Aug 062023
 
 August 6, 2023  Posted by at 9:11 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  37 Responses »


El Greco St. Paul and St. Peter 1595

 

Asians Are Less ‘Humane’ – Ukrainian Security Chief (RT)
Who is Responsible for Ukraine’s Failed Counteroffensive? (Scott Ritter)
What Should Russia Expect From Saudi Arabia’s Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’? (RT)
Ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan Jailed For Three Years (RT)
DOJ Seeks Protective Order in Election Case (ET)
A Successful Prosecution Would Fold Space And Time (Taibbi)
Niger Junta Turns To Wagner For Help – Media (RT)
X to Fund Legal Bills of People ‘Unfairly Treated’ for Posts, Likes on X (Sp.)
Austrian PM Proposes Constitutional ‘Right to Cash’ (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full German Nazism, complete with Untermenschen etc. This is what you fund.

Asians Are Less ‘Humane’ – Ukrainian Security Chief (RT)

Russians are “Asians” and, therefore, lack the “humanity” that Ukrainians purportedly possess, Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, has claimed. The top official made the remark as he spoke live on Ukrainian TV, which has been heavily censored and turned into a state-approved “broadcasting marathon” amid the ongoing conflict. “I’m fine with Asians, but Russians are Asians. They have a completely different culture, vision. Our key difference from them is humanity,” Danilov stated. The security chief, as well as other top Ukrainian officials, have repeatedly made hateful remarks about Russians during – and even well before – the ongoing hostilities between the two countries broke out back in February 2022.


Danilov has repeatedly promised to “kill” Russians anywhere across the globe, with similar extreme statements consistently made by Mikhail Podoliak, the top aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Podoliak has repeatedly claimed that all Ukrainians universally “hate Russians,” as well as voiced calls to “kill Russians” on a daily basis. Similarly radical remarks have been repeatedly made by the Ukrainian military spy chief, Kirill Budanov, who also expressed the same urge. Threats by the latter have been addressed by Russia’s permanent envoy to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, who branded them a “blatant example of hateful remarks, Russophobia and incitement of violence based on nationality.”

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“.. the fetid stench of rotting corpses, abandoned by their comrades who fled for their lives.”

Who is Responsible for Ukraine’s Failed Counteroffensive? (Scott Ritter)

On a normal summer’s day, the road to Rabotino would be empty, save for the odd combine tractor and the vehicles driven by farmers and their families as they tend to the fields of crops they had planted in spring. The summer’s heat would reflect off the horizon, creating glimmering mirages, while the still air would echo with the chirping of birds and the buzzing of insects. On a normal summer’s day, the road to Rabotino would resemble paradise. Today, the road to Rabotino can best be described as a highway to hell: the serene landscape scarred with craters made by artillery shells, bombs, and mines. Fields that once grew crops intended to feed the world now seem to produce another crop—the torn, burned-out hulks of Ukrainian tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other military vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

The air buzzes not with bees, but bullets, and the sky above is torn by the sound of shells passing overhead, on their way to their intended target, often consisting of a new crop of military metal waiting to be consumed by fire. The smell of fresh soil, young crops, and flowers of the field has been replaced by the fetid stench of rotting corpses, abandoned by their comrades who fled for their lives. The Russian Ministry of Defense has assessed that, since the Ukrainian counteroffensive began in early June, the Ukrainian Army has suffered some 43,000 casualties, with more than 4,900 pieces of equipment, including 1,831 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles (among which are included 25 German-made Leopard tanks and 21 US-made M-2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles) having been destroyed.

Russian casualties, while unspecified, have been alluded to by President Putin, who stated that the kill ratio was 10:1 in Russia’s favor. That equates to 4,300 casualties: the brutal blade of war cuts both ways. The casualties suffered by Ukraine roughly align with the casualties suffered by German forces during their offensive operations against the Soviet Army in the battle of Kursk, fought in the month of July and August 1943. The Kursk battle was one of the largest during the Second World War.This should give one an idea of the scope and scale of the violence which has transpired in and around the village of Rabotino, and elsewhere in the Zaporozhye and Donetsk regions where Ukraine and Russian forces are confronting one another.

When an army suffers a defeat of the scope and scale of that suffered by Ukraine near Rabotino, and in other fields and villages across the line of contact with Russia, it is normally incumbent upon the leadership of the defeated forces to ascertain the reasons why the defeat occurred, and then to undertake remedial action to correct the problems identified.It came weeks after being on the receiving end of criticism from their erstwhile allies and partners in NATO, who provided Ukraine with both the material used to equip the Ukrainian Army, and training on how this equipment was to be used in battle against the Russians.

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Where’s China?

What Should Russia Expect From Saudi Arabia’s Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’? (RT)

Political expert Andrey Dubnov:

The goal of the conference is not to formulate “agreements acceptable to all parties.” Russia has not been invited to this event, and this makes sense, because otherwise the meeting would have been doomed to failure. It is obvious that Moscow’s position has been articulated; the last time it was expressed was at the Russia-Africa summit. Moscow’s main position is essentially an arrangement that can be called a ceasefire, based on Russia’s retention of the Ukrainian territories now organized as four Russian regions. It is difficult to imagine that Moscow is prepared to abandon this as its main negotiating position. On the other hand, Kiev’s stance on peace is articulated as being possible only if Russia withdraws its troops to the 1991 borders. With such positions of the parties, a general meeting would be pointless.

What is the purpose of the summit in Saudi Arabia? Since this initiative comes mainly from Kiev and is backed by the US, it is now about consolidating the whole wider world – not just the West, but the big South, including the BRICS member countries (India, Brazil and South Africa). It is an attempt to find a consolidated expression of support for the Ukrainian peace plan. Within this “formula of support” there are some limits regarding the flexibility of Kiev’s negotiating position: under what conditions it is ready to give up its categorical demand to return to the 1991 borders and to compromise with Russia? Clarifying this kind of flexibility may be one of the ulterior goals of this conference. But practice shows that such diplomatic conferences look first and foremost like big, big PR. Diplomacy needs silence and confidentiality. The Saudi initiative does not yet provide for this silence and confidentiality, so it is still more of a political meeting than a search for a diplomatic solution to the problem.

President Vladimir Zelensky’s peace plan will be at the center of the Saudi initiative. Within this framework, an attempt will be made to somehow find acceptable windows in which Kiev, I repeat, will be prepared to make further compromises with Moscow. But at the end of the day, everything will depend on the outcome of the military operations on the ground, which are being actively pursued. No peace plan for Ukraine can become a reality without China’s participation. The meeting in Saudi Arabia could be a precursor to a financial and economic assistance plan to rebuild Ukraine. This is how the plan to help Afghanistan began at the Bonn conference many years ago.

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Remarkable how similar his story is to Trump’s. One man vs the establishment.

Ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan Jailed For Three Years (RT)

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan was issued with a three-year jail sentence by an Islamabad court on Saturday after he was found guilty on corruption charges. The verdict means that Khan, who claims the prosecution was politically motivated, will not be able to contest elections later this year. In a pre-recorded statement released on X (formerly Twitter), Khan told his supporters: “I have only one appeal, don’t sit at home silently.” Judge Humayun Dilawar declared in court that Khan, 70, had “deliberately submitted fake details” after he was accused of illegally profiting from the sale of gifts he received while serving as Pakistan’s head of state between 2018 and 2022. After issuing the three-year custodial term, the judge also ordered Khan to be banned from politics for a period of five years.

Following the verdict, Khan, who was not in court, was arrested at his home in Lahore and taken into police custody. The claims against the former prime minister are a case of “political victimization,” according to his lawyer Intezar Hussain Panjutha. “Khan was not given an opportunity to defend himself and say his side of the story,” he said after the verdict. “We wanted to provide witnesses in his favor but he was not allowed this opportunity. Khan was not given a fair trial.” Khan’s barrister, Gohar Khan, added in comments to The Dawn newspaper that the court’s verdict had been a “murder of justice.” However, opponents of the former politician appeared to celebrate the court’s judgment outside the building, with some chanting: “Imran Khan is a thief.” More than 150 cases have been brought against Khan, the former sports star turned populist political figure, since he was ousted from office last April following a no-confidence vote. He has denied all wrongdoing.

Barring a successful appeal, Khan’s conviction means he will be prohibited from standing in Pakistan’s general elections, which are expected to take place in October or November. Khan, who had unsuccessfully called for early elections to take place, has previously stated his belief that Pakistan’s military authorities have attempted to obstruct his Tehreek-e-Insaf party from regaining political power. It’s the second time in recent months that Khan has been arrested. Around 100 paramilitary troops were involved in his detention last May in connection with one of the numerous cases against him. Khan has alleged that Pakistan’s military is responsible for attempts to subdue his political influence. He has also claimed that the United States has conspired with Pakistan’s government to prevent him from returning to political power.

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“IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

DOJ Seeks Protective Order in Election Case (ET)

Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith on Aug. 4 requested the federal judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s case to issue a “protective order” in light of a social media post made by the former president. The Aug. 4 Truth Social post by Mr. Trump said, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Following this, Mr. Smith urged U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan to “enter a protective order governing or restricting discovery or inspection” of case details, to restrict what Mr. Trump can share publicly about the case and evidence. “Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him,” argued Mr. Smith in a filing, citing the Truth Social post.


“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” Mr. Smith said, adding that such posts may influence jurors.A spokesperson for Mr. Trump responded immediately to the filing implying that the post was not a retaliation against Mr. Smith’s charges. “The Truth post cited is the definition of political speech, and was in response to the RINO, China-loving, dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth,” said the brief statement.

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“I don’t care about a link… I have a much better link,” and “I have a lot of friends in Detroit… Detroit is totally corrupt.”

A Successful Prosecution Would Fold Space And Time (Taibbi)

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment is a case within a case, a prosecutorial enchilada filled with things for people of all political persuasions to hate. The outside is a shell of a conventional conspiracy prosecution, and these parts are genuinely damaging for Donald Trump. Inside, it’s a deranged authoritarian fantasy, at times reading more like a 45-page Louise Mensch tweet than an indictment. This radical core is somehow scarier than the allegations against Trump and co-conspirators like Rudy Giuliani, John Eastment, Sidney Powell, Jeffrey Clark, and Kenneth Cheeseboro. Despite early criticism describing the case as entirely about protected speech, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith’s case does focus on some overt acts, and these sections are buttressed by witnesses who could be convincing across the spectrum.

Former Arizona Speaker of the House and onetime Trump supporter Rusty Bowers will describe being asked not to certify the results by, among others, Trump and Giuliani. Ronna McDaniel, chair of the RNC, will say she was told votes by so-called “fraudulent electors” would only be deployed if election litigation was successful. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is rumored to be running for president and took instant advantage of indictment news Tuesday, will testify Trump told him, “You’re too honest,” in response to prods to refuse to certify the outcome.

If Smith simply focused on those damaging episodes in states like Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia, or on Trump’s interactions with Pence, this prosecution would be an easier sell to the general population. Instead, Smith has tried to pen a Unified Field Theory of insurrection that would massively expand the meaning of concepts like incitement to include false statements, tweets, and other forms of protected speech, down to classic Trumpisms like “I don’t care about a link… I have a much better link,” and “I have a lot of friends in Detroit… Detroit is totally corrupt.”

In fact, if rumors are true and the four counts filed by Smith this week are later complemented by a superseding indictment, this document may end up expanding the definition of “seditious conspiracy” to include those things as well. As Adam Kinzinger said this week, he hoped additional counts will hold Trump “accountable” for all the actions of January 6th. It’s not hard to read this and see the framework of an argument that Trump’s ideas, tweets and “knowingly false statements” were elements of the same conspiracy to “violently disrupt” the election for which people like Oath Keepers Elmer Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs have already been convicted and sentenced to 18 and 12 years in prison, respectively. A successful prosecution would fold space and time to make legal speech felony violence.

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Flammable.

Niger Junta Turns To Wagner For Help – Media (RT)

One of the leaders of last week’s coup in Niger has reportedly sought the assistance of Russian defense contractor Wagner Group PMC as the junta nears a deadline to either return the country’s ousted president to power or face a possible military intervention by neighboring nations. General Salifou Moody allegedly made the request during a visit to neighboring Mali, where he met with a Wagner representative, the Associated Press reported on Saturday, citing French journalist Wassim Nasr, a senior research fellow at the Soufan Center. The meeting was first reported by France 24, and Nasr said he had confirmed the talks with a French diplomat and three people familiar with the matter in Mali.

“They need (Wagner) because they will become their guarantee to hold onto power,” Nasr told the AP, claiming that Wagner is considering the request. Neither Wagner nor Russian government officials have commented on the junta’s alleged request for help from the contractor. The Kremlin said on Friday that any interference in Niger from powers outside the region wouldn’t likely improve the situation. “We continue to favor a swift return to constitutional normality without endangering human lives,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has called the coup a “justified rebellion of the people against Western exploitation.”

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has threatened to send troops into Niger if the coup leaders don’t return President Mohamed Bazoum to power by Sunday. Bazoum has been under house arrest since his ouster and has asked the US “and the entire international community” to restore his government. The militaries of several ECOWAS members, including Nigeria, have agreed on a plan for their intervention in Niger. Wagner has become a major player in the African security landscape, though it’s unclear how its influence on the continent stands after its failed mutiny against Moscow in June. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the future of the contracts Wagner signed with various African countries is a matter for those client governments to decide. The firm’s troops have reportedly operated in such countries as Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Mozambique and the Central African Republic.

Mali and Burkina Faso are among the ECOWAS member states that have sided with the Niger junta following the coup. Bazoum accused the two neighbors of employing “criminal Russian mercenaries.” African Freedom Institute President Franklin Nyamsi warned in an RT interview on Thursday that if ECOWAS carried out its threat to send troops into Niger, it would be seen as a declaration of war on the junta’s allies, including Mali and Burkina Faso. Such a conflict could escalate dramatically as the warring factions seek help from the world’s military superpowers, he said, adding, “We are now at the door of a world African war.”

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Wonder how the idea would work out in practice.

X to Fund Legal Bills of People ‘Unfairly Treated’ for Posts, Likes on X (Sp.)

US billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk pledged on Saturday that his social media platform, X (formerly known as Twitter), will pay legal bills of those people who were “unfairly treated” at workplaces by their employers for posts and likes on the platform. He added that there would be “no limit” to funding the bills and called on people to inform the platform of such cases. “If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill,” Musk said on X. In late October 2022, Musk finalized the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, a US company founded in 2006 and headquartered in San Francisco, California. Twitter Corporation ceased to exist as a separate company as a result of its merger with X Corp. founded by Musk in 2006. In late July, Twitter’s logo was changed from a blue bird to a black-and-white X logo. Musk specified that the new logo symbolized “the imperfections in us all that make us unique.”

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“..the right to cash was worthless if “there won’t be a single ATM left in Austria..”

Austrian PM Proposes Constitutional ‘Right to Cash’ (Sp.)

As cashless payment methods proliferate across Europe, Austrian Prime Minister Karl Nehammer has moved to legally preserve paying in the old-fashioned way, with banknotes and coins. Speaking on Friday, the conservative Austrian leader proposed a “constitutional protection of cash as a means of payment,” saying he would direct Finance Minister Magnus Brunner and the country’s central bank to come up with a plan in the coming months to ensure a “basic supply” of cash remains in the economy. “Everyone should have the opportunity to decide freely how and with what he wants to pay,” he said. “That can be by card, by transfer, perhaps in future also with the digital euro, but also with cash. This freedom to choose must and will remain.”

“More and more people are worried that cash could be restricted as a means of payment in Austria,” Nehammer said, adding that people have a “right to cash.” Nehammer noted that his comments are in response to claims circulating on social media that the country could soon do away with cash payments, forcing customers to use bank cards or payment apps. According to the Austrian leader, €47 billion is withdrawn from ATMs every year in Austria and the average Austrian carries €102 in cash. Further, two-thirds of payments under €20 are made in cash, he said. Roughly 9.1 million people live in the Central European country, which is part of the European Union and the Eurozone.

The debate isn’t new to Austria, and Nehammer’s proposal was criticized by both left and right politicos. Philip Kucher, an MP from the Social Democratic Party, said the right to cash was worthless if “there won’t be a single ATM left in Austria,” while the right-wing Freedom Party accused the prime minister of stealing their idea. While the Eurozone nations have been increasing options for cashless payment, the European Central Bank has also committed itself to preserving cash as a payment form. The Eurosystem Cash 2030 strategy was launched in 2020. A study published by the ECB in March found that within the Eurozone, cash is still the most frequent payment method, accounting for 59% of transactions. However, 55% of consumers said they preferred cashless payments. They also found that the value of card payments had exceeded the value of cash payments for the first time, rising to 46% of transactions.

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Jun 032023
 


Paul Klee Hammamet with Its Mosque 1914

 

NATO’s Big Gamble In Ukraine Has Failed (Zorawar Daulet Singh)
Blinken Dismisses Calls for a Ceasefire: Build Up Ukraine’s Military (Antiwar)
Ukrainian Counteroffensive Would Turn Into ‘Bloodbath’ – Orban (RT)
Orban Delighted At Erdogan’s Victory Over ‘Soros’ Man’ (RT)
Orban Warns Hungary Will Never Fight Russia (RT)
Zelensky Talks Peace Summit With Scholz (RT)
Europe Suffers Sharp Munitions Deficit Due To Military Aid Largesse (TASS)
Russian Oil Giant’s Profits Soar Amid Sanctions (RT)
Moscow, Kiev, EU Seeking Peaceful Solution To Ukraine Crisis – Special Envoy (TASS)
China Special Envoy Urges Europe To Ponder Causes Of Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)
Propaganda Perverts Reality In The Minds Of Americans (Scott Ritter)
Who Can You Trust? (Jim Kunstler)
FBI Relents, Agrees To Deliver Subpoenaed Memo Alleging Biden Bribery (JTN)
China Has Tamed The World’s Most Powerful Explosive- Military Scientists (SCMP)
Woke Twitter Employees Exit In Fallout Over What Is A Woman Censorship (Rebel)

 

 

 

 

Sandbags
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664815151256674304

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biden laptop

 

 

The Friends of BRICS, a preamble to BRICS+

Cape Town
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664657498668781570

 

 

 

 

BBee Musk

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from India. Zorawar Daulet Singh is an award winning author and strategic affairs expert based in New Delhi.

NATO’s Big Gamble In Ukraine Has Failed (Zorawar Daulet Singh)

Fifteen months into the biggest land war in Eurasia since the Second World War, the tables have turned. US and NATO began with a confidence that a proxy war was the only way to roll back Russian influence in Europe. It was aimed to cut Russia down to size and snuff out the incipient multipolar order. On paper it was an ingenious, if diabolical, strategy. Ukrainian blood and NATO weapons would be more than a match for Russia. At the very least, western policymakers surmised, Russia would be bogged down in another protracted ‘Afghanistan’ or ‘Vietnam’ for years, while America would swoop across the world as a rejuvenated superpower. The opposite has occurred. On every front in this proxy war – it is more apt to classify the conflict as a limited great power war – US goals have fallen short.

The US’s Weak Hand The international community has stayed scrupulously away from lining up behind the West. Other than its loyal G-6 states in tow, Washington has witnessed a resounding rejection of NATO’s plan to demonise and contain Russia. The Global South has instead discovered an opportunity to advance their own interests and embrace a multipolar world order where weaker states can henceforth bargain for better deals with the major players. India’s foreign policy exemplifies this trend that can today be seen in South America, Africa, Middle East and even in parts of East Asia. Great power geopolitical alignments have also shifted adversely. China – the swing power for the West – has barely budged its position. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Washington has attempted to imagine cleavages between Moscow and Beijing that it could exploit for a new western rapprochement with China. Senior US policymakers, including the President, along with a flurry of European leaders have attempted to court the Xi Jinping regime in an attempt to nudge China away from Russia. But to little avail. The Chinese seem unwilling to jeopardise their partnership with Russia. With their own potential flashpoint right under their nose in Taiwan, Beijing fears a similar fate for itself in the future.

Unanticipated Economic Blowback The real trump card in Western hands has always been the economy: the legacy dominance of the US dollar, control over international supply chains, and the ability to arbitrarily impose collective sanctions and isolate a country. These are unique leverages that no other great power can claim to possess as of today. This is where the US truly felt it had the upper hand. It could not only destabilise Russia, perhaps even fatally, but also rewrite a new chapter on globalisation. Yet shockingly again, and despite dramatically severing European energy and industrial linkages with Russia, the blowback to the West has been more severe than the intended impact on the Russian economy. European economies are reeling from inflation and the spectre of de-industrialisation, fueled by a supply side energy and commodity crisis caused by western sanctions. Industrial giants like Germany have slumped into a recession. Economists can no longer deny just how critical the Russian commodity and energy link as well as market access was for European prosperity and industrial vitality.

How Russia Escaped, India Too But how did Russia escape its own economic strangulation? Very simply, the non-western world did not commit hara-kiri. China and India along with several other developing economies quickly replaced western markets, providing not only a lifeline to Russian exports but also drew unusual growth benefits of their own from discounted crude oil. Flushed with revenues, Moscow has been able to procure industrial components, machinery and consumer goods necessary for its basic economic stability. Trade with China is estimated to touch $200 billion in 2023, emulating a role played by Germany in the past. As a consequence, Russia defied the double-digit recession forecast for it in 2022 by only contracting by 2.1 percent. Even the IMF projects positive GDP growth for the Russian economy in 2023 and 2024.

The War Theatre: Advantage Russia Finally, it is in the war theatre itself where events have unfolded calling into question the entire geopolitical gamble of the West. After the initial phase when Russia received a rude shock about the full extent of NATO’s penetration and the systematic buildup of the Ukrainian armed forces since 2014, Moscow shifted to a strategy of attrition. This meant occupying territory – usually the primary objective of a war – became less important (other than of course the ethnic-Russian dominated Donbass and Crimea) than degrading and destroying the NATO-built force inside Ukraine. Classical war of manoeuvre with large tanks battles in vast open fields or direct assaults on entrenched Ukrainian positions – scenarios that NATO expected and trained the Ukrainian military for and for which it invested in major defence lines around the Donbass – were replaced by gruelling and bloody struggles for strategic cities and gateway towns. Russia has prevailed in all these major urban battles that will help it secure eastern Ukraine. At the same time, Russia has used its offensive firepower to freely strike at military, logistic, high value infrastructure, and command and control targets across Ukraine including in Kyiv. Russia adapted to fight an intelligent and relatively low casualty war of its choosing and not the one NATO had planned to bog it down in.

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Blinken seeks many more years of war:

“The United States will help Ukraine build a powerful, modern military, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a speech in Helsinki. Blinken stressed that Washington will continue to provide Ukraine with military assistance so that the Armed Forces of Ukraine can fight Russian aggression. He said the United States would help Ukraine build “the army of the future.” This, he says, means “a modern air force, air and missile defense, modern tanks and armored vehicles, the ability to produce ammunition, as well as training and support for combat readiness of forces and equipment.”

Blinken Dismisses Calls for a Ceasefire: Build Up Ukraine’s Military (Antiwar)

The US will focus its efforts on arming Ukraine and not attempting to bring the war to a negotiated settlement, America’s top diplomat said. Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out a plan to massively expand Kiev’s military before talks begin. In a speech delivered in Finland on Friday, Blinken stated, “The United States – together with our allies and partners – is firmly committed to supporting Ukraine’s defense today, tomorrow, for as long as it takes.” He continued, “We believe the prerequisite for meaningful diplomacy and real peace is a stronger Ukraine, capable of deterring and defending against any future aggression.” Blinken dismissed the idea of even a temporary pause in the fighting. “Some countries will call for a ceasefire. And on the surface, that sounds sensible – attractive, even. After all, who doesn’t want warring parties to lay down their arms? Who doesn’t want the killing to stop?” He said.

“But a ceasefire that simply freezes current lines in place and enables Putin to consolidate control over the territory he’s seized…It would legitimize Russia’s land grab. It would reward the aggressor and punish the victim.” The Secretary of State offered an ambitious vision of Kiev’s future military capabilities. “America and our allies are helping meet Ukraine’s needs on the current battlefield while developing a force that can deter and defend against aggression for years to come.” He added, “That means helping build a Ukrainian military of the future, with long-term funding, a strong air force centered on modern combat aircraft, an integrated air and missile defense network, advanced tanks and armored vehicles, national capacity to produce ammunition, and the training and support to keep forces and equipment combat-ready.”

It is unclear how long it would take to build the deterrence force envisioned by Blinken. American arms stockpiles are dwindling as Washington attempts to transfer Kiev enough military equipment to keep its army fighting. The US additionally has plans to significantly increase arms transfers to Taiwan. Blinken claimed, “Our support for Ukraine hasn’t weakened our capabilities to meet potential threats from China or anywhere else – it’s strengthened them.” In November, the Wall Street Journal reported, “US government and congressional officials fear the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating a nearly $19 billion backlog of weapons bound for Taiwan, further delaying efforts to arm the island.” Additionally, the White House may not have the support it needs in the Capitol for such a massive military buildup in Ukraine. Blinken asserted that “in America, this support is bipartisan.” However, at the beginning of May, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said future support for Ukraine would be contingent on success in Kiev’s long-planned counteroffensive.

Since McCaul’s statement, Ukraine has slowly lost more territory to Russian forces, including Bakhmut. Zelensky committed endless resources to the city in a months-long battle despite the advice from his Western backers. The White House is now preparing for the counteroffensive to fail. Washington’s strategy, as laid out by Blinken, calls for arming Ukraine and weakening Russia. “Russia is significantly worse off today than it was before its full-scale invasion of Ukraine – militarily, economically, geopolitically,” he stated, adding, “President Putin has diminished Russian influence on every continent.” However, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of US European Command, told Congress in April that Moscow’s ground forces are “bigger today” than before Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine last year.

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“..even someone like myself with a year-and-a-half experience of military service knows perfectly well… that if I attack, I’ll lose three times more than the one who is on the defense.”

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Would Turn Into ‘Bloodbath’ – Orban (RT)

Everything must be done to avoid a Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russian forces as it would have devastating consequences for Kiev, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. During an interview with Kossuth Radio on Friday, Orban stated that “even someone like myself with a year-and-a-half experience of military service knows perfectly well… that if I attack, I’ll lose three times more than the one who is on the defense.” Ukraine likely has a population of “somewhere between 20 to 30 million” at the moment, which is “a fraction” of what Russia has, he said. Russia’s population is over 146 million, according to data from the Federal Statistics Service.

The launch of a major counteroffensive by Kiev in such conditions “would be a bloodbath,” the Hungarian leader warned. “Even in the best-case scenario [for Kiev], no better result could be achieved… on the battlefield, than what could’ve been reached through negotiations even before the conflict,” he said. “We must do everything we can before the launch of a counteroffensive to convince the sides that ceasefire and peace talks are necessary,” Orban insisted. Ukraine has been planning a large-scale counteroffensive against the Russian forces for months, claiming it would allow Kiev to retake all territories lost to Russia, including Crimea.

The operation was expected to start in spring, but had been delayed on numerous occasions as Ukrainian officials complained about bad weather, a lack of ammunition, and the reluctance of the West to supply warplanes. Hungary has taken a balanced approach since the outbreak of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022. Budapest has supplied humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but refused to send arms to President Vladimir Zelensky’s government, unlike many fellow EU member states. Hungary has also consistently called for a peaceful settlement to the crisis and criticized the sanctions imposed by Brussels on Moscow, arguing that they have failed to achieve their goal and were hurting the EU more than Russia.

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”Had he won, up to 3 million of the 4 million refugees living in Türkiye would be flooding the Hungarian border by the end of the summer..”

Orban Delighted At Erdogan’s Victory Over ‘Soros’ Man’ (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban described the election victory of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu as a “huge relief” in a radio broadcast on Friday. “If Erdogan had not won, Soros’ man would have opened the borders to immigrants,” Orban claimed, referring to Kilicdaroglu as an agent of billionaire currency speculator and funder of liberal causes George Soros. Had he won, up to 3 million of the 4 million refugees living in Türkiye would be flooding the Hungarian border by the end of the summer, Orban presumed. “I didn’t just root for him, I prayed specifically for President Erdogan’s victory,” Orban continued. “It would have been a tragedy if he had not won.”

