Nov 122022
 
 November 12, 2022  Posted by at 9:03 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The three trees 1643

 

US Worried About EU Commitment To Punishing Russia (RT)
How Europe Is Destroying Its Own ‘Garden’ (MPN)
White House Divided On Pushing For Peace In Ukraine – NYT (RT)
Kiev Introduces New Restrictions On Speaking Russian (RT)
Sun Tzu Walks Into a Kherson Bar… (Escobar)
Russian Defense Ministry Gives Update On Kherson Withdrawal (RT)
Rewiring Eurasia: Mr. Patrushev Goes To Tehran (Escobar)
Kremlin Reacts To US Economic Pressure (RT)
Disruptions To Oil Supplies Possible Due To Upcoming EU Restrictions (Az.)
Greece Threatens To Block EU Gas Price Correction Mechanism (K.)
Bamboo Diplomacy: The China-SE Asia Romance (Escobar)
The Winners and Losers in a Shift in Control of Congress (Turley)
Federal Judge Declares Biden Loan Forgiveness Unconstitutional (Turley)
Flemish Government Preparing To Cancel WEF Membership (NNP)
A Committee Of Inquiry Into Bourla And von der Leyen (Anderson)

 

 

 

 

Elon has work to do…

 

 

Welfare queen

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
~Paulo Coelho

 

 

 

 

“People in Europe are “growing angry over sanctions and blame the US for rising costs,” putting their government under pressure to withdraw their support..”

US Worried About EU Commitment To Punishing Russia (RT)

EU nations are at risk of deviating from the US-led economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its military campaign in Ukraine, US officials told the media. People in Europe are “growing angry over sanctions and blame the US for rising costs,” putting their government under pressure to withdraw their support, Politico reported on Thursday, citing an internal US report. The document led to a “flurry of calls” among officials in Washington concerned about keeping European leaders on board with the strategy, sources in the US government told the outlet, adding that “things are holding steady for now, but it is a shaky situation.”

Countries in the EU have been struggling with surging inflation, driven to a large degree by rising energy prices. The bloc chose to stop trading with Russia, which used to be its biggest energy supplier, as part of the sanctions drive but is struggling to find a long-term replacement.The crunch has been aggravated by the interruption of gas flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Germany and exacerbated further by the bombing of the undersea route in late September. Both Nord Stream 1 and 2, the later was never operational due to Ukraine tensions, were damaged and now require major repairs.

Protests against the rising cost of living have gripped European nations, with mass demonstrations taking place in Greece, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Germany, to name a few. Rallies in Prague two weeks ago and in Rome last week specifically called to end military aid to Ukraine and open dialogue with Russia. French President Emmanuel Macron last month accused Washington of applying “double standards” in its energy policy. The US is propping up its own economy with subsidies and disregards the effect it has on prices across the Atlantic, he noted. American liquified natural gas has taken a large share of the European market since the Ukraine crisis broke out.

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“The impact of this crisis on every aspect of European life cannot be overstated.”

How Europe Is Destroying Its Own ‘Garden’ (MPN)

The European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell is not particularly perceived by the EU’s political elite or mainstream media as a rightwing ideologue or warmonger. But seen through a different, non-western prism, it is hard not to mistake him for one. Borrell’s recent comments that “Europe is a garden” and that “the rest of the world is a jungle” were duly condemned as ‘racist’ by many politicians around the world, but mostly in the Global South. Borrell’s remarks, however, must also be viewed as an expression of superiority, not only of Borell personally, but of Europe’s ruling classes as a whole. Particularly interesting about the EU top diplomat’s words are these inaccurate depictions of Europe and its relationship with the rest of the world: “We have built a garden”, “everything works” and “the jungle could invade the garden”.

Without delving too deep into what is obviously an entrenched superiority complex, Borrell speaks as if an advocate of the so-called ‘Replacement Theory’, a racist notion advocated by the West’s – Europe especially – rightwing intellectuals, which sees refugees, migrants and non-Europeans as parasites aiming to destroy the continent’s supposedly perfect demographic, religious and social harmony. If stretched further into a historical dimension, one also feels compelled to remind the EU leadership of the central role that European colonialism, economical exploitation, political meddling and outright military intervention have played in turning much of the world into a supposed ‘jungle’. Would Libya, for example, have been reduced to the status of a failed state if the West did not wage a major war starting in March 2011?

The imagined ‘jungle’ aside, Europe’s past and present reality strongly negates Borell’s ethnocentric view. Sadly, Europe is the birthplace of the most horrible pages of history, from colonialism and slavery to the nationalistic, fascist and nihilistic movements that defined most of the last three centuries. Despite the desperate attempt to rewrite or ignore history in favor of a more amiable narrative focused on great splendors, technological advancement and civilizational triumph, Europe’s true nature continues to smolder underneath the ashes, ready to resurface whenever the geopolitical and socioeconomic factors take a wrong turn. The Syrian and Libyan refugee crisis, the Covid pandemic and, more recently, the Russia-Ukraine war are all examples of the proverbial wrong turn. In fact, Borrell’s words, aimed to reassure Europe of its moral superiority are but a foolhardy effort meant to conceal one of the most dramatic crises that Europe has experienced in nearly a century. The impact of this crisis on every aspect of European life cannot be overstated.

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“..Jake Sullivan maintained that Washington “is not pressuring Ukraine” into any talks with Russia, insisting that it is “consulting” Kiev as a partner and providing it with various forms of support..”

White House Divided On Pushing For Peace In Ukraine – NYT (RT)

The US government is divided on whether to pressure Ukraine into initiating peace talks with Russia, with some officials arguing that it won’t get better terms in the future, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing sources. According to White House officials interviewed by the outlet, Gen. Mark Milley, who heads the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated during internal meetings that Kiev’s forces had achieved all that they may reasonably expect before winter sets in and “should try to cement their gains at the bargaining table” with Russia. Milley was apparently referring to Moscow’s recent decision to withdraw its troops from the right bank of the Dnieper River, including the city of Kherson, a move made to preserve the lives of Russian soldiers.

However, other senior officials are said to oppose Milley’s line of thinking, arguing that neither Moscow nor Kiev is ready for talks now, while any lull in the fighting would allow Russia to regroup. Although they believe that the conflict will eventually be settled via diplomacy, the consensus is that the moment for talks “is not ripe,” and the US shouldn’t be seen as trying to hold Kiev back while it “has momentum.” The report comes as US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he does not “think that the conflict will be resolved until [Russian President Vladimir] Putin gets out of Ukraine.”

The same day, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan maintained that Washington “is not pressuring Ukraine” into any talks with Russia, insisting that it is “consulting” Kiev as a partner and providing it with various forms of support. Moscow has repeatedly stated that while it is not holding any talks with the US over Ukraine, it remains open to a diplomatic engagement with Kiev. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has set out conditions for any diplomatic engagement, which include the “restoration of [Ukraine’s] territorial integrity,” “compensation for all war damage” and “punishment of every war criminal.” Zelensky earlier signed a decree prohibiting any negotiations with Putin, suggesting that Kiev would only talk to Russia when it has a different president.

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2014 redux.

