Jun 092023
 


Laura Knight The Green Sea, Lamorna 1918

 

Ukraine Has Taken ‘Significant’ Losses This Week – US (RT)
West Has Done Everything For Ukraine – Biden (RT)
Kiev Needs Deadlier Weapons – US Lawmakers (RT)
Ukraine Gave Up Peace Deal With Russia Under US Pressure — Patrushev (TASS)
Kakhovka Attack Lines Up With West’s Scorched Earth Scenario for Ukraine (Sp.)
FBI Document Alleges $5 Million Bribe Paid To Joe Biden By Burisma Exec (ZH)
McCarthy: Unconscionable for Biden to Indict Leading Opposing Candidate (Sp.)
Mar-a-Lago Indictment Designed to Make Trump Reelection ‘Impossible’ (Sp.)
I Didn’t Order Nord Stream Sabotage – Zelensky (RT)
Biden Admin Waging Class War Against Working Americans – Michael Hudson (Sp.)
Russia Being Robbed By The West – Kremlin (RT)
EU Demands Answers Over ‘Instagram Pedophile Network’ (RT)
South Africa Won’t Enforce ICC Putin Warrant – Minister (RT)
Assange Dangerously Close to Extradition After High Court Rejects Appeal (RSF)
Pentagon Struggling To Explain All 437 Earth Genders To Aliens (BBee)

 

 


This is a Royal Mail stamp from 1981 bearing a profile of the late Queen – same hammer symbols, same tyrant uniform. McCarthyite fanatics opposed to any criticism at all of the apartheid Israeli state are trying to cancel this anti-fascist protest from our culture. @rogerwaters

 

 

Stone Putin
https://twitter.com/i/status/1666675508388458500

 

 

 

 

Zel before

 

 

 

 

Sachs China
https://twitter.com/i/status/1666683473426534400

 

 

 

 

JFK Peace Speech

 

 

 

 

 

 

US media say the counteroffensive has started. Ukraine denies. Whatever it is, is a disaster.

Ukraine Has Taken ‘Significant’ Losses This Week – US (RT)

The Ukrainian military has suffered “significant” casualties in its faltering attempt to mount a counteroffensive against Russian forces, US officials told CNN on Thursday. While Kiev has kept quiet about its losses, Moscow estimates that the offensive has already cost Ukraine almost 5,000 lives. Ukrainian troops hoping to break through Russia’s defensive lines have met “greater than expected resistance from Russian forces,”the American network reported, citing anonymous “senior US officials.” CNN’s sources described how Russian forces used anti-tank missiles and mortars to put up “stiff resistance” and inflicted “significant” casualties, as the Ukrainians struggled to get their Western-provided vehicles through densely-laid minefields. After months of delays and mixed messages from Kiev, Ukraine’s counteroffensive began on Sunday with an attack by six mechanized and two tank battalions along five sections of the frontline near Donetsk, and in other regions to the north and south.

Further attacks followed, and although pro-Ukrainian sources described these thrusts as “probing” attacks, it was clear by the beginning of this week that the counteroffensive had begun in earnest. The fiercest fighting took place on Wednesday night along the frontline near Zaporozhye, where the Russian military has spent several months constructing multiple lines of minefields, trenches, gun emplacements, and anti-tank obstacles. The Ukrainian 47th mechanized brigade attacked with a total strength of up to 1,500 troops and 150 armored vehicles, but Russian troops – backed by artillery and air support – repelled the assault, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday. Key to Russia’s defense has been its suppression of Ukraine’s air defense systems, allowing its fighter jets and attack helicopters to operate with impunity over the frontline.

The minister claimed that during a two-hour battle, the enemy lost 30 tanks, 11 armored personnel carriers and up to 350 troops. According to Shoigu’s daily updates, Ukraine has lost around 4,995 soldiers and almost 100 tanks since Sunday. Despite the apparently colossal losses, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN earlier this week that Washington believed “that the Ukrainians will meet with success in this counteroffensive.” However, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, urged caution, telling the network on Monday that it was “too early to tell what outcomes are going to happen.” “Everyone knows perfectly well that any counteroffensive in the world without control in the skies is very dangerous,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in a Wall Street Journal interview on Saturday, adding that “a large number of soldiers will die” during the operation.

Read more …

How to distance yourself from failure.

West Has Done Everything For Ukraine – Biden (RT)

Washington and its allies have exhausted their efforts to arm and prepare Ukraine for its counteroffensive against Russian forces, US President Joe Biden has claimed after meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the White House. “We’ve done everything we could, collectively but individually in the United States, to make them ready, to support ..,” Biden told reporters on Thursday in a joint press briefing with Sunak in Washington. He called Kiev’s faltering attempts to mount an attack “an evolving situation where we’re very optimistic.” The US president made his comments amid reports that Ukrainian forces have suffered “significant” casualties as they battle to break through Russia’s defensive lines in the former Soviet republic. CNN admitted on Thursday that Ukraine’s troops were meeting “greater than expected resistance” and were struggling to get their Western-provided vehicles through minefields.

The long-discussed counteroffensive apparently began with a large-scale attack on Sunday, but met with withering firepower from Russian forces. Kiev admitted that its forces were “shifting to offensive actions” in some areas, but dismissed claims of its failures and losses as Russian propaganda. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Ukrainian forces lost more than 3,700 troops, 52 tanks and hundreds of armored vehicles during the first three days of their attacks. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday that only 71 Russian soldiers were killed over the same period. He added on Thursday that Ukraine’s 47th Mechanized Brigade retreated after losing 350 men and 30 tanks in the latest attack on the Zaporozhye front. Asked whether he expected to get new funding approvals from the Republican-controlled Congress to continue providing aid to Ukraine, Biden vowed “unwavering support” for Kiev. Lawmakers have approved $113 billion in Ukraine aid since February 2022. NATO members plan to discuss long-term security commitments for Kiev at a summit next month in Vilnius.

“Long-term security to deter future aggression after this war ends is the goal, and we’re advancing this goal by providing the support Ukraine needs now on the battlefield and helping them strengthen their military over the long term,” Biden said. “I believe we’ll have the funding necessary to support Ukraine as long as it takes.” Biden argued that while some lawmakers have begun to question whether the US should continue to provide aid to Ukraine, he sees broad agreement on the consequences of failing to do so. Sunak touted increases in UK defense spending, saying, “We’re lucky to have America’s investment in European security, but we need to share the burden alongside you.” He suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin was betting on NATO members to tire of supporting Kiev. “I think it sends a strong signal to him that there is no point in trying to wait us out. We’re not going anywhere. We will be here for as long as it takes.”

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They want US missiles to be fired at targets inside Russia.

Kiev Needs Deadlier Weapons – US Lawmakers (RT)

Members of Congress have urged US President Joe Biden to provide even more advanced weaponry to Ukraine, including longer-range missiles that the White House previously warned could trigger World War III. Kiev must be given Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) to strike distant targets in Russia’s supply lines, nine lawmakers said in a letter to Biden on Thursday. The bipartisan group, led by Colorado Democrat Jason Crow, dismissed concerns that such weapons could escalate the conflict or leave US missile supplies too depleted. “We also understand the administration’s stated desire to maintain US stockpiles for future fights, but Ukraine is currently on the front lines in a fight for freedom in a war with immediate and long-term US national security implications,” the lawmakers said.

“The fight for global peace and security is playing out in Ukraine, and we believe this merits a drawdown from our existing stocks of this important capability.” ATACMS missiles can strike targets as far as 300 kilometers (190 miles) away. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said last July that the Biden administration wouldn’t send such long-range missiles to Ukraine because such a precedent could provoke a wider conflict if used to attack targets in Russian territory. However, the UK has since supplied Kiev with an unspecified number of its own Storm Shadow long-range missiles, a decision that was apparently run by Washington first. While Britain has consistently pushed its allies to supply Kiev with heavier armaments, nothing happens without the US approval, NBC News reported last week.

Biden’s professed reluctance to take other potentially escalatory steps has crumbled as the conflict drags on. Last month, he agreed to allow US allies to provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, while in January he approved plans to send M1 Abrams tanks to Kiev. Those concessions weren’t enough for the representatives behind Thursday’s letter. In addition to pushing for ATACMS missiles, they called for Biden to give more tanks and fighter jets to Ukraine, as well as additional Patriot air-defense systems. “Helping Ukraine fight and win is a US national security imperative and signals to the world that thee US will stand by our fellow democracies,” the nine lawmakers said. They called on Biden to do everything in his power, including using his authority under the Defense Production Act to accelerate weapons output, to give Ukrainian troops everything they need to mount a counteroffensive.

Kiev’s long-heralded attack apparently began on Sunday, and Biden said on Thursday that the US and its Western allies had already done everything they could to support the operation. According to CNN, the Ukrainian military has met with “greater than expected resistance” from Russian forces. Ukraine has lost more than 4,000 troops and dozens of tanks and armored vehicles in its failed attacks this week, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

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“in the morning, they [members of the Ukrainian delegation] gave [the proposals] to us during the negotiations and in the evening they said: ‘No, we give them up.’”

Ukraine Gave Up Peace Deal With Russia Under US Pressure — Patrushev (TASS)

The Ukrainian leadership was ready to settle the conflict with Russia but gave up under the US pressure, Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said on Thursday. “Had it not been for the US pressure on those whom they installed at the head of Ukraine, this situation would have not happened, Even the Ukrainian leaders themselves were ready for signing a peace treaty and gave Russia written proposals that we, in principle, approved,” Patrushev said, obviously referring to the negotiations between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Turkey in March last year. However, as Patrushev went on to say, “in the morning, they [members of the Ukrainian delegation] gave [the proposals] to us during the negotiations and in the evening they said: ‘No, we give them up.’”

“This happened only because the United States had put pressure on them and said that no negotiations must be held,” the secretary of Russia’s Security Council stressed. As Patrushev pointed out, “there are interested parties in this conflict,” first and foremost, the United States and Great Britain. The first Russian-Ukrainian negotiations after Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine took place in Belarus in early March 2022 but the talks yielded no tangible results.

A new round of negotiations took place in Istanbul on March 29, 2022, following which Russian Delegation Head, Presidential Aide Vladimir Medinsky announced that Moscow had for the first time received Kiev’s principles of a possible future agreement in witting, stipulating, in particular, Ukraine’s neutral, non-aligned status commitments and its refusal to deploy foreign troops and armaments, including nuclear weapons, on its soil. Russia pulled out its forces from the Kiev and Chernigov areas. However, the negotiations on the peaceful settlement were totally frozen after that and, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said, Kiev gave up the accords reached in Istanbul. In October last year, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky enacted a decision by the country’s National Security and Defense Council on banning any talks with Putin.

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“For Russia, these same territories are a kind of “shrine,” he said. “These lands were settled and developed by our ancestors. We fought for these lands in two world wars. We are not indifferent to these territories, or the people living there.”

Kakhovka Attack Lines Up With West’s Scorched Earth Scenario for Ukraine (Sp.)

The fallout from Tuesday’s attack on the Kakhovka dam continues to mount, with the Kremlin characterizing the incident as a “barbaric act” ordered “at the suggestion of [Kiev’s] Western curators,” and a calamity which has unleashed a “large-scale environmental and human disaster. A US-based private Earth imaging company released before and after satellite photos showing the consequences of the flooding, with much of the town of Novaya Kakhovka in Russia’s Kherson completely submerged in water, together with other settlements on both the Russian and Ukrainian-controlled sides of the river. A European Space Agency satellite tracking water levels June 5, 6, and 7 showed the extent of the rising water levels across the region over the three days.

Ukrainian and NATO officials quickly blamed Moscow for the disaster, calling it an “ecological catastrophe.” Russia, which has borne an equal share of the direct fallout of the flooding, plus the prospects of the loss of water in the North Crimean Canal and cooling water for the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, dismissed the claims, pointing out that Kiev had been attacking the Kakhovka hydroplant and its environs for well over a year before Tuesday morning’s fatal blow. The Kakhovka dam attack is another example of the Zelensky regime’s absolute disregard for casualties and destruction in the ongoing NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine, and another demonstration of the West’s cynical maxim of “fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian,” says prominent Russian military observer Alexey Leonkov.

“When there are no impressive battlefield victories, but one needs to raise the degree of the demonization of Russia, one can really go all out. The regime in Kiev and those who control it do not care whatsoever about what happens to Ukraine in the future, or speaking more precisely, its people. They want to leave for Russia a territory in accordance with scorched earth tactics – destruction, an embittered population, preferably with environmental pollution, radioactive residues or perhaps [the fallout from] biological weapons,” Leonkov, the editor of Arsenal Otechestva, a Russian military affairs magazine, told Sputnik. Leonkov is convinced that Ukraine’s military and government lack any real independence, and carry out the policy of Western powers paying the bills.

Kiev’s patrons are “absolutely uninterested in Ukraine’s lands or the people who live there…They do not care how many people will die, how many cities and villages are destroyed, how many environmental disasters and other calamities they face. They don’t give a damn about it,” the observer said. For Russia, these same territories are a kind of “shrine,” he said. “These lands were settled and developed by our ancestors. We fought for these lands in two world wars. We are not indifferent to these territories, or the people living there. That’s why we are trying to conduct a military operation, not an all-out war that destroys everything and everyone…Our enemy, and this is clear, consists of [30 countries], all of them members of the NATO bloc. This adversary…has already stated that they will [strive to] realize their goals ‘to the last Ukrainian.’

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The FBI has known for 3 years that Biden was paid for services to Burisma when as VP he was in charge of Ukraine for Obama. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired..”

FBI Document Alleges $5 Million Bribe Paid To Joe Biden By Burisma Exec (ZH)

Someone has leaked the contents of the stonewalled FBI document, form FD-1023, which alleges that President Joe Biden was paid $5 million by an executive of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where his son Hunter sat on the board. This, according to a confidential human source, who told this to the FBI during a June 2020 interview, according to Fox News. The form, dated June 30, 2020, is from a “highly credible” confidential human source who had detailed multiple meetings and conversations they had with a top Burisma executive over the course of several years, beginning in 2015. The CHS had been working with the FBI as a regular, reliable source of information since 2010, and has been paid approximately $200,000 by the bureau.

The Burisma executive sought the advice of the confidential source, a business professional, on gaining U.S. oil rights and getting involved with a U.S. oil company, the sources familiar with the documdnt said. The Burisma executive was speaking with the confidential source to “get advice on the best way to go forward” in 2015 and 2016 According to the FD-1023 form, the confidential human source said the Burisma executive discussed Hunter’s role on the board. The confidential human source questioned why the Burisma executive needed his or her advice in acquiring access to U.S. oil if he had Hunter Biden on the board. The Burisma executive answered by referring to Hunter Biden as “dumb.” -Fox News According to the Burisma executive, the company had to “pay the Bidens” because Ukraine’s lead prosecutor, Victor Shokin, was investigating Burisma.

According to the CHS, he suggested that the Burisma executive “pay the Bidens $50,000 each,” to which the Burisma executive replied “not $50,000,” it is “$5 million.” “$5 million for one Biden, $5 million for the other Biden,” the executive reportedly said. The $5 million payments appeared to reference some sort of “retainer” Burisma intended to pay the Bidens in order to ‘clean up’ several issues – including the investigation led by Shokin. Another source told Fox it was a “pay-to-play” scheme. The CHS believes that the $5 million payment to Joe Biden and $5 million to Hunter happened, as the Burisma executive said he “paid” the Bidens is a way “through so many different bank accounts” that investigators would not be able to “unravel this for at least 10 years.” The document also makes reference to ‘the Big Guy,’ thought (and as seen on Hunter’s laptop) to be a reference to Joe Biden.

According to the Burisma executive, they “didn’t pay the Big Guy directly.” Meanwhile, sources tell Fox that the Burisma executive appears to be at a “very, very high level” of the company, with one source suggesting it could be the president, Mykola Zlochevsky – though the executive’s name is redacted in the document. Biden notably bragged on camera about a quid-pro-quo arrangement to have Shokin fired. “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,’ I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” Biden said in 2018 at a Council for Foreign Relations event, recalling a conversation with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired,” he continued. “And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

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“..Trump is facing seven counts that include willful retention of national defense information, corruptly concealing docs, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements.”

McCarthy: Unconscionable for Biden to Indict Leading Opposing Candidate (Sp.)

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Thursday it was “unconscionable” for US President Joe Biden to indict “the leading candidate opposing him” – ex-President Donald Trump. “Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America. It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him,” McCarthy said on Twitter. “Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades. I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice. House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.” McCarthy’s remarks reiterated similar sentiments aired by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who blasted the “weaponization of federal law enforcement agencies” as a “mortal threat to a free society.”

“We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation,” he continued, claiming that a DeSantis White House would “excise political bias and end weaponization once and for all.” Earlier Thursday, Trump revealed on Truth Social that “the corrupt Biden administration” had informed his lawyers that he had been indicted in a federal investigation over alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Florida residency, and was summoned to appear in court on Tuesday. The ex-president expressed despair over the indictment, pointing out that he is being prosecuted as polls show he is by far the leading candidate among both Republicans and Democrats.

US media reported on Thursday that Trump is facing seven counts that include willful retention of national defense information, corruptly concealing docs, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements. Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the classified documents case and the other three criminal probes he is involved in, including charges of falsifying business records and the former president’s alleged involvement in the events on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.

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“Joe Biden is a Democrat and therefore his classified documents are a mere oversight and not the foundation–shaking treachery Trump’s documents represent..”

Mar-a-Lago Indictment Designed to Make Trump Reelection ‘Impossible’ (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump earlier reported that his legal team had been informed that he was being indicted over his retainment of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence. The revelation came just after it was reported prosecutors had formally informed Trump’s lawyers that he was the subject of their Florida investigation. Michael Shannon, a political commentator and columnist for Newsmax, told Sputnik that he believes the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents and alleged obstruction of justice is part of a larger politically-motivated scheme designed to prevent the former president from running for his old seat in the 2024 election.
“This is all part of the process to indict Trump and make it difficult — if not impossible — for him to run for reelection,” Shannon asserted. “The entire investigation, raid on Mar–a–Lago and subsequent developments are entirely political and constitute a genuine attack on democracy.”


Shannon pointed to classified documents that were found at US President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and at the Biden Penn Center in Washington, DC, as evidence that the Mar-a-Lago investigation is politically driven. Earlier reports revealed that documents had been retrieved from the garage area of one of Biden’s homes, a development that later saw the president joke that they were secured along his beloved Corvette. “Joe Biden is a Democrat and therefore his classified documents are a mere oversight and not the foundation–shaking treachery Trump’s documents represent,” Shannon said. The commentator added that while classified documents were also found in the possession of former US Vice President Mike Pence, “the left doesn’t view him as a threat to Biden, the Pence documents are also no big deal.”

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We know.

I Didn’t Order Nord Stream Sabotage – Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has claimed he had no knowledge of an alleged plot by his government to blow up the Nord Stream gas pipelines. The plan was reportedly uncovered by a European nation, which subsequently informed Washington. “I am president and I give orders accordingly,” Zelensky said, as cited by Politico on Thursday. “Nothing of the sort has been done by Ukraine. I would never act that way.” The alleged intelligence tip was reported by the Washington Post on Tuesday, based on leaked classified Pentagon materials. The pipelines, which were built to carry gas from Russia to Germany, were ruptured by powerful explosions last September, and the newspaper claimed that the US had learned of Ukrainian preparations for a sabotage operation three months prior from an unidentified ally.

The alleged mission was run by Valery Zaluzhny, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, rather than rogue agents, the Post claimed. Zaluzhny was placed in charge so that Zelensky “wouldn’t know about the operation” and could maintain plausible deniability, it was reported. “I didn’t know anything, 100%,” the president said in the interview. “I said, ‘Show us proof. If our military is supposed to have done this, show us proof.’” According to the Post, Ukraine wanted to blow up the pipelines following NATO’s BALTOPS naval exercise in June 2022. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh previously claimed that the drills were used as cover to plant remotely triggered explosives, but stated that it was US and Norwegian divers who had done so, acting on orders from US President Joe Biden. Washington and Oslo have denied Hersh’s allegations.

Zelensky’s ability to control his own secret services was previously placed in question by other materials in the trove of leaked Pentagon documents, which were allegedly shared by US Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira. One of the documents stated that the US believed that the Ukrainian agents behind an attack in March on a Russian airborne radar stationed in Belarus had not informed the president about their plans.

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“..there is no way that the government was going to default on its Treasury debt because, after all, the Treasury debt is held by the wealthiest 10%..”

Biden Admin Waging Class War Against Working Americans – Michael Hudson (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden’s economic policies have further enriched financial elites at the expense of working class Americans, Prof. Michael Hudson, US economist and former Wall Street analyst, told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. Biden struck a debt ceiling deal with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy with a great deal of fanfare late last month following Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s apocalyptic prognoses with regard to a US “imminent” default. According to Hudson, however, these dramatic warnings were meant to obfuscate the Biden administration’s real objectives “There was never any debt crisis at all,” Hudson told Sputnik. “The government could have simply continued to pay its bills for projects that Congress had already approved, there is no way that the government was going to default on its Treasury debt because, after all, the Treasury debt is held by the wealthiest 10% and the government is not going to do anything that hurts the 10% and benefits the 90%.”

What really happened, as per economist, was a bipartisan agreement on a further redistribution of wealth from the 90% to the 10%. However, the Democrats could not just go for it as they have always positioned themselves as a pro-labor and pro-economic justice party. Hence, there had been a month-long “good guy-vs-bad guy wrestling match” between the president and the GOP, according to Hudson. Eventually, Biden “reluctantly” agreed on cuts to social programs, cancellation of support to the poor. One should bear in mind that Joe Biden is from Delaware – a “state where most corporations in America have their head offices because the Delaware rules are so pro-corporate and anti-labor that corporations want to be there.” “It’s all just a made up,” Hudson continued. “When they talk about cutting back the government debt, what they mean is cutting back social services.

They would like to do what Biden and [Barack] Obama wanted to do after 2009. They want to cut back Social Security. They want to privatize it as if that will somehow solve the problem. They want to cut back medical care. They want to cut back most social programs, so that the money that the government does spend will be exclusively to support the financial sector, the military sector, the insurance sector, and the real estate sector.” To illustrate his point Hudson referred to the fact that just a day after the debt agreement was struck and social programs were cut, some GOP congressmen, namely Senator Susan Collins from Maine, called for greater military spending to help fund the US proxy war in Ukraine. These military budget increases would come at the expense of US social programs, the economist pointed out.

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“..as of mid-May, EU countries had frozen more than €200 billion ($215 billion) in assets belonging to the Bank of Russia, as well as over $25 billion in private funds..”

Russia Being Robbed By The West – Kremlin (RT)

The seizure of Russian state assets and reserves and those of its citizens, by Western countries, should be perceived as outright theft, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has insisted. He made the statement during a press briefing on Thursday, having been asked about Russian investors’ intentions to prepare a class action lawsuit to unlock the frozen assets. “In different ways, but the government and the entrepreneurs have been robbed by the West,” he stated. According to Peskov, the Russian government and the country’s businesses are looking for ways to protect their interests and return the seized assets, though that is likely to be a very long and difficult process. Peskov noted that Russian entrepreneurs are limited in their rights in EU courts, while the efforts to defend their rights are absolutely justified and should be continued.


Moscow has been hit by multiple waves of Western sanctions since the conflict with Ukraine broke out last February. European Commission spokesman, Christian Wiegand, said recently that as of mid-May, EU countries had frozen more than €200 billion ($215 billion) in assets belonging to the Bank of Russia, as well as over $25 billion in private funds. He argued that the European Union had a legal avenue allowing it to seize frozen Russian assets and use them for the subsequent reconstruction of Ukraine. Moscow has described Western attempts to transfer the seized assets to Ukraine as “barbarism,” and “theft” that violate international law. The Kremlin has also warned that Russia will respond in kind if necessary.

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Pizza.

EU Demands Answers Over ‘Instagram Pedophile Network’ (RT)

The European Union’s Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has called on social media giant Meta to take “immediate action” against child pornography on its platforms, after the Wall Street Journal and Stanford University identified Instagram as a major hub for illicit material. Breton commented on the WSJ report in a tweet on Thursday, saying that Meta’s voluntary code on child protection “seems not to work” while vowing to personally question company CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the issue at an upcoming event.“Zuckerberg must now explain [and] take immediate action. I will discuss [this] with him at Meta’s HQ in Menlo Park on 23 June,” he said, adding that new regulations under the EU’s Digital Services Act will force tech firms to “demonstrate measures to us or face heavy sanctions” after they take effect on August 25.

Published Wednesday, the Journal report was a result of a joint investigation between the outlet and researchers at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, finding that Meta’s Instagram “helps connect and promote a vast network of accounts openly devoted to the commission and purchase of underage-sex content.” Algorithms on the social media site actively promote such illegal material, the researchers claimed, even helping to guide users to those selling child pornography through Instagram’s “recommendation systems,” which were said to “excel at linking those who share niche interests.” While Meta acknowledged that it is not able to remove all underage sexual content on Instagram, the company told the Journal that it has created a special task force for that purpose, claiming it has taken down 27 different “pedophile networks” over the last two years.

It added that it had removed thousands of hashtags which sexualize children and altered the site’s recommendation scheme since speaking to the WSJ. Instagram is not the only large social media platform found to host child pornography, with billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk vowing make the issue “Priority #1” after purchasing Twitter last year. Another Meta-owned site, Facebook, has also struggled to get a handle on child exploitation content circulating online.Together with Instagram, the company flagged more than 20 million examples of such material in 2020, well outpacing Meta’s competitors, according to data gathered by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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“..if Putin were to be arrested by “say, Germany… all our missiles would fly to the Bundestag, to the Chancellor’s office.”

South Africa Won’t Enforce ICC Putin Warrant – Minister (RT)

South Africa will not enforce the International Criminal Court’s warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni told reporters on Thursday. “The Deputy Chairperson of the Security Council of Russia has indicated that anyone who arrests President Putin will be tantamount to a declaration of war,” Ntshavheni said, referring to a statement by Dmitry Medvedev in March. At the time, Medvedev declared that if Putin were to be arrested by “say, Germany… all our missiles would fly to the Bundestag, to the Chancellor’s office.” “I don’t think this country wants us to declare war with Russia,” Ntshavheni added.

In mid-March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children’s rights. The court accused them of the “forcible transfer of population,” referring to Moscow’s efforts to evacuate children from combat zones amid hostilities with Ukraine. As a signatory to the 2002 Rome Statute, South Africa is obliged to enforce the warrant. However, the country is also hosting this year’s BRICS summit in August, at which the leaders of the world’s largest emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are due to meet.

Despite media reports suggesting that South Africa had asked China to host the summit, Ntshavheni told reporters that “nothing has changed,” and that the meeting would still go ahead in Johannesburg as planned. Moscow dismissed those reports as a hoax last week. Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, Obed Bapela, a deputy minister in the South African presidency, said that the government was working on legislation that would make its national law outrank that of the ICC. If parliament passes the bill, Pretoria could then “give itself exemptions of who to arrest and who not to arrest,” Bapela explained.

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“It is absurd that a single judge can issue a three-page decision that could land Julian Assange in prison for the rest of his life,,“

Assange Dangerously Close to Extradition After High Court Rejects Appeal (RSF)

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is deeply concerned by the UK High Court’s decision rejecting WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange’s appeal against his extradition order, bringing him dangerously close to being extradited to the United States, where he could face the rest of his life in prison for publishing leaked classified documents in 2010. In a three-page written decision issued on 6 June, a single judge, Justice Swift, rejected all eight grounds of Assange’s appeal against the extradition order signed by then-UK Home Secretary Priti Patel in June 2022. This leaves only one final step in the UK courts, as the defence has five working days to submit an appeal of only 20 pages to a panel of two judges, who will convene a public hearing. Further appeals will not be possible at the domestic level, but Assange could bring a case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Rebecca Vincent, RSF’s Director of Campaigns: “It is absurd that a single judge can issue a three-page decision that could land Julian Assange in prison for the rest of his life and permanently impact the climate for journalism around the world. The historical weight of what happens next cannot be overstated; it is time to put a stop to this relentless targeting of Assange and act instead to protect journalism and press freedom. Our call on President Biden is now more urgent than ever: drop these charges, close the case against Assange, and allow for his release without further delay.

Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, made a statement on Twitter: “On Tuesday next week my husband Julian Assange will make a renewed application for appeal to the High Court. The matter will then proceed to a public hearing before two new judges at the High Court and we remain optimistic that we will prevail and that Julian will not be extradited to the United States where he faces charges that could result in him spending the rest of his life in a maximum security prison for publishing true information that revealed war crimes committed by the U.S. government.”

This is the latest stage in more than three years of legal proceedings in UK courts, as the US government has made its case to extradite Assange in order to try him on 18 counts in connection with WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked classified documents that informed public interest reporting around the world. Although the first instance court ruled against extradition on mental health grounds, the Court of Appeals overturned the decision in consideration of diplomatic assurances presented by the US government. Assange would be the first publisher prosecuted under the Espionage Act, which lacks a public interest defence. He faces a combined total sentence of a possible 175 years in prison.

