Apr 192024
 


Francesco Hayez The Death of the Doge Marin Faliero 1867

 

Why the Fix Is in for Trump (Victoria Taft)
N.Y. Gives Trump The Anne Boleyn Treatment (Porter)
Ciaramella in the Loop of Biden-Ukraine Affairs Trump Wanted Probed (Sperry)
Israeli Retaliatory Strike On Iran (Scott Ritter)
Which Side God Is On Now (Helmer)
Blinken Shelves Special Request To Probe Israeli War Crimes (Cradle)
Texas Is Being Turned Into a Woke Democrat State (Paul Craig Roberts)
On The Mayorkas Impeachment (Denninger)
UK Insurers Won’t Pay Nord Stream Because Blasts Were ‘Government’ Backed (GZ)
Aid to Ukraine May Deep-Six Another House Speaker (Sp.)
Zelensky Blames EU For Russian Advance (RT)
ECB Fires Back At Plans To Seize Russian Assets (RT)
Top Military Official Lied About Jan. 6: Whistleblowers (ET)
Desperation Behind European Politicians’ Latest Russiagate Hoax (Public)
US Issues Assurances on Assange (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

O’Leary

 

 

Bragg
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780977235949711525

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

Samson

 

 

 

 

America is undergoing a political show trial. For the whole world to see. There are three more waiting in the wings. The legal system should never allow for this. It is now on trial as much as Trump is.

Why the Fix Is in for Trump (Victoria Taft)

Judging by the way the entire array of Democrat operatives at the federal, state, and local levels of law enforcement have scraped the bottom of the local pond, liberated copious amounts of scum, loaded DNC slingshots, and heaved the slime at former President Donald Trump, I’m thinking you might have low expectations for New York City trial, too. We can’t imagine why you’d feel that way.The 34 charges against Trump were magicked into felonies by the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who contends there’s an overarching federal election crime at play. That’s how he reanimated these misdys that had already run their statute of limitations. The judge in the case, Juan Merchan, then re-jiggered the statute of limitations, blaming COVID to add another year to the statute of limitations so Bragg could bring these charges against Trump. The New York State legislature made a similar move for E. Jean Carroll so the founder of LinkedIn and ardent leftist Reid Hoffman could bankroll a new round of lawfare. The move revived her ability to bring a sexual assault case against Trump for assaulting her in a dressing room sometime in the ’90s in a dress she swore she wore but which hadn’t been designed yet.

In the fraud case that isn’t fraud and which defrauded no one, Gov. Kathy Hochul assured New York businesses afraid the Jacobins would come for their businesses and assets that “New Yorkers who are business people have nothing to worry about because they’re very different than Donald Trump…” Attorney General Letitia James had never used this law to do to anyone what they’re doing to Trump. She also used another one-off law to pile on the penalties for the victimless non-crime. The judge in that case, who probably wears no underwear under that robe, pronounced Trump guilty before the trial began. And we haven’t even touched on the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid over documents Trump is allowed to have under the Presidential Records Act. Or the attempt to get Trump off the ballot using the 14th Amendment. Even the U.S. Constitution is fungible to these leftists. And now we’re in jury selection in Trump’s latest case, which is literally a bookkeeping case in which Trump paid his attorney over time for services rendered that included making sure Stormy Daniels and another woman signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and were paid for them.

Daniels has never been charged with extortion for breaking her NDA and demanding more money or she’d tell the media that she had a tryst or something with Trump. But Bragg lets murderers run the streets, so why are we surprised? Bragg doesn’t include his boffo legal theory in the 34-count indictment, but in his accompanying statement contends that Trump stole the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton. Hillary won New York in the 2016 election by a nearly two-to-one margin, but why let a fact like that get in the way of a great election-year lawfare effort on behalf of Democrats? Indeed, each of these prosecutors and their offices should be required to file with the Federal Elections Commission for in-kind donations to Joe Biden. We also might wonder why Bragg and his fellow conspirators haven’t been swooped up by the FBI and charged with whatever is the opposite of a 1512 c2 offense for starting an official proceeding — this trial — to carry out his violence upon a former president and current presidential candidate.

Trump’s being publicly humiliated and kept off the campaign trail — a feature, not a bug of this lawfare — because he booked payments to his lawyer in 2017, which, let’s note for clarity, is after the 2016 election. Bragg contends these payments were in furtherance of stealing an election. Hillary’s 2016 Russia collusion efforts in conspiracy with the CIA, FBI, DOJ, and White House somehow were left out of Bragg’s election-stealing bill of particulars, but He’s With Her so it’s just fine, whatareyoulookingat? The Federal Elections Commission, Justice Department, and Bragg’s own office have previously declined to pursue this lunacy. However, when George Soros poured money into his campaign, Bragg, like AG Letitia James, promised if he were elected by the Manhattan jury pool, he’d use any tool at his disposal to Get Trump. And now jury selection is underway, and we’ve got a couple of clunkers in that box of rocks that may be professional Trump haters.

Not that Trump can say anything about his latest case since Judge Merchan has put what looks to be a constitutionally suspect gag order on the former president. He’s been admonished by the judge that he should say nothing about his “child,” a grown-ass woman who works for a Democrat political consulting firm and does work for Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer and used the trial as a fundraising tool. Nothing to see here, obviously, so Trump should shaddup already. You can see what’s going on. The left has put what is tantamount to a gag order on us, too. At PJ Media, we’ve been censored, excoriated, “fact-checked” by feedback-loop lefties, and all but killed from social media. The Google gods demonetize us for their latest government-bankrolled censorship program—going after “mal” information. That’s information that is true but which they don’t like because it makes them look bad.

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“..the whole point of the exercise was to lop off the head of someone who stood in the way of the regime’s continuity..”

N.Y. Gives Trump The Anne Boleyn Treatment (Porter)

Jury selection is now complete in the case of The People of the State of New York vs. Donald J. Trump, which alleges that the defendant lied to his own check register, and lied to the general ledger of his own company, when the invoice given to him by his lawyer was paid and recorded by someone else, and that the misstatement he made to himself in his own records was done “with the intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof.” [..] The prosecutor elected in New York County of New York state indicted Trump, after Trump announced his 2024 run for president, for allegedly violating New York Penal Laws 175.05 and 175.10 seven years ago.

That local prosecutor, Alvin Bragg, is a member of the Democratic Party – and the voters who elected Bragg and from whom the jury will be chosen support the Democratic Party. In 2016, the people of New York County voted 87% for Hillary Clinton and 10% for Donald Trump, and in 2020, 87% for Joe Biden and 12% for Donald Trump. In other words, the jury pool is chosen from one of the most partisan jurisdictions in the country – a place where almost all the judges are Democrats as well. So the Democratic prosecutor elected in the second most Democratic county in the United States will try the former Republican president and current putative Republican Party presidential nominee before a Democrat-appointed judge and a jury drawn from a pool 87% of whom voted against him (and who are being asked if they watch Fox News or listen to talk radio in the screening process).One wonders if the law even matters. But let’s review the two statutes at issue to highlight what the law requires the prosecution to prove.

First, the prosecutor must prove that Trump violated the relevant statute, which requires a finding that he falsified business records with intent to defraud – that he “makes or causes a false entry in the business records of an enterprise.” By the way, falsifying business records in the second degree is a misdemeanor, not a felony. Moreover, New York’s statute of limitations requires that misdemeanor prosecutions be commenced within two years of the commission of the act, meaning that under the last provision, this case should never have been filed. Bragg elevated this misdemeanor into a felony by including New York Penal Law 175.10 in the indictment – falsifying business records in the first degree. That statute reads this way: “A person is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree when he commits the crime of falsifying business records in the second degree, and when his intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.”

There are other obvious difficulties with this case beyond the credibility of the witnesses (a porn star who denied any affair numerous times and a disbarred lawyer convicted of perjury). For example, why does the entry in the check register or the general ledger matter at all? When would those entries, as opposed to the allegedly false invoices, be shown to anyone for any nefarious purpose? And were the entries even false? Was there any intent to fool someone to obtain something in making the entries – who was the target of the allegedly false entry in private books and records? If there’s no mark, no victim, then how could there be an “intent to defraud”? Defraud whom? And what is the other crime that the person making the book entry intended to commit or hide? If the other crime is not a New York crime but a federal crime, does every county prosecutor in the United States, including Alvin Bragg, have the jurisdiction to enforce an alleged federal crime indirectly through a state crime?

We shall see. The political nature of this trial is obvious, and unprecedented in the United States. Even with irrefutable DNA evidence that Bill Clinton committed perjury, the special prosecutor declined to press criminal charges against him. In America’s recent past, prosecutors tended to exhibit a modicum of restraint. Those days are apparently gone. I reviewed an interesting law review article of political show trials down through history, from the trial of Socrates in Athens to the famous show trials in the 1930s Stalinist Soviet Union, curious to see if I could find historical precedent for this trial. The closest precedent is probably Anne Boleyn’s trial for adultery in 1536. It was about sex, the trial was in a hostile jurisdiction controlled by her accuser, and the whole point of the exercise was to lop off the head of someone who stood in the way of the regime’s continuity. But that’s what Democrats have lusted for since Donald Trump first arrived on the scene, isn’t it? They made no secret of it.

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“..Ciaramella effectively helped cover up a scandal far worse than what Trump was impeached over..”

Ciaramella in the Loop of Biden-Ukraine Affairs Trump Wanted Probed (Sperry)

The ‘whistleblower’ who sparked Donald Trump’s first impeachment was deeply involved in the political maneuverings behind Biden-family business schemes in Ukraine that Trump wanted probed, newly obtained emails from former Vice President Joe Biden’s office reveal. In 2019, then-National Intelligence Council analyst Eric Ciaramella touched off a political firestorm when he anonymously accused Trump of linking military aid for Ukraine to a demand for an investigation into alleged Biden corruption in that country. But four years earlier, while working as a national security analyst attached to then-Vice President Joe Biden’s office, Ciaramella was a close adviser when Biden threatened to cut off U.S. aid to Ukraine unless it fired its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Ukraine-based Burisma Holdings. At the time, the corruption-riddled energy giant was paying Biden’s son Hunter millions of dollars.

Those payments – along with other evidence tying Joe Biden to his family’s business dealings – received little attention in 2019 as Ciaramella accused Trump of a corrupt quid pro quo. Neither did subsequent evidence indicating that Hunter Biden’s associates had identified Shokin as a “key target.” These matters are now part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Biden. “It now seems there was material evidence that would have been used at the impeachment trial [to exonerate Trump],” said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who has testified as an expert witness in the ongoing Biden impeachment inquiry. “Trump was alleging there was a conflict of interest with the Bidens, and the evidence could have challenged Biden’s account and established his son’s interest in the Shokin firing.” Ciaramella’s role – including high-level discussions with top Biden aides and Ukrainian prosecutors – is only now coming to light thanks to the recent release of White House emails and photos from the National Archives.

The emails show Ciaramella expressed shock – “Yikes” is what he wrote – at Biden’s move to withhold the $1 billion in aid from Kyiv, which represented a sudden shift in U.S. policy. They also show he was drawn into White House communications over how to control adverse publicity from Hunter taking a lucrative seat on Burisma’s board. Yet there is no evidence Ciaramella raised alarms about the questionable Biden business activities he witnessed firsthand, which is in sharp contrast to 2019. In that instance, he was galvanized into action after being told by White House colleague Alexander Vindman of an “improper” phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the call, Trump solicited Zelensky’s help in investigating Burisma and Hunter Biden’s role in the company.

Some former congressional investigators say Ciaramella effectively helped cover up a scandal far worse than what Trump was impeached over. What’s more, he failed to disclose that he had a potential conflict of interest stemming from his connection to the matter Trump asked Zelensky to probe when he lodged his complaint against Trump. RealClearInvestigations was the first to identify the then-33-year-old Ciaramella as the anonymous impeachment “whistleblower,” something major media continue to keep under tight wraps.

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X thread. News will keep coming in through the day.

Israeli Retaliatory Strike On Iran (Scott Ritter)

Reports of an Israeli retaliatory strike on Iran appear to be related to a very limited attack in the vicinity of the Iranian city of Isfahan on military targets not related to Iran’s nuclear program. The weapons used in this strike are unknown at this point, although Iran claims to have shot down at least three drones of an undetermined type. Israel has not taken public credit for the attack. Indeed, the only link to Israel comes from anonymous statements from sources claimed to be US officials.

While Iran has stated it would strike Israel with immediate and decisive force if Israel were to attack, the extremely limited and anonymous nature of this attack may provide Iran with the opportunity to dismiss this attack as nothing of consequence, thereby eliminating the necessity of an Iranian retaliation. The Iranian Foreign Minister had issued a statement about decisive retaliation at the UN which constitutes official declaratory policy on Iranian deterrence policy which may be deemed sufficient for the moment. If the action in Isfahan is the limit of the Israeli action, then this matter may be concluded.

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“..there should be no counting by the Israeli and US side on a divine miracle to keep Jerusalem’s lights burning..”

Which Side God Is On Now (Helmer)

Israel is rattled. It’s now up to Iran, leader of the Arab resistance and warfighting alliance – Hamas, Hezbollah, Ansar Allah (Houthis), and the Syrian and Iraqi groups – to demonstrate that they can stop the genocidal schemes of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), and the Jewish theocracy it enforces as a state; or failing that, to neutralize Israel’s capacities to fight a war of attrition over everything states must have – electricity, ports, money, firepower, defences. The Arab leadership understood this before the Iranians. In 1983 Saddam Hussein told a meeting of Iraqi Army generals: “Human nature represented by the heart of the families and sisters of the Iraqi martyrs in their own weeping and mourning will always be felt; but the Iraqis are better prepared than ever to deal with it. If it ever happens that the Iraqi people were in a conflict with their Israeli enemy, then the Iraqis would be able to withstand three years of fighting in a war. However, the Israelis cannot withstand one year of fighting in a war.”

Seven years later in 1990, Hussein was talking in Baghdad with Yasser Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization: “[Arafat]: [Israel] has 240 nuclear warheads, 12 out of them for each Arab capital…[Hussein]: I say this and I am very calm and wearing a civil suit [everyone laughs]. But I say this so that we can get ready at this level.” Readiness at this level was not achieved by the Iraqis, or by Hussein himself. Hamas has demonstrated since last October that the Israelis are unready. Iran demonstrated this again last weekend, despite what Israel claims to have been a near-perfect interception rate: enough missiles got through to strategic targets to prove that with hypersonic speed, higher yield warheads, and better accuracy, the next round of Iranian missiles will be unstoppable. This prospect is what is rattling the Israelis now. As of today’s broadcast on Gorilla Radio and writing this, it is 3:30 on Thursday morning in Tehran: the Israeli attack which has been telegraphed through the British foreign minister, Baron Cameron, has not yet materialized.

When it happens – if it happens — the evidence to gather, before the scope of the Iranian response can be calculated, includes what types of targets were struck, military or civil; where the attack was launched from; what role US intelligence and military support played in execution of Israel’s operation; and what role Russia is playing in early warning, missile tracking, electronic countermeasures, and defence on the Iranian side. When the Iranian counterattack happens, if it happens, there should be no counting by the Israeli and US side on a divine miracle to keep Jerusalem’s lights burning. The last one of those, according to the religion of the Israeli state (and also of presidential candidate Donald Trump), was the Chanukah one. That was in 164 BC, when the Judaean rebels recaptured the Temple in Jerusalem from the Seleucid Greek army. In trying to relight the menorah they found they had only one container of oil — enough fuel for one candle for one day.

God was asked for resupply, so Prime Minister Netanyahu and General Gallant believe. He then delivered by stretching the one-day fuel stock to last for eight days – enough divine miracle time for the Judaeans to refine a new supply for themselves.

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“..special mechanisms have been used over the last few years to shield Israel from US human rights laws.”

Blinken Shelves Special Request To Probe Israeli War Crimes (Cradle)

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has failed to act on a State Department proposal to bar certain Israeli police and army units from receiving US funds over human rights abuses of Palestinians. Blinken has disregarded this despite the growing concern over Israeli army conduct in Gaza, according to current and former State Department officials. A special panel at the State Department made the proposal months ago. Recommendations for action against Israeli units were sent to Blinken in December but have “been sitting in his briefcase since then,” one official told ProPublica on 17 April. The Israeli rights abuses in question mainly took place in the occupied West Bank before Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October. They include the execution of Palestinians by Israeli border police, as well as torture and rape during interrogation.

“This process is one that demands a careful and full review … and the department undergoes a fact-specific investigation applying the same standards and procedures regardless of the country in question,” ProPublica cites a State Department spokesman as saying. “Blinken’s inaction has undermined Biden’s public criticism [of Israel], sending a message to the Israelis that the administration was not willing to take serious steps,” according to several officials at the department who have worked on Israeli relations. US President Joe Biden has publicly expressed frustration with the unprecedented number of Palestinian civilians killed in the Gaza Strip. However, US funds and arms continue to fuel the Israeli war effort, and no formal effort has been made to investigate the growing number of documented war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians in the strip. On Tuesday, the Washington Post published an in-depth investigation detailing Israel’s role in the killing of a six-year-old and her family who were trapped in a car in northern Gaza.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Washington will ask Tel Aviv “for further information” on the matter. The US has said it would look into several incidents, including late February’s Flour Massacre against dozens of starving and desperate aid seekers. Yet no US probe has been launched into the matter since an internal Israeli army investigation absolved Israel of blame, and Washington refused to condemn the killings. The Guardian reported in January, citing interviews and State Department documents, that “special mechanisms have been used over the last few years to shield Israel from US human rights laws.” The ProPublica report comes days after dozens of Palestinians detained by Israel in Gaza were released, with many giving testimonies of horrific treatment by Israeli forces, including humiliation and torture.

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“..many Americans still vote Democrat. When a people vote for their own-self destruction, it is clear that the country is finished..”

Texas Is Being Turned Into a Woke Democrat State (Paul Craig Roberts)

The Biden Regime is using federal money to bribe the Aggies, Texas A&M University, to come up with ways to advance “race-based hiring” in public schools. Possible you remember or have heard that Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement was about judging “people by their character and not the color of their skin.” Once perhaps, but it has been a long time since. For half a century skin color has had preference, if it is non-white, in university admissions, employment and promotion. Feminists latched onto the scheme and the female gender was also privileged. This is not to say that no blacks and no females are qualified for their position. Many of them are. It is to say that they are in their position despite their qualifications because they constitute a privileged category before the law, a total violation of the US Constitution and its 14th Amendment.

The emphasis on “diversity” has prevailed over the merit-based system into which I was born and grew up. Today merit is considered racist, a white supremacy tool. Many gifted student programs and high schools for the exceptional have been shut down because two few blacks are qualified, and small presence of blacks violates the sacredness of “diversity” and “equity.” A country whose education, employment and promotion is based on diversity and not on merit is a country that is failing, and most certainly America has long been a failing country. For example, we now have “diversity” appointments to prosecutorial offices such as prosecutors and attorney generals and as judges who have no understanding of law as a shield of the people, but who see it is a weapon to be used against disapproved parties. We see the total collapse of justice in America in the many examples of the Democrats’ Stalin show trials against President Trump and against the alleged “insurrectionists” who attended the Trump rally..

To the few remaining people of my generation it is astonishing that merit, which made America great and a ladder of upward mobility, has been officially cast aside for “diversity” in which advance is based on skin color, gender or self-proclaimed, non-biological gender. Have the people who have created this deplorable situation ever wondered how a non-merit based mediocre society can be a superpower, an unipolar, a hegemony whose exceptional and indispensable existence gives it right to hegemony over the world? China, the host of most of American manufacturing must wonder at the American Delusion. Russia, whose power and economy have been greatly elevated by the mindless American sanctions, must wonder if the USA even qualifies as an opponent. Even Iran no longer fears the US. If you are so unfortunate as to live in New York City or other blue cities, your home and your rental properties can be stolen from you by the Democrats’ massive and ongoing wave of immigrant-invaders who can occupy your property in your absence and occupy your rental property between leases and you cannot evict them.

Regardless of the reality in which they live, many Americans still vote Democrat. When a people vote for their own-self destruction, it is clear that the country is finished.

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“..it is first, last and only about a Cabinet official’s deliberate refusal to enforce laws as written..”

On The Mayorkas Impeachment (Denninger)

The Senate appears to have a rather odd view of the Executive — then again so does the House, and both are not only toxic they’re demonstrably false. Mayorkas is the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached in almost 150 years. House Republicans voted to impeach Mayorkas in February over his handling of the southern border by a narrow margin after failing to do so on their first try. Democrats have slammed the impeachment as a political stunt, saying that Republicans had no valid basis for the move and that policy disagreements are not a justification for the rarely used constitutional impeachment of a Cabinet official. The impeachment of Mayorkas has nothing to do with “policy disagreements”; it is first, last and only about a Cabinet official’s deliberate refusal to enforce laws as written, including 8 USC §1324.

That statute mandates felony criminal penalties carrying prison sentences for anyone who assists, harbors or transports illegal immigrants. Other sections of US law forbid the Federal Government and its agencies from “paroling” into the United States an illegal immigrant unless that have a facially-reasonable claim to asylum. There is no capacity in the law to permit DHS to do so simply because there are a lot of people illegally crossing. Policy is defined by legislation and thus has to pass both House and Senate and either be signed by the President or a veto must be overridden. It is absolutely true that different Administrations will have different policies but the Constitution is clear and each person in all three branches of Government takes an oath to uphold and enforce all of the laws and thus the means to express policy isn’t to ignore laws you don’t like but rather to work to change them through the legislative process.

If you can’t find agreement via that process then until you can the existing policy stands whether you agree with it or not and if you take an oath to enforce the law as written and you refuse to do so on a deliberate basis impeachment is the peaceful and appropriate action to remove you from said office. Neither the House or Senate acting alone can change policy, no matter which party controls said chamber. Only both, acting in concert, can do so. This is intentional in the design of our Republic; policy changes of significant importance to society are described in our laws, and it is both wildly unreasonable and destructive to civil order to change them on a whim when one person wins or loses an office, no matter the office.

The Senate’s Schumer led his caucus to toss the entire thing as “unconstitutional” on a part-line vote. Big shock, right? When you boil it down essentially everything wrong with this nation comes down to this same issue: Various politicians and paid employees of the government simply ignore any law they disagree with either in its entirety or as applies to some favored group while using it as a cudgel against anyone they dislike. Our national foundation rests on that never being tolerated by anyone, anywhere and for any reason.

I fully understand that these policy matters have serious and vehemently-expressed opinions on all sides. That’s a good thing: Freedom of expression is in fact also a foundation of America. But no public official is empowered to take that disagreement and turn it into a malicious abuse of existing law whether by intentional omission or weaponization against disfavored persons or those who hold a different point of view. Down that road lies a line that cannot be foreseen in advance in that the people may, at some point, determine that the strictures of polite society no longer apply to them by that very example set by our officials. You do not want this; it is precisely through that road that essentially every civil conflict and social destruction has occurred and if you believe you’ll be immune to it if it happens, no matter how wealthy or poor you might be, you’re wrong.

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“..lawyers for Lloyd’s and Arch suggest that even if they were required to pay up, anti-Russian sanctions would leave their hands tied..”

UK Insurers Won’t Pay Nord Stream Because Blasts Were ‘Government’ Backed (GZ)

The legal team representing high-powered insurers Lloyd’s and Arch says that since the Nord Stream explosions were “more likely than not to have been inflicted by… a government,” they have no responsibility to pay for damages to the pipelines. To succeed with that defense, the companies will presumably be compelled to prove, in court, who carried out those attacks. ritish insurers are arguing that they have no obligation to honor their coverage of the Nord Stream pipelines, which were blown up in September 2022, because the unprecedented act of industrial sabotage was likely carried out by a national government. The insurers’ filing contradicts reports the Washington Post and other legacy media publications asserting that a private Ukrainian team was responsible for the massive act of industrial sabotage.

A legal brief filed on behalf of UK-based firms Lloyd’s Insurance Company and Arch Insurance states that the “defendants will rely on, inter alia, the fact that the explosion Damage could only have (or, at least, was more likely than not to have) been inflicted by or under the order of a government.” As a result, they argue, “the Explosion Damage was “directly or indirectly occasioned by, happening through, or in consequence of” the conflict between Russia and Ukraine” and falls under an exclusion relating to military conflicts. The brief comes a month after Switzerland-based Nord Stream AG filed a lawsuit against the insurers for their refusal to compensate the company. Nord Stream, which estimated the cost incurred by the attack at between €1.2 billion and €1.35 billion, is seeking to recoup over €400 million in damages. Swedish engineer Erik Andersson, who led the first private investigative expedition to the blast sites of the Nord Stream pipelines, describes the insurers’ legal strategy as a desperate attempt to find an excuse to avoid honoring their indemnity obligations.

“If it’s an act of war and ordered by a government, that’s the only way they can escape their responsibility to pay,” Andersson told The Grayzone. Following a report by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh which alleged that the US government was responsible for the Nord Stream explosion, Western governments quickly spun out a narrative placing blame on a team of rogue Ukrainian operatives. Given the lack of conclusive evidence, however, proving that the explosions were “inflicted by or under the order of a government” would be a major challenge for defense lawyers. Even if the plaintiffs in the case are able to wrest back the funds in court, they are likely to face other serious hurdles. Later in the brief, lawyers for Lloyd’s and Arch suggest that even if they were required to pay up, anti-Russian sanctions would leave their hands tied.

“In the event that the Defendants are found to be liable to pay an indemnity and/or damages to the Claimant,” the brief states, “the Defendants reserve their position as to whether any such payment would be prohibited by any applicable economic sanctions that may be in force at the time any such payment is required to be made.” After they were threatened with sanctions by the US government, in 2021 Lloyd’s and Arch both withdrew from their agreement to cover damages to the second of the pipelines, Nord Stream 2. But though they remain on the hook for damages to the first line, the language used by the insurers’ lawyers seems to be alluding to a possible future sanctions package that would release them from their financial obligations. “Nord Stream 1 was not affected by those sanctions, but apparently sanctions might work retroactively to the benefit of insurers,” observes Andersson.

The plaintiffs may face an uphill battle at the British High Court in London, the city where Lloyd’s has been headquartered since its creation in 1689. As former State Department cybersecurity official Mike Benz observed, “Lloyd’s of London is the prize of the London banking establishment,” and “London is the driving force behind the transatlantic side of the Blob’s “Seize Eurasia” designs on Russia.”

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“..hardline Republicans may force a vote on the motion to vacate shortly before the aid bills for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan hit the House floor..”

Aid to Ukraine May Deep-Six Another House Speaker (Sp.)

Despite his repeated pledges to bring foreign aid bills to the House floor only when a solution to the border crisis is found, Speaker Johnson unveiled three separate funding packages, namely $26 billion for Israel, $61 billion for Ukraine, and $8 billion for Taiwan and allies in Indo-Pacific, at the time when the US southern frontier still remains wide open. “Republican speaker Mike Johnson went into that secured room with a bunch of guys in gray suits from the deep state, and he came out of that room after the meeting as Uniparty speaker Mike Johnson and no longer a Republican,” Michael Shannon, a political commentator and Newsmax columnist, told Sputnik. “That’s the only explanation for it that makes sense, because he’s completely turned around, and now he’s on the Washington agenda of the Uniparty and no longer listens to or tries to do what the base wants,” the commentator continued. “That’s what’s happening here. Once they get into a position of leadership, they abandon the base,” he maintained.

Shannon explained that Ukraine is obviously not on the GOP’s base priority list right now, given that Republican voters are much more concerned about the influx of illegals into the US, inflation, and budget deficit spending. A recent YouGov survey indicated that 61% of Republicans don’t approve of sending more weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine. Among them, 69% of self-identified MAGA Republicans and 55% of non-MAGA Republicans said they don’t want to send more military aid to the Kiev regime. A group of House conservatives confronted Mike Johnson on Thursday, namely, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) advocating the motion to vacate in order to sack the incumbent speaker in the same way they ousted his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy. Massie told journalists that there would be more Republican votes to remove Speaker Johnson than there were to boot out McCarthy last October.

“If I had my wish, MTG’s motion to vacate the speakership, which I believe Representative Chip Roy from Texas also supports, would be successful, and the speaker’s chair would be vacated, and it would stay vacated until after the election,” said Shannon. “It’s obvious we can’t pass any conservative legislation with this House and this Senate. So not passing any bad legislation as far as I’m concerned, and as Daniel Horowitz of the Conservative Review mentioned, is probably the most viable alternative. That being said, I don’t know if MTG has the votes to vacate the speakership. I think we’ll just have to see how that develops.” According to Axios, hardline Republicans may force a vote on the motion to vacate shortly before the aid bills for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan hit the House floor.

Some Democrats, who hailed Johnson’s maneuver regarding the Ukraine aid bill, said they would help the speaker save his job. For his part, Johnson said he would not resign and branded the effort to oust him as “absurd”. However, the timing is crucial, a senior House Democrat said, as quoted by the media outlet: the Dems are much more likely to “save” Johnson after the aid bills are passed, not before that. Massie warned Johnson against relying on Democrats, stressing that the speaker would become “toxic to the conference.” “For every Democrat who comes to his aid, he’ll lose 2-3 more Republicans,” the congressman said, as quoted by NBC News’ Sahil Kapur.

Massie

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Petulant child.

Zelensky Blames EU For Russian Advance (RT)

A shortage of Western arms supplies and unkept promises by EU members have allowed Russia to advance on the battlefield, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told senior European officials on Wednesday. Zelensky made the claims during a video conference address to national leaders and senior members of the EU bureaucracy, who have convened for a two-day summit in Brussels. The Ukrainian leader reiterated that his country needs more Western material and financial assistance to continue its armed conflict with Russia. “Now the Russian army feels its strength in almost everything related to the armed component. And it is precisely because of this strength – in artillery, in equipment, in the ability to operate in the sky – that they are putting pressure on us at the front and are gradually moving,” he said.

Although he thanked Kiev’s donors for their aid, Zelensky also complained of unfulfilled promises. “Unfortunately, we have not yet seen a million artillery shells from the European Union that were discussed so much. Also, some other initiatives have not yet been fully implemented, and this is primarily reflected in what our soldiers can use at the front,” he stated. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes “he will succeed in his counteroffensive,” Zelensky claimed, adding that “the only root of this hope is the shortage of weapons among our soldiers.” In addition to offensive systems, Kiev wants more Western air defenses to protect its industrial base, as well as investment and technology to launch domestic arms production. It also requires electricity to compensate for the destruction of power facilities destroyed by Russian precision strikes, and according to Zelensky needs “energy of spirit” in the form of accelerated accession to the EU.

“We need the European Union to deliver what it had promised, and our people need to see Ukraine moving closer to full membership,” Zelensky insisted, urging Brussels to progress to the next phase of talks in June. Analysis published by Politico on Wednesday cited the refusal of Ukrainians to enroll into the military as a major problem for Kiev. EU statistics body Eurostat estimates the number of fighting age Ukrainian men living in member states at some 650,000. Most of them arranged to be smuggled across the border, the outlet said. This week, Zelensky signed into law a bill that makes it easier for conscription officials to issue summonses and imposes harsh punishments for avoiding the draft.

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“..breaking the international order that you want to protect; that you would want Russia to respect..”

ECB Fires Back At Plans To Seize Russian Assets (RT)

US-backed proposals to seize frozen Russian assets could undermine the international order, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has cautioned. Her comments came during a meeting in Washington on Wednesday, where the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors were discussing the issue of using the immobilized assets of the Russian central bank to support Ukraine. In a joint statement, the finance ministers and regulators said they would continue working on “all possible avenues” to make use of Russian sovereign assets, according to Reuters. The push to seize Moscow’s money has been led by the US and has caused a rift among the G7 and the EU political elite. Washington and its allies have blocked some $300 billion of Russian central bank assets due to sanctions adopted in response to the launch of Moscow’s special military operation against Kiev in February 2022.

Around $200 billion of that money is held in the EU. The US has been insisting for months that international law allows for the confiscation of the funds, but Germany and France have expressed concerns that such a move could set a dangerous precedent. ”I have seen four different schemes or proposals to circumvent what many other jurists or lawyers… regard as a very serious legal obstacle that can be construed as a violation of the legal international order,” Lagarde, a former lawyer, said, as quoted by the Financial Times. Moving from freezing the assets to confiscating them could entail “breaking the international order that you want to protect; that you would want Russia to respect,” she added. During the meeting in Washington, a senior US Treasury official outlined the options the finance ministers were “doing technical work” on.

”One of them is seizure, but another is collateralizing, or even using the windfall profits or the interest from these assets to fund a loan,” Deputy US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said, as quoted by Reuters. The outlet reported earlier that the US and its allies were considering using the interest due on the frozen Russian assets as collateral for loans or bonds issued to help Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly said that the seizure of its funds would amount to theft and would further undermine global trust in the Western financial system. Russia has also warned that if necessary, it might respond in kind to such a move by the US and its allies.

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The mess gets bigger by the day. We need Liz Cheney under oath.

Top Military Official Lied About Jan. 6: Whistleblowers (ET)

The secretary of the Army on Jan. 6, 2021, lied about multiple details regarding what unfolded as the U.S. Capitol was breached, National Guard whistleblowers said during a congressional hearing on April 17. Then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy made multiple false claims, including that he spoke to the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard on two separate occasions after officials requested that the Guard be deployed to the Capitol, the whistleblowers said. After Maj. Gen. William Walker conveyed a request from the U.S. Capitol Police for Guard personnel, Mr. McCarthy called Maj. Gen. Walker at 2:14 p.m. and instructed the Guard to stand by, according to a Guard timeline of Jan. 6, 2021. But that call and others that Mr. McCarthy or one of his top advisers were said to have made later authorizing the Guard for mobilization and deployment did not happen, according to the Guard officials.

“At no time did Gen. Walker take any calls, nor did we ever hear from the secretary on any of the ongoing conference calls or the secure video teleconferencing throughout the day,” Capt. Timothy Nick, who served as Maj. Gen. Walker’s personal assistant on Jan. 6, 2021, said during the hearing. “This I know because I was with the command general the entire time recording the events.” Capt. Nick has not previously discussed publicly what transpired on Jan. 6, 2021, and neither has Brig. Gen. Aaron Dean, who was the National Guard’s adjutant general on the day that the Capitol was breached. The Department of Defense (DOD) inspector general report on Jan. 6, 2021, which relied heavily on Mr. McCarthy and other military officials, was rife with “inaccuracies,” Brig. Gen. Dean said. “I believe it is my duty and moral obligation to stand before you today and illuminate the truth,” he told the hearing, which was held by the House Administration Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight.

Despite Mr. Walker conveying the request for assistance at about 1:50 p.m., the Guard was not deployed to the Capitol until about 5:10 p.m. “This was a dereliction of duty by the secretary of the Army,” Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.), one of the members of the committee, said. Mr. McCarthy refused to appear before the panel, Dr. Murphy said. Christopher Miller, the acting secretary of defense at the time, authorized Guard deployment at 3:11 p.m., but Mr. McCarthy took the order and decided to draw up a plan before ordering the deployment, according to military timelines and testimony from Mr. McCarthy and others. “You never would employ our personnel, whether it’s on an American street or a foreign street, without putting together a [plan],” Mr. McCarthy told the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 committee.

The whistleblowers also testified that Army officials Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt and Gen. Charles Flynn, during a 2:30 p.m. conference call on Jan. 6, 2021, expressed concern about the optics of having the Guard at the Capitol. “I did hear the word optics. And they did use it. Specifically, Gen. Piatt said ‘optics.’ And his concern was that he did not want soldiers or airmen on Capitol grounds, with the Capitol in the background,” Brig. Gen. Dean said. “They were giving every other reason why we should be around the Capitol, away from the Capitol, and not responding to the Capitol.”

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“..von der Leyen has conceded that there is no proof of a Russian bribery network. “They have carried [Putin’s] propaganda into our societies,” she said. “Whether they have taken bribes for it or not.”