Kiev Introduces New Restrictions On Speaking Russian (RT)

The Kiev City Council voted to remove the Russian language from the Ukrainian capital’s public school curriculum on Thursday, citing national security concerns. According to the statement on the council’s website, the ban also covers nursery schools. Vadim Vasilchuk, the chair of the council’s commission on education, said the measure “will prevent an escalation of tensions in society and strengthen the protection of the education space in Kiev from the hybrid activities of the enemy state.” “Language matters, and, in a time of war, it is an issue of national security,” Vasilchuk added. The legislator said all classes would be taught in Ukrainian, the country’s sole state language.

The move came after Alexey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, described the Russian language last month as “an element of enemy propaganda” that “must completely disappear from Ukrainian territory.” In August, Ukraine’s Education Ministry said that nearly all works of Russian and Belarusian authors would be removed from literature classes. Ukrainian activists and officials have also been tearing down monuments to Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s national poet and novelist, who lived in the 19th century. A bronze Pushkin bust was removed from its pedestal in the northern city of Zhitomir on Friday, while a monument in Kiev was taken down last month. The rights of the sizable Russian-speaking minority have been a highly contentious issue ever since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Donetsk and Lugansk regions broke away from Ukraine in 2014, following the coup in Kiev and in the wake of attempts by Ukrainian officials to restrict the use of Russian in public life. They formed the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR). Ukraine eventually adopted a set of laws that severely limit the use of Russian in public services, media, and education. Moscow repeatedly accused Ukraine of discriminating against Russian speakers. In the days leading up to the Russian military operation in Ukraine that was launched in February, President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukrainian authorities were conducting policies of “derussification and forced assimilation.” The DPR and LPR, together with two other former Ukrainian territories, joined Russia after holding referendums in late September.

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“Russian public opinion will have tremendous problems absorbing the news.”

Sun Tzu Walks Into a Kherson Bar… (Escobar) ft: 20px;”>

Deal or no deal, General Winter is coming to town – ready to entertain his guest of honor Sun Tzu with so many new dishes at their dinner table. The announcement of the Kherson Retreat may have signaled one of the gloomiest days of the Russian Federation since 1991. Leaving the right bank of the Dnieper to set up a defense line on the left bank may spell out total military sense. General Armageddon himself, since his first day on the job, had hinted this might have been inevitable. As it stands in the chessboard, Kherson is in the “wrong” side of the Dnieper. All residents of Kherson Oblast – 115,000 people in total – who wanted to be relocated to safer latitudes have been evacuated from the right bank. General Armageddon knew that was inevitable for several reasons:

no mobilization after the initial SMO plans hit the dust; destruction of strategic bridges across the Dnieper – complete with a three-month methodical Ukrainian pounding of bridges, ferries, pontoons and piers; no second bridgehead to the north of Kherson or to the west (towards Odessa or Nikolaev) to conduct an offensive. And then, the most important reason: massive weaponization coupled with NATO de facto running the war translated into enormous Western superiority in reconnaissance, communications and command and control. In the end, the Kherson Retreat may be a relatively minor tactical loss. Yet politically, it’s an unmitigated disaster, a devastating embarrassment. Kherson is a Russian city. Russians have lost – even if temporarily – the capital of a brand new territory attached to the Federation. Russian public opinion will have tremendous problems absorbing the news.

The list of negatives is considerable. Kiev forces secure their flank and may free up forces to go against Donbass. Weaponizing by the collective West gets a major boost. HIMARS can now potentially strike targets in Crimea. The optics are horrendous. Russia’s image across the Global South is severely tarnished; after all, this move amounts to abandoning Russian territory – while serial Ukrainian war crimes instantly disappear from the major “narrative”. At a minimum, the Russians a long time ago should have reinforced their major strategic advantage bridgehead on the west side of the Dnieper so that it could hold – short of a widely forecasted Kakhovka Dam flood. And yet the Russians also ignored the dam bombing threat for months. That spells out terrible planning.

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“All civilians who wished to leave the right bank of Kherson Region were provided with assistance.”

Russian Defense Ministry Gives Update On Kherson Withdrawal (RT)

Russian forces have completed the redeployment to the left bank of the River Dnieper in Kherson Region, the Defense Ministry has said. The maneuver was completed early Friday morning, according to the statement. The ministry denied reports that military hardware was abandoned on the other bank, or that Russian troops suffered casualties during the withdrawal. “Russian units have taken the prepared defensive lines and positions,” the ministry said. “No loss of personnel, weapons, vehicles, or materiel of the Russian forces was allowed. All civilians who wished to leave the right bank of Kherson Region were provided with assistance.” The statement claimed that Ukrainian troops tried to disrupt the movement of civilians across the river with artillery fire, but failed to do so. Russia intercepted 28 rockets fired by HIMARS launchers and diverted five others through electronic countermeasures, it said.


Russian artillery and aircraft deterred Ukrainian units from closing the gap with the river, the military added. They were stopped at least 30km from the river crossings, according to the statement. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered the troops to move across the river on Wednesday morning. He said the step was taken to avoid unnecessary deaths of the soldiers and to take up a stronger defensive position. The decision, which was described as “difficult” by military officials, left the provincial capital, Kherson, exposed to capture by Kiev’s forces. The regional authorities have urged residents of the city for weeks to leave and go to safe places to the east. Russia incorporated Kherson Region last month, after the people voted in a referendum to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. Kiev called the vote a “sham” and pledged to keep fighting until all land that it considers to be rightfully Ukrainian is taken.

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The west divides, south and east connect.

“..for the Russian Federation, strategic relations with Iran are essential for Russian national security.”

Rewiring Eurasia: Mr. Patrushev Goes To Tehran (Escobar)

Two guys are hanging out in a cozy room in Tehran with a tantalizing new map of the world in the background. Nothing to see here? On the contrary. These two Eurasian security giants are no less than the – unusually relaxed – Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. And why are they so relaxed? Because the future prospects revolving around the main theme of their conversation – the Russia-Iran strategic partnership – could not be more exciting. This was a very serious business affair: an official visit, at the invitation of Shamkhani.

Patrushev was in Tehran on the exact same day that Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu – following a recommendation from General Sergey Surovikin, the overall commander of the Special Military Operation – ordered a Russian retreat from Kherson. Patrushev knew it for days – so he had no problem to step on a plane to take care of business in Tehran. After all, the Kherson drama is part of the Patrushev negotiations with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Ukraine, which have been going on for weeks, with Saudi Arabia as eventual go-between. Besides Ukraine, the two discussed “information security, as well as measures to counter interference in the internal affairs of both countries by western special services,” according to a report by Russia’s TASS news agency.

Both countries, as we know, are particular targets of western information warfare and sabotage, with Iran currently the focus of one of these no-holds-barred, foreign-backed, destabilization campaign. Patrushev was officially received by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who went straight to the point: “The cooperation of independent countries is the strongest response to the sanctions and destabilization policies of the US and its allies.” Patrushev, for his part, assured Raisi that for the Russian Federation, strategic relations with Iran are essential for Russian national security.

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“Washington’s declaration that Russia no longer qualifies as a market economy..”

Kremlin Reacts To US Economic Pressure (RT)

Washington’s declaration that Russia no longer qualifies as a market economy not only puts pressure on Moscow but will have repercussions globally, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday. This latest step “to continue this really destructive line, in no way contributes to the stabilization in global markets,” he emphasized. Peskov was reacting to the US Department of Commerce’s announcement earlier on Friday that the US would no longer treat Russia as a market economy. The department claimed that American industries and manufacturers are struggling to compete with Russian companies in both domestic and global markets.


