Feb 142024
 
 February 14, 2024  Posted by at 9:41 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Acrobat 1930

 

The Nuts And Bolts Of Replacing Candidate Biden, Before/After Convention (ZH)
Biden Age a ‘Legitimate Issue’ – Hillary Clinton (RT)
Biden And Trump Trying To Hide Their Age – Mitt Romney (RT)
Can Biden Be Removed Under the 25th Amendment? Don’t Bet on It (Turley)
The Absurd Border Con (Victor Davis Hanson)
The One Border Question Dems Can’t Answer (Miele)
House Speaker Says Will Not Take Up Senate’s $95B Ukraine-Israel Aid Bill (Sp.)
Putin and Xi Will Regret Challenging America – Schumer (RT)
Scott Ritter: Tucker-Putin Interview Shows Americans ‘Hungry for Information’ (Sp.)
Tucker’s Interview Reveals An Increasingly Formidable Putin (Arestovych)
US Pushing Israel and Palestine Towards Catastrophe – Lavrov (Sp.)
Bobulinski Says China Successfully Sought To Infiltrate And Compromise WH (NYP)
Life During Wartime – On the Road in Donbass (Pepe Escobar)
Think About It (Kunstler)
Net-Zero Is Pulling the Plug on America’s Electrical Life Support System (ET)

 

 

 

 

Jon Stewart

 

 

Weinstein

 

 

 

 

Migration grows 10X
https://twitter.com/i/status/1757258031392280674

 

 

Borrell

 

 

Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..things would really get wild if Biden were to be nominated at the convention only to subsequently die, resign or be disabled..”

The Nuts And Bolts Of Replacing Candidate Biden, Before/After Convention (ZH)

On Monday, Politico examined avenues by which the Democratic Party might navigate toward a different candidate. First, note that the expiration of most ballot-filing deadlines means it’s too late for a heavyweight to enter the Democratic primary, and the obscure Rep. Dean Phillips challenge campaign — which has emphasized Biden’s weakness as a candidate — hasn’t gained any traction. Politico’s Charlie Mahtesian and Steven Shepard also think it’s unlikely we’ll see a floor revolt by Biden delegates at the Democratic Convention. Rather, they focus on a scenario in which Biden sees the primary process all the way through, and then — under mounting public, media and political pressure — announces he will not seek re-election after all and is releasing his delegates to vote for someone else at the national convention, which will be held in Chicago Aug. 19 to 22. Biden might well endorse a candidate, but his delegates wouldn’t be obliged to vote for his pick.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who’s been running an odd non-campaign of his own — to include debating then-GOP hopeful Ron DeSantis — would be among the top contenders, along with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. It could all make for great entertainment, writes Politico: The Democrats’ convention, typically a staid affair, would be filled with drama. While Democrats stripped their so-called “superdelegates” of most of their power after 2016, those current and former party leaders and elected officials would get a vote on a potential second ballot at the convention. That would give them significant sway in picking a nominee in a floor fight, but perhaps at the expense of reopening the 2016-era controversy about the role played by party elites in stifling Bernie Sanders’ chances at the nomination

One thing Politico didn’t note is that the convention is already likely to feature high drama, in the form of protests by Democrats and others infuriated by the Biden administration’s blank-check backing of Israel’s unbridled destruction of Gaza in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas invasion of southern Israel. A floor-fight for the nomination could mean there’s chaos both inside and outside Chicago’s United Center. While a Biden pre-convention withdrawal would make for quite a spectacle, things would really get wild if Biden were to be nominated at the convention only to subsequently die, resign or be disabled. In that scenario, party rules direct the party chair to “confer with the Democratic leadership of the … Congress and the Democratic Governors Association” and then report to the approximately 450-member Democratic National Committee, which would then choose a new nominee.

The chaos wouldn’t be confined to the Democratic Party: States would be forced to scramble to produce new ballots. Ballots for overseas military service members are shipped just a couple weeks after the late-August Democratic convention, and in-person voting kicks off on Sept. 20 in Minnesota and South Dakota. None of this is to say that Biden won’t keep mumbling, shuffling, blank-staring and gaffing his way all the way to the Nov 5 general election finish line. However, after last week, fewer people are willing to wager that Biden will be the Democratic nominee:


Line Chart: Price of a contract that pays $1.00 if Biden is the Democratic nominee (via PredictIt)

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“It’s a legitimate issue for Trump who’s only three years younger, right? So it’s an issue.”

Biden Age a ‘Legitimate Issue’ – Hillary Clinton (RT)

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said President Joe Biden’s advancing age is a “legitimate issue” on the campaign trail, as he seeks to secure a second term in the White House in the election later this year. Speculation about Biden’s cognitive abilities was once again raised last week when the 81-year-old confused the leaders of Egypt and Mexico, shortly after dismissing claims that his mental state is declining. The verbal misstep followed an announcement that Biden will not face criminal prosecution for mishandling classified government documents, after a prosecutor described him as an “elderly man with a poor memory.” According to Clinton, who unsuccessfully ran against Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential race, the debate about Biden’s age is valid.

“I talked to people in the White House all the time, and you know, they know it’s an issue, but as I like to say, ‘look, it’s a legitimate issue,’” Clinton told MSNBC last week. “It’s a legitimate issue for Trump who’s only three years younger, right? So it’s an issue.” But instead of seeking to ignore concerns about his age, Clinton said that the Biden campaign team should expand on his experience as a legislator ahead of November’s election. “I think Biden also should lean into the fact that he’s experienced and that experience is not just in the political arena,” Clinton said. “It’s like, the stuff of, you know, human experience, character, wisdom.” A poll published last week by NBC News found that some 76% of respondents had concerns over Biden’s age and health, should he be reelected to another four-year term. Similar concerns were voiced by 61% regarding Trump, who will be 78 by the time of the election in November.

In October, the Republican frontrunner sparked questions of his own mental acuity when he incorrectly referred to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban as the leader of Türkiye. Meanwhile, Biden’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer, on Sunday described special counsel Robert Hur’s description of the US president’s mental wellbeing as a “shabby work product.” The Republican-led critique of Biden was “misleading,” Bauer told CBS, adding that the report into his retention of classified documents “went off the rails.” According to a YouGov poll of 1,000 US citizens earlier this month, Trump holds a one-point advantage over Biden in a hypothetical match-up between the two likely presidential candidates.

JFK Jr

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“It’s one thing to say you passed a competency test. But it’s another thing to actually have the American people listen to you debate..”

Biden And Trump Trying To Hide Their Age – Mitt Romney (RT)

President Joe Biden and his likely election opponent Donald Trump are avoiding debates for fear of showing “how old they are”, Senator Mitt Romney has claimed. Romney, a Republican senator for Utah and 2012 presidential election runner-up, was speaking to the Associated Press on Monday amid widespread public concern over Biden’s advanced age and apparently failing memory. Romney argued that presidential candidates should engage in public debates, calling them a crucial part of the campaign process. “This is a democracy of the United States of America. We need to hear from the people who want to be president and see if they have mental capacity and see what their positions are on issues,” Romney argued.

It’s one thing to say you passed a competency test. But it’s another thing to actually have the American people listen to you debate. I want to hear both President Biden and President Trump. So far, neither Biden nor former President Trump have agreed to take part in any debates. While Biden’s reelection campaign has repeatedly sidestepped media inquiries regarding a televised face-off with Trump, the Republican has feuded with both the party’s National Committee, refusing to join primary debates – and with the nonpartisan commission hosting general election debates, over its rules.

“People always find excuses for why they don’t want to debate. But you got a couple of old guys that don’t want to have people see how old they are,” Romney said. The 76-year-old senator called time on his political career last summer, opting to retire when his current term ends in January 2025 without seeking re-election. “At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-80s,” Romney said at the time. “Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders. They’re the ones that need to make the decisions that will shape the world they will be living in.”

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“..constitutional removal would require more than just memory lapses and “get off my lawn” press conferences…”

Can Biden Be Removed Under the 25th Amendment? Don’t Bet on It (Turley)

[..] as I wrote with regard to the Trump demands at the time, calls for Biden’s removal ignore the true purpose and standard for removal. The issue of “disability” of a president was briefly raised in the Constitutional Convention in 1787. It was a delegate from Biden’s home state of Delaware who asked how they would respond to a disability, “and who is to be the judge of it?” John Dickinson’s question was left unanswered in the final version of the Constitution. What followed were persistent controversies over succession. This issue came to a head after President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a stroke. After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Congress finally addressed the issue in the 25th Amendment. The amendment addresses the orderly succession of power as well as temporary disabilities when presidents must undergo medical treatment or surgeries.

It is Section 4 that allows the removal of a president. One option is what I have called the “mutiny option.” It requires a vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” and notify Congress that the vice president intends to take over. If Vice President Kamala Harris could get eight Cabinet officers to go along with a letter to Congress, her status as the “Acting President” would likely be short-lived. Joe Biden (who yesterday declared, “I’m elderly and know what the hell I’m doing”) would only have to declare to Congress that “no inability exists.” Biden would then resume his powers. Harris would have to send another declaration with the Cabinet members within four days to the president pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House, rejecting Biden’s claims.

With that second declaration, Congress would have 48 hours to assemble to debate the issue. It would then have 21 days to vote on the removal. However, that would require two-thirds majorities in both houses. If Congress did not vote within 21 days, the president would resume and keep power. In other words, it is about as likely as François Mitterrand coming forward to say that he faked his death and has indeed been in communication with Biden. The question on the merits is whether “diminished faculties” constitute an incapacity. While the 25th Amendment was written with physical disabilities in mind, it clearly can apply to mental or cognitive disabilities. Yet if Biden’s decline is viewed as a barrier to prosecution, would it necessarily be a barrier to the presidency? The answer is complicated. A study in Psychology Today of the first 37 presidents suggests half of them experienced some form of mental illness. They were still able to perform their duties.

Memory problems are not a compelling basis for removal. However, it is a matter of degree. Biden’s cognitive problems are becoming increasingly evident, but the sole question is whether he can carry out the duties of his office. The standard is not whether he can carry out those duties well. There is a difference between Biden confusing names and actually carrying on conversations with dead people. The latter would clearly be grounds for removal. Of course, it is hard for the public to know the degree of Biden’s decline. The White House staff has clearly shielded Biden from the public and the press for years. Even during the 2020 campaign, many suspected that the staff was hiding Biden’s mental struggles. In that sense, the concern over Biden’s fitness is legitimate. However, it will take much more of a showing to establish a case for his removal under the 25th Amendment.

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“..no Republican should have ever imagined that giving open-border Democrats everything they asked for was a smart strategic position, but that’s what they very nearly did..”

The Absurd Border Con (Victor Davis Hanson)

For the past three years of President Biden’s mass influx, the left has applauded open borders. That is, until late last year, when overwhelmed southern border state governors began bussing and flying illegal immigrants en masse to northern sanctuary-city jurisdictions. For years, these sanctuary zones had preened their liberality about open borders. They smeared as “racists” and “xenophobes” any who insisted on legal-only immigration. But now they were subject to the real-life ramifications of their own destructive ideologies. Major blue-state cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington became outraged that they were inundated with tens of thousands of immigrants, all without legality, veritable identification, or background checks. Some proved violent. Others crowded out scarce resources essential to millions of inner-city poor.

The liberal architects of illegal immigration are usually rich and powerful enough to be insulated from the consequences of their utopian policies. But not so their poor or minority constituents. They deal first-hand with spiking crime, appropriation of their parks and civic centers, and restricted access to now-overwhelmed social services. So the once open-border Democrat Party and President Biden are in a quandary. They now fear mass defections of core Latino and black voters in an election year. But how can they square the circle of insisting on open borders with the need to appear to their own voters as determined to close them? We saw the absurd answer this week. Shameless Democrats tried to enlist naive and foolish Republicans to bail them out with a “comprehensive immigration bill.” It was really designed to keep the border open while spending billions of dollars to facilitate more rapid and orderly transits—and more substantial welfare support for millions of illegals here and still to come.

Now Democrats claim that anyone who did not sign on to codify and regulate illegal immigration was responsible for their own deliberate open border policies in the first place! To add insult to injury, they next sought to piggyback their toxic immigration bill onto massive aid for Israel and Ukraine. It was a transparent effort to blame any Republicans for harming Israel and aiding Russian President Vladimir Putin, should they not sign on to a more efficient open border. The real agenda of the bill’s supporters is absolutely no return to President Trump’s legal-only immigration and a secure border. That simple solution requires no new legislation and almost no new spending. But it does imply acknowledgment that the hated President Trump had solved the problem executively—and that admission is apparently taboo.

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“If the border can be shut down when more than 5,000 illegal immigrants cross per day, then why can’t it be shut down immediately, right now?”

The One Border Question Dems Can’t Answer (Miele)

Conservative Republicans have managed to defeat the fake border security bill wrapped in a political ploy inside of a Ukraine bailout bill. Of course, no Republican should have ever imagined that giving open-border Democrats everything they asked for was a smart strategic position, but that’s what they very nearly did. Republicans had already passed a real border security bill within a few months of taking control of the House of Representatives following the 2022 midterm elections. HR-2 actually secured the border – by demanding that the Biden administration finish the border wall, ending Biden’s power to process aliens who don’t enter at ports of entry, and shutting off the federal spigot that funds NGOs who aid and abet illegal aliens (“inadmissible non-U.S. citizens”) by providing lodging and other resources. Moreover, HR-2 shut down the ability of the Biden administration to grant asylum to the millions of migrants who don’t meet the legal criteria for asylum.

But those are just a few of the vital components of HR-2, which is indeed a border security bill. If Democrats really wanted border security, they would have passed HR-2 in the Senate last year. But even if they didn’t want to give Republicans a win with HR-2, Democrats still could have incorporated the language of HR-2 in their grand compromise to prove that they really meant it when they said they wanted to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. Instead, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell teamed up with his buddy Chuck Schumer to use their fake border security bill as a fig leaf to cover up their real goal – freeing billions of dollars to go to Ukraine and Israel. McConnell sent his sacrificial lamb, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, into the lions’ den of lean and hungry Democrats as his chief negotiator to craft a “compromise” border bill, but he was apparently instructed not to involve House Speaker Mike Johnson or any other border hawks in his negotiations.

Moreover, the contents of the bill were kept secret until three days before Schumer intended to bring it to a vote in the Senate. By that time, it was obvious what the game was. Democrats and their media allies created a narrative that Trump had ordered Republicans to vote against the bill in order to give him a political issue in November. This is just the latest instance where Democrats have gotten the cart before the horse. Trump does not give anyone orders; he just listens to the people and provides them a voice. It is the people who spoke out against this fake border bill, and any Republicans foolish enough to vote against the people are at risk of following former Speaker Kevin McCarthy out the door. The people’s voice was mocked throughout the process. When details of the border bill were leaked to the media, Lankford characterized them as Internet rumors and dismissed them. “Wait for the text of the bill to be released,” he repeatedly said.

But when the text was released, it was just as the people had feared. Most importantly, the centerpiece of the bill was a provision that ordered the president to shut down the border if illegal entries exceeded 5,000 a day on average for seven days. Our masters in the media tell us that doesn’t mean up to 5,000 illegal entries per day would be allowed, but let’s be realistic. First of all, the U.S.-Mexican border is not controlled by the Border Patrol; it is controlled by the Mexican cartels. If the human traffickers need to keep border crossings under 5,000 a day in order to keep doing business, then they will do just that. But there is one question that completely destroys the Democrat and globalist Republican talking point that the “5,000 a day” number is somehow being misunderstood by Harvard Law School graduates like Sens. Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton.

Here’s how NBC described the provision: “DHS could close the border if Border Patrol encountered 4,000 or more migrants on average over seven days. The border would have to be shut down if those encounters reached a seven-day average of 5,000 or if they exceeded 8,500 in a single day.” Now, here’s the question that Democrats have no answer to: If the border can be shut down when more than 5,000 illegal immigrants cross per day, then why can’t it be shut down immediately, right now? The answer is obvious – because Joe Biden and the Democrats don’t want to shut down the border. Instead, they have sanctioned the invasion of our country by millions of non-citizens. With this bill, they attempted to codify that invasion and they thought they could get Republicans to just look the other way. Maybe a few years ago, that would have worked. But this is the new Republican Party, tired of playing Charlie Brown and being humiliated time and again by Democratic Party Lucys.

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“In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters..”

House Speaker Says Will Not Take Up Senate’s $95B Ukraine-Israel Aid Bill (Sp.)

US House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Monday that he will not bring the Senate’s $95 billion foreign aid bill to the House floor for consideration if it reaches the lower chamber. The Senate could pass the foreign aid bill as early as Wednesday. “In the absence of having received any single border policy change from the Senate, the House will have to continue to work its own will on these important matters,” Johnson said in a statement. Johnson said the Senate’s foreign aid bill fails to address the United States’ most pressing issue: border security.

The House Speaker added that the Senate should have pushed to include meaningful border security measures in the $95 billion foreign aid bill, which includes approximately $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel and additional funding to address US national security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region. Last week, Senate Republicans blocked a $118 billion national security supplemental package that includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel and border policy reforms. Republicans claim the reforms in the bill would not do enough to deter illegal immigration on the US southern border. The House Speaker also said that the bill would be “dead on arrival” if it reached the House of Representatives.

Rand Paul
https://twitter.com/i/status/1757431948329275630

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“..it would bring the total amount of US aid to Kiev to almost $200 billion..”

Putin and Xi Will Regret Challenging America – Schumer (RT)

American senators from both parties coming out in support of aid for Ukraine and Israel is a powerful signal to Russia and China, as well as Washington’s allies, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday. The 100-member chamber approved the $95 billion “national security” funding bill with 70 votes in favor and 29 opposed. Eight Republican senators spent most of the night filibustering against the proposal. “Today we make [Russian President] Vladimir Putin regret the day he questioned America’s resolve, and we make clear to others, like China’s President Xi [Jinping], not to test our determination,” Schumer said in a speech after the vote. “And we send a clear, bipartisan message of resolve to our allies in NATO.” Schumer also praised the passage of the bill as greatly impacting “the security of Western democracy.”

The Senate bill would give Ukraine $61 billion in aid, as well as $14 billion to Israel for its war against Hamas, and almost $5 billion for arming Taiwan. The White House originally bundled it with a “border reform” proposal but proceeded with foreign aid only after Democrats and Republicans could not agree on immigration. Republicans opposing the Ukraine funding bill have pointed out that it would bring the total amount of US aid to Kiev to almost $200 billion. Democrats have countered that it was good for the US weapons industry and that not continuing to send money to Kiev would damage Washington’s reputation and “resolve” in the world. Their arguments ended up swaying 22 of the Republicans.

Though it has passed in the Senate, the bill now needs the backing of the House of Representatives, where Republicans have a razor-thin majority. “The bill before us today… will never pass in the House, will never become law,” Senator Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, said in a floor speech on Tuesday morning. House Speaker Mike Johnson has previously described the proposal as “dead on arrival.” With so many Republicans willing to cross the aisle to back the Democrats when it comes to funding Ukraine, it is entirely possible the bill might pass and make its way to President Joe Biden’s desk.

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“..Carlson could face sanctions for giving the interview. “For what sin?” Ritter asked. “For the sin of letting a Russian president speak?”

Scott Ritter: Tucker-Putin Interview Shows Americans ‘Hungry for Information’ (Sp.)

The success of the Tucker-Putin interview was the result of Americans being “hungry for information about what Russia is thinking,” former US Marines Corps intelligence officer and author Scott Ritter told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Monday. “They are worried about the consequences of condemning Russia out of hand and rushing to a war based upon words Russia is not allowed to say for us to consider,” he added. Earlier, Ritter spoke about attempts to punish Tucker for giving the interview, including former Belgian prime minister and current member of the European Parliament who suggested Carlson could face sanctions for giving the interview. “For what sin?” Ritter asked. “For the sin of letting a Russian president speak?” The interview has over 198 million views on X, more than 15 million views on YouTube, plus an unknown amount across other platforms including Carlson’s website.

Ritter noted that Tucker’s interview is protected by free speech, which “does not automatically equate to wise speech,” he argued. “But the thing about free speech is that the antidote to bad speech is better free speech,” Ritter explained. “Meaning, that if you have a problem with what somebody’s saying […] come up with better ideas and put them out there.” While Ritter called Tucker an “idiot” for not being better prepared for the interview, he said that the important thing is that Putin got to speak to the American people through their own lens. “[Putin’s] words are resonating because [Americans are] going, ‘Wait a minute. I was told that this guy is the personification of evil. I was told he doesn’t want a negotiated settlement. I was told that he deliberately invaded, that he wants to invade NATO,’”

Ritter explained. “And [Putin is] saying that he is more than happy to sit down at the table and talk if anybody will talk, that the problem here isn’t Putin, the problem is the United States […] and the light bulb is going off around America.” Earlier, despite his criticisms, Ritter said he hopes a future President will recognize the service he [Tucker Carlson] did for the world and “[bring] him to the White House and put the Presidential Medal of Freedom around his neck.”

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Oleksiy Arestovych is Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s former advisor and spokesman.

Tucker’s Interview Reveals An Increasingly Formidable Putin (Arestovych)

I watched Putin’s interview. Alas, I do not share (thank God) the general opinion about “…a worthless grandfather.” And now I will try to massage your tailbone, because you don’t want to think for yourself, but want to repeat other people’s mantras, not wanting to analyze the consequences of what you saw. Putin is completely adequate. He understands what he is doing very well and is in good physical, mental and emotional shape. Hello to those who buried him a year ago. Putin sets out a coherent system of views that he himself believes in (hello, jokes about the Merovingians and Ladoga). Putin is psychologically increasingly getting rid of his pro-Western orientation – the only thing that was holding him back from within. “Oh, this is a mythology divorced from real history!..” the average person puffs on social networks and runs to hide in the bathroom from Putin’s missiles flying at him.

I have a simple question: — When will you start thinking – at least about the reasons that directly determine your life? Myth. Come on, name me at least one state ideology that is not based on mythology, which to one degree or another does not correspond to real history? Who and when did this prevent them from acting in the present? Let’s say it’s good: the villain Putin is the only one who relies on a fictitious ideology and mythology. So what if, in view of this mythology, he takes completely material actions? “An idea, taking possession of the masses, becomes a material force”–remember that? A specific mythology has taken hold of the masses and forty thousand volunteers come to Russian military registration and enlistment offices every month. And they are not going to stop.

And how many volunteers come to our military registration and enlistment offices every month, dear real historians? Ahh? What kind of true stories do we tell if our “volunteers” have to be grabbed by force on the street? And what stories does the West tell that it cannot collectively produce a million shells a year, in a situation where North Korea produces one and a half? Putin will not stop. He will carry out his tasks, which are dictated to him by the picture of the world, to the end. Moreover, judging by his statements, he is improving in his picture of the world, in the sense of acquiring more and more motivation. Yes, he lies a lot and deliberately, distorts, manipulates. Okay, we have defeated funny Putin with his stupid myths. — Maybe someone can name our clever myths: ours and the West? Our truth, lack of manipulation, directness? — And what is this so-called “world system” of yours worth, so reasonable, so strong, so free, if “… one funny, out-of-touch pseudo-historian” managed to render it inoperative?

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“..the recent expansion of Israel’s ground operation further into the Gaza Strip dramatically undermines a potential resolution to the ongoing conflict..”

US Pushing Israel and Palestine Towards Catastrophe – Lavrov (Sp.)

Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov has addressed attendees of the 13th annual Middle East Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club. The event entitled Time for decisive action: a comprehensive settlement for the sake of stability in the region is supported by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In his speech, Lavrov touched upon a variety of pressing issues about the unraveling developments in the Middle East. No Prospects for Palestine-Israel Settlement at the Moment The minister emphasized that the recent expansion of Israel’s ground operation further into the Gaza Strip dramatically undermines a potential resolution to the ongoing conflict. “Taking into account the uncompromising attitude of the Israeli leadership to continue the military operation in Gaza, now extending it to Rafah, we do not see prospects for the rapid stabilization of the situation in this sector,” Lavrov noted.

It is necessary to look for a way out of this catastrophic situation, the minister said, adding that it is the US that is “pushing Palestine, Israel and the entire Middle East into a catastrophe.” Washington intends to exclude Moscow from international efforts for a Middle East crisis settlement, as the US is betting on its own dominance in the region, Lavrov added. “The Americans have chosen to bet on their dominance in the region and already work on excluding Russia from various international efforts aimed at creating conditions for lasting peace and stability,” he underlined. The FM recalled that Washington effectively “blocked the work of international mediators on the Middle East settlement, consisting of Russia, the US, the UN and the EU.”

Lavrov added that in the current situation, the US applies “its recipes that are divorced from reality and one-sided solutions that ignore the specifics of either countries or the region as a whole.” Russia Suggests Holding Intra-Palestinian Dialogue According to the Russian foreign minister, Moscow plans to hold an inter-Palestinian meeting in the “foreseeable future” with the support of the Palestinians themselves. “We propose holding an inter-Palestinian meeting with the participation of all leading factions to overcome the internal division,” the minister shared. Lavrov also pointed out that at the UN, Russia had drawn attention to the long-standing Russian initiative to hold consultations involving key countries in the region in order to harmonize their approaches and support the creation of a Palestinian state.

Lavrov also noted that Russia continues to try to evacuate citizens of the Russian Federation and other countries from the Gaza Strip. “We continue to work on the evacuation of citizens of Russia, Israel and other countries from the combat zone. We cooperate with Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinians from Gaza. We have evacuated about 1,200 of our compatriots and their families, including citizens of other countries… We keep pursuing these efforts,” he concluded.

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“Joe Biden was aware of the CEFC transaction, enabled it, and had a constitutional responsibility and obligation to the American people to shut it down before it began..”

Bobulinski Says China Successfully Sought To Infiltrate And Compromise WH (NYP)

A former Biden family business associate-turned-whistleblower alleged in explosive testimony before House impeachment probers Tuesday that the president was “the Brand” being sold by relatives in their lucrative dealings in countries such as China and Ukraine. Tony Bobulinski — a former Navy officer who worked with first son Hunter Biden and first brother James on a venture with CEFC China Energy — is considered one of the Republicans’ best hopes of scoring damning new details confirming the president’s ties to his relatives’ Chinese government-linked relationships. “For nearly four years, I have tried to tell the American people the truth about serious corruption at the very top of their government,” Bobulinski said in opening statements to House probers from both sides of the political aisle in the closed-door session. “The Biden family business was Joe Biden, period,” Bobulinksi alleged. “It is clear to me that Joe Biden was ‘the Brand’ being sold by the Biden family.

“The Chinese Communist Party through its surrogate, China Energy Company Limited, or ‘CEFC’ — a CCP-linked Chinese energy conglomerate — successfully sought to infiltrate and compromise Joe Biden and the Obama-Biden White House. “Joe Biden was aware of the CEFC transaction, enabled it, and had a constitutional responsibility and obligation to the American people to shut it down before it began,” Bobulinski said. CEFC, a since-defunct reputed cog in Beijing’s “Belt and Road” foreign influence campaign, paid Hunter and James Biden more than $7 million in 2017 and 2018 for largely unknown business services, according to reports from congressional Republicans. A different former Biden family associate, Rob Walker, testified on Jan. 26 that the Bidens’ business relationship with CEFC began in 2015 when Joe Biden was still vice president and that Joe Biden himself attended a meeting at the Four Seasons hotel in or around March 2017 with CEFC chairman Ye Jianming, who has since gone missing in China amid corruption allegations.

Walker disbursed an initial tranche of more than $1 million to the Bidens beginning in March 2017 — after Joe Biden left office as vice president that January — and did not dispute in his deposition new evidence of emails in March 2016, while Joe Biden was VP, among himself, Hunter Biden and CEFC officials. Bobulinski is expected to face tense grilling from Democrats in the closed-door session after infuriating them in 2020 by sandbagging Biden moments before his final debate against then-President Donald Trump. At the time, Bobulinski publicly corroborated details from Hunter’s abandoned laptop about Hunter and first brother James Biden’s lucrative relationship with CEFC China Energy. CEFC transferred $5.1 million to bank accounts linked to Hunter and James Biden within 10 days of Hunter writing to a China-based CEFC associate that he was “sitting here with my father” and warning of retribution if an agreed-upon deal was not executed.

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“With your callsign, inscribed in your heart./ From the war, as a small souvenir:/Far away, but eternally near..”

Life During Wartime – On the Road in Donbass (Pepe Escobar)

You are given a name by the War:/it’s a call sign, not nickname – much more./Lack of fancy cars here and iPads,/But you have APC and MANPADS./Social media long left behind,/Children’s drawings with “Z” stick to mind./’Likes” and “thumbs up” are valued as dust,/But the prayers from people you trust./Hold On, Soldier, my brother, my friend,/The hostility comes to an end./War’s unable to stop its decease,/Grief and suffering will turn into peace./Life returns to the placid format,/With your callsign, inscribed in your heart./ From the war, as a small souvenir:/Far away, but eternally near.
Inna Kucherova, Call Sign, in A Letter to a Soldier, published December 2022

It’s a cold, rainy, damp morning in the deep Donbass countryside, at a secret location close to the Urozhaynoye direction; a nondescript country house, crucially under the fog, which prevents the work of enemy drones. Father Igor, a military priest, is blessing a group of local contract-signed volunteers to the Archangel Gabriel battalion, ready to go to the front lines of the US vs. Russia proxy war. The man in charge of the battalion is one of the top-ranking officers of Orthodox Christian units in the DPR. A small shrine is set up in the corner of a small, cramped room, decorated with icons. Candles are lit, and three soldiers hold the red flag with the icon of Jesus in the center. After prayers and a small homily, Father Igor blesses each soldier.

This is yet another stop in a sort of itinerant icon road show, started in Kherson, then Zaporozhye and all the way to the myriad DPR front lines, led by my gracious host Andrey Afanasiev, military correspondent for the Spas channel, and later joined in Donetsk by a decorated fighter for the Archangel Michael battalion, an extremely bright and engaging young man codename Pilot. There are between 28 and 30 Orthodox Christian battalion fighting in Donbass. That’s the power of Orthodox Christianity. To see them at work is to understand the essentials: how the Russian soul is capable of any sacrifice to protect the core values of its civilization. Throughout Russian history, it’s individuals that sacrifice their lives to protect the community – and not vice-versa. Those who survived – or perished – in the siege of Leningrad are only one among countless examples. So the Orthodox Christian battalion were my guardian angels as I returned to Novorossiya to revisit the rich black soil where the old “rules-based” world order came to die.

This is yet another stop in a sort of itinerant icon road show, started in Kherson, then Zaporozhye and all the way to the myriad DPR front lines, led by my gracious host Andrey Afanasiev, military correspondent for the Spas channel, and later joined in Donetsk by a decorated fighter for the Archangel Michael battalion, an extremely bright and engaging young man codename Pilot. There are between 28 and 30 Orthodox Christian battalion fighting in Donbass. That’s the power of Orthodox Christianity. To see them at work is to understand the essentials: how the Russian soul is capable of any sacrifice to protect the core values of its civilization. Throughout Russian history, it’s individuals that sacrifice their lives to protect the community – and not vice-versa. Those who survived – or perished – in the siege of Leningrad are only one among countless examples. So the Orthodox Christian battalion were my guardian angels as I returned to Novorossiya to revisit the rich black soil where the old “rules-based” world order came to die.

The traveling priesthood exits the digs of the Archangel Gabriel battalion and heads to a meeting in a garage with the Dmitry Donskoy orthodox battalion, fighting in the Ugledar direction. That’s where I meet the remarkable Troya, the battalion’s medic, a young woman who had a comfy job as a deputy officer in a Russian district before she decided to volunteer. Onwards to a cramped military dormitory where a cat and her kittens reign as mascots, choosing the best place in the room right by the iron stove. Time to bless the fighters of the Dimitri Zalunsky battalion, named after St. Dimitri of Thessaloniki, who are fighting in the Nikolskoye direction. At each successive ceremony, you can’t help being stricken by the purity of the ritual, the beauty of the chants, the grave expressions in the faces of the volunteers, all ages, from teenagers to sexagenarians. Deeply touching. This in so many aspects is the Slavic counterpart of the Islamic Axis of Resistance fighting in West Asia. It is a form of asabiyya – “community spirit”, as I used it in a different context referring to the Yemeni Houthis supporting “our people” in Gaza.

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“Expect all of us to feel a renewed sense of gratitude for being here instead of rage, resentment, and grievance, because it’s likely there will be far fewer of us around..”

Think About It (Kunstler)

American oil production may be at an all-time peak now at about 13-million barrels-a-day, but most of that — about 8-million — is shale oil, which is a manifestation of our tremendous debt roll-up since 2009. Now that we’re at the absolute limits of debt, we’re also at the limits of shale oil. The production of shale oil paralleled the accumulation of all that debt both in size and rate of increase, and as the debt goes bad — meaning, unpayable — the organized capital sector will blow and shale oil production will fall as sharply as it rose. It is also a fact that shale oil is subject to natural limits — we’re out of “sweet spots” to drill.

That’s America. Europe is way worse because aside from whatever oil is left in the North Sea (not much), Europe has no oil. Europe’s largest gas field — Groningen in the Netherlands — is scheduled to cease operations in October of this year. You all know what happened to the Nord Stream pipelines. And then Germany, in some psychotic fugue state, shut down its entire nuclear power industry, while France is just not replacing its nuke plants as they age-out. Europe is completely screwed. They won’t have anything we might call modern industry. In the meantime, the WEF is playing them like a flugelhorn, keeping them distracted with “green” politics, an unchecked immigrant invasion, and sexual confusion.

A lot of the same nuttery afflicts us in the USA, of course, but none of that alters the real macro trends. Our federal government is not really getting more powerful, it’s cracking up, starting from the very top, with a mentally incompetent president — the secret that everybody knows. Agencies like the DOJ and Homeland Security may seem more tyrannical for the moment, but they are actually breaking as institutions because in their lawlessness they’ve lost the trust of the people — and nothing is more fundamental to a civilized society than trust in the law. That’s what consent of the governed means.

So, the period of disorderly transition we’re in is not moving toward greater dominance by giants, but to the survival of the small and nimble. We will not see capital formation like the orgy of recent times; rather the vanishing of things falsely presumed to be capital, contraction not expansion. You’ll be struggling to identify and preserve real wealth, which you’ll find in unexpected places, like the friends you can count on, your reputation for honesty, your dependability, acquired skills, and your health, physical and psychological.

The WEF won’t be able to impose its Globalist nightmare of elite transhumanism and surveilled bug-eating serfs, and they know it now. They’re running scared. The vile Yuval Noah Harari has even said so publicly. The political figures and agents serving that cabal will be lucky if they are not hanged in the public squares. The political criminals here in America, the hoaxsters, the grifters, the seditionists, the Lawfare agents, the election fraudsters, know very well the danger of their looming prosecutions, and that’s exactly why the Democratic Party and its blob henchmen and flunkies are acting like desperate lunatics.

Expect: failed national governments, maybe even state governments; failed supply lines; failed electric supply, failed trucking, failed big box stores, failed supermarkets, failed giant companies; failed banks, failed investments, failed money, failed news orgs, failed airlines, failed car dealers, failed hospitals, failed colleges, and much more. But don’t discount human ingenuity and resourcefulness, our ability to work-around and reinvent systems for daily life, even if it’s on a downscaled and more modest level.

Expect rebuilt local economies from production to wholesale to retail. Expect smaller stores, fewer things to buy but much of it better quality. Expect a lot less long-distance travel but a lot more happening in your locality. Expect the rebirth of local culture — theaters, live music, news-sheets, dances — to replace all the canned entertainments we’re used to. Expect small private academies to rise to replace the shuttered central schools. Expect small, local clinics to appear from the ashes of the medical conglomerates. Expect Americans to return to churches as an organizing mechanism for community relations. Expect more formality and less slobbery in public. Expect all of us to feel a renewed sense of gratitude for being here instead of rage, resentment, and grievance, because it’s likely there will be far fewer of us around.

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“And we realized, if this could happen in Texas, the energy capital of the world, then the electric grid is really being undermined.”

Net-Zero Is Pulling the Plug on America’s Electrical Life Support System (ET)

Electricity is among the most essential sources of America’s unparalleled prosperity and productivity; it is also the greatest vulnerability. The United States has become so utterly dependent upon an uninterrupted supply of affordable electricity that, as our grid becomes ever more fragile American society has become fragile along with it. Former CIA director James Woolsey testified before the U.S. Senate in 2015 that, if America’s electric grid were to go down for an extended period, such as one year, “there are essentially two estimates on how many people would die from hunger, from starvation, from lack of water, and from social disruption. “One estimate is that within a year or so, two-thirds of the United States population would die,” Mr. Woolsey said. “The other estimate is that within a year or so, 90 percent of the U.S. population would die.”

Chris Keefer, president of Canadians for Nuclear Energy, concurred. “The energy grid is a civilizational life support system, and without it, modern society collapses very quickly,” he said. Mr. Keefer is one of the experts featured in energy analyst, author, and documentarian Robert Bryce’s new film, “Juice: Power, Politics and the Grid.” This five-part docuseries looks at how and why America is now “fragilizing” and destabilizing the engineering marvel that is the central pillar of our society. “We are seeing the grid’s reliability, resilience, and affordability all declining,” Mr. Bryce told The Epoch Times. “We wanted to get people and policy makers to understand that our most important energy network is being fragilized, and we ignore this danger at our peril,” Mr. Bryce said.

He has been fixated on America’s electric grid for decades and authored the 2020 book, “A Question of Power,” one of the more comprehensive studies of how electricity grids work and why they may not work as well in the coming years. Steven Pinker, author and Harvard psychology professor, wrote in a review of the book that “energy is our primary defense against poverty, disorder, hunger, and death.” And yet, many nations in the West have engaged in a game of Russian roulette with their power grids, in an attempt to reduce global temperatures. The warnings don’t just come from the analysts featured in the documentary; electricity regulators are becoming more vocal in sounding the alarm as well. In a May 2023 report, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), charged with overseeing grid reliability, stated that a majority of America’s grid is now at heightened risk levels for outages.

“This report is an especially dire warning that America’s ability to keep the lights on has been jeopardized,” National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson stated. It was the near-collapse of Texas’s power grid during winter storm Yuri in 2021 that compelled Mr. Bryce to make the documentary. He partnered with film director Tyson Culver, who along with Mr. Bryce, experienced the crisis first-hand while living in Austin. “I didn’t plan to make another documentary after we made our first film that we released in 2019,” he said. “I just thought, ‘I can’t do this; it costs too much and takes too long.’ “But then we learned that the [Texas] grid nearly failed, and if it had failed, tens of thousands of people would have died,” he said. “And we realized, if this could happen in Texas, the energy capital of the world, then the electric grid is really being undermined.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

NY

 

 

Kaku

 

 

Manta
https://twitter.com/i/status/1757263351959224399

 

 

Belly

 

 

Kindness
https://twitter.com/i/status/1757371139557634393

 

 

 

 

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Dec 102023
 
 December 10, 2023  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Mi esposa desnuda 1945

 

‘Most Censored Man’ In America Set To Return To X (RT)
Gonzalo Lira’s Father Blames Biden (RT)
US Condemns Thousands To Death By Vetoing UN Gaza Resolution – Russia (TASS)
In the Season of Goodwill, A Tip for Biden… Stop Fuelling War (SCF)
Israeli Losses Multiply As Gaza Factions Ferociously Resist Aggression (Cradle)
Moscow on the Rocks (Pepe Escobar)
‘Putin Era’ Rolls On in Spite of West Endlessly Underestimating Him (Sp.)
Russia Won’t Agree to ‘Minsk-3.0’ Deal on Ukraine (Sp.)
Russia Won’t Allow Existence Of ‘Nazi State’ On Its Border – Zakharova (RT)
Polish Media Debunks Narrative That Ukraine is Fighting for West’s Freedom (Sp.)
Bizarre Plot Twist: Scholz Blames Putin for High Energy Prices in Europe (Sp.)
EU Leaders Panicking Over Potential Trump Return – NYT (RT)
With Hunter’s Indictment, Democrats Face A Moment Of Maddening Truth (Turley)
Americans Running Out Of Savings – JPMorgan (RT)
Net Zero Requires 80 Million Kilometres of New Power Lines By 2040 (DS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace

 

 

 

 

Martyanov

 

 

Jeffrey Sachs

 

 

Mahathir

 

 

 

 

“If the people vote him back on, this will be bad for X financially, but principles matter more than money..”

