Jan 172023
 


Hasui Kawase Mimhae Pavilion, Kyongju, Korea 1940

 

How The Davos Elite Took Back Control (Fazi)
Global Political Elite Skipping Davos (RT)
All Quiet (Panic) on the Western Front (Escobar)
Kiev Coaching EU On Path To Ruin – Exiled Ukrainian Politician (RT)
West Sees Ukraine As Spoils Of Cold War – Medvedchuk (RT)
Croatian President Weighs In On ‘Proxy War’ Against Russia (RT)
Biden Uses His Lawyers To Shield His Classified Docs From The FBI (Turley)
More Documents Marked As Classified Found At Biden’s Home – White House (CBS)
Adam Schiff Admits Biden May Have Endangered National Security (CB)
Did The Deep State Turn on Biden? (Roach)
Turns Out Hillary Clinton, Not Russian Bots, Lost the 2016 Election (Jacobin)
‘Twitter Files’ Expose Big Pharma Bullying (ZH)
China Records First Population Decline In 60 Years (RT)
The Black Album (Trish Wood)
There Is Nothing Green About Green Energy (Pettimore)
The Age of Exterminations: How to Kill a Few Billion People (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

The Woke Mind Virus

 

 

Dowd sudden death epidemic

 

 

Forget about the housing market. It’s done.

 

 

BBC stickers

 

 

Pregnant women are not getting vaxxed.

 

 

Carpe

 

 

 

 

 

 

The business elite.

How The Davos Elite Took Back Control (Fazi)

Founded in 1971 by Schwab himself, the WEF is “committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation”, also known as multistakeholder governance. The idea is that global decision-making should not be left to governments and nation-states — as in the post-war multilateralist framework enshrined in the United Nations — but should involve a whole range of non-government stakeholders: civil society bodies, academic experts, media personalities and, most important, multinational corporations. In its own words, the WEF’s project is “to redefine the international system as constituting a wider, multifaceted system of global cooperation in which intergovernmental legal frameworks and institutions are embedded as a core, but not the sole and sometimes not the most crucial, component”.

While this may sound fairly benign, it neatly encapsulates the basic philosophy of globalism: insulating policy from democracy by transferring the decision-making process from the national and international level, where citizens theoretically are able to exercise some degree of influence over policy, to the supranational level, by placing a self-selected group of unelected, unaccountable “stakeholders” — mainly corporations — in charge of global decisions concerning everything from energy and food production to the media and public health. The underlying undemocratic philosophy is the same one underpinning the philanthrocapitalist approach of people such Bill Gates, himself a long-time partner of the WEF: that non-governmental social and business organisations are best suited to solve the world’s problems than governments and multilateral institutions.

Even though the WEF has increasingly focused its agenda on fashionable topics such as environmental protection and social entrepreneurship, there is little doubt as to which interests Schwab’s brainchild is actually promoting and empowering: the WEF is itself mostly funded by around 1,000 member companies — typically global enterprises with multi-billion dollar turnovers, which include some of the world’s biggest corporations in oil (Saudi Aramco, Shell, Chevron, BP), food (Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé), technology (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple) and pharmaceuticals (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna). The composition of the WEF’s board is also very revealing, including Laurence D. Fink, CEO of Blackrock, David M. Rubenstein, co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, and Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. There’s no need to resort to conspiracy theories to posit that the WEF’s agenda is much more likely to be tailored to suit the interests of its funders and board members — the world’s ultra-wealthy and corporate elites — rather than to “improving the state of the world”, as the organisation claims.

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CEOs take over.

Global Political Elite Skipping Davos (RT)

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland has kicked off on Monday with a number of top-tier leaders absent. US President Joe Biden is skipping this year’s gathering, along with French President Emmanuel Macron, and new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also passing on the event, along with the entire Russian business elite, which has been forced off the guest list by Ukraine-related sanctions. Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Chinese businessmen will also miss the forum following the aftershocks of a recent spike in Covid-19 cases and troubles on the domestic stock market, which saw some $224 billion erased last year from the fortunes of China’s wealthiest people.


Of the Group of Seven (G7) leaders, only German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to attend Davos this year, along with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Despite the shrinking number of political leaders, this year’s attendance list is rich in top managers. Among 2,700 participants in the official WEF sessions, “we’re likely to surpass the old record from 2020 with 600 global CEOs – including 1,500 C-suite level overall,” according to WEF head of digital and marketing, George Schmitt. According to Bloomberg, a total of 116 billionaires are attending the WEF this year, a 40% rise from ten years ago. Representatives from the US will form the largest group with 33 delegates. Some 18 more billionaires are coming from Europe, and 13 from India, including industrialist Gautam Adani, the world’s fourth-richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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“Analyst Peter Koenig has developed a convincing thesis that the WEF, the WHO and NATO may be running some sort of sophisticated death cult.”