“This can only be viewed in one way, as it seems to me, it’s the continuation of actions to put pressure on the Russian Federation in all possible directions. We’ve seen pressure on the economy, numerous sanctions and so on,” Peskov said. He added that the Kremlin has been realizing that the Western sanctions have failed to destabilize the Russian economy. Instead, they “cause a fair amount of turbulence,” primarily for the European economy, because the US is more “resilient” in this regard. “Although the Americans also suffer from inflation and the chaos in the energy market,” Peskov added.

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“..If insurance was withdrawn mid-voyage, buyers and traders would have to figure out what to do with a stranded cargo potentially exposed to sanctions..”

Disruptions To Oil Supplies Possible Due To Upcoming EU Restrictions (Az.)

Oil-laden tankers risk being left languishing at sea if insurers do not urgently get clarity on an unfinished G7 and European Union plan to cap the price of Russian crude, two senior industry executives told Reuters, Report informs. The Group of Seven (G7), which includes the United States, Britain, Germany and France, agreed in September to enforce a low price on sales of Russian oil. US officials said the move, which is due to start on December 5, was aimed at allowing it to continue to flow, heading off a potential price shock after total EU bans were ratified in June. And with just three weeks to go, time is running out to fully convince the shipping services industry it will work. Concerns are centered around a scenario in which insurers discover that oil in transit at sea, which was believed to have been sold below the price cap, was in fact sold above it.

This would trigger the withdrawal of insurance cover as well as a refusal by buyers to accept delivery, leading to financial and logistical headaches and risking environmental dangers. “If the time is too short, I think everyone will have a Plan B to de-risk, terminate, stay away, not maybe conclude any new contracts until there is some clarity,” said George Voloshin, Global Anti-Financial Crime Expert at ACAMS, the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists which consults with oil industry bankers, traders and insurers. If insurance was withdrawn mid-voyage, buyers and traders would have to figure out what to do with a stranded cargo potentially exposed to sanctions, complicating a strategy to deprive Russia of funds over its invasion of Ukraine. “It will probably be quite messy,” Voloshin said.

A European Commission official said the EU is aware that much more additional detail will be needed as time runs short for businesses to learn about their obligations, but that the issue must be dealt with at the G7 level. The official spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about the matter. “In that situation, the vessel will go off risk and financial and technical services will be withdrawn and no one is going to take delivery of the cargo,” Mike Salthouse, head of claims at British-based global ship insurer North, told Reuters. “This would be a bad development as no one will want uninsured ships sitting off coasts,” he added. Salthouse said an owner of a ship which was potentially not earning anything for many months “will price that into any decision they make about carrying cargo in the future”, adding that this was likely to act as a disincentive.

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“..it was not possible to impose a gas price cap that would not impact on long-term contracts or supply security..”

Greece Threatens To Block EU Gas Price Correction Mechanism (K.)

Greece is prepared to block a European Commission proposal for a gas price “correction mechanism,” set to be presented to the 27 EU states Friday, instead insisting on a firm cap to rein in an unprecedented energy crisis, Kathimerini has learned. The EU’s executive told its 27 member countries at a seminar Monday that it was not possible to impose a gas price cap that would not impact on long-term contracts or supply security. Germany, the bloc’s largest economy, and the Netherlands also oppose the idea. Reacting to Monday’s development, European Council President Charles Michel reportedly sent a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, asking her to put legislation on the table for an EU price cap on natural gas “as soon as possible.”


According to diplomatic sources, the 15 member countries calling for various versions of a price cap will ask the Commission to present a legal proposal during the Friday meeting of the 27 national ambassadors to the EU in Brussels. They say that the Commission has already put together a draft document but is not willing to take formal action. Failure to move in the direction of a price cap will prompt Greece – and other states – to block plans for a gas price “correction mechanism,” the sources said.

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An endless list of all links being forged in “the south”. Do read.

Bamboo Diplomacy: The China-SE Asia Romance (Escobar)

Beijing’s ties with countries now in ASEAN tend to bend the bamboo way: soft, clever, persistent and enduring. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is monopolizing the Asian and Global South spotlight for no fewer than 10 days, this week and the next, across a flurry of regional and international summits. First stop is Phnom Penh for the 25th China-ASEAN summit, the 25th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) summit, and the 17th East Asia Summit, all the way to Sunday. Next week will be Bali for the Group of Twenty, followed by Bangkok for the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit. No wonder the diplomatic spin across Southeast Asia is all about global governance entering the “Asia moment” – as coined by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. It’s a moment that may be set to last a century – and beyond.

In parallel, Chinese diplomacy is also predictably on a roll. Premier Li Keqiang – who will step down next March, after two terms in office – heads Beijing’s delegation in Cambodia after two key Southeast Asian interactions: the visit by Vietnamese leader Nguyen Phu Trong to China and Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng’s visit to Singapore. All that fits the pattern of increasing China-Southeast Asia integration. Since 2020, ASEAN has been China’s largest trading partner. China has been ASEAN’s top trading partner since 2009. Total China-ASEAN trade reached $878 billion in 2021, up from $686 billion in 2020. It had been $9 billion in 1991. China-ASEAN investment was more than US$340 billion by last July, according to the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing.

Interests particularly converge on deepening RCEP – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the largest trade deal on the planet. That translates in practice as closer integration of supply chains, infrastructure connectivity and the building of a new international land-sea trade corridor. So it’s no wonder all the slogans for these 10 days of summits reflect closer integration. The ASEAN 2022 theme is “ASEAN A C T: Addressing Challenges Together.” The Indonesians defined the G20 as “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.” And the Thais defined APEC as “Open. Connect. Balance.”

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We’re still counting. Incredible. In more ways than one.

The Winners and Losers in a Shift in Control of Congress (Turley)

WINNERS – Constitutionalism: The last two years have seen frontal assaults on constitutional values ranging from separation of powers to free speech. Democrats applauded, for example, as President Joe Biden unilaterally waived roughly $500 billion in loans owed to the American people. While courts repeatedly found Biden to have violated the Constitution, Congress remained conspicuously silent even as it joined the president in declaring Republicans threats to the Constitution. In an August New York Times column, “The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed,” law professors Ryan D. Doerfler of Harvard and Samuel Moyn of Yale called for our founding charter to be “radically altered” to “reclaim America from constitutionalism.”

It’s safe to say voters effectively reclaimed constitutionalism from such extremist voices. Once again, voters preferred divided government with a Congress willing and able to challenge a president rather than remain a pure pedestrian in the exercise of governance. There’s now a moving part in Congress that’s been dormant for two years. As those institutional gears engage, checks and balances will again force greater accountability and exposure in the constitutional system.

The Supreme Court: For two years, the left has targeted the nation’s highest court with calls for packing it. Polls have long showed this movement was contained almost entirely within the far left. Yet attacking the court and its justices was an article of faith for many Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who called for raw court packing. While the attacks are likely to continue, the shift in Congress will put an end to such radical proposals.