The prime minister argued that unlike Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu would have been a pro-war leader, potentially disrupting Russian gas supplies to Hungary and Serbia. Hungary receives the vast majority of its natural gas from Russia via the TurkStream pipeline, which carries gas from Russia to Southern Europe through Türkiye. Budapest has repeatedly blocked EU efforts to impose an embargo on Russian gas to punish Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine. Orban stressed the importance of convincing Ukraine and Russia “that a ceasefire is needed and that peace talks are necessary,” lamenting that “the vast majority in the EU is against us, they are at our throats.” He predicted a “bloodbath” if Kiev were to go ahead with its planned counteroffensive, pointing out that the odds were not on the Ukrainians’ side.

Erdogan officially won reelection on Sunday following a runoff vote, entering his third term with support from 52.14% of the electorate, according to Türkiye’s Supreme Election Council. While Kilicdaroglu ran on a globalist platform of restarting EU accession talks, improving relations with the country’s NATO allies, and rolling back many of Erdogan’s domestic reforms, he took a more forceful stance against open borders during the runoff, promising to send refugees back to their home countries. Erdogan consistently portrayed his opponent as hostile to traditional values, pro-terrorist, and pro-LGBT.

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“..as long as his government remains in power..”

Orban Warns Hungary Will Never Fight Russia (RT)

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has pledged not to “fight” Russia or let the country get dragged into the Ukraine conflict as long as his government remains in power. The prime minister made the remarks on Friday during an interview with local Kossuth Radio. Budapest sees the ongoing hostilities between Moscow and Kiev as a “close” yet “outside threat,” Orban explained. “We are not involved in the war, Hungary is not at war with Russia, and will not be for as long as this government is in place, certainly not,” the PM stated. Orban also slammed belligerent statements repeatedly made by “left-wing politicians” who have claimed their countries were “at war” with Russia already. The PM did not, however, point to any specific examples of such statements.

“When left-wing politicians say that ‘we are at war with Russia,’ while sitting at home in a comfortable armchair, they do not know what they are talking about. They have lost their minds. ‘We are at war with Russia’ is a statement that no sane person can afford since World War II.” Unlike fellow NATO and EU member states, Hungary has taken a neutral stance on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February 2022. The country has refused to provide any military aid to Kiev and has even prohibited the flow of arms from third parties to Ukraine through its territory.

The country has also been opposing the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions, particularly those damaging its own vital interests, namely restrictions in the fields of conventional and nuclear energy. Budapest has consistently argued that the restrictions failed to meet their proclaimed goals and were hurting the EU more than Russia. At the same time, Budapest has been providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainian civilians who have been impacted by the crisis. Hungary has also repeatedly called for settling the conflict through a diplomatic solution.

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This is a war summit. Nothing to do with peace.

Zelensky Talks Peace Summit With Scholz (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said his recent meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz included talks on preparing for a “Global Peace Summit.” Earlier this week, media outlets reported that Kiev and its Western backers were planning to convene a global meeting centered on Kiev’s “peace formula,” which has already been rejected by Moscow. According to a statement published by Zelensky’s office, the president met with the German leader on the sidelines of the European Political Community Summit in Moldova’s capital Chisinau on Thursday. He thanked Scholz for “supporting the Ukrainian Peace Formula” and for his “readiness to join its implementation.” The two leaders also “discussed joint preparations for the Global Peace Summit and the involvement of the widest possible range of participants,” the statement noted.

The Ukrainian president urged Berlin to keep military aid flowing to Kiev, specifically air defense systems, citing the “escalation of Russian missile terror against Ukraine.” On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that French President Emmanuel Macron had offered to host the summit in Paris, with Denmark and Sweden also putting themselves forward as potential hosts. European officials have allegedly extended invitations to Brazil, India, China, and several other non-Western countries, with Russia being conspicuously absent from the list. Published late last year, Ukraine’s peace formula demands that Moscow withdraw its forces from all territories within Ukraine’s borders as established in 1991, including Crimea.

Moreover, the plan envisages Russia paying reparations for damage caused, and handing over officials accused by Ukraine of war crimes, to face international tribunals. Moscow has unequivocally rejected this formula, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov describing its terms as essentially the “capitulation of Russia.” Speaking on Friday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov noted that there are no indications that dialogue with Ukraine will be possible any time soon. He explained that the proposals floated by European nations have so far failed to accommodate Moscow’s security concerns, which are a priority for Russia. Earlier this week, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, expressed skepticism over the prospect of Russia engaging in peace talks with Ukraine in the near future.

The diplomat argued that Moscow seems intent on achieving a military victory over its neighbor, and that fighting is likely to continue throughout the summer. Aside from Ukraine’s own peace formula, there have been several plans suggested by other nations. Notably, China released its own 12-point roadmap on the first anniversary of the conflict in late February. While dismissed out of hand by the US, its NATO allies and Ukraine, the plan has been received favorably by several other nations, including Brazil and Russia.

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Many more years of war.

Europe Suffers Sharp Munitions Deficit Due To Military Aid Largesse (TASS)

Europe is experiencing a palpable deficit of ammunition due to its generous military support for the Kiev regime, Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Friday. According to the newspaper, among other items, there is a shortage of shells and explosives for warheads. That said, Kiev cannot launch its much-hyped counteroffensive until it accumulates sufficient supplies. The US has already doubled its production from 200,000 to 400,000 shells a year, while in 2025 it hopes to surpass the one million mark. Meanwhile, in Europe this figure is at the level of just 50,000. According to La Repubblica, financing being provided by Brussels is aimed at changing the current state of affairs but, that said, the goal of churning out one million 155-mm shells “every 12 months appears to be overly ambitious.”


Earlier, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the EU plans to deliver another one million munitions to Ukraine in the next 12 months. According to him, 24 EU countries have joined the initiative to expand production of 155-mm artillery shells with 1 billion euros being appropriated for this purpose. He specified that the European Defense Agency, a branch of the EU, had taken the lead on this issue.

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“Production at the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia’s Far East jumped by 180%, quarter on quarter.”

Russian Oil Giant’s Profits Soar Amid Sanctions (RT)

Net profits at Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, jumped by 45.5% in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous three months, hitting 323 billion rubles ($4 billion) due to a rise in output, the company announced this week. Analysts polled by the Interfax had expected the figure to be far smaller, at $2.9 billion. Oil and gas production in the first quarter increased by 0.8% from October to December, exceeding four million barrels per day, Rosneft reported. Production at the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia’s Far East jumped by 180%, quarter on quarter. The company’s CEO Igor Sechin, however, warned that operations would be further impacted by Moscow’s decision to reduce its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day, or about 5%, in order to bolster global oil markets.


“While the cut did not have much influence on the Q1 2023 results, it will have a strong impact on the results of the following quarter,” he warned. Rosneft attributes the rise in profits to increasing energy sales to India and other ‘friendly’ states. India, the world’s third-largest crude importer, ramped up purchases of Russian oil shortly after the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions. New Delhi has repeatedly stressed that energy security is its top priority. It has chosen not to succumb to Western pressure and has continued to stock up on Russian supplies, even after the G7 price cap on Russian oil came into force late last year. Sechin said recently that Moscow and New Delhi had agreed to “substantially increase” the supply of crude oil to India and diversify its grades.

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China’s setting up the table. Next round, intentions won’t be enough.

Moscow, Kiev, EU Seeking Peaceful Solution To Ukraine Crisis – Special Envoy (TASS)

Moscow, Kiev and the European Union vowed to work toward a peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis, Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui said, commenting on his recent international tour. “The first thing that I felt clearly was that every side involved positively assessed China’s efforts. Everybody’s hoping for a peaceful solution to the [Ukraine] crisis,” Li told a briefing at the China Public Diplomacy Association. According to the Chinese envoy, both Russia and Ukraine, as well as the EU, support the stance of China which is seeking to resolve the conflict through political means. From May 15 to May 26, Li Hui visit Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, the EU headquarters and Russia. During that tour, he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, and diplomats from the aforementioned nations, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. His key goal, Li said, was to discuss the Ukraine conflict.

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“You ask why Russia took such actions. I will answer you with one phrase, which my Russian colleagues shared with me,” Li said. “They started the operation to protect the lives, property and security of the people of Donbass.”

China Special Envoy Urges Europe To Ponder Causes Of Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)

The Chinese government’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, suggested on Friday that his European counterparts should ponder why the Ukrainian conflict had developed and why Russia had launched a special military operation in Ukraine. The Chinese envoy was speaking in response to a question from a Western journalist who asked him for clarification. “When I was in Europe, I invited my colleagues from European states to think hard about the root causes of the Ukrainian conflict,” Li said at a news briefing of the China Public Diplomacy Association in Beijing following his international tour. “They can all think hard and draw their own conclusions,” Li said. While explaining the reasons for the special military operation he referred to Russia’s arguments.


“You ask why Russia took such actions. I will answer you with one phrase, which my Russian colleagues shared with me,” Li said. “They started the operation to protect the lives, property and security of the people of Donbass.” As the Chinese diplomat specified, regardless of the causes of the Ukrainian crisis “it is necessary to restore peace as soon as possible through negotiations in a political way.” On May 15-26, Li Hui visited Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, the EU headquarters and Russia. During this trip, he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and with diplomats from these countries, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The task, as Li confirmed, was to discuss the Ukrainian conflict.

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“..I left the interrogation with a new appreciation of how deeply ingrained into the intellectual DNA of the official US government the Navalny and Ukrainian narratives have become..”

Propaganda Perverts Reality In The Minds Of Americans (Scott Ritter)

At the end of April, my daughter Victoria and I departed New York City’s JFK airport, ultimately bound for the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, the first destination of what would be a 26-day, 12-city tour of Russia. While the official purpose of the visit was business (I was promoting my book, Disarmament Race, which has been published in the Russian language by the Komsomolskaya Pravda publishing house), the unofficial – and for me, most important – purpose of the visit was an opportunity to better understand today’s Russia. To do this, I was going to dig deeper into Russian history, get a better grasp of the culture, and, in the process, try to understand the “Russian soul” in as precise a manner as possible.

From my perspective, both objectives were accomplished. I’m inclined to believe that Komsomolskaya Pravda was pleased with the results of a tour that drew positive media coverage, resulted in well-attended town hall-style events involving vigorous question-and-answer sessions, and reportedly resulted in the initial print run of 10,000 books to be sold out in a manner of days. Through the considerable interaction I had with Russians of all walks of life, I came away with deeper insight into the complexity of what comprises the modern Russian nation circa 2023. However, divining an articulable definition of the Russian soul – if indeed possible at all – requires deeper introspection into the plethora of data and experiences captured during this journey than the passage of several days affords and is beyond the scope of this article.

I left on this adventure fully cognizant of the existence of an informational pandemic in America known as Russophobia, and I always believed that I was realistic as to the challenges that I would have to face in trying to convert my Russian experience into a fact-based vaccine to counter this disease of the American mind. However, the scale of the obstacles that I imagined overcoming paled in comparison to the reality that hit home literally as I stepped off the aircraft on our way back home, when Victoria and I were both pulled out of the passport checkpoint for an hours-long interrogation by investigators from Customs and Border Protection who specialize in travelers from designated nations such as Russia.

I will start by noting that the treatment my daughter and I received was professional and courteous. I understand the political reality of the times we live in, and the perceived necessity of questioning US citizens who travel to Russia while relations between our two nations are at an all-time low. My concern is not in the conduct of the interrogation, but rather the substance of the foundational information upon which the questions asked of me were based. As the CBP officer admitted, he had interviewed hundreds of Russians after the start of the military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The picture he had of Russia was singularly grounded in the perspective of political dissidents who had a bone to pick with President Vladimir Putin, and the narrative that they painted about Russia had become gospel for the CBP. By extension, it has heavily influenced the overall assessment by the US government, since these dissident debriefings constitute a major source of the primary intelligence used by national security analysts throughout the American intelligence community.

In short, my interrogation quickly became a debate between myself on the one hand, and a combination of Alexey Navalny (the imprisoned Russian opposition figure who most of the Russian dissidents support, according to the officer) and the Ukrainian government on the other. Virtually every point I made was immediately defined as “pro-Russian propaganda.” I tried to impress upon the CBP officer the reality of Russia, today, especially concerning both the high level of support for, and underlying criticism of, the Russian government about the military campaign in Ukraine. However, in the end my arguments, and the facts they were based upon, were categorized as “Kremlin talking points” no matter how hard I tried. I left the interrogation with a new appreciation of how deeply ingrained into the intellectual DNA of the official US government the Navalny and Ukrainian narratives have become, and how difficult it will be to root them out.

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WHO?

“The “trust horizon” (a concept introduced by the great Nicole Foss, late of The Automatic Earth dot com) is shrinking. You can no longer trust any distant authorities”

Who Can You Trust? (Jim Kunstler)

Anyway, you must ask yourself: why on earth should I trust the WHO about anything? Did they not participate in laying a trip on the world with Covid-19? How did those lockdowns work out? Do you think they destroyed enough businesses and ruined enough households? How’s the vaccination program doing? Effective? Safe? Yeah, maybe not so much. Maybe killing a lot of people, wrecking immune systems, sterilizing reproductive organs, causing gross disabilities, shattering lives. Of course, in over three years neither the WHO nor the US medical authorities showed the slightest interest in helping to figure out how the Covid-19 virus was made in a lab, and exactly how it got loose in the world. Lately, Dr. Ghebreyesus has warned the world about much worse future pandemics supposedly coming down at us.

Oh? Really? What does he know that we don’t? That possibly new efforts to concoct chimeric diseases are ongoing in labs around the world? (You know that dozens of such labs were discovered in Ukraine as the war got underway there in 2022.) What’s Dr. Ghebreyesus doing to stop that? If US orgs and citizens are involved in this “research,” why doesn’t the WHO alert our government leaders so they can stop it. (Would they? I’m not so sure.) And, who is behind it this time? The Eco-Health Alliance again, like with Covid-19? By the way, that outfit got another whopping grant last fall from the NIH to “study” bat viruses — right after the NIH terminated a previous grant on account of The Eco-Health Alliance failing to turn over notebooks and other records. No, you cannot trust the WHO about anything. The “trust horizon” (a concept introduced by the great Nicole Foss, late of The Automatic Earth dot com) is shrinking. You can no longer trust any distant authorities.

