Andre Derain The port of Collioure 1905
What are the @Twitter engineers finding under the hood? @RubinReport tells @StreitMarissa that @elonmusk and the team are hard at work behind the scenes. pic.twitter.com/QGgh0kFECy
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Our dear Kamala educates us on space & rockets pic.twitter.com/aeon925Aqs
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Gonzalo 2023.02.01 The West Is Now Impotent In The Ukraine Conflict
“Are western citizens willing to fight and die for Ukraine? It’s highly unlikely.”
• Former UK Defense Minister: NATO May Need To Send Ground Forces To Ukraine (ZH)
The “domino theory” was once used to great effect in order to manipulate the American public into supporting the Vietnam War, but will the same narrative work to get the west to support World War III with Russia? Former UK Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth seems to think so as he uses this exact claim to justify NATO boots on the ground in Ukraine.
FORMER DEFENSE MINISTER OF UK SAYS NATO FORCES MAY NEED TO FACE RUSSIA ON THE GROUND pic.twitter.com/7LJ3Nksniq
— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) January 31, 2023
It should be noted that a large percentage of the American populace and most of Europe have no interest whatsoever in engaging with Russia and possibly its allies in all out war, but the establishment appears intent on forcing the issue anyway. The delivery of NATO tanks and the possibility of longer range missiles will no doubt trigger a wider response from Russia, which will then be used by NATO as a reason to escalate further. At the very least, Howarth does admit what many in the alternative media have been saying for some time – That Ukraine’s efforts have ground to a halt without further support from NATO troops. The deliveries of money and weapons are nothing more than a stop-gap; wars are won by men.
The former minister suggests that Ukraine is essentially too big to fail and that NATO cannot allow Russia to prevail in the region, otherwise they will be emboldened to strike other nearby nations. There is zero evidence to support this argument, but it is clear that NATO talking heads are desperate to drum up some kind of public fervor. Are western citizens willing to fight and die for Ukraine? It’s highly unlikely.
“..take necessary measures in order to prevent further attempt to turn Ukraine into an even sharper threat for our security..”
• NATO Involved In Hybrid War Against Russia For A Long Time – Lavrov (TASS)
NATO has been involved in a hybrid war against Russia for quite a long time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a press conference after the talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry Tuesday. “Whatever our Western partners may say, however they try to justify their actions on pumping Ukraine with weapons – including the known slogans that the path to peace lies through arms shipments – everyone understands everything. We are talking about NATO being involved in a hybrid war against Russia for a rather long time, a war that is being refracted in its hot displays, in actions of the Kiev regime,” he said. Lavrov noted that Moscow is taking necessary measures in order to prevent attempts to turn Ukraine into an even sharper threat to Russia’s security.
“Of course, we watch how discussions develop in the West about further pumping of Ukraine with increasingly serious weapons, including offensive weapons. Of course, we see it all, and we not merely observer, but take necessary measures in order to prevent further attempt to turn Ukraine into an even sharper threat for our security, and to prevent the Kiev regime from prevailing in its policy of discrimination and destruction of rights of all those Ukrainian citizens and former Ukrainian citizens, who felt involved in Russian history, Russian culture and Russian traditions,” he said. Lavrov underscored that Russia is watching this process, while the armed forces take all necessary measures to prevent Western plans from coming to fruition. “And they will not [come to fruition],” Lavrov underscored.
“..the neo-cons ultimate intent: Poland, already mobilising a 200,000 man military force, would become the new proxy (and the largest army in Europe) in a wider European war against Russia.”
• ‘At War with Russia’, Europe Peers Down the Abyss (Alastair Crooke)
‘Serendipitously’ – at this moment of Davos decay – a raucous, distracting noise started up: Abrahams M1s and Leopards for Ukraine. German FM, Baerbock declares Germany and the EU family are “at war with Russia”. The noise, as usual, succeeds in obscuring any wider picture. Yes, point one, we do have mission creep: We won’t send offensive weapons, but then they did. We won’t send long-range weapons M777), but then they did. We won’t send multiple missile launch systems (HIMARS), but then they did. We won’t send tanks, but now they are. No NATO boots on the ground, but they have been there since 2014.
