Aug 272022
 
 August 27, 2022  Posted by at 8:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  76 Responses »


Felix Vallotton Verdun 1917

 

An Ill Wind (Jim Kunstler)
UK Facing ‘National Disaster’ – London Mayor (RT)
Power Costs In Germany Hit Historic Highs (RT)
Ruling German Party Split On Ukraine (RT)
EU Nation Bulgaria Wants To Resume Buying Russian Gas (RT)
It’s Time To Worry About Greece Again (R.)
Zaporizhzhia: World Narrowly Avoided Radiation Accident – Zelensky (BBC)
Only One In Three UN Members Back Ukraine’s New Anti-Russia Resolution (RT)
Americans To Get Medals For Ukraine (RT)
Not Even Pope Francis Is Safe From Kiev’s Wrath (Robert Bridge)
Moderna Sues Pfizer And BioNTech Over Coronavirus Vaccine (G.)
WaPo And WSJ Slam Biden Student Loan Handout (ZH)
Student Loan Cancellation Latest In Long Line Of Biden Legal Overreaches (JTN)
Stakeholder Interests Within FBI Affidavit Justifying Raid on Trump (CTH)
Dramatic Timeline of Political Corruption Within the FBI (CTH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putin 2014

 

 

Zhirinovsky

 

 

 

 

Vast majority of young Americans remain unvaccinated

 

 

 

 

“The regime that has turned our world inside out in its Satanic pursuit of comfort and power will be stripped naked and judged..”

An Ill Wind (Jim Kunstler)

We’ve heard ad nauseam that the Washington DC insiders, the denizens of that demi-mythic Deep State in the wealthiest metro area of all the land, look down on the rest of America. Why is that? I’ll tell you. Because the DC confederacy of grifters has gotten fat off your suffering as they have systematically wrecked and looted that rest of America, the sinking middle-class. They are living in fabulous comfort off your bamboozlement and ruin. Their contempt for you grows on your tragic breakdown like fungus on a once-mighty fallen tree. They prevailed in this world and you didn’t. You chumps are in Palookaville on your way to the bone orchard, and therefore they are better than you, ha ha ha.

There is another side of this life, in case all that has got you demoralized. That is the side where human beings say things that comport with reality, where people mean what they say and use language as if it evolved to describe things and doings with some exactitude — as in this is this and that is that… and not the inverse or opposite. That is the side of life where pretending is not the highest-and-best use of human intelligence. I know, these days it’s hard to imagine that side of life, but it’s actually still there, waiting to be reanimated. The regime that has turned our world inside out in its Satanic pursuit of comfort and power will be stripped naked and judged, if not by official judges, then by an unstoppable consensus.

The sore-beset public will take an inventory of what has been lost and begin reconstructing a scaffold of shared life that rewards fidelity to the way things actually work. It will be a rough passage out of what amounts to a hostage crisis. There will be friction and heat. You will not be comfortable, but you will be dauntless. You will certainly not have nothing or be happy about that. You will have, at least, a restored memory of what it was like to strive honorably for a life worth living. We’re in the crucible of all that just now, where everything is white hot. Do not bend or melt. Soldier through. Be men and be women (there is truly nothing in-between, and do not fall for faithless inducements to doubt that). You are brothers and sisters in an enterprise worth saving and you have a history worth defending. Believe it.

Read more …

“..there is “no actual cap” on the maximum that can be paid, and that the figure is just the cap for “those on average use.”

UK Facing ‘National Disaster’ – London Mayor (RT)

The UK is facing a “national disaster” if the government fails to act immediately to solve the energy crisis, London Mayor Sadiq Khan warned after energy regulator Ofgem announced that the price cap on the average energy bill would increase to £3,549 ($2,323) from October. Khan made the comments on Friday after Ofgem announced the 80% hike in the price cap, as struggling British households face what the mayor said would be a “bleak winter.” The new price cap is almost triple what it was last October when it was raised to £1,277 ($1,505). “With energy prices soaring and more families struggling to make ends meet, this government needs to step up and take urgent action now,”Khan said, arguing that the government has “consistently failed” to intervene and ministers “must act now to prevent this cost of living crisis becoming a national disaster.”


Brits “desperately need to know” what Westminster’s plan of action is, Khan added. Khan called for an immediate bill freeze and the introduction of a ‘Lifeline Tariff’ to ensure the most vulnerable in society receive a certain amount of free energy. The mayor also pointed out on Twitter that there is “no actual cap” on the maximum that can be paid, and that the figure is just the cap for “those on average use.” Consumer champion Martin Lewis echoed that concern, saying nothing is stopping some households from paying £10,000 ($11,821) a year. Lewis also said a movement is growing for Brits to refuse to pay energy bills, telling Good Morning Britain on Friday that if the government does not implement emergency measures, the ‘Don’t Pay’ movement “are going to become a louder voice in this country.”

Read more …

Germany is set to drag down the entire EU with it.

Power Costs In Germany Hit Historic Highs (RT)

German benchmark power prices for next year soared above €800 per megawatt hour on Friday, nearly 10 times higher than the same period last year, Bloomberg reports. Prices gained as much as 7.6% on Friday to reach €805.15 per megawatt hour on the European Energy Exchange, up 39% this week. Costs have been smashing records on an almost daily basis as the winter heating period approaches. The rally is being driven by growing concerns over Russian natural gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.


Berlin previously required gas operators to fill underground storage facilities while adhering to a strict schedule, to ensure the country has enough fuel to last the winter. The plan states that storage must be 85% full by October 1, and 95% full by November 1. Experts doubt the goal is achievable. The spike in energy costs is fueling inflation and hurting households and businesses across Europe. European countries have started introducing drastic measures to limit energy use, such as banning outside lighting for buildings and lowering indoor heating temperatures.

Read more …

“..a “ceasefire as soon as possible as a basis for comprehensive peace negotiations.”

Ruling German Party Split On Ukraine (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is facing dissent within his own party ranks from those who want Berlin to stop providing Kiev with weapons, Der Spiegel has claimed. The outlet suggests the left wing of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) has also called on Scholz to engage in dialogue with Russia. In its article published on Friday, Der Spiegel said the chancellor’s decision to beef up the German military, sever ties with Russia, and ship heavy weaponry to Ukraine earlier this year was hard to swallow for many in a political party that had for decades stood for disarmament and a policy of detente. According to the outlet, a group of SPD members representing the party’s left wing have penned a letter to Scholz, titled “The weapons must fall silent!”

In it, they advocate a diplomatic offensive as a means of ending the Ukraine conflict. Among the signatories are multiple members of the Bundestag and the European Parliament, as well as prominent party figures from several German regions, the article claims. “A continuation of the war will only bring more deaths and destruction,” the appeal seen by Der Spiegel reportedly says. The SPD members are also quoted as calling for a “ceasefire as soon as possible as a basis for comprehensive peace negotiations.” They allegedly want Berlin to engage countries that could act as mediators, with China mentioned as a good candidate for that role.

The letter reportedly goes on to argue that, while a fundamental improvement in relations between Germany and Russia would only be possible in a “post-Putin era,” Berlin has to establish a “modus vivendi” for the time being that would help to prevent “further escalation of the war.” The German government is also urged to acknowledge “realities,” however unpleasant they may be, the article claimed. The ‘peace camp’ within the SPD also warned Scholz of the risk of a nuclear conflict breaking out, and cautioned him against crossing the “red line” that would mean Germany’s direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict, the outlet says. The lawmakers allegedly argued that attempts to establish a no-fly zone over the Eastern European country, as well as the shipment of battle tanks or fighter jets, could trigger such an apocalyptic scenario.

Read more …

Not everyone wants to be dragged down.

EU Nation Bulgaria Wants To Resume Buying Russian Gas (RT)

The Bulgarian government is considering holding talks with energy giant Gazprom on resuming Russian natural gas imports, Energy Minister Rosen Hristov told Nova TV on Friday. “There are still no active talks with Gazprom… but we have given an indication that we want to start negotiations, or rather to continue them to clarify some controversial terms of the contract. We simply sent information that we were ready to negotiate and asked them to resume contact,” he said, specifying that Sofia expects a response from the Russian supplier on Friday, or Monday next week at the latest. The minister stressed: “We are only talking about the old contract; we will not re-sign or negotiate a new contract.”