All Quiet (Panic) on the Western Front (Escobar)

Cynics of all persuasions may be excused for lamenting Mr. Zircon – currently on oceanic patrol encompassing the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and of course “Mare Nostrum” Mediterranean – won’t be presenting his business card at Davos. Analyst Peter Koenig has developed a convincing thesis that the WEF, the WHO and NATO may be running some sort of sophisticated death cult. The Great Reset does mingle merrily with NATO’s agenda as agent provocateur, financer and weaponizer of the proxy Empire vs. Russia war in black hole Ukraine. NAKO – an acronym for North Atlantic Killing Organization – would be more appropriate in this case. As Koenig summarizes it, “NATO enters any territory where the ‘conventional’ media lie-machine, and social engineering are failing or not completing their people-ordaining goals fast enough.”

In parallel, very few people are aware that on June 13, 2019 in New York, a secret deal was clinched between the UN, the WEF, an array of oligarch-weaponized NGOs – with the WHO in the front line – and last but not least, the world’s top corporations, which are all owned by an interlinked maze with Vanguard and BlackRock at the center. The practical result of the deal is the UN Agenda 2030. Virtually every government in the NATOstan area and the “Western Hemisphere” (US establishment definition) has been hijacked by Agenda 2030 – which translates, essentially, as hoarding, privatizing and financializing all the earth’s assets, under the pretext of “protecting” them. Translation: the marketization and monetization of the entire natural world.

Davos superstar shills such as insufferable bore Niall Ferguson are just well rewarded vassals: western intellectuals of the Harvard, Yale and Princeton mould that would never dare bite the hand that feeds them. Ferguson just wrote a column on Bloomberg titled “All is Not Quiet on the Eastern Front” – basically to peddle the risk of WWIII, on behalf of his masters, blaming of course “China as the arsenal of autocracy”. Among serial high-handed inanities, this one stands out. Ferguson writes, “There are two obvious problems with US strategy (…) The first is that if algorithmic weapons systems are the equivalent of tactical nuclear weapons, Putin may eventually be driven to using the latter, as he clearly lacks the former.” Cluelessness here is a euphemism. Ferguson clearly has no idea “algorithmic weapons” mean; if he’s referring to electronic warfare, the US may have been able to maintain superiority for a while in Ukraine, but that’s over.

[..] Nobody with an IQ over room temperature will expect Davos next week to discuss any aspect of the NATO vs. Eurasia existential war seriously – not to mention propose diplomacy. So I’ll leave you with yet another typical tawdry story about how the Empire – who rules over Davos – deals in practice with its vassals. While in Sicily earlier this year I learned that an ultra high-value Pentagon asset had landed in Rome, in haste, as part of an unscheduled visit. A few days later the reason for the visit was printed in La Repubblica, one of the papers of the toxic Agnelli clan. That was a Mafia scam: a face-to-face “suggestion” for the Meloni government to imperatively provide Kiev, as soon as possible, with the costly anti-Samp-T missile system, developed by an European consortium, Eurosam, uniting MBDA Italy, MBDA France and Thales.

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Medvedchuk is the voice of reason in Ukraine politics. So of course he’s in exile.

Kiev Coaching EU On Path To Ruin – Exiled Ukrainian Politician (RT)

Kiev’s adopted policy of hatred and intransigence towards Russia is inevitably driving it into poverty, a former Ukrainian opposition-party leader, who was forced from his home nation, has concluded. Now Kiev is teaching Europe the same approach, leading to the same outcome and to possible nuclear war, he added. Viktor Medvedchuk’s political party had the biggest opposition faction in the current Ukrainian parliament. The government of President Vladimir Zelensky launched a crackdown on the group and on its leader personally. A proponent of reconciliation with Russia, he has written a keynote article published on Monday in Russian newspaper Izvestia, explaining the roots of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Both Zelensky and his predecessor Pyotr Poroshenko had been elected after the 2014 coup in Kiev on a platform of peace, and each made a U-turn after getting into office, Medvedchuk pointed out.

