Salvador Dali Memory of the child woman 1932
The U.S. government confirmed there are biolabs in Ukraine. But now anyone who says that out loud is accused of treason. pic.twitter.com/8s6UPhBoAL
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) March 15, 2022
My name is @JRMajewski & I’m running for Congress in OH-9. I’m also an Air Force Veteran.
& as an Air Force veteran, I just want to say that anyone who says they support a ‘No-Fly Zone’ is RECKLESS & should NOT be taken SERIOUSLY. Especially not crybaby Kinzinger.
Here’s why: pic.twitter.com/cB2mf5uhbS
— JR Majewski for Congress (@JRMajewski) March 15, 2022
The Guardian is the ideal voice of empire. But that means a lot of things must be igored. China doesn’t see the world through US/NATO eyes. It doesn’t think the Ukraine conflict started 3 weeks ago (but 30 years). And it doesn’t think not parroting the US means turning its back on Washington. China is its own nation.
• China Has Already Decided To Send Economic Aid To Russia, US Fears (G.)
China has already decided to provide Russia with economic and financial support during its war on Ukraine and is contemplating sending military supplies such as armed drones, US officials fear. The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, laid out the US case against Russia’s invasion in an “intense” seven-hour meeting in Rome with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, pointing out that Moscow had feigned interest in diplomacy while preparing for invasion, and also that the Russian military was clearly showing signs of frailty. The US delegation in Rome had not expected the Chinese diplomats to negotiate, seeing them as message deliverers to Beijing.
“It was an intense seven-hour session, reflecting the gravity of the moment, as well as our commitment to maintaining open lines of communication,” a senior administration official said. “This meeting was not about negotiating specific issues or outcomes, but about a candid, direct exchange of views.” Asked if it had been successful, the official replied: “I suppose it depends on how you define success, but we believe that it is important to keep open lines of communication between the United States and China, especially on areas where we disagree.” However, the Americans walked away from the Rome meeting pessimistic that the Chinese government would change its minds about backing Moscow.
“The key here is first to get China to recalculate and re-evaluate their position. We see no sign of that re-evaluation,” said another US official familiar with the discussions. “They’ve already decided that they’re going to provide economic and financial support, and they underscored that today. The question really is whether they will go further.” [..] Russia needs economic and financial aid most urgently, in the face of devastating sanctions imposed by the US and its allies since the 24 February invasion. The country is danger of default on its debt payments, with two interest payments due on Wednesday, though it will have a 30-day grace period.
Moscow is unable to access nearly all of its $640bn in gold and foreign exchange reserves, but still holds part of those reserves in yuan, so Beijing will be able to step in to provide immediate assistance. There is pessimism in Washington about the possibility of steering China away from throwing in its lot with Russia, largely because it sees the partnership as being driven from the top. “It really is a project of Xi Jinping. He is totally, fundamentally behind this closer partnership with Russia,” the US official said. There is more scepticism lower down the ranks, but Xi and Putin have bonded over their shared view of the US as being heavy- and high-handed, and determined to end the period of US global dominance.
Yes, China has called for an investigation into the biolabs.
• White House Threatens China Will Pay for Support for Russia (Antiwar)
China will face major “consequences” should it help Russia evade an ever-growing raft of American sanctions, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has warned, just a day before he’s set to meet with Beijing’s top diplomat in Rome. Sullivan’s warning on Sunday came soon after unnamed Western officials told the New York Times and Washington Post that Russia is seeking weapons and economic relief from China amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. A spokesperson for the Chinese government said they were unaware of such a request, while Moscow has yet to confirm the reports.
In response to the attack on Ukraine launched in late February, the Joe Biden administration has imposed countless layers of new sanctions explicitly aiming to cripple and isolate the Russian economy. China, however, is one among several nations refusing to condemn the invasion or sever its economic ties with Russia. Despite American pressure to join in on the sanctions spree, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stated that Beijing’s relationship with Russia “even exceeds an alliance” in its “closeness and effectiveness,” suggesting the country is unlikely to bow to Western demands anytime soon.
As President Biden has ruled out direct military action in Ukraine, the administration has instead focused on arming the country’s military while attempting to make Russia an international pariah in the diplomatic and economic spheres. China has so far been able to obstruct Biden on both counts. Beijing’s UN delegation is supporting Russia’s claim that US-funded labs in Ukraine were working on chemical and biological weapons – a charge rejected by Washington as a “conspiracy theory” – and is now calling for an international investigation. Chinese financial support could also help Russia to weather the storm as its economy struggles to adapt to punishing Western sanctions.
To which I can add this graph from yesterday. And then you can make your own mind up.
• Biden Blames Putin, Covid For Record-high Inflation In US (Fox)
President Biden on Monday said Russian President Vladimir Putin and the COVID-19 pandemic are to blame for record-high inflation in the United States and maintained that rising prices have “nothing to do” with his administration’s policies. The president spoke Monday at the National League of Cities Congressional Cities Conference and addressed the increase in U.S. gas prices, as well as every day household items. “We know that families are still struggling with higher prices,” Biden said. “Let’s be absolutely clear about why prices are high now or high for two reasons.” The first, Biden said, is due to “the way the global economy works.”
“A factory in Taiwan that makes computer chips shuts down to a COVID outbreak. It causes a ripple effect to slow down auto-manufacturing,” Biden said. “So, because of the pandemic, we had significant disruption disruptions in the supply chain, and our supply chain is so important with so many materials that come from other places.” “And now, a second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin,” Biden said. “We’ve seen the price of gas go up over a dollar just since he put his troops on the border on the border of Ukraine — they went up a dollar and five cents,” Biden said.
“Big part of that reason is Putin began amassing troops along the border and then crossed. And guess what? The world took notice,” Biden said. “The market anticipated, prices went up, and then Putin invaded.” He added: “Make no mistake, the current spike in gas prices is largely the fault of Vladimir Putin — it has nothing to do with the American Rescue Plan.” Biden said that “rescuing our economy didn’t cause this problem,” but he vowed to “fix it.”
Strange article at Counterpunch. Lots of weird points. But it has this right: the IMF, World Bank and US have Ukraine in a death grip. What else is new?
Washington’s NATO alliance is part of that imperial history. The United States set it up, as its first Secretary General Lord Ismay famously said, to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down” in Europe. In other words, it is a vehicle of U.S. imperial domination of European capitalism. Most of the other NATO and EU states have a sordid history of colonialism of their own. And many have been accomplices to Washington’s wars, most recently in Afghanistan, where NATO played a large role in “pacifying” the country, committing numerous war crimes in the process. Moreover, the decision by the United States and European powers to expand NATO and the EU into Eastern Europe is one of the causes of the war in Ukraine.
It triggered Putin’s growing determination over the last decade to reclaim Russia’s lost sphere of influence. The United States and the EU offer no alternative to Ukraine but subjection to its imperial interests and neoliberal economics. In fact, through the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the United States is one of the oppressors of Ukraine.These international financial institutions have locked Ukraine in debt that now exceeds $129 billion. The country’s workers and oppressed have paid an enormous price to service these loans. Like they have throughout the Global South, the international financial institutions have required Ukraine to cut social programs, privatize state industry, layoff state workers, and cut workers’ wages and benefits in return for further loans.
Ukraine’s annual payments siphon off billions of dollars that would otherwise go to much needed social reforms to improve the majority’s abysmally low standards of living. The United States and NATO aim to defend and in fact expand their military rule over Eastern Europe and enforcement of neoliberal economics. They have no solution to the plight of the majority of Ukrainians fighting for their liberation. Despite all of this, many people horrified by Putin’s war are mistakenly demanding that Washington and Brussels intervene directly or set up a no-fly zone. That would lead to military confrontations between the United States/NATO and Russia, risking World War III between nuclear powers.
“Peskov went on to confirm that Russia “did not request China military aid..”
• Stocks Give Up Gains Following Kremlin Comments (ZH)
US equity futures surged overnight – again – on hopes of an ‘imminent’ peace deal between Russia and Ukraine; and now – once again – equities are reverting lower following comments from the Kremlin that do not sound very ‘peace-deal-like… Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call that “Russia will realize all its plans in Ukraine operation,” adding that the “operation would be complete on schedule,” and would not rule out taking “full control” of major Ukraine cities. We don’t think this is the ‘hope’ that Zelensky and the market was looking for.
Peskov went on to confirm that Russia “did not request China military aid,” adding that “Russia had the resources to complete the Ukraine operation alone.” And he could not resist a jab the puppetmasters, commenting that “it appears that the bosses of Ukraine across the ocean are giving orders to the Ukrainian army.” And given the recent modest bounce in Biden’s approval, do we really think his administrations wants this war over already… this far from the Midterms?
Cui bono? Follow the money.
• Germany To Buy Dozens Of US Stealth Jets (Y!)
Germany on Monday unveiled plans to buy dozens of US-made F-35 fighter jets, as part of a multi-billion-euro push to modernise its armed forces in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Berlin intends to buy 35 F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin to replace Germany’s decades-old Tornado fleet, as well as purchasing an additional 15 Eurofighter jets. Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht called the purchase agreement “a good step forwards” for Germany’s Bundeswehr armed forces. “There can only be one answer to Putin’s aggression, and that is unity in NATO and credible deterrence,” Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, commander of the German Air Force, told reporters.
Germany’s Tornados are the only Luftwaffe planes certified to carry US nuclear bombs stationed in Germany that are a key part of NATO deterrence. Lockheed’s fifth-generation F-35 stealth jets are considered the most modern combat aircraft in the world, and their unique shape and coating make them harder to detect by enemy radar. The additional Eurofighter jets Germany plans to purchase, made by a consortium that includes Airbus, would be used for other operations, including electronic warfare like jamming enemy air defence systems. In a landmark speech late last month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to invest an extra 100 billion euros ($112 billion) to bring the nation’s chronically underfunded Bundeswehr into the modern age.
The spending boost marks a major reversal for Europe’s top economy, upending its policy of keeping a low military profile in part out of guilt over World War II. After years of criticism that the country wasn’t shouldering enough of the financial burden in the NATO military alliance, Scholz vowed to spend “more than two percent” of Germany’s gross domestic product annually on defence, surpassing NATO’s own two-percent target.
War victims or cancel culture?
In the last weeks, Russia took an already exacting speech environment to new extremes. A law was passed that would impose 15-year prison sentences for anyone spreading “fake news” about the Ukraine invasion; access was cut to Facebook and Twitter; stations like Echo Moskvi and TV Rain as well as BBC Russia, Radio Liberty, the New Times, Deutsche Welle, Doxa, and Latvia-based Meduza were effectively shut down; Wikipedia was threatened with a block over its invasion page; and national authorities have appeared to step in to prevent coverage of soldiers killed in the war, requiring local outlets to use terms like “special operation” instead. The latter development is connected to the state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, issuing a remarkably desperate dictum requiring news outlets to “use information and data received by them only from official Russian sources.”
Russia also appears in the middle of a general crackdown on local media, not so much because those outlets are dissenting, but because they’re more likely to provide indirect evidence of war failures or the effect of sanctions. The desperation to control news has grown to the point where Russian diplomats in foreign countries are pressuring state outlets in countries like Iran to stop using the term “war” to describe what’s going on in Ukraine. On the flip side, a slew of actions have been taken to crack down on “fake news” and “misinformation” in the West. The big one was the European Union banning RT and Sputnik. Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube also cut access to all Russian state media, because the EU sanctions also required that internet platforms delist any RT or Sputnik content, even from individuals.
The statute reads, “As regards the posts made by individuals that reproduce the content of RT and Sputnik, those posts shall not be published, and if published, shall be deleted.” Other governments across the West, from Australia to Canada, have taken similar actions. In the U.S., Google and YouTube disallowed Russian state media ads (following a request by Senator Mark Warner) and demonetized “a number of Russian channels,” including RT but also many non-Russian individuals, before proceeding to demonetize all individual Russian content creators, even the individuals opposing the invasion. Even DuckDuckGo, the speechier, more pro-privacy alternative to Google, announced it was de-ranking “sites associated with Russian disinformation.” A growing list of Westerners have seen accounts frozen for supposed parroting of Russian talking points or “abusive” commentary.
YouTube banned Oliver Stone’s documentary Ukraine on Fire, while Netflix is going so far as to shelve a production of Anna Karenina. In what might have been the craziest move of all, Meta reportedly followed up a decision to un-ban the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion with a mind-blowing decision to alter its hate speech policies to “allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion,” according to internal emails seen by Reuters.
“The member nations of NATO have even less desire to join the battle, and are doing a poor job of pretending they oppose Russia’s disagreeable but necessary work there..”
Threatened by losing the war against its own citizens, the US government now seeks a wider kinetic war over its would-be client state, Ukraine. The stakes must be pretty high for “Joe Biden” and Company to risk starting World War Three. Why else inflame a dangerous situation by sending more weapons there? I’ll tell you why: to prolong Russia’s operations to neutralize Ukraine so it won’t cause further trouble to them or anybody else in the world. The longer the US can keep that going, the longer we can put off the various reckonings at home.
America has no intention of actually defending Ukraine. It’s really just a global version of the interpersonal game “Let’s You and Him Fight,” as described by pioneering psychologist Eric Berne (1910 -1970), father of transactional analysis. The member nations of NATO have even less desire to join the battle, and are doing a poor job of pretending they oppose Russia’s disagreeable but necessary work there. So far, they have had to sacrifice desperately needed natural gas supplies from Russia. You can be sure they will find a way to sneak around US sanctions and reverse the blunder. They have no choice really, unless they want to go forward without any industries. Google-up the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and you’ll catch a glimpse of that possible European future. Of course, they’ll also have to answer to their own citizens for the awful mistakes Covid-19.
The best outcome, as others have pointed out, will be the disassembly of Ukraine into an eastern Russian zone — perhaps annexed into Russia — and a rump western Ukraine state that will be as quiet and inoffensive as Moldova and Slovakia next door (When was the last time they caused any trouble in the world?) It would be best for everyone, and especially the Third World, if the Russian operation is concluded as quickly as possible with a structured peace settlement, leaving a chance to get a Ukrainian grain crop planted, because otherwise a lot of innocent people will go hungry. Is the USA interested in a peace settlement? Or do we want to drive events further toward tragedy and our own national suicide?
Now do this everywhere.
And also: Macron has an election coming up.
• France Lifts Covid-19 Rules On Unvaccinated, Mask Wearing (AP)
France lifted most COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, abolishing the need to wear face masks in most settings and allowing people who aren’t vaccinated back into restaurants, sports arenas and other venues. The move had been announced earlier this month by the French government based on assessments of the improving situation in hospitals and following weeks of a steady decline in infections. It comes less than a month before the first round of the presidential election scheduled on April 10. But in recent days, the number of new infections has started increasing again, raising concerns from some scientists it may be too soon to lift restrictions. The number of new infections have reached more than 60,000 based on a seven-day average, up from about 50,000 a week before.
Starting from Monday, people aren’t required anymore to show proof of vaccination to enter places like restaurants and bars, cinemas, theaters, fairs and to use interregional transport. The so-called vaccine pass had taken effect at the end of January. A restaurant owner in Paris, Laurent Negre, praised a “return to normal.” “We got used to these restrictions and complicated protocols so we will enjoy work more now … So it’s good news,” he said. Parisian Bartholome Laisi, 23, said “it’s a good thing because people will be able to get more freedom of movement. But we need to be careful and monitor it, to avoid another (virus) wave right after.” In hospitals and nursing homes, unvaccinated people must provide a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery to enter. Wearing masks are no longer required in schools, businesses and offices. They remain mandatory on public transportation and at hospitals and other health facilities.
What’s the consequence for life insurance?
• Ed Dowd: 25 To 44 yo Experienced An 84% Increase In Excess Mortality (Kirsch)
Someone sent me this article: Edward Dowd on Future Recession, Shocking Findings in the CDC Covid Data and Democide which describes his appearance on War Room. That article says: “And the money chart is really Chart 4, which shows that the Millennial age group, 25 to 44 experienced an 84% increase in excess mortality into the fall. It’s the worst-ever excess mortality, I think, in history. I called Ed to clarify where he got the chart and then looked for verification of this. I found the verification. Then I verified that the deaths couldn’t be explained by the COVID delta variant. OK, so what caused all the deaths? The only explanation is the vaccine because the deaths are so massive.
[..] Now let’s go over some of the details of what Ed Dowd found and explain why there is no other explanation. Ed’s friend (who I know but doesn’t want to be disclosed publicly) spent about a week analyzing the CDC data. The graph in the article is from the CDC data, but is plotted by Ed’s friend. He didn’t make anything up. The work was replicated independently (see also the graphs). US mortality graphs show a spike in the same time period (Aug to Oct). These graphs of excess mortality in Europe show things got worse, not better after the vaccine rollout:
Maybe a bit too scary?
• Triple Vaccinated Just Weeks Away From Developing AIDS (DE)
The following chart shows the Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness among the triple vaccinated population in England in 4 week periods between Week 51 of 2021 and Week 9 of 2022 – As you can see the vaccine effectiveness has been falling month and month, with the lowest effectiveness recorded among 40-49-year-olds at minus-248.92%. But the sharpest decline in jab effectivness has been recorded among 18-29-year-olds, falling to minus-201.52% by Week 9 of 2022 from +10.19 in Week 51 to Week 2. However, vaccine effectiveness isn’t really a measure of a vaccine, it is a measure of a vaccine recipients immune system performance compared to the immune system performance of an unvaccinated person.
The following chart shows the immune system performance of the triple vaccinated population in England by age group in four week periods, compared to the natural immune system of the unvaccinated population – As you can see the lowest immune system performance is currently among 60-69-year-olds at minus-72.35%, but all triple vaccinated people aged 30 to 59 are not far begind, with an immune system performance ranging from minus-70.83% to minus-71.34%. Even the 18 to 29-year-olds are within this region at minus-66.84%, falling from an immune system performance of +11.35% between week 51 and week 2, meaning they have suffered the fastest decline in immune system performance.
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged. People with acquired immune deficiency syndrome are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers and for infections that usually occur only in individuals with a weak immune system. If that immune system performance was to hit around the -95% mark then this would strongly suggest the triple vaccinated population have developed some new form of Covid-19 vaccine induced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and unfortunately based on the current trend seen over the past 3 months, the youngest age groups do not have long to wait.
The day his marriage is announced.
• UK Supreme Court Slams Door On Assange Appeal (Gosztola)
Without any explanation, the British Supreme Court denied WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange “permission to appeal” a decision by the British High Court. The Supreme Court maintained the appeal did not “raise an arguable point of law” and sent the case back to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the district court which initially blocked the United States government’s extradition request on January 4, 2021. By refusing to grant Assange a hearing, the U.S. government effectively won their appeal. Prosecutors convinced the British courts to disregard concerns that he may be subject to treatment in a U.S. jail or prison that would be oppressive to his mental health.
The Westminster Magistrates’ Court may now refer the extradition to the British Home Office for Home Secretary Priti Patel to review. According to Birnberg Peirce, the law firm representing Assange, they are entitled to make submissions to the Home Secretary for consideration before the extradition request is approved. If Patel approves the extradition, Assange’s defense may submit an appeal on the issues of freedom of the press that were not addressed before the High Court yet. That would likely prevent Assange from extradition. However, if the High Court and Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal because they did not believe it raised “arguable points of law,” he could potentially be transferred to the U.S. before the year is over.
[..] An application for appeal released by Assange’s legal team reflects the arguments they were blocked from presenting to the Supreme Court. “The manner in which assurances were permitted to be introduced in this case for the first time on appeal totally undermines the primacy of the extradition hearing and deprives the defendant of an opportunity to test them and their implications before the district judge,” attorneys argued. “It is generally regarded as unfair, wrong, and abusive for a party to elect—for a perceived or actual tactical advantage—to conduct litigation in one way and then, when met with an adverse judicial decision on that, to attempt to re-litigate or appeal on a new and different basis.”
To manufacture each EV battery, you must process
25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium
30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt
5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, 25,000 pounds of ore for copper
Diging up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust
For just – one – battery.
A typical electric car battery has:
25 pounds of lithium
60 pounds of nickel
44 pounds of manganese
30 pounds cobalt
200 pounds of copper
400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic
The first 4 ingredients are from limited sources and will continue to rise in cost.
Russell Brand Credit Suisse
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