You also cannot trust the US federal government (especially the executive branch behind “Joe Biden”). And notice: the trust horizon is shrinking just as the world is de-centralizing. This, you see, is the main contradiction behind all the Globalist’s twisted ambitions to control everything, including you. They are working against the current tide of human history which is pushing everything toward down-scaling, re-localization, and re-assertion of the sovereign individual person. That trend will become increasingly evident as things organized at the giant scale start to implode — giant retail chains, medical behemoths, hedge funds, big banks, you name it. The world no longer has the mojo for globalism. There’s reason to wonder these days whether the USA has the mojo to remain a unified national polity of states. Our federal government is not only financially bankrupt beyond any coherent reckoning, it is also morally bankrupt, and it has decided to make war against its own people. None of this is satisfactory and none of this is working. It’s time to figure out who and what you can trust and act accordingly.

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“Chairman Comer has been clear that anything short of producing the FD-1023 form to the House Oversight Committee is not compliance with his subpoena..”

FBI Relents, Agrees To Deliver Subpoenaed Memo Alleging Biden Bribery (JTN)

Facing a potential contempt of Congress vote, FBI Director Christopher Wray relented and has agreed to bring a subpoenaed document from the Biden family investigation to Capitol Hill for lawmakers to inspect on Monday, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer announced Friday. The document in question, an FD-1023, contains uncorroborated allegations that an informant provided the FBI in June 2020 alleging that Joe Biden, when he was vice president, was engaged in a bribery scheme to change US policy in return for $5 million to his family’s businesses, lawmakers have said. Congress was alerted to the document by an FBI whistleblower who raised concerns the allegations were never fully investigated. Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa demanded to see the document, and Comer followed with a subpoena.

As recently as Wednesday, Wray indicated he would not turn over the document in compliance with the subpoena, but would let lawmakers come read it at the FBI. But a deal was struck late Thursday for the FBI to bring the document to the Capitol, officials said. “Chairman Comer will receive a briefing from the FBI and review the document on Monday,” his committee told Just the News in a statement. “Chairman Comer has been clear that anything short of producing the FD-1023 form to the House Oversight Committee is not compliance with his subpoena. This unclassified record contains pages of details that need to be investigated further by the House Oversight Committee.” In a statement to Just the News, the FBI said it wanted to accommodate Congress while also protecting sensitive confidential human source information that often is recorded in memos even before it is corroborated.

“Director Wray offered to provide the Committee’s Chairman and Ranking Member an opportunity to review information responsive to the subpoena in a secure manner to accommodate the committee, while protecting the confidentiality and safety of sources and important investigative sensitivities,” the bureau said. “The FBI has continually demonstrated its commitment to working with the Committee to accommodate its request, from scheduling briefings and calls to now allowing the Chair to review information in person. The FBI remains committed to cooperating with the Committee in good faith.”

The bureau also cautioned that FD-1023 forms are “used by FBI agents to record unverified reporting by a confidential human source. Documenting the information does not validate it, establish its credibility, or weigh it against other information verified by the FBI. “Revealing unverified or possibly incomplete information could harm investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, unfairly violate privacy or reputations, create misimpressions in the public, or potentially identify individuals who provide information to law enforcement, placing their physical safety at risk,” it added.

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“In a recent war game, Chinese defence researchers sank an entire US aircraft carrier fleet in the South China Sea with 24 hypersonic missiles. Some military experts believe that these weapons used CL-20 warheads.”

China Has Tamed The World’s Most Powerful Explosive- Military Scientists (SCMP)

A Chinese research team said they have significantly improved the safety of the world’s most powerful explosive by engineering a five-fold boost to its shock resistance capacity. The breakthrough could speed up the large-scale application of the explosive in battle, making Chinese weapons far superior in terms of destructive power, according to the scientists. CL-20 is the most deadly non-nuclear explosive in existence. When detonated, it can produce destructive shock waves with blast pressures many times higher than other common explosives like TNT and RDX. In a recent war game, Chinese defence researchers sank an entire US aircraft carrier fleet in the South China Sea with 24 hypersonic missiles. Some military experts believe that these weapons used CL-20 warheads.

The mass production of CL-20 is extremely difficult. China is the only country so far to possess such industrial capability and has used the explosive in some of its newest weapons, according to a US Energetics Technology Centre study commissioned by the Pentagon in 2021. But the use of CL-20 is still limited due to its sensitivity to shock, according to the Chinese team led by explosive scientist Guo Changping from the Sichuan Military and Civilian Co-Innovation Centre for New Energetic Materials. Guo and his colleagues developed a new nanotechnology that can help synthesise CL-20 composites with ultra-high stability. In a falling hammer test, the impact sensitivity or “H50 value” of the new CL-20 explosive was 68cm (26.8 inches), much higher than that of the original material at 13cm.

Falling hammer tests involve dropping a weight onto a sample of explosive material from a specified height and measuring whether it detonated. The height at which half of the samples detonate is known as the H50 value and is used as a measure of impact sensitivity. “CL-20 has a high mechanical sensitivity, which makes it prone to safety accidents during its development, production, storage, transport and use, due to friction and impact. Its safety performance needs to be improved,” Guo’s team said in a peer-reviewed paper published in the Chinese Journal of Explosives and Propellants in April. “We are seeking a new method to break through the current technology barriers. It will inspire the design and preparation of high-security, high-energy propellants and explosive formulas of the future,” the scientists added.

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The video is now free for the whole weekend, not just 24 hours.

Woke Twitter Employees Exit In Fallout Over What Is A Woman Censorship (Rebel)

Several high-profile Twitter employees have exited the company following their decision to undermine the leadership of Elon Musk in censoring the Daily Wire’s documentary on trans-affirming surgeries for minors, “What Is A Woman?” One of the employees in question, Maie Aiyed, who served as the company’s program manager for brand safety, was exposed for having previously published posts disparaging white people following her exit. Aiyed shared her departure from Twitter, colloquially referred to as “the bird app,” through a post on a verified account linked to her. Although the tweet did not detail the reasons for her exit, it extended gratitude to some of her colleagues.

The departure announcement coincided with the news of Ella Irwin’s resignation, the chief of Twitter’s trust and safety department, and the platform’s restriction on the premiere of The Daily Wire’s documentary, “What Is A Woman?”. Elon Musk confirmed on Friday that their departures were directly related to the effort to censor the documentary. Historical posts from Aiyed, exhibiting a pattern of dismissive remarks towards white people, resurfaced among users following the news of her departure. Her previous posts, dating back to 2017, ranged from undermining white individuals’ comprehension of other cultures to caricaturing their behaviors and preferences.

As detailed by Fox News producer Gregg Re, Aiyed tweeted various racial grievances against white people. In one instance, Aiyed even stated that she was “actively avoiding reading books by white authors.” Aiyed’s account portrays her as having Egyptian heritage, frequently posting about video games and an array of other subjects, often in a sardonic tone. LinkedIn data indicates that Aiyed has held the role of a program manager for Brand Safety Partnerships at Twitter in the San Francisco Bay Area since March 2022, a tenure that predates Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company. Her professional history includes employment at other major tech companies such as YouTube, Patreon, and Dropbox.

What is?

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John Strand Jan 6

 

 

Unvaxxed

 

 

Gadaffi

 

 

Sun spots

 

 

Monarchs

 

 

Rabbit Hole

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 192023
 


John Falter The Windy City 1946

 

The US Should Be a Force for Peace in the World (EMN)
Ukraine Has ‘Five Months Left’ To Impress US – FT (RT)
US Wants To ‘Freeze’ Ukraine Conflict – Politico (RT)
Kiev Pilots Not Allowed To Train On EU F-16s Amid US Skepticism – NYT (TASS)
Putin Warned Patriot Air Defences Wouldn’t Survive Long in Ukraine (MWM)
Zelensky Asks G7 For Peace Summit Without Russia – FT (RT)
US Not Ready For Practical Steps On Peace Settlement In Ukraine – Lavrov (TASS)
Chinese Special Envoy Meets With Zelensky (RT)
Kissinger Changes His Mind On Ukraine Joining NATO (RT)
Ensuring Regional Security Not Feasible Via NATO Expansion – China (TASS)
Congress Could Have the Final Say on the Russian Collusion Scandal
It’s Over Folks (Denninger)
FBI Concerned Jan. 6 Footage Would Expose Undercover Agents, Informants (ET)
Justice Neil Gorsuch Speaks Out Against Lockdowns and Mandates (BI)
Rand Paul: Elon Musk Will Go Down As A Historic Champion For Free Speech (SM)

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

Macgregor Trump jr
https://twitter.com/i/status/1659105972923637761

 

 

Contact us
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Lest We Forget: Obama and Biden sat in that August 3, 2016 Situation Room briefing and said, yeah, let’s let the highest officials in our administration fabricate evidence to frame the opposing party candidate Donald Trump.

 

 

 

 

The following is the text of a full-page ad by the Eisenhower Media Network in the New York Times on May 16, 2023.

The US Should Be a Force for Peace in the World (EMN)

sThe Russia-Ukraine War has been an unmitigated disaster. Hundreds of thousands have been killed or wounded. Millions have been displaced. Environmental and economic destruction have been incalculable. Future devastation could be exponentially greater as nuclear powers creep ever closer toward open war. We deplore the violence, war crimes, indiscriminate missile strikes, terrorism, and other atrocities that are part of this war. The solution to this shocking violence is not more weapons or more war, with their guarantee of further death and destruction. As Americans and national security experts, we urge President Biden and Congress to use their full power to end the Russia-Ukraine War speedily through diplomacy, especially given the grave dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control.

Sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy made an observation that is crucial for our survival today. “Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy–or of a collective death-wish for the world.” The immediate cause of this disastrous war in Ukraine is Russia’s invasion. Yet the plans and actions to expand NATO to Russia’s borders served to provoke Russian fears. And Russian leaders made this point for 30 years. A failure of diplomacy led to war. Now diplomacy is urgently needed to end the Russia-Ukraine War before it destroys Ukraine and endangers humanity.

Russia’s current geopolitical anxiety is informed by memories of invasion from Charles XII, Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler. U.S. troops were among an Allied invasion force that intervened unsuccessfully against the winning side in Russia’s post-World War I civil war. Russia sees NATO enlargement and presence on its borders as a direct threat; the U.S. and NATO see only prudent preparedness. In diplomacy, one must attempt to see with strategic empathy, seeking to understand one’s adversaries. This is not weakness: it is wisdom. We reject the idea that diplomats, seeking peace, must choose sides, in this case either Russia or Ukraine. In favoring diplomacy we choose the side of sanity. Of humanity. Of peace.

We consider President Biden’s promise to back Ukraine “as long as it takes” to be a license to pursue ill-defined and ultimately unachievable goals. It could prove as catastrophic as President Putin’s decision last year to launch his criminal invasion and occupation. We cannot and will not endorse the strategy of fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian. We advocate for a meaningful and genuine commitment to diplomacy, specifically an immediate ceasefire and negotiations without any disqualifying or prohibitive preconditions. Deliberate provocations delivered the Russia-Ukraine War. In the same manner, deliberate diplomacy can end it.

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“If we get to September and Ukraine has not made significant gains, then the international pressure on [the West] to bring them to negotiations will be enormous..”

The US will blame Zelensky for the failure, and wash its own hands.

Ukraine Has ‘Five Months Left’ To Impress US – FT (RT)

Ukraine needs to demonstrate some “advances” over the next five months as the US would consider these crucial to the future of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing several European and American officials. Washington has to show that the massive military support the US and its allies have been providing to Ukraine has not been in vain, the paper also said. “It is important for America to sell this war as a successful one, as well as for domestic purposes to prove that all of those aid packages have been successful in terms of Ukrainian advances,” a European official told the FT.

The polls show that public support for Ukraine is waning in the US, and President Biden’s administration has to show that the tens of billions of dollars it spent on assistance for Kiev made a major difference on the frontlines, the media outlet said. According to FT sources, Washington believes the next five months are critical to the outcome of the conflict. “If we get to September and Ukraine has not made significant gains, then the international pressure on [the West] to bring them to negotiations will be enormous,” another source told the FT, on condition of anonymity. September will see the UN General Assembly and G20 leaders’ summit take place one after another. Both events could be used to make the warring parties sit down at a negotiating table, FT said.

The Western military support for Kiev is also about to reach its limits, the sources warned. “The message [to Kiev] is basically that this is the best you’re going to get,” a European official told the paper. “There’s no more flexibility in the US budget to keep writing checks, and European arms factories are running at full capacity.” The US continues to be Ukraine’s biggest backer when it comes to arms supplies. Washington’s allies are concerned about its capacity to keep up the same level of support and expect it to go down in 2024 and a US presidential election. “We can’t keep the same level of assistance forever,” a European official said, adding that the current level of support might be sustained for a year or two but no longer.

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It takes two -or more- sides to freeze a conflict.

US Wants To ‘Freeze’ Ukraine Conflict – Politico (RT)

The administration of US President Joe Biden is reportedly considering ‘freezing’ the conflict in Ukraine for the foreseeable future instead of pushing for the country’s victory, according to sources cited by Politico on Thursday. Three serving and one former US official told the outlet that a long-term low-intensity stand-off was currently being discussed in the White House. The former official compared the possible scenario to how the Korean War of the early 1950s ended in an armistice. There was no formal peace agreement, and both Pyongyang and Seoul claim sovereignty over the entire Korean Peninsula, with a demilitarized zone separating the two parts. “A Korea-style stoppage is certainly something that’s been discussed by experts and analysts in and out of government,” the source said.

“It’s plausible, because neither side would need to recognize any new borders and the only thing that would have to be agreed is to stop shooting along a set line.” The benefits for the US would be that a frozen conflict would be less costly for Western nations and draw less public attention, and consequently less pressure to assist Kiev, the outlet explained. Ukraine would still be allied with Washington and continue switching its military to NATO standards, as it seeks to join the bloc someday. The ‘Korean scenario’ for Ukraine drew media attention in January, after Aleksey Danilov, the secretary of the country’s national security council, claimed in an interview that Moscow had sent a top official to European capitals to promote it.