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“Everything is gender,” SecDef Austin explained. “Even this table is gender.”

Pentagon Struggling To Explain All 437 Earth Genders To Aliens (BBee)

Interstellar peace talks broke down Wednesday after Pentagon officials were unable to adequately explain the intricacies of all 437 Earth genders to aliens from outer space. “Okay, for the last time,” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during the third hour of talks with extraterrestrials. “Demigender are people who identify partially with one gender at the same time as another. This is totally different from Bigender, which is when a person identifies as two genders and can switch between them. Do you understand now?” “This isn’t at all confusing.”

The aliens spoke via telepathy, communicating easily without the hindrance of language barriers, yet were still unable to understand why their human counterparts kept derailing talks about joining an alliance of free planets to argue that sex and gender are two different things — or even that a developmental condition such as autism can be a gender. “Everything is gender,” SecDef Austin explained. “Even this table is gender.” President Biden was present at the meeting but was unable to communicate due to a failure by alien lifeforms to create a telepathic link to his brain. [Is this man even alive?] asked Xylor Sieth IV. [Is corpse a gender?]


“It can be,” SecDef Austin answered. “You’re catching on!” Pentagon spokesperson Jean Tangerine told reporters, “Honestly, this is a big part of why the government has kept alien life a secret for so long. They’re super bigoted and not ready for the public.” At publishing time, Xylor Sieth IV had asked to speak to Tucker Carlson instead.

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Goat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1666822364963942402

 

 

Gray whale

 

 


The first case of a crocodile who made herself pregnant has been identified in Costa Rica. She produced a foetus 99.9% genetically identical to herself. The phenomenon was observed in birds, fish, other reptiles, but never before in crocodiles

 

 

Baby thanks

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 072023
 


Caspar David Friedrich Woman before the Rising Sun 1818

 

Col. MacGregor: ‘It’s Time to Slash Our Defense Budget’ (21CW)
Tucker Carlson Steamrolls Ukraine Propaganda In New Show (RT)
Minsk Agreements Allowed Me To Arm Ukraine – Poroshenko (RT)
There Never Was an Offramp in Ukraine (Luongo)
Ukraine Considered Dirty Bomb Attack Against Russia – FSB (RT)
Russia Reveals Battle Casualties (RT)
Russia Regrets Its Kakhovka Warnings Were Not Heard – Nebenzia (Sp.)
Hungary Decries ‘Sanctions Hysteria’ (RT)
Arms Sent To Ukraine Could End Up In Other Parts Of The World – Hungary (RT)
US Knew Ukraine Planned On Bombing Nord Stream – WaPo (RT)
People Ask Me ‘Where Is Ukraine’ – German FM Baerbock (RT)
First There Were Neo-Nazis, Then There Were No Nazis, Then There Were (Lawrence)
What’s Next (James Howard Kunstler)
Scandal Bigger Than Biden Bribery: FBI Election Interference (Fed)

 

 

@CheburekiMan : Restoring water flow to the North Crimean Canal was top priority for Russia, the very first act of the SMO. Before Kiev shut off the flow in 2014, the canal was supplying 85% of Crimea’s water. So much depended on it, from crops to industry to drinking water, that’s how important it is. Now the pro-Ukraine bleating sheep want people to believe that Russia would wreck the dam, empty the reservoir and cause serious harm to its own people by running the canal dry. It’s so bonkers that one has to seriously consider such ideas are the result of brain damage, or perhaps fetal alcohol syndrome.

 

 

Right before the attack, Ukraine filled up the lake..

 

 

Hageman

 

 

 

 

Rowan

 

 

 

 

Prigozhin

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1666257106922803200
Mel Gibson Funds Tim Ballard Child Rescue Missions!

 

 

 

 

“..the US is not even remotely equipped to fight a modern war of combined forces – and will not be for many years..”

Col. MacGregor: ‘It’s Time to Slash Our Defense Budget’ (21CW)

The US military is losing in Ukraine, and will continue to loose – despite blowing $1 trillion per year on so-called ‘defense.’ In this recent episode of the Charlie Kirk Show, guest Col. Douglas Macgregor explains why America’s bloated and ever-expanding Pentagon military budget. As it turns out, much of its $1 trillion per annum slush fund is wasted on top-heavy contracts and boondoggle projects which never see the light of day on the battlefield. What NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is now demonstrating as that the US is not even remotely equipped to fight a modern war of combined forces – and will not be for many years (assuming they attempt to revamp their forces to fight a 21st century ground war).

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“Of all the people in the world, our shifty, dead-eyed Ukrainian friend in the tracksuit is uniquely incapable of blowing up a dam. He’s literally a living saint..”

Tucker Carlson Steamrolls Ukraine Propaganda In New Show (RT)

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has released the first episode of his new series on Twitter, taking Western news agencies to task for one-sided reporting on the conflict in Ukraine and open hostility toward anybody voicing dissenting views. Dubbed ‘Tucker on Twitter,’ the show’s first 10-minute segment was shared on the social media platform on Wednesday night. The clip opened with a monologue on the Ukrainian attack on a major dam in Russia’s Kherson region this week, which Carlson dubbed “an act of terrorism.” “Blowing up the dam may be bad for Ukraine, but it hurts Russia more, and for precisely that reason the Ukrainian government has considered destroying it,” he said, going on to observe that a Ukrainian general admitted to planning attacks on the Kakhovka dam facility in comments to the Washington Post last December.

Tucker

While Carlson said he had little doubt that Kiev was behind the strike, he noted that several American media outlets had already suggested that Moscow may have arranged the attack on itself, claiming they view Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as simply “too decent for terrorism.” “Of all the people in the world, our shifty, dead-eyed Ukrainian friend in the tracksuit is uniquely incapable of blowing up a dam. He’s literally a living saint, a man in whom there is no sin,” he went on, describing the general attitude within the mainstream press. The pundit drew comparisons to last year’s attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, which were built to carry natural gas from Russia into Germany.


Though Carlson argued it was “obvious” that Ukraine had carried out the sabotage, he said US media outlets had little interest in investigating, helping to make Americans among “the least informed people in the world.” “Not only are the media not interested in any of this, they are actively hostile to anybody who is. In journalism, curiosity is the gravest crime,” he continued, adding that while media outlets lie, “mostly they just ignore the stories that matter.” Carlson parted ways with Fox in April, a major shake-up for the media giant given the prominence of his prime-time program, ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’ He later announced that would move his content to Twitter, where he has released other stand-alone segments similar to his former show. In his signoff for Wednesday’s episode, the host voiced hopes that Twitter would be a venue with “no gatekeepers,” but vowed to leave the site should that turn out to be false.

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A proud man.

Minsk Agreements Allowed Me To Arm Ukraine – Poroshenko (RT)

Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has boasted about his role in rebuilding his country’s military under the cover of the Minsk agreements. The documents were supposed to reconcile Kiev with eastern regions that had not endorsed the 2014 Western-backed coup. “Do you know how many battalions I had north of Kiev when I became president? Zero. What about the state budget? Below zero. What about working tanks? A pittance,” the former leader said, describing the state of Ukraine nine years ago in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper published on Monday. Poroshenko took office in June 2014, as the post-coup Ukrainian government was attempting to quash a rebellion in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions with military force. The two Minsk agreements were adopted with Poroshenko at the helm.

They were supposed to de-escalate the conflict and reintegrate the regions into Ukrainian political systems under wide autonomy, but Kiev stonewalled their implementation. Instead, Poroshenko told the newspaper that his government had opted for a military buildup with the help of foreign sponsors. “Immediately after the signing, I invited NATO instructors, bought weapons and vehicles. During my presidency we built an army,” he declared. The former president insisted that this had allowed Ukraine to prepare for the current confrontation with Russia. Moscow cited Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk accords, its continued attacks on Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as NATO’s encroachment into Ukraine as key reasons for the launch of its military operation in February 2022. Russian officials have claimed that the Minsk agreements, which were mediated by France and Germany, were negotiated in bad faith.

Former French President Francois Hollande and ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel have since confirmed that the deals were intended to buy time for Kiev. Poroshenko suffered a landslide defeat to Vladimir Zelensky, the current president, in the 2019 election. The comedian-turned-politician promised to reverse his predecessor’s bellicose policies and reconcile with Donbass. However, Zelensky performed a U-turn after coming to power, as extremist nationalist forces objected to any attempts to negotiate. In the interview, Poroshenko endorsed the opinion of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who argued last week that Minsk and Moscow should have “resolved” the Ukrainian situation in 2014-2015, instead of pursuing diplomacy. Poroshenko implied that his government would have been toppled in that scenario.

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“What do you call a hundred thousand dead Slavs fighting over swampland? A good start.”

“Waffle House Waitress Nikki Haley is out repeating the lie that Russia will take all of Poland and the Baltics if he wins on CNN. It doesn’t matter that she’ll get 1% of the primary vote, her job is to reinforce the narrative..”

There Never Was an Offramp in Ukraine (Luongo)

Before the war officially started who blew up power stations denying Crimea power in the fall of 2015, creating blackouts and real civilian hardship? Who is on record saying that the Minsk Agreements were simply a time-buying exercise to arm Ukraine and freeze Russia for the war we have today? Who staged a terrorist attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge? Who has tested the waters on attacking the dam? Whose leadership continues to go around the world desperately trying to convince rational people that this irrational ethnic war between tribes of Slavs is a fight for the future of western civilization? Who intentionally helped stoke simmering hatred of all things Russian across the entirety of Eastern Europe to push the world to this moment? In short, who armed Ukraine while never once acting with one ounce of humility or basic human decency to find a solution that didn’t involve thousands of dead Slavs?

The answer is the same people accusing Russia today of blowing up a dam that severely weakens their strategic position in southern Ukraine. [..] It’s the same pattern as Nordstream, the chemical attacks in Ghouta and Khan Sheykoun, MH-17 and a host of other attacks on civilians over the past decade since Putin helped thwart Obama’s “Coalition of the willing” to take out Assad in 2013 following Ghouta. Everything in Ukraine is downstream (all puns intended) of that. Everything. It’s all one big long policy decision after another. In this respect Ukraine has been a series of moves on a chess board leading to a particular outcome. And that outcome will be a full-fledged war between NATO and Russia over Ukraine. It’s what everyone in power actually wants, even when they mouth words to the contrary. EU officials like Michel, EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and now presidential candidates in the US say the same thing.

There can be no victory for Russia in Ukraine. It would be the end of the West. Waffle House Waitress Nikki Haley is out repeating the lie that Russia will take all of Poland and the Baltics if he wins on CNN. It doesn’t matter that she’ll get 1% of the primary vote, her job is to reinforce the narrative. We’ve all been waiting for the next big ‘disaster’ to up the ante in Ukraine. It’s been too quiet for too long. Now with the fighting intensifying along multiple fronts, this move is it. So, with it done what does it mean? The most obvious is that this materially weakens Russia’s position in Kherson and then Crimea. It follows that this is just the prelude to the long-expected full on attack on Crimea.

It could be some weird statement by the Ukrainians that they are looking for an offramp by drawing an impassable barrier between their territory and Russia’s but I’ll need to see a lot more evidence of that before I can even contemplate it. Because Occam’s razor reminds us of the intense need to take not only Ukraine to the next level but the entire Davos Great Reset agenda there as well. For more than a year the West, primarily the US with a lot of British assistance, have tried to craft a humanitarian crisis narrative around Russia to justify a wider war. This is just the latest example of their handiwork The Ukrainians want this to elicit sympathy from gaslit morons with Ukraine flags in the Twitter name. The Brits need this because their centuries-long feud with Russia simply cannot end with a whimper in Ukraine.

The US thinks they need this because of the ridiculous Great Powers mind virus unleashed on us by our colonial “betters.”Davos needs this because you can’t roll the world up into your total control if there are any great nations left. When viewed through the lens of the power-mongers who unleashed this war I leave you with one last question. What do you call a hundred thousand dead Slavs fighting over swampland? A good start.

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“..Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) has a special branch operating light aircraft, which are intended to fly undetected at low altitudes..”

Ukraine Considered Dirty Bomb Attack Against Russia – FSB (RT)

Ukrainian military intelligence considered detonating a “dirty bomb” on Russian territory, the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Moscow has claimed. Preparations for the “terrorist attack” were revealed during an investigation into Kiev’s use of light planes for clandestine missions against its neighbor, the agency said. According to an FSB statement released on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) has a special branch operating light aircraft, which are intended to fly undetected at low altitudes. The planes can smuggle supplies to saboteurs or conduct surprise bombing sorties, the FSB claimed.

The Russian agency released footage of an interview with an alleged Ukrainian pilot who was intercepted while flying one such mission. Identified as Dmitry Shimansky, he was detained in May in Tula Region some 200km south of Moscow, when his plane landed to deliver drone parts and explosives for a planned attack on a Russian military airfield. The pilot claimed that the GUR leadership had considered using the same tactics to prepare a dirty bomb attack in Russia. A dirty bomb is a conventional explosive device covered with radioactive material, which contaminates a large area around it after detonating.

The FSB also published an interrogation video of another apparent Ukrainian captive, a military pilot named Aleksandr Morozov, who said he was arrested after being forced to land when his small plane was damaged during a secret mission in Russia. His task was to bomb a fuel depot in Bryansk Region bordering Ukraine, he explained. The incident was initially reported in April. The Russian government has accused Ukraine of launching a series of sabotage operations on its soil, including two separate kamikaze drone strikes in Moscow. The first attack last month targeted the Kremlin, while the other resulted in three drones hitting residential buildings in and around the Russian capital on Monday last week. The incident prompted a retaliatory strike on the GUR’s headquarters in Kiev.

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“The losses of Ukraine’s armed forces since June 4 include 3,715 personnel [..] the Russian military suffered 71 dead, 210 wounded..”

Russia Reveals Battle Casualties (RT)

Ukrainian forces lost over 3,700 men and more than 50 tanks in a futile attempt to break through on several fronts, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday. He also revealed Russian casualties during the three days of heavy fighting. “Over a three-day period, the Ukrainian regime began the long-promised offensive on multiple sections of the front, concentrating a large amount of men and materiel for that purpose,” Shoigu said in a video address. The losses of Ukraine’s armed forces since June 4 include 3,715 personnel, 52 tanks, 207 armored vehicles, 134 cars, five airplanes, two helicopters, 48 field artillery pieces and 53 drones, Shoigu said in a video message.
“Unfortunately, this was not without casualties of our own,” the defense minister added.

While defeating the adversary’s attempt to advance, the Russian military suffered 71 dead, 210 wounded, and the destruction of 15 tanks, nine armored vehicles, two cars and nine artillery pieces, according to Shoigu. The heaviest fighting took place Monday, with five Ukrainian brigades attacking on seven sections of the frontline. In these clashes, the Ukrainians suffered more than 1,600 casualties and the loss of 136 vehicles, 79 of which were of foreign origin, Shoigu explained. Of the 28 destroyed tanks, eight were German-made ‘Leopards’ and three more the French wheeled AMX-10. Ukraine “suffered significant and incomparable losses” and did not achieve any of its objectives, the Russian defense minister noted.Shoigu accused the Ukrainian government of destroying the Kakhovka dam in order to cover its flank along the Dnieper River and prevent a Russian advance, while freeing up troops from that part of the front to redeploy in order to make up the losses elsewhere.

As proof that Ukraine was behind what he called a terrorist act, Shoigu noted that the Dnepropetrovsk hydroelectric plant – under Ukrainian control, further up the river – significantly increased the water flow and contributed to the flooding. Kiev has blamed Moscow and denied any responsibility for the disaster. Shoigu seldom comments on the course of operations personally, usually leaving the combat reports to the department spokesman, Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov. Meanwhile, the Uk rainian defense ministry has urged everyone to keep quiet. Fighting continued on Tuesday, with the Ukrainian forces suffering 260 more casualties, five tanks, four armored vehicles, and nine artillery pieces – including a French Cesar and an American M777 – the Russian Defense Ministry said in an evening update.

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“At the end of October 2022, we circulated an official document of the UN Security Council, a note from the permanent mission on the Kiev regime’s plans to destroy the Kakhovka HPP..”

Russia Regrets Its Kakhovka Warnings Were Not Heard – Nebenzia (Sp.)

Russia regrets that the international community did not hear its warnings last October about the potential threat that the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant and dam would pose, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said on Tuesday. “We have warned the international community and UN leadership about this threat,” Nebenzia said during a UN Security Council meeting, in reference to an October 2022 letter that stated Ukrainian forces were planning on destroying the dam through sea mines or a missile strike. “At the end of October 2022, we circulated an official document of the UN Security Council, a note from the permanent mission on the Kiev regime’s plans to destroy the Kakhovka HPP [hydroelectric power plant].

We regret that our calls to the secretary-general to do everything possible to prevent this horrifying crime were not duly heeded.” The letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres detailed Russian military had registered enemy airstrikes targeting the power station’s locks, with the intention of flooding the area. The correspondence had urged Guterres to “do everything” he could in order to avoid the incident. Nebenzia also condemned the behavior of the UN Secretariat for its ‘politicized’ statements and for not condemning Kiev over the attack. “We are deeply bewildered that the UN Secretariat repeatedly fails to condemn the attacks perpetrated by the Kiev regime citing insufficient information,” he told the Security Council.

The UN envoy emphasized that statements blaming Russia for the incident use the same flawed logic as claims that Moscow played a role in the Nord Stream destruction. “Such conclusions reek of schizophrenia,” he said, underscoring the danger posed by such a narrative. Nebenzia took the opportunity to further point out that Kiev had considered undertaking such an operation as far back as last year, a plan reported on by US media in December. The 2022 report detailed that Ukrainian military conducted test strikes on one of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant’s floodgates. At the time, officials admitted the test was a success but that it would be considered as a “last resort.”

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“..there are some European leaders who suffer from an ever-increasing war psychosis..”

Hungary Decries ‘Sanctions Hysteria’ (RT)

Europe finds itself in the throes of the most severe crisis since WWII, partly due to its leaders’ reliance on economic sanctions to punish Russia over Ukraine, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday. He said that those measures have instead backfired on the continent. Speaking at the Budapest Peace Forum, the minister said that the Ukraine conflict has brought upon Europe the most serious security and economic challenge in the last 80 years, coupled with enormous risks for further escalation. Without naming any names, Szijjarto said that “there are some European leaders who suffer from an ever-increasing war psychosis” and added that Europeans were paying the price for the conflict. “The war is taking place here, European people are dying, and the effects of the war are most severe in Europe.”

Szijjarto said that the EU had plunged into “sanctions hysteria” and allowed the US to goad it into a race revolving around which European country would deliver more weapons to Ukraine. He stated that the EU’s sanctions against Moscow had neither ended the fighting in Ukraine, nor brought Russia to its knees. “One year, three months, two weeks after the outbreak of the war, while debating the eleventh package of sanctions, I think it is clear to everyone that the two objectives associated with the imposition of sanctions have failed, both of them,” he said. At the same time, “the European economy has suffered more damage,” the minister stressed, pointing out that the bloc’s competitiveness had “plummeted” while European consumers have to pay much more for energy than Americans or Chinese.

“That is why we demand an immediate ceasefire, we demand that peace negotiations begin, which at least offers a hope that a sustainable, long-term security-giving peace will be established in our region,” he said. Since the start of the Ukraine conflict, Hungary has repeatedly called for peace talks between Moscow and Kiev, offering to act as a mediator. While decrying sanctions on Russia as counterproductive, Budapest has likewise refused to send weapons to Ukraine and banned their transit via Hungarian territory.

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“..the country has been “the first to be exposed to the danger of escalation” given its proximity to Ukraine, with which it shares a border.”

Arms Sent To Ukraine Could End Up In Other Parts Of The World – Hungary (RT)

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has warned that the vast quantities of foreign arms sent to Ukraine will help to ignite chaos elsewhere in the world after the conflict with Russia ends, voicing fears of new crises in “unstable regions.” Delivering the keynote address at the Budapest Peace Forum on Tuesday, Szijjarto outlined the government’s stance toward the ongoing conflict, saying it will have broader consequences beyond Ukraine’s borders. “There are many regions of the world where even a small part of the weapons sent to Ukraine could lead to serious instability. Violence and terror may increase in the already unstable regions, which could lead to another wave of migration,” he said. “What guarantee is there that the weapons delivered to Ukraine will not be transferred to other countries?”

The official went on to argue that only an end to the fighting could guarantee Hungary’s security, pointing out that the country has been “the first to be exposed to the danger of escalation” given its proximity to Ukraine, with which it shares a border. “This is why we demand an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations, at least giving hope that a sustainable, long-term peace will be established in the region,” Szijjarto continued. He added that Hungary views the conflict “completely differently” from many of its Western allies, suggesting some partners have little interest in ending the bloodshed. While the FM maintained that there is a “global pro-peace majority” in favor of a ceasefire deal, he said that camp is under “a lot of pressure from the war supporters,” which include Western officials, media outlets and NGOs.

Szijjarto also denounced the “sanctions hysteria” overcoming many European Union members, but said the penalties have done nothing to end the fighting in Ukraine and failed to wreck Russia’s economy as intended. Instead, he claimed the EU has sustained “more damage” from its own measures, deeming the campaign a failure. The diplomat has previously sounded alarms about the lack of oversight for the billions of dollars in Western weapons saturating Ukraine, noting that such arms may someday appear in Africa and create “serious security risks” for the continent. Budapest has resisted pressure to supply lethal weaponry to Kiev since the conflict with Moscow erupted in February 2022, with the country’s parliament even passing a law to prohibit such arms transfers last year. It has also largely bucked the US-led sanctions spree on Russia, with Prime Minister Viktor Orban among the most vocal critics of the policy in the EU.

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Yeah yeah. We’re not buying. Curious timing too: the day after the dam, let’s talk pipelines.

US Knew Ukraine Planned On Bombing Nord Stream – WaPo (RT)

American spies knew for months that Ukrainian state operatives planned on destroying the Nord Stream gas pipelines, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing leaked Pentagon documents. While the report implicates Kiev in the act of sabotage, it does not disprove the theory – put forward by journalist Seymour Hersh – that the US took out the pipelines. The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines were destroyed in a series of near-simultaneous explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm in September. The blasts severed a key conduit for Russian natural gas to Europe, effectively removing the possibility of European countries lifting their sanctions on Moscow and restarting gas purchases.

Three months earlier, the Post reported, “the Biden administration learned from a close ally that the Ukrainian military had planned a covert attack on the undersea network, using a small team of divers who reported directly to the commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces,” General Valery Zaluzhny. The CIA learned of the plot from an unnamed European intelligence agency with an agent in Ukraine, the newspaper claimed, citing Pentagon documents shared on a Discord server in February by a US Air National Guard member. Ukrainian officials, who have previously claimed that Russia destroyed its own pipeline, did not respond to the Washington Post’s request for comment. The CIA likewise remained silent, and the White House refused to answer when asked “whether US officials tried to stop the mission from proceeding.”

The story is similar to earlier reporting by the New York Times, which claimed in March that a “pro-Ukrainian group” took out the gas lines, and by Germany’s Der Spiegel, which claimed that the group used a rented yacht to transport explosives to the blast site. These theories have been contradicted by American reporter Seymour Hersh, who claimed in February that the Biden administration ordered the CIA to bomb the conduits with the help of the Norwegian Navy. The rented yacht story, Hersh said afterwards, was planted in the US and German media as a red herring by the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND.

The yacht appears again in the Washington Post’s latest report, only in this telling, the would-be bombers planned on renting it from a port in a different European country. The Post’s report does not offer any evidence exculpating the US from eventually carrying out the bombing. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March that he “fully agrees” with Hersh’s conclusions. Prior to the publication of Hersh’s report, Putin blamed the explosions on “the Anglo-Saxons,” a Russian colloquialism for the US-UK transatlantic alliance. The Russian president argued that the US in particular benefited from the attack due to its position as a competing gas supplier to Europe.

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“Firstly, ‘Where were you when we needed you?’ And also, ‘Where is the Ukraine actually?’”

People Ask Me ‘Where Is Ukraine’ – German FM Baerbock (RT)

Many nations across the world do not share the West’s assessment of the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock admitted on Tuesday. According to the minister, the conflict has garnered less interest in many parts of the world and she has even been asked where Ukraine is located on her diplomatic trips. Instead of focusing on Ukraine, people are blaming Western nations for abandoning them in their own hours of need and accusing the West of caring little about the rest of the world, she said. “I have heard [this] all over the world: Firstly, ‘Where were you when we needed you?’ And also, ‘Where is the Ukraine actually?’” the minister told an event hosted by the private Brazilian university Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV) in Sao Paulo.

People in Latin America and elsewhere “perceive the threat of this war differently than we do in Europe,” Baerbock said. Ordinary citizens in Brazil believe the price of “rice and beans… in the supermarket this week is more important than what happens in a country that is 11,000 kilometers away,” Baerbock added. She then claimed that it was the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev that is “driving up the prices of food around the world” and urged Brazilians to help in doing “everything we can to ensure that there is finally peace in Ukraine again.” Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who took office in January, has repeatedly called for peace between Russia and Ukraine. He has insisted the two nations need a mediator to facilitate peace talks. He also presented a vision of an international “peace club” aimed at resolving the conflict during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March.

Lula has also been critical of the approach the West took by providing weapons to Kiev. The US and its allies “had the option not to enter the war the way they did,” he said in April, adding that Washington and Brussels rushed to support one side of the conflict, “without spending time trying to negotiate.” Kiev and its Western backers have rejected several peace initiatives floated by other nations, including Mexico, China and, most recently, Indonesia. Last week, Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto suggested a plan involving a demilitarized zone along the existing contact line between the Russian and Ukrainian troops, monitored by UN peacekeepers. He also proposed holding UN-sponsored referendums to determine the future of disputed territories. Ukraine immediately branded Jakarta’s plan a “surrender” proposal that it said would only benefit Moscow. Russia has maintained that it welcomes all initiatives aimed at achieving peace in Ukraine.

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“..because they are proud of themselves, and these are the kinds of things proud people wear. I was just wearing mine the other day.”

Russia: dude.. they’re literally nazis
American Liberals: no they arent
Ukraine: yes we are
American Liberals: stop reinforcing Russian propaganda

First There Were Neo-Nazis, Then There Were No Nazis, Then There Were (Lawrence)

And now we have the case of Thomas Gibbons–Neff, a square-jawed former Marine covering the Ukraine war for The Times—strictly to the extent the Kyiv regime permits him to do so, as he explains with admirable honesty. This guy is serious times 10, he and his newspaper want us to know. Tom’s job this week is to persuade us that all those Ukrainian soldiers wearing Nazi insignia, idolizing Jew-murdering, Russophobic collaborators with the Third Reich, gathering ritually in Nazi-inspired cabals, marching through Kyiv in Klan-like torch parades are not what you think.

Nah, our Tom tells us. They look like neo–Nazis, they act like neo–Nazis, they dress like neo–Nazis, they profess Fascist and neo–Nazi ideologies, they wage this war with the Wehrmacht’s visceral hatred of Russians—O.K., but whyever would you think they are neo–Nazis? They are just regular guys. They wear the Wolfsangel, the Schwarze sonne, the black sun, the Totenkopf, or Death’s Head—all Nazi symbols—because they are proud of themselves, and these are the kinds of things proud people wear. I was just wearing mine the other day. The slipping and sliding starts early in “Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History,” the piece Gibbons–Neff published in Monday’s editions. He begins with three photographs of neo–Nazi Ukrainian soldiers, SS insignia plainly visible, that the Kyiv regime has posted on social media, “then quietly deleted,” since the Russian intervention began last year.

“The photographs, and their deletions,” Gibbons–Neff writes, “highlight the Ukrainian military’s complicated relationship with Nazi imagery, a relationship forged under both Soviet and German occupation during World War II.” Complicated relationship with Nazi imagery? Stop right there, Mr. Semper fi. Ukraine’s neo–Nazi problem is not about a few indiscreetly displayed images. Sorry. The Ukrainian army’s “complicated relationship” is with a century of ultra-right ideology drawn from Mussolini’s Fascism and then the German Reich. As is well-known and documented, the neo–Nazis who infest the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the AFU—among many other national institutions—have made idols of such figures as Stepan Bandera, the freakishly murderous nationalist who allied with the Nazi regime during the war.

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“The national transexual struggle-session draws to a close with SecDef Lloyd Austin canceling the upcoming drag shows on our military bases. What else have they got? Slavery reparations?”

What’s Next (James Howard Kunstler)

What’s next? Western Europe, facing its own collapse, will turn on America and refuse to continue pretending it can help out in Ukraine. NATO falls apart. (What to do with those vacant office buildings and idle employees?) Europe will have enough problems with its cratering industries and banking system. It may even be obvious to a few heads-of-state that the best outcome is to simply allow Russia to pacify and demilitarize the age-old borderland. After all, for the rolling decades since World War Two, Ukraine was not a problem for anyone until America made it one. There will be no face-saving for the “Joe Biden” regime, either, which is reaching its own collapse phase. Last week’s face-plant at the Air Force Academy was the harbinger of things-to-come.