According to Hristov, Sofia is seeking to extend the deadline to supply the remaining volumes of gas under the contract until 2023. In April, Bulgaria rejected the ruble-for-gas payment method introduced by Russia in response to Western sanctions. Under the new regulation, buyers from countries that imposed restrictions on Moscow are obliged to pay for Russian natural gas in rubles. Sofia’s refusal to accept the new terms prompted Gazprom Export to halt fuel supplies to its Bulgarian partner, Bulgargaz.

Read more …

Ruling party uses secret service to spy on opponents. Sound familiar?

It’s Time To Worry About Greece Again (R.)

It is only a few years since the Grexit horror movie ended. But sadly Greece’s creditors, investors and allies need to start worrying about the country again. A bugging scandal threatens Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government and prolonged political instability. This is not a re-run of the crisis that threatened to eject Greece from the euro. But the state’s high deficit and debt – which is 189% of GDP – are a cause for concern at a time of soaring energy prices and rising interest rates. Earlier this month the leader of Pasok, one of Greece’s opposition parties, accused the country’s intelligence service of bugging his phone. There had also been an unsuccessful attempt from an unknown source to infect his phone with spyware, called Predator.

Mitsotakis, leader of the centre-right New Democracy party, said he was unaware of the phone tapping and wouldn’t have approved it if he had known read more . He fired the head of the intelligence service. The government’s general secretary, to whom the intelligence service reported and who is Mitsotakis’ nephew, also quit. The government denies purchasing or using Predator. Nevertheless, the Greek parliament has reconvened to debate the issue today. sAlthough Mitsotakis has a solid majority, he has to call an election at the latest by August 2023. This will be fought under proportional representation, with the result that no party will get an overall majority. There will then be a second election, under a new law, which will give the leading party a large number of bonus members of parliament.

Opinion polls previously suggested Mitsotakis would win a majority in this second election – or come close to doing so. But following the eruption of the bugging scandal, this no longer seems likely. What is more, it will be hard for him to form a coalition, as his obvious partner was Pasok, the centre-left party whose leader’s phone was tapped. It will be extremely reluctant to do a deal with Mitsotakis. However, it will also be hard for Greece’s largest opposition party, the left-wing Syriza, to form a coalition. Though it would try to cut a deal with Pasok, the two groups probably wouldn’t have a majority. They might only be able to get one via a fanciful coalition including the communists and the far-right.

There are other possibilities. New Democracy might replace Mitsotakis with a leader more appealing to Pasok. Another is that Greek parties might form a grand coalition, led by a technocrat. But none of the scenarios looks terribly stable. Meanwhile, many questions about the bugging scandal remain unanswered. If there are further damaging revelations, Mitsotakis may struggle to hang on until the election.

Read more …

The BBC knows it’s Ukraine shelling the plant.

Zaporizhzhia: World Narrowly Avoided Radiation Accident – Zelensky (BBC)

Europe faced the prospect of a radiation disaster on Thursday when a Russian-occupied nuclear plant was disconnected from Ukraine’s power grid, President Volodomyr Zelensky has said.It was only due to back-up electricity kicking in that the Zaporizhzhia plant was able to operate safely, he added.Fires had earlier damaged overhead power lines, cutting the plant off. There is growing concern over fighting near the complex, which is the largest nuclear plant in Europe.”If the diesel generators hadn’t turned on, if the automation and our staff of the plant had not reacted after the blackout, then we would already be forced to overcome the consequences of the radiation accident,” President Zelensky warned on Thursday night.


The damage was caused by fires which Ukraine’s state nuclear agency said had interfered with power lines connecting the plant on Thursday, temporarily cutting Zaporizhzhia off from the national grid for the first time in its history. “As a result, the station’s two working power units were disconnected from the network,” Kyiv officials said. On Friday afternoon, the state nuclear company said the plant had been reconnected to the electricity grid, with one of its six reactors providing power. Satellite images taken on Wednesday showed an extensive fire burning in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear complex. President Zelensky blamed the damage on Russian shelling, and in his nightly address accused Moscow of putting Ukraine and Europe “one step away” from disaster. But local Russian-appointed governor Yevgeny Balitsky blamed the Ukrainian military for the strikes, accusing them of causing power outages to the region as a result.

Read more …

Meanwhile, in the real world …

Only One In Three UN Members Back Ukraine’s New Anti-Russia Resolution (RT)

Ukraine’s latest proposal to condemn Russia has attracted the backing of just 58 out of 193 UN member states, a far cry from the number that symbolically supported Kiev in the General Assembly in March. Kiev’s envoy to the UN Sergey Kislitsa heralded the proposed resolution on Wednesday, following the Security Council meetingconvened on Ukraine’s independence day. The session featured a video address by President Vladimir Zelensky, for which the council had to override protocol requiring in-person appearances, and a series of statements by Western governments denouncing Russia.


Moscow’s envoy Vassily Nebenzia provided the counterpoint by introducing evidence of Ukrainian atrocities into the record and even naming Kiev’s western backers as accomplices in specific instances. Kislitsa’s resolution also fell short of the support Kiev had back in March, right after the start of the Russian military operation. At the March 2 General Assembly session,141 member countries – or 73% of the UN – voted for a nonbinding resolution to condemn Moscow. This week, however, that support stood at 30%, with no African, Persian Gulf or BRICS countries on board – and only two Latin American governments, Colombia and Guatemala, standing with Ukraine.

Read more …

It’s no longer a proxy war.

Americans To Get Medals For Ukraine (RT)

The US government intends to officially name its military mission to aid Kiev and appoint a general to command it, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Biden administration officials. This would formalize the operation that predates the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine and allow the Pentagon to award ribbons, medals, and special pay to its participants. Giving the operation a name is “significant bureaucratically,” the Journal explained, as it “typically entails long-term, dedicated funding and the possibility of special pay, ribbons and awards for service members participating in the effort.” The US has previously named its operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The original intervention in Afghanistan was dubbed “Enduring Freedom,”replaced by the nation-building “Freedom’s Sentinel” in 2015.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was called “Iraqi Freedom,” while the 2014 redeployment to Iraq and Syria to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists was designated “Inherent Resolve.” A two-star or three-star general will be appointed to command the effort, in what the Journal described as “a shift from the largely ad hoc effort to to provide training and assistance to the Ukrainians for years.” While the US has sent Ukraine almost $11 billion worth of weapons and ammunition since February, Washington and its NATO allies have provided Kiev with military aid since the 2014 coup that put a US-backed government in power and set off the civil war in Donbass. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko admitted in June that his signature on the Minsk armistice was intended to buy Kiev time to build up a powerful military.

Aleksey Danilov, who currently chairs Ukraine’s National Security Council, revealed on Tuesday that Kiev had been “preparing for the war since December 2019.” In April, the White House appointed retired US Army General Terry Wolff as coordinator for military assistance to Ukraine. Wolff, a veteran Pentagon policy planner, had retired in February 2014 as director of strategic plans and policy (J-5) for the Joint Staff. He was previously in charge of US efforts to arm and train militants in Syria.

Read more …

“..it was telling how the Pope’s use of the word “innocent” when applied to Darya Dugina triggered such a powerful response from someone who calls himself a diplomat.”

Not Even Pope Francis Is Safe From Kiev’s Wrath (Robert Bridge)

After mentioning the death of Darya Dugina, a young Russian journalist and political activist, Pope Francis has faced the anger of Kiev, which apparently thinks it has the monopoly on “innocence.” For the past six months, Kiev has lashed out at various government leaders and international organizations, like Amnesty International, for example, which reported on Ukraine’s violations of international law on the battlefield. So it was just a matter of time before the Catholic Church got an earful, too. And that’s what happened this week when Pope Francis, addressing a congregation in the Vatican, mentionegd the death of Darya Dugina, whose life was cut tragically short by a car bombing. But before uttering the name of the deceased Russian woman, the Pope acknowledged the innocent victims on both sides of the conflict.

“Whether they are Ukrainians or Russians … I think of so much cruelty, of the many innocents who are paying for the madness, the madness of all sides because war is madness,” Pope Francis told his flock. “I think of the poor girl (Darya Dugina) who was blown up by a bomb under her car seat in Moscow. The innocent pay for the war.” That seems to be a fair assessment of the horrors of warfare that few could find fault with. While government leaders are ultimately responsible for leading their people into the “madness of war,” it is the “innocent” people – from soldiers on the frontlines to civilians back home – who suffer the brunt of the consequences. Yet, like a true politician, Ukraine’s Vatican ambassador Andrey Yurash politicized the Pope’s words, saying it was impossible to call Dugina “innocent” when she – together with her prominent father, the political philosopher Aleksandr Dugin – advocated on behalf of Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine.

