Feb 282024
 
 February 28, 2024  Posted by at 9:58 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Yellow haystacks (Golden harvest) 1889

 

Ukraine Conflict Weakening US – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Tucker Carlson Makes Shocking Revelation About Moscow Trip (RT)
Navalny Organization Splits Into Whites And Reds (Helmer)
Big Four Leave Oval Office Without Plan to Avert Shutdown (Sp.)
US Border A Bigger Priority Than Ukraine – Speaker Johnson (RT)
US House Panels Subpoena AG on Biden’s Mishandling of Classified Docs (Sp.)
How Russia Could Hit Back If West Seizes Assets (Sp.)
Ukraine Set to Lose More Territory in 1-2 Months Without US Support – WH (Sp.)
Catastrophic Scenario If NATO Troops Deploy To Ukraine – Russian Senator (RT)
Trump Plans To ‘Reform’ CIA and FBI – Politico (RT)
Former NY Times Editor Blasts the “Gray Lady” for Bias and Activism (Turley)
Putin’s Reasons (Vasco)
Macron’s Bid to Undermine NATO and the EU Hit the Bullseye (Jay)
Leaked Gaza Ceasefire Proposal US ‘Psychological Warfare’: Hamas (Cradle)
The Death of Justice in the Western World (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

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“..the world is “resetting to the great disadvantage of the US..”

Ukraine Conflict Weakening US – Tucker Carlson (RT)

Most Americans naively believe that Ukraine could defeat Russia because the media has told them so, independent journalist Tucker Carlson said on Tuesday. What the US has done has harmed both Ukrainians and Americans, he added. Carlson spent eight days in Moscow earlier this month and interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 8. He looked back at that conversation during a three-hour podcast hosted by Lex Fridman. “I reject the whole premise of the war in Ukraine from the American perspective,” Carlson added. “There’s a war going on that is wrecking the US economy in a way and at a scale that people do not understand.” The current policy of the American government is only accelerating the demise of the dollar and the world is “resetting to the great disadvantage of the US,” Carlson said.

According to him, for the past two years the US media have insisted that Kiev can win – and it took an encounter with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, last August, to jolt him into reality. “It doesn’t even matter what I want to happen… that’s a distortion of what is happening,” Carlson told Fridman. Russia has 100 million more people and more industry “than all of NATO combined,” he added. Carlson revealed that he feels “sorry” for Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, because “ he’s caught between these forces that are bigger than he is.” A “victory” for Kiev would be to not get obliterated, he added, and that almost happened in March 2022 when Zelensky almost made peace with Russia. Then the US dispatched British PM Boris Johnson to stop it, Carlson noted.

The US journalist again confirmed that Johnson demanded $1 million to do an interview, calling the former PM a “sad, rapacious fraud.” The point of interviewing Putin wasn’t to show the world how smart or good Tucker Carlson was, but “to have more information brought to the West so people could make their own decisions about whether this is a good idea,” he told Fridman, referring to the Ukraine conflict. Every Western journalist so far has tried to make an encounter with Putin about themselves, which Carlson described as “the most tiresome, fruitless kind of interview.”

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“If you have a media establishment that acts as employees of the national security state, you don’t have a free country. And that’s where we are..”

Tucker Carlson Makes Shocking Revelation About Moscow Trip (RT)

Tucker Carlson said on Tuesday that US spies had monitored him while he was in Russia earlier this month, and leaked to a ‘friendly’ outlet that he had met with Edward Snowden. This is despite the American journalist’s claim that he had tried to keep his meeting with the NSA whistleblower a secret. Carlson went to Russia to interview President Vladimir Putin. During his eight days in Moscow, he also met with Snowden – and US spies found out about it, he told podcaser Lex Fridman in the course of a three-hour conversation. “I was being intensely surveilled by the US government,” Carlson told Fridman, noting that US spies had thwarted his plans to interview Putin in 2021 and that he received confirmation that he was being intensely monitored ahead of his Moscow trip. “Then, I’m over there, and of course I want to see Snowden, whom I admire.”

Snowden allegedly accepted Carlson’s invitation to have dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel, but declined the interview as well as a photo request, saying that it would be better to tell no one. “I didn’t tell anybody,” Carlson told Fridman, however the meeting was leaked. “Semafor runs this piece – reporting information they got from the US intel agencies, leaking against me, using my money, in my name, in a supposedly free country – they run this piece saying I met with Snowden, like it was a crime or something.” “If you have a media establishment that acts as employees of the national security state, you don’t have a free country. And that’s where we are,” Carlson added. Carlson revealed that he did not fear getting arrested in Russia at any point, but was warned by his lawyers that the US might arrest him depending on the content of the Putin interview.

“I felt not one twinge of concern for the 8 days that I was there,” he told Fridman about being in Moscow. Before he left for Russia, his team of attorneys counseled him to “not do this… A lot will depend on the questions you ask of Putin. If you’re seen as too nice to him you could be arrested when you come back,” Carlson quoted the lead lawyer as saying, to which he said he replied, “You’re describing a fascist country, OK?”

In 2013, Snowden revealed that the NSA was systematically engaged in mass illegal spying on American citizens. Fearing for his safety, he fled to Hong Kong with the intent to reach Ecuador, which did not have an extradition treaty with the US, but was stopped during a layover in Moscow after Washington canceled his passport. Russia ended up granting him asylum and reportedly, eventual citizenship. One of the founders of Semafor, the outlet to which Carlson claims US spies leaked his dinner with Snowden, is Ben Smith, a former editor-in-chief of the now defunct BuzzFeed newsroom. In 2017, Smith notoriously published the ‘Steele Dossier,’ a sham document leaked by US spies to discredit incoming President Donald Trump.

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“The Reds are holding the evidence that Navalny was not murdered and that everything the Whites are saying is false.”

Navalny Organization Splits Into Whites And Reds (Helmer)

Alexei Navalny’s organization outside Russia is now repudiating Lyudmila Navalnaya, Navalny’s mother, for having accepted the medical evidence and official certification that the cause of his death was an embolism, or blood clot, which stopped his heart. On Monday, several days after the release of the post-mortem documents and of Navalny’s body to his mother’s custody, Maria Pevchikh, Navalny’s script writer, and Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s press secretary, have repeated their allegations that Navalny had been murdered. In their revised version of the story on Monday, Pevchikh claimed in a self-produced video that “on February 16, 2024, Vladimir Putin killed Alexei Navalny”. Reuters, the New York-based news agency, reported Pevchikh’s claim, adding that “Maria Pevchikh, who is based outside Russia, did not present documentary evidence for her assertion.” The New York Times amplified Pevchikh’s allegations, but omitted the Reuters qualifier.

The newspaper did not report attempting to make contact with Lyudmila Navalnaya but added this innuendo: “it remained unclear whether his family would seek to conduct an independent autopsy before his burial.” “Alexei Navalny could be sitting in this seat right now, right today,” Pevchikh broadcast. “That’s not a figure of speech, it could and should have happened…Navalny was supposed to be free in the coming days.” Pevchikh then recited details of a purported exchange of Russian spies in prison outside Russia in exchange for Navalny and Americans in Russian prisons. The NATO-funded Bellingcat organization was involved, Pevchikh said. “Investigator Hristo Grozev helped us devise and implement this plan.” Negotiations took place with American and German officials, she said, but “they did nothing.”

She then said: “Roman Abramovich was the one who delivered the proposal to swap Navalny to Putin. As an informal negotiator communicating with American and European officials, and at the same time representing Putin; an unofficial channel of communication with the Kremlin.” Pevchikh claims she asked Abramovich for details of what had been told to Putin and what the president replied. “Unfortunately”, Pevchikh said, “Abramovich did not answer these questions but he did not deny anything either.” Yarmysh followed Pevchikh with a 3-line tweet: “We know why Alexei was killed right now. He should have been exchanged literally these days. An offer was made to Putin.”

The evidence of prisoner swaps between the US, Germany, and Russia is no news and corroborated officially, although the identities of the swap candidates keep changing, as do the names of the reported go-betweens. Abramovich’s role as the intermediary in the abortive Istanbul negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian officials of March 2022 has not been followed with any report of subsequent intermediation by Abramovich, except to save himself from sanctions. All that is missing from the new Pevchikh-Yarmysh announcements is the medical evidence of the cause of Navalny’s death. That is being closely held by Navalny’s mother, and she is in charge of the arrangements for his funeral.

In her latest tweet, Yarmysh implies this too is no longer under the outside organization’s control, as it proposes an alternative, parallel ceremony. “We are looking for a hall for a public farewell to Alexei,” Yarmysh said yesterday. “Time: end of this work week. If you have suitable premises, please contact us.” Pevchikh is based in London; Yarmysh left Russia in 2021 and is also abroad. They are the Whites now. The Reds, Navalny’s mother and Anatoly Navalny, his father, remain in Moscow. The Reds are holding the evidence that Navalny was not murdered and that everything the Whites are saying is false.

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Kamala is part of the “Big Four”? Get serious.

Big Four Leave Oval Office Without Plan to Avert Shutdown (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden summoned four congressional leaders on Tuesday in an effort to avoid a government shutdown that is predicted to occur on March 8, including: Vice President Kamala Harris, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Mike Johnson. US legislators must come up with a spending plan that both sides of the aisle can agree on, in order to avoid the shutdown. At the beginning of the year, the short-term continuing resolution (CR) established a phased, two-step deadline to fund the government, which extended funding through March 1 for about 20% of the federal government that is responsible for military construction, as well as the departments of veterans affairs, agriculture, housing and urban development, transportation and energy. The remaining 80% of the government is funded until March 8.

Aquiles Larrea, the CEO of Larrea Wealth Management, spoke to Sputnik’s The Final Countdown on Tuesday, and sounded hopeful congressional leaders still have enough time to avoid a shutdown, but stressed that time is slipping away. “I think that the appearance of having to try to do something, getting something done with the congressional leadership is very important at this point, especially since we’ve gone past a few stopgap measures at this point. But I think, we’re not going to have any choice but to put another one in there unless we can get people to agree overnight,” said Larrea. “Let’s just say, in a perfect world, that the Congress agrees overnight, the Senate has to look over the bill over the weekend and hopefully before the March 8th deadline comes to some accord. That way they can get it to the president, but that time is quickly slipping away. So, something the president has probably taken it upon himself, whether it’s appearance, whether it be true, whether it be magic to come out and say, ‘guys, let’s do something, let’s figure this out, we have to agree on something,’” he continued. “The only wild card in the bunch right now is the caucus within the House Republican Party.”

Sputnik’s Angie Wong commented on what she views as political posturing by the four congressional leaders and Biden, noting that the US president plans to go to the southern border ahead of the potential shutdown. Former President Donald Trump will also visit the border on Thursday. US Democrats have been fighting for more money to fund Ukraine and Israel, while Republicans have been working to send money to the US-Mexico border, because they believe that will help secure it. Wong then asked Larrea why Biden had not issued an executive order to close the US-Mexico border. “I think he’s trying to give Congress a fair chance to come up with some solutions because just the president invoking an executive order seems more tyrannical than anything. You know, ‘oh, this guy, he just came in, he did this,’. I think it gives plenty to chew on opponents to say, ‘well, he had to do this because it was out of control,’ and it won’t be a positive thing,” Larrea explained.

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“..get it done” and “do the right thing,” adding that “history is looking over your shoulder.”

US Border A Bigger Priority Than Ukraine – Speaker Johnson (RT)

Congress will not pass a new aid package for Ukraine without reforms to US immigration policy, House Speaker Mike Johnson has said, arguing that America’s own security takes priority over Kiev’s conflict with Russia. Speaking after a contentious meeting with President Joe Biden and congressional leaders earlier on Tuesday, Johnson insisted that House Republicans would not budge on the foreign aid if Democrats did not compromise on the border. GOP lawmakers are “actively pursuing and investigating all the various options” for the Ukraine legislation, but “The first priority of the country is our border and making sure it’s secure,” Johnson told reporters.

The Republican speaker has faced increased pressure from congressional Democrats, the White House and even fellow GOP members in the Senate over the aid bill, with President Biden warning that the “consequences of inaction every day in Ukraine are dire” ahead of his meeting with Johnson. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who attended the sit-down with Biden, also said he urged Johnson to “get it done” and “do the right thing,” adding that “history is looking over your shoulder.” He described the discussion around the Ukraine bill as “intense,” stating “Everyone in that room was telling Speaker Johnson how vital” the military assistance was.

While the Senate previously passed a $95 billion aid package – including $60 billion for Kiev in addition to funding for Israel and Taiwan – House Republicans have refused to back companion legislation unless it includes significant reforms at the US-Mexico border. Citing a surge in illegal immigration since Biden took office in 2021, Johnson called the situation a “catastrophe” and stressed that the White House could “take executive authority right now, today, to change that.” Ukrainian officials have repeatedly urged for additional aid, as US assistance has waned following a lackluster summer counteroffensive. President Vladimir Zelensky made his latest appeal last week during a meeting with Schumer and other Democrats, where he reportedly warned that Kiev would “surely lose the war” without further cash injections from Washington.

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“..provide all documents on Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation of President Joe Biden’s “willful” mishandling of classified information..”

US House Panels Subpoena AG on Biden’s Mishandling of Classified Docs (Sp.)

The chairmen of the House Judiciary Committee and Oversight Committee on Tuesday issued a subpoena demanding that US Attorney General Merrick Garland provide all documents on Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation of President Joe Biden’s “willful” mishandling of classified information. According to the cover letter accompanying the subpoena and signed by Congressmen James Comer and Jim Jordan respectively, the US Justice Department to date has not provided either records related to Hur’s investigation or a deadline when it expects to produce all of the requested material. The initial request to provide the documents was made on February 12, according to the letter. The Judiciary and Oversight Committees are leading an investigation into business dealings and other activities of the Biden family to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to draft articles of impeachment against Biden.

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“We have more than 50 decently-sized American firms alone working here, and plenty of European companies..”

How Russia Could Hit Back If West Seizes Assets (Sp.)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has called on nations of the Western “coalition” against Moscow to “find a way to unlock the value of [Russia’s] immobilized assets to support Ukraine’s continued resistance and long-term reconstruction.” “I believe there is a strong international law, economic and moral case for moving forward. This would be a decisive response to Russia’s unprecedented threat to global stability,” Yellen said at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday. Tackling the question of the potential threats to the dollar’s status as the de facto world reserve currency that such an unprecedented move would entail, Yellen said that it it’s “extremely unlikely” that the greenback would be negatively affected. “Realistically there are not alternatives to the dollar, euro and yen,” she assured.

Yellen is the latest senior Western official to propose moving forward with the seizure of Russian assets as Western countries’ own desire to continue fueling the Ukrainian proxy war against Russia falters. Earlier this month, the European Union adopted a law allowing Brussels to bank windfall profits from Russian assets trapped in European banks and use them in Ukraine, a move characterized by Moscow as blatant “theft” which will be met with legal action. Russian officials and independent economic observers alike have warned of the possible consequences stemming from what Yellen is proposing, with Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov saying Moscow has the means to issue a “symmetrical” response to this form of Western financial aggression. “We have no fewer frozen [assets than Western countries],” Siluanov said in an interview with Sputnik on Monday. “Any actions taken against our assets would receive a symmetrical response.”

“Russia has already taken conservatorship of assets of a number of foreign companies which refused to operate in Russia,” Dr. Andrei Kolganov, a professor of economics at Moscow State University and chief researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Economics, told Sputnik, commenting on the folly of the West’s asset seizure plans. This instrument was already used against foreign investors with an ownership stake in the Baltika Beer Company, as well as the assets of Finnish energy concern Fortum, the professor noted. “So in principle, the mechanism for the confiscation of foreign assets has already been worked out. Moving from conservatorship to confiscation is, in principle, a fairly simple technical procedure. The amount of assets that are ‘frozen’ on the territory of the Russian Federation, or which may be frozen, is now estimated at approximately $288 billion,” Kolganov explained.

In other words, the professor said, Russia has control over a big chunk of Western assets which, if the US and its allies proceed with confiscation, “will not escape to the West, but will work here in Russia, because we are talking about investment, first and foremost, in the manufacturing sector.” From there, these assets could become the property of the Russian state, or be transferred to Russian private owners and continue to work as before. Confiscation of assets of Western companies in Russia would seriously impact their respective bottom lines, meaning they could try to put pressure on governments, both in their home countries and in Russia, to try to avoid having their capital seized. “We have a lot of foreign companies working in Russia, including those from so-called unfriendly countries. We have more than 50 decently-sized American firms alone working here, and plenty of European companies,” Dr. Georgy Ostapkovich, director of the Center for Market Research at the Institute of Statistical Research and Economics of Knowledge at Russia’s Higher School of Economics, told Sputnik.

Kolganov says that as unpleasant as a seizure of Russia’s assets abroad might be it would not serve to tank the country’s economy, with Moscow able to continue its international payments using its sizable and healthy foreign exchange earnings after reorienting its trade toward developing countries. The money frozen in Western banks constitutes reserves, which “were not actively used for international trade and international payments” anyway, the professor explained. “For private businesses, the confiscation of assets would create a pretty big hole in their earnings and budgets. Therefore, it would be a rather sensitive measure if Russia had to resort to it in response to the confiscation of its assets,” the economist added. Dr. Ostapkovich emphasizes that Moscow will have to be strategic and precise in the foreign assets it may choose to seize, to avoid the risk of friendly countries and companies doing business in Russia feeling threatened.

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Kiev.

Ukraine Set to Lose More Territory in 1-2 Months Without US Support – WH (Sp.)

Ukraine is on track to lose additional territories in the coming months due to a lack of military support from the US, White House National Security Communications adviser John Kirby said on Tuesday. “If they continue to get no support from the US, in a month or two, it is very likely that the Russians will achieve more territorial gains and have more success against Ukrainian frontlines in terms of just territory gain,” Kirby told reporters He pointed out that such a situation could happen in eastern Ukraine, but also potentially in the south of the country. Kirby stressed that the situation on the ground is dire. US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the need to provide additional support to Ukraine is urgent. Russia has repeatedly warned NATO countries that arms supplies to Ukraine would be considered legitimate targets. Moscow has accused NATO countries of “playing with fire” by arming Ukraine, emphasizing that such actions hinder the possibility of Russia-Ukraine negotiations.

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“This is the line beyond which it’s no longer just NATO’s involvement in the war..”

Catastrophic Scenario If NATO Troops Deploy To Ukraine – Russian Senator (RT)

The potential deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine will lead to a “catastrophic scenario,” and could be interpreted as a “declaration of war” on Moscow, top Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev has said.The Vice Speaker of Russia’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, offered his take on remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron on the possibility of sending troops in a Telegram post on Tuesday. The approach exhibited by the French leader carries a risk of the situation devolving into a “catastrophic scenario,” Kosachev warned, stating that the move would not be tolerated by the Kremlin. “This is the line beyond which it’s no longer just NATO’s involvement in the war – this has been happening for a long time, but can be interpreted as the alliance entering direct hostilities, or even as a declaration of war,” Kosachev wrote.

The senator’s comments echoed a statement made by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said the move would make a direct collision between the US-led bloc and Moscow not only “possible,” but actually “inevitable.” The idea of sending ground forces to Ukraine was raised by Macron on Monday while he was speaking to reporters after a meeting of European leaders in Paris. The president suggested that any scenario, including sending in troops, could not be ruled out, arguing that the West should stop at nothing to prevent Russia from prevailing over Ukraine. “In terms of dynamics, we cannot exclude anything. We will do everything necessary to prevent Russia from winning this war,” he stated, while admitting that there was no consensus among NATO members on the troop issue.

The remarks prompted NATO allies to publicly reject the suggestion, with the bloc’s leadership insisting no preparations to send forces to Ukraine actually exist. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated there were “no plans for NATO combat troops on the ground in Ukraine,” and several members of the alliance, including the US, offered separate statements denying any such intent.

Putin NATO

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“There are thousands of people busting their ass, often in dangerous places, sacrificing a lot for the country. And to have their work just dismissed by a commander in chief, is really just discouraging..”

Trump Plans To ‘Reform’ CIA and FBI – Politico (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump is “likely” to launch sweeping reforms of the US intelligence community if he is re-elected in November, prompting concerns from the agencies that once baselessly accused him of ties to Russia. Politico interviewed 18 intelligence officials – including several former Trump appointees who later came out as his outspoken critics – in an article published on Monday, warning that the possible purge could “undermine the credibility of American intelligence.” “Trump intends to go after the intelligence community,” said one former senior intelligence official. “He started that process before and he’s going to do it again. Part of that process is to root out people and to punish people.” The new president would replace “people perceived as hostile to his political agenda with inexperienced loyalists,” Politico summarized the claim by Trump critics.

The two people specifically named were former acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell and aide Kash Patel, who played a key role in declassifying materials about the origins of ‘Russiagate’. Politico acknowledged that Trump’s hostility to the intelligence community was related to the infamous document claiming that Russia “interfered” in the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton. It quoted former FBI official Andrew McCabe defending the inclusion of the so-called Steele Dossier – produced by a former British spy paid by the Clinton campaign via cut-outs – in the appendix as merely due diligence. Though the FBI quickly found out that the dossier was false and who funded it, they continued to use it to spy on Trump’s campaign and presidency.

When Trump challenged the intelligence assessment – authored not by all 17 agencies, but a hand-picked group of Obama administration loyalists – at the July 2018 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the spies felt that “never before had a commander in chief so publicly delegitimized their work.” Trump’s DNI Dan Coats told Politico that this prompted him to offer his resignation in February 2019 – which was eventually accepted that August. Other Trump appointees turned critics interviewed in the article were former National Security Advisor John Bolton and Fiona Hill, a top Russia adviser on the National Security Council – and witness against Trump at his Ukraine impeachment trial. “He wants to weaponize the intelligence community,” lamented Hill. “If he guts the intel on one thing, he’ll be partially blinding us.”

Several unnamed officials said Trump’s possible purges could jeopardize “sources and methods” used by US spies and undermine the trust American allies have in Washington, which the Biden administration has tried so hard to rebuild. Back in December, a diplomat from an unnamed NATO member country described Trump getting re-elected and actually purging the US administrative apparatus as a “doomsday option.” Others worried that appointments of “controversial” figures could lead competent junior officials and staff to resign. “There are thousands of people busting their ass, often in dangerous places, sacrificing a lot for the country. And to have their work just dismissed by a commander in chief, is really just discouraging,” Jon Darby, former director of operations at the National Security Agency (NSA), told Politico.

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“The state of Israel makes me very uncomfortable,” a colleague once told me. This was something I was used to hearing from young progressives on college campuses, but not at work.”

Former NY Times Editor Blasts the “Gray Lady” for Bias and Activism (Turley)

Former New York Times editor Adam Rubenstein has a lengthy essay at The Atlantic that pulls back the curtain on the newspaper and its alleged bias in its coverage. The essay follows similar pieces from former editors and writers that range from Bari Weiss to Rubenstein’s former colleague James Bennet. The essay describes a similar work environment where even his passing reference to liking Chik-Fil-A sandwiches led to a condemnation of shocked colleagues. An opinion-section editor, Rubenstein was involved in the controversy over publishing Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R., Ark.) op-ed where he argued for the possible use of national guard to quell violent riots around the White House. It was one of the lowest points in the history of modern American journalism. Cotton was calling for the use of the troops to restore order in Washington after days of rioting around the White House.

While Congress would “call in the troops” six months later to quell the rioting at the Capitol on January 6th, New York Times reporters and columnists called the column historically inaccurate and politically inciteful. Reporters insisted that Cotton was even endangering them by suggesting the use of troops and insisted that the newspaper cannot feature people who advocate political violence. One year later, the New York Times published a column by an academic who had previously declared that there is nothing wrong with murdering conservatives and Republicans. Rubenstein noted: “On January 6, 2021, few people at The New York Times remarked on the fact that liberals were cheering on the deployment of National Guardsmen to stop rioting at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., the very thing Tom Cotton had advocated.” Instead, he describes an environment in which the staff routinely rejected conservative viewpoints, subjected conservatives to added demands and editing, and faced staff opposition to working on such pieces. He noted:

“Being a conservative—or at least being considered one—at the Times was a strange experience. I often found myself asking questions like “Doesn’t all of this talk of ‘voter suppression’ on the left sound similar to charges of ‘voter fraud’ on the right?” only to realize how unwelcome such questions were. By asking, I’d revealed that I wasn’t on the same team as my colleagues, that I didn’t accept as an article of faith the liberal premise that voter suppression was a grave threat to liberal democracy while voter fraud was entirely fake news. Or take the Hunter Biden laptop story: Was it truly “unsubstantiated,” as the paper kept saying? At the time, it had been substantiated, however unusually, by Rudy Giuliani. Many of my colleagues were clearly worried that lending credence to the laptop story could hurt the electoral prospects of Joe Biden and the Democrats. But starting from a place of party politics and assessing how a particular story could affect an election isn’t journalism. Nor is a vague unease with difficult subjects. “The state of Israel makes me very uncomfortable,” a colleague once told me. This was something I was used to hearing from young progressives on college campuses, but not at work.”

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“Let us analyze the history of relations between the so-called “West” and Russia over the last 30 years and we will see that, in fact, Russia was forced to defend itself against a war that was already underway against it..”

Putin’s Reasons (Vasco)

This February 24th marked two years since the beginning of Russia’s intervention in the war in Ukraine. All major Western media — monopolized by billionaires who use the press to maintain their domination — call the Special Military Operation, the official name of the Russian campaign, “war”. With this, they propagate the idea that it was Russia that started the war. A lie that (purposefully) covers up the guilt, not only of the government that is today headed by Vladimir Zelensky, but, mainly, of the great Western powers. The propaganda disseminated by this gigantic press monopoly attempts to brainwash ordinary citizens, accusing evil Russia of invading defenseless Ukraine in a criminal war of conquest. The truth is that the war started not two years ago, but ten years ago! And the one who started it was not Russia, but Ukraine itself. Russia was not even directly involved in the conflict. Those who played a fundamental role in the outbreak of this war were precisely those who accuse Russia today.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, in his interview with American reporter Tucker Carlson, recapped the dramatic events that led to the war. Let us analyze the history of relations between the so-called “West” and Russia over the last 30 years and we will see that, in fact, Russia was forced to defend itself against a war that was already underway against it. The dismantling of the Soviet Union weakened Russia as never before in history. Practically overnight, the peripheral territories that had belonged to it for centuries became independent. The great objective of the imperialist powers since the beginning of the 20th century had been achieved. The wave of separations also encouraged two wars in Chechnya in the 90s and 2000s, at the same time that the neoliberal shock policy was devastating its economy. In addition to having lost much of the territory of the former Soviet Union, Russia saw these new countries being completely dominated by imperialism.

In 2004, a “color revolution”, known as the Orange Revolution, prevented the election of a neutral president in Ukraine to ensure a U.S. puppet — Viktor Yushchenko — in power. In 2008, it was Georgia’s turn to be captured by Western nations, which made Russia outline its first response to this suffocation that they sought to impose on it, in what became known as the Ossetian War. All of Russia’s former allies were being wiped off the map. The NATO bombings in Libya, with the execution of Muammar Gaddafi, in 2011, once and for all raised the alarm for Moscow. When the United States, England and France tried to do the same in Syria, soon after, Putin learned the Libyan lesson and vetoed in the UN Security Council an identical operation to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad, in addition to supporting it militarily.

The last straw for the Russians was the second coup in Ukraine, which began at the end of 2013. Viktor Yanukovych, who had been prevented from being elected in 2004, was in power. He conducted a friendly policy with Moscow, although he was hesitant and negotiated with the European Union. However, in the end, he did not adhere to the latter, preferring the greater advantages that his country would have by maintaining privileged relations with its sister nation. The EU and the U.S. did not accept this modest demonstration of sovereignty by Ukraine and used, as in 2004, NGOs paid by George Soros and the CIA to execute a new “color revolution” in Kiev. This time, however, avowedly neo-Nazi groups were the shock troops of the demonstrations on Maidan Square.

The result of the coup d’état, consolidated at the beginning of 2014, was not just the fall of a government that was in dialogue with Russia to replace it with one aligned with the West. It was more than that: a regime came to power supported by the same fascist organizations that led the Maidan. Ukrainian fascism has always been strongly anti-Russian and its influence on the new regime led to the persecution of all Ukrainians of Russian origin — who represent the majority of the population in around 40% of the country’s territory. The regions of Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea, where 75% of voters had elected Yanukovych in 2010 and were of Russian origin, were the most persecuted and rebelled. Crimea held a referendum where the overwhelming majority of the population chose to reincorporate into Russia (to which it had always belonged), resulting in an annexation carried out shortly thereafter by the Russian Federation.

Putin, however, did not do the same in Donetsk and Lugansk. The people of these two regions declared independence from Ukraine and formed two self-styled people’s republics. Armed with arms, they resisted the military invasion ordered by the new Kiev authorities, spearheaded by fascist paramilitary militias such as the infamous Azov, Aidar and Right Sector battalions. This was the true beginning of the current war in Ukraine, which, until the beginning of the Russian intervention, had claimed the lives of more than 14,000 people — most of them killed by the invading Ukrainian forces.

Kujat

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“Was all this part of Rutte’s plan to put himself as the main candidate for Biden to support?”

Macron’s Bid to Undermine NATO and the EU Hit the Bullseye (Jay)

A recent meeting of over 20 EU member states in Paris, organised by French President Emmanuel Macron raised eyebrows for many reasons. True, he managed to cajole these EU countries to agree to sending more money to Ukraine but many will ask whether Macron’s meddling comes with a much higher price. It is hardly a secret that he wants to create a fast track EU, which is made up of most EU countries – which excludes those who block big decisions like Hungary – who think of an EU which is stronger, which has its own army and can think independently of NATO. Last year he even went as far as organising a conference where all EU member states were invited, as well as the UK and Turkey, to test the waters as to the creation of a new, in formal EU-NATO pillar.

And now it is happening. Macron just recently held a meeting in Paris which agreed a higher level of funding to Ukraine with talks of even boots on the ground in Ukraine. The problem of course for NATO is that it has an identity crisis as more and more Americans and Europeans see it as a defence organisation which can only threaten and escalate in the Ukraine war – while being the leader of a proxy operation where not one NATO soldier can ever get killed – while not actually going the full nine yards. For over three years, with the war in Ukraine specifically going badly for the West in the last year, NATO’s role becomes compromised and more opaque. The very fact that Macron took this recent initiative is testimony to this and Biden is surely worried about NATO’s role now, as he throws his weight behind the Dutch Prime Minister’s bid to take over its helm.

The transition though from the bumbling, buffoonish Jens Stoltenberg to Mark Rutte will be seamless if it happens at all. Rutte will need to convince all 31 members of NATO and there are questions whether Hungary and Turkey will back the Dutchman’s bid to run the outfit. European nations might want a new face, a fresh voice and might push for a woman to run NATO, throwing their weight behind Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. The point about Rutte is that he is a keen advocate of much bigger military spending which will be welcomed by Trump if he were to win the U.S. elections this year, just a matter of days after the NATO boss will take office. Rutte has really stepped up to the mark when it comes to sending military hardware to the Ukrainians.

The long-serving Dutch prime minister and one of Europe’s longest-serving leaders, he has already committed to send Ukraine 24 of its F-16 fighters — the most of any country — and is helping train Ukrainian pilots. The Dutch military has also sent tanks, artillery systems, ammunition and Patriot air defence systems to Kiev over the past two years. According to Politico, the government itself has also pledged another $2.1 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine over the coming year. Was all this part of Rutte’s plan to put himself as the main candidate for Biden to support?

NATO

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“..a US and Israeli attempt to give the public an illusion that Hamas had approved of them..”

Leaked Gaza Ceasefire Proposal US ‘Psychological Warfare’: Hamas (Cradle)

Hamas official Ahmad Abdul Hadi stated on 27 February that a leaked proposal for a ceasefire deal in Gaza is part of a “psychological warfare” campaign being carried out by the US. Details of the alleged proposal were leaked to Reuters on Monday, the same day US President Joe Biden said he hoped a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas could be reached by 4 March. “My national security adviser tells me that they’re close. They’re close. They’re not done yet. My hope is by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire,” Biden claimed during an appearance on a late-night US talk show. But Abdul Hadi, the Hamas representative in Lebanon, stated that the resistance movement is not satisfied with the proposal and will not compromise on any of its demands, particularly “on a ceasefire and reaching an honorable, serious deal.”

Hamas is seeking a permanent end to the war and the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Israel is seeking the release of the 136 captives held by Hamas in Gaza and a temporary ceasefire that would allow it to resume the war after a pause. “We are open to any ideas posed by mediators but are also keen on preserving our key demands,” Abdul Hadi told Al-Mayadeen, adding that Israel is “seeking to hold Hamas accountable for any later failures in talks, planning to use this as an excuse to pave the way for the invasion of Rafah.” He said the leaks were not part of the Paris negotiations but a US and Israeli attempt to give the public an illusion that Hamas had approved of them. He reiterated that “everything being shared is not serious, but a ploy to maneuver and press on the Resistance.”

The proposal leaked to Reuters outlined plans for a 40-day truce during which Hamas would free around 40 captives – including female soldiers, those under 19 or over 50 years old, and the sick – in return for about 400 Palestinians held captive in Israel. Israel would withdraw its troops from populated areas of Gaza. Displaced Gaza residents, excluding men of fighting age, would be permitted to return to their homes. Israel would be required to allow additional humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the strip are on the verge of starvation. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) also responded to leaked Paris proposal. “The leaks are an attempt to pressure the Palestinians and incite them against the resistance. They are pushing for a ceasefire before Ramadan in anticipation of what might happen in Al-Quds. The enemy believes that it can deceive the resistance with different methods in order to achieve a victory it has failed to achieve on the ground,” PIJ Political Bureau member Ihsan Ataya told Al-Mayadeen.

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“That is what the Assange case is about. Justice along with truth is being eliminated from the Western world.”

The Death of Justice in the Western World (Paul Craig Roberts)

British courts have cooperated with Washington’s police state for years by keeping Julian Assange in captivity while pretending to give him every benefit of the doubt in the extradition case. Of course, the law is clear that he should not be turned over to revengeful Washington, but Britain is not independent of Washington and is merely going through motions that keep Assange in captivity. It seems clear that Washington and London are conspiring to break the spirit of those Americans and British who still hope that their governments are capable of delivering justice. A demoralized people are easier coerced into tyranny, which is where the entirety of the Western world is headed. So much is already lost. One would have thought that the US and British media would have been fierce in Assange’s defense if only in order to protect its power to hold government accountable and to protect itself.

