Nov 202023
 


Jackson Pollock The She Wolf 1943

 

A World Without a Moral Conscience (Paul Craig Roberts)
Catastrophe Unfolding At Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital (Cradle)
From Gaza With Rage (Dr. Mona El-Farra)
Diseases Spread In Gaza Amid Water And Sewage Crisis, Cholera Feared (AlJ)
Activating the Genocide Convention (Craig Murray)
Lies About Al-Shifa Hospital Recall Those Preceding the Iraq Invasion (Jones)
‘Blood’ And ‘Money’ – Medvedev Outlines Essence Of US Security (RT)
Top Zelensky Aide Questions Ukraine’s ‘Survival’ (RT)
Ukraine Regime Faces ‘Day of Reckoning’ Amid Dwindling Western Support (Sp.)
Anti-Woke Central Bank Nemesis Javier Milei Argentina’s New President (ZH)
Rep. Jordan Subpoenas Bank of America Over Sharing Jan. 6 Info With FBI (ET)
Lawmakers Slam ‘Political Performance Art’ in US Congress (Sp.)
Monsanto Hit With $1.5 Billion Verdict in Latest Roundup Cancer Case (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Make him smile

 

 

The basic Jewish approach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bladder

 

 

Lies

 

 


That’s over 1,857 nurses or junior doctors on 35k per year. ULEZ- Ultra Low Emission Zone

 

 

 

 

“Clearly the Western World is in the grip of Satan.”

A World Without a Moral Conscience (Paul Craig Roberts)

Today is the 44th day of Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians and destruction of Infrastructure necessary for life. For 44 days the Great Moralists in Washington, London, Berlin, Paris and the rest of the Western World have cheered on, and sent weapons for, the Israeli Genocide of Palestine. The slaughter now extends from Gaza to the remnants of the West Bank. In the US even some Evangelical Christian churches approve of the slaughter and the erasure of Palestine. The citizens who protest the slaughter and erasure are arrested and blacklisted from jobs. For someone, such as myself, who once lived in a country where a moral conscience was respected, to experience the indifference of governments, churches, and media to 44 days of genocide is disheartening.

Clearly the Western World is in the grip of Satan. There is no longer right and wrong and justice, only official narratives. If you disagree with the official narratives you are suspect. The Western World has come to its end. It has no leaders. It has no ears to hear the few voices that still exist. Satan’s hold extends to the Muslim world, which talks but does not act. Words cannot defend Palestine. It is pointless to disapprove of something and to do nothing about it. Russia and China whose own existence is threatened by US/Israeli hegemony over the Middle East also offer nothing but words, words that don’t count because both are demonized and have no inclination to carry the fight to their enemy.

Russia and China invite conflict by their adeptness in avoiding it. How can murder remain on the books as a capital crime when mass murder is ignored? We experience so many instances of mass murder. Mass murder is not limited to Israel’s genocide of Palestinians and Big Pharma, Western governments and “medical authorities” murder of millions with a mandated “Covid vaccine.” Mass murder is happening all the time. We accept it as no worse than a rainy day. The moral conscience of the West has wilted away.

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“There is no medicine, and the wounds of injured people are becoming infected, some with maggots..”

Catastrophe Unfolding At Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital (Cradle)

Catastrophe is unfolding now at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza following its capture and occupation by the Israeli army, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya warned on 16 November. Journalist Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada summarized the doctor’s comments, which he made to Al-Jazeera Arabic regarding conditions in the hospital. Dr Abu Salmiya explained that there are about 7,000 people under total siege inside the Al-Shifa compound, including 650 injured people, 45 dialysis patients, and 36 premature babies. A few hours ago, one dialysis patient died, while four are at imminent risk of death because there is no power for dialysis machines. Three premature babies died in recent days, and two injured persons died in recent hours due to lack of treatment.

There is no water, fuel, or electricity. Israel broke the main water line into the hospital. There is no purified water to make the special formula for the babies, so they are using ordinary water, and some have become sick with diarrhea, infections, and fever. There is no food. Children are starving and distressed. There is no medicine, and the wounds of injured people are becoming infected, some with maggots. Hospital administrators tried to send a delegation to Israeli forces to ask for food, fuel, medicine, and safe evacuation of the sick and injured, but the Israelis refused to speak to them. The hospital is besieged from all sides by tanks and bulldozers. The bulldozers are destroying areas around the compound, but no one can see what they are doing.

Snipers or drones shoot at anyone who tries to move between hospital buildings. There are hundreds of soldiers in the hospital compound, searching all over and causing severe damage to hospital premises and equipment. In the 48 hours since Israeli forces entered the hospital and its grounds, not a single shot has been fired at them. Dr. Abu Salmiya closed by saying, “We hold the world responsible” for what he calls a genocide. “We are waiting for slow death.” At the same time, Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta warned that conditions are dire at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, also in northern Gaza. He wrote on the social media site X that doctors at the hospital can no longer provide surgeries.

The hospital is now effectively a first aid station, while hundreds of wounded are now at the hospital with no access to surgery and will now die from their wounds. On 17 October, Israel bombed the courtyard of the Al-Ahli Baptist hospital with a guided missile, killing 471 Palestinians sheltering there to escape Israel’s bombing elsewhere. The Israeli government denied bombing the hospital, claiming a failed Palestinian rocket had fallen onto the crowded hospital and exploded. However, this was proven false by independent analysts and the New York Times.

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“How do you give a toy to a child who will not play, who searches the skies for what they know will come?”

From Gaza With Rage (Dr. Mona El-Farra)

The repeating Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza are beyond my own comprehension. For at least 10 of the last 40 days, missiles have rained down on the most densely populated refugee camp in all of Gaza. And it is not just the days; it is also the nights. The bombing is done in the dark, when the power is off and the only light is from the fires that burn. It is done when the internet is cut, when the journalists are shot dead, to hide their crimes, the burning of children. I have a long history and strong connection to the people in this camp. My friends, former coworkers, patients, and people I have known for decades through my work as a doctor at Gaza’s Al-Awda hospital are living in this camp. There are the children who grew up coming to the library I founded in Jabalia, who are now young men and women, who have their own children, their own families.

There are my beautiful neighbors and friends and patients, who are not my relatives but are my family. They are generation after generation of refugee families living in one of the most crowded places on earth. After the latest massacre, I cannot reach any of them. I see these same families in the video sent to me of my neighbors pulling children from the rubble. I see them in my memories as we lived and struggled under dual occupations, and Israeli bombings and apartheid. I hear what it sounds like in the aftermath when women and children, the overwhelming majority of those living in, injured, and killed in Jabalia, scream and mourn in anguish and wake up to do it again. I can taste the chemicals, the poisons that linger in the air for hours and days after these indiscriminate explosions.

I can smell the acrid odor of white phosphorus, used by Israel in Gaza and caked on the walls of burning buildings and bodies. I can feel the collective hunger: for food and for justice and for all of it to stop. But now I am in Cairo and it is so difficult and distressing to hear more terrible news each day, news of my loved ones killed by this criminal occupation, by these crimes of war bragged about by Israeli officials who say that there will be no buildings left in Gaza, that we will be a “city of tents.” I had always been home in Gaza during previous Israeli bombings that so often use U.S. planes and U.S. missiles, gifted and given as “aid.” Such “help” is the opposite of the aid I am buying now. The food, medicine, and more, even toys for children who have lost so, so much.

The Middle East Children’s Alliance is raising money so we can buy these supplies to deliver to children and families in Gaza as soon as we can. I am so very sad. But it is not only sadness that I feel. It is also rage. How do I feed a child that will not eat because of fear? How do you give a toy to a child who will not play, who searches the skies for what they know will come? I am enraged at Israel’s constant, ruthless bombardment, killing thousands of people from newborn babies to grandfathers. What is happening now in Gaza is genocide. Those who are not killed by Israeli bombs are dying slowly from the lack of medicine, food, and water.

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Why waste ammo?

Diseases Spread In Gaza Amid Water And Sewage Crisis, Cholera Feared (AlJ)

Sewage flows in the streets of Gaza as all key sanitation services have ceased operating, raising the alarming prospect of an enormous surge of gastrointestinal and infectious diseases among the local populations – including cholera. For Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, finding drinkable water has become close to impossible. At a school run by the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Khan Younis, 33-year-old Osama Saqr attempted to fill some bottles with water for his thirsty children. He took a sip and grimaced in disgust at the saltiness of the fluid, before letting out a long sigh. “It’s polluted and unsuitable, but my children always drink it, there’s no alternative,” he told Al Jazeera. Saqr’s one-year-old son has diarrhoea but he cannot find medicines in hospitals or pharmacies to treat him.

“Even if I find it, the problem remains, the water is polluted and salty water, not suitable for drinking,” he said. “I’m afraid that eventually, I’m going to lose one of my children to this poisoning.” The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded more than 44,000 cases of diarrhoea and 70,000 acute respiratory infections, but real numbers may be significantly higher. On Friday, the UN agency said it was extremely concerned that rains and floods during the approaching winter season will make an already dire situation even worse. “We are hearing about several hundred people per toilet at the UNRWA centres and those have been overflowing, so people are doing open defecation,” Richard Brennan, regional emergency director for the Eastern Mediterranean region at WHO, told Al Jazeera. “They have to find a place to go to the bathroom in the grounds where they are staying. That’s a huge public health risk and also very humiliating.”

Brennan said overcrowding, lack of solid waste management, poor sanitation and open-air defecation were all contributing to the spread of diseases including diarrhoea, respiratory infections and skin infections, including scabies. UN agencies have warned that the collapse of water and sanitation services could even spark bouts of cholera if urgent humanitarian aid is not delivered. If nothing changes, “there will be more and more people falling sick and the risk of major outbreaks will increase dramatically,” Brennan said. Gaza’s essential water and sanitation infrastructure has either been destroyed by Israeli bombardment or has run out of fuel. In the southern governorates of Deir el-Balah, Khan Younis and Rafah, all 76 water wells have stopped functioning, as well as two main drinking water plants and 15 sewage pumping stations, according to the UNRWA.

WHO estimates that the average person in Gaza is currently consuming just 3 litres of water per day for drinking and sanitation. This compares with the minimum of 7.5 litres recommended by the agency in emergency situations. The halt of key services including water desalination plants, sewage treatment and hospitals has led to a 40 percent increase in diarrhoea for people taking shelter in UNRWA schools, the agency said. It estimated that about 70 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people – more than half of whom are children – no longer have access to clean water. On Wednesday, Israeli authorities allowed just over 23,000 litres (6,000 gallons) of fuel to be brought into the Strip via Egypt. But they restricted the use of this fuel to trucks transporting the little aid coming in. The UNRWA said it needed 160,000 litres (42,000 gallons) of fuel a day for basic humanitarian operations.

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“.. In the name of rooting out an apparently non-existent Hamas network out of the hospital, the IDF created what Amnesty International has called “a graveyard of children.”

Lies About Al-Shifa Hospital Recall Those Preceding the Iraq Invasion (Jones)

In the weeks before the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) raided the Al-Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza, the IDF “went to great lengths to depict the medical complex as a headquarters for Hamas, from where its attacks on Israel were planned,” according to The Guardian. The U.S. has claimed that it produced its own intelligence that verifies this claim. National security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Thursday that “We have information that confirms that Hamas is using that particular hospital for a command and control mode” and likely for storing weapons. According to Reuters, “[Kirby] said the United States had information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were using some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Al Shifa, to conceal or support their military operations and to hold hostages.”

Despite Kirby’s claim that the information came from various intelligence methods, the U.S. has provided no evidence to verify that the hospital is being used by Hamas. In the name of rooting out an apparently non-existent Hamas network out of the hospital, the IDF created what Amnesty International has called “a graveyard of children.” The World Health Organization (WHO) said the U.N. assessment team that analyzed the hospital similarly concluded that the complex has become a “death zone.” The team found “a mass grave at the entrance of the hospital and was told more than 80 people were buried there.” Further, the WHO reported: “Lack of clean water, fuel, medicines, food and other essential aid over the last 6 weeks have caused Al-Shifa Hospital – once the largest, most advanced and best equipped referral hospital in Gaza – to essentially stop functioning as a medical facility…Al-Shifa Hospital can no longer admit patients, with the injured and sick now being directed to the seriously overwhelmed and barely functioning Indonesian Hospital.”

“The vast majority of patients are victims of war trauma, including many with complex fractures and amputations, head injuries, burns, chest and abdominal trauma, and 29 patients with serious spinal injuries who are unable to move without medical assistance. Many trauma patients have severely infected wounds due to lack of infection control measures in the hospital and unavailability of antibiotics.” The IDF recently released a video in which Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus “exposes the countless weapons IDF troops have uncovered in the Shifa Hospital’s MRI building.” The video shows Conricus walking a cameraman through the MRI room while pointing out what the IDF claims are Hamas weapons and equipment.

According to The Guardian, “The IDF accused Hamas…of hiding evidence that would confirm that the organization had used the hospital as a command and control center.” An IDF spokesperson said “Hamas has persistently worked to conceal infrastructure and cover up evidence.” Despite Hamas’ alleged attempts to cover up evidence, the guns and equipment spread across the MRI room in the IDF video are extremely visible and don’t appear hidden whatsoever. Conricus also cites the destruction of security cameras as evidence that Hamas is using the hospital to carry out military operations. While it would be in Hamas’s interest to prevent any recording of them using the hospital as a headquarters, it would also be in the IDF’s interest to destroy any footage of them planting the “evidence” offered in the video.

According to Julian Borger in The Guardian: “A BBC analysis found the footage of an IDF spokesperson showing the apparent discovery of a bag containing a gun behind an MRI scanning machine, had been taped hours before the arrival of the journalists to whom he was supposedly showing it.” “In a video shown later, the number of guns in the bag had doubled. The IDF claimed its video of what it found at the hospital was unedited, filmed in a single take, but the BBC analysis found it had been edited.”

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“All this begs the question of why no state has yet invoked the Genocide Convention. This is especially remarkable as Palestine is one of the 149 states party to the Genocide Convention, and for this purpose would have standing before both the U.N. and the ICJ…”

Activating the Genocide Convention (Craig Murray)

There are 149 states party to the Genocide Convention. Every one of them has the right to call out the genocide in progress in Gaza and report it to the United Nations. In the event that another state party disputes the claim of genocide — and Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom are all states party — then the International Court of Justice is required to adjudicate on “the responsibility of a State for genocide.” These are the relevant articles of the genocide convention:
“Article VIII
Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III.
Article IX
Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.” Note that here “parties to the dispute” means the states disputing the facts of genocide, not the parties to the genocide/conflict. Any single state party is able to invoke the convention. There is no doubt that Israel’s actions amount to genocide. Numerous international law experts have said so and genocidal intent has been directly expressed by numerous Israeli ministers, generals and public officials.

This is the definition of genocide in international law, from the Genocide Convention:
“Article II
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”

I can see no room to doubt whatsoever that Israel’s current campaign of bombing of civilians and of the deprivation of food, water and other necessities of life to Palestinians amounts to genocide under articles II a), b) and c). It is also worth considering Articles III and IV:
“Article III
The following acts shall be punishable:
(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.
Article IV
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

There is, at the very least, a strong prima facie case that the actions of the United States and United Kingdom and others, in openly providing direct military support to be used in genocide, are complicit in genocide. The point of Article IV is that individuals are responsible, not just states. So Israel’s Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak bear individual responsibility. So, indeed, do all those who have been calling for the destruction of the Palestinians. It is very definitely worth activating the Genocide Convention. A judgement of the International Court of Justice that Israel is guilty of genocide would have an extraordinary diplomatic effect and would cause domestic difficulties in the U.K. and even in the U.S. in continuing to subsidise and arm Israel.

Relationship of ICJ & ICC

The International Court of Justice is the most respected of international institutions; while the United States has repudiated its compulsory jurisdiction, the United Kingdom has not and the EU positively accepts it. If the International Court of Justice makes a determination of genocide, then the International Criminal Court does not have to determine that genocide has happened. This is important because unlike the august and independent ICJ, the ICC is very much a western government puppet institution which will wiggle out of action if it can. But a determination of the ICJ of genocide and of complicity in genocide would reduce the ICC’s task to determining which individuals bear the responsibility. That is a prospect which can indeed alter the calculations of politicians.

It is also the fact that a reference for genocide would force the Western media to address the issue and use the term, rather than just pump out propaganda about Hamas having fighting bases in hospitals. Furthermore a judgement from the ICJ would automatically trigger a reference to the United Nations General Assembly — crucially not to the Western-vetoed Security Council. All this begs the question of why no state has yet invoked the Genocide Convention. This is especially remarkable as Palestine is one of the 149 states party to the Genocide Convention, and for this purpose would have standing before both the U.N. and the ICJ.

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“..the US essentially considers “money” and “blood” together as a “good investment.” “How very American. No comment..”

‘Blood’ And ‘Money’ – Medvedev Outlines Essence Of US Security (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that US President Joe Biden’s latest opinion piece for the Washington Post once again highlighted the essence of Washington’s security doctrine, which is to provide for America’s interests at the expense of others. The US supposedly makes itself safer by pouring money into “its own military industry” and starting “wars on other continents,”Medvedev said Sunday in a poston X (formerly Twitter), calling it “the essence of the American security doctrine.” “That’s why our commitment to Ukraine today is an investment in our own security,” Biden said in his piece published on Saturday. Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, responded to this by saying that the US essentially considers “money” and “blood” together as a “good investment.” “How very American. No comment,” he added.

“Others, surely, don’t matter,” the former Russian leader said, commenting on the article in which Biden once again reaffirmed US support to Ukraine and Israel. The US leader also argued in the piece that Russia and the Gaza-based Hamas militants should not be allowed to have their way. “Out of great tragedy and upheaval, enormous progress can come,” Biden wrote. He claimed that the US is “the essential nation” with a “duty of leadership.” On the topic of Ukraine, the US president also admitted that the conflict “draws America in directly.” Washington has openly supported Kiev since armed hostilities with Moscow began in February 2022. The US has provided Ukraine with military equipment worth billions of dollars together with its allies in Europe and elsewhere.

Moscow has repeatedly argued that sending arms to Kiev would only prolong the military operation and extend human suffering. Russia also repeatedly accused the US and its allies of planning to make Kiev fight “to the last Ukrainian.” Ample Western military supplies, including heavy armor, such as tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, have so far not helped Ukraine to achieve any significant success in its closely-watched summer offensive, which has failed to bring about any meaningful changes to the frontlines over several months since the start of the operation in early June. Ukrainian forces have suffered heavy losses in both personnel and material, including the Western-supplied equipment, during the assault, however. In early November, the Pentagon warned it potentially had only $1 billion remaining for Ukraine military aid and would have to ration arms packages in the future.

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“..Kiev must seize all territories lost to Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula, or risk disappearing from the world’s map..”

Top Zelensky Aide Questions Ukraine’s ‘Survival’ (RT)

A senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in an interview with Ukraine’s Channel 24 television station on Friday that Kiev must seize all territories lost to Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula, or risk disappearing from the world’s map. The aide, Mikhail Podoliak, opined that failure to push back Russian troops from the territory Kiev claims as its own could become a breaking point for the country. “Do we have an endgame in which we do not enter Crimea and which would clearly indicate that Ukraine has a historical perspective?” he asked. According to Podoliak, the same concerns apply to the four other regions – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions – that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia last autumn.

“Do we have even a single chance to survive in historical terms for another ten to 15 years?” the official added. Podoliak also believes that Russia’s victory would be a significant setback for the West as it would “not be able to claim global leadership” while its “autocratic” rivals would have free reign to attack other territories. He also admitted that “the war is unpopular” in Ukraine but rejected any peace engagement with Russia, insisting that Moscow wants to “subjugate” Kiev. Russian officials have repeatedly said they have never closed the door to talks with their Ukrainian counterparts. Podoliak also attempted to justify unfulfilled predictions that Ukraine would seize Crimea during the past summer, noting that this assessment was based on an analysis of how many arms Kiev would receive from its Western backers and the impact of sanctions on Russia.

According to the official, however, many Western companies remained in the Russian market, allowing the country’s government to receive “high taxes” and use this money to fund its military campaign. Ukraine’s eventual takeover of Crimea was predicted twice this year by Ukrainian intelligence chief Kirill Budanov – first in the spring and later in the summer amid Kiev’s counteroffensive. Moscow has warned it would use “any weapon” in response to a potential Ukrainian attack on the peninsula. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said last month that Kiev “is losing” while being unable to make any substantial progress on the battlefield. He also estimated Kiev’s losses at more than 90,000 service members since the start of the counteroffensive in early June.

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“..these next 60 days are going to be critical in Ukraine, as far as I’m concerned..”

Ukraine Regime Faces ‘Day of Reckoning’ Amid Dwindling Western Support (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Zelensky has drawn attention to reducing Western support as Washington’s attention is increasingly focused on the Middle East and the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A recent stopgap funding bill signed by the POTUS contains no provisions for further assistance to Ukraine. Zelensky’s words appears to be “both symbolic and real,” as Ukraine’s “hopes of victory, that were already dim, would falter in oblivion” if the constant flow of weapons and munitions to Kiev from the West were to cease, argued Jacques Sapir, a director at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. According to him, supporting Ukraine has never been a “top priority” for the Western powers, no matter what declarations on the subject they made in the past.

“Ukrainian leaders choose to believe words and not fact in spring 2022,” Sapir said. “But a shooting war is not waged by words but real hardware. This is now the day of reckoning for the Ukrainian leadership.” Meanwhile, Paul E. Vallely, a retired US Army major general and chairman of Stand Up America US Foundation, noted that several European powers have ramped up efforts to supply Ukraine with munitions even as the United States turns its attention towards Israel and the Gaza Strip crisis. He did point out, however, that one of Europe’s major players, Germany, has been “lagging in supporting Ukraine to a great degree,” even as Berlin recently promised to “double that support to $8.5 billion in 2024 and also deliver crucial air defense systems to Zelensky.”

“So what they say and what they do may be two different things,” Vallely mused. Having voiced his skepticism over the US’ and Europe’s ability to deliver on their most recent promises, Vallely also suggested that the situation on the battlefield may soon worsen for Kiev as “winter moves forward and Russian offensive operations move forward.” “Zelensky continues to say that they’re winning, and some of the Western press says Ukraine is winning, but in reality, they’re not. So these next 60 days are going to be critical in Ukraine, as far as I’m concerned,” he remarked.

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“Commenting on Milei’s victory, Elon Musk predicted that “Prosperity is ahead for Argentina.”

Anti-Woke Central Bank Nemesis Javier Milei Argentina’s New President (ZH)

Javier Milei, the outsider libertarian candidate with radical solutions to Argentina’s economic crisis, has just won Sunday’s presidential runoff against Economy Minister Sergio Massa. In a surprise outcome, Massa conceded in a speech to supporters in Buenos Aires on Sunday even before the official results were released, saying he called Milei to congratulate him on his victory. Javier Milei, a 53-year-old far-right economist and former television pundit with no governing experience, claimed nearly 56 percent of the vote, with more than 80 percent of votes tallied. It was a stunning upset over Sergio Massa, the center-left economy minister who has struggled to resolve the country’s worst economic crisis in two decades. Voters in this nation of 46 million demanded a drastic change from a government that has sent the peso tumbling, inflation skyrocketing and more than 40 percent of the population into poverty.

And with Milei, Argentina takes a leap into the unknown — with a leader promising to shatter the entire system, which the locals now correctly realize, is broken. Milei, who two months ago was interviewed by Tucker Carlson, has promised to fix Argentina’s perennial economic problems by making drastic budget cuts, replacing the battered peso with the US dollar and shutting down the central bank. He will take office on Dec. 10. Massa, from the ruling Peronist coalition, placed first in October’s first round, a remarkable comeback after losing a primary election two months previously. But the dire state of Argentina’s economy, plagued by 143% hyperinflation and a looming recession, posed a challenge too far to his presidential bid. “Argentines chose another path,” Massa said in a speech to supporters. Polls before the vote showed Milei with a slight edge over his rival. For those unfamiliar with Milei’s unique style, the following clip should be rather informative: Commenting on Milei’s victory, Elon Musk predicted that “Prosperity is ahead for Argentina.”

[..] Milei made a name for himself as a television pundit who insulted other guests, and has shown a tendency to fight with the news media. In presidential debates, he has cast doubt on the widely accepted tally of murders during the country’s Dirty War from 1976 to 1983. He has branded Argentine Pope Francis an “evil” leftist, called climate change a “socialist lie” and said he would hold a referendum to undo the three-year-old law that legalized abortion. Wielding chain saws on the campaign trail, the wild-haired Milei vowed to slash public spending in a country heavily dependent on government subsidies. He pledged to dollarize the economy, shut down the central bank and cut the number of government ministries from 18 to eight. His rallying campaign cry was a takedown of the country’s political “caste” — an Argentine version of Trump’s “drain the swamp.”

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“The Bank of America, with no directive from the FBI, data-mined its customer base..”

Rep. Jordan Subpoenas Bank of America Over Sharing Jan. 6 Info With FBI (ET)

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has subpoenaed Bank of America (BoA) for information over the company’s alleged sharing with the FBI of private customer data from around the time of the Jan. 6, 2021, events in Washington. The subpoena is part of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government’s probe “into major banks sharing Americans’ private financial data with the [FBI] without legal process for transactions made in the Washington, DC, area around Jan. 6, 2021″—the day that supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol as Congress was certifying the 2020 election, which the former president has called rigged and stolen. Politico first reported the Nov. 16 development.

The committee subpoenaed relevant documents from the bank, including internal communications about the decision to transfer the information to the FBI, any communications that the bank had with the agency, and any other information. The lawmakers gave Bank of America a June 8 deadline to comply. In a 78-page whistleblower report released by the House Judiciary Committee on May 19, whistleblowers allege that in the aftermath of the riot, Bank of America gave the FBI information about customers who made transactions in the Washington area on or near Jan. 6, 2021. Those who had used Bank of America accounts to purchase a firearm, regardless of when or where the transaction took place, were bumped to the top of that list.

George Hill, a retired FBI supervisory intelligence analyst, told the panel: “The Bank of America, with no directive from the FBI, data-mined its customer base. And they data-mined a date range of [Jan. 5, 2021, to Jan. 7, 2021] any BoA customer who used a BoA product [meaning a Bank of America credit or debit card]. “They compiled that list. And then, on top of that list, they put anyone who had purchased a firearm during any date. So it was a huge list.” No further action was taken with the information, according to testimony from the special agent in charge of the Boston field office, which received the information. Bank of America told the Judiciary Committee that its conduct was “within a legal process initiated by the United States Department of the Treasury.”

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“My concern is the trend has just begun, it’s not ending. And my sense is, I can just do more constructive things with my life.”

Lawmakers Slam ‘Political Performance Art’ in US Congress (Sp.)

“I don’t think being in Congress is the best way for me to make progress,” said retiring Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “Life is short. I don’t want to be a part of this charade. And I won’t be.” In 2011, former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy mused on an increasing decline of civility and decorum in the US Congress, lamenting the lack of “rational, quiet, thoughtful, respectful discussion and debate” within the legislative body. “The verdict on freedom is still out in over half the world,” said Kennedy. “And the rest of the world is looking at us. They see the current dialogue and discourse and they are horrified by it.” Those were the days when iconoclasts like Anthony Weiner, Jim DeMint, and Alan Grayson made headlines, gleefully attacking opposing members of Congress from the floor of the US Capitol.

Since then it seems Congress has only become a more brutal and unforgiving place, with several retiring lawmakers recently telling US media that chronic legislative dysfunction contributed to their decision not to seek reelection in 2024. “You’re rewarding the wrong kind of behavior here,” said retiring Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), decrying the tendency towards theatrics at the expense of cooperation. “My concern is the trend has just begun, it’s not ending. And my sense is, I can just do more constructive things with my life.” “I’m just afraid that the performative nature of the House today, the people that – you know their names, they’re household names now – and the people that are making names for themselves are making spectacles of themselves.”

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who also recently announced his retirement, agreed, saying, “unconstitutional impeachments and censures that don’t make any sense.” “The big driver was we can’t admit that Republicans lost an election in 2020, which is crazy.” So far, the number of lawmakers announcing their retirements is reportedly in line with previous years. But onlookers note that 2023 has seen an unusual number of experienced, highly valued members announce their exit. “It’s not the quantity of retirements. It’s the quality,” said former Rep. Steve Israel (D) of New York. “These are people who really understand how to get things done.” A recent study from the Center for Effective Lawmaking seems to buttress this perception. By 2021, the group found almost half of US House members have served for five years or less.

This compares to about a third of representatives who had served for that amount of time in 2003. In other words, US Congress is increasingly made up of newer, less experienced members. There may be some advantage to the trend. The average age of members of the US House of Representatives declined slightly after the last midterm election. That may suggest the perspective of younger Americans could get a hearing in a legislative body that many argue has become a stale gerontocracy. But conversely, the average age of those in the US Senate increased slightly. Time will tell whether that trend changes next year, and whether a growing exodus of lawmakers will play a part. Some analysts predict the number of legislators announcing their retirements will increase in early 2024 after they return from time spent with their families over the holiday season.

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This comes literally just days after the EU decided to license the use of glyphosate for another 10 years. I kid you not.

Monsanto Hit With $1.5 Billion Verdict in Latest Roundup Cancer Case (ZH)

In a landmark decision, a Missouri jury has ordered Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit to pay more than $1.5 billion in damages to three former users of its Roundup weedkiller. This ruling, one of Monsanto’s largest trial losses in the five-year litigation over the herbicide, raises new questions about the safety of the controversial product and the company’s future legal challenges. In a late Friday decision, jurors awarded James Draeger, Valorie Gunther, and Dan Anderson $61.1 million in actual damages and a staggering $500 million each in punitive damages. They claimed that years of using Roundup on their properties led to their non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. This verdict is one of the largest against a US corporate defendant this year, eclipsing even a significant $1.78 billion verdict in a federal real estate case (which could balloon to more than $5 billion), Bloomberg reports.

Bayer officials said on Saturday that US judges have allowed what they see as mischaracterization of regulatory decisions on Roundup’s safety. Despite recent plaintiff victories, the company says it remains confident in overturning these verdicts, citing ongoing regulatory support for glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient. Bayer plans to phase out glyphosate in the US consumer market by year’s end. “Bayer also noted in the statement the US Environmental Protection Agency continues to find Roundup and its main ingredient, glyphosate, as safe and a federal appeals court recently backed a rejection of calls for Bayer to include safety warnings on the product’s distinctive white bottles. The company agreed to transition from the version of Roundup containing glyphosate to new active weed-killing ingredients in the US consumer market by the end of the year.” -Bloomberg

The punitive award in the Missouri case may be subject to reduction, as US Supreme Court rulings generally limit such awards to ten times the actual damages. However, Monsanto has previously seen substantial damage awards in similar cases, including a $2 billion verdict in California, later reduced to $87 million. Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, has allocated up to $16 billion for over 100,000 Roundup cases. The company’s legal challenges extend beyond Roundup, encompassing other Monsanto products like toxic PCBs. With more trials on the horizon in Arkansas and Delaware, Bayer’s legal landscape appears increasingly precarious.

Plaintiffs in most of the Roundup casess argue that Monsanto was aware of glyphosate’s potential carcinogenic properties and attempted to suppress this information. Internal documents have revealed efforts by Monsanto officials to influence scientific studies supporting glyphosate’s safety. “These are the kinds of verdicts Bayer can look forward to in future trials,” said Dallas-based attorney Jay Utley. “Monsanto has done wrong for so many years in selling Roundup that it’s a beautiful thing to have a jury recognize that wrongdoing and punish them for it.” The Missouri case, which brought together plaintiffs from across the US, illustrates the widespread usage and impact of Roundup. The varied backgrounds of the plaintiffs, from landscapers to homeowners, underscore the herbicide’s broad reach and the potential scale of its health effects.

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Cat matrix
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726016075496579350

 

 

Salt mine

 

 

 

 

Arctic Fox
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726216825795494060

 

 

Pet the dog

 

 

Socotra

 

 

 

 

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Jun 222022
 


James Ensor Baths at Ostend 1890

 

Just 11% of Americans Blame Putin for High Energy Prices (BB)
Ruble Rises To Seven-year High, Best Performing Currency In The World (BNE)
Russia Leapfrogs Saudi Arabia As China’s Biggest Oil Supplier (Fortune)
Inflation as a Political Power Play Gone Wrong (Varoufakis)
The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages (Michael Hudson)
Biden: We Need More Money for the Second Pandemic (Celente)
Be Warned, A Full-blooded European Sovereign Debt Crisis Is Coming (Blain)
The New Yorker Accidentally Makes Ron DeSantis Look Awesome (NR)
Can DeSantis Displace Trump as the GOP Combatant-in-Chief? (New Yorker)
How Did America Become Ruled By Its Military-Industrial Complex? (Zuesse)
British ‘Watchdog’ Journalists Unmasked As Security State Lapdogs (Cook)
Court Orders EPA to Reassess Glyphosate Risk to Human Health, Environment (CHD)
US Supreme Court Denies Bayer Bid To Block Roundup Lawsuits (AFP)

 

 

 

 

Yeadon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“By the far the largest share of Americans—52 percent—say it is Biden’s energy policies that are to blame for high gas prices.”

Just 11% of Americans Blame Putin for High Energy Prices (BB)

President Joe Biden’s attempts to convince the American people that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is responsible for high gas prices and inflation has failed, polling data released Tuesday showed. “With the biggest single driver of inflation being Putin’s war against Ukraine, @POTUS has taken action to blunt the impact of Putin’s Price Hike for families,” the White Hosue falsely claimed on Monday. The American public is not buying what the Biden White House is selling. Just 11 percent of Americans think Putin is to blame for high energy prices, according to a poll of 1,000 U.S. likely voters taken by Rasmussen between June 16 and June 19. Biden has also sought to blame oil companies and refiners for high prices but just 29 percent find that convincing.

