Nov 102023
 


Pablo Picasso Femme à la Montre 1932
Sold for $139 million on November 8

 

Letter to the Children of Gaza (Chris Hedges)
Biden’s Frankenstein (Patrick Lawrence)
Ceasefire in Gaza Depends on US as It ‘Fully Controls’ Conflict – Hamas (Sp.)
Hamas Not Interested in Keeping Civilians Hostage – Erdogan (Sp.)
Turkey Ready To Act As Guarantor In Resolving Gaza Crisis – Erdogan (TASS)
Russia Can’t Be Defeated On Battlefield – Kremlin (RT)
West Preparing for Military Coup Against Zelensky – Larry Johnson (Sp.)
Ukraine ‘Has No Russian Minority’ – Deputy PM (RT)
US Aiming To ‘Kill’ Major Russian Energy Project – Pyatt (RT)
Russia May Downgrade Diplomatic Relations With US – Deputy FM (TASS)
Polls In Key States ‘Scary’ – Top-Ranking Biden Diplomat (RT)
Hillary Clinton Likens Trump To Hitler And Warns He Would End Democracy (G.)
Trump Is ‘Toast’ In New York Fraud Trial – Former Watergate Prosecutor (G.)
Claimed ‘99% Consensus’ on Climate Change Demolished by New Report (DS)
US Congress Members Call for Biden to Drop Assange Extradition Request (Sp.)

 

 

“Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they’re 75” – Benjamin Franklin

 

 


Elon Musk: “Best economist ever”

 

 

Iversen Ritter

 

 

 

 

Nap/Crooke

 

 

 

 

Belgium Petra De Sutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I am a reporter. It is my job to see this. You are a child. You should never see this.”

Letter to the Children of Gaza (Chris Hedges)

Dear child. It is past midnight. I am flying at hundreds of miles an hour in the darkness, thousands of feet over the Atlantic Ocean. I am traveling to Egypt. I will go to the border of Gaza at Rafah. I go because of you. You have never been in a plane. You have never left Gaza. You know only the densely packed streets and alleys. The concrete hovels. You know only the security barriers and fences patrolled by soldiers that surround Gaza. Planes, for you, are terrifying. Fighter jets. Attack helicopters. Drones. They circle above you. They drop missiles and bombs. Deafening explosions. The ground shakes. Buildings fall. The dead. The screams. The muffled calls for help from beneath the rubble. It does not stop. Night and day. Trapped under the piles of smashed concrete. Your playmates. Your schoolmates. Your neighbors. Gone in seconds. You see the chalky faces and limp bodies when they are dug out. I am a reporter. It is my job to see this. You are a child. You should never see this.

The stench of death. Rotting corpses under broken concrete. You hold your breath. You cover your mouth with cloth. You walk faster. Your neighborhood has become a graveyard. All that was familiar is gone. You stare in amazement. You wonder where you are. You are afraid. Explosion after explosion. You cry. You cling to your mother or father. You cover your ears. You see the white light of the missile and wait for the blast. Why do they kill children? What did you do? Why can’t anyone protect you? Will you be wounded? Will you lose a leg or an arm? Will you go blind or be in a wheelchair? Why were you born? Was it for something good? Or was it for this? Will you grow up? Will you be happy? What will it be like without your friends? Who will die next? Your mother? Your father? Your brothers and sisters? Someone you know will be injured. Soon. Someone you know will die. Soon.

At night you lie in the dark on the cold cement floor. The phones are cut. The internet is off. You do not know what is happening. There are flashes of light. There are waves of blast concussions. There are screams. It does not stop. When your father or mother hunts for food or water you wait. That terrible feeling in your stomach. Will they come back? Will you see them again? Will your tiny home be next? Will the bombs find you? Are these your last moments on Earth? You drink salty, dirty water. It makes you very sick. Your stomach hurts. You are hungry. The bakeries are destroyed. There is no bread. You eat one meal a day. Pasta. A cucumber. Soon this will seem like a feast.

You have seen foreign reporters. We wear flak jackets with the word PRESS written on it. We have helmets. We have cameras. We drive jeeps. We appear after a bombing or a shooting. We sit over coffee for a long time and talk to the adults. Then we disappear. We do not usually interview children. But I have done interviews when groups of you crowded around us. Laughing. Pointing. Asking us to take your picture. I have been bombed by jets in Gaza. I have been bombed in other wars, wars that happened before you were born. I too was very, very scared. I still have dreams about it. When I see the pictures of Gaza these wars return to me with the force of thunder and lightning. I think of you. All of us who have been to war hate war most of all because of what it does to children.

Safe place

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“..Biden, Blinken and the rest of the regime’s national security crew are now aware that Biden’s open-door, open-wallet support for Bibi’s frenzied violence against Palestinians has turned into a political disaster from which it will be difficult to recover.”

Biden’s Frankenstein (Patrick Lawrence)

The new wave of violence in Israel and Gaza now enters its second month. More than 10,000 people have been killed, The Associated Press reports, 40 percent of them children. Where is this catastrophe going? What are the limits of Israel’s inhumanity? Does the Biden regime, in its unforgivable support and encouragement of this ethnic-cleansing operation, have another Frankenstein on its hands—a monster it cannot control? There is the Ukraine case, a contrast as we consider this question. Volodymyr Zelensky is pure cartoon creation—the greatest put-up job of our century, posing as a defender of democratic freedom while running a crypto–Nazi regime and, along with his generals and ministers, stealing hundreds of millions of dollars. But Ukraine—weak, broke, and losing the proxy war against Russia—is easily managed. Biden could unplug the electrodes from Zelensky’s temples any time he chose to do so. He won’t, but he could.

It starts to look as if Biden and his foreign policy people have lost what control they may have had over Bibi Netanyahu and the fanatical regime he directs. Last week Antony Blinken, on his second trip to Israel since the Hamas assault on southern Israel October 7, asked the Israeli prime minister to “pause”—we must not propose a ceasefire—Israel’s daily bombing campaign up and down the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu refused the American secretary of state more or less point blank. Ask yourself: Who was in charge of that meeting, who was running the show? I have to say, Blinken does come over as a diplomatic pipsqueak time and time again, as he did last summer in Beijing, when the Chinese leadership actually scolded him before sending him home with nothing but lectures to show for his effort.

The Biden White House has been making sotto voce requests such as Blinken’s for the past couple of weeks, all to very little avail. Dim and wanting in all subtlety, even Biden, Blinken and the rest of the regime’s national security crew are now aware that Biden’s open-door, open-wallet support for Bibi’s frenzied violence against Palestinians has turned into a political disaster from which it will be difficult to recover. West Asian nations may not stand with Palestinians to the extent one would like to see, but the old client relationships with Washington appear to have been altered more or less permanently. It all looks so very bad. Last week the Latin Americans began recalling their ambassadors to Tel Aviv, Bolivia going so far as to sever relations, and bravo for the Bolivians.

This week Jordan, Bahrain, Turkey, Chad and South Africa followed suit. The Israelis show no sign of giving a damn, but look at the names: America has traditionally counted these nations among its friends (or clients). Now they stand among those treating apartheid Israel as the pariah state it deserves to be called. Think about where this will leave Washington out in the middle distance. It will be another case of U.S. support for South Africa before the apartheid regime gave up the ghost in 1990, or for Rhodesia before it became Zimbabwe 10 years earlier. It will be embarrassing and costly. There are cracks in the façade at home, too. There are murmurs in Congress that the Israelis have gone too far, although very few have made the daring leap from ineffectually suggesting a “temporary pause” in the bombing to demanding a ceasefire.

Unnamed officials now acknowledge that Israel’s hysterical violence has nothing to do with self-defense and everything to do with preserving the Israeli Defense Force’s reputation for merciless retribution. I read these sorts of admissions as indications of dissatisfaction and disapproval, if not disgust. The Pentagon appears to be especially restive as the Israeli campaign to ethnic-cleanse Gaza proceeds. Two weeks ago it dispatched senior officers to advise the IDF to reconsider the deadliness of urban combat—the street-to-street, door-to-door stuff. The New York Times has since quoted a senior Defense Department official saying “the operations so far have not come close to destroying Hamas’s senior and middle leadership ranks.”

Ehud Barak (ex-Israel PM) has resurfaced. He collected his frequent flyer points on the Lolita Express.

Read more …

“..If the US administration wanted the ceasefire, it would have been reached by now..”

Ceasefire in Gaza Depends on US as It ‘Fully Controls’ Conflict – Hamas (Sp.)

A ceasefire in Gaza depends on the United States as it “fully controls” the Middle East conflict, Hamas Political Bureau member Mousa Abu Marzouq said on Thursday. “The ceasefire depends on the US. The US is the main supporter of Israel: American drones are in the skies over Gaza, military ships are off the Palestinian coast. They supply both arms and money. They also provide political cover for the process. All the states in the region are under pressure to save Israel. That is why the ceasefire depends on the US. If the US administration wanted the ceasefire, it would have been reached by now,” Marzouq said in an interview with Turkish newspaper.

The official added that Hamas expected Islamic countries to take practical measures in the crisis, up to and including cutting off oil supplies to Israel. At the same time, the US is threatening regional countries so they do not impose sanctions on Israel, Marzouq said. “We are well aware of the fact that in the past, during the wars in the Middle East, an oil embargo was imposed to support the Arab actions. Today, it is possible to cut off oil supplies to those who help this Zionist structure. The Arab and Muslim states can take more steps towards a ceasefire. The Islamic states should not stop with statements and condemnations. Practical steps must be taken,” he added.

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“..20-30 trucks pass through Turkiye [to Gaza] every day, as of now. Of course, this is not humanitarian aid. It was proposed to increase this figure to at least 500 trucks.”

Hamas Not Interested in Keeping Civilians Hostage – Erdogan (Sp.)

The Hamas movement is not interested in keeping civilian hostages, and a mutual process on freeing Israelis and Palestinians is necessary, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. “On the issue of hostages, Hamas is not interested in holding civilians hostage. On the contrary, there must be a release of Palestinians held by Israel. If we, as Turkiye, intervene, then Israel must immediately release the Palestinians, and on the other hand, the Israelis held by Hamas must be released immediately,” Erdogan told reporters on his way back from Tashkent. Hamas does not have a “determination” to not release hostages, and the movement said that they are ready to free them, Erdogan added. “Of course there are [also] soldiers there [in Hamas’ captivity]. Among these soldiers there are also high ranks. But the lack of principles of Israel, which takes … children hostage, is also obvious. If positive steps are taken, we will take any risk and try to contribute to resolving this issue,” Erdogan said.

Turkiye has proposed to the United States to increase passage of trucks with humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip to 500 per day during talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. Earlier this week, Blinken visited Turkiye where he held talks with Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. “Recently, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Turkiye and held discussions with Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. During the negotiations, surely, the foreign minister made some proposals. For example, 20-30 trucks pass through Turkiye [to Gaza] every day, as of now. Of course, this is not humanitarian aid. It was proposed to increase this figure to at least 500 trucks. I was told by Hakan Fidan … that he [Blinken] also reacted positively to this,” Erdogan told media. Turkiye aims to open a corridor for the transfer of injured people out of the Gaza Strip and receives positive signals on this issue, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan added.

“Our desire here is not only a corridor for humanitarian aid to pass through. We also want to increase pressure on Israel to ensure the transfer of wounded, oppressed Palestinians. Our goal is to ensure the passage of all these people from Gaza to areas where we can provide medical assistance … We have completed preparations for this, some positive signals are coming … If we can really take them to our hospitals, we will fulfill our humanitarian and Islamic duty,” Erdogan told reporters. Turkiye has received some positive signals regarding its diplomatic efforts for the Gaza Strip, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. “There is no such thing as hopelessness. Of course, we have hope [for a ceasefire in Gaza]. We hold these events because we have hope … We seem to be getting some positive signals in our diplomatic attacks,” Erdogan told reporters on his way back from Tashkent.

Read more …

“..The Muslim world needs to take a united stance and increase pressure on Israel..”

Turkey Ready To Act As Guarantor In Resolving Gaza Crisis – Erdogan (TASS)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed that Ankara is ready to act as a guarantor in resolving the Gaza crisis. At a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, Erdogan called on the Muslim world to come together and put pressure on Israel, the Turkish presidential office said in a statement. “President Erdogan pointed out that Turkey was ready to contribute to resolving the issue, taking responsibility as a guarantor. The Muslim world needs to take a united stance and increase pressure on Israel,” the statement reads.