‘Most Censored Man’ In America Set To Return To X (RT)

X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk has asked the public to vote on whether to reinstate the account of Infowars host Alex Jones. Musk said that maintaining the ban on Jones would go against his belief in free speech. Musk posted his poll on Saturday afternoon, asking X users whether they wanted him to “reinstate Alex Jones on this platform?” With eight hours to go at time of writing, 70% were in favor of Jones’ reinstatement, and 30% opposed. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk wrote in his post. Musk used this Latin phrase, which means “the voice of the people is the voice of God,” when he reinstated former US President Donald Trump’s account after a similar vote last year. Jones and his InfoWars channel were banned from every major social media platform in 2018, with the Silicon Valley firms citing “hate speech” and alleged breaches of their terms of service.

Jones was also banned from using PayPal for business transactions over his alleged “intolerance against certain communities and religions.” After purchasing Twitter last year and rebranding the platform as X, Musk rolled back many of the company’s speech rules and censorship policies, and offered a “general amnesty” to previously banned users. However, he wrote last year that after the death of his infant son, he would never allow Jones back, describing the Infowars shock-jock as someone “who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.” Jones had previously claimed that the Sandy Hook school shooting of 2012 was perpetuated by the US government to drum up support for gun control. A group of victims’ families sued Jones over his comments, and a judge ordered him to pay over $1.5 billion in damages last year. Jones, who filed for bankruptcy shortly after the verdict, has vowed to appeal the decision.

Musk’s opinion of Jones appears to have softened after former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who now hosts a self-produced show on X, interviewed the notorious pundit earlier this week. Introducing his guest as “the most censored man in the English language,” Carlson sat down to an hour-long discussion with Jones, during which Jones said that he understood that if Musk allowed him back on X, “the ADL and others would really be able to shut down Twitter.” The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish NGO, has previously clashed with Musk over X’s alleged tolerance of “rampant hate speech.” The ADL settled its beef after Musk threatened to sue the organization for driving away advertisers with “false accusations.” Responding to an X user later on Saturday, Musk wrote that “I vehemently disagree with what he said about Sandy Hook, but are we a platform that believes in freedom of speech or are we not?” “That is what it comes down to in the end. If the people vote him back on, this will be bad for X financially, but principles matter more than money,” he added.

56 seconds

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“Isn’t it odd that four days later, after condemning Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Gonzalo was arrested?”

“If we are going to protect democracy in the world, let’s start by taking out that puppet called Zelensky..”

Gonzalo Lira’s Father Blames Biden (RT)

President Joe Biden’s administration was complicit in the arrest of a US citizen who was jailed and tortured in Ukraine for criticizing the Kiev government, the father of incarcerated blogger Gonzalo Lira has claimed, saying his son may have sealed his fate when he also spoke out against Washington. Gonzalo Lira was apprehended by Ukrainian authorities for the third time in August, while trying to escape the country into Hungary after being released on bail. The Chilean-American journalist had repeatedly criticized the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, arguing that Kiev had provoked its conflict with Russia and had no chance of winning. “This that is happening to my son, he’s a victim of this Biden government and his relation with that puppet Zelensky,” Gonzalo Lira Sr. said on Saturday in an interview with US political commentator Tucker Carlson.

“Zelensky is a man that has made opponents, political opponents, disappear.” The 80-year-old father said his son had bravely reported on about a dozen Zelensky opponents who had been “disappeared.” The younger Gonzalo Lira also predicted correctly that the Russian economy would be relatively unscathed by Western sanctions and that NATO members would suffer a boomerang effect from their efforts to arm Ukraine and punish Moscow. However, it was only after the blogger sharply criticized Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris that he was arrested for a second time, in May, Gonzalo Lira Sr. told Carlson. “Isn’t it odd that four days later, after condemning Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Gonzalo was arrested?” the father asked. “Why was he not detained earlier? When he was let go the previous year, he continued the same criticism against the war.”

He added, “The USA government, with its silence in the face of this scandalous incident, suggests a degree of complicity, or at least tacit approval of Gonzalo’s arrest.” Lira contrasted the Biden administration’s “conspicuous lack of response” to his son’s arrest to Washington’s aggressive efforts to secure the release of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested in Russia on espionage charges in March. The younger Lira is relying on a court-appointed Ukrainian attorney who speaks no English for his legal defense. Just before being captured in August, he warned that if he failed to get safely into Hungary and be granted political asylum, he would likely die in a Ukrainian labor camp.

Gonzalo Lira Sr. has called his son a political prisoner and has argued that his case illustrates the absurdity of US claims that the world must defend “freedom and democracy” in Ukraine. “If we are going to protect democracy in the world, let’s start by taking out that puppet called Zelensky,” he said.

Tucker Gonzalo

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“The resolution called for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages and urged the parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law.”

US Condemns Thousands To Death By Vetoing UN Gaza Resolution – Russia (TASS)

The United States condemned thousands of Palestinian and Israeli civilians to death by vetoing a resolution calling for a ceasefire, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said.”Our American colleagues have condemned thousands – if not tens of thousands – more civilians in Palestine and Israel, including women and children, to death, along with the UN workers who are trying to help them. History will assess what Washington has done,” he noted. “One can say many beautiful but empty words about democracy, human rights, peace, security, some rules and order, but today, we learned the true value of these words as two members of the UN Security Council preferred to remain complicit in Israel’s brutal massacre,” the diplomat said.

“Here at the council, we have nothing left to do but triple efforts to develop a decision that would ease the suffering of civilians within the limited and toothless framework that Washington and London have left us with,” he concluded. Earlier, the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution submitted by the United Arab Emirates, which called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Thirteen out of the UN Security Council’s 15 members, including Russia and China, voted for the resolution, while the UK abstained. The resolution called for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages and urged the parties to the conflict to comply with international humanitarian law.

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“The massacre of children in Gaza is particularly poignant given its location in the Holy Land and the proximity to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, whom Christians revere as the Son of God. The profanity is shocking.”

In the Season of Goodwill, A Tip for Biden… Stop Fuelling War (SCF)

U.S. President Joe Biden failed to obtain his Christmas wishlist of $111 billion in additional military funds for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The so-called “supplementary military aid package” was blocked by the Senate this week mainly due to opposition from Republican lawmakers. Their opposition was primarily based on demands for more funding to be given to U.S. border security measures rather than on principles of anti-war and pro-peace. Nevertheless, it is somewhat satisfying that Biden’s madcap militarism was dealt a blow. It’s also quite a grim eye-opener that the American president – the supposed leader of the “free world” and a professed devout Christian – sees nothing more important than spending such colossal amounts of money on weapons of war. It is all the more odious given the approach of Christmas and the Season of Goodwill.

The appalling violence in Gaza and the futile war in Ukraine must be stopped immediately. Peace and the alleviation of suffering should be the utmost priority for all world leaders worthy of the name. However, the Biden administration is having none of that. President Biden wants to send another $68 billion in weapons to Ukraine – on top of the more than $120 billion his administration has already supplied in aid to the Kiev regime. It is estimated that 400,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in nearly two years of a U.S.-led NATO proxy war against Russia. Yet, ludicrously, Biden declares this war to be an achievement in “defending democracy”. Instead of recognizing (even tacitly) that the conflict is a disastrous defeat for Washington and its allies, Biden wants to keep on throttling it.

Meanwhile, the White House has repudiated international calls for a ceasefire in Israel’s wanton offensive against Gaza. After more than two months of intensive aerial bombardment, more than 17,000 Palestinians have been killed and 50,000 injured. Most of the victims have been innocent children and women. The barbarity is unspeakable. So much so that there is a strong suspicion that the Israeli regime is exploiting the Hamas attacks on October 7 as a pretext for ethnic extermination. Despite the horrendous destruction, the Biden administration wants to give Israel an additional $14 billion in military aid on top of the $3.8 billion it receives annually from the United States.

The reported supply of 15,000 heavy bombs and one-tonne bunker buster ordnance from the U.S. to Israel has been made without any conditions on their use to limit civilian casualties. That makes the United States fully complicit in what can only be called genocide in Gaza. To request even more killing power in the form of $14 billion supplementary military aid is tantamount to giving Israel an even brighter green light to continue the mass slaughter with impunity. It is shuddering that this spiritually significant time of year does not give politicians pause for thought. The massacre of children in Gaza is particularly poignant given its location in the Holy Land and the proximity to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, whom Christians revere as the Son of God. The profanity is shocking.

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“Only in the Mount Herzl cemetery did we bury 50 soldiers in 48 hours.”

Israeli Losses Multiply As Gaza Factions Ferociously Resist Aggression (Cradle)

The Israeli army has registered at least 5,000 wounded among its ranks, including 2,000 troops who have been left “disabled” during the two-month-long ethnic cleansing campaign of Gaza. “Israel has never witnessed an event like this before in terms of the number of injured people,” the head of the Rehabilitation Department at the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Limor Luria, told Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth on 9 December. She added that “58 percent of the soldiers have limb injuries, as they were subjected to the amputation of a leg or arm.” The Israeli army claims only 91 soldiers have been killed by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza since the start of the war on 7 October, casting doubt on whether the actual death toll is being kept secret as the Al-Qassam Brigades has documented the daily destruction of Israeli vehicles and squadrons for the past two months.

In an interview last month, the director of Mount Herzl Military Cemetery, David Oren Baruch, revealed that – at the time – one Israeli soldier was being buried every one hour to one hour and a half. “We are now going through a period. Every hour, there is a funeral, and every hour and a half, there is a funeral,” Baruch said on 19 November. “Only in the Mount Herzl cemetery did we bury 50 soldiers in 48 hours.” The Israeli army is currently facing a fierce battle in the southern city of Khan Younis. According to Yaniv Kubovits, the military affairs correspondent for Haaretz, Israeli army commanders have reported there are four Hamas battalions at the site “whose ability to launch attacks against the army has not been affected.” Battles are also raging in the north of Gaza, which the Israeli army claimed to have gained control of last month. Rocket attacks also continue to be launched against settlements near the Gaza envelope, raising questions on whether Tel Aviv’s stated goal of “eradicating Hamas” can be achieved.

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“Russia will not initiate a diplomatic dialogue. A sense of threat is very real in Russia. Diplomatic channels conveyed this message to the Americans, behind closed doors.”

Moscow on the Rocks (Pepe Escobar)

And then, casually, almost as an afterthought while meeting Donbass heroes, Putin announces he will run for President again in next March’s elections. Considering his massive popularity – at least 80% nationally – he’s bound to remain in power until 2030. Welcome to VVP-2024. Plenty of time for serial meetings with his dear friend Xi Jinping. The Russia-China strategic partnership – in charge of paving the road to multipolarity – is scheduled to be rocking more progressively than Emerson, Lake and Palmer in Tarkus (“Have you walked in the stones of years?”) These have been heady days in dazzling, snowy Moscow. To start with, let’s go on a roll call of all those indicators which are being reluctantly admitted even by rabid NATOstan media.

A manufacturing boom is in effect in a semi war economy. Investments are up, up and away – including by dodgy Russian oligarchs who can’t park their funds in the West anymore. Tourism is up and up – including legions of Chinese tour groups and everyone and his neighbor from West, Central and South Asia. There’s an oil and gas export boom – as EU clients continue to buy gas via Turkey or to the delight of New Delhi, Repackaged in India oil. The yuan replaces the U.S. dollar and the euro. Import substitution rules – while in parallel Made in Turkey or Made in China products replace Europeans. Last January, the IMF was betting that the Russian economy would shrink by 2.3%. Now this outpost of the Treasury Department admits Russian GDP will grow by 2.2%. Actually it’s 3%, according to Putin himself, based on figures provided by the “Disrupter” (as described by a Western rag), Madame Elvira Nabiullina.

I have been privileged to be part of key meetings on everything from the latest in the Ukraine-Belarus front to still secret, top-flight studies on the ideal mechanism to bypass the U.S. dollar in payment settlements. A small group of us, invited by the International Russophile Movement (MIR), were treated to a detailed visit to the astonishing Sretensky monastery complex, defined by mega cool guy Larry Johnson as an unparalleled architectural jewel where one may experience “the palpable presence of God.” Then there was the requisite ritual, long, languid dinner with a stunning Princess in unmatchable Patriarch’s Ponds – Moscow’s Soho; talking to the young, future generation planning a new ground-breaking think tank in St. Petersburg; the mesmerizing Russia exhibition at the VDNKh – complete with a four-story underground bunker built by Rosatom to highlight the history of the Russian nuclear program.

Yes: there are replicas of the supersonic TU-144, the K3 Leninsky Komsomol nuclear submarine and even the Tsar Bomba. Not to mention Gagarin’s rocket lighted as if it’s starring on a psychedelic trip. The spirit of Christmas in on at Red Square – complete with skating rink and countless Christmas trees from every Russian region displayed at GUM. Welcome to the true multipolar Moveable Feast; and in the era of genocide in every smartphone, unlike Hemingway’s time a century ago, that’s not exactly taking place in gloomy and fearful Paris.

High-level Russian diplomacy was stunned to discover that Europe was much more dogmatic than many believed. “A new generation” is needed for dialogue to resume – but that does not seem to be in the cards anytime soon. Embassies should work as mediators. Yet that’s not the case – especially when it comes to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Russia will not initiate a diplomatic dialogue. A sense of threat is very real in Russia. Diplomatic channels conveyed this message to the Americans, behind closed doors. On the wishful thinking by has-beens such as former NATO secretary-general Anders “Fogh of War” Rasmussen, bragging on blocking St. Petersburg out of the Baltic Sea: “This is something that may end up very badly.”

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“..any global governance settlement cannot be enforced without the equal involvement of Russia, China and the US,” Raffone said. “The EU is, regrettably, irrelevant in such an exercise..”

‘Putin Era’ Rolls On in Spite of West Endlessly Underestimating Him (Sp.)

Many in the West thought military conflict between Russia and Ukraine would spell doom for Russian leader Vladimir Putin. But instead the operation has only strengthened the longtime president’s political resilience. That’s according to Paolo Raffone, the director of CIPI Foundation in Brussels, who spoke to Sputnik in light of Putin’s recent announcement that he’d seek reelection in 2024. “One critical mistake in any military confrontation is to underestimate the enemy,” noted Raffone. “Since the outset of the Russian operation, the Western propaganda machine has diffused reports ridiculing Russian strategies, forces, and capabilities.” “Even at a later stage, the withdrawal of Russian forces from Bakhmut has been completely misinterpreted as a sign of weakness while, instead, it was a wise decision, although painful, dictated by the restructuring of logistics along an over extended frontline.”

The strategic analyst suggested Putin and his military advisers have played the long game. Meanwhile, Western leaders’ public promotion of Kiev’s chances for victory has given rise to an overconfidence in the regime’s capabilities, imperiling the entire project. “The over communication of the capabilities of the Ukrainian army to launch last summer’s counteroffensive has resulted in overestimating the real possibilities while underestimating the carefully prepared Russian defensive lines,” said Raffone. “In addition, the stream of declarations by the NATO secretary general shows the manipulative intent instead of representing the effectiveness of the situation.” “Over the last three days, the NATO ‘paper tiger’ has contradicted itself several times on the real possibilities for Ukraine to win. No doubt that in all military operations propaganda is as important as the field activities. However, the reality in the field remains while propaganda vanishes, producing a sense of despair and disaffection in the masses involved.”

Raffone claimed that, behind the scenes, a “secret realist diplomacy” has prevailed regarding the situation even as a chauvinistic Western press is unable to convey the reality of events on the ground. The disconnect with reality extends to Western political leaders who’ve been unable to reflect Russia’s advantageous position in their “storytelling and policies. He believes the United States is seeking a “credible face-saving exit strategy” from the Ukrainian confrontation amidst the political realities of upcoming elections in Russia, the United States, and the European Union. Until those elections are held, Raffone said “no political leader can deviate from the chosen anti-Putin stance,” meaning Western audiences may expect public vilification and hysterical mainstream media speculation to continue. “Serious strategic analysis indicates that any global governance settlement cannot be enforced without the equal involvement of Russia, China and the US,” Raffone said. “The EU is, regrettably, irrelevant in such an exercise..” [..]

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“They all talk about the de facto recognition of Russian control over territory and making the rest of Ukraine an anti-Russia on steroids..”

Russia Won’t Agree to ‘Minsk-3.0’ Deal on Ukraine (Sp.)

Russia will either have to “come to the negotiating table on terms that would be acceptable to Ukraine…or they will face a stronger Ukraine, backed by a stronger defense industrial base in the United States, in Europe, and in Ukraine that has more ability to go on the offense,” US deputy national security advisor John Finer warned during a talk at a DC neocon think tank this week. The Kremlin rejected Finer’s comments as “absolutely unrealistic.” “I don’t think that there are necessary preconditions for peace talks,” Russian foreign policy strategist Dmitry Suslov told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. “The objective reasons for Western interest in peace talks are there because the correlation of forces on the Ukrainian conflict is shifting in Russia’s favor, has already shifted in Russia’s favor.

“And I think Russian preponderance in all aspects on the front will continue to grow – in terms of the number of people…in terms of weapons and ammunition, in terms of the ability to deliver and supply those weapons and ammunition to the front, including the newest features of contemporary warfare like drones and anti-radio systems and so on and so forth. So, Russia will continue to increase its advantage and over time, this Russian material advantage will inevitably translate into breakthroughs on the front,” Suslov explained. Leading American neoliberal and neoconservative geopolitics experts realize this, the observer believes, hence the sudden calls for a truce, some type of diplomatic settlement or at least a freeze on the conflict.

“But from the Russian perspective, we do not see a readiness for serious discussions from the Biden administration. Most likely it wants, as Americans say, to ‘kick the can down the road’ until the elections and then to think what comes next after the elections,” Suslov said. One recent report by a well-respected US journalist suggested that forces behind the scenes in Washington have put out feelers for a peace deal with Russia involving freezing the conflict along its current frontiers, in exchange for a rump Ukrainian state’s inclusion into the NATO bloc. Such talk focused territory marks a fundamental misunderstanding of Russia’s actual security concerns, Suslov stressed.

“They all talk about the de facto recognition of Russian control over territory and making the rest of Ukraine an anti-Russia on steroids, integration of the rump Ukraine into the Western orbit in this or that form, robust militarization of this rump Ukraine. They talk about either the Israeli model or the Korean model, both of which would imply Ukraine becoming a militarized anti-Russian fortress with very strong connections with the West. This is completely unacceptable for Russia. This is a false vision because Russia will never be satisfied with territories. The most fundamental reason why Russia is fighting this struggle is security – more fundamental questions of European security,” the geopolitical observer said.

Moscow, Suslov said, is focused not on territory, but on “Ukrainian-NATO relations, the future of NATO’s presence in Ukrainian territory, the future of Ukrainian militarization versus demilitarization” (as outlined in the Russian Foreign Ministry’s December 2021 draft treaties on ironclad security guarantees). Accordingly, “without Western readiness to address those issues,” the Russian government will be extremely unlikely to entertain talks of peace or even a truce, the analyst believes.

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“It is necessary to confirm the neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine..”

Russia Won’t Allow Existence Of ‘Nazi State’ On Its Border – Zakharova (RT)

Moscow will not allow Ukraine to continue its existence as a “Nazi state,” threatening both Russia and other nations, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said. Zakharova made the remarks in an exclusive interview with AFP, published in full on Saturday. Asked whether the goals of “denazification” and “demilitarization” of Ukraine, proclaimed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the beginning of the conflict in February 2022, Zakharova confirmed that was the case. Moreover, the events of the Ukrainian crisis have shown Russia’s decision to launch its special military operation was a necessity, she stressed.

“From the very beginning of the hostilities, the [Ukrainian] neo-Nazis have been cynically using the civilian population as ‘human shields’ and brutally treating Russian prisoners of war. Their main goal in this conflict is to kill as many Russians as possible,” Zakharova explained. “We will not allow the existence on our borders of an aggressive Nazi state from whose territory there is a danger for Russia and its neighbors.” Asked about prospects of somehow settling the conflict, Zakharova said that the only way to reach a “lasting peace” was, effectively, meeting all Russia’s demands. “It is necessary to confirm the neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free status of Ukraine, carry out its demilitarization and denazification, acknowledge new territorial realities, and ensure the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities living in this country,” she explained.

Russia remains ready to resolve the conflict through diplomacy, the spokeswoman confirmed, stating that Moscow has never refused to do so. However, to make such negotiations possible, “the Kiev regime and its Western curators” must take “practical steps and show goodwill.” Thus far, neither of them had shown such “political will,” she added. “A comprehensive, sustainable and just resolution of the conflict over Ukraine depends, to a large extent, on addressing its very causes. The West must stop pumping up the Ukrainian military with weaponry, while Kiev must cease hostilities and withdraw its troops from Russian territory,” Zakharova explained, referring to the four formerly-Ukrainian regions of Zaporozhye, Kherson, as well as Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, which got incorporated into Russia after referendums last fall.

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“An Estonian military officer has formulated the following thesis: that ‘there are only two options: either Ukraine will win, or there will be World War III..’”

Polish Media Debunks Narrative That Ukraine is Fighting for West’s Freedom (Sp.)

Kiev’s “cunning propaganda” suggesting that a Russian victory in Ukraine will inevitably be followed up with attacks on NATO countries are little more than a form of “demagoguery” and “blackmail” completely detached from reality. That’s according to an editorial published in Polish politics journal Mysl Polska. “An Estonian military officer has formulated the following thesis: that ‘there are only two options: either Ukraine will win, or there will be World War III’. This ridiculous proposition is probably shared by a large part of Ukraine’s supporters in our country,” the alternative conservative media outlet wrote, pointing to efforts by some actors to convince the public “that a Ukrainian defeat will mean we will definitely be attacked by Russia.”

But the latter claim is little more than a “cunning propaganda move by Kiev aimed at maintaining Western policy of unconditional military and financial support,” with these kind of “demagogic statements…often used by Ukrainian politicians as blackmail (for example, during the Polish truckers’ protests). This trick is also used by the failing administration of Joe Biden, which frightens the countries of NATO’s eastern flank with the prospect of an attack by Russia,” the journal emphasized. The reality is the exact opposition, and “there is no country in Europe that should be more interested in ending the war than Poland, which will be the first to face the consequences if the military situation escalates. Poland should be among the first countries to demand an end to this war, just like the Hungarians are doing. However, no political force in our country will dare to formulate such a demand… Why? Because the dogma of ‘fighting to the end’ continues to apply. The fact that it means ‘to the last Ukrainian’ is something no one in Poland cares about.”

The political journal lamented that “no one in Poland is talking about the fundamental change in the West’s policy toward Russia towards dialogue and the creation of a security system in which all parties (Russia and the West) will feel safe. To achieve this, we will need to end NATO’s march to the east, clearly declare that Ukraine will be a neutral country, end the policy of endless sanctions and revive all institutions that could be a platform for dialogue between Russia and the Europe (e.g. The OSCE). Someone might say, but isn’t that impossible? If so, they will be admitting that the Estonian military officer quoted above is right – that the alternative is World War III,” Mysl Polska summarized.

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“Yes, Russia stopped supplying energy to Europe… It was the Russian president who halted gas supplies through a working gas pipeline,” Scholz stated.”

Bizarre Plot Twist: Scholz Blames Putin for High Energy Prices in Europe (Sp.)

The leader of Germany’s coalition government attempted to scapegoat Russia for his country’s self-inflicted economic woes as Berlin faces the threat of deindustrialization. In a recent address at the Social Democratic Party (SPD) congress, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz blamed Russia for halting gas supplies to Europe amid rising energy costs. He accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of stopping gas flows through a functional pipeline, significantly reducing Germany’s gas intake and contributing to a shortfall in Europe’s energy reserves. “Russia: Yes, Russia stopped supplying energy to Europe… It was the Russian president who halted gas supplies through a working gas pipeline,” Scholz stated. “This has implications for energy prices.”

But that narrative collapses in light of his country’s role in imposing sanctions on Moscow and restricting the flow of Russian energy to Western Europe. Scholz’s decision to align with the US and Britain in sanctioning Russian energy sources worsened Germany’s problems. The nation has denied itself around 120 billion cubic meters of Russian gas as a result. Germany has instead increased gas imports from Norway and built new liquified natural gas (LNG) on its northern coast to import more-expensive supplies from the US — all choices made by the West, not Moscow.

The gas supply situation worsened further following last year’s terrorist attacks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines that run from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Several countries, including Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, have conducted investigations into the incident, but have failed to name a culprit and refused to share their findings with Russia. Russian authorities have accused the US and Britain as the main forces behind the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines. Nikolai Shulginov, head of the Russian Ministry of Energy, stated in November that Russia had not “closed” the western direction of energy supplies and continues to be a reliable gas supplier even under current challenging conditions.

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“..this anti-interventionism would lead to the eventual collapse of NATO..”

EU Leaders Panicking Over Potential Trump Return – NYT (RT)

EU diplomats and think tank officials have been contacting former US President Donald Trump’s associates to figure out whether he would pull the US out of NATO if he returns to the White House, the New York Times reported on Friday. With less than a year to go until the 2024 presidential elections, Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee and is leading President Joe Biden in most polls. A host of former Trump administration officials and anti-Trump pundits have claimed in recent weeks that a second Trump presidency would herald the collapse of NATO, and that panic has reportedly spread to the EU. “European ambassadors and think tank officials have been making pilgrimages to associates of Mr. Trump to inquire about his intentions,” the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources.

These officials included Finland’s ambassador to the US, Mikko Hautala, who the newspaper said “reached out directly to Mr. Trump and sought to persuade him of his country’s value to NATO as a new member.” Other countries are expected to try and win Trump’s support with “flattery and transactional tributes,” the Times stated, citing interviews with current and former diplomats. Trump has not threatened to pull the US out of NATO. However, he spent his presidency railing against the bloc’s European members, accusing them of freeloading off the US’ massive military presence on the continent while failing to meet NATO’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defense. Trump used NATO’s annual summits to berate European leaders into boosting their military spending, and according to former National Security Advisor John Bolton, was ready to announce the US’ withdrawal from the alliance in 2018.

Trump’s final national security advisor, Robert O’Brien, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, told the Times that the former president’s NATO-related gripes should be viewed as a negotiating tactic, aimed at pressing European members into committing more money to the bloc. In a statement to the Times, Trump wrote that “it is the obligation of every US president to ensure that America’s alliances serve to protect the American people, and do not recklessly endanger American blood and treasure,” adding that his “highest priority” would be “the defense of our own country, our own borders, our own values, and our own people.”

Such a statement is consistent with Trump’s long-standing view that American troops should not be “the policemen of the world.” While Trump carried out military strikes on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, he attempted to withdraw American troops from all three countries, and was the only US president in modern history not to engage in a new foreign war. However, Trump’s former defense secretary, Marc Esper, told MSNBC on Thursday that this anti-interventionism would lead to the eventual collapse of NATO. If Trump were to pull military support for Ukraine, Esper claimed, “the whole effort to support Ukraine in its war with Russia would eventually crumble,” as would the alliance itself if Trump then began pulling troops from Europe.

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“..it makes no sense to insist that there is no direct evidence while opposing efforts to establish such evidence..”

With Hunter’s Indictment, Democrats Face A Moment Of Maddening Truth (Turley)

Author Aldous Huxley once said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.” Such a moment of madness has arrived in Congress as members prepare to vote on the formal approval of an impeachment inquiry. The second indictment of Hunter Biden shattered long-standing denials and narratives repeated by the White House and members of Congress. What is left in its wake is now plain to the public: corruption. The vote is not whether to impeach President Biden, but whether members support the investigation into these growing allegations of corruption by the Biden family. According to recent polling, nearly 70 percent of voters (and 40 percent of Democrats) believe that Biden has acted unlawfully or unethically or both. Yet with almost half of the Democratic Party viewing Biden’s conduct as worthy of investigation, it is not clear whether a single Democratic member will vote to look into these allegations.

In September, I testified at the first impeachment inquiry hearing and stated that the evidence had clearly passed the threshold for such an inquiry. While there was no requirement to hold a formal vote to start this process (as the Democrats did with Trump), I encouraged the members to hold such a vote. Since that hearing, the evidence has only mounted against President Biden. It is now clear that Biden lied when he maintained as a candidate, and later as president, that he had no knowledge of his son’s business dealings with foreign interests. Even Hunter himself contradicted the president on this claim. It is also now clear that he lied in denying that his son never made money in China. The indictment confirms massive transfers from Chinese sources.

It is also clear that Hunter was engaged in raw influence peddling. This included threatening at least one Chinese businessman that his father was sitting next to him and would retaliate against him if he did not send millions to the Bidens. President Biden also lied when he claimed this week that he had not had any “interactions” with his son’s business associates. There are emails, audiotapes and testimony now disproving that claim. Millions of dollars flowed to Biden family members through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. Hunter Biden sent emails saying that up to half of his income went to his father while they used shared accounts and credit cards for expenses. Even Biden associates now admit that they were selling “the Biden brand” and influence with Joe Biden. Advocates simply argue that they were merely selling the “illusion” of influence.

It is now time to see if a single Democratic member will stand against corruption and support an inquiry into the president’s role and later cover-up of this corruption. That includes the use of White House staff to spread false claims and attack critics. I have previously discussed four possible articles of impeachment that warrant investigation. One of the false narratives being bandied about is that there is no proof that the influence peddling Biden’s son and brothers benefited the president himself. Thus, the argument goes, even though he was the subject of the influence peddling, Joe Biden did not legally or constitutionally benefit from the payments to constitute bribery or other crimes.

That is utter nonsense. The courts have repeatedly found that benefits to family members (far more modest than the millions in this case) can constitute bribery for a politician. That has also been the position of the Justice Department in past cases. Regardless of whether Hunter or his associates were speaking truthfully about handing over percentages of these funds to Joe Biden, he practically and legally benefited from the millions going to his family. Even if members insist that they are not yet convinced, it makes no sense to insist that there is no direct evidence while opposing efforts to establish such evidence. These members have opposed any investigation into the allegations from the start.

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“..existing home sales have dropped near record lows, and roughly $6.5 trillion of commercial real estate debt remains an overhang..”

Americans Running Out Of Savings – JPMorgan (RT)

Most Americans have already drained the excess savings they made during the Covid-19 pandemic, Marko Kolanovic, a senior stock strategist at JPMorgan bank, said in a note this week. According to Kolanovic, inflation-adjusted liquid assets such as deposits and money market funds of nearly all US consumers will be below 2019 levels by mid-2024. “It is likely that only the top 1% of consumers by income will be better off than before the pandemic,” he warned, noting the recent surge of credit card and auto loan delinquencies and a growing number of bankruptcy protection filings.

According to JPMorgan’s earlier calculations, Americans’ excess savings reached a record high in August 2021 at $2.1 trillion. However, in October this year, they were down to around $148 billion. The bank’s strategists explained at the time that the trend stems from “tighter credit conditions and rising rates, wind-down of Covid-era stimulus and relief programs,” as well as multiple years of above average inflation. Kolanovic noted that the housing market is so far stable despite high borrowing costs, “as consumers locked in low interest rates.” “However, existing home sales have dropped near record lows, and roughly $6.5 trillion of commercial real estate debt remains an overhang,” he warned.

Meanwhile, US credit card debt has continued to surge this year, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases in the three months to September, according to the New York Federal Reserve bank. Researchers have noted that more and more households are having difficulty managing their debt amid persistently high inflation and rising interest rates, a tendency that could signal “real financial stress.”

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“..renewable energy is unreliable and uneconomic, and has an insatiable requirement for financial subsidy..”

Net Zero Requires 80 Million Kilometres of New Power Lines By 2040 (DS)

Achieving Net Zero means building 80 million kilometres of new and refurbished power lines within 17 years, equivalent to wrapping the Earth 2,000 times with new electricity grid capacity. All the high voltage lines built in the last century will need to be built again by 2040 to benefit from all the intermittent power produced by the vast number of wind turbines. The ecological costs of all this can only be guessed at. Electricity cables are made of aluminium and copper and strung on giant pylons made of steel and supported by large concrete bases. For their part, wind turbines are a menace to both avian and oceanic wildlife, consume vast quantities of raw materials, have a limited lifespan and are an increasing blight on both inland and offshore landscapes.

If the International Energy Agency (IEA) gets its way, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The roll-out of high voltage lines will be on an unprecedented scale. In a report on global electricity grids issued to coincide with COP28, the IEA states that “an unprecedented level of attention from policymakers and business leaders is needed to ensure grids support clean energy transitions and maintain electricity security”. Major changes in how grids operate and are regulated are said to be essential. Annual investment in grids, which has remained broadly stagnant, needs to double to more than $600 billion a year by 2030. The Australian science journalist Jo Nova is in no mood to be understanding: “Remember, it’s not their fault that renewables need far more land, more space, more backup and more infrastructure – it’s our fault we didn’t build a world ready for their holy energy.”

The IEA paints a world where electricity grids are becoming a “bottleneck” for transitions to Net Zero emissions. While investment in renewables has been increasing rapidly, global investment in grids “has barely changed”. In Europe, policymakers can speed up progress on grids by “enhancing planning, ensuring regulatory risk assessments allow for anticipatory investment, and streamlining administrative processes”. In plain English this means ripping up local planning laws in over-populated Britain and blanketing the country with millions of giant electricity pylons. These will be required to bring energy to urban areas from power intermittently generated far away in the North Sea and off the Scottish coast.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the British Government recently set out “major plans” to speed up connections and rapidly increase capacity on the electricity grid. The press release cunningly linked it with a £960 million government investment in “green industries”. The new package is “expected” to bring forward £90 billion of investment over the next 10 years. The Government promised that it will “reward” those living closest to new infrastructure with up to £1,000 a year off their electricity bills. In another part of the release, this is downgraded to communities “could” benefit, and the bung is limited to 10 years. Whatever the money is spent on, it is likely to be chickenfeed compared with the growing £12 billion annual subsidy paid by electricity consumers to the producers of renewable energy. But the next British government will face an empty exchequer and soaring state debt. Lack of finance along with the end of low interest rates and free money printing is likely to kill many of the green fantasises currently being peddled by collectivist Net Zero fanatics. It is becoming clearer by the day, to an increasing number of people, that renewable energy is unreliable and uneconomic, and has an insatiable requirement for financial subsidy.

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Reindeer antlers

 

 

Reindeer cyclone

 

 

Kinetic

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 182023
 
 July 18, 2023  Posted by at 9:33 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Andy Warhol Sigmund Freud 1980

 

US Not Ready For War With Russia – White House (RT)
US Soldiers Don’t Belong in Ukraine (Ottenberg)
No Military Solution To Ukraine Crisis – China (RT)
No More Security Guarantees For Black Sea Navigation – Russian FM (RT)
Erdogan To Talk Black Sea Grain Deal Resumption With Putin (RT)
EU Snubs Zelensky Over Summit – Spanish Daily (RT)
US Bid to Prolong Ukraine Proxy War Risks Another Quagmire (Sp.)
Yellen Says Ukraine Aid Is the Best Boost for Global Economy (NM)
Jan. 6 Defendant Appeals To Supreme Court (JTN)
Trump Opens Up About Mistakes Made During First Term (ET)
Situational Awareness (Jim Kunstler)
Abominable RFK Jr. Anti-Semitism Accusation a Harbinger of Things to Come (ET)
The Human Cost of Net Zero (Spiked)

 

 

 

 

Putin

 

 

 

 

Macgregor


https://twitter.com/i/status/1680884654172258305

 

 

 

 

Ukr pre2014

 

 

RFK Event 201

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Sullivan said that accepting Ukraine into the alliance now would mean a direct confrontation between the bloc and Russia.”

US Not Ready For War With Russia – White House (RT)

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has stated that Ukraine’s future lies in NATO, but said certain conditions must be met before it can join the alliance, which includes ending its conflict with Russia. In an interview with CBS on Sunday, Sullivan insisted that NATO is committed to accepting Kiev into its ranks despite the lack of a formal invitation or timeline for membership during last week’s NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. “Ukraine’s future is in NATO. We meant it. That’s not up for negotiation,” Sullivan said. “That’s something that now all 31 allies have committed to,” he added, referring to the final statement released at the end of the summit, in which all members of the alliance pledged to eventually accept Ukraine into the bloc, once a number of conditions are met. Speaking to ABC, Sullivan said that accepting Ukraine into the alliance now would mean a direct confrontation between the bloc and Russia.


“Having Ukraine come into NATO while the war is going on would mean that NATO was at war with Russia, it would mean the United States was at war with Russia. And neither NATO nor the United States were prepared to do that,”he said. Kiev insists that it has already met all of the requirements to join the US-led bloc and has expressed confusion over what more it has to do to qualify for membership. “When will those conditions be met? What are those conditions? Who should formulate them? What are they?” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said in an interview with Radio Free Europe last week. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky lashed out at NATO for failing to meet Kiev’s membership demands and called the lack of a roadmap towards accession “unprecedented and absurd,”saying NATO’s indecisiveness is a sign of weakness.

Ru soldier

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“The worst day in Afghanistan or Iraq is a great day in Ukraine.”

US Soldiers Don’t Belong in Ukraine (Ottenberg)

So how many American soldiers fight in Ukraine? The Biden bunch is careful not to reveal or refer to their presence, mercenary or otherwise, but the question keeps coming to mind. It popped up again June 27, when Russia bombed what the Ukraine press called simply a restaurant in Kramatorsk. However, this supposedly innocuous restaurant was part of a hotel complex that apparently attracted lots of western men of fighting age, specifically American soldiers and others from NATO countries. We know this because eyewitnesses heard them speaking American English and saw their U.S. military tattoos (3rd Ranger Battalion) and the American flags on their helmets. Also, American mercenaries were reported dead in twitter accounts. We also know that this missile attack killed 50 Ukrainian officers and two generals and at least 20 of the westerners, including Americans, proving yet again that one American soldier in Ukraine is one too many.

The problem is that we don’t know how many U.S. soldiers – to say nothing of American mercenaries – are in Ukraine. The Russian ministry of defense estimates that there have been over 900 American mercenaries in Ukraine. Meanwhile Washington remains mum, closely guarding its knowledge of this secret for the obvious reason that not doing so might provoke an open confrontation with Moscow. And since they don’t want a nuclear World War III, the white house and pentagon nurture an intense interest in concealing facts about the U.S. military footprint in Ukraine and their possible encouragement of it. Even if large numbers of American NATO officers were killed there, we, back in the so-called homeland, would doubtless be kept in the dark.

The scraps of news we do get indicate that the fighting goes poorly for U.S. troops. “This is my third war I’ve fought in, and this is by far the worst one,” Troy Offenbecker told the Daily Beast July 1. “You’re getting fucking smashed with artillery, tanks. Last week I had a plane drop a bomb next to us, like 300 meters away. It’s horrifying shit.” The Daily Beast quotes another U.S. soldier, David Bramlette: “The worst day in Afghanistan or Iraq is a great day in Ukraine.” Regarding reconnaissance missions, he said, “if two of them get injured…there’s no helicopter coming to get you…shit can go south really, really frickin’ quickly.” In other words, this is a different enemy, a very competent one, and U.S. soldiers in Ukraine sub rosa could die in large numbers that people back home never hear about.