There are several problems with Yurash’s peculiar brand of moralizing, the first one being that he, much like the Western world in general, conveniently fast-forwarded past eight years of bloodshed in Donbass that has caused millions of people – not just “political ideologues” – to support Russia’s intervention in eastern Ukraine in the first place. I’m not sure what Mr. Yurash was tweeting about in 2014, but somehow I doubt it had anything to do with the unprovoked attacks on Russian speakers in Donbass that have killed thousands. Second, it was telling how the Pope’s use of the word “innocent” when applied to Darya Dugina triggered such a powerful response from someone who calls himself a diplomat. What’s more, in his tweet, Yurash went on to apparently insinuate that it was the Russians themselves that killed her in order to make her a martyr.

Read more …

Sales are down?

Moderna Sues Pfizer And BioNTech Over Coronavirus Vaccine (G.)

Moderna is suing its US pharmaceutical rival Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for patent infringement in the development of the first Covid-19 vaccine approved in the United States, alleging they copied technology that Moderna developed years before the pandemic. The lawsuit, which seeks undetermined monetary damages, was being filed in US district court in Massachusetts and the regional court of Düsseldorf in Germany, Moderna said in a news release on Friday. “We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating, and patented during the decade preceding the Covid-19 pandemic,” Moderna’s chief executive, Stéphane Bancel, said in the statement.

Moderna Inc, on its own, and the partnership of Pfizer and BioNTech were two of the first groups to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. Just a decade old as a company, Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, had been an innovator in the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology that enabled the unprecedented speed in developing the Covid-19 vaccine after the coronavirus pandemic began in late 2019 and spread around the world. An approval process that previously took years was completed in months, thanks largely to the breakthrough in mRNA vaccines, which teach human cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response.

[..] Moderna alleges Pfizer/BioNTech, without permission, copied mRNA technology that Moderna had patented between 2010 and 2016, well before deadly Covid-19 emerged in 2019 in China and exploded into global consciousness in early 2020. Early in the pandemic, Moderna said it would not enforce its Covid-19 patents to help others develop their own vaccines, particularly for low- and middle-income countries. But in March 2022 Moderna said it expected companies such as Pfizer and BioNTech to respect its intellectual property rights. It said it would not seek damages for any activity before 8 March 2022.

Read more …

“..Student-loan debt won’t appear to swell even as it does. What a fabulous accounting trick.”

WaPo And WSJ Slam Biden Student Loan Handout (ZH)

After the Biden administration announced its ham-fisted scheme to eliminate $10,000 in student loans for borrowers making less than $125,000 per year, and $20,000 for Pell grant recipients, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal editorial boards independently wrote about what a stupid idea it is. “This is easily the worst domestic decision of his Presidency and makes chumps of Congress and every American who repaid loans or didn’t go to college,” writes the Journal editorial board. “Democrats said these plans would reduce defaults. They haven’t. Federal student debt has ballooned because many borrowers don’t make enough to cover interest and principal payments, so their balances expand. Student debt has nearly doubled since 2011 to $1.6 trillion, though the number of borrowers has increased by only 18%.

Now Mr. Biden is cutting undergrad payments to a mere 5% of discretionary income. The government will also cover unpaid monthly interest for borrowers so their balances won’t grow even if they aren’t paying a penny. This will mask the cost to taxpayers of the Administration’s rolling loan write-off. Student-loan debt won’t appear to swell even as it does. What a fabulous accounting trick.” -WSJ The Post, meanwhile, said that Biden “Has generally embraced sensible reforms over flashy gimmicks. But his Wednesday student loan announcement did just the opposite,” adding that the plan to forgive both the $10K and $20K levels are “ill-conceived and misdirected.”

“The unemployment rate for people with bachelor’s degrees and higher is just 2 percent. It’s hard to make the case that college graduates are still facing an unprecedented crisis. The loan-forgiveness decision is even worse. Widely canceling student loan debt is regressive. It takes money from the broader tax base, mostly made up of workers who did not go to college, to subsidize the education debt of people with valuable degrees. Mr. Biden’s student loan decision will not do enough to help the most vulnerable Americans. It will, however, provide a windfall for those who don’t need it — with American taxpayers footing the bill.” -WaPo. Ouch!

Read more …

“..Biden “is using COVID emergency powers to allow people not to repay their loans,” he asked, “[Does] that make any sense?”

Student Loan Cancellation Latest In Long Line Of Biden Legal Overreaches (JTN)

Since President Biden entered office, federal courts across the country have repeatedly struck down administration policies as unconstitutional. According to critics, there may soon be another addition to this long and growing list: Biden’s announcement Wednesday that he will unilaterally cancel $10,000 of federal student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 per year and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. The Justice Department released a legal opinion stating the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act gives the education secretary the “authority to reduce or eliminate the obligation to repay the principal balance of federal student loan debt.” The opinion also found the debt could be forgiven on a “class-wide” basis in response to COVID-19.

Advocates of student loan forgiveness have made similar arguments, pointing to language in the Higher Education Act of 1965 that empowers the education secretary to “enforce, pay, compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand, however acquired, including any equity or any right of redemption” to argue Congress isn’t needed to cancel student loan debt on a large scale. However, critics counter that the language refers just to settling loans on a case-by-case basis and doesn’t give the executive branch the power to implement large-scale student loan cancellation. These critics note all executive branch spending must first be appropriated by Congress and contend canceling student debt for millions of Americans via executive action violates the separation of powers fundamental to the Constitution.

In January 2021, when former President Trump was still in office, the Department of Education issued a legal memo saying the education secretary “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.” The memo has been taken down from the department’s website since Biden entered the White House. None other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a Biden ally, told reporters last year that Biden didn’t have the power to cancel student debt. “That has to be an act of Congress … the president can’t do it,” said Pelosi. “That’s not even a discussion.”

Biden himself has previously expressed reluctance about using executive authority to enact widespread student loan forgiveness, saying in December 2020: “I think that’s pretty questionable. I’m unsure of that. I’d be unlikely to do that.” Critics of Biden’s announcement are expected to launch legal challenges to stop it from being implemented. Arguing that “the president does not have the authority to do this,” economist Steve Moore told the “Just the News, Not Noise” TV show, “I think that Supreme Court is going to rule against Biden.” Noting that Biden “is using COVID emergency powers to allow people not to repay their loans,” he asked, “[Does] that make any sense?

Mike Davis

Read more …

“..the institutions that illegally targeted President Trump are the same institutions who control the specific evidence of their unlawful targeting.”

Stakeholder Interests Within FBI Affidavit Justifying Raid on Trump (CTH)

Chris Steele, Igor Danchenko and Rodney Joffe were also interviewed by the FBI. Those 302’s were never released. Presumably John Durham has stakeholder equity in that part of the Trump-Russia hoax, but the documentary evidence prior to January 20, 2021, that exists outside the special counsel could also be records at Mar-a-Lago. Then we get to the big stuff…. The records and evidence in unredacted and declassified state, that would drive the DOJ-NSD to claim vital national security interests. The NSA compliance officer notified NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers of unauthorized use of the NSA database by FBI contractors searching U.S. citizens during the 2015/2016 presidential primary. That 2016 notification is a classified record.

The response from Mike Rogers, and the subsequent documentary evidence of what names were being searched is again a classified record. The audit logs showing who was doing the searches (which contractors, which agencies and from what offices), as noted by Director Rogers, was preserved. That is another big-time classified record. In addition, we would have Admiral Rogers writing a mandatory oversight notification to the FISA court detailing what happened. That’s a big and comprehensive classified record, likely contained in the documents in Mar-a-Lago… and then the goldmine, the fully unredacted 99-page FISA court opinion detailing the substance of the NSA compromise by FBI officials and contractors, including the names, frequency and dates of the illegal surveillance. That is a major classified document the Deepest Deep State would want to keep hidden.

These are the types of documents within what former ODNI John Ratcliffe called “thousands of pages that were declassified by President Trump,” and given to both John Durham and Main Justice with an expectation of public release when the Durham special counsel probe concluded. In short, President Trump declassified documents that show how the institutions within the U.S. government targeted him. However, the institutions that illegally targeted President Trump are the same institutions who control the specific evidence of their unlawful targeting. These examples of evidence held by President Donald Trump reveals the background of how the DC surveillance state exists. THAT was/is the national security threat behind the DOJ-NSD search warrant and affidavit.