The Turkish and Iranian presidents discussed the humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip and the steps that should be taken to resolve it, as well as bilateral and regional issues. “President Erdogan said at the meeting that an end to Israel’s violence would facilitate efforts to ensure peace in the region and the world in general. According to him, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) needs to make efforts at its extraordinary summit to find a fair solution,” the statement added. The OIC is expected to hold a summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on November 12.

Disparity

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“..Ukraine’s hopes of defeating Russia had been “absurd” right from the outset..”

Russia Can’t Be Defeated On Battlefield – Kremlin (RT)

There is no way the Russian military can be defeated, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has insisted. His comments follow recent claims by President Vladimir Putin that Western governments were lowering their expectations regarding the outcome of the Ukraine conflict. Speaking to Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin on Thursday, Peskov stated “it is high time that everyone in Kiev and Washington realized: it’s impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield.” Putin claimed on Friday that Western powers were “changing their tune now [and] saying different things” compared to their previous insistence on inflicting a military defeat on Russia.

Also last week, Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, admitted in an article published by The Economist that Kiev’s troops were unlikely to pull off a “deep and beautiful breakthrough” in the conflict with Russia, unless provided with more advanced weapons by the West. He suggested that the fighting was deadlocked and could “drag on for years,” although Peskov responded to that assessment by insisting that Moscow’s forces were not at a stalemate. He further claimed that Ukraine’s hopes of defeating Russia had been “absurd” right from the outset. Citing anonymous US officials, NBC reported last week that behind closed doors Washington had been pushing Kiev toward negotiations with Moscow. The outlet also claimed that the US had been conducting “delicate” unofficial discussions with Kiev regarding concessions Ukraine would be willing to make in potential peace talks.

A State Department spokesperson denied the claims, while Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky repeated that his government would not negotiate unless Russia withdraws its troops from territory within Ukraine’s 1991 borders. According to NBC, Western officials are increasingly concerned that Ukraine is “running out of forces,” and also harbor fears about their own ability to shore up Kiev with weapons shipments in the long run amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Media speculation has recently intensified after Ukraine failed to make any notable gains despite a months-long counteroffensive. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Kiev has lost more than 90,000 troops in the operation, which began in early June.

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“..It’s not just calling each other names and maybe hurting someone’s feelings. This is becoming a blood match.”

West Preparing for Military Coup Against Zelensky – Larry Johnson (Sp.)

The writing is on the wall for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as the Western elite seemingly seek someone else to fill his shoes, retired CIA intelligence officer and State Department official Larry Johnson told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. Signs of a behind-the-scenes struggle in Ukraine have recently manifested themselves in Commander-in-Chief Gen. Valery Zaluzhny’s open defiance of Volodymyr Zelensky’s non-stop war plans; a mysterious death of Zaluzhny’s close aide; and the Ukrainian president’s refusal to hold elections next year. CIA veteran Larry Johnson believes that the “invisible hand” of the West is orchestrating what may end up in regime change in Ukraine. Per him, Zaluzhny’s extensive “stalemate” interview to the British press, which prompted so much ire on Bankovaya Street – a Ukrainian presidential residence – was by no means coincidental.

“It’s always important to pay close attention to what’s going on in the media because these stories don’t just appear out of nowhere,” Johnson told Sputnik. “It’s not like some intrepid Economist’s reporter is saying, ‘Hey, you know, I think it’d be a pretty nifty if I could go interview General Zaluzhny.’ Because I think that that entire arrangement was made possible through the intervention of MI6 to get Zaluzhny’s profile raised in the West. And remember in that Economist magazine, he was interviewed, he then wrote an op-ed and they gave him a longer piece online, the ‘Economist online’. So Zaluzhny got three hits. And he was seen as undermining the message that had been coming out of Ukraine.”

Likewise, the death of Gennady Chastyakov, an assistant to the commander-in-chief, reeks of a potential sabotage from the Ukrainian infamous security service, according to the former CIA analyst. “This grenade that went off… I’ve seen in a couple of different accounts that someone gave him a live grenade and then his son was playing with it and accidentally pulled the pin and it went off. But it sure seems like sabotage. And Zelensky still has support within the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and it would not be at all beyond the SBU for Zelensky to think it’s a good idea to send a message like this to try to intimidate Zaluzhny.” However, it’s not Zaluzhny who is Zelensky’s major problem, but the Ukrainian president’s fading support in the West, both in the UK and the US, according to Johnson:

“Remember a week ago, Time magazine – who had featured Zelensky on its front cover in 2022 as Man of the Year, they described him as like ‘the reincarnation of Winston Churchill’, and ‘this great military strategist’. He now was put on the front cover of Time and decried as basically like Adolf Hitler in his last days, delusional, out of touch with reality, crazy. So when I see those kinds of articles appear from both British sources and American sources, it’s telling me that the political establishments in both places are preparing the exit ramp for Zelensky. And Zaluzhny may be seen as someone that they want to replace Zelensky with. So we’re at the stage now in this entire affair where the infighting is now becoming lethal. It’s not just calling each other names and maybe hurting someone’s feelings. This is becoming a blood match.”

Johnson drew attention to the fact that in addition, NBC News broke on November 4 that US and European officials have begun “quietly talking” to the Kiev regime about possible “peace negotiations with Russia” to end the stalemate. It seems Western decision-makers have zero illusions about Zelensky: they know that he had zero qualifications to take on the presidency, but was “a comedian notorious for his ability to use his genitalia to play the piano,” per the CIA veteran. For his part, Zaluzhny appears to be someone “who could negotiate with Russia, because Zaluzhny back in the day at least had contacts with and trained with members of the Russian military before the split when Ukraine sort of went in its own direction,” Johnson stressed.

Larry Johnson

Read more …

Problem too big for you? Just ignore and deny it..

“..the use of the Russian language is not something that the European Commission will pay attention to..”

Ukraine ‘Has No Russian Minority’ – Deputy PM (RT)

The European Commission cannot have complaints about discrimination against the ethnic Russian minority in Ukraine because there is no such section of the population, Kiev’s deputy prime minister for European integration, Olga Stefanishina, has claimed. Some EU members have raised concerns over Ukraine’s treatment of ethnic minorities under laws adopted since the 2014 armed coup in Kiev, including the government pushing the use of the Ukrainian language through education and media regulations. However, speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Stefanishina insisted that “there is no Russian minority in Ukraine. It does not exist. There is not a single judicially defined community identifying itself as a Russian minority.”

She added that “when I want to, I speak Ukrainian, and when I want otherwise, I speak Russian.” Stefanishina claimed she did not need permission to do that from the EU or “Moskals” – a pejorative term used by some Ukrainians to describe Russians. The politician further stated that officials in Brussels shared her stance. On Wednesday, the European Commission recommended that talks should begin on Ukraine’s accession to the EU. The commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, argued that Kiev had made strides on implementing certain reforms on minority issues. Stefanishina’s remarks apparently confirm reports in the Russian media on Wednesday, which claimed that Brussels had chosen to ignore allegations of anti-Russian discrimination in Ukraine. “Let me be absolutely clear: the use of the Russian language is not something that the European Commission will pay attention to,” an EU source was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

EU recommendations regarding language policy will only apply to Hungarians, Romanians, and Bulgarians, the source claimed, adding that Kiev was moving forward on meeting those demands. In a recent example of a language row, a Russian-speaking driver in Kiev was banned by a rideshare service operator after he rejected demands by two passengers to speak Ukrainian. A video of the incident went viral in late October and drew the attention of language ombudsman Tarask Kremen, who vowed that the defiant driver “will not escape punishment.” In a survey conducted in September by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology at the EU’s request, respondents cited language discrimination as the most common type of prejudice in Ukraine, with 45% saying it was a problem.

Read more …

Pyatt is the ultimate tool. He was US envoy to Ukraine in 2014, known for phone calls with Victoria Nuland. Now he’s “US assistant secretary of state for energy resources”.

US Aiming To ‘Kill’ Major Russian Energy Project – Pyatt (RT)

The White House is aiming to “kill” Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 energy project, according to US assistant secretary of state for energy resources, Geoffrey Pyatt. The project in the northern Gydan Peninsula is operated by independent Russian LNG producer Novatek. It will feature three LNG trains, with a total annual production capacity of 19.8 million tons. The first train was launched in July, while the remaining two are scheduled for 2024 and 2025. Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on US national security interests in Ukraine on Wednesday, Pyatt stated: “Last week, for instance, we levelled new sanctions against the Arctic LNG 2, which is Novatek’s flagship project”.

“Our objective is to kill that project,” he stressed, claiming that the project had been set up with the aim of turning Russia into the world’s largest LNG exporter.According to Pyatt, Russia’s plans are being stifled by sanctions imposed through cooperation between the US and its allies in the G7 and beyond. The US official also said the White House is “working with the countries [that] historically have depended on Russian energy, and [are] paying in to the Kremlin’s resources.” Pyatt claimed that this has been done “quite successfully” in the EU. “We need to keep focusing on the Asian front,” he added, stressing that the current price cap coalition would help to achieve that objective.

According to Pyatt, the $60 per-barrel price ceiling on Russian seaborne oil exports imposed by EU and G7 countries in December has managed to cut Moscow’s energy revenues, while keeping Russian crude on global markets and avoiding further destabilization. Earlier this week, Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said that sanctions on the Arctic LNG 2 project could have a major negative impact on business in Japan, adding that Tokyo would work with the G7 to maintain stable energy supplies. Japan had previously exempted Russian LNG projects in Sakhalin and the Arctic from sanctions and continued to provide architectural and engineering services to the country.

Read more …

“..we have seen the Americans take a series of irresponsible and escalatory steps with regard to Ukraine, and not only there..”

Russia May Downgrade Diplomatic Relations With US – Deputy FM (TASS)

Washington’s behavior may compel Moscow to downgrade diplomatic relations or even cut ties, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said. “We are indeed going through an acute crisis in relations, the likes of which we have never seen before. We need to carefully calibrate and verify the steps we are taking to prevent further escalation. Our leadership encourages the Foreign Ministry and other federal government agencies to act this way, which is what we are guided by. However, we have seen the Americans take a series of irresponsible and escalatory steps with regard to Ukraine, and not only there,” the senior diplomat said in an interview with RTVI.

“That is why, if we look at Washington’s current behavior model from this perspective, I don’t rule out anything at all. The level [of diplomatic ties] may be lowered; and the severance of diplomatic relations is also possible,” he added. Still, the deputy foreign minister stressed that Russia did not plan to initiate the severance of diplomatic relations with the US. “We believe that diplomatic relations are an element of international affairs that need to be taken care of because otherwise we will lose all that’s left of civilized channels for sending messages to each other,” Ryabkov said. In this regard, he pointed out that November 16 would mark 90 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the United States.

“Our relations have been through various phases; there was even a period of allied ties and brotherhood in arms in the fight against a common enemy, Hitlerite Germany, that was waging a war against us and our allies, which included the US back then. Later, there were the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and a period of detente. We’ve seen many things,” the Russian deputy foreign minister noted. The senior diplomat also pointed out that Russia would always respond to any US challenges and provocations. “I think the Americans know us by now, watching how firmly and consistently we defend our interests in all areas,” Ryabkov emphasized.

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“Voters, by a 59% to 37% percent margin, said they trusted Trump more than Biden when it comes to the economy – the largest gap of any issue…”

Polls In Key States ‘Scary’ – Top-Ranking Biden Diplomat (RT)

US Ambassador to Canada David Cohen has recently revealed that fresh polling in key swing states paint quite a grim picture for incumbent President Joe Biden, who leads in only one key state out of six for the 2024 presidential election. “For people in Canada or the United States who are concerned or troubled by a prospective second term for Donald Trump, those polling results are sobering and scary,” Cohen told a conference of manufacturers and exporters in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, on Tuesday. He then said that this information just means there’s a lot of work that needs to be done over the next year and that no one should panic. “I am certainly not looking at the current state of play and saying, ‘Oh, my God, it’s all over. There’s no way Joe Biden can get re-elected’,” Cohen added. “Anyone who has that attitude is probably making a big mistake.”

