May 182022
 


Pablo Picasso Young girl throwing a rock 1931

 

After the NATO War is Over (Batiushka)
The War in Ukraine. Scott Ritter’s Switcheroo (Whitney)
Fate Of Hundreds Of Ukrainian Soldiers Unclear As Azovstal Resistance Ends (G.)
‘Defenders of Mariupol Are The Heroes Of Our Time’ (G.)
‘Conflict Observatory’ to Document Evidence of Russian War Crimes (Celente)
McConnell Says Congress Hopes to Approve Sweden’s NATO Bid by August (ET)
EU Diplomat: ‘We Are Reaching Our Limits With Sanctions Against Russia’ (Euractiv)
Orbán Warns West is Subjecting Itself to “Suicide Waves” of Decline (SN)
Putin: EU Oil Sanctions “Economic Suicide” Ordered By “American Overlords” (ZH)
Over 120,000 Hunter Biden Emails Uploaded To Searchable Database (ZH)
‘The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter’ – Musk (Fox)

 

 


Manhattan Project

 

 

Stella

 

 

Mercouris

 

 

“Just days ago it was announced that Russia expects record grain production this year (130 million tonnes). Russia may yet demand payment in roubles for all this as well.”

After the NATO War is Over (Batiushka)

Make no mistake about it: The tragic war that is currently taking place on Ukrainian battlefields is not between the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, but between the Russian Federation and the US-controlled NATO. The latter, also called ‘the collective West’, promotes an aggressive ideology of organised violence, a politically- economically- and militarily-enforced doctrine euphemistically known as ‘Globalism’. This means hegemony by the Western world, which arrogantly calls itself ‘the international community’, over the whole planet. NATO is losing that war, which uses NATO-trained Ukrainians as its proxy cannon fodder, in three spheres, political, economic and military.

Firstly, politically, the West has finally understood that it cannot execute regime change in Moscow. Its pipedream of replacing the highly popular President Putin with is CIA stooge Navalny is not going to happen. As for the West’s puppet-president in Kiev, he is only a creature of Washington and its oligarchs. A professional actor, he is unable to speak for himself, but is a spokesman for the NATO which he loves. Secondly, economically, the West faces serious resistance to the 6,000 sanctions it has imposed on Russia and Russians. Those sanctions have backfired. In the West, we can testify to this every time we buy fuel or food. The combination of high inflation (10% +) and even higher energy prices, caused almost solely by these illegal anti-Russian sanctions, are threatening the collapse of Western economies, much more than threatening Russia or China.

As a result of this reverse effect of sanctions against Russia, the rouble is at a three-year high, standing at about 64 to the US dollar and rising, though immediately after the sanctions it had briefly gone down to 150 to the dollar. After strenuously denying that they would do it, already most countries in Europe (at least 17 for now), including Germany and Italy, have agreed to open accounts with Gazprombank, as Russia advised them to do and to pay for oil and gas in roubles. And this number is growing by the week. The problems will be even greater with food shortages, as the world food chain is highly integrated and the agricultural production of Russia and the Ukraine (now controlled by Russia) is at least 40% of the world’s grain production. Just days ago it was announced that Russia expects record grain production this year (130 million tonnes). Russia may yet demand payment in roubles for all this as well.

Read more …

I had not see this when I wrote my piece yesterday. A curious turn around.

The War in Ukraine. Scott Ritter’s Switcheroo (Whitney)

On Sunday, the foreign policy blogs were abuzz with the news that Scott Ritter had done “an about-face in his assessment of the war”. It appears that the ex-Marine had examined recent developments in Ukraine and concluded that it’s going to be much harder for Russia to win than he had originally thought… Naturally, the news of Ritter’s reversal sent shockwaves across the internet, especially among the people who follow events in Ukraine closely and who greatly admire his even-handed analysis. Some of these people clearly felt betrayed by Ritter’s comments and blasted him as a “concern troll” which refers to a person who feigns sympathy while actually feeling the opposite. This is a terrible way to treat a guy who’s devoted so much of his time to informing people about an issue of which they might know very little without his research. Besides, Ritter is no hypocrite. Quite the contrary.

It’s fair to say, however, that Ritter has probably been the most outspoken proponent of the “Russia is winning” theory, a hypothesis that runs counter to everything we read in the legacy media or see on the cable news channels. Unfortunately, Ritter’s views on the matter have changed dramatically, and that’s due almost entirely to developments on the ground. As Ritter candidly admits, “The military aid the west is providing to Ukraine is changing the dynamic and if Russia doesn’t find a way to address this meaningfully… the conflict will never end.” That’s quite a turnaround from a statement he made just weeks earlier that, “Russia is winning the war, and winning it decisively.” So, what changed? What are the so-called developments that led to Ritter’s volte-face?

Here are a few excerpts from the interview that triggered the fracas. Ritter was joined by Ray McGovern and host Garland Nixon on Saturday Morning Live. (The quotes are copied from video. I accept blame for any mistakes.) Scott Ritter (start at 47:50 minute mark) — “The thing that frustrates me… is that, it was my assessment that it would be very hard for Ukraine to absorb this new equipment and material (Material– the additional lethal weapons that have recently been shipped to Ukraine) but the howitzers are already operating against Russia. (And) They are having an effect in the Kharkov region. Not all 90 of them, but they have several batteries in place that are being used. How did this happen?

And this is why I have radically changed my overall assessment, because I had been operating on the assumption that Russia would be able to interdict the vast majority of this equipment, but Russia has shown itself unable or unwilling to do this and– as a result– the Ukrainians are having meaningful impact on the battlefield. Not in the areas of main contention, like the Donbass, but on the periphery. This is why Russia has carried out tactical withdrawals north of Kharkov, because in order to match Ukraine’s best capabilities, Russia would have to divert resources from its main effort which Russia has decided not to do. So, they are re-configuring the battlefield. (trading land in different areas)…

Read more …

The Guardian. Rewriting history. Update: “959 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered at Azovstal since Monday: Russian ministry”

Fate Of Hundreds Of Ukrainian Soldiers Unclear As Azovstal Resistance Ends (G.)

The fate of hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who have ended weeks of resistance at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol remains unclear, after the fighters surrendered and were transferred to Russian-controlled territory. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister said they would be swapped in a prisoner exchange, but some Russian officials said on Tuesday they could be tried and even executed. MPs in Russia’s State Duma said they would propose new laws that could derail prisoner exchanges of fighters who Moscow claims are “terrorists”. Russian investigators have said they plan to interrogate the soldiers and could charge them with “crimes committed by the Ukrainian regime against the civilian population in south-east Ukraine”.

On Tuesday evening, seven buses carrying Ukrainian soldiers left the Azovstal plant in the port city and arrived at a former prison colony in the Russian-controlled town of Olenivka in Donetsk, Reuters reported. Russia called the Azovstal operation a mass surrender, while the Ukrainian army said the soldiers defending the steel plant had “performed their combat task” and that the main goal was now to save their lives. For weeks, hundreds of troops have been holed up in a warren of tunnels and bunkers underneath the steelworks, as Russian forces took control of the rest of the city after turning much of it into an uninhabitable wasteland. Many of those stuck at Azovstal had serious injuries, with limited medical care and dwindling supplies.

In the last few weeks, civilians who had also taken cover in the plant were rescued after a deal was brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross to allow them to leave for Ukrainian-controlled territory. Ukraine had been pushing for a deal that would also allow the fighters to retreat to Ukrainian-controlled areas, or for their evacuation to a neutral country. However, with that not forthcoming, Ukrainian officials announced in the early hours of Tuesday that the defence of the plant was in effect over. Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, promised that the fighters who surrendered would be treated “in accordance with international standards”, but this was immediately undermined by statements from two other Russian officials.

Leonid Slutsky, a Russian MP who took part in negotiations with Ukraine earlier in the war, suggested Russia should lift its moratorium on the death penalty for fighters from the Azov regiment, one of the main forces defending the steelworks, calling them “animals in human form”. “Nazi criminals should not be exchanged,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, one of Russia’s most powerful officials and the chair of the State Duma, during a speech on Tuesday. “Our country treats those who surrendered or were captured humanely. But with regards to Nazis, our position should be unchanged: these are war criminals and we must do everything so that they stand trial.”

Read more …

More Guardian. What is wrong with these people?

‘Defenders of Mariupol Are The Heroes Of Our Time’ (G.)

Cut off from the world and low on food and ammunition, many of the hundreds of defenders of the Azovstal steel plant in Mauripol were wounded, some missing limbs. Their capitulation had been inevitable for weeks. That moment came late on Monday as more than 260 – bearded, filthy, emaciated, and including 51 severely injured – laid down their arms and were evacuated amid a wider concession of defeat after 82 days of fighting in the besieged port city. “The ‘Mariupol’ garrison has fulfilled its combat mission,” the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said in a statement. “The supreme military command ordered the commanders of the units stationed at Azovstal to save the lives of the personnel … Defenders of Mariupol are the heroes of our time,” it added.


And while several hundred fighters remained inside the plant, their commanders admitted their mission had “concluded” while officials continued with negotiations to “evacuate them”. Late on Monday, five buses carrying troops from Azovstal were seen arriving in nearby Russian-controlled Novoazovsk. In one, marked with a Z like many Russian military vehicles in Ukraine, men were stacked on stretchers on three levels. In a long-denied victory for the Kremlin, a battle that has gripped the world’s attention appeared finally over, leaving a city in ruins and perhaps thousands of civilians dead. With its urban areas sprawling along the coastline of the Sea of Azov in the shape of a comma, the siege of Mariupol came to define one of the most brutal episodes in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Read more …

“Wouldn’t it be worthwhile for the department to set up another website devoted to allegations of war crimes committed under the Obama, Clinton, Bush, and Biden administrations in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, and Syria?”

‘Conflict Observatory’ to Document Evidence of Russian War Crimes (Celente)

The U.S. State Department announced the launch of the “Conflict Observatory” program that will document evidence of war crimes committed by Russian troops during the Ukraine War to use in possible future prosecutions. The intention of the program is to “capture, analyze, and make widely available evidence of Russian-perpetrated war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine,” the statement read. The website will share this “documentation to help refute Russia’s disinformation efforts and shine a light on abuses.” “This new Conflict Observatory program is part of a range of U.S. government efforts at both national and international levels designed to ensure future accountability for Russia’s horrific actions,” a statement read. Wired reported that outside organizations, and international investigators would be able access the program’s database.

Ned Price the State Department spokesperson, told reporters on Tuesday that the program is important because “no country – no matter how large, how potentially powerful, what types of weapons they may have in their arsenal – can escape accountability for the types of atrocities that we have seen Russia’s forces perpetrate against the Ukrainian people.” Ukraine has accused Russian forces of atrocities and said it has identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes, Reuters reported. “However long it takes, those responsible for war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine will be brought to justice. A new, publicly available Conflict Observatory will collect open-source evidence for future prosecutions,” he tweeted later.

ConflictObservatory.org resembles a news site. One of the headlines read, “Evidence of Widespread and Systemic Bombardment of Ukrainian Healthcare Facilities.” The Yale Humanitarian Research Lab, which is part of the effort, along with Esri, Alcis, and Quiet Professionals LLC, reported that it identified 22 healthcare facilities in Ukraine “that sustained damage from apparent Russia-aligned bombardment between 24 February and 29 March 2022.” “The HRL verified damage through cross-corroboration of very high resolution satellite imagery and open source information. Based on a review of nearly 300 facilities across five cities and regions, the HRL has concluded that Russia-aligned forces have engaged in widespread and systematic bombardment of Ukrainian healthcare facilities.”

[..] NBC News published a report in April that challenged Washington’s claim that Russia was planning a chemical attack against Ukrainian forces, with one unnamed official going as far as to say that the claim was an effort by the U.S. to get into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s head. The report cited three U.S. officials who said there is no evidence that Russia is planning a chemical attack against Ukraine. While the mainstream media has generally ignored the latest D.C. lies, Antiwar.org was the first to point out the contradiction in the NBC News report that included a U.S. official who said the intelligence tied to chemical weapons was not “rock solid.” So the State Department wants to create a website built on evidence that is not rock solid? Wouldn’t it be worthwhile for the department to set up another website devoted to allegations of war crimes committed under the Obama, Clinton, Bush, and Biden administrations in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, and Syria? Don’t hold your breath.

Read more …

Who benefits? Not Finland and Sweden, they’re just painting targets on their own backs. Raytheon for the win.

McConnell Says Congress Hopes to Approve Sweden’s NATO Bid by August (ET)

“We hope to approve it before August,” he said. “We are confident it will be approved.” McConnell also shared a statement on Monday following his visit to both Sweden and Finland where he reiterated his support for both nations joining NATO, stating that both would “bring tremendous value as new NATO members and would strengthen the alliance significantly.” “Sweden and Finland already have long track records as two of the United States and NATO’s most capable friends and partners, even from outside the alliance,” the Senate Republican leader said. “Both countries have massive geographic importance, professional and well-equipped armed forces, strong military industrial bases, and significant interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces. Both nations’ robust commitments to defense funding mean that their accession would directly address longstanding concerns about burden-sharing and the financial contributions of our allies,” McConnell said.

He added that he would do “everything in my power to ensure that our part of their accession process moves smoothly and expeditiously.” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson told reporters in Stockholm on Monday that the decision to join NATO was driven in part by Finland’s recent move to join the alliance. Finnish leaders, with backing from lawmakers in the country, announced plans to officially seek NATO membership over the weekend. “Should Sweden be the only country in the Baltic Sea region that was not a member of NATO, we would be in a very vulnerable position. We can’t rule out that Russia would then increase pressure on Sweden,” Andersson said. The vote to approve new membership into NATO must be unanimous among all members.

However, Turkey has threatened to block the bid by Sweden and Finland, citing their alleged willingness to support terrorist organizations, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and followers of Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of being behind the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey. “Neither of these countries has a clear, open attitude toward terrorist organizations,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a joint news conference with his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Monday. “How can we trust them?” Erdogan also described Sweden as an “incubation center for terrorist organizations,” and claimed that some members of Sweden’s Parliament supported the PKK. He also pointed to the fact that both Sweden and Finland imposed arms export embargoes on Turkey in 2019 after its incursion into Syria.

Read more …

Oh, you’re well past your limits…

EU Diplomat: ‘We Are Reaching Our Limits With Sanctions Against Russia’ (Euractiv)

“If there was such a mess with Russia’s oil, imagine what would happen with a proposal to ban gas”, an EU diplomat told EURACTIV after the end of the EU foreign ministers meeting on Monday. “The 7th package of sanctions against Moscow will be extremely difficult […] We are very close to reaching our limits. What will the 7th package include?” the diplomat wondered.The diplomat explained that at the foreign affairs meeting yesterday, although there is ongoing progress in talks with Hungary to lift its veto over Europe’s proposal for an embargo on Russian oil, the atmosphere indicated that “we even took a step back”. “Hungary is doing everything to get guarantees […] essentially to get the money from the Recovery Fund and even more than that”, the diplomat said.


According to the diplomat, a deal between the Commission and Budapest is highly likely after the executive presents on 18 May its REPowerEU plan to phase out Russian fossil fuels. “It’s in no one’s interest to take the issue to the EU summit level […] Viktor Orbán knows he will be under huge pressure there, so he also wants a solution before that”, the diplomat noted. The diplomat stressed that Orbán’s stance on the matter brings other governments in a difficult position back to their homes, considering that if Budapest gets what it wants, it would be hard for others, such as Bulgaria, to explain why they did not get similar concessions. “The same happened with Spain and Portugal when they got the gas price cap,” the diplomat concluded.

Read more …

“They forget that man alone can never be free, only lonely..”

Orbán Warns West is Subjecting Itself to “Suicide Waves” of Decline (SN)

In a speech to mark him taking the oath of office, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned that the west is subjecting itself to “suicide waves” of decline in the form of self-inflicted economic wounds, mass migration and an obsession with identity politics. Orbán’s conservative Fidesz party swept to victory in the election last month with another two-thirds majority, despite a massive effort by globalist interests to derail his candidacy. During a speech in parliament, Orbán cautioned that the continent faced perilous times ahead. “Everything that has happened since 2020 points in one direction: Europe and the Hungarian people in it have entered an age of danger,” said Orbán. “The decade began with the coronavirus epidemic and continued with the war. The sanctions from the war brought an economic downturn.”

“The war and sanctions policy caused an energy crisis, and U.S. interest rate hikes brought an age of inflation,” he added. The Hungarian leader went on to lament that Europe was entering an “age of economic downturn” and a worsening mass migration problem. Orbán said we are now witnessing the “suicide waves of the Western world” characterized by the replacement of Christianity with a vacuous cult of identity politics. “Such is the program of the great European population exchange, the essence of which is to replace the missing Christian children with migrants. Such an experiment is a program of gender madness and a liberal Europe that transcends nation-states and Christianity, and puts nothing in their place,” said Orbán.

“They forget that man alone can never be free, only lonely,” he added.

Read more …

“Of course, such an economic suicide is a domestic affair of the European countries..”

Putin: EU Oil Sanctions “Economic Suicide” Ordered By “American Overlords” (ZH)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that EU countries are committing “economic suicide” by refusing Russian energy resources amid a push to impose an oil embargo, but which has been thus far blocked by Russian energy-dependent Hungary and a handful of others. As quoted in RIA Novosti, Putin described that the oil sector is busy undergoing a “tectonic shift” which will only be made worse by “ill-thought-out” sanctions by the West. The address was given virtually to an energy conference of the country’s industry heads. “Changes in the oil market are tectonic in nature and doing business as usual, according to the old model, seems unlikely,” he said. “In the new conditions, it is important not only to extract oil, but also to build the entire vertical chain leading to the final consumer.”

He called out the current EU-US trajectory of seeking to inflict maximum punishment on Moscow as a strategy ensuring higher energy prices and higher inflation. That’s when he observed: “Of course, such an economic suicide is a domestic affair of the European countries,” based on the AFP translation. At the same time, Putin additionally pointed out, Europe’s “chaotic actions” would eventually serve to boost oil and gas revenues for Moscow, also as Russia diverts energy supplies to “friendly” countries. He urged Russian industry authorities to be more proactive in leveraging the situation for the nation’s benefit. Putin described a scenario of Europe feeling the brunt of the crisis worst, according to state media:

“Rejection of Russian energy resources means that Europe will systemically become the region with the highest energy costs in the world. Yes, of course prices will rise and resources will go to this region, but it will not be possible to radically alter the situation. This will seriously – and according to some experts irrevocably – undermine the competitiveness of a significant part of European industry, which is already losing the competition to companies in other regions of the world,” Putin said, speaking at a meeting with officials devoted to energy issues on Tuesday. He added that Western officials and populations had long been overconcerned with “climate issues” – betting too big on the effectiveness of alternative energy, in a theme the Russian president has stressed for years.

Read more …

But key ones are missing?

Over 120,000 Hunter Biden Emails Uploaded To Searchable Database (ZH)

A former Trump White House staffer has uploaded more than 120,000 emails found on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop to a searchable database this week, which can be found at the (slowly loading) website: BidenLaptopEmails.com. In addition to searching, visitors can download the emails as well. Set up by former Peter Navarro aide Garrett Ziegler, who worked in the Trump administration Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, the emails contain infamous hits such as the “10 for the big guy,” in which Hunter Biden’s business partner James Gillar suggested he should hold 10% of a multi-million-dollar deal with the Chinese. Ziegler posted the emails through his organization, Marco Polo.

“Another email in the database, previously published by DailyMail.com, shows Hunter describing an extraordinary apparent quid pro quo with a Mexican billionaire’s son, outlining how he got him into the White House and inauguration, and thanking him for visits to his villa. Some messages did not appear to be included in the database. One email published by DailyMail.com shows Hunter inviting his foreign business partners and associates to a 2015 dinner at Washington DC restaurant Café Milano. In the email he reveals that his father will secretly be joining – and says that the dinner is ‘ostensibly to discuss food security’. The White House at first denied the then-vice president was there, but eventually admitted it when photographs emerged from the event.”-Daily Mail

That said, the Daily Mail notes that the above email is not included in Ziegler’s database, which contains 14,603 fewer emails than a batch of 142,838 analyzed by cyber forensic firm Maryman & Associates last year for the Mail. “Here are the 128k emails from the Biden Laptop, which is a modern Rosetta Stone of white and blue collar crime under the patina of “the Delaware Way,”” reads the website, referring to a term frequently used by Joe Biden. “Prior to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, a number of ancient languages were mere gibberish and hash marks. Similarly, the emails on the Biden Laptop illuminated previously convoluted webs of the people you see leading the charge for global governance; truly, the emails can be considered a translation tool for Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) gathering.”

Read more …

“The path to power is the path to the teleprompter.”

‘The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter’ – Musk (Fox)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose purchase of Twitter remains ongoing, slammed President Biden in a podcast interview Monday and warned that if the government continues printing money, inflation will get worse and the U.S. might follow the path of Venezuela. Musk, who said he has voted “overwhelmingly for Democrats,” slammed the Democratic Party and Biden in particular. He suggested that Biden is something of an empty suit. “The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter,” the Tesla CEO said. “The path to power is the path to the teleprompter.” “I do feel like if somebody were to accidentally lean on the teleprompter, it’s going to be like Anchorman,” the CEO added, referencing the 2004 film in which Ron Burgundy reads whatever is written on the teleprompter, even if it would ruin his career.


“This administration doesn’t seem to get a lot done,” Musk said. “The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done.” He also claimed that the Democratic Party is “overly controlled by the unions and by the trial lawyers, particularly the class action lawyers.” He argued that when Democrats go against “the interests of the people,” it tends to come from the unions and the trial lawyers, while when Republicans do that, “it’s because of corporate evil and religious zealotry.” “In the case of Biden, he is simply too much captured by the unions, which was not the case with Obama,” Musk said. The Tesla CEO defended Obama as “quite reasonable,” but insisted that Biden prioritizes the unions ahead of the public.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Stella

 

 

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May 172022
 
 May 17, 2022  Posted by at 5:16 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


Herbert James Draper A Deep Sea Idyll 1902(?!)

 

 

You’re not going to hear it from the western media or politicians, let alone NATO, but overnight the Ukraine war, or special operation, ended. And Russia won, on all fronts and on their own terms. Thre’ll be some more skirmishes, and a few more body bags, but not because the outcome of the war could still be changed. It’s done.

It’s funny to see how the nazi Azov “soldiers” that surrendered are now portrayed as heroic defenders of Ukraine, after hiding in a steel plant for 80 days, but they still lost. There are probably a few hundred left there, the ones who have most to fear from being captured, and all Russia has to do is to wait for them to come out. Or not.

The reason they went from nazis to heroes in no time at all in the western and Ukrainian press was that they were counted on to be the “real fighters” their country needed. Now that they’ve surrendered, without “fighting to the end”, the country, army and civilians alike, will see its morale plummet. Ukraine lost, Zelensky lost, and NATO lost. While at the same time, “our” press keeps on coming up with stories of Russian losses and weakness etc. And war crimes.

The only sensible thing left to do is to negotiate a peace in the conflict, in which Russia will see -most of- its demands (no nukes, no nazis, no NATO) granted. It’s either that or Zelensky will become guilty of the death and long drawn-out misery of many of his compatriots, without gaining an inch, and it’s hard to see him desiring that. Don’t be surprised if Zelensky surrenders soon as well, or leaves the country, claiming that Russia wants him dead and his escape was “heroic”.

 

There is one alternative: a full scale NATO attack on Russia, but that would seem far-fetched. Behind the western rhetoric there are too many minds who have read about the defeats of Napoleon and Hitler when they tried that, and who also don’t like the risk of one of Russia’s 6,000 nuclear warheads landing on their territory.

The saddest thing is that there was never any reason for this. You can paint off Putin as a crazy monster a million times, and the special action as completely unprovoked, but you would have to ignore all of Russia’s warnings over decades that this is an “existential” issue for their country. Which means they won’t back down. And everybody knew.

And besides, a lot of NATO countries’ governments have an idea what would become of them without Russian resources, fertilizer, crops, oil, gas etc. They’re willing to support NATO only up to a point, including sanctions. They don’t want to be responsible for cold and hunger for their people. If only because that would end the careers of many a politician.

It’ll take some time to fabricate the language that allows for such a defeat to be presented as a victory, but Spin Doctors “R” Us. And all of the people who’ve displayed Ukrainian flags wherever they could will need to find a narrative to defend that as well, but time heals many wounds, also the imaginary ones.

 

And yes, all this changes the face of the world enormously. The US, and through it NATO, is officially no longer the unipolar ruler of the world. They will have to share that limelight with Russia, China, India and others (Brussels has sidelined itself). That may be bad news for whoever is in power in US/NATO, but for citizens it’s a different story. They have nothing to fear from Russia’s military, but a lot from missing out on Russian resources.

In short: the war is over. The US will try to send over another $40 billion in “aid” -at least half of it weapons-, but there’ll be nobody left to handle the small fraction that is not destroyed by Russia. And just like the Russians can simply wait for the last Azov troops to leave the steel compound, they can also sit back and track any NATO weapons deliveries, and then take them out. It is really over. Unless we go all out Napoleon. I don’t think we will.

Meanwhile, we should all be happy that the war is over. Well, are we?

 

 

 

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May 172022
 
 May 17, 2022  Posted by at 8:50 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  33 Responses »


Man Ray Le Violon d’Ingres 1924

 

At Least 300 Azov Fighters Surrender To Russians At Azovstal Plant (ZH)
Hundreds Of Ukrainian Troops Evacuated From Azobvstal After 82-Day Assault (G.)
Russia Has The Historical Right To Invade Ukraine (Finkelstein)
Death By A Thousand Cuts: Where Is The West’s Ukraine Strategy? (Escobar)
EU Plans Loans And Grants To Help Rebuild Ukraine (G.)
Turkey Says It Will Not Approve Sweden And Finland Joining NATO (G.)
States Must Pre-emptively Nullify Any WHO Pandemic Regulations (Blaze)
The New Rift Between WHO and China (Tucker)
Scandinavian Black Metal (Every)
The Twitter Bot Inquiry Intensifies (CTH)
Your Government Quietly Confirmed The Fully Vaccinated Are Developing AIDS (DE)
Feeding the Narrative (Kunstler)

 

 

The AZOV regiment in the Azovstal compound has surrendered to Russia. The MSM will tell you they were “evacuated”, “to save lives”. And of course it’s out of fashion to call them neo-nazis.

Russia has won, and on its own terms. But they won’t tell you that either. Zelensky’s message: “We hope to save the lives of our boys”. “I want to underline: Ukraine needs its Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle.”

Yes, the neo-nazis have become (inter-) national heroes. Oh, the irony.

The effect on the morale of Ukraine will be huge, with one part of the “regular” army -and civilians- so far looking to Azov as a symbol of strength, and another part too scared to surrender themselves for fear of Azov reprisals. Don’t be surprised if this means much more of Ukraine will soon surrender too, including Zelensky.