Read more …

Strong video.

Dramatic Timeline of Political Corruption Within the FBI (CTH)

BACKGROUND on FBI – As we discovered in January of this year, the FBI was fully aware of the terrorist who was planning to shoot the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, and yet they did nothing. The FBI knowledge of the shooter, Malik Faisal Akram, who was known as Faisal Akram was confirmed by The Daily Mail. Akram ranted, prior to his travel to the U.S, that he wished he had died in the 9/11 terror attacks. He was a regular visitor to Pakistan, and reportedly a member of the Tablighi Jamaat group set up to ‘purify’ Islam. To say the U.S. intelligence system knew Faisal Akram would be an understatement. The FBI was also fully aware of the Boston Marathon bombers, the Tsarnaev brothers, before they executed their plot. The FBI took no action.

The FBI knew about the San Bernardino terrorists, specifically Tashfeen Malik, and were monitoring her phone calls and communications before her and Syed Farook executed their attack killing 14 people and leaving 22 others seriously injured. The FBI took no action. The FBI knew Colorado grocery store shooter Ahmad Alissa before he executed his attack. The FBI took no action. The FBI knew in advance of the Pulse Nightclub shooter (Omar Mateen) and were tipped off by the local sheriff. The FBI knew in advance of the San Bernardino Terrorists (Tashfeen Malik). The FBI knew in advance of the Boston Marathon Bombers (the Tsarnaev brothers) tipped off by Russians. The FBI knew in advance of the Parkland High School shooter (Nikolas Cruz). The FBI knew in advance of the Fort Hood shooter (Nidal Hasan), and the FBI knew in advance of Colorado grocery store shooter Ahmad al-Aliwi Alissa. The FBI took no action.

The case of the first recorded ISIS attack on U.S. soil was in Garland, Texas in 2015. The FBI not only knew the shooters (Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi) in advance, BUT the FBI ALSO took the shooters to the venue and were standing only a few yards away when Simpson and Soofi opened fire. Yes, you read that correctly – the FBI took the terrorists to the event and then watched it unfold. “An FBI trainer suggested in an interview with “60 Minutes” that, had the attack been bigger, the agency’s numerous ties to the shooter would have led to a congressional investigation.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker 4-sigma

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steller’s sea eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 162022
 
 August 16, 2022  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan Study for Blue Apple Tree Series 1908

 

Ukraine Failed To Mount Counteroffensive – Macgregor (RT)
‘Ukraine Is Bankrupt’ – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine To Boost Military Spending (RT)
EU ‘Blatantly Lying’ About Threat To Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant – Moscow (RT)
Kiev Mayor Klitschko Claims Zelensky’s Government Threatened His Citizenship (RT)
German Officials Warn Of “Extremists” Fueling “Mass Protests And Riots” (ZH)
A Different Sort of Warrant (Kunstler)
DOJ Admits It Took Trump’s Passports, Offers To Return Them (JTN)
Garland, Wray Must Be Impeached for Unconscionable Trump Raid (NW)
Jim Jordan Says 14 FBI Whistleblowers Have Come Forward (WE)
Too Little, Too Late: Disband The CDC Now (NYP)
CBS Pushes Study Blaming Climate Change For Rising Childhood Obesity Rates (NYP)
How Your Carbon Footprint And Your Carbon Wallet Are Really Going To Work (TI)
Judge Rules Twitter Must Turn Over Hidden Documents to Elon Musk (TP)
CIA, Pompeo Sued For Spying On Attorneys, Journalists Who Met With Assange (D.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chitins

 

 

 

 

Coast guy

 

 

People tend to think things have always been as they are

 

 

 

 

“He went on to predict that the Russian military would seize the key port city of Odessa, making Ukraine a “landlocked country.”

Ukraine Failed To Mount Counteroffensive – Macgregor (RT)

The Ukrainian military has not been able to pull off its promised counteroffensive, and Russian forces are now likely to take over the whole of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former adviser to the secretary of defense in the Trump administration, has said. Appearing on a livestream hosted by former US judge and columnist Andrew Napolitano last Tuesday, Macgregor dismissed as “utterly nonsensical” reports in some US media outlets that the Russian military has lost some 80,000 personnel in Ukraine so far. According to the decorated Gulf War veteran, “more accurate numbers are probably thirteen to fifteen thousand dead on the Russian side,” with Ukrainian forces having lost “sixty to eighty thousand.”

Commenting on these reports in late July, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov described the alleged Russian casualty figures as “fake.” He also lamented that even established media outlets are publishing misleading reports these days. The last time Russia’s Defense Ministry provided an update on the number of casualties was in late March, at which time the official death toll had reached 1,351, with 3,825 service members injured. When asked to comment on the current state of affairs on the frontline, the former Pentagon official said that the majority of Russian personnel had been given rest, “refitted, reorganized,” to renew the offensive in August. Macgregor claimed that the first signs of that happening were already evident, “particularly down in the south.”

He went on to predict that the Russian military would seize the key port city of Odessa, making Ukraine a “landlocked country.” “Ukrainians have been unable to put together any sort of counteroffensive. So, I don’t see much evidence that the Ukrainians can stop this,” the former Pentagon adviser claimed. Moreover, Macgregor said that the activities of Russian forces south of Kharkov in the east of Ukraine seemed to him like preliminary “shaping operations” meant to pave the way for a major offensive later on. He concluded that “first comes the operation in the south and then subsequently up in Kharkov,” pointing out once more that the Ukrainian army does not appear to be able to stop either one.

Macgregor added that he expected these offensives to be over by the “end of August-beginning of September.” Last month, a number of top Ukrainian officials suggested that the country’s military would launch a counteroffensive in the south of the country in August to retake the city of Kherson. However, according to Moscow, it is the Russian military along with the forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics that have recently made advances and taken territory.

Read more …

EU promised €9 billion in May, paid €1 billion so far. Ukraine ‘needs’ €9 billion every month.

‘Ukraine Is Bankrupt’ – Moscow (RT)

Ukraine has lost its financial independence as it cannot meet its obligations to its citizens without Western help, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin wrote on Monday. Taking to Telegram, Volodin claimed that “collected taxes form only 40% of the country’s budget,” more than 60% of which covers military spending. Ukraine’s monthly deficit amounts to $5 billion, Volodin reminded. “Ukraine is bankrupt,” he said. The same numbers were reported on Friday by the Wall Street Journal. In the speaker’s opinion, “without the help of Washington and Brussels, Kiev can no longer fulfill its obligations to citizens.” “Ukraine has lost its financial independence,” Volodin concluded.

On Monday, the Ukrainian government introduced draft legislation to abolish preferential taxation on fuel. An explanatory note on the Rada’s website says that “there is a significant shortage of funds for financing the road industry.” The legislation is poised to create “during the period of martial law” conditions “for the proper functioning of the economy” and increased budget revenue through excise duties. In a recent interview with RBC Ukraine, Finance Minister Sergey Marchenko said that next year’s budget will be “extremely tight” due to “war conditions.” “There will be no expenses that will not be reviewed,” he said. According to Oleg Ustenko, a presidential adviser on economic issues, Ukraine’s state budget deficit is expected to reach $50 billion by the end of the year.

That is about 30-35% of the country’s GDP, he said in a TV interview last month, adding that “this is a problem of war.” Kiev says it needs $5 billion a month in assistance from Western backers. However, Ustenko, quoted by the Financial Times, said in July they would need an extra $4bn a month over the next three months to cover the cost of emergency accommodation and housing repairs for millions of people, and to fund a basic minimum income for those ones who had lost their jobs. The grants and loans pledged to Ukraine by the West have been arriving much slower than expected. So far, only €1 billion out of a €9 billion ($9.3 billion) long-term loan package proposed by the European Commission in May, has arrived. Since February, the EU has provided €2.2 billion.

Read more …

What you do when you’re bankrupt.

Ukraine To Boost Military Spending (RT)

The Ukrainian parliament approved on Monday a boost to defense spending amid the ongoing military conflict with Russia. According to the bill passed by the Rada, the country’s parliament, the government will be authorized to raise an additional 270 billion hryvnias ($7.3 billion) through domestic borrowing. This will allow an extra 241 billion hryvnias ($6.5 billion) to be allocated to the Defense Ministry and for more funds to be provided to the police, security and intelligence services. The move comes after the Wall Street Journal reported that a shortage of funds risks becoming “Ukraine’s Achilles’s heel” in the conflict.