According to Politico, his comments represent “an unusual swerve into domestic US politics by a sitting ambassador and a striking admission of Biden’s vulnerability by one of his most loyal political allies.” The Biden campaign has spent much of the past few days trying not avoid “fretting” – as they said in a statement – about the latest wave of grim polling on the 2024 election, which showed that former President and current candidate Donald Trump is leading Biden significantly in five of the six most important battleground states. A survey by The New York Times and Siena College published on Sunday indicated Trump is holding an 11-point lead in Nevada and smaller margins across Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Only Wisconsin favored Biden – and only by a two-point margin.

The 3,662 polled voters were mostly concerned about the age of Biden – who turns 81 later this month, making him the oldest president in American history – and expressed dissatisfaction over his handling of the economy. Voters, by a 59% to 37% percent margin, said they trusted Trump more than Biden when it comes to the economy – the largest gap of any issue. That result bodes particularly poorly for Biden, given that nearly twice as many voters said economic issues would determine their 2024 vote compared to social issues, such as abortion or gun laws. And those economic voters favored Trump by a landslide 60 percent to 32 percent. The survey also showed that, for the most part, Trump is so far politically surviving the 91 felony charges he is currently facing.

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He’s more Hitler than Hitler himself was. And he can live rent-free in her head until the end of time.

Hillary Clinton Likens Trump To Hitler And Warns He Would End Democracy (G.)

Former senator and secretary of state says Nazi leader was initially elected and that ‘Trump is telling us what he intends to do’ Hillary Clinton has compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler as she offered a blunt warning about the dangers of a second Trump presidency. Trump back in the White House, Clinton said during an appearance on ABC’s daytime talkshow The View on Wednesday, “would be the end of our country as we know it, and I don’t say that lightly”. The former first lady, senator and secretary of state said: “When I was secretary of state, I used to talk about ‘one and done’. What I meant by that is that people would get legitimately elected and then they would try to do away with elections, and do away with opposition, and do away with a free press.”

Then Clinton added: “Hitler was duly elected. All of a sudden somebody with those tendencies, dictatorial, authoritarian tendencies, would be like ‘OK we’re gonna shut this down, we’re gonna throw these people in jail.’ And they didn’t usually telegraph that. Trump is telling us what he intends to do.” Clinton’s comments came days after a Washington Post report detailing how Trump is discussing how to use the justice department to investigate political rivals and former allies who have been critical of him should he return to the White House. He is also discussing invoking the Insurrection Act on his first day in office, which would allow him to use the US military domestically to quell protests and dissent, something he was talked out of by military leaders during his one-term presidency.

Trump’s team is also preparing to staff a potential administration with more radical rightwing lawyers who are less likely to stymie efforts to get in his way as he pushes the bounds of presidential power, the New York Times reported. A New York Times/Siena poll released on Sunday shows Trump leading Joe Biden in several key battleground states. Trump faces criminal charges in four different cases, set to go to trial next year. Winning the presidency is widely understood to be Trump’s best chance of escaping liability. And the poll shows that many voters who were asked would switch back to Biden if Trump is convicted. But Clinton gave a clear warning. “Trump is telling us what he intends to do,” Clinton said on The View. “Take him at his word.”

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Don’t worry, it’s just the Guardian.

“In New York, a judge can draw an adverse inference from a decision to invoke the fifth amendment in a civil case. “You’ve got contradictory testimony. You can use his assertion of the fifth amendment against him. To basically find that he’s lying..”

Trump Is ‘Toast’ In New York Fraud Trial – Former Watergate Prosecutor (G.)

Donald Trump is “toast” in the civil fraud trial involving his business empire and put himself in an incredibly bad position when he agreed to testify in person after previously invoking his fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination, Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor, told CNN on Wednesday. “Basically at this point, Donald Trump is toast,” said Akerman, who was an assistant special prosecutor on the 1970s team that investigated President Richard Nixon and top aides for their involvement in the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel and subsequent revelation of other nefarious political activities. “I mean he is basically going to be found to be a liar by the judge.”

Trump testified on Monday as part of an ongoing trial in which the New York attorney general, Letitia James, is suing the former president for fraudulently inflating the value of business assets to secure more favorable terms on loans and insurance contracts. The judge overseeing the case, Arthur Engoron, already ruled Trump and the family company, the Trump Organization, did in fact commit fraud – the trial taking place in Manhattan is to determine what penalty they will pay. James is seeking $250m and to bar the former president from conducting real estate business in the state of New York. Trump sat for a deposition in the case in August 2022 and invoked the fifth amendment more than 400 times. Despite that, he testified in court last week that he did not commit fraud.

Trump used his appearance on the stand to rail against the judge and what he said was unfair treatment in the trial, bringing sharp rebuke from the bench. In New York, a judge can draw an adverse inference from a decision to invoke the fifth amendment in a civil case. “You’ve got contradictory testimony. You can use his assertion of the fifth amendment against him. To basically find that he’s lying,” Akerman said. “I just don’t see how this judge, at the end of the day, is not gonna find with respect to Donald Trump ‘liar, liar, pants on fire’.” Akerman added that in the 40 years he had been practicing civil law, a handful of his clients had taken the fifth amendment, but had “never seen somebody do such a stupid move as to suddenly start testifying after you’ve taken the fifth”.

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“..work not supporting the political narrative on climate is now almost impossible to get published in the major science journals..”

“..only about 0.5% of the papers explicitly stated that recent warming was mostly human caused..”

Claimed ‘99% Consensus’ on Climate Change Demolished by New Report (DS)

The invented political notion that 99% of climate scientists believe humans have caused all or most recent global warming has been dealt another significant blow. A group of Israeli scientists has examined the widely-publicised claim by the climate activist Mark Lynas that there is a 99% ‘consensus’ that humans cause most warming. Led by Yonatan Dubi, Professor of Chemistry and Physics at Ben Gurion University, the scientists found that massive flaws and biases riddled the Lynas work, implying the conclusions of the study do not follow from the data. This work matters. The claims of a 99% consensus, along with an earlier 97% figure, are widely used in political and media circles to shut down debate over anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Sceptical scientists – even those as distinguished as last year’s Nobel Physics Prize winner Dr. John Clauser – can be dismissed as cranks and deniers.

Of course consensus is not proof, which is notably lacking in the model-driven climate science field. However the Israeli authors observe a consensus claim is “influential in bolstering the reception of a particular thesis within the broader public sphere”. This leads to “less quantifiable statements”, such as humanity is facing an imminent climate crisis, and is followed by global calls for action. Not to put too fine a point on it, the collectivist Net Zero project relies on a fake scientific consensus that crumbles when exposed to the most basic scrutiny. The Lynas et al. paper, which examined the ‘abstracts’ of 3,000 papers, is riddled with errors. It assumes that all papers taking ‘no position’ on AGW are in support of the hypothesis.

The Israeli authors note that sceptical scientists tend not to emphasise scepticism in the opening abstract as work not supporting the political narrative on climate is now almost impossible to get published in the major science journals. Careful analysis of how sceptical papers diplomatically “fit the consensus” suggests the actual number of scientists agreeing with AGW may be on the “low side”, conclude the examining authors. The dictionary definition of consensus is a “general agreement” or “the judgement arrived at by most of those concerned”. The authors are clear in their judgement: “No claim for consensus can be made from the data presented in Lynas et al.” This is not the first time such outlandish ‘consensus’ claims have been critically examined. In 2013, John Cook asserted that 97% of 11,944 peer-reviewed science papers explicitly endorsed the opinion that humans had caused the majority of the warming over the last 150 years.

But, 7,930 of those papers took no position on anthropogenic change and were excluded from the 97% claim. It was subsequently revealed that only about 0.5% of the papers explicitly stated that recent warming was mostly human caused. At the time, a former IPCC author Professor Richard Tol said that Cook’s nonsense paper showed the climate community still had a long way to go in weeding out bad research and bad behaviour. For their part, the Israeli scientists note that their criticisms also apply in general to earlier consensus studies based on abstract scanning, and it is to be regretted that they were “not taken into consideration” by Lynas et al. “It is thus crucially important to understand the limitations of, and the good practices required of, these types of consensus studies”. The matter is said to be too important to be left “blurry and subjective”.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greene are an odd couple. There’s not much they agree on.

US Congress Members Call for Biden to Drop Assange Extradition Request (Sp.)

Sixteen Democratic and Republican members of US Congress have called for US President Joe Biden to withdraw the extradition request by the United States against Australian journalist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a document published by Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, showed Thursday. “As Members of Congress deeply committed to the principles of free speech and freedom of the press, we write to strongly encourage your Administration to withdraw the U.S. extradition request currently pending against Australian publisher Julian Assange and halt all prosecutorial proceedings against him as soon as possible,” the document, published by Stella Assange on X (formerly known as Twitter), read.

The Members of Congress, namely James McGovern, Thomas Massie, Rashida Tlaib, Eric Burlison, Ilhan Omar, Paul Gosar, Ayanna Pressley, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Pramila Jayapal, Matthew Rosendale, Greg Casar, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Jesus Garcia, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as Senator Rand Paul, said in the document that “deep concerns about this case have been repeatedly expressed by international media outlets, human right and press freedom advocates, and Members of Congress, among others.” The Members of Congress said they believe the US Department of Justice “acted correctly in 2013 … when it declined to pursue charges against Mr. Assange for publishing the classified documents because it recognized that the prosecution would set a dangerous precedent.” They added that “it is the duty of journalists to seek out sources, including documentary evidence, in order to report to the public on the activities of government.”

“The United States must not pursue an unnecessary prosecution that risks criminalizing common journalistic practices and thus chilling the work of the press. We urge you to ensure that this case be brought to a close in as timely a manner as possible,” the document read. Since April 2019, Assange has been held in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison while he faces prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act. If convicted, the WikiLeaks founder could face 175 years in prison. In December 2022, he appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to fight his extradition. WikiLeaks was founded by Assange in 2006 but rose to prominence in 2010 when it began publishing large-scale leaks of classified government information, including from the US.

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Ed Dowd CBDCs

 

 

 

 

Tucker Mackey

 

 

Choir

 

 


Compared to other bears, polar bears are huge. The largest polar bear, reportedly weighing 1,002 kg, was a male shot at Kotzebue Sound in Alaska in 1960. This specimen, when mounted, stood 3.39 m (11 feet) tall on its hindlegs.

 

 

Chase

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 302023
 
 August 30, 2023  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Joan Miró Caballo, pipa y flor roja (Horse Pipe and Red Flower) , 1920

 

Zelensky In Danger Of Military Coup – Larry Johnson (RT)
Zelensky Aide’s Claim Raises ‘Apocalyptic’ Risks – Medvedev (RT)
Kremlin Reacts To Claim West Endorses Destroying ‘Everything Russian’ (RT)
Orbán Warns Tucker “A 3rd World War Is Knocking On The Door” (ZH)
Ukraine Security Guarantees Won’t Be Ready This Year – WSJ (RT)
Putin’s Attitude To Western Sanctions Shocked Scholz – Bild (RT)
US-Led Campaign To Use Ukraine To ‘Cripple’ Russia Has Failed (Tony Cox)
‘Dying By The Dozens Every Day’ – Ukraine Losses Climb (BBC)
End Game For The American Empire (Jim Quinn)
Petrodollar Be Warned (Bhadrakumar)
Pakistani Court Suspends Imran Khan’s Prison Sentence (RT)
Raffensperger and Meadows Testify in Key Hearing on Georgia Allegations (Turley)
Washington Post Stands by Controversial Claims (Turley)
National Archive Has 5,400 Biden Pseudonym Documents From Time As VP (ZH)
A New Covid ‘Variant’…Just in Time for Election Season! (Ron Paul)
More Than 1,600 Scientists Declare Climate ‘Emergency’ A Myth (JTN)

 

 

 

 

There are more such videos, like this one that Trump posted.

 

 

Tucker Putin

 

 

 

 

RFK vaccines

 

 

What is this?

 

 

 

 

“Zelensky very well could be ousted in a coup within the next three to four weeks, because of the great disgruntlement among troops on the eastern front..”

“..Washington will have to figure out how to “back away” from the conflict, because it has massively underestimated Russia’s economic and military strength..”

Zelensky In Danger Of Military Coup – Larry Johnson (RT)

Failures on the battlefield could push the Ukrainian military to move against President Vladimir Zelensky, retired CIA analyst Larry Johnson has said. “Zelensky very well could be ousted in a coup within the next three to four weeks, because of the great disgruntlement among troops on the eastern front,” Johnson told Redacted host Clayton Morris in an interview posted over the weekend. Ukraine’s grand offensive in Zaporozhye, launched in early June with Western-trained troops and NATO-supplied tanks and armored vehicles, has failed to achieve a breakthrough anywhere. Additional brigades, intended to exploit the intended breach, have been deployed to continue the frontal attacks instead, to the point that the US and its allies are publicly airing their frustrationswith Ukrainian tactics.