The Kremlin denied that and claimed Danilov may have mistaken a Ukrainian politician surnamed Kazak for his namesake in the Russian government, whom he identified as the messenger. Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, argued that Danilov’s words were meant for “domestic consumption,” so that the Ukrainian government could measure the public reaction to it. The Russian official mused that “being split is the best-case scenario,” for Kiev, under the circumstances. Moscow called NATO’s expansion in Europe and its creeping takeover of Ukraine without its formal accession as one of the key reasons for sending troops against its neighbor. The conflict, Russia has maintained, is part of a US proxy war against it, in which Ukrainians serve as cannon fodder.

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“..Kiev will need approvals from the United States where the fighters were made..”

Kiev Pilots Not Allowed To Train On EU F-16s Amid US Skepticism – NYT (TASS)

Ukrainian pilots are not allowed to train on F-16 fighter jets owned by European countries, as Washington remains unconvinced that Kiev needs the expensive aircraft, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a senior Ukrainian official. Despite the fact that some European countries have signaled that they are ready to send F-16s to Ukraine, authorities in Kiev will need approvals from the United States where the fighters were made. Without American consent, the training is likely to be limited to technical lessons and technical language only, the newspaper said. The Biden administration is unconvinced that Ukraine needs the expensive jets. Besides, the United States does not want its highly restricted systems to be duplicated or fall into enemy hands.


US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday that he had no update on F-16s. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on May 9 that his country is discussing the possibility of sending F-16 fighters to Ukraine with Great Britain, Denmark and “some other countries in Europe” and the United States. “An intensive dialogue” is underway, Rutte said. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba earlier said that some European allies had started work on the issue of sending US F-16 fighters to Kiev. However, there has been scarce comment on the plan in the West, while Ukraine itself admits that the process may not start any time soon. Meanwhile, the office of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier announced a new military support program to train Ukrainian pilots on Western warplanes.

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“..We will crack the Patriot [like a nut] too, and something will need to be installed in its place, new systems need to be developed – this is a complex and lengthy process..”

Putin Warned Patriot Air Defences Wouldn’t Survive Long in Ukraine (MWM)

On May 16 as part of a complex series of strikes on the Ukrainian capital Kiev the Russian Air Force employed the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missile to neutralise a unit from an American Patriot air defence system, destroying its a radar and a control centre and reportedly at least one of its launchers. According to Russian sources, the Ukrainian crew operating the Patriot were aware a strike was incoming, but had only a limited warning time due to the Kinzhal missile’s very high speed – limiting opportunities for the missile system to change position or reload. The Patriot system targeted was one of two delivered, with Germany and the United States having each supplied a single unit.

The unit reportedly fired 32 surface to air missiles at the Kinzhal on approach, which at approximately $3 million each amounted to a $96 million barrage to attempt to destroy a missile with an estimated cost of under $2 million. The very high cost and limited number of the Patriot’s interceptors was a key argument for not sending the systems to Ukraine, with their effectiveness also having been brought to question not only due to the system’s highly troubled combat record, but also to the advanced capabilities of new Russian missiles such as the Kinzhal, Iskander and Zicron. These are considered nearly impossible to intercept particularly in their terminal stages. The delivery of Patriots was nevertheless seen as necessary due to the near collapse of Ukrainian air defences, as warnings have been given with growing frequency by both Western and Ukrainian sources that the arsenal of S-300 and BuK missile systems protecting the country has become critically depleted.

Destruction of the Patriot systems comes less than a month after the first systems were delivered in April, and follows a warning in December from Russian President Vladimir Putin that the destruction of the systems was an absolute certainty should they be deployed in Ukraine. He assured that with Washington “now saying that they can put a Patriot [in Ukraine]. Okay, let them do it. We will crack the Patriot [like a nut] too, and something will need to be installed in its place, new systems need to be developed – this is a complex and lengthy process” – indicating that NATO had no newer generations of long range air defence systems available to replace the Patriot once its vulnerability was demonstrated.

Macgregor

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“..this proposal calls for Russia to withdraw its forces from all territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders, to pay reparations, and to submit to war-crime tribunals.”

Zelensky Asks G7 For Peace Summit Without Russia – FT (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has asked the G7 to consider holding a summit on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine without the participation of Russia, an EU official has told the Financial Times. The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and the EU will discuss the possibility of staging such an event this summer during a three-day Group of Seven meeting, which kicks off in Hiroshima on Friday, the outlet reported on Thursday. According to the official, the discussions at the high-profile meeting in Japan will focus on the ten-point peace plan that Zelensky has been promoting in recent months. Among other things, this proposal calls for Russia to withdraw its forces from all territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders, to pay reparations, and to submit to war-crime tribunals.

Moscow has rejected the plan as “unacceptable,” pointing out that it ignores the reality on the ground and is actually a sign of Kiev’s unwillingness to resolve the crisis through talks. Zelensky’s spokesperson has confirmed to the FT that Kiev asked the G7 to consider the ten-point plan as Kiev is trying to get as many nations as possible to support the proposal. The Ukrainian leader himself is expected to address the summit in Hiroshima via video link. Ukraine is also interested in “China being involved in the implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula,” said Andrey Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, as quoted by the paper. On Thursday, Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, including Yermak, held a meeting in Kiev with China’s newly appointed special envoy for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Li told the Ukrainians that Beijing is eager to serve as a peace broker to help reach a political resolution between Kiev and Moscow, based on the principles outlined in a 12-point roadmap published by China in late February.

Beijing’s plan, which calls for early talks between Russia and Ukraine without preconditions, got a positive reception in Moscow, which said it’s ready to discuss it further. However, the West reacted negatively, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claiming that Beijing lacked “credibility” as a mediator, having refused to condemn Moscow’s military operation. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described the Chinese roadmap as merely “a set of wishful considerations.” On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow remains prepared to listen to peace proposals “based on a genuine wish to contribute to the stabilization of the world order,” including those recently made by Brazil and the African nations.

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“..the US was ready to support any initiative for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine once it was first supported by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky..”

US Not Ready For Practical Steps On Peace Settlement In Ukraine – Lavrov (TASS)

The US is not ready either at this stage or in the foreseeable future for any kind of constructive action with regard to the settlement in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference on Thursday following talks with Ugandan counterpart Jeje Odongo. “The United States is not ready either at this stage or, in my opinion, in the foreseeable future, for any constructive action regarding the settlement of the situation in Ukraine, which they themselves created the conditions for over many years,” he said. According to Lavrov, the United States created the situation in Ukraine “by way of its strategic course to oppose the objective formation of a multipolar world, to maintain its hegemony, and subjugate anyone and everyone to its will.”


“Ukraine is used as an obedient instrument within the framework of this course,” the foreign minister stressed. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on May 16 that Russian and Ukrainian authorities had agreed to receive an African delegation to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Ramaphosa spoke on behalf of six African nations: Egypt, Zambia, the Republic of Congo, Senegal, Uganda and South Africa. When asked to comment on the South African initiative, White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said that the US was ready to support any initiative for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine once it was first supported by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

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China imposes itself step by step. Next step: Xi sends his special envoy. While “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that China lacked “credibility”..” That won’t fly anymore.

Chinese Special Envoy Meets With Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has met with China’s newly appointed special envoy for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, who traveled to Kiev to convey Beijing’s views on a diplomatic resolution to Ukraine’s conflict with Russia. According to a statement published on Thursday by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Li held talks with Zelensky as well as the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andrey Yermak, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, and representatives from several other ministries. Beijing said both sides had agreed that the recent phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Zelensky had outlined the direction for future relations between their two nations, which it stated should be built on mutual respect and sincerity.

During his trip, Li reiterated that Beijing is willing to serve as a peace broker to help reach a political resolution to the conflict with Russia, based on the principles outlined in a 12-point roadmap published by China in late February. “There is no panacea in resolving the crisis. All parties need to start from themselves, accumulate mutual trust, and create conditions for ending the war and engaging in peace talks,” Li said, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement. The special envoy’s two-day trip to Ukraine is the first leg of a wider European tour, during which he is expected to visit Poland, France, Germany, and Russia. Beijing has explained that the trip aims to promote communication toward “a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.”

China’s peace efforts have been welcomed by Russia as well as some European nations such as Hungary, and have been praised for acknowledging the national interests of both parties. The roadmap, however, has been criticized by some in the West. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that China lacked “credibility” as it has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that “the only thing that can be called a peace plan is Zelensky’s proposal.” The Ukrainian president has demanded that Russia must withdraw from territories that Kiev claims as its own, as well as pay war reparations and face an international tribunal. The Kremlin has dismissed the initiative, claiming it does not take into consideration “the realities on the ground,” including the new status of four former Ukrainian regions as part of Russia.

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Medvedev: “Henry Kissinger called for Ukraine to join NATO.

True, he will celebrate his 100th birthday in 10 days, and he also met with Brezhnev. However, he is completely wrong here. He called the conflict between the United States and China the main threat to humanity. I have always believed that it is important to consider direct and obvious threats, not hypothetical ones, to correctly assess the situation. Imagine that Ukraine is admitted to the North Atlantic Alliance by the current dull-witted leaders:
1) NATO is already waging a hybrid war against Russia;
2) the Ukrainian nationalist regime will not stop trying to regain the lost territories;
3) we will have to respond harshly to this with all possible means, and…
4) here is Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
Subtle arguments about preventing existential threats do not work during bloody conflicts. This should be clear even to those who are approaching their centenary. Best wishes on the upcoming centenary! Keep the clarity of mind that Sleepy Joe has lost.”

Kissinger Changes His Mind On Ukraine Joining NATO (RT)

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has signalled a U-turn in his views on Ukraine’s prospective NATO membership. The veteran politician told The Economist that he now believes peace in Europe cannot be achieved without Ukraine joining the US-led military bloc. Last fall, Kissinger insisted that “it was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.” He said the bloc’s eastward expansion since the fall of Soviet Union in 1991 had essentially removed Russia’s historic “safety belt,” but insisted that was no justification for Russia’s “surprise attack” on Ukraine. However, in his interview on Wednesday with the British outlet, the politician, who turns 100 on May 27, suggested that “for the safety of Europe, it is better to have Ukraine in NATO.”

He acknowledged that he currently finds himself “in the weird position that people say, ‘Look at him, he’s changed his mind. Now he’s for membership of Ukraine in NATO.’” The reason for such shift is “twofold,” Kissinger said. “One, Russia is no longer the conventional threat it used to be. And, secondly, we have now armed Ukraine to a point where it will be the best-armed, most modern country and with the least experienced leadership in Europe,” he explained. According to the former US Secretary of State, the position taken by European countries towards Kiev’s membership is “madly dangerous.” “The Europeans are saying we don’t want them in NATO because they’re too risky and therefore we’ll arm the hell out of them and give them the most advanced weapons. How can that possibly work?” he asked.

Back in 2008, NATO declared that Kiev would join the bloc, but did not specify a date for that to happen. “The decision to leave open the membership of Ukraine in NATO was very wrong, and unwise,” Kissinger said. The possibility of Ukraine, which the Russians consider “the little brother closest to them organically, or historically,” being accepted into the US-led alliance became “a final turning point” for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin when he decided to send troops to the neighboring country in February 2022, he explained.

Last month, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius suggested that “this is not the time to decide” about Ukraine’s place in NATO. He was backed by Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda, who said it “would be too difficult” to make Kiev a member of the bloc while the conflict with Moscow continues. Russia, which sees NATO’s eastward expansion as a major security threat, had singled out Kiev’s push to join the bloc as among the main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine more than a year ago.

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“..he would prefer to avoid a situation wherein Ukraine became a non-aligned neutral state.”

Ensuring Regional Security Not Feasible Via NATO Expansion – China (TASS)

It is impossible to ensure European security by expanding military blocs, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a briefing on Thursday. “It is impossible to ensure regional security by means of strengthening and expanding military blocs. One country’s security should not be ensured at the expense of the security of others,”he said in response to a TASS request to comment on published remarks by Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State (1973-1977) and National Security Advisor to two presidents (1969-1975), about Ukraine’s potential accession to NATO. China expects all parties to the conflict to adhere to a common, comprehensive and sustainable security concept, Wang added. According to the senior diplomat, this could be achieved through dialogue and consultations based on respect for the legitimate security interests of all parties.

On May 17, The Economist magazine published an interview with Kissinger, who will turn 100 years old on May 27. In the interview, the doyen of US diplomacy and veteran practitioner of geopolitics said that Ukraine should become a member state of NATO. According to him, Ukraine’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance would be in the interests of both Kiev and Moscow, and would serve as a guarantee against any future attempts by the Ukrainian leadership to resolve territorial disputes by military means. Kissinger acknowledged that he had changed his point of view about Ukraine’s potential membership in NATO, saying he would prefer to avoid a situation wherein Ukraine became a non-aligned neutral state.

On May 15, the Washington Post reported, quoting sources, that the NATO countries had decided not to send Ukraine an invitation to become a member of the alliance at its upcoming summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, but are discussing the possibility of stepping up cooperation with Kiev and potentially establishing a timeframe for its entry into the military bloc. According to the authoritative US publication, a consensus exists among the alliance’s members that, in spite of Kiev’s fervent pleas, NATO will not be extending an official invitation to Ukraine to join the bloc during the Vilnius summit on July 11-12.

NATO adopted a political declaration at the Bucharest summit in April 2008 that Ukraine would eventually become a NATO member, but declined to provide a Membership Action Plan (MAP), the first step in a prospective member country’s legal procedure for joining the organization. In February 2019, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) approved amendments to Ukraine’s constitution enshrining its NATO aspirations into law. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly stated that Kiev was seeking to obtain an understanding of a specific date by which Ukraine could expect to join the alliance.

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“..If history is any measure, nothing concentrates the mind as much as a subpoena and immunity grant..”