Point two: Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former adviser to a U.S. Defence Secretary, says that the mood in Washington has notably changed: DC gets it – the U.S. is losing the proxy war. This fact however, Macgregor says, still remains ‘under the radar’ in respect to the main-stream media. The more important point Macgregor makes is that this late ‘awakening’ to reality is not shifting the stance of the neocons hawks, one jot. They want escalation (as do one small faction in Germany – the Greens; as well as a leading faction in Poland and, as usual, the Baltic states). And Biden has surrounded himself with State Department war-hawks.
Point three: the contrarian ‘reality’ is that the ‘uniformed’ militaries of Europe also ‘get it’: that Ukraine is losing, and now are very worried by the prospect of escalation – and of war engulfing eastern Europe. The tanks have nothing to do with their calculus about the war outcome. The professionals know the Abrams or Leopards will neither change the course of the war, nor will they arrive before it is too late to alter anything. The European military cadre do not want war with Russia: They know the EU has no ‘surge’ manufacturing capacity to sustain war against Russia beyond a very small window. Popular opinion, and key strands of élite opinion in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe), are becoming hardened in opposition to the war. The concern is that the emphasis on sending exactly German tanks, with their dark symbolism of past bloody battles, is intended to bury any prospect of any future German relationship with Russia – for good.
Further, German military officers worry that a failing Ukrainian military might fall back to the Polish border – and even across it – before the tanks are delivered. The tanks then would be absorbed by the Polish military. There is a thought in these military circles that this might, in fact, be the neo-cons ultimate intent: Poland, already mobilising a 200,000 man military force, would become the new proxy (and the largest army in Europe) in a wider European war against Russia.
“..nearly every possible scenario gamed in Washington and Brussels finishes with NATO like a giant, armoured version of Wile E. Coyote plunging to the depths of the Grand Canyon..”
• Trials and Tribulations of the Collective West (Escobar)
Every military analyst with an IQ over room temperature knows all those Leopards will be duly incinerated – or better yet, captured, and dissected by Russian military specialists. So what happens next is yet another vector of the – very successful so far – U.S.-unleashed German de-industrualization racket: the Americans will invade the German industrial military complex with their “much improved” Abrams – which may perhaps arrive in 2024, when only a rump Ukraine may still exist, or never arrive at all. So no need for the Abrams to prove themselves in actual combat – as in being captured and/or incinerated. Rumors in Washington advance that the U.S. “strategy” in Ukraine – extensively detailed by endless think tank reports – had to be adapted. It’s not about “defeating Russia” anymore, but providing Kiev with the means to “scare” Russia.
The Russian General Staff must be trembling in their boots. Meanwhile, in real life, nearly every possible scenario gamed in Washington and Brussels finishes with NATO like a giant, armoured version of Wile E. Coyote plunging to the depths of the Grand Canyon. And that happens even if the much ballyhooded “Big Arrow” Russian offensive starts in a few days or weeks, or never starts at all. Arguably the Russian General Staff has concluded a long time ago there’s no point in reducing Ukraine to rubble in a matter of hours – something they could easily accomplish. Thus the fabled mincing machine approach – offering no excuses for NATO to “escalate” (which they continue to do anyway, as Jens “War is Peace” Stoltenberg is so fond of parroting).
The trick is that NATO’s escalation overdrive, as it happens, is somewhat controlled by the Russian General Staff, which is always calculating which optimal maneuvers will consume NATO’s military hardware faster. Call it a Russian version of the popular axiom “frog in a boiling pot doesn’t realize it’s being cooked until it croaks.” Absolute desperation is now graphically extrapolating into attacks on Iran. Both Russia and China have Iran as their key ally in West Asia for the whole, complex process of Eurasia integration; strategic partnerships interlink the trio. So attacking the Ministry of Defense in Isfahan with drones – total fail – and bombing an IRGC convoy of humanitarian aid crossing from Iraq to Syria is a serious U.S.-Israel-coordinated provocation.
Essentially these are also attacks against Russia and China. Israel cannot lift its hand or foot without U.S. permission. Iranian intel may be able to establish how the Straussian neo-con and neoliberal-con cabal in charge of U.S. foreign policy authorized if not ordered these attacks, which of course are directly connected to NATO’s desperation in Ukraine. When in doubt, just come back to Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski: “Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia and perhaps, Iran, an ‘anti-hegemonic’ coalition united not by ideology but by contemporary grievances. It would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc.” And mirroring Ukraine/Russia there’s of course Taiwan/China.
“..this risky step is especially profitable for arms barons.”