By the far the largest share of Americans—52 percent—say it is Biden’s energy policies that are to blame for high gas prices. Biden has nominated at least two opponents of fossil fuel to key financial regulation posts—although those nominations were ultimately defeated. On the campaign trail, Biden said a number of times that he would end fossil fuels and stand athwart fossil fuel expansion. One of his first actions as president was to cancel the permits needed for the Keystone Pipeline. Biden increased the royalty rate—essentially, a tax rate—on oil production on federal lands by 50 percent this year, the first hike in 100 years. It’s only now that high gas prices have become a political liability for the president that his administration has pivoted to claiming the Biden administration is not opposed to fossil fuel extraction.

Eighty percent of Republicans think Biden’s policies are most to blame for rising fuel costs. Most troubling for Biden, 54 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party blame Biden. Among Democratic voters, only 24 percent blame Biden, 46 percent blame major oil companies, and 20 percent blame Putin. So Biden’s “Putin price hikes” message is not even resonating within his own party. The issue of gas prices has increasing salience with voters. Ninety-two percent of voters view the rising price of gasoline, home heating oil and other petroleum products as a serious problem, including 68 percent who consider rising fuel costs a Very Serious problem. In April, 83 percent said rising petroleum prices were a serious problem.

A single word

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Will it get too strong?

Ruble Rises To Seven-year High, Best Performing Currency In The World (BNE)

Russia’s ruble jumped 6% against the euro on June 21 to a seven-year high, making it the best performing currency in the world. By 1338 GMT, the ruble had gained 6.3% to trade at 58.75 versus the euro , its strongest point since early June 2015, reports Reuters. And the ruble was up 4.6% against the dollar at 57.47, just below the 57.0750 it traded at on June 17, its strongest level since late March 2018. Analysts say the rate is largely artificial as its value has been boosted by the strict capital controls imposed by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The value has also been pushed up by soaring commodity prices that has earned Russia a windfall of over €100bn of payments for oil and gas exported to Europe since the war began. The value has been lowered further by the extreme sanctions imposed by the West on Russia that has seen the volume of imports, predominantly equipment and machinery, cut in half leading to record current account surpluses. Some economists have dubbed the current strong ruble “Dutch Disease on steroids” as the value of the currency is being pushed up by the same commodity export inflows that pushed up the Netherlands guilder when that country began to produce gas.

The government has become concerned by the high level of the ruble and is working to weaken it back to its fair value that economists estimate to be around RUB65-70. However, with the sanctions in place the authorities have fewer tools at their disposal. The so-called budget rule that automatically syphons off excess earnings to the National Welfare Fund (NWF) to sterilise them has been suspended after the West seized some $300bn of CBR reserves. Another alternative is to reduce the inflow of revenues from raw material exports.

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“Total imports from Russia increased 80% year-on-year to almost $10.3 billion.”

Russia Leapfrogs Saudi Arabia As China’s Biggest Oil Supplier (Fortune)

Russia has reclaimed its position as China’s biggest oil supplier, overtaking Saudi Arabia in May as Beijing cashed in on discounted Russian energy. Last month, Chinese imports of Russian oil surged by 55% from a year earlier, according to data from the Chinese government. The increase meant Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia as China’s biggest source market for oil, recovering the top spot after a gap of 19 months. China imported around 8.42 million tons of crude oil from Russia in May, the data showed—the equivalent of 1.98 million barrels per day, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, China’s purchases of Russian liquefied natural gas rose 54% from the previous May. Total imports from Russia increased 80% year-on-year to almost $10.3 billion.

China and Russia have maintained strong political and economic ties since the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, with the country’s two presidents holding a “warm and friendly” phone call last week in which they committed to deepening the relationship between their two countries. Western sanctions on Russian energy in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine have forced Moscow to slash the price of its energy exports as it searches further afield for buyers to plug the gap set to be left by Europe. In May, Reuters reported that the spot price of Russian oil was around $29 less per barrel than it was before the invasion of Ukraine and well below the price of oil from the Middle East, Africa, the U.S. and Europe.

The price of Urals—Russia’s main export blend—averaged $73.24 a barrel between mid-April and mid-May, according to Bloomberg, making it almost a third cheaper than Brent crude futures over the same period. Urals is usually traded at a discount to Brent crude, but the gap between the price of the two products is reported to have widened drastically since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. According to data from Finnish fuel refiner Neste, Urals was priced, on average, at $33.63 less than Brent over the five days to Monday. A year earlier, the price difference was around $1.50, according to Neste.

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“As the locked-down multitudes spent some of their furlough money on scarce imports, prices began to rise.”

Inflation as a Political Power Play Gone Wrong (Varoufakis)

For 50 years, the US economy has sustained the net exports of Europe, Japan, South Korea, then China and other emerging economies, while the lion’s share of those foreigners’ profits rushed to Wall Street in search of higher returns. On the back of this tsunami of capital heading for America, the financiers were building pyramids of private money (such as options and derivatives) to fund the corporations building up a global labyrinth of ports, ships, warehouses, storage yards, and road and rail transport. When the crash of 2008 burned down these pyramids, the whole financialized labyrinth of global just-in-time supply chains was imperiled. To save not just the bankers but also the labyrinth itself, central bankers stepped in to replace the financiers’ pyramids with public money.

Meanwhile, governments were cutting public expenditure, jobs, and services. It was nothing short of lavish socialism for capital and harsh austerity for labor. Wages shrunk, and prices and profits were stagnant, but the price of assets purchased by the rich (and thus their wealth) skyrocketed. Thus, investment (relative to available cash) dropped to an all-time low, capacity shrunk, market power boomed, and capitalists became both richer and more reliant on central-bank money than ever. It was a new power game. The traditional struggle between capital and labor to increase their respective shares of total income through mark-ups and wage increases continued but was no longer the source of most new wealth.

After 2008, universal austerity yielded low investment (money demand), which, combined with plentiful central-bank liquidity (money supply), kept the price of money (interest rates) close to zero. With productive capacity (even new housing) on the wane, good jobs scarce, and wages stagnant, wealth triumphed in equity and real-estate markets, which had decoupled from the real economy. Then came the pandemic, which changed one big thing: Western governments were forced to channel some of the new rivers of central-bank money to the locked-down masses within economies that, over the decades, had depleted their capacity to produce stuff and were now facing busted supply chains to boot. As the locked-down multitudes spent some of their furlough money on scarce imports, prices began to rise.

Corporations with great paper wealth responded by exploiting their immense market power (yielded by their shrunken productive capacity) to push prices through the roof. After two decades of a central-bank-supported bonanza of soaring asset prices and rising corporate debt, a little price inflation was all it took to end the power game that shaped the post-2008 world in the image of a revived ruling class. So, what happens now?

Inflation
https://twitter.com/i/status/1539163807729303552

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“Biden has thoroughly backed up Republican-appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in endorsing a financial crash in hope that it will roll back U.S. wage levels.”

The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages (Michael Hudson)

The Federal Reserve Board’s ostensible policy aim is to manage the money supply and bank credit in a way that maintains price stability. That usually means fighting inflation, which is blamed entirely on “too much employment,” euphemized as “too much money.”[1] In Congress’s more progressive days, the Fed was charged with a second objective: to promote full employment. The problem is that full employment is supposed to be inflationary – and the way to fight inflation is to reduce employment, which is viewed simplistically as being determined by the supply of credit.

So in practice, one of the Fed’s two directives has to give. And hardly by surprise, the “full employment” aim is thrown overboard – if indeed it ever was taken seriously by the Fed’s managers. In the Carter Administration (1777-80) leading up to the great price inflation of 1980, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker expressed his economic philosophy in a note card that he kept in his pocket, to whip out and demonstrate where his priority lay. The card charted the weekly wage of the average U.S. construction worker. Chairman Volcker wanted wages to go down, blaming the inflation on too much employment – meaning too full. He pushed the U.S. bank rate to an unprecedented 20 percent – the highest normal rate since Babylonian times back in the first millennium BC. This did indeed crash the economy, and with it employment and prosperity.

Volcker called this “harsh monetary medicine,” as if the crash of financial markets and economic growth showed that his “cure” for inflation was working. Apart from employment and wage levels, another victim of Volcker’s interest-rate hike was the Democratic Party’s fortunes in the 1980 presidential election. They lost the White House for twelve years. The party thus is taking great courage – or simply being ignorant – by entering on this autumn’s midterm election by emulating Mr. Volcker’s attempt to drive down wage levels by financial tightening, which already has crashed the stock market by 20 percent. President Biden has thoroughly backed up Republican-appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in endorsing a financial crash in hope that it will roll back U.S. wage levels. That is the policy of the Democratic Party’s donor class and hence political constituency.

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“We have to think ahead. And that’s not something the last outfit did very well. That’s something we’ve been doing fairly well. That’s why we need the money. Thank you all very much.”

Biden: We Need More Money for the Second Pandemic (Celente)

President Joe Biden warned Americans Thursday that there is going to be a second pandemic and we need to be ready. Transcript from the White House: “Well, we’ll get through at least this year. We do need more money. But we don’t just need more money for vaccines for children, eventually; we need more money to plan for the second pandemic. There’s going to be another pandemic. We have to think ahead. And that’s not something the last outfit did very well. That’s something we’ve been doing fairly well. That’s why we need the money. Thank you all very much.”


Bloomberg reported last week that researchers believe that there is a 50/50 chance of another pandemic in the next 25 years. The report said that the Biden administration wants $88.2 billion in funding to adjust the pandemic preparedness in the U.S. to focus on a central White House response. “The plan is aimed at avoiding confusion that has plagued the U.S. pandemic response. The government would need to invest tens of billions of dollars to back the ideas in the new plan to strengthen U.S. biodefense, people familiar with the new plan told Bloomberg.” 1 Americans are still getting infected with COVD. About 300 people in the United States are dying from the virus each day and the average number of new infections each day was over 100,000 since the end of May.

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“So buy Italy, sell Germany, and ignore anyone who says sell dollars.”

Be Warned, A Full-blooded European Sovereign Debt Crisis Is Coming (Blain)

Welcome to the age of divergence! A new long-term trend is upon us. Buy Dollars, Sell Europe. Unfortunately, it’s likely to play into Putin’s hands in Ukraine. Hurts to say it, but Europe is going to struggle most with what’s coming next. It’s got limited choices between galloping inflation, economic misery, and political instability. Being Europe, there is a significant risk it’s likely to reap the non-benefits of all three. After the US and UK hiked interest rates this week, the global inflation threat is so pronounced that even the Swiss National Bank surprised markets by joining the central bank tightening trend. The Bank of Japan – well, they have a different view, keeping up QE and zero interest rates, but they have a different demography, and a tumbling yen that doesn’t particularly bother them.

Thus far, central banks are struggling in this crisis. Addressing the massive exogenous inflation shock of the Ukraine war, following the exogenous shock of the pandemic with 50 basis point rate hikes, feels like treating a gaping flesh wound with a kid’s sticky plaster. It isn’t going to stop inflation. The Bank of England is now predicting Q3 inflation of 11% and raising interest rates is a massive problem for markets. Reading through acres of market research, the credibility of central banks is being called into question around the globe. They face a devil or the deep blue sea choice – how to a) preserve jobs and economic stability by avoiding a market crash, or b) slash inflation? And/or is not an option. It’s a thankless task, made more complex by the consequences of the last 13 years of monetary experimentation.

The ECB? It exists in the same economic world as the rest of us. But being a committee of 19 national members makes it somewhat unwieldy. At the best of times, steering an economy with imprecise monetary tools is challenging. For the ECB, it’s a compromise at best. That’s a major reason that 10 years after the last European Sovereign Debt Crisis, absolutely nothing is fixed about the debt-raddled south. [..] A full-blooded European Sovereign Credit Crisis is coming, and perversely it will give us a clear investment winner! I am not for one second suggesting Italy is an attractive investment proposition, but it’s a screaming speculative opportunity! Buy Italy!

That’s because keeping Italy and several other debt-stressed members in the Euro remains the defining policy of the ECB, and thus the European Union. So buy Italy, sell Germany, and ignore anyone who says sell dollars. Why would you? The US may longer be the globally trusted world policeman, but it’s still the global hegemon. There is not a credible dollar replacement. US Treasuries remain the ultimate safe haven, and if folk sell Treasuries, it’s because they need dollars to pay as the benchmark for all commodity and finished goods trade.

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“..what we learn from the profile is that DeSantis is smart, serious, hard-working, focused, honest, and apparently incorruptible..”

The New Yorker Accidentally Makes Ron DeSantis Look Awesome (NR)

The New Yorker set out to do a hit piece on Florida governor Ron DeSantis. But what we learn from the profile is that DeSantis is smart, serious, hard-working, focused, honest, and apparently incorruptible. He ignores media “noise” and does what he thinks is best for Florida based on analysis of data and science. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood, then attended Yale, where he worked several jobs to pay tuition, and Harvard Law School. He served in the military in Iraq. The main thing the New Yorker hates about DeSantis is his effectiveness and hence the implicit threat he poses to Democrats: “Like Trump with a brain.”

Quotes from the piece: “He’d read all the medical literature — all of it, not just the abstracts.” “Ron’s strength as a politician is that he doesn’t give a f**k. . . . Ron’s weakness as a politician is that he doesn’t give a f**k. Big donors? He doesn’t give a s**t. Cancels on them all the time.” “He’s good-looking. . . . His wife is really good-looking. His family is beautiful. They look like they’re from central casting.” “He’s a serious guy. Driven.” “He was stubborn. If he set his mind to something, you couldn’t shake him. He was focussed and motivated. He didn’t get that from me.” [This is Ron DeSantis Sr. speaking. DeSantis’s dad opened the door in a Florida State University T-shirt and proceeded to chat amiably about his son’s baseball prowess.]

“Ron was a voracious worker, and he worked at phenomenal speed. He was a superb writer, especially for his age.” “He’s so f***ing smart and so creative. You couldn’t even plagiarize off his work. He’d take some angle, and everyone knew there was only one person who could have done that.” “He’s just incredibly disciplined.” And summations by the author of the piece, Dexter Filkins: “DeSantis has an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy.” He’s “articulate and fast on his feet.” He’s “dogged and precise.”

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Looks like an election time PR piece.

Can DeSantis Displace Trump as the GOP Combatant-in-Chief? (New Yorker)

One Sunday afternoon in September, 2020, Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist at Stanford University, was at home in Los Altos when he got an unexpected call. It was Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, and he wanted to talk about the coronavirus. In the early months of the pandemic, Bhattacharya had established himself as an outlier among public-health experts. He is one of three scientists who drafted the Great Barrington Declaration, which argued that many governments were doing more harm than good by shutting down economies and schools. The only practical approach, they said, would be to protect the most vulnerable—mainly by isolating the elderly—and allow everyone else to go about their lives until vaccines and herd immunity neutralized the disease. With covid-19 killing hundreds of Americans every day, the signers of the declaration became pariahs in their profession. “I’ve lost friends,” Bhattacharya told me. “I’m lucky to have tenure.”

DeSantis, young and aggressively confident, was similarly convinced that he could find a better way to handle the virus. Talking with him, Bhattacharya was surprised by his command of the research. “He’d read all the medical literature—all of it, not just the abstracts,” he told me. The science, though, remained unclear—Did the virus linger on surfaces? Did it travel in droplets or in a fog?—and many politicians found that the most appealing solutions were the ones that fit their ideology. For DeSantis, who espouses a libertarian vision of small government and personal freedom, the ideas in the Great Barrington Declaration resonated. In his view, the government, apart from protecting the elderly and making treatments available, should do almost nothing.

Initially, as the virus began spreading in Florida, DeSantis had ordered a statewide lockdown, in accordance with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recommendations. Three weeks later, he changed his mind. “We will never do any of these lockdowns again,” he said. After talking to Bhattacharya, he lifted nearly all remaining restrictions—on schools, government buildings, stores, restaurants, and other private businesses—and halted the enforcement of mask mandates. As the death toll mounted, he was mocked by critics as “DeathSantis” and denounced by the mainstream press. “Any public distrust of this administration has been well-earned,” the Miami Herald editorial board wrote. “We can’t trust the governor with our lives.” A former political adviser with knowledge of the covid response told me that DeSantis was unfazed: “We were getting crucified, but to him it was just noise.” DeSantis revels in defying what he sees as a corrupt and self-satisfied liberal establishment.

Those who work closely with him say that he is unique among elected officials in his disregard for public opinion and the press. “Ron’s strength as a politician is that he doesn’t give a fuck,” a Republican consultant who knows him told me. “Ron’s weakness as a politician is that he doesn’t give a fuck. Big donors? He doesn’t give a shit. Cancels on them all the time.”

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FDR=peace. Truman=war.

How Did America Become Ruled By Its Military-Industrial Complex? (Zuesse)

A document dated 21 January 1946 from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and titled “STATEMENT OF EFFECT OF ATOMIC WEAPONS ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND MILITARY ORGANIZATION”, opened with a “Memorandum by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army,” which itself opened:

“Upon reading the Joint Strategic Survey Committee’s statement on the above subject (J.C.S. 1477/5), I obtained a somewhat unfavorable over-all impression. While most of the specific statements made seem reasonable, the over-all tone seems to depreciate the importance of of the development of atomic weapons and to insist unnecessarily strongly that the conventional armed services will not be eliminated. While I agree entirely, so far as the immediate future is concerned, with the latter concept, I have not felt that there is strong public demand at the present that the services be in fact eliminated. The general tone of the statement might therefore be misconstrued by Congress and the public, and be looked upon as an indication of reactionism on the part of the military and an unwillingness under any circumstances to reduce the size of the military establishment.”

That was at a time when the widespread American assumption was that there would continue to be no standing army in this country. Within less than two years of FDR’s death on 12 April 1945, such a permanent-war U.S. Government became officially created. FDR’s plan for a U.N. that would internationally outlaw all empires became replaced by Truman’s plan for an America that would itself become what Hitler, himself, had only aspired to create: the world’s very first all-encompassing global empire. Truman’s dream is today’s American dream, in today’s Washington DC; and here was how the Nobel Peace-Prize-winning U.S. President, Barack Obama (the other of history’s slickest liars), stated it to graduating West Point cadets, on 28 May 2014:

“The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world. ” It’s endlessly onward and upward, for the U.S. All other nations are “dispensable.” And that objective is backed-up now, by half of the world’s military expenditures. This is how it happened. It happened by deceit, at every step of the way.

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Britain is rotting on all sides simultaneously.

British ‘Watchdog’ Journalists Unmasked As Security State Lapdogs (Cook)

Events of the past few days suggest British journalism – the so-called Fourth Estate – is not what it purports to be: a watchdog monitoring the centers of state power. It is quite the opposite. The pretensions of the establishment media took a severe battering this month as the defamation trial of Guardian columnist Carole Cadwalladr reached its conclusion and the hacked emails of Paul Mason, a long-time stalwart of the BBC, Channel 4 and the Guardian, were published online. Both of these celebrated journalists have found themselves outed as recruits – in their differing ways – to a covert information war being waged by Western intelligence agencies.

Had they been honest about it, that collusion might not matter so much. After all, few journalists are as neutral or as dispassionate as the profession likes to pretend. But as have many of their colleagues, Cadwalladr and Mason have broken what should be a core principle of journalism: transparency. The role of serious journalists is to bring matters of import into the public space for debate and scrutiny. Journalists thinking critically aspire to hold those who wield power – primarily state agencies – to account on the principle that, without scrutiny, power quickly corrupts. The purpose of real journalism – as opposed to the gossip, entertainment and national-security stenography that usually passes for journalism – is to hit up, not down.

And yet, each of these journalists, we now know, was actively colluding, or seeking to collude, with state actors who prefer to operate in the shadows, out of sight. Both journalists were coopted to advance the aims of the intelligence services. And worse, each of them either sought to become a conduit for, or actively assist in, covert smear campaigns run by Western intelligence services against other journalists. What they were doing – along with so many other establishment journalists – is the very antithesis of journalism. They were helping to conceal the operation of power to make it harder to scrutinize. And not only that. In the process, they were trying to weaken already marginalized journalists fighting to hold state power to account.

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Both the Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit come out against Bayer.

Court Orders EPA to Reassess Glyphosate Risk to Human Health, Environment (CHD)

In a historic victory for farmworkers and the environment on June 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and its represented farmworker and conservation clients by overturning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision that the toxic pesticide glyphosate is safe for humans and imperiled wildlife. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto-Bayer’s flagship Roundup weedkiller, the most widely used pesticide in the world. The 54-page opinion held the Trump administration’s 2020 interim registration of glyphosate to be unlawful because “EPA did not adequately consider whether glyphosate causes cancer and shirked its duties under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).”

Represented by the Center for Food Safety, the petitioners in the lawsuit included the Rural Coalition, Farmworker Association of Florida, Organización en California de Lideres Campesinas and Beyond Pesticides. A consolidated case is led by Natural Resources Defense Council and includes Pesticide Action Network. “Today’s decision gives voice to those who suffer from glyphosate’s cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said Amy van Saun, senior attorney with the Center for Food Safety and lead counsel in the case. “EPA’s ‘no cancer’ risk conclusion did not stand up to scrutiny. Today is a major victory for farmworkers and others exposed to glyphosate. Imperiled wildlife also won today, as the court agreed that EPA needed to ensure the safety of endangered species before greenlighting glyphosate.”

[..] As to its cancer conclusion, the court concluded that EPA flouted its own Cancer Guidelines and ignored the criticisms of its own experts. EPA’s “not likely to cause cancer” conclusion was inconsistent with the evidence before it, in the form of both epidemiological studies (real-world cancer cases) and lab animal studies. In addition to its lack of conclusion as to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk (the cancer most tied to glyphosate), the court also concluded that EPA’s general “no cancer” decision was divorced from its own guidelines and experts when EPA selectively discounted evidence that glyphosate causes tumors in animals.

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1000s of lawsuits. $15 billion set aside. Let’s make sure it’s not enough.

US Supreme Court Denies Bayer Bid To Block Roundup Lawsuits (AFP)

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a bid from Bayer-owned Monsanto that aimed to challenge thousands of lawsuits claiming its weedkiller Roundup causes cancer, a potentially costly ruling. The high court did not explain its decision, which left intact a $25 million ruling in favor of a California man who alleged he developed cancer after using the chemical for years. The decision marks a major blow to the German conglomerate’s legal fight against Roundup-related cases, and Bayer has set aside more than $15 billion to deal with a wave of US lawsuits linked to the weedkiller.


“Bayer respectfully disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision,” the company said in a statement. Bayer has been plagued by problems since it bought Monsanto, which owns Roundup, in 2018 for $63 billion and inherited its legal woes. The German firm says it has not committed any wrongdoing, and maintains that scientific studies and regulatory approvals show Roundup’s main ingredient glyphosate is safe. Glyphosate is nonetheless classified as a “probable carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer at the World Health Organization (WHO).

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May 252022
 


Vincent van Gogh Pietà (after Delacroix) 1889

 

America’s Ukraine Policy Is On A Collision Course With Reality (Moloney)
The Secret American Plan to Make Russia Great Again (Orlov)
Ukraine Official Blasts Kissinger Over Comment on Ceding Territory (Celente)
NATO vs Russia: What Happens Next (Escobar)
No Way Out but War (Chris Hedges)
Finland, Sweden Send Teams To Turkey After Erdogan’s ‘Don’t Even Bother’ (ZH)
Comey’s FBI Lied To Its Own Agents In Russia Hoax Cover-Up (Jarrett)
‘Fired Up’ FBI Leadership Pushed Trump Probe Despite Flimsy Evidence (JTN)
Individual Carbon Footprint Tracker (CTH)
Bill Gates Poured Millions into Dark Money Fund Attacking Elon Musk (BB)
One Billion People At Risk Of Power Blackouts As Global Grids Stretched
Biden Underwater On Almost All Issues Except Handling Of Covid (Hill)
Bayer Deploys Big Ag Buddies to Push Biden on Roundup Cancer Lawsuit (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Ricky Gervais is an absolute treasure
https://twitter.com/i/status/1529025826712391681

 

 

“..the holes in the upbeat Ukraine narrative have reached a point where the mainstream media no longer can credibly deny them..”

America’s Ukraine Policy Is On A Collision Course With Reality (Moloney)

If we accept the mainstream media narrative about Russia’s war in Ukraine, we are witnessing the emergence of the Biden administration’s greatest triumph to date. Under this roseate scenario, the Ukrainians are doing wonderfully well in their fight against Russia; the Russian troops are failing badly almost everywhere; NATO is enjoying a renaissance of unity not seen since the Cold War; and President Biden is being lauded globally for bold leadership and for proving once again that the United States is the world’s indispensable nation. Perhaps best of all is the narrative that Biden is delivering his long-promised bipartisan unity among Americans, as large numbers of Republicans sign onto his requests for more money and more weapons for Ukraine.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are among the luminaries who paraded to Kyiv for coveted photo-ops with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In stark contrast to these upbeat perspectives about the war, however, a far less pleasant reality is forcing its way to the forefront of American consciousness: The U.S. economy is reeling through a historic crisis in the direction of an almost certain recession, with inflation far outpacing wage gains; income inequality soaring, as elites continue to prosper and the working class is crushed by the cost of living; frightening levels of violent crime plague large cities; and unprecedented numbers of illegal migrants are surging across America’s southern border.

In light of these less palatable realities, it cannot be surprising Biden’s approval rating and that of his Democratic Party are plummeting to new depths — including among bedrock elements of the Democratic coalition such as Hispanics, Black voters and, perhaps, educated suburban women. Traditional liberals such as Democratic strategist James Carville clearly see the looming electoral disaster of this fall’s midterms, but it’s being ignored by Pelosi and the party’s progressive wing, which continues to influence Biden’s policy initiatives. The disconnect between these two realities has become evident as new complications arise in Ukraine and America’s domestic disorders worsen. In particular, the holes in the upbeat Ukraine narrative have reached a point where the mainstream media no longer can credibly deny them, as John Walsh described in a recent Asia Times article, “NY Times shifts pro-war narrative.” Walsh draws attention to two items appearing recently in the Times: a front-page story about Russia seizing much of the East, and an opinion piece entitled, “America and Its Allies Want to Bleed Russia. They Really Shouldn’t.”

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“After the Soviet collapse, very little was needed to speed along the collapse of Russia itself. But none of these steps have been taken, and the steps that were taken (with the ostensible goal of weakening and destroying Russia) have done the exact opposite.”

The Secret American Plan to Make Russia Great Again (Orlov)

It is generally a good idea to avoid ascribing nefarious intent to actions explained by mere stupidity. But this is a case where mere stupidity cannot possibly explain the long, steady procession of foreign policy errors spanning three decades, all of them specifically aimed at strengthening Russia. It is not possible to argue that a surplus of hubris, ignorance, greed and political opportunism and a deficit of competent foreign policy analysts can produce such a result, for that would be essentially the same as arguing that some monkeys armed with drills, mills and lathes can produce a Swiss watch. But the only alternative would be to claim that there is a network of Kremlin’s agents ensconced deep within the bowels of the American Deep State and that they are all working in concert to advance Russia’s interests while meticulously maintaining plausible deniability all the while and at all levels of the operation.

Ostensibly, the plan was to weaken and destroy Russia; but then, following the Soviet collapse, Russia was weakening and destroying itself very well all by itself, no intervention needed. What’s more, every US effort to weaken and destroy Russia has made it stronger; had there existed even a most rudimentary feedback mechanism, so vast a discrepancy between policy goals and policy results would have been detected and adjustments would have been made. Superficially, this may be explained by the nature of America’s sham-democracy, where each administration can blame its failures on mistakes made by the previous administration, but the Deep State remains in power throughout, and it would simply be forced to admit to itself that there is a problem with the plan to weaken and destroy Russia after a few cycles of this unfolding fiasco. The fact that it hasn’t detected any such problem brings us full circle, back to the suspicion that there are Putin’s agents toiling tirelessly deep within the Deep State.

But that’s pure conspiracy theory and we shouldn’t want to go anywhere near that. Suffice to say, there is at present no adequate explanation for what happened. After the Soviet collapse, very little was needed to speed along the collapse of Russia itself. But none of these steps have been taken, and the steps that were taken (with the ostensible goal of weakening and destroying Russia) have done the exact opposite. Why? Below are listed 10 of the most successful initiatives of what appear to be a US Deep State MRGA campaign. If you have an alternative explanation, I’d like to hear it. b

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Turns 99 on Friday. Terrible legacy. But today’s crop are far worse.

Ukraine Official Blasts Kissinger Over Comment on Ceding Territory (Celente)

Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, said Monday what The Trends Journal has been advocating since the start of the Ukraine War: President Volodymyr Zelensky should negotiate for a peaceful resolution and prevent thousands more from dying needlessly. “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome,” Kissinger told the World Economic Forum in Davos. “Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante.” The 98-year-old said pursuing the war “beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself.” He said Ukraine should be willing to cede territory in the peace process. Ukraine has said it will not stop fighting until Russia retreats from the country.

Kissinger saw some success during his time as the U.S.’s top diplomat with the Soviet Union and played a role in arms control treaties like the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. He told the audience in Davos that it would be “fatal” for Western countries to disregard Russia’s position of power within Europe. “I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom,” Kissinger said. Kissinger’s comments were mocked on social media by “journalists” who -two months ago- didn’t know the difference between Kyiv and a quiche. One even suggested that he should die. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky, was critical of Kissinger’s remarks and said he would as easily “allow to take Poland or Lithuania away,” Newsweek reported.

[..] Kissinger’s comments follow nonagenarian Noam Chomsky’s earlier statements about the dangers of a prolonged conflict in Ukraine. Chomsky, correctly, stated earlier this month that Ukrainian leadership’s cry for more heavy weapons is actually the Western “propaganda system.” Chomsky was criticized after saying in an interview that former President Donald Trump is the “one Western statesman of stature” who laid out a “sensible” solution for Ukraine. He said Trump spoke about facilitating negotiations instead of “undermining them and moving towards establishing some kind of accommodation in Europe in which there are no military alliances and mutual accommodation.”

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“Herr Schwab stressed that an actor impersonating a president defending neo-Nazis is supported by “all of Europe and the international order.”

NATO vs Russia: What Happens Next (Escobar)

Three months after the start of Russia’s Operation Z in Ukraine, the battle of The West (12 percent) against The Rest (88 percent) keeps metastasizing. Yet the narrative – oddly – remains the same. On Monday, from Davos, World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab introduced Ukrainian comedian-cum-President Volodymyr Zelensky, on the latest leg of his weapons-solicitation-tour, with a glowing tribute. Herr Schwab stressed that an actor impersonating a president defending neo-Nazis is supported by “all of Europe and the international order.” He means, of course, everyone except the 88 percent of the planet that subscribes to the Rule of Law – instead of the faux construct the west calls a ‘rules-based international order.’

Back in the real world, Russia, slowly but surely has been rewriting the Art of Hybrid War. Yet within the carnival of NATO psyops, aggressive cognitive infiltration, and stunning media sycophancy, much is being made of the new $40 billion US ‘aid’ package to Ukraine, deemed capable of becoming a game-changer in the war. This ‘game-changing’ narrative comes courtesy of the same people who burned though trillions of dollars to secure Afghanistan and Iraq. And we saw how that went down. Ukraine is the Holy Grail of international corruption. That $40 billion can be a game-changer for only two classes of people: First, the US military-industrial complex, and second, a bunch of Ukrainian oligarchs and neo-connish NGOs, that will corner the black market for weapons and humanitarian aid, and then launder the profits in the Cayman Islands.

A quick breakdown of the $40 billion reveals $8.7 billion will go to replenish the US weapons stockpile (thus not going to Ukraine at all); $3.9 billion for USEUCOM (the ‘office’ that dictates military tactics to Kiev); $5 billion for a fuzzy, unspecified “global food supply chain”; $6 billion for actual weapons and “training” to Ukraine; $9 billion in “economic assistance” (which will disappear into selected pockets); and $0.9 billion for refugees. US risk agencies have downgraded Kiev to the dumpster of non-reimbursing-loan entities, so large American investment funds are ditching Ukraine, leaving the European Union (EU) and its member-states as the country’s only option.

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“It will signal the death of Pax Americana.”

No Way Out but War (Chris Hedges)

The United States, as the near unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable Covid relief program. No respite from 8.3 percent inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses.

No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon. The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the US GDP of $ 24 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $ 813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.

We are paying a heavy social, political, and economic cost for our militarism. Washington watches passively as the U.S. rots, morally, politically, economically, and physically, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, and other countries extract themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network banks and other financial institutions use to send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions. Once the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, once there is an alternative to SWIFT, it will precipitate an internal economic collapse. It will force the immediate contraction of the U.S. empire shuttering most of its nearly 800 overseas military installations. It will signal the death of Pax Americana.

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Arms embargo.

Finland, Sweden Send Teams To Turkey After Erdogan’s ‘Don’t Even Bother’ (ZH)

Finland and Sweden on Tuesday confirmed they are sending delegations to Ankara in hopes of resolving issues surrounding Turkey’s publicly voiced vehement opposition to the two countries’ bids to join NATO. They formally submitted their applications in a ceremony attended by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg last week, which Turkey immediately sought to block. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said the delegations will begin meetings with Turkish counterparts on Wednesday, even after days ago President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Finnish and Swedish diplomatic teams “shouldn’t bother coming” if they aren’t prepared to halt support for PKK terrorists.