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“..the official said the Ukraine crisis erupted last year thanks to “expanding military blocs..”

No Military Solution To Ukraine Crisis – China (RT)

Only a political settlement can resolve the conflict in Ukraine, China’s deputy UN envoy has said, urging the international community to seek a peaceful end to the crisis after Beijing advanced its own plan to halt the fighting. Speaking at an open meeting on Ukraine at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Monday, Beijing’s deputy permanent UN representative, Geng Shuang, proposed a four-point framework for future peace efforts, saying the global body should “work together to prevent the situation from getting out of control.” “The evolution of the battlefield situation shows that military means cannot resolve the Ukrainian crisis, and the continuation of the conflict will only bring more suffering to civilians, and may even lead to unpredictable and irreparable situations,” he said.

“No matter how long the crisis lasts, it will eventually be resolved through political means.” The Chinese framework calls for talks between Moscow and Kiev, limiting the potential “spillover effects of the crisis,” addressing humanitarian issues, and guaranteeing “nuclear safety and security” – in particular at the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The deputy UN envoy went on to argue that any solution to the conflict must “uphold a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security concept.” Though he did not cite the NATO alliance by name, the official said the Ukraine crisis erupted last year thanks to “expanding military blocs,” which “can only bring turmoil and unrest to Europe and the entire world.”

Early this year, China unveiled a 12-point roadmap designed to end the fighting, calling for the resumption of talks and arguing that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations should be upheld. The Chinese government has previously slammed the unilateral sanctions on Moscow, and argued that NATO expansion in Europe is the root of the conflict in Ukraine. The initiative received a positive reception in Moscow, with senior officials in the Kremlin signaling willingness to discuss it further. However, the proposal was soon rejected by Kiev and some of its Western backers, who accused Beijing of supporting Russia’s interests.

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The grain deal met the same fate as Minsk, April 2022: the west doesn’t make good on its part of the deal.

No More Security Guarantees For Black Sea Navigation – Russian FM (RT)

Russia will no longer provide security guarantees for civilian vessels traversing the formerly exempted corridor in the Black Sea, the country’s foreign ministry has announced. Earlier on Monday, the Kremlin stated that it would not extend the Black Sea grain agreement since its own food and fertilizer exports are still being blocked. In a statement released on Monday, the Foreign Ministry said that this latest decision “means the recall of maritime navigation security guarantees, the discontinuation of the maritime humanitarian corridor [and] the reinstatement of the ‘temporarily dangerous area’ regime in the north-western Black Sea.” Russian diplomats went on to accuse Ukraine of using the humanitarian corridor to carry out attacks on Russian targets.

As for the Ukrainian grain shipments that were facilitated by the deal, the ministry claimed that the vast majority of those ended up in Europe, with several countries there allegedly lining their pockets. The statement pointed out that the whole mechanism, which was launched last summer, had ostensibly been designed to help avert famine in poorer nations. According to Moscow, key points in the Russia-UN memorandum, which was signed in lockstep with the Black Sea Initiative, have remained unfulfilled to date. As a result, the ministry explained, Russian bank transactions, insurance and logistics were effectively paralyzed, meaning that Moscow could not sell its own produce and fertilizers on the international market. In one case cited in the statement, a shipment of Russian fertilizers donated free of charge to several African countries was blocked in the EU.

The foreign ministry concluded that in light of all these issues, the agreement no longer makes sense. Moscow has suggested European nations should allow Ukraine to transfer its grain via their territory and potentially face the wrath of local farmers, or take action and address Russia’s grievances. Should this happen, Moscow would be ready to return to the implementation of the agreement, the statement noted. Earlier on Monday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov announced the termination of the deal. He also reiterated Russia’s readiness to return to the mechanism; however, he added that this would only happen if its interests were respected. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Moscow would “suspend participation in this deal,” describing the arrangement as a “one-sided game all along.”

Grain deal
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680936741430018049

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Erdogan didn’t keep his word to Putin about the Azov commanders.

Erdogan To Talk Black Sea Grain Deal Resumption With Putin (RT)

Türkiye believes that Russia is interested in continuing the Black Sea grain deal despite Moscow announcing on Monday that it was ending its involvement in the agreement, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed. The arrangement “went down in history as a diplomatic success,” the Turkish leader said during a press conference on Monday. Erdogan insisted that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, wanted the deal to survive, and that the two would soon talk on the phone about a possible way forward. Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the scheme “effectively ceased to be in effect today.” Russia has accused the UN of failing to deliver on its part of the bargain, which included lifting Western economic sanctions hampering Russian exports of foodstuffs and fertilizers.


Unless that changes, Moscow will no longer keep up its end of the deal either, Peskov said. The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the UN and Türkiye had been formally notified that Moscow had opted against renewing the grain deal again, resulting in its expiration on Monday. Formally known as the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the agreement between Moscow and Kiev was mediated by the UN and Türkiye last summer. It allowed Ukrainian grain to be shipped by sea, with merchant ships being inspected to prevent misuse of the arrangement. The deal was touted as a way to alleviate a food price hike in the world’s poorest nations. However, Moscow said that contrary to the deal’s stated goal, European nations were the primary recipients of the shipments.

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Latin American heads of state are not wild about Zelensky.

EU Snubs Zelensky Over Summit – Spanish Daily (RT)

The European Union ignored Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s requests to be invited to the bloc’s summit with Latin American heads of state and government, Barcelona’s La Vanguardia has reported. Last week, NATO refused to accommodate Kiev’s demands for a clear NATO membership timeline, let alone immediate accession to the US-led military alliance. In its article on Monday, the paper cited anonymous European diplomats as claiming that the European Council’s President, Charles Michel, had decided it would be “better not to invite” the Ukrainian head of state to the meeting of European Union and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) leaders in Brussels.

However, “Ukraine will occupy a prominent place during the leaders’ discussions,” unnamed sources told the Spanish daily ahead of the event, which kicked off on Monday. The unnamed diplomats listed food security as one item that would likely be high on the agenda. According to the outlet, the EU has been pressing for the inclusion of condemnation of Russia’s military campaign against Ukraine in the summit’s final document. However, it is not clear whether this will be the case as there is reportedly no consensus on the issue among Latin American nations. La Vanguardia pointed out that the previous EU-CELAC summit took place back in 2015, with Brussels now busy doubling down on its efforts to woo the Global South.

Last week, NATO fell short of Ukraine’s expectations after the US-led military bloc decided that Kiev would be granted membership at some unspecified point in the future, “when allies agree and conditions are met.” President Zelensky took to social media last Tuesday, slamming the alliance’s “indecisiveness” and “weakness.” “It’s unprecedented and absurd when [a] time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership,” the Ukrainian head of state insisted. Later on, however, Zelensky softened his stance somewhat after the US delegation reportedly became “furious” at his criticisms.

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“Outside this event, war in Ukraine has also taken the glitter off of western weapons and the military industrial complex. For a very high price, it produces inadequate quantities of shoddy goods..”

US Bid to Prolong Ukraine Proxy War Risks Another Quagmire (Sp.)

The Biden administration appears content to prolong the proxy conflict in Ukraine in an effort to weaken Russia, while serving the interests of certain stakeholders in the American establishment, despite the risk of the confrontation turning into another Vietnam or Afghan-style quagmire, experts told Sputnik. At the NATO summit in Vilnius earlier this week, the US and its allies made long-term security commitments to Ukraine while easing alliance admission requirements. However, Kiev was disappointed in not getting an invitation to join NATO as soon as possible, with US President Joe Biden even saying membership is off the table for Ukraine while the conflict with Russia lasts.

“NATO summit proved what was known anyway. The collective West under US leadership wants to destroy Russia without going to war directly but by using Ukrainians as cannon fodder,” American University in Moscow President Edward Lozansky told Sputnik. “Thus we are witnessing a crime that supersedes the atrocities in Vietnam and the Middle East.” However, in previous proxy fights, he added, the US could at least use countering communism or terror as a pretext. “Here we see a policy of provoking, funding, and prolonging the war between the two Christian nations that lived together for over three centuries and who were bounded by close historical, religious, economic, cultural, and family ties under the false flag of preserving a non-existing democracy in the most corrupted state to preserve the geopolitical advantage of the hegemon and its willing vassals,” Lozansky said.

University of Louvain Professor of Political Philosophy Jean Bricmont believes by only pledging more security assistance, NATO allies have made it obvious they do not want to spark a direct war with Russia, which is not good news for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “The mere sending of weapons does not seem to tilt the balance in his favor,” Bricmont suggested. Meanwhile, Bricmont added, developments on the ground in Ukraine and inside Russia have not gone according to plan for the United States, especially as the hoped-for collapse of the Russian economy has not happened and Ukraine’s counteroffensive is failing. “The whole thing has become a very cynical game: using Ukrainians as much and as long as possible in that war, but without any real plan of success,” Bricmont told Sputnik.

“This is likely to end like Vietnam or Afghanistan, but the Americans cannot admit it and cut their losses. So, Ukrainians and Russians will continue to die needlessly.” Lozansky suggested there were other motives driving the White House’s Ukraine policy besides simply trying to counter Russia. “Of course, there was an additional incentive to make money for the military-industrial complex, and, as it turns out, to enrich the Biden family,” Lozansky said. Krainer Analytics Founder Alex Krainer, a Europe-based financial analyst, said while the war may have filled the US defense industry’s pockets, it also undermined many perceptions of its strengths and American’s military prowess. “Outside this event, war in Ukraine has also taken the glitter off of western weapons and the military industrial complex. For a very high price, it produces inadequate quantities of shoddy goods,” Krainer said. “The whole thing has been outed as a con and a paper tiger.”

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Shrooms.

Yellen Says Ukraine Aid Is the Best Boost for Global Economy (NM)

Redoubling support for war-stricken Ukraine is the “single best” way to aid the global economy, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday, along with boosting emerging economies and tackling debt distress. Yellen also said on the sidelines of a G20 finance ministers’ summit in India she would “push back” on criticism there was a tradeoff between aid to Ukraine and developing nations. “Ending this war is first and foremost a moral imperative,” she told reporters in Gandhinagar. “But it’s also the single best thing we can do for the global economy.” Yellen also pointed to efforts to tackle debt distress faced by struggling economies, bank reform and a global tax deal, and warned it was “premature” to talk of lifting tariffs on China.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both global breadbaskets that together exported almost a quarter of the world’s wheat supply, triggered shockwaves in economies worldwide by sending prices for food and fuel shooting up. Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki, speaking after a G7 meeting of ministers, “reconfirmed the G7’s unshakeable support” to Ukraine. “We confirmed that Russia-owned assets that are under the G7’s supervision would not be transferred until Russia pays damages to Ukraine,” Suzuki said, adding that Moscow should also “pay long-term reconstruction costs”. Any discussion on Ukraine is awkward for G20 host India, which has not condemned Russia’s invasion but is also part of the Quad grouping alongside Australia, the United States and Japan.

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High time SCOTUS gets involved.

Jan. 6 Defendant Appeals To Supreme Court (JTN)

Jan. 6 defendant Edward Jacob Lang is asking the Supreme Court to hear his challenge against one of the 11 charges he was indicted on – obstruction of an official proceeding – in a case that could upend legal proceedings against hundreds of other defendants indicted on charges related to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot. The obstruction charge could be levied against “anyone who attends at a public demonstration gone awry,” attorneys for Lang wrote in an appeal to the Supreme Court last week. The proceeding for which the charge was brought refers to the event where Congress certifies the Electoral College votes to confirm the president.

The charge “is nothing less than the weaponization of the penal code to stifle dissent; it sets a terrifying precedent unworthy of this nation’s history,” Lang’s attorneys also wrote. Lang had filed a motion to dismiss the obstruction charge, which carries a 20-year sentence, before his trial, and the D.C. District court granted this motion. However, an appeals court reversed the lower court’s decision and a motion for a rehearing was denied. Lang’s attorney Norman Pattis told Newsweek that he thinks the Supreme Court could upend the cases of “hundreds of defendants.” “The government misuse and abuse of the federal penal code in the [January 6] cases is shocking,” Pattis also said. His client expects to hear this fall whether the Supreme Court will take up the case.

Lang has been incarcerated for more than 900 days without a trial. He told The Epoch Times that he thinks his appeal could impact the Justice Department’s separate effort to potentially charge former President Donald Trump with obstruction. “I think the timing of this filing is astronomical,” Lang said. “Donald Trump is the political frontrunner for the Republican Party, and while the other bogus charges might easily go away through a plea deal, the obstruction of Congress charge carries prison time. This one would land him in serious hot water with a conviction.”

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How about Bolton, Pompeo?

Trump Opens Up About Mistakes Made During First Term (ET)

President Donald Trump acknowledged that he made mistakes during his first term in office, saying that most issues arose from the people he chose to fill various roles in office. In an interview that aired July 16, Mr. Trump sat down with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo to discuss an array of issues, including whether he thought he made any mistakes during his term. Ms. Bartiromo asked, “If there’s anything that you could look back on in [2016] that you think maybe you want to do differently this time around?” Mr. Trump replied, “The mistake would be people. I mean, I wouldn’t have put a guy like Bill Barr in—he was weak and pathetic,” a reference to his former attorney general, who has spoken out against Mr. Trump since leaving office and has expressed opposition to a second term for the former president.

“I wouldn’t have put Jeff Sessions in,” Mr. Trump said, a reference to another former attorney general with whom Mr. Trump clashed. “There are some people that I wouldn’t have put in. You know, most people were good. But I had some people—we had [former Secretary of Defense Mark] Esper. I didn’t like him. He was incompetent. I thought we had other people I didn’t like.” Ms. Bartiromo replied, “Why did you put them in the job then?” “Because every—look, every president, you put somebody in, you think they’re good,” Mr. Trump said. “But one thing that has happened and I find it very interesting, and this is the way life goes, I put people in—I was there 17 times in Washington, D.C. my whole life. I never stayed overnight. The press actually reported 70 I don’t know if it’s right, but it’s probably pretty right.

“I never stayed overnight. Ever. And then all of a sudden, I’m the President of the United States and it’s like a different society. I was New York and you know, it was a different thing. So I didn’t know people, I became President,” Mr. Trump said, adding later, “I never was involved in that.” “So you didn’t know what to expect?” Ms. Bartiromo asked. “No, no,” Mr. Trump cut in. “I didn’t know the people. I know the people now better than anybody has ever known the people. I know the good ones, the bad ones, the dumb ones, the smart ones.” Mr. Trump was also pressed on whether he had “drained the swamp,” a reference to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign pledge to root out D.C. bureaucrats and other entrenched establishment figures in the capital city. “You didn’t drain the swamp like you said you would, you didn’t drain the swamp,” Ms. Bartiromo said, a common criticism of the former president by conservative elements in the party who feel he failed to live up to his 2016 campaign promises.

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It’s not the FBI, but people working there. Who?

FBI Tipped Off Biden Team, Secret Service About Plan To Interview Hunter (JTN)

A recently retired FBI supervisory agent told Congress behind closed doors Monday that the bureau tipped off Joe Biden’s team and the Secret Service in late 2020 about a plan to interview Hunter Biden in his criminal tax probe, corroborating allegations from two IRS whistleblowers. The FBI agent, who worked alongside the IRS whistleblowers on the Hunter Biden case when he was assigned to the Wilmington field office, gave his account in a transcribed interview before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, providing fresh evidence of alleged political interference in the treatment of Joe Biden’s son. He corroborated several aspects of the account IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley and a second agent gave Congress last month, including that law enforcement’s plan to conduct a surprise interview in early December 2020 with Hunter Biden about alleged tax crimes was foiled by the tipoff.

The agent, whose name wasn’t immediately made public, said the bureau told both Joe Biden’s transition office and the Secret Service, creating a tipoff that thwarted the planned interview. “The night before the interview of Hunter Biden, both Secret Service headquarters and the Biden transition team were tipped off about the planned interview,” Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky. said. “On the day of the Hunter Biden interview, federal agents were told to stand by and could not approach Hunter Biden—they had to wait for his call. As a result of the change in plans, IRS and FBI criminal investigators never got to interview Hunter Biden as part of the investigation. “The Justice Department’s efforts to cover up for the Bidens reveals a two-tiered system of justice that sickens the American people,” he added.

In his testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee back in May, Shapley described how the tipoff around Dec. 7-8, 2020, was a major set back for the investigation, and one of several instances in which political favoritism and interference occurred. “I was informed that FBI headquarters had notified Secret Service headquarters and the transition team about the planned actions the following day,” Shapley testified. He said the alert afforded Hunter Biden and his team “an opportunity to obstruct” the investigation. Shapley and his IRS colleague are slated to testify in public for the first time as early as Wednesday before Comer’s panel, and officials told Just the News they hope to release a transcript of the FBI agent’s corroborating testimony in the next few days.

IRS
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681036655178686469

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“..a pharmaceutical industry metastasizing on money the way an aggressive cancer feeds on sugar..”

Situational Awareness (Jim Kunstler)

What if Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche is correct? The [Belgian] virologist said at the outset of the Covid-19 episode in 2020 that vaccinating the world in the midst of an epidemic was insane because it would train the virus to evolve more dangerously while disabling human immune systems. Last week he issued a warning that the world was within weeks of just such a new and deadly immune escape variant outbreak that would bring on a shocking wave of sickness and death among people who received multiple Covid-19 vaccinations. This would happen on top of an already accelerating rise in latent vaccine adverse reactions manifesting as aggressive cancers, blood disorders, cardiac injury, neurological disease, and much, much more.

To this point in the Covid-19 story, Western Civ in general, and the USA in particular, have descended into an epic group psychosis as a result of the managed mind-fuckery induced by their own governments in collusion with a pharmaceutical industry metastasizing on money the way an aggressive cancer feeds on sugar in a human body. Fearful citizens swallowed all manner of unreality foisted on them by means of propaganda and censorship.We still don’t know for sure how, who, and why, exactly, Covid-19 was set loose on the world, and the public health agencies don’t want you to know. Perhaps the worst and most baldly dishonest act was the official suppression of effective treatments with common, safe, anti-virals that could have saved millions of lives. And all just to preserve the vaccine companies’ liability shield from the Emergency Use Authorization. In fact, governments are still militating against the sale and use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, which could be taken prophylactically in anticipation of a new outbreak.

So, if these populations were driven crazy by authorities ginning up their fear and preying on it, what will happen if that fear turns to anger instead? Because that’s exactly what will happen when Americans, and perhaps even Europeans, realize they’ve been subject to history’s biggest homicidal fraud. That anger is going to seek targets, and they are going to find them very easily in their own government officials and also — get this — in the medical establishment that has betrayed its patients so unconscionably. It’s just impossible to say exactly how that will play out on-the-ground. Governments are already falling — Spain, the Netherlands — but these were parliamentary downfalls according to regular political procedure. Our country has no such procedures for changing authority in a time of crisis. Instead, we have a president up to his neck in bribery scandal and executive agency thuggery, and political parties sunk in corruption, and no way to get rid of them except elections many months away — elections which at least half the people don’t believe are honest.

This crisis of bad faith and sickness is happening at the same time that Western Civ enters an equally vicious crisis of economy and finance. America and Europe are broke. All are playing games with their conjoined banking systems and their currencies. All are de-industrializing economies strictly based on industrial production of goods no longer being produced, and pretending to replace them with economies of computer vapor-ware. That can’t work and can only end badly in collapsing standards of living. The past few years, an apparent coalition of global elites, functioning in orgs such as the WEF, the WHO, the EU, the IMF, the central banks, and countless NGOs, along with shadowy intel units and what remains of the old news media, have promoted ever more desperate top-down control programs to prevent a breakdown into wholesale economic and political disorder. Their efforts increasingly tilt into pretense.

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“..this fake news accusation went around the world faster than Churchill’s famous line about the truth and the time it takes to put on your pants.”

Abominable RFK Jr. Anti-Semitism Accusation a Harbinger of Things to Come (ET)

To claim that COVID-19 is the product of a cabal of Chinese and Jews is so ridiculous that it only speaks to what the author wants to believe or, more accurately, wants us to believe Kennedy meant. Which Chinese and which Jews? It’s hard to imagine since Israel was locked down to such a degree it made California look like Florida. Also, Israeli scientists were working around the clock to invent a successful vaccine but got nowhere. If they had been in on the original design, you would think they would have been able to do something, or at least have a leg up. The internet being what it is, this fake news accusation went around the world faster than Churchill’s famous line about the truth and the time it takes to put on your pants.

The lie appeared almost immediately in numerous publications from the Daily Mail to the Daily Beast as if it had to be true that RFK Jr. was anti-Semitic. But Kennedy doesn’t need me to defend him. He’s doing a fine job himself, including demanding a retraction from the Post and an apology from Levine, in his Twitter feed. So what’s actually going on here? This isn’t, in the end, really about anti-Semitism, real or imagined. It was just low-hanging fruit, as the “canary in the coal mine” often is, the first of many—a harbinger of many dastardly smears of the candidate to come.

If there’s one thing the military-industrial complex (endless wars from Iraq to Ukraine) and the health care-industrial complex (Big Pharma, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al.) do not want, it’s a Robert F. Kennedy Jr. presidency. Big Tech probably isn’t very keen on it, either. It would cost them all incalculable amounts of money, much of it courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer and a complaisant government. Most of all, the current leadership of the Democratic Party—bent on exploiting every so-called progressive policy, no matter how looney, for maximum gain and power—don’t want anyone bringing their party back to sanity, under the leadership of Mr. Kennedy or anyone else. Notable is that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is backing Joe Biden for reelection, not RFK Jr.

And then there’s the CIA, whose antipathy for RFK Jr. should be obvious to all those with even a passing knowledge of the lives and deaths of his father and uncle who wanted that organization splintered in a thousand pieces and cast to the winds. In all, it’s no surprise then that the corporate media, in which we now must include the N.Y. Post of the increasingly untrustworthy Murdoch empire, is now the mouthpiece of anti-RFK Jr. propaganda. More and most probably worse will come. What we are looking at is what we might call the coming ‘The Plot Against Kennedy” after Lee Smith’s best-selling “The Plot Against the President,” which detailed the subversion of Donald J. Trump before and after his presidency by many of the same parties. The similarity between the treatment of Trump by corporate media that was always dishonest and is now, if anything, worse, and the beginnings of the treatment of RFK Jr. is all too obvious.

RFK Townhall

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Zero society.

The Human Cost of Net Zero (Spiked)

Canadian political scientist Vaclav Smil lists cement, steel, plastics and ammonia as the four ingredients that make the modern world possible. For example, modern healthcare systems need enormous amounts of plastic (for everything from flexible tubes to sterile packing), making it yet another crucial ingredient in the wellbeing of humanity. And without steel and cement, nothing could be built – no roads, no houses, no harbours, no airports. Plastics, steel and cement also require fossil fuels for their production. The same goes for modern agriculture. It depends on synthetic fertilisers, which massively increase yields and allow farmers to use smaller areas of arable land. Without these fertilisers, half the current global population would go unfed.

The production of these fertilisers depends on something called the Haber-Bosch process, a method of producing ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen, which was invented in the early 20th century. Given its contribution to feeding the world, Smil has justifiably called it the ‘most momentous technical advance in history’. The problem for those demanding the phasing out of fossil fuels is that the hydrogen required for the production of ammonia, and therefore synthetic fertilisers, is almost entirely derived from fossil fuels. So all of Smil’s building blocks for the modern world are dependent on the very materials that Western elites say they want to keep in the ground. It’s not just fertilisers that require fossil fuels, either. 75% of all farm equipment in the US runs on diesel. It dominates the entire farming supply chain, from planting to harvesting to bringing food to market.

A green optimist might suggest simply replacing all these diesel-powered machines with industrial EVs. Yet to build the batteries for all these EVs would require a massive expansion of energy-intensive mining for metallic minerals, such as cobalt, lithium, manganese and nickel. EVs would also require clean electricity sources to charge them. In fact, every step of the proposed energy transition is itself dependent on fossil fuels. You cannot build a wind turbine without lubricants from oil, a concrete foundation and copious amounts of steel. Just as you cannot make solar panels without polysilicon, a component that is immensely energy intensive to produce because it requires temperatures beyond 1,150 degrees Celsius.

The expansion of mining activities needed to build EVs and wind turbines is particularly problematic for the clean-tech crusaders. According to the International Energy Agency: ‘A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired plant. Since 2010, the average amount of minerals needed for a new unit of power generation capacity has increased by 50 per cent as the share of renewables in new investment has risen.’ The mineral-mining sector is also energy intensive, producing a huge amount of carbon emissions. It is already responsible for 38 per cent of total global industrial energy use. This means that even if the electrification of all vehicles were possible, it wouldn’t eliminate carbon emissions. It would just raise them at other points in the supply chain.

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Orson

 

 

Chinsa high speed rail

 

 

Magnet

 

 

Birdies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680905456389361671

 

 

Bobi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1680910054910730240

 

 


Jonathan was born in 1832 in the Seychelles. He has been living in Saint Helena since 1882 and just celebrated his 190th birthday.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 212023
 


Odilon Redon Sunset 1902

 

Key Donbass City Captured – Wagner Chief (RT)
Bakhmut Has Fallen – Artyomovsk Has Been Liberated (MoA)
Putin Congratulates Wagner Assault Teams With Liberation Of Artyomovsk (TASS)
Zelenskyy Appears To Confirm Loss Of Bakhmut (Az.)
Ukraine To Recapture Artyomovsk – Zelensky’s Top Aide (RT)
Russian Hypersonic Strikes Likely Caused Mercenary Casualties (MWM)
Germany Pours Cold Water On Fighter Jets For Ukraine (RT)
F-16s May Suffer Considerable Losses If Deployed To Ukraine – Magazine (TASS)
Poland Wants Zelensky To Apologize For WW2 Ukrainian Nazi Massacre (RT)
The United States Has Been Destroyed by Its Ruling Elites (PCR)
China Questions ‘Credibility’ Of G7 Members (RT)
US and Israeli Envoys Clash Over Soros (RT)
Exxon Crushes Progressive “Net Zero” Dreams (ZH)
FBI Improperly Used Surveillance Program to Spy on Jan. 6 Suspects – Court (ET)
Monty Python Pressured To Drop Gender Transition Skit (RT)

 

 

May 20, 2019: Zelensky becomes president

May 20, 2022: loses Mariupol

May 20, 2023: loses Bakhmut

 

 

 

RFK jr
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660045079187267589

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We’ve taken the whole city – every building – so that nobody could say that we didn’t capture some small part of it..”

In the last few months, they went slow, to minimize casualties.

Key Donbass City Captured – Wagner Chief (RT)

The key Donbass city of Artyomovsk, known as Bakhmut in Ukraine, has been fully liberated by the Russian forces, Evgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner private military company has announced. “Today at noon, Bakhmut was fully captured,” Prigozhin said in a video address published on Saturday. The last part of an area of high-rise buildings where the Ukrainians were holed up is now under the control of Russian forces, he stated. The Wagner Group will remain in Artyomovsk until Thursday, Prigozhin said, adding that during this period, fortifications will be created across the city. Control will then be passed on to the Russian Defense Ministry, and Wagner Group servicemen will go on leave to rest and regroup following months of intense fighting. According to Prigozhin, the PMC’s operation in the city, which he called ‘the Bakhmut meat-grinder’, had gone on for 224 days.


“We’ve taken the whole city – every building – so that nobody could say that we didn’t capture some small part of it,” he said. Kiev has denied Prigozhin’s claims that Artyomovsk has been captured. Ukrainian military spokesman Sergey Cherevaty told Reuters: “This is not true. Our units are fighting in Bakhmut.” The Wagner chief also personally addressed Ukraine’s president, Vladimir Zelensky, saying, “without sarcasm” that the Ukrainian troops “fought bravely, fought well”defending Artyomovsk. “Today, when you see [US President Joe] Biden, kiss him on the top of his head and tell him that I said ‘hi,’” he said. Earlier on Saturday, Zelensky arrived at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, where he is expected to hold talks with Biden.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1659923608683126784

https://twitter.com/i/status/1659942493771759616

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“The losses there for the Ukrainians amounted to 300 to 500 men per day over that last 5 months. That sums up to a total of 60,000 casualties.”

Bakhmut Has Fallen – Artyomovsk Has Been Liberated (MoA)

The so far largest battle of the 21st century ended today. Bakhmut has fallen. Artyomovsk (the Russian/Soviet name of the city) has been liberated. This was announced today by the titular leader of the Wagner forces, Yevgeny Prigozhin, in a video posted on Telegram. Why the Ukrainian leadership had decided to hold onto the city even months after the situation there was already in its disfavor is beyond me. The fight was decided by the numerical superiority of Russian artillery fire and the Ukraine had never a chance to top that. The losses there for the Ukrainians amounted to 300 to 500 men per day over that last 5 months. That sums up to a total of 60,000 casualties. Ten days ago Ukrainian units, including the fascist Azov brigade, rolled up the Russian flanks north and south of Bakhmut to allow the Ukrainian troops in the city to flee west.


That attack alone, only one or 2 kilometer deep, cost them some 1,600+ men and some 50+ armored vehicles. On the Russian side the fighting in the city was largely done by Wagner troops. But they were never able to do it on their own. Russian military intelligence, artillery and logistics all played an important role in the fight. The city has been destroyed but it will continued to exist as it is an important logistical hub with several rail and road connections running through it. Mariupol, which fell/was liberated a year ago, is already being rebuild. In a month or two, when the frontline has moved away from Artyomovsk, rebuilding will start there too. For a moment now the front line in Ukraine seems all around relative quit. It is not clear to me when or where a new operational move will start.

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I’ve consistently used Bakhmut. Maybe it’s time to change that?

Putin Congratulates Wagner Assault Teams With Liberation Of Artyomovsk (TASS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated assault teams of the Wagner private military company and Russian troops with the liberation of the city of Artyomovsk, the Kremlin’s press office said in a statement on Sunday. “Vladimir Putin congratulates Wagner assault teams as well as all Russian troops, who rendered the required assistance and shielded the flanks, with the completion of the operation to liberate Artyomovsk,” the statement reads. “Everyone, who distinguished himself in the battle, will be recommended for the state decorations,” the statement added. The Russian Defense Ministry announced earlier in the day that the city of Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine) has been completely liberated in the course of the special military operation in Ukraine.


“In the Artyomovsk tactical direction, the assault teams of the Wagner private military company with the support of artillery and aviation of the southern battlegroup have completed the liberation of the city of Artyomovsk,” the ministry stated. Artyomovsk is located in the north of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and it served as a major transportation hub for the Ukrainian army’s supplies in Donbass. Fierce fighting to liberate the city started on August 1, 2022. The battle for this city is one of the largest battles during the liberation of Donbass since 2014. Some 72,000 people lived in Artyomovsk before the battle started.

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“It is tragedy,” Zelenskiy said. “There is nothing on this place.”

Zelenskyy Appears To Confirm Loss Of Bakhmut (Az.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared to confirm the loss of the city of Bakhmut to Russia on Sunday, when asked if it remained in Kyiv’s control, Report informs via Reuters. “I think no,” he said ahead of a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Japan. “For today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts.” Russia claimed on Saturday to have fully captured the smashed eastern Ukrainian city, which if true would mark an end to the longest and bloodiest battle of the 15-month war. “It is tragedy,” Zelenskiy said. “There is nothing on this place.” The assault on the largely levelled city was led by troops from the Wagner Group of mercenaries, whose leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said earlier in the day that his troops had finally pushed the Ukrainians out of the last built-up area inside the city.

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“The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied that the city had fallen and insisted that the fighting is still ongoing..”

Ukraine To Recapture Artyomovsk – Zelensky’s Top Aide (RT)

Ukraine will recapture the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, President Vladimir Zelensky’s senior adviser Mikhail Podoliak said on Saturday night. His remarks came after Wagner private military company boss Evgen Prigozhin announced that his fighters had taken complete control of the city. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed in the early hours of Sunday that Wagner had executed the operation with the help from regular troops. Podoliak, however, insisted that the Russians were exhausted by the fighting. “What will Russia do next, even if it captures two more [city] blocks? With what forces will they proceed, and where, and why?” Podoliak said in an interview on Ukrainian TV. “As for us, we cannot stop somewhere in the middle. Bakhmut will be liberated, just like any other Ukrainian territory,” the adviser said.


The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied that the city had fallen and insisted that the fighting is still ongoing. Podoliak claimed that Prigozhin sought to divert attention from Zelensky’s overseas tour with stops in several European countries, Saudi Arabia, and Japan. The Ukrainian leader attended the Arab League summit in Jeddah on Friday and the G7 meeting in Hiroshima the next day. The news of the fall of Artyomovsk also comes as Ukraine is gearing up for its much-touted counteroffensive. Officials in Kiev repeatedly stressed that its timing and success would depend on weapons deliveries from the West. Zelensky promised last month that Ukrainian soldiers would not leave Artyomovsk because the retreat would “give Russian troops and Wagner a chance to capture more of our land.” The city itself has been largely destroyed by months in intense warfare.

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”..when the systems were deployed as early as April 2023 there was widespread speculation that military contractors from Western countries were responsible for manning and maintaining them..”

Russian Hypersonic Strikes Likely Caused Mercenary Casualties (MWM)

On May 16 as part of a broad spectrum of attacks on targets in the Ukrainian capital Kiev Russian Air Force MiG-31K strike fighters launched Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ballistic missiles to target Ukraine’s Patriot air defence systems. Recently delivered from Germany and the United States, Patriots are considered by far the most costly and high end weapons systems in Ukrainian service, and are very widely deployed both by seven NATO members and by key overseas strategic partners such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Israel. The strikes on the Patriots followed warnings form Russian officials, as well as from several analysts in the West, that any systems delivered to Ukraine would very quickly be targeted and destroyed after becoming operational. The reputational loss the Patriot was expected to suffer was thus reportedly a major factor leading Washington to hesitate to approve transfers of the assets.

While a radar system and five missile batteries from the Patriot system were reported to have been destroyed in the MiG-31K strike, reportedly after firing 32 surface to air missiles as part of unsuccessful attempts to intercept the Kinzhal missiles, little remains known regarding casualties among the system’s crew or the nature of the personnel which were manning it when it was struck. Washington’s decision to deliver Patriot systems announced in December was largely motivated by an urgent need to strengthen the defences of major Ukrainian cities. Not only were cities such as Kiev considered at serious risk of needing to be abandoned due to the rapid destruction of infrastructure in Russian strikes, but Ukraine’s existing air defence network reliant on massive arsenals inherited from the Soviet era had also been very seriously depleted limiting their ability to defend either cities or frontline forces.

Nevertheless the Patriot as a highly complex weapons system was considered far too advanced for Ukrainian personnel to be able to train to operate in time for the assets to have an impact on the war, meaning when the systems were deployed as early as April 2023 there was widespread speculation that military contractors from Western countries were responsible for manning and maintaining them. Western personnel on the ground have played a very large role in the Russian-Ukrainian War, from British Royal Marines deployed to the frontlines and massive ‘stealth networks’ of CIA and other personnel performing roles such as organising logistics, to contractors usually formerly members of Western militaries who have deployed in an unofficial capacity often in full frontline units.

The presence of Western contractors already trained in operating a range of Western weapons systems has according to multiple reports played a key role in Ukraine’s seemingly seamless integration of new military hardware from its supporters in Europe and the United States, where non-Soviet equipment was previously used only in very limited roles before February 2022. Regarding the need for contractors to operate Patriot systems in Ukraine, the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) advisory body was among many sources to issue reports that Ukrainian personnel would be unable to operate Patriot missile systems before 2024 at the earliest. “There is a lot of learning to do before Ukraine will have a functioning Patriot system on the ground,” it emphasised, highlighting taking local repair crews as an example that this would take approximately 53 weeks. With Ukrainian personnel thus unlikely to have been manning the Patriot systems deployed in April and attacked in May, less than five months after the decision was taken to supply the systems, it is likely that contractors from NATO member states with experience operating the Patriots were the ones targeted. The scale of the destruction caused by the strikes means casualties among these personnel are likely, although they are unlikely to be disclosed at least until many years after the war’s conclusion.

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“..Western countries are “sticking to the escalation scenario,” which is “fraught with colossal risks.”

Germany Pours Cold Water On Fighter Jets For Ukraine (RT)

Ukraine should not expect F-16 fighter jet deliveries from the West in the near future, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday, while expressing support for a plan to train pilots to fly the advanced jets. Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Scholz stated that “what is connected with the training of pilots is a long-term project,” adding that the US has not yet decided what will happen at the end of the program. “The project has a message for Russia: Russia cannot count on winning if it bets on a long war,” he said. Scholz stated, however, that there is no chance Germany will take part in F-16 deliveries to Ukraine. “First of all, everyone knows that we don’t even have such aircraft.”

The chancellor noted that Berlin is providing Kiev with what is “immediately important now,” including tanks, ammunition, and air defense equipment, adding that Germany “will support Ukraine for as long as it is necessary, financially, humanitarianly and also with arms.” “We have mobilized our resources,” he said. “We can continue to do this for a long time.” The comments come after US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders on Friday that Washington will support a joint training program for Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s, which would take place in Europe.

This week, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he and his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, agreed to establish an ‘international coalition’ to “provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting with everything from training to procuring F-16 jets,” with a number of European countries supporting the move. On Friday, several US media outlets reported that Washington will not block its allies from sending F-16s to Ukraine, which Kiev has been requesting for months. Commenting on the potential plans to send modern fighter jets to Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko said that Western countries are “sticking to the escalation scenario,” which is “fraught with colossal risks.” “In any case, all our plans will take this into consideration, and we have all the necessary means to achieve our goals” regarding the military campaign in Ukraine, Grushko added.

F16

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Key line: “..which would be a major blow to the F-16’s reputation..”

F-16s May Suffer Considerable Losses If Deployed To Ukraine – Magazine (TASS)

The US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets may suffer significant losses in Ukraine, as a result of Russian strikes on their airfields or air combat, which would be a major blow to the reputation of that jet, the US’ Military Watch Magazine reported on Saturday. “A likely key reason for the discrepancy in the American and European positions is that the United States still has a very large stake in the F-16 program, not only as the fighter will continue to form the backbone of the U.S. Air Force for decades, but also because it continues to offer modernized variants of the class for export at times for hundreds of millions of dollars per airframe,” the article said.


“Thus should F-16s be deployed to Ukraine, the United States would be bearing the primary risk. Not only is there a possibility that the fighter or its technologies could fall into Russian hands, as other Western equipment has in considerable quantities, but there is also a much greater chance that the fighters could suffer significant losses both to strikes on their airfields and in air to air combat which would be a major blow to the F-16’s reputation,” the article reads. On Friday, NBC reported that the US and its allies had plans to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and that Washington’s allies may help Ukraine procure the planes. US President Joe Biden told G7 leaders in Hiroshima that Washington supports international efforts to train Ukrainian pilots on modern fighter jets, including F-16s. Zelensky said that he looking forward to bringing this issue up at the G7 summit. On Saturday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said commenting on F-16 potential supplies to Kiev that Western countries continued down the path of escalation in the Ukraine conflict and Russia would keep this in mind in its plans.

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Like Poland was squeaky clean.. Anyone seen Shoah?