• Sending Tanks To Kiev Not To Help Resolve Ukraine Conflict – Erdogan (TASS)
The West’s supply of weapons, including tanks, to Kiev will not bring about the solution to the Ukraine conflict, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised interview with the TRT channel on Wednesday. “I cannot say that I believe that sending tanks is a step towards resolving [the Ukraine conflict],” he said. “We expect Western countries to back our calls for negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.” Referring to the buildup of arms supply to Kiev, Erdogan emphasized that “this risky step is especially profitable for arms barons.” Nevertheless, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that weapons supplies to Ukraine may create conditions for “a negotiated peaceful solution” in the future.
On January 25, the United States pledged to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Kiev. On the same day, Germany confirmed that it would transfer 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine and would allow other countries to re-export these combat vehicles to Ukraine. According to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, the Leopard 2 tanks would be sent to Ukraine “before the end of March.” Norway, Slovakia, the UK, Poland, and France have also pledged to provide Kiev with Western-made tanks. Kiev expects to receive up to 140 tanks from 12 countries as the first batch. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that tensions around the situation in Ukraine are rising due to Washington’s decisions and US pressure on other countries.
‘Nothing is forbidden in principle, provided that it will be useful, in particular, for the Ukrainian armed forces, will not lead to an escalation of the conflict and strikes on Russian territory..”
• Zakharova: Jet Deliveries To Kiev Not Leading To Escalation ‘Absurd’ (TASS)
French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement that the possible delivery of military aircraft to Ukraine will not lead to an escalation is absurd, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday. “We’ve paid attention to the words of French President [Emmanuel] Macron, who, responding to a question about the possible supply of aircraft to Ukraine, said: ‘Nothing is forbidden in principle, provided that it will be useful, in particular, for the Ukrainian armed forces, will not lead to an escalation of the conflict and strikes on Russian territory, will not weaken the defense capability of France itself.’ Forgive me, but it’s some kind of absurdity,” Zakharova said, “Sorry, but Paris’ readiness to supply Kiev with fighter jets was confirmed by the French Defense Minister [Sebastien Lecornu] who visited Ukraine on January 28.”
“Is the French president really sure that supplying the Kiev regime with arms, heavy weapons and aircraft for combat operations will not escalate the situation? I refuse to believe that a grown man can have such logic,” the diplomat added, “Such statements only increase the already irrepressible appetite of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s regime, which, by shelling hospitals and massacring civilians, has clearly demonstrated that Western military injections – how did Mr. Macron put it? – will not lead to an escalation of the conflict. Well, of course, they ‘give’ peace. Obviously these planes are going to be used to drop cookies and candy, right? I have a different feeling.”
The diplomat stressed that Russia strongly condemned “the increasingly aggressive and bellicose rhetoric of Western officials, who have not been shy about making loud statements on the Ukrainian conflict lately.” “I understand them. They feel the deadlock of their own position and the lack of arguments to explain to their own citizens what they have done, in particular to the European continent. Hence the tearing and shouting, trying to find some kind of explanation for what they are doing,” she added.
4 articles on Russian gas to EU that seem to contradict each other. Is the volume going up or down? You tell me.
• Russia Ramps Up EU-Bound Gas Transit Via Ukraine (RT)
Russian energy giant Gazprom has increased its daily volume of gas transit through Ukraine to the EU by 20% for the first time in weeks, the company announced on Wednesday. Supplies jumped to 29.4 million cubic meters (mcm) on February 1, compared to 24.5 mcm pumped the previous day through the Sudzha entry point, which remains the only operating interconnector in Ukraine. “Gazprom supplies Russian gas for transit through the territory of Ukraine in the amount confirmed by the Ukrainian side through Sudzha – 29.4 mcm as of February 1,” Gazprom spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov told reporters. Kupriyanov added that an application had been rejected for the Sokhranovka transit point, which previously served as a key gas transit route through Ukraine and handled about a third of the Russian gas flowing through the country to the EU.
Ukraine shut down transit through Sokhranovka in early May, citing “interference by the occupying forces.” Russian gas deliveries to the EU via Ukraine were slashed from last May in the aftermath of the bloc’s sweeping anti-Russia sanctions, and stood between 40 to 43 mcm per day. This year, shipments declined sharply from 35.5 mcm in early January to 24 mcm by the end of the month. Analysts attributed the lower volumes to warm winter temperatures in Europe and to high stocks of gas in underground storage facilities. Imports have somewhat rebounded after gas prices began to rise on expectations of colder weather next week. Flows are still about 27% lower than levels at the start of the winter gas season last year, according to Reuters estimates.