But, but, what about the $40 billion the US will send? Don’t worry, the remaining oligarchs -in the US AND Ukraine-know just what to do with that. Most will need to take it abroad though, they can’t wait until Russia might come after them.

 

 

Baby formula. 42.6% corn syrup. 10.1% sugar. Get them addicted young.

 

 

Clarence Thomas

 

 

 

 

“..after previously vowing multiple to times to ‘fight till the end’..”

At Least 300 Azov Fighters Surrender To Russians At Azovstal Plant (ZH)

The more than month-long standoff at Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks plant is finally over, after for many weeks the siege of the large complex by Russian forces remained the focus of international headlines, and following a series of high-risk civilian evacuations, some of them under the auspices of UN and Red Cross emergency teams. The remnant hundreds of armed Ukrainian Azov battalion militants which had refused to come out have now surrendered in the Monday night hours. “Reuters saw about a dozen buses apparently carrying Ukrainian fighters leaving the plant on Monday. It was not possible to determine how many people were aboard.” Widespread reports say that some 300 Ukrainian fighters have laid down their weapons and emerged from the cavernous facility.

“More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol,” Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said. Another “53 heavily wounded (soldiers) were evacuated from Azovstal to the medical mortgage near Novoazovsk for medical aid,” according to Malyar’s statement. Azov issued a statement on Telegram saying they are “implementing the approved decision of the Supreme Military Command” in order to “save lives”. And the Russian side has since confirmed that “An agreement has been reached on the removal of the wounded,” according to a Russian defense ministry statement. “A humanitarian corridor has been opened through which wounded Ukrainian servicemen are being taken to a medical facility in Novoazovsk.”

Russian media is also widely reporting the surrender at Azovstal, with RT airing some of the first footage of the evacuation of the last fighters to leave… The Moscow Times is quoting confirmation from Ukraine’s president – who is applauding the safe surrender: “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “we hope to save the lives of our boys.” “I want to underline: Ukraine needs its Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle,” he said in a video statement. Crucially, Novoazovsk – where the wounded Ukrainian fighters are being taken – is in Russian-controlled territory about 40km east of Mariupol. The surrendered troops are reportedly now in the custody of the pro-Moscow Donetsk People’s Republic. Likely Kiev will seek to negotiate their return for captured Russians currently in Ukrainian military custody.

Azov battalion, which has long been widely acknowledged even in prior mainstream media reporting as a neo-Nazi group, is asking the Ukrainian public for continued “support” – given this surrender (after previously vowing multiple to times to ‘fight till the end’) will likely be viewed by some as premature capitulation. During the long siege, all that were stuck in the facility had been running out of food, supplies, and ammunition as Russian forces had them completely surrounded. Last month President Putin is said to have ordered the military to simply wait them out, as opposed to what would have likely been a high death toll operation to enter the underground complex beneath the huge plant.

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“..the soldiers defending the steel plant had “performed their combat task” and now the main goal was to save the lives of personnel.”

Hundreds Of Ukrainian Troops Evacuated From Azobvstal After 82-Day Assault (G.)

More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers, many of them wounded, have been evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol, appearing to cede control of the city to Russia after 82 days of bombardment. Ukraine’s deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said late on Monday that 53 heavily wounded soldiers were evacuated to a hospital in the Russian-controlled town of Novoazovsk. More than 200 others were transported through a corridor to Olenivka, Maliar said. The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said that the soldiers defending the steel plant had “performed their combat task” and now the main goal was to save the lives of personnel. By holding the steelworks, they stopped Russian forces from rapidly capturing the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, its statement on Facebook said.


It was unclear how many soldiers remained in the steel plant, but Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said: “We hope to save the lives of our boys”. “I want to underline: Ukraine needs its Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle,” he said in a video statement. The evacuation is likely to mark the end of the longest and bloodiest battle of the Ukraine war and a significant defeat for Ukraine. Mariupol is now in ruins after a Russian siege that Ukraine says killed tens of thousands of people in the city. For Ukrainians, the Azovstal plant has become a symbol of resistance, with hundreds of troops continuing to fight on there even after the rest of the city had fallen to Russian forces. Some 600 troops were believed to have been inside the steel plant.

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“But I will say —and I’m not afraid to say it because it would dishonor the memory of my parents if i didn’t say it—, I will say that they had the right to do it.”

Russia Has The Historical Right To Invade Ukraine (Finkelstein)

[..] if you agree that for 20 years—more than 20 years, more than two decades—, Russia has tried to engage in diplomacy; if you agree that the Russian demand to neutralize Ukraine —not occupy it, not determine its government, its form of economy, just neutralize it like Austria after World War II—, if you agree that was a legitimate demand; if you agree that the West was expanding and expanding NATO; if you agree that Ukraine de facto had become a member of NATO, weapons pouring in, engaging in military exercises in NATO; and if you agree… You know, Russia lost 30 million people during World War II because of the Nazi invasion, so there’s a legitimate concern by Russia with all of these —if you excuse my language— Nazis floating around in the Ukraine, then the simple question is: What was Russia to do?

I’m not saying I agree with the invasion, I’m not saying it went right, but I think one thing: the invasion showed… you know what the one thing the invasion showed, Briahna, was that Russia is kind of weak militarily, which is why all the more they may have been fearful of a NATO-backed Ukraine filled with Nazis, and probably at some point positioning nuclear missiles on its border. And I think 30 million, 30 million people… Listen to this: I think 30 million people is 30 million arguments in favor of Russia. Now I’m not going to say, because I’m not a general and I’m not a diplomat, so I’m not going… I’m not a military strategist so I’m not going to say it was the wisest thing to do.

I’m not going to say it was the most prudent thing to do. But I will say —and I’m not afraid to say it because it would dishonor the memory of my parents if i didn’t say it—, I will say that they had the right to do it. And I’m not taking that back. They had the right to do it. They had if I can call it the historic right to do it. 30 million people (killed during WW2), and now you’re starting again, you’re starting again. No, no, you know I can’t go for it, I can’t go for those who acknowledge the legitimacy of the arguments made by Putin but then call the invasion criminal. I don’t see that.

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“The caliber of ‘strategic’ advice from the NATO realm was self-evident in the Serpent Island fiasco – a direct order issued by British ‘consultants’ to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.”

Death By A Thousand Cuts: Where Is The West’s Ukraine Strategy? (Escobar)

Ukraine was never about a military win. What is being accomplished is the slow, painful destruction of the European Union (EU) economy, coupled with extraordinary weapons profits for the western military-industrial complex and creeping security rule by those nations’ political elites. The latter, in turn, have been totally baffled by Russia’s C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities, coupled with the stunning inefficiency of their own constellation of Javelins, NLAWs, Stingers and Turkish Bayraktar drones. This ignorance reaches way beyond tactics and the operational and strategic realm. As Martyanov delightfully points out, they “wouldn’t know what hit them on the modern battlefield with near-peer, forget about peer.”

The caliber of ‘strategic’ advice from the NATO realm was self-evident in the Serpent Island fiasco – a direct order issued by British ‘consultants’ to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, thought the whole thing was suicidal. He was proven right. All the Russians had to do was launch a few choice anti-ship and surface Onyx missiles from bastions stationed in Crimea on airports south of Odessa. In no time, Serpent Island was back under Russian control – even as high-ranking British and American marine officers ‘disappeared’ during the Ukrainian landing on the island. They were the ‘strategic’ NATO actors on the spot, doling out the lousy advice.

Extra evidence that the Ukraine debacle is predominantly about money laundering – not competent military strategy – is Capitol Hill approving a hefty extra $40 billion in ‘aid’ to Kiev. It’s just another western military-industrial complex bonanza, duly noted by Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev. Russian forces, meanwhile, have brought diplomacy to the battlefield, handing over 10 tons of humanitarian assistance to the people of liberated Kherson – with the deputy head of the military-civil administration of the region, Kirill Stremousov, announcing that Kherson wants to become part of the Russian Federation. In parallel, Georgy Muradov, deputy prime minister of the government of Crimea, has “no doubts that the liberated territories of the south of the former Ukraine will become another region of Russia. This, as we assess from our communication with the inhabitants of the region, is the will of the people themselves, most of whom lived for eight years under conditions of repression and bullying by the Ukronazis.”

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Loans And Grants And Stolen Assets.

EU Plans Loans And Grants To Help Rebuild Ukraine (G.)

Ukraine could receive loans, grants and possibly the proceeds of seized Russian oligarch property to help pay the multibillion-euro cost of rebuilding the country after the ruinous war launched by the Kremlin, according to a leaked EU reconstruction plan. In the plan drafted in Brussels, the European Commission states that the Ukrainian government will have to take out loans to pay for rebuilding its war-ravaged country. Non-repayable grants from EU member states would provide another tranche of the funds needed to rebuild destroyed homes, schools, roads, railways, airports and bridges. The EU also proposes assessing the feasibility of using assets seized from sanctioned Russians and Belarusians after a proposal from the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, earlier this month.

“I am absolutely convinced that this is extremely important not only to freeze assets, but also to make possible to confiscate it, to make it available for the rebuilding of the country,” he told Ukraine’s Interfax news agency. Lawmakers in the UK and the US have also proposed seizing Russian property to aid Ukraine’s reconstruction and ease the plight of the country’s refugees. Brussels officials have also called for the EU to borrow as a bloc on international capital markets to finance loans for Kyiv, according to the leaked report. If agreed, it would be only the second time in its history that the EU has borrowed as a whole rather than as individual member states, after funding the landmark €750bn (£635bn) Covid recovery plan in 2020.

The idea is floated in a Ukraine relief and reconstruction plan seen by the Guardian that the commission is expected to publish on Wednesday. Figures have been left blank in the document, pending further discussions in Brussels. The paper notes, however, that the financial needs “are expected to be substantial” and that reconstruction would take more than a decade. It also estimates that damage to physical infrastructure alone may run to more than €100bn.

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“They say they will come to Turkey on Monday. Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother.”

Turkey Says It Will Not Approve Sweden And Finland Joining NATO (G.)

Turkey has said it will not approve Sweden and Finland joining it as Nato members, hours after Stockholm followed Helsinki in a historic Nordic security policy shift by formally confirming that it intended to apply for membership of the alliance. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said diplomatic delegations from the two countries, which have reversed decades of military non-alignment in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, should not even bother coming to Ankara to discuss the move. “We will not say yes to those [countries] that apply sanctions to Turkey to join the security organisation Nato,” Erdogan said. “They say they will come to Turkey on Monday. Will they come to persuade us? Excuse us, but they shouldn’t bother.”


The Turkish president’s comments came as Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, said “a broad majority” in parliament backed Nato membership as “the best thing for the security of Sweden” – drawing a warning from Moscow. Sweden was “leaving one era behind us and entering a new one”, she said. The Finnish government confirmed its intention to join Nato on Sunday, shortly before Andersson’s ruling Social Democrats abandoned 73 years of opposition to the idea. Andersson said Sweden’s Nato ambassador would formally hand over Stockholm’s application to the alliance headquarters in Brussels “within the next few days” and that the membership request would be submitted simultaneously with Finland’s.

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Orwell lives.

States Must Pre-emptively Nullify Any WHO Pandemic Regulations (Blaze)

On May 22, the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization, will meet in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the next step in its nefarious pandemic treaty and the quest to use “public health” to expand the WHO’s power over sovereign states. Representatives from 193 nations, including the U.S, will be attending. Interestingly, the only country not invited is Taiwan, of course, at the behest of its Chinese puppet masters. What is the nature of this pandemic treaty agenda? On Jan. 24, 2022, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, explained the treaty was a “priority” to “urgently strengthen WHO as the leading and directing authority on global health, at the center of the global health architecture.”

In chilling words he laid out the guiding principle of this wicked plot. “We all want a world in which science triumphs over misinformation; solidarity triumphs over division; and equity is a reality, not an aspiration,” he added. He concluded, “We are one world, we have one health, we are one WHO.” Until now, the Biden administration appeared awfully quiet about this treaty, unlike some of the other recent international climate treaties about which officials have been quite vocal. However, it has come to light that several months ago, the Biden administration quietly sent the WHO several amendments to a 2005 international health regulation to be considered at the May 22 meeting about the treaty. At the time, the White House never issued an official statement or held a press conference.

The draft was not made public until mid-April. What is the nature of these amendments? They would essentially allow the director-general of the WHO to declare a public health emergency in a country and unilaterally coerce its citizens to take certain actions. The proposed amendment deletes a critical sentence from Article 9 of the 2005 International Health Regulations: “WHO shall consult with and attempt to obtain verification from the State Party in whose territory the event is allegedly occurring…” What could be the benign reason for the Biden administration erasing an existing requirement that the WHO first consult with the government of that particular country before making a determination? If there was any doubt about the motivations of these amendments and the direction in which they want to take our sovereignty, look at the next proposed change:

The Biden administration wants all the emergency declarations to be mandatory and cut out all views of the concerned state. The amendments are also designed to truncate the period of time for approving this travesty. The current WHO regulations provide for an 18-month grace period during which a nation may withdraw its “yes” vote for the amendments. The Biden administration draft proposal would truncate that period to just six months.

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Perhaps Xi doesn’t like the WHO getting dictatorial powers?

The New Rift Between WHO and China (Tucker)

From the beginning of the pandemic, the World Health Organization and China’s CCP have worked and spoken hand-in-glove, culminating in the Potemkin Village junket of mid-February 2020. The WHO-sponsored travel report – how wonderfully China had performed! – was written and signed by American public health officials who recommended Wuhan-style lockdowns, a disastrous policy that further inspired most governments in the world to do the same. Twenty-six months later, it turns out that China in fact had not “eliminated the virus fully within its borders,” contrary to the over-the-top claims of TV pundit Devi Sridhar in her new book Preventable. They only pushed cases into the future, as the CCP discovered when positive tests appeared all over Shanghai, leading to 7 weeks of brutal lockdowns.

This move on China’s part has been a disaster for the country and the world economy, and presently endangers the financial and technological future of the entire country. For Xi Jinping, lockdowns and zero-covid were his greatest achievement, one which was celebrated the world over, causing his political pride to swell beyond all bounds. Now, he cannot back off lest he face possible losses in upcoming party elections. Just this past weekend, he made it clear to the entire government that there would be no backing off the zero-covid policy: the CCP will “unswervingly adhere to the general policy of ‘dynamic zero-Covid,’ and resolutely fight against any words and deeds that distort, doubt or deny our country’s epidemic prevention policies.” The problem is acute: vast numbers in China likely need to acquire natural immunity via exposure.

The lockdown policy likely puts a damper on the achievement of endemicity. That means long-term damage to China’s future. Sensing this problem, the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, offered a mild criticism: “Considering the behavior of the virus, I think a shift will be very important,” adding that he had discussed this point with Chinese scientists. What happened next is truly fascinating: Tedros’s comments were censored all over China and searches for the name Tedros were immediately blocked within the country. Implausibly, merely by stating the incredibly obvious point, Tedros has made himself an enemy of the state. Meanwhile, another WHO/China partisan, Bill Gates, has been sheepishly saying something very similar in interviews, namely that the virus cannot be eradicated.

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“.. the G7 warns of 43 million people going hungry if Russia won’t stop its blockade of the Black Sea, which it won’t..”

Scandinavian Black Metal (Every)

Think of Scandinavian Black Metal as Finland and Sweden officially announce bids for NATO membership, overturning decades and centuries of neutrality, respectively; as Ukraine wins the Eurovision Song Contest, showing the tune the EU public is singing, and President Zelenskiy floats hosting it in demolished and occupied Mariupol; and as France and Germany come last, an EU-wide rejection of their continuous bids to harmonize with Russia. Think similarly as the G7 warns of 43 million people going hungry if Russia won’t stop its blockade of the Black Sea, which it won’t. That seems an undercount given recent surveys in even Western countries talking about 2 in 7 people facing some form of hunger, and a surge in the use of food banks. Worse, India just halted exports of wheat, or will only sell to those in real need, which injects another layer of (geo)politics into commodities trading.

Likewise, oil remains over $100 despite much of China in lockdown, which Shanghai may lift slightly from 16 May. Imagine how high oil would be with China open. Diesel is in short supply, and Bloomberg’s Javier Blass says at prices the equivalent of $200-250. There are warnings of diesel shortages in the north-east US, which will bring trucking to a halt. Recent conversations with taxi drivers in London and Singapore, which there are evident shortages of, complaining that current fuel prices mean they struggle to make ends meet. Nigerian domestic airlines have threatened to stop flying completely.

We can all name the tune that follows. Pro-China Sri Lanka is in chaos over rising food and energy prices. Pro-China Iran is seeing street protests, despite being a major energy producer – and is still no closer to a nuclear deal despite the EU thinking ‘Wandel Durch Handel’ will work in the Middle East in the same way it has not worked in eastern Europe or the Far East. China itself, besides sealing people into their homes, is restricting outbound international travel, clipping passports of those arriving, and according to one source, blocking overseas calls.

China also saw terrible data: industrial production -2.9% y-o-y vs. consensus of 0.5% and 5.0% in March; in year-to-date (y-t-d) terms, it was up 4.0%, down from 6.5% from last month; retail sales y-o-y were -11.1% vs. -6.6% consensus, and down from -3.5%, and in y-t-d terms were -1.2%, down from 3.3%; fixed investment y-o-y y-t-d was 6.8% vs. 7.0% consensus and down from 9.3%, the last leg standing; and property investment was -2.7% y-o-y y-t-d vs. -1.5% consensus and 0.7% in March, underlining that the investment seen was into infrastructure not housing. Indeed, residential property sales were -32.2% y-o-y y-t-d, and unemployment ticked up from 6.0% to 6.1%. China’s response was to cut mortgage rates 20bp for first-home buyers, but there was no rate cut in the MLF interest rate from 2.85% despite 50-50 market expectations of such a move.

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Will anything be left of Twitter?

The Twitter Bot Inquiry Intensifies (CTH)

If you accept that Twitter is manipulating the public conversation intentionally (they are), then Twitter bots would serve an ideological function. However, the issue of ‘bots’ operating on the Twitter platform is interesting when you consider the cost of platform operation. On one hand, extensive auto-generated ‘bots’ would be an issue of cost and data-processing, a net negative. On the other hand, the use of bots would be a manipulative practice for the creation of false impressions to generate advertising revenue. If the scale of data-processing was subsidized, an outcome of a network of data processing centers -the AWS cloud- linked to government resources, the bots would not be a cost issue for the operation. Despite the false impressions generated, bots would, however, under this weird situation, be useful for the manipulation of the conversation.

At the root of Elon Musk’s line of inquiry is the need to discover if this suspicion is true. If the scale of bots has been underestimated (likely by a willfully blind operation) the advertising fees charged by Twitter were potentially fraudulent. This is another operational reason (mitigating lawsuits from advertisers) for Musk to make the determination prior to the final purchase of the platform. Taking Twitter private as a company, eliminating bots (which is essentially removing fraudulent users) then carries the potential benefits of both lowering costs and positioning the company to increase genuine ad revenue from authenticated users as real people. Many people suspect the size of the political left on the Twitter platform is manipulated by programatic bots. Meaning there seems to be more people on the left side of the spectrum because bots are deployed to give the impression of like-minded users.

I am one of the people who believe this suspicion is accurate, because it would be a typical way the ideological left operates. The bots would be in addition to the deployment of algorithms that are designed to suppress speech the platform operators do not like. I have long suspected the Twitter algorithm process is essentially assigning certain users into specifically designed data-processing containers where their voice is suppressed. Some people call this ‘shadow-banning,’ I simply call it suppression. Elon Musk represents a threat to the way the platform was/is designed to operate. If Musk removes the discussion constraints, opens the containers and removes the restrictions, while simultaneously eliminating bots and fake accounts, the entire perspective of the platform could change very quickly. This is what I think the current board and operators are trying to avoid.

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“..Public Health Scotland, the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the Government of Canada, the UK Health Security Agency, the Office for National Statistics, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control..”

Your Government Quietly Confirmed The Fully Vaccinated Are Developing AIDS (DE)

Something is very wrong, and it is because of the Covid-19 injections. All around the world, Governments are publishing official data that all show the same thing. Those same Governments however are not willing to explain why. Instead, they are quietly publishing data in the hope that it will get swept under the carpet whilst they have you distracted by war in Ukraine and worrying about the cost of living; a crisis created by Government policy. But with the publication of confidential Pfizer documents, Governments around the world are running out of places to hide, and if these worrying trends continue, they will be forced to admit the Covid-19 injections are either causing Antibody-Dependent Enhancement or something much worse. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.


Whilst rare, it is perfectly possible for a medication or drug to cause Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, and data published by Public Health Scotland, the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the Government of Canada, the UK Health Security Agency, the Office for National Statistics, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control strongly suggests the Covid-19 injections should be added to the list. How else can Governments around the world explain the fact the fully vaccinated are more likely to be infected with Covid-19, more likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19, and more likely to die of Covid-19 than the unvaccinated? How else can Governments around the world explain the huge rise in all-cause mortality rates among the fully vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated? How else can Governments around the world explain the 1,145% to 33,715% increase in AIDS-related diseases, cancers and infections reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in 2021?

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“..it will promote the evolution of new-and-different iterations of novel Coronaviruses, and it will surely kill and maim a lot more people, including little children.”

Feeding the Narrative (Kunstler)

This is not 2020. The public may be better inoculated now against government gaslighting and mind-fuckery than they are against Covid-19 viruses. As Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) noted last week in his colloquy with Secretary Mayorkas, “Do you know who the greatest propagator of disinformation in the history of the world is? The U.S. government.” Senator Paul is onto something. In the course of that hearing, he asked Mr. Mayorkas whether talk about Covid 19 on social media might be subject to official “disinformation” action by his agency. “I’ve said a million times that cloth masks don’t work; YouTube takes me down,” Senator Paul said. “They’re a private company. I can have that beef with them. What about you? You’re going to look at that? I often say that natural immunity from having had the infection is equal to the vaccine or better. You’re going to take that down?”

Rand Paul is a licensed physician, by the way, and Alejandro Mayorkas is not. Mr. Mayorkas answered that someone might claim that vaccination centers “are actually peddling fentanyl. Now, should I sit back and take that, or should I actually disseminate accurate information?” he asked. In reality, of course, this hypothetical fentanyl nonsense is not what is at issue regarding Covid-19 “vaccines.” What is actually at issue is the now-established fact that the mRNA products called “vaccines” do not prevent infection or transmission of Covid-19, and do provoke a broad array of harms to people that cause disability and death in, at least, tens of thousands of cases, which is a lot in terms of all prior medical standards.

The government has been lying about this consistently. And the news media have been obediently conveying those lies, in league with the pharmaceutical giants who produce the “vaccines.” The governor of my state, Kathy Hochul, still idiotically wants to mandate mRNA “vaccines” for children. Pfizer ran a commercial on CBS’s 60-Minutes Sunday night promising that further “vaccination” with their sketchy product will “open up the world” for people. In fact, it will do nothing to protect people, rather it will promote the evolution of new-and-different iterations of novel Coronaviruses, and it will surely kill and maim a lot more people, including little children.

Malone: myocarditis may be occurring in a majority of the vaccinated.

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May 162022
 


Pablo Picasso Maison 1931

 

Sweden Joins Finland In NATO bid, Ending 200 Years Of Non-Alignment (Week)
Why Russia’s Oil Ban Is Impossible (Vilches)
European Natural Gas Prices To Triple In “Perfect Storm” (ZH)
McConnell Urges Biden To Name Russia A State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Hill)
Russian Lawmaker Says Poland Next In Line for ‘De-Nazification’ (ET)
Is Diplomacy Between Russia and the West Still Possible? (Haass)
Unmasking – Part 1 (Jotwani)
Can We Find Our Way Back to Freedom? (Ruechel)
Fraudulent Trial On Ivermectin Published By World’s Top Medical Journal (Kory)
Elon Musk: The Next Joe Rogan (Hill)
Elon Musk Issues Warning on Twitter Algorithm (ET)
Leaked Emails Expose Secret Intelligence Coup To Install Boris Johnson (GZ)

 

 

 

 

THE PLAN

 

 

 

 

Fauci trying to get Trump re-elected

 

 

WHO total control

 

 

200 years, 2 world wars, always neutral. Makes me wonder: Is Switzerland next?

Sweden Joins Finland In NATO bid, Ending 200 Years Of Non-Alignment (Week)

Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats on Sunday said they now support joining NATO, hours after Finland’s leaders affirmed their intention to get parliamentary approval for membership as early as Monday. “For us Social Democrats, it is clear that the military non-alignment has served Sweden well, but our conclusion is that it won’t serve us as well in the future,” Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said. “We’re now facing a fundamentally changed security environment in Europe.” Public opinion in Sweden and Finland swung sharply toward NATO membership after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Andersson said Sweden would be left in a “vulnerable position” if it were the only country in the Baltic region that was not part of the military alliance. She also said the Social Democrats oppose Sweden hosting NATO bases or nuclear weapons.

Sweden has steered clear of military alliances for 200 years, since the Napoleonic Wars, and Finland has remained neutral since battling Soviet Russia — and losing 10 percent of its territory — in World War II. “This is a historic day,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said Sunday. “A new era begins.” NATO foreign ministers, meeting in Berlin, reiterated that both Nordic countries would be welcomed if they apply and suggested security guarantees could be provided for the period between application and accession. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Sweden and Finland’s applications would be fast-tracked, but it could still take up to a year.

Every NATO member state would have to ratify the memberships, and only Turkey so far has voiced reservations. But in Berlin, the Turkish Foreign Minister said the issue is not NATO expansion but rather what he called Sweden and Finland’s support for Kurdish rebels in the PKK, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization, and also “unacceptable” restrictions both countries have placed on weapons sales to Ankara. Turkey is not issuing any threats or seeking leverage, he added. “Turkey has made it clear that their intention is not to block membership,” Stoltenberg said.

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Quantity AND Quality.

Why Russia’s Oil Ban Is Impossible (Vilches)

Beware: the reliable provision of Russian oil to the EU is essential because of its quality, quantities, price, service and delivery enlargement that Europe needs to constantly grow. Banning Russian oil means finding many different oils – from many new unproven vendors – that would have to render the same homogenized profile of delivery, quality, quantity, price, service and enlargeability that Russia reliably provides today. Nothing less, of course. Think about it. Otherwise we cannot have the Europe we now know and the future Europe we need. All 6 factors are required. Not enough quantity adequately delivered means degraded European lives and failing economy, with shut down plants and refineries affecting transportation, heating, hospitals & schools, highly limited military, unemployment, etc., etc.

