to the escalation scenario,” which is “fraught with colossal risks.”

Germany Pours Cold Water On Fighter Jets For Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine should not expect F-16 fighter jet deliveries from the West in the near future, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday, while expressing support for a plan to train pilots to fly the advanced jets. Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Scholz stated that “what is connected with the training of pilots is a long-term project,” adding that the US has not yet decided what will happen at the end of the program. “The project has a message for Russia: Russia cannot count on winning if it bets on a long war,” he said. Scholz stated, however, that there is no chance Germany will take part in F-16 deliveries to Ukraine. “First of all, everyone knows that we don’t even have such aircraft.”

The chancellor noted that Berlin is providing Kiev with what is “immediately important now,” including tanks, ammunition, and air defense equipment, adding that Germany “will support Ukraine for as long as it is necessary, financially, humanitarianly and also with arms.” “We have mobilized our resources,” he said. “We can continue to do this for a long time.” The comments come after US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders on Friday that Washington will support a joint training program for Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s, which would take place in Europe.

This week, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he and his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, agreed to establish an ‘international coalition’ to “provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting with everything from training to procuring F-16 jets,” with a number of European countries supporting the move. On Friday, several US media outlets reported that Washington will not block its allies from sending F-16s to Ukraine, which Kiev has been requesting for months. Commenting on the potential plans to send modern fighter jets to Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko said that Western countries are “sticking to the escalation scenario,” which is “fraught with colossal risks.” “In any case, all our plans will take this into consideration, and we have all the necessary means to achieve our goals” regarding the military campaign in Ukraine, Grushko added.

F16

Read more …

Key line: “..which would be a major blow to the F-16’s reputation..”

F-16s May Suffer Considerable Losses If Deployed To Ukraine – Magazine (TASS)

The US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets may suffer significant losses in Ukraine, as a result of Russian strikes on their airfields or air combat, which would be a major blow to the reputation of that jet, the US’ Military Watch Magazine reported on Saturday. “A likely key reason for the discrepancy in the American and European positions is that the United States still has a very large stake in the F-16 program, not only as the fighter will continue to form the backbone of the U.S. Air Force for decades, but also because it continues to offer modernized variants of the class for export at times for hundreds of millions of dollars per airframe,” the article said.


“Thus should F-16s be deployed to Ukraine, the United States would be bearing the primary risk. Not only is there a possibility that the fighter or its technologies could fall into Russian hands, as other Western equipment has in considerable quantities, but there is also a much greater chance that the fighters could suffer significant losses both to strikes on their airfields and in air to air combat which would be a major blow to the F-16’s reputation,” the article reads. On Friday, NBC reported that the US and its allies had plans to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and that Washington’s allies may help Ukraine procure the planes. US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders in Hiroshima that Washington supports international efforts to train Ukrainian pilots on modern fighter jets, including F-16s. Zelensky said that he looking forward to bringing this issue up at the G7 summit. On Saturday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said commenting on F-16 potential supplies to Kiev that Western countries continued down the path of escalation in the Ukraine conflict and Russia would keep this in mind in its plans.

Read more …

Like Poland was squeaky clean.. Anyone seen Shoah?

Poland Wants Zelensky To Apologize For WW2 Ukrainian Nazi Massacre (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky should assume more responsibility for his nation when it comes to the Volyn massacre, a mass murder committed by Ukrainian nationalists against ethnic Poles during WWII, a spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry, Lukasz Jasina, has said. In an interview with Poland’s Onet online news media outlet on Friday, the official was asked if Zelensky should apologize for the massacre. “The Ukrainian side did not do this but president Zelensky should take more responsibility [for] Ukraine,”Jasina said. The issue has such an importance for Warsaw that it must be dealt with at the highest level, he added. The dark legacy of the Volyn massacre still haunts the bilateral relations between the two neighbors and “blocks many joint initiatives,” the ministry’s spokesman said.

In 2016, the Polish parliament recognized the Volyn Massacres as genocide at the hands of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). “You can’t change that fact. You can’t turn back time and there will never be a good time to talk about it…” Jasina said. According to the official, saying “I’m sorry and please forgive me” always works very well in Polish-Ukrainian relations “but there is still not enough of it.” The Volyn massacre was part of an ethnic cleansing campaign waged by UPA nationalist militants against the local Polish population in the regions of Western Ukraine and eastern Poland also known as Volhynia and Galicia between 1943 and 1944, during the Nazi occupation. According to various estimates, from 40,000 to 60,000 Poles were killed in total. The UPA was a paramilitary wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) known for its radical anti-Semitic ideology.

The UPA assisted Nazi Germany’s troops in the extermination of Jews on the territory of Ukraine on multiple occasions, in addition to the tens of thousands of Poles it killed in western Ukraine. Glorification of Ukrainian nationalists by Kiev, including the OUN leader, Stepan Bandera, has long been a contentious issue in relations between Ukraine and Poland as well as Israel. In 2018, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a bill that banned the promotion of the ideology associated with Stepan Bandera. Israel also repeatedly urged Kiev to refrain from glorifying “war criminals.” Kiev still apparently fails to understand just how important this issue is for the Poles, Jasina said, adding that “this is… not the most important thing for Ukrainians” and their “understanding is still too weak.” The people in Poland, however, “clearly said this is more important than some behind-the-scenes diplomatic negotiations,”he added.

Kiev blasted Warsaw over what it called bossing Ukraine around. “Any attempt to impose on the Ukrainian president or Ukraine [and tell us] what we must [do] about our common past is unacceptable and unfortunate,” Ukraine’s ambassador to Warsaw, Vasily Zvarych said on Twitter on Saturday. He also said that Ukraine “remembers history” and called for what he called “balance and respect in statements.” Bandera has been officially hailed as a national hero in Ukraine since 2010. Ukrainian nationalists have regularly marked his birthday on January 1 with torchlit marches and massive demonstrations. Warsaw has repeatedly protested such actions. In January, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki vowed to raise the issue of Bandera with Kiev at the first opportunity.

Read more …

Note: both Paul Craig Roberts and Martin Armstrong see the US going to war before the elections. In order to win the elections. I’ve been toying with the idea for a long time, and I would add the option to use the war to have no elections at all.

The United States Has Been Destroyed by Its Ruling Elites (PCR)

The Special Counsel’s vindication of Donald Trump and denunciation of the FBI for conducting a politically motivated investigation devoid of any evidence should collapse the equally fraudulent Biden regime investigation of Trump on fake documents charges and the New York state prosecution of Trump on alleged expense misreporting charges. It has been clear for a long time that the list of fake charges against Trump, supported by the media, are propaganda to prevent Trump again running for President and to teach all future potential presidential candidates that they will be destroyed if they attempt to represent the people instead of the unelected ruling oligarchy.


However, the Democrat Party and the presstitutes that service them have no respect whatsoever for truth. Facts simply do not matter to them. This is true also of American Universities, law associations, medical associations, the CIA, FBI, NSA, the State Department, the regulatory agencies such as NIH, CDC, FDA, the large corporations, and many establishment Republican members of the House and Senate who serve the economic interests that pay them, not truth. It is also the case with a high percentage of Democrat voters who have been conditioned by propaganda to hate Trump. To Democrats what matters is not facts, but getting Trump. Truth is not permitted to prevent the destruction of Trump.

Consequently, the US is moving toward a fatal split in the society from which recovery is impossible. Trump represents ordinary Americans who prefer peace to the neoconservatives’ wars, who want their jobs back that the greed-driven capitalist global corporations sent to China and Asia, who want their children properly educated instead of indoctrinated with sexual perversion, Satanism, and told that they are racists. In contrast, the Democrats are increasingly Woke–people who believe that truth is an oppressive tool of white supremacy, that Christian morality is tyrannical and discriminatory against pedophiles and other sexual perverts, and that, as “President” Biden himself has said, white people are the greatest threat to America.


Now that official investigations by the House Republicans have brought the utter corruption of Biden and his son to light, the Democrats, the dangerous and corrupt military/security complex, and the complicit whore American media, are desperate. They all stand as being exposed. So, rather than apologize for their mistreatment of Trump and his supporters–1,000 of whom the Democrats have illegally imprisoned–they will likely strike out while they still control the Executive Branch, the US Senate, the CIA, FBI, NSA, and federal agencies such as the IRS that have been armed and militarized. Alternatively, the corrupt and threatened Democrats might cause war between the US and Russia, or Iran, or China in the hopes that a war will unify even Trump supporters, especially the super-patriots among them, around the “President” against “foreign enemies.”

Armstrong

Read more …

“The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules..”

China Questions ‘Credibility’ Of G7 Members (RT)

The international community will not fall in line with the pro-Western rules pushed by the G7 and not allow the US-led group to dominate world affairs, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. “China will never accept the so-called rules imposed by the few. The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules that seek to divide the world based on ideologies and values,” the statement read. The Foreign Ministry went on to accuse the group of acting on behalf of “America-first” policies and attempting to impose its will on others. “That simply shows how little international credibility means to the G7,” the ministry said. “Gone are the days when a handful of Western countries can just willfully meddle in other countries’ internal affairs and manipulate global affairs.” The Group of Seven is an informal club consisting of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The G7 annual meetings are typically also attended by officials representing the EU.