Desperation Behind European Politicians’ Latest Russiagate Hoax (Public)

European politicians claimed late last month that Russia bribed European politicians to spread disinformation and interfere in the upcoming June elections. “Russian influence scandal rocks EU,” screamed a March 30 Politico headline. Russia “is using dodgy outlets pretending to be media [and] using money to buy covert influence,” claimed European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova. The BBC agreed: “Russian network that ‘paid European politicians’ busted, authorities claim.” Heads of state hyped the alleged scandal. “We uncovered a pro-Russian network,” claimed Petr Fiala, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, “that was developing an operation to spread Russian influence and undermine security across Europe.” Poland’s intelligence agency said it had conducted searches in the Warsaw and Tychy regions and seized €48,500 (£41,500) and $36,000 (£28,500).

However, following an investigation by Public, the head of the Czech Intelligence Agency (BIS), Michal Koudelka on Monday admitted that his agency has no information about any bribery scheme. “I cannot confirm anything,” he said. It’s true that Russia’s media influence in Europe intensified considerably during the Covid-19 pandemic. At that time, a number of marginalized voices found space on the German broadcasts of the Kremlin’s propaganda television, Russia Today, which the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, promptly shut down in 2022. But von der Leyen has conceded that there is no proof of a Russian bribery network. “They have carried [Putin’s] propaganda into our societies,” she said. “Whether they have taken bribes for it or not.” Public asked von der Leyen what evidence she has for her allegations. What was the misconduct or illegal activity if there were no bribes? Von der Leyen did not respond to Public’s requests for comment.

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“..one of the things that the British courts don’t understand is the U.S. doctrine of separation of powers..”

US Issues Assurances on Assange (Lauria)

The United States Embassy on Tuesday filed two assurances with the British Foreign Office saying it would not seek the death penalty against imprisoned WikiLeaks‘ publisher Julian Assange and would allow Assange “the ability to raise and seek to reply upon at trial … the rights and protections given under the First Amendment,” according to the U.S. diplomatic note. Assange’s wife Stella Assange said the note “makes no undertaking to withdraw the prosecution’s previous assertion that Julian has no First Amendment rights because he is not a U.S citizen. Instead,” she said, “the US has limited itself to blatant weasel words claiming that Julian can ‘seek to raise’ the First Amendment if extradited.” The note contains a hollow statement, namely, that Assange can try to raise the First Amendment at trial (and at sentencing), but the U.S. Department of Justice can’t guarantee he would get those rights, which is precisely what it must do under British extradition law based on the European Convention on Human Rights.

The U.S. Department of Justice is legally restricted to assure a free speech guarantee to Assange equivalent to Article 10 of the European Convention, which the British court is bound to follow. But without that assurance, Assange should be freed according to a British Crown Prosecution Service comment on extraditions. In USAID v. Alliance for Open Society, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that non-U.S. citizens outside the U.S. don’t possess constitutional rights. Both former C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo and Gordon Kromberg, Assange’s U.S. prosecutor, have said Assange does not have First Amendment protection. Because of the separation of powers in the United States, the executive branch’s Justice Department can’t guarantee to the British courts what the U.S. judicial branch decides about the rights of a non-U.S. citizen in court, said Marjorie Cohn, law professor and former president of the National Lawyers’ Guild.

“Let’s assume that … the Biden administration, does give assurances that he would be able to raise the First Amendment and that the [High] Court found that those were significant assurances,” Cohn told Consortium News‘ webcast CN Live! last month. “That really doesn’t mean anything, because one of the things that the British courts don’t understand is the U.S. doctrine of separation of powers,” she said. “The prosecutors can give all the assurances they want, but the judiciary, another [one] .. of these three branches of government in the U.S., doesn’t have to abide by the executive branch claim or assurance,” Cohn said. In other words, whether Assange can rely on the First Amendment in his defense in a U.S. court is up to that court not Kromberg or the Department of Justice, which issued the assurance on Tuesday. “The United States has issued a non-assurance in relation to the First Amendment,” said Stella Assange.

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Japan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1781068681931293121

 

 

Huajiang
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780929621610955001

 

 

Emperors

 

 

Family
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780913695993852363

 

 

Parrots

 

 

Hedgehogs

 

 

Tiger
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780890045454471561

 

 

Bald Eagle Walking

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 072024
 


Claude Monet Houses of Parliament (Sun Breaking through the Fog) 1904

 

Trump Immunity Denied By DC Appeals Court In Election Case (ZH)
Tucker Carlson Reveals Putin Interview Plans (RT)
Tucker Carlson Reveals Elon Musk’s Putin Interview Pledge (RT)
Tucker Carlson’s Exclusive Interview With Vladimir Putin – Full Transcript (LM)
NYT Fantasy: Germany Gearing Up for Military Confrontation with Russia (PCR)
Biden Threatens To Veto GOP Israel Aid Bill (RT)
Zelensky To Fire His Top General’s Deputies – MP (RT)
Ukraine’s Top General Sparing Neo-Nazis From Frontline Slaughter (RT)
Lvov May Become Ukraine’s New Capital (Sp.)
Sweden To Close Nord Stream Sabotage Probe – German Media (RT)
NYT’s Friedman Hits New Low With Animalization of Arabs, Iranians (Juan Cole)
Western Spin Doctors Dehumanize Select Peoples To Justify War (Bowes)
Gold & Silver Fight Tyranny – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)
Why Burn Books When You Can Bury Them? (Turley)
America Is Undergoing Genocide (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Trump pathetic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1754910639565263099

 

 

 

 

Tucker RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1754923481957871793

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

I’m trying to follow the logic here. It’s not easy.

“..the charges relate to official acts performed while he was president..”

“..”For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump..”

 

“If POTUS doesn’t have immunity they’ll be incapable of action for fear of future partisan reprisal..”

“Two of the judges on the panel, J. Michelle Childs and Florence Pan, were appointed by President Joe Biden. The third, Karen LeCraft Henderson, was appointed by President George H.W. Bush.”

Trump Immunity Denied By DC Appeals Court In Election Case (ZH)

A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled on Tuesday that former President Trump does not have immunity from prosecution related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. “We have balanced former President Trump’s asserted interests in executive immunity against the vital public interests that favor allowing this prosecution to proceed,” the judges wrote in a 57-page opinion reported by CNBC. “We conclude that ‘[c]oncerns of public policy, especially as illuminated by our history and the structure of our government’ compel the rejection of his claim of immunity in this case,” the judges continue, upholding a trial judge’s previous ruling. Special Counsel Jack Smith brought the election interference case against Trump in US District Court in Washington DC, where the chances of him receiving a fair trial are slim to none.

“Trump is charged in the case with four counts of crimes including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. He has pleaded not guilty. Defense lawyers, seeking to dismiss the case, had argued to Judge Tanya Chutkan that Trump has “absolute immunity” from prosecution because the charges relate to official acts performed while he was president. After Chutkan declined to dismiss the charges, Trump’s attorneys brought the immunity argument to the appeals court. That move put the case on hold in Chutkan’s court. -CNBC. Trump’s legal team is expected to quickly ask the Supreme Court to overturn the decision, in which the former president’s legal team put forth three separate immunity arguments “both as a categorical defense to federal criminal prosecutions of former Presidents and as applied to this case in particular.”

“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” wrote the panel. “But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution. “Donald Trump Jr. took to X to rail against the decision, posting: “If POTUS doesn’t have immunity they’ll be incapable of action for fear of future partisan reprisal. That endangers the United States and sets a terrible precedent. If this becomes the norm would a Trump DOJ prosecute Obama for droning an American? If not why not?”

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High expectations..

Tucker Carlson Reveals Putin Interview Plans (RT)

The Ukraine conflict has reshaped the military and economic balance of power around the world but most Americans have no idea because their media has fawned over Vladimir Zelensky and refused to talk to his Russian counterpart, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on Tuesday. Carlson, who launched his own network on X (formerly Twitter), posted a short video from Moscow, explaining the logic behind his upcoming interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Most Western media outlets are corrupt and “lie to their readers and viewers,” mainly by omission, Carlson argued. There has been no effort to speak to Putin since the conflict started in 2022, while US outlets have conducted many “fawning pep sessions” posing as interviews with Zelensky, he added.

“That is not journalism. It is government propaganda – propaganda of the ugliest kind, the kind that kills people,” said Carlson. “Because no one has told them the truth,” most people in English-speaking countries are unaware of “history-altering developments,” according to Carlson. “That’s wrong. Americans have the right to know all they can about a war they are implicated in,” he added, noting that freedom of speech is the American birthright that can’t be taken away no matter who sits in the White House. Carlson reminded his viewers that the US government spied on his text messages in 2021, when he attempted to interview Putin. He urged Americans to watch the entire interview on X, which will not be censored or paywalled, and decide for themselves, “like a free citizen, and not a slave.”

Carlson was first spotted in Moscow on Saturday, but has played coy about his plans. Asked about the hysterical calls to have him banned from returning to the US or jailed – advanced by some prominent establishment commentators – he called them “crazy.” The Kremlin has neither confirmed nor denied any plans to have Putin give an interview to Carlson, telling reporters that any such engagements will be announced in the fullness of time. Carlson was the highest-rated evening cable show host in the US when he was fired by Fox last April, without explanation. He has since returned as one of the most popular interviewers on X, the formerly censorious platform Musk bought in 2022.

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“..X has significantly increased its compliance with government content takedown requests since his takeover, honoring 80% of such orders compared to 50% under his predecessors..”

Tucker Carlson Reveals Elon Musk’s Putin Interview Pledge (RT)

Billionaire owner of X (formerly Twitter) Elon Musk has pledged not to censor Tucker Carlson’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin when it is posted on the platform, the American journalist claimed in a video he posted from Moscow on Tuesday. Carlson has been in Moscow for at least 4 days, sparking rumors that he planned to interview the Russian president. He confirmed his intention in the video, which has received over 260,000 likes. He praised Musk for his pledge “not to block or suppress the interview once we post it on his platform X,” confirming that the video would be available without a paywall to anyone who chose to watch it on the journalist’s own website as well.

“Western governments, by contrast, will certainly do their best to censor this video on other less principled platforms, because that’s what they do – they are afraid of information they can’t control,” the journalist continued, encouraging Americans to watch the interview in order to educate themselves on the “history-altering developments” unfolding in Russia and Ukraine. After assuming control of what was then called Twitter in late 2022, Musk famously partnered with a group of journalists to release internal communications that were widely accepted as proof that multiple US government agencies had been unconstitutionally suppressing the spread of narratives they found undesirable on social media. Musk’s decision to allow numerous prominent banned users back on X – including former US president Donald Trump and, more recently, Infowars host Alex Jones – was praised by free speech advocates, including Carlson.

The former Fox News host launched an independent talk show streaming on X last year after he was unceremoniously fired from hosting the number-one prime-time show in the US for reasons that have still not been made public. While Musk presented himself as a free-speech absolutist when buying the platform, X has significantly increased its compliance with government content takedown requests since his takeover, honoring 80% of such orders compared to 50% under his predecessors, according to a report published last year by tech outlet Rest of World. This has not stopped western governments, including the EU, from demanding he crack down on “disinformation” and “hate speech,” threatening severe penalties for noncompliance.

Like Carlson, Musk has been a vocal advocate for peace in Ukraine, repeatedly warning Washington against provoking a direct conflict with Moscow that could spiral into a third world war. Accordingly, while he provided Ukraine with free access to his company SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service, he has refused to enable the system near Crimea, lest Kiev use it to facilitate attacks on the Russian fleet, arguing in September that to do so would render his company “explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”

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From a French-Canadian site. We don’t know the authenticity.

Tucker Carlson’s Exclusive Interview With Vladimir Putin – Full Transcript (LM)

TUCKER: What would you say to the people who run America?
PUTIN: Our message is that Russia is not your enemy. We don’t want war. We are ready for peace. Your leaders seek conflict. This is not what we want. Russia defends its own people. We don’t want what doesn’t belong to us.
TUCKER: Would you like to visit Washington?
PUTIN: Yes, of course. I have already been to the United States. I love visiting and have met every president except Joe Biden. If I was invited, I would go. Yes.
TUCKER: What is your opinion of President Biden?
PUTIN: We are convinced that he does not lead the country. Let’s say we have good sources that confirm this, but obviously everyone can see it for themselves. The United States has now entered a dark period. His leadership is unaccountable.
TUCKER: Do you think Joe Biden won fairly?
PUTIN: I would prefer not to get into US domestic politics, but I will say that my embassy reported that your southern border was better managed than the 2020 elections. (laughter)

TUCKER: US poll shows you more popular than Biden – reaction?
PUTIN: (laughs) I don’t know if this should be taken seriously, but Russian ideals have support. We believe in traditional values; Marriage is between a man and a woman: men are men and women are women.
TUCKER: Who would you like to see as the next president of the United States?
PUTIN: Once again, it is not our place to say or get involved. Contrary to long-standing accusations, we are not interfering in your elections. We don’t need it, because it’s the same people who end up running things anyway.
TUCKER: Why did you invade Ukraine?
PUTIN: Did we invade or were we invaded? Look at the story. Look at the people who live there. Historically, we are the ones who were invaded and are only fighting back now. The lands and people are Russian and we will regain what has always been ours.

TUCKER: How would you feel, lol, if Trump won again?
PUTIN: We had good relations when Mr. Trump was president. There was no war. Our relationships were at a high point. That said, nothing is predictable and the statistics are the same. We’ll have to see.
TUCKER: What do you think of Mr. Zelensky and what would be your message to him?
PUTIN: I remember laughing at his jokes when he was a comedian in Russia. Back to the laughter.
TUCKER: Why is that?
PUTIN: There are strong financial entities that have an interest in keeping us as adversaries. One of your presidents warned against this. We Russians don’t have this problem.

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“The Russian population in Ukraine was suffering persecution, and that is why the Kremlin intervened.”

NYT Fantasy: Germany Gearing Up for Military Confrontation with Russia (PCR)

I forget what year it was that the New York Times ceased being a newspaper and became a shill for the military/security complex. Now the former newspaper has teamed up with German war minister Boris Pistorius and two presstitutes to hype German rearmament to counter the Russian Threat. In one of the silliest articles I have ever read, the NYT reports that Pistorius is warning Germans to prepare for decades of confrontation with Russia and quickly rebuild Germany’s military “in case Vladimir V. Putin does not plan to stop at the border with Ukraine.” Let’s stop here for a minute and remember the Third Reich when Germany was a major military power capable of defeating Poland, France, and Great Britain in a few weeks. Germans were proud and highly motivated, but confrontation with Russia brought a quick end to the Third Reich.

In contrast, today Germany is a deracinated state taught guilt and self-loathing by decades of American and Jewish control over German education and overrun with third world immigrant-invaders. Germany has been an American puppet state since 1945, and is being de-industrialized by American sanctions allegedly aimed at Russia but hitting Germany. The notion that Germany would be capable of confronting Russia militarily is hilarious. Note the assumption that “a newly aggressive Russia” might not stop with Ukraine. As Putin has made clear both with words and by how he has limited Russian military action in Ukraine, Putin’s goal is limited to the previous Russian territories that Soviet leaders placed into the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. The Russian population in Ukraine was suffering persecution, and that is why the Kremlin intervened.

Washington still thinks in 19th century terms that power is gained by the conquest of land. That is not the way Russia and China think. For Russia and China influence is obtained through economic and financial cooperation, not by occupying land or controlling governments. Washington and Israel are the only two militarily aggressive countries in the world. The head of Germany’s intelligence service, Bruno Kahl, is even sillier than the war minister. Kahl said, according to the NYT, “If Ukraine were forced to surrender, that would not satisfy Russia’s hunger for power. If the West does not demonstrate a clear readiness to defend, Putin will have no reason not to attack NATO.”

Clearly, the chief of German intelligence, if it can be called that, has no idea of the dynamics of power. Ukraine is defeated. Russia is not pursuing its advantage. Putin is just sitting there waiting for the realization to soak in. The most preposterous aspect of the NYT’s article is the assumption that “hard power” is military power and that military power is independent of economic power. Germany’s only strength was its economy. Washington has taken that away by blowing up the Nord Stream Pipeline and by forcing Germany to abandon lucrative business deals with Russia. With Germany joining Britain in war talk about Russia, it is Washington pulling the puppet strings. Sooner or later Europeans will figure out that it is NATO, not Russia, that will bring war to Europe.

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“The security of Israel should be sacred, not a political game..”

Funny, I would say that about the children of Gaza. Their lives should be sacred.

Biden Threatens To Veto GOP Israel Aid Bill (RT)

US President Joe Biden has vowed to veto a Republican-proposed standalone aid package for Israel if it manages to pass through Congress. The idea to pass a “clean” aid package, not tied to border security or Ukraine, was floated by speaker of the US House of Representatives Mike Johnson last week. A number of GOP lawmakers have been opposing a $118 billion national security package, which includes $60 billion in Ukraine military aid, $14 billion for Israel and roughly $20 billion for funding US border policy changes. The package is set to be voted on in the Senate this week. In a statement published by the Office of Management and Budget on Monday, the White House urged both chambers of Congress to reject Johnson’s Israel-only bill, calling it “another cynical political maneuver” after the Biden administration spent “months working with a bipartisan group of Senators to reach a national security agreement that secures the border and provides support for the people of Ukraine and Israel.”

The bipartisan package also includes $10 billion in humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Ukraine. “The security of Israel should be sacred, not a political game,” the statement read. As early as November, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby indicated that Biden “would veto” a stand-alone Israel aid bill. Johnson responded to the president’s veto threat this week by calling it “a betrayal of our great ally and friend Israel in their time of desperate need.” “The idea that Joe Biden would suggest that he would not send a clean funding measure to assist them is just outrageous,” the House speaker told CNN, warning that the Senate border package would be “dead on arrival” in Congress.

He also previously criticized the Senate bill, saying it would not even “come close to ending the border catastrophe the president has created.” The speaker urged the Senate to take up the standalone Israel aid bill, asking senators to abandon their efforts to keep Israeli aid linked with other issues. While US lawmakers have been entangled in negotiations over the new security supplement for months, EU leaders last week signed off on a €50 billion ($54 billion) support package for Kiev “within the EU budget.” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who originally vetoed the proposal arguing that Brussels has no idea how the monies will be spent, was reportedly “blackmailed” into accepting the deal.

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Zelensky is more likely to blindly do the US’ bidding.

Zelensky To Fire His Top General’s Deputies – MP (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky reportedly plans to fire his top general Valery Zaluzhny in the next few days and will likely also dismiss all of the commander’s deputies, a member of the country’s parliament, the Rada, claimed in a Telegram post on Tuesday. The expected firing of Zaluzhny was initially reported last week by several media outlets. However, due to a leak to the press, Zelensky appears to have postponed the decision. Nevertheless, he admitted on Sunday that he would be replacing his top commander and conducting a “serious” overhaul of the country’s leadership. According to MP Alexey Goncharenko, in tandem with Zaluzhny’s sacking, the president intends to fire all of the general’s deputies as well, including Evgeny Moysyuk, Nikolay Balan and Mikhail Zabrodsky.

Goncharenko denounced any attempts to diminish Zaluzhny’s achievements and called the prospect of his firing a “complete disgrace” for Zelensky, adding that it was “wrong” to “spin up negativity, play political games and raise tensions in society during a war.” While Zelensky has not yet made it clear when Zaluzhny would be let go, another Rada MP, Evgeny Shevchenko, has suggested that the commander will be relieved of his position sometime this week. He will then reportedly travel to the UK to serve as Kiev’s ambassador, Shevchenko said, noting that such a position would essentially be a “political pension” for the general. Zaluzhny’s firing comes after months of strained relations with the Ukrainian president. The two fell out over their respective assessments of the battlefield situation, following Kiev’s failed summer counteroffensive. In an article for The Economist in November, Zaluzhny described the situation on the ground as a “stalemate” while Zelensky vehemently rejected that depiction.

In an interview with Italy’s RAI TG1 news channel on Sunday, however, Zelensky appeared to have changed his tune and admitted that there were issues on the front line. In order to solve them, he said that there needs to be a complete overhaul of the country’s leadership, which would not be focused on replacing just a single person, apparently referring to Zaluzhny. The top Ukrainian commander, meanwhile, has reportedly told the president, as per the Washington Post, that no amount of leadership changes would result in any rapid improvements on the battlefield, insisting that Kiev’s forces needed more recruits to gain an advantage. He also stressed that Ukraine needs to prepare for a rise in the rate of personnel losses in 2024. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Kiev lost more than 23,000 soldiers in January. In December, the ministry estimated that since the start of the conflict, over 383,000 of Ukraine’s troops had been killed or wounded.

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”The guy with the gun usually wins and last time I checked Zaluzhny’s got more guns than Zelensky..”

Ukraine’s Top General Sparing Neo-Nazis From Frontline Slaughter (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who has reportedly been attempting to fire his top general, Valery Zaluzhny, could find himself out of a job before the nation’s top military commander, considering that the latter is backed by armed neo-Nazis, former CIA analyst Larry Johnson has argued. Amid widespread reports that Zelensky had unsuccessfully tried to sack Zaluzhny, Ukrainian and foreign media described a tense meeting between the pair, with the general reportedly rejecting a call to resign voluntarily and the president hesitating to remove him under pressure from military top brass. Zelensky has since told the press that a major overhaul of the military command was imminent.

In conversation with Nima Alkhorshid, the Brazil-based host of the YouTube channel, Dialogue Works on Sunday, Johnson claimed the soap opera would be hilarious “if hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians weren’t dead and maimed.” ”The guy with the gun usually wins and last time I checked Zaluzhny’s got more guns than Zelensky,” Johnson said. Comparing the two men, he said the general should not be seen as a “great guy.” “I don’t want to present Zaluzhny as some sort of military genius or really a good-hearted man,” the commentator remarked. He is “a bit of a scumbag” who “embraces the neo-Nazi ideology,” Johnson claimed. ”He’s been very careful to not insert the most ideologically driven troops – the Azov and the Kraken units – into the front lines where they get killed, because he wants to preserve them. Instead, he is sending the cannon-fodder guys.”

Whether or not Zaluzhny shares the radical nationalist ideology of the Ukrainian far-right is hard to tell from his public statements, but he is believed to have considerable support in those circles. A social media post on Friday by Andrey Stempitsky, a Ukrainian military leader and prominent member of the nationalist Right Sector group, featured a photo of him giving Zaluzhny an honorary ID, certifying the general as the first member of Stempitsky’s brigade. A portrait of Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist leader and Nazi collaborator, was in the background of the image. Zelensky was elected president in 2019 on a platform of reconciliation with rebels in the east and with Russia, but threats of violence by the extreme right made his office pull back from early attempts to deliver on that promise.

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“..a new USAID-Ukraine project for the construction of a railway connecting the EU and Ukraine has Lvov and not Kiev as its endpoint..”

Lvov May Become Ukraine’s New Capital (Sp.)

In December 2023, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and a major Ukrainian railway company signed an agreement for the construction of a 75-kilometer section of the European-gauge railway. The railroad will be part of a larger trans-European project (Mediterranean Corridor) starting in southern Spain and finishing in Lvov. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev believes that Lvov is set to become Ukraine’s new capital city. His conclusion is based on the fact that a new USAID-Ukraine project for the construction of a railway connecting the EU and Ukraine has Lvov and not Kiev as its endpoint. According to Medvedev, business sometimes reacts to unraveling geopolitical developments more quickly and pragmatically than politicians, and much can be understood from the project details and their reasons.

“It looks like the first confirmation that Lvov-Lemberg will be the new capital of Ukraine within the borders of the Lvov region… It’s just that business is much more prescient than politicians,” Medvedev wrote on X (former Twitter). Lvov-Lemberg is the old name for the city from when the region was part of the Austrian monarchy. Allegations hinting at the capital city being moved away from Kiev are old news for history enthusiasts. After all, national borders and political affiliations have altered dramatically across the continent even throughout the 20th century. Ever since Russia launched its special military op, EU officials have frequently voiced opinions pertaining to the fact that some of today’s Ukrainian lands historically belong to other EU nations. Such is the case with Eastern Galitsia, Transcarpathia (Zakarpattia), Bessarabia, or North Bukovina.

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We’re not supposed to know.

Sweden To Close Nord Stream Sabotage Probe – German Media (RT)

Sweden will this week announce the end of its investigation into the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, German media claimed on Tuesday. The reports come after Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist told the Expressen national newspaper on Monday that he will disclose a major development in the case within days. Built to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, the Nord Stream pipelines were damaged by a series of powerful explosions in September 2022. Germany, Sweden, and Denmark each launched their own national probes into the incident after failing to agree on a joint effort. Several leading German news outlets, including Suddeutsche Zeitung, NDR, WDR and Zeit, have predicted that Sweden will close its investigation after failing to identify any suspects.

The move will benefit German investigators, according to the news outlets, as Sweden will be able to share evidence with them once its own case is closed. Investigators are reportedly focusing their attention on a yacht named Andromeda, which was allegedly rented in Poland by a Ukrainian citizen before the bombing, and may have carried the team responsible for it, according to a working theory. Warsaw has been accused of stonewalling requests for assistance from fellow EU members and feeding them disinformation to scapegoat Russia, the Wall Street Journal claimed last month.

Skeptics of the Andromeda theory have argued that the depth at which the pipelines were blown up would have made it impossible for divers lacking highly specialized skills and equipment to plant the explosives. American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed in February 2023 that the incident was actually a clandestine US-Norwegian operation, personally ordered by President Joe Biden to ensure the EU’s decoupling from Russian energy supplies. Washington and Oslo have rejected the allegations, although senior officials in Moscow have said they find Hersh’s reporting plausible. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the sabotage was “most likely” carried out by the US “or someone at their instruction.”

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“Such language proliferates in times of tension and war. The impulse to it should be resisted by ethical persons, and even just by normal non-psychopathic human beings..”

NYT’s Friedman Hits New Low With Animalization of Arabs, Iranians (Juan Cole)

Calling people animals is a way to dehumanize them, and probably helps convince individuals that the other people around them approve of treating the animals badly. In ways that aren’t entirely clear, this way of speaking is certainly wrought up with violence and even genocide. Israel’s Defense Minister called the Palestinians of Gaza “human animals” when he announced a “complete siege” of Gaza after the horrid Hamas terrorist attack of October 7. Galant’s willingness to destroy most of the homes in northern Gaza and to displace over a million people, leaving them cold, hungry, thirsty and increasingly victims of disease, surely was enhanced by his conviction that he is dealing with animals rather than human beings. Some might defend him, saying that he only called Hamas “human animals.” But if that were true, why is he treating all Palestinians in Gaza worse than dogs?

The Nazi dehumanization of Jews is notorious. They called them rats, lice, cockroaches, foxes, vultures. Such language proliferates in times of tension and war. The impulse to it should be resisted by ethical persons, and even just by normal non-psychopathic human beings. Prominent New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, alas, fell victim to the seductions of such language in his Friday column. He openly said that he approaches the Middle East at times from the perspective of the Warner Brothers’ Animal Planet channel. Friedman actually wants a two-state solution and so wants something for Palestinians more than what they now have, and he is hated by the Israeli far right (which is increasingly the Israeli mainstream) for these stances.

So it is unfortunate that he deployed the language of insects for Iran and Hamas members. He might defend himself by pointing out that he called the United States an “old lion” of which no one in the region is afraid any more, or that he caricatured Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a lemur. But in his column, the old lion and the lemur are not depicted as vicious or disgusting. The three-time Pulitzer prize-winner compares Iran to a parasitoid wasp that lays its eggs in caterpillars. He says that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps is like the wasp, and the caterpillars are Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the Iraqi Shiite militias, and Yemen’s Helpers of God (Houthis). How does this language add to understanding? If he is saying that Iran has fostered Shiite militias in nearby countries on the model of its Revolutionary Guards, this is true.

But why would Lebanese be interested in Iranian training, weapons and monetary support? In 1947-1948 Zionist militias ethnically cleansed over half of Palestinians, expelling them from their homes and farms and forcing some of them to Lebanon, where they dwelled in camps. As a liberal Zionist, I presume that Friedman applauds this ethnic cleansing, though the liberal part of the equation makes him sympathetic to Palestinians getting a state on 22% of the land of the British Mandate of Palestine, all of which was promised to the Palestinians by the British White Paper of 1939.

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“..Ukrainians are treated as fellow human beings while thousands of brown Muslims drowning in the Mediterranean struggle to hold column inches in the same newspapers..”

Western Spin Doctors Dehumanize Select Peoples To Justify War (Bowes)

Anyone watching the ebb and flow of Western coverage of the Ukrainian conflict will notice the emergence of a centrally formed, “fact-light” narrative that suggests Ukrainians are utterly blameless, in a conflict which did not, in fact, begin on February 24, 2022, but with a CIA-back coup in Kiev in 2014, powered by ultra-nationalists and the far right. Its roots stretch even deeper, decades back, to the attempts at the destabilization of the Ukrainian SSR by Western intelligence agencies. Of course, the Western viewer is conveniently spared such details. The skill of deceit by omission of fact has been well honed by the likes of the BBC and CNN. Additionally, the Western media has also been adept at memory-holing Kiev’s crimes against its own people in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup. There is no space to report the gross corruption, the punitive neo-Nazi battalions unleashed on the Donbass region, or the murder, abduction and rape deployed against the Russian-speaking populations who refused to accept the illegitimate mandate of the post-Maidan government.

So, while The Western media gleefully attaches itself to this centralized narrative, there are very hard questions to be asked about the motivations and psychological tools being used in licensing and peddling the justification of war, and when it comes to Palestine, one of these uncomfortable realities is the deployment of subconscious racism. Let’s look at the convenient demonization of Islam. It is by no means an accident that the majority of victims of America’s catastrophic post-9/11 “war on terror” were Muslim. Decades of demonization of Islam as a savage religion bent on world domination have had a subconscious effect on the “collective mind” of the West. This is then energetically exploited by the Western media as required. When Syrian and African refugees from wars stimulated by the Western powers sought refuge in Europe, they were met with protest and in many cases violent objection.

However, when it came to the Ukrainian conflict, some Western commentators openly talked about the fact that the Ukrainian refugees “looked like us,” that they could be “our own people,” that they were blonde-haired and blue-eyed. It was a jarring display of how Ukrainians are treated as fellow human beings while thousands of brown Muslims drowning in the Mediterranean struggle to hold column inches in the same newspapers. The intimate relationship between the client media and the military industrial complex also requires deep investigation and analysis. Media empires such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp exert vast and overwhelming influence on the public discourse when it comes to the justification of war.

The relationship between the critically important military industrial complex and the creation of a defensible war narrative is undeniable yet persistently denied. So as the world shifts its gaze from Ukraine towards the Middle East, it’s remarkable how quickly the Ukrainian conflict has slipped from the top of the news feeds in the West. It’s also remarkable how criticism of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has become suddenly acceptable, whereas the same criticism only months ago was universally suppressed in the Western media.

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“The federal government is being run as a criminal enterprise. . . .not just a little criminal, but a lot criminal.”

Gold & Silver Fight Tyranny – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)

Catherine Austin Fitts (CAF), Publisher of The Solari Report, financial expert and former Assistant Secretary of Housing (Bush 41 Admin.), says, “The federal government is being run as a criminal enterprise. . . .not just a little criminal, but a lot criminal.” CAF thinks now is the time for state governments to act to protect their citizens from the dangers of a falling dollar and increasing central control over “We the People.” CAF explains, “One of the things we are talking with the states about is Sovereign State Banks, so they can protect their transactions in dollars. We are also talking about State Bullion Depositories. This is so states can protect their rainy-day reserve and, ultimately, their transaction ability with gold and silver. Under the Constitution, the states have those powers.

This is very important if we are going to have sovereignty as individuals and not wake up one day and find ourselves in the same spot as the Canadian truckers who had their bank accounts shut down for protesting the CV19 lockdowns and mandates. More and more, we are seeing people say the ‘wrong things,’ and suddenly they find their bank account is shut down. So, if we are going to have individual sovereignty, we need governments that can provide sovereignty. . . . . The states have the power to implement financial transaction arraignments to protect our financial transaction freedom. Without our financial transaction freedom, we are literally going to lose all of our freedoms.”

CAF says there are many reasons to be concerned for the dollar as the world reserve currency system. Fewer and fewer countries are paying for oil trade in dollars. The US now has record debt and likely it cannot be paid back—ever. CAF also points out, “We are seeing a serious loss of confidence for the US federal government to keep its word. As we see this erosion of confidence, we see the US government and central banks assert more and more control in a way which is nothing but tryanny. . . . The challenge in the dollar system is that the dollar system has been managed in a very corrupt way. That corruption has made the dollar system much more expensive and much less efficient than it could be.

The corruption is destroying the productivity of the dollar system. That is telling people all over the world that this is a system you cannot rely on and you can’t trust. It is also devastating to the brand of the dollar system for the military not to look strong. . . . What you are watching is a diminishing of trust all around the world. . . . People are wondering how we are going to survive if the dollar system is going to continue to erode?” CAF also talks about the CV19 murder and disability program and how that is going to affect the economy and the November 2024 Election. CAF says, “A lot can happen before November. . . .I had a preacher who once told me, ‘If we can face it, God can fix it.’”

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“[i]s the [Biden] Admin asking us to remove books, or are they more concerned about search results/order (or both)?”

Why Burn Books When You Can Bury Them? (Turley)

The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Monday revealed yet another facet of the Biden Administration’s sprawling censorship system that targeted dissenting books. It appears that, as with social media companies, it succeeded in getting the company not to promote disfavored books. Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan revealed on X that the White House was directly involved in the censorship campaign. That includes a 2021 email from one Biden official asking to discuss “the high levels of propaganda and misinformation and disinformation of [sic] Amazon?” Amazon in turn appears to ask only how high the Biden White House wants it to jump on censorship: “[i]s the [Biden] Admin asking us to remove books, or are they more concerned about search results/order (or both)?”

After the meeting, Amazon confirmed in an email that it was actively doing what the government demanded in suppressing sales by not promoting disfavored books: “As a reminder, we did enable Do Not Promote for anti-vax books whose primary purpose is to persuade readers vaccines are unsafe or ineffective on 3/9, and will review additional handling options for these books with you.” This effort notably parallels demands from Democratic leaders who have called for enlightened algorithms to frame what citizens access on the internet. In 2021, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) objected that people were not listening to the informed views of herself and leading experts. Instead, they were reading views of skeptics by searching Amazon and finding books by “prominent spreaders of misinformation.”

Warren blamed Amazon for failing to limit searches or choices: “This pattern and practice of misbehavior suggests that Amazon is either unwilling or unable to modify its business practices to prevent the spread of falsehoods or the sale of inappropriate products.” In her letter, Warren gave the company 14 days to change its algorithms to throttle and obstruct efforts to read opposing views. It is important to keep in mind that these efforts at censorship targeted scientists who have been vindicated in many of their objections to policies and claims of the government. For example, a new scientific review by 12 researchers from leading universities found little support for the claims that masks reduced Covid exposures. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) initially rejected the use of a mask mandate. However, the issue became a political weapon as politicians and the press claimed that questioning masks was anti-science and even unhinged.

In April 2020, the CDC reversed its position and called for the masking of the entire population, including children as young as 2 years old. The mask mandate and other pandemic measures like the closing of schools are now cited as fueling emotional and developmental problems in children. The closing of schools and businesses was also challenged by some critics as unnecessary. Many of those critics were also censored. It now appears that they may have been right. Many countries did not close schools and did not experience increases in Covid. However, we are now facing alarming drops in testing scores and alarming rises in medical illness among the young. Masks became a major social and political dividing line in politics and the media. Maskless people were chased from stores and denounced in Congress. Then-CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during a Senate hearing that “face masks are the most important powerful health tool we have.”

The head of the World Health Organization even supported censorship to combat what he called an “infodemic.” A lawsuit opposing these efforts was filed by Missouri and Louisiana and joined by leading experts, including Drs. Jayanta Bhattacharya (Stanford University) and Martin Kulldorff (Harvard University). Yet, universities joined social media companies and politicians in targeting dissenters and silencing opposing voices. Bhattacharya previously objected to the suspension of Dr. Clare Craig after she raised concerns about Pfizer trial documents. Those doctors were the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandates. Many are now questioning the efficacy and cost of the massive lockdown as well as the real value of masks or the rejection of natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination. Yet, these experts and others were attacked for such views just a year ago. Some found themselves censored on social media for challenging claims of Dr. Fauci and others.

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” Just as nothing will be done about the genocide of the Palestinians, nothing will be done about the American genocide. White people are an endangered species..”