A different or lower oil quality means poor performance and operational risks with serious breakdown troubles and injuries plus down-time probably beyond repair. Not low enough price — Russian fuels are good & cheap — means disrupting the EU and the world with inflation beyond imagination. And as Procurement Depts. know well, an utmost reliable vendor service is paramount also to allow for mutual growth. Russia is a vetted, close-by, one-stop, well “oiled” 6-criteria compliant vendor. Instead, the EU´s losing proposition is a far away beach-front bazaar with seaborne delivery only, shipped by a fleet too small for purpose. A single non-compliant vendor is simply unacceptable, period. Furthermore, Russia´s oil sales to Europe provide a stabilizing critical mass to compensate for world market variations

The huge problem is that there are 3 and only 3 ways out of this terribly EU mis-managed fuel sourcing hellish-crazy messy mess. For all 3 options in order to comply with the 6 oil criteria briefly explained before (more on that later) the EU would be required to import variable quantities from several different yet unknown vendors having (1) fully compliant export-ready oil grades to be produced beyond and incremental to current production and/or… (2) fully compliant oil grades found deep underground somewhere yet unknown per definition 0% available today (3) modify every single piece of machinery in the EU to fuel them with different non-compliant non-Russian oils… and with no possible “toggle switch” to convert from one type of oil to another… We’d have a forcefull life-long linkage between one vendor and his supposedly constant oil deliveries, which would be different from other vendors and their supposedly constant deliveries made to other EU consumers. NO interchangeability here.

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Your leaders are conspiring to make you have nothing and be happy.

European Natural Gas Prices To Triple In “Perfect Storm” (ZH)

A top commodity research firm in Norway warns a “perfect storm” is brewing as European energy security worsens following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which could result in the tripling of natural gas prices. “There simply is not enough LNG around to meet demand. In the short term, this will make for a hard winter in Europe. “For producers, it suggests the next LNG boom is here, but it will arrive too late to meet the sharp spike in demand. The stage is set for a sustained supply deficit, high prices, extreme volatility, bullish markets, and heightened LNG geopolitics,” Kaushal Ramesh, a senior analyst for Gas and LNG at Rystad Energy, wrote.

Rystad Energy said the EU has an “ambitious target to reduce dependence on Russian gas by 66% within this year – an aim that will clash with the EU’s goal of replenishing gas storage to 80% of capacity by 1 November.” The firm said shunning Russian natgas from the continent destabilizes the entire global natgas market, which had a turbulent 2021 year-end with prices skyrocketing across Europe because of the lack of supplies. EU is currently reducing reliance on Russian natgas and has unveiled the possibility of banning Russian fossil fuels. This will only lead to more trouble for the EU, where prices could rise even higher. According to the report, 155 billion cubic meters of Russian natgas flowed into Europe in 2021, representing about 31% of the continent’s natgas supply.

“Replacing a significant portion of this will be exceedingly difficult, with far-reaching consequences for Europe’s population, economy, and for the role of gas in the region’s energy transition,” Rystad Energy noted. In one apocalyptic scenario, the energy firm cautioned about the severe economic implications if Russian natgas flows were immediately halted. They said it would come at a time when natgas stocks (only 35% full) would be depleted by the end of the year, resulting in a tripling of natgas prices from current levels to $100 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). Such a dramatic price move in natgas would have tremendous implications on the economy, such as “industrial curtailments,” Rystad Energy said, adding, “in an extreme scenario of a severely cold winter, not even the residential sector would be safe.”

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“My definition of victory is whatever Zelensky and the Ukrainians conclude is a satisfactory end..”

McConnell Urges Biden To Name Russia A State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Hill)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday urged President Biden to name Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, which would lift sovereign immunity protections shielding the country from being sued for civil damages. “I think it’s a good idea, and I would support that,” he told reporters during a press call from Stockholm. “The president could do it on his own, and I would urge him to do it.” McConnell made his recommendation to designate Russia a sponsor of terrorism after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday. Three other Republican senators, Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), John Cornyn (Texas) and Susan Collins (Maine), also attended the meeting.

McConnell said he assured Zelensky that “support for Ukraine in this war against the Russians is bipartisan” and that the “overwhelming majority” of national security-minded Republicans support the Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion, despite recent criticism of a $40 billion Ukrainian aid package by prominent Republicans such as former President Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.). “This naked aggression must not stand,” McConnell said. “I wanted to assure them that within the Congress there was very, very broad support for continuing the fight.” The GOP leader made his comments after Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a resolution last week calling for the designation of the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The bipartisan measure would call on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to put Russia on the list, where it would join Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria. Recently departed White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week that the U.S. had already imposed crippling “economic sanctions” and “sanctions on individuals,” rendering Russia “a global pariah” but added that “we’ll see what happens in Congress.” [..] McConnell on Sunday reiterated his view that U.S. military assistance of Ukraine should continue for as long as Ukrainians want to fight off the Russian invasion. “The question always is, how does it end? And my view remains that that’s a decision for the Ukrainians to make. My definition of victory is whatever Zelensky and the Ukrainians conclude is a satisfactory end,” he said.

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Sounds bad, but only until you read what those Polish dudes have said… Yikes.

Russian Lawmaker Says Poland Next In Line for ‘De-Nazification’ (ET)

A Russian lawmaker has issued a fiery warning that Warsaw is next in line for “de-nazification” after Poland’s Prime Minister penned an op-ed calling Russia’s imperialist “Russkiy Mir” ideology a “cancer” consuming Russian society and a “deadly threat” to other countries. Oleg Morozov, chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee on Control, wrote in a message on Telegram on Friday that the Polish leader’s comments have essentially made Poland a target. In his remarks, Morozov resorted to the Kremlin’s rhetoric in its military operation in Ukraine of so-called “de-Nazification,” a label Moscow has used to vilify its geopolitical adversaries and justify the war.

“With its statements about Russia as a ‘cancer’ and about the ‘indemnity’ that we must pay to Ukraine, Poland encourages us to put it in first place in the queue for de-Nazification after Ukraine,” Morozov wrote, according to a translation of his statement. Morozov’s remarks were prompted by statements made by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Polish President Andrzej Duda, who have both been highly critical of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Duda has said Russia should be forced to pay compensation to Ukraine for war damages while Morawiecki said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “more dangerous” than both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin because he has nuclear weapons and a massive propaganda machine at his disposal.

Morawiecki wrote in a column in the British newspaper The Telegraph that “the cursed phantoms of the 20th century have risen again over Ukraine,” alleging that Russia’s invasion of its neighbor bears the hallmarks of fascism, “has already opened the gates to genocide,” and is driven by a “monstrous new ideology” that he called “Russkiy Mir.” Morawiecki alleged that in the name of this ideology, Putin and his military entourage have ordered Russian forces into war, “convinced them of their superiority, and encouraged them to commit inhuman war crimes—the murder, rape, and torture of innocent civilians.”

“Putin’s ‘Russkiy Mir’ ideology is the equivalent of 20th-century communism and Nazism,” Morawiecki wrote, calling it a “cancer which is consuming not only the majority of Russian society, but also poses a deadly threat to the whole of Europe.” It’s not enough to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s attack, Morawiecki argued, “we must root out this monstrous new ideology entirely.”

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Yes, where are the peace talks?

Is Diplomacy Between Russia and the West Still Possible? (Haass)

Amid more than two months of intense media focus on the war in Ukraine, one story was largely overlooked. In late April, the United States and Russia carried out an exchange of prisoners. Russia released an American (a former marine) whom it detained some three years ago, while the US released a Russian pilot imprisoned over a decade ago on drug smuggling charges. What makes the exchange noteworthy is that it took place at a time when Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has brought relations with the US to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. The US has opted to avoid direct military involvement in the war, but it is doing a great deal to affect its trajectory, including providing Ukraine with large quantities of increasingly advanced arms, intelligence, and training so that it can successfully resist and potentially defeat the Russian forces. The US has also taken steps to strengthen NATO and impose severe economic sanctions on Russia.


The war is likely to stretch on for some time. Although Ukraine’s fundamental interest is to end the war and prevent more death and destruction, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s desire for peace is conditional. He seeks to regain territory that Russia occupies and ensure the country’s sovereignty is respected so that, among other things, Ukraine can join the European Union. He also wants those responsible for war crimes to be held accountable. Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, needs to achieve an outcome that justifies his costly invasion lest he appear weak and be challenged at home. There is little chance that a peace could be negotiated that would bridge the gap between these two seemingly irreconcilable positions. It is far more likely that the conflict will continue not just for months, but for years to come. This will be the backdrop for US and Western relations with Russia.

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“If Russia and China had played along with these well-established globalized “liberal” frameworks of looting, they would not be seen as adversaries.”

Unmasking – Part 1 (Jotwani)

A thinking person must be on guard against any false doctrines, including of course those of “liberals”. Why? Because we all must cherish and conserve the much good there is in life; it would be foolish not to do so. Succumbing to false doctrines is a sure way to lose all the good that one has in one’s life. Many false doctrines arise from obsessive/compulsive quantification. Modern scholars in the “liberal” mould have invented the dangerously tragi-comic game of quantifying all that is deemed by them to be “good”. But true goodness is known only deep in the heart. How can one quantify what is felt deep in the heart? How can one quantify the immeasurable goodness in life which comes in the form of love, empathy, care?

A quantifying economist, for example, would reckon that a greedy doctor who charges a thousand dollars for treatment adds more to GDP than a kind doctor who charges a hundred dollars for it. The former’s treatment is deemed to be ten times better – and thus overcharging becomes an economic virtue! Inevitably, such views of life are blind to love, empathy, care. Absent these life-giving virtues, a “liberal” is liberal only with what belongs to others. But, in true Jekyll-Hyde mode, the “liberal” remains jealously and fiercely protective of what been salted away by him or her under the cover of darkness.

As we will see in the sequel, “liberal” causes need a copious supply of other people’s money. Therefore greedy, cunning, heartless money-monsters are needed to support such “liberal” causes – towards selfish ends of their own, needless to say. In an earlier era, these money-monsters raked in copious amounts of colonial loot from the world over. Today financial and corporate loot is replacing colonial loot, but the dirty game is still on. If Russia and China had played along with these well-established globalized “liberal” frameworks of looting, they would not be seen as adversaries. But they are not playing along. They have their own vision, and therefore they will be painted by “liberal democracies” as the most “illiberal” of societies!

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Fourth turning.

Can We Find Our Way Back to Freedom? (Ruechel)

We were already a society experiencing an identity crisis, casting about for meaning, searching for a sense of belonging, and desperate for a new unifying “grand narrative” to bind us together. The “emergency” created by Covid and the public demand for “safety at any cost” provided institutions with an excuse to abandon their constitutional restraints, giving the people inside these institutions free rein to act out the philosophical impulses that have been growing throughout society for a long time. Covid was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. It opened the door to a new “fourth turning”. The system is now in flux. In retrospect, it is easy to recognize society’s growing loss of confidence in classical liberal principles like individual liberty, bodily autonomy, personal responsibility, freedom of speech, tolerance, meritocracy, private property, sound money, inalienable rights, and so on.

The postmodernists (neoliberals) have been busily eroding the philosophical foundations of classical liberalism for a long time, robbing society of the words, ideas, and historical awareness with which to defend ourselves against illiberal postmodernist beliefs. And we have been complacent. We surrendered the landscape of the imagination to the deconstructionists, the activists, and the cynics. How can a constitution provide a philosophical anchor for a society in which nothing is sacred? What we are witnessing now is the attempted institutionalization of society’s embrace of learned helplessness, safety culture, cancel culture, redistribution, and all the other “gems” of postmodern philosophy. Our uprooted institutions are trying to “re-invent” themselves by attempting to put down fresh roots around postmodern neoliberal philosophy.

The institutionalized forms of these destructive cultural trends are unlikely to turn out anything like society’s utopian postmodern fantasies, but at least we know the shape of the mirage they are chasing. Society wanted an all-powerful feelgood shepherd, and there are plenty of grifters willing to cater to that illusion. But we’re still early in the chaotic transition period. What is being institutionalized now isn’t necessarily going to stick, especially as the yoke of dictatorial government begins to chafe. Brace for the unexpected as other competing visions of the future emerge and are drawn into a zero-sum struggle for dominance. The battle of the grand narratives has begun.

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“..the most brazenly fraudulent conduct of any trial I have studied..”

Fraudulent Trial On Ivermectin Published By World’s Top Medical Journal (Kory)

In part I of my post on the TOGETHER trial of ivermectin, I presented the context of this trial within Big Pharma’s decades-long Disinformation campaign against “science inconvenient to their interests.” I argued that no science has ever been a greater threat to Pharma than the massive efficacy data of the generic drug ivermectin in COVID-19. I detailed how they have long deployed “studies designed or conducted to fail” and/or “studies manipulated to show positive results.” They do both. Repeatedly. They then publish these studies in a small number of captured high-impact scientific journals which influence the captured media and then are recommended for or against by captured health agencies.

Note that the importance of the wording of the conclusion in a trial’s abstract, published in high-impact journal, cannot be overstated. Only a small minority of physicians read and think critically about the full study manuscript. Even less read the full study abstract. Sadly, the overwhelming majority simply read the abstract’s conclusion. In this manner, and particularly in the case of the TOGETHER trial, they can baselessly and erroneously convince the vast majority of doctors and citizens that ivermectin is ineffective. In the case of ivermectin, they did this via less than a handful of severely flawed “Big RCT’s” despite the overwhelming mountain of valid OCT’s and RCT’s and health ministry program successes in COVID. The TOGETHER trial on ivermectin was never going to be a positive trial. Ever. That was a foregone conclusion.

So what I want to do here is break down exactly how they accomplished this feat, using the most brazenly fraudulent conduct of any trial I have studied. This is NOT to say that I have never witnessed fraudulent studies, but this trial displays an unprecedented amount of targeted tactics designed to deny, suppress, and distort the evidence of efficacy.

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“Elon Musk, who has taken the baton from Rogan on the whole this-powerful-person-needs-to-be-stopped-because-he’s-a-real-threat-to-democracy front..”

Elon Musk: The Next Joe Rogan (Hill)

After two-thirds of cable news ran endless segments explaining what a threat Rogan is to America, the news cycle moved on. And when the dust cleared, Rogan wasn’t just left standing but, thanks to all the ridiculous media coverage, he was propelled into a different stratosphere of popularity, adding 2 million subscribers to the 10 million he already had. “The problem that I have with misinformation, especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact,” Rogan explained at the time. “Like, for instance, eight months ago if you said, ‘If you get vaccinated, you could still catch Covid, and you could still spread Covid.’ You would be removed from social media.”

He was correct — and those removals were largely happening on Twitter, which soon may be owned by billionaire Elon Musk, who has taken the baton from Rogan on the whole this-powerful-person-needs-to-be-stopped-because-he’s-a-real-threat-to-democracyfront. Musk, a self-described free-speech absolutist, has offered to buy the social media giant. This greatly upset many on the left since Twitter has conducted itself in such an exemplary fashion in recent years. (Yes, that’s more sarcasm.) This is a company whose former CEO, Jack Dorsey, admits it wrongly censored accounts and suppressed information it deemed as misinformation. Conservative accounts were locked simply for sharing the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story, or for questioning whether COVID-19 may have come from a lab in Wuhan, China, that studies coronaviruses.

[..] Over on cable news, as it dealt with the Musk deal, the hyperbole was so crazy it became the best unintentional comedy to be found. “When a petulant and not so bright billionaire casually bought one of the world’s most influential messaging machines and just handed it to the far-right,” one MSNBC host declared last month. Yep. The world’s richest man – the CEO of Tesla, and the guy who made available his Space-X’s Starlink satellite system to provide a besieged Ukraine with internet access amid Russia’s invasion of that country – is “not so bright” and a pawn of “the far-right.” “I think we can look to the western countries in Europe for how they are trying to limit it but you need — you need controls on this. You need regulation,” CNN contributor David Zurawik told “Reliable Sources.”“You cannot let these guys control discourse in this country or we are headed to hell. We are there. Trump opened the gates of hell and now they’re chasing us down,” he added.

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“..there is some chance it might be over 90 percent of daily active users…”

Elon Musk Issues Warning on Twitter Algorithm (ET)

Elon Musk warned Twitter users that they are “being manipulated” and told them to turn off the platform’s algorithmic newsfeed, coming as the firm’s legal department apparently said he committed a violation of a non-disclosure agreement. “You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you do not realize … Easy to switch back and forth to see the difference,” Musk wrote on Twitter. The Tesla CEO advised other users to switch to seeing the latest Twitter posts immediately by tapping the Twitter home button, tapping the stars button on the upper right of the screen, and selecting “latest tweets.” “I am not suggesting malice in the algorithm, but rather that it is trying to guess what you might want to read and, in doing so, inadvertently manipulate/ amplify your viewpoints without you realizing this is happening,” Musk continued in another post.

Musk announced his intentions to purchase Twitter on April 25 as he criticized the firm’s content moderation policies. Both he and Twitter said that Musk would attempt to purchase the firm for $44 billion, allowing him to take the platform private after the purchase. But on May 13, the deal appeared to be on thin ice after Musk posted that the agreement was “on hold” after reports said that bots and automated accounts make up fewer than 5 percent of the overall users. Hours later, Musk confirmed that he is still committed to the purchase. “Twitter (TWTR) legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!” the billionaire wrote on Saturday, referring to a study on bots.

Musk posted early Sunday that he’s not seen any analysis that suggests that bots comprise fewer than 5 percent of Twitter accounts. He later said that “there is some chance it might be over 90 percent of daily active users.”

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MI6 and Brexit.

Leaked Emails Expose Secret Intelligence Coup To Install Boris Johnson (GZ)

Leaked emails and documents reviewed by The Grayzone have exposed the dimensions of a wide-ranging conspiracy managed by a shadowy cabal of hardcore Leavers to sabotage former Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, remove her from office, replace her with Boris Johnson, and secure a ‘hard’ withdrawal from the EU. The emails demonstrate that a group of operatives linked to the intelligence services and wealthy, reclusive pro-Brexit financiers spied on campaign groups, infiltrated the civil service, and targeted high-profile Remainers with reputational destruction. While the majority of British voters elected to assert their independence from the EU, this clique of mostly unknown influence agents sought to subvert the process and manage it according to their own elite interests.

Among their key objectives was to strengthen the security relationship between London and Washington, thus supplanting EU authority with more substantial US oversight. The cabal, which continues to exert insidious, undue influence on British politics, politicians and policy to this day, is composed of wealthy financiers, representatives of the military and defense establishment, and intelligence officials. The origin of the tranche of emails, which were shared with The Grayzone anonymously, is unknown. However, this reporter has verified the authenticity of the emails and documents contained therein through their metadata, among with other evidentiary sources. Much of the content would be impossible to counterfeit or doctor. The public interest in these private communications is abundantly clear, as the actions exposed in the tranche are so flagrantly anti-democratic they could lead to criminal investigations of at least some of the actors involved.

The cabal appears to be led by Gwythian Prins, a member of the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategy Advisory Panel, former NATO and Ministry of Defence advisor, and board member of pro-Brexit group Veterans for Britain. Prins’ bio on his speakers’ bureau advertises him as a “leading thinker on strategy” who has “worked with leading decision makers around the globe from business leaders all the way up to heads of state, helping them to improve their decision making by educating them on the complex psychological processes underpinning theses[sic] decisions.” He is joined by former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove, who is frequently dubbed “C” in the leaked emails, a reference to the operational initial granted to all heads of Britain’s foreign intelligence service. At one point, Dearlove and Prins sought to recruit their apparent friend, Henry Kissinger, and his consulting firm as trans-Atlantic lobbyists for their version of Brexit.

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WHO Neil Oliver

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 142022
 


Charles Negre ‘The Vampire’, Henri Le Secq stands next to Stryge grotesque, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris 1853

 

That Sinking Feeling (Kunstler)
Empire of Bioweapon Lies (Escobar)
Finland, Sweden Close to Joining NATO, Russia Responds (Celente)
The Bizarre, Unanimous Dem Support for the $40b War Package (Greenwald)
EU To Increase Military Support Funding For Ukraine To €2 Billion (Pol.eu)
Pfizer Booster Protection Against Omicron Wanes in Just Weeks (CHD)
Massive Stock Market Leverage Unwinds amid Brutal Bloodletting (WS)
Food Riots Begin: Mass Arrests in Iran, Deaths in Sri Lanka (ZH)
Fusion GPS Loses Its Fight Over “Privileged” Documents (Techno Fog)
Judge Orders Fusion GPS To Turn Over 22 Emails To John Durham (NYP)
Subpoenas Of Trump Allies By January 6 Panel Set Up High-stakes Showdown (G.)
A Major Global Collapse Is Coming (Kim Dotcom)

 

 

Man – a creature made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.
– Mark Twain

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo Kagan

 

 


Eisenhower’s 1953 Cross of Iron speech

 

 

I speak to the world and tell it
About a house whose lantern they broke
About an axe that killed a lily
And a fire which destroyed the world,
I speak about a goat not milked…
A mud roof that flowered.
I speak to the world and I tell it.


Samih al-Qasim #Palestine

 

 

“Not a good day for NATO & their proxies:
– EU ban on Russian oil blocked by Hungary
– NATO expansion to Finland/Sweden blocked by Turkey
– US arms shipments to Ukraine could end May 19
– Russian encirclement in northern Donbas begins
– US gasoline prices reach all time high”

That Sinking Feeling (Kunstler)

You might ask yourself: Why is it “important” that we spend thirty, forty, fifty billion dollars pounding sand down the rat hole that is post-Maidan Ukraine, grift central for the sketchy nexus of US politicians and their sponsors in the warcraft industry? Answer: Aside from one final magnificent payday, they are producing a grand opera of distraction to direct the American public’s attention from the sinking of our own ship-of-state in the waters of Babylon. That giant wad of money, you understand, goes mainly to the likes of Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Textron, Boeing, et cetera, and a substantial portion re-circulates through the K-Street laundromat into the congressional campaign finance wishing well, while billions more get creamed off by Mr. Zelenskyy & Co. — providing self-reinforcing incentives to, how shall we say, blow more shit up on the global landscape.

It does not escape the attention, however, of some people on deck that the US ship is riding lower in the water each day, and listing at a distressing angle. Many other passengers have retreated to their staterooms, sick from the “vaccines” they were required to take to stay on-board for the voyage. Meanwhile water is streaming in below-decks, down in the stinking bilges, from many cracks in the hull. Nobody seems to know what to do, least of all the ship’s captain, who won’t come out of his quarters. (It’s whispered that he’s gone mad.) Is it time to lower the lifeboats. In the hazy realm that is reality these days, those metaphorical cracks in our ship’s hull represent grave acts of negligence and even treasonous sabotage.

Chatter over the Internet says our country, and other countries, are fixing to surrender their national sovereignty — that is, their ability to decide things for themselves — to the World Health Organization in anticipation of some as-yet-unnamed global emergency. Surrender, you say? By means of what? A vote in UN? A memo from the White House signed by the howling ghost known as “Joe Biden”? Surely not some procedure in Congresses and parliaments that would call for debate. There is further suggestion that all this mischief is at the behest of larval would-be World Fuhrer Klaus Schwab. A more preposterous idea I have not heard in all my born days. And yet what else accounts in country after country for the bizarre super-coordination of insults to the world population such as mass lockdowns and mandated vaccination with genetic cocktails which, let’s face it, don’t look so goshdarn salubrious anymore.

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Ukraine population as a testing ground.

Empire of Bioweapon Lies (Escobar)

This glimpse of “fear in a handful of dust” already ranks as one the prime breakthroughs of the young 21st century, presented this week by Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Protection Force Igor Kirillov. The provisional results of evidence being collected about the work of U.S. bioweapons in Ukraine are simply astonishing. These are the main takeaways.

• U.S. bioweapon ideologues comprise the leadership of the Democratic Party. By linking with non-governmental biotechnology organizations, using the investment funds of the Clintons, Rockefellers, Soros and Biden, they profited from additional campaign financing – all duly concealed. In parallel, they assembled the legislative basis for financing the bioweapons program directly from the federal budget.

• COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, as well as Merck and Gilead – of Donald “known unknowns” fame, and affiliated with the Pentagon – were directly involved.

• U.S. specialists tested new drugs in the Ukraine biolabs in circumvention of international safety standards. According to Kirillov, acting this way “Western companies seriously reduce the costs of research programs and gain significant competitive advantages.”

• According to Kirillov, “along with U.S. pharmaceutical companies and Pentagon contractors, Ukrainian government agencies are involved in military biotechnology activities, whose main tasks are to conceal illegal activities, conduct field and clinical trials and provide the necessary biomaterial.”

• The Pentagon, Kirillov pointed out, expanded its research potential not only in terms of producing biological weapons, but also gathering information on antibiotic resistance and the presence of antibodies to certain diseases among the population in specific regions. The testing ground in Ukraine was practically outside the control of the so-called “international community”.

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“..a population of 5.5 million. The country has about the same number of reservists as Germany that has a population of 83 million..”

Finland, Sweden Close to Joining NATO, Russia Responds (Celente)

Top officials from Helsinki issued a joint statement on Thursday that Finland will move to join NATO after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prompting Moscow to warn that it will be forced to take retaliatory steps. President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said they believe NATO is the best option for Finland and that membership would “strengthen” its security. They said they hope Finland joins NATO “without delay” and believe the alliance would also benefit from its membership. (A parliamentary debate in Helsinki and vote were expected on Monday.) Finland has a formidable military in its own right despite a population of 5.5 million. The country has about the same number of reservists as Germany that has a population of 83 million. Finland shares an expansive, 830-mile border with Russia and was invaded by its neighbor during WWII, which resulted in a brutal confrontation that ultimately resulted in Helsinki and Moscow signing a peace treaty in 1948. The treaty included Finland’s assurances that it will not join NATO.


[..] Last month, Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and chairman of Russia’s Security Council, warned Finland and Sweden against joining NATO and said Moscow would have to beef up its military presence in the region if they joined the alliance. “In this case, it will no longer be possible to talk about any non-nuclear status of the Baltic—the balance must be restored. Until now, Russia has not taken such measures and was not going to take them,” Medvedev said. Stockholm has been more reluctant to join NATO, the Financial Times reported. The paper said Sweden only started to take NATO membership seriously after “Finland indicated it was likely to join regardless of what Sweden did, robbing Stockholm of its sole credible alternative: a defense alliance with Helsinki.” The New York Times reported that Helsinki’s move could force Stockholm’s hand. The Finns co-ordinate their defense policies closely with Sweden, The Economist reported. Both are formally neutral.

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A lot of 180º turns.

The Bizarre, Unanimous Dem Support for the $40b War Package (Greenwald)

After Joe Biden announced his extraordinary request for $33 billion more for the war in Ukraine — on top of the $14 billion the U.S. has already spent just ten weeks into this war — congressional leaders of both parties immediately decided the amount was insufficient. They arbitrarily increased the amount by $7 billion to a total of $40 billion, then fast-tracked the bill for immediate approval. As we reported on Tuesday night, the House overwhelmingly voted to approve the bill by a vote of 388-57. All fifty-seven NO votes came from Republican House members. Except for two missing members, all House Democrats — every last one, including all six members of the revolutionary, subversive Squad — voted for this gigantic war package, one of the largest the U.S. has spent at once in decades.