Johnson is not the first American analyst to speculate about the military turning on Zelensky. Earlier this month, former US Marine officer Scott Ritter said the likelihood of a military coup was growing with each destroyed Ukrainian brigade. “We could be reaching a Kerensky 1917 moment, where the military just says ‘We’re done’,” Ritter told MOATS host George Galloway. He also brought up a recent Politico article, which laid out who would run Ukraine if Russia somehow assassinated Zelensky. According to Ritter, however, Moscow has no intention of going after Zelensky, as he might be replaced by someone even more hardline.

Johnson told Redacted that the way the conflict is going, Ukraine’s survival as a country was “in great doubt.” Kiev is already entirely dependent on the West, and its needs will only grow while its capabilities will continue to shrink, the former CIA official said. The US strategy for the conflict was to trap Russia in an unwinnable war and induce regime change in Moscow, according to Johnson. Instead, “that’s going to happen to Ukraine,” and Washington will have to figure out how to “back away” from the conflict, because it has massively underestimated Russia’s economic and military strength. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reasoned along similar lines earlier this month, saying in an interview that Ukraine’s Western patrons are publicly committed to “fight until the last Ukrainian” but have a history of abandoning their allies and proxies, from South Vietnam to “Ashraf Ghani’s regime in Afghanistan in 2021.”

Faced with Western concerns about his legitimacy if he cancels the 2024 presidential election, Zelensky has proposed holding the vote – but demanded funding from the West to do so. The Ukrainian leader has also voiced fears that he might be abandoned by the West if Ukraine goes too far in attacking Russia. His aide Mikhail Podolyak has since argued that the US and its allies have given their blessing for attacks on “occupied territories” – meaning Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson. Since Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in 2014 and the four regions did the same last September, Moscow considers them no less Russian territory than Belgorod or Kursk, which have also been targeted by Ukraine.

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“..a reasonable casus belli to justify corresponding actions by Moscow against “everyone in NATO states.”

Zelensky Aide’s Claim Raises ‘Apocalyptic’ Risks – Medvedev (RT)

A recent claim by an aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that Western nations support Kiev’s attempts to “destroy everything Russian”increases the risk of all-out war between Moscow and NATO, former president Dmitry Medvedev has said. Commenting on Mikhail Podoliak’s statement, the former Russian leader wrote on his Telegram channel: “If this is true, and we have no reason to doubt that it is, then it constitutes direct, legally significant proof of Western involvement in a war against Russia” and serves as a reasonable casus belli to justify corresponding actions by Moscow against “everyone in NATO states.” Medevedev went on to warn that “the predictions of the Apocalypse are getting closer.”

Podoliak made his claims in an interview on Ukrainian TV on Monday, stating that foreign backers were increasingly supportive of all actions Kiev deem necessary in its fight against Moscow. “A year ago, even when there were some strikes on Crimea, everyone said: ‘No, no, let’s just do without it’. Today, the absolute consensus among the countries that support us is that we can destroy everything Russian in the occupied territories,” he declared. He further pledged to ramp up strikes deep inside Russia by “unknown drones.” Kiev does not formally claim credit for regular kamikaze drone attacks on Moscow and other Russian cities.

The campaign was detailed by The Economist on Sunday, described as partially “intended to have a psychological impact” on the Russian population, and facilitated by Western intelligence regarding Russian air defenses. According to the British magazine, Kiev supports competing drone operators, both private and state-run. Some of the strikes “appear to be PR projects designed to bring a prototype to the attention of procurement bosses, rather than having military value,” the outlet noted. Senior Russian officials have accused the US and its allies of waging a proxy war against their nation, with Ukraine providing “cannon fodder.” Kiev relies on the West for weapons, funding, training and intelligence in the conflict, and some in Washington have declared the “strategic defeat” of Russia their goal.

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“And they certainly want to do everything possible and impossible to drag Western nations as deep as they can into this conflict..”

Kremlin Reacts To Claim West Endorses Destroying ‘Everything Russian’ (RT)

Claims by an aide of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky that Western nations support efforts to “destroy everything Russian” in Crimea are merely wishful thinking, a Kremlin spokesman has said. “Representatives of the Kiev regime want to believe that. And they certainly want to do everything possible and impossible to drag Western nations as deep as they can into this conflict,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday. He suggested there was a “clash of points of view” regarding an acceptable level of involvement for the US and its allies in targeting Crimea, since officials “realize the inevitable drawbacks” of this policy. Mikhail Podoliak, the Ukrainian aide behind the claim, alleged that Western nations were increasingly supportive of the way his government is attacking Russian targets.

“A year ago, even when there were some strikes on Crimea, everyone said: ‘No, no, let’s just do without it.’ Today, the absolute consensus among the countries that support us is that we can destroy everything Russian in the occupied territories,” he said on Ukrainian television on Monday. Podoliak added that attacks on Moscow and other Russian locations by “unknown drones” will be escalated. Ukrainian officials do not claim credit for the regular kamikaze drone raids, for which Moscow has blamed Kiev’s forces. Zelensky claimed in a recent interview that, if the armed conflict were to spill over into territory that Kiev and its supporters recognize as Russia, his country would be “left alone.” According to The Economist, Ukrainian drone attacks are to some extent part of Kiev’s psychological warfare, and reflect competition among Ukrainian drone operators for funding.

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His English is very good. You go try learn Hungarian…

Orbán Warns Tucker “A 3rd World War Is Knocking On The Door” (ZH)

Reflecting on NATO’s stance in the Ukraine war, Orbán exclaims: “this is a bad strategy, we have to stop it” adding that “we cannot beat [the Russians], we will not kill their leader, they will never give it up, they will invest more.” “What finally will count is boots on the ground, and the Russians are far stronger.” Orbán then makes the ultimate mistake among global leaders, he praises former US president Trump: “Call back Trump. That’s the only way out. Call back Trump,” Orbán said. “Because you know, you can criticize him for many reasons. I understand all the discussion. But the best foreign policy of the recent several decades belonged to him. He did not initiate any new war. He treated nicely the North Koreans and Russia, even the Chinese. You know, he delivered a policy which was the best one for the Middle East, Abraham Accords. So he had very good foreign policy.”

“He’s [Trump] criticized because he’s not educated enough to understand foreign policy. This is not the case,” Orbán told Carlson. “Facts count and his foreign policy was the best form for the world in the last several decades I have seen. And if he would have been the president at the moment the Russian invasion started, no, it would not be possible to do that by the Russians. So Trump is the man to save the world and probably the human beings in the world as well.” Additionally, commenting on the fact that the US government is currently indicting the former president, the Hungarian leader frowns and says: “…using the justice system against a political opponent… in Hungary, that’s impossible to imagine… that was done by the communists.”

Tucker Orban

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What are these alleged “guarantees”?

Ukraine Security Guarantees Won’t Be Ready This Year – WSJ (RT)

Ukraine’s Western backers are unlikely to finalize security guarantees for Kiev by the end of this year, the Wall Street Journal has reported. With only the US and UK having started talks, a lot of question marks still hang over the nature and scope of the future commitments, the media outlet claims. In an article on Monday, the WSJ, citing anonymous European officials, reported that security guarantees are expected to take many months to thrash out, with some of the bilateral arrangements likely to be agreed only next year. For the time being, there is no consensus on how detailed the pledges should be, the newspaper claimed.

Among the thorny issues to be resolved is reportedly the question of correctly predicting Ukraine’s future military needs and ensuring that Western defense industries can fulfill any such promises without undermining their own countries’ defense capabilities. To date, the US and the UK are the only two nations to have set the process in motion, with the State Department announcing that American and Ukrainian officials held their first meeting in early August. Several days later, London also confirmed the start of negotiations. According to the WSJ, US officials are hoping to hold a second round of talks in the coming weeks, with French representatives expecting to sit down with the Ukrainians around the same time as well.

Elsewhere in Europe, negotiations have yet to start, the article noted. The Biden administration is reportedly anxious to prevent its successor in the Oval Office from backtracking on any security commitments. With Donald Trump comfortably in the lead among the Republican contenders, European allies are said to be concerned that, if elected in 2024, he may renege on any agreement, just like he did with the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal during his first term. The Republican firebrand has repeatedly argued that US military aid for Ukraine should be scaled back.

In an interview with 1+1 TV channel on Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said he expected to “have an Israeli model, the one which has weapons, technologies, training, funding.” Israel has been the biggest recipient of US foreign military aid since World War II, although annual allocations for Ukraine have surpassed those offered to West Jerusalem since hostilities between Kiev and Moscow erupted last year. The G7 countries pledged to provide Ukraine with security guarantees after NATO failed to offer the country membership during its Vilnius summit in July. More than a dozen other countries, mostly European, have since agreed to join the initiative. In mid-July, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow had nothing against security guarantees for Ukraine in principle, so long as Russia’s national security is not compromised.

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Putin had foreseen the sanctions, Scholz had not?!

Putin’s Attitude To Western Sanctions Shocked Scholz – Bild (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was surprised by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s complete lack of concern about Western sanctions shortly after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, Bild has reported. In an article on Monday, the German tabloid cited the contents of a conversation between Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, which was revealed by journalist Stephan Lamby in his new book ‘Emergency: Governing in Times of War’. The exchange, in which the two leaders discussed their phone calls with Putin, is said to have taken place on March 4, 2022 – just over a week after Moscow sent its forces into Ukraine. It’s “not getting any better,” Scholz reportedly told Macron during that conversation.

“Something bothers me more than the talks: [Putin] doesn’t complain about the sanctions at all. I don’t know if he did that in conversation with you, but he didn’t even mention the sanctions,” he remarked. The French leader replied that Putin hadn’t addressed the issue of Western restrictions during phone calls with him either. The US and EU imposed stringent sanctions on Moscow after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, expecting them to cripple the Russian economy and prevent the country from supporting its military effort. However, the measures failed to achieve the desired result. Earlier this month, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said Russia had fully overcome the economic downturn caused by Western restrictions and had “good” prospects for rapid development.

During their exchange, Scholz told Macron that the Russian leader had outlined “his ideas on how to find a compromise. He spoke of demilitarization, denazification.” The German chancellor also said Putin had “asked me for Crimea to be recognized as part of Russia,” and the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk to be recognized as independent states. “Nothing new, to put it bluntly,” he added. The two republics officially became part of the Russian state together with Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions last fall as a result of referendums held in those areas. Kiev and its Western backers labeled the referendums a “sham.” According to the German chancellor, he also proposed holding a summit in a bid to find a solution to the crisis.

“When I asked him whether there might be a meeting on Ukraine, sooner or later, with you, me, [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky and with him – Putin – he did not completely refuse.” However, he added that the Russian president had set out two conditions for such a summit to happen. These specified that the talks shouldn’t become grounds for a ceasefire and that they should take place without Zelensky’s participation, he claimed. No such summit has since been organized, while phone conversations between Putin and the leaders of Germany and France have also come to a halt in recent months. After listening to Scholz, Macron replied: “Thank you, that was very similar to the conversation I had with [Putin] yesterday. I think he is now quite determined to go to the end.”

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“The 2023 Russian Army is a different beast from the 2022 Russian Army from the early stages of the war.”

US-Led Campaign To Use Ukraine To ‘Cripple’ Russia Has Failed (Tony Cox)

While assessments of the battlefield situation diverge wildly, NATO has clearly failed so far in its effort to weaken the Russian military. Moscow’s forces are inarguably stronger, better-armed and larger today than when the conflict started in February 2022. They’ve also gained 18 months of experience in fighting NATO-trained troops and countering NATO-supplied weaponry. In fact, Russian troops have become so formidable in this regard that even Western media outlets have quoted defense analysts on the increasingly effective tactics employed by Moscow’s battle-hardened forces. Those experts have praised the Russian military’s abilities in shooting down Ukrainian drones, setting up redoubtable defensive lines, and destroying tanks and artillery units. Retired UK General Sir Richard Barrons contrasted Russia’s “textbook” defensive positions against the current Ukrainian counteroffensive with Moscow’s retreat last year from wide swathes of territory in the Kharkov and Kherson regions.