America Is Undergoing Genocide (Paul Craig Roberts)

It is not a conspiracy theory that the 300,000 immigrant-invaders (official count) entering the US unopposed each month are recruits organized by NGOs and not refugees from political persecution. The NGOs that are underwriting the invasion provide maps of the routes along which food and shelter are provided. Roads and bridges are being constructed to aid the invasion. One of the NGOs is the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), of which the current director of the US Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, himself a Jew, was a board member until December 2020. According to an article on substack, HIAS has received $100,000,000 from the US government in the past three years. Mayorkas is foreign born and himself an immigrant-invader. Yet, he is the director of Homeland Security for the United States. On January 31, the House Committee on Homeland Security voted to approve articles of impeachment of Mayorkas for “willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law” in enforcing border policy and “breach of public trust.”

There has been no investigation of whether it was Mayorkas who gave $100,000,000 of US taxpayers money to a Jewish NGO engaged in the organized invasion of the US. According to the report on substack, HIAS has a processing center in the Darien Gap used to collect the immigrant-invaders and to send them on their guided and provisioned way. Apparently, Mayorkas is aware of this, and possibly is helping to finance it. But don’t expect Congress to investigate anything that might reflect unfavorably on a Jewish organization. Another problem is Vanita Gupta, daughter of Indian immigrants, who is Associate Attorney General of the US. Gupta has been active in investigating police departments, in enforcing LGBTQ2 rights and hate crime prosecutions, and winning settlements for illegal immigrant children. Her father is a director of Avantor, a company that makes in Mexico acetic anhydride, a product used in producing heroin and methamphetamine.

As the Democrats’ open border policy facilitates the drug trade, the question is whether an associate attorney general who fights for immigrant-invaders and whose father is involved in a corporation that produces a product used in the drug trade has a conflict of interest. Governance in a tower of babel is problematic, especially when the most recent citizens are people of color with racial privileges that give them preferred entry into top positions. Many of the immigrant-invaders arrive from countries in which it is commonplace that officials privatize their offices for money or for ideological and social agendas. When a Western government has so many government officials from countries outside the Western tradition, how does the country remain Western? Isn’t it transformed into something else?

Under the Democrats, each and every month illegal immigrants are permitted to enter the US in numbers (official, the real number might be higher) equal to the population of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Think about it. Every year the Democrats’ open border policy saddles us with 12 cities the size of Pittsburgh full of third world immigrants who know nothing of Western ways. it is a new form of genocide that America is undergoing. It is unclear to me if there is enough of America left to be able to rescue itself. Rescue is certainly impossible as long as gullible, insouciant, hapless Americans continue to vote Democrat. Not that the Republicans are much different. As far as I can tell, the only difference between the two parties is that Republicans do not hate white people, and it is not their policy to destroy them and to replace a white country with people of color. But Republicans lack a fighting spirit. They themselves are part of the Establishment, and they are content to milk the situation to their own end. Just as nothing will be done about the genocide of the Palestinians, nothing will be done about the American genocide. White people are an endangered species. Their governments are conspiring against them.

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Rancourt
https://twitter.com/i/status/1754727126152945732

 

 

Lily
https://twitter.com/i/status/1754886443133018498

 

 

Ostrich

 

 

Engineering

 

 

Grey whale

 

 

Hammock

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 092024
 


René Magritte Youth 1924

 

Ukraine Has Lost 500,000 Troops – Ex Prosecutor General (RT)
Ukraine May Resort to Printing Money if Western Cash Dries Up (Sp.)
Russia Must Be Asia’s Peace Maker (Hayes)
Poland Covered Up For Nord Stream Attackers – WSJ (RT)
Biden Refills Strategic Petroleum Reserve At Twice The Historic Average (Sp.)
Biden Is Asking For Mexican Help To Stop The Record Surge Of Migrants (NBC)
27 States File to Oppose Colorado’s Disqualification of Trump (Turley)
Donald Trump Will Attend Tuesday Arguments For Immunity Motion In J6 Case (PM)
Trump Co-Defendant: Improper Relationship Between Georgia DA, Prosecutor (NYP)
Musk Responds To WSJ ‘Hit Piece’ (RT)
Hunter Biden Contempt Resolutions Introduced In House (ZH)
Most Germans Want Scholz To Step Down – Poll (RT)
House Freedom Caucus Slams Speaker Johnson’s Proposed Spending Deal (JTN)
“It’s Okay to Be Fat” and Obesity Should be “Normalized” (MN)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Jan 6

 

 

Riveted
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744415213053522390

 

 

Biden plagiarism

 

 

“They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.”
– Tacitus

 

 

 

 

To achieve what?

Ukraine Has Lost 500,000 Troops – Ex Prosecutor General (RT)

Ukraine’s leaders should frankly admit that they have lost 500,000 service members since the start of the conflict with Russia, and that the monthly casualty rate is at around 30,000, former prosecutor general Yury Lutsenko has said. President Vladimir Zelensky’s goverment could convince reluctant citizens to join the fight by publicly admitting the heavy losses on the battlefield and declaring that the country’s very existence is in jeopardy, he believes. Ukrainians “must know how many have died, and then all debates about the mobilization will be settled,” he added. Speaking to the country’s media on Wednesday, the former official proposed a number of steps to address the draft-dodging and corruption that is hampering the country’s conscription efforts.

He suggested that new legislation must be introduced by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, the country’s defense minister, and top army general to emphasize the seriousness of the situation. “They should say how many Ukrainians have died. I know that this news will be received badly. But there is no other way to bring out of the comfort zone millions of those who hide behind bogus stories that everyone can serve except me,” Lutsenko said. According to Lutsenko, this “shock” would lead to large queues at recruitment offices, as had occurred in February 2022. Another important measure, according to the former official, would be the campaign to send members of the Ukrainian elite to the frontline.

“The army should not be all workers and peasants. Everyone should fight for Ukraine,” he stated, arguing that this would encourage ordinary citizens who he said have a very strong sense of justice. Zelensky said in December that the Ukrainian military had asked him to mobilize another 450,000 or 500,000 soldiers to make up for battlefield losses. Later that month, the government introduced a mobilization bill proposing to lower the recruitment age from 27 to 25 and eliminate exemptions for some categories of disabled people. The initiative comes after Ukraine launched a large counteroffensive in early June, which failed to gain any substantial ground. Moscow has described Kiev’s losses as catastrophic, estimating them at around 160,000 since the start of the push. Ukraine, however, has been reluctant to officially publish data on its casualties.

Ukr TV
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744313678021660797

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“The West reportedly pays for a whopping 70 percent of the Ukrainian government’s expenses..”

Ukraine May Resort to Printing Money if Western Cash Dries Up (Sp.)

The Wall Street Journal has crunched some numbers on the Ukrainian crisis and concluded that Ukraine might have to resort to drastic measures if Western support stops flowing. Pointing to “dwindling” Western financial assistance; lesser interest in continuing to fund the proxy crisis; and Russia outguning Ukraine militarily and economically, the outlet warned that “without sufficient support, Ukraine may have to resort to painful spending cuts or even printing money to fill its deficit” to keep the lights on and the war effort going. Such a policy “would pose a grave risk to the health of its economy,” the newspaper said, hinting at the danger of hyperinflation which traditionally hits countries that print money to try to fill budget gaps.

The analysis likewise showed that Russia’s military budget and weapons manufacturing capacity has expanded dramatically. On the other hand, Ukraine’s production has been stagnant since 2022 and today is “no match for a much larger Russian military-industrial complex running at full steam.” The study found, for example, that Russian forces are presently producing and using five times more shells than Ukraine on the front. Politically too, the paper’s analysis pointed to dropping support for the proxy war in both the US and Europe. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, there have been “some declines” in “trust levels” for President Zelensky’s government. Internal polling conducted late last year found Zelensky’s approval rating had sunk to just 32 percent.

US lawmakers have been wrangling with the White House over President Biden’s request to commit another $61 billion in military backing to Kiev. Ukrainian officials have admitted they “don’t have a plan B” if the support, which they insist is “not charity” but “an investment in the protection of NATO,” falls through. In Europe also, deliveries of fresh military and economic support have dropped dramatically in recent months, with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy’s Ukraine Support Tracker showing nearly a 90 percent drop in Western assistance overall between August and October 2023 compared to the same period a year earlier. Western officials have repeatedly warned that Ukraine would be “certain to fail” without a renewed IV drip of financial and military support – confirming nearly two years of statements by Russian officials that the NATO-backed regime would collapse without Western backing.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister warned last month that salary and pension delays were imminent if Western support was not immediately forthcoming. At the front, foreign mercenaries have reportedly been trickling out of the country after payments to them were halted and they found more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. The West reportedly pays for a whopping 70 percent of the Ukrainian government’s expenses, with Kiev racking up a record-high debt of $157 billion in 2023 – less than ten percent shy of the 100 percent of GDP mark. Debt is forecast to grow precipitously in the coming years, reaching up to $313 billion by 2028.

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“Contrary to what our Nazi-saluting, cat-strangling, welfare cheque-cashing friends in Kiev might think, there is no other power beside Russia in a position to get all sides in Asia to come together to cool things down..”

Russia Must Be Asia’s Peace Maker (Hayes)

Although China and its adversaries have a number of symmetric and asymmetric options available to them that range from Nordstream style no claim no blame attacks on hostile shipping to blowing up, in pre-emptive strikes, the Three Gorges Dam and thereby drowning the 1 billion or so Chinese unfortunates who live in the Lower Yanzgtse Valley, outside the lunatic asylums of Washington, most of those are not realistic choices. That said, China’s reaction to the results of Taiwan’s pending 13 January elections might bring unwanted fireworks to bear on what already is a tense tinderbox. Should William Lai Ching-te, the incumbent vice president and the candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), prevail over Hou Yu-ih from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Party, China will most likely spit the dummy again and launch massive military drills around the island or even grab Penghu Island as a sign it is serious about subjugating Taiwan.

Though China certainly carries a big stick, it doesn’t yet seem to grasp the notion that one should speak softly and only wave or use the stick as a last recourse. That is where the diplomats of Russia, which currently chairs the loose and untested BRIICS alliance, comes in. As a long standing ally of Vietnam, China and India, and as one which understands the nuanced goals of all three of those countries, Russia can bring a lot to the table. Not only did Russia help broker peace in the 1965 2nd Kashmir war between Pakistan and India but Russia fully understands that India and Vietnam both want strategic autonomy, and that neither will ever submit to being a vassal of a revanchist China. Taiwan currently leads the world in the crucial field of semiconductors and that is unlikely to change any time soon.

And nor is Taiwan’s status as, for Taiwan to revert to the 1683-1895 era when it paid tribute to the Qing Dynasty, would mean empowering China to annex the entire region as Imperial Japan did in late 1941 from its Taiwanese/Formosan base. Because Japan, India, Vietnam and even the Philippines cannot accept that, China is thereby opening up the door for NATO’s carrier groups and sundry other legacy defence systems and that is far from being an optimal state of affairs if peace and trade, rather than war and all it entails are the goals. There are two or even three ways out of this morass, only one of which is really acceptable. The first of these is to duke it out across the Taiwan Strait and every other strait or reef that is deemed important along the String of Pearls from Siberia to Somalia.

The second way is for China to goose step ahead with its neomercantalism until the global economy revolves around it and it alone. The third and best way is for the BRIICS and allied countries to take the opportunity Russia’s chairmanship of that group offers and chart some way through all the straits and reefs they might sink or run aground on. Contrary to what our Nazi-saluting, cat-strangling, welfare cheque-cashing friends in Kiev might think, there is no other power beside Russia in a position to get all sides in Asia to come together to cool things down. And, because there is still a pivotal role not only for diplomacy but for those like Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and his standing army of fellow Russian diplomats who retain those vital skills the West so stupidly jettisoned, there still mind be time to avoid this looming Armageddon of the Eastern Seas and all it entails.

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The story of the little yacht must be kept alive. It is used to cast doubt on US involvement.

Poland Covered Up For Nord Stream Attackers – WSJ (RT)

Polish officials have withheld evidence and attempted to stall an international probe into the bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, making investigators “suspicious of Warsaw’s role and motives,” the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas lines – which linked Russia with Germany through the Baltic Sea – were destroyed in a series of explosions near the Danish island of Bornholm in September 2022. A joint inquiry by Germany, Denmark, and Sweden is ongoing, with investigators theorizing that a Ukrainian team rented a yacht in Germany from a Polish company, which they used to transport explosives to the blast sites. When these alleged leads were chaned in Poland, investigators were stonewalled by government officials and law enforcement agents, the Journal reported, citing sources within the investigation.

Polish authorities failed to turn over testimony from eyewitnesses who allegedly encountered the yacht’s six-person crew in the Polish port of Kolobrzeg until pushed to do so by German police, the sources said. CCTV footage from the port was then withheld, and Poland’s internal security agency, the ABW, “failed to answer queries, obfuscated or gave contradictory information,” the newspaper stated. Polish prosecutors said they found no traces of explosives on the yacht, despite never having boarded it to check, the investigators claimed. The investigation would later find explosive residue on the vessel, according to media reports. The prosecutors reportedly told European investigators that the boat arrived in Kolobrzeg at 4pm September 19, when it actually moored seven hours earlier. Later in the investigation, the ABW told its sister agencies in Europe that the yacht “had links with Russian espionage,” the newspaper reported, adding that investigators considered this “disinformation.”

According to all available information, no Western governments or intelligence agencies suspect that Russia was behind the bombings. Gas sold to Europe via the Nord Stream lines was a lucrative source of revenue for Moscow, and was seen as a powerful instrument of leverage for the Kremlin. Poland’s efforts to hinder the investigators have made them “increasingly suspicious of Warsaw’s role and motives,” the Wall Street Journal noted. All of the alleged misdirection and obfuscation took place under Poland’s previous government, however, and unnamed “senior European officials” told the newspaper that they are considering contacting Poland’s new prime minister, Donald Tusk, in the hope that he will grant them access to police and security personnel who may have previously been pressured to stay silent.

According to an alternate theory put forward by American journalist Seymour Hersh, the CIA was responsible for the Nord Stream blasts. Citing sources within the intelligence community, Hersh argued that CIA divers working with the Norwegian Navy planted remotely-triggered bombs on the lines last summer, using a NATO exercise in the region as cover. Bolstering this theory was a tweet by former Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who within hours of the explosions shared an image of a giant gas leak at the blast site along with the caption “Thank you, USA.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed this explanation, stating last month that the sabotage operation “was done, most likely, by the Americans or someone at their instruction.”

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“They could have picked up several hundred million barrels at $15, but because it was what President Trump wanted, Congress said no..”

“..it will take a whopping 75 months to bring the SPR back to the level at which it was before US President Joe Biden started draining it..”

“..the Biden administration is buying oil at twice the historic average to replenish the SPR..”

Biden Refills Strategic Petroleum Reserve At Twice The Historic Average (Sp.)

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is currently buying three million barrels a month to refill the nation’s SPR in the wake of Joe Biden’s release of over 225 million barrels of oil between March 2022 and August 2023, dumping levels in the reserve to the lowest in 40 years. Tim Stewart, president of the US Oil and Gas Association, alleges that Team Biden is doing nothing short of damage control ahead of the 2024 election given that the nation’s depleted SPR has recently become the public’s concern. “Prior to 2022, the average person knew nothing about the SPR. That has completely changed. When the lovely 75-year-old blue-haired lady at church complains to me how Biden has drained the SPR – they must have caught the public’s attention,” Stewart told Just the News, an independent US media outlet founded by award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon.

Apparently, the Biden administration would have bought “refill barrels” at a greater pace, but it is facing limits on how much crude can be funneled into the reserve per month. That means it will take a whopping 75 months to bring the SPR back to the level at which it was before US President Joe Biden started draining it. To sweeten the pill, the US administration triumphantly claims that it is buying oil for the SPR at an average price of $77.31 per barrel, which is considerably below the average of $95 per barrel it was in 2022. Per Stewart, it’s by no means “a good deal for American taxpayers”: one should bear in mind that the average price paid per barrel in the SPR has been $29.70 per barrel, the expert pointed out. It appears that the Biden administration is guided by its own political interests rather than those of the nation.

It began draining the SPR in spring of 2022, ahead of the midterm election: at the time gasoline prices went up and American voters were not happy with that. Still, Just the News failed to mention that the hike in prices was partially caused by Team Biden’s energy sanctions slapped on Russia over Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine. If one digs deeper, one would learn that the special military operation started after the Biden administration snubbed Moscow’s draft security agreement aimed at safeguarding Europe’s peace, protecting Russia’s borders and restoring the balance of forces vis-à-vis NATO. Now, the Biden administration is buying oil at twice the historic average to replenish the SPR before the 2024 presidential election in a bid to look good in the eyes of the US voters.

The crux of the matter is that the US administration and the Democratic Party in general may have avoided this tricky situation ahead of the election if it had green-lighted Donald Trump’s initiative to fill the SPR at the time when oil prices were extremely low, per Stewart. Back in 2020, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, then US President Donald Trump moved to buy oil for the SPR when West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices were under $25 per barrel. Trump requested $3 billion from the US Congress to jump at this lucrative opportunity, but Democratic lawmakers nipped the president’s endeavor in the bud. Per Just the News, Democratic lawmakers bragged at the time that they had “eliminated a $3 billion bailout for big oil.” “They could have picked up several hundred million barrels at $15, but because it was what President Trump wanted, Congress said no,” Stewart told the media outlet.

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At the same time that they’re suing Texas for trying to… “Stop The Record Surge Of Migrants..”

Biden Is Asking For Mexican Help To Stop The Record Surge Of Migrants (NBC)

The Biden administration is increasingly leaning on Mexico to curb the record flow of migrants crossing into the U.S., but Mexico has its own lists of ambitious asks for the U.S., say officials from both governments familiar with the discussions. Previous measures taken by the Biden administration to stem the migrant surge have led to only temporary dips in the numbers, and in late December, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken went to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to ask for greater assistance. Those conversations were “preliminary,” the officials said, and did not result in hard promises from either side. In a press conference on Friday, López Obrador called on the U.S. to approve a plan that would deploy $20 billion to Latin American and Caribbean countries, suspend the U.S. blockade of Cuba, remove all sanctions against Venezuela and grant at least 10 million Hispanics living in the U.S. the right to remain and work legally.

All of those are extremely tall demands of an administration headed into a re-election campaign that may hinge on how firmly Biden is able to get control of the southern U.S. border, which saw a record 300,000 migrants processed by Customs and Border Protection in December. Responding to those requests, a senior Biden administration official told NBC News that AMLO, as López Obrador is commonly called, “has a very ambitious agenda. For some of these things, we would need Congress to act. We share the vision that we need to lift up the region.” The two countries are expected to continue talks in Washington later this month. Mexico brings significant leverage to the negotiations, the U.S. and Mexican officials said. López Obrador’s administration would prefer that President Joe Biden win re-election in November, given Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions during his time in office.

But Biden is quickly running out of options to fix a problem that is driving down his poll numbers without increased support from Mexico, three U.S. officials told NBC News. On Capitol Hill, negotiations over border security measures between Republicans and Democrats continue into their second month with no clear breakthrough. And new asylum policies introduced by the Biden administration in May failed to deter migrants, as evidenced by the record surge. To bring the numbers down, the Biden administration needs Mexico to let it push more non-Mexican immigrants back across the U.S. southern border, as the U.S. was able to do through early 2023. During the Covid pandemic, the Trump and Biden administrations used a public health order known as Title 42 to push migrants back into Mexico without an asylum screening. During that policy, which ended in May, Mexico took back migrants over 1 million times each year for three years. Under current policies, Mexico has agreed to take back 30,000 migrants per month, but that is only 10% of December’s tally.

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“.. The Western elites have become a symbol of total, unprincipled lies.”

DC Has Resurrected the Specter of Nuclear Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)

The US and Israel have isolated themselves as the two most evil governments on earth. By complying with Washington’s foreign policy, the European puppet governments find themselves despised by their citizens. Eleven months ago Russia’s president Vladimir Putin described the West to the Russian Federal Assembly: “They behaved just as shamelessly and duplicitously when destroying Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. They will never be able to wash off this shame. The concepts of honor, trust, and decency are not for them. Over the long centuries of colonialism, diktat and hegemony, they got used to being allowed everything. They grew accustomed to spitting on the whole world.

“It turned out that they treat people living in their own countries with the same disdain, like a master. They cynically deceived them too, tricked them with tall stories about the search for peace, about adherence to the UN Security Council resolutions on Donbass. The Western elites have become a symbol of total, unprincipled lies.” It took Russian politicians and journalists a long time to recover from their delusion that with the demise of communism the world was a community governed by agreed-upon rules. Many Russian intellectuals and journalists had an idealized picture of the United States which kept the Russian government off balance in understanding Washington’s intentions toward Russia. How else to explain Russia’s lack of preparedness when Washington overthrew the elected government of Ukraine and when Georgia invaded South Ossetia?

As Putin now understands, the consequences of the Russian government’s mistaken expectation of fair and honorable relations with the West have been severe. Unless the West’s degradation results in collapse, war is inevitable. American and European peoples have no impact on their governments who serve the agendas of the financially powerful. Now that the West has demonstrated for all to see that the West suffers no shame from participation in genocide, even the most westernized Russians are likely to keep a safe distance from Washington’s snares. Now that the West has completely shattered the trust built during the Soviet era, the threat of nuclear Armageddon again holds sway over the Earth. In the face of this threat, all other threats recede into nothingness.

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“The attorneys general of Indiana, West Virginia and 25 other states, warn the court that this novel theory will produce “chaos” in the country.”

27 States File to Oppose Colorado’s Disqualification of Trump (Turley)

The majority of Americans oppose the decisions in Colorado and Maine to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot. Other polls put the balance slightly in favor, but all polls show a deeply divided country on this effort. The Maine decision will now be reviewed by the Maine state courts, but the Colorado decision is scheduled for oral argument in a matter of weeks. A reversal of the Colorado decision is now supported by 27 states, which filed with the Supreme Court to oppose the underlying theory under the Fourteenth Amendment. It is relatively rare to see states opposing the expansion of their own authority vis-a-vis Congress. The brief reinforces the view of states like Colorado as outliers in the country in embracing this anti-democratic theory. The attorneys general of Indiana, West Virginia and 25 other states, warn the court that this novel theory will produce “chaos” in the country.

“The Colorado Supreme Court has cast itself into a ‘political thicket,’ Evenwel v. Abbott, 578 U.S. 54, 58, (2016), and it is now up to this Court to pull it out. ‘Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy.’ Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1, 4 (2006) (per curiam). If the Colorado decision stands, that critical confidence will be harmed. Many Americans will become convinced that a few partisan actors have contrived to take a political decision out of ordinary voters’ hands.” Advocates are pushing this dangerous theory at a time of deepening divisions in our country. As I have previously said, the four Colorado justices are recklessly throwing matches at a powder keg. That is why I am hopeful that at least one of the liberal justices will follow the lead of the three democratically appointed Colorado justices, who dissent from this anti-democratic decision.

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Federal appeals court.

Donald Trump Will Attend Tuesday Arguments For Immunity Motion In J6 Case (PM)

Former President Donald Turmp will be attending Tuesday’s arguments regarding his presidential immunity motion in the Jan. 6 case being led by Jack Smith. In a post to Truth Social, Trump made the announcement that he would be attending the arguments come Tuesday.

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Crazy story of the day.

Trump Co-Defendant: Improper Relationship Between Georgia DA, Prosecutor (NYP)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had an “improper” and “clandestine” relationship with the married special prosecutor who assisted in securing the Georgia grand jury indictment against former President Donald Trump, a co-defendant in the election interference case alleged Monday. The bombshell court filing made by former Trump 2020 campaign official Michael Roman argues that Willis should be disqualified from the case and the charges against him dropped because “the district attorney chose to appoint her romantic partner, who at all times relevant to this prosecution has been a married man” to the case.

Roman contends that Nathan Wade, a private attorney with the Atlanta-based Wade & Campbell Firm, used some of the nearly $654,000 in legal fees that he’s been compensated for by the Fulton County DA’s office for his work on the Trump case to take Willis on lavish vacations to “Napa Valley, California, Florida and the Caribbean.” “Mr. Roman … moves the Court for an order disqualifying the district attorney, her office, and the special prosecutor from further prosecuting the instant matter on the grounds that the district attorney and the special prosecutor have been engaged in an improper, clandestine personal relationship during the pendency of this case, which has resulted in the special prosecutor, and, in turn, the district attorney, profiting significantly from this prosecution at the expense of the taxpayers,” the 127-page filing states.

“Accordingly, the district attorney and the special prosecutor have violated laws regulating the use of public monies, suffer from irreparable conflicts of interest, and have violated their oaths of office under the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct and should be disqualified from prosecuting this matter,” it continues. Roman’s filing claims that “sources close to both the special prosecutor and the district attorney” have confirmed that Willis and Wade had an ongoing fling, and that Wade filed for divorce in Cobb County, Ga., “a day after his first contract with Willis commenced” in November 2021. “In addition, the district attorney and the special prosecutor have been seen in private together (in a personal relationship capacity) in and about the Atlanta area and believed to have co-habited in some form or fashion at a location that neither of them owned,” the filing alleges.


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“@WSJ is not fit to line a parrot cage for bird,” he concluded, adding a “poop” emoji.”

Musk Responds To WSJ ‘Hit Piece’ (RT)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hit back at the Wall Street Journal in a post on his X platform (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, a day after the paper published a lengthy article detailing company executives’ purported concerns over his use of illegal drugs. Referring to an infamous 2018 interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, during which Musk smoked marijuana on camera, the Tesla tycoon explained: “after that one puff with Rogan, I agreed, at NASA’s request, to do 3 years of random drug testing. Not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol.” “@WSJ is not fit to line a parrot cage for bird,” he concluded, adding a “poop” emoji.

In its article, headlined: “Elon Musk Has Used Illegal Drugs, Worrying Leaders at Tesla and SpaceX,” the Journal claimed multiple company executives and board members at both companies were concerned that what they viewed as Musk’s erratic behavior was caused by the use of illegal drugs. These supposedly included not only the cannabis he was seen smoking with Rogan, but also ketamine – for which he has claimed to have a legal prescription – LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms. Musk’s brother Kimbal and at least one current SpaceX board member reportedly took drugs with Musk, though it was not stated whether they were among those supposedly concerned about the billionaire’s habits. Musk has allegedly used drugs at “private parties around the world,” where attendees were made to sign non-disclosure agreements or turn in their phones.

While “people close to Musk” were said to be “concerned [his drug use] could cause a health crisis,” the Journal focused more on the potential implications for his businesses, specifically the fate of $14 billion in government contracts enjoyed by SpaceX. “Drug abuse” – the use of controlled or illegal substances “in a manner that deviates from approved medical direction” – could jeopardize Musk’s security clearance and would violate federal contractor requirements. Following the Rogan incident, SpaceX randomly deployed drug-sniffing dogs on company property and executives “began warning employees to follow company rules at all times, including to not use illegal drugs even outside of the office,” insider sources told the WSJ.

Despite focusing on drugs, the report acknowledged that even those concerned about Musk’s behavior were not sure whether to attribute it to substance use or other issues like his “consistent lack of sleep,” being on the autism spectrum, or (self-diagnosed) bipolar disorder. Few investors complained about his behavior when his companies were performing as well as they were in recent years, it admitted. Musk fans on X have condemned the “hit piece,” which think-tank director Jeffrey Tucker decried as “the kind of vicious thing you would expect to see in East Germany or the old Soviet Union.”

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“..by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland.”

Hunter Biden Contempt Resolutions Introduced In House (ZH)

House Republicans on Monday introduced contempt resolutions against Hunter Biden, recommending that he be held in Contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoenas and appear for testimony in front of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees on Dec. 13. Hunter, who was handsomely compensated for doing nothing on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma (right before his father strong armed the Ukrainians into firing their chief prosecutor – who was investigating Burisma), skipped out on his closed-door deposition, and instead said he would only appear for public testimony – where questions would be far more limited. According to the committees, “Biden has violated federal law, and must be held in contempt of Congres.”

The committees said they want to get information from Hunter Biden to determine whether his father, President Joe Biden, was involved in any bribery schemes, abused his positions of political power as president or vice president, or knowingly participated in any scheme to enrich himself or his family, including through contact with foreign entities. -Just the News. As Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley noted in December; “Few people expected Hunter to testify in the deposition. The evidence against him is overwhelming, as shown in his second federal indictment on tax charges. He and his uncles were allegedly engaged in one of the largest influence-peddling operations in history involving millions of dollars from various foreign sources. Hunter simply could have done what prior witnesses have done: Go in and take the Fifth. That is what attorney and former IRS official Lois Lerner did — twice — when House Republicans wanted to ask her about the Obama administration targeting conservative groups.”

It was a no-brainer that someone appears to have radically over-thought on the Hunter Biden legal team. Hunter can now be held in contempt of Congress. That will force the hand of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who aggressively pursued Trump figures for contempt, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Despite some of us writing to the contrary, Bannon claimed his lawyers told him he did not have to appear before a House committee. He was swiftly charged and convicted by Garland’s prosecutors. In this instance, the contempt case would go to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Matthew Graves, who previously declined to assist in bringing tax charges against the president’s son. Yet by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland.

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Sounds like Biden: “Bild described Scholz as “the most unpopular chancellor of all time.”

Most Germans Want Scholz To Step Down – Poll (RT)

Public support for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has fallen to record lows, the tabloid Bild reported on Monday, citing a fresh survey conducted by the INSA polling institute. Almost two-thirds of Germans want him to resign before the next federal election, scheduled for October 2025, the data suggests. As many as 64% of respondents told INSA that Scholz should vacate his position and hand it over to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who is a fellow Social Democrat. Less than a quarter of Germans opposed that prospect. Scholz would also lose an election versus any of his major rivals, the poll showed. Only 23% of Germans would support the current chancellor against Friedrich Merz, the leader of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Merz himself would enjoy the backing of 26% of voters.

Should Scholz face off against Markus Soeder, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) – the traditional CDU ally in Bavaria – Soeder would secure a clear victory with 36% to 20%. Pistorius would claim a narrow victory against Merz with 25% to 23%, but would still lose to Soeder 25% to 34%, the survey said. Under German law, the chancellor is confirmed by MPs on the proposal of the federal president. Soeder currently serves as governor of Germany’s most populous state and is known for his criticism of Scholz’s policies. In November, he warned that Germany was in a “serious crisis,” particularly slamming the chancellor’s cabinet over its budget and police failures, adding that the “government has gone bankrupt.” The Bavarian politician also criticized the federal government’s strategy of using only subsidies to combat price hikes resulting from forgoing Russian energy supplies. He also criticized Berlin for, as he said, prioritizing military aid to Ukraine over the nation’s own security.

The INSA poll showed that Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) had the support of just 16% of Germans, 15 percentage points behind the CDU and seven percentage points behind the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Scholz has been losing public support for quite some time. In early December, a YouGov poll showed that 74% of Germans believed he was doing a poor job as chancellor, with only 20% seeing his performance in a positive light. As many as 73% said they were unhappy with his entire cabinet. Some 77% said they placed little or no trust in the way Scholz is governing Germany. Even among SPD supporters, this figure reached 60%. Later in the month, Der Spiegel reported that Scholz’s personal approval had slipped to just 30%, down from 44% in June 2023. On Monday, Bild described Scholz as “the most unpopular chancellor of all time.”

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“This is total failure.”

House Freedom Caucus Slams Speaker Johnson’s Proposed Spending Deal (JTN)

The conservative House Freedom Caucus slammed House Speaker Mike Johnson’s proposed top-line spending deal with Senate Democrats as a “total failure,” arguing the potential agreement costs about $68 billion more than the Louisiana Republican said it would.Johnson told members of Congress on Sunday that he reached a $1.590 trillion spending deal with the Senate and White House, but the Freedom Caucus slammed the proposal later that evening in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s even worse than we thought,” the caucus wrote. “Don’t believe the spin. Once you break through typical Washington math, the true total programmatic spending level is $1.658 trillion — not $1.59 trillion. This is total failure.”

At the end of last month, the Freedom Caucus released a statement titled, “House GOP’s New Year Resolution Must Be Cutting Spending,” which stated that the U.S. is “on the path to fiscal ruin” but that Congress has “done little to force a course correction from this calamity.” With a slim Republican majority, the 45-member Freedom Caucus holds a significant amount of sway in the 435-member House, and most recently played an integral role in deciding the House speaker. Now, the House needs to pass a deal before government funding completely expires on Feb. 2.

Johnson

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“The medical field is determined to kill whatever shred of credibility it still has left. And it is succeeding.”

“It’s Okay to Be Fat” and Obesity Should be “Normalized” (MN)

A doctor at Cedars-Sinai posted a TikTok video saying “it is okay to be fat,” and that being fat “needs to be normalized,” despite obesity-related diseases being the biggest killer in America. Yes, really. “Here’s my hot take as a doctor, I totally agree, it is okay to be fat, we don’t say that enough, but it needs to be normalized,” remarked Dr. Nicole Vangroningen. Vangroningen went on to claim that being fat is “typically not a problem that requires immediate solving.” Presumably, it only needs “solving” once an obese person has developed numerous fat-related diseases that greatly increase their risk of dying. Perhaps even more ludicrously, the doctor said “it is okay to not be healthy,” suggesting that people who suggest otherwise are engaging in “healthism,” adding “a good doctor will not judge you for being fat, they will not judge you for being unhealthy.”

Vangroningen completely removes any responsibility from the equation, telling potential patients, “We are also here to help you if you decide to not make any changes at all”. God forbid anyone end up under her “care”. According to the CDC, “In the United States and worldwide, obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death, including deaths from diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.” “We now have doctors speaking out against “healthism,” commented Matt Walsh. “The medical field is determined to kill whatever shred of credibility it still has left. And it is succeeding.” As we document in the video below, the ‘body positivity’ movement has been triumphed by the culture and the establishment despite literally killing some of its leading advocates.

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Picnic
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744318846268285388

 

 

Gorilla mom

 

 

Orchestra

 

 

Microlight
https://twitter.com/i/status/1744307961122443769

 

 


Reminder that experiencing awe quite literally improves your health.
Awe, which has only been studied properly in the last two decades, has been shown to:
• Reduce stress
• Trigger the release of oxytocin
• Lower levels of inflammatory cytokines

Being made to feel small (experiencing “self-diminishment”) even quells our negative self-talk, by deactivating the part of the cortex involved with how we perceive ourselves. Through awe we become less attuned to ourselves and more attuned to the wider world. Dacher Keltner at UC Berkeley said: “We are at this cultural moment of narcissism and self-shame and criticism and entitlement; awe gets us out of that.” Neuroscientists define awe it as the emotional response to something vast that defies (and changes) our existing frame of reference of something.

What’s one way to experience it? Travel to your nearest cathedral and gaze upwards. Gothic architecture was built for this very purpose – through maximum height and maximum light. Achieving this at vast scale was a critical breakthrough by medieval engineers, who pioneered the flying buttresses, the pointed arch, and various other innovations which made taller and thinner walls possible. Those builders also believed that light itself was divine, and that when it poured in through the great windows it elevated one’s consciousness to the heavens. As English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge said: “The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.”

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 122023
 
 November 12, 2023  Posted by at 10:08 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Canaletto Venice, View of the Churches of the Redentore and San Giacomo 1750

 

We Are ‘The Resistance’ (Julian Rose)
Self-defence and the Right to Resist in Palestine (Sinclair/Cohn)
West Asian Governments Take Stance Against Israeli Occupation (Rahman)
Israel Acting Like ‘Spoiled Child’ Of The West – Erdogan (RT)
WaPo Calls Ukrainian Colonel ‘Coordinator’ of Nord Stream Attacks (Sp.)
Ukraine Risks Losing Entire Fleet of Leopard Tanks (Sp.)
EU Can Circumvent Hungarian Veto On Ukraine Aid – Media (RT)
Next Month Could Decide Ukraine Conflict – Macron (RT)
Germany Wants To Send Asylum Seekers To Africa – WSJ (RT)
From The Testimony of Special Counsel David Weiss (Techno Fog)
David Weiss and America’s First Nihilist Prosecutor (Turley)
NBC Compares Hunter’s Influence Peddling to Haley’s Daughter’s TikTok (Turley)
Gerald Celente Withdraws Support due to Kennedy’s Israel War Position (Dick)
We are Spartacus (John Pilger)

 

 

 

 

Nakba

 

 

 

 

Arab

 

 

Norway

 

 

 

 

Gaza gas

 

 

Assad

 

 

 

 

London protest


https://twitter.com/i/status/1723377760653942956

 

 

Patrick Henningsen @21WIRE: “All of the main “so horrific” narratives attributed to Hamas on Oct 7th & subsequently used by Israel and western warmongers to justify the carpet bombing and genocide in #Gaza – have been proven to be completely fabricated. Thats right: total fake news.”