Today (Monday), FBI officials must walk over to the House oversight Committee an internal FD-1023 document revealed by a whistleblower to contain allegations of a Biden family $5-million bribery scheme with foreign actors. Of course, the substance of this criminal mischief is not news. What’s news is that the allegations contained in the doc come from a “trusted” confidential human source, meaning that, according to the FBI’s own rules, the allegation should have been dealt with expeditiously. Instead, the Bureau sat on it for three years. The FD-1023 doc is dated 2020, months before that year’s presidential election. The source is also alleged to be from Ukraine. Will committee members be allowed to photo-copy the doc, or transcribe what’s in it? Wouldn’t it be amusing if Committee Chairman James Comer personally walks it over to the Xerox machine?

What would the FBI officials do? Body check him? What if it turns out that the doc is full of redactions — blacked out. Like a big, fat practical joke from FBI Director Christopher Wray. (They’ve done it before.) Remember, Mr. Wray is already under threat of a contempt citation for stalling on this matter. But he’s obviously caught between that old rock and a hard place, since the doc appears to prove that, at least, the FBI has obstructed justice, and of the worst sort, a potential case of presidential treason. Mr. Wray may even be colored as an accomplice in it. Or maybe it will all amount to nothing because all bad deeds go unpunished in the degenerate era that precedes collapse. Even so, it seems the regime is running out of insults to launch against the people who consent to be governed by it.

The national transexual struggle-session draws to a close with SecDef Lloyd Austin canceling the upcoming drag shows on our military bases. What else have they got? Slavery reparations? Rep Cori Bush (D-MO) has introduced a bill to pay $14-Trillion to the descendants of slaves. I’m sure that’ll work, both as a unifying action to bring together the quarrelsome diverse peoples of our land, and as a purely fiscal measure. The fate of the financial system will probably shove all of that aside, anyway. Everybody with more than half a brain is waiting for it to crack up, meaning a generalized vanishing of American wealth as expressed in cratering markets, failing banks, and a broken currency, in some vicious combo. Nothing else, it seems, can quite get the people’s attention.

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“..America can survive select injustices, but it cannot withstand a corrupt bureaucracy that obstructs justice and interferes in elections.”

Scandal Bigger Than Biden Bribery: FBI Election Interference (Fed)

The confidential human source (CHS) behind the detailed allegations that then-Vice President Joe Biden agreed to accept money from a foreign national to affect policy decisions was reportedly “highly credible” and used by the FBI in multiple criminal investigations dating back to the Obama administration. [..] Friday’s revelation that the CHS was “highly credible” and had served as a source in multiple prior criminal investigations — including ones run under the Obama-Biden administration — proves Grassley is properly focused on the FBI. Yes, the CHS’s allegations offer more evidence of a Biden family pay-to-play scandal, and unraveling any criminal conduct by the Biden family remains important. But more significant to the future of our country is uncovering government actors responsible for violating the rule of law: America can survive select injustices, but it cannot withstand a corrupt bureaucracy that obstructs justice and interferes in elections.

Yet that is precisely what occurred, according to the whistleblower. He claimed that “in August 2020, FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten opened an assessment which was used by a FBI Headquarters’ team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease.” The whistleblower further alleged that the FBI HQ team that handled the Auten assessment, after concluding the reporting was disinformation, placed the information in a restricted access sub-file that only the particular agents who uncovered the CHS’s information could access. Now knowing the CHS behind the FD-1023 was not just “trusted,” as Grassley had previously indicated, but “highly credible,” and relied upon in multiple criminal cases dating back to the last time Biden worked for the executive branch, makes the whistleblower’s accusations even more damning because those additional facts mean the agents had reason to believe the buried accusations were true.

Not only does this evidence suggest FBI headquarters obstructed justice, but the date of the CHS’s report indicates those responsible for misbranding the intel as disinformation sought to interfere in the 2020 election. As Grassley’s colleague in the House, James Comer, revealed, the CHS report was dated June 30, 2020, and while the allegations against candidate Biden came from a “highly credible” CHS, the FBI closed them. According to the whistleblower, FBI headquarters closed out the source even though some of the allegations had already been verified and other details could have been verified. In contrast, when the bureau received a vague tip from an Australian diplomat of unknown veracity that a low-level Trump volunteer had claimed the Russians possessed dirt on Hillary Clinton, within days FBI headquarters opened an investigation into the Trump campaign.

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Fearless
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665790589940666368

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bald eagle

 

 

Kingfisher

 

 

Moonwalk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1666154484773314560

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 042023
 


John French Sloan McSorley’s Bar 1912

 

Trump Hit With 34 Felony Counts – No Handcuffs, No Mug Shot, No Jail Cell (GP)
Trump Lawyers Believe Manhattan Judge Will Impose A Gag Order On Monday (DM)
Trump’s Legal “Super Tuesday” (Turley)
How’s That War Going? (Kunstler)
Saudi Arabia Makes Its Eurasian Shift (Cradle)
More Countries May Join Oil Production Cut – Official (RT)
French Streets and American Sofas (Patrick Lawrence)
Why The Battle For Bakhmut May Decide The Ukraine Conflict (Poletaev)
Kiev, Western Puppeteers Do Everything To Prolong Conflict – Lavrov (TASS)
West ‘Not So Eager To Find Out’ Who Bombed Nord Stream – WaPo (RT)
EU Unfriendly To Russia – Lavrov (TASS)
Lavrov Ready To Meet Blinken At UN Headquarters (TASS)
“Türkiye Only NATO Country That Can Hold Discussions With Russia” (RT)
Stoltenberg Announces Finland’s NATO Accession Date Is Today (RT)
You Know (Denninger)

 

 

Update on the bombing in St. Petersburg:
– The package was not allowed in by security
– The bomber, Darja started talking to Vladlen from her seat during the event
– She said “I brought you a figurine as present”
– He asked “Where is it?”
– She said “They said it may be a bomb, so it’s at the entrance with the security”
– He asked for it to be brought forward
-> Couple of minutes later he was dead and dozens of people injured.

 

 

 

 

Putin Gaddafi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642876085070098433

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In no time, they went from one misdemeanor count -which had expired- to 34 felony counts.

Trump Hit With 34 Felony Counts – No Handcuffs, No Mug Shot, No Jail Cell (GP)

Another day, another leak. President Trump was hit with 34 FELONY COUNTS for falsification of business records, according to a leak to the Deep State’s favorite actor Michael Isikoff. President Trump will not be handcuffed and there will be no mug shot, according to Yahoo’s Isikoff. Yahoo reported: “Donald Trump will be placed under arrest on Tuesday and informed that he has been charged with 34 felony counts for falsification of business records, according to a source who has been briefed on the procedures for the arraignment of the former president. A New York City Police arrest report summarizing the charges against Trump will then be prepared and entered into the court system before he is led into a courtroom to be formally arraigned on the charges, none of which are misdemeanors.”

“But, the source said, Trump will not be put in handcuffs, placed in a jail cell or subjected to a mug shot — typical procedures even for white-collar defendants until a judge has weighed in on pretrial conditions. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which has been consulting with the Secret Service and New York City court officials, concluded that there was no reason to subject the former president to handcuffs or a mug shot. The stated reason for handcuffing defendants is on the grounds that the suspect might be a flight risk or a threat to the district attorney or court personnel, neither of which were judged to be relevant to the handling of a former president protected at all times by a phalanx of Secret Service agents.”

President Trump landed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport in Queens on Monday afternoon. President Trump will spend the night at Trump Tower New York and will show up to court for his arraignment on Tuesday at 2:15 pm ET. Trump’s lawyers will immediately file a motion to dismiss after they have the opportunity to review the indictment. Recall Michael Isikoff was involved in the Deep State’s attempt to oust Trump from office. No one in the media is more accommodating to the deep state than ‘old faithful’ – Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff. In 2017, it was reported that Isikoff’s Yahoo report was used to obtain FISA warrants to spy on President Trump while at the same time Isikoff was working with the DNC.

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Don’t seem to have happened. Maybe today. Still, gagging a presidential candidate?!

Trump Lawyers Believe Manhattan Judge Will Impose A Gag Order On Monday (DM)

Donald Trump’s legal team is preparing for a New York judge to slap a gag order on the former president on Monday, DailyMail.com can reveal, a day before he is due to be arrested in Manhattan. The extraordinary move to potentially silence a candidate for president will likely enflame Trump’s supporters as he prepares to fly out of his Florida home. ‘The Trump legal team now thinks that the Manhattan judge will take the unprecedented step of silencing the presidential frontrunner with an unconstitutional gag order tomorrow,’ said a source. ‘The Trump legal team is considering adding a First Amendment lawyer to the effort to combat this and will fight it all the way.’ Breaking the gag order could trigger a fine of $1000 and a prison sentence of as much as 30 days, under New York law.

On Sunday morning, Trump’s campaign announced that the former president would make a speech at his Mar-a-Lago home on Tuesday evening after returning from New York. That could now be in doubt. But it did not change his Sunday schedule. He headed to his West Palm Beach golf club where he could be seen playing the course accompanied by one of his lawyers, Lindsey Halligan. At the same time it emerged that his legal team will lodge a motion to immediately dismiss the case against him. ‘We will take the indictment. We will dissect it,’ Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina told CNN on Sunday morning. ‘The team will look at every, every potential issue that we will be able to challenge, and we will challenge. ‘And of course, I very much anticipate a motion to dismiss coming because there’s no law that fits this.’

Taken together they mark the latest twists in a fast running story that exploded into life on Thursday when it emerged that a Manhattan jury voted to indict the former president. The charges remain sealed but are believed to relate to a $130,000 hush money payment made to adult movie actress Stormy Daniels in 2016. Trump has repeatedly lashed out at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for pursuing a case that had been dropped by federal prosecutors. And he has also turned his fire on Manhattan’s Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who will hear the case and is believed to be preparing a gag order. ‘The campaign is preparing for this scenario,’ said a Trump campaign source.

It will only add to Trump’s anger at Merchan, who previously presided over last year’s tax fraud case when the Trump Organization was found guilty. In a Truth Social post on Friday, Trump said the judge had ‘railroaded’ his former CFO to try to get him to take a plea deal. ‘The judge “assigned’ to my Witch Hunt Case, a “Case” that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME,’ he wrote.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1643059772235677696

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“Elections often raise the politics of crime — but in this election, it may be hard to separate the politics from the crime.”

Trump’s Legal “Super Tuesday” (Turley)

While a newly elected Trump could only pardon himself for the federal crimes, it is the federal case that likely represents the greatest threat to him. Moreover, the two state cases would add to Trump’s narrative of facing ‘political prosecutions’ from a ‘weaponized’ legal system on every level. Trump often campaigns on just such a primal level. He knows that a man chased by a dog can spark public outcry — but a man chased by a pack of dogs can spark public outrage. It is not simply the election that could take a carceral turn, however. What would happen if Trump were elected but convicted in either state case? Such a trial would likely occur after the election. Even if courts extended a trial until after the 2024 election, it would be difficult to delay it for four years.

The last time a president faced the threat of a criminal trial was in 1872, when Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for speeding in his horse-drawn carriage in Washington. I have long maintained that a sitting president can be indicted and tried. Almost 25 years ago, I wrote an academic work, “‘From Pillar to Post’: The Prosecution of Sitting Presidents,” that challenged immunity theories protecting presidents. I do not believe the indictment of a president or former president is a national tragedy. To the contrary, it is the ultimate affirmation that no one is above the law. However, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t get weird if Trump loses in court but wins in the election. If Trump were convicted in a state proceeding, it would not bar him from running — or serving — as president.

A state judge could grant probation or an alternative sentence to avoid imprisonment. Moreover, appeals on the issue of incarceration could take years to address a state order conflicting with the performance of a federal function. Once that time was exhausted, a court could order any incarceration to be delayed until after the end of the presidential term, since Trump could not be elected a third time. We may have to face one of these scenarios. The question is whether voters may not only accept this prospect but some might even invite it. Regardless of how it works out, this election is about to take a carceral turn. Elections often raise the politics of crime — but in this election, it may be hard to separate the politics from the crime.

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“..a judge with any self-respect would toss it in a pre-trial hearing like a six-day-dead carp at the slightest prompting by a defense attorney..”

How’s That War Going? (Kunstler)

Now how about that other war: our government’s war against us? What canny reporters (Taibbi, Schellenberger) are calling the Censorship Industrial Complex has been pretty well outed. Everybody knows that the FBI, CIA, DHS, and many other agencies, via hijacked social media, have worked tirelessly to confound and bamboozle the public debate about, really, everything that matters. The odd part is that roughly half of America doesn’t seem to care. Of course, that is the same half of the country that has fallen in love with surveillance, censorship, political prosecutions, election monkey business, mandated mRNA shots, and other excursions into bad faith. Their auditors in the mainstream news media actually seem to relish their roles as enforcers of unreality.

This degenerate wickedness has been escalating since one Donald Trump stepped onstage years ago. The “Joe Biden” regime affects to have trapped him finally in the lair of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. Now the game gets interesting. Since the charges are the sheerest vapor, the actual aim of this prosecution, as Tom Luongo and Martin Armstrong point out, is to goad Mr. Trump into a civil contempt citation that will allow the New York authorities to lock him up. The judge in the case will impose a gag order on Mr. Trump speaking out about the proceedings against him, and when he opens his yap — as he is certain to do — they’ll throw a net around him and drag him off to the hoosegow, and keep try to keep him there indefinitely, as they kept the Jan 6 suspects in the DC jail. That is, if the Bragg operation in New York City can extract the former president from the state of Florida, which may not be so easy, now that Governor DeSantis has indicated a disinclination to allow it.

As to the case itself, a judge with any self-respect would toss it in a pre-trial hearing like a six-day-dead carp at the slightest prompting by a defense attorney — based, as it is, on multiple specious novelties of criminal law, not to mention being well beyond the statute of limitations. If it can actually get to trial, the prosecution will be a jurisprudential joke for the ages. If they get a Big Apple jury to go along with the joke, it will be short-listed through the appeals process clean up to the Supreme Court in a New York minute.

And if that whole thing falls apart like the janky jenga tower it is, there are two other cases in the wings — the bullshit case in Fulton County, Georgia, where the grand jury process was already compromised by a jury fore-person, self-identified as a “witch,” shooting her mouth off to the press; and the operation out of the DC Federal District run by one Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified papers matter — another loser case, considering all the other high officials currently entangled in similar complaints, as yet unmolested by any official charges.

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Brent: Russia and India abandon Europe-dominated oil price, agree to use Dubai oil price benchmark.

Saudi Arabia Makes Its Eurasian Shift (Cradle)

On 6 March, 2023, Iranian and Saudi officials held a meeting in Beijing where they agreed to restore bilateral relations. The agreement was significant not only for the mutual de-escalation of tensions in West Asia, but also for Saudi Arabia’s growing importance in the process of Eurasian integration led by China and Russia. By welcoming Chinese mediation, the kingdom has positioned itself as an independent actor capable of opening doors for Beijing and Moscow in a region where they have traditionally been overshadowed by a great power rival, the US. This move boosts Saudi Arabia’s importance in the geopolitical landscape and strengthens its ties with Beijing and Moscow.

For much of its history, Saudi Arabia was a staunch ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region. However, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) military quagmire in Yemen – among other things – damaged Washington’s perception of the kingdom as a stable and reliable outpost in the region. The feeling was mutual and forced MbS to seek assistance from other nations to help lower tensions on Saudi frontiers. Between 2021 and 2022, Riyadh engaged in several rounds of an Iraq-hosted dialogue with Iran to negotiate assistance from Tehran in preventing its allies in Yemen and Iraq from attacking Saudi territory. What is particularly noteworthy to China and Russia is that MbS did not use this diplomacy as a means to restore the US’ traditional centrality in the kingdom’s regional and security policies. Instead, he made a point of cooperation with Beijing and Moscow while simultaneously snubbing Washington.

For example, in October 2022, Saudi Arabia partnered with OPEC+ partner Russia to cut oil production, breaking commitments made to US President Joe Biden during his July visit to Jeddah. MbS also overshadowed Biden’s trip with a much grander welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping in December, during which Riyadh also hosted the first China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit to underscore the Saudi view of China as a regional partner rather than just a bilateral one. Against this backdrop, the Saudi decision to sign a Chinese-brokered deal with Iran without Washington’s involvement has been interpreted as a “middle-finger to Biden,” in the words of former US State Department analyst Aaron David Miller. Similarly, Riyadh’s nascent Russian-brokered detente with Syria, whose Iran and Russia-allied government is still opposed by the US, also illustrates Saudi Arabia’s willingness to move away from its traditional pro-American stance.

Rubio
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642872629282340870

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“..as you know, there are 23 members in OPEC+..”

More Countries May Join Oil Production Cut – Official (RT)

More oil-producing nations may slash their crude output, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak warned on Monday. His comments follow the decision on Sunday by several members of the OPEC+ group to introduce voluntary additional cuts to their output starting from May until the end of 2023, in order to stabilize the oil market. Some of the major producers, such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, pledged a total of 1.66 million barrels per day (bpd) of cuts on top of the ones already introduced in November. The move sent oil prices roughly 6% higher on Monday, with US benchmark WTI Crude surpassing $80 a barrel.

“Since so far nine countries … have said that they would voluntarily cut [their oil output], and as you know, there are 23 members in OPEC+, there were discussions that other countries could also join and announce some additional cuts of their own, if they felt it was necessary in order to stabilize the market,” Novak said in an interview to the Rossiya 24 TV channel. Novak’s comments were echoed by a report from Chief OPEC Correspondent Amena Bakr, who said on Twitter that more OPEC+ states were being encouraged to join the voluntary cuts.

The latest reductions come on top of the 2 million bpd cut introduced last year that’s set to run until the end of 2023. Russia also announced on Sunday that it would synchronize with OPEC+ and extend its own 500,000 bpd cut to the end of this year. According to Novak, the measure is necessary to ensure predictability in the oil market in a period of high volatility due to the ongoing banking crisis in the US and Europe, general global economic uncertainty, and unpredictable and short-sighted energy policy decisions.

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“On March 16 Macron made his wrongest choice. Unwilling to risk a vote in the National Assembly, he resorted to a provision de Gaulle wrote into the Fifth Republic’s Constitution in 1958, which allows the president to pass legislation without parliamentary approval under certain defined and rare circumstances—emergencies..”

French Streets and American Sofas (Patrick Lawrence)

You might be Brazilian or Malian or Singaporean, it is remarkable the world over to watch the French explode into the streets of dozens of cities and towns to protest the imperial president residing in Élysée Palace. It is altogether singular to follow the demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron as an American. The French are still citoyens and take to their streets and public squares. Americans long ago cashed in their citizenship to live as consumers—and take to their sofas no matter how abusively political elites treat them, no matter how many wars they start, no matter how corrupt the financial system, no matter how many people live in poverty, no matter how grotesque the “defense” budget, no matter how poisoned the environment, no matter… let me not go on. Please pass the Fritos and turn on the big game.

They burned city hall in Bordeaux last week. The Place de la Concorde, where the French protested the monarchy in 1789, is again shoulder-to-shoulder every day and night. Video footage records fires, barricades, appalling confrontations with baton-wielding CRS, the French riot police. Uncollected garbage is everywhere in the capital. The luxury shops along the grand boulevards have boarded up their windows. This started, of course, as a protest against Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 as part of a sweeping reform of the pension system. I have heard many Americans ask, “Two years? What’s the big deal?” It is telling enough that Americans would pose this question, missing all the reasons why Macron’s plan is a very big deal. The French work to live, as they like to say, while Americans live to work. Pushing up the retirement age had a semiotic meaning from the first, signaling the creeping incursion of American neoliberalism into French society.

There is the choice Macron had. I don’t think too many people dispute the demographics and fiduciary numbers at issue. More older French are reaching retirement age while fewer younger French are advancing into the workforce. This is a reality in France as in many other developed nations, though not the near-term crisis Macron made it out to be. Macron’s choice lay between raising taxes on the wealthy and the corporations or pushing the problem on the shoulders of the working class. He made the wrong choice. Remember, Macron was a merchant banker before going into politics. Early in his first term he was nicknamed “the president of the rich.” He failed to understand that serving as a national leader meant leaving behind the merchant banking in favor of the common good. So he made himself a sort of comprador, an import agent introducing Anglo–American neoliberal orthodoxies into a society that has long, long stood outside the Anglosphere.

For the French, the English Channel and the Atlantic are wide. On March 16 Macron made his wrongest choice. Unwilling to risk a vote in the National Assembly, he resorted to a provision de Gaulle wrote into the Fifth Republic’s Constitution in 1958, which allows the president to pass legislation without parliamentary approval under certain defined and rare circumstances—emergencies, in a word. So has Macron turned a big deal into a big, big deal and now a big, big, big deal.At this point the pension reform crisis has jumped the levee to become something far broader. Now demonstrators tip over into protesting the war in Ukraine, U.S. hegemony, NATO, and, on the domestic side, de Gaulle’s constitution.

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“..a ‘strategically unimportant’ town..”

Why The Battle For Bakhmut May Decide The Ukraine Conflict (Poletaev)

Since the beginning of the year, the Ukrainian front has been shrouded in a deceptive silence. Various insiders and anonymous sources predicted a looming large-scale offensive by the Russian Armed Forces. First expected around New Year, it was then anticipated in early February, and again around February 24 – the anniversary of Russia’s attack, last year. Days came and went, but nothing happened. With the arrival of spring, there has been talk of an equally imminent offensive – but this time by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in the south. Allegedly, the plan of the AFU is to break through to the Sea of Azov and cut off the land corridor to Crimea. Any success or failure in this direction will make a considerable strategic impact. If the estimates are correct, Kiev is preparing new military units and stocking up on Western weapons –including the widely discussed British tanks and depleted uranium shells to go with them– precisely for this endeavor.


However, in contrast to widespread opinion, Ukraine’s permanently ongoing mobilization is not being conducted to expand the army – the new recruits only make up for the losses. Estimates show that the number of service personnel in the AFU remains stable at about 400,000 active fighters. Considering the importance of the southern direction of the front, the Russian Armed Forces will either hold defense or cut off a possible Ukrainian breakthrough with counterattacks. This requires appropriate forces, shells, and equipment, as well as advance preparation. Russia’s intentions are quite serious. This is evident from its goal of capturing the city of Ugledar [“1” on the map] – a fortress in the area of the AFU’s possible breakthrough. Having Ugledar under Russian control is important since it would create a threat for the advancing units. A similar offensive has been carried out in the western section of the front in the Zaporozhye region, north of Vasilevka [“2” on map]. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation captured several small towns there in January. As is evident from the serious work done on the construction of defensive lines, Russia will not retreat from Melitopol and Berdyansk as easily as it backed out of Izium or Kherson. This time, the stakes are too high.

In recent weeks, the Russian army has been successful in the area of Kremennaya [“3” on the map] and managed to advance six or seven kilometers (a good indicator for a static front line) towards the city of Liman, which it retreated from last October. Liman is located on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, so Russia would need to take it in any case, as it’s claimed as Moscow’s territory. However, the Russian Army’s breakthrough area here is relatively narrow and this makes it vulnerable to flank attacks. Battles for the suburbs of the city of Donetsk, ongoing since the beginning of the military offensive, have finally begun to bear fruit. In recent weeks, the Russian Armed Forces have partially surrounded Avdeevka [“4” on the map].


This place is particularly important since the AFU have been launching attacks on Donetsk from this spot for the past four years. In order to stop the constant shelling of the city from barrel artillery and “Grad” rocket launchers, the front line must be moved at least several dozen kilometers away from Donetsk. Apparently, these advances have become possible due to the battles for Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) [“5” on the map] which have helped to drain Ukraine’s forces. By itself, Artyomovsk holds no strategic importance – it is just one of the many cities in Donbass that still need to be taken. That’s why in a sense, Moscow decided to “outsource” this painstaking, dirty, and bloody work.

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“..We note the West’s unwillingness to engage in an inter-state dialogue based on principles of equality..”

Kiev, Western Puppeteers Do Everything To Prolong Conflict – Lavrov (TASS)

The Kiev regime and its Western puppeteers do everything they can in order to prolong hostilities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview for air.ru, published on the Foreign Ministry website Tuesday. Commenting on peace plan for Ukraine, proposed by China, Lavrov noted that it is consonant for key Russian approaches. “Especially regarding the need to ensure equal and indivisible security for all countries in Europe and in the world in general,” the Minister noted. “So far, the peace process has been hindered by Kiev and its Western puppeteers who exert all efforts in order to prolong the hostilities.” Lavrov noted that Russian and Chinese leaders Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping stated “the importance for further close coordination on foreign policy.”


“We see the causes of main challenges in the international security area in a similar way. We note the West’s unwillingness to engage in an inter-state dialogue based on principles of equality. We oppose the use of sanctions pressure methods and other instruments of unscrupulous competition,” the Foreign Minister continued. “Meanwhile, our strategic cooperation is not aimed against third countries. It contributes to balanced development of the entire international system.” The Minister underscored that the Chinese side reaffirmed its “weighted position on the Ukrainian issue.” “We welcome Beijing’s readiness to play a constructive role in political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict,” he concluded.

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Seymour Hersh’s is the only view left standing.

West ‘Not So Eager To Find Out’ Who Bombed Nord Stream – WaPo (RT)

Western officials would rather not know who bombed the Nord Stream pipelines, lest they discover that their allies were responsible, the Washington Post reported on Monday. The report listed Polish and Ukrainian operatives as likely perpetrators, but left out one key suspect. “Don’t talk about Nord Stream” is now an unwritten rule at gatherings of European and NATO policymakers, an unnamed European diplomat told the newspaper. “Leaders see little benefit from digging too deeply and finding an uncomfortable answer,” the Post added, stating that officials “would rather not have to deal with the possibility that Ukraine or its allies were involved.” “It’s like a corpse at a family gathering,” the diplomat continued, explaining that while everyone can see the metaphorical body, they pretend it’s not there. “It’s better not to know,” the source said.

The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines were destroyed in a series of near-simultaneous explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm in September. The blasts severed a key conduit of Russian natural gas to Europe, although the flow along Nord Stream 1 had been shut earlier that month, and the German government halted the activation of the newly-constructed Nord Stream 2 immediately after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last February. Multiple European investigations into the explosions are ongoing, and a number of theories about who carried out the attack have emerged. The Post pointed to theories that a Polish company hired a yacht to transport explosives to the blast site on behalf of Kiev; that another “pro-Ukrainian group” was to blame; and that “saboteurs from other countries” committed the attack without the Ukrainian government’s knowledge.

The Post did not, however, entertain the idea that the US government blew up the pipelines. Citing US intelligence sources, American reporter Seymour Hersh claimed in February that the Biden administration ordered the CIA to bomb the lines with the help of the Norwegian Navy. The rented yacht story, Hersh said afterwards, was planted in the US and German media as a red herring by the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that he “fully agrees” with Hersh’s conclusions. Prior to the publication of Hersh’s report, Putin blamed the explosions on “the Anglo-Saxons,” a Russian colloquialism for the US-UK transatlantic alliance. The Russian president argued that the US in particular benefited from the attack due to its position as a supplier of LNG to Europe.

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The EU is committing hara-kiri to please America.

EU Unfriendly To Russia – Lavrov (TASS)

Russia is viewing the European Union as an unfriendly association now, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with aif.ru posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website on Tuesday. “The European Union has ‘lost’ Russia. However, it is its own making. Exactly the EU member-states and leaders of the Union openly state the need of inflicting the strategic defeat to Russia, as they say. They are filling the criminal Kiev regime with weapons and munitions and send instructors and mercenaries to Ukraine. These are the reasons why we consider the EU to be the unfriendly association,” Lavrov said. The Russian side made necessary conclusions from this situation, the minister stressed. Moscow will act in response to hostile steps “decidedly if necessary, being governed by national interests of Russia and the reciprocity principle commonly adopted in the diplomatic practice,” he added.

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April 24-25.

Lavrov Ready To Meet Blinken At UN Headquarters (TASS)

Russia is ready to a possible meeting between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the Minister’s visit to the UN Headquarters on April 24-25 if the US side has the desire to meet, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said at a press conference. “I think that depends on two factors. First, where Secretary Blinken will be at that time, and on his ability and willingness to meet with our Foreign Minister,” the Russian diplomat said. The Russian side has never “run away from whatever meetings with those people who want these meetings,” he noted. “If such a meeting is requested, I presume that Minister Lavrov will be ready to meet Secretary Blinken,” Nebenzya added.

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Probably true, and certainly insane.