LOSERS- The media: Outlets, in framing the election, consistently echoed Democrats’ narratives — yet failed to deliver them victory. The media now face the prospect of inquiries that could further erode voter trust. Congressional investigations will likely drill down on the Hunter Biden influence-peddling scandal. The media played an active role in burying that scandal and will face questions of how they could turn a blind eye to globe-spanning corruption that involved millions of dollars from foreign political and intelligence figures. They may also see an investigation into backchannels political and government officials used to enlist surrogates in the media and social media for censorship.

The Bidens: The election’s biggest loser could be the Biden family. After successfully avoiding any media or congressional scrutiny of their alleged influence peddling, time is up for the Bidens. Despite Attorney General Merrick Garland’s refusal to appoint a special counsel, they will face investigations launched with the full authority of the Oversight Committee. Garland will also confront demands to show the same aggressive prosecution of contempt of Congress when Biden associates are the subject of such referrals. All this will add to whatever emerges from Delaware in the long-standing investigation of tax and other allegations against Hunter Biden. With the midterms over, the Justice Department will no longer be bound to avoid filings that might influence the election. Hunter could easily find himself under indictment as Congress ramps up a broad investigation into his foreign dealings.

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“Biden knew he couldn’t “forgive”your student loan debt…..

He lied for votes knowing it would get thrown out in court!”

Federal Judge Declares Biden Loan Forgiveness Unconstitutional (Turley)

We have previously discussed how the Administration stretched the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) to the breaking point as the basis for waiving roughly half a trillion dollars in debt owed to the public in college loans. Now, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman of the Northern District of Texas has issued an opinion declaring that President Joe Biden violated the Constitution in unilaterally forgiving the debt before the midterm election. Judge Pittman wrote “[i]n this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone.” It was former President Barack Obama who defied Congress with unilateral actions and declared that he would go it alone if needed because “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.”

President Biden took the same course when it was clear that the loan forgiveness program would not pass Congress. Biden simply announced that he would forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 annually; those who received Pell grants could receive up to $20,000 in relief; couples can qualify despite a joint annual income of $250,000. No vote of Congress — just hundreds of billions of dollars written off by Biden, as if he is an American tsar. Judge Pittman held that “it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved.”

I previously criticized the legal basis for the loan forgiveness program. The Biden Administration has largely counted on blocking anyone from getting to the merits by challenging the standing of anyone to sue over the giveaway. On the merits, the Biden Administration’s position is transparently opportunistic in my view. As the acronym indicates, this short bill was designed for military personnel who often found themselves in arrears while serving abroad. It allows the Education Secretary to grant student loan relief during a war, military operation or national emergency. But nothing in the barely five-page act supports a sweeping and unprecedented waiver of billions of dollars in loans owed to the government.

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“..the Flemish government will pay a whopping EUR 200,000 in membership fees to the WEF and approximately EUR 27,000 as a participation fee in their annual meeting in Davos..”

And Flanders isn’t even a country…

Flemish Government Preparing To Cancel WEF Membership (NNP)

The Flemish conservative party, Vlaams Belang, is pressuring the government to cancel its World Economic Forum (WEF) membership. This year, the Flemish government will pay a whopping EUR 200,000 in membership fees to the WEF and approximately EUR 27,000 as a participation fee in their annual meeting in Davos. Rairfoundation.com reports: In a press release by Vlaams Belang, Flemish Member of Parliament Sam van Rooy stated that the Flemish government is legitimizing and subsidizing a worldwide lobby organization that is openly pursuing a well-defined ideological agenda, namely that of globalism.” This agenda seems to have recently crystallized into the so-called “Great Reset,” which aims to create “a safer, more equal and more stable world” by “acting collectively and swiftly to renew all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.”

They are striving for a world government based on climate hysteria and social control. Because citizens in a democratic constitutional state are entitled to transparency regarding the policies pursued, MEP van Rooy asked Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon questions about the Flemish government’s ties and cooperation with the WEF. In his reply, Jambon stated that the Flemish government “has no structural contacts with the WEF outside of its participation in the WEF meeting in Davos” but that there are “more regular contacts at the level of the Flemish government.” According to the prime minister, those contacts also aim to follow up on the various activities and projects that take place annually, including outside the Davos meeting.

Until 2020, the Flemish government paid an annual membership fee of 55,000 euros to the WEF. Since 2022, however, Flanders has been “promoted” to “associate partner” of the WEF, which requires a membership fee of no less than 175,763.87 euros per year. This contribution has already been paid for 2022; the same bill is expected for 2023. About that “associate partnership,” Jambon states the following: “The associate partnership offers the advantage that Flanders can participate in more activities throughout the year and, in addition, projects are being worked on within a thematic platform, ‘Shaping the Future of Trade and Investment.’ Those activities and projects provide additional visibility and the opportunity to learn and contribute policy-wise.” So the entanglement between the Flemish government and the WEF is therefore increasing, says Van Rooy.

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German European Parlimentarian Christine Anderson posted this on Telegram.

A Committee Of Inquiry Into Bourla And von der Leyen (Anderson)

Christine Anderson (AfD): YouTube didn’t want you to know what we uncovered in the EU special committee on the Corona pandemic YouTube has deleted several videos with speeches by Christine Anderson (AfD), who is a member of the EU special committee on the Corona pandemic for the ID group. In some cases, even videos with questions that the MEP had asked in the committee were sanctioned. Following legal intervention, YouTube caved in and put videos that had already been censored back online. Anderson is now calling on YouTube to hand over the “medical misinformation guidelines” on which the platform operator bases its sanctions. “The impression here is that information that doesn’t fit the desired narrative should be suppressed. I won’t stand for that. If YouTube lets my deadline pass unused, I will file a lawsuit in court,” Anderson said.

Anderson regularly publicizes how high-ranking representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, such as the vice president of AstraZeneca, increasingly come under pressure during hearings and criticized Pfizer CEO Alfred Bourla for canceling his participation in one such meeting at short notice. “I call for a committee of inquiry to take a closer look at the relationship between the Pfizer CEO and EU-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.” Anderson and her Dutch colleague Rob Ross also uncovered a scandal: “Bourla’s representative on the committee, Janine Smalls, had to admit to Ross in a questioning that the pharmaceutical giant had no knowledge before the market launch of the Pfizer/BionTech drug whether it could be used to prevent the infection as well as the transmission of Covid-19 at all.


“Statements like – “If you vaccinate, you protect yourself and others!” – in the context of the Covid vaccination campaign were simply lies!” In a written question, Anderson is now asking the EU Commission where statements in support of the vaccination campaign originated, such as those still being used by the German government, and whether sanctions can be expected for such “fake news” within the framework of the EU action plan against disinformation. More background information and video links as well as contact possibilities for press representatives on Christine Anderson’s homepage (currently only available in German): www.christineanderson.eu/links/bab-11-2022

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Termites and ants

 

 

 

 

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Apr 302022
 


Dante Gabriel Rossetti Monna Vanna 1866

 

Why Europe Cannot Understand Russia (Escobar)
Empire of Lies Eager to Receive Mr. Sarmat’s Business Card (Escobar)
Patrushev Goes Triple-X Unplugged (Escobar)
Pentagon Spokesman Chokes Up While Talking About Ukraine (Hill)
Ukraine: The Real Zelensky (GZ)
‘Donbas Is Not Ukraine’: In Industrial East, Hopes For Russian Rule (Y!)
UK Wants ‘Global NATO’ Capable of Defending Pacific (LI)
The Sweet Sound of Censorship (Turley)
Naomi Wolf Eloquently Deconstructs the Terms Dis, Mis, and Malinformation (CTH)
Vaccinated Had Fewer N Antibodies Even After Covid Infection (Blaze)
Moderna Montreal Factory Will Make Canada An mRNA ‘Leader’ – Trudeau (CTV)
“This is This” (Kunstler)
The Shanghai Lockdown: a Memetic Analysis (Ugo Bardi)
Why the Yen Fell While the Dollar Rallied (Mises)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nailed it

 

 


Chinese state television channel CCTV map showing which countries would receive the territories of the Scoto-Russian federation after its collapse.

