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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“..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.

Read more …

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.

Read more …

“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.

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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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Feb 212022
 
 February 21, 2022  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  147 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Saskia en profil in expensive attire 1640-45

 

Biden And Putin Accept Macron’s Proposal (RT)
Biden-Putin Peace Summit Certain to Bring Nobel Peace Nomination (CTH)
Ukraine DM: Low Probability of Major Escalation With Russia (Antiwar)
Europe Has Next To No Gas Left – Gazprom (RT)
New World Order Desperate as Plan Falls Apart – Martin Armstrong (USAW)
The Next Step for the World Economic Forum (Koops)
The Great Reset Becomes The Great Awakening (Luongo)
Why People Believe Wrong Things: A Response to Reader Critiques (Eugyp)
The CDC Isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects (NYT)
Scientists Reluctant to Study Vaccine Side Effects, Notes Top Journal (DS)
American Truckers Are Launching The People’s Convoy (Malone)
Ottawa Mayor Wants To Sell Confiscated Freedom Convoy Trucks (RT)
US Congresswoman Proposes Asylum For Canadian Protesters (RT)
A Social Credit System Arrives in Canada (Sacks)
Trudeau to Make Surveillance Powers over Financial Transactions Permanent (NR)
Eric Adams Admits That Vax Mandates Don’t Work, But Won’t Change Them (NYP)

 

 

 

 

Rogan Maajid Nawaz

 

 

 

 

Ha ha ha ha!

“..such a meeting “can only be held at the condition that Russia does not invade Ukraine,” the Elysee palace added”

Biden And Putin Accept Macron’s Proposal (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden have both agreed in “principle” to hold a meeting to halt escalation of conflict in Ukraine, the Elysee Palace said in a statement on Sunday night. Emmanuel Macron “proposed a summit to be held between President Biden and President Putin and then with relevant stakeholders to discuss security and strategic stability in Europe,” according to the statement. “Presidents Biden and Putin have both accepted the principle of such a summit,” it added. However, such a meeting “can only be held at the condition that Russia does not invade Ukraine,” the Elysee palace added. The “substance” of the summit, should it take place, will be prepared by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during their meeting expected on Thursday, February 24.


While the Kremlin has yet to issue a comment, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that President Biden “accepted in principle a meeting with President Putin following [Blinken-Lavrov] engagement, again, if an invasion hasn’t happened.” French President briefed his US counterpart on Sunday evening on his talks with Vladimir Putin of Russia and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, in a call that reportedly lasted only 15 minutes on Sunday evening. In a call with Putin earlier on Sunday, Macron offered to mediate talks in the so-called Normandy Format “in the next few hours” to secure a ceasefire along the line of contact in the disputed region of Donbass in eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin confirmed that “the two leaders agreed to maintain contact at various levels,” but did not provide any specific details on such plans.

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“..they must take the manufactured crisis to the brink of thermonuclear war, so that Joe Biden can save the world and be seen as this legendary diplomat.”

Biden-Putin Peace Summit Certain to Bring Nobel Peace Nomination (CTH)

To understand why there has been so much escalating rhetoric about Russia going to invade Ukraine at any moment, you must realize the intent. The motives of the crisis narrative are crystal clear. Everything about the Russia invasion of Ukraine has to be increasingly imminent, horrible and loomingly catastrophic for the planet, so that when it doesn’t happen the glorious victory for Dear Leader Biden can be proclaimed and amplified from the mountaintops. Russia has absolutely no plan to invade Ukraine and doesn’t even have a role in this theatrical production from the White House. The way the game is played; and believe me, everything about this is a game; they must take the manufactured crisis to the brink of thermonuclear war, so that Joe Biden can save the world and be seen as this legendary diplomat.

In the annals of U.S. historym there has never been such an important summit. The nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, that Ron Klain wants in this mid-term election year, is dependent on magnanimous and strategic Biden overcoming all geopolitical odds to save the world. Everything is carefully planned and scripted with a ‘this’, then ‘that‘ approach toward sequencing. Earlier today, the Sunday news talk shows were filled with pending invasion rhetoric. Putin was mere moments away from a massive army entering Ukraine. The smells of heavy diesel loomed in the valleys as the thundering sound of tank tracks approached ever closer. Dark men with black weapons were beating drums and carrying the flag of Mother Russia, as millions were seen marching by U.S. spy satellites in the region.

The birds all fled as the sounds of the battle groups began converging on the Ukraine border. “The Russians are coming; The Russians are coming” one lad shouted to the CNN crew as he whizzed by on his bicycle, trying to peddle fast while carrying a bag of sausages for his sullen and sickly grandparents in eastern Ukraine. CBS David Martin and Margaret Brennan reported {link} the Russian generals were informing their troop commanders of the invasion plans. CNN then broke into the news cycle quoting three sources {link} “saying that the US has intelligence indicating that orders have been sent to Russian commanders to proceed with an attack on Ukraine.” Things looked really bad just before noon…

Everything within the game needs to be looming on the precipice of crisis in order for it to have maximum impact when it doesn’t happen. However, it was always never going to happen, because it is pretend. It is all a big performance, a ruse, built on a completely manufactured scenario they know will never happen… because the White House is making it up.

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“Ukraine’s own assessment is clearly far afield of America’s.”

Ukraine DM: Low Probability of Major Escalation With Russia (Antiwar)

Ukraine DM Oleksii Reznikov told parliament on Friday that there is a low probability of any major escalation with Russia. He added that Ukraine intelligence sees every move made in the area. Tensions at the Russia-Ukraine border have been ongoing, with several Western nations repeatedly predicting a huge war. Ukraine has chided those nations for causing a panic. Predictions of such a conflict go back years, and while previous Ukraine officials had similar pessimism about it, more recently officials see a lot more chance for diplomacy. President Biden again predicted a Russian invasion Friday, noting a Russian offer to talk later this month and suggesting there’d be no point if invasion happens first. Ukraine’s own assessment is clearly far afield of America’s.

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Gazprom has honored all contracts.

Europe Has Next To No Gas Left – Gazprom (RT)

Underground gas storage facilities (UGS) in Europe were 95.3% empty as of February 17, Russia’s state energy giant and major gas exporter Gazprom said on Saturday, citing data from Gas Infrastructure Europe. This means that Europe now has only 4.7% of its gas reserves left for the remainder of the winter season. The volume of active gas in storage facilities is 21% or 8.3 billion cubic meters less compared to the same time last year. In total, 44.8 billion cubic meters have already been withdrawn from Europe’s UGS this winter. According to Gazprom, gas reserves in underground storage facilities in Ukraine are also at a minimum, having dropped to 10.6 billion cubic meters, which is 45% less than last year. Also, earlier this week, authorities in Germany, which has one of the largest underground storage capacities in Europe, reported a plunge in storage volumes to historically low levels compared to previous years.


The European Union, however, this week claimed that its supplies were sufficient to last several more weeks in the event that Russia stops its gas flow to the bloc amid tensions over Ukraine. Russian gas supplies to European countries had already started to fall in mid-2021, and the decline accelerated at the beginning of 2022. Gazprom, however, repeatedly insisted that it is still supplying Europe with gas in strict accordance with existing contracts. Despite this, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Saturday called Gazprom’s supply policy intentionally harmful. “Gazprom is consciously trying to store and deliver as little as possible while prices and demand are skyrocketing,” she said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference, as quoted by Anadolu news agency.

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“The financial system has come to an end.”

New World Order Desperate as Plan Falls Apart – Martin Armstrong (USAW)

Legendary financial and geopolitical cycle analyst Martin Armstrong thinks the New World Order’s so-called “Great Reset” plan for humanity is falling apart, and the globalists are becoming increasingly “desperate.” Armstrong explains, “They are basically desperate at this stage. I don’t think they anticipate the amount of resistance that they are getting. It’s not just with the truckers in Canada, but this is starting everywhere. There has been an awful lot of resistance consistently that the press does not cover in virtually every city throughout Europe. . . . . They never step out and talk to the people because we are too stupid to actually have an opinion. They know better. This is what Klause Schwab does. He is far more sophisticated than people realize.

He has methodically gone out and created his young global leaders. He is basically sticking people in government positions that are loyal to him. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau is one of them. . . . They think communism is a step up, and the last time this was attempted, it led to the death of 200 million people. This is absurd. . . . You are not allowed to think freely. That’s what communism really is. . . . You don’t realize this whole thing we are going through right now is the same thing. This is cancel culture. Someone said something I don’t like, and that was 20 years ago, so cancel them. This is exactly what took place in communism. You are destroying the right to speak freely.” The so-called “Great Reset” is all about control and tyranny. Armstrong says, “Just look at Canada. Trudeau is one of Klaus Schwab’s young global leaders. The worst countries have leaders that have graduated from his school. Make everybody comply, and if they don’t, crush them to the ground.”


The only good news is, according to Armstrong and his “Socrates” computer analysis, this is “not going to work out well for the globalists pushing communism.” Armstrong says, “With Karl Marx, at the time, people owned nothing. Schwab is saying, ‘You will own nothing and you will be happy.’ This is absurd because what you are doing is creating a fake image. Schwab is saying I am going to relieve you of all your debt. . . . That is a front because the government has gone to the point of no return. What you have to understand here is it is really the government that has to default. What I have said is, look, governments are going to have to default because this is no longer sustainable.” Armstrong predicted last year, “The financial system has come to an end.”

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A WEF overview. Can you still get elected anywhere without being a member?

The Next Step for the World Economic Forum (Koops)

If I give you the names of the following people – Biden, Trudeau, Ardern, Merkel, Macron, Draghi, Morrison, Xi Jinping – what do you think that they have in common? Yes, they are all pampered and stumble over themselves, but that is also not the connection. One can see very quickly that these names certainly connect to lockdown countries and individuals who have ignored their own laws and/or tried in some way to usurp them. But, there is more to it than that and I will give a hint by providing a link with each name. Joseph Biden, President, United States Boris Johnson, PM of United Kingdom Jacinda Ardern, PM of New Zealand Angela Merkel, Former PM of Germany Emmanuel Macron, President of France Justin Trudeau, PM of Canada Xi Jinping, CCP Leader, China Mario Draghi, PM of Italy Scott Morrison, PM of Australia

They are all associated with the World Economic Forum (WEF), a “nonprofit” private organization started (in 1971) and headed by Klaus “You will own nothing and be happy” Schwab and his family. This is a private organization that has no official bearing with any world governance body, despite the implication of the name. It could just as well have been called the “Church of Schwabies.” The WEF was the origin of the “Great Reset” and I would guess that it was the origin of “Build Back Better” (since most of the above names have used that term recently). If you think that the WEF membership ends with just leaders of countries, here are a few more names: Gavin Newsom, Governor of California Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State Anthony Fauci, Director NIAID Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House .

Allow me to introduce more of the WEF by giving a list of names for the Board of Trustees. Al Gore, Former VP of the US Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action T. Shanmugaratnam, Seminar Minister Singapore Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank Ngozi Okonja-Iweala, Director General, WTO Kristalian Georggieva, Managing Director, IMF Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Minister of Canada Laurence Fink, CEO, BlackRock

You can see a cross section of political and economic leaders on the board. The leader of the organization, that is the leader of the Board, is still Klaus Schwab. He has built an impressive array of followers. If you want to really see the extent of influence, go to the website and pick out the corporate name of your choice; there are many to choose from: Abbott Laboratories, Astra-Zeneca, Biogen, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Serum Institute of India, BASF, Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Blackrock, CISCO, Dell, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Zoom, Yahoo, Amazon, Airbus, Boeing, Honda, Rakuten, Walmart, UPS, Coca-Cola, UBER, Bank of China. Bank of America. Deutsche Bank, State Bank of India, Royal Bank of Canada, Lloyds Banking, JP Morgan-Chase, Equifax, Goldman-Sachs, Hong Kong Exchanges, Bloomberg, VISA, New York Times, Ontario (Canada) Teacher’s Pension Plan

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“That’s what the State is folks, violence. Always has been. This is why Klaus Schwab and his minions like Trudeau, Arden and others will fail.”

The Great Reset Becomes The Great Awakening (Luongo)

The reality is that Arden and Trudeau are both hanging on by a thread because public opinion already turned against them. The only thing propping Trudeau up at this point is the shock at the speed he has escalated events. That shock will wear off very soon. If parliament doesn’t act to limit/censure or simply get rid of this guy, Canadians will have a much bigger problem on their hands. Too many Canadians are still asking, “Is this Canada?” When they should be stating, “This is not Canada.” Stop asking for permission to feel outraged and feel the outrage.

In New Zealand, the veil of authority for Arden is thinner thanks to Trudeau’s mistakes in Ottawa. No doubt they are seeing the same things we are and want no part of it. The knives will come out for Arden quickly if she doesn’t back down. I say all the time, spooks start civil wars, militaries end them. In Canada, the civil war there is just beginning. What we’ve not seen in New Zealand means it’s likely over before anyone even realized they were in one. The Great Reset rests on tyrants like Justin Trudeau to win through fear, intimidation and the banal corruption of weak people to support them. With each image of peaceful people being trampled under the bootheel of Canadian stormtroopers, more people awaken from the slumber of the comfortable lie the government protects us from chaos.

That’s what the State is folks, violence. Always has been. This is why Klaus Schwab and his minions like Trudeau, Arden and others will fail. There is no law these people recognize. There is no restraint on their behavior they feel is justified for their holy cause. The sooner we accept that, like many of the truckers who organized this protest, the sooner we can all begin bridging the divide.

Schwab
https://twitter.com/i/status/1487922335864741890

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“The problems we have go a lot deeper than the World Economic Forum and Bill Gates.”

Why People Believe Wrong Things: A Response to Reader Critiques (Eugyp)

People on the establishment side of the debate mainly argue that Corona is an unprecedented and unusual virus, and that the scientific response has been totally reasonable and justified. People on our side of the discussion tend to see Corona as nothing special, but the scientific and political response as something new and unusual. I suggest that it helps to see the virus, despite its laboratory origins, as a biological threat of the kind we’ve lived with for millennia; and that it likewise helps to see our unbalanced reaction to this virus as an expression of our own declining society and institutions. That’s a big reason why fixing this has proven to be so hard.

The problems we have go a lot deeper than the World Economic Forum and Bill Gates. In many ways, those guys are just the surface manifestations of this much deeper rot. I know a lot of you conceive of what happened in 2020 as a kind of mass hysteria or hypnosis, or compare our current policies to National Socialism in the 1930s. I think there can be polemical value in both points, but I also think the most important thing, is to recognise that containment is a characteristic policy not of Nazi Germany, but of western liberal democracies. These regimes have enthusiastically embraced lockdowns, compulsory vaccination, and widespread restrictions. For two years, our governments pursued containment as their highest and most central political goal; it became a kind of ideological system unto itself, and persists as one. These are western, liberal, democratic policies by definition, and they show that something is terribly wrong with our political order.

I think it is important to come to terms with these simple facts, because these dangerous crazy lunatics are still running everything. The pandemicists have come out of the past two years more entrenched and powerful than ever before. Our public health bureaucracies have learned what they can do now, and with what little pretence. SARS-2 research will receive tidal waves of funding for decades to come; even people who study elephants or soil fungi will now find incentives to make their work at least a little bit about Corona. The SARS-related virus research will also continue, there will be more lab leaks, and the vaccinators will show up every fall with their mRNA snake oil. It would be better, if all of this nonsense were directed, or the result of some unusual passing madness. It’s not; it is the way things are. This is the nature of the political and social institutions that govern us.