After all, the New York Times and The Guardian and other news organizations published the documents that Wikileaks released, for which Assange is in captivity. Yet until recently when the New York Times, Guardian, and a few other news organizations made a weak request that the extradition case against Assange be dropped, the US and British media were faithful carriers of the official narrative that Assange was a rapist, a Russian spy, and a hacker of US national security secrets, such as Washington’s hidden war crimes and deceit of its allies. Washington is after Assange for more than revenge. They are teaching journalists a lesson that they are no longer allowed to hold government accountable when the government commits crimes. In other words, the criminalization of government is being institutionalized. That is what the Assange case is about. Justice along with truth is being eliminated from the Western world.

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Plimer

 

 

 

 

Bender

 

 

Cats toasters

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 132024
 
 February 13, 2024  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  79 Responses »


Giorgione The Tempest1508

 

I Am Ready To Lead America – Kamala Harris (RT)
What is the Democrats’ Playbook? (Paul Craig Roberts)
Too Old For The Court, But Not For The White House (Tony Cox)
Over 80% of US Citizens Deem Biden Too Old for Another Presidential Term (Sp.)
‘Ground is Shifting Under Biden’s Feet’ After Hur Report (Sp.)
Trump Asks Supreme Court To Intervene In Immunity Appeal (ZH)
Ukraine Aid Bill Is A Trump Impeachment ‘Time Bomb’ – US Senator (RT)
Western Diplomacy ‘Primitive’ – Moscow (RT)
Tucker Carlson Reviews Putin Interview And Reveals What ‘Radicalized’ Him (RT)
Putin Wants To End Ukraine Conflict – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Putin and Trump Seen as ‘Threat’ by Davos Globalists (Sp.)
“Vladimir Putin Will Not Lose This War” (ZH)
Fani Willis Could Be Disqualified, Judge Says (ET)
Israel’s Ever-widening War (Paul Craig Roberts)
Descent into Madness: Dostoevsky and the End of the West (Boyd)
The Crisis at The New York Times (Patrick Lawrence)

 

 

 

 

KJP

 

 

 

 

Campaign ad wars
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756754032108900694

 

 

Musk

 

 

 

 

Ritter Larry

 

 

 

 

Bring it on!

I Am Ready To Lead America – Kamala Harris (RT)

Vice President Kamala Harris is ready to replace President Joe Biden if necessary, she told the Wall Street Journal, amid growing concerns about his advanced age and apparent memory problems. The remarks by Harris were first reported by the WSJ on Monday, a week after the VP had made them to the daily during a flight on Air Force Two. Harris was asked whether concerns over Biden’s memory meant she must convince the public she was ready to serve. “I am ready to serve. There’s no question about that,” Harris stated boldly, brushing off the suggestion she actually needs to convince voters of anything. Anyone who sees her doing her job, “walks away fully aware of my capacity to lead,” she claimed.

Despite showing confidence about her leadership skills, Harris might still need to convince some voters, given her plummeting approval ratings. According to a fresh poll by NBC, the VP’s rating reached a new low, with a combined 53% of registered voters viewing her negatively. A vast majority of those holding such an opinion of her – some 42% of all the respondents interviewed during the poll – said they were actually “very negative” about the VP. At the same time, only a combined 28% of them held a positive view of Harris.

The remarks by Harris, despite being publicized only now, came ahead of a bombshell report compiled by US special counsel Robert Hur on Biden’s handling of classified documents, which only reinforced concerns over the president’s health. The Hur report described Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory” and noted that the president had exhibited “diminished faculties” in public. The assessment prompted strong denial from the US administration, with Biden staging an extraordinary press conference to assure the public his memory was just fine and to angrily deny any suggestions to the contrary. During the event, however, the president managed to erroneously call his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi the leader of Mexico while discussing the situation in Gaza.

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“..As Kamala is not a viable candidate, she in turn would have to be moved aside. Her resignation would follow her choice of Hillary Clinton as her vice president..”

What is the Democrats’ Playbook? (Paul Craig Roberts)

I raised this question in a column or an interview as polls revealed declining public confidence even among Democrats that Biden was fit to serve a second term. I suggested that one possibility would be that a deal would be worked whereby Biden would be moved aside, Kamala would become President, choose Hillary as her Vice President and then resign, having been promised a cabinet or judicial appointment. This would place in the White House a candidate that Democrats and the presstitutes claim won the 2016 election before Putin allegedly stole the election for Trump by hacking Hillary’s email. Evidence that something of this sort might be in the works emerges from the way Biden’s Justice (sic) Department cleared Biden of charges of possession of classified documents more serious than those for which President Trump is being prosecuted.

Biden was vice president with no power to declassify documents. Moreover, unlike Trump’s documents, which were stored in a secured room in a house in which US Secret Agents were present, Biden’s were scattered about in various insecure locations, including in the trunk of his Corvette in a garage. Special Counsel Robert Hur cleared Biden from prosecution by finding that Biden was not mentally competent to stand trial. So how is Biden mentally competent to be President of the United States and to have the nuclear briefcase in his hands? This is the Democrats’ dilemma. If Biden is judged capable of continuing as President, Robert Hur’s report comes across as more double standards in which a Democrat president is cleared of charges while a Republican is prosecuted for the same offense. The Democrats might bank on the presstitutes obfuscating the matter, but even insouciant Americans are likely to notice.

The rest of the world will conclude that Putin was correct when he said he doubted the president was the one really in charge. As Kamala is not a viable candidate, she in turn would have to be moved aside. Her resignation would follow her choice of Hillary Clinton as her vice president. Under the 25th Amendment, when a vice president ascends to the presidency, the vacant office of vice president is filled by the president nominating a candidate, who is then confirmed by the House and Senate. As the Senate is under Democrat control, and as the House Republicans are filled with Rinos who would confirm Hillary, it is an easily done deal. Trump himself might prefer the rematch in order to demonstrate a second victory over Hillary, one that the Democrats and media whores can’t again assign to Putin. Anyhow, this is my take for now. I will stick with it unless counter-evidence emerges.

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“In a nutshell: It’s about who you are, not whether you broke the law..”

Too Old For The Court, But Not For The White House (Tony Cox)

A US prosecutor’s report rationalizing why President Joe Biden won’t face justice for his mishandling of classified documents contained an excuse that ought to trigger some major soul-searching about the state of America’s leadership and how it got there. It won’t. Instead, in a nation where gaslighting and thick-faced contempt take the place of serious political discussion, Americans are expected to accept that Biden shouldn’t be prosecuted partly because he’s a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” If that explanation – proffered in a report released on Thursday by US Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Robert Hur – isn’t absurd enough, citizens are also told to accept that the same guy who’s too addled for a jury to convict him is perfectly competent to serve as president and commander-in-chief.

The whole episode says a lot about how unjust, corrupted and broken Washington has become. For starters it comes at the same time Biden’s DOJ is prosecuting his chief political rival, ex-President Donald Trump, for mishandling classified documents. For another, as in the case of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a prominent Democrat is being let off the hook for exposing state secrets despite investigators admitting that they found evidence of criminal conduct. This isn’t a minor violation of protocol, either. Hur found evidence that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed” classified materials from his two terms as vice president. As pictures included in Hur’s 345-page report showed, the documents were stashed in multiple locations, including cardboard boxes stacked in the garage of one of Biden’s homes. The special counsel also found that Biden’s conduct “presented serious risks to national security, given the vulnerability of sensitive information to loss or compromise to America’s adversaries.”

The mishandled documents contained information “implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods,” including White House deliberations on the US occupation of Afghanistan. Biden’s defenders argue that his case wasn’t as bad as Trump’s because unlike Bad Orange Man, the president cooperated with investigators and surrendered his documents when they were discovered. That’s both unmitigating and untrue. Being cooperative after committing a criminal offense doesn’t make one less guilty of the crime. Moreover, Hur found a recorded conversation with the ghostwriter of Biden’s memoirs in which the former VP said he had “just found all this classified stuff downstairs.” That was in 2017, five years before one of Biden’s lawyers reported the discovery of classified materials at his think-tank office in Washington.

Incidentally, Biden’s ghostwriter deleted some of his recordings after learning of the special counsel’s investigation, but unlike the resort employees who allegedly helped hide Trump’s documents, he won’t be prosecuted. Another key difference in the cases was that Trump retained documents from his time as president and therefore had the authority to declassify such materials. Biden had no such power as vice president at the time his state secrets were retained. On the other hand, some of Trump’s charges concern alleged obstruction of justice, which could apply even if he were exonerated for keeping sensitive documents. The more preposterous wrinkle in the case is Hur’s commentary about Biden’s mental state, as well as the White House’s reaction. During interviews with investigators, the president couldn’t even remember such details as when he served as VP and roughly when his son Beau died, the special counsel said. The recorded 2017 conversations with the ghostwriter were “painfully slow, with Mr. Biden struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.” Biden displayed “diminished faculties and faulty memory.”

At 81, Biden is already the oldest president in US history. “Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt,” Hur said. “It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him – by then a former president well into his 80s – of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.” In a nutshell: It’s about who you are, not whether you broke the law. Never mind that crimes were probably committed, and that national security was jeopardized, Biden’s DOJ concluded. The president is so scatterbrained and demonstrably old that jurors wouldn’t feel comfortable sending him to prison. But like the FBI’s then-director, James Comey, said in sparing Clinton prosecution in 2016, a criminal indictment wouldn’t be the “appropriate” remedy for this particular wrongdoing. Biden, who has been getting away with serious misconduct since he plagiarized his work as a college student nearly 60 years ago, will face no consequences.

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“..considered by 86% of Americans too old to serve another presidential term..”

Over 80% of US Citizens Deem Biden Too Old for Another Presidential Term (Sp.)

The incumbent 81-year-old US President, Joe Biden, is considered by 86% of Americans too old to serve another presidential term, a fresh ABC News/Ipsos poll showed. That includes 59% of the people polled who said that both Biden, 81, and the 77-year-old former US president, Donald Trump, are too old to be the head of state and 27% who said that it was exclusively Biden who is too old for the second term in the White House. As for Trump, 62% think that he is too old for the job. That includes 3% who think that only the Republican front-runner is too old. Only 11% of the respondents said neither of the presidents, Biden and Trump, was too old to go for another term. The poll was conducted from February 9-10 among 528 adult US citizens with a margin of sampling error of 4.5%. Biden is the oldest sitting US president. If he wins the election in 2024, he will be 82 when he takes office, and 86 when he completes his second term.

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“..the idea of calling on Kamala Harris to take over makes a great deal of sense because her poll ratings are abysmal..”

‘Ground is Shifting Under Biden’s Feet’ After Hur Report (Sp.)

Last week, special counsel Robert Hur released a bombshell report, declining to press charges against US President Joe Biden partially because his report said, the president would appear to the jury as an “elderly man with a poor memory” and therefore would have trouble convincing the jury of his intent. The report also noted that he forgot when his term as Vice President ended and started, and couldn’t remember what year his son died. Biden attempted to quell concerns about his age by calling a press conference addressing the report but proceeded to confuse Mexico and Egypt while speaking to reporters. While Democratic leaders and administration officials were quick to defend the President, the cracks have started to show. Independent journalist and author Dan Lazare told Sputnik’s The Final Countdown on Monday that the “Biden administration is in real trouble,” and that “the ground is shifting beneath Biden’s feet.”

On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris told a US media outlet she is “ready to serve” while slamming the report as “wrong” and “politically motivated.” Earlier in the week, former First Lady and 2016 democratic nominee Hillary Clinton admitted that Biden’s age is an issue. Finally, the New York Times editorial board released its opinion that Biden “needs to do more to show the public that he is capable of holding office until age 86” when his potential second term would end. It called on him to “hold regular news conferences” and said it looks like he is hiding “or worse, being hidden.” Lazare argued that is impossible for the Biden campaign. “Biden cannot go on that kind of tour,” he said. “He can’t sit down with Hannity or go on Fox News or do anything like that because he’ll only make things worse.[…] It’ll become completely clear that he doesn’t know what’s going on around him.”

Co-host Ted Rall asked how Republicans should tread the line between criticizing the president and being sensitive to people who have experienced dementia in their own families. “They can say, ‘look, that guy’s too old, he’s senile.’ and jump up and down […] [Or] is the best tactic to basically express sympathy and say, ‘look this can happen to any of us. We have sympathy for the president and his family […] but the needs of the country come first,’ and maybe they should call for Harris to take over knowing full well [that] politically she is unpopular.” That doesn’t sound like something former US President and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump would do, Lazare said, “But I think the idea of calling on Kamala Harris to take over makes a great deal of sense because her poll ratings are abysmal.” However, co-host Angie Wong, a Republican, argued that she “would love Biden to remain on the ticket in November. That’ll be fantastic for Donald Trump and [in down-ballot races].”

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No immunity, no US president as we’ve known them. It becomes a whole new job description.

Trump Asks Supreme Court To Intervene In Immunity Appeal (ZH)

Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Monday to step in and weigh in on his claim of presidential immunity after the DC Circuit Court of Appeals sided with special counsel Jack Smith – ruling that Trump is not immune from prosecution. The lower court held off on issuing the mandate until Monday in order to allow Trump’s legal team time to approach the Supreme Court. Trump is specifically asking the Supreme Court to pause the lower court’s ruling until he can formally appeal, which will further delay his trial in front of District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan. The trial was originally scheduled for March 4, however Chutkan vacated the date in early February amid Trump’s immunity defense, and noted that the court would “set a new schedule if and when the mandate is returned.” Chutkan’s decision also denied Trump’s bid to toss the case in December based on the immunity claim.

“Smith sought to keep the trial on schedule in December by asking the Supreme Court to take up the question before the appeals court had a chance to consider it, but the justices rejected his request. “President Trump’s claim that Presidents have absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for their official acts presents a novel, complex, and momentous question that warrants careful consideration on appeal,” the application states. “The panel opinion below, like the district court, concludes that Presidential immunity from prosecution for official acts does not exist at all. This is a stunning breach of precedent and historical norms.” -Daily Caller

In January, Trump’s legal team presented oral arguments to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which Trump attended. The Judge, Biden appointee Florence Pan, questioned whether presidential immunity extended to such examples as a president ordering SEAL Team Six to assassinate a political rival without facing criminal charges. “For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution,” the panel wrote in its Feb. 6 ruling. “Former President Trump lacked any lawful discretionary authority to defy federal criminal law and he is answerable in court for his conduct.” In short, to be continued…

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Booby-trapping the law.

Ukraine Aid Bill Is A Trump Impeachment ‘Time Bomb’ – US Senator (RT)

Republican Senator JD Vance has argued that a new bill proposing additional military aid for Kiev could spell another impeachment case against Donald Trump should he win reelection in November, calling the measure a “time bomb.” In a memo circulated on Monday, Vance noted that the latest Ukraine bill calls for funding which would expire “nearly a year into the possible second term of President Trump,” suggesting that Democrats could ultimately impeach him if he chose not to renew the aid. “If President Trump were to withdraw from or pause financial support for the war in Ukraine in order to bring the conflict to a peaceful conclusion… it would amount to the same fake violation of budget law from the first impeachment,” Vance wrote, adding that “Partisan Democrats would seize on the opportunity to impeach him once again.”

He went on to say that the aid bill “represents an attempt by the foreign policy blob/deep state to stop President Trump from pursuing his desired policy,” as the former president has repeatedly questioned American largesse to Ukraine throughout the conflict with Russia. Democrats voted to impeach Trump in late 2019, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after he threatened to withhold US aid to Ukraine during a call with his counterpart Vladimir Zelensky. Part of a larger funding package worth more than $95 billion, the bill would devote $60 billion for Kiev, as well as additional aid for Israel and US allies in Asia. It has been subject to political deadlock for months. Trump himself has slammed the legislation, recently telling an audience in South Carolina that such foreign aid should be repaid to the US government.

“They want to give, like, almost $100 billion to a few countries, $100 billion. I said, ‘Why do we do this? If you do, you give them, not $100 billion, you give it to ‘em as a loan,’” he said. Following lengthy negotiations over the new military package in Washington, a final vote to pass the Senate’s version of the bill could come as soon as this week, according to multiple reports. Trump has said on multiple occasions that he would somehow resolve the two-year-old conflict “in one day” if he were to return to the White House. His eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., suggested that “the only way” to persuade Zelensky to engage in talks with Russia was to “cut off the money” that’s being provided to Kiev by Washington.

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“Moscow’s representatives are not certain what caused this, but have simplified their messaging in response..”

Western Diplomacy ‘Primitive’ – Moscow (RT)

Russian diplomats perceive their Western counterparts’ approach to international affairs to be “quite primitive,” Moscow’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, has said. Moscow’s representatives are not certain what caused this, but have simplified their messaging in response, he added. Polyansky made remarks about the quality of the Western diplomatic corps in an interview with RIA Novosti published on Monday, based on his personal experience at the UN. He expressed concern about Anglophone speakers at the forum selectively ignoring the context of particular situations for their own benefit. ”They pick an arbitrary point in time and claim nothing happened before it. They try to blame a nation for its actions regardless of prior events or the general context,” he explained.

The diplomat cited the Ukraine conflict as an example. The US and its allies have been describing Moscow’s military action against Kiev as “unprovoked” and supposedly motivated by “imperial ambitions,” and have pressured other nations to frame it in the same way. As they learn more about the conflict, however, those parties realize how much the general context and Western actions since Ukraine gained its independence matter, he added. ”This trick does not always work, but it is a trend. I don’t know if it’s some deeper trend or just something typical for some people coming from [Western] schools of diplomacy,” Polyansky said. “Having a dialogue with them is challenging because they show certain superficiality, tunnel vision, and unwillingness to seek the core causes of conflicts. No solutions can be found without [such analysis].”

The office of the Russian envoy to the UN has been simplifying its addresses due to uncertainty over how their words are understood, he said. Russian diplomats used to quote foreign and Russian classics in speeches, but are no longer using this rhetorical device as much, Polyansky said. ”Times dictate things. Our partners may now be less well-read individuals, so occasionally we want to speak in plainer terms to make sure our signal comes through,” he explained.

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“..Hillary Clinton calling him a “useful idiot” for Russia, Carlson laughed it off. “She’s a child, I don’t listen to her,” he said. “How’s Libya doing?”

Tucker Carlson Reviews Putin Interview And Reveals What ‘Radicalized’ Him (RT)

Following his two-hour interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, US journalist Tucker Carlson opened up about his experience at the World Government Summit in Dubai. In an hour-long interview with TV presenter Emad Eldin Adeeb, Carlson addressed why the conversation with Putin did not touch on certain topics, how the US political establishment had reacted to it, and why Washington has failed to understand Moscow, among other things. According to Carlson, he had an off-the-record conversation with Putin after their recorded interview was over. He would not reveal what was discussed, however. Carlson did say that Putin seemed willing to negotiate with the West about both the end of the Ukraine conflict and a new balance of power in the world. Diplomacy is the art of compromise, and almost everyone “other than maybe the United States during the unipolar period” understands this, Carlson said.

But while Putin wants the conflict to end, his position will only harden the longer it goes on, he added. One of the major revelations in the interview for Carlson was that Russia had asked to join NATO – and while then-US President Bill Clinton seemed receptive, his aides pushed against the idea and it ultimately failed. Since the entire point of NATO was to keep the Soviet Union out of Western Europe, Carlson said in Dubai, “if the Russians ask to join the alliance, that would suggest you have solved the problem and you can move on to do something constructive with your life. But we refused.” “Go sit in the sauna for an hour and think about what that means,” he added. Politicians in the West aren’t setting themselves “achievable” goals, Carlson has argued. “I have heard personally US government officials say well we just have to return Crimea to Ukraine,” he said. “That’s not going to happen, short of a nuclear war. That’s insane, actually.”

Even bringing up this kind of idea “shows you are a child, you don’t understand the area at all, and you have no real sense of what’s possible,” the journalist concluded. According to Carlson, one of the biggest issues in the US and the West in general is the tendency to reduce everything to the 1938 Munich conference, at which Britain and France sought to “appease” Nazi Germany by giving it a portion of Czechoslovakia. “The American policymaker historical template is tiny – in fact there’s only one – and it’s a 2-year period in the late 1930s, and everything is based on that understanding of history and human nature. That’s insane,” Carlson said. Carlson pointed out that he’s 54 and grew up in an America that had nice, safe and beautiful cities, “and we no longer have them.”

It was “radicalizing” to see Moscow “cleaner, safer and prettier” than American cities, he said, or be reminded of that in Dubai and Abu Dhabi – while in the US, one can’t ride the subway in New York City because it’s dirty and unsafe. “That’s a voluntary choice,” he said. “You don’t have to have crime, actually.” Asked why he hadn’t raised certain topics with Putin, Carlson said he wanted to do the interview because he was interested in how the Russian leader saw the world – and not to inject himself into the discussion. Most journalists who interview leaders the US dislikes tend to make it about themselves, Carlson added, and since he only cared about the approval of his wife and their children, he didn’t need to virtue-signal. Asked to comment on former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton calling him a “useful idiot” for Russia, Carlson laughed it off. “She’s a child, I don’t listen to her,” he said. “How’s Libya doing?”

Tucker Moscow

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“Leaders of any country on the planet, other than maybe the United States during the unipolar period, are forced by the nature of their jobs to compromise. That’s what diplomacy is..”

Putin Wants To End Ukraine Conflict – Tucker Carlson (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to engage in diplomacy to end the fighting in Ukraine, but the longer it continues the less likely he will be to compromise, US journalist Tucker Carlson warned on Monday. Carlson spoke at the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he flew after interviewing Putin in Moscow last week. The video of the discussion has been viewed hundreds of millions of times. “Putin wants to get out of this war. He’s not going to become more open to negotiation the longer this goes on,” Carlson said in response to a moderator’s question. The West needs to keep in mind that “Russia’s industrial capacity is a lot more profound than we thought it was,” and that Moscow is having a far easier time manufacturing weapons and ammunition than NATO countries that have been supplying Ukraine, the journalist continued.

There are competent people in US President Joe Biden’s administration, Carlson noted, but they lack perspective and see international relations through a very narrow lens in which every foreign leader is Adolf Hitler and every day is Munich 1938. As a result, Western governments have no real sense of what is possible or achievable, he claimed. “Leaders of any country on the planet, other than maybe the United States during the unipolar period, are forced by the nature of their jobs to compromise. That’s what diplomacy is,” Carlson told the crowd in Dubai. Putin practices diplomacy just like everyone else, but “his position is hardening,” he added.

Following Carlson’s two-hour interview with Putin, the Kremlin said that Russia has communicated its stance to the US quite clearly, but that Washington did not appear interested in talks. “The US authorities know our position very well, they are perfectly aware of all of Putin’s main points,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency on Saturday. However, the American leadership apparently lacks the “political will” for negotiations. “This is not an issue of knowledge, but an issue of desire. The desire to do something to get on to the track of negotiations. We have not yet seen such a desire or the political will for this [in the US],” Peskov noted.

Tucker Russia

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“..a world leader for a quarter century with the lack of gravitas — to put it politely of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and many others in both parties who are surface-level, donor-captured, soundbite specialists..”

Putin and Trump Seen as ‘Threat’ by Davos Globalists (Sp.)

Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin has attracted over 190 million views on X (formerly Twitter) as of February 11. “I think it was fortunate that the interview occurred well before the heart of the primary season so that voters got a fair chance to see the interaction for themselves in a long format forum that was, fortunately, not interrupted by pesky commercials,” Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist, told Sputnik. “My guess is that getting on Putin’s calendar for such a long interview was a challenge, so I imagine it suited both parties to have this video out well in advance of the nominating convention for Democrats and of the general election. It would be great to have one or even more follow-ups in coming months,” he added.

“I also think the contrast between Putin’s measured and thoughtful perspectives, having been a world leader for a quarter century with the lack of gravitas — to put it politely of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and many others in both parties who are surface-level, donor-captured, soundbite specialists was stunning. This contrast was remarkable considering Biden’s post-interview meltdown before what remains of the ‘press’,” Ortel continued. The Wall Street analyst noted that judging from viewership statistics, the corporate — and political donor-controlled — media is destroying itself. He stressed that “no political interview has garnered nearly as much coverage as Putin’s recent sit down with Tucker,” adding that he expects “it will, in the end, change the thinking of most open minds.” Prior to the historic interview, US corporate media pundits and Democratic political figures urged Americans to ignore Carlson’s show.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton called Tucker a “useful idiot”, claiming that the US journalist “parrots Vladimir Putin’s pack of lies about Ukraine.. Clinton’s remarks before the interview echoed those of Soviet-era apparatchiks who said of Nobel Prize-winning novel Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak: “I haven’t read Pasternak, but I condemn him.” “Hillary Clinton’s star set long ago while Tucker Carlson is, today, one of the most followed and fair-minded voices on earth,” Ortel said, commenting on Clinton’s rant. “Certainly, the Clinton family has much to fear as 5 November 2024 looms.” The Wall Street analyst, who has carried out a private investigation into allegations of fraud by the Clinton Foundation over several years, noted that “there are serious unanswered questions over how much foreign government and oligarch money may have funded Hillary’s political campaigns in 2005-6, 2007-8, and 2015-16, including donations from Ukraine’s [oligarch] Victor Pinchuk and his wife.”

He added that there are also “reasonable concerns as in the case of the Bidens, that the Clinton family exploited their offices to enrich themselves for decades, illegally.” “Hillary Clinton will not be remembered well in history,” Ortel said. “She coasted into national politics, at first, in sympathy over the Lewinsky affair as she had no actual ties to my home state of New York. As Senator, she promoted foreign adventurism in Afghanistan and Iraq that clearly failed. Meanwhile her husband advanced a boldly crooked set of scam charities we have previously covered that bilked governments and other donors of billions of dollars, for which there has never been honest accounting.”

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“Musk echoed Johnson’s sentiment, saying “As you said, there’s no way Putin is going to lose. If he backs off, he will be assassinated..”

Really?

“Vladimir Putin Will Not Lose This War” (ZH)

During today’s Twitter Spaces, Elon Musk and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) discussed their opposition to the ongoing war in Ukraine. “We all have to understand that Vladimir Putin will not lose this war… Losing to Vladimir Putin is existential to Vladimir Putin. Russia has four times the population and a much larger industrial base,” said Johnson, adding “Russia can produce 4.5 million artillery shells per year. We’re not even up to 1 million per year. The average age of a Ukrainian soldier right now is 43 years old.” “If you’re worried about the people of Ukraine, you have to understand that probably 100,000 of their soldiers have been killed,” Johnson continued, adding “The only way this war ends is in a settlement, and every day that the war goes on, more Ukrainians and more Russian conscripts die, more civilians die, and more of Ukraine gets destroyed. Again, sending $60 billion as added fuel to the flames of a bloody stalemate makes no sense.”

Musk echoed Johnson’s sentiment, saying “As you said, there’s no way Putin is going to lose. If he backs off, he will be assassinated. And for those who want regime change in Russia, they should think about who is the person that could take out Putin?” He also defended his record – saying “My companies have probably done more to undermine Russia than anyone. Space X has taken away two-thirds of the Russian launch business. Starlink has overwhelmingly helped Ukraine.”

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“I think it’s clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced presenting a conflict or the appearance of one..”

Fani Willis Could Be Disqualified, Judge Says (ET)

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee confirmed on Feb. 12 that the hearing about misconduct claims against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade “must occur” on Feb. 15 and could lead to disqualification. Ms. Willis is presiding over the high-profile racketeering case that names former President Donald Trump and 14 others. “I think it’s clear that disqualification can occur if evidence is produced presenting a conflict or the appearance of one, and the filings submitted on this issue so far have presented a conflict of interest that can’t be resolved as a matter of law,” Judge McAfee said. Ms. Willis will be called as the first witness, the judge said after hearing some of the prosecutors’ arguments. “I don’t see how quash can be imposed here,” he said, referring to the district attorney’s effort to dismiss the subpoenas.

On Feb. 12, the judge held a hearing regarding the district attorney’s motions to quash the nine subpoenas issued on Ms. Willis herself and her staffers ahead of this week’s anticipated hearing in which the district attorney will have to respond to allegations of an “improper” relationship. On Jan. 8, defendant Michael Roman filed a lengthy motion that alleged that Ms. Willis was in a personal relationship with Mr. Wade, an attorney with a private law firm whom she had contracted to take a lead position in the racketeering case. He alleged that Mr. Wade took Ms. Willis on “lavish” vacations, including a cruise, and that she financially benefited from the situation. He also made several other allegations, including that Mr. Wade wasn’t qualified for the position and that Ms. Willis used funds improperly, which the judge indicated would not be the focus of the Feb. 15 evidentiary hearing. After the huge claims were made, several co-defendants filed their own motions to disqualify Ms. Willis based on “prejudicial” actions.

“Specifically looking at defendant Roman’s motion, it alleged a personal relationship that resulted in a financial benefit to the district attorney that is no longer a matter of speculation,” the judge said. “The state has admitted a relationship existed, and so what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit, again if there even was one.” Judge McAfee said the claims of prejudice were based on public statements—a speech Ms. Willis gave at an Atlanta church where she invoked God and said her critics were playing the “race card”—and did not warrant a hearing meant to produce evidence for the record. Other issues such as Mr. Wade’s resume also did not warrant an evidentiary hearing, according to the judge. The district attorney had filed a motion arguing that no evidentiary hearing was necessary because no conflict of interest had occurred, but the judge rejected the argument.

“Because I think it’s possible that the facts alleged by the defendant could result in disqualification, I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish a record on those core allegations,” Judge McAfee said. He said that the hearing will focus on “whether a relationship existed, whether that relationship was romantic or not in nature, when it formed, and whether it continues.” “I think that’s only relevant because it’s in relation to the question of the extent of any personal benefit conveyed as a result of the relationship,” Judge McAfee said. Mr. Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, alleged that the relationship began as early as 2019 and that the couple cohabited at one point and claimed in a court filing that she could produce witnesses to testify to these allegations.

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“What is unclear is why Putin, Xi, and Iran think they can reach an agreement with immoral governments. How many times will Putin purchase a Minsk Agreement?”

Israel’s Ever-widening War (Paul Craig Roberts)

Rafah is the town that borders Egypt and the Sinai desert, where one million Palestinian refugees have fled to escape the merciless Israeli attacks against them. More than 100,000 Palestinian civilians, including 70,000 Palestinian women and children, have already been killed and wounded. Most of these poor refugees are literally starving to death because of the 3-month long Israeli blockade of water, food, electricity, and medicine to Gaza. If Israel launches this attack on Rafah, with the aim of driving one million Palestinians into the desert — and killing all those who refuse to leave Gaza– Egypt warns that a regional war will likely result, one which could conceivably become a World War. Biden could prevent this with a single phone call. If the US cut off all military and financial aid to Israel, the Israelis could not continue to prosecute its genocidal ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians from Gaza. However, just the opposite seems to be happening, with the full support and complicity of the United States.

Putin, Xi, and the Iranians are extraordinarily mistaken thinking that they can sit aside from the conflict as the conflict is directed against them. The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN. And the Great Moral Western Democracies continue to support the Israeli Genocide of the Palestinians even as Egypt warns of a widening war. What is clear is that the West can no longer in any way be considered to be moral. What is unclear is why Putin, Xi, and Iran think they can reach an agreement with immoral governments. How many times will Putin purchase a Minsk Agreement?

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“..where we are cajoled to accept a “great reset” and a “new world order” controlled by unseen elites..

Descent into Madness: Dostoevsky and the End of the West (Boyd)

Our society is coming to resemble a dystopian “peoples’ paradise” in its darkly disturbing features. Think back to iconic works of literature like Arthur Koestler’s Darkness At Noon and George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four. Are we not living in a society which is little more than a cross between the nightmare visions of Koestler and Orwell? Do we not live in a society where dissidents are branded as “domestic terrorists,” “insurrectionists,” or “racists,” and face imprisonment for heretofore unimaginable thought crimes, all in the name of “defending our democracy”? –where our children have become wards of the state and are indoctrinated daily by mountains of fetid radical ideology? –where television and the Internet are employed to fashion a particular jaundiced view of life?—where science is now used to tell us the world will end in, what, ten years, if we don’t take immediate action to curb “the climate crisis”?—where we are cajoled to accept a “great reset” and a “new world order” controlled by unseen elites?

Far too many citizens do not fathom what has occurred and is happening in our society. And those who do understand, whether here in the US or in Europe, are swatted down by the long arm of “Big Brother,” turned into “non-persons,” their reputations destroyed, awakened by armed-to-the-teeth FBI agents before dawn and imprisoned for months or years without trial or the benefit of counsel—“enemies of the regime.” Is this not reminiscent of what occurred in Eastern Europe immediately after the conclusion of World War II, when the Soviets progressively installed socialist dictatorships by successfully eliminating and suppressing any real opposition, all happening why the benevolent USA looked on?

But in some ways our situation is worse than that of those Soviet-occupied countries in the aftermath of the world war. For while the post-war Communists essentially maintained certain inherited standards of behavior, for instance, supporting large families and traditional marriage, our elites continue to push the boundaries of what was once thought normative and acceptable in every area of human endeavor, even under Communism. And the disruption or rejection of the laws of nature and those well-established and valid millennia-old norms of behavior and belief leads to gross and grotesque imbalances and vicious infections in society which distort and eventually destroy it—what I have called in an earlier essay, “the zombification of our culture.”

It’s as if significant portions of American (and European) culture have been possessed by frenetic Evil incarnate…in academia and education, in our media and communications, in politics, and in our entertainment and sports industries. We are now supposed to be like Pavlov’s dog, trained to bark when prompted, to sit when told, in short, to be obedient and receptive subjects of the latest ukase or dogmatic proclamation of government or revelation of its satraps and lapdogs at some formerly-prestigious university or from fashionable glitterati.

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” We now have a usefully intricate anatomy of an undeservedly influential newspaper as it abjectly surrenders to power the sovereignty it is its duty to claim and assert in every day’s editions..”

The Crisis at The New York Times (Patrick Lawrence)

It has been evident to many of us since the genocide in Gaza began Oct. 7 that Israel risked asking too much of those inclined to take its side. The Zionist state would ask what many people cannot give: It would ask them to surrender their consciences, their idea of moral order, altogether their native decency as it murders, starves and disperses a population of 2.3 million while making their land uninhabitable. The Israelis took this risk and they have lost. We are now able to watch videos of Israeli soldiers celebrating as they murder Palestinian mothers and children, as they dance and sing while detonating entire neighborhoods, as they mock Palestinians in a carnival of racist depravity one would have thought beyond what is worst in humanity—and certainly beyond what any Jew would do to another human being. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports, as American media do not, that the Israel Defense Forces covertly sponsor a social media channel disseminating this degenerate material in the cause of maintaining maximum hatred.