While a small portion of these funds will go to humanitarian aid for Ukraine, the vast majority will go into the coffers of weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and the usual suspects. Some of it will go to the CIA for unspecified reasons. The extreme speed with which this was all approved means there is little to no oversight over how the funds will be spent, who will profit and how much, and what the effects will be for Ukraine and the world. To put this $54 billion amount in perspective, it is (a) larger than the average annual amount that the U.S. spent on its own war in Afghanistan ($46 billion), (b) close to the overall amount Russia spends on its entire military for the year ($69 billion), (c) close to 7% of the overall U.S. military budget, by far the largest in the world ($778 billion), and (d) certain to be far, far higher — easily into the hundreds of billions of dollars and likely the trillion dollar level — given that U.S. officials insist that this war will last not months but years, and that it will stand with Ukraine until the bitter end.

What made this Democratic Party unanimity so bizarre, even surreal, is that many of these House Democrats who voted YES have spent years vehemently denouncing exactly these types of war expenditures. Some of them — very recently — even expressed specific opposition to pouring large amounts of U.S. money and weaponry into Ukraine on the grounds that doing so would be unprecedentedly dangerous, and that Americans are suffering far too severely at home to justify such massive amounts to weapons manufacturers and intelligence agencies.

Massie

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“..provided via an EU fund for military assistance, called the European Peace Facility (EPF)..”

EU To Increase Military Support Funding For Ukraine To €2 Billion (Pol.eu)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced Friday that the EU will provide another €500 million in financial support to Ukraine’s military, bringing the total value of the bloc’s overall military fund for the country to €2 billion. “I will announce that we as the European Union will provide a new tranche of €500 million to support Ukraine militarily,” Borrell told reporters at a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) in Gut Weissenhaus, a luxurious seaside resort in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Borrell added that this would give “a new impetus for military support” for Ukraine.


The money is being provided via an EU fund for military assistance, called the European Peace Facility (EPF), and allows Ukraine to procure weapons and equipment for its fight against Russia’s invasion. A first package of €500 million was approved in late February and then topped up with two more packages worth the same amount. This fourth tranche of money brings the total support to €2 billion. The new payment still needs to be approved by EU countries. In a tweet, European Council President Charles Michel expressed his “full support” for Borrell’s announcement. When asked about plans to hit Russia with an oil embargo as part of a sixth EU sanctions package — which have run into difficulty due to resistance from Hungary — Borrell said he was optimistic that a deal could be reached next week.

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“..the effectiveness against cases of BNT162b2 declined rapidly for children, particularly those 5-11 years. However, vaccination of children 5-11 years was protective against severe disease and is recommended.”

Pfizer Booster Protection Against Omicron Wanes in Just Weeks (CHD)

Second and third doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine provide protection against the Omicron variant for only a few weeks, according to peer-reviewed research published today in JAMA Network Open. “Our study found a rapid decline in Omicron-specific serum neutralizing antibody titers only a few weeks after the second and third doses of [the Pfizer-BioNTech] BNT162b2,” the authors of the research letter wrote. The authors said their findings “could support rolling out additional booster shots to vulnerable people as the variant drives an uptick in new cases across the country,” Forbes reported. Danish researchers studied adults who received two or three doses of BNT162b2 between January 2021 and October 2021, or were previously infected prior to February 2021 and then vaccinated.

They found that after an initial increase in Omicron-specific antibodies after the second Pfizer shot, levels dropped rapidly, from 76.2% at week 4, to 53.3% at weeks 8 to 10, and 18.9% at weeks 12 to 14. After the third shot, neutralizing antibodies against Omicron fell 5.4-fold between week 3 and week 8. A preprint study released in February showed Pfizer’s two-dose regimen of its COVID-19 vaccine for children was only 12% effective against Omicron in children ages 9 to 11, and the effectiveness of the vaccine “declined rapidly” for children 5-11. Researchers at the New York State Department of Health and the University at Albany School of Public Health examined the effectiveness of the vaccine in children 5 to 11 and adolescents 12 to 17 from Dec. 13, 2021 to Jan. 30, 2022.

The authors of the New York study wrote: “In the Omicron era, the effectiveness against cases of BNT162b2 declined rapidly for children, particularly those 5-11 years. However, vaccination of children 5-11 years was protective against severe disease and is recommended.”

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Imagine stocks doing what crypto did the past few days.

Massive Stock Market Leverage Unwinds amid Brutal Bloodletting (WS)

The total amount of leverage in the stock market is unknown and takes many forms. The only form that is tracked and reported on a monthly basis is margin debt. The other forms, such as Securities Based Lending (SBL) and hedge funds leveraged at the institutional level are not tracked. Not even banks and brokers that fund this leverage know how much total leverage their client has from all brokers combined, which became clear when the family office Archegos imploded in March 2021 and wiped out billions of dollars in capital at the prime brokers that had provided the leverage. But margin debt – the tip of the iceberg and indicator of the direction of the overall stock market leverage – dropped by $27 billion in April from March, to $773 billion, according to Finra, which gets this data from its member brokers.


Margin debt peaked in October last year at $936 billion and started falling in November. Over those six months, it has dropped by $163 billion, or by 17%. But leverage is still massive, and the unwind has a long way to go. Not included in the margin debt data today is May. So far in May, the S&P 500, despite today’s rally, has dropped 6.2%, and the Nasdaq 8.3%, and many of the imploded stocks have gotten brutally crushed over those two weeks, including Coinbase, whose huge gigantic rally since Thursday morning didn’t amount to flyspeck compared to the devastating plunge in the prior two weeks and since its IPO and is barely visible on the stairway to heck since the IPO.

[..] When lots of investors take on leverage to buy stocks, and leverage rises, it creates buying pressure with borrowed money, fueling heat in the market. But when investors come under pressure because of their leverage and vanishing collateral values, they sell stocks, and it creates selling pressure. This is how stock prices and margin balances are linked. High leverage in the stock market is a precondition for a spike in stock prices and a precondition for a massive sell-off, which then unwinds that leverage. It takes leverage to go to these kinds of extremes.


The trick is to not get sidetracked by the absolute dollar amounts over the decades. They don’t really matter. What matters are the steep increases in margin debt before the selloffs, and the steep declines during the sell-offs. The chart shows the relationship between margin debt and “events” in the S&P 500 index. But nothing compares, neither in dollars nor in percentages nor in sheer beauty, to the near-vertical spike in margin debt from March 2020 through October 2021, during the Fed’s $4.7 trillion money-printing binge and interest rate repression mania, and all of it is now unwinding:

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Scratching the surface…

Food Riots Begin: Mass Arrests in Iran, Deaths in Sri Lanka (ZH)

[..] as food prices keep rising, the protests across poor nations keep escalating, and on Thursday protests broke out in Iran leading to at least 22 arrests, after the government cut subsidies for food, sending prices through the roof as authorities braced for more unrest in the following weeks, Fox News reports. In videos shared on social media, protesters can be seen marching through Dezful and Mahshahr in the southwestern province of Khezestan, chanting “Death to Khamenei! Death to Raisi!” referring to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has promised to create jobs, lift sanctions, and rescue the economy. Iranian state media has not publicly addressed the protests, but they have been covered by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group.

Footage shared by the NCRI shows protesters setting fire to a Basij military base in Jooneghan, a city in the Central District of Jooneghan county. “Every so often we see these types of protests in Iran. Each time it is under a different premise – the price of eggs, the price of gas, the price of bread, but the underlining message which is supported by the slogans heard throughout the demonstrations is the same; they are protesting the entirety of a brutal regime,” Lisa Daftari, Iran expert and editor-in-chief of the Foreign Desk, said in a statement. “It is also evident in the fact that these protests are no longer just contained to Tehran, the capital city, and other urban areas. We are seeing protests throughout the country in urban and rural areas and throughout the very vast and diverse Iranian population.”

Daftari is right, and not just about Iran (and Iraq), but also Sri Lanka, where protesters angry at the soaring prices of everyday commodities including food, have burned down homes belonging to 38 politicians as the crisis-hit country plunged further into chaos, with the government ordering troops to “shoot on sight.” Police in the island nation said Tuesday that in addition to the destroyed homes, 75 others have been damaged as angry Sri Lankans continue to defy a nationwide curfew to protest against what they say is the government’s mishandling of the country’s worst economic crisis since 1948.

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“This doesn’t mean that Durham can’t overcome this hurdle – just that it hasn’t been overcome yet.”

Fusion GPS Loses Its Fight Over “Privileged” Documents (Techno Fog)

We’ve documented the ongoing battle to obtain Fusion GPS e-mails and documents in the Michael Sussmann case. At issue in the Sussmann case are 38 e-mails and attachments between and among Fusion GPS, Rodney Joffe, and Perkins Coie. These 38 e-mails and attachments are among approximately 1,500 documents that Fusion GPS withheld from production to the grand jury based on “privilege.” Today, the court in the Sussmann case made an important ruling and rejected, in large measure, Fusion’s assertion of attorney-client or work-product privilege. Fusion GPS will have to produce these documents to Special Counsel Durham by May 16, 2022. What do these e-mails and documents contain? The court’s order provides guidance, stating they relate to: “Internal Fusion GPS e-mails discussing the Alfa Bank data and e-mails circulating draft versions of the Alfa Bank white papers that were “ultimately provided to the press and the FBI.”

This leaves 16 e-mails and documents remaining. For now, Durham will not get them. These are divided into two categories: Eight of the e-mails involve internal communications among Fusion GPS employees. The court was “unable to tell from the emails or the surrounding circumstances whether they were prepared for a purpose other than assisting Perkins Coie in providing legal advice to the Clinton Campaign in anticipation of litigaiton.” Coming from the court, that’s a long way of saying that the sworn declarations of Fusion/Clinton lawyers (Levy and Elias) were sufficient to meet the “privilege” burden. This doesn’t mean that Durham can’t overcome this hurdle – just that it hasn’t been overcome yet.

The other eight e-mails and attachments include those among Fusion GPS’s Laura Seago, Sussmann, and Rodney Joffe. The court observed that the e-mails are consistent with Joffe’s assertion of privilege. With respect to the Joffe e-mails, we note that he is still a subject – perhaps a target – of the Special Counsel’s investigation. [..] Because the investigation into Joffe is ongoing, it makes sense that the Special Counsel is hesitant to disclose to the court information that could overcome this purported “privilege.” Keep in mind the crime-fraud exception, where communications are not considered privileged where they “are made in furtherance of a crime, fraud, or other misconduct” (citation omitted). In other words, the Special Counsel may still be able to get Joffe’s e-mails – assuming Joffe is charged under 18 USC 1031. He can also get them through the grand jury process, as we saw with Mueller’s investigation of Paul Manafort.

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“..1,500 emails that Fusion GPS withheld after being slapped with a subpoena by Durham.”

Judge Orders Fusion GPS To Turn Over 22 Emails To John Durham (NYP)

Special counsel John Durham scored a victory Thursday when a federal judge ordered the research firm behind the infamous “Steele dossier” to turn over nearly two dozen emails tied to its work with Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann. Fusion GPS improperly withheld the 22 emails from Durham by claiming they were protected by attorney-client privilege and “work-product” privilege, Washington, DC, federal Judge Christopher Cooper ruled. The move came at the request of Clinton’s 2016 campaign, according to the 11-page decision. But the emails, which largely consist of internal communications between Fusion employees, aren’t protected from disclosure because they “appear not to have been written in anticipation of litigation but rather as part of ordinary media-relations work,” Cooper said.

“It is clear that Fusion employees also interacted with the press as part of an affirmative media relations effort by the Clinton Campaign,” he wrote. Judge Christopher Cooper ruled that the emails must be turned over to Special counsel John Durham because they are not “entitled to attorney work-product protection.” “That effort included pitching certain stories, providing information on background, and answering reporters’ questions.” Cooper ordered Fusion GPS — which hired ex-British spy Christopher Steele to compile reports that purportedly tied Trump to Russia, most of which have been discredited — to turn over the emails to Durham’s team on Monday, when jury selection for Sussmann’s trial is set to start.

Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI on Sept. 19, 2016, when he claimed to not be “acting on behalf of any client” while turning over reports and data he said showed a secret back channel between a Trump Organization server and Russia’s Alfa Bank. The information was later debunked by the FBI, which found “that the email server at issue…had been administered by a mass marketing email company that sent advertisements for Trump hotels and hundreds of other clients,” according to Sussmann’s indictment. The emails that Fusion GPS has to turn over for possible use against Sussmann are among 38 that Cooper reviewed at Durham’s request, despite the objections of the company, Clinton’s campaign and tech executive Rodney Joffe, who gave Sussmann the Alfa Bank data. They’re also among around 1,500 emails that Fusion GPS withheld after being slapped with a subpoena by Durham.

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Jan 6 from the MSM.

Subpoenas Of Trump Allies By January 6 Panel Set Up High-stakes Showdown (G.)

The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack made a political and legal gambit when it issued unprecedented subpoenas that compelled five Republican members of Congress to reveal inside information about Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election. The move sets into motion an extraordinary high-stakes showdown of response and counter-response for both the subpoenaed House Republicans – the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks – and the panel itself. Congressman Bennie Thompson, the Democrat chair of the select committee, authorized the subpoenas on Wednesday after the panel convened for final talks about whether to proceed with subpoenas, with House investigators needing to wrap up work before June public hearings.

“We inquired to most of them via letter to come forward, and when they told us they would not come, we issued the subpoena,” Thompson said of McCarthy and his colleagues. “It’s a process. And the process was clearly one that required debate and discussion.” The decision came after a recognition that their investigation into January 6 would not have been complete if they did not at least attempt to force the cooperation of some of the House Republicans most deeply involved in Trump’s unlawful schemes to return himself to office. But the subpoenas are about deploying a political and legal power play in the crucial final moments of the investigation as much as they are about an effort to gain new information for the inquiry into efforts to stop Joe Biden’s certification in time for public hearings.

That is evident in the conundrum faced by the subpoenaed House Republicans – with the knowledge that how they respond to the orders seeking testimony about their contacts with Trump will determine the future of the investigation and of congressional subpoena power. In the days before the select committee assented to Thompson signing off on the subpoenas, the members on the panel gamed out the scenarios and reached the conclusion that subpoenas were actually a win-win situation, according to sources familiar with the discussions. If the subpoenaed House Republicans decided to comply and provide cooperation to the select committee as the subpoenas are designed to do, then the panel would obviously benefit from their testimony, the sources recounted of the panel’s discussion.

If the subpoenaed House Republicans promised retaliatory subpoenas against Democrats should they take the House majority next year then they were going to do that anyway, the select committee reasoned, and they should issue the subpoenas. If the subpoenaed House Republicans simply ignored the orders, then they would only be undercutting their ability to subpoena Democrats in partisan investigations should the GOP take the House majority next year, since they would have set a precedent for non-compliance.

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Not an economist, obviously, but not bad.

A Major Global Collapse Is Coming (Kim Dotcom)

A major global collapse is coming. It may be worse than we can imagine. Our leaders know. But what are they planning? The United States did not have a surplus or a balanced budget since 2001 and in the last 50 years it only had 4 years of profit. In fact all profit the US had in the last 50 years wouldn’t be enough to pay for 6 months of the current yearly deficit. So what do they do?

US spending and debt have spiraled out of control and the Govt can only raise the money it needs by printing it. That causes inflation. It’s like taxing you extra because you pay more for the things you need and all your assets decline in value. See the money printing frenzy:

The problem is that this has been going on for so long there’s now no way to fix it. The reality is that the US has been bankrupt for some time and what’s coming is a nightmare: Mass poverty and a new system of control. Let me explain why this isn’t just doom and gloom talk. Total US debt is at $90 trillion. US unfunded liabilities are at $169 trillion. Combined that’s $778,000 per US citizen or $2,067,000 per US tax payer. Remember, the only way the Government can operate now is by printing more money. Which means hyperinflation is inevitable. The total value of ALL companies listed on the US stock market is $53 trillion. The real value is much lower because the US has been printing trillions to provide interest free loans to investment banks to pump up the stock market. It’s a scam.

Most of the $53 trillion is air. The value of all US assets combined, every piece of land, real estate, all savings, all companies, everything that all citizens, businesses, entities and the state own is worth $193 trillion. That number is also full of air just like the US stock market. Let’s do the math: US total debt $90 trillion. US unfunded liabilities $169 trillion. Total $259 trillion. Minus all US assets $193 trillion. Balance – $66 trillion . That’s $66 trillion of debt and liabilities after every asset in the US has been sold off. Do you understand? So even if the US could sell all its assets at the current value, which is impossible, it would still be broke. The US is beyond bankrupt. This patient is already dead. This patient is now a zombie.

You probably wonder why are things still going? Why didn’t it all collapse yet. It’s all perception and denial. The perception is that the US has the largest economy and the strongest military in the world. But in reality the US is broke and can’t afford its army. The denial is that all nations depend on a strong US or else the global markets will crash. The only reason why the US zombie keeps going is because the end of the US is the end of western prosperity and an admission that capitalism failed as a model for the world. But it doesn’t change the reality. The collapse is inevitable and coming.

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TIME Asia Dec 2005

 

 

Tucker NYT

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 132022
 


Margaret Gillies Charles Dickens 1844

 

Rand Paul Blocks Fast-Track Senate Vote for $40 Billion Ukraine Funding (CTH)
Finlandization of Ukraine, Ukraine-ization of Finland (Nuna Costa)
The Guardian View On Expanding Nato: Putin Has Only Himself To Blame (G.)
‘Finland Will Be A NATO Backwater’ (ZH)
Two Months of Operation Z (Malenica)
‘Russia Started the War’ and Other Fallacies (Whitney)
The Destiny of Civilization – Michael Hudson (Norton)
Diesel Fuel Shortage Sets Stage for Next Biden Created Crisis (CTH)
Meet the Head of Biden’s New “Disinformation Governing Board” (Golinkin)
Beijing Residents Swamp Supermarkets After Lockdown Rumours (CNA)
“Genetically Edited” Food – The Next Stage of the Great Reset? (OffG)

 

 

I kid you not: People today blame NATO’s expansion on Putin.

 

 

Immune system shutdown
https://twitter.com/i/status/1524509732878548992

 

 

Russia has named 12 EU countries involved.

 

 

COVID vaccines have “rigorous standards that are much higher” than any in U.S. history

 

 

 

 

Glenn Beck Ecohealth

 

 

“Printing $40 billion to send to a deeply corrupt nation in Eastern Europe”. Rand Paul wants oversight of how the money will be spent. He can’t have it. None of the people who voted in favor have actually read the bill. There was no time. This will go into next week, giving them that time. How many do you think will read it?

Rand Paul Blocks Fast-Track Senate Vote for $40 Billion Ukraine Funding (CTH)

Senator Rand Paul has blocked a fast-track senate vote on the additional $40 billion funding package created by Joe Biden and House Democrats. Both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell approved a fast-track vote; however, senator Rand Paul (KY) stood defiant against their effort. Despite the high-profile pressure from the two Senate leaders, Rand Paul refused to move and that means the Senate will have to take procedural steps to overcome his objection, which could take several days. “My oath of office is the US constitution not to any foreign nation and no matter how sympathetic the cause, my oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America,” Paul said in his remarks before objecting to moving to swift passage of the bill. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.”


The $40 billion supplemental spending bill for Ukraine is more than the total military budget of Russia. The combined Ukraine aid packages now exceed $60 billion, more than the entire budget for the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security including border protection. Rand Paul is on the right side of history with his position, and the overwhelming majority of Americans agree with him. However, the opinion of the people is irrelevant to the Senate. Even democrat Senator Chuck Schumer seemed to admit this point when he said Rand Paul’s position “was not the opinion of the overwhelming majority here,” meaning in the senate. Schumer would have used other terms if he thought the American people agreed with him. They don’t, and he knows it.

Rand Paul

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“..if this “express” entry of the Nordic country into the Alliance goes ahead, it will suppose an increment of more than double the length of the current border between NATO and Russia.”

Finlandization of Ukraine, Ukraine-ization of Finland (Nuna Costa)

The Finnish President and Prime Minister today announced their support for the country’s membership of NATO at the forthcoming summit in Madrid on 29-30 June. I have no illusions, this is bound to happen without the will of the Finns for which a popular referendum had been promised on the matter, or that it will even be submitted to Parliament, where it would be approved anyway. The main internal requirement for the admission of new countries is that they “add security” to the bloc. Since when does this move make Europe safer? But there are more conditions and clauses of the international legal framework that are being purposefully violated, and shameless disregard for signed agreements.

Let us not even mention the still pending demands that the Kremlin notified in writing to NATO in December, which NATO chose not even to respond to, and which obviously clash with the current situation. Russia had already made it known that the entry of Sweden and especially Finland into NATO is perceived as a threat. Perhaps it was reasonable to understand the Russian point of view. The President of Croatia has recently made it known that he will veto the planned extension as it is “a very dangerous adventure”, in the words of his MFA. Any country can and should oppose this clear provocation, but we know that if this happens, those who are interested in the militarisation of Europe will spin the issue one way or another, as there have never been legal or procedural limits of any kind to this complex.

So, if this “express” entry of the Nordic country into the Alliance goes ahead, it will suppose an increment of more than double the length of the current border between NATO and Russia. This should be viewed with great caution, since all members will be affected by whatever may happen from there. This has been said here before, but today the irresponsibility becomes clearer and the concomitant danger more imminent. After long years of discussion about the so-called possible and reasonable Finlandisation of Ukraine’ as a militarily neutral zone between Europe and the nuclear superpower Russia, we are now much closer to the Ukraine-ization of Finland. Do you know what that means?

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Willfully blind.

The Guardian View On Expanding Nato: Putin Has Only Himself To Blame (G.)

Nato expansion has doubtless contributed to Mr Putin’s paranoid mindset. He sees the organisation as little more than an expression of US power. But it is primarily Russian aggression that has driven expansion, not vice versa. The fear of provoking Moscow tied the hands of its neighbour Finland, and Sweden, for years. Now the all-out assault on Ukraine has led many to conclude that there is nothing to lose – while Russia’s failures there have suggested that it may be less fearsome than they thought. Sweden and Finland joining Nato would leave Kaliningrad, home of Moscow’s Baltic Sea fleet, encircled. Predictably, Russia has vowed retaliation for the Finnish announcement. It had already said it would deploy nuclear weapons in the Baltic, though the real threat is more likely to come in the form of disinformation, cyber-attacks, and other provocations.


Yet Moscow should not be the alliance’s only concern. It must also look closer to home. In the US, 57 Republicans voted against the $40bn aid package for Ukraine in the House of Representatives and it faces Republican objections in the Senate. As the Democrats flounder, the spectre of Donald Trump – or someone like him – as the 47th president looms larger. And despite the defeat of Marine Le Pen in last month’s French presidential election, ambivalence or antagonism towards Nato has not vanished from Europe. In Italy, where a general election is due next year, most voters oppose the government’s decisions to increase defence spending and send arms to Ukraine. The alliance exists to counter the threat on its eastern borders. It can only do so by remaining vigilant to internal vulnerabilities.

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Will Russia cut off oil and gas to Finland? It gets 100% of both that way.

‘Finland Will Be A NATO Backwater’ (ZH)

A Kremlin spokesman earlier in the day warned that Finland joining NATO would “definitely” be a threat that would trigger “retaliatory steps” – but stopped short of identifying specific possible courses of action. “NATO is moving toward us. That’s of course why all of this will warrant a special analysis and the development of necessary measures needed to balance the situation and guarantee our security,” the initial Kremlin response stated. Later in the day Thursday – a number of hours after Finland’s president Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced the country will apply for NATO membership “without delay” – Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov elaborated on Moscow’s likely response in an interview with Sky News.

“Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of military and other nature, in order to curtail the threats that arise to its national security in this regard,” Chizhov stressed in the interview when asked about its neighbor Finland as well as Sweden applying to NATO. The two countries first sent strong signals regarding this complete U-turn in historic policy last month in response to Russia’s ongoing military aggression against Ukraine. The Russian ambassador said further in the UK television interview that he’s “deeply disappointed and saddened” by the development, while saying in a somewhat condescending tone that Finland has been “pushing above its weight, having become in the last few decades a major power in promoting European security architecture.”

Further he said the Scandinavian neighbor which shares an 810-mile border with Russia would inevitably become a “NATO backwater” if it does move forward in entering the military alliance. Sky News also quoted Chizov as explaining the following possible change in defense posture: The ambassador said such a move would “certainly necessitate rethinking of Russian defence posture” but wouldn’t “necessarily [involve] troops and tanks, but certain preparations definitely… like radars, perhaps”.

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A long detailed overview.

Two Months of Operation Z (Malenica)

From the author’s perspective, what is currently happening in Ukraine is a conflict between the Russian and Western concepts of war, that is, the concept of war as conceived by NATO. Among other things, this conflict is also a question of the prestige for the West, which has so far seen itself as the most militarily capable bloc on the planet. Having trained Ukrainian ground army[50] to NATO standards and equipped it with anti-tank and anti-aircraft portable systems, the West is now observing performance of these forces against Russian troops. This is, as well, one of reasons for the omnipresent Western propaganda campaign. Moreover, within this conflict, it is necessary to view Ukrainian media and propaganda sources as organic offshoots of Western intelligence agencies and public relations firms, of which at least 150 have participated in creating and spreading propaganda for Kiev since the beginning of hostilities.

Likewise, make no mistake, majority if not all intelligence at disposal of Kiev is of NATO origin. In an event that Ukrainian troops are defeated by Russian units, it will be clear that equipping and training army in accordance with NATO standards does not guarantee the highest level of combat capability. At the same time, the possible defeat of Ukraine will shake the reputation of NATO itself, especially the United States, whose last year’s debacle in Afghanistan is still fresh in memory. Russia’s eventual victory would be the second major case in modern times where forces equipped and trained by the West have been defeated by non-Western armies.

In this context, one should also observe the huge military aid that has been pouring into Kiev for two months now by countries of the West and European Union. As US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recently pointed out, the United States wants “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”[53] This only confirms what many analysts have already pointed out, that Kiev and Moscow are not at war in Ukraine, but Russia against the collective West led by Washington. The United States needs, both for domestic and foreign policy, Russian defeat in Ukraine.

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“..the indivisibility of security..”

“..signatories to these treaties are not free to develop their own military capability to the point where it poses a danger to their neighbors..”

‘Russia Started the War’ and Other Fallacies (Whitney)

On Monday, Putin delivered the annual “Victory Day” speech celebrating Russia’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. The Russian president made none of the hyperbolic pronouncements the media had predicted but, instead, gave a brief recap of the events leading up to the war in Ukraine. There was none of the bravado you’d expect from a leader trying to gin up support for the ongoing war. Putin simply reminded the crowd that he had done everything he could to avoid the bloody conflict in which Russia is currently embroiled. Here’s part of what he said: “Last December we proposed signing a treaty on security guarantees. Russia urged the West to hold an honest dialogue in search for meaningful and compromising solutions, and to take account of each other’s interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to heed us, which means they had totally different plans. And we saw it.”