“We have to worry about winning the war. It is better to risk high inflation than not to pay soldiers’ salaries,” Finance Minister Sergey Marchenko told the WSJ last week about the National Bank of Ukraine’s strategy of printing more money. Marchenko told news agency RBC Ukraine on Monday that Kiev hopes to receive $12-16 billion from foreign lenders by the end of 2022. The exact sum will depend on negotiations with foreign partners, he said.

Read more …

“biased informational stuffing”

Kiev knows the first thing the IAEA would find is proof that it was not the Russians who shelled the plant.

EU ‘Blatantly Lying’ About Threat To Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant – Moscow (RT)

Accusations that Moscow is jeopardizing the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) contradict the facts and allow Kiev to undermine the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to inspect the facility, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday. Russia’s response comes after the EU released a statement on Sunday condemning the “unprovoked invasion of Ukraine” and accusing the Russian military of attacking the ZNPP and preventing nuclear and radiation safety from being maintained at the facility. “Western countries are once again descending to outright lies, arguing that the threats to the ZNPP are created by Russia,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a statement published on the ministry’s website.

“Obviously, this contradicts the facts that we have repeatedly cited, including within the walls of the Security Council. It is undeniable that the attacks on the station and Energodar are carried out by Ukrainian armed groups acting on orders from Kiev.” Zakharova went on to suggest that the EU’s statement was marked by “biased informational stuffing” and full of “blatant Russophobia and distorted facts.” She noted that the authors of the text were obsessed with the so-called “Russian threat” and were using it to cover up their own foreign policy failures by putting “Russophobic foreign policy views above objectivity and the tasks of nonproliferation and nuclear security.” The spokeswoman also pointed out that such statements were being used by EU politicians to score “imaginary political points” while giving Kiev the go-ahead to create obstacles for an IAEA inspection of the plant.

“We strongly urge Washington, Brussels and other capitals, primarily European ones, to stop the irresponsible games and intrigues around the ZNPP and immediately influence the Kyiv authorities to force them to stop shelling the plant and its adjacent territories,” Zakharova stated, adding that Moscow is in close cooperation with the IAEA and will do everything necessary to provide its specialists with access to the power plant.

Read more …

Zelensky feels 10 feet tall.

Kiev Mayor Klitschko Claims Zelensky’s Government Threatened His Citizenship (RT)

The government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky made a veiled threat to strip the citizenship of Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko, the head of the Ukrainian capital claimed in an interview published on Monday. “I had a conversation with an innuendo: ‘Since you are so proactive, we could look into your German citizenship’. I said: ‘I’d be very surprised if somebody showed me a German passport in my name and took it away,’” he said, as cited by the website Babel. The exchange allegedly happened after Klitschko signed a public call for Zelensky to reverse his decision to revoke the Ukrainian citizenship of Ukrainian official Gennady Korban, which he ordered last month. Korban, a longtime close ally of Dnepr Mayor Boris Filatov, was among several Ukrainians whose citizenship was taken away by Zelensky.

He was on a foreign trip when the move was made. Upon attempting to return to Ukraine he found himself at an impasse when the border guards would not let him cross back into his home country. Over a hundred Ukrainian public figures supported the open letter to Zelensky, which Filatov published on Facebook in late July. Klitschko declined to reveal who exactly put pressure on him, but said he supported reinstating Korban’s citizenship on principle rather than as a political favor to Filatov. “Everything must happen under universal principles, not selectively,” he explained. “In this case this is how it looks: we’ll take this one’s [citizenship] and let others keep theirs, so that they are more pliable, realizing that we can take theirs too.”

Ukraine disallows dual citizenship. Under the law, Ukrainians who also hold foreign passports are treated as regular citizens but are banned from holding public office. The president may revoke the citizenship of a Ukrainian who takes another passport. In practice, however, this principle is often ignored. For instance, billionaire Igor Kolomoysky, one of the people targeted by Zelensky’s July order, had served as a governor in Ukraine despite holding the citizenship of Cyprus and Israel at the time. The fact was widely known in Ukraine, and Kolomoysky even joked that it was OK, since the law bans dual citizenship, not triple citizenship. In the interview, Klitschko provided assurance that Ukrainian citizenship is the only one he has. The official was a world-renowned boxer before going into politics and spent much of his athletic career in Germany.

Read more …

Farmers=Extremists.

German Officials Warn Of “Extremists” Fueling “Mass Protests And Riots” (ZH)

As queries for “firewood” have exploded on Google in Germany, and Deutsche Bank predicting that “wood will be used for heating purposes where possible,” German officials are now warning of extreme energy rationing measures, along with the potential for “extremists” to fuel national unrest over the deteriorating situation. For starters, German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck – who previously called on residents to cut back on heating, visits to the sauna, and showers – announced on Friday that public buildings across the country won’t be allowed to set heating above 19 degrees Celsius (66.2F) this fall. Exceptions will be made for hospitals and ‘social facilities.’

[..] Meanwhile, German officials are preparing for civil unrest. In an interview with ZDF, Stephan Kramer – who heads the domestic intelligence service in the German state of Thuringia – warned that ‘legitimate’ protests over the energy crisis could be ‘hijacked by extremists’ (and definitely not just enraged average citizens). Kramer said that officials were bracing for protests over “gas shortages, energy problems, supply difficulties, possible recession, unemployment, but also the growing poverty right up to the middle class,” adding that “extremists” which include “lateral thinkers” who rallied against pandemic lockdowns, and ‘right-wing activists’ who have been stirring the post over social media, could be at the heart of them.

“We’re likely to be confronted with mass protests and riots,” he continued. “We’re dealing with a highly emotionalized, aggressive, future-pessimistic mood in society, whose trust in the state, its institutions and political actors is fraught with massive doubts.” “This highly emotional and explosive mood could easily escalate,” the security chief continued, adding that the Covid-19 clashes would “probably feel more like a children’s birthday party” by comparison. Kramer offers a warning to would-be participants: “think carefully about which protests and demonstrations you join, or better stay away from them altogether, so as not to support the enemies of democracy.”

Read more …

“..the country is now viciously coming apart..“

A Different Sort of Warrant (Kunstler)

Over the weekend, independent journalist Paul Sperry reported that many of the same FBI officers involved in the Mar-a-Lago raid happen to be subjects of Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of RussiaGate. Have some of them already been hauled into grand juries? We don’t know. But, with the Mar-a-Lago caper, it looks like the law enforcement apparatus of the federal government is seeking to suppress evidence of its own long-running criminal enterprise. The parallel purpose of the raid was to find — or perhaps plant — documents that might be used in a scheme to disqualify Mr. Trump from running for office again. The January 6th show-trial in Congress has failed to galvanize the country’s attention, and may have foundered in its attempt to find grounds for a criminal referral against the former president that would take him off the playing field. So, now this.

Momentous legal quarrels that arise out of the Mar-a-Lago raid may evolve into a constitutional crisis that the captive news media can use as a smokescreen to divert the public’s attention from any balloting shenanigans going into the November election. At least it will shove any other issues off-stage in the run-up to the midterm. Is it a miscalculation? The choice of going to federal magistrate Bruce Reinhart for the Mar-a-Lago warrant sure looks crude and desperate. Only weeks ago, he was presiding over the Trump v Clinton lawsuit. How did that even happen, given Mr. Reinhart’s role defending Jeffrey Epstein’s associates — many of them Clinton-connected — in the 2007 sex-trafficking case?

And only after the spectacularly weird act of switching sides from the federal prosecution team to Epstein’s defense team. Not to mention Mr. Reinhart’s record of public statements denouncing Mr. Trump. There are twenty-five other magistrates who rotate their duties in the Southern District of Florida, why pick him? It all shapes up as a systematic effort to obstruct justice by the US Department of Justice. They’ve been doing it consistently since 2016 in all matters pertaining to Mr. Trump, and it is a big reason that the country is now viciously coming apart.

Read more …

“DOJ admission it over-collected evidence in Trump raid creates new legal drama..”