It is a psychologically diseased nation that boasts as it inflicts this suffering on The Other that obsesses it. The world is invited—the ultimate in perversity, this—to partake of Israel’s sickness and said, in a Hague courtroom two weeks ago, “No.” Post–Gaza, apartheid Israel is unlikely ever to recover what place it enjoyed, merited or otherwise, in the community of nations. It stands among the pariahs now. The Biden regime took this risk, too, and it has also lost. Its support for the Israelis’ daily brutalities comes at great political cost, at home and abroad, and is tearing America apart—its universities, its courts, its legislatures, its communities—and I would say what pride it still manages to take in itself. When the history of America’s decline as a hegemonic power is written, the Gaza crisis is certain to figure in it as a significant marker in the nation’s descent into a morass of immorality that has already contributed to a collapse of its credibility.

We come to U.S. media — mainstream media, corporate media, legacy media. However you wish to name them, they have gambled and lost, too. Their coverage of the Gaza crisis has been so egregiously and incautiously unbalanced in Israel’s behalf that we might count their derelictions as unprecedented. When the surveys are conducted and the returns are in, their unscrupulous distortions, their countless omissions, and—the worst offense, in my view—their dehumanization of the Palestinians of Gaza will have further damaged their already collapsing credibility. We come, finally, to The New York Times. No medium in America has had further to fall in consequence of its reporting on Israel and Gaza since last October. And the once-but-no-longer newspaper of record, fairly suffocating amid its well-known hubris, falls as we speak. It has erupted, by numerous accounts including implicitly its own, in an internal uproar over reportage from Israel and Gaza so shabby—so transparently negligent—that it, like Israel, may never fully restore its reputation.

Max Blumenthal, editor-in-chief of The Grayzone, described the crisis on Eighth Avenue better than anyone in the Jan. 30 segment of The Hill’s daily webcast, Rising. “We’re looking at one of the biggest media scandals of our time,” he told Briahna Joy Gray and Robby Soave. Indeed. This well captures the gravity of The Times’s willful corruptions in its profligate use of Israeli propaganda, and Blumenthal deserves the microphone to say so. Since late last year The Grayzone has exhaustively investigated The Times’s “investigations” of Hamas’s supposed savagery and Israel’s supposed innocence. This is more than “inside baseball,” as the saying goes. We now have a usefully intricate anatomy of an undeservedly influential newspaper as it abjectly surrenders to power the sovereignty it is its duty to claim and assert in every day’s editions. It would be hard to overstate the implications, for all of us, of what The Grayzone has just brought to light. This is independent journalism at its best reporting on corporate journalism at its worst.

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Assange

 

 

Elbalmer

 

 

Sunak vax

 

 

Silverback

 

 

Tree planting

 

 

Longest truck

 

 

Milky Way
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756949552953778634

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 062023
 


Jules Adolphe Breton The Song of the Lark 1884

 

Hydroelectric Dam In Kherson Partially Destroyed – Mayor (RT)
Ukraine Launches Its Counterattack (MoA)
Ukraine ‘Well Prepared’ For Counteroffensive – Top US General Milley (RT)
NATO Unprepared To Fight Russia – Former US General (RT)
Kiev Renews Offensive In Donbass For 2nd Day – Russian Official (RT)
Ukraine To Forgo F-16s In Summer Counteroffensive: Defense Minister (Az.)
Wagner Captures Russian Commander As Prigozhin Feud With Army Escalates (G.)
Kiev Denies Death Of Intel Chief (RT)
Russian Governor Reacts To Kiev-Backed Militants’ Demand For Meeting (RT)
Polish Militants Claim Involvement In Attack On Russia (RT)
Ukraine Operates Network Of Saboteurs Inside Russia – CNN (RT)
Russia Sees No Prospects For Further Extension Of Grain Deal (TASS)
Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History (NYT)
Should Beijing Shoulder Some Of The Local Governments’ Debts? (SCMP)
Ice Shelves Surrounding Antarctica Grew In Overall Size From 2009-2019 (DS)

 

 

 

 

Comey

 

 

McCain
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665614106634645504

 

 

 

 

Comer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665769178442383360

 

 

Musk RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665891058218049539

 

 

 

 

Zlatti71: Overnight (Sun-Mon), losses of the enemy in the Zaporozhye Direction and Southern Donetsk Region amounted to nearly 17APCS, 11IFVS, 9 Tanks, and beyond 900+ personnel. The advance of the enemy was only 700 metres near Velkya Novoselika; the enemy attempted to go on the offensive in Avdeevka however suffered significant losses and retreated.

In the Ugledarisky and Pobjeda (Marinskoye Tactical Region); the AFU attempted to probe the villages around Pobjeda; suffered losses amounting to nearly 250 personnel and 8 vehicles and retreated. On the Ugledarisky Tactical Region, the AFU attempted to probe the villages of Myliske and Pavlovka, however, suffered losses amounting to 13 vehicles (5 SMVs and 8 IFVs and APCs) and around 5 tanks.

In total, losses are nearing 2,000 personnel and almost 45 destroyed vehicles from one night of attack. Battles continue today, as the AFU is attempting another large-scale probing attack. Western vehicles are involved.

 

 

 

 

Michael Tracey: “Another round of “Russia keeps blowing up its own critical infrastructure for reasons no one can explain.” According to the allegations, Russia’s novel strategy for prosecuting the war is to bomb itself constantly..”

Hydroelectric Dam In Kherson Partially Destroyed – Mayor (RT)

The Kakhovskaya hydroelectric dam in Russia’s Kherson Region, located on the Dnepr River upstream from the city of Kherson, suffered significant damage on Tuesday morning, according to a local official and several videos shared on social media. The upper part of the key infrastructure was “destroyed as a result of a strike,” the mayor of Novaya Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontyev, confirmed to RIA Novosti. While several of the dam’s floodgates were damaged and unleashed an uncontrolled stream of water, the underwater structure itself withstood the attack, the official claimed. Leontyev described the incident as a major “terrorist act” and said the water level downstream had risen by up to 2.5 meters, but added there was no need for evacuations thus far.


He noted that the area has seen higher water levels during previous floods caused by heavy rainfall, but emphasized that local officials were focused on helping citizens as they prepare for a worst-case scenario. “All services work in the city, all administration employees are in place. Electricity, gas, internet, communications are available,” the mayor continued. The dam was reportedly struck around 2am local time. A video captured from a drone has circulated on Telegram, purporting to show the aftermath of the attack, with streams of water seen flowing through the breach. Moscow has repeatedly blamed Kiev for numerous attacks on the Kakhovskaya dam, warning that a breach could result in the deaths of thousands of civilians. In turn, Ukraine has claimed that Russia was planning to blow up the dam in a false-flag operation aimed at framing Kiev for the flooding.

The persistent threat was cited as one of the main reasons for evacuating civilians from certain communities in the area, and an eventual pullout of Russian forces from the city of Kherson to the left bank of the Dnepr River. Russian military and civilian officials, including acting Kherson Governor Vladimir Saldo, warned at the time that many areas in the region, including the city of Kherson, could be flooded if the Kakhovskaya dam were destroyed. Kherson Region was officially declared part of Russia in early October, together with Zaporozhye Region and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, after people in those territories overwhelmingly supported the move in referendums. Kiev and its Western backers have labeled the votes a “sham” and vowed to recapture the territories using any means necessary.


Ukraine considered blowing up the dam to paralyze Russian forces who were defending the city of Kherson – and even “conducted a test strike with a HIMARS launcher on one of the floodgates” – a former head of Ukraine’s Operational Command South, Major General Andrey Kovalchuk, admitted in an interview with the Washington Post in December.

Dam

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“..three lines of well prepared positions ten kilometer apart from each other. Each line consists of tank obstacles, mine belts, prepared anti-tank positions to monitor and counter potential breach attempts..”

“..Two days fighting with such losses would destroy a brigade’s battle capability. 24 days with such losses would in effect destroy the entire fist of 12 brigades UkrAF has gathered for the counteroffensive..”

Ukraine Launches Its Counterattack (MoA)

The long announced Ukrainian counter offensive has started. New Ukrainian units, never seen before, have come to the front. The attack was launched by Ukraine for political reasons under pressure from its ‘western’ sponsors. Militarily it is unlikely to become successful but it will eat away at whatever is left of Ukraine’s military capabilities. Attacks happened all around the front. In the north towards Belgograd, to the east and, with the most forces, towards the south. There was so far little to no success in any of the attacks. The daily report by the Russian Ministry of Defense list as Ukrainian losses over the last 24 hours 910 soldiers, 16 tanks, 33 armored combat vehicles/infantry fighting vehicle and some 30 trucks. So far only the most forward positions of Russian troops have been attacked. There are two to three well organized defense lines behind those. The Russians can fall back whenever needed and let the artillery and air force destroy their oncoming enemies.


As I wrote previously about any attacks in the direction of Tokmak and Melitopol: “From the point of strategic value the chosen target is the right one. However, it is also the one where the Russian military has prepared its strongest defense lines. In military books this is known as ‘echeloned defense’ with three lines of well prepared positions ten kilometer apart from each other. Each line consists of tank obstacles, mine belts, prepared anti-tank positions to monitor and counter potential breach attempts and well prepared artillery support from behind the next defense line. To crack such a nut without air support and without significant artillery advantage is nearly impossible.


Source: @Inkvisiit, Scribblemaps

There may still come larger attacks in other directions. But how many could there be? As a former Swedish officer notes:

“June 4th UkrAF scaled up offensive operations on the Southern Front, but the losses are too high for long time success. Earlier operations were mainly reconnaissance in force with platoon and company sized combat groups. Yesterday the Ukrainian forces seemed to be battalion sized combat groups. According to Russian MoD 8 UkrAF battalions was involved in offensive operations SE of Mala Tokmachka (1), at the Vremivka salient (2) and East of Vuhledar towards Velikonovoselovka (3). The fighting was intense, but on most places Ukrainian forces was turned back, mainly by intense Russian artillery and air attacks. On some places UkrAF succeeded in capturing a couple of hundred meters. [If the Russian numbers are true], the prospects for a Ukrainian counteroffensive looks very dim.

This is even if we don’t take into account the ongoing intense Russian air and artillery offensive against UkrAF troop concentrations, ammunition and fuel depots. With losses of over 1000 KIA and WIA that means that a Ukrainian brigade of 4000 man loose at least 25 percent of its manpower. That’s on the brink of making a brigade unusable. Two days fighting with such losses would destroy a brigade’s battle capability. 24 days with such losses would in effect destroy the entire fist of 12 brigades UkrAF has gathered for the counteroffensive. With losses of around 12 brigades, 25 000 KIA/WIA, 250 tanks and 1000 IFVs/APCs all the strategic reserves UkrAF has built during the last 6 months would be gone. In exchange the Ukrainian side could have advanced maybe 10 km on some places or more generally 2-3 km along maybe half the southern front. Once again, IF the Russian claims are true, RuAF must feel relieved and UkrAF very worried by the results of the fighting on the Southern front June 4th.”

I strongly suspect that the Russian military will let the Ukrainian attacks run their course to then launch its own larger scale attacks against weakened Ukrainian defenses.

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“Milley has repeatedly stated that Ukraine is unlikely to achieve its goals – which include seizing Crimea – by military force..”

Ukraine ‘Well Prepared’ For Counteroffensive – Top US General Milley (RT)

Ukraine is “very well prepared” for its long-anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told CNN on Monday. However, Ukrainian forces suffered heavy losses in a multi-pronged attack earlier in the day, and Milley cautioned that it’s “too early to tell”if the offensive will achieve its goals. Citing the “training, ammunition, advice, intelligence, etc” provided to Kiev by its Western backers, Milley claimed that Ukraine is “very well prepared” to retake territory from Russian forces. Ukrainian officials have promised for months to launch a counteroffensive, which was initially set to take place in spring. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed on multiple occasions that his military was “ready” for the anticipated push, but walked back these statements by saying that he needed more time, and Western weapons, to prepare for the operation.

Throughout this preparatory period, Ukraine reportedly lost around 50,000 servicemen in the battle for the Donbass city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, as Russian missiles and drones continuously pounded ammunition dumps, fuel depots, and command centers, often deep into Western Ukraine. Amid mixed messages from Kiev and with its combat potential seemingly degraded by the fighting in Artyomovsk, the Ukrainian military launched what appeared to be the beginning of a counteroffensive on Sunday. Throughout Sunday and into Monday morning, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that Kiev’s forces attacked with six mechanized and two tank battalions along five sections of the frontline near Donetsk, and in other regions to the north and south.


The Russian military repelled the attacks with airstrikes and artillery fire, inflicting “significant losses”on the Ukrainians, the ministry said. According to Moscow, Ukraine has lost around 900 soldiers, 16 tanks, and 33 armored vehicles across the entire frontline since Sunday. Milley has repeatedly stated that Ukraine is unlikely to achieve its goals – which include seizing Crimea – by military force. Speaking to CNN on Monday, he continued to hedge his bets, saying that it is “too early to tell what outcomes are going to happen.”

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Whatever:

“Morawiecki claimed earlier this year that Moscow would follow its campaign in Ukraine with “the next offensive, potentially on the Baltic states, or Finland, or Poland, or Romania or Moldova, any other country bordering.”

NATO Unprepared To Fight Russia – Former US General (RT)

NATO would not be able to move troops and equipment eastwards fast enough to stop a hypothetical Russian invasion of Europe, a retired US general has warned. “Being faster than the Russians to get to a critical place is the only metric that matters for effective deterrence, and we still can’t do that,” Ben Hodges, a former commander of US Army Europe, told the Washington Post on Monday. “Military mobility is still a problem. It is better than it was five years ago, but that’s not the metric that matters.” Almost one year earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the bloc would increase its number of high-readiness troops from 40,000 to 300,000, without explaining which countries would provide these soldiers or pay for their deployment.

All NATO has said is that 100,000 will be deployable within ten days and the rest within a month. Estonian officials are unhappy with the arrangement, the newspaper reported, and are seeking guarantees that reinforcements would arrive “not when Russian aggression starts, but from the moment we see the first indicators and warnings,” Estonian military chief Gen. Martin Herem told the Post. “If you look at a map, then how much of Estonia and for how long will we have to cede territory?” before NATO troops would arrive, Herem asked. No matter how prepared the troops are, Hodges noted that NATO would struggle to get heavy equipment to the battlefield to back them up, as there are not enough bridges and tunnels wide enough to transport armored vehicles throughout Europe, nor enough train cars to carry them.

Some countries also doubt the commitment of their allies. Until NATO leaders work out a plan to field Stoltenberg’s promised 300,000 troops, soldiers are stationed along Russia’s borders under bilateral agreements. Germany leads a NATO battle group in Lithuania, but has opposed the creation of a permanent brigade there. This has led the Lithuanians to worry that if war were to break out, political disagreement in Berlin could delay the arrival of reinforcements, former NATO assistant secretary general Camille Grand told the Post.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly claimed that Russian forces will continue to press into Europe unless Kiev is given enough Western weapons to fend them off, while Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed earlier this year that Moscow would follow its campaign in Ukraine with “the next offensive, potentially on the Baltic states, or Finland, or Poland, or Romania or Moldova, any other country bordering.” The Kremlin has never expressed any intention of striking NATO territory, a move that would instantly bring Russia into war with the entire alliance. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against deepening its involvement in the conflict by supplying arms to Kiev, arguing that doing so will prolong the fighting while making NATO members de-facto participants.

Ukr Bollywood

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Sounds costly.

Kiev Renews Offensive In Donbass For 2nd Day – Russian Official (RT)

Ukrainian forces are attempting a major push against Russian troops for a second day, Vladimir Rogov, a Zaporozhye Region administration official, reported on Monday. The first effort on Sunday was repelled, with Kiev losing some 250 people and over a dozen tanks, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The offensive began near the village of Vremevka in Donetsk Region early on Monday morning, Rogov said on social media. He assessed the maneuver as being better organized and involving more Ukrainian troops than the assault on Sunday. Kiev has long promised to launch a major counteroffensive against Russia. However, in recent weeks Ukrainian officials have explained delays by claiming that the country needs more Western weapons first. The operation on Sunday was described as “large-scale” yet “unsuccessful” by the Russian military.


The attack, which was carried out by Ukraine’s 23rd and 31st Mechanized Brigades, was repelled, the Defense Ministry reported, adding that Kiev lost more than 250 service members, 16 tanks, three infantry vehicles, and 21 armored vehicles in the clashes. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky confirmed to the Wall Street Journal last week that his army was ready to commence the much-touted counteroffensive, claiming he expected it to be a success. His government considers the full takeover of all lands lost to Russia as the only acceptable result of the conflict. The US and its allies have pledged to support Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. Moscow has described the hostilities as part of Washington’s proxy war against Russia. Russian officials have also said that by pumping weapons into Ukraine Western nations are simply prolonging the conflict but will not be able to change the outcome.

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Somehow we seamlessly moved into Summer Counteroffensive.

Ukraine To Forgo F-16s In Summer Counteroffensive: Defense Minister (Az.)

Ukraine’s defense minister says his country will forgo F-16 fighter jets but use all ground-based equipment in its widely anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces this summer, Report informs. Oleksii Reznikov spoke in an exclusive interview with NHK on Sunday in Singapore, where he had joined senior defense officials from Asian and Western nations at a major security forum. When asked about the F-16 jets long coveted by Ukraine, Reznikov said they “will not be game changing this summer.” Some Western countries are training or have offered to train Ukrainian pilots to fly the aircraft.


Reznikov said it will take time to train Ukrainian pilots and that Ukraine will also have to arrange with its partners to secure engineers and technicians who can maintain and repair the sophisticated jets. He said Ukraine would be ready to deploy F-16s in the autumn or winter. Reznikov refused to answer a question about the view that Ukraine had launched “shaping operations,” which involve attacks on weapons storage facilities and other logistics bases to prepare for the counteroffensive.

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It’s just one drunk commander. Nothing escalated. Or do you think the army likes drunk commanders?

Wagner Captures Russian Commander As Prigozhin Feud With Army Escalates (G.)

Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner group of mercenaries has captured a Russian commander, as the notorious leader further escalates his feud with the regular army. In a video posted on Prigozhin’s social media channels, Lt Col Roman Venevitin, the commander of Russia’s 72nd Brigade, tells an interrogator that, while drunk, he had ordered his troops to fire on a Wagner convoy. In the footage, which resembled clips of prisoner of war soldiers, Venevitin said he acted because of his “personal dislike” for Wagner and then apologised. Last week, Prigozhin accused the Russian army of trying to blow up his men as they were pulling back from the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.

The businessman, who is best known as “Putin’s chef” because of his catering contracts with the Kremlin, also claimed his men had discovered explosives, which he said were planted on purpose by defence ministry officials. The Russian ministry of defence has yet to comment on the footage. Two close family members of Venevitin confirmed to the Guardian that the man filmed in the video was their relative. Prigozhin, who has been arguing with top military officials for months, announced last week that his troops had largely pulled back from Bakhmut, most of which they captured last month after taking heavy casualties. The city is now believed to be controlled by the regular Russian forces.


The latest incident again exposes the rifts in Moscow’s war machine. It also comes amid an increase in fighting along the frontlines in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, leading to speculation that Kyiv has launched its much-anticipated counteroffensive. Some nationalist pro-war commentators said Wagner’s arrest of a senior Russian soldier attested to Prigozhin’s growing influence within the Kremlin. “Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose subordinates posted a video in which they mock a senior officer and an entire brigade commander … is allowed to do whatever he wants. He is considered as the highest caste!” Igor Strelkov, a retired Russian special operations officer and popular military blogger, wrote on his Telegram channel.

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Now both Zaluzhny and Budanov have disappeared from the radar. Why would they? And what’s the link to the new high precision satellite system Scott Ritter was talking about?

Kiev Denies Death Of Intel Chief (RT)

Officials in Kiev have dismissed recent media reports about the alleged death of Kirill Budanov, the head of the Ukrainian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), as a Russian “disinformation” attempt. The Ukrainian spymaster has not made any public appearances for around a week. The last time Budanov appeared in public was in video published by the GUR on May 29, a day before a Russian missile strike on Ukrainian “decision-making centers.” Since then, the GUR has only published a written statement by Budanov on June 4 but has not posted any official videos of him. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed in late May that the GUR headquarters was one of the targets of the Russian strike. The Russian Defense Ministry said that all of the “designated targets” had been successfully hit.

The strikes came in response to a Ukrainian drone attack targeting Moscow earlier the same day. Several residential buildings were damaged in the attack, with two people suffering minor injuries. The Defense Ministry described the drone raid as a terrorist attack staged by the “Kiev regime.” The ‘Center for Countering Disinformation’ run by the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council said that all the reports about Budanov’s alleged death are “fakes” aimed at “sowing panic” among Ukrainians. It did not provide any evidence to disprove the reports or make any statements about Budanov’s whereabouts. In May, Budanov vowed to “keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of the earth until the complete victory of Ukraine.” He also claimed responsibility for supposedly assassinating “many” Russian public figures, without giving any names though.


The Kremlin subsequently said that Budanov’s words only prove that Russian President Vladimir Putin was right when he launched the Russian military operation in Ukraine. “We are essentially talking about a nation that is a de-facto sponsor of terrorism,” the presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Russian media in mid-May in response to Budanov’s words. RIA Novosti reported earlier that Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, had sustained a severe injury to his head in another Russian strike. The general has not made any public appearances since mid-May. Kiev also branded those reports as fake. Zaluzhny’s Telegram channel has since said he held two phone conversations with top US officials but has posted no new videos of him.

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“He branded the RDK and the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ militants as “scoundrels, bastards, murderers and fascists..”

Russian Governor Reacts To Kiev-Backed Militants’ Demand For Meeting (RT)

Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Sunday that he was ready to meet the leader of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), a neo-Nazi group of Russian nationals fighting for Kiev, if the militants return two of Moscow’s soldiers that were shown as captives in a recent video. “If [the Russian soldiers] are alive, [I’ll be at] the automobile border-crossing point Shebekino between 17:00 and 18:00,” Gladkov said in a video address published on his Telegram channel. He was referring to a border crossing separating Russia’s Belgorod Region from Ukraine’s territory. The governor was responding to a video published by the RDK and the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ – two neo-Nazi groups that previously claimed responsibility for several incursions into Russia this spring. Footage published by the militants shows them standing next to two Russian POWs, with one of them apparently injured.

Denis Nikitin, the RDK leader, claimed on the video that his fighters had entered the town of Novaya Tavolzhanka in Belgorod Region and offered to meet Gladkov in a local church “for a talk” in exchange for the POWs’ release. Gladkov said the fate of “our boys that are at the hands” of the militants was the only thing that prevented him from outright dismissing the militants’ offer. He branded the RDK and the ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ militants as “scoundrels, bastards, murderers and fascists,” blaming them for civilian deaths. Later on Sunday, the defense ministry in Moscow said its troops and border guards had successfully repelled an attack by a sabotage group that had sought to enter Russian territory from Ukraine. The militants attempted to cross a river near Novaya Tavolzhanka but were struck with artillery and dispersed. The militants then had to fall back to Ukrainian territory, the ministry’s statement added.


A previous incursion by the RDK took place in late May. The attack left one civilian dead and 12 people injured, the Russian authorities said at that time. The Russian Defense Ministry announced in the wake of the raid that “over 70 Ukrainian terrorists, four armored combat vehicles, and five pickup trucks” had been destroyed in the militants’ clash with the Russian forces. Photos and videos released by the Russian ministry showed Western armored vehicles and equipment used by the Kiev-backed militants before being destroyed by the Russian troops. The Pentagon and the US State Department expressed doubts regarding the authenticity of the images. The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the sabotage group had used equipment and small arms provided by several NATO nations, including the US.

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“..the group collaborated with the Russian Volunteer Corps, a neo-Nazi unit of Russian nationals fighting on behalf of Ukraine under the authority of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry..”

Polish Militants Claim Involvement In Attack On Russia (RT)

Polish militants fighting for Ukraine released a statement on Sunday claiming their involvement in an attack on Russia’s Belgorod Region. The announcement, accompanied by alleged photo and video evidence, was shared on social media accounts of the so-called “Polish Volunteer Corps.” The statement appears to refer to an incursion by saboteurs into the Grayvoron District of Belgorod Region, which took place on May 22. The “Polish Volunteer Corps” said it unequivocally confirmed its role in the operation, stating that the group collaborated with the Russian Volunteer Corps, a neo-Nazi unit of Russian nationals fighting on behalf of Ukraine under the authority of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. In a bid to prove its role in the May 22 raid, fighters from the Polish Volunteer Corps shared videos, in which they can be seen with Ukrainian T-72B tanks, American HMMWV armored vehicles, and Mi-8 helicopters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The governor of Belgorod Region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, also mentioned the presence of Polish citizens among the saboteurs. On his Telegram channel, he recounted the story of a woman, whose husband – a member of the local self-defense forces – was killed in front of her. According to Gladkov, the woman was held captive by two Ukrainians, and she stated that the other group members were Poles and Americans. Previously, the Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry discussed the involvement of the “Russian Volunteer Corps” and members of the “Freedom of Russia” legion in the Belgorod Region operation.


However, the “Russian Volunteer Corps” issued a statement on Sunday denying that members of the “Polish Volunteer Corps” had crossed the Russian border. The group claimed on social media that their Polish fellow combatants were involved in tasks such as prisoner escort, along with military and medical logistics, but strictly within the borders of Ukraine. Warsaw has insisted it has nothing to do with the Polish militants fighting for Kiev. “The activities of Polish volunteers supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russia should not be identified with the authorities of the Republic of Poland”, said Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesman for the coordinating minister of the country’s special services.

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That’s obvious.

Ukraine Operates Network Of Saboteurs Inside Russia – CNN (RT)

Ukraine has cultivated a network of well-trained agents and Ukrainian sympathizers inside Russia to perform acts of sabotage across the country, CNN has reported, citing officials familiar with US intelligence. Kiev is believed to have provided those people with Ukrainian-made drones in order to stage attacks on Russian territory, the outlet claimed in an article published on Monday. The unnamed US officials also told CNN that those pro-Ukrainian agents were responsible for an attempted drone attack on the Kremlin in early May and that the UAVs used in it were launched from inside Russia.

At the time, two drones were disabled by air defenses while trying to strike the historic fortified complex in central Moscow. Ukrainian officials denied being involved, but Moscow labeled the incident “a pre-planned terrorist act” and an attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s life by Kiev. CNN’s sources couldn’t say if those saboteur cells had anything to do with another drone attack on Moscow that took place last Tuesday. Several residential buildings in the capital were damaged in the raid, with two people suffering minor injuries. Three of the incoming drones were suppressed by electronic warfare measures, while five others were shot down by air defenses, according to the Russian military.


Two officials told CNN that Ukraine had been delivering whole UAVs and spare parts to build them to its agents via smuggling routes that had been allegedly established in Russia by Kiev. The issue of who is controlling those saboteurs is a “murky” one, according to CNN. However, it pointed out that US officials believed some agents within Ukraine’s intelligence community were involved in these attacks. Following the drone strike in Moscow a week ago, Putin accused Ukraine of “terrorist activity,” as well as trying to provoke Russia to come up with a tit-for-tat response.

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Russia can ship it all to Africa by itself. But Ukraine cannot.

Russia Sees No Prospects For Further Extension Of Grain Deal (TASS)

Russia sees no prospects for extending the grain deal again, but consultations with UN representatives on existing agreements continue, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told reporters on Monday. When asked by TASS about the chances of extending the grain deal he replied: “We do not see them, but we continue, of course, consultations with UN representatives on both parts of those package agreements that, as you know, were signed in July last year.” The diplomat stressed that Ukraine has been putting forward various conditions for the implementation of the grain deal, which has already brought the situation to a standstill. “We have said several times that ammonia is included in the agreements that were signed in Istanbul. This implies that it should be exported and sold as a mutually beneficial commercial transaction.


Unfortunately, putting forward various kinds of requirements, as Kiev does, is very bad, and has already brought the situation to a standstill,” the deputy foreign minister said. Vershinin also recalled that the Russian side proceeds from the fact that “the concluded and existing agreements must be implemented in full.” “This means – without distortions in one direction or the other,” he stressed. The senior diplomat also announced that the Joint Coordination Center (JCC) in Istanbul has resumed ship inspections under the grain deal. “As far as we know, the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul is working to overcome all the problems that arise, based on the procedural rules that were unanimously approved last year. It is assumed that there will be a consensus solution to emerging problems. Now these inspections are being resumed,” he said.

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Note: I don’t subscribe to the NYT or any other outlet. That would go against the idea of being open to and for everyone: accept no paywalls anywhere. Through a mirror site, though, is OK. That’s also how I can do RT etc. Either post the entire article or make sure it’s available via a mirror site.

As for this NYT piece: Yeah, why not compare the Confederate flag with the swastika? No shame.

“Wearing Nazi symbols helps our enemies spread lies about our friends being Nazis — NY Times”

Nazi Symbols on Ukraine’s Front Lines Highlight Thorny Issues of History (NYT)

Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Ukrainian government and NATO allies have posted, then quietly deleted, three seemingly innocuous photographs from their social media feeds: a soldier standing in a group, another resting in a trench and an emergency worker posing in front of a truck. In each photograph, Ukrainians in uniform wore patches featuring symbols that were made notorious by Nazi Germany and have since become part of the iconography of far-right hate groups. The photographs, and their deletions, highlight the Ukrainian military’s complicated relationship with Nazi imagery, a relationship forged under both Soviet and German occupation during World War II. That relationship has become especially delicate because Russian President Vladimir Putin has falsely declared Ukraine to be a Nazi state, a claim he has used to justify his illegal invasion.

Ukraine has worked for years through legislation and military restructuring to contain a fringe far-right movement whose members proudly wear symbols steeped in Nazi history and espouse views hostile to leftists, LGBTQ movements and ethnic minorities. But some members of these groups have been fighting Russia since the Kremlin illegally annexed part of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014 and are now part of the broader military structure. Some are regarded as national heroes, even as the far-right remains marginalized politically. The iconography of these groups, including a skull-and-crossbones patch worn by concentration camp guards and a symbol known as the Black Sun, now appears with some regularity on the uniforms of soldiers fighting on the front line, including soldiers who say the imagery symbolizes Ukrainian sovereignty and pride, not Nazism.

In the short term, that threatens to reinforce Putin’s propaganda and giving fuel to his false claims that Ukraine must be “de-Nazified” — a position that ignores the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish. More broadly, Ukraine’s ambivalence about these symbols, and sometimes even its acceptance of them, risks giving new, mainstream life to icons that the West has spent more than a half-century trying to eliminate. “What worries me, in the Ukrainian context, is that people in Ukraine who are in leadership positions, either they don’t or they’re not willing to acknowledge and understand how these symbols are viewed outside of Ukraine,” said Michael Colborne, a researcher at the investigative group Bellingcat who studies the international far right. “I think Ukrainians need to increasingly realize that these images undermine support for the country.” In a statement, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that, as a country that suffered greatly under German occupation, “We emphasize that Ukraine categorically condemns any manifestations of Nazism.”

So far, the imagery has not eroded international support for the war. It has, however, left diplomats, Western journalists and advocacy groups in a difficult position: Calling attention to the iconography risks playing into Russian propaganda. Saying nothing allows it to spread. Even Jewish groups and anti-hate organizations that have traditionally called out hateful symbols have stayed largely silent. Privately, some leaders have worried about being seen as embracing Russian propaganda talking points. Questions over how to interpret such symbols are as divisive as they are persistent, and not just in Ukraine. In the American South, some have insisted that today, the Confederate flag symbolizes pride, not its history of racism and secession. The swastika was an important Hindu symbol before it was co-opted by the Nazis.

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Major “growth” engine. But always problematic.

Should Beijing Shoulder Some Of The Local Governments’ Debts? (SCMP)

China’s local government debt crisis is approaching a tipping point as concerns over city and county government default risks mount and Beijing’s willingness to offer enough support to avert a meltdown is questioned. Late last month, Kunming, capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan, denied online reports that its local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) were having difficulty repaying debt after one of them was involved in a last-minute scramble to repay 2 billion yuan (US$282.3 million) on May 21. LGFVs were created to aid off-budget financing, especially for infrastructure spending, but weak disclosure requirements have led to concerns about hidden debt risks.

In April, a government think tank in Guizhou warned that the province, which neighbours Yunnan, could not manage its debt on its own and needed help from the central government. The report was subsequently removed by censors. Over the past few years, Beijing has stepped up its supervision of local government debt in a bid to curb risks and has said that local governments should not count on a state bailout. But Yu Yongding, a prominent economist and former central bank adviser, said the central government’s approach of relying on local governments to sort out their debt problems was wrong. “Local governments are the offspring of the central government, and the central government must also assume certain responsibilities,” Yu wrote in a blog post published on May 4 by the Economists 50 Forum, a Chinese think tank.

“Importantly, resolving local government debt should not lead to a further decline in economic growth. Of course, moral hazard cannot be encouraged. Those who are directly responsible for causing the deterioration of local debts should also bear corresponding responsibilities.” Yu estimated that the central government only contributed around 0.1 per cent of infrastructure spending, compared to nearly 60 per cent by LGFVs, which incurred higher borrowing costs. Hu Jie, a former senior economist at the US Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and now a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said the ratio of local debt to gross domestic product (GDP) in many provinces was already “too high”.

And deleveraging “too quickly” might trigger a series of defaults, Hu told the Shanghai-based news website guancha.cn in an interview published at the end of last month. “But when a local government has problems and cannot clean up the mess, the central government cannot stay out of it,” Hu said. There are no official figures for local governments’ off-balance sheet borrowing but most estimates indicate it has been growing.

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After the Covid “The Science” debacle, we must be sceptical here too.

Ice Shelves Surrounding Antarctica Grew In Overall Size From 2009-2019 (DS)

The ice shelves surrounding Antarctica grew in overall size during the 11 years to 2019, according to dramatic new evidence published by three climate scientists from the University of Leeds. The growth was significant with overall shelf area increasing by 5,305 km2, adding 0.4% to the total shelf area in the 11 years under review. The paper has just been published by the influential European Geosciences Union, but it raises questions within the ‘settled’ climate science narrative, so it is highly unlikely to be covered by mainstream media.

The Leeds researchers looked at satellite data to measure the annual calving position and area of 34 ice sheets accounting for 80% of the Antarctica coastline. They found reductions in the area on the Antarctica Peninsula and West Antarctica of 6,693 km2 and 5,563 km2 respectively were outweighed by growth in East Antarctica of 3,532 km2 and 14,028 km2 in the large Ross and Ronne-Filchner ice shelves. The largest retreat occurred on the Larsen C shelf when 5,917 km2 was lost in a single calving event that made alarmist headlines around the world. The largest increase, noted in slightly less media detail, was the 5,889 km2 advance on the Ronne platform.