Meanwhile, requests for Russian gas from Ukraine to Slovakia via the Velke Kapusany border point also surged to 23.7 mcm compared to 18.6 mcm the previous day, Ukrainian transmission system data showed. Gas transit through Ukraine remains the only route for Russian supplies to the countries of Western and Central Europe after sabotage attacks in September rendered the Nord Stream pipeline inoperable. Gazprom also exports gas via the Turkish Stream and Blue Stream pipelines to Southern and South-Eastern Europe.
The article above: “Russian energy giant Gazprom has increased its daily volume of gas transit through Ukraine to the EU by 20% for the first time in weeks..”
This article: “Russia’s pipeline gas exports to Europe slumped to a new monthly record-low in January, falling by nearly 30% from December..”
• Russia’s Pipeline Gas Exports To Europe Slump To Record Low (ZH)
Russia’s pipeline gas exports to Europe slumped to a new monthly record-low in January, falling by nearly 30% from December due to lower prices on the spot market, according to Reuters calculations. Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has seen exports to Europe decline since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year as Russia cut off gas supplies to a number of countries in Europe. Russia cut off supply to Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland in April and May, slashed gas deliveries via Nord Stream to Germany in June, then off Nord Stream supply in early September. Russia still sends some gas via pipelines to Europe via one transit route through Ukraine, and via TurkStream.
This month, Gazprom has reduced pipeline gas transit flows to Europe via Ukraine on some days. Analysts have said that the lower pipeline flows were the result of lower demand for gas under long-term contracts, considering the milder weather in parts of Europe earlier in January and the fact that spot supply is currently cheaper. Per Reuters calculations, which are based on daily data of flows from Russia via the transit route through Ukraine and via TurkStream, pipeline gas exports from Russia to Europe dropped to around some 1.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) in January, down from 2.5 bcm in December.
Gazprom hasn’t released January export data yet, but its exports to Europe via pipelines plunged to a post-Soviet low in 2022, according to data from the Russian firm calculated by Reuters. Last year’s Russian gas exports slumped by 45% year on year to reach 100.9 bcm in 2022. Germany, Russia’s biggest customer of gas before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, doesn’t import any Russian gas via pipeline now. Norway became Germany’s single-largest natural gas supplier in 2022, overtaking Russia, as total German gas imports dropped by 12.3% compared to 2021.
“..Transneft workers are currently repairing the damage caused by the attack and that the pipeline continues to operate normally..”
• Ukraine Attacks Pipeline Pumping Russian Oil To EU – Transneft (RT)
A Ukrainian rocket has reportedly struck near an oil pumping station connected to the Druzhba pipeline in Russia’s Bryansk Region, the operator Transneft claimed on Wednesday. Speaking to the TASS news agency, Igor Demin, a spokesman for the company, said the shell landed on the territory of the Novozybkovo station in the late hours of January 31. He noted that the attempted attack ultimately failed to cause any casualties or hinder the work of the pipeline. According to initial reporting by the Mash news agency, the strike was carried out using a Tochka-U rocket. Workers reportedly found a 20-meter crater on the territory of the station, which lost power as a result of the attack.
Demin explained that the Novozybkovo oil pumping station, which was the apparent target, is only temporarily used at peak times on the Druzhba pipeline and was last turned on in 2022 for only a few hours. He noted that Transneft workers are currently repairing the damage caused by the attack and that the pipeline continues to operate normally. The Druzhba (Friendship) oil pipeline is one of the longest in the world and connects eastern parts of Russia to several points in Europe, including Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Germany.
The segment that was apparently being targeted by Kiev’s forces on Tuesday is located some 39km from the Russian-Ukrainian border and leads directly into Belarus, where it branches off into two sections: one going to Germany and Poland and the other delivering oil to Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic. Germany, however, has not received any oil since the start of the year after Berlin and Poland both pledged to stop all imports of Russian crude. According to Bryansk Governor Aleksander Bogomaz, Kiev’s forces also launched several artillery strikes against civilian targets across the region on Tuesday. Although no casualties have been reported, Bogomaz said the attack damaged over a dozen residential buildings, a WWII memorial, and a shop. The strikes also cut off power to several villages, he said, later adding that these issues had been promptly resolved by emergency services.