Speaking during a panel discussion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Haavisto acknowledged, “We understand that Turkey has some of their own security concerns vis-a-vis terrorism.” He added: “We think that these issues can be settled. There might be also some issues that are not linked directly to Finland and Sweden but more to other NATO members.” US Secretary Antony Blinken and the Biden administration say they’re “confident” the issues will be smoothed over, despite Ankara officials still showing no sign of stopping the denunciations. Turkey has also demanded that Sweden extradite “terrorists” being hosted in its midst, along with the Nordic countries immediately lifting an EU arms embargo which took effect in 2019 in response to the Turkish military’s anti-Kurdish operations in northern Syria.

According to the latest statements from Turkey’s foreign ministry, Ankara is waiting on both countries to take concrete steps. “Sweden, which has applied for membership, is expected to take principled steps and provide concrete assurances regarding Turkey’s security concerns,” a statement said. “Since 2017, our country has requested the extradition of PKK/PYD and FETO terrorists from Sweden but has yet to receive a positive response,” it added in reference referring to Syria’s main Kurdish party PYD and the Gulenist group FETO.

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“Testimony has shown that the FBI opened its probe of Trump because Hillary’s lawyer warned the Bureau that the media was about to report on it.”

Yeah, because “Hillary’s lawyer” fed them the story. That’s how it becomes a story. And then a probe.

Comey’s FBI Lied To Its Own Agents In Russia Hoax Cover-Up (Jarrett)

As if the FBI’s gross misconduct couldn’t get any worse, we learned Monday in court that top bureau officials actively concealed from their own field agents that it was Hillary’s lawyer, defendant Michael Sussmann, who was peddling phony Trump-Russia collusion claims to the FBI. Instead of telling their agents the truth of the information source, FBI brass lied by wrongly attributed it as coming from the “Department of Justice,” thus giving it the imprimatur of greater credibility than it deserved. As Monday’s testimony showed, had agents been told that Hillary’s campaign lawyer was behind it they would have recognized it for what it was –a politically motivated smear and immediately discounted it as a lie.

Monday’s testimony also revealed that the FBI eventually concluded as early as January of 2017 –just as the new president was about to take office– that the so-called “Alfa-Bank secret back-channel communication” between Trump and the Kremlin was a hoax. Yet, Comey hid that critical information from Trump, congress, and the American people. As a consequence, the media kept up its false reporting in the same way it continued to flog the fabricated “dossier.” Comey and others at the FBI like Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok knew that “dossier” funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign was a collection of exaggerations and made-up stories that originated from her own people. Comey could have told the truth and refuted all of the false media stories, but he didn’t. He and his acolytes exploited it as a pretense to escalate their investigation of Trump to drive him from office.

It’s not surprising that CBS, NBC, ABC, and MSNBC have refused to report any of the stunning revelations in the Sussmann trial. They are shameless cowards. They spent the better part of three years obsessed with the collusion story with their non-stop coverage portraying Trump as a Russian asset. They were reckless and wrong. But now, they don’t want to draw attention to just how wrong they were by reporting on the trial. The Washington Post is worse. On Monday, the newspaper published a “news analysis” with the title, “Again: There’s no evidence Hillary Clinton triggered the Russia probe.” Like much of the Post’s reporting, it is completely untrue. Declassified CIA documents show that Hillary invented the hoax by approving a plan on July 26, 2016 to frame Trump. She also gave her personal approval to leak it to the media, according to her own campaign manager’s testimony in court on Friday. Testimony has shown that the FBI opened its probe of Trump because Hillary’s lawyer warned the Bureau that the media was about to report on it.

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“..not opening an investigation was not an option..”

‘Fired Up’ FBI Leadership Pushed Trump Probe Despite Flimsy Evidence (JTN)

In explosive testimony Tuesday in the Michael Sussmann trial, an FBI agent said “fired up” senior FBI leadership insisted on continuing the investigation into now-debunked allegations of a secret Trump back channel to Moscow via a Russian bank despite learning the story was unsubstantiated. FBI agent Curtis Heide was the co-case agent on the investigation into the allegation that there was a secret communications channel between the Trump Organization and Kremlin-linked Alfa Bank. He testified on Tuesday in the Sussmann trial that the bureau’s top brass pushed for the investigation.

Heide was told in an instant message from FBI Agent Joe Pientka, who was the supervisor leading the Crossfire Hurricane investigation regarding Trump-Russia collusion allegations, that senior leadership was “fired up” about the Alfa Bank and Trump Organization email servers and not opening an investigation was not an option. He received this message two days after Sussmann met with then-FBI General Counsel James Baker to give him the underlying, allegedly pretextual data. Sussmann, a 2016 Clinton campaign lawyer, is on trial for allegedly lying to the FBI in his September 2016 meeting with Baker by saying he was not representing any clients in sharing information purportedly substantiating a Trump Organization back channel to the Kremlin through Alfa Bank.

Special Counsel John Durham has provided evidence that Sussmann was representing clients at the meeting — both the Clinton campaign and then-Neustar tech firm executive Rodney Joffe. Heide testified that he concluded the allegation was unsubstantiated based on the analysis by the FBI cyber division, review of the internet data logs, cybersecurity company Mandiant’s independent assessment corroborating the FBI’s findings, discussions with Spectrum Health about a TOR (The Onion Router) exit node, and his own training regarding previous Russian cyber investigations. By Sept. 26, 2016, Heide believed the allegation was a bunk report. In an Oct. 3 email, he asked to interview the anonymous source who relayed the allegation because he believed the investigation was reaching a logical endpoint as the claims appeared unfounded.

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“The 5G telecommunications network is designed to use geolocation and behavioral tracking that will connect your digital identity to your individual behavior and facilitate the carbon footprint tracing process..”

Individual Carbon Footprint Tracker (CTH)

It is important to remember the ultimate goal of the ‘climate change’ promotors (World Economic Forum) is not an energy system that changes the global climate. The goal of the ‘climate change’ group is to create a carbon trading system; a new financial mechanism (a global tax program) to control human activity on a world-wide basis. This system also needs a digital identity in order to work {hint-hint}. You cannot tax, or trade, things you cannot track. As a result, there was always going to be a need for an individual tracking and monitoring system that would connect to the global digital identity and determine the carbon footprint. The carbon taxing and trading system will be more financially lucrative than any stock exchange or monetary banking system. It is the ultimate human control mechanism, and the preferred way to redistribute wealth under the guise of global equity.


Of course, the system will beta test as a consumer demand product until the government steps in to take over the allocation and distribution equity part. In this video segment, Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans boasts at the 2022 World Economic Forum about the development of an “individual carbon footprint tracker” to monitor what you buy, what you eat, and where/how you travel.

The individual carbon tracker is the baseline for a global carbon trading system that involves everyone; at least, everyone connected to the outlook of western government. Carbon allocation creates the financial metric that replaces currency. You buy and sell carbon credits allowing you to engage in specific functions within society, like dining, traveling, home ownership and type, vehicle or transportation type, even the clothes you can purchase. Hence, “carbon trading” is the term most people are familiar with. In essence, you are a parasite to earth; therefore, you must offset your derogatory footprint on the planet by paying a fee to exist. If you cannot pay for the carbon credits needed to engage in the transaction (travel, home ownership, cooling, heating, etc.) you cannot engage in the regulated activity.


The carbon exchange process is at the end of the slippery slope created by a digital identity. The 5G telecommunications network is designed to use geolocation and behavioral tracking that will connect your digital identity to your individual behavior and facilitate the carbon footprint tracing process. We are already passed the “if” stage.

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“..a shape-shifting nonprofit group that uses aliases to push an array of left-wing causes from a shell office in Washington, D.C.”

Bill Gates Poured Millions into Dark Money Fund Attacking Elon Musk (BB)

Research exclusively shared with Breitbart News identifies hundreds of millions of dollars flowing from Bill Gates’ foundation to 11 of the 26 organizations that signed an open letter last month urging Twitter advertisers to boycott the company if Elon Musk restores free speech on the platform. Breitbart News’ report, based on research and analysis from the newly-formed Foundation for Freedom Online (FFO), analyzed public filings to trace hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions from the letter signatories back to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In total, 11 of the 26 anti-Musk organizations received funding from a Gates-backed entity.

[..] The open letter’s connection to the billionaire Microsoft founder is significant, as Gates is in the middle of a public feud with free speech advocate Musk. Last month, Gates revealed his $500 million short position against Musk-owned Tesla, prompting Musk to call Gates a “b*ner” killer alongside a meme of Gates as a pregnant man emoji. Gates is also an outspoken censorship proponent, frequently calling on tech companies to do more to stop “health misinformation” spreading online. Musk threatens to reverse Gates’ strongly desired censorship policies — and now faces the wrath of Gates-funded NGOs. Recently, Musk asked his 94 million Twitter followers to uncover the funding behind the 26 NGOs who signed an intimidation letter threatening to destroy the company’s advertising revenue if Musk reversed its censorship policies.

Musk followed up his request by highlighting one particular shadowy group, Accountable Tech, musing: “I wonder who funds them”. His curiosity was prompted by a Washington Free Beacon investigation into Accountable Tech, which sought to get to the bottom of the nonprofit’s financial sponsorship. The Free Beacon visited Accountable Tech’s corporate office in Washington and concluded the organization doesn’t “actually exist.” Rather, “Accountable Tech” was merely a “registered trade [name] for the North Fund, a shape-shifting nonprofit group that uses aliases to push an array of left-wing causes from a shell office in Washington, D.C.”

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A crisis created for the good of mankind.

One Billion People At Risk Of Power Blackouts As Global Grids Stretched

This summer, power grids worldwide won’t produce enough electricity to meet the soaring demand, threatening more than one billion people with rolling blackouts. Grids are stretched thin by fossil fuel shortages, drought and heatwaves, commodity disruptions and soaring prices due to the war in Ukraine, and the failed green energy transition where grid operators retired too many fossil fuel generation plants. Combine this all together, and a perfect storm of blackouts threatens much of the Northern Hemisphere. The power crisis, affecting a large swath of the world and top economies, could be less than a month away when summer begins on June 21. Regions that concerned Bloomberg are Asia, Europe, and the US, where there’s not enough power to go around when cooling demand is set to surge as households crank up their air conditions to escape the sweltering heat.

“Asia’s heatwave has caused hours-long daily blackouts, putting more than 1 billion people at risk across Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India, with little relief in sight. Six Texas power plants failed earlier this month as the summer heat just began to arrive, offering a preview of what’s to come. At least a dozen US states from California to the Great Lakes are at risk of electricity outages this summer. Power supplies will be tight in China and Japan. South Africa is poised for a record year of power cuts. And Europe is in a precarious position that’s held up by Russia — if Moscow cuts off natural gas to the region, that could trigger rolling outages in some countries.” –Bloomberg

BloombergNEF analyst Shantanu Jaiswal says the combination of “war and sanctions” disrupting commodity markets, “extreme weather,” and “an economic rebound from COVID boosting power demand” is a “unique” situation that he “can’t recall” the last time a “confluence of so many factors” happened together. As we noted in the beginning, it’s a perfect storm of factors.

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Ha ha ha!

Biden Underwater On Almost All Issues Except Handling Of Covid (Hill)

President Biden’s approval rating continues to be underwater on virtually every issue, with the exception being on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey from Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll. Biden’s overall approval rating sits at 41 percent in the survey, and the numbers are not much better when broken down by each issue. Only 35 percent of registered voters approve of Biden’s handling of the economy, 44 percent approve of his efforts to stimulate job growth and just 33 percent approve of his handling of inflation. Thirty-eight percent of respondents say they support his handling of immigration, and his approval rating on foreign affairs sits at 40 percent.


However, 52 percent of registered voters said they approve of his handling of COVID-19, the lone bright spot in the survey for the White House. Yet overall, his sagging approval ratings portend a political atmosphere this midterm cycle that will heavily favor Republicans — and warn that a 2024 reelection bid could be a slog. “Biden continues to struggle with the job and is particularly being slammed by the voters over inflation and immigration. No president has been reelected with numbers like these on job performance,” said pollster Mark Penn.

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Monsanto has real power.

Bayer Deploys Big Ag Buddies to Push Biden on Roundup Cancer Lawsuit (CHD)

Two weeks after a top Justice Department official advised the U.S. Supreme Court there was “no sound reason” for the high court to review a loss by Monsanto owner Bayer AG in nationwide Roundup cancer litigation, a coalition of large agricultural groups is demanding that President Joe Biden withdraw the opinion. Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, has looked to the high court as its last, and best, hope for putting an end to the ongoing litigation. Bayer has asked the justices to take up the case, which centers on allegations that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

But Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar advised the court in a May 10 brief that Bayer’s arguments for seeking Supreme Court review were “misconceived,” and said there was no valid dispute for the high court to consider. The agricultural groups responded Monday with a blistering letter to Biden, alleging Prelogar’s brief established a “new policy” that “poses great risks to our science-based regulatory system and global food systems.” The letter urges Biden to withdraw Prelogar’s brief and “consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the implications of this decision for food production, environmental sustainability, and science-based regulation.”

[..] Bayer filed its petition to the high court in August, asking the justices to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s May 14, 2021, decision that affirmed a district court’s judgment in Monsanto’s 2019 trial loss to plaintiff Edwin Hardeman. The jury, in that case, agreed with Hardeman’s attorneys that exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide was a cause of Hardeman’s NHL and that Monsanto failed to warn of its product’s health risks, despite decades of science showing links between the herbicide and cancer. Hardeman was awarded approximately $80 million by the jury, though the award was cut by the trial court judge to roughly $25.2 million.

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Apr 192022
 


Jean Metzinger The blue bird 1912-13

 

Thralldom and Its Uses (Jim Kunstler)
The Great Acquiescence — Glory to Ukraine (Patrick Lawrence)
The Importance of Ignorance in Info Wars (Lauria)
Ukraine and the Profits of War (TomD)
American Commissars (Chris Hedges)
Lockdown-Heavy States Had Some of the Worst Health Results (McMaken)
Second Global Covid-19 Summit Scheduled For May 12 (R.)
Hunter Biden’s China Business Deals Should Raise ‘Alarm Bells’ (ET)
Jack Dorsey Lashes Out At Twitter Board As Elon Musk Tries To Buy Company (DW)
Macron Should Prepare For A Brutal Shock After Latest Polls (Exp.)
EU’s 18 Year Old Embezzlement Charges to Derail Le Pen Presidential Bid (SN)
From Rachel Carson to Monsanto: The Silence of Spring (OffG)

 

 

Gonzalo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1515975497397661699

 

 

 

 

Maersheimer

 

 

Azov

 

 

 

 

“Collectively going crazy has been a luxury we can’t afford anymore.”

Thralldom and Its Uses (Jim Kunstler)

America has had enough of being in thrall, especially to figures and forces dedicated to our destruction. This spring is the beginning of a national life with less stuff, including, looks like, stuff to eat. That will sure enough put folks in touch with something real, and then they will naturally have to do something about it. Centralized control of the population via trackable digital money is the last thing that will avail in the face of hunger and desperation. In fact, that is just another set of empty wishes and promises. The reality is that centralized government, such as the one in Washington DC, is less and less in control of anything — except the manufactured pretense that it can fix the problems of less stuff and decaying money.

The federal government is increasingly impotent, unable to discharge its basic obligations to preserve public order and safety. Its previous attempt to fix something was the response to Covid-19, which has culminated in the fiasco of the mRNA vaccines, now pending and tending toward an astounding wave of early deaths among those in thrall to the transparently dishonest promises of officialdom (“safe and effective”). That’s the trouble with thrall. It narrows the field-of-vision so badly, you can’t see what’s coming at you indirectly, like: hardship and death. The country has been in serious trouble for more than a decade. Cavalcades of bad choices — and then lying to ourselves about these bad choices — has shoved us well over the edge of our cherished expectations. One way out, then, is to simply refuse to remain in thrall to officialdom and the manufactured bullshit that is its only product.

We are lately in thrall to the melodrama in Ukraine, largely engineered by figures and forces in our own government and for their own ends, which look suspiciously at odds with the nation’s actual interests (the nation being us, its people). Perhaps this illustrates the widening gulf between the slouching beast government has become and the people trying to operate their lives and destinies under it. No food for you, no fertilizers for future food for you, no spare parts for you, no free speech for you, no social or economic role for you, no health for you, and (watch it, now!) soon no life for you. Collectively going crazy has been a luxury we can’t afford anymore. You fell for RussiaGate and it kept you in thrall for years. You fell for the Adam Schiff orchestrated Ukraine phone call impeachment gambit. You fell for the Covid scare and the dangerously defective vaccines forced on you. You fell for the fraud-drenched election of the empty vessel known as “Joe Biden.” Don’t fall for the invitation to World War Three.

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“Whoever wins the war in Ukraine, the non–West will win. Whoever wins, the 21st century will win, burying the mostly awful 20th at last. As for Americans, we have already lost.”

The Great Acquiescence — Glory to Ukraine (Patrick Lawrence)

Since the Russiagate farrago overcame liberal America in 2016, there has been much debate as to whether our McCarthyesque circumstances are as bad as, similar to, or not as bad as things got during the Cold War decades. This no longer seems to me the useful question. In various important ways we have passed beyond even the worst of the Cold War’s many dreadful features. Our better reference is Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, wherein the English novelist pictured a society of incubated beings — programmed from birth, hooked on a happiness-inducing drug called soma, devoid of everything we now consider human, wholly incapable of connection, of responsibility, and, indeed, desiring neither.

Infantile gratification is all that matters to those populating the World State Huxley imagined — such as anything matters. We are not there yet, let’s not exaggerate. But we ought to honor Huxley for his prescience, for we are heading in the direction of his unlivable world of mind-deprived children watched over by a small, chosen, diabolic elite. I am not surprised that it is Ukraine that brings us to what I consider a collective psychological crisis. After 30 years of post–Cold War triumphalism, Washington has decided to use Ukraine and its people in a go-for-broke attempt finally to subvert Russia. Stepping back for a better look, this is the decisive event in the imperium’s confrontation with the 21st century — its grand roll of the dice, its now-or-never moment.

Broke it will be when all this is over, however far in the future that will prove. A little like Cú Chulainn, the Irish hero who drowned swinging his sword in a rage against the incoming tide, we cannot win this one. And we are falling apart as the realization of our loss arrives subliminally among us. Whoever wins the war in Ukraine, the non–West will win. Whoever wins, the 21st century will win, burying the mostly awful 20th at last. As for Americans, we have already lost.

Putin on Ukraine

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“..the Soviet Union destroyed 80 percent of the Wehrmacht in WWII..”

“They do not know what a revival of Nazism means to the Russian people or even that there is a revival of Nazism in Ukraine..”

The Importance of Ignorance in Info Wars (Lauria)

There is fertile ground to wage information warfare in the U.S. on Ukraine. In all of America’s wars, ignorance of foreign affairs plays a big role. Americans’ lack of knowledge of other countries is compounded by the fact that the U.S. has never been invaded, except briefly by the British in 1812, and that the U.S. itself began as an invasion by Europeans in which they wiped out the indigenous population, and then later invaded Mexico and then Spanish possessions and frankly, have never stopped invading other nations. The lack of knowledge of this history makes Americans vulnerable to propaganda cloaking American expansionism. In the context of the Ukraine war this ignorance plays an important part in the susceptibility of the American public to war propaganda.

Americans generally don’t understand the psyche of Russia, which was invaded numerous times, particularly by the biggest European powers in the 19th and 20th centuries. They generally do not know, because they are never told, that the Soviet Union destroyed 80 percent of the Wehrmacht in WWII. They do not know what a revival of Nazism means to the Russian people or even that there is a revival of Nazism in Ukraine because it is whitewashed out of the corporate media story. Under the guise of respectability and objectivity, the news media of the U.S. and Europe, which is closely aligned with their governments, has played an important role in the information war by deliberately omitting three crucial facts from their Ukraine war narrative, which completely changes the picture.

Media is leaving out the role of U.S. in the 2014 coup in Kiev; that an 8-year civil war has been fought in the eastern Donbass region against Russian-speaking Ukrainians who resisted the coup (Russia’s help at the time was falsely portrayed as an invasion); and that Neo-Nazi fighters, now incorporated into the Ukrainian state military, played a big role in the coup, in the civil war and in the current fighting in the Russian invasion. There is abundant evidence that the U.S. was behind the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected president in 2014, especially a leaked phone conversation between a high-ranking State Dept. official and the American ambassador in Kiev discussing weeks before the coup who would make up the new government. There is more than abundant evidence about the influence of neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

There was also little emphasis in the media’s information war on diplomatic moves that could have prevented the Russian invasion: namely the seven-year-old Minsk accords that could have ended the civil war if the U.S., Germany and France pressured Kiev to implement it.

Volnovakh
https://twitter.com/i/status/1516110852872679428

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Lucrative.

Ukraine and the Profits of War (TomD)

The war in Ukraine will indeed be a bonanza for the likes of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. First of all, there will be the contracts to resupply weapons like Raytheon’s Stinger anti-aircraft missile and the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin-produced Javelin anti-tank missile that Washington has already provided to Ukraine by the thousands. The bigger stream of profits, however, will come from assured post-conflict increases in national-security spending here and in Europe justified, at least in part, by the Russian invasion and the disaster that’s followed. Indeed, direct arms transfers to Ukraine already reflect only part of the extra money going to U.S. military contractors. This fiscal year alone, they are guaranteed to also reap significant benefits from the Pentagon’s Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program, both of which finance the acquisition of American weaponry and other equipment, as well as military training.

These have, in fact, been the two primary channels for military aid to Ukraine from the moment the Russians invaded and seized Crimea in 2014. Since then, the United States has committed around $5 billion in security assistance to that country. According to the State Department, the United States has provided such military aid to help Ukraine “preserve its territorial integrity, secure its borders, and improve interoperability with NATO.” So, when Russian troops began to mass on the Ukrainian border last year, Washington quickly upped the ante. On March 31, 2021, the U.S. European Command declared a “potential imminent crisis,” given the estimated 100,000 Russian troops already along that border and within Crimea. As last year ended, the Biden administration had committed $650 million in weaponry to Ukraine, including anti-aircraft and anti-armor equipment like the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin anti-tank missile.

Despite such elevated levels of American military assistance, Russian troops did indeed invade Ukraine in February. Since then, according to Pentagon reports, the U.S. has committed to giving approximately $2.6 billion in military aid to that country, bringing the Biden administration total to more than $3.2 billion and still rising. Some of this assistance was included in a March emergency-spending package for Ukraine, which required the direct procurement of weapons from the defense industry, including drones, laser-guided rocket systems, machine guns, ammunition, and other supplies. The major military-industrial corporations will now seek Pentagon contracts to deliver that extra weaponry, even as they are gearing up to replenish Pentagon stocks already delivered to the Ukrainians.

On that front, in fact, military contractors have much to look forward to. More than half of the Pentagon’s $6.5 billion portion of the emergency-spending package for Ukraine is designated simply to replenish DoD inventories. In all, lawmakers allocated $3.5 billion to that effort, $1.75 billion more than the president even requested. They also boosted funding by $150 million for the State Department’s FMF program for Ukraine. And keep in mind that those figures don’t even include emergency financing for the Pentagon’s acquisition and maintenance costs, which are guaranteed to provide more revenue streams for the major weapons makers.

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Character assassination. Algorithms. Shadow banning. De-platforming.

American Commissars (Chris Hedges)

The ruling class, made up of the traditional elites that run the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, is employing draconian forms of censorship on its right-wing and left-wing critics in a desperate effort to cling to power. The traditional elites were discredited for pushing through a series of corporate assaults on workers, from deindustrialization to trade deals. They were unable to stem rising inflation, the looming economic crisis and the ecological emergency. They were incapable of carrying out significant social and political reform to ameliorate widespread suffering and refused to accept responsibility for two decades of military fiascos in the Middle East. And now they have launched a new and sophisticated McCarthyism. Character assassination. Algorithms. Shadow banning. De-platforming.

Censorship is the last resort of desperate and unpopular regimes. It magically appears to make a crisis go away. It comforts the powerful with the narrative they want to hear, one fed back to them by courtiers in the media, government agencies, think tanks and academia. The problem of Donald Trump is solved by censoring Donald Trump. The problem of left-wing critics, such as myself, is solved by censoring us. The result is a world of make-believe. YouTube disappeared six years of my RT show, “On Contact,” although not one episode dealt with Russia. It is not a secret as to why my show vanished. It gave a voice to writers and dissidents, including Noam Chomsky and Cornel West, as well as activists from Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, third parties and the prison abolitionist movement.

It called out the Democratic Party for its subservience to corporate power. It excoriated the crimes of the apartheid state of Israel. It covered Julian Assange in numerous episodes. It gave a voice to military critics, many of them combat veterans, who condemned US war crimes. It no longer matters how prominent you are or how big a following you have. If you challenge power, you are at risk of being censored. Former British MP George Galloway detailed a similar experience during an April 15 panel organized by Consortium News in which I took part: “I have been threatened with travel restrictions were I to continue the television broadcast I had been doing for almost an entire decade. I have been stamped by the false label ‘Russian State Media,’ which I never had, by the way, when I was presenting a show on Russian state media. It was only given after I ceased to have a show on Russian state media, ceased because the government made it a crime for me to do so.”

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As will the most vaxxed states.

Lockdown-Heavy States Had Some of the Worst Health Results (McMaken)

As hard as it is to believe, the Chinese regime is still employing a “zero covid” strategy and claims it can eradicate covid entirely through lockdowns and vaccinations. China’s draconian, nightmarish, near-total lockdown policy—which is notably still “necessary” in spite of widespread vaccination—has recently been revived in Shanghai where residents are now struggling to find food. But the regime has only doubled down on the policy, with Chinese President Xi Jinping declaring that “persistence is victory.” This approach has no basis in any actual science, however, and contradicts decades of epidemiological research condemning lockdowns. Moreover, a 2021 joint study from USC and the Rand Corporation concluded “excess mortality increases” following “the implementation of SIP [shelter-in-place] policies.”

This week, a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the states with the harshest lockdowns tended to perform the worst in a composite measure of mortality, economic performance, and education. The states that performed the best were in many cases states where lockdowns were weak or nonexistent, with Utah and Nebraska at the top of the list. The study, authored by Phil Kerpen, Stephen Moore, and Casey B. Mulligan, also concluded that antilockdown Florida, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Utah “were outliers” that performed unexpectedly well compared to their neighbors. Prolockdown California, Illinois, New Mexico, and Colorado, on the other hand, performed more poorly than their neighbors.

The chief value of the report is that it takes economic, educational, and health variables and normalizes them across states. For example, it’s difficult to meaningfully compare economies when some states are far more reliant on service industries than others. In this case, the authors find the “combined economic performance” for states taking the nature of each state’s economy into account. By this metric, the states that performed the best during the pandemic were lockdown-light states Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho, and Utah. The states with the worst outcomes were lockdown-heavy Hawaii, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Illinois.

On the matter of education—which the authors note is closely tied to both economic performance and mortality in the longer term—the authors look at bans on in-person education, state by state, and presumed resulting “learning loss.” In this case, the best performers were Wyoming, Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, and Utah. The worst performers were California, Oregon, Maryland, Washington, and Hawaii. Of course, if faced with statistics such as these, lockdown advocates are likely to admit that lost educational opportunities and lost economic prosperity are unfortunate. But, they will say education and property rights had to limited in the name of preventing mortality and protecting “public health.”

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Where the WHO will be awarded dictatorial powers.

Second Global Covid-19 Summit Scheduled For May 12 (R.)

A second Global Covid-19 Summit will be held virtually next month for countries to discuss efforts to end the pandemic and prepare for future health threats, according to a joint statement on Monday. “The emergence and spread of new variants, like Omicron, have reinforced the need for a strategy aimed at controlling Covid-19 worldwide,” the White House said in a news release with the Group of Seven and Group of 20 nations. The announcement comes amid a surge of Covid-19 cases in parts of the United States and around the world prompted by easily transmissible variants of the virus.


China’s most populous city, Shanghai, is trying to return to normal after a nearly three-week shutdown, which, along with wider China curbs, are taking a toll on the world’s No 2 economy. The summit will build on efforts and commitments made at the first global summit in September, including getting more people vaccinated, sending tests and treatments to highest-risk populations, expanding protections to health care workers and generating financing for pandemic preparedness, the statement said. “We know we must prepare now to build, sustain, and finance the global capacity we need, not only for emerging COVID-19 variants, but also future health crises,” it said.

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“We’re very clear that the Bidens got some $31 million..”

Hunter Biden’s China Business Deals Should Raise ‘Alarm Bells’ (ET)

“We’re very clear that the Bidens got some $31 million, based on the laptop, from a series of deals that happened beginning when Joe Biden was vice president of the United States. And those deals happened courtesy of four Chinese businessmen,” Schweizer said. All four Chinese businessmen were “directly linked” to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence, he added. The fact that these Chinese businessmen would want to talk to the Bidens was interesting, Schweizer said, since the latter did not bring any capital or investors to the table, something financial investment firms would do. Surely, the Chinese businessmen weren’t philanthropies either, he added, the question then became what they wanted in return.

“When you look at the cluster of who provided the funds to the Bidens, and the fact that the Bidens did not really provide anything tangible in return, this has all the markings of elite capture and of a Chinese intelligence operation,” he said. According to his book, one of the Chinese businessmen was a Chinese tycoon named Che Feng, who helped Hunter Biden and his associates secure a deal involving a Chinese investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). Schweizer said the deal netted him about $20 million. Rosemont Seneca Partners, a U.S. investment and advisory firm Hunter Biden co-founded, became one of the shareholders of BHR, which was incorporated in Shanghai in 2013. Hunter gained an unpaid board seat on BHR as a result. In October 2019, George Mesires, Hunter Biden’s attorney, issued a statement saying that the younger Biden had decided to resign from his seat on the BHR board of directors.

Hunter Biden held a 10 percent stake in BHR but divested as of November last year, his lawyer told The New York Times. Che was business partners with Ma Jian, who was then-vice minister of China’s MSS and was reportedly headed the ministry’s No. 8 bureau, which targeted foreigners with its counterintelligence apparatus, according to the book. Ma was vice minister of state security from 2006 until January 2015, when he was placed under Party investigation for corruption, amid a sweeping anti-corruption campaign initiated by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2012. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2018, after being found guilty of accepting bribes, insider trading, and making “coercive” business deals.

Before his political downfall, Ma was a key member of a political faction loyal to former Chinese regime leader Jiang Zemin. The so-called Jiang faction is known for opposing Xi’s leadership. Che, who is also the son-in-law of Dai Xianlong, the former governor of China’s central bank, was also named in the 2017 Paradise Papers for making about $14.6 million in preferred stocks through his offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands between 2009 and 2013. According to Chinese media, Che was placed under investigation in June 2015. “[Che] would fade from the [BHR] deal after both he and Ma were arrested and charged with money laundering and bribery, respectively. But the partnership between Hunter and Chinese officials was off and running,” according to his book.

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“It’s a doomsday machine, it’s the atomic bomb, everyone gets wiped out — that’s the key.”

Jack Dorsey Lashes Out At Twitter Board As Elon Musk Tries To Buy Company (DW)

Former Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey slammed the company’s board of directors in a tweet over the weekend which comes as entrepreneur Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, offered $43 billion to buy the company outright last week. Dorsey was responding to the following tweet when he made his remark, “If look into the history of Twitter board, it’s intriguing as I was a witness on its early beginnings, mired in plots and coups, and particularly amongst Twitter’s founding members. I wish if it could be made into a Hollywood thriller one day.” Dorsey responded, “It’s consistently been the dysfunction of the company.”

Dorsey also said “big facts” in response to the following statement from venture capitalist Fred Destin: “What I do know for sure is that this old Silicon Valley proverb is grounded in age-old wisdom that still applies today: Good boards don’t create good companies, but a bad board will kill a company every time.” When later asked if he was allowed to speak like this publicly given the fact that he is still on the company’s board, Dorsey responded, “No.” Twitter has attempted to stop Musk from taking over the company by adopting a so-called “poison pill” that effectively allows all shareholders, except those trying to buy out the company, to purchase newly offered shares at a discounted price.

Musk would have to purchase the new shares at a higher price, which could end up being too much for him to afford, if he wanted to take over the company. Despite throwing a massive roadblock in Musk’s way, the adoption of the poison pill would not bar Musk from being able to buy the company, it would only make it harder. “A poison pill is a way to stave off someone until you can get a higher price. It makes it outrageously expensive for the person to buy it,” said Charles Elson, the founding director of the University of Delaware’s Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance. “It’s a doomsday machine, it’s the atomic bomb, everyone gets wiped out — that’s the key.”

Mr. Wonderful

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Still can’t see him lose.

Macron Should Prepare For A Brutal Shock After Latest Polls (Exp.)

In 2017, Macron turned a comfortable second-round victory over Le Pen into an electoral route once he bested her on economic policy during their candidates’ debate. Five years ago, Macron was the pro-change candidate and his televised mastery of policy detail, in concert with his seemingly non-ideological, moderate prescriptions for French economic ills, ended Le Pen’s slim hopes. Ironically, perhaps, it is Macron’s stewardship of the economy that yet could see Le Pen victorious. Macron is seen by many as “the president of the rich,” and most say his economic reforms favour the affluent to the neglect of those on modest incomes. Hence, Le Pen’s healthy leads on issues such as inflation, jobs, and the economy. If most voters prioritise these issues when casting their ballots, Macron will be lucky to eke out a victory.