 

 

 

 

“..the most telling indicator of the bankruptcy of what is considered to be ‘civilised society’”

We Are ‘The Resistance’ (Julian Rose)

As one attempts to make sense of the horrors of war that the global media flashes across screens and newsprint, day and night 24/7, one can feel a numbing sensation closing down one’s ability to respond, as an organic human being should respond. The breathtaking volume of bombs, blood and brutality that form the centrepiece of the devastation in Gaza, comes on top of the seemingly interminable hostilities playing-out their realities in Ukraine. In all of this, any sign of a credible, reasoned and rational intervention is lost beneath a sea of soulless, hypocritical statements from those in positions of ‘authority’ on the world stage. National or geopolitical ‘positions’ taken by rolled-out representatives of the status quo, are held to be more important than responses that have some link to heart felt emotions.

Scenes of mass genocide and ethnic cleansing are condoned as ‘acceptable’ if those responding to the bloodbath see some political or geopolitical advantage in backing the cause of the chief protagonist. Those who for long periods of their lives are deeply repressed and isolated, seek reprisals if ever the chance comes their way to breakout of slavery. This is, under permanent conditions of inhuman containment, an almost inevitable reaction. One cannot judge behaviour patterns of those suffering under conditions of persistent repression, as being in any way comparable to what are considered acceptable behaviour patterns in times of relative peace and freedom. The human struggle for a basic degree of liberty is forced into taking the form of a violent struggle when no other support intervenes to bring justice to bear.

This lack of coordinated intervention to end a massacre is the most perilous aspect of the ‘Israel-Hamas’ conflict, and it the most telling indicator of the bankruptcy of what is considered to be ‘civilised society’. A fear of going against the dogma of what constitutes the pecking order of the global power pyramid, appears to paralyse nations from coming together to enforce a humane path of conflict intervention and resolution, however tenuous that might initially be. But the truth is, that behind this implausible state of impasse, is a small anti-life global cult that wishes to prolong the pain and destruction for its own ends, and covertly backs both sides of the conflict in order to produce the maximum disruption, chaos and death.

Yes, this is pure evil in action. It is the manifestation of a long standing, once covert, but now overt demonic ambition – whose roots go far back in human history – and which has recently emerged as the chief protagonist of disruptive chaos and division now manifesting at the foundational level of our daily lives. The problem for all of us who are determined to resist the manifestations of such dark actors, is that this cult is very clever, highly deceptive and well disguised. Its main agents wear a fixed smile, a pressed shirt and are very well rehearsed in powers of communication. Psychopaths in a suit. One would never guess that they harbour an abiding hate for a creative, loving humanity. But they do.

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“A state cannot invoke the right of self-defence to defend against an attack which originates inside a territory it occupies..”

Self-defence and the Right to Resist in Palestine (Sinclair/Cohn)

[..] The UN charter requires all states to settle their international disputes peacefully so as not to endanger international peace and security. That doesn’t just apply to states, but also to the settlement of any international disputes. The charter says no state can use military force against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state “or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the UN.” Although Israel denies that Palestine is a state, the Israeli Supreme Court in the Targeted Killings case recognised the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians to be of an international character. Israel cannot use the Palestinians’ lack of statehood to justify its use of military force.

The only two exceptions to the prohibition on the use of force are when a state acts in self-defence or the [UN] security council authorises force. A state may use military force in self-defence under Article 51 of the charter “if an armed attack occurs” against a state. The use of armed force for reprisal or retaliation is prohibited. For an armed attack to give rise to the right of self-defence, it must be directed from outside the territory under the control of the defending state. A state cannot invoke the right of self-defence to defend against an attack which originates inside a territory it occupies. Because Israel has continued to occupy Gaza, it has relinquished its right to claim self-defence in response to the Palestinian attacks.

In its 2004 advisory opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) established the non-applicability of “self-defence” under Article 51 in the situation between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Israel remains an occupying power in Gaza despite its unilateral removal of settlements. After the 2005 election of Hamas, Israel imposed a blockade against Gaza which is specifically listed as an act of aggression under UN general assembly resolution 3314. An occupying force has a duty to protect the people it occupies; it cannot claim self-defence against the occupied.

Actions taken by Palestinians to resist the blockade are not “acts of aggression” so they do not allow Israel to claim it is acting in self-defence. Aside from the illegality of targeting and killing civilians, what does international law say about Palestinians resisting the occupation, including with armed force? Whether the use of force in the first instance is lawful is a separate question from how that force is carried out. For targeting and killing civilians and taking hostages, Hamas leaders can be charged with war crimes. The Palestinians, however, have the right to self-determination and the right to resist Israel’s occupation of their territory, including through armed struggle.

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Driving the Arab world together.

West Asian Governments Take Stance Against Israeli Occupation (Rahman)

The responses to Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza from some of the West Asian countries have set an interesting pattern. These responses defy a decades long trend of muted opposition and behind the curtain compromises. More importantly, this is yet another indication of growing assertion and independence of these countries from US hegemony. Since the 1980s, the US was able to use its military and economic power to create a complete hegemony over the ruling classes in the West Asian region. The countries which maintained their independence were exceptions, such as Syria and Iran. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was forced to seek a compromise with the occupation, after governments in the region threatened to withdraw their support, under clear US pressure.

In this sense, the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993 and in 1995 is seen as a part of the US scheme for the region. The absence of any strong opposition to Israel’s repeated wars and large scale human rights violations in Gaza and other occupied Palestinian territories in the intervening period can be explained in the context of that US hegemony. In a general way, one can see that the countries which did not fall in line with the US were forced into endless wars starting with Iraq, then Yemen, Libya, and Syria or isolated through prolonged sanctions such as in Iran. Egypt and Jordan, highly dependent on the US, had long established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively and played a crucial role in forcing Palestinians to accept the unviable Oslo agreements.

Those who could not establish formal relations with Israel were persuaded to maintain a kind of neutrality by not criticizing Israeli war crimes in the occupied territories. The dependence on the US arms and military assistance led some of the Gulf countries and Morocco to even sign a normalization deal with Israel in recent years. Ever since the beginning of the Israeli war on Gaza, however, the positions of tacit and explicit compliance with Israel have changed. Many countries in the region, including those who had signed the so-called Abraham Accords, have taken assertive positions on the issue, with many calling Israel an aggressor and demanding an end to the occupation. The visits of the US president Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken were ineffective in getting any public assurances from the regional leaders prompting the US to deploy more armed personnel and more warships in the region.

Egypt has refused to open Rafah borders as requested by Israel and the US so that they could push millions of Palestinians out of Gaza for an indefinite period. Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi even advised Israel to relocate the displaced Palestinians in its Negev desert. Egyptian authorities allowed large scale gatherings of people in solidarity rallies for Palestine, perhaps for the first time since the military coup in 2013. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called the bombings in Gaza a massacre and criticized Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as someone “not worth talking to.” Turkey eventually withdrew its ambassador from Israel.

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“It is a shame that Western countries, always a voice for human rights and freedoms, remain silent on the massacre in Palestine..”

Israel Acting Like ‘Spoiled Child’ Of The West – Erdogan (RT)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hit out at the collective West for inaction amid what he said was an ongoing “massacre in Palestine,” adding that the Israeli government is behaving like a “spoiled child” in its response to Hamas’ cross-border attack on October 7. Speaking at a joint Arab-Islamic summit in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on Saturday, Erdogan accused Western nations of double standards and highlighted what he sees as contrasts in their responses to other global conflicts. He added that “the Israeli government is acting like the spoiled child of the West, and it has to compensate for the damages that it causes.” “It is a shame that Western countries, always a voice for human rights and freedoms, remain silent on the massacre in Palestine,” Erdogan said, according to the Anadolu news agency.

“We are faced with unprecedented barbarism in history, where hospitals, schools, and refugee camps are bombed and civilians are massacred.” Saturday’s emergency summit at which the Turkish leader spoke was jointly organized by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as representatives of the Arab and Islamic world convened to discuss the Israeli-Hamas conflict. In his comments, Erdogan added that Western countries “are not even making a call for a ceasefire to Israel.” On Thursday, US President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House that he currently sees “no possibility” for a ceasefire in Gaza, arguing that this would only benefit Hamas. Erdogan also stressed the importance of supplying fuel to places in urgent need in Gaza, particularly hospitals, and said that Türkiye will provide ten flights of essential supplies to El Arish airport in Egypt to be dispatched to Gaza.

He also suggested the establishment of an OIC fund to help with the rebuilding of Gaza, saying that Türkiye would provide comprehensive support. Israel has launched an unprecedented military bombardment of the densely-populated Gaza enclave in retaliation for Hamas’ assault on its territory last month and as part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resultant pledge to destroy Hamas. Israeli officials said on Friday that about 1,200 of its citizens –mostly civilians– died in the attack, revising downwards its prior estimates. In excess of 11,000 people have died in more than four weeks of artillery and airstrikes in Gaza, Palestinian health officials have said, with about 40% of them children. Independent aid organizations have also warned of a deepening humanitarian crisis as vital supplies dwindle and more and more people seek medical treatment in a health system already over capacity.

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Let’s cut a deal. If Seymour Hersh says he was wrong, we can talk about alternative narratives. Until then, this is just one of many suspicious stories.

WaPo Calls Ukrainian Colonel ‘Coordinator’ of Nord Stream Attacks (Sp.)

Ukrainian colonel Roman Chervinsky was the alleged coordinator of the attack on the Nord Sream pipelines, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing Ukrainian and European Officials as well as other people familiar with details of the operation. The newspaper, which called Chervinsky a senior Ukrainian military officer with close ties to the country’s intelligence, reported that the colonel allegedly played a key role in the attack on the Nord Stream gas pipelines last year. Chervinsky was the “coordinator” of the operation, and he did not act alone, the report also said. The Ukrainian officer took orders from more senior officials, who ultimately reported to Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with how the attack was carried out. The Nord Stream pipelines, built to deliver gas under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, were hit by explosions in September 2022.

The pipeline’s operator, Nord Stream AG, said that the damage was unprecedented and it was impossible to estimate the time repairs might take. Denmark, Germany and Norway have left Russia out of their investigations into the attack, prompting Moscow to launch its own investigation with charges of international terrorism. No official results of the investigations have yet been announced, but Pulitzer Prize-winning US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report in February 2023 alleging that the explosions had been organized by the United States with the support of Norway. Washington has denied any involvement in the incident. In mid-July, media reported that Dutch military intelligence had informed the CIA of Ukraine’s plans to sabotage the Nord Stream pipelines – months before the attacks happened.

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“..a quarter of Ukraine’s Leopard 2 tanks, including the Leopard 2A6 modification, had been destroyed by Russian forces within two weeks..”

Ukraine Risks Losing Entire Fleet of Leopard Tanks (Sp.)

Ukrainian soldiers still cannot use German-made Leopard tanks properly and face a risk of completely losing these armored vehicles, Forbes magazine has reported. With Kiev using both Leopard 1 and 2 tanks in the Russian special operation zone, the US magazine recalled that Ukraine is due to receive 195 more Leopard 1A5s in the foreseeable future. “All those Leopard 1A5s represent an opportunity, albeit a risky one,” the magazine noted, referring to the fact that Ukraine has already lost at least 13 “of its best Leopard 2 tanks” since the beginning of Kiev’s now-botched summer counteroffensive.

Now, Forbes went on, what Ukrainian soldiers should not do is “what they frequently have done with the Leopard 2s: drive them in small groups, without much infantry support, directly toward Russian positions—often across minefields and artillery and drone kill-zones.” The news outlet also cautioned that almost two hundred Leopard 1A5s “will disappear quickly if the Ukrainians don’t deploy them the right way.” This comes after the outlet reported that a quarter of Ukraine’s Leopard 2 tanks, including the Leopard 2A6 modification, had been destroyed by Russian forces within two weeks in the special operation zone.

In all, Western countries pledged to provide the Zelensky regime with 85 Leopard 2s. To date, they have delivered a total of 71. Kiev’s summer counteroffensive, which Russian President Vladimir Putin said had ended in total failure, led to the Ukrainian Army losing more than 500 tanks and almost 1,900 armored vehicles of various classes. The US, along with its NATO allies, ramped up their supplies to Kiev shortly after the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly warned that such assistance adds to the prolongation of the conflict.

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Got to keep the sinkhole open.

EU Can Circumvent Hungarian Veto On Ukraine Aid – Media (RT)

The EU will be able to grant Ukraine €50 billion ($53.4 billion) in aid even if Hungary vetoes it, Reuters reported on Friday, citing unnamed officials in the bloc. The European Commission has proposed giving Ukraine further grants and loans to help in the conflict with Russia, although Hungary and Slovakia vetoed the move last month. The EU’s 27 members will next vote on the €50 billion aid package at a summit in Brussels in December. If Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace talks in Ukraine, vetoes the move again, the bloc could circumvent this by asking each of the other EU governments to set up their own aid packages for Kiev, two EU officials told Reuters.

According to the news agency, one official said “people get fed up with Budapest holding everyone hostage,” adding that “the workaround is tiresome, but we have it if need be.” A second official agreed, insisting that “the issue of money for Ukraine will be solved one way or another, Kiev will get EU support.” Orban previously explained that he had blocked the aid package for Ukraine because it was “obvious” that Kiev “will not win on the frontline,” and that Brussels’ strategy of sanctioning Russia while pumping Ukraine with money and weapons had failed.

The EU has authorized a total of €83 billion in military, economic, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022, according to the European Commission. Despite Western assistance, Kiev’s much-hyped summer counteroffensive failed to meet its objectives. The Russian Defense Ministry has estimated that Kiev has lost more than 90,000 troops since June, as well as over 55 tanks and 1,900 armored vehicles. Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, acknowledged last week that Kiev’s troops were unlikely to make a “deep and beautiful breakthrough,” adding that an attritional trench war could “drag on for years” and grind down his country.

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It was decided ages ago.

Next Month Could Decide Ukraine Conflict – Macron (RT)

The Ukraine conflict could reach a turning point by the end of this year, French President Emmanuel Macron has predicted, several months into Kiev’s counteroffensive, which has so far failed to make significant gains. However, he ruled out the possibility of Ukraine opening talks with Russia in the foreseeable future. In an interview with the BBC released on Friday, Macron claimed that if Moscow prevails over Kiev, “you will have a new imperial power” in Europe that, he argued, would threaten many of its neighbors, including former Soviet republics. The French leader reiterated that the West should continue to support Ukraine with military assistance, arguing that next month will be critical in the conflict. However, he did not specify how events in December could affect the eventual outcome.

Regarding a possible cessation of hostilities, Macron suggested that it is “not yet” time for Ukraine to come to the negotiating table with Russia, and that a decision on the matter should be made by Kiev independently. However, he said that at some point it might be possible to “have fair and good negotiations, and to come back to the table and find a solution with Russia”. Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been underway since early June, but the frontline remains largely unchanged. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has estimated Ukrainian losses at more than 90,000 service members as well as 600 tanks and 1,900 armored vehicles since the start of the push. US network NBC News reported last week that Western officials were engaged in “delicate” talks with Kiev to see whether it could consider some concessions to Russia to end the fighting.

According to the article, the calls were driven by fears in the West that the hostilities have “reached a stalemate,” and that Ukraine is “running out of forces.” Russia has repeatedly said it is open to talks with Kiev. Last autumn, however, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree banning all negotiations with the current leadership in Moscow after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in public referendums. Last year, Macron suggested that any peace talks on Ukraine would have to include discussions on security guarantees for Russia, especially regarding the positioning of NATO forces in Europe. Ukrainian officials, however, rejected the idea out of hand.

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Creative solutions.

Germany Wants To Send Asylum Seekers To Africa – WSJ (RT)

Germany is working on a plan to send some asylum seekers to Africa while their cases are pending, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Berlin is considering asking Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, and other African countries to house some asylum seekers while their applications are processed, as the procedure can take “years,” the newspaper said, citing unnamed German officials. The proposals are still being negotiated but could include the permanent resettlement in these countries of people who do not win refugee status, according to the WSJ’s sources. The scheme could also be used to encourage those who are eligible for protection in Germany to settle in third countries.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, his top aides and key ministers “have been exploring deals to reroute some refugee flows through Africa for months and are now drafting offers to various governments,” unnamed officials told the WSJ. News of the potential change in Germany’s migration policy comes after Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced plans to set up reception centers for asylum seekers in Albania. She insisted that the agreement “could become a model of cooperation between EU and non-EU countries in managing migration flows.” The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has criticized the deal, accusing Italy and Albania of focusing on “preventing people from arriving in the EU rather than creating safe and legal avenues for those seeking refuge.” It added that the idea of “processing migrants” was “deeply dehumanizing.”

At the same time, the UK government is fighting a court battle to be allowed to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda. Attempts to arrange a flight carrying migrants to the East African country was blocked last year after legal challenges, although the UK High Court is expected to make a final decision next week. According to The Times, Germany’s immigration system is facing major challenges due to a rise in the number of asylum seekers, as well as the arrival of more than 1 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled their country since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022. Many local German authorities reportedly say they have reached full capacity and can no longer accept irregular migrants, while the number of people seeking asylum in the country over the course of 2023 is expected to exceed 300,000, The Times said.

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“..Weiss has investigated Hunter Biden for approximately five years..”

From The Testimony of Special Counsel David Weiss (Techno Fog)

Ever since explosive whistleblower testimony detailing DOJ efforts to sabotage the Hunter Biden investigation was released this summer, the US Attorney (and now Special Counsel) in charge of that investigation – David Weiss – has been under siege. Beset with allegations of misconduct by those who had been part of his investigative team, and self-inflicted mistakes such as allowing the statute of limitations on tax crimes to pass, Weiss (who was appointed Special Counsel in August) provided closed-door testimony this week before the House Committee on the Judiciary, led by Jim Jordan.It was a rare opportunity to obtain testimony from a Special Counsel – they typically only testify after their reports have been completed.

And while he refused to answer specifics concerning Hunter’s plea deal, the status of his investigation, and why he allowed the statute of limitations to pass on some of Hunter’s tax crimes, Weiss’s testimony does provide important context regarding what has transpired since his investigation began. For background, Weiss has investigated Hunter Biden for approximately five years. According to the testimony of whistleblower Gary Shapley, a highly-credentialed IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent, this investigation “has been handled differently than any investigation I’ve ever been a part of for the past 14 years of my IRS service.” Agent Shapley explained:

“Some of the decisions seem to be influenced by politics. But whatever the motivations, at every stage decisions were made that had the effect of benefiting the subject of the investigation. These decisions included slow-walking investigative steps, not allowing enforcement actions to be executed, limiting investigators’ line of questioning for witnesses, misleading investigators on charging authority, delaying any and all actions months before elections to ensure the investigation did not go overt well before policy memorandum mandated the pause. These are just only a few examples.”

As we noted back in June, the preferential treatment included: denials of normal investigative steps like looking into Hunter Biden’s communications; tipping off the Biden Transition Team that Hunter Biden would be interviewed; and refusing search warrants of Joe Biden’s home, though the Assistant US Attorney (Lesley Wolf) helping with the case admitted it was “likely” there would be evidence. One of the biggest revelations from the whistleblowers was that Weiss, who was the Delaware US Attorney at the time, was denied authority to file charges against Hunter Biden in DC or California.

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“Congress was scheduled to hear from Weiss when Garland suddenly made him a special counsel [..] That allowed Weiss to delay any appearance..”

David Weiss and America’s First Nihilist Prosecutor (Turley)

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said that all things are matters of mere interpretation and “whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” One has to understand Nietzsche and his nihilistic rejection of meaning to fully appreciate this week’s interview with special counsel David Weiss. Indeed, Weiss may be the first openly nihilistic prosecutor, who views justice itself as a mere matter of interpretation. Weiss appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, which is looking into the handling of the investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged criminal conduct. The one thing that both Republican and Democratic members appear to agree upon is that the Weiss investigation was an unmitigated mess — years of delay and internal dissension over the indictment of the president’s son.

Indeed, after years of denial, some Democratic members and the journalists are now admitting that Hunter Biden clearly broke the law. The Weiss investigation, however, languished for years even as some of us were pointing out that the statute of limitations was about to pass on felonies. At the same time, Attorney General Merrick Garland steadfastly refused to appoint a special counsel into the expanding corruption scandal involving Hunter and other Biden family members selling influence and access. Congress was scheduled to hear from Weiss when Garland suddenly made him a special counsel, though the attorney general did not expressly extend his mandate to cover the corruption allegations. That allowed Weiss to delay any appearance. He would bring gun charges against Hunter, but he has inexplicably still not brought the tax charges that he did not previously allow to expire or charges under laws like the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Weiss has shown no signs of movement as evidence has piled up. Most recently, Hunter’s own tax accountat gave incriminating evidence on his former client from claimed the payment of prostitutes as “a business expense” to allegedly misrepresenting payments as “loans.” As expected, Weiss continued to refuse to answer questions about his lackadaisical approach. That includes obvious questions like why, when whistleblowers said the defense had agreed to an extension of the statute of limitations, Weiss let felonies expire. Those crimes included some of the most serious allegations of influence peddling and corruption facing the Biden family.

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“..objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful..”

NBC Compares Hunter’s Influence Peddling to Haley’s Daughter’s TikTok (Turley)

We have often discussed (and even marveled at) the determined effort of mainstream media to ignore the evidence of a massive corruption scandal surrounding the Biden family. However, even at this late date, NBC seems to have achieved singular distinction with a comparison between the criticism of the daughter of Nikki Haley for using TikTok and the criticism of Hunter Biden for influence peddling. During the Republican presidential debate, Vivek Ramaswamy responded to Haley’s criticism of his use of the Chinese-linked social media app, TikTok, by pointing out: “she made fun of me for joining TikTok, while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your family first.” Haley responded by calling Ramaswamy “scum.” Later Gov. Ron DeSantis said that children need to be out of bounds.

NBC saw an immediate opportunity to denounce the investigation into Hunter Biden: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he believes going after an opponent’s children is ‘out of bounds’ in political warfare. DeSantis, however, goes after President Biden’s son on a weekly basis.” The comparison perfectly captured the all-hands-on-deck effort of the media in resisting coverage of the Biden scandal. A major network wanted the public to see the criticism of Haley’s daughter for using TikTok as the same as criticism of Biden’s son for influence peddling. One child was posting playful social media posts while the other was orchestrating massive payments from foreign figures. This is why polls have shown the media at record lows in terms of public trust. Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that 50% of Americans believe that the news media lies in order to promote an agenda.

Only 25% of Americans reject that premise. The public has largely rejected the mainstream coverage (or lack thereof). A majority believes that Hunter has received special protection in the investigation. We have often discussed the increasing bias and advocacy in major media in the United States. While cable networks have long catered to political audiences on the left or right, mainstream newspapers and networks now openly frame news to fit a political narrative. We previously discussed the release of the results of interviews with over 75 media leaders by former executive editor for The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward. They concluded that objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle said it plainly: “Objectivity has got to go.”

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It’s kryptonite for Kennedy’s run. Even as Trump and Biden are just as blind to Israel.

Gerald Celente Withdraws Support due to Kennedy’s Israel War Position (Dick)

Back in December of 2022, virtually nobody was even thinking of the possibility that Rober F. Kennedy, Jr. may run in the 2024 presidential race. One of the few individuals who was thinking of this possibility was political commentor and trends forecaster Gerald Celente. Speaking with host David Knight at the David Knight Show, Celente then not only mentioned the possibility, he enthusiastically recommended that Kennedy run with legal scholar Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey state judge, as his vice president running mate. Four months later, Kennedy announced his decision to seek the presidency in a speech that included some strong expression of antiwar sentiment. That expression of sentiment would appeal to Celente, a peace advocate who has hosted peace rallies in Kingston, New York, where Celente’s trends forecasting operation is located.

Come October, though, Kennedy made clear that so far as Israel goes he would not be a noninterventionist president. Instead, he would back the Israel government to the hilt in its pursuit of its new war. This followed Kennedy in a July interview with Schmuley Boteach making clear that he is a big booster of Israel and declaring that he would try as a candidate “to bring the Democratic Party back to its traditional support of Israel and to explain to my children’s generation the historical context and the moral case for Israel.” Later in the week, Kennedy wrote the following at Twitter: “As President, my support of Israel will be unconditional.” No reasonable person after seeing that declaration would have hope that Kennedy supports seeking peace across-the-board.

But, hope at least could be held out that Kennedy’s unconditional support for Israel would not materialize as support for war because Israel could remain relatively at peace. That last bit of hope was dashed in October after a Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s ensuing, and ongoing, massive military attack on Gaza. Indeed, on October 7 — the day of the Hamas attack — Kennedy immediately proclaimed at Twitter that as president he would be absolutely committed to supporting the Israel government in its new war effort, stating:

“This ignominious, unprovoked, and barbaric attack on Israel must be met with world condemnation and unequivocal support for the Jewish state’s right to self-defense. We must provide Israel with whatever it needs to defend itself — now. As President, I’ll make sure that our policy is unambiguous so that the enemies of Israel will think long and hard before attempting aggression of any kind.” I applaud the strong statements of support from the Biden White House for Israel in her hour of need. However, the scale of these attacks means it is likely that Israel will need to wage a sustained military campaign to protect its citizens. Statements of support are fine, but we must follow through with unwavering, resolute, and practical action. America must stand by our ally throughout this operation and beyond as it exercises its sovereign right to self-defense.”

Thus we come to Celente, an early and enthusiastic supporter of a Kennedy run, commenting on Wednesday, in his weekly video discussion with Andrew Napolitano, that he no longer supports Kennedy becoming president. “As you well know, I was a huge supporter of RFK Jr. because I believed that he was pro-peace and antiwar,” said Celente early in the discussion. Responding, Napolitano, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute, confirmed, “he was, he was — at the time that you and I communicated with him — he was the champion of pro-peace and antiwar, and, then. after the Hamas attack to Israel, he did a 180 and now supports the genocide that the Israeli military is perpetrating on the Palestinian people in Gaza.” Watch here Celente and Napolitano’s full discussion, which also includes Napolitano describing his exchange of texts with Kennedy about Kennedy’s Israel war position and Celente proposing that Napolitano now run for president:

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“The grotesque injustice meted out to David McBride is minted from the injustice consuming his compatriot, Julian Assange..”

We are Spartacus (John Pilger)

Afghanistan was where the West sent young men weighed down with the ritual of “warriors” to kill people and enjoy it. We know some of them enjoyed it from the evidence of Australian SAS sociopaths, including a photograph of them drinking from an Afghan man’s prosthetic. Not one sociopath has been charged for this and crimes such as kicking a man over a cliff, gunning down children point-blank, slitting throats: none of it “in battle.” David McBride, a former Australian military lawyer who served twice in Afghanistan, was a ‘true believer’ in the system as moral and honourable. He also has an abiding belief in truth, and loyalty. He can define them as few can. This coming week he is in court in Canberra as an alleged criminal.

“An Australian whistleblower,” reports Kieran Pender, a senior lawyer at the Australian Human Rights Law Centre, “[will face] trial for blowing the whistle on horrendous wrongdoing. It is profoundly unjust that the first person on trial for war crimes in Afghanistan is the whistle blower and not an alleged war criminal.” McBride can receive a sentence of up to 100 years for revealing the cover-up of the great crime of Afghanistan. He tried to exercise his legal right as a whistleblower under the Public Interest Disclosure Act, which the current attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, says “delivers on our promise to strengthen protections for public sector whistleblowers.” Yet it is Dreyfus, a Labor minister, who signed off on the McBride trial following a punitive wait of four years and eight months since his arrest at Sydney airport: a wait that shredded his health and family.

Those who know David and know of the hideous injustice done to him fill his street in Bondi near the beach in Sydney to wave their encouragement to this good and decent man. To them, and me, he is a hero. McBride was affronted by what he found in the files he was ordered to inspect. Here was evidence of crimes and their cover-up. He passed hundreds of secret documents to the the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Sydney Morning Herald. Police raided the ABC’s offices in Sydney while reporters and producers watched, shocked, as their computers were confiscated by the Federal Police. Attorney-General Dreyfus, self-declared liberal reformer and friend of whistleblowers, has the singular power to stop the McBride trial. A Freedom of Information search of his actions in this direction reveals little, at most, an indifference.

You can’t run a fully-fledged democracy and a colonial war; one aspires to decency, the other is a form of fascism, regardless of its pretensions. Mark the killing fields of Gaza, bombed to dust by apartheid Israel. It is no coincidence that in rich, yet impoverished Britain an “inquiry” is currently being held into the gunning down by British SAS soldiers of 80 Afghans, all civilians, including a couple in bed. The grotesque injustice meted out to David McBride is minted from the injustice consuming his compatriot, Julian Assange. Both are friends of mine. Whenever I see them, I am optimistic. ‘You cheer me,’ I tell Julian as he raises a defiant fist at the end of our visiting period. ‘You make me feel proud,’ I tell David at our favourite coffee shop in Sydney.

Their bravery has allowed many of us, who might despair, to understand the real meaning of a resistance we all share if we want to prevent the conquest of us, our conscience, our self respect, if we prefer freedom and decency to compliance and collusion. In this, we are all Spartacus. Spartacus was the rebellious leader of Rome’s slaves in 71-73 B.C. There is a thrilling moment in the Kirk Douglas movie Spartacus when the Romans call on Spartacus’s men to identify their leader and so be pardoned. Instead hundreds of his comrades stand and raise their fists in solidarity and shout, ‘I am Spartacus!’ The rebellion is under way.

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UFC

 

 

 

 


The lowland nyala or simply nyala, is a spiral-horned antelope native to southern Africa that you might have never seen. As a herbivore, the nyala feeds upon foliage, fruits and grasses. A shy animal, it prefers water holes rather than open spaces.

 

 


The Giant Hand of Vyrnwy: There was this tree in Wales that was 124 years old, it reached higher than a 20 storey building (63.7m (209ft). It was damaged in a storm and had to be felled. Artist Simon O’Rourke carved what remained into this hand as a memorial, a last attempt to reach the sky.

 

 

Piano

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 082023
 


Leonardo da Vinci A Copse of Trees 1508

 

Biden Blames The Press For Bad Poll Numbers (RT)
Biden Mulls Asking $100 Billion Check For Ukraine – Telegraph (RT)
Will Donald Trump Win by Waging War on American Institutions? Sp.)
Appeals Court Rules for Trump Amid NY Fraud Trial (ET)
Judge Who Will Hear Trump’s Jan 6 Case Is the Pot Calling Him Black (Kelly)
Western Officials Pressure Media On Ukraine’s Battlefield Failures – WaPo (RT)
Medvedev Blames US for Israel-Hamas Fighting (RT)
Hezbollah Next To Attack? War Could Spiral Into Biggest In Decades (ZH)
Time to Tell America’s Climate Cult ‘Stop!’ (ET)
Bill Maher: “Democrats Look Like Sanctuary City Hypocrites” (ZH)
One Year On, EU, US Collude To Sweep Nordstream Under The Rug (Bowes)
‘No Lives Were Saved’ by COVID-19 Vaccines, 17 Million Deaths (ET)

 

 

 

 

How Bad is US intel on Ukraine?

 

 

Macgregor: The Russians Press On And Take Odessa

 

 

 

 

Buffett

Rand Paul Fauci
https://twitter.com/i/status/1710475596466147791

 

 

RFK

 

 

4 short years ago, we had:
Peace in Europe
Peace in the Middle East
1% inflation
$1.75 a gallon gasoline
2.5% mortgage rate
A growing economy
Full employment
What the hell happened?

 

 

Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones. But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die.

You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal. A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.” We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.

 

 

 

 

Biden has 98% of the media on his side. But that’s apparently not enough.. His poll numbers have nothing to do with not knowing where he is half the time, it’s uber-friendly media still not being friendly enough.

“You turn on the television, and there is not a whole lot about ‘boy saves dog because he swims in the lake.’ It’s about, ‘somebody pushed the dog in the lake.’ I mean, I get it.”

Biden Blames The Press For Bad Poll Numbers (RT)

US President Joe Biden has argued that Americans aren’t recognizing his strong performance on the economy heading into the 2024 election because of media negativity. Biden touted the latest US employment report in a White House press briefing on Friday, then suggested that public perceptions of the economy have been dimmed by the negative tone of media coverage. “You all are not the happiest people in the world, which you report,” he said. “And I mean it sincerely: You get more legs when you report [that] something is negative. I don’t mean you’re picking on me. It’s just the nature of things.” The president made his comments on the same day that a Real Clear Politics poll showed that his approval rating had dropped to 40.5%, the lowest level since August 2022. An Economist/YouGov poll released on Wednesday showed that only 16% of Americans believe the US economy is “getting better,” while 56% see it as “getting worse.”

Perhaps even more concerning for Biden, voters perceive that his top Republican rival in the 2024 race, former President Donald Trump, is superior on handling the economy, inflation and border security, among other key issues. Trump has a 23- to 24-point lead over Biden on the economy and inflation, according to a Marquette University poll released this week, and he leads by 19 percentage points in voter confidence in his ability to create jobs. Biden leads by nine to 15 points on abortion policy and climate change. Biden’s Democratic Party is also taking a beating in public perceptions on the economy. A Gallup poll released this week found that Republicans had a 14-point lead over the Democrats in terms of public confidence in their ability to keep the nation prosperous. That margin marked the largest lead for the Republican Party since 1991, Gallup said.

Biden told reporters that, while his positive economic message isn’t getting through to some voters, the many Americans landing new jobs “feel better about the economy.” He added that the media’s negative tone is to be expected: “You turn on the television, and there is not a whole lot about ‘boy saves dog because he swims in the lake.’ It’s about, ‘somebody pushed the dog in the lake.’ I mean, I get it.” Critics have long accused major media outlets of favoring Biden and other Democrats after years of vilifying Trump. “Corporate media’s behavior as we head into 2024 – their willingness to endlessly lie, propagandize and be more overt in their liberal political activism – will shock even the most jaded haters,”independent journalist Glenn Greenwald said earlier this week.

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“one-and-done”.

Biden Mulls Asking $100 Billion Check For Ukraine – Telegraph (RT)

US President Joe Biden is reportedly plotting a potential “one-and-done” Ukraine aid request that would be so big that he wouldn’t need to seek any more funding approvals from Congress until after the 2024 election, The Telegraph has reported on Saturday. The new Ukraine aid request could be as large as $100 billion, enough to avoid continued legislative controversies that could hinder Biden’s re-election bid next year, the British newspaper said, citing people familiar with the White House discussions. Such a proposal would dwarf the $24 billion funding request that US House lawmakers stripped out of the stopgap spending bill that they passed last week to avert a government shutdown.

“The big package idea is firmly supported by many throughout the administration,” the newspaper’s source said. “Supporters of Ukraine want this to be a one-and-done, big bill, and then not have to deal with it until after the next election.” Biden’s administration is scrambling to find temporary ways to keep the money and weapons flowing to Kiev, supporting Ukraine’s fight against Russian forces, until a major aid bill is passed by Congress. For instance, a US State Department grant program could reportedly be tapped to provide about $650 million in funding. The White House officials were quoted by the media as saying that only a few weeks remain before a potential lapse in Ukraine funding, which they have warned could have devastating consequences on the battlefield.

Republican lawmakers have become increasingly critical of Biden’s Ukraine policy, with some arguing that massive aid to Kiev is only prolonging the bloody conflict at the expense of bigger domestic priorities. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was voted out of his leadership post earlier this week, the first such congressional ouster in US history, reportedly after some of his fellow Republicans heard that he had promised Biden a separate Ukraine aid bill to be approved after passing the stopgap funding measure. The Biden administration won’t decide on whether to propose a one-and-done aid package for Ukraine until after a new House speaker is elected, possibly next week, according to The Telegraph’s report. Getting a $100 billion bill passed might require the president to make concessions to conservative Republicans on such issues as illegal immigration.