Congress Could Have the Final Say on the Russian Collusion Scandal

[..] figures from Steele to Comey could be compelled to give full accounts in light of this Report. Congress has an interest in hearing from these witnesses as it explores how to make real reforms at the Justice Department and the FBI. The need for congressional action was made clear by the FBI itself in its immediate response to the Report. It insisted that it has reformed itself after what it described as “missteps identified in the report.” There are many ways to describe an investigation into false allegations raised by an opposing political party to derail a presidency. Calling that a “misstep” is like calling the explosion of the Hindenburg a “mislanding.” The FBI has now gone through regular cycles of scandals followed by assurances of self-reform.


Even if one is willing to suspend disbelief over the latest “trust us were the government” press release, it ignores that fact that the FBI was accused again in 2020 of playing a role in burying the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. If Congress wants to reform this system, Durham has given it a blueprint for how to do it. After the Report, there is now an undeniable right of Congress to seek this testimony as part of its legislative and oversight functions under Article I. While figures like Elias may “decline to be voluntarily interviewed,” this does not have to be voluntary exercise. In speaking with many witnesses, Durham was dealing with some potential crimes with expired statutes of limitation. If witnesses lie to Congress, they could also face charges under a new statute of limitations. If history is any measure, nothing concentrates the mind as much as a subpoena and immunity grant . . . and it may be time to concentrate some minds in Washington.

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“..No republic can continue to exist when it becomes trivially easy for one political faction or another to deliberately weaponize law enforcement..”

It’s Over Folks (Denninger)

America, that is. There is one last chance to save it: The FBI and DOJ must be disbanded, everyone working for it fired with no pensions, no benefits, no nothing, and if we need the functions of either agency and/or DHS they must be reconstituted with hard criminal penalties for anything that even smells like this in the future. If not, well, we’re done. We’re done because it is now seven years after this injustice occurred, it was not minor, it was not due to “oversight” or “accident” and by the most-charitable read the reason it happened is political bias through the entire organization from the top down leaving nobody to challenge it. Further, knowing this the Democrat party political campaign of the time (Hillary’s) deliberately suborned the acts of the FBI and instead of being told to shove it and being publicly outed for their attempt they got what they wanted including the personal and financial destruction of several people. A huge number of members of Congress then went on to use their speech and debate clause to slander people left, right and center all based on these lies.

Current law and the Constitution provide us no means of punishment of said members of Congress due to that speech and debate clause but no such protection exists for the principals nor the FBI personnel involved. Let me just cite this: “Given the foregoing, and viewing the facts in a light most favorable to the Crossfire Hurricane investigators, it seems highly likely that, at a minimum, confirmation bias played a significant role in the FBI’s acceptance of extraordinarily serious allegations derived from uncorroborated information that had not been subjected to the typical exacting analysis employed by the FBI and other members of the Intelligence Community. In short, it is the Office’s assessment that the FBI discounted or willfully ignored material information that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between Trump and Russia. Similarly, the FBI Inspection Division Report says that the investigators “repeatedly ignore[d] or explain[ed] away evidence contrary to the theory the Trump campaign … had conspired with Russia …. It appeared that … there was a pattern of assuming nefarious intent.” 1749 An objective and honest assessment of these strands of information should have caused the FBI to question not only the predication for Crossfire Hurricane, but also to reflect on whether the FBI was being manipulated for political or other purposes. Unfortunately, it did not.”

That’s the most-charitable read. I decline to provide that given the repeated and amplified abuse out of the Democrat Party, including from Hillary, Schiff and others particularly considering that exactly zero of said persons have apologized or in any other way backed off from their knowing lies. Folks the capacity to do this on a forward basis must be destroyed. This is not optional. No republic can continue to exist when it becomes trivially easy for one political faction or another to deliberately weaponize law enforcement to go after disfavored individuals based on their political affiliation, inventing not just domestic events but claimed collusion with foreign powers that never occurred.

Indeed it is arguable that these very same people were in fact doing what they accused Trump of, but with Ukraine and China instead of Russia — and there is now developing hard evidence of the money flows involved in same. The extent to which they reached into policy during the Obama years and to which it influenced or even controlled the policies of the administration during the pandemic, an outbreak that we have every reason to believe sourced from that very same China, is not yet known. There are over 1 million dead Americans over the last three years as a direct and indirect consequence and sixty million, roughly, children who got screwed in whole or part out of their education during those three years. Never mind all the other people who got screwed and all of the inflation which we have and will continue to suffer under.

Greenwald

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Gaetz

You can tell the level of undue pressure from the number of whistleblowers…

FBI Concerned Jan. 6 Footage Would Expose Undercover Agents, Informants (ET)

FBI officials were concerned that footage from inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, would show undercover agents and confidential informants, a whistleblower said in testimony revealed on May 18. George Hill, a retired supervisory intelligence analyst who worked out of the FBI’s Boston field office, recounted that the bureau’s Washington field office (WFO) pressured officials in Boston to open investigations on 138 people who attended a rally on Jan. 6, 2021, even though there were no indications the people violated the law. Boston officials pushed back, saying they would need evidence, such as footage of individuals inside the Capitol, to open investigations of the individuals. “Happy to do it. Show us where they were inside the Capitol, and we’ll look into it,” one official was quoted as saying.

Jim Jordan

“We can’t show you those videos unless you can tell us the exact time and place those individuals were inside the Capitol,” WFO officials responded, according to Hill. Hill said Boston officials questioned why they couldn’t get access to the tranche of some 11,000 hours of footage from inside the Capitol. “Because there may be—may be—UCs, undercover officers, or … confidential human sources, on those videos whose identity we need to protect,” Washington-based officials responded. Hill recounted the discussions during testimony to the U.S. House’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The clip from the testimony was played during a hearing on May 18 and detailed in a report the panel released based on whistleblower disclosures.


Marcus Allen, another FBI employee who has also become a whistleblower, has alleged that he was retaliated against because he shared an email with other FBI workers that questioned whether FBI Director Christopher Wray was truthful while testifying to Congress. “You believe that Christopher Wray indicated that there were no confidential informants, no FBI assets that were present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that were part of the violent riot, isn’t that right?” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a member of the subcommittee, asked Allen. “Yes, sir,” Allen said. They appeared to be referring to testimony given behind closed doors. After playing the clip of Hill’s comments, Gaetz said, “You got retaliated against for the very thing, for saying the very thing that the Washington field office was telling Boston.”

FBI

Wray told one congressional panel in a public hearing in late 2022 that he wouldn’t say whether the bureau had confidential sources embedded among the Jan. 6 protesters. “As I’m sure you can appreciate, I have to be very careful about what I can say, about when we do and do not, and where we have and have not used confidential human sources,” Wray said. “But to the extent there’s a suggestion, for example, that the FBI’s confidential human sources or FBI employees in someway instigated or orchestrated Jan 6th, that’s categorically false.” [..] Garret O’Boyle, another FBI special agent who is now a whistleblower, told the House panel that he was pressured by at least one agent based in Washington to violate FBI policy and also the law by serving grand jury subpoenas against a person who was the subject of an anonymous tip. “They tried to get me to serve a federal grand jury subpoena when there was no proper predicate to do so,” O’Boyle said on May 18.

O’Boyle

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Gorsuch’s full text at the URL. This is the background.

Justice Neil Gorsuch Speaks Out Against Lockdowns and Mandates (BI)

Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion in Arizona v. Mayorkas marks the culmination of his three-year effort to oppose the Covid regime’s eradication of civil liberties, unequal application of law, and political favoritism. From the outset, Gorsuch remained vigilant as public officials used the pretext of Covid to augment their power and strip the citizenry of its rights in defiance of long standing constitutional principles. While other justices (even some purported constitutionalists) absconded their responsibility to uphold the Bill of Rights, Gorsuch diligently defended the Constitution. This became most apparent in the Supreme Court’s cases involving religious liberty in the Covid era.

Beginning in May 2020, the Supreme Court heard cases challenging Covid restrictions on religious attendance across the country. The Court was divided along familiar political lines: the liberal bloc of Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan voted to uphold deprivations of liberty as a valid exercise of states’ police power; Justice Gorsuch led conservatives Alito, Kavanaugh, and Thomas in challenging the irrationality of the edicts; Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberal bloc, justifying his decision by deferring to public health experts. “Unelected judiciary lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people,” Roberts wrote in South Bay v. Newsom, the first Covid case to reach the Court.

And so the Court repeatedly upheld executive orders attacking religious liberty. In South Bay, the Court denied a California church’s request to block state restrictions on church attendance in a five to four decision. Roberts sided with the liberal bloc, urging deference to the public health apparatus as constitutional freedoms disappeared from American life. In July 2020, the Court again split 5-4 and denied a church’s emergency motion for injunctive relief against Nevada’s Covid restrictions. Governor Steve Sisolak capped religious gatherings at 50 people, regardless of the precautions taken or the size of the establishment. The same order allowed for other groups, including casinos, to hold up to 500 people. The Court, with Chief Justice Roberts joining the liberal justices again, denied the motion in an unsigned motion without explanation.

Justice Gorsuch issued a one paragraph dissent that exposed the hypocrisy and irrationality of the Covid regime. “Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen ‘multiplex’ may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there,” he wrote. But the Governor’s lockdown order imposed a 50-worshiper limit for religious gatherings, no matter the buildings’ capacities. “The First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion,” Gorsuch wrote. “But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”

Gorsuch understood the threat to Americans’ liberties, but he was powerless with Chief Justice Roberts cowing to the interests of the public health bureaucracy. That changed when Justice Ginsburg died in September 2020. The following month, Justice Barrett joined the Court and reversed the Court’s 5-4 split on religious freedom in the Covid era. The following month, the Court granted an emergency injunction to block Governor Cuomo’s executive order that limited attendance at religious services to 10 to 25 people. Gorsuch was now in the majority, protecting Americans from the tyranny of unconstitutional edicts. In a concurring opinion in the New York case, he again compared restrictions on secular activities and religious gatherings; “according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians… Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”

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“Thank God for someone who can still speak their mind and won’t take some guff off a journalist who tells him he can’t speak his mind.”

Rand Paul: Elon Musk Will Go Down As A Historic Champion For Free Speech (SM)

Senator Rand Paul praised Elon Musk Wednesday for standing up for free speech, predicting that the Twitter owner will be recorded as a key figure in history in the fight against censorship. Referring to Musk’s compelling take down of a CNBC hack earlier this week, Paul noted “Thank God for someone who can still speak their mind and won’t take some guff off a journalist who tells him he can’t speak his mind.”
“Somewhere along the way something happened and people began to think that only certain forms of speech were acceptable,” The Senator urged.


“Then along came Elon Musk,” Paul continued, adding “The country, the Bill of Rights frankly, all of us, are going to be very thankful that a guy with a lot of money bought a social media entity and allowed us to see the government colluding to limit speech.” “People need to get this right. Private companies can decide what they want to air, newspapers can, television shows can. But what we cannot allow to happen is the government to collude with private business and use them basically as their extension and their arm of censor,” Paul emphasised. He added that “Elon Musk exposed this only because he had 44 billion dollars to buy a company and expose their inner workings off collusion with government.”

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The celestial entrance known as ‘Heaven’s Gate’ located within the breathtaking Tianmen Mountain in China. Situated approximately 5,000 feet above sea level, Tianmen Cave in China stands as the world’s highest naturally formed arch. Accessing this remarkable landmark involves ascending 999 steps referred to as the “stairway to heaven,” where the number nine holds significant meaning in Chinese numerology, symbolizing good fortune and eternity.

 

 

Most people refuse to even think about pedophilia. But that creates the space for it to exist.

 

 

Whale trap

 

 

There’s a dog school in Canada so they don’t stay home alone. This is a picture taken on the way to school.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 272022
 


L.S. Lowry The mill, Pendlebury 1943

 

The Twitter Files: How Twitter Rigged The Covid Debate (Zweig)
How Twitter Rigged the Covid Debate (ZH)
You Need to Start Paying Attention to the ‘Twitter Files’ (PJM)
It’s Time to Reform the Bureau (Turley)
What Will the FBI *Not* Do? (Hanson)
Pandemic Response Gets A Permanent New Home At The White House (STAT)
Ukraine Calls For UN-Brokered ‘Peace Summit’ In February (RT)
Report: The CIA Is Directing Sabotage Attacks Inside Russia (Antiwar)
Medvedev Gives Timeline For Reconciliation With The West (RT)
What Can Happen In 2023 (Dmitry Medvedev)
ECB Governing Council Says Growth Of Key Rate In 2023 Possible (Az.)
Russia Ready To Resume Gas Supplies To EU – Official (RT)
Germany Becoming ‘Dysfunctional’ State – MP (RT)
Return Europe To A Union Of Homelands (RMX)
Republican Senators Turn On Leader Mitch McConnell Over $1.7t Omnibus (DM)
What It’s Really About (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

Blood-brain barrier

 

 

 

 

Tom Renz
https://twitter.com/i/status/1607224317099798530

 

 

 

 

Mozart

 

 

 

 

More Twitter files, this time on Covid response.

Elon Musk @elonmusk: “Much more to The Twitter Files: Covid Editon than this introductory thread. Follow-up piece to come next week, featuring leading doctors & researchers from Harvard, Stanford & other institutions. (Many of whom were, of course, actively suppressed on Twitter).”

Author David Zweig also has a longer article here . I’ll start off with his Twitter thread.

The Twitter Files: How Twitter Rigged The Covid Debate (Zweig)

– By censoring info that was true but inconvenient to U.S. govt. policy
– By discrediting doctors and other experts who disagreed
– By suppressing ordinary users, including some sharing the CDC’s *own data*
2. So far the Twitter Files have focused on evidence of Twitter’s secret blacklists; how the company functioned as a kind of subsidiary of the FBI; and how execs rewrote the platform’s rules to accommodate their own political desires.
3. What we have yet to cover is Covid. This reporting, for The Free Press, @thefp, is one piece of that important story.
4. The United States government pressured Twitter and other social media platforms to elevate certain content and suppress other content about Covid-19.
5. Internal files at Twitter that I viewed while on assignment for @thefp showed that both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes.
6. At the onset of the pandemic, according to meeting notes, the Trump admin was especially concerned about panic buying. They came looking for “help from the tech companies to combat misinformation” about “runs on grocery stores.” But . . . there were runs on grocery stores.
7. It wasn’t just Twitter. The meetings with the Trump White House were also attended by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others.
8. When the Biden admin took over, one of their first meeting requests with Twitter executives was on Covid. The focus was on “anti-vaxxer accounts.” Especially Alex Berenson.
9. In the summer of 2021, president Biden said social media companies were “killing people” for allowing vaccine misinformation. Berenson was suspended hours after Biden’s comments, and kicked off the platform the following month.
10. Berenson sued (and then settled with) Twitter. In the legal process Twitter was compelled to release certain internal communications, which showed direct White House pressure on the company to take action on Berenson.