In a joint communique adopted at the summit in Hiroshima, Japan on Saturday, the G7 listed multiple allegations aimed at Beijing, including technology theft, “economic coercion,” and human rights abuses at home. The group said that it strongly opposes “any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force” around Taiwan and in the South China Sea. Beijing responded by saying that “affairs related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs.” China accused the G7 of endangering peace in the region by providing “support for ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.” Although G7 members refrain from formally establishing diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the US has sold weapons to Taipei and promised to defend it from a potential attack from the mainland. US politicians have also met with officials from Taiwan, prompting harsh criticism from Beijing, which opposes any form of diplomatic contacts with the Taipei authorities.

Read more …

“..criticism of Soros – who finances the most hostile organizations to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is anything but anti-Semitism, quite the opposite!”

US and Israeli Envoys Clash Over Soros (RT)

The US and Israeli anti-Semitism envoys have taken opposing positions on whether supporters or critics of Jewish financier George Soros is anti-Semitic. The argument kicked off when Twitter CEO Elon Musk compared Soros to a cartoon supervillain. In a tweet on Monday, Musk said that Soros reminds him of “Magneto,” a mutant-supremacist scientist from Marvel’s ‘X-Men’ universe. When a commenter pointed out that Magneto was depicted – like Soros – as a Holocaust survivor and that both have “good intentions,” Musk doubled down. “You assume they are good intentions,” he wrote. “They are not. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.” Musk was quickly accused of anti-Semitism, with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt declaring that by comparing the billionaire “to a Jewish supervillain,” Musk would “embolden extremists.”

The Israeli government disagreed. “The Israeli government and the vast majority of Israeli citizens see Elon Musk as an amazing entrepreneur and a role model,” Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli tweeted on Thursday, adding that “criticism of Soros – who finances the most hostile organizations to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is anything but anti-Semitism, quite the opposite!” Soros has donated more than $32 billion to liberal political causes through his Open Society Foundations NGO, and was the largest donor in last year’s midterm elections in the US, gifting $128 million to Democratic Party candidates and organizations. Soros funds a number of Palestinian activist groups that accuse the Israeli state of war crimes, and several international organizations that promote boycotts of Israeli goods and sanctions against its leaders. In the US, the Biden administration sided with its leading donor against Chikli’s criticism.

“Irrespective of how one feels about George Soros’s politics or policies, it is entirely disingenuous to deny that many ad hominem attacks on him rely on classic antisemitic tropes and rhetoric,” US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt tweeted on Friday. “In bygone eras, the antisemites invoked the Rothschild family to advance their conspiracies about Jews. Today they use Soros to do so,” she declared. Neither Soros nor his Open Society Foundations have responded to Musk’s comments. Asked on Tuesday whether he was worried his controversial tweets would drive advertisers away from Twitter, Musk told CNBC News “I don’t care. I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequences are losing money, so be it.”

Read more …

“It is highly unlikely that society would accept the degradation in global standard of living..”

Exxon Crushes Progressive “Net Zero” Dreams (ZH)

In a world of suffocating snowflakery, ESG hypocrisy and, well… Tranheuser Busch, a corporation telling the truth without fear of reprisals from the Open Society-funded virtue signaling cabal is rarer than an mRNA-injected, genetically engineered hen’s teeth. And yet that’s what the company hated by every progressive, Exxon Mobil, did this week when it became the first corporation to denounce the insidious and laughable claims that “net zero” is even a remote possibility by 2050. The US supermajor pushed back against investors pressing the company to report on the risks to its business from restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions and potential environmental disasters when in a reply to proxy advisor Glass Lewis, Exxon said the prospect of the world achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is remote and should not be further evaluated in its financial statements.

A shareholder proposal seeking a report on the cost of having to abandon projects faces a shareholder vote on May 31. Glass Lewis backed the initiative, concluding Exxon could face material financial risks from the net-zero scenario. Exxon disagreed, and said the world is not on a path to achieve net-zero emissions in 2050 as limiting energy production to levels below consumption demand would lead to a spike in energy prices, as observed in Europe following oil sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. Exxon, is of course, correct however that won’t stop the green fanatics from beating the drum that somehow the world can transition to “green” energy (at a cost of some $150 trillion mind you) in the next 27 years without an energy cataclysm.

At the heart of the issue is the 2050 net-zero emissions (NZE) scenario of the International Energy Agency (IEA) which envisions a path to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. For the NZE scenario to be met, the IEA had hilariously said new oil exploration would have to have stopped in 2021 and nations would have to switch to renewable energy from fossil fuels (good luck with that). Exxon is among the companies heavily investing in new exploration to generate oil and gas for decades to come, and in retrospect, one can thank their deity of choice for Exxon’s decision to do so as opposed to sending the world back into the dark ages, an outcome which so many from the World Economic Forum seems to aspire to. “It is clear that the IEA NZE does not, by the scenario authors’ own assessment, meet the level of likelihood required to be considered in our financial statements,” Exxon said in a response filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. “It is highly unlikely that society would accept the degradation in global standard of living required to permanently achieve a scenario like the IEA NZE,” Exxon said in dismissing the proposal.

Read more …

So free them all.

FBI Improperly Used Surveillance Program to Spy on Jan. 6 Suspects – Court (ET)

The FBI abused its surveillance powers while spying on suspects in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol and Black Lives Matter protesters, a federal court said in a newly unsealed ruling. FBI agents violated standards the agency developed for the Section 702 program, which enables spying on Americans and others, more than 278,000 times, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said in the 2022 ruling, which was made public for the first time on May 19. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act enables agencies like the FBI to collect information like emails without warrants from foreigners, even if they’re in the United States, and bars intentionally targeting Americans.

The FBI developed its own standard for Section 702 searches, stating that queries “must be reasonably likely to retrieve foreign intelligence information, as defined by FISA, or evidence of a crime, unless otherwise specifically excepted.” But FBI agents have been violating the standard, the court has found, with the newest ruling disclosing hundreds of thousands of abusive searches in addition to those already known. The abusive searches include multiple improper queries targeting suspected or confirmed Jan. 6 suspects. In one instance, an analyst searched for information on 13 people suspected of being involved in the Capitol breach. The analyst “said she ran the queries to determine whether these individuals had foreign ties,” but the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (NSD) “concluded the queries were not reasonably likely to retrieve foreign intelligence information or evidence of crime,” the newly unsealed ruling states.


In another case, widespread searches that in total consisted of more than 23,000 separate queries looked for information on presumed Americans to see whether the people were “being used by a group” involved in the breach. “The queries were run against unminimized Section 702 information to find evidence of possible foreign influence, although the analyst conducting the queries had no indications of foreign influence related to the query terms used,” the court said. “NSD assessed there was no specific factual basis to believe the queries were reasonably likely to retrieve foreign intelligence information or evidence of crime from Section 702 information.”

Read more …

“Cleese last year complained that “cancel culture” had had a “disastrous effect” on comedy and had even caused the “death of creativity..”

Monty Python Pressured To Drop Gender Transition Skit (RT)

Beloved British comedy troupe Monty Python was pressured to do away with a skit from their classic film ‘Life of Brian’ that jokes about a man wanting to become a woman and have babies, co-founder John Cleese told an audience at his one-man show last week. “We love the script, but you can’t do that stuff about Loretta nowadays,” performers conducting a read-through of the Biblical parody last year supposedly told Cleese, claiming the skit – in which the character Stan insists on being called ‘Loretta’ and declares “it’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them” – would offend modern audiences. “So here you have something there’s never been a complaint about in 40 years, that I’ve heard of, and now all of a sudden we can’t do it because it’ll offend people,” Cleese lamented. “What is one supposed to make of that?”

In the skit, Stan’s comrades in the People’s Front of Judea are split on whether to support ‘Loretta’s’ new identity, and the self-declared woman accuses his detractor of “oppressing” him. “I’m not oppressing you, Stan, you haven’t got a womb! Where’s the fetus gonna gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?” his friend asks. The lone female of the group, Judith, suggests a compromise. “Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies – not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’ – but that he can have the right to have babies.” Stan’s friend Reg likes that idea, declaring it’s “symbolic of our struggle against oppression” – while the naysayer mutters it’s merely “symbolic of [Stan’s] struggle against reality.” The film version of ‘Life of Brian’ was previously banned in some countries for its supposedly blasphemous subject matter, being a profoundly irreverent satire on the Biblical stories chronicling the life and times of the Christian messiah Jesus Christ.

The 2024 stage show adaptation, set to open next year in London, will reportedly excise the film’s crucifixion scene, in which the characters sing the incongruously catchy and upbeat tune ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ while the messiah character Brian is being executed. Eric Idle, another founding member of Monty Python, clarified in a tweet on Friday that he was not involved in the stage show version after British Comedy Guide referred to “Cleese and Idle” having made changes to the original script. Cleese last year complained that “cancel culture” had had a “disastrous effect” on comedy and had even caused the “death of creativity,” explaining that “if you’re worried about offending people and constantly thinking of that, you are not going to be very creative.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 


The Mauna Kea silversword, Argyroxiphium, or the Flower of Patience. It opens every 7 years and it lasts only for 7 days.