“Türkiye Only NATO Country That Can Hold Discussions With Russia” (RT)

Today, Türkiye is the only country within NATO that can hold discussions with Russia and take steps per the interests of the international community, based on a common denominator in certain areas with Russia, Levent Gumrukcu, Turkish representative in NATO, told Anadolu, Report informs. He said that Türkiye is the only country that maintains contact with both sides in the war in Ukraine and tries to create an atmosphere of trust between the parties: “The role we play in matters such as the grain agreement and exchange of prisoners is a manifestation of this. This position of ours is of serious importance not only for Ukraine but also for the Euro-Atlantic area and NATO.” The diplomat added that NATO and Türkiye have common interests in many regions, including the Balkans, Central Asia, the South Caucasus, the Middle East, and North Africa.

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“Prime Minister Sanna Marin loses the Finnish elections. The Finns did not like her handling of the Russia conflict. She sold out Finland to NATO and the Anti-Russia coalition. She put international politics first and her people second.”

She did her job. Finland’s in NATO and she’s no longer needed. NATO can go place weapons along its longest border with Russia.

Stoltenberg Announces Finland’s NATO Accession Date Is Today (RT)

Finland will officially become the 31st member of NATO on Tuesday, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced in a statement on Monday. “This is a historic week,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. “From tomorrow, Finland will be a full member of the alliance,” he said, adding that “it will be a good day for Finland’s security, for Nordic security, and for NATO as a whole.” Finnish president Sauli Niinisto and Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen are expected to attend the accession ceremony in Brussels along with Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, who vowed to emphasize NATO’s support to Ukraine during the meeting.

The move comes just three days after Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed ratification of the Nordic country’s passage into the organization. It ends a protracted accession process that began last summer when Finland and Sweden abandoned their traditional position of neutrality and applied to join NATO, citing concerns of possible Russian aggression. Türkiye had objected to the bids by Helsinki and Stockholm citing their alleged support of “terrorist groups.” Last month, however, Erdogan praised Finland’s “authentic and concrete steps” to address Turkish security concerns. He has yet to give a clear indication as to when Ankara will ratify Sweden’s request to join the bloc.

Moscow, meanwhile, has reacted to Finland’s accession to NATO by stating that Russia will have no choice but to reinforce its military potential on the Western and North Western borders in response. “In the event that forces and assets of other NATO members are deployed in Finland, we will take additional steps to reliably ensure Russia’s military security,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told RIA Novosti on Monday. Last month, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow “regrets” Finland’s and Sweden’s decision to join the US-led bloc, stating that Russia “does not pose any threat to these countries, since it does not have any disputes with them.”

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The crowd called for the death of Christ in the same way it clamored for forced vaccination.

You Know (Denninger)

Palm Sunday. Many Christians share my dread of this Holy Day. It starts out fun, with all of us outside. We grab palm leaves. The kids immediately start sword fighting with them and the older folks fold them into crosses or other shapes like religious balloon animals! Then the mood shifts. We file into our pews in silence and a pall settles over the sanctuary. There is no music to guide our steps. We know what’s coming. Palm Sunday commemorates (because celebrate is not the right term for the second) two events: Jesus returning to Jerusalem and his crucifixion. Some of the disquiet is annoyance. It is the longest Mass most of us attend. But there is no denying the heavy reason we’re here. Palm Sunday’s Gospel reading is Christ’s crucifixion, and even worse, the congregation reads the parts of the crowd out loud.

Each of us demands the murder of an innocent man. Even though we know how it ends, it’s sobering. The silence is appropriate. For me, it was never only the heavy subject matter, it was doubt. What would I have done in the crowd? Scream to let a killer go? Would I participate in murdering the lamb of God? I really wanted to believe, “Of course not! I’m an upstanding person, I would never hand Christ over for execution!” Doubt crept in, no matter how forcefully I repeated the mantra. I am flawed, a sinner, and most importantly, rarely brave. After the past three years, I know the answer. So do all of you. Know, not believe.

I did not cave when “friends” tried to shame me into wearing a tard rag. People drifted out of my life. My blood is still pure, despite the crowd screaming for submission. These two actions mean there are very few left in my life, and almost none I call “friend” sincerely. It’s a reasonable conclusion to assume what held true recently would have in Jerusalem. God didn’t tell me His plan for the last three years, He wouldn’t have told me back then. I state this not out of grandiosity or claiming to hear the Word of God, simply my own actions. This year I will stand with the rest of the congregation, but not speak any of the lines because I would have walked off rather than go along with the crowd.

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Roughnecks

 

 

Bricks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642907102988337156

 

 

Bernoulli

 

 

Chameleon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642859388409978881

 

 

Monkey frog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642896852231020547

 

 

Hitchcock TO CATCH A THIEF (1955)

 

 

 

 

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Jan 232023
 
 January 23, 2023  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  61 Responses »


Edward Hopper Folly Beach, Charleston, South Carolina 1929

 

Zelenskyy: 50 Tanks Will Not Solve Problem (Az.)
US Lawmaker Proposes ‘Just One’ Abrams Tank For Ukraine (RT)
Macron Comments On Heavy Tanks For Ukraine (RT)
Medvedev Predicts New Anti-US Military Alliance (RT)
AOC Heckled Over Ukraine Weapons (RT)
Moldova Fails To Remain Neutral In Global Proxy War – Ex-Leader (RT)
The Nord Stream Pipeline Could Be Repaired Within A Year (OP)
Immaculate Possession: Biden Defense is Fast Becoming Unsustainable (Turley)
Biden Family: The Delaware Sopranos (Newt Gingrich)
House Members To Press Secret Service About Biden’s Classified Records (JTN)
Biden Admin Finally Admits Mistake in Canceling Keystone XL Pipeline (RCE)
‘Succession’ Has Nothing On Davos: Elite Conclave Mulls Next Leader (Pol.eu)
Al Gore Amassed a $330 Million Climate Fortune by Terrifying Everyone (RedS)
Trump and DeSantis Both Leading Biden In Hypothetical 2024 Matchup (JTN)
WSJ Shreds Vaccine Makers, Biden Admin Over “Deceptive” Booster Campaign (ZH)

 

 

 

 

McCullough

 

 

 

 

Safety signal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jourova

 

 

 

 

Why get them then?

“..they motivate our fighters to fight for their values. Because they see that the whole world is on your side..”

Zelenskyy: 50 Tanks Will Not Solve Problem (Az.)

Western tanks will not be able to solve the issue of Russian aggression completely, but will give additional motivation to the Ukrainian defenders, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, Report informs. “When the Russian army with a thousand tanks is against us, 10, 20, or 50 tanks provided by the countries will not solve the problem. They do a very important job – they motivate our fighters to fight for their values. Because they see that the whole world is on your side,” Zelenskyy said.

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“..Even saying we’re gonna put Abrams tanks in, I think, would be enough for Germany to unleash [its Leopard tanks]”

US Lawmaker Proposes ‘Just One’ Abrams Tank For Ukraine (RT)

US Representative Michael McCaul has argued that announcing plans to provide America’s vaunted M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine – even if only one of the behemoths is actually shipped out – would leave Germany with no excuses to further delay sending its Leopard tanks to Kiev. “If we announced we were going to give Abrams tanks, just one… what I hear is that Germany is waiting for us to take the lead,” McCaul said on Sunday in an ABC News interview. “Then they would put Leopard tanks in.” The Texas Republican, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, added that such a tactic also would prompt Berlin to give its permission for other European countries that use the Leopard to give some of their tanks to Ukraine.

McCaul has been among the most hawkish Republicans in the House, vowing to continue providing weaponry for Ukraine to fight Russian forces, regardless of growing public opposition to the aid. He claimed that Kiev must be provided tanks and longer-range artillery urgently, to help repel an alleged imminent offensive by the Russians. Asked by ABC anchor Martha Raddatz whether just one Abrams tank would be sufficient to trigger Germany to provide more advanced weaponry to Ukraine, McCaul hinted that Washington could trick its ally.” Even saying we’re gonna put Abrams tanks in, I think, would be enough for Germany to unleash [its Leopard tanks]” McCaul also said Kiev needs longer-range artillery to strike targets in Crimea, dismissing the risks of enabling attacks on the peninsula, which Moscow considers to be sovereign Russian territory. Asked how Russian President Vladimir Putin might react, McCaul pointed to how Washington apparently got away with past escalations in aid, such as giving Ukraine HIMARS rocket launchers.

Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat, also called for sending battle tanks to Ukraine. “If it requires our sending some Abrams tanks in order to unlock getting the Leopard tanks from Germany, from Poland, from other allies, I would support that,” he told Raddatz. Media reports suggested that Berlin was unwilling to send its tanks unless the US made a similar commitment. Washington has so far refused to provide its Abrams tanks, arguing that they are very complex to operate and require extensive training. Key NATO nations failed to reach an agreement about sending the German-made battle tanks to Ukraine during a Friday meeting of Western military donors at the US Ramstein air base. However, on Sunday, Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock hinted that Berlin “would not stand in the way” if Poland decides to sends its own Leopards to Ukraine.

Gonzalo 2023.01.22 The Endgame—or Escalation?—of The War

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“..only “real and effective support” in the form of weaponry that Ukrainian forces can actually use on the battlefield without months or years of training..”

Macron Comments On Heavy Tanks For Ukraine (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reaffirmed their continued “unwavering support” for Ukraine for “as long as it takes” in a joint press conference on Sunday, but both said that any decision on supplying heavier arms must be reached jointly by all “friends” of Kiev. Macron said that “nothing is excluded” when asked about the possibility of sending Leclerc main battle tanks to Kiev, and confirmed he had “asked the Defense Ministry to work on it.” However, any final decision would have to be a “collective” call based on several considerations, he noted, according to AFP. France does not want the move to “weaken our own defense capabilities,” and at the same time is cautious of “escalating” the conflict.

Another concern is to provide only “real and effective support” in the form of weaponry that Ukrainian forces can actually use on the battlefield without months or years of training. Scholz dodged a similar question about Leopards, saying vaguely that Germany “will continue to act according to the concrete situation” and in close coordination with “important friends and allies.” “Germany is doing a lot, too… We have constantly expanded our deliveries with very effective weapons that are already available today,” the chancellor said. Last week, Politico reported that Paris was considering deliveries of Leclerc tanks in an effort to provide a joint framework to overcome Germany’s reluctance. Amid reports that Berlin was unwilling to send its tanks unless the US made a similar move, a US lawmaker proposed giving Ukraine a single Abrams tank to leave Berlin with no excuses for further delays.

Calls for Germany to supply Kiev with Leopards grew louder after the UK confirmed earlier this month that it would send 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Poland also announced that it would transfer a company of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but the re-export of these tanks must be greenlit by Germany. On Sunday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock hinted that Berlin “would not stand in the way” if Poland makes the move. Baerbock noted that Warsaw has not yet reached out to Berlin on the matter. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that the “importance of such supplies in terms of their ability to change something” on the battlefield should not be exaggerated.

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BRICS+.

Medvedev Predicts New Anti-US Military Alliance (RT)

The continuous flow of military aid to Kiev clearly shows that the collective West is seeking to “wear out or, preferably, destroy” Russia, the country’s former president, Dmitry Medvedev, remarked on Sunday. The effort, however, may ultimately backfire for the US and its allies, he believes. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, made the comments in a social media post, days after a meeting at the US Ramstein air base in Germany at which Western powers pledged to continue supporting Kiev. “The meeting at Ramstein and the allocation of heavy weaponry to Kiev leave no doubt that our enemies will be trying to wear us out for an indefinite period of time, or, preferably, to destroy us,” the ex-president wrote.


However, the prolongation of the hostilities in Ukraine may ultimately lead to the emergence of a new military bloc that brings together nations “fed up with the Americans,” Medvedev suggested. “This has always happened in the history of mankind during long wars. And the US then will finally abandon old Europe and what remains of the unfortunate Ukrainians, and the world will return to an equilibrium once again,” the former leader said, warning, however, that it might be “too late” before this happens. Moscow has repeatedly urged the collective West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with weapons, maintaining that it would only prolong the hostilities rather than change the ultimate outcome. Top Russian officials have repeatedly characterized what is happening as a proxy war between Russia and the US-led NATO alliance rather than merely a conflict with Ukraine.

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Warmonger.

AOC Heckled Over Ukraine Weapons (RT)

US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) had an event in New York on Saturday disrupted by a group of demonstrators who rose to their feet and began singing a Latin hymn for peace. The protestors were voicing their objection to the self-professed progressive’s vote to send billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine. Holding signs reading “negotiation not annihilation” and “stop sending weapons to Ukraine,” the group sang ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’, a Latin hymn used in the Catholic mass that translates as ‘Give Us Peace’. “We always support everyone’s First Amendment rights here and everyone has the complete right to political expression,” Ocasio-Cortez responded, but only after the protesters had been removed from the premises by security.


A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Ocasio-Cortez has voted against sending military aid to Saudi Arabia and abstained from voting on funding Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. However, she voted in May to provide Ukraine with $40 billion in military and economic aid, a decision that led a left-wing activist to accuse her of “voting to start a nuclear war” during a similar town hall in October. Despite giving a green light to such a massive arms fund, Ocasio-Cortez added her name to a letter by Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Pramila Jayapal in October urging President Joe Biden to “seriously explore all possible avenues, including direct engagement with Russia, to reduce harm and support Ukraine in achieving a peaceful settlement.” The letter, which was signed by 30 House Democrats, was retracted a day later and the pro-peace progressives stated that they backed Biden’s policy of indefinite military aid to Kiev.

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“Dodon said Sandu made her statement after meeting in Davos with Alexander Soros, son of Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, “who brought her to power.”

Moldova Fails To Remain Neutral In Global Proxy War – Ex-Leader (RT)

Moldovan President Maia Sandu has put the former Soviet republic at risk of turning into “cannon fodder” in NATO’s proxy war with Russia by failing to remain neutral over the conflict in neighboring Ukraine, her predecessor said on Saturday. “Maia Sandu continues to draw Moldova into NATO – contrary to the neutrality prescribed in the Constitution and the will of the Moldovan people, who are categorically against joining this military structure,” ex-President Igor Dodon claimed in a Telegram post. He made his comments in response to Sandu’s statement on Friday that her government was seriously considering joining a “larger alliance” amid Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Abandoning military neutrality would be “dangerous” for Moldova, said Dodon, who served as president from 2016 until Sandu defeated him in the country’s 2020 election.

The nation of just 2.6 million people consistently ranks among the poorest countries in Europe and has maintained a delicate peace with its breakaway Transnistria region since agreeing to a 1992 ceasefire, brokered by Moscow. Dodon said Sandu made her statement after meeting in Davos with Alexander Soros, son of Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, “who brought her to power.” He added, “Obviously, Sandu is implementing his scenario in Moldova, and joining NATO is one of his points.” Although Moldova isn’t yet a member of NATO, it has cooperated with the Western military bloc, such as when it sent peacekeeping troops to Kosovo. Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu attended a NATO summit in Bucharest last November, marking the first time that Chisinau sent a representative to a meeting of the bloc.

At the time, Popescu reportedly said that joining NATO was out of the question because of the neutrality provision in Moldova’s Constitution. By apparently changing that stance, Sandu is “acting on the orders of overseas masters, against the interests of the country and the people, against the sovereignty, territorial integrity of Moldova,” Dodon said. “Our citizens want to maintain neutrality and peace, as evidenced by the results of numerous public opinion polls, and they will never agree to become cannon fodder for NATO in the fight against Russia.” Moscow has blamed NATO’s eastward expansion – contrary to promises made after the Cold War ended in 1991 – for undermining Russia’s security interests, helping to trigger the current conflict.

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Will it be?

The Nord Stream Pipeline Could Be Repaired Within A Year (OP)

The Nord Stream pipeline can be repaired within a year, but it’s unclear whether Germany would want to receive Russian natural gas at all, said Klaus-Dieter Maubach, the outgoing CEO at German energy giant Uniper, which was Russia’s top gas customer before Moscow cut off supply via Nord Stream. “The first question that needs answering: what’s the political will on a European level and in Berlin to bring Russian gas to Germany?” Maubach said at the annual Handelsblatt Energy summit on Tuesday, as carried by Reuters. Last summer, the German government bailed out Uniper as losses at the German company continued to mount after Russia slashed gas deliveries via Nord Stream in June, before cutting off supply in early September.

At the end of December, it was Uniper, the operator of the Wilhelmshaven import terminal, that welcomed the first tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the newly opened LNG terminal, with the cargo arriving from the Calcasieu Pass export facility in the United States. Meanwhile, the investigation into the Nord Stream explosions at the end of September continues amid accusations from Russia that some Western intelligence services are “hiding something.” Sweden’s refusal to share information about the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines is “puzzling,” and withholding the results of the investigation means that “Swedish authorities are hiding something,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last week.

Traces of explosives were found near the sites of the explosions at the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Sweden said in November, noting that the incident is “gross sabotage.” Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation after Germany axed the certification process following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia, for its part, shut down Nord Stream 1 indefinitely in early September, claiming an inability to repair gas turbines because of the Western sanctions.

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“..if any witness or forensic evidence shows that Biden came into contact with any of these documents over the last 10 years, this dubious defense will take on a far more sinister appearance..”

Immaculate Possession: Biden Defense is Fast Becoming Unsustainable (Turley)

In 1977, as senator from Delaware, Biden torpedoed President Jimmy Carter’s nominee for CIA director over his alleged mishandling of classified documents. As with the current scandal, Ted Sorensen was accused of having the documents for work on a book. The motive did not matter. Sen. Biden expressed his signature revulsion at the very thought of the possession. There was no evidence of ill intent, but Biden insisted that was not the issue. Biden argued that Sorensen could still be prosecuted under the Espionage Act and insisted the “real issue” during Sorensen’s confirmation hearing was “whether Mr. Sorensen intentionally took advantage of ambiguities in the law, or carelessly ignored the law.” After all, Biden continued, “If he did so, can he now bring the activities of the intelligence community within the strict limits of the law? We will expect that in the future of intelligence agencies. If that is to be the case, then we must hold the director – DCI – accountable as well.”

Notably, some of the recently discovered classified documents may have been from Biden’s time as a senator — over ten years ago. I have previously noted that Biden “has always been better at expressing revulsion than responsibility.” When it came to Sorensen, Biden could not imagine a rationalization for a nominee to excuse such mishandling of classified material, but as a president, “there is no there there.” Biden has continued to make the case against himself with remarkable determination. His defense that some documents were housed in his “locked garage with my Corvette” may go down as one of the most imbecilic statements in modern political history. He then followed up with his “no regrets” comments (and his assurance of “no there there”) just before more classified documents were found “there.”

While special counsel do not mind defendants making fools of themselves, they do not want to join them in such public spectacles. In this investigation, the Biden defense is looking increasingly implausible in his claim of no knowledge or responsibility. Indeed, if any witness or forensic evidence shows that Biden came into contact with any of these documents over the last 10 years, this dubious defense will take on a far more sinister appearance. It would establish not just intent and knowledge, but an effort to deceive the public and prosecutors. Yet, even after the latest batch was found, Biden and allies like Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., are continuing to maintain that “there is no there there.” These continuing denials now border on willful blindness and the public reaction is likely to echo the president’s favorite tagline: “Come on, man.”

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“..Hunter Biden, is like the ambitious-but-dull son who wants to inherit the family business but always screws up..”

Biden Family: The Delaware Sopranos (Newt Gingrich)

Watching HBO’s “the Sopranos” can really help you understand the Biden family. Between Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal, and the Bidens’ various shady private-equity schemes with foreign fraudsters, it’s not too hard to make the analogy. President Joe Biden is clearly the head of a family. He has repeatedly exploited his public offices to make money. His son, Hunter Biden, is like the ambitious-but-dull son who wants to inherit the family business but always screws up. Some of what the Bidens have done is clearly inappropriate. Even more of what they have done is an abuse of public office. Most of what they have done is simply secret. The best example of Bidens’ manipulation of the system for profit surrounds the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania.

The center has given the Bidens remarkable access to Chinese Communist Party money. According to reports in the New York Post, the university, “raked in a total of $54.6 million from 2014 through June 2019 in donations from China, including $23.1 million in anonymous gifts starting in 2016.” As the paper reported, about $15.8 in anonymous Chinese gifts came after the Biden Center was announced in 2017. As soon as Biden left the White House as vice president, he was tapped to lead the center and given a professorship. Shortly after the center fully opened, another $14.5 million in anonymous Chinese gifts were delivered in May 2018. In another report about this flood of money, The Free Beacon said $61 million in Chinese donations went to the university from 2017 to 2020.

The numbers vary because there is virtually no public accountability or transparency about the money trail. It’s a given that Chinese sources aren’t going to share any information. And the University of Pennsylvania is simply refusing to obey the law and report the foreign donations. I worked with the Trump administration’s Department of Education on this for several years, and we simply could not get the University of Pennsylvania to open its books and explain where all the Chinese money was coming from. Consider that now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken was the manager of the Penn Biden Center. Several other Biden team members were paid by the University of Pennsylvania in the period between Joe Biden’s vice presidency and presidency. Meanwhile, in apparent appreciation for setting him up at the center, Joe Biden appointed former University President Amy Gutmann to be U.S. Ambassador to Germany. Similarly, David Cohen, the former chairman of the university’s board of trustees, is now the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

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Who’s seen them?

House Members To Press Secret Service About Biden’s Classified Records (JTN)

Stonewalled by the White House, House investigators are turning their attention to the Secret Service in hopes of finding records showing who had access to the five tranches of classified records found in President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and Washington think tank office. House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said Sunday the latest discovery of documents by the FBI during a search Friday had escalated the scandal from simply a question of incompetence, especially since the home where many of the documents were found was frequented by Hunter Biden as he pursued significant business deals with communist China.

“This has all the pattern of an influence peddling scheme, and it also has the makings of a potential coverup,” Comer told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. “… There’s a lot of connections with the CCP directly to both Hunter Biden, Hunter Biden’s Uncle Jim and Joe Biden.” The Biden administration has refused to provide any information about the classified documents, citing last week an ongoing special counsel probe into the discoveries of five tranches of classified documents at the Wilmington, Del., family home and the Penn Biden Center in Washington since Nov. 2. Comer said Sunday the distribution of the documents at multiple locations raised concerns.

“Does anyone believe that those classified documents, when they left the vice president’s office, they just took them to multiple locations all over the East Coast?” he asked. “It has the appearance that someone would have taken them and moved them around. I mean, this is very concerning.” Comer said his committee would be sending letters to the Secret Service on Monday for any records the presidential security agency has about who visited either location. “Hopefully, the Secret Service is going to work with us,” he said. “We’re requesting tomorrow formally any type of correspondence, any type of emails, any type of documentation that would help us determine who actually had access to those documents. And hopefully the Secret Service will work with us despite the fact that this White House is not.”

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“..oil’s share of energy production in the United States will only fall 8 percent in the next two decades, from 31 to 23 percent…”

Biden Admin Finally Admits Mistake in Canceling Keystone XL Pipeline (RCE)

At long last, the Biden administration is admitting what experts have always known: reckless energy policies have disastrous consequences. This time, the Department of Energy quietly released a report highlighting the positive economic benefits of developing the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, an energy project canceled by President Biden in the hours following his inauguration. But the DOE’s report is a proverbial day late and a dollar short. The cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline has already cost the United States thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth while families suffer under the weight of record high energy prices. It’s time for lawmakers to make American energy independence a top priority.

Released without a formal announcement, the DOE’s report points out that the pipeline would have created between 16,149 and 59,000 jobs and would have had an economic benefit of between $3.4 and 9.6 billion. That’s no small impact. Yet with one stroke of his pen, Biden slashed the project and instead focused his efforts on costly “green energy” goals. As a result of his executive action, 11,000 pipeline workers were promptly laid off and told to “go to work to make solar panels” instead. But Biden’s green energy efforts are bound to backfire sooner rather than later. That’s because today, more than 70 percent of the energy produced and consumed in America comes from oil, gas and coal. That’s not likely to substantially change anytime soon.

In fact, the International Energy Agency predicts that oil’s share of energy production in the United States will only fall 8 percent in the next two decades, from 31 to 23 percent. And that’s assuming a sustained commitment to green energy policies. The forecast spells bad news for the Biden White House. At his political peril, Biden ignores the lessons of Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, who both lost elections due to spiked oil prices and accompanying recessions. Two years into sowing its Green New Deal policies, the administration is reaping a bitter harvest. Due to Biden’s folly, oil, natural gas and electricity prices have more than doubled in just a single year. Meanwhile, more than 28 percent of Americans abstained from purchasing food or medicine to pay an energy bill in 2021. And now, the misnamed Inflation Reduction Act includes wind and solar spending that will cost Americans $369 billion.

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“Klaus Schwab will stay in office until he dies..”

‘Succession’ Has Nothing On Davos: Elite Conclave Mulls Next Leader (Pol.eu)

It’s the political race everyone is afraid to talk about. For 52 years the World Economic Forum has been synonymous with its founder and executive chair Klaus Schwab, whose humble manner belies what many who know him describe as great ambition and boundless energy, even into his mid-80s. Schwab has grown WEF’s $6,000 startup capital in 1971 into a $390 million a year business, turning a once sleepy organization into the think tank world’s FIFA. Today, WEF’s annual meeting attracts more billionaires and CEOs than any other event on earth, and more political leaders than any gathering outside the United Nations General Assembly. So what (and who) comes after Klaus Schwab?

Schwab turns 85 in March, and it’s an open question whether he will pass the torch at all. Rupert Murdoch hasn’t. Warren Buffet hasn’t. In an era of active aging, why should Schwab? POLITICO spoke to 29 WEF corporate strategic partners, current and former WEF staffers, and members of the forum’s committees and communities. They all agree: Schwab tightly controls the succession discussion. Even those who know Schwab well profess little knowledge of his plans. Forum staffers have become used to Schwab putting a high-profile political figure in the frame for succession, only to see the idea disappear before it becomes a plan. Schwab has been reluctant to talk about succession, and has consistently refused to discuss a timetable.

Five of the people POLITICO spoke to said they suspect he will stay in the job until he dies, like the monarchs and popes his critics say he styles himself after. WEF insiders are typically unwilling to talk on-the-record about the organization’s post-Schwab future. All 29 people told POLITICO they feared being barred from WEF events, while others said even speaking anonymously could get them fired. WEF is registered as a non-profit, but it’s also a multi-generation family business. Schwab’s children Nicole and Olivier hold high-ranking positions in the organization, and his wife Hilde presides over a foundation and awards ceremony in Davos. WEF’s governing statutes give family members rights to board seats. In 2017 Schwab brought in Børge Brende, a former Norwegian foreign minister, to serve as WEF’s president, while Schwab himself remained executive chair. If some outsiders expected the then 79-year-old to ease into the shadows, they were wrong: Per WEF’s website, the organization’s 800-strong staff is still “led by Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab.”

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“An Inconvenient Truth” amassed $49 million at the world box office and catapulted Al into the top ranks of climate hysterics, and he’s never looked back..”

Al Gore Amassed a $330 Million Climate Fortune by Terrifying Everyone (RedS)

Former Vice President and 2000 presidential election loser Al Gore has spent his post-political career warning anyone who will listen that the earth is in its death throes due to global warming (now called climate change because somehow that’s better). His 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” amassed $49 million at the world box office and catapulted Al into the top ranks of climate hysterics, and he’s never looked back, constantly jetting to meetings around the world to preach his truth. This week he’s at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, because of course he is. Is he doing this because he truly believes what he’s saying, or because he cares so very much about you? While we can’t read his mind, one thing we do know for sure: climate change has been very, very good to Al Gore.

Though he was worth approximately $1.7 million at the end of his vice presidency, he has now amassed an estimated $330 million fortune, owns houses in Virginia, California, and Tennessee, and receives a cool $2 million a month for a figurehead position at the Generation Investment Management green energy fund he founded with former Goldman Sachs Managing Director David W. Blood. There are only two conclusions I can come to upon learning this news—1) I should have been a climate activist. 2) Hunter Biden has nothing on this guy. If he’s so concerned about rising seas, why would Gore buy a huge oceanview mansion in flood-prone Montecito? One might ask the same question of former president Barack Obama, who dropped $12 million for a waterfront view on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Gore’s other property holdings are pretty sweet, too, according to Daily Mail:”Gore’s family has owned farming land in his native Tennessee for generations, while his mansion in Nashville is valued at $7.5 million, his waterfront villa in Montecito, where he counts Oprah as a neighbor [and don’t forget Prince Harry], is worth $13 million, his Virginia home is worth around $3 million as is his apartment in the St. Regis building in San Francisco.” Where did he get all this money? He has a stake in the aforementioned $36 billion Generation Investment Management fund, around $80 million worth of stock in companies such as Apple and Google, and a salary from Apple as a compensation committee member. He receives $200,000 a pop per public speaking engagement and also advises companies on “going green” for undisclosed (but presumably huge) fees.

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Trump still looks strong.

Trump and DeSantis Both Leading Biden In Hypothetical 2024 Matchup (JTN)

If the 2024 presidential election were held today, either of the two top presumed Republican contenders for their party’s nomination would defeat President Joe Biden, according to a new survey. Both former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would beat the current president if he chooses to run again, according to the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll, which was released Friday. The survey polled 2,050 registered voters, 65% of whom said that Biden should not run again. Of those polled, 46% said they would support Trump with 41% for Biden and 13% uncertain at this time. This was the same 5-point margin that Trump led by in the December poll results.