Poland Wants Zelensky To Apologize For WW2 Ukrainian Nazi Massacre (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky should assume more responsibility for his nation when it comes to the Volyn massacre, a mass murder committed by Ukrainian nationalists against ethnic Poles during WWII, a spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry, Lukasz Jasina, has said. In an interview with Poland’s Onet online news media outlet on Friday, the official was asked if Zelensky should apologize for the massacre. “The Ukrainian side did not do this but president Zelensky should take more responsibility [for] Ukraine,”Jasina said. The issue has such an importance for Warsaw that it must be dealt with at the highest level, he added. The dark legacy of the Volyn massacre still haunts the bilateral relations between the two neighbors and “blocks many joint initiatives,” the ministry’s spokesman said.

In 2016, the Polish parliament recognized the Volyn Massacres as genocide at the hands of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). “You can’t change that fact. You can’t turn back time and there will never be a good time to talk about it…” Jasina said. According to the official, saying “I’m sorry and please forgive me” always works very well in Polish-Ukrainian relations “but there is still not enough of it.” The Volyn massacre was part of an ethnic cleansing campaign waged by UPA nationalist militants against the local Polish population in the regions of Western Ukraine and eastern Poland also known as Volhynia and Galicia between 1943 and 1944, during the Nazi occupation. According to various estimates, from 40,000 to 60,000 Poles were killed in total. The UPA was a paramilitary wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) known for its radical anti-Semitic ideology.

The UPA assisted Nazi Germany’s troops in the extermination of Jews on the territory of Ukraine on multiple occasions, in addition to the tens of thousands of Poles it killed in western Ukraine. Glorification of Ukrainian nationalists by Kiev, including the OUN leader, Stepan Bandera, has long been a contentious issue in relations between Ukraine and Poland as well as Israel. In 2018, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a bill that banned the promotion of the ideology associated with Stepan Bandera. Israel also repeatedly urged Kiev to refrain from glorifying “war criminals.” Kiev still apparently fails to understand just how important this issue is for the Poles, Jasina said, adding that “this is… not the most important thing for Ukrainians” and their “understanding is still too weak.” The people in Poland, however, “clearly said this is more important than some behind-the-scenes diplomatic negotiations,”he added.

Kiev blasted Warsaw over what it called bossing Ukraine around. “Any attempt to impose on the Ukrainian president or Ukraine [and tell us] what we must [do] about our common past is unacceptable and unfortunate,” Ukraine’s ambassador to Warsaw, Vasily Zvarych said on Twitter on Saturday. He also said that Ukraine “remembers history” and called for what he called “balance and respect in statements.” Bandera has been officially hailed as a national hero in Ukraine since 2010. Ukrainian nationalists have regularly marked his birthday on January 1 with torchlit marches and massive demonstrations. Warsaw has repeatedly protested such actions. In January, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki vowed to raise the issue of Bandera with Kiev at the first opportunity.

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Note: both Paul Craig Roberts and Martin Armstrong see the US going to war before the elections. In order to win the elections. I’ve been toying with the idea for a long time, and I would add the option to use the war to have no elections at all.

The United States Has Been Destroyed by Its Ruling Elites (PCR)

The Special Counsel’s vindication of Donald Trump and denunciation of the FBI for conducting a politically motivated investigation devoid of any evidence should collapse the equally fraudulent Biden regime investigation of Trump on fake documents charges and the New York state prosecution of Trump on alleged expense misreporting charges. It has been clear for a long time that the list of fake charges against Trump, supported by the media, are propaganda to prevent Trump again running for President and to teach all future potential presidential candidates that they will be destroyed if they attempt to represent the people instead of the unelected ruling oligarchy.


However, the Democrat Party and the presstitutes that service them have no respect whatsoever for truth. Facts simply do not matter to them. This is true also of American Universities, law associations, medical associations, the CIA, FBI, NSA, the State Department, the regulatory agencies such as NIH, CDC, FDA, the large corporations, and many establishment Republican members of the House and Senate who serve the economic interests that pay them, not truth. It is also the case with a high percentage of Democrat voters who have been conditioned by propaganda to hate Trump. To Democrats what matters is not facts, but getting Trump. Truth is not permitted to prevent the destruction of Trump.

Consequently, the US is moving toward a fatal split in the society from which recovery is impossible. Trump represents ordinary Americans who prefer peace to the neoconservatives’ wars, who want their jobs back that the greed-driven capitalist global corporations sent to China and Asia, who want their children properly educated instead of indoctrinated with sexual perversion, Satanism, and told that they are racists. In contrast, the Democrats are increasingly Woke–people who believe that truth is an oppressive tool of white supremacy, that Christian morality is tyrannical and discriminatory against pedophiles and other sexual perverts, and that, as “President” Biden himself has said, white people are the greatest threat to America.


Now that official investigations by the House Republicans have brought the utter corruption of Biden and his son to light, the Democrats, the dangerous and corrupt military/security complex, and the complicit whore American media, are desperate. They all stand as being exposed. So, rather than apologize for their mistreatment of Trump and his supporters–1,000 of whom the Democrats have illegally imprisoned–they will likely strike out while they still control the Executive Branch, the US Senate, the CIA, FBI, NSA, and federal agencies such as the IRS that have been armed and militarized. Alternatively, the corrupt and threatened Democrats might cause war between the US and Russia, or Iran, or China in the hopes that a war will unify even Trump supporters, especially the super-patriots among them, around the “President” against “foreign enemies.”

Armstrong

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“The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules..”

China Questions ‘Credibility’ Of G7 Members (RT)

The international community will not fall in line with the pro-Western rules pushed by the G7 and not allow the US-led group to dominate world affairs, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. “China will never accept the so-called rules imposed by the few. The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules that seek to divide the world based on ideologies and values,” the statement read. The Foreign Ministry went on to accuse the group of acting on behalf of “America-first” policies and attempting to impose its will on others. “That simply shows how little international credibility means to the G7,” the ministry said. “Gone are the days when a handful of Western countries can just willfully meddle in other countries’ internal affairs and manipulate global affairs.” The Group of Seven is an informal club consisting of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The G7 annual meetings are typically also attended by officials representing the EU.


In a joint communique adopted at the summit in Hiroshima, Japan on Saturday, the G7 listed multiple allegations aimed at Beijing, including technology theft, “economic coercion,” and human rights abuses at home. The group said that it strongly opposes “any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force” around Taiwan and in the South China Sea. Beijing responded by saying that “affairs related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs.” China accused the G7 of endangering peace in the region by providing “support for ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.” Although G7 members refrain from formally establishing diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the US has sold weapons to Taipei and promised to defend it from a potential attack from the mainland. US politicians have also met with officials from Taiwan, prompting harsh criticism from Beijing, which opposes any form of diplomatic contacts with the Taipei authorities.

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“..criticism of Soros – who finances the most hostile organizations to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is anything but anti-Semitism, quite the opposite!”

US and Israeli Envoys Clash Over Soros (RT)

The US and Israeli anti-Semitism envoys have taken opposing positions on whether supporters or critics of Jewish financier George Soros is anti-Semitic. The argument kicked off when Twitter CEO Elon Musk compared Soros to a cartoon supervillain. In a tweet on Monday, Musk said that Soros reminds him of “Magneto,” a mutant-supremacist scientist from Marvel’s ‘X-Men’ universe. When a commenter pointed out that Magneto was depicted – like Soros – as a Holocaust survivor and that both have “good intentions,” Musk doubled down. “You assume they are good intentions,” he wrote. “They are not. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.” Musk was quickly accused of anti-Semitism, with Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt declaring that by comparing the billionaire “to a Jewish supervillain,” Musk would “embolden extremists.”

The Israeli government disagreed. “The Israeli government and the vast majority of Israeli citizens see Elon Musk as an amazing entrepreneur and a role model,” Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli tweeted on Thursday, adding that “criticism of Soros – who finances the most hostile organizations to the Jewish people and the state of Israel is anything but anti-Semitism, quite the opposite!” Soros has donated more than $32 billion to liberal political causes through his Open Society Foundations NGO, and was the largest donor in last year’s midterm elections in the US, gifting $128 million to Democratic Party candidates and organizations. Soros funds a number of Palestinian activist groups that accuse the Israeli state of war crimes, and several international organizations that promote boycotts of Israeli goods and sanctions against its leaders. In the US, the Biden administration sided with its leading donor against Chikli’s criticism.

“Irrespective of how one feels about George Soros’s politics or policies, it is entirely disingenuous to deny that many ad hominem attacks on him rely on classic antisemitic tropes and rhetoric,” US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt tweeted on Friday. “In bygone eras, the antisemites invoked the Rothschild family to advance their conspiracies about Jews. Today they use Soros to do so,” she declared. Neither Soros nor his Open Society Foundations have responded to Musk’s comments. Asked on Tuesday whether he was worried his controversial tweets would drive advertisers away from Twitter, Musk told CNBC News “I don’t care. I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequences are losing money, so be it.”

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“It is highly unlikely that society would accept the degradation in global standard of living..”

Exxon Crushes Progressive “Net Zero” Dreams (ZH)

In a world of suffocating snowflakery, ESG hypocrisy and, well… Tranheuser Busch, a corporation telling the truth without fear of reprisals from the Open Society-funded virtue signaling cabal is rarer than an mRNA-injected, genetically engineered hen’s teeth. And yet that’s what the company hated by every progressive, Exxon Mobil, did this week when it became the first corporation to denounce the insidious and laughable claims that “net zero” is even a remote possibility by 2050. The US supermajor pushed back against investors pressing the company to report on the risks to its business from restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions and potential environmental disasters when in a reply to proxy advisor Glass Lewis, Exxon said the prospect of the world achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is remote and should not be further evaluated in its financial statements.

A shareholder proposal seeking a report on the cost of having to abandon projects faces a shareholder vote on May 31. Glass Lewis backed the initiative, concluding Exxon could face material financial risks from the net-zero scenario. Exxon disagreed, and said the world is not on a path to achieve net-zero emissions in 2050 as limiting energy production to levels below consumption demand would lead to a spike in energy prices, as observed in Europe following oil sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. Exxon, is of course, correct however that won’t stop the green fanatics from beating the drum that somehow the world can transition to “green” energy (at a cost of some $150 trillion mind you) in the next 27 years without an energy cataclysm.

At the heart of the issue is the 2050 net-zero emissions (NZE) scenario of the International Energy Agency (IEA) which envisions a path to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. For the NZE scenario to be met, the IEA had hilariously said new oil exploration would have to have stopped in 2021 and nations would have to switch to renewable energy from fossil fuels (good luck with that). Exxon is among the companies heavily investing in new exploration to generate oil and gas for decades to come, and in retrospect, one can thank their deity of choice for Exxon’s decision to do so as opposed to sending the world back into the dark ages, an outcome which so many from the World Economic Forum seems to aspire to. “It is clear that the IEA NZE does not, by the scenario authors’ own assessment, meet the level of likelihood required to be considered in our financial statements,” Exxon said in a response filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. “It is highly unlikely that society would accept the degradation in global standard of living required to permanently achieve a scenario like the IEA NZE,” Exxon said in dismissing the proposal.

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So free them all.

FBI Improperly Used Surveillance Program to Spy on Jan. 6 Suspects – Court (ET)

The FBI abused its surveillance powers while spying on suspects in the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol and Black Lives Matter protesters, a federal court said in a newly unsealed ruling. FBI agents violated standards the agency developed for the Section 702 program, which enables spying on Americans and others, more than 278,000 times, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said in the 2022 ruling, which was made public for the first time on May 19. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act enables agencies like the FBI to collect information like emails without warrants from foreigners, even if they’re in the United States, and bars intentionally targeting Americans.

The FBI developed its own standard for Section 702 searches, stating that queries “must be reasonably likely to retrieve foreign intelligence information, as defined by FISA, or evidence of a crime, unless otherwise specifically excepted.” But FBI agents have been violating the standard, the court has found, with the newest ruling disclosing hundreds of thousands of abusive searches in addition to those already known. The abusive searches include multiple improper queries targeting suspected or confirmed Jan. 6 suspects. In one instance, an analyst searched for information on 13 people suspected of being involved in the Capitol breach. The analyst “said she ran the queries to determine whether these individuals had foreign ties,” but the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (NSD) “concluded the queries were not reasonably likely to retrieve foreign intelligence information or evidence of crime,” the newly unsealed ruling states.


In another case, widespread searches that in total consisted of more than 23,000 separate queries looked for information on presumed Americans to see whether the people were “being used by a group” involved in the breach. “The queries were run against unminimized Section 702 information to find evidence of possible foreign influence, although the analyst conducting the queries had no indications of foreign influence related to the query terms used,” the court said. “NSD assessed there was no specific factual basis to believe the queries were reasonably likely to retrieve foreign intelligence information or evidence of crime from Section 702 information.”

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“Cleese last year complained that “cancel culture” had had a “disastrous effect” on comedy and had even caused the “death of creativity..”

Monty Python Pressured To Drop Gender Transition Skit (RT)

Beloved British comedy troupe Monty Python was pressured to do away with a skit from their classic film ‘Life of Brian’ that jokes about a man wanting to become a woman and have babies, co-founder John Cleese told an audience at his one-man show last week. “We love the script, but you can’t do that stuff about Loretta nowadays,” performers conducting a read-through of the Biblical parody last year supposedly told Cleese, claiming the skit – in which the character Stan insists on being called ‘Loretta’ and declares “it’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them” – would offend modern audiences. “So here you have something there’s never been a complaint about in 40 years, that I’ve heard of, and now all of a sudden we can’t do it because it’ll offend people,” Cleese lamented. “What is one supposed to make of that?”

In the skit, Stan’s comrades in the People’s Front of Judea are split on whether to support ‘Loretta’s’ new identity, and the self-declared woman accuses his detractor of “oppressing” him. “I’m not oppressing you, Stan, you haven’t got a womb! Where’s the fetus gonna gestate? You gonna keep it in a box?” his friend asks. The lone female of the group, Judith, suggests a compromise. “Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies – not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’ – but that he can have the right to have babies.” Stan’s friend Reg likes that idea, declaring it’s “symbolic of our struggle against oppression” – while the naysayer mutters it’s merely “symbolic of [Stan’s] struggle against reality.” The film version of ‘Life of Brian’ was previously banned in some countries for its supposedly blasphemous subject matter, being a profoundly irreverent satire on the Biblical stories chronicling the life and times of the Christian messiah Jesus Christ.

The 2024 stage show adaptation, set to open next year in London, will reportedly excise the film’s crucifixion scene, in which the characters sing the incongruously catchy and upbeat tune ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ while the messiah character Brian is being executed. Eric Idle, another founding member of Monty Python, clarified in a tweet on Friday that he was not involved in the stage show version after British Comedy Guide referred to “Cleese and Idle” having made changes to the original script. Cleese last year complained that “cancel culture” had had a “disastrous effect” on comedy and had even caused the “death of creativity,” explaining that “if you’re worried about offending people and constantly thinking of that, you are not going to be very creative.”

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The Mauna Kea silversword, Argyroxiphium, or the Flower of Patience. It opens every 7 years and it lasts only for 7 days.

 

 


This is a newfound species of tardigrade, one of about 1,300 known types of water bears. It was discovered in moss growing on dead tree trunks in Germany’s Black Forest. SEM image, magnified 2,400 times.

 

 

Duckling
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660000602833731584

 

 


The Philippine eagle is considered the largest of the extant eagles in the world in terms of length and wing surface. Being a critically endangered species, killing a Philippine eagle is punishable under Philippine law up to 12 years in prison [read more: https://buff.ly/2lKrawh]

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 182023
 
 May 18, 2023  Posted by at 8:14 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Giorgio de Chirico The Archaeologists 1927

 

Durham Found Zero Merit to Trump Russia Claims (CTH)
Durham Report Condemns FBI’s Russia Probe (Turley)
Oversight Panel Has Subpoenaed Joe Biden Phone Records (BB)
The Real Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Scully)
Neighbor Countries Ready To Pay Zelensky To Stop Conflict – Seymour Hersh (RT)
Ukrainian Spymaster Wants 100-km Demilitarized Zone With Russia (TASS)
Sowing Seeds of Plunder: A Lose-Lose Situation in Ukraine (OffG)
Russia Confirms Grain Deal Extension By Two Months – Zakharova (TASS)
NATO’s ‘Reckless’ Expansion To Undermine Security Dialogue – Lavrov (TASS)
China Notifies Embassies In Beijing Not To Display Ukraine Propaganda (TASS)
Hungary Urges EU To Redirect Ukraine Aide (RT)
The Working-Class Revolt Against Net Zero (Spiked)
Dutch Farmer ‘Families Are Crying At The Kitchen Table Every Day’ (RMX)
The Harm Caused by Masks (Anderson)
Global Impact Of The First Year Of Covid-19 Vaccination (Lancet)
Dollar Dominance ‘Coming To An End’ – Jim Rogers (RT)
FBI Adds Itself To FBI Watch List (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Fitton

 

 

 

 

Gaetz

 

 

 

 

Patriots
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658919182661042176

 

 

 

 

American lieutenant colonel broke Zelensky’s dream: Forget about returning the territories, you are incapable. Ukrainian forces are unable to dislodge Russian troops from their positions, despite the bold statements of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, US Army Lt. Col. Daniel Davis said.

Answering the question of whether it is possible to realize Zelensky’s dream of returning to Kyiv the territories liberated by Russia, Davis replied that there is not even a theoretical possibility for that. “Simply, there is no fundamental basis to create such a large combat power and to dislodge an enemy as entrenched and equipped as Russia is now. It is a completely unrealistic combat goal,” Davis said in an interview with the YouTube channel “Judging Freedom”.

 

 

 

 

“Mueller’s probe existed in material fact to hide the Obama weaponization to target Donald Trump. Durham knew this; that’s why he never touched it.”

Durham Found Zero Merit to Trump Russia Claims (CTH)

People ask why I find it difficult to write about the Durham report empirically confirming everything we previously outlined in the past five years. Here’s my answer. Eventually, after the shock & awe of the Durham confirmations wear off, I am hopeful that people will stand back and realize the bigger question that covers all of the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy nonsense. This was a United States government operation to conduct full-throated surveillance on a U.S. presidential candidate, and then remove that candidate from the office of the presidency after his victory in the 2016 election. With John Durham outlining in granular details how the FBI, DOJ and larger intelligence apparatus acted politically to weaponize government on behalf of an allied presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton, a bigger question remains.

There never was any merit to the Trump-Russia nonsense, so what exactly were Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann doing for two years? Using the silo defense as a method of obfuscation, John Durham noted in his report [page #2] as below, never delved into that obvious question. Durham specifically, and with great intent, says he did not look at what Mueller and Weissmann were doing; even though, Durham destroyed any predication that might have given merit to the intention of their special counsel existence. Durham writes a 316-page report, meticulously detailing the false construct of the Trump-Russia narrative. Yet for some reason, the Mueller/Weissmann investigation, an entire special counsel investigation that was predicated and justified by that false Trump-Russia narrative, never found the same evidence?

Durham never looked at it. Why? Because he knew Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann were installed to cover up the original fabrications by the CIA, FBI, DOJ and U.S. intelligence apparatus. Mueller’s probe existed in material fact to hide the Obama weaponization to target Donald Trump. Durham knew this; that’s why he never touched it. Stop pretending. Once you stop pretending, you realize just how rotten this system is. John Durham intentionally and with specific foresight, did not want to reveal the criminal conduct of the Mueller/Weissmann special counsel. He knew exactly what they were doing; his investigation paralleled what their investigation would have done if Mueller was not established to hide the originating schemes.

Everything Durham found, Mueller could have easily found, and stated, and ended the nonsense. This reality, and Durham’s intentional decision to avoid confronting the Mueller fraud, is why no one should defend any part of what John Durham was doing, nor the report he delivers in conclusion. Durham is just as dirty as Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann. If he wasn’t, he would have outlined the purpose of Mueller and left them naked to the consequences. But that’s not what a good little silo maintainer does. Instead, John Durham simply acts as if Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann didn’t exist to try and destroy President Trump. Durham ignores the cleanup operation entirely.

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“In the end, it is not a crime to be unethical or incompetent, so no charges will be filed as a result of the report.”

Durham Report Condemns FBI’s Russia Probe (Turley)

According to Durham, Comey — who later wrote and sold a book on “ethical leadership” — led the FBI to use “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence” to effectively tie up a duly elected president for three years. Durham reports that FBI personnel admitted they disregarded standards for surveillance despite “acknowledging — both then and in hindsight — that they did not genuinely believe there was probable cause to believe that the target was knowingly [working for a foreign power].” In the end, it is not a crime to be unethical or incompetent, so no charges will be filed as a result of the report. Durham clearly hopes that the belated transparency provided by his report will produce greater future accountability. That may be the only naive aspect of his findings.

Of course, the FBI promptly issued a statement that it has — once more — reformed itself in light of its failures. But who really believes this is unlikely to occur again? Indeed, the same pattern and figures reemerged in 2020, when another false narrative was created to dismiss the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. Some of the officials involved in the false Russia collusion conspiracy were signatories on the letter by 51 former intelligence officials claiming that the laptop story was likely “Russian disinformation.” And the media again pushed that version before the 2020 election — only to admit, two years later, that the laptop was authentic all along. Conspicuously missing in the aftermath of Durham’s report is the one thing that would establish a clear commitment to reform: an apology. Clinton, Comey, members of Congress and others could apologize to the American people — and, yes, even to Trump.

That, of course, will never happen. Attorney General Merrick Garland, in releasing a report that concluded this investigation never should have occurred, made no statement whatsoever. Thus, Durham was left throwing haymakers in an empty political boxing ring — and those who perpetrated this scandal on the nation are left to carry on making money on books, speeches, TV commentary and lectures about political or electoral ethics. The media, meanwhile, is offering little more than a shoulder-shrug and more spin. So, in the relative silence of media coverage following the report’s release, Durham can contemplate an ultimate Zen-like question: If a 305-page report proves a concerted political hoax but no one is there to read it, does it make a difference?

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“Over an 11-year period, Hunter’s firm paid over $25k for Joe’s second iPhone (1-302-377-xxxx), which circumvented White House security protocols, along with ‘most lines’ on a ‘Wells Fargo credit line’ that Joe utilized. These phone, banking, and other financial records must be subpoenaed.”

Oversight Panel Has Subpoenaed Joe Biden Phone Records (BB)

The House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed phone records of a phone belonging to President Joe Biden that Hunter Biden’s business paid for, according to Peter Schweizer, Government Accountability Institute president in an interview on Tuesday. Schweizer said in an interview with 77 WABC’s Cats & Cosby that it was discovered on Hunter Biden’s laptop that he was paying a phone bill for his father from 2009 to 2017, which encompassed the time Biden was vice president. “We obtained that phone number and we’ve shared it with individuals and the Oversight Committee in Congress is going to subpoena those phone records. And what’s important here is that’s not a government phone, this is not Joe Biden’s private phone that he’s paying for himself. It’s actually [Hunter] Biden’s business that paid for it,” Schweizer said.


“I think it’s going to yield a lot of interesting information as to who Joe Biden was talking to on this phone that was being paid for by his son,” said Schweizer, who is a senior contributor to Breitbart News and best-selling author of multiple books on corruption by political elites. Schweizer called the reported removal of the investigative team at the IRS looking into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax evasion “very troubling.” The removal came in alleged retaliation to a whistleblower who had contacted Congress about a possible cover-up going on at the IRS on the case. “It’s very troubling — the pattern that we’re seeing here,” Schweizer said, adding:

“You have these whistleblower complaints filed by people in the IRS that were looking at Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes. They issued whistleblower complaint to Congress — the report is that those individuals had been removed from the case, which is contrary to the Whistleblower Law — you’re not allowed to remove somebody from their position just because they filed a whistleblower complaint.” Schweizer said the removal of the investigative team is potentially illegal. He explained: “What happened in 2018 was the IRS looked into the fact that Hunter Biden had taken in all this foreign income, we exposed it in Secret Empires in 2018. That sort of launched the grand jury and you had this IRS investigation. And they basically concluded that Hunter Biden had taken in millions of dollars from foreign sources, had not paid taxes on it.


You have this friend, this lawyer in Los Angeles that paid two million to the IRS to pay some of the back taxes, but the IRS was looking into charges of tax evasion. They went to congressional committees and complained that they believe there had been political interference from DOJ. I haven’t seen the details, but this was the claim. And now lo and behold, the IRS says we’re going to remove the team from investigating Hunter Biden, who had been on it now for what, five years, and we’re going to start apparently gonna have to start the whole thing over, so what does that mean to the investigation? What does that mean? I think it’s massive, but first of all…I think it’s illegal by the whistleblower statute. You cannot remove somebody from their position, simply because they made a whistleblower complaint.”

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“Having thus alerted readers that the new candidate with the familiar name is basically a head case, the Post and Times can now put that name back on the blacklist..”

The Real Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Scully)

While Republican affairs can certainly get rough and unseemly at times, it’s usually the Democratic Party we can turn to for lessons in cold, unsentimental power politics. Consider, for instance, the reception accorded by the party establishment and like-minded reporters to an unexpected entrant into the 2024 presidential race, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a man who rates, one might have supposed, the respect due a worthy contender and honest dissenter. After declaring his candidacy last month, RFK Jr. immediately showed at 14 percent in polls. Mild alarm followed, among supporters of President Biden, when two weeks later the next round of polling gave Kennedy an average of 20 percent. You could tell this was a bit of a shock because, almost instantly, the Washington Post dismissed it as nothing, in a hurried item headlined “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Threat to Biden Is Inflated. Here’s Why.”

As surely as any Kennedy could once expect to be fawned over by Post reporters, this Kennedy — especially if he starts drawing crowds and votes — is never to be spared condescension and rebuke. The “why,” in case you haven’t heard, is that RFK Jr. has in recent years been airing “controversial,” “dangerous” views, and this makes him, says the Post, a “fringe figure” you needn’t take seriously. Among his many provocations: Kennedy claims that pandemic lockdowns were calamitous for working people and for children; that citizens should choose for themselves whether to receive vaccines; that corporate influences on government are pervasive and corrupting; and that censorship contrived by the state is intolerable. Worse even than these outrages, during the pandemic this man called into question the conduct and veracity of Anthony Fauci. And this offense — challenging Doctor Fauci! — is still regarded as the most shameful assault on science since the persecution of Galileo.

It doesn’t matter that, point for point, RFK Jr. makes a strong case and most everyone knows it. His problem is, the prohibition on saying such things has not been lifted. A well-established, scientifically tested, and empirically proven phenomenon known as liberal groupthink has set in, preempting even the most obvious conclusions. So, even if Kennedy’s presidential bid is off to an impressive start, in the Post’s analysis he is still relegated to the same category as “fringe figure Lyndon LaRouche,” who — trivia time for Post readers — “in 1996 managed to pull double digits in some primary states.”

The New York Times, in its version of the LaRouche treatment, likewise left the impression of a candidate’s announcement speech strangely and single-mindedly focused on “shaking Americans’ faith in science,” no matter that the candidate himself had said nothing at all along those lines, and no matter that in all of his scientific arguments he cites scientific methods and scientific evidence. Here again the day’s news was predetermined: casting the accomplished son and namesake of Senator Robert F. Kennedy as just another sorry entry in “a history of fringe presidential aspirants from both parties who run to bring attention to a cause, or to themselves.” Having thus alerted readers that the new candidate with the familiar name is basically a head case, the Post and Times can now put that name back on the blacklist, denying Kennedy coverage unless he troubles them further by rising in polls or by making crazy demands for primary debates.

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“Hungary is a big player in this and so are Poland and Germany, and they are working to get Zelensky to come around..”

Neighbor Countries Ready To Pay Zelensky To Stop Conflict – Seymour Hersh (RT)

Poland is leading a group of European nations that are secretly urging Vladimir Zelensky to find a way to settle the conflict with Russia, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh has reported, citing a “knowledgeable” American official. According to US intelligence, other EU countries that want to see an end to the fighting include Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Hersh wrote in an article published on his Substack page on Wednesday. “Hungary is a big player in this and so are Poland and Germany, and they are working to get Zelensky to come around,” the unnamed official claimed. Those countries have made it clear that “Zelensky can keep what he’s got if he works up a peace deal even if he’s got to be paid off, if it’s the only way to get a deal.” By “keep what he’s got,” the source was referring to the Ukrainian president’s villa in Italy and interests in an offshore bank, Hersh clarified.

However, Zelensky has so far rejected the proposal, while other major European players – France and the UK – “are too beholden” to the Biden administration, which is continuing to back the Ukrainian leader, the official said. One of the main reasons why Poland and the others want the conflict to end is because the burden of accommodating Ukrainian refugees has become too much for them, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist wrote. The problem for those countries “is how to get the US to stop supporting Zelensky,” Hersh’s source suggested. He claimed that US intelligence is well aware that “Ukraine is running out of money and… that the next four or months are critical. And Eastern Europeans are talking about a deal.” However, he added that “it’s not clear to the intelligence community what the president and his foreign policy aides in the White House know of the reality.”

The US is “still training Ukrainians how to fly our F-16s that will be shot down by Russia as soon as they get into the war zone. The mainstream press is dedicated to Biden and the war, and Biden is still talking about the Great Satan in Moscow while the Russian economy is doing great,” the official explained. Russia has repeatedly stated that it’s ready to resolve the conflict at the negotiating table. However, it did not receive any proposals from Ukraine and its Western backers that it could consider reasonable. Zelensky has been promoting his ten-point peace plan, which calls for Russian forces to withdraw to borders claimed by Ukraine, to pay reparations, and to submit to war-crime tribunals. Moscow has rejected the plan as “unacceptable,” saying it ignores the reality on the ground and is actually a sign of Kiev’s unwillingness to solve the crisis through diplomatic means.

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Problem is, they want the DMZ and still become a NATO member. Russia will not let that happen.

Ukrainian Spymaster Wants 100-km Demilitarized Zone With Russia (TASS)

Top Ukrainian intelligence official Kirill Budanov has proposed creating a 100-km-long demilitarized zone between Ukraine and Russia. “The question of ending the war [involves] the creation of a demilitarized zone; this is our goal,” the head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate told the Ukrainian Islandia (Iceland) TV channel. When further elaborating on the practical aspects of creating such a zone, Budanov said that, “this would be a zone that could not be attacked by the usual means.” “In my view, this would absolutely be the right distance,” the top intelligence official pointed out. The Russian government had earlier repeatedly voiced its readiness to negotiate with Ukraine to reach a settlement of the conflict.


At the same time, however, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that the main obstacle standing in the way of such talks was the prohibition on conducting negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was legally enshrined by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s decree of September 30, 2022, “as well as the initiatives of the Ukrainian head of state, which indicate official Kiev’s complete detachment from modern realities,” including the demand to withdraw Russian troops from the new regions of the country. On February 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow did not see any desire on the part of the Ukrainian side to start a serious conversation on a peaceful settlement.

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“Today, thousands of rural boys and girls, farmers, are fighting and dying in the war. They have lost everything. The processes of free land sale and purchase are increasingly liberalised and advertised. This really threatens the rights of Ukrainians to their land, for which they give their lives.”

Sowing Seeds of Plunder: A Lose-Lose Situation in Ukraine (OffG)

It’s a lose-lose situation for Ukrainians. While they are dying, financial institutions are insidiously supporting the consolidation of farmland by oligarchs and Western financial interests. So says Frédéric Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute, an independent think tank. Depending on which sources to believe, between 100,000 and 300,000 Ukrainian soldiers (possibly more) have died during the conflict with Russia. That figure, of course, does not include civilian casualties. But it is not the purpose of this article to explore these issues. Much has already been written on this elsewhere. But billions of dollars’ worth of military hardware has been sent to Ukraine by the NATO countries and hundreds of thousands of young Ukrainians have died. They died in the belief that they were protecting their nation – their land. A land that is among the most fertile in the world.

Professor Olena Borodina of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine says: “Today, thousands of rural boys and girls, farmers, are fighting and dying in the war. They have lost everything. The processes of free land sale and purchase are increasingly liberalised and advertised. This really threatens the rights of Ukrainians to their land, for which they give their lives.” Borodina is quoted in the February 2023 report by the Oakland Institute War and Theft: The Takeover of Ukraine’s Agricultural Land, which reveals how oligarchs and financial interests are expanding control over Ukraine’s agricultural land with help and financing from Western financial institutions. Aid provided to Ukraine in recent years has been tied to a drastic structural adjustment programme requiring the creation of a land market through a law that leads to greater concentration of land in the hands of powerful interests.

The programme also includes austerity measures, cuts in social safety nets and the privatisation of key sectors of the economy. Frédéric Mousseau, co-author of the report, says: “Despite being at the centre of news cycle and international policy, little attention has gone to the core of the conflict — who controls the agricultural land in the country known as the breadbasket of Europe. [The] Answer to this question is paramount to understanding the major stakes in the war.” The report shows the total amount of land controlled by oligarchs, corrupt individuals and large agribusinesses is over nine million hectares — exceeding 28% of Ukraine’s arable land (the rest is used by over eight million Ukrainian farmers).

The largest landholders are a mix of Ukrainian oligarchs and foreign interests — mostly European and North American as well as the sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia. A number of large US pension funds, foundations and university endowments are also invested in Ukrainian land through NCH Capital – a US-based private equity fund, which is the fifth largest landholder in the country. President Zelenskyy put the land reform into law in 2020 against the will of the vast majority of the population who feared it would exacerbate corruption and reinforce control by powerful interests in the agricultural sector.

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Last time?!

Russia Confirms Grain Deal Extension By Two Months – Zakharova (TASS)

Moscow confirms that the grain deal has been extended for two more months, providing an opportunity to help ensure global food security, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that the grain deal had been extended for another 60 days. “We confirm the Turkish president’s announcement of a two-month extension of the Black Sea initiative, which is an opportunity to help ensure global food security not in words but in deeds, to help first and foremost the countries that need it most,” she said, adding that “imbalances” in the grain deal’s execution should be “corrected as soon as possible.” Zakharova went on to say that Moscow’s primary views of the deal have not changed.

Agreements on the export of food and fertilizers from Ukraine to the international market were concluded on July 22, 2022, for 120 days and extended in November for the same period. One of the agreements regulates the order of grain supplies from the Kiev-controlled ports of Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny. Moreover, a memorandum was inked by Russia and the UN on lifting export restrictions for Russian agricultural products and fertilizers to global markets. Moscow notes that the second part of the agreement is not being implemented. On March 18, 2023, Russia announced that the deal was extended for 60 days, warning that this would be enough time to assess the efficacy of the memorandum signed with the UN.

The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that the future decision on extension of the deal depends on implementation of the Russian part of the agreement, adding that the lack of progress on that issue threatens the future of the initiative. Representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN discussed the issues of extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement on supplies of grain and fertilizers on May 10-11 in Istanbul. The agenda also contained the issues of secure functioning of the grain corridor. Russia was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin. No particular decisions on extension of the deal or consideration of Moscow’s requirements were announced following the negotiations.

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Lavrov: The Minsk agreements were the last attempt at diplomacy

• We will no longer rely on the West as a partner that has at least some capacity for an agreement, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview with “Tsargrad” television, saying that Moscow will instead turn its attention to the rest of the world that wants to continue cooperation with her.

• According to his words, “there is no real diplomacy anymore” in the West. As he pointed out, it was last “seen” in 2014 and 2015, when the Minsk agreements were signed, but even then it was not real diplomacy, but, as he assessed, “diplomacy of lies”.

• The diplomacy of Western colleagues is reflected in bribing, threatening and forcing other countries to follow their policies, but all this indicates that the West is actually “not sure of the correctness” of its agenda, because if they are right, why should they threaten and use with harsh tactics, concluded Lavrov.

NATO’s ‘Reckless’ Expansion To Undermine Security Dialogue – Lavrov (TASS)

Reckless NATO expansion and the bloc’s absorption of neutral countries will undermine any prospect for dialogue on European security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference following Moscow talks with his Belarusian counterpart Sergey Aleinik on Wednesday. “NATO’s reckless expansion eastwards, northwards or to other geographical areas undermines the very prospects to continue normal communication on European security,” Lavrov said, adding that “unfortunately, we are witnessing this process amid NATO’s absorption of almost all neutral nations.” “That’s sad,” he added. According to Russia’s top diplomat, the number of countries in Europe who advocate military or political neutrality is getting thinner, now that Finland has joined the alliance.


Sweden “seems to be on course to become a NATO member, too, while Switzerland rejected its neutral status by its actions,” he said. “That [neutrality] was enshrined in the constitutions of respective countries, and they created a space for finding a balance of interests and compromise between European NATO members and, say, the Union State and the Collective Security Treaty Organization,” he lamented.= “When and if the West comes to its senses and realizes that it will not be able to reverse the historically unbiased process of a multipolar world order evolving, that will, of course, require a conversation that will not be limited to Europe only,” Lavrov maintained as he insisted that global security should be “honest and equal.”.

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“..specifically raising the Ukrainian flag or displaying posters in support of Kiev..”

China Notifies Embassies In Beijing Not To Display Ukraine Propaganda (TASS)

China reminds foreign missions and offices of international organizations based in the country of the need to comply with international diplomatic treaties, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday. Commenting on billboards in support of Ukraine exhibited outside some foreign embassies in Beijing, the Chinese diplomat said, “China is calling on all embassies and representative offices of all international organizations to comply with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and carry out activities in line with international agreements.”


Wang’s comment came in response to a question from a reporter who asked whether the Chinese authorities had earlier advised foreign embassies against using the exterior walls of their buildings to display politicized propaganda, specifically raising the Ukrainian flag or displaying posters in support of Kiev. Wang urged all foreign diplomatic missions and organizations in China to respect Chinese laws. Kyodo reported on Tuesday, citing multiple sources, that Chinese officials have requested foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations in Being not to use the outer walls of their buildings for displaying political propaganda. Some embassies have put up signboards in support of Ukraine, the Japanese news agency said.

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“..the funds should be redirected to other regions, namely to the Balkans or North Africa…”

Hungary Urges EU To Redirect Ukraine Aide (RT)

Budapest has blocked a new €500 million ($544 million) package of EU financial assistance to Kiev, urging Brussels to redirect its support elsewhere. The eighth tranche from the so-called European Peace Facility (EPF) – a €5.6 billion ($6.08 billion) off-budget fund used to finance and supply foreign militaries – was vetoed by Hungary on Monday. Budapest told Reuters that it wanted the EPF to keep its original global scope, instead of being used exclusively to finance Kiev amid its ongoing conflict with Moscow. “Hungary does not agree with the fact that the European Union, along with other existing tools, uses the EPF solely with regard to Ukraine, as this does not allow sufficient funds to be channeled to promote the EU’s interests in other areas,” a government spokesperson wrote in an email to the outlet, adding that the funds should be redirected to other regions, namely to the Balkans or North Africa.

“For the Hungarian government, it is crucial that these issues should be clarified, and that’s why it did not approve the disbursement of the next tranche from the EPF,” the spokesperson concluded. The EPF was originally established in 2021, with a proclaimed goal of boosting the EU’s ability to maintain peace and strengthen regional and international security. The fund is used to reimburse the bloc’s own members, who send arms and equipment overseas, as well as to directly finance foreign militaries.

However, prior to the beginning of the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022, the fund was rarely used. A total of less than $125 million was allocated to supply non-lethal military equipment to several nations, including Ukraine. After the hostilities began, however, the EU funneled some €3.6 billion ($3.9 billion) under the EPF scheme to Ukraine in military support. Budapest has found itself at odds with Brussels over the conflict, taking a neutral stance and refusing to supply Kiev with weaponry. Hungary has also prohibited weaponry shipments heading to Ukraine from going through its territory, as well as opposed the bloc’s anti-Russian sanctions.