 

 


This is a newfound species of tardigrade, one of about 1,300 known types of water bears. It was discovered in moss growing on dead tree trunks in Germany’s Black Forest. SEM image, magnified 2,400 times.

 

 

Duckling
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660000602833731584

 

 


The Philippine eagle is considered the largest of the extant eagles in the world in terms of length and wing surface. Being a critically endangered species, killing a Philippine eagle is punishable under Philippine law up to 12 years in prison [read more: https://buff.ly/2lKrawh]

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 102022
 


Paul Gauguin Clovis Gauguin asleep 1884

 

Massive Wave Of Missile Attacks Reported Across Ukraine (RT)
Europe To Feel Impact Of Energy Crisis For Decades – Kremlin (RT)
Trump Calls For ‘Immediate’ Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)
Global Margin Call Hits European Debt Markets (AT)
Nord Stream 2 Offers Germany a Date with Destiny (Escobar)
‘Unthinkable’ Number Of Mercenaries Gathered In Zaporozhye (RT)
German Army Has Ammo For Only Two Days Of War – Media (RT)
The Last Vestiges Of Press Freedom Disappear In Kiev (Sukharevskaya)
OPEC Move Balances ‘Chaos That The Americans Create’ – Kremlin (RT)
UK National Grid Warns Of 3-Hour Rolling Blackouts This Winter (ZH)
The EU is Forcing Twitter to Censor -and Musk Can’t Stop It- (Kogon)
White House Spending $265k On Staff To Deflect Hunter Biden Probe (NYP)
The Chilling Numbers That Reveal The Scale Of Joe Biden’s Border Disaster (NYP)
Is the US Blood Supply Tainted? (CHD)
Ex-Partner Of Ukrainian ‘Heiress’ Who Infiltrated Mar-a-Lago Shot In Canada (G.)

 

 

 

 

Tik Tok Kerch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1578864755334295552

 

 

 

 

Soros Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1579006819522863104

 

 

Are the kids OK? (Got McCullough banned from Twitter).

 

 

 

 

Peace talks. Now!

Massive Wave Of Missile Attacks Reported Across Ukraine (RT)

Multiple missile strikes targeted Ukrainian cities all across the country on Monday morning, according to local officials and media, which attributed the attacks to Russia. This comes two days after a bomb damaged the strategic Crimean Bridge – which Moscow called a Ukrainian terrorist attack. President Vladimir Zelensky highlighted the attacks on the capital, Kiev and the cities of Dnepr and Zaporozhye, before urging people to take shelter. Local officials in Lviv, Kharkov, and Odessa also reported that their cities came under fire. The office of Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, reported they had detected at least 75 missiles and claimed they had intercepted 41.

ZELENSKY’S OFFICE WAS DESTROYED BY A MISSILE STRIKE: UKRAINIAN MEDIA

In Kiev, damage from the strikes was reported near the headquarters of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which is located in the government area of the capital. City officials halted operations of the metro system, and the stations are now being used as shelters for civilians. The head of Lviv Region, Maksim Kozitsky, reported that elements of the western province’s energy infrastructure came under attack. Boris Filatov, the mayor of Dnepr, a major city in central Ukraine, confirmed the strikes and said he could only feel “hatred and the wish to fight,” while urging residents to take shelter.

Vitaly Kim, who heads the southern Nikolaev Region which borders Russia’s Kherson Region, reported dozens of projectiles and a number of kamikaze drones coming from Russian troops. He claimed that Moscow was targeting “critical infrastructure” throughout the country. With similar accounts coming in from many parts of the country, senior Ukrainian officials have expressed determination to fight Russia. “Our courage will never be destroyed by terrorists’ missiles, even when they hit the heart of our capital,” Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov tweeted, also claiming that Russia’s future is that of “a globally despised rogue terrorist state.”

Gerashchenko later said that five civilians were killed and 12 injured in the capital. Strikes were also reported in the eastern city of Dnepr, and explosions in Lviv, western Ukraine. In a post on his Telegram channel, President Vladimir Zelensky confirmed that there had been missile strikes across Ukraine. “Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded,” he wrote.

Kiev explosions 10-10-22

Read more …

It’s not easy to rebuild what you lose.

Europe To Feel Impact Of Energy Crisis For Decades – Kremlin (RT)

Turning away from Russian energy will lead to “very deplorable consequences” for Europe, with up to 20 years of deindustrialization ahead, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed. In an interview with the TV channel Rossiya, fragments of which were released on Sunday, Peskov claimed that the Americans are now making “crazy money” by selling gas to Europe at exorbitant prices. “And Europeans pay them, thereby depriving their economy of competitiveness. Production is collapsing. Deindustrialization is coming. All this will have very, very deplorable consequences for the European continent over probably, at least, the next 10-20 years,” Peskov said.

He emphasized that in the past, there was “a mutual balance,” as Russia was interested in buyers of its energy resources as much as they were interested in Russia. However, Peskov argued, Europe started to repeat “like a mantra” that it had to rid itself of its dependency on Russian energy, and this eventually resulted in the current situation. The Americans are selling gas at prices that are “three or even four” times higher than Russian gas, Peskov said, adding that “the Europeans are making their economy less competitive as they pay” such money to US suppliers. Gas prices in Europe surged earlier this year in the wake of Russia launching its military operation in Ukraine in late February.

After the EU and other Western countries imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and began a campaign of cutting themselves off from Russian energy supplies, gas prices hit record highs, leading to a rise in overall inflation on the continent. Earlier this week, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo warned that the continent might soon face a significant reduction in industrial activity and social unrest if nothing is done to lower energy prices. Reuters, meanwhile, reported that the US is now delivering more natural gas to the EU than Russia for the first time in history, but that American gas was some ten times more expensive than Russian supplies.

Read more …

“We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in World War III and there will be nothing left of our planet..”

Trump Calls For ‘Immediate’ Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has warned that World War III could break out unless the conflict between Russia and Ukraine quickly ends with a peace settlement. He made the remarks while criticizing President Joe Biden’s foreign policy during a ‘Save America’ rally in Minden, Nevada on Saturday. “And now we have a war between Russia and Ukraine with potentially hundreds of thousands of people dying,” Trump said. “We must demand the immediate negotiation of a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine, or we will end up in World War III and there will be nothing left of our planet,” he stated, blasting the “stupid people” in Biden administration.

Trump has said on several occasions that the Ukraine conflict would not have happened had he been re-elected in 2020. Declaring a partial mobilization of reservists last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of risking a nuclear disaster by “encouraging” Ukrainian troops to shell the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. He also accused Kiev’s backers of “nuclear blackmail” by making statements about “the possibility and admissibility” of using weapons of mass destruction against Russia. The country will defend itself by all means at its disposal, Putin added.


Some Western officials have interpreted Putin’s speech as a threat to use tactical nuclear weapons. CIA chief William Burns said on Sunday, however, that there is “no practical evidence” that Russia is planning to conduct nuclear strikes. Biden, nevertheless, told a crowd of supporters on Thursday that the US has not faced “the prospect of Armageddon” since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Also on Thursday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who has ruled out negotiating with Putin, called for “preemptive strikes” to deter Russia from using nuclear weapons. His office later said the president’s comments were misrepresented.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1578963221897416705

Read more …

“It’s a global margin call. I hope we survive.”

Global Margin Call Hits European Debt Markets (AT)

Risk gauges in Germany’s government debt market rose last week to levels higher than recorded in the 2008 world financial crash, as margin calls forced the liquidation of derivatives positions held by banks, insurers and pension funds. Big institutional investors that spent the past ten years insuring their portfolios against falling interest rates now face massive losses as hedges blow up. A key measure of market risk, the spread between German government bonds (Bunds) and interest rate swap agreements jumped above the previous record set in 2008. The cost of hedging German government debt with interest-rate options, or option-implied volatility, meanwhile rose to the highest level on record. The blowout in the euro derivatives market follows a near-collapse of the British government debt, or gilts, market, averted at the last minute by a 50 billion pound bond-buying spree by the Bank of England.

The world’s central banks responded to the 2008 world financial crash and the European financial crisis of 2011 by pushing bond yields down.

“Real” yields, namely the yield on inflation-indexed government bonds, went deeply into negative numbers in Germany and the UK, followed by the US market. That pulled the rug from under insurance companies and pension funds, which invest pension payments and insurance premiums to provide for future income. To compensate, European and UK institutions locked in long interest rates with derivative contracts, or interest-rate swaps, that receive a long-term interest rate while paying a short-term interest rate. Swaps are a leveraged position that requires collateral worth a fraction of the notional amount of the contract. When the Fed jacked up interest rates in late 2021, the value of interest rate swaps that pay fixed and receive floating imploded.


Pension funds and insurers were stuck with the equivalent of a ten-to-one margin position in long government bonds. The price of long government bonds fell by nearly 20% across the Group of Seven countries, and the value of derivatives contracts evaporated. That left the institutions with margin calls that they could meet only by liquidating assets. That in turn led to a run on the UK government bond market, followed closely by the rest of European bond markets. The Bank of England’s emergency bond-buying delayed a market crash, but the UK gilts market remains on a knife edge, with option hedging costs at an all-time high.