He argued that this shows a pattern of betrayal of the Ukrainian people by its leadership and by what he termed a “party of war.” Being enemies with Russia is against Ukraine’s economic interest, Medvedchuk asserted. Not only is Russia a major market and source of raw materials from which Ukraine can benefit, the country’s industrial sector was mostly in the east and people there, who for historic reasons have emotional ties to Russia, were antagonized by Kiev. Economic ruination is an inevitable consequence of the conflict, the politician wrote. “It is no longer Europe that teaches Ukraine politics, but Ukraine that teaches Europe how to achieve economic decline and poverty with the help of a policy of hatred and intransigence. And if Europe continues to support this policy, it will be dragged into a war, possibly a nuclear one,” he warned.

He accused Western nations of giving the incumbent Ukrainian government “triumph after triumph, while no military breakthrough is observed,” referring to the parades that generals in Ancient Rome were given after major victories. Meanwhile, the “party of peace” gets no voice either at home or in Western nations, Medvedchuk lamented. “Those who stood for peace were slandered, intimidated and repressed on incitement from the West. The Ukrainian party of peace simply did not fit into Western democracy.” “This eloquently suggests that most US and European politicians do not want any peace for Ukraine. But this does not mean at all that Ukrainians do not want peace, and Zelensky’s military triumph is more important to them than their lives and destroyed homes.” he reasoned. Only when pro-peace politicians are allowed to make their case freely can there be hope to resolve the situation, Medvedchuk believes.

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“Western nations must recognize that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine. Otherwise, it will “grow further, spilling over to Europe and other countries..”

West Sees Ukraine As Spoils Of Cold War – Medvedchuk (RT)

The West’s insistence that it won the Cold War and was entitled to the spoils at the expense of Russian interests is at the root of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the country’s exiled opposition leader has said. Viktor Medvedchuk was forced to leave his home nation under the threat of prosecution for alleged treason. His Opposition Bloc – For Life party had the biggest faction in the Ukrainian parliament and advocated reconciliation with Russia. However, the government of President Vladimir Zelensky cracked down on it and ultimately forced many of its members into exile or silence. In an article published by Russian newspaper Izvestia on Monday, Medvedchuk analyzed the causes of the current crisis, arguing that the origin of the conflict lies in the way that the end of the Cold War is perceived by Washington and Moscow.

“The West definitely considers itself as a winner and Russia as a defeated party,” he said. Consequently, it considers ex-Soviet territories as “legitimate prey for the US and NATO” under the “woe to the conquered” principle. From Moscow’s standpoint, it simply relinquished confrontation when it decided against pursuing communism. Since the 1990s, it had sought friendly relations with Western nations, as well as economic and political integration into the EU, Medvedchuk wrote. The US plan, as evidenced by the expansion of NATO in Europe despite the objections of Moscow, was at odds with opening the door to its Cold War opponent. Ultimately, it derailed EU-Russian engagement, he argued. Conflicts like the Balkan wars are further evidence that the West had moved to gobble up the former Eastern Bloc, he continued, since they helped to “make it easier for the winner to take it over.”

The West targeted Ukraine for absorption and saw the country as part of its rightful prize, but a lot of resistance had to be overcome in order to split it from Russia, considering Kiev’s historical ties with Moscow, and the economic interest in maintaining good relations, Medvedchuk explained. Kiev antagonized the eastern part of the country, which was both economically stronger and more pro-Russian than the nationalist lands in the east, he suggested. And even then, both Zelensky and his predecessor, Pyotr Poroshenko, had been elected on a peace platform only to become “war party” politicians after taking office. The current conflict can be resolved only if pro-peace politicians are allowed to make their case, and Western nations must recognize that Russia has legitimate interests in Ukraine. Otherwise, it will “grow further, spilling over to Europe and other countries,” and has the potential to escalate into a nuclear war, he warned.

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“They go from war to war. And what should I be? An American slave?”

The president and PM have very different views.

Croatian President Weighs In On ‘Proxy War’ Against Russia (RT)

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has claimed NATO, a military bloc of which Zagreb is a member, is waging a “proxy war” against Moscow in Ukraine. He also dismissed sanctions against Moscow as “nonsense,” adding that he does not want to be an “American slave.” Speaking to Croatian reporters in the city of Vukovar on Sunday, Milanovic said, among other things: “Washington and NATO are waging a proxy war against Russia through Ukraine,” as quoted by media outlet Istra24. He went on to argue that “The plan cannot be to remove Putin. The plan cannot be sanctions,” adding that such punitive measures are “nonsense and we will not achieve anything with them.” “They go from war to war. And what should I be? An American slave?” Croatia’s president asked rhetorically.