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What’s more striking, that the NYT goes after the CDC, or that they do it only now?

The CDC Isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects (NYT)

For more than a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collected data on hospitalizations for Covid-19 in the United States and broken it down by age, race and vaccination status. But it has not made most of the information public. When the C.D.C. published the first significant data on the effectiveness of boosters in adults younger than 65 two weeks ago, it left out the numbers for a huge portion of that population: 18- to 49-year-olds, the group least likely to benefit from extra shots, because the first two doses already left them well-protected. The agency recently debuted a dashboard of wastewater data on its website that will be updated daily and might provide early signals of an oncoming surge of Covid cases. Some states and localities had been sharing wastewater information with the agency since the start of the pandemic, but it had never before released those findings.

Two full years into the pandemic, the agency leading the country’s response to the public health emergency has published only a tiny fraction of the data it has collected, several people familiar with the data said. Much of the withheld information could help state and local health officials better target their efforts to bring the virus under control. Detailed, timely data on hospitalizations by age and race would help health officials identify and help the populations at highest risk. Information on hospitalizations and death by age and vaccination status would have helped inform whether healthy adults needed booster shots. And wastewater surveillance across the nation would spot outbreaks and emerging variants early.

Without the booster data for 18- to 49-year-olds, the outside experts whom federal health agencies look to for advice had to rely on numbers from Israel to make their recommendations on the shots. Kristen Nordlund, a spokeswoman for the C.D.C., said the agency has been slow to release the different streams of data “because basically, at the end of the day, it’s not yet ready for prime time.” She said the agency’s “priority when gathering any data is to ensure that it’s accurate and actionable.” Another reason is fear that the information might be misinterpreted, Ms. Nordlund said.

[..] Last year, the agency repeatedly came under fire for not tracking so-called breakthrough infections in vaccinated Americans, and focusing only on individuals who became ill enough to be hospitalized or die. The agency presented that information as risk comparisons with unvaccinated adults, rather than provide timely snapshots of hospitalized patients stratified by age, sex, race and vaccination status. But the C.D.C. has been routinely collecting information since the Covid vaccines were first rolled out last year, according to a federal official familiar with the effort. The agency has been reluctant to make those figures public, the official said, because they might be misinterpreted as the vaccines being ineffective.

Ms. Nordlund confirmed that as one of the reasons. Another reason, she said, is that the data represents only 10 percent of the population of the United States. But the C.D.C. has relied on the same level of sampling to track influenza for years. Some outside public health experts were stunned to hear that information exists. “We have been begging for that sort of granularity of data for two years,” said Jessica Malaty Rivera, an epidemiologist and part of the team that ran Covid Tracking Project, an independent effort that compiled data on the pandemic till March 2021. A detailed analysis, she said, “builds public trust, and it paints a much clearer picture of what’s actually going on.”

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CDC doesn’t publish, and scientists don’t research.

Scientists Reluctant to Study Vaccine Side Effects, Notes Top Journal (DS)

While current evidence suggests that serious side effects are rare, the same is true of Covid itself when we’re talking about healthy, young people or those with a prior infection. Hence it’s by no means clear that vaccination actually makes sense for these people – especially if you factor in the possibility of unknown, long-term effects. So far, there’s evidence of an increased risk of blood clots following the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines, and an increased risk of heart inflammation following the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. While the absolute risks are still low, any side effects – however rare – have to be taken seriously. What’s more, there’s evidence that side effects are more common in young people and those who’ve already had Covid – two groups that face very little risk from the disease itself.

However, we still don’t know exactly what the risk of side effects is for specific subgroups, such as ‘people aged 18–30 with a prior infection’. In addition, some conditions that have been linked to the vaccines (including one that resembles long Covid) are not yet well-understood. Shouldn’t scientists be rushing to answer these and other unanswered questions about vaccine side effects? You’d certainly think so. But unfortunately, that isn’t the way science works in our current, politicised era. As this surprisingly candid report in the journal Science notes, scientists have other things to consider aside from how pressing certain questions might be:

“Probing possible side effects presents a dilemma to researchers: They risk fomenting rejection of vaccines that are generally safe, effective, and crucial to saving lives. “You have to be very careful” before tying COVID-19 vaccines to complications, Nath cautions. “You can make the wrong conclusion. … The implications are huge.” [Avindra Nath is clinical director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke]” Researchers are reluctant to work on vaccine side effects for fear of causing, or being accused of causing, ‘vaccine hesitancy’. The Science report goes on: “Other researchers note the scientific community is uneasy about studying such effects. “Everyone is tiptoeing around it,” Pretorius says. “I’ve talked to a lot of clinicians and researchers at various universities, and they don’t want to touch it.” [Resia Pretorius is a physiologist at Stellenbosch University in South Africa]”

Needless to say, this does not bode well for science. Nor does it bode well for vaccine uptake in the long term. After all, people will only take vaccines – whether for Covid or anything else – if they trust the medical establishment. And ignoring side effects, even rare ones, isn’t the way to build trust.

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Wednesday.

American Truckers Are Launching The People’s Convoy (Malone)

American truckers are launching The People’s Convoy, a peaceful and unified transcontinental movement, on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from the Adelanto Stadium in Southern California. Starting at 10:00 a.m., hundreds of truckers will hear words of encouragement and blessings from a group of speakers including FLCCC President Dr. Pierre Kory and Godspeak Church Pastor Rob McCoy. The truckers and blue-collar workers of the United States will be joined by freedom-loving supporters from all walks of life – frontline doctors, lawyers, first- responders, former military servicemen and women, students, retirees, mothers, fathers and children – on this peaceful and law-abiding transcontinental journey toward the east coast. The truckers encourage one and all to come out to the stadium in the heart of Adelanto, California to wish them well, see them off and join in the journey.

This convoy is about freedom and unity: the truckers are riding unified across party and state lines and with people of all colors and creeds – Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Mormons, Agnostics, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Republican, Democrats. All individuals are welcome to participate by either attending the launch gathering – at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday February 23, at Adelanto Stadium – or by getting in their own vehicles and following the big rigs from Adelanto toward the east coast! The message of The People’s Convoy is simple. The last 23 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been a rough road for all Americans to travel: spiritually, emotionally, physically, and – not least – financially.


With the advent of the vaccine and workable therapeutic agents, along with the hard work of so many sectors that contributed to declining COVID-19 cases and severity of illness, it is now time to re-open the country. The average American worker needs to be able to end-run the economic hardships of the last two years, and get back to the business of making bread – so they can pay their rents and mortgages and help jumpstart this economy. To that end, it’s time for elected officials to work with the blue collar and white-collar workers of America and restore accountability and liberty – by lifting all mandates and ending the state of emergency – as COVID is well-in-hand now, and Americans need to get back to work in a free and unrestricted manner.

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“Watson said that officers had “done a remarkable job,” and were “very measured in their response.“

Ottawa Mayor Wants To Sell Confiscated Freedom Convoy Trucks (RT)

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has praised the police crackdown on anti-mandate Freedom Convoy protesters in the Canadian capital. With the demonstrations cleared, he told state media that trucks, campers, and vehicles seized from the protesters should be sold off, claiming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s controversial emergency powers allow him to do so. Speaking to CBC on Saturday, Watson commended police officers for clearing protesters from downtown Ottawa, where they had been camped for three weeks protesting vaccine mandates. The demonstrations were broken by city and federal police officers between Friday and Saturday after Trudeau invoked the never-before-used Emergencies Act on Monday.

Despite video footage showing shocking scenes of police brutality, Watson said that officers had “done a remarkable job,” and were “very measured in their response.” At least 170 protesters have been arrested, more than 50 vehicles have been seized, and the government has frozen the bank accounts of at least 76 protest participants and supporters. “Under the Emergencies Act I’ve asked our solicitor and our city manager, ‘how can we keep the tow trucks and the campers and the vans and everything else that we’ve confiscated, and sell those pieces of equipment to help recoup some of the costs that our taxpayers are absorbing?’” Watson told CBC.

[..] It is unclear whether Watson’s plan will go ahead, and whether the Emergencies Act actually allows the city to auction off seized vehicles. Ottawa Police have previously stated that seized vehicles will be held for seven days, after which time they can be retrieved. Likewise the Emergencies Act is currently being enforced despite not being debated in Parliament, and could end up amended significantly. While some of Canada’s provincial premiers have relaxed their rules on masking and vaccination since the protest began, Trudeau’s nationwide vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers and a rule requiring Canadians be vaccinated to leave the country remain in effect.

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Ha! Yeah, that’ll work…

US Congresswoman Proposes Asylum For Canadian Protesters (RT)

A US congresswoman has promised to introduce legislation to grant asylum to Canadian truckers facing persecution from their government for being involved in the recent ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests against Covid-19 restrictions. Republican New Mexico Congresswoman Yvette Herrell announced her campaign to provide refuge to dissident Canadians on Saturday, comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “heavy-handed crackdown against peaceful protesters” to that of “an authoritarian regime like Venezuela.”


Arguing that Canada’s treatment of protesters “is not the action of a Western Democracy,” Herrell said the US should provide asylum for protesters “who have been subjected to violence, had their property confiscated, and their bank accounts frozen by a government that is quickly becoming the embarrassment of the free world.” “I am introducing legislation that would temporarily grant asylum to innocent Canadian protesters who are being persecuted by their own government,” she said. “We cannot be silent as our neighbors to the north are treated so badly “

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“When these protestors or those that supported them end up in financial hardship because they lose their job, business, or bank account, what will happen to those who try to help them?”

A Social Credit System Arrives in Canada (Sacks)

On Monday, the rhetoric turned to action when Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. This heretofore-unused 1988 law gives the government virtually unlimited power for 30 days to deal with a crisis. Invoking the law under the present circumstance would require the threat or use of “serious violence,” yet the vast majority of protesters have been entirely peaceful—playing “We Are the World” and waving Maple Leaf flags. Indeed, the government has made little attempt to justify the need for emergency powers beyond Trudeau’s frequent bemoaning of the truckers’ alleged “hateful rhetoric.” His public safety minister Marco Mendocino stated that such extraordinary measures were necessary due to “intimidation, harassment, and expressions of hate.” Perhaps he doesn’t realize that none of these are listed in the law as valid reasons to invoke it.

Trudeau escalated things further on Tuesday night, when he issued a new directive called the Emergency Economic Measures Order. Invoking a War on Terror law called the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act, the order requires financial institutions—including banks, credit unions, co-ops, loan companies, trusts, and even cryptocurrency wallets—to stop “providing any financial or related services” to anyone associated with the protests (a “designated person”). This has resulted, according to the CBC, in “frozen accounts, stranded money and canceled credit cards.” Banks, according to this new order, have a “duty to determine” if one of their customers is a “designated person.” A “designated person” can refer to anyone who “directly or indirectly” participates in the protest, including donors who “provide property to facilitate” the protests through crowdfunding sites.

In other words, a designated person can just as easily be a grandmother who donated $25 to support the truckers as one of the organizers of the convoy. Because the donor data to the crowdfunding site GiveSendGo was hacked—and the leaked data shows that Canadians donated most of the $8 million raised—many thousands of law-abiding Canadians now face the prospect of financial retaliation and ruin merely for supporting an anti-government protest. Already, a low-level government official in Ontario was fired after her $100 donation came to light. A gelato shop was forced to close when it received threats after its owner was revealed to have donated to the protest. On Wednesday, Justice Minister David Lametti went on Canadian television to say the quiet part aloud, namely that anyone contributing to “a pro-Trump movement” should be “worried” about their bank accounts and other financial assets being frozen.

When these protestors or those that supported them end up in financial hardship because they lose their job, business, or bank account, what will happen to those who try to help them? Will Canadian financial institutions be forced to play Six Degrees of Deplorables? The fear of being ensnared in the dragnet will surely have a chilling effect on the commercial prospects of those suspected of “unacceptable views,” creating a caste of untouchables whom no one will dare to transact with or help. B.J. Dichter, one of the protest organizers who has had all of his bank accounts and credit cards frozen, expressed the sense of desperation: “It feels like being banished from the medieval village left to die.”

Read more …

Make sure you have cash.

Trudeau to Make Surveillance Powers over Financial Transactions Permanent (NR)

As all eyes were trained on the aggressive police sweep of the Ottawa trucker convoy this week, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s administration was quietly moving to implement a sweeping expansion of surveillance power at the federal level. The Trudeau government’s financial war against the truckers has been covered at length. But one underreported aspect of this broader assault on Canadian civil liberties is the effort to bring crowdfunding and payment service providers — two of the most prominent routes for financial transactions on the Internet — under the permanent control of a centralized government authority.

In a February 14 news conference, Canadian finance minister Chrystia Freeland said that the government was using the Emergencies Act to broaden “the scope of Canada’s anti-money-laundering and terrorist financing rules so that they cover crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use.” That broadened power requires all forms of digital transactions, including cryptocurrencies, to be reported to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada. (I.e., “Fintrac”). “As of today, all crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use must register with Fintrac, and they must report large and suspicious transactions to Fintrac,” Freeland said. She justified the move as a way to “mitigate the risk” of “illicit funds” and “increase the quality and quantity of intelligence received by Fintrac and make more information available to support investigations by law enforcement.” Trudeau, standing behind Freeland at the press conference, nodded his head in agreement.

Freeland said the trucker convoy, which had assembled to protest coronavirus restrictions, had “highlighted the fact” that digital assets and funding mechanisms “weren’t captured” by the Canadian government’s pre-existing surveillance powers. As a result, she said, “the government will also bring forward legislation to provide these authorities to FinTrac on a permanent basis.” Freeland reiterated that point in a subsequent press conference this past Friday. “We reviewed very, very carefully the tools at the disposal of the federal government, and we used all the tools that we had prior to the invocation of the Emergencies Act, and we determined that we needed some additional tools,” she said. “Now some of those tools, we will be putting forward measures to put those tools permanently in place. The authorities of FinTrac, I believe, do need to be expanded to cover crowdsourcing platforms and their payment providers.”

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New York can’t pick a decent mayor, can it?

Eric Adams Admits That Vax Mandates Don’t Work, But Won’t Change Them (NYP)

Mayor Eric Adams admitted Wednesday that vaccine mandates don’t work — yet he’s still going ahead with firing city workers who refuse to show proof they got their shots. “The rule was put in place; to start changing it now would send mixed messages,” he said while lamenting the fact that un-jabbed Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving can’t play at his home arena even though unvaxxed out-of-towners can. Mixed messages? We’ve heard time and again that vax mandates are a life-and-death question of public health, fending off some new COVID surge. That’s plainly no longer true, if it ever was. So what’s the point now? New York City’s positivity rate is below 2%, down from an Omicron peak of near 23%. It’s clearly time to rethink draconian COVID approaches

The disconnect between policy and reality here is so glaring that the best Adams can offer in defense is a lukewarm worry that changing it might scramble political messaging. But at least he’s finally, albeit inadvertently, come clean about mandates: They’ve become pure hygiene theater. As we’ve said before: The vaccines are safe and effective and almost everybody should get them. But the data reveal that mandates have near-zero effect on COVID outcomes. Look at Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis actively restricted vaccine mandates. Per Mayo Clinic data, the Sunshine State saw about 347 average daily cases per 100,000 people at its Omicron peak. New York, with vastly stricter policies, saw 366. Florida’s fatality rate at the peak was 1.2% vs. New York’s 1.4%. And those outcomes were this similar even before Delta hit.