In a different political climate, Macron could have coasted home upon the support of those who care most about health care, climate change, education, and, of course, Ukraine. Unfortunately for Macron, only health policy matters a great deal to a good number of voters. Instead, a Macron victory will mirror Biden’s 2020 election over Donald Trump in one crucial aspect. It will be more about his opponent’s perceived failings than his own qualities as a candidate and officeholder. Just as most Biden voters cast a negative ballot – their vote was more against Trump than for Biden, himself – our poll finds that more Macron voters will be voting against Le Pen’s “far right” image than for Macron. And, there are certainly enough anti-Le Pen voters across France to hand Macron a second term. He may be the latest beneficiary of the cordon sanitaire, the convention that those on the moderate Left and the moderate Right vote for whichever mainstream candidate prevents the far-right candidate from winning.

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Her last name will seal her loss.

EU Uses 18 Year Old Embezzlement Charges to Derail Le Pen Presidential Bid (SN)

Presumably as part of a deliberate effort to derail her presidential chances, the European Union has exhumed 18-year-old embezzlement charges against Marine Le Pen. “The EU’s anti-fraud body has accused French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and associates of embezzling around 600,000 euros during their time as MEPs,” reports AFP. The National Rally leader is personally accused of embezzling “around 137,000 euros ($150,000) worth of public money from the Strasbourg parliament when she was an MEP between 2004 and 2017.” Le Pen’s lawyer Rodolphe Bosselut dismissed the charges, adding that the “timing” of them was suspicious. Noting that the report relates to “old facts more than ten years old,” Bosselut highlighted how Le Pen “has not been summoned by any French judicial authority” to answer the charges.


“I’m surprised by the timing of such a strong disclosure and the instrumentalisation,” said Bosselut. The EU has chosen to resurrect the old claims just days before the final round of the French presidential election, in which Le Pen will face off against incumbent Emmanuel Macron. Although still a long shot, recent polls had shown Le Pen closing the gap on Macron, causing consternation amongst globalist technocrats. Given the context, the EU dragging up old charges is clearly an act of election interference intended to tarnish Le Pen before this weekend’s vote. As we previously highlighted, after Hungary’s Viktor Orban won re-election in a landslide, the EU responded by slapping sanctions on the country as a form of punishment for the electorate exercising their democratic will.

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“After all, they were ‘just doing their job’ – and they would not want to feel harassed or burdened, would they?”

From Rachel Carson to Monsanto: The Silence of Spring (OffG)

In 2016, Rosemary Mason wrote an open letter to European Chemicals Agency Executive Director Geert Dancet: Open Letter to the ECHA about Scientific Fraud and Ecocide. More of an in-depth report than a letter, it can be accessed on the academia.edu site. In it, she explained how current EU legislation was originally set up to protect the pesticides industry and Monsanto and other agrochemical corporations helped the EU design the regulatory systems for their own products. She also drew Dancet’s attention to the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology and how, in 2016 Volume 46, Monsanto commissioned five reviews published in a supplement to the journal. Monsanto also funded them. Mason argues the aim was to cast serious doubts about the adverse effects of glyphosate by using junk science. Straight out of the Big Tobacco playbook.


Mason told Dancet: CEO Hugh Grant and the US EPA knew that glyphosate caused all of these problems. The corporation concealed the carcinogenic effects of PCBs on humans and animals for seven years. They have no plans to protect you and your families from the tsunami of sickness that is affecting us all in the UK and the US.” Meanwhile, on the US Right to Know site, the article Roundup Cancer Cases – Key Documents and Analysis sets out just why more than 100,000 cancer sufferers are attempting to hold Monsanto to account in US courts. In a just (and sane) world, CEOs would be held personally responsible for the products they peddle and earn millions from. But no doubt they would do their utmost to dodge culpability. After all, they were ‘just doing their job’ – and they would not want to feel harassed or burdened, would they?

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Australian pelican

 

 

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Apr 152022
 
 April 15, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  32 Responses »


Paul Cézanne Bibémus quarry 1898-1900

 

Elon Musk Is No Longer Twitter’s Largest Shareholder (WSJ)
What is ‘The Russian World’? (Batiushka)
Here Comes China: The World Rotated One More Time (Amarynth)
The West Needs WWIII – Martin Armstrong (USAW)
Russia Warns of Nuclear Deployments If Finland, Sweden Join NATO (Antiwar)
The UK is Trying to Drag the US into World War III (Tracey)
From Mosul to Raqqa to Mariupol, Killing Civilians is a Crime (CP)
Russia’s Richest Oligarch Bails Out Société Générale In “Fantastic Deal” (F.)
Masks Fail Their Latest Test (Kirsch)
Fauci on Shanghai: “Use Lockdowns to Get People Vaccinated” (TNA)
6 Double Standards Public Health Officials Used to Justify COVID Vaccines (CHD)
Former Monsanto CEO Files Protective Order to Avoid Testifying (CHD)
FBI Documents Expose Bureau‘s Big Jan. 6 ‘Lie‘ (RS)

 

 

A lot of Elon Musk today, for obvious reasons. From his full TED interview to bits of that, as well as other tidbits.

 

 

 

 

Elon TED “My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted & broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization.”
“I don’t care about the economics at all.”

 

 

Plan B

Tucker Elon

Tucker Charles Payne

 

 

 

 

The empire strikes back. Twitter is a major mind control tool. Can’t let that go.

Elon Musk Is No Longer Twitter’s Largest Shareholder (WSJ)

While Elon Musk is trying to buy Twitter Inc., he’s no longer the company’s largest shareholder. Funds held by Vanguard Group recently upped their stake in the social-media platform, making the asset manager Twitter’s largest shareholder and bumping Mr. Musk out of the top spot. Vanguard disclosed on April 8 that it now owns 82.4 million shares of Twitter, or 10.3% of the company, according to the most recent publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The asset-manager increased its stake in the company at some point during the first quarter, according to the filings. Vanguard’s holdings are now worth $3.78 billion, based on Twitter stock’s closing price on Wednesday. That’s enough to knock Mr. Must off the perch as Twitter’s largest shareholder, according to FactSet.


Vanguard isn’t making a directional bet on Twitter. Instead, the majority of its assets are in index and other so-called passive funds. The firm often sides with management on voting issues and doesn’t advocate for changes like a hedge fund or activist investor might. Mr. Musk initially disclosed a stake in Twitter earlier this month of almost 73.5 million shares, but a day later his disclosed stake dropped to 73.1 million shares, or 9.1% of the company. The position momentarily made him the largest shareholder in the company. Vanguard previously reported owning 67.2 million shares of Twitter or about 8.4% of the company as of the end of December, according to FactSet. Mr. Musk along with former Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, who is number seven on the list, are the only individuals among the top 10 shareholders in the company. The rest of the spots are occupied by financial institutions.

Steve Forbes

Elon Tweets

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“For us, ‘The Russian World’ means something else, far broader. It means wherever live those who are opposed to the exploitative and manipulative Western/Anglo-Zionist/Nazi/NATO/Globalist/Capitalist ideology and project.”

What is ‘The Russian World’? (Batiushka)

In 1991, the Soviet Empire crashed, leaving chaos in Eurasia, which the Western-inspired sticking plaster of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) did nothing to remedy. Unlike Western European colonial empires, the vacuum left by the USSR covered one contiguous landmass. Moreover, the space vacated had history, going back hundreds of years to the Russian Empire, fallen in the British-organised palace coup of 1917. As nature abhors a vacuum, it was clear that such a vacuum and its chaos could not prevail for long. After the alcohol-hazed and gangster-crazed years of the Harvard-puppeteered Yeltsin and the ensuing genocide and suicide of millions in the old Soviet Union, in the 2000s, sense, order and hope slowly began to re-emerge.

It arrived in the quite ancient concept of ‘The Russian World’ (‘Russky Mir’), which was first officially used in its modern sense in 2007, when President Putin decreed the establishment of the government-sponsored ‘Russky Mir Foundation’. From here on, this term became more and more common and is notably widely used by the multinational Russian Orthodox Church. However, what does this term actually mean? For some, the term ‘The Russian World’ means wherever Russians live. If it means only that, then this is a purely nationalistic project. It would mean that the remaining elitist oligarchs inside Russia, the Euro-Atlanticists, who as fifth columnists co-operate with CIA agents inside and outside Russia, belong to ‘The Russian World’. It would mean that the corrupt and treacherous aristocrats/oligarchs who after 1917 moved mainly to Paris and since 1991 have moved mainly to London, Tel Aviv and New York, also belong to ‘The Russian World’. Do they?

For some, the term ‘The Russian World’ means the Russian-speaking world. If it means only that, then this is a purely linguistic project. And yet there are many all over the world, from China to Venezuela, from New Zealand to Scotland, who strongly identify with Russia and her aims, but who do not speak any Russian. Are they then excluded? For some, the term ‘The Russian World’ means wherever Orthodox Christians live. If it means only that, then this is a purely denominational project. Given some 500 fringe intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals, who formally belong to the Orthodox Church and who compiled a Declaration on the ‘Russian World’ Teaching on 13 March 2022, calling it an “ideology”, “a heresy” and “a form of religious fundamentalism” that is “totalitarian in character.” So do they belong to ‘The Russian World’?

For us, ‘The Russian World’ means something else, far broader. It means wherever live those who are opposed to the exploitative and manipulative Western/Anglo-Zionist/Nazi/NATO/Globalist/Capitalist ideology and project. Although we mainly live in Russia, China, India, Africa, Latin America, the Muslim World, Indonesia and Kazakhstan, we exist all over the world, even within the conquered heartlands of the Evil Empire, in the USA, Canada, the UK, Israel, the EU, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. We are those who resist the carefully-orchestrated campaign of slander of the elite, which arrogantly calls itself ‘the international community’. For those who live in the virtual world and who fly the made-up Lower Austrian flag of the made-up Ukraine, of whose history and geography they know nothing, the lies of that elite seem real. For us who live in the real world, the Russian world, they are both absurd and evil.

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“China’s top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd. is preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada, and the United States, because of concerns in Beijing that assets could become subject to Western sanctions.”

Here Comes China: The World Rotated One More Time (Amarynth)

The world rotated one more time since the last report on China. So, what do we know? China is rock-solid behind Russia in all of Russia’s objectives, and in some instances, up ahead. It almost seems as if an agreement was, if not stated, then understood. Russia will do the shootin’ for now, and China will keep the economic boat afloat. We see consistent commenting such as China is a consistent stabilizing force in a changing world Overall NATO is feeling the pressure and ‘resetting’ and trying to clone itself as Aukus in the east while trying to strengthen itself in the west. We have Stoltenberg announcing: “What we see now is a new reality, a new normal for European security. Therefore, we have now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a more longer-term adaptation of NATO.”.

In this speech, he announced that plans are being worked up to transform NATO into a major force capable of taking on an invading army and states that NATO deepens partnerships in Asia in response to a rising “security challenge” from China. Yet, in the east, the Quad is one less, given India’s refusal to follow the U.S. regarding Russia. Japan has been asked to join Aukus as a Japan, US, Australia, UK alliance intending to project a strong regional balance of power against China, Russia (and maybe India then?) in Asia. This Aukus will then have synergy,, they say, with Japanese technologies in areas such as hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare. Somehow I don’t see Japan as a suitable switch out for India, but then again, we’re dealing with desperate last gyrations of a world hegemon here, trying to project that it still has many friends.

A quick look at India. These days, if you see a country being threatened, you know already that they have started decoupling from so-called western democracy and Blinken has just threatened India yet again. He says the US is “monitoring rise in rights abuses in India” So, suddenly the US cares about human rights abuses in India. This bellicose rhetoric is not effective and way beyond its sell-by date. It is clear that Russia is decoupling from Europe, and this started before sanctions. But did you know that China is decoupling from Britain, Canada, and the US? This is a brand-new trend. China’s top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd. is preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada, and the United States, because of concerns in Beijing that assets could become subject to Western sanctions. As it seeks to leave the West, CNOOC is looking to acquire new assets in Latin America and Africa, and also wants to prioritize the development of large, new prospects in Brazil, Guyana, and Uganda.

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“There is not a pension fund in Europe that is solvent at this stage of the game. . . . The European government is collapsing. If they end up defaulting, you are going to have millions of people down there with pitch forks storming the parliament. So, to avoid that, they need war. . ”

The West Needs WWIII – Martin Armstrong (USAW)

Legendary financial and geopolitical cycle analyst Martin Armstrong thinks the New World Order’s so-called “Great Reset” plan for humanity now needs war to try and make it work. It could happen in the next few weeks. Armstrong explains, “What they are trying to do is deliberately poke the bear. . . . They are increasing the pressure on just about everything under the sun. The West needs World War III. They just need it. The real problem here is they went to negative interest rates in 2014 in Europe. They have been unable to stimulate the economy, and Keynesian economics have completely failed. . . . I would say this is mismanagement of government on a global scale. The problem is that central banks have no control over the economy. Add to this, this type of inflation is substantially different than a speculative boom.

This inflation is based upon shortages. These morons with covid . . . with lockdowns, ended up destroying the supply chains. . . . Things that are there, I buy extra of because next time it might be gone. So, everybody is increasing their hoarding. . . . So, what we have with Europe, with its negative interest rates, they have wiped out all the pension funds. They need 8% to break even, not negative rates. There is not a pension fund in Europe that is solvent at this stage of the game. . . . The European government is collapsing. If they end up defaulting, you are going to have millions of people down there with pitch forks storming the parliament. So, to avoid that, they need war. . . . The Biden Administration has deliberately destroyed the world economy.”

If there is war in Europe, the “U.S. dollar will get stronger initially and not weaker” according to Armstrong. Armstrong also says, “This is all deliberate. There is no return to normal here. Unfortunately, this is where we are headed.” Armstrong contends, war in Europe could break out in a couple of weeks, and the EU and NATO are pushing this. Armstrong says, “They want Russia to do something. . . . This thing with Russia is the same thing all over again. Unfortunately, we are headed for war.”

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US/NATO comes ever closer to Russia, and with more weapons. While claiming to want peace.

Russia Warns of Nuclear Deployments If Finland, Sweden Join NATO (Antiwar)

A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Thursday that if Finland and Sweden join NATO, Russia would have to bolster its forces on its western border and said a “nuclear-free” Baltic region would no longer be possible. “If Sweden and Finland join NATO, the length of the alliance’s land borders with the Russian Federation will more than double. Naturally, these borders will have to be strengthened,” said Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, who served as Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012. Finland shares an over 800-mile border with Russia, and if it is admitted to NATO, Medvedev said Moscow would significantly bolster its forces in the Gulf of Finland, the easternmost part of the Baltic Sea.

He said Russia will “seriously strengthen the grouping of land forces and air defense, deploy significant naval forces in the waters of the Gulf of Finland. In this case, it will no longer be possible to talk about any nuclear-free status of the Baltic – the balance must be restored.” The Russian enclave of Kaliningrad is on the Baltic Sea, wedged between NATO members Poland and Lithuania. In 2018, Russia deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad, but it’s not clear if they are tipped with nuclear warheads. Medvedev also suggested hypersonic missiles could be deployed. “No sane person wants higher prices and higher taxes, increased tensions along borders, Iskanders, hypersonics, and ships with nuclear weapons literally at arm’s length from their own home,” he said. “Let’s hope that the common sense of our northern neighbors will win.”

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden are moving closer to joining NATO. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Wednesday that the decision could be made “within weeks.” While Russia is against NATO absorbing the two Nordic countries, Medvedev said Moscow views the situation differently than Ukraine’s aspirations to join the military alliance. “We don’t have territorial disputes with those countries like we do with Ukraine,” he said. “For that reason, the price of their membership for us is different.”

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“I underline how critical it is: if Odesa falls, then I’m afraid it’s going to be very, very difficult for us to turn this around.”

The UK is Trying to Drag the US into World War III (Tracey)

There’s a chap called Tobias Ellwood who’s spent the past week doggedly promoting his latest idea to save Western civilization. “From a military perspective,” Ellwood explained during a recent speaking engagement, it’s never been more urgent to impose a “humanitarian sea corridor” off the coast of Ukraine. This would involve an outright naval intervention by NATO in the Black Sea — with the objective being to prevent Russia from seizing control of the strategically important city of Odesa. Perhaps upon commencement of this mission, Ellwood suggested, listless denizens of “The West” will finally come to appreciate the existential stakes of the conflict now before us, and “accept that we are actually in a 1938 period, but actually worse.” The double “actually” was presumably included for maximum emphasis.

Notably, Ellwood is not some random crank. He is “actually” a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, and the chairman of the impressively-titled Defence Select Committee. In that latter capacity, he seeks to exert influence over the Defence policy of Her Majesty’s Government, which is currently led by his Conservative Party colleague Boris Johnson. During the private event, hosted by a Think Tank which unilaterally and hilariously decreed his comments “off the record,” Ellwood described the plan he envisaged for how this new phase of military intervention in Ukraine would unfold. It should be up to the UK to “create a coalition of the willing,” he declared — borrowing the terminology once used for countries that participated in the US invasion of Iraq, which memorably included the UK. Ellwood evidently detected no ignominy at all in this historical association.

On the subject of Ukraine, Ellwood’s view is that the UK and Europe must stop waiting around for the US to get its act together, and instead proactively initiate the kind of muscular, unapologetic military action that is currently needed against Russia. The lesson of last year’s Afghanistan withdrawal, Ellwood charged — as well as Joe Biden’s purported Ukraine-related dithering — has been to “expose America to be very, very hesitant indeed.” He explained: “I see the United States almost catching up with where, from a military perspective, a vanguard may actually go.” Note that Ellwood’s plan certainly does not assume that the US would somehow just sit out whatever forthcoming war the UK may instigate. With the US as the real firepower behind NATO, that’s obviously not feasible.

Instead, his idea would simply be for the UK to place itself at the “vanguard” of precipitating the new military action, after which the US would inevitably be engulfed as well. Time is of the essence, Ellwood contends, because China has ominously joined with Russia to set about “dismantling the liberal world order” — a development Ellwood believes will elevate the conflict to a magnitude on par with the Peloponnesian War of Greek antiquity. “China will exploit the war in Ukraine to hasten America’s inevitable decline,” he warned. Out of these ashes, at least according to Ellwood’s apparent calculus, will rise the UK: “If we want Putin to fail,” Ellwood declared, “then we need to conclude this in months. We need to vow to press forward.” He added, “I underline how critical it is: if Odesa falls, then I’m afraid it’s going to be very, very difficult for us to turn this around.” (Note his use of the pronoun “us,” as though it should be understood that the UK is already an official combatant.)

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We know.

From Mosul to Raqqa to Mariupol, Killing Civilians is a Crime (CP)

Americans have been shocked by the death and destruction of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, filling our screens with bombed buildings and dead bodies lying in the street. But the United States and its allies have waged war in country after country for decades, carving swathes of destruction through cities, towns and villages on a far greater scale than has so far disfigured Ukraine. As we recently reported, the U.S. and its allies have dropped over 337,000 bombs and missiles, or 46 per day, on nine countries since 2001 alone. Senior U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency officers told Newsweek that the first 24 days of Russia’s bombing of Ukraine was less destructive than the first day of U.S. bombing in Iraq in 2003. The U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria bombarded those countries with over 120,000 bombs and missiles, the heaviest bombing anywhere in decades.

U.S. military officers told Amnesty International that the U.S. assault on Raqqa in Syria was also the heaviest artillery bombardment since the Vietnam War. Mosul in Iraq was the largest city that the United States and its allies reduced to rubble in that campaign, with a pre-assault population of 1.5 million. About 138,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by bombing and artillery, and an Iraqi Kurdish intelligence report counted at least 40,000 civilians killed. Raqqa, which had a population of 300,000, was gutted even more. A UN assessment mission reported that 70-80% of buildings were destroyed or damaged. Syrian and Kurdish forces in Raqqa reported counting 4,118 civilian bodies. Many more deaths remain uncounted in the rubble of Mosul and Raqqa. Without comprehensive mortality surveys, we may never know what fraction of the actual death toll these numbers represent.

The Pentagon promised to review its policies on civilian casualties in the wake of these massacres, and commissioned the Rand Corporation to conduct a study titled, “Understanding Civilian Harm in Raqqa and Its Implications For Future Conflicts,” which has now been made public. Even as the world recoils from the shocking violence in Ukraine, the premise of the Rand Corp study is that U.S. forces will continue to wage wars that involve devastating bombardments of cities and populated areas, and that they must therefore try to understand how they can do so without killing quite so many civilians. The study runs over 100 pages, but it never comes to grips with the central problem, which is the inevitably devastating and deadly impacts of firing explosive weapons into inhabited urban areas like Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa in Syria, Mariupol in Ukraine, Sanaa in Yemen or Gaza in Palestine.

Tedros

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Do the French -again- bail out Société Générale?

Russia’s Richest Oligarch Bails Out Société Générale In “Fantastic Deal” (F.)

Personal sanctions have hit the pocketbooks and portfolios of many Russian oligarchs, as the U.S., the EU and the U.K. go after their palatial homes, private jets and audacious yachts. One person who has not yet been sanctioned by those powers (but was sanctioned by Canada last week) is Vladimir Potanin, a metals tycoon and one of Russia’s original oligarchs. His company, MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC (also known as “Nornickel”), the world’s biggest producer of refined nickel and palladium, is benefitting from soaring commodities prices amid the wartime supply crunch. Now, amid the upheaval of war, Potanin is moving to expand his business empire. The French bank Société Générale announced yesterday it was selling Rosbank, a Russia-based banking group, back to Interros, Potanin’s investment conglomerate.

Société Générale paid an estimated $4.3 billion to Interros between 2006 and 2014 to amass a near 100% stake in the Russian bank and its subsidiaries. Transaction terms were not disclosed, but Société Générale said that Interros would pay off the Russian unit’s outstanding loans and that the French bank would write off $3.3 billion. A spokesperson for Société Générale told Forbes over email: “With this agreement, concluded after several weeks of intensive work, the Group would exit in an effective and orderly manner from Russia, taking into account its employees and clients. Interros Capital is one of the largest private investment companies in Russia and is familiar with the bank, which would facilitate business continuity.”

Based on the available information so far, the deal was a “fantastic” one for Potanin, says Jerome Legras, head of research at Paris-based investment firm Axiom Alternative Investments, and former deputy head of structure capital finance at Société Générale. “The business is going to be disrupted of course because of the economy crashing and everything, but he’s getting a bank for close to zero, so of course it’s a good deal for him,” says Legras. “From the amount of the writedown they [Société Générale] say they took, and from the amount of capital in the company and what was said about the subordinated debt, it’s pretty clear this was a nominal price.” “In terms of pure equity, I think the price was pretty much zero,” adds Legras.

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Pretty weak graph, and a far too long article.

Masks Fail Their Latest Test (Kirsch)

The CDC just decided to continue the transportation mask mandate for another two weeks. Dr. Bob Wachter, Chair of the Department of Medicine at UCSF, concurs with the CDC decision. Both are unable to differentiate real science from a sloppy study. There have been only two randomized trials to test whether public policy using masks to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 can reduce the spread. The first one, in Denmark, showed that masks don’t work. But the second one, in Bangladesh, claimed that they did. Nature called it a “rigorous study” and Stanford and Yale promoted it as definitive in a press release. But was it really? We challenged Yale Professor Jason Abaluck, the first author of that study, to defend their study.


To his credit (and our utter amazement), he agreed but with one condition: we were only allowed one person to challenge him (because that’s how science works of course). We instantly agreed. The discussion happened on April 3, 2022. The result: Abaluck failed. Badly. Very badly. One of our experts who viewed the interview said that it was worse than just sloppy work. He wrote, “This is bordering on fraud.” In short, the study actually failed to prove that masks work at all. For example, here’s the graph for purple cloth masks. If masks worked, it would be highly unlikely for these curves to be on top of each other. For some strange reason, graphs such as these were omitted from the paper. Can you guess why??? Yes, it’s because the study was designed to fit the narrative. Data that goes against the narrative is not highlighted.

You can see the entire 2-hour discussion yourself and make your own judgment. In this article, we include an analysis by one of our statisticians who viewed the video. We also include a link to an interview with statistician Mike Deskevich on his interpretation of the discussion. Initially, Professor Abaluck was so self-confident he thought he could run circles around us. He was wrong. The truth won. So now Abaluck has changed his tune. He now says he won’t talk to us anymore or answer any more questions. The bottom line is this: there is no rock on Earth that is large enough for the authors of that study to hide under. The use of masks to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has been debunked.

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“As Anthony Fauci is now branded as “false information” by Facebook, in relation to clip that has resurfaced from the past in which he discusses the flu vaccine, we ask, is this really about protecting the world from disinformation?”

Fauci on Shanghai: “Use Lockdowns to Get People Vaccinated” (TNA)

As tens of millions of Shanghai residents are being put into the most ferocious lockdown to date, being locked in their apartments and reportedly starving, America’s Covid Czar Dr. Anthony Fauci signaled that such policies might be quite effective in curbing the spread of Covid if the government gets detained people vaccinated. During an MSNBC “Reports” interview on Wednesday, the host, Andrea Mitchell, asked Fauci whether the government was concerned about the Covid outbreak in China. For some reason, Mitchell seemed uninterested in the fact that 24.89 million people in China’s most populous urban area — the most populous city proper in the world — are being detained against their will. Fauci replied that by imposing strict lockdowns early in the pandemic, China was “doing better than anyone else” in terms of containing the virus. He said,

“China has a number of problems, two of which are that their complete lockdown, which was their approach, the strictest lockdown that you’d never be able to implement in the United States. Although that prevents the spread of infection, I remember early on they were saying, and I think accurately, they were doing better than almost anybody else.” Fauci continued by saying that while imposing the lockdown, the authorities must act to “get people vaccinated”: “But lockdown has its consequences. You use lockdowns to get people vaccinated so that when you open up, you won’t have a surge of infections.” Fauci did not specify how he saw a concrete way of getting people injected with the vaccine while they were not allowed to leave their homes. Presumably, the government could send medical personnel to each and every unvaccinated person.

Disregarding the concept of natural immunity, Fauci went on to explain that vaccination would be needed “Because you’re dealing with an immunologically naive population to the virus because they’ve not really been exposed because of the lockdown.” That claim goes against his own admission in 2004 that the “best vaccine is to get infected yourself.” Back then, Fauci said that if a person contracted the flu, she “definitely” did not need to get vaccinated because she was “as protected as anybody else.” Fauci continued by bashing Chinese vaccines for not being effective enough: “The problem is, that the vaccines that they’ve been using are not nearly as effective as the vaccines that are used in the United States, the UK, [the] EU, and other places. So, they don’t have the degree of protection that’s optimal.”

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“Why does the CDC trust the peri/myocarditis data in VAERS but not the data on deaths?”

6 Double Standards Public Health Officials Used to Justify COVID Vaccines (CHD)

1. COVID deaths are ‘presumed,’ but vaccine deaths must be ‘proven’ As of April 8, VAERS included 26,699 reports of deaths following COVID vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially acknowledges only nine of these. In order to establish causality, the CDC requires autopsies to rule out any possible etiology of death before the agency will place culpability on the vaccine. But the CDC uses a very different standard when it comes to identifying people who died from COVID. The 986,000 COVID deaths reported by the CDC here are, as footnote [1] indicates, “Deaths with confirmed or presumed [emphasis added] COVID-19.”

If a person dies with a positive PCR test or is presumed to have COVID, the CDC will count that as COVID-19 death. Note that in the CDC’s definition, a COVID fatality does not mean the person died from the disease, only with the disease. Why is an autopsy required to establish a COVID vaccine death but not to establish a COVID death? Conversely, why is recent exposure to SARS-CoV-2 prior to a death sufficient to establish causality — but recent exposure to a vaccine considered coincidental?

2. CDC uses VAERS data to investigate myocarditis yet claims VAERS data on vaccine deaths is unreliable On June 23, 2021, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met to assess the risk of peri/myocarditis following COVID vaccination, especially in young males. This was the key slide in this presentation:

The observed risk of myocarditis is 219 in about 4.3 million second doses of COVID vaccine in males 18 to 24 years old. The CDC is fine with using VAERS data to assess risk of myocarditis following vaccination — yet the agency rejects all but nine of the 26,699 reports of deaths following the vaccines. Why does the CDC trust the peri/myocarditis data in VAERS but not the data on deaths? One reason may be because the onset of myocarditis symptoms is closely tied to the time of vaccination. In other words, because this condition closely follows inoculation the two events are highly correlated and suggestive of causation. For example, here is another slide from the same presentation:

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I had no idea what my company was doing!

Former Monsanto CEO Files Protective Order to Avoid Testifying (CHD)

Former Monsanto Co. Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant is appealing a judge’s order that would allow lawyers for a cancer patient to question him on the stand in a trial scheduled to start next month in Kansas City. Lawyers for the former Monsanto executive filed a flurry of documents with the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District last week seeking to quash a subpoena compelling Grant to testify in person in the case of Allan Shelton v Monsanto. The trial of the civil suit is set to begin May 2 in Kansas City, Missouri. Shelton suffers from non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is one of more than 100,000 people around the United States who have alleged in lawsuits that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, and other company herbicide brands made with a chemical called glyphosate, caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Shelton’s lawyers have argued that Grant was an active participant and decision-maker in the company’s Roundup business and should be made to testify at the trial, but Grant’s lawyers argue that Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Charles McKenzie’s approval of a subpoena for Grant to testify at trial was “in excess” of the judge’s authority and “an abuse of discretion.” Grant’s lawyers want the appeals court to issue a “writ of prohibition” and order the judge to take no further action other than to grant a protective order for Grant in the case.Grant claims in the filings that the effort to put him on the stand in front of a jury is “wholly unnecessary and serves only to harass and burden” him.

He notes in the filings that he left Monsanto in 2018 (when the company was sold to the German company Bayer AG), and that he already has given a “comprehensive videotaped deposition” in the nationwide Roundup litigation that can be presented at this trial. Grant’s testimony “would be of little value” because he is not a toxicologist, an epidemiologist, or a regulatory expert and “did not work in the areas of toxicology or epidemiology while employed by Monsanto,” the court filings state. Grant does not have “any expertise in the studies and tests that have been done related to Roundup generally, including those related to Roundup safety,” his lawyers argue.

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Rolling Stone turns on Jan 6 Committee?

FBI Documents Expose Bureau‘s Big Jan. 6 ‘Lie‘ (RS)

In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, the FBI told Congress and the American people that the agency had failed to prevent or fully prepare for the worst attack on the U.S. Capitol in more than 200 years in part because it lacked the authority and capabilities to more aggressively monitor social media, where much of the planning for the insurrection took place. As FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress last summer, the FBI had circulated intelligence materials and other resources before Jan. 6, but the agency had limits in what it could and couldn’t gather from social media. “When we have an authorized purpose and proper predication, there are a lot of things that we do at social media and we do do,” Wray said, “but [what] we cannot do on social media is, without proper predication and authorized purpose, just monitor just in case on social media.”

Wray added, “Now, if the policies should be changed to reflect that, that might be one of the important lessons learned coming out of this whole experience. But that’s not something that currently the FBI has either the authority or certainly the resources, frankly, to do.” Since Wray’s testimony, the bureau has sought to ramp up its online surveillance capabilities, including by entering into one of the largest social-media monitoring contracts of any federal agency. Yet internal FBI records obtained by Rolling Stone show that, well before Jan. 6, the bureau already engaged in ongoing and widespread tracking of Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, and other social-media platforms. The new documents suggest the agency has all the authority it needs to monitor the social-media platforms in the name of public safety — and, in fact, the bureau had done just that during the nationwide wave of racial justice protests in 2020.

Critics of the FBI say that the bureau’s desire for more authority and surveillance tools is part of a decades-long expansion of the vast security apparatus inside the federal government. The documents refer to teams of employees engaged in what law-enforcement agencies call “social-media exploitation,” or SOMEX. According to the documents, SOMEX teams gather reams of data from social media and distribute that information to special agents and other law-enforcement representatives. The documents show SOMEX data included in situation reports, or “sitreps,” distributed within the bureau.

The documents were first obtained by Property of the People, a government-transparency nonprofit group. “The documents bring into relief three consistent truths about the FBI,” says Ryan Shapiro, executive director of Property of the People. “One: At its core, the FBI is a political police force that primarily targets the left while ignoring or outright enabling the far-right. Two: FBI spokespersons lie like they breathe. Three: The Bureau shamelessly exploits national crises to expand the already dystopian reach of its surveillance.”

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Spying on Veritas

 

 

 

 

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Mar 082022
 
 March 8, 2022  Posted by at 9:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  53 Responses »


Jean-François Millet The Gleaners 1857

 

The Biggest Global Food Crisis That Any Of Us Have Ever Seen (Snyder)
The American Empire Self-Destructs (Michael Hudson)
Pity the Nation (Scott Ritter)
A Proposed Solution to the Ukraine War (Mello)
US Secretary Of Defense Orders 500 Additional Us Troops Deploy To Europe (CNN)
Ukraine Fighter-jet Deal Appears Doomed (Axios)
Blinken Invokes Putin’s Dead Brother (ABC)
Ukraine’s Top Negotiator Says Kiev Open to ‘Non-NATO Models’ (Antiwar)
Nowhere Left to Hide (Kunstler)
Australia Targets Hardcore Putin Extremists Spreading Hate About Ukraine (DM)
Florida Department of Health to Advise Against COVID Vax for Healthy Kids (NW)
Leaders Who Got Covid Wrong Must Admit It And Apologize (NYP)
From Sore Arms To Sudden Death (Eugyp)
Los Angeles Suing Monsanto For Chemicals In Waterways (Y!)