If the GOP candidate is Gov. DeSantis, the poll shows him defeating Biden by a margin of 42% to 39%. News of the scandal regarding Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents appears to make little difference to those surveyed, comparing the two months’ results. While Trump remains the clear favorite for the Republican nomination, leading DeSantis by a 48% to 28% margin, the co-director of the poll is not convinced the lead will hold. “Trump is ahead but already has every vote he can get,” Mark Penn told The Hill. “DeSantis is the candidate of potential.” Other potential Republican candidates all registered in single digits, with Mike Pence at 7%, Nikki Haley at 3%, and Mike Pompeo at 1%.

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WSJ only took 3 years. Underwhelming.

WSJ Shreds Vaccine Makers, Biden Admin Over “Deceptive” Booster Campaign (ZH)

Wall Street Journal editorial board member Allysia Finley has taken a flamethrower to vaccine makers over their “deceptive” campaign for bivalent Covid boosters, and slams several federal agencies for taking “the unprecedented step of ordering vaccine makers to produce them and recommending them without data supporting their safety or efficacy.” “You might have heard a radio advertisement warning that if you’ve had Covid, you could get it again and experience even worse symptoms. The message, sponsored by the Health and Human Services Department, claims that updated bivalent vaccines will improve your protection. This is deceptive advertising. But the public-health establishment’s praise for the bivalent shots shouldn’t come as a surprise. -WSJ”

The narrative behind the campaign was simple; mRNA Covid shots could simply be ‘tweaked’ to to target new variants – in this case, the jabs were claimed to confer protection against BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants, along with the original Wuhan strain. To call this wishful thinking would be extremely generous. As Finley writes, three scientific problems have arisen. 1/ The virus is mutating much faster than vaccines can be updated. 2/ Vaccines have ‘hard wired’ our immune systems to respond to the original Wuhan strain, “so we churn out fewer antibodies that neutralize variants targeted by updated vaccines.” 3/ Antibody protection wanes after just a few months. Finley has brought receipts too…

Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine this month showed that bivalent boosters increase neutralizing antibodies against the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, but not significantly more than the original boosters. In one study, antibody levels after the bivalent boosters were 11 times as high against the Wuhan variant as BA.5. The authors posit that immune imprinting “may pose a greater challenge than is currently appreciated for inducing robust immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants.” This isn’t unique to Covid or mRNA vaccines, though boosters may amplify the effect. Our first exposure as children to the flu—whether by infection or vaccination—affects our future response to different strains. -WSJ”

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Actual Delta ad, 1973

 

 

Drive train

 

 

Lizard
https://twitter.com/i/status/1617145802702323712

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 132023
 


Steve Schapiro Muhammad Ali, Monopoly, Louisville, KY 1963

 

Report Links Hunter Biden To Classified Files Found in Joe Biden’s Garage (KB)
‘This Is Election Interference’: House Oversight Veteran on Biden Files (ET)
Key ‘Russian Bots’ Claim Was False – Twitter Documents (RT)
Ukraine Suffered A Humiliating Defeat In Soledar (Ugolny)
Where Might Russia Commit Forces On An Offensive? (Big Serge)
Russia Reacts To Turkish Support Of Zelensky’s ‘Peace Plan’ (RT)
Nord Stream Attack: The Case Nobody Wants Solved (Celente)
7 Facts Fauci Knew But Hid From the Public (CHD)
Senator Questions CDC on Why It Expected 100s of Vaccine Adverse Events (ET)
Former Employees Sue ESPN After Being Fired for COVID-19 Vaccine Refusal (ET)
A Tale of Two Cultures -America and Russia (Moglia)
Everything Upside Down (Dionísio)
Britain and EU Enter Talks To Settle Brexit Disputes (RT)
Nixon Threatened to Reveal CIA Involvement in Kennedy Assassination (Stone)

 

 

 

 

Russiagate
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613730901946425346

 

 

Clown KJP
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613389755374501889

 

 

Carpe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613700648218005506

 

 

 

 

Hunter’s garage?! What are the odds Joe is being set up?

Report Links Hunter Biden To Classified Files Found in Joe Biden’s Garage (KB)

President Joe Biden has finally found himself on the wrong side of a special counsel investigation. On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that is appointing a special counsel to investigate the classified documents found in President Joe Biden’s private office and home. “Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to take over the investigation into President Joe Biden’s potential mishandling of classified documents,” CNN reported. “The special counsel is Robert Hur.” “Two special prosecutors have been appointed,” CNN also reported. In contrast to Donald Trump storing the documents he declassified as president and storing them at a safe storage facility at Mar-a-Lago, Joe Biden took the documents while vice president and they remain classified to this day.

And to make matters worse, it came out that a second batch of classified documents were found at his Wilmington home garage. These are in addition to those found in a think tank closet at the Penn Biden Center office in Washington, D.C. There are even reports of a third batch of classified documents that have been discovered. Biden went off-script talking to Fox News’ Peter Doocy about the security of his garage by claiming that is where he keeps his “Corvette.” “Classified material next to your Corvette! What were you thinking?” Doocy said to the President in response. Biden defended himself by saying, “My Corvette is in a locked garage, OK? So it’s not like they’re sitting out on the street.” Biden was so brazen about his illegal activity that he actually filmed a campaign video with his corvette in 2021. One can see stacks of boxes in the back of the garage where the classified documents were reportedly found.

Legal analyst Jonathan Turley reacted to the development on the documents being found in Biden’s garage. “The President just said that the documents found in his garage are in a ‘locked garage’ like his corvette,” Turley said. “The corvette standard is actually not in classified protocols…” “The corvette statement was remarkably ill-considered,” he added. “It was a cringe-worthy moment. After being given a carefully worded statement by his lawyers and staff, the President ad-libbed and suggested that his locked garage was a secure space for classified material.” Miranda Devine, author of the “Laptop from Hell,” has added a new twist to the story: Hunter Biden claimed he owned the house where Biden kept the classified documents. Devine provides the document showing Hunter Biden claiming to own the house. The address also appears on a copy of Hunter Biden’s driver’s license.

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People suggesting a third batch was found.

‘This Is Election Interference’: House Oversight Veteran on Biden Files (ET)

A House Oversight Committee veteran said the delay in publicizing President Joe Biden’s retention of classified documents from his time as vice president amounts to election interference. “The documents were allegedly discovered on Nov. 2. The midterms are on Nov. 8. To me, this is election interference by omission,” Mike Howell said in a Jan. 11 interview with The Epoch Times.“Does anyone think if this had been President Trump or any other Republican, the news wouldn’t have been leaked immediately for political gain? We needn’t wonder—just look at all the affirmative updates, releases, and leaks in the Trump case,” he said in a Jan. 10 statement.

Howell was an attorney for the Department of Homeland Security under President Donald Trump. He previously worked as a lawyer on the House Oversight Committee as well as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He now leads the Oversight Project at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. Heritage Oversight is, in Howell’s words, “suing the Biden administration aggressively” over Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. “We’re gathering as much as we can and hoping that Congress makes use of it,” he said, noting that FOIA lawsuits are just one of the organization’s tactics. Notably, Heritage Oversight obtained an email to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas that shows that he knew Haitian migrants weren’t whipped by Border Patrol agents at Del Rio, Texas, by Sept. 24, 2021.

Yet during a press conference that same day, Mayorkas offered no clarification on the whipping allegations, instead saying that the images “painfully conjured up the worst elements of our nation’s ongoing battle against systemic racism.” “He [Mayorkas] chose to ignore the information to preserve the far-left narrative on this whole incident,” Howell said in a 2022 Heritage Foundation interview. Heritage Oversight filed FOIA requests with the Department of Justice and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) regarding the classified materials found at the Penn Biden Center. “Why was this information not made public prior [to] the election? It likely would have had substantial electoral salience,” Howell wrote in his FOIA request to the Department of Justice.

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“..one of the greatest outbreaks of mass delusion in US history..”

Key ‘Russian Bots’ Claim Was False – Twitter Documents (RT)

Twitter executives knew that several hashtags denounced by leading congressional Democrats and corporate media as “Russian disinformation” were a product of authentic Americans, but chose not to say so in public, journalist Matt Taibbi revealed on Thursday. Taibbi has been publishing the “Twitter Files,” internal company documents provided by the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, since early December. Evidence published so far shed light on the censorship of key stories ahead of the 2020 presidential election, FBI pressure, direct White House interference on Covid-19 matters, and the banning of Donald Trump – the sitting US president at the time.

Thursday’s revelations concern the events of January and February 2018 and the memo by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of California detailing how the FBI used the “Steele Dossier” to spy on Trump’s campaign and presidency. Democrats and major media outlets denounced Nunes in what Taibbi described as “oddly identical language,” while attributing the calls to #ReleaseTheMemo to “Russian bots” and “trolls.” Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Adam Schiff – ranking Democrats in the Senate and House intelligence committees – wrote to Twitter on January 23, 2018, claiming that #ReleaseTheMemo “gained the immediate attention and assistance of social media accounts linked to Russian influence operations.”

Another Democrat, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, followed up with a letter denouncing as “reprehensible that Russian agents have so eagerly manipulated innocent Americans.” Twitter, however, “found no evidence, as in zero, that Russians were anywhere near this story,” Taibbi wrote on Substack. Trust and Safety chief Yoel Roth personally reviewed the accounts that started the hashtag and found “none of them show any signs of affiliation to Russia.” The engagement was “overwhelmingly organic” and driven by prominent real people, Roth found. He also noted that Schiff, Feinstein and Blumenthal all pointed to the same source – the “Hamilton68 dashboard,” run by an outfit calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD). “All the swirl is based on Hamilton,” he wrote.

Documents show that Twitter executives eventually realized that Democrats weren’t looking for solutions, but were just using the Russia accusation to push them further. One executive even compared it to the children’s book ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’. Yet for some reason, the company chose not to say so publicly, allowing Democrats and the media to continue blaming “Russian bots” for any problems in US society – government shutdowns, school shootings, gun control, etc. “By spreading the Russia collusion hoax, they instigated one of the greatest outbreaks of mass delusion in US history,” Nunes told Taibbi when reached for comment, referring to the Democrats. The memo itself was published on February 2, 2018. Justice Department Inspector-General Michael Horowitz confirmed its findings in his report, published in December 2019.

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Detailed history.

Ukraine Suffered A Humiliating Defeat In Soledar (Ugolny)

Soledar is a conglomeration of several settlements established around salt mines and railway stations. In 2001, when Ukraine last conducted a census, around 13,000 people lived here. The town stretches along the right bank of the Bakhmutka River from southeast to northwest. In late 2022, it became an infamous urban warzone. In peaceful times, however, it was known as the largest source of mineral salt in Central and Eastern Europe, covering around 80% of Ukraine’s needs. Deep salt mines have also made Soledar a tourist and leisure destination with tours around the caves. There was, however, a second, military purpose to the city and its industries, as was typical for the Soviet Union. In the case of Soledar, several of its depleted mines were used as spacious and secure military warehouses.

Last year, this previously disregarded aspect of Soledar’s identity became its most prominent feature. Salt production stopped, and the gypsum plant ceased operating; the only visitors around were now Ukrainian soldiers – and developing asthma was the least of their problems. Soledar became the focus of Russian offensive operations last May, after troops seized Popasnaya and breached the first line of Ukrainian defenses. The Ukrainian command turned the town into a major piece of its second defensive line, a stretch of fortifications along the Dzerzhinsk – Bakhmut (Artyomovsk) – Soledar – Seversk line. Up until early August, fighting continued around Soledar: Russian forces were busy cutting off the pocket of Ukrainian forces near Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, and gradually advancing toward Soledar and Artyomovsk, seizing fortifications at Pilipchatino and Pokrovskoye along the way.

Wagner units and the 6th Cossack Regiment of Lugansk gradually moved into the combat area. Russian troops enjoyed uncontested superiority in terms of artillery, but there were some early signs of ‘ammunition hunger’ looming on the horizon. The Russians were unable to penetrate Ukrainian defenses in one burst. The troops, exhausted after a major operation to liberate the entirety of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), simply could not break through the numerically superior Ukrainian forces. Ukrainian defenses in the area consisted of the 93rd Mechanized Brigade, supported by numerous units of the Territorial Defense Forces. The second line was formed by the 24th Mechanized Brigade, which had suffered losses during the earlier fighting in Popasnaya.

Combined, these forces were sufficient to hold off the attacks along most of the Artyomovsk-Soledar-Lisichansk line, a stretch of fortifications that would not be breached until December – a development that would ultimately spell defeat for the Ukrainians.

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Twitter thread – with maps.

Where Might Russia Commit Forces On An Offensive? (Big Serge)

Let’s do a quick parsing of the situation and examine the possibilities. Where might Russia commit forces on an offensive? Let’s do a quick parsing of the situation and examine the possibilities. Right now, the contact line is some 700 kilometers stretching from the Dnieper estuary in the south to northern Lugansk oblast. Troop concentrations and active combat are broadly present on four major axes. (Maps by me). The Svatove axis is where Ukraine’s Kharkov counteroffensive was stonewalled after crossing the Oskil river and struggling to break Lyman in a timely manner. Ukrainian efforts to continue the advance have been repeatedly defeated. The Bakhmut axis has been the subject of most attention lately, but there is a paucity of Russian regular forces in this direction.


Most of the work here is being achieved by the Wagner PMC and LNR forces, assisted by VDV. Most of the Russian army forces currently committed in Ukraine are currently on the Svatove and Zaporozhia axes in a defensive stance. Contrary to the impression given by western sources, the regular Russian Army has not been engaged in widespread attacking activity lately. Much of Russia’s combat power is currently uncommitted, and will be used to renew offensive operations in the coming weeks and months. The question is when and where. There remains a distinct possibility that there will be no “Big Arrow” offensive, and instead we will see lots of “small arrow” attacks with Russia going over to the offensive on all the existing Axes. This would mean forward progress, but no major new fronts being opened. )

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Erdogan playing both sides.

Russia Reacts To Turkish Support Of Zelensky’s ‘Peace Plan’ (RT)

Türkiye’s stated support of the “so-called peace plan” formulated by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky does not change the fact that Russia considers it unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. Zakharova was asked about remarks made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who stated that his country backed the ten-point proposal for peace in Ukraine promoted by Kiev. “It is unlikely that Ankara’s support of this project would promote the search for an optimal way towards peace in Ukraine,” she said, citing Russia’s previous rejection of the Ukrainian formula. “I don’t see any sense in any additional comments on it.”

The ‘peace plan’ was presented by Zelensky at the summit of G20 leaders in Bali, Indonesia, in November. It involves a full Russian withdrawal from territories that Kiev considers to be its own and long-term support of Ukraine by international donors. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who represented Russia at the gathering, called Zelensky’s virtual address “militant, Russophobic and aggressive” and dismissed his ten-point agenda as “unrealistic and inadequate.” The Kremlin called such proposals a non-starter, insisting that if Ukraine wants peace it should take into account “the new realities,” referring to the four former Ukrainian regions that voted to join Russia last fall, after Crimea did the same in 2014 following a coup in Kiev.

Cavusoglu expressed Türkiye’s positive stance towards Zelensky’s proposition on Tuesday during a press conference in South Africa. He touted Ankara’s role as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev and said his government wanted to see a resolution to the conflict “the sooner the better.” Zelensky floated the idea of a UN-sponsored ‘Global Peace Summit’ to discuss his ideas, suggesting that it could take place in February 2023. His foreign minister, Dmitry Kuleba, stated that Russia would have to be tried by an “international court” before being allowed at the table.

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“I, for the life of me, don’t understand why the EU doesn’t want to know who did it..” [..] “Is it because we know the answer? Or is it because it’s the wrong answer?”

Nord Stream Attack: The Case Nobody Wants Solved (Celente)

The attack on the Nord Stream pipelines that run deep under the Baltic Sea in late September has all but disappeared from the Western media’s radar, but now Russia is demanding answers and formally accused Sweden of withholding damning evidence on the identity of the perpetrators. Maria Zakharova, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said Thursday that Stockholm’s decision not to release the investigation’s findings a a puzzling move and is evidence that they are hiding something from the public. “Russian experts in the course of an objective investigation may come to uncomfortable conclusions and, finally, reveal to the public the ugly truth about who committed these acts of sabotage and terrorist attacks,” she said, according to Russian outlet TASS.

“Sweden’s refusal to set up a joint group to investigate the sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines is perplexing. There are no doubts regarding the nature of the incident – this was an act of sabotage. Thus Swedish authorities clearly have something to hide,” she said. Russia has blamed UK special forces of carrying out the attack. Polish war hawk Radek Sikorski actually thanked the U.S. for the attack in a Twitter post. Mick Wallace, member of the European Parliament, posted a video on his Twitter account where he expressed dismay over the investigation. He said the attack resulted in one of the world’s worst releases of methane gas ever and called the incident “environmental terrorism.”

“I, for the life of me, don’t understand why the EU doesn’t want to know who did it,” he said in the video posted on 5 January. He continued, “Is it because we know the answer? Or is it because it’s the wrong answer?” Wallace also expressed confusion as to how quickly the news story disappeared from the news cycle. “Initially, of course, the Russians were blamed,” he said. “But common sense kind of prevailed and we kind of thought, ‘If the Russians don’t want any gas, they can kind of turn the tap off at their end.” DW, the German news outlet, also raised questions about the blast. The outlet tweeted on Tuesday, “Russia has made an initial estimate of the cost needed to repair the #NordStream pipeline. That raises the question: Why would Russia undergo the expensive process of repairing their own pipeline if they bombed it themselves?”

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“This does not bode well for Fauci and those involved in the cover-up.”

7 Facts Fauci Knew But Hid From the Public (CHD)

House Republicans on Monday commissioned a special investigative panel focused on the coronavirus pandemic during which they hope to press scientists and federal officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, about the origin of the public health crisis and the government’s response to it. The following is a paraphrase of the opening round — the warning shot — by U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) Tuesday in which he used his time to outline seven facts that Dr. Anthony Fauci knew, and, more importantly, what Fauci did, and did not do, when he was made aware of these facts. This does not bode well for Fauci and those involved in the cover-up.


1/ Fauci understood that American tax dollars went to EcoHealth Alliance and that money was then funneled to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) lab in China.
2/ Fauci knew EcoHealth Alliance was given an exemption from the pause on gain-of-function research.
3/ Fauci knew that the security standards at the WIV lab in China were deficient.
4/ Fauci knew that EcoHealth Alliance was not in compliance with its grant reporting requirements and wasn’t adhering to the contract.
5/ Fauci knew that gain-of-function research was in fact being conducted in the WIV lab in China.
6/ Fauci knew that the standard P3CO interagency review process wasn’t followed in approving the grant to EcoHealth Alliance.
7/ Fauci knew that the virus likely came from the lab where U.S. taxpayer dollars were sent … the very city where that lab is at, a deadly virus breaks out that would ultimately kill six million people around the world.

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”Without immediately providing complete and reliable information about COVID-19 vaccine adverse events, you are obstructing Congressional oversight..”

Senator Questions CDC on Why It Expected 100s of Vaccine Adverse Events (ET)

A U.S. senator is questioning why a top agency was expecting hundreds of safety signals for the COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), claimed in 2022 that safety monitoring revealed no “unexpected safety signals” for the vaccines. But the results to which she was referring showed hundreds of safety signals, or adverse events potentially linked to the shots. The Epoch Times obtained the results through a Freedom of Information Act after the CDC refused to release them. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is now wondering why the CDC expected so many signals after vaccination. In a Jan. 10 letter citing The Epoch Times article on the results, Johnson demanded the CDC explain how it determined what is and is not an “unexpected safety signal.”

“The American people have a right to know the extent to which your agency was aware of and tracked COVID-19 vaccine adverse events. Your lack of transparency is unacceptable. Without immediately providing complete and reliable information about COVID-19 vaccine adverse events, you are obstructing Congressional oversight and leaving the public in the dark,” added Johnson, who was stonewalled when he requested the monitoring results. A CDC spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email that it received the senator’s letter. “A reply is forthcoming,” the spokesperson said, declining to comment further. The CDC has made multiple false statements on the outcomes found from a type of analysis called Proportional Reporting Ratio (PRR).

The analysis involves comparing the number of adverse events reported to a system co-managed by the CDC after COVID-19 vaccination to the number of adverse events reported after vaccination with other vaccines. The CDC initially said that performing PRRs was outside of its purview, contradicting a government document that stated the agency “will perform” the technique. Dr. John Su, a top CDC official, then claimed it started performing the analysis in February 2021 and continued to do so as of July 18, 2022. Both statements turned out to be wrong. After being pressed by Johnson, the CDC later said that it did not start the PRRs until March 25, 2022, and stopped performing them on July 31, 2022.

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How many of these lawsuits will we see? Probably depends on the success of the first few.

Former Employees Sue ESPN After Being Fired for COVID-19 Vaccine Refusal (ET)

Two former employees are suing ESPN for being fired over COVID-19 vaccine refusal, alleging the company violated their rights and state and federal law in the process. Beth Faber, a former producer with the network, and Allison Williams, a college football reporter, brought the suit on Jan. 11 in federal court in Connecticut, where Disney-owned ESPN is based. Faber was fired on Sept. 9, 2021, after ESPN denied her request for a religious accommodation to the company’s mandate. Williams was fired on Oct. 19, 2021, after ESPN rejected requests for exemptions based on disability and religious beliefs. ESPN officials claimed that no accommodation was possible because venues at which the employees would work would not accept unvaccinated people, according to the suit.


But plaintiffs allege the defendants made no effort to confirm that and pointed to how most NFL and college football teams had unvaccinated personnel, as ESPN itself reported. “Defendants impermissibly took adverse employment against Plaintiffs, including wrongfully terminating them, denying them of financial compensation, and in the case of Williams, pursuant to a contract, and intentionally harming their relationship in their industry, because they complained about the discrimination they suffered based on their religious beliefs, a protective activity,” the suit states. ESPN declined to comment or say how many workers were fired over vaccine refusal. The lawsuit came after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission issued “right to sue” letters to Faber and Williams.

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“..what with Clinton was a matter of lying to save his bottom, with Biden lying seems actually a matter of pride.“

A Tale of Two Cultures -America and Russia (Moglia)

As for the USA, the inaudible and noiseless foot of time, along with forgetfulness and dark oblivion, have erased from the collective memory the purportedly original reason that triggered the Vietnam war – and the consequent millions killed, the many maimed and the countless wounded on both sides. Namely the ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident. When, allegedly, North Vietnamese torpedo boats fired on a US destroyer that was in international water according to the US, and in domestic waters according to the Vietnamese. Nevertheless those involved on the US side still found it then necessary to invent a plausible cause. But not now. What changed or what happened then between 1965 and the present? And what identifiable original or ideological cause can be found for the Western so-called ‘rulers’ to disregard the Minks agreements and the agreement about the non-expansion of NATO?

Even the often quoted notion of so-called ‘plausible deniability’ has seemingly gone the way of all flesh. One socio-political interpretation may be perhaps found well over 20 years ago. That is, a related pattern-setting event can be traced back to the Clinton-Lewinsky business. When the president of the Unites States had the gall to tell the nation, in prime time, that ‘I did not have sex with that woman’ notwithstanding ample, legal and irrefutable evidence. That the president of the ‘exceptional nation’ would allow himself to be entrapped into an obvious and decidedly bawdy situation, while simultaneously showing himself as the lyingest knave in Christendom, should at least have raised some doubts about his qualifications for the position.

But it didn’t, and at the time various qualified voices expressed concern about the implications of the resolution. For when a preposterous lie to the public and parliament (by the highest representative of the state) is essentially endorsed by allowing the perjurer (for he was under oath) to remain in office, a pattern and precedent is established for others to follow suit in times to come. One obvious, recent and worthy fellow and follower is Giuseppe Biden along with his remarkable family. And we can see clearly an evolution. For what with Clinton was a matter of lying to save his bottom, with Biden lying seems actually a matter of pride. (E.G. “18 FBI agents have verified that Hunter Biden’s laptop is Russian disinformation!”)

Yet already after the Lewinsky business, the list of patent, unrestrained and preposterous lies excreted by subsequent US state department administrations would fill a long row of portable toilets and stink to high heaven. Beginning with Yugoslavia, followed by the very murky 9/11 affair, Saddam’s weapons of mass distraction, Gadhafi’s breach of human rights, Hassad’s ‘chemical poisons’ in Syria, bringing democracy to Afghanistan, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Middle Eastern terrorist groups that are enemies one day and freedom fighters the next, financed and supplied in either case by the exceptional nation.

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“..how is it that a country that spends $800 billion of its military budget [..] has practically the same firepower as a country that spends $65 billion?..

Everything Upside Down (Dionísio)

8 years of fortified constructions, tunnels, bunkers and endless armament depots, two months of repositioning of reserves and military human losses, the structure finally begins to collapse. The human losses are in the tens of thousands of young people, not so young, national and foreign, and after all the inevitable happens. The comedian who is president, in his daily videos from some bunker or mansion, has always resisted in doing what the opponent does when he considers that the effort is too much for the gain: retreat to a more solid line of defense, saving men and equipment. The official narrative, shared endlessly over and over again, about “the most important victories since the second great war” for the domestic side, will not be despising, for the decision to fight to the last man.

After all, any decision, to call this major defensive fortification line as lost, implies a total reversal in the narrative propagated by the North Atlantic corporate press. It´s a must to first prepare the public who are the relentless followers of such narratives. Telling them the truth is not an option, as this would mean effectively saying the opposite of what has been said, namely regarding the inevitable outcome of the conflict. In yet another war used as a cycle of capitalist accumulation, a fact that can be clearly stated in the reversal of the trend in the world arms market until 2014, which placed the two indirect contenders (US and Russian Federation) in direct competition and with very close numbers, this situation has, as it were, reversed, with the USA today being the undisputed leader in world arms sales, with around 2/3 more in sales value than its largest direct competitor (Russian Federation).

It doesn’t mean that they sell more quantity…. They mainly sell more expensive. The data at hand brings light about the use of war and the military industrial complex as an instrument of the capitalist accumulation cycle, or, on the contrary, as an instrument whose fundamental objective is national defense. The “Global Fire Power 2023” which establishes the “Fire Power Index”, places the US in first with 0.0712, Russian Federation with 0.0714 and the RPC with 0.0722. In other words, the top two appear tied and the third is very close. The 4th place, India, is much further away, with 0.1025. What does this tell us about the role of each army?

The first question that comes to mind is, how is it that a country that spends $800 billion of its military budget (and we do not include here the “dark money” of the secret services, nor all the research paid for through federal programs that also goes to military ends), has practically the same firepower as a country that spends $65 billion, and little more than another that spends $290 billion? The answer lies in several aspects: 1) the North American military-industrial complex is private, therefore, it aims to pursue profit, the enrichment of an elite and the concentration of wealth, with the state being an instrument of this accumulation; 2) the other two have a military-industrial complex that is essentially public – not exclusively – mainly in the most sensitive areas, and is not intended to do more than fulfill its public role, i.e., to guarantee an effective national defense capable of defending the country’s sovereignty.

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Tempted to check what decade it is.

Britain and EU Enter Talks To Settle Brexit Disputes (RT)

The EU and UK are gradually moving towards settling a longstanding post-Brexit trade dispute and are preparing to launch intense negotiations next week, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. On Monday, London struck an agreement with Brussels to share live data on trade with Northern Ireland, which was described as “a critical prerequisite to building trust and providing assurance” and laid “a new basis for EU-UK discussions.” British Foreign Minister James Cleverly and European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said the deal was an important step towards further talks on the trading rules known as the Northern Ireland Protocol.


The dispute stems from the Brexit deal in which Britain agreed to leave Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market for goods in order to preserve a 1998 peace deal between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and EU member Ireland, thus avoiding instituting a land border between the two. However, the UK has so far failed to implement parts of those agreements and in response the EU has opened several infringement procedures. The aim of next week’s talks between Cleverly and Sefcovic is to prepare the ground for a negotiating “tunnel,” the outlet said, citing people who spoke on condition of anonymity. The CEO of Northern Ireland’s Manufacturing NI, Stephen Kelly, who has been outspoken on a number of Brexit-related issues, expressed hope that the UK and EU would announce “a deep scoping exercise, deep conversation – what’s traditionally known as a tunnel” after the meeting of the UK foreign minister and chief EU negotiator on January 16.

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Roger Stone.

Nixon Threatened to Reveal CIA Involvement in Kennedy Assassination (Stone)

A stunning, long-overlooked Nixon Watergate-era tape shows Richard Nixon warning CIA Director Richard Helms that he knows of CIA involvement in the murder of John F. Kennedy- “I know who shot John.” This shocking new tape depicts Nixon increasingly besieged by Watergate but unaware that at least four of the Watergate burglars were still on the CIA payroll at the time of the break-in, and that the CIA had thus infiltrated the burglary team. Recently declassified documents reveal that Watergate Special Prosecutor Nick Akerman was aware of both the CIA’s advance knowledge and involvement in the break-in — but said and did nothing.