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“This is a clash between the luxury doom-mongering of an upper-middle class more concerned with its own self-importance than with the self-sufficiency of society..”

The Working-Class Revolt Against Net Zero (Spiked)

Two kinds of road-blocking are taking place in Europe right now. In the first, the sons and daughters of privilege, people with names like Edred and Tilly, are holding up traffic to put pressure on governments to speed up Net Zero. If we don’t cut carbon emissions drastically, they say in their cut-glass tones, our poor planet will be consumed in a heat death of rotten mankind’s own making. In the second, working people – farmers, truckers, cab drivers – are clogging the streets to put pressure on governments to slow down Net Zero. Or better still, scrap it altogether. If we don’t cut out the Net Zero nonsense, say these people who make and deliver things for the Edreds and Tillys of the world, farms will close, jobs will be lost and economic precarity will intensify.

Whose side should you take? It’s a no-brainer. This is a clash between the luxury doom-mongering of an upper-middle class more concerned with its own self-importance than with the self-sufficiency of society, and the common sense of working people who understand that farming, food production, energy creation and transportation are essential to the survival of our species. Between an elite driven mad by visions of a climate-change apocalypse and ordinary people who still inhabit the reality-based world. Between Net Zero fanatics who want to wind back modernity and Net Zero sceptics who think modernity works pretty well, thank you. It’s the latter road-blockers – the people using their HGVs, tractors and taxis to send a stern message to our eco-elites – that we should be cheering. Their revolt against Net Zero represents a daring populist strike against the delusions and complacency of the 21st-century establishment.

Danish truckers are the latest workers to join the rebellion against green authoritarianism. Yesterday, they caused ‘road havoc’ in Denmark. They parked their huge hauliers side by side on key roads. Sections of the border with Germany were affected, as were the M11 and M16 around Copenhagen. Roads towards the ferry docks at Helsingor – ‘one of the most important ports in Denmark’ – were also briefly clogged by angry truckers. Their beef? The government’s plan to introduce a ‘truck tax’ in 2025. As part of its devotion to the cult of Net Zero, the Danish ruling class wants to slash carbon emissions by 70 per cent before 2030. And one way it intends to do that is by imposing a punitive mileage-based eco-tax on the drivers of diesel trucks, in the hope that the financial pressure will become so unbearable that they’ll switch to electric trucks instead.

The ingratitude is staggering. Truckers are the lifeblood of a modern society. They transport the fuel, food and other goods that are essential to everyday life. They drive alone, for hours, in all weathers, to keep society well stocked. And how do the elites in Copenhagen repay these people who, without fuss or fanfare, bring them everything they need? By slapping them with a new kind of sin tax – the sin in this case being to drive a vehicle that the eco-minded consider to be ‘dirty’ and ‘polluting’.

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“..they created huge farms because that was the policy promoted by the government and also by the banks. They wanted the farms to scale up their businesses. And now, suddenly the policy is to make smaller farms. This is also the EU policy. ”

Dutch Farmer ‘Families Are Crying At The Kitchen Table Every Day’ (RMX)

Currently, the Dutch government is looking to offer buyouts for 3,000 farms in the Netherlands, and if they do not accept, their land will be confiscated The government is offering them 120 percent of the value of their land. A) Do you think that’s a fair offer, and B) Do you think they’re going to fight it?

It’s not fair at all because they have smashed these farmers for years now, and the people are so desperate that many families are crying at the kitchen table every day, and even a couple of farmers committed suicide already. Really, it’s that bad. Our government and also the banks supported a plan to create bigger farms, so the farmers bought the land of their neighbors, and they created huge farms because that was the policy promoted by the government and also by the banks. They wanted the farms to scale up their businesses. And now, suddenly the policy is to make smaller farms. This is also the EU policy. Then, you add nitrogen regulations. These farmers now have these huge farms, which means big debts, huge debts, because they had to invest. And now, the government comes up with the idea that they have this nitrogen problem, and farms need to close or be reduced in size.

The banks turn around and say, then your business — because a farm is really a business — is only worth 50 percent compared to yesterday. So these people have huge debts. They are captured in a system that they never asked for. They followed the rules, and now they are pushed in a direction that is really desperate for them. They don’t know what to do. It’s so difficult. These farms have been running from generation to generation. So, there is a lot of history tied up in these farms, and if you are desperate and don’t know what to do anymore, and you’re facing uncertainty year after year, then the government turns around and says, “OK, we have a way out for you, we have money to give you.” I think a lot of farms will do that, which is a disaster because they are the second-largest producer of food in the world after the United States. The Netherlands is just a tiny country, but we are producing so much food for the rest of the world. That’s a problem because we now have 8 billion people.

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“..while eight times the normal level of carbon dioxide is toxic, research suggests that mask-wearers (specifically those who wear masks for more than 5 minutes at a time) are breathing in 35 to 80 times normal levels..”

The Harm Caused by Masks (Anderson)

Mask-wearers breathe in greater amounts of air that should have been expelled from their bodies and released out into the open. “[A] significant rise in carbon dioxide occurring while wearing a mask is scientifically proven in many studies,” write the German authors. “Fresh air has around 0.04% CO2,” they observe, while chronic exposure at CO2 levels of 0.3 percent is “toxic.” How much CO2 do mask-wearers breathe in? The authors write that “masks bear a possible chronic exposure to low level carbon dioxide of 1.41–3.2% CO2 of the inhaled air in reliable human experiments.” In other words, while eight times the normal level of carbon dioxide is toxic, research suggests that mask-wearers (specifically those who wear masks for more than 5 minutes at a time) are breathing in 35 to 80 times normal levels. The German study, a scoping review of existing research, aimed “to investigate the toxicological effects of face masks in terms of CO2 rebreathing on developing life, specifically for pregnant women, children, and adolescents.”

The latter two groups, of course, have been among those most frequently subjected to mask mandates in schools, despite Covid’s low levels of risk for them and the evidence that masks don’t work. What can breathing too much carbon dioxide do to you? The authors write that “at levels between 0.05% and 0.5% CO2,” one might experience an “increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and overall increased circulation with the symptoms of headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, rhinitis, and dry cough.” Rates above 0.5 percent can lead to “reduced cognitive performance, impaired decision-making and reduced speed of cognitive solutions.” Beyond 1 percent, “the harmful effects include respiratory acidosis, metabolic stress, increased blood flow and decreased exercise tolerance.” Again, mask-wearers are likely breathing in CO2 levels between 1.4 percent and 3.2 percent—well above any of these thresholds. What’s more, “Testes metabolism and cell respiration have been shown to be inhibited increasingly by rising levels of CO2.”

So, high blood pressure, reduced thinking ability, respiratory problems, and reproductive concerns are among the many possible results of effectively poisoning oneself by breathing in too much carbon dioxide. The authors write that “it is clear that carbon dioxide rebreathing, especially when using N95 masks, is above the 0.8% CO2 limit set by the US Navy to reduce the risk of stillbirths and birth defects on submarines with female personnel who may be pregnant.” In other words, mandates have forced pregnant women to wear masks resulting in levels of CO2 inhalation that would be prohibited if they were serving on a Navy submarine.

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The original Lancet article is from Sep. 2022. I don’t usually include “old” things; this is a news aggregator. But the “new” comment on the article warrants interest.

@A1an_M: “I thought of another, simpler way of demonstrating that this Lancet paper claiming the vaccines saved 19.8 million lives is complete and utter bollards, using empirical data. OurWorldInData helpfully tells us how many people had actually been vaccinated at the end of December 2021: 4.55 billion As per my earlier tweet, we know that at worst in early 2020, pre vaccines, the Infection Fatality Rate of SARS-COV-2 averaged 0.25% across the world (Ioannidis). https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.13.20101253v3 (By December 2021 it was less than half of that but we’ll let that slide for now) So assuming the vaccinated population was typical of the population as a whole, we can say that only 0.25% of those 4.55 billion vaccinated people were at risk of death from COVID. 0.25% of 4.55 billion is 11.4 million people.

So it is impossible for the vaccines to have saved 19.8 million lives. Fallen at the very first hurdle, the Lancet paper has. How embarrassing. I could go on and talk about how, out of those 11.4 million vaccinated people who were at risk of death, based on the mortality seen in England and Wales in 2020, more than 60% were over 80 and more than 90% had more than one other comorbidity making the chances of the majority of them surviving for a year even in the absence of a vaccine rather slim… or that the vaccines don’t prevent infection, transmission, hospitalisation or death from COVID and therefore it’s quite possible they didn’t save a single life, never mind 11.4 million .. but at this stage the Lancet model is flat on the floor begging for mercy so I will stop here.”

Global Impact Of The First Year Of Covid-19 Vaccination (Lancet)

The first COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial setting was administered on Dec 8, 2020. To ensure global vaccine equity, vaccine targets were set by the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility and WHO. However, due to vaccine shortfalls, these targets were not achieved by the end of 2021. We aimed to quantify the global impact of the first year of COVID-19 vaccination programmes. A mathematical model of COVID-19 transmission and vaccination was separately fit to reported COVID-19 mortality and all-cause excess mortality in 185 countries and territories. The impact of COVID-19 vaccination programmes was determined by estimating the additional lives lost if no vaccines had been distributed. We also estimated the additional deaths that would have been averted had the vaccination coverage targets of 20% set by COVAX and 40% set by WHO been achieved by the end of 2021.


Based on official reported COVID-19 deaths, we estimated that vaccinations prevented 14·4 million (95% credible interval [Crl] 13·7–15·9) deaths from COVID-19 in 185 countries and territories between Dec 8, 2020, and Dec 8, 2021. This estimate rose to 19·8 million (95% Crl 19·1–20·4) deaths from COVID-19 averted when we used excess deaths as an estimate of the true extent of the pandemic, representing a global reduction of 63% in total deaths (19·8 million of 31·4 million) during the first year of COVID-19 vaccination. In COVAX Advance Market Commitment countries, we estimated that 41% of excess mortality (7·4 million [95% Crl 6·8–7·7] of 17·9 million deaths) was averted. In low-income countries, we estimated that an additional 45% (95% CrI 42–49) of deaths could have been averted had the 20% vaccination coverage target set by COVAX been met by each country, and that an additional 111% (105–118) of deaths could have been averted had the 40% target set by WHO been met by each country by the end of 2021.

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“No currency has been on top more than 150 years. Nobody has always been on top, so it’s always happened.”

Dollar Dominance ‘Coming To An End’ – Jim Rogers (RT)

The US dollar is starting to lose its leading position across the globe, as Washington has become the world’s largest debtor, famed investor Jim Rogers told Sputnik news agency on Wednesday. The co-founder of the Quantum Fund noted that more and more countries are growing hesitant about the greenback, as deep reliance on its use can lead to various problems. “Many friends of America are moving, trying to find something to compete with and ultimately replace the US dollar,” Rogers said in an interview with the Russian outlet. According to the investor, an international currency should have an absolutely neutral status, and the lack of neutrality demonstrated by the White House, along with growing concerns over US creditworthiness, have deprived the greenback of that quality.

“Many people are starting to say: wait a minute, I don’t know if we want to use that money, because it will have a problem someday,” he said. “But also, the world’s international currency is supposed to be completely neutral. Anybody can use it for anything you want. But now Washington is changing the rules. And if they get angry at you, they cut you off.” Rogers explained that a growing number of countries are now seeking an alternative to the greenback, adding that the Chinese yuan could replace the US currency as the most common means for conducting international settlements.

Russia has been boosting economic ties with China over the past few years, adopting the yuan in international trade. In early April, the Chinese currency replaced the dollar as the most-traded foreign currency in Russia. Moreover, the yuan continues to penetrate a number of other markets around the world. “It will happen. It has always happened. And America’s time is coming to an end. The American dollar this time is coming to an end,” Rogers concluded. “No currency has been on top more than 150 years. Nobody has always been on top, so it’s always happened.”

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“Without the FBI at our disposal, we may have to turn to traditional partners such as the mafia to fight our political enemies..”

FBI Adds Itself To FBI Watch List (BBee)

In an unprecedented move to protect the safety and security of millions of Americans, the FBI has added itself to the FBI watchlist. “When we reflected on the vast number of pedophiles, insurrectionists, frauds, and killers in our organization, we thought: ‘Holy cow! Someone needs to keep an eye on these weirdos!'” said FBI Director Christopher Wray to reporters. “That’s why today we have decided to place the FBI on the FBI watchlist so the FBI can keep a close eye on the FBI before the FBI does something terrible.” Congress is demanding oversight of the FBI’s monitoring of the FBI, as the FBI has been known in the past to let the FBI get away with horrific crimes.


The FBI in turn is monitoring the Congressional oversight committee in charge of overseeing the FBI’s oversight of the FBI. “Americans shouldn’t worry, we have this all under control,” said Wray. Critics of the move expressed concern this may hamper the FBI’s ability to organize governor kidnapping schemes, insurrections, and mass shootings. “Without the FBI at our disposal, we may have to turn to traditional partners such as the mafia to fight our political enemies,” said one anonymous Washington bureaucrat. “What’s the world coming to?” At publishing time, the FBI announced they now have the FBI in custody. Unfortunately, they released the FBI from custody a few minutes later.

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Soros


Just in from NOAA: April 2023 cooler in the US than April 1895, despite a 1000% increase in industrial era atmospheric CO2.

 

 


Just in from NOAA: No warming in the US since January 2005, despite 44% more atmospheric CO2.

 

 

Oyster swims

 

 

Jellyfish

 

 

NASA

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 112023
 
 May 11, 2023  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Henri Matisse Flowers 1907

 

House GOP Identifies 9 Biden Family Members Who Received Foreign Money (NYP)
FBI Refuses To Give Congress File Alleging Biden Took Bribes As VP (NYP)
Trump Says He Would Meet With Putin To Settle Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)
Trump Wants Both Ukrainians And Russians To ‘Stop Dying’ (RT)
Lula Offers To Act As Go-Between To End Ukraine Conflict At G7 Summit (TASS)
Borrell Says He Knows How To Stop Ukraine Conflict ‘Immediately’ (RT)
Ukraine’s NATO Accession Does Not Depend On Stoltenberg – Borrell (TASS)
Bold Gambits On The West Asian Chessboard (Pepe Escobar)
NATO ‘s Great New Idea: ‘Let’s Start A War With China!’ (Ron Paul)
Grain Deal To Be Extended Taking Into Account Russia’s Interests – Turkey (TASS)
US To Create ‘Free Syria Army’ Of Terrorists Against Damascus – Lavrov (TASS)
Young Americans Don’t Understand History Of WWII – Kremlin (RT)
Liechtenstein To Accept Bitcoin For Payments To State (RT)
Net Zero Grid Batteries Alone Would Bankrupt America (Rucker)
Julian Assange – A Fight We Must Not Lose (Chris Hedges)

 

 

In his CNN townhall last night, Trump left nothing standing of his hostile interviewer. While CNN’s handpicked audience applauded him throughout. They handed him the stage and he took it. All of it.

 

 

 

Nancy Mace

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd

 

 

German farmers

 

 

Webb
https://twitter.com/i/status/1656544051833782273

 

 

 

 

Overpopulation

 

 

McLuhan

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/WinRussiawill/status/1656363220972765184

 

 

 

 

Watters

House GOP Identifies 9 Biden Family Members Who Received Foreign Money (NYP)

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer identified nine members of President Biden’s family Wednesday who allegedly received foreign income after teasing the bombshell for weeks. “Since you asked, I’ll tell you,” Comer (R-Ky.) told a rapt room of reporters at the Capitol after laying out new bank record evidence showing first son Hunter Biden received $1 million from a corrupt Romanian businessman while his dad was vice president. “Joe Biden’s son [Hunter], Joe Biden’s brother [James], Joe Biden’s brother’s wife [Sara], Hunter Biden’s girlfriend or Beau Biden’s widow [Hallie], however, you want to write that, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife [Kathleen Buhle], Hunter Biden’s current wife [Melissa Cohen], and three children of the president’s son and the president’s brother,” Comer said.

The chairman seemed to indicate that only one of Biden’s grandchildren and two of his brother’s children got the foreign funds. “We’re talking about grandchil — a grandchild,” Comer said at the press conference. “That’s odd, most people that work hard every day’s grandchild doesn’t get a wire from a foreign national.” James Biden has three children, including daughter Caroline, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to making over $100,000 in charges on a stolen credit card. Emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop show Caroline turned up her nose at an $85,000 job offer that would have allowed her to serve her probationary period near her beloved cousin in California. Caroline’s siblings are James Biden Jr. and Nicholas Biden. The president’s other brother, Frank Biden, has two children, but Comer did not mention him and it’s unclear why Frank’s daughters, who reportedly work for NBC and as a nurse practitioner, would be involved.

A Comer aide told The Post it is possible that additional Biden relatives received foreign money. Bank records indicate $80,000 transferred from Romanian businessman Gabriel Popoviciu from 2015 to 2017 went to accounts identified only by the name “Biden,” for example — and a March memo from the committee indicated $70,000 from Chinese company CEFC China Energy did as well. Hunter Biden and first brother James Biden were well-known for years for seeking millions from nations including China, Mexico, Romania, Russia and Ukraine — but the involvement of other family members was only more recently alleged by Comer. The Oversight Committee issued a memo on Wednesday morning saying that Hallie Biden appears to have received $10,000 in early 2017 from Popoviciu — before receiving another $25,000 later that year as part of Hunter and James Biden’s partnership with CEFC China Energy.

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More power than Congress?

FBI Refuses To Give Congress File Alleging Biden Took Bribes As VP (NYP)

The FBI has refused to give Congress an informant file alleging that President Biden took bribes while he was vice president, The Post has learned — setting up a possible showdown over access to the information. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) issued a legally binding subpoena last week requiring the FBI to turn over the file by noon Wednesday, but the bureau instead replied with a six-page letter raising various objections. “Information from confidential human sources is unverified and, by definition, incomplete,” wrote FBI acting assistant director for congressional affairs Christopher Dunham, who also argued that informant reports must also be kept private to protect sources.

“As is clear from the name itself, confidentiality is definitional to the FBI’s Confidential Human Source program,” Dunham wrote. “Confidential human sources often provide information to the FBI at great risk to themselves and their loved ones. The information they provide also can create significant risks to others who may be referenced in their reporting.” The FBI official concluded: “We … hope this helps you understand that keeping this kind of source information free from the perception or reality of improper influence — and preventing the redirection of this information for non-law enforcement or non-intelligence uses — is necessary for the FBI’s effective execution of our law enforcement and national security responsibilities.”

Comer slammed the FBI’s stonewalling, but he did not immediately announce further steps to acquire the document. Congress has the power to apply financial pressure to agencies and can also use litigation to enforce its orders or attempt to shame officials through contempt votes. “It’s clear from the FBI’s response that the unclassified record the Oversight Committee subpoenaed exists, but they are refusing to provide it to the Committee,” Comer said. [..] The document subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee is an FD-023 informant report that was created or modified in June 2020-months before Biden won the presidency.

In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Comer and Grassley wrote last week, “We have received legally protected and highly credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures.” “Based on those disclosures,” the Republicans wrote, “it has come to our attention that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possess an unclassified FD-1023 form that describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.”

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“If you say he’s [Putin] a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to make this thing stopped..”

Trump Says He Would Meet With Putin To Settle Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)

Former US President Donald Trump said he would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky to end the conflict in Ukraine. “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people,” he said during a CNN’s town hall program. Trump explained that if he was president, he would resolve the conflict within 24 hours. “Russians and Ukrainians, I want them to stop dying,” the politician said. “And I’ll have that done in 24 hours.”


Trump added that he considered Putin to be very smart. However, in former US president’s opinion, “Putin made a mistake” by launching the special military operation. He also pointed out that it was not the time to consider the Russian president a war criminal. “If you say he’s [Putin] a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to make this thing stopped,” Trump said. He also added that it was something that “should be discussed later.”.

Trump

https://twitter.com/i/status/1656538428534652928

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“I don’t think in terms of winning and losing.” “I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people..”

Trump Wants Both Ukrainians And Russians To ‘Stop Dying’ (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has refused to say whether he favors a particular side in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, stating he would rather focus on ending the bloodshed altogether. Speaking for a CNN town hall in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Trump also insisted that Washington was giving too much ammunition to Kiev. Asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins if he wants “Ukraine to win this war,” Trump, who is campaigning for a second term in office, replied: “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing.” “I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people and breaking down this country,” the former president said.


When pressed by Collins on the matter, Trump added: “They are dying, Russians and Ukrainians. I want them to stop dying.” He criticized the amount of military aid provided to Kiev by the Pentagon. “We don’t have ammunition for ourselves [and yet] we’re giving away so much,” he said. Trump also said he wanted Europe to “put up more money” for Ukraine and “equalize” its financial assistance compared to aid provided by Washington. Trump insisted that he would “have that war settled in one day” if he was president, promising to meet with presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine if he gets elected in 2024.

Trump CNN

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Plenty offers. But they need to include China.

Lula Offers To Act As Go-Between To End Ukraine Conflict At G7 Summit (TASS)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Tuesday that he plans to offer Brasilia’s services as a mediator for settling the Ukrainian conflict on the sidelines of the G7 summit, which is slated to be held in Hiroshima, Japan, later this month. Addressing a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Brazilian leader said, “The continuation of the war will only cause more deaths. So, we must find someone who would be able to discuss peace, and Brazil is ready for that.” Lula said that, prior to his relevant negotiations with Rutte, he had already discussed the issue with the Chinese president and the British prime minister, and that he would raise it with the president of Indonesia and many other leaders with whom he plans to meet at the G7 summit.

According to the Brazilian president, the situation in Ukraine, energy, battling climate change, economic development and the fight against unemployment are certain to be on the agenda of the G7 meeting in Hiroshima on May 20-21. “We have received multiple requests for bilateral meetings, and I am confident that the Ukrainian issue will be raised at every such meeting,” Lula added. And every side involved in the conflict has its arguments, he believes. While Ukraine is bound to resist what he called the unacceptable occupation of its territory, the EU has its arguments in favor of the decisions it has made, and Brazil and other countries have their reasons for trying to reach a compromise, the Brazilian leader said. Lula recalled that his country had condemned “the Russian military invasion” in a UN vote.

“Now is the time for diplomacy, not for war,” he emphasized. Earlier, Lula called Russia a guarantor of a long-lasting global peace and proposed developing a new international format for a potential dialogue between Moscow and Kiev, saying that he stands ready to mediate any direct negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky.

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“Stop providing military aid to Ukraine and Ukraine [will] have to surrender in a few days.”

Borrell Says He Knows How To Stop Ukraine Conflict ‘Immediately’ (RT)

The conflict between Moscow and Kiev that has been dragging on for more than a year can be ended in just several says, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell admitted on Spanish broadcaster La Sexta on Wednesday. It all depends on Western military supplies to Kiev, he claimed. “I know how to end the war immediately,” Borrell told La Sexta’s El Intermedio show. “Stop providing military aid to Ukraine and Ukraine [will] have to surrender in a few days. That’s it, the war is over.” the EU top diplomat presumed aloud. Borrell then said that it is not the outcome the EU and other Western nations would like to see. The bloc’s foreign-policy chief claimed that an immediate end to the conflict on such terms would see Ukraine “occupied” and “turned into a puppet country” that is “deprived of its freedoms.”

“Is this how we want the war to end?” he asked rhetorically. Borrell then blamed the continued hostilities on Moscow, saying that Russia has repeatedly insisted it would not stop until all the goals of its military campaign in Ukraine are achieved. He also criticized the peace efforts by China and Brazil, claiming these are detached from reality. “Everyone, who says they want peace should then say … ‘I want Russia to withdraw from Ukraine,” Brussels’ foreign-policy chief maintained, adding that he has little understanding for anyone thinking otherwise. “Those, who say: ‘I want peace and the best thing to achieve it is for the Europeans to cease helping Ukraine’ … frankly, I do not know what world they live in,” he said. Kiev promptly reacted to Borrell’s words, accusing him of having the “wrong emphasis” in his speech.

Withdrawal of Western military aid “could certainly not end the conflict immediately,” President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide Mikhail Podoliak said on Twitter. It would only lead to further escalation as hostilities would spill over to “other territories,” he claimed, without elaborating on his statement. Borrell’s words came less than a day after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also expressed his skepticism about Brazil and China’s peace efforts. Any mediation efforts would be in vain for now since both parties to the conflict are “fully involved” in the ongoing war, he told Spain’s El Pais on Tuesday.

The Kremlin said in late April it supported international efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the conflict but still maintained that its goals in the conflict should be achieved. Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the need to protect the people of Donbass, as well as Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk peace accords, as reasons for launching Russia’s operation against Ukrainian forces in February 2022. He also said Russia was seeking the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine. Moscow has also accused Kiev of making any potential talks senseless since Ukraine is demanding Russia surrender all the territories that joined it following referendums, including the most recent, in autumn 2022.

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“Maria Zakharova earlier slammed NATO’s statements about Ukraine’s possible future accession as short-sighted and simply dangerous.”

Ukraine’s NATO Accession Does Not Depend On Stoltenberg – Borrell (TASS)

A decision on Ukraine’s possible accession to NATO will be made by the bloc’s member states and not by its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in an interview with the La Sexta TV channel on Wednesday. According to him, Ukraine’s NATO membership “does not depend on the NATO secretary general but the NATO countries.” The EU’s top diplomat also emphasized that the issue “is not under consideration” at the moment. Stoltenberg pointed out earlier that NATO’s doors remained open to Ukraine. He also claimed that all of the bloc’s member states supported Ukraine’s accession but, in his words, it will only be possible to substantially discuss the matter after the conflict is over. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier slammed NATO’s statements about Ukraine’s possible future accession as short-sighted and simply dangerous.

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“The ultimate goal is to demilitarize NATO as a whole rather than just Ukraine, and so far, it appears to be working brilliantly.”

Bold Gambits On The West Asian Chessboard (Pepe Escobar)

The collective west appears to lack a decisive leader, with the Hegemon currently being “led” by a senile president who is remote-controlled by a pack of polished-faced warmongers. The situation has devolved to the point where the much-hyped “Ukrainian counter-offensive” may actually be the prelude to a NATO humiliation that will make Afghanistan look like Disneyland in the Hindu Kush. Arguably there may be some similarities between Russia-NATO now and Turkiye-Russia before March 2020: both sides are betting on some crucial military breakthrough on the battlefield before sitting at the negotiating table. The US is desperate for it: even the 20th century ‘Oracle’ Henry Kissinger is now saying that with China involved, there will be negotiations before the end of 2023. Despite the urgency of the situation, Moscow does not appear to be in a hurry.

Its key military strategy, as seen in Bakhmut and Artemyovsk, is to use a combination of the snail technique and the mincing machine. The ultimate goal is to demilitarize NATO as a whole rather than just Ukraine, and so far, it appears to be working brilliantly. Russia is in it for the long haul, anticipating that one day the collective west will have an “Eureka!” moment and realize it is time to abandon the race. Now let’s assume, by some divine intervention, that negotiations would start in a few months, with China involved. Moscow – and Beijing – both know they simply cannot trust anything the Hegemon says or signs. Moreover, the crucial US tactical victory has already been conclusive: Russia sanctioned, demonized and separated from Europe, and the EU cemented as a de-industrialized, inconsequential lowly vassal.

Presupposing there is a negotiated peace, it will arguably resemble a Syria 2.0, with a massive “Idlib” equivalent right on Russia’s door, which is something entirely unacceptable to Moscow. In practice, we will have Banderista terror outfits – the Slav version of ISIS – free to roam across the Russian Federation in car bombing and kamikaze drone sprees. The Hegemon will be able to switch the proxy war on and off at will, just as it continues to do in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan with its terror cells. The Security Council in Moscow knows very well, based on the Minsk farce acknowledged even by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that this will be Minsk on steroids: the Kiev regime, or rather the post-Zelensky regime will continue to be weaponized to death with brand new NATO gimmicks. But then the other option – where there is nothing to negotiate – is equally ominous: a Forever War.

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“We can only hope that America will elect a president in 2024 who will finally end NATO’s deadly world tour.”

NATO ‘s Great New Idea: ‘Let’s Start A War With China!’ (Ron Paul)

NATO’s post-Cold War history is that of an organization far past its “sell-by” date. Desperate for a mission after the end of the Warsaw Pact, NATO in the late 1990s decided that it would become the muscle behind the militarization of “human rights” under the Clinton Administration. Gone was the “threat of global communism” which was used to justify NATO’s 40-year run, so NATO re-imagined itself as a band of armed Atlanticist superheroes. Wherever there was an “injustice” (as defined by Washington’s neocons), NATO was ready with guns and bombs. The US military-industrial complex could not have been happier. All the Beltway think tanks they lavishly fund finally hit on a sure winner to keep the money pipeline flowing. It was always about money, not security.

The test run for NATO as human rights superheroes was Yugoslavia in 1999. To everybody but NATO and its neocon handlers in DC and many European capitals, it was a horrific, unjustified disaster. Seventy-eight days of bombing a country that did not threaten NATO left many hundreds of civilians dead, the infrastructure destroyed, and a legacy of uranium-tipped ammunition to poison the landscape for generations to come. Just last week tennis legend Novak Djokovic recalled what it felt like to flee his grandfather’s home in the middle of the night as NATO bombs fell and destroyed it. What a horror! Then NATO got behind the overthrow of the Gaddafi government in Libya. The corporate press regurgitated the neocon lies that bombing the country, killing its people, and overthrowing its government would solve all of Libya’s human rights problems.

As could be predicted, NATO bombs did not solve Libya’s problems but made everything worse. Chaos, civil war, terrorism, slave markets, crushing poverty – no wonder Hillary Clinton, Obama, and the neocons don’t want to talk about Libya these days. After a series of failures longer than we have space for here, DC-controlled NATO in 2014 decided to go all-in and target Russia itself for “regime change.” First step was overthrowing the democratically elected Ukrainian government, which Victoria Nuland and the rest of the neocons took care of. Next was the eight years of massive NATO military assistance to Ukraine’s coup government with the intent of fighting Russia. Finally, it was the 2022 rejection of Russia’s request to negotiate a European security agreement that would prevent NATO armies circling its border.

Despite the mainstream media and US government propaganda, NATO has been about as successful in Ukraine as it was in Libya. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been flushed away, with massive corruption documented by journalists like Seymour Hersh and others. The only difference this time is that NATO’s target – Russia – has nuclear weapons and views this proxy war as vital to its very existence. So now despite its legacy of failure, NATO has decided to start a conflict with China, perhaps to take attention off its disaster in Ukraine. Last week NATO announced that it will open its first-ever Asia office in Japan. What next, NATO membership for Taiwan? Will Taiwan willingly serve as NATO’s newest “Ukraine” – sacrificing itself to China in the name of blundering NATO’s seemingly endless appetite for conflict? We can only hope that America will elect a president in 2024 who will finally end NATO’s deadly world tour.

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“For President Tayyip Erdogan, extending the deal is a signal to the West that Turkey can be trusted. As a result, the government will do everything in its power to preserve the grain initiative..”

Grain Deal To Be Extended Taking Into Account Russia’s Interests – Turkey (TASS)

The grain deal is expected to be extended at the talks that started on Wednesday in Istanbul, taking into account Russia’s objections, a source in Ankara close to the talks told TASS. “There is information that the agreement will be extended beyond May 18. That’s why I’m talking about it as a fact. And there are expectations that the export of Russian products will be a part of it,” the source said. According to the source, extending the grain deal is a crucial issue for the Turkish leadership in the run-up to the elections and they will do everything in their power to make it happen. “For President Tayyip Erdogan, extending the deal is a signal to the West that Turkey can be trusted. As a result, the government will do everything in its power to preserve the grain initiative,” the source said.


On July 22, 2022, a package of documents on the supply of food and fertilizers to the international market was signed in Istanbul. Initially, the agreements were concluded for 120 days. On March 18, 2023, Russia announced the extension of the initiative for 60 days. The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that a further extension of the deal would depend on the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system and the lifting of a number of restrictions on supplies, insurance and the use of ports. The Turkish side earlier said that the Turkish state bank Ziraat may be ready to carry out operations to pay for Russian grain and fertilizers. The negotiations between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN on the extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement on the supply of grain and fertilizers will last two days in Istanbul, with May 11 expected to be the key day of the negotiations.

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Well-known recipe

US To Create ‘Free Syria Army’ Of Terrorists Against Damascus – Lavrov (TASS)

The United States has set about creating a “Free Syria Army,” consisting of terrorists and militants, to serve as a tool against the legitimate government in Damascus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday. “It’s no longer enough for the US to support the self-proclaimed Kurdish regions beyond the Euphrates River and flood the illegal armed units that they have formed with weapons,” the Russian foreign minister pointed out during four-party talks on Syria with his counterparts from Syria, Turkey and Iran. “According to our data, the Americans have started to create the so-called Free Syria Army near the Syrian city of Raqqa, engaging local Arab tribes, along with militants from ISIL (the former name of the Islamic State terror group, which is outlawed in Russia – TASS) and other terrorist organizations.


The goal is clear: to use these militants against Syria’s legitimate authorities in order to destabilize the situation in the country,” Lavrov noted. Lavrov emphasized that the Russian and Syrian militaries had recently discussed the issue, agreeing on a model of joint actions in that field. “I hope that all planned steps will be successfully implemented,” the top Russian diplomat added. According to him, Moscow believes that “blatant foreign interference in the region’s affairs is unacceptable, particularly when it involves military force;” and in this case, it is about “deploying foreign military units to Syrian soil.”

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Because 450,000 Americans died vs 28 million Russians.

Young Americans Don’t Understand History Of WWII – Kremlin (RT)

Younger generations of Americans no longer remember who fought against whom in World War II, and even middle-aged citizens are ignorant of the recent past, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary said the lack of understanding of history among Americans was not merely “forgetfulness” but a “pernicious line” and warned of the consequences of such ignorance. “Not knowing the horrors of the past, not knowing who saved the world from the brown plague (fascism), means that soon in America there will be a generation that will be unable to soberly assess its present and its future,” Peskov said.

He noted that Russia, on the other hand, continues to do everything it can to keep the memory of the heroism of the Soviet people alive and make sure younger generations are aware of the true details of the war. Peskov also noted the presence of the leaders of former Soviet republics at the May 9 Victory Day parade in Moscow, suggesting that this demonstrated the political and social will of those countries to protect this history. “We will bring these truths to the people of the world, so that those who want to, can study the real facts [of WWII]” he said. His comments came after White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted on Tuesday to describe Russia as analogous to Adolf Hitler’s Germany, and claimed that the “US and allied forces” were the ones who secured victory in WWII. Jean-Pierre also accused Vladimir Putin of having “promised only more violence” during his address at the May 9 parade in Moscow.

In his speech in Red Square, the Russian president denounced the “disgusting, criminal and deadly” ideology of Western supremacy and the globalists who “pit people against each other, split societies, provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia and aggressive nationalism, destroy traditional family values that make human a human.” Putin also claimed that the West had forgotten what “the insane ambitions of the Nazis led to” and who was responsible for defeating “this monstrous, total evil.” The Soviet Union did the lion’s share of the fighting in Europe, at the cost of 8.7 million soldiers and up to 20 million civilian lives. Victory Day marks the day on which the remnants of the Nazi regime officially signed their unconditional surrender to the USSR and Allied forces at the end of World War II. Although the document was signed in Berlin on May 8, due to different time zones, Russia has historically celebrated the event on May 9.

Zakharova

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Start small.

Liechtenstein To Accept Bitcoin For Payments To State (RT)

The government of Liechtenstein is considering accepting Bitcoin as payment for state services, the micro-state’s Prime Minister Daniel Risch told Handelsblatt on Sunday. Risch, who is also Liechtenstein’s finance minister, said that a “Bitcoin payment option is coming.” The official didn’t specify what particular services will become available for payment in the digital currency, or when the announced payment method would become available. Any crypto received will be immediately exchanged for Swiss francs, Liechtenstein’s national currency, Risch said. Although crypto is too volatile to entrust portions of the country’s multi-billion-dollar annual savings, that assessment could change, he added. Bitcoin would not, however, be accorded the same legal status as the franc. Liechtenstein is a German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. It is the world’s sixth smallest nation, with a population of under 39,000 people.


In 2019, the principality became one of the first places in the world to pass dedicated crypto regulations with The Liechtenstein Blockchain Act. Only two nations in the world have currently approved Bitcoin as legal tender – El Salvador and the Central African Republic. However, it was reported last month that the CAR has reversed this decision. There are still no uniform international laws that regulate cryptocurrencies, which are notorious for their high volatility. The most popular crypto, Bitcoin, was worth a fraction of a cent when it was launched in 2009 and shot up to nearly $69,000 per coin in November 2021. The rate has mostly been on a downward spiral since then, with the decline triggered by fraud allegations, government lawsuits and investigations, and general global economic instability. Bitcoin currently trades at nearly $28,000 per coin.

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Are we to believe they do not know this?

Net Zero Grid Batteries Alone Would Bankrupt America (Rucker)

Science and policy analyst David Wojick calculated that just the batteries needed to back up wind and solar electricity generation in a “net zero” USA would cost $23 trillion — America’s entire 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) — and probably many times that. Energy and technology consultant Thomas Tanton found that battery backup to replace current U.S. fossil fuel electricity — and convert vehicles, furnaces, water heaters, and stoves to electricity — would cost at least $29 trillion in initial outlays. Trillions more would be needed to cover financing, repairs, maintenance, replacements, burying broken and worn out non-recyclable equipment, and building systems strong enough to survive hurricanes.

Professional engineer Ken Gregory determined that grid-backup battery costs could reach $290 trillion (12.6 times the USA’s 2021 GDP), based on actual 2019 and 2020 hourly intermittent electricity generation data, rather than annual average data utilized in the other studies. None of these estimates includes the costs of turbines, panels, transmission lines, or transformers. Energy analyst Francis Menton estimated that New York’s plan to procure 24,000 megawatt-hours of battery storage would provide only 0.2% of what the state would actually need as backup. But even that would require 300,000 Tesla Long Range 80-kilowatt-hour battery modules — before New York mandates electric automobiles and home heating and cooking systems.

Each of those modules weighs over 1,000 pounds and holds 6,000 individual lithium-ion cells. Each one contains 25 pounds of lithium, 60 pounds of nickel; 44 pounds of manganese; 30 pounds of cobalt; 200 pounds of copper; and over 550 pounds of aluminum, steel, graphite, plastics, and other materials, energy analyst Ron Stein reports. To manufacture each module, we must mine 30,000 pounds of cobalt ore (much of it with child labor in the Congo), 5,000 pounds of nickel ore, and 25,000 pounds of copper ore, plus inject and extract 25,000 pounds of brine to get the lithium. Backing up New York’s peak summertime electricity needs for just 45 minutes (those 300,000 battery modules) would require 3,750 tons of lithium, 9,000 tons of nickel, 6,600 tons of manganese, 4,500 tons of cobalt, 30,000 tons of copper, and 82,500 tons of other materials.

Together, we’d need to mine more than seventy-five million tons of ores for those New York grid-backup batteries — after removing at least as much overlying rock to get to the ore bodies. Backing up California’s currently planned wind and solar electricity generation would require nearly 310,000,000 long-range modules. Imagine the batteries, materials, and ores that we’d need for the entire USA — or world!

True cost

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“Julian has spent much of his time in isolation, is often heavily sedated and has been denied medical treatment for a variety of physical ailments. He is routinely denied access to his lawyers. He has lost a lot of weight, suffered a minor stroke, spent time in the prison hospital wing — which prisoners call the hell wing — because he is suicidal, been placed in prolonged solitary confinement, observed banging his head against the wall and hallucinating.”