 

 

Quite a bit of Escobar today. He knows the territory better than just about anyone. History lesson:

Why Europe Cannot Understand Russia (Escobar)

The apparently monolithic liberal west itself also cannot be understood if we forget how, historically, Europe is also a two-headed beast: one head may be tracked from Charlemagne all the way to the awful Brussels Eurocrat machine; and the other one comes from Athens and Rome, and via Byzantium/Constantinople (the Second Rome) reaches all the way to Moscow (the Third Rome). Latin Europe, for the Orthodox, is seen as a hybrid usurper, preaching a distorted Christianity which only refers to St. Augustine, practicing absurd rites and neglecting the very important Holy Ghost. The Europe of Christian Popes invented what is considered a historical hydra – Byzantium – where Byzantines were actually Greeks living under the Roman Empire.

Western Europeans for their part see the Orthodox and the Christians from the East (see how they were abandoned by the west in Syria under ISIS and Al Qaeda) as satraps and a bunch of smugglers – while the Orthodox regard the Crusaders, the Teutonic chevaliers and the Jesuits – correctly, we must say – as barbarian usurpers bent on world conquest. In the Orthodox canon, a major trauma is the fourth Crusade in 1204 which utterly destroyed Constantinople. The Frankish chevaliers happened to eviscerate the most dazzling metropolis in the world, which congregated at the time all the riches from Asia. That was the definition of cultural genocide. The Frankish also happened to be aligned with some notorious serial plunderers: the Venetians. No wonder, from that historical juncture onwards, a slogan was born: “Better the Sultan’s turban than the Pope’s tiara.”

So since the 8th century, Carolingian and Byzantine Europe were de facto at war across an Iron Curtain from the Baltics to the Mediterranean (compare it with the emerging New Iron Curtain of Cold War 2.0). After the barbarian invasions, they neither spoke the same language nor practiced the same writing, rites or theology. This fracture, significantly, also trespassed Kiev. The west was Catholic – 15% of Greek catholics and 3% of Latins – and in the center and the east, 70% Orthodox, who became hegemonic in the 20th century after the elimination of Jewish minorities by mainly the Waffen-SS of the Galicia division, the precursors of Ukraine’s Azov batallion.

Pepe Escobar and Danny Haiphong; Russia, China, and the Post-Dollar World

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I split this summary into two parts. Part 2 is just below.

“Totalen Krieg proceeds in parallel to the engineered controlled demolition of the EU’s economy..”

Empire of Lies Eager to Receive Mr. Sarmat’s Business Card (Escobar)

Especially since the onset of GWOT (Global War on Terror) at the start of the millennium, no one ever lost money betting against the toxic combo of hubris, arrogance and ignorance serially deployed by the Empire of Chaos and Lies. What passes for “analysis” in the vast intellectual no-fly zone known as U.S. Think Tankland includes wishful thinking babble such as Beijing “believing” that Moscow would play a supporting role in the Chinese century just to see Russia, now, in the geopolitical driver’s seat. This is a fitting example not only of outright Russophobic/Sinophobic paranoia about the emergence of peer competitors in Eurasia – the primeval Anglo-American nightmare – but also crass ignorance about the finer points of the complex Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

As Operation Z methodically hits Phase 2, the Americans – with a vengeance – have also embarked on their symmetrical Phase 2, which de facto translates as an outright escalation towards Totalen Krieg, from shades of hybrid to incandescent, everything of course by proxy. Notorious Raytheon weapons peddler reconverted into Pentagon head, Lloyd Austin, gave away the game in Kiev: “We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” So this is it: the Empire wants to annihilate Russia. Cue to War Inc.’s frenzy of limitless weapon cargos descending on Ukraine, the overwhelming majority on the road to be duly eviscerated by Russian precision strikes. The Americans are sharing intel 24/7 with Kiev not only on Donbass and Crimea but also Russian territory.

Totalen Krieg proceeds in parallel to the engineered controlled demolition of the EU’s economy, with the European Commission merrily acting as a sort of P.R. arm of NATO. Amidst the propaganda dementia cum acute cognitive dissonance overdrive across the whole NATOstan sphere, the only antidote is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed. The West ignores them at their own collective peril.

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Part 2 of the same article.

“So far, on Operation Z, the Russian Armed forces have used only 12% of its soldiers,10% of its fighter jets, 7% of its tanks, 5% of its missiles, and 4% of its artillery.”

Patrushev Goes Triple-X Unplugged (Escobar)

let’s move to an extremely detailed interview by Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, where Patrushev sort of went triple-X unplugged. The key take away may be here: “The collapse of the American-centric world is a reality in which one must live and build an optimal line of behavior.” Russia’s “optimal line of behavior” – much to the wrath of the universalist and unilateralist hegemon – features “sovereignty, cultural and spiritual identity and historical memory.” Patrushev shows how “tragic scenarios of world crises, both in past years and today, are imposed by Washington in its desire to consolidate its hegemony, resisting the collapse of the unipolar world.”

The U.S. goes no holds barred “to ensure that other centers of the multipolar world do not even dare to raise their heads, and our country not only dared, but publicly declared that it would not play by the imposed rules.” Patrushev could not but stress how War Inc. is literally making a killing in Ukraine: “The American and European military-industrial complex is jubilant, because thanks to the crisis in Ukraine, it has no respite from order. It is not surprising that, unlike Russia, which is interested in the speedy completion of a special military operation and minimizing losses on all sides, the West is determined to delay it at least to the last Ukrainian.”

And that mirrors the psyche of American elites: “You are talking about a country whose elite is not able to appreciate other people’s lives. Americans are used to walking on scorched earth. Since World War II, entire cities have been razed to the ground by bombing, including nuclear bombing. They flooded the Vietnamese jungle with poison, bombed the Serbs with radioactive munitions, burned Iraqis alive with white phosphorus, helped terrorists poison Syrians with chlorine (…) As history shows, NATO has also never been a defensive alliance, only an offensive one.”

In a subtle reference to the work of Sergei Glazyev [..] Patrushev hit the heart of the current geoeconomic game, with Russia now actively moving towards a gold standard: “Experts are working on a project proposed by the scientific community to create a two-circuit monetary and financial system. In particular, it is proposed to determine the value of the ruble, which should be secured by both gold and a group of goods that are currency values, to put the ruble exchange rate in line with real purchasing power parity.” That was inevitable after the outright theft of over $300 billion in Russian foreign reserves. It may have taken a few days for Moscow to be fully certified it was facing Totalen Krieg. The corollary is that the collective West has lost any power to influence Russian decisions. The pace of the game in the new chessboard is being set by Russia.