US Representative Lauren Boebert, one of the Republicans who have been critical of Biden’s Ukraine policy, suggested in an interview on Friday that the new House speaker might have to pledge opposition to passing more funding for Kiev. She noted that a majority of Republicans in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted against a $300 million Ukraine aid bill last week. “For the first time, we saw that Ukraine funding alone does not have a majority of the majority’s support,” Boebert told US podcast host Steve Bannon. “Any speaker has to recognize that and not allow more funding for Ukraine to come to the floor. We are absolutely tired of spending it.” Congress has already approved four rounds of Ukraine funding, totaling about $113 billion. The Pentagon warned last week that it had exhausted “nearly all available security-assistance funding for Ukraine.”

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“The courtroom has replaced his rallies and that’s what the next 14 months are going to look like. He’s a showman; he loves this s***. This will be his campaign and it could work.”

Will Donald Trump Win by Waging War on American Institutions?

Observers saw shades of Trump’s victorious 2016 campaign as the former president spoke to US media outside of a New York courtroom this week. “It’s a scam, it’s a sham,” said the former president to reporters huddled outside of a Manhattan courtroom. “It’s a witch hunt and a disgrace.” The tenor of his comments was familiar as he opined on the civil fraud case that saw him accused of inflating the value of his businesses by millions of dollars. But the subject of his ire was somewhat new. A longtime critic of the United States’ media and political establishments, former president Donald Trump has recently added the American judicial system to his list of targets in a campaign season that once again seems poised to position the iconoclastic businessman as an outsider candidate.

It’s a role Trump is all too eager to play. He briefly waded into US politics in 2000, forming a presidential exploratory committee and promising to challenge the then-bipartisan consensus around free trade, among other issues. He waged his 2016 campaign against perhaps the most well known living representative of the Washington political establishment (former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton). And he spent his turbulent four years as president constantly at odds with detractors from all sides of the political spectrum. Now Trump can add judges and prosecutors to his long list of adversaries. “Every time he’s in a courtroom, he’s campaigning,” said Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman from Illinois who became a fierce critic of Trump from within his own party. “The courtroom has replaced his rallies and that’s what the next 14 months are going to look like. He’s a showman; he loves this s***. This will be his campaign and it could work.”

Trump’s civil case compounds his recent legal woes, which include 91 criminal charges from four separate indictments and another civil trial that saw the former president held liable for sexually abusing and defaming columnist E. Jean Carroll earlier this year. Then, as now, he decried the case as part of a witch hunt to derail his 2024 presidential candidacy. The legal proceedings create an unprecedented dynamic in next year’s campaign. In any other election, with any other candidate, they might spell certain doom. Yet Trump currently remains the overwhelming favorite to win his party’s presidential primary. Most recent polling shows him running even with Biden in the general election, if not leading him. In 2020 Trump ran as an incumbent, forced to defend his political record and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. But recently, events have conspired to once again give him the aura of an outsider, running against a political figure who was first elected to national office in 1972.

In the context of 2024’s presidential contest, the judiciary becomes just another aspect of Trump’s audacious challenge to America’s political and social system. Polling has long shown sharply declining trust in a broad swath of US institutions. Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court remain among some of the least-respected institutions in American public life, but most others fare no better. Such wide skepticism could create the perfect environment for Donald Trump to triumphantly return to the White House. But whatever the outcome of next year’s contest, the American public may be ready for deep reform in almost every corner of society. Whether our institutions permit such change may dictate their very survival.

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“If the statute of limitations is applied correctly, the majority of the prosecutor’s claims are “subject to dismissal as untimely..”

Appeals Court Rules for Trump Amid NY Fraud Trial (ET)

After a hearing on Friday, an appeals court granted a stay, or pause, on a judge’s order that former President Donald Trump’s businesses be dissolved. This was only a partial victory for President Trump, as the appeals court said the trial that began this week could continue. The prosecutors had opposed the request for a delay, accusing the defense attorneys of attempting “to sow chaos” and disruption. The Trump Organization issued a statement after the pause, calling the judge’s order to cancel the Trumps’ business certificates “overzealous.” “Judge Engoron’s order erroneously sought to adjudicate the rights of non-party business entities that employ nearly 1,000 hard-working New Yorkers, have never been accused of any wrongdoing and, were never given their day in court – in clear violation of their fundamental Constitutional rights and Due Process. We will continue to vigorously defend our company and our incredible employees from this politically-motivated persecution,” the statement reads.

President Trump’s attorneys appealed the civil fraud case against him on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, filing a 1,154-page document in a bid to pause the currently ongoing trial. “[New York] Supreme Court’s Sept. 26 and Oct. 5, 2023 decision impose unauthorized, undemanded, overbroad relief without proper factual or legal predicate, which will result in significant, irreparable harm,” states the reason for requesting a stay on the case. President Trump had already previously sought to delay the trial, and the appeal had been denied just days before the trial began. New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron’s Sept. 26 decision not only found President Trump liable for fraud, but ordered the dissolution of the Trump Organization and related LLCs, which means the 45th president will lose his entire real estate empire in a matter of days unless the appeal is granted. Furthermore, attorneys argue, hundreds of employees will be affected.

“Supreme Court clearly does not comprehend the scope of the chaos its decision has wrought,” the filing reads, describing the summary judgment as a “miscarriage of justice.” President Trump’s business certificates have already been canceled, and the judge’s Oct. 5 order requires him to notify the court before applying for a new one, even outside New York. His sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., executive vice presidents in the Trump Organization, face similar penalties. The buildings they stand to lose include Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, the Seven Springs family estate upstate, and private residences belonging to Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. The case began when President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen made claims that his boss inflated his net worth. New York Attorney General Letitia James, who declared that she would sue the former president for fraud when she was campaigning for her position, brought forth a civil lawsuit in September 2022 accusing him of defrauding the state by artificially inflating his net worth to get more favorable terms from insurers and banks.

[..] A June appeals court decision had defined the statute of limitations to allegations from 2014 onwards. The prosecutors’ original lawsuit covered the decade from 2011 to 2021. During the trial, the judge acknowledged the statute of limitations, but said he would allow evidence from before 2014 if the prosecutors could connect it to later crimes. The prosecutors had argued for bringing in this evidence under the “continuing wrongs doctrine.” In the appeal, President Trump’s attorneys argue that the doctrine does not delay or extend the period allowed, citing other court rulings. Furthermore, the court is now treating the individual financial statements as “separately actionable claims,” rather than “continuing wrongs,” they argued. If the statute of limitations is applied correctly, the majority of the prosecutor’s claims are “subject to dismissal as untimely,” they argued.

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“On numerous occasions, the judge has insisted the 2020 election was legitimate and fully vetted by the court system – a claim disputed by Trump that lies at the heart of the case she is now hearing..”

Judge Who Will Hear Trump’s Jan 6 Case Is the Pot Calling Him Black (Kelly)

At her first appearance in the criminal case against Donald Trump for his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan repeatedly warned the former president’s lawyers that politics would not be tolerated in her courtroom. But even as she warns Trump about his “inflammatory” language, Chutkan has routinely issued politically charged rulings and made incendiary statements of her own while presiding over some 30 cases involving Trump supporters charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, melee at the U.S. Capitol. These include her public assertions that the 2020 election was beyond reproach, that the Jan. 6 protests were orchestrated by Trump, and that the former president is guilty of crimes. She has described Jan. 6 as a “mob attack” on “the very foundation of our democracy.”

Chutkan’s strident language raises questions about her impartiality in handling the case against the presumptive GOP nominee for president in 2024. Chutkan blamed Trump for the Jan. 6 violence while sentencing Robert Palmer, who pleaded guilty in June 2021 to one count of assaulting police officers with a dangerous weapon (a fire extinguisher). In that case, Palmer’s lawyer sought a reduced prison sentence by echoing the judge’s view of Trump. “Mr. Palmer went to the Capitol at the behest of the former president,” attorney Bjorn E. Brunvand wrote in a December 2021 sentencing memo to Chutkan. “Like many others who participated in the Capitol riot, Mr. Palmer blindly followed the many figures who falsely but persistently claimed that the election had been stolen from the president.”

Palmer apologized to Chutkan for his conduct and begged for mercy. His plea fell on deaf ears. Chutkan expressed no sympathy for Palmer, whom she sent to prison for more than five years. Chutkan’s references to the former president aren’t the only area of concern for Trump. Her comments from the bench also suggest that she shares the same view of Jan. 6 as the man prosecuting Trump in her courtroom, Special Counsel Jack Smith. Tasked by Attorney General Merrick Garland with investigating “whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021,” Smith indicted Trump in the District of Columbia on three conspiracy counts and one obstruction count last month.

Throughout the 45-page indictment, Smith repeatedly accused Trump of knowingly promoting falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election. Chutkan clearly shares that view. On numerous occasions, the judge has insisted the 2020 election was legitimate and fully vetted by the court system – a claim disputed by Trump that lies at the heart of the case she is now hearing. She has accused individuals who believe the 2020 election was “stolen” as promoting “conspiracy theories.” In the case of Donna Bissel, who pleaded guilty to the nonviolent petty offense of “parading” in the Capitol, Chutkan cited Bissel’s personal beliefs as reason to sentence her to 14 days in jail rather than impose the three-year probation sentence recommended by prosecutors.

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Here, too, the regime has 98% of the media on its side. But that’s not enough..

“..urged the media to depict Ukraine’s faltering counteroffensive in a more charitable light..”

Western Officials Pressure Media On Ukraine’s Battlefield Failures – WaPo (RT)

Western officials have urged the media to depict Ukraine’s faltering counteroffensive in a more charitable light, the Washington Post has reported. The US newspaper claimed the efforts are aimed at preventing a decline in public support for providing further military aid for Kiev in the coming months. In an article on Saturday, the Post alleged that “Ukrainian and Western officials in recent weeks have focused on reshaping the narrative” amid Kiev’s underwhelming progress so far. The implementation of the supposed new strategy presumably has to do with increased criticism in some Western countries, which has called into question the continuation of military aid for Kiev.

According to the media outlet, while Ukraine’s Western backers are publicly putting a brave face on the counteroffensive, privately they are increasingly concerned that the conflict could become a frozen one, with Kiev’s forces unable to breach Russian defenses. The Post noted that several Western officials had recently paid an unusual amount of attention in their press briefings to the way the media is covering the Ukrainian military’s progress. In one example cited by the newspaper, an unnamed official urged journalists to “lift up the conversation a bit” and stop focusing too much on the day-to-day developments on the ground, lest they miss the “fuller picture.” The same official also reportedly tried to lower expectations in the briefing, saying that a Ukrainian victory would not necessarily mean the recapture of “every bit of territory by X date” – despite Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s insistence that this is the only acceptable scenario.

Ukrainian officials have been limiting journalists’ access to the front line, citing security reasons, the Post continued. Special officers are making sure that sensitive topics, such as Kiev’s losses, are kept quiet. Late last month, the New York Times reported that a slowdown in the counteroffensive “comes with huge risks for Ukraine.” The newspaper explained that “if it looks unlikely to recapture large areas of the country, Western support could wane, either through lack of political will or unwillingness to donate more weapons.” Meanwhile, Kiev’s already slow progress may be further impeded by autumn rains in the region, the NYT pointed out, adding that such adverse weather conditions would make the ground almost impassable for heavy Western-supplied tanks and other hardware.

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I could add 1,000 words to the 1,000,000 already written in the past 24 hours. But for now I’ll stick with Macgregor’s ”Make peace, you fools.”

Medvedev Blames US for Israel-Hamas Fighting (RT)

US foreign policy is partly to blame for the latest violent flare-up between Israel and the Palestinians, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has suggested. The official, who is currently Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said Washington should have channeled its energy into ensuring a lasting peace in the Middle East but chose to focus on Ukraine instead. Commenting on Saturday’s escalation between Israel and the Hamas militant group from Gaza, Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel that these events were predictable. “This is what Washington and its allies should have dealt with,” he explained, adding that the Israel-Palestine conflict has lasted for decades, with the US being a “key player there.”

According to Medvedev, instead of this, “these morons got involved in our region and are actively helping neo-Nazis, pitting two close peoples against one another.” The former president brought his remarks to a conclusion with the thought that “apparently only a civil war on US territory” would help quell “America’s manic passion for igniting conflicts all around the planet.” On Saturday morning, Hamas militants launched a massive attack on Israel, firing thousands of missiles and then breaching the border fence and overrunning multiple Israeli towns bordering the Gaza enclave. According to Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom, at least 40 Israelis have been killed and 740 others wounded. In his address to the nation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country is at war. He also vowed that the “enemy will pay a price like they have never known before.”

An IDF spokesperson revealed that fighting is ongoing, with Hamas militants still present in multiple localities. Meanwhile, the Israeli air force has conducted air strikes on Gaza. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that the Palestinian people have a right to defend themselves against what he described as the “terror of settlers and occupation troops.” The White House issued a statement, condemning what it termed “unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians.” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reassured Israel that the US’ commitment to its security remains “unwavering.” In the coming days, he promised, the Pentagon will “work to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism.”

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Kim Dotcom: “Understanding the Hamas attack on Israel: Iran is aiming for a confrontation with Israel and the US. The success of Russia in Ukraine is encouraging Iran to undo decades of hostile US foreign policy in the Middle East. A bankrupt US Govt has just been invited to another war. The timing is opportunistic. The US Govt is forced to print trillions of USD as it struggles to raise new debt. Another war would lead to a significant increase in inflation and an accelerated economic decline of the US.

If Iran mines the Strait of Hormuz the global energy crisis would become critical. The Biden administration has used the majority of US oil reserves to stabilize domestic oil prices. Iran can increase the pain for the US Govt significantly. Ukraine is turning into a major defeat for the US and NATO. A new front in the Middle East would accelerate the US decline. The US Govt and its western partners simply cannot afford it. Russia and China would benefit most. Iran understands this and is playing into the hands of its partners.”

Hezbollah Next To Attack? War Could Spiral Into Biggest In Decades (ZH)

It appears at the very least, we are in the midst of a third intifada. But one big question will linger in the coming days and weeks as Israel is sure to escalate its response into a ground invasion Gaza: will the war escalate beyond Gaza and southern Israel? Already both Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran have sent “congratulations” messages to Hamas and the Palestinians. Hezbollah’s statement in particular condemned Arab states who have normalized relations with the Jewish state. The Wall Street Journal reports on Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah’s statement as follows: “Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which like Palestinian militant groups also vows Israel’s destruction, praised the operation by Hamas inside Israel, according to Arab media. Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said it served as a warning against recognizing Israel.

“It sends a message to the Arab and Islamic world, and the international community as a whole, especially those seeking normalization with this enemy, that the Palestinian cause is an everlasting one, alive until victory and liberation,” Nasrallah said in a statement.” At the moment Israel’s northern border with Hezbollah remains quiet, but if a shooting war starts out of southern Lebanon, Israel will find itself in a war on two fronts. Already there are allegations from Western pundits that Iran is financing this expanded Hamas operation… [..] A potential broader war could also draw in Syria, given already Israeli jets have struck the country almost on a weekly basis. Israel has long said it is attacking Iranian targets and assets inside Syria. If Hezbollah and Israel enter a war, this would increase the likelihood of it expanding into already war-torn Syria.

Mashiach

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“..the first city in America to [insert costly, new, crackpot, ‘green’ energy notion here].”

Time to Tell America’s Climate Cult ‘Stop!’ (ET)

Rishi Sunak, Britain’s Tory prime minister, seems to have bravely adopted at least some of that mission by challenging Britain’s radical climate agenda. It’s a lesson for the United States. Addressing Britain’s sanguine climate policy, Mr. Sunak said, “there’s nothing ambitious about simply asserting a goal for a short-term headline without being honest with the public about the tough choices and sacrifices involved and without any meaningful democratic debate about how we get there.” Mind you, Mr. Sunak isn’t what the climate cult types call a “climate change denier”; far from it. But he understands that aspirations without means are merely pipe dreams. And he also understands that imposing climate mandates without public discourse or debate is antithetical to the democratic principles that underlie his republic, as they do ours.

Unfortunately, the mismatch between means and aspirations, as well as the disregard for democratic principles, characterizes much of what passes for the national climate policies of both the UK and the United States. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency set the CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards for model year 2026 automobiles at 55 miles per gallon for sedans and 39 mpg for trucks and light-duty trucks/SUVs. Those are enormous increases of 25 percent and 28 percent, respectively, just since 2020. The clear intention in raising the CAFE standards so quickly is to force consumers into buying new cars that are either fully or partially electric, hybrids, or fully electric. But there’s clear resistance, as reflected even by Kyle Bass, an avid environmentalist and chief investment officer of Conservation Equity Management, a private equity fund focused on “facilitating conservation investment”: “The advertised ranges of EVs have turned out to be pure fantasy (we own two Teslas). After a couple of years, the batteries degrade even more (think about your iPhone). I will never give up my combustion engine.”

State and local governments in so-called “blue” states have been even more aggressive in forcing radical lifestyle changes on the people in their jurisdiction. In New York, for example, it’s something of a race to “make history,” with elected officials lauding the city’s status as “the first city in America to [insert costly, new, crackpot, ‘green’ energy notion here].” For example, in a social media post on June 27, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul lauded an expensive “congestion pricing” tax scheme that the city will impose next year, whereby drivers who go below 6oth Street in Manhattan will have to pay a congestion pricing toll of $26 to “reduce fuel consumed and pollutant emissions.” “New York City is leading the nation by becoming the first city in America with a congestion pricing program—setting the standard in the fight for cleaner air, better transit, and less traffic,” Ms. Hochul wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “As we so often do here in New York, today, we’re making history.”

Another “green” initiative bans new construction in New York City from having natural gas hookups, even though natural gas reserves are estimated at 300 years and natural gas burns far cleaner than many alternatives. New York’s legendary pizzerias, some serving pizza from coal-fired ovens for more than a century, will likely be forced to adopt electric pizza ovens. Another initiative will force New Yorkers to hold onto their garbage for up to a week for mandatory composting of organic waste, since the city’s plan only allows for compost pick-ups just once a week. Imagine the smell. And the vermin!

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“New York City is very expensive. You are better off going to a more affordable city”..

Bill Maher: “Democrats Look Like Sanctuary City Hypocrites” (ZH)

Real Time” host Bill Maher blasted President Biden and ultra-radical progressives for their massive policy U-turn on the southern border this week. He said border state Republicans who bused migrants to sanctuary metro areas (mainly in the Northeast) “called the Democrats’ bluff about sanctuary cities,” and the Democrats “look like sanctuary city hypocrites.”

“Here’s how serious the situation is: You know, they’ve been busing the migrants to the cities now. They kind of called the Democrats’ bluff about sanctuary cities, and they said oh, you love them so much? Here you go. And the cities don’t like it so much. NYC Mayor Eric Adams said this is going to destroy our city … Eric Adams … went to Mexico today. He’s going to Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia, I think door-to-door, no, really, just to tell people personally, we don’t have room, I’m not kidding, don’t come. That’s pretty amazing. No, he’s telling these people, we don’t have room. This is New York City. Don’t you know our catchphrase? We’re the Little Apple. And our theme song, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, so go anywhere, don’t come here,” Maher said in his opening opening monologue on Friday evening.

Maher continued, “The border crisis has become a national crisis. It was always something like oh, it’s down there, and yes, it’s bad. But it’s – and now it’s all over the country because they’ve been busing the migrants and so forth.” He said this all “feels like a disaster for the Democrats.” The Biden administration’s reversal to now support former President Trump’s southern border wall comes as radical progressives, for years, called anyone who praised Trump’s wall ‘racist’ and other terrible names. The policy U-turn by the president and radical leftists comes as it appears polling data is not moving in their favor ahead of the election cycle, as disastrous open border policies have transformed many metro areas into chaotic areas that resemble third-word-like conditions. [..] Maher said, “Trump today said he wants Biden to apologize because it looks like Biden was adopting his policy. This does not look good for the Democrats.”

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“More than a year after these attacks, it’s apparent that the manner in which this reality has been suppressed is possibly more sinister than the attack itself.”

One Year On, EU, US Collude To Sweep Nordstream Under The Rug (Bowes)

It’s been more than a year since one of the biggest pieces of energy infrastructure in Europe was destroyed in what can only be described as a terror attack. One would imagine that no stone would be left unturned to investigate a crime of such magnitude and attribute responsibility. You would also think that the countries that stood to lose most from Nord Stream’s destruction would be at the forefront of these investigations. Well, welcome to the Europe of 2023 where, in a weird case of Stockholm syndrome, it seems neither the alleged perpetrator nor indeed one of the main victims wants any more “trouble” when it comes to Nord Stream. The consensus is to let sleeping dogs lie, and considering the evidence of US involvement in the attack, that’s entirely unsurprising.

On September 26, 2022, the world’s news feeds erupted with reports of the powerful explosions which tore the landmark Russian-German gas pipelines apart, dealing a devastating blow to Berlin’s, and by extension the entire EU’s, energy security. Within a couple of days, Western media had seemingly solved the mystery. Publications such as Politico eagerly proclaimed that “Everything is pointing to Russia,” embracing the utterly delusional anti-logic that would make it plausible that Russia would destroy a piece of its own energy infrastructure that had been bringing it steady income. This reality, widely accepted by objective, nonaligned observers, was however lost on a slew of NATO-, US-, and EU-aligned commentators and officials. A mere four days after the explosions, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the BBC that it “seems” Russia was behind the destruction of its own multibillion-dollar investment.

When we roll the clock forward to today, it is now patently clear that Western media have been tasked with memory-holing the entire Nord Stream affair, with Germany, Sweden, and Denmark quietly conducting separate “investigations” which conveniently exclude Russian officials while also remaining strangely low-key in Western newsfeeds. These obviously declawed investigations continue as it is increasingly accepted in the West that Russia had nothing to do with the sabotage, it now being obvious that the US and/or a proxy partner were actually behind this terror attack on European soil. More than a year after these attacks, it’s apparent that the manner in which this reality has been suppressed is possibly more sinister than the attack itself.

An often-overlooked element of the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines is the devastating environmental impact that resulted from the explosions. Over 100,000 tons of methane gas was released into the atmosphere as four huge blasts tore through the two pipelines. A far less well known, or publicized, fact is that these pipelines were laid near an area where tons of toxic chemical weapons waste from the First World War had previously been dumped. The scale of the resulting short- and long-term impact on the seabed and atmosphere is difficult to establish, but both this and the single-biggest release of methane into the atmosphere in recent history seem to have gone generally unnoticed by the Green lobby in the EU and US. Anyone doubting the influence of this bunch should recall that on Joe Biden’s first day in office, he canceled a huge pipeline project, Keystone XL, jeopardizing thousands of construction jobs in what was seen as payback to environmentalists, whose cash and influence had been critical in his narrow electoral success.

The silence of the Green lobby on the catastrophic impact of the Nord Stream attack thus seems all the more unusual. Environmental activists across the US have rallied around calls to prevent the construction of pipelines in various regions, citing their negative environmental impact, but those same people seem remarkably quiet when it comes to the biggest pipeline-related environmental catastrophe in decades. The lack of any significant challenge regarding this act of eco-terrorism speaks volumes about the West’s selective approach to the Ukraine conflict. Green moral outrage is instantly shelved once Russia or China is the target and not the perpetrator.

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There is a video with this, but I couldn’t find an embeddable version. Go here to watch.

‘No Lives Were Saved’ by COVID-19 Vaccines, 17 Million Deaths (ET)

A new scientific report challenges the idea that COVID-19 vaccines have prevented deaths after researchers assessed all-cause mortality in 17 countries and found COVID-19 vaccines did not have any beneficial effect on reducing mortality. Instead, researchers found that unprecedented peaks in high all-cause mortality in each country—especially among the elderly population when COVID-19 vaccines were deployed—coincided with the rollout of third and fourth booster doses. The report, published Sept. 17 by Correlation Research in the Public Interest (not yet peer-reviewed), quantified the vaccine-dose fatality rate (vDFR) for all ages—which is the ratio of inferred vaccine-induced deaths to vaccine doses delivered in a given population.

After analyzing mortality data, the researchers calculated a mean all-ages fatal toxicity by injection of vDFR of one death per 800 injections across all ages and countries. This equates to 17 million COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths worldwide from 13.25 billion injections as of Sept. 2, 2023. “This would correspond to a mass iatrogenic event that killed (0.213 ± 0.006) % of the world population (1 death per 470 living persons, in less than 3 years), and did not measurably prevent any deaths,” the authors said. They found the overall risk of death induced by COVID-19 vaccines is 1,000 times greater than previously reported in data from clinical trials, adverse event monitoring, and cause-of-death statistics obtained from death certificates.

All-cause mortality is the death rate from all causes of death for a population in a specific time period. This is the most reliable data for detecting and epidemiologically characterizing events driving death and for measuring the population-level impact of any surge or collapse in deaths from any cause. “All-cause mortality is a good feature to use in statistical medical analyses since there is no ambiguity in whether someone has died or not,” Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), told The Epoch Times in an email. “It is highly disturbing that these authors have found a consistent trend among seventeen countries showing a significant increase in all-cause mortality coinciding with extensive COVID vaccine rollout. Their estimate of one death for every 800 injections globally is alarming.”

[..] “There is no evidence in the hard data of all-cause mortality of a beneficial effect from the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts. No lives were saved,” Denis Rancourt, co-director of Correlation Research in the Public Interest with a doctorate in physics, told The Epoch Times in an email. “On the contrary, the evidence can be understood in terms of being subjected to a toxic substance. The risk of death per injection increases exponentially with age. The policy of prioritizing the elderly for injection must be ended immediately.”

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Ibex
https://twitter.com/i/status/1710560060710019158

 

 

Dog star

 

 

 

 

FishingVillage
https://twitter.com/i/status/1710598084231671813

 

 

Wall building
https://twitter.com/i/status/1710614273930490009

 

 

Cat shades
https://twitter.com/i/status/1710692933215600738

 

 

 

 

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Sep 272023
 
 September 27, 2023  Posted by at 9:04 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Frederick Carl Frieseke Girl In Blue Arranging Flowers 1915

 

Hersh Reveals US Motive For Destruction Of Nord Stream Pipelines (MoA)
Biden Planned On Blowing Nord Stream Before Ukraine Conflict Began – Hersh (RT)
Nord Stream Blast: Why the West Still Can’t Name the Culprit (Sp.)
Canadian Parliament Speaker Resigns After Honoring Ukrainian Nazi (RT)
Russian Foreign Ministry Responds To Canada Honoring Nazi Veteran (RT)
Nazi Hunter: Canada Failed Miserably in Bringing Nazis to Justice (Sp.)
Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Seen Alive and Well (Sp.)
Nothing Is Off Table To Get Ukraine Into EU – Parliament President (G.)
How Russia Will Deal With American Tanks in Ukraine (Sp.)
US Judge Finds Trump Committed Fraud by Inflating Wealth, Assets (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Sues Rudy Giuliani for Spreading Contents From Laptop (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Used Dad’s Classified Doc House For $250K China Wire Transfer (ZH)
EU Warns Elon Musk After X Found To Have Highest Rate Of Disinformation (G.)

 

 

 

 

NYC Sanctuary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeadon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1706538481135104245

 

 

 

 

Russell

 

 

 

 

On the first anniversary of the Nordstream blast, lots of articles. Also about “alternative explanations”. But Sy Hersh doesn’t make things up. That’s not his MO at all.

“And thus followed the ultimate fear: that America would lose its long-standing primacy in Western Europe.”

Hersh Reveals US Motive For Destruction Of Nord Stream Pipelines (MoA)

It was no surprise to the agency’s secret planning group when on January 27, 2022, the assured and confident Nuland, then undersecretary of state for political affairs, stridently warned Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, as he clearly was planning to, that “one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” The line attracted enormous attention, but the words preceding the threat did not. The official State Department transcript shows that she preceded her threat by saying that with regard to the pipeline: “We continue to have very strong and clear conversations with our German allies. … The German leader was considered then—and now—by some members of the CIA team to be fully aware of the secret planning underway to destroy the pipelines.

What I did not know then, but was told recently, was that after Biden’s extraordinary public threat to blow up Nord Stream 2, with Scholz standing next to him, the CIA planning group was told by the White House that there would be no immediate attack on the two pipelines, but the group should arrange to plant the necessary bombs and be ready to trigger them “on demand”—after the war began. “It was then that we”—the small planning group that was working in Oslo with the Royal Norwegian Navy and special services on the project—“understood that the attack on the pipelines was not a deterrent because as the war went on we never got the command.” After Biden’s order to trigger the explosives planted on the pipelines, it took only a short flight with a Norwegian fighter and the dropping of an altered off-the-shelf sonar device at the right spot in the Baltic Sea to get it done.

By then the CIA group had long disbanded. By then, too, the official told me: “We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war”—Putin was in the process of annexing the four Ukrainian oblasts he wanted—“but was part of a neocon political agenda to keep Scholz and Germany, with winter coming up and the pipelines shut down, from getting cold feet and opening up” the shuttered Nord Stream 2. “The White House fear was that Putin would get Germany under his thumb and then he was going to get Poland.”

All of this explains why a routine question I posed a month or so after the bombings to someone with many years in the American intelligence community led me to a truth that no one in America or Germany seems to want to pursue. My question was simple: “Who did it?” The Biden administration blew up the pipelines but the action had little to do with winning or stopping the war in Ukraine. It resulted from fears in the White House that Germany would waver and turn on the flow of Russia gas—and that Germany and then NATO, for economic reasons, would fall under the sway of Russia and its extensive and inexpensive natural resources. And thus followed the ultimate fear: that America would lose its long-standing primacy in Western Europe.

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“We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war..”

Biden Planned On Blowing Nord Stream Before Ukraine Conflict Began – Hersh (RT)

US President Joe Biden initially planned on destroying the Nord Stream gas pipelines to deter Russia from launching its military operation in Ukraine, American journalist Seymour Hersh reported on Tuesday. However, Hersh alleged that the sabotage operation went ahead later not to deter Russia, but to harm the German economy. The Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, which connected Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, were destroyed in a series of underwater explosions exactly a year ago on Tuesday. Competing theories have emerged as to who was to blame, with mainstream media in the West blaming a Ukrainian commando unit and Seymour Hersh claiming that the CIA carried out the operation under direct orders from Biden.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Hersh alleged that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan convened a series of meetings in late 2021, tasking intelligence officials with coming up with a means of deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin from sending troops into Ukraine. “The White House’s policy was to deter Russia from an attack,” an intelligence source told Hersh. “The challenge it gave to the intelligence community was to come up with a way that was powerful enough to do that, and to make a strong statement of American capability.” By January, as Russian forces were massing on the Ukrainian border, the CIA had “solved the problem,” the source said. With a plan in place to plant remotely-detonated explosives on the pipelines under the Baltic Sea, Biden warned in early February that in the event of military action by Russia, “there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

Following Biden’s statement, which was delivered alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the CIA team tasked with sabotaging the pipelines received new orders, Hersh claimed. Instead of immediately destroying Nord Stream, the team was instructed to plant the explosives for detonation at a later date. “It was then that we understood that the attack on the pipelines was not a deterrent because as the war went on we never got the command,” a member of the team told Hersh. “We realized that the destruction of the two Russian pipelines was not related to the Ukrainian war,” the source continued. “But was part of a neocon political agenda to keep Scholz and Germany, with winter coming up and the pipelines shut down, from getting cold feet and opening up.”

According to Hersh’s earlier reporting, CIA divers planted the explosives last summer with the help of the Norwegian navy, using a NATO exercise in the region as cover. By the time the bombs were triggered in September, the flow of Russian gas to Germany via Nord Stream 1 had already been slowed to a trickle by Russia in response to Western sanctions, while Nord Stream 2 was never certified to begin operation by Scholz’s government. However, with the German economy heavily dependent on Russian gas, Biden reportedly feared that Scholz would choose reproachment with Moscow over support for Ukraine. “The President of the United States would rather see Germany freeze than [see] Germany possibly stop supporting Ukraine,” Hersh declared earlier this year.

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“Giraldi said that he feels that Hersh’s narrative is “correct in every detail.”

Nord Stream Blast: Why the West Still Can’t Name the Culprit (Sp.)

Gas leaks from the Nord Stream pipeline system were detected on 26 September 2022, with the EU leadership admitting that this could be the result of a “deliberate attack”. Two days later, on 28 September, the Kremlin announced that Russia was ready to consider applications from EU countries for a joint investigation into the Nord Stream incident. However, not only did the West snub Moscow’s request but also blamed Russia for destroying its own pipelines. Later, European and American officials backtracked on their accusations but fell short of naming a potential perpetrator. On 12 October 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident “an act of international terrorism”. Meanwhile, as gas prices soared and US energy producers secured lucrative LNG contracts with European countries, it became clear that Washington had been the major beneficiary from the Nord Stream destruction. Furthermore, the US leadership had previously issued several threats that it would destroy the pipelines.

“We know that the United States President Joe Biden, threatened openly that he would stop Nord Stream 2 if the Russians were to militarily intervene in Ukraine,” Philip Giraldi, former CIA station chief and now an executive director of the Council for the National Interest, told Sputnik. “That was repeated by Victoria Nuland, who was Number Three at the State Department. She said basically the same thing. So we had the President and a senior official both saying that they would stop the pipeline if this were to happen. So we have a statement coming from the government itself saying it would do this.” “And then I would say on top of that, the United States – given its military capabilities – had the capability to do this. They sent divers down to attach explosives and to arrange for a drone satellite that would ignite the charges and blow up the pipelines.

“It had the capability to do it. And it also had the motive, which was basically to weaken Russia’s ability to use its energy resources to affect politics in Europe. So this is what it was all about,” Giraldi continued. On 8 February 2023, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh dropped a bombshell, detailing an apparent plot by Team Biden and the US intelligence community to blast the Nord Stream pipelines with the help of Norwegian operatives. Reflecting on Hersh’s version, Giraldi said that he feels that Hersh’s narrative is “correct in every detail.” “And I can confirm to you that Sy Hersh, whom I know somewhat, has excellent sources inside CIA and inside the Pentagon. So what he’s telling us comes straight from people who know about it,” the CIA veteran said.

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Scapegoat.

Canadian Parliament Speaker Resigns After Honoring Ukrainian Nazi (RT)

Canadian House Speaker Anthony Rota stepped down on Tuesday after a Nazi veteran was his invited guest at a speech by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. The invitation has faced widespread condemnation. Rota apologized on Monday for the presence of 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka at Zelensky’s address to Canadian lawmakers on Friday, but refused to resign. Although lawmakers from all parties – including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – cheered and applauded Hunka at the event, calls for Rota’s resignation grew over the weekend as the incident drew worldwide attention, particularly from the governments of Russia and Poland. Rota eventually announced his resignation on Tuesday afternoon, stating that he would leave his position at the end of Wednesday’s session.

“The work of this house is above any of us. Therefore, I must step down as your speaker,” Rota said. “I reiterate my profound regret for my error.” Politicians from the opposition New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois parties issued the loudest demands for Rota’s resignation, with New Democrats leader Peter Julian describing the invitation as “an unforgivable error which puts the entire House in disrepute.” Trudeau, who leads the Liberal Party, of which Rota is a member, did not call for the speaker’s resignation, but described the ceremony as “deeply embarrassing for the House and for Canada.” During the event, Rota hailed Hunka as “a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero… who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians.”

Rota did not mention that Hunka fought in Hitler’s elite Waffen SS, but the nonagenarian was identified by the Associated Press as a member of the First Ukrainian Division, a volunteer unit created by the Nazis in 1943. Also known as the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, the unit is known to have committed atrocities against Jews and Poles during its campaign on the Eastern Front. “There should be no confusion that this unit was responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians with a level of brutality and malice that is unimaginable,” the Toronto-based Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) said in a statement on Sunday.


The Ukrainian Postal Service is now issuing stamps of Waffen SS Nazi Galicia Yaroslav Hunko

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“..the ultra-liberal ideology propagated in Canada and permeated with hatred for Russia, its culture, religious and traditional values, essentially has the same roots as Nazism.”