Senator Howard Baker, the Republican Leader on the Senate Watergate Committee and his counsel Fred Thompson himself, a future U.S. Senator from Tennessee, like Baker, stumbled on the CIA’s deep advanced knowledge and direct involvement in the Watergate break-in. Baker and Thompson both knew that at least four of the Watergate burglars were on the CIA payroll at the time of the break-in and that through CREEP Security Director James McCord, had infiltrated the burglary team. Senate Watergate Committee Chairman Sam Ervin stoutly refused to allow Baker and the Committee Republicans including Edward J. Gurney of Florida the right to publish a Minority Report which noted this stunning information regarding the CIA.

Nixon deeply distrusted the CIA because he knew that President Eisenhower had ordered the agency to give top secret briefings to both Nixon and Kennedy after both were the certain nominees of their parties. Nixon was sore that Kennedy utilized the information in their debates, attacking Nixon for being “soft” on communist Cuba, knowing full well that Nixon had chaired a working group as Vice President overseeing preparations for the “Bay of Pigs” invasion. Nixon, of course, could not reveal this upcoming attempt to topple Castro in the details. White House Domestic Policy Chief John Ehrlichman wrote that when he served as the White House Legal Counsel, Nixon ordered him to request that the CIA hand over all documents pertaining to John Kennedy’s murder. Nixon was furious when Richard Helms, the CIA Director, refused his presidential order to hand them over.

This stunning new Watergate-era tape captures an increasingly besieged Nixon desperately seeking to mobilize the CIA in his defense by threatening to expose their greatest secrets. Nixon also knew that Congressman Gerald Ford, as a member of the Warren Commission, had, at the explicit direction of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI Director, altered the official autopsy diagram for President John F. Kennedy; moving the marking from a bullet in his upper back to his neck in order to accommodate the single-bullet theory and to conceal the fact that Kennedy had been hit with more than the reported three shots.

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Bridgen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1613555822705143814

 

 

Alice Cooper Jeff Beck

 

 


The last picture taken of David Bowie. By his wife, Iman, on his birthday, 8th January 2016 – 2 days before his death.

 

 

Employee

 

 


The rainbow lorikeet has a very bright plumage: the head is deep blue with a greenish-yellow nuchal collar, and the rest of the upper parts are deep green. The chest is red with blue-black barring. The belly is deep green & the thighs and rump are yellow

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 062022
 
 September 6, 2022  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Man Ray Departure of summer 1914

 

Australian Artist Removes Ukraine And Russia Mural After Backlash (BBC)
Labor Day Assessment (Jim Kunstler)
Main Gas Pipeline To EU Will Be Closed Until Sanctions Lifted – Kremlin (RT)
Enforcing Russian Oil Price Cap Is Problematic – Washington Post (RT)
Deterioration Of Living Standard Inevitable – Greece Gov’t Spokesman (KTG)
Leaked Paper Shows UK Cops Preparing For Greater Civil Unrest This Winter (ZH)
Kremlin Scathing Over Truss But Kyiv Praises Britain’s New PM (G.)
Belgium Warns Citizens Of Ten ‘Difficult Winters’ Ahead (RT)
Kiev Urges Crimeans To Prepare Shelters (RT)
EU Arms Stocks Drastically Depleted – Borrell (RT)
NATO Struggling To Supply Winter Uniforms To Ukraine – Der Spiegel (RT)
Ditching Russian Gas No Way To Reach Climate Goals – Putin (RT)
Trump Medical Records, Tax Documents Seized In FBI Raid: Judge (Fox)
Biden’s Speech Had It All Backwards (Lance Morrow)

 

 

According to Bloomberg Europe has reserved $375 Billion in heating bill relief. UK’s Truss has set aside £130 billion.


Think of all the gas you could have bought with that money. Now you get nothing.

 

 

 

 

Winter will be big
https://twitter.com/i/status/1566832570775621632

 

 

 

 

The Russians have been accused for many years. Wonder how that feels?!

 

 

Take it down and tear it up

 

 

 

 

They’ve done it. War is peace.

Australian Artist Removes Ukraine And Russia Mural After Backlash (BBC)

An Australian artist has painted over a street mural showing Ukrainian and Russian soldiers hugging, after a community backlash. The Melbourne artwork advocated a “peaceful resolution” between the two countries, creator Peter Seaton says. But some have likened the three-storey mural to Russian propaganda. Seaton – known as CTO – has apologised for his work, saying it was “clumsy” and he “didn’t think it would be so badly received”. Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and Russian forces have been accused of war crimes since they invaded in February. Critics said the work – titled Peace Before Pieces – drew a false moral equivalence between the two sides.


“What would people think if a mural featured a rapist and a victim hugging?” co-chair of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, Stefan Romaniw, said in a statement. “Trying to be ‘even-handed’ and accepting a false narrative that ‘all we need is peace’ in this case supports evil.” Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko said it was “utterly offensive to all Ukrainians”. An art organisation, called Art4Ukraine Australia, said it had raised concerns about the artwork before it was started, and was shocked to see it completed. Seaton said he had stayed up until 03:00 local time on Monday to paint over the mural. “The mural cost me $2,000 to $3,000… I wouldn’t do that and spend 10 days doing it if I had thought it was going to hurt people,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation later on Monday.

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“Annalena Baerbock, promised last week to keep demonizing Russia to support Ukraine’s black hole of racketeering “no matter what my German voters think or how hard their life gets.”

Labor Day Assessment (Jim Kunstler)

The Great Re-Set is an emergent phenomenon. It unspools naturally out of circumstances that reality presents. It goes its own way and we have to adapt to it, like it or not. Is our climate changing? Maybe. But so what? The climate has changed many times since the Bronze Age. If preventing that is actually out of the question, which it is, then what else are you going to do? The answer is: adapt intelligently to new conditions. When you clear away all the mental resistance to that — which amounts to a titanic struggle to keep things just the way they are — you’re going to have to make changes anyway. America was, for a time, the greatest industrial society and now that appears to be over. The disorder in all the moving parts of it is probably too gross to arrest at this point.

We shoved it into disorder by making some very bad choices, like getting rid of our factories and squandering our wealth on an absurd suburban living arrangement. Shale oil was a financial stunt to keep our set-up going a little longer. It was part of the colossal debt roll-up — the steering function of finance — that was used to compensate for our actual loss of mojo, and now that gambit has hit the wall. You can’t pretend to issue more debt when everyone knows it can never be paid back. Europe, the old home-base of Western Civ, never got around to shale oil, and its financial structure was such — reckless bond issuance with no fiscal accountability whatsoever — that now it is collapsing faster and worse than America. Europe’s leadership is clearly insane and it will likely be overthrown before long.

The foreign minister of Germany, the winsome Annalena Baerbock, promised last week to keep demonizing Russia to support Ukraine’s black hole of racketeering “no matter what my German voters think or how hard their life gets.” Stand by to see how that goes over.The angst around these circumstances is expressing itself in a generalized political nervous breakdown featuring the sort of tragi-comic behavior previously confined in lunatic asylums. Have you ever seen anything more patently insane than the sexual confusion acted out in American schools? Drag Queen story hours? Litter boxes in the bathrooms for students who identify as “furries”? That was the funny part. The Covid-19 event is no joke — rather a psychopathic mass murder.

Obviously, it was no accident. We have a pretty good idea who made it, and set it loose into the world. And the “vaccine” response looks plainly malevolent at this point. Yet the Covid episode is shot through with mystery. How did all those sedulously trained doctors get so mind-fucked as to persist in saying the “vaccines” were safe-and-effective, when the vaxxes were obviously killing and maiming people? They’re still stuck in that disgraceful posture, busy punishing their colleagues who demur, and dishonoring medicine — not to mention the thousands of public health officials still pushing vaxxes and boosters to this day. We can attribute that to mass formation psychosis, but even that reeks of mystery. Maybe, as the old American hymn goes, farther along we’ll understand why….

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Problems in [gas] deliveries arose due to sanctions that have been imposed on our country and a number of companies by Western countries, including Germany and the UK. There are no other reasons behind supply issues..”

Main Gas Pipeline To EU Will Be Closed Until Sanctions Lifted – Kremlin (RT)

The technical issues with gas deliveries to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline will persist until the West lifts sanctions it has slapped on Russia over the ongoing Ukraine conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. On August 31, Gazprom completely shut down gas deliveries via the pipeline. Although initially Nord Stream 1 was slated to resume gas transit on Friday, Gazprom announced that it would remain closed indefinitely due to technical issues. “Problems in [gas] deliveries arose due to sanctions that have been imposed on our country and a number of companies by Western countries, including Germany and the UK. There are no other reasons behind supply issues,” Peskov noted.

The Kremlin spokesman also claimed that it is not Gazprom’s fault that “the Europeans absolutely absurdly make a decision to refuse to service their equipment,” which they are contractually obligated to do. Peskov stressed that all Nord Stream 1 operations hinge on “one piece of equipment that needs serious maintenance.” On Sunday, his comments were echoed by Alexander Novak, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, who blamed the European Union for the problems that have prevented the resumption of gas supplies via the pipeline. “The entire problem lies precisely on [the EU’s] side, because all the conditions of the repair contract have been completely violated, along with the terms of shipping of the equipment,” he said.

On Friday, Gazprom canceled the restart of Nord Stream 1 citing an oil leak in the turbine, which was detected during a joint inspection with manufacturer Siemens Energy at the Portovaya compressor station near St. Petersburg. At the same time, the malfunction could be remedied only in Canada, which has imposed sanctions against Moscow. Despite the maintenance issues, Europe has accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen describing Moscow as “not a reliable partner” in terms of gas supplies.

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Not if there is no oil. Not a problem at all.

Enforcing Russian Oil Price Cap Is Problematic – Washington Post (RT)

The latest initiative to set a price ceiling for Russian crude announced by the Group of Seven nations last week may encounter significant difficulties, the Washington Post reported on Friday. The scheme pushed by the G7 (the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan) is aimed at solving several problems simultaneously. It aims to undercut the revenue Moscow receives from selling crude to the global market, while maintaining energy flows to the West, and also keeping global oil prices in check. The plan, which is seen as a top priority of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, includes banning services such as insurance and financing to ships transporting Russian crude above an agreed price level.


Analysts polled by the media are raising concerns that the ban could be easily circumvented if countries outside the G7, such as China and India, were to keep purchasing Russian oil above the capped price before selling it back to world markets at a premium. “The devil is in the details, and few details appeared today,” Bob McNally, a former energy official in the George W. Bush administration told the Post. “This was a process announcement, moving from exploring a price cap to implementing one.” According to Simon Johnson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the price cap plan, which would allow Russia to trade oil at a discount, would be less disruptive to world markets than Europe’s previous idea of severing all imports of Russian oil. Experts have also warned that Russia could retaliate by slashing shipments of natural gas to Europe more sharply, saying such a scenario would exacerbate the economic crisis already gripping many Western countries.

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Preparing the people. How about a lockdown in homes they can’t heat?

Deterioration Of Living Standard Inevitable – Greece Gov’t Spokesman (KTG)

“Deterioration of living standard for quite some time is inevitable,” government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou warned Greeks on Sunday. “Citizens’ quality of life is threatened with sharp deterioration,” the spokesman said in an interview with Skai TV and an article he published at the Sunday edition of the newspaper tovima . His warning comes a day after the Development Minister warned of “the worse winter than the one in 1942 [Greece under German Nazi occupation].despite the government cheers of a flourishing economy and tourism revenues breaking all records. Referring to “the upcoming difficult winter”, Oikonomou said that the government is fully aware that this winter the people’s strength will be tested.

“The crises imported from Europe are threatening our every day life and the standard of living of all the society and even more that of the most vulnerable groups. So we should seek for ways and answers in order to stand by the citizens” he said.He noted that the government is examining ways to support the citizens without blowing up the economy.“The energy crisis has similar characteristics with the pandemic. It is external, it is imported and was not produced here, it has significant economic repercussions as the pandemic did, so it needs economic measures and support as it happened with the pandemic”.

Oikonomou’s warnings come one day after the Development Minister urged Greeks to seek alternative ways for heating, while the government has been reassuring all summer long that it was well “shielded” against the energy crisis cheering a flourishing economy and tourism revenues breaking all records.. Inflation stood at 11.1% in August and price hikes of 7%-10% for goods of basic needs are coming in supermarkets in September as companies have already announced.

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Truss is mad enough to send in police against her own people.

Leaked Paper Shows UK Cops Preparing For Greater Civil Unrest This Winter (ZH)

New Prime Minister Liz Truss may have only weeks to deliver a confidence turnaround in the UK economy or face a surge in violent crime and breakdown in public order caused by a cost-of-living crisis. The Times revealed police chiefs fear “economic turmoil and financial instability” has the “potential to drive increases in particular crime types,” such as shoplifting, burglary, vehicle theft, and online fraud and blackmail, as Brits face one of the worst collapses in living standards in a century amid energy hyperinflation. “Prolonged and painful economic pressure” could spark “greater civil unrest,” similar to the 2011 London riots, the leaked national strategy paper read. One police chief noticed increased violent crime as inflation is stuck at multi-decade highs.

This comes as energy regulator Ofgem increased the cap on power bills to a record £3,549 ($4,189) beginning Oct. 1 from £1,971 ($2,330). That cap is expected to rise to £5,439 ($6,427) by January and £7,272 ($8,594) by spring. Besides police, energy executives warned that mass civil unrest looms as people cannot afford their heating and electricity bills this winter. About 160,000 Brits have joined a movement against skyrocketing electricity bills, vowing not to pay come Oct. 1. Last Friday, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom PJSC halted flows via Nord Stream 1 to Europe, sending EU natural gas and electricity prices soaring on Monday. This means Truss hardly has any time to deliver a coherent strategy to save households from energy poverty and businesses from failing.

The massive protest in Prague this past weekend, where tens of thousands of Czechs flooded the streets, offers a glimpse of the impending social unrest that could hit the street of the UK if power bills continue rising without government intervention. Published last week was a new report via Verisk Maplecroft, a UK-based risk consulting and intelligence firm, warning there’s a high risk of social unrest in Europe later this year due to rising inflation. Europeans are finally waking up to how bad Western sanctions on Russia have backfired, as their governments sacrificed ordinary people over NATO’s proxy fight against Russia in Ukraine. These protests could spread like wildfire across Europe, and it appears the UK is preparing for the worst-case scenario.

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The Guardian should detest Truss, but guess what?!

Kremlin Scathing Over Truss But Kyiv Praises Britain’s New PM (G.)

Liz Truss’s imminent arrival in Downing Street as British prime minister has been greeted with scorn and scarcely veiled condescension from the Kremlin, but an outpouring of praise in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, expressed concerns that relations might deteriorate in comments to reporters shortly before Truss was announced as the winner of the Tory leadership race. “I wouldn’t like to say that things can change for the worse, because it’s hard to imagine anything worse,” Peskov said when asked if Moscow expected any shift in relations with Britain. “But unfortunately, this cannot be ruled out.”

The Kremlin has openly mocked and belittled Truss since she went to Moscow in February for talks with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. In the meeting, a fortnight before the Russian invasion, Truss challenged Lavrov on the buildup of 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border, which Moscow denied was preparation for an attack. Lavrov complained that her interventions were “just slogans shouted from the tribunes”. Russian government spokespeople sneered after a Russian newspaper reported that Truss had confused Russian regions with Ukrainian territory and had to be corrected by the British ambassador. The British government said she had simply misheard a question from Lavrov.

Reacting to Truss’s victory in typically bombastic style, one host on Russian state TV declared: “Stupidity has triumphed: Liz Truss has become the new prime minister … If Boris Johnson achieved Brexit, she wants to achieve something entirely different – the end of the world.” Ukrainian politicians, however, offered an exuberant welcome. The country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said British-Ukraine ties were already “ an unprecedentedly high level”, adding: “We in Ukraine know her well – she has always been on the bright side of European politics. And I believe that together we will be able to do a lot more to protect our nations and to thwart all Russian destructive efforts. The main thing is to preserve our unity, and this will definitely be the case.”

“In Liz, we Truss” tweeted Ukrainian deputy Rustem Umerov. “Mrs Truss is a solid supporter of Ukraine. Hope for a fruitful ongoing partnership between the UK and Ukraine.” Ukraine’s former president Petro Poroshenko congratulated Truss, writing on Facebook: “I am glad that the alliance between our nations will remain strong and powerful, which is crucial for our common victory over the Russian aggressor and Putin’s regime.” Ukrainian media reported that Truss’s first call would be to the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Some bloggers were said to have christened Truss “the iron lady”, an epithet bound to delight the new prime minister, who has styled herself on Margaret Thatcher.

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Belgium could get very bad.

Belgium Warns Citizens Of Ten ‘Difficult Winters’ Ahead (RT)

Belgium is facing up to ten “difficult winters” but is about to leap “20 years forward” by getting rid of its dependency on fossil fuels, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Sunday. He was commenting on the looming energy crisis, exacerbated by sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict and a decrease in Russian natural gas supplies. Speaking to VRT TV, De Croo claimed that the conflict in Ukraine had affected the European economy much more than the Covid pandemic “could ever have had.” However, he said that the hardships are worth it, because “this is about the stability and security of the European continent.” “When we get it under control, it will be five difficult years, it will be ten difficult years with bad policy, but I also said that we as a country and European continent can handle this if we get all noses in the same direction,” De Croo pointed out.


He argued that the current situation has a bright side. “We can also jump 20 years forward, in terms of detaching from fossil fuels and breaking away from countries that we don’t like to trade with…,” the prime minister noted. Last week, the Belgian government published a plan to combat soaring energy prices. It set out measures to decrease energy consumption, such as lowering the temperature in government buildings to 19 degrees, limiting use of air conditioning to a maximum of 27 degrees and ordering to switch off lighting in federal properties and monuments between 7pm and 6am. According to the paper, the country “should be able to get through the winter without any major problems” and might even be able to help its neighbors.

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“..the active de-occupation.”

Kiev Urges Crimeans To Prepare Shelters (RT)

Kiev has issued a warning to people living in what it called “occupied territories,” including the Crimean peninsula, to prepare shelter and stock up on supplies. The appeal was shared to Twitter on Monday by an adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Mikhail Podolyak urged “residents of the occupied territories, including the Crimean peninsula, to follow the officials’ recommendations during de-occupation measures.” Furthermore, people should “prepare a bomb shelter, stock up on a sufficient amount of water and charge power banks right now.” Podolyak concluded his warning with the line “Everything will be Ukraine.” The warning comes after Podolyak announced last week that Ukrainian authorities are developing evacuation routes for Ukrainians living in Crimea “who want to leave the island during the active de-occupation.”


Kiev has repeatedly insisted that it considers Crimea, which became part of Russia following a referendum in 2014, to be an “occupied territory” and has vowed to seize the peninsula “by any means necessary.” The US-led NATO alliance also considers Crimea to be “illegally annexed” Ukrainian territory, and has demanded that Moscow return the region to Ukrainian control. A US official told Politico last month that Washington had given Ukraine its blessing to strike targets of its choosing in Crimea. Kiev’s warning to Crimeans comes as the Ukrainian government has been talking about a counteroffensive in the south of the country for several months now, vowing to reclaim the whole of Donbass, parts of the Zaporozhye and Kharkov regions currently held by Russian forces, as well as Crimea.

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“Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto argued that each state should be allowed to make its own decision on the issue..”

EU Arms Stocks Drastically Depleted – Borrell (RT)

Stocks of weapons within the European Union are greatly depleted as member states continue to supply arms and ammunition to Ukraine for use in its conflict with Russia, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday.“The military stocks of most member states have been, I wouldn’t say exhausted, but depleted in a high proportion, because we have been providing a lot of capacity to the Ukrainians,” Borrell said during a debate with lawmakers in the European Parliament, adding that the arsenal will “have to be refilled.”The top diplomat said EU member states must start coordinating their military spending to avoid too many duplications and a waste of money.

If countries don’t coordinate properly, “the result will be a big waste of money, because this is not a way of canceling our duplications – there are a lot of them – or filling our gaps.”EU countries have been sending weapons to Ukraine since Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring country in February – and Borrell has since discussed launching a bloc-wide training mission for Ukrainian troops.On Monday, the chief diplomat said Brussels should have responded more quickly to requests for training Ukrainian troops a year ago.“Unhappily we didn’t, and today we regret it. We regret that last August we were not following this request, fulfilling this request,” he said, adding that “we would be in a better situation” if the EU had acted at the time.

The US and UK are already training Ukrainian troops in urban combat and instructing them on how to use Western-supplied weapons.Some EU nations are also already hosting training for Ukrainian troops, but no coordinated bloc-wide, EU-level program has yet been implemented – and some countries have voiced concerns over the idea. Luxembourg Defense Minister Francois Bausch told AFP last week that he was “not convinced” this would be the best way to help Kiev. Meanwhile, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto argued that each state should be allowed to make its own decision on the issue, telling Politico that it “should not be done at a European Union level.”

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“..the German military is “quite critical” of the idea of handing over its equipment to Ukraine..”

NATO Struggling To Supply Winter Uniforms To Ukraine – Der Spiegel (RT)

NATO members have been scraping the barrel in their efforts to supply Ukraine with sufficient winter uniforms and field camp equipment, Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine reported on Monday. Kiev has apparently called on the bloc to urgently provide the necessary equipment before the cold weather sets in. According to Der Spiegel, Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov wrote a letter to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg back in late July, calling on the military alliance to provide cold-proof field tents along with clothing for as many as 200,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The uniforms and equipment should be delivered as quickly as possible, the minister added, according to the magazine.

Several NATO nations have since been searching their warehouses for the needed supplies. The organization confirmed to Der Spiegel that it is in contact with member states on the issue. According to reports cited by Der Spiegel, so far the US and Canada, as well as Sweden and Finland, which are yet to join the military grouping, have together promised deliveries that could cover up to 50% of Ukraine’s demands.Military officials from various NATO members argue, though, that most of their nations’ stocks are reserved for the national armies, Der Spiegel says. The defense alliance has reportedly offered to replace the uniforms and equipment member states hand over to Kiev, using the so-called NATO trust fund, amounting to $40 million.

Germany also reportedly plans to join the effort, although it had earlier struggled to equip its own troops with the necessary gear, Der Spiegel says. By sending winter clothing and field camp equipment, Berlin could make “an important contribution” to Ukraine’s defense ahead of the approaching winter, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said. According to Der Spiegel, the German military is “quite critical” of the idea of handing over its equipment to Ukraine. Lambrecht herself repeatedly stated earlier that the German Armed Forces – the Bundeswehr – are about to reach the limits of what they can give away when it comes to weapons.

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Because you end up burning everything else.

Ditching Russian Gas No Way To Reach Climate Goals – Putin (RT)

Europe’s decision to slash natural gas imports while trying to reach climate goals was a mistake, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday during an environmental forum in Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East. “First, they (EU) jumped ahead, and then, after cutting off Russian gas supplies, returned everything that was reviled,” Putin stated. He emphasized that all nations are in favor of reducing emissions into the atmosphere, noting however that everything should be done in a timely manner. “And if you jump ahead, get cheap Russian gas, and then cut off the supply of this gas yourself and immediately switch back to everything that was previously condemned, including coal-fired generation, this, of course, is not the best option for solving global problems,” the Russian president said.


Under the REPowerEU plan, published in May, the European Union plans to phase out Russian fossil fuels by 2027 and boost its renewable energy production. However, skyrocketing gas prices in Europe, which some analysts believe could lead to an energy catastrophe this winter, have forced some states to fire up coal plants and expand nuclear power use.

Putin history

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“It is also not clear why investigators seized items labeled “Article of Clothing/Gift Item.”

Trump Medical Records, Tax Documents Seized In FBI Raid: Judge (Fox)

A federal judge revealed Monday that former President Trump’s medical records and documents related to his accounting information and taxes were seized during the FBI’s raid of his Mar-a-Lago home. U.S. District Judge from the Southern District of Florida Judge Aileen M. Cannon ordered Monday that an independent special master be appointed to review Trump’s records for attorney-client and executive privilege. The judge also ordered the Justice Department stop its own review of the material for investigative purposes. In the order, Cannon revealed the types of documents that had been seized during the raid. “According to the Privilege Review Team’s Report, the seized materials include medical documents, correspondence related to taxes, and accounting information,” Cannon wrote.

A source familiar told Fox News that the FBI seized 40 years of Trump’s medical records from Mar-a-Lago during the search. Congressional Democrats have been seeking Trump’s tax returns since 2019. Last month, a federal appeals court paved the way for the House Ways and Means Committee to finally obtain Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, under a law that permits the disclosure of an individual’s tax returns to the congressional committee. Trump may seek emergency intervention measures from the Supreme Court in an attempt to temporarily block any release of those tax records to the committee. [..] Last week, the Justice Department—after Cannon’s order—filed a more detailed list of documents taken in its raid of Mar-a-Lago, including dozens of classified documents and folders with classified markings.


Also included was a wide assortment of other items, including over 1,000 documents that did not have classified markings, several “Article of Clothing/Gift Item” entries and hundreds of printed news articles. It is also not clear why investigators seized items labeled “Article of Clothing/Gift Item.” In all, the DOJ said it took 18 such items. Meanwhile, Cannon’s order Monday halted the Justice Department’s “taint” or “filter” team’s review of seized records. “Furthermore, in natural conjunction with that appointment, and consistent with the value and sequence of special master procedures, the Court also temporarily enjoins the Government from reviewing and using the seized materials for investigative purposes pending completion of the special master’s review or further Court order.”

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In the WSJ, no less. Mr. Morrow is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His latest book is “The Noise of Typewriters: Remembering Journalism,” forthcoming in January.

Biden’s Speech Had It All Backwards (Lance Morrow)

Donald Trump isn’t a fascist, or even a semi-fascist, in President Biden’s term. Mr. Trump is an opportunist. His ideology is coextensive with his temperament: In both, he is an anarcho-narcissist. He is Elmer Gantry, or the Music Man, if Harold Hill had been trained in the black arts by Roy Cohn. He is what you might get by crossing the Wizard of Oz with Willie Sutton, who explained that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” As for Mr. Trump’s followers, they belong to the Church of American Nostalgia. They are Norman Rockwellians, or Eisenhowerites. They regard themselves, not without reason, as the last sane Americans. You might think of them as American masculinity in exile; like James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumppo, living in the forest has made their manners rough.

If there are fascists in America these days, they are apt to be found among the tribes of the left. They are Mr. Biden and his people (including the lion’s share of the media), whose opinions have, since Jan. 6, 2021, hardened into absolute faith that any party or political belief system except their own is illegitimate—impermissible, inhuman, monstrous and (a nice touch) a threat to democracy. The evolution of their overprivileged emotions—their sentimentality gone fanatic—has led them, in 2022, to embrace Mussolini’s formula: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Or against the party. (People forget, if they ever knew it, that both Hitler and Mussolini began as socialists). The state and the Democratic Party must speak and act as one, suppressing all dissent.

America must conform to the orthodoxy—to the Chinese finger-traps of diversity-or-else and open borders—and rejoice in mandatory drag shows and all such theater of “gender.” Meantime, their man in the White House invokes emergency powers to forgive student debt and their thinkers wonder whether the Constitution and the separation of powers are all they’re cracked up to be. Mr. Trump and his followers, believe it or not, are essentially antifascists: They want the state to stand aside, to impose the least possible interference and allow market forces and entrepreneurial energies to work. Freedom isn’t fascism. Mr. Biden and his vast tribe are essentially enemies of freedom, although most of them haven’t thought the matter through. Freedom, the essential American value, isn’t on their minds. They desire maximum—that is, total—state or party control of all aspects of American life, including what people say and think.

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Paris

 

 

What is man’s influence?

 

 

 

 

 

 


A storm is brewing – Adam Kyle Jackson

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sep 042022
 


Odilon Redon Breton harbor 1879

 

France Says Imposing Price Cap On Russian Oil Will Be Difficult (CNBC)
Mass Anti-Government Protest Hits Prague (RT)
One In Six Italians Faces Energy Poverty (RT)
The West Wants To Disarm The ‘Powder Keg’ Of Europe, Risks Igniting It (Norin)
Gazprom Discloses Major Challenge For Nord Stream (RT)
Sweden, Austria Bail Out Energy Companies, Trigger Europe’s Minsky Moment (ZH)
Russia Wants UN To Pressure US On Visas (RT)
Bill Barr Slams Trump’s Special Master Request As ‘Red Herring’ (Fox)
Prosecuting Trump In The Shadow Of Hillary’s Emails (Turley)
Biden Admin Held Weekly Censorship Meetings With Social Media Giants (PM)
The Terrifying Vacuity of Klaus Schwab (Eugyp)
Fauci’s Red Guards (Michael P. Senger)
1st Peer-Reviewed Study on Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Confirms ‘Excess Risk’ (BN)
Vaccine Vultures (Todd Hayen)
Ivermectin Reduces Covid Death Risk By 92% (Blaze)

 

 


MAGA kids

 

 

Putin dollar

 

 

 

 

Biden day after

 

 

Rallies

 

 

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
– Mark Twain

 

 

 

 

Ha ha ha! That’s one big gaping barn door he’s opening here:

“It should not be a Western measure against Russia, it should be a global measure against war..”