A portfolio manager at one of Germany’s largest insurance companies said, “It’s a global margin call. I hope we survive.” Weaker European banks may have trouble finding short-term funding. The cost of credit default swaps that insure 5-year bonds of Credit Suisse is now higher than it was in 2008, at nearly 400 basis points (4 percentage points) above the cost of interbank funding. The venerable Swiss institution is a special case, with a series of losses due to poor risk controls. Credit Suisse probably will survive – bank regulators will force it to sell assets and shrink – but it will also call in collateral from customers.

Read more …

Step 1: cripple the largest nation of the group.

Nord Stream 2 Offers Germany a Date with Destiny (Escobar)

It started with Gazprom revealing that the Line B string of NS2 is intact; not only it escaped Pipeline Terror but may “potentially” be used to pump gas to Germany. That confirms once again that NS2 is an engineering marvel. In fact the whole system: the pipes are so strong they were not broken, but merely punctured. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak followed up, with a caveat: restoration of the whole system, including NS, is possible, and “requires time and appropriate funds”. But first, in Russia’s order of priorities, the perpetrators must be conclusively identified. Sources in Moscow confirmed Gazprom’s assessment of NS2. Even Bloomberg had to report it.

Subsequently in Vienna, attending the Opec+ meeting, Novak remarked the Russian Federation is “ready to supply gas through the second line of Nord Stream 2. This is possible if necessary”. So we know it’s possible. “Necessary” will depend on a political decision by Germany. Novak also sharply noted that neither Russia nor the Nord Stream operators are allowed to investigate Pipeline Terror. Russia insists that without its participation the investigation is flawed. Whatever the modus operandi of Pipeline Terror, incompetence was part of the package. No explosive charges were placed or detonated on Line B of NS2. That means, as Novak said, it’s virtually ready for business. Line B is capable of pumping 27.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year, which happens to be half of the total capacity of NS.

NS’s capacity had been reduced to 20%, due to the interminable turbine saga, before it was completely shut down. Crucially, Line B of NS2 would still pump 2.75 times the capacity of the recently inaugurated Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland via Denmark. Which basically profits Poland, unlike NS2 servicing several EU customers. In a rational world, Berlin would scrap the Russian sanctions pile up and immediately order the start of forever-delayed NS2, guaranteed to at least attenuate the ongoing process of de-energization, de-industrialization and deep socio-economic crisis imposed by the usual suspects on Germany. But the collective West remains enslaved by geopolitical psychopaths guided by irrationality. So that’s not likely to happen.

The operators of NS and NS2 – Nord Stream AG and Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG – cannot reach the scene of the crime because of absurd restrictions imposed by the Danes and the Swedes. The operators need no less than 20 working days to obtain the “permits” to carry out their own inspections. Copenhagen police is handling the crime scene near the Danish exclusive economic zone (EEZ), in parallel to the Swedish Coast Guard around the Swedish EEZ. If this looks like one of those Scandinavian noir series popular on Netflix, that’s because it is. With a crucial twist: it’s NATO investigating itself – Sweden is about to enter NATO – with no Russians allowed. All top working hypotheses on Pipeline Terror point to an intra-NATO dirty op against NATO member Germany.

Read more …

“..We know about representatives from more than 30 different countries..”

‘Unthinkable’ Number Of Mercenaries Gathered In Zaporozhye (RT)

Ukraine has amassed a sizeable number of foreign fighters on the frontline in Zaporozhye Region, which recently voted to join Russia, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the local administration’s chief council, told RIA Novosti on Sunday. “The Kiev regime has accumulated an unthinkable number of mercenaries on the line of contact. We know about representatives from more than 30 different countries,” Rogov said. He went on to say that Ukraine has been deploying to the area both mercenaries and troops from the western part of the country in order to instill terror in local residents who voted in the recent referendums. In late September, Zaporozhye, along with Kherson Region and the two Donbass republics, voted overwhelmingly in referendums to join Russia.


On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin signed into law unification treaties with the former Ukrainian territories, officially making them part of Russia. Zaporozhye Region is also home to a nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since March. It has been repeatedly shelled throughout the conflict. Moscow has accused Ukraine of attacking the facility, while Kiev blames the Russian forces. Russia has on numerous occasions conducted strikes on foreign fighters in Ukraine, including with high-precision weapons. Moscow has also warned that the best thing mercenaries from other countries can expect in Ukraine is a “long term in prison.” On September 21, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed that Russian forces and the militias of the Donbass republics had eliminated more than 2,000 mercenaries, with 1,000 foreign fighters remaining in the ranks of the Ukrainian military.

Read more …

“.. It was said that the problem “has been known for years..”

German Army Has Ammo For Only Two Days Of War – Media (RT)

The German Army (Bundeswehr) has enough ammunition for only one or two days of warfare, the German edition of news website Business Insider (BI) reported on Saturday, citing defense industry and parliamentary sources. According to BI, Berlin is significantly lagging behind the NATO requirement of maintaining stocks for at least 30 days of fighting. It was said that the problem “has been known for years,” as military drills have suffered from insufficient stores. Stockpiles were further depleted after Germany, together with many other Western countries, began sending weapons and ammunition to Ukraine after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in February.

The deliveries included 53,000 rounds for self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, 21.8 million rounds for firearms, and 50 bunker-buster missiles, according to the German government. The situation with the shortage “will not improve if ammunition is removed from the Bundeswehr stocks, while corresponding orders are not placed on the defense industry at the same time,”Hans Christoph Atzpodien, CEO of the German Security and Defense Industry Association (BDSV), told BI. The outlet’s sources, meanwhile, were quoted as saying that there have been “no significant orders” for defense companies to produce more armaments.

Eva Hoegl, the German parliament’s defense commissioner, told BI that an additional €20 billion ($19.5bn) is needed to replenish the stocks. Germany announced the establishment of a €100 billion ($97.4 billion) fund in February to strengthen the Bundeswehr in light of the Ukraine conflict. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht traveled to Ukraine’s southern port city of Odessa earlier this month. After the trip, she announced that Berlin would continue to support Kiev for as long as necessary.

Read more …

Olga Sukharevskaya, ex-Ukrainian diplomat.

The Last Vestiges Of Press Freedom Disappear In Kiev (Sukharevskaya)

On August 30, Ukraine’s rubber-stamp parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a bill on the media at the first reading. Despite the numerous changes that the 300-page document has undergone since President Vladimir Zelensky’s team developed and submitted it a few years ago, its essence remains unchanged. If it becomes law, the authorities’ power over virtually all outlets will be essentially limitless. The main danger this bill presents is that it grants government agencies the authority to block internet resources without any court proceedings, and revoke licenses from broadcast and print media solely on the basis of complaints. This huge power would be vested in the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting.

Ukrainian journalists have been criticizing this bill since the first version appeared in 2018, asserting that it abolishes both freedom of speech and freedom of the press. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir called that version of the law “a blatant violation of freedom of speech,” stating that its adoption “could jeopardize pluralism in the media market, impose additional costs on the media, and negatively affect the reflection of a diversity of ideas and opinions.” Criticism of the bill from both the OSCE and Ukrainian journalists had an effect. In 2020, it was sent for revision, but the changes only include some clarifications concerning gender equality and coverage of sexual orientations.

At the same time, it still contains a ban on publishing any messages contradicting the official government line on military issues. It is likewise forbidden to cover speeches made by officials of the ‘aggressor country’ [meaning Russia] or cast former USSR party functionaries in a positive light. For example, including Ukraine’s own Leonid Brezhnev. The law would also hold foreign media responsible for any of its audiovisual content available in Ukraine. Moreover, social networks, including foreign ones, will be obliged to remove any material the National Council deems undesirable. The deadlines for removing ‘incorrect’ content or replacing it with ‘correct’ material have also been tightened. Among the ‘offenses’ that can get a media outlet banned is distributing programs in which any participant is on the ‘list of persons who pose a threat to the national media space of Ukraine.’

This is compiled by the National Council itself and does not require anyone’s consent. Otherwise, the essence and spirit of the bill is preserved, including severe censorship of “objectionable” media. The American Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) didn’t call on the Verkhovna Rada to reject Bill No. 2693-D ‘On Media’ for nothing. Maya Sever, president of the European Federation of Journalists, has bluntly stated that it means compulsory media regulation “fully controlled by the government worthy of the worst authoritarian regimes.” She is convinced that “a state that would apply such provisions simply has no place in the European Union.”

Read more …

“..a “victory for common sense..”

OPEC Move Balances ‘Chaos That The Americans Create’ – Kremlin (RT)

The decision to cut oil production made earlier this week by OPEC and allies is a “victory for common sense,” said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I’m not inclined to say that this is some kind of a victory for us. No. This is a victory for common sense,” he said on the TV channel Russia-1 on Sunday. Peskov noted that Washington seeks to push through its decisions about the oil market and manipulate prices, even at the cost of destabilizing the global energy market. It has already partially succeeded, he added, having tapped its own reserves and influenced the EU to introduce an oil price cap in its latest package of sanctions. However, according to the spokesman, OPEC+ can counterbalance such measures.