Price cap is $60. The average price for Urals oil blend was at $49.50 per barrel.
• EU-Owned Tankers Boost Russian Oil Shipments (RT)
Exports of Russian oil loaded in Western-insured tankers surged in January as prices for Moscow’s flagship Urals grade stood below the cap set by the Group of Seven (G7) countries and the European Union, Reuters reported, citing tracking data. The price cap on Russian seaborne oil exports of $60 per barrel was introduced by the EU, G7 countries, and Australia on December 5. It bans Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shipments of Russian oil unless the cargo is purchased at or below the set price. The average price for Urals oil blend was at $49.50 per barrel on a free-on-board basis (FOB) on Tuesday for shipments from the port of Primorsk, and at $47.83 FOB from Novorossiisk, traders told the outlet. Western tankers are set to carry more than 9.5 million tons of crude from the Russia, hitting a multi-month high in January as soaring Asian demand pushes up prices.
This month’s loadings of crude from Russia and Kazakhstan from only two ports of Ust-Luga and Primorsk are expected to reach the highest volumes since 2019, amounting to 7.4 million tons, traders’ data showed. A quarter of all Urals shipments from Russia in January were handled by EU-owned vessels mainly from Greece, twice as much as in December. Meanwhile, other Russian export blends such as Sokol and ESPO are trading well above the price cap, with Sokol being contracted at about $78 per barrel and ESPO trading at over $72 per barrel as of Tuesday. Russia has been opposed to the price cap initiative from the start. Last month, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning the supply of Russian oil and oil products to foreign buyers that “directly or indirectly” mention the cap in their contracts. The ban came into force on February 1, and will be valid for at least five months.
The blessings of bias.
• “Objectivity Has Got To Go” (Turley)
Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll decried how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece titled “I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.”
Former New York Times writer (and now Howard University Journalism Professor) Nikole Hannah-Jones is a leading voice for advocacy journalism. Indeed, Hannah-Jones has declared “all journalism is activism.” Her 1619 Project has been challenged as deeply flawed and she has a long record as a journalist of intolerance, controversial positions on rioting, and fostering conspiracy theories. Hannah-Jones would later help lead the effort at the Times to get rid of an editor and apologize for publishing a column from Sen. Tom Cotten as inaccurate and inflammatory. Polls show trust in the media at an all-time low with less than 20 percent of citizens trusting television or print media. Yet, reporters and academics continue to destroy the core principles that sustain journalism and ultimately the role of a free press in our society.
Notably, writers who have been repeatedly charged with false or misleading columns are some of the greatest advocates for dropping objectivity in journalism. Now the leaders of media companies are joining this self-destructive movement. They are not speaking of columnists or cable hosts who routinely share opinions. They are speaking of actual journalists, the people who are relied upon to report the news. Saying that “Objectivity has got to go” is, of course, liberating. You can dispense with the necessities of neutrality and balance. You can cater to your “base” like columnists and opinion writers. Sharing the opposing view is now dismissed as “bothsidesism.” Done. No need to give credence to opposing views. It is a familiar reality for those of us in higher education, which has been increasingly intolerant of opposing or dissenting views.
“..they had also helped it “get new customers,” including “government agencies” in the case of Metabiota..”
• Hunter Biden’s Metabiota Labs Received $10s of Millions in DOD Contracts (GP)
According to USASpending.gov, a database of spending by the US federal government, the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded tens of millions of dollars in contracts to Hunter Biden’s Metabiota labs. Metabiota is a San Francisco-based health startup known for tracking epidemics. The company is mentioned on the Hunter Biden laptop. Hunter Biden’s investment firm, Rosemont Seneca, invested $500,000 in Metabiota, and the company went on to raise several million more from investment giants like Goldman Sachs. The firm has biolabs in several countries, including Ukraine, where Hunter played an important role in the company’s activities. In their pitches to potential backers, Hunter bragged that they had done more than just get financing for the company; they had also helped it “get new customers,” including “government agencies” in the case of Metabiota, according to Daily Mail.