France Says Imposing Price Cap On Russian Oil Will Be Difficult (CNBC)

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday that efforts by G-7 nations to introduce a price cap on Russian oil would require commitment from the wider international community to be successful. The G-7 economic powers announced Friday that they had agreed on a plan to impose a set price on Russian oil. The initiative is the latest attempt to apply economic pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. But aside from cutting Russia’s oil revenues — a key source of funding for President Vladimir Putin’s war chest — Le Maire said the policy should be implemented as a “global measure against war.” “You need an outreach because we don’t want this measure to be only a Western measure,” Le Maire told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy.

“It should not be a Western measure against Russia, it should be a global measure against war,” he added. The G-7 — which consists of the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., Italy and Japan — is yet to finalize how the price cap will be implemented, a process that Le Maire acknowledged will be “quite difficult.” However, it is expected to be ready before early December when EU sanctions on seaborne imports of Russian crude kick in. “We know that we need the unity from all the 27 member states if you want to get the green light for introducing that cap,” he said, referring to the EU bloc of nations, a non-enumerated member of the G-7. More than that, however, Le Maire said the policy would require participation by other major global economies.


It follows comments from Kadri Simson, the EU’s energy chief, who urged involvement from China and India, both of which have increased their purchases of Russian oil this year, benefiting from discounted rates. “If we want to be efficient in these sanctions, we need to reduce the revenues that Russia is gaining from oil and gas selling,” Le Maire said.

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First step. “The protesters demanded the Czech Republic to take a neutral military stance, as well as to secure direct contracts with gas suppliers, including Russia.”

“They require direct gas supplies from Russia and food and energy guarantees for the Czech Republic. They hold the EU solely responsible for the European economic disaster and the rise in energy bills.”

Mass Anti-Government Protest Hits Prague (RT)

Tens of thousands hit central Prague on Saturday, taking part in a protest dubbed ‘Czech Republic First.’ The protesters urged the government to resign over soaring energy prices, inflation and the international policies they believe have brought the country to that state. According to police estimates, some 70,000 took part in the rally, with the organizers putting the mark even higher at 100,000. The event brought together people of polar political views, with the Communist party and right-wing Freedom and Direct Democracy Party alike taking part in the protest. “The aim of our demonstration is to demand change, mainly in solving the issue of energy prices, especially electricity and gas, which will destroy our economy this autumn,” one of the event’s co-organizers, social democrat Jiri Havel, told local media.

The protesters demanded the Czech Republic to take a neutral military stance, as well as to secure direct contracts with gas suppliers, including Russia. They have also condemned the government for supporting the EU’s sanctions against Moscow, adopted in multiple waves in wake of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. “The best for the Ukrainians and two sweaters for us,” one of the banners displayed at the event read, referring to the rising heating costs and potential energy cuts in winter. The protest came a day after the government survived a no-confidence vote over the same issues, with the opposition blaming it for inaction in wake of the soaring energy prices and inflation.


Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, leading the ruling five-party, center-right coalition, was quick to accuse the protesters of acting against the country’s best interests, implying the Kremlin might have had a hand in staging the protest. “The protest on Wenceslas Square was called by forces that are pro-Russian, are close to extreme positions and are against the interests of the Czech Republic,” he told CTK broadcaster. “It is clear that Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns are present on our territory and some people simply listen to them.”

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The protests won’t be long now.

One In Six Italians Faces Energy Poverty (RT)

One in six Italians, or up to nine million people, could sink into energy poverty due to soaring bills across the EU, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported on Saturday, citing the Italian General Confederation of Crafts. Households are considered to be in energy poverty if they cannot afford to regularly heat their homes in winter or use air conditioning in summer, and are forced to stop using high-energy household appliances, or severely limit their use. Southern regions of the country are reportedly the worst-hit. In Campania, between 519,000 and 779,000 households are using electricity or gas on an irregular basis. In Sicily the figure is between 481,000 and 722,000, and in Calabria there are 287,000 such households.


Earlier this week, local media reported that Italy’s Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani planned to ask the entire population to turn the heating down, starting from October. Italy has already introduced some limits on the use of central heating in public buildings and apartment blocks, and these are expected to be tightened under the new measures. On Friday, Italy’s Serie A football league announced plans to put a four-hour limit on the use of floodlights in stadiums on match days, as part of energy-saving measures. The new rule is expected to cut floodlight electricity consumption by about 25%.

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Evgeny Norin is a Russian historian focused on conflicts and international politics.

“The US diplomat offered Serbs a brighter future in exchange for giving up their historic lands.”

The West Wants To Disarm The ‘Powder Keg’ Of Europe, Risks Igniting It (Norin)

Just a day before the agreement was struck between Serbia and Kosovo, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Gabriel Escobar made an infuriating statement, “It’s time to forget the narrative ‘Kosovo is Serbia’ and move to the one that says ‘Kosovo and Serbia are actually Europe.’” The US diplomat offered Serbs a brighter future in exchange for giving up their historic lands. His words, however, sparked protest among the Serbian public and politicians. “The line between terrorists and freedom fighters is very thin for them. This is US policy. What can you expect from Mr. Escobar? Why do we keep pretending we don’t know what it is about?” said an outraged Serbian president, Alexandar Vucic, in an address to the nation.


Escobar’s rhetoric didn’t go unnoticed in Russia either. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reminded her American colleague that “UN Security Council Resolution 1244 <…> is still the legal framework for the Kosovo settlement, clearly reaffirming the territorial integrity of Serbia.” There are two sides to this story, but history definitely favors the Serbian and Russian perspectives. Kosovo is located in the south-west of Serbia, near the Albanian border. In the 12th century, it became part of the nascent Serbian state, gaining prominence during the Middle Ages. The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church resided in Kosovo’s Peja. Kosovo also played an important role in the building of the Serbian nation. The Battle of Kosovo, when the Turkish army fought the Serbs and won, became one of the bloodiest battles in Serbia’s history and a symbol of heroic defeat. A large portion of Serbian poetry is dedicated to those events.

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Siemens denies.

Gazprom Discloses Major Challenge For Nord Stream (RT)

Germany’s Siemens Energy is ready to correct a turbine fault in the Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline, but there is currently nowhere to service the failed equipment, Russian energy major Gazprom said on Saturday. “Siemens is taking part in the repair works under the terms of the current contract [with Gazprom], has detected faults and signed an act on diagnosing of oil leaks, and is ready to fix them,” the Russian company said via its Telegram channel. “There is just no place to carry out the repair works,” Gazprom added, providing no further details. Earlier this week, the company [said] an engine oil leak was found in the turbine during a joint inspection with manufacturer Siemens Energy at the Portovaya compressor station near St.Petersburg. Natural gas supplies via Nord Stream, a major gas route from Russia to Europe, have been terminated for an indefinite period due to the leakage. The pipeline had been due to restart early on Saturday after a three-day maintenance break.

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Add this to the war tab. All EU countries must follow.

Sweden, Austria Bail Out Energy Companies, Trigger Europe’s Minsky Moment (ZH)

Last weekend, Credit Suisse repo guru Zoltan published what may have been the most insightful snippet of the entire European energy crisis (to date) when he extended the infamous “Minsky Moment” framework to Europe, and specifically Germany, which he said “can’t cover its payments without Russian gas and the government is asking citizens to conserve energy to leave more for industry.” He then elaborated that “Minsky moments are triggered by excessive financial leverage, and in the context of supply chains, leverage means excessive operating leverage: in Germany, $2 trillion of value added depends on $20 billion of gas from Russia… …that’s 100-times leverage – much more than Lehman’s.”

But while Germany still pretends it can somehow avoid a devastating crisis this winter besides bailing out Uniper, one of the country’s biggest utilities (after all, admission would make Trump’s 2018 warning accurate and prescient, and everyone knows that according to Western intellectual snobs Trump can’t possibly ever be correct), other European nations are succumbing to what Zoltan dubbed a “supply-chain Minsky moment.” On Wednesday it was Austria, which announced it would bail out the country’s main energy supplier with a two-billion-euro ($2 billion) loan, the AFP reported. Chancellor Karl Nehammer said the loan to Wien Energie was an “extraordinary rescue measure” to ensure its two million customers – mainly Vienna households – continue to receive electricity. It will run until next April.

Wien Energie asked for a bailout this weekend after suffering financial trouble amid soaring energy prices and speculation the company mismanaged their funds. Nehammer said Wien Energie, which is owned by Vienna, would have to answer questions as to how they got into trouble. “The goal was to help people quickly… It has now been agreed that all of these questions, which are rightly raised, must be answered promptly by Vienna (and) the energy supplier,” he told reporters. The company – almost entirely dependent on Russian gas – said earlier this week that it had been hit by the “price explosion” which it has not yet passed on to customers, assuring it remained solvent. As part of its rescue, the company is expected to pass through soaring costs, which means a historic price shock is coming to Austria next… and soon Sweden.

Following in Austria’s footsteps, on Saturday morning Sweden announced it will give emergency liquidity support to electricity producers after the government said it feared Russia’s decision to halt gas deliveries to Europe could place its financial system under severe strain. Prime minister Magdalena Andersson said the government would offer hundreds of billions of kroner in support to electricity producers, the FT reported. The PM warned that, left unchecked, rising collateral demands for electricity producers could ripple through the main Nasdaq Clearing market in Stockholm and, in the worst case, spark a financial crisis…. just as Zoltan warned almost half a year ago. Her remarks came after Russia said on Friday evening that it would no longer supply gas via the Nordstream 1 pipeline. That announcement came after energy markets had closed for the weekend. s

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Visas for UN diplomats.

1947: “visas shall be granted without charge and as promptly as possible… irrespective of the relations existing between the governments of the persons referred to… and the government of the US.”

Russia Wants UN To Pressure US On Visas (RT)

Russia’s permanent representative at the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, has asked the organization to persuade the US to grant visas for members of Moscow’s delegation to the UN General Assembly. They are heading to New York to attend the high-level general debate that will be held between September 20 and 26. The request was made in a letter that Nebenzia forwarded to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday. The document has been seen by both Russian and the Western media. In his message, the envoy pointed out that, with less than three weeks remaining before the General Assembly, not a single member of Russia’s delegation has received entry visas from the US.

The Russian side, headed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, had submitted the relevant applications to attend the event to the American embassy in Moscow, the diplomat reportedly added. “This is even more alarming since, for the last several months, the authorities of the US have been constantly refusing to grant entry visas to a number of Russian delegates assigned to take part in the official United Nations events,” the letter read, as quoted by the media. Earlier this week, Nebenzia pointed out that Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev and his delegation could not attend a meeting of UN police chiefs because the US refused to grant them visas.


The Russian envoy cited the 1947 agreement between the UN and the US, which states that “visas shall be granted without charge and as promptly as possible… irrespective of the relations existing between the governments of the persons referred to… and the government of the US.” The already strained relations between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated even further since the launch of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The US has slapped harsh economic sanctions on Russia while backing Kiev and providing it with billions of dollars in military aid, as well as with intelligence. Nebenzia urged Guterres “to once again emphasize to the authorities of the US that they must promptly issue requested visas for all Russian delegates and accompanying persons,”including the Russian journalists covering Lavrov’s trip to the General Assembly.

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They even searched Barron’s bedroom.

Bill Barr Slams Trump’s Special Master Request As ‘Red Herring’ (Fox)

The legal fight between former President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice escalated Friday morning when the DOJ released a detailed inventory of the documents seized in last month’s Mar-a-Lago raid. The inventory list comes following an order from Florida Federal Judge Aileen M. Cannon, who is deciding whether to appoint a “special master” to the case. On “America Reports” on Friday, former Attorney General Bill Barr criticized Trump’s push for a “special master” as a distraction from the details of the case and argued it is not likely to be granted. “I think the whole idea of a special master is a bit of a red herring,” Barr told hosts Sandra Smith and John Roberts. “I think it’s a waste of time.”


Since the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, the former president has slammed the DOJ for what he argues was a politically motivated witch hunt. Trump recently called for a special master to hold an independent review of the documents. According to details revealed in the warrant, affidavit and the inventory list, dozens of the documents seized from Trump’s property were classified materials. A portion of the items taken were not classified, with several entries labeled “Article of Clothing/Gift Item.” Trump has claimed the documents at his Florida home were documents he had “declassified” prior to leaving office and were protected under executive privilege.

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“With Hillary Clinton selling “But Her Emails” hats at $30 a pop, Merrick Garland will have to explain the prospect of one politician going to jail while the other goes retail.”

Prosecuting Trump In The Shadow Of Hillary’s Emails (Turley)

A criminal charge of obstruction against Trump would offer certain political benefits for Garland. As previously discussed, the government has routinely elected not to prosecute high-ranking officials for improperly removing classified material or has sought mere misdemeanor charges in the most egregious cases. Prosecuting Trump for a misdemeanor for possessing or removing classified documents would seem gratuitous, while prosecuting him for a felony would raise questions of biased or selective prosecution. After all, in 2016, Hillary Clinton had not just 113 documents containing classified material but some documents “classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level” on her private email servers. (In Trump’s case, the government allegedly found roughly 100 documents in the Mar-a-Lago raid in addition to roughly 150 handled over by the Trump team under an earlier subpoena.)

Clinton’s documents were even more vulnerable to being compromised via her unclassified email account and, according to the FBI, “hostile actors gained access” to some of the information. Yet she was never subjected to a raid, let alone a charge. Yet, while less glaring as a contradiction than the charges on the possession or handling of classified information, an obstruction charge would allow up to a 20-year sentence and could be brought with misdemeanor charges on the mishandling or retention of classified information. Thus, an obstruction charge against Trump would be prosecuted in the shadow of Hillary Clinton’s case. In addition to the transfer of top-secret and other classified documents to her private server, Clinton and her staff did not fully cooperate with investigators.


During the investigations of her conduct, some of us marveled at the temerity of the Clinton staff in refusing to turn over her laptop and other evidence to State Department and DOJ investigators. The FBI had to cut deals with her aides to secure their cooperation. Later, more classified material was found on the laptop of former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who was married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin — 49,000 emails potentially relevant to the Clinton investigation. After Congress sought these emails, Clinton’s staff unilaterally destroyed thousands of emails with BleachBit. Clinton was aware that Congress and the State Department were seeking the emails in 2014. Her lawyers turned over about 30,000 work-related emails to the State Department and deleted 33,000 others while insisting they unilaterally deemed them “personal.”

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Democracy is something else.

Biden Admin Held Weekly Censorship Meetings With Social Media Giants (PM)

Federal officials in the Biden administration secretly conspired and communicated with social media companies to censor and suppress Americans’ private speech. This is revealed in a new lawsuit brought in a joint effort by The New Civil Liberties Alliance, the Attorney General of Missouri, and the Attorney General of Louisiana against the President of the United States. The suit is brought under the first amendment right to freedom of speech. The lawsuit seeks to identify among other things “all meetings with any Social-Media Platform relating to Content Modulation and/or Misinformation.” The discovery shows that there was “A recurring meeting usually entitled USG – Industry meeting, which has generally had a monthly cadence, and is between government agencies and private industry.

Government participants have included CISA’s Election Security and Resilience team, DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the FBI’s foreign influence task force, the Justice Department’s national security division, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Industry participants have included Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Microsoft, Verizon Media, Pinterest, LinkedIn and the Wikimedia Foundation. The topics discussed include, but are not limited to: information sharing around elections risk, briefs from industry, threat updates, and highlights and upcoming watch outs.” Communications across 11 federal agencies reveal that the federal government, under the Biden administration, “has exerted tremendous pressure on social-media companies—pressure to which companies have repeatedly bowed,” the New Civil Liberties Alliance details in a new release.


The social media companies that were part of this Partner Support Portal include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. The CDC invited “all tech platforms” in to their meeting to discuss how to suppress free speech about Covid online. Those agencies involved include the White House, HHS, DHS, CISA, the CDC, NIAID, the Office of the Surgeon General, the Census Bureau, the FDA, the FBI, the State Department, the Treasury Department, and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The NCLA notes further that, during the discovery process of this lawsuit, “the government has been uncooperative and has resisted complying with the discovery order every step of the way—especially with regard to Anthony Fauci’s communications.”

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Eugyppius has read The Great Reset, so you don’t have to.

The Terrifying Vacuity of Klaus Schwab (Eugyp)

Like many bad books, The Great Reset lapses into occasional inadvertent autobiography. In the final pages especially, where Klaus Schwab writes of his hopes for a “Personal Reset” through state repression, we catch a glimpse of the man during the first-wave lockdown at his house in Cologny. At first he enjoyed the break with routine and the opportunity to commune with nature, but before long he began to feel a nagging unease. He’d spent most of his years prior to 2020 flogging “stakeholder capitalism”, his umbrella term for various schemes to disarm criticism of the globalist corporate borg and co-opt leftist opposition.

Schwab succeeded in parlaying his simplistic ideas into an international conference circuit, known today as the World Economic Forum, where he could hobnob with corporate and political celebrities and burnish his Bond-villain reputation among political dissidents. But the pandemic had thrown Schwab off balance. For once his reprocessed nostrums about environmental, social and corporate governance issues were no longer in demand; virologists and epidemiologists and exponential growth curves filled the news instead. His powerful celebrity clients were suddenly listening to other people. Obscurity loomed.


Thus Schwab enlisted his sidekick research-assistant Thierry Malleret, booted up his laptop, and spent a few months decanting the cloud of buzzwords, talking points and half-remembered powerpoint presentations plaguing his brain into a meandering and thoroughly pointless document. When he had finished, he sent the whole thing to Malleret’s wife for a proof-read, and then he ordered his own Forum Press to print off a few thousand copies. Thus did yet another lamentable exercise in self-publishing come to pass.

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“..forced preference falsification..”

Fauci’s Red Guards (Michael P. Senger)

One aspect of dictatorships that citizens of democratic nations often find puzzling is how the population can be convinced to support such dystopian policies. How do they get people to run those concentration camps? How do they find people to take food from starving villagers? How can they get so many people to support policies that, to any outsider, are so needlessly destructive, cruel, and dumb? The answer lies in forced preference falsification. When those who speak up in principled opposition to a dictator’s policies are punished and forced into silence, those with similar opinions are forced into silence as well, or even forced to pretend they support policies in which they do not actually believe. Emboldened by this facade of unanimity, supporters of the regime’s policies, or even those who did not previously have strong opinions, become convinced that the regime’s policies are just and good – regardless of what those policies actually are—and that those critical of them are even more deserving of punishment.

One of history’s great masters of forced preference falsification was Chairman Mao Zedong. As László Ladány recalled, Mao’s decades-long campaign to remould the people of China in his own image began as soon as he took power after the Chinese Civil War. By the fall of 1951, 80 percent of all Chinese had had to take part in mass accusation meetings, or to watch organised lynchings and public executions. [..] This decades-long campaign of forced preference falsification reached its apex during the Cultural Revolution, in which Mao deputized radical youths across China, called Red Guards, to purge all vestiges of capitalism and traditional society and impose Mao Zedong Thought as China’s dominant ideology. Red Guards attacked anyone they perceived as Mao’s enemies, burned books, persecuted intellectuals, and engaged in the systematic destruction of their country’s own history, demolishing China’s relics en masse.

Through this method of forced preference falsification, any mass of people can be made to support virtually any policy, no matter how destructive or inimical to the interests of the people. Avoiding this spiral of preference falsification is therefore why freedom of speech is such a central tenet of the Enlightenment, and why it is given such primacy in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. No regime in American history has ever previously had the power to force preference falsification by systematically and clandestinely silencing those critical of its policies. Until now. As it turns out, an astonishing new release of discovery documents in Missouri v. Biden – in which NCLA Legal (New Civil Liberties Alliance) is representing plaintiffs including Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, and Aaron Kheriaty against the Biden administration for violations of free speech during Covid – reveal a vast federal censorship army, with more than 50 federal officials across at least 11 federal agencies having secretly coordinated with social media companies to censor private speech.

“Secretary Mayorkas of DHS commented that the federal Government’s efforts to police private speech on social media are occurring “across the federal enterprise.” It turns out that this statement is true, on a scale beyond what Plaintiffs could ever have anticipated. The limited discovery produced so far provides a tantalising snapshot into a massive, sprawling federal “Censorship Enterprise,” which includes dozens of federal officials across at least eleven federal agencies and components identified so far, who communicate with social-media platforms about misinformation, disinformation, and the suppression of private speech on social media—all with the intent and effect of pressuring social-media platforms to censor and suppress private speech that federal officials disfavour.” The scale of this federal censorship enterprise appears to be far beyond what anyone imagined, involving even senior White House officials. The government is protecting Anthony Fauci and other high level officials by refusing to reveal documents related to their involvement.

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8 mice.

1st Peer-Reviewed Study on Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Confirms ‘Excess Risk’ (BN)

A landmark peer-reviewed study appears to be the first of its kind to provide hard data on the “excess risk” of adverse side effects of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines in an independent “randomized clinical trial.” The results of the accepted scientific study confirm that the concerns that many patients had about the mRNA vaccines were well-founded. “In the Moderna trial, the excess risk of serious AESIs (15.1 per 10,000 participants) was higher than the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization relative to the placebo group (6.4 per 10,000 participants),” the study found. “In the Pfizer trial, the excess risk of serious AESIs (10.1 per 10,000) was higher than the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization relative to the placebo group (2.3 per 10,000 participants),” the study added.

The study was published on ScienceDirect on August 31, 2022. The authors include researchers from Stanford University, the University of Maryland, and UCLA. The study provides the following list of confirmed adverse events (or side effects) of the respective mRNA vaccines. It also provides the risk ratios versus Covid-19 (over 1 is a factor increase, under 1 is a factor decrease). The study also provided known complications for Covid-19. “Although the randomized trials offer high level evidence for evaluating causal effects, the sparsity of their data necessitates that harm-benefit analyses also consider observational studies,” the authors state. “Since their emergency authorization in December 2020, hundreds of millions of doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been administered and post-authorization observational data offer a complementary opportunity to study AESIs. Post-authorization observational safety studies include cohort studies (which make use of medical claims or electronic health records) and disproportionality analyses (which use spontaneous adverse event reporting systems).”

“In July 2021, the FDA reported detecting four potential adverse events of interest: pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction, immune thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation following Pfizer’s vaccine based on medical claims data in older Americans.” the researchers add. “Three of these four serious adverse event types would be categorized as coagulation disorders, which is the Brighton AESI category that exhibited the largest excess risk in the vaccine group in both the Pfizer and Moderna trials. FDA stated it would further investigate the findings but at the time of our writing has not issued an update.”

Joseph Fraiman announced the study results on Twitter: “Our study examining mRNA vaccine serious adverse events study is now peer-reviewed in the Journal Vaccine,” Fraiman wrote. “Serious adverse events of special interest following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in randomized trials in adults.” Thus, the objection to Americans’ concerns that the mRNA vaccines may have adverse side effects has come to a close, despite the initial advertisements that the vaccines were “100% safe and effective,” prevented infection and transmission, and had no known serious side effects.

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“We have been brainwashed to believe anything other than the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, or other puppets of the system, is pure hogwash. It is now the other way around.”

Vaccine Vultures (Todd Hayen)

Vultures are birds that seek out wounded animals about to die and then swoop down on them when they are dead (or close to death) and devour them—apocryphally starting with gouging out the eyes. Vultures are typically not classed in the “warm and fuzzy” anthropomorphic grouping, although they accomplish a great service to the ecology of the planet, such as other animals thrown in the “yuck” bucket of human perception such as flies, spiders, laughing hyenas, and carrion beetles (who knows what a carrion beetle is?—they ARE pretty, so before you know what they do for a living, you might like them). So are we human vultures when we swoop down on dead or dying people we have heard about to see if they are vaxxed or not and if what they are suffering or dying from is due to the jab? Two? Three, god forbid four?

At the beginning of the vaccine madness, I was quite brazen and would unashamedly blurt out when hearing of someone’s misfortune, “were they vaccinated???!!!” I never got brazen enough to ask this to the person suffering (obviously if dead), but did to their friends, or whoever was explaining what was happening. I eventually backed off of the personal incidents I was experiencing as it did seem a bit too vulture-like, but I still would ask sheep in my company what they thought of dozens of athletes dropping in the fields, now extended out to just average Joe’s not waking up or doctors way too young to be experiencing such severe cardiac issues. Now I don’t even do that. I just listen. It seems this particular vulture just enjoys the shock of seeing no one (sheep) realizing the secret. “You’ll see,” I say to myself, in my evil vulture voice. “You’ll see.”

Now, isn’t that sick? Maybe. But what else is this experience going to drive us to if not un-empathetic lunacy. Think of Lord of the Rings’ Gollum. Isn’t that what did him in? We have been put into this untenable position of finding “joy” or at least “satisfaction” in the trauma of another. At its worse it is a form of schadenfreude, pleasure derived from another’s misfortune. But I would argue this is not really the case. I do not think what we are feeling (assuming others are fellow vaccine vultures) is “pleasure” and whatever it is that we are feeling is not due to someone else’s health misfortune. Of course the definition does include “self satisfaction from another’s failures”—maybe that is the closest schadenfreude comes to defining vaccine vultures.

[..] I have recently decided that the number one culprit for keeping sheep asleep is the media. The media has always played the role of the unbiased family member that will let you in on any corruption it saw in our leaders or other groups trying to get our attention. I think that is still true (that people rely on media for that reason) but the corruption is now in the media, at least the mainstream media. We have been brainwashed to believe anything other than the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, or other puppets of the system, is pure hogwash. It is now the other way around. I do believe that if any of these “gods of media” ran a story like we see day in and day out in the alternate media, many sheep heads would turn regardless what the venerated talking heads of government and power had to say.

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“An observational study with the size and level of analysis as ours is hardly achieved and infeasible to be conducted as a randomised clinical trial. Conclusions are hard to be refuted. Data is data, regardless of your beliefs.”

Ivermectin Reduces Covid Death Risk By 92% (Blaze)

A new peer-reviewed study found that regular use of ivermectin reduced the risk of dying from COVID-19 by 92%. The large study was conducted by Flávio A. Cadegiani, MD, MSc, PhD. Cadegiani is a board-certified endocrinologist with a master’s degree and doctorate degree in clinical endocrinology. The peer-reviewed study was published on Wednesday by the online medical journal Cureus. The study was conducted on a strictly controlled population of 88,012 people from the city of Itajaí in Brazil. Individuals who used ivermectin as prophylaxis or took the medication before being infected by COVID experienced significant reductions in death and hospitalization.

According to the study, those who took ivermectin regularly had a 92% reduction in their COVID death risk compared to non-users and 84% less than irregular users. “The hospitalization rate was reduced by 100% in regular users compared to both irregular users and non-users,” the study stated. The impressive reduction for regular ivermectin users was evident despite the regular users being at a higher risk for COVID deaths. The regular users were older and had a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes and hypertension than irregular and non-users. Irregular users of ivermectin had a 37% lower mortality rate reduction than non-users. The study defined regular users as those who used more than 30 tablets of ivermectin over five months.


The dosage of ivermectin was determined by body weight, but “most of the population used between two and three tablets daily for two days, every 15 days.” “Non-use of ivermectin was associated with a 12.5-fold increase in mortality rate and a seven-fold increased risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to the regular use of ivermectin,” the study read. “This dose-response efficacy reinforces the prophylactic effects of ivermectin against COVID-19.” Cadegiani believes the study showed a “dose-response effect” – which means that increasing levels of ivermectin decreased the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Cadegiani wrote on Twitter, “An observational study with the size and level of analysis as ours is hardly achieved and infeasible to be conducted as a randomised clinical trial. Conclusions are hard to be refuted. Data is data, regardless of your beliefs.”

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Sanctions make Russia rich

 

 

 

 

Buttigieg
https://twitter.com/i/status/1565941643869577217

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jul 222022
 


Pablo Picasso Dora Maar with green nails 1936

 

EU To Face ‘Infinitely’ Higher Energy Prices Because Of Sanctions – Banker (RT)
EU Proposes Voluntary Goal For Countries To Cut Gas Use By 15% (R.)
Sinking Germany (D’Eramo)
Why Nord Stream II Must Be Opened Immediately (MoA)
Russia Will Expand Goals in Ukraine Over Weapon Transfers: Lavrov (Celente)
Corruption Concerns Involving Ukraine Revived As War With Russia Drags On (AP)
Ukraine Uses Russian Invasion to Wreck Workers’ Rights (CN)
Ukrainian Official Continues Offending Germans After Losing His Post In Berlin (RT)
Ukraine War Must End To Prevent Nuclear ‘Abyss’ – Lukashenko (AFP)
South American Trade Bloc Snubs Zelensky (RT)
The Brutal Reality Of The US-UK ‘Special Relationship’ (Chomsky)
‘Emotion And Pain’ As Dutch Farmers Fight Against Huge Cuts To Livestock (G.)
The Media Starts the Spin on Possible Hunter Biden Charges (Turley)
Fauci, Biden Officials Subpoenaed Over Collusion To Suppress Free Speech (JTN)
1 in 5,000 COVID Shots Caused ‘Serious Side Effects’ (CHD)

 

 

 

 

Joe Trumpo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1550144764523077633

 

 

 

 

Weather channel classic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1549922559658848258

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The IMF warned on Tuesday that Germany, the EU’s chief economic powerhouse, risks losing almost 5% of its GDP if Russia completely shuts off its gas supply.”