“And the fact that [these actions] are countered by the balanced, thoughtful and planned work of the countries that take a responsible position within OPEC+, including our country, is very good. This at least somewhat balances the chaos that the Americans are creating,” Peskov stressed. OPEC+ announced earlier this week that the countries comprising the group will cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day starting in November. The cuts will be distributed based on the quotas under the OPEC+ deal as of August 2022. The curtailing of output was aimed at stabilizing the global oil market ahead of a seasonal drop in demand and amid fears of a global recession. Meanwhile, according to reports, Russia may cut its production by more than the amount prescribed by OPEC+ due to the new sanctions. US President Joe Biden expressed disappointment with the OPEC+ decision, while the head of the US Treasury, Janet Yellen, called the move “unhelpful and unwise.”

Read more …

The government denies it.

UK National Grid Warns Of 3-Hour Rolling Blackouts This Winter (ZH)

People in England, Scotland and Wales could be in for three hour power cuts this winter if it can’t import enough gas and electric imports from other parts of Europe, the British National Grid has warned. The utility said that the scenario was “unlikely,” but that a perfect storm of Russian gas cuts and a cold snap akin to 2018’s “beast from the east” could result in the rolling blackouts – reminiscent of power outages experienced in the 1970s. According to The Guardian, the pre-planned outages would be announced one day in advance, and would aim to reduce total power consumption by 5%. It would require the approval of King Charles on the recommendation of the business secretary.

The National Grid included the scenario as one of several that could occur this winter, as it prepares for a highly uncertain period for power supplies due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “We’re heading into winter in an unprecedented situation. Even during the cold war, the Soviet Union kept the gas flowing so it’s very unpredictable,” said one senior industry source. National Grid has worked on a series of initiatives to attempt to manage supply and demand this winter. It is ready to call into action five coal-fired power plants, which can generate up to 2 gigawatts of power – after signing deals with Drax, EDF and Uniper at a cost of £340m to £395m. It will also launch a “demand flexibility service” on 1 November that will encourage businesses and consumers to use power outside peak demand periods, including early evenings on weekdays.

Consumers with smart meters will be notified the day before and will be paid for using power outside these time periods. The initiative was trialled by Octopus Energy earlier this year. -The Guardian If enough households participate in the load-shifting scheme, it could free up an extra 2GW – enough to power approximately 600,000 homes. The utility says it’s “cautiously confident” that there will be enough juice to get through the winter. The Grid’s “base case” scenario is that there will be a surplus of around 3.7GW energy, and forecast a “sufficient operational surplus throughout winter,” notwithstanding tight margins from early December to mid-January.

Read more …

One more reason to abolish the EU.

The EU is Forcing Twitter to Censor -and Musk Can’t Stop It- (Kogon)

There has been much talk recently of the Biden administration exerting informal pressure on Twitter and other social media to censor unwelcome content and voices, and lawsuits have even been launched against the government for infringing the alleged victims’ 1st Amendment rights. But all that such pressure appears thus far to have consisted of are some chummy nudges in emails. There has surely not been any threat of fines. How could there be without a law authorizing the executive branch to impose them? And such a law would be blatantly unconstitutional, since precisely what the 1st Amendment states concerning freedom of speech is that “Congress shall make no law…abridging” it.

But there’s the rub. Congress, needless to say, has not made any such law. But what if a foreign power made such a law and it de facto abridged the freedom of speech also of Americans? Unbeknownst to most Americans, this has in fact occurred and their 1st Amendment rights are being vitiated, namely, by the European Union. There is a financial gun pointed at Twitter. But it is not the Biden administration, but rather the European Commission, under the leadership of Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, that has its finger on the trigger. The law in question is the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which was passed by the European Parliament last July 5 amidst almost total indifference – in Europe as much as in the United States – despite its momentous and disastrous implications for freedom of speech worldwide.

The DSA gives the European Commission the power to impose fines of up to 6% of global turnover on “very large online platforms or very large online search engines” that it finds to be non-compliant with its censorship requirements. “Very large” is defined as any platform or search engine that has over 45 million users in the EU. Note that while the size criterion is limited to users in the EU, the sanction is based precisely on the company’s global turnover. The DSA has been designed to function in combination with the EU’s so-called Code of Practice on Disinformation: an ostensibly voluntary code for “combatting disinformation” – aka censoring – that was originally launched in 2018 and of which Twitter, Facebook/Meta and Google/YouTube are all signatories.

Read more …

To be fair, it’s not all Hunter. A lot more needs to fit under that carpet.

White House Spending $265k On Staff To Deflect Hunter Biden Probe (NYP)

The White House is gearing up for a growing army of staff to fend off potential Republican-led probes on everything from Hunter Biden to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — and taxpayers are footing the bill. Battening down the hatches should the GOP regain control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, the White House is shelling out $265,000 a year in salary for staff whose primary portfolio will be to run comms and defense for the administration from an approaching blizzard of subpoenas. In May, the White House poached Richard A. Sauber, the top attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs, to serve as a “deputy counsel to the president” tasked with handling House oversight probes.

Ian Sams, a veteran of Vice President Harris’ failed 2020 presidential campaign, was hired to run official comms for the team. White House records show the two men will take home $155,000 and $110,000 respectively. And the team is only expected to grow, the Washington Post reported — indicating that its staffing and operational expenditures will balloon further. “Americans deserve transparency from President Biden about his family’s suspicious business dealings. But instead of providing transparency, the White House is hiring staff at the American taxpayers’ expense to stonewall congressional oversight and accountability.” said Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who is on track to chair the House Oversight Committee next year if Republicans retake the House.

“Let’s be clear: no amount of Biden White House staff or stonewalling will stop Republicans’ quest for transparency and accountability on behalf of the American people,” he added. House Republicans have vowed to investigate everything from the origins of coronavirus, to the botched withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. The party’s marquee probe will focus on Hunter Biden and what connections his father, President Biden, had to his shady overseas business dealings.

Read more …

“In FY 2022 (all Biden’s watch), gotaways hit 599,000 — up 54% versus FY 2021 and 768% compared to FY 2020.”

The Chilling Numbers That Reveal The Scale Of Joe Biden’s Border Disaster (NYP)

Democrats are napping peacefully through the US-Mexico “border” crisis they engineered. Perhaps these data will snap them from their slumber: US Department of Homeland Security reports that the Mexican cartels’ income from smuggling illegal migrants into America has soared from $500 million in 2018 to $13 billion this year — up 2,500%. If these criminals merged into a corporation, their 2022 gross revenues would rival that of — are you sitting down? — Fox Corporation. Fox News Channel’s parent company earned $12.91 billion in the year ended June 30, 2021, and $13.97 billion 12 months later. This fact might awaken Sleepy Joe Biden and the lazy Left: Mexico’s human-trafficking cartels are now as big as Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

If Democrats still are dozing through the havoc of their no-border strategy, these figures might rouse them: Border Patrol agents apprehended 951,568 illegal immigrants during President Donald Trump’s final 19 months in office. In President Biden’s first 19 months, Border Patrol encountered a staggering 3,588,877 illegals — up a sickening 377%. In Fiscal Year 2020, the last fully under Trump’s control, 69,000 illegal migrants were detected on the “border” but got away into America’s interior. FY 2021 (four months of Trump, eight of Biden) witnessed 389,155 gotaways — up 464%. In FY 2022 (all Biden’s watch), gotaways hit 599,000 — up 54% versus FY 2021 and 768% compared to FY 2020.

At least 266,000 unaccompanied migrant children/minors have been encountered at the southern border since President Biden took office, per CBP data,” Fox News Channel’s priceless southern-frontier correspondent Bill Melugin explained via Twitter on September 26. “That’s enough to fill up approximately three Rose Bowls.” Fourteen House Republicans wrote Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sept. 23 to complain that “between October 2021 and July 2022, more than 130,000 Venezuelan nationals were encountered after entering the United States illegally.” The Marxist Nicolás Maduro regime, they added, “is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States.”

Twelve US senators contacted the US Marshals Service about crooks cascading across the “border.” According to their August 30 letter, “So far in FY22, CBP has apprehended over 9,000 criminal immigrants, including 53 for homicide or manslaughter, 283 for sex crimes and almost 900 for assault, battery and domestic violence.” During Trump’s FYs 2017 through 2020, 11 terrorists on the watch list were captured at the border — two, six, zero and three, in those respective years.

Read more …

“The sudden transition … from a state of perfect normalcy to a pathological one … is unprecedented. … “

Is the US Blood Supply Tainted? (CHD)

Funeral directors and embalmers in the U.S. and U.K. have gone public with shocking descriptions of highly unusual blood clots in up to 85% of the bodies coming under their care — a “massive increase” compared to pre-COVID-19 vaccine times when ordinary-looking clots might be found in 5% to 10% of the deceased. “In all my years of embalming, we would run across clots from time to time,” said Richard Hirschman, an experienced funeral director in Alabama, “but since May last year [2021], something about the blood has changed. It’s not normal. It’s drastic.” The rampant clotting and the clots’ disturbing sci-fi appearance — “long fibrous entities that can completely block a vein or artery,” which Hirschman likens to calamari, rubber bands, spaghetti, worms or parasites — are just some of the concerns prompting questions about blood supply safety.