But even if you don’t want to “follow the science,” what about basic logic? You are allowed to play ball at Barclays Center or the Garden if you’re not vaccinated; you just can’t play for a New York team. Guess we missed that epidemiological principle: Away players are never disease vectors. A rule so self-contradictory has nothing to do with health. It’s pure power politics. Kyrie Irving is lucky. He earns many multiples of what average Americans will see in a lifetime even with his haircut for missed home games. But what of the hundreds of teachers, cops, firefighters and so on Adams just axed for refusing a vaccine? If the mandate’s main purpose is now literally rhetorical, it’s indefensible.

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Police in Paris have joined the march against Covid mandates.

 

 

 

 

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Dec 302020
 


Juan Gris Guitar on a chair 1913

 

Travelers May Need A COVID Vaccine Passport To Travel In 2021 (JTN)
ER Nurse Tests Positive For COVID19 Eight Days After He Was Vaccinated (DM)
Covid Poses ‘Greatest Threat To Mental Health Since Second World War’ (G.)
Majority Of New COVID Cases In UK Are New Variant (Sky)
McConnell Blocks Vote On $2,000 Checks, Signals New Package (Hill)
Bernie Sanders Fights for a $2,000 Check for You on the Senate Floor (Jac.)
10 Stats About The $2,000 Checks (DP)
Ukraine Press Conference Explicitly Ties Hunter & Joe Biden To Corruption (ZH)
Why Senators Must Reject Avril Haines for Intelligence (MPN)
UK House Prices Rise By Most In Six Years (R.)
Five Times this Year the New York Times Accidentally Told the Truth (AIER)

 

 

 

 

Carlin immune system

 

 

I’m afraid I lost the plot line along the way. If the chief WHO scientist says there’s no evidence the vaccine protects you from being infected, or even from infecting others, what is the purpose of a vaccine passport?

Travelers May Need A COVID Vaccine Passport To Travel In 2021 (JTN)

Travelers may need to show proof that they have taken the COVID-19 vaccine in order to travel in 2021. “Several companies and technology groups have begun developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, creating digital credentials that could be shown in order to enter concert venues, stadiums, movie theaters, offices, or even countries,” CBS-Miami reported. “The Common Trust Network, an initiative by Geneva-based nonprofit The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum, has partnered with several airlines including Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, as well as hundreds of health systems across the United States and the government of Aruba,” the station reported.

Thomas Crampton, chief marketing and communications officer for The Commons Project, told CNN Business that a simple and easily transferable set of credentials, or a “digital yellow card,” could be the answer. Last week, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said “immunity passports” for Americans to prove they have taken the COVID-19 vaccine might help the country get “back to a new normal.” Dr. Thomas Frieden told CBS that “done right, immunity passports could be one of a series of things that could help us get to a new normal as soon as possible.” “We don’t know if this is going to happen, but fundamentally we’re seeing companies and countries giving people a certificate of vaccination,” he said. “The risk of this is it will make inequality even worse. If people have both susceptibility to the virus and less access to the vaccine, they’ll have even more problems.”

Frieden, who served as director of the CDC from 2009 to 2017, said for the passports to work, there would need to be “absolute privacy,” adding that the vaccine should be “absolutely opt in.” “Fundamentally, we’re facing a very difficult few weeks and few months. There’s not enough vaccine yet and we’re seeing the highest levels of cases, hospitalizations and deaths the U.S. has since the start of this pandemic,” he said. In an op-ed published this week in The Washington Post, Frieden and co-author Aaron Schwid, a human rights lawyer, wrote: “As more and more people are vaccinated, it’s time to carefully design a system of ‘immunity passports.'” “These passports would serve as a form of proof of immunity, allowing people who have immunity to engage in some activities others cannot. That could make it possible to ratchet down protective measures, such as stay-at-home orders and business closures, without increasing health risks,” they wrote.

Read more …

We’ll have to see a lot more of these stories before someone admits there may be a problem.

ER Nurse Tests Positive For COVID19 Eight Days After He Was Vaccinated (DM)

A California nurse has tested positive for COVID-19 just eight days after receiving the vaccination. ER nurse Matthew W., received the Pfizer vaccine on December 18, according to a post from Instagram. ‘Got my Covid vaccine! The 15 minutes afterward sitting around with a bunch of others while health care workers asked us how we felt made me think of an opium den. I’ll report back if I start to grow a third arm,’ Matthew wrote. But on Christmas Eve, Matthew, who works at two different hospitals in San Diego, began feeling sick after working a shift in the COVID-19 unit. He told ABC 10 News, that he first got the chills before coming down with muscle aches and fatigue. On December 26, he went to a hospital to get tested for the virus and tested positive.


And while it is surprising, it’s not unexpected, according to health experts who weighed in on the case. Dr Christian Ramers, an infectious disease specialist with Family Health Centers of San Diego, told the station: ‘It’s not unexpected at all. If you work through the numbers, this is exactly what we’d expect to happen if someone was exposed.’ And while it is surprising, it’s not unexpected, according to health experts who weighed in on the case. ‘That first dose we think gives you somewhere around 50%, and you need that second dose to get up to 95%,’ Ramers added. Matthew says he is feeling better since his symptoms appeared last week.

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“..the number of people in contact with mental health services has never been higher, and some hospital trusts report that their mental health wards are at capacity.”

Covid Poses ‘Greatest Threat To Mental Health Since Second World War’ (G.)

The coronavirus crisis poses the greatest threat to mental health since the second world war, with the impact to be felt for years after the virus has been brought under control, the country’s leading psychiatrist has said. Dr Adrian James, the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said a combination of the disease, its social consequences and the economic fallout were having a profound effect on mental health that would continue long after the epidemic is reined in. As many as 10 million people, including 1.5 million children, are thought to need new or additional mental health support as a direct result of the crisis. The prediction comes as the virus surges in the UK, and highlights the need for a plan that ensures those who develop mental illness or see existing conditions worsen have swift access to effective support in the years ahead.

“This is going to have a profound effect on mental health,” James said. “It is probably the biggest hit to mental health since the second world war. It doesn’t stop when the virus is under control and there are few people in hospital. You’ve got to fund the long-term consequences.” Demand for mental health services dropped at the start of the pandemic as people stayed away from GP surgeries and hospitals, or thought treatment was unavailable. But the dip was followed by a surge in people seeking help that shows no sign of abating. Data from NHS Digital reveals that the number of people in contact with mental health services has never been higher, and some hospital trusts report that their mental health wards are at capacity. “The whole system is clearly under pressure,” James said.

Modelling by the Centre for Mental Health forecasts that as many as 10 million people will need new or additional mental health support as a direct result of the coronavirus epidemic. About 1.3 million people who have not had mental health problems before are expected to need treatment for moderate to severe anxiety, and 1.8 million treatment for moderate to severe depression, it found. The overall figure includes 1.5 million children at risk of anxiety and depression brought about or aggravated by social isolation, quarantine or the hospitalisation or death of family members. The numbers may rise as the full impact becomes clear on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, care homes and people with disabilities.

Read more …

The UK is moving into danger territory. If only they had not cut their medical facilities in half.

Majority Of New COVID Cases In UK Are New Variant (Sky)

The new, faster-spreading coronavirus variant makes up the majority of new cases in the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told Sky News. A recent surge of COVID-19 cases is largely due to the variant which may be up to 70% more infectious than the original one, Mr Hancock said. “The ‘suppress the virus’ bit has got a whole lot harder since the new variant really got going over December,” he said. “Now the majority of the new cases in the UK are the new variant. It is much, much easier to transmit from one person to another.”


The faster transmission had put extreme pressure on the NHS, Mr Hancock added. “It is absolutely critical that people follow the rules and do everything they can to stop the spread, particularly of the new variant of this virus that transmits so much faster.” “So, the challenge of suppressing the virus has got harder, but thankfully, the cavalry has arrived in terms of not one, but two vaccines – and we’ve got to get them into people’s arms at the speed at which they can be manufactured”.

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“..the GOP leader later filed a bill that would increase the amount of the stimulus checks, repeal a legal shield for tech companies known as Section 230 and create an election commission that would study the November elections.”

McConnell Blocks Vote On $2,000 Checks, Signals New Package (Hill)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to set up a stand-alone vote on increasing the amount of recently passed stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) both tried to get consent for the Senate to bring up legislation that passed the House in a 273-134 vote on Monday. The GOP leader did not directly address why he objected, but under the Senate’s rules any one senator can block efforts to set up votes or pass bills. McConnell signaled separately that he could package the increase in direct stimulus checks, with a repeal of a tech shield that has emerged as a top target for Trump and election-related investigations.


Trump, in his statement on signing the $2.3 trillion package, said the Senate would “start the process for a vote” that tackles the three issues. “During this process, the president highlighted three additional issues of national significance he would like to see Congress tackle together,” McConnell said. “Those are the three important subjects the president has linked together. This week the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus,” he added. McConnell did not provide additional details during his floor speech about how he might bring the measures up. But the GOP leader later filed a bill that would increase the amount of the stimulus checks, repeal a legal shield for tech companies known as Section 230 and create an election commission that would study the November elections.

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“Sanders has the procedural means at his disposal to keep the Senate in session all the way to New Year’s Day..”

Bernie Sanders Fights for a $2,000 Check for You on the Senate Floor (Jac.)

For most of the last few decades, budget standoffs in Washington tended to follow the same script: Republicans threatened to block some domestic spending bill or fully shut down the government unless Democrats agreed to let the GOP own the libs with something bad like a JPMorgan giveaway, a tax break for the rich, or a draconian cut to a social program. When Democrats controlled Congress, they never mustered the courage to respond with their own version of the same shrewd tactics. Even toward the end of the Bush era when the Iraq War was deeply unpopular, they never made a serious attempt to hold up a bloated GOP-written Pentagon bill in order to try to get their way on a progressive initiative. But at the end of one of the worst years in recent history, it seems things are changing.

In a long overdue script-flipping move, Sen. Bernie Sanders is now moving to halt a major defense bill until and unless Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell allows a full vote on legislation to give millions of starving Americans $2,000 in emergency aid. That legislation passed the House yesterday over opposition from a majority of House Republicans, who tried their best to deny their own constituents much-needed aid. Now the bill is in McConnell’s hands, and Sanders is pulling a McConnell on McConnell. He is imperiling the GOP boss’s top priority — the defense bill that authorizes pay increases for soldiers, military training, new weapons systems, while also complicating attempts to draw down troops deployed in Afghanistan. That McConnell-backed legislation could be stalled unless he agrees to Sanders’ demands and stops obstructing a progressive priority.

The Vermont independent appears ready to play hardball: He is doing his best impression of Marc Maron’s cameo in Almost Famous, effectively screaming “lock the gates!” and threatening to force Senate Republicans to remain in Washington, rather than flee while the country withers. The American Prospect reports: “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), with the backing of the Senate Democratic caucus, is prepared to make life miserable for Senate Republicans if they do not put a clean vote on the floor to increase one-time emergency payments to most Americans approved in the recent COVID relief package from $600 to $2,000. Sanders has the procedural means at his disposal to keep the Senate in session all the way to New Year’s Day, inconveniencing Senators of both parties, particularly the incumbent Republicans from Georgia, who are in their final full week of campaigning for runoff elections on January 5….

The Senate operates on the principle of unanimous consent. It’s not impossible to get things done if one Senator objects, but it’s quite a bit slower. The majority needs to hold votes and waste time to muscle past an objecting Senator. For this reason, Sanders can prevent quick passage of the defense bill override, the only thing McConnell really wants to accomplish in the last week of the Senate session. This ramps up pressure on McConnell to just hold a vote on the $2,000 checks. Senators don’t want to be stuck in Washington on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day if they can prevent it.“

Read more …

“3. Jeff Bezos’s personal wealth increased more every second of 2020 ($2,800) than Congress is considering giving Americans who are facing eviction, starvation and bankruptcy ($2,000).”

10 Stats About The $2,000 Checks (DP)

1. The total cost of $2,000 checks ($465 billion) is less than half the amount that American billionaires have made during the pandemic ($1 trillion). The total cost of the checks is less than the amount that just 16 American billionaires increased their net worth by during the pandemic ($471 billion).

2. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk gained more wealth during the pandemic ($158 billion) than Congress just authorized for additional unemployment benefits for millions of Americans ($120 billion).

3. Jeff Bezos’s personal wealth increased more every second of 2020 ($2,800) than Congress is considering giving Americans who are facing eviction, starvation and bankruptcy ($2,000).

4. Congressional lawmakers are being paid $3,300 of government money every week to come up with ways to block $2,000 checks to millions of Americans.

5. It took Congress less than a month to pass legislation giving a $700 billion bailout to bank executives during the financial crisis. It has taken Congress more than 8 months to even seriously consider a far less expensive bill to give $2,000 checks to millions of Americans during this economic crisis.

6. A $2,000 survival check would give the average soldier more money than the proposed 3 percent military pay increase that is included in defense legislation that Sens. Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey are filibustering in order to force a vote on the survival checks.

7. The richest 5 percent of Americans received more in Trump tax cuts in 2020 ($145 billion) than Congress is spending on increased unemployment benefits for millions of Americans during the economic crisis ($120 billion).

8. In 2016, “children, elderly, disabled people, and students made up around 70 percent of the poor,” according to the People’s Policy Project. Unlike unemployment benefits, $2,000 checks would help them.

9. About 60 percent of Georgia households make less than $75,000, meaning Georgia Republican senators allowing $2,000 checks to be blocked would deny aid to roughly 2 million of their state’s households as they run for reelection.

10. As Republicans try to block the $2,000 check legislation, a new national survey found that 78 percent of Americans support it, even as some pundits insist that the proposal is “divisive.”

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Can we bury this story too?

Ukraine Press Conference Explicitly Ties Hunter & Joe Biden To Corruption (ZH)

From the introduction: “At one of the first press conferences about a year ago, we showed bank transactions for hundreds of thousands of dollars to the family of former US Vice President Joe Biden, namely to his son Robert Hunter Biden. The latter was a member of the board of directors of the infamous gas production company Burisma. Burisma belongs to the fugitive Yanukovych-era minister Mykola Zlochevsky. The inclusion of Biden in the Burisma leadership and payment for his services is nothing more than a political cover that protected Zlochevsky from the Ukrainian law, namely from the criminal code.”