Julian Assange – A Fight We Must Not Lose (Chris Hedges)

The detention and persecution of Julian Assange eviscerates all pretense of the rule of law and the rights of a free press. The illegalities, embraced by the Ecuadorian, British, Swedish and U.S. governments are ominous. They presage a world where the internal workings, abuses, corruption, lies and crimes, especially war crimes, carried out by corporate states and the global ruling elite, will be masked from the public. They presage a world where those with the courage and integrity to expose the misuse of power will be hunted down, tortured, subjected to sham trials and given lifetime prison terms in solitary confinement. They presage an Orwellian dystopia where news is replaced with propaganda, trivia and entertainment.


The legal lynching of Julian, I fear, marks the official beginning of the corporate totalitarianism that will define our lives. Under what law did Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno capriciously terminate Julian’s rights of asylum as a political refugee? Under what law did Moreno authorize British police to enter the Ecuadorian embassy — diplomatically sanctioned sovereign territory — to arrest a naturalized citizen of Ecuador? Under what law did former President Donald Trump criminalize journalism and demand the extradition of Julian, who is not a U.S. citizen and whose news organization is not based in the United States? Under what law did the C.I.A. violate attorney-client privilege, surveil and record all of Julian’s conversations both digital and verbal with his lawyers and plot to kidnap him from the embassy and assassinate him?


And Our Flags Are Still There – By Mr. Fish.

The corporate state eviscerates enshrined rights by judicial fiat. This is how we have the right to privacy, with no privacy. This is how we have “free” elections funded by corporate money, covered by a compliant corporate media and under iron corporate control. This is how we have a legislative process in which corporate lobbyists write the legislation and corporate-indentured politicians vote it into law. This is how we have the right to due process with no due process. This is how we have a government — whose fundamental responsibility is to protect citizens — that orders and carries out the assassination of its own citizens, such as the Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son. This is how we have a press which is legally permitted to publish classified information and our generation’s most important publisher sitting in solitary confinement in a high security prison awaiting extradition to the United States.


The psychological torture of Julian — documented by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer — mirrors the breaking of the dissident Winston Smith in George Orwell’s novel 1984. The Gestapo broke bones. The East German Stasi broke souls. We, too, have refined the cruder forms of torture to destroy souls as well as bodies. It is more effective. This is what they are doing to Julian, steadily degrading his physical and psychological health. It is a slow-motion execution. This is by design. Julian has spent much of his time in isolation, is often heavily sedated and has been denied medical treatment for a variety of physical ailments. He is routinely denied access to his lawyers. He has lost a lot of weight, suffered a minor stroke, spent time in the prison hospital wing — which prisoners call the hell wing — because he is suicidal, been placed in prolonged solitary confinement, observed banging his head against the wall and hallucinating. Our version of Orwell’s dreaded Room 101.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Cold Outside

 

 

 

 

Vet
https://twitter.com/i/status/1656281389346480128

 

 

Pigeon loop

 

 

Mola mola

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 252023
 
 March 25, 2023  Posted by at 9:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  61 Responses »


David Hockney Nichols Canyon 1980

 

Brazil To Propose Ukraine ‘Peace Club’ With China (RT)
The Iran-Saudi deal: A Bid To End Endless War (Shakil)
China’s Xi Has Sent ‘Very Troubling Message’ – Pentagon (RT)
There Could Be No Winner In War Between Russia, US – Medvedev (TASS)
Russia Warns Of Radioactive Disaster In Ukraine (RT)
EU Censorship Regime Is About To Go Global (Spiked)
Biden and the ICC: ‘A New Level of Farce’ (Patrick Lawrence)
Biden’s Nord Stream Cover-up Enters New Slippery Phase (Seymour Hersh)
Seymour Hersh Makes Claim Over Reasons For Nord Stream Sabotage (RT)
US Rulers Keep The Masses Divided And Distracted From Demanding Justice (Cox)
The Season is Here (Kunstler)
EU Is Melting Down And Contagion Spreading To UK Economy (Mitch Feierstein)
US Bank Trouble Heralds End Of Dollar Reserve System (David Goldman)
White House Worried Over Janet Yellen’s Fumbling Of US Bank Crisis (Gasparino)
Carbon War ‘Net Zero’ Would Starve Half the Planet (Celente)

 

 

 

 

McAfee

 

 

 

 

Suramin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1639006754355683330

 

 

Remdesivir
https://twitter.com/i/status/1639319822667218944

 

 

Orthodox

 

 

Morons

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brazil of course means BRICS. Next, bring in India. Their GDP(PPP) is already higher than G7. After that, all the countries who want to join BRICS. 60+% of world population, 60+% of GDP. Impossible to ignore.

Brazil To Propose Ukraine ‘Peace Club’ With China (RT)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will present his vision for an international “peace club” aimed at resolving the conflict in Ukraine when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing this week, his foreign minister told the Financial Times on Friday. Lula, who has remained neutral on the conflict, believes non-aligned nations like Brazil have the best chance of brokering a peace deal. “We are very interested in promoting or helping generate some kind of meeting that would lead to a peace process,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira told the newspaper. “The president has said so many times he hears a lot about war but very few words about peace. He is interested in peace conversations.”

Since defeating the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro in last October’s elections, Lula, as he is most commonly called, has largely stuck to his predecessor’s policy of neutrality on Ukraine. However, Lula has taken a more active role internationally than Bolsonaro, announcing in January that he intends to rally a G20-like group “to put an end to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.” “It is necessary to constitute a group with enough strength to be respected at a negotiating table, and sit down with both sides,” he said at the time. During his election campaign, Lula declared Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “as responsible as [Russian President Vladimir] Putin for the war,” and condemned US and EU leaders for promising NATO membership to Ukraine.

Since taking office, the Brazilian leader has met with US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and has spoken by phone to Zelensky and Putin. Stressing the need to find “a way out to end this war” after meeting Biden last month, Lula’s calls for peace were echoed by China, which released its 12-point ‘Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis’ two weeks afterwards. The Chinese plan was welcomed by Putin, but rejected by the US. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday described Beijing’s proposal as a “tactical move” to stall the conflict in Russia’s favor, while in Ukraine, Zelensky said last month that he only agrees with a handful of points in the document.

Any plan put forward by Lula and his potential “peace club” may be received the same way, as was the case when Mexico proposed a peace plan of its own at the United Nations last year. Ukrainian government adviser Mikhail Podoliak dismissed the Mexican proposal as a “Russian plan,” and Kiev released its own ten-point peace plan two months later. However, Kiev’s plan included demands that Russia cede the territory of Crimea to Ukraine and send its officials to war crimes tribunals, and as such was dismissed as a non-starter by Moscow.

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China did the Iran-Saudi deal. Russia is doing the same with Saudi-Syria. Get rid of the US, and peace becomes possible.

The Iran-Saudi deal: A Bid To End Endless War (Shakil)

The China-mediated Saudi-Iran peace agreement, inked on 10 March in Beijing, marks a significant geopolitical shift with far-reaching implications for the Persian Gulf and Iran’s neighboring countries. For decades, Saudi Arabia and Iran have been engaged in ideological and economic competition on the territories of their neighbors, causing regional tensions to escalate. If the agreement is successful and relations between Riyadh and Tehran improve as envisioned, tensions will likely begin to significantly subside in the Persian Gulf, Levant, and further afield in neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan. The former, long concerned about its security and energy supply vulnerabilities, will potentially benefit from improved relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which could help address its oil and gas crises.

Similarly, Afghanistan, whose Taliban-led government is still struggling to gain international recognition and is in dire need of reconstruction and investment initiatives, may also benefit from the kingdom’s rapprochement with the Islamic Republic. An early litmus test for the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation will be its impact on Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, where a perceived proxy war has wreaked havoc on their respective economies and in their public spheres. One of the most critical areas where the impact of the peace agreement will be tested is Yemen, where Iran and Saudi Arabia have backed opposing sides in the country’s eight-year war. The conflict has resulted in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises after a Saudi-UAE-led coalition in 2015 launched military attacks against Yemen’s pro-Iran Ansarallah movement, which had seized control of the capital, Sanaa.

Iran’s permanent mission to the UN said in a statement that the Iran-Saudi deal will “accelerate the ceasefire, help start a national dialogue, and form an inclusive national government in Yemen.”

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“Xi’s visit to Putin and remaining there for a couple of days I think sends a very troubling message, a message of support..”

China’s Xi Has Sent ‘Very Troubling Message’ – Pentagon (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent state visit to Russia should be regarded as a matter of grave concern for Washington, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told lawmakers on Thursday. Speaking at the House of Representatives’ subcommittee on defense appropriations, Austin was asked to comment on Xi’s trip to Moscow, and its ramifications for Sino-US competition. “Xi’s visit to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and remaining there for a couple of days I think sends a very troubling message, a message of support,” the Pentagon chief replied. He stated that while the Pentagon has not seen signs that China had been providing Russia with military equipment for use against Ukraine, it is watching the situation “very closely,” cautioning that “if they were to go down that path, I think that would be very troubling for the international community.”

He went on to warn that if Xi decided to arm Moscow, “it would prolong the conflict and certainly broaden the conflict potentially – not only in the region, but globally.” On Monday, the Chinese leader embarked on a three-day state visit to Moscow, holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the summit, the two sides signed more than a dozen documents on increased defense, industrial and economic cooperation.Moscow and Beijing also pledged to “deepen relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction entering a new era.”

The US has claimed that China has been considering sending arms to Russia, while threatening “consequences” should it make such a move. Beijing, however, has dismissed such plans, accusing Washington of “spreading false information” and “fanning the flames” of the Ukraine conflict. “It is the United States and not China that is endlessly shipping weapons to the battlefield,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said last month. Since the start of the Ukraine conflict more than a year ago, Western countries have supplied Kiev with large amounts of military equipment, with the US alone having committed more than $32.5 billion in security assistance. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West that such support will only prolong the conflict while making it a direct participant in the hostilities.

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“..I would not speculate on whether one army is stronger than the other. A fighting army is a strong army..”

There Could Be No Winner In War Between Russia, US – Medvedev (TASS)

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev warned of the disastrous consequences of a potential confrontation between the armies of Russia and the United States. In an interview with Russian media outlets and users of leading Russian social media network VKontakte, Medvedev said, “The first thing is, only a real conflict can decide which army is first, second or 21st. Secondly, it would be wrong to say that the US army is No. 1, while ours is No.2 for one simple reason. If these armies start a war, how could we say who the winner is? Obviously, there will be no winner.”


A potential confrontation “would cause disastrous consequences,” the politician warned. “And it would be impossible to say whose army is superior,” he added. According to Medvedev, the US army could have been considered the best “at least during that period when it was active on the ground – as usual, not on its own soil, at that,” referring to the US occupation of Vietnam. He said he was shocked to learn that 3 million Vietnamese people had been killed in that conflict. “Therefore, I would not speculate on whether one army is stronger than the other. A fighting army is a strong army,” Medvedev concluded.

Conte

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“..reducing any export of agricultural produce from Ukrainian territory for many decades, if not centuries to come..”

Russia Warns Of Radioactive Disaster In Ukraine (RT)

The potential use of Western-supplied depleted uranium shells by Ukraine would have a devastating impact on the country’s economy and population, lasting for centuries to come, the Russian Defense Ministry warned on Friday. Speaking at a briefing, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, who is in charge of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, issued a scathing criticism of the UK’s plans to support Kiev with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium. He noted that such munitions have only ever been deployed in combat by NATO countries, most notably during the Iraq War, when the US used at least 300 tons of depleted uranium.

“As a result, the radiation situation in the [Iraqi] city of Fallujah was much worse than in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the nuclear bombings by the United States,” Kirillov stated, recalling that Fallujah had been dubbed “the second Chernobyl,” while the local population suffered from a skyrocketing number of cancer cases. The West is well aware of the consequences of using such weapons, the general stressed. Even though it “will cause irreparable harm” to the health of Ukrainian troops and civilians, “NATO countries, in particular the UK, express a readiness to supply this type of weapon to the Kiev regime,” Kirillov stated.

He warned that the use of the munitions will contaminate farmland. “In addition to infecting its own population, this will cause tremendous economic damage to the agro-industrial complex of Ukraine… reducing any export of agricultural produce from Ukrainian territory for many decades, if not centuries to come,” the general said. The UK’s plans to send depleted uranium shells to Ukraine for use with Challenger 2 battle tanks were first unveiled on Monday, prompting an outcry from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which called the move a sign of “absolute recklessness, irresponsibility and impunity” on the part of London and Washington. While the US has said it does not plan to support Ukraine with such ammunition, it shrugged off Russian concerns over the matter, describing depleted uranium shells as “a commonplace type of munition” which has “been in use for decades.”

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“..the DSA includes a ‘crisis-management mechanism’, added last year in a last-minute amendment. The Commission argued it needs to be able to direct how platforms respond to events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine..”

EU Censorship Regime Is About To Go Global (Spiked)

Not many people know that 16 November 2022 was the day that freedom of speech died on the internet. This was the day the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) came into law. Under the DSA, very large online platforms (VLOPs) with more than 45million monthly active users – like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – will have to swiftly remove illegal content, hate speech and so-called disinformation from their platforms. Or they will face fines of up to six per cent of their annual global revenue. Larger platforms must be DSA compliant by this summer, while smaller platforms will be obliged to tackle this content from 2024 onwards. The ramifications of this are immense. Not only will the DSA now enforce the regulation of content on the internet for the first time, but it is also set to become a global standard, not just a European one.

In recent years, the EU has largely realised its ambition to become a global regulatory superpower. The EU can dictate how any company worldwide must behave if it wants to operate in Europe, the world’s second-largest market. As a result, its strict regulatory standards often end up being adopted worldwide by both firms and other regulators, in what is known as the ‘Brussels effect’. Take the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a privacy law which came into force in May 2018. Among many other things, it requires individuals to give explicit consent before their data can be processed. These EU regulations have since become the global standard, and the same could now happen for the DSA.

The EU’s enforcement of GDPR has been somewhat tentative. It has issued only about €1.7 billion in penalties since 2018, according to The Economist, which is peanuts in an industry that generates more than a trillion euros in revenue annually. But the EU seems to have learnt from this: the DSA has enormous enforcement capabilities built into it. The European Commission expects its internal industry watchdog to have over 100 full-time staff by 2024. Plus, contract workers and national experts will be expected to supervise Big Tech’s operations, too. It amounts to what EU internal-markets commissioner Thierry Breton calls a ‘historic moment in digital regulation’. The VLOPS are expected to fund this enforcement operation themselves, paying up to 0.05 per cent of their global annual turnover each year to the Commission.

This gives the EU an extraordinary amount of power. The regulation of the DSA will be overseen by the Commission itself, not an independent regulator. What’s more, the DSA includes a ‘crisis-management mechanism’, added last year in a last-minute amendment. The Commission argued it needs to be able to direct how platforms respond to events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Apparently, in a crisis, the ‘anticipatory or voluntary nature’ of obligations on tech companies to tackle disinformation would be insufficient. Under the DSA, the Commission has given itself the power to determine whether such a ‘crisis’ exists, defined as ‘an objective risk of serious prejudice to public security or public health in the Union’.

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“..simple issues of legal procedure, of due process, are no longer allowed to stand in the way when a demand to do something of this nature appears.”

Biden and the ICC: ‘A New Level of Farce’ (Patrick Lawrence)

There was talk among the Western powers for most of last year, readers may recall, of the U.N. forming a special court to try Putin and other Russian officials on charges of war crimes allegedly committed in the course of the Ukraine conflict. But Washington and its allies overestimated international sentiment: They could get no appreciable support among member states for any such project. They similarly failed when, as an alternative, they tried to get the U.N. General Assembly to authorize the ICC, a U.N. body, to investigate the numerous allegations of war crimes leveled since the start of hostilities in February 2022. It was at this point that the West—reportedly led by Britain—began an intense lobbying campaign at The Hague to get the ICC to act even without a U.N. referral behind it. The arrest warrant announced last Friday appears to be the result of this pressure.

The legalities here are important. While Russia is not a signatory to the ICC’s founding treaty, a U.N. referral such as the U.S. and its allies sought would extend the court’s jurisdiction even to nations that do not recognize it. This is why the Western powers spent all those months trying to bring the General Assembly around. Is our conclusion other than obvious? The ICC’s action last week has no sound legal basis, and the court has no jurisdiction over a nation that does not recognize it. “But as we have seen on so many occasions, over so many matters in the past few years,” Alexander Mercouris observed in an informed webcast over the weekend, “simple issues of legal procedure, of due process, are no longer allowed to stand in the way when a demand to do something of this nature appears.”

The charges of criminal abduction and forced deportation of children appear to be equally flimsy. The Russian Federation has made no secret of its effort to remove thousands of children from harm’s way over the past year. Some of these children were parentless and living in orphanages, by the Russian account; when parental consent was involved, the Russians running the program say they had it. These children, not to be missed, were removed from areas under constant artillery bombardment from Ukrainian forces in the eight years following the U.S.–cultivated coup in 2014.

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I think this is the Hersh piece that was behind a paywall.

Biden’s Nord Stream Cover-up Enters New Slippery Phase (Seymour Hersh)

It’s been six weeks since I published a report, based on anonymous sourcing, naming President Joe Biden as the official who ordered the mysterious destruction last September of Nord Stream 2, a new US$11 billion pipeline that was scheduled to double the volume of natural gas delivered from Russia to Germany. The story gained traction in Germany and Western Europe, but was subject to a near media blackout in the US. Two weeks ago, after a visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Washington, US and German intelligence agencies attempted to add to the blackout by feeding the New York Times and the German weekly Die Zeit false cover stories to counter the report that Biden and US operatives were responsible for the pipelines’ destruction.

Press aides for the White House and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have consistently denied that America was responsible for exploding the pipelines, and those pro forma denials were more than enough for the White House press corps. There is no evidence that any reporter assigned there has yet to ask the White House press secretary whether Biden had done what any serious leader would do: formally “task” the American intelligence community to conduct a deep investigation, with all of its assets, and find out just who had done the deed in the Baltic Sea. [..] In early March, President Biden hosted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington. The trip included only two public events—a brief pro forma exchange of compliments between Biden and Scholz before the White House press corps, with no questions allowed; and a CNN interview with Scholz by Fareed Zakaria, who did not touch on the pipeline allegations.

The chancellor had flown to Washington with no members of the German press on board, no formal dinner scheduled, and the two world leaders were not slated to conduct a press conference, as routinely happens at such high-profile meetings. Instead, it was later reported that Biden and Scholz had an 80-minute meeting, with no aides present for much of the time. There have been no statements or written understandings made public since then by either government. But I was told by someone with access to diplomatic intelligence that there was a discussion of the pipeline exposé and, as a result, certain elements in the Central Intelligence Agency were asked to prepare a cover story in collaboration with German intelligence that would provide the American and German press with an alternative version of the destruction of Nord Stream 2. In the words of the intelligence community, the agency was to “pulse the system” in an effort to discount the claim that Biden had ordered the pipelines’ destruction.

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Pepe Escobar tweets it was not Scholz, but Robert Habeck. He’s the vice-chancellor, from the Green Party(!).

Pepe Escobar: “Sy Hersh’s sources told him that it was during a one-hour Biden-Scholz meeting that the CIA plan was concocted – to plant the Ukrainian group story as a misdirection to cover up the US blowing up the Nord Streams. It was HABECK, not Scholz who discussed this on site with Biden.”

“A Biden-HABECK meeting green lit the whole Nord Stream scam + misdirection. Scholz knew what HABECK was doing. These revelations WILL explode. And they will bring down both Biden and liver sausage Scholz. This may well end up as Sy Hersh’s greatest scoop.”

Seymour Hersh Makes Claim Over Reasons For Nord Stream Sabotage (RT)

US President Joe Biden ordered the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines because he was unhappy with the level of support provided by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed. Hersh first accused Washington of destroying the key European energy route in an article released in February, and made more allegations in an interview with the China Daily newspaper published on Friday. “The [US] president was afraid of Chancellor Scholz not wanting to put more guns and more arms [forward for Kiev]. That’s all. I don’t know whether that it was anger or punishment, but the net effect is that it cut off a major power source through Western Europe,” Hersh claimed.

Despite attempts by the US to deny its involvement in the Nord Stream attack, “Europe is in crisis now” and Biden will receive “a lot of criticism for what he did” in the coming months, the journalist argued. The Pulitzer Prize winner alleged that “the people that were initially asked to do the job” of destroying the pipelines were contacted by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan towards the end of 2021. The initial purpose of mining Nord Stream 1 and 2, built to deliver Russian gas to Europe through Germany, was “to give the [US] president an option to say to [Russian] President Putin, ‘If you go to war [in Ukraine], we’re going to destroy the pipelines,’” Hersh claimed. Biden himself publicly confirmed that stance but “unfortunately, those people in the Western press seemed to have forgotten,” the journalist stated.

Just under three weeks before the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, Biden warned during a press conference on February 7 that “if Russia invades… there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.” According to Hersh, the US leader decided to order the detonation of mines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea last September because the conflict “wasn’t going great in Ukraine” from a US perspective. There was “at best a stalemate” during that period, in what Hersh described as “the American war that President Biden was so eager to support.”

Read more …

”Their “leaders” are all on the same team, the one that keeps the masses warring with each other rather than turning their pitchforks and torches against the ruling class..”

US Rulers Keep The Masses Divided And Distracted From Demanding Justice (Cox)

Washington is where securing political power means never having to say you’re sorry – regardless of how many thousands or millions of people you might have gotten killed. Tribalism is what keeps the perpetrators from ever being held accountable. Consider, for example, this month’s Axios/Ipsos poll showing that more than six in ten US adults believe that George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake. While it might seem encouraging that most Americans have come to realize that the Iraq debacle was a bad move – sort of like recognizing that the sun comes up in the East – a glance beneath the headline number reveals that voters haven’t really learned anything. You see, two decades on from a war that was started on false pretenses and was illegal under the UN Charter, 58% of Republicans still believe that the Bush administration was right to launch the invasion (compared to 26% of Democrats).

They still feel this way despite a bevy of troubling truths that should be clear to everyone by now, including the fact that the whole basis for the invasion – the hype that Saddam Hussein had obtained weapons of mass destruction – was a sham. It was a sham that cost US taxpayers over $2 trillion, helped give rise to ISIS and killed or maimed tens of thousands of American troops. Along the way, this bogus war also killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and left the country shattered, even to the present day. The cherry on top is that it also strengthened Washington’s arch-enemy, Iran. It’s almost incomprehensible that any Americans, other than the war criminals themselves, would still defend such a fiasco – unless one factors in the level of tribalism that currently pervades the US political system.

Rank-and-file members of the red team and the blue team can see no evil nor hear no evil when it comes to their tribe. Their “leaders” are all on the same team, the one that keeps the masses warring with each other rather than turning their pitchforks and torches against the ruling class. No one was punished for the Afghan debacle. Biden, Blinken and the Pentagon brass still refuse to admit to any mistakes. The only person fired over the withdrawal was Stuart Scheller, the Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who dared to publicly criticize the evacuation and call for senior officials to be held accountable. He was court-martialed for his temerity.

Meanwhile, the so-called experts in Washington continue advancing their careers, regardless of how many lives they destroy. It’s a town where Victoria Nuland can play a key advisory role in the Bush administration’s Iraq debacle, help engineer the Obama-Biden administration’s overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government in 2014 – setting the table for the current crisis in Eastern Europe – then land a job as the Biden administration’s undersecretary of state. It’s also where former secretary of state Madeleine Albright can say in a television interview that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children resulting from US sanctions were “worth it” – then be eulogized by three presidents upon her death last year and praised by Biden for her “humanity.”

Read more …

“..everybody… the formerly Woke, the unvaxxed, the penitent and unrepentant, the middle and lower orders especially, who suffer most harshly… will find themselves all on one side of that line in opposition to the wicked who have brought a hard rain upon them..”

The Season is Here (Kunstler)

Expect three evolving dynamics to stipulate our country’s zeitgeist in the stirring months to come. First, the collapse of our project for using Ukraine to destabilize Russia, an enterprise so feckless it could have only been conceived by the dead-of-brain. Our geniuses of foreign affairs screwed the pooch on this one. It’s almost too obvious that they never cared about the people of that sore-beset land. Notice, they do not even use the word “peace” in any of their confabulations about what’s going on there, because it is the opposite of what they seek, which is…chaos unending. Thus, others will end the project for us — namely, our antagonist there, Russia — and the regime of “Joe Biden,” for the second time in its mortifying two years-plus of rule, will be left holding its limp, generative member in its collective hand, another humiliation for our over-reaching imperial soldiery — and the deluded empty suits commanding it.

Will they be able to pretend this time, as they did in Afghanistan, 2021, that there’s nothing to see here, folks? Just a blizzard of press-releases declaring “mission accomplished” or some-such other craven bullshit? I don’t think so. The reaction may be enough to bum-rush “Joe Biden” and Company out of office. His grotesque family rackets (including the Ukraine grifts) will finally and magically come to the public’s attention, and that’ll be all she wrote for “JB”— except for the historians waking from their own long catatonic spells to record the disaster they will swear they couldn’t see coming. Next, we will go through the tipping-point where a critical mass of the population — not just in America, but throughout Western Civ, and even beyond — realizes that they have been poisoned and injured by the mRNA “vaccines” they were so eager to line up for.

It will produce a special sort of collective agony centered around a raging despair that leads with astonishing speed to prosecutions. The torpor and uncertainty of the past three years evaporates and the machinery of law actually starts cranking again, and in the right way — not as a mere instrument of coercion and intimidation, but to actually seek justice. Third will be the transformation of a raging inflation into a ruinous debt deflation that leaves Americans, one way or another, with no money. At the same time, the people will wake to the wrecking of their energy and food supply. A line will appear drawn in the ground from sea to shining sea, as by a cosmic power, and everybody… the formerly Woke, the unvaxxed, the penitent and unrepentant, the middle and lower orders especially, who suffer most harshly… will find themselves all on one side of that line in opposition to the wicked who have brought a hard rain upon them. And there you will finally see the beginning of your long-promised hope and change. No need even to wait for it. At long last, it’s upon us.

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“As interest rates continue rising, to fight inflation, razor-sharp needles are popping up in every direction.”

EU Is Melting Down And Contagion Spreading To UK Economy (Mitch Feierstein)

In 2008, the Bank of England’s Mervyn King began quantitative easing (QE) and bank bailouts. Increased debt levels devalued British pound sterling by 34 percent vs. the US Dollar. Sterling has not recovered since. In 2013, George Osborne hired central bank “rock star” Mark Carney to replace King. Carney maintained misguided ‘easy money’ interest rate policies through 2020. Zero Interest Rate Policy set the table for more dire future economic downturns far worse than the Great Financial Crisis. Carney inflated asset bubbles across UK markets, the most prominent bubble was in the UK’s commercial and residential property markets. As interest rates continue rising, to fight inflation, razor-sharp needles are popping up in every direction. When variable rate mortgages reset, a credit event will impair banks’ asset quality and impact our financial system.

King’s QE devaluation, Carney’s asset bubbles, and Boris and Rishi’s COVID money printing have caused the most significant cost of living crisis in UK history. Last week, the USA’s Silicon Valley Bank failed because it did not manage its risks. SVB made lending, business, and employment decisions that prioritised social justice, DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance), ahead of profitability! So, what happened? SVB – Got woke & went broke. EU and USA Bank failures bode poorly for the UK. UK taxpayers still own NatWest bank shares from Kings 2008 bank bailouts. Biden, Yellen, and UK regulators promised that SVB depositor bailouts: “Will not cost taxpayers anything.” The US Fed created a $2.5 TRILLION bailout fund calling it a Bank Term Funding Program or “BTFP.”

BTFP is highly inflationary QE and the program signals a de facto nationalisation of the banking system. Was SVB a “one off”? Not at all, in fact, later that week, Credit Suisse went bust. Despite the “The banking system is sound, it’s all fine”, mantra from those responsible for this mess, continued currency declines, bank failures, bankruptcies and defaults are likely. What dishonest diversions will the media unwittingly spread? The blame shifting for the coming credit crisis will include: COVID, Russia, Putin, the Climate Emergency! Arrest Trump! Bring Back Boris from his £4m speaking tour, implement CBDCs.

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“Bank credit quality today is the best in a generation. The crisis stems from the now-impossible task of financing America’s ever-expanding foreign debt.”

US Bank Trouble Heralds End Of Dollar Reserve System (David Goldman)

The US banking system is broken. That doesn’t portend more high-profile failures like Credit Suisse. The central banks will keep moribund institutions on life support. But the era of dollar-based reserves and floating exchange rates that began on August 15, 1971, when the US severed the link between the dollar and gold, is coming to an end. The pain will be transferred from the banks to the real economy, which will starve for credit. And the geopolitical consequences will be enormous. The seize-up of dollar credit will accelerate the shift to a multipolar reserve system, with advantage to China’s RMB as a competitor to the dollar.

Gold, the “barbarous relic” abhorred by John Maynard Keynes, will play a bigger role because the dollar banking system is dysfunctional, and no other currency—surely not the tightly-controlled RMB—can replace it. Now at an all-time record price of US$2,000 an ounce, gold is likely to rise further. The greatest danger to dollar hegemony and the strategic power that it imparts to Washington is not China’s ambition to expand the international role of the RMB. The danger comes from the exhaustion of the financial mechanism that made it possible for the US to run up a negative $18 trillion net foreign asset position during the past 30 years.

Germany’s flagship institution, Deutsche Bank, hit an all-time low of 8 euros on the morning of March 24, before recovering to 8.69 euros at the end of that day’s trading, and its credit default swap premium—the cost of insurance on its subordinated debt—spiked to about 380 basis points above LIBOR, or 3.8%. That’s as much as during the 2008 banking crisis and the 2015 European financial crisis, although not quite as much as during the March 2020 Covid lockdown, when the premium exceeded 5%. Deutsche Bank won’t fail, but it may need official support. It may have received such support already. This crisis is utterly unlike 2008, when banks levered up trillions of dollars of dodgy assets based on “liar’s loans” to homeowners. Fifteen years ago, the credit quality of the banking system was rotten and leverage was out of control. Bank credit quality today is the best in a generation. The crisis stems from the now-impossible task of financing America’s ever-expanding foreign debt.

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“On one hand they’re kind of stuck with her; it would be bad to get rid of a Treasury Secretary during a banking crisis..” “On the other hand, they know they don’t have anyone good to be their face in terms of a response.”

White House Worried Over Janet Yellen’s Fumbling Of US Bank Crisis (Gasparino)

Janet Yellen is once again on thin ice inside the Biden Administration over her bungling of the banking crisis that keeps roiling markets, The Post has learned. The question is when will Sleepy Joe & Co. finally act? They need to put Yellen out of her misery and end ours by handing her job to someone who knows how to deal with the very real possibility of banks failing on a scale not seen since the 2008 financial crisis and a possible deep recession. As we have reported, the political types in the White House — the people that craft messaging and give input on cabinet choices — have been increasingly wary of Yellen’s ability to do the job despite her expansive resume and years running the Fed, people with direct knowledge tell the Post.

They grew sour over her bungled response to inflation (recall how she said it was transitory as it was exploding). It’s why they floated possible replacements last year, including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Bank of America. Both are seen as policy heavyweights. Unlike Yellen, they have real-world business experience (Yellen’s been in academia and government throughout her career). Yet she survived that attempt to get her removed because her ultimate boss, the president, didn’t want to fire a woman in such a high-profile post, these people say. Sleepy Joe might not have much choice now given the growing severity of what she and the country are facing: The collapse of large regional banks Silicon Valley and Signature banks. First Republic, with more than $200 billion in assets, is on the precipice.


Credit Suisse nearly imploded and was forced to merge with its Swiss neighbor, UBS. On Friday, investors began freaking out about another European banking giant, Deutsche Bank and began predicting its failure. Yellen’s response to this has been bewildering from a messaging standpoint. White House advisers are pointing to her multiple flip-flops on whether the government will back up all deposits in a failed bank — even those well past the FDIC insurance threshold of $250,000. I get it, she doesn’t want people to pull money out of regional banks at just the hint of weakness, but what she is saying lacks credulity. Will the federal government or the underfunded FDIC insurance fund really cover a deposit of more than a million dollars?

Another criticism: Her slow-walking the possible severity of weakness in the plumbing of banks as failures begin to pile up. She says the system is safe and secure, but it’s obviously not. Years of historical and super-low interest rates distort asset values and risk-taking, and banks can’t be immune from the consequences. “On one hand they’re kind of stuck with her; it would be bad to get rid of a Treasury Secretary during a banking crisis,” said one of my sources, who works at a large DC-based think-tank and has heard the griping firsthand. “On the other hand, they know they don’t have anyone good to be their face in terms of a response.” [..] ..check your calendar: We’re going on week three of a fast-moving banking contagion that could spark a significant recession if banks collapse en masse and lending dries up, so whatever she’s doing is still far too late.

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“..nitrogen fertilizer [derived from fossil fuels] now supports approximately half of the global population.”

Carbon War ‘Net Zero’ Would Starve Half the Planet (Celente)

That victory Dutch farmers just won in provincial elections might literally save the world. After massive demonstrations against government targeting of nitrogen fertilizers to fulfill a UN zero carbon agenda, the BBB (BoerBurgerBeweging or “Farmer-Citizen Movement”) party picked up a significant bloc of senate seats. It was a major rejection of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s environmental policies, as Reuters reported in “Dutch farmers’ protest party scores big election win, shaking up Senate.” According to a final tally reported by Eva Vlaardingerbroek on 19 March, the number of seats gained was 17, more than enough to turn back environmental directives that would destroy the Dutch farming sector. But the significance is far greater than just farmer livelihoods in the Netherlands.

Nitrogen fertilizers are crucial to sustaining the world’s food supply, and banning their use as part of “net-zero” carbon goals could literally starve half the world. That’s the warning of a new report called “Challenging ‘Net Zero’ with Science,” compiled by two longtime pre-eminent climates scientists, William Happer, Professor of Physics, Emeritus, of Princeton University, and Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science, Emeritus, of MIT. The report was released by co2coalition.org. It says that extreme goals of the so-called “green energy” movement are built on decidedly unscientific premises. And they make no bones about the disastrous consequences that would result from following a course that continues to try to phase out the use of nitrogen fertilizers:

“As to the disastrous consequences of eliminating fossil fuels, it ‘is estimated that nitrogen fertilizer [derived from fossil fuels] now supports approximately half of the global population.’ As one of us (Happer) has made clear, without the ‘use of inorganic fertilizers’ derived from fossil fuels, the world ‘will not achieve the food supply needed to support 8.5 to 10 billion people.’ The authors cited Sri Lanka as a cautionary example of how devastating this one facet of the “zero carbon” agenda is already playing out: “The recent experience in Sri Lanka provides a red alert. ‘The world has just witnessed the collapse of the once bountiful agricultural sector of Sri Lanka as a result of government restrictions on mineral fertilizer.’5 The government of Sri Lanka banned the use of fossil fuel derived nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides, with disastrous consequences on food supply there. If similarly misguided decisions are made eliminating fossil fuels and thus nitrogen fertilizer, there will be a starvation crisis worldwide.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Catfight
https://twitter.com/i/status/1639175659418435584

 

 

Pandas
https://twitter.com/i/status/1639163711280562176

 

 

Octopi

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1639400762068582401

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 202022
 
 October 20, 2022  Posted by at 8:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Schooner and three masters 1886

 

American Advisor To Ukraine’s Military Reveals War Goals (RT)
Ukraine Tries To Capture Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)
US Lifts Ban On Funding ‘Neo-nazi’ Ukrainian Militia (JPost)
Europe’s Ultimate Choices On Ukraine (OR)
Bill Ackman Proposes Peace Plan For Ukraine And Russia (RT)
A Few Updates About The NATO Crusade Against Russia (Saker)
Europe Compensated All Gas Volumes Cut By Russia – Ursula Von Der Leyen (Az.)
EU Countries Urged To Share Gas (RT)
Hungary Opposes ‘Dangerous’ EU Gas Plan (RT)
Europe To Face Worse Gas Crisis In 2023 – Qatar (RT)
Ukraine’s Most Nationalist Region Once A Pro-Russian Hotbed (Plotnikov)
Biden Family Got $5 Million Interest-free, Forgivable Loan From China (JTN)
Net Zero: Doubling Down On Stupid (TT)
Ladapo Dismisses CDC Adding COVID Vaccine to Childhood Schedule (FV)
Ladapo: mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Given to Young Men (ET)

 

 

 

 

Under the seabed

 

 

 

 

Covid implants

 

 

 

 

Kari Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Ukraine will refuse to negotiate with Russia and fight to return to its 1991 borders..”

Russia will refuse to go back even to 2014.

The US is aiming for forever war.

American Advisor To Ukraine’s Military Reveals War Goals (RT)

Ukraine will refuse to negotiate with Russia and fight to return to its 1991 borders – established following an independence vote ahead of the collapse of the Soviet Union – according to Dan Rice, an American citizen advising the commander in chief of Kiev’s armed forces. Speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett for an interview on Tuesday, Rice appealed to Western states for additional arms shipments to Ukraine, adding that while the country desperately needs air defense systems and aircraft, it has no interest in diplomacy with Moscow. “[Russia is] trying, in my opinion, to get to the negotiating table, to try to go back to the 2014 lines,” Rice claimed. “Ukraine won’t have it. Ukraine wants all of their land back, back to the ‘91 lines.”

Ukraine’s 1991 borders would include four formerly Ukrainian provinces – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye – as well as Crimea, all of which have voted to join the Russian Federation in a series of referendums. Crimea’s was held in 2014 soon after the ‘EuroMaidan’ revolution ousted Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich, while the other provinces voted to leave Ukraine last month. Despite Rice’s assessment of Moscow’s position, the Kremlin has made clear that it has no intention of reversing the referendums, with Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stating that while he is prepared to negotiate with Kiev, “the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson will not be discussed.”

Russia’s most recent call for negotiations came last week, when Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested Moscow’s goals could be achieved diplomatically and that it remains “open” to talks. However, he added that “it takes two sides to have a dialogue,” saying negotiations are unlikely given the “very, very hostile stance” toward Russia by Ukraine’s Western backers. A US Marine combat veteran and West Point graduate who now runs the consulting firm Thayer Leadership, Rice went on to voice hopes that Poland would provide its “old Russian fighters”to Ukraine in exchange for American F-16 jets, claiming the aircraft are currently “mothballed” and would come at no cost to the US taxpayer.

“The biggest thing they need right now is air defense systems – both missiles and aircraft. We really need the Ukrainian Air Force to be restocked,” he continued. “We [the United States] are putting in a lot of air defenses, they are just getting there though.” Rice was tapped to serve as a special advisor to Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, back in June, reportedly at the general’s “personal invitation.” His own LinkedIn page notes that he works in an “unpaid/voluntary role,” and says he will use his official access to “research the Ukrainian military leader development and learning, and how the culture changed between 2014-2022.”

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”Russia formally included the plant in its civilian atomic energy infrastructure earlier this month.”

Ukraine Tries To Capture Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant (RT)

Kiev launched an amphibious operation against the Russian city of Energodar in Zaporozhye Region, a senior local official has reported. Ukrainian commandos used around 30 speed boats overnight to cross the Dnepr River, targeting the city, Vladimir Rogov said, as cited on Wednesday morning by Russian media. “After artillery shelling of the city, they attempted to land, including to capture the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The fighting continued for several hours, at least three or three and a half. The assault was fended off,” he said. Earlier in the day the city administration reported Ukrainian artillery attacks on several key facilities in Energodar, including the city administration building, an access road, and a transformer station crucial for its power supply. The latter was disabled, causing a blackout, the head of the city administration, Aleksandr Volga, said.