Russian Foreign Ministry Responds To Canada Honoring Nazi Veteran (RT)

The Canadian Parliament’s public celebration of a Ukrainian Nazi veteran last week is a cynical abuse of the memory of the victims of Nazism and an example of the blatant Russophobia embraced by the Canadian government, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on Tuesday. The message comes after the Canadian House of Commons on Friday gave a standing ovation to 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka, a member of the 14th Waffen Grenadier division of the SS, which was responsible for countless war crimes during the second half of World War II. The commemoration took place during a visit by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the incident was “the best possible way to characterize the regime of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has embraced unbridled Russophobia.”

After facing backlash from Jewish and Polish communities over the incident, House Speaker Anthony Rota apologized for inviting the Nazi veteran, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the situation as “profoundly embarrassing.” The Russian ministry stressed, however, that despite Canada’s apologies, “the fact remains that the ultra-liberal ideology propagated in Canada and permeated with hatred for Russia, its culture, religious and traditional values, essentially has the same roots as Nazism.” Moscow added that it was “no coincidence” that Canada has monuments to Ukrainian nationalist leaders while the government allows the overwhelming majority of Nazi veterans like Hunka, who was granted asylum in Canada after the end of World War II, to live out their days “in safety, honored and cared for (in particular, by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland) as ‘fighters against Russian Communism.’”

The ministry concluded its statement by stressing that the “hostile actions” of the Canadian government, such as the continuous expansion of anti-Russian sanctions and blacklists of Russian nationals will not be left unanswered and that Moscow will not tolerate the fact that “Canadian liberals are flirting with Nazism.” “We expect that healthy forces in Canadian society will speak out against the ‘Nazification’ of history and daily life encouraged by the country’s officials, which goes hand-in-hand with aggressive Russophobia,” it said.

Russia to Canada
https://twitter.com/i/status/1706499953432924204

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“Canada is not a unique situation. Ten thousand Nazi war criminals emigrated to the United States, thousands to Australia, Great Britain, and in fewer numbers to New Zealand.”

Nazi Hunter: Canada Failed Miserably in Bringing Nazis to Justice (Sp.)

Ninety-eight-year-old Ukrainian Nazi veteran Yaroslav Hunka, who fought in the ranks of the Schutzstaffel’s (SS) 14th Waffen Grenadier Division, was enthusiastically hailed by Canadian lawmakers and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The incident triggered a wave of fierce criticism, prompting House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota to apologize for featuring a Nazi soldier in the Canadian legislature. Sputnik reached out to Dr. Efraim Zuroff, a legendary Nazi hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the director of its Israel Office, to ask why the scandalous honoring of a Nazi became possible in a modern Western state. “It’s no secret that hundreds, at least hundreds, if not thousands of people who committed Holocaust crimes and/or collaborated with the Nazis were able to emigrate to Canada,” Dr. Zuroff told Sputnik.

“And by the way, Canada is not a unique situation. Ten thousand Nazi war criminals emigrated to the United States, thousands to Australia, Great Britain, and in fewer numbers to New Zealand.” Dr. Zuroff is unfamiliar with the particular case of Yaroslav Hunka, but it is still well known that the Waffen SS Galicia Division was “very involved in the mass murder of Jews and Poles in eastern Poland and Galicia,” he pointed out. “And it’s a very sad thing that the heroes, the leadership of the Ukrainian nationalists during World War II, which was headed by Stepan Bandera, for example and the UPA*, the army raised by the Ukrainians to fight with the Germans, with the Waffen SS, which was led by Roman Shukhevych, these are the heroes of Ukraine,” the Nazi hunter highlighted.

It is common knowledge that Nazi Germany played the lead role in the Holocaust – the systematic state-sponsored killing of European Jews in the Second World War. Still, Westerners are not fully aware of the incredibly important role played by local collaborators in the mass murder of the Jewish people, according to Dr. Zuroff. Nazi Germany’s Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing units organized by the SS (tasked with the “final solution of the Jewish question, i.e. the genocide of the ethnic group), “covered an area from Tallinn in the north of Estonia, all the way down to Odessa, near the Black Sea, a front of 1,500 kilometers, and murdered 1.5 million, primarily Jews, in less than two years,” the expert said.

“There were only several thousand people who served in the Einsatzgruppen, and they were working in territory, which they didn’t know the language, they didn’t know the topography. They needed help from the locals,” he explained, adding that this help was provided. “And they’re [locals] the ones who carried out these murders, in many cases without any Germans present. We know in Lithuania, for example, that there were less than a thousand Germans in Lithuania. In Lithuania, there were 220,000 Jews who lived under the Nazi occupation, of whom 212,000 were murdered, 90% of them by shooting near their homes.”

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The Black Sea Fleet command convenes in an underground bunker.

Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Seen Alive and Well (Sp.)

Western media reported that Russian Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Viktor Sokolov was killed in Ukrainian attack on Sevastopol, citing Ukrainian officials, without verifying the information. Ukraine used several British-sourced Storm Shadow cruise missiles to target the HQs building of the Russian Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea last Friday. Russian Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Viktor Sokolov has turned up alive and well, taking part in a Defense Ministry board meeting alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday. Sokolov’s appearance follows claims in dozens of Western media outlets quoting Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces claiming that he had been killed in last week’s strike on the Black Sea Fleet’s HQ in Sevastopol.

The Russian Defense Ministry said six people were injured in the September 22 attack, with one person unaccounted for and the HQ’s historic building suffering damage. These figures are a far cry from estimates made by Kiev – which claimed that dozens of servicemen and officers were killed and over 100 injured. US reconnaissance forces were spotted in the area near the HQ two days prior to the attack, prompting Russian and US military observers to tell Sputnik that they suspect direct NATO involvement in the strike. The UK approved the delivery of Storm Shadow cruise missile systems to Ukraine in May, with Ukraine’s armed forces subsequently using them liberally, including to attack built-up civilian areas in the Donbass. Despite generous arms deliveries, intelligence and other support to Kiev, the United States and most of its allies refuse to admit that the Ukrainian crisis is a NATO proxy war against Russia.

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Where do they find these people?

Nothing Is Off Table To Get Ukraine Into EU – Parliament President (G.)

The European Union must begin a major wave of change to prepare for the arrival of Ukraine as a member state, the leader of its parliament has said, with “nothing off the table”, including removing trade tariffs and giving Kyiv access to internal markets before full membership. Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, Roberta Metsola, an MEP from Malta who became the European parliament’s youngest ever president last year, said she expected member states to begin formal negotiations with Ukraine as soon as December. “If they are going fast, we should match that speed,” she urged. Metsola was the first political leader to visit Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, meeting the country’s president, President Zelenskiy, in Kyiv on 1 April 2022, when the capital was still under curfew and surrounded by tanks.

She has made the images of that encounter a symbol of her presidency: a poster of the pair in military green, shaking hands, hangs over the Parliament courtyard. Defying caution and outright antagonism from some member states, she has given unequivocal support to Ukraine’s attempt to join the EU, a process which has advanced even as the country’s attempts to join Nato have stalled. Ukraine is one year into a what many expect will be four or five year journey. But Metsola reflects fresh thinking among some EU leaders that the bloc needs to accelerate access to Ukraine- and the Balkan states that have also applied- in order to curb the risk of Russian interference in these former Soviet territories.

“Pushing the can down the road” on enlargement will only fuel nationalism and the far-right, she warned. “It increases the extremes on the political spectrum, the Euroscepticism. Campaigns in accession countries are fought, and lost or won, on the basis of the dream and hope of the EU.” Metsola wants formal talks to begin before Christmas. The decision rests with EU ministers, who will meet formally in December after a public report in October on Ukraine’s progress in reforming its judiciary, curbing corruption and opening its markets. “I expect a concrete outcome because the worst signal could be that we have given these people targets and deadlines which we can’t meet ourselves,” said Metsola.

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They strip off the protective parts before shipping them to Kiev.

How Russia Will Deal With American Tanks in Ukraine (Sp.)

Ukraine has received some of its long-promised Abrams tanks, with the rest scheduled to be delivered later this fall. The long wait began in January, when US President Joe Biden announced that a battalions’ worth of America’s best tanks would be sent to “improve” Ukraine’s “ability to maneuver in open terrain.” The Abrams are the last of three NATO heavy tank platforms to be delivered to Ukraine to date, with Washington using promises about their deployment to get the alliance’s European members, particularly Germany, to approve the sending of their Leopard series MBTs (hundreds of Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 tanks have been sent to Kiev since then). The UK also joined in, sending 14 of its fearsome Challenger 2s – boasting the status of one of the only major MBTs in NATO armies’ service never to have been destroyed by the enemy in battle.

Russian forces taking on Ukraine’s NATO-equipped army during the summer counteroffensive soon changed all that, with dozens of Leopard 1 and Leopard 2s knocked out, and at least two of Britain’s “unbeatable” tanks taken out in fierce fighting in Zaporozhye after finally appearing on the battlefield earlier this month. [..] The Abrams tanks that Ukraine is getting aren’t up to the same standard as those used by the US military. While its tanks are receiving the same controversial depleted uranium munitions which the US and NATO have already successfully used to poison vast swathes of the former Yugoslavia and Iraq, they are not equipped with the same layer of ultra-thick DU armor plates for enhanced protection of the tank and its crew that US Army Abrams have.

Ukraine’s Abrams are made from refurbished hulls and turrets from California’s Sierra Army Depot, with their DU armor plating removed for secrecy reasons. With the tanks proving vulnerable to enemy anti-tank systems even with the DU armor installed, Russian forces should have no problem using any or all of the above-mentioned weapons systems to target them.

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Wonder what’s in the tax filings (not inflated numbers!). Wonder if the banks saw those. And if not, why.

US Judge Finds Trump Committed Fraud by Inflating Wealth, Assets (Sp.)

A New York state judge on Tuesday found former US President Donald Trump liable for fraud in a civil lawsuit that accuses the one-time commander of intentionally inflating his wealth and asset value. The 35-page ruling, brought forward by the New York Attorney General’s Office, determined Trump and company submitted multiple misleading valuations for real estate assets in official statements to insurers and other financial institutions in order to secure favorable loans and lower insurance premiums throughout the years. Properties listed in the suit included Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida resort, his golf course in Scotland, Trump Park Avenue, and his Seven Springs property in New York’s Westchester County, among other sites.

“In defendants’ world, rent-regulated apartments are worth the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air,” Judge Arthur Engoron wrote in the decision. “That is a fantasy world, not the real world.” In granting a partial summary judgement to NY Attorney General Letitia James, Engoron outlined that such business maneuvers violated the law and as such canceled the business certificates of Trump and listed defendants, including those of his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. Also named were Allen Weisselberg, who served as the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and company executive Jeff McConney. Additionally, Engoron ordered individual sanctions of $7,500 against lawyers who represented the listed Trump defendants and required that within 10 days’ time each defendant submit three independent receivers to manage the dissolution for the business certificates.

The Trump camp has argued claims laid out in the civil filing are barred due to the statute of limitations, with lawyer noting banks involved in the Trump-affiliated deals were far from victims as the same entities turned profits. The former president has also rejected committing any wrongdoing, instead claiming James’ suit is a politically-driven attack. The Tuesday ruling, which denied a request by Trump to end the civil fraud lawsuit, did not settle six other claims at the center of James’ lawsuit. In fact, a non-jury trial set to start on October 2 will address the remaining key points. The New York attorney general is seeking about $250 million in damages and is looking to enforce a ban on Trump doing any business in the Empire State.

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He should have given the laptop to WikiLeaks.

Hunter Biden Sues Rudy Giuliani for Spreading Contents From Laptop (Sp.)

The lawsuit, which relies on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, was filed in the Central District of California. Neither Rudy Giuliani nor Hunter Biden live in that district and the alleged crimes took place in Delaware. Whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld told Sputnik the choice was the result of “venue shopping.” Embattled first son Hunter Biden is continuing to file lawsuits against individuals he blames for the release of the contents of a laptop he reportedly abandoned at a Delaware computer repair store. The lawsuit is against former New York City mayor and Donald Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The suit, filed in the Central District of California, accuses the former mayor of “looking for, hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, [and] disseminating … data that was taken or stolen,” thereby violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

It is the latest string of lawsuits brought by Hunter Biden against individuals surrounding his laptop. He also sued the owner of the non-profit Marco Polo, which has been publishing the contents of the laptop, the owner of the computer repair shop where Biden reportedly abandoned the laptop and the FBI for allegedly violating his privacy when two FBI agents told Congress and the media they were concerned the agency was slow-walking the investigation. The laptop in question first made headlines in October 2020, shortly before the 2020 presidential election. Reportedly, the computer repair shop owner had given the laptop to the FBI months before, but after not hearing anything about it on the news, contacted Giuliani’s lawyer at the time Bob Costello and provided him a copy of the computer’s hard drive. Costello is also a defendant in Biden’s latest lawsuit.

Contents of the laptop were published by the New York Post, showing the future first son smoking what appears to be crack cocaine, fornicating with suspected prostitutes and other salacious details. Further reporting on the laptop revealed emails related to Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals and financial records showing the Biden family received millions of dollars from foreign businesses, including those in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China and Russia. Some of the email and text messages found on the iPhone backup implied that current US President Joe Biden may have joined in on some business calls with his son and references to payments made to “the big guy” have been pointed to by critics as proof the elder Biden was more involved in his son’s business deals than the president claimed. As recently as August, the US president has reiterated he “never talked business” with his son.

The laptop was originally called “Russian disinformation” by multiple media outlets in the United States, and more than 50 former senior intelligence officers signed a letter saying it had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” One by one, the various outlets who discredited the laptop as disinformation quietly admitted it was legitimate and a former CIA official testified to the House Judiciary Committee that former Biden campaign adviser and now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken “played a role in the inception.” Giuliani’s spokesman Ted Goodman pointed to the changing story of the laptop’s detractors when responding to the lawsuit. “Hunter Biden previously refused to admit ownership of the laptop. I’m not surprised he’s now falsely claiming his laptop hard drive was manipulated by Mayor Giuliani, considering the sordid material and potential evidence of crimes on that thing,” Goodman said.

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My son is the smartest man I know.

Hunter Biden Used Dad’s Classified Doc House For $250K China Wire Transfer (ZH)

Hunter Biden used his Dad’s Delaware home where classified documents were found strewn about the garage to receive more than $250,000 in Chinese wire transfers, according to the House Oversight Committee. The wires were from Wang Xin and Jonathan Li, the latter of whom ran a Chinese private equity fund (BHR) which Hunter was listed as being on the board of directors. Hunter also arranged for a meeting between Li and Joe Biden while Joe was VP, while Joe allegedly gave Li’s son a letter of recommendation. Here’s the breakdown of events from the Committee:

• 2009-2017: During his time as Vice President and prior to later payments to Hunter Biden, evidence shows Joe Biden developed a familiar relationship with Jonathan Li. Devon Archer, a Biden business associate, described how Joe Biden met with Jonathan Li for coffee in Beijing, China, had a phone call with him, and wrote college recommendation letters for his children.
• April 25, 2019: Joe Biden announced his candidacy in the 2020 presidential election.
• July 26, 2019: Wang Xin wired $10,000 with Joe Biden’s home listed on the wire.
• August 2, 2019: Jonathan Li wired $250,000 with Joe Biden’s home listed on the wire.
• October 13, 2019: George Mesires, who served as Hunter Biden’s lawyer, stated, in part, that Hunter Biden served with BHR “only as a member of its board of directors,” which was purportedly an “unpaid position.”
• October 22, 2020: During a presidential debate, Joe Biden said, “My son has not made money […] in China.”

Of note, Hunter was living at the Wilmington house while he was raking in millions of dollars from CCP-linked business dealings. Hunter was living there… Seamus Bruner (researcher for legendary bombshell-dropper Peter Schweizer), reports via Breitbart News, that “While addicted to drugs, cavorting with prostitutes, and making deals with businessmen tied to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence, Hunter Biden lived in the house where Joe Biden stored classified documents.” Second, the Washington Free Beacon reported in January that photos from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop place him at the Wilmington House in July, 2017. Of note, the classified documents were reportedly brought to the house in January of that year. The photos ‘are the most concrete evidence to date’ that Hunter – who was actively negotiating a deal with a CCP-linked Chinese energy company – had access to areas of his father’s home where classified documents were stored.

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I know there’s the EU’s Code of Practice on Disinformation, and I know there’s the Digital Services Act, but I don’t know who decided that Musk is violating either.

Oh, and it’s basically all Russia Russia. Ring a bell? It’s like Trudy reacting to the Nazi he celebrated by saying we should all be wary of Russian disinformation. Same thing. Diversion. Squirrel!

EU Warns Elon Musk After X Found To Have Highest Rate Of Disinformation (G.)

The EU has issued a warning to Elon Musk to comply with sweeping new laws on fake news and Russian propaganda, after X formerly known as Twitter was found to have the highest ratio of disinformation posts of all large social media platforms. The report analysed the ratio of disinformation for a new report laying bare for the first time the scale of fake news on social media across the EU, with millions of fake accounts removed by TikTok and LinkedIn. Facebook was the second worst offender, according to the first ever report recording posts that will be deemed illegal across the EU under the Digital Services Act (DSA), which came into force in August.

Nevertheless, Facebook and other tech giants, including Google, TikTok and Microsoft, have signed up to the code of practice the EU drew up to ensure they could get ready in time to operate within the confines of the new laws. Twitter left the code of practice but it is obliged under the new law to comply with the rules or face a ban across the EU. Mr Musk knows he is not off the hook by leaving the code of practice, said the European commissioner Vera Jourova, who is responsible for the implementation of the new anti-disinformation code. There are obligations under the hard law. So my message for Twitter/X is you have to comply. We will be watching what you do.

X, formerly Twitter, is the platform with the largest ratio of mis/disinformation followed by Facebook, she told reporters. The 200-page report is an account of the work the large platforms have done in the first six months of 2023 to prepare for compliance with the new law and lifts the lid on the behind-the-scenes efforts made by Facebook and others to crack down on Russian propaganda, hate speech and other disinformation. The Russian state has engaged in the war of ideas to pollute our information space with half truth and lies to create a false image that democracy is no better than autocracy, said Jourova.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


This five-month-old bar-tailed godwit smashed the record for long-distance migration following a non-stop, 11-day flight from Alaska to Tasmania: a 13,560 km journey beating the previous record, a godwit which flew 13,000 km

 

 

Burzynski

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 052023
 


Mark Chagall Peace window, UN 1967

 

Beijing Ready To Settle Ukrainian Crisis Jointly With Russia – FM (TASS)
Pepe Escobar: US Outmatched by Russia, China (Sputnik)
The Worst Kind Of Peace Is Better Than Any War – Exiled Ukraine Dissident (RT)
Washington Responsible For Attack On Kremlin – Moscow (RT)
US Has Nothing To Do With Attack On Kremlin – White House (TASS)
West Has Fueled ‘Sense Of Impunity’ In Kiev – Zakharova (RT)
Ukraine Helpless Against Russian Smart Bombs – Official (RT)
Zelensky Calls For Creation Of International Tribunal Against Russia (TASS)
West’s Attempts To Revive Neo-nazi Ideology Lead To Global Catastrophe (TASS)
Putin Compares Russian And Western Debt (RT)
Oh Countrywide, Is That Your Ghost? (Denninger)
FBI File Ties Biden To ‘Criminal Scheme’ To Trade Money For Policy (WT)
The Polish ‘Zeitenwende’ Connection (Jorge Vilches)
Nord Stream Sabotage ‘Secret Teams’ Revealed (Ponton)
State Department Slams Assange On World Press Freedom Day (Gosztola)

 

 

 

 

Drew
https://twitter.com/i/status/1654300820114948099

 

 

 

100% of all regional banks in the United States had their stocks in the red May 4, for the first time ever. This comes a day after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US banking system was stronger than ever.

 

 

Orban

 

 

 

 

Yeadon

 

 

 

 

China inserts itself step by step..

“We are ready to make a practical contribution into the political resolution of the Ukrainian crisis through contacts and coordination with Russia..”

Beijing Ready To Settle Ukrainian Crisis Jointly With Russia – FM (TASS)

During Thursday’s talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in India, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said the Chinese side was ready to make a practical contribution into the Ukrainian crisis settlement in cooperation with Russia, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.”China will persistently assist and promote peace talks. We are ready to make a practical contribution into the political resolution of the Ukrainian crisis through contacts and coordination with Russia,” the ministry’s website quoted Qin Gang as saying. During the meeting, the top Chinese diplomat said ties between Beijing and Moscow had intensified after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Russia.


“China and Russia have been maintaining active contacts at all levels, promoting cooperation in all directions,” Qin Gang said. “China is ready <…> to intensify strategic contacts with Russia, to strengthen and deepen cooperation in all areas,” the diplomat added. Both sides have reaffirmed their intention to improve coordination within the framework of important international organizations and formats, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the Group of Twenty (G20) and the United Nations. Beijing and Moscow will jointly “resist all manifestations of hegemony, defend common interests of countries with emerging markets and developing nations, defend equality and justice in the world,” the minister said.

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“The Biden administration’s policy of simultaneously confronting both Russia and China is doomed to fail, Pepe Escobar, geopolitical analyst and veteran journalist, told Radio Sputnik’s New Rules podcast.”

Pepe Escobar: US Outmatched by Russia, China (Sputnik)

Under the Biden administration Washington’s relations with Moscow and Beijing hit a new low. Having snubbed Russia’s security draft proposals concerning NATO enlargement and Ukraine’s neutrality, the US ramped up military aid to the Kiev regime after the beginning of Moscow’s special military operation (SMO) to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine. The Biden administration not only slapped Russia with sanctions and derailed the March 2022 Istanbul preliminary peace accords between Moscow and Kiev but openly called for bleeding Russia white and imposing strategic defeat on the nation. Simultaneously, Washington resorted to a series of provocations against China over Taiwan, the island located at the junction of the East and South China Seas, which Beijing regards as an inalienable part of the People’s Republic.

House Speakers Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy met with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen in what was seen by Beijing as a clear defiance of One China principle, while President Joe Biden issued repeated “gaffes” that the US is ready to “protect” the island militarily from the People’s Republic. Recently, the Pentagon has speeded up the provision of weapons to Taipei as the latter is bracing for the January 2024 presidential elections. Despite these provocative moves, the US military is not ready for a full-fledged confrontation with China, according to Escobar. “They won’t fight real wars,” the veteran journalist said. “And now they are even more freaked out because they know, for instance, if they try something in the South China Sea, the Chinese have the famous carrier killers all over the coast. So, if you have three or four American complexes navigate over there, they can be sunk in 30 minutes. And the Pentagon knows that, they gamed it.”

Likewise, Washington has failed to defeat Moscow either militarily or economically despite a set of unprecedented measures taken by the US, its NATO allies and partners against Russia. “Russia survived everything that the West threw against it after the start of the special military operation, especially the economic war, the financial war,” Escobar said. “And Russia survived and resisted. And now it’s even growing again with the 3% inflation, where we have nations in Europe with 10-20-30% inflation and floundering.” What’s more, the Biden administration’s provocations and bellicose rhetoric against Russia and China has served to push the two great powers closer together. In March, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a three-day visit to Moscow at the invitation of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Observers have drawn attention to the fact that Russia became the first foreign state visited by Xi after his historic reelection on March 10.

Commenting on the development, Chinese observers told Sputnik that Russia and China “have entered a new stage of comprehensive cooperation and strategic partnership.” That is how Team Biden has turned Brzezinski’s nightmare scenario of a “grand coalition” between Moscow and Beijing into reality. According to Escobar, Moscow has spent much of the past decade preparing for the West’s hybrid and financial war. Russian policy makers began game planning for a potential showdown shortly after a US-backed coup in Kiev usurped power in Ukraine. “If the SMO had been launched in 2014, Russia would not have been ready economically, financially and even militarily for it. Now they are. I’m sure that Elvira Nabiullina, at the Russian central bank, knew exactly what she did. This probably had been discussed for at least two years at the highest level at the Security Council level,” he said.

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“As a result of this tragedy, Ukraine has lost the attributes needed for statehood..”

The Worst Kind Of Peace Is Better Than Any War – Exiled Ukraine Dissident (RT)

In Kolomyia, a small town in Ukraine’s Western Ivano-Frankovsk Region, a court is hearing the case against Ruslan Kotsaba, who is accused of treason and crimes against the Armed Forces of Ukraine. However, the defendant is not present, having fled to the US in August 2022. The details of the charges brought against the journalist are still unknown. An advisor to the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Markiyan Lubkivsky, has stated that documents which “may indicate” treason and espionage were seized during his arrest. However, they have not been made public. Meanwhile, Kotsaba insists he’s being persecuted for his pacifist views. Since 2014, he has been a war correspondent working on both sides of the front in Donbass. During Pyotr Poroshenko’s presidency, the authorities persecuted him for issuing calls to boycott conscription.

Meanwhile, Kotsaba was also often attacked by nationalists. Under Vladimir Zelensky, the crackdown has continued, and Amnesty International has recognized him as a prisoner of conscience. In a conversation with RT, Kotsaba discussed the internal conflicts tearing Ukrainian society apart, the possibilities for pacifism in the country, and its post-war future. RT: This year will mark the ten-year anniversary of the start of the Euromaidan [a series of violent Western-backed protests which overthrew the elected government]. You took an active part in those events as a journalist. How do you feel about them now? Ruslan Kotsaba: The Ukrainian language has two different words for positive and negative kinds of anniversaries. We call the anniversary of a positive event “rychnitsa,” and the anniversary of a bad one “rokovina.” The Euromaidan anniversary is doubtlessly a “rokovina.”

As a result of this tragedy, Ukraine has lost the attributes needed for statehood. The so-called “Revolution of Dignity” was just a political strategy. Millionaires wanted to become billionaires, and the rest of the people were just used as extras. In regard to the Maidan, we need to clearly separate the people on the stage from the people in front of the stage. The actors on the stage used political methods to spark mass hysteria. The crowd merely jumped up and down under the xenophobic slogans. The media empires of the oligarchs all worked to take down President Viktor Yanukovich. At the time, people believed that they could elect someone who would make things better. But in Ukraine, the power vertical has progressively deteriorated – every new politician is worse than his predecessor.

This whole political strategy was based on the belief that new people would come and things would improve. But as we can see now, it’s only getting worse. The strategy has exhausted itself. I hope we were its last guinea pigs. At first, the Maidan looked like a festival, but it all ended with mass killings. To this day, no one knows who is responsible for the deaths, why no one has been punished, and why the authorities ordered to cut down the trees that proved that the shots were fired from the building where the deputies of the [Ukrainian far-right] ‘Svoboda’ party were positioned.

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“.. it is important that the US “clearly understands” that Russia is aware of its involvement in Ukraine and “how dangerous such direct involvement is.”

Washington Responsible For Attack On Kremlin – Moscow (RT)

All of Kiev’s decisions are ultimately dictated by Washington, including which targets to hit and by what means, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed on Thursday. His comments came after two Ukrainian drones unsuccessfully attempted to strike the Kremlin in the early hours of Wednesday morning. “Such decisions – the definition of goals, the definition of means, and so on – all this is dictated to Kiev from Washington, and we are well aware of this,” Peskov told reporters. The spokesman for President Vladimir Putin dismissed attempts by US and Ukrainian officials to “disown” Wednesday’s attack as “laughable,” insisting that “we know full well that decisions to carry out such terrorist actions are made not in Kiev, but in Washington.”

Peskov asserted that it is important that the US “clearly understands” that Russia is aware of its involvement in Ukraine and “how dangerous such direct involvement is.” The spokesman said that Kiev’s attempted drone strike on the Kremlin is being thoroughly investigated, but did not provide estimates on when any conclusions would be officially announced. Peskov reiterated that Moscow reserves the right to respond to the attack with “a variety of steps.” Although declining to specify what those measures might be, the Kremlin official insisted they would be carefully considered and “in line with Russia’s interests.” Putin’s office reported on Wednesday that two Ukrainian UAVs had been disabled by air defenses while trying to strike the president’s Kremlin residence in Moscow in the early hours of the morning. Putin was not in the Kremlin at the time of the incident and no one was hurt, the statement added.

Russia described the failed drone strike as “a pre-planned terrorist act” and an attempt on Putin’s life perpetrated by Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has denied his country’s involvement in the attack, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Washington could not “in any way validate” Russia’s claims. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has also stated that the US is unable to confirm the “authenticity” of the incident. The Kremlin has vowed that Moscow will retaliate to the raid “anywhere and anytime it deems necessary,” while senior Russian lawmaker Vyacheslav Volodin has called for the use of “weapons capable of stopping and destroying the Kiev terrorist regime.”

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You paid for it, provided the intelligence, but you have nothing to do with it?

“Moscow knows that Kiev chooses the means and targets for its strikes exactly as it’s told by Washington..”

US Has Nothing To Do With Attack On Kremlin – White House (TASS)

The US has nothing to do with the recent drone attack on the Kremlin, US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said on MSNBC television on Thursday. “We still don’t really know what happened,” he said, adding that Washington is still assessing the situation. Kirby said he had seen comments by Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday, which stated Washington was involved in the incident. “I can assure you that there was no involvement by the United States in this. Whatever it was did not involve us,” he said. “We had nothing to do with this.” In a separate interview with CNN, Kirby was asked if the US regarded Putin as a legitimate military target. “We don’t endorse, we do not encourage, we do not support attacks on individual leaders,” he replied.


The Russian presidential press service said earlier that Ukraine sent two drones overnight into Wednesday to attempt a strike on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s residence in the Kremlin. Russian military and security personnel promptly disabled them. Putin was unharmed and is carrying on with his work as usual. The Kremlin regards the incident as a premeditated terrorist attack and an assassination attempt on the head of state. Russia reserves the right to retaliate when and how it sees fit. Peskov said statements by Ukrainian and US officials that they weren’t involved in the drone attack on the Kremlin were laughable. Moscow knows that Kiev chooses the means and targets for its strikes exactly as it’s told by Washington, he said.

Kremlin roof

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“They destroyed the lawful government in Ukraine [in 2014], put crooks and bandits in charge, provided them with money and weapons, imbued them with a sense of absolute impunity and provided political cover and military support..”

West Has Fueled ‘Sense Of Impunity’ In Kiev – Zakharova (RT)

The US and its allies are ultimately responsible for the actions of the “Kiev regime,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed. “They destroyed the lawful government in Ukraine [in 2014], put crooks and bandits in charge, provided them with money and weapons, imbued them with a sense of absolute impunity and provided political cover and military support,” Zakharova said on Thursday. The official stressed that Russia holds “Washington, London, and NATO in general” accountable for all of the Ukrainian government’s actions. On Wednesday, the office of President Vladimir Putin accused Kiev of launching two drones at the Kremlin in an attempt to assassinate the Russian leader.


Ukrainian officials have rejected the allegation, claiming that their country does not attack targets in Russia. Moscow has warned that it reserves the right to retaliate in a way it deems appropriate and at a time and place of its choosing. Ukrainian troops are expected to launch a long-touted counteroffensive against Russian forces within the coming weeks. Foreign allies have pledged to support Kiev for as long as it takes to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia. Leading Western media outlets have suggested that the operation could be a decisive moment for the conflict, and that Ukraine may find it difficult to secure future aid, should it fail to make significant gains on the ground.

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Send F-16s!

Ukraine Helpless Against Russian Smart Bombs – Official (RT)

Kiev has no way to counter Russian high-precision guide bombs, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Colonel Yury Ignat admitted on Tuesday, reiterating longstanding requests for modern American jets. Speaking at a press briefing, Ignat claimed that Russia launches up to 20 guided bombs on the frontline every day. The official pointed out that those munitions can travel some 70km and hit critical infrastructure facilities and other targets. “We cannot counter this kind of ammunition… and air defense is ineffective,” the spokesman noted, adding that to prevent such strikes, Ukraine has to directly take on the planes that deliver the bombs, usually the Su-34, Su-35, and other tactical aviation aircraft. To do this, Ignat said that Ukraine needs “a long hand to reach the enemy at a distance further than we can do it now.”

He pointed out that one of the longest-range air defense weapons Kiev has is the Soviet-era S-300 missile system, which can reach targets at a distance of up to 100km. He added that Ukraine’s air defense capability had been further reinforced by Western-made weapons with a range of 150km, but that these are in short supply. In light of this, he reiterated that the problem could be solved if the West were to provide Ukraine with modern jets. “F-16s can effectively counter Russian aviation all along the forward edge of the battle area,” the spokesman said, adding that such jets could discourage Moscow’s aircraft from approaching the Ukrainian border. “It’s not necessary to down the enemy aircraft, but we just have to have a strong counter argument,” he added.

In February, US President Joe Biden said that Ukraine “does not need F-16s now,” adding that Washington was concentrating on sending to Kiev “what our seasoned military thinks [it] needs,” including tanks and artillery. Moscow ramped up its strikes against Ukrainian energy and military infrastructure last October after Kiev carried out several acts of sabotage on Russian soil, most notably the deadly bombing of the strategic Crimean Bridge. Russia has repeatedly warned the West against supplying Ukraine with weapons, arguing that this will only prolong the hostilities while making it a direct participant in the conflict.

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“..Western countries themselves created this regime, and now they support those who commit extremist and terrorist acts.”

Zelensky Calls For Creation Of International Tribunal Against Russia (TASS)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has urged to create an international tribunal against Russia. “The aggressor must feel the full power of justice. This is our historical responsibility. <…> Only one institution is capable of responding to the original crime, the crime of aggression: a tribunal,” Zelensky told the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday during his visit to The Hague. The Russian side has previously repeatedly pointed out that the the Kiev regime would soon face a tribunal and its methods would be recognized in the future as extremist and terrorist. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the West would not be able to wash itself of what has become part of its activities. According to her, Western countries themselves created this regime, and now they support those who commit extremist and terrorist acts.

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Patrushev.

West’s Attempts To Revive Neo-nazi Ideology Lead To Global Catastrophe (TASS)

West’s experiments to revive the neo-Nazi ideology must be curtailed, because they lead to a global catastrophe, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said in an interview to the Izvestia newspaper, published on Wednesday. “The Anglo-Saxons have been actively reviving the neo-Nazi ideology in order to fulfill their modern geopolitical tasks. Such experiments to not lead to dominance, they lead to a global catastrophe and must therefore be curtailed in a tough and uncompromising manner,” Patrushev said. In his words, numerous facts prove that many members of Western political elites shared the Nazi ideology and provided financial and organizational support to Adolf Hitler. “Today, they need to keep their ‘democratic’ face,” he said. “Nazi ideology remains an absolute evil, no matter how you disguise it.”

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“It’s 121.7% [of GDP] in the US, the eurozone 90.9%, Germany’s and France’s total 66.5% and 111.1% respectively, Russia 14.9%..”

Putin Compares Russian And Western Debt (RT)

Russia is in better economic shape than many large Western nations in terms of inflation and the level of sovereign debt, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. During a working meeting with Economy Minister Maksim Reshetnikov, Putin noted that Russia’s state debt is only a fraction of its GDP. “It’s 121.7% [of GDP] in the US, the eurozone’s debt amounts to 90.9%, Germany’s and France’s total 66.5% and 111.1% respectively, Russia’s 14.9% is a well-performing indicator,” the leader stated. Putin also drew attention to the rate of inflation in Russia, noting it is among the lowest compared to numerous other countries – including in the West. “As of March, [inflation] is 3.5% in Russia, 7.4% in Germany, the euro area as a whole recorded 6.9%, while inflation in France and the US amounted to 5.7% and 5% respectively,” Putin pointed out. Central bank data cited by Russian media in March showed that the country’s foreign debt has dropped to its lowest level since 2007. It reportedly decreased by 21.1% last year to $380.5 billion, representing a fall of $101.8 billion.

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“..trying to force the rest of it on the public will cause enough of them to starve that a revolt is quite likely..”

Oh Countrywide, Is That Your Ghost? (Denninger)

Bear Stearns is not the banking system — it is contained. Subprime is contained. “We’re gonna OWN subprime lending — Mozilo” Uh huh. Who remembers me over on the Countrywide Yahoo finance forums back in 2007 before it all blew — when I was shorting into price ramps on that stock because from where I sat they were a zero. They were a zero. It was a nice trade. Who remembers me calling out WaMu in early 2007 when they were paying dividends with money they didn’t have, and regulators did nothing? That article is still here, if you look for it. They were also a zero. But First Republic is isolated, just like SVB. Uh huh. Sure it is. How’s PacWest doing? Oh, not so good. Let’s see…oh, looks sort of like an impending zero. But wait — First Republic was it, right? Sure it was.