Ice shelves around the coast of Antarctica play an important role in the cycle of ice production since they often buttress the glaciers behind them. Remove the plug and glaciers can move at a faster rate towards the coast. The shelves show considerable natural variation allowing alarmists to cherry-pick significant collapses into the sea to promote a hypothesis that the overall climate is breaking down. Typical of this coverage was an article by BBC science correspondent Jonathan Amos in 2021 under a ‘climate change’ heading, noting, “The Antarctic ice shelf in the line of fire.” In 2017, i News reported comments broadcast by Sir David Attenborough said to warn that “Antarctica’s melting ice sheets could flood London by end of century”.

The above map displays the ice shelf areas in blue that have increased in size and colours in red those that have decreased. The two large blue areas are the Ross and Ronne-Filchner areas. Little loss is shown over the east of the continent with deficits concentrated in the West. In total, 18 ice shelves are said to have retreated and 16 larger platforms have grown in area. Overall, the shelves gained 661 giga tonnes of mass over the decade. The scientists note that using a ‘steady’ state process, by which they mean no change in any variable, would produce an estimate of substantial loss over the period. They argue their work demonstrates the importance of using “time-variable calving flux observations to measure change”.


In short, and in less scientific terms, check actual observations, and ignore make-believe computer models, and the resulting stories published by climate alarmists promoting the collectivist Net Zero project. It is not a surprise that ice shelves are currently thinning in parts of West Antarctica. The area is riddled with buried volcanos, with the recent discovery of another 91 bringing the known total to 138. Across the West Antarctica Rift System, their heights range from 300-12,600 ft. In addition, areas around the Thwaites-Pine Island-Pope glacier have a thin Earth crust causing one group of scientists to note that the “elevated geothermal heat flow band” is exerting a “profound influence on the flow dynamics of the Western Antarctica Ice Sheet”.

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Alex Jones
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665566489527693313

 

 

Argentina TV
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665377678197768193

 

 


“The magnificent facade of Strasbourg Cathedral – what did they know in 1439 that we have forgotten?”

 

 

Twigs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1665568374146084864

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 142023
 
 April 14, 2023  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Jean-Michel Basquiat Warrior 1982

 

US Fanning Ukraine Crisis, Exacerbating Ukrainians’ Suffering – Xinhua (TASS)
CIA Director Concedes US Power Is Waning (RT)
World Faces ‘Most Dangerous Period Of Time In History’ – Trump (RT)
Bolton Touts ‘Grand Strategy’ To Counter Russia and China (RT)
US Military Would Need Conscription to Fight China (ET)
Stalemate Will Force Ukraine To Enact ‘Full Mobilization’ – Media (RT)
Seymour Hersh: The CIA Knows Ukrainian Officials Are Skimming US Aid (Antiwar)
Moscow Urges Washington To Issue Visas To Russian Delegation To UN Events (TASS)
Brazil Rebels Against US Dollar ‘Straitjacket’ (RT)
Frozen Assets To Be Returned To Russia After End Of Conflict (TASS)
UN Seeking To Reconnect Some Russian Banks To SWIFT (RT)
Trump Testifies In New York Business Fraud Case (Az.)
Appeals Court Ruling May Threaten DOJ Position in Dozens of Jan. 6 Cases (ET)
New York Times Is Now Telling Bigger Lies Than Iraq WMDs (Swanson)
Anheuser-Busch Loses $6BN In Six Days After Bud Light Trans Ad Campaign (ZH)

 

 

 

 

RFKjr Milgram

RFK jr autism

 

 

 

 

Babies stroke

 

 

Spike sperm
https://twitter.com/i/status/1646520024667148295

 

 

 

 

Rogan Taibbi

 

 

Tucker Musk

 

 

Tucker hot war

DC Draino:
Jack Texeira, the Ukraine Whistleblower, exposed Biden illegally putting US troops in Ukraine w/o Congressional authorization per the War Powers Resolution of 1973, an impeachable offense
His patriotism may end up stopping WW3
He doesn’t deserve jail time
He deserves an award

Pepe Escobar:
Old school Beltway intel source, retired:
Controlled leak.
Internal.
Way, way up – beyond the CIA.
21-year old gamer is a fall guy.
The circus is in town – actually a show that never ends.

 

 

 

 

“..the biggest peacebreaker and troublemaker in today’s world..”

“..It remains to be seen if they have noticed the changes in the Global South and started to reflect on the reasons behind them..”

US Fanning Ukraine Crisis, Exacerbating Ukrainians’ Suffering – Xinhua (TASS)

The United States has been fueling the crisis in Ukraine as it hampers peace there, while inflicting more pain on the Ukrainians, Xinhua said in a commentary on Friday. “As for the Ukraine crisis, the United States is constantly fanning the flame and hindering other countries from promoting talks for peace,” the Chinese news agency said. According to the commentary, leaders of many developing countries believe that by prolonging the crisis, Washington “is exacerbating the Ukrainians’ suffering, and impeding the resolution of other pressing issues facing the international community.” As a result, the international community, especially developing nations, “are more and more vocal in their criticism of the hegemonic and selfish behavior of the United States,” Xinhua maintains. While international peace and stability has been the biggest aspiration for developing countries, the agency argued, “it was made out of reach by the United States – the biggest peacebreaker and troublemaker in today’s world.”


“After the escalation of the Ukraine crisis, US-led Western countries launched severe sanctions against Russia, resulting in a spike of prices of global food, energy and other commodities, which overwhelmed developing countries,” the news agency emphasized. “It is obvious that more and more developing countries are now vocal in their opposition to the various irresponsible actions of the United States, with many refusing to follow the United States in imposing sanctions against Russia,” Xinhua added. “For years, American politicians have been used to pointing fingers at other countries and acting willfully on the international arena. It remains to be seen if they have noticed the changes in the Global South and started to reflect on the reasons behind them,” Xinhua concluded.

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“..Beijing is “not content to only have a seat at the table; it wants to run the table,” while Russia is seeking to “upend the table altogether.”

CIA Director Concedes US Power Is Waning (RT)

The dominant global role of the US can no longer be guaranteed as the country is witnessing a time of change “that comes along a couple of times a century,” CIA Director Bill Burns has claimed. Speaking at the Baker Institute earlier this week, Burns said that although Washington “still has a better hand to play than any of our rivals,” it is “no longer the only big kid on the geopolitical block and our position at the head of the table isn’t guaranteed.” The CIA chief pointed to growing ties between China and Russia, which he argued will present a “formidable challenge” for his agency for years to come. According to Burns, Beijing is “not content to only have a seat at the table; it wants to run the table,” while Russia is seeking to “upend the table altogether.”

Burns, who served as the US ambassador to Moscow under George W. Bush, condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, calling it an act of “brutish aggression.” He claimed the CIA has provided “good intelligence” that has “helped the Ukrainians defend themselves” and cemented “a strong coalition in support of Ukraine.” Burns added that Kiev’s long-anticipated spring offensive would feature “strong material and intelligence support from the US and our allies.” The spy chief claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not serious about negotiations” on a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and suggested that only Ukrainian progress on the battlefield was “likely to shape prospects for diplomacy.”

Russia has repeatedly stated that it is open to peace talks and has blamed Kiev and its Western allies for blocking negotiations. Ukraine has placed a legal ban on any talks with Russia as it seeks to defeat its opponent on the battlefield. Regarding China, Burns insisted that Beijing remains the CIA’s “biggest long-term priority.” He noted that in the last few years, the intelligence agency has doubled the resources it focuses on China, including hiring and training Mandarin speakers and stepping up efforts to compete with Beijing on the world stage. “Managing a crucial and increasingly adversarial relationship with China will be the most significant test for American policy makers for decades to come,” the US official said, arguing that the risk of a conflict over Taiwan will continue to grow.

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“I think it’s much more than infrastructure we’re talking about.”

“..the most dangerous period of time in the history of our country and in the history of the world, right now, and we have an incompetent person at the top.”

World Faces ‘Most Dangerous Period Of Time In History’ – Trump (RT)

The world has been pushed to the brink of total destruction by inept leaders and nuclear weapons that are 500 times as powerful as the atomic bombs that American forces dropped on Japan during World War II, former US president Donald Trump has claimed. “Look, we could end up in World War III over this whole thing,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that was aired on Wednesday night. He added, “I believe it is the most dangerous period of time in history – number one, because we have people on top that are incompetent. That’s number one.” Trump made his comments in the context of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Russian officials have warned that increasing US and NATO involvement in Ukraine, including massive military aid to Kiev, could escalate the crisis into a wider conflict, possibly involving nuclear weapons.

Asked by host Tucker Carlson who was behind last year’s bombing of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Trump said it wasn’t Moscow. He implied that Washington was involved in the sabotage, saying, “I don’t want to get our country in trouble, so I won’t answer it.” The former president acknowledged that it was “very dangerous” to blow up the pipelines, adding, “I think most people know who did it.” Asked whether the US put itself at risk of retaliatory strikes on its critical infrastructure, he said, “I think it’s much more than infrastructure we’re talking about.”

Trump also warned that nuclear weapons are the biggest threat facing the world today, and the US and Russian arsenals could cause unprecedented destruction. “All it takes is one madman, and you’re gonna have a problem the likes of which the world has never seen.” Trump, who is currently polling as the leading Republican Party candidate in the 2024 presidential race, blamed current US leadership for heightening the risk of nuclear war with Russia and China. “The most dangerous period of time – because of weaponry, because of nuclear, because of weaponry – the most dangerous period of time in the history of our country and in the history of the world, right now, and we have an incompetent person at the top.

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“Bolton urged Washington to prepare for what happens “after Ukraine wins its war with Russia.”

Bolton Touts ‘Grand Strategy’ To Counter Russia and China (RT)

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has urged Washington to implement a new Cold War-style strategy against Russia and China. According to the long-time hawk, the West should cut back on social security to fund military spending, renew testing of nuclear weapons, and provide NATO-like protection to Taiwan. Bolton, who served in the administration of President Donald Trump, described his “grand-strategy” approach to geopolitics in a Wall Street Journal column on Wednesday, urging candidates in the 2024 US presidential election to think in the same terms. The US should have a “contemporary reincarnation” of NSC-68, the top-secret document adopted under President Harry Truman which laid the foundation for militarizing the confrontation with the USSR. Bolton claimed that in the new Cold War, the US and its allies would be pitted against a Chinese-Russian “axis” and “accompanying rogue-state outriders like Iran and North Korea.”

He named several key points for his proposed strategy, including an immediate increase in military spending to Reagan-era levels, which he claimed should be maintained for the foreseeable future. Bolton also argued that Western nations should cut back on social spending, because “neither the obese welfare state nor massive income-redistribution schemes protect us from foreign adversaries.” In addition, he asserted that the US should upgrade its nuclear stockpiles, which would mean “the inevitable need to resume some underground testing.” Bolton’s plan also advocated the “improvement and expansion” of American military alliances, possibly by making NATO a global organization. This would help “exclude Moscow from regional influence, along with Beijing,” the former official claimed.

The self-governed Chinese island of Taiwan should get “much more military aid” from Western nations, which should “embed Taipei into collective-defense structures,” Bolton also suggested. The recommendation comes despite the Chinese government identifying Taiwanese separatism as a major ‘red line’ which may trigger military action if crossed. Finally, Bolton urged Washington to prepare for what happens “after Ukraine wins its war with Russia.” He claimed that such an outcome could lead to Russia’s fragmentation, and warned that China would then seize some of its territories, providing it with “direct access to the Arctic, including even the Bering Strait, facing Alaska.” Moscow has claimed that the conflict in Ukraine is part of a US proxy war against Russia, and that Washington’s goal is to partition the country. The Russian leadership has argued that this threat leaves it with no other option but to succeed in Ukraine.

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“Our army is too small as constituted to actually prosecute a war with these countries, but it’s large enough that it’s sucking a lot of resources away.”

US Military Would Need Conscription to Fight China (ET)

The U.S. military could not achieve victory in a war with China using its current, all-volunteer force, according to one expert. The United States will thus need to radically transform its force structure to better contend with the emerging threat environment, up to and including by reinstating conscription, said Jonathan Askonas, an assistant professor of Politics at Catholic University of America. “This is a five-alarm fire,” Askonas said during an April 11 discussion with the Hudson Institute think tank. “We’re facing global threats and we have a force structure which we know will not work against those threats. “We basically can’t fight a war larger than Iraq with the all-volunteer force.”

The all-volunteer force has been a staple of U.S. military organization since 1973, when the draft was terminated along with the United States’ direct involvement in the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, Askonas said, the all-volunteer force was proving incapable of generating the number of service members required for a war between great powers, and its burdensome logistical processes were likely to be ineffective in either a conflict with China in the Indo-Pacific theater or supporting European powers against Russia. “We have a Goldilocks problem,” Askonas said. “Our army is too small as constituted to actually prosecute a war with these countries, but it’s large enough that it’s sucking a lot of resources away.”

“We have to be ruthless. We need to adapt our force structure not to hypothetical threats or in some universal Swiss army knife approach, but to the actual threats that we face.” To that end, Askonas suggested that the military should re-adopt a “cadre” system for deploying the military, not dissimilar to that used in World War II. Under such a system, the number of resource-heavy full time service members would be decreased in peacetime in favor of investing in expensive, slow-to-build items like warships.

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There is no stalemate.

Stalemate Will Force Ukraine To Enact ‘Full Mobilization’ – Media (RT)

The US believes that neither Ukraine nor Russia will achieve major gains on the battlefield this year, and that the ensuing stalemate will force Kiev to call up every last available man to fight, according to leaked Pentagon documents cited by the Washington Post. The US Defense Intelligence Agency views both Kiev and Moscow as having “insufficient troops and supplies for effective operations,” and as such predicts that the conflict in Ukraine will drag on into 2024, with both sides achieving only “marginal” territorial gains this year, the newspaper reported on Wednesday. Nevertheless, “negotiations to end the conflict are unlikely,” the agency reportedly wrote in its assessment, which was included in a trove of leaked documents.

The Post and a number of newspapers have published information from some of these documents, while simultaneously helping the government track down the suspected leaker, who was arrested by the FBI on Thursday after the New York Times published his identity. In a protracted conflict with little chance of victory or negotiations, it is Ukraine that will pay the heaviest price, the Pentagon reportedly believes. Such a stalemate will force Kiev to enact the “full mobilization” of its remaining male population, the Post reported, a move that will trigger public “criticism” of Vladimir Zelensky’s government and make “leadership changes more likely.”

The document also gives scenarios in which Ukraine either scores a decisive victory, forcing Russia to escalate or negotiate, or Russia scores a victory that enables it to demand regime change in Kiev. However, the stalemate outcome is reportedly listed as “the most likely scenario.” Kiev’s efforts to conscript civilians into military service have proven unpopular, with numerous videos surfacing showing men being forcibly detained on the streets and press-ganged into service. With Ukrainian lawmakers reportedly considering expanding the draft, many of those already in uniform have been funneled into the encircled Donbass town of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine), which they consider no longer worth defending.

Other recently leaked Pentagon documents revealed that, as of February, the US believes Ukraine has suffered up to 131,000 casualties in the conflict thus far, including up to 17,500 killed. Establishing a true body count is difficult, as Ukraine rarely publishes its losses. Last autumn, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen put Kiev’s fatalities at 100,000, a claim that was disputed by Kiev and later removed from the EU’s websites. The Post noted that the documents did not specify whether a “leadership change” in Kiev refers to a rotation of political leaders or military brass. Officials in Kiev are reportedly outraged over the leak, which also included information suggesting Ukraine is ill-equipped to mount its long-promised spring counteroffensive.

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“..Burns presented Zelensky with a list of 35 generals and senior government officials whose corruption was known to the CIA. Zelensky responded by dismissing 10 officials..”

“.. Zelensky “has been buying the fuel from Russia, the country with which it, and Washington, are at war, and the Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments.”

Seymour Hersh: The CIA Knows Ukrainian Officials Are Skimming US Aid (Antiwar)

On Wednesday, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report on Substack that alleged the CIA was aware of widespread corruption in Ukraine and the embezzlement of US aid. The report said the Ukrainian government has been using US taxpayer money to purchase diesel from Russia to fuel its military. Hersh said Zelensky “has been buying the fuel from Russia, the country with which it, and Washington, are at war, and the Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments.” Hersh said according to one estimate by CIA analysts, at least $400 million in funds were embezzled last year. Sources told Hersh that Ukrainian officials are also “competing” to set up front companies for export contracts to private arms dealers around the world.

The issue of corruption was raised during a meeting between CIA Director William Burns and Zelensky in January. An intelligence official with direct knowledge of the meeting told Hersh that Burns delivered a stunning message to Zelensky. Hersh wrote: “The senior generals and government officials in Kiev were angry at what they saw as Zelensky’s greed, so Burns told the Ukrainian president, because ‘he was taking a larger share of the skim money than was going to the generals.’” During the meeting, Burns presented Zelensky with a list of 35 generals and senior government officials whose corruption was known to the CIA. Zelensky responded by dismissing 10 officials who were engaged in flagrant corruption. “The ten he got rid of were brazenly bragging about the money they had—driving around Kiev in their new Mercedes,” the intelligence official said.

Hersh said Zelensky’s “half-hearted response” and the “lack of concern” in the White House angered some US intelligence officials. The intelligence official speaking to Hersh criticized President Biden’s two main foreign policy advisors, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. “They have no experience, judgment, and moral integrity. They just tell lies, make up stories. Diplomatic deniability is something else,” the official said. The official said there was a “total breakdown between the White House leadership and the intelligence community.” The report said the rift started in the fall when the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines were blown up. According to Hersh’s earlier reporting, President Biden ordered the operation that took out the pipelines. “Destroying the Nord Stream pipelines was never discussed, or even known in advance, by the community,” the official said.

The official said there is “no strategy for ending the war” within the Biden administration and offered more scathing criticism of Blinken and Sullivan. “Burns is not the problem,” the official said. “The problem is Biden and his principal lieutenants—Blinken and Sullivan and their court of worshippers—who see those who criticize Zelensky as being pro-Putin. ‘We are against evil. Ukraine will fight ’til the last military shell is gone, and still fight.’ And here’s Biden who is telling America that we’re going to fight as long as it takes.” Hersh’s story comes after a series of leaked top-secret documents from the Pentagon and other government agencies surfaced online. Some of the documents show US war planning for Ukraine and reveal the US doubts Kyiv’s ability to launch a successful counter-offensive, offering a starkly different view of Ukraine’s abilities than what Biden officials have been saying publicly

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Move the UN. Or dissolve it altogether.

Moscow Urges Washington To Issue Visas To Russian Delegation To UN Events (TASS)

Moscow urges Washington to immediately issue visas to members of Russia’s delegation to events related to the country’s chairmanship of the UN Security Council, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said. “The request to issue visas for the Russian delegation and the journalists was sent to the US Embassy in Moscow at the end of March. However, not a single entry permission has been granted so far,” the envoy said in a statement, commenting on the issuance of visas to members of the Russian delegation led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “There was an agreement that the Russian media representatives would visit the American diplomatic mission on March 31 to have their visa applications examined. However, the appointment was canceled without any explanation less than one day prior to it. There is still no certainty, although there are only a few days left before the event,” Antonov noted.


“We urge Washington to immediately issue visas for our delegation, as well as for our journalists. Failure to do that is a violation of the United States’ obligations as the host country of the UN headquarters, which impedes appropriate, full-fledged functioning of the World Organization,” the Russian ambassador stressed. “An incomprehensible situation concerning the Minister’s special flight is evolving. The US authorities have not yet sanctioned the arrival of the aircraft. We expect Americans to promptly grant the flight permission without any conditions or restrictions,” Antonov added. The UN secretary general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a briefing on Wednesday that the United Nations expected the US to issue visas to members of Lavrov’s delegation, expected to visit the UN headquarters in late April.

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“Every night I ask myself why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar. Why can’t we do trade based on our own currencies?”

Brazil Rebels Against US Dollar ‘Straitjacket’ (RT)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has stated that developing nations should move away from the US dollar in favor of their own currencies in order to push back against American dominance over the global financial system. Speaking in Shanghai on Thursday during an official visit to China, Lula said the BRICS group – comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – should look for an alternative currency to the dollar for trade. “Every night I ask myself why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar. Why can’t we do trade based on our own currencies?” he said. “Who was it that decided that the dollar was the currency after the disappearance of the gold standard?”

The leftist leader went on to lament that “everyone depends on just one currency,” referring to the dollar, and proposed “a currency to finance trade relations between Brazil and China, between Brazil and other countries.” Lula kicked off his trip to China with an event to mark the appointment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as the head of the New Development Bank, also known as the ‘BRICS bank,’ which he said could free emerging economies “from submission to traditional financial institutions, which want to govern us.”

Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad also traveled with the president to China, where he told reporters that Brazil would aim to create trade mechanisms for developing countries to bypass the use of the dollar. “The advantage is to avoid the straitjacket imposed by necessarily having trade operations settled in a currency of a country not involved in the transaction,” he said. Lula’s visit to China comes as Beijing increasingly promotes the use of its own currency, the renminbi, to settle international transactions. Last month, Russia said it had adopted the yuan as one of its primary reserve currencies amid a massive sanctions campaign linked to the conflict in Ukraine, highlighting a gradual shift away from the Western financial system by some major powers.

Trade between China and Brazil has seen a significant boost over the last decade, with more than $150 billion in business recorded last year. Chinese firms have bought up large amounts of minerals and agricultural goods in the South American country, and invested in Brazilian infrastructure. The Brazilian president arrived in China on Wednesday night and will remain there until April 15. After his speech in Shanghai, Lula headed off to Beijing, where he is set to meet with President Xi Jinping on Friday. The two leaders are expected to focus on issues related to trade and foreign policy – such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to develop roads, highways and other infrastructure in foreign countries – according to the Financial Times.

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“..the EU’s legal service has not yet found an answer to a question what to do if the EU loses these funds in a certain situation..”

Frozen Assets To Be Returned To Russia After End Of Conflict (TASS)

Lawyers of the European Commission (EC) have arrived at a conclusion that assets of the Bank of Russia frozen in the EU will have to be returned to Russia after the end of the conflict in Ukraine, Die Welt newspaper said on Thursday, citing an unpublished EC document. Assets of the Bank of Russia cannot be simply transferred to Ukraine, EC experts said. “There is political will but legal barriers are high. The European Commission comes to a sobering conclusion that frozen assets cannot be touched since once upon a time, when the war ends, they will have to be returned to Russia,” the newspaper informed. The next one suggested by the EC is to invest frozen assets of the Bank of Russia in European government bonds and use the interest for payments to Kiev. At the same time, the EU’s legal service has not yet found an answer to a question what to do if the EU loses these funds in a certain situation, the newspaper reported. Actions in such case still need to be clarified, Die Welt said.

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“..According to the Kremlin, only half of the agreement is currently being implemented because not all parties have kept their side of the bargain…”

UN Seeking To Reconnect Some Russian Banks To SWIFT (RT)

The United Nations is discussing bringing some Russian banks back to the SWIFT payment system in order to help keep grain shipments from Ukraine going, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said. When asked during a briefing on Wednesday if any progress had been made on Russia’s demands regarding the grain agreement, Dujarric said that UN officials were “trying to doggedly move the process forward.” Moscow warned on Wednesday that the outlook for extending beyond May 18 the grain deal, which ensures the safe export of grain and fertilizer from several Ukrainian Black Sea ports, was “not good.”

The Kremlin has demanded allowing Russian Agricultural Bank to return to SWIFT, permitting Russia to import agricultural machinery, as well as the removal of insurance restrictions, port access for Russian ships and cargo, and an unblocking of the financial activities of Russian fertilizer companies. “Obviously, the fact that a number of Russian financial institutions are not, if not all of them, I’m not sure, are not in the SWIFT system makes things more complicated. And we are in discussions with the people who are responsible for SWIFT and the Europeans and others on that,” Dujarric said.

According to him, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has no authority over SWIFT or over the EU member states that imposed anti-Russia sanctions. “He has no authority over insurance companies, shipping companies. He can’t tell them what to do,” the spokesman stressed, adding that “we’re trying to herd a whole group of people.” While the Western sanctions do not directly target Russian agricultural goods, they affect payments, insurance and shipping. With many Russian banks disconnected from SWIFT, direct settlements for exports have been made difficult. Under the pact, brokered in July last year by the UN and Türkiye, Russia was to receive a sanctions reprieve for its own agricultural goods. However, Moscow has voiced discontent with UN efforts to lift Western restrictions affecting the sector.

According to the Kremlin, only half of the agreement is currently being implemented because not all parties have kept their side of the bargain. In March, Moscow agreed to extend the agreement for 60 days, stressing it would only consider a further extension if the demands in relation to its own exports were met. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the time that the organization would “do everything possible to preserve the integrity” of the deal and make sure that it continued to function. The Black Sea export agreement has reportedly allowed more than 27.5 million tons of food to be shipped out, which, according to the UN, has helped lower food prices across the world.

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Every real estate company makes itself look the best it can. What fraud?

Trump Testifies In New York Business Fraud Case (Az.)

Former US President Donald Trump answered questions Thursday in New York during his second deposition in a civil case accusing him of business fraud, according to Anadolu Agency. The deposition came only a week after Trump’s arraignment on criminal charges in a separate lawsuit. The $250 million lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James last year against the ex-president claims that Trump and his family misled banks and business associates about his net worth and the value of some of his assets. Trump denies any wrongdoing. The questions behind closed doors took nearly seven hours, according to media reports. ”This civil case is ridiculous, just like all of the other Election Interference cases being brought against me,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social ahead of his testimony. Last week, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts related to his alleged involvement in a scheme to pay “hush money” to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

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Obstruction.

Appeals Court Ruling May Threaten DOJ Position in Dozens of Jan. 6 Cases (ET)

An April 7 decision issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals may jeopardize a key legal backing used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, according to attorney Albert Watkins. “What this opinion did do was, it practically begged for other [Jan. 6] cases to be brought up to the Court of Appeals that would permit a more balanced opinion,” Watkins, who has represented four Jan. 6 defendants, including released prisoner Jacob Chansley, told The Epoch Times on April 11. Watkins’s comment came after a three-judge panel at the D.C. Court of Appeals on April 7, struck down a lower court’s ruling in a 2–1 vote, dismissing a federal charge against three Jan. 6 defendants, and rejected the lower court’s reasoning about the scope of the obstruction charge.

Although the higher court’s ruling (pdf) allowed the DOJ’s prosecution of these three specific defendants—Joseph Fischer, Edward Lang, and Garret Miller—to continue, the effect of the higher court’s opinion extends beyond these cases, the attorney said. According to Watkins, this extended effect has to do with the interpretation of language regarding “corrupt” intention in obstruction charges, considering that the DOJ has been using the obstruction charge as an “attractive” legal tool to prosecute Jan. 6 cases and score plea agreements. According to a provision in the statute for obstruction charge (18 U.S. Code Section 1512 2(c)), “Whoever corruptly … obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

A narrowed definition of this provision could hinder the DOJ’s ability to use the charge further and introduce uncertainties in the ongoing trials, the attorney indicated. The DOJ had charged more than 200 Jan. 6 defendants with obstruction-related charges. “It should cause a certain degree of trepidation on the part of the Department of Justice about utilizing—in a very footloose and fancy-free fashion—the obstruction of an official proceeding charge as the count of choice for pleas,” Watkins said. “I will say it was, in many respects, an extraordinary opinion—more time was spent addressing potential issues not before the court than the issues actually before the court.”

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“What in the world would it mean to oppose organized mass murder because it skews right wing?”

New York Times Is Now Telling Bigger Lies Than Iraq WMDs (Swanson)

The New York Times routinely tells bigger lies than the clumsy nonsense it published about weapons in Iraq. Here’s an example. This package of lies is called “Liberals Have a Blind Spot on Defense” but mentions nothing related to defense. It simply pretends that militarism is defensive by applying that word and by lying that “we face simultaneous and growing military threats from Russia and China.” Seriously? Where? The U.S. military budget is more than those of most nations of the world combined. Only 29 nations, out of some 200 on Earth, spend even 1 percent what the U.S. does. Of those 29, a full 26 are U.S. weapons customers. Many of those receive free U.S. weapons and/or training and/or have U.S. bases in their countries.

Only one non-ally, non-weapons customer (albeit a collaborator in bioweapons research labs) spends over 10% what the U.S. does, namely China, which was at 37% of U.S. spending in 2021 and likely about the same now despite the highly horrifying increases widely reported in the U.S. media and on the floor of Congress. (That’s not considering weapons for Ukraine and various other U.S. expenses.) While the U.S. has planted military bases around Russia and China, neither has a military base anywhere near the United States, and neither has threatened the United States. Now, if you don’t want to fill the globe with U.S. weaponry and provoke Russia and China on their borders, the New York Times has some additional lies for you: “Defense spending is about as pure an application of a domestic industrial policy — with thousands of good-paying, high-skilled manufacturing jobs — as any other high-tech sector.”

No, it is not. Just about any other way of spending public dollars, or even not taxing them in the first place, produces more and better jobs. Here’s a doozie: “Liberals also used to be hostile to the military on the assumption that it skewed right wing, but that’s a harder argument to make when the right is complaining about a ‘woke military.’” What in the world would it mean to oppose organized mass murder because it skews right wing? What the hell else could it skew? I oppose militarism because it kills, destroys, damages the Earth, drives homelessness and illness and poverty, prevents global cooperation, tears down the rule of law, prevents self-governance, produces the dumbest pages of the New York Times, fuels bigotry, and militarizes police, and because there are better ways to resolve disputes and to resist the militarism of others. I’m not going to start cheering for mass killings because some general doesn’t hate enough groups.

Then there’s this lie: “The Biden administration touts the size of its $842 billion budget request, and in nominal terms it’s the largest ever. But that fails to account for inflation.” If you look at U.S. military spending according to SIPRI in constant 2021 dollars from 1949 to now (all the years they provide, with their calculation adjusting for inflation), Obama’s 2011 record will probably fall this year. If you look at actual numbers, not adjusting for inflation, Biden has set a new record each year. If you add in the free weapons for Ukraine, then, even adjusting for inflation, the record fell this past year and will probably be broken again in the coming year.

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How to kill a brand.

Anheuser-Busch Loses $6BN In Six Days After Bud Light Trans Ad Campaign (ZH)

After reaching a three-year high of $66.73 per share, Bud Light parent company Anheuser Busch Inbev lost more than $6 billion in market cap since announcing its partnership with 26-year-old transgender ‘influencer’ Dylan Mulvaney on April 2, as bar owners and distributors report a sharp decline in Bud Light sales over the past week. The company’s market cap fell as low as $125.7 billion, down from $132.8 billion six days ago, a drop of more than five-percent. Meanwhile competitor Molson Coors (TAP) saw $350 million added to its market cap over the last week. Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney included custom cans featuring his face and pro-LGBTQ language to commemorate the biological male’s ‘being a woman’ for over a year.


The ad campaign kicked off with naked Mulvaney drinking Bud Light in a bathtub. And while Anheuser-Busch issued a statement in support of Mulvaney, saying it “works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics,” the Daily Wire reports that company executives had no idea about the ad campaign. “No one at the senior level” of the company was aware of Bud Light’s polarizing partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, sources close to the situation claim. The company is also allegedly pausing its marketing efforts and scrambling to implement a more “robust” process for evaluating future influencer partnerships.

“No one at a senior level was aware this was happening,” said one source, who was granted anonymity to discuss sensitive internal discussions. “Some low-level marketing staffer who helps manage the hundreds of influencer engagements they do must have thought it was no big deal. Obviously it was, and it’s a shame because they have a well-earned reputation for just being America’s beer — not a political company. It was a mistake.” A second source also claimed that a lower level employee had made the decision to include Mulvaney in the campaign, a move that appears to have cost the company $5 billion in market value. The backlash to the iconic American beer brand has been so intense that a Budweiser distributor in Missouri canceled an event with the company’s famous Clydesdale horses because everything was “still sensitive” over the matter.” -Daily Wire

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Goats on trees
https://twitter.com/i/status/1646533792495206403

 

 


An albino tree is unable to produce chlorophyll & survives by obtaining sugar through neighboring trees’ roots

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 082023
 
 March 8, 2023  Posted by at 10:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  63 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Pollard willows at sunset 1888

 

US Spies Say ‘Pro-Ukrainian Group’ Bombed Nord Stream – NYT (RT)
US Intelligence Now Says Pro-Ukraine Mystery Forces Destroyed Nord Stream (ZH)
US Media Leaks On Nord Stream Sabotage Intended Only To Confuse – Russia (TASS)
Russian Lawmaker Calls NYT Article On Nord Stream Sabotage ‘Red Herring’ (TASS)
Support For Aid To Ukraine Declines Across West (RT)
Ukrainian Loses Over 11,000 Troops In February, 40% Jump – Shoigu (TASS)
‘Black Hole’: Ukrainian Army Faces Nightmare In Bakhmut – DPR Adviser (TASS)
US Seeking To Contain China – Xi (RT)
China Staying True To Its Own Politics Amid Global Changes – Top Diplomat (TASS)
Ukraine Crisis Led By ‘Washington’s Hand’ Seeking To Continue Conflict (TASS)
Zelensky Is ‘Just Scum’ – Belarusian President (RT)
US-backed Attempts To Drag Belarus Into Ukraine War To Fail – Lukashenko (TASS)
WHO’s Unprecedented Power to Override National Sovereignty (CHD)
Oh Boy… (Denninger)
Fox News Hit With Election Complaint (RT)
US Lawmakers Call For Declassified Covid Origins Report (RT)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Julie Kelly

 

 

 

 

Tucker questionnaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first significant known lead…..

The New York Times never reported on the Sy Hersh story, How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline. Instead, they come up with a whole new story, without even mentioning Hersh. You’d think that if they found anything untrue in his story, they’d run with that. They did not.

Their anonymous sources claim a private group of “Ukrainian or Russian nationals” hired a boat and did the deed. Even if right after the September 2022 attack, everyone agreed this would have taken a sophisticated state actor. Avoiding detection would have been hard enough, drilling holes into the think concrete wall of the pipes, placing over 1,000 pounds of “military grade” explosives, etc etc. But the purpose of the NYT story is not to prove anything, it’s just to sow doubt about Hersh’s story.

Hersh was adamant that it was the US -and Norway- who conducted the attack. Now there may be Ukrainians or Russians involved. And you don’t have to go into details (as Hersh did) to plant some doubt. But you can state that no Americans were involved. You don’t have to prove that either. You can just say it. “Anonymous sources”. Obviously the NYT has no credibility as long as it ignores Hersh, but the home crowd doesn’t mind as long as they …ignore Hersh. Mum’s the word. That Hersh guy spent months just making it all up, no use addressing that.