Two foreign witnesses whose identities are protected – Witness 1 and Witness 2 – came forward to testify about the facts of the case. Konstantyn Kulyk, the Head of the Group of Prosecutors of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, explained what the witnesses offered: “One quote from a statement by a Witness: “All the described financial transactions were fictitious. And a lot of money was paid in Ukraine so that the state authorities turned a blind eye to it.” [snip] In the period from November 2014 to October 2015, the Witnesses noticed strange recurring payments that, at the direction of Oleh Nelin (Zlochevsky’s assistant in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine), were sent from the account of BURISMA HOLDINGS LTD, which was opened for the personal needs of Mykola Zlochevsky, in the Latvian PrivatBank AS to the account of the American company ROSEMONT SENECA BONAI LLC.”

“The witnesses drew attention to these payments since about 20 times the same uneven amount was recurring – $83,333.33 as payment for consulting services. [snip] In the period from November 2014 to October 2015, the money stolen from Ukrainians, located on account of BURISMA HOLDINGS LTD with the Latvian PrivatBank AS, was transferred to the account of ROSEMONT SENECA BONAI LLC in the American bank MORGAN STANLEY in payments in total amounting to $3.4 million for consulting services. [snip] This is a payment for the political “cover” that Biden provided to Zlochevsky.” The video offers a graphic image showing the flow of money and favors:

Andrii Derkach picked up the narrative. He focused on Joe Biden’s conversations with Former President Poroshenko when Viktor Shokin, a prosecutor, started looking into Zlochevsky’s graft. As we all know, Biden openly boasted about holding up money from the U.S. unless Poroshenko fired Shokin. The press conference included audio from a November 16, 2016 conversation between Biden and Poroshenko. Biden was wheeling and dealing for influence and money – and conducting foreign policy behind Trump’s back. The men spoke again in February 2017, at which time Biden smothered Poroshenko with fulsome compliments. Ukraine’s government is gunning for Joe Biden. The Ukrainians know Biden helped prop up a corrupt government in their country and that he profited mightily from doing so. No wonder this video has gone viral.

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“She is the affable assassin..”

Why Senators Must Reject Avril Haines for Intelligence (MPN)

Even before President-elect Joe Biden sets foot in the White House, the Senate Intelligence Committee may start hearings on his nomination of Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence. Barack Obama’s top lawyer on the National Security Council from 2010 to 2013 followed by CIA Deputy Director from 2013 to 2015, Haines is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. She is the affable assassin who, according to Newsweek, would be summoned in the middle of the night to decide if a citizen of any country, including our own, should be incinerated in a U.S. drone strike in a distant land in the greater Middle East. Haines also played a key role in covering up the U.S. torture program, known euphemistically as “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which included repeated waterboarding, sexual humiliation, sleep deprivation, dousing naked prisoners with ice-cold water, and rectal rehydration.

For these reasons, among others, the activist groups CODEPINK, Progressive Democrats of America, World Beyond War, and Roots Action have launched a campaign calling on the Senate to reject her confirmation. These same groups ran successful campaigns to dissuade Biden from choosing two other warmongering candidates for critical foreign policy positions: China-hawk Michele Flournoy for Secretary of Defense and torture apologist Mike Morell for CIA Director. By hosting calling parties to Senators, launching petitions and publishing Open Letters from DNC delegates, feminists—including Alice Walker, Jane Fonda, and Gloria Steinem—and Guantanamo torture survivors, activists helped derail candidates who were once considered shoo-ins for Biden’s cabinet. Now activists are challenging Avril Haines.

In 2015, when Haines was CIA Deputy Director, CIA agents illegally hacked the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee to thwart the Committee’s investigation into the spy agency’s detention and interrogation program. Haines overruled the CIA’s own Inspector General in failing to discipline the CIA agents who violated the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers. According to former CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, she not only shielded the hackers from accountability but even awarded them the Career Intelligence Medal. And there’s more. When the exhaustive 6,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture was finally complete, after five years of investigation and research, Haines took charge of redacting it to deny the public’s right to know its full details, reducing the document to a 500-page, black-ink-smeared summary.

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By no means just in the UK. As the economy shrinks bigtime.

UK House Prices Rise By Most In Six Years (R.)

British house prices rose faster than expected in December to record their biggest annual increase in six years, as tax incentives and COVID-driven appetite for larger homes continued to boost demand, mortgage lender Nationwide said. House prices rose by 0.8% in December alone, barely slowing from the 0.9% recorded in November, and were 7.3% higher than a year earlier, well above forecasts in a Reuters poll for a 6.7% rise. After a collapse in house purchases during the first months of lockdown, there has been a surge in demand to move house, driven in part by a temporary exemption of property purchase taxes which will expire at the end of March.


Nationwide said the strength of the housing market contrasted with weakness in some other parts of the economy – especially those exposed to renewed COVID-19 restrictions – and said the outlook for prices in 2021 was highly uncertain. “Housing market activity is likely to slow in the coming quarters, perhaps sharply, if the labour market weakens as most analysts expect, especially once the stamp duty holiday expires at the end of March,” Nationwide economist Robert Gardner said. So far furlough payments and similar support for the self-employed had limited the impact of a historic 26% fall in economic output on the housing market, against most economists’ earlier expectations, he added.

Read more …

Propaganda.

Five Times this Year the New York Times Accidentally Told the Truth (AIER)

The paper of record in 2020 shifted dramatically to the most illiberal stance possible on the virus, pushing for full lockdowns, and ignoring or burying any information that might contradict the case for this unprecedented experiment in social and economic control. This article highlights the exceptions. The first shocking sign of the placing of a persistent bias was a podcast with reporter Donald McNeil on February 27. This was the beginning. It was grossly irresponsible. He asserted that half the American public would get this disease and that it would have a case fatality rate of 2.5%, or 25 times as deadly as flu, hence 4.8 million dead people. No consideration of demographic gradients in risk and no knowledge of viral basics such as the tradeoff between severity and prevalence.

Even if you leave aside the fog of fatality misclassification, he exaggerated the risk by 12 times but still spoke with a sense of certainty designed to create panic. Host Michael Barbaro himself seemed shocked: “I thought you were here to bring calm, Donald.” “I’m trying to bring a sense that if things don’t change, a lot of us might die,” he said. “If you have 300 relatively close friends and acquaintances, six of them would die.” The primal fear of disease is thus thrown into massive overdrive, following 100 years in which public health tried to bring rationality to the topic. That podcast was followed by an op-ed by the same journalist/pundit: “To Take On the Coronavirus, Go Medieval on It.”

It seemed incredible that such a responsible outlet would advocate the overthrow of a century of public-health wisdom and even immunological basics, but that’s what they did. At this point, the New York Times was fully committed to the narrative that we must dismantle society to save it. And there it has been for nearly a year of unbearably biased coverage. Even within the blatant and aggressive pro-lockdown bias, and consistent with the way the New York Times does its work, the paper has not been entirely barren of truth about Covid and lockdowns. Below I list five times that the news section of the paper, however inadvertently and however buried deep within the paper, actually told the truth.

Read more …

 

 

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Dec 212020
 


Edward Hopper House tops 1921

 

$600 Is Not Enough, And It Won’t Get Easier (Sirota)
Hospital CEOs Have Gotten Rich Cutting Staff And Supplies (IC)
Coronavirus New Variant (Conv.)
Covid Chaos Disrupts Kent Ports As France Bans UK Freight (G.)
Saudi Arabia Shuts Down Int’l Air, See & Land Travel Over New Covid Strain
US Deep State Preempts Reset in Relations With Russia (SCF)
‘No Question’ Russia Behind Latest Hacking Scare – Adam Schiff (RT)
Trump Campaign Take Election Battle To SCOTUS Over Pennsylvania Rulings (RT)
Flynn: Foreign Intelligence Agencies Were Monitoring US Election (ET)
Japan Record $1 Trillion Budget Highlights COVID Challenge To Growth, Debt (R.)
For NY Times, No News Is Fit To Print About Rep. Swalwell And A Spy (Hill)

 

 

 

 

A bipartisan effort. Meanwhile, none of this ever made it:

“Back in March, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton proposed giving low- and middle-income Americans between $1,000 and $4,000 of aid per month. More recently, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley joined with Sen. Bernie Sanders to push for $1,200 checks. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump reportedly told allies he wanted at least $1,200 and up to $2,000..”

$600 Is Not Enough, And It Won’t Get Easier (Sirota)

Congressional leaders announced an agreement on a new $900 billion stimulus bill that will deliver a boost in unemployment benefits and provide $600 checks to some families. Democratic leaders are depicting this as a big win and are promising that these kinds of emergency spending bills will become “much easier” in a new Congress under Joe Biden. Both of those arguments are ridiculous. Here’s the truth: Democrats had a rare opportunity to win on a wildly popular proposal for much bigger survival checks, but they chose to lose. Here’s some more truth: one-time means-tested checks of $600 is not a big victory, and not even the bare minimum that should be considered acceptable during an economic meltdown that has been punctuated by mass starvation and intensifying poverty.

Though the legislative language of the final package has not yet been released, it appears the meager checks come in a bill that will give new tax benefits to corporate executives to write off their meals and provide other tax breaks to businesses that used the Paycheck Protection Program — which will be a windfall for the wealthy. Will the bill change the law to similarly exempt emergency unemployment benefits from tax levies? We don’t yet know, but there’s no indication it will. According to a bill summary circulating on Capitol Hill, the legislation provides a mere $286 billion for the survival checks and unemployment benefits, and an additional $51 billion for food aid and rental assistance. That’s not nothing, but it’s obviously inadequate. For comparison, only three years ago, Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut that enriched the wealthiest one percent of households.

Much of the blame for this debacle certainly goes to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, who seems absolutely determined to starve the country. But much of it also goes to Democratic leaders who had one of the easiest political opportunities to forge a bipartisan coalition or a much bigger lifeline to Americans — and then decided to squander it. Let’s remember: Back in March, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton proposed giving low- and middle-income Americans between $1,000 and $4,000 of aid per month. More recently, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley joined with Sen. Bernie Sanders to push for $1,200 checks. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump reportedly told allies he wanted at least $1,200 and up to $2,000 — and he made a general demand for more money public in a Fox News interview last week.

“Right now, I want to see checks – for more money than they’re talking about – going to people,” he said. “I’m pushing it very hard, and to be honest with you, if the Democrats really wanted to do the deal, they’d do the deal.” He tweeted on Sunday that Congress should give people “more money in direct payments.” You can try to argue that the words of a handful of maverick Republicans and Trump cannot be fully trusted — maybe that’s true, but it’s moot. The point here is that there was a huge opportunity for Democrats to triangulate a group of Republican senators and a Republican president against McConnell — and Democrats refused to do it.

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer followed Sen. Joe Manchin, Mark Warner and other Democratic corporatists into budget negotiations that kept producing smaller and smaller stimulus proposals, and now they are trying to portray a meager $600 one-time payment as some sort of enormous victory.

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When you read about overwhelmed health care systems in US, UK, etc, don’t forget this part.

Hospital CEOs Have Gotten Rich Cutting Staff And Supplies (IC)

In 2006, Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx had healthier patients, just enough nursing staff to take care of them, and a CEO who was earning $2 million a year, a senior nurse and union leader told The Intercept. Fifteen years later, its patients are sicker than ever before, its staffing levels are inadequate, and, as of 2018, its new CEO is earning $13 million per year. The nonprofit hospital, like hundreds of others across the nation, has been cutting costs, progressively going leaner on staffing and supplies over the years. This accelerated approach has meant that the pandemic has hit the hospital, especially health care workers, doubly hard. The nurse, Karine Raymond, has provided care at the facility for 27 years. In the second wave of Covid-19, as in the first, she and her colleagues are taking care of double the patients that they typically do.

“It’s untenable and unmanageable and left us feeling very concerned that perhaps we might have done better if circumstances were different,” said Raymond. “[Our CEO] makes $13 million. How many nurses would his salary pay for? I do have a problem with seeing the suffering of the community I’m supposed to serve while others are collecting funds that have been provided by state and federal governments just because they can.” Nurses were overworked before, but since March, many nurses have left the industry entirely, retiring early or seeking other work. While personal protective equipment supplies are more abundant now than in the spring, nurses are more burnt out than ever — just as hospitals are getting ready for another wave of Covid-19 patients.

The executives who typically make the decisions at the United States’s hospitals, whether for-profit or ostensibly nonprofit, are uniquely unprepared for the coming deluge, experts say. A decadeslong failure to recruit and retain health care workers like nurses, technicians, and nurse’s aides has made U.S. hospitals less able to manage the scope of a pandemic, and makes it much more likely that hospitals will break down, as they did in the spring in Wuhan, Italy, and New York City.

“Even before the pandemic hit us so hard hospitals were using a policy called ‘Lean,’ which is just-in-time staffing and supplies,” said Linda Aiken, a professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania who has long studied the relationship between nurse staffing and patient care. The concept of lean hospitals was developed by management consultant Mark Graban in 2009, but business practices imported from manufacturing based on lean staffing began to be introduced in health care starting in the early ’90s. “All of our research shows those policies were a failure well before Covid and now they are a disaster during this national emergency,” said Aiken.

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“..there was no evidence to date that this variant alters disease severity, either in terms of mortality or the seriousness of the cases of COVID-19 for those infected.”

Coronavirus New Variant (Conv.)

The new UK variant, known as VUI–202012/01 or lineage B.1.1.7, was first identified in the county of Kent on September 20. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, first announced the existence of the variant on December 14; it was subsequently confirmed by Public Health England and the UK’s COVID-19 sequencing consortium. The variant carries 14 defining mutations including seven in the spike protein, the protein that mediates entry of the virus into human cells. This is a relatively large number of changes compared to the many variants we have in circulation globally. To date, genetic profiles – or genomes – of this variant have been largely sequenced and shared from the UK but include some in Denmark and two cases in Australia.


There have also been reports of a case in the Netherlands. These countries all have very large genome sequencing efforts and it is very possible that these observations do not reflect the true distribution of this variant of the virus, which could exist undetected elsewhere. We will know more as more genomes are generated and shared. Thanks to the efforts of data sharing, genomic surveillance and COVID-19 test results in the UK, it seems that this variant is now starting to dominate over existing versions of the virus and that it may be responsible for an increasing proportion of cases in parts of the country, particular in regions where we also have rapidly expanding case numbers.

It is always very difficult to disentangle cause and effect in these cases. For example increases in the appearance of certain mutations can be due to viral lineages carrying them rising in frequency just because they happen to be the ones present in an area where transmission is high, for example due to human activities or choice of interventions. Though this is still a possibility, there are clearly enough concerning observations so far for this variant to warrant very careful characterisation, surveillance and interventions to curb transmission. Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, stated clearly that there was no evidence to date that this variant alters disease severity, either in terms of mortality or the seriousness of the cases of COVID-19 for those infected. Work is underway to confirm this.


Where did the variant come from? Right now, we don’t know. To date, scientists have not identified any closely related viruses to support the theory that the variant had been introduced from abroad. The patterns of mutations observed are more supportive of an extended period of adaptive evolution most likely in the UK based on current data. Similar patterns of mutation to these have been observed in the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in chronically infected patients with weaker immune systems. The current hypothesis is that such a scenario of chronic infection, in a single patient, may have played a role in the origin of this variant. This will continue to be investigated.

Anaphylaxis

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10 days before Brexit. Perfect timing.

Covid Chaos Disrupts Kent Ports As France Bans UK Freight (G.)