[..] So far, on Operation Z, the Russian Armed forces have used only 12% of its soldiers,10% of its fighter jets, 7% of its tanks, 5% of its missiles, and 4% of its artillery. The pain dial is set to go substantially up – and with the total liberation of Mariupol and the resolution one way or another of the Donbass cauldron there is nothing the hysteria/propaganda/weaponizing combo deployed by the collective West can do to alter facts on the ground.

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“I don’t want to make this about me.”

Pentagon Spokesman Chokes Up While Talking About Ukraine (Hill)

The Pentagon’s top spokesperson became emotional Friday after he was asked whether he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin to be a “rational actor.” “It’s hard to look at what he’s doing in Ukraine, what his forces are doing in Ukraine and think that any ethical, moral individual could justify that,” press secretary John Kirby began before appearing to become choked up and pausing for several seconds. “It’s difficult to look at some of the images and imagine that any well-thinking, serious, mature leader would do that. So I can’t talk to his psychology. But I think we can all speak to his depravity,” Kirby added. Kirby later apologized for becoming emotional, saying “I don’t want to make this about me.”


He then called Putin’s reasons for the invasion in Ukraine “BS.” “It’s hard to square [Putin’s] … BS that this is about Nazism in Ukraine, and it’s about protecting Russians in Ukraine, and it’s about defending Russian national interests, when none of them, none of them were threatened by Ukraine,” said Kirby, pounding on the lectern for emphasis. Kirby also listed several “unconscionable” actions by Russian troops, including the reports of civilians being “shot in the back of the head, hands tied behind their backs. Women, pregnant women being killed, hospitals being bombed. I mean, it’s just unconscionable.”

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Natylie Baldwin interviews academic Olga Baysha.

“..cannot be explained apart from the success of his television series, which, as many observers believe, served as Zelensky’s informal election platform…”

Ukraine: The Real Zelensky (GZ)

The basic argument presented in my recent book is that the astonishing victory of Zelensky and his party, later transformed into a parliamentary machine to churn out and rubber-stamp neoliberal reforms (in a “turbo regime,” as they called it), cannot be explained apart from the success of his television series, which, as many observers believe, served as Zelensky’s informal election platform. Unlike his official platform, which ran only 1,601 words in length and contained few policy specifics, the 51 half-hour episodes of his show provided Ukrainians with a detailed vision of what should be done so that Ukraine could progress. The message delivered by Zelensky to Ukrainians through his show is clearly populist.

The people of Ukraine are portrayed in it as an unproblematic totality devoid of internal splits, from which only oligarchs and corrupted politicians/officials are excluded. The country becomes healthy only after getting rid of both oligarchs and their puppets. Some of them are imprisoned or flee the country; their property is confiscated without any regard to legality. Later, Zelensky-the-president will do the same towards his political rivals. Interestingly, the show ignores the theme of the Donbass war, which erupted in 2014, a year before the series started being broadcast. As the Maidan and Russia-Ukraine relations are very divisive issues in Ukrainian society, Zelensky ignored them so as not to jeopardize the unity of his virtual nation, his viewers and ultimately his voters.

Zelensky’s election promises, made on the fringes of the virtual and the real, were predominantly about Ukraine’s “progress,” understood as “modernization,” “Westernization,” “civilization” and “normalization.” It is this progressive modernizing discourse that allowed Zelensky to camouflage his plans for neoliberal reforms, launched just three days after the new government came to power. Throughout the campaign, the idea of “progress” highlighted by Zelensky was never linked to privatization, land sales, budget cuts, etc. Only after Zelensky had consolidated his presidential power by establishing full control over the legislative and executive branches of power did he make it clear that the “normalization” and “civilization” of Ukraine meant the privatization of land and state/public property, the deregulation of labor relations, a reduction of power for trade unions an increase in utility tariffs, and so on.

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Odd take from the MSM.

‘Donbas Is Not Ukraine’: In Industrial East, Hopes For Russian Rule (Y!)

At a market in the industrial town of Lysychansk in east Ukraine — war-scarred after relentless attacks by Russian forces — one woman quietly hopes Moscow’s army will break through. “Technically, we’re Ukrainian. But Donbas is not Ukraine,” Olena confided to AFP, referring to swathes of east Ukraine that Moscow has vowed to capture from Kyiv. “Ukrainians are the foreigners here — not Russians,” she said, giving a pseudonym, concerned that unpopular opinions like hers could land her “in prison”. Olena’s view on the war is not unique in this part of Ukraine where long-standing ties with Russia, nostalgia for the Soviet Union and hopes for a fast end to fighting mean many would welcome a Russian takeover.

For years the Kremlin has accused Ukraine of discriminating against Russian speakers in the Donbas region, which has been partially controlled by pro-Kremlin separatists since 2014. It says it wants to “liberate” parts of the mining and oil hub still controlled by Kyiv. Moscow’s forces are closing in, pounding Lysychansk and seizing villages around it. Ukraine’s army has put up fierce resistance, slowing Russia’s advance, but some wearing blue and yellow patches already feel as if they are in enemy territory. “Even if we do everything possible to hide our positions, residents here give the other side information about us,” a sergeant in the Ukrainian army, Iryna, told AFP. Attesting to that, Kyiv’s army regularly announces arrests of “saboteurs” in Donbas territory it controls and many among the rank and file said they were suspicious of residents.

Iryna, whose unit recently withdrew from Russian-controlled Kreminna north of Lysychansk, described this tale-telling as “very, very common”. “It comes from people who are supposed to be above suspicion — even priests,” she added. Some Ukrainian troops and officials hope that the Donbas residents fleeing fighting towards Russia are the ones sympathetic to Moscow. Still, they worry pro-Russia sentiment is lingering among some who have remained. “These are people who at best don’t mind and at worst are hoping for the arrival of the Russians,” Vadim Lyakh, the mayor of Sloviansk in northwestern Donbas, told AFP. Lyakh, whose city briefly fell to the separatists in 2014, said however that now was not the time to confront the mainly elderly Kremlin-sympathetic residents who long for the Soviet past. “Now is not the time to quarrel with them,” he told AFP.

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Contradictio in terminis.

UK Wants ‘Global NATO’ Capable of Defending Pacific (LI)

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said her government favors the creation of a “global NATO” that is able to guarantee the defense of Taiwan and the broader Pacific region, calling for preemptive action against would-be aggressors. In an address outlining UK foreign policy on Wednesday, Truss said London rejects the “false choice between Euro-Atlantic security and Indo-Pacific security,” instead arguing “we need both.” “I mean that NATO must have a global outlook, ready to tackle global threats,” she continued. “We need to preempt threats in the Indo-Pacific, working with allies like Japan and Australia to ensure that the Pacific is protected. And we must ensure that democracies like Taiwan are able to defend themselves.”

Though the official did not elaborate on what kind of support she favors for Taipei or what she envisions for a globally-engaged military alliance, Truss’ speech mirrored remarks by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this year, when he said NATO’s reach must be extended into the Indo-Pacific. Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand are already global NATO partners – each designated as a “major non-NATO ally” by Washington – while other security organizations serve similar functions in the Indo-Pacific region. The Quad alliance, consisting of the US, India, Japan and Australia, is often dubbed the ‘Asian NATO’ and largely exists to counter China. It has considered allowing other regional states to join to create a ‘Quad Plus,’ among them South Korea, Vietnam and New Zealand.