US Spies Say ‘Pro-Ukrainian Group’ Bombed Nord Stream – NYT (RT)

Unspecified new intelligence “suggests that a pro-Ukrianian group” was behind the September 2022 attack on Nord Stream pipelines, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, quoting anonymous US officials. The Times’ entirely unnamed sources said they “believed the saboteurs were most likely Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two” and that “no American or British nationals were involved.” They further said they had no evidence Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky or his “top lieutenants” were involved, or that the “any Ukrainian government officials” directed the attack. The anonymous officials could not say who directed or paid for the “operation,” and said it was possible the attack “might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.”

The bombs that tore apart three out of four strings of the pipelines under the Baltic Sea were “most likely” planted by experienced divers, “who did not appear to be working for military or intelligence services,” but may have received “specialized government training in the past,” the anonymous officials claimed. They also said US President Joe Biden and his top aides “did not authorize” the attack on Nord Stream and that “there was no US involvement” in it. These statements directly address last month’s report by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who accused the US of ordering the bombing and planting the explosives. While Western European officials also believe the attack was state-sponsored, “US officials have not stated publicly that they believe the operation was sponsored by a state,” the Times noted.

Some officials see “Ukraine and its allies” as having “the most logical potential motive” to destroy the pipelines. It was unclear who they meant by allies; though Poland has been the most outspoken critic of Nord Stream, the US and the entire NATO bloc have sent more than $100 billion worth of weapons and other aid to Kiev over the past year. “Any findings that put blame on Kyiv or Ukrainian proxies could prompt a backlash in Europe and make it harder for the West to maintain a united front in support of Ukraine,” the Times reporters noted. The Nord Stream explosions happened five weeks after the Moscow car bombing that killed Russian journalist Darya Dugina.

Anonymous US spies told the Times last October they believed “elements” within the Ukrainian government – but not Zelensky – were responsible, but declined to name anyone. Kiev has officially denied any responsibility whatsoever. “After the Nord Stream operation, there was hushed speculation – and worry – in Washington that parts of the Ukrainian government might have been involved in that operation as well,” the Times reported on Tuesday. The anonymous officials who spoke to the paper said there was “no evidence so far” the Ukrainian government was involved, and that President Joe Biden’s trust in Zelensky “has been steadily increasing.” The Times did acknowledge that American intelligence has “limited visibility into Ukrainian decision-making,” despite Kiev’s “deep dependence” on the US.

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“The CIA alleges that 5 random clowns in a sailboat penetrated the most highly patrolled body of water on earth, drilled through concrete at incredible depths, and planted 1,000 Kilograms of highly unstable C4 plastique, then remote detonated it with pulse sonar.”

US Intelligence Now Says Pro-Ukraine Mystery Forces Destroyed Nord Stream (ZH)

Last month, Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh concluded that the United States blew up the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream natural gas pipelines last September as part of a covert operation under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise. Now, four weeks after Hersh’s bombshell report, anonymous US intelligence officials tell the NY Times that the saboteurs are likely ‘pro-Ukraine, possibly government-trained Ukrainian or Russian nationals, or some combination of the two,’ but that ‘no American or British nationals were involved.’

“U.S. officials said that they had no evidence President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine or his top lieutenants were involved in the operation, or that the perpetrators were acting at the direction of any Ukrainian government officials. [..] U.S. officials said there was much they did not know about the perpetrators and their affiliations. The review of newly collected intelligence suggests they were opponents of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but does not specify the members of the group, or who directed or paid for the operation. U.S. officials declined to disclose the nature of the intelligence, how it was obtained or any details of the strength of the evidence it contains. They have said that there are no firm conclusions about it, leaving open the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.” -NY Times

The perpetrators were likely “experienced divers who did not appear to be working for military or intelligence services,” US officials said, adding that “it is possible that the perpetrators received specialized government training in the past.” According to one European lawmaker briefed late last year by his country’s primary foreign intelligence service, over 1,000 pounds of “military grade” explosives were used. ‘But it wasn’t us!’ the US insists. The Times also notes that the implications of Ukrainian involvement in the attack “whether direct or indirect,” which could “upset the delicate relationship between Ukraine and Germany, souring support among a German public that has swallowed high energy prices in the name of solidarity.”

“Since the explosions along the pipelines in September, there has been rampant speculation about what transpired on the sea floor near the Danish island of Bornholm. Poland and Ukraine immediately accused Russia of planting the explosives, but they offered no evidence. Russia, in turn, accused Britain of carrying out the operation — also without evidence. Russia and Britain have denied any involvement in the explosions. [..] Any findings that put blame on Kyiv or Ukrainian proxies could prompt a backlash in Europe and make it harder for the West to maintain a united front in support of Ukraine. U.S. officials and intelligence agencies acknowledge that they have limited visibility into Ukrainian decision-making.” -NYT

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“First of all, we took notice of the fact that the mentioned article instantly got a ‘green light’ in the local information field, literally being all over the media in a heartbeat.”

US Media Leaks On Nord Stream Sabotage Intended Only To Confuse – Russia (TASS)

US media leaks from anonymous sources about the sabotage attacks on Nord Stream pipelines are intended only to confuse those who are trying to find out the truth, Minister-Counselor of the Russian Embassy in the United States Andrey Ledenev said. Commenting on an article in the New York Times, the diplomat said: “First of all, we took notice of the fact that the mentioned article instantly got a ‘green light’ in the local information field, literally being all over the media in a heartbeat.” “This is especially noteworthy given the attempts of the local officials and journalists to blatantly silence the resonant material of the Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh on the same topic. As well as the administration’s opposition to launching a comprehensive and independent investigation into this act of international terrorism against critical energy infrastructure,” Ledenev was quoted as saying on the Russian embassy’s official Telegram channel.

In his words, “it looks like local authorities have something to hide given the fact they openly threatened the operation of the gas pipelines, and afterwards overtly savored their destruction,” especially since mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Europe “has always been like a thorn in Washington’s side.” “We have no faith in the ‘impartiality’ of the conclusions of the US intelligence. We perceive anonymous ‘leaks’ as nothing more than an attempt to confuse those who are sincerely trying to get to the bottom of things in this egregious crime. Shift the blame from the statesmen who ordered and coordinated the attacks in the Baltic Sea to some abstract individuals,” the Russian diplomat continued. “We are convinced that in the end justice will prevail. We shall spare no effort for this to happen,” he added.

The New York Times reported earlier on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources, that US intelligence has so far been unable to identify the mastermind of last September’s sabotage attacks that targeted the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which transported natural gas from Russia to Europe. The anonymous officials interviewed by the newspaper said there had been no firm conclusions about those responsible, thus leaving open “the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.” Meanwhile, Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper wrote that German investigators had allegedly identified the vessel used in the attack. The company that leased it was owned by Ukrainian citizens.

On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported unprecedented damage that occurred the day before on three strings of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipelines. On September 26, 2022, Swedish seismologists registered two explosions on the pipeline routes. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal case based on charges of international terrorism.

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“..leaving open “the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force..”

Russian Lawmaker Calls NYT Article On Nord Stream Sabotage ‘Red Herring’ (TASS)

Leonid Slutsky, the head of the Russian State Duma (parliament’s lower chamber) Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Tuesday’s New York Times article suggesting that a pro-Ukrainian group could be behind the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines was a “yet another red herring.” “The NYT article is a yet another red herring, aimed at distracting the public from real perpetrators by pointing to an abstract rebel group. But who would believe that an operation of this scope, which essentially is of military nature, can be carried out by a previously unknown sabotage group?” Slutsky wrote on his Telegram channel on Tuesday. In his opinion, this article should become a wake-up call for the Kiev government and President Vladimir Zelensky, “indicating that he and his ‘rebels’ will be cast away when the heat is on in Washington.”

The New York Times reported earlier on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources, that US intelligence has so far been unable to identify the mastermind of last September’s sabotage attacks that targeted the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, which transported natural gas from Russia to Europe. The anonymous officials interviewed by the newspaper said there had been no firm conclusions about those responsible, thus leaving open “the possibility that the operation might have been conducted off the books by a proxy force with connections to the Ukrainian government or its security services.”

However, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on February 8 published an article where he said, citing a source, that explosives under the Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were planted by US Navy divers, helped by Norwegian specialists, under the guise of the Baltops exercise in June. The story stated that the CIA and Burns took part in the preparation of the operation, and US president Joe Biden personally authorized the operation after nine months of deliberations with the administration’s national security staff. On September 27, 2022, Nord Stream AG reported unprecedented damage that occurred the day before on three strings of the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 offshore gas pipelines. On September 26, 2022, Swedish seismologists registered two explosions on the pipeline routes. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office launched a criminal case based on charges of international terrorism.

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Time for a false flag? BTW, where is the western coverage of these polls?

Support For Aid To Ukraine Declines Across West (RT)

A year into the Russia-Ukraine conflict, public support for military and financial assistance to Kiev is in decline in the West, a joint survey by the Economist magazine and the YouGov pollster has shown. Even the most ardent backers of Ukraine are now less enthusiastic about supporting the country, the Economist said in a report revealing the poll results on Monday. Among US Democrats, support for financial aid to Kiev fell from 82% to 75% between April 2022 and February 2023, the poll revealed. Republican support for similar measures almost halved over the same period, from 67% to 39%, it added. Sending battle tanks to Kiev still appeared to be a popular option, as their delivery to Ukraine was supported by 70% of Democrats and just under 50% of Republicans between late January and mid-February 2023.

A poll conducted by the Associated Press in mid-February showed, however, that less than a half of Americans support military aid to Kiev. Public backing for further restrictions against Moscow that could increase the cost of living in Europe has seen a sharp decline in major European nations over the past year, according to the poll. In February 2022, 45% of Britons said they would favour such sanctions, but in December 2022 the level of support for the measures dropped to 35% in the UK. In Germany, it fell from almost 40% to less than 30% over the same period, while Spain, Italy and France followed a similar trend. Another poll published by YouGov two weeks ago, on February 24, showed that people in some European nations, including France and Italy, tend to favor a negotiated solution to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, over supporting Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”

In Italy, 47% of respondents said they would like to see a negotiated end of the fighting, even if it means Kiev having to cede control over some territories it considers its own to Russia. In France, 38% of people supported this option. Only 29% of Italians and 37% of the French believed Kiev should be supported further, even if it means the conflict will last longer. Major European nations also saw a decline in support for almost all types of aid to Kiev over the second half of 2022. Most Europeans also believed that conflict had reached a stalemate, with Spanish citizens believing Russia was gaining the upper hand in it. The idea that Kiev is winning the conflict was shared by only a small minority in the European nations covered by the poll.

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“..it’s surprising how the Kiev regime doesn’t care about its people, tolerating any cost to human life to please its Western handlers..”

No problem, we’ll say the same about Russia…

Ukrainian Loses Over 11,000 Troops In February, 40% Jump – Shoigu (TASS)

The losses of Ukrainian troops jumped by 40% in February, surpassing 11,000 people, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during a conference call with top commanders of the Russian armed forces. “There’s considerable growth of losses among the personnel of the Ukrainian armed forces. In February alone, they increased by more than 40% compared with January and totaled more than 11,000 servicemen. In connection with this, it’s surprising how the Kiev regime doesn’t care about its people, tolerating any cost to human life to please its Western handlers,” he said.


The minister said it continues to be a priority for the Russian armed forces to preserve the lives and health of its personnel and civilians. Shoigu also said Russian troops will continue to perform missions as part of the special operation. The West, as part of the US strategy to “break Russia by force of weapons,” in ramping up arms shipments to Kiev but that doesn’t result in Ukrainian achievements on the battlefield, Shoigu said.

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“Zelensky has long called it a fortress city, the loss of which, in principle, would be tantamount to the loss of the frontline. This fortress city has now turned into a black hole that sucks in enemy manpower..”

‘Black Hole’: Ukrainian Army Faces Nightmare In Bakhmut – DPR Adviser (TASS)

The city of Artyomovsk (Ukrainian name – Bakhmut), which Kiev has for some time described as the Ukrainian forces’ impregnable fortress has turned into a veritable “black hole,” Yan Gagin, an adviser to the acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said on the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock TV news channel. “He [Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky] has long called it a fortress city, the loss of which, in principle, would be tantamount to the loss of the frontline. This fortress city has now turned into a black hole that sucks in enemy manpower,” Gagin said. Artyomovsk is located in the Kiev-controlled part of the DPR. Fierce battles for the city are in progress.


According to the latest reports, the Russian forces have cut off or taken under fire control all paved roads to the city. Spring slush and mud greatly impede the delivery of supplies to Ukrainian troops in the city. On February 20, Zelensky vowed that the Ukrainian army would fight for Artyomovsk “as long as it is reasonable.” Additional units continue to be brought to the city. As retired Lieutenant-Colonel of the Lugansk People’s Republic’s militia Andrey Marochko told TASS, Kiev has even sent some under-age conscripts to the area of hostilities. On Monday, Gagin said that the Ukrainian troops in Artyomovsk were trapped just like they were in Debaltsevo in 2015.

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“He compared the US government to an athlete trying to trip their opponent instead of giving its best performance.”

US Seeking To Contain China – Xi (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has publicly criticized the US and accused it of leading a Western attempt to “contain” his country. Foreign Minister Qin Gang also warned Washington to “hit the brakes” or risk “conflict and confrontation. “Western countries led by the United States have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to our nation’s development,” Xi said in a rare verbal attack on Monday, as quoted by state media. The Chinese leader was meeting with industry and business groups during an annual gathering of an advisory body to the Communist Party. His speech focused on the national economy, with the remark about Washington’s policy illustrating what he called “uncertain and unpredictable factors” in the international environment, which also included the Covid-19 pandemic.

Xi normally refrains from targeted criticism of the US. Michael Swaine, a senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told the New York Times that, to his knowledge, it was the first time the Chinese leader “has publicly come out and identified the US as taking such actions.” Meanwhile, another senior Chinese official accused Washington of using underhanded tactics on Tuesday. “The US claims that it seeks to out-compete China but does not seek conflict. Yet in reality, its so-called ‘competition’ means to contain and suppress China in all respects,” Foreign Minister Qin Gang said in a speech on the sidelines of an ongoing session of the Chinese legislature. He compared the US government to an athlete trying to trip their opponent instead of giving its best performance.

Washington wants Beijing not to push back when it is targeted by such action or slander, the minister suggested, adding that this was not possible. The US trajectory could lead to a disaster that no guardrails would be able to prevent, he warned. “If the US does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,” said Qin, who previously served as the Chinese ambassador to the US. Washington has accused Beijing of undermining a “rules-based order” with its policies and imposed a number of economic restrictions, including last year’s ban on exporting certain semiconductors to the country. Tensions escalated further last month after Washington accused the country of flying a “spy balloon” over American soil, which China said was just a stray weather aircraft.

Mao Ning

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“Beijing will always contribute to maintaining peace on the planet and preserving the existing world order..”

China Staying True To Its Own Politics Amid Global Changes – Top Diplomat (TASS)

Authorities in China will stick to an independent policy course against the backdrop of the drastic changes underway in the international arena, China’s top diplomat Qin Gang said on Tuesday. “Major changes, unseen in the past 100 years, are taking place globally. Under the circumstances, China will pursue a peaceful and independent foreign policy and stick to mutually advantageous strategies,” Qin told a press conference during the annual plenary meetings of the country’s top advisory and legislative bodies underway in Beijing this week. Beijing will always contribute to maintaining peace on the planet and preserving the existing world order, Qin added.


The first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s parliament) kicked off on Sunday and it will end on March 13. It coincided with the work of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisor. This week, Chinese lawmakers and advisors are discussing key issues surrounding the country’s social and economic development, and coordinating domains for further reform. The sessions will result in the election of new top officials, including the Chinese vice-president and the premier of the State Council.

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No invisible hand.

Ukraine Crisis Led By ‘Washington’s Hand’ Seeking To Continue Conflict (TASS)

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov disagreed with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s opinion that the crisis in Ukraine was orchestrated by “an invisible hand.” According to the spokesman, it is the hand of the United States, which does not want the military conflict in Ukraine to end. “Here, perhaps, we can disagree with our Chinese friends,” Peskov told reporters at a briefing, commenting on the statement of the Chinese Foreign Minister. At the same time, the Kremlin spokesman made it clear right away that the disagreement was a joke.


“You know what the joke is? This is not an invisible hand, in fact, this hand is quite visible. This is the hand of the United States, the hand of Washington. Washington does not want this war to end, Washington wants and will do everything to continue this war. That is why this hand is visible,” Peskov said. Earlier on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said at the annual press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress session that efforts to promote negotiations between Russia and Ukraine had failed. According to him, “an invisible hand is pushing the conflict towards further prolongation and escalation and is trying to use the crisis in Ukraine for its geopolitical purposes.”

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“If you think that by challenging us this way you’ll be able to drag us into the war tomorrow… then you are mistaken.”

Zelensky Is ‘Just Scum’ – Belarusian President (RT)

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has lashed out at his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky, accusing him of attempting to drag Belarus into Kiev’s conflict with Moscow. On Tuesday, Lukashenko told the media that a Russian A-50 surveillance aircraft sustained minor damage in a drone attack on the Machulishchy air base in Belarus last week, adding that the assault had been carried out by a “terrorist” recruit of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU). “There can be only one conclusion… President Zelensky is just scum. Just scum, as such operations are never carried out without the consent of the head of state and the commander-in-chief. I am telling you this as a president,” the Belarusian leader said.

The exact word that Lukashenko used was “gnida”, which is Russian for louse egg or nit. According to Lukashenko, Zelensky “has been making circles around Belarus” and talking about signing “a non-aggression pact” between Kiev and Minsk under the auspices of the UN, but “at the same time” doing things like this. “I know that they want to drag us into the war on the order of the Americans,” Lukashenko said. In a comment addressing Zelensky’s government, he stated: “If you think that by challenging us this way you’ll be able to drag us into the war tomorrow… then you are mistaken.”

The Belarusian leader first revealed that Ukraine had offered “a non-aggression pact” to his country in late January. Back then, Lukashenko said such an agreement would have been excessive, as Minsk had no aggressive plans against its neighbor. Belarus is a close ally of Russia, with the two countries creating a joint military grouping on Belarusian territory in the fall. According to Minsk, this was needed to address perceived threats from the West, which he said is eager to involve Belarus in the Ukrainian conflict in order to extend the frontline and stretch the resources of the Russian forces.

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“..if you think that having thrown down this challenge you will drag us into the war which is already underway across the entire Europe, you are wrong..”

US-backed Attempts To Drag Belarus Into Ukraine War To Fail – Lukashenko (TASS)

Kiev is seeking to drag Belarus into the conflict in Ukraine on instructions from Washington but will not be able to do so, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday. “If they plan to do it (and I know that they are seeking to drag us into the war on commands from the Americans), if you think that having thrown down this challenge you will drag us into the war which is already underway across the entire Europe, you are wrong,” the BelTA news agency quoted him as saying. Earlier on Tuesday, Lukashenko said that an agent of the Ukrainian special services and more than 20 of his accomplices had been detained in Belarus following an attempted act of sabotage against an A-50 long-range radar surveillance and control aircraft of the Russian aerospace forces. According to the Belarusian president, the plane did not sustain “any serious damage, but for, as they say, scratches and a hole in the hull.” Belarus has asked the Russian side to take this plane in for repairs and send another such plane instead, which was done.

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• “Empowering the WHO’s Emergency Committee “to override decisions made by sovereign nations regarding health measures.”

WHO’s Unprecedented Power to Override National Sovereignty (CHD)

Two World Health Organization (WHO) committees recently convened to discuss proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) and the “zero draft” of a new global “pandemic treaty.” Media have focused primarily on the pandemic treaty, with the Biden administration recently reaffirming its commitment to finalizing it, and with The Associated Press (AP) reporting the treaty would not threaten national sovereignty. However, some experts warn the public should be more concerned about the proposed IHR amendments — which are more likely to be adopted — as they would give the WHO unprecedented power over national governments and override national sovereignty. Experts also say there are clear differences between the proposed IHR amendments and the pandemic treaty, even though the two are often conflated in public discourse.

Previous versions of the IHR have been in place since 1969. The current version was first enacted in 2005, in the aftermath of SARS-CoV-1. IHR amendments a ‘clear and present danger’ According to author and researcher James Roguski, “It seems nearly everyone is having difficulty maintaining clarity between the proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations and the proposed ‘Pandemic Treaty.’” Roguski, who has extensively researched both proposals, recently wrote on his blog that the “Zero Draft” of the Pandemic Treaty “is a real thing” but is also “a skillfully crafted decoy” designed to draw attention away from the proposed IHR amendments. He called these amendments — which the WHO’s Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) discussed on Feb. 20-24 — “a clear and present danger.”

According to Reclaim the Net, the WHO, through the proposed IHR amendments, is “pushing to greatly expand its surveillance powers,” including requiring states to build “collaborative surveillance networks.” “The unelected health agency also wants increased influence over the targeting of ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’” via the proposed amendments. According to the Brownstone Institute, the proposed amendments would “expand the definitions of pandemics [and] health emergencies, including the introduction of ‘potential’ for harm rather than actual harm” and would change the recommendations of the IHR for states “from ‘non-binding’ to mandatory.” The WHO’s director general would be empowered to “independently declare emergencies, and would grant the WHO “control over certain country resources.”

A total of 307 IHR amendments have been proposed. On his blog, Roguski compiled a list of the top 10 reasons to oppose the amendments. These include:
• Changing the WHO “from an advisory organization … to a governing body whose proclamations would be legally binding.” (Articles 1 and 42)
• Removing language preserving “respect for dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people.” (Article 3)
• Giving the WHO “authority to require medical examinations, proof of prophylaxis, proof of vaccine and to implement contact tracing, quarantine and treatment.” (Article 18)
• Instituting “a system of global health certificates in digital or paper format.” (multiple articles and annexes)
• Empowering the WHO’s Emergency Committee “to override decisions made by sovereign nations regarding health measures.” (Article 43)

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“The Brady decision by the USSC makes clear that the prosecution must turn over all evidence they have which exculpates a defendant. It’s not optional and it dates to 1963.”

Oh Boy… (Denninger)

Well now there’s a problem. Tucker has released video that pretty-much blows a hole in the entire January 6th narrative. In fact, it blows it up, sets it alight and watches it burn to ash. This is a serious problem for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the number of people sitting in prison — or convicted on connived, false claims with no ability for their defense to access the evidence proving that in many cases they were escorted. At worst most of these people are guilty of trespass, but even there you likely can’t make it stick as trespass is voided if you’re invited or chaperoned, and its quite clear that at least in some cases — they are. There’s another problem too: The Brady decision by the USSC makes clear that the prosecution must turn over all evidence they have which exculpates a defendant. It’s not optional and it dates to 1963.


The violations here are severe and in fact it appears basically universal. Indeed the definition of malicious prosecution is to bring a case before the court where you know the exculpatory evidence is so strong you’d never win a conviction and you intentionally withhold it from the defense. That opens up the DOJ and even the individuals involved to personal liability. I have no idea how the DOJ thought they’d get away with this indefinitely, but apparently they did think they would. Well, not any more. Now the question becomes if the government will not live to its own laws, what remains? It’s not a pleasant question to ponder, but ponder it we must, and the implications do not just extend to January 6th. Unfortunately.

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They had the counter-attack ready on the shelf. Took just one day.

“MMFA has gone after Carlson numerous times, accusing him of everything from “election denial” to racism…”

Fox News Hit With Election Complaint (RT)

Media Matters for America has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Fox News, claiming the cable network has provided an illegal contribution to the Republican Party in the 2020 US election. MMFA’s head talked up the complaint on Monday, as Fox aired previously unavailable footage of the January 6 Capitol riot. Fox operates “more like a partisan operation than a news network,” Angelo Carusone told Democracy Now! on Monday evening, adding he anticipated “a lot more” FEC complaints going forward. The MMFA is basing its complaint on one of the documents produced in the ongoing defamation lawsuit against the cable network by Dominion Voting Systems, which is seeking $1.6 billion in damages. According to the discovery in that trial, Fox owner Rupert Murdoch gave then-President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, “confidential information” about a campaign ad for Democrat Joe Biden.

MMFA is arguing that the FEC “press exemption” would not apply in this case, and that Murdoch’s act amounts to “an illegal corporate in-kind contribution.” “If you try to get around that disclosure law… by giving something that is the equivalent of money, that you would need to spend money on, or that could be considered something of value for a political campaign, you’re either not supposed to do it or it’s supposed to be disclosed,” Carusone told Democracy Now! Carusone’s interview coincided with Fox News showing video from the 2021 riot at the US Capitol, which the new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – a California Republican – provided to Tucker Carlson, the most-watched evening news host in the US. The footage Carlson aired directly contradicted the narratives about the Capitol “insurrection” put forth by Biden and the Democrats.

MMFA has gone after Carlson numerous times, accusing him of everything from “election denial” to racism. The Republican National Committee has previously complained to the FEC that Twitter had given an in-kind contribution to the Democrats in the 2020 election, by censoring the New York Post’s factually true story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Biden, the Democrats and MMFA denounced the report – falsely, as it turned out – as “Russian disinformation.” The RNC filed their claim in October 2020, just weeks before the election. The FEC rejected it, without explanation, in September 2021.

Tucker 2
https://twitter.com/i/status/1633276073155674114

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“..urging for an international probe into the matter within the United States following similar investigations in the People’s Republic.”

US Lawmakers Call For Declassified Covid Origins Report (RT)

The US House Intelligence Committee has adopted its own version of a bill seeking to force the government to declassify all that it knows about the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, namely information that relates to a major virology lab in China, from which US officials have claimed the virus originally escaped. A Senate-approved bill moving through Congress was given a rubber stamp by the Republican-controlled intel committee on Tuesday, aiming to require Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to “make available to the public as much information as possible” about the beginnings of the virus, as well as “any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology” and Covid-19.

“The American public deserves answers to every aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic, including how this virus was graded and specifically, whether it was a natural occurrence or was the result of a lab-related event,” committee chairman Mike Turner said. “The intelligence community does have more information about Covid-19 than the public has seen.” The legislation was approved unanimously by the committee and will now head for a floor vote in the House, after which it would be destined for President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature. The GOP-led push to declassify information follows an updated assessment by the Department of Energy, which recently concluded the virus likely leaked from the Wuhan lab, though the department only endorsed that theory with “low confidence.”

Days later, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared on Fox News to declare that Covid-19 “most likely” emerged from the virology facility, citing a bureau report that has not been made public. Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Mike Braun initially proposed similar legislation in 2021, and though the bill was passed in the upper chamber, it was never enacted into law. It was reintroduced and passed again overwhelmingly last week. “The Senate already passed my bill with [Hawley] to make every bit of evidence we know about the Covid lab leak declassified for the American people to see the facts without corporate or government censors. President Biden needs to declassify everything we know today,” Braun wrote in a tweet in late February, soon after the Wall Street Journal was first to report the Energy Department’s revised conclusion.

Though the original bill never received the president’s signature, so far the White House has not given any indication it will veto the measure. Beijing, for its part, has vocally denied suggestions the pathogen escaped from the Wuhan virology lab, rejecting the theory as a way to smear China’s image abroad. On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry accused Washington of “spreading myths” about the origins of the pandemic, urging for an international probe into the matter within the United States following similar investigations in the People’s Republic.

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Bamboozle

 

 

Chirodectes maculatus

 

 

Young

 

 


Crocodile with perfect camouflage – Jens Cullmann

 

 

Trolling

 

 

Arnie

 

 

 

 

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Feb 032023
 
 February 3, 2023  Posted by at 3:26 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  6 Responses »


Johannes Vermeer The glass of wine c 1658-1660

 

 

Andrew Korybko approached me a few days ago asking if we could share some of his work. I don’t view the Automatic Earth as a publishing platform, and given all the censorship of the past 2-3 years (it’s expensive!), I will be very cautious about letting anyone in. But I like Andrew’s writing, so I said: let’s give it a go.

Then I had to transfer his Word file to the simple text editor I have been using for many years, but that only took half an hour … I don’t like Word. Or Bill Gates. Here’s Andrew:

 

 

Andrew Korybko: The “official narrative” surrounding the Ukrainian Conflict has flipped in recent weeks from prematurely celebrating Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory to nowadays seriously warning about its likely loss. It was therefore expected in hindsight that other dimensions of the information warfare campaign waged by the US-led West’s Golden Billion against Russia would also change. As proof of precisely that, the New York Times (NYT) just admitted that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are a failure.

In Ana Swanson’s article about how “Russia Sidesteps Western Punishments, With Help From Friends”, she cites Western experts who concluded that “Russia’s imports may have already recovered to prewar levels, or will soon do so, depending on their models.” Even more compelling, she references the IMF’s latest assessment from Monday, which “now expected the Russian economy to grow 0.3 percent this year, a sharp improvement from its previous estimate of a 2.3 percent contraction.”

Neither the NYT, the Western experts that Swanson cites, nor the IMF can credibly be accused of being “Russian-friendly”, let alone so-called “Russian propagandists” or even “Russian agents”, which thus confirms the observation that this dimension of the Golden Billion’s infowar has also decisively shifted. The fact of the matter is that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions failed to catalyze the collapse of that targeted multipolar Great Power’s economy, which continues to remain impressively resilient.

The timing at which this narrative changed is also important because it extends credence to the more widely known new narrative that’s nowadays seriously warning about Kiev’s likely loss in NATO’s proxy war on Russia. After all, if the sanctions achieved the goal that they were supposed to and which the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) hitherto lied that they supposedly had, then it naturally follows that Kiev would “inevitably” win exactly as they claimed would happen up until mid-January.

With this in mind, the most effective way to “reprogram” the average Westerner after brainwashing them over the past 11 months into expecting Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory is to also decisively change the supplementary narratives that artificially manufactured that aforesaid false conclusion. To that end, the order was given to begin raising the public’s awareness about the failure of the Golden Billion’s anti-Russian sanctions, ergo the NYT’s latest piece and the specific timing thereof.

What’s left unsaid in that article is the “politically incorrect” but nevertheless heavily implied observation that the jointly BRICS– & SCO-led Global South of which Russia is a part has defied the Golden Billion’s demands to “isolate” that multipolar Great Power. No MSM outlet will ever admit it, at least not yet, but their de facto New Cold War bloc has limited sway outside the US’ recently restored “sphere of influence” in Europe, whose countries are the only ones suffering from these sanctions.

The NYT’s latest piece might inadvertently make many members of their public conscious of that, however, and they might therefore increasingly object to their governments scaling up their commitment to NATO’s proxy war on Russia under American pressure. Croatian President Zoran Milanovic recently joined Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in condemning this campaign and raising wider awareness of just how counterproductive it’s been for Europe’s objective interests.

As Europeans come to realize that they’re the only ones suffering from the anti-Russian sanctions that their American overlord coerced them into imposing and that their sacrifices haven’t adversely affected that targeted multipolar Great Power’s special operation, massive unrest might follow. It’s unlikely to influence their US-controlled leaders into reversing course, remembering that the German Foreign Minister vowed late last year never to do so, but could instead catalyze a violent police crackdown.

The reason behind this pessimistic prediction is that a reversal or at the very least lessening of the presently rigid anti-Russian sanctions regime would represent an unprecedentedly independent move by whichever European state(s) does/do so. Seeing as how that didn’t even happen in the eight years prior to the US’ successful reassertion of its unipolar hegemony all across 2022, the likelihood of that happening nowadays under those much more difficult conditions is practically nil.

The US’ “Lead From Behind” subordinate for “managing” European affairs as part of its new so-called “burden-sharing” strategy, Germany, has more than enough levers of economic, institutional, and political influence to several punish any of those lower-tier American vassals who get out of place. It’s therefore unrealistic to expect any single EU member to unilaterally defy the bloc’s anti-Russian sanctions that their own government previously agreed to.

Considering this reality, those leaders who want to remain in power or at least not risk the US’ German-driven Hybrid War wrath against their economies are loath restore a semblance of their largely lost sovereignty in such a dramatic manner. Instead, their most pragmatic course of action is to not participate in the military aspect of this proxy war by refusing to dispatch arms to Kiev exactly as the emerging Central European pragmatic bloc of Austria, Croatia, and Hungary have done.

The population of those countries are thus unlikely to protest against the sanctions even after being made aware of the facts contained in the NYT’s latest piece and naturally coming to the conclusion that the anti-Russian sanctions have only harmed their own economies and not that targeted Great Power’s. Folks in France, Germany, and Italy, however, could very well react differently, especially considering their tradition of organizing massive protests.

In such a scenario, their governments are expected to order a violent police crackdown under whatever pretext they concoct, whether it’s falsely accusing the protesters of employing violence first or accusing them all of being so-called “Russian agents”. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome will be the same whereby Western European countries will slide deeper into liberal-totalitarian dictatorship, which will in turn contribute to further radicalizing their population towards uncertain ends.

Returning back to the NYT’s piece, it represents a remarkable reversal of the “official narrative” by frankly admitting that the West’s anti-Russian sanctions are a failure. This coincides with the decisive shift of the larger narrative driven by American and Polish leaders over the past month whereby they’re nowadays seriously warning about Kiev’s likely loss in NATO’s proxy war on Russia. It remains to be seen what other narratives will change as well, but it’s predicted that more such ones will inevitably do so.

 

 

 

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Nov 062022
 
 November 6, 2022  Posted by at 8:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  64 Responses »


Ivan Shishkin The wilds 1881

 

Berlin – Moscow – Beijing (Escobar)
The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the End (Batiushka)
Global Bankers ‘Very Pro-China’ – UBS (RT)
Russia Seeks Sanctions Waiver To Facilitate Grain Exports (RT)
The Oil Nationalization Two-Step (Luongo)
Media Identifies Major Beneficiary Of Ukraine Crisis (RT)
US Wants Official Of Ukrainian Descent To Run NATO (RT)
Over 50 Countries Vote Against Anti-Nazism UN Measure (RT)
The Great Unwind II (Alasdair Macleod)
Lockdown Lefties Struggle In Governor’s Races, Reopen Righties Win (JTN)
If Republicans Win On Tuesday, Thank The Election Integrity Movement (Fed.)
Biden’s Midterms Message Includes False And Misleading Claims (CNN)
NY Times Report That Biden Exaggerates His Economic Wins Stuns Twitter (Fox)
Biden Unleashes Tirade Over Musk Restoring Free Speech on Twitter (Turley)
The Twitter Massacre (MoA)
Understanding the Reveal Stage of the Pandemic Play – Are We Winning? (LDS)

 

 

 

 

The Oil Price Cap Idiocy

 

 

 

 

Tucker Pelosi

 

 

Until proven otherwise

 

 

 

 

Pepe sees some optimism. It goes through China.