Read more …

“We are asking them to step up,” Murthy said. “We can’t wait longer for them to take aggressive action.”

How Twitter Rigged the Covid Debate (ZH)

Today’s edition, dropped by journalist David Zweig, focuses on ‘how Twitter rigged the Covid debate’ by taking direction from both the Trump and Biden administrations (while at the same time trying to censor the former president). What’s somewhat notable is how aggressive government (and ex-government) officials were in trying to stifle free speech, while Twitter’s non-government-linked employees would often push back (and then totally fold) – a theme we’ve observed in previous drops. In one such instance, former head of Twitter’s Trust & Safety team Yoel Roth tells former FBI lawyer and then-Twitter Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker to calm his tits over a Trump tweet. Of course, in the end the government typically got its way, as you will read below.

Zweig, who was granted access to internal files while on assignment for The Free Press, notes that “both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes.” What’s more, the censorship effort extended to Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others. In July 2021, then-U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy released a 22-page advisory concerning what the World Health Organization referred to as an “infodemic,” and called on social media platforms to do more to shut down “misformation.” “We are asking them to step up,” Murthy said. “We can’t wait longer for them to take aggressive action.”

That’s the message the White House had already taken directly to Twitter executives in private channels. One of the Biden administration’s first meeting requests was about Covid, with a focus on “anti-vaxxer accounts,” according to a meeting summary by Lauren Culbertson, Twitter’s Head of U.S. Public Policy. They were especially concerned about Alex Berenson, a journalist skeptical of lockdowns and mRNA vaccines, who had hundreds of thousands of followers on the platform: By the summer of 2021, the day after Murthy’s memo, Biden announced publicly that social media companies were “killing people” by allowing misinformation about vaccines. Just hours later, Twitter locked Berenson out of his account, and then permanently suspended him the next month.

Berenson sued Twitter. He ultimately settled with the company, and is now back on the platform. As part of the lawsuit, Twitter was compelled to provide certain internal communications. They revealed that the White House had directly met with Twitter employees and pressured them to take action on Berenson. The summary of meetings by Culbertson, emailed to colleagues in December 2022, adds new evidence of the White House’s pressure campaign, and illustrates how it tried to directly influence what content was allowed on Twitter. Culbertson wrote that the Biden team was “very angry” that Twitter had not been more aggressive in deplatforming multiple accounts. They wanted Twitter to do more.

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Yeah, we could use some summaries. Authors so far: Matt Taibbi, Bari Weiss, Michael Shellenberger, Lee Fang, David Zweig, Leighton Woodhouse, Abigail Shrier. And perhaps others?! I hadn’t even noticed the last two.

You Need to Start Paying Attention to the ‘Twitter Files’ (PJM)

The “Twitter Files” have now officially had more sequels than Planet of the Apes and can be difficult to absorb. Thus, I don’t think they’re getting the attention they deserve. For those of you not following the “Twitter Files” drops, let me catch you up on what I believe are some of the most important parts:
• The FBI paid Twitter $3.5 million to censor conservatives.
• The FBI pressured Twitter to give them information that would legally require warrants, though they did not have warrants.
• Leading up to the 2020 election, the FBI would eventually hold weekly meetings with Twitter and tell them whose tweets to squelch and which accounts they wanted to be suspended. Almost all were those of conservatives.
• The FBI knew the Hunter Biden laptop story was real, they knew it was coming out — weeks before the 2020 election — and they told Big Tech to expect a “Russian disinformation” drop and squelch the story. That means the FBI corrupted the election to help Joe “totally showered with his daughter, Ashley” Biden.
• There are so many former FBI employees at Twitter that they have their own Slack channel.


In response to the “Twitter Files” detailing how the FBI-Twitter circle jerk was real, the bureau called the allegations “conspiracy theories” but never actually denied its relationship with Twitter. Elon Musk provided the world with an early Christmas present on Saturday with Twitter Files Pt. IX. I’ll sum it up so you can avoid the Twitter mess and get to the relevant facts:
• The FBI was a portal, specifically the San Francisco office, for other government agencies to get to Twitter to surveil and censor Americans.
• Hiding under the title of Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), actors from local police departments to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the CIA were watching and censoring Americans — not foreigners.
• Twitter wasn’t the only Big Tech firm hip-deep in spooks. The feds had their fingers in Verizon, Reddit, Facebook, Microsoft, and, for some reason, Pinterest.
• As the 2020 election neared, the FBI-FITF assailed Twitter with hundreds of requests to censor Twitter accounts and tweets. There were so many requests that Twitter execs had to come up with a system to prioritize them.
• FBI employees were tasked with doing word searches on Twitter, looking for violations of Twitter policies — instead of chasing actual criminals.
• The FBI had roughly 80 agents working with Big Tech companies. It is unclear how many members of the DOD, CIA, etc. were involved

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“Criticizing the FBI is now ‘disinformation’”

It’s Time to Reform the Bureau (Turley)

The “Twitter Files” released by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, show as many as 80 agents targeting social-media posters for censorship on the site. This included alleged briefings that Twitter officials said was the reason they spiked the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election. The FBI sent 150 messages on back channels to just one Twitter official to flag accounts. One Twitter executive expressed unease over the FBI’s pressure, declaring: “They are probing & pushing everywhere they can (including by whispering to congressional staff).” We also have learned that Twitter hired a number of retired FBI agents, including former FBI general counsel James Baker, who was a critical and controversial figure in past bureau scandals over political bias.

It is not clear what is more chilling — the menacing role played by the FBI in Twitter’s censorship program, or its mendacious response to the disclosure of that role. The FBI has issued a series of “nothing-to-see-here” statements regarding the Twitter Files. In its latest statement, the FBI insists it did not command Twitter to take any specific action when flagging accounts to be censored. Of course, it didn’t have to threaten the company — because we now have an effective state media by consent rather than coercion. Moreover, an FBI warning tends to concentrate the minds of most people without the need for a specific threat. Finally, the files show that the FBI paid Twitter millions as part of this censorship system — a windfall favorably reported to Baker before he was fired from Twitter by Musk.

Criticizing the FBI is now ‘disinformation’. Responding to the disclosures and criticism, an FBI spokesperson declared: “The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency.” Arguably, “working every day to protect the American public” need not include censoring the public to protect it from errant or misleading ideas. However, it is the attack on its critics that is most striking. While the FBI denounced critics of an earlier era as communists and “fellow travelers,” it now uses the same attack narrative to label its critics as “conspiracy theorists.”

After Watergate, there was bipartisan support for reforming the FBI and intelligence agencies. Today, that cacophony of voices has been replaced by crickets, as much of the media imposes another effective blackout on coverage of the Twitter Files. This media silence suggests that the FBI found the “sweet spot” on censorship, supporting the views of the political and media establishment. As for the rest of us, the FBI now declares us to be part of a disinformation danger which it is committed to stamping out — “conspiracy theorists” misleading the public simply by criticizing the bureau. Clearly, this is the time for a new Church Committee — and time to reform the FBI.

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“Consider the last four directors, the public faces of the FBI for the last 22 years.”

What Will the FBI *Not* Do? (Hanson)

The FBI is now, tragically, in freefall. The public is at the point, first, of asking what improper or illegal behavior will the bureau not pursue, and what, if anything, must be done to reform or save a once great but now discredited agency. Consider the last four directors, the public faces of the FBI for the last 22 years. Ex-director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that he simply would not or could not talk about the fraudulent Steele dossier. He claimed that it was not the catalyst for his special counsel investigation of Donald Trump’s alleged ties with the Russians when, of course, it was. Mueller also testified that he was “not familiar” with Fusion GPS, although Glenn Simpson’s opposition research firm subsidized the dossier through various cutouts that led back to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. And the skullduggery in the FBI-subsidized dossier helped force the appointment of Mueller himself.

While under congressional oath, Mueller’s successor James Comey on some 245 occasions claimed that he “could not remember,” “could not recall,” or “did not know” when asked simple questions fundamental to his own involvement with the Russian collusion hoax. Comey, remember, memorialized a confidential conversation with President Trump on an FBI device and then used a third party to leak it to the New York Times. In his own words, the purpose was to force a special counsel appointment. The gambit worked, and his friend and predecessor Robert Mueller got the job. Twenty months and $40 million later, Mueller’s investigation tore the country apart but could find no evidence that Trump, as Steele alleged, colluded with the Russians to throw the 2016 election.

Comey also seems to have reassured the president that he was not the target of an ongoing FBI investigation, when in fact, Trump was. Comey was never indicted for either misleading or lying to a congressional committee or leaking a document variously considered either confidential or classified. While under oath, his interim successor, Andrew McCabe, on a number of occasions flat-out lied to federal investigators. Or as the office of the inspector general put it: “As detailed in this report, the OIG found that then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the WSJ, and that this conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6. The OIG also concluded that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in the manner described in this report violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.”

McCabe purportedly believed Trump was working with the Russians as a veritable spy—a false accusation based entirely on the FBI’s paid, incoherent prevaricator Christopher Steele. And so, McCabe discussed with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein methods to have the president’s conversations wiretapped via a Rosenstein-worn stealthy recording device, presumably without a warrant. Note the FBI ruined the lives of General Michael Flynn and Carter Page with false allegations of criminal conduct or untruthful testimonies. Under current director Christopher Wray, the FBI has surveilled parents at school boards meetings—on the prompt of the National School Boards Association, whose president wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland alleging that bothersome parents upset over critical race indoctrination groups were supposedly violence-prone and veritable terrorists. Under Wray, the FBI staged the psychodramatic Mar-a-Lago raid on an ex-president’s home. The FBI likely leaked the post facto myths that the seized documents contained “nuclear codes” or “nuclear secrets.”

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What could go wrong?

Pandemic Response Gets A Permanent New Home At The White House (STAT)

The era of the rotating cast of public health czars at the White House may finally be over. Presidents for decades have brought fresh faces to the White House to coordinate federal responses to threats such as Covid-19, mpox, Ebola, AIDS, and the bird flu. Now, Congress aims to give pandemic response a permanent home at the White House.Next year’s government funding package includes a brand-new White House Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy that would have a director appointed by the president and up to 25 staff members. “They’re not simply going to retire the role that [White House Covid-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha] plays when the emergency declaration ends,” said J. Stephen Morrison, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the director of its Global Health Policy Center.


“You can’t just keep piling on coordinators, disease by disease.” The new director’s main responsibilities would be to advise the president on preparing for pandemics and other biological threats, to coordinate response activities across the federal government — including research into new countermeasures and distribution of medical supplies — and to evaluate the government’s readiness. The director would also be a member of the Domestic Policy Council and the National Security Council. “The functions outlined are exactly what is needed at the White House, and what I’ve been calling for for years, to avoid having any single agency take the lead on something that overlaps most departments in the U.S. government,” said Ken Bernard, who worked in biodefense policy in both the Clinton and George W. Bush White Houses.

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Start off with impossible conditions. And then say: hey, we tried!

Ukraine Calls For UN-Brokered ‘Peace Summit’ In February (RT)

Kiev has proposed holding a so-called “peace summit” by the end of February to mark the one-year anniversary since Russia launched its military operation against Ukraine. The initiative was announced by that country’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, who also set out conditions for inviting Moscow to the event. In an interview with AP published on Monday, Kuleba stated that Ukraine will do whatever it can to win its ongoing military conflict with Russia in 2023, but admitted that diplomacy always plays an important role. “Every war ends in a diplomatic way,” Kuleba said, adding that “every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”

The minister noted that the UN was “the best venue for holding this summit, because it is not about making a favor to a certain country” and suggested that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres could act as mediator for the event. “He has proven himself to be an efficient mediator and an efficient negotiator, and most importantly, as a man of principle and integrity. So we would welcome his active participation,” Kuleba said about Guterres. Asked about the matter of inviting Russia to this “peace summit,” Kuleba insisted Moscow must first face an “international court” and be prosecuted for supposed war crimes. He also dismissed Putin’s recent calls for negotiations, stating that everything Russia does on the battlefield “proves” that Moscow does not want to talk.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s addressed G20 leaders in Indonesia and laid out a ten-point “peace formula,” which includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, an “all for all” prisoner swap, and a tribunal for those Kiev accuses of aggression. Russia, meanwhile, has insisted that Kiev must “recognize the reality on the ground” as a prerequisite for any peace negotiations, including the new status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye as parts of Russia.

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Sleeper cells.

Report: The CIA Is Directing Sabotage Attacks Inside Russia (Antiwar)

The CIA has been using a European NATO country’s intelligence services to conduct sabotage attacks inside Russia since the February invasion of Ukraine, investigative journalist Jack Murphy reported on Saturday, citing unnamed former US intelligence and military officials. The report said that no US personnel are on the ground in Russia but that the operations are being directed by the CIA. The US is using an ally’s intelligence services to add an extra layer of plausible deniability, and a former US special operations official told Murphy that layer was a major factor in President Biden signing off on the attacks. Murphy said he didn’t name the NATO country whose intelligence services were being used in the report because “doing so might endanger the operational security of cells that are still operational inside of Russia.”

The report appeared on Murphy’s personal website, and in a note at the end of the piece, he explained why it wasn’t published by a media outlet. “While working with editors at mainstream publications I was asked to do things that were illegal and unethical in one instance, and in another instance I felt that a senior CIA official was able to edit my article by making off the record statements, before he leaked a story to The New York Times to undermine this piece,” he wrote. According to the report, the covert campaign inside Russia has been years in the making. Two former military officials said that the NATO country’s spy services had hidden a cache of explosives and equipment in Russia more than a decade ago, and some of the gear has been used recently.