Government data shows Hunter Biden secured millions in government funding and grants for Metabiota after he became part owner of the firm. Metabiota was one of the 46 Ukrainian Bioweapon labs that the US government partnered with, per DC Draino. Following Hunter Biden and his company, Rosemont Seneca’s acquisition of a 50% ownership stake in the Metabiota, the government contracts and grants started flowing. Before the Rosemont Senaca agreement, Metabiota was given a $349,513 contract from the government. Following Hunter’s involvement, Metabiota was awarded a contract with the Department of Defense worth $23.9 million. Before Hunter was involved, Metabiota received a $649,882 grant from the US government. After Hunter became involved, Metabiota received several million in government grants.
According to Daily Mail, Hunter Biden connected a corrupt Ukrainian gas company called Burisma with the Metabiota for an undisclosed “scientific project.” The outlet added that Metabiota is supposedly a medical data company, but in 2014, Metabiota Vice President Mary Guttieri contacted Hunter explaining how they could “assert Ukraine’s cultural and economic independence from Russia,” an unusual ambition for a biotech corporation. “Thanks so much for taking time out of your intense schedule to meet with Kathy and I on Tuesday. We very much enjoyed our discussion. As promised, I’ve prepared the attached memo, which provides an overview of Metabiota, our engagement in Ukraine, and how we can potentially leverage our team, networks, and concepts to assert Ukraine’s cultural and economic independence from Russia and continued integration into Western society,” the email reads.
“[n]o one thinks this strategy of putting Hunter Biden front and center is smart… No one, including the White House, thinks this is a smart strategy.”
• Hunter Biden Demands Investigations Into Reporting On His Laptop (JTN)
First son Hunter Biden and his legal team sent a slew of letters to government agencies on Wednesday demanding investigations into the dissemination of materials from his laptop, while also threatening to sue Fox News host Tucker Carlson. A source familiar with the letters, obtained by CBS News, indicated to the outlet that the scandal-plagued Biden intends to take the initiative in combatting negative press and Republican-led investigations. “He is not going to sit quietly by as questionable characters continue to violate his rights and media organizations peddling in lies try to defame him,” the source said. The letter to Carlson demands that the Fox host retract statements describing a “money laundering scheme” connected to Biden allegedly paying his father “rent” money.
The letter acknowledges that other outlets have retracted such claims. Other letters went to the Delaware attorney general, the IRS, and the Department of Justice seeking investigations related to the publication of the laptop, the authenticity of which has since been verified. The letters appear to mark a direct admission from Biden’s legal team that the laptop does indeed belong to Biden and that the contents are authentic. “This failed dirty political trick directly resulted in the exposure, exploitation, and manipulation of Mr. Biden’s private and personal information,” read the letter to Delaware AG Kathy Jennings. “Mr. Mac Isaac’s intentional, reckless and unlawful conduct allowed for hundreds of gigabytes of Mr. Biden’s personal data, without any discretion, to be circulated around the Internet.
Specifically, Biden wants investigations into laptop repairman John Paul Mac Isaac, at whose store the younger Biden left the laptop, as well as various Trump aides connected to the publication of its contents. Biden alleges that many of these aides may have broken the law in obtaining and distributing the laptop’s contents. Biden also has asked the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of Marco Polo, the organization operated by former Trump aide Garrett Ziegler that published a lengthy report on the laptop’s contents. Reports emerged in December that Hunter Biden was mounting a legal and media blitz to combat conservative criticism and allegations of legal improprieties. A source at the White House expressed concerns to the Washington Post about Hunter’s plans at the time, saying “[n]o one thinks this strategy of putting Hunter Biden front and center is smart… No one, including the White House, thinks this is a smart strategy.”
The “Russia thing”.
• The Press Versus The President, Part Three (CJR)
Trump’s firing of Comey on May 9 was nothing like his hit TV show, The Apprentice. The boss couldn’t move on to the next episode, nor would the ousted employee quietly walk away. The firestorm that erupted in the aftermath of Comey being axed required a do-over, in part because of shifting White House explanations for his dismissal. So Trump sat down two days later for an interview with Lester Holt, the Nightly News anchor for NBC. But instead of tamping down the controversy, it fanned the Russia flames for the media. A tweet from the show on May 11 set the narrative for the Holt interview: “Trump on firing Comey: ‘I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.’” Those few words, by suggesting Comey’s firing was aimed at getting the FBI inquiry off his back, provided fresh ammunition to anti-Trumpers.