This is an accurate account of what took place in the months preceding the war. Putin tried to avoid a confrontation by repeatedly asking the US to address Russia’s reasonable security concerns. Unfortunately, the Biden administration brushed off Putin’s demands without even providing a response. The US and NATO insist that Ukraine has every right to choose whatever security arrangement it wants. But that’s clearly not the case. The United States and every nation in NATO have signed treaties (Istanbul in 1999, and Astana in 2010) that stipulate they cannot improve their own security at the expense of others. The principle underlying these agreements is called “the indivisibility of security”, which means that the security of one state can’t be separated from the security of the others.

In practical terms, that means that signatories to these treaties are not free to develop their own military capability to the point where it poses a danger to their neighbors. These terms are especially applicable to Ukraine which is seeking membership in a military alliance that is openly hostile to Russia. NATO membership has always been a “red line” for Putin who has stated repeatedly that he will not allow NATO bases, combat troops and missile sites to be located on Ukrainian soil where they’d be just a stone’s throw from Moscow. As one critic from Texas put it, “You wouldn’t let a rattlesnake make its home on your front porch, would you?” No, you wouldn’t, and neither would Putin.

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“..financial planning is short-termism; it’s short-term planning; it’s take your money and run. And that’s what is stripping and impoverishing the global economy today.”

The Destiny of Civilization – Michael Hudson (Norton)

[..] finance capitalism is what has essentially de-industrialized the United States and turned the Midwest into a Rust Belt. Well, the alternative, obviously, are the societies that have not followed this neoliberal finance capitalist plan. And the most successful economy, obviously, has been China, which is why it has been spending so much time there. And China has done exactly what 19th-century United States, Germany, England, and France did. It has kept basic utilities, basic needs, housing, and above all, finance and banking, in the public domain, as public utilities. Instead of having an independent financial sector operating on its own self-interest, the Bank of China creates the money.

And the Bank of China lends money by deciding, where do we need to have investment in real estate to provide housing for the population at as low a price as we can make it? How do we build up the industry? How do we provide an educational system with training? How do we provide health? And the fact is that the central planning in an efficient socialist style, not the Stalinist planning that everybody refers to of Russia, but a mixed economy as you have in China, which is truly a mixed economy, with guidance, like the French planification. Well, that is obviously the way in which you survive and you avoid the kind of overloading the economy with debt service, with high rents, with high payments to the health-care monopoly in the United States, by avoiding all of this payment to a rentier class that has what the classical economists call unearned income, predatory income.

And instead of unseating them, we’ve put them in charge, and made the banks and Wall Street, and the city of London, and the Paris Bourse, the central planners. So we do have central planning much more centralized than anything that was dreamed by the socialists. But the planning, the centralized planning is done by the financial sector. And financial planning is short-termism; it’s short-term planning; it’s take your money and run. And that’s what is stripping and impoverishing the global economy today.

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“..shortages of diesel fuel on the East Coast may happen in the coming week at some stores..”

Diesel Fuel Shortage Sets Stage for Next Biden Created Crisis (CTH)

It has often been said that if you chase the global climate change ideology to its natural conclusion, we end up in communal groups sitting around a tepid campfire eating some form of sustainable algae cakes and picking parasites off each other… Prior to Joe Biden that prediction might have seemed like hyperbole. Now, not so much. Indeed, the Green New Deal energy policy of Joe Biden creates massive downstream consequences. Unfortunately, the White House doesn’t seem to care. The high prices and scarcity of critical goods are a feature, not a flaw, as they chase their climate friendly Build Back Better agenda. Following the continuum of intended consequence, now we have diesel fuel shortages beginning to hit the U.S. economy; and with scarcity comes higher prices of an almost astronomical scale.

“The national average price of diesel is now $5.54 per gallon, which is an increase of 22 cents from last week, which was when the most recent record was set. Data shows there’s no state that’s currently seeing diesel prices below $5.12 per gallon.” Making matters even worse is a drop in available inventory of diesel fuel which is about to become a crisis for the east coast of the U.S. Some Truck Stop operators like Love’s and Pilot are already warning their big rig customers they may not have fuel for truckers. […] “Love’s is monitoring the fluid situation on the East Coast, we have experienced minimal outages during low traffic hours,” Oklahoma-based Love’s Travel Stops said in an emailed statement. “The company has no plans to restrict purchases of diesel.”

[…] Earlier on Wednesday, the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration said total inventories of distillates, which is mainly diesel fuel but also heating oil, fell last week to a 17-year low of 104 million barrels, which is 23% below normal. On the East Coast, the situation is even worse. The EIA said distillate fuel oil inventories in the so-called PADD 1 district that covers the Northeastern states fell by 1.1 million barrels last week to just 21 million barrels, the lowest ever recorded in data going back to 1990. Love’s truck stops, with some 550 locations across 41 states, also seemed to confirm reports on social media Wednesday that said Love’s and other truck stops such as Pilot were informing their fleet operators that shortages of diesel fuel on the East Coast may happen in the coming week at some stores.

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Azov whitewasher.

Meet the Head of Biden’s New “Disinformation Governing Board” (Golinkin)

Late last month, the Joe Biden administration publicly confirmed that a “Disinformation Governing Board” working group had been created within the Department of Homeland Security. The news prompted a flood of concern about the impact of such an Orwellian organ on America. But there’s no need to engage in hypotheticals to understand the dangers. One has to only consider the past of Nina Jankowicz, the head of the new disinformation board. Jankowicz’s experience as a disinformation warrior includes her work with StopFake, a US government-funded “anti-disinformation” organization founded in March 2014 and lauded as a model of how to combat Kremlin lies. Four years later, StopFake began aggressively whitewashing two Ukrainian neo-Nazi groups with a long track record of violence, including war crimes.

Today, StopFake is an official Facebook fact-checking partner, which gives it the power to censor news, while Jankowicz is America’s disinformation czar. If the Biden administration is serious about combating threats such as white supremacy, perhaps it should first reflect on the old Roman question: Who will guard the guardians? StopFake was founded right after Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan uprising ousted the country’s president and swept a new, US-backed government into power. Formed by professors and students from the Kyiv Mohyla Journalism School, StopFake presented itself as a plucky, grassroots group wielding hard facts and semi-permanent smirks as it shredded Russian propaganda. It gained notoriety by producing slick videos hosted by dynamic disinformation warriors debunking the Moscow lies of the day.

Western reporters—and checkbooks—were paying attention. Shortly after its creation, StopFake began receiving funding from Western governments, including the National Endowment for Democracy—an organization mainly funded by the US Congress—and the British embassy in Ukraine. It was also supported by George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. (StopFake has run numerous episodes that cover Soros but fail to disclose this potential conflict of interest—a violation of basic tenets of journalism.) Among StopFake’s hosts was Jankowicz, a graduate of Bryn Mawr and the Georgetown School of Foreign Service who was already part of the burgeoning disinformation warrior industry while in Ukraine as a Fulbright Clinton Public Policy Fellow. On January 29, 2017, she hosted StopFake Episode 117, whose lead story dealt with a perennial obsession of Russian propaganda: Ukraine’s volunteer battalions.

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“I’ll be fine whether I’m required to stay home for three days or seven.”

Beijing Residents Swamp Supermarkets After Lockdown Rumours (CNA)

Beijing residents rushed to supermarkets on Thursday (May 12) as Chinese officials tried to curb mounting panic over a rumour the capital would be placed under stay-at-home orders. The city has been trying to stamp out a wave of cases in recent weeks, closing subway stations and telling many residents to work from home, with hundreds of communities sealed off to contain cases. On Thursday there were rumours online that authorities were about to impose a strict lockdown, prompting many to rush to food stores and stock up. Beijing residents fear they may face draconian measures similar to those that have trapped most of Shanghai’s 25 million people at home for weeks – after what was initially described as a days-long shutdown.


No lockdown was announced Thursday, but officials confirmed they will start three more rounds of mass testing for residents in 12 of the city’s main districts and “recommended” that people stay home and “reduce movement” during that time. AFP saw staff at one local supermarket in central Beijing rushing to restock as shelves of vegetables were emptied out. Sui Xin, 41, told AFP that he had gone to the store after he read on social media that the capital’s officials might keep residents at home. “Everyone is stocking up,” he said, buying eggs and instant noodles. “I’ll be fine whether I’m required to stay home for three days or seven.” “I’m just buying some chicken wings and instant noodles, there’s nothing left,” a shopper surnamed Huang said, queueing at another packed supermarket.

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From “genetically modified” to “genetically edited”..

First you make them hungry, then you push their “new food” on them.

“Genetically Edited” Food – The Next Stage of the Great Reset? (OffG)

But the part I found most interesting is the stated plan to “encourage agricultural and scientific innovation at home” via the proposed Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill. The proposed bill (which, for some reason is not available through the parliament website) follows on from DEFRA’s announced “loosened regulation” of genetic research back in January. To quote the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), the legislation would “take certain precision breeding techniques out of the scope of restrictive GMO rules”. Essentially, this would see new “gene-edited” foods as distinct from old-fashioned “genetically modified” foods, and therefore not subject to the same rules and oversight.

The claimed distinction is that gene editing, as opposed to genetic modification, doesn’t introduce DNA from other species. Therefore, in effect, is merely speeding up what could potentially naturally happen over time. Now, you might think this is just semantics, and that such a law will just provide a loophole for ALL “genetically modified” foods to simply rebrand themselves as “genetically edited” foods, and thereby avoid regulation. But that is disgustingly cynical and shame on you for even thinking it. All in all, this is pretty on-message stuff, and not especially surprising. What’s noteworthy is – by pure happenstance, I’m sure – it appears to coincide with a renewed push on the GM food front in other countries all over the world.

In December 2021, Switzerland added an amendment to its moratorium on GMO crops, permitting the use of certain “gene editing” techniques. Last month, Egypt announced their new strain of GM wheat. Just two days ago, Ethiopia’s National Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center announced they had researched, and the country will now be growing, genetically modified cotton and maize. Despite Russia’s sweeping ban on the cultivation and/or importing of genetically modified crops, they have nonetheless created a 111 billion Ruble project to create up to 30 varieties of genetically edited plants and farm animals. Britain’s deregulation of GM food is always described as a “post-Brexit” move – with the EU chided around the world for its “precautionary principle” on GM crops – and yet as long ago as last April, the EU was calling for a “rethink” on GM crops.

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Madonna

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

May 122022
 


Banksy Monkey Parliament 2009

 

Finland Announces Plans To Join NATO In Historic Move (CNBC)
Nothing to Celebrate? (Tweedie)
We Will Win (Batiushka)
Russian-Captured Ukrainian Territories Will Soon Ask To ‘Join Russia’ (ZH)
Blinken, Austin Past Ties to Investment Firms Forgotten by Media (Celente)
Garland Allowing ‘Mob Rule’ In US – GOP (Fox)
Efforts To Codify Roe vs Wade Fail In The Senate (ET)
FDA Refuses To Reopen Biggest Baby Formula Plant in US (DM)
Acting NIH Director Admits Appearance of Conflict of Interest in Payments (ET)
Top US Scientist Warned Chinese Of US Investigations Into Wuhan Lab (DC)
Trudeau Government Gave $3 Million To WEF And $1.6 Billion To UN In 2021 (TNC)
Prepare For More Chinese Capital Controls As Exodus Worsens (BBG)
Oath Keepers Rescued 16 Police Officers On Jan 6 (ET)
Feds Open Investigation Into Elon Musk (DW)
Al Jazeera Accuses Israel of Killing -American- Journalist (CD)

 

 

Finland wants to join NATO.

Russia says NATO missiles in Ukraine would be too close to Moscow. Check the distance from the Ukraine border to Moscow. Then from the Finland border to St. Petersburg.

 

 

Tulsi armageddon

 

 

 

 

Zero covid

 

 

“Finland shares a 830-mile border with Russia..”

When NATO was founded, they did’t even dare.

Finland Announces Plans To Join NATO In Historic Move (CNBC)

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Thursday that the country should apply to join NATO “without delay.” Finland has had a decades-long policy of military neutrality that would come to an end if it becomes a full member of the military alliance. Thursday’s announcement is the strongest sign yet that Finland will make a formal application to join NATO. The government will debate the issue over the weekend and the Finnish parliament is expected to give its final approval to the application as early as Monday. At the same time, there is a risk the move from Helsinki could spark aggression from Russia, where President Vladimir Putin has expressed his opposition against NATO’s enlargement.


Finland shares a 830-mile border with Russia; if it joins the military alliance, the land border that Russia shares with NATO territories would roughly double (Russia has land borders with 14 countries and five of them are NATO members: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Norway). Finland has been reviewing its security policy in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which showed the Kremlin is willing attack a neighboring nation. Finland has been invaded in the past — in 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland in what became known as the Winter War.

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Ukraine will become a landlocked “country”.

Nothing to Celebrate? (Tweedie)

On May 8, when Victory in Europe (VE) Day is celebrated in the West, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN that Russia had “nothing to celebrate” on its own Victory Day on May 9. Her reasoning, faithfully transcribed on the US mission’s website, was that “They have not succeeded in defeating the Ukrainians.” Given that Victory Day and VE Day both specifically commemorate the allied defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, Thomas-Greenfield’s comments were like saying the US, Britain and France had nothing to celebrate this year because they got chased out of Afghanistan by the Taliban last August. The ambassador is either an apologist for Nazism or merely too ignorant to do her job. She should at least read some objective reports about the conflict in the Ukraine.

In fact Russians had two immediate military victories to celebrate that Monday. Russian and Lugansk People’s Republic troops captured the town of Popasna, a lynchpin in the Ukrainian army’s defensive line that it had held for eight years. Meanwhile Kiev, apparently desperate for a victory of its own to rain on the parade through Moscow’s Red Square, launched an airborne and marine assault on the now-famous Zmeinyy (Snake) Island off the coast of Odessa oblast. Some sources say the Russians withdrew their small force holding the island as bait for a trap, but either way it went horribly wrong for the Ukrainians. They lost four jet fighters and strike aircraft, up to 10 helicopters, a corvette and three infantry landing craft. More than 60 of their personnel were killed, of which 27 were abandoned on the island.

The Ukraine is like a bull elephant that has been shot right in the heart in mid-charge. The beast keeps on bellowing and rampaging around, not yet realising that it’s already dead. It becomes clearer by the day that the Ukrainian army attempting to occupy the remains of the Donbass republics, newly recognised by Russia just as the West ‘recognised’ its creations of Kosovo and South Sudan, is dead on its feet. Its navy, air force, artillery, tanks and transportation are almost destroyed. Its casualties are replaced with boys and old men press-ganged off the streets of Kiev and Lvov, some without proper boots. Its senior officers are fled or dead.

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“..the Russian Federation is a very unequal and corrupt society because of these oligarchs, who simply repeat the Western oligarch model..”

We Will Win (Batiushka)

Russia before 1917 was rotten from the inside, a house of cards. The whole ‘Revolution’ was a story of the treachery of the elite, the aristocrats, including many Romanovs, the politicians, the generals and the new bourgeoisie. Having lost their faith, they replaced all loyalty to the Faith, the Tsar and Home with pure greed. The same thing happened with the USSR. A generation after the people’s war won by those trained in the Tsar’s Army, the Soviet Union turned into a State in whose official Communist ideology nobody believed any more. The elite had lost faith in it and so the USSR also fell. After 1991 the Russian Federation was handed over to the future oligarchs, the new aristocrats, just as before the Revolution the Russian Empire had been far too much in the hands of the past oligarchs, the old aristocrats.


Whoever says oligarchs automatically says corruption. And when the rich have enough riches, they next want power and betray to get it. Like the rest of the world, the Russian Federation is a very unequal and corrupt society because of these oligarchs, who simply repeat the Western oligarch model. Have no illusions: Oligarchs rule the Western world. It is illusory to think otherwise. In France Pompidou was and Macron is a Rothschild banker (the ones who own The Economist and much of the rest of the media). French conglomerates stand beside them. In Germany banks and huge automobile and chemical industries put up their political candidates. In the UK all candidates are vetted by the financial sharks of the City. As for the USA, think of Trump or Hoover, and all is clear. Follow the money.

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“He stressed it would be “up to local residents” and that the process would be “absolutely clear and legitimate”

Russian-Captured Ukrainian Territories Will Soon Ask To ‘Join Russia’ (ZH)

Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency is reporting for the first time Wednesday that the Russian military occupied southern Ukrainian city of Kherson will soon petition the Kremlin to become part of the Russian Federation. It was in late April that a pro-Moscow “military-civilian administration” was installed after Kherson fell to the invading forces, complete with a local transition to the Russian ruble. While the news hasn’t been officially confirmed by the Kremlin, it’s significant that the report surfaced through RIA and not Ukrainian or opposition sources, suggesting such referendums or even simple declared annexations in captured regions could be imminent.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has in his latest statements invoked Crimea – which came under Russian control due to a Kremlin-backed ‘popular referendum’ in 2014 – as a model for what could happen regarding Kherson’s political future. He stressed it would be “up to local residents” and that the process would be “absolutely clear and legitimate”. Additionally, according to The Moscow Times, “Occupied Kherson, as well as the Pryazovske region on the Sea of Azov, reportedly began trading with Crimea shortly after Russian forces installed pro-Moscow administrations in the area.”

And Reuters writes of more signs of annexation of the city coming soon as follows: “TASS cited the Russian-controlled administration as saying that pension bodies and a banking system would be created from scratch for the region, and that branches of a Russian bank could be open there before the end of May,” according to its report. However, some correspondents are saying there won’t be a referendum, or possibly just the appearance of one as a pretext…

Lavrov

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It’s not even a revolving door anymore.

Blinken, Austin Past Ties to Investment Firms Forgotten by Media (Celente)

Top officials in the Biden administration who have been the most vocal backers of providing Ukraine with more arms than Kyiv knows what to do with have deep ties to consulting and investment firms that has raised concerns in the past about the government’s revolving door with the defense industry. The Presstitutes no longer discuss these ties because they are on the same team as the government when it comes to Ukraine. More weapons, more weapons, more weapons. Two of the biggest names in the Biden administration with these past ties are Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. They have been some of the top proponents of donating weapons to Ukrainians.

BLINKEN: “Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding. Russia has sought, as its principal aim, to totally subjugate Ukraine, to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. That has failed.” AUSTIN: “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine. It had already lost a lot of military capability and a lot of its troops, quite frankly, and we want to see them not have the capability to very quickly reproduce that capability.”

One of the names that kept popping up about a year or so ago was Blinken and Austin’s ties to a little-known investment firm called Pine Island Capital Partner. In December 2020, Pine Island Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company that claimed to have “unusual access to information” said in its SEC filings that it was “well-suited to take advantage of the current and future opportunities present in the aerospace, defense and government service industries.” (Austin also sat on the board of Raytheon Technologies in 2020, according to OpenSecrets.org. Forbes estimated that Austin’s net worth is about $7 million after serving on boards in retirement.)

From CNBC in December 2020: Pine Island’s team includes Tony Blinken, Biden’s choice to be secretary of State, and Ret. Gen. Lloyd Austin, his nominee for Defense secretary. Austin was listed on the original SPAC proposal, while Blinken was left off as he took a leave of absence from the firm when he joined the Biden campaign. Axios reported a month earlier that Pine Island was formed in 2018 by John Thain, the CEO who reportedly got his office renovated for $1 million while his Bank of America Merrill Lynch took a major loss in 2009; Phil Cooper, the former Goldman Sachs buyout big, and Clyde Tuggle, ex-Coca-Cola executive.

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“So, I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges homes..”

Garland Allowing ‘Mob Rule’ In US – GOP (Fox)

Nearly 50 House Republicans pressed Attorney General Merrick Garland Wednesday to prosecute those protesting outside the homes of Supreme Court justices over an anticipated ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Led by Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., the members of Congress cite a federal law that makes it illegal to “picket or parade” outside a courthouse or a judge’s home “with the intent of influencing … the discharge of his duty.” “We therefore ask a simple question: as Supreme Court Justices are being illegally targeted at their homes, do you intend to enforce the law?” the Republicans wrote. “Your failure to act is a shameless and implicit endorsement of mob rule in America.”

Forty-seven House Republicans signed the letter, including House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.; GOP Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson; and R-La., Byron Donalds, R-Fla. They join a chorus of voices, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who are condemning the protests at the justices’ homes. Over the weekend, protesters picketed outside the homes of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts. People protested outside of Justice Samuel Alito’s home Monday.

“The right to peaceful assembly is among the most sacred rights we hold as Americans,” the GOP members wrote. “Yet our sacred right to peacefully assemble has never permitted Americans to intimidate judges, jurors or officers of the court. “We urge you to enforce the laws of the United States and stop the mob,” they added. “You should send the clear and unmistakable message to all Americans — regardless of party or political affiliation — that the intimidation of justices and the judicial process will not stand.”

The White House isn’t explicitly condemning protests outside the justices’ homes. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday intimidation is not acceptable. “@POTUS strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest. But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism,” Psaki tweeted. “Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety.” “So, I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges homes,” Psaki elaborated Tuesday. “And that’s the president’s position.”

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Filibuster had nothing to do with it.

Efforts To Codify Roe vs Wade Fail In The Senate (ET)

The Senate voted on May 11 to filibuster the Democratic-sponsored Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would have codified the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling into federal law as the Supreme Court appears intent on striking down the precedent. The 51–49 procedural cloture motion vote was mostly party-line, with all Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voting against the measure. The measure failed as expected because Democrats didn’t meet the 60-vote filibuster threshold needed to advance the legislation in the upper chamber. According to a draft opinion leaked to Politico and published on May 2—written by Justice Samuel Alito and confirmed as genuine by the court—a majority of the justices have agreed preliminarily to overturn Roe v. Wade.


The court hasn’t yet issued a final opinion. Under the 1973 standard, states are prohibited from imposing restrictions on abortion in the first trimester, during which SCOTUS ruled that the mother’s right to privacy outweighed state interest in protecting life. The move effectively overturned existing abortion laws in more than two dozen states, and since then, pro-life advocates have fought to return the power to regulate abortion to the states. Democrats decided immediately after the draft was leaked to try again on the WHPA, which the Senate failed to advance in February. A different version of the legislation was passed by the House of Representatives in September 2021 in a party-line vote, with Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a pro-life Catholic, being the only Democrat to oppose it.

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“..there was not an outbreak caused by products from the facility..”

FDA Refuses To Reopen Biggest Baby Formula Plant in US (DM)

The biggest baby formula supplier in the U.S. has denied its Michigan plant is responsible for the deaths of two children despite the FDA closing it down. The plant was shutdown nearly three months ago after a bacterial infection caused the deaths and other serious illnesses. In mid-February Abbott Laboratories issued a nationwide baby formula recall and ceased operations at its plant in Sturgis, Michigan amid reports of babies contracting bacterial infections from its products. An Abbott spokesperson told DailyMail.com Tuesday that ‘thorough investigation’ by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Abbott revealed ‘infant formula produced at our Sturgis facility is not the likely source of infection in the reported cases and that there was not an outbreak caused by products from the facility’.


However, despite the findings of the investigation, the plant remains shuttered nearly three months later, fueling the nationwide baby formula shortage. The FDA – which said it found food safety violations at the plant, as well as five strains of Cronobacter, a bacteria that can cause blood infections and meningitis – has refused to say when the plant can resume operations. Abbott claims they are ‘working closely with the FDA to restart operations’ at the plant, with the spokesperson noting: ‘We continue to make progress on corrective actions and will be implementing additional actions as we work toward addressing items related to the recent recall’. The FDA told DailyMail.com it was holding discussions with ‘Abbott and other manufacturers to increase production of different specialty and metabolic products’ but refused to say when the Sturgis plant could reopen.

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“..he conceded that they don’t look ethical..”

Well, no. 1, they were secret. Isn’t that enough?

Acting NIH Director Admits Appearance of Conflict of Interest in Payments (ET)

Undisclosed royalty payments estimated at $350 million from pharmaceutical and other firms to Dr. Anthony Fauci and hundreds of National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists do present “an appearance of a conflict of interest,” according to the agency’s acting director. Dr. Lawrence Tabak, who took over as NIH director following the December 2021 resignation of the agency’s long-time leader, Dr. Francis Collins, told a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee that federal law allows the royalty payments, but he conceded that they don’t look ethical. “Right now, I think the NIH has a credibility problem and this only feeds into this, and I’m only just learning about this,” Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) told Tabak.

“People in my district say, ‘Well, so-and-so has a financial interest,’ or they don’t like ivermectin because they aren’t benefitting from that royalty. “You may have very sound scientific reasons for recommending a medicine or not, but the idea that people get a financial benefit from certain research that’s been done and grants that were awarded, that is, to me, the height of the appearance of a conflict of interest.” In response, Tabak said NIH doesn’t endorse particular medicines. “We support the science that validates whether an invention is or is not efficacious, we don’t say this is good or this is bad. … I certainly can understand that it might seem as a conflict of interest,” he said. Moolenaar seemed taken aback by Tabak’s response and, while pointing to Fauci, who was also testifying, said that “truthfully, I would say you’ve had leaders of NIH saying certain medicines are not good.”

Tabak said such statements by NIH are based on clinical trials that are supported by the agency. Moolenaar then asked Tabak, “But if the agency is awarding who is the beneficiary of the grant, who is doing the trial, and there is somehow finances involved, that there is a financial benefit that could be accrued if someone’s patent or invention is considered validated, do you not see that as a conflict or at least the appearance of a conflict of interest?” After conceding that there’s an appearance of a conflict of interest, Tabak suggested to Moolenaar that “maybe this is the sort of thing that we can work together on so that we can explain to you the firewalls that we do have because they are substantial and significant.”

[..] The $350 million in royalty payments were made between 2010 and 2020, according to Open the Books, the nonprofit that took the NIH to court when it refused to acknowledge the group’s FOIA request for documents. Collins received 14 payments, Fauci received 23 payments, and his deputy, Clifford Lane, received eight payments, according to Open the Books. Adam Andrzejewski, founder and president of Open the Books, told The Epoch Times on May 11 that NIH continues to withhold important information about the royalty payments, including the names of particular payers and the specific amounts paid to individuals at NIH.

Glenn Beck

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And got a fine reward.

Top US Scientist Warned Chinese Of US Investigations Into Wuhan Lab (DC)

The head of a U.S. national laboratory in Texas accepted a position at a Chinese university roughly one year after warning Chinese scientists about potential congressional investigations into COVID-19’s origins, according to emails obtained by Judicial Watch. In an April 2020 email chain, Dr. James W. Le Duc, director of the Galveston National Laboratory (GNL), warned top science officials in China, including a director at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), about Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s interest in investigating the pandemic’s origins. In April 2021, emails show Le Duc accepted a position on the “Biosafety Advisory Committee” at China’s Westlake University, a private research university with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“These startling documents show that China had partners here in the United States willing to go to bat for them on the Wuhan lab controversy,” Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said in a statement. Judicial Watch obtained Le Duc’s emails through a public records request to the University of Texas Medical Branch. Judicial Watch’s investigation follows years of mystery surrounding COVID-19’s origins. Early on, the theory that COVID leaked from the WIV was roundly dismissed by government officials and prominent scientists; at one point a New York Times reporter even claimed the Wuhan-origin theory had “racist roots.” However, scientists and experts increasingly consider it the “most likely” origin for the virus, and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has even accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health and other top U.S. scientists of covering-up their own culpability in a possible Wuhan lab leak.