EU To Face ‘Infinitely’ Higher Energy Prices Because Of Sanctions – Banker (RT)

The EU rushed to back Ukraine without asking its businesses or citizens for permission and now the European economy is suffering the most from the anti-Russia sanctions, French investment banker Philippe Villin has said. European politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels threw their support behind Ukraine “without a democratic debate,” Villin wrote in an op-ed published by Le Figaro on Monday. “What is worse, they did not even consider it useful to consult with us about the military escalation, or the terrible consequences of the sanctions for our economies,” he said. Villin stressed that the world economy had already been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as tension between China and Taiwan, who are both vital to the global supply chain. The current crisis also spurred inflation, including energy price hikes and the risk of shortages.

“And the worst thing is that Europe is suffering from the increase of the prices of energy and raw materials far more than the United States or China,” Villin wrote. The fact is that, as a consequence of the sanctions, energy prices will be infinitely higher in Europe than anywhere else. The banker added that businesses would “lose huge shares of the market” and be forced to cut jobs if the crisis escalated. “I hope that, before our people eventually revolt, a quick electric shock will open up a political debate, in which we, citizens and business leaders, could challenge our blind politicians and Eurocrats, who are leading us to ruin by lying to us.” Many countries, including EU members, imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia after Moscow launched a military campaign against Ukraine in late February.

On Thursday, Russian gas giant Gazprom resumed the flow of gas to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline following a 10-day shutdown for maintenance. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had previously urged EU nations to cut the use of gas by 15% between August and June in case Moscow decided to end deliveries. The IMF warned on Tuesday that Germany, the EU’s chief economic powerhouse, risks losing almost 5% of its GDP if Russia completely shuts off its gas supply.

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Greece, Spain and Portugal immediately said no. Others will follow. I’m starting to wonder if the EU will make it to Christmas.

EU Proposes Voluntary Goal For Countries To Cut Gas Use By 15% (R.)

The European Union set out emergency plans on Wednesday for countries to cut their gas use by 15% until March, warning them that without deep cuts now they could struggle for fuel during winter if Russia cuts off supply. Europe is racing to fill its gas storage ahead of winter and build a buffer in case Moscow further restricts supplies in retaliation for European support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. A dozen EU countries are already facing reduced Russian deliveries. EU officials say a full Russian gas halt is likely. read more The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a voluntary target for all EU countries to cut gas use by 15% from August to March, compared with their average consumption in the same period during 2016-2021.

The proposal would enable Brussels to make the target mandatory in a supply emergency, if the EU declares a substantial risk of severe gas shortages. The regulation needs approval from a reinforced majority of EU countries. Country diplomats are set to discuss it on Friday, with the aim of approving it at an emergency meeting of their energy ministers on July 26. “Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon. And therefore, in any event, whether it’s a partial, major cut-off of Russian gas or a total cut-off of Russian gas, Europe needs to be ready,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. The plan has faced resistance from some countries, which feel their contingency plans do not need reinforcement from the EU.

Countries would be required to update their emergency gas plans by end-September to show how they will meet the EU target.Among those opposed is Poland, which has filled its gas storage to 98% of capacity after Russia cut its supply in April. Others have less stored, such as Hungary, which is at 47% full.But EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson said countries have reduced their combined gas demand by just 5% despite months of dwindling supplies from Russia and soaring prices, with deeper cuts urgently needed. A 15% cut would save about 45 billion cubic metres of gas from August-March. Russia supplied 40% of the EU’s gas before its invasion of Ukraine, or around 155 bcm per year, but flows have since plummeted.

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“The new Iron Curtain has been raised, and won’t be crossed for years to come.”

Sinking Germany (D’Eramo)

Each day, then, we discover new difficulties in decoupling Russia from the global economy. This is partly because sanctions have proven less effective than predicted, despite the tenacious efforts of the US and Europe. To date, there have been at least six sets of successive sanctions, each more drastic than the last: the removal of Russia from the international financial system operated by SWIFT; the freezing of the Russian Central Bank’s foreign reserves, which amounted to around $630 billion; the freezing of $600 million deposited by Russia in American banks, and the refusal to accept these funds as payment for Russia’s foreign debt; the exclusion of Russia’s most important banks from the City of London; and the restriction of Russian deposits in British banks.

Western airports (and airspace) are now closed to Russian planes, and the Russian merchant navy is forbidden from docking in Western ports (Japan and Australia included). Technological exports to Russia are banned, as are many imports. The European Union has sanctions in place against 98 entities and 1,158 individuals, including President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov; oligarchs with ties to the Kremlin like Roman Abramovich; 351 representatives to the Duma; members of Russia’s National Security Council; high-ranking officers of the armed forces; entrepreneurs and financiers; propagandists and actors. All Western banks and a majority of Western companies have closed shop in Russia and sold their branches. Russia has responded by banning the export of more than 200 products, demanding ruble payments for oil and gas exports, and blocking provisions to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland when they refused to accept this stipulation.

Paradoxically, though, certain sanctions have played into Moscow’s hands. The embargo on oil and gas has increased Russian revenues due to the price rises it has caused, while foreign observers note that Russian supermarket shelves still seem to be well-stocked. In the first four months of the year, Russia’s balance of trade ran its highest surplus since 1994, at $96 billion. Yet, after its initial collapse during the first days of the war, the ruble gradually recovered, such that it is now worth more than it was last year. In 2021, 70 rubles were needed to buy a dollar. On 7 March – its worst day – that figure had nearly doubled; but as of 18 July it dropped back down to 57.

The relative inefficacy of sanctions was predictable. If decades of economic warfare had proved incapable of bringing down effectively defenceless regimes such as Castro’s Cuba (by now targeted for over 70 years), Bolivarian Venezuela (30 years) or Khomeinist Iran (42 years of American sanctions, plus around ten years of international measures), it’s difficult to imagine them triggering regime change in a country like Russia, which has been preparing for this eventuality by revamping its industrial capacities. Yet the more ineffective the sanctions the more the war drags on, lurching from one escalation to the next, and deepening divisions that seem ever more irremediable. By now we can assume that relations with Russia will be interrupted for at least some decades (a regrettable situation for any Westerner who hasn’t had the good fortune to visit Moscow and St Petersburg). The new Iron Curtain has been raised, and won’t be crossed for years to come.

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“..when the public has no gas to even take a shower or cannot buy oil and flour at the supermarket, what is the meaning of the “security” the European politicians tout?”

Why Nord Stream II Must Be Opened Immediately (MoA)

The German and other European governments have pledged to suicide the German economy and the wealth of their citizens solely out of spite over the Russian government’s action in the Ukraine. They deny that it is THEIR action that is causing the crisis. [..] They, and their media, ignore that Russia has had, and has, sound reasons to defend the Donbas republics. They do not tell you that the Ukraine, in late February, had planned and was ready to attack the citizens of Donetzk and Luhansk with overwhelming force. Here is additional evidence for that: “OSCE Reports Reveal Ukraine Started Shelling The Donbas Nine Days Before Russia’s ‘Special Military Operation'”

They deny that Ukraine is controlled by extreme right wing elements. They deny that there are full fledged Nazis formations in control of Ukraine even as their own media have for years warned of those. They are lying to you. All German natural gas storage sites can be filled to the brim via Nord Stream II if the Germany government would allow for it. It does not do so. That is the reason why you in Europe will to have pay much more for heating and electricity in the months and years to come. Russia will win the war. It is only a question of time. Meanwhile the sanctions will impoverish Europe:

“[C]an the European public wait? Before the sanctions have a “desired effect,” it is the ordinary people that will suffer. Russia’s economy is still standing, but the crisis has cast a long shadow over European economies. Leaders of EU countries face low growth and record inflation. The euro is at parity with the dollar. According to a Bloomberg report, the European Commission is set to warn that a halt of Russian gas supplies to the EU could potentially reduce its GDP by as much as 1.5 percent. The EU is well in a position to find out that it is not that Russia cannot live without Europe, but Europe cannot live without Russia. EU’s sanctions against Russia serve as a boomerang. After all, it is the European public that is paying the price for the decision of policymakers. European politicians talk in high spirits about what kinds of sanctions would hurt Russia most and that aligning with the US makes them more secure. But when the public has no gas to even take a shower or cannot buy oil and flour at the supermarket, what is the meaning of the “security” the European politicians tout?”

It is on you to expose the politicians behind these sanctions and to force them to change course. Your well being depends on that.

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There is talk of Ukrainian counteroffensives in Kherson and Crimea. Bad idea.

Russia Will Expand Goals in Ukraine Over Weapon Transfers: Lavrov (Celente)

Russia’s top diplomat signaled Wednesday that Moscow will expand its goals in Ukraine due to Kyiv’s increased weapon capacity due to Western intervention. Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, said in an interview with state media that Russia’s military is no longer “only” focused on the eastern part of Ukraine. He implied that Moscow’s strategy has changed after Western intervention with longer-range weapons, the BBC reported. He told Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT, that Moscow cannot allow the remaining region of Ukraine controlled by President Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces to “possess weapons that would pose a direct threat to our territory.” “The geography is different now,” he said. He now named Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as new objectives, the report said.


Kherson is considered valuable real estate and is a shipbuilding center. The New York Times reported that the area has been a Russian staging ground in recent weeks. There are reports that Ukraine could be staging a counteroffensive there. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said the window of opportunity for Ukraine could be closing before the Kremlin annexes that territory. Natalia Humeniuk, the spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern forces, told the paper that Ukraine’s single goal is to reclaim all its territory. Lavrov took particular issue with the U.S.’s decision to provide Ukraine with HIMARS. He called out the “impotent anger” and a “desire to make things worse.”

French howitzers
https://twitter.com/i/status/1550047368782876672

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AP tries to connect the corruption to Russia. They should look at Zelensky and Kolomoisky.

Corruption Concerns Involving Ukraine Revived As War With Russia Drags On (AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s dismissal of senior officials is casting an inconvenient light on an issue that the Biden administration has largely ignored since the outbreak of war with Russia: Ukraine’s history of rampant corruption and shaky governance. As it presses ahead with providing tens of billions of dollars in military, economic and direct financial support aid to Ukraine and encourages its allies to do the same, the Biden administration is now once again grappling with longstanding worries about Ukraine’s suitability as a recipient of massive infusions of American aid. Those issues, which date back decades and were not an insignificant part of former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, had been largely pushed to the back burner in the immediate run-up to Russia’s invasion and during the first months of the conflict as the U.S. and its partners rallied to Ukraine’s defense.

But Zelenskyy’s weekend firings of his top prosecutor, intelligence chief and other senior officials have resurfaced those concerns and may have inadvertently given fresh attention to allegations of high-level corruption in Kyiv made by one outspoken U.S. lawmaker. It’s a delicate issue for the Biden administration. With billions in aid flowing to Ukraine, the White House continues to make the case for supporting Zelenskyy’s government to an American public increasingly focused on domestic issues like high gas prices and inflation. High-profile supporters of Ukraine in both parties also want to avoid a backlash that could make it more difficult to pass future aid packages. U.S. officials are quick to say that Zelenskyy is well within his right to appoint whomever he wants to senior positions, including the prosecutor general, and remove anyone who he sees as collaborating with Russia.

Yet even as Russian troops were massing near the Ukrainian border last fall, the Biden administration was pushing Zelenskyy to do more to act on corruption — a perennial U.S. demand going back to Ukraine’s early days of independence. “In all of our relationships, and including in this relationship, we invest not in personalities; we invest in institutions, and, of course, President Zelenskyy has spoken to his rationale for making these personnel shifts,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Monday. Price declined to comment further on Zelenskyy’s reasoning for the dismissals or address the specifics but said there was no question that Russia has been trying to interfere in Ukraine. “Moscow has long sought to subvert, to destabilize the Ukrainian government,” Price said. “Ever since Ukraine chose the path of democracy and a Western orientation this has been something that Moscow has sought to subvert.”

George Webb Kolomoisky

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Nice country.

Ukraine Uses Russian Invasion to Wreck Workers’ Rights (CN)

The Ukrainian parliament has passed two new radical measures on labour liberalisation, prompting fears of Ukrainians losing workplace rights permanently as Russia’s war puts huge pressure on the country’s economy. In two laws passed on Monday and Tuesday, MPs voted to legalise “zero-hours contracts” and made moves towards removing up to 70 percent of the country’s workforce from protections guaranteed by national labour law. The latter measure means the national labour code no longer applies to employees of small- and medium-sized enterprises; instead, it is proposed that each worker strikes an individual labour agreement with their employer. It also removes the legal authority of trade unions to veto workplace dismissals.

Draft law 5371 had previously been criticised by the International Labor Organization, as well as Ukrainian and European trade unions, on the basis that it could “infringe international labour standards.” Ukraine’s ruling Servant of the People party argued that the “extreme over-regulation of employment contradicts the principles of market self-regulation [and] modern personnel management.” Red tape in Ukraine’s HR laws, it suggested, “creates bureaucratic barriers both for the self-realisation of employees and for raising the competitiveness of employers.” The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine will now ask President Volodymyr Zelensky to veto draft law 5371 when it goes to him for signature — but will not make the same request over the proposed law on zero-hours contracts, Ukrainian MP Vadym Ivchenko told openDemocracy.

Nataliia Lomonosova, an analyst at Ukrainian think tank Cedos, warned that the two laws could further deteriorate an already difficult socio-economic situation for Ukrainians suffering from Russia’s military campaign. According to the U.N.’s latest numbers, Russia’s invasion has led to at least 7 million people becoming displaced inside Ukraine itself, which has been compounded by a severe economic crisis hitting families and individuals hard. At the same time, the World Bank has predicted that Ukraine’s economy will contract by 45 percent this year.

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“Melnik blasted Kretschmer, accusing him of “constant pandering” to Putin and calling his approach “disgusting.”

Don’t even mention peace!

Ukrainian Official Continues Offending Germans After Losing His Post In Berlin (RT)

The former Ukrainian ambassador to Berlin, Andrey Melnik, slammed the minister president of the eastern German state of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, after he said Europe should mediate a ceasefire between Kiev and Moscow instead of adding more fuel to the fire in the ongoing conflict. “Ukrainians are in favor of you sticking your head in a freezer to freeze your hot Russia fantasies,” the outspoken Ukrainian diplomat wrote in a Twitter post addressed to Kretschmer on Tuesday. The former ambassador’s rant was sparked by the prime minister of Saxony’s call for Europe and Germany to help ‘freeze’ the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev and not to abandon Russian energy imports.

The conflict is throwing Europe and the entire world into chaos, Kretschmer told journalists on Tuesday. He warned that Europe risks losing the economic strength needed to maintain security and remain competitive on the world stage, adding: “We have to work to ensure that this war is frozen.” He also characterized Europe’s position on the conflict as “very one-sided” – helping Ukraine win and completely abandoning Russian energy – which he said is a mistake. “I firmly believe that we need these supplies of raw materials,” Kretschmer said, adding that European leaders “must together try to … influence Russian President [Vladimir Putin] and convince Ukraine that we all have to freeze this conflict together.”

Melnik blasted Kretschmer, accusing him of “constant pandering” to Putin and calling his approach “disgusting.” The minister president of Saxony faced a barrage of criticism from fellow politicians at home as well. The general secretary of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), Bijan Djir-Sarai, accused him of failing to understand the threat Russia supposedly poses. “Thank God this man is not responsible for our foreign policy,” he said. Green politician Jamila Schaefer told German tabloid Bild that Kretschmer’s suggestion “damages the reputation of the Federal Republic of Germany,”accusing him of “dangerous ignorance.” Kretschmer’s fellow Christian Democrats were just as critical. MP Matthias Hauer tweeted that his position does not reflect that of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

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I said: Don’t mention peace!

Ukraine War Must End To Prevent Nuclear ‘Abyss’ – Lukashenko (AFP)

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko Thursday said Russia, Ukraine and the West must agree to halt the Ukraine conflict to avoid the “abyss of nuclear war” and insisted Kyiv should accept Moscow’s demands. “We must stop, reach an agreement, end this mess, operation and war in Ukraine,” Lukashenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top ally, told AFP in an exclusive interview in Minsk. “Let’s stop and then we will figure out how to go on living,” he said during the one-hour interview at the Palace of Independence. “There’s no need to go further. Further lies the abyss of nuclear war. There’s no need to go there,” he said, speaking on the 148th day of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.

Lukashenko accused the West of seeking a conflict with Russia and of provoking the Ukraine war. “You have fomented the war and are continuing it,” he said. “We have seen the reasons for this war,” he added. “If Russia had not got ahead of you, members of NATO, you would have organised and struck a blow against it,” he said, echoing Putin. Belarus has served as a staging ground for Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, but Lukashenko has so far avoided becoming a party to the conflict. Analysts say that he is keenly aware of the fact that most Belarusians do not support sending troops into Ukraine. The 67-year-old leader, who has ruled Belarus for nearly three decades, insisted that Kyiv authorities can end the war if they re-start talks with Moscow and accept its demands.

“Everything depends on Ukraine,” he said. “Right now, the peculiarity of the moment is that this war can be ended on more acceptable terms for Ukraine.” He urged Kyiv authorities to “sit down at the negotiating table and agree that they will never threaten Russia”. Talks between Russia and Ukraine largely ground to a halt in mid-April. Lukashenko said that Ukraine must accept the loss of territory occupied by Russia in eastern and southern Ukraine. “This is no longer being discussed,” he said. “One could have discussed this in February or March.”

Lukashenko

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First Africa, now South America. They prefer BRICS.

South American Trade Bloc Snubs Zelensky (RT)

South America’s Mercosur trade bloc has declined a request by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to speak at its summit, host nation Paraguay said on Wednesday, according to the AFP news agency. Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay failed to reach an agreement on whether to invite the Ukrainian leader, Deputy Foreign Minister, Raul Cano said, albeit refusing to name the countries that opposed the move. “There was no consensus on such communication, that’s why the Ukrainian counterpart has already been informed that under current circumstances there are no conditions allowing to speak with the president of Ukraine in the Mercosur format,” the minister explained.


Earlier this month, Julio Cesar Arriola, Paraguay’s Foreign Minister, said that Zelensky had talked with Mario Abdo Benitez, the nation’s president, on the phone and asked for the opportunity to address the upcoming Mercosur summit. According to Arriola, Benitez promised to discuss the matter with his colleagues in the bloc. Mercosur is an economic and political organization that was established in 1991 to create a common market and incentivize development in South America. After Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, Zelensky has addressed a slew of national parliaments and major international forums, including NATO, the G7 and the UN in an effort to rally countries to Kiev’s cause and help it fight off Moscow’s offensive. However, in late June, when the Ukrainian president took part in a virtual meeting with the African Union, only a handful of leaders reportedly tuned in to listen to his speech. Following the conference call, the President of Senegal and African Union Chairperson, Macky Sall, indicated that Africa’s position of neutrality over the conflict in Ukraine remained unchanged.

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“..that the United States stands for something in the world – something of which the world has need, something which the world is going to like, something, in the final analysis, which the world is going to take, whether it likes it or not.”

The Brutal Reality Of The US-UK ‘Special Relationship’ (Chomsky)

The abject submission of British authorities to the Master in Washington in the case of journalist Julian Assange is painful to observe but – unfortunately – not difficult to understand. The roots go back to the Second World War, when Britain handed the mantle of world domination over to its former colony. The US had long surpassed the UK as an economic power and had displaced it from “our little region over here,” as Secretary of War Henry Stimson described the Western hemisphere. But it had not yet become a truly global power. At the time, British officials were well aware that the UK was becoming a “junior partner” to the US, now subject to its will, which was often exercised crudely.

Given their own ample experience with imperial arrogance, brutality and hypocrisy, British diplomats could easily read between the lines when their American counterparts protested that US global domination is “part of our obligation to the security of the world…what was good for us was good for the world”, as Abe Fortas, a leading figure in the New Deal administrations, put it. The British Foreign Office, parsing this apparent altruistic concern, concluded that Washington was, in fact, guided by “the economic imperialism of American business interests” and was “attempting to elbow us out…under the cloak of a benevolent and avuncular internationalism”.

UK officials continued that their American counterparts believe “that the United States stands for something in the world – something of which the world has need, something which the world is going to like, something, in the final analysis, which the world is going to take, whether it likes it or not.” What true believers in the historical profession call “Wilsonian idealism”. From then, Britain takes it, whether it likes it or not. Things could have gone a different way at various points in modern history, recently if Jeremy Corbyn hadn’t been destroyed by a vicious media campaign. But today’s British authorities just take the orders and Julian Assange is one of the victims.

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10,000 Dutch farmers risk losing their farms altogether. This will not be accepted.

‘Emotion And Pain’ As Dutch Farmers Fight Against Huge Cuts To Livestock (G.)

Along roads and bridges in the Netherlands, people are hanging the Dutch flag upside down. It is a sign of solidarity with the Dutch farming sector, which will also be upturned by a radical 30% reduction in livestock numbers, a move being made to meet environmental targets. In recent weeks, farmers have blocked off food distribution centres with hundreds of tractors, blockaded major roads and turned up outside regional assemblies and ministers’ homes to protest. One late-night protest ended with a police officer accused of firing a gun at a 16-year-old farmer’s son. It comes as authorities in the Netherlands have released details of the cuts in ammonia, nitrogen oxides and nitrous oxide needed to protect more than 150 nature reserves in the country. And it is the farming sector that is going to bear the brunt of emissions cuts.

“This is not a democracy any more: it’s a dictatorship,” says Jeroen van Maanen, a farmer with 130 cows in Zeewolde, central Netherlands, who has joined the protests. Manure, when mixed with urine, releases ammonia, a nitrogen compound. If it enters lakes and streams via farm runoff, excessive nitrogen can damage sensitive natural habitats. The country has the seventh biggest livestock population in the EU but is comparatively small in size. This gives it Europe’s highest livestock density, with insufficient land to make good use of the waste from more than 100 million cattle, chickens and pigs. Van Maanen says farmers are being unfairly targeted: “If you come for us and our families, you come at a farmer’s soul,” he says. “We’ve proposed all kinds of solutions but we are ignored.

“And finally, they come up with a plan for a reduction in livestock. No other sector has reduced nitrogen in the last 30 years [as much as] we have. This is why there’s a lot of emotion and pain.” The latest government coalition has not, so far, been dissuaded by the protests from its drive to tackle the country’s environmental problems. After a landmark court ruling in 2019, it needs to reduce nitrogen emissions in order to allow building projects to go-ahead in the country. There is no choice, says Rudi Buis, spokesperson for the agriculture ministry. “Even if you stop with the policy tomorrow, the problem doesn’t go away. If you want to build a house or a road, a lawyer will say: first reduce nitrogen and then you get a licence. We have to do something. It’s not a luxury. It has to happen.” [..] “We know exactly what allowance each farmer has and what they produce, while a lot of industrial companies don’t need permission – but they emit nitrogen.”

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“..,the position of Attorney General Garland has gone from dubious to ridiculous..”

The Media Starts the Spin on Possible Hunter Biden Charges (Turley)

The media is reporting that the criminal investigation of Hunter Biden is at a “critical stage” with the grand jury considering an array of charges including various tax violations and possible foreign lobbying violations. I previously testified in Congress on possible criminal exposure for Hunter under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). There seems ample evidence for such charges but there remain some glaring questions in how the Biden Administration has handled the investigation of the Biden family. What is also striking is the initial response of pundits on cable channels like MSNBC that has long ignored or downplayed the allegations. The most glaring question raised by the report is, again, the refusal of Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a Special Counsel despite overwhelming justification for such an appointment.

For over a year, I have been writing on the obvious need for a special counsel in an investigation that not only is embarrassing for the Biden family but implicates not just Hunter but his uncle and his father. Given this mounting evidence, the position of Attorney General Garland has gone from dubious to ridiculous in evading the issue of a special counsel appointment. He continues to refuse to acknowledge these conflicts with the President. Federal regulations allow the appointment of a special counsel when it is in the public interest and an “investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances.”

It is hard to imagine a stronger case for the appointment of a special counsel. Attorney General Garland has failed in his duty to protect the Justice Department from such conflicts or the appearance of such conflicts. There will be lingering questions over the independence of the investigation. For example, if you are investigating lobbying violations tied to Hunter’s open influence peddling, why would you not ask to question the man referred to as the “big guy” who was purportedly cut in for a ten percent share of one of the most dubious deals? He is also the same man who reportedly received money from shared accounts and was referenced by Hunter to foreign clients as part of the inducement for giving him money. He is the object of the influence peddling. He is also now the President of the United States.

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“..information was requested in identifying all communications with any social media platform relating to content modulation and/or misinformation.”

Fauci, Biden Officials Subpoenaed Over Collusion To Suppress Free Speech (JTN)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, other Biden administration officials and five social media companies have 30 days to respond to subpoenas in a lawsuit alleging collusion to suppress freedom of speech. Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry were granted permission to proceed with the discovery phase of the trial last week in a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty. In addition to Fauci, who announced earlier this week he would retire in 2025, and Jean-Pierre, discovery requests were served to ask for information and documents from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Jen Easterly and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and Nina Jankowicz, who led the DHS Disinformation Governance Board until it was disbanded.

Third-party subpoenas were served to Twitter, YouTube, Meta, Instagram and LinkedIn. A media release from Schmitt, a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, said information was requested in identifying all communications with any social media platform relating to content modulation and/or misinformation. The suit requests all communications with Mark Zuckerberg from Jan. 1, 2020, to the present. Also requested were any communications to any social media platform relating to the “Great Barrington Declaration,” a letter published in October 2020 in response to COVID-19 policies that recommended “focused protection” — an approach to reaching herd immunity by allowing those at minimal risk of death to live normal lives by building up immunity through natural infection while protecting those at highest risk.

“In May, Missouri and Louisiana filed a landmark lawsuit against top-ranking Biden Administration officials for allegedly colluding with social media giants to suppress free speech on topics like COVID-19 and election security,” Schmitt said in a statement. “Earlier this month, a federal court granted our motion for expedited discovery, allowing us to collect important documents from Biden Administration officials. Yesterday, we served discovery requests and today served third-party subpoenas to do exactly that. We will fight to get to the bottom of this alleged collusion and expose the suppression of freedom of speech by social-media giants at the behest of top-ranking government officials.”

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at least 38,000 severe cases

1 in 5,000 COVID Shots Caused ‘Serious Side Effects’ (CHD)

The German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) on Wednesday posted a “stunning tweet” admitting 1 of every 5,000 COVID-19 vaccinations cause “serious side effects.”Although likely an “underestimation” due to voluntary reporting, according to Alex Berenson, the admission implies almost 300,000 Americans and Europeans have experienced a severe adverse event after receiving a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Translated, the tweet says, “One in 5000 people is affected by a serious side effect after a COVID19 vaccination. If you suspect an adverse reaction, get medical attention and report your symptoms to @PEI_Germany.” The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which uses the handle “@PEI-Germany” is Germany’s federal institute for vaccines and biomedical drugs.

The figure came from a PEI safety report summarizing suspected cases of side effects and vaccination complications that were reported to PEI between Dec. 27, 2020, when Germany launched its vaccination campaign, and March 31, 2022. During that time, 172,062,925 vaccinations were administered in Germany — of those, 17.1% were Spikevax, 7.4% were AstraZeneca, 2.1% were Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and 0.1% were Novavax. During the same time period, PEI received 296,233 reports of suspected side effects. The reporting rate was 1.7 per 1,000 vaccine doses for all vaccines combined and 0.2 serious reaction reports per 1,000 doses. So, the 1 in 5,000 people experiencing a serious reaction is actually 1 in 5,000 doses.

PEI on Thursday corrected its tweet to reflect accurate numbers. According to @PEI_Germany, “the reporting rate for serious reactions is 0.2 reports per 1,000 vaccine doses,” the Tweet read. “The German admission today marks at least a small — and long overdue — step toward honesty from public health authorities on the COVID jabs,” said Berenson, a New York Times bestselling author who writes regularly on Substack. Reacting to the updated tweet from Germany’s Health Ministry, one person said, “It’s even worse, it’s 1 DOSE, not one in 5,000 people …”

Wolensky

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Vandana Shiva: “THIS Is Bill Gates’s Farming Agenda”

 

 


The Oriental dwarf kingfisher averages 13 cm (5.1 in) in length

 

 

 

 

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