“If you add all that together, everybody knows this will be a harder fight than for Kherson and Kharkiv in the autumn of last year,” Barrons told Associated Press in June. He added that Ukraine’s backers have used Kiev’s successes in taking back territory last year as “benchmarks, which I think is unfair, unreasonable in the circumstances.”The Center for European Policy Assessment (CEPA), which is funded by a variety of US weapons makers, offered a similar view on the strengthening of Russia’s military. “The Russians have gone to school on the Ukrainians and have been learning quickly,” Chels Michta, a US military intelligence officer, wrote in May. “The 2023 Russian Army is a different beast from the 2022 Russian Army from the early stages of the war.”

Another measure of the increased effectiveness of Russian forces is the fact that Kiev has reportedly abandoned the battle tactics preached by Western military trainers. In response to heavy losses by the nine NATO-trained brigades at the forefront of their counteroffensive, “Ukrainian military commanders have changed tactics, focusing on wearing down Russian forces with artillery and long-range missiles instead of plunging into minefields under fire,” the New York Times reported on August 2, citing unidentified US officials. [..] Russia also has more troops to work with than when the conflict began. More than 231,000 Russians have signed contracts to enlist so far this year, National Security Council deputy chief Dmitry Medvedev said on August 3. Moscow called up 300,000 reservists in 2022.

After increasing the number of Russian combat troops by about 13% to 1.15 million, Putin approved a plan in December to expand by a further 30%, to 1.5 million, in the years ahead. Despite the casualties suffered in Ukraine, Russian ground forces are clearly bigger than when the conflict began, US Army General Christopher Cavoli has conceded. Cavoli, who heads the US European Command, told US lawmakers in April that Russian naval and air-force losses had been minimal.

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The BBC, quoting NYT quoting “US officials”, says 70,000 Ukraine deaths. We know, from Macgregor et al, that the real number is 400,000 or more. Why would the BBC volunteer to be off by 80%+?

‘Dying By The Dozens Every Day’ – Ukraine Losses Climb (BBC)

There has been a dramatic rise in Ukraine’s number of dead, according to new estimates by unnamed US officials. The BBC’s Quentin Sommerville has been on the front line in the east, where the grim task of counting the dead has become a daily reality. The unknown soldiers lie piled high in a small brick mortuary, not very far from the front line in Donetsk, where 26-year-old Margo says she speaks to the dead. “It may sound weird… but I’m the one who wants to apologise for their deaths. I want to thank them somehow. It’s as if they can hear, but they can’t respond.” At her cluttered desk outside the mortuary’s heavy door, she sits, pen in hand. It is her job to record the particulars of the fallen. Ukraine gives no official toll of its war dead – the Ukrainian armed forces have reiterated that their war casualty numbers are a state secret – but Margo knows the losses are huge.

The figures remain classified. But US officials, quoted by the New York Times, recently put the number at 70,000 dead and as many as 120,000 injured. It is a staggering figure, from an armed forces estimated at only half a million strong. The UN has recorded 9,177 civilian deaths to date. [..] As recently as April, leaked estimates from the Pentagon put Ukrainian deaths at the much lower figure of 17,500. The alleged jump to more than 70,000 can be partly explained by the counter-offensive in the south. In its early days it was especially hard on Ukrainian infantry – “worse than Bakhmut” one brigade commander who is fighting there told me. The city in Donetsk fell to Russia in May in one of the bloodiest battles of the war so far.

Ukraine has now changed tactics there, but the beginning of the push to breach Russia’s occupation defences in June was costly, for young newly trained soldiers in particular. They were dying “by the dozens” every day, one senior sergeant fighting around the Donetsk village of Velyka Novosilka told me in June. At the mortuary, one of a number along the front line, they work to put names to the unknown soldiers, who come direct from the battlefield. sBody bags are brought outside, one at a time, and the search for clues begins. Inside the first body bag is the corpse of a young man, his eyes still open, his hands folded carefully across his lap.

His face is cut, and there is a gash on the side of his leg. Another body is brought out, the fingers missing on the right hand, blood and battlefield mud stain his uniform. Their pockets are cut open by mortuary staff, still full of the artefacts of everyday life – keys, a mobile phone, a wallet with family snaps. In death, these items are now clues that might reunite the unidentified with their families. Written in black marker pen on another body bag, the word “Unidentified” is scored out and replaced with a man’s name and army company details. More body bags emerge, but reporting restrictions don’t allow me to say how many.

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“..He makes James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter look like Mount Rushmore candidates..”

End Game For The American Empire (Jim Quinn)

I believe Ray Dalio‘s chart of the changing world order is accurate as to where we stand in the cycle, even though he is one of those global elitists. The beginning of the decline can be pegged to the start of the 21st Century, with the dot.com crash and 9/11 ushering in an astronomical increase in debt, money printing, and despotism, as each crisis created by debt and money printing was met with the “solution” of more debt and money printing. With interest on the national debt about to surpass $1 trillion per year and unfunded future debt obligations exceeding $200 trillion, there is no way out. The American economic system will implode in a matter of a few years.

The internal conflict since the election of Trump in 2016 and the subsequent coup, election fraud, scamdemic, and now unwarranted un-Constitutional persecution of Trump, leaves the country on the brink of civil war. I know the regime media and distracted masses scoff at the possibility of civil war, but the same was true in 1859. There are a lot of rightfully angry people in this country with a seething rage for those who have destroyed this country for their own gain. The 2024 election sure seems like a spark that could ignite this powder keg, and the 300 million weapons owned by the angry people are waiting to be put to proper use.

I believe we are already in the midst of stages 16 – Loss of Reserve Currency and 17 – Weak Leadership. The American empire initiated war in the Ukraine has set in motion the demise of the USD as the reserve currency of the world, ending its seventy seven year reign as the one and only settlement currency for global trade. Biden, the weakest, dumbest, most corrupt, illegitimate president in the history of our country, has succeeded in pushing Russia, China, India, Brazil, and now the Middle East and South American oil producers towards an economic alliance which will accelerate the demise of the USD.

Biden, as the puppet of evil globalist forces, has encouraged an invasion of our southern border by barbarian hordes, has destroyed our economy, flouted the Constitution, and has set us on a path towards global conflict. He makes James Buchanan and Jimmy Carter look like Mount Rushmore candidates compared to his “accomplishments”. They were just ineffective and weak. He is corrupt, evil and destructive. 2024 would be the sixteenth year of this Fourth Turning, right in the wheelhouse of civil war, revolution, and global conflict. We have entered the endgame and now it’s just a matter of how much destruction, death, and retribution will be required to achieve a new world order better than what we have today. Not winning is not an option.

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“The times ahead will be turbulent as the old, self-centered, hegemonic western mindset won’t surrender easily..”

Petrodollar Be Warned (Bhadrakumar)

[..] the historical significance of the BRICS expansion needs to be weighed in the following terms: First, Iran and two erstwhile US regional allies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, get much-needed space to negotiate an equal relationship with Washington based on mutual respect and benefit. Make no mistake, they are in a mood to capitalize on it. Second, the western dominance of West Asia is ending, in a historical sense, heralding a profound shift in the regional order. The process that China kickstarted – with quiet Russian support from behind the curtain – in mediating the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation will now advance toward its logical conclusion sooner rather than later.

This means that the west’s colonial mindset of “divide and rule” will have no takers anymore among regional states. Thus, what happened in Johannesburg would be consequential for Israel and Turkey as well. Finally, most importantly, the de-dollarization process, which would have moved at a snail’s pace, will now accelerate. What Putin had warned when the Biden administration imposed the “sanctions from hell” against Russia — especially its ouster from the SWIFT payment system —namely, that there would be a very heavy price to pay by the United States, is coming true. The blowback is only beginning in the international financial and trading system. The west simply cannot win in the looming confrontation with the Global Majority. And the transition can be addressed by Washington only through reconciliation with Moscow and Beijing, not an easy poison for the Americans to swallow.

That will have to begin with an end to the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine and a retreat or abandonment of the attempt to fuel tensions with China over Taiwan. On the other hand, any change of course in the US strategy away from its belligerent militarized policies will have long-term implications for the entire US-led western alliance system, while in the short term, impacting President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, too. The humiliating defeat in the Ukraine war cannot be covered up any longer. The times ahead will be turbulent as the old, self-centered, hegemonic western mindset won’t surrender easily. As for the entrenched interest groups in the US and Europe, their basic instinct will be to manufacture delaying tactics to stall the march of history. But it won’t work if BRICS stays the course.

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Striking similarities between the Trump and Imran Khan cases. Both non-politicians, both immensely popular, both hounded mercilessly by the political elites. 100 charges against Trump, 181 against Khan.

“..the US State Department had pressured Pakistan to oust Khan over his “aggressively neutral position” on Ukraine.”

Pakistani Court Suspends Imran Khan’s Prison Sentence (RT)

The former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has had his jail sentence suspended after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered his release on bail on Tuesday. Khan was found guilty earlier this month of having illegally concealed and sold gifts that he’d accepted on behalf of the state during his time in office. The suspension of Khan’s sentence was announced by a two-judge bench of the IHC, which overturned a lower-court decision to imprison the former premier for three years then ordered Khan’s immediate release. Khan continues to face dozens of other charges, however, meaning he may yet be rearrested as soon as he is released from the maximum-security prison in Attock where he is currently being held.

His spokesperson Raoof Hasan has told Al Jazeera that Khan should not have been convicted in the first place, calling the charges against him a “fake case without any substance.” “We are only hoping that he is not rearrested in one of the 180-plus frivolous or fraudulent cases that have been unfortunately registered against him,” Hasan told the outlet, noting that in nine cases specifically, Khan was denied bail because he could not appear before the court as he was already in prison. To counter the possibility of a rearrest, Hasan stated that Khan’s legal team has submitted a petition for a “blanket bail” which would “ensure he will not be rearrested in any other cases after the suspension of his current sentence.” A hearing on the issue of the blanket bail is likely to take place on Wednesday, according to Al Jazeera.

While Khan’s supporters have applauded the court’s decision and are preparing for his release, his opponents are pointing out that it may be too early for celebrations. Lawyer Mirza Moiz Baig explained to Al Jazeera that “It is important to remember that only the sentence has been suspended, not the actual conviction” and that, despite the suspension, Khan remains barred from electoral politics for another five years and will not be able to contest upcoming elections. After losing a no-confidence vote in April, Khan, who is now 70, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has insisted that the charges against him were politically motivated. A report by The Intercept earlier this month also suggested that the US State Department had pressured Pakistan to oust Khan over his “aggressively neutral position” on Ukraine.

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“Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes.”

Raffensperger and Meadows Testify in Key Hearing on Georgia Allegations (Turley)

The hearing yesterday on the motion of former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to remove his case to federal court from Georgia state court had a number of notable moments. The testimony of both Meadows and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger offered insights into the case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. While I have said that the sweeping indictment contains some serious allegations of criminal conduct against individual defendants, I have been critical of its broad scope and its implications for free speech in future challenges to election. Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes. What was most striking is that Raffensperger confirmed a key aspect of “the call” with Georgia officials that I previously raised about the purpose of that call. For his part, Meadows categorically denied key allegations made by Willis in the indictment.

The hearing confirmed, as I have noted, that there are good-faith arguments on both sides of the removal issue. In my view, Meadows and his counsel, George J. Terwilliger III, did well overall in showing that Chief of Staff has a broad portfolio of responsibilities and it is not possible to dismiss all of the cited actions in this indictment as purely political and not involving official conduct. Yet, as U.S. District Judge Steve Jones noted, there is little clarity on this issue in terms of precedent and we will have to await his decision. There will likely be an appeal of any order. I thought both Meadows and Raffensperger did well on the stand. I was particularly interested in Raffensperger’s description of the call. I have always supported Raffensperger on his position in that call and the decisions of his staff. I have also rejected the claims of former President Donald Trump on the election allegations and his claims in the call.

Despite the recent attack in the Washington Post, it is not the merits of Trump’s claims but the use of the call as a criminal act that drew my criticism. The call was misrepresented by the Post and the transcript later showed that Trump was not simply demanding that votes be added to the count but rather asking for another recount or continued investigation. Again, I disagreed with that position but the words about the finding of 11,780 votes was in reference to what he was seeking in a continued investigation. Critics were enraged by the suggestion that Trump was making the case for a recount as opposed to just demanding the addition of votes to the tally or fraudulent findings. Raffensperger described the call in the same terms. He correctly described the call as “extraordinary” in a president personally seeking such an investigation, particularly after the completion of the earlier recount. That is manifestly true. However, he also acknowledged that this was a “settlement negotiation.”