A former US special operations official and US person briefed on the campaign said that the CIA didn’t get involved with the NATO country’s operations inside Russia until 2014. The first time sleeper cells entered Russia that were directed by both the CIA and the NATO ally’s spy service was in 2016, and more entered the country in the following years. The NATO ally provided the undercover operatives with stories to explain their presence in Russia and documents to back them up. The report said that around the time Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the NATO ally’s spy service activated its sleeper cells inside Russia using covert communication, and they were ready for orders on what targets to strike.

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Medvedev becomes more visible. He’s still close to Putin, or so it seems. If anything happens to Putin, he appears to be the go-to guy.

Medvedev Gives Timeline For Reconciliation With The West (RT)

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has accused Western powers of lying, causing a rift that will remain for decades to come, and convincing Moscow that there is no sense in trying to reach an agreement with them. Medevedev, who serves as deputy chair of the national Security Council, wrote in a keynote article on Sunday that the year 2022 has shattered illusions about the West, proving that its promises and principles cannot taken at face value. “Alas, there is nobody in the West we could deal with about anything for any reason,” he wrote. Medvedev went on to say that nations that claim global leadership deceived Russia when they claimed NATO expansion in Europe posed no threat to it.

They again lied when they backed a peace roadmap for Ukraine, which in reality was meant to give Kiev time to prepare for an eventual armed conflict with Russia, he added. The conflict in Ukraine is a war against Russia by a proxy, which was long in the making, Medvedev claimed. The behavior of Washington and others this year “is the last warning to all nations: there can be no business with the Anglo-Saxon world [because] it is a thief, a swindler, a card-sharp that could do anything.” For Russia, there will be no restoration of normal relations with the West for years or even decades to come, Medvedev predicted. “From now on we will do without them until a new generation of sensible politicians comes to power there. We will be careful and alert. We will develop relations with the rest of the world,” he wrote.

However, Medvedev argued that the loss of Western leadership could be a net positive, considering what he called the moral bankruptcy of the US-led neo-colonial order. Elites that caused the financial meltdown of 2008 and the ongoing global crisis are unable to claim global leadership, he wrote. “The West is incapable of offering to the world any new ideas, which would take humanity forward, solve global problems, or provide collective security,” the former president insisted. Medvedev expects that several regional blocs will emerge in the near future, each with its own values and rules, and that Russia will have its place in the new order.

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A very strange Twitter thread from Medvedev. Elon Musk reacted: “Those are definitely the most absurd predictions I’ve ever heard, while also showing astonishing lack of awareness of the progress of artificial intelligence and sustainable energy..”

What Can Happen In 2023 (Dmitry Medvedev)

On the New Year’s Eve, everybody’s into making predictions Many come up with futuristic hypotheses, as if competing to single out the wildest, and even the most absurd ones. Here’s our humble contribution.


1. Oil price will rise to $150 a barrel, and gas price will top $5.000 per 1.000 cubic meters
2. The UK will rejoin the EU
3. The EU will collapse after the UK’s return; Euro will drop out of use as the former EU currency
4. Poland and Hungary will occupy western regions of the formerly existing Ukraine
5. The Fourth Reich will be created, encompassing the territory of Germany and its satellites, i.e., Poland, the Baltic states, Czechia, Slovakia, the Kiev Republic, and other outcasts
6. War will break out between France and the Fourth Reich. Europe will be divided, Poland repartitioned in the process
7. Northern Ireland will separate from the UK and join the Republic of Ireland
8. Civil war will break out in the US, California. and Texas becoming independent states as a result. Texas and Mexico will form an allied state. Elon Musk’ll win the presidential election in a number of states which, after the new Civil War’s end, will have been given to the GOP
9. All the largest stock markets and financial activity will leave the US and Europe and move to Asia
10. The Bretton Woods system of monetary management will collapse, leading to the IMF and World Bank crash. Euro and Dollar will stop circulating as the global reserve currencies. Digital fiat currencies will be actively used instead
Season greetings to you all, Anglo-Saxon friends, and their happily oinking piglets!

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“..a delicate balancing act between fighting inflation and exacerbating the slowdown..”

ECB Governing Council Says Growth Of Key Rate In 2023 Possible (Az.)

A veteran member of the European Central Bank’s rate-setting council believes it has only just passed the halfway point of its tightening cycle and needs to be “in there for the long game” to tame high inflation, Report informs referring to Financial Times. After more than a decade of aggressive easing, 2022 was the year when many leading central banks began to raise rates in response to soaring prices. The ECB increased borrowing costs by 2.5 percentage points, capping the year with its fourth rise in a row to leave its benchmark deposit rate at 2 percent.


Klaas Knot, head of the Dutch central bank and one of the governing council’s more hawkish rate-setters, told the Financial Times that, with five policy meetings between now and July 2023, the ECB would achieve “quite a decent pace of tightening” through half percentage point rises in the months ahead before borrowing costs eventually peaked by the summer. In the eurozone, consumer price inflation hit a record high of 10.6 percent in the year to October – more than five times the ECB’s 2 percent target. In the Netherlands, inflation has been higher still, peaking at 17.1 percent in September. However, growth in the bloc is grinding to a halt, leaving central bankers facing a delicate balancing act between fighting inflation and exacerbating the slowdown.

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“The Polish leg of the route is currently being used to pump stored gas from Germany.”

Russia Ready To Resume Gas Supplies To EU – Official (RT)

Moscow is ready to restart supplies of natural gas to the EU via the Yamal-Europe Pipeline, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Monday. He noted that shipments through the route were halted for political reasons. According to the official, the EU remains a relevant market for Russia, which is able to resume supplies to a region suffering from a gas shortage. “For example, the Yamal-Europe Pipeline, which was shut down for political reasons, remains unused,” Novak said. Gas supplies via the pipeline, which usually flow westward, have been mostly reversed since Poland terminated a supply contract with Russia ahead of its end-2022 expiry date, after rejecting Moscow’s demand for ruble payments. The Polish leg of the route is currently being used to pump stored gas from Germany.


In response to Warsaw’s move, Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom cut off supplies, saying it could no longer send gas via Poland, while Moscow imposed sanctions against the firm that owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline. Although Russian gas deliveries to the EU via the Nord Stream and Yamal-Europe pipelines have been halted, Russian gas is still being supplied to certain European buyers via a transit line through Ukraine and the TurkStream pipeline through Türkiye. Despite the persisting problems, Novak says he still sees the EU as a viable market for Russia. “Today we can confidently say that there is a stable demand for our gas. Therefore, we continue to consider Europe as a potential market for our products. It is clear that a large-scale campaign was launched against us, which ended with acts of sabotage against the Nord Stream pipelines,” he said. The market for LNG also remains open, according to Novak, who noted that Russian LNG supplies to the EU are expected to grow to 21 billion cubic meters by the end of the year.

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“We don’t want gas and oil supplies from Russia any more, at the same time our ‘green’ friends are restarting coal-fired power plants..”

Germany Becoming ‘Dysfunctional’ State – MP (RT)

Germany faces a serious risk of going bankrupt due to the government’s inability to find a viable solution to the current energy crisis, the Vice President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Kubicki, said in an interview published in the national Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag. According to the official, Germans now have the impression that their country is on the way to becoming a “dysfunctional state.” “Infrastructure, energy prices and the inability of the Bundeswehr [the country’s armed forces] to protect us are challenges that require immediate action from the German authorities, otherwise things will go wrong,” he said.

Kubicki blasted Economy Minister Robert Habeck over purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the US for “a lot of money” while at the same time refusing to mine cheaper shale gas in Germany “for purely ideological reasons.” He added that the German authorities should revise their approach to nuclear power plants, which should continue operating while the country is facing an energy crisis. “We don’t want gas and oil supplies from Russia any more, at the same time our ‘green’ friends are restarting coal-fired power plants, while preventing a reasonable extension of the life of nuclear power plants,” Kubicki said, commenting on Habeck’s latest decisions.

The MP called for a change in the government’s strategy and the rejection of excessive financial assistance in the face of the energy crisis. “If we continue to pursue the policies of paying out money for years as part of the fight against the energy crisis, then we are at risk of national bankruptcy if not state socialism,” Kubicki warned. According to the Vice Speaker, the funds that Berlin is planning to spend on additional purchases of energy resources amid the crunch were originally destined for investments in other areas. “This money cannot be printed or covered by taxpayers. We cannot exist in a state of financial crisis for a long time due to the risk of shortage of funds to support other areas,” he said.

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Poland seeks more power.

Return Europe To A Union Of Homelands (RMX)

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that “he and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will change Europe.” In an interview for the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Morawiecki explained that Europe and power should return to stronger nation states. “We do not believe in a superstate of 27 EU member states. We want a return of a union of homelands,” underlined the Polish prime minister. Morawiecki pointed out that Europe has to choose between an authentic solidarity of equal states, or a model of a single superstate in which “decisions will be made in a couple of the largest capitals, disregarding other countries.” Referring to Russian aggression in Ukraine, Morawiecki pointed out that the Ukraine war will end only with the defeat of Vladimir Putin.


“We have warned that Russia’s colonial ambitions are a threat to eastern European countries and the entire EU,” said Morawiecki, adding that Europe must do everything to aid Ukraine, as the fall of Kyiv would open the way for Russia to conquer Europe. “Together with [Italian] Prime Minister Meloni, we stand to defend Ukraine. We realistically assess the threat posed by the Russian Federation,” the Polish leader added. According to Morawiecki, some European nations are more acutely aware of the Russian threat due to their past experiences. “That is why we all think about armaments and protecting against the threat from the East,” he explained Meloni often refers to policies pursued by Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) government, using them as a model and an example. She often mentions that European conservative parties need to cooperate, previously saying: “We will transform ideas into a government policy, just as our friends from the Czech and Polish republics have done.”

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It’s one big party.

Republican Senators Turn On Leader Mitch McConnell Over $1.7t Omnibus (DM)

Donald Trump tore into his Republican rival, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, on Monday over his role in helping pass a bipartisan $1.7 trillion ‘omnibus’ spending bill to keep federal government agencies and the military funded through September 2023. The former president dusted off an old favorite monicker of his for McConnell, calling him an ‘Old Crow,’ while also claiming that Democrats ‘must have something’ on the Kentucky legislator after he was one of 18 Senate Republicans to vote in favor of the bill. He had stopped using the nickname for a time after McConnell said ‘Old Crow’ was his favorite brand of Kentucky bourbon, and even once gifted bottles in a veiled dismissal of Trump’s taunts. Trump made his thoughts on the spending bill clear, deriding it as ‘ominous’ and claiming it would not have been passed under his administration.

He also hurled a racist insult he previously lodged at McConnell’s wife, his own former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. ‘The Marxist Democrats must have something really big on Mitch McConnell in order to get him and some of his friendly “Republican” Senators to pass the horrendous “All Democrat, All the Way” OMINOUS Bill,’ Trump wrote on his Truth Social app. ‘It gives Border Security to other countries, but ZERO $’s to the U.S., it fully funds the corrupt “Justice” Department, FBI (which RIGGED the Presidential Election!), and even the Trump Hating Special “Prosecutor.” It is also a massive giveaway & capitulation to CHINA, making COCO CHOW so happy!’ He wrote in a follow-up post, ‘If the Old Crow waited just 10 days, the Republican Majority in the House could have made the “Ominous” Bill MUCH, MUCH, MUCH BETTER.’

‘Just another win for the Democrats, Mitch, that wouldn’t have happened if “Trump” were President!’ Trump concluded. A pair of Republican senators loudly denounced McConnell on Sunday over his shepherding through the $1.7 trillion bill. The funding package includes fiscal victories for both parties. Many on the right who voted for it made clear that it was not the fiscal agenda they preferred but believed it was necessary to keep the military and other critical aspects of the government running smoothly. But federal spending priority talks have divided the GOP. Many on the right having opposed working with Democrats on where the government spends dollars next year.

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“..it still doesn’t explain how these outfits became the enemies of truth itself, and by extension, enemies of reality.”

What It’s Really About (Kunstler)

Not so many years ago, the force counter-balancing criminal misconduct in the government was the news media, even if the reporters and editors claimed to be on the political Left. Or, shall we say, especially if they were on the Left, because the Left in those days fervently championed free speech. Reporters of that long-ago day (Seymour Hersh, John Sack, and Michael Herr) would be out digging up the true facts of a big event — say, the US Military’s deadly blunders and scams in Vietnam — and editors would plaster screaming headlines about it on the front page: GENERAL SAYS “WE HAD TO DESTROY THE VILLAGE TO SAVE IT!” When the venerable news-spieler Walter Cronkite of CBS began to hint that the war was a fiasco, public opinion across the country shifted decisively against it.

Of course, those crimes and sins were committed against people in distant lands. Now, the administrative weight of the US is rolling over its own citizens, and over the Constitution — and the news media is uniformly and enthusiastically in favor of suppressing the news about it. How that happened is one of several cosmic mysteries of our time, along with who exactly runs “Joe Biden,” and how did the many nations of Western Civ adopt in lock-step Covid-19 policies aimed at harming their own people? No reporter even of the alt.news division even tried to get inside the head of New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet during the years of RussiaGate. Did he believe all that crap his paper was putting out? Now, you realize, it’s established fact (in the federal court record) that the Steele Dossier and everything spun off of it was a flim-flam confected by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

But even at the time, say 2017 to 2019, independent journalists were reporting the truth about it — for example, the FBI’s long-running fraud in the FISA Court — while The New York Times ardently inveighed against any emerging fact-pattern that broke through its wall of propaganda. The Times was showered with awards for that, including the Pulitzer Prize for its completely fallacious RussiaGate coverage. One easy answer is that The Times and many of its “legacy” cohorts — The WashPo, CBS, NBC, and ABC — have volunteered to be the public relations office of the Democratic Party, covering-up anything and everything the Party does against the public interest. And while that appears to be the case, it still doesn’t explain how these outfits became the enemies of truth itself, and by extension, enemies of reality.

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Julian Claus

 

 

 

 

Montreal 2010

 

 

 

 

Cobalt

 

 

Piano stairs

 

 

 

 

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