Milanovic voiced his frustration with the US-led military bloc’s policies in the same interview in which he tore into Croatia’s prime minister, Andrej Plenkovic, over his latest Ukraine-related remark. Speaking to news channel France 24 on Saturday, Plenkovic said the Balkan nation’s lawmakers, who in mid-December didn’t support the EU’s program to train Ukrainian military personnel in member states, have “failed to be on the right side of history.” Commenting on the remark, Milanovic, in turn, slammed the premier for bringing “disgrace” to his country “and to its democratic representatives in front of others.” The Croatian president argued that this kind of behavior reaches a low that is “the bottom of the bottom.”

As for the EU’s mission, the Croatian president warned that it effectively means that “for the first time in its history, the EU is participating in a war.” This, according to Milanovic, is “against the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.” In December 2022, Milanovic argued that having Ukrainian service members train on Croatian soil would “bring war” to the Balkan nation. He also insisted at the time that “Ukraine is not an ally,” criticizing Brussels’ decision last June to grant Kiev candidate status as “cynical.”

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“Using private counsel allows Biden to raise attorney-client privilege. [..] While that attorney-client privilege can be overcome under a “crime/fraud exception,” it adds a level of initial protection.”

Biden Uses His Lawyers To Shield His Classified Docs From The FBI (Turley)

The discovery of a fourth set of classified documents, at the Biden residence in Delaware, has further undermined the White House’s virtual mantra that the president “takes classified documents very seriously.” Putting aside the repeated movement of highly classified documents over six years, one curious element has emerged in this scandal: the use of private counsel. Not only did President Joe Biden enlist lawyers to clear out his private Washington office; he then used them — rather than security officers or the FBI — to search for additional classified documents. The initial use of lawyers is notable. While it seems a fairly pricey moving crew, Biden could argue a trove of documents might require a judgment on where they should be sent and whether they belong to Biden, the Penn Biden Center or the government.

But why was a legal team sent in six years after Biden took the documents on leaving as vice president? Were the lawyers specifically selected because they had clearances, an acknowledgment there might be classified material unlawfully housed in the office? After the fourth batch of documents was discovered this week (the third found in Delaware), Richard Sauber, referred to as the “special counsel to the president,” stressed that he has a clearance. Sauber admits the lawyers who found the first batch at the residence didn’t have clearances but says he found the later documents. It remains unclear which lawyers were involved in which discoveries, whether they had clearances and (if so) at what level. In fact, it seems to suggest Biden continued to use uncleared lawyers after his team found highly classified documents Nov. 2 in the Penn Biden office closet in Washington. That itself could be viewed as gross mishandling of classified information.

It’s strange Biden did not use security officers or the FBI to conduct further searches. The president has a host of people who regularly handle classified material. So why use the lawyers? The answer appears the same as in the case of Hillary Clinton’s emails: control. Using private counsel allows Biden to raise attorney-client privilege. Trump also used counsel, but eventually the FBI raided his home to search and remove not just classified material but documents found in boxes with that material. While that attorney-client privilege can be overcome under a “crime/fraud exception,” it adds a level of initial protection. It also allowed Biden to control the discovery and initial record of the discovery of classified information. The key to any investigation will be the chain of custody extending back to the documents’ removal in 2017 when Biden left office.

How these documents appeared in their discovered locations is known only to his lawyers. It’s a link in the chain of custody that Biden effectively controls. With Mar-a-Lago, the FBI was criticized for staging documents to be shown in the storage room. The photos were then leaked to an eager media. There will be no staged photos of documents alongside Time magazine covers for Biden. Nor were documents he housed with classified documents removed. Indeed, it’s not clear if the FBI will know what documents were stored in the same boxes. What was potentially lost is significant. Classified documents are generally supposed to be in folders with a thick, colored border and large printed classification warnings. Were some of those folders observable before they were moved? If so, anyone could tell a pile contained classified material, including the president and passersby.

Likewise, the initial discovery could show the context of surrounding material. The FBI at Mar-a-Lago carefully photographed that context and its search. Here, we’re relying on counsel to have kept such a record when most lawyers would be reluctant to do so given the risk to their client. The key is that unlike FBI agents, these lawyers are not acting on behalf of the public interest but for the president’s personal interests. If there are criminal charges, the key witnesses will be lawyers representing the president as an individual. They are more likely to minimize incriminating or embarrassing elements.