About 55% of blood is plasma — which, among other functions, supplies proteins “for blood clotting and immunity” — with the remaining 45% consisting of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets suspended in the plasma. Depending on their blood type, individuals who give blood can choose to donate whole blood, plasma or platelets, or they can make a “Power Red” donation (a “concentrated dose” of red blood cells). The American Red Cross says it will not accept blood from someone whose blood “does not clot normally,” but — following guidance from the same branch of the FDA that oversees vaccines — welcomes immediate donations from anyone who received one of the mRNA or other COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S., as long as the person says he is “symptom-free and feeling well.”

[..] In one of the most alarming studies, published in August in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research, Italian surgeons described atypical clumping of red blood cells and the presence of “extraordinarily anomalous structures and substances” of “various shapes and sizes of unclear origin” in over 94% of symptomatic, COVID-19-vaccinated individuals whose blood they examined. The 1,006 study participants, ranging in age from 15 to 85, received a first (14%), second (45%) or third (41%) dose of a Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine about a month before the analysis of their blood. Pointing to other studies that found foreign materials in the blood of COVID-19 vaccine recipients and in COVID-19 vaccine vials — materials “that the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and the many promoters of the experimental injections claimed were not in them at all” — the Italian authors concluded the vaccine-induced blood alterations were “likely … to be involved in producing the coagulation disorders commonly reported after anti-COVID injections.”

Putting the matter even more plainly, they stated: “[S]uch abrupt changes as we have documented in the peripheral blood profile of 948 patients have never been observed after inoculation by any vaccines in the past according to our clinical experience. The sudden transition … from a state of perfect normalcy to a pathological one … is unprecedented. … “In our collective experience, and in our shared professional opinion, the large quantity of particles in the blood of mRNA injection recipients is incompatible with normal blood flow especially at the level of the capillaries.”

Read more …

I dare you to find a crazier story than this today.

Ex-Partner Of Ukrainian ‘Heiress’ Who Infiltrated Mar-a-Lago Shot In Canada (G.)

An associate of the Ukrainian woman who posed as a member of the Rothschild banking family at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club was reportedly shot outside a lakeside resort north-west of Montreal, Canadian newspaper LaPresse has reported. The shooting left Valeriy Tarasenko, 44, with “significant injuries”, but he was expected to survive, said the Sûreté du Québec, the Quebec provincial police. The police said it had launched a search for the shooter and any accomplices behind the attack. Tarasenko is known as a former business partner of Inna Yashchyshyn, a Russian-speaking Ukrainian immigrant who was identified by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project over the summer for posing as “Anna de Rothschild” at Mar-a-Lago.


Quebec police told LaPresse that they were trying to “shed some light on the circumstances that led to the injuries of the victim”. But for now, “to protect the investigation, no other detail can be shared”, the police added. Tarasenko, who was born in Ukraine and raised in Moscow, told the Post-Gazette and OCCRP that he had hired Yashchyshyn in 2014 to live in his Miami condo and watch his two daughters while he traveled on business. The FBI, according to the report, has been looking into a Miami charity, United Hearts of Mercy, Yashchyshyn launched in 2015 and carries the same name as a nonprofit founded by Tarasenko in Canada in 2010. According to a statement by the charity’s accountant that was turned over to the FBI, the charity, established to collect money for impoverished children, was in fact a front for organized crime.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Hudson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assange BTC
https://twitter.com/i/status/1578922597609525249

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 162022
 


Caravaggio The calling of St. Matthew 1599-1600

 

Severe COVID-19 ‘Rare’ In Unvaccinated People (MD)
FDA Advisors Unanimously Endorse COVID Shots for Infants and Young Kids (CHD)
The World Is Looking At You (Batiushka)
First American Mercenary Contractors Captured in Ukraine (CTH)
The ‘New G8’ Meets China’s ‘Three Rings’ (Escobar)
Schiff: Evidence That Trump “Engaged in Likely Multiple Criminal Acts (Turley)
ECB Holds Emergency Meeting To Discuss Market Turmoil (ZH)
PPI: Smoking -AGAIN- (Denninger)
Today’s The Day…. (Denninger)
“Red Flag” Laws Put a Target on the Back of Every American (Whitehead)
Erdogan Issues Fresh Threats Against Greece (K.)
A Whistleblower’s Agony (Kiriakou)
Patel Responsible For Assange’s ‘Slow-Motion Execution’ If Extradited (DIss.)

 

 

 

 

Consumer feelings

 

 

 

 

Blink

 

 

 

 

DeSantis Musk

 

 

 

 

We’ve known for a while that the vaccines don’t protect against infection or transmission. The last thing they had left was protection against severe disease. That is now gone too. It’s over.

Severe COVID-19 ‘Rare’ In Unvaccinated People (MD)

A survey has found that people who did not get the vaccine had a lower rate of suffering severe COVID-19 amid the pandemic. The survey uploaded to the preprint server ResearchGate presented data from more than 18,500 respondents from the “Control Group” project with more than 300,000 overall participants. An analysis revealed that compared to those who got jabbed, unvaccinated people reported fewer hospitalizations. The international survey also found that the unvaccinated people from more than 175 countries were more likely to self-care to prevent and manage COVID-19 infection. They used natural products like vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, quercetin, and drugs, such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

Many participants experienced discrimination for refusing the administration of “genetic vaccines” and struggled with mental health burdens due to the stigma in the mostly “vaccinated” society. Since the participants were self-selected and self-reported, the survey findings had to be interpreted with care compared to statistics or studies based on randomly selected populations, according to the Alliance for Natural Health International. The participants admitted to avoiding vaccines due to their preference for natural medicine interventions and skepticism of pharmaceutical interventions. They also voiced distrust of government information and fear of the possible adverse effects of the vaccines in the long run.

The survey was conducted from September 2021 through February 2022. During the period, participants experienced mild to moderate COVID-19 infection and were infrequently hospitalized. A number of female participants suffered menstrual and bleeding abnormalities, prompting the researchers who analyzed the data to surmise that the issues might have been caused by spike protein exposure and shedding, as per The Epoch Times.


Well, no

Read more …

Read the article above and then explain this.

FDA Advisors Unanimously Endorse COVID Shots for Infants and Young Kids (CHD)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) vaccine advisory panel today unanimously voted 21-0 to recommend Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for infants and young children, stating the totality of the evidence available shows the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks of use. Pfizer’s three-dose vaccine would cover children 6 months to 5 years old, while Moderna’s two-dose vaccine covers children 6 months to 6 years old. States have already ordered millions of doses made available prior to FDA authorization by the Biden administration. Depending on whether the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) accept the recommendations of their advisory panels, White House officials have said the administration of vaccines for these age groups could start as early as June 21.


The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) ignored pleas from experts, the vaccine injured and a congressman representing 17 other lawmakers to halt authorization until questions about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for the nation’s youngest children could be properly addressed. Many of the committee members, including pediatrician Dr. Ofer Levy, said the decision to authorize the shots was about providing a choice to parents who wanted access to COVID-19 vaccines, despite concerns by public commenters the panel was not adhering to the requirements for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and that authorization would eventually lead to mandates — as it did with adult vaccines.

Read more …

“..the eyes of the freedom-loving world are turned to the Russian Federation..”

The World Is Looking At You (Batiushka)

As a result of this first War atheist Bolsheviks seized power in the former Russian Empire. Although well over 600,000 Russian troops had died in the two and half years up until February 1917, as they, unlike the Allies on the Western Front, had faced the vast majority of the forces of Germany, Austro-Hungary and Turkey, far worse was to come. Foreign-sponsored foreigners, like the brain-fevered Blank-Lenin and the evil genius Bronstein-Trotsky, killed millions in a civil war, including the Imperial Family, and through deliberate starvation. Many more would later die in concentration camps. And unlike in the First War when the enemy never even entered Russia, in the Second War the enemy reached the very gates of Moscow, Leningrad and the banks of the Volga, slaughtering 27 million, mainly civilians.

But then there was the American flu (called for propaganda reasons ‘Spanish flu’). Beginning in Kansas, it was brought to Europe in 1917 by American troops, who had entered the First War, as arranged, as soon as the treacherous ‘Allies’ (not Germany) had succeeded in overthrowing Imperial Russia. The Americans had come to conquer Europe. After the Great European Suicide of the First War, this flu may have killed another 50 million, though some say far more. But above all, exactly as the French Marshal Foch foretold at Versailles, the ‘Peace’ of 1919 led directly to the Second Great War that broke out twenty years later. And that murdered tens of millions and in 1945 made Western Europe into a conquered and occupied province of the USA, which then set about creating a USE (United States of Europe) in its own image.