The full interview, which was available online, presented a more nuanced story, and appeared to reflect what his advisers told him: firing Comey could prolong, not end, the investigation. Trump told Holt, soon after the controversial words, that the firing “might even lengthen out the investigation” and he expected the FBI “to continue the investigation,” to do it “properly,” and “to get to the bottom.” The media focused on the “Russia thing” quote; the New York Times did five stories over the next week citing the “Russia thing” remarks but leaving out the fuller context. The Post and CNN, by comparison, included additional language in their first-day story. The White House was upset and repeatedly asked reporters to look at the full transcript, according to a former Trump aide and two reporters.
On the heels of the NBC interview came a leak of Comey’s notes of private conversations with Trump, including one at a dinner in January where Trump was said to have asked the FBI director to pledge loyalty to him. The Times piece reported that the inquiry into Trump and Russia “has since gained momentum as investigators have developed new evidence and leads.” Comey, once out of office, had his internal memos leaked to the Times, hoping that might “help prompt” the appointment of a special counsel, he testified to Congress a few weeks later. At the same hearing, he criticized the paper’s story of February 14, one of whose authors was Michael Schmidt, the reporter who received his leaked memos. On June 8, at a Senate hearing, Comey was asked whether the Times story was “almost entirely wrong.” He said yes.
“.. there were a total of 1,250 serious adverse events for every 1 million people vaccinated..”
• Why Did UK Wait 3 Months to Disclose Data Showing COVID Vaccine Risks? (CHD)
A Jan. 25 report by the U.K government showed the risks of serious adverse effects from mRNA COVID-19 vaccines largely outweigh the benefits, according to John Campbell, Ph.D., who analyzed the U.K. data used for the report. U.K. health officials knew about the data in October 2022, but didn’t change their recommendations for the shots until the day they released the report and announced they will no longer recommend COVID-19 boosters for healthy people under 50. They also said they will discontinue free distribution of the primary two-shot series. In his latest video, Campbell, a retired nurse teacher in England, summarized the results of the report, which calculated how many people had to be vaccinated in different age groups and risk profiles in order to avoid a single hospitalization.
Campbell compared the results to peer-reviewed data on serious adverse events reported following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. The report was based on an October 2022 UK Health Security Agency presentation to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Despite the “massive shift” in vaccine risk-benefit analysis that was already clear in the October presentation, Campbell said, “the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation carried on without modification to the autumn booster program.” “My question to the Joint Committee on Vaccination Immunisation is why?” said Campbell, who noted that the agency is 85% funded by industry.
Summary of the analysis: ‘number needed to vaccinate’ versus risk of serious adverse events The U.K. study analyzed the “number needed to vaccinate” by age group to prevent either hospitalization or “serious hospitalization,” which is when someone needs oxygen or a ventilator — though Campbell noted that it is common, in general, to oxygenate in hospitals. For example, healthcare providers would need to vaccinate 43,000 people in the 50 to 59 age group to prevent one hospitalization and more than 256,400 people in that age group to prevent a serious hospitalization. Campbell compared the numbers in the report to a peer-reviewed study published in Vaccine that re-analyzed the original phase 3 trials for Pfizer and Moderna to identify serious adverse events of special interest following the mRNA vaccines.
In the Moderna trials, the risk of serious adverse events was 15.1 per 10,000 doses. In other words, 1 in 662 vaccines administered produced a serious adverse event. In the Pfizer trials, the risk of serious adverse events was 10.1 per 10,000, which breaks down to 1 in 990 vaccines administered producing a serious adverse event. On average, there were 12.5 serious adverse events per 10,000 people vaccinated, which is 1 in 800. That means there were a total of 1,250 serious adverse events for every 1 million people vaccinated, according to the study.
“What we see with Farrar is a recipe for disaster when it comes to imposing experimental medical technology on the population during public health crises..”
• Is a Mad Scientist Set to Become Chief Scientist at the WHO? (CHD)
The World Health Organization (WHO) last month named Dr. Jeremy Farrar its new chief scientist. Farrar will step down Feb. 25 as director of the Wellcome Trust, the largest funder of medical research in the U.K. and one of the largest in the world. Farrar and the Wellcome Trust are less well-known relative to similar global public health giants, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and that’s “to people’s detriment,” investigative journalist Whitney Webb told journalist Kim Iversen on a recent episode of “The Kim Iversen Show”: “If what is essentially a power grab by the World Health Organization gets put into force, then Jeremy Farrar will have essentially total authority to impose upon member states what medical responses they would have to implement in the event of another pandemic.”