 

 

“And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”
– George Orwell, 1984

 

 

 

 

Biden 1997

 

 


Nickel price


Spain electricity prices

 

 

India

 

 

Famines loom.

The Biggest Global Food Crisis That Any Of Us Have Ever Seen (Snyder)

By the end of 2022, we are going to witness very serious shortages of food in many parts of the globe. In fact, World Bank President David Malpass is openly admitting that we are now facing “a huge supply shock” as a result of the war in Ukraine. Of course we were already moving into a global food crisis even before the war erupted. According to the UN, worldwide food prices in February 2022 were 20.7 percent higher than they were in February 2021, fertilizer prices have gone absolutely nuts, crop production is down all over the planet due to crazy weather patterns, and supply chain problems caused by the pandemic continue to create ongoing headaches. But now World War 3 has erupted, and that is going to push this rapidly growing global food crisis to a level that none of us have ever seen before.

Under normal conditions, Ukraine exports tremendous amounts of food and is considered to be one of the most important “breadbaskets” on the entire planet. Unfortunately, everything has changed now, and this has pushed the global price of wheat up 55 percent since a week before the invasion happened… “Ukrainian farmers have been forced to neglect their fields as millions flee, fight or try to stay alive. Ports are shut down that send wheat and other food staples worldwide to be made into bread, noodles and animal feed. And there are worries Russia, another agricultural powerhouse, could have its grain exports upended by Western sanctions. While there have not yet been global disruptions to wheat supplies, prices have surged 55% since a week before the invasion amid concerns about what could happen next. If the war is prolonged, countries that rely on affordable wheat exports from Ukraine could face shortages starting in July, International Grains Council director Arnaud Petit told The Associated Press.”

I really don’t like that “shortages starting in July” part. That definitely sounds rather ominous. Right now, the global price of food is the highest that it has ever been, and Russia and Ukraine normally account for “nearly a third of the world’s wheat and barley exports”. Now that exports from Russia will be greatly reduced and exports from Ukraine will be virtually non-existent, some countries will almost immediately be facing extreme stress. [..] Things are going to be very challenging in Europe as well, because Ukraine normally provides almost 60 percent of the corn that Europeans use… “Ukraine supplies the EU with just under 60% of its corn and nearly half of a key component in the grains needed to feed livestock.” Meanwhile, crops all over the world are in surprisingly poor shape because weather conditions have been so strange.

Earlier today, I was stunned to learn that it is being projected that China’s winter wheat crop could be “the worst in history”… “The condition of China’s winter wheat crop could be the “worst in history”, the agriculture minister said on Saturday, raising concerns about grain supplies in the world’s biggest wheat consumer.” And the USDA is reporting that a whopping 71 percent of all winter wheat in the United States has been affected by drought… “A limited supply of soft white wheat, the primary type of wheat grown in the Inland Northwest, has helped lead to a six-year low for wheat exports from the United States. That’s according to the USDA wheat report for February. The report also states that 71 percent of U.S. winter wheat is being hit by drought in 2022.”

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“But nobody thought that it would happen this fast.”

The American Empire Self-Destructs (Michael Hudson)

Empires often follow the course of a Greek tragedy, bringing about precisely the fate that they sought to avoid. That certainly is the case with the American Empire as it dismantles itself in not-so-slow motion. The basic assumption of economic and diplomatic forecasting is that every country will act in its own self-interest. Such reasoning is of no help in today’s world. Observers across the political spectrum are using phrases like “shooting themselves in their own foot” to describe U.S. diplomatic confrontation with Russia and allies alike. For more than a generation the most prominent U.S. diplomats have warned about what they thought would represent the ultimate external threat: an alliance of Russia and China dominating Eurasia. America’s economic sanctions and military confrontation has driven them together, and is driving other countries into their emerging Eurasian orbit.

American economic and financial power was expected to avert this fate. During the half-century since the United States went off gold in 1971, the world’s central banks have operated on the Dollar Standard, holding their international monetary reserves in the form of U.S. Treasury securities, U.S. bank deposits and U.S. stocks and bonds. The resulting Treasury-bill Standard has enabled America to finance its foreign military spending and investment takeover of other countries simply by creating dollar IOUs. U.S. balance-of-payments deficits end up in the central banks of payments-surplus countries as their reserves, while Global South debtors need dollars to pay their bondholders and conduct their foreign trade. This monetary privilege – dollar seignorage – has enabled U.S. diplomacy to impose neoliberal policies on the rest of the world, without having to use much military force of its own except to grab Near Eastern oil.

The recent escalation U.S. sanctions blocking Europe, Asia and other countries from trade and investment with Russia, Iran and China has imposed enormous opportunity costs – the cost of lost opportunities – on U.S. allies. And the recent confiscation of the gold and foreign reserves of Venezuela, Afghanistan and now Russia, along the targeted grabbing of bank accounts of wealthy foreigners (hoping to win their hearts and minds, along with recovery of their sequestered accounts), has ended the idea that dollar holdings or those in its sterling and euro NATO satellites are a safe investment haven when world economic conditions become shaky. So I am somewhat chagrined as I watch the speed at which this U.S.-centered financialized system has de-dollarized over the span of just a year or two.

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“..the soul of a nation that once was defined by the life and works of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, Lenin, Stalin, Sakharov, and Gorbachev was distilled into a shallow caricature of one man — Putin..”

Pity the Nation (Scott Ritter)

In the past few months, the United States has undergone a kind of transformation that one only reads about in history books — from a nation which imperfectly, yet stolidly, embraced the promise, if not principle, of freedom, especially when it came to that most basic of rights — the freedom of expression. Democracies live and die on the ability of an informed citizenry to engage in open debate, dialogue and discussion about difficult issues. Freedom of speech is one of the touch-stone tenets of American democracy — the idea that, no matter how out of step with mainstream society one’s beliefs might be, the retained right to freely express opinions thus derived without fear of censorship or repression existed. No more.

In the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russophobia which had taken grip in the United States since Russia’s first post-Cold War president, Boris Yeltsin, handed the reins of power over to his hand-picked successor, Vladimir Putin, has emerged much like the putrid core of an over-ripe boil. That this anti-Russian trend existed in the United States was, in and of itself, no secret. Indeed, the United States had, since 2000, pushed aside classic Russian area studies in the pursuit of a new school espousing the doctrine of “Putinism,” centered on the flawed notion that everything in Russia revolved around the singular person of Vladimir Putin.

The more the United States struggled with the reality of a Russian nation unwilling to allow itself to be once again constrained by the yoke of carpetbagger economics disguised as “democracy” that had been prevalent during the Yeltsin era, the more the dogma of “Putinism” took hold in the very establishments where intellectual examination of complex problems was ostensibly transpiring — the halls of academia which in turn produced the minds that guided policy formulation and implementation. Outliers like Jack Matlock, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Cohen were cashiered in favor of a new breed of erstwhile Russian expert, led by the likes of Michael McFaul, Fiona Hill and Anne Applebaum. Genuine Russian area studies was supplanted by a new field of authoritarian studies, where the soul of a nation that once was defined by the life and works of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, Lenin, Stalin, Sakharov, and Gorbachev was distilled into a shallow caricature of one man — Putin.

[..] As a former chief weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-1998, I was uniquely positioned to comment on the veracity of the claims made by the United States that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction capability in violation of its obligation to be disarmed of such. When my stance was deemed convenient to a narrative attacking a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, I was readily embraced. However, when my fact-based narrative ran afoul of the regime-change policies of Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, I was cast aside as a pariah.

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Greg Mello is the executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group.

A Proposed Solution to the Ukraine War (Mello)

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, what was a regional conflict has become a global hybrid war with ever-greater stakes, not least the risk of nuclear war. Perhaps the greatest danger lies in the difference of motives between parties, which is also the fundamental cause of this war: Russia seeks security, while the U.S. and its NATO allies have been using Ukraine to deny that security — to “break Russia,” in Henry Kissinger’s 2015 phrase. The U.S. does not want peace, unless it be the peace of a conquered Russia. That is why there is no obvious end to the escalations and counter-escalations. The U.S. and NATO see opportunity in the war they have been trying so hard to provoke.

The tragedy is that few people seem to understand that at the root of the Ukraine crisis is a specific strategy known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine, named after Paul Wolfowitz who, as under secretary of defense in the administration of George H. W. Bush, was one of the authors of a 1992 document that laid out a neo-conservative manifesto aimed at ensuring American dominance of world affairs following the collapse of the Soviet Union. “Our first objective,” stated the document, “is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival [to the United States], either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere. … This is a dominant consideration underlying [a] regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

The Wolfowitz Doctrine triggered the post-Cold War use of NATO as an instrument of bloody aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. It declared, in effect, that diplomacy was dead and that American power ruled by violence if necessary. A resurgent Russia led by Vladimir Putin was next, and on the horizon, a risen China. The 2014 Washington-engineered coup in Ukraine that removed an elected leader who sought to reinforce his country’s relationship with neighboring Russia, was a product of the 1992 Doctrine and the extremism it represented. Victoria Nuland, a neo-conservative ideologue and President Barack Obama’s “point person” in Ukraine, has played the same role in President Joe Biden’s State Department.

The 1992 Doctrine is elaborated in an infamous RAND study on how to overextend and, in Kissinger’s words, “break Russia.” This is U.S. foreign policy today: a fact well understood by the Russian leadership who regard their country as effectively under siege by the United States. The potential of American missiles pointed at Moscow from former Soviet satellite countries, together with NATO troop deployments, is the reality they see. A militarized and virulently anti-Russian Ukraine being used as a tool by the U.S., with an expressed wish for nuclear weapons, on the brink of invading Russian-sympathizing provinces on the Russian border — all that was too much for Russia. What, do you suppose, the U.S. would do if such a situation arose in Mexico or Canada?

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Enablers.

US Secretary Of Defense Orders 500 Additional US Troops Deploy To Europe (CNN)

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered additional troops and US military assets to be deployed to different parts of Europe amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine to further support the US’s NATO allies, a senior US defense official told reporters on Monday. The Defense Department will send a total of 500 troops in this new deployment, the official said. The deployment will include sending KC-135 refueling aircraft to Greece, but the official could not say how many aircrafts would be sent or where in the US they will be coming from. An air support operation center will be deployed to Poland and Romania, and an ordinance company and a maintenance company will be sent to Germany, the official said.

The ordinance and maintenance companies will provide “additional logistic support to the first armored brigade combat team, third infantry division” in Germany which is already deployed there, the official said. “It’s only 500, small units, enablers, we said at the get-go of deploying forces that we would not rule out additional forces to include enablers, and these units are very much in support of forces that were already sent forward,” the official said. With these additional deployments, the US now has about 100,000 US military personnel either on rotational or permanent orders stationed in Europe right now, the official said. The decision to send these troops and military assets were “based on conversations that the secretary had with the chairman and with Gen. (Tod) Wolters,” the commander of US European command, “that these additional enablers would be useful for the forces that are already” in Europe, the official said.

The additional deployment “were already kind of queued up to go, and again fully in support of our efforts to help defend NATO airspace if needed,” the official added.

CIA in Ukraine – Douglas Valentine

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“..the U.S. would be in “no way opposed” to Poland’s “sovereign decision” to transfer its planes..”

Ukraine Fighter-jet Deal Appears Doomed (Axios)

Efforts to push the Biden administration into supporting the transfer of Russian-made fighter jets to Ukraine appear doomed for both technical and geopolitical reasons. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded for the jets on Saturday during a Zoom call with more than 300 members of Congress, saying they were badly needed if NATO wouldn’t establish a “no-fly” zone. Those jets would likely be Soviet-era MiG-29s possessed by Poland, which Ukrainian pilots are capable of operating. The U.S. would, in turn, backfill Poland’s fleet with American-made F-16s. White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Monday the U.S. would be in “no way opposed” to Poland’s “sovereign decision” to transfer its planes but stressed there are a number of logistical hurdles.


Those include how the planes would actually enter Ukraine’s heavily contested airspace, as well as how to accelerate the years-long U.S. procurement process for “serious weapon systems” like the F-16. The Russians have also been bombing Ukraine’s airports, raising the specter of the planes having to be based in Poland or other NATO territory — increasing the risk of a Russian attack on soil that would have to be defended by the alliance. Zelensky’s appeal produced an immediate and bipartisan groundswell of support. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) sent a letter on Monday calling on the Biden administration to “do everything we can to compensate countries that heed Ukraine’s desperate call for fighter jets to defend their homeland.” His Republican counterpart, Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), tweeted: “There is absolutely no reason we can’t supply airplanes to Zelensky and the Ukrainians. Our allies are willing and able to provide them, the admin needs to get out of the way.”

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1501024225854902273

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This will now define any further communications.

Blinken Invokes Putin’s Dead Brother (ABC)

As Russian forces continue to advance across Ukraine, the U.S. is accusing the Kremlin of “starving” besieged Ukrainian cities, in the words of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who on Monday appealed directly to Russian leader Vladimir Putin to “end the war, end it now.” Blinken even appealed to Putin’s family history, comparing the Kremlin’s siege of Ukrainian cities to Nazi Germany’s siege of Russian cities during World War II, which killed Putin’s one-year-old brother Viktor. But amid calls like his, the Ukrainian government, led by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is urging U.S. and Western leaders to do more — beyond condemnations and the historic amount of defensive aid and provide warplanes, missile defense systems, and a no-fly zone. U.S. allies in the Baltics are increasingly nervous about Putin’s advances in Ukraine, with Lithuania’s president warning Monday that the strongman leader “will not stop.”


[..] These sieges echoed Nazi Germany’s siege of Leningrad, Blinken said, where Nazi forces “systematically starved and intentionally destroyed” the city, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths, Blinken said. “That siege affected millions of Russian families, including President Putin’s, whose one-year-old brother was one of the many victims. Now, Russia is starving out cities like Mariupol. It is shameful. The world is saying to Russia stop these attacks immediately. Let the food and medicine in. Let the people out safely, and end this war of choice against Ukraine,” he said. Putin’s older brother Viktor died of diphtheria during the siege of Leningrad before Putin was born.

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But NATO is not.

Ukraine’s Top Negotiator Says Kiev Open to ‘Non-NATO Models’ (Antiwar)

In an early sign of compromise following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late last month, a senior member on Kiev’s negotiation team said his country is open to remaining outside of the NATO military bloc – a key security concern raised by Moscow time and again. Speaking to Fox News’s Nana Sajaia about the progress of the talks on Saturday, Ukraine’s chief negotiator David Arakhamia said little had been accomplished so far. With another meeting set for Monday, however, he outlined certain tradeoffs Kiev is willing to make, including its membership in the North Atlantic alliance. “We are ready to discuss some non-NATO models. For example, there could be direct guarantees by different countries like the US, China, UK, maybe Germany and France,” Arakhamia said. “We are open to discuss such things in a broader circle, not only in bilateral discussions with Russia, but also with other partners.”


The negotiator went on to state that, currently, the bloc’s leading members are “not ready to even discuss having us in NATO, not for the closest period of five or 10 years,” despite repeated assurances that Ukraine would be admitted – a promise first made in 2008 but reiterated as recently as last summer. While closing the door on Ukrainian NATO membership could be a step in the right direction and signal flexibility ahead of the next round of talks, it is unlikely to satisfy all of Russia’s demands. In addition to concerns over NATO expansion, Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that Kiev cede its claims to the Crimean Peninsula and the breakaway Donbass region, where separatist forces have been under siege by the Ukrainian military for eight years. “I don’t think that we have a choice now to even discuss some models where we would recognize those territories [as independent],” he said. “Our position is firm. We are ready to discuss any other dynamic options, but not recognition of those territories.“

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“..cutting off your leg to punish yourself for walking into harm’s way..”

Nowhere Left to Hide (Kunstler)

Time, they say, is nature’s way of making sure that everything doesn’t happen at once. If that’s so, then maybe time has stopped because all of a sudden everything seems to be happening at once. Three things, actually: 1) a Russian military operation in Ukraine that a lot of people in America want to turn into World War Three; 2) an epic crack-up of the world financial system; and 3) the breakdown of the fishy Covid-19 affair and especially the story behind its holy avatar: the mRNA vaccine. In a sane society, that might be enough to trip the institutional reality-test apparatus, but we are not a sane society these days, so we plunge ever-deeper into a hurly-burly of wrongful endeavor vectoring toward self-destruction. The immediate problem is a nation (us) that is powerfully bamboozled, led by a figurehead nobody believes in, backed by a hidden coterie of actors who appear to hate our country enough to try to sink it.

Forgive me for re-stating the premise of the Ukraine situation but one must counter the propaganda emitted like poison gas by a perfidious news media: Russia objected to the expansion of NATO to its very border, based on long-standing prior agreements about it. “Joe Biden” had every chance to formally recognize that reality and stupidly demurred. The Ukrainian government, ditto. Our side (the USA) had already created enough mischief there in mounting the 2014 coup against a government friendly with Russia, and then arming its replacement to harass Ukraine’s own citizens in its easternmost provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk. Two weeks ago, Russia moved in to forcefully correct all that. After all, Ukraine had been a part of Russia since they wrested it from the Ottoman (Turkish) empire in the 1700s, and in any other sense Ukraine is within Russia’s sphere-of-influence, as such things are defined in geopolitical history.

The US-led response to the Russian op was an attempt to dismantle the complex interbank payment systems of the global economy in order to punish one region (Russia) of the global economy — that is, cutting off your leg to punish yourself for walking into harm’s way. The result of that now is mayhem in the financial markets and in currencies, with global commodities like grain, oil, and ores acting as hostages. This hostage-taking has far-reaching effects because the nations of the world can’t operate without food, energy, and stuff to make products out of. Interfere with the rational distribution of them and you’ll get chaos and death.

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How to embarrass your entire country.

Australia Targets Hardcore Putin Extremists Spreading Hate About Ukraine (DM)

Australia will impose a fresh round of sanctions against Russia, targeting people who disseminate propaganda and disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine. Ten Putin supporters will be sanctioned for encouraging hostility towards Ukraine and driving false claims that a genocide was taking place against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. The men targeted are journalists, authors or Putin’s press officers. In addition, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said financial sanctions will be imposed on Russia’s armed forces, as well as six senior military commanders responsible for attacks on Ukraine. ‘Together with partners, we will drive Russia out of our economies, supply chains and airwaves,’ she said in a statement released on Tuesday.


The invasion of Ukraine has been accompanied by a widespread disinformation campaign within Russia. Putin has claimed he invaded to ‘de-nazify’ the country, which the West rejects as a false justification. ‘Tragically for Russia, President Putin has shut down independent voices and locked everyday Russians into a world characterised by lies and disinformation,’ Senator Payne said. ‘The addition of sanctions on those responsible for this insidious tactic recognises the powerful impact that disinformation and propaganda can have in conflict.’ The foreign minister said Australia was working alongside major social media companies to help remove propaganda from their platforms. ‘The assertion that there is a genocidal action happening in Ukraine against Russia, that there is a ‘denazification’ required in Ukraine, is an obscene suggestion,’ Senator Payne told Sky News.

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But Newsweek picks the CDC.

Florida Department of Health to Advise Against COVID Vax for Healthy Kids (NW)

The Florida Department of Health will now tell parents not to give their children the COVID-19 vaccine if they are healthy. Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo made the announcement Monday during a roundtable discussing “failures” of the COVID-19 response in the state. The announcement goes directly against the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which strongly recommends vaccination in children ages 5 and older. The CDC claims that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has become “one of the top 10 causes of death” for young unvaccinated children. The move, which will be the first taken in any state in the country, has not been officially announced by the Florida Department of Health. However, Ladapo was confident in its future.

“The Florida Department of Health is going to be the first state to officially recommend against the COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children,” he said. “We’re kind of scraping at the bottom of the barrel, particularly with healthy kids, in terms of actually being able to quantify with any accuracy and any confidence the even potential of benefit.” More than 12 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in children since the beginning of the pandemic, accounting for 19 percent of all U.S. infections, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The week ending on February 24 saw children make up 26.2 percent of COVID-19 infections in the country. However, health experts have begun pushing back against the potential recommendation.

When asked by Newsweek for comment, the CDC reiterated how children need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, citing its previous research. It is not only the CDC affirming the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines currently on the market, but Florida-based healthcare professionals, as well. “The data [is] clear,” UF Health professor Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, who studies epidemiology and pediatrics, told Newsweek in an email, “the benefits of COVID-19 vaccine in children outweigh the very small risks associated with it.”

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Is there anyone left who thinks that would be enough?

Leaders Who Got Covid Wrong Must Admit It And Apologize (NYP)

You, Rochelle Walensky at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, allowed Weingarten to craft absurd, unscientific policies that kept kids out of school. You let her block the schoolhouse door because you were on the same political team. You broke the trust Americans had in their health agencies and we will all suffer the repercussions of that for a long time. Apologize to the children whose lives you’ve stunted and who may never recover from the educational loss. Apologize to the kids who received speech therapy through masks because you refused to acknowledge that masking had been pointless in stopping COVID-19 spread. You may have permanently damaged these children because you refused to admit that you had been wrong for so long. Apologize.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, you fell in love with your own image and could not stay off the TV even as it caused us all harm. In November 2021, you said that people who were criticizing you were “really criticizing science, because I represent science. That’s dangerous.” What’s dangerous is if you really believe that. You frequently got things wrong on TV or reversed your previous comments with no explanations. The science hadn’t changed, you made political calculations to support the diktats of the Biden administration. You actually argued for the passage of the stimulus bill as if you were some kind of lobbyist and not the director of one of our national health agencies. Worst of all, you shut down dissenting opinions from other scientists because you knew yours could not withstand scrutiny. You have been a disaster for this country in leading us through the pandemic. Apologize. Then exit stage left and let us never hear from you again.

You fearful, quiet politicians who let extended lockdowns destroy businesses, fray the fabric of our cities and cost us all so much: We saw you maskless, at concerts and parties, while our 2-year-olds stay masked to this day. We know that you didn’t actually think masking was important like you implored us it was. You loved your power and nothing else mattered. Apologize. And you, compliant media, the disaster of the last two years is at your feet. You created heroes out of people like Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose nursing home directive cost thousands of lives, while demonizing Gov. Ron DeSantis, who used all of his political capital to correctly force schools open, a decision everyone now pretends was easy but certainly was not. You ran stories about high case numbers in Florida “as schools open” to project that schools were somehow unsafe. You were incurious and did not ever challenge the corrupt health care agencies. You let us down.

Don’t apologize, we don’t believe you anyway.

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“Rough calculations from VAERS data suggest that they’re at least several hundred times more dangerous than flu shots.”

From Sore Arms To Sudden Death (Eugyp)

It is undeniable: The Corona vaccines cause a wide array of adverse events, not all of them understood. Right now it’s hard to assess their population-wide impact, but it is no longer reasonable to doubt that they’re substantially more dangerous than ordinary vaccines. Rough calculations from VAERS data suggest that they’re at least several hundred times more dangerous than flu shots. In addition to acute vaccine reactions – fever, myalgia, swollen lymph nodes and injection site soreness in the days following vaccination – many of you also discussed an array of more disturbing symptoms, including serious tinnitus, heightened blood pressure, chest pains, irregular menstrual bleeding and shortness of breath.

I also had many letters describing shingles and Bell’s Palsy following vaccination; and of more puzzling and potentially more serious neurological problems, from vertigo to muscular tremors to seizures. For the most part, milder acute symptoms disappeared in days, but some you report sore arms and tinnitus lasting many months. Among the severe reactions, myocarditis and stroke have a prominent place in your reports; I had fewer reports of miscarriages, but they were also present. Consistent with internet discussion elsewhere, some of you also report the sudden development or resurgence of cancer following Corona vaccination. Broadly speaking, dose 3 seems to have been worse than dose 2, and dose 2 worse than dose 1. Many, many of the vaccinated among you caught Corona following vaccination.

There are the preponderance of infections in the week following the first and third doses, which we already knew about, but these are but a fraction of post-vaccine infections overall. Probably a big thing that has stalled the political momentum driving mass vaccination, is the prevalence of bad booster reactions followed by breakthrough infection. Another point that emerged from your letters, is the generally high threshold for obtaining an exemption from further vaccination following an adverse reaction. It was disturbing to read several stories of people who were essentially vaccinated to death – dying after dose 3, following a rough reaction to dose 1 and a near-miss with dose 2.

Finally, almost all of you were vaccinated under duress. Some of you accepted vaccination simply to end the medical surveillance or to win back some freedom of movement. That was surprisingly uncommon, though; those who gave in to the petty harassments of the vaccinators generally said they didn’t appreciate the risk of the vaccines, or the outrageousness of the legal regime surrounding them, until later. Most often, people gave in to keep their jobs or to appease insistent family members. Some parents accepted vaccination so that they could attend school events involving their children; other people wanted to see elderly relatives in hospital or care homes.

It looks like death
https://twitter.com/i/status/1500633804830121984

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“.. the company knew as early as the 1950s that PCBs were harmful to humans, ordering staff not to eat near the chemicals.”

Los Angeles Suing Monsanto For Chemicals In Waterways (Y!)

Chemical company Monsanto found itself in the horns of yet another lawsuit Monday, as Los Angeles sued the firm for allegedly knowingly polluting waterways in one of the biggest cities in the United States. The suit — filed last week against three companies including Bayer, the German agro giant that now owns Monsanto Company — comes after a raft of legal action over weedkiller Roundup. The latest legal filing claims Monsanto polluted waterways in Los Angeles with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) up until 1979. PCBs — a toxic chemical that does not break down easily — were used in paint, ink, paper products, fireproofing products, hydraulic fluids and industrial equipment. “It’s time for Monsanto to clean up and pay up,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

“The health and environmental impacts of PCBs — impacts the city has been working hard to reduce in waters throughout LA — are just jaw dropping.” “We allege Monsanto knew decades ago that PCBs are toxic and inevitably would cause widespread contamination,” he charged. “It’s infuriating that Monsanto continued to manufacture and sell them — and, we allege, deceive the public about them.” The lawsuit says exposure to PCBs can lead to cancer, as well as to damage to the liver, thyroid and eyes. It says the chemical can hamper brain development and impact birth weight. City officials, who are seeking payment from Monsanto to clean up waterways, say the company knew as early as the 1950s that PCBs were harmful to humans, ordering staff not to eat near the chemicals.

The lawsuit names three companies that Monsanto spun off in the 1990s: Monsanto Company, now owned by Bayer; Solutia Inc., now owned by Eastman Chemical Company; and Pharmacia LLC., now owned by Pfizer.

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Marketing genius

 

 

 

 

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Feb 102022
 


Giuseppe Arcimboldo Four elements – Water 1566

 

VAERS Data Supports DoD Whistleblowers (UncoverDC)
The Rise of Omicron is the Fall of Vaccines (TSN)
COVID “Conspiracy Theories” Become “Fact-Checked” Mainstream Narrative (QTR)
Fauci Says ‘Full-Blown’ Covid-19 Pandemic Is Almost Over In US (Fox)
Mayor Reveals Plan To Deal With Truckers Blocking US-Canada Bridge (RT)
Dozens Arrested As New Zealand Police & Anti-mandate Protesters Clash (RT)
Texas Probes GoFundMe Shutdown Of Freedom Convoy Fundraiser (RT)
What Will Gov. Abbott Do With Vax Mandate In The Texas National Guard? (Blaze)
CVS Forecasts 80% Drop In Covid Vaccine Sales For 2022 (R.)
Germany Electricity Prices Soar To World Record Highs (NTZ)
Joe Rogan Mocks His Controversy In Surprise Stand-up Appearance (RT)
Britain’s Second Elizabethan Age Has Been 70 Years Of Dismal Decline (Nuttall)
Glyphosate’s Dirty Secrets — Are We About to Learn More? (CHD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue America

 

 

“..corrupt bureaucrats in Washington have knowingly poisoned our troops and deceived the American people about the safety and efficacy of the COVID injections.”

VAERS Data Supports DoD Whistleblowers (UncoverDC)

Renz explained to Sen. Johnson that he received significant and damaging data from the DoD whistleblowers under the penalty of perjury. For example, DMED data shows miscarriages increased by nearly 300% over the five-year average. Likewise, data shows an almost 300% increase in cancer over the same five years. Making a point to thank Dr. Ryan Cole for his focused attention to cancer related to COVID jabs and Dr. Pierre Kory for his “stance on the [current] corruption,” Renz continued, presenting the disturbing data to Sen. Johnson, adding:

“We saw—and this one’s amazing—neurological issues, which would affect our [military] pilots, [we saw] over a thousand percent increase—82,000 per year to 863,000 in one year. Our soldiers are being experimented on, injured, and sometimes possibly killed. They know this. And Senator, when these doctors are attacked, they call me. I’m the one dealing with the medical boards. I’m the one watching the witch hunts. I’m the one fighting them off, and I’m going to keep doing that. And let me give you one last thing, Senator—the Sept. 28, 2021, Project Salus weekly report.

Project Salus is a defense department initiative where they take all this data—that [they now say] doesn’t exist, supposedly—and they give it to the CDC. They’re watching these vaccines. On and around that date, I have numerous instances where Fauci and the entire crew were saying, “it’s a crisis of the unvaccinated. It’s 99% unvaxxed in the hospital.” In the project Salus weekly report, the DOD document says specifically 71% of new cases are in the fully vaccinated and 60% of hospitalizations are in the fully vaxxed. This is corruption at the highest level. We need investigations. The secretary of defense needs to be investigated. The CDC needs to be investigated. Thank you so much, Senator, for having the courage to stand up against these special interests.”

[..] UncoverDC spoke with attorney Renz last Friday. Renz shared that he and others believe DMED data is currently “being manipulated to cover up the fact that corrupt bureaucrats in Washington have knowingly poisoned our troops and deceived the American people about the safety and efficacy of the COVID injections.” Furthermore, Renz called claims that the DMED data from 2016-2020 was incorrect “absurd.” He added that we spend millions per year on DMED and the individuals monitoring it. Renz shared that he and his team believe DMED data is currently “being manipulated to cover up the fact that corrupt bureaucrats in Washington have knowingly poisoned our troops and deceived the American people about the safety and efficacy of the COVID injections.”

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“Omicron may be the death knell of the pandemic…”

The Rise of Omicron is the Fall of Vaccines (TSN)

Unless one sells vaccines for a living, the overall numbers for the covid-19 variant Omicron will seem wildly encouraging. Take a California study of 53,000 Omicron and 17,000 Delta cases from November 30, 2021, to January 1, 2022. In every way, Omicron patients did far better—a quarter the hospitalizations of Delta, miniscule admissions to ICU, no ventilation whatever, and a death rate of less than one-tenth of one percent. The study, by researchers at UC-Berkeley and Kaiser Permanente, suggests, as do others, that Omicron may be the death knell of the pandemic. But, buried deep within its piles of data, it also calls into question the utility of the vaccines themselves.

Beyond showing that the vaccines faltered as Omicron overtook Delta in December, the study lays bare what until now was a heretical assertion. The share of unvaccinated people hospitalized for Omicron infection was a mere 24 percent—43 of 182 hospitalized patients—compared to 69 percent for Delta. Put the other way around, the vaccinated have morphed into about three-quarters of hospital admissions for the now-dominant Omicron. These figures belie the rock-solid mainstream narrative that hospitals are filled with the unvaccinated. Clearly, the “pandemic of the unvaccinated”—always open to question—is no more.

“This is a huge change,” said Juan Chamie, a covid data expert who verified my conclusion from the data. “It is clearly contradicting the ‘99-percent unvaccinated in hospital’ narrative.” Dr. Mobeen Syed, a YouTube medical educator who favors vaccination of high-risk groups, agreed. The public health message on the hospitalized unvaccinated, he said, was “not up-to-date and transparent enough,” relying on data early in the pandemic when fewer were vaccinated and the variant was different. “They want to scare,” he told me. “They should have the courage to look at the data and say, ‘Hey guys, the risk (with Omicron) is reducing. Become happy, become more comfortable.’”

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“..only now that millions of vaccines have been distributed and the public’s trust in the President and in his Covid response is at all time lows – she has completely and totally changed her tune.”

COVID “Conspiracy Theories” Become “Fact-Checked” Mainstream Narrative (QTR)

I started out 2022 by predicting that capitalism and common sense would catalyze a massive pivot in how the mainstream media reports on Covid. I believed that the media would eventually start the process of pivoting from hysteria and that politicians, understanding full well that they can’t get re-elected during mid-terms this year on a platform of locking people in their homes, would follow. All I can say one month into the year is holy shit, does it look like I was right. So far in 2022, innumerable U.S. states, in addition to countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark, are lifting Covid restrictions. Connecticut and Delaware are planning on lifting school mask mandates by the end of March. Oregon officials have also announced that general mask mandates would be lifted March 31. Even New Jersey and California announced they would ease mandates in coming weeks.

And the media narrative has very quickly changed, too. Dr Leana Wen, columnist with The Washington Post and CNN medical analyst who has, in the past, gushed non-stop about following the government’s Covid guidance, has now completely changed her playbook for her appearances on CNN. On Monday of this week, she told CNN: “There was, and is, a time and place for pandemic restrictions. But when they were put in, it was always with the understanding that they would be removed as soon as we can. And, in this case, circumstances have changed. Case counts are declining. Also, the science has changed. The responsibility should shift from a government mandate imposed from the state or the local district of the school … it should shift to an individual responsibility by the family, who can still decide that their child can wear a mask if needed.”