Le Duc first sent his warning to Shi, whose controversial research is at the center of the COVID origins debate, and other Chinese scientists in a series of emails beginning in April 2020. “I wonder if you would have time for a phone call sometime soon… The email below is relevant,” Le Duc wrote to Shi on April 16, 2020. Le Duc’s email linked to a Forbes report on Sen. Rubio’s interest in investigating COVID’s origins. Le Duc’s email also included a message he’d received from a former commander at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, warning that Rubio was pushing for a Wuhan lab investigation.

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“The controversial WEF has received renewed attention in the Conservative leadership race after candidate and MP Pierre Poilievre committed to boycotting the organization.”

Trudeau Government Gave $3 Million To WEF And $1.6 Billion To UN In 2021 (TNC)

The Liberal government funnelled more than a billion-and-a-half taxpayer dollars into various United Nations bodies, and millions into the World Economic Forum (WEF) last year, public accounts data shows. According to the transfer payments section of the 2020-2021 Public Accounts of Canada, the WEF received $2,915,095 from Canadian taxpayers in the form of grants and contributions. Funding was provided by two departments – the Department of Environment and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. The largest of the transfer payments to WEF was a $1,141,851 contribution from the International Development Assistance for Multilateral Programming. WEF also received another $1 million grant under the same program. Other payments were cited as “contributions in support of conserving nature” and for the “establishment and management of conservation measures.”

The Trudeau government also generously funded the UN to the tune of $1.576 billion in the form of financial support, contributions and grants. Funding came primarily from Global Affairs, although other departments including Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship also gave the UN money. Six UN-affiliated organizations received transfer payments worth more than $100 million each. The largest payment was given to the United Nations Children’s Fund, totalling $543 million. Meanwhile UN peacekeeping operations saw contributions worth $235 million, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees received $139 million. Other large recipients include the UN Population Fund and the United Nations Organizations.

[..] According to Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Franco Terrazzano, the Trudeau government needs to do a better job accounting for its funding of international organizations like the WEF, while Canada deals with a debt of over $1 trillion. “That’s a lot of money, and we can’t just keep sending a ton of tax dollars to international organizations because we’ve been doing it for years,” Terrazzano told True North. “The feds are more than $1 trillion in debt, so it’s on the government to make a clear case for every cent it sends to international organizations, and if it can’t make the case then we need to see reductions.” The controversial WEF has received renewed attention in the Conservative leadership race after candidate and MP Pierre Poilievre committed to boycotting the organization.

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Money flees..

Prepare For More Chinese Capital Controls As Exodus Worsens (BBG)

Strict capital controls made it impossible for several European companies to send dividends abroad and a Japanese beverage maker could not get paid due to “tougher restrictions on cross-border wire transactions.” This is not Russia in 2022, but China in late 2016 and early 2017, when the yuan plunged toward 7 per dollar. Those types of curbs could soon be brought back as part of Beijing’s arsenal to manage currency depreciation, especially in a context similar to 2016-17: Once again, the Fed hikes and capital flees. Besides the headline exchange rate, how much and how quickly money can leave China will become equally, if not more, important. Global portfolio managers, foreign businesses and the local rich are either leaving China or bringing much less capital onshore.


The nation suffered an unprecedented outflow from bond and stock investors in March and net selling continued into April, according to estimates from the International Institute of Finance. Total capital outflows, including errors and omissions, may surge to about $300b this year from $129b in 2021, IIF said in a report last week. While that figure is well below $725b, IIF’s estimate for 2016, Beijing’s options for combating it are much narrower this time around. Trade wars, Covid and supply-chain disruptions were not on the minds of foreign executives back then. In 2022, however, 52% of 121 companies polled by the American Chamber of Commerce in China have either cut or delayed investments. With only 1% planning to increase local investment, authorities have a daunting task to boost foreign direct investment as long as China sticks to its Covid Zero strategy.

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What a stupid story this has become.

Oath Keepers Rescued 16 Police Officers On Jan 6 (ET)

Video footage widely circulated in 2021 that shows a Capitol Police lieutenant asking members of the Oath Keepers for rescue help at the U.S. Capitol blows a hole in the seditious conspiracy charges brought against the group by federal prosecutors, two defense attorneys say. In the footage, Lt. Tarik Khalid Johnson asks a group of men to help him get more than a dozen trapped Capitol Police officers out of the Capitol and through a tightly packed crowd of protesters on the building’s east steps. It was widely reported in January 2021 that Johnson wore a red Make America Great Again cap on Jan. 6 as a ruse to “trick” supporters of President Donald Trump into helping him rescue fellow officers from the Capitol.

He was later suspended for wearing the MAGA cap. Johnson is a registered Democrat, according to online records. The men who answered the call to help were members of the Oath Keepers, a nationwide group of current and former military, law enforcement, and first responders who have been targeted by federal prosecutors for allegedly conspiring to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The video is at least the second example showing the Oath Keepers coming to the aid of Capitol Police inside the building that day. Would a group of men seditiously plotting an attack on the Capitol, allegedly to prevent certification of Electoral College votes, rush into the building to extract police trapped inside—all while being followed by a filmmaker?

“The prosecutors’ narrative has more holes than Swiss cheese, but it [the video footage] does directly refute their claim,” said Jonathon Moseley, who previously represented Florida Oath Keepers leader Kelly Meggs. Prosecutors “just keep ignoring the self-contradictions in their stories.” The video footage was shot by part-time filmmaker Rico La Starza. One of several versions of the video footage posted online includes an introduction by La Starza. He said the video shows “me helping a group of Oath Keepers help Capitol Police get out. They looked scared and tired.”

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Just trying to scare him.

Feds Open Investigation Into Elon Musk (DW)

The U.S. government has reportedly opened an investigation into Elon Musk’s business dealings surrounding his recent $44 billion purchase of Twitter. “The Securities and Exchange Commission is probing Mr. Musk’s tardy submission of a public form that investors must file when they buy more than 5% of a company’s shares,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “The disclosure functions as an early sign to shareholders and companies that a significant investor could seek to control or influence a company.” The report said that Musk’s April 4 disclosure filing was at least 10 days late, a move that is believed to have saved him more than $140 million because share prices could have been higher if the public knew about his ownership of 5% of the company.

“The case is easy. It’s straightforward,” Daniel Taylor, a University of Pennsylvania accounting professor, said. “But whether they’re going to pick that battle with Elon is another question.” The report noted that a lawsuit against Musk from the SEC would likely not stop him from taking over Twitter since the company’s board of director’s unanimously approved to be acquired by Musk and the SEC may lack the power to do so. Musk’s purchase of Twitter is also reportedly being reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Musk said this week that he will reverse Twitter’s permanent ban on former President Donald Trump if and when the sale is finalized.

“I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk said, adding that the decision was “morally bad.” “That doesn’t mean that someone gets to say whatever they want to say,” Musk said. “If they say something that is illegal or destructive to the world, then there should be perhaps a timeout, temporary suspension or that particular tweet should be made invisible or have very little traction.” “I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk added.

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Murdering American citizens in broad daylight. Try that in Kiev.

Al Jazeera Accuses Israel of Killing -American- Journalist (CD)

The media outlet Al Jazeera accused Israeli forces of “deliberately targeting and killing our colleague” on Wednesday after journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the face while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. In a statement, the Al Jazeera Media Network said that Abu Akleh — who worked as the publication’s Palestine correspondent — was wearing a press jacket that clearly identified her as a journalist when Israeli forces shot her “with live fire.” Al Jazeera, which is based in Qatar, called the attack “a blatant murder,” saying Abu Akleh, 51, was “assassinated in cold blood.” The statement continued:

“Al Jazeera Media Network condemns this heinous crime, which intends to only prevent the media from conducting their duty. Al Jazeera holds the Israeli government and the occupation forces responsible for the killing of Shireen. It also calls on the international community to condemn and hold the Israeli occupation forces accountable for their intentional targeting and killing of Shireen. The Israeli authorities are also responsible for the targeting of Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samudi, who was also shot in the back while covering the same event, and he is currently undergoing treatment. Al Jazeera extends its sincere condolences to the family of Shireen in Palestine, and to her extended family around the world, and we pledge to prosecute the perpetrators legally, no matter how hard they try to cover up their crime, and bring them to justice.”

The Israeli government initially denied responsibility for killing Abu Akleh and wounding al-Samudi, claiming that they may have been shot by “Palestinian gunmen.” “There is a considerable chance that armed Palestinians, who fired wildly, were the ones who brought about the journalist’s unfortunate death,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. But al-Samudi, speaking to the Associated Press following the incident, dismissed the Israeli government’s narrative as a “complete lie.” “He said they were all wearing protective gear that clearly marked them as reporters, and they passed by Israeli troops so the soldiers would know that they were there,” AP reported. “He said a first shot missed them, then a second struck him, and a third killed Abu Akleh. He said there were no militants or other civilians in the area — only the reporters and the army.”

Shireen Abu Akleh

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Fazer

 

 

 

 

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May 052022
 


René Magritte Personal values 1952

 

Fierce Fighting Under Way In Azovstal Plant, Says Azov Commander (G.)
Brazil’s Ex-president Lula Claims Zelenskiy Equally To Blame For War (G.)
Return of the King (Streeck)
The “Disinformation Board” Is Even More Pernicious Than It Seems (Greenwald)
Twitter Launches New Purge Of Covid Contrarians (JTN)
Soros, Clinton and Obama Staffers, EU Governments Behind Anti-Musk Campaign (DM)
Elon Musk Turns To Old Financial Backers For $44b Twitter Buyout (NYP)
John Durham Scores Two Major Court Wins Ahead Of Clinton Lawyer’s Trial (JTN)
FBI Pursued a Dossier Rumor the Press Shot Down as ‘Bullshit’ (Sperry)
The Government Plays God (Whitehead)
The Great Currency Reset and Why Europe is Trapped (Luongo)
Disney’s Market Freefall (PJM)

 

 

 

 

Ze 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azovstal

 

 

 

 

Well, well. The Guardian is now the bullhorn for the nazis. But Russia has denied invading the plant.

Also funny: the evacuation of citizens from the plant is being presented as another heroic act by Zelensky. But they could have left at any moment over the past 2 months. Why didn’t they? Often because the same nazis used them as human shields.

Fierce Fighting Under Way In Azovstal Plant, Says Azov Commander (G.)

Fierce fighting has continued inside Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks, the commander of Ukrainian forces in the plant said, as more civilians fled the city on evacuation buses following weeks of brutal bombardment that have reduced much of it to rubble. Ukrainian forces were fighting “difficult bloody battles” against Russian troops for a second day, Denys Prokopenko, commander of the Azov regiment, said in a brief video released on Telegram late on Wednesday. “I am proud of my soldiers who are making superhuman efforts to contain the pressure of the enemy … the situation is extremely difficult,” commander Denis Prokopenko said.

Earlier on Wednesday, David Arakhamia, the head of Ukraine’s ruling party in parliament, told RFE/RL that Russian forces had entered the plant, but he said that the country’s government remained in contact with the Ukrainian troops staging a last stand. The Kremlin’s official spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, denied reports that Moscow’s forces were trying to storm the plant. “The order was publicly given by [Vladimir Putin] to cancel the storming,” Peskov said. “There is no storming.” Russia said its forces would cease firing at the factory on Thursday morning, and open a three-day humanitarian corridor for any civilians.


“The Russian armed forces will from 8am to 6pm (Moscow time, 0500 GMT to 1500 GMT) on May 5, 6 and 7 open a humanitarian corridor from the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant to evacuate civilians,” the defence ministry said. “During this period, the Russian armed forces and formations of the Donetsk People’s Republic will unilaterally cease any hostilities.”

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“The United States has a lot of political clout. And Biden could have avoided war, not incited it,” he said. “Biden could have taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin. This is the kind of attitude you expect from a leader.”

Brazil’s Ex-president Lula Claims Zelenskiy Equally To Blame For War (G.)

Brazilian presidential frontrunner Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has said the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, bear equal responsibility for the war in Ukraine, putting the leftist icon at odds with western powers. In an interview with Time magazine published on Wednesday, the former president said it was irresponsible for western leaders to celebrate Zelenskiy because they are encouraging war instead of focusing on closed-door negotiations to stop the fighting. “I see the president of Ukraine, speaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation by all the [European] parliamentarians,” Lula told the magazine. “This guy [Zelenskiy] is as responsible as Putin for the war,” he added.

Lula, who is on Time’s cover this week, is frontrunner for the October elections when he hopes to deny far-right President Jair Bolsonaro re-election and return to office after the annulment last year of corruption convictions that had put him in jail. The remarks will probably raise eyebrows in the US and Europe, which are supplying military support to Ukraine and have hit Russia with punishing sanctions over an invasion widely seen in the west as an act of unprovoked Russian aggression. Lula, 76, said Zelenskiy should have yielded to Russian opposition to Ukraine’s moves to join Nato and held negotiations with Putin to avoid a conflict.


Refering to Zelenskiy’s rise to fame as an actor and comedian, he added: “We should be having a serious conversation. OK, you were a nice comedian. But let us not make war for you to show up on TV.” The veteran leftist said Biden and European Union leaders failed to do enough to negotiate with Russia in the run-up to its invasion of Ukraine in February. “The United States has a lot of political clout. And Biden could have avoided war, not incited it,” he said. “Biden could have taken a plane to Moscow to talk to Putin. This is the kind of attitude you expect from a leader.”

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King NATO

Return of the King (Streeck)

When kings return, they initiate a purge, to rectify the anomalies that have accumulated during their absence. Old bills are presented anew and collected, lack of loyalty revealed during the King’s absence is punished, disobedient ideas and improper memories are extirpated, and the nooks and crannies of the body politic are cleansed of the political deviants that have in the meantime populated them. Symbolic action of the McCarthy type is helpful as it spreads fear among potential dissenters. Throughout the West today, players of piano or tennis or relativity theory who happen to be from Russia and want to continue playing whatever they play are pressed to make public statements that would make their lives and those of their families back home difficult at best.

Investigative journalists discover an abyss of philanthropic donations by Russian oligarchs to music and other festivals, donations that have been welcome in the past but are now found to subvert artistic freedom, unlike of course the philanthropic donations of their Western fellow-oligarchs. Etc. Against the background of proliferating loyalty oaths, public discourse is reduced to spreading the King’s truth, and nothing but. Putin verstehen – trying to find out about motives and reasons, searching for a clue as to how one might, perhaps, negotiate an end to the bloodshed – is equated with Putin verzeihen, or forgiving; it ‘relativizes’, as the Germans put it, the atrocities of the Russian army by trying to end them with other than military means.


According to newly received wisdom, there is only one way of dealing with a madman; thinking about other ways advances his interests and therefore amounts to treason. (I remember teachers in the 1950s who let it be known to the young generation that ‘the only language the Russian understands is the language of the fist’.) Memory management is central: never mention the Minsk Accords (2014 and 2015) between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany, don’t ask what became of them and why, never mind the platform of negotiated conflict settlement on which Zelensky was elected in 2019 by almost three quarters of Ukrainian voters, and forget the American response by megaphone diplomacy to Russian proposals as late as 2022 for a joint European security system. Above all, never bring up the various American ‘special operations’ of the recent past, like for example in Iraq, and in Fallujah inside Iraq (800 civilian casualties alone in a few days); doing so commits the crime of ‘whataboutism’, which in view of ‘the pictures from Bucha and Mariupol’ is morally out of bounds.

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“..the term “disinformation expert” is designed to disguise ideological views on behalf of state and corporate power centers as Official Truth.”

The “Disinformation Board” Is Even More Pernicious Than It Seems (Greenwald)

The most egregious and blatant official disinformation campaign in the U.S. took place three weeks before the 2020 presidential election. That was when dozens of former intelligence officials purported to believe that authentic emails regarding Joe Biden’s activities in China and Ukraine, reported by The New York Post, were “Russian disinformation.” That quasi-official proclamation enabled liberal corporate media outlets to uncritically mock and then ignore those emails as “Russian disinformation,” and pressured Big Tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to censor the reporting at exactly the time Americans were preparing to decide who would be the next U.S. president.

The letter from these former intelligence officials was orchestrated by trained career liars — disinformation agents — such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Yet that letter was nonetheless crucial to discredit and ultimately suppress the New York Post’s incriminating reporting on Biden. It provided a quasi-official imprimatur — something that could be depicted as an authoritative decree — that these authentic emails were, in fact, fraudulent. After all, if all of these noble and heroic intelligence operatives who spent their lives studying Russian disinformation were insisting that the Biden emails had all of the “hallmarks” of Kremlin treachery, who possessed the credibility to dispute their expert assessment?


This same strategic motive — to vest accusations of “disinformation” with the veneer of expertise — is what has fostered a new, very well-financed industry heralding itself as composed of “anti-disinformation” scholars. Knowing that Americans are inculcated from childhood to believe that censorship is nefarious — that it is the hallmark of tyranny — those who wish to censor need to find some ennobling rationale to justify it and disguise what it is. They have thus created a litany of neutral-sounding groups with benign names — The Atlantic Council, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, various “fact-checking” outfits controlled by corporate media outlets — that claim to employ “anti-disinformation experts” to identify and combat fake news. Just as media corporations re-branded their partisan pundits as “fact-checkers” — to masquerade their opinions as elevated, apolitical authoritative, decrees of expertise — the term “disinformation expert” is designed to disguise ideological views on behalf of state and corporate power centers as Official Truth.

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Elon! Help!

Twitter Launches New Purge Of Covid Contrarians (JTN)

Several Twitter users known for questioning U.S. government COVID-19 messaging have found themselves locked out of their accounts or suspended, even as the social media company reckons with a takeover by pro-free-speech billionaire Elon Musk and advancing litigation by journalist Alex Berenson. It’s not clear whether the timing is coincidental or the last gasp of an old guard targeting so-called Team Reality before a new owner or courts force it to change direction. Twitter has ignored the vast majority of Just the News requests to explain how various sanctioned users violated its terms. The notices from Twitter, often posted by allies of the silenced users, cite violation of its policy against sharing “misleading and potentially harmful information” about COVID.

A federal judge greenlit breach-of-contract claims in Berenson’s lawsuit challenging his permanent suspension, which followed a tweet that said COVID vaccines neither stop infection nor transmission, both of which the CDC has acknowledged for several months. The former New York Times reporter said in February Twitter had quietly removed the “misleading” label from the tweet, which only he can see. The company didn’t respond to Just the News queries at the time. Berenson plausibly alleged Twitter “fail[ed] to abide by its own five-strike policy and its specific commitments” made by a PR executive directly to Berenson before his first strike, U.S. District Judge William Alsup wrote April 29.


The same day Twitter permanently booted Daniel Kotzin, one of three sanctioned users jointly suing federal officials for coercing Twitter to censor purported COVID misinformation. It flagged his tweet citing “known potential side effects” of COVID vaccines, including myocarditis, “blood clots, and strokes.”

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‘Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized..’

Soros, Clinton and Obama Staffers, EU Governments Behind Anti-Musk Campaign (DM)

Some of the most high-profile liberal figures have joined together to encourage advertisers to boycott Twitter if Elon Musk brings in his promised policy of unfettered ‘free speech.’ Twenty six NGOs and advocacy groups signed a letter expressing concern about the world’s richest man’s plan. Musk himself responded to the letter asking who funded them: the answer being an assortment of ‘dark money groups’ like George Soros’s Open Society Foundation; NGOs founded by former Clinton and Obama administration staffers; wealthy Democrat donors and their family foundations; labor unions; and the governments of European nations.

‘Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will further toxify our information ecosystem and be a direct threat to public safety, especially among those already most vulnerable and marginalized,’ they wrote. They warned that advertising on Twitter would see their company ‘risks association with a platform amplifying hate, extremism, health misinformation, and conspiracy theorists.’ The authors continued: ‘Under Musk’s management, Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time where trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low.


‘Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account. We call on you to demand Musk uphold these basic standards of community trust and safety, and to pull your advertising spending from Twitter if they are not.’ Musk, in response to the letter, tweeted: ‘Who funds these organizations that want to control your access to information? Let’s investigate …’ Piqued by the critique, he added: ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant.’ The letter signed by the 26 groups was sent on headed paper bearing the logos of Accountable Tech, Media Matters for America, and Ultraviolet.

Anti-Elon campaign

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They’re afraid of cancel culture.

Elon Musk Turns To Old Financial Backers For $44b Twitter Buyout (NYP)

Elon Musk is turning to an old, reliable group of financial backers to fund his $44 billion buyout of Twitter — even as talks to team up with a deep-pocketed private equity firm have stalled, The Post has learned. Sources close to the situation say Musk may be closing in on raising $10 billion in cash from equity co-investors — mostly venture capital firms who have backed his other companies including Space X. One source close to the talks declined to name the firms, but Musk’s past investors have included Sequoia Capital, D1 Capital Partners and Valor Equity Partners. Musk has also turned to so-called family offices that control large pools of private money to back his Twitter bid. “He has more than $10 billion of committed equity,” one source close to the situation told The Post.

Musk is plowing ahead even as top executives at Thoma Bravo — a tech-focused buyout firm whose investments include nuts-and-bolts software firms like McAfee and Barracuda — are divided over partnering with Musk in the deal, with some fearing the bet would be too big and too risky, three sources close to the situation said. “Orlando Bravo was pushing for it,” one source close to the talks said, referring to the firm’s co-founder, a 52-year-old, Puerto Rican-born billionaire with a formidable track record among tech investors. “He spent hours talking to Elon.” On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Musk has been telling investors he aims to take the company public again within three years of the buyout.


As previously reported by The Post, Thoma Bravo sees an opportunity to slash costs at Twitter and was hoping to land a high-profile deal. Nevertheless, other top partners at Thoma Bravo fret that jumping into bed with Musk — who has posted a slew of sometimes bizarre tweets about his plans for Twitter, including that he plans to turn its San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter — could be a disaster. “My sense is Orlando Bravo wanted to do it but one or two of his top partners don’t want to,” a second source said. Other major buyout firms including Stephen Schwarzman’s Blackstone and billionaire Robert F. Smith’s Vista Equity Partners also have turned Musk down altogether, a source said. Apollo Global Management, meanwhile, is only interested in providing debt financing, according to sources close to the talks.

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No go for attorney-client privilege.

John Durham Scores Two Major Court Wins Ahead Of Clinton Lawyer’s Trial (JTN)

Special Counsel John Durham scored two major wins on Wednesday ahead of the criminal trial for ex-Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, as the judge ordered a key witness to testify and agreed to review memos the defense is trying to conceal with a claim of attorney-client privilege. During a hearing, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper expressed skepticism that memos detailing the Fusion GPS firm’s opposition research on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia – some of which were shared with the news media and the FBI — were covered by attorney-client privilege and agreed to Durham’s request to review 38 of the documents that prosecutors want to introduce at trial later this month.

Cooper said he wasn’t convinced the Clinton campaign, Sussmann and his law firm and Fusion GPS should have blanket privilege over the documents, at one point citing a memo of Fusion’s contacts with a reporter as evidence of “assisting a media strategy” rather than legal advice. Cooper also unsealed his order to compel that granted Fusion GPS computer researcher Laura Seago limited immunity and ordered her to testify at trial as Durham sought. Seago’s lawyer informed prosecutors she planned to “invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination absent a court order of immunity compelling her to testify at trial,” according to the unsealed records.


Cooper signed an order mandating Seago “give testimony or provide other information which she refuses to give or to provide on the basis of her privilege against self-incrimination as to all matters about which she might be interrogated at trial and any proceedings ancillary thereto.” The judge also ruled that “no testimony or other information compelled under this Order (or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information) may be used against Laura Seago in any criminal case, except a prosecution for perjury, giving a false statement, or otherwise failing to comply with this Order.” Durham had argued that Seago’s testimony was “necessary to the public interest.” It did not specify what prosecutors believed her testimony would focus on.

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“..some journalists, as keen as they were to report dirt on Trump, were nevertheless more cautious than FBI investigators about embracing hearsay information..”

FBI Pursued a Dossier Rumor the Press Shot Down as ‘Bullshit’ (Sperry)

The FBI decision to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser hinged on an unsubstantiated rumor from a Clinton campaign-paid dossier that the Washington Post’s Moscow sources had quickly shot down as “bullshit” and “impossible,” according to emails disclosed last week to a D.C. court hearing the criminal case of a Clinton lawyer accused of lying to the FBI. Though the FBI presumably had access to better sources than the newspaper, agents did little to verify the rumor that Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page had secretly met with sanctioned Kremlin officials in Moscow. Instead, the bureau pounced on the dossier report the day it received it, immediately plugging the rumor into an application under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to wiretap Page as a suspected Russian agent.

The allegation, peddled to both the press and FBI in the summer of 2016 by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to dig up dirt on Trump during the presidential race, proved to be the linchpin in winning approval for the 2016 warrant, which was renewed three times in 2017 – even though the FBI learned there were serious holes in the story and had failed to independently corroborate it. The revelations of early media skepticism about the Trump-Russia narrative before journalists embraced it are included in a 62-page batch of emails between Fusion and prominent Beltway reporters released by Special Counsel John Durham, who is scouring the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign for evidence of abuse and criminal wrongdoing.


The documents suggest that some journalists, as keen as they were to report dirt on Trump, were nevertheless more cautious than FBI investigators about embracing hearsay information served up by Clinton agents. (The FBI declined comment.) The new material also offers a look at the lengths to which those working on Clinton’s behalf went in order to seed the government with unverified rumors about Trump and Russia that amounted to a disinformation campaign. Among those targeted were powerful Democratic members of Congress, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who proved to be a willing collaborator.

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This is the fundamental point: the rights of the unborn child. That video is scary.

The Government Plays God (Whitehead)

“Abortion on demand is the ultimate State tyranny; the State simply declares that certain classes of human beings are not persons, and therefore not entitled to the protection of the law. The State protects the ‘right’ of some people to kill others, just as the courts protected the ‘property rights’ of slave masters in their slaves.”
– Ron Paul

The government wants to play god. It wants the power to decide who lives or dies and whose rights are worthy of protection. Delve beneath the rhetoric and spin that have turned abortion into a politicized, polarized and propagandized frontline in the culture wars, and you will find a greater menace at work. Abortion may be front and center in the power struggle between the Left and the Right over who has the right to decide—the government or the individual—when it comes to bodily autonomy, the right to privacy, sexual freedom, the rights of the unborn, and property interests in one’s body, but there’s so much more going on here.

The Left would suggest that unborn babies do not have constitutional rights and the only right that matters is a woman’s right to privacy in choosing whether or not to abort a pregnancy. The Right, while fixated on saving the lives of unborn babies, seems less concerned about what happens to those lives from birth to death. What few seem willing to address is that in the 30 years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, the government has come to believe that it not only has the power to determine who is deserving of constitutional rights in the eyes of the law but it also has the authority to deny those rights to an American citizen.