Webb referred to proposals in the works to transform the WHO from an advisory organization to a global governing body whose policies would be legally binding for member states in the case of a global health emergency. While at Wellcome Trust, Farrar was the architect of several key WHO COVID-19 pandemic policy directives, including lockdowns, masking and mass vaccination. “What we see with Farrar is a recipe for disaster when it comes to imposing experimental medical technology on the population during public health crises. This is a guy who was very much invested in this stuff,” Webb said. It’s something out of ‘Brave New World’ Iversen asked about links between the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.
While there is no direct link, Webb said, “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a lot of these other organizations, including the Wellcome Trust, are very much pushing an agenda that I would argue is sort of the fusion of Big Pharma and Big Tech.” “Essentially Big Pharma is looking for new markets and new products and Big Tech can help them accomplish that,” she said. Over the last several decades, Big Pharma and “billionaire philanthropists” have come to dominate the WHO, Webb told Iversen. They are the ones, “in my opinion, executing this power grab more than the WHO itself,” she said. There are also key ties between Big Tech and national security agencies, Webb said. Farrar has connections to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, Webb said.
Stefania Maurizi has been tirelessly filing FOIA requests for years in Sweden, Britain, the United States and Australia.
• Sweden Destroyed Substantial Part Of Its Documents On Julian Assange (Maurizi)
A substantial portion of the documents on Julian Assange were destroyed by the Swedish Prosecution Authority, which investigated him for rape in a criminal investigation opened and closed three times between August 2010 and November 2019. The materials destroyed were correspondence between the Swedish Prosecution Authority (SPA) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which was providing the SPA with support on the case, since Assange was under investigation in Sweden but had been in London since 2010. The correspondence between the SPA and CPS is absolutely crucial to understand and reconstruct what really happened in the Swedish rape investigation. That investigation was ultimately dropped once and for all without Assange ever being charged, but for almost a decade has deprived him of the empathy of public opinion.
Especially the empathy of that segment of the public more sensitive to the WikiLeaks revelations on war crimes and torture, often the segment also more mindful of women’s rights. The highly anomalous handling of the Swedish case by prosecutor Marianne Ny resulted in justice for no one, contributed to the devastation of Assange’s health, cost British taxpayers at least 13.2 million pounds to keep the Ecuadorian embassy under siege by Scotland Yard from 2012 to 2015, and resulted in the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention decision that Sweden and the United Kingdom had arbitrarily detained Assange since 2010, in the case of Sweden the first time the UN Group had ever made such a decision in the country’s history. In September 2019, the then UN Special Rapporteur on Torture who had investigated the case, Nils Melzer, listed fifty perceived due process violations, including “Proactive manipulation of evidence”, in an official letter to the Swedish government.
[..] The fact that documents were destroyed by the Swedish Prosecution Authority has just surfaced thanks to our lengthy FOIA litigation, and comes almost six years after that very same FOIA litigation unearthed that key documents were destroyed by the Crown Prosecution Service. It is now clear that both of the authorities handling the Swedish case, the SPA and the CPS, destroyed a large part of their email exchanges. Why? What did those documents contain and on whose instructions were those materials destroyed? Now more than ever some sort of explanation is urgently needed, considering that the United States is currently acting through the Crown Prosecution Service itself in the extradition proceeding against Julian Assange.
Since 2015, we have been engaged in trench warfare in Sweden, Britain, the United States and Australia to access the full documentation on the case under FOIA, represented by seven lawyers. This investigative work has allowed us to find the answer to one of the key questions around the Swedish case: why did Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny, who reopened the rape case in September 2010 after Stockholm’s chief prosecutor, Eva Finné, had immediately dismissed it (because, in her judgement, the suspect’s conduct “disclosed no crime at all”) refuse to question Assange in London for six years?
JAMES BALDWIN addresses the the University Of Cambridge during his epochal debate with William F. Buckley in 1965.
This is oratory and content of the very very highest order.
To listen is to learn. pic.twitter.com/FCaXVJH6MF
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) February 1, 2023
Elephant gives birth in the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya pic.twitter.com/M1DyPXGHmL
— Gabriele Corno (@Gabriele_Corno) February 1, 2023
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