“..the Scholz caravan went to Beijing to essentially lay down the preparatory steps for working out a peace deal with Russia, with China as privileged messenger..”

Berlin – Moscow – Beijing (Escobar)

Solid German business sources completely contradict the “message” delivered by the German Council on Foreign Relations on the trip to China. According to these sources, the Scholz caravan went to Beijing to essentially lay down the preparatory steps for working out a peace deal with Russia, with China as privileged messenger. This is – literally – as explosive, geopolitically and geoeconomically, as it gets. As I pointed out in one of my previous columns, Berlin and Moscow were keeping a secret communication back channel – via business interlocutors – right to the minute the usual suspects, in desperation, decided to blow up the Nord Streams. Cue to the now notorious SMS from Liz Truss’s iPhone to Little Tony Blinken, one minute after the explosions: “It’s done.”

There’s more: the Scholz caravan may be trying to start a long and convoluted process of eventually replacing the US with China as a key ally. One should never forget that the top BRI trade/connectivity terminal in the EU is Germany (the Ruhr valley). According to one of the sources, “if this effort is successful, then Germany, China and Russia can ally themselves together and drive the US out of Europe.” Another source provided the cherry on the cake: “Olaf Scholz is being accompanied on this trip by German industrialists who actually control Germany and are not going to sit back watching themselves being destroyed.” Moscow knows very well what the imperial aim is when it comes to the EU reduced to the role of totally dominated – and deindustrialized – vassal, exercising zero sovereignty.

The back channels after all are not lying in tatters on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Additionally, China has not provided any hint that its massive trade with Germany and the EU is about to vanish. Scholz himself, one day before his caravan hit Beijing, stressed to Chinese media that Germany has no intention of decoupling from China, and there’s nothing to justify “the calls by some to isolate China.” In parallel, Xi Jinping and the new Politburo are very much aware of the Kremlin position, reiterated again and again: we always remain open for negotiations, as long as Washington finally decides to talk about the end of unlimited NATO expansion drenched in Russophobia. So to negotiate means the Empire signing on the dotted line of the document it has received from Moscow on December 1st, 2021, focused on “indivisibility of security”. Otherwise there’s nothing to negotiate.

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5 May 2024.

The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the End (Batiushka)

Many ask how much longer will the US war against Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine last? Some say only another two or three months, others much longer, even five years and more. For my own reasons I say another eighteen months, until 5 May 2024. Whatever you think, it all depends on how much the American neocon/neoliberal elite via their NATO allies, especially the UK, the Zelensky sect and their hired killers (so-called mercenaries – for few Kiev nationalists are now left to fight) want to escalate their war. And they do, which is why it did not all end last March when it could have ended. In other words, how much does the American elite want their subject-peoples, in Northern America, Western Europe and the Ukraine, to suffer?


It appears that the US elite wants them to suffer until they are all dead. But that will not happen, for the worm will turn, long, long before that. Indeed, in today’s energy and water-restricted Ukraine, some worms are already turning. And even some cold and hungry people in Western Europe and Northern America are turning too. What the elite wants, and what the people, especially in the Ukraine, will put up with, are two different things. It could all be ended tomorrow, if the elite wanted. Much more likely, this is going to take quite some time, for the war is not between the Ukraine and Russia, but between the USA and Russia. The Ukraine is merely the battlefield. No, I repeat, wait patiently until May 2024.

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“Don’t bet against China and Hong Kong..”

Global Bankers ‘Very Pro-China’ – UBS (RT)

International investment bankers are bullish about the Chinese economy despite worrying reports by the Western media, the chairman of UBS Bank, Colm Kelleher, said on Wednesday. Kelleher was speaking at the Global Financial Leaders Investment Summit in Hong Kong, which brought together more than 200 bankers and investors from 20 countries, after more than two and a half years of Covid restrictions there. Hong Kong is now reportedly seeking to boost its status as an international financial hub. “We’re not reading the American press, we actually buy the [China] story,” he said, as quoted by the Financial Times. “But it is a bit of waiting for zero-Covid to open up in China to see what will happen.

According to the FT, Kelleher’s reference to the media was “an apparent joke and a nod” to earlier remarks made by Fang Xinghai, the vice chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Fang, along with other Chinese officials, used pre-recorded video interviews to reassure international investors of the country’s economic strength. He told attendees: “I would advise international investors to find out what’s really going on in China and what’s the real intention of our government by themselves. Don’t read too much of the international media.” Fang’s comments, which came after a record sell-off of Chinese equities last week in the wake of President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power, prompted laughs and applause from the audience. “Don’t bet against China and Hong Kong,” he added.

Last week, the Chinese stock market had its worst day since the 2008 global financial crisis, with the yuan hitting a new 14-year low against the US dollar, as Xi secured his third term and undertook a major leadership reshuffle. The sharp selloff was triggered by concerns that a number of senior officials who have backed market reforms and opening up the economy were missing from the new top team. This sparked investor concerns about the future direction of the country and its relations with the US.

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The west doesn’t care about feeding the poor.

Russia Seeks Sanctions Waiver To Facilitate Grain Exports (RT)

Russia has asked the EU and other Western nations to lift sanctions on state lender Rosselkhozbank, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing sources. According to the news agency, such a move would allow the bank to restore relations with its correspondent banks abroad and process payments for Russian grain and fertilizer exports. Prior to the introduction of anti-Russia sanctions, such payments were serviced by international banks and subsidiaries of Russian banks in Switzerland, the report says. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Rosselkhozbank is currently “servicing the lion’s share” of Russia’s fertilizer and food related transactions. The report did not mention whether Russia has received a response to its appeal. According to Reuters, the request was made during talks on the fate of the Ukrainian grain deal, which expires later this month.


As part of the agreement, reached in July, Western countries were supposed to ease restrictions on Russian agricultural exports. While the sanctions do not directly target these exports, certain curbs on payment processing, shipping and insurance have created obstacles for Russian exporters. Washington has taken steps to convince businesses that there are no sanctions on Russian food exports, a senior State Department official told the news outlet. The department reportedly sent out letters of reassurance to companies seeking proof that their deals with Russia would not violate restrictive measures. Nevertheless, Moscow has repeatedly said that sanctions make agricultural exports next to impossible and has demanded their cancellation. Rosselkhozbank fell under Western sanctions along with Russia’s other largest banks earlier this year, and its assets and correspondent accounts in US dollars and euros were frozen.

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Narrative.

The Oil Nationalization Two-Step (Luongo)

[..] say your goal is to legitimize the state takeover, or advance another step forward the state takeover, of an industry. Let’s use oil and gas for today’s lesson. The first thing you do is manufacture a crisis that will disrupt the supply of the product you want to takeover. In this case, it started with COVID-19, which disrupted far more than just the energy sector. More than 2 million barrels per day of refining capacity was lost world wide thanks to COVID-19. Given the current hostility to new refineres (more on this later), those barrels are not coming back. Don’t forget, that for a “Straussian Two-Step” this big you will have to brainwash and/or gaslight two entire generations into hating themselves for being rich, wasteful, spoiled, alive or worse, just plain white.

So, they are already primed to hate all the things at play here — capitalism, Big Oil, Banks, Old White Guys (rich or poor) — and enrage your useful idiots by pushing their already tenuous hold on reality to the literal breaking point. “I can’t even….” isn’t the most common phrase uttered on Tik-Tok for nothing. That’s the Thesis part. So, when the crisis hits thanks to natural gas disruption you forbid buying of from a particular country… — Hello, Vlad? We’re in a helluva pickle, would you mind invading Ukraine…? Nyet…? Well, we’ll see about that…. — MISSING PAGES FROM THE RETURN OF DR. STRANGELOVE WORKING SCRIPT. … you demonize not only Vlad but the industry itself for price gouging and preying on the widdle guy during a war. There’s a word for this… chutzpah.

Predictably, you then allow your fake political opponents … [enter Cocaine Mitch from Stage Right] … to produce the opposite argument. In this case, the counter is obviously we need free markets to produce oil and gas. The refiners are just responding to the market. That fake opposition, of course, also blames Vlad for this crisis to ensure the market’s champion looks not only patriotic but also suitably bought and paid for by Big Oil, Old White Guys, etc.

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“..EU nations have committed to about $230 billion in new weapons purchases since the Russian military offensive against Kiev started..”

Media Identifies Major Beneficiary Of Ukraine Crisis (RT)

Yahoo News has identified a major beneficiary of the Russia-Ukraine slugfest: the US military industrial complex, which is reaping a windfall even as the bloody conflict causes economic havoc, energy shortages and a looming food crisis around the world. As the media outlet reported on Saturday, EU nations have committed to about $230 billion in new weapons purchases since the Russian military offensive against Kiev started in February. US defense contractors are poised to land the lion’s share of those orders, given their dominance as suppliers to European militaries, Yahoo added. Many European nations turn to US arms makers for more than half of all their weapons purchases. Yahoo cited data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) to show examples of US dominance in European arsenals.

For instance, US-made arms accounted for 95% of the weapons purchases by the Netherlands from 2017 to 2021. The ratios were 83% US weaponry for Norway, 77% for the UK, and 72% for Italy. European weapons imports jumped 19% during the five-year period as then-President Donald Trump prodded his NATO allies to meet their obligations for defense spending. The Ukraine crisis is set to create an even bigger windfall, as President Joe Biden leads an international campaign to flood Ukraine with weapons and the conflict triggers accelerated steps by European nations to bolster their own defenses. “This is certainly the biggest increase in defense spending in Europe since the end of the Cold War,” Ian Bond, director of foreign policy at the Center for European Reform, told Yahoo. The crisis in Eastern Europe dispelled the notion that war on the continent is no longer possible, he added.

“They’re waking up to the fact that not only is it very possible, but it is happening, and it’s happening not that many miles away from them.” Since Biden took office in January 2021, European countries entered at least the initial stage of negotiations for $33 billion in arms purchases, including $21 billion since February, Yahoo said, citing figures from the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. US defense contractors will also benefit from Washington’s massive military aid to Kiev, as the Pentagon races to replenish stocks of artillery pieces, rocket launchers and other weapons. Biden has set aside more than $65 billion in military and economic aid for Ukraine since the conflict began. Russia has warned that the influx of Western weapons will prolong the crisis while making the US and other NATO members de facto participants.

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This comes far too close to putting Bandera in charge.

US Wants Official Of Ukrainian Descent To Run NATO (RT)

The “prime candidate” favored by Washington to replace outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is Chrystia Freeland, currently Canada’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, the New York Times reportedon Friday. The bloc reportedly aims to install a woman at its helm for the first time, with other likely contenders being Estonian premier Kaja Kallas, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, former president of Croatia, who was also Zagreb’s ambassador to Washington. The “strong contenders”list provided by the NYT corresponds with earlier media reports this year. The selection of a new NATO Secretary General, however, is still months away and “the names that surface first” may not survive the bargaining among the bloc’s members, unnamed NATO officials told the NYT.

Incumbent head of the bloc Stoltenberg was set to leave his post on September 30, but his term was prolonged to late 2023 amid the conflict in Ukraine. The NATO boss might ultimately end up having his tenure extended for another year, one of the officials reportedly suggested. Still, Freeland is believed to be the “prime candidate” for the post of NATO chief, favored by the US itself. “Where any of the candidates come down on support for Ukraine in the war against Russia will be a critical factor,” the paper writes. Freeland, whose mother was Ukrainian, is known to have a strong pro-Ukrainian stance. She is the granddaughter of Michael Chomiak, described by the NYT as a “grateful immigrant to Canada” who was during World War Two a “younger man involved with a Ukrainian nationalist movement that saw the Nazis as useful foils to counter the Soviets.”

The paper didn’t mention, however, that Chomiak was a prominent Ukrainian Nazi collaborator and the editor-in-chief of a Ukrainian-language propaganda daily Krakivs’ki Visti. The outlet, published between 1940 and 1945, was funded directly by Nazi Germany and described by Canadian historian – and Chomiak’s son-in-law – John-Paul Himka as a “vehemently anti-Semitic”publication. Freeland has been extremely ambiguous on her ancestry, not only refusing to condemn her maternal grandparents but somewhat endorsing them instead. In 2015 she wrote an essay called “My Ukraine,” stating that her Nazi collaborator grandparents “saw themselves as political exiles with a responsibility to keep alive the idea of an independent Ukraine.” “That dream persisted into the next generation, and in some cases the generation after that,” Freeland wrote in the essay.

Read more …

Pretzel: You can’t condemn nazism without also condemning Russia, which fights nazism.

Over 50 Countries Vote Against Anti-Nazism UN Measure (RT)

A UN resolution opposing the celebration of Nazism and related ideologies has met with significant resistance from the US and other western democracies, with 52 countries voting against it on Friday. The draft resolution “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” introduced by Russia’s representative to the UN, was adopted with 105 votes in support. In addition to the 52 votes against it, 15 countries abstained from choosing sides.

The resolution expresses profound concern about glorifying Nazism, neo-Nazism and former Waffen SS members, condemning the construction of monuments and the holding of public ceremonies honoring the Third Reich. Introducing the resolution, the Russian delegate referenced an increase in xenophobia, anti-migrant sentiment, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, among other forms of discrimination, as necessitating it. The US and several of its allies attempted to explain their vote against the measure by claiming Russia was exploiting Nazi atrocities to justify its military operation in Ukraine, insisting that to join them in condemning the lionization of Nazis would be letting them get away with weaponizing the Holocaust to serve their nefarious ends.

The UK accused Moscow of “furthering lies and distorting history,” even while acknowledging it was using “legitimate human rights concerns raised by neo-Nazism mobilization” to justify its activities in Ukraine. The US went further, arguing that Russia’s “pretextual use of fighting neo-Nazism undermines genuine attempts to combat neo-Nazism.” And Ukraine claimed Moscow’s anti-Nazism message had “nothing in common with the genuine fight against Nazism and neo-Nazism,” which Kiev stressed it condemned in all forms. Australia, Japan, Liberia and North Macedonia proposed an amendment to clarify that while they were very much anti-Nazi, they were also profoundly anti-Russian.

Their addition “notes with alarm that the Russian Federation has sought to justify its territorial aggression against Ukraine on the purported basis of eliminating neo-Nazism,” reminding everyone that the “pretextual use of neo-Nazism to justify territorial aggression seriously undermines genuine attempts to combat neo-Nazism.” Russia opposed the amendment, accusing the writers of “trying to drive a wedge between states” by dropping it on the committee at the last minute. It was adopted with 63 votes approving, 23 against, and 65 abstaining. Moscow introduced a similar resolution last year, before the military operation in Ukraine had begun but after the US-backed coup had installed a government that allowed neo-Nazi groups like the Azov Battalion and lionized Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian Nazi collaborator whose Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists was responsible for the massacre of tens of thousands of Poles and Jews during World War II. The 2021 resolution was opposed by just two states: the US and Ukraine.

Read more …

Banks have been encouraged to increase risk and leverage. Now that bites.

The Great Unwind II (Alasdair Macleod)

Imagine, for a moment, that you are the CEO of a commercial bank involved in lending to businesses and with profit centres acting in a range of financial activities. As CEO, you are answerable to the board of directors for the bank’s performance, and ultimately the bank’s shareholders for maintaining and advancing the value of their shares. Furthermore, let us set this imaginary exercise in the present. These are the issues that should keep you awake at night: In common with your competitors, the ratio of your balance sheet assets to total equity is almost the highest in the history of the bank, in many cases for other banks over twenty times leaveraged. Official inflation, measured by the CPI is about ten per cent, and producer prices are rising somewhat faster.

Your central bank expects a return to the 2% target in two- or three-years’ time. But your contacts at the central bank have privately admitted to you that they cannot imagine the circumstances where this would be true without a deep recession. Bond yields are rising, and losses are beginning to impact on the bank’s investments. The bank has relatively little direct exposure to corporate bonds and equities, but they are commonly held as collateral against customer loans. How are higher interest rates impacting the quality of the bank’s loan book? The bank supported its business customers through the covid pandemic, which increased the indebtedness of them all. This exposes the bank to excessive default risk if rates rise further.

The mortgage loan book has been a profitable business for decades. But the bank is beginning to see a material rise in delinquencies. If loan guarantees are not forthcoming from government agencies, the bank may have to shut this activity down. What impact will higher interest rates have on the bank’s derivative exposure? What are the counterparty risks in derivative chains? Derivatives that involve inadequately capitalised counterparties should perhaps be sold on, or where the bank has the option to do so, closed down. The underlying problem is that the conditions that led to the bank becoming increasingly involved in diversified activities, such as investment banking, trading, and investment management have now changed.

Since financial deregulation in the 1980s, the bank has expanded into these profitable areas. The whole industry moved from dealing in credit into generating fee income. The growth in fee income can be directly related to the long-term trend of falling interest rates, which apart from interruptions such as the dot-com excesses and the Lehman crisis, stimulated growth in corporate finance, underwriting, investment management, and trading in financial securities. The expansion of these activities in turn led to a massive expansion of derivative markets, with new instruments being devised, such as credit default and interest rate swaps.

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“Don’t mess w people’s kids. It lands differently — and they will hold a grudge.”

Lockdown Lefties Struggle In Governor’s Races, Reopen Righties Win (JTN)

Some of the Democratic governors most associated with harsh and prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns are facing stiff electoral headwinds in the midterms, while Republicans who endured national scorn by quickly reopening their states are cruising toward reelection. Republicans were already in an advantageous position with voters on crime and the economy, particularly inflation, the top two issues in polling this fall. Education issues, which propelled Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to victory a year ago, are a leading concern in some races. And while elections tend to focus more on the future than the past, the starkly contrasting performances of lockdown lefties and reopen righties suggests that a reckoning on pandemic policies may be a stealth issue in major governor’s races.


The repercussions of lockdown policies are also felt indirectly in the top issues for voters, from supply-chain problems and inflation driven by COVID relief spending to plummeting test scores and parental outrage over school curricula resulting from remote learning. “Red wave is coming Tuesday,” freespoken sports show host Colin Cowherd tweeted Thursday. “Don’t mess w people’s kids. It lands differently — and they will hold a grudge.” “I lean mostly left, but data clearly proved kids 18 and under were safe,” and yet many were kept out of school, resulting in plunging test scores, rising suicides and “[c]haos for parents,” he continued. “A price will be paid and hopefully a lesson learned.” “Her Excellency the Queen of Michigan,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), “made it illegal … to visit friends, sell paint, mow grass, and golf” while flouting her own unilateral orders, The Spectator wrote in a recent list of “Eight Democrats we all hope lose this November.”

Maher

Read more …

No chance it will go smooth.

If Republicans Win On Tuesday, Thank The Election Integrity Movement (Fed.)

If Republican candidates do as well as expected on Tuesday, they can credit the new, widespread, and coordinated effort to begin securing U.S. elections, helping give candidates the best opportunity possible to win a fair fight in the new voting environment of mail-in balloting. The Republican National Committee, other party entities, and dozens of public interest election nonprofit groups built over the last two years a multimillion-dollar election integrity infrastructure that passed laws improving voter ID and other election security measures, defended those laws from legal attacks by Democrats, and sued states and localities that failed to follow the law. They also recruited, educated, trained, and placed tens of thousands of new election observers and other workers throughout the long midterm voting season.

And they did it all in one of the most hostile propaganda environments on record. The 2020 election was a massive wake-up call for many Americans on the right. In the months leading up to it, Democrats forced through changes to hundreds of laws and processes governing how elections are conducted. The rule-change scheme was run by Marc Elias, a Democrat election attorney who also ran his party’s Russia collusion hoax, which falsely claimed Donald Trump stole the 2016 election by colluding with Russia. Sometimes Democrats’ 2020 changes were instituted legally. Frequently, though, they were effected by other means, such as getting a friendly state or local official to change the rules unilaterally.

The 2020 election plan, some of which was admitted to in a flattering Time magazine story, sought to flood the zone with tens of millions of unsupervised mail-in ballots, historically understood to be riper for fraud and other election irregularities than supervised, in-person voting. The plan also involved the private takeover of government election offices to run Democrat-focused get-out-the-vote operations. Mark Zuckerberg, one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful men, financed the project, doling out $419 million to two left-wing groups that focused grants and assistance to government offices in the Democrat areas of swing states.

This radical change — “practically a revolution in how people vote,” as Time put it — included the widespread practice of placing ballot drop boxes predominantly in Democrat areas of the country, mailing out unsolicited mail-in ballots or applications for mail-in ballots, using well-funded teams of ballot harvesters both inside and outside of government, lowering and changing the standards for mail-in ballot acceptance, and fixing or “curing” ballots that were improperly filled out. Corporate media and other Democrats claimed the election was the best-run in history. In reality, it was a mess. Big Tech and the media ran coordinated disinformation campaigns to benefit Democrats by suppressing news that hurt the party. Big Tech also deplatformed effective conservative voices and media outlets, suppressed fundraising emails from Republicans, and elevated certain information to help Democrats.

Read more …

Biden loses both CNN and NYT mere days before the midterms.

Biden’s Midterms Message Includes False And Misleading Claims (CNN)

Social Security, part 1 Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser in Pennsylvania last week: “On our watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are going to get the biggest increase in their Social Security checks they’ve gotten.” He has also touted the 2023 increase in Social Security payments at other recent events. But Biden’s boasts leave out such critical context that they are highly misleading. He hasn’t explained that the increase in Social Security payments for 2023, 8.7%, is unusually big simply because the inflation rate has been unusually big. A law passed in the 1970s says that Social Security payments must be increased by the same percentage that a certain measure of inflation has increased. It’s called a cost-of-living adjustment.

Social Security, part 2 Biden said at a Democratic rally in Florida on Tuesday: “And on my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks.” The claim that the 2023 increase to Social Security payments is the first in 10 years is false. In reality, there has been a cost-of-living increase every year from 2017 onward. There was also an increase every year from 2012 through 2015 before the payment level was kept flat in 2016 because of a lack of inflation. The context around this Biden remark in Florida suggests he might have botched his repeat campaign line about Social Security payments increasing at the same time as Medicare premiums are declining. Regardless of his intentions, though, he was wrong.

A new corporate tax Biden repeatedly suggested in speeches in October and early November that a new law he signed in August, the Inflation Reduction Act, will stop the practice of successful corporations paying no federal corporate income tax. Biden made the claim explicitly in a tweet last week: “Let me give you the facts. In 2020, 55 corporations made $40 billion. And they paid zero in federal taxes. My Inflation Reduction Act puts an end to this.” But “puts an end to this” is an exaggeration. The Inflation Reduction Act will reduce the number of companies on the list of non-payers, but the law will not eliminate the list entirely. That’s because the law’s new 15% alternative corporate minimum tax, on the “book income” companies report to investors, only applies to companies with at least $1 billion in average annual income.

The debt and the deficit Biden said at the Tuesday rally in Florida: “Look, you know, you can hear it from Republicans, ‘My God, that big-spending Democrat Biden. Man, he’s taken us in debt.’ Well, guess what? I reduced the federal deficit this year by $1 trillion $400 billion. One trillion 400 billion dollars. The most in all American history. No one has ever reduced the debt that much. We cut the federal debt in half.” Biden offered a similar narrative at a Thursday rally in New Mexico, this time saying, “We cut the federal debt in half. A fact.” There are two significant problems here. First: Biden conflated the debt and the deficit, which are two different things. It’s not true that Biden has “cut the federal debt in half”; the federal debt (total borrowing plus interest owed) has continued to rise under Biden, exceeding $31 trillion for the first time this October. Rather, it’s the federal deficit – the annual difference between spending and revenue – that was cut in half between fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2022. Second, it’s highly questionable how much credit Biden deserves for even the reduction in the deficit. Biden doesn’t mention that the primary reason the deficit plummeted in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 was that it had skyrocketed to a record high in 2020 because of emergency pandemic relief spending. It then fell as expected as the spending expired as planned.

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“..don’t blame this poor old man it’s not his fault.”

NY Times Report That Biden Exaggerates His Economic Wins Stuns Twitter (Fox)

Critics of President Biden got a surprise on Friday, as the New York Times published a report grilling the 46th president for making exaggerations about his successes on the economy. Times reporters Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley published a piece on Friday titled, “As Elections Approach, Biden Spins His Economic Record,” which claimed that the president’s boasts about his economic achievements were not true. The report began by summing up the White House economic spin, “As President Biden and his administration have told it in recent months, America has the fastest-growing economy in the world, his student debt forgiveness program passed Congress by a vote or two, and Social Security benefits became more generous thanks to his leadership.” The piece declared, “None of that was accurate.”

The report also claimed, “The president, who has long been seen as embellishing the truth, has recently overstated his influence on the economy, or omitted key facts.” It then mentioned an erroneous claim recently made by the White House on Social Security. Quoting Biden and then correcting him, the Times said, “’On my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks,’ he declared. The problem: That increase was the result of an automatic cost-of-living increase prompted by the most rapid inflation in 40 years.” The piece added, “Mr. Biden had not done anything to make retirees’ checks bigger — it was just a byproduct of the soaring inflation that the president has vowed to combat.”

The official White House Twitter account made that same claim about Social Security this week, receiving a swift, community-based fact check from Twitter. The White House then took the tweet down. Further skewering Biden, the Times stated, “It is common for presidents to spin economic numbers to improve their pitch to voters,” yet “the president’s cheerleading has increasingly grown to include exaggerations or misstatements about the economy and his policy record.” The piece did insist that Biden’s “economic exaggerations generally pale in comparison to the tales spun by his predecessor, President Donald J. Trump,” though the very fact that a major liberal media outlet would go after Biden on falsehoods, turned heads on social media.

Conservative journalist Michael Caputo encouraged the paper to go further: “Go ahead say it, NYTimes, do it. You can say it: Biden is a liar.” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., tweeted, “I’m suspicious of NYT’s motivation for printing the truth about Biden. It’s out of character for them. Perhaps blaming him and his gaffs for the midterm results is the beginning of the left’s effort to replace him with a different nominee in 2024.” [..] National Review’s Jeff Blehar commented, “don’t blame this poor old man it’s not his fault.”

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One week after Musk took over, and 4 days before the midterms, Biden accused Twitter of “spewing lies all across the world”. I don’t recall Biden having said this before, but he must have, right?! Because content moderation hasn’t changed at all yet, as per Musk. Oh, and 60 orgs call on advertizers to withdraw their money. But what exactly made Twitter toxic? Just that Musk mentioned free speech?

There is no way this is not coordinated.

Biden Unleashes Tirade Over Musk Restoring Free Speech on Twitter (Turley)

Elon Musk has not actually changed the “content moderation” policies at Twitter yet, but President Joe Biden went on a virtual rave on Friday over the prospect of free speech breaking out on a single social media site. As a type of censor-in-chief, Biden has led calls for censorship on social media, which have been largely heeded by companies like Facebook and Twitter. Now Biden is accusing Twitter of “spewing lies all across the world” by seeking to reduce one of the largest censorship systems in history. The President lamented that the influence of the media will be “de minimus.” He is a bit late on that front. President Biden has previously accused social media companies of “killing people” by refusing to impose robust censorship over a wide range of subjects.

Many of those banned or censored were doctors with opposing views on the data and the science related to the pandemic. Some of 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. The Great Barrington Declaration was not the only viewpoint deemed dangerous.

Those who alleged that the virus may have begun in a lab in China were widely denounced and the views barred from being uttered on social media platforms. It was later learned that a number of leading experts raised this theory with Fauci and others early in the pandemic. We are now seeing increasing evidence of back channels used by government and political figures to maintain a censorship system by surrogate in the social media companies and foreign allies. The President, however, was in full censor-in-chief mode this week, referring to censors as “editors.” He denounced Musk who “goes out and buys an outfit that spews lies all across the world.” He then claimed “There are no editors anymore. There are no editors anymore.” The President added “the ability of newspapers to have much impact is de minimis.”

That last statement seemed to lament the loss of a close and active ally for the Democrats. Neutrality is anathema if you have largely been able to control political and social exchanges on social media. What the President said next. however, was particularly telling and chilling: “How do people know the truth? What do they — how do they make — make a distinction between fact and fiction? There’s so much — so much going on. And we’re in the middle of this.” Indeed, perish the thought that citizens might be left to pursue the truth on their own without the government or surrogates in the media framing it for them. How could we possibly “know the truth” without our social media overlords?

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“If one trains the system with badly categorized data it will be badly categorize data. It does not need an extra team to learn that.”

The Twitter Massacre (MoA)

I am amusing myself with watching the panic some people express over Elon Musk’s cleanup of Twitter. Yesterday 3,700 of its 7,500 workers were fired. That is not good, but the company was losing money and making money is at the core of the capitalist game. Of interest is what functions were eliminated. The Guardian provides this list: From news reports and terminated employees’ announcements, here’s what we know so far about the teams that have been hit by the layoffs of thousands of Twitter employees: • The human rights team has been laid off, according to a now former employee, Shannon Raj Singh, who said the team worked to protect those at risk in global conflicts, including in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. • The ML (machine learning) Ethics, Transparency and Accountability team is gone, according to a tweet of a laid-off manager. • The “internet technology team”, which helps keep the site running, has been cut to “a skeleton crew”, two sources told the Times. • An accessibly experience engineering team has been cut, according to a laid-off engineering manager. • The curation team, responsible for the Moments feature on Twitter, has also been cut, former employees reported.

Twitter’s communications department is almost entirely gone, according to the Verge. Other areas that have been heavily impacted, the Verge reported, include product trust and safety, policy, research and social good. What were these teams actually doing? The human rights team leader gave some hints: Shannon Raj Singh @ShannonRSingh – 17:58 UTC · Nov 4, 2022. “Yesterday was my last day at Twitter: the entire Human Rights team has been cut from the company. sI am enormously proud of the work we did to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, to protect those at-risk in global conflicts & crises including Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and to defend the needs of those particularly at risk of human rights abuse by virtue of their social media presence, such as journalists & human rights defenders.”

The human rights team was the ‘regime change’ force on Twitter. It intervened in conflicts where the U.S. preferred a certain side. Shannon Raj Singh had previously meddled in Afghan and other countries’ cultures: “Shannon Raj Singh is a Legal Counsel for SAHR, advising a Kabul-based team on sexual violence litigation in Afghanistan, which aims to end the invasive and discriminatory practice of female virginity testing. She is an international criminal law attorney focused on victim-centered responses to mass atrocities. Currently based in The Hague, she has experience working with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and a number of human rights NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa. She has also practiced as a litigator in the United States, appearing in both state and federal courts and assisting with overseas corruption investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The machine learning ethics, transparency and accountability team was also fired. Machine learning, also glorified as ‘artificial intelligence’, is essentially an (often lousy) pattern recognition system. It can be trained with categorized data and, after that, can categorized other data it gets presented. All one needs to know about its ethics, transparency and accountability is the old IT wisdom ‘garbage in garbage out’. If one trains the system with badly categorized data it will be badly categorize data. It does not need an extra team to learn that. I do not know what the ‘Internet technology team’ was doing but the function obviously still exists. It was merely downsized.

NBC Twitter

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“The SPARS PANDEMIC 2025-2028, published by the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security in October 2017..”

“You are the long-term data. You may die in the process but that’s science in the 21st century!”

Understanding the Reveal Stage of the Pandemic Play – Are We Winning? (LDS)

The SPARS PANDEMIC 2025-2028, published by the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security in October 2017, is another of those amazingly prescient, yet “entirely fictional” scenario plans that ended up looking like the blueprint for the actual covid pseudo pandemici. It is in fact the prequel to that other freakishly coincidental pandemic wargame, Event 201, hosted in October 2019 (a few weeks before SARS-COV-2 hit the headlines) by the same institution along with the CIA and the World Economic Forum (WEF). What business does the CIA and its brainchild, the WEF, have going anywhere near public health strategy planning? Absolutely none, unless of course public health strategy is to be used as a nefarious special purpose vehicle for intelligence services and the global corporate oligarchy.

[..] It is a masterclass in absurdity which has its roots in the inherent contradiction in drafting a plan that purports to deal with the inevitable fallout of a manufactured crisis while pretending that the crisis is not manufactured. Its aim is to present failure scenarios to public health spin doctors, referred to as “public health risk communicators”, and invite them to “mentally rehearse responses” to these failures. But, in providing pitiful explanations for all the failure scenarios, it effectively exposes the Medical Counter Measures (MCMs) of a corrupt pseudo pandemic for the sham that they are. Instead of mitigating the consequences of a real pandemic, the MCMs are the very things that perversely create the necessity for narrative spin and psyops.

[..] It is undoubtedly sinister because of its prediction of all the ‘errors’ and ‘mistakes’ that were made in the manufactured covid ‘pandemic’. In the latter sections of the document – the Reveal stage – the planners anticipate fallout from being unable to keep a lid on vaccine injury. Nevertheless, a somewhat happy ending for the pandemic planners is fashioned in their Pandemic Play. So, will they succeed in constructing the reality they desire? In the 2017 playbook, as “claims of adverse side effects beg[i]n to emerge”, the pandemic planners coyly suggest that the demands for the “removal of the liability shield protecting the pharmaceutical companies” will be deflected by the “emergency appropriation of [taxpayer] funds”. Because God forbid that Big Pharma, having siphoned off billions from the taxpayers’ purse for efficiently distributing poison, might then be subjected to the humiliation of footing the bill for the injuries caused by it.

The pandemic planners were also prepared for the ethical quandary of hastily mass injecting an experimental preparation with no long-term safety data. The ‘rare’ side effect rebuttal is alluded to by reference to “relatively few reports of neurological symptoms” while the problem is framed as an overblown social media response. Ultimately the blame is placed squarely at the feet of an ignorant public – those “demand[ing] proof that the vaccines [do] not cause long-term effects” are “displaying a fundamental misunderstanding of scientific research”! You just don’t get it, so let me spell it out to you on behalf of the pandemic planners. You, the entire public, the 5.3 billion people injected so far – you are the subjects of the experiment, and the experiment isn’t over until the CDC, FDA, MHRA et al say it is. You are the long-term data. You may die in the process but that’s science in the 21st century!

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Turkey map 2050

 

 

 

 

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May 282022
 


Gustave Courbet The desperate man (self portrait) 1852

 

The New York Times’ Shift on Victory in Ukraine (Walsh)
Russia Controls Almost All of Luhansk, Makes Gains in Eastern Ukraine (Antiwar)
Will NATO Aggression Force Russia to Extend the Special Operation? (Batiushka)
Dear Ursula, You Are Dead Wrong (Vilches)
Childhood’s End (Kunstler)
US Seizes Tanker Full of Iranian Oil Near Greece (Antiwar)
Iran Seizes 2 Greek Tankers In Persian Gulf, Tensions Spike (K.)
What COVID Jabs Are Doing to the Immune System, How the Injured Can Heal (ET)
The Three Ring Circus of Today’s Political Scandals (RCP)
Stolen Elections: A Tale of Two D.C. Courtrooms (Kelly)
Britain Is Paving The Way For Gene-edited Food (G.)
More Middle-class People Flock To Food Banks In Brussels (BT)

 

 

 

 

Islamabad

 

 

Ass covering.