This is how the abortion debate—a politicized tug-of-war over when an unborn child is considered a human being with rights—plays into the police state’s hands by laying the groundwork for discussions about who else may or may not be deserving of rights. Even if (as a leaked draft opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization suggests) the Supreme Court overturns its earlier rulings recognizing abortion as a constitutional right under the Fourteenth Amendment, that will not resolve the larger problem that plagues us today: namely, that all along the spectrum of life—from the unborn child to the aged—the government continues to play fast and loose with the lives of the citizenry.

40 weeks

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“..a complete embargo of all Russian oil..”

The Great Currency Reset and Why Europe is Trapped (Luongo)

There’s a lot of news flying around about the changes happening in global currency trading. From “Gas for Rubles” to “What the Hell is Going on With the Yen?” there are a lot of questions and very few answers as to what it all means and whose on which side of the divide. The Fed just hiked 50 basis points for the first time since 2000 and will be running off its balance sheet forcing the Treasury to stop issuing new debt at stupid rates. The European Union unveiled a sixth sanctions package against Russia which calls for a complete embargo of all Russian oil. Further to this the EU is now aping what the Trump Administration tried to do to Iran in 2018, sanctioning all services, including insurance, to all shippers of oil from doing any business with Russia and sanctioned Russian banks.

These sanctions, effectively politicizing every aspect of international business and trade, are ultimately nothing more than short-term annoyances for Russia or anyone else. It betrays a mindset that cares nothing for the downstream effects of these actions and, if anything, betray the desperation felt in Brussels today about its position in the global market. I’ve spilled hundreds of column inches trying to explain to the world that it is the EU’s totalitarian mindset based on their psychological imbalance and ideological need to be seen as the champions of humanity, that drives all of their decisions. The US is not so driven. We’re far easier to understand. We like power but only so long as it nets us a profit.


This sanctions package is prima facie evidence of their insanity and what happens when, like a cornered animal, they are faced with an existential choice. The EU is built on a foundation of insulating its leadership from the vicissitudes of public opinion. Populism is a four-letter word in the Eurocrat’s vocabulary. The consequences of this policy which was conceived of by the fart-sniffing buffoons at the World Economic Forum, The Davos Crowd, are irrelevant to them in the short-term. Yes, Europeans will suffer tremendously high inflation because, if successful at taking a majority of Russian oil off the global markets, will only ensure that prices go ballistic. Do you think the same people who have a stated depopulation agenda who mandated a 12% effective Pfizer vaccine and wasn’t tested at all on pregnant women lest they be barred from partaking of European society care one whit about the people they govern?

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Woke.

Disney’s Market Freefall (PJM)

There’s a saying, and I don’t know who coined it, but it goes something like, “Go woke; go broke.” I do know that former president Donald Trump said that “everything woke turns to s**t.” One company that’s learning this lesson the hard way — even though nobody there will admit it publicly — is Disney. David Ng at Breitbart is reporting that The Walt Disney Company has lost a whopping $63 billion in market capitalization over the past two months. “Shares of Disney have plummeted 23.5 percent since the start of March, falling from $145.70,” Ng writes. “Market cap is down $62.6 billion, from $265.3 to $202.7 billion.” (For the uninitiated, Investopedia defines market capitalization as “the total dollar market value of a company’s outstanding shares of stock. Commonly referred to as ‘market cap,’ it’s calculated by multiplying the total number of a company’s outstanding shares by the current market price of one share.”)

I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to wrap my head around losing that kind of money. I freak out if I lose a $20 bill, so losing tens of billions because I took a political position that appeases a percentage of my workforce and a smaller percentage of the world at large at the expense of everybody else would be disastrous. That amount of money may be chump change to Disney, but it’s still nearly a quarter of its market cap. Disney’s stock has performed poorly over the past several months, dropping 30% over the past year. Much, though not all, of this stems directly from Disney’s decision to speak out on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which the legislature passed into law and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed at the end of March.


The Democrats and their willing accomplices in the media falsely dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” which triggered the LGBTQ lobby among Disney cast members to pressure CEO Bob Chapek to stick the company’s nose into the state’s business. DeSantis and the Florida legislature decided to fight fire with fire, and they voted to end the 1967 special improvement act that allowed Disney to create the Reedy Creek Improvement District and essentially act as its own government over the Walt Disney World property.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

TexasLindsay Global by income

 

 

 

 

Hodkinson

 

 

 

 

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Apr 242022
 


René Magritte The conquerer 1926

 

Top US Officials To Meet Zelensky On First Wartime Visit To Kyiv (F24)
A West-mandated Russian “Default”: Who Wins And Who Loses? (Vilches)
Urgent Briefing from the Russian MOD re new provocations (Saker)
Minsk II: Two Words You’ll Never Hear on Mainstream News (Antiwar)
Energy Rationing & The Pivot From Ukraine To Climate (OffG)
1788. China to Make Electric Tumbrils (Reed)
The Drive to Vaccinate the World Against Covid Is Losing Steam (NYT)
Have People Been Given the Wrong Vaccine? (Kulldorff)
Pfizer Docs: 3.7% Death Rate From Vaccine, Many More Serious Injuries (EV)
Dissecting Canada’s All-cause Mortality (Rebel)
Covid Vaccines Increase Risk of Severe Heart Inflammation Up to 120-Fold (DS)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Macgregor

 

 

Putin subservient

 

 

 

 

US food supply

 

 

The MSM spouts only Ukraine propaganda. They have very few people on the ground, so they just parrot whatever -extravagant- claims Zelensky et al make. Lazy? You bet. Journalism? Hell, no.

Top US Officials To Meet Zelensky On First Wartime Visit To Kyiv (F24)

The United States’ top diplomat and defence chief were Sunday set to make their first wartime visits to Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine two months ago, with fierce battles raging in the east of the country. The trip by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin comes as the war enters its third month with thousands dead and millions displaced. A series of European leaders have already travelled to Kyiv to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and underscore their support, but the United States – a leading donor of finance and weaponry – has yet to send any top officials. In his daily video address Saturday night, Zelensky said he was preparing for “tomorrow’s important talks with American partners”.

The State Department declined to comment on the highly sensitive trip by two of President Joe Biden’s top cabinet members. Their visit comes as Russian forces show no sign of easing their attacks and after a missile strike on the southern city of Odessa that Ukraine said killed eight people, including an infant. “Among those killed was a three-month-old baby girl. How did she threaten Russia? It seems that killing children is just a new national idea of the Russian Federation,” Zelensky said. He also accused Russia of being a terrorist state and of acting like Nazis in the shattered port city of Mariupol, which has been devastated by weeks of intense bombardment.

“New facts about the crimes of the occupiers against our Mariupol residents are being revealed. New graves of people killed by the occupiers are being found. We are talking about tens of thousands of dead Mariupol residents,” he said. The latest of many attempts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol failed Saturday, and an embattled unit of Ukrainian fighters holed up in tunnels under a sprawling steel mill there appeared in increasingly desperate straits. Zelensky also issued a new call Saturday for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin “to end the war.”

“I think that whoever started this war will be able to end it,” Zelensky said, adding he was “not afraid” to meet the Russian leader, who attended an Orthodox Easter service in Moscow. But he again stressed that Kyiv would abandon talks with Moscow if its troops in Mariupol were killed. Zelensky also criticised a decision by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to visit Moscow on Tuesday, before heading to Kyiv. “There is no justice and no logic in this order,” he said. “The war is in Ukraine, there are no bodies in the streets of Moscow. It would be logical to go first to Ukraine, to see the people there, the consequences of the occupation,” he said.

Ukraine ‘absolutely sure’ it will win war against Russia

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The US and NATO are not the ‘global stage’.

A West-mandated Russian “Default”: Who Wins And Who Loses? (Vilches)

Russia is currently “defaulting” or — in the best of cases — on a very direct and firm path to an inevitable “default”. Or at least this seems to be what the Western press and international rating agencies are pushing and rooting for, same as specialized academia, think-tanks, the political-financial-military establishment… and pretty much the whole Western Hemisphere including the US and Europe + South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. And it can reasonably be assumed that the above is most probably due to the fact that Western governments have officially and unequivocally dictated that it is not only “fair” but also wise to

(1) freeze and/or eventually “arrest” Russia´s reserve currency stockpiles held in international banking accounts (2) force Russia to pay its international financial obligations from abundantly solvent banks within Russia (3) declare that Russian payments in rubles instead of US dollars or euros or yens or GBP are not valid (4) declare Russia to be “defaulting” on its obligations by not following the above mandates (5) in case of doubt, Western governments remind us that Russia’s mandated “default” will necessarily be contested in UK Courts… which of course will always decide fully against Russia… undoubtedly and conveniently leaving aside whatever could be left of the once-traditional British “fair play” of yore.

And the West does not beat around the bush regarding this official policy with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell walking out of the recent G-20 meeting as soon as the mike was switched over to the Russian representative. The staged move was also well coordinated with multiple “unfriendly” finance ministers and central bank governors while others present virtually shut off their cameras immediately after the Russian official uttered his first word. And leaving no room for any doubt, White House Press Secretary Jen Saki tweeted in no uncertain terms that “We support her (Janet Yellen´s) steps, and it’s an indication of the fact that President Putin and Russia have become pariahs on the global stage”. By the way, with some notable exceptions, for the same “Ukranian reasons” many of the above have openly proposed to kick Russia out of the G-20 group ASAP.

So, to make a long story short, for all practical purposes Russia will necessarily “default” soon enough per the Western strategy of “we won’t let you pay but you must pay”… or thereabouts.

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“The biological weapons programs in the USSR were completely phased out in 1972.”

“..the Russian Federation completely destroyed its chemical arsenal on September 27, 2017, which is confirmed by an OPCW certificate..”

Urgent Briefing from the Russian MOD re new provocations (Saker)

The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation held an urgent briefing, detailing a provocation against the Russian Federation prepared by the USA and NATO with the accusation of using nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation possesses the information related to the preparation of provocations by the United States of America in order to accuse the Russian Armed Forces of using chemical, biological or tactical nuclear weapons.


There are three scenarios to be applied in order to accuse the Russian Federation.
The first one is a ‘staged incident under a false flag’ that is the most probable.
The second one refers to a ‘Maximally covert use of weapons of mass destruction in small volumes’ for neutralising the will power and the capacity to resist within the fulfilment of a particular operational task.
The third and the least probable one is the ‘overt use of weapons of mass destruction at a combat area’.

[..] We would like to recall that the Russian Federation completely destroyed its chemical arsenal on September 27, 2017, which is confirmed by an OPCW certificate. In turn, the United States, with its strong financial, economic and technical potential, is the only country party to the Chemical Weapons Convention that still possesses an impressive arsenal of chemical warfare agents (672.5 tons). CIA Director Burns’ statement about Russia’s possible use of tactical nuclear weapons is absurd. With the current level of technical equipment of the international nuclear test monitoring system, it is impossible to conceal the use of such weapons. If the CIA director does not understand this, then he is either unprofessional, or he is being misled. The biological weapons programs in the USSR were completely phased out in 1972. At the same time, the number of U.S. biological laboratories is incomparable to other countries. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Washington controls 336 laboratories in 30 countries, which is of great concern.

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“Ukraine had an off ramp from civil war early on in the form of the Minsk and then the Minsk II agreements in 2014 and 2015..”

Minsk II: Two Words You’ll Never Hear on Mainstream News (Antiwar)

Minsk II was the 2015 agreement hammered out by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany to end the civil war in Ukraine between the pro west, ultra nationalist government and the pro Russian Ukrainians in the eastern Donbas provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk. Why a civil war in Ukraine? Historically, Ukraine was cobbled together first by the Russian Empire, then the Soviet Union over 4 centuries, containing disparate peoples. The main ones were the Western leaning, Ukrainian speaking people in the north and west, and the Russian speaking in the east and south. Their relationship was always toxic, but under Soviet rule relative peace prevailed. Once freed from Soviet rule in 1999, the tension between the two disparate groups resurfaced.

Fifteen years on the U.S. essentially blew up whatever chance for peaceful resolution by aiding a coup which violently removed Russian leaning President Yanukovych, replacing him with an ultra nationalist government under Petro Poroshenko. Thus began the civil war in the Donbas that has killed over 14,000 Ukrainians in Kiev’s effort to subjugate and marginalize the hated Russian leaning Ukrainians. And leading the carnage for the past 3 years is current president Volodymyr Zelensky. Calling him the new Churchill doesn’t quite fit. But Ukraine had an off ramp from civil war early on in the form of the Minsk and then the Minsk II agreements in 2014 and 2015. The latter called for autonomy for the breakaway provinces Donetsk and Lugansk, amnesty to the combatants and representation in the Ukraine government.

But goaded by the US and the ultra nationalists with the real power, both post coup presidents Poroshenko and Zelensky opted to continue the civil war to both retake the breakaway provinces and recapture the Crimea, seized by Russia after the 2014 coup threatened their naval base at Sebastopol in the Crimea. In the months leading up to Russia’s criminal war, Ukraine, with the help of weaponry and training by Uncle Sam, dramatically increased its criminal shelling of the Donbas, even massing a hundred thousand troops for a possible invasion predicted for March. Did that, and the threat of NATO’s encroachment in Ukraine up to Russia’s borders make Russia’s invasion legal or necessary for Russia’s national defense? Of course not. But expecting Russia would sit back and do nothing made their invasion virtually inevitable.

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“It’s interesting that “operation thermostat” should be announced on April 22nd – Earth Day – despite having zero to do with climate change.”

Energy Rationing & The Pivot From Ukraine To Climate (OffG)

Italy is officially becoming the first country to start rationing energy after cutting their supply of Russian gas and oil. From next month, until at least March 2023, public buildings across the nation will be banned from running air conditioning at lower than 25 degrees, or heating higher than 19 degrees. The plan, termed “Operation Thermostat” in the press, is being sold as a way for ordinary people to show “solidarity” with the people of Ukraine, with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi saying: “Do we want to have peace or do we want to have the air conditioning on?” I’m not exactly sure how adjusting your thermostat is going to achieve ‘peace’, but hey we’re living in the age of sentimental manipulation over reason, so – just believe.

For example, the Guardian is illustrating the story with pro-peace artwork allegedly done by Italian schoolchildren (in English, for some reason). There’s no talk yet of this kind of energy-rationing rule extending to private businesses or homes, but a marker has been set down. Expect other nations to follow suit. After that of course will come the opinion pieces asking questions like “we rationed gas to fight Putin, why not climate change?”, and headlines saying that “Europe-wide gas rationing was good for the planet” or something similar. …Oh wait, it’s already happening. Honestly, when I originally wrote the above paragraph I had no idea the New Yorker had published this opinion piece for Earth Day, headlined: “This Earth Day, We Could Be Helping the Environment—and Ukraine”

It argues that rationing energy to fight Putin is just like digging for victory to fight Hitler, and – just as I predicted – would also be good for the planet: “During the Second World War, victory demanded more oil […] In the wars dominating the globe today — Putin’s land grab in Ukraine, and the global land grab caused by rising sea levels and spreading deserts — victory demands getting off fossil fuels as fast as we possibly can.” It even hints at a quasi-lockdown – this time for the sake of beating Putin and combating climate change: “Everyone who can work from home could continue to do so, at least on, say, Mondays, knocking a day off the national commute. Carpools could be organized, taking special advantage of the fact that there are now two million electric cars on the road. More bike paths could be made available, and, when air-conditioning season begins, Americans could turn their thermostats up a degree.”

Remember lockdowns were marketed as planet-saving almost from the moment they were put in place, despite it making almost zero sense. The agenda was pretty obvious right from the start. It’s interesting that “operation thermostat” should be announced on April 22nd – Earth Day – despite having zero to do with climate change. It’s also noteworthy that climate protests groups have piggy-backed on the idea to call for an EU-wide boycott of Russia’s fossil fuels.

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Left field?!

1788. China to Make Electric Tumbrils (Reed)

The media, a salt mine in which I once labored, are an embarrassment, utterly partisan, ranting and howling about Russia. OK, in war it is usual to cut the public off from information and to keep them stirred up with accounts of rape, human shield, “genocide,” chemical war, massacres, torture, a rule of television being to get a woman to cry and fill the frame. In Vietnam the media ran all over the country and actually reported what was happening, which eventually ended the war. This error is not being repeated. {what bothers me is the apparent lack of curiosity, of doubt of official sources. Contrary to belief in some quarters, reporters are not given orders to adopt a particular point of view, though they know better than to contradict the publication’s line. No scribbler at the Washington Post will discuss racial differences in intelligence. But they are herd animals.}

Violeta, whose cynicism toward government—anybody’s government—would peel paint from a wall, watched a video clip purportedly of a Russian tank crushing a car occupied by Ukrainians. She noticed after research that the Russian tank was black without markings, like Ukrainian tanks, instead of green with markings, like all other Russian tanks. OK, maybe it was an undercover Russian tank. She also noticed in some of the Russian-destruction video, street signs are blurred out. Uh…, why dat? Anyone want to guess? Why do reporters not pay attention? First, again, they are creatures of the pack. They live in the Beltway Terrarium, talk to each other, read each other, and so know they are right. Don’t their colleagues all say so?

Second, they are painfully ignorant of matters military, knowing chiefly the bureaucracies involved in policy, contracting, and so on. This includes those for the WaPo, whom I knew—Gerge Wilson, Molly Moore, etc. [..] Why did Russia attack? Anyone who can read a map can see that since 1991 the US has been trying, with considerable success, to encircle Russia militarily. Russia has said over and over that it was not going to have American missiles on its border in the Ukraine any more than America would allow Chinese missiles in Tijuana. I encountered no one in DC who had even heard of this, though it has been going on for years. This is journalism? Yes.

All things end, except those that don’t. On a cold rainy predawn morning we caught an Uber to Reagan National, returning to a country that has just left the Third World to one energetically returning to it. A stewardess aboard read the boilerplate about have a wonderful flight. She didn’t explain just how that laudable goal might be achieved. Remember, cometh the guillotine. Kachunk. Kachunk. Kachun.

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“Africa’s vaccination rate remain the most dismal. Fewer than 17 percent of Africans have received a primary Covid immunization.”

The Drive to Vaccinate the World Against Covid Is Losing Steam (NYT)

Countries in different parts of the world, including some in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, have seen their vaccination rates stagnate in recent months at a third or less of their populations. But Africa’s vaccination rate remain the most dismal. Fewer than 17 percent of Africans have received a primary Covid immunization. Nearly half of the vaccine doses delivered to the continent thus far have gone unused. Last month, the number of doses injected on the continent fell by 35 percent compared to February. W.H.O. officials attributed the drop to mass vaccination pushes being replaced by smaller-scale campaigns in several countries. Some global health experts say the world missed a prime opportunity last year to provide vaccines to lower-income countries, when the public was more fearful of Covid and motivated to get vaccinated.

“There was a time people were very desperate to get vaccinated, but the vaccines were not there. And then they realized that without the vaccination, they didn’t die,” said Dr. Adewole, who wants to see countries continue to pursue the 70 percent target. What momentum remains in the global vaccination campaign has been hindered by a shortfall in funding for the equipment, transportation and personnel needed to get shots into arms. In the United States, a key funder of the vaccination effort, lawmakers stripped $5 billion meant for global pandemic aid from the coronavirus response package that is expected to come up for a vote in the next few weeks. Biden administration officials have said that without the funds, they will be unable to provide support for vaccine delivery to more than 20 under-vaccinated countries.

Some public health experts point to reasons for optimism that the global vaccination campaign still has steam. Despite the drop off from the February peak, the number of Covid vaccinations being administered each day in Africa is still near a pandemic high. And Gavi earlier this month drew a significant new round of funding pledges, securing $4.8 billion in commitments, although it fell short of its $5.2 billion goal. There is also hope that a global Covid summit the White House plans to co-host next month could be an opportunity to generate momentum and funding. But the drop in public demand has led some health officials and experts to quietly, and in some cases outright, question whether the 70 percent vaccination target is feasible or even sensible.

WHO

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Should anyone at all have been given any hardly tested substances at all?

Have People Been Given the Wrong Vaccine? (Kulldorff)

Randomized controlled trials show all-cause mortality reduction from the Covid adenovirus-vector vaccines (RR=0.37, 95 percentCI: 0.19-0.70) but not from the mRNA vaccines (RR=1.03, 95 percentCI 0.63-1.71). That is the verdict from a new Danish study by Dr. Christine Benn and colleagues. Have people been given vaccines that don’t work (Pfizer/Moderna) instead of vaccines that do work (AstraZeneca/Johnson & Johnson)? Let’s put this study into context and then delve into the numbers. In medicine, the gold standard for evidence is randomized controlled trials (RCT), as they avoid study bias for or against the vaccine. Moreover, the key outcome is death. Do these vaccines save lives? Hence, the Danish study answers the right question with the right data. It is the first study to do so.

When the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that decision was based on RCTs. The RCTs submitted to the FDA showed that the vaccines reduce symptomatic Covid infections. By recruiting mostly younger and middle-aged adults, who are unlikely to die from Covid no matter what, the studies were not designed to determine whether the vaccines also reduce mortality. That was assumed as a corollary, although it may or may not be true. Neither were the RCTs designed to determine whether the vaccines reduce transmission, but that is a different story for another time. The vaccines were developed for Covid, but to properly evaluate a vaccine, we must look at non-Covid deaths as well.

Are there unintended adverse reactions leading to death? We do not want a vaccine that saves the lives of some people but kills an equal number of other people. There may also be unintended benefits, such as incidental protection against other infections. For a fair comparison, that should also be part of the equation. While each individual RCT was unable to determine whether the Covid vaccine reduced mortality, the RCTs recorded all deaths, and to increase sample size, the Danish study pooled multiple RCTs. There are two different types of Covid vaccines, adenovirus-vector vaccines (AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik) and mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), and they did one pooled analysis for each type. Here are the results:

There is clear evidence that the adenovirus-vector vaccines reduced mortality. For every 100 deaths in the unvaccinated, there are only 37 deaths among the vaccinated, with a 95 percent confidence interval of 19 to 70 deaths. This result comes from five different RCTs for three different vaccines, but it is primarily driven by the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. For the mRNA vaccines, on the other hand, there was no evidence of a mortality reduction. For every 100 deaths among the unvaccinated, there are 103 deaths among the vaccinated, with a 95 percent confidence interval of 63 to 171 deaths. That is, the mRNA vaccines may reduce mortality a little bit, or they may increase it; we do not know. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines contributed equally to this result, so there is no evidence that one is better or worse than the other.

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1 in 27 dies.

“..with 100M people vaccinated in the United States, there have been almost four million deaths and millions beset with life-altering injuries.”

Pfizer Docs: 3.7% Death Rate From Vaccine, Many More Serious Injuries (EV)

According to documents released through court order, 3.7% of the cases Pfizer looked at for ‘adverse events’ died, and Pfizer prevented all the data being released – so at this time it is impossible to tell the exact death rate – the bottom line is this is a mass murder event. Dr. Naomi Wolf has been going through the tens of thousands of pages of documents a Federal court forced Pfizer to release from its FDA submission for Covid-19 mRNA vaccine approval. She released the data on War Room Pandemic this morning.


Shockingly, the initial data showed a death rate of 3.7% with a much higher rate of serious injury. In other words, with 100M people vaccinated in the United States, there have been almost four million deaths and millions beset with life-altering injuries. The amount of vaccines shipped by Pfizer was redacted in the documents. This is the government, Pfizer, and the CCP working to commit mass murder against the America people. There is no denying this now.

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“In certain areas of the country almost twice as many people are dying than what we would expect in those young ages and it’s not COVID.“

Dissecting Canada’s All-cause Mortality (Rebel)

All-cause mortality data for 2021 is starting to trickle out in Canada and it’s showing some concerning trends. Accidental COVID data analyst and financial investor Kelly Brown has been a leader in analyzing official Government COVID data for the better part of two years. He began sounding the alarm bells on the post-vaccination myocarditis risk in young males and has continued this unpaid work ever since. After discovering loopholes in the government messaging and clear indications of harm using Governments’ own data, Kelly now finds himself doing deep dives into other statistical analyses. Using data published by Canada’s national statistics office, Statistics Canada, Kelly has dissected all-cause mortality and excess mortality. He notes that Alberta (AB) and British Columbia (BC) have the most robust data and it shows that the actual number of excess deaths exceeds the predicable baseline by nearly double!


Referring to this as a “tsunami of death” as deaths in BC and AB exceed expected levels by nearly 70%. Using historical averages, Kelly can only explain approximately 30-50% of these deaths by drug overdose. After a rapid acceleration in July 2021, the 0-44 age group saw a catastrophic 25% weekly excess death rate for approximately three months that “cannot be explained by suicides, overdoses, cancers, etc.” When referring to this chart that overlays daily doses (either 1st or 2nd) with excess mortality, Kelly asserts that it not up to us to investigate this looming safety signal, “there’s something at play here that Public Health needs to investigate. This is a real public health emergency. In certain areas of the country almost twice as many people are dying than what we would expect in those young ages and it’s not COVID.”

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These studies come far too late.

Covid Vaccines Increase Risk of Severe Heart Inflammation Up to 120-Fold (DS)

Covid vaccination increases the risk of severe heart inflammation up to 120-fold, a major study from Scandinavia published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has found. The study looked at over 23 million patient records covering the over-12s populations of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden from the start of the vaccine rollout in December 2020 to October 5th 2021. For young males aged 16-24 years within 28 days of a second dose the study found severe myocarditis (requiring inpatient hospital admission) around five times more common after Pfizer and 14 times more common after Moderna.


This corresponded to six events per 100,000 people after Pfizer and 18 events per 100,000 after Moderna. A second dose of Moderna given after a first dose of Pfizer came with even higher risk: a 36-fold increased risk, corresponding to 27 events per 100,000 people. The Moderna vaccine has three times the dose of mRNA of the Pfizer vaccine, which the authors suggest lies behind the increased risk. One oddity is that the study can’t seem to decide how many severe myocarditis events there actually were in total. In Table 2 below, in the left hand column, it indicates there were 85 + 34 + 53 = 172 events following a second dose.

In the text, however, it says: “During the 28-day risk period, we observed 105 myocarditis cases following administration of the first dose of BNT162b2 [Pfizer] and 115 myocarditis cases following the second dose. We also observed 15 myocarditis cases following administration of the first dose of mRNA-1273 [Moderna] and 60 myocarditis cases following the second dose.” That gives 115 + 60 = 175 events following the second dose. Yet lower down we get a third figure: “Of the 213 myocarditis cases in the 28-day risk window after a second dose of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination, 135 events occurred within the first week.” So how many cases of severe myocarditis were there within 28 days of a second mRNA vaccine dose – 172, 175 or 213?


Using the larger figure, the authors observe that with 135 of 213 occurring within the first week – more than half – the risk in that week is greatly elevated. Among males aged 16 to 24 years, the risk was around 13-fold greater during the week after a second dose of Pfizer and 38-fold greater after a second dose of Moderna. For a second dose of Moderna where the first dose was Pfizer the risk was 120-fold greater.