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Turley’s comment on this: “Biden counsel continues to make statements seemingly against their client’s interests. Sauber said that the lawyers who discovered the documents on Wednesday night did not have clearances…”

More Documents Marked As Classified Found At Biden’s Home – White House (CBS)

Lawyers for President Biden found more documents marked as classified at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, than previously known, the White House acknowledged in a statement Saturday. White House lawyer Richard Sauber said in a statement that a total of six pages of documents marked as classified were found during a search of Mr. Biden’s private library. The White House had said previously that only a single page was found there. The latest disclosure is in addition to the discovery of documents found in December in Mr. Biden’s garage and in November at his former offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, from his time as vice president. The apparent mishandling of classified documents and official records from the Obama administration are under investigation by a former U.S. attorney, Robert Hur, who was appointed as a special counsel on Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Sauber said in a statement Saturday that Mr. Biden’s personal lawyers, who did not have security clearances, stopped their search after finding the first page on Wednesday evening. Sauber found the remaining material Thursday, as he was facilitating their retrieval by the Department of Justice. “While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages,” Sauber said. “The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them.” The Justice Department declined to comment to CBS News on the newly discovered documents. Sauber has previously said that the White House was “confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake.”

Sauber’s statement did not explain why the White House waited two days to provide an updated accounting of the number of records with classified markings. The White House is already facing scrutiny for waiting more than two months to acknowledge the discovery of the initial group of documents at the Biden office. On Thursday, asked whether Mr. Biden could guarantee that additional classified documents would not turn up in a further search, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, “You should assume that it’s been completed, yes.” Sauber reiterated Saturday that the White House would cooperate with Hur’s investigation. Bob Bauer, the president’s personal lawyer, said his legal team has “attempted to balance the importance of public transparency where appropriate with the established norms and limitations necessary to protect the investigation’s integrity.”

Marco Polo

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Shifty turns.

Adam Schiff Admits Biden May Have Endangered National Security (CB)

In what is a stunning admission, California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff has admitted that President Joe Biden may have endangered national security by mishandling classified documents. He spoke to ABC “This Week” host Jonathan Karl on Sunday when the topic of the classified document scandal and Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing a special counsel was talked about. “Congressman Schiff, you were on this show just after Attorney General Garland appointed a special counsel in the case of the Trump documents. You said it was the right move. Do you feel the same way about this special counsel?” the host said. “I do think it’s the right move. The attorney general has to make sure that not only is justice evenly applied, but the appearances of justice are also satisfactory to the public.

And here, I don’t think he had any choice but to appoint a special counsel. And I think that special counsel will do the proper assessment,” the Congressman said. “I still would like to see Congress do its own assessment of — and receive an assessment from the intelligence community of whether there was an exposure to others of these documents, whether there was harm to national security, on the case of either set of documents with either president. But, yes, I think the special counsel was appropriately appointed,” he said. “Jonathan, if I could also, though, because my state is still trying to dig out from these terrible storms, I want to thank the president for making an emergency declaration and let Californians know that in the three most affected counties they can now apply for help in terms of rebuilding their homes and their businesses and that other counties need to report their damage as soon as possible so they can qualify for relief as well,” he said as the host brought the conversation back to the documents.

“You raise the possibility of those national security assessment. Is it possible that national security was jeopardized here as – as many, including you, raised that possibility with the Mar-a-Lago documents?” the host said. “I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts. We have asked for an assessment in the intelligence community of the Mar-a-Lago documents. I think we ought to get that same assessment of the documents found in the – in the think tank, as well as the home of President Biden. I’d like to know what these documents were. I’d like to know what the IC’s assessment is, whether there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be and whether any mitigation needs to be done. I think that would be appropriate and consistent with what we requested in the case of Mar-a-Lago,” the Congressman said.

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Well, someone did.

Did The Deep State Turn on Biden? (Roach)

In spite of his manifest unpopularity and refusal even to campaign, Biden was installed as president in 2020. Having rarely met an actual Biden supporter, Trump voters were skeptical and angry. The extended recounts, unceremonious dismissal of legal challenges, and videos of disappearing ballots, along with strident denunciations of “election deniers,” did not reassure anyone. Later revelations showed the coordinated way government officials, the media, NGOs, billionaires, and others conspired to “fortify” the 2020 election. Biden governed as he ran: mostly hidden from the public, beholden to donors and party elders, doing as little as possible. This seemed acceptable for a while, since it allowed the various constituent parts of the government to do what they wanted with little interference.

Everyone knows Biden’s never been that sharp and seems more decrepit than ever, that his vice president is even dumber than he is, and that he’s not really running anything. But this is all a feature, not a bug, for the cabal that brought him to office. For them, the more independence they have from oversight, the better. Lately, it seems there’s a disturbance in force. Biden and his allies have continued their vendetta against Trump, exposing his tax returns and raiding his home for possessing documents he supposedly owed the National Archives. This did not go over as well as Attorney General (and all-around hack) Merrick Garland anticipated, and it seems Garland and the January 6 Committee have each decided to scale back their demands. This is why the recent exposure of top secret documents in Biden’s old office, his garage, and a mysterious third location suggests something is afoot.