The three-way AUKUS collective, meanwhile, has seen Washington, Canberra and London join forces to bolster the defenses of the region, including through the sharing of nuclear information. Like the Quad, the grouping has also reportedly mulled whether to expand to include additional countries like Japan. In recent months, several members of the NATO bloc have conducted ‘freedom of navigation’ missions in the Pacific to support territorial claims recognized by the United States and its western allies, namely those of Taiwan.

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“I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities.”

The Sweet Sound of Censorship (Turley)

President Joe Biden’s new disinformation chief Nina Jankowicz argued online mockery of Vice President Kamala Harris and other women in public life was a threat to national security: “Platforms and governments aren’t doing enough. It’s time to act. Our national security and democracy are at stake.” Jankowicz previously argued that Congress should create new laws to block mockery of women online by reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and including “provisions against online gender-based harassment.” Jankowicz testified before British House of Parliament last year about “gender misinformation” being a “national security concern” and a threat to democracy requiring government censorship. She has demanded that both tech companies and government should work together using “creativity and technological prowess to make a pariah of online misogyny.”

On the Hunter Biden laptop, Jankowicz pushed the false narrative that it was a false story and that “we should view it as a Trump campaign product.” She continued to spread that disinformation, including tweeting a link to a news article that she said cast “yet more doubt on the provenance of the NY Post’s Hunter Biden story.” In another tweet, she added “not to mention that the emails don’t need to be altered to be part of an influence campaign. Voters deserve that context, not a [fairy] tale about a laptop repair shop.” She even cites the author of the Steele Dossier as a guide for how to deal with disinformation. In August 2020, Jankowicz tweeted “Listened to this last night – Chris Steele (yes THAT Chris Steele) provides some great historical context about the evolution of disinfo. Worth a listen.”


She also joined the panic over the Musk threat to reintroduce free speech values to Twitter. In an interview on NPR, she stated “I shudder to think about if free speech absolutists were taking over more platforms, what that would look like for the marginalized communities.” Pitch perfect. Indeed, in seeing how we all “measure up,” Nina Jankowicz “is practically perfect in every way.”

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” Wolf doesn’t waste time debating “misinformation”, “disinformation”, or “malinformation”, instead she accurately just says those things do not exist.”

Naomi Wolf Eloquently Deconstructs the Terms Dis, Mis, and Malinformation (CTH)

All politicians and candidates for office should watch how Wolf responds to the first question from Tucker Carlson, and then makes the better argument. Wolf doesn’t waste time debating “misinformation”, “disinformation”, or “malinformation”, instead she accurately just says those things do not exist. Information stands undefined. From that position there are truth and lies. Her approach is exactly correct. Do not accept the insanity of the Alinsky language effort. A refreshing and really good interview:

On January 13, 2022, the fraudulent and managed autocrat, the installed occupant of the White House, gave instructions to his fellow travelers in Big Tech, and I quote: “I make a special appeal to social media companies and media outlets: Please deal with the misinformation and disinformation that’s on your shows. It has to stop.” ~ Joe Biden. It was crystal clear what Joe Biden was telling his allies in social media to do. There is information the Government wants us to hear, and everything else is disinformation or misinformation the U.S. Govt disapproves of. Immediately CTH encountered criticism for our position on information. However, Wolf understands exactly what we have discussed:


…”There is no such thing as “disinformation” or “misinformation”. There is only information you accept and information you do not accept. You were not born with a requirement to believe everything you are told; rather, you were born with a brain that allows you to process the information you receive and make independent decisions.”…

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The “vaccines” focus only on S antibodies.

Vaccinated Had Fewer N Antibodies Even After Covid Infection (Blaze)

In a preprint paper posted last week, the NIH researchers studied the N (nucleocapsid) antibody levels of those who participated in the Moderna clinical trial vs. the placebo group upon the unblinding of the participants. Their findings were earth-shattering. m“We analyzed data from 1,789 participants (1,298 placebo recipients and 491 vaccine recipients) with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the blinded phase (through March 2021). Among participants with PCR-confirmed Covid-19 illness, seroconversion to anti-N Abs at a median follow up of 53 days post diagnosis occurred in 21/52 (40%) of the mRNA-1273 vaccine recipients vs. 605/648 (93%) of the placebo recipients (p < 0.001).” Kudos to Igor Chudov for finding this paper that clearly our government agencies are not excited to advertise.

Overall, the study’s authors found, “For any given viral copy number, the odds of anti-N seropositivity were 13.67 times higher for the placebo arm than the vaccine arm.” It’s truly hard to overstate the significance of this finding. These are the actual participants in the Moderna trial, and their levels were checked roughly seven weeks after being diagnosed with COVID, plus this was a study of the original strain of the virus when supposedly the vaccines were more effective. Yet just 40% of those with prior infection among the vaccinated group had anti-nucleocapsid antibodies, while 93% of the placebo group did. To be clear, this means that not only is the vaccine inferior to natural immunity, but it is so inferior that it might inhibit your acquisition of immunity to the nucleocapsid protein of the virus even if you wind up getting the virus, which you assuredly will because the vaccines don’t stop infection.

When you hear the proponents of the shots bragging about antibody titers, they are measuring the anti-spike protein (S) antibodies. The shots code your body to produce the most dangerous part of the virus, but on the other hand you don’t get the benefit of full immunity because your body is trained to recognize only the spike, not the main shell of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The implication of this study would be that the more you vaccinate, the more it erases your natural immunity, so not only do you still get the virus, but you will continue getting it because you can never achieve full immunity, as you might with natural infection without having been jabbed with a gene therapy that primes your body to respond inappropriately. It is an anti-herd immunity shot.

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“People forget Moderna was losing money in 2020..”

Moderna Montreal Factory Will Make Canada An mRNA ‘Leader’ – Trudeau (CTV)

The news leaked a day early, but Canadian leaders and biotech company Moderna officially announced Friday that a new vaccine production facility will be created in Montreal, helping ensure a long-term supply of made-in-Canada vaccines. “Our government promised to strengthen our capacity” for producing vaccines “here in Canada,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at an announcement at McGill University in Montreal. Canada has a now-infamous trajectory over the last few decades of building up top-notch vaccine research but dismantling its domestic capacity to actually produce vaccines, leaving it dependent on vaccine facilities in other countries.

The facility, expected to be operational as soon as 2024, will employ 200 to 300 people and will be able to produce up to 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses per year, Trudeau said. But it will also ultimately be able to do research and hopefully produce other kinds of vaccines or treatment based on the same mRNA technology, or messenger RNA, that was first used in the COVID-19 vaccines, he said. “It also will have a significant impact in the research that they’re doing on a range of illnesses. We talked about Alzheimer’s, we talk about cancers, we talk about the range of things that messenger RNA is able to deliver to keep Canadians and people around the world healthy,” said Trudeau. “And Canada, that has long been leaders in research around mRNA, will now be also leaders in delivering mRNA to Canadians and to the world.”