Energodar is located in Zaporozhye Region, one of four former Ukrainian regions that voted to become part of Russia last month. Energodar has been under Russian control since March. The Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest facility of its kind in Europe, is located on the shore of the Dnepr just outside the city. The site was the focus of a diplomatic spat between Russia and Ukraine, with both sides accusing each other of attacking it and risking a nuclear disaster. Kiev also claimed that Russia was stationing heavy weapons at the facility, which Moscow denies. Russia formally included the plant in its civilian atomic energy infrastructure earlier this month. The provincial capital, the city of Zaporozhye, remains under Ukrainian control and served as the staging ground for the amphibious operation, according to Rogov.

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It takes the Jerusalem Post to report on this. Everyone else has re-defined neo nazis.

US Lifts Ban On Funding ‘Neo-nazi’ Ukrainian Militia (JPost)

Congress is reported to have recently repealed its ban on a Ukrainian militia accused of being neo-Nazi, opening the way for American military assistance. Last June, Congress passed a resolution intended to block American military funding for Ukraine from being used to provide training or weaponry for the Azov Battalion, an independent unit that had been integrated into the former Soviet Republic’s national guard and was taking part in operations against Russian- backed rebels. Called a “neo-Nazi paramilitary militia” by Congressmen John Conyers Jr. and Ted Yoho, who cosponsored the bipartisan amendment, the battalion has been a source of controversy since its inception.

With the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on its unit flash – which resembles a black swastika on a yellow background – and founders drawn from the ranks of the paramilitary national socialist group called “Patriot of Ukraine,” the group would have been a fringe phenomenon in any Western nation, but with its army unequipped to face the separatist threat in the east, Kiev actually integrated Azov into its military forces. According to a report in The Nation, the Pentagon lobbied the House Defense Appropriations Committee to remove the Conyers-Yoho amendment from the 2016 defense budget, claiming it was unnecessary as such funding was already prohibited under another law. However, The Nation asserted that the law in question, known as the Leahy Law, only prohibits funding to groups that have “committed a gross violation of human rights,” which would not apply in this case.

The news that the Azov Battalion is now legally able to receive American aid has enraged the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which last week successfully blocked the battalion from holding a recruitment meeting in Nantes, France. “This step is hardly surprising to anyone who has been following the growing danger of Holocaust distortion in post-Communist Europe, and especially in the Baltics, Ukraine and Hungary,” said Wiesenthal Center Jerusalem office head Efraim Zuroff. “In recent years, the United States has purposely ignored the glorification of Nazi collaborators, the granting of financial benefits to those who fought alongside the Nazis, and the systematic promotion of the canard of equivalency between Communist and Nazi crimes by these countries because of various political interests.”

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“By refusing to take a balanced approach, the EU is disqualifying itself to be an honest broker on peace negotiations that sooner rather than latter will need to start in the conflict.”

Europe’s Ultimate Choices On Ukraine (OR)

EU’s decisions in support of Ukraine have purportedly been taken in the name of democracy, the rule of law and western values and against a military action by Russia considered unprovoked and illegal. The EU appears to have been also concerned about the unsettling of post-World War II borders – or rather the national frontiers that followed the end of the Cold War – and has expressed unfounded fears that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are the prelude for further aggression in Europe. Deep down, through its actions against Russia the European leadership psyche seems to have had a cathartic release, unleashing an old Russophobia manifested in Europe over decades if not centuries, melting together Czarist Russia, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation in an effort to portray and convince the average European about an inherent Russian malignity that needs to be rooted out once and for all.

In its one-sided defence of Ukraine, the EU has been unwilling to recognize and accept the civil war character of the Ukraine conflict, Russia’s legitimate security concerns and its ongoing warnings about it over years, the historical background of a conflict rooted on the mistreatment of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population that worsened since the US sponsored Ukraine coup in 2014 and its failure to support a diplomatic settlement in 2015 – i.e. the Minsk agreements -, in which they played a mayor facilitating role. The EU ignores the deep flaws of the current Ukraine government and the society it has tried to create, both defined now by blatant corruption, political persecution of opposition and an ultra-nationalist ideology, all this hardly reflecting so-called European values.

Sadly, the EU has been incapable to develop an autonomous and justly self-serving European alternative in the conflict and has become hostage of the US hegemonistic agenda. By refusing to take a balanced approach, the EU is disqualifying itself to be an honest broker on peace negotiations that sooner rather than latter will need to start in the conflict. Non-European countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now taking the lead, reflected for instance in the recent Russo-Ukrainian prisoner exchange, a prominent role unthinkable only a few months ago which is embarrassing for Europe given its traditional place in diplomacy.

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“It just saddens me to see death and destruction with no apparent end date or opportunity for resolution.”

Bill Ackman Proposes Peace Plan For Ukraine And Russia (RT)

Ukraine should recognize Crimea as part of Russia and renounce its bid to join NATO for the sake of peace, US billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has said. Just like SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk before him, Ackman was immediately criticized online for suggesting that Kiev should be ready to make concessions in order to end the hostilities. “Crimea was part of Russia until 1954 and is largely comprised of ethnic Russians, which was apparently why the world did little when Russia annexed it back in 2014,” Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, tweeted on Monday. He added that the borders should return to where they were prior to February 24, when Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring country and before four former Ukrainian regions voted to join Russia.

He added that the West should then help Kiev with its recovery, while the country should stay outside of NATO. “Thousands of lives will be saved and resources can be invested to rebuild [Ukraine] rather than in a war that will only lead to more destruction and death,” the billionaire wrote. “If there is a viable path to peace, we should pursue it. Each day the conflict continues, the risk to the world rises.” After receiving criticism online, Ackman clarified his stance on Tuesday. “Yesterday, I suggested that a reasonable peace settlement might be a return to the borders as of [February 24], a Marshall Plan to rebuild [Ukraine], and [Ukraine’s] decision to not join NATO. Then the knives came out. I was accused of being an appeaser and worse,” he wrote.

I ask: is [Ukraine] better off in a continued prolonged war that leads to 1,000s more [Ukrainian] deaths and the leveling of the country or does some kind of negotiated settlement make sense? … I am by no means an expert. It just saddens me to see death and destruction with no apparent end date or opportunity for resolution. “In a negotiated settlement, both parties must concede something or there is no opportunity for resolution. What is the least that both parties can concede that is acceptable for both? What am I missing in my analysis? What better ideas do you have?” Ackman argued.

Ackman’s comments came as more public figures in the West have been making suggestions for a possible peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. Venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur David Sacks tweeted on Sunday that the US should propose a ceasefire based on the February 23 lines and guarantee that Ukraine will not join NATO. Musk offered his own vision of a peace settlement this month, which includes Ukraine recognizing Crimea as Russian territory. Kiev and Western officials quickly blasted Musk for what they considered to be a plan that heavily favors Moscow.

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“..while most of the US and NATO forces are a sad joke, the US nuclear triad and the USN’s submarine force are both still world class and extremely dangerous and capable..”

A Few Updates About The NATO Crusade Against Russia (Saker)

What we are seeing is the creation of two parts of our planet: the AngloZionist Hegemony (in which only the USA and Israel have agency, the rest are colonies, occupied countries, volunteer slaves, etc.) and the Multipolar Free World. While the two blocks are not technically at war with each other, in reality they already very much are. Russia and Iran are bearing most of the military burden while other free countries quietly try to either stay out and keep a low profile or, even more quietly, assist China and rest of the Multipolar Free World to prevail economically. Of course, the AngloZionist Hegemony is using every means it has to subvert not only Russia, but also China, Iran and any other country daring to declare even a modicum of sovereignty.

The eventual and inevitable outcome of this confrontation is not in doubt, at least not to those who are aware of reality. It is not the outcome which I fear (in fact I await it with great anticipation!) but the potentially enormous costs of defeating the West’s last Crusade (last time Russia lost 27 million people, most of them innocent civilians, and that did not even do the full job – hence today’s war). I will never stop repeating that while most of the US and NATO forces are a sad joke, the US nuclear triad and the USN’s submarine force are both still world class and extremely dangerous and capable (and US SSNs come with not only anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities, but also with land-attack missiles).

This is why it is absolutely crucial for Russia to turn up the pain dial steadily but SLOWLY. Those dimwits who constantly advocate for “firm Russian actions” and simply “hit them hard!” are clueless civilians from countries who never won a real war adn who have no idea whatsoever about modern warfare or about the immense risks their warmongering hysterics create for our entire planet. I can sincerely say that I thank God that Putin is a very careful type who fully understands that there are no “quickfix solutions” to denazifying and demilitarizing the AngloZionist Hegemony. And yes, Russia will continue to unilaterally and gradually rotating up the pain dial, and Russia will do so without feeling the need to seek approval from those who have never won a war but who believe that wars are won by “showing toughness”.

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Ursula counts on your gullibility. Just look at this nonsense: “the market has really changed, from a pipeline gas market to a LNG market.”

The EU has cut itself off from pipeline gas. Now all it has is LNG. But that hasn’t changed “the market”, only the EU.

And now the US is talking about a export ban….

Europe Compensated All Gas Volumes Cut By Russia – Ursula Von Der Leyen (Az.)

Compared to September 2021, in September 2022, Russia has cut 80 percent of its pipeline gas supplies, said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 20-21 October 2022, according to the Commission. “But Europe has been able to compensate all that. We have diversified towards our trusted partners, like for example Norway and the United States. We have increased the savings. And it is good, we achieved in September a reduction of 15 percent. We have filled our storages up to 92 percent. We did not give in to this blackmail. We made it. And I think we can be proud of that. We resisted. That is important. But we also see that resisting Russian energy coercion comes at a price. European families have seen their gas bills skyrocketing. And our companies are struggling to keep up competitiveness. It is not only about the competitiveness in the Single Market – that is also important. But it is also about the global competitiveness that our companies are fighting for,” she said.


Ursula von der Leyen recalled that in March, the Commission proposed to the Council the option to cap gas prices. “At that time, this did not gain any traction. But today, we are coming back to this. So what is the model? The current benchmark determining gas prices is TTF. TTF is only focused on pipeline gas. What we see now is that the market has really changed, from a pipeline gas market to a LNG market. So we need a new, a specific price benchmark for LNG. The Commission will now develop this complementary benchmark together with the European regulator. But this takes time. So in the meantime, as a stop-gap measure, we will limit prices at TTF. We call this the market correction mechanism. Yesterday, we proposed guiding principles as a first step. On this basis, we will prepare the operational mechanism in a second step. This is concerning the price cap at wholesale level,” she said.

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“According to von der Leyen, the EU has managed to reduce its “huge dependency on Russian gas” by two thirds in eight months..”

EU Countries Urged To Share Gas (RT)

European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen has called on EU member states to jointly purchase gas in order to avoid competition that could push prices even higher. “Instead of outbidding each other, Europeans should buy gas together. For this, we will purchase together gas at {the} EU level… We do this because we have learnt the lesson. We literally saw in August, at the height of the filling season, how member states were outbidding each other and prices were spiking. We definitely can be smarter than this. So pooling our demand is a must,” Leyen said on Wednesday at the European Parliament session in Strasbourg. Her comments come a day after the EC announced a new emergency package of measures aimed at lowering gas prices and ensuring the EU’s winter energy supply.


Joint gas purchases are part of the plan, as is the introduction of binding “default rules” for member states to share gas in the case of an emergency. “We know that some member states are more directly exposed than others to Russian gas. The situation is especially challenging for landlocked countries in Central Europe. But in the end, in our single market with highly integrated supply chains, a disruption in one member state has a massive impact on all member states. So, sharing gas in a crisis is critical,” she stated. According to von der Leyen, the EU has managed to reduce its “huge dependency on Russian gas” by two thirds in eight months, and also to diversify supplies. However, she noted that this has come “at a high price” and urged the bloc to invest in “home-grown sources of energy” in order to maintain competitiveness.

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“Hungary has a long-term contract for gas supplies with Russia’s Gazprom, and the country “is guaranteed to receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia.”

Hungary Opposes ‘Dangerous’ EU Gas Plan (RT)

The European Commission’s proposal on joint gas purchases by EU member states is a risky move, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto warned on Wednesday. “The European Commission’s proposal is unsuitable and even dangerous… threatens to further cut gas supplies to Europe,” he stated in a video address posted to his Facebook page. The minister urged Hungary not to accept the “risky” proposal, which could only lead to a drop in supplies and an increase in energy prices. He stressed once more that Hungary opposes another “dangerous” notion – a price cap on Russian gas, which “would mean that the Russians would stop supplying natural gas to Europe.”

“According to simple economic principles, if we increase the quantity of a given product in a market, its price will decrease, but if we decrease the quantity of the product, the price will increase. Therefore, the amount of natural gas on the European market should be increased. It would be necessary for as much natural gas as possible to arrive in Europe from as many sources as possible,” he added. The minister said that Hungarian gas storages are currently 50% full, which means that the country has enough gas reserves for six months. He called this an “outstanding” result compared with other EU countries. Reuters, citing Aurora Energy Research analysts, recently reported that even a 100% gas storage level would only sustain the bloc for about three months.

Hungary has a long-term contract for gas supplies with Russia’s Gazprom, and the country “is guaranteed to receive 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia.” Also, at the end of August Hungary signed an additional two-month contract for the supply of up to 5.8 million cubic meters of Russian gas per day starting on September 1.

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“You just don’t have enough volume to bring [in] to replace that gas for the long term, unless you’re saying ‘I’m going to be building huge nuclear [plants], I’m going to allow coal, I’m going to burn fuel oils’”

Europe To Face Worse Gas Crisis In 2023 – Qatar (RT)

Europe is facing a shortage of natural gas over the next several years due to the break-up of trade with Russia, the energy minister of Qatar, a leading global exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has said. Replacing all Russian gas with other sources doesn’t seem like a viable strategy, Saad al-Kaabi told the Financial Times in an interview published on Tuesday. If “zero Russian gas” flowed in to the EU, as Brussels intends, “I think the problem is going to be huge and for a very long time,” he said. “You just don’t have enough volume to bring [in] to replace that gas for the long term, unless you’re saying ‘I’m going to be building huge nuclear [plants], I’m going to allow coal, I’m going to burn fuel oils’,” the minister explained. The EU leadership prides itself on having reduced the share of Russian gas in the bloc’s mix from some 40% to just 7.5% in seven months.

Brussels hopes to massively ramp up supplies of LNG and increase piped imports from Norway and Algeria to fully eliminate reliance on Russian energy. The surge in demand from Europe is meeting some resistance from traditional markets for LNG in Asia. China has reportedly ordered its state importer not to re-export excess gas due to concerns over a possible deficit in the winter. Kaabi warned in the interview that while European nations had accumulated enough gas in storage facilities to make it through the upcoming winter relatively unscathed, there is no certainty that this will be the case in future seasons. The energy crisis may be “much worse next year,” unless Russian gas is imported, he said. “This coming winter, because of the storage capacity being full, it’s fine,” the Qatari official stated.

“It’s really replenishing the reserves, or the storage, for next year that’s going to be the issue.” Next year and the following year, even up to 2025, are going to be the issue. Commenting on the challenges that the Europeans are having in securing supplies from his nation, the minister said Doha was concerned about losing the EU market in the future because of its larger goal of moving away from fossil fuels. Europe needs to “get off the discussion that gas is not needed for a long time,” he suggested, “because everybody who’s going to invest in the gas sector, they’re looking at 25, 30, 40-year horizons to invest and to get reasonable returns on the investments.” QatarEnergy, the state-owned company that Kaabi also heads, prefers long-term contracts for 15-20 years in foreign trade.

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Love good history lessons.

Ukraine’s Most Nationalist Region Once A Pro-Russian Hotbed (Plotnikov)

“In the last decade of the 19th century, despite all its own difficulties in terms of national and economic life, Galicia became the center of the Ukrainian movement. In Russia’s Ukrainian lands, it played the role of a cultural arsenal with respect to Russia’s Ukrainian lands, where the means to bring about a cultural and socio-political revival of the Ukrainian people were created and improved,” Mikhail Grushevsky, a historian who was one of the first ideologists of Ukrainian nationalism, wrote in an article entitled Ukrainian Piedmont, back in 1906. Today, it is difficult to dispute his assertions. During the 20th century, western Ukraine, which Galicia is part of, was the main center of Ukrainian identity and the engine driving Ukrainization in the rest of the country’s regions.

But the history of the Galician lands does not begin at the end of the 19th century. It has roots in the deep past, tracing back to the very origins of Russia. After the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772, Galicia came under the rule of Austria. Vienna needed to build an administrative system for the region, most of which was inhabited by Slavs. To do this, the Austrian authorities skillfully played on the incongruities between the Catholic Polish population (mainly townspeople and nobles) and the Orthodox peasantry. Seeing the latter as possible agents of Russian influence, a campaign was launched to Polonize them.

The effect, however, turned out to be exactly the opposite. Galician Russophilism was born amidst the Polonization drive in the first half to the middle of the 19th century, when Poles played the dominant role in the cultural and social life of the region. The local Rusyn population gave up hope of finding a way to integrate into the Austrian Empire without losing their traditions and culture, so they began to look for new meaning in the East. Moreover, in the period between the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) and the Crimean War (1853-1856), Russia really was the hegemon of continental Europe. Austria itself called on Russian troops to help suppress a Hungarian uprising. For the Rusyns, the power of the neighboring empire was obvious, and they perceived Russia as a place where they could occupy a privileged position as part of the national majority, and not be second-class subjects.

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Lending a whole new meaning to the term ‘conflict of interest’.

“..assisting them with potential business deals and investments while Joe Biden was Vice President; however, that work remained intentionally uncompensated while Joe Biden was Vice President..”

Biden Family Got $5 Million Interest-free, Forgivable Loan From China (JTN)

President Joe Biden has made waves this fall with his plan to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars of student loans, shifting the burden to taxpayers. Five years earlier, his family cashed in on a zero-interest, forgivable loan of its own from an energy company in communist China, according to evidence in the possession of the FBI. The loan arrangement, confirmed in documents obtained by Just the News and also new information released by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), shows the Chinese energy firm CEFC Beijing International Energy Company Limited understood the transaction would benefit Joe Biden’s family (referred to as “BD family” in the emails), but it also was creating heartburn with its own compliance/risk management officers.

The Chinese company’s leaders “fully support the framework of establishing the JV (joint venture), based on their trust on BD family,” stated a July 26, 2017 email from a CEFC official to Tony Bobulinski, a Hunter Biden business partner at the time. The email was written in part to explain why there had been a delay in getting the money to a firm called SinoHawk associated with the future president’s son and brother, Hunter Biden and James Biden, respectively. “The delay of wire is caused by the details on the JV building, as follows: 1) the positioning and strategy of the JV are not made fully clear to CEFC 2) 5 million is lent to BD family in the 10 million charter capital. How will this 5 million be used (or the 10 million as a whole)? This 5 million loan to BD family is interest-free,” the email stated.

“But if the 5 M is used up, should CEFC keep lending more to the family?” the email inquired. “If CEFC lends more, they need to know the interest rate for the subsequent loan(s).” The CEFC official went on to explain the nebulous transaction was raising worries with the company’s compliance officers. “Because of the reasons above, the risk management department of CEFC is showing concerns on the operation of SinoHawk, hence the delay of the wire,” CEFC’s Raymond Zhao wrote. At the time of the transaction, Joe Biden had already left the White House as vice president, was a private citizen and was planning for his eventual 2020 presidential run. Bobulinski has said in media interviews that Joe Biden was a silent partner in the Chinese transaction, identified in internal documents as “the big guy” who might get 10% of the deal.

Grassley on Monday released a letter he sent to the FBI that contained a summary of an October 2020 interview Bobulinski gave to the FBI concerning the Chinese loan transaction. According to Grassley, the $5 million Chinese transaction was paid to a Hunter Biden-connected firm in August 2017, one month after the email obtained by Just the News. Bobulinski told the FBI that some of the Chinese money paid in 2017 was actually deferred compensation for work Hunter and James Biden had done while Joe Biden was still vice president, Grassley wrote. Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson previously have said some $6 million paid in spring 2017 was appeared to be for pre-2017 work.

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“..gas power stations are doing the heavy lifting of grid balancing and wind backup. It wasn’t cheap before the war in Ukraine and it’s not cheap now.”

Net Zero: Doubling Down On Stupid (TT)

Most of my thinking lately dwells on the impossibility of Net Zero. Green energy lobbyists have ramped up the propaganda in recent months, doing all they can to obscure the reality of Net Zero. There are now endless debates as to the true cost of wind energy. Carbon Brief is pushing the line that wind energy is “nine times cheaper”. Andrew Montford of Net Zero Watch has a crack at this dodgy number. Montford’s analysis is often quite good. Personally I think the argument needs to be reframed. Costing energy is an imprecise science because it’s fraught with complexity. The slam dunk argument against wind energy is when we frame it as intermittent versus dispatchable energy. I argue that the cost of building and operating windmills is not a standalone figure.

We must also consider the cost of grid balancing and the various energy storage technologies. Energy storage is in its infancy. It is not cheap. It is not going to get cheaper any time soon. In all probability it’s going to remain a pricey affair for decades to come. There will be shortages of lithium and battery grade nickel in the next five to ten years, leading to production and supply chain problems. In the interim gas power stations are doing the heavy lifting of grid balancing and wind backup. It wasn’t cheap before the war in Ukraine and it’s not cheap now. Moreover, as we’ve dismantled our conventional power generation, we’ve lost a great deal of spinning reserve for short term grid balancing so we’re now having to build standalone flywheels – simulating the spinning metal mass of a power station turbine.

The demonstrator is set to cost £25m. The more intermittent energy we add the more it destabilises the grid so we could end up needing dozens of these contraptions. Elsewhere the renewables sector is looking at conversion of surplus wind energy (at times of low demand) into hydrogen which would then be piped to gas stations and converted into methane. Again, this is not past the demonstrator phase, so we have no real world data on costs and conversion losses. One analysis has it that the technology to convert power to hydrogen and back to power has a round-trip efficiency of 18%-46%, In comparison, two mature long-duration technologies, pumped-storage hydropower and compressed air energy storage, boast round-trip efficiencies of 70%-85% and 42%-67%, respectively.

A more technical paper, assessing German research, concludes that the balancing of fluctuations of renewable energy though green hydrogen seems feasible only up to a level of several GWh per day. “However, the German government’s idea of replacing a significant share of conventionally produced electric energy in the order of TWh with hydrogen does not stand up to scientific analysis”. In short, there is no current cost effective technology capable of mitigating intermittency caused by wind and solar.

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“The CDC panel voted 15-0 to add the Covid “vaccinations” to the Vaccines For Children program. Tomorrow they vote to move to the childhood schedule. ”

Ladapo Dismisses CDC Adding COVID Vaccine to Childhood Schedule (FV)

Amidst the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) upcoming vote to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the Vaccine for Kids program along with being on the childhood vaccine schedule, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo declared any decision will have minimal, if any, impact on the Sunshine State. The CDC is set to meet with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to vote. “Regardless of what [CDC] votes [Wednesday] on whether COVID-19 vax are added to routine child immunizations – nothing changes in FL,” Ladapo declared. “Thanks to [Gov. Ron DeSantis], COVID mandates are NOT allowed in FL, NOT pushed into schools, & I continue to recommend against them for healthy kids.

Ladapo recently recommended against men aged 18-39 receiving the mRNA COVID vaccines, citing a rise in cardiac risk to the tune of 84%. “Results from the stratified analysis for cardiac-related death following vaccination suggests mRNA vaccination may be driving the increased risk in males, especially among males aged 18 – 39,” the review from the Florida Department of Health says. “As such, the State Surgeon General recommends against males aged 18 to 39 from receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Those with preexisting cardiac conditions, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, should take particular caution when making this decision,” Ladapo’s office announced.

“Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health,” Ladapo said. “Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed – these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.” Shortly after the surgeon general tweeted the announcement, Twitter blocked users from seeing it before restoring it. Ladapo took to social media Monday morning to combat critics and skeptics of the new release. “I love the discussion that we’ve stimulated. Isn’t it great when we discuss science transparently instead of trying to cancel one another?” he said. “I’m going to respond to the more substantive critiques.”

Tucker CDC

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Only the state can mandate. But most will follow the CDC criminals.

Ladapo: mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Given to Young Men (ET)

Studies and other data show that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines should not be given to young men, Florida’s surgeon general says. Florida health officials recently analyzed data on vaccinated state residents and detected a sharp increase in heart-related deaths among males aged 18 to 39 after vaccination. The state is now recommending that population, with exceptions, should not get one of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. “In young men, from 18 to 39, it clearly was a signal for increased risk,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program. “That was the main finding.” [..]

Taken together with other research that has found young vaccinated males experiencing heart inflammation at higher rates than unvaccinated young males—including studies from Scandinavia, England, and the United States—Florida officials decided to issue the new recommendation, which contradicts guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “There are a number of studies that are indicating that these vaccines, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular and cardiac events. And we just added to that with another one,” Ladapo said.

“While our study is not definitive—and we never claimed it was—the fact that there is so much evidence that is consistent with our findings very obviously means that you need to consider whether doing … COVID-19, mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations, including them in a strategy, a public health strategy for young men at this point in the pandemic, makes sense. … It doesn’t make any sense. And obviously, should not be giving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to young men at this point in the pandemic,” he added later. The official statement communicating the updated Florida guidance says that the benefit of vaccination for young males is likely outweighed by the “abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death.” It noted that the other available COVID-19 vaccines were not linked with the risk.

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Baby Bear Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saturn the Moon Jupiter and its moons

 

 

Reindeer cyclone

 

 

 

 

Fever

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 312022
 
 August 31, 2022  Posted by at 8:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  89 Responses »


Henri Matisse Bathers by a river 1909-16

 

UK Inflation May Top 22% Next Year – Goldman Sachs (RT)
Thousands Of UK Pubs ‘Face Closure’ Without Energy Bills Support (G.)
Greek PM: Resources Against Energy Hikes Not ‘Infinite’ (K.)
The Real Problem Is That Europe Doesn’t Have Any Energy Supplies (Every)
China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas To Europe (ZH)
Poland Warns Of EU ‘Implosion’ Over Ukraine Conflict (RT)
US Urges Shutdown Of Nuclear Plant Slated For IAEA Inspection (RT)
Ukraine Targets Possible IAEA Route To Zaporozhye – Local Official (RT)
EU Has No Alternative To Russian Energy – ex Saudi Aramco VP (RT)
Promised “Major Ukrainian Counter-attack” Ends In Disaster (Saker)
Ukraine & the Politics of Permanent War (Chris Hedges)
France Accuses Russia Of Using Gas As ‘Weapon Of War’ (RT)
The SCO: Half The World’s Population To Forge The New World Order (Trenin)
FBI Put The Hunter Biden Story Right In Facebook’s Lap (Devine)
Top FBI Agent Resigns Amid Claims He Shielded Hunter Biden From Probe (NYP)
Three Ways the Psychotic Covid Panic Narrative Was Created (DS)
Fauci’s Presence Is No Longer Politically Sustainable (CHD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dies suddenly

 

 

 

 

Soon the Debt Rattle will live up to its original name again.

UK Inflation May Top 22% Next Year – Goldman Sachs (RT)

Inflation in Britain could jump above 22% in 2023 if gas prices continue to grow, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing Goldman Sachs analysts. The bank’s economists estimate that if prices keep rising, the UK may be forced to hike its energy cap by a further 80% in January, which would in turn push inflation up to 22.4% and cause a 3.4% drop in the country’s GDP. Moreover, even if energy prices stabilize, analysts say the peak inflation rate will be around 14.8% in January, which is enough to plunge the country into a recession. According to Bloomberg, investors expect drastic measures from the Bank of England in the coming months to battle inflation, including a key rate hike of up to 4.25% from the current 1.75%. Goldman Sachs’ inflation forecast tops the previous one made last week by Citigroup, which expects inflation in the UK to surge to 18.6% next year, and the Bank of England’s expectation of 13%.

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“..Let’s not forget that for most licensees the pub is not just their business but also their family home.”

Thousands Of UK Pubs ‘Face Closure’ Without Energy Bills Support (G.)

Thousands of pubs face closure without urgent government support to soften the blow from soaring energy bills, the beer industry has said, putting jobs at risk in a sector still battling to recover from the Covid pandemic. The bosses of companies owning almost half of the UK’s 47,000 pubs said tenants were already giving notice because they could not cope with energy bills, which are due to rise more than fivefold in some cases. Unlike households, businesses do not benefit from a cap on what suppliers can charge for gas and electricity, leaving many firms facing oblivion without state intervention. In a letter to the government and the Conservative leadership candidates, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, the British Beer and Pub Association said mass job losses were inevitable in the absence of help for an industry that employs 940,000 people.

Nick Mackenzie, the chief executive of the 3,100-strong pub chain Greene King, said the energy bill blow had come just as the sector was battling back from the ravages of the Covid-19 lockdowns, which hit hospitality particularly hard and left many with punishing debts. “While the government has introduced measures to help households cope with this spike in prices, businesses are having to face this alone, and it is only going to get worse come the autumn,” Mackenzie said. “Without immediate government intervention to support the sector, we could face the prospect of pubs being unable to pay their bills, jobs being lost and beloved locals across the country forced to close their doors, meaning all the good work done to keep pubs open during the pandemic could be wasted.” His counterpart at St Austell Brewery, Kevin Georgel, said thousands of pubs could be forced to call last orders for good.

Chris Jowsey, the chief executive of Admiral Taverns, said the impact was frightening. He said: “One of our licensees reluctantly gave notice to leave his pub after the cost of electricity increased by 450%, making it impossible to trade profitably. Let’s not forget that for most licensees the pub is not just their business but also their family home.”


“I got this electricity bill today, how in the name of God is this possible, we’re a small coffee shop in westmeath”

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Early warning: you’re on your own.

Greek PM: Resources Against Energy Hikes Not ‘Infinite’ (K.)

The Greek economy does not have “infinite” resources to keep offsetting the impact of skyrocketing energy prices, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told ministers on Tuesday, warning of a “tough” winter ahead. “Any steps we take will be measured so that temporary needs do not undermine national imperatives… If we have succeeded in supporting society so far, to the best of our ability, it is precisely because we exhaust the fiscal limits, without abolishing them,” the prime minister told a cabinet meeting at his office in Athens. The prime minister hailed the European Commission’s announcement on Monday that it intends to introduce a series of reforms to the energy market to contain runaway prices, but warned against delaying any such initiatives.


“Every day that passes without a joint approach to the energy crisis makes the problems for all Europeans grow,” said Mitsotakis, who had presented Brussels with list of such reform proposals earlier in the year. The energy crisis, added Mitsotakis, is a concerted assault against the West by Russia, which “is seeking to create social turmoil and political instability inside the countries opposing its plans by applying economic pressure.” He added that Greece is among the countries being targeted by Moscow for taking Ukraine’s side in Russia’s ongoing invasion. “Mr Putin is doing nothing to hide it, and neither is Mr Erdogan, who has publicly stated that he would like a different government in Athens,” Mitsotakis added, referring to Russian and Turkish presidents, respectively.

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“The brutal lesson is that neoliberalism is like a chocolate teapot..”

The Real Problem Is That Europe Doesn’t Have Any Energy Supplies (Every)

Of course, the real problem is that Europe doesn’t have any energy supplies to force state or private capital into – or at least not ones it is prepared to tap: indeed, Germany’s economy minister says the “bitter reality” is that Russia will not resume gas supply. Enjoy those stocks you have built up at huge expense, because there will be far less flow ahead. As such, what power source will the EU link electricity prices to? Solar panels, in winter when northern Europe’s energy requirements are at their highest? Burning the M&Ms that unicorns excrete? Underlining the point, Brent oil prices rose 4% to over $105 yesterday before retreating slightly (and wheat and corn went up 3-4% too, showing that central banks are still behind the curve on that front); Iraq slipped into chaos, with the US airlifting its personnel out of another Greater Middle East embassy(!); it was rumored OPEC+ may announce a production cut ahead; that the US might have to dip into its Strategic Petroleum Reserve even more – as if there can’t be a real crisis that demands its use ahead; and US Department of Defence spokesman Kirby warned he was concerned about the possibility of energy shortages ahead.

The brutal lesson is that neoliberalism is like a chocolate teapot – it looks amazingly sweet until things get ‘hot’, and then it serves no purpose at all. Yet industrial policy/corporatism/fascism/Common Prosperity also needs to be based on the real, and realpolitik, not the ideal. If the EU throws de facto MMT/printed money at energy subsidies within a neoliberal framework with no concrete, achievable plan for more energy supply (of what? From whom?) then it is simply going to drive global energy prices higher, many EM into the ground – some of whom are located close to Europe, EUR well through the parity floor, and inflation still into the sky. So let’s hope there is joined-up thinking behind their latest proposals. Relatedly, the title of today’s Daily, ‘The Power of the Powerless’ (which I have used before) addresses the energy situation in Europe, but was also the title of a political pamphlet by dissident Vaclav Havel against communist Czechoslovakia.

He argued the first step to bringing down the regime was for a powerless greengrocer not to place the state-backed sign saying, ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ in his window. If Europe (and others) had done the same with certain neoliberal-approved signs they arguably would not be in the critical mess they are in now. Finally, and also linked to the Daily title –as even the ECB agrees with me!– military reports are that a Ukrainian Kherson counter-offensive has begun. Market participants who have read any history will know that watching the success or failure on that key front will likely also be key to the global geopolitical and inflation outlook longer term. Far more so than most central bank warble, regardless of how much power they like to think they have.

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“.. the move was to “protect the legitimate business rights and interests of the relevant importers and exporters..”

China Is Aggressively Reselling Russian Gas To Europe (ZH)

One month ago, we were surprised to read how, despite a suppressed appetite for energy amid its housing crash and economic downturn (for which “zero covid” has emerged as a convenient scapegoat for emperor Xi), China has been soaking up more Russian natural gas so far this year, while imports from most other sources declined. In July, the SCMP reported that according to Chinese customs data, in the first six months of the year, China bought a total of 2.35 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – valued at US$2.16 billion. The import volume increased by 28.7% year on year, with the value surging by 182%. It meant Russia has surpassed Indonesia and the United States to become China’s fourth-largest supplier of LNG so far this year!

This, of course, is not to be confused with pipeline gas, where Russian producer Gazprom recently announced that its daily supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline had reached a new all-time high (Russia is China’s second-largest pipeline natural gas supplier after Turkmenistan), and earlier revealed that the supply of Russian pipeline gas to China had increased by 63.4% in the first half of 2022. What was behind this bizarre surge in Russian LNG imports, analysts speculated? After all, while China imports over half of the natural gas it consumes, with around two-thirds in the form of LNG, demand this year had fallen sharply amid economic headwinds and widespread shutdowns. In other words, why the surge in Russian LNG when i) domestic demand is just not there and ii) at the expense of everyone else?

“The increase in Russian LNG could be a displacement of cargoes going to Japan or South Korea because of sanctions, or weaker demand there,” said Michal Meidan, director of the China Energy Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. One thing that was clear: China wanted to keep its arms-length gas dealing with Russia as unclear as possible, which is why the General Administration of Customs of China stopped publicizing the breakdown in trade volume for pipeline natural gas since the beginning of the year, with spokesman Li Kuiwen confirming that the move was to “protect the legitimate business rights and interests of the relevant importers and exporters”.

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Bet on it.

Poland Warns Of EU ‘Implosion’ Over Ukraine Conflict (RT)

A burgeoning divide within the EU on the Ukraine conflict could implode the bloc, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told French media on Monday. This is because certain member states would prefer to seek peace rather than sticking with Kiev until it prevails in its fight against Russia, the Polish leader said. Speaking to Le Figaro newspaper, Morawiecki indicated that Russia would endeavor to persuade the West to end the hostilities in Ukraine and get back to “business as usual,” taking advantage of divisions among EU members on the matter. “So yes, a threat of implosion exists. That is why it is so important to maintain a dialogue between us, to find compromises and a common denominator,” he said.

On Monday, Morawiecki met with French President Emmanuel Macron. According to the Polish prime minister, the two discussed the Ukraine conflict, how to “force Russian troops to withdraw,” as well as the EU’s economic woes. The Polish leader said he and Macron share a common vision for strengthening the bloc’s military capabilities. However, Morawiecki admitted that he and the French leader have a number of differences over Ukraine, saying that while they both believe that European unity should be defended, Macron would do better to talk less to Russian President Vladimir Putin and more to Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky. “My view is that Zelensky deserves all the French support, because he is fighting for the most important European values, for freedom, justice, sovereignty. He should be the main recipient of phone calls from the Elysee Palace,” Morawiecki noted.

He also said that if Poland held the rotating EU presidency, it would push for the seizing of Russian assets, which are now just frozen, because “this type of sanctions could really threaten Russia.” Morawiecki’s comments come after the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, admitted on Sunday that the bloc would encounter “major challenges” due to the anti-Russian sanctions that it slapped on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. Meanwhile, Politico reported on Monday that Germany and France had spoken against a full visa ban on Russian nationals, which has apparently frustrated some Russia hawks in the EU, who are calling for a stronger pushback against Moscow.

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Of course in an energy crisis, you shut down your biggest nuclear plant.

US Urges Shutdown Of Nuclear Plant Slated For IAEA Inspection (RT)

Senior US officials have urged a full shutdown of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is under Russian control. A “controlled shutdown” of the facility “would be the safest and least risky option in the near-term,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told journalists on Monday. The same call came from an unnamed senior US defense official, who briefed journalists the same day. The power plant and the city of Energodar that hosts it have been under Russian control since March, though Ukrainian civilian workers continue to operate the facility. For several weeks now, the site has been under constant artillery and drone attacks. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of being behind the strikes.

Kiev has also claimed that Russian forces have used the Zaporozhye facility as a military base and have deployed heavy weapons there, which Moscow has denied. This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, is expected to visit the plant for an on-site inspection. The agency’s delegation will be led by its head, Rafael Grossi, and may arrive at the site as soon as Wednesday. The Soviet-built Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is the largest facility of its kind in Europe. It hosts six of Ukraine’s 15 power-generating reactors, which are spread across four plants. The facility reached its full capacity of over 6,000 MW for the first time in December 2021, when all of its VVER-1000 units became operational at the same time.

At the moment, only reactors five and six remain online. Despite hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, the Zaporozhye plant supplies power to parts of Ukraine controlled by both sides, according to the head of the Russia-allied administration of Zaporozhye Region, Vladimir Rogov. The Russian military suggested in mid-March that shutting down the reactors could become necessary due to Ukrainian attacks on the plant. Such a proposal was voiced by Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, who heads the unit of the Russian armed forces trained in dealing with the consequences of the use of weapons of mass destruction, including radiation contamination.

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Surprise: Zelensky says it’s the Russians.

Ukraine Targets Possible IAEA Route To Zaporozhye – Local Official (RT)

Ukrainian forces are shelling a potential route of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission, which is set to examine the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant this week, local authorities claimed on Tuesday. Zaporozhye Region council member Vladimir Rogov told RIA Novosti that “Ukrainian nationalists are targeting locations that could be visited by the IAEA mission in Energodar,” where the plant is located. He added that “[Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky’s regime also started a military operation in the south of the country,” which raises concerns for the safety of the IAEA mission. Rogov also said Kiev’s forces have shelled the NPP’s resort house that could accommodate the IAEA delegation.