We went from a Monday disclosure to a special counsel being appointed on Thursday. Nothing like this happens this quickly unless it is by design. There are, of course, ways to deal with this situation that do not involve public exposure. Couldn’t Biden or his staff order some FBI agents or White House people to pick them up and take them to wherever they’re supposed to be stored? It’s in the news because somehow his lawyers found the documents and reported them before the story could go through White House channels. And, lawyers being lawyers, they followed the street-lawyer rule that if someone has to go to jail, make sure it’s your client and not you. Concerned about individual culpability for obstruction or mishandling documents, they made this hot potato someone else’s problem as fast as possible.

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The Jacobin is one of the Dems’ staunchest supporters. Until now.

Turns Out Hillary Clinton, Not Russian Bots, Lost the 2016 Election (Jacobin)

Amid the generalized media crack-up that surrounded the 2016 presidential election, the bogeyman of “Russian bots” quickly became a load-bearing concept. A Russia-based social media campaign, or so it was said, had saturated sites like Twitter with fake accounts and, in doing so, helped to swing the election for Donald Trump. Becoming axiomatic in liberal circles, this story soon took on a life of its own. It’s since played a prominent role in mainstream media narratives of the 2016 election, been the subject of highly publicized congressional hearings, and also loomed large in the wider global discourse about “fake news.” That the Russian government preferred Trump to Hillary Clinton and that Russia-connected actors engaged in digital skulduggery related to the election are not really in dispute.

Much of the mainstream discussion around Russian bots, however, has been premised on unexamined assumptions about the scale and effectiveness of these efforts. Powerful states including the United States, after all, regularly engage in the likes of online propaganda and sock-puppeting campaigns. Whether they have a more than negligible impact on real world events, electoral and otherwise, is another question. It’s notable, then, that a new analysis published by the Center for Social Media and Politics at New York University finds no evidence whatsoever that Russia-based Twitter disinformation had any meaningful impact on voter behavior in 2016. In place of the terrifying bot army menace that’s periodically been invoked, the researchers instead detail an enterprise with minimal reach or influence, and one overwhelmingly concentrated among partisan Republicans already inclined to vote for Trump.

They estimate that as many as thirty-two million US Twitter users may have been “exposed” to tweets from Russia-aligned accounts over the eight-month period preceding the 2016 election.” In numerical terms that may sound like a lot, but it actually isn’t when you factor in the sheer volume of posts and information encountered by social media users on a daily basis. As the report puts it: While, on average, respondents were exposed to roughly 4 posts from Russian foreign influence accounts per day in the last month of the election campaign, they were exposed to an average of 106 posts on average per day from national news media and 35 posts per day from US politicians. In other words, respondents were exposed to 25 times more posts from national news media and 9 times as many posts from politicians than those from Russian foreign influence accounts.

Sheer exposure, of course, doesn’t even necessarily amount to influence. Like advertising, politically motivated content can functionally be background noise if it fails to reach particular audiences or in turn doesn’t have an impact on those that it does. In both respects, the study is quite unequivocal: not only were Russian Twitter efforts dwarfed by posts from media and politicians, but actual exposure to them was highly concentrated within a subset of partisan conservatives: Results . . . show that the amount of exposure depends substantially on users’ self-identified partisanship: those who identify as “Strong Republicans” were exposed to roughly nine times as many posts from Russian foreign influence accounts than were those who identify as Democrats or Independents.

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Musk Says ZeroHedge Did “Nothing Warranting Suspension”

‘Twitter Files’ Expose Big Pharma Bullying (ZH)

Today’s Twitter Files drop contains several notable pieces of evidence. First, that lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry launched a ‘massive lobbying blitz to crush any effort to share patents/IP for new covid-related medicine,” according to The Intercept’s Lee Fang. As part of this effort, lobbying group BIO “wrote to the newly elected Biden admin, demanding the U.S. gov sanction any country attempting to violate patent rights and create generic low cost covid medicine or vaccines.” Of note, Pfizer and BioNTech raked in $37 billion in revenue in 2021 alone from the COVID-19 vaccine, while Moderna made $17.7 billion the same year (and has recently announced a plan to hike the price of the Covid-19 vaccine by approximately 400%). BioNTech, which developed the Pfizer vaccine, “reached out to Twitter to request that Twitter directly censor users tweeting at them to ask for generic low cost vaccines.”