Miles of lorry queues and travel chaos were expected across Kent on Monday morning after France announced a 48-hour ban on passengers and freight entering from the UK. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, is to chair a Cobra meeting on Monday that will address “the steady flow of freight into and out of the UK”, a number 10 spokesperson said, amid expected significant disruption at ports in the south-east. The European Union is to hold a similar crisis meeting today to coordinate its response to concerns about a fast-spreading new strain of Covid-19 after countries across the continent banned UK flight arrivals.

The UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps, warned of “significant disruption” following the snap travel ban that came into force on Sunday night. As a result of the announcement from Paris, Kent police implemented Operation Stack, where lorries will queue between junctions eight and 11 of the M20, southbound, to avoid gridlock on the county’s roads. A No 10 spokesman said: “The prime minister will chair a Cobra meeting tomorrow to discuss the situation regarding international travel, in particular the steady flow of freight into and out of the UK.”


The Department for Transport (DfT) said Manston Airport in Kent was being prepared to accommodate up to 4,000 lorries as another measure to ease the congestion. However due to the expected level of disruption, DfT also advised hauliers to avoid travel to Kent ports until further notice. “Following the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK for the next 48hrs, we’re asking the public & particularly hauliers not to travel to Kent ports or other routes to France,” Shapps tweeted. “My department is urgently working with Highways England and Kent Council on contingency measures to minimise traffic disruption in the area.”

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Just as you thought the world couldn’t get any smaller.

Saudi Arabia Shuts Down Int’l Air, See & Land Travel Over New Covid Strain

Riyadh has sealed its borders for all passenger travel for at least a week, suspending international flights as well as entry to sea and land ports over a mutant Covid-19 variant that was first discovered in the UK. With a growing number of European countries locking out travel from the UK, Saudi Arabia has pulled all the stops in its effort to curb the spread of the new strain of the coronavirus, imposing a sweeping ban on all commercial travel, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday, citing an ”official source” with the country’s Interior Ministry.


The ban will see all international flights, save for “exceptional cases,” be suspended for a period of one week, that may be extended for yet another week. Land and sea ports will be closed for international arrivals as well. The measures were taken in “precaution” and until the nature of the strain, which is said to be highly contagious, “becomes clear,” the agency reported. A rapidly growing list of countries that have banned travel from the UK, citing concerns about the new virus, after British PM Boris Johnson announced strict Tier-4 lockdowns for parts of the country, including London, the Southeast and, Peterborough in the east of the UK.

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A bipartisan effort that happens every four years.

US Deep State Preempts Reset in Relations With Russia (SCF)

The flurry of U.S. media claims this week about alleged Russian cyber-attacks on government departments came just as Joe Biden was officially declared President-elect. As usual, there is no evidence to back up the sensational claims, but the objective seems to be to ensure that the incoming Biden administration maintains, or adopts a more, hostile policy towards Russia. The timing of all this is hardly coincidence. On Monday this week, the Electoral College in the United States cast its votes to confirm Biden’s election to the White House. The Democrat contender had already won the popular vote by a decisive margin against incumbent Republican President Donald Trump. Almost six weeks of controversy since the November 3 election day – due to Trump’s tenuous claims of voter fraud – were laid to rest this week when the Electoral College confirmed Biden as president-elect.

He is due to be inaugurated as the 46th occupant of the White House on January 20. Out of respect for the American electoral process being consummated, Russian President Vladimir Putin had waited until this week to make any comment. However, after the Electoral College executed its duties, Putin promptly telegrammed congratulations to Biden on his victory. The Russian leader expressed the hope that Russia and the United States would begin to normalize relations for the sake of global security. Ominously, the auspicious occasion was immediately marred by a U.S. media frenzy alleging a massive cyber-assault on the heart of American government and industries. Russia was predictably blamed as the offender.

The Kremlin dismissed the claims as yet another anti-Russia fabrication. For the past four years, the U.S. media have regularly peddled sensational claims of Russian malfeasance, from alleged interference in elections, to alleged assassination programs against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, among many other such tall stories. Never has any verifiable evidence been presented to back up these lurid allegations. The cyber domain is a particular favorite for such anti-Russia claims, most likely because these stories are handily told without any real evidence. All that is required is for anonymous cyber security agents to be quoted. The abstract and arcane cyber world also lends itself to mystery for most people. In short, it is amenable to false claims because of its elusive technical nature.

Now, it is feasible that some kind of malign cyber event did indeed happen in the U.S. government departments, agencies, infrastructure and private sector as reported this week. Though, what is very much in doubt is the question of who actually carried it out. The U.S. media and anonymous officials are fingering Russia. But where is the proof of Russia’s culpability? The FBI and Department of Homeland Security briefed members of Congress about the cyber-attacks. Senators emerged from the briefings fulminating against Russia. The second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin, told media that “it was virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States”.= What is going on here is a classic case of “gas-lighting” whereby people are being manipulated to believe in something utterly false; for an ulterior agenda.

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No question and no evidence.

‘No Question’ Russia Behind Latest Hacking Scare – Adam Schiff (RT)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in blaming Russia for a recent massive cyber attack. He also slammed President Donald Trump for the inconvenient suggestion China could have been the culprit. “Based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think there’s any question that it was Russia,” Schiff, who is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC on Sunday, commenting on the hack. The hacking operation in question targeted the SolarWinds Orion Platform, a network monitoring tool used by US government agencies and numerous corporations. There has been no evidence presented that Russia was behind the hack, but Pompeo alleged otherwise in a recent interview.

The president broke with his secretary of state on Saturday and called out “fake news media” for their anonymous reports pinning the hack on Russia. He also suggested China may have been behind the hack, tying it to his ongoing allegations of voter fraud in key swing states during November’s election. Schiff, one of the president’s most vocal critics in the House and a supporter of evidence-free claims Russia colluded to influence the 2016 presidential election, called Trump’s tweets “uniformly destructive and deceitful and injurious” to the country’s “national security.” In a previous tweet, Schiff called the president’s China accusation “another scandalous betrayal of our national security.”


[..] When Trump assumed his post in January 2017, the stage had already been set for the worsening of relations with Moscow, which included dozens of Russian diplomats getting expelled by the Obama administration over the allegations of meddling in US affairs and over “hacking” of the election. As Trump’s term progressed, overshadowed by the failed ‘Russiagate’ investigation, initial hopes of a detente with Moscow have all but faded.

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Rinse and repeat.

Trump Campaign Take Election Battle To SCOTUS Over Pennsylvania Rulings (RT)

President Donald Trump’s legal team filed an appeal to the US Supreme Court on Sunday, requesting multiple rulings out of Pennsylvania be overturned in their latest attempt to overturn election results over alleged voter fraud. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani announced the last ditch effort in a public statement, claiming a trio of Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases “illegally changed Pennsylvania’s mail balloting law immediately before and after the 2020 presidential election.” The appeal follows numerous legal battles in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Georgia. Trump and his team have alleged massive voter fraud in these and other states led to Joe Biden’s victory, which was certified by the Electoral College earlier this month.

Pennsylvania’s changing of the law, Giuliani claims, was “in violation of Article II of the U.S. Constitution.” These decisions “eviscerated the Pennsylvania’s Legislature’s protection against mail ballot fraud,” the release continues. The actual rulings include “prohibiting election officials” from checking signatures on mail-in ballots “during canvassing on Election Day” and “eliminating the right of campaign’s to challenge mail ballots during canvassing for forged signatures and other irregularities.” The legal team also claims the “right of campaigns to observe the canvassing of mail ballots” only meant observers were allowed to be “in the room,” but could not properly verify information because they were too far away.


“Statutory requirements that voters properly sign, address, and date mail ballots” were also not enforced thanks to the state’s Supreme Court, they contend. Trump’s legal team is seeking for electors committed to Joe Biden be “vacated” and the Pennsylvania General Assembly be allowed to select replacements. With Congress set to meet on January 6 to certify the votes of the Electoral College, the campaign is seeking an “expedited” process and a response from the Supreme Court within days.

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Let’s see the goodies.

Flynn: Foreign Intelligence Agencies Were Monitoring US Election (ET)

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn said he was provided information that foreign intelligence agencies were monitoring the U.S. election on Nov. 3 and are willing to provide evidence to President Donald Trump. “We have evidence now of foreign countries … were watching the attacks on our election system, our election process, on the 3rd of November,” Flynn told Fox Business on Friday. “So we now have that evidence and we received that today,” he said. He didn’t elaborate on what foreign intelligence agencies were involved, how he obtained that information, or the nature of the alleged attacks on the election system.

But the foreign governments “are willing to provide that directly to the president,” Flynn remarked. “There are foreign partners and allies that are willing to help us,” he said. [..] Flynn had been making reference to the SolarWinds cyberattack that impacted a considerable portion of federal government agencies. It is not clear if Flynn’s previous remarks about foreign countries monitoring the Nov. 3 election was linked to the SolarWinds hack. “I would say is SolarWinds is an entry point into the rest of our entire U.S. critical infrastructure,” Flynn added. “So everything that touches the United States government, if you enter through this SolarWinds attack that we perceive you basically have keys to the vault.”


Earlier in the week, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) cybersecurity agency warned that the hack presents a risk to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities” as well as the private sector.” These hackers compromised agencies, critical infrastructure programs, and private sector organizations starting in March 2020 or possibly before that, according to the agency. “You’re able to rummage around and do [expletive] near anything. So it’s a very, very serious attack … We’ve known about it for about six months as I understand it,” Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, added to Fox’s Lou Dobbs. “So when we talk about our election security, Lou, I think this is all part of it because there’s a relationship between these SolarWinds attacks which has basically penetrated our entire infrastructure as well as our election securities.”

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Growth?

Japan Record $1 Trillion Budget Highlights COVID Challenge To Growth, Debt (R.)

Japan’s cabinet approved on Monday a record $1.03 trillion budget draft for the next fiscal year starting in April 2021, the Ministry of Finance said, as the coronavirus and stimulus spending puts pressure on already dire public finances. The 106.6 trillion yen ($1.03 trillion) annual budget also got a boost from record military and welfare outlays. It marked a 4% rise from this year’s initial level, rising for nine years in a row, with new debt making up more than a third of revenue. From Europe to America, policymakers globally have unleashed a torrent of monetary and fiscal stimulus to prevent a deep and prolonged recession as the pandemic shut international borders and sent many out of work.

In Japan, fiscal reform has been shelved as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga prioritized efforts to contain the pandemic and boost growth, despite public debt at more than twice the size of Japan’s $5 trillion economy. “How to balance the coronavirus response with fiscal reform has hardly been debated in Japan,” said Izuru Kato, chief economist at Totan Research. “Ultralow interest rates under the Bank of Japan’s prolonged monetary easing may have caused fiscal discipline to be paralyzed.” The spending plan, which was in line with a Reuters report out last week, must be approved by parliament early next year.


It will be rolled out along with a third extra budget for this fiscal year as a combined 15-month budget aimed for seamless spending to ease the virus pain and back Suga’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality and digital transformation. “We had to strike a right balance between the needs to prevent the spread of infections, revive the economy and achieve fiscal reform,” Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting. “That was the most difficult task in compiling this budget.”

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I guess there are still people who read the New York Times. Why?

For NY Times, No News Is Fit To Print About Rep. Swalwell And A Spy (Hill)

If you’re a New York Times subscriber who also watches the broadcast network evening news and considers that your news diet, there’s a very good chance you haven’t heard about Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and his ties to an accused Chinese spy a few years ago. To review why this is absolutely worthy of coverage, Swalwell’s interaction with the alleged spy known as Fang Fang included, according to Axios, Fang placing an intern in Swalwell’s office and helping to fundraise for his 2014 reelection campaign. In 2015, the FBI provided Swalwell a “defensive briefing” to warn him of the threat she appeared to pose. So, the first obvious question is this: Given how easily Swalwell was duped, why did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) shortly thereafter place him on the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees the CIA and therefore has access to the highest level of sensitive, classified information?

The New York Times doesn’t seem to care about getting an answer to that question. Of the biases we see in major media, the sin of omission is one that seems to occur only when the protagonist of a major story has a (D) next to his or her name. So, when the New York Times, which has a whopping 7 million subscribers and is considered the country’s most influential publication, doesn’t see the Swalwell story as a story at all, it tells you just as much about its moral compass as it does its editorial decisions. Swalwell isn’t just a random lawmaker. He’s arguably the most ubiquitous D.C. figure on cable news – and particularly CNN and MSNBC – this side of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in conducting hundreds of interviews over the past four years, primarily to charge without evidence that President Trump is an agent of Russia.

The 40-year-old also somehow sits on the House Intelligence Committee, meaning he has access to the nation’s top classified information. The Swalwell/Chinese spy story was broken 10 days ago by Axios, which isn’t exactly a bastion of right-wing sentiment. No matter: Swalwell decided to allege that Axios had colluded with Trump in terms of how the story came to light. “I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him. The timing feels like that should be looked at,” Swalwell claimed on Dec. 9. Yep — Eric Swalwell, who ran for president for about five minutes in 2019, is such a threat to an outgoing president that a decision was made to work with Axios (which worked on the story for more than a year) to run with a Trump leak.

This is the same lawmaker who told MSNBC that Trump “is working on behalf of the Russians” and used his position on the Intel Committee to imply that he had evidence to back up such information. That evidence has yet to be presented, because it doesn’t exist. So, an obvious question is whether Swalwell should remain on the Intelligence Committee given the Chinese connection and the reckless statements about a sitting president working with a hostile nation. More than a dozen GOP House members are urging Speaker Pelosi to oust Swalwell from the committee; Pelosi has responded by saying she doesn’t have “any concerns” about the congressman.

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 November 21, 2020  Posted by at 11:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  15 Responses »


Salaì Penitent Magdalene 1515 to 1520

 

 

Don’t miss the update on our support for the Monastiraki social kitchen in Athens.. And please consider donating to our efforts for this Christmas season.

 

 

 

Sanford Health CEO on COVID19 Hospitalizations: ‘There’s Not A Crisis.’ (AL)
More People Are Getting COVID19 Twice (AAAS)
How Pfizer Plans To Keep Its Vaccine At Deep-Frozen During Transport (CBS)
Trump Targets Medicare Drug Prices With Cost-cutting Measures (Fox)
61% Think Trump Should Concede to Biden (Rasmussen)
PBS Does A Deep Dive On Georgia’s Use Of Dominion Voting Systems Machines (GP)
Dominion Voting ‘Lawyers Up’, Abruptly Backs Out Of PA Hearing (Heine)
The Many Layers of Travail (Jim Kunstler)
Sidney Powell: Tucker Carlson Was ‘Insulting, Demanding, And Rude’ (WE)
The Pentagon and the CIA Are in Charge of Foreign Policy (FFF)
How ‘Western’ Media Select Their Foreign Correspondents (MoA)

 

 

 

 

BlackRock Bitcoin replacing gold
https://twitter.com/i/status/1329774212018475010

 

 

“For me to wear a mask defies the efficacy and purpose of a mask and sends an untruthful message that I’m susceptible to infection or could transmit it.”