And so came the Cold War, with its MAD (mutually assured destruction) phobia, bunker-building, wasteful spending on arms, and the new generation’s social revolution of the 1960s. In turn came the next generation of 1989, 75 years after 1914 and 50 years after 1939, and the occupation of Eastern Europe by the same US colonists, sending out their proconsul-ambassadors to the client states of the ‘New Europe’. In 1991, 50 years after Operation Barbarossa of Nazi Imperialism ravaged the USSR but was defeated, the latter fell to Nato Imperialism. And in turn, 100 years after the Great European Suicide began, the Evil Empire began its occupation of the Ukraine in 2014, turning it into a dependent vassal. The whole pattern of the hundred years, 1914-2014, had the same source.

Until 2022 there had never been any hope of justice and restitution for any of this. Then on 24 February began the Special Operation to liberate the Ukraine and denazify the world. This is the last throw of the dice and the eyes of the freedom-loving world are turned to the Russian Federation. Even with all its troubles, imperfections and treacheries, we have no other hope. The world is looking at you.

Read more …

“The traditional end result for captured mercenaries is execution; however, Russian President Vladimir Putin may not want to hang these two State Dept. conscripts.”

First American Mercenary Contractors Captured in Ukraine (CTH)

A contracted mercenary has no legal recognition or protection as a prisoner of war. Two American mercenary soldiers have been captured by Russian forces and now present a rather unique issue for the Biden administration. The traditional end result for captured mercenaries is execution; however, Russian President Vladimir Putin may not want to hang these two State Dept. conscripts. (Via Telegraph) – “Two former US servicemen have been captured during fighting with Russian forces in Ukraine, The Telegraph has been told. The pair were taken prisoner during a fierce battle outside the north-east city of Kharkiv last week, according to comrades who were fighting alongside them.


Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, had been serving as volunteers with a regular Ukrainian army unit. They are believed to be the first US servicemen to end up as Russian prisoners of war. They join a growing number of Western military volunteers captured by Russian forces, including at least two Britons. Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner have already been told they face the death penalty as “mercenaries”. The capture of the two Americans will be diplomatically sensitive as the Kremlin may seek to use it as proof that America is becoming directly involved in the war. Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is likely to demand significant concessions to release them.”

Read more …

“The new G8, instead, “does not impose anything on anyone, but tries to find common solutions.”

The ‘New G8’ Meets China’s ‘Three Rings’ (Escobar)

The speaker of the Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, may have created the defining acronym for the emerging multipolar world: “the new G8”. As Volodin noted, “the United States has created conditions with its own hands so that countries wishing to build an equal dialogue and mutually beneficial relations will actually form a ‘new G8’ together with Russia.” This non Russia-sanctioning G8, he added, is 24.4% ahead of the old one, which is in fact the G7, in terms of GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP), as G7 economies are on the verge of collapsing and the U.S. registers record inflation.

The power of the acronym was confirmed by one of the researchers on Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sergei Fedorov: three BRICS members (Brazil, China and India) alongside Russia, plus Indonesia, Iran, Turkey and Mexico, all non adherents to the all-out Western economic war against Russia, will soon dominate global markets. Fedorov stressed the power of the new G8 in population as well as economically: “If the West, which restricted all international organizations, follows its own policies, and pressures everyone, then why are these organizations necessary? Russia does not follow these rules.” The new G8, instead, “does not impose anything on anyone, but tries to find common solutions.”

The coming of the new G8 points to the inevitable advent of BRICS +, one of the key themes to be discussed in the upcoming BRICS summit in China. Argentina is very much interested in becoming part of the extended BRICS and those (informal) members of the new G8 – Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, Mexico – are all likely candidates. The intersection of the new G8 and BRICS + will lead Beijing to turbo-charge what has already been conceptualized as the Three Rings strategy by Cheng Yawen, from the Institute of International Relations and Public Affairs at the Shanghai International Studies University.

Cheng argues that since the beginning of the 2018 U.S.-China trade war the Empire of Lies and its vassals have aimed to “decouple”; thus the Middle Kingdom should strategically downgrade its relations with the West and promote a new international system based on South-South cooperation. Looks like if it walks and talks like the new G8, that’s because it’s the real deal.

Read more …

Schiff himself “Engaged in Likely Multiple Criminal Acts”.

Schiff: Evidence That Trump “Engaged in Likely Multiple Criminal Acts (Turley)

Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) went on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight” to tout the work of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6th riot. In that interview, Schiff declared that the Committee has enough evidence showing former President Donald Trump “engaged in likely multiple criminal acts.” While vague on the specific crimes, Schiff emphasized that the Justice Department did not have to wait any further to launch a criminal investigation based on what has already been disclosed. While the Committee has disclosed new evidence in the form of videotapes and testimony, it has not presented new material evidence of criminal acts in my view. That could still come but the first two hearings largely focused on a “conspiracy” to challenge the election certification and allegations that Trump knew the there was no compelling evidence of widespread election fraud.

If there is evidence of criminal conduct by former president Trump or others, most of us would support the calls for prosecution. It is also possible that the Justice Department is investigating such crimes or has undisclosed evidence. The hearings, however, have not established such a foundation. That can still come but these crimes have elements that have not been addressed in hearings that have lacked any opposing views or adversarial elements. The decision of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to abandon the long tradition of bipartisan members on such selection committee has robbed the investigation of credibility and legitimacy for many Americans.

Indeed, Schiff’s reference to evidence held by the Committee is likely to bring up memories of his highly controversial public statements that the House Intelligence Committee, which he chairs, had direct evidence of Russian collusion despite the countervailing findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He never produced the evidence and later it was revealed that Justice officials and FBI agents had told his Committee that they did not find such evidence. Now, Schiff is maintaining that:

“I certainly believe there’s enough evidence for them to open an investigation of several people, and so did Judge David Carter of California believes the former president and others were engaged in likely multiple criminal acts. So if the Justice Department concurs with Judge Carter, let alone my own view or others, they should be pursuing that. So, yes, I think there is sufficient evidence to open an investigation. It would be of you up to the Justice Department ultimately to decide does that evidence rise to proof beyond a reasonable doubt such that they’re comfortable indicting someone. But there’s certainly, in my view, enough evidence to open up investigations.”

The reference to the Carter opinion has become a mainstay on cable news. I was critical of Judge Carter’s opinion when it was released. Much of the Jan. 6th hearings seem to be structured along the same lines as the Carter decision which was, in my view, strikingly conclusory and unsupported in critical parts of the analysis. Judge Carter simply declares that Trump knew that the election was not stolen and thus “the illegality of the plan was obvious.” Putting aside the court’s assumption of what Trump secretly concluded on the election, a sizable number of Americans still do not view Biden as legitimately elected. The court is not simply saying that they are wrong in that view but, because they are wrong, legislative challenges amounted to criminal obstruction of Congress.

Read more …

First Japan, then Europe, then the US. Russia and China will remain standing.

ECB Holds Emergency Meeting To Discuss Market Turmoil (ZH)

Last week, shortly after the ECB’s latest meeting disappointed markets and concluded without a discussion of Europe’s growing bond market fragmentation which has since sent Italian bond yields soaring above 4%, we joked that “at this rate the ECB would make an emergency rate cut” just hours after announcing an end to QT and guiding to a July rate hike. Once again, our jokes was not too far from the truth because on Wednesday morning, just hours before the Fed’s first 75bps rate hike sine 1994, and with Italian bonds in freefall, European Central Bank unexpectedly announced it would hold an emergency , ad hoc meeting of its rate-setters starting 11am CET in which it would “discuss current market conditions.”

The meeting, which comes less than a week after the rate-setting governing council’s last vote, raised investor expectations that the central bank is preparing to announce a policy instrument to stave-off another debt crisis in the region, which can only come in the form of more QE… which is ironic at a time when the ECB just announced it was phasing out all QE! Italian government bonds rallied in price following news of the planned meeting, reversing some of the recent sell-off that analysts said brought the country’s borrowing costs towards the “danger zone”. Gilles Moec, chief economist at Axa, an insurer, said the “stakes are high” for the ECB “now that everyone is dusting off their debt sustainability spreadsheets for Italy, they probably need to go up an extra notch”.

[..] ECB executive board member Isabel Schnabel indicated in a speech on Tuesday evening that the central bank was getting closer to the point where it would intervene in bond markets, saying “some borrowers have seen significantly larger changes in financing conditions than others since the start of the year”. She added: “Such changes in financing conditions may constitute an impairment in the transmission of monetary policy that requires close monitoring.” Schnabel, the ECB executive who oversees its market operations and one of the most influential voices on its board, said the central bank’s commitment to the euro had no limits. “And our track record of stepping in when needed backs up this commitment,” she added. But wait, this means… more QE at a time when the ECB just vowed… less QE!!??

Read more …

”Choose one and only one: Feel good or be able to afford food and basically everything else.”

PPI: Smoking -AGAIN- (Denninger)

Oh my look what we have here! “The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.8 percent in May, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This rise followed advances of 0.4 percent in April and 1.6 percent in March. (See table A.) On an unadjusted basis, final demand prices moved up 10.8 percent for the 12 months ended in May.” So…. two points, more or less, higher than CPI. PPI leads, I remind you, so the consumer inflation level has not peaked. Let’s look inside. “Final demand goods: The index for final demand goods moved up 1.4 percent in May, the fifth consecutive rise. Over 70 percent of the increase in May can be traced to a 5.0-percent advance in prices for final demand energy. The index for final demand goods less foods and energy moved up 0.7 percent, while prices for final demand foods were unchanged.”