Moderna’s founder and board chair has deep ties to Montreal, where his family fled after escaping Lebanon’s civil war. He attended Loyola College and McGill before going to M.I.T. in Boston. Moderna, which was founded in 2010, is still based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel joined Trudeau and Quebec Premier François Legault for the announcement, saying that Moderna’s path over the past two years has been a dramatic one, as it raced to get its mRNA vaccine developed and approved for the first time. “People forget Moderna was losing money in 2020,” he said. “We didn’t have the financial straps to get this industrial machine going. And Canada was one of only a few, a couple, countries here to help,” by putting in one of the first pre-orders for the vaccine and sending much-needed cash, he said.

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“The Left has exercised a Macumba voodoo death grip on free speech for years now.”

“This is This” (Kunstler)

“This is this,” DiNiro’s character “Michael” famously told Cazale’s “Stan” in The Deer Hunter, explaining the metaphysics of the bullet in his hand, and pretty much everyone watching the movie got the drift of that cryptic utterance. Likewise, Elon Musk’s character “Elon Musk” explained to America’s Maoist managerial legions: “Free speech is free speech” — as if, a week after Twitter’s surrender to Elon, there was some part of the formulation that the Left didn’t understand. (Apparently, all of it.) What a concept! Free speech is free speech. It has bowled over the — what? — maybe twenty-three percent of the country that considers free speech “a threat to democracy.” This is what comes of inverting and subverting language itself for the purpose of mind-raping the nation like Jeffrey Epstein on a 15-year-old. The Left has exercised a Macumba voodoo death grip on free speech for years now.

The deeper the Left’s crimes against the constitution and common decency, the harder they strangled the flow of news, information, and opinion until the mental life of the USA turned into a gibber of shamefully obvious unreality. It’s one thing to lose your dignity as citizens, and another to just lose your country altogether, and that is the circle of hell that the Left has dragged everyone else into since even before Hillary Clinton booted the 2016 election. This tyrannical Maoist managerial mob, grown paradoxically rich beyond precedent, became a tool of the state itself working around the inconvenient first amendment to hog-tie public debate. Will the US government allow Mr. Musk to get away with liberating the new “public square?”

It looks like the DOJ, the SEC, and perhaps other nefarious actors of degenerate officialdom are fixing to go after the rogue Tesla mogul who had the effrontery to oppose totalitarian control of the narratives driving public life. It’s rumored that money-losing Twitter could not exist without the government footing the bill for the vast, backstage server arrays that enable all Twitter’s messaging. In an odd twist, though, the shareholders were not necessarily benefitting from that symbiotic relationship as Twitter’s stock fell from $71 a share in July ’21 to $32 in March ’22. But the C-suite of Twitter’s executives were already too massively rich to care about anything but punishing their political enemies — which they did with sadistic zeal — when Mr. Musk surprisingly stepped onto the scene.

The government’s first counter-move, under the vividly deliquescing “Joe Biden” — whose treasonous corruption became Twitter’s job-one to conceal — was to concoct a brand-new agency under Homeland Security called the Disinformation Governance Board, to be run by one Nina Jankowicz, “internationally-recognized expert on disinformation and democratization,” who also happened to be a RussiaGate shill and publicist for the fifty national security officials who labeled the Hunter Biden laptop story “Russian disinformation” (turned out: not). In other words, America now has a “truth” kommissar who is a soldier in the War on Truth.

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“My grandmother was not stupid: she was simply applying a tested method to deal with things she knew little about.”

The Shanghai Lockdown: a Memetic Analysis (Ugo Bardi)

A “meme” is a small unit of information that can easily move from one human mind to another. It is the virtual equivalent of a virus in the sense that it “infects” people and influences their behavior. To explain the concept, maybe the best way is with an example: how my grandmother was absolutely convinced that nobody ever should drink a glass of milk without having boiled it first. She was infected with a meme that we could describe as “boil the damn milk.” It was simple and direct, but, unfortunately, completely useless in the 1960s, when pasteurization had become common. My grandmother was not stupid: she was simply applying a tested method to deal with things she knew little about.

The problem is that memes can be (or become) wrong or obsolete, and yet they are very difficult to dislodge. In the photo, you see Colin Powell, in 2003, showing a vial of baby powder while claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed largely on the basis of a meme that turned out to be completely false. The Covid pandemic is another case of a complex story that most of us are unprepared to understand. We should be trained in microbiology, medicine, epidemiology, and more — no way! So, we rely on simplified snippets to guide their everyday activities. “Wear the damn mask,” “stay home,” “don’t kill granny,” “flatten the curve,” and the like. That includes our leaders.

All memes have a story: that’s true for the one that led my grandmother to always boil her milk, and also for the “lockdown” meme. But whereas the first (“boil the damn milk”) was harmless, the second (“lock everybody in their homes”) can do a lot of damage. It did, and it is still doing damage in China with the recent massive lockdowns of Shanghai and other cities. So, where does this meme come from? Its origin can be found in the evolution of the concept of “biological warfare.” But let’s go in order.

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“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.”

Why the Yen Fell While the Dollar Rallied (Mises)

How can we explain that the currency whose issuer has made the biggest inflationary mistake of all during the pandemic is the strongest (the US Consumer Price Index is up over 8 percent year on year), while that where the inflationary mistake if any has been the smallest (the Japan CPI is up less than 1 percent year on year) is the weakest? There lies the puzzle of the present dollar-yen rate. We can find at least part of the solution in a quote attributed to the Prussian and subsequently imperial German “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck. “People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.”


Today the “hunt” is the search for yield by investors suffering from a famine of interest income on safe savings; the hunters have convinced themselves and others that persistent high returns obtained from risky assets, often highly leveraged, are the new normal, never mind a decade of economic sclerosis (as evidenced by only weak growth if any in median living standards and sluggish productivity growth). “War” is the military conflict in Ukraine coupled with the West’s economic campaign against Russia; accompanying propaganda is a version of Bismarck’s lies. “Elections” are most prominently the midterms in the US where the lies include Fed propaganda including promises of a soft landing and the total official silence on its disastrous policy mistakes inducing present high inflation.

The near collapse of the yen and fantastic strength of the US dollar (yen/dollar moving from 110 last autumn to almost 130 now) are the outcome of such illusions and propaganda. The essence of the “carry trade boom,” a well-known aspect of the hunt for yield, is investors moving out of a zero or negative interest rate currency into ostensibly higher yield assets whether in high-yield credit or high-interest rate currency markets. Currency carry trades involve short positions in the yen, euro or Swiss franc matched by long positions most of all in US dollars but also commodity currencies. High US inflation could wipe out gains to date. After all holders of US money are subject to at least a 12 percent inflation tax levy through 2021–22.


Yet many of the carry traders act as if the tax is phantom, always to be effaced by exchange rate gains or to now fade away. Some believe apparently the Fed has really changed its spots from inflationmonger to inflationphobe. Yes, top Fed officials are talking aggressively and nonstop—the so-called hawkish pivot—about their promise to bring inflation back down to below 3 percent in 2023 without a recession along the way. This is music to the ears of Democrats who face voter wrath about their number one issue of concern—present high inflation. According to the Fed and the administration, high inflation was not due to avoidable policy mistake but bad luck—pandemic dislocation and “Putin’s war.”

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Brand cash

 

 

More than 30 years ago Fidel said: “The next war in Europe will be between Russia and fascism, except that fascism will be called democracy.”

 

 

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