Sanford Health CEO on COVID19 Hospitalizations: ‘There’s Not A Crisis.’ (AL)

Sanford Health’s chief executive says South Dakota doesn’t need a mask-mandate, and the worst of the pandemic is days away from being in the rear-view mirror. Kelby Krabbenhoft, president and CEO of Sanford Health, told the Argus Leader in an interview Thursday his healthcare system is positioned well to handle the amount of COVID-19 patients coming through the door. Krabbenhoft, 62, said as of Thursday, Sanford Health’s network of hospitals in the region were caring for a 1,400 patients, 390 of which are hospitalized with COVID-19. And while that has put a large burden on front-line workers, he said Sanford has capacity to handle even more patients should hospitalizations continue to go up before mass vaccination begins in January. “At this point, we feel we’ve got this under control,” Krabbenhoft said. “There’s not a crisis.”

And though state health officials have previously stated vaccine doses would begin arriving in South Dakota sometime in December, Krabbenhoft said new information provided to him Thursday indicates Sanford’s first vaccine shipment could come even sooner than that. “I feel like with a vaccine — I’m told we’re about 10 days away from receiving it — it feels like the cavalry is coming,” he said. Krabbenhoft was reiterating comments he made the day prior in an email sent to all Sanford Health staff, in which he disclosed that he dealt with a COVID-19 diagnosis of his own earlier this year. In the Argus Leader interview, he said he contracted the virus while watching a football game on an outdoor patio with a friend who was asymptotic at the time.

He likened his case to that of a severe cold or the flu, having worsening symptoms for about a week before beginning to improve. Now that he’s had the virus, he presumes he’s immune to the virus for at least a few months and can’t spread it. That’s why Krabbenhoft told his employees in the email that he doesn’t always wear a mask when he’s in public settings. “The information, science, truth, advice and growing evidence is that I am immune for at least seven months and perhaps for years to come, similar to that of chicken pox, measles, etc,” he wrote in the email. “For me to wear a mask defies the efficacy and purpose of a mask and sends an untruthful message that I’m susceptible to infection or could transmit it.”

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“The bar is very high,” Moss says. “In many cases, the genetic material just isn’t there.”

More People Are Getting COVID19 Twice (AAAS)

In late June, Sanne de Jong developed nausea, shortness of breath, sore muscles, and a runny nose. At first, she thought it might be lingering effects from her COVID-19 infection in the spring. De Jong, 22, had tested positive on 17 April and suffered mild symptoms for about 2 weeks. She tested negative on 2 May—just in time to say farewell to her dying grandmother—and returned to work as a nursing intern in a hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. But when her symptoms re-emerged, her doctor suggested she get tested again. “A reinfection this soon would be peculiar, but not impossible,” she told De Jong, who by then had again lost her sense of smell and had abdominal pains and diarrhea. The call from her municipal health service came on 3 July. De Jong had tested positive again. “You’re kidding me!” she recalls saying.

Scientists are keenly interested in cases like hers, which are still rare but on the rise. Reinfections hint that immunity against COVID-19 may be fragile and wane relatively quickly, with implications not just for the risks facing recovered patients, but also for how long future vaccines might protect people. “The question everybody wants to answer is: Is that second one going to be less severe most of the time or not?” says Derek Cummings, who studies infectious disease dynamics at the University of Florida. “And what do reinfections teach us about SARS-CoV-2 immunity in general?” South Korean scientists reported the first suspected reinfections in April, but it took until 24 August before a case was officially confirmed: a 33-year-old man who was treated at a Hong Kong hospital for a mild case in March and who tested positive again at the Hong Kong airport on 15 August after returning from a trip to Spain.

Since then, at least 24 other reinfections have been officially confirmed—but scientists say that is definitely an underestimate. To count as a case of reinfection, a patient must have had a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test twice with at least one symptom-free month in between. But virologist Chantal Reusken of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) explains that a second test can also be positive because the patient has a residue of nonreplicating viral RNA from their original infection in their respiratory tract, because of an infection with two viruses at the same time or because they had suppressed but never fully cleared the virus. So most journals want to see two full virus sequences, from the first and second illnesses, that are sufficiently different, says Paul Moss, a hematologist at the University of Birmingham.

“The bar is very high,” Moss says. “In many cases, the genetic material just isn’t there.” Even if it is, many labs don’t have the time or money to clinch the case. As a result, the number of genetically proven reinfections is orders of magnitude lower than that of suspected reinfections. The Netherlands alone has 50 such cases, Brazil 95, Sweden 150, Mexico 285, and Qatar at least 243.

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Why bother if other vaccines don’t require this?

How Pfizer Plans To Keep Its Vaccine At Deep-Frozen During Transport (CBS)

Pfizer is now the first company to apply for emergency authorization of its coronavirus vaccine, setting off a sprint by scientists at the Food and Drug Administration to approve it. About 25 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine may become available in December, 30 million in January and 35 million more in February and March, according to information presented to the National Academy of Medicine this week. Recipients will need two doses, three weeks apart. CBS News got an inside look at the logistical challenges of getting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to the public, including a required storage temperature you would find in the coldest places on Earth.

Colder than Antarctica in winter, dry ice – made from carbon dioxide – is crucial for moving and storing these vaccines. Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be kept at 94 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Dry ice helps maintain the subarctic temperature during shipping. Pfizer developed a thermal shipper, which they call a “cool box,” for the trip. It’s about the size of a carry-on suitcase. “There’s dry ice that goes around it, and then it has actually a device within it that has a continuous GPS and temperature monitor,” said Tanya Alcorn, vice president of Pfizer’s BioPharma Global Supply Chain. Each “cool box” contains a minimum of about 1,000 vaccine doses, which poses a challenge for rural communities with no place to store them.


Tim Size, executive director of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, which represents 43 rural hospitals across the state, said, “I don’t think anybody wants to give a message that rural Wisconsin or rural America is second class.” “If you can ship 1,000, you can ship 200,” he added. “It’s more expensive. It’s more cumbersome, but it allows rural to be getting vaccinated at the same time urban’s getting vaccinated.”

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“..end rebates paid to the so-called middlemen in Medicare..”

Trump Targets Medicare Drug Prices With Cost-cutting Measures (Fox)

The Trump administration on Friday announced three measures designed to cut prescription drug prices – with a particular focus on seniors – pursuant to executive orders signed earlier this year. “Together, these reforms will save Americans patients many, many billions of dollars every single year,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House. The first would end rebates paid to the so-called middlemen in Medicare, who are supposed to pass them on to commercial plans – though there is doubt over whether that happens. Instead, the discounts are expected to be offered to consumers directly at the pharmacy counter. There has been a concern that this policy could result in higher Part D premiums for beneficiaries.


The second action announced on Friday aims to make U.S. drug prices more competitive by linking prices paid for prescriptions under Medicare to prices charged for the same drugs in other countries. Trump said that Medicare will look at prices paid by other developed nations and instead of paying “the highest price on the list,” the program “will pay the lowest price.” Additionally, the administration said it would end the Unapproved Drug Initiative, which was designed to prevent the use of unapproved drugs, but instead has allowed drugmakers to exploit older drugs that have received renewed approval and exclusivity by hiking prices. One study found that prices were increased by as much as 1,644% after approval.

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30% of Democrats Believe Election Stolen from Trump

61% Think Trump Should Concede to Biden (Rasmussen)

Most voters now believe President Trump should admit that he lost the election, although they’re less certain their friends and neighbors would agree. They’re more closely divided, however, over whether the Democrats stole the election as Trump contends.The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 61% of Likely U.S. Voters think Trump should concede the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden. Just 33% disagree. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 84% of Democrats, 37% of Republicans and 59% of voters not affiliated with either major party believe Trump should concede. 57% of Republicans disagree.

Among all voters, though, only 51% think their friends and neighbors believe Trump should concede. 30% suspect they would disagree, but 18% are not sure. 47% say it’s likely that Democrats stole votes or destroyed pro-Trump ballots in several states to ensure that Biden would win, but 50% disagree. This includes 36% who say it’s Very Likely and 41% who consider it Not At All Likely. The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted November 17-18, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Looking back at the presidential election, Trump voters overwhelmingly say they voted for the president, while a sizable number of Biden supporters admit they were voting against Trump rather than for the former vice president. The older the voter, the less supportive they are of Trump conceding the election to Biden. Whites oppose concession more strongly than blacks and other minority voters do. Even among those who Strongly Approve of Trump’s job performance, nearly one-in-four (23%) believe he should admit he lost. Of course, that compares to 93% of those who Strongly Disapprove of the job he’s been doing. 61% of Republicans say it’s Very Likely the Democrats stole the election, but just as many Democrats (61%) say it’s Not At All Likely. Among unaffiliateds, 29% feel it’s a stolen election; 45% do not.

80% of voters who do not believe Trump should concede yet think it’s Very Likely Democrats stole votes or destroyed pro-Trump ballots in several states to ensure that Biden would win. Fifteen percent (15%) of those who want Trump to concede agree. Trump’s job performance was the most important issue for Biden voters, closely followed by the coronavirus. For Trump voters, the economy came first and then how the president did his job. Just two weeks before this year’s Election Day, 94% said their vote would be correctly recorded and counted, with 73% who said it was Very Likely. Following the election, those findings fell to 71%and 47% respectively.

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PBS Went to Georgia One Week Before the Election

PBS Does A Deep Dive On Georgia’s Use Of Dominion Voting Systems Machines (GP)

One week before the 2020 election PBS went to Georgia to do a deep dive of their Dominion Voting Systems. One of their experts, Harry Hursti from Nordic Innovation Labs, told PBS the Georgia system does not seem to have any safeguards. Georgia’s vote tabulating system was a complex system of laptops, ipads, magnetic cards, touch screens, printers and scanners. Investigators found several troubling issues before the election. One expert said it would be easy to dublicate the ballot codes and make up new ballots.

PBS does a deep dive on Georgia’s use of Dominion Voting Systems machines.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1327329411805421570

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Not a great look.

Dominion Voting ‘Lawyers Up’, Abruptly Backs Out Of PA Hearing (Heine)

Dominion Voting Systems Thursday night abruptly backed out of attending a fact-finding hearing that was set for Friday morning with the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee. At a press conference Friday morning, State Govt Committee Chair Seth Grove said the 1.3. million Pennsylvanians who used Dominion’s voting machines have been “hung out to dry and slapped in their faces.” Pennsylvania lawmakers had scheduled the hearing with the voting machine manufacturer “to help identify and correct any irregularities in the election process,” according to the House Republican Caucus. “It is vitally important voters have faith in the machines they use to cast their ballots.

On the heels of Gov. Tom Wolf unilaterally decertifying every voting machine in the Commonwealth, we need to know whether these new machines met expectations, whether they are reliable and whether they are not subject to interference,” said Rep. Grove (R-York). Dominion had initially agreed to attend the hearing, before it “abruptly canceled,” Grove said. “I was impressed at what appeared to be the willingness that Dominion Voting Systems to address accusations and it would have put 1.3. million Pennsylvanians who used their machines at ease—including myself, thinking that Dominion was willing to publicly back up their product which PA taxpayers invested millions to purchase” he noted during the presser. “Unfortunately, last evening, Dominion Voting Systems lawyered up, and backed out of their commitment to the people of Pennsylvania to provide their input in a public format.”

Grove blasted the company for “retreating into the darkness,” rather than appearing at the hearing with “honesty and integrity.” The committee chair said he wanted to know why a company with nothing to hide would back out. “Why would a vender of public goods fear discussing their product sold to the public for the public good? If Dominion’s products were successful and operated as they were supposed to, why wouldn’t Dominion take the opportunity to publicly review its success?” Grove demanded. “How hard is it to say, ‘our ballot machines worked exactly as promised and they’re 100 percent accurate’?” “After weeks of accusations, why has Dominion Voting Systems not released any analysis of the success of its voting machines to the public in order to stop their accusers in their tracks? If they have nothing to hide, why are they hiding from us?” he asked.

John Oliver

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“..we’ll have to stand by like grownups and see how it all plays out in the courts.”

“(If I were her, I’d be deep into the George Dickel No. 12 Sour Mash by eight o’clock that night, Tucker Time.)”

The Many Layers of Travail (Jim Kunstler)

One thing you could say about the three Trump campaign lawyers’ joint press conference at high noon, Thursday: it sure wasn’t slick. But then, are we now such a nation of lobotomized chumps that our chief criteria for any public acting-out of an acute national melodrama is slickness of presentation? I guess we like our crises fluffed, like a Caitlin Jenner spot on The View. This one, though, is raw and savage.

And so there stood Rudy Giuliani in that cramped briefing room, with dark rivulets running down both temples as if he were sweating blood (more likely, hair dye), cracking jokes at times, and laying out some rather harsh predicates for pending election fraud lawsuits. Next up, the usually demure Sidney Powell appeared boiling over with grief and rage at the hijacking of American democracy, and the Deep State’s long-running connivance with all that, yielding nearly to tears at moments as she sketched out the sinister history and associations of the Dominion and Smartmatic vote systems — and the utter failure of public officialdom to monitor any of it for many years. Then Jenna Ellis, much in command of herself, emphasized perhaps half a dozen times, and quite sternly for the obdurately seditious news media, that the actual evidence would be revealed in court and that the day’s presentation was a mere overview. Got that? In court.

The news media didn’t get the message — on purpose, as usual — and so the stories flew all over the Internet’s gaslit echo chambers that the three lawyers failed to make a case. Later that night, Tucker Carlson piled on Sidney Powell for not sharing what she intends to present in a court of law. Apparently, she hung up the phone on him. Let’s face it, the lady has had a hard month, and a hard year, having to battle the malevolent and depraved Judge Emmet Sullivan over the dismissal of the case against General Flynn (as ordered by the DOJ), and now this colossal hairball of a momentous and historic election fraud case. (If I were her, I’d be deep into the George Dickel No. 12 Sour Mash by eight o’clock that night, Tucker Time.)

All right then, Mr. Trump’s lawyers have set the table for this epic political food-fight with just a few weeks to file and proceed, and we’ll have to stand by like grownups and see how it all plays out in the courts. There may be other sideshows and shenanigans in the various state legislatures over electoral college slates and such, along the way, but meanwhile I want to remind you that there are many other layers in this burgeoning mega-crisis worth being mindful of.

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“..As soon as he saw multiple states shut down the voting on the night of the election, he knew the same thing was happening here.”

Sidney Powell: Tucker Carlson Was ‘Insulting, Demanding, And Rude’ (WE)

Sidney Powell, an attorney on President Trump’s election legal team, shot back at Fox News host Tucker Carlson the morning after he said she “got angry” and refused to provide evidence on his show for her claims of voting software flipping votes. “No, I didn’t get angry with the request to provide evidence,” the former federal prosecutor said Friday morning during an interview with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo. “In fact, I sent an affidavit to Tucker that I had not even attached to a pleading yet to help him understand the situation, and I offered him another witness who could explain the mathematics and the statistical evidence far better than I can. I’m not really a numbers person,” she added. “But he was very insulting, demanding, and rude, and I told him not to contact me again, in those terms,” Powell concluded.