DOJ Admits It Took Trump’s Passports, Offers To Return Them (JTN)

Three passports, Privileged documents. A file on a presidential pardon. As evidence surfaces about what FBI agents seized during the raid of former President Donald Trump’s estate in Mar-O-Lago, new questions about the real focus of the investigation and new avenues for legal challenges are bubbling to the surface. The Justice Department informed Trump’s team Monday that agents gathered the former president’s passports and are obligated to return them, and that officials are also reviewing seized materials that may be covered by various privileges, multiple sources told Just the News. DOJ has designated a process for separating materials that could be covered by executive privilege or attorney client privilege and hopes to return such memos to Trump within a couple of weeks, the sources said.

“Occasionally a warrant collection can grab things outside the scope authorized by the court and the department is now following a procedure we would for any person affected this way,” one official said Monday night. Kevin Brock, who served as FBI assistant director for intelligence under former Director Robert Mueller, said the new revelations raise legitimate questions about over-collection of evidence that could lead to significant legal challenges. Trump lawyers are weighing whether to ask a federal court to name a special master to review sensitive documents and protect the president’s 4th amendment, executive and attorney-client privileges. “Trump’s attorneys could have a runway to argue the scope of the search is overly broad,” Brock told Just the News.

“Search warrants normally require a level of specificity that seems to be missing in this warrant. Specificity is important in order to protect 4th Amendment rights from exuberant government overreach designed to find whatever they can.” Brock said he was particularly troubled FBI agents felt comfortable seizing a record of Trump’s pardon of longtime friend Roger Stone, which the bureau disclosed in court documents. He said it suggested the raid may have something more to do with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot probe, where Stone has been a figure of interest, than an investigation into classified records. “The president’s authority to grant pardon and clemency is clear but what isn’t clear is why the retention of a clemency order would be considered illegal,” Brock said.

Read more …

From Newsweek no less…

Garland, Wray Must Be Impeached for Unconscionable Trump Raid (NW)

For over a year, we’ve heard Democrats wailing about existential threats to “democracy!” Curiously, this has happened while these same Democrats in Congress have worked hand-in-glove with their fellow Democrats in the Justice Department to disregard all norms to hunt down and attempt to destroy President Joe Biden’s chief political rival, former President Donald Trump, as well as Trump’s top aides and even his political supporters. Last Monday, the Biden Justice Department crossed a red line by ordering an unprecedented, unnecessary, and unlawful FBI raid of Trump’s home and offices in Mar-a-Lago. The purported purpose of the highly controversial home raid with a brigade of 30 FBI agents—a raid Attorney General Merrick Garland admitted he personally ordered after his aides initially denied it—is related to 15 to 25 boxes of presidential records, some of which bureaucrats at the National Archives claim are classified and which Trump took to Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House over 18 months ago.

All presidents take mementos and other records when they leave office. They don’t pack their own boxes. The National Archives takes the position that almost everything is a “presidential record.” And the federal government, in general, over-classifies almost everything. Even if Trump took classified records, that isn’t a crime. The president has the inherent constitutional power to declassify any record he wants, in any manner he wants, regardless of any otherwise-pertinent statute or regulation that applies to everyone else. The president does not need to obtain Congress’ or a bureaucrat’s permission—or jump through their regulatory or statutory hoops—to declassify anything. The Supreme Court reaffirmed this in the 1988 case, Department of the Navy v. Egan :

“The President, after all, is the ‘Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.’ U.S. Const., Art. II, § 2. His authority to classify and control access to information bearing on national security…flows primarily from this constitutional investment of power in the President, and exists quite apart from any explicit congressional grant.” Thus, if Trump left the White House with classified records, then those records are necessarily declassified by his very actions. He doesn’t need to label that decision for, or report that decision to, any bureaucrat who works for him. It is pretextual legal nonsense for the Biden Justice Department to pretend Trump broke any criminal statute. Indeed, it is noteworthy that Attorney General Garland apparently did not seek an opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)—the de facto general counsel for the executive branch—before ordering this home raid of his boss’s chief political enemy. Perhaps Garland knew OLC wouldn’t give him the answer he wanted.

In 2012, former President Barack Obama secretly told the Russian president he’d have “more flexibility” to negotiate with Russia after the 2012 presidential election. To convey that message is to clearly transmit highly classified information. So why not an Espionage Act violation? Well, because Obama was the president—period. All former presidents also get a federally funded office, called the Office of the Former President. They get lawyers and other staff, security clearances, Secret Service protection, and secure facilities (SCIFs) for the maintenance of classified records. Even if Trump had classified records, then, they were protected and secure.

Read more …

The GOP needs to win the midterms first…

Jim Jordan Says 14 FBI Whistleblowers Have Come Forward (WE)

More than a dozen FBI whistleblowers have come forward to Republican investigators in Congress, according to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). The congressman, who is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News host Trey Gowdy the number has risen to 14 after the FBI raid at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. During a conversation about alleged politicization at the Justice Department, along with former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, Jordan made the case that the public has “figured it out” when it comes to what he characterized as the Left generating a lie, the “Big Media” reporting the lie, Big Tech amplifying the lie, and then both piling on Republicans when they catch on and say something. He said there are agents in the bureau who have realized the same.


“Fourteen FBI agents have come to our office as whistleblowers, and they are good people,” Jordan said. “There are lots of good people in the FBI. It’s the top that is the problem. Some of these good agents are coming to us, telling us what is baloney, what’s going on — the political nature now of the Justice Department — God bless them for doing it — talking about the school board issue, about a whole host of issues.” This would appear to be quite a bump from a little more than two months ago, when Jordan told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that, in total, six FBI officials have approached the committee, two related to a controversy surrounding a school boards memo and four related to Jan. 6. At the time, in early June, Jordan sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray warning that multiple former FBI officials were coming forward with information suggesting the bureau was “purging” employees with conservative viewpoints.

Read more …

“..And the CDC permits us to come within six feet of each other again. Finally! Husbands, tell your wives it’s on!”

Too Little, Too Late: Disband The CDC Now (NYP)

Dissolve the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week, the CDC released updated COVID-19 guidance. The agency now believes we should be taking an individual approach to mitigating our COVID risk. In layman’s terms, we are all Florida 2020 now. The new guidance suggests ending “test to stay” so kids exposed to someone with COVID-19 can remain in school. Of course, this was only related to known exposure. People are exposed to COVID all the time, but only children who were aware of that exposure were punished. Kids lost so much throughout the pandemic because of terrible, irrational CDC guidance like this. The fresh guidance also says people without symptoms no longer need to be routinely tested. And the CDC permits us to come within six feet of each other again. Finally! Husbands, tell your wives it’s on!

But most important, the agency has finally faced some truths about the vaccine that it should have long ago. “CDC’s COVID-19 prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status because breakthrough infections occur.” And it’s admitted that “persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection.” Cities across the country fired teachers, firefighters, health-care staffers, police officers, sanitation workers and so many others because they refused to get vaccinated. Many of these people had worked through the early days of the pandemic — and contracted COVID many times over — while we baked banana bread and patted ourselves on the back for ordering from Uber Eats. Now the CDC acknowledges this was the wrong thing to do. Whoopsie!

[..] But with COVID, its word became policy. In what should go down as one of the most disgusting moments in public health, the CDC allowed, with direction from the Biden White House, Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers chief, to craft school-opening policies that forced classrooms across the country to remain closed in winter 2021. No one has been fired for this dereliction of duty. No one has even been openly chastised for allowing a special-interest group to control our health-care policy. This alone is why the CDC must go.

Read more …

“..scare Americans into accepting Government intervention–at any cost!!–against climate *apocalypse*“

CBS Pushes Study Blaming Climate Change For Rising Childhood Obesity Rates (NYP)

“CBS Mornings” pushed a recent study connecting climate change and hotter temperatures with childhood obesity rates in a ridiculed segment on Thursday. Co-host Nate Burleson introduced the study published in the journal “Temperature” that argued “climate change, specifically warmer temperatures is making our children more inactive and more obese.” Burleson said the study found that children were 30% less “aerobically fit” than their parents and claimed hotter temperatures were preventing kids from exercising outside. Although the segment focused primarily on climate change, Burleson acknowledged that technology was likely a factor in rising childhood obesity cases.

“Now listen, it has been a lot hotter, and the weather has been crazy, but I think it also has to do with technology, you know. It’s one thing not to go outside, but these kids don’t go outside because they can stay inside and be on their phones, play video games, and be social without having to go outside and be social,” Burleson said. Several Twitter users, however, attacked the segment for emphasizing “climate change” as a factor in childhood obesity without also recognizing coronavirus lockdowns. “Do you think it could be… nah, couldn’t be. Must be the climate change,” Deseret News contributing writer Bethany Mandel joked.