On Monday, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi announced that an expert group would visit the NPP this week to assess the damage sustained by the plant and check the safety and security systems. Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant has been under Russian control since March. Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of attacking the plant, while warning that the shelling could trigger a disaster that would eclipse the Chernobyl incident. Kiev insists, however, that Russian forces are shelling the site while stationing military hardware there. On Sunday night, Ukrainian forces shelled Energodar, the city where the plant is located, local officials said.

They claimed that the attack, which injured nine people and deliberately hit a number of residential houses, was meant to torpedo the upcoming IAEA mission. “This provocation by Kiev-controlled militants is aimed at derailing the visit of the IAEA chief to the Zaporozhye NPP,” they said at the time. Also on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Kiev’s forces attempted a counter-offensive in Kherson in southern Ukraine, but “failed miserably.” The ministry went on to say that the Ukrainian army had attempted to attack in three directions, but made no gains and suffered “great losses,” which included dozens of tanks and armored fighting vehicles.

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“Russia may recover a lot sooner than Europe.”

EU Has No Alternative To Russian Energy – ex Saudi Aramco VP (RT)

There’s not enough capacity in the world to replace Russia’s gas supply to the European Union, while Moscow has plenty of markets to sell its energy to, the former executive vice president at Saudi Aramco, Sadad Al-Husseini, told CNBC on Monday. “The US doesn’t have the LNG capacity to replace Russia’s exports to Europe,” he said, noting that power bills across the EU are set to soar this winter. According to Al-Husseini, that could lead to serious problems on the global energy market. “This situation is a new world, and it’s not a very good one for energy,” he warned. “In any case, there isn’t enough LNG capacity in the world to make up for the Russian exports to Europe,” the former executive said, adding that, “It will take years for the EU to find resources to replace Russian supply.”


As regards to Moscow losing EU buyers, he noted that, despite Western sanctions, there are “plenty of alternative markets” for Russian energy, including China, Japan, or India. Meanwhile, Europe does not have alternative energy sources, he said, “while the US is maxed out already, North Africa has got problems,” and OPEC is also running out of spare capacity. “So, it’s a global problem,” he said. The official suggested that, while the Russian economy may suffer under Western sanctions, the rest of the world will be suffering with them. However, he stressed that “Russia may recover a lot sooner than Europe.”

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@imetatronink:
“• 48 tanks
• 83 armored vehicles
• ~1200 soldiers
A massacre.
This will be the final AFU “offensive” of the war.”

Surprise: Zelensky says it’s a big success.

Promised “Major Ukrainian Counter-attack” Ends In Disaster (Saker)

(machine translation) The Defense Ministry called the losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces during the failed offensive of Ukraine near Kherson Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, as a result, the AFU units suffered heavy losses, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters. “Today, during the day, on the direct instructions of Zelensky, Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions in three directions. As a result of the active defense of the grouping of Russian troops, the AFU units suffered heavy losses,” TASS reports. The ministry added that “the enemy’s losses in manpower amounted to more than 560 servicemen, another attempt at offensive actions of the enemy failed miserably.”

According to the Defense Ministry, the Russian Armed Forces destroyed 26 Ukrainian tanks, 23 infantry fighting vehicles, nine other armored combat vehicles, shot down two Su-25 attack aircraft. Earlier on Monday, Deputy head of the administration of the Kherson region Kirill Stremousov said: the AFU has been shelling several settlements of the Kherson region since Sunday evening. Schools, social infrastructure were destroyed, residential buildings were damaged, the official confirmed. But there is no question of any APU offensive on Kherson, statements in the Ukrainian media – “this is some kind of illusion, a movie,” Stremousov pointed out.

As the head of the Kakhovsky district, Vladimir Leontiev, in turn, reported, the AFU inflicted more than 10 missile strikes on Novaya Kakhovka, including residential buildings and schools. Some strikes were carried out from HIMARS, residential buildings and a school were damaged, the head of the district said. Aviation, missile troops and artillery hit nine control points of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the day, including on the territory of the Mykolaiv region, the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, said on Monday.

‘Now is the time for Russian soldiers to flee’: Zelensky

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“Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating.”

Ukraine & the Politics of Permanent War (Chris Hedges)

No one, including the most bullish supporters of Ukraine, expect the nation’s war with Russia to end soon. The fighting has been reduced to artillery duels across hundreds of miles of front lines and creeping advances and retreats. Ukraine, like Afghanistan, will bleed for a very long time. This is by design. On Aug. 24, the Biden administration announced yet another massive military aid package to Ukraine worth nearly $3 billion. It will take months, and in some cases years, for this military equipment to reach Ukraine. In another sign that Washington assumes the conflict will be a long war of attrition it will give a name to the U.S. military assistance mission in Ukraine and make it a separate command overseen by a two- or three-star general.

Since August 2021, Biden has approved more than $8 billion in weapons transfers from existing stockpiles, known as drawdowns, to be shipped to Ukraine, which do not require congressional approval. Including humanitarian assistance, replenishing depleting U.S. weapons stocks and expanding U.S. troop presence in Europe, Congress has approved over $53.6 billion ($13.6 billion in March and a further $40.1 billion in May) since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion. War takes precedence over the most serious existential threats we face. The proposed budget for the CDC in fiscal year 2023 is $10.675 billion while the proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $11.881 billion. Our approved assistance to Ukraine is more than twice these amounts.

The militarists who have waged permanent war costing trillions of dollars over the past two decades have invested heavily in controlling the public narrative. The enemy, whether Saddam Hussein or Vladimir Putin, is always the epitome of evil, the new Hitler. Those we support are always heroic defenders of liberty and democracy. Anyone who questions the righteousness of the cause is accused of being an agent of a foreign power and a traitor. The mass media cravenly disseminates these binary absurdities in 24-hour news cycles. Its news celebrities and experts, universally drawn from the intelligence community and military, rarely deviate from the approved script. Day and night, the drums of war never stop beating. Its goal: to keep billions of dollars flowing into the hands of the war industry and prevent the public from asking inconvenient questions.

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You put in the sanctions. That backfired. Well, you always know who to blame. Problem is, when people are cold and dark, they will look at you.

France Accuses Russia Of Using Gas As ‘Weapon Of War’ (RT)

French Energy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Tuesday accused Moscow of using its gas exports as a weapon after a reduction of Russian supplies to France was reported. “Very clearly Russia is using gas as a weapon of war and we must prepare for the worst case scenario of a complete interruption of supplies,” the minister told France Inter radio. EU governments are trying to fill up gas storages to avoid shortages during the fast-approaching heating season, and any supply shortfalls from Russia, which is still a large source of gas for the bloc, are met with increased worry.


Earlier on Tuesday, Le Figaro reported that, according to a press release from French energy supplier Engie, Russia’s Gazprom has cut gas supplies because of an unspecified contractual dispute. Furthermore, the Russian energy major is slated to halt supplies to the EU via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline due to maintenance from Wednesday to Friday. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne on Monday warned domestic companies that they would be the first to face energy rationing in the event of shortages of natural gas or electricity, and called on them to draft energy saving plans by September.

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Look at the future.

The SCO: Half The World’s Population To Forge The New World Order (Trenin)

Over 20 years after it began as an attempt at cooperation between five-Russian led post-Soviet states and an emerging China, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has become a major global institution, representing close to half of the world’s population. From September 15-16, Samarkand, one of the ancient centers of human civilization, will host the annual summit of the group. The Uzbek presidency’s priorities include strengthening the SCO’s capabilities in assuring regional security and stability; promoting friendship and good-neighborliness; raising its global profile; countering threats in the information and ideological spheres; expanding parliamentary links; energizing economic interaction; enhancing connectivity; intensifying cultural and humanitarian contacts; and raising the general effectiveness of the collective and its mechanisms.

All of this looks impressive, but quite anodyne, and the documents to be formally approved at the summit do not promise any major sensations – beyond the long-expected admission of Iran as the SCO’s ninth member state. Yet the environment in which the Samarkand summit will be held differs greatly even from last year’s gathering in Dushanbe. Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has led to a proxy war between Moscow and Washington. Meanwhile, Sino-US relations, already confrontational, have become palpably strained over the recent visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. sNATO’s new strategic concept adopted last June in Madrid describes Russia as the most significant and direct threat, and China – for the first time – as a challenge to Western interests, security and values. As a result, the international community has moved visibly closer to a Cold War-style division between two camps in an intensifying rivalry over the world order.

That said, the SCO is unlikely to become the non-West’s version of NATO. While the US-led bloc is now more united than ever in its effort to preserve the order built and developed in the heyday of its global dominance, non-Western nations do not display anything similar to that sort of unity, hierarchy, and internal discipline. Russia and China, although they both reject US global hegemony, pursue very different grand strategies and – despite their public declarations of a cooperation that “knows no limits,” and a partnership that is “more than an alliance” – are careful not to damage their other important connections – e.g., China’s with the US and EU; and Russia’s with India – as they cooperate with each other. Moreover, China and India, not to mention the latter and Pakistan, while all members of the SCO, view each other as major security threats.

Despite such diversity and complexity, however, the SCO, at the start of its third decade, is not only still in business, but is steadily getting more active and becoming more attractive to others. In 2001, it started at six; after 2017, the membership expanded to eight, with another 20 countries or so listed as observers, dialogue partners, or in the process of joining. Iran’s accession this year is spurring the interest of Turkey and a number of Arab countries, notably the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar. The SCO community could potentially include much of the Eurasian continent between Belarus and Cambodia. Such enlargement carries obvious risks in terms of even wider diversity of interest, conflict, and frictions between the countries that aspire to join. Yet, the example of China and Russia; India and Pakistan finding the SCO useful to their interests is a convincing argument for accession.

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“..how did the FBI know about our story weeks before it was published, maybe even before we were told about the laptop by Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello?”

FBI Put The Hunter Biden Story Right In Facebook’s Lap (Devine)

Since our story had nothing to do with Russian disinformation, what made Facebook think it was the “dump” the FBI warned them about? We asked Facebook: “Was there mention made in the FBI briefing of Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Ukraine or a laptop?” Facebook’s answer was curious. “The FBI shared general warnings about foreign interference — nothing specific about Hunter Biden.” Note the omissions. Whatever was said, the briefing must have been specific enough for Facebook to recognize immediately that our story was exactly what the FBI was warning about and move at record speed to throttle it.

At 11:10 a.m. the morning the story went live, Democratic operative Andy Stone, Facebook’s communications manager, issued a statement on Twitter announcing “we are reducing its distribution on our platform” while the story is “fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners.” All morning the bombshell story had been the subject of frenetic commentary from journalists on twitter. But Stone’s announcement killed it stone dead. Twitter followed Facebook’s lead and locked The Post’s account for two weeks. Mission accomplished. Polls show that the outcome of the election may have been different if the story had not been censored.

[..] the question is, how did the FBI know about our story weeks before it was published, maybe even before we were told about the laptop by Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer Bob Costello? Were they spying on John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the Delaware Mac repair shop where Hunter had abandoned his laptop in April 2019? Mac Isaac believed he was under surveillance after he first contacted the FBI on October 9, 2019, via his father, to tell them he had the laptop and was concerned about evidence of crimes he believed it contained. The FBI’s response was oddly hostile. sWhat followed was a curious visit to his Delaware home by FBI agents Mike DeMeo and Joshua Wilson of the FBI’s Baltimore office a month later, and again to his store on December 9, this time with a subpoena for Hunter’s water-damaged laptop and a hard drive clone of its contents which Mac Isaac had made.

[..] We don’t know whether Mac Isaac was under FBI surveillance. But we don’t have to speculate about Rudy Giuliani. We know the FBI spied on the former mayor’s cloud for two years from May, 2019, a month after he began working as then president Donald Trump’s personal attorney. A year after raiding Giuliani’s Upper East Side apartment last April, ostensibly over FARA violations, the FBI returned all his devices, without charging him, and told the New York Times he was no longer under investigation. So the FBI had access to all Giuliani’s emails and iMessages for two years. Were they spying on Giuliani in order to spy on Trump? Unfortunately for them, Trump rarely writes emails or texts so they came up empty there. But it is possible that they saw the email to Giuliani from his lawyer Bob Costello at 4.28 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2020, telling him of Mac Isaac’s “amazing discovery.”

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Instrumental in Russiagate, too.

Top FBI Agent Resigns Amid Claims He Shielded Hunter Biden From Probe (NYP)

A top FBI agent at the Washington field office reportedly resigned from his post last week after facing intense scrutiny over allegations he helped shield Hunter Biden from criminal investigations into his laptop and business dealings. Timothy Thibault, an FBI assistant special agent in charge, was allegedly forced out after he was accused of political bias in his handling of probes involving President Biden’s son, sources told the Washington Times on Monday. The agent was escorted out of the field office by at least two “headquarters-looking types” last Friday, the sources said. Thibault, a 25-year-veteran, had already been on leave for a month after the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), started raising concerns about whistleblower claims the FBI had obstructed its own investigations into the first son.

In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray in July, Grassley said Thibault and FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten were allegedly involved in “a scheme” to “undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.” Thibault also allegedly tried to kill off a valid avenue of investigation of possible Hunter Biden criminality up until at least one month before the Nov. 2020 election, according to Grassley. “Thibault allegedly ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason as required by FBI guidelines…. [and] subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future,” Grassley wrote. It was the same month The Post first started reporting on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which included troves of emails related to his shady overseas business dealings.

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“..we counted 14 different ways of attributing deaths to COVID-19..”

Three Ways the Psychotic Covid Panic Narrative Was Created (DS)

Throughout restrictions which Lord Sumption called a “catastrophe”, we were exposed to the mantra of ‘follow the science’. But unfortunately, the only ‘science’ that seems to have been followed in the major decisions is that of modellers and government departments. Models are akin to opinions. If they are science, the evidence they provide sits on the lowest rung of the ladder. Modellers are accountable to no one; most have never seen a patient in their lives as they have no clinical background, which impedes their understanding of how people behave. Individuals are not herds of buffalos. Some modellers have a consistent track record of getting their predictions dramatically wrong with (again) catastrophic consequences.

Since the start, we have looked at the evidence underpinning the fear-generating narrative pushed by the Government, some politicians, the media and many Twitterati, who overnight forgot the principles of scientific investigation, equipoise or uncertainty and the work of many pioneers in respiratory virus epidemiology spanning a century. The psychotic narrative rests on three legs of what we call the Covid narrative stool. The first leg is the number of cases. We have shown that misuse of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based on a superficial understanding amplified the number of ‘cases’ as many of these were not likely to be infectious at all. The second leg was the hospital pressure theme. Here using data which should have been available (but are not), we have shown that up to 40% of hospital cases were infected while in hospital, a phenomenon which shows no sign of abating. The data from three devolved nations and our interpretation have been serialised on our website.

Finally deaths. A death in epidemiology is the one inevitable outcome you can observe and tally. The question is: what caused it? This is called attribution. Looking at the data from freedom of information requests made by an alert public and the response at times by patronising authorities, we counted 14 different ways of attributing deaths to COVID-19. The first prize for the most bizarre was the Care Quality Commission’s: it left it to the care provider to decide the cause of death. So it is possible that administrators decided what role SARS-CoV-2 played in your grandmother’s death. In one health authority’s case, deaths of people who tested ‘negative’ were rolled into the Covid total.

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“..even if he was “only right five percent of the time,” it still means “we were lied to five percent of the time.”

Fauci’s Presence Is No Longer Politically Sustainable (CHD)

While Dr. Anthony Fauci claims he’s stepping down to “pursue the next chapter” of his career, an attorney who has been pursuing legal accountability for Fauci’s actions believes it’s because “his presence is no longer politically sustainable.” Fauci announced on Aug. 22 that he is stepping down from his positions as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Laboratory of Immunoregulation and as chief medical adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden. “The huge pop we are all hearing is the global opening of champagne bottles celebrating Fauci’s departure,” attorney Thomas Renz told The Epoch Times.

Renz is the lead attorney in several major cases brought against the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Biden administration and Fauci himself; regarding forced vaccine mandates, the COVID-19 lockdowns, mask mandates, business closures, alleged hospital negligence, vaccine injuries to military personnel and civilians and efforts to censor the truth about COVID-19. While his assertions have been dismissed as “false,” “rich in conspiracy theory” and “based on faulty data due to a database glitch,” Renz responded to critics that even if he was “only right five percent of the time,” it still means “we were lied to five percent of the time.”

According to Renz, the whole COVID-19 playbook used by the government and the liberal media to force compliance of restrictive protocols is filled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies. While Fauci demanded the use of masks and social distancing because these measures were supposed to prevent the spread of the virus, numerous studies and scientists say otherwise. The CDC admitted in August 2020 that “sustaining social distancing interventions over several months might not be feasible economically and socially.” Fauci himself has flip-flopped numerous times on the effectiveness of wearing masks. Democrat politicians who imposed mask mandates, lockdowns, quarantines and rules barring indoor personal-care services were frequently caught doing precisely what they forbade others to do.

UK Funeral Director John O’Looney

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The very first Calvin and Hobbes.

 

 

Biden WMD

 

 

 

 

Tucker Carlson – This isn’t bad policy; this is nuts

 

 

Kagu

 

 

Flying fox young bats ride clinging to their mother’s breast with their mouth, even though some young are two-thirds the weight of their mothers & quite capable of flying on their own. Photo: Hemant Kumar.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 032021
 


Julian Assange turns 50 today, in isolation

 

Polymerase-specific T Cells Expand In Seronegative SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Mxiv)
Clot Death Risk To 18-39s From AZ Vaccine Is 2x Covid Death Risk (IE)
French Senate Considers Mandatory Covid Vaccines For Adults Aged 24-59 (RT)
Bali Swept Up In Indonesia’s Harsh Lockdown Despite 71% Vaccination Rate (RT)
Tech Giants Still Not Coming Clean About Covid-19 Disinformation, Says EU (TC)
Vatican In Push Against Vaccine Scepticism (RT)
“Intellectual Capture?” On YouTube’s Demonetization of Bret Weinstein (Taibbi)
Stumbling Toward Reality (Kunstler)
Natural Resource Drain Created By “Net Zero Emission” Targets (ZH)
Biden Aide Charges “Sabotage” Of Harris (Axios)
New Emails Raise New Allegations of Influence Peddling By Hunter Biden (Turley)
Key Assange Witness Recants – With Zero Corporate Media Coverage (Fair)

 

 

Delta Case Fatality Rate in UK appears 8 times higher among the fully vaccinated than the unvaccinated

 

 

Early intervention

 

 

In the strongest immune systems, T cells kill the virus so fast the body has no time (or reason) to create antibodies. So an antibody test will raise an alarm: there are none! A PCR test will likely show the virus though, even though it’s dead. You can’t win. Both test results will lead to a call for a vaccine.

Polymerase-specific T Cells Expand In Seronegative SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Mxiv)

Individuals with likely exposure to the highly infectious SARS-CoV-2 do not necessarily develop PCR or antibody positivity, suggesting some may clear sub-clinical infection before seroconversion. T cells can contribute to the rapid clearance of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus infections1–5 . We hypothesised that pre-existing memory T cell responses, with cross-protective potential against SARS-CoV-26–12, would expand in vivo to mediate rapid viral control, potentially aborting infection. We studied T cells against the replication transcription complex (RTC) of SARS-CoV-2 since this is transcribed first in the viral life cycle13–15 and should be highly conserved. We measured SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in a cohort of intensively

monitored healthcare workers (HCW) who remained repeatedly negative by PCR, antibody binding, and neutralisation for SARS-CoV-2 (exposed seronegative, ES). 16-weeks postrecruitment, ES had memory T cells that were stronger and more multispecific than an unexposed pre-pandemic cohort, and more frequently directed against the RTC than the structural protein-dominated responses seen post-detectable infection (matched concurrent cohort). The postulate that HCW with the strongest RTC-specific T cells had an abortive infection was supported by a low-level increase in IFI27 transcript, a robust early innate signature of SARS-CoV-2 infection16.

We showed that the RNA-polymerase within RTC was the largest region of high sequence conservation across human seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) and was preferentially targeted by T cells from UK and Singapore pre-pandemic cohorts and from ES. RTC epitope-specific T cells capable of cross-recognising HCoV variants were identified in ES. Longitudinal samples from ES and an additional validation cohort, showed pre-existing RNA-polymerase-specific T cells expanded in vivo following SARS-CoV-2 exposure, becoming enriched in the memory response of those with abortive compared to overt infection. In summary, we provide evidence of abortive seronegative SARS-CoV-2 infection with expansion of cross-reactive RTC-specific T cells, highlighting these highly conserved proteins as targets for future vaccines against endemic and emerging Coronaviridae.

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But the benefits still outweigh the risks, says the Irish health body. Who are these people?

Clot Death Risk To 18-39s From AZ Vaccine Is 2x Covid Death Risk (IE)

The HSE has admitted a greater risk of blood clotting in younger people still exists for the AstraZeneca vaccine, but that risk is now outweighed by a need to speed up public vaccination. A new modelling study published in the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) medical journal has concluded that the dangers presented to younger people by the AstraZeneca vaccine are greater than the benefits. The study, published in the weekly edition of the Eurosurveillance journal, models four months of a vaccine distribution strategy in France involving Vaxzevria (commonly called AstraZeneca) from May 2021, and concludes that using the vaccine on the entire adult population there would avert 10 deaths from Covid among 18-39-year-olds, but would be associated with 21 deaths from blood clotting in the same age grouping over the same time period.


“Our results highlight the clear benefit of the distribution of Vaxzevria towards the population aged 55 years and older and provide valuable insight for public health decision making,” the study concludes. Last April, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee’s (Niac) recommended that AstraZeneca should only be given to people over the age of 60 in Ireland due to the risk of very rare blood clots and the fact older people are more susceptible to severe Covid infection than their younger counterparts. The move followed a wave of similar decisions across other European health bodies as details of the clotting risk solidified. However, in light of dire projections earlier in the week from Nphet concerning the potential spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19, the HSE announced that from Monday, July 5, all 18-34-year-olds will be able to avail of Janssen vaccines, administered by 750 pharmacies.

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Illegal. Simple.

French Senate Considers Mandatory Covid Vaccines For Adults Aged 24-59 (RT)

The French Senate is considering implementing obligatory vaccinations for those aged 24-59 to help the country weather the anticipated next spike of coronavirus infections in what would be a fourth wave of cases. The body published a report from its Common Mission of Information on Thursday, advocating for mandatory vaccinations of young to middle-aged adults on the grounds it could significantly lower hospitalization rates and deaths. The report issued a stern warning: “act now to limit impact”. The report follows Prime Minister Jean Castex’s announcement on Wednesday that he will consult elected officials and chairmen of parliament on the compulsory vaccination of caregivers, with senators pushing for this to also include 24-59 year olds.


The age group was chosen as over 90% of people infected with Covid are under 60 in France, the Pasteur Institute said. To prevent hospitalization rates rising like last year, the Institute found that among 12-17 year-olds, a 30% vaccination rate was needed, and 70% among 18-59s. A vaccine uptake of 90% for those over 60 was deemed necessary. However, France’s vaccination campaign – which has prioritized those most susceptible to catching Covid, such as healthcare workers and people over 65 – is lagging behind these targets. Among 18-29 year-olds, 15.36% are fully vaccinated. Just under a quarter of those aged 30-49 have been inoculated, while the figure rises to half among 50-64 year olds.

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260 million people stretched out over countless islands. Give them IVM.

Bali Swept Up In Indonesia’s Harsh Lockdown Despite 71% Vaccination Rate (RT)

Hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints have been erected across Indonesia as authorities attempt to enforce a harsh lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19, which has surged in the country in recent weeks. “We are setting up [patrols] in 21 locations where typically there are crowds,” Istiono, the head of Indonesia’s national traffic police, who goes by only one name, told reporters on Friday night. “Where there are street stalls and cafes, we will close those streets, maybe from around 6pm until 4am.” The beefed-up patrols and roadblocks will focus on the islands of Java – the country’s most populous, where the national capital of Jakarta is located – as well as Bali, a common tourist destination.

Some 21,000 police officers and soldiers will enforce the new restrictions, according to a police spokesman cited by Reuters. They will also administer random coronavirus tests at checkpoints. The move comes soon after President Joko Widodo declared a new lockdown earlier on Friday, set to last into late July, though it could be extended. The order requires all “non-essential” businesses to shut their doors, while Java- and Bali-based students will have to learn from home if possible. Parks, malls, indoor restaurants and places of worship, among other public spaces, have also been closed.= Some exceptions were made for those who are both vaccinated and test negative for the virus, as they were permitted to travel long-distance in the affected areas.

Indonesia is currently facing one of Asia’s worst coronavirus outbreaks, tallying more than 20,000 cases each day in recent weeks – many believed linked to the Delta variant first observed in India – and that only accounts for those verified by testing. The country has smashed its own daily infection record for the last 12 days, according to Reuters, reporting 25,830 cases on Friday, as well as a high of 539 fatalities. While a national vaccination drive is underway, largely relying on a shot developed by China’s SinoVac, only about 5% of Indonesia’s 260 million-strong population has been fully immunized against the virus, according to figures compiled by Our World in Data. That amounts to about 13.7 million people.

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“They simply cannot police themselves alone.” Orwell.

Tech Giants Still Not Coming Clean About Covid-19 Disinformation, Says EU (TC)

European Union lawmakers have asked tech giants to continue reporting on efforts to combat the spread of vaccine disinformation on their platforms for a further six months. “The continuation of the monitoring programme is necessary as the vaccination campaigns throughout the EU is proceeding with a steady and increasing pace, and the upcoming months will be decisive to reach a high level of vaccination in Member States. It is key that in this important period vaccine hesitancy is not fuelled by harmful disinformation,” the Commission writes today. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, TikTok and Twitter are signed up to make monthly reports as a result of being participants in the bloc’s (non-legally binding) Code of Practice on Disinformation — although, going forward, they’ll be switching to bi-monthly reporting.


Publishing the latest batch of platform reports for April, the Commission said the tech giants have shown they’re unable to police “dangerous lies” by themselves — while continuing to express dissatisfaction at the quality and granularity of the data that is being (voluntarily) provided by platforms vis-à-via how they’re combating online disinformation generally. “These reports show how important it is to be able to effectively monitor the measures put in place by the platforms to reduce disinformation,” said Vera Jourova, the EU’s VP for values and transparency, in a statement. “We decided to extend this programme, because the amount of dangerous lies continues to flood our information space and because it will inform the creation of the new generation Code against disinformation. We need a robust monitoring programme, and clearer indicators to measure impact of actions taken by platforms. They simply cannot police themselves alone.”

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You would think the pope has better thinngs to do?!

Vatican In Push Against Vaccine Scepticism (RT)

The official bioethics academy of the Catholic Church has come forward alongside a host of global medical associations to demand an end to the “myths and disinformation” interfering with the fight against Covid-19. The Pontifical Council of Life (VPCL) and several international physicians’ groups spoke with reporters on Friday in what was described as an “all-out effort” to set straight the disinformation surrounding the vaccine’s place in religious doctrine, insisting the pharmaceutical mixture was not only safe and effective but also ethical under the Catholic faith. While acknowledging that some reluctance to take the jab in “disadvantaged communities” was linked to previous “breaches of trust in medical research” and overall “suspicion” of pharma firms, Friday’s joint statement said a “more pernicious form” of vaccine hesitancy was fueled by “unfounded and misleading claims and myths” and amplified on social media.


“Considered one of the greatest achievements of modern medicine, vaccines play a vital role in the prevention of infectious diseases,” they said. The groups noted the problem becomes even more complex given the vaccine skepticism within many religious groups, and even the medical community, calling for a united front against disinformation among spiritual leaders and healthcare professionals. All relevant stakeholders must exhaust all efforts to confront vaccine hesitancy by sending a clear message about the safety and necessity of vaccines and counteracting vaccine myths and disinformation The statement followed a day-long online seminar sponsored by the VPCL, along with the World Medical Association of France and the German Medical Association.

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Fitting on Assange’s Bday.

“Intellectual Capture?” On YouTube’s Demonetization of Bret Weinstein (Taibbi)

YouTube’s decision with regard to Weinstein and Heying seems part of an overall butterfly effect, as numerous other figures either connected to the topic or to DarkHorse have been censured by various platforms. Weinstein guest Dr. Robert Malone, a former Salk Institute researcher often credited with helping develop mRNA vaccine technology, has been suspended from LinkedIn, and Weinstein guest Dr. Pierre Kory of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) has had his appearances removed by YouTube. Even Satoshi Omura, who won the Nobel Prize in 2015 for his work on ivermectin, reportedly had a video removed by YouTube this week. There are several factors that make the DarkHorse incident different from other major Silicon Valley moderation decisions, including the fact that the content in question doesn’t involve electoral politics, foreign intervention, or incitement.

The main issue is the possible blurring of lines between public and private censorship. When I contacted YouTube about Weinstein two weeks ago, I was told, “In general, we rely on guidance from local and global health authorities (FDA, CDC, WHO, NHS, etc) in developing our COVID-19 misinformation policies.” The question is, how active is that “guidance”? Is YouTube acting in consultation with those bodies in developing those moderation policies? As Weinstein notes, an answer in the affirmative would likely make theirs a true First Amendment problem, with an agency like the CDC not only setting public health policy but also effectively setting guidelines for private discussion about those policies. “If it is in consultation with the government,” he says, “it’s an entirely different issue.”

Asked specifically after Weinstein’s demonetization if the “guidance” included consultation with authorities, YouTube essentially said yes, pointing to previous announcements that they consult other authorities, and adding, “When we develop our policies we consult outside experts and YouTube creators. In the case of our COVID-19 misinformation policies, it would be guidance from local and global health authorities.”

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“Dr. Fauci’s role looks like a species of generic egomania with a top hat of greed (considering his financial interests in vaccines).”

Stumbling Toward Reality (Kunstler)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who answers to the title “The Science” in certain circles, said this week that there are going to be two Americas, the vaxed and the unvaxed. Earth to Dr. Fauci: we are already two Americas: the reality-onboard and the reality-optional. One reality is that vaccines developed at “warp speed” appear to have gnarly side-effects that can outweigh the risk of the disease they’re engineered to protect against. Another reality is that the Delta variant of SARS-Covid-19 is more contagious, but also weaker, less likely to result in hospitalization among the unvaxed. Yet another reality is that the Delta variant also infects the fully-vaccinated. Oh, what to do?

Consider not allowing yourself to be jerked around by US health officials who have trouble keeping their story straight, for instance, Dr. Anthony Fauci (a.k.a. The Science) who, records show, apparently assisted the bio-warfare division of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the Wuhan lab in the development of a world-beating, gain-of-function bat virus — which, halfway through year-two of its run, seems to be following the usual trajectory of viral epidemics by growing weaker before it disappears altogether. And then we’ll see what happens longer-term among the vaxed, who were subjected to flurries of toxic spike proteins.

It’s the opinion of some — though not myself — that the Covid-19 episode was unleashed upon the world to allow “the elite” to execute a “controlled demolition of the global economy” so as to quash climate change (by reducing carbon emissions), and therefore ensure a brighter future for said elite, while cruelly throwing the rest of the world’s population overboard. Oh, I dunno…. Klaus Schwab and his minions of The Great Reset seem more like hapless control freaks than persons actually able to control anything, least of all the whole world. Dr. Fauci’s role looks like a species of generic egomania with a top hat of greed (considering his financial interests in vaccines). The reality is that the global economy, such as it’s a high-tech industrial economy, is shooting its own wad very nicely without a whole lot of assistance from alleged nefarious parties.

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Green turns sour.

Natural Resource Drain Created By “Net Zero Emission” Targets (ZH)

While the idea of implementing net zero emissions by certain deadlines has sounded great for the companies, countries and states that have set targets, the reality of making it happen is slightly more difficult. That’s what the U.K. is finding out after Natural History Museum Head of Earth Sciences Prof Richard Herrington penned a letter to the Committee on Climate Change on the vast amount of natural resources that will be necessary to make the conversion. The letter was delivered to Baroness Brown, who chairs the Adaption Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change. In addition to noting that the U.K. would need a 20% increase in UK-generated electricity, the release also notes that “to meet UK electric car targets for 2050 we would need to produce just under two times the current total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production.”

The letter reads: “The urgent need to cut CO2 emissions to secure the future of our planet is clear, but there are huge implications for our natural resources not only to produce green technologies like electric cars but keep them charged. “Over the next few decades, global supply of raw materials must drastically change to accommodate not just the UK’s transformation to a low carbon economy, but the whole world’s. Our role as scientists is to provide the evidence for how best to move towards a zero-carbon economy – society needs to understand that there is a raw material cost of going green and that both new research and investment is urgently needed for us to evaluate new ways to source these. This may include potentially considering sources much closer to where the metals are to be used.”

It then points out obvious challenges in meeting the needs of converting all cars and vans to electric vehicles, especially as it relates to cobalt: To replace all UK-based vehicles today with electric vehicles (not including the LGV and HGV fleets), assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation NMC 811 batteries, would take 207,900 tonnes cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate (LCE), at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium, in addition to 2,362,500 tonnes copper. This represents, just under two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production during 2018. Even ensuring the annual supply of electric vehicles only, from 2035 as pledged, will require the UK to annually import the equivalent of the entire annual cobalt needs of European industry.

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Strange battle going on.

Biden Aide Charges “Sabotage” Of Harris (Axios)

Top White House officials are mobilizing to defend Vice President Kamala Harris amid a gusher of leaks about dysfunction and infighting in her office. Driving the news: White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told Axios in a statement: “The President’s trust and confidence in her is obvious when you see them in the Oval Office together.” Biden senior adviser Cedric Richmond said in an interview late Thursday night: “It’s a whisper campaign designed to sabotage her.” Their responses came after Axios approached the White House with new reporting about growing tensions between West Wing officials and the Harris team, including chief of staff Tina Flournoy.

Some White House officials have been frustrated by a series of missteps from Harris and increasingly public bickering in her orbit, which spilled out in a Politico story on Wednesday. Flournoy’s old boss, former President Bill Clinton, came to her defense with a statement calling her “an extraordinary person. 2024 is the elephant in the room. While Biden aides overwhelmingly believe he’ll be the Democratic nominee, they also know he’d be 81 when seeking re-election. An operation sometimes visibly out of sync with Biden’s — and missteps during a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, following a scrutinized interview with NBC’s Lester Holt — have reignited questions from Harris’ 2020 primary bid.

Harris would be the presumptive nominee if Biden didn’t run. Administration sources believe it would be nearly impossible to unseat the first Black woman vice president. Yet many Democrats, including some current senior administration officials, are concerned she could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump. One Democratic operative tells Axios’ Alayna Treene that most Democrats aren’t saying, “‘Oh, no, our heir apparent is f***ing up, what are we gonna do?’ It’s more that people think, ‘Oh, she’s f***ing up, maybe she shouldn’t be the heir apparent.'” Some Democrats close to the White House are increasingly concerned about Harris’s handling of high-profile issues and political tone deafness, and question her ability to maintain the coalition that Biden rode to the White House, sources tell Axios’ Hans Nichols.

Relations between the West Wing and the Vice President’s office are tense. Several administration officials used “shitshow” when describing Harris’ office, and contrast her operation with disciplined, virtually leakproof Biden aides. Some Biden officials view the Harris operation as poorly-managed and staffed with people who don’t have long-term relationships with her. They feel she’s gotten bad advice from her press and communications shop and think it’s telling that she’s already lost two advance aides and a digital director.

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“It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious.”

New Emails Raise New Allegations of Influence Peddling By Hunter Biden (Turley)

The new emails include references to the use of Air Force II by Hunter Biden to pursue the deals — a similar pattern revealed with regard to the China dealings. The emails detail a number of visits to Mexico, including a February 2016 flight on Air Force II with his father. On the plane was his business partner Jeff Cooper, who ran Illinois-based SimmonsCooper. That is one of the largest asbestos litigation firms in the country and Hunter was given 3 percent of Cooper’s venture capital firm Eudora Global, according to emails. President Biden’s brother (who featured in past controversial deals) was also reportedly involved in some of these efforts. These dealings continued into 2018 as Hunter pushed for deals with Slim. One text message from July 24, 2018 reads “Spoke to my dad about ‘Slim ask” and Cooper responds “Oh that sounds SO F’ING GOOD.”

It obviously does not sound quite so good if you are a reporter who has been repeatedly assured by President Biden that he had no knowledge or involvement in any dealings with Hunter. That was previously refuted by various sources. Hunter himself contradicted his father’s repeated denial. Then there are the emails referring to the “Big Guy”, which witnesses say was Joe Biden. Then there is Tony Bobulinski who stated that he personally met with Joe Biden to discuss Hunter’s business dealings. Bobulinski is repeatedly praised by Hunter Biden in the emails and identified as the person in control of transactions for “the family.” He has directly contradicted Joe Biden’s denial of any knowledge or involvement in his son’s dubious dealings.

The new emails contain additional information directly contradicting President Biden. In addition to earlier pictures from golf trips and references to his involvement or knowledge, new material refers to a notable dinner arranged in Washington, D.C. Hunter arranged for then Vice President Biden to have dinner on April 16, 2015 with his Ukrainian, Russian and Kazakhstani business associates. They appropriately chose a private room at Café Milano, a Georgetown restaurant that brags that it is “Where the world’s most powerful people go.” After the dinner, Hunter received an email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, to thank him for introducing him to his father: “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”

It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious. If these emails are false, this is a major story. If they are true, this is a major scandal. Presumably, however, this story will result in another run to the nearest ice cream shop for breathless coverage on the current frozen delights of the President.

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Lots of similarities between Assange coverage and that of vaccines.

Key Assange Witness Recants – With Zero Corporate Media Coverage (Fair)

A key witness in the Department of Justice’s case against Julian Assange has admitted that his entire testimony is false, a revelation that could be the death knell for US attempts to prosecute the Wikileaks founder. Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, often known as “Siggi the Hacker,” made the confession to Icelandic outlet Stundin (6/26/21) last weekend. The article details how Thordarson, a convicted felon, pedophile and diagnosed sociopath, used his position to steal money from Wikileaks, and received immunity from prosecution from the FBI in a quid pro quo. Such a blatant and juicy piece of important news should have made worldwide headlines. But, instead, as of Friday, July 2, there has been literally zero coverage of it in corporate media; not one word in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, Fox News or NPR.

A search online for either “Assange” or “Thordarson” will elicit zero relevant articles from establishment sources, either US or elsewhere in the Anglosphere, even in tech-focused platforms like the Verge, Wired or Gizmodo. The other major development in the case, according to the Canary (6/30/21), is Jeremy Corbyn delivering a letter from 20 MPs to the prison where Assange is held, demanding the right to visit him and treating him as a political prisoner. The news is not some sort of esoteric knowledge known only to those carefully watching Icelandic affairs. The story trended worldwide on Twitter on the weekend, with a number of prominent accounts or figures like Wikileaks itself, Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald tweeting about it.

Not only that, Thordarson’s confession was well covered by alternative news sites with a tiny fraction of the resources establishment media have (e.g., Consortium News, 6/27/21; World Socialist Web Site, 6/27/21; Canary, 6/30/21). The story led Democracy Now!’s Monday show (6/28/21), which featured an in-depth interview with Assange’s legal advisor, Jennifer Robinson. This distinction once again highlights the gaping chasm between corporate and alternative media, suggesting that certain subjects are simply no-go zones for the former. It is not that the corporate press are completely uninterested in Assange. A number of outlets have covered the news this week that he and his partner Stella Morris are planning to get married (e.g., SBS, 6/27/21; Daily Mail, 6/28/21; Evening Standard, 6/28/21; London Times, 6/29/21). Yet none of these articles mentioned the far more consequential news about Thordarson and how it undermines the entire prosecution of Assange.

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