According to Fang, “Twitter’s reps responded quickly to the pharma request,” while “A lobbyist in Europe asked the content moderation team to monitor the accounts of Pfizer, AstraZeneca & of activist hashtags like #peoplesvaccine.” Meanwhile, the “fake accounts” flagged by the pharmaceutical companies for action were real people – one of whom Fang spoke with on the phone. “For more than two years, a global movement has been speaking out against pharmaceutical greed and demanding that everyone, everywhere has the tools to combat pandemics,” said Maaza Seyoum, a campaigner for the People’s Vaccine Alliance. “Whatever nasty tricks companies and governments pull,” she continued, “we cannot and will not be silenced.” Second, ‘Pfizer & Moderna’s lobbying group, BIO, fully funded a special content moderation campaign designed by a contractor called Public Good Projects (PGP), which worked w/Twitter to set content moderation rules around covid “misinformation.”‘ according to Fang.

BIO funded the PGP campaign, “Stronger,” to the tune of $1.275 million. Its focus? Helping Twitter ‘create content moderation bots,’ selecting which public health accounts would be verified, and helping to crowdsource content takedowns. Of note, the Moderna/Pfizer-funded campaign included regular emails to Twitter officals with takedown and verification requests. “Here’s an example of those types of emails that went straight to Twitter’s lobbyists and content moderators. Many focused on @zerohedge, which was suspended.” Fang includes a screencap of an email with two excel spreadsheets containing said requests.

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One child policy fallout. Like trying to turn an oil tanker around. Population to almost halve by 2100.

China Records First Population Decline In 60 Years (RT)

The population declined in 2022 to 1.411 billion, down some 850,000 people from the previous year, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced during a Tuesday briefing on annual data. Analysts said the decline was the first since 1961 during the great famine triggered by former leader Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward. “The population will likely trend down from here in coming years. This is very important, with implications for potential growth and domestic demand,” said Zhiwei Zhang, president and chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management. The birth rate also fell to a record low of 6.77 births per 1,000, down from 7.52 a year earlier and the lowest level since the founding of Communist China in 1949. Some 9.56 million babies were born, compared with 10.62 million in 2021 – despite a push from the government to encourage more married couples to have children.


The new data came alongside the announcement of one of China’s worst annual economic performances in nearly half a century, with the economy expanding by just 3% for the year, far below the government’s target, underscoring the steep economic challenges the country faces as its labor force shrinks and its retired demographic grows. The demographic crisis, which is expected to have an increasing impact on Chinese growth in the years to come, has been a key concern for policymakers. Beijing scrapped its decades-long and highly controversial “one child” policy in 2015, after realizing the restrictive policy had contributed to a rapidly aging population and shrinking workforce that could severely distress the country’s economic and social stability. To arrest the falling birth rate, the Chinese government announced in 2015 that it would allow married couples to have two children. But after a brief uptick in 2016, the national birth rate has continued to fall.

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“At least the Manson Murders were covered by corporate media. We all shared a similar experience.”

The Black Album (Trish Wood)

Later I bought the book, Helter Skelter, written by the man who prosecuted Charlie. But as an adult and a true crime reporter it was a story I steered clear of, never once accepting a production role in any of the many retellings. Like Didion, I remained skittish about it. I couldn’t make sense of Sharon Tate’s astonishing beauty being annihilated and the peace and love ethos of rich Hollywood hippies reduced to feral human remains – for nothing. The True Detective-type photos from Cielo Drive are images that still haunt. So, why am I so gripped by the revelations that Big Tech, legacy media and for sure the government actually silenced the voices of experts honestly trying to stop the unfolding disaster of lockdowns? Why does this feel like a moment as significant as those era-ending murders in the pretty house on a quiet SoCal Drive?

A team of independent journos is uncovering irrefutable proof that our well being was not paramount in the minds of those who peddled a fake consensus to invoke lockdowns — in my view — the most ruinous public health mistake in modern history. Government, its public health officials, legacy media, and even the medical journals were more into narrative stitching than truth and actually saving lives. The stories of governmental and scientific fraud and perfidy are all over Substack and Twitter and Elon is being hailed as a hero — as he should be, despite what my friend CJ Hopkins said on the podcast last week. But corporate media are running their usual smear-games — abdicating their responsibility to their audience — in order to hide their own complicity in a policy scandal that dwarfs all others.

In the meantime, we are on our own, facing an ugly truth about the people who govern us and the agencies they exploit to stay in power. Everything we thought was true about this power dynamic is a lie. At least the Manson Murders were covered by corporate media. We all shared a similar experience.

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Trojan Horse.

Twitter thread.