Hans Mahncke, co-host of “Truth Over News” on EpochTV, tweeted, “They made kids fat by shutting schools, playgrounds, parks and beaches. Predictably, they’re now blaming ‘climate change.’ If there aren’t severe penalties for the fraudsters who pushed lockdowns, it’ll happen again.” “Climate change? Ffs,” National Review journalist Claude Thompson wrote. Former congresswoman Nan Hayworth tweeted, “NO. NO. NO. Many factors contribute to children’s lack of fitness, but climate change is NOT one of them. This is propaganda that CBS, as with all ‘mainstream’ media, pushes to scare Americans into accepting Government intervention–at any cost!!–against climate *apocalypse*”

Read more …

“Mastercard and Doconomy Launch the Future of Sustainable Payments”

How Your Carbon Footprint And Your Carbon Wallet Are Really Going To Work (TI)

When most people think of carbon emissions and carbon footprints they think it only refers to travel, fuel, gas and electricity all under the guise of emissions. I hate to break it to you but it runs far deeper than that. Let me now introduce you to Doc Ono, a company you may never have heard of. Doconomy is a “credit card” endorsed by Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum. In May 2019 an article appeared on the WEF site called “This credit card has a carbon-emission spending limit” In the article it says “Swedish fintech company Doconomy has launched a new credit card that monitors the carbon footprint of its customers – and cuts off their spending when they hit their carbon max” Yikes, cuts off their spending. It continues:

“The DO card tracks the CO2 emissions linked to purchases to calculate the carbon impact of every transaction. The aim is to encourage people to actively reduce their carbon footprint and demonstrate the impact that small changes can have on the environment. The card uses the Aland Index as the basis on which it calculates the carbon footprint of each product purchased. Users can set a maximum value for their carbon spend and learn how to compensate for their carbon footprint by contributing towards schemes to reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions” Now we are getting closer to the truth of how this is going to operate. It isn’t just travel, it will be for everything. In February 2019 Mastercard published an article called “Mastercard and Doconomy Launch the Future of Sustainable Payments” where they say “Doconomy and Mastercard announce their joint effort to combat climate change by enabling DO – a free and easy-to-use mobile banking service that lets users track, understand and reduce their CO2 footprints through carbon offsetting”

Isn’t it fascinating that they emphasise it will allow the users to track everything. It would never be used for nefarious purposes such as banks and governments tracking everything. Of course not.. [..] Here is what is probably going to happen. When you go out to a restaurant depending on what your “carbon footprint” has been, will determine what you can and cannot order off the menu. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it ? Depending on how many points you have left for that month will determine whether you are allowed to eat “proper food” or “lab food”. If you’ve been a bold boy or girl you’ll only be allowed to eat the lab grown plant-based food so you don’t surpass your carbon quota. If you try to order beef which apparently has high CO2 levels you won’t be allowed to.

This will also be the case when you go to supermarkets to do your weekly shop. Every item you buy will be assigned a CO2 number. It gets even more ridiculous though. Within the last month Eamonn Ryan who is a WEF member and leader of the Green Party in Ireland has advocated for the reduction in the numbers of Irish cattle. Instead we will import cattle from Brazil. I like to call this the work of the “Ruminati”. How do you think the carbon footprint of importing beef from Brazil would look like on a menu now. It would be off the charts. Do you see what they are trying to achieve and where this is going ? The whole thing sounds ridiculously Dystopian, doesn’t it ? That would never happen. It’s so 1984, I hear you shout. If you have been paying attention to the last 2.5 years then you will realise it’s not remotely far-fetched at all.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1559165376939937794

Read more …

“A buyer can also walk if there’s fraud, assuming the discovery of incorrect information has a so-called ‘material adverse effect.’”

Judge Rules Twitter Must Turn Over Hidden Documents to Elon Musk (TP)

A judge on Monday ruled that Twitter must turn over documents from a former executive that would show how many ‘fake accounts’ are on the platform. “Twitter needs to give Elon Musk documents from a former Twitter executive who Musk said was a key figure in calculating the amount of fake accounts on the platform, according to a Monday court order,” Reuters reported. “Bot and spam accounts on Twitter have become a central issue in the legal fight over whether Musk, who is Tesla Inc’s chief executive, must complete his $44 billion acquisition of the social media company,” the report noted. “Twitter was ordered to collect, review and produce documents from former General Manager of Consumer Product Kayvon Beykpour, according to the order from Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery,” the report added.

Elon Musk announced in early June that he would abandon his $44 billion Twitter offer after the company failed to provide satisfactory information about fake ‘bot’ accounts. Twitter sued the Tesla CEO to force him to uphold the deal. In a letter to Twitter’s board, Musk’s lawyer Mike Ringler complained his client had sought data to determine how many “fake or spam” accounts are on the social media platform. “Twitter has failed or refused to provide this information. Sometimes Twitter has ignored Mr. Musk’s requests, sometimes it has rejected them for reasons that appear to be unjustified, and sometimes it has claimed to comply while giving Mr. Musk incomplete or unusable information,” the letter said. Musk could be on solid legal ground to pull out of the deal if Twitter had attempted to defraud him during the takeover process.

“A reverse breakup fee paid from a buyer to a target applies when there is an outside reason a deal can’t close, such as regulatory intermediation or third-party financing concerns. A buyer can also walk if there’s fraud, assuming the discovery of incorrect information has a so-called ‘material adverse effect.’ A market dip, like the current sell-off that has caused Twitter to lose more than $9 billion in market cap, wouldn’t count as a valid reason for Musk to cut loose — breakup fee or no breakup fee — according to a senior Mergers and Acquisitions lawyer familiar with the matter,” CNBC reported.

Read more …

“The United States Constitution shields American citizens from US government overreach..”

CIA, Pompeo Sued For Spying On Attorneys, Journalists Who Met With Assange (D.)

A group of journalists and lawyers, who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he was living under political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, sued the CIA and former CIA director Mike Pompeo. They allege that the agency under Pompeo spied on them in violation of their privacy rights. Undercover Global S.L., a private security company in Spain, and the company’s director David Morales are also named as defendants. UC Global ramped up surveillance against Assange and shared audio and video footage from the embassy with “American intelligence.” “The United States Constitution shields American citizens from US government overreach even when the activities take place in a foreign embassy in a foreign country.

“Visitors who are lawyers, journalists and doctors frequently carry confidential information in their devices,” declared Richard Roth, who is the lead attorney representing the plaintiffs. “They had a reasonable expectation that the security guards at the Ecuadorian embassy in London would not be US government spies charged with delivering copies of their electronics to the CIA,” Roth added. Two of the plaintiffs are attorneys who have represented Assange—Margaret Rather Kunstler, a civil rights activist and human rights attorney, and Deborah Hrbek, a media lawyer. The other two plaintiffs are journalists Charles Glass and John Goetz, who worked for Der Spiegel when the German media organization first partnered with WikiLeaks to publish documents on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

[..] According to the complaint [PDF] filed in a US court in the Southern District of New York, Glass, Goetz, Hrbek, and Kunstler, like all visitors, were required to “surrender” their electronic devices to UC Global employees hired by Ecuador to provide security for the embassy. What they did not know is that UC Global “copied the information stored on the devices” and allegedly shared the information with the CIA. Pompeo allegedly authorized and approved the action. Security required plaintiffs to leave their devices with them, which contained “confidential and privileged information about their sources or clients. This information was copied and allegedly shared with the CIA. It is estimated that “well over 100 American citizens who visited Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy” had their privacy rights violated. This includes attorneys who were there to represent Assange, journalists who traveled to interview him, and even doctors who came to the embassy to assess and treat his deteriorating health.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese century??

 

 

 

$717 a month

 

 

 

 

(Part of) Monastiraki in the foreground, Acropolis in the back.

 

 

Friends

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Aug 062022
 
 August 6, 2022  Posted by at 12:28 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Beach at Scheveningen in Stormy Weather 1882

 

 

It is very simple: if you’d ask most citizens of whichever EU country if they are willing to risk being unable to feed and heat their children in order to support Ukraine and Zelensky, they would say NO. Hell no! But that is what they’re all being pushed towards. Food prices look to at least double from here, after they’ve doubled once already, while energy prices are set to triple or worse. And there’s no logical reason for it.