So what was the subject of the settlement talks? Another recount or further investigation. The very thing that critics this week were apoplectic about in the coverage. That does not mean that Trump had grounds for the demand. Trump participation in the call was extraordinary and his demands were equally so. However, the reference to the vote deficit in demanding continued investigation was a predictable argument in such a settlement negotiation. As I previously stated, I have covered such challenges for years as a legal analyst for CBS, NBC, BBC, and Fox. Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes.

[..] The most interesting takeaway is that Willis may have overplayed her hand by including Meadows. In doing so, she may have created the strongest avenue for removal. I believe that she hoped that Meadows would “flip.” Instead, he is leading the charge to federal court. Even if Judge Jones denies the motion, it can now be appealed and that are solid arguments here in his favor. If Willis showed greater restraint, she could have omitted Meadows and the strongest claim for removal. If he succeeds, it strengthens the case for others to seek removal.

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“In other words, it was false. Not arguably false. It was false.”

Washington Post Stands by Controversial Claims (Turley)

This morning, I was surprised to receive a note from the Washington Post on my prior criticism of the Post’s Philip Bump as previously spreading “false stories” and refusing to accept the facts after they were established by the media. The Post has declared that Bump’s original claims on Lafayette Park, the Hunter Biden laptop, and Russian collusion were true and they stand by them. In light of the unprompted review by the Post, I wanted to lay out what the Post is now embracing as true. At the outset, here is the email that I received this morning: “Dear Jonathan, In your recent piece in The Hill, you wrote that “Bump has repeatedly spread false stories and then refused to accept the falsity of his own earlier claims, even after most of the media have admitted the errors.” The Washington Post stands by Philip Bump’s reporting and your characterization of his articles as “false” is incorrect.”

[..] Many of us criticized Trump’s photo op in front of the church as well as the level of force used to clear the area of Lafayette Park. Yet, media and pundits like Bump and University of Texas Professor Steve Vladeck (who is a CNN contributor) went further to claim that former Attorney General Bill Barr cleared the park in order to hold the photo op. There was never evidence to support that factual conclusion. I testified in Congress not long after the clearing of the area and stated that the conspiracy theory was already contradicted by the available evidence. I encouraged Congress to investigate the question and establish the truth of the matter. The issue was not whether it was worthy of investigation but whether it was established as fact.

We previously discussed how the Inspector General report on the Lafayette Park protests and the debunking of Bump’s conspiracy theory. The Inspector General of the Department of Interior conducted an investigation over the last year and found that the clearing was not done “to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church.” In other words, it was false. Not arguably false. It was false.

[..] The Hunter Biden Laptop and Campaign Spying. The Post also stands by Bump’s repeated claims of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign. I previously criticized Bump for those columns. Bump was, as usual, consistent and categorical in embracing any claims against Trump. For example, Bump slammed Trump for claiming that his campaign was spied on by the FBI under the Obama Administration. (Trump used the term “wiretapping” which is a rather dated term for surveillance). Bump again guffawed at the suggestion. Later it was shown that the surveillance did target both the campaign and campaign associates.

In 2021, when media organizations were finally admitting that the laptop was authentic, Bump was still declaring that it was a “conspiracy theory.” Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Bump continued to suggest that “the laptop was seeded by Russian intelligence.” The media like the New York Times later admitted that the laptop was authentic but the Post now insists that Bump was correct that the laptop was seeded by Russian intelligence and that there was never FBI spying on the Trump campaign. Bump and I have sparred in past years over Russian collusion. FBI officials have acknowledged that the Russian collusion investigation was based on false reports, including the Steele dossier. The Special Counsel found that the investigation lacked a factual foundation for the full investigation launched under former FBI Director James Comey.

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“..during his tenure as vice president.” 4 years=1450 days=over 3 pseudonym emails per day, every day. Why?

National Archive Has 5,400 Biden Pseudonym Documents From Time As VP (ZH)

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) revealed it’s in possession of some 5,400 records that contain email pseudonyms that President Joe Biden used during his tenure as vice president. The jarring number was revealed in a letter from the Archives to the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), which last year filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any documents that referenced three pseudonymous email accounts: [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]. “We have performed a search of our collection for Vice Presidential records related to your [June 9, 2022] request and have identified approximately 5,138 email messages, 25 electronic files and 200 pages of potentially responsive records that must be processed in order to respond to your request,” said the letter from NARA.

Roswell, Georgia-based SLF received that letter last year, but made it public on Monday as it announced it has taken its FOIA pursuit to the next level, by filing a federal lawsuit against the Archives to compel the release of the records. “SLF requested these now highly sought after emails from NARA on June 9, 2022, through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request,” said the group in a statement. “Unfortunately, after identifying nearly 5,400 potentially responsive records, NARA has dragged its feet and still has not produced a single email. SLF now turns to the court, asking it to order NARA to produce Biden’s emails.”

The revelation of the high quantity of documents comes on the heels of a push for the same documents by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer. Earlier this month, he sent a letter to NARA asking it to turn over any unredacted documents that reference the pseudonyms. “Joe Biden has stated there was ‘an absolute wall’ between his family’s foreign business schemes and his duties as Vice President, but evidence reveals that access was wide open for his family’s influence peddling,” said Comer in a statement. “We already have evidence of then-Vice President Biden speaking, dining, and having coffee with his son’s foreign business associates,” Comer continued.

“We also know that Hunter Biden and his associates were informed of then-Vice President Biden’s official government duties in countries where they had a financial interest. The National Archives must provide these unredacted records to further our investigation into the Biden family’s corruption.” While mystery swirls around the several thousand documents, we do know that one of the emails details plans for a phone call with Ukraine’s former president, Petro Poroshenko. An aide to Biden, John Flynn, copied Hunter at his email address at Rosemont Seneca Partners – while Hunter was serving on the board of Ukrainian energy giant, Burisma, which was deemed to be corrupt by the Obama-Biden State Department.

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“The public figures who openly became monsters, demanding the unvaccinated be drummed out of society and maybe even off the face of the earth have not been shamed or shunned..”

A New Covid ‘Variant’…Just in Time for Election Season! (Ron Paul)

Just four and a half months since President Biden declared an end to the Covid “emergency,” the media is suddenly full of stories about the return of Covid. This time a new “variant” is being rolled out and the media, in collusion with big Pharma and the fear-industrial complex, are churning out stories about how forced masking is making a comeback. Also, the “unvaccinated” are again to be denied basic human rights in the name of fighting a virus that the vaccine demonstrably does not protect against. In short, they are desperately trying to revive the tyranny, insanity, and utter irrationality of the two-year Covid scare. And they are pretending none of us remembers how they destroyed society with their lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates.

They are hoping that none of us will remember the suicides, lost jobs, broken marriages, increased alcoholism and drug abuse, and the rest of what went along with the world’s experiment with global lockdown. Even Fauci himself is back – like a moth drawn to the light of publicity. Despite all the scientific evidence that the lockdowns were a disaster, that they did far more harm than good, Fauci has re-emerged with his trademark arrogance and claimed that they were the right thing to do and should be done again if that’s what it takes to force people to take the vaccine. A vaccine that does not work. They won’t even allow us to mention the spike in all-around mortality or the millions who may have been vaccine-injured the first time around.

They want us to think that 20-year-old world-class athletes have always just dropped dead of heart attacks out of the blue. It’s all normal! Don’t question it! What are you, some kind of conspiracy theorist? Are you a science-denier? Yes, look for a renewal of all those old hollow phrases used to attack those of us who can see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears. Their slogans are meant to silence any debate. The same “experts” like Fauci who claimed “I am the science” are back and they shamelessly demand to silence us again. The big question is…why? Why are they doing this and how do they think they can get away with it a second time?

One reason they believe they can get away with it again is that no one has ever been punished for what they did the first time. The Federal Government made sure that the pharmaceutical companies would not be liable for vaccine damages. The public figures who openly became monsters, demanding the unvaccinated be drummed out of society and maybe even off the face of the earth have not been shamed or shunned. Politicians who displayed cowardice and worse have not been voted out of office for their treachery. [..] Last time around they generated fear to radically change how America voted. Suddenly everyone was mailed ballots. How closely were they checked? No one knew and no one dared ask. The people who did ask about the election are now facing jail terms.

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“Misguided climate science has metastasized into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience. In turn, the pseudoscience has become a scapegoat for a wide variety of other unrelated ills.”

More Than 1,600 Scientists Declare Climate ‘Emergency’ A Myth (JTN)

A coalition of 1,609 scientists from around the world have signed a declaration stating “there is no climate emergency” and that they “strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy” being pushed across the globe. The declaration does not deny the harmful effect of greenhouse gasses, but instead challenges the hysteria brought about by the narrative of imminent doom. The declaration, put together by the Global Climate Intelligence Group (CLINTEL), was made public this month and urges that “Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific.” CLINTEL is an independent foundation that operates in the fields of climate change and climate policy. CLINTEL was founded in 2019 by emeritus professor of geophysics Guus Berkhout and science journalist Marcel Crok.

“Scientists should openly address uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of their policy measures,” the declaration says. Of the 1,609 scientists who have signed the declaration, two signatories are Nobel Prize laureates. The most recent to sign is Nobel Prize winner Dr. John F. Clauser, winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics. In an announcement from CLINTEL, Clauser is quoted as saying “Misguided climate science has metastasized into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience. In turn, the pseudoscience has become a scapegoat for a wide variety of other unrelated ills. It has been promoted and extended by similarly misguided business marketing agents, politicians, journalists, government agencies, and environmentalists.”

The underlying report that engendered the declaration lays out a series of statements challenging many of the common climate claims. For example, one of the most common claims – and repeated without question by many – is that the earth will soon pass “tipping points that will lead to catastrophic environmental damage, including dangerous sea level rise, entire species going extinct, and even greater suffering in many nations, especially the poorest.” The sense of immediate crisis has been repeated constantly by mainstream media, including The New York Times, which said flatly, “Earth is likely to cross a critical threshold for global warming within the next decade.”

In 2009, former vice president Al Gore famously predicted that “the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013.” He later backtracked, according to Reuters, who said Gore was merely quoting other scientific reports. Gore had three years earlier published “An Inconvenient Truth” the subtitle of which was “The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It.” A documentary film based on the book earned $24,146,161 in gross receipts that year. sCelebrity activist Greta Thunberg tweeted in 2018 – five years after Gore’s doomsday prediction – that “climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.” The Highland County Press reported that she deleted the tweet.

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Eagle

 

 

Handpan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1696584955583750496

 

 

saki
https://twitter.com/i/status/1696617489147277428

 

 


Stunning shot of a mature supercell thunderstorm, illuminated at varying heights from the setting sun in West Texas. Photo Laura Rowe

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 102020
 


Banksy June 2020

 

WHO Walks Back Claim On Asymptomatic Transmission Of Coronavirus (RT)
Coronavirus Patients Most Infectious When They First Feel Unwell: WHO (R.)
WHO Urges Pakistan To Return To Lockdown As Hospitals Struggle (GH.)
California, Southwest Face New Coronavirus Woes As US Economy Reopens (R.)
Mexico’s Coronavirus Peak Still Weeks Off, 600 New Deaths In One Day (R.)
Widespread Mask-Wearing Could Prevent COVID19 Second Waves (R.)
DC National Guard Members Test Positive After Protests Response (McC)
Chicago Professor Removes Post That Appeared To Call For A Military Coup (Turley)
Tory Minister Says Eating Chlorinated Chicken Should Be Up To Consumer (Ind.)
World Faces Worst Food Crisis For At Least 50 Years – UN (G.)
ECB Prepares ‘Bad Bank’ Plan For Wave Of Coronavirus Toxic Debt (R.)
The Illusion of a Rapid US Recovery (Galbraith)
Misfortune vs. Carelessness (Ben Hunt)
Banksy Reveals Plan For Bristol’s Toppled Colston Statue (CB)

 

 

Worldometer has global new cases for June 8 (midnight to midnight GMT+0) at + 121,751.

My count from about 6 am EDT to 6 am EDT is about + 125,033 cases.