Powell did not state whether it was Carlson or a member of his team she spoke to about appearing on his show. [..]On his show Friday night, Carlson said that he had made “a lot of requests” for Powell to provide evidence for the Trump campaign’s allegations of widespread voter fraud but was given “not a page.” “We took Sidney Powell seriously. We had no intention of fighting with her. We’ve always respected her work. We simply wanted to see the details. How could you not want to see them? So, we invited Sidney Powell on the show. We would’ve given her the whole hour. We would’ve given her the entire week, actually, and listened quietly the whole time at rapt attention. That’s a big story. But she never sent us any evidence, despite a lot of requests — polite requests. Not a page,” Carlson said.

After Powell told Carlson to stop contacting her, he said that his team “checked with others around the Trump campaign, people in positions of authority,” who said that “Powell had never given them any evidence either.” Carlson’s show followed a wild press conference featuring Powell and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in which they laid out their claim of a “massive” vote-rigging scheme, laying much of the blame on Dominion Voting Systems. “We have one very strong witness who has explained how it all works,” Powell said. “His affidavit is attached to the pleadings of Lin Wood and the lawsuit he filed in Georgia. … As soon as he saw multiple states shut down the voting on the night of the election, he knew the same thing was happening here.”

Dinesh D’Souza

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Not the President.

The Pentagon and the CIA Are in Charge of Foreign Policy (FFF)

President Trump has announced that he is ordering a partial withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq during the waning days of his administration. Why only partial? And why now in the waning days of his presidency? After all, when Trump campaigned in 2016. his expressed aim was to bring all the troops home from those two countries. He repeatedly vowed to bring an end to America’s “forever wars.” There is a simple explanation for Trump’s failure, one that unfortunately so many Americans are loathe to consider: It’s not the president who is in charge of foreign policy. Instead it is the Pentagon and the CIA that are in charge. Trump had four years to bring home those troops. Clearly he wanted to. The reason he didn’t – the reason he still can’t – is because the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA won’t let him.

Longtime readers of my blog know that I have periodically referenced a book titled National Security and Double Government by Michael J. Glennon, who is a professor of law at Tufts University and served as counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He knows what he is talking about. I highly recommend his book.Glennon’s thesis is a simple one: The real power of the federal government lies with the national-security establishment – namely the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. They permit the president, the Congress, and the Supreme Court to maintain the veneer of power. That veneer is unimportant to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. What’s important to them is who holds the power, not who appears to hold the power.

Trump’s inability to bring the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq provides confirmation of Glennon’s thesis. Trump wanted to bring them home. He vowed to bring them home. He had four years to bring them home. He was unable to do so. The Pentagon and the CIA simply would not permit it. In his Farewell Address in 1961, President Eisenhower warned about the danger to America’s democratic processes from what he called the “military-industrial complex.” That was almost 60 years ago. As we have seen with President Trump, the national-security state has grown ever more powerful since then.

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What the NYT has become.

How ‘Western’ Media Select Their Foreign Correspondents (MoA)

Did you ever wonder why ‘western’ mainstream media get stories about Russia and other foreign countries so wrong? It is simple. They hire the most brainwashed, biased and cynic writers they can get for the job. Those who are corrupt enough to tell any lie required to support the world view of their editors and media owners. They are quite upfront about it. Here is evidence in form of a New York Times job description for a foreign correspondent position in Moscow:

To be allowed to write for the Times one must see the Russian Federation as a country that is ruled by just one man. One must be a fervent believer in MI6 produced Novichok hogwash. One must also believe in Russiagate and in the multiple idiocies it produced even after all of them have been debunked. One must know that vote counts in Russia are always wrong while U.S. vote counting is the most reliable ever. Russian private military contractors (which one must know to be evil men) are ‘secretly deployed’ to wherever the editors claim them to be. Russia’s hospitals are of cause always much worse than ours. Even when it is easy to check that Vladimir Putin (the most evil man ever) is at work in the Kremlin the job will require one to claim that he is hiding in a villa.

Most people writing for the Times will actually not believe the above nonsense. But the description is not for a position that requires one to weight and report the facts. It is for a job that requires one to lie. That the Times lists all the recent nonsense about Russia right at the top of the job description makes it clear that only people who support those past lies will be considered adequate to tell future lies about Russia. No honest unbiased person will want such a job. But as it comes with social prestige, a good paycheck and a probably nice flat in Moscow the New York Times will surely find a number of people who are willing to sell their souls to take it.

Interestingly the job advertisement does not list Russian language capabilities as a requirement. It only says that ‘Fluency in Russian is preferred’. ‘Western’ mainstream media are filled with such biased, cynic and self-censoring correspondents who have little if any knowledge of the country they are reporting from. It is therefore not astonishing that ‘western’ populations as well as their politicians have often no knowledge of what is really happening in the world.

Read more …

 

 

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Galileo

 

 

Apple

 

 

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Oct 292020
 
 October 29, 2020  Posted by at 9:38 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  20 Responses »


Gustav Klimt Pine forest II 1901

 

Senate Committee: All Bobulinski Materials Reviewed To Date Legitimate (DC)
Tucker Carlson: Bobulinski Documents Intercepted and Removed (sundance)
Zuckerberg: ‘I Would Guess That Our Employee Base Skews Left-Leaning’ (JTN)
Gundlach: Trump Will Win Next Week, “Some Sort Of Revolution” By 2027 (ZH)
Professor Deliberately Catches COVID19 To Test His Immune Response (ST)
Cable News October Ratings Explode As Fox News Hits Historic Highs (Hill)
CNN Won’t Run Trump Ad Warning Biden Will Raise Taxes On Middle Class (Hill)
‘Anonymous’ Anti-Trump Official Revealed As CNN Pundit Miles Taylor (Fox)
ALICE Doesn’t Work Here Anymore (CHS)
The Fed MUST Have Inflation (Rickards)
Ornstein: Impeach Amy Coney Barrett (Turley)
Bellingcat Smears OPCW Whistleblower, Journalists With False Letter (Maté)
Greece Has Protected Its Jobs Better Than The Rest Of The EU (K.)
Jack Dorsey Hires Homeless Man To Fill In For Him At Senate Hearings (BBee)

 

 

“If you can’t expose crime in the government you don’t really have a government. You have a dictatorship that is dressed up like a government.”

– Joe Rogan

 

 

Joe Rogan Greenwald

 

 

“I appreciate that the FBI has a job to do, and I am glad they are finally taking an interest in these concerning financial matters that our Committees have been investigating for months..”

Senate Committee: All Bobulinski Materials Reviewed To Date Legitimate (DC)

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has been successful in verifying all materials reviewed so far from Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner Tony Bobulinski, the Daily Caller has learned. Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson will not call Bobulinski to testify before the November 3 elections, as the committee is working to review all the information provided to the committee by Bobulinski. The information has to be verified, as it is subject to the same false information to Congress laws that verbal or written testimony does. However, a Johnson spokesperson told the Caller that all the material provided by Bobulinski that has been reviewed so far has turned out to be legitimate. The committee has “also” not come across any “signs” or evidence to suggest the content is false, the spokesperson added.


Bobulinski, who said Tuesday he believes “Joe Biden and the Biden family are compromised” in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, has turned over evidence to the FBI alleging he met twice in the past with the former vice president in regards to business with his son Hunter. The Biden family has not yet disputed this information. [..] Johnson had the chance to interview Bobulinski on Friday and released a statement shortly after saying: “I appreciate that the FBI has a job to do, and I am glad they are finally taking an interest in these concerning financial matters that our Committees have been investigating for months,” Sen. Johnson said. “I expect that Mr. Bobulinski will speak with our committee as soon as possible and fully share his insights into the Biden family’s business dealings.”

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Strange story. He has copies.

Tucker Carlson: Bobulinski Documents Intercepted and Removed (sundance)

Tucker Carlson revealed this evening that someone intercepted an envelope containing documents of evidence supporting the claims by Tony Bobulinski. The documents were mailed by a “well known overnight transport” company and mysteriously were removed in transit from New York to LA. I have a hunch what happened…. but first, WATCH:

Tucker missing documents

I review this story from a position that I cannot fully explain. However, I have personal experience -recent experience- with a similar and rather unusual situation that cannot be explained by any method other than DHS surveillance. So here’s what I think took place. The package, likely a Fed-X delivery, was intercepted by FBI agents using mechanisms for tracking and surveillance that open targeting through portals connected to DHS. As an outcome of the U.S. Patriot Act, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has an agreement in place with mail shipping companies, public/private services, that essentially allows them a portal to track all in-state and interstate mail deliveries.

The FBI has access to this data network in the same way the FBI has access to federal transportation records. Just like when you book a flight and DHS portals are open that allow FBI to track your movements domestically. This type of portal is also accessed in private company transportation like Uber, Lyft etc. DHS, and as a consequence the FBI, can easily track your whereabouts. Without much hesitation I will bet the FBI was monitoring the communication of Bobulinski, and by extension the entire Tucker Carlson production network. Once the shipment was known to be taking place, the DHS portals are opened; the package is tracked; and the FBI moves in to intercept the delivery.

The transport company doesn’t need to be participating because they are essentially unneeded. Their system network is connected to the FBI. That’s the likely scenario. Wanna bet?

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Every time these people come in for questioning, nothing happens.

Zuckerberg: ‘I Would Guess That Our Employee Base Skews Left-Leaning’ (JTN)

Under questioning from Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday that the employees at his company “skew left-leaning.” “Would you say that the political ideology of the employees at your company is, let’s say, 50:50, conservative versus liberal progressive or do you think it’s closer to 90% liberal and 10% conservative?” Johnson asked during a hearing with the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. “I don’t know the makeup of our employees because it’s not something we ask or focus on,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded. “It’s not something I look for.”

In response to the same question, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said more than 50% of Google’s 100,000 employees are from outside of California. “It does tend to be proportionate to the areas that we are in,” he said. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “I don’t know the exact number but I would guess that our employee base skews left-leaning.” According to OpenSecrets.org, the employees of Facebook, Google and Twitter favored Democrats over Republicans with political contributions in this election cycle. Johnson also asked Dorsey and Zuckerberg if they had “any evidence” that the New York Post’s recent reporting on content from a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden was based on Russian disinformation.

“We don’t,” Dorsey said. Later in the hearing, GOP Sen. Roger Wicker, the committee chairman, asked Zuckerberg if he has evidence that Russia was the source of the information in the New York Post’s reporting. “I would rely on the FBI to make that assessment,” Zuckerberg said but added that he personally does not have that evidence. “I do not, myself.”

@tedcruz and @jack

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“Some people will hedge their bets and split their vote towards retaining the Republican Senate because they view Biden as risky..”

Gundlach: Trump Will Win Next Week, “Some Sort Of Revolution” By 2027 (ZH)

Back at the start of 2016, when nobody else would even consider such an outcome, DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeff Gundlach shocked the economic, financial and political establishments when during the January Barron’s roundtable of that year, he predicted that Donald Trump would become the next US president. He was right. Fast forward to today when one week before the elections, and in an environment when most polls predict that Biden will crush Trump and where Nate Silver gives Trump just as 13% chance of defeating Trump, Jeffrey Gundlach is predicting another victory for President Donald Trump.


As Financial Advisor magazine reported, during a Tuesday webcast as part of Schwab’s 2020 IMPACT conference, Gundlach said that despite polls, analysis and betting odds that suggest otherwise, Trump is likely to outpace former Democratic vice president Joe Biden in the contest. “The polls right now say he isn’t going to win, but they said that four years ago,” said Gundlach referring to the following chart. “Mind you, my conviction is way lower than it was four years ago. But back in [that period], when Trump was little more than an asterisk in the betting odds, I predicted he was going to win. This one is much more murky, but in my eyes, it favors a Trump win.”

Addressing the elephant in the room, Gundlach said that public political polls are often “designed to create impressions” rather than illustrate reality, said Gundlach, and shouldn’t be trusted. He also argued that many Trump voters are unwilling to engage with pollsters and the media because they fear retribution for their political beliefs, also known as the “shy voter” phenomenon according to which “Over 10% Of Trump Voters Won’t Admit Preferences To Pollsters.” Biden also faces an enthusiasm problem, said Gundlach. Gundlach then went on to crush hopes of a Blue Wave, arguing that Republicans will likely keep the Senate regardless of who wins – mainly because of uncertainty around Biden.


“Some people will hedge their bets and split their vote towards retaining the Republican Senate because they view Biden as risky,” said Gundlach, who noted that Trump is often portrayed as riskier than Biden. And yet, in the four years of his presidency, there have been no international conflicts, despite some outrageous and bellicose language. “You might dislike Trump or some of his policies, but risk is not what you’re getting with him, particularly compared to turning the presidency over to another party, and particularly when that party’s candidate isn’t saying what some of his policy positions are.”

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“His conclusion is that there will be no collective immunity to coronavirus despite earlier hopes. The virus is here to stay for a long while, and while vaccines may give immunity this is likely to be temporary.”

Professor Deliberately Catches COVID19 To Test His Immune Response (ST)

Alexander Chepurnov had already recovered once when he re-infected himself in an experiment. The virologist experimented with his own health to check how long the body’s immune response lasted after his first bout of COVID-19. A former researcher at the Vector Centre of Virology and Biotechnology who currently works at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Chepurnov was first infected at the end of February 2020. ‘I was on my way to a skiing holiday from Siberia to France with a stopover in Moscow,’ he said. ‘After getting to the mountains I felt unwell with a high fever and sharp chest pain. My sense of smell has gone, too.’ It was impossible back then to do a COVID-19 test in Europe, he told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in Novosibirsk.

He cut the holiday short, returned home to Novosibirsk, and was promptly diagnosed with double pneumonia. A month later in March he did a test which showed antibodies to Covid, confirming that he had been infected with the new virus. ‘I was the first in my team who had COVID-19,’ he said. ‘We started to follow the way antibodies ‘behaved’, how strong they were, and how long they stayed in the body. ‘The observation showed that they were fast to decrease. By the end of the third month from the moment I felt sick the antibodies were no longer detected.’ The scientist, 68 when he was first hit by COVID-19, said that he wanted to study the probability of getting re-infected.

To test the strength of his own immune response, Chepurnov deliberately exposed himself to COVID-19-positive patients wearing no protection. ‘My body’s defence fell exactly six months after I got the first infection. The first sign was a sore throat. The nasopharyngeal PCR smear immediately showed a positive reaction to COVID-19 on the 27th cycle, and two days later already on the 17th cycle, which corresponds to a high viral titre’, Chepurnov said of the second bout. The second illness was more acute, with Chepurnov needing hospitalisation after his saturation fell below 93. ‘For five days, my body temperature remained above 39C,’ he said. ‘I lost the sense of smell, my taste perception changed.

‘On the sixth day of the illness, the CT scan of the lungs was clear, and three days after the scan the X-ray showed double pneumonia. ‘The virus went away rather quickly – after two weeks it was no longer detected in the nasopharyngeal or in other samples.’ His conclusion is that there will be no collective immunity to coronavirus despite earlier hopes. The virus is here to stay for a long while, and while vaccines may give immunity this is likely to be temporary. ‘We need a vaccine that can be used multiple times, a recombinant vaccine will not suit,’ he said. ‘Once injected with the adenoviral vector-based vaccine we won’t be able to repeat it because the immunity against the adenoviral carrier will keep interfering.’

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I’d be more interested in seeing these numbers for social media.