[..] In fact, where the fuck was this woman 6 months ago? On New Years, she was urging people to mask up while heading outdoors to watch the ball drop: “Make sure that you’re vaccinated and boosted. Make sure that you’re wearing a mask even though it’s outdoors. There are lots of people packed around you, wearing a three-ply surgical mask.” In Spring of last year, she was expressing “fears” about the U.S. not being able to reach herd immunity. In Summer of last year, she was spreading the narrative that “we can’t trust the unvaccinated”. Heading into the Fall, she was writing op-eds called “Why Covid-19 Vaccines Should Be Required For All Americans”. And now – and only now that millions of vaccines have been distributed and the public’s trust in the President and in his Covid response is at all time lows – she has completely and totally changed her tune.

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“..you might need a booster only every four or five years.”

Fauci Says ‘Full-Blown’ Covid-19 Pandemic Is Almost Over In US (Fox)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser for President Biden, said in an interview published Tuesday that the U.S. is almost past the “full-blown” pandemic phase of the coronavirus and said he hopes that all virus-related restrictions could wind down in a few months. Fauci discussed his idea of the virus’s trajectory with the Financial Times. He told the paper that the government response to the disease will eventually be handled on a local level and not federal. He did not mention a specific month or season but told the paper that these restrictions — including mask mandates — could end “soon.” The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 across the U.S. has tumbled more than 28% over the past three weeks to about 105,000 on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Dr. Chris Beyrer, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the Associated Press, “What we want to see is that the omicron surge continues to decrease, that we don’t see another variant of concern emerge, that we start to come out of the other side of this.” Fauci told the paper that there is no way to eradicate the virus, but it is his hope that “we are looking at a time when we have enough people vaccinated and enough people with protection from previous infection that the Covid restrictions will soon be a thing of the past.” He also said it may not been needed for all Americans to get boosted in the future. “It will depend on who you are,” he said. “But if you are a normal, healthy 30-year-old person with no underlying conditions, you might need a booster only every four or five years.”

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Well, actually, there is no plan, at least in the article. But he does sound scared.

“You have a number of people who are … part of the protest group who have openly stated … they feel such a passion for this particular cause that they are willing to die for it..”

Mayor Reveals Plan To Deal With Truckers Blocking US-Canada Bridge (RT)

Trying to forcibly remove truckers blockading the busiest US-Canadian border crossing at the Ambassador Bridge could lead to violence and even death, the mayor of Windsor, Ontario cautioned on Wednesday, while his police chief called for a diplomatic approach. “You have a number of people who are … part of the protest group who have openly stated … they feel such a passion for this particular cause that they are willing to die for it,” Mayor Drew Dilkens told reporters on Wednesday. “If you have people who hold that sentiment, the situation can escalate and get very dangerous for police and those members of the public in very short order. It’s fair to say we don’t want to see anyone get hurt.” Dilkens added that he’s been getting calls from Windsor residents and businesses demanding the forcible removal of the truckers, but said “such action may inflame the situation and cause more folks to come and join the protest.”

The Ambassador Bridge runs between Windsor and Detroit, Michigan. It has been closed to commercial traffic since Monday, when several dozen truckers set up a blockade on the Canadian side, in solidarity with the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa. Another group of truckers and farmers has been blockading a border crossing in the western province of Alberta for over a week as well. Detroit-Windsor bridge traffic accounts for about $355 million worth of goods traded between the US and Canada, more than a quarter of all commerce between the two countries. The Canadian authorities have tried to route trucks to the Blue Water Bridge in nearby Sarnia. On Wednesday, truckers and farmers parked their vehicles near that bridge as well, causing a 4.5-hour delay to enter the US, the Canada Border Services Agency said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has refused to meet with the protesters in Ottawa, calling them a “fringe minority with unacceptable views,” and accusing them of violence, racism, bigotry, and even Nazi sympathies. Other Canadian officials have denounced the trucker protests as an “insurrection” and a “threat to our democracy.” Trudeau’s public safety minister, Marco Mendicino, called the bridge protests illegal, telling the truckers, “you are hurting Canadians and you are not above the law.” “This is an illegal economic blockade against the people of Ontario and against all Canadians,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said, adding that they are putting supply chains of food and manufacturer parts at risk.

Tyranny at its finest

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Ardern and Trudeau. What a couple.

Dozens Arrested As New Zealand Police & Anti-mandate Protesters Clash (RT)

New Zealand police cracked down on protesters outside Parliament in Wellington on Thursday, arresting more than 50 people after forcibly dispersing the demonstration against Covid-19 restrictions. Shortly before the scuffles erupted, police threatened the crowd of around 150 protesters with arrest if they refused to leave the area voluntarily. Those who ignored the order were subsequently detained by law enforcement. Protesters could be seen chanting “this is not democracy” and “shame on you” as police officers moved in to clear the grounds. Footage showed police officers tearing down tents that had been erected by protesters and scuffling with the protesters unwilling to scatter on their own.


“Police continue to appeal to protestors to leave Parliament Grounds peacefully, as the area is closed to the public,” New Zealand Police said in a statement on Thursday. “We continue to acknowledge people’s rights to protest, however those who behave unlawfully will face arrest,” the statement continued. By 11:30am, New Zealand Police claimed to have arrested more than 50 protesters on charges such as trespassing and obstruction for remaining on Parliament grounds after they decreed the area closed to the public. “Wellingtonians have the right to conduct their lives and go about their business without the interference of ongoing unlawful activity,” the police declared, warning that “additional resources” would be “deployed from around the country” to crack down on protests if they continued.

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“I will not stand by and allow these big tech firms to perniciously cancel or stifle speech they disagree with.”

Texas Probes GoFundMe Shutdown Of Freedom Convoy Fundraiser (RT)

The Texas state government has opened an investigation into crowdfunding platform GoFundMe after the site shut down a campaign on behalf of Canadian truckers in the Freedom Convoy, a large anti-vaccination mandate protest staged primarily in Ottawa. The state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, announced the move on Wednesday, saying he would act to “protect Texas consumers” and “get to the bottom of this deceitful action” following the platform’s decision to cancel the Freedom Convoy fund drive. “GoFundMe’s response to an anti-mandate, pro-liberty movement should ring alarm bells to anyone using the donation platform and, more broadly, any American wanting to protect their constitutional rights,” he said, arguing that Texans deserve to “know where their hard-earned money is going, rather than allowing GoFundMe to divert money to another cause” without their consent.

The site halted donations after “multiple discussions with local law enforcement” and “reports of violence and other unlawful activity” at the trucker-led protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates. Demonstrators have camped out in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, for over a week – what GoFundMe has described as an “occupation.” By the time the campaign shut down, it had raised more than $8 million. While the platform initially said it would issue refunds to donors only if they explicitly requested it – noting that it would otherwise send the money to charities approved by itself and the Freedom Convoy organizers – it has since reversed course. Earlier this week, GoFundMe issued an update, stating that, “due to donor feedback,” refunds would instead be processed automatically.

Two other states have also vowed to launch similar probes. Missouri AG Eric Schmitt told Fox News on Wednesday that his office would investigate “GoFundMe’s actions to silence the Freedom Convoy,” adding, “I will not stand by and allow these big tech firms to perniciously cancel or stifle speech they disagree with.” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously said that his state would look into the canceled fund drive, accusing GoFundMe of “deceptive practices.”

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“..they must let some of the pressure out of the balloon and ease some of the restrictions affecting the average family.”

What Will Gov. Abbott Do With Vax Mandate In The Texas National Guard? (Blaze)

These were supposed to be part-time citizen soldiers, but so many of them have served multiple tours of duty in the Middle East. More recently, nearly all of them are at the Texas-Mexico border attempting to do the job the federal government won’t do. Now that same federal government is threatening to terminate thousands of Texas guardsmen if they fail to get a shot that quite literally is outdated, and numerous data points and testimony from military doctors raise concerns about adverse reactions. Will Texas Gov. Greg Abbott stand up for his Guard? What about other GOP governors? The Biden administration officials know that with mounting opposition to COVID mandates, they must let some of the pressure out of the balloon and ease some of the restrictions affecting the average family.


But they also understand that the military is a minority of the minority and that they can get away with illogical and illegal mandates on it for far longer. At present, it appears that no number of facts on the ground will change the minds in the Pentagon in terminating their July 1 deadline on all Army soldiers, including state guardsmen, to receive the experimental shots. While the damage has already been done in most circles of the active-duty military, there are thousands of Texas guardsmen who have not gotten the shots and are now starring down the barrel of losing their careers and all retirement benefits. Here are the most recent vaccination numbers released by the Texas Military Department obtained by the Blaze:

As you can see, just 47% of the Texas Army National Guard are fully vaccinated, and 45% — accounting for 8,750 troops – have not begun the shots. At the border, 48% of the soldiers, nearly 3,000 of them, are unvaccinated, according to my source. And from speaking to two sources on the ground in the Texas Guard, it appears that most of them will refuse to get the shots. Will Gregg Abbott allow them to be terminated? Will Republicans in the U.S. Senate vote for the upcoming budget bill that continues to fund the DOD mandate?


The obvious question everyone should be asking is why are the GOP governors not uniting at a meeting and declaring the DOD mandate null and void? Remember, while governors have no control over the active-duty military, they do control the chain of command for disciplinary actions in their respective guards, absent a “Title 10” order from the president. At a minimum, each governor should direct the adjunct general of the Guard to announce that the state plans to fight the mandates and will dismiss any officer who encourages, much less coerces, soldiers to get the shots. That is fully within the legal authority of a governor.

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“CVS is not counting on booster shots boosting its business.”

CVS Forecasts 80% Drop In Covid Vaccine Sales For 2022 (R.)

CVS on Wednesday said it expected a 70% to 80% drop in the number of COVID-19 vaccines its drugstores will administer this year and said 2022 profit would be driven by its health insurance and pharmacy benefit management businesses. Shares of the company fell more than 4% in early trading after the company left its 2022 earnings forecast unchanged despite beating profit expectations in the fourth quarter. CVS made the comments during a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter results, which exceeded Wall Street estimates for profit and sales. The company, which operates one of the largest US drugstore chains, manages pharmacy benefits for employers and health plans and owns the Aetna health insurer, also forecast a 40% to 50% fall in COVID-19 testing at its stores.


It said it expects “modest full-year volume growth” in over-the-counter test kits. CVS said it administered COVID-19 vaccine booster doses during the fourth quarter that it had previously expected to provide in 2022, helping drive a near 13% increase in sales at its retail stores. That was also a factor in not raising the 2022 forecast, it said. While some countries such as Israel have begun giving out fourth vaccine doses, CVS is not counting on booster shots boosting its business.

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Three times higher than international average

Germany Electricity Prices Soar To World Record Highs (NTZ)

Germany’s power supply, once mostly made up of a mixture of coal and nuclear power, used to be among the most stable and affordable in the world. Power outages were rare and grid interventions were infrequent. But then in the 1990s environmental activists and politicians got involved, believing they could manage and design a grid and power supply that would be technically and environmentally superior than what the leading power generation and electrical engineers and experts themselves had in place. Sun and wind were the way to go, the environmentalist Greens and SPD socialist’s declared. After all, the wind and sun don’t send electric bills and are “free for the taking”. This they somehow managed to convince the public. And so the greening of the grid began.

In 2000, the coalition government of the Socialist’s and Greens, led by Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, introduced the EEG renewable green energies feed-in act. What followed was a green energies construction frenzy with hundreds of megawatts of volatile wind and solar capacity being added to the grid every year while nuclear power was shut down. Today now comes the EED’s price shock. Wind and solar are not free after all. In fact they are outrageously expensive, and they are even more volatiles in terms of supply than the country’s Corona policies! Today German weekly news magazine FOCUS here reports how Germany’s electricity prices have now reached “record” levels: “Germany is the world champion in electricity prices – no country pays more for electricity.

According to new data from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, German households paid an average of 36.19 cents for a kilowatt hour in January 2022.” That’s over 40 US cents per kilowatt-hour! “Never before have German consumers had to pay so much,” writes FOCUS. “Germans have to pay almost three times as much for electricity from the outlet compared to the international average. This is mainly due to unusually high taxes and eco-taxes in this country.” What’s worse, the country now teeters on power grid collapse, meaning blackouts are a real threat. Moreover, high-tech computer-controlled production machines and plants rely on a steady supply frequency to operate. As grid frequency becomes increasingly unstable due to the volatile wind and solar power input, the equipment risks costly unplanned production shutdowns.

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“kind of weird, people will get really mad if you use that word and tweet about it on a phone that’s made by slaves.”

Joe Rogan Mocks His Controversy In Surprise Stand-up Appearance (RT)

Headlining a small comedy show in Austin, Texas, Joe Rogan took to the stage to speak about the recent controversy surrounding him and his podcast on Spotify, and comment on the recently circulated video compilation of him using the n-word on his show. “I used to say it if [I was talking about] a Richard Pryor bit or something, I would say it in context,” Rogan said. “Somebody made a compilation of every time I said that word over 14 years and they put it on YouTube, and it turned out that was racist as f**k. Even to me! I’m me and I’m watching it saying, ‘Stop saying it!’ I put my cursor over the video and I’m like, ‘Four more minutes?!’” Rogan added that he hadn’t used the word in years, before saying he found it “kind of weird, people will get really mad if you use that word and tweet about it on a phone that’s made by slaves.”

The number one podcast host then addressed the other major controversy surrounding his show – the alleged Covid and vaccine misinformation. “I talk shit for a living — that’s why this is so baffling to me,” he said. “If you’re taking vaccine advice from me, is that really my fault? What dumb shit were you about to do when my stupid idea sounded better? ‘You know that dude who made people eat animal dicks on TV? How does he feel about medicine?’ If you want my advice, don’t take my advice.” After the show, Rogan held a brief Q&A with the audience, where one fan asked if he would accept the recent $100-million offer to move his show onto Rumble, but the host said he’ll stay where he is for now: “No, Spotify has hung in with me, inexplicably, let’s see what happens.”

In a recent episode with comic Akaash Singh, Rogan has decried the controversy surrounding him as “a political hit job” saying that the video of him saying the n-word had always been out there and was being used now for political reasons. “They’re taking all this stuff I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smushing it all together. It’s good because it makes me address some stuff that I really wish wasn’t out there.” Rogan also responded to criticism leveled against him by former US president Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who said Rogan shouldn’t have apologized to the mob. “You should apologize if you regret something,” said Rogan, adding that “I do think you have to be careful not to apologize for nonsense.”

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“Great Britain has lost an empire but not yet found a role.”

Britain’s Second Elizabethan Age Has Been 70 Years Of Dismal Decline (Nuttall)

There’s no doubt that Queen Elizabeth II is a wonderful monarch, perhaps one of the greatest Britain has ever seen. To put her long reign in perspective, she ascended to the throne only seven years after the end of the Second World War, and Winston Churchill was her first prime minister. Her commitment to duty and to her people are beyond reproach, and, as a result, her jubilee will be met with a swathe of celebratory television documentaries and news articles. But let’s not fool ourselves. Although she has been a magnificent monarch, her time on the throne has been one of steep British decline, and a far cry from the glorious first Elizabethan age in the 16th century.

This reign of Elizabeth I, from 1558 to 1603, is regarded as a ‘golden age’ for Britain, one of economic prosperity, technological advancement, and global exploration. She inherited an unstable kingdom, one divided by religion, increasing poverty, and beset with powerful foreign enemies. Under the guidance of its shrewd ‘Virgin Queen’, however, England emerged as a world power able to tackle its outward and internal foes. Her achievements included the restoration of England to Protestantism, the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Royal Navy’s defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, which laid the foundations for Britain to go on to ‘rule the waves’. Indeed, when it comes to the navy, it could be argued that the second Elizabethan period represents the undoing of the first.

When her namesake became Queen in February 1952, Britain was one of the most powerful nations on the planet; alongside the United States and the Soviet Union, it was considered one of the ‘Big Three’. Britain’s strength was augmented later that same year, when it became a nuclear power. At the time, Britain was spending 11.2 percent of GDP on its armed forces, yet this figure today has shrunk to a mere 2.3 percent. In 1952, Britain had a standing army of 871,000. This now stands at 82,000 and is due to be reduced to 72,500 by 2025. This is not really an army, but a corps. It is the same with the Royal Navy. In the 1950s, Britain had a navy worthy of policing the oceans. There were 280 active ships in 1950 and 12 aircraft carriers.

By 2020, however, the Royal Navy only had seventy active vessels, with only two aircraft carriers. Indeed, if coastal patrol vessels are excluded, the number of ships in the Royal Navy has declined by around 74 percent since the Falklands War of 1982. By any measure, this can only be construed as military decline. I am not making an argument in favour of colonialism, but the fact that Britain was prepared to abandon – or “scuttle” as Churchill put it – her empire in such a hurry only serves to highlight the country’s rapidly diminishing status. Indeed, as Dean Acheson, the former US secretary of state, said in 1962, “Great Britain has lost an empire but not yet found a role.”

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“Bayer AG purchased Monsanto and dumped the company name back in 2018. As if … that would be helpful. ”

Glyphosate’s Dirty Secrets — Are We About to Learn More? (CHD)

Truth will out. Eventually, given enough time, the good, the bad and the ugly will be revealed. Such is the case with Monsanto‘s dubious herbicide glyphosate. The long-winding story on how Monsanto and its governmental enablers at the Environmental Protection Agency first registered the weedkiller Roundup under at best dubious circumstances is sickening. In March 2015 U.S District Judge for the Northern District of California allowed public release of internal Monsanto documents showing how Monsanto influenced EPA to reclassify glyphosate from a Class C carcinogen to a Class E category which paved the way for glyphosate Roundup production. It was nothing short of a cover-up that put greed ahead of public safety.

And now ironically we learn the cover-up may have included Monsanto’s own investors. Bayer AG purchased Monsanto and dumped the company name back in 2018. As if … that would be helpful. Bayer has lost a string of jury trials where glyphosate was believed to be responsible for cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Now Bayer investors are saying the German agri-giant played fast and loose with the facts, misleading them on 1) the safety of glyphosate and Roundup; 2) Bayer’s efforts at due diligence; and 3) the legal risks in the acquisition of Monsanto. Their lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California makes for some interesting reading:

“Defendants specifically downplayed the liability risks related to Monsanto’s Roundup product, emphasizing that Bayer conducted a ‘thorough analysis’ during the due diligence process and ‘undertook appropriate due diligence of litigation and regulatory issues throughout the process’ which led Bayer to finalize the Acquisition. “These and similar statements made by Defendants during the Class Period were false and misleading. In truth, Defendants knew or recklessly disregarded that the Acquisition would not result in the benefits for Bayer that Defendants had represented, due to Monsanto’s significant exposure to liability risk related to Roundup.”

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Nate Hagens Energy Blind | Part 01 of 05 | The Great Simplification

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arnold

 

 

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Dec 232021
 
 December 23, 2021  Posted by at 9:36 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  97 Responses »


Claude Monet Camille on the Beach at Trouville 1870

 

Omicron: Risk Of Hospitalization -80%, Risk Of Severe Illness -70% (Bl.)
Risk Of Hospital Stay 40% Lower With Omicron Than Delta – UK Data (G.)
US Army Creates Single Vaccine Against All COVID & SARS Variants (Defense One)
mRNA-LNP Platform’s Lipid Nanoparticle Is Highly Inflammatory (NIH)
Bill Gates, Fauci Quietly Built A Multi-billion Dollar Vaccine Empire (Mercola)
How to Read RFK, Jr.’s Book in 5 Minutes (Kirsch)
Dutch GPs Prescribe Ivermectin As A Corona Cure Despite Ban (RTL)
Biden: 200 Million Americans Vaccinated, US Population 350 Million (CTH)
Director of University Ethics Program Fired Over Vaccine Mandate (ET)
24 States Sue Biden Admin Over COVID-19 Mandates for Children (ET)
Alex Berenson Sues Twitter For Acting ‘On Behalf’ Of US Govt (RT)
Supreme Court To Hold Hearing Over Biden’s Vaccine Mandate On Businesses (JTN)
Supreme Court Could Decide Fate of Monsanto/Bayer RoundUp Cancer Suits (ET)
Russia Planning Nuclear Attack, Ukraine Claims (RT)
Durham Zeroes In On Clinton Campaign, Could Call Some Aides To Testify (JTN)
Capitol Building To Be Expanded To Hold All Pfizer Lobbyists (BBee)

 

 

“South Korea continues to see record high case numbers, despite 99% mask compliance and 85% of their entire population being vaccinated, which is odd because I’ve been told by CNN experts that masks prevent infections and that an 85% vaccination rate would get us past COVID”

 

 

 

Maxime Bernier

 

 

Each of these states are over 85% vaxxed.

 

 

 

“..the situation may be different for other countries in comparison to South Africa, where under 50% of the population is vaccinated but many have experienced prior infection.”

No, that is the situation in most countries. Reported vaxx numbers are mostly exaggerated. To shame the unvaxxed.

And all the Omicron related new measures and mandates are now unadulterated totalitarianism. There’s no excuse for them.

Omicron: Risk Of Hospitalization -80%, Risk Of Severe Illness -70% (Bl.)

People who contract the Omicron variant during this current wave of COVID-19 infections are much less likely to be hospitalized than they are if they contract other strains of the virus, according to a new study from South Africa. The study, released Wednesday by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, comes as countries around the globe grapple with how to handle the new strain, which appears to be more resistant to current COVID-19 vaccines. In the study, researchers compared Omicron infections with Delta and other variant infections from October to November and discovered that Omicron infections resulted in a considerable 80% decreased chance of hospitalization. “When compared to non-[Omicron] infections, we found that [Omicron] infections had an 80% lower odds of being admitted to the hospital,” South African researchers concluded.

Though the researchers did note that for patients admitted to the hospital in that period, those infected with Omicron had an equal chance of developing a severe illness compared to those with other variants. But when compared to Delta infections starting in April — when that strain dominated much of the world — Omicron infections were associated with a 70% lower odds of severe disease, even though the new strain appears to produce a higher viral load in infected patients. “Compellingly, together our data really suggest a positive story of a reduced severity of Omicron compared to other variants,” said Professor Cheryl Cohen, one of the study’s authors. It should be noted that the study is newly released and has yet to be peer-reviewed.

Cohen added that research was reinforced by medical data from the country that has shown significantly lower hospitalization and death figures in this latest wave of COVID-19 infections, during which Omicron has become the obviously dominant strain. But Cohen was careful to note that the situation may be different for other countries in comparison to South Africa, where under 50% of the population is vaccinated but many have experienced prior infection. “What is unclear is whether the picture will be similar in countries where there are high levels of vaccination but very low levels of previous infection,” she said during a media briefing, according to Reuters. Nevertheless, the new data, if proven accurate, is positive news and could perhaps foreshadow a turning point in the pandemic, as some scientists have predicted.

Last month, as mass hysteria broke out regarding the Omicron variant, Israeli immunologist Zvika Granot argued that the new variant may be “the light at the end of the tunnel,” since it appeared to be “highly infectious but maybe not as aggressive.” “When you look at the future and try to envision how this will end one day, it’s most likely not going to be because we got a fantastic vaccine,” Granot said. “It just doesn’t work this way and we have a lot of experience with viruses like the flu.” “The way that it will end, at least in my view, is when we encounter this new variant that is highly infectious but is not very aggressive, meaning that a lot of people will get infected but none of them will develop serious symptoms. And in a sense that will be the way the population will really gain herd immunity, and then the coronavirus will just fade away,” he argued.

Forbes South Africa

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Notorious wanker Neil Ferguson gets rolled out once more to instill fear. Just cut the South Africa numbers in half. And then claim the SAGE numbers of 3,000 daily hospitalisations in England at the peak of the wave, are still valid. Merry Christmas.

Risk Of Hospital Stay 40% Lower With Omicron Than Delta – UK Data (G.)

The Omicron variant of coronavirus appears to be milder, with a 20%-25% reduced chance of a hospital visit and at least a 40% lower risk of being admitted overnight, the first UK data of its kind has showed. But as daily Covid cases topped 100,000 for the first time on Wednesday, experts warned that high transmissibility means the NHS is still at risk of being overwhelmed. In what was described by scientists as a “qualified good news story”, two studies on Wednesday pointed to a lower risk of hospitalisation with Omicron. An Imperial College outbreak modelling team led by Prof Neil Ferguson analysed hospitalisations and vaccine records among all PCR-confirmed Covid cases in England between 1 and 14 December. The dataset included 56,000 cases of Omicron and 269,000 cases of Delta.

Their report found that the risk of any attendance at hospital was 20% to 25% lower with Omicron versus Delta, and 40%-45% lower when the visit resulted in admission for at least one night. For the small percentage of people who had neither been previously infected with Covid nor vaccinated, the risk of hospitalisation was about 11% lower for Omicron versus Delta. Ferguson said that while it was “good news”, the assessment did not substantially change Sage modelling pointing to 3,000 daily hospitalisations in England at the peak of the wave next month without restrictions beyond the plan B measures currently in place.


While the analysis shows evidence of “a moderate reduction” in the risk of hospitalisation associated with Omicron compared with Delta, Ferguson said, “this appears to be offset by the reduced efficacy of vaccines against infection with the Omicron variant”. “Given the high transmissibility of the Omicron virus, there remains the potential for health services to face increasing demand if Omicron cases continue to grow at the rate that has been seen in recent weeks,” he added.

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What are the odds that Pfizer already has their greasy fingers in here somewhere?

“Walter Reed is working with a yet-to-be-named industry partner for that wider rollout.”

US Army Creates Single Vaccine Against All COVID & SARS Variants (Defense One)

Within weeks, scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research expect to announce that they have developed a vaccine that is effective against COVID-19 and all its variants, even Omicron, as well as previous SARS-origin viruses that have killed millions of people worldwide. The achievement is the result of almost two years of work on the virus. The Army lab received its first DNA sequencing of the COVID-19 virus in early 2020. Very early on, Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch decided to focus on making a vaccine that would work against not just the existing strain but all of its potential variants as well. Walter Reed’s Spike Ferritin Nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine, or SpFN, completed animal trials earlier this year with positive results.

Phase 1 of human trials, which tested the vaccine against Omicron and the other variants, wrapped up this month, again with positive results that are undergoing final review, Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of Walter Reed’s infectious diseases branch, said in an exclusive interview with Defense One. The new vaccine will still need to undergo phase 2 and phase 3 trials. Unlike existing vaccines, Walter Reed’s SpFN uses a soccer ball-shaped protein with 24 faces for its vaccine, which allows scientists to attach the spikes of multiple coronavirus strains on different faces of the protein. “It’s very exciting to get to this point for our entire team and I think for the entire Army as well,” Modjarrad said. The vaccine’s human trials took longer than expected, he said, because the lab needed to test the vaccine on subjects who had neither been vaccinated nor previously infected with COVID.


Increasing vaccination rates and the rapid spread of the Delta and Omicron variants made that difficult. [..] The next step is seeing how the new pan-coronavirus vaccine interacts with people who were previously vaccinated or previously sick. Walter Reed is working with a yet-to-be-named industry partner for that wider rollout. “We need to evaluate it in the real-world setting and try to understand how does the vaccine perform in much larger numbers of individuals who have already been vaccinated with something else initially…or already been sick,” Modjarrad said. He said nearly all of Walter Reed’s 2,500 staff have had some role in the vaccine’s nearly-two-year development.

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LNP. Avoid them.

mRNA-LNP Platform’s Lipid Nanoparticle Is Highly Inflammatory (NIH)

Vaccines based on mRNA-containing lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are a promising new platform used by two leading vaccines against COVID-19. Clinical trials and ongoing vaccinations present with varying degrees of protection levels and side effects. However, the drivers of the reported side effects remain poorly defined. Here we present evidence that Acuitas’ LNPs used in preclinical nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine studies are highly inflammatory in mice. Intradermal and intramuscular injection of these LNPs led to rapid and robust inflammatory responses, characterized by massive neutrophil infiltration, activation of diverse inflammatory pathways, and production of various inflammatory cytokines and chemokines.


The same dose of LNP delivered intranasally led to similar inflammatory responses in the lung and resulted in a high mortality rate, with mechanism unresolved. Thus, the mRNA-LNP platforms’ potency in supporting the induction of adaptive immune responses and the observed side effects may stem from the LNPs’ highly inflammatory nature.

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“This is where Fauci’s power lies: in his capacity to fund, arm, pay, maintain and effectively deploy a large and sprawling standing army. The NIH alone controls an annual $37 billion budget..”

Bill Gates, Fauci Quietly Built A Multi-billion Dollar Vaccine Empire (Mercola)

How does a private citizen, not an elected official, gain so much control over a global health agency like WHO? When it was founded, WHO could decide how to distribute its contributions. Now, 70% of its budget is tied to specific projects, countries or regions, which are dictated by the funders. As such, Gates’ priorities are the backbone of WHO, and it wasn’t a coincidence when he said of WHO, “Our priorities, are your priorities.” As of 2018, the cumulative contributions from the Gates Foundation and GAVI made “Gates the unofficial top sponsor of the WHO, even before the Trump administration’s 2020 move to cut all his support to the organization,” according to Kennedy. “Plus, Gates also routes funding to WHO through SAGE [Strategic Advisory Group of Experts] and UNICEF and Rotary International bringing his total contributions to over $1 billion.”

These tax-deductible donations give Gates both leverage and control over international health policy, “which he largely directs to serve the profit interest of his pharma partners.” Further, “Gate’s vaccine obsession has diverted WHO’s program contributions from poverty alleviation, nutrition and clean water to make vaccine uptake its preeminent public health metric. And Gates is not afraid to throw his weight around,” according to Kennedy. “… The sheer magnitude of his foundation’s financial contributions has made Bill Gates an unofficial — albeit unelected — leader of the WHO.” Gates’ power has grown further due to his decadeslong partnership with Fauci. Alone, both Gates and Fauci wield immense power in their fields. Together, they’re a formidable, if unfortunately nefarious, force.

As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) — “Fauci has a $6.1 billion budget that he distributes to colleges and universities to do drug research for various diseases,” Kennedy says. “He has another $1.7 billion that comes from the military to do bioweapons research.” This is where Fauci’s power lies: in his capacity to fund, arm, pay, maintain and effectively deploy a large and sprawling standing army. The NIH alone controls an annual $37 billion budget distributed in over 50,000 grants supporting over 300,000 positions globally in medical research.

The thousands of doctors, hospital administrators, health officials and research virologists whose positions, careers and salaries depend on AIDS dollars flowing from Dr. Fauci, Gates and the Wellcome Trust (Great Britain’s version of the Gates Foundation) are the officers and soldiers in a mercenary army that functions to defend all vaccines and Dr. Fauci’s HIV/AIDS doxologies. Along with Gates, Fauci had the power to influence funding of U.S. foreign aid to Africa for AIDS, prioritizing that for vaccines and drugs instead of nutrition, sanitation and economic development. Yet, Fauci and his team, funded by Gates, have never created a vaccine for AIDS, despite squandering billions of dollars, and causing uncounted human carnage. In 2020, many of the Gates/Fauci HIV vaccine trials in Africa suddenly became COVID-19 vaccine trials.

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“Fauci is the leader of the largest cabal of organized crime thugs to have ever walked the face of Earth..”

How to Read RFK, Jr.’s Book in 5 Minutes (Kirsch)

Here are five methods to get the gist of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s best-selling book, “The Real Anthony Fauci,” quickly:

1. The first third shows that Fauci is the leader of the largest cabal of organized crime thugs to have ever walked the face of Earth. The middle third goes into more detail about the history of the establishment of Fauci’s criminal cabal. The final third ties together loose ends with more details and factual history. The overriding theme is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization are all run and controlled by criminal thugs in concert with their criminal counterparts running Big Pharma.

3. Consider this excerpt: “Under Dr. Fauci’s leadership, the allergic, autoimmune, and chronic illnesses which Congress specifically charged NIAID to investigate and prevent, have mushroomed to afflict 54 percent of children, up from 12.8 percent when he took over NIAID in 1984. “Dr. Fauci has offered no explanation as to why allergic diseases like asthma, eczema, food allergies, allergic rhinitis, and anaphylaxis suddenly exploded beginning in 1989, five years after he came to power. “On its website, NIAID boasts that autoimmune disease is one of the agency’s top priorities. Some 80 autoimmune diseases, including juvenile diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, Graves’ disease, and Crohn’s disease, which were practically unknown prior to 1984, suddenly became epidemic under his watch.

“Autism, which many scientists now consider an autoimmune disease, exploded from between 2/10,000 and 4/10,000 Americans when Tony Fauci joined NIAID, to one in thirty-four today. “Neurological diseases like ADD/ADHD, speech and sleep disorders, narcolepsy, facial tics, and Tourette’s syndrome have become commonplace in American children. “The human, health, and economic costs of chronic disease dwarf the costs of all infectious diseases in the United States. By this decade’s end, obesity, diabetes, and pre-diabetes are on track to debilitate 85 percent of America’s citizens. “For this reason, all the drug companies and members of Congress (except Rand Paul) LOVE Fauci.”

5. My review: The book shows that Fauci is a really bad guy who has done a lot of bad stuff and he should be immediately fired. It also shows a completely corrupt system that is allowing dangerous drugs to be approved. We need to all stand up and oppose what is going on. The system is badly broken and corrupt and needs to be fixed ASAP. I haven’t read the entire book, but I have read sections and everything I have read so far aligns with the facts I know. It’s a devastating book, filled with details that few people knew about until now.

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Google translate.