The New York Times’ Shift on Victory in Ukraine (Walsh)

On May 11 The New York Times ran an article documenting that all was not going well for the U.S. in Ukraine, and a companion opinion piece hinting that a shift in direction might be in order. Then on May 19, the editorial board, the full Magisterium of the Times, moved from hints to a clarion call for a change in direction, declaring that “total victory” over Russia is not possible and that Ukraine will have to negotiate a peace in a way that reflects a “realistic assessment” and the “limits” of U.S. commitment. The Times serves as one the main shapers of public opinion for the elite and so its pronouncements are not to be taken lightly. The editorial contains the following key passages:

“In March, this board argued that the message from the United States and its allies to Ukrainians and Russians alike must be: No matter how long it takes, Ukraine will be free. …” “That goal cannot shift, but in the end, it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions.” And, to ensure that there is no ambiguity, it went on: “A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal. … Russia remains too strong…” Then, to make certain that President Joe Biden and the Ukrainians understand what they should do, it adds:

“… Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.” As Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky read those words, he must surely have begun to sweat. The voice of his masters was telling him that he and Ukraine will have to make some sacrifices for the U.S. to save face. As he contemplates his options, his thoughts must surely run back to February 2014, and the U.S.-backed Maidan coup that culminated in the hasty exit of President Viktor Yanukovych from his office, his country and almost from this earth.

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Sending more weapons will only create more misery.

Russia Controls Almost All of Luhansk, Makes Gains in Eastern Ukraine (Antiwar)

Russia continues to make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine and now controls 95% of Ukraine’s Luhansk oblast, which makes up the northern half of the Donbas region. The pro-Kyiv governor of Luhansk said Friday that Ukrainian forces might be forced to retreat from the near-surrounded cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, the last hold-outs in the region. “We will have enough strength and resources to defend ourselves. However, it is possible that in order not to be surrounded we will have to retreat,” said Governor Serhiy Gaidai. As the war grinds on in the east, Ukrainian officials are starting to admit that their military is facing a dire situation and are pleading for the US and its allies to send more advanced weapons.


Ukrainian volunteer soldiers told The Washington Post that they felt abandoned by the government in Kyiv as they were fighting in the east. In a video posted on Telegram, Ukrainian volunteers said they weren’t properly trained and didn’t have sufficient equipment or support to fight on the front lines. “We are being sent to certain death,” a volunteer soldier said in the Telegram video. “We are not alone like this, we are many.” The Post spoke with a volunteer company commander and his lieutenant who retreated to a hotel away from the front. After the interview, the men were arrested by Ukrainian military security services and accused of desertion.

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“If the NATO vassals have any common sense, they will dissolve NATO altogether..”

Will NATO Aggression Force Russia to Extend the Special Operation? (Batiushka)

Finally, we wonder if the Russian Federation will continue to tolerate the aggressive statements and actions of anti-Russian representatives of the mercenary US-installed elites in Bulgaria and Greece? If the Bulgarian and Greek elites were cleansed of those who will ‘do anything for a million dollars’ and their countries turned back into pro-Russian territories, it would mean that all of the Eastern half of Europe could at last return to being a pro-Russian, NATO-free buffer zone. This zone would of course include Hungary as well as Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is, most of ex-Yugoslavia, where most people and some of the governing classes are pro-Russian anyway.

As for Central Europe (here we include the Czech Lands, East Germany and Austria, as well as Slovenia, Croatia, and even Albania) and Western Europe, their populations would simply have to cope with being cut off raw materials. This means cut off from Russian oil, gas, paper pulp, fertilisers, cereals and minerals and the eventual possibility of the poorest among them facing starvation and next winter hypothermia because of their ruling classes’ anti-Russian sanctions. Unless, of course, those populations decided to revolt and liberate themselves from their neo-feudal, US-installed colonial elites. Even the offshore UK, with its buffoonish, New York-born Prime Minister Johnson, could yet object and reject. The economic situation in Europe is becoming serious.

Naturally, we cannot say what will happen. What we can say very clearly, however, is that the US elite and its NATO minions are playing with fire. As the dollar slips on a daily basis, now below even 57 to the rouble for the first time since 2015, some Western bankers are beginning to panic. If the NATO vassals have any common sense, they will dissolve NATO altogether, as should have happened in 1991, when the Warsaw Pact was dissolved. However, as they say, the problem with common sense is that it is very rare. It is rather like intelligence, which is very limited – whereas the capacity for stupidity is utterly unlimited….

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Russian oil & gas [..] ..without which Europe would cease to exist as we know it with some countries becoming failed states..

Dear Ursula, You Are Dead Wrong (Vilches)

Long ago, large fuel-consumer yet very fuel-poor Europe (Franz) married super fuel-rich Russia (Natasha) and together soon happily parented plenty of babies that have now grown-up and crave for Natasha´s delicious food. So the whole European über-successful export-based business model was conceived, designed, built, operated and developed on the basis of the cheap and plentiful ´Russian fuels´ premise. That is why every EU government has repeatedly failed to find the architectonics — let alone effectively construct — a realistic energy strategy that does not depend exclusively on Russia´s capability as an EXTRA-ordinary and reliable commodities exporter, most specially fuels. Europe´s economic success has always been based — and continues to be — in having available abundant high quality Russian energy with the enormous advantage of smooth Druzbha pipeline 24x7x365 door-to-door delivery.

Hereinafter please find out why Europe has no choice other than to keep importing lots of Russian oil & gas. It´d be technically impossible to do otherwise requiring a minimum of 20 years at probably more than twice the price, or even far more if the required monumental investments are priced in. Today, on the one hand we have the current Russian Urals blend oils which shall be briefly described herein. On the other we can now only have unknown Baltic oil blends that cannot be described because they do not exist and quite possibly may never exist, at least as needed. Actually, the only effective possibility would be to build from scratch ad hoc matching refineries and other chemical plants in order to accept still-undefined and most difficult to process Baltic oil blend feedstocks. You read it here first…

Energy security involves complex interactive underpinnings which demand a clear and well-focused mindset. Accordingly, below please find a short list of requirements for European oil imports (90%) today mostly sourced in Russia and without which Europe would cease to exist as we know it with some countries becoming failed states. For logistical reasons, the list below should later be expanded and adapted to the specific location of a given facility and/or other individual needs. A leading case in point would be the Schwedt Refinery as the largest in all of Europe and with a most special make-it-or-break-it importance as explained later. Without a fully functional and constantly well-supplied Schwedt Refinery, neither Berlin nor the immense surrounding Brandenburg state are viable… nor would the Berlin international airport and very large areas of Western Poland survive as they are today. I kid you not.

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“Truth and beauty have gone outlaw. Bad faith and wickedness rule, led by a Party of Chaos.”

Childhood’s End (Kunstler)

America has become a malfunctioning pageant without feasible roles that children can realistically project themselves into. What ten-year-old longs to become the Burger King fry-o-later boss in a brown apron and an asinine cardboard crown? Rather, they are prompted to aspire to become sports star millionaires, of which there are perhaps fewer than 5,000 positions in a land of 340-million. By age twelve, they probably comprehend the unlikelihood of that outcome, or of becoming the next Kardashian… or Spiderman. (Superheroes are supplied by the entertainment cartels to occupy the imaginative realm of children because American culture is bereft of reality-based roles worth aspiring to.)

In this tumult of cultural impoverishment, psychotic grandiosity creeps in. Be big if you can’t be anything else. Hence, one achievable role for young persons in American life is mass murderer. It is a way of becoming important, of having an effect on other people and society in general. Your name may be forgotten, but the act itself will endure in the collective memory of a people. It will be some kind of a mark in history, even better remembered, perhaps, than whoever played third-base for the Atlanta Braves in 1994… or the woman who once capered down the red carpet at the Oscars in a dress fashioned on a slaughtered swan.

The mayhem unleashed in a school shooting is just the rectified essence of the manifold derangements in our national life. Everything is out-of-whack, including our perception of what’s going on and what it means. There is almost nothing left of childhood in this land, in the way of young, unformed creatures assisted by adults who love them into a future worth being part of. We have forgotten how to be grateful for coming into this world at all, leaving us unworthy of being here. The quality of virtue, meaning that some things and some doings are recognizably better than others, was deceitfully replaced by the equity of nothing being allowed to be better than anything else. Truth and beauty have gone outlaw. Bad faith and wickedness rule, led by a Party of Chaos. So, really, what do you expect? And what do you deserve?

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“Iran believes, and not unfairly, that the oil was just stolen from them..”

US Seizes Tanker Full of Iranian Oil Near Greece (Antiwar)

Fresh off of the US targeting a series of companies involved in an Iran-linked oil smuggling network, the US has now seized an oil tanker near Greece, taking the Iranian oil within to be sent to the US. The oil was on a Russian-operated ship, which had been singled out for US targeting in February. It was then called the Pegas. The company renamed the ship the Lana. Greece had impounded the Pegas and its Russian crew last month over the invasion of Ukraine, but ultimately released it. Neither the US nor Russia is commenting. Greece says the US informed them the oil was Iranian, and that the US hired a different ship to take the oil to America. Iran has summoned the Greek charges d’affaires and called the incident a “clear example of piracy.”


The US accused the tanker of loading 700,000 Bbls of oil from Iran in August 2021. The tanker mostly carried oil to China. The seizure of the tanker, and oil, comes amid tensions on the ongoing nuclear talks. Iran believes, and not unfairly, that the oil was just stolen from them, and the US position, while yet to be public, is that the oil is now theirs. It’s not a great precedent, but generally Iran can’t do much about it, and the US is keen to have the oil.

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Surprise!!

Iran Seizes 2 Greek Tankers In Persian Gulf, Tensions Spike (K.)

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seized two Greek oil tankers on Friday in the Persian Gulf, just after Athens assisted the US in seizing an Iranian oil tanker over alleged sanctions violations in the Mediterranean Sea. The Guard’s announcement comes as tensions remain high between Iran and the West over stalled negotiations regarding its rapidly advancing nuclear program. The Guard issued a statement on its website, accusing the unnamed tankers of unspecified violations. Greece’s Foreign Ministry said it made a strong demarche to the Iranian ambassador in Athens over the “violent taking over of two Greek-flagged ships” in the Persian Gulf. “These acts effectively amount to acts of piracy,” a ministry statement said.


The ministry called for the immediate release of the vessels and their crews, and said these acts would have “particularly negative consequences” in bilateral relations and in Iran’s relations with the European Union, of which Greece is a member. The ministry’s statement said that earlier Friday, an Iranian helicopter landed on the Greek-flagged Delta Poseidon in international waters some 22 nautical miles off the coast of Iran. “Armed men then took the crew captive,” it said, adding that two Greek nationals were among the crew. “A similar incident has been reported on another Greek-flagged vessel, that was carrying seven Greek citizens, close to the coast of Iran,” the ministry said. It did not identify the nationalities of the other crew onboard the vessels. Industry sources confirmed to Lloyd’s List that the suezmaxes Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior, both under Greek flag, were seized.

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“..catastrophic adverse events such as the destruction of the immune system..”

What COVID Jabs Are Doing to the Immune System, How the Injured Can Heal (ET)

“Vaccines are safe and effective” has been the ongoing irrational mantra of the past two years, recycled from the last two decades of pushing children’s vaccination programs. It’s more than a failed hypothesis—the mantra has become dogma, a belief system that prevents people from getting the help they need for their jab-induced spike injuries or for those of their loved ones. MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff and naturopathic oncologist Greg Nigh’s paper, “Worse than the Disease” describes in detail the unintended consequences of the jabs against COVID-19, including catastrophic adverse events such as the destruction of the immune system.

Prominent immunologists, vaccinologists, and researchers from every clinical expertise are now providing evidence to support COVID-19 mRNA injectable products are causing immune system dysregulation. Explaining the complicated mechanism of jab-induced spike injury to the general public is not an easy task when governments still list vaccination as the number one way out of the pandemic while a deluge of campaigns are out to discredit doctors and scientists who want to recognize and help those who have been injured. With such little support from the establishment, and almost a black market for real medical guidance on jab-induced spike injury methods, people are desperate to know—how can the injured heal?

Before getting started on healing, one must first know a few key things about the spike protein’s unnatural injection into the body’s immune system. Most doctors and scientists understand the power and complexity of the immune system. The immune response is divided into innate immunity, the enormously effective biology we were born with, and adaptive immunity, which acquires training following exposure to pathogens. The innate system fights against foreign bodies, injuries, and pathogens by using natural bacteria-killing substances, skin protection on the outside, mucus membrane protection on the inside, and the first responders: scavenger cells or natural killers. The body is already wired to take on whatever intruder tries to break in. They have the intelligence to know which invaders belong in the body, and which ones are out to cause trouble.

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“Baker testified that he was “100% confident” Sussmann had repeated his disclaimer at the beginning of their meeting..”

The Three Ring Circus of Today’s Political Scandals (RCP)

Modern political scandals, like Caesar’s Gaul, are divided into three parts. The first is the actual malfeasance. That might be taking bribes, lying to federal agents, leaking classified materials, sexual misconduct, selling political access, whatever. The second part is the hyper-partisan involvement of Congress and, often, federal agencies, all eager to score points for their side. The third part is the media’s role, which goes beyond bias to include active promotion of political goals. Federal agencies, like all bureaucratic institutions, have always tried to increase their power and preserve their autonomy. What’s different today is that the bureaucrats, and often their entire agencies, are frequently partisan players. That’s disheartening but understandable.

One party is clearly the “party of government” and the party of experts. Most educated professionals, including bureaucrats and journalists, identify with that party. Filled with partisan “civil servants,” these agencies routinely tilt investigations (or kill them outright) to advance political goals – the same ones as their favored party. For the same reasons, they leak insider information to friendly media. Predictably, the opposing party tries to score points by attacking them for doing so. That brings us to the third element of these scandals: the “friendly media.” Mainstream outlets are not just biased. They often become outright partisans when a potential scandal could hurt conservatives or populists. That bias degrades what was once called “hard news.” Today, neutral reporting is as antiquated as rotary phones, conservative Democrats, and liberal Republicans.

The media’s bias, both left and right, is amplified by the fragmentation of the digital landscape. That fragmentation encourages each outlet to appeal to its self-selected audience and avoid alienating them with uncomfortable information.The trial of Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann illustrates how modern scandals have devolved into this dismal three-ring circus. Last Thursday, the FBI’s former general counsel, James Baker, testified at length that his old friend Sussmann had requested an urgent private meeting and provided the bureau damning, confidential information. Sussmann claimed he did so solely “as a good citizen,” not on behalf of any client. Sussmann made the same claim in a text message to Baker the night before.

Baker testified that he was “100% confident” Sussmann had repeated his disclaimer at the beginning of their meeting. (Before Special Counsel John Durham’s team concluded their case on Wednesday, they showed the jury that Sussmann had actually billed the Clinton campaign for that meeting.) Baker’s testimony was especially powerful because he was clearly reluctant to provide it.

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Two separate justice systems. That is dangerous.

Stolen Elections: A Tale of Two D.C. Courtrooms (Kelly)

Trump’s first two years in office were severely hobbled by the nonstop collusion drama as Mueller’s team systematically rounded up Trump allies on unrelated charges to produce breaking headlines and speculation that Trump would be the next one in handcuffs. Even after Mueller in 2019 finally admitted his prosecutors found no evidence of election-altering collusion, 84 percent of Democrats still believed Trump had been in cahoots with the Russians. For four years, Democrats proudly displayed #NotMyPresident hashtags on social media platforms. And to this day, Hillary Clinton insists the 2016 election “was not on the level.” But that sort of talk has not been designated the “Big Lie” by the news media or criminalized by the Justice Department.

Any suggestion that the 2016 election was “rigged” or “stolen” remains safely under the purview of protected speech and in many quarters, is still considered an indisputable fact. Not so for those who doubt the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Which is why, just a few floors below Judge Cooper’s courtroom, Timothy Hale is on trial for his participation in the protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. While the wheels of justice turn excruciatingly slow for Trump-Russian collusion schemers such as Sussmann, the government has moved at lightning speed to round up dissidents of the Biden regime. More than 800 Americans who protested Biden’s election on January 6 face criminal charges; the Justice Department announces new arrests every week.

Unlike Michael Sussmann, who walked free for five years following the commission of his alleged crime, Tim Hale has been in jail under pre-trial detention orders for more than 16 months. Yet Hale’s alleged offenses were far less damaging to the country than the crimes Sussmann and his accomplices are accused of committing. On January 6, Hale, an Army reservist, drove to Washington after working the night shift at a New Jersey Naval station to hear President Trump speak. Later that afternoon, Hale walked to Capitol Hill. He entered the Capitol building around 2:14 p.m. through a set of open doors; Hale carried no weapon and didn’t assault anyone. On at least two occasions, Hale is seen interacting with police officers, who did not attempt to arrest either him or those around him.

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The smell of Schwab is all over this.

Britain Is Paving The Way For Gene-edited Food (G.)

At the height of the anti-GM movement, in 1999, the then head of Greenpeace UK, Peter Melchett, was charged with theft and criminal damage after scything down a field of genetically modified maize. In a decisive victory for the anti-GM movement, Lord Melchett and 27 fellow activists were acquitted by a jury in what many took as a measure of the profound negative public sentiment towards GM technology. More than 20 years on, as the government proposes relaxing regulations on gene-edited products, experts say the public view on the technology has, if not entirely warmed, at least softened.“I think most people now have what I call the Catherine Tait view: ‘Am I bovvered?’,” said Prof Jonathan Jones of the Sainsbury Laboratory, a plant research institute based in Norfolk.

Scientists such as Jones welcome the new legislation that could pave the way for a host of technologically enhanced products from vitamin D-enriched tomatoes to anti-carcinogenic wheat. But experts also question whether the technology will really deliver the boost to food security and environmental benefits promised by the government. One point of contention is the distinction between gene-edited products, which will be permitted, and genetically modified organisms, which will still be subject to strict legislation. Newer gene-editing techniques – termed “precision breeding” in the bill – involve precise changes to single letters of the genetic code. Such changes can be achieved far less efficiently through years of cross-breeding. But the legislation will not immediately open the way for first generation genetic modification (GM) techniques, which involve taking an entire gene from one plant and inserting it into another.

“I’m a bit uncomfortable with the way this has been presented to the public,” said Jones. “It comes across as saying ‘Don’t worry about this nasty GM because we can do what we want with this lovely gene-editing method’. It leaves intact the false impression that there’s anything wrong with GM.” Jones said the bill may be a reasonable “tactical compromise” that could pave the way for a further relaxation of GM rules. “At least I’m hoping that’s what the government is thinking,” he added. The distinction has also annoyed some environmental campaigners. “Gene editing is just a subset of GM,” said Kierra Box from Friends of the Earth. The charity, she said, maintained a “fundamental opposition” to genetic modification because it was not convinced the technology could deliver environmentally friendly solutions. “If we’re interfering with the genetic codes in nature, we don’t know how those things respond,” she added.

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Brussels is a very rich city. What’s going on in the poorer cities?

More Middle-class People Flock To Food Banks In Brussels (BT)

Due to high inflation, energy costs and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people in Belgium have to rely on government support and food banks. It is no longer only the poorest in the city, but also middle-class people that can no longer afford groceries. Last year, a record of nearly 180,000 people per month were in need and appealed to the food banks. That number is likely to continue to rise for the rest of 2022, due to high living costs and energy prices, Bruzz reports. In recent months, the situation in Brussels has been deteriorating, according to the Sint-Vincensius association that distributes food parcels.

The beginning of this year saw a 15% increase in distributed parcels compared to pre-Covid times. The 34,000 food parcels that were distributed have also been delivered to different types of people: “What is striking is that new profiles have been appearing in our collection points since the end of last year,” says Frederick De Gryse, General Manager of the Sint-Vincensius Association. “In addition to Ukrainians, many freelancers, single mothers, people from the cultural sector and many other middle class people have arrived.” However, for the majority of newcomers, that does not come without feelings of guilt and fear of stigma, Bruzz found when speaking to people at the food bank collection centre in Schaerbeek.

54-year-old accountant Karel is ashamed that he is going to get a food package, as he does not want to take the place of the poorest of the poor. “For months when I can afford it, I don’t go to the food bank; others need it more.” Marie (52), a single mother of two dependent children, wholeheartedly agrees. “I am a working woman, have an income, have all the papers and yet I have to go to the food bank. I feel like I’m taking something from people who need it more.”

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Mar 312022
 


Pablo Picasso Visage 1928

 

US Dollar Hegemony Ended Abruptly Last Wednesday – Michael Huddson (PR)
Mariupol Will Become A Key Hub Of Eurasian Integration (Escobar)
Lavrov: Russia, China Moving Towards Multipolar ‘Fair World Order’ (ZH)
Ukrainian Forces Want to Surrender, Azov Forces Shoot At Them (DE)
“Regime Change” Doesn’t Work, You Morons (Taibbi)
FEC Fines DNC and Clinton For Trump Dossier Hoax (WE)
Hunter Biden’s Role In Ukrainian Biolabs Raises Serious Questions (Blaze)
WaPo, Like New York Times, Finally Admits Hunter Biden Laptop Is Real (NYP)
New York Times – a Bastion of Censorship and Corruption (CHD)
Trudeau Gives Himself A Raise The Same Day As Carbon Tax Hike (Bexte)
Media Freedom Report Shakes Greece’s Conservative Government (EurActiv)
Triple Vaccinated Down To The Last 20% Of Their Immune Systems (DE)

 

 

The tweet that got Nick Hudson banned. The narrative still can’t tolerate dissent. It’s too feeble.

 

 

Maajid Nawaz CBDC

 

 

 

 

The very moment Russia’s reserves were stolen.

US Dollar Hegemony Ended Abruptly Last Wednesday – Michael Huddson (PR)

Well, what happened was that, as I’ve described in Super Imperialism, when the United States went off gold, foreign central banks didn’t have anything to buy with their dollars that were flowing into their countries – again, mainly from the US military deficit but also from the investment takeovers. And they found that these dollars came in, the only thing they could do would be to recycle them to the United States. And what do central banks hold? They don’t buy property, usually, back then they didn’t. They buy Treasury bonds. And so, the United States would be spending dollars abroad and foreign central banks didn’t really have anything to do but send it right back to buy treasury bonds to finance not only the balance of payments deficit, but also the budget deficit that was largely military in character. So, dollar hegemony was the system where foreign central banks keep their monetary and international savings reserves in dollars and the dollars are used to finance the military bases around the world, almost eight hundred military bases surrounding them. So, basically central banks have to keep their savings by weaponizing them, by militarizing them, by lending them to the United States, to keep spending abroad.

This gave America a free ride. Imagine if you went to the grocery store and you just paid by giving them an IOU. And then the next week you want to buy more groceries and you give them another IOU. And they say, wait a minute, you have an IOU before and you say, well just use the IOU to pay the milk company that delivers, or the farmers that deliver. You can use this as your money and just you’ll as a customer, keep writing IOU’s and you never have to pay anything because your IOU is other people’s money. Well, that’s what dollar hegemony was, and it was a free ride. And it all ended last Wednesday when the United States grabbed Russia’s reserves having grabbed Afghanistan’s foreign reserves and Venezuela’s foreign reserves and those of other countries.

And all of a sudden, this means that other countries can no longer safely hold their reserves by sending their money back, depositing them in US banks or buying US Treasury Securities, or having other US investments because they could simply be grabbed as happened to Russia. So, all of a sudden this last week, you’re seeing the world economy fracture into two parts, a dollarized part and other countries that do not follow the neoliberal policies that the United States insists that its allies follow. We’re seeing the birth of a new dual World economy. MF: Wow, there’s a lot to unpack there. So, are we seeing then other countries starting to disinvest in US dollars? You’ve written about how the treasury bonds that these central banks buy up have been basically funding our domestic economy. Are they starting to shed those bonds or what’s happening?

MH: No, they haven’t been funding our domestic economy because the Federal Reserve can create its own money to fund the domestic economy. We don’t need to borrow from foreign countries to fund our economy. We can print it ourselves. What the dollar hegemony does is fund the balance of payments deficit. It funds our spending in other economies, our spending abroad. It doesn’t help our economy, but it does help us get a free ride from other countries. The more dollars we spend in making a military base, all these military expenditures get turned over to the local Central Bank that turns and sends them back to the Federal Reserve or deposits them in US bank accounts. So, it’s the international free ride we get, not a domestic free ride.

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Even in the hands of Ukraine oligarchs? Hard to imagine by now.

Mariupol Will Become A Key Hub Of Eurasian Integration (Escobar)

Mariupol, the strategic Sea of Azov port, remains in the eye of the storm in Ukraine. The NATO narrative is that Azovstal – one of Europe’s biggest iron and steel works – was nearly destroyed by the Russian Army and its allied Donetsk forces who “lay siege” to Mariupol. The true story is that the neo-Nazi Azov batallion took scores of Mariupol civilians as human shields since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, and retreated to Azovstal as a last stand. After an ultimatum delivered last week, they are now being completely exterminated by the Russian and Donetsk forces and Chechen Spetsnaz. Azovstal, part of the Metinvest group controlled by Ukraine’s wealthiest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, is indeed one of the biggest metallurgic plants in Europe, self-described as a “high-performance integrated metallurgical enterprise that produces coke and sinter, steel as well as high-quality rolled products, bars and shapes.”

Amidst a flurry of testimonials detailing the horrors inflicted by the Azov neo-Nazis on Mariupol’s civilian population, a way more auspicious, invisible story bodes well for the immediate future. Russia is the world’s fifth largest steel producer, apart from holding huge iron and coal deposits. Mariupol – a steel Mecca – used to source coal from Donbass, but under de facto neo-Nazi rule since the 2014 Maidan events, was turned into an importer. Iron, for instance, started to be supplied from Krivbas in Ukraine, over 200 kilometers away. After Donetsk solidifies itself as an independent republic or, via referendum, chooses to become part of the Russian Federation, this situation is bound to change.

Azovstal is invested in a broad product line of very useful stuff: structural steel, rail for railroads, hardened steel for chains, mining equipment, rolled steel used in factory apparatus, trucks and railroad cars. Parts of the factory complex are quite modern while some, decades old, are badly in need of upgrading, which Russian industry can certainly provide. Strategically, this is a huge complex, right at the Sea of Azov, which is now, for all practical purposes, incorporated into the Donetsk People’s Republic, and close to the Black Sea. That implies a short trip to the Eastern Mediterranean, including many potential customers in West Asia. And crossing Suez and reaching the Indian Ocean, are customers all across South and Southeast Asia.

So the Donetsk People’s Republic, possibly part of the future Novorossiya, and even part of Russia, will be in control of a lot of steel-making capacity for southern Europe, West Asia, and beyond. One of the inevitable consequences is that it will be able to supply a real freight railroad construction boom in Russia, China and the Central Asian ‘stans.’ Railroad construction happens to be the privileged connectivity mode for Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). And, crucially, of the increasingly turbo-charged International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC). So, mid-term, Mariupol should expect to become one of the key hubs of a boom in north-south routes – INSTC across Russia and linking with the ‘stans’ – as well as major BRI upgrades east-west and sub-BRI corridors.

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“..shortly before the meetings – which Lavrov will attend – to discuss ways to help Afghanistan. Both the US and the Taliban are expected to be in attendance..”

Lavrov: Russia, China Moving Towards Multipolar ‘Fair World Order’ (ZH)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his Chinese counterpart on Wednesday, where he said the two are carving a path towards a ‘fairer world order.’ The meeting between Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, marks the first visit to a key ally since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, according to The Economic Times. The two countries will work to achieve “a multipolar, fair, and democratic world order,” Lavrov said, speaking from the Chinese city of Tunxi located in the eastern inland Anhui Province. In a video released by the Russian foreign ministry ahead of a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Lavrov said the world was “living through a very serious stage in the history of international relations”.


At the end of this reshaping of global relations “we, together with you, and with our sympathisers will move towards a multipolar, just, democratic world order”, Lavrov said. -Economic Times” Lavrov and Yi were seen on Chinese state TV in face masks bumping elbows in front of their national flags shortly before the meetings – which Lavrov will attend – to discuss ways to help Afghanistan. Both the US and the Taliban are expected to be in attendance. US officials have grown frustrated with Beijing’s refusal to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, and have accused China of signalling a “willingness” to provide both economic and military aid to Russia. According to Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency, Wang said that despite “new challenges” to relations between China and Russia, “the will of both sides to develop bilateral relations has become even stronger.” Earlier this month Wang said that China’s relationship with Russia is “one of the most crucial bilateral relationships in the world,” and is “ironclad.”

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“..Because the Ukrainian forces kind of wanted to give up, SMS messages come that say that ‘you can give up and nothing will happen to you’. So, they want to surrender, and Azov starts shooting at them..”

Ukrainian Forces Want to Surrender, Azov Forces Shoot At Them (DE)

US Navy veteran and independent journalist, Patrick Lancaster, has been making regular reports from Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis. His reports reveal that what is happening on the ground is not what Western corporate media would have you believe. “Over the 8 years of the Ukraine War I made more video reports in anti-Ukraine Government (Donetsk People’s Republic) controlled territory than any other western journalist,” he says. In his report on Friday, Lancaster interviewed residents of the ethnic Greek village of Sartana, one of the villages surrounding Mariupol, Ukraine. “This is right on, what you could say is the frontline now. Nobody knows exactly where the frontline starts and ends at this point there’s just so much information and [ ] minute by minute the lines are changing,” Lancaster said.

Eight years ago, a referendum was held and “mostly people asked for Russian language. But they decided to Ukrainise us, so that everybody speaks Ukrainian … It was forbidden to speak Russian in the store. There was some tension. Employees paid fines for not saying ‘Good afternoon’ in Ukrainian in stores,” one resident explained. “Today I’m trying to find guys from Mariupol to find out how things are there. My parents stayed there. But they say that everything is very sad. Today I heard another story that the Ukrainian armed forces started shootings with Azov. Because the Ukrainian forces kind of wanted to give up, SMS messages come that say that ‘you can give up and nothing will happen to you’. So, they want to surrender, and Azov starts shooting at them. And they [Ukrainian forces and Azov] are at war with each other.” another resident said.


Earlier this month members of the Azov Battalion, a self-declared neo-Nazi former paramilitary group that is now a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, bombed the village most likely aiming for a church. Village residents also believe it was Azov who bombed the school. “Ukrainians say it’s only Russia who shoots now. – They always say so. It’s their policy. A dirty policy,” the second resident said. Other interviewees explained that Ukrainians bombed Mariupol to create a panic: “So that people leave, and they use them as a human shield. And now all people are there. And they’re holding them at gunpoint, don’t let them go. Literally shoot them if they run away,” they said.

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Hmmm. Feels a bit like Matt lost his grip on the material.

“Regime Change” Doesn’t Work, You Morons (Taibbi)

Not long ago, candidate Joe Biden’s most troubling behavioral tendency was the surprise outburst of belligerence. Campaigning, he’d challenge questioners to push-up contests, jam fingers in the sternums even of supporters, and plunge into rambling monologues about leg hairs and chain-fights. Now, the president’s face is often a mask of terror, like a man unsure of how he came to be standing in the middle of an intersection. Mental cars racing past, he met the press Monday, to clarify a statement made last week about Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Many interpreted this as a call for regime change. Not at all, Biden said, reading from a large-print cheat sheet — this reportedly happened — that reminded him to say he was merely expressing “moral outrage,” and “not articulating a change in policy.”

When he ran out of pre-prepared remarks, he drifted back to danger, saying: “It’s more an aspiration than anything. He shouldn’t be in power.” The AP writeup offered help: “He said he was expressing an ‘aspiration’ rather than a goal of American foreign policy.” (I’m sure nuclear-armed Putin appreciated the semantic difference). When Biden moved more toward candor, saying he made “no apologies” for his remarks, another reporter quickly tried to guide him back to a safe harbor: Q: Your personal feelings, sir? Your personal feelings? THE PRESIDENT: Personal. My personal feelings. Biden even offered his Princess Bride/Vizzini-esque analysis that “the last thing I want to do is engage in a land war… with Russia”:

Although administration mouthpieces Tony Blinken and Jen Psaki scrambled to reassure a nervous world that the U.S. is not intent on “doing regime change” in Russia, officials everywhere have been telling reporters the opposite on background. This cat was out of the bag weeks ago. As Joe Lauria at Consortium points out, Biden was asked on February 24th, at the start of the invasion, what sanctions would accomplish if they hadn’t prevented war. His answer: No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening. That has to sh- — this is going to take time. And we have to show resolve, so he knows what’s coming and so the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them. That’s what this is all about. Biden said virtually the same thing in Brussels last week:

“Sanctions never deter… The maintenance of sanctions, the increasing the pain … we will sustain what we’re doing not just next month, the following month, but for the remainder of this entire year. That’s what will stop him.” We heard this more explicitly from Boris Johnson on March 1st, “The measures we are introducing, that large parts of the world are introducing, are to bring down the Putin regime,” Johnson said. Lauria points out this was two days after British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey wrote in the Telegraph that “His failure must be complete… the Russian people empowered to see how little he cares for them. In showing them that, Putin’s days as President will surely be numbered… He’ll lose power and he won’t get to choose his successor.”

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The price?

“..it fined Clinton’s treasurer $8,000 and the DNC’s treasurer $105,000..”

FEC Fines DNC and Clinton For Trump Dossier Hoax (WE)

The Federal Election Commission has fined the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for lying about the funding of the infamous, and discredited, Russian “dossier” used in a smear attempt against Donald Trump weeks before he shocked the world with his 2016 presidential victory. The election agency said that Clinton and the DNC violated strict rules on describing expenditures of payments funneled to the opposition research firm Fusion GPS through their law firm. A combined $1,024,407.97 was paid by the treasurers of the DNC and Clinton campaign to law firm Perkins Coie for Fusion GPS’s information, and the party and campaign hid the reason, claiming it was for legal services, not opposition research.

Instead, the DNC’s $849,407.97 and the Clinton campaign’s $175,000 covered Fusion GPS’s opposition research on the dossier, a basis for the so-called “Russia hoax” that dogged Trump’s first term. The memo said that the Clinton campaign and DNC argued that they were correct in describing their payment as for “legal advice and services” because it was Perkins Coie that hired Fusion GPS. But the agency said the law is clear and was violated. It added that neither the campaign nor the party conceded to lying but won’t contest the finding. “Solely for the purpose of settling this matter expeditiously and to avoid further legal costs, respondent[s] does not concede, but will not further contest the commission’s finding of probable cause to proceed” with the probe, said the FEC.