The decrease we saw for a few days did not last. New deaths also rose from 2,599 yesterday back up to 5,032.

 

 

 

 

New cases past 24 hours in:

• US + 19,056
• Brazil + 30,197
• Russia + 8,595
• India + 9,548
• Pakistan + 5,385

 

 

Cases 7,344,220 (+ 125,033 from yesterday’s 7,219,187)

Deaths 414,140 (+ 5,032 from yesterday’s 409,108)

 

 

 

From Worldometer yesterday evening -before their day’s close-:

 

 

From Worldometer:

 

 

From COVID19Info.live:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The WHO keeps on piling on “mistakes”. If it isn’t China, it’s HCQ, and if not that, it’s asymptomatic patients.

WHO Walks Back Claim On Asymptomatic Transmission Of Coronavirus (RT)

The World Health Organization has qualified its bombshell claim that asymptomatic people rarely infect others with Covid-19, scrambling to explain how its earlier statement was misinterpreted and based on a “misunderstanding.” WHO coronavirus lead Maria Van Kerkhove attempted on Tuesday to clear up controversy around her previous claim that asymptomatic transmission was “very rare,” insisting she had been speaking based on the results of just “two or three” studies. To claim asymptomatic transmission is rare globally would be a “misunderstanding,” she explained.

“I was just responding to a question, I wasn’t stating a policy of WHO or anything like that,” she backpedaled, explaining that asymptomatic transmission estimates come from dubiously-accurate models. “That’s a big open question, and that remains an open question.” Some 16 percent of infected people may be asymptomatic, she said, citing studies – while some scientific models claim as much as 40 percent of global transmission may come from asymptomatic individuals. Given that sloppy disease modeling has been responsible for some of the most disastrous overreactions to the pandemic, Van Kerkhove’s reluctance to include these supposedly scientific speculations in the previous day’s briefing could be forgiven, but WHO emergency director Mike Ryan acknowledged his colleague’s words were likely “misinterpreted.”

[..] Harvard Global Health Institute had flat-out refused to accept Van Kerkhove’s claim, declaring “all of the best evidence suggests that people without symptoms can and do readily spread SARS-CoV-2” in a statement on Tuesday. The institute warned that “communicating preliminary data…without much context can have tremendous negative impact” on public and government responses to the pandemic, and indeed, Van Kerkhove’s comments had touched off a chain-reaction of second-guessing, pearl-clutching, and general existential crises among lockdown proponents as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases continues to climb.

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A.k.a. the exact moment they should start taking hydroxychloroquine.

Coronavirus Patients Most Infectious When They First Feel Unwell: WHO (R.)

Studies show people with the coronavirus are most infectious just at the point when they first begin to feel unwell, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said on Tuesday. This feature has made it so hard to control spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, but it can be done through rigorous testing and social distancing, they said. “It appears from very limited information we have right now that people have more virus in their body at or around the time that they develop symptoms, so very early on,” Maria van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist and technical lead on the pandemic, told a live session on social media. Preliminary studies from Germany and the United States suggest that people with mild symptoms can be infectious for up to 8-9 days, and “it can be a lot longer for people who are more severely ill”, she said.

Earlier, some disease experts questioned her statement on Monday that transmission of COVID-19 by people with no symptoms is “very rare”, saying this guidance could pose problems for governments as they seek to lift lockdowns. Van Kerkhove, citing disease-modelling studies, clarified on Tuesday that some people do not develop symptoms, but can still infect others. “Some estimates of around 40 percent of transmission may be due to asymptomatic (cases), but those are from models. So I didn’t include that in my answer yesterday but wanted to make sure that I made that clear,” she said.

Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, said that the novel coronavirus lodges in the upper respiratory tract, making it easier to transmit by droplets than related viruses such as SARS or MERS, which are in the lower tract. “Now as we look at COVID-19, we have an infectious pathogen that is present in the upper airway for which the viral loads are peaking at the time you are just beginning to get sick,” he said. “That means you could be in the restaurant feeling perfectly well and start to get a fever, you are feeling ok, you didn’t think to stay home, but that’s the moment at which your viral load could be actually quite high,” he said.

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You try getting 212 million people on a second lockdown.

WHO Urges Pakistan To Return To Lockdown As Hospitals Struggle (GH.)

The World Health Organization has taken the unusual step of urging Pakistan to return to lockdown, suggesting the country implement restrictions in a cycle of two weeks on, two weeks off. While Pakistan has relatively low testing rates, one in four people who are tested return a positive result, the WHO said in a letter to Punjab’s provincial health minister, Yasmin Rashid. Prime Minister Imran Khan has resisted a national lockdown, arguing the country cannot afford it, and provinces have instead introduced patchwork lockdowns. Last week Khan said these would be lifted. But, with 108,317 known cases and 2,172 confirmed deaths, hospitals across the south Asian country say they are at or near capacity, with some turning Covid-19 patients away. Globally, the WHO confirmed the biggest ever one-day rise in confirmed cases this week, with 136,000 cases in 24 hours, according to director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Most were from south Asia and the Americas.


[..] Dr Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert in the US, warned on Tuesday the pandemic was “far from over,” and that he was surprised at how “rapidly it just took over the planet”. Speaking in a videotaped discussion at a Biotechnology Innovation Organization conference, Fauci said: “I mean, Ebola was scary. But Ebola would never be easily transmitted in a global way.” He added: “HIV, as important as it is, was drawn out over an extended period of time.” He warned that the world was still at the start of seeing the coronavirus pandemic’s effects. “Oh my goodness,” Fauci said. “Where is it going to end? We’re still at the beginning of it.” On Tuesday, 21 US states reported weekly increases in new cases. Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all posted rises of 40% or higher for the week ending Sunday, compared with the prior seven days, according to a Reuters analysis.

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“21 U.S. states reported weekly increases [..] Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all posted rises of 40% or higher for the week..”

California, Southwest Face New Coronavirus Woes As US Economy Reopens (R.)

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are spiking in parts of California and the U.S. Southwest, prompting Arizona to reactivate its emergency plan for medical facilities and California to place counties where half its population lives on a watch list. The uptick in cases, which could lead authorities to reimpose or tighten public health restrictions aimed at slowing the virus’ spread, complicates efforts to reopen the U.S. economy, which has been devastated by shelter-at-home rules. New Jersey, one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic, with over 12,000 deaths, lifted its stay-at-home order on Tuesday. More than 18 million of California’s 39 million residents live in counties now on the watch list, which includes Los Angeles, Santa Clara and Fresno, a Reuters analysis showed.


“Many of the cases that are showing up in hospitals are linked to gatherings that are taking place in homes – birthday parties and funerals,” said Olivia Kasirye, public health director of Sacramento County, one of the nine counties on the state watch list that may eventually require them to roll back reopening efforts. Arizona was among the first states to reopen in mid-May and its cases have increased 115% since then, leading a former state health chief to warn that a new stay-at-home order or field hospitals may be needed. According to a Reuters tally, there were 1,983,825 coronavirus cases in the United States and 111,747 deaths as of Tuesday. On Tuesday, 21 U.S. states reported weekly increases in new cases of COVID-19.

[..] Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all posted rises of 40% or higher for the week ended Sunday, compared with the prior seven days, according to a Reuters analysis. Some of the new cases are linked to better testing. But many stem from loosened public health restrictions that have allowed people to gather in groups and go inside stores to shop, said public health officers in two California counties. Health officials believe other cases have been passed along by people not following social-distancing recommendations. It is too soon to see whether cases will also spike after protests swept the country [..]

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“The government previously predicted the pandemic would peak in early May, and under U.S. pressure, has begun reopening its carmaking industry..”

Mexico’s Coronavirus Peak Still Weeks Off, 600 New Deaths In One Day (R.)

New coronavirus cases in Mexico are expected to keep rising, a top health official said on Tuesday, even as the government pushes a gradual reopening of the economy launched at the beginning of this month. “We still haven’t reached the maximum point,” Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told a morning news conference. “For several more weeks, we will keep announcing there are more cases today than yesterday.” His assessment was largely echoed by officials from the World Health Organization and its Pan American Health Organization during a webcast news conference later in the day. While Mexico has yet to reach peak infections, they said, officials should boost testing before any wide-scale economic reopening and stick to safety measures, including social distancing.


Government figures released on Tuesday night showed nearly 600 deaths added to the official count as total infections rose to 124,301. Overall, reported deaths stood at 14,649. In recent weeks, Latin America has emerged as the epicenter of the pandemic, with a spike in cases even as the tide of infection recedes elsewhere. Mexican officials have gradually raised the projections of total fatalities and now forecast up to 35,000 deaths through October. A study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington last week forecast up to 75,516 deaths by August. The government previously predicted the pandemic would peak in early May, and under U.S. pressure, has begun reopening its carmaking industry, which has since been deemed essential. But plans to further relax social-distancing measures were put on hold as infection rates continued to rise.

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That this is studied at all tells you how insane the west is. Asians don’t waste money on that, they just wear them.

Widespread Mask-Wearing Could Prevent COVID19 Second Waves (R.)

Population-wide facemask use could push COVID-19 transmission down to controllable levels for national epidemics and could prevent further waves of the pandemic disease when combined with lockdowns, according to a UK study published Wednesday. The research, led by scientists at the Britain’s Cambridge and Greenwich Universities, suggests lockdowns alone will not stop the resurgence of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, but that even homemade masks can dramatically reduce transmission rates if enough people wear them in public. “Our analyses support the immediate and universal adoption of facemasks by the public,” said Richard Stutt, who co-led the study at Cambridge.

He said the findings showed that if widespread mask use were combined with social distancing and some lockdown measures, this could be “an acceptable way of managing the pandemic and re-opening economic activity” long before the development and public availability of an effective vaccine against COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. The study’s findings were published in the “Proceedings of the Royal Society A” scientific journal. The World Health Organization updated its guidance on Friday to recommend that governments ask everyone to wear fabric face masks in public areas where there is a risk to reduce the spread of the disease.

In this study, researchers linked the dynamics of spread between people with population-level models to assess the effect on the disease’s reproduction rate, or R value, of different scenarios of mask adoption combined with periods of lockdown. The R value measures the average number of people that one infected person will pass the disease on to. An R value above 1 can lead to exponential growth. The study found that if people wear masks whenever they are in public it is twice as effective at reducing the R value than if masks are only worn after symptoms appear. In all scenarios the study looked at, routine facemask use by 50% or more of the population reduced COVID-19 spread to an R of less than 1.0, flattening future disease waves and allowing for less stringent lockdowns.

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But the Dems like the protests! Stopping them would be interfering with the election!

DC National Guard Members Test Positive After Protests Response (McC)

Members of the D.C. National Guard who were responding to protests in the nation’s capital over the death of George Floyd have tested positive for COVID-19, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday. The service members were part of the 1,300 D.C. National Guard members called up to help law enforcement respond initially to rioting on May 31, that was followed by days of peaceful protests. A Guard spokeswoman did not identify how many positive tests the unit has recorded. “We can confirm that we have had COVID-19 positive tests with the DCNG,” said D.C. National Guard spokeswoman Air Force Lt. Col. Brooke Davis. “The safety and security of our personnel is always a concern, especially in light of the COVID-19 era.”


The news follows reports that two members of the Nebraska National Guard who were activated in response to protests in Lincoln, Neb., have also tested positive. The D.C. National Guard was supported by approximately 3,900 additional Guardsmen from Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah to protect national monuments and ensure peaceful demonstrations as tens of thousands of protesters took to district streets last week. In the largest protest Saturday, participants squeezed past each other, some with masks, some not, as they chanted and sang near the White House.

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“Trump is Hitler” died about 3 years ago. The MSM have brought it back.

Chicago Professor Removes Post That Appeared To Call For A Military Coup (Turley)

Figures from Glenn Greenwald to Tucker Carlson have raised the recent posting by University of Chicago Professor Brian Leiter saying that military leaders should “depose” President Donald Trump and jail him. The posting was either a poor attempt at a coup or comedy. The real problem is that in today’s environment it was unclear and, worse yet, unremarkable. On Reddit, readers were directed to “Brian Leiter (UoC professor) calls for a military coup: “Trump should be deposed and jailed” Leiter removed the statement and blamed the lack of a sense of humor on those who objected. He was not calling for a coup d’état, just musing about the possibility of a coup d’état.