“The drug also has side effects that can be serious at high doses. For example, a decrease in consciousness…”

Wonder how many other drugs on the WHO essential medicine list are this dangerous…

Dutch GPs Prescribe Ivermectin As A Corona Cure Despite Ban (RTL)

A group of Dutch general practitioners is prescribing the controversial drug ivermectin to people who are ill due to corona via a website. This practice goes against medical guidelines, so doctors are not allowed to do it. The Health and Youth Care Inspectorate (IGJ) is aware of this and has already issued a fine, but the website is still active Ivermectin is being circulated on various websites as a cure against corona, but is controversial because there is no sufficient scientific evidence for it. That is why most general practitioners do not prescribe it. If you still want it, you can still arrange it via the website ‘Self-care Covid-19’. On that website it is claimed that, among other things, zinc and vitamins C and D make resistant to corona. Will the virus still get you? Then you can get a telephone consultation with a GP for 30 euros.

Our research team tried this out and got a doctor from the collective on the phone. She did not ask about fever or breathing problems in that conversation, but did offer ivermectin after two minutes. Without our actively asking, as can be seen in this video: In their own words, Self-Care Covid-19 holds twenty to fifty such telephone consultations every day. Since the start in October 2020, there are approximately 2800. 10 to 20 percent of patients would only be advised to take supplements, 80 percent are prescribed a combination of ivermectin, antibiotic doxycycline and aspirin. In some cases, rheumatism medicine hydroxychloroquine is added on top of that.


Ivermectin is a drug that helps against scabies and other parasites, not viruses. “It is not a proven effective treatment for Covid, even if it is circulating on the internet,” says internist-infectiologist Mark de Boer of the Leiden University Medical Center. “There are sufficient indications that this is not effective. The drug also has side effects that can be serious at high doses. For example, a decrease in consciousness.” The doctors behind Self-care Covid-19 speak of ‘mild side effects’. Not all pharmacies cooperate in the distribution of ivermectin, but Self-Care Covid-19 has a solution for that too: they know a number that do sell the medicine.

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40 million or 150 million? Not quite the same thing.

Biden: 200 Million Americans Vaccinated, US Population 350 Million (CTH)

During an ABC interview today, Joe Biden told ABC News’ David Muir that as of right now, there are “200 million people fully vaccinated.” Counting illegal aliens, there are roughly 350 million Americans right now [Census Data]. If 200 million Americans are vaccinated (60%), that means there are approximately 150 million Americans NOT vaccinated (40%). During his speech yesterday, Joe Biden said: “Thanks to the progress on vaccinations this fall, we’ve gone from nearly 90 million adults in July who had not even started their vaccination process to fewer than 40 million today.” There’s a big difference between 150 million unvaccinated and “fewer than 40 million” unvaccinated. Can you reconcile the difference?

As we noted last week, with the CDC adjusting the numbers downward […] this would align with several tangential datapoints which have always seemed to be in conflict with the preferred government narrative. Additionally, there’s also an obvious motive on behalf of the government to overinflate vaccination in order to generate peer pressure and the self-fulfilling prophecy needed to garner vaccine acceptance. As now noted by Bloomberg: […] “CDC data show 240 million people with at least one shot, or about 72.5% of the population. But the agency says only 203 million are fully vaccinated, or 61.3%, an 11-percentage-point difference that is far larger than in other developed countries. State and local officials say it’s improbable that 37 million Americans got one shot without completing their inoculations. Instead, they say, the government has regularly and incorrectly counted booster shots and second doses as first doses.”


Perhaps this disparity reconciles why many people look quizzically at the high vaccine data while not finding any correlation to their own community, friends or family. Indeed, there has always been a disconnect between the number of people the government reports as having been vaccinated, when contrast against the open admissions of those who have not wanted to participate in this wide-scale vaccination program. Biden’s statement today aligns with the adjusted statements from the CDC of 200 million Americans being fully vaccinated. However, Biden’s statement today does not reconcile against his statement yesterday of “fewer than 40 million Americans” remain to be vaccinated. If the 200 million vaccinated number is accurate, then 150 million Americans are not vaccinated.

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Ethics are not supposed to be discussed in the new Science?!

Director of University Ethics Program Fired Over Vaccine Mandate (ET)

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, the longtime professor of psychiatry at the University of California–Irvine School of Medicine who sued the university over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate because it made no exceptions for natural immunity, has been fired by the institution for refusing the vaccine. In a blog post titled “Farewell, University of California,” Dr. Kheriaty said he received notice of what he called his “arbitrary and capricious” firing on Dec. 16. It was effective the same day. The termination ends his UCI medical teaching career and his longtime role as director of the Medical Ethics Program at UCI Health. Kheriaty said he worked unpaid nights helping the UCI president’s office draft triage guidelines for scarce resources and vaccines during the pandemic.

When N-95 masks were so scarce that hospitals kept them under lock and key, Kheriaty said he found a supply at a local construction company and provided them to doctors and nurses. “Everyone at the university seemed to be a fan of my work, until suddenly they were not,” Kheriaty wrote. “Once I challenged one of their policies, I immediately became a ‘threat to the health and safety of the community.’ No amount of empirical evidence about natural immunity or vaccine safety and efficacy mattered at all. “The University’s leadership was not interested in scientific debate or ethical deliberation. When I was placed on unpaid suspension, I was not permitted to use my paid time off—that is to say, I was ordered to stay off campus because I was not vaccinated, but I also could not take vacation at home because… I was not vaccinated.”

[..] Kheriaty sued the University of California Board of Regents in federal court on Aug. 18, alleging the university’s vaccine mandate violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In July 2020, Kheriaty contracted COVID-19, so he now has natural immunity, which he argues is likely superior to protection from a vaccine. His lawsuit is working its way through U.S. District Court. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California refused Kheriaty’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the vaccine mandate. In his lawsuit, he highlighted the failure of vaccine mandates to account for the likely superior immunity possessed by COVID-19 survivors. His faculty colleagues at the University of California filed a 187-page declaration supporting the efficacy of natural immunity.

As a COVID-19 survivor, Kheriaty said, his immunity to the disease is between 95 and 99 percent effective. There is not one case on record of someone who recovered from COVID-19 and then was reinfected and transmitted the virus to someone else, he said in October. This sterilizing immunity is an advantage the human immune system has over any COVID-19 vaccine, he argued, noting the declining efficacy of the mRNA vaccines over time.

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Talk about ethics.

24 States Sue Biden Admin Over COVID-19 Mandates for Children (ET)

Attorneys general (AG) from 24 states have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration challenging COVID-19 vaccine mandates for early education staff and mask mandates for young children. Led by Louisiana AG Jeff Landry, the lawsuit argues that the mandates involving Head Start, the country’s largest early education program, are unlawful and exceed President Joe Biden’s statutory authority. Biden’s mandate, issued last month, applies to all preschool programs funded by the federal Head Start program and affects hundreds of thousands of staff, volunteers, and preschool students across the country. It mandates vaccinations for staff, volunteers, and others in contact with students by the end of January and requires masks for all adults and children aged two and above.


The mandate offers no alternative to vaccinations, and for those granted exemptions, funds are not provided for regular testing. It applies to staff regardless of whether they work in person or remotely. The Department of Health and Human Services provides funding to low-income families of preschool-age children under the federal Head Start program. The lawsuit argues that the president’s mandate is projected to lead to tens of thousands of Head Start agency staff losing their jobs and will cause programs to close or reduce capacity. “Like all of his other unlawful attempts to impose medical decisions on Americans, Biden’s overreaching orders to mask two-year-olds and force vaccinate teachers in our underserved communities will cost jobs and impede child development,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement on Tuesday. “If enacted, Biden’s authoritarianism will cut funding, programs, and childcare that working families, single mothers, and elderly raising grandchildren rely on desperately.”

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“It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine…”

Alex Berenson Sues Twitter For Acting ‘On Behalf’ Of US Govt (RT)

Former New York Times reporter and outspoken critic of the US response to the Covid pandemic Alex Berenson is suing Twitter for suspending his account, claiming the platform “acted on behalf of the federal government. In the lawsuit, filed this week in the Northern District of California, Berenson accused Twitter of breach of contract and of violating his First Amendment rights. The alleged breach of contract stems from the fact that Berenson claims a Twitter executive had repeatedly assured him that he would be free to express his views on the platform without fear of retaliation. “Despite the controversy around his statements, a senior Twitter executive repeatedly assured Mr. Berenson that the company backed his right to free expression and that he would continue to enjoy access to the platform,” Berenson’s lawyers said in the suit.

The independent reporter and best-selling author was reportedly suspended from Twitter in August over a tweet questioning whether Covid vaccines could actually prevent infection and transmission of the virus, referring to them as “therapeutic” drugs. A Twitter spokesperson at the time said Berenson was permanently suspended for “repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.” In the tweet, Berenson wrote: “It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine. Think of it – at best – as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS.”


Berenson argues the platform acted on behalf of the Biden administration in censoring his posts, as the president himself had criticized “misinformation” about Covid spreading on social media only days before the author’s suspension. He is also claiming in his lawsuit that a California law applying to “common carriers” applies to Twitter. The legislation, dating back to 1872, regulates companies that “offer to the public to carry persons, property, or messages.” Berenson’s lawyers argue the legislation is relevant to the suit as the “courts have repeatedly applied the 1872 law to telephone companies and other technologies that did not exist at the time it was enacted,” adding that Twitter does not have the publishing freedom typically afforded due to the common carrier law.

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“..affects 84 million Americans..”

Supreme Court To Hold Hearing Over Biden’s Vaccine Mandate On Businesses (JTN)

The Supreme Court announced Wednesday it will hold a special hearing Jan. 7, 2022, on the legality of Biden administration vaccine mandates on healthcare workers and private companies with more than 100 people. The court’s decision to quickly take up the cases follows a series of different rulings in lower courts. The mandates will remain in place pending January’s oral arguments. The cases were rushed to the Supreme Court due to the time-sensitive nature of the Biden administration’s mandates. More than 17 million healthcare workers are required by the federal government to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, meanwhile, announced over the weekend it was postponing until Jan. 10 the deadline for compliance with the vaccine mandate on private businesses with more than 100 employees, which affects 84 million Americans.


The cases against a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers — State of Louisiana et al v. Xavier Becerra, Sec. of HHS, et al and Joseph Biden, President of U.S., et al v. Missouri, et al — were brought to Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh. The healthcare workers’ cases were consolidated and will receive one hour total for arguments. Two cases against Biden’s business mandate were brought to Justice Kavanagh, who combined the cases and allotted one hour for arguments. Petitioners in all cases requested for the mandate to be stopped. Rather than stopping the mandate, the justices are delaying a decision until after hearing the cases in January.

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Busy days for SCOTUS.

Supreme Court Could Decide Fate of Monsanto/Bayer RoundUp Cancer Suits (ET)

On Dec. 13, the Supreme Court asked the Solicitor General to offer the United States’ views on “Monsanto vs. Hardeman”—the latest move in what could be a landmark case for multibillion-dollar litigation linking the herbicide RoundUp to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, if the Supreme Court agrees to review the case. After a call for the views of the solicitor general, that Justice Department official will often respond with a brief commenting on whether the Supreme Court should agree to review the case. The Epoch Times has reached out to the Solicitor General for comment. Monsanto, which was acquired by the German chemical company Bayer in 2018, filed its petition after a Ninth Circuit panel ruled in favor of California resident Edwin Hardeman, who claimed his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma resulted from exposure to RoundUp.


Ninth Circuit Judge Ryan D. Nelson, a Trump appointee, found that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) did not preempt California’s law, under which RoundUp and other products containing glyphosate must feature warnings about that ingredient’s reported cancer risk. While the state of California maintains that glyphosate is carcinogenic, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which enforces FIFRA, maintains glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer in humans. Monsanto’s petition to the Supreme Court challenges the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on preemption. It also argues that the Ninth Circuit admitted low-quality expert opinions on glyphosate and cancer, deviating from the practices of other appellate courts and violating Federal Rule of Evidence 702.

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This idiocy fits the NATO narrative.

Russia Planning Nuclear Attack, Ukraine Claims (RT)

One of Ukraine’s top politicians has alleged that signals coming from Russia indicate that Moscow could be plotting a full-blown nuclear attack against its Eastern European neighbor in a new sensational intervention. Speaking at a conference on Wednesday, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, remarked that “as of 1991, Ukraine had the third largest nuclear capability in the world,” referring to its inherited arsenal of warheads from the collapse of the Soviet Union. He noted that Kiev “voluntarily gave this up to become a non-nuclear state” just a few years later. However, the politician alleged that Russia, which “was the guarantor of such disarmament, hints that if we continue our democratic development, it may even launch a nuclear strike against us.”


The remarks from Stefanchuk come in the foreground of concerns from Western leaders and Kiev’s intelligence service that Moscow is planning to launch a full-blown offensive against Ukraine. However, the Kremlin has repeatedly denied allegations that Russia is massing its troops along the shared demarcation line in preparation for an invasion. Instead, Moscow has accused members of the US-led military bloc of shuttling a concerning amount of weapons toward Russia’s borders and said that Western states are encouraging Kiev’s officials to engage in provocations that could spiral into an all-out conflict. Last month, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that in Ukraine, “more and more forces and equipment are being accumulated on the line of contact in the Donbass, supported by an increasing number of Western instructors.” He warned that if these states cannot hold back Kiev, and are instead actually spurring it on, Moscow will “take all necessary steps to ensure our security.”

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Someone better change lawyers.

Durham Zeroes In On Clinton Campaign, Could Call Some Aides To Testify (JTN)

Hillary Clinton’s team long fought to keep its ties to Christopher Steele’s dossier from public view, but Special Counsel John Durham is now making clear he has a strong interest in her campaign’s behavior during the Russia collusion probe. He is even suggesting some of her aides could be summoned as trial witnesses. Durham’s earth-shaking revelation came inside a routine court filing this month in the case of Igor Y. Danchenko, a Russian analyst who was a primary source in 2016 for Steele’s now-infamous dossier. Danchenko has been charged with repeatedly lying to the FBI during the Russia collusion probe and has pleaded innocent.

Durham’s motion asked the presiding judge to determine whether Danchenko’s lawyers —Danny Onorato and Stuart Sears of the Schertler Onorato Mead & Sears law firm — pose a conflict of interest because the firm also represents the Hillary for America campaign as well as several former campaign officials in “matters before the special counsel.” “The Clinton Campaign financed the opposition research reports, colloquially known as the ‘Dossier,’ that are central to the Indictment against the defendant,” the Durham team stated in the motion. “Accordingly, for the reasons set forth below, the government respectfully requests that the Court inquire into the potential conflict issues set forth herein.”

[..] Prosecutors said they want to know what the Clinton campaign knew about the accuracy of the Steele dossier’s now-discredited allegations of Trump-Russia collusion and whether any campaign “representatives directed, solicited, or controlled” Danchenko’s activities assisting Steele. “The interests of the Clinton Campaign and the defendant could potentially diverge in connection with any plea discussions, pre-trial proceedings, hearings, trial, and sentencing proceedings,” the prosecutors told the court, often referring to the Steele dossier as “Company Reports.” “For example, the Clinton Campaign and the defendant each might have an incentive to shift blame and/or responsibility to the other party for any allegedly false information that was contained within the Company Reports and/or provided to the FBI,” the Durham filing stated.

“Moreover, it is possible that one of these parties might also seek to advance claims that they were harmed or defrauded by the other’s actions, statements, or representations.” For the first time, Durham also raised the possibility aides to Hillary Clinton could testify at Danchenko’s trial. “In the event that one or more former representatives of the Clinton Campaign (who are represented by defense counsel’s firm) are called to testify at any trial or other court proceeding, the defendant and any such witness would be represented by the same law firm, resulting in a potential conflict,” Durham’s team argued.

And for one of the first times, Durham’s team declares to a court what it believes was the political motive for the Clinton campaign to pay its law firm, Perkins Coie, to hire the Fusion GPS investigative firm to hire the retired MI6 agent Steele to write the anti-Trump Russia reports known as the dossier. “The Clinton Campaign, through Law Firm-1 and U.S. Investigative Firm-1, commissioned and financed the Company Reports in an attempt to gather and disseminate derogatory information about Donald Trump,” the filing stated.

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They all seem to fit in already.

Capitol Building To Be Expanded To Hold All Pfizer Lobbyists (BBee)

Senate leaders revealed today that Biden’s “Build Back Better” infrastructure plan will include $86 Billion for a brand-new Capitol Building construction project. The Capitol will be expanded to hold 100 Senators, 435 Representatives, and 1,423 Pfizer lobbyists. “Better. Build blur, uh, der der trunalimunumaprzure,” said Biden in a forceful speech defending the plan. “Derp rug abba loogey.” A hand then appeared from behind a curtain and injected Biden with some sort of medication, causing Biden to come to his senses.


“These Pfizer people, they’re good folks, folks! They know what they’re doing! We’re just gonna let them run the country for a while, I think. More time for me to watch Murder She Wrote on the television box!” Officials confirmed that to save time, the Biden administration plans to merge all regulatory agencies with Pfizer. They also confirmed that troops will arrive at your house tonight to administer your booster shot. Cool!

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Viral blizzard

 

 

Blackrock owns enough controlling interest in all.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

May 112021
 


John French Sloan A Woman’s Work 1912

 

57 Top Scientists And Doctors Demand Immediate Stop to ALL Vaccinations (EnV)
Feds Demonizing Covid-19 Treatments In Order To Promote Vaccine (WND)
Norway Health Board Rejects J&J, AZ Vaccines Over Side Effects (RT)
Doctor Warns Allowing Hugs ‘Might Be A Mistake’ (Mirror)
US Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine For 12-15 Year Olds (Y!)
Unthinkable Thoughts (Mitteldorf)
US Gas Stations Running Out Of Fuel (DM)
Free Speech Inc. (Turley)
Chevron’s Prisoner (Bragman)
Civil War Is Brewing In France And You Know It: French Military To Macron (RT)
Agent Orange Complaint vs Monsanto, Dow Chemical Rejected By French Court (RT)

 

 

 

 

Not everyone’s asleep yet.

57 Top Scientists And Doctors Demand Immediate Stop to ALL Vaccinations (EnV)

Vaccines for other coronaviruses have never been approved for humans, and data generated in the development of coronavirus vaccines designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies show that they may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) and Th2 immunopathology, regardless of the vaccine platform and delivery method [9-11]. Vaccine-driven disease enhancement in animals vaccinated against SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV is known to occur following viral challenge, and has been attributed to immune complexes and Fc-mediated viral capture by macrophages, which augment T-cell activation and inflammation [11-13].

In March 2020, vaccine immunologists and coronavirus experts assessed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine risks based on SARS-CoV-vaccine trials in animal models. The expert group concluded that ADE and immunopathology were a real concern, but stated that their risk was insufficient to delay clinical trials, although continued monitoring would be necessary [14]. While there is no clear evidence of the occurrence of ADE and vaccine-related immunopathology in volunteers immunized with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines [15], safety trials to date have not specifically addressed these serious adverse effects (SAE).

Given that the follow-up of volunteers did not exceed 2-3.5 months after the second dose [16-19], it is unlikely such SAE would have been observed. Despite errors in reporting, it cannot be ignored that even accounting for the number of vaccines administered, according to the US Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System (VAERS), the number of deaths per million vaccine doses administered has increased more than 10-fold. We believe there is an urgent need for open scientific dialogue on vaccine safety in the context of large-scale immunization. In this paper, we describe some of the risks of mass vaccination in the context of phase 3 trial exclusion criteria and discuss the SAE reported in national and regional adverse effect registration systems. We highlight unanswered questions and draw attention to the need for a more cautious approach to mass vaccination.

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“..the National Institutes of Health issued a guideline recommending physicians not treat COVID-19 until a patient needs oxygen..”

Feds Demonizing Covid-19 Treatments In Order To Promote Vaccine (WND)

“Something has gone off the rails” in the world’s approach to the novel coronavirus pandemic, with health authorities in the U.S. and abroad suppressing safe, cheap and effective treatments while promoting experimental vaccines that have received only emergency use authorization, contends Dr. Peter McCullough. McCullough, a renowned cardiologist who testified to the U.S. Senate last fall on COVID-19 treatments, pointed out in a lengthy interview with Tucker Carlson’s Fox Nation show “Tucker Carlson Today” that the National Institutes of Health issued a guideline recommending physicians not treat COVID-19 until a patient needs oxygen. “This document will go down in history as the most nihilistic medical guidance as Americans are suffering,” said McCullough, the vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Asked to explain why such guidance would be issued, McCullough said it could be “fear driven,” but it’s not in his “moral DNA” to “let people die with no treatment.” Around the world, physicians are finding success using treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, but there is no regulatory support in the United States for treating COVID-19 at all, as there would be for any other disease, he said. In November, McCullough was among the physicians who in Senate testimony decried the politicization hydroxychloroquine, invermectin and other treatments. McCullough has 600 peer-reviewed publications to his name. Many have appeared in top-tier journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet.

He is the president of the Cardiorenal Society of America, the co-editor of Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine and associate editor of the American Journal of Cardiology and Cardiorenal Medicine. He has led monitoring safety boards in major drug trials. “I have seen things in the last year that I cannot explain as a doctor,” he told Carlson. “Why are other doctors not helping, with a simple [treatment] these patients avoid hospitalization and death?” He noted three cases in which families have had to go to court to force physicians to administer the common antiparasitic drug ivermectin. In each case, the court sided with the family and the patient survived.

[..] Meanwhile, a new peer-reviewed study published by the American Journal of Therapeutics concludes that ivermectin can end the COVID-19 pandemic. Reviewed by a team that includes three top U.S. government senior scientists, the research finds the drug significantly reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 when used regularly. In February, a study published in the U.S. journal Frontiers of Pharmacology found ivermectin reduces COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths by about 75%. In more than 30 trials around the world, the drug causes “repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease,” according to the study.

Read more …

Experts contradicting each other is another curious aspect of Covid.

Norway Health Board Rejects J&J, AZ Vaccines Over Side Effects (RT)

The Institute of Public Health in Norway has recommended against the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, adding to a recommendation of permanently avoiding the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab over side effect fears. In a press release on Monday, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) advised the government against the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 jab, following guidance from a government-appointed commission. The committee also supported an earlier recommendation by the NIPH not to use the AstraZeneca shot. “We do not recommend that the vaccines be used in the national vaccination program due to the serious side effects that have been seen,” Lars Vorland, chair of the expert committee, said at a press conference on Monday.

In its statement, NIPH formally published the recommendation not to use the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 jab. “Our goal is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, to reopen society and get everyday life back. It is therefore a difficult decision to recommend that one of the Covid vaccines not be used actively in the program.” NIPH recommends that the Johnson & Johnson shot be kept in emergency storage in case the vaccine supplies of the mRNA jab should fail. They add that it is particularly suited to being an emergency vaccine, as it only requires one dose and can be stored for a long time.

[..] Health Minister Bent Hoeie told a news conference that “the government will use this as basis for its decision, together with recommendations from the Institute of Public Health, on whether to use these vaccines.” In April, NIPH recommended that the government stop using the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after a lengthy review of the jab. Oslo suspended the vaccine’s use on March 11 following reports of potentially fatal rare blood clots. The blood clotting concerns have already led to limitations in the distribution of the vaccine in multiple countries. Five healthcare workers, all aged between 32 and 54, were hospitalized after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in Norway. Three of them died.

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Nowhere near the biggest mistake here.

Doctor Warns Allowing Hugs ‘Might Be A Mistake’ (Mirror)

Dr Hilary Jones had his say on reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson may allow hugging in England from next Monday, with him urging caution. The Good Morning Britain doctor told of the benefits of hugging, but warned there was a greater risk of coronavirus transmission if people started touching everybody. Hilary said that with coronavirus still spreading in the UK and around the world, with new variants detected, it could be a “mistake” to start allowing such close contact. While it is yet to be confirmed, Johnson is tipped to announce hugging will be allowed from Monday May 17 when the lockdown rules change again in England.

With bigger groups allowed to gather outdoors, and groups of six allowed indoors, the allowance of hugging is a late change to the earlier announced new rules. But Dr Hilary urged caution with the news, and told people to be “selective” if they are going to get close to people. Speaking on the show, he described the increased risk of transmission as “quite substantial” with close contact such as hugging. He explained: “If you are in hugging range and you’re touching somebody, and your face is right next to their’s, you are gonna be breathing the breath that they are exhaling.

“The virus is transmitted through aerosol droplets, so the risk is much higher.” He went on: “Professor Noakes, she’s part of SAGE, she’s saying that actually she’s worried, and that hugs should be selective. “They should be short, they should be selective… hug your children, hug your grandchildren, not promiscuous hugs we’re not talking about here, not hugging everybody, not getting too close for too long.” Hilary added: “It’s great, hugs actually have a benefit in health in terms of, forget the aerosol transmission of viruses for a moment, there’s all sorts of things that happen.”

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In the context of the survival rate, this makes no sense.

US Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine For 12-15 Year Olds (Y!)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years old. “This is a promising development in our fight against the virus,” said President Joe Biden. “If you are a parent who wants to protect your child, or a teenager who is interested in getting vaccinated, today’s decision is a step closer to that goal.” The FDA previously granted an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to individuals aged 16 and older. “Having a vaccine authorized for a younger population is a critical step in continuing to lessen the immense public health burden caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.


The FDA said some 1.5 million Covid-19 cases in individuals aged 11 to 17 years old have been reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021. The course of the disease is generally milder in children but they can pass it on to older, more vulnerable adults. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said in March that their two-dose vaccine regimen was shown to be safe and highly effective in a trial of 2,260 12 to 15 year olds. Biden last week stressed the importance of expanding vaccinations to 12 to 15 year olds and said the authorities were “ready to move immediately” once the authorization came through. Some 20,000 pharmacies around the country were ready to begin to vaccinate adolescents, he said, and doses will also be shipped to pediatricians.

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“The most compelling evidence for a laboratory origin of COVID is that coronaviruses don’t have furin cleavage sites, and until last year, this trick has never evolved naturally.”

Unthinkable Thoughts (Mitteldorf)

The spike protein is the part of the virus structure that interfaces with the host cell. SARS 1 and SARS 2 viruses both have spike proteins that bind to a human cell receptor called ACE-2, common in lung cells but also present in other parts of the body. Binding to the cell’s ACE-2 receptor is like the wolf knocking at the door of Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. “Hello, grandmama. I’m your granddaughter. Please let me in.” The virus is a wolf wearing a red cape and hood, pretends to be an ACE-2 enzyme molecule seeking entrance to the cell.

In order to enter the cell, the virus must break off from the spike protein and leave it at the doorstep, so to speak. This is an important and difficult step, as it turns out. Unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a trick for making the separation. Just at the edge of the protein is a furin cleavage site. Furin is an enzyme that snips protein molecules, and it is common in our bodies, with legitimate metabolic uses. A furin cleavage site is a string of 4 particular amino acids that calls to furin, “hey — come over here. I’m a protein that needs snipping.”

[..] One of the most credible dangers of the spike protein involves fertility. None of the vaccines were tested in pregnant women, and yet many government and other authorities are recommending it as safe for pregnant women. VAERS has reported 174 miscarriages to date after COVID vaccination. VAERS is notoriously underreported. I find the anecdotes less concerning than the fact that no one is taking this seriously, and research is being actively discouraged in the best-respected science journals. There is a credible mechanism, in that the spike protein is partially homologous to syncytin. Syncytin, in fact, was originally a retroviral protein, inserted into the mammalian genome many aeons ago, and evolved over the ages to play an essential role in reproduction, binding the placenta to the fetus.

An immune response that attacks syncytin might be expected to be impose a danger of spontaneous abortion. In any ordinary times, this would be a subject that medical researchers would jump on, with animal tests and field surveys to assess the danger. But these are no ordinary times, and the risk is being dismissed on theoretical grounds without investigation. This is especially suspicious in the context of history: a Gates Foundation vaccination program in 1995 was allegedly promoted to young women, causing infertility. (Yes, I know there are many fact-checkers eager to “debunk” this story, but I don’t find them convincing, and some of these fact-checkers are compromised by Gates funding.) Even doing what the spike protein is supposed to do — tying up ACE2 — can be a problem for our lungs and arteries, which are routinely protected by ACE2.

The most dangerous possibility, suspected but not verified, is that the spike protein causes a prion cascade. Prions are paradoxical pathogens, in that they are misfolded proteins that cause misfolded proteins. Their evolutionary etiology is utterly mysterious, so much so that it took Stanley Prusiner a decade after describing the biology of prions before the scientific community would take prion biochemistry seriously. But prions make potent bioweapons, which laboratories can design outside of natural evolutionary dynamics. The possibility of prion-like structures in the spike protein was noted very early in the pandemic based on a computational study. This recent review combines theoretical, laboratory, and observational evidence to make a case for caution. Once again, I find it disturbing that this possibility is being dismissed on theoretical grounds rather than investigated in the lab and the field.

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And not just a few of them.

US Gas Stations Running Out Of Fuel (DM)

Gas stations from Florida to Atlanta to Virginia are closing their pumps due to a fuel shortage brought on by the Colonial Pipeline hack – and a state of emergency has been declared by the governor of North Carolina. American Airlines was adding stops to two of its long-haul flights from its Charlotte, North Carolina hub, CNBC reported, as a likely effort to conserve fuel in areas where it could run short. The 5,500 mile Colonial Pipeline was shut down on Friday evening by the company when the ransomware attack was launched – seemingly by Russian-based cybercriminal group, DarkSide. Service was gradually being restored on Monday. At least 12 other companies were also affected by the ransomware attack, Bloomberg reported, and Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, called for those responsible to be executed.

The pipeline supplies 45 per cent of all the East Coast’s fuel needs, including Atlanta’s airport – the world’s busiest, by passenger traffic. The pipeline also serves 90 U.S. military installations and 26 oil refineries. On Monday evening motorists were beginning to report shortages at gas stations. A spokesman for Race Trac, which operates gas stations in the Atlanta area, confirmed the shortage to WSBTV-2. At least two gas stations in Tallahassee, Florida, were completely out of stock, Bloomberg reported. Patrick de Haan, an energy expert who runs the monitoring site Gas Buddy Tracker, said his sources showed five per cent of stations in Virginia running empty. His recommendation to motorists? ‘Conserve, conserve, conserve,’ he said.

The lack of supply could soon hit users across the country in the pocketbook. AAA already predicts that gasoline prices in the Georgia region alone could rise three to seven cents per gallon this week, and said that there also could be ‘limited fuel availability’ in places. ‘This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and price, but the impact will vary regionally,’ said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman for AAA-The Auto Club Group. ‘Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the East Coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and prices increases as early as this week.’

[..] DarkSide, which cultivates a Robin Hood image of stealing from corporations and giving a cut to charity, said in a statement posted on the dark web that their only goal was to ‘make money’ and not create problems for society. ‘We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics,’ the statement read. ‘Our goal is to make money and not creating problems for society.’ ‘From today we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future.’ Colonial, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, has not yet said whether it has paid or is negotiating a ransom with the hackers.

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“..it sometimes seems Facebook wants to be treated like AT&T but act like the DNC.”

Free Speech Inc. (Turley)

After Facebook’s oversight board this week upheld the social media giant’s continuing ban of former President Trump, the response of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) captured the visceral joy of many on the left: She posted a series of laughing emojis. Welcome to Free Speech, Inc.: the Democratic incorporation of free speech built around the a presumption of corporate censorship (for some). Of course, Democrats insist they are not attacking free speech, just combating “disinformation.” After all, they say, private companies have every right to control speech — unless you are, say, a bakery opposed to preparing a cake for a same-sex wedding, or a company contributing to political causes. The current mantra defending Facebook’s corporate speech rights seems strikingly out of sync with years of Democrats and political activists demanding the curtailment of such rights.

When Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado refused on religious grounds to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) denounced the bakery’s claim of free speech: “It was never about a cake — it’s about making sure no one has a license to discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans.” When the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that corporations have free speech rights to participate in politics, Warren was appalled. She has long rejected the notion that corporations have the constitutional rights like individuals: “Corporations are not people. People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They cry. They dance. They live. They love. And they die.” Notably, Warren felt that one company (Masterpiece Cakeshop) can be forced to speak while another corporation (Facebook) should be able to stop others from speaking.

When Facebook barred Trump, Warren declared: “I’m glad that Donald Trump is not going to be on Facebook. Suits me.” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also celebrated and added: “Facebook must ban him. Which is to say, forever.” When free speech concerns are raised over corporate censorship, Democrats often drop references to “free speech” violations and instead address “First Amendment” violations. Indeed, when Trump objected to the ban on Twitter as “banning free speech,” a host of media outlets ran stories like: “Fact Check: Did Twitter Violate President Trump’s First Amendment Rights?” Experts like Wayne State University law professor Jonathan Weinberg chimed in that, under the First Amendment, a company “gets to choose who it does business with and who it doesn’t.”

[..] These companies once were viewed as neutral platforms for people to exchange views — people who affirmatively “friend” or invite the views of others. If Big Tech wants to be treated like a telephone company, it must act like a telephone company. We wouldn’t tolerate AT&T interrupting calls to object to some misleading conversation, or cutting the line for those who misinform others. As a neutral platform for communications, telephone companies receive special legal and economic status under our laws. Yet, it sometimes seems Facebook wants to be treated like AT&T but act like the DNC.

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Donziger’s story is unbelievable.

Chevron’s Prisoner (Bragman)

Donziger was a human rights attorney representing indigenous peoples in Ecuador who brought a lawsuit against Texaco for rainforest pollution in the region. In 2011, Donziger and his clients won a $18 billion judgement against the fuel giant, which had since been bought out by Chevron, one of the largest judgments ever handed down against an oil company, even when that amount was later reduced to $9.5 billion. While the ruling was subsequently upheld by three Ecuadorian courts, Chevron moved its operation out of the country to avoid paying the damages and countersued Donziger in the United States under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), a former corporate lawyer, was assigned to the case and granted Chevron a temporary restraining order against the Ecuador judgment in an effort to block enforcement of it anywhere in the world. During the non-jury trial, former Ecuadorian judge Alberto Guerra, who presided over the case when it was first filed, testified that Donziger and his team had bribed him to ghostwrite the multi-billion dollar judgment against Chevron for presiding judge Nicolas Zambrano. Guerra claimed Zambrano had also been bribed and had offered him a percentage of his take. Guerra would later admit during an international arbitration that he had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from Chevron and recant some details of his testimony.