The FEC, in a memo to the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, which filed its complaint over three years ago, said it fined Clinton’s treasurer $8,000 and the DNC’s treasurer $105,000. The memo, shared with Secrets, is to be made public in a month. Dan Backer, who brought the complaint on behalf of the foundation, which focuses on free speech and the First Amendment, told Secrets, “This may well be the first time that Hillary Clinton — one of the most evidently corrupt politicians in American history — has actually been held legally accountable, and I’m proud to have forced the FEC to do their job for once. The Coolidge Reagan Foundation proved that with pluck and grit, Americans who stand with integrity can stand up to the Clinton machine and other corrupt political elites.”

[..] Backer, with Washington’s Chalmers & Adams law firm, held out hope for further action against the former first lady. He said, “Hillary Clinton and her cronies willfully engaged in the greatest political fraud in history — destroying our nation’s faith in the electoral process, and it’s high time they were held accountable. I hope this is only the beginning.”

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Hunter and Fauci and Peter Daszak. Fine friends.

Hunter Biden’s Role In Ukrainian Biolabs Raises Serious Questions (Blaze)

Recent emails unearthed by the U.K. Daily Mail and the National Pulse reveal that during the last decade, Hunter Biden seemed to have a keen interest in pathogen research in Ukraine and using it as a tool for geopolitical affairs in that country. It just so happens to be that a pathogen connected to gain-of-function research destroyed the world, and then the next “big current thing” on the geopolitical stage was none other than Ukraine. Shouldn’t the American people get some answers as to why our government was so heavily involved – via the vice president’s son – in both pathogen research and Ukraine and to make sure Ukraine is not Wuhan 2.0?

Earlier this month, I detailed the known connections between biotech firm Metabiota Inc., responsible for the pathogen research in Ukraine, the DOD, and EcoHealth Alliance, along with the Wuhan lab most likely responsible for the leak of SARS-CoV-2. I also noted that Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners (RSTP), a subsidiary of the Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz-founded Rosemont Capital, gave Metabiota, a company accused of dangerous lab protocols during the African Ebola pandemic, its first infusion of cash a decade ago. Now, new emails from Hunter’s laptop demonstrate that his involvement in Metabiota and pathogen research in Ukraine was much deeper than just an initial investment.

[..] After receiving 18.4 million from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) between February 2014 and November 2016, with $307,091 earmarked for “Ukraine research projects,” “Metabiota has worked in Ukraine for Black & Veatch, a US defense contractor with deep ties to military intelligence agencies, which built secure labs in Ukraine that analyzed killer diseases and bioweapons,” according to the Daily Mail. “It raises the question, what is the real purpose of this venture? It’s very odd,” said former senior CIA officer Sam Faddis in an interview with the Daily Mail. “His father was the Vice President of the United States and in charge of relations with Ukraine. So why was Hunter not only on the board of a suspect Ukrainian gas firm, but also hooked them up with a company working on bioweapons research?”

Biden was so involved in Metabiota that one email written that same month in 2014 reveals that he and his business partner Eric Schwerin discussed subletting their office space to the San-Francisco-based biotech firm. So, what exactly were they working on? Last week, the National Pulse reported that a feature in the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine’s 2016 Annual Report recounts an October 2016 meeting involving U.S. military officials and their Ukrainian counterparts together with Black & Veatch and Metabiota staff to discuss the lab work. The discussion centered around “existing frameworks, regulatory coordination, and ongoing cooperative projects in research, surveillance and diagnostics of a number of dangerous zoonotic diseases, such as avian influenza, leptospirosis, Crimea Congo hemorrhagic fever, and brucellosis.”

Gaetz and Nadler?!

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WaPo and NYT will still be considered serious media. Wanna bet? They have nothing to lose.

WaPo, Like New York Times, Finally Admits Hunter Biden Laptop Is Real (NYP)

The Washington Post on Wednesday became the second major news outlet to reverse course and admit that emails from the infamous Hunter Biden laptop are authentic — nine months after it obtained them and a year and a half after the New York Post first reported on them. The paper said two security experts used cryptographic signatures from Google and other technology companies to validate nearly 22,000 emails from 2009 to 2019, including messages related to Hunter Biden’s controversial overseas business dealings. Some verified emails involved a deal President Biden’s son pursued with the CEFC China Energy conglomerate for which he was paid nearly $5 million, according to the Washington Post. Other verified emails related to his work for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, for which Hunter Biden was paid as much as $83,333 or a month, or $1 million a year.

In October 2020, the New York Post exclusively revealed the existence of Hunter Biden’s emails after being given a copy of the hard drive from a damaged MacBook Pro laptop that the owner of a repair shop in the Biden family’s hometown of Wilmington, Del., said was dropped off in April 2019 and never retrieved. Following the expose, the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” feature said the paper “has not been able to verify or authenticate these emails” and said there were “fears that the emails could be part of a broader disinformation campaign” by Russia. Washington Post op-eds also called the emails “unverified” and said they “have never been authenticated,” and a news analysis dismissed the New York Post’s reporting as “sketchy.”

On Wednesday, the Washington Post said it was given a copy of the hard drive in June by Republican activist Jack Maxey, who previously worked as a researcher for the “War Room” podcast run by Steve Bannon, a former adviser to ex-President Donald Trump. The paper said it spent months reviewing the data and making two copies of the hard drive so they could be analyzed by Matt Green, a Johns Hopkins University security researcher, and Jake Williams, a forensics expert and former National Security Agency operative. Both experts concluded that the verified emails carried cryptographic signatures that would be hard to fake, even for the best computer hackers. Earlier this month, the New York Times said it had obtained emails that appeared to have come from the laptop and which were authenticated by people familiar with them and the federal tax probe of Hunter Biden that he publicly acknowledged in December 2020.


The Times buried its verification of the emails in the 24th paragraph of a 38-paragraph story that said Hunter Biden had paid off a significant tax debt to the IRS, potentially making it harder for prosecutors to win a conviction or a long sentence against him for tax fraud. US Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) — who, with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), has been investigating Hunter Biden’s overseas business deals — responded by accusing the Gray Lady of “finally, quietly, covering its tracks.” “I am just amazed that the New York Times just now came to the conclusion that the Hunter Biden laptop was genuine,” Johnson told WABC 770 AM’s “The Cats Roundtable” last week.

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Yes, this.

New York Times – a Bastion of Censorship and Corruption (CHD)

In a bold, but clearly disingenuous, statement from its famed editorial board, “a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate, and certain longstanding values,” The New York Times issued a cautionary statement: “For all the tolerance and enlightenment that modern society claims, Americans are losing hold of a fundamental right as citizens of a free country: the right to speak their minds and voice their opinions in public without fear of being shamed or shunned.” The editorial board pounded the point home: “People should be able to put forward viewpoints, ask questions and make mistakes, and take unpopular but good-faith positions on issues that society is still working through — all without fearing cancellation …. Freedom of speech requires not just a commitment to openness and tolerance in the abstract. It demands conscientiousness…

“We believe it isn’t enough for Americans to just believe in the rights of others to speak freely; they should also find ways to actively support and protect those rights.” Of course, The New York Times should be leading by example. In fact, it has not supported free speech, protected the First Amendment, or allowed honest debate. It has not allowed competing perspectives about the most important issues of the day. Instead, it has been a mouthpiece for greedy corporations and corrupt government officials. In support of the newspaper’s interests, and at the expense of the interests of American citizens, The New York Times censored Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s latest book, “The Real Anthony Fauci,” in every conceivable way.

It ranked the book No. 7 on its non-fiction bestseller list even though the book outsold any other book in America that week by thousands of copies. Then it refused to allow Skyhorse Publishing to place an advertisement for the book because its censorship division, ironically called “Standards Management,” decided the book itself constituted misinformation — despite the paper’s stated policy that “Standards” only looks into whether an ad itself is “non-defamatory and accurate.” The New York Times followed up with a scathing hit piece targeting Kennedy as “a leading voice in the campaign to discredit coronavirus vaccines and other measures being advanced by the Biden White House to battle a pandemic that was … killing close to 1,900 people a day.”

The Times accused Kennedy of circulating “false information” — without indicating what that information was or explaining why it was false — and of comparing the government pandemic response to the Holocaust, even though he didn’t do that. Finally, The New York Times refused to review “The Real Anthony Fauci” or so much as comment on its historic grassroots success, even though it’s become a cult classic, selling more than 1 million copies in just four months, and launching a worldwide movement against government corruption and corporate greed. “Despite all the lying, or maybe in reaction to it,” Tucker Carlson told me, “Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is becoming a legitimate folk hero.”

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Not much left of that country.

Trudeau Gives Himself A Raise The Same Day As Carbon Tax Hike (Bexte)

PM Justin Trudeau is giving himself and every MP a raise on April 1 — the same day he’s set to hike the carbon tax, leaving gas even less affordable. As of April 1, Trudeau’s estimated salary will be $379,404, a $21,604 pay increase. Simultaneously, Ministers will see their salaries rise by an additional $15,865, while backbenchers and senators will be receiving a $10,802 pay hike — more than enough to keep politicians comfortable as inflation skyrockets. Of course, the vast majority of Canadians are totally against this — but it will happen anyway. According to a Canadian Taxpayers Federation Leger poll, 79 per cent of Canadians (nearly 8-in-10) are opposed to MPs receiving a third pay raise since the pandemic started.


“It’s wrong for politicians to pocket bigger paycheques while the people they represent suffer through a pandemic, pay cuts, job and business losses,” said Federal Director of the CTF Franco Terrazzano. “It shouldn’t be rocket science for MPs to do the right thing and stop taking bigger salaries during the pandemic.” He further calls the pay raise a “slap in the face” to all the Canadians who’ve struggled throughout the pandemic. Of course, politicians aren’t the only government employees to receive raises throughout the pandemic. As the Western Standard reported in January, 528, 347 federal and provincial government employees received raises since the pandemic began, all while restrictions were decimating small businesses. “We’ve seen a tale of two pandemics: one full of private sector pain and the other full of financial gain for bureaucrats and politicians,” Terrazzano said at the time.

Read more …

But where in Europe is there media freedom?

Media Freedom Report Shakes Greece’s Conservative Government (EurActiv)

Six international organisations for the freedom of the press have published a report accusing Greece’s ruling New Democracy party (EPP) of trying to control media. While the report raises the alarm over a “systemic press freedom crisis”, the government replies that people are still free to opt on what media to follow. In an interview with EURACTIV last week, Pavol Szalai, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Head of EU/Balkans Desk, said, “The situation of press freedom in Greece is becoming comparable to the one in Hungary”. “We can see a deliberate political will to reduce press freedom. And at the same time, there are other dangerous situations linked to organised crime, which is probably behind the murder of Georges Karaivaz, who is one of the two EU journalists murdered last year”, he added.

The report was drafted following a December 2021 visit to the country. The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) report noted that the systemic crisis affecting press freedom in Greece has been exacerbated by the New Democracy government’s attempts to “control the message” and minimise critical and dissenting voices. “Newspapers and individual journalists that are ideologically on the side of the opposition or take a neutral stance are singled out by the government for unequal treatment that undermines their journalistic activities. This has been further compounded by a lack of transparency around the allocation of state advertising and its distribution based on established partisan lines,” the report added. The report also says journalists covering migration issues such as pushbacks is becoming “increasingly difficult”.


“The press freedom violations faced by journalists doing so are linked to the government’s restrictive migration policy and an unwillingness to accept public scrutiny of it leading to obstructions to reporting such as arbitrary arrest and detention, restriction of access, surveillance and harassment”. Without replying to any element of the report, New Democracy issued a statement saying the freedom of the press in Greece is institutionally guaranteed. “Every citizen can be freely informed, at any time, through the media of his choice”, the conservative party said. “The report highlights how Greece is becoming a problematic country on issues of press freedom and democracy,” main opposition leader and former PM Alexis Tsipras tweeted.

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When will this be the front page headline everywhere?

Triple Vaccinated Down To The Last 20% Of Their Immune Systems (DE)

According to the latest UK Government figures, most triple vaccinated people in England have now lost 80% of their immune system capability compared to the natural immune system capability of unvaccinated people, meaning they are now down to the last 20% of their immune system for fighting viruses, bacteria, disease and cancer. But this disaster isn’t only occurring in the UK. Official Government of Canada data shows that on average, triple vaccinated Canadians have now lost 75% of their immune system capability compared to the natural immune system capability of unvaccinated Canadians. Meaning they are now down to the last 25% of their immune system for fighting viruses, bacteria, disease and cancer.

And the picture is also the same in New Zealand, with official Government data showing that on average, fully vaccinated people in New Zealand have lost 74% of their immune system capability. In short, because authorities in the UK, Canada and New Zealand have done such a good job at collating and publishing data on Covid-19 by vaccination status, they have exposed the fact that the triple vaccinated population are rapidly developing some new form of Covid-19 vaccine induced Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The body’s immune system primarily defends one’s body against infections like bacteria, viruses and parasites. There are two broad categories of immune deficiency: those that one is born with, and those that are acquired after birth .


Immune deficiency syndrome refers to a broad range of medical disorders that prevent your body from protecting itself from illnesses such as viruses and bacteria. There are a number of different types of congenital and acquired immune deficiency syndromes that can impact the body in a variety of ways. Secondary (acquired) immune problems can result from many causes, including viral infections, malnutrition, metabolic disorders (like kidney disease), and cancer treatments or other medications. Unfortunately, official data from around the world now strongly suggests the Covid-19 vaccines should be added to the list of causes of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

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Alec Antic: Three Minutes of Truth Bombs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mar 182022
 
 March 18, 2022  Posted by at 9:38 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


Marcel Duchamp Sad young man on a train – Nude study 1911-12

 

Hunter Biden’s Infamous Laptop Confirmed In New York Times Report (NYPost)
Sure Seems Joe Biden Knowingly Lied about the Hunter Biden Laptop Story (NR)
The NYT Now Admits The Biden Laptop Is Authentic (ZH)
While You Weren’t Paying Attention (QTR)
NY Times Admits Hunter Laptop Authentic, Possible Basis for Charges (Turley)
German Chancellor Scholz: NATO Will Not “Intervene Militarily” In Ukraine (DW)
Putin Lays Out Demands For Cease-Fire In Call With Erdoga (ZH)
U.S. Dept. of State Thinks It’s an Authority on Fake News (RCP)
A Terrifying Monster To Blood Vessels – And Neurons (Chesnut)
Voice of Doom Dr Fauci Warns US Could Face More Covid Lockdowns (DM)
Covid Immunity Declines Steeply In Care Home Residents In England (G.)
Stagflation Trap Will Lead To Universal Basic Income And Food Rationing (Smith)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo

 

 

Tucker Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1504720080675954690

 

 

The New York Post deserves a Pulitzer. And Joe Biden needs to step down. Or Washington’s credibility is shot.

Hunter Biden’s Infamous Laptop Confirmed In New York Times Report (NYPost)

A comprehensive report about the ongoing federal probe into Hunter Biden’s tax filings published by the New York Times on Wednesday night confirmed the existence of the first son’s infamous laptop. In October 2020, The Post exclusively reported on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop that he ditched at a Delaware repair shop in April 2019. The laptop’s hard drive contained a trove of emails, text messages, photos and financial documents between Hunter Biden, his family and business associates — detailing how the president’s son used his political leverage in his overseas business dealings. The repair shop owner reported the laptop to the FBI, which seized the device and its hard drive.

As part of their investigation into Hunter Biden, the Times reports, federal prosecutors have looked into emails between the first son and his former business associates that were recovered from the laptop. Some of the scrutinized correspondence was between Hunter Biden and Devon Archer, who had served with the first son on the board of Ukraine energy company Burisma, the report said. Archer, who was sentenced last month in an unrelated fraud case, has “cooperated completely” with the feds in their probe into Hunter Biden, The Post has reported. According to the Times, the emails between Hunter Biden, Archer and others regarding their international business activity came from files the publication obtained that “appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop.”

People familiar with the emails and investigation confirmed their authenticity to the Times. The laptop confirmation was included in the Times report that also revealed how Hunter Biden paid off a tax liability of over $1 million — a year after he announced he was under investigation for defrauding the IRS. Hunter Biden has been under investigation for failing to pay taxes since his father was vice president, but the inquiry broadened in 2018 to look into how his international business dealings intersected with President Biden’s political career.

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“He must have known full well that the story wasn’t “a bunch of garbage.” He must have known full well that it wasn’t “a Russian plant.”

Sure Seems Joe Biden Knowingly Lied about the Hunter Biden Laptop Story (NR)

Next time President Biden speaks about . . . well, about anything really, remember that he knowingly lied to your face about the Hunter Biden laptop story — which the New York Times confirmed today, and which Joe Biden must have known was entirely true when it was first published in 2020 by the New York Post. In 2020, Joe Biden responded to Donald Trump bringing up the Post‘s story by saying on live television: There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plant. Five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except his good friend Rudy Giuliani.


This was a lie. Joe Biden is Hunter Biden’s father. He must have known full well that the story wasn’t “a bunch of garbage.” He must have known full well that it wasn’t “a Russian plant.” He must have known full well that Rudy Giuliani wasn’t the only one who believed it. Hell, he knew full well that Hunter Biden himself hadn’t denied the account, and instead had said that the laptop “absolutely” may have been his. And yet, when pressed, Biden said otherwise, because he assumed that the press and Silicon Valley would back him up in the lie. Which, of course, they did.

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“..pending a “fact check[] by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners” which, needless to say, never came — precisely because the archive was indisputably authentic.”

The NYT Now Admits The Biden Laptop Is Authentic (ZH)

One of the most successful disinformation campaigns in modern American electoral history occurred in the weeks prior to the 2020 presidential election. On October 14, 2020 — less than three weeks before Americans were set to vote — the nation’s oldest newspaper, The New York Post, began publishing a series of reports about the business dealings of the Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in countries in which Biden, as Vice President, wielded considerable influence (including Ukraine and China) and would again if elected president. The backlash against this reporting was immediate and intense, leading to suppression of the story by U.S. corporate media outlets and censorship of the story by leading Silicon Valley monopolies. The disinformation campaign against this reporting was led by the CIA’s all-but-official spokesperson Natasha Bertrand (then of Politico, now with CNN), whose article on October 19 appeared under this headline: “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say.”

These “former intel officials” did not actually say that the “Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo.” Indeed, they stressed in their letter the opposite: namely, that they had no evidence to suggest the emails were falsified or that Russia had anything to do them, but, instead, they had merely intuited this “suspicion” based on their experience: We want to emphasize that we do not know if the emails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, are genuine or not and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement — just that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.

But a media that was overwhelmingly desperate to ensure Trump’s defeat had no time for facts or annoying details such as what these former officials actually said or whether it was in fact true. They had an election to manipulate. As a result, that these emails were “Russian disinformation” — meaning that they were fake and that Russia manufactured them — became an article of faith among the U.S.’s validly despised class of media employees. Very few even included the crucial caveat that the intelligence officials themselves stressed: namely, that they had no evidence at all to corroborate this claim. Instead, as I noted last September, “virtually every media outlet — CNN, NBC News, PBS, Huffington Post, The Intercept, and too many others to count — began completely ignoring the substance of the reporting and instead spread the lie over and over that these documents were the by-product of Russian disinformation.” The Huffington Post even published a must-be-seen-to-be-believed campaign ad for Joe Biden, masquerading as “reporting,” that spread this lie that the emails were “Russian disinformation.”

This disinformation campaign about the Biden emails was then used by Big Tech to justify brute censorship of any reporting on or discussion of this story: easily the most severe case of pre-election censorship in modern American political history. Twitter locked The New York Post’s Twitter account for close to two weeks due to its refusal to obey Twitter’s orders to delete any reference to its reporting. The social media site also blocked any and all references to the reporting by all users; Twitter users were barred even from linking to the story in private chats with one another. Facebook, through its spokesman, the life-long DNC operative Andy Stone, announced that they would algorithmically suppress discussion of the reporting to ensure it did not spread, pending a “fact check[] by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners” which, needless to say, never came — precisely because the archive was indisputably authentic.

Russia Russia

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Turn it into a movie.

While You Weren’t Paying Attention (QTR)

It turns out that the party who spent four years accusing President Trump of Russian collusion performed a massive cover-up for Joe and Hunter Biden heading into the 2020 election that they have yet to be held accountable for. Go figure. I remember speaking to my father around the time of the election about the Hunter Biden laptop story, where presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son’s laptop was found to contain proof that the former Biden sold his influence to China while his father, the latter Biden, was Vice President of the United States. And in the midst of an ongoing media cover up of that story, I also remember talking to my father about former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski coming forward and blowing the whistle on the Bidens in an effort to get the public to take notice.


Instead, Bobulinski was only given airtime by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and was otherwise shunned and ignored by the rest of the left-leaning media. We both had watched Bobulinski’s interview and found him to be extremely credible. I remember my father saying that the censorship of the story and the story itself could, combined, be the biggest political scandal of all time. This caught me by surprise because my father, who has voted both Democrat and Republican over the last handful of elections, has lived through quite a few scandals. But now I understand what he was getting at. Selling your influence to China while running for President is a big deal. The media covering up that story completely in the United States in the midst of the election? An even bigger deal.

Because when you step back and objectively examine the issue of Joe Biden’s business dealings in China, it appeared that he was actually engaged in the types of conflict of interest that his party spent four years accusing President Trump of. Again, go figure. And then there was the laptop. After the New York Post broke what should have been a Pulitzer worthy story that Biden’s son had a laptop filled with incriminating evidence (in addition to dick pics taken while smoking crack with hookers), the story was promptly blackballed in the mainstream media and was talked about nowhere other than conservative news outlets. In fact, the mainstream media didn’t even give the story one shred of an objective chance. Half of the liberal media organizations covered the story as Russian disinformation, while the others didn’t carry it at all. The story was literally laughed off of TV and television as some kind of conspiracy theory.

And then a funny thing happened when the nation didn’t have access to what would turn out to be highly credible information: Joe Biden got elected president and, several months later, Politico reported that some parts of the laptop, including emails at the “center” of the controversy, were credible – a far cry from writing off the laptop as Russian disinformation.

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Let’s see those charges.

NY Times Admits Hunter Laptop Authentic, Possible Basis for Charges (Turley)

Last year, National Public Radio admitted that the Hunter Biden laptop was authentic and not Russian disinformation. It appears to have taken the New York Times even longer to move along that journalistic path of the Kübler-Ross process of grieving. The Times has now expressly and unambiguously stated that the laptop was abandoned by Hunter Biden, contains authentic emails, and is part of the basis for the ongoing investigation of Biden by federal authorities. Even with this admission against interests, the Times is downplaying the possible criminal charges in coverage strikingly different from its coverage of Trump officials charged on the same grounds. For those of us who have written about the laptop for two years, it has been a constantly barrage of criticism of spreading “Russian disinformation” or discussing manufactured emails.

Notably, the Biden family never outright denied that the laptop belonged to Hunter. They just kept repeating that it was Russian disinformation. It did not matter that recipients of the emails confirmed the authenticity of the messages detailing extensive influence peddling schemes by the Biden family. The Biden campaign assembled the usual list of experts to shut off debate by declaring that this was all false. It was a mantra from President Biden to a legion of reports. As Biden stated “There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plant. [F]ive former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage.” The press ran with that account despite the early determination of American intelligence that it was not Russian disinformation.

Washington Post columnist Thomas Rid wrote said the quiet part out loud by telling the media: “We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren’t.” Let that sink in for a second. It does not matter if these are real emails and not Russian disinformation. They probably are real but should be treated as disinformation even though American intelligence has repeatedly rebutted that claim. It does not even matter that the computer has seized the computer as evidence in a criminal fraud investigation or that a Biden confidant is now giving his allegations to the FBI under threat of criminal charges if he lies to investigators.

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“NATO has a responsibility to prevent this conflict from escalating further,” Stoltenberg said..”

German Chancellor Scholz: NATO Will Not “Intervene Militarily” In Ukraine (DW)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Thursday, as the war in Ukraine entered its fourth week. The meeting came just after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the German Bundestag via video link. Scholz opened his remarks alongside Stoltenberg by praising Zelenskyy for his “impressive words.” But the German leader reiterated NATO’s refusal to intervene militarily in Ukraine. “One thing must also be made clear: NATO will not intervene militarily in this war,” Scholz said. Scholz’s view matched statements repeated by Stoltenberg on Thursday that the military alliance’s involvement in Ukraine would increase the likelihood of the war spreading.


In Berlin, the NATO chief said the alliance’s job is to de-escalate the conflict. “NATO has a responsibility to prevent this conflict from escalating further,” Stoltenberg said. “That would be even more dangerous and cause more suffering, deaths and destruction.” Stoltenberg also met with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during his visit to Berlin. Beside Lambrecht, Stoltenberg called Germany’s new defense commitments of a special fund of €100 billion ($111 billion) and plans to commit 2% of GDP to its defense budget “impressive.” Baerbock said Germany is considering stationing more troops on NATO’s eastern flank.

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Consistent.

Putin Lays Out Demands For Cease-Fire In Call With Erdoga (ZH)

In a Thursday conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly outlined the conditions for ending his invasion of Ukraine. According to a BBC report, a Turkish official who listened to the call between the two leaders said that Putin would end his invasion if several conditions are met including a promise that Ukraine will remain neutral and not join NATO. Erdogan’s leading adviser and spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said Russia is also calling for Ukraine to undergo a disarmament process to mitigate threats to Russia in the future as well as legal protections for the Russian language in Ukraine. Additionally, Putin reportedly desires promises related to the “Denazification” of Ukraine.


Putin, according to the report, is also asking for face-to-face negotiations with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to hammer out his demands which Zelenskyy has previously stated he is not opposed to. According to Kalin, there were other conditions Putin listed that he did not go into much detail about but he believes they will involve territories that have broken away from Ukraine in the eastern Donbas region. The report states that it is “assumed” Putin will ask Ukraine to give up territory in the east and formally recognize that Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014, is a part of Russia. The demands are in line with previous reporting that stated Putin has told Ukrainian officials he will end his invasion if six major conditions are met. News of Putin’s willingness to negotiate an end to the war comes as his invasion enters its fourth week.

Macgregor to Celente: Ukraine War Will End Sooner Than You Think

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And they are. Just not on someone else’s.

U.S. Dept. of State Thinks It’s an Authority on Fake News (RCP)

Some say America has a fake news problem. They might be on to something. Americans’ trust in our media is at one of its lowest points, and social media has made disinformation easy to spread. But as America is tackling its own fake news problem, our government is pretending to be experts on it in Zimbabwe. In fact, the U.S. is sending $100,000 to Zimbabwe to help that country tackle fake news, according to a grant notice from the U.S. Department of State. The grant description states that the goal of the grant is, “To improve and promote adherence to international best practice in implementing fundamental freedom of speech and the press freedom.”


It encourages a three-pronged approach: Strengthening public understanding of freedom of speech and press freedom, improving media literacy to combat disinformation and increasing media sustainability, innovation and professionalization. The idea that the U.S. is an expert on disinformation, free speech, and combating censorship, and that it should be teaching them to other countries, is absurd. Between domestic debates on big tech censorship, the increasing polarization of news outlets, and increasing disinformation on social media, the U.S. has no business telling other countries the right way to do such things, let alone spending tax dollars to do so.

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@parsifaler thread: MOLECULAR MIMICRY.

A Terrifying Monster To Blood Vessels – And Neurons (Chesnut)

OMNIPOTENT TROPISM; OMNIPOTENT MOLECULAR MIMICRY: A Terrifying Monster To Blood Vessels – AND NEURONS! Most Likely More. I don’t quite know how to say this. But I am shaking as I write this. I was smoking a cigar and contemplating a DM an amazing (and famous) doctor sent me. The DM was about Pericytes and the Spike Protein. And I just kept thinking about it. Slowly, it dawned on me. And now I am shaking as I write this. Spike in Endothelium. Spike in Pericytes. Spike in Basement Membrane. Spike in Myelin Sheath. Spike in Axon. Spike distributed through Blood Vessels. Spike distributed through Axons. Inducing Fibrosis. Inducing Autoimmunity. Don’t you see? It is an omnipotent burrower! And why? Because of its massive TROPISM!

And then I remembered a paper I had read from 2005. It talked about how Coronaviruses cause MS via molecular mimicry. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain how a viral infection could lead to an autoimmune disease. Amongst these mechanisms is molecular mimicry. According to this model, a non-self agent first activates an immune cell. Then, the cell recognizes a self-element that shares antigenic conformation with the pathogen and directs a response towards it. Individuals who are genetically predisposed to respond to this antigenic determinant of a pathogen having a similar conformation to a determinant on a self-antigen could develop an autoimmune response following infection. Shared sequences or similar determinant conformations between coronavirus and myelin proteins such as myelin basic protein (MBP) and proteolipid protein (PLP) have been identified.

Molecular mimicry provides a unifying mechanism that could explain both the genetic and environmental aspects in the triggering of MS. So, if an ORDINARY Coronavirus can induce MS. What about one whose Spike Protein has a SIXTY-FOLD increase in peptide sharing? A massive heptapeptide sharing exists between SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and human proteins. Such a peptide commonality is unexpected and highly improbable from a mathematical point of view, given that, as detailed under the “Methods” section, the probability of the occurrence in two proteins of just one heptapeptide is equal to ~ 20-7 (or 1 out of 1,280,000,000). Likewise, the probability of the occurrence in two proteins of just one hexapeptide is close to zero by being equal to ~ 20-6 (or 1 out of 64,000,000). That’s right. The odds of TWO shared peptides occurring is 1 IN 1.28 BILLION. It may be that everything the Spike Protein touches is either attacked by the body, turns to scar tissue, or both. My God. Stop this MADNESS!

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Shoot him into space.

Voice of Doom Dr Fauci Warns US Could Face More Covid Lockdowns (DM)

America’s top infectious-disease expert warned that the country could face more COVID-19 lockdowns if cases go up once again due to the latest variant, even as the most cautious begin to shrug off their virus fears once-and-for-all. Dr Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and adviser to President Joe Biden, said easing restrictions, the waning protection from vaccines and the rise of the BA.2 subvariant around the world could bring on another wave of rising infections to the U.S. ‘If in fact we do see a turnaround and a resurgence, we have to be able to pivot and go back to any degree of mitigation that is commensurate with what the situation is,’ Fauci said in a CNN interview on Thursday. ‘We can’t just say, ‘We’re done. We’re going to move on.’ We’ve got to be able to be flexible because we’re dealing with a dynamic situation.’


Fauci added that the variant, which has seen a spike in the UK, could cause a surge in the U.S. as it appears to be as infectious as Omicron, but less fatal. ‘The overall mortality is actually down,’ Fauci said. ‘It’s a very interesting situation where the cases are going up, but it does not, at this point in time, appear to be any degree of severity.’ ‘We generally follow what goes on the UK by about two to three weeks,’ he added. ‘I would not be surprised in the next few weeks, given the fact that we’ve begun to open up, and we have an increase in the BA.2 variant, that we’ll be seeing an increase in cases.’ The warning came as COVID restrictions have been lifted all across the country amid a sharp drop in daily cases after the Omicron surge earlier this year.

Fauci returns

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The vaccines still don’t work. What a surprise.

Covid Immunity Declines Steeply In Care Home Residents In England (G.)

Immunity declines steeply among care home residents in the months after Covid vaccination, a study has found, leading to calls for regular boosters for the most vulnerable. The study of more than 15,000 care home residents found that protection against hospitalisation and death fell by one-third three to seven months after vaccination. The decline is far sharper than that seen in younger people, where immunity against infection wanes, but protection against severe illness appears to be robust. “What we’re seeing is that they are at increased risk of infection, hospitalisation and death as immunity wanes, and those increases look quite big,” said Prof Laura Shallcross, a public health expert at University College London and author of the paper. “That’s not good news at all.

“It suggests annual boosters in residents may not be enough,” she added. From April, a second booster (fourth dose), is being offered to adults aged 75 and over and residents in care homes. Further boosters could be rolled out in the autumn, depending on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the health secretary, Sajid Javid said this week. The latest findings, which have been published as a preprint, could be influential in shaping this decision. They come from the Vivaldi study, funded by the UK Health Security Agency, which monitored Covid in staff and residents in 331 care homes across England from December 2020 to December 2021.

The researchers found that two vaccine doses were effective at preventing 85% of hospitalisations and 94% of deaths among care home residents between two and 12 weeks after the second dose. But this protection fell to 54% of hospitalisations and 63% of deaths at three to seven months after vaccination. The trajectory looked very different in the 19,000 staff who were also tracked in the study. In staff, with an average age of 45, protection against infection fell just slightly from a 50% to 42% reduced risk after three months. There appeared to be no substantial waning in immunity against severe disease for staff, with very few hospitalisations occurring after vaccination.

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WEF.

Stagflation Trap Will Lead To Universal Basic Income And Food Rationing (Smith)

This past week during a conference discussing Biden’s “Build Back Better” scheme House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was confronted with questions on skyrocketing inflation. After referring to higher gas prices as the “Putin Tax”, she went on to offer perhaps the dumbest (or most insidious) denial on the causes of inflation that I have ever heard. She stated: “When we’re having this discussion, it’s important to dispel some of those who say, well it’s the government spending. No, it isn’t. The government spending is doing the exact reverse, reducing the national debt. It is not inflationary.” Anyone with a basic understanding of economics and how central banks operate must have felt their brains explode when they heard this, I know I did.

But before I get into the numerous reasons why this claim is completely false in every way, I want to give a warning – It’s very easy in this situation to assume that Pelosi and even Biden are making these arguments because they are too stupid to grasp the fundamentals of debt creation, money velocity and fiat. That said, never mistake evil for mere ignorance. All higher level representatives of the White House are briefed by economic experts (spin doctors) well before they answer any questions on inflation, and the things they say have been carefully scripted. It’s possible Pelosi mixed her lies up a little bit, but the narrative the establishment is trying to promote is well planned. Asserting that money creation is a counterbalance to inflation instead of the cause is not brilliant, but it’s not designed to convince many people, only create confusion.

Let’s not forget that only last year these same people were telling the public that inflation was purely “transitory” and that there was nothing to worry about. Now they are trying to cover their tracks and the culpability of the Federal Reserve. I believe the goal here is to simply stall for time until the stagflationary collapse unfolds. They have the perfect scapegoat as they launch an economic war with Russia (and likely China in the near term), and the effects of this war will hurt the US and Europe far more than many realize.

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Ukraine injured
https://twitter.com/i/status/1504656592830185474

 

 

 

 

John C. Reilly
https://twitter.com/i/status/1504579880851226634

 

 

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