There Is Nothing Green About Green Energy (Pettimore)

As a miner for 40 years I have worked in various mines around the world. Gold, platinum, copper, coal, lead, zinc, oil and salt. I’m going to tell you something, and here it is. We will destroy the earth in the name of “Green Energy” Follow along and I will explain. MiningWatch Canada is estimating that “[Three] billion tons of mined metals and minerals will be needed to power the energy transition” – a “massive” increase especially for six critical minerals: lithium, graphite, copper, cobalt, nickel and rare earth minerals Over the next 30 years 7.5 billion of us, we will consume more minerals than the last 70,000 years or the past 500 generations, which is more than all of the 108 billion humans who have ever walked the Earth.

Mining requires the extraction of solid ores, often after removing vast amounts of overlying rock. Then the ore must be processed, creating an enormous quantity of waste – about 100 billion tonnes a year, more than any other human-made waste stream. Purifying a single tonne of rare earths requires using at least 200 cubic meters of water, which then becomes polluted with acids and heavy metals. On top of that, imagine the destruction and energy required to obtain these essential metals:
18,740 pounds of purified rock to produce 2.2 pounds of vanadium
35,275 pounds of ore for 2.2 pounds of cerium
110,230 pounds of rock for 2.2 pounds of gallium
2,645,550 pounds of ore to get 2.2 pounds of lutecium

Also staggering amounts of ore are needed for other metals. By 2035, demand is expected to double for germanium; quadruple for tantalum; and quintuple for palladium. The scandium market could increase nine-fold, and the cobalt market by a factor of 24. (Marscheider-Wiedemann 2016 ‘raw materials for emerging technologies’. The potential demand for rare metals is exponential. We are already consuming over two billion tonnes of metals every year — the equivalent of more than 500 Eiffel Towers a day. There is nothing refined about mining. It involves crushing rock, and then using a concoction of chemical reagents such as sulphuric and nitric acid, a long and highly repetitive process using many different procedures to obtain a rare-earth concentrate close to 100% purity.

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“The problem is that we don’t have a discussion on population: we have a clash of absolutes.”

The Age of Exterminations: How to Kill a Few Billion People (Ugo Bardi)

With 8 billion people alive on Earth, it may be reasonable to believe that the planet is becoming a little crowded. Nevertheless, we should not neglect the opposite opinion: that we have resources and technologies sufficient to keep 8 billion people alive and reasonably happy, and perhaps even more. Neither position can be proven, nor disproven. The future will tell us who was right but, in the meantime, it is perfectly legitimate to propose that population growth should be slowed down by birth planning. The problem is that we don’t have a discussion on population: we have a clash of absolutes. The position that sees overpopulation as a problem has been thoroughly demonized over the past decades and, still today, you cannot even mention the subject without being immediately branded as a would-be exterminator.

It happened to Bill Gates, to the Club of Rome, and to many others who dared suggest that the world would be a better place if the human population were to stabilize at levels lower than the present one. The demonization trend is, of course, a knee-jerk reaction: the people who propose population planning would be simply horrified at being accused of supporting mass exterminations. But note also that demonization starts from a real problem. Exterminations DID happen in the recent past, and they were carried out largely on the basis of a wrong evaluation of the overpopulation problem. During the Nazi era in Germany, the idea that Europe was overpopulated was common and it was widely believed that the “Lebensraum, “living space” available was insufficient for the German people. The result was a series of exterminations correctly considered the most heinous crimes in human history.

How was that possible? The Germans of that time were the grandfathers of the Germans of today, who are horrified at thinking of what their grandparents did or at least did not oppose. But, for the Germans of those times, killing the Untermenschen, the inferior races, seemed to be the right thing to do, given the vision of the world that was proposed to them and that they had accepted. The Germans fell into a trap called “utilitarianism.” It is one of those principles that are so embedded in our way of thinking that we don’t even realize that it exists. But it does, and it causes enormous damage. In principle, utilitarianism wouldn’t seem to be such a bad idea. It is a rational calculation of the consequences of taking or not taking a certain action based on the principle of generating the maximum good for the maximum number of people. So defined, it looks both sensible and harmless. But that’s the theory. What we have is a good illustration of the age-old principle that “in theory, theory and practice are the same thing. In practice, they are not.”

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Relativity

 

 

Huxley

 

 

This should make a few doctors think.

 

 

Hairdresser

 

 

 

 

Cleaner shrimps

 

 

Blue whale

 

 


A hummingbird lays back and “relaxes” after drinking flower nectar. Source: Rahul Singh

 

 

Skippy

 

 

 

 

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