Oh really? Only 5% eh? Well, don’t look at June, because gasoline, for example, has risen by more than 10% in the last two weeks which is all in June. Oops. “Product detail: Nearly 30 percent of the May increase in the index for final demand services can be attributed to prices for truck transportation of freight, which rose 2.9 percent.” No kidding? You mean $6+ diesel fuel turns directly into higher shipping prices? I just got back from a cross-country trip and saw lots of dead dinosaurs coming out of the stack of 18 wheelers and every one of them had better keep moving or you’re not eating, never mind being able to buy and consume anything else. The current Administration’s war on fossil fuels might make you feel good but it is also directly responsible for this insanity. Choose one and only one: Feel good or be able to afford food and basically everything else.

The really nasty is that the 12 month trend is unbroken and, as I noted, it all started right after Biden was inaugurated. He said he was going to do this during the campaign and he has. It takes time for the PPI to reflect down into the final shelf price and it has. But the 12 month final demand number, less food, energy and trade from 12 months prior stands at 6% which it has run at or above since August of last year. Shut it off now and it will be next summer before that has all worked its way through and there’s nothing you can do about the time requirement.

Read more …

“At the core what The Fed does is not the question. It’s what Congress does.”

Today’s The Day…. (Denninger)

….. we “celebrate” The Fed decision on rates. Well, yeah, ok. The 13 week bill says the FFR should be 1.5% now. As has almost-always been the case historically (go look at FRED if you don’t believe me) the market leads and The Fed is not actually in charge of rates. Of course this runs counter to the “all-powerful Fed” which suits everyone on all sides. The politicians and conspiracy nuts get to blame someone else for an agency that follows what the market demands because if it doesn’t it is proved impotent and takes a huge loss on top of it. Unfortunately 50 bips will do nothing to cool inflation; to do that short-term rates must be higher than the inflation rate so that the real cost of borrowing is positive. That would mean putting about 700bips on the FFR right here and now – which we know won’t happen.

Then again this has been the problem for the last 30ish years. The slope of the interest rate curve has gone from the upper left to the lower right and thus serial refinancing at the corporate and government level, say much less at the personal level, has looked “free.” That’s the sneaky part of inflation which I explained back when I wrote Leverage with a nice graph. When you run a deliberate inflationary policy over decades the first years look like a free lunch because the apparent “wealth” initially goes up faster than the debt service (which is on a smaller base) and thus produces a “belly” (an area of expansion of the space between the two lines of available spending power and debt service.) This is a chimera and to intentionally run such a policy as a business or government is fraud because all exponential expansions eventually go vertical, and the debt service will eventually cross available funds at which point you’re screwed since you cannot spend 110% of what you have — ever — no matter what you do.

It’s happening now. At the core what The Fed does is not the question. It’s what Congress does. The Fed is constrained to use only Federal Government backed securities for its monetary operations and policy. Yes, it has shaved that repeatedly, most-egregiously with Fannie and Freddie paper during the housing crash which at the time was wildly illegal yet not one person in Congress called them on it nor did anyone from the Executive (e.g. DOJ) stop it despite its blatant illegality. Then Congress went even further and, for all intents and purposes, explicitly backstopped said paper on a retroactive basis which is also illegal, but heh, nobody cared because it was “too big to fail.”

Read more …

Total control is the goal.

“Red Flag” Laws Put a Target on the Back of Every American (Whitehead)

What we do not need is yet another pretext by which government officials can violate the Fourth Amendment at will under the guise of public health and safety. Indeed, at a time when red flag gun laws (which authorize government officials to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others) are gaining traction as a legislative means by which to allow police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats, it wouldn’t take much for police to be given the green light to enter a home without a warrant in order to seize lawfully-possessed firearms based on concerns that the guns might pose a danger. Frankly, a person wouldn’t even need to own a gun to be subjected to such a home invasion.

SWAT teams have crashed through doors on lesser pretexts based on false information, mistaken identities and wrong addresses. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws allowing the police to remove guns from people suspected of being threats. If Congress succeeds in passing the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order, which would nationalize red flag laws, that number will grow. As The Washington Post reports, these red flag gun laws…”allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.”

In the wake of yet another round of mass shootings, these gun confiscation laws—extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws—may appease the fears of those who believe that fewer guns in the hands of the general populace will make our society safer. Of course, it doesn’t always work that way. Anything—knives, vehicles, planes, pressure cookers—can become a weapon when wielded with deadly intentions. With these red flag gun laws, the stated intention is to disarm individuals who are potential threats… to “stop dangerous people before they act.”

Read more …

I think he has elections coming up.

Erdogan Issues Fresh Threats Against Greece (K.)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued fresh threats against Greece, this time accusing the country of supporting an international campaign directed against his country. “We have sent a clear message to everyone concerned about developments in the Aegean,” Erdogan told MPs of his AK Party in the wake of the EFES-2022 military exercise near the Aegean port city of Izmir. “We have seen through the game being played at the expense of our country. They are allowing Greece to behave like a spoiled child as they have done in the past,” he said. “The problem is that Greece is not aware of this game, or it has voluntarily adopted a supporting role,” he said, adding that the country would pay a hefty price for “making the same mistake.”

Read more …

Joshua Schulte. Treated like an animal.

A Whistleblower’s Agony (Kiriakou)

A C.I.A. whistleblower languishes awaiting trial in a federal prison under inhumane conditions and almost nobody is paying attention. Joshua Schulte is a former C.I.A. hacker, one of those computer geniuses whose job it is to work his way into the computer systems of our country’s enemies in support of some of the most highly-classified operations the C.I.A. carries out. The government believes that Schulte was a malcontent who released to WikiLeaks in 2017 the equivalent of 2 billion pages of top secret C.I.A. data with code names like Brutal Kangaroo, AngerQuake and McNugget. These programs, collectively known as Vault 7, were custom-made techniques used to compromise Wifi networks, hack into Skype, defeat anti-virus software and even hack into smart TVs and the guidance systems in cars.

They were the C.I.A.’s modern-day crown jewels. One senior C.I.A. officer likened the revelations to “a modern-day Pearl Harbor.” The C.I.A. accused Schulte of stealing the data in 2016 and of sending it to WikiLeaks in 2017. He was eventually charged with 13 felonies, mostly related to the Espionage Act. He was later charged with a number of additional felonies related to child pornography, accusations that he has adamantly denied. Schulte went to trial in New York in early 2020 with the Justice Department accusing him of “the single biggest leak of classified national defense information in the history of the C.I.A.”

After four weeks of testimony and six days of jury deliberation, he was found guilty of contempt of court and making a false statement, both minor charges for which federal sentencing guidelines call for imprisonment of zero-to-six months. The jury deadlocked on all other counts, and the judge declared a mistrial. Schulte remains in prison awaiting retrial. He has been incarcerated since October 2018.

Read more …

“This dramatic deterioration of Mr Assange’s health has not yet been considered in his extradition proceedings.”

Patel Responsible For Assange’s ‘Slow-Motion Execution’ If Extradited (DIss.)

A coalition of over 300 doctors warned UK Home Secretary Priti Patel that she may be responsible for the “slow-motion execution” of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if her office approves the United States government’s extradition request. Patel has until June 19, which is ten years after Assange entered Ecuador’s embassy in London and sought political asylum, to decide whether to approve the extradition. Assange faces 18 charges brought against him by the US Justice Department, 17 of which are under the Espionage Act. All the charges relate to documents WikiLeaks released in 2010 and 2011, which were provided by US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Doctors for Assange” is an international coalition of medical doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists who have spoken up for Assange because of the toll the US government’s prosecution has taken on his health. Many of the doctors are from the UK and Australia, which is Assange’s home country. The doctors sent a letter to Patel on June 10, 2022, ahead of the Home Office’s extradition decision. “Should [Assange] come to harm in the US,” the group contends Patel “will be left holding the responsibility for that negligent outcome.” They add, “The extradition of a person with such compromised health, moreover, is medically and ethically unacceptable.” As the doctors recall, Assange’s health has deteriorated in UK custody at Belmarsh prison, where he’s been detained since April 11, 2019.

“In October 2021, Mr. Assange suffered a ‘mini-stroke.’” “This dangerous deterioration of Mr Assange’s health underscores the medical concern that the chronic stress caused by his harsh prison conditions, as well as his justified fear of the conditions that he would face in the case of extradition, leaves Mr. Assange vulnerable to cardiovascular events,” the doctors add. “This dramatic deterioration of Mr Assange’s health has not yet been considered in his extradition proceedings.” The doctors argue the basis for accepting US “assurances” was based upon “outdated medical information,” which should render the assurances “obsolete.” “Under conditions in which the UK legal system has failed to take Mr Assange’s current health status into account, no valid decision to approve his extradition may be made, by you, or anyone else.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Dore

 

 

 

 

Rooster

 

 

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