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Ali

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philantrophy


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Apr 212022
 


Juan Gris Portrait of Pablo Picasso 1912

 

Russia Test Fires ‘Satan 2’ Missile Amid Ukraine War (Celente)
Zelensky: If Ukraine Had Access To More Weapons, War Would Already Be Won (NYP)
NATO Is Invalid And The Nations In It Deserve What They Get (Denninger)
Jeremy Corbyn Calls For End To NATO To Bring World Peace (GBNews)
Red Cross Denies Kyiv’s Accusation Of Working ‘In Concert’ With Moscow (Y!)
Chinese Defense Minister Warns Pentagon Chief In 1st Call (ZH)
Former Intel Officials Want Efforts to Break Up Big Tech Stopped (CTH)
Democrats Sicced The CIA On Their Domestic Enemy, The President (Fed.)
Sussmann Doesn’t Want Clinton Tweet Admitted in Durham Case (ET)
‘Horrifying Amount Of Information’ Recovered From Biden Laptop (OAN)
Inside The New Right (Vanity Fair)
Le Pen, Macron In Bitter Clash Ahead Of Tight French Election (Y!)
US Mortgage Interest Rates Reach a 12 Year High (R.)
Assange Extradition Order Sent to Priti Patel (Lauria)
Dark Day For Press Freedom As UK Court Orders Assange Extradition (Gosztola)

 

 

Russia appears to have “liberated” Mariupol, but not -yet- the Azovstal complex.

 

 

 

 

Matt Walsh: pre-mummification

 

 

Imran Khan

 

 

“Sarmat could carry a payload capable of wiping out a landmass “the size of Texas or France..”

Russia Test Fires ‘Satan 2’ Missile Amid Ukraine War (Celente)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday the successful test launch of its new Sarmat superheavy Intercontinental Ballistic Missile that can reportedly deploy 10 or more nuclear warheads on each missile. Putin used the launch as a warning for “external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country,” Reuters reported. Western analysts have called the missile “Satan 2.” The design is intended to evade anti-missile systems and can reportedly hit any target on earth. The missile was called the world’s most powerful and with the longest range. The missile was launched from Plesetsk cosmodrome, in Russia’s northwest, and traveled about 3,2000 miles to the Kamchatka peninsula.

In 2018, Putin said the Sarmat would render even to most advanced missile systems useless. “No kind of, not even future missile defense systems will offer any trouble to the Russian rocket complex, Sarmat.” The Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Index of U.S. Military Strength said “Russia remains the primary threat to American interests in Europe and is the most pressing threat to the United States,” describing Russia as “aggressive in its behavior and formidable in its growing capabilities.” Congressional Research Service wrote on 21 March 2022: “Relations between the United States and Russia have shifted over time—sometimes reassuring and sometimes concerning—yet most experts agree that Russia is the only nation that poses, through its arsenal of nuclear weapons, an existential threat to the United States.”


“Reports indicate that the next-generation Sarmat can carry up to 15 warheads, along with penetration aids, and potentially several Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles. Russia began testing the Sarmat missile in 2016. Putin noted that Sarmat could attack targets by flying over both the North and South Poles, evading detection by radars seeking missiles flying in an expected trajectory over the North Pole. Sarmat could carry a payload capable of wiping out a landmass “the size of Texas or France,” according to a report by the Kremlin-aligned Sputnik news agency.” -CNBC

ICBM

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Peacemaker.

Zelensky: If Ukraine Had Access To More Weapons, War Would Already Be Won (NYP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he believes the war against Russia would have already been won if Western allies including the US and NATO had sent more weapons to arm Ukraine. “If we had access to all the weapons we need, which our partners have and which are comparable to the weapons used by the Russian Federation, we would have already ended this war,” Zelensky said in a video address Tuesday evening, the Times of London reported. “We would have already restored peace and liberated our territory from the occupiers, because the superiority of the Ukrainian military in tactics and wisdom is quite obvious.”

Since the invasion began on Feb. 24, Zelensky has repeatedly asked the US and NATO for increased military aid and action, such as imposing a no-fly-zone over Ukraine — a move Western nations have avoided taking. Instead, the US in particular has repeatedly imposed sanctions against varying Russian oligarchs, businesses, banks, as well as President Vladimir Putin and members of his family. President Biden has also offered up packages of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, most recently approving an $800 million package last week — which includes helicopters, artillery and ammunition.

Still, Zelensky is looking for the West to do more. “It is unfair that Ukraine is still forced to ask for what its partners have been storing somewhere for years. If they have the weapons that Ukraine needs here, need more, if they have the ammunition that we need here and now, it is their moral duty first of all, to help protect freedom,” he said. “Help save the lives of thousands of Ukrainians.” Zelensky went on to claim that any delay in additional aid “gives the occupiers an opportunity to kill more Ukrainians.” Leading up to the invasion and since it began, the Biden administration has been slammed by Republicans and Democrats alike for not supplying Ukraine with more military aid, such as MiG-29 jet fighters.

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“..each and every nation at this time that has in any way violated the above provisions, which includes the United States, is not entitled under its provisions to anything..”

NATO Is Invalid And The Nations In It Deserve What They Get (Denninger)

Everyone wishes to argue “Article 5” of the NATO treaty, which is the mutual-defense pact. You get attacked and we all get attacked. Ok. What does Article I say? “The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.” Shipping arms into an area where armed conflict is either occurring or threatening to occur, where the destination is NOT a NATO member and thus is NOT subject to NATO’s mutual defense obligations is a clear violation of Article I. It is escalatory, it is a threat to use force or enables the actual use of force, and thus is a clear violation of Article I.

How about Article 8? “Each Party declares that none of the international engagements now in force between it and any other of the Parties or any third State is in conflict with the provisions of this Treaty, and undertakes not to enter into any international engagement in conflict with this Treaty.” Providing arms to a belligerent not a member of NATO violates this provision in that it can cause a mutual defense obligation to arise that would otherwise not. Therefore NATO members are obligated to stay out of non-member conflicts except with the unanimous consent of all members. Intervening in a non-member’s conflict, in short, by other than unanimous consent is a violation of the treaty.

How about Article 11? “This Treaty shall be ratified and its provisions carried out by the Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited as soon as possible with the Government of the United States of America, which will notify all the other signatories of each deposit. The Treaty shall enter into force between the States which have ratified it as soon as the ratifications of the majority of the signatories, including the ratifications of Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, have been deposited and shall come into effect with respect to other States on the date of the deposit of their ratifications. (3)”

For the United States to engage in the elements of a proxy war, which it did at Maidan and now through the provision of arms without a declaration of said war by Congress is a direct violation of the US Constitution and thus a violation of the treaty. Fraud vitiates all agreements. Therefore no nation is obligated under any other provision of the NATO Treaty and each and every nation at this time that has in any way violated the above provisions, which includes the United States, is not entitled under its provisions to anything, including mutual defense under Article 5.

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Stating the obvious, which is disappearing at the horizon.

Jeremy Corbyn Calls For End To NATO To Bring World Peace (GBNews)

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has suggested military alliances like Nato could build up “greater danger” in the world and should ultimately be disbanded. Mr Corbyn acknowledged the transatlantic alliance was not going to be scrapped immediately but added that people should “look at the process that could happen at the end of the Ukraine war”. He said he did not blame NATO for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine but questioned: “Do military alliances bring peace?” The Islington North MP said he wanted to see “some kind of much deeper security discussion, as indeed Nato was having a security discussion with Russia until last year”.


Mr Corbyn, a long-standing critic of NATO, told Times Radio: “I would want to see a world where we start to ultimately disband all military alliances. “The issue has to be what’s the best way of bringing about peace in the future? Is it by more alliances? Is it by more military build-up? “Or is it by stopping the war in Ukraine and the other wars… that are going on at the present time, which are also killing a very large number of people? “And ask yourself the question, do military alliances bring peace? Or do they actually encourage each other and build up to a greater danger? “I don’t blame NATO for the fact that Russia has invaded Ukraine, what I say is look at the thing historically, and look at the process that could happen at the end of the Ukraine war.”

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Yeah, why not blame them too?!

Red Cross Denies Kyiv’s Accusation Of Working ‘In Concert’ With Moscow (Y!)

A senior Kyiv official on Wednesday accused the International Committee of the Red Cross of working “in concert” with Russia in Ukraine, a charge the organisation denied. Ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denisova decried ICRC’s announcement last month that it was planning to open a branch in Russia’s southern Rostov region to help Ukrainian refugees, who, Kyiv says, have been forcibly deported to Russia. “The International Red Cross is not fulfilling its mandate, I am certain of that,” Denisova said on Ukrainian television Wednesday after meeting with the head of the ICRC’s Ukrainian branch. Citing data from the United Nations, Denisova said that some 550,000 Ukrainians, including 121,000 children, have been taken to Russia during the course of the war, but Kyiv has no information on who these people are and where they are being kept.


“Where are they? In filtration camps? In temporary facilities?” Denisova asked. The official said she had asked both her Russian counterpart Tatyana Moskalkova and the ICRC for help in getting information on these refugees so that Ukraine could facilitate their return home, but had received “zero answer from her or from the Red Cross”. Asked by the TV anchor whether Denisova suspected that the Red Cross was working “in concert” with Russia, Denisova replied: “Yes, I suspect they are.” The ICRC strongly rejected Kyiv’s accusations. “The ICRC does not ever help organize or carry out forced evacuations. We would not support any operation that would go against people’s will and international law,” the organisation said in a statement to AFP.

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The global balance is shifting.

Chinese Defense Minister Warns Pentagon Chief In 1st Call (ZH)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held a call with his Chinese counterpart, Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, wherein Wei conveyed a warning that no one can change Taiwan’s status as part of China. The Wednesday phone call was the first that the two defense leaders have held. Wei informed Austin that “If the Taiwan issue were not handled properly, it would have a damaging impact on Sino-US relations,” according to Reuters. The call was intended as a follow-up between last month’s virtual meeting between presidents Biden and Xi, wherein Biden warned over China’s deepening cooperation with Russia it executes its war against Ukraine.

A Pentagon official later said the Austin emphasized that the US will continue to adhere to the ‘One China’ status quo policy, which is the typical response from Washington officials anytime Beijing warns over US officials stoking the pro-independence movement on the democratic-run island. Chinese state-run English language Global Times further described the importance of the call as one of Beijing conveying its unwavering resolve to Washington on the Taiwan issue. GT writes that Wei stressed “the importance of the Taiwan question, while demanding the US to stop its military provocations at sea, and not to throw mud or threaten China with the Ukraine issue.”

Further, “Wei stated a solemn position over the Taiwan question, as he stressed that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and this is a fact and a status quo no one can change.” Without doubt part of the “provocations” Beijing has in mind is that the US has been increasingly sending high-level officials to Taipei. In the latest example, just a week ago: “A delegation of United States lawmakers led by vocal China critics Bob Menendez and Lindsey Graham arrived in Taiwan on Thursday for a two-day trip as Beijing threatened “strong measures” in response. The group of six US legislators is making the latest in a string of visits by foreign politicians to Taiwan in defiance of Beijing’s efforts to isolate the island nation.”

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“The scale of simultaneous user data-processing is not financially viable without the U.S government subsidizing it.”

Former Intel Officials Want Efforts to Break Up Big Tech Stopped (CTH)

Of course, the Fourth Branch of Government would want to get the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence involved. The SSCI created all of the mechanisms to facilitate the existence of the Fourth Branch of Government. However, I would take the issue deeper…. and ask readers to see what really worries the intelligence apparatus about the potential breakup of Big Tech. These are the intelligence people who constructed the model for Jack’s Magic Coffee Shop. This public-private partnership between the cyber division of the intelligence apparatus and Big Tech social media is where the free coffee comes from. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and even Google itself, are financially and operationally dependent on the scale of the data processing system that is run by the U.S. government.

The capacity of each of the big social media companies to exist, operate and be financially viable, is dependent on the backbone of interconnected data networking, and massive data processing. The scale of simultaneous user data-processing is not financially viable without the U.S government subsidizing it. That’s the free coffee that cannot be duplicated in the private sector by any competing social media company. That’s the cost and scale system behind the partnership that permits Big Tech to operate. Ultimately, this is what the intelligence apparatus needs to keep hidden from the American (and global) public. The biggest of the Big DATA processing is done through a public-private collaboration between Big Tech and Big Government/Intel.

Any private sector entity who attempts to create, or duplicate the scale of social media runs into this cost issue. It is just too expensive to operate a competing coffee shop without the free coffee. That’s why the coffee providers are lined up against Elon Musk’s attempt to buy Twitter. The ramifications of the public discovering Facebook and Twitter social media are only possible with subsidy from government tech architecture are massive. Essentially, the U.S. government is in control of our social media networking.

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Always found this a very weird story.

“This data, Sussmann claimed, “demonstrated that Trump and/or his associates were using supposedly rare, Russian-made wireless phones in the vicinity of the White House and other locations.”

Democrats Sicced The CIA On Their Domestic Enemy, The President (Fed.)

Newly released CIA memoranda suggest the tech gurus behind the Alfa Bank hoax also tracked Donald Trump’s movements to devise another collusion conspiracy theory. While smaller in scale than other aspects of Spygate, the Yotaphone hoax represents an equally serious scandal because it involved both the mining of proprietary information and sensitive data from the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and the apparent surveillance of Trump’s physical movements. When Special Counsel John Durham charged former Hillary Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann in September 2021, the indictment focused on the Alfa Bank hoax that Sussmann, tech executive Rodney Joffe, and other cybersecurity experts had crafted. The indictment detailed how Joffe and other tech experts had allegedly mined data and developed “white papers” that deceptively created the impression that Trump had maintained a secret communication network with the Russia-based Alfa Bank.

Then, allegedly on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Joffe, Sussmann provided the Alfa Bank material to the media and to the FBI’s general counsel at the time, James Baker, with Sussmann falsely telling Baker he was sharing the “intel” on his own and not on behalf of any client. That alleged lie formed the basis for the one count, Section 1001 false statement charge against Sussmann. The 27-page indictment, however, also spoke of Sussmann sharing “updated allegations” on February 9, 2017, to another U.S. government agency, namely the CIA, while allegedly repeating the same false claim that he was not sharing the “intel” on behalf of any client. From the framing of the indictment, it appeared that what Sussmann had shared with the CIA concerned the same Alfa-Bank data provided to the FBI several months earlier, albeit updated.

But then two months ago, as part of the government’s “Motion to Inquire Into Potential Conflicts of Interest,” Durham’s team revealed for the first time that when Sussmann met with the CIA in early 2017, he provided agents with internet data beyond the Alfa Bank conspiracy theory. This data, Sussmann claimed, “demonstrated that Trump and/or his associates were using supposedly rare, Russian-made wireless phones in the vicinity of the White House and other locations.” The “supposedly rare, Russian-made wireless phones” were “Yotaphones.” Following Durham’s filing of the conflicts of interest motion, it appeared Sussmann bore responsibility for peddling a second conspiracy theory to the CIA. But the details contained in the government’s motion proved insufficient to understand the Yotaphone angle to Spygate. That all changed on Friday, when the special counsel filed two CIA memoranda memorializing what Sussmann said about the Yotaphones and the data Joffe and his tech experts had compiled.

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“On Oct. 31, 2016, Clinton wrote on Twitter: “Donald Trump has a secret server … It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank.”

Sussmann Doesn’t Want Clinton Tweet Admitted in Durham Case (ET)

The lawyer charged with hiding his work for the Clinton campaign from the FBI filed a motion requesting that special counsel John Durham not be able to use a Hillary Clinton Twitter post that made reference to alleged Trump–Russia collusion claims. Durham wrote last week that he wanted an October 2016 Twitter post from the Clinton campaign that promoted an allegation that there was a secret backchannel between the Trump Organization and a Russian bank. The campaign’s lawyer, Michael Sussmann, was charged last year with lying to the FBI by allegedly stating that he wasn’t working on behalf of any client when he pushed the Trump-Russian bank claim to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker.

On Oct. 31, 2016, Clinton wrote on Twitter: “Donald Trump has a secret server … It was set up to communicate privately with a Putin-tied Russian bank.” She later wrote that “computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.” The claims about the alleged secret backchannel between the bank, reportedly identified as Alfa Bank, and former President Donald Trump’s business were ultimately refuted by the FBI. Durham also sought to preserve a Twitter post from Clinton’s campaign that included a lengthy statement from former adviser Jake Sullivan, who now works as President Joe Biden’s national security adviser. “This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow,” Sullivan claimed. “This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia.”

Last week, Durham argued that these Twitter posts are material because Sussmann “had communicated with the media and provided them with the Russian Bank-1 data and allegations” before articles on the claims were published. He also kept Clinton campaign staff “apprised of his efforts” while they “communicated with the Clinton Campaign’s leadership about potential media coverage of these issues.” But Sussmann’s lawyers over the past weekend, in court, wrote that the Clinton campaign’s Twitter posts about the matter, including the Sullivan one, should not be preserved for Sussmann’s trial. “The Tweet, which was posted on October 31, 2016, does not reveal anything about Mr. Sussmann’s state of mind over a month earlier, when he purportedly made the alleged false statement,” his attorneys wrote. “There is no evidence that Mr. Sussmann’s meeting with Mr. Baker had anything to do with the Clinton Campaign’s broader media strategy.”

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How nervous are they?

‘Horrifying Amount Of Information’ Recovered From Biden Laptop (OAN)

Journalist and whistleblower Jack Maxey says he may have recovered “a horrifying amount of information” previously thought to have been erased from Hunter Biden’s laptop. One America’s John Hines has more from Washington.

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Action, re-action.

Inside The New Right (Vanity Fair)

NatCon, as this conference is known, has grown into a big-tent gathering for a whole range of people who want to push the American right in a more economically populist, culturally conservative, assertively nationalist direction. It draws everyone from Israel hawks to fusty paleocon professors to mainstream figures like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. But most of the media attention that the conference attracts focuses on a cohort of rosy young blazer-wearing activists and writers—a crop of people representing the American right’s “radical young intellectuals,” as a headline in The New Republic would soon put it, or conservatism’s “terrifying future,” as David Brooks called them in The Atlantic.

But the people these pieces describe, who made up most of the partygoers around me, were only the most buttoned-up seam of a much larger and stranger political ferment, burbling up mainly within America’s young and well-educated elite, part of an intra-media class info-war. The podcasters, bro-ish anonymous Twitter posters, online philosophers, artists, and amorphous scenesters in this world are variously known as “dissidents,” “neo-reactionaries,” “post-leftists,” or the “heterodox” fringe—though they’re all often grouped for convenience under the heading of America’s New Right. They have a wildly diverse set of political backgrounds, with influences ranging from 17th-century Jacobite royalists to Marxist cultural critics to so-called reactionary feminists to the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, whom they sometimes refer to with semi-ironic affection as Uncle Ted.

Which is to say that this New Right is not a part of the conservative movement as most people in America would understand it. It’s better described as a tangled set of frameworks for critiquing the systems of power and propaganda that most people reading this probably think of as “the way the world is.” And one point shapes all of it: It is a project to overthrow the thrust of progress, at least such as liberals understand the word. This worldview, these worldviews, run counter to the American narrative of the last century—that economic growth and technological innovation are inevitably leading us toward a better future. It’s a position that has become quietly edgy and cool in new tech outposts like Miami and Austin, and in downtown Manhattan, where New Right–ish politics are in, and signifiers like a demure cross necklace have become markers of a transgressive chic. No one is leading this movement, but it does have key figures.

One is Peter Thiel, the billionaire who helped fund NatCon and who had just given the conference’s opening address. Thiel has also funded things like the edgelordy and post-left–inflected New People’s Cinema film festival, which ended its weeklong run of parties and screenings in Manhattan just a few days before NatCon began. He’s long been a big donor to Republican political candidates, but in recent years Thiel has grown increasingly involved in the politics of this younger and weirder world—becoming something like a nefarious godfather or a genial rich uncle, depending on your perspective. Podcasters and art-world figures now joke about their hope to get so-called Thielbucks. His most significant recent outlays have been to two young Senate candidates who are deeply enmeshed in this scene and influenced by its intellectual currents: Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, running for the Republican nomination in Ohio, and Blake Masters in Arizona.

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Doesn’t feel bitter.

Le Pen, Macron In Bitter Clash Ahead Of Tight French Election (Y!)

French President Emmanuel Macron and far-right rival Marine Le Pen on Wednesday clashed bitterly over relations with Russia and the Islamic headscarf as they sought to sway undecided voters in an acrimonious debate four days ahead of presidential elections. France faces a stark choice in Sunday’s second-round run-off between the centrist Macron and the anti-immigration Le Pen, who will seek to become the country’s first far-right head of state in an outcome that would send shockwaves around Europe. There was little cordiality in the bruising three-hour live televised debate, with Macron repeatedly seeking to land punches on Le Pen over her record, while she sought to keep the focus on the government’s performance.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine overshadowing the campaign, Macron angrily zeroed in on a loan Le Pen’s party had taken from a Czech-Russian bank ahead of her 2017 election campaign. “You are dependent on the Russian government and you are dependent on Mr (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” Macron said. “When you speak to Russia you are speaking to your banker.” Macron also referred to Le Pen’s past recognition of Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. “Why did you do this?” he asked. Le Pen replied that she was “an absolutely and totally free woman”, arguing that her party had only taken that loan as it could not find financing in France where banks refused to lend to her.

Macron adopted a variety of poses to express scepticism at her arguments, raising his eyebrows, leaning his chin on his fists and lamenting in apparent bewilderment “Madame Le Pen… Madame Le Pen!” The most explosive clash came when Le Pen confirmed she was sticking to her controversial policy of banning the wearing of the Islamic headscarf by women in public, describing it as a “uniform imposed by Islamists”. Macron responded: “You are going to cause a civil war if you do that. I say this sincerely.”

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How long until the entire housing market goes poof?

US Mortgage Interest Rates Reach a 12 Year High (R.)

The average interest rate on the most popular U.S. home loan climbed to a 12 year high last week and fewer homebuyers sought properties in a sign that the Federal Reserve’s aim of cooling the housing market may be beginning to have an impact, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) showed on Wednesday. The average contract rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 5.20% in the week ended April 15 from 5.13% a week earlier, the MBA survey showed. It has risen 2 percentage points from one year ago.


The bulk of the run up, however, has occurred since the start of the year, causing the fastest climb in home-financing costs in decades as the Fed abandoned a cautious approach to raising its benchmark overnight lending rate in favor of swifter and more decisive action to bring down persistently high inflation. The central bank is also set to decide at its next meeting on May 3-4 to begin reducing its portfolio of $8.5 trillion of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, a stash of assets that had helped keep consumer borrowing costs – for mortgages in particular – low throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Those expectations for Fed tightening actions have led to a surge in Treasury yields as financial markets reacted. The yield on the 10-year note US10YT=RR, which acts as a benchmark for mortgage rates, is at its highest level since 2018.

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Who cares about the law when they are in power?

Assange Extradition Order Sent to Priti Patel (Lauria)

An order to extradite WikiLeaks‘ publisher Julian Assange was sent to British Home Secretary Priti Patel on Wednesday morning by Westminster Magistrate’s Court. The order came after the U.K. Supreme Court last month declined to hear Assange’s appeal of a High Court decision to allow the extradition to the United States to proceed. Patel now has four weeks to decide whether to send Assange to the U.S. to face espionage and computer intrusion charges for publishing prima facie evidence of U.S. war crimes that could land him behind bars for up to 175 years — an effective life sentence. Assange’s legal team can appeal to Patel during the next four weeks. After her decision is made Assange can then make a renewed appeal to the High Court if she opts to send him to the U.S.

Mark Summers QC, one of Assange’s lawyers, told Westminster Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, that while he was not permitted by rule to present “fresh evidence” at the present hearing, Assange’s legal team would make submissions to Patel on “fresh developments” in Assange’s case. Without elaborating, Summers said Patel would be sent “serious submissions on U.S. sentencing practices.” Among the new developments since the High Court hearing in October is a deterioration in Assange’s health after he suffered a mini stroke on the first day of that hearing. Assange initially won his extradition case in the magistrate’s court in January 2021 based on the high likelihood that his mental health would lead to his suicide in harsh prison conditions in the United States.

After the case was lost, the U.S. made diplomatic “assurances” to Britain that it would not put Assange in so-called Special Administrative Measures (SAMS), the most severe condition of isolation in the U.S. prison system. The U.S. also promised that Assange would be given adequate physical and mental health care. The U.S. then appealed. Based on those assurances alone, the High Court on Dec. 10, 2021 overturned the lower court’s decision to block extradition. But that decision was made after Assange had suffered a stroke during the first day of the two-day High Court hearing. The stroke was not made public until the day after the ruling.

That markedly changed the conditions upon which the decision was reached as one of the High Court judges made the distinction during the hearing that Assange was suffering only from a mental and not physical disability. The crucial question remains: when did the High Court learn about the stroke? If Patel decides to extradite and if Assange decides to appeal again to the High Court, his lawyers could also challenge parts of the lower court’s ruling on issues of press freedom and the political nature of the U.S. charges, which are not allowed in the U.S.-U.K. extradition treaty.

Not nearly enough people outside the court

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The threat appears much wider than just press freedom.

Dark Day For Press Freedom As UK Court Orders Assange Extradition (Gosztola)

While the defense for Assange objected to District Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s ruling on January 4, 2021, particularly as it related to issues of press freedom, they never had an appropriate opportunity to raise their objections. She denied the extradition request after determining it would be “oppressive” for mental health reasons. His attorneys would likely challenge many of Baraitser’s conclusions about Assange if Patel allowed the request. (Note: Baraitser is no longer a district judge at the Westminster Magistrates Court.) Assange is detained at Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh. He faces 18 charges brought against him by the US Justice Department, 17 of which are under the Espionage Act. All the charges relate to documents WikiLeaks released in 2010 and 2011, which were provided by US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

The prosecution makes Assange the first publisher to be charged under the 1917 law, and globally the case has been condemned by virtually all reputable civil liberties, human rights, and press freedom organizations. Patel and the Home Office support an expansion of the Official Secrets Laws in the UK, which Elmaazi reported “would expand possible imprisonment for leakers, recipients of leaks and secondary publishers–including journalists–from the current maximum of two years to as high as 14 years in prison.” The Home Office contends there is no longer much of a difference between “espionage and the most serious unauthorized disclosures.” That includes what Patel would call “onward disclosure.” The department treats journalism as an act capable of “far more serious damage” than traditional espionage.

In the UK, the Office for Security and Counterterrorism is a part of the Home Office. The division is responsible for MI5 (Britain’s FBI) and anti-terrorism police operations. Operation Pelican, the name for the pressure campaign to force Assange out of the Ecuador embassy in London, was supported by the Home Office. But as Declassified UK chief investigator Matt Kennard noted, the Home Office claims it does not “hold” any records containing details related to the operation, even though eight officials from the department were involved. Kennard also reported that Patel was on the advisory council for a right-wing group linked to the CIA called the Henry Jackson Society, which has attacked Assange in the press for over a decade.

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Calvin gets 25c

 

 

 

 

Name this band

 

 

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