Despite Guerra’s admission, the tribunal ultimately sided with Chevron, finding that the multi-billion-dollar judgment had still been tainted by fraud and that the claims against the oil giant had been settled and released by the Ecuadorian government years earlier. Kaplan, the U.S. judge, also had ties to the oil company. The Clinton appointee had investments in funds with Chevron holdings, and had previously suggested in deposition hearings from a separate but related case that Chevron could have grounds to file a racketeering suit against Donziger. During the racketeering proceedings, Kaplan described the oil giant as “a company of considerable importance to our economy that employs thousands all over the world, that supplies a group of commodities — gasoline, heating oil, other fuels, and lubricants — on which every one of us depends every single day.”

Relying largely on Guerra’s testimony, Kaplan ruled against Donziger in March 2014, alleging a vast conspiracy and finding that the attorney had acquired the Ecuador judgment through “corrupt means.” A federal appeals court would later uphold Kaplan’s ruling. Donziger was later disbarred from practicing law in New York. After its legal victory, Chevron sought to recoup more than $800,000 in court costs from Donziger. The company’s lawyers demanded possession of the attorney’s personal computer and cell phone, which it claimed were necessary to enforce its monetary judgment against him. Donziger appealed and refused to turn over his electronics, arguing he would be handing over privileged materials.

Kaplan responded by holding Donziger in civil and then criminal contempt of court and slapping him with the largest state sanction in the history of New York courts. The SDNY U.S. Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case, citing a lack of resources, so in July 2019, Kaplan took the unusual step of turning the contempt case over to attorneys from the major corporate law firm Seward & Kissel LLP to act as special prosecutors. He also selected a colleague, Judge Loretta Preska, to hear the criminal case. As part of the proceedings, Preska sentenced Donziger to his ongoing home confinement in August 2019.

Read more …

Macron can’t just brush this off.

Civil War Is Brewing In France And You Know It: French Military To Macron (RT)

A group of active French military personnel has published a new open letter to the country’s president Emmanuel Macron, warning him of a “civil war” brewing in the country after all the “concessions” he’s made to Islamism. The letter, published in the conservative Valeurs Actuelles magazine late on Sunday, strikes a similar tone to the message published by the same outlet last month. Unlike the previous one, which was signed by 25 retired generals and active-duty soldiers, the new letter is anonymous and is open for signing by the general public. As of noon on Monday, it had attracted over 100,000 signatures. The authors of the letter have described themselves as active-duty French soldiers, belonging to the younger generation of the military that saw actual combat over the past years.

“We are what the newspapers have called ‘the fire generation.’ Men and women, active soldiers, of all armies and of all ranks, of all opinions, we all love our country. These are our only claims to fame. And while we cannot, by law, express ourselves with our face uncovered, it is equally impossible for us to stay silent,” the letter reads. The letter accuses President Macron of making “concessions” to Islamism on French soil, while the country’s military has been spilling its blood to fight against it in “Afghanistan, Mali, the Central African Republic or elsewhere.”

The authors have also indicated that at least some of them have taken part in the domestic Operation Sentinelle, launched after the devastating 2015 Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, and witnessed certain ethno-religious communities in France completely detached from the rest of the country. For such communities “France means nothing but an object of sarcasm, contempt or even hatred,” the letter reads. Like the previous letter, this new one warns the republic’s authorities of an impending “civil war,” with the very existence of France being at stake. “Once again, civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well,” the letter reads.

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“..the court said it did not have jurisdiction to rule over America’s wartime activities in Vietnam”

Agent Orange Complaint vs Monsanto, Dow Chemical Rejected By French Court (RT)

A Paris court has rejected a 2014 complaint brought against 14 companies involved in the production and sale of Agent Orange to the US during the Vietnam War, declaring it does not have jurisdiction to rule over the matter. The lawsuit in the French court was filed by French-Vietnamese former journalist Tran To Nga. She accused the companies – among them Monsanto and Dow Chemical – of being culpable for the injuries caused to her, her children, and others, as well as for damage to the environment. However, the case was rejected on Monday, after the court said it did not have jurisdiction to rule over America’s wartime activities in Vietnam, halting the suit seven years after it was filed.

Tran, who covered the conflict, has been supported by non-governmental organizations in her quest to hold companies responsible for manufacturing Agent Orange and providing it to the US military. Those accused in the lawsuit have denied any responsibility for the damage caused in Vietnam, arguing that they cannot be blamed for how the American military used the chemical. Had Tran been successful, the case would have set a legal precedent for millions of Vietnamese civilian victims to have claimed compensation for health effects caused by exposure to Agent Orange. Currently, only American, Australian, and Korean military veterans who were exposed to the chemical have been awarded compensation, with America’s Agent Orange Settlement Fund having paid out claims to 52,000 former service members or their survivors, averaging at around $3,800 each.

Agent Orange was deployed across Vietnam by American forces from 1961 to 1971. During a brutal chemical warfare campaign against Viet Cong guerilla fighters, 12 million gallons of herbicide were used to defoliate the ecosystem, thereby exposing the enemy and destroy crops. The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates that around a million people are disabled or suffer from health problems as the result of their exposure to the chemical. Dioxin, a highly toxic element of Agent Orange, has been linked to birth defects, cancers, and other deadly diseases.

Read more …

 

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“The drop CNN is experiencing is profound. On Friday, not one program broke 900K total viewers. Prime averaged less than 800K overall.

For comparison, the network averaged 2.74 million viewers in January, so we’re talking about more than two-thirds of the audience – gone.”

 

 

 


©AlanMcFadyen

 

 

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Dec 082020
 
 December 8, 2020  Posted by at 10:34 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


Salvador Dali The Sick Child. Self-Portrait in Cadaqués 1921

 

China’s Sinovac To Double COVID19 Vaccine Output (F.)
We Had the Vaccine the Whole Time (NYMag)
Vilsack Emerges As Biden’s Top Choice For USDA (Pol.)
Biden Picks Retired General Lloyd Austin To Run Pentagon (Pol.)
Barack Obama & the Death of Idealism (Bovard)
A Resolving Picture (Kunstler)
What’s Ahead for New York? Maybe a Budget ‘Nightmare Scenario’ (NYMag)
Swedish Central Bank Governor Slams Expansion Of QE (ZH)
Japan Unveils $708 Billion In Fresh Stimulus With Eye On Post-COVID Growth (R.)
US Credit Card Balances in Steepest Drop Ever (WS)
Tucker Carlson: Our Elites’ Collusion With China Is Real And Widespread (Fox)
Suspected Chinese Spy Targeted California Politicians (Axios)
AOC Called For Boycott, Sales Jumped, Goya Named Her Employee Of The Month (DW)

 

 

Strawberry Fields Forever – John Lennon (Vocals Only)

 

 

Are we going to give these vaccines an honest look?

China’s Sinovac To Double COVID19 Vaccine Output (F.)

Anticipating regulatory approval off the back of ongoing clinical trials, China’s Sinovac Biotech said it has received more than $500 million from investors to help it ramp up production and distribution capacities for its leading Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CoronaVac. Sino Biopharmaceutical, which is listed in Hong Kong, invested $515 million in Sinovac in exchange for a roughly 15% stake in the part of the company responsible for CoronaVac manufacture. The investment will help the company boost vaccine production, which it hopes will double to 600 million doses annually — roughly enough for 300 million people — upon the completion of a second production facility in late 2020.

In addition to funding CoronaVac, CEO Weidong Yin says the partnership will enable Sinovac to “improve our vaccine sales capabilities, expand in Asia markets, develop and access new technologies, and most importantly, accelerate our efforts to help combat the global pandemic.” CoronaVac is one of China’s leading hopes for a safe and effective domestic vaccine. Its development is under a great deal of pressure — as a matter of national pride, as a means of safeguarding Chinese citizens from Covid-19 and because Beijing has promised a great deal of it to less-affluent countries — something the recent successes of not one but three western vaccines will intensify. Its success will mean a lot globally, as it does not require the onerous ultra-cold storage requirements that Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines do, making it much more accessible in poorer regions.

Early trial data is promising, though larger Phase 3 clinical trials have yet to be conducted, with approval already either granted or close to being granted in Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and Chile. “We have made significant progress in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate CoronaVac, which has reached critical milestones in clinical trials in Asia and Latin America,” said Weidong Yin. 600 million. That’s how many doses of CoronaVac Sinovac hopes to produce a year once its new production facility is up and running. Blaming supply chain issues, Pfizer and BioNTech halved their estimated vaccine output for 2020, saying they will now only deliver 50 million of a promised 100 million doses.

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“That a vaccine was available for the entire brutal duration may be, to future generations trying to draw lessons from our death and suffering, the most tragic, and ironic, feature of this plague.”

We Had the Vaccine the Whole Time (NYMag)

You may be surprised to learn that of the trio of long-awaited coronavirus vaccines, the most promising, Moderna’s mRNA-1273, which reported a 94.5 percent efficacy rate on November 16, had been designed by January 13. This was just two days after the genetic sequence had been made public in an act of scientific and humanitarian generosity that resulted in China’s Yong-Zhen Zhang’s being temporarily forced out of his lab. In Massachusetts, the Moderna vaccine design took all of one weekend. It was completed before China had even acknowledged that the disease could be transmitted from human to human, more than a week before the first confirmed coronavirus case in the United States. By the time the first American death was announced a month later, the vaccine had already been manufactured and shipped to the National Institutes of Health for the beginning of its Phase I clinical trial.

This is — as the country and the world are rightly celebrating — the fastest timeline of development in the history of vaccines. It also means that for the entire span of the pandemic in this country, which has already killed more than 250,000 Americans, we had the tools we needed to prevent it . To be clear, I don’t want to suggest that Moderna should have been allowed to roll out its vaccine in February or even in May, when interim results from its Phase I trial demonstrated its basic safety. “That would be like saying we put a man on the moon and then asking the very same day, ‘What about going to Mars?'” says Nicholas Christakis, who directs Yale’s Human Nature Lab and whose new book, Apollo’s Arrow, sketches the way COVID-19 may shape our near-term future. Moderna’s speed was “astonishing,” Christakis says, though the design of other vaccines was nearly as fast: BioNTech with Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca. 

Could things have moved faster from design to deployment? Given the grim prospects for winter, it is tempting to wonder. Perhaps, in the future, we will. But given existing vaccine infrastructure, probably not. Already, as Baylor’s Peter Hotez pointed out to me, “Operation Warp Speed” meant running clinical trials simultaneously rather than sequentially, manufacturing the vaccine at the same time, and authorizing the vaccine under “emergency use” in December based only on preliminary data that doesn’t track the long-term durability of protection or even measure the vaccine’s effect on transmission (only how much it protects against disease). And as Georgetown virologist Angela Rasmussen told me, the name itself may have needlessly risked the trust of Americans already concerned about the safety of this, or any, vaccine.

Indeed, it would have been difficult in May to find a single credentialed epidemiologist, vaccine researcher, or public-health official recommending a rapid vaccine rollout — though, it’s worth noting, as early as July the MIT Technology Review reported that a group of 70 scientists in the orbit of Harvard and MIT, including “celebrity geneticist” George Church, were taking a totally DIY nasal-spray vaccine, never even intended to be tested, and developed by a personal genomics entrepreneur named Preston Estep (also the author of a self-help-slash-life-extension book called The Mindspan Diet). China began administering a vaccine to its military in June. Russia approved its version in August.

And while most American scientists worried about the speed of those rollouts, and the risks they implied, our approach to the pandemic here raises questions, too, about the strange, complicated, often contradictory ways we approach matters of risk and uncertainty during a pandemic — and how, perhaps, we might think about doing things differently next time. That a vaccine was available for the entire brutal duration may be, to future generations trying to draw lessons from our death and suffering, the most tragic, and ironic, feature of this plague.

Read more …

Vilsack’s nickname is “Mr. Monsanto”.

Vilsack Emerges As Biden’s Top Choice For USDA (Pol.)

President-elect Joe Biden is leaning toward picking former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to return as head of the USDA, according to four people familiar with the discussions, turning to a longtime ally over several other more diverse candidates who have been jockeying for the role. Though the decision is not final and the dynamics are still in flux, Vilsack’s emergence as the strong favorite for the job indicates the transition is looking for a USDA leader with deep management and policy experience who is close with the Biden-world. The former Iowa governor, who served as Agriculture secretary for eight years under the Obama administration, was a top rural and agriculture policy adviser to the Biden campaign. “He is the preferred choice of Biden’s inner circle,” one of the people said, but added, “that could change.”


The new frontrunner status for Vilsack comes after weeks in which the public discussion largely centered on former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who has a vocal set of allies lobbying for her to get the position. Biden was on the verge of tapping Heitkamp for the role as recently as two weeks ago, POLITICO reported last week. But those plans were scrambled after House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn publicly criticized the transition team for a lack of diversity among its Cabinet picks to date. Clyburn has been encouraging Biden to select Fudge for Agriculture secretary. While Vilsack leads the short list, new potential names for the role continue to pop up, like former Michigan attorney general and Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

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And this guys sits on the board of top arms producer Raytheon. How crazy are we going to make this?

Biden Picks Retired General Lloyd Austin To Run Pentagon (Pol.)

President-elect Joe Biden has selected Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense, according to three people with knowledge of the decision. If confirmed, Austin would be the first Black person to lead the Pentagon. In picking Austin, Biden has chosen a barrier-breaking former four-star officer who was the first Black general to command an Army division in combat and the first to oversee an entire theater of operations. Austin’s announcement could come as soon as Tuesday morning, people familiar with the plans said Monday. Austin, who also ran U.S. Central Command before retiring in 2016, emerged as a top-tier candidate in recent days after initially being viewed as a longshot for the job.


Michèle Flournoy, Obama’s former Pentagon policy chief, was initially viewed as the frontrunner, but her name was notably absent from Biden’s rollout of key members of his national security team two weeks ago. Biden had been under growing pressure to nominate a Black person to be his defense secretary in recent weeks. He chose Austin after also considering former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson for the job, several people familiar with the discussions said. Lingering concerns about Johnson’s tenure in the Obama administration improved Austin’s standing among Congressional Black Caucus members in recent days, according to two people, including a House Democratic aide. Johnson has been criticized for his record on expanding family detention and accelerating deportations, as well as approving hundreds of drone strikes against suspected terrorists that killed civilians.

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“When their corpses arrived back in the U.S., Obama hailed the victims for embodying “the courage, the hope, and yes, the idealism, that fundamental American belief that we can leave this world a little better than before.”

Barack Obama & the Death of Idealism (Bovard)

Shortly before his first inauguration, Obama announced, “What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders displayed.” After Obama’s inaugural address, the media rejoiced as if a new age of political idealism had arrived. Practically the entire world joined the race to canonize the new president. Less than 12 days after he took office, Obama was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize — which he received later that year. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared at a White House state dinner, “We warmly applaud the recognition by the Nobel Committee of the healing touch you have provided and the power of your idealism and your vision.” Shortly after receiving the Peace Prize, Obama announced he would triple the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The Peace Prize helped insulate him from criticism as he proceeded to bomb seven nations during his presidency.

Obama-style idealism quickly became a shroud for federal atrocities. On Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 23, 2009, Obama called for “fighting the silence that is evil’s greatest co-conspirator.” Ironically, on the same day, Obama decided to oppose creation of a truth commission to vigorously investigate and expose Bush administration crimes. After Obama visited CIA headquarters and praised his audience for helping to “to uphold our values and ideals,” Obama chose not to prosecute any CIA officials who created a secret worldwide torture regime because “it’s important to look forward and not backwards.” Over the next five years, Obama administration officials vigorously fought a Senate investigation into Bush torture abuses, and Obama personally defended the CIA after it was caught illegally spying on the Senate to thwart the inquiry.

The Obama administration also torpedoed every lawsuit by a torture victim in U.S. court. In 2011, Obama draped his decision to bomb Libya by invoking “democratic values” and the “ideals” which he asserted were “the true measure of American leadership.” But terrorist groups fighting dictator Muammar Qaddafi were already slaughtering civilians. Obama was so convinced of the righteousness of targeting Qadaffi that his appointees signaled that federal law (such as the War Powers Act) could not constrain his salvation mission. In the chaos that subsequently engulfed Libya, ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed during an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. When their corpses arrived back in the U.S., Obama hailed the victims for embodying “the courage, the hope, and yes, the idealism, that fundamental American belief that we can leave this world a little better than before.”

Obama’s soothing rhetoric failed to deter the proliferation of slave markets where black migrants were openly sold in Libya. Obama declared that America’s “ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience sake” in his first inaugural address. But one of Obama’s most shocking legacies was his claim of a prerogative to kill U.S. citizens labeled as terrorist suspects without trial, without notice, and without any chance for the marked individuals to legally object. Obama’s lawyers even refused to disclose the standards used for designating Americans for death. Drone strikes increased tenfold under Obama, and he personally chose who would be killed at weekly “Terror Tuesday” White House meetings which featured PowerPoint parades of potential targets.

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EO 13848 : A Trump Trojan Horse?

A Resolving Picture (Kunstler)

An awful lot has been churning in the deep background for months before the election. Mr. Trump was onto the mass write-in vote scam enabled by the media-assisted hysteria over Covid-19. The wheels of genuine US intel against national security threats still turned in spite of whatever Deep State perfidy had been aimed at Mr. Trump himself from Day One in office, and the president made use of his own private counter-intel hackers to suss out the game — which was finally to overthrow him by ballot fraud. The result was Executive Order 13848 issued in September 2020, which specified foreign interference in elections as “an unusual and extraordinary threat to national security” and laid out some pretty stringent remedies.

The main one was a requirement for the top executive agencies — DOJ, DOD, Homeland Security, Treasury plus the Director of National Intelligence (Mr. Ratcliffe) — to deliver an assessment within 45 days of the election. We’re now in the sweet-spot of that 45-day delivery period when something has to pop. Looks a little like the AG, Mr. Barr, has been dithering and wriggling painfully over this, and even making noises about resigning. But he may have already surrendered his credibility, with the foot-dragging of the FBI under Christopher Wray and the agency’s apparent lack of interest in election fraud. The consequences of EO 13848 will roll out with him or without him.

The real action was over at the Department of Defense, where the President hastily cleaned house this fall and installed the trustworthy Christopher Miller as SecDef, along with top aide Kash Patel and Ezra Cohen-Watnick as Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security. Mr. Cohen-Watnick had been an assistant to General Michael Flynn, former Director of Defense Intelligence, in his brief tenure as National Security Advisor before getting sandbagged by Barack Obama and James Comey. Both Mr. Cohen-Watnick and General Flynn are intimately familiar with the apparatus of Defense Intelligence, of course, and have been actively using it to identify DNC and Joe Biden activists who played a role in election irregularities as well as foreign actors.

This wasn’t any RussiaGate type bullshit; it was the real deal. EO 13848 includes this provision: “The report shall identify any material issues of fact with respect to these matters that the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security are unable to evaluate or reach agreement on at the time the report is submitted. The report shall also include updates and recommendations, when appropriate, regarding remedial actions to be taken by the United States Government, other than the sanctions described in sections 2 and 3 of this order.”

The “remedial actions” are interesting. They include pretty severe sanctions against any “persons” (entity or company) involved in or enabling foreign interference in elections: attaching property in the US, blocking trade, and an array of financial restrictions and penalties. The EO does not spell out criminal penalties that might fall under the sedition and treason statutes, but expect these to be activated as the law provides. Quite a few political celebrities and figures in the news and social media may have exposed themselves to liability in this. If it doesn’t mean the end of Facebook or Twitter, it may spell the end of Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey running them. Also include the less-well-known execs at The WashPo, The New York Times, and several cable news networks.

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Who’s going to fund the lower levels of government?

What’s Ahead for New York? Maybe a Budget ‘Nightmare Scenario’ (NYMag)

Over the summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio made a virtual pilgrimage to testify before an antique government body , the New York State Financial Control Board. Created decades ago, in the depths of the 1970s fiscal crisis, the control board once dominated the city’s government with a tight fist. Today, to the extent it is remembered at all, it is widely presumed to be defunct. But the entity still exists in a dormant state, like Godzilla sleeping at the bottom of the ocean. The control board now typically convenes just once a year, for a simple review of the city’s finances. It is usually a perfunctory ritual, but this August’s meeting was different. Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a move that caused a ripple of municipal intrigue, had just appointed three new members to the board, including a trusted former top aide, and there were rumblings that the monster was stirring.

Cuomo’s budget director, Robert Mujica, opened the Zoom with dire deficit projections. “Today, as a result of the global pandemic, the city’s financial position and the city itself faces perhaps its most severe crisis since 1975,” he said. “And it may actually be worse than that.” De Blasio spoke next, departing from his prepared remarks to offer a rebuttal. “The study of history teaches you what is the same and what is different,” the mayor said. “I think it would just be a mistake to think this is anything like the New York City of the ’60s or ’70s, or even ’80s … even though we’ve been obviously deeply thrown for a loop.” What the two men were arguing about, besides the usual city-versus-state power struggle, was a question that will continue to hang over the city for months — maybe years — to come: How bad is the damage?

Viewed from the mayor’s perspective, the pandemic, as terrible as it has been, is a temporary disaster that should begin to resolve itself with the imminent approval of a vaccine, allowing New York’s economy to return to its previous healthy state. (The city government ran a $4.2 billion surplus as recently as last year.) But to fiscal pessimists, the glass is not just half-empty — it’s shattered. The city is now projected to face a $13.2 billion budget gap over the next four years. And so far, its government has made little tangible effort to address the shortfall. “What we’ve learned,” Andrew Rein, president of the nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission, said after the city released revised revenue and spending estimates last week, “is that we’re actually still doing nothing about a fiscal crisis.”

For the moment, discussions of what budgetary pain may come after the pandemic have been muted, overwhelmed by a cascade of more immediate developments, including the election, the transition to the Biden administration, a new wave of COVID cases, and the heartening prospect of mass vaccination. This week, there has been a flurry of activity in Washington, with a potential breakthrough in negotiations over a proposed $900 billion stimulus package. But even if it comes, it would be a stopgap. Eventually, a reckoning will have to come.

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Shouldn’t there be more questions about QE? Right now, there are hardly any left at all.

Swedish Central Bank Governor Slams Expansion Of QE (ZH)

Two weeks ago, the oldest central bank in the world, Sweden’s Riksbank stunned the world when it unveiled 40% more QE than consensus had been expecting. Specifically, the Riksbank announced that it was expanding its quantitative easing program to 700 billion kronor ($82 billion), which was 200 billion kronor more than its earlier target. To be sure, with the Riksbank having locked itself in after Governor Stefan Ingves said just a few years prior that its “experiment” with negative rates was officially over, expanding QE was the only available option unless the central bank was willing to gamble with its credibility (and until there is a far greater crisis when negative rates will be unavoidable, damn the soaring house prices).

And while most Swedish central bankers were on board with the decision, there was at least one who hopefully sees the writing on the wall: that central banks will be able to superglue the falling house of cards for only a few more years (effectively echoing the BIS’ latest warning). In a jarring break with the central bank consensus, Riksbank Deputy Governor Martin Floden presented a “long list of objections to the proposed decision” to expand QE through to the end of 2021, he said in minutes from the Nov 25 policy discussion, and noting that “it is the list as a whole that leads me to enter a reservation.” Below we summarize his six objections:

• First, it’s unlikely that further purchases will be able to push down already low bond yields to noticeably lower levels, and that ” a promise today for larger asset purchases will not make monetary policy more expansionary in the near term.”

• Second, it’s “uncertain whether asset purchases in the autumn of 2021 will make monetary policy more expansionary then.”

• Third, “communication concerning a comprehensive purchasing program until the end of 2021 may generate more uncertainty than clarity”

• Fourth, “the actors and markets” that the Riksbank can directly affect are still not in such an acute crisis situation as they were in the spring

• Fifth, “the most important mechanism is that central banks, via asset purchases, are able to remove risk from the markets.” And since this mechanism hardly works if the Riksbank purchases government securities with short maturities, Floden doesn’t consider purchases of treasury bills to be an effective measure

• Sixth, uncertainty over developments in the near term is high, bank needs “to take a new monetary policy decision to purchase more in the near term”

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Dress it in green, you get away with anything.

Japan Unveils $708 Billion In Fresh Stimulus With Eye On Post-COVID Growth (R.)

Japan announced a fresh $708 billion economic stimulus package on Tuesday to speed up the recovery from the country’s deep coronavirus-driven slump, while targeting investment in new growth areas such as green and digital innovation. The new package will include about 40 trillion yen ($384.54 billion) in direct fiscal spending and initiatives targeted at reducing carbon emissions and boosting adoption of digital technology, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in a meeting with ruling party executives. Policymakers globally have unleashed a wall of monetary and fiscal stimulus to prevent a deep and prolonged recession as the coronavirus closed international borders and sent millions out of work.


In the United States, a $908 billion coronavirus aid plan is currently under debate in Congress. In Japan, the pandemic has forced the government to put its fiscal reform agenda on the backburner, despite holding the industrial world’s heaviest public debt burden, which is twice the size of its gross domestic product. “We have compiled the new measures to maintain employment, sustain business and restore the economy and open a way to achieve new growth in green and digital areas, so as to protect people’s lives and livelihoods,” Suga said at the meeting. Suga’s cabinet is set to endorse the stimulus package later on Tuesday, which would bring the combined value of coronavirus-related stimulus to about $3 trillion.

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70% of US GDP is consumers.

US Credit Card Balances in Steepest Drop Ever (WS)

American consumers – let’s face it, consuming is the number one top job during these trying times – have paid down their credit cards again. In October, credit card balances and other revolving credit ticked down again from the prior month, and plunged by 10.3% from October last year, the steepest year-over-year drop ever, eking past the peak year-over-year drop during the Financial Crisis (-9.9% in January and February 2010):

On a seasonally adjusted basis, credit card balances and other revolving credit declined to $980 billion (green line in the chart below), according to Federal Reserve data this afternoon – a balance first seen in October 2007, despite 13 years of inflation and population growth. Not-seasonally adjusted, credit card balances and other revolving credit ticked down to $943 billion (red line), a balance first seen in August 2007. Since the peak in December last year, balances have plunged by $151 billion. And this is something we have seen in other data: The seasonal adjustments can no longer adequately grapple with the new borrowing patterns that defy seasonality. The classic seasonality in consumer borrowing, established over many decades and utterly predictable, has been obviated by events:

The mega-plunge in credit card balances in April was a result of the dual impact of stimulus payments that were applied to credit card balances and the lack of spending opportunities when big parts of the economy, where consumers normally use their credit cards to spend money, shut down, such as malls, restaurants, cruises, plane travels, and hotels. Before the Financial Crisis, there had never been a year-over-year decline in revolving credit. For decades, Americans had been in the mode of piling on credit card debt with astounding passion and double-digit year-over-year surges in the early years, which allowed them to buy things and do things that they couldn’t otherwise afford, and it cranked up the US economy. The scheme lasted until the blowup during the Financial Crisis that caused the first-ever year-over-year decline. Now there’s the second year-over-year decline, and the steepest ever:

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Not quite sure where this came from.

Tucker Carlson: Our Elites’ Collusion With China Is Real And Widespread (Fox)

On Nov. 28, Di Dongsheng, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing, appeared on a Chinese television show about Wall Street and international trade. Like so many in academia in China, Di is a servant of his country’s government. This video was deleted from Chinese social media soon after being uploaded, and here’s why: DI DONSHENG (translation): The Trump administration is in a trade war with us, so why can’t we fix the Trump administration? Why, between 1992 and 2016, did China and the U.S., use to be able to settle all kinds of issues? No mater what kind of crises we encountered … things were solved in no time … We fixed everything in two months. What is the reason? I’m going to throw out something maybe a little bit explosive here. It’s just because we have people at the top. At the top of America’s core inner circle of power and influence, we have our old friends.

[..] “We have people at the top. At the top of America’s core inner circle of power and influence.” According to Di Dongsheng, that has been true for decades. So who are these people and how many of them work in our media and in our government? Well, Di didn’t say precisely. At another point in the program, he described a Chinese agent working as a vice president at, “a top Wall Street financial institution.” Di explained that he couldn’t say more without making political trouble. Di did tell his audience that one agent in particular was especially useful, and he goes on at some length about her. He describes her as an American who’s lived abroad for many years and is now a Chinese citizen, and this seems to baffle him a little bit. The Chinese government doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Why would they? Why would anyone?

Di seems pleased that the U.S. government is foolish enough to allow it. He explains that this American agent, who lives at least part of the year in Beijing, helped the Chinese government with a propaganda operation in Washington in 2015, and he goes on to describe that in some detail. The Obama administration was easy to manipulate, Di suggests. The Chinese had many friends among the Obama people. The problem came when Donald Trump was elected. After that, he says, everything changed.

DI DONGSHENG (translation): For the past 30 years, 40 years, we have been utilizing the core power of the United States … Since the 1970s, Wall Street had a very strong influence on the domestic and foreign affairs of the United States, so we had a channel to rely on. But the problem is that after 2008, the status of Wall Street has declined, and more importantly, after 2016, Wall Street can’t fix Trump. Why? It’s very awkward. Trump had a previous soft default issue with Wall Street, so there was a conflict between them. But I won’t go into details, I may not have enough time. So during the U.S.-China trade war they [Wall Street] tried to help. And I know that, my friends on the U.S. side told me that they tried to help, but they couldn’t do much.

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And then Axios joins Fox?

Suspected Chinese Spy Targeted California Politicians (Axios)

A suspected Chinese intelligence operative developed extensive ties with local and national politicians, including a U.S. congressman, in what U.S. officials believe was a political intelligence operation run by China’s main civilian spy agency between 2011 and 2015, Axios found in a yearlong investigation. The alleged operation offers a rare window into how Beijing has tried to gain access to and influence U.S. political circles. While this suspected operative’s activities appear to have ended during the Obama administration, concerns about Beijing’s influence operations have spanned President Trump’s time in office and will continue to be a core focus for U.S. counterintelligence during the Biden administration.

The woman at the center of the operation, a Chinese national named Fang Fang or Christine Fang, targeted up-and-coming local politicians in the Bay Area and across the country who had the potential to make it big on the national stage. Through campaign fundraising, extensive networking, personal charisma, and romantic or sexual relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors, Fang was able to gain proximity to political power, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials and one former elected official. Even though U.S. officials do not believe Fang received or passed on classified information, the case “was a big deal, because there were some really, really sensitive people that were caught up” in the intelligence network, a current senior U.S. intelligence official said.

Private but unclassified information about government officials — such as their habits, preferences, schedules, social networks, and even rumors about them — is a form of political intelligence. Collecting such information is a key part of what foreign intelligence agencies do Among the most significant targets of Fang’s efforts was Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). Fang took part in fundraising activity for Swalwell’s 2014 re-election campaign, according to a Bay Area political operative and a current U.S. intelligence official. Swalwell’s office was directly aware of these activities on its behalf, the political operative said. That same political operative, who witnessed Fang fundraising on Swalwell’s behalf, found no evidence of illegal contributions.

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“She’s our hero. She helped boost sales tremendously.”

AOC Called For Boycott, Sales Jumped, Goya Named Her Employee Of The Month (DW)

Goya Foods and president CEO Bob Unanue revealed that after Rep. Alexandria Cortez (D-NY) echoed a call for a boycott of Goya products back in July because Unanue supported President Trump, his company named her “Employee of the Month” because sales rose so dramatically. Unanue had visited the White House, where he stated, “We’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder.” That prompted Julian Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama administration, to tweet that Goya Foods “has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations. Now their CEO, Bob Unanue, is praising a president who villainizes and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain. Americans should think twice before buying their products.”

Unanue was interviewed on The Michael Berry Show, where Berry commented: “When you see the radical plans like the Green New Deal, when you hear politicians like AOC spouting these things off, agriculture is a major employer in this country but it’s also a major consumer of energy, as you noted earlier. It’s an intensive process for labor and energy. And they are talking about things that would drive the cost of energy through the roof in some cases making it prohibitive for marginal players. How much does that concern you and how much do you feel the need to step up and say, “Hey, guys, you want me to lay off these thousands of employees because that’s what would have to happen?”

Unanue replied: “You know, communism works until you run out of other people’s money to spend. We’re not going to be able to do that. It’s interesting that AOC was one of the first people to step in line to boycott Goya; go against her own people, as supposedly a Puerto Rican woman, to go against people of her own Latin culture. She’s naïve. To some extent I can understand AOC; she’s young; she’s naïve; she doesn’t get it. But you’ve got someone like (Bernie) Sanders, who’s older than us, older than me, and he still doesn’t get it.” “We still have to chat with AOC; I love her,” Unanue continued.

“She was actually our Employee of the Month; I don’t know if you know about this, but when she boycotted us, our sales actually increased 1,000%. So we gave her an honorary — we never were able to hand it to her but she got Employee of the Month for bringing attention to GOYA and our adobo. Actually our sales of adobo did very well after she said ‘Make your own Adobo.’” Berry wondered, “Was it P.T. Barnum who said, ‘Say what you want just spell my name right. All publicity is good publicity.” Unanue replied, “She’s our hero. She helped boost sales tremendously.”

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