On his site, Leiter discussed the criticism of Trump by General Mattis and stated that Mattis now “needs to encourage his military colleagues who share his respect for American democracy and the rule of law to do what he should have done while in office: Trump should be deposed and jailed.” Leiter later removed the statement with an addendum reading: “I’ve removed my little joke about a military coup in favor of VP Pence. I have, it appears, more faith in the U.S. military, and its commitment to the rule of law, than most readers.” The incident however raises a more concerning problem. Many could not tell. It is now routine for academics to make sweeping and irresponsible statements about how to deal with Trump and his Administration.

This is not a reference to the distortion of the criminal code to declare a host of criminal acts that are unsupportable under controlling case law. It is superheated rhetoric of professors denouncing the Trump Administration as a fascist regime and even endorsing violent protests as a form of speech. Harvard Professor Lawrence Tribe retweeted a comparison of Trump to Hitler engaging in similar gestures and calling it “horrifying,” He later took done the tweet and said “I’m not saying Trump is becoming Hitler, so don’t bother tweeting the distinctions.” Many are still making the comparison. Indeed, I have had other professors make the same comparison in conversations.

A professor who said that he teaches a course on fascism insisted that the comparison to fascism is apt and that violence is warranted, including the attack on journalist Andy Ngo: “I don’t have a problem with it. There are children dying of lack of medication in concentration camps in the U.S. If one fascist gets a milkshake thrown at him… And beaten up. I don’t have a problem with it.” This is why people do not get the joke because many academics are not joking. Indeed, we have discussed cases where faculty have been physically attacked and intimidated.

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Let them eat shit.

Tory Minister Says Eating Chlorinated Chicken Should Be Up To Consumer (Ind.)

A minister has stoked fears that low-welfare American meat could soon be on its way to British supermarkets and cafeterias after suggesting that the government would “trust the consumer” on whether to buy it or not. In the latest exchange in parliament on the issue, Cabinet Office minister Penny Mordaunt refused to say a ban would remain on chlorinated chicken, hormone-fed beef and other US imports after an upcoming trade deal with Donald Trump. The minister said she believed “we should be trusting the consumer” on the issue and suggested some people did not want to “put their faith in government” regulations. Despite the talk of consumer choice, in reality many meat products, such as in restaurants, hospitals, and school cafeterias, do not have a country of origin label, making it impossible for consumers to differentiate.

Where such labelling does currently exist, the US also regards it as an illegitimate barrier to its exports and pushes to have the practice banned as part of trade agreements it signs with other countries. US negotiators have made clear that opening the door to American agricultural exports, which are produced to much lower welfare standards than their European counterparts, is their primary demand in talks with the UK. While the government’s own best-case scenario shows an agreement with the US would lead to a tiny boost to the UK economy of just 0.16 per cent of GDP, failing to sign such a deal would be highly politically embarrassing for Boris Johnson, who has presented such an arrangement as part of the alternative to EU membership.

[..] As recently as January, Theresa Villiers, then environment secretary, reiterated that “we will not be importing chlorinated chicken” – but since then US trade chiefs have put pressure on the UK to change its position, leading the government to change tack. American meat factories use chlorine to wash chickens so that they can operate a less sanitary production environment otherwise, an approach which saves money and allows them to undercut other producers. [..] If US food exports do make it to the UK, British consumers may be denied information about which products are American to help them get a foothold in the market. The US government’s “Foreign Trade Barriers” document for 2019 catalogues policies in countries around the world the US wants ended.

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We now blame the virus for everything. Next up: corona causes climate change.

World Faces Worst Food Crisis For At Least 50 Years – UN (G.)

The world stands on the brink of a food crisis worse than any seen for at least 50 years, the UN has warned as it urged governments to act swiftly to avoid disaster. Better social protections for poor people are urgently needed as the looming recession following the coronavirus pandemic may put basic nutrition beyond their reach, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said on Tuesday. “Unless immediate action is taken, it is increasingly clear that there is an impending global food emergency that could have long-term impacts on hundreds of millions of children and adults,” he said. “We need to act now to avoid the worst impacts of our efforts to control the pandemic.”

Although harvests of staple crops are holding up, and the export bans and protectionism that experts feared have so far been largely avoided, the worst of the impacts of the pandemic and ensuing recession are yet to be felt. Guterres warned: “Even in countries with abundant food, we see risks of disruption in the food supply chain.” About 50 million people risk falling into extreme poverty this year owing to the pandemic, but the long-term effects will be even worse, as poor nutrition in childhood causes lifelong suffering. Already, one in five children around the world are stunted in their growth by the age of five, and millions more are likely to suffer the same fate if poverty rates soar.

Guterres laid out a three-point plan to repair the world’s ailing food systems and prevent further harm. These are: to focus aid on the worst-stricken regions to stave off immediate disaster, and for governments to prioritise food supply chains; to strengthen social protections so that young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and other at-risk groups – including children who are not receiving school meals in lockdown – receive adequate nutrition; and to invest in the future, by building a global recovery from the pandemic that prioritises healthy and environmentally sustainable food systems.

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The ECB is there ONLY for the banks, not at all for anyone else. The bad bank issues bonds with bad loans as collateral, banks buy those, and hand them to the ECB as … collateral. Circle jerk.

“The bad bank would then issue bonds which commercial banks would buy in exchange for portfolios of unpaid loans, neutralising the virus shock for Europe’s lenders. The banks could then lodge those bonds with the ECB as collateral for central bank funding.. “

ECB Prepares ‘Bad Bank’ Plan For Wave Of Coronavirus Toxic Debt (R.)

European Central Bank officials are drawing up a scheme to cope with potentially hundreds of billions of euros of unpaid loans in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The project, which comes as Europe mobilises trillions of euros to bolster the region’s economy, is aimed at shielding commercial banks from any second fallout from the crisis, if rising unemployment chokes off the income needed to repay loans. One of the people familiar with the plan said the ECB had set up a task force to look at the idea of a “bad bank” to warehouse unpaid euro debt and that work on the scheme had accelerated in recent weeks. The amount of debt in the euro zone that is considered unlikely to ever be fully repaid already stands at more than half a trillion euros, including credit cards, car loans and mortgages, according to official statistics.

That is set to rise as the COVID-19 outbreak squeezes borrowers and could even double to one trillion euros, weighing on already fragile banks and hindering new lending, the people familiar with the ECB plans said. While the idea for a euro zone bad bank was discussed and shelved over two years ago, the ECB, under its new President Christine Lagarde, has consulted banks and EU officials about a scheme in recent weeks, one of the people said. As the euro zone’s most powerful institution, ECB backing for the project is critical but it would also require the blessing of Germany, the bloc’s biggest economy. Berlin has long opposed schemes that accept shared responsibility for debts in other countries although it recently had an unexpected change of heart, agreeing to pool EU borrowing for a coronavirus recovery fund.

One blueprint under discussion would involve the European Stability Mechanism, an EU institution which can provide financial assistance to euro zone countries or lenders, standing in as guarantor for the bad bank, the people said. The bad bank would then issue bonds which commercial banks would buy in exchange for portfolios of unpaid loans, neutralising the virus shock for Europe’s lenders. The banks could then lodge those bonds with the ECB as collateral for central bank funding, one of the people said. Major European commercial banks could be called on to join forces to underpin the scheme, the second person said.

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There are calls for Jay Powell to stop supporting the stock markets, because he’s helping Trump.

The Illusion of a Rapid US Recovery (Galbraith)

Furman, Krugman, and the CBO share a mental model. They regard the pandemic as an economic shock, like an earthquake or the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is a disruption to a solid structure, a deviation from normal growth. To get America moving again, what is mainly needed is confidence, perhaps aided by stimulus. If consumers channel their pent-up demand into new spending, this “shock-stimulus” model dictates, then businesses will revive investment, and soon enough, all will be well once again.This is how mainstream center-left economists and policymakers have thought about recessions and recoveries since at least the 1960s, when President John F. Kennedy and his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, pushed through tax cuts. But it ignores three major changes in the US economy since then: globalization, the rise of services in consumption and employment, and the impact of personal and corporate debts.

In the 1960s, the US had a balanced economy that produced goods for both businesses and households, at all levels of technology, with a fairly small (and tightly regulated) financial sector. It produced largely for itself, importing mainly commodities. Today, the US produces for the world, mainly advanced investment goods and services, in sectors such as aerospace, information technology, arms, oilfield services, and finance. And it imports far more consumer goods, such as clothing, electronics, cars, and car parts, than it did a half-century ago. And whereas cars, televisions, and household appliances drove US consumer demand in the 1960s, a much larger share of domestic spending today goes (or went) to restaurants, bars, hotels, resorts, gyms, salons, coffee shops, and tattoo parlors, as well as college tuition and doctor’s visits.

Tens of millions of Americans work in these sectors.Finally, American household spending in the 1960s was powered by rising wages and growing home equity. But wages have been largely stagnant since at least 2000, and spending increases since 2010 were powered by rising personal and corporate debts. House values are now stagnant at best, and will likely fall in the months ahead. Mainstream economics pays little attention to such structural questions. Instead, it assumes that business investment responds mostly to the consumer, whose spending is dictated equally by income and desire. The distinction between “essential” and “superfluous” does not exist. Debt burdens are largely ignored.

But demand for many US-made capital goods now depends on global conditions. Orders for new aircraft will not recover while half of all existing planes are grounded. At current prices, the global oil industry is not drilling new wells. Even at home, though existing construction projects may be completed, plans for new office towers or retail outlets won’t be launched soon. And as people commute less, cars will last longer, so demand for them (and gasoline) will suffer.Faced with radical uncertainty, US consumers will save more and spend less. Even if the government replaces their lost incomes for a time, people know that stimulus is short term. What they do not know is when the next job offer – or layoff – will come along.

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“To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”
-Oscar Wilde, “The Importance of Being Earnest”

Misfortune vs. Carelessness (Ben Hunt)

Back in 2013 – in some of my very first Epsilon Theory notes – I wrote about how unemployment data was chronically misreported during Barack Obama’s first term, with an outrageous bias towards making the employment news flow in the United States look much better in narrative than it was in fact. [..] the skinny is this: for a period of some years in the aftermath of the Great Financial Crisis, initial unemployment claims were systematically undercounted. Amazingly enough, this systematic misreporting in unemployment data stopped after Obama was re-elected for a second term.

Was this an intentional act of malfeasance and corruption by the Obama-era Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), who at the time weren’t even responsible for collecting the weekly initial unemployment claims data? Nope. Did the Obama-era BLS recognize the systematic error and direction of bias in the initial unemployment claims data? Absolutely. Could the Obama-era BLS have fixed the systematic error and direction of bias in the initial unemployment claims data if they had wanted to? In a heartbeat.

It’s exactly the same thing with the Trump-era Bureau of Labor Statistics and the reporting of weekly and monthly employment data. The measurement error we’ve seen in the monthly jobs report – and keep in mind that it is exactly the SAME ERROR being made for the past THREE MONTHS – is not an intentional mistake. But the failure to correct these errors – the conscious effort required to allow known and obvious errors to persist and create a market-moving and election-moving cartoon – well, I think that IS intentional.

Accidents happen. Misfortune occurs. Mistakes are made. But when the same accident happens over and over again, in exactly the same way and with exactly the same bias … What’s happening with the Bureau of Labor Statistics – and of course it’s not only the Bureau of Labor Statistics – is an intentional carelessness. It is an intentional, political carelessness that supports status quo cartoons of control, regardless of which political party happens to be championing the status quo today. It’s not a Democrat thing and it’s not a Republican thing. It’s a power thing.

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I see a global industry emerging.

Banksy Reveals Plan For Bristol’s Toppled Colston Statue (CB)

Protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have been taking place across the world over the last few weeks, after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. In one of the most symbolic images from this weekend’s protests, the statue of 18th century slave trader Edward Colston was toppled in Bristol, and pushed into the harbour. As debate rages over whether the statue should be reinstated, left in the harbour, or pulled out and put in the city’s museum, the mysterious Bristol-based street artist Banksy has proposed a solution (below) to keep “everyone happy”. He suggests putting the statue back on its plinth, but with the addition of other life-size statues of the protestors pulling it down.

“What should we do with the empty plinth in the middle of Bristol? Here’s an idea that caters for both those who miss the Colston statue and those who don’t. We drag him out the water, put him back on the plinth, tie cable round his neck and commission some life size bronze statues of protestors in the act of pulling him down. Everyone happy. A famous day commemorated.”

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