Cable News October Ratings Explode As Fox News Hits Historic Highs (Hill)

Cable news ratings exploded in October across Fox News, CNN and MSNBC as all three networks saw record numbers for the month, with Fox News having the highest-rated month in cable news history, according to Nielsen Media Research. The month included a positive coronavirus test for the president, who was briefly hospitalized, and a fever pitch on the presidential campaign trail. The month also included a presidential debate, a vice presidential debate and multiple town hall events. Fox News led the way with a whopping 4.9 million total viewers in prime time, the highest number in the history of cable news dating back 40 years. MSNBC was second with 2.7 million viewers, followed by CNN with 2.4 million.


The top five shows for the month included Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” with an average of 5.3 million viewers, followed by “Hannity” with 5.2 million and “The Five” with 4.1 million despite airing before prime time in the 5 p.m. EDT slot. “The Ingraham Angle” delivered an average of just over 4 million total viewers, finishing fourth overall, with MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” rounding out the top five with 3.7 million. All three of the major cable news networks also saw substantial growth when compared to the same month last year. Fox News was up 83 percent year-over-year in total viewers and 139 percent in the key 25-54 demographic that advertisers covet most in prime time. CNN saw a 98 percent increase in total viewers when compared to October 2019, and a 116 percent jump in the demographic, while MSNBC is up 38 percent in total viewers and 45 percent in the younger category.

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“..the ad has been approved to run on ABC, AMC, Cooking, CBS, Comcast, DIY, Discovery, ESPN, Food Network, Fox, HGTV, History, Lifetime and The Weather Channel.”

CNN Won’t Run Trump Ad Warning Biden Will Raise Taxes On Middle Class (Hill)

CNN has informed the largest outside group supporting President Trump’s reelection that it will not run one of its new ads, saying the ad is false because it warns Democratic nominee Joe Biden will raise taxes on the middle class and implies that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supports socialist policies. The ad, from America First Action (AFA), says Biden “sided with socialists,” while showing pictures of Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). The narrator of the ad also warns that Biden will “raise taxes on the middle class” and that “his liberal agenda will cost millions of jobs.” America First Action says the ad has been approved to run on ABC, AMC, Cooking, CBS, Comcast, DIY, Discovery, ESPN, Food Network, Fox, HGTV, History, Lifetime and The Weather Channel.

But in an email, an account executive at Warner Media said the clearance team rejected it. “WarnerMedia Commercial Clearance has not accepted America First Action’s advertisement ‘We Are America’ for its networks as the ad does not meet its commercial clearance standards,” the email states. “Specifically, the ad asserts that Biden will raise taxes on the middle class. That claim is not adequately substantiated and has been judged false by independent fact-checkers. The advertisement also mischaracterizes Nancy Pelosi as a socialist.” [..] In a letter to lawyers at Warner Media, an attorney representing AFA accused the media company of censoring normal political speech that is “at the very least a matter worthy of debate.”

“While AFA’s opponents are, of course, permitted to purchase air time to try to rebut AFA’s claims, it is not the job of your network to censor a statement that is factually supported and relates to an important issue in the upcoming election,” wrote Stephen Kenny of Jones Day. “Indeed, every other cable network is currently airing AFA’s ad. If you continue to decline to air the ad, please let us know why the factual support outlined above is insufficient.”

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The New York Times offers anonymous editorial space to complete nobodies these days. Sweet Jesus. Anything to smear Trump.

‘Anonymous’ Anti-Trump Official Revealed As CNN Pundit Miles Taylor (Fox)

The anonymous senior Trump administration official who authored the infamous New York Times op-ed in 2018 declaring to be part of the “resistance” revealed himself on Wednesday to be former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor. Taylor, who previously came forward as a critic of President Trump and a supporter of Joe Biden in August, explained that he wrote his 2019 book “A Warning” as Anonymous as a “caution to voters that it wasn’t as bad as it looked inside the Trump administration – it was worse.” “While I claim sole authorship of the work, the sentiments expressed within it were widely held among officials at the highest levels of the federal government,” Taylor wrote in a statement published on Medium. “In other words, Trump’s own lieutenants were alarmed by his instability.”

Taylor was hired by CNN as a contributor in September. However, it is now known that he lied to the network by denying authorship of the op-ed during an Aug. 21 interview with his now-colleague Anderson Cooper. “There was an op-ed, there was a book by someone calling themselves ‘Anonymous.’ Are you aware of who that is?” Cooper asked. “I’m not,” Taylor responded. “Look, that was a parlor game that happened in Washington D.C. of a lot of folks trying to think of who that might be. I’ve got my own thoughts about who that might be, but-” “You’re not Anonymous,” Cooper interjected. “I wear a mask for two things, Anderson: Halloweens and pandemics. So, no,” Taylor answered.

[..] According to CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who broke the news on his network on Wednesday afternoon, “We did not know this until today. [..] White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement knocking Taylor as a “low-level, disgruntled former staffer,” as well as “a liar and a coward who chose anonymity over action and leaking over leading. “He was ineffective and incompetent during his time as DHS Chief of Staff which is why he was promptly fired after only serving in this role for a matter of weeks,” McEnany added. “It is appalling a low-ranking official would be granted anonymity and it is clear the New York Times is doing the bidding of Never-Trumpers and Democrats.”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also piled on the former Trump official. You have got to be kidding me. Miles Taylor? That’s who the New York Times granted an anonymous editorial article? I’ve seen more exciting reveals in Scooby-Doo episodes. What a monumental embarrassment,” Meadows tweeted.

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“ALICE will never go back to her insecure, low-wage job, ever.”

ALICE Doesn’t Work Here Anymore (CHS)

Meet ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, at least she was employed until the pandemic presented impossible choices between taking care of her children and their education, and her aging parents, and keeping her demanding, low-wage job. Though it doesn’t fit in with the cute mythology of “capitalism” that apologists love to promote, ALICE wasn’t working to get ahead–she was working to barely survive in an economy where wages have stagnated for decades and recently lost ground at an alarming rate as costs for everything from rent to childcare to utilities have soared while her hours have been cut.

This is the neofeudalism I’ve often described here: the modern-day equivalent of the landless (i.e. owns no capital) serf is a landless (i.e. owns no capital) debt-serf with student loans, an auto loan and credit card debt and income that is constrained by globalization, financialization and the scarcity of high-paying work that isn’t reserved for insiders and the privileged few who chose their wealthy, well-educated, socially connected parents wisely. Lacking capital and any realistic means of acquiring any, the debt-serf has only labor to sell, and in a globalized world in which everyone selling their labor is competing globally for work producing tradable goods and services, ordinary labor has lost purchasing power for the past 45 years (see charts below).

The dominance of Big Tech monopoly platforms has created new fields for the exploitation of ordinary labor in the low-paid gig economy and fulfillment centers. The traditional neofeudal fiefdoms (retail outlets, hospitality and restaurants) have been hit by the pandemic pullback in consumer spending, and the other low-wage fiefdoms (fast food and domestic service) have been in structural decline for years. Meanwhile, the owners of the Financial Nobility’s fiefdoms and Big Tech monopolies have enjoyed unprecedented gains in income and wealth (see charts below) as wages’ share of the economy has declined for decades, in effect transferring trillions from labor to the Financial Nobility.

This neofeudal arrangement is about to change as Universal Basic Income (UBI) or its equivalent becomes the accepted status quo solution to neofeudalism’s soaring inequality. Since there’s no limit to how much currency can be created by the Federal Reserve, then why not distribute enough “free money” to the serfs to tamp down the brewing revolt? What the political class and the Financial Nobility don’t yet grasp (due to their complete disconnect from neofeudal daily life) is that ALICE will never go back to her insecure, low-wage job, ever. No matter how meager the UBI, permanent unemployment, stimulus or whatever the political class calls the distribution of “Fed free money,” ALICE will find a way to escape the bonds of neofeudal serfdom.

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But can’t create it, or print it. I’m not a fan of using all sorts of different kids of inflation, but in this case the point remains the same.

The Fed MUST Have Inflation (Rickards)

The Fed says that “price stability” is part of their dual mandate and they are committed to maintaining the purchasing power of the dollar. But the Fed has a funny definition of price stability. Common sense says price stability should be zero inflation and zero deflation. A dollar five years from now should have the same purchasing power as a dollar today. Of course, this purchasing power would be “on average,” since some items are always going up or down in price for reasons that have nothing to do with the Fed. And how you construct the price index matters also. It’s an inexact science, but zero inflation seems like the right target. But the Fed target is 2%, not zero. If that sounds low, it’s not. Inflation of 2% cuts the purchasing power of a dollar in half in 35 years and in half again in another 35 years.


That means in an average lifetime of 70 years, 2% will cause the dollar to 75% of its purchasing power! Just 3% inflation will cut the purchasing power of a dollar by almost 90% in the same average lifetime. But for the Fed, there’s a problem: They can’t produce 2% inflation. Inflation depends on consumer psychology. We have not had much consumer price inflation, but we have had huge asset price inflation. The “inflation” is not in consumer prices; it’s in asset prices. The printed money has to go somewhere. Instead of chasing goods, investors have been chasing yield. Inflation would help diminish the real value of the debt, but central banks have obviously proved impotent at generating inflation. Now central banks face the new depression and more deflation with few policy options to fight it.

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” There is not a single case in history where such a recusal of the justice has occurred under this type of flimsy claim.”

Ornstein: Impeach Amy Coney Barrett (Turley)

My column this morning in the Hill discussed a call by columnist and professor Norm Ornstein to impeach Amy Coney Barrett if she does not yield to a demand to recuse herself from any election challenge before the Court. A demand for such recusal was filed yesterday in the Supreme Court. Ornstein’s call for impeachment is the latest unhinged response to Barrett nomination and further decouples our national debate from any sense rationality and restraint. Ornstein declared on Twitter: “If Amy Coney Barrett goes on the Court and immediately votes for PA voter suppression, she should quickly be impeached. Trump asked her openly to act to tilt the scales of the election.”

I have already addressed the recusal calls as entirely baseless. Recusal under these circumstances would create a dangerous precedent for future nominees who are pressured to recuse solely to influence the outcome of pending or expected cases. There is not a single case in history where such a recusal of the justice has occurred under this type of flimsy claim. Barrett has no personal, professional, or financial interest in pending election cases. We have had only one justice ever impeached in our history. That was Samuel Chase in 1804 and he was acquitted by the Senate in 1805.

The Chase case is a telling point of comparison. Like today, the politics of the time were lethal and hysterical. Chase was a highly partisan Federalist who was tainted by the use of the Alien and Sedition Acts to attack political critics during the Administration of John Adams. The impeachment, supported by Thomas Jefferson, was based on Chase’s presiding on controversial trials for figures like James Callender. Despite the Federalist being in the minority in the Senate, the senators overwhelmingly rejected the case against Chase. It remains to be seen if we have a bipartisan majority of senators equally committed to the integrity of the Court and the Constitution today.

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Bellingcat is a dangerous arm of US, UK intelligence. We will see that soon again in the MH17 mess.

Bellingcat Smears OPCW Whistleblower, Journalists With False Letter (Maté)

Bellingcat, the NATO member state-funded website that has participated in a propaganda effort to accuse Syria of a chemical weapons attack in April 2018 and justify the US-led bombing that followed, has published a new falsehood-ridden attack on an OPCW whistleblower whose suppressed findings exposed the pro-war deception. According to Bellingcat, a leak that it has obtained not only “proves that a chemical attack did occur,” in the Syrian city of Douma in April 2018, but also, “shows that any notion of a cover-up at the OPCW is false.” Contrary to Bellingcat’s account, the website has only added a new chapter to the OPCW cover-up scandal by publishing an article beset with multiple demonstrable falsehoods and outlandish or unsupported claims.

It also features a malicious effort to dox and discredit a veteran, highly-regarded OPCW inspector who challenged the censorship of his team’s investigation. The anonymously authored Bellingcat article’s problems begin with its very premise, which turns out to be a blatant falsehood. The article is based on excerpts of a leaked draft letter that, Bellingcat claims, was sent in June 2019 by OPCW Director General Fernando Arias to Brendan Whelan, a member of the OPCW’s Douma team. However, The Grayzone can reveal that the text that Bellingcat published was never actually sent to Whelan. Indeed, the text of the letter featured by Bellingcat was actually an unsent draft that Whelan never received. This fact dismantles the heart of the NATO state-backed website’s argument.

Dr. Whelan, a 16-year OPCW veteran, first challenged the censorship of his team’s investigation in June 2018, weeks after the OPCW team returned from Syria. A series of leaks show that Whelan and the other OPCW inspectors who deployed to Syria found evidence that undermined allegations of a chemical attack in Douma. Yet their data was suppressed, and, when the censorship was challenged, the inspectors were removed from their own investigation. The cover-up coincided with pressure on the OPCW from the U.S. government, which had bombed Syria, along with the UK and France, in April 2018 based on the pretext that the Syrian government was culpable. The OPCW’s final report in March 2019 omitted the suppressed findings and strongly implied Syrian government guilt.

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Well, it’s something.

Greece Has Protected Its Jobs Better Than The Rest Of The EU (K.)

The Greek government’s measures to protect workers from the effects of the pandemic have served as a shield against unemployment, according to the course of the jobless rate in Greece and the rest of the European Union as revealed by Eurostat figures. In the second quarter of the year, when most of the bloc was in lockdown, the share of workers in Greece who lost their job was below 2% of those employed, against over 6.5% in Spain and between 3.5% and 5% in Italy. Across most EU countries, that rate ranged between 2% and 3.5%, according to an experimental study by the bloc’s statistical service.


Greece achieved that thanks to the introduction of contract suspensions and the subsidy of 534 euros per month to each worker furloughed, which is continuing for more than 160,000 recipients. This puts this country among the member-states that proved best at protecting jobs in the April-June period. On Thursday 116,860 workers will receive the special-purpose compensation for September, adding up to €58 million, and another 41,504 will collect a total of €10.6 million through the Syn-Ergasia labor subsidy program.

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“Don’t harsh my mellow, man. I’m doing this for a couple bags of blow and a $20, man. You suck!”

Jack Dorsey Hires Homeless Man To Fill In For Him At Senate Hearings (BBee)

Jack Dorsey was summoned to the Senate’s hearing on Big Tech today, but he was tripping on acid with the spider-monkeys off the southern coast of St. Bart’s, so he quickly called up his office and had his people hire a homeless man hanging out in front of Twitter’s headquarters to fill in for him. The hobo was holding up a sign reading “Will Go to Senate Hearing for Crack,” and Dorsey’s assistants quickly hired him for the hearing. “Yeah, uh, censorship, I like that. That’s good stuff,” said the hobo to the confused panel. “The apocalypse is coming, man. The signs are all around us!”

“Sorry, Mr., uh, Dorsey, we were expecting a professional-looking CEO, but you’re clearly just a hobo off the streets of San Francisco,” said Senator Mike Lee. “Couldn’t you at least have taken a shower before talking to the United States Senate?” “Hey, bro, chill out,” the hobo responded. “Don’t harsh my mellow, man. I’m doing this for a couple bags of blow and a $20, man. You suck!” For his part, Mark Zuckerberg programmed a lookalike android to testify.

Ron Johnson @jack

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