There’s no real problem here, right? The TNX was down a full percent yesterday because….. the Fed will save it all, right? No they won’t. Not because they don’t want to. They can’t this time. Oh, you think not eh? How’s your homeowner’s insurance premium? Your car insurance? Your food bill? You know, all that stuff you have to buy? Yeah, you’re reading this and you’re probably middle class or better. You’re doing mostly ok. You’re on the right side of the bell curve, right? Half the people are on the left, and they’re not ok. For them that 20% increase means they are taking payday loans to buy food, effectively and sometimes literally. That ends the game folks. If The Fed tries it we get government and social collapse. The ramp in asset prices can’t just stop: It has to come back out. All of it. And yes, that will mean lots of firms — and people — blow up.

This is not fixable with any sort of deposit guarantee. That’s not the problem. The problem is that the banks loaned out a lot of money at 2% and thus can’t pay 4% or so or they will go broke. But other, equally safe or more-so investments do pay that 4-5%; for example, a government money-market fund that has daily liquidity equal to that of a bank and only holds US Treasuries. Having made those loans at uneconomic rates in the first place there isn’t anything they can do about it now. As was the case in 2006-2007 and which I pointed out in Leverage losses are made when bad loans are originated; they are often not recognized at that time but the loss has been incurred. What’s left to argue over is who is going to eat it, and unlike the 2008 blow-up trying to force the general public to eat it will not work because they are already under the inflationary pressure from the BS run during the pandemic that led to the problem and trying to force the rest of it on the public will cause enough of them to starve that a revolt is quite likely.

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“The FBI has been sitting on the report … for several years..”

FBI File Ties Biden To ‘Criminal Scheme’ To Trade Money For Policy (WT)

The FBI has been sitting on a report detailing a scheme involving then-Vice President Joseph R. Biden to accept money in exchange for policy decisions on behalf of a “foreign national,” two senior Republicans said Wednesday. Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Rep. James Comer, Kentucky Republican, said their information was “highly credible” and came from whistleblowers who pointed to a confidential human source report that the FBI has had for several years. They did not say when the alleged dealing occurred nor what country was involved. They did say the information that the FBI obtained was detailed enough to have been verified. “Based on those disclosures, it has come to our attention that the DOJ and the FBI possess an unclassified FD-1023 form that describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions. It has been alleged that the document includes a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose,” the lawmakers wrote.

“However, it remains unclear what steps, if any, were taken to investigate the matter,” the lawmakers said. The FBI uses form 1023 to collect information from a human source. Mr. Comer, acting as chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, issued a subpoena ordering FBI Director Christopher A. Wray to turn over the form by May 10. The FBI said it received the letter and subpoena but declined to comment beyond that. It is a rough period for the FBI, which feverishly pursued Donald Trump as a candidate and as president. That included lying to a court to obtain a surveillance warrant on a Trump campaign figure and pursuing the now-discredited Steele dossier, a Democratic opposition research document that fabricated lurid stories about Mr. Trump and dealings with Russia.

Mr. Grassley, in particular, has been critical of the FBI’s decisions. He and Mr. Comer said they are now investigating the FBI’s handling of the report on Mr. Biden. “The DOJ and the FBI appear to have valuable, verifiable information that you have failed to disclose to the American people. Therefore, Congress will proceed to conduct an independent and objective review of this matter, free from those agencies’ influence,” they said. Mr. Comer’s subpoena covers “all FD-1023 forms, including within any open, closed or restricted access case files, created or modified in June 2020, containing the term ‘Biden,’ including all accompanying attachments and documents to those FD-1023 forms.”

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“Today the son of Zbigniew Brzezinski [..] is the current US Ambassador to Poland.”

“The idea is to establish Poland as the military & political leader of a brand new yet again US-managed Europe which would leave ´doubtfull´ Germans aside.”

The Polish ‘Zeitenwende’ Connection (Jorge Vilches)

The idea is to establish Poland as the military & political leader of a brand new yet again US-managed Europe which would leave ´doubtfull´ Germans aside. Actually, both the US and Poland have lately actively required Germany – now desperate for energy and commodities — to get out of their way and to just obediently contribute to the new ´European´ project with Poland as steering wheel and the US in the driver´s seat. So Germans just stay put and abstain. And there were no effective means to ever achieve the above other than by cutting Germany off very cheap, high-quality and reliable supplies from a truly resourceful and energy-rich Russia. Now, after hundreds of pummeling sanctions and the NS1 & NS2 gaspipes non-sanctum sabotage, this has finally been achieved yet definitely against European and German best interests. So clear enough this time around no soup and no dice either for Germany.


But still, geopolitically and trade-wise the US so far has developed an attractive (and manageable) scenario. And this may also clearly explain the role planned out for a willing Poland – which Germans and the world at large have not yet quite understood – as part of the US strategy for the provoked Russian “invasion” of Ukraine. Because NATO losing an important chunk of Ukraine was always in the military cards. But Poland would still always end up conveniently next to the Russian border as an effective European gate-keeper and a highly destructive NATO Offense Team in every sense of the term. Today the son of Zbigniew Brzezinski -former U.S. National Security Adviser and author ofThe Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives- is the current US Ambassador to Poland.

Both Mark Brzezinski and his father Zbigniew have always ardently maintained that no Eurasian challenger in any way should ever be allowed to emerge and eventually dominate Eurasia and thus challenge U.S. global pre-eminence. Clear enough? Through unilateral and blatantly wrong decisions imposed by US vested interests, the current Green leadership of the German traffic-light ruling coalition has self-inflicted a needless energy crisis which will prove to be disastrous both for Germany and Europe… although to the great (supposed) “benefit” of Poland as briefly explained above. And at the same time it has allowed to miss the enormous opportunity for Germany to become a 21st. century world-leading nation as the outstanding bond between Europe and Eurasia… instead of turning into an obsolete vassal state at the mercy of colonial-minded, basement-crazy,´ exorbitantly privileged´ neo-con Atlanticists eternally dollar-indebted with impunity, unipolar and exceptionalistic with “(their) rules-based world” and 750 US military bases in 80 countries plus.


Even worse, chances are that Germany may turn itself into a poorly-developed, over-populated and highly polluted society with no gravity upon the rest of the world. In such case Germans at large should know and fully accept that their Greens did not do this all by themselves but rather with a very broadly-based German political base. So yet once more Germans should only blame themselves for their astonishing defeat. No, Germany´s current messy mess is not about Russia or Russians and it is not about Ukraine or Ukranians. Actually, it is about German politics and its “360 degree” fecal-grade leadership which comfy Germans agree to be governed by as if nothing had ever been concluded despite their historical experience in the twentieth century. Meanwhile, Poland enjoys the scene and prepares for its US-dictated role as leader of the “new” Europe as if this were the “Zeitenwende” sea-change Germany was to expect after the now infamous speech delivered to the Bundestag by Chancellor Olaf Scholz on 27 February 2022.

Read more …

A pretty incredible in-depth investigation.

Nord Stream Sabotage ‘Secret Teams’ Revealed (Ponton)

Initially, our investigation’s aim was to put a face on some of the key story points made by renowned investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in his Nord Stream incident report published on 8 February 2022. In Part 1 of our investigation, we presented data and evidence which validated the main elements of Hersh’s story, including the CIA-led Navy diving team out of Panama City in Florida, and also that the explosives were planted on the Nord Stream pipelines at a depth of 260 feet just a few miles off the coast of Denmark’s Bornholm Island – under the cover of the annual NATO BALTOPS-22 drill in the Baltic Sea held in June 2022. We also confirmed the validity of Hersh’s accusation that NATO ally Norway was in fact intimately involved in this covert military operation.

There were parts of Hersh’s story which we did not go into detail in Part 1 of our investigation, but which we have been able to do here. This includes substantiating Hersh’s claim that the C4 explosives attached to the pipelines during the BALTOPS exercise in June would be triggered in late September by a sonar buoy dropped by a Boeing Poseidon P8 aircraft. We will also demonstrate how specialists from the deep sea oil and gas industry were also consulted and would have, at least, participated in the planning of this operation. In addition to this, we will also show how NATO member Denmark was also involved in the operation as well, as well as the cover-up alongside its close Nordic neighbour Sweden. Throughout this investigation, our strategy was never to crunch large amounts of flight data, or military and commercial ship logistical data, as there are many capable researchers who specialise in these areas, and we will be highlighting their work accordingly.


Rather, our strategy here is to review as much available and pertinent evidence we could gather, which has turned out to be substantial, while sticking to a plausible and common sense-based analysis, and see where this approach would eventually take us. In this article we will show how a CIA-led operation with highly trained divers and the latest Dry Combat Submersible (DCS) technology, was able, with the help of NATO allies, to operate under the cover of a major NATO Naval exercise BALTOPS-22, to take out the Nord Stream pipelines. In order to further validate Hersh’s story, we must first prove that NATO possessed all of the equipment and teams necessary, that these were all mission capable, and that they were positioned at the crime scene during BALTOPS-22.


S361 Manned Dry Combat Submersible (DCS1) from Msubs.

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“The State Department basically dusted off a few talking points from 2010, when WikiLeaks first published U.S. State Embassy cables..”

“A 2011 review by the Associated Press of sources, which the State Department claimed were most at risk from the publication of cables, found no evidence that any person was harmed. The potential for harm was “strictly theoretical.”

State Department Slams Assange On World Press Freedom Day (Gosztola)

On World Press Freedom Day, the United States State Department abandoned its policy of not commenting on the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and essentially backed the prosecution against him. Matthew Lee of the Associated Press asked State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel “whether or not the State Department regards Julian Assange as a journalist who would be covered by the ideas embodied in World Press Freedom Day.” “I’m not asking for the [U.S. Justice Department point of view. I’m asking for what the State Department thinks,” Lee said. It was not the first time Lee had posed this question. In 2021, on World Press Freedom Day, Lee asked if President Joe Biden’s administration was looking into the Assange case, “his detention, his extradition, the request for extradition here, the charges against him?”

“I realize you can’t speak for DOJ, but from the State Department’s perspective, is the current position still – does that still hold? Do you believe that Mr. Assange is a journalist?” Lee added. “And given the importance you place on accurate and factual information being disseminated, do you believe that the information that was published based on the U.S. government documents that he obtained and put out was either unfactual or inaccurate?” Jalina Porter, who was a spokesperson for the State Department, avoided the question. “So to your specific on Julian Assange, we’ll have to get back to you on that.” But now, with Biden going around repeatedly declaring that “journalism is not a crime,” Patel read a prepared response. “The State Department thinks that Mr. Assange has been charged with serious criminal conduct in the United States, in connection with his alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in our nation’s history,” Patel declared. “His actions risked serious harm to U.S. national security to the benefit of our adversaries.”

Patel continued, “It put named human sources to grave and imminent risk and risk of serious physical harm and arbitrary detention. So it does not matter how we categorize any person, but we view this as something, he’s been charged with serious criminal conduct.” The response was lousy and stale. The State Department basically dusted off a few talking points from 2010, when WikiLeaks first published U.S. State Embassy cables that exposed the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy. To be clear, Assange’s “role” was that of a publisher who received documents from U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning. A 2011 review by the Associated Press of sources, which the State Department claimed were most at risk from the publication of cables, found no evidence that any person was harmed. The potential for harm was “strictly theoretical.”

Lee appropriately pushed back on the idea that being charged with “serious criminal conduct” made Assange a person unworthy of support on World Press Freedom Day. “Yeah, but anyone can be charged with anything. Evan Gershkovich has been charged with a serious criminal offense in Russia, and you say that he is a journalist, and he is obviously,” Lee replied. “And I just want to know whether or not you, the State Department – regardless of any charges that he faces – believe that he is a journalist, or he is something else.” Patel contended the two cases are “completely different.” He said, “The United States doesn’t go around arbitrarily detaining people, and the judicial oversight and checks and balances that we have in our system versus the Russian system are a little bit different.”

The U.S. government subjected nearly 800 people to rendition, indefinite detention, and torture and brought them to Guantanamo Bay military prison, which was established a legal blackhole for alleged terrorism suspects. It’s still open, continues to hold detainees not charged with any crimes, and in fact, the United Nations recently condemned the US for keeping Abu Zubaydah in arbitrary detention, which “may constitute crimes against humanity.” Yes—the U.S. does arbitrarily detain people. Just not people the U.S. thinks should be free from arbitrary detention.

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Corinth Canal, Greece

 

 

Owl

 

 


Butterflies will sometimes land on a Caiman and drink its salty, crocodile tears to in order to survive. This helps the Caiman to feel both less sad and more fabulous.

 

 

Squid

 

 


In 2015, photographer Atif Saeed captured this intense photograph of a male lion moments before it launched an attack on him. He narrowly escaped with this incredible shot of a face-to-face with a lion about to kill.

 

 

Lion whisperer

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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


David Hockney Nichols Canyon 1980

 

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

 

 

 

 

McAfee

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Orthodox

 

 

Morons

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Conte

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

Russia Warns Of Radioactive Disaster In Ukraine (RT)

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

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

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

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

EU Censorship Regime Is About To Go Global (Spiked)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Season is Here (Kunstler)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Octopi

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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Mar 232023
 


Gustav Klimt Pine forest I 1901

 

In Moscow, Xi And Putin Bury Pax Americana (Escobar)
Multipolarity Was Triggered By The 2003 US Invasion Of Iraq (Kneissl)
Why Hypersonic Weapons Change Everything (Krainer)
EU ‘Delusional’ In Its Push To ‘Decouple’ From Russia – Austrian FM (RT)
Results Of Xi’s Visit To Russia Matter, Not Western Reaction – Kremlin (TASS)
China Gives US Advice On Ukraine (ZH)
West Wants Ukraine To Be Destroyed – Moscow (RT)
West Brings Humankind Closer To Nuclear Armageddon – Antonov (TASS)
UK’s Depleted Uranium Plan Threatens All Of Europe – Moscow (RT)
Russia Calls On US Not To Escalate Situation (TASS)
Russia, China Reject Import Of ‘Color Revolutions’ To Central Asia (TASS)
Russia and China Sign Long-Term Nuclear Deal (RT)
Macron Will Not Seek Re-election, Ready To Sacrifice His Popularity (TASS)
US Trying To ‘Cover Up’ Nord Stream Sabotage Role – Seymour Hersh (RT)
US Must Respond To Nord Stream Accusations – Mexican President (RT)
Elon Musk Urges US To Guarantee All Bank Deposits (RT)
Hunter Biden Used FBI Mole Named ‘One-eye’ To Tip Him Off To China Probes (NYP)

 

 

 

 

Nuland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Moderna

 

 

Rand Paul Blinken

 

 

 

 

Gaddafi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638532760477528064

 

 

 

 

 

 

IVM

 

 

 

 

Very few in the west have an overview of how the world changed last weekend.

“..the Russian position remains ironclad: demilitarization, Ukrainian neutrality, and enshrining the new facts on the ground. In parallel, the Russian Foreign Ministry completely ruled out a role for the US, UK, France, and Germany in future Ukraine negotiations: they are not considered neutral mediators.”

In Moscow, Xi And Putin Bury Pax Americana (Escobar)

What has just taken place in Moscow is nothing less than a new Yalta, which, incidentally, is in Crimea. But unlike the momentous meeting of US President Franklin Roosevelt, Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in USSR-run Crimea in 1945, this is the first time in arguably five centuries that no political leader from the west is setting the global agenda. It’s Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin that are now running the multilateral, multipolar show. Western exceptionalists may deploy their crybaby routines as much as they want: nothing will change the spectacular optics, and the underlying substance of this developing world order, especially for the Global South. What Xi and Putin are setting out to do was explained in detail before their summit, in two Op-Eds penned by the presidents themselves. Like a highly-synchronized Russian ballet, Putin’s vision was laid out in the People’s Daily in China, focusing on a “future-bound partnership,” while Xi’s was published in the Russian Gazette and the RIA Novosti website, focusing on a new chapter in cooperation and common development.

Right from the start of the summit, the speeches by both Xi and Putin drove the NATO crowd into a hysterical frenzy of anger and envy: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova perfectly captured the mood when she remarked that the west was “foaming at the mouth.” The front page of the Russian Gazette on Monday was iconic: Putin touring Nazi-free Mariupol, chatting with residents, side by side with Xi’s Op-Ed. That was, in a nutshell, Moscow’s terse response to Washington’s MQ-9 Reaper stunt and the International Criminal Court (ICC) kangaroo court shenanigans. “Foam at the mouth” as much as you like; NATO is in the process of being thoroughly humiliated in Ukraine.

During their first “informal” meeting, Xi and Putin talked for no less than four and a half hours. At the end, Putin personally escorted Xi to his limo. This conversation was the real deal: mapping out the lineaments of multipolarity – which starts with a solution for Ukraine. Predictably, there were very few leaks from the sherpas, but there was quite a significant one on their “in-depth exchange” on Ukraine. Putin politely stressed he respects China’s position – expressed in Beijing’s 12-point conflict resolution plan, which has been completely rejected by Washington. But the Russian position remains ironclad: demilitarization, Ukrainian neutrality, and enshrining the new facts on the ground. In parallel, the Russian Foreign Ministry completely ruled out a role for the US, UK, France, and Germany in future Ukraine negotiations: they are not considered neutral mediators.

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“..orientation comes from Orient.”

Multipolarity Was Triggered By The 2003 US Invasion Of Iraq (Kneissl)

In the run-up to the Iraq invasion, there was a great deal of division among UN Security Council (UNSC) members. US Secretary of State Colin Powell presented questionable evidence of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, while the foreign ministers of Germany and France publicly opposed the aggression, for which they occasionally received applause in the Council. China and Russia, who vehemently opposed the war, began coordinating their decisions and responses, in part because of their respective oil interests in Iraq. This cooperation between Moscow and Beijing set the stage for a coordinated multilateral approach between the two nations. Both governments understood that a war would open Pandora’s box, leading to the collapse of Iraqi institutions and resulting in widespread regional disharmony.

Unfortunately, this is precisely what happened. The subsequent years saw weekly attacks, an expansion of Salafi terror groups like Al Qaeda, the rise of ISIS in 2014, and perpetual internal Iraqi conflict. Anyone familiar with the country‘s conditions was aware of the looming catastrophe when the illegal invasion of Iraq began on 20 March, 2003. Twenty years to the day, Chinese President Xi Jinping will embark on a three-day state visit to Moscow, and the focus will extend beyond bilateral energy relations, which have been a consistent priority since 2004. As previously stated in their joint declaration in Beijing in February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart aim to coordinate their foreign policy and advance it together. Their discussions may also touch on the Ukraine dossier, although media expectations in the west may be overestimated.

It may be pure coincidence that the meeting coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Iraq invasion. Yet it also highlights how extensively Russian and Chinese strategies have intertwined over the past two decades. Today, increasingly, “orientation comes from Orient.” Cooperative geostrategic leadership and sound alternative propositions to resolve global conflicts are being shaped in Beijing and Moscow – because the old centers of power can offer nothing new. Twenty years after the US invasion of Iraq, a failed ‘war on terror,’ the proliferation of extremism, millions of dead and displaced in West Asia, and never-ending conflict, China and Russia have finally teamed up to systematically advance their view of the world, this time with more resolve and global clout.


Brzezinski 1997

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“Russia is the only country in the world that has deployment-ready hypersonic missiles – not one but three types..”

Why Hypersonic Weapons Change Everything (Krainer)

It was in 2018 that Vladimir Putin took the stage to present Russia’s new hypersonic weapons. The term “hypersonic” refers to missiles that fly at speeds of 5 mach and higher. At the time, many in the west dismissed Putin’s claims and thought it was a bluff. We now know that he wasn’t bluffing. Russia is the only country in the world that has deployment-ready hypersonic missiles – not one but three types: Zircons, Kinzhals and Avantguards. Domazet explained why these weapons are radical game changers in warfare. Namely, in World War 1, tanks were the game changing military technology. Since World War 2, it’s been the air-force. Aircraft carrier strike groups have been an irresistible force wherever they travelled, dominating the seas ever since. But hypersonic precision missiles have rendered that force obsolete overnight.

The main military front in today’s global conflict, according to Domazet, are the Anti-Ballistic (ABM) batteries which the US has set up on the Poland-Romania axis, and the Russians on the North Pole-Kaliningrad-Crimea-Syria axis. These are defensive systems, conceived to intercept incoming nuclear missiles (though they can easily be converted to offensive nuclear missiles). However, today’s ABM systems are only effective against missiles flying at speeds up to mach 3.5 (3.5 x the speed of sound). Russia’s new Kinzhal missile flies at speeds of mach 12 to mach 15 and nothing in western defensive arsenals can stop its strike. During the war in Ukraine, Russia staged a stunning demonstration of its power.

The first Kinzhal strike, delivered one month after the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, was perhaps the most significant: Russian forces targeted a large weapons depot in Ukraine which had been built during the Soviet times to withstand a nuclear strike. It was buried 170 meters (over 500 ft) underground and protected by several layers of armored concrete. The Kinzhal flies at altitudes of between 20 and 40 km, with a maximum range of 2,000 km. When above target, it dives perpendicularly and accelerates to 15 mach, generating enormous kinetic energy in addition to its explosive payload. That first strike with a single Kinzhal missile destroyed Ukraine’s nuke-proof underground weapons depot. This was a message for the west.

[..] Western intelligence estimated that Russia had some 50 Kinzhals at the start of the war in Ukraine, and thus far it has used only 9 of them. Last week, they fired six Kinzhals in a single salvo. That too, was a message. Here’s how Domazet explained it: United States have 11 aircraft carrier strike groups. Of these, fewer than half will be active at any one time (while others are in dock for maintenance, or in preparation). Firing six Kinzhals in one go is military-speak for, “we have the capability to sink ALL of your aircraft carriers at once.”

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“91% of Western companies are still in Russia and doing what is sensible: waiting, containment, ring fencing.”

EU ‘Delusional’ In Its Push To ‘Decouple’ From Russia – Austrian FM (RT)

Russia will always remain important for Europe, Austria’s foreign minister told Reuters on Wednesday as he defended Raiffeisen Bank’s continued operations in the sanctioned country. Alexander Schallenberg made his comments after the US sanctions authority launched a probe into the Austrian lender over its business related to Russia last month. “Let’s get real,” he said. “91% of Western companies are still in Russia and doing what is sensible: waiting, containment, ring fencing.” Raiffeisen Bank International is Austria’s second-largest lender and, despite sanctions, still plays a critical role in the Russian economy.


It’s one of only two foreign banks on the Russian central bank’s list of 13 systemically important credit institutions. The other is UniCredit, a pan-European commercial bank. “To think that there won’t be Russia anymore and we can decouple in all areas is delusional,” Schallenberg told Reuters, adding that while Austria would loosen ties, this “can’t happen overnight.” Schallenberg also discouraged Europe from introducing further sanctions against Russia. “It is a very blunt weapon,” he said. “We’ve had massive sanctions packages. Give them time to work.”

Bulgaria

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“Dmitry Medvedev [..] pointed out that he was pleased that most Westerners were furious about Russia-China high-level talks..”

Results Of Xi’s Visit To Russia Matter, Not Western Reaction – Kremlin (TASS)

It is the results of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia that matter, not the Western coverage that was predictably hostile, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. “Undoubtedly, the most important thing is not the West’s reaction after all, but the results of these talks that have taken place. The main thing is the results of the state visit itself,” the Kremlin spokesman said. “As for the reaction of the Western countries, it is practically on all issues nothing but unfriendly and deeply hostile, this is not a secret to anyone. The coverage of this important visit is not an exception,” Peskov stressed.


Chinese President Xi Jinping was on a state visit in Russia from March 20 to 22. On Monday, he had a tete-a-tete informal meeting with Putin, which lasted for 4.5 hours. On Tuesday, the Chinese leader met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and then arrived in the Kremlin for official talks with Putin. The leaders signed two joint statements after the talks. They both pointed out that the talks were successful. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, who was part of the expanded circle of Russian delegates at the talks, pointed out that he was pleased that most Westerners were furious about Russia-China high-level talks.

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“..contrary to popular assumptions in the West, the global community stands by China on the side of diplomatically pursuing peace.”

China Gives US Advice On Ukraine (ZH)

Putin had told Xi that the peace plan “correlates to the point of view of the Russian Federation”; but the message out of Biden officials was “don’t be fooled” as it’s all about Moscow seeking to “freeze the war on its own terms,” in the words of Secretary of State Blinken. Also on Tuesday, NSC spokesman John Kirby said China is not an impartial mediator and that China “keeps parroting the Russian propaganda”. On Wednesday the Chinese foreign ministry hit back, charging that Washington is “adding fuel to the fire” of the conflict by its “continuous supply” of weapons to the battlefield. Spokesman Wang Wenbin was asked directly about Kirby and Blinken’s comments from the day prior.

“The US side claims that China’s stance isn’t impartial. But is it impartial to continuously supply weapons to the battlefield? Is it impartial to constantly escalate the conflict? Is it impartial to allow the effects of the crisis to spill over globally?” Wang said. “We advise the American side to rethink its own stance on the Ukraine issue, turn away from the erroneous path of adding fuel to the fire, and stop shifting the blame to China,” he added. The spokesman further insisted Beijing has “no selfish motives on the Ukraine issue, has not stood idly by… or sought profit for itself,” but that “what China has done boils down to one thing, that is, to promote peace talks.” He went on to assert that contrary to popular assumptions in the West, the global community stands by China on the side of diplomatically pursuing peace. According to a transcript:

“On the Ukraine issue, voices for peace and rationality are building. Most countries support easing tensions, stand for peace talks, and are against adding fuel to the fire. This is also China’s position. President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia is a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace. It has been warmly received internationally. We call on the US to reflect on its own role in the Ukraine issue, stop fueling the flames, and stop deflecting the blame on China.”

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“..if London follows through with its plans, then “Russia will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component.”

West Wants Ukraine To Be Destroyed – Moscow (RT)

The British government’s plans to send depleted uranium shells to Kiev for use in the conflict with Moscow show that Western claims of caring about peace and the future of Ukraine are lies, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed. Speaking to Radio Sputnik on Wednesday she insisted that the statement by London is a sign of the “absolute recklessness, irresponsibility and impunity” of the US and Britain when it comes to international affairs. She stressed that munitions containing depleted uranium are not only more powerful and have greater penetrating ability, but they also contaminate the soil with radiation, delivering lasting damage to the environment and affecting many generations of people living in the area.

“Everything that we hear from those countries [the US and UK] about peace, the settlement of the conflict, the future of Ukraine, the well-being of the Ukrainian people – it’s all a lie, falsehood and absolute disorientation of the international community. In reality, the goal is completely different,” Zakharova said. After the UK announced plans to supply armor-piercing depleted uranium shells to the Kiev government, “there can’t be any doubts that we’re talking about is the strongly pronounced intention of the collective West, headed by the US and Britain, to see Ukraine completely destroyed,” she stressed. On Monday, Annabel Goldie, the UK Minister of State for Defense, said that “alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition including armor-piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium.”

According to the official, such ammunition should be sent to Kiev because it is “highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles.” The announcement by Goldie is “yet another British provocation,” which is aimed at escalating the conflict in Ukraine to a new level, Zakharova said. It’s no coincidence that it was made during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, which were focused on international stability and the Chinese peace initiative for Ukraine, she suggested. The rounds containing depleted uranium are actually “weapons of mass destruction with a nuclear component,”the spokeswoman insisted, adding that “the WMD issue is part of Anglo-Saxon logic of destabilizing the global international situation.” She recalled how Washington’s unsubstantiated claims that the government of Saddam Hussein had been in possession of weapons of mass destruction became a pretext for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

She also noted that NATO had used munitions with depleted uranium during its bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. “Some 15 tons of depleted uranium 238” were dropped on Yugoslav territory back then, and Serbia is still suffering from the fallout, reporting record numbers of some forms of cancer, Zakharova added. After the announcement of the deliveries of shells with depleted uranium to Ukraine, “we have no grounds anymore to doubt in principle who stands behind the activation, the launch of the conflict in Ukraine in all its phases. It is certainly the NATO-centric collective West, which is headed, in the first place, by the US and UK,” she insisted. Speaking about the issue on Tuesday, President Putin warned that if London follows through with its plans, then “Russia will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component.”

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“There is a continuous flow of lethal weapons to Ukraine, which are used to annihilate civilians, residential areas, schools, hospitals, kindergartens..”

West Brings Humankind Closer To Nuclear Armageddon – Antonov (TASS)

Western countries led by the US have decided to bring the humankind to the brink of a nuclear Armageddon, Russia’s Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in Washington on Wednesday. He was responding to statements by US officials that depleted-uranium munitions are a standard type of weapons that’s been used for decades and doesn’t pose any heightened risk. “Commenting on this kind of nonsense is really hard. US officials have reached a new low with their irresponsible statements. There is a continuous flow of lethal weapons to Ukraine, which are used to annihilate civilians, residential areas, schools, hospitals, kindergartens,” Antonov said, according to a statement from the embassy.


“It seems that the enlightened West, led by Washington, has irrevocably decided to bring humanity to a dangerous line, beyond which a nuclear Armageddon is looming ever more distinctly.” According to a statement published on Monday, UK Minister of State for Defense Annabelle Goldie wrote in response to an inquiry from a member of the House of Lords that the British government would send Ukraine munitions containing depleted uranium and featuring enhanced effectiveness against armored vehicles. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia will have to react appropriately to the fact that the “collective West begins using weapons with a nuclear component.”.

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“..depleted uranium munitions, which can contaminate the battlefield and cause health risks for generations to come..”

UK’s Depleted Uranium Plan Threatens All Of Europe – Moscow (RT)

The British decision to supply depleted uranium munitions to Kiev is part of a dangerous trend that makes the Ukraine conflict a threat to the whole of Europe, Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin has warned. “The war to the last Ukrainian could become a war to the last European,” the politician said in a social media post. Numerous Russian officials have claimed that Kiev’s Western backers are prepared to sacrifice every Ukrainian for their geopolitical interests. Volodin argued that Kiev’s acquisition of depleted uranium munitions, which can contaminate the battlefield and cause health risks for generations to come, could become a stepping stone to even more dangerous weapons. The next step “could be the use of a dirty bomb by the Kiev regime or the deployment of a tactical nuclear weapon,” added Volodin.

President Vladimir Putin expressed concern about the British decision earlier this week, warning that Russia “will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component.” The Russian military claimed last October that two organizations in Ukraine had been given instructions to build a so-called ‘dirty bomb’, using materials that Kiev has had access to since it was part of the Soviet Union. The Russian Defense Ministry provided a list of locations in Ukraine where nuclear fuel and nuclear waste is present. A dirty bomb has a conventional explosive core surrounded by a radioactive jacket, and when detonated, it causes serious contamination.

Kiev denied the allegations and invited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, to inspect several of its atomic facilities, including the Eastern Mineral Enrichment Plant in Dnepropetrovsk Region and the Institute for Nuclear Research in the Ukrainian capital. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi reported in November that monitors found no evidence of undeclared activities at those two locations or a third site, a rocket-building plant in the city of Dnepr. The British government announced on Monday that it will send Ukraine armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium, alongside Challenger 2 main battle tanks that had already been promised.

Lukashenko
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638487524862459904

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“They consider supplying the Kiev regime with even more lethal, longer-range, modern sophisticated systems. Thus, the United States once again shows itself as a party directly involved in the conflict..”

Russia Calls On US Not To Escalate Situation (TASS)

Russia urges the United States not to continue down the path of escalation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Wednesday, commenting on the US Congress’ calls to supply Kiev with cluster munitions. “We call on the US side not to escalate,” he said, answering a question from TASS. The senior diplomat also pointed out that the US once again proved its direct involvement in the Ukrainian crisis by supplying Kiev with more and more lethal weapons. “They consider supplying the Kiev regime with even more lethal, longer-range, modern sophisticated systems. Thus, the United States once again shows itself as a party directly involved in the conflict,” the diplomat said.


Ryabkov pointed out that the US Congress didn’t even realize “what consequences such an initiative could lead to for the security of the US-led NATO and for any chances of potentially normalizing relations with Washington.” The Politico newspaper reported earlier that four high-ranking Republicans in the US Senate and the House of Representatives sent US President Joe Biden a letter, urging the American leader to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions.

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“The sides are ready to strengthen mutual coordination to support Central Asian countries’ efforts to ensure their sovereignty and national development..”

Russia, China Reject Import Of ‘Color Revolutions’ To Central Asia (TASS)

Russia and China reject attempts to organize “color revolutions” and foreign interference into domestic affairs of Central Asian countries, according to the joint statement signed by Russian and Chinese Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, after their talks in Moscow on Tuesday. “The sides are ready to strengthen mutual coordination to support Central Asian countries’ efforts to ensure their sovereignty and national development. They reject attempts to import ‘color revolutions’ and foreign interference into regional affairs,” the statement reads. The two leaders also lauded the positive contribution of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to regional security and the potential of cooperation between the CSTO and China to ensure peace and stability in the region.

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“China already operates five Russian nuclear reactors and currently has four more under construction..”

Russia and China Sign Long-Term Nuclear Deal (RT)

Russia and China are deepening their partnership in nuclear energy and will draw up a roadmap for cooperation in developing so-called fast-neutron reactors for decades to come, Russia’s state-run nuclear energy giant Rosatom announced on Wednesday. According to the company, the comprehensive program lays the ground not only for bilateral cooperation, but will essentially influence the shape of the global nuclear energy sector. The document signed between Rosatom and the China National Nuclear Corporation covers “key areas” and is focused on expanding current cooperation as well as launching new projects “related to fast-neutron reactors, the production of uranium-plutonium fuel and the management of spent nuclear fuel.”


The announcement of a long-term nuclear deal came among a raft of agreements presented during a three-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow. China already operates five Russian nuclear reactors and currently has four more under construction, which makes Russia the largest nuclear supplier to the country. Last year, Rosatom launched the construction of the Xudabu-4 reactor and the Tianwan-8 reactor in the Jiangsu province in eastern China. The reactors will be powered by third-generation pressurized water reactor technology supplied by Rosatom, with operations set to begin between 2026 and 2028, according to the agreement. The cost of construction at each site is estimated to be $1.7 billion.

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He should just leave.

Macron Will Not Seek Re-election, Ready To Sacrifice His Popularity (TASS)

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday against the backdrop of the pension reform unfolding in the country that he was ready to sacrifice his popularity for France’s interests as he did not intend to be re-elected. “I am not going to do another term, I cannot do it according to the Constitution. Between the opinion polls and the interests of the country I will choose the latter,” he told the TF1 and France-2 TV channels in an interview. “If I have to face unpopularity, I am ready for it,” he added. The head of the state admitted that he had a responsibility to “settle the understandable anger”, however, he pointed out that this anger should not turn into violence, which he said was unacceptable.


“Rallies, the participants of which show protest – this is legal. But its legality should not exceed the legality of democratic decisions, which come to life through the decisions of the people’s deputies,” Macron said. A draft pension reform to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 years was presented in January. This initiative sparked rallies and strikes across the country. On March 16, the head of the French cabinet, Elisabeth Borne, used her constitutional powers and announced that the bill would be adopted without a vote in the National Assembly (the lower house of parliament). This decision sparked a new wave of rallies, which often ended in clashes with the police.

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Hersh’s newest is behind a paywall.

US Trying To ‘Cover Up’ Nord Stream Sabotage Role – Seymour Hersh (RT)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims the US intentionally provided false stories to the media to cover up Washington’s involvement in the destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. In a post on his Substack blog, the veteran reporter claims the CIA was tasked with preparing a cover story in collaboration with German intelligence to provide the American and German press with an “alternative version” of the Nord Stream 2 explosions. “In the words of the intelligence community, the agency was ‘to pulse the system’ in an effort to discount the claim that Biden had ordered the pipeline’s destruction,” Hersh wrote, citing an anonymous source with access to diplomatic intelligence. He noted that the CIA had completed its task and, with the help of Germany, planted stories in the New York Times and German weekly Die Zeit. These referred to a supposed “ad hoc ‘off the books’ operation” carried out by a “pro-Ukrainian group,” which allegedly used a luxury sailing yacht to plant explosives on the Nord Stream pipelines.


“It was a total fabrication by American intelligence that was passed along to the Germans, and aimed at discrediting your story,” a source within the American intelligence community reportedly told Hersh. “The disinformation professionals inside the CIA understand that a propaganda gambit can only work if those on receiving are desperate for a story that can diminish or displace an unwanted truth. And the truth in question is that President Joe Biden authorized the destruction of the pipelines,” he added. In February, Hersh published a bombshell report on last September’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline blasts, accusing Washington of orchestrating the attack. The White House denied responsibility. Last week, several Western media outlets claimed the culprits may have been linked to Ukraine. Moscow dismissed the reports as “a coordinated media hoax campaign.”

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“the US has “never been ones to indicate that we are the government of the world or some kind of edict like that.”

US Must Respond To Nord Stream Accusations – Mexican President (RT)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has argued that the US should respond to allegations that it sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines. The remarks came as the Mexican leader hit out at Washington following criticism of his country. “If we are talking about acts of violence, how is it that an award-winning journalist in the United States claims that the US government sabotaged the gas pipeline from Russia to Europe?” Lopez Obrador asked during a press conference on Tuesday. The Mexican president was referring to claims by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh that the Biden administration blew up the Nord Stream pipelines linking Russia and Germany last year. Lopez Obrador’s remarks came as part of a rebuttal to accusations of “violence” by Mexican authorities, made in an annual human rights report issued by the US State Department this week.

The report alleged “significant human rights issues” in Mexico and cited “credible reports” of unlawful or arbitrary killings by the police, as well as torture and forced disappearances. Lopez Obrador rejected the findings as “lies,” and noted Washington’s own list of alleged wrongdoings. According to the Mexican president, that includes the US extradition demands against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who remains in detention in the UK. In addition, Lopez Obrador pointed to failed American efforts to halt the opioid crisis plaguing the country, which caused over 71,000 deaths in 2022 alone from fentanyl-linked overdoses and drug poisonings. The Mexican leader went on to argue that “lying” and “politicking” is in Washington’s nature, and asserted that the US “do[es] not want to change, so they believe they are the government of the world, and they only see the speck in someone else’s eye and not the beam in their own.”

State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel responded to Lopez Obrador’s remarks by insisting that the US has “never been ones to indicate that we are the government of the world or some kind of edict like that.” Patel suggested that the Mexican police, military, and other government structures were responsible for serious acts of corruption and unlawful killings, which is why these issues were highlighted in the State Department report. Lopez Obrador, however, has repeatedly insisted that there is an “anti-Mexico” conservative element within the US government that is trying to inflame tensions between the two countries. “Mexico is safer than the United States,” Lopez Obrador insisted earlier this month.

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“..Moody’s downgraded its outlook for the US banking system from ‘stable’ to ‘negative,’ citing the “rapidly deteriorating operating environment.”

Elon Musk Urges US To Guarantee All Bank Deposits (RT)

Elon Musk has proposed a solution to the current banking crisis in the US. The government must do away with the current $250,000 insurance cap on all deposits to stop panicking clients from withdrawing their money, the Tesla CEO wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday. His comments come in response to a media report that US officials are studying ways to temporarily insure deposits beyond the current limit, without having to get approval from Congress. “Absolutely required to stop bank runs,” Musk wrote. The banking crisis began in the US earlier this month with the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a major US lender focused on the tech and startup sectors. Over 92% of deposits in the bank were uninsured and the lender was shut down by regulators after massive deposit outflows.

SVB’s failure caused the closure of another lender, Signature Bank. Panicked customers have withdrawn tens of billions of dollars in cash from the smaller banks and placed them with bigger lenders. The billionaire entrepreneur and head of Tesla, Twitter and SpaceX, first proposed the idea last week. “FDIC needs to change to unlimited coverage to stop bank runs… Right now,” he wrote on March 18. The government has guaranteed all deposits of SVB and Signature Bank customers. However, according to a recent study, nearly 200 American banks are facing similar risks. SVB, like many other banks, had invested billions in US government bonds when interest rates were at near-zero and suffered losses when the Federal Reserve hiked them in a bid to curb inflation.

The failures of SVB and Signature Bank sent ripples across the entire US banking industry. Many other financial institutions have seen their stocks plunge, with the six largest Wall Street banks losing around $165 billion in market capitalization, or some 13% of their combined value. Last week, credit ratings agency Moody’s downgraded its outlook for the US banking system from ‘stable’ to ‘negative,’ citing the “rapidly deteriorating operating environment.”

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“..Ye offered Hunter $1 million to be his “private counsel” and flew to China, leaving his wife, daughter, son, mother, and nanny in his $50 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West. He was detained in Shanghai three months later and disappeared.”

Hunter Biden Used FBI Mole Named ‘One-eye’ To Tip Him Off To China Probes (NYP)

Hunter Biden had an FBI mole named “One-Eye” who tipped off his Chinese business partners that they were under investigation, according to an Israeli energy expert arrested in Cyprus last month on gunrunning charges. The House Oversight Committee is investigating the explosive claims by Dr. Gal Luft, a former Israel Defense Forces lieutenant colonel with deep intelligence ties in Washington and Beijing, who says he was arrested to stop him from revealing what he knows about the Biden family and FBI corruption — details he told the Department of Justice in 2019, which he says it ignored. Luft, 56, first made the claims on Feb. 18 on Twitter, after being detained at a Cyprus airport as he prepared to board a plane to Israel.

“I’ve been arrested in Cyprus on a politically motivated extradition request by the U.S. The U.S., claiming I’m an arms dealer. It would be funny if it weren’t tragic. I’ve never been an arms dealer. “DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe, Jim, and Hunter Biden. “Shall I name names?” Luft remains in jail awaiting extradition to the US over what he says are trumped-up charges of arms trafficking to China and Libya, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Through his American lawyer, Robert Henoch, Luft said he tried four years ago to inform the DOJ that Chinese state-controlled energy company CEFC had paid $100,000 a month to President Biden’s son Hunter and $65,000 to Joe’s brother Jim, in exchange for their FBI connections and use of the Biden name to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative around the world.

Luft learned about the scheme through his own relationship with Hunter’s Chinese business partners, Patrick Ho and Ye Jianming, the chairman of CEFC. From 2015 to 2018, Luft organized international energy conferences in partnership with Ho’s think tank, the nonprofit China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC-USA), a front organization for Ye’s CEFC. Ye confided to Luft that Hunter had an informant in the FBI “or formerly of the bureau, extremely well placed, who they paid lots of money to [provide] sealed law enforcement information,” says Henoch. The FBI mole was called “One-Eye.” “One-Eye” told Ye that the Southern District of New York was investigating him and/or Ho in late 2017, and that “an Asian, an African, and a Jewish guy” were named on a sealed indictment, says Henoch. Soon after that tipoff, Ye offered Hunter $1 million to be his “private counsel” and flew to China, leaving his wife, daughter, son, mother, and nanny in his $50 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West. He was detained in Shanghai three months later and disappeared.

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Kubrick

 

 


The giant Pacific octopus is the largest octopus in the world: the largest individual on record weighed an impressive 270 kg and measured 9 m across in length. Along with 8 arms, an octopus also has 3 hearts and 9 brains

 

 

Dead leaf

 

 


Every row, left to right:
Eastern box turtle
Pancake tortoise
Bell’s hingeback tortoise
Radiated tortoise
Florida box turtle
Burmese star tortoise
Spotted turtle
Bourret’s box turtle
European pond turtle

 

 

Owls
https://twitter.com/i/status/1638248451367399435

 

 


Jonathan is 189 years old

 

 


Jacanas are colorful water birds with long legs and incredibly long toes/claws. The super-long toes spread the bird’s weight over a large area. This allows them to walk across floating vegetation, especially lily pads. This is a baby Jacana

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 152023
 


Ray K. Metzker Marseille 1961

 

US Drones Gather Data For Kiev’s Future Strikes On Russia – Ambassador (TASS)
Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America (Walt)
Glazyev: ‘The Road To Financial Multipolarity Will Be Long And Rocky’ (Escobar)
Ukraine Doesn’t Have the Resources for a Counteroffensive (Antiwar)
Russian Economic Sovereignty Increased Exponentially – Putin (RT)
Current World Problems Began After Soviet Union’s Collapse – Putin (TASS)
Russia In Ukraine Fights For Russian World – Putin (TASS)
Russia Trying To Normalize Relations With Ukraine For Decades – Putin (TASS)
The Nord Stream-Andromeda Cover Up (Scott Ritter)
Nord Stream Blasts Staged By A State-level Actor – Putin (TASS)
Canadian Foreign Minister Calls For “Regime Change” in Russia (SN)
Defending Ukraine Not Key US Interest – DeSantis (RT)
Biden Admin Blocked SVB Sale, Nationalized It, Blamed Trump For Collapse (ZH)
Democrats Scramble To Find A Scapegoat For The Bank Crisis (ZH)
Ken Griffin: American Capitalism Is “Breaking Down Before Our Eyes” (ZH)
Pfizer Wants EU To Keep Paying For Unused Covid Jabs – FT (RT)

 

 


Hollywood 1931
Einstein: “What I most admire about your art, is your universality. You don’t say a word, yet the world understands you!”
Chaplin: “True. But your glory is even greater! The whole world admires you, even though they don’t understand a word of what you say.”

 

 

 

 


Ditto for 90s.

 

 

Stone Putin Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635596512829886464

 

 

China warns, guardrails are coming off

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Graham

 

 

Taiwan

 

 

 

 

Where it was flying, towards Russia, with its transponder turned off. Completely ormal.

US Drones Gather Data For Kiev’s Future Strikes On Russia – Ambassador (TASS)

US drones are collecting reconnaissance data to be used by the Kiev forces for their future strikes on the Russian territory and Russian troops, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has said. “The unacceptable actions of the United States military in the close proximity to our borders are cause for concern. We are well aware of the missions such reconnaissance and strike drones are used for,” the ambassador was quoted as saying in a communique, issued in connection with Tuesday’s US MQ-9 Reaper drone’s crash in the Black Sea.

The Russian diplomat quoted US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby as saying that US UAVs make these kinds of overflights on a daily basis. “What do they do thousands of miles away from the United States? The answer is obvious – they gather intelligence which is later used by the Kiev regime to attack our armed forces and territory,” Antonov said. “We proceed from the fact that the United States will refrain from further speculations in the media landscape and stop making sorties near the Russian borders,” he added.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1635880585158705153

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Too late to wake up.

Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America (Walt)

The détente between Saudi Arabia and Iran—with China playing a facilitating role—is not as momentous as Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, Anwar Sadat’s trip to Jerusalem in 1977, or the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Even so, if the agreement sticks, it’s a pretty big deal. Most importantly, it is a wake-up call for the Biden administration and the rest of the United States’ foreign-policy establishment, because it exposes the self-imposed handicaps that have long crippled U.S. Middle East policy. It also highlights how China is attempting to present itself as a force for peace in the world, a mantle that the United States has largely abandoned in recent years.

How did China pull this off? Efforts to lower the temperature between Riyadh and Tehran had been underway for some time, but China could step in and help the two parties reach agreement because its dramatic economic rise has given it a growing role in the Middle East. More importantly, China could mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia because it has cordial, business-like ties with a majority of countries in the region. China has diplomatic relations and does business with all sides: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Gulf States, even Bashar al-Assad in Syria. That’s how a great power maximizes its leverage: You make it clear that you’re willing to work with others if they are willing to work with you, and your ties with others remind them that you have other options, too.

The United States, by contrast, has “special relationships” with some countries in the Middle East and no relationship at all with others, most notably Iran. The result is that client states such as Egypt, Israel, or Saudi Arabia take U.S. support for granted and treat its concerns with ill-disguised contempt, whether the issue is human rights in Egypt, the Saudi war in Yemen, or Israel’s long and brutal campaign to colonize the West Bank. At the same time, our mostly futile efforts to isolate and topple the Islamic Republic have left Washington with essentially zero capacity to shape Iran’s perceptions, actions, or diplomatic trajectory. This policy—a product of the assiduous efforts of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, etc., and well-funded Arab government lobbying efforts—may be the clearest example of an own goal in contemporary U.S. diplomacy.

By demonstrating that Washington can’t do much to advance peace or justice in the region, it has left the field wide open for Beijing. The Saudi-Iranian deal also highlights an important dimension of the emerging Sino-American rivalry: Will Washington or Beijing be seen by others as the best guide to a future world order? Given the United States’ outsized global role since 1945, Americans have become accustomed to assuming that most states will follow our lead, even when they have reservations about what we are doing. China would like to alter that equation, and portraying itself as a more likely source of peace and stability is a key part of that effort.

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“..the geoeconomics of multipolarity..”

Glazyev: ‘The Road To Financial Multipolarity Will Be Long And Rocky’ (Escobar)

The headquarters of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) in Moscow, linked to the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) is arguably one of the most crucial nodes of the emerging multipolar world. That’s where I was received by Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics Sergey Glazyev – who was previously interviewed in detail by The Cradle – for an exclusive, expanded discussion on the geoeconomics of multipolarity. Glazyev was joined by his top economic advisor Dmitry Mityaev, who is also the secretary of the Eurasian Economic Commission’s (EEC) science and technology council. The EAEU and EEC are formed by Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia. The group is currently engaged in establishing a series of free trade agreements with nations from West Asia to Southeast Asia.

Our conversation was unscripted, free flowing and straight to the point. I had initially proposed some talking points revolving around discussions between the EAEU and China on designing a new gold/commodities-based currency bypassing the US dollar, and how it would be realistically possible to have the EAEU, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and BRICS+ to adopt the same currency design. Glazyev and Mityaev were completely frank and also asked questions on the Global South. As much as extremely sensitive political issues should remain off the record, what they said about the road towards multipolarity was quite sobering – in fact realpolitik-based.

Glazyev stressed that the EEC cannot ask for member states to adopt specific economic policies. There are indeed serious proposals on the design of a new currency, but the ultimate decision rests on the leaders of the five permanent members. That implies political will – ultimately to be engineered by Russia, which is responsible for over 80 percent of EAEU trade. It’s quite possible that a renewed impetus may come after the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow on March 21, where he will hold in-depth strategic talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Depleted. ‘I’m afraid of the sound of the shot,’” he added.

Ukraine Doesn’t Have the Resources for a Counteroffensive (Antiwar)

A senior Ukrainian government official told The Washington Post that Kyiv doesn’t have the resources to pull off a big counteroffensive in the coming months as Ukraine is lacking skilled troops, munitions, and other equipment. “If you have more resources, you more actively attack,” said the official, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity. “If you have fewer resources, you defend more. We’re going to defend. That’s why if you ask me personally, I don’t believe in a big counteroffensive for us. I’d like to believe in it, but I’m looking at the resources and asking, ‘With what?’ Maybe we’ll have some localized breakthroughs.” The official said Ukraine doesn’t have “the people or weapons” to pull off a counteroffensive. “And you know the ratio: When you’re on the offensive, you lose twice or three times as many people. We can’t afford to lose that many people,” the official said.

The Post also spoke with a Ukrainian battalion commander who went by the name of Kupol and detailed the grim situation on the frontlines. Kupol said his battalion previously withdrew from the town of Soledar, which is near the eastern city of Bakhmut, and came under Russian control in January. Kupol said of his battalion of 500 troops, 100 were killed, and about 400 were wounded, leading to a complete turnover. He’s now being sent soldiers with no combat experience and very little training. “I get 100 new soldiers,” Kupol said. “They don’t give me any time to prepare them. They say, ‘Take them into the battle.’ They just drop everything and run. That’s it.” “Do you understand why? Because the soldier doesn’t shoot. I ask him why, and he says, ‘I’m afraid of the sound of the shot,’” he added.

The Post report said that Ukraine has sent in an influx of draftees to replace more experienced soldiers who have been killed or wounded. It said that as more Ukrainian men who didn’t volunteer fear they will get called to battle, Ukraine’s security services shut down Telegram accounts that were helping Ukrainians avoid locations where authorities were handing out draft slips. Kupol said Ukrainian forces are also fighting with very little ammunition. “You’re on the front line,” he said. “They’re coming toward you, and there’s nothing to shoot with.” The Kyiv Independent also recently spoke with Ukrainian soldiers who said they were fighting without much ammunition, training, and support.

Ukraine is taking heavy losses in its battle defending Bakhmut, but it’s keeping a tight lid on its casualty numbers. A German official said including dead and wounded, Ukraine has suffered 120,000 troops, but the number could be much higher. Despite the dire conditions for the Ukrainian troops, Kyiv is still sending untrained soldiers into what has become known as the “meat grinder” in Bakhmut. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russia’s Wagner Group, said Sunday that Ukraine was “supplying endless reserves” and that fighting was getting fiercer as Russian forces are trying to push through to the western part of the city.

Bakhmut

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“.. the fundamental foundations of Russia’s stability are now “much stronger than anyone could previously imagine.”

Russian Economic Sovereignty Increased Exponentially – Putin (RT)

The Russian economy hasn’t collapsed due to sweeping Western restrictions, President Vladimir Putin has stated, noting that, on the contrary, its sovereignty has grown many times over. Putin, who was meeting with aircraft factory employees in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, on Tuesday, noted the country had passed a very important stage in its development, which could be the most important result of 2022. “We have exponentially increased our economic sovereignty. After all, what did our adversary count on? That we would collapse in two or three weeks or in a month,” the Russian leader said.


“The expectation was that enterprises would cease due to our partners refusing to work with us, the financial system would collapse, tens of thousands of people would be left without work, take to the streets, protest, Russia would be shaken from the inside and collapse. That was their intention, but this did not happen,” Putin declared. He pointed out that the Russian financial system has survived, growing stronger and becoming more independent, thanks to the actions of the central bank. Putin also indicated that the unemployment rate in the country was currently at a historically low level of 3.6%, while GDP has fallen by only 1.2%. According to the Russian president, the fundamental foundations of Russia’s stability are now “much stronger than anyone could previously imagine.”

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More from Putin’s meeting with aircraft factory employees in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia.

Current World Problems Began After Soviet Union’s Collapse – Putin (TASS)

Modern international problems began after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin said while answering a question of one of the employees of the Ulan-Ude aircraft-building plant during a visit to the enterprise on Tuesday. “Of course, all the problems began after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Why? Because the then world order – in a sense it still exists today – was built after World War II by the countries that won that war. First of all, the United States and the Soviet Union,” Putin said. He recalled that the states then “distributed the zones of their influence among themselves and did not interfere with each other.” “Of course, there were enough problems, including the Caribbean crisis, but nevertheless [the USSR and the US] coexisted,” he said.


Putin stressed that the system of the bipolar world “began to crumble down” after the collapse of the USSR, when geopolitical interests turned out to be more important for the West than confrontation with the Soviet Union. “Frankly speaking, it seemed to the people of my generation, including myself, and even a little bit younger ones, that yes, it was regrettable that the Soviet Union collapsed, but nevertheless, the basis for confrontation between the former Soviet Union and modern Russia and the Western world was gone, that that basis disappeared and there were no ideological foundations for confrontation anymore,” Putin said. “It seemed that now everything would be fine forever. It turned out that this was not so. It turned out that the geopolitical interests of our <…> partners were much more important than, among other things, contradictions with the former Soviet Union,” he added.

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“For us, this is a struggle for our people who live on these territories,” the president stressed. “We are a multi-ethnic country. But still, this is the Russian world..”

“For us, it is a struggle for the existence of Russian statehood..”

Russia In Ukraine Fights For Russian World – Putin (TASS)

Russia cannot abandon the Russian-speaking population and it is fighting for the Russian world in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, while answering a question from one of the employees of the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant. “For us, this is a struggle for our people who live on these territories,” the president stressed. “We are a multi-ethnic country. But still, this is the Russian world. If you chance to have a word with the people who come from there – I’ve met some of them – they are no different from you and me! They are the same as we are. They are part of us, how can they be abandoned?” Putin added. He stressed that Russia had spent eight years trying to solve the Donbass issue peacefully, but was repeatedly fooled. “We spent eight years trying to persuade our so-called partners to resolve the Donbass issue peacefully. It has now turned out that they fooled, deceived us. They aren’t shy to say it publicly,” Putin stated.


He stressed that Russia, unlike the West, was fighting not for its geopolitical position, but for the existence of its statehood. “Whereas for our Western partners, so-called, for our opponents today – we can now say this directly – the point at issue is an improvement of the geopolitical position, then for us, bearing in mind the prehistory of the last eight to ten years, everything that is happening now is not just an improvement of some geopolitical position. <…> For us, it is a struggle for the existence of Russian statehood,” Putin said. Putin stressed that the enemy’s sole task was to shake loose the Russian state and “to tear it apart.” “For us this is not a geopolitical task, but the task of the ensuring the survival of Russian statehood and of creating conditions for the future development of our country and our children,” he concluded.

Tucker churches
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635803913960972289

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“..after 2014 the physical extermination of those who advocated the development of normal relations with Russia began.”

Russia Trying To Normalize Relations With Ukraine For Decades – Putin (TASS)

Russia had been patiently trying to normalize situation with Ukraine for decades but the situation changed after the state coup in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday. “As a matter of fact, we had been patiently trying to normalize relations with the modern Ukrainian state for decades,” he said at a meeting with workers of the Ulan-Ude aircraft-building plant. “The situation changed dramatically in 2014 when the West-instigate state coup was staged.” According to Putin, in its relations with Ukraine, Russia relied on those who considered themselves as part of the large Russian world, but in 2014 their extermination began.


“We relied not just on the Russian-speaking population [in Ukraine]. The whole country there is essentially Russian-speaking. We relied on those who considered themselves as part of the large Russian world, part of our culture, part of our language environment and part of our common traditions. We relied on these people,” Putin said. He stressed that “after 2014 the physical extermination of those who advocated the development of normal relations with Russia began.” The president recalled that when the problem of Crimea emerged, Russia simply could not but support those people.

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“Simply put — no decompression chamber, no dive, no story.”

The Nord Stream-Andromeda Cover Up (Scott Ritter)

The same day the German reporting on the new Nord Stream attack narrative broke, The New York Times ran a front-page story entitled “Intelligence Suggests Pro-Ukrainian Group Sabotaged Pipelines, US Officials Say.” For the first time, The New York Times referred to Hersh’s reporting, writing, “Last month, the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an article on the newsletter platform Substack concluding that the United States carried out the operation at the direction of Mr. Biden,” before closing with “U.S. officials say Mr. Biden and his top aides did not authorize a mission to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines, and they say there was no U.S. involvement.” As if echoing the Biden White House denials, The New York Times led off with this:

“New intelligence reporting amounts to the first significant known lead about who was responsible for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines that carried natural gas from Russia to Europe”. The New York Times, it seems, was more than happy about proceeding with its own anonymous intelligence sources, while dismissing Hersh’s. The problem with both the German reporting and that of The New York Times (whose source was clearly referring to the same data reported by the German reporters) is that the Andromeda narrative doesn’t hold water. Take, for instance, the Tom Clancy-like tale of derring-do that has four allegedly Ukraine-affiliated divers defy physiology by conducting dives that would require the use of a decompression chamber for them to survive an ascent of 240 feet (the depth of the Nord Stream pipelines that were destroyed).

A rule of thumb is that decompression takes approximately one day per 100 feet of seawater plus a day. This means that the team of divers would have required three days of decompression per dive. But to decompress, one needs a decompression chamber. For a dive involving two divers, the Andromeda would have to have been outfitted with either a two-person Class A decompression chamber, or two single-person Class B chambers, as well as the number of large oxygen bottles needed to operate these chambers over time. A simple examination of the interior cabin space of the Bavarian C50 yacht would quickly dispossess one of any notion that either option was viable. Simply put — no decompression chamber, no dive, no story.

[..] a standard high-explosive charge of several hundred kilograms would not be sufficient to cause the destruction that occurred on the Nord Stream pipeline. Enter Hersh, who reported that the explosives used were “shaped charges.” With a shaped charge, the energy of the explosion is focused in one direction, usually by creating a concave shape in the explosive that is them lined with a metal sheet, so that it usually achieves an armor- and/or concrete-penetrating effect. Without getting too technical, the design of an underwater shaped charge that would be sufficient to penetrate concrete-lined steel pipe at a depth of 240 feet is not common knowledge. The charge would have to be prepared by qualified explosives experts and ideally tested prior to being employed operationally to validate the design and functionality of the device. These are not tasks undertaken by a small ad hoc team of Ukrainian underwater saboteurs, but rather state-sponsored actors with access to military grade explosives and testing facilities.

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“An explosion of this kind – of such power, at such depth, can only be carried out by specialists, and supported by the entire power of a state, possessing certain technologies…”

Nord Stream Blasts Staged By A State-level Actor – Putin (TASS)

Only a state-level actor could have pulled off such a large-scale sabotage operation, the Russian president said. Russian president Vladimir Putin has dismissed as “nonsense” recent claims that the attack on the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines might have been carried by “Ukrainian activists.” The president made the remarks on Tuesday during his visit to an aircraft plant in the capital city of Russia’s Buryatia republic, Ulan-Ude. “I’m sure this is complete nonsense. An explosion of this kind – of such power, at such depth, can only be carried out by specialists, and supported by the entire power of a state, possessing certain technologies,” Putin told reporters.

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Deaf, dumb and blind.

Canadian Foreign Minister Calls For “Regime Change” in Russia (SN)

Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly admitted that the long term goal of western involvement in Ukraine is not merely to see Moscow defeated, but to enact “regime change” in Russia. Joly made the comments while her government announced new sanctions against the import of Russian aluminum and steel. “We’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now — because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically — and what are the impacts also on society, and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia,” Joly stated. “The goal is definitely to do that, is to weaken Russia’s ability to launch very difficult attacks against Ukraine. We want also to make sure that Putin and his enablers are held to account,” she added.

Russian ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov reacted to Joly’s remarks by stating that they may have been a “Freudian slip of the tongue.” “What she or other decision-makers in Ottawa don’t want to recognize is that the current Russian policy is supported by the ultimate majority of the nation,” Stepanov said. A similar awkward ‘slip of the tongue’ occurred back in January when Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock acknowledged, “We are fighting a war against Russia, and not against each other.” Joly’s comments will only serve to bolster Vladimir Putin’s assertions that NATO support for Ukraine is about isolating Russia and eventually overthrowing its government. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky recently warned that if Ukraine loses then Americans “will have to send their sons and daughters” to war with Russia over the Baltic states “and they will have to fight” and “they will be dying.”

Former UK Defense Minister Sir Gerald Howarth also said last month that NATO may need to send ground forces to Ukraine. The US military-industrial complex is making massive gains as a result of the war in Ukraine and other global conflicts, with weapons manufacturers enjoying soaring profits. Data released by the State Department shows that US weapons sales to other countries rose from $103.4 billion in 2021 to $153.7 billion in 2022.

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“The Biden administration are the ones who got us into this mess.”

Defending Ukraine Not Key US Interest – DeSantis (RT)

Becoming increasingly involved in the military confrontation between Ukraine and Russia is not a key interest for the US, Florida’s Republican governor Ron Desantis wrote in response to a question posed by Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday. Carlson asked several “2024 GOP hopefuls” whether opposing Russia in Ukraine was a “vital strategic interest” for the US and shared DeSantis’ response on Twitter. The governor stated that the US had many “vital national interests,” such as securing its borders, addressing the recruitment crisis within the US military, achieving energy security and independence, and “checking the economic, cultural, and military power of the Chinese Communist Party.” However, becoming “further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis noted.

He added that the Biden administration’s policy of issuing virtual “blank checks” to Ukraine in order to fund the conflict for “as long as it takes,” without any defined objectives or accountability, only serves to distract from the most pressing challenges currently facing the US. The governor also blasted Washington for effectively driving Russia closer to China, which he believes represents a much greater threat than Moscow. DeSantis, who many expect to contend for the US presidency in the 2024 elections, has set himself apart from other top Republican leaders with his stance on Ukraine. Responding to the same question, former vice president Mike Pence insisted that “there is no room for Putin apologists in the Republican Party” and that Putin must be stopped to prevent Russia from moving toward Washington’s NATO allies.

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell has also pledged the Republican party’s commitment to the Ukrainian war effort. In his response to Carlson’s question, former president Donald Trump insisted that the conflict, which he believes would have never happened if he’d been in office, must end as soon as possible and that the US president must meet with both sides and quickly work out a deal. He also stated that while opposing Russia in Ukraine is not a vital American national strategic interest for the US, it is important for Europe. “That is why Europe should be paying far more than we are, or equal,” Trump said. Asked if the US should support regime change in Russia, the former president stated that he did not, and instead called for regime change in the United States itself. “That’s far more important,” he wrote. “The Biden administration are the ones who got us into this mess.”

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“..the Biden Admin had a whitelist of companies that were allowed to buy the failed bank & companies that weren’t.”

Biden Admin Blocked SVB Sale, Nationalized It, Blamed Trump For Collapse (ZH)

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“..any pursuit of new QE in the face of a credit crunch would lead to an immediate spike in inflation once again, crushing the middle class..”

Democrats Scramble To Find A Scapegoat For The Bank Crisis (ZH)

What Democrats do not seem to understand is that the easing of Dodd-Frank capital requirements was in direct response to the Federal Reserve’s announced plan to tighten liquidity and raise interest rates through 2018. With more expensive credit and a shrinking Fed balance sheet, reducing requirements for bank buffers was one of the few ways to prevent the stimulus addicted lending sector from plummeting. The extra capital also allowed banks to continue lending to companies that engage in stock buybacks, keeping stock markets afloat. With a larger capital buffer even more liquidity dries up, revealing the true economic weakness underneath that Dems have denied for the past few years. So, if Biden and the Dems get what they want (more strict capital requirements for banks), then there will be an even swifter collapse of markets and the overall economy due to lack of liquidity.

By the end of 2018, markets began to plunge anyway under the strain of higher interest rates, which led to the Fed reversing course, and this seems to be what Democrats are really hoping for. They have called for endless liquidity measures and have consistently demanded lower rates and looser monetary policy. However, when Donald Trump’s Administration called for rate cuts during his term, Dems attacked. Once again, when Republicans do it, it’s wrong; when they do it, it’s good policy. Another issue to consider is that each successive program by the Fed to employ bailouts and QE accelerates the inflation crisis. While both sides of the aisle seem to want helicopter money when they are in power so they can boast about rising stock markets and improved employment, the Dems are now facing a systemic stagflationary event; the same event they originally claimed did not exist.

This means that any pursuit of new QE in the face of a credit crunch would lead to an immediate spike in inflation once again, crushing the middle class. Are Democrats willing to accept responsibility for something like that? Not a chance. The Biden Administration has so far taken full credit for the slowdown of consumer inflation as well as the shrinking deficit, but these changes are only due to the tightening actions of the central bank which sets policy independent of the White House. Democrats can’t have it both ways – They can’t take credit for reduced inflation when the Fed tightens policy against their wishes, and then not take credit for the consequences of higher inflation when they badger the Fed to inject more stimulus. The only recourse for the political left is to somehow lay the blame on conservatives no matter which way the wind blows, inflation or deflation.

Emergency congressional hearings have been organized to determine the cause of the SVB crisis and the course of action needed. Democrats including Sen. Sharrod Brown and Rep. Maxine Waters were quick to applaud the backstop initiated by the Fed and the Treasury Department, attempting to calm market concerns and reassure investors and depositors that all is well. Maxine Waters stated that Republicans and Democrats needed to “work together to protect the safety of the financial system”, which is likely a thinly veiled assertion that Republicans must support raising the debt ceiling and commit to even more spending.

Tucker CBDC

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It’s already broken.

Ken Griffin: American Capitalism Is “Breaking Down Before Our Eyes” (ZH)

In contrast to billionaire Bill Ackman’s praise for the federal government’s bailout of SVB depositors, Citadel founder Bill Griffin is not impressed, telling The FT that this action by US regulators shows American capitalism is “breaking down before our eyes”. As a reminder, the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund normally guarantees up to $250,000 in deposits, which protects small retail customers including mom-and-pop businesses. Banks pay for this guarantee with insurance premiums, but the insurance fund isn’t intended to backstop deposits of bigger customers with more capacity to weather losses if a bank goes under. Yet, as The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board remarks, after venture capitalists (Democratic donors) and Silicon Valley politicians howled, the FDIC on Sunday announced it would cover uninsured deposits at SVB and Signature Bank under its “systemic risk” exception.

Apparently, Silicon Valley investors and startups are too big to lose money when they take risks. They benefited enormously from the Fed’s pandemic liquidity hose, which caused SVB’s deposits to double between 2020 and 2021. SVB paid interest of up to 5.28% on large deposits, which it used to fund loans to startups. But now the FDIC is guaranteeing a risk-free return for startups and their investors. Uninsured deposits normally take a 10% to 15% hair cut during a bank failure. Some 85% to 90% of SVB’s $173 billion in deposits are uninsured. The cost of this guarantee could be $15 billion. The White House says special assessments will be levied on banks to recoup these losses.

That means bank customers with less than $250,000 in deposits will indirectly pay for this through higher bank fees. In other words, this is an income transfer from average Americans to deep-pocketed investors. Griffin warned a year ago that price pressures will remain stubbornly persistent, forcing policymakers to need to hit the brakes “hard”, which will likely cause a recession, which, he warned, will leave the West facing “existential” problems. A year later, he was proved right as The Fed’s aggressive rate-hikes “broke something”… “The US is supposed to be a capitalist economy, and that’s breaking down before our eyes,” he said in an interview on Monday. “There’s been a loss of financial discipline with the government bailing out depositors in full,” Griffin added.

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Now do we fire Ursula?

Pfizer Wants EU To Keep Paying For Unused Covid Jabs – FT (RT)

Pfizer has offered to extend its Covid-19 vaccine contract with the European Union while scaling back deliveries, but still expects the bloc to pay billions of euros for unused doses amid a major supply glut in some countries, the Financial Times reported. The offer prompted outrage from a handful of member states, who say the deal would serve the interests of Big Pharma over their own citizens. The contract extension would push the vaccine agreement out to 2026, with a proposed 40% reduction in the number of doses supplied as well as delays to deliveries, the Times reported on Tuesday, citing two unnamed officials. However, despite the suggested cuts, the US pharma giant still insists that it be paid for the full number of doses originally agreed upon, many of which would never be produced under the new terms.

The amendments to the deal – the full text of which has never been made public – were presented by European health commissioner Stella Kyriakides during a closed-door meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, but faced objections from some EU members. In a joint statement issued following the meeting, officials from Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland said they would not sign the agreement with the proposed changes, as they “do not present a final and fair solution to the problems of the Covid-19 vaccine surplus and do not meet the needs of the healthcare systems, the needs of citizens and the financial interests of the member states.”

Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski argued that the current Pfizer proposal would favor Big Pharma, and has called for the secretive contract to be published, questioning the role European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen played in the negotiations for the massive vaccine deal. An EU watchdog launched a probe into the negotiation and procurement process late last year, after von der Leyen’s office failed to produce personal text messages sent to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla during the talks for nearly 2 billion vaccine doses, prompting accusations of corruption.

The 27-member bloc originally signed a joint contract with Pfizer in 2020, but since the pandemic receded, demand for vaccines has steadily dropped, leaving an overabundance across the continent. Some countries have been forced to throw away vaccines, with Germany alone tossing out some 36.6 million doses, according to public broadcaster BR24, while others are sitting on large stocks of unused shots, such as Austria, which has reported around 17.5 million in its supply. However, Czech Health Minister Vlastimil Valek pushed back on the criticisms, arguing that the “majority of countries” had agreed to the deal and that “the contract is not bad.” He added that the large stock of doses would not pose a problem as “Covid is still here” and “It will be necessary to repeat vaccination each year for a particular group of patients.”

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Wall Street 1662

 

 


“Watercolor painter Liu Yunsheng’s artworks are famous for their fluidity and transparency, as well as for the richness and complexity of their characters. Some paintings combine reality & illusion which can be described as freehand in realism”

 

 

Kestrel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1635668806990192640

 

 


The nocturnal African dung beetle Scarabaeus satyrus is the only known insect and one of the few non-human animals capable of navigating and orienting itself using the Milky Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

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