This is not due to some inevitable market mechanism, it’s because the west decided to halt all Russian imports after the latter’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. All western leaders found that reason enough to cut all, or nearly all, imports from Russia. Gas, oil, fertilizer, food. Essentials. They could have been sitting around a negotiating table, but chose not to. Which only works as long as things remain sort of affordable. And then, it does not.

Problem is, they had and have no alternative to the Russian supplies of these goods (and there’s many more). See, this is how we know they don’t make their own decisions. Those are made in Brussels and Davos, and then the “leaders” have to carry out the preconceived programs, and they will.

No elected official on his/her own would risk to destroy their own country’s energy or food safety, with elections coming up every few years. But their WEF/Davos connections have changed that “logic”. The WEF makes sure no western leader gets elected who is not a member of their club. There’s only one path to power these days.

 

But these people grossly underestimate the effect that hunger and cold -will- have on their citizens. The first signs of that are visible in the protests of truckers and farmers, but that’s just a start. You just wait till the cold sets in, and the running blackouts, and the hunger. Wait till people have to feed their kids scraps from a bare table in a cold dark home.

That’s when you will see who people really are. People in the west are overfed, and lazy, and not too sharp, but wait till their kids, and their families, are truly suffering. They’ve seen the example of the farmers and truckers. Wait for people to see the link between their own lives, and the farmers; then you will see who they really are.

“Leaders” like Trudeau and Rutte think they have this under control, that they can make the farmers do what their governments say they must, if need be with assistance from police or even the army. But you cannot send cops and soldiers against your farmers, because 1) they make your food, 2) the people support them, 3) they have a centuries-old democratic right to be farmers, and 4) they don’t take no sh*t for an answer.

This goes back 100s of years, much longer than the right of any politician to tell them what to do. The Dutch farmers on Friday told Rutte to prepare for the hardest actions yet, and they’re still not joking. My guess would be this time they will paralyze the country. Not because they are crazy; 10,000 of them would need to close shop if Rutte gets what he wants, and they won’t let that happen. Farmers will not idly stand by while their neighbor is forced out of business.

No, they are not crazy. They refuse to talk to Rutte, in a sign a of how much they trust him. He assigned a mediator, from his own political club, and all farmer org’s but one refused to talk to him too. The one that did, found the talk useless. Rutte wants the 10,000 scalps no matter what, but it’s just not going to happen. He is shown the limits of his power. Having been PM for 12 years, that’s a bit of a shock.

 

Obviously, this is all strongly connected to the past 2,5 years of measures and mandates and all. The political class got a taste of power that they did not have before, and got carried away. Well, they went too far this time. One telling number was that of US parents letting their youngest kids be vaxxed: what was it, 0.45%?! And 220 million adult Americans have either never been vaxxed or never boosted. No connection to the farmers? You wait and see.

The game is over. People’s patience with their politicians is ending. But the politicians themselves don’t see that; how could they when they censor all discontent and reports from doctors and scientists who don’t follow the “official” line? They’ve lost touch with the very world they’re supposed to represent. All they get to see is the info that is left after their own “norms” have censored the rest. They see only what they like to see.

 

In Europe, the Germans and Dutch will manage to be sort of OK, but only at the expense of poorer EU countries. And that won’t even be their main problem; that problem will be at home; their own farmers will come for them. And their poorest. Countries will leave the EU (and the euro). Hungary first to go?! In Greece, there’s already talk of rolling blackouts this winter, and they get most of their electricity from hydro. Italy is a shambles. How many present “leaders” will still be in place January 1 2023? How about June? After a winter of great discontent?

And they’re all telling you that “we” have to win in Ukraine first, and everything will be alright. But “we” have already lost in Ukraine, we did on February 24, and “we” should be talking to, and making peace with, Russia. Why are we not? Because we don’t want food and energy? The folks in Brussels and Davos will not be hungry and cold. But in other EU places they will be. And they will come to balance this thing out.

As for the US, I’m scared there too. Energy prices may not get as bad as in Europe, but food will be real bad (and how about housing?!). And there’s this fight between two factions going on, that starts to feel like what went on before the Civil War. I hope I’m wrong, but I feel it everywhere: Overreach.

 

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

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

 

Jun 252019
 


Caravaggio Conversion on the way to Damascus 1600-01

 

Something’s been nagging me for the past few days, and I’m not sure I’ve figured out why yet. It started when Donald Trump first called off the alleged planned strikes on targets in Iran because they would have cost 150 lives, and then the next day said the US would do sanctions instead. As they did on Monday, even directly targeting Trump’s equal, the “Supreme Leader Khameini”.

When Trump announced the sanctions, I thought: wait a minute, by presenting this the way you did, you effectively turned economic sanctions into a military tool: we chose not to do bombs but sanctions. Sounds the same as not doing a naval invasion but going for air attacks instead. The kind of decisions that were made in Vietnam a thousand times.

However, Vietnam was all out war (well, invasion is a better term). Which shamed the US, killed and maimed the sweet Lord only knows how many promising young Americans as well as millions of Vietnamese, and ended in humiliating defeat. But the US is not in an all out war in Iran, at least not yet. And if they would ever try to be, the outcome would be Vietnam squared.

Still, that’s not really my point here. It’s simply about the use of having the world reserve currency as a military weapon instead of an economic one. And I think that is highly significant. As well as an enormous threat to the US. The issue at hand is overreach.

While you could still argue that economic sanctions on North Korea, Venezuela and Russia are just that, economic and/or political ones, the way Trump phrased it, comparing sanctions one on one with military strikes, no longer leaves that opening when it comes to Iran. The new Iran sanctions are a preliminary act of war. Simply because of how he presented them. He explicitly stated that he swapped one for the other.

 

There are quite a few people who have been harping on the demise of the USD as reserve currency for a long time, and I always think: look, nobody wants the yuan, let alone the ruble. There’s no trade being executed in these currencies. So taking over from the USD is a pipe dream.

But that may very well change, and perhaps very fast too, if the US uses the dollar not as an economic weapon (and there are plenty issues with that already), but as a military one. That would potentially hugely speed up any efforts to move away from the buck in international trade.

For the simple reason that it becomes unreliable. Traders hate that, they can’t have that. A reserve currency must be neutral -to a point-. The world of trade doesn’t want the yuan because Beijing controls it and can therefore change conditions and values overnight. But if and when the US uses the USD as a military tool, it essentially risks doing exactly the same: it deneutralizes the USD.

Using the USD as an economic weapon is ugly, but something global trade can deal with. A military weapon, though, is something else altogether. And I see no sign that Trump understands this. The thing is, using your currency, which also happens to be the world reserve currency, as a military tool, means you’ve become a threat to everyone, the entire globe, overnight.

And people don’t want to live that way. Not Iran, not Russia, not China, not Europe, no-one. It’s one thing to use the USD for sanctions. But it’s a real different thing to use it as just a military alternative to “bombing a country into obliteration”.

 

What Trump did comes awfully close to signing the death warrant for the USD as the global reserve currency. And it’s really only because he and his people weren’t paying attention. He could have phrased the entire thing differently, and it would have been business as usual, a business that Moscow and Beijing are actively trying to undermine, but they could have waited a bit longer reacting.

Now, however, their plans have to be sped up. They’re going to be buying a lot of gold, as they’ve already been doing, they’ll try to do their mutual business in their own currencies backed by this gold, and they’ll speed up alternatives-to-USD plans with other countries in their neighborhood. Because they have no choice anymore.

I see Tyler Durden reporting that the US threatens to throw a Chinese state-owned bank out of the SWIFT system, and I think: great idea. Why not force China to quit the reserve currency system, the petrodollar, outright?! Why not force it to hasten the Asian/Russian alternative trade model into existence? What a great and lovely idea.

The US should today make friends. It should preserve the reserve currency status of the USD for as long as it can, by convincing allies and foes alike that it will protect its neutrality in global trade. But Trump and his people are doing the exact opposite, they’re playing all-on-red.

The US no longer has the economic, political or military might to dictate to the entire world any terms it wants to. Those days are long gone. That ended in Vietnam. Trump’s living in the last century, while Bolton and Pompeo, they live in their own time and world.

 

But yeah, sure, perhaps this is what the dying days of an empire MUST look like. Maybe there’s a model to follow and there’s no escape, maybe it’s all written in the stars. Like Rome and Greece and Genghis Khan. Maybe things simply just have to play out. Still, looking at that Trump statement about the new Iran sanctions that started me off